I had never used a self-storage unit before. San Diego has many storage unit warehouses that can be seen along the freeways, but that was about the only interaction I had ever had with one. My boyfriend had never used self-storage either. It was going to be an adventure.
Two days after hearing news of our roommates moving back to the state of New York, my boyfriend hopped on the internet and began investigating the storage scene. We had no idea where to start or what to look for.
Myron had given notice at his job, and I had just finished working night shifts at my first job. I still had another part time gig pulling espresso in the mornings. I had yet to give notice at my second job, but was planning on doing so soon. I don't know how we could have pulled off the move if my boyfriend and I still worked full time, each sometimes working 50-60 hours a week.
In the mornings Myron would research storage options. I would come home in the early afternoons with an empty card board box from work and begin packing while he was working.
February first came around, I was working only part time at the coffee shop and Myron had only his remote work, he no longer was going in to the bar to work at night. We decided to start renting the self-storage unit a little early, so we wouldn't be in a mad dash to move everything before we had to vacate our house. We settled on one, based mostly on Yelp reviews of all things, in downtown San Diego. It was affordable, had a good insurance policy, and there were no records of theft or break-ins.
Myron had made a new plan with his friend from the East coast, the one that was originally going to stay in our room while we were on our trip. He was to fly to Alaska with us in August, and then the three of us would look for another apartment in San Diego upon our return. When Rick found out about the new plan, he graciously offered Myron's friend his bed and anything else he wanted. Since Curt and Rick were selling off all their furniture before they drove back to New York, it was a nice gesture on Rick's part to give away a nearly brand new mattress to someone he hardly knew.
Myron and I initially thought we would be storing more of our roommate's belongings. My boyfriend also had a couch and a patio table that took up quite a bit of space. To begin with, we opted for a larger space, a 15'x20' unit.
A day after renting the space, we began moving our home. As soon as I would return from work, we would load up the Nissan Rogue with as much furniture as we could, and drive over to the storage unit before traffic hit. Within a week, we had moved all that we could with the Rogue. The unit was very roomy and could easily hold the rest of our stuff. The remaining furniture would require a moving truck.
One day while I was at work, Myron went to the storage unit and had an epiphany. We didn't need all that space. We could fill up one of the smaller units and save a considerable amount of money. By the time I arrived home, my boyfriend had listed the couch, the dining table set, and the patio table all for sale online. The furniture seemed to fly out of the house. All we had left to move were the two mattresses.
Myron then talked with the storage unit manager about transferring to a smaller space, and with ease it was so. We are now proud renters of a 5'x10' unit, less than half the size of the original space.
Myron transferred everything from the big unit to the small, and still had room to spare. He is a bit of a Tetris master, I have to hand it to him. I doubted it would fit, but somehow, he made it all work. That seems to be a common theme in our relationship, he comes up with some idea (sometimes crazy), and I'm immediately doubtful. In the end, I'm always convinced… eventually. It’s how I got myself into this whole situation in the first place. I don't regret a single thing. If it weren't for his creativity I'd probably still be working double shifts at the coffee shops, just waiting for something exciting to happen.
As the month's end drew nearer, Myron and I planned to move the last of the big stuff into storage. We had to time things just right so I would get off work, he'd have the moving truck ready to go, and we could efficiently move everything into our tiny little space without spending an excessive amount of money on truck rental.
We had all our camping gear at the ready, so we didn't have to worry about cooking or sleeping the last night in our house. We thought of it as a mini "trial run". If that night went smoothly with everything we had packed for our trip, then the actual trip itself should be a success. What we did discover, was that we needed maybe one more blanket (as we were heading into the wilderness in early march, still Winter). Besides that, we were good to go.
It was now the second to the last day of our lease on the house. All that remained was to clean up the house, pack up the car for our trip, and maybe make just one last stop to the storage unit before heading off. Easy, right? Well, kind-of.
Want to keep following Michelle's journey? Here's an index of her entire experience (all five blog posts):
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 1
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 2
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 3
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 4
- Michelle's Self-Storage Journey Part 5
Michelle is a self-storage enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys traveling the world. An expert at getting the most out of the self-storage experience, please check back regularly for more about Michelle’s adventure and how self-storage helped her dream of travel come true.