Dealing With Downsizing: How To Make Your Storage Unit Easily Accessible To Your Teen
Moving is tough on everyone in the family but because of the importance teens typically put on their social status among peers, they are more susceptible to psychological, emotional, and social turmoil throughout the process of a move than adults or younger children tend to be. Add to that the fact that you are downsizing and will be using a storage unit to house some of the family's personal belongings while you settle, and you can expect your teen to need some support during and after your move.
In addition to talking about the move early, hosting a goodbye party for your teen and their friends, and making it possible to forge new friends in the new neighborhood before the actual move, there are a few things you can do to make accessing their belongings in your storage unit convenient so they don't feel like they're sacrificing ownership of their belongings while you get settled. Consider these options:
A great way to make it easy on everyone in the family to access their own personal belongings in your storage unit is to assign corners to a different person or pair of people if necessary. Giving your teen their own corner to store things allows them to organize everything how they prefer and makes it easier to find specific things when they are needed or wanted.
This will also give your teen the responsibility of taking care of their belongings, as well as ensure that your stuff doesn't have to be rummaged through when they're looking for something. Keep in mind that when using this method, you'll need to rent a storage unit big enough that you can keep the center of it clear for access to each corner while still being able to accommodate all of your family's belongings.
Color Code the Boxes
One your teen has a place to separate their personal belongings from everyone else's, give them a few colored rolls of masking tape to color code their boxes to coincide with what's inside of them. For example, blue could be used for clothing while red is used for video games and DVDs. Color coded boxes makes picking things up quick and easy because your teen will simply have to look for a color to decide which boxes probably hold what they're in need of.
Supply Utility Shelves
To keep boxes from cluttering the floor and to make access to personal belongings even easier, put utility shelving along the walls to stack stuff on. This will give your teen a place to put packed boxes as well as store items that they don't necessarily want to store inside a dark box before taking it home. Trophies, shoes, accessories like sunglasses, and even clothing can all be stored on utility shelves without the need for boxes or bags.
Schedule Regular Visits
To minimize nagging about visiting the storage unit to pick up things as your teen realizes they need them while ensuring regular access, put together a visitation schedule on a calendar that can be hung in your home for frequent reference. Schedule a couple weeks' worth of storage visitation at a time, and ensure that your teen understand they need to plan their pick ups and drop offs around those dates.
This may cause some conflict in the beginning while getting used to the schedule, but it shouldn't take long for your teen, and the rest of your family for that matter, to find a way to work around the planned schedule. If you want to make sure that visiting your storage unit is convenient for everyone before making a schedule, hold a weekly family meeting where dates and times can be discussed.
These techniques will help give your teen some control over their personal belongings in terms of how they are stored, how they're taken care of, and when they are accessed. For more about this topic, talk to a moving professional to get some tips for how to make the moving process easier for you and your kids.