The weather today has turned decidedly chilly, but the last few weekends have been warmer and brighter and we’ve seen more boats out on the canals and rivers. For those living on their boats permanently the ability to let loose the mooring and chug along in the sunshine has been welcome. There’s little or no clearing out to do as they’ll have all their storage solutions down to a fine art. But for those seasonal boaters out there, it’s time to get the covers off, repair, spruce up and clear out. Part of that exercise will involve reviewing the storage solutions on your boat. Space is at a premium and you’ll have to fit in everything you need for the season; crockery, pots, pans, bicycles and logs for the burner (eve those summer evenings get cold!).
Here are our tips for storage solutions on your boat
1. Get rid of the clutter
Take a look at what you have in your boat (or are intending to have) and decide what you need. Decide what is an absolute must have versus a nice to have and be brutal. Space is limited and the pretty (but useless) things that would adorn a shelf at home will simply be taking up essential space.
2. Think long and hard about what you really need
Yes, you absolutely do need crockery, cutlery, pots and pans, but do you really need that many? If there are only 2 of you on the boat, you won’t really need a full dinner service and a suite of pans. Do you really need a different glass for every occasion or can you manage with a couple of wine glasses and tumblers?
3. Take a good look at the space you have
Many people just see the obvious space; places where shelves and cupboards can go. There will be areas where extra storage could be squeezed in. Where cupboards join is an obvious one. Sometimes there are gaps – can you squeeze a small shelf or basket in there?
4. Shelving heights
There’s nothing to say that shelving has to be at eye level. There may be areas where you can add shelves from floor to ceiling.
5. Hang things up
If you’re worried about things coming off shelves consider putting hooks in the walls to hang things from. The sides of cupboards as well as the insides of doors are a great solution. Hanging storage with pockets works well in bathroom areas as they can be hung from the backs of doors.
6. Baskets and boxes
When exploring the space, it’s likely you’ll find space you can use underneath things as well as above. Whether it’s underneath your seating or the bed, using boxes and baskets will help you keep organised and find things when you need them.
7. Vacuum Pack
Vacuum bags are great for storing additional clothing and bedding. They can reduce the storage need by half.
8. Consider using an e-reader
There’s something about a book but when it comes to travelling for longer periods of time, unless you can stop and exchange your book every few days an e-reader is better. You can store many books without them taking up space.
9. Consider a roof box
No they’re not just for cars! They can be attached to the roof to provide great additional storage solutions for your boat. Just remember to check the height – you don’t want to lose it going through a tunnel!
If going away for longer periods of time over the summer months, don’t forget to consider the impact of leaving your property unoccupied. Not only is it a security risk, but it can impact on your home insurance cover. Even if someone looks in from time to time, standard insurance policies will not cover you if your property is unoccupied for long periods of time. Also consider your important papers and valuables. You may prefer the security of a self storage unit for some items while you are away.
If you’re considering a longer trip, whether that’s on a boat or any other type of trip and want to use a self storage unit to give you peace of mind, we have facilities in the Bristol, Gloucester and Stroud areas.