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Battling the 'holiday squeeze' when relatives visit for the holidays

UNITS has ways to cram your fam into your home.

SAN ANTONIO — Local families are prepping for what could be one of the most hectic holiday seasons ever. After a pandemic record number of people traveled for Thanksgiving, experts predict that that record will be broken with end-of-year holiday travel in December. 

But there’s a huge problem. Many people have spent the pandemic transforming their guest rooms into home offices or gyms. Some have used the extra space to store all the stuff they bought online during lockdowns. A big challenge now for families: How do you fit all the guests to sleep, and store their clothes, luggage and gifts? Plus, how do you hide all your gifts and make way for extra chairs and tables you need for big family dinners?

That’s why UNITS in San Antonio has launched the ‘Holiday Squeeze Strategy’ to help us all handle the overload of people, presents and stuff this season.

The sultans of stuff at UNITS, a portable self-storage company, are swamped with calls from locals who need storage ASAP before the conga line of guests arrive.

“This is already turning out to be an outrageously busy holiday season and we’re getting calls from people who need to move out clothes, gym equipment, desks and computers to make way for guests,” said Michael McAlhaney, CEO and founder of UNITS Mobile Storage and Moving company. “It’s the perfect storm. We’ve seen a higher-than-normal volume of people moving in 2021 and now the holidays are coming and people need to clear stuff out. There’s a huge demand for storage like we’ve never seen before.”

Here are some tips to battle the "Holiday Squeeze":

  1. Cover it up. Is there exercise equipment in the guest room? What about a desk for home learning? Cover it up with a simple curtain using a stylish divider.
  2. Donate it. This is a great time to purge the house of old toys the kids don’t use. Take gently used items to a Toy for Tots donation site or another local toy drive. You can help a kid in need while making space for more of your dad’s clothes.
  3. Hang it. We often forget about the space we have vertically. One of the best ways to make more space is to hang things on the wall or in the garage with giant hooks. This is a great solution if your family added bikes during the lockdown.
  4. You may also consider storage ladders which can be easily placed on any wall and create a space for hanging towels, linens or even coats guests bring with them.
  5. Create temporary closet space. Tension rods are a great solution if you are looking for space for guest clothing. You can create temporary closet space in little-used spaces in the home like corners, under the stairs or even in the bathroom.
  6. Consider rolling storage. If you removed a dresser to make room for a new treadmill, consider purchasing affordable rolling storage spaces that guests can use for clothing and can be moved from room to room as needed as guests arrive and leave.
  7. Peg it. Pegboards are tremendously popular right now because they provide amazing utility. Add one to the home office to organize items that may have stacked up during the months of lockdown. They can also be a useful place to organize wrapping paper.
  8. Under the bed. Don’t forget about all of the space under the bed. Here are a few ideas:
  • Empty the linen closet and store linens under the bed. The linen closet can be used for guests.
  • Store shoes under the bed to make room in the closet for suitcases.
  • Box up home office supplies and keep them under the bed. Consider raising the bed with small risers to make more room for storage.

Or, you can turn to using a portable storage unit:

  • Most people only think about portable storage units during a move. The holidays can be a great time to bring in a temporary portable self-storage unit. Place one of these in the backyard or driveway. Ways to use it:
  • Move the exercise equipment inside the storage unit while the guests are in town.
  • Hide holiday gifts from children or other family members.
  • Store contents of an entire home office in a storage unit to make room for a bed.
  • If you don’t want to leave the storage unit in your driveaway, UNITS will take it back to the warehouse and bring it back to you when you’re ready to unload.


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