Communal Storage

At Burning Man, I camp with Comfort & Joy. One of the many benefits of this camp is that they will transport totes to the playa for you; you are only responsible for getting yourself there. The stipulation is that everyone has to use this same tote.

27 Gallon ToteThere are many benefits to this strategy. These totes are very sturdy and stackable. They are easy to zip tie shut. They don’t break open. They can be stacked very high inside the truck without buckling or collapsing.

One downside is that you have to store them all year, along with your playa bike. In San Francisco, this can be a real challenge. Most people are paying as much as they can for a tiny space. San Francisco is a weird place. One weird thing about it is that it is not uncommon to see storage units renting at $10/sq ft across the street from studios renting for ten times that price. A friend and I talked about it and decided to split a storage unit to store this and other stuff.

This is the layout we decided on;

Storage Unit Layout

We decided to get a 5′ x 10′ unit which comes out to $125/month. We are going to use six of these shelves which fit perfectly for a space this size. This also leaves a roughly three foot walkway down the middle of the shelves.

ShelfThese shelves are perfectly sized to fit the 27 gallon totes we have to use for our camp. Then the Shiftpods and other large items can go on top of the shelves. Bikes can go in the walkway.

This plan gives us space for twenty-four totes plus probably half a dozen bikes and space above for more stuff. The rent breaks down to just about $5/tote. More likely, we will only fill the back few shelves in the short term and leave space in front for projects.


We will probably have a lot of extra space at first, so let me know if you want to jump in!