Memphis, TN: Top Things to Know About Storage

Lubabah Memon |

The City of Extremes

Memphis can get a little crazy when it comes to the weather.  Although it has a humid subtropical climate and four distinct seasons, summer and winter can take their temperatures to the extreme.  Summer actually lasts for a pretty long time, and it can stay hot until late October.  The city experiences high humidity because of the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, and afternoon and evening thunderstorms are frequent, but they only last about an hour.  Severe thunderstorms hit during the spring, and hail, strong winds, flooding, lightning, and tornadoes can accompany them.  During the winter, sporadic snow is common, along with ice storms and freezing rain.  These conditions can force tree branches to pull down on power lines, and if you add on the slippery roads due to black ice, driving can get pretty dangerous.  To top it all off, you also have to watch out for annual flooding of the Mississippi River.  Rains in the north add water to the river, making the water flood into the cities that are close to it.  Memphis is one of the river’s prime targets because of its location.  However, this is most common from December to early June, and mainly occurs in April and May.

With all of these variables, how are you supposed to comfortably store your stuff at a facility?  First of all, don’t store your stuff in facilities close to the river.  The flooding can cause road closures that will inhibit your access to your belongings.  There’s also always a chance of water from the flood making its way to your storage unit.  Talk to your facility manager about what precautions he/she takes to protect your things from water damage.  Walls made out of brick and concrete, and walls with waterproof mortar are likely to save your belongings.  You should also get insurance on the belongings in your unit so that if water happens to get through, you’re not at a complete loss.  During summer months, the water, heat and humidity also attract a lot of bugs, so chances are you’ll open your unit only to find some unwanted visitors waiting for you.  Secondly, with temperatures ranging from below freezing in the winter to above 90 degrees in the summer, it’s hard to know when to store what.  To make your life easier, store your things in a climate controlled unit so you don’t have to worry about the changes in the weather affecting the condition of your belongings.

Africa Comes to Memphis

The residents of Memphis definitely take advantage of good weather when they can.  The city is always hopping with great events, so there’s never a chance that you will get bored.  There is a possibility of a shortage of storage units though.  How is that possible when there are 141 storage facilities available in the city?  Well, let’s take a look.

Every April, downtown Memphis hosts a three-day festival called the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival.  The festival focuses on a different country in Africa every year, and celebrates the art, history, culture, and diversity of the African diaspora.  It entails vibrant showcases of traditional and modern fashion, vendors’ markets, the blues, and an international diversity parade.  The three days are also filled with live music, activities, and native cuisine.

It’s a very lively event, but it also takes a lot of early preparation to set it up.  The hosts of the event, vendors, and performers need a place to keep their things before the event and for its duration.  Storage facilities in the area generally fill up with the electronics necessary for the event, booths and things that will be displayed in them, and materials for the activities that will take place.  If you’re looking to store your things in storage facilities in downtown, do it in the beginning of the year so you don’t run out of options.

Celebrating the World

May brings in an even bigger festival that lasts the whole month.  The Memphis in May International Festival takes place annually and celebrates the culture and traditions of a different country each time.  Each week of the month entails something different:  week one—Beale Street Music Festival, week two—international salute to a country, week three—a world championship barbecue cooking contest (the largest pork barbecue cooking contest in the world), and week four—Great American River Run.  The preparations for this festival begin in March, and an average of 900 volunteers and 1,500 hours go into getting everything ready.  Downtown Memphis can get very crowded in the months leading up to this festival.  The festival is also the cause of road closures and high traffic in the area, making it difficult to maneuver through the area.

If you’re looking to store your things in a storage facility downtown, we have some tips for you.  First, opt for a facility that allows you to have 24-hour access to your unit.  Downtown is home to a lot of events that take place throughout the year, so trying to plan around them to visit your storage unit can drive you crazy.  Traffic can also get very bad, with morning rush hour lasting from 6:30AM to 9:30AM, and evening rush hour from 3:30PM to 6:30PM.  To add to the mess, the I-240 is always undergoing some type of construction, so it’s common for there to be only one lane open during rush hour.  After taking all of this into consideration, our second recommendation is to avoid renting a unit in the heart of downtown.  Storage is supposed to make your life more convenient, so why rent a unit somewhere that’s going to complicate things?