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Save Space in Campus Warehouses

How to increase storage capacity without renting or building more space.

July 9th, 2020 - 2 min read

Universities are like small cities, with a variety of facilities from libraries and gyms to police departments and hospitals. It takes a lot of work — and a lot of stuff — to keep all those buildings running.

Some tips on campus warehouse organization:

  • Consolidate storage to free up floor space.
  • Optimize space on each rack.
  • Install pallet racking on rails to free up floor space.
  • Design a flexible, adaptable floor plan.

Campus warehouses support the entire campus, so they need to store and organize a wide variety of items. They need to store furniture, paint, tools, and other things that make the university a safe and pleasant place to be. Some of these items are slow-moving, while others are fast-moving — in other words, some items might sit in the warehouse for months or years before they’re put to use, while others, like surplus office furniture, might need to be housed in the warehouse for less than a week before they’re sold or repurposed.

With the current COVID-19 crisis, many campus warehouses are being asked to store more masks, custodial supplies, and other preparedness gear than ever before. These supplies need to be kept organized and accessible to be sure they’re always at the ready.

Just like any other warehouse, campus warehouses must store a constantly changing product mix without significantly modifying the configuration of pallet racking and shelving. Changes in product mix are particularly noticeable in campus warehouses with the seasonal flow of surplus items, office supplies, and other supplies and equipment.

All these factors combine to create massive storage challenges. And when you consider that campus real estate is becoming increasingly valuable, you can see why it’s important to maximize available space in existing warehouses.

Preparedness Equipment Supply Storage

The COVID-19 crisis has intensified the space crunch in campus warehouses. With health and safety top of mind, some campuses are considering renting portable storage containers or additional warehouse space to accommodate bulk storage for masks and other preparedness equipment and supplies.

A more cost-effective long-term solution is the ActivRAC® Mobilized Storage System. ActivRAC increases storage capacity for cleaning supplies, masks, and preparedness gear.

Bellevue College installed an ActivRAC system several years ago to store surplus furniture, building materials, and custodial supplies. When COVID-19 struck, warehouse staff suddenly needed to store personal protective equipment and additional bulk cleaning supplies.

Consolidate Storage to Free Up Floor Space

When most people think of warehouses, they think of a building filled with pallet racking and shelving with wide aisles. That’s often the case in typical warehouses, but we’ve found that our campus warehouse clients often need open floor space for:

  • Display of surplus items
  • Seasonal parking for mowers and small utility vehicles
  • Work areas for staging, repairs, and other tasks
campus large storage warehouse

Free up floor space by consolidating racking with one or two movable aisles.

warehouse university storage pallet racking

Campus warehouses need to be accessible and free of clutter, particularly because of the safety considerations involved when non-warehouse employees visit or work in the facility.

warehouse heavy-duty mobile shelving

When designing a warehouse organization plan, consider mounting pallet racking on moveable “carriages” along a long back wall to free up floor space for other uses.

campus warehouse compact storage

Aisles can be opened at the point of need, and the aisles can be wide enough to accommodate forklifts and hand trucks.

Optimize Space in Pallet Racking

Before designing your warehouse floor plan, we suggest taking photos of your pallet racking and other storage systems over the course of at least 12 months to get an idea of how the mix changes throughout the year. Then you can plan to purchase extra beams and position them closer together, for example, to gain pallet positions for smaller items and avoid empty space within the racking.

campus pallet heavy-duty warehouse storage

Looking for more information on campus warehouse organization and storage solutions?

warehouse university storage systems

Design a Flexible, Adaptable Floor Plan

Your warehouse floor plan can’t change every time you take in new materials, so you need to design a system that’s flexible enough to accept a wide variety of stored items. A mix of storage types helps make the most of your space while also keeping everything in.

campuse warhouse small parts storage

A repair area features a workbench with steel pegboard and shelving for tools.

campuse warhouse small parts storage

For heavy or bulk items, industrial-quality mobile pallet racking keeps large and heavy items organized and accessible.

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