Reducing Moving Stress with Storage Units

Moving is a stressful experience, by the simple nature of what it is. While living in a new place is often a dream of many people, the actual act of picking up your entire life and moving it to a new location is full of challenges and obstacles. However, there are tools that you can use to mitigate a lot of this stress and make your move a far smoother, more pleasant experience. One particular thing that can help the whole moving process is getting a storage unit before you move. A storage unit gives you a lot more options while moving, and can reduce the stress of the whole experience in a handful of ways… Continue reading “Reducing Moving Stress with Storage Units”

Your Moving Supplies Checklist

Even the smallest of moves can be a major endeavor, and that’s why it’s important to approach moving with as much planning and organization possible. Before you start packing up those boxes, here is a brief list of all the materials you will need for a seamless move.

Cardboard boxes

Of course, you’ll need plenty of cardboard boxes to get you through your move. You can always purchase these online from a moving supply company, or you might ask around for free boxes. Craigslist, local grocery stores, liquor stores, and bookstores are all great resources to look into. It’s a good idea to get many boxes of a similar size to make packing up your moving truck easier—plus some smaller boxes to nestle in otherwise unusable spaces.

As you acquire boxes for your move, don’t forget that you likely already own quite a few larger storage containers and bins (such as laundry baskets), which can serve as “moving boxes” as well.

Packing materials

You’re going to be packing fragile items such as dinner plates and flower vases, so you’ll want plenty of packing material on hand. Bubble wrap, newspaper, and packing paper all work great here. Try holding onto the packing materials that come with your delivered packages in the months before your move, and consider asking your neighbors for spare newspapers if needed.

Don’t forget that any linens you own (bedsheets, bath towels, kitchen towels, etc.) can also double as packing materials!

Colored duct tape

Colored duct tape is a great choice over clear packaging tape for sealing your boxes because you can use different colors of tape to color code your boxes. All kitchen boxes, for example, might be sealed with green tape, while all bathroom boxes are sealed with yellow tape. All boxes to be opened immediately, meanwhile, might be sealed with red tape.

Permanent markers

Along with colored duct tape, you’ll also want a permanent marker or two on hand to label your boxes with. Be sure to write “fragile” on those boxes that you want movers or friends to be careful with.

Gloves

You’d be surprised at how much damage moving can do to your hands. Light gloves will help protect your hands during moving.

Moving blankets

These will be used primarily to protect furniture, TVs, and mirrors while moving.

Felt pads

These should slide under large pieces of furniture to protect floors during moving.

Hand truck or dolly

A hand truck or dolly will make it easier to move extra large items or several boxes at once.

Bungee cords or twine

Bungee cords and twine come in handy when you want to secure boxes and furniture in place in your moving truck.

Box cutter

Because you will likely need to open some boxes fairly soon upon arrival to your new place, it’s a good idea to keep a box cutter handy.

Cleaning supplies

Keeping a few basic cleaning supplies on hand will help you clean up your old home when you leave—and your new home once you get there.

3 Simple Ways to Pay Less for Rent

Rent expenses aren’t quite as negotiable as, say, insurance or cell phone expenses, but there are still quite a few things that you can do to ensure that you end up with a more manageable rent bill. Here are 3 simple ways to save on your rent in your next home.

Get roommates.

This one may sound like common sense, but it’s worth mentioning. If you have a spare bedroom in your home, renting it out to someone—even for just a few months—will cut down on your rent expenses considerably.

If you don’t like the idea of renting out a room in your rental to someone else, you can always consider renting out spare storage space or a parking spot for your home (assuming that’s kosher with your landlord).

Decide on what you won’t spend more for.

There are a great many factors that come together to influence the cost of a home or rental property. Location is a major factor, for example, and under location you have to consider proximity to good schools, work, shopping centers, public transportation, etc. Updates and upgrades are another major factor, with upgraded kitchens typically garnering higher rent prices. So, before you look for the right home for you, take an inventory of what’s important to you in a home—and what isn’t important to you. That way, you’ll start your rental search with a firm grasp on what you’re willing to pay for—and what you can do without. If you are looking at a relatively expensive rental that is conveniently located near public transportation, for example, but you know that you never use public transportation, then it wouldn’t make sense for you to spend the extra money on that rental.

Rent a storage unit.

Many renters go about a home search with the mindset that their next home must be able to fit all of their possessions. How many of us, however, own possessions that could just as well stay in storage for months at a time? When you rent a storage unit, you can pare down the possessions you keep in your rental to only those things that you will use on a regular basis. Then, you can safely store the rest of your things, all while still maintaining easy access to those things. Keeping fewer possessions in your rental means that you can live in a rental with less square footage, helping you save on your rent.

Security Tips for Your Storage Unit

One of the most common concerns of people looking for storage space is whether their things will be secure. Whether your unit has a priceless treasure, or simply a bunch of furniture and odds and ends, your possessions are important, and you want to be sure that they’ll be there when you need them again. Here are some tips to help you keep your things secure: Continue reading “Security Tips for Your Storage Unit”

Tips for Going Minimal

American philosopher Thoreau said “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.” The minimalist movement takes this advice to heart.

Sometimes, it certainly sounds appealing to just sell all our stuff and move to Australia with nothing but a suitcase in tow. However, the practicalities of a traditional life and job usually weigh us down. Luckily, there are ways that you can adopt minimalist principles in your life without going to extremes.

With the spring cleaning season upon us, now is the time to sort through the clutter of your home and cut back on the unnecessary junk. Is that a difficult task for you? Well, here are some ideas to make it happen for even those of us who tend to be emotionally attached to things.

Store It Away

This technique is one of the most effective ways to cut back on your unwanted possessions. Instead of throwing something away straight off the bat, store it. Store away anything that you don’t wear or use very often. Pack it up and label it neatly, and put it in separate bags and boxes as much as possible. Label each package with the date that you stored it. If you have a spacious garage, you can keep it there, or you might want to get a storage unit. Now, for the next year, that stuff is still yours. If you specifically think to yourself “I could really use that gray sweater right now,” or “man, I miss my salad mixer,” then you can go get it back. However, if you go a whole year without even remembering the item, you really don’t need it in your life. This also works great with kids. Most of the time, out of sight really is out of mind, and you’ll realize that you simply don’t need that extra stuff in your life.

Do a Five-for-One Tradeoff

Oftentimes, we have extra items around because no one item answers all of our needs. For example, you might have a shirt that you wear only with a certain set of underclothes, another one that you can only wear with a sweater, so you reserve it for the days that it’s cold outside, and another one that you keep around only because it’s handy for doing chores in. This often happens with dishes too. You have one pot that you like to use for cooking rice, one that works really well for sauteeing because all the other ones are scratched and stained, and the wok that you only pull out once a year when you feel a little stirring of culinary adventurousness. Instead, have you ever thought of just having one or two dishes that work really well for just about everything? One of the major principles of minimalism is having less “stuff” but investing more into what you DO have. Pay more for quality initially, and then take good care of what you have, and get it repaired or cleaned when it starts to show wear and tear.

When you’re looking at making this transition, don’t fall for the trap of buying new expensive items but keeping your old stuff. Instead, only invest in something new if you can trade it out for 5 old items.

Release Yourself from “Should”s

So much of the stuff that we have cluttering our homes are things that we feel we ought to get around to. They’re projects that you feel obligated to do at some point, like painting or scrapbooking. They might be clothes that you know you’ll fit into just as soon as you lose 20 pounds. Or it might be a hand-me-down from an uncle that you mean to fix up and polish. That kind of clutter is actually mental clutter as well as physical clutter. If you want to not run into those reminders of what you “should” do every day, bundle up that stuff and put it in a storage unit.

Storage Unit Treasures

When someone renting a storage unit defaults on payment, the owner, after waiting a proper amount of time, can sell off the contents to the highest bidder. Because people bid for these units without knowing exactly what the contents are, this process translates to something of a treasure hunt. In fact, the excitement of the hunt has spawned shows like “Auction Hunters” and “Storage Wars.” Sure, a lot of what’s found in storage units is just random junk, but every now and then there’s a gem. The things found in abandoned storage units over the years would probably surprise you. Sometimes people make amazing an amazing from buying a unit for just a few hundred dollars and finding an antique in there worth thousands. Other times, the things found inside are just plain bizarre.

Here are a few of the most interesting things found in storage units over the years:

A Stalker’s Treasure Trove: In 2012, a man who spent his time stalking Madonna was re-convicted to a mental hospital after his death threats to the pop icon. Afterwards, his storage unit was revealed to the public, and it was just as creepy as you might imagine. The space was full of headless dolls, knives, and a clown mask.

A Dinosaur Jawbone: That’s right! Something that paleontologists spend years and fortunes to find in the earth was actually discovered in a storage unit in Canada. It’s believed that it was simply found and stored by a hobbying archaeologist. Surely, there are plenty of people clamoring to know exactly where that hobbyist picked up the jawbone, just in case there are more dinosaur remains in the same spot!

A Human Leg: In one of the most bizarre stories of our time, one man purchased a barbecue smoker at a storage auction and opened it up months later only to find a human leg inside. When he called the police, they tracked down the original owner, an amputee who had taken care of the leg with some DIY embalming. What followed was a wacky custody battle that created salacious headlines. Finally, in an episode of Judge Mathis, the original owner of the leg was awarded custody.

James Bond’s Car: In the film The Spy Who Loved Me, the notorious secret agent drives an underwater car. 8 cars were actually created and used in the film, but until one was unearthed in 1989 in a Long Island storage unit, only 7 of the 8 were accounted for. The man who bid on the storage unit’s contents bought the car for less than $100. Later, that underwater car was bought by Elon Musk at an auction for nearly a million bucks. There are plenty of other amazing vehicles that have been found in storage units, too, including a rare 1937 Bugatti and a 1966 Shelby Fastback (of which only about 1,000 were made) in near-pristine condition.

Pirate Gold:
About $500,000 worth of Spanish gold coins were found in a unit in San Jose, CA. How they got there is a mystery, but they were stored in a small Rubbermaid bin and the unit had been owned by an elderly woman who had recently died. The man who won the auction on the item had a big payoff for his $1100 bid.

What would someone find if they discovered your storage unit 50 years from now? Would there be treasures inside?

How to Determine if I Need Climate Control Units

There are many factors to take into consideration when you are choosing a storage unit such as location, price, security, and size. You also must decide the type of storage unit you need, conventional (non-climate controlled) or climate-controlled.

Consider what you are planning to store, how long you plan on storing it, and the region where you plan to store your stuff when considering climate controlled storage. If you’re storing non-delicate items, or items that are not sensitive to variations in temperature a non-climate controlled unit may be right for you.  Often they are less expensive and may offer convenient drive up access.  Climate controlled units should be considered when storing items that are sensitive to variations or extremes in temperatures.

We recommend a climate-controlled unit if you are storing any of the following items:

  • Electronics (metal components can corrode)
  • Wood or leather furniture (wood can crack, warp, or rot when exposed to moisture or fluctuating temperatures and leather is susceptible to moisture, which can cause discoloration and mildew)
  • Household Appliances (climate control protects electronic and mechanical parts from cracking and rusting)
  • Special Collections (coins, stamps, comics, and wine)
  • Artwork
  • Medical Supplies
  • Musical Instruments
  • Photographs
  • DVDs/CDs/Video
  • Important Documents
  • Family Heirlooms or Antiques
  • Clothing
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Furs
  • Books

If you are still uncertain as to whether you need a climate controlled unit to store your items, come talk to the storage professionals at Storage Post. We’ll help you find the perfect unit to store all your items

Moving Tips: How to pack your valuables for moving and storage

Usually when we are packing up our homes to move or just packing extra things around the house for storage, there is a right way and a wrong way to pack things. Just like everyone else I have used newspapers to wrap glassware and not thought about the ink rubbing off or packed something delicate with heavy objects (the time I packed a piece of handmade pottery with my blender comes to mind).  Below I have put together a list of the most common things needing packing with suggestions on packing for moving and storage.

Glass: as I mentioned before, we all have used newspapers to wrap our glass, it is better to use unprinted newsprint. This will ensure that you are not rubbing ink onto your belongings. Another option is to use bubble wrap, which will also help with crystal, china, mirrors. When using bubble wrap always make sure that you wrap your items with the bubbles facing out, away from the object. This helps to keep the bubbles from leaving marks on the glass. When packing your mirrors or artwork make sure the boxes you use are slightly bigger than the object, this will help to keep things from shifting or getting banged around in the box.

Metal: Metal is susceptible to rust and tarnish. Industrial storage of machinery and tools typically packs in oil or grease, not all of us want to do that for our brass items or the family silver set. For things such as silver, the best way to store long terms is to clean your pieces thoroughly, polish them and then store them in a specially made flannel bag which is infused with silver particles. Generally these are sold under the name “Pacific Silvercloth”.

Electronics: I have only stored electronics wrong once, that is all it should take! Electronics are easily the most susceptible to moisture and corrosion. Unlike silverware and such, there is no cleaning corrosion from electronics. As you are packing your electronics in bubble wrap make sure to include a couple of desiccant packets. If you have ever bought office supplies or a laptop bag you generally find a small packet, those are desiccant packets and they draw moisture out of the area. These combined with good packing practices will help to protect your investment.

Appliances: every once in a while we need to store appliances. When storing large items you want to make sure they are prepped correctly. When storing refrigerators make sure you have cleaned them out, drained the pan, cleaned off the coils on the back, and then make sure to leave the doors cracked open for air circulation. Leaving the doors cracked will keep moisture, mildew, and mold from ruining the interior of your refrigerator. Stoves/ovens are the same for prep, thoroughly cleaning the appliance and leaving the door cracked for air circulation.

With proper prepping and then packing of your Sandy storage unit you will be able to protect your investments from damage. When talking with different storage companies make sure you let them know what you need to store, if you are storing artwork, antiques, and musical instruments you may want to consider using climate controlled storage to help protect them from wide changes in temperatures.