Millions of Americans rely on self storage to cope with clutter even though naysayers tell us self storage is what happens when we consume too much. The reality is that 10% of Americans who rent a storage unit, do so for good reasons.
Are you frustrated by how quickly your child’s bedroom organization? Does it turn chaotic after tidying up? You’re not alone. For many parents, a messy kid’s bedroom is a source of conflict and annoyance, both for them and their child. The child doesn’t like being nagged, while the parents despair about their child’s disorganization and uncleanliness.
However, keeping a child’s bedroom tidy doesn’t have to be a never-ending fight. With the right strategies, you can teach your kid how to organize their bedroom without much effort. The following guidelines can help them learn to tackle the mess to keep their bedroom clean and organized.
Continue reading “Tips to Teach your Kids Bedroom Organization”
In some ways, looking for a great self storage unit with a reliable company is like looking for a great apartment with a reliable building manager. The unit will ideally have everything you want at the right price, and you’ll be able to trust the self storage company to take care of any problems that arise, from security to pest control.
However, unlike the building manager for your apartment, you may only meet the manager of a self storage facility once or twice, if all goes well. Your trust in the company will be partly based on this initial meeting, as well as any background research you do.
For this reason, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and the questions you want to ask before visiting and choosing a self storage company. This preparation and research takes a little extra time, but in the end, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your property is stored at a top-notch self storage company.
To find a trustworthy and affordable self storage facility in your area, here are some steps you can take while researching your options.
Step 1: Decide what kind of storage unit you’ll need
In particular, you’ll want to think about size, climate and access. First off, gather together the items you want to store and estimate how much space you’ll need, both for the items and for yourself, moving around. Although you can technically fill the unit to the max, you might regret that decision later if you need something specific at the back of the unit. With extra space for moving around, you’ll be able to reach anything you want without needing to haul everything out first.
Next, check whether anything you’re storing is sensitive to moisture, dust or changes in temperature. For example, you wouldn’t want to expose wine to the balmy heat of summer or bitter cold of winter. Artwork, family heirlooms, a library of books or collection of photos are other items you might want to keep in a climate controlled unit.
Finally, consider how often you’ll want to access your unit. Not all facilities offer 24-hour access, 7 days a week. Being restriced to business hours may not be a problem for you, but if it is, you’ll want to find a self storage company with more flexible hours.
Step 2: Make a list of self storage companies in the wider area
The wider your search, the more likely you are to find a company that fits your needs at an affordable price. You can find great deals just by considering facilities farther away, especially if you live in a city. Driving 10-20 extra minutes might sound inconvenient, but it might be worthwhile for a more reliable company at a lower price.
Step 3: Compare reviews, prices, and office/gate hours
You can often find reviews about self storage companies on websites like Yelp. With enough reviews, you can start to get an idea of whether a company is reliable or not. If nothing else, you’ll have a background idea of what to expect when you visit the facility.
As you look at the opening hours, keep in mind the difference between office hours and gate hours. The gate may be open for longer than the office is. In other words, you may be able to access your unit even though the office is closed. However, if you have a problem, you’ll have to wait until the office opens again. Make sure that the facilities you’re considering have convenient office/gate hours for your schedule, as well as prices you can afford.
Step 4: Choose and visit several self storage facilities
When you visit each facility, pay special attention to its cleanliness, security and customer service. Essentially, you want to see whether the image you had of the facility from your online research matches the reality. Are the personnel friendly and helpful? Do the buildings look in good shape? Is there trash lying around? The best self storage companies take pride in their customer service and excellent facilities, so you should expect nothing less than good organization, tidiness, and a welcoming atmosphere.
Step 5: Ask plenty of questions
As you speak with the facility manager, make sure you ask for specifics about security, pest control, and payment policies. For example, how often do pest control professionals visit? What will happen if you’re a day late with payment?
You can also ask to look at the unit you’d actually be renting. This way, you’ll get exactly what you’re expecting when you sign the contract. Definitely ask about deals or discounts, too, so you know exactly how much (or little) you’d be paying.
Step 6: Make your decision
If your visit goes well, you can ask to take the contract home to review at your own pace. With the contract and a clear picture of each facility, you can make a decision with confidence, knowing that you’re choosing the best self storage company.
Step 7: Enjoy your decision
Storing your property at a trustworthy self storage facility will not only give you peace of mind; it’ll also free up more space for you to travel, find a new home, or simply enjoy living with less clutter. Congratulate yourself for making a good decision, and savor your new freedom!
After browsing home improvement magazines or websites like Pinterest, you may find yourself wishing you had an extra month’s income to make your home picture-perfect. You don’t have to abandon your organized dream home completely, though. Even with a small budget, you can create a place you love living. Continue reading “How to Organize your Home on a Budget”
We all know Christmas can be a little chaotic, and with the addition of new toys, gadgets, and other goodies, your home can start to feel cluttered and disorganized. January is the perfect time to purge and make room for the new. Why not donate the things you no longer need or use? You can feel good about wrapping up the festivities and starting the year off right with these super easy ways to declutter after the holidays.
1. Define Boundaries
One of the hardest parts about organizing any home is deciding where to begin. If you get easily distracted, you might want to enlist an organizing professional to help out. If hiring an expert is not in the budget, check out Peter Walsh’s 31 Days To Get Organized Challenge. It’s free on Facebook and makes organizing fun. Wherever your clutter piles up, there are a few simple rules to follow.
Decide what you are going to declutter before you start. Is it an entire room or the kid’s toybox? Apartment Therapy’s Rebecca Blumhagen recommends starting with bulky items that take up a lot of space first. She says, “Large items can be really easy to purge in a short amount of time.” For example, extra towels and linens take up a lot of space in your linen closet and can be easily downsized and donated to pet shelters.
2. Lay it on the Line
To get rid of something useful, but outdated or worn, it helps to know what you are keeping in its place. Blumhagen suggests to donate coats or sweaters that are duplicated by color or fabric because these take up valuable real estate in your closet. Whether you decide to tackle the kid’s toybox or your closet, define it and take one step at a time so you don’t get sidetracked or overwhelmed. If you are going through a closet, for example, lay out all the items you’re working through then make four piles:
- KEEP. If it’s useful and/or you love it, then by all means, keep it.
- TOSS. If it’s broken or no longer useful, might as well get rid of it sooner rather than later.
- DONATE. Hold it close and ask yourself, Does it make my heart sing? If no, then donate it.
- RECYCLE. Old shoe boxes and shopping bags? Has it reached the end of its long useful life? If yes, recycle it.
3. Staging is Everything
Have you ever walked into a model home or apartment and fallen in love? There is a reason for that, and it’s called staging. Realtors frequently advise homeowners to declutter before selling their home and many claim staged homes bring in higher offers. However, why wait until you are moving to have someone tell you to declutter and make your home picture perfect? Instead, love where you live now.
Before you put everything back in its place, think about how you will organize it and make it look appealing. Determine if you need any organizational solutions.
4. Exception to the Rule
If you come to the end of your decluttering project and find you still don’t have enough room to store everything you own at home or park your car in the garage, then upsizing is a consideration. Renting a storage unit will come in handy either way.
Most people think of a storage unit as a place to store holiday decorations or other seasonal items, and they are correct but storage units are great for other uses too. For example, if you want to convert a craft room into a guest room, a short-term storage rental gives you that ability and costs less than you might think.
5. Declutter for Tax Deductions
It is never too early to get a head start on yearly tax deductions. Getting a deduction for the items you donate from the IRS is pretty easy, but even so, you’ll want to consult with a tax advisor in your state for specific rules.
If your decluttering results in a big pile of donations, it’s a win-win—for both you and your community. Green Drop converts donated items to help fund several types of charities, and if you live in one of their service areas, you can schedule a donation pick up or drive to a nearby drop-off center.
When you declutter and donate after the holidays, you will appreciate your new haven and might just avoid the post-holidays blues that January often brings. However, more importantly, you may have helped to make someone’s New Year a little brighter.
Every holiday season is an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. However, if you’re in charge of cooking, you can easily miss out on this opportunity by getting stuck in the kitchen the whole time.
One way to avoid this problem is to organize your pantry before the holiday rush. An organized pantry can make cooking faster and more relaxing, and it can make you feel more comfortable involving other people in the kitchen. In fact, your pantry could actually be a source of comfort. The rest of the house may be chaotic in December, but at least your pantry will be clean and orderly.
Getting this perfect pantry doesn’t have to be difficult, either. You can organize it slowly, dealing with one task at a time. Even at this slow pace, you can create a beautiful, organized pantry within a week. For some guidance, here’s a day-by-day schedule to help you tackle even the messiest pantry.
Day 1: Create pantry zones.
To get organized, you first need to know where everything should go. That’s why it’s important to create “pantry zones” before you start unloading the shelves. These sections should be organized in categories that fit your cooking style. For example, if you bake a lot, you might have a zone just for baking ingredients and pans. Or, if you like quick meals, you might create a section just for boxed food mixes and instant noodles. Drinks, kids’ snacks, and holiday fixings are other great ideas.
Keeping these sections well-organized is easy if you use cabinet organizers, like baskets or transparent containers. You could also hang pocket organizers on the door for extra space. Once you’ve created these “zones” and found a way to organize them, you’re ready to get your pantry in order!
Days 2 & 3: Rearrange, organize, and clean.
Depending on how large and messy your pantry is, this step could be simple or overwhelming. Either way, you don’t have to conquer it all in a day. You can reserve one day for emptying and cleaning the shelves, and another for putting everything in order.
As you organize each item, be sure to check its expiration date before putting it back. Moldy and stale food can be embarrassing, especially if you accidentally serve it. Taking a moment to check the expiration dates can prevent this unpleasant mistake and save you an extra trip to the store later.
If your pantry still seems overcrowded, you could consider moving extra kitchen supplies into a self storage unit to free up space. For instance, if you have two dozen jars of jam you canned this past summer, you could keep half of those in your unit. Removing these extra supplies can make your pantry look clean and well-organized almost immediately.
Days 3 & 4: Label jars and containers.
Labeling jars and containers can save time and prevent cooking mistakes when friends and family help in the kitchen. With clearly-written labels, no one will need to interrupt you to ask, “What is this?” This process can take some time, so break it up into two days. One the first day, find a label design you love. (You can download free stylish labels online or buy an inexpensive pack at the store.) Then, on the second day, fill out the labels and stick them on the containers. Once everything is labeled, you can step back and admire your pantry, which is already looking beautiful.
Day 6: Stock up on food.
While going through your pantry, you might have noticed that you’re running out of certain ingredients. Today, go through your pantry more thoroughly and check whether you have everything you need for the holidays. Since your pantry is now organized, you’ll be able to see what you’re missing much faster. Still, it might be worthwhile to make a list of staple ingredients and items you use regularly. If you have time, you can even create a holiday meal plan and shop for those ingredients in particular. All this preparation will save you time and stress later, when you’re cooking for guests.
Day 7: Add finishing touches.
Your pantry is almost perfect now. It’s only missing small details—things you don’t necessarily need but would be happy to have. For example, if the top shelves are too high for you or your guests, you could get a small ladder for the pantry. You could also hang a shopping list on the wall or get a dispenser for your plastic bags. These final touches will make your pantry go from “nice” to “amazing,” turning it into a source of pride during the holidays and the rest of the year.
Let’s face it: We all know that moving is hard work. While hiring a full-service moving company will alleviate much of the stress associated with a relocation, it can quickly become cost prohibitive. On the flipside, orchestrating a DIY move can take more time and resources than busy families and professionals have to spare. The solution? Choosing to hire out the most popular moving services gives you a combination of a less stressful and more economical experience.
Before you spend your hard-earned cash on additional services to help out during your next move, here are some helpful tips on where to spend your money to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Before You Get an Estimate
Whether you are hiring a local or international moving company, expect to be charged by the hour. Regina Leeds, author of Rightsize … Right Now!: The 8-Week Plan to Organize, Declutter, and Make Any Move Stress-Free is a professional organizer who suggests to lighten your load before you get moving estimates.
A representative from the moving company will come into your home and do a rough inventory of your items, which will determine time, materials, and the size of the moving truck. Downsizing your possessions before you move will save you money by reducing how long it will take for your movers to get the job done.
Leeds recommends you start by comparing the floor plan of your current home with the floor plan of your new home. For example, if you are losing closet space you’ll know to focus on downsizing your wardrobe and other miscellaneous items that you keep in your closets.
If you are dramatically downsizing, holding a garage sale is an easy way to pick up some extra cash and what you don’t sell can be donated for a tax break.
Full-Service Packing, Moving, & Unpacking
Think of this as the Cadillac of popular moving services. After you have sold your home or given your 30-day notice, the Herculean task-list ahead of you can seem daunting, especially if you work full time and are juggling multiple responsibilities between family and your job.
Professional moving companies offer certified and bonded movers who are specifically trained to pack and load a broad range of household items. These services include blanket and shrink wrapping furnishings, packing boxes, and disassembling things like beds and then reassembling them at your new home.
Pay Movers to Pack Fragile, Hard-to-Move Items
Most everyone has fragile items, whether oversized vases, ceramic planters, artwork, or heirloom China these items can easily get broken during a move. Frequently these breakable belongings are expensive, have great sentimental value, or both and the last thing anyone wants is to see fragile items damaged or even destroyed during a move.
Fragile items such as dishes, glassware, pottery, and ceramics need additional protection and to be carefully wrapped and densely packing into heavy corrugated dish packs. Hiring professionals to do this type of packing can save you a significant amount of time.
Additionally, they bring all of the specialty packing supplies (dish packs, specialty boxes, wrapping paper, bubble wrap, and foam padding) necessary to pack fragile items correctly. This type of partial pack option is an excellent choice if you want to economize and are willing to do some of the work on your own.
Purchasing Insurance for Personal Items
Movers are required by law to give details of their protection plans. The minimum assessment for coverage is usually a small percentage of the original price estimated for your move. Be aware that it often doesn’t come close to covering the full value of your stuff should damage or loss occur.
As a result, call your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and ask about purchasing a rider, an additional policy to give you the extra protection you need at a lower cost.
Specialty Moving Services
According to Home Data, approximately 40 million people move every year. The busiest moving season is May through August when children are out of school making it easier for families who are relocating. Whether you are moving across town or the country, if you own one or more high-end specialty items such as a show car, family heirloom, piano, or pool table, you will want to pay for specialty movers to handle your items properly and with care. Here are some examples of specialty moving services:
- Auto Transport
- Piano Movers
- Art Moving
- Grandfather Clock and Antique Movers
- Pool Table Movers
If you have one the items on this list that you don’t plan to sell before you move, finding a company who offers specialty moving services in your area, or nationally, is important. For example, most local companies are not prepared to move pool tables. Like many oversized high-dollar items, several variables come into play to move them without causing damage.
Keep in mind, moving an entire household of goods is expensive. According to Worldwide ERC, an association that tracks relocation expenses, the average professional move costs a whopping $12,230. Whether you move once a year or once a decade, it never gets any easier. If you can afford it, outsourcing some of the tasks ahead is well worth avoiding some of the most stressful aspects of moving.
Google moving during winter, and it’s no surprise that Chicago, famous for its frosty winters and icy winds, pops up on the first page. Here at Metro Self Storage, we know a thing or two about winter moving.
Our first storage facility opened its doors in Chicago more than forty years ago. We’ve lived through, and sometimes even loved, every winter since, which probably qualifies us as experts on moving during winter more than just about anyone else. We’ve created a helpful checklist for you to download and print at the end of this blog.
If you are moving this winter season, don’t stress. Remember to take time out of planning your winter move to enjoy friends, family and festive activities. After all, you’ll want to celebrate all of your hard work.
Plan ahead for your winter move
The key to planning any successful move is preparation. However, not being prepared for a winter relocation could be disastrous. Moving in the Midwest during winter is going to be a very different experience than say, someone who is moving on the West Coast. The goal is to get you and your belongings, as well as any pets or family members who are traveling with you, to your new home safely and without too much discomfort.
Avoid accidents when moving furniture and boxes
During the winter it can be dangerous to load your boxes and furniture into a truck rental, especially when the sidewalks are covered in snow and ice. If you can afford it, hire a professional relocation company. Shop around because winter is the slowest time of year for moving companies. Having someone else do the heavy lifting and loading will be a much safer solution.
There are fewer daylight hours during winter
In Chicago, there are 15 hours of daylight during the height of summer. In the dead of winter, the amount of daylight diminishes to only 9 hours of sunlight. While there might be enough daylight to complete a local move, keep in mind that a long-distance move may be impossible to complete in one day during the winter months.
Travel conditions are more treacherous
If you live in an area that experiences snow and ice storms like Chicago, coordinating a moving truck on move out day can be tricky. Winter storms not only cause dangerous driving conditions, but they can also cause delays and complications with rental leases or real estate contracts if your move gets postponed.
If you are planning a DIY winter move, Penske offers some helpful winter driving tips that include tuning into your local radio station for the weather forecast and packing extra gloves and ice scrapers so you can see out of your windshields.
Anyone in the relocation, apartment, or real estate business will be the first to tell you all the great reasons why moving during winter is a good idea. Why? Because it is the slowest time of year for moving companies, apartment leases, and home purchases. As a result, there are good deals to be found when moving during winter months.
Thankfully, you can rent a storage unit at Metro Self Storage at a great value any time of year. As always, drive safely and be prepared for your winter move by downloading your free Moving During Winter Emergency Checklist.
While Halloween kicks off the winter holiday season, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for some serious celebrating. Will it be last-minute planning and chaos? Or, will you keep calm and Thanksgiving on? There is no time like the present to get ready to entertain—learn how to organize holiday helpers and keep leftovers safe with our thankful Thanksgiving storage tips.
The holiday rush can make it easier to get distracted and miss out on the special moments. It’s why Metro Self Storage is dedicated to helping you live an organized life every day of the year. Continue reading “Thankful Thanksgiving Storage Tips + Free Printable”
The holidays are a special time of year. It’s when we gather together with family and friends to celebrate the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. And while we all love the holidays, there’s no denying that it can be a hectic time of year, especially if your home is cluttered. That means before the sleigh bells ring and the snow starts to glisten, you need to get organized and declutter. Continue reading “10 Tips to Declutter Your Home Before the Holidays”
Clothes on the ground. Papers stacked up on the desk. A lone shoe missing its mate. Does that sound like your bedroom storage? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to get organized.
When most people think of affordable bedroom storage, they think of big ugly boxes, plastic totes, or DIY furniture from big-box stores. Metro Self Storage is here to change your mind and offer an alternative. Here are a few ideas to help you organize your bedroom and do it in style.
Five Cheap and Easy Ways to Organize Your Bedroom
Buy Bed Risers
Call it a trick from our college days. If you’re living, or have ever lived in a dorm, then you know that when space is tight, you’ve gotta get creative. Bed risers are the perfect budget solution to give you more space and help you get organized. Sold in sets of four, some lifts can raise your bed up to six inches. While that might not sound like much, you’d be surprised at the amount of storage space you actually get with six extra inches. You can purchase bed risers for under $10 from many retailers and big-box stores, including Target, The Container Store, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Vacuum Pack Bulky Winter Items
It’s no secret that parkas, puffy jackets, and down comforters take up a lot of space. And while they are vital for warmth during the winter months, you don’t need them year round. One of the easiest ways to store these bulky winter items is to seal them in a vacuum packed bag. Not only will it save you space, it also makes these items easier to store under your bed or in the closet. Bags cost only $6.99 when purchased from Kohl’s or Walmart.
DIY Jewelry Organizers
If you wear jewelry, then you know what a pain it is to untangle a necklace chain or track down missing earrings. Sure, you could buy a fancy jewelry holder on Etsy, but it’s much cheaper to make one on your own. All you really need is a cork board and push pins from your local office or art supply store. Simply hang the cork board on your wall and insert the pins to begin organizing your jewelry. You can hang necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and more!
Unlike a chest of drawers which can take up too much room in your closet, vertical hangers are a great storage solution for when you’re short on space. Tie on your scarves, hang up your belts — there are even vertical hangers just for storing your shoes. Best of all? They’re cheap, like under $10 apiece cheap, so you save both money and space.
Clever Storage Spaces
Anyone who has ever searched for “bedroom storage ideas” on Pinterest can tell you that repurposing everyday items for storage is all the rage right now. Not only is it chic, it is also quite affordable. Hit up your local thrift shop or second-hand store for a gently-used ottoman with removable lid, or pick up a few old suitcases to stack on top of one another as a statement piece to put next to your bedside table. The trick is to find pieces that are beautiful but also double as storage.
Other Ways to Store
Have you followed all of our tips, but are still feeling short on space? Consider leasing a small storage unit from Metro Self Storage. We offer affordable storage units for rent throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States. Contact our friendly leasing team to learn more about bedroom storage on a budget.
Cats generally don’t like change. They’re sensitive animals, so a major life event like moving can come as a shock. That’s why moving with a cat requires special care and thoughtfulness. If you approach the move like any other normal event, you could end up with an overly anxious cat and a particularly stressful move.
Preparing for and adapting to your cat’s anxiety during a move can prevent a lot of difficulty. Easing your cat into the move takes more effort and planning, but in the end, you’ll have a happier and more well-adjusted cat. Here are 5 tips to make your next move go as smoothly as possible for you and your cat. Continue reading “5 Tips for Moving with Your Cat”
We have all heard the saying, “They don’t make ‘em the way the used to,” and that has never been truer than for appliances. Anyone who has purchased more than one appliance in their lifetime understands this harsh new reality. What used to last for 25+ years now lasts for 12 years, maybe. If you’re lucky. If you are planning a kitchen remodel, how to pay less for appliances is no doubt at the top of your list.
Saving a buck doesn’t mean that you have to feel like you are sacrificing on quality either—we will help you figure out ways to save on the bottom line all while going green and creating a new, beautiful kitchen.
Look for product rebates & promotional offers on energy efficient appliances
While there are low-cost appliances out there, affordable doesn’t have to mean cheap or junk. Amana, Bosch, Frigidaire, and Samsung are all respected manufacturers. If you want to save money and the planet, check for special offers on appliances through the Energy Star certified appliances program. Simply type in your zip code in the rebate finder on the website.
The Energy Star website also provides a refrigerator retirement savings calculator to help you determine how much you can save by replacing an older refrigerator with a newer, energy-efficient model. Also, ask your sales person if there are other types of rebates, including those offered through your local utility company, before you fall in love with an appliance.
Shop on holidays and in September, October, and January
The best time to buy a refrigerator is in May, right before new models roll out for the summer. For other appliances—dishwashers, ovens, and over-the-range microwaves—looks for steep discounts over President’s Day, Memorial Day, Black Friday, and Labor Day holidays.
Buy an appliance package
You can double up on manufacturer’s rebates when you buy an appliance package—range, refrigerator, microwave, and dishwasher. Brands that bundle their appliances include, Frigidaire, Bosch, Samsung, and KitchenAid. What is nice about these packages is that you can get beautiful stainless steel appliances with matching handles and finishes, and all at a great discount because you are buying several products from the same manufacturer.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate
Even though banners may not by flying, it is very common for the salespeople to strike a deal to meet sales goals. It is very likely that they will be more willing to negotiate with you towards the end of their monthly or quarterly deadlines. This strategy is advisable for any major appliance, including dishwashers, refrigerators, ranges, washing machines, and dryers.
If you can’t wait that long, keep in mind, people buy from people, and if you can establish a good rapport with your local appliance salesperson, he or she will work hard to make you happy. Even if that means offering a discount.
Why buy new appliances during your kitchen remodel?
Whether you are undertaking a full kitchen remodel, or simply updating one or more of your appliances, it is important to think about your ROI or Return on Investment. In other words, what will it cost you compared to the value it will bring if you plan to resell your home? The good news is that a kitchen remodel will typically recoup an average of 66% ROI. However, again, this is only if you are selling your home.
With brand new sparkling appliances, maybe you will get in touch with your inner Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay and cook more at home, which will save you tons of money by not dining out.
Moving is usually a stressful event. Even if you’re moving someplace fun like Minneapolis or Corpus Christi, the difficult process of packing, unpacking, and changing homes inevitably causes some stress. That stress doesn’t have to overwhelm you, though, especially if you use self-storage. Besides providing you with moving supplies like boxes, a self-storage facility can help ease the difficulties and complications of moving. Here are four ways self-storage can make your next move much easier. Continue reading “How to Make Moving Easier with Self-Storage”
When you think of family heirlooms, what may come to to mind might be an expensive object such as antique furniture or a Cartier necklace. However, anything from furniture and musical instruments to recipes, photos, and diaries could be considered a family heirloom. When it comes to preserving your family traditions and memories, it is important to learn how to prepare heirlooms for storage.
The decision to rent a storage unit for your heirloom or declutter it all depends on your family, the types of items under consideration, and whether or not you consider the items in question valuable multi-generational heirlooms. Continue reading “How to Prepare Family Heirlooms for Storage”
It may seem like only last week that you were on pins and needles waiting for college admissions letters to arrive. Today, you are closer than ever to realizing your college dreams as universities around the country are preparing for freshmen orientation week.
Moving into your dorm room can either be a dream come true or a stress fest. From what to expect and how to prepare, this month we help you figure out how to plan for the next big step of your college experience. Continue reading “Moving into Your Dorm Room: What to Expect & How to Prepare”
The Saturday after Labor day is National Clean Out Your Garage Day, however, becoming a National Holiday isn’t easy. It begs the question—is there a compelling reason to dedicate an entire day to organizing a garage? Turns out, there is. Of the nearly 1,000 garage owners Consumer Reports polled in a recent nationwide survey, a whopping 62% said their garages were overcrowded. Continue reading “Celebrate National Clean Out Your Garage Day”
Sweaters are great for December but do you really need them in June? When the seasons change, so does our wardrobe. Unfortunately, closets are often too small, and even walk-in closets don’t offer enough clothes storage if you are sharing with a roommate or spouse.
The solution? Seasonal clothes storage will instantly give you more closet space. However tempting it may be to store extra clothes in the garage, basement, or attic, these spaces can be detrimental to your clothing. Especially, if it is hot or humid where you live. Where and how you store your clothes determines how long they last.
Seasonal clothes storage will inspire you to declutter your closet and keep it organized. We offer you a few simple steps and the best solutions to keep your clothes fresh and ready-to-wear when the seasons change.
If you’re an urbanite, you’re probably used to living in apartments. Perhaps you’ve dreamed of one day moving into a house to escape all the downsides of apartment life.
So, let’s say you’ve found the perfect house and are planning to make that move now. To ensure a smooth transition, it’s important to consider both the negatives and positives of living in a house. Then, you’ll be prepared for any hassles that come up.
Here are 3 major changes to expect as you move from an apartment into a house. These changes can be horrible or awesome, depending on your perspective. Continue reading “Why Moving from an Apartment into a House Is Awesome (and Horrible)”
When you use a self-storage facility, you expect that your items will be safe from theft. After all, isn’t safety one of the top reasons for using self storage?
Unfortunately, though, not all self storage facilities are equally safe. Some provide excellent customer service, yet have gaps in their security. Once you’re gone, your items become vulnerable. That’s why it’s important to carefully evaluate the security features of any self-storage facility you’re considering. While friendliness and cleanliness are important, they ultimately won’t protect your property.
But what exactly should you look for? To judge a self-storage facility’s security, you should look at the following 5 features.
The best time to visit a self storage facility is after sunset. Then, you can easily see how much lighting the facility has. There should be plenty of light. A self storage facility shouldn’t be trying to save electricity. Security should be its #1 priority, not reduced light bills.
Sufficient lighting is an easy way to discourage crime, but it’s also important for other security features. For example, video surveillance is only effective if the area is well lit. Before asking about high-tech security, then, first check out the quality of the lighting.
2. Video Surveillance
If there’s enough light, start looking for and asking about video surveillance. Are there enough cameras? Are they always on? For how long do they record video?
Recorded 24-hr video surveillance is absolutely necessary. Don’t be satisfied with just ‘video surveillance’. Be curious about it, since you want any potential crimes to be on video. Otherwise, if your stored property does get stolen or vandalized, you won’t be able to identify the criminal or get your property back.
3. A Good Fence
Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” The same could be said of self storage facilities. An excellent fence is an essential security feature every self storage facility should have. The fence should surround the entire perimeter, not just the entrance, and be sturdy and difficult to climb. A chain-link fence won’t be enough to keep criminals away from your valuables.
4. Secure Access to Storage
Let’s say you want to get something out of your self storage unit. How does the self storage facility allow you to access your unit? Is it easy—perhaps too easy?
Accessing your unit should be convenient yet secure. Simple locks are convenient, but not secure enough. Coded keypads are much safer. The main gate to the self storage facility should definitely have a coded keypad, ideally monitored by video surveillance. Then, entering the premises will be difficult for outsiders, yet easy for you.
5. Disc Locks
Getting an excellent lock is an essential part of making sure your storage unit is secure. The self storage facility might have the best security possible, but that shouldn’t stop you from choosing the best lock—a disc lock.
While padlocks are cheaper, they’re not the most secure option. Even an inexperienced thief can pick a padlock or cut it off. Disc locks, on the other hand, were designed especially for storage units. They’re resistant to picks, bolt cutters, and heavy hammers. A thief would have to grind it off, a loud, time-consuming process.
Disc locks are more expensive than padlocks, but that extra investment is worthwhile if you’re storing valuables. They definitely discourage theft, and they’re not hard to find. You should be able to buy one at the self storage facility.
If a storage facility offers these five security features, you can rest assured that your storage unit will be safe. However, keep in mind that security features can’t protect your property from natural disasters, like earthquakes and flooding. For complete peace of mind, take advantage of tenant insurance, which covers accidents and unexpected events.
For more information about security features, contact Metro Self Storage and check out what we offer our clients!