Self Storage? It’s Affordable If You Do It Right

 

Self Storage can be a safe space for your things while you address your life goals. For some, the opportunity to travel abroad or go on a road trip is irresistible. For others, it all comes down to too many things and a lack of space. Rather than getting rid of your sports gear, bed, or furniture, to name a few examples.

Say you’re a recently graduated college student with an apartment full of furniture and no clue how to move with it, or a newly married couple intent on selling your home and traveling for the next six months. While selling everything might work, it’s difficult and sometimes a significant waste of time and money compared to other options.

Continue reading “Self Storage? It’s Affordable If You Do It Right”

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How to Choose the Best Self Storage Company

 

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.

Continue reading “How to Choose the Best Self Storage Company”

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Thankful Thanksgiving Storage Tips + Free Printable

 

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 entertainlearn 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”

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Bedroom Storage on a Budget

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!

Vertical Hangers

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.

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How to Prepare Family Heirlooms for Storage | Moving & Storage Advice

 

When it comes to preserving your family traditions and memories, it is important to learn how to prepare family heirlooms for storage so they will be around for future generations. Family heirlooms include expensive objects 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.

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.

 

Why should I place antique and wood furniture in storage?

Boomers and even some Generation Xers often find themselves decluttering and downsizing while Millennials are moving into urban settings that offer smaller dwellings. Who wants to haul around grandpa’s 500-pound antique oak writing desk? It begs the question: Are the days of younger generations wanting to prepare their family heirlooms for storage long gone?

For today’s modern sensibilities, how a piece of furniture functions is just as important as how it looks. The trend to build smaller homes and apartments continues to grow making space-efficient multifunctional furniture a must have—think IKEA bed with spacious pull-out drawers discreetly built into the bed frame.

Nevertheless, there are instances where long-cherished furniture is worth the investment to place into storage for future generations. Even if you are downsizing, you can justify the cost to store items if a child, niece, nephew, or another relative you plan on passing it down to has expressed a sincere interest in taking the item in the near future.

For example, heirloom wood furniture, like a pine antique armoire imported from England, is often irreplaceable. So, if you plan to save a treasured item, be sure to read our post on how to properly prepare your wood furnishings for storage to ensure they are as beautiful coming out of your storage unit as they were going in.

 

10 Steps to follow when placing musical instruments in storage

Whether you have priceless African drum, a Guarnerius violin, or various guitars you have collected over a lifetime, all musical instruments and electronics are sensitive to environmental conditions such as hot and cold temperatures, dust, and humidity.

Keep these guidelines in mind to ensure the safety of your valued objects whether you are storing family heirlooms, electronic equipment, or antique instruments:

  1. 1. Choose a secure, clean, and climate-controlled storage environment.  
  2. 2. Thoroughly polish brass instruments before storage.
  3. 3. Clean and condition wood instruments with the proper type of rub recommended by your local music store.
  4. 4. Oil leather drums to keep the skins from drying out, which will lead to shrinking and cracking.
  5. 5. Store each instrument separately and in its original case if possible.
  6. 6. Line cases with buffered and acid-free paper if your case shows visible signs of wear.
  7. 7. Instrument cases should be placed off the floor on shelves or on top of wooden pallets in your storage unit.
  8. 8. Purchase tenant insurance for your storage unit to protect your musical instrument heirlooms from a natural disaster, fire, or burglary.
  9. 9. Plan to visit your storage unit at least twice a year to inspect and maintain your stored instruments.
  10. 10. When in long-term storage, periodically tune and play your musical instrument to keep it in the best condition possible.  

 

Instruments made from durable metals—cymbals, French horns, tubas, slide trombones, and other types of brass instruments—are easier to prepare for storage than instruments made from more than type of material. With the proper preparation and storage techniques, there is no reason your instruments shouldn’t last many lifetimes.

While inheriting family heirlooms may be like the lottery for some: almost anything that represents family history and memories can be considered as a valued possession. If you need help storing your objects of value, contact your local Metro Self Storage facility for knowledgeable advice and helpful service.

 

 

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Clothes Storage Solutions to Keep Your Clothes Fresh

 

Sweaters are great for December but do you really need your summer dresses and shirts after summer is over? 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.

Continue reading “Clothes Storage Solutions to Keep Your Clothes Fresh”

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Top 5 Storage Facility Security Features to Look For

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.

 

1. Lighting

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!

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Craft Storage: How Self Storage Can Help You Create

If you are passionate about crafting, you’ve probably experienced first hand how quickly your work space can go from clean to cluttered. Crafting utilizes many different types of objects, which can make craft storage at home a challenge. Add small children or pets to the equation, and you may choose to opt for offsite craft storage.

Continue reading “Craft Storage: How Self Storage Can Help You Create”

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Utilize Self Storage During Your Home Improvement Project

There are lots of reasons why people decide to remodel rather than move. If the kids are in a great school, or you love your neighborhood, you might not want to give those things up. While spring and early summer are the best times of the year to put your house on the market, you might decide to undertake a home remodel instead. If you utilize self storage during your home improvement project, you can decrease the chaos of remodeling while increasing the value of your home. Continue reading “Utilize Self Storage During Your Home Improvement Project”

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Kitchen Storage: Tips and Tricks to Make Your Space More Productive

A room that is the heart and soul of a home needs special consideration when it comes to kitchen storage. Successful kitchen design is equal parts work space, storage solutions, and seating areas for family and friends. If you want a storage-packed kitchen that is both functional and beautiful, these tips will help make the most of any kitchen. Continue reading “Kitchen Storage: Tips and Tricks to Make Your Space More Productive”

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Here are the Top 10 Moving Tips from Metro Self Storage

 

We asked some of our most experienced storage managers located throughout several states to bring you the top 10 moving tips from Metro Self Storage. With more than 45 years as a leading self storage provider, you can count on Metro for the latest systems and technologies to make your storage experience a great one.

Founded in 1973 by Karl F. Nagel, Metro Self Storage has grown to over 120 storage facilities in 11 states and continues to help people just like you find the perfect storage solution when moving or experiencing another type of life transition. Continue reading “Here are the Top 10 Moving Tips from Metro Self Storage”

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Business Storage Solutions | Self Storage Can Help Your Business Grow

 

Business growth is a great thing. It is a healthy sign that your business is doing well and making money but getting bigger doesn’t come without its challenges. For many businesses, growth and expansion equate to the need for more physical space. Renting a business storage unit can be a cost-effective solution for businesses who want growth to remain profitable.

What is Business Storage?

While storage facilities have not always promoted their units for business storage or commercial storage, there is a growing trend to use this cost-effective option because it provides a clean, secure, and if desired, climate-controlled space, without the stress associated with a complex and expensive commercial lease.

Additionally, a storage facility offers scalability of the units they rent so that growing businesses can increase space requirements at one convenient location instead of shelling out big bucks to move to a new location. On the other hand, if a business is experiencing a contraction, downsizing a storage unit is simple.

In the United Kingdom, self storage facilities like Big Yellow are promoting their storage facilities as business storage solutions for companies ranging from online eBay and Amazon e-tailers and specialty food distributors to corporations who need up to 5,000 square feet of warehousing space. Beyond the traditional storage services, UK storage companies also offer a host of add-on services such as flex offices, virtual receptionists, and forklift drivers.

Here in the US, business storage units range in size from small storage lockers and 5X10 units to much larger spaces depending on the storage facility and its location. Business storage in the US is primarily utilized by entrepreneurs, construction and landscaping contractors, pharmaceutical sales representatives, real estate agents and stagers, professional offices, and retail outlets.

Climate-controlled business storage units are an attractive upgrade from standard units and a necessity for any company who has temperature-sensitive products and inventory like pharmaceutical sales reps.

Drive-up access garage-style units allow landscape contractors the ability to get to their equipment quickly. Commercial vehicle parking spaces are often available to rent at storage facilities but look for ample lighting and 24-hour video surveillance.

Perks of Business Storage at a Self Storage Facility

Full-service mini storage companies like Metro Self Storage, offer business storage units with heated and cooled spaces, tenant insurance programs, and package acceptance with delivery to your unit. Typical gate access hours are from 6 am to 9 pm but if your storage facility doesn’t advertise 24-hour access, ask the property manager if they grant 24-hour access to businesses upon request.

Besides low-cost space, the biggest advantage business storage can offer you is peace of mind when it comes to security and the bottom line. Modern storage facilities ensure the safety of stored items by providing select security features. These security perks are included in your monthly storage fee.

  • Ample lighting
  • Staff on site seven days a week
  • Resident property managers
  • Perimeter fencing
  • Electronic keypad gate access requiring a unique PIN code
  • 24-hour recorded video surveillance
  • CCTV monitoring in the storage office

 

Additional security features to consider for your business storage solution include individually alarmed units as well as smoke and fire detectors throughout. Renting a business storage unit is also ideal for any business owner who wants to keep work and home life separate and avoid cluttering up their house or garage.

If negotiating a commercial lease and a large capital outlay is not something you are ready to do yet, renting a space at a self storage facility might be the right choice for any growing business. In big cities, commercial space can be downright cost prohibitive.

Startups who are unable or not willing to commit to an expensive commercial lease, and businesses and independent contractors who need more space quickly, will find that outsourcing their business storage needs to a storage facility can be the best flexible and cost-effective solution to meet the demands of a growing business.

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Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle on Earth Day with Self Storage

Say, what? You are no doubt asking, “How is it possible to reduce, reuse, & recycle on Earth Day with a storage unit?” It’s a legitimate question because according to the media America has a serious problem with consumption. Even Slate weighed in to tell us how we have become a self storage nation. But the reality is that self storage is most often used to ease stress during life transitions like moving or relocating for a new job, an unexpected death of a beloved grandparent, or combining households. Continue reading “Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle on Earth Day with Self Storage”

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5 Tips for DIY Home Storage

 

Decluttering before guests arrive, tackling spring cleaning or a visit from an outspoken friend or relative can inspire you to finally get everything organized and stored properly. While self storage is a great option for some, you may also decide to find enough space for home storage without ever leaving the hosue. If you choose to “do it yourself,” keep in mind the following 5 tips to increase your chances of success.
Continue reading “5 Tips for DIY Home Storage”

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Garage Storage Made Easy | Moving and Organizing Advice

 

Is your car ready to take back its rightful spot in the garage? Our garage storage made easy tips can help you do just that. Every neighborhood has at least one garage that looks organized by someone suffering from OCD, a cross between a hospital operating room and a home improvement store ad. However, truth be told, deep down, we think, “If only I could have a garage that looked half as good as that!”

My garage looks like the stock room of the local Goodwill store. What’s in your garage? If you are ready to crush the clutter in your garage, here are some organizational tips and tools to help you get started.

 

Garages of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Do you ever wonder how garages came about? Me neither, but after a quick Google search, it all makes sense. Before automobiles, people had horses and buggies, which were kept in a carriage house usually located behind the property. Horses make odorous smells, so the further the way from the kitchens and bedrooms, the better.

Automobiles continued to gain popularity in the US, and home builders soon realized around the 1950s that houses sold better with attached garages. Carrying in the groceries sheltered from snow and rain is a luxury suburbanites take for granted because big-city garages are hard to come by.

Today’s garages are used as flexible space and serve many purposes. Some of your neighbors may take a creative approach and turn their garages into man caves, music studios, or a garage-based business start-up. Others have a place to park their cars as well as space for garage storage. 

What will tomorrow’s garage look like? That mostly depends on what the cars of the future will look like, and who better to ask that Jay Leno, a world-renowned car aficionado whose new CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage, airs on CNBC Prime Time.

 

Crush the Clutter in Your Garage

ClutteredGarage

 

The first step towards garage storage made easy is deciding what stays and what goes. The general rule of thumb for closets is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. However, for garages, the timeframe is longer.

Professional home organizers recommend that if you haven’t used an item housed in your garage for three years, then it is time to either donate it or toss it. If you have items with significant sentimental or financial value, then consider placing them into a secure, convenient self storage facility.

 

Working Walls Make Great Garage Storage Solutions

hanging bike and accessory rack for garage storage solutions

 

Create more usable square footage in your garage by using easy-to-install shelving. Pictured here is steel shelving by Monkey Bars, which is a combined hook-and-bar system to create customized garage storage spaces. Depths range from 16-inches to 32-inches deep, allowing you to customize the storage system based on the size of your garage.

The hooks come in a variety of sizes and weight capacities that enable you to hang even heavier items like bikes and golf clubs or lighter things such as strollers, miscellaneous yard tools, tennis rackets, and helmets.

 

Upgrade the Floor to Keep Your House Cleaner

Antique car stored in garage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

Chemical-, oil-, and water-resistant, epoxy-based garage floor coatings have come a long way thanks to improved materials and not a moment too soon since the garage is fast becoming more than a place to park your car. This type of flooring does double-duty, durable enough to handle hot tires and de-icing salts and beautiful enough to create a hang-out space.

Not only does a floor coating look beautiful, but it’s also much easier to keep clean. Regular concrete garage floors attract and then kick up dirt and grime, which is tracked into your home. A coated garage floor gets rid of that nuisance and also brightens up the garage space because it is very light-reflective.

 

Garage Floor Tiles Give Garages a Polished Look

Motorcycle stored in garage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

If you have limited time, or you are a DIY kind of guy or gal, then you may want to consider garage floor tiles. Tile installation doesn’t require prepping your garage floor for adhesion to a paint or epoxy coating and is less expensive than having a professional do the installation. Price and quality vary, and, depending on where you live, melting snow and subzero temperatures may dictate a high-quality, rigid tile. These types of tiles are advisable if you use kickstands or floor jacks. They are easy to clean and come in perforated versions that drain spills and snowmelt, making slippery spots less of an issue.

 

Overhead Bins Require Owning a Ladder

Overhead garage storage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

After making the painful decision of what stays and what goes, it’s time to look up for storage. If you have seasonal ski gear or sentimental items that don’t need climate controlled storage and with which you can’t bear to part—such as your grandfather’s toolbox, toys, or holiday decorations—then, consider installing overhead bins for garage organization. These are ideally suited for the long-term storage of items that you don’t plan to access frequently. Unless you opt for a pulley system like the ones you can find at Home Depot, reaching these items will require a ladder. Also, remember to choose storage containers that are not too large or too heavy.

 

Conceal Clutter to Create an Enviable Garage 

Garage Storage Cupboards
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

If you, like that neighbor down the street we mentioned earlier, suffer from a touch of OCD, then a behind-closed-doors solution may be the focus of your garage organization project. Free-standing cabinets are easy to install, protect items from dust, and can be designed to accommodate different heights and features to meet your specific storage needs. The interiors are configured with shelving for stacking boxes or with bars and hooks to hide a bag full of soccer balls and sports equipment or garden tools and bikes.

 

Whether your inspiration for a garage storage made easy comes from the desire to create a man cave or a game center boasting a ping-pong table for family fun night, remember your newly organized space will require maintenance. Just like you take your car in every 5,000 miles for an oil change, your garage will need periodic maintenance too.

Clutter is essentially deferred decision making and what better way to help you remember to declutter your garage than the “National Clean Out Your Garage Day.” Celebrating its 8th year, this relatively new holiday is celebrated the first weekend after Labor Day. Add it to your calendar now to keep your garage looking as good in 2017 as it will in 2016.

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Why People Love Moving to El Paso, Texas

 

 

Are you thinking about moving to El Paso, Texas?

The sixth-largest city in Texas and locally known as “Sun City” due to 297 days of sunshine, El Paso has a lot to offer current and new residents alike. From leading universities and the world’s largest military base to a thriving economy and restaurants dishing up delicious Texas barbecue and Mexican food, who wouldn’t love moving to El Paso?
Continue reading “Why People Love Moving to El Paso, Texas”

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Ease Valentine’s Day Stress with Self Storage

Are you wondering how to have a stress-free Valentine’s Day? Is that even possible? If you are single, then Valentine’s Day could be anything from empowering to a major downer. If you are in a new relationship, and nobody has said, “I love you” yet, things could get awkward. But for anyone in a relationship between the first kiss and a 50-year wedding anniversary, take notice because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Planning to impress your partner with a chef-inspired meal at home, popping the big question, or separating from your spouse, here is how self storage can help you ease Valentine’s Day stress. Continue reading “Ease Valentine’s Day Stress with Self Storage”

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