Friday, August 17, 2018
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Self-Storage Packing Tips and Tricks

self-storage packing tips and tricks

Most people end up renting out a self-storage unit at some point of their lives. Whether you’re downsizing clutter, staging for a move, storing precious antiques or simply just don’t have enough space at home, a storage unit is the perfect solution.

While people aren’t too excited about the packing and preparing that goes along with moving, it’s an essential part of the process if you want to keep your things in good shape. That’s why we’ve put together our favorite self-storage packing tips and tricks. We hope they will make the process a little easier and maybe even a little fun!

  1. Create an Inventory

The first step in preparing your items to go into your self-storage unit is to create an inventory. self-storage packing tips and tricksAn inventory will allow you to easily review what you have without the necessity of going through each and every box. The more detailed you are during this process, the easier things will be later on.

Consider labeling each box by number and list out what is in each one on your inventory. You can be as specific (i.e., listing book titles) or as general (i.e., writing books) as you wish. Regardless, an inventory is a great way to avoid opening up your storage unit to an unimaginable pile of junk. There are even great programs available to create inventories with ease.

  1. Invest in a Label Maker

Going hand-in-hand with creating an inventory is creating a detailed labeling system. A label maker is perfect to help keep you organized and ready to go. self-storage packing tips and tricksLabel each box with the corresponding room it belongs to along with a general idea of what’s inside. If you prefer to write this by hand, that works too, the important thing is to label your boxes.

In addition to writing the content of the box, make sure you make it very clear if things inside are fragile or need to be facing a certain way. While you may be packing your own unit, it’s likely that you won’t remember each specific detail throughout the process let alone months down the road. Stay on the safe side and write it on the box with an arrow if need be.

  1. Categories!

Creating categories based on rooms is a great way to save time and energy down the road. Most people utilize self-storage units to store things that they don’t need in their homes all year round. This means a lot of random things from all over the house. If this is the case, stick to general categories of items instead of specific room categories.

Store books with books, dishes with dishes and clothes with clothes. This keeps everything organized and easy to access if you need to later on.

  1. Choose Packaging Wisely

The kind of box or bin that you store your things in matters and you should choose the packaging wisely depending on what’s inside. If you’re storing books, use sturdy cardboard boxes or plastic containers, if you’re storing clothes, consider hanging them or opting for a durable plastic bin. Cover mattresses with large blankets and put electronics into original boxes (if applicable). When storing furniture, make sure it’s clean, wrapped and well protected.

Whatever you do, never store anything inside of plastic bags. Plastic wrap and bags can damage wood and leather and creates a breeding ground for moisture and heat. This leads to ruined items and an unwelcome amount of mold. Check out this comprehensive guide to storing your things for more detail on picking the perfect packaging.

  1. Opt for High Quality Packing Material

self-storage packing tips and tricksIn regards to packing tape and packing peanuts or paper, don’t skimp on quality. Make sure you’re using good quality materials so that over time, they will hold up. Poor quality tape unravels, bins break and boxes deteriorate so skimping could cost you more in the long run. Consider it an investment and opt for high quality materials from the start.

  1. Use Uniformly Sized Boxes

When you use boxes that are similar in size, stacking and organizing your things in your self-storage unit becomes much easier. This is a great way to optimize space while keeping your boxes light and easy to move. When you have a bunch of boxes that are different sizes it becomes an irritating game of Tetris to get everything to fit nicely.

Limit your box sizes to 2 for the best results and make sure that you don’t over or under-pack each box.

  1. Distribute Weight Correctly

When you’re filling your boxes to go into storage, make sure that you distribute the weight evenly. Start by packing the heaviest items on the bottom of the box and then top with lighter items. Avoid filling an entire box with heavy items to make lifting easier and save your boxes from deterioration.

When storing your boxes, put things that are the heaviest at the bottom of a stack and work your way up. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to avoid having any box weigh more than 30lbs.

  1. Avoid Prohibited Materials

Most self-storage facilities have restrictions on what they will and will not allow you to store. Always review any rules prior to renting out a unit so you know exactly what you’re agreeing to beforehand.

As a general rule of thumb, most facilities will have a list of items that are not allowed to be stored inside of your unit. Please remember that this is for your safety, the safety of others renting in the facility and the company you’re renting from. The list usually includes things like flammable, toxic or hazardous materials, radioactive equipment, drugs or drug paraphernalia, perishable food items or any living animals or plants. Again, check with your self-storage facility for a more detailed list of things that you can or can’t have.

  1. Planning is Essential

Finally, after all is said and done, it’s essential that you plan out how you’re going to store things in your unit. When you have a general idea of how you’ll place everything inside of your unit, you’ll be able to organize your moving truck and strategically get everything in with much more efficiency.

Preparing Your Storage Unit

After you’ve made a plan, it’s time to start moving your things into your self-storage unit. The following tips on how to prepare your unit will help you get the most out of short or long term storage.

Pallet the Ground

Before you move anything into your storage unit, take some time to put raised pallets on the ground. Place them where you’re going toself-storage packing tips and tricks stack boxes so that the boxes have enough ventilation underneath them. Keep enough space between the wall and the pallets so that you can optimize the ventilation in your unit.

This helps you avoid mold growth and the accumulation of unwanted pests creating homes. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your unit before putting them down!

Use Shelves Available

If your storage unit has shelves, or if you have a shelving unit available, take advantage of them. You can store smaller things, electronics or anything you will need more access to on shelves to make future retrieval a breeze.

Keep it Accessible

Put all of the large, bulky things that you won’t need to access towards the back of your unit. Then, work your way towards the front depending on the importance of things. Make sure to keep anything that you will need to access frequently at the front of your unit so you won’t need to crawl in and move things around later.

Avoid Mold and Pests

To avoid mold and pests, make sure that everything you put in your unit is clean, dry and wrapped properly. Add some moisture absorbers, mothballs or pest traps to take a proactive approach to mold and pests.

Everyone has a different packing process, but when you add these tips and tricks to your routine things will surely run more smoothly. They will help you organize everything optimally, give you a clean and easy to access storage unit and keep you sane when you need to find something in your unit. If you’re looking for a great place to rent a self-storage unit, look no further than The Lock Up Self Storage. All of the storage units on site are secure, affordable and climate controlled. Regardless of what your storage needs are, The Lock Up has something for you. Visit www.thelockup.com and check out all of our available units. We’ll help you’ll find the perfect self-storage solution for your all of your needs.

How to Pack a Moving Truck

how to pack a moving truck

Moving day is different for everyone. Some people love it while some absolutely dread it. Whichever category you’re in, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing it right. This is especially true when you begin packing your moving truck.

how to pack moving truckPacking a moving truck is an art. There’s a good way to do it and a bad way. In order to ensure that your moving day runs smoothly, we definitely recommend the good way. If you’re unsure about what that is, don’t worry. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to pack a moving truck. Enjoy!

Preparation is Key

In order for a seamless moving day, you’ll need to do a little preparation. The most important part of this is determining what your needs are.

Go around your home and take inventory of everything you need to move so that you can get an idea on what size moving truck you’ll need. When you go to reserve a truck for your moving date, opt for a size that is bigger than what you think you’ll need. It’s better to have extra space than not enough. While bigger trucks might cost a bit more, smaller trucks will require more time and energy split between multiple trips.

Once you’ve reserved your moving truck, you can move on to the next step of preparation.

Get Materials

Start by getting all of the packing supplies that you need in order to begin. In addition to boxes, tape and packing paper, make sure that you have mattress bags, moving straps and furniture pads (or extra blankets) for the move. It’s also extremely helpful to rent a dolly, especially if you will be doing the move yourself as opposed to hiring a company.how to pack a moving truck

For your convenience, head over to The Lock Up Self Storage for all of your moving and storage supply needs.

Packing

The next step is packing everything into boxes. Use similarly sized boxes to make things easier to stack and make sure that you label each box so you know where to unload it at your next destination. If you plan on putting some things into storage during your move, make sure that you clearly label these so that you can find them quickly and easily when the time comes.

Protect Your Things

Wrap large furniture and fragile antiques with moving pads or blankets so that things don’t get scratched during the move. At the very least, make sure that you cover all corners, extended pieces, and any mirrors or breakable items.

Recruit Friends

how to pack a moving truckFinally, it’s time to recruit some friends. It’s close to impossible to pack a moving truck alone and frankly, sounds quite dangerous. Ask around to see if you can get a few people to help pack your moving truck. We recommend practicing your persuasion skills with these tips.

Disassemble What You Can

Go through all of your furniture and check to see if any of it can be disassembled. Doing so will help you maximize all of the usable space in your truck and avoid dealing with awkward shapes and sizes.

Take the legs off any tables, take apart headboards and bed frames and remove all of the drawers from any desks or dressers.

In addition to increasing usable space, disassembling furniture is a great way to make your furniture more manageable to move/carry. If it makes sense to keep certain drawers in your furniture, at least take them out while you load your moving truck. You can put them back and tape them shut once your furniture is secured.

Start Big

After you’ve disassembled everything, it’s time to start packing your truck. Move everything outside so that it’s right in front of the moving truck. This will help you get an idea on size comparison, load order and will make the process much faster. Make sure that you aren’t taking up any of your neighbor’s space and that there are clear paths for walking.

If you live in a dense city, this might be a bit more difficult. If so, then mimic the same idea with the main room in your home and you can move things directly from your home into your moving truck.

Once everything is together, find the biggest and heaviest few items to start with. This usually encompasses all of your large appliances such as your stove, washer/dry, and refrigerator (don’t forget to defrost!).

Have a designated loading team stationed inside of the truck so two people can handle in truck organization. Put the heavy/big items all the way towards the front of the truck so weight is evenly distributed and the truck doesn’t drag. Don’t stack two heavy pieces of furniture on top of each other, as this can be dangerous and difficult to unload.

After you’ve loaded your heaviest items, move on to the long pieces. Save space by loading them against the truck walls and make sure to secure them in place. These items will be your mattress, sofas, long decorations, dressers, tabletops, etc.

These big items will take up most of the time during your moving process. Once you finish here, the rest is a breeze!

Load Boxes

Your next step is to load all of your boxes into the moving truck. Again, start with the bigger/heavier boxes and load them into the middle of the truck between all of the large how to pack a moving truckfurniture. Ensure that the heaviest boxes are on the bottom layer so nothing gets crushed. You can place heavy boxes on top of appliances in order to fill in any cracks and crevices that are near the front of the truck.

Then move on the your lighter boxes. Work your way down if you have large, medium and small boxes, but just make sure that the lightest are always on top. Stack from floor to ceiling so that you utilize all of the space you have and add pillows or linens on top of the boxes to create a secure tower of stuff.

Fill in the Holes

While you’re loading your heavy furniture, appliances and large boxes, make sure you’re filling the holes along the way. You can do this with smaller boxes, bags of linens or pillows or anything that is soft and crushable. This will make sure that nothing moves too much during the move and will also help protect your things.

You can also put non-fragile items in between objects to optimize any hidden space. Think boots, shoes, hangers, etc. Have a laundry basket handy to carry these things to and from your moving truck for increased efficiency.

Fragile Items

It’s important to load fragile items last to make sure that neighboring appliances or heavy boxes don’t crush them. Place them in cubbyholes near the back of the truck and always make sure that they are wrapped in furniture pads or blankets.

What About Valuables?

Chances are that you will be going from point A to point B with your moving truck, but you never want to take any chances. Pack all of your valuables either up front with you in the cab of the truck, or in a car that someone you trust will be driving to your next location. Keep important documents, extremely fragile items, any electronics as well as things you’ll need to access frequently with you or in the car.

Having these things, and an overnight bag, accessible will make it much easier on you if you need to get some sleep before you start unpacking.

When you’re packing your moving truck, make sure that you do it right. A well-packed truck will help make sure that all of your furniture and favorite things arrive safely and in good condition. It also saves you time and frustration during the loading process. Make a plan, stick to it and you’ll be done in no time.

If you’re looking for an affordable moving truck for your next move, consider us at The Lock Up Self Storage. We offer moving trucks and free locks to all of our clients who rent out a new self storage unit. All you need to do is call your self storage location and talk to the store manager. He or she will give you all of the information you need about our free truck use, pricing and other packaging items. Our self storage units are all climate controlled, affordable and secure. At The Lock Up Self Storage, you’ll be in good hands. Visit us today at www.thelockup.com and check out all of the available units in your area.

Take Back Your Home with These Storage Hacks for Your 5 Messiest Rooms

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messy rooms hacks

Let’s face it. There are certain rooms in every home that never seem to stay clean and are always an unorganized mess. From overflowing closets to impossibly dirty bathrooms, our messiest rooms are universal across households.

Luckily, there is hope. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how you can take back your home with storage hacks for each of your 5 messiest. Read on to find out more.

Closets

After years and years of accumulating clothes, shoes and accessories, some people’s closets are a nightmare to dig through. Make your mornings easier by taking advantage of these tips and tricks to optimize organization.

Downsize

The first step is to downsize. Go through your clothes and take out anything seasonal and put it in your storage unit. If it’s summer, you don’t need bulky sweaters taking up precious hanging space. After removing seasonal items, go through all of your clothes and downsize. If you haven’t worn it in the past 6 months, you probably won’t wear it again.

Organize Accessories

Bulky accessories can take up a lot of closet space. Instead of using shelves, try hanging your bags and purses near the back of your closet. You can also create unique scarf hangers and grab some tie racks.

Fold Efficiently

One of the things that take up the most room in drawers and closets is improper folding techniques. Check out a comprehensive guide on the most efficient way to fold each type of clothing and start making some changes.folded clothes

Better Shoe Storage

Stop keeping your shoeboxes for storage. They’re bulky and often unsightly. Store your shoes smarter by installing a shoe rack to either hang from a wall or use on the ground. Whatever direction you decide to take is fine, just don’t use those boxes!

The Garage

Your garage is often one of the most overlooked areas in your home, but can easily become the messiest. People use it as an extra storage area and end up creating mountains of inaccessible items. People stack boxes and bags of things to use later, but then end up burying them in ever-growing piles. Take back the space in your garage by using these great hacks.

Install Peg Boards

pegboards for garagePegboards are an amazing, versatile invention that more people need to take advantage of. They can be used in almost every room of your house from your kitchen to the garage. In order to get things off of the floor and into easily accessible areas, install a pegboard in your garage. You can hang garden supplies, tools, sports equipment and pretty much anything you can think of. Check out the tutorial here.

Utilize High Space

Recently, they’ve developed some pretty cool shelving systems that allow you to maximize ceiling space. Consider purchasing one of these unique hanging racks so that you can get things off of the floor and out of the way.

Grab a Storage Unit

A lot of people treat their garage like a storage unit. This creates a messy, unusable space that often borders the line of a hoarder. Rent a storage unit and use it. It’ll give you a nice work area and the ability to actually park your car inside for once. Check out the units at The Lock Up Self Storage for tons of affordable options.

Bathrooms

Bathroom storage can be tricky. Some homes are blessed with open, spacious designs and others have to make the best out of cramped spaces. Regardless, there’s a lot of stuff to store and in order to keep it clean you have to be organized.

Out With The Old

First things first… go through all of your products and get rid of anything that’s old, expired or never used. There’s no reason to hang on to these things and all they do is take up precious space.

Open Shelving

open bathroom shelvingConsider trying out the concept of open shelving. It’s a modern storage solution that forces you to keep things organized in the name of aesthetics. Check out some secrets offered by HGTV for optimal bathroom shelving.

Get Creative with Mason Jars

At one point in time, mason jars really peaked in popularity. People drank out of them, stored things in them and used them for DIY crafts. While the trend has died down a bit, there are still some great things to use them for. One of which is bathroom storage. Not only are they good for holding things, they are visually appealing and add a sense of décor.

Take Back Your Medicine Cabinet

If you’re one of the lucky households with a medicine cabinet, use it. They’re underrated but pack a lot of power with organization. Use it to keep things that you use every day easy to reach and out of the way.

The Kitchen

Kitchens are usually one of the messiest places in a home. While it might not always look that way from the outside, once you start opening cabinets and drawers it’s a free-for-all. Thankfully, there are some great organization hacks to help you take back your space.

Refrigerator Makeover

To keep your food fresh and everything easy to find in your fridge, consider giving it a makeover. Take some time to organize by category, swap out bulky containers and create smarter food storage for you and your family.

Pots and Pans Storage Solutions

Most families have more pots and pans than they can count, but no way to efficiently store them. Try putting an old magazine rack in your cabinets and increase storage space by utilizing unused vertical space.

Take Back Unused Space

You know that space between the refrigerator and the wall, the tiny slot that seems like such a waste of space? Use it. Create a thin, retractable shelf and store spices and cooking essentials.

Shopping Lists

Kitchen junk drawers are often filled with pieces of scrap paper and millions of pens for creating shopping lists. Instead, try painting the inside of one of your cabinets with chalkboard paint so you can keep a running list of what you need. When it’s time to hit the store, snap a picture on your way out.

Create Zones

Maximizing kitchen efficiency is all about creating zones. Create zones in your cabinets, your refrigerator and your pantry so that things are easy to find when you’re in a rush. Take a look at some great examples here.

The Office

If you’re like many of the families in the US, you probably have a home office that’s overflowing with mail, supplies and thousands of pieces of paper. Not only does it give you anxiety to stare at, but also if you need to find anything important it likely takes forever. Check out these storage hacks for an office makeover.

File Storagefile folders

The first step is to develop some sort of system for storing your files. If this is the only thing you do, it will still make all of the difference. If you don’t have any drawers, consider getting a small portable file holder and utilize hanging files. Use a color-coding method and create easy to find categories. Better yet, digitalize everything and store it on your computer or a hard drive.

Work Zones

Create active work zones in your office so that everything is always in its place. Supplies, papers and equipment can clutter your desk and your mind.

Organize Accessories

Office accessories are essential, but can end up everywhere. Create, or buy, a dedicated storage area for all of your pens, pencils, paperclips and more. No more searching through your cluttered drawer for binder clips.

Bins, Bins, Bins!

If your office is lacking drawers or a closet, consider installing some shelves and utilizing bins. Find something that matches your décor, label them and get things out of the way.

If you want to take back your home, these storage hacks are sure to help you tackle your messiest rooms. In each room, as you’re implementing these tips, make sure you’re walking through and simultaneously finding things that you no longer need or want. Make a few boxes for things to get rid of and things to put in storage so that you can declutter your home and live more simply. Put seasonal items, bulky equipment or antique furniture into your storage unit for easy to access, yet out of the way, storage. All of the units at The Lock Up Self Storage are climate controlled, affordable and secure so you can rest easy knowing your things are in good hands. Visit www.thelockup.com today to check out the available units in your area.

Getting Your Home Ready for Airbnb Hosting

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Getting Your Home Ready for Airbnb Hosting

Whether you’re looking to make some extra income or you’re constantly out of town, it’s time to jump on the Airbnb bandwagon. This popular housing service has grown massively over the past few years and more people than ever are searching for homes over hotel rooms.

While it seems like a great idea, and it probably is, hosting your home can take a lot of work. Besides all of the work on the back-end of things, you’ll need to make sure that you properly prepare your home for guests. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on getting your home ready for Airbnb hosting. Take a look below.

Increase Accessibility

The first thing you need to consider when getting your home ready for Airbnb hosting is accessibility. If you don’t plan on personally meeting and greeting every guest for check in and check out, you’ll need to provide a secure way for them to access your home. Consider installing a lock box or keyless entrance pad. You can easily change the code with each guest and reduce the amount of lost keys.

Remove Your Personal Items

This step can be tricky. Your home is filled to the brim with personal items and valuables that need to be removed when you start hosting. While you don’t want to completely empty your place, it’s best to get rid of things that won’t directly benefit your guests.

Go around each room with a few boxes and start by packing up any and all personal hygiene items. Everything from shampoo and perfume should be removed unless you plan on offering them to your guests for use. Additionally, you’ll want to remove the following:

Clothes and Shoes

Have you ever checked into a hotel room and opened the closet to find a full wardrobe staring back at you? Probably not. This idea extends for Airbnb hosting. People don’t want to feel like they’re invading someone’s personal space so make sure that you remove all of your clothes and shoes. Store seasonal clothes and footwear in a storage unit and keep the rest with you or in a locked closet.

Valuables

This should be a no brainer. While we hope that the people you’re hosting wouldn’t steal anything, never leave it up to chance. Remove all of your laptops, cameras, expensive jewelry and anything high in value. Either lock them in a secure safe or put them in your storage unit. The same goes for items that hold a lot of meaning to you, but aren’t necessarily expensive.

Personal Documents

Remove any financial documents, passports, birth certificates and anything that contains sensitive information. There have been reported cases of theft on Airbnb, so again, don’t take the risk. When you remove the opportunity you remove the chances of winding up in a bad situation.

Personal Photos

People probably don’t want to be staring at pictures of your family while they’re staying in your home. It makes things personal and can be a bit uncomfortable. If you have photos hanging on the wall, replace them with some inexpensive artwork and store all of your personal photos away. Fill your bookshelves and side tables with small knick-knacks or pictures of scenery to keep up décor.

The easiest way to avoid having to continually empty your home and re-fill it is by renting a storage unit. It’s the perfect solution for storing furniture, documents or memorabilia that you won’t want your guests to have access too. Plus, it’s a bit more secure than a simple lock box in your home. You can find a plethora of affordable options at The Lock Up Self Storage that will give you the peace of mind you need.

Clean, Clean, Clean

After you’ve stored away all of your personal items, memorabilia and valuables, it’s time to start cleaning. Nobody in the world wants to stay somewhere that’s dirty. In order to guarantee that everything is spotless, consider hiring a professional cleaning service. The best ones won’t miss a spec of dirt. If you prefer to do it on your own, just remember to hit the often-overlooked places (i.e., your ceiling fan). There are some great checklists you can use to ensure you haven’t missed anything.Getting Home Ready for Airbnb Hosting

While you’re cleaning, or after you’ve had a professional cleaning, make sure that nothing is broken and there aren’t any safety hazards. You don’t want there to be any unnecessary accidents or complaints, especially for insurance purposes.

Increase Hospitality

Once you’ve removed your personal items and made everything nice and clean, think about ways you can increase hospitality for your guests. The better the reviews are, the more people will want to stay at your home. As your hosting value increases you can start to increase pricing. Check out a few basic hospitality gestures that will go a long way.

Provide Amenities

Please do not remove all the kitchen appliances you own. When people rent an Airbnb rather than a hotel, it’s usually because they want access to a kitchen. It is so frustrating to open up an empty cabinet when you’re trying to cook a meal. Keep a coffee maker, microwave, toaster, a few pots and pans, dishes, silverware and basic cooking essentials available for your guests. It will go a long way. Put the rest in your storage unit so you can easily access them when you need to. It’s also customary to supply: How To Get Home Ready for Airbnb Hosting

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Hand soap
  • Disinfectant
  • A first-aid kit
  • Fans
  • Basic toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Remote controls
  • An air mattress
  • Air fresheners
  • Salt and pepper, sugar, cooking oil
  • Coffee and tea
  • Filtered or bottled water

Have Extras

This is especially important if you’re hosting long-term guests. At the bare minimum, make sure that you have extra blankets, extra linens and extra towels. Additionally, consider having extra of the following:

  • Pillows
  • Toilet paper
  • Kleenex
  • Light bulbs
  • Paper towels

High Quality Sheets

Getting Home Ready for Airbnb HostingIf you don’t have great sheets, consider splurging on some higher quality ones. A good night sleep is the main reason they’ve come to your home, so don’t ruin it by supplying old or itchy bedding.

Entertainment

Sometimes people just want to hangout and relax. Make it easy for them by providing in-house entertainment. Have some of your favorite movies or video games out so that they can watch a movie and consider keeping a small library accessible. If you have a Netflix or Hulu account, keep yourself signed in on your TV so guests can use it.

Go Above and Beyond

While it’s not absolutely necessary to supply your home with these amenities, it does go a long way. People respond extremely well when they notice their host has gone above and beyond to increase the comfort of their stay.

Extra Amenities

While a lot of people go on vacations prepared with everything they need, sometimes things are forgotten. It’s an amazing feeling walking into an Airbnb that has been stocked with these types of items – you’d be amazed how excited people get over toothpaste. Head to the store and buy a few of travel-sized versions of these for your guests to use.

  • Disposable razors
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shaving cream
  • Toothpaste
  • Hair dryer
  • Ear plugs and/or eye masks (especially if you’re in a city)

Welcome Packages

Another thoughtful idea is providing a welcome package for your guests. Fill it with things that are unique to your area, spa items and some nice snacks for guests to enjoy.

Welcome BookHow To Get Home Ready for Airbnb Hosting

If you don’t want to provide a package, at least consider putting together a welcome book. You can include menus for nearby restaurants, suggestions on things to do and maps to help people find their way around. Provide phone numbers for emergencies and any rules or directions you might want to communicate. This is especially helpful when people own complicated appliances that need explaining. Also consider putting out a local guidebook for guests to browse through.

Local Conveniences

If you live in a bike-friendly city and you own a few bikes, make them available. If you live near a beach or a lake and have kayaks or beach accessories, tell your guests. Local conveniences are a great way to make your guests feel at home and give them a ton of options to keep busy.

Leave a Guest Gift

Finally, consider leaving a little guest gift to thank them for choosing you. Whether it’s a 6-pack of beer or your favorite local chocolate, people will appreciate the gesture.

If you are getting ready to host your home on Airbnb, taking these steps will help improve your listing and keep guests coming back for more. If you find yourself in need of some extra space to store the things that you plan on removing from your home, head on over to The Lock Up Self Storage. All of the units at The Lock Up Self Storage are climate controlled, affordable and secure. You can access your unit at any time, day or night, which makes it a perfect compliment to your Airbnb hosting. Visit us at www.thelockup.com today to browse the available units in your area today.

How Small Businesses Benefit from Commercial Storage

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Self Storage for Small Business

A lot of people don’t often think of business owners when they think of storage units. Instead, they picture self-storage as a place to put their currently unused things or store large items during a family move. While these are all great reasons for utilizing extra storage, there are a number of other reasons as well.

One of these is for the benefit of small businesses. Renting out a storage unit as a small business owner can decrease costs, increase efficiency and all around make your life easier. If you, or someone you know, is a small business owner, read on to find out how renting a commercial storage unit can help you today.

Decreased Overhead

A lot of small businesses may be confused as to how paying a monthly fee for a storage unit can actually decrease their overhead and keep costs down. Well, it’s true. This is because a lot of small businesses searching for a location that is both affordable and the perfect size are going to have a hard time.

They want their store to be large, but can’t always afford costs at the beginning. Luckily, maintaining a small storefront doesn’t mean you’ll have less room to work with. When you rent an off-site storage unit, you’ll be able to store all of your non-needed essentials completely out of sight and out of the way. This will give you much more usable space in your starting location.

When you utilize commercial storage rather than finding a larger storefront, you can keep the costs low. It is much more affordable to rent out a unit than it is to pay a large monthly lease. The Lock Up Self Storage offers a range of different sizes for all sorts of small businesses.

small business storage units

Increased Efficiency

Small, cluttered places are hard to work in. Especially when there’s more than one person around. With an additional place to put all of your small business items that aren’t used on a daily basis, you’ll be able to free up space in your storefront. With more usable space, and less clutter, you and your employees will be able to work more efficiently. Plus, we bet your customers will thank you.

Increased Security

Another added benefit for maintaining a commercial storage space is increased security. Small businesses can keep important documents or expensive items in their storage unit, which includes strong security features in their monthly rent. This decreases the chance of anything getting lost or stolen at your store. At The Lock Up Self Storage, all of our commercial storage units feature security-controlled gate access as well as electronic coded access. The lots are also equipped with motion-sensitive lighting and 24-hour camera monitoring with a perimeter alarm to make sure that your assets are well protected.

Convenient and Flexible

Having a commercial storage space for your small business will also increase your levels of convenience and flexibility. With flexible lease terms, you only need to pay for what you need when you need it. As your business grows, you can easily update your unit’s lease and have room for the growth that you’re experiencing.

Industry Specific Benefits

While just about any business can benefit from renting a commercial storage unit, let’s take a look at a few specific circumstances.

Office Use

small business storage spaceIf your small business runs out of an office, a commercial storage unit is perfect. This is because every office inevitably comes hand-in-hand with giant stacks of paperwork, records and files. Everything from client files, HR paperwork and even employee documents builds up fast. Even with a lot of files merging into electronic documents, there are still people that prefer paper. Get all of your unneeded paperwork out of the office and into a climate-controlled storage unit. All you need to do is take some time to organize everything into an easy to find system and shut your door. Whenever you need something, simply pop on over to your unit and grab it.

Commercial storage units are also a great idea if you’re looking to expand a current home office. This is perfect for people who work from home and want to make sure that their work-life balance is kept separate. It’s easy, affordable and the perfect way to ensure that your work doesn’t overflow onto your family.

Landscaping, Construction and Mechanics

It’s no secret that jobs in these industries have a lot of equipment. Even if you’re a small construction trucks to store for small businessbusiness owner in one of these fields, you’ll still need to obtain a good amount of equipment to get your business off the ground. However, finding a place to keep this stuff can be a headache. That’s why a commercial storage unit is the perfect solution. When you rent one, you might not even need to lease a storefront in order to start your business. If you can successfully market to clients online or throughout your neighborhood, then all you need is your equipment, a storage unit and transportation.

When your company starts growing, you can store extra equipment or equipment that might need fixing. Since equipment for these jobs are costly investments, storing them professionally will ensure that they are safe from the hands of thieves.

Painting and Roofing

Similar to the fields above, painting and roofing companies have a lot of equipment… it’s just smaller. Regardless of size, it still takes up a ton of room. Additionally, a lot of the materials for these lines of work are sensitive to fluctuations in climate – think about how disappointing it is to open a can of paint that’s been sitting in garage heat all summer!

Retail

There are a lot of things that a retail storefront needs to do in order to be successful. With all of the marketing supplies used in order to change out displays, advertise at events and maintain brand loyalty, a commercial storage space is the perfect solution. Keep your investments safe in a secure, climate-controlled unit and you can focus on growing your business without things getting damaged.

When it comes to retail, there seems to be a certain rhythm that every store goes through. This is mainly in reference to seasonal items and fluctuating trends in the market. When you have an overflow of these types of things, it’s best to store them off-site in a commercial storage unit. This way, you have a place to keep things that aren’t currently on the market or extra supplies of what’s selling quickly. A lot of small business retail storefronts just don’t have the room to keep this kind of quantity in their backrooms, so make sure and keep a backup in your unit.

eCommerce

tshirts in self storage uniteCommerce is on the rise as a great way to start a small business. Since everything is done online, you won’t have a storefront to display and store the bulk of your inventory. This means that renting a commercial storage unit is almost essential. Having a unit will keep things safe and undamaged until they reach the customer, which will help build your reputation and brand. If you keep things in your home you risk them getting damaged and essentially, losing profit. Plus, the climate-controlled units are perfect for electronics or other temperature sensitive items.

Why Not Just Rent a Trailer?

Some businesses use mobile trailers in order to haul around their extra equipment with them. As they go from one job to the next, they not only need to bring what they need but they end up bringing along everything they don’t need too. The added weight of the trailer decreases fuel efficiency and can turn things into a much bigger hassle than they need to be. Storing these extra things in a commercial storage unit is a much better way to approach this problem. A unit will help you avoid zoning laws, street break-ins and added delivery fees. Plus, you can change your storage unit location as your larger jobs change.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a small business that is just starting your marketing efforts or a business that has been around for years, a commercial storage unit is the perfect addition to your company. It will give you more usable space, decrease your overall costs and allow your company to work at maximum efficiency. At The Lock Up Self Storage, we understand that every business has different needs – including storage needs. That’s why we’re proud to offer a myriad of different commercial storage unit sizes with flexible lease terms. We make it easy for your business to grow and expand by allowing you to only pay for what you need. All of our units are climate controlled and come with advanced security features so that you can rest easy. Head over to www.thelockup.com and browse the units available in your area today.

Best Ways to Make Money Off Your Clutter

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How to Make Money off Your Clutter

If you’re like most people, you probably have piles and piles of junk sitting around your home that you never seem to use. These things are an endless stream of clutter and are disruptive to our daily lives. However, with all of this clutter comes endless possibility. You won’t believe how many places there are to make money off of your old things. The first step to cashing in your unwanted stuff for the big bucks is to get organized. Read on and see how you can gain some extra spending money this month.

Get Organized

The first step to making money off of your clutter is to get everything organized and decluttered. Go through each of your rooms and decide whether or not you really need, or want, each item. You’ll be surprised at how many things have piled up over the years. Organize everything into boxes: sell, keep and store.

Once you’ve gotten organized, return anything to its rightful place that you want to store (or take this opportunity for a room-makeover). Then, head to your storage unit and put all of the things you want to store away. After you’ve taken these steps and you’re left with your boxes of clutter that you want to sell, you’re ready to begin.

Be Smart

The first thing to keep in mind when selling your clutter is that you need to be smart about it. Don’t try and sell holiday decorations right after the holidays have passed and never try and sell summer clothing in the middle of the winter. There won’t be a market for it and you’ll just waste your time. Sell seasonally for the best results. While you’re waiting for the season to come, you can store all of your ready-to-sell clutter in your storage unit. The Lock Up Self Storage offers affordable, climate controlled units for every budget.

Next, you should reserve your big-ticket items for the big-ticket sites. Think Craigslist, Amazon and eBay for large, expensive items and certain collector’s items that are high in value. However, if you have a bunch of clothes, don’t bother putting each individual shirt on as its own listing. The cash return is not worth the time.

Finally, don’t underestimate the value of your items. Do some research and know what they’re worth. You never know what that creepy old china doll could go for.

Sell Your ClutterSell Your Clutter

Luckily, we no longer live in the days where garage sales are the only way to sell unwanted goods. Now, with the Internet, selling your clutter has never been easier. Most of the time all it takes is a few pictures here and a couple of clicks there for your posting to be active and visible to thousands of potential buyers. Check out some of our favorite ways to make money off of your clutter below.

Tell Your Friends

The best way to kick off your efforts of selling the things you don’t need is to tell your friends. You never know what they’re looking for until you ask and it’s much easier than creating listings on numerous different sites. Post a quick status on your Facebook, take a Snapchat video or simply send out some texts. Even though it’s old in your hands, it will be new in theirs.

Garage and Yard Sales

Have A Garage Sale for All Your ClutterAs we mentioned, we no longer live in a time where we need to have garage sales or yard sales in order to sell our things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t. In fact, a lot of people enjoy setting up their sales and being able to relax while things slowly disappear. You can sell anything you want, within legal boundaries of course, at garage and yard sales and it takes much less energy than creating individual postings for each items. If you plan on hosting an annual garage/yard sale, rent a storage unit throughout the year so you have a place to keep everything until the time comes. It’s a great way to keep your home clutter free and your items safe and undamaged.

Consignment Shops

The next place that you can take your clutter to make money is to consignment shops in your area. A consignment shop is a place that will essentially sell your items for you, but they do take a certain percentage of each sale. The best part about these is that you can simply drop off your things and let someone else do the work. Since they are a more reputable seller, they also have a better chance of selling your things for better prices. These shops are great for baby and children’s clothes and toys along with any other items you don’t think you’ll get good prices for individually. If you don’t have any consignment shops around you, do some research or stick to online sales.

A wise word of caution regarding consignment shops is to make sure that you fully read the Terms and Conditions that they have at the bottom. This is where they will list details about rejected or unsold items along with any hidden costs. Make sure you know what you’re signing before you start selling!

Sell Old Technology

The next big step that you should take is gathering up all of the technology that you and your family no longer use. While we understand that a lot of people tend to hoard these, just in case, it’s usually unnecessary. If something happens to your phone or computer, it’s very unlikely that you’ll take a downgrade and use your old devices. In fact some of them might even be impossible to use anymore. For instance, older iPhones have a different sized SIM card, which could end up costing more money to reactivate than to simply fix your broken phone. Free up some space and get rid of the tangle of wires sitting in your desk drawer by selling your old technology for cash.Sell Old Technology

A few places to check out are Gazelle and Envirofone, both of which will buy your old electronics off of you hassle free. The newer your technology is, the more money you’ll make.

Online Marketplaces and Apps

Finally, there are hundreds of different online marketplaces and applications that you can use or download for free. Check out our list of some of our favorite re-sale sites below:

Recycling Centers

Recycle Your ClutterIf you have a few items that have seen better days, consider heading to a recycling center. There are a ton of different manufacturers out there that will post incentives for recycling certain products. Some of these incentives include everything from discounts to a slightly newer, working version. If you’re in the construction business and have scrap metal lying in a unit somewhere, take it to the junkyard for a satisfying return. As an added bonus, you’ll free up a ton of space in your storage unit.

Donation

Finally, some things just won’t sell online or will have such low offering prices that it’s not worth the hassle. Keep a few boxes of items that you can’t sell in your storage unit and continually add to them throughout the year. Then, as the holidays approach, take your boxes to your nearest legally established donation center. Doing so will help you lower your taxable income and allow people who are less fortunate to buy your things at a highly discounted rate. Just make sure that you ask your donation center for a receipt so that you can use it when you file your tax forms the following year.

At the end of the day, however you choose to handle your stuff is your own choice. However, this list offers some of the best ways to make money off of your clutter and we hope that it will help with your endeavors. If you are starting this process and realize that you are running out of space, look into renting a self-storage unit like those at The Lock Up Self Storage. It is a great space to use for seasonal items, antiques and more. All of the units at The Lock Up are climate control, affordable and secure. With 24 hour video monitoring and perimeter alarms, you can be sure that your things are in good hands. Visit us at www.thelockup.com today to browse the available self storage units in your area today.

15 Unique Storage Tips to Help You Organize Your Home

Tips to Organize Your Home

People absolutely love organizing or despise it with a deep passion. It comes naturally to some while others stare off in disgust at how much their friend’s home resemble a magazine cutout. Whether you’re an organization pro or not, these 20 unique storage tips are guaranteed to help you in ways you could not imagine.

What we recommend doing is simply going from room to room and taking a look at everything. First, start sorting through the small knick-knacks you own. This will help you get in the mindset of decluttering and minimizing your home essentials. The benefit? Decreased stress, easier routines and less weekly cleanup time.

Go through each room and create different boxes for categorizing things. Try making a keep, store and donate box. Work through one room at a time in order to make these projects less intimidating. Once you’ve sorted everything, donate what you need to and put the rest in your self-storage unit. Then the fun begins! Check out our top 20 unique storage tips to help you organize your home.

  1. Repurpose Wine Racks

wine rack towel holderWine racks are great for holding wine, but we bet you’ve never considered using them in your bathroom. For a decorative, and space saving, addition to your bathroom transform wine racks into a bath towel holder.    It will add a bit of charm while freeing up tons of cabinet space that bulky towels use. Just make sure your towels aren’t too unsightly otherwise it makes for a poor addition.

 

  1. Organize Your Ornaments

One of the most frustrating things is trying to sort through all of your tangled, potentially broken, Christmas ornaments when the holidays roll around. We recommend recycling an old storage bin, making a few tweaks and putting it in your storage unit for the holidays. Check out an awesome tutorial here.

  1. Look at Shower Rings in a Whole New Light

If you have a shower curtain then you’re not stranger to the tiny plastic rings that are used to hold them up. However, we guarantee you’ve never tried using them for organizational purposes. Just attach them across a hanger and use them to hang everything from hats, scarves, purses and more.

  1. Get Creative with Tackle Boxes

Tackle boxes aren’t just for fishing anymore. If you live anywhere near a lake then you’ll enjoy its original purpose, but for everyone else, we still recommend purchasing one (or a few). Since they are nicely sealed boxes with a lot of different sized compartments inside, the opportunities for organization are endless. Store anything from batteries, first aid kits, kid’s crafts and more. Whatever fits, works and it’s so satisfying to see.

  1. Repurpose Empty Glass Bottles

Don’t spend a ton of money on fancy jewelry holders. If you have any bottles lying around, repurpose them – they are the perfect size and shape for bracelets. Simply put them on a shelf and slip your bracelets over the top. Try and fill them up to the top to hide the labels or you can remove them by following these easy instructions.

  1. Ice Cube Holders Double as Jewelry Storage

Those handy earring holders with the mesh-like backing are made for a purpose, but it can be such a hassle to put earrings back on them that they usually just end up in theice cube trays drawer organizers drawer. Once they’re in the drawer, the chances of them staying together are not very high. However, if you put a few ice cube holders in, all of your pairs of earrings are kept in order with an inexpensive and easy solution.

  1. Make Your Own Stylish Jewelry Organizer With Wood Trim and Everyday Thumb Tacks

Continuing in line with jewelry storage, you can easily create an appealing necklace holder in minutes. All you need is some simple wood trim, paint and your everyday thumbtacks. Cut the trim to your desired length, paint it to match your room and then paint the thumbtacks as well. You can also use nails, hooks, pegs and different kinds of wood to change up the style.

  1. Use Crown Moldings for Heels

Use crown molding to organize high heelsFor the ultimate closet space saver, get your shoes off of the ground. All you need is a leveler and some old crown molding for the perfect place to show off the collection of heels that have been gathering on the floor. Simply attach the crown moldings near your ceiling and hang your shoes up using the heels.

 

  1. Use Pegs for Sneakers and Shoes

The same idea can be applied to sneakers and other shoes. Instead of hanging crown moldings, you’ll need a pegboard. If you don’t have one lying around, they’re easy to make. Then, mount it your wall and you have a clean and organized entryway or closet.

  1. Install PVC Pipes for Styling Tools

Styling tools are basically just a jumbled mess of cords that are impossible to keep organized in a drawer. This problem is easily fixed by installing a few PVC pipes to the insides of your bathroom cabinet. PVC pipes have a perfect shape for curling irons, blow dryers and straighteners and you can install smaller pipes alongside them to hold the cords nicely.

  1. Store Cleaning Supplies with Shoe Organizers

Cleaning supplies can take up a lot of room and we want to keep them sanitized while we’re storing them. In order to save space and avoid germs building up, try cutting a plastic shoe organizer in half and hanging it on the inside of the door under your sink. You can even use the other half in the bathroom so you don’t waste precious cabinet space. Read more about how to DIY here.

  1. Cans Fit Perfectly in Magazine Holders

Do you remember those old magazine holders that everyone used to love? Chances are you still have a few hiding out somewhere in your home and if you do, you’re in luck. Canned goods actually fit perfectly inside of them. It’s a great way to optimize space in your pantry without having to shuffle everything around when you need something. If you can’t seem to find your old magazine holders, head to an office supply store and stock up.

  1. Rethink Your Cup Storage

Kitchen space is valuable and oftentimes not efficiently maximized. There is so much cabinet space available but no one ever has so many plates that they stack all the way to the top. This leaves you with a large useless gap. The best way to utilize this space is by rethinking how you store your cups. All you need to do is buy some cup hooks, screw them into the top of your shelves and hang teacups and coffee mugs from the top.

  1. Get Creative With Magnets

Magnets are great to include in your unique storage ideas for your home. They are self-adhesive to metal surfaces and don’t leave marks when they’re removed. You can put magnetic strips on just about anything and create tons of opportunities. For instance, try using the self-adhesive magnetic strip to store loose bobby pins inside of your medicine cabinet. Or try making some magnetic jars to stick to your fridge for storing small knick-knacks or spices.

  1. Repurpose Old Bungee Cords

The garage space is sacred, especially for the man of the house. However, as the summer months approach the space can get crowded with outdoor equipment, sports accessories and lawn care items. While you probably have a system in place for most of the big things, using bungee cords can help you fix the timeless problem of inefficiently storing sports equipment. All you need to do is attach bungee cords to shelving units and place everything inside. It may be easier with unfinished walls, but it’s still possible in a developed garage. Check out this example to see how you can update your sports storage.

If you use these great techniques in order to take your home organization to the next level, you’ll start to notice a difference immediately. While you’re organizing everything, you might find some things that you rarely use but don’t want to part with just yet. If that’s the case, consider renting out a self-storage unit. It’s the perfect way to keep your life decluttered so you can focus on what really matters. At The Lock Up Self Storage, all of the storage units are secure, affordable and climate controlled. No matter what storage needs you have, you’re sure to find a solution at The Lock Up. Head over to www.thelockup.com to browse our available storage units today.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Your Home’s Appeal

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spring clean your home to add appeal

Whether you’re looking to move or just wanting to start the warmer months off with a clean home, spring cleaning is the perfect time to start things off on the right foot. Unfortunately, a lot of people just don’t know where to start. They think that spring cleaning is just another routine to make sure nothing looks dirty.

However, good spring cleaning involves getting down and dirty in order to address areas of your home that are otherwise overlooked. Take your cleaning to the next level with our top 5 spring cleaning tips to boost your home’s appeal.

1.Embrace Minimalism

The first thing we recommend doing in your spring cleaning routine is embracing minimalism. Go through all of your things and decide whether or not you really need it. A home with too much stuff is always harder to clean.

Declutter

There’s nothing good about having a cluttered home. It increases stress levels, makes it difficult to find things and in general isn’t very fun to look at. That’s why we recommend dedicating a good portion of your spring cleaning routine to decluttering your home.

Unfortunately, when it comes to decluttering, a lot of people don’t know how to properly start. Once they get going, it gets much easier. Check out this creative article that offers great tips or head to your local library and pick up a copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo. If there are things that you don’t necessarily need in your home, but don’t want to get rid of, renting a self-storage space is a great alternative.

Organize Closets

In the essence of decluttering your home, head into your closet and apply the same mindset. A lot of us have an overbearing amount of clothes, shoes and accessories that don’t see the light of day for years.clean closet

Start by organizing things by season. If you have tons of bulky, winter clothes, pack them up in some storage bins and put them into your self-storage unit. It’s much more relaxing to have those out of the way when you’re trying to sort through your warm weather clothes.

Next, go through each piece of spring clothing. If there are holes, rips or unsightly stains it might be time to toss them. The same mindset applies for clothes that don’t fit or you no longer enjoy. For the remaining clothes, try this cool trick to see if you’ll really wear it again.

2. Deep Clean Ceilings, Walls and Floors

A lot of people remember how important it is to clean your floors because they’re always being used and are constantly in your line of sight. However, walls and ceilings shouldn’t be overlooked. Dust and dirt builds up overtime and while they may not look dirty, they probably are. Put aside some extra time during spring cleaning for all three major surfaces in your home.

As a point of recommendation, start with your ceiling. This way, as you work your way down the dirt and debris will continue falling downward rather than sticking to freshly cleaned areas. It is by far the most efficient way of cleaning.

One thing you might want to consider when you start this process is removing any popcorn ceilings in your home. These ceilings are outdated and have a reputation for decreasing the value of your home. Just keep in mind that this process can be very time-consuming, so prepare to set aside a good amount of time.

When you start cleaning, first use a vacuum cleaner with a long extension to get all of the cobwebs out of corners, light fixtures and fans. If there are any marks on your ceiling, get your ladder out and scrub them clean. This is especially noticeable in kitchens where there is a potential for food to splatter.Spring cleaning

After you finish the ceilings, do the same for your walls. When you’re done you won’t believe your eyes.

Finally, move on to your cleaning carpets and floors. If you haven’t deep cleaned your carpets in a while, it’s worth doing. Deep cleaning helps restore the original quality of your carpet from old and drab to new and vibrant. It’s also a perfect time to change up your furniture arrangement for a new look.

Clean your hardwood floors last and consider a polishing treatment.

3. Scrub Your Appliances

Spring cleaning is all about giving things a fresh start for the warmer months through deep cleaning. Sometimes it can be hard to remember to clean things that aren’t always seen, but we’re here to remind you. That means it’s time to give all of your kitchen appliances a good scrub.

Oven

Cleaning your oven can be time intensive, but is always worth it especially if you use it frequently. Luckily, with bicarbonate of soda, you can take out most of the grime with elbow grease.

Cleaning your oven for home resale valueBicarbonate of soda is essentially baking soda without the raising agents added. Just mix a small amount of bicarbonate of soda with water and spray it inside of your oven. Leave overnight, wake up and wipe it down. Afterwards you can run the oven in self-cleaning mode for an extra boost in case you missed anything.

Refrigerator

We don’t clean our refrigerators as often as we should, but that’s what spring cleaning is for. To start, take everything out so that you can clean more efficiently. If you have removable shelves and drawers, remove those as well. Then tackle the build up with your favorite cleaning agent. Toothbrushes work especially well for sticky stains and you can finish with lemon wedges to naturally kill any bad odors.

Microwave

An easy trick to deep clean your microwave is by using steam. It helps to loosen any old food, grease and grime and can be done with minimal effort. All you need to do is put a bowl of equal parts vinegar and water in the microwave for 10 minutes. After, simply wipe it clean with a cloth.

HVAC

Finally, never overlook your HVAC System. Use this time to get a tune up for your furnace and air conditioning so that everything is in working order. It’s always better to keep up with small maintenance than to wait until things turn into expensive problems.

4. Fix Any Problems

During the colder months there is a lot of opportunity for problems to arise. With the changing temperatures, intense weather and safety concerns for fixing outdoor issues, it is sometimes best to wait until spring. When the weather warms up use it as an opportunity. Fix any holes, pipes or general structural issues.

If it seems like you can’t do it on your own, don’t skimp on hiring a professional. It will cost you less in the long run.

5. Don’t Forget Exterior Maintenance

Finally, don’t forget about the outside of your home. Exterior maintenance is extremely important for spring cleaning in order to keep your home’s curb appeal high.

Wash Away Dirt

Start by washing away any dirt that has built up on your sidewalks, siding or porches. Rent, or borrow, a power washer in order to efficiently clean any pathways but always be careful. You can easily damage things if you misuse the pressure.

Revamp Your Driveway

After you’ve washed away all of the dirt you’ll be better able to see if there are any damages. If there are small cracks or holes patch or reseal them before a major renovation is needed. If there is major damage, consider getting it redone.

Refresh Your Yard

Move onto your yard in order to add a noticeable amount of appeal to your home. Get your yard work tools out of your self storage unit and trim, cut, feed, weed, mulch, plant and groom your garden and shrubbery cleaning yard for home resale valuefor a fresh makeover. Collect all of your clippings and put them in a bag to be picked up by your community. If you don’t have any flowers already, head to your home department or garden store to add some color to your yard.

Make Your Windows Shine

In order to let all of the glorious natural light of spring into your home, make sure your windows are ready. Replace any broken panes and clean windows from both the inside and outside. All you need is some fresh water, vinegar, detergent and a lint-free rag or squeegee.

Put on a Fresh Coat of Paint

If throughout your cleaning you’ve noticed that your home’s paint job is starting to look aged, consider giving it a fresh coat. A fresh coat of paint helps increase your home’s value and is easily the most noticeable way to make your home’s appeal sparkle.fresh coat of paint for home resale

If you’ve decided to take a proactive approach to spring cleaning in order to increase your home’s appeal then these steps are sure to help. Don’t forget, the less cluttered your home is during staging, the more likely prospective buyers will be able to picture themselves building a home there. If you’re simply cleaning to prepare for the warmer months, then keep an eye out for out-of-season clothes and décor or things you simply don’t use often. A storage unit is a perfect way to keep things accessible but out of the way. The Lock Up Self Storage has something for everyone’s budgets and are all secure and climate controlled. Head over to www.thelockup.com to browse the selections in your area today.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Self-Storage Facility

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interior of generic self storage unit

People use self-storage facilities for endless reasons. They are far more commonly owned than people may think. For instance, if you need to downsize, if your home just doesn’t have enough storage, if you’re moving or if you’re flipping homes you’ll need a storage unit.

If you find yourself in need of a self-storage unit, make sure that you do some research first. It’s important to ask questions and make an educated decision based on your individual needs and the amenities of the company you’re interested in. Luckily, we’ve come to the rescue with our list of the top 10 questions to ask your self-storage facility before making a decision.

  1. Do you have security code access?

When storing your things in a self-storage unit, it’s important to know that things will stay secure. The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your valuables are safe. That’s why one of the first questions you should ask your self-storage facility is whether or not there is a security code accessible gate.

Having this type of gate allows you to store your things in a private facility that cannot be accessed by anyone who does not own their own unit. When you have a computer-controlled security code access it means that you can be sure only customers will be entering the lot. Another benefit of security code access is that it actually records each and every access – verifying who enters and at what time. Since all of the activity is recorded, it deters potential theft between neighbors and allows you to check the activity log if tragedy strikes.

In addition to security code access, you can ask if your self-storage facility has any options for digital video recording or CCTV monitoring security. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, cameras deter thieves. It’s as simple as that. Second, if there is any type of break in, it will be recorded and logged so that the police have a greater chance of identifying and prosecuting them.

  1. Are there alarms pre-installed in each unit?

The second question you should ask your self-storage facility is whether or not there are individual alarms installed in each storage unit. This is important because sometimes, the facility will have an alarm simply for the building and not for each unit. When you have individual alarms, it is easier to realize whose unit was broken into and helps identify the police faster. There are benefits to both, and you might not need individual alarms, but you should ask so that you know what you are paying for.

When it comes to individual alarms, keep in mind that you can often be notified immediately. It is essentially a burglar alarm for your storage unit. There are a lot of benefits to having these types of alarm systems at self-storage units, but usually if a company doesn’t have individual alarms it is because they have taken other measures to ensure that your unit is safe. You can also install your own remotely monitored alarm system if you’d like. This way, you can monitor your things from your mobile device.

Like we said, it all comes down to personal preference so keep this on the list to ask your self-storage facility and go from there.

  1. Are there any deals or specials currently running?

So, now that you understand the security of the company you’re looking at, it’s time to figure out pricing. The best way to approach this is to ask if there are currently any deals or specials. Some facilities run continuous deals for new tenants, some run big discounts depending on the season or event and some do both. The best way to find out is to simply ask.how to find a self storage unit

For example, at The Lock Up Self Storage there are always rental discounts and special offers. One running offer is a free-moving truck with every new lease to help you get your things comfortably into storage.

  1. Can I lock in this price or will it increase over time?

It’s always frustrating when you sign up for something because of the price… only to find out that it will continually increase over time. Therefore, make sure you ask your self-storage representative this question. If you sign into a contract, will you price remain the same? What about if you don’t want to sign up for a long term contract and prefer to determine your needs month-by-month? Each of these things will make a difference.

One thing to consider before asking about prices is what your needs actually are. Consider how much space you really need in order to store your items safely. It’s no surprise that more space is usually more expensive, so it’s important to only rent what you need. If you’re a bit lost, see if there is anyone on staff that can help you determine your needs. The best self-storage facilities offer different sizes so that you don’t get stuck paying for wasted space.

  1. Are the units climate controlled?

Regardless of what you need to store in your unit, you’ll probably want to find something that’s climate controlled. The benefits of storing things in controlled climates far surpass non-controlled units. Climate controlled units allow you to store a variety of your objects without worrying about them being damaged due to extreme temperatures. You are able to personally control your temperature, which also helps with moisture control and decreases damages to your items.

If you live in an area with a steady climate that doesn’t reach extreme temperatures, you may be able to pass on climate-controlled units. The price differences vary; so if you want to save a few dollars consider your location. Usually, your self-storage facility will be honest with you about whether or not you’ll benefit from a climate-controlled unit.

  1. Is there a manager on duty or at least on call every day of the week?

Sometimes things happen and you’ll want to talk to a manager. Maybe you’re having a problem with your unit or an emergency is happening. Whichever it may be, ask your prospective companies whether or not there will be a manager that is on duty every day during the week. If they’re not on duty and working on site, see if they are able to be on call for emergencies. Oftentimes you’ll find that family owned and operated companies are more readily available for their customers.

  1. If I need to talk to someone, will it be with a local employee or someone at a call center?

This question falls in line with the aspect of speaking to a manager. However, it relates more to localized personal rather than higher up positions. Imagine you need to speak with someone so you give the company a call at their number. Sometimes, it is directed to a call center with foreign workers who might not understand your personal question because it deals with a localized aspect. It can be a little frustrating talking to someone new each time who doesn’t understand the problems associated with your city or storage facility location. Big companies might even have automated answering systems, which we all loathe. Ask your facility if there is a local number to call or if you’ll need to go through a call center. There are pros and cons to both, but again, you’ll want to know the answer prior to committing.

  1. Can I set up payments online?

People have started moving from paying paper bills to completely online payments. It’s convenient, saves paper and allows you to set up automatic payments. With the rise of online business, it’s very likely that how to find a self storage unityou’ll be able to pay for your storage unit online. However, it’s important to ask just to be sure. It would be very difficult to manage your unit from across the country, or even the world, with paper bills.

  1. Is my unit accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

When you have full access to a storage unit it means that you’re able to access it regardless of the time of day or day of the year. For some people, this isn’t important. For others, it’s everything. Make sure that you ask your prospective facility whether or not you’ll have access to your things after store hours have ended.

  1. Is there action taken against pest control

Finally, talk to your self-storage facility about pest control. It often goes overlooked when thinking about long-term self-storage, but it can make a huge difference. If you’re storing clothes or other fabrics, pest control can help make sure that you’re items aren’t ruined by moths and other pesky pests. Ask them if this is an option or what they do to help prevent pest invasions.

If you’re looking for a great self-storage facility that can answer all of these questions and more then head on over to The Lock Up Self Storage. The Lock Up Self Storage is a family owned and operated self-storage facility that has been in business since 1976. We have tons of different options for each and every budget and need. All of our units are climate controlled and have video monitoring for added security. Give us a call today so we can walk you through our process, or head over to www.thelockup.com.

How to Store Antique Furniture

how to store antiques

Antique furniture is a great asset to many people’s lives. They can be family heirlooms, conversation starters or precious collections from special moments in your life. Whatever they may be, they’re always fragile. Weathering, deterioration and time take a toll on our furniture and we need to take that into consideration.

This is especially true when you look into storing your antique furniture. You may need to store your furniture if you’re going through a move, downsizing temporarily or redesigning your home. Whatever the reason, make sure you do it right. Take a look at our tips on how to store antique furniture to ensure that you keep it in great shape.

Environment Matters

Storing your every day furniture requires a certain controlled environment. It is no different with antique furniture. In fact, it is much more important to pay attention to the environmental conditions of your storage fachow to store antique sideboardility with delicate pieces, as they tend to be affected much easier. For this reason, we recommend avoiding storage in the basement or in attics, as neither are optimally controlled environments. In order to keep your antique furniture looking like new, take the following factors into consideration.

 

Air Moisture

One of the most harmful things for your antique furniture is a high level of humidity. This is especially true if your antique furniture is made of wood. When wood furniture is exposed to high levels of moisture in the air, the pores and fibers begin to expand and burst. When the levels of moisture are too low, wood dries out and cracks. The more the levels of moisture in the air change, the more likely that the integrity of your wood will be beyond repair. If you’re storing your antiques, you can combat damage with controlling the levels of moisture in the air. Find a climate controlled unit and your humidity will remain constant.

Temperature

Having control of the temperature when you go to store your antique furniture is important. This is why it is not recommended to store in your home, as things fluctuate with the changing seasons and preferences of your family. Luckily, it’s easy to find a self-storage facility with temperature control. Find one that maintains a constant temperature somewhere between 50-80 degrees. This will help keep your antique furniture preserved for years to come.

Light Exposure

There are three different types of lights, a mixture of both natural and artificial, which can cause damage to your furniture. This happens slowly over time but once this damage is done, it is irreversible. It’s more important for antique furniture than other pieces of furniture, since they are likely to have already gone through years of bad exposure. In order to limit any more damage, finding a storage unit with lighting control is ideal. The best option is finding an indoor self-storage unit so that you can limit and control the light that reaches your things. Avoid any ultraviolet lighting conditions, as they are the most damaging to antique furniture. Additionally, try to find a unit with no florescent lighting. Whenever you can control is best. When storing your furniture make sure that the lights in your unit remain off – save energy and your furniture at the same time. You can even go the extra mile and cover your furniture with light-blocking materials.

Security

Sometimes storage units are located in less than ideal areas and don’t take any additional security measures to protect your things. Find a self-storage unit that goes the extra mile. Look for companies that have alarm systems in place, CCTV accessibility and connectivity to the local police.

Handle With Care

how to store antiquesThe next thing you want to remember is that you need to handle your antique furniture with care. While the storage conditions are important, making sure that items are not damaged during the move into storage is even more important. Imagine damaging your antiques, storing them and only realizing so once you start moving things out again. It would be devastating, and a costly investment for less than ideal pieces of furniture. Value of antiques decline as the damage increases, so if you’re storing for monetary value this is even more important. 

Clean

We first recommend cleaning all of your antique furniture. This will take off layers of built up dust and make sure that things go into storage in their best conditions.

You can start by simply wiping down all of your furniture with a clean cloth. Afterwards, make sure you use a material-specific type of cleaner for each of your items. Don’t clean wood with a glass cleaner and vice versa. Each piece of antique furniture has a unique composition and in order to keep things in good condition, you should not ignore this. After using the right cleaner, wipe down your furniture one more time to make sure that you’ve removed any harsh chemical residue.

After you wipe everything down and clean it, make sure you give your furniture an adequate amount of time to properly dry. If you skip this step, you could end up with trapped moisture, mold, discoloration and irreversible damage.

Prepare

After you clean everything, you’ll want to prepare your antique furniture for storage. The easiest way to do this is by disassembling anything that you can so that transportation is easy and you decrease your chances of damage. For anything that’s large and has drawers, make sure that they are empty. You can then remove the drawers for transportation in order to decrease the weight of your move. If you have tables, beds or sofas that have removable parts, take them off. It will make storage easier and will reduce the strain on your items over time.

Cover

Next, you’ll want to make sure that things are adequately covered for storage. Protecting your furniture with the right materials will decrease the amount of dust buildup in storage along with reducing damage from things touching. Each type of furniture usually has a material that works best with it, but as a general rule: never cover your furniture in plastic. Antique furniture needs to be able to breathe and if you restrict the airflow you could end up with more problems than you’d think.

For instance, when you store things covered in plastic, you’ll open up your furniture to mold, mildew, cracking, splitting, warping and an all around bad smell. This trapped moisture can accumulate even if you’ve made sure that everything was 100% dry prior to storage. Another problem that occurs is the finish getting stuck to your furniture. This means, when you take off the plastic, the finish will come off with it and you’ll need to refurbish everything.

You can do a little bit of research on which type of cover is best for each material, however blankets, soft cloths and furniture pads are always a great option. 

Store Carefully

Just as you need to take special care in preparing your antique furniture for storage, you should take special care in actually putting things into your unit. Consider the following tips.

Organize

After you’ve taken the required measures to prepare your antique furniture, it’s time to consider your storage options. How you put your furniture into a storage unit does matter. It’s almost like a puzzle and you’ll want to remember that once it’s full, things in the back are difficult to access. In order to keep accessibility easy for items that you may need, keep them out until last so that they can be stored at the front of your unit.

Protect

Never, ever, ever stack your antique furniture. It is a risk that you Don't stack antique furnituredon’t want to take. While it does save a ton of space in your unit, stacking furniture can cause permanent imprints on each other. Stacking furniture is also one of the most common reasons that antiques end up breaking. They are old, and can’t hold up as much pressure as they once could. Stay safe and keep furniture in the position they were intended for. You can also leave some space between each piece of your furniture so that you can allow airflow to move throughout your unit. Doing this also gives you a layer of security in accidental damage.

Consider Insurance

Finally, even if you’ve taken all of the safety measures in ensuring that your antique furniture is safe and sound, you should consider insurance. Things don’t always go as planned, and if your furniture is valuable you’ll want to protect it. Insure your antique furniture prior to storage so that your things are protected from the beginning. It is not as expensive as you might think and can protect against a myriad of disasters.

If you are considering storing your antique furniture, always make sure that you find a storage unit you can trust. At The Lock Up Self Storage, we offer climate controlled and secured storage units that will perfectly compliment your storage needs. We have a multitude of different options for each personalized budget and storage needs. It’s an investment that is sure to pay off, especially when storing precious antique furniture. Visit www.thelockup.com to look through all of our available self-storage units.

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