Monday, July 15, 2019
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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.

Keeping Your Nostalgia: How to Store Sentimental Items the Right Way

We all have things that we hold near and dear to our hearts. For some, it’s a number of family heirlooms, for others, it’s the nostalgic collections or toys we had growing up. Sentimental items are different for everyone, but they carry a very special meaning. Rather than selling everything or tossing them aside to find room for something new, there are ways to keep your nostalgia. Instead of letting boxes of things pile up in your closets or in a dingy basement, you need to store your sentimental items the right way, especially if you want them to last.

The best way to do this is to set aside some time to go through everything. If that means aKeeping Your Nostalgia: How to Store Sentimental Items the Right Way whole day, great! If you need a week, that’s okay too. Break it up and just keep moving forward once you start. Eventually you will make progress. Storing your sentimental items will give you more livable space while protecting the things that mean the most to you. That’s why we’ve put together an article on everything you need to do, from start to finish, to store your sentimental items the right way.

Learn to Let Go

In recent years, Marie Kondo has come out with a book, and a Netflix series, that explains the importance of tidying up by decluttering your home and your life. Her method, the KonMari Method, even extends to sentimental items and things you may find hard to let go. Her explanation lies on the fact that you should focus on creating moments and memories rather than holding onto every little thing you’ve acquired throughout the years.

However, that doesn’t mean you need to get rid of absolutely everything that holds any meaning to you. Instead, go through your items and learn how to let go—even if it only means moving things from your home into your self storage unit. Our lives are filled with things and sometimes those things take away from our moments, but they don’t have to. The first step in keeping your nostalgia by learning to let go is to figure out what you can move to your self storage unit.

Keeping Your Nostalgia: How to Store Sentimental Items the Right WayThis might take some time. If you have a lot of sentimental items currently stored in your home, you’ll need to go through them and decide exactly what you want to keep at home and what is okay to be moved to a self storage unit. This isn’t you abandoning them; it’s you freeing up your life to allow more in. Go through all of your sentimental items during this process. This will give you a chance to look at everything you have and see what is really important to you. You may even find that some things that once held sentimental value don’t carry as strong of value anymore. If so, create a sold and donate pile in addition to your self storage pile. Remember, you’re not giving away the memory; you’re just making space for more.

One great option for downsizing your sentimental items is to give them away to a loved Keeping Your Nostalgia: How to Store Sentimental Items the Right Wayone. We don’t want to encourage you pawning off all of your things to your friends, but sometimes, sentimental items can hold value for more than one person. If you’ve had something for a long time, giving it to a loved one is a great way to re-spark the nostalgia and pass along the memories. Baby toys or clothes can be given to a loved one who is expecting, artwork can be given to a friend or family who will actually hang it somewhere, and furniture that’s not being used can be passed on to someone who needs it. Spreading the joy with sentimental items is a great way to keep things close to your heart and share the memories with your closest companions.

Organization

The process of learning to let go is also a great time to start your organization. More often than not, your current sentimental items are strewn about randomly in boxes throughout your home. Some are in the back of closets while others wait alone in a dark basement for years. If you’re going to keep your sentimental items, you should store them the right way… with care. While you’re going through everything and deciding what to keep, what to store, and what to sell or donate, make a list of what you have. Create categories and be detailed. Doing this will help you get organized and figure out what the best way to store each of your sentimental items will be.

Keeping Your Nostalgia: How to Store Sentimental Items the Right WayCategories also let you see what you have a lot of. It may even make you realize that you have a few different meaningful collections on your hands. However, as with most collections, things are probably kept out of sight and therefore out of mind. Instead, look through each collection and find your favorite item. Take that item out of the pile of the rest and set it aside to be kept in your home and displayed rather than hidden away. Put the rest in your self storage unit in a neatly labeled box or bin. Now when you see the one item from the collection, you’ll think of the sentiment behind the entire collection and be reminded of all of the other pieces you own. The one piece will bring you joy and nostalgia without cluttering your home and taking up valuable living space. Whenever you want to bask in that nostalgia, you’ll know it’s an easy trip to the self storage unit.

Another good idea is creating albums and digitalizing pictures. If you were born before theKeeping Your Nostalgia: How to Store Sentimental Items the Right Way year 2000, you probably have years and years of photo albums somewhere in your home. How often do you take them out and look through them? We’re not saying get rid of these precious moments, but instead, consider digitalizing them or making one big, concise album. When you digitalize them, you can set them as your desktop’s screensaver and reminisce on special moments every day. When you consolidate them, it’s more likely that you’ll actually flip through a book rather than needing to set aside a full day to get through a few years. You can even create scrapbooks that incorporate small mementos you’ve kept that correspond with milestones in your life or your children’s lives. The rest of the pictures don’t have to be destroyed! Just move them to your self storage unit where they’re safe, secure, and easy to get to whenever you need them.

Packing Sentimental Items for Safekeeping

Once you’ve decided what will stay in your home and what will be moved to your self storage unit, you need to pack each individual item for safekeeping. Doing this will ensure that all of your things are protected and safe both during the move and in storage. If you have any fragile items or antiques, make sure they’re packed with care and wrapped with an extra layer of protection. Use vacuum-sealed bags for any old clothing and load up on heavy-duty plastic storage bins for all of your collections and larger items. Every sentimental item should be stored depending on what it is. Store like things with each other and keep collections together. Remember to stay organized and always keep your bins labeled so that it’s easy to find things when you need them.

Keeping Your Nostalgia: How to Store Sentimental Items the Right WayIf you have a shoebox full of cards, pack them up for easy retrieval and admiring. Head to your craft store and pick up a binder with card inserts. Put all your cards inside the inserts and then pack them away. This is a much easier way to store your cards and will extend their lifespan.

After packing everything up, it’s time to move to your self storage unit. Hopefully, your sentimental items don’t fill an entire moving truck, but if they do, The Lock Up Self Storage has you covered. With all new self storage unit leases, you’re able to use a moving truck free of charge. For those that don’t need a moving truck, we’ve still got great deals on self storage units of all sizes and for all budgets.

The Lock Up Self Storage has low monthly rates, affordable leasing options, and all of the security you want and need in a storage facility. All of our locations are fully equipped with perimeter alarms, motion-sensor lighting systems, coded access gates, and 24/7 video monitoring to protect all of your things, regardless of the time of day. If you’re ready to keep your nostalgia and store your sentimental items the right way, The Lock Up is here to help. Give us a call or browse our available units in your area. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team. We’d be more than happy to help you find the perfect storage unit for your sentimental items and more today!

The 10 Best Storage and Organization Tips for a Clutter-Free Kitchen

The 10 Best Storage and Organization Tips for a Clutter-Free Kitchen

Your kitchen is the heart and soul of your home. It’s often where the most time is spent whether you’re preparing for the day, eating a home-cooked meal with your loved ones, or getting ready for tomorrow. With that being said, your kitchen takes a lot of wear and tear and if it’s not regularly maintained, it’s quick to dirty. When your kitchen is dirty, it creates a feeling of chaos and can be hard to focus on anything other than cleaning it up. Having a messy or cluttered kitchen carries into your day and creates feelings of anxiety and stress rather than feelings of comfort and security. That’s not what a kitchen should do. It should make you feel at ease and at home. Instead of spending hours and hours continually cleaning a never-ending mess, there are a few things you can do. To help combat the clutter, here are the 10 best storage and organization tips for a clutter-free kitchen.

1. Always Keep Clean Countertops

The 10 Best Storage and Organization Tips for a Clutter-Free KitchenThe golden rule of maintaining a clutter-free kitchen is to always keep the countertops clean and clear. Having appliances on the counter top is the tip of the ice burg—it’s an invitation for things to be left out. Instead, keep your countertops as clear as possible. Store appliances in easy to reach areas and keep out only the absolute necessities. Doing this will give your kitchen an overall feeling of order and will help you to maintain other good habits.

Instead of dropping off your mail, keys, purse, or other contents onto your countertop when you walk in the door, have a place for everything. It’s easy to slip down the slope when you start leaving small things out. Try to break your bad counter top habits by being mindful for a week and putting things away right when you walk in the door. You’ll quickly notice how a clean, clutter-free countertop helps emanate an overall clutter-free feeling for the whole kitchen.

2. Declutter Your Refrigerator

The same mentality can be applied to your refrigerator. Yes, it’s a great place to store schedules, drawings, pictures, or reminders, but it will create chaos in your kitchen. Even when your kitchen is perfectly clean, a cluttered refrigerator will make you feel like you still need to do something. We’re not suggesting you put all of your children’s artwork or important save the dates directly into a drawer, but there are other ways to display them.

One way to display them is by creating an organization board or bulletin board that hangs in your entryway, mudroom, or a nearby hallway. This will give you the same effect without the feeling of having a messy kitchen. Plus, if it’s on the way out of the house you’ll be more likely to check it for important dates or to-do list items before starting your day.

3. Use Your Cabinets Wisely

The 10 Best Storage and Organization Tips for a Clutter-Free KitchenStrategic planning goes a long way with cabinets. To make things easier, and increase the chances you won’t leave things out on your counters, store things based on their use. If you always take out the blender and use it in a specific area of your kitchen, store it near that area. Utilize doors, cabinets, and drawers based on your kitchen work zones and it’ll make prep and clean up a breeze. The easier it is to get something out, the easier it is to put it away.

4. Dedicate a Junk Drawer

Bad habits are hard to break. We all carry around things with us that need a place to be thrown when we get home. Our favorite place for all of those miscellaneous items is the infamous junk drawer! Having a junk drawer is like having a cheat day in the midst of a health kick. It’s our secret place to maintain the messiness without making us want to pull out our hair. Dedicate one drawer in your kitchen to being a junk drawer and then contain your mess inside that one drawer.

5. Put Things Away

If you’re used to making dinner, eating, and then putting things away, try and change your habits. Try and put things away as you use them. This means dishes, appliances, spices, or whatever it is you need. If you take it out, use it and then put it right back. Doing so will decrease your clean up time and the chances that you’ll save it for later after you’ve taken some time to rest. Don’t put it down after you’ve used it… just put it away.

6. Keep a Clear Kitchen Sink

The 10 Best Storage and Organization Tips for a Clutter-Free KitchenSimilarly to how keeping a clean counter makes your entire kitchen look less cluttered, keeping a clean sink has the same effect. When dishes pile up it’s frustrating and flat out disgusting. Who knows what are on those plates at the bottom of the sink and that thought makes you want to take care of it less and less. Don’t let old food cake to dirty dishes for hours at a time. Rinse them off after you’ve used them and put them straight in the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, just wash them right then and there. Trust us, this makes a huge difference! Instill these habits on your family members too for an even easier time keeping your kitchen clean.

7. Get Rid of Extras

How many sets of plates do you own? Are your coffee cups so abundant that you haven’t even seen the ones at the back of your cabinet in years? If so, get rid of the extras. You don’t have to throw them out, but moving them to your self storage unit will give you the space you need for a calm and clutter-free mind. Go through your appliances, pots and pans, and utensils to do the same.

8. Plan Your Meals

A lot of kitchens are overflowing with spices, ingredients, and recipes. Start planning your meals to reduce the clutter in your cabinets and refrigerator. This way, you’ll consciously only buy what you need and you’ll stop stocking up on things that you’ll never use or finish.

9. Have a Mail Zone

The 10 Best Storage and Organization Tips for a Clutter-Free KitchenIn most homes, the kitchen is the first stop when coming in from a long day. If you have the mail in your hand, chances are you’ll just toss it on the counter. Instead of creating hundreds of random piles of paper stacked throughout your kitchen, dedicate a zone for mail and paperwork. Get a nice organizer and start using it everyday. Now you have a mail zone! This keeps everything in one place without looking overly cluttered or disorganized. Plus, you’ll save yourself a headache and stop having to run around looking for a specific piece of paper every few days.

10. Develop Kitchen Rituals

The 10 Best Storage and Organization Tips for a Clutter-Free KitchenDuring this whole process, try and develop rituals. Bad habits are hard to break so go easy on yourself if things don’t immediately work out perfectly. Take the time to replace bad habits with good ones and continue to work at them. The same mentality should be applied across your whole family. Teach your kids, and your partner, healthy kitchen rituals and instill good habits early on. This will reduce your workload and keep you stress free and clutter free. Have a morning ritual and an evening ritual that works for your family and your lifestyle and then stick to it.

Even with these storage and organization tips for a clutter-free kitchen, you might find that your kitchen is still overflowing with excess. Rather than get rid of it, consider renting out a self storage unit. You can store holiday kitchenware, extra sets of plates, or even those rare cooking gadgets that only come out a few times a year. A deep fryer is an awesome accessory to have, but you don’t necessarily need it taking up half of a cabinet for the whole year. Luckily, The Lock Up Self Storage offers a number of safe and secure storage units that fit any budget. We have a variety of different sizes and will work with you to find exactly what you need. All of our self storage units are protected by a number of security features like perimeter alarms and individually coded access gates. They’re also all climate controlled so that your things are protected year round, regardless of the weather outside. No matter what storage solutions you need, you’ll find a solution at The Lock Up. Give us a call today or browse our available storage units located near you!

 

How to Guide: Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Moving Truck

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How to Guide: Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Moving Truck

Moving can be stressful. It takes a lot of organization, time, and sometimes money. When moving day finally approaches, certain people are elated while others prepare for their least favorite day of the year. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or across the country; renting a moving truck will make your life easier. However, a lot of people struggle to pack and drive their moving truck without professional help. What needs to go in first? Should you stack items from floor to ceiling? What do you do when you get stuck on a hill? How are you going to get from point A to point B? How exactly can you maximize the efficiency of your moving truck?

First of all, it’s important to feel comfortable behind the wheel. Additionally, rather than waste time with multiple trips, you should focus on your packing so you can get everything finished in one. This not only helps things go smoothly during the move, it also makes things easier once you arrive to your new home. Let’s explore the art of maximizing your moving truck’s efficiency to learn more.

Plan Your Route

The best way to increase efficiency is to take a look at your route ahead of time. When you get the truck, drive it home, and immediately get to work without checking the route, you run the risk of last minute problems. If you’re not going very far, this is not as important. If your going to be driving somewhere that’s at least an hour away, don’t skip this step.

We live in a world of constant construction and when you’re operating a giant movingHow to Guide: Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Moving Truck truck, you might want to consider planning routes around any major areas undergoing large projects. This not only avoids delays, it allows you to stay confident while driving a vehicle you’re not used to driving. When you look things up ahead of time, you can make sure you won’t run into any problems and if there are any, make appropriate detours using a calm and strategic approach. It’s not fun sitting in merging traffic while fumbling around with the GPS looking for another route.

You’ll also need to make a plan for where you’re going to park the truck, especially if the trip will take more than one day. Depending on the size of your moving truck, overnight parking may be limited. When you get to your new place, you’ll also need to assess the best place for unloading. Figuring this out ahead of time will save you a lot of stress and angry honking neighbors!

Once you’ve unpacked, have a plan for where you’ll return or drop off your moving truck.

Get Comfortable Behind the Wheel

After you’ve done some planning, take the time to get yourself comfortable behind the wheel. Since driving yourself is much cheaper than renting drivers and a truck, it’s our go-to option. However, larger trucks are much harder to handle—especially if you drive a smaller car regularly.

How to Guide: Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Moving TruckInstead of waiting until the big day to see how you do, take a long detour on the way home from picking it up to get yourself comfortable. On roads with higher speed limits, stay close to 65 mph or less to avoid major weight shifts or strains on the truck. Don’t worry about the other cars passing you by, just focus on yourself and the road. A few other tips include putting the truck in neutral when you’re stopped at a light to help save gas and taking your foot off of the gas if you’re stopped on a hill. Both of these will reduce engine strain and make things easier to handle. Don’t be afraid to turn off the engine completely if you’re stopped for long periods of time, such as during long traffic lights or while waiting for a train to pass.

If you start driving and find that it’s too much or too difficult to maneuver, head back to the rental company and see if there is a smaller option that can fit your belongings. You don’t want to push yourself too far!

Preparing Your Things

Once you get home, you’re ready to start packing your truck. Before doing this, take theHow to Guide: Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Moving Truck time to properly disassemble all of the necessary furniture and appliances, clean, and pack everything into their respective boxes. Don’t forget to clearly label each of the boxes to make packing and unpacking easier. It’s also a good way to let the people helping you know what’s fragile and what’s not. Doing this before you get the truck will not only help save you time and money, it will help you determine what size truck you really need. During packing, keep clear paths for walking and maneuvering through your current home and try to migrate all of the big items towards the door they’ll be exiting out of.

If you live in a suburban area, have your helpers start moving things outside so they’ll be right in front of the truck and easier to load. If you live in a city, get things to the front room or have someone sit outside your place to watch your things as people are bringing them out.

To read more information about some great packing tips, check out our article here.

Packing the Truck

How to Guide: Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Moving TruckNow that you’ve taken the time to prepare everything, it’s time for the best part: packing the truck! The most efficient way to move is only making one trip so packing the truck might resemble a little strategic Tetris. Before you start putting things wherever they fit here and there, you want to get all of the heaviest and largest items into the back of the truck. Doing so will give you a good weight distribution and a firm foundation for adding lighter items. Place all of these items in an upright position to save the most space. Vertical space is harder to use when things aren’t secure so take advantage of putting your heavy items – the ones least likely to move during transit – in the truck vertically. Use as much or as little extra padding as you need, but make sure things are protected and secure before driving. Moving straps are a great way to do this. We recommended securing one section down at a time and working from the back to the front for the most efficient loading.

Stack lighter things on top of the heavy furniture. Try to stack things as high as possible without compromising stability. As long as they’re secure, it will be fine. You’ll be using space more efficiently with a truck packed to the rim, so don’t be afraid to really get in there. The moving truck should come with straps and packing essentials, otherwise it’s a good idea to rent them separately. The essential items you’ll need for moving day include a dolly, extra furniture wrappings, bubble wrap, straps, packing tape, blankets that can be used for extra protection, and a sharpie.

How to Guide: Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Moving TruckNext, focus on fragile items. Make sure they’re properly wrapped, protected, and packed before securing them into the truck. Put them somewhere where they won’t be crushed and if it seems questionable then consider placing them in a car that will also be making the move.

Finish loading the truck with all of your smaller items. If possible, put them inside bigger items to save even more space. For instance, look for boxes that will fit on the shelves of your bookcase or side tables. As long as you secure them before driving, you’ll be in good shape!

Any birth certificates, family heirlooms, things of high personal significance, or documents with sensitive information should be transported to your new home in a car or with you in the front of the truck. If you have to stay overnight, bring these things inside with you. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sensitive information and irreplaceable items.

Final Thoughts

If you’re not ready to move all of your things to your new home, you can always rent a self storage unit. With low monthly rates and affordable leasing options, The Lock Up Self Storage will give you the peace of mind you need when leaving a few things behind. All of our units are climate controlled, secure, and affordable so you’ll be able to find something that fits your needs. Plus, we offer moving trucks and free locks to all of our clients who rent out a new self storage unit—a perfect money saving solution for your move. All you need to do is give your local The Lock Up Self Storage a call and speak with the store manager. He or she will be able to give you all of the information you need regarding our free truck use, pricing, and other packaging items for your move. At The Lock Up Self Storage, you’re always in good hands. Call or visit us today at www.thelockup.com to see what available units we have in your area.

Different Types of Storage Containers and When to Use Them

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Different Types of Storage Containers and When to Use Them

Whether you’re downsizing during a move or you just want to create more space at home, one thing is apparent: you’re going to need some storage containers. Before starting the process, a lot of people don’t put any thought into what type of containers they’ll use. However, if you want to protect your things and keep them in the best condition possible, storage containers matter. To give you a better understanding, we’ve put together a guide on all of the different types of storage containers and when to use them.

Before Storing Your Things

Regardless of what storage container you’re going to use, there are a few steps you need to take before you start the packing process.

1. Inventory Everything

Creating an extensive inventory of all of your things going into a self storage unit will help keep you organized and stress-free. Inventories allow you to quickly and easily review what you have without having to dig through each box. Trust us; even though this step takes more time upfront, it’s worth it. You can be as specific or general as you want, but the more detail you include the more guidance you’ll have later.

2. Clean Everything

Either during or after your inventory process, go through and make sure everything isDifferent Types of Storage Containers and When to Use Them clean, dry, and ready to be boxed up. For smaller items, this basically just means wiping them down, but larger, more intricate items need a little more attention.

Remove any drawers, vacuum the inside, clean the surfaces, and decide whether or not you’ll be breaking large items down into smaller pieces. Consider applying a protective furniture spray or wax for extra protection before packing them up. If you do this step, make sure it’s completely dry before moving on to storage.

3. Label Everything

Finally, don’t be afraid to “over label.” This step will come during the packing process after you’ve decided on your containers, but it’s still important to mention before things begin. Labeling your boxes will help with your organization and makes finding things in your self storage unit a breeze. You can use a marker, some masking tape, or even a professional label maker—they’ll accomplish the same goal.

Different Types of Storage Containers

It doesn’t matter how long your things will be staying in your self storage unit, you’re going to need containers. While you can store your things in pretty much anything, there are a few types of storage containers that will make your life more organized while keeping your items protected.

Cardboard Storage Boxes

Different Types of Storage Containers and When to Use ThemThe most popular types of storage containers people migrate towards using are cardboard storage boxes. They’re a great option for everyone because of how affordable and convenient they are. You can easily head over to your local home improvement store and find boxes of all sizes that are under a few dollars each. If you’re trying to save money, run a quick search on Craigslist. More often than not you can find storage boxes being given away for free as long as you pick them up. The different sizes allow you to customize your needs and are great options for storing everything from books and movies to seasonal decorations and even non-perishable items from your kitchen. You can essentially put anything you want in a cardboard storage box. We recommend using smaller boxes for heavier items and large boxes for light things like blankets, clothes, and bedding.

Another convenient aspect of cardboard storage boxes are the unique and personalized shapes that some boxes come in. It’s possible to find cardboard storage boxes specifically made for your TV, sporting equipment, lamps, and even your mattress. Finding these take a little more work, but are a great way to keep your things protected once inside your storage unit.

The problem with cardboard storage boxes is that they’re not waterproof and if – for whatever reason – they happen to get wet, so will all of your things. While they lack strong protection for your items, they’re still a good option if you’re looking to save a few dollars and get the most out of your storage space.

Plastic Storage Bins

The next option to consider is using plastic storage bins. These are great because they Different Types of Storage Containers and When to Use Themcome with secure lids that can be easily removed, yet will protect your items during a move and while in the storage unit. Opting for clear plastic storage bins also allows you to easily see inside, making retrieval later on a breeze. If you have plastic storage bins that are the same size, they’re easy to stack and are much more durable than cardboard. Plastic storage bins are especially great for storing holiday décor because they allow you to easily grab the things you need out of your self storage unit without taking everything out and searching through all of your decorations. When moving, these are usually much easier to transport because most come equipped with handles.

The only downside to plastic storage bins is that they’re much more expensive than cardboard boxes. They do have more longevity and will protect your things better, but you need to weigh your options. If you can’t afford to pack everything in plastic bins, consider only using them for your breakable items or things with personal significance.

Storage Bags

Another option that’s growing in popularity is the use of storage bags. These bags often come in a number of different materials such as cotton, polyester, and even plastic. You can opt for regular bags or vacuum-sealed bags, which keep things airtight, optimize storage space, and reduce the chances of moisture ruining your items. Keep in mind that a plastic bag is not the same as plastic wrap, which should be avoided.

Use different types of vacuum-sealed storage bags when storing clothes, towels, or any bedding that you won’t need. If you’re storing expensive suits or dresses, opt for hanging storage bags for added protection.

Furniture Pads and Wraps

This isn’t exactly a “container” per-se, but it is a great way to store your furniture without searching for a twelve-foot high cardboard box. A lot of moving companies will have fabric furniture covers that you can buy or, at the very least, borrow for moving. Use these whenever you want more protection or when things will be in storage for longer periods of time.

Wardrobe Boxes

Different Types of Storage Containers and When to Use ThemWardrobe boxes include a little hanger at the top so you can store clothes upright instead of folded and crammed in a box. There are tons of different options here and you can find wardrobe boxes made of cardboard, fabric, or even a more durable, suitcase type of material. The type you opt for depends on both your needs and budget, but it’s a good idea to splurge if the clothes you’re storing are expensive or irreplaceable.

Things to Avoid

There are a few things that get misused during moving and storing, one of which is plasticDifferent Types of Storage Containers and When to Use Them wrap. Plastic wrap is great because it keeps things secure, especially during transit. However, once you get to your self storage unit, it’s essential that any plastic wrap is removed from your items. Plastic wrap traps in moisture and can cause materials to warp, mold, wrinkle, stain, and bleed—especially when in storage for long periods of time. Instead, opt for a loose-fitting sheet or one of the storage containers listed above. You can use cloth bags as an alternative to plastic ones and newspaper or packing paper to help cushion your items in boxes.

You should also avoid using dark sheets as an alternative to furniture wrappings. Sometimes, depending on the amount of time in contact and the storage conditions, the colors can bleed onto the furniture. If you substitute sheets for furniture wraps, just make sure they’re white. Bonus points if they’re white cotton as it’s the best material for prolonged contact.

Final Thoughts

Everyone will have a different preference to the type of storage container they use and that’s okay. As long as you take the time to safely pack up all of your items and avoid any damaging storage methods, your things will be fine. However, to ensure things run smoothly and you have the peace of mind you need, it’s best to opt for a climate controlled storage unit like the ones at The Lock Up Self Storage. This will ensure your things are protected from all of the elements, no matter how hot or how cold it gets outside. At The Lock Up, all of the storage units on site are climate controlled, secure, and affordable. The properties are all equipped with perimeter alarms, motion-sensor lighting systems, coded access gates, and 24/7 video monitoring to protect all of your things, regardless of the time of day. If you’re in the market for a new self storage unit, look no further than The Lock Up. Give us a call today or head to our website – https://www.thelockup.com – and browse our available units. We’d love to work with you and help you find the perfect storage unit for your needs today!

As the Weather Gets Warmer, Here are 8 Things to Move into Storage

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As the Weather Gets Warmer, Here are 8 Things to Move into Storage

As the weather starts to warm up, our daily lives begin to change. We no longer take refuge indoors and experience the wonderful feeling of longer daylight hours. The snow melts, flowers start to sprout, and we find ourselves with a home filled with things that won’t be needed for another year. Rather than having all your bulky winter necessities in the way of your summer fun, why not rent a self storage unit? It’s the perfect way to get things out of sight and out of mind until the cold creeps back into our lives. Check out our top 8 things to move into storage as the weather gets warmer.

1. Winter Gadgets and Toys

If you’re lucky enough to have an abundance of winter gadgets and toys, you know how important it is to take care of them properly once the weather warms up. While it is possible to store them in your garage or home, these types of accessories are usually bulky and take up a lot of space.

Snowmobiles

Storing a snowmobile takes care and immaculate attention to detail. At the end of the day, it’s a vehicle, and one that’s usually not cheap. To make sure that your snowmobile stays in optimal condition, take the proper steps to prepare it for winter storage.

Start by cleaning the outside and getting all of the old snow, ice, and salt off of the As the Weather Gets Warmer, Here are 8 Things to Move into Storageexterior. To make the results last and give it an extra protective cover, apply a layer of wax to the cleaned end product. Be diligent and make sure to get the small, hard to reach places as well.

Next, make sure that the fuel system is ready for winter storage by draining the fuel tank. Fog the engine, drain carburetor fluid, and grease or lube the necessary areas. All of these things help prevent corrosion while it’s not in use. Finally, remove the battery and the belt so you can safely put it in your storage unit. Make sure it’s raised and has a cover to ensure it stays in good condition throughout the summer months. Releasing the tension of the tracks on a snowmobile helps elongate their lifespan.

Snow Blowers

As the Weather Gets Warmer, Here are 8 Things to Move into StorageA similar process is needed to store your snow blower. You’ll need to clean it, drain any excess fuel, and protect your engine. Storing gas, in any device, over long periods of time is dangerous and often not permitted in public storage units. Lubricate the necessary parts, cover your snow blower, and take it to your self storage unit.

2. Holiday Décor

The next things you should move into your storage unit when the weather gets warm are all of your holiday décor items. Some people only have a few, but others have enough to compete with Chevy Chase’s decorating skills. Regardless, you won’t be using them until it gets cold again and the holiday season starts, so there’s not much point in keeping them in your home. All it will do is take up space and create obstacles. Instead, package everything up in an organized and well-labeled manner and take your décor over to your storage unit. We recommend having a different box (or boxes) for each holiday season so that they’re easy to identify and access in your self storage unit. While you’re putting away your holiday décor, don’t forget to grab the things that you’ll need to decorate your home for Spring!

3. Snow Shovels

There’s a common love-hate relationship with snow shovels. They clear our driveways and allow us to migrate the world during winter months, but using them is a workout in and of itself—and an unappealing one at that. Rather than throwing your snow shovels in a corner of your garage, find a space for them in your self storage unit. Prior to bringing them over, make sure that they are all clean, dry, and in good condition so that you start off on a good foot next year.

4. Winter Weather Accessories

It doesn’t matter how many people are in your household, winter weather accessories always appear in an unimaginable abundance. Boots, gloves, hats, face guards, and scarves not only keep us warm during the winter, but they’re often used as a fashion accessory to give some variety to our bulky winter coats. Because of this, many families have a ton of winter gear. Go through everything for each member of your family and give them a good clean. Let everything dry completely and then pack them into their respective boxes to be taken into storage. No one wants to spend summer staring at gloves and being reminded of the inevitable cold that will return.

5. Heavy Winter Gear

As the Weather Gets Warmer, Here are 8 Things to Move into StorageWith all the gloves, hats, scarves, and other small accessories out of the way, it’s time to tackle the heavier winter gear. Coats and snow pants take up a lot of room and are rarely used outside of winter. If possible, wash them yourself, otherwise take them to the dry cleaner to wash away all of the winter and get them ready for next year. We recommend using a standing coat hanger for your self storage unit to avoid ruining any expensive coats and keeping them safe from potential pests and excessive dust.

6. Winter Sports Equipment

If anyone in your family plays winter sports, include the equipment in your list of things toAs the Weather Gets Warmer, Here are 8 Things to Move into Storage move into storage as the weather gets warmer. The only exception would be if someone plays at an indoor rink, in which case find a nice spot in the garage for the equipment. If it’s strictly a winter sport, follow the same process as we’ve mentioned for accessories and heavy winter gear. Get everything clean and sanitized and add in some deodorizers or air fresheners to avoid having your self storage unit smell like a moldy locker room come Spring.

Rather than throwing things into boxes, consider building your own sports equipment holder or buying one online. This will keep everything organized and make transition back into game season much easier. Find one that’s small and moveable that can easily be taken from your self storage unit to your garage and back.

7. Protective Covers

If you have a patio, grill, or summer-only vehicle, it’s time to remove the snow covers and give them some attention. However, covers can take up a lot of room and are frustrating to deal with—especially when they’re lying on the garage floor. Make sure they’re completely dry, then fold them up nicely and take them to your self storage unit. Unless you live in an area with oddly unpredictable weather, you won’t need them until it gets cold again.

8. Snow Tires or Chains

As the Weather Gets Warmer, Here are 8 Things to Move into StorageFinally, if you live in an area that requires you to change summer tires into snow tires or to add chains, you can wave goodbye to them (for a little while at least). Say good riddance to the cold weather and put your snow tires and/or chains in storage.

Regardless of what you’re putting into storage once winter ends, there are some important measures to take care of. First and foremost, make sure you clean everything properly. While it may take some time upfront, you’ll thank yourself next year when you get everything out of storage for winter. Putting away dirty or wet items can easily lead to mold or worse, the complete destruction of your items; not to mention that dirty items that are put into storage can be the perfect breeding ground for unwanted pests.

After you’ve thoroughly cleaned everything, create a plan to organize your winter items in your self storage unit. As with all of our suggestions, place big, bulky items that you won’t need to access in the back of your unit and create a layout that won’t make getting to things impossible. Rather than cramping everything into a small space, opt for a slightly bigger unit. Keeping things spread out and in their own areas is worth the few extra dollars in rent, especially when you are storing a diverse number of objects.

To keep all your possessions in safe hands, regardless of the weather outside, it’s important to opt for a self storage unit that has good climate control. At The Lock Up Self Storage, all of our units are equipped with not only climate control, but also include state of the art security. Our property is surrounded by perimeter alarms and includes individually coded access gates that can be used at all times of the day. Our motion-sensor lighting and 24/7 video monitoring ensures that your things are safe at The Lock Up. We have a variety of sizes and lease options that fit every budget. To learn more about our affordable pricing and prime locations around the United States, head over to our website https://www.thelockup.com today.

Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Down Big Items

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Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Down Big Items

When you’re planning a move, or getting prepared to make some downsizing decisions, you’ll need to take a look around your home and get an idea of what to expect. You might have massive accumulations of clutter, décor, memorabilia, and family heirlooms, but more often than not they’re easy to store. The challenge is when you need to store, and move, your larger items.

Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Down Big ItemsLarge items are heavy and difficult to maneuver through homes, especially those with narrow doorways and tight corners. Rather than recreate Ross’ infamous pivot scene from Friends, there is an easier way to help you streamline the moving process.

The best way to make sure that you’re not creating more work for yourself is to break down all of your big items prior to moving. Breaking down big items like furniture not only allows you to move things easier, but it makes the storage process more efficient and helps save space. Obviously you won’t be able to break down items like a refrigerator or large appliances, but doing it with the items you can is a good way to reduce your workload. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about breaking down big items.

Planning

The first step to anything that involves moving is planning. While you can start your projects with no idea what you’re going to do, it will often lead to more stress, wasted time, and an eventual impromptu planning session. Instead of wasting your efforts, begin with planning.

Take a look at everything that you own and decide what will need to be disassembled. Some items will be easier to leave alone, but knowing which category everything falls into first is crucial. Make a note of what will be broken down and what will be left as is.

The second step is to measure all of the furniture that you will be disassembling as well as all of your points of entry—main doorways, sliding glass doors, etc. If one of your doors is wider than the other, and is on the other side of the house, it’s better to know this before you try and lug your couch or refrigerator halfway across your floor plan only to have to turn around and take it back.

Finally, before you do anything else, decide whether or not you will need to protect anything before moving it. We recommend taking extra precaution before it’s too late with glass tables, mirrors, fragile items, or anything with sentimental value.

Disassembling

Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Down Big ItemsThe next step involves the disassembling itself. For a lot of your things, this process will be fairly straightforward. Removing table legs with a screwdriver, lifting off any glass toppers, and separating pull-apart couches is easy. However, you may need more tools than you think. Be prepared to have a screwdriver, wrench, and maybe some power tools handy so you don’t need to start digging into boxes you’ve already packed.

If you don’t know how to disassemble something, consider looking at the owner’s manual. It’s better to make sure you’re doing something the right way then to risk breaking it. If you can’t find a manual, check online. More often than not, as long as you know the make and model, you can find a plethora of information online.

Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Down Big ItemsWhile you’re disassembling your items, keep any nuts, bolts, and screws together and organized. Get a Ziploc bag and label it with the piece of furniture that the accessories belong too and attach it to the undersize with tape. You can also opt to store all of the accessories separately from the furniture so you don’t risk having them fall off. Just make sure that you label things well enough to know what goes with what.

If the furniture has legs or bulky pieces that stick out from the main body, remove them—but only if they’re made to be removed. Don’t force anything if it doesn’t budge. Table and chair legs can be wrapped together and labeled.

Covering and Protecting

After you’ve broken down all of your big items, it’s time to cover and protect everything that is easily damaged. For fabric or leather furniture, find furniture covers that will adequately fit prior to moving and adhere them before removing the pieces from your house. This will not only protect your furniture, but it will help you avoid scuffing up the walls of your home or scratching entryways.

Take the same precaution with all of your tables, regardless of what they’re made out Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Down Big Itemsof. The corners of tables can be sharp and the last thing you want to do is cause damage to a home you’re trying to sell. This will also prevent your things from getting ruined during the move and in storage so you can continue to use them for years to come.

The same thought applies to other large appliances, electronics, or things that can’t be broken down. It’s always better to cover and protect them, especially if they will be sitting in storage for longer than a month or two.

Moving

After you’ve broken down all of your items, covered them, and protected them, it’s time for moving day. Luckily, you’ve already gotten all of the heavy lifting out of the way and now you’ll just need to grab a few friends and get to work. Offer to pay them in dinner or a few cold beers and make a day out of it. If you’re organized and have taken all of the preparation recommended, the actual act of moving will be a breeze. If you need to rent a moving truck, any moving supplies, or dollies, check out the accessories available at The Lock Up Self Storage. With most new self storage units, you’ll be eligible to receive and use a moving truck, free of cost, to help you get your things to your new self storage unit.

Organizing

Everything You Need to Know About Breaking Down Big ItemsWhen you get to your self storage unit, have a plan in place for how you will strategically pack your things. This will help you stay sane and organized during both the moving process and when you need to access anything from your self storage unit later. We recommend always putting the largest items in first, then filling in your unit with increasingly smaller things. You can line the walls with the big items on either side as well, as long as it doesn’t create a barricade to the rest of your unit.

Try and keep things directly off of the floor to reduce the chances of pests getting into things and the accumulation of mold and dust. You can achieve this by purchasing a few gently used wooden pallets and lining the floor with them. For smaller items, or things that can be hung, take advantage of the vertical space available and use racks whenever possible.

Another piece of advice is instead of just cramming everything together create aisles so you can walk around and in between your things in storage. This helps your items breathe and gives you ample space for everything you need. If you’re short on space, consider spending a few extra dollars a month to rent a larger self storage unit so you can organize accordingly. In the long run, it makes all of the difference.

Regardless of what you have that needs to move into storage, whether it is thousands of tiny décor items, family heirlooms and memorabilia, or large items that need to be broken down, The Lock Up Self Storage can help. The Lock Up is a family owned and operated company that has been in the self storage business for over 40 years, so our staff understands the importance of safety, security, and flexibility in self storage units. We take pride in being leaders in the self storage industry, which is reflected in all of our units. Each and every one is climate controlled to better protect your things for days, months, or even years down the road. All of our units are secure and safe for you to keep things without the constant need to worry. Each of our locations has a perimeter alarm, motion-sensor lighting systems, coded access gates, and 24/7 video monitoring to protect all of your assets, regardless of the time of day. Our state-of-the-art security means that you’ll be protected and each unit is available at an affordable price. We have a variety of options with flexible leasing plans for all of your needs and in case things change in the future. You’re guaranteed to find a self storage unit that is perfect for you and your family at The Lock Up Self Storage. To learn more, or browse our available units, head over to https://www.thelockup.com today. You’re also welcome to stop into any of our locations and talk about your needs with our dedicated staff members. We can’t wait to welcome you to The Lock Up family!

How to Store Your Electronics Safely

How to Store Your Electronics Safely

Electronics are expensive. When you’re using them, you always keep them in the best condition possible. The same concept should be applied when you put them in storage. If you don’t focus on storing your electronics safely, you’ll end up needing unplanned and expensive replacements, which is never ideal.

The first step to take to store electronics is to prepare. In fact, you can never be too prepared. Since the cost of electronics adds up fast, and they can contain a lot of personal information, you’ll want to take your time here.

1. Always Back Up Your Data

How To Store Your Electronics SafelyBefore doing anything, you should always make it a priority to back-up your data. Regardless of if your computer is new or old, has limited cloud storage or not, backing up your data is the best way to ensure that you don’t lose anything during storage. Preparing for the worst case scenario is better than scrambling around and trying to figure out a way to get back 20 years of family pictures or business records. Luckily, backing up your data is easy. Simply buy an external hard drive that has enough storage space for your data. Once you back-up your information, always store it off-site. You can pay for cloud service; just make sure it’s big enough rather than a few free GB that comes with computers.

2. Familiarize Yourself with the Manual

How to Store Your Electronics SafelyRemember that big, heavy manual that your TV or computer came with? Did you throw it away? If not, get it out. Read through it and see if there are any specific instructions for how to store each of your specific electronic devices and if there are, follow them. If you’ve misplaced your manual (a.k.a., threw it away) see if you can look it up online. Now a days, almost every electronic offers a digital version of the manual—one that’s usually searchable and easier to handle. Adhering to the instructions in a user manual will ensure you properly store each item.

3. Take Apart Electronics if Needed

Many electronics come with a lot of moving parts. Instead of just throwing the whole thing inside of your self storage unit, take the time to separate it. This will help keep things clean and in their best condition. Remove things that would rust or potentially get stuck together over time and always stay organized throughout the process.

4. Clean Each Individual Piece

Dirt and dust on electronics is harmless if it sits overnight, but if you’re leaving your things in storage for months or even years, dirt can be your worst nightmare. It can get under keypads and buttons and create the perfect breeding ground for pests. It can even end up ruining your devices over time. Rather than risk it, always clean each individual piece of your electronics after taking them apart. Since you’ve already done the first step, wiping things down should be easy. Clean visible, and non-visible, dirt, dust, and grime. Be thorough and use compressed air to get into hard-to-reach areas. There are also a number of specific electronic cleansers on the market for different devices you’re focusing on.

After you’ve cleaned everything, cover monitors and screens with padding to avoid accidents and the heavy accumulation of dust.

Storage Tips

After preparing your electronic devices, it’s time to start getting things organized for storage. With a few simple measures, you’ll transform your self storage unit into your very own professional electronics warehouse.

Make an Inventory

How to Store Your Electronics SafelyThis is high on all of our storage to-do lists because staying organized helps you keep your sanity. Go through all of the electronics you’ll be storing and create a detailed inventory of what you have. Include remotes, cables, and any other accessories that go with each item. In this inventory, write down the respective serial numbers for each of your devices so you can easily refer to the user manuals or warranties if needed. If there are specific notes about a particular electronic device, include them in your inventory to help you remember details when unpacking your storage unit.

With your inventory ready, take the time to label each and every electronic and all of the corresponding parts. If things get separated, for whatever reason, it’s much easier to reconnect the right pieces when they’re labeled. Even if you think you’ll be able to tell what is what, just label it. Believe us, taking a few extra minutes here is much easier than trying to sort everything out months or even years down the line.

Store Wires Separately

How to Store Your Electronics SafelySome bundle of cables or wires will accompany almost every single electronic device. While they serve a purpose when the electronic device is in use, it’s not a good idea to store them connected. This is because cables can seize and rust in the sockets causing them to stop working. When it’s the only video input port, this can mean having to purchase a whole new TV. Instead of risking the damage, take the time to remove any and all cables from your electronic devices. This includes USB cables, video and audio cables, HDMI cables, and more. For each device, wrap all of the cables together, attach them at the middle with masking tape, and label which device they belong to. This way, you won’t have to try and piece puzzles together when you take them out of storage.

Remove All Batteries

How to Store Your Electronics SafelyRegardless of what kind of storage unit you’re using, you should never store the batteries intact. Batteries can quickly start to omit corrosive material and are a huge risk to things they’re stored in or around. If you keep your batteries in your electronic devices, chances are high that they will be ruined when you bring them out of storage. Plus, the battery acid that leaks can be extremely harmful and a little more than annoying to clean. This is especially true of common, household AA batteries. If you want to store laptop or camera batteries, we recommend taking them out of the device and storing them separately in case of any damage.

Look for Original Packaging

How to Store Your Electronics SafelyIf you’re one of those people that has a hard time throwing things out—like original boxes—good for you! That will come in handy when packing up your electronics. The original packaging is the best place to store your electronics because they fit perfectly and were specifically designed to keep the individual electronic safe and sound. If you don’t have original packaging, look for boxes that are close to the same size as the electronic you’re storing. Throw in some static-free, special bubble wrap for an added layer of protection, but avoid plastic sheeting.

Plastic sheeting is a water proof material that many people assume will add a layer of protection. It does the opposite. Plastic sheeting doesn’t allow things to breathe, so it will keep any water or moisture inside of your electronics and when you go to open your unit, you’ll be in for an expensive surprise.

If you have a large amount of small boxes of electronics, consider putting them in one larger box—as long as it doesn’t make it too heavy. Then, label the box with its contents so you know exactly what’s inside when you need to find it.

Storing Small Electronics vs. Large Electronics

The only main difference about storing small electronics versus large ones is how you’ll put them in your storage unit. Smaller units can be placed into a larger box together after packed individually, while large ones should be kept independently from each other. If things are heavy or expensive, such as dryers, washers, refrigerators, and any large televisions, take extra precaution with them.

Get a Climate Controlled Self Storage Unit

Electronics are delicate and expensive to repair or replace. Instead of risking them getting ruined, store them with confidence in a climate controlled self storage unit. Leaving them in places that are subject to extreme elements is the farthest thing from ideal and will quickly cause them to break. Instead, opt for a self storage unit that is climate controlled and create a storage layout that allows electronics to be stored off the ground.

If you’re looking for a place to store all of your electronic devices safely, look no further than The Lock Up Self Storage. All of our units are climate controlled, which means you’ll have the perfect year-round temperatures and humidity control to keep things working like new. Our self storage units are also protected by state-of-the-art security measures, so you can rest easy knowing your things are in good hands. Our security system includes 24/7 video monitoring, individually coded access gates, a full perimeter alarm, and motion-sensor lighting systems. Regardless of your storage needs, you’ll be able to find something at The Lock Up. We have a variety of sizes of self storage units and flexible leases so you can upgrade to a larger space when your needs change. If you’re looking for a self storage unit, The Lock Up Self Storage is here to help. Head over to https://www.thelockup.com today and check out our available units or stop by any of our locations to speak with a representative.

The Best Storage and Basement Organization Ideas For Your Home

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The Best Storage and Basement Organization Ideas For Your Home

In most homes, basements act as space where we can throw things sporadically, store items we know we’ll forget about, and avoid stepping foot downstairs. If you have a home with a basement, it’s a great addition to not only your storage space, but also your family’s living space. Rather than avoiding your basement, turn it into a space you love with some simple organization changes. To help you, we’ve put together the best basement organization and storage ideas for your home.

Step One: Declutter

Before you can do anything, you need to declutter your basement. Chances are that there are boxes you haven’t opened in years and don’t even know what waits inside. To make sure you aren’t keeping things you don’t need, or buying more than one of the same things, take some time to go through everything. If you have a lot of boxes filled with miscellaneous items, spend a few days – or even a week – to lay everything out and take inventory of what you have.  Yes, it sounds daunting, but it’s an important step.

The Best Storage and Basement Organization Ideas For Your HomeNext, create three different boxes and label them: keep, store, and clear out. As you’re going through things, put each item in its respective box and be selective. Really think about whether or not you need that second juicer or all of that Valentine’s Day décor that hasn’t seen the light of day in years. Aim to fill up the store and clear out boxes and only place things in the “keep” pile that you know you will genuinely use in your home.

You can take things a step further and separate the store box into a number of categories to increase your organization. It’s important to make sure and run by the contents of the “clear out” box with your partner, in case there are any sentimental items or things that they need. To finalize this step, head to your nearest donation center or host a yard sale to make a few dollars.

Step Two: Organize

The next step is organizing, which we think is the best part. Organizing the space in your basement can create a blissful flow that allows you to use the available floor plan efficiently while simultaneously enjoying the time spent there. It doesn’t matter if your basement is finished or not, a little organization goes a long way.

The Best Storage and Basement Organization Ideas For Your HomeTo create your best basement possible, do a full, detailed cleaning prior to putting anything in its place—new or old. Scrub walls, floors, bathrooms, windowsills, and all of the hard to reach corners that you usually skip. If it needs it, consider applying a fresh coat of paint. Starting with a good canvas is important and will help you create an aesthetically pleasing room.

If you haven’t done so already, take the time to sort everything from your “keep” box into categories. We recommend starting with linens, seasonal clothes, sports equipment, and any sentimental items. This will help you prioritize the space in your basement.

Next, take a look at your current storage options. Do you have built in shelves? Closets? Does it have an usable crawl space? Take inventory of your storage solutions and if you need to, think about where you can add more. Consider a few of these great organization and storage ideas to help:

1. Dedicate Zones

If you don’t already have zones in your basement, take the time to create them now. Having designated zones will help you create good organization and a strong storage flow for the entire basement. It’ll keep things in their place and increase efficiency over time. It doesn’t matter if you have a bar, theater, play room, office, craft zone, workout area, or what—just identify where you want everything to go and plan your layout.

2. Space Under the Staircase

Almost every home with a basement has a plethora of unused space available. Underneath the staircase from the first floor to the basement is a goldmine. Create built-in storage for anything you need, or hollow out the space to use as a small functional desk or craft area. If you have children, consider integrating it into a small playroom and letting them help with the design.

Or, you can simply install floating shelves, a few hangers, and a door to create a small closet to keep things out of the way, but easily accessible.

3. Install CubbiesThe Best Storage and Basement Organization Ideas For Your Home

The open cubby phenomenon emerged a while back in home décor trends, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. The good thing is that they’re not only functional… they’re extremely stylish. Depending on the use of the room, you can store remotes, electronics, and movies in wicker baskets or children’s toys in cloth bins. There are so many options to customize your cubbies, which include everything from practical to elegant and everything in between. Create your own, inexpensive entertainment center and mount the TV just above the cubby or add it to a playroom for easy clean up. The options are endless!

4. Custom Storage

While this takes a bit of an investment, it creates a seamless organization system that compliments any basement—or room for that matter. Custom storage involves a carpenter coming in and creating unique, complementary storage space to match your current setup. You’ll discuss what it will be used for with your carpenter to create the perfect solution for any of your basement storage needs.

Repurposed Old Cabinets

If you don’t want to spend the money on custom storage, but still want the results, considering a DIY job using repurposed cabinets. See if any friends are doing renovations and ask for their old cabinets or use ones that you may have saved from a recent project. You can create a desk or workspace that has all of the essential storage space you need.

5. Create a Work Zone

pegboards for garageSome people use their basement for a handyman work zone instead of the garage. If you are one of those people, take the time to spruce up and organize your work zone. Install a pegboard so that you can store things on the wall and out of the way, get your workbench in order, and make sure that anything that is a danger to children is kept out of reach and safely locked away.

If you have an unfinished basement, you’ll likely have a lot more usable storage space thanThe Best Storage and Basement Organization Ideas For Your Home families with a finished basement. However, once you’ve organized everything, you’ll get a better chance to observe the space you have and see its potential. Even if you don’t finish your basement all at once, consider filling it with a functional space you’ve always wanted. Maybe it’s a man cave or maybe it’s a craft room. Maybe it’s an office or maybe it’s a home-gym. Use the space for something fun and take things that you won’t use often over to a self storage unit. While it is an additional cost, it’ll be worth it with the ability to find happiness from your new, clutter-free basement.

Step Three: Store

Now it’s time to get everything into its place. Take your time with this; it’s an important step! Start filling in your zones and creating the workspaces that you’ve identified. Only put things back that you’ve decided to keep—avoid putting things you decided to throw out back on the shelf just because you have the space. The goal is to create a basement that you can use and get a sense of joy from, not to simply shove things back into a cleaned space that has a more organized layout. Once you’ve put everything in order, see what you have left in your storage pile. If it’s mainly comprised of things you’ll only use a few times a year, take it to a storage unit. The less clutter you have around your home, the happier you’ll be. Organization and a clutter-free home is a great way to relive unnecessary stress and focus on the things that truly matter in your life. Thus, self storage units are a great asset for every family home.

While going through these organization and storage ideas to use in your basement, take the rest of your things over to a self storage unit at The Lock Up Self Storage. Remember, if you rarely use an item, or if they’re for a specific time of the year, self storage is the best place for them to go. All of the units at The Lock Up Self Storage are climate controlled and secure, so you can rest easy knowing your things are in good hands. Each of our units is secured with 24/7 video monitoring, uniquely coded access gates, a perimeter alarm, and motion-sensor lighting systems. Plus, with our affordable rates and variety of sizes, you’ll be able to find a self storage unit that is perfect for you and your family. Regardless of your storage needs, you’ll find a solution at The Lock Up. Head over to https://www.thelockup.com today and check out our available units.

What You Need for a Nomadic Lifestyle

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What You Need for a Nomadic Lifestyle

In this day and age, more and more people are looking for ways to live a life on the road. Travel is becoming increasingly accessible, minimalism is booming, and people are growing curious about the world. The definition of a “normal” lifestyle is changing to more accurately reflect each person it describes rather than the masses. One of these definitions includes the nomadic lifestyle, which describes someone who moves locations often and prioritizes their unique lifestyle above everything else.

As with any major change, diving head first (with no planning) into a nomadic lifestyle isn’t recommended. There are a few things that you’ll need to consider, especially what you’ll need and how to prepare for a life of constant movement. If you’ve been curious about making the leap, or are just interested to know a little more about living a nomadic lifestyle, this article is for you.

What You’ll Need

To get started on the path towards being a nomad, there are a few essential things that you’ll need—most of which are mental. Nomadic lifestyles can be rough and if you’re not prepared, or don’t find any joy while getting prepared, it probably isn’t the type of lifestyle that you should have.

  1. A Minimalist Mindset

Switching to a nomadic lifestyle is a big change, especially if you’ve been living in your own home or apartment. For the most part, we grow up with a place to call our own, regardless of how small it is, and a place for all of our things. When you switch to a nomadic lifestyle, you need to have a minimalist mindset. Longevity is near impossible without one.

What You Need for a Nomadic LifestyleTake a look at everything you currently own. Do you use it all? Do you need it all? Do you even like it all? There are only a few things that everyone actually needs to survive and it’s time to start weeding out the unnecessary. Whether you’re on the road with a backpack or a van, space is finite. Embrace minimalism! On the contrary, we understand that parting with certain items or memorabilia is near impossible. Keep your treasures safe by renting a self storage unit in your home town while you’re away—it’s much more practical than continuing to rent a home.

  1. A New Source of Income

Some people save for years before switching to a nomadic lifestyle, but regardless of how much money you have in the bank, it will eventually run out. Nothing screams stress like a diminishing bank account with no idea how you’re going to make it back. That’s why a lot of nomadic individuals find an alternative source of income. It may be freelance work, entertainment gigs, teaching English, or even turning your full-time job into a remote position. The only thing to remember is that if you move forward with a job that requires Internet, you may be limited unless you have your own connection.

  1. Adaptability

What You Need for a Nomadic LifestyleFinally, you need to be adaptable if you want to make the switch to a nomadic lifestyle. Life on the road is unpredictable and you should be ready for anything. If you transfer to living in a van, you’ll deal with intense weather, unpredictable vehicle issues, an ever-changing road, and frustratingly frequent construction. Understanding that the journey is more important than the destination is a great way to help avoid raising anxiety and stress levels. The same can be said for if you’re backpacking. Buses break down, you get stuck with an unfavorable roommate, or somewhere along the way you take a wrong turn and the language barrier makes it difficult to get back on track. Being adaptable will save you an unbelievable amount of wasted energy and without this mindset, nomadic lifestyle will be difficult and short-lived.

How to Prepare for a Nomadic Lifestyle

If you think you have what it takes, it’s time to make the necessary preparations to head into your nomadic lifestyle.

  1. Save Money

If you’re planning on heading off to explore unknown parts, you’ll need a bit of cash to get you there. Make a plan and start saving your money with the intention of starting a nomadic lifestyle. Otherwise, you’ll soon be filling out applications for work in a nearby coffee shop.

  1. Have a Conversation with Your Boss

If you’re currently employed, you need to have a conversation with your boss. Ideally, this conversation should come after you’ve saved some money. It should also be approached in a mature and respectful manner. There are a few ways that the conversation can go.

Remote Work

What You Need for a Nomadic LifestyleStart off by asking your boss if there’s any way that you can become a remote employee. While some companies are against this type of work, many others are becoming more and more open to the idea of free-roaming employees. If you do suggest working remotely, talk about your hours and make sure you’ve established the guidelines prior to taking off. This also means you’ll need to ensure working Internet for a majority of your time on the road.

Giving Your Notice

If remote work isn’t a possibility, explain your situation and calmly give your notice. Giving a good notice shows that you respect your company, and your boss, and won’t burn any bridges.

Freelance

If your job is primarily based on a skill rather than client communication, talk to your boss and offer your services as a freelancer instead of a paid employer. They’ll save money on health insurance and taxes and you’ll be able to land your first gig as an independent contractor.

  1. Figure Out Your Housing

If you live in a house or apartment, you need to make a decision about what you’re going to do. If you own the property, consider renting it! You can continue paying off your mortgage with the security that you have a home base to come back to in the future. You could also sell if you’re ready to leave you location and don’t want to deal with the details of renting.

  1. Quit Expensive Contracts

Internet packages, landlines, magazine subscriptions, and even streaming platforms add up in monthly costs. Quit expensive contracts that you won’t use anymore and consider minimizing your streaming platforms… you don’t need Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and Showtime.

  1. Sell Things

If you’ve gone through your stuff and made a pile of things that you know you don‘t want anymore, head to the Internet to make some extra cash. Sell things on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or host a good ol’ fashion garage sale. If you are short on time, or don’t really care about a few extra dollars, ask your friends and family if they need anything or head to your nearest donation center.

  1. Pack or Store Everything Else

What You Need for a Nomadic LifestyleFor the things that you can’t part with, but won’t be taking with you, pack them up and rent a self storage unit. It’s a much cheaper alternative than rent and will ensure all of your favorite things stay safe and sound while you’re gone.

A Word on Van Life

The way you define your nomadic lifestyle depends on your goals. Do you want to bounceWhat You Need for a Nomadic Lifestyle from bed to bed or are you looking for somewhere you can call yours, while still moving from place to place? Define what you’re looking for and be specific and true to you. Don’t plan an entire lifestyle because it’s something you think you’ll want. Do your research and be prepared. For a lot of people, that means van life!

Van life involves converting a large van or other vehicle into what is essentially seen as a house on wheels. Yes, that’s essentially what an RV is, but van life describes the overall lifestyle more so rather than the vehicle. Van life takes a lot of planning and in most cases, construction. People find it more practical to buy a small van and convert it into their dream home than to get a large, bulky RV with inefficient gas mileage. If you’re interested in van life, check out this helpful guide on how to convert a van into a home.

Regardless of the type of nomadic lifestyle you want to live, you’re going to end up with a lot of extra things lying around. While it’s a good idea to sell some of the things that you aren’t attached to, it’s not that easy to get rid of things with sentimental value or your favorite furniture. Instead, put them in a self storage facility for when you settle down. Self storage units, like the ones at The Lock Up Self Storage, are a much cheaper alternative to monthly rent and will keep your things safe and secure until you’re ready to use them again. All of the units at The Lock Up have individual gated access codes, a perimeter breach system, and are monitored by CCTV. We have a variety of sizes for every budget and each of our units are climate controlled to further protect your things. Visit us at www.thelockup.com today to browse the available units in your area today.

Unique Collections to Inspire Your Own

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Unique Collections to Inspire Your Own

Starting a collection takes commitment, dedication, and above all else… hard work. It takes years to build a truly impressive collection, but if you’ve ever been interested in doing so, the time to start is now. You’re never too old to get passionate about something and the art of collecting is the perfect way to showcase those passions. Plus, depending on what you collect, it may not be as expensive as you’d think, but could lead to a prosperous future.

We all know someone who has a collection. Maybe it’s your grandfather’s coin collection, your mother’s figurines, or your brother’s comic books. Regardless of who in our family is favorable to collecting, most often what they collect is something ordinary or, at the very least, common. Action figures, antiques, or anime are all cliché and aren’t oftentimes very inspiring. There are a few very unique collections that are worth mentioning. We believe that the more unique a collection is, the more inspiration you can draw from it to build your own. In this article, we’ll talk a little bit about some of our favorite unique collections in the hopes that you’ll find your own inspiration.

The Art of Collecting

Before we dive too deep into our favorite unique collections, it’s worth talking a little bit about what makes the act of collecting such an art. Throughout our lifetimes, we collect things without even realizing it. Art, moments, furniture, information, clothes, and even friends are collected in one sense or another.

The things that move us are worth keeping in our lives, which is why the art of collecting itself is fueled by passion. A collectible is different for each person and if you feel passionate about something, don’t hesitate to take action. Regardless of if that means learning a new dance, breaking out of your shell, or starting a collection, taking action is the first step towards pursuing our passions.

Unique Collections

With that being said, a lot of collections may seem boring or drab when you start to consider how many people are already collecting them. Coins seem too cliché and maybe glass figurines or dolls give you a little bit of a creep. Luckily, there are a number of unique collections you can start. Regardless if it’s one of the few listed below, or something that you come up with all on your own, all that matters is that you find inspiration in the items and you enjoy the process of building your collection.

Vintage Video Games

The idea of collecting action figures is anything but new, but have you ever considered collecting vintage video games? If you grew up before the Internet, think back to your early childhood. Sega, Nintendo 64, and the original Playstation all had some pretty impressive games considering the technology available. Collecting vintage video games and consoles is not only unique; it also makes for a pretty fun weekend get together reminiscing with your friends.

Sewing Machines

Unique Collections to Inspire Your OwnWe all know someone who collects buttons. It usually started out as a pile of mismatched buttons saved from old shirts… just in case we needed to mend a coat or blouse. Eventually the piles outgrew the clothes and transformed into a true collection. However, have you ever heard of someone who collects sewing machines? Sewing machines have evolved tremendously over time and if you have a passion for sewing, they serve two purposes. Finding machines from past decades that actually work and can be used is a win-win and provides an interesting look into life 100 years ago.

Similarly, collecting antique radios or record players is another way to grow a unique, yet functional, collection. The problem arises when your collection gets too big for your home. Luckily, you can easily rent a climate controlled storage unit like the ones at The Lock Up Self Storage to keep your collection safe and secure.

Dice

Unique Collections to Inspire Your OwnSometimes a collection starts without even realizing it, such as with a unique collection of dice throughout the ages. Every home is equipped with board games, at least in some respect, but collecting dice goes above and beyond a love for entertainment. There are so many unique sets of dice created around the world made from different material, in different color, and varying sizes. Collecting dice is anything but boring, especially when you get a chance to see your collection grow.

Books

Unique Collections to Inspire Your OwnBook collectors often try to find first editions of their favorite novels to store away in their library, but what about taking a different approach to collecting literature? With travel becoming more accessible, people are starting to change the way they collect. In fact, one of the most unique ways of collecting books that we’ve seen is when individuals collect the same book from different countries around the world—each one in a local language. Imagine having a bookcase filled with The Catcher in the Rye or Harry Potter in 100 different languages. While you might not be able to read each of them, the beauty arises from the passion of the collection.

Some other unique collections include:

  • Cutting Boards
  • Coffee Mugs
  • License Plates
  • Depression Glass
  • Typewriters
  • Equestrian Ribbons
  • Old Photographs
  • Travel Tags
  • Cameras
  • Coasters
  • Dirt, Sand, or Earth
  • Keys
  • Playing Cards

How to Start A Collection

Once you’ve found something that’s worth collecting to you, it’s time to get started. Jumping in headfirst and starting your collection off with numerous supplies can be expensive, but everyone has to start somewhere. To get your collection going on the right foot, consider these steps.

  1. Make a Plan

Take some time to think about what you want to collect before making any purchases. Unique Collections to Inspire Your OwnConsider your passions, interests, or lifestyle habits. Are any of these collectable? If so, go with it! After you’ve chosen what you want to collect, try narrowing it down so that you’re not trying to collect anything too vague. For example, rather than simply collecting “books,” collect specific types of books, first editions, or one book in many languages.

  1. Research

The next step is to do some research. Check online and see how realistic, expensive, or accessible your desired collector’s items are. It’s best to understand what you can afford before starting your collection. Otherwise you may realize you’re taking away from your monthly food budget a little to late. If you’re collecting things for investment purposes, try and talk to someone who is knowledgeable in the subject matter so you can understand what to expect. Collecting for investment is handled differently than collecting for enjoyment and you’ll need to dedicate substantially more time for research prior to getting starting.

  1. Shop Online

Now comes the fun. It’s time to start growing your collection. Thanks to the accessibility of the Internet, you can start by doing your initial shopping online. Check on Ebay, Amazon, or even Craigslist to get started and find reasonably priced options. Always compare prices between sites to get the best deal before finalizing a purchase.

  1. Shop In Person

Unique Collections to Inspire Your OwnDon’t forget to get out of the house and do some shopping in person. This lets you to see and handle your items before going through with the final purchase. Depending on your collection, check antique stores, resale shops, garage sales, or even video game stores. Go wherever you think you’ll find the next addition to your collection. The search is half of the fun!

  1. Organize

Any good collector knows the important of organization. Figure out how you will organize, Unique Collections to Inspire Your Owndisplay, or store your collection so that it stays in pristine condition. Some people enjoy displaying their collection for everyone to see, while others do not and would rather ensure its safety and security. The choice is yours, but if you decide to store your collection, make sure you do it safely.

How to Safely Store Your Collection

As long as you’re passionate, it doesn’t matter what you’re collecting. It does, however, matter how you store your items. A lot of collections include old or antique items that need a certain level of care to withstand the test of time. If your collection is made up of larger, more bulky items, it may irritate your family members or partner. That’s why we recommend renting out a self storage unit like the ones available at The Lock Up Self Storage.

At The Lock Up Self Storage, all of our self storage units are climate controlled, affordable, and secure so you can sit back and relax knowing your collection is in good hands. In fact, our property is equipped with perimeter alarms, gated access, individual access codes, and CCTV. Plus, you can access your unit at any time, day or night. With our flexible leasing options, you can upgrade the size of your storage unit as your collection continues to grow. Visit us at www.thelockup.com today to browse the available units in your area today.

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