How to Create a Self-Storage Inventory

We often recommend self-storage users to create an inventory of their items so they know where they put specific things. Having an organized system will allow you to quickly find those ski pants for your next trip to Hunter Mountain. But how do you create an inventory that’s easy and efficient to use? Here are some tips:
 

 

Label Boxes

The first step to creating an inventory is having all your belongings clearly marked. What this means is you need to categorize your items and box them accordingly. Then, you need to have a clear labeling system—such as numbers or group names on each box. Keep items that are the same category—for example, china—in the same box or boxes that will be grouped together. Then make sure you have a way to indicate what’s in each box. For example, in the case of china, you can have sub categories such as plates or cups.
 

 

Create Inventory List

To create a list you can use a spreadsheet program, like MS Excel or Google Sheets, or make a table in your word processor or even on paper. You inventory list should include item name, description, quantity, box number or group name, date placed in storage and date removed. If you want to get fancy, you can take photos of items and include them as part of the description. Create this list before placing your boxes in storage.
 

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Keep Data Updated

One of the reasons it’s handy to create this list electronically is that you can easily change as needed. Each time you make a visit to your self-storage unit and add or remove an item, you need to update your inventory. Having a duplicate of this list at home could save you a trip to the storage unit when you’re looking for that pair of winter gloves that have been in your closet drawer since your visit last winter.
 

 

 

What You Should Deep Clean This Spring

The official start of spring—March 20 this year—is fast approaching. Many like to mark this season of renewal with an annual cleaning, which goes beyond the weekly vacuuming and dusting.  Though satisfying, spring cleaning can be a daunting task and many wonder what exactly we should be cleaning. Here’s a partial list of areas you can tackle and mark off as you clean house:

 

Kitchen Cabinets

Over the course of the year, the cabinets collect dust. And lots of it! Additionally cooking steam and grease often accumulate on the surface of kitchen cabinets. Grab a ladder, some paper towels and a good spray cleaner and make sure to thoroughly wipe these often ignored surfaces.

 

Exhaust Intake

Like your cabinets, kitchen exhaust intakes attract dust, dust bunnies, grease and other airborne particles. You can take these covers off and wash them in the kitchen sink. Once dry, you can re-install them.

 

Top of the Fridge

The surface on top of the fridge is a neglected space. Make sure you take the opportunity to wipe down this area. You’ll be shocked at how dirty it gets.

 

Oven

If your oven gets a lot of use, it might be a good idea to give it a thorough cleaning.

You can either wipe the inside of the oven or use the self-cleaning option.

 

Windows

Sometimes we forgot to pay attention to our windows and how dirty they are until we clean them and realize how much more light gets in. Spring is a good time to clean the windows (though you should probably do this several times a year).  

 

Window Coverings

Curtains can often be washed and hung up again when wet. If you have cellular blinds you can vacuum them to get the dust out. If you have plastic blinds you can wipe or even wash them.

 

Dishwasher

Your dishwasher’s worked hard for you all year. Now it’s time for you to make sure the appliance is clean and ready to go another year. Find out how to properly clean your dishwasher—whether it’s cleaning out a special filter or running it through a cleansing cycle.

 

Dryer Vent

Lint and bits of fabric can get stuck in the dryer vent leading to poor performance of your clothes dryer and even a fire. Contact a dryer vent cleaning professional to come out and clean out the system. 

Digitize Your Paperwork

It’s amazing how much paper and documents we have to keep in order to keep our lives and businesses running. Sometimes, we can store these in our homes, if space allows and sometimes we need to use self-storage to safely house our paperwork. No matter which option you go for, there are ways to minimize the pieces of paper you have by digitizing them. Here are some tips:
 

 

Get Your Hardware Together

You’ll need a scanner and a shredder. There are many options for finding an appropriate scanner—some people prefer a large size scanner that they can feed documents to, and some might opt to use their smartphones. Either way, a little online search can help you find the best option. A shredder can be useful for destroying the document after it’s been scanned so that your important personal data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. There are plenty of these on the market and you shouldn’t have trouble finding one that suits you. Alternatively, some retailers offer shredding services, if you choose to wait and outsource this task.
 

 

Think about Organizing your Files

Once you’ve scanned your papers, you need a logical way to set up and store them digitally. You can either do this on your own or find software that will automate the task for you. If you choose to manually take on the job, you likely want to set up folders and sub-folders much like the way you had the documents organized when they were in paper form. For example, you can have a folder named “Taxes,” with subfolders containing year names, such as “2016.” Each subfolder can once again contain subfolders, such as “Expenses.” Software programs, like Hazel, can take care of the organizing for you. Do a bit of research to see which software will work with your platform.

 

Decide on Storage and Backup

Do you want to store your folders on your computer? Or would you prefer to have them stored on a cloud—like dropbox or carbonite—where you can access them from anywhere? No matter the option, think of security. If on your computer, find ways to add appropriate protection, such as adding a passcode to your documents. You might want to think of a backup system as well—this can be another online server or a hard drive. This way, should something go wrong in one place, you’ll have a retrieval option elsewhere.

 

Shred Hard Copies

Once your documents are digitized and backed up, you can safely start shredding them. Make sure your shredder is set to cross cutting, which is a better in terms of security. Then enjoy the extra space in your cabinets and drawers! 
 

Decluttering Cosmetics and Skincare: A guide

We all have makeup and skincare that we’ve hung on to for way too long, hoping that we’d once again use a bygone lip color or eye shadow. But the truth is, we likely won’t, and probably shouldn’t (beauty products have suggested lifespans), use most of our old cosmetics. In reality, all these items are doing is taking up precious storage space in our New York City apartments.  Here’s a guide on when to discard some popular beauty items:
 


Mascara

Experts recommend getting rid of mascara after three months. Because the tube is wet and enclosed, it’s a good breeding ground for bacteria and the longer you keep this item, the higher the chances of contracting an infection like an eye sty.

Eyeliner

Similar to mascara, liquid eyeliners are best tossed after about three months, whereas pencil liners can be kept for up to two years. That’s because liquid liners encourage bacterial growth and pencils can be sharpened to reveal a new and clean surface.  

Creams and Lotions

Some creams and lotions have expiration dates—such as ones containing acne medication. Pay attention to the dates to know when to toss. Products that don’t have expiration dates last six months to a year. Those in pumps can last up to a year and those containing vitamin C and retinol can degrade faster and should be kept away from sunlight and not exposed to air too much.
 

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Eye Shadow

Cream shadows can last about six months. After that point, the chance of bacterial growth goes up. Powder shadows have a shelf life of about two years.

Lipstick and Lip Liners

Lipsticks contain moisture and by now we know that moisture is optimal ground for bacterial growth. So at around two years, it’d best to toss these items. You can keep pencils longer than two years, however. 

Blush

You can keep most blushes anywhere between one to two years. Again, cream blushes will need to be tossed closer to the one-year mark, whereas the powders can be kept longer.


Fragrances

These guys tend to last more than two years. You might want to toss these if the scent has changed.
 

 

Five Ways to Add Storage to a Small Bathroom

Bathrooms in New York City apartments can be small. Some are barely large enough to fit a person and many don’t have common storage spaces like medicine cabinets, drawers or other such spaces for your toiletries, toothbrush and various personal items. Lucky for those of us living in such spaces, there are storage solutions. Here are some you can utilize to organize your bathroom:
 

Add Storage to a Small Bathroom

 

The Door

Over the door hooks, hanging bars and shoe organizers can all be used to arrange towels, toiletries, toilet paper, and other goods. There are many options to look for online and in retailers—one good place to check out is The Container Store.

 

Over the Toilet

The space above a toilet is hardly ever used and often goes to waste, which is why you should take advantage of it. Shelves, ladders and specifically designed over the toilet storage, such as this one from Pottery barn, could give you a place to store bathroom necessities.
 

Add Storage to a Small Bathroom

 

Walls

Bathroom walls can easily be turned into storage with shelves and cabinets. If there’s no good wall space to install wall storage, maybe consider the space above the door and use that space for items that you might not need on a day-to-day basis.
 

Add Storage to a Small Bathroom

 

The Shower

Shower caddies are amazing and could turn the space you use once a day into one that also holds necessities. Be it hanging or a corner one, you can use these handy organizers for your shampoo, conditioners, soaps and all your other bathing knick-knacks.

 

Floor Space

If you have some floor space to spare, you can bring in a small cart for toiletries, towels and reading material like magazines. You can also use the floor space for a basket or box to store toilet paper and towels in.
 

Add Storage to a Small Bathroom

Furniture Donation Organizations: A Guide

Furniture Donation Organizations: A Guide


If you’ve been storing old or extra furniture and are now looking to get rid of it, you might consider selling or donating your pieces. Donating could mean someone else in the New York area could benefit from an otherwise unused piece, and if sold the proceeds from the sales often go to a good cause. Here are five organizations that you can contact for furniture donation:

 

Housing Works Thrift Shops

If you have at least two or three pieces of furniture and they are in decent shape, Housing Works offers free furniture pickup. This New York based organization’s mission is to aid those affected by HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Use their online form to request a pickup.

 

ReStore

Habitat for Humanity builds affordable homes in an effort to address poverty. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are non-profit stores and donation centers that will take furniture, appliances, flooring, doors, automobiles and much more to sell to the public at a fraction of retail prices. Each donation category has its own criteria for being accepted—more information can be found on their website.
 

Furniture Donation Organizations: A Guide

 

The Salvation Army

This charitable organization has several locations dotted throughout the city. You can either stop by and drop off furniture (but call ahead to make sure the center near you will take your items) or schedule pickup via their website.

 

Goodwill Industries

Though this organization no longer offers free home furniture pickup, you can have your large items picked up for a fee or drop them off at one of their New York or New Jersey locations.  Call any of their locations in Manhattan, Queens or Brooklyn to find out what items they accept.
 

Furniture Donation Organizations: A Guide

 

City Opera Thrift Shop

Not only does City Opera Thrift Shop offer free pickup throughout the week but also if you’re in a hurry and need to drop off items with a rental car or a car service, they’ll reimburse you up to $12. Peruse their website for more info or contact this fundraising initiative to learn what items they accept and their terms. Proceeds from your donations help create costumes for the New York City opera.

 

Starting the New Year with a Clean Slate: A Purge Guide

Starting the New Year with a Clean Slate: A Purge Guide


We all set out goals at the beginning of a new calendar year. Some of us want to hit the gym more frequently, some want to be kinder to others, and others want to become more organized. For those of you who want to keep your apartment tidier, it’s critical, especially in New York homes, which are on the small side, to have less things. And the best way to achieve this is to purge unwanted items—hopefully at least once a year. Here are some tips to help you get and stay organized for the new year:

 

Unworn or Outdated Clothing

Yes, we all feel guilty for having bought that shirt at Century 21 last year and never wearing it. And yes, we keep it in the closet with the tags on hoping that one day we will take it off the hanger. But the truth is we won’t and the shirt will keep hanging there, taking up precious storage space. And more importantly, someone who needs the shirt can actually put it to good use. So if you have clothing that you’ve never worn, or haven’t worn in years, or is so outdated you’re waiting for fashion to do a 360, it’s time to purge.
 

Starting the New Year with a Clean Slate: A Purge Guide

 

Broken or Ruined Things

Be it a dish you love that now bears a crack, a book that fell into a tub or a pen whose ink has run out, items that are broken or damaged beyond repair should be recycled so they can become newer, better versions of themselves.

 

Letters, Bills, Cards

Any paperwork that is no longer useful can be shredded and recycled. This includes that electric bill you already paid, the three-year-old Ikea catalogue and the holiday card your dentist sent you.

 

Old Toys

If your children have grown out of certain toys, why keep them in storage bins? You’ll feel a lot better when you donate those playthings and some child who might need it will get to play with an otherwise unused toy.
 

Starting the New Year with a Clean Slate: A Purge Guide

 

Shoes

We’re all guilty of keeping old shoes. They become a part of us—molded to our feet, having walked many miles together. But if you’ve got a few pairs whose soles have thinned or that are no longer in style, it’s time to purge those babies.
 

Starting the New Year with a Clean Slate: A Purge Guide

 

Books

Written words are meant to be read, treasured and re-read. Some aren’t a good fit for you and will sit there on the shelf collecting dust. There’s probably someone out there who wants what you’re not interested in reading. Either donate or sell your books. You’re not going to get much for them, but at least you know they’re being appreciated.

 

Storing Holiday Decorations

http://manacontemporary.com/icpwinningthewhitehousetalk

It’s no longer the most wonderful time of the year and what this means is it’s time to put away your holiday decorations. If you have a storage unit, you can start boxing up and getting your items ready to haul away. If you don’t, you might consider renting one (not just for decorations but for all seasonal items that you might want to rotate to give yourself a bit of breathing room). Here are some tips on how to store your trimmings so they’re in good shape next year:

 

Use Wreath Storage Boxes or Bags

If you use artificial wreaths, you might want to invest in a storage bag or box shaped to accommodate the decoration.  Here’s a 24" Snaplock Wreath Storage Box from the Container Store, but there are many on the market to choose from and are an internet search away.

Storing Holiday Decorations

 

Keep Lights Organized

Light spools—like the 3-Reel Light Spools with Storage Bag from Real Simple—will help you keep lights and garland neatly organized so that when you go to use them next year, you won’t have to spend hours untangling a mess.

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Pack Ornaments in Special Boxes

Keep your ornaments in a box, like this one, that has dividers to avoid them knocking into each other and breaking. And if the ornaments are old or valuable, maybe think about getting an archival storage box, which are acid free and will block UV light and will safely protect your precious pieces.

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Keep Original Packaging  

Menorahs and kinaras are best wrapped and stored in original packaging. If you no longer have the boxes they came in, find one that fits, clean the pieces of wax and dust, wrap in paper and place in a box with plenty of packing material to protect the pieces.

 

Label Label Label

Make sure all your boxes are clearly labeled and state what’s inside. Ideally, you want to have a corner of the unit dedicated to your holiday knick-knacks.

 

Consider Temperature

Some items don’t do well with temperature fluctuations and extreme cold or hot. This includes ornaments and glass pieces that can crack, or candles that could melt. Either think of getting a climate controlled unit or keep these pieces at home.

 

Six New Year’s Eve Events in New York

Six New Year’s Eve Events in New York


New York City is New Year’s Eve Central—from partying all night to joining the many activities this center of culture and food offers, you won’t be short of something to do to bid farewell to 2016. Here are some options:

 

Drop the Ball

Almost one million people gather in Times Square to watch the ball drop each year. Yes, it’s cold and you have to stand around for hours amongst strangers, but if you like confetti and being part of this symbolic tradition that has become synonymous with New Year’s eve in this nation, it’s a good way to spend the night.
 

Six New Year’s Eve Events in New York

 

Watch the Fire in the Sky

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park fireworks are a tame way to enjoy New Year’s without spending the whole night outside.  Head on out around 11 when the music starts, grab some free hot cocoa (which you’ll need) and watch the fireworks at midnight from Grand Army Plaza. Easy peasy.
 

Six New Year’s Eve Events in New York

 

Enjoy a Concert

Whether you’re into jazz, classical or rock, you can find a concert to go to on New Year’s in New York. Check out your favorite venues like the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden.
 

Six New Year’s Eve Events in New York

 

Take a Cruise

There are a multitude of cruise options that’ll allow you to enjoy the night from the New York Harbor.  You can take one that is family oriented, an elegant and formal cruise, or opt for a party boat. No matter, you won’t be short on options.

 

Join the Runners

Every year, the New York Road Runners hold a midnight run in Central Park. The four-mile run and fireworks begin at the start of the new year. And if that’s not enough for you, there are costumes, dancing and music.
 

Six New Year’s Eve Events in New York

 

Do Some Fine Dining

There is no shortage of fantastic restaurants in New York—from Michelin guided and rated to New York Times reviewed, you’ll be sure to find a meal that will suit your mood and budget. Beware that on New Year’s Eve many restaurants have a special prix fixe menu that could set you back a bit of dough, so you might want to call ahead or check their websites to ensure their menu matches your budget.

 

Holiday Storage

holiday storage


The holidays are fast approaching. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are just a couple of weeks away and many families will be purchasing gifts for their loved ones.  With that comes shopping for, and hiding, gifts—a task that is especially difficult in the closet challenged apartments of New York City. Why not store the goodies in your self-storage unit? Having an offsite space not only will prevent curious eyes from finding the gifts but can also be used as a staging area to wrap and prepare the goodies for the special day. Here are a few tips to best use your unit for holiday storage:

 

Designate an Area

Clear out a space in the unit for gifts, wrapping paper, scissors and everything holiday and gift related. This way when you go in to prep gifts, you won’t be grabbing boxes from all corners of the unit.
 

holiday storage


 

Label Boxes

Sure, you want to just stick that Amazon box in the storage as soon as you get it. But without labeling each one as it arrives, you’ll have a lot more work when it comes time to wrapping the gifts. To keep it organized, write the item description and recipient name on each box or bag.
 

holiday storage

 


Ensure Your Unit is Appropriate for Specific Gifts

If you’re purchasing musical instruments, wine, rare antiques or anything else that’s sensitive to heat and humidity, you want to ensure your self-storage unit is climate controlled; else you’ll risk damaging the gift. Additionally, you should be aware of your unit’s size and capacity and make sure that any large gifts will fit.

 

Know Facility Hours

Find out when your facility opens and closes and if they have any special holiday hours. This will help you plan when you’ll be able to drop off, prep and retrieve gifts. Because the last thing you want is to have your holiday come and go and not have access to the gifts.
 

holiday storage


 

Keep Unit Safe

In addition to ensuring that your storage facility offers round the clock security, you should always provide a secure lock for your unit. Good locks generally thwart potential thieves and will allow all your items, be it holiday gifts or otherwise, remain protected.

 

Clever Ways to Store Pots and Pans

storing pots and pans


New York kitchens (can we even call ‘em that?) are tiny and borderline non-existent. Counter space is scarce and there are very little cupboards we can use for storage.  Essential cookware like pots and pans are especially guilty when it comes to eating up room. But if you think outside the box (or cupboard) there are some ways to get around your typical storage shortcomings. Here are a few tips:

 

Towel Bars

Install towel bars or even curtain rods on a kitchen or dining room wall and hang your pots and pans using curtain hooks or something similar. If you want to get creative, you can use in-between hooks to hang art, hand towels or oven mitts.

 

Hooks

Same idea as the towel bar but here you can install hooks on the wall. This gives you a little more leeway in terms of scattering your cookware up and down on a wall or an alcove.
 

storing pots and pans

 

Hanging Pot Rack

These racks that hang from the ceiling are especially nice for kitchens that have a little island. They’re easy to install, can hold most of what New Yorkers need and have a dramatic “I’m a chef” effect. And who doesn’t want to look all fancy?
 

storing pots and pans

 

Cart

A cart is an easy way to add some space to the kitchen and store pots and pans in. Find ones that have several levels or shelves. And if you need to add floor space for a party or serious cooking you can temporarily roll it out.

 

Pull Out Organizer

These in-cabinet pull outs help you see what’s in the back and stay organized, in turn giving you better access and more control to better use up the space.  Look for ones designed for pots and pans that have lid holders.
 

storing pots and pans

 

Credenza

A credenza in the living room might be a great place to store the cookware you might not regularly use. Though it seems like a pain to have these outside the kitchen area, we all know how close everything is in New York apartments.

 

Seven Industries that Could Benefit From Storage

Seven Industries that Could Benefit From Storage


Offsite storage can be beneficial to pretty much all industry sectors. Sometimes, a business just needs additional space and must transfer inventory and supplies to storage. Other times, it might be that a company is moving offices and needs to temporarily move furniture and other items into a space. Either way, many industries can utilize additional space to move forward in their business. Here are seven sectors that can benefit from storage:

 

Hotels

From storing inventory—such as slippers and towels—to seasonal items like Holiday decorations and lawn furniture, the hotel industry often requires extra space. An offsite storage space can allow necessary rotations to keep this fast paced industry on track.

 

Restaurants

Sometimes storage can be used for linens and place settings, other times, for wine and food supplies. Either way, storage can help NYC restaurants find much needed space to store the supplies that run the business.
 

Seven Industries that Could Benefit From Storage

 

Offices

Document storage is one way companies can utilize the benefits of an offsite space. Others include space to store furniture, electronics and equipment.  Businesses can also use storage during a move to ensure a smooth transition during relocation.

 

Decorating and Design

Designers and decorators often have to house props and décor items for multiple clients. Having a storage unit is often necessary to keep their items organized and ready to pull out when needed.

 

Retail

Retail businesses are all about inventory and when sales pick up, owners must face the fact that they need to carry more items. New York’s space restrictions make it hard to keep inventory onsite and many look to other options such as storage space, a practical and cost-effective option.  
 

Seven Industries that Could Benefit From Storage

 

Small Businesses

Many small businesses operate out of homes or shared offices. The accumulating paperwork, equipment and inventory can make it difficult to stay organized. Self-storage could be a viable solution for those running a small business.

 

Construction

Tools, equipment and even material can easily take over your business and personal space. Storing such items in a unit will give you the space you need to buy in bulk and retrieve when needed.
 

Seven Industries that Could Benefit From Storage

Six Simple Decorative Ideas for The holidays

simple decorative ideas for thanksgiving


If you already haven’t done so, it’s time to take the basket, tablecloth, place settings and all your other holiday decorative goods out of your storage unit.  Little touches of decor here and there make holiday dinners special. Here are a few simple ideas to help spruce up your dinner table:

 

Cinnamon Stick

This is an easy decorative touch that you can place on each person’s plate as part of the place setting. It has that nice earthy fall tone, plus the stick evokes much of what we love about this season—baking, mulling and warmth.

 

Gourds

Whether you arrange them in a basket or dish or have even one on a table, these strange looking fruits are reminders that it’s time to celebrate the holidays.  
 

 

Pinecones

In a dish, part of a flower arrangement or even around a candle, pinecones are another nice way to bring in the season. One creative way you can pinecones is have them hold place cards for dinner parties.

 

Pomegranates

Though not traditional, pomegranates are the ultimate autumn fruit. Arrange a few in a basket or vase with some flowers, cut some open to reveal a hint of their ruby jewels or have a seeded bowl of these beauties to adorn your table.

 

Branches of Leaves

Bring inside the color of trees. A few branches with red and yellow leaves or berries could be an arrangement by themselves—all you have to do is place them in a vase. You can also lay them on the dining table around the dishes you’ll be serving your food in.
 

simple decorative ideas for thanksgiving

 

Dried Corn

Bunched together or placed separately, dried corn is another one of those classically fall and seasonal decorations. Bonus: ask if they’re fit to eat when purchasing and pop them later for that movie you’ll watch after the big dinner.

simple decorative ideas for thanksgiving

Innovative Ways to use Self-Storage

Innovative-ways-to-use-self-storage


We’re all aware of the conventional ways one can use storage units: rotate seasonal items, store belongings in during a move and utilize it as storage for items you might not need for a while. But there are several ways you can utilize storage that don’t involve the traditional use of the space. Here they are:

 

Rehearsal Space

Most of us all have small apartments in New York City and many of us are actors, musicians or comedians. Renting rehearsal space tends to be expensive. Self-storage could be an economical way to have a dedicated rehearsal space where you can also store gear and musical instruments.
 

Innovative-ways-to-use-self-storage

 


Art Studio

Visual artists need space to create work. Storage units might be the place to look to for an affordable art studio. Just remember you’ll need proper ventilation when dealing with chemicals, such as certain paints, solvents and such.
 

Innovative-ways-to-use-self-storage

 


Office Space

Small business owners might find it unfeasible to rent office space in and around NYC. A storage unit is an economical way to get yourself a space to work and store business related inventory and items in.  

 

Gym

You can create a personal fitness space by purchasing a few pieces of equipment and opt out if paying expensive monthly fees. And you might be able to cut down costs if you share the space with friends.
 

Innovative-ways-to-use-self-storage

Pitfalls to Avoid for Using Self-Storage During a Move

avoid-self-storage-pitfalls


Many people will use storage during a move. Sometimes it’s because the next home is not ready and at times it might be a way to move in stages. Either way, self-storage is a great option during relocation. It is however another component added to the already complicated process of moving. So it’s important to avoid some common mistakes:

 

Not Ensuring the Moving Truck Will Fit

It’s possible that your storage facility will have tight openings and spaces. You’ll need to find out what kind of vehicle your movers will employ and then use the dimensions of the truck to ensure it will fit through the storage facility all the way to your unit.  Ask the storage facility for restrictions such as clearance heights.
 

avoid-self-storage-pitfalls

 

Not Getting Loading Limits

Some facilities may have a limit on how much weight they can handle. Ask the facility if they have such limits and then estimate the weight of the truck and its load to ensure a safe delivery.

 

Not Getting the Right Sized Unit    

There’s nothing worse than having movers bring your stuff to a self-storage unit only to find out everything won’t fit. Make sure you calculate the volume of your goods and rent a unit that will fit. When in doubt, consult the experts at the facility. They are specialists in self-storage and can offer guidance.
 

avoid-self-storage-pitfalls

 

Not Having a Plan for Movers

There’s a method to the madness of arranging boxes and furniture in a storage unit, especially if you plan on having access to your stuff while stored away. Either draw out a plan and give copies to the movers, clearly indicating where each box type goes, or make sure to be available and present while they are unloading to give them clear directions. Either way, there needs to be a plan and you’re the person responsible for making sure it’s executed.
 

avoid-self-storage-pitfalls

Tips for Using Self-Storage

tips-for-self-storage


Almost 10 percent of Americans use self-storage to house some, or all of their belongings. New Yorkers are no exception and in fact many find that renting a self-storage unit is far more cost-efficient than opting for a larger apartment to gain space.  So what are some tips we can offer to those of you looking to rent one? Here are some:

 

Pallets

Keeping your boxes and furniture off the ground will save them from potential water damage. Although you might not have anything that could spill, your neighboring unit might. Furthermore, Mother Nature could unleash a hurricane or heavy rain your way when you least expect it.
 

tips-for-self-storage

 

Secure Lock

Aside from making sure your facility offers top-notch security, the best protection you can provide for your belongings is a secure and high quality lock. Do your research when picking a lock for your unit and pick one that suits you. We like disc locks—designed specifically for storage units. A potential thief would have to invest a lot of time to pick these, so it’s likely they won’t bother.

 

Label Everything

It’s amazing how many folks think they can get away with not labeling their boxes. If you don’t clearly state what’s in each package, it’s likely you won’t know where to look when you go to retrieve an item. Come up with a labeling system and stick to it.
 

tips-for-self-storage

 

Wrap Unboxed Items

Your furniture, mattress and anything else that’s not boxed is best wrapped to keep dust, moisture and critters away. Wrap it up with plastic or cloth—depending on item type—for peace of mind.

 

Think of Seasonal Changes

Temperature and humidity change quite a bit from season to season. Plan for this seasonal change if your goods aren’t in a climate-controlled unit—this means that items like photos, art and musical instruments could be affected or even damaged during fluctuations. Plan to insulate such items or consider removing them from the unit. 
 

tips-for-self-storage

Items You Shouldn’t Put in Self-Storage

items-you-shouldn't-put-in-self-storage


A self-storage unit could be an extension of your home or business and you can, for the most part, store in it what you please. There are, however, items you cannot store in your unit as regulated either by state or federal laws or the facility’s guidelines. Here are seven things you should not store in your unit—for a full list, check with your storage facility:
 

People

This should go without saying, but it should be reinstated that a storage facility is not there to house humans.
 

Illegal Drugs

Just like you’re not allowed to have illegal drugs in a home or on the street, you’re also not allowed to have them in a storage unit.
 

Items You Shouldn’t Put in Self-Storage



Hazardous Material

You should never store anything that’s considered hazardous in a storage unit. The list includes, but is not limited to, asbestos, hazardous waste, fertilizer and the likes.
 

Items You Shouldn’t Put in Self-Storage



Animals

Never put your furry friends in a storage facility. Not only is it cruel and inhumane to have a living creature in a dark and lonely space, but they could also attract vermin and other creatures.
 

Items You Shouldn’t Put in Self-Storage



Stolen Property

Storage facilities don’t allow stolen goods under their roofs. If you bring it in, you’re breeching your contract with the facility. Never store stolen goods in a unit.
 

Highly Flammable Material

Things like gasoline, paint and propane can easily go up in flames causing damage not just to your unit but also to the rest of the facility and people around.
 

Items You Shouldn’t Put in Self-Storage



Firearms and Weapons

Many storage facilities will not allow firearms and weapons in their units.  Check with the facility to find out what their rules are. Chances are, if they allow these items, the facility officials might ask for you to carry extra insurance.

 

Amenities to Look for in Self-Storage

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Self-storage units can be much more than just square rooms with four walls and a ceiling for you to plop down boxes in. Many offer amenities that could be beneficial to those storing valuables or unusual items to those looking to use the units as an extension of their business. Here are some amenities to look for when researching storage facilities:
 

Climate Control

If you’re storing art, wine, documents, musical instruments or the likes, you want find facilities that offer climate control. Steady temperature and humidity ensure that these types of belongings won’t get damaged when not in use.
 

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Security

While most self-storage facilities offer some type of security, the degree to which each one is safe varies. Some offer excellent lighting, round the clock video surveillance and alarm systems, while other might just opt for a keyed or password entry system. Sometimes you’ll pay a premium to have your things stored at a facility that offers more, but that could mean you’re better protecting your belongings.
 

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Business Facilities

If you’re planning to use the self-storage as an extension of your business, you might want to look for facilities that offer conference rooms and technology equipment and services like printers and a Wi-Fi connection.  Some offer workstations, lounge area and even coffee! This is not your grandmother’s self-storage.
 

Storage for Vehicles

Individuals and businesses might need to store cars, boats, trucks, RVs and other vehicles—especially in New York City where space is limited. If you’re one of those people, look for self-storage units that have the space and ability to accommodate vehicles.
 

Self-Storage-Amenities



Customization

If you need customization within your unit, you’ll need to find a facility that offers amenities like moveable shelving, lighting and power outlets. In some cases you can let the facility know and they will outfit the unit to suit your requirements.

 

 

 

Organizing Business Inventory and Supplies in Storage

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Some businesses choose self-storage to store their inventory and supplies in—this is especially useful for space-starved cities like our own New York. It’s an economical and practical solution, which can alleviate some of the burden off the working or retail space. To help manage inventory and supplies in self-storage, we offer these tips:
 

Record your Inventory

To avoid confusion later on and to keep track of your inventory and supplies, make a list of everything you plan to store. Group your items in a way that makes sense to your business. Make copies of your inventory—one to keep in the office and one to keep at the storage unit. Remember to update the inventory each time you retrieve items from, or add to, the unit.
 

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Decide on Type of Storage

Your inventory or supplies might need to be placed in a controlled temperature or humidity environment. If you are storing items such as antiques, art or rare books, you might want to consider climate-controlled storage.
 

Pack Properly

Pay attention to how you pack. Find boxes appropriate to each group of items while considering how often you will need to open each box and therefore sealing it in a way that accommodates your needs. For example, if you plan on opening a box each week to grab papers out of, you might opt for a file box and seal it in a way that’s easy to open.
 



Pay Attention to the Order of Boxes

Put the things you’ll need more frequently closer to the front of the unit and items you’ll use less frequently in the back. This will help you with retrieval and save you a game of musical boxes.
 

Make a Map

A map of the unit will help you know where each box is in the unit. Secure your schematic to a wall near the door for easy access.  
 

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How to Get Rid of Storage Unit Contents

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You’ve been holding on to many of your belongings for years and have been keeping them in your self-storage unit. But some of those items, like that old television set or extra blender you got as a wedding gift, are no longer needed in your life and you’ve decided to get rid of them, along with some other things. So how to do you go about doing that? Here are some ideas to empty out your unit:
 

Advertise Your Items

Advertise your items individually in online and newspaper classifieds. You may opt to describe each piece in the ad and add photos or just provide a partial or full item list. Be prepared to meet potential buyers at the unit once they contact you.
 

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Have a Garage Sale

Pick a weekend and hold a garage sale at the unit. You can advertise online, in the local newspapers and post signs in the neighborhood.  Make sure to check with the storage facility to ensure there are no restrictions to having an onsite sale.
 

Auction the Unit

You’ve seen it on television, but it’s also very common in real life to auction an entire unit. Although you won’t receive as much money as offering your pieces individually, having an auction means you can sell everything at once. Check with the facility to get recommendations for auctioneers. Then arrange your items so the most desirable pieces are closer to the door as buyers will only see what’s visible while standing outside the unit.
 

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Give Away the Leftovers

If you have items that don’t sell and that you no longer wish to hold on to, donate those pieces to places like Goodwill Industries International Inc. or The Salvation Army. This way, someone else can put the item to good use.