How To Wash A Wool Coat That’s Been Sitting In Storage All Summer?

With summer coming to a close and fall just around the corner, you’ll probably have to make a trip to your unit to change out your wardrobe. While fall and winter clothes are only worn for a few months out of the year, it’s important to get them cleaned and ready to wear. But making trips to the dry cleaners can quickly become expensive, especially if you wear things like wool and down-coats.

To save yourself a little bit of money this fall season, here is some advice on how to wash your wool coat at home, without ruining any of the fabric:

• Fill a large basin or bathtub with cool or cold water. It’s important to stay away from warm and hot water, as it can strip away some of the dye used for the wool.

• Place the coat in the water, and add a wool-safe laundry detergent. At this point, the basin or bathtub should look something like a regular bubble-bath.

• Don’t scrub the coat roughly, but rather, swish it around in the mixture for twenty-seconds. Then, let the coat soak in the solution for about five minutes. After it’s finished soaking, be sure to rinse off any soap with cold, running water.

• To dry the coat, gently squeeze any remaining moisture. Don’t wring the coat, as it’ll damage the integrity of the shape. If it’s still too wet, you can lay the coat on a towel, and roll the coat and towel like a burrito or rug. You’ll want to leave it like this for about five to ten minutes for the coat to dry. If the coat still hasn’t dried, roll the wool coat in another towel and let it sit for another five to ten minutes. Repeat this step as many times as you see fit or necessary.

10 Interesting Things Found In Storage Units (Part 2)

Welcome back! We hope you thoroughly enjoyed part one of this two part series. Without further ado, here are the remaining five most interesting things ever found in a storage unit…

• A promising letter: And this wasn’t just any letter that a North Carolina man stumbled upon shortly after 2003, it was Michael Jordan’s recruitment letter from college. The locker also contained a diploma and other personal items that were originally used as decoration in the restaurant, “Michael Jordan 23,” which is now closed. Goldin Auctions claims that each letter itself could be worth $250,000 each.

• Canadian postage stamp: While stamp collecting can be a hobby for some, it’s a huge investment for others. For anyone who is interested in history, an 1851 Canadian 12 pence stamp was found in a unit in mint condition. Whether or not the person who bought the unit knew anything about stamps, they made a whopping $34,000 when they sold it.

• More and more paper: One of the more interesting finds in recent history was a collection of personal papers written by Malcolm X. Found in 2012, the entire collection is valued around $450,000.

• Nicholas Cage’s comic book: In the year 2000, actor Nicholas Cage filed a police report that claimed someone had broken into his home and stole a rare comic book. In a strange turn of events, the comic book was found in an abandoned storage unit and ended up in the hands of the man who had sold it to Cage years prior. The comic book, Action Comics #1, was given back to Cage. If it were to be sold today, it would be more than one million dollars.

• Unreleased music: When someone had begun to dig through a unit belonging to Joe Jackson, they had found a goldmine: 250 original, unreleased songs by Joe’s son – The King of Pop – Michael Jackson. They found that these songs were recorded when Michael Jackson was in between contracts, and a good number were recorded with Tina Turner. The collection was valued at millions, and no record company had any legal rights to ownership.

10 Interesting Things Found In Storage Units (Part 1)

With shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters sparking people’s interest in storage units and the unlimited potential of items to store, we wanted to share some of the most unique, strange, and valuable finds that had been left for abandon over the years.

• News of Elvis Presley’s death: In 2010, a storage unit was found holding numerous stacks of newspapers all dated around and on August 16, 1977. The collection was found in nearly mint condition, and was valued around $90,000.

• Human remains: While you should never store anything living in a unit, you should also never store anything dead. When a man purchased a unit in an auction in 2007, he was shocked and disgusted to find that a meat smoker stored inside the unit contained the remains of a human leg. Oddly enough, the original owner of the unit was tracked down and asked about the leg, where he claimed that he had lost it during a plane crash years earlier, and wanted to save the leg so he could be buried with it.

• Burt Reynolds: The actual Burt Reynolds wasn’t found inside a storage unit, but a large number of his items were. When Reynolds defaulted on his payments, all of his stored items were put up for auction. Luckily, everyone who had purchased his items got together and opened the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum, where all of his memorabilia and artifacts were showcased to friends and fans.

• Pirate booty: If anyone remembers Storage Wars personalities Dan and Laura, they scored a major find in 2011. When they opened their locker, they found “Pieces of Eight,” Spanish gold that dated back to the 16th century. All of the treasure was estimated to be worth over $500,000.

• Submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me: Back in 1989, a man opened a storage unit to find James Bond’s Submarine car. What was initially a small $100 investment turned out to be a million dollar pay day.

Weird Windfalls in Storage Units

The world is full of oddities, mostly kept in homes far from prying eyes and inquiring minds. Occasionally those items find themselves in storage units and on even less likely occasions auctioneers bid off the contents of them. Here is a list of several, but nowhere near all, of those stranger things found in the archives of self storage.

A SPY’S SUPER CAR

A beat up sports car found in a unit in 1989 lead to quite a surprise for the purchaser. As he drove the vehicle home from the auction, he was made aware of its true heritage. The memorable vehicle was one of eight total versions of a sub car used by James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. At that point, it was the only one not accounted for. How it ended up tucked in a storage unit in the US is a mystery.

UNKNOWN MICHAEL JACKSON MUSIC

That’s right. Music no one had any idea existed was found in a storage unit belonging to Joe Jackson. The studio has turned the catalogue of over 250 previously unreleased songs into two entirely new albums so far with enough for plenty more.

SUPER ACTOR’S SUPERMAN

In 2011 a rare original copy of Action Comics #1 was found in a storage locker in California. Upon further investigation into the value of the comic, the purchaser discovered that it, in fact, belonged to movie star Nicolas Cage. The book had been stolen in 2000 and disappeared for 11 years before resurfacing with Cage declaring it’s reappearance “divine providence.”

These are just a handful of the numerous strange items found all over the globe. Now, of course, Allstate has no desire in auctioning off your belongings so remember to keep your bills paid, and your heirlooms will stay in your secure facility, and none will be the wiser that you’re storing one of the remaining Deloreans from Back to the Future or the Lost Ark of the Covenant.

How to Store to Prevent Pests

Your movers are lined up, the storage facility is secured, and you ready to pack some stuff away. Anything else that should be considered before moving? Well how about the best way to keep your storage unit secure, safe, and easy to access for you but not possible pests. Here are some quick and not so dirty tips to keep your storage unit free of intruders.

Pre-Clean

First things first of course. Before even getting into the unit make sure all objects to be stored are already clean. Wash clothes, linens, and blankets in a hot temperature to exterminate any possible pest eggs before they even have a chance to get into the unit.

Paper or Plastic?

The cardboard box, essentially heavy-duty paper, is the gold standard of moving, but what about when it comes to long term storage? In those situations, plastic may be the better option. Plastic containers, complete with lid, will create a much more secure barrier to prevent any pests from breaking through and finding their new home in your belongings. If the pests can’t find a welcoming home, they will likely move elsewhere.

Keep it Up!

Once your belongings are stored make sure to check in and administer a basic cleaning regularly. While nothing is likely to gather other than dust, in doing a regular watch you’ll be able to spot any signs of pests. If you do happen to come across any trace of unwanted guests make sure to contact your facility manager and work to eliminate the problem as soon as possible. As always with these situations the sooner the problem is noticed the better.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when it comes to belongings not easily replaced. The last thing anyone wants when going to pull their extra mattress is to find a family of mice spending their nights on it.

Making Your Movers Squad

The big change is on the horizon, moving from apartment to home, out of your parents, or across the city. All your belongings are packed up and ready to be hauled. The last piece of the moving puzzle is simply: ‘Who is helping?” If for whatever reason (costs, time prohibitive, etc.) hiring professional movers is not an option, who yagonna call? No, not the Ghostbusters. Instead here are a few familiar Go-To’s that form a solid Amateur Mover squad.

Parents

If the option is available, it is an almost guaranteed pair of hands to help. With the help of your folks, you benefit from years of moving experience and necessary tools of the trade. That is if you can handle the advice well enough to make use of it. That relationship may not be the case and rather than hear mom critique your new home or the choices that lead to this you might prefer to keep them off the invite list. Don’t be too hard on them, though, but measure that possibility before giving them a call. Parents are a guaranteed helpful option if you can handle it.

Friends

Moving up the list of Go-To’s are Friends. Likely you have a good number more than you do parents, and while they may not be a guaranteed helping hand, they are often the easiest to sway with offers of free beer and pizza. So why not assemble a squad of truck-owning friends and get your move done. Turn it into a party once you arrive and have everything placed or at least moved under the roof. Don’t feel too bad about asking for their help, to be sure it’ll be less than a year before one of them needs your help, but you better show up!

Uncles

In my opinion the pinnacle of manual labor assistance: The Uncle. Whether it’s helping your parents install new appliances or tearing up the yard, the Uncle is always the first call for assistance. Now it’s your turn to call on Uncle Bob and his truck. He’ll help move the boxes and make sure everything gets to where it needs to go, though he may make fun of you and your friends the whole time. If you’re lucky, he just might pair up with your dad to fix the stuck windows in the new place.

A Story From a Mover

Just over a year ago I was sitting on the floor by myself, in the corner of an empty room on an empty floor, in an empty house. Well, not entirely empty – yet.

In fact, I can remember every single item left inside. There was a half full bottle of Stone Ruination IPA on the tile floor just to my left. It was cold, bitter and flowery. Perfect for the moment. Across the room propped-up next to the door was my guitar case, holding my Paul Reed Smith SE Soapbar II.

And next to that was my backpack. The backpack that had been given to me as a gift.

The same backpack I had hauled across countless miles ofrocky trail in Red Rock, and Zion; up and back down the craggy, winding face of Mt. Charleston;beside the towering, shifting sand dunes of Death Valley; through desert canyons which lead to banks of the Colorado River; along the perfectly blue crystalline waters of Lake Tahoe.

You get the point.

That backpack had been some places. It had seen some shit. It was torn up, dusty, and sweat-soaked. It had carried climbing gear, books, sunscreen, sweatshirts, water bottles, notebooks, pens, beef jerky, apples, oranges, and pounds of trail mix chalk full of raisins. At times, it had been impossible to close, stuffed full with guidebooks, muddy shoes, headphones, asthma inhalers, flashlights and more.

Now it was almost sadly empty. One bottle of water. My wallet. My dog-eared copy of Don Delilo’s Underworld.

When I picked it up off the floor, that would be it. The house would be empty. Truly empty. Empty of people;empty of things; and empty of memories.

And that, is where most people begin getting sentimental. They will get all mushy, teary-eyed and emotional. They will say, “No, you are wrong. It’s FULL of memories.”

But here is the thing – it isn’t.It just isn’t.

The house I was about to leave was empty of memories. There were no memories baked into the walls by the warmth of the people who had laughed, cried, celebrated, doubted, worried and feared inside. The thick shag carpet upstairs, (which was inexplicably a previously undiscovered shade of…turquoise?) would have no recollection of the bare feet that walked, ran, and played across it. The oven wouldn’t remember the smell of thousands of chocolate chip cookies. The light which hung too low in the dining room wouldn’t remember the heads that banged into it, time and time again. It wouldn’t remember the family dinners eaten below. Or the card games and board games it had illuminated late into the night.Or the binders full of notes and PowerPoint slides and the hours and hours and exhausted hours of studying. The living room wouldn’t remember the couches we sat on, the shows we watched, or the games we cheered for. There were no eyes in the walls. No ears listening anywhere.

The bedrooms wouldn’t remember the people who slept inside.

When I picked my backpack up off the floor, and left, that would be it. With the air conditioning and lights off, the house would be empty, warm, and dark.

It would sit vacant and quiet.

Waiting for someone new to walk through the front door.

Suddenly, that house would no longer be my home.

Months later, when I would drive past, it would look foreign and strange in the night. The rainbow windmill which had sat in the front yard would be missing. The shadows cast by the streetlights would fall in patterns I didn’t remember.

And yet, it would feel familiar. So familiar. Familiar in a way that was immediate and overwhelming. Like the smell of fresh baked cookies. Or the sound of a laugh.

The house I was about to leave was empty of memories, and that didn’t matter. Because I remember every moment. The good ones and the bad. The house could be torn down; the furniture lost, donated, broken, or sold; the pictures deleted; the people who lived inside could move to the corners of the world. And it wouldn’t matter.

Because the memories were not attached to this place or the things that had been inside it. They lived inside me. They were alive in my every thought and breath. Alive in who I was and who I would become. They were undeniable. The memories of that home were like a twisted knot of gold, lodged in my head and in my heart.

The house wouldn’t remember a god damn thing, but I always would.

I stood up in that empty room and finished the beer beside me.

I picked up my backpack and that was it.

I said goodbye.

Storage for Seasonal Residents

Phoenix is one of the most popular cities in America when it comes to season residents. Colloquially, people who spend winter in Phoenix, and summer somewhere else, are referred to as snowbirds. Snowbirds spend the winters in the comparative paradise of Phoenix, while the rest of American freezes and is buried under several tons of snow. Snowbirds typically only spend a few months in Phoenix, but their possessions and homes stay here year around.

Self-Storage for Seasonal Residents

Even though many snowbirds own homes or condominiums in Phoenix, many of them still make use of self-storage facilities. A home which is left on its own for 6 to 8 months out of the year is a vulnerable target for burglars. Many snowbirds opt to keep their valuable possessions in the safety of a self-storage facility when they are out of town.

The homes of snowbirds also sit empty during the brutal heat of the summer. Because there is no one living in them, the air conditioning will almost always be turned off inside these homes. This can lead to the internal temperature of the homes rising above 120 degrees. Many items, including wooden furniture, will be damaged by prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures. This is another reason many snowbirds opt to place items in storage.

Some items can be properly stored inside the home, rather than at a storage facility. These items are best placed in boxes, then sealed. If snowbirds would rather keep their furniture inside the home, they would do best to cover it in plastic in order to give it some protection. It is also common to place mothballs near clothing to keep away pest that might cause damage. If snowbirds know people who are permanent residents of Phoenix, they can ask them to stop by the home periodically to make sure everything is in good shape.

Learning To Reduce Clutter

Do you remember what it was like to be young? You wanted to own everything! If you saw a toy, you wanted it. If your neighbor had a toy, you wanted it even more. If you saw a commercial for a toy, you HAD to have it. There was no negotiating. And of course, the moment you had a toy, you forgot about it. It became clutter. Toys pilled with other toys while you grew up and went about your life. More clutter gathered. Eventually… it took over. Today we are going to talk about reduce clutter in your home.

Memorabilia

Memorabilia often makes up a large percentage of the clutter that starts following us around throughout our lives. Memorabilia may include crafts made when we were children, photos of early birthday parties, gifts given to us by a wacky aunt, stuffed animals, sea shells, old toys, the list goes on. What all of these items have in common, is that they are now useless, but we keep them around anyway. Why do we do this? Because we have emotional attachments to things. One of the best ways to start decluttering your life, is to move memorabilia to storage, where it can stay safe, but you don’t have to see it.

The Infrequently Used

We all have items like this around our home. Things we only use once or twice a year. Declutter your home by putting seldom used items in storage. If you own several boxes of camping gear, but only make it out a couple of times a year, why not place them in storage? Seasonal items like snowboards and skis are excellent candidates for storage as well. You only need access to them for a few months out of the year. For the other months, keep them somewhere they will be safe, but out of site. Holiday decorations are only used for a few days. When it isn’t holiday time, keep them in a convenient self-storage unit.

Practical Reasons To Consider In Renting A Storage Unit

If you think renting a storage unit is only used for putting away old or seasonal items, think again. In fact, storage units can be used for much more than only storage, including a number of practical reasons that may apply to you!

• Staging/selling a home: If you’ve ever been in the process of buying or selling a house, then you know the importance of first impressions. By renting a storage unit, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of clutter in your house, making the layout of the home more visually appealing to potential buyers.

• Long-term business trips and travel: Renting a storage unit for individuals who find themselves taking extended business trips and vacations would be beneficial for a number of reasons. For instance, if you’ll be away for any reason, you might consider subleasing your home or room to someone, short term. By renting a unit, you’ll be able to safely and securely store your belongings, while simultaneously benefiting by keeping your name on a preexisting lease agreement.

• Moving in with someone: Whether you’re dating or married, moving in with your significant other is a big deal. It also means that you’ll only be needing less furniture, i.e. one bed. With a storage unit, you and your special someone can store any excess furniture that you don’t have space for in your new place.

• Home remodeling and updating: Depending on the project, remodeling your home can take anywhere from a few days to weeks to months. Renting a storage unit, even if it’s short term, means that you’ll be able to store everything in the room being remodeled, without the fear of your furniture and other items becoming ruined in the process.

These are only a few of the practical reasons in which you can benefit from renting a storage unit. The possibilities are endless, and by renting with Allstate Self Storage, you will be able to store your goods during any phase of life!