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!

Storage For College Students

Whether you’re sending your child off to, or are currently attending college, renting a storage unit can save you a world of potential space concerns. Even if your dream school is only thirty minutes from your home, anyone can benefit from the extra space provided by a storage unit.

How so? Well, the answers are endless. The most important, however, is that having a storage unit will make moving out at the end of the year much easier. Rather than lugging all of your dorm bedding, furniture, and miscellaneous items home, just put them into storage! This is most useful for people who attend college outside of their home state, as both shipping and luggage fees can add up quickly.

A storage unit is also ideal to keep textbooks and other notes you’ve accumulated throughout the semesters that you can’t seem to get rid of. After all, textbooks can be extremely expensive nowadays! If you know that you’ll need one of your 5-pound books to reference in the future, don’t sell it: store it!

But what about the size? Unless you decide to store your entire life in your unit, our 5×5 (25 square feet) unit is all the space that a college student would need to get them through a standard four year program. You can also help your friends out too, by agreeing to store some of their furniture and bedding. Not only will storing the items from multiple people make the most of the space available, it also helps when moving back into your dorm as you can reconnect with your friends faster!

Paying for college can definitely be a hassle, as well. You might be thinking that with all of the payments you’ll be making towards tuition, room, board, and books, you might not be able to afford the extra expense of renting a unit. If this is the case, don’t be discouraged! We find that many college students who rent our units will split the cost evenly amongst their group, so no one person has to cover the entire cost.

Here at Allstate Self Storage, we value the pursuit of education at all levels. Let us help you, your friends, and family make college life easier by storing your items in one of our many units!

Finding The Right Size For Your Needs

Whatever you need to store, Allstate Self Storage has the perfect sized unit for you! With six different size units to choose from, Allstate Self Storage offers a wide variety of units in order to match your personal needs. Here is a guide to help you rent your next unit:

• 5×5 (25 sq. ft.): Our smallest unit is most popular among people who want to store a few items, like furniture and seasonal clothes. Those who choose this unit also like to store things like garden tools and miscellaneous options they don’t have room for at home.

• 5×10 (50 sq. ft.):Fifty square feet will provide you with plenty of room to store that old furniture you might have lying around. This unit can fit everything from a small bedroom to an individual office. If you get creative with your space, you can even fit some clothes if you store them in some drawers or boxes!

• 10×10 (100 sq. ft.): All 100 square feet of our mid-sized unit provides you with all the storage space that a single person or small family could want to fit! A unit this size is perfect for storing all the items you can find in a living room plus two bedrooms. You’ll never run out of space with this size unit.

• 10×15 (150 sq. ft.): If you think you need just a bit more space than our 10×10, definitely check out our 10×15 unit, giving you a whopping 150 square feet of storage. This unit can hold all of the items used to furnish up to three full bedrooms! If furniture isn’t what you need to store, this unit can fit your beautiful baby grand piano with space still left over.

• 10×20 (200 sq. ft.): Perfect for a large family, our 200 square foot unit can hold all of the items in a five bedroom home. Yes, that’s five beds, five dressers, and five of whatever else you like to furnish your home with.

• 10×30 (300 sq. ft.): Looking to store an old car? Well, look no further. Our largest unit is ideal for those who want to store their vehicles. Whether it’s a classic, antique car you want to store, or a project you’ll get to later, this large unit can fit all of the items you could have in a seven bedroom house!

Remember, you can store practically any item you want to in an Allstate Self Storage unit! For questions regarding our storage units, feel free to call us at any of our locations!

How To Make Organizing Your Unit Fun!

Like all efforts to maintain cleanliness and organization, they aren’t making the list of “most fun things to do.” However, cleaning and organizing your storage unit can be a world of fun with the right mindset! If you’re thinking to yourself, “how do I do that?” begin thinking of it like a game. In fact, think of it like a real-life version of Tetris!

Before you begin, be mindful that it’s in your best interest to grab a few friends or family members to help you organize your unit. In the event that something were to fall and you find yourself injured, it’s best to play it safe and have others around who can call for help if necessary.

With that out of the way, it’s time to get the game started! First, you’ll want to remove all of the items in your unit to sweep out any dust or grime that’s accumulated over time. While someone does that, other people can work on actually cleaning the items and wiping them down. It’s no use to clean the unit if the items themselves aren’t cleaned, as well!

Next, you’ll want to visualize how you want to store each item, and where all like-items should be placed. In order to maximize your space and stay organized, place the items you use less frequently, or large, bulky items, towards the back. While you’re sorting through what you want to place where, be sure that all of your items in boxes are labeled appropriately, so you won’t find yourself rummaging through box after box at a later time. Also, don’t be afraid to stack the items that you have placed in boxes, etc. However, don’t stack them too high. If you did that, you’d have a pretty difficult time getting the items in the middle of the pile.

While you’re doing all of this, be sure to have fun with it! Make all of your bulky items and boxes fit nice and snug like a bug in a rug! Just be sure to leave yourself a little pathway that stretches from the front and back of your unit for easy maneuvering.

Things To Avoid Storing In Your Unit

Here at Allstate Self Storage, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with the best storage facilities in your state. There are, however, certain items we strongly advise against storing, for both legal and practical reasons. By becoming aware of the items on this list, you’ll become a storage expert in no time!

• People: Though it may seem like common sense to keep yourself and/or others out of the unit, there have been a number of cited cases where people choose to save money on rent of office space by turning their storage unit into temporary professional or living spaces. What might seem like a sound choice to save money is actually very illegal, so please keep yourself and others out of the unit for these purposes.

• Food and plants: Along the same lines as “people,” storing any perishable food items or living plants is also highly advised against. If you’re like most people, you’ll only be visiting your unit every so often, like when you need those winter jackets you have stored away. If you were to keep any perishable food items or living plants, they’ll begin to rot and die. When you do this, you’ll be welcoming a whole slew of small animals and bugs. If you think you can get away with storing a little succulent cactus, please think again.

• Flammable materials: Even though you won’t be setting off any fireworks in your unit, avoid storing those with any of your items. Despite being illegal, you’d want to avoid an utter catastrophe if they were ever to go off in your unit. This also applies to things like propane tanks, paints, fertilizers, etc. If you need to store something like a propane tank or gasoline tank itself, be sure that the tank has been both emptied and cleaned before it makes its way into your unit.

If you have any further questions or concerns about what you should avoid storing in your unit, give us a call at any one of our state and city locations!

Keeping Track Of Your Items 101

Whether you’ve been renting a storage unit for a while or you’re new to storage units, keeping track of your items doesn’t have to be a difficult task.If you’ve had a unit for a while, you’ve probably put both time and effort into keeping the unit clean and organized. If you’re new to storage, you’ve been more than careful to add items that you can’t fit in your house, or items you can’t seem to let go.

Whatever the case, you’ll need to keep track of everything stored in your unit. And because we are all human, we tend to forget what we’ve stored every once in a while. But have no fear! You can keep track of your items by making a checklist or spreadsheet with all of your items listed and up-to-date. You’ll also want at least two copies of this list: one at home or on your computer, and the other inside of your unit. That way, making adjustments to your list will be hassle free.

Before you jump to counting and writing down each of your items, you can make this process easier to organizing your unit. First, you should begin by storing your items according to their likeness – clothes with clothes, electronics with electronics – and so on. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep track of all your items and their whereabouts within the unit. Once you accomplished that, then feel free to start making that checklist of items.

You don’t have to stop there, however. In addition to your checklist, you might also want to consider creating a map of your unit, which visually relays which items you have placed in each area of your unit, like a photograph! The combination of a checklist and visual map of everything in your unit will keep you on track to never losing or misplacing an item again.

Important Motorcycle Storage Advice

We spend a lot of time here at the Allstate Self-Storage blog offering storage advice. We touch on a range of topics, from storing vinyl records, to organizing a move, to find the best storage units. Strangely enough, one topic we have never touched on before is the storage of motorcycles. Individuals put their bikes in storage for any number of reasons; they may be moving, going out of town for an extended period of time, storing a vintage bike, or simply freeing up some extra space in the garage. Whatever the case, when storing a motorcycle there are a few pieces of advice you should follow. Let’s get into it.

1. Fresh Oil

Before putting your bike in storage, make sure you have the oil changed. Old oil can become corrosive. If it the bike sits around for just a few months, the old oil can damage engine parts. Plus, by changing the oil just as you put it in storage, your bike will be ready to hit the road the moment you take it out.

2. Top Off Fluids

It is important to top off all fluids when putting your bike in storage. Swing by the gas station to fill the tank close to full, then add a fuel stabilizer. Finally, have the clutch, brake, and coolant fluids all topped off.

3. Rack It

We recommend storing your motorcycle on a rack to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the tires. If you don’t store it on a rack, the full weight of the bike will bear down on the tires for an extended period of time. This causes uneven wear. If you don’t own a rack, make it a priority to take the bike out once every month to rotate the tires.

Avoiding Major Storage Mistakes (Part Two)

Today on the Allstate Self-Storage blog we are revisiting the topic of major storage mistakes. When it comes to self-storage, mistakes can be costly. The reason for that is the “self” part of self-storage. You are taking charge of your storage operation, even if you don’t have extensive storage experience. That is why we like to incorporate the concept of partnership with our self-storage clients. We are here to help with anything, and to be valuable sources of information on all topics related to storage. Today, we are going to cover a few more major storage mistakes you should be sure to avoid making!

3. Pay Attention to the Details

When it comes time to move, it is easy to get swept up with how big the job is. You almost end up rushing to get it done. You pack your boxes as quickly as possible, throw them in the back of the moving van, and get the in storage. Hopefully in record time. However, with this approach it is easy to forget about important details. For example, did you drain the gasoline out of your motorized appliances? Did you wash all your blankets and clothes? Did you mark all of your boxes containing fragile items? Sometimes, the most important aspects of moving are in the details.

4. Avoiding Organization

When it comes to moving, good organization, foresight, and proper planning are your best friends. You want to get the job done as quickly and as efficiently as possible. We have several organizational techniques which you can incorporate into your next move to streamline things nicely. First, make a hand sketch of the storage space you are going to be moving into. Measure the space and all of your boxes. Make sure the sketch is done to scale. Now starting filling it up. This can help you plan things out in detail. Color coding can add another layer of organization to the sketch. Finally, make sure you label EVERYTHING. This can save you so much time in the long run. Label, label, and label some more.

Avoiding Major Storage Mistakes (Part One)

Listen, we have all made mistakes before. We are only human. It is a natural part of life. There are costly mistakes and not so costly mistakes. Minor and Major. Here at Allstate Self-Storage, we have seen every storage mistake imaginable. We have seen mistakes that have cost individuals thousands of dollars, and we have seen mistakes that just ended up being funny in the long run. Starting today, we are beginning a multi-part blog series covering major storage mistakes you should make sure you avoid making. Let’s get into it.

1. Size Matters – Choosing the Right Unit

When it comes the correct storage unit, size really does matter. Rent a unit that is too big, and you are just wasting money each and every month. Rent a unit that is too small, and you won’t have enough space to store your belongings. The best way to make sure you rent the correctly-sized unit is to consult with an Allstate Self-Storage storage professional. You can also utilize the handy-dandy Space Estimator available right here on our website. These tools can help you make the right decision when it comes to renting a storage unit.

2. Considering Climate Control

Do not rush into a storage unit without first considering climate control. Yes, climate controlled facilities will be slightly more expensive, but sometimes they are necessary. Carefully assess the items you are putting into storage. Could they be damaged by extreme heat/cool? What about moisture? The last thing you want is to have an expensive piece of wood furniture ruined because you didn’t rent a temperature controlled self-storage unit. As always, if you have any questions you should consult with a storage professional. You can also browse the Allstate Self-Storage blog for more information as to what items should be stored in climate controlled units.