Monthly Archives: May 2015

Spring Cleaning 101

It’s that time of year again. Winter is breaking and love is in the air. Birds are chirping and flowers are blooming. Spring is a triumph over winter; a symbol for rebirth and the organic capacity to start again. Spring is here. Part of spring is an effort to start anew. That is why spring cleaning is essential. Giving your home the makeover it deserves is the perfect way to transition into a beautiful spring. Below are a few tips to optimize the process.

Cleaning Efficiency

Obviously, cleaning is not fun. If you can afford a cleaning lady, and you hate to clean, then you should probably pay for spring cleaning. For those less fortunate individuals, there are a few steps to take that can speed the process along and make it more enjoyable. First, come up with a strategic battle plan. Start with the most difficult areas while you still have all your strength and focus. That means targeting under the couch, over the cupboard, and between the cracks and crannies where dust is known to reside. After tackling the difficult to reach places, a sweep with the vacuum or a tussle with the duster will feel like a walk in the park.

Go Green

Nowadays, going green is all the rage. In order to transition into an evergreen spring, its best to clean with green goals in mind. Several products are available on the market today, such as environmentally conscious cleaning solutions or reusable mop heads. These products are just as effective and you will surely sleep easier at night knowing you did your part.

Store what you Don’t Need

Part of spring cleaning is removing the old and making room for the new. Consult a quality self-storage provider in order to free up space in your own home. Removing superfluous belonging will add space, and make you feel better. That is what spring is all about.

The Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage Space

The Phoenix Metropolitan area poses the unique threat of the scorching sun. Sure, the climate is ideal eight months out of the year. But summers can become intolerable, and threatening to your tangible items. That is why it’s essential to store personal belongings in a climate controlled storage unit, rather than your garage.

Delicate and sensitive items should be sheltered in a space that guards your belongings all year long. Temperatures are usually kept between a range of 65 and 85, and we maintain a humidity that protects against the decay moisture is apt to cause. The garage on the other hand has none of these controls in place. During the summer you can expect an increased decay of valuable items as they slowly dissipate and the life span and luster of valuables dissipates. This includes bureaus, furniture, china, memorabilia, holiday decorations, and lighting fixtures. And of course, the garage is not safe from thieves. In fact, most breaking and entering crimes occur in the garage, and it usually an inside job from someone such as a relative or neighbor.

Our climate controlled storage units at All State Self-Storage not only protect against the scorching sun, and the uncommon occurrence of hiked humidity, but also, avaricious insidious thieves. We offer round the clock security for your belonging by employing highly qualified security professionals. Your delicate items such as seasonal clothing, leather, or furniture will remain snug as a bug, safe and sound.

At All State-Self Storage we feel we provide more than space. We are guardians of valuables, keepers of belongings, and protectors of possessions. Providing safe, reliable space to unfetter consumers of clutter is our highest hope, and the smiles of our customers is our ultimate reward.

Storage Space for College Students

Imagine this, you’re dropping your first born child off at college. She is nervous and so are you. For the past eighteen years you’ve cared for her, thoughtfully. But there comes a time in every parent’s life when they must allow their young to fly away from the nest. So you saddle up that minivan you promised yourself you would never buy when you were your daughter’s age. You pack it to the brim with all the essentials for a first year college student. You feel vulnerable, excited, and nervous all at the same time—so does your daughter.

You arrive at the university and park in front of the dormitory, home for your daughter now. A student greets you, and offers to help move your daughter’s belongings. You accept the assistance. Slowly and steadily, you load a dolly with boxes upon boxes, your daughter’s most precious belongings and most treasured treasures. You reach the dorm and open the door. But then, horror sets in…

Your daughter’s future residence is stuffed. Her roommate has packed the place to the brim, and your daughter has just as much stuff. How could someone live amongst this clutter? you wonder. The dismay on your daughters face is heart wrenching and you cannot bear to see the sight of disappointment on her first flight from the nest. What do you do?

Well it’s really simple. Call All State Self-Storage, we have several locations close to ASU. You can store your daughter’s valuables that she does not readily need on hand: her microwave, old clothes, posters, and ect. A climate controlled storage unit is the perfect solution to dorm room clutter. You can keep important things a few miles away, and then access them anytime you need them. Moving a child into a dorm room can be difficult, don’t make it more difficult because of clutter.

Organizing your Storage Unit

It would not make a whole lot of sense to toss your valuable possessions into your storage unit, aimlessly. Nevertheless though, it happens all the time. That’s fine. It’s your right as a customer. But we encourage all our consumers at All State Self-Storage to store smart. Procuring the space is the first step, stocking it is the next.

Plan Ahead

This is the single most important thing you can do. Just like a good chess player with a clear mission in mind and their end game in sight, storing smart requires looking ahead before moving items into play. Utilize the space properly. Heavy boxes should be placed on the bottom of a column stack, sort of like a corner stone. Moreover, hooks and shelves are available in storage units in order to maximize the available space. Planning ahead is the single most important thing you can do when storing valuables.

Paper or Plastic?

Avoid using paper whenever possible. Cardboard is liable to tear or rip, and plastic is not. Plastic containers may cost a bit more upfront, but the security they offer and the damage they prevent are worth the extra cash. Moreover, plastic offers the unique advantage of transparency. You can see what is stored in the box!
Label Boxes

Although utilizing plastic boxes facilitates transparency, its best to label every box for quick access. Often, the items in a plastic container can become obscured by clutter. It can be difficult to determine just what is where. Drafting detailed labels for your belongings is the best way to quickly recoup the items you’ve stored.

Most importantly, don’t forget to be creative and have fun while storing your belongings. If you do it right, storing boxes should feel like a giant three dimensional puzzle with heavy objects.

Making the Most Out of a Small Living Space

If you’ve recently downsized from a mansion to a house, a house to a condo, or a condo to an apartment, then it’s possible you may have more stuff than space available. It’s important to feel comfortable in your new living space, unfettered by clutter. Give yourself a break and opt for storage space. At Allstate Self-Storage we can help you maximize the comfort and aesthetic appeal of your new living space—downsizing is hard enough.

Interior Design Tips

To avoid feeling like Harry Potter locked in a cupboard, stay organized and refuse to tolerate clutter. Every inch of your apartment must be utilized, free space included. In order to successfully downsize to a smaller living space, a minimalist philosophy is always the best bet. Female club goers may be familiar with this concept, essentially, less is more. Also, functionalism is important. Just like a good chess player, you need to make every object in your apartment count and work together.

What to do with Superfluous Items?

When downsizing and redecorating with minimalism and functionalism in mind, there will usually be extra items left over. In the case that you have more furniture or artwork than you need, your best bet is to invest in a safe storage unit to protect your valuables and keep your living space free from clutter. At Allstate Self-Storage we offer climate controlled storage units, protected by qualified security professionals around the clock.

Often, downsizing necessitates the need for space to store truly superfluous items. For instance, your holiday decorations. That ten foot fake Christmas tree or inflatable pumpkin with a heavy air pressurizer included will no doubt take up more space than you can manage. However, these items have too much sentimental value to throw away. Consult a storage expert to keep these safe. You can always retrieve them for the holiday season, or bring them back to your garage if you regain a larger living space.

Storing Valuables for an Extended Trip

Sometimes, life pulls you toward adventure. Whether you’re deployed on military service, moving oversees for business, or stricken by wanderlust, it’s important to make arrangements for the safe keeping of your belongings. At Allstate Self-Storage, we are happy to serve as guardians of belongings, keepers of valuables, and protectors of possessions.

First off, make sure you pack your valuables with bubble wrap or tissue paper. During transit, it’s highly probable that something could go wrong, and your valuables could break or shatter. Secondly, make sure that your clothing is dry before storing. Storing damp clothes can lead to the formation of harmful bacteria such as mold. Also, damp clothing serves as a hotbed for spawning moths, which will eat your clothing until it’s nothing.

While backpacking through northern Italy it’s highly probable you will forget about personal possessions—great. But there will of course come a time when you will need to reclaim you possessions. When this time comes, make sure that you are prepared. Label all boxes properly so you can avoid the inconvenience of opening every single box to find your desired possession. This can be done with a sharpie, or masking tape and a ballpoint pen.

Another imperative for safe storing, requires choosing a self-storage provider that offers climate controlled storage units. Allstate Self-Storage offers such units. Rest assured that your possessions will remain in the same condition you left them, safe and sound, unharmed by the elements. It’s our job to protect your things, and it’s your right not to worry about them. Otherwise, why are you coming to us in the first place?

At Allstate Self-Storage, we pride ourselves in being more than a self-storage provider. We are guardians of belongings, defenders of valuables, protectors of possessions.

Allstate Self Storage Supports the U.S. Department of Justice’s Law Suit

Allstate Self Storage Supports the U.S. Department of Justice’s Law Suit against a Storage Company Auctioning Deployed Veterans Belongings

In March, The U.S. Department of Justice dropped the hammer on Horoy Inc— DBA Across Town Movers— for selling the belongings of deployed service members. At Allstate Self Storage we are appalled by the actions of this company, and wholeheartedly support the indictment levied by the U.S Department of Justice.

All good storage companies are familiar with a stipulation in the Service Members Civil Relief Act that protects U.S. servicemen deployed on active duty. The stipulation guarantees that a lien can’t be enforced against a service member during military service, or for 90 days after the end of that service. Honestly, we feel that more time for our nation’s guardians is merited.

The Department of Justice contends that Across Town Movers has sold the personal property of 11 service members without obtaining the proper court documents. Some of these items include vintage cars, family heirlooms, and precious jewelry. What’s worse, Across Town Movers continued to collect storage rent after auctioning off veteran inventory.
These servicemen deserve special protection, as they focus on guarding our country. Without them, Across Town Movers would be unable to perpetrate injustice. How could they run their business underneath the imminent threat of foreign invasion?

Attorney General Gupta released the following statement, “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the rights of the men and women who serve in our armed forces.”
The U.S. Department of Justice recommended that storage companies always check the U.S. Defense Department’s Military Database before auctioning off the belongings of a tenant. We at Allstate Self-Storage are more than happy to comply.

Across Town Movers will be forced to pay $55,000 for the first offense, and $110,000 for each additional offense— servetur justicia.

Hedge Funds Move toward Investment in Self Storage

The storage industry has traditionally been dominated by ma and pop shops and small private investors. However, a shift in investment patterns is occurring as large financial conglomerates like Morgan Stanley are shifting investments into self-storage.

Self-storage offers the highest return on investment in the commercial real estate sector. The five year return on self-storage is 24.4 percent, the ten year return is 17.8 percent, and the fifteen year return is 20.3 percent, on average. These incredibly high ROI numbers, as well as the lack of supply and high demand, has increased investments from hedge funds and large investment firms.

Recently, storage space at Allstate has been filling up incredibly fast. The average occupancy for the industry is around 91% percent. Customers also benefit because of the low price for storage cost. Basically, the business model is impeccable. Everyone truly stands to profit from self-storage and that is why storage facilities are ubiquitous and successful.

Some of the firms attracted to investment in self-storage include start up private equity firms. For instance, Carlyle Group partnered with self-storage company, William Warren. Moreover investors Prudential, Fortress, Morgan Stanley and Harrison Street have shown recent interest. These investors are interested in the high return on investment, and also the fragmentation of the industry. There is also room for mergers and follow up acquisitions.

In the next twenty years, you will see a decline in Mom-and-Pop ownership of self-storage as it becomes dominated by private investments. Whole departments are springing up at investment firms, dedicated to the acquisition of what they deem as lucrative self-storage locations. Generally, they are searching for geographical locations that are on the verge of exploding. Investment in high traffic areas will obviously be a more costly endeavor and one that investment firms will likely avoid.

On Choosing the Right Mover (Part 2)

Being in the storage business, we feel that we are natural born guardians. Protecting people’s valuables is what we do. People’s valuables are an extension of the person. Therefore, we protect people. One of the easiest ways to sink a successful storage mission is to choose the wrong mover. Below are a few simple steps to prevent this misfortune from happening.

Research, Research, Research

One of the advantages of the information age is the vast wealth of research material available online. Most moving companies will have a website, a Facebook, or a yelp page available online. These are valuable tools. Customers will often leave reviews on these pages. Avoid any company with a large amount of negative reviews online. One or two is acceptable, because it might be left by a competitor or an anomaly. However, if you notice a pattern of bad reviews then avoid that company like the plague.

Moving Insurance

Any registered moving company operating with a license will have insurance options available. If you are moving across state lines, then that company is obligated by state law to offer you insurance. There are two types of insurance: Full Value Protection and Released Value. The latter requires no additional payment, and it will pay out sixty cents per pound of any item that disappears or is damaged. Full Value Protection cost extra, but it stipulates that the mover will be responsible for the full value of any item that is lost or damaged during the move. At Allstate Self storage we see choosing the correct insurance option as an executive decision, requiring value judgement. Are you moving a priceless bureau, with intricate patterns chiseled in the Rhine Land of France? Or are you moving an entertainment unit purchased from IKEA? Take things such as this into account when making your final decision.

On Choosing the Right Mover (part 1)

At Allstate Self-Storage, we want our customers satisfied and happy no matter what the cost. The easiest way to compromise that goal is to store your stuff in the wrong place—bad area of town, no security, electricity hazards everywhere, basically not with us. But the second easiest way is to trust the wrong movers. We at Allstate Self Storage strongly advise against this.

Consulting amateurs can result in scratched tables, shattered china, and broken hearts. These are things we hope to protect our customers against. Simple things such as checking for the proper credentials, and simple quality control can make all the difference. Below are a few simple tips that can help.

Let me see a License

This may surprise some, but movers are required to secure a license from the federal government and the U.S. Department of Transportation DOT. Qualified movers should have this information on them. But if they don’t, you can verify mover qualifications by phoning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or by visiting the website www.protectyourmove.gov. Any mover without a license is a potential risk, they are most likely uninsured, and the money you might save is not worth the money you put at risk.

Choosing Between Local or National

This is contingent upon where you are moving. If you’re are crossing state lines then its best you go with a national moving provider, such as U-Haul. However, if you’re are remaining in state, a local provider should suffice and it will be cheaper. Make sure to do some quality control. Often local companies will resort to temps or day labor to fill spots on their roster. You want to avoid this because day laborers are likely to be unqualified.