Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Anatomy of Saying Goodbye

We here at Allstate Self Storage know how difficult it can be to say goodbye, not just to people, but to things. And not just big, important things, but everything! “We do not know if people store their lava lamps because parting with them is such sweet sorrow. But we do know they store them because they like them and that they like them because they’re theirs,” said a researcher with the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Its Mine!

The previously mentioned researcher stated that their study showed the reason people often hang on to the things they hang on to is simple: it’s because it is theirs! They own it, and they never want to not own it. They identify with it. It is part of them. This can be a difficult feeling to get over. Confronting it is one of the first steps an owner need to take if they are ever going to say goodbye.

Deciding what to let go

Sometimes the moment will come when you have to say goodbye. Perhaps it is moving time, and you are going to be forced to downsize. Perhaps getting rid of a piece of furniture or two will help you fit your belongings into a 5×5 storage locker, rather than 5×10. The savings from month to month could really add up! This is when you have to identify the essentials. You need a bed, a dresser, perhaps some kitchen utensils. When it comes down to it that may be all! You should hang onto some sentimental items as well.

Saying Goodbye

You can take a moment here. We know your old transformers toys or cabbage patch kids mean a lot to you. Remember, when you love something ( or someone ) they will always stay with you in your heart.

America Loves Storage

America has fallen in love with storage. Deeply in love. No other country in the world has as many storage facilities. No other country in the world dedicates as many endless square feet to the task of inertly sitting there. We believe that this love affair is deeply justified, and well deserved.

We Love what we Love

They say love is the most powerful force in the world. Love plays a strong role in the world of storage. In fact, love may be driving the entire industry! Psychologist James Oliver commented on why we store the things we love, “We feel it might come in handy one day. It feels like a little part of yourself, even though it is just a thing. You wouldn’t want to throw away part of yourself, would you?” Americans have trouble have trouble saying good bye to things, but we think that is okay! We will store your loved pieces of furniture for you!

What are we storing?

Well, Americans will store basically anything, however, the #1 stored item held in facilities across the nation was furniture. It makes sense. Furniture is large, and difficult to store at home. An extra bed or dresser isn’t going to fit in the closet, so what else is a homeowner to do? They aren’t going to throw it away! They put it in storage.

Who is storing?

There is no average storage locker owner. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and demographics. 68% of self-storage owners live in single-family homes. As their family grows, so too does their accumulation of possession. Often, storage is an easier and cheaper alternative to moving! Speaking of moving, 31% of renters retain their storage units for less than 6 months. This implies that a good deal of renters are on the move. They need a place to keep their valuables as the move from city to city, state to state, or even just apartment to apartment.

Storage around the World

The world is a rich mosaic, full of a bounty of unique, individual, and interesting cities. Every city has its own personal little quirks. Cultures change over time, and adapt. The cities housing these cultures change and adapt with them. Food, style, and entertainment are approached differently across the globe. So to, in fact, is storage.

Phoenix Storage

The City of Phoenix, Arizona is a large, sprawling city which covers an extremely large amount of land. The population density in Arizona is relatively small. Residents of Arizona don’t need to worry about being packed like sardines into a can, like the residents of, say, New York. Because of this, Arizonians have plenty of room to store things. The evidence is all around us, in the wealth of storage facilities we drive by on any given day. Phoenicians can and will store anything they can get their hands on. The entire contents of a 4 bedroom home? Stored. Farming Equipment? Stored. There is room aplenty for all.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the most densely packed city in the entire world. Hong Kong houses well over 7 million individuals in an area smaller than New York City. Predictably, this mean that there isn’t any extra space anywhere. Apartments are diminutive, and houses nearly nonexistent. Prices are beyond unaffordable. Hong Kong is a city where no one stores anything. Ever. There just simply isn’t the space. What space little space might accidently be left free is much, much too valuable to use for storage.

New York

After hearing about Hong Kong, readers may assume that the residents the great New York City would be facing similar hardships. New York is no Arizona, but its citizens have it much better off than those poor souls living in Hong Kong. New York is well supplied with storage facilities. The rates for these facilities are nowhere near as affordable as those in The Valley of the Sun. If you are choosing to store something in New York City, it had better be worth it!

Downsizing Downers

Downsizing is becoming an increasingly popular trend among American families. Parents send their kids off into the real world, then look at their large, now mostly empty houses, and decided that it may be time for something smaller. This comes with its own unique problems. When you move from a two-story, 5 bedroom home, to a 3 bedroom, single-story, mid-century marvel, you are going to have to do something with what is now an excess of belongings.

Sorting and Assessing

When it is time to downsize, you are going to have to make some tough decisions. Not every items in your current home is going to make it into your new, cozier abode. The specifics are largely going to be decided for you. You only need to bring as many beds as you have bedroom, only as many shower curtains as you have showers. Identify your highest quality pieces, and those that you have sentimental ties to. Those are all going to be automatically placed in the “keep” pile. As for everything else, it may be time to start discarding excess belongings.

Profiting from Disposal

You may be losing a few pieces of furniture, but this could be a good opportunity to gain something else quite valuable – cold hard cash. Throw a garage sale, or post your items on websites like Craigslist, or apps like OfferUp. These provide you with easy to use methods for profiting off of your unneeded dressers, beds, couches, and desks.

Donating

If you have attempted to sell your furniture, but you still have a few items left, it may be time to think about donation. Donating items to organizations like Goodwill can give you the peace of mind of knowing you have done a good deed. A family less well off than yours will rejoice at the opportunity to bring a new couch into their home. It will also give you a well-deserved tax write off!

Picking Your Storage Unit

So you have decided to embrace the convenience of self-storage, have you? Well, that was a smart idea! Storage units are widely accessible, and provide unsurpassed security and reliability. They can help you reduce the clutter in your home, find a safe place to store valuables, and bring some organization to your otherwise hectic and cluttered life.

Choosing the Proper Size

Picking the right sized unit is the best way to maximize the value of your storage unit. You want to make use of ever little square inch, while making sure you do not run out of space. It is also important not to forget to account for the logistics of packing and unpacking the unit. 5×5 units are the smallest offered by Allstate Self Storage. These walk-in closet sized storage lockers are perfect for the storage of boxed items or seasonal supplies. Small furniture items can fit, but it might be tight! Small and medium units are designed for the storage of bedrooms and family rooms. If you are looking to store the contents of multiple rooms, or even an entire house, it may be best to look at the large, huge, and gigantic units.

Location Logistics

Now that you have picked out your storage units it is time to start thinking about location. Do you want a storage facility that is near your house? Perhaps you would like one closer to a potential moving destination. Once you have picked your facility you need to pick out the right unit. Do you need drive-up access? Does it matter if your unit is indoors or outdoors? Are you going to need help moving all of your items? After you have answered all of these questions you will be ready to pick out the perfect storage unit to fit your needs!

The Graduating College Student

Graduation is one of the most momentous occasions in a young individual’s life. It doesn’t, however, always generate as much momentum as a graduate, or perhaps their parents, may like. The goal for graduates it so take that massive leap from adolescences to adulthood. Some, require and extra stepping stone or two along the way – perhaps with a brief stop and Mom and Dad’s house.

Downsizing

A college graduate who must spend a brief, dignified, period of time at Mom and Dad’s house will probably face some forced downsizing of their pile of personal belongings. The last thing parents want has already happened; the second to last thing they want is seeing their home fill with 22 year-old would-be adult’s collection of vinyl records. This is when the graduate is going to have to make some hard decisions. What are the essentials for everyday life? Clothing, toiletries… that may be it. Parents may be open to negotiating the use of more space, but boarders should remember, negotiation required a position of power, it may be best to exhibit caution.

Proper storage

Posters, beanbag chair, mini-fridge, wall mounted pull-up bar, electric guitar, oversized amp, none of these items made the cut. The student isn’t going to want to say good-by to their valuables, so they are going to have to find a place to put them. Time to turn to Allstate Self Storage. Allstate has a wide range of storage locker sizes to fill any storage need. A 5×5 unit might be suitable if the graduate just needs to store odds and ends, or a 5×10 might be better if they have an entire bedroom’s worth of furniture to store. Rental rates for self-storage are very reasonable, and no long-term contracts are necessary. Your graduate is sure to find a job quickly. They are going to want the freedom to take their belongings out of storage and move them into their very own apartment as soon as possible!

Ancient Storage

High tech modern storage facilities like those operated by Allstate Self Storage are relatively modern luxuries. America is a mobile society, and people frequently need a safe space to store their valuables. Even permanent residence have storage needs. So ancient people manage to store and preserve valuable before esteemed companies like Allstate Self Storage took care of their needs for them?

Water Storage

Water has historically been one of the most valuable resources on Earth. It is essential for the maintenance of life. Many desert cultures were largely reliant on rain to give them their water. If several months passed without rain, they would be facing a major catastrophe. To prepare for this eventuality they invented ingenious ways to store water. Some cultures or peoples discovered ways to weave textiles and naturally occurring material to make water proof containers. Others would dig out large cisterns to store water, however these bodies of water were susceptible to evaporation.

Food Storage

We have valuables like antiques and baseball cards. Ancient people had food, and it was more important to them then the physical possession we hold onto today. One of the major problems for storing food was making sure it would not go bad. The Ancient Chinese invented drying sheds for just this reason. These small facilities would be nearly air tight, and they would be filled with salted meats and fish. Underground storage have been popular throughout recorded history. People quickly realized that the still air, and protective walls of an underground storage location were ideal for the safe keeping of food stuffs.

Modern Storage

Modern storage is less about the daily essentials. It focuses on more permanent valuables.

Strange Storage Discoveries

Renters are free to store whatever their heart desires inside their storage units, as long as those items at not illegal or dangerous. Not everyone keeps these limitations in mind. When payment on a storage unit defaults, it is time to crack open that storage unit, clear it out, and open it up to a new renter. Usually storage units contain some of the most mundane, uninteresting items imaginable, however, occasionally their contents can be quite shocking or even extremely valuable!

Super History

Mark Balelo didn’t expect to hit the jackpot when he purchase the contents of this San Fernando Valley storage locker in 2011. As he started going through the locker’s unorganized contents he made an incredible discovery. He held in his hands a mint condition copy of Action Comics No.1, which depicted the first appearance of Superman. Unfortunately for Mr. Balelo, his ticket for riches was later confiscated, as it was found to have been stolen from the home of actor Nicolas Cage in 2000. This rare comic book had been valued at an incredible $1 million.

A Grim Discovery

Not all abandoned storage lockers contain such unexpected riches. A Tampa Bay family decided that the best storage location for the body of their deceased 95 year-old grandmother was, in fact, a storage unit. Ann Bunch may have died in a nursing home, but her finally resting place was the inside of a rather dismal self-storage unit. A family member commented on the incident “Bobbie had trouble facing the fact that her mother was gone, she just couldn’t part with her.” Sometimes saying good-by is truly the hardest part.

When Storage Goes Bad

Stories about storage rarely make the news. When things are going well, stored items just sit there, waiting to be picked up by their owners. Unfortunately, one specific storage facility, a warehouse in Tianjin, China has recently made the news in explosive fashion.

Tianjin is an important port city in China. Good are often shipped their and stored, marked for later transported to locations across the country. On August, 12th, an otherwise peaceful night was shattered as an explosion tore apart an innocuous warehouse near the Tianjin port.

The warehouse was owned by Ruihai Logistics, a local Chinese company. It was zoned to store only standard non-hazardous goods. In the wake of the explosion, it is becoming clear that much of the material stores at the Ruihai Logistics warehouse were in fact hazardous and dangerous chemicals. It is estimated that 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide was stored at the site. Even locations zoned to store sodium cyanide are permitted retain only 10 tons of the deadly material.

The clandestine nature of the warehouse likely contributed greatly to the severity of the accident. Fire fighters who responded to the initial fire were not informed that the warehouse contained hazardous chemicals. Calcium carbide release flammable gasses when it is exposed to water. If this chemical was present in the warehouse it is possible that firefighting efforts in fact exacerbated the danger.

Following the explosion dangerous quantities of sodium cyanide have been identified leaking into the Tianjin sewer system, meaning the danger from this illicit storage disaster may not yet be over.
It is important the individuals and companies adhere closely to storage guidelines and laws. They are put in place to keep everyone both individuals and goods safe!

The Dangers of Home Storage

So you have a basement or an attic or an extra closet laying empty, and you are ready to fill it with your extra belongings. Better think twice! There are dangers associated with home storage that may not immediately occur to you. A dedicated storage facility is designed to keep your belongings safe, a home is designed for living, and open to all kinds of unpredictable eventualities.

Flooding

Perhaps you have a massive collection of vintage Marvel comic books and you are looking for a place to store them. You box them up in cardboard boxes, move them down to your basement, and forget about them. Then it happens. A pipe bursts, or heavy rain sets in, or there is a flash flood, and you basement is suddenly full of water. All those comic books are ruined. Possibly thousands of dollars in damages. Some disasters cannot be predicted, and flooding is one of them.

Fire

The fire department exists for a reason. Fires happen. Not just forest fires, or warehouse fires, but domestic fires. Old wiring, poorly cleaned chimneys, broken gas lines, or a forgotten grill can all turn your once peaceful home into a blazing pyre. Your family and pets won’t have any problems escaping, but you may not have time to gather your valuables and antiques before it is too late. Storage facilities are designed to minimize the risk of fires. Your home is safe, but a well-managed storage facility will be built like a fortress.

Poor Climate

Many delicate items can be damaged just by climate. The air may be too dry or too moist, each pose their own unique problems. Storage facilities can be carefully climate controlled. Temperature and will be constant, and your belongings will be well protected.