Monthly Archives: October 2015

What to Store At Home

Self-storage facilities are convenient and easy to use. Most facilities offer constant access, day or night, and let renters come and go as they please. It may take just 20 or 30 minutes to get something out of storage of you live nearby. That is perfect for most items you don’t need immediate access to. Some items, however, you may want to store at home, where you can have them at a moment’s notice.

Personal Identification Documents

Important personal identification documents should be kept somewhere safe at home, especially if they are unique, or original copies. Your social security card is linked to your very identity. If you have extra copies of your social security card, you should keep them somewhere safe and inconspicuous. The original should ideally be kept in a lockbox or a safe. The same goes for passports and birth certificates. New copies of these items can be obtained if they are lost, but that is often a difficult process. If you keep them safe at home, you never need to worry about that happening!

Important Documents

Documents such as living wills, powers of attorney, and those with financial importance should also be kept at home. Many individuals like to keep these documents in a well-organized locking safe. Others prefer to use less conspicuous means of storage. Not only do you want to have these readily available, you also want to protect the information on them. Keeping them inside your home can accomplish that, and give you some piece of mind as well. Deeds to vehicles can also be kept with these important documents
Speaking of vehicles, spare keys should also be kept at home. This may seem like common sense, but some individuals store spare keys in storage units, then discover their inability to get to those keys when they lose their master copy!

What you store, and where you store it is always up to you. But keep your safety, and they safety of your belongings in mind at all times.

Your Own Hidden Stash

Everyone has a few items at home that are particularly valuable. For some it may be pieces of jewelry, or a high quality watch. Others may have important documents, such as wills or deeds that they need to keep safe. Family heirlooms also possess a good deal of value. Where do you keep these items in your home? Hopefully not under the mattress, everyone knows about that hiding spot. If you are out of ideas for hiding spots, don’t worry, we are here to help.

Wh-Air Are You Looking?

Our first piece of advice is to always hide everything behind the secret bookcase. Unfortunately, secret bookcases don’t come standard in most modern homes, so we may need to get a little more creative. One thing every home has, is air vents. They are usually high up and out of the way, or low down and out of site. Use a screwdriver to open the vent, and put your valuable inside so that it can’t be seen. Now every time the air conditioning turns on, you can smile and think about your secure valuables.

Hope You Trust The Maid

Not into the air vent trick? Don’t worry, we have more for you. An old vacuum cleaner makes for a perfect hiding spot. Buy a new vacuum bag, and put your valuables inside. Now put the vacuum bag into the old vacuum cleaner, and put it in the closet. Unless a prospective burglar is overcome with a sudden urge to tidy your house, he will never find your valuables!

Lettuce See Where You Are Hiding

If you are interested in investing a little money into the protection of your valuables, a few companies make lines of hollow faux-fruit, for just such an occasion. For $99 you can buy a fake, follow head of lettuce in which you can stash small but valuable items. It is rare for burglars to check inside the refrigerator, and even more rare for them to stop and make a sandwich.

How to Store Wooden Furniture

Whether you are moving, remodeling, or downsizing, there may come a time when you need to put some of your more valuable pieces of wooden furniture in storage. Self-storage facilities are convenient and cost effective storage options. For less valuable items, you can just box-up and lockup, for quality wooden furniture however, more care needs to be taken.

Treat and Consider Climate

This step may be unnecessary if your furniture is going in storage for a brief period of time, but if your items are going away for more than a month or two, it is important to treat them, and consider climate. Dry wood cracks and splinters. The best way to keep that from happening is by treating it before you put it in storage. Dry air is the enemy of quality wood. If you live in an arid climate, consider keeping your items in a climate controlled facility. Climate controlled facilities monitor temperature and humidity, making them a perfect place to store wooden furniture.

Factor in Space

You are going to want to make sure you have enough room to properly store your furniture. The last thing you want is to have to pack items in too tightly, risking scrapes, dents, and other damage. As a way to cut down on the total space you need, you can see if some of your furniture items can be taken apart. If you can take the legs off of a kitchen table, it will be much easier to store. It will also be easier to transport!

Elevate and Cover

You do not want to leave your good wooden furniture on the floor. There is the home of pests and problems. Imagine your horror when you check back in a month and something has been gnawing on your dresser. You should also cover each item with plastic to further protect it.

Nonperishable: Items Made to Last

So what exactly does “nonperishable” mean? Simply put, something that is nonperishable will never go bad. This means you can store it for an indefinitely amount of time, and it will still be good when you come back. Usually this term is applied to food item. When people are storing food, perhaps for an emergency, or perhaps on a whim, they need to store nonperishable goods, or else all their efforts will go to waste!

Canned Goods

Canning is one of the best ways to create nonperishable food. The first primitive canned foods appeared in 1810 and were used by the French military. It wasn’t until 50 years later, when Louis Pasteur discovered pasteurization, that people understood how canning actually worked. The process has been refined and developed since then. The shelf life of modern canned food is between 1 and 5 years. It is possible for canned food to last much longer however. In 1974, canned food was pulled up from a ship wreck in the Missouri River, and tested. Turns out, the food was still good! It was also 109-years old.

The Magic of Honey

You may have heard this before, yet refused to believe it — honey never goes bad. That is actually almost true! For most honey that is. Processed honey will theoretically stay good forever. Processing removes all impurities and contaminants that naturally appear in unprocessed honey. Unprocessed honey itself has a long shelf life, it should last a year or two before it starts going bad.

About Alcohol

Alcohol is another popular nonperishable item. Unfortunately, not all alcohol is nonperishable. If you are trying to keep beer on the shelf for several years, it is going to go bad. Wine can last an extremely long time, maybe even 100 years. It is actually know to get better with age! Liquor lasts even longer. The higher the alcohol content in the liquor, the longer it will last.

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 about Climate Control

Some items which need to be placed into storage are more sensitive than other items. Some items are more valuable than other times. Depending on where you live, some climates are more forgiving, and some are more cruel to valuable possessions. Using climate controlled storage is a great way to protect your valuable items, and make sure nothing bad happens to them.

Optimal Temperature Range

For most standard household items, an optimal temperature range is between 55-85 degrees. The odds of anything being damaged in between these temperatures is small. Even notably durable items, like pieces of wooden furniture can be damaged if they are exposed to extreme temperatures for a length of time. In the brutal heat of Arizona or New Mexico, it is not uncommon for wood to expand, warp, and crack during the summer. Even electronic will see negative effects from extreme temperatures.

Other Climate Factors

Climate controlled storage facilities are not just about monitoring temperature, they also regulate factors like aridity, and humidity. Air that is too dry can quickly damage items like wooden furniture. If a storage facility is too humid, clothing, artwork, and books may be in danger. Heat and moisture create a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Even if mildew does not grow, excessive moisture can cause paper items, like books, to deteriorate.

Keeping the Unwanted Out

Climate controlled storage facilities will also help you keep unwanted visitors away from your valuable possessions. Pest and insects love to eat away at tender and delicious items like clothing. Nothing taste better to them than a nice mandible full of yummy cotton or silk. Pest thrive in humid environments. Climate controlled storage facilities not only make conditions poor for pests, the also provided sturdy, secure walls to keep them out.

Learning about Cardboard Boxes

If you have moved even once, you have probably seen enough cardboard boxes to last you a lifetime. Every move seems as if it is defined by a never ending stream of cardboard boxes. One after another, you have to carry them from house to truck, truck to house. Cardboard boxes aren’t just used while moving. They also play a vital role in the shipping industry. Why don’t we take some time to learn a little more about cardboard boxes?!

Making Cardboard Boxes

First things first. Where do cardboard boxes come from? They aren’t naturally occurring, that is for sure. Well, they almost are. Kind of. Cardboard is made from trees, and is processed at a paper mill. To produce 1 ton of cardboard it takes 17 trees, 79 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 42,000 kilowatts of energy. A lot goes into making 1 ton of cardboard, but that ends up making a lot of boxes. 1 ton of cardboard can create over 20,000 cardboard boxes. Tree pulp is used to create both cardboard-paperboard, and corrugated cardboard. Paperboard is usually turned into things like cereal boxes, while corrugated cardboard is turned into boxes.

The Many Uses of Cardboard Boxes

As mentioned earlier, cardboard boxes are not just used for moving. Over 85 percent of the shipping in the United States is done in cardboard boxes. Almost every Semi-truck you see out on the highway is packed front to back with cardboard boxes. Billions of boxes are used every year across the shipping industry. For most people, these numbers are probably rather scary. How many trees must die to give life to these billion boxes? Fewer than you would imagine. Most boxes have a lifespan of 5-10 years, which can be expanded even further with recycling. Cardboard from a recycled box can be used for almost 35 years! By recycling, we eliminate the need to cut down trees, and create brand new boxes.

Packing for Travel

Are you ready to hit the road? Excited to some sights? Are you going to be spending some time relaxing at the beach and enjoy some sun? Well, we are happy for you, and more than a little jealous. If you are going to be gone for a long period of time, make sure all your belongings are stored somewhere safe and reliable. Hopefully you have packed properly too. You don’t want to forget something important! Don’t worry, if you are feeling absentminded, we can help you out with a few quick packing tips.

Considering your Destination

Before you place so much as a finger on your suitcase, you need to spend some time thinking about our destination. Are you going somewhere hot or cold? Will there be amenities? Is there anything exceptional about your destination which you may need to account for in your packing? Once you can thoroughly answer these questions, you are ready to start packing.

Consider your Space

Once you start packing, your suitcase is going to fill up faster than you could have possibly imagined. It is important to pack strategically, and to use space well. Bring versatile clothing items which can be used in multiple situations. When packing clothing, you can often save space by rolling items, rather than folding them. This will also help you avoid annoying wrinkles. Bring as few bulky items, such as shoes, as you can. Slip small things like belts and socks in crevasse created by other items, as a way to save space.

Commonly Forgotten Items

No matter how hard we try to remember to bring everything, something always gets left behind. To minimize the damage, you can make a list of commonly forgotten items. Razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, and socks often get left at home. It can help to learn about your own packing habits as well. If you forget something on one trip, make a note of it so that it does not happen again.
What else can we say? Au revoir! Bon Voyages! Have fun, and know we will miss you. Don’t forget to bring back souvenirs.

Cutting Down On Clutter

When we are young we want to own everything. If we see a toy, we want it. If our neighbor has a toy, we want it. If we see a commercial for something cool, we want it. And we enjoy things when we get them, for a moment or two. Then we forget about them, and they turn into clutter. We go about the rest of our lives and clutter just keeps building up. It seems inescapable. It is time to turn the book on clutter, and cut down on it once and for all.

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.

Using Self Storage for Seasonal Items

There are a lot of benefits to using a self-storage facility. You get to rent your own little space, you are given free access to it, and you can choose what to store, and how to store it. Self-storage units make great places to store seasonal items, which would otherwise clutter your home.

Winter Storage

Phoenicians are actually extremely fond of participating in winter activities. Snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and ice skating are all popular activities. All these activities also have something in common, they all require equipment. Some of them require big bulky equipment! In a packed family home, it can be tricky find place to store large items like snowboards, sleds, skis, and ski poles. If you have a storage unit, that is a perfect place to keep such items.

If you are going up to the mountains to go snowboarding, you are going to want to bundle up in warm winter clothing! Those are also bulky items, which make perfect candidates for seasonal storage. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the most important holidays of the year. They also involve a lot of decorations. Wreaths, Christmas trees, ornaments, thanksgiving decorations can all be kept in a storage unit for 10 months out of the year.

Summer Storage

Summer is time for fun in the sun. Unfortunately, here in the desert, that sun is extremely hot. Phoenicians love to take to the water come summertime. Visiting the lake is a popular activity. If families own jet-skis, water inflatables, or other summer recreation gear, they can keep it in storage during the winter months, only to take it out when the days start heating up.
The best part about using a self-storage unit for seasonal storage, is that you can rotate what you store based on the time of year!