Monthly Archives: December 2015

Easy Tips For Packing Flatware When Preparing For A Move

One of the most challenging rooms in a house with regard to moving is perhaps the kitchen. This is simply due to the fact that there are so many delicate and fragile items in this particular room. Taking the time to plan accordingly and having the right packing supplies and equipment can go a long way in ensuring that all fragile items in the kitchen make the transition to a new home in a safe and secure way.

When Packing Flatware The Inside Of A Medium-Sized Box

One of the keys to achieving favorable results when moving a kitchen is to ensure that there is an abundance of protective materials available. From bubble wrap to brown paper wrapping and Styrofoam popcorn, having a large amount of protective material is at the very essence of ensuring that flatware is not damaged during a move. When packing flatware the inside of a medium-sized box should be well lined with paper and then each piece of flatware should be wrapped individually and then put into the box.

Not Broken While In Transit To The New Location

One important aspect of packing flatware is to ensure that generous amounts of packing material are continuously use. This is a particular area of packing where packing material should not be skimped-upon. Spending a little extra money on packing material will ensure that delicate, fragile valuable flatware as well as glasses and other similar items are not broken while in transit to the new location. Equally important is to ensure that all boxes are sealed securely and labeled accordingly.

This Is A Resourceful Way Of Making Use Of Existing Items

As an added note, heavier items should be placed at the bottom of each box with lighter items on the top. This further guarantees that delicate and fragile pieces will not become broken while being moved. Another unique idea is to use towels, linens and other similar textile items as cushioning between various layers of flatware. This is a resourceful way of making use of existing items to further protect fragile and delicate pieces. Finally, using medium boxes, homeowners should ensure that boxes do not exceed 50 pounds in total weight. This protects those lifting boxes and it also protects the contents within the boxes. Contact Allstate Self Storage today for Phoenix storage solutions and moving assistance.

Essential Self-Storage Tips

It’s right there in the name. This is about (self)-storage. The job of storing is going to be left to you and you alone. That is a lot of pressure! What happens if you mess something up? Well, thanks to Allstate Self-Storage, that is not going to happen, because we are here to help with our essential self-storage tips.

1. Beware Misleading Specials

A number of other self-storage companies follow this misleading and predatory practice. They will offer move-in discounts that look awesome. You will think you are going to be saving tons of money. Surprise, surprise, just a few months later they raise the cost of rent. Beware deals that seem too good to be true, because they probably are.

2. Save Your Body

You only have one body, be nice to it. Don’t beat it up when you are moving in and out of a storage unit. Rent a dolly or something else to help you move large piece of furniture. Never lift with your back. As for help if you need it.

3. Use Labels

Label every single box you put in your storage unit. This is going to save you so much time in the long run. Nothing is better when it comes time to move out, then know exactly where you need to put your boxes. Things labelled “kitchen” go right to the kitchen. Boxes labelled “garage” go straight to the garage. No making multiple trips and losing track of things.

4. Protect Precious Cargo

Go overboard if you have to. Use bubble wrap, plastic covering, blankets, anything you have to. If you are going to be using an outdoor facility, you may want to purchase some simple wooden pallets to keep your belongings off the ground.

Where are Americans Moving, and Why?

One thing is for sure, Americans love the ability to move and live wherever they want. American citizens are some of the most mobile in the entire world. Much of this is rooted in the idea of the American Dream. The idea that we can make a better life for ourselves somewhere. At Allstate Self-Storage, we spend all day, every day, talking to people who are in the midst of moving. Today we will share some information on where people are moving from, where they are moving to, and think a little more about why they are moving.

Where is everyone going?!?!?!

Where is everyone going? That’s a great question. If so many people are constantly moving, they have to be going somewhere. As it turns out, most people are heading south and west. Texas has two of the fast growing large cities in the entire nation with Austin and Fort Worth. Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington are two other western cities leading in nation in terms of growth. The East Coast is getting a little action though. Cracking the top 5 in terms of growth is historic Washington, D.C.

Where are people moving from?

We know most people are heading out west, but what parts of the country are they moving away from? The Midwest, it turns out, is the most popular place for people to be moving away from. This is a rather new trend, but states like Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin have all seen extremely low rates of population growth over the last several years. West Virginia is the only state in the nation that has experienced net negative population growth since 2010.

But Why?!

It is impossible to conclude definitively conclude why groups of people move, but we can look at reasons individuals and families move. Moves happen for two primary reasons, work and lifestyle. Either people are pursuing new careers, jobs, and opportunities, or they are interested in making a major lifestyle change and want to accomplish that by changing cities.

Allstate Self-Storage’s Guide to Picking the Right Storage Unit for You

You probably didn’t know that picking the right storage facility and unit was going to be such an involved process! It makes sense though if you think about it. This is a big commitment. You wouldn’t be putting your belongings in storage if you weren’t prepared to part with them for a significant period of time. It is also a financial investment, so you want to make sure you are getting the best value possible.

Consider Size

The biggest mistake people make when renting a storage unit, is paying for too much space. This is extra money you are throwing away month after month after month. You want to be as efficient with space as you possible can. Take measurements of everything. Game plan and diagram on a piece of paper. Find ways to break down larger items like beds, dressers and desks. Plan to stack boxes inside of bookcases. If two boxes are the difference between you having to rent a 10×15 instead of a 10×10, figure out somewhere else to put those boxes.

Consider Condition

Primarily, there are two different types of storage facilities, climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled. Picking out which one you need depends on what you are storing and where you are storing it. Humidity and temperature are the two major considerations. Will exceptionally hot or cold conditions damage your belongings? What about exceptionally moist or dry conditions? If so, you have to get a climate controlled facility, there is really no way around it.

Including Insurance

Most of the time, storage facilities are not going to be held legally responsible for the wellbeing of your belongings. This makes insurance absolutely vital. In fact, many facilities will require that you hold renter’s insurance. Check with your agent and see if you current homeowners or renter’s policy will cover you, as many will at no additional cost.

What to Look for in a Good Storage Facility

Ready to hear a surprising statistic? Nearly 70 percent of American will at some point in their life rent space in a storage facility. They may need this space for any number of reasons. Perhaps they are moving or renovating. Perhaps they are downsizing. Maybe they have just overflowed the current storage capabilities of their home.
Whatever the reason is, the odds are that at some point you yourself are going to need a storage facility. Picking out the right place isn’t as easy as looking on a map and finding the closest one, but if you follow our advice, you won’t go wrong!

Check Availability

One of the most frustrating things you can encounter when renting a storage space, is finding out that your access to your belongings is limited. You want to be able to access your storage unit when it is more convenient for you. Make sure you know the office hours and the gate hours for facilities you are considering. Some facilities will even allow 24/7 access. If open availability is important to you, make sure you rent space in a facility that can meet that need!

Consider Condition

Your storage facility doesn’t have to be a 5-star restaurant or anything, but it should be clean. You may not immediately think cleanliness is important at a storage facility, but a clean storage facility is usually a sign of good management. The better managed the facility is, the easier you can rest knowing that your precious belongings are being kept there.

Inspect Security

Of course, one of the most important things to consider is security. The facility should have a sturdy fence, a gate with a key pad, ample lighting, and plenty of security cameras. Good facilities may even screen their renters and perform background checks. There is no point putting your possessions at risk. Don’t settle for anything but the best.

What Type of Storage Locker Owner Are you?

We have all taken those silly personality tests posted on the internet before. We pretend like we don’t really care about the results, but deep down we really do. It feels nice to know we have a personality type that other people understand, doesn’t it? You have probably learned what Friends character you are, what type of animal you are, and what Harry Potter character you most identify with, but have you ever stopped to think about what type of storage locker owner you are?! Today we will share with you some of the types of people we see renting space here at Allstate Self-Storage.

The OCD Organizer – These storage locker owners are obsessed with details and organization unlike anyone else. They drive their friends and family crazy on move-in day. Every box has to go it the right spot. Every piece of furniture has to be perfectly covered in plastic wrap. Every items in the storage unit has to be entered into a spreadsheet. They may seem crazy, but they never lose anything and all their possessions are in pristine condition.

The Set it and Forget it – This individual rented a storage unit 5 years ago and has never been back. Who knows what is in there anymore, but obviously they have no immediate need for it. They still pay each month, so they must care a little. Perhaps they are aging some wine in there or hording gold doubloons, we may never know.

The Reckless One – Their storage unit looks like a hurricane went through it. There is no rhyme, reason, or organization at all. It looks like they backed up the moving truck and just dumped everything out. The thing is, they probably know exactly what is in this storage unit, and they could tell you precisely where everything is. This is just how they organize, through chaos.

Valuable Storage Unit Finds

Earlier this month we talked about some of the strangest storage unit finds ever made, and boy were some of those pretty strange. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you should go back and check it out. You are in for an interesting experience. Storage finds are not always just strange or mundane, in fact, occasionally, they are extremely valuable. Today we are going to look at some of the most valuable storage finds of all time.

Real Life Treasure

Treasure exists in San Jose, California. It was hidden in a small storage unit which had formerly been owned by renowned computer hacker Daniel David Rigmaiden. The unit was put up for auction after Rigmaiden was arrested and put on trial for fraud and identity theft. The locker was purchased by an anonymous bidder for $1,100. Turns out, that was a wise investment, as the locker contained over $500,000 worth of gold bars and rare coins. Talk about return on investment.

A Rare Read

Again, this find was made in California. A rather unimpressive abandoned storage unit was put up for auction in 2011. At first glance, its contents were quite unimpressive. Upon further inspection however, something stood out. A book. Not just any book though – a comic book. A mint condition copy of Action Comics #1, valued at well over $2 million. Unfortunately, the individual who won the contents of the storage unit in auction did not get to keep the comic book. As it turns out, that very same issue had been reported stolen by Hollywood movie star Nicholas Cage back in the year 2000. The stolen property was returned to Mr. Cage and the winner of the locker received gracious thanks. We are willing to bet he would have preferred the $2 million, but who knows!

Three of the Strangest Storage Discoveries of All Time

Self-storage facilities are great because they give people a secure, personal location to store anything they want (within legal limits that is). Everyone has different storage needs. Storage units are like snowflakes, no two are ever the same. On the scale of wildly interesting to excruciatingly dull, the contents of a storage locker usually fall closer to the later rather than the former. Occasionally however, exceptional storage units are found. Today we will look at three of the strangest storage discoveries of all time.

Full of Fluffy Friends

This unit was in a self-storage facility located in an innocuous little suburb in Denver, Colorado. It had been abandoned for nearly 6 months before the mangers of the facility opened it up to have a look. It turns out that this massive 10×15 locker was packed full, floor to ceiling, with giant life-sized teddy bears. Something was strange about these cuddly companions however. Something was missing. Every single teddy bear was lacking eyes! Perhaps they had been placed in storage because they were defective or perhaps the original owner over the storage unit had a strange obsession, we may never know for sure.

Giant Jello Jigglers

Children love jello. It is fun to make, fun to play with, and delicious to eat. Well apparently a storage unit owner in sunny Orlando, Florida loved jello as well. After payment for this unit had been delinquent for nearly 7 months, the proprietors of the facility opened the locker up to discover it contained massive trashcans filled with old, rancid, red jello. The source of the jello remains a mystery today.

Croc-scuse me?

Another storage discover made in Florida, although this time in Miami. After receiving a number of strange complaints from other renters, the couple who ran this facility went to check out storage unit 454. As they approached, they could have sworn they heard a curious growling and shuffling sound inside. When they finally opened the locker, they recoiled in horror. Four full grown crocodiles were living inside!

Terrible Storage Mistakes (Part Two)

In our previous blog about storage mistakes we went over a few basic ideas. Don’t rush while you are moving and get people to help you. Those two ideas make sense and probably already occurred to you. Really, who wants to move all on their own? It is basically impossible to move a couch by yourself anyway. Today we will dive into some more technical mistakes that people make when they are moving and storing their belongings.

No Exit Strategy

Storage units are confined spaces and you want to pack as much into them as possible. Too often we see people tossing in boxes and furniture, packing their storage units to the ceiling, leaving not a single inch of space to spare. What ends they forget that the actually have to leave their storage unit at some point. They surround themselves with boxes and make it impossible to get out! When you are packing your belongings, start from the back of the unit and work your way forward. Always leave an aisle to walk up and down. You can fill in this aisle last.

Structural Integrity

When you are packing your storage unit, you almost have to think like an architect. If you don’t, you could end up damaging some of your valuable personal belongings. When you are stacking things up, always put the heaviest, largest items on the bottom. Furniture should never be stacked on top of boxes.

They Don’t Maximize Space

There are lots of ways to maximize the space in your storage unit. The best way to go about this, is too look at your belongings like pieces of a puzzle. Find a way to make them all fit together. Envision the finished puzzle in your mind before you start packing. You don’t want to have to undo hard work if your puzzle pieces (belongings) don’t fit together.

Terrible Storage Mistakes (Part One)

We all make mistakes. It is okay. It is not the end of the world. What is important, is learning from those mistakes. In all our time managing self-storage facilities we have seen people pack, unpack, and store their precious belongings in every way imaginable. Today we will share with you some of the mistakes they have made in hopes of keeping you from making those very same mistakes.

The Rush Like Crazy

Moving, packing and storing – no one likes to do these jobs. At least no sane person. If you have a long day of moving ahead of you, you are probably going to want to get things done as quickly as possible. This could be a huge mistake! When you are rushing, you are more inclined to make mistakes. You are more inclined to take shortcuts that will cause problems down the line. You are more inclined to toss that box of fine china into the box of the moving truck where its contents will be smashed to pieces. No one wants broken china. Or broken anything. Slow down and take your time.

Enlist Help

This is what family is for. They have to help you move. Friends can dodge your phone calls and make excuses for days, but your family is related to you, if they say no, you can guilt trip them for years to come. Use that to your advantage. Of course, you have to reward anyone who helps you move. We always recommend pizza and beer at the end of a long day hauling furniture and boxes. The poor people helping you move aren’t the only ones who will deserve it, you will too!

So, too recap, slow down and get people to help you. That will give you a good foundation to build from. There are a litany of further mistakes you can make though, and we will cover those in a later blog.