Monthly Archives: July 2016

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.

Essential Decluttering Advice: What to Keep and What to Toss (Part Two)

Welcome back to the Allstate Self-Storage blog where we are currently discussing the concept of decluttering. As the years go by, it is only natural for your place to become a little cluttered. Sometimes, it is hard to notice how much clutter accumulates around your home because it happens at such a slow, gradual rate. Then you wake up one day, look around and say, “where did all this junk come from?!” Today, we are offering more essential decluttering advice to help you tidy up your living area.

2. The Put-Offs

Do you have anything sitting around your home that you keep thinking, “Oh, I will use that NEXT week!” but you just never seem to get around to it? These are the put-offs. These are possessions you like in theory, but that you never actually use. When decluttering, it is important to be realistic with yourself. Look at that pasta maker that has been sitting in your cabinets untouched for 3+ years, the one you look at guiltily whenever it catches your eye as you are looking for something you actually want to use. Yup. That one. Maybe it is time to admit that you are never going enjoy fresh, homemade linguini. Go ahead and sell it or donate it. Believe us when we say, you will feel better afterwards. Apply this mentality elsewhere and try to identify other put-offs that are just taking up space in your home.

2. Cupboard/Fridge

While you are looking around in the kitchen, take this opportunity to declutter the cupboard and refrigerator. We guarantee there are cans of beans, jars of pickles, and other assorted foodstuffs that have been sitting around for years and are never going to be eaten. Either commit to using them for dinner/lunch this week or throw them away.

Essential Decluttering Advice: What to Keep and What to Toss (Part One)

Whether you know it or not, the time to declutter is now. Sitting at your desk right reading this blog, you are probably surrounded by stuff that you have not used in quite some time. Now head over to your closet or wherever it is you store things. You are probably looking at items that have not been a part of your daily life for years! Well, as we said earlier, today is the day to begin making some cuts. Decluttering the environment in which you live can have benefits such as lowering stress and increasing focus. Let’s start reaping those benefits right now.

1. Bounty of Books

The right book can have a profound effect on an individual’s life. It can introduce new ideas, change perspective, teach lessons, and stir the imagination. This can lead to books holding a lot of sentimental value, thus making it very difficult to throw them away. If you are an avid reader, you may find your home is becoming inundated with book. Your bookshelves may be overflowing as pages pile up around you. In the mission to declutter, you should start looking at your bounty of books. Deciding not to keep a book can be a very difficult emotional decision, so we like to put a positive spin on it. Instead of just throwing a book away, pass it on to a friend who you think would enjoy it. For other books you can consider donating to charities or your local library. You can also look for a local used book store. They will offer you store credit for bringing in books, which will let you get even more books! Sounds like a great idea to us!

Check back soon for more essential decluttering advice.

What to Keep and What to Toss: Words of Advice

Over the years you accumulate a lot of “stuff.” It is only natural. We cannot tell you how many people walk into one of our storage facilities telling us they are drowning in belongs, and they have run out of space to store things. They are at their wits end. Of course, we always encourage people to store items at our amazing storage facilities. However, there are steps they can take before that is necessary. First, you can make an item by item assessment regarding what you should keep and what you would be better off throwing away.

Old Clothing

Most people only wear approximately 35-45 percent of their wardrobe.This means that a majority of their clothing is going unused. That is normal. As we buy new clothing, our old items become of less interest to us. Our tastes and sense of style change. Other than a few select piece, there is no need to keep old clothing around. Go into your closet and pick out any item that you have not worn for more than one year. Odds are, you have forgotten that most of these items even exist. Instead of throwing them away, donate them to charity.

Childhood Memorabilia

Deciding whether to hold on to or dispose of childhood memorabilia can be very difficult. These are items that often have little to no tangible value, but that possess immense emotional value. However, childhood memorabilia can really pile up fast. Because of the emotional attachments, every piece of childhood memorabilia often feels essential. If you hang on to everything, you risk slipping into hoarder status. We recommend keeping a few toys, pieces of artwork/crafts, and old photographs. Arts and crafts projects and photos are particular good to keep becomes they are easy to store and take up very little room.

Items You Never Even Thought To Store (Silly You)

Over the many decades we have worked in the storage business we have seen people store all kinds of strange and interesting things. Sometimes, the items they store can be strange and bizarre. Sometimes, they are incredibly valuable. Sometimes they are dangerous, and we have to say – No! Occasionally someone will store something they have been keeping around for years, and we will say, ‘Wow, that is a good idea!” These are the items you (us too) never even thought to store (Silly you (us too)).

Halloween Costumes

The first time we saw someone haul a box of old Halloween Costumes into their storage unit, we have to admit we thought it was a little strange. Once we started thinking about it, the idea began making a lot of sense. For kids and parents alike, holidays are some of the most important days on the calendar. Halloween itself has a magical quality to it. What better way to preserve the memories of this spooky holiday than by saving childhood Halloween costumes? Best of all, you can fold them and keep them in the bottom of a box where they take up very little room.

Flower Bouquets

Now you may be wondering, “how do you store flower bouquets? Don’t they go bad after a while?” You can actually preserve bouquets from your wedding, anniversary, by coating them with hairspray and hanging them upside down in a dark place. What you will have is a beautiful, vintage looking bouquet of flowers which will fill you with all the wonderful memories of your special day. Be careful when storing them though as they will be very fragile. You don’t want to go through all the hard working of preserving them only to destroy them when you put them away for storage!

Essential Vinyl Storage Tips

For most people, vinyl records are relics of the past. They are artifacts linked to memories from simpler times. The days when they would relax in their dorm room while listening to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Indeed, most people believed that we comfortably reached Peak Vinyl sometime in the 60s or 70s. That their days of relevancy were over. It would appear however, that such beliefs are wrong. Over the last decade, desire for vinyl records has returned! Music enthusiasts would say sounds they vinyl just sounds better than the digital music so widely available today. Whether you believe that or not is up to you. One thing you can’t deny though, is that the sale of vinyl has risen through the roof. Today we are going to cover essential vinyl storage tips.

1. Brush Before You Sleeve

Static can be harmful to vinyl records. So is dust. For this reason, it is important to use an anti-static brush to cleaning a vinyl record before putting it away for storage. Make sure you use a separate brush to clean your anti-static brush after each use. Properly sleeved records should be stored using three different coverings. First, comes the paper inner sleeve. Next, is the LP jacket, better known as the album cover. Finally, the LP jacket should be placed in a plastic outer sleeve.

2. Climate Control

It is important for vinyl records to be stored in a climate controlled facility. Dampness or extreme temperatures can be very damaging to them with the ability to harm or even completely destroy the recording.

3. Don’t Stack!!!

Stacking vinyl records can result in them becoming warped and rendered unplayable. Instead, store them upright. Keeping them in a milk crate is an excellent option.