Is retirement beckoning to you? Are you about ready to give up the daily grind and enjoy your life, free from the obligations of a job? You’re not the only one; every day, approximately 10,000 Americans reach retirement age and apply for their pensions, Social Security benefits, and Medicare.
Most people don't associate self-storage with retirement, but retirement means change. You may move, downsize your home, travel extensively, or make other big alterations to your daily life. For some of these changes, self-storage can be a big help and make your retirement a lot easier to manage! Read on to learn about ways self-storage can assist you in making your retirement all you want it to be.
A lot of retirees find that they have a lot more house than they need or want to maintain. Perhaps part of their retirement plan is to sell their home and reinvest the money in a retirement community or possibly a motorhome, and adding any remaining profits to their savings. Downsizing, of course, means getting rid of stuff; in the case of retirement, a lifetime of accumulated belongings will need to be sorted out. But how are you going to decide what to keep and what to give up, what you can’t live without and what to donate or sell? It’s hard!
Renting an affordable self-storage unit can be a big help when it’s time to downsize. You can keep the thing you love, like furnishings, musical instruments, housewares, heirlooms, and all the other things you love but don’t have room for. You may find that you don’t enjoy a smaller living space as much as you’d expected; storing your things keeps the available if you decide you’d like a bigger home after all. You can also store things that will, one day, be passed along to your children and grandchildren but which they can’t take on right now.
Upon retirement, many people choose to travel. Some folks visit the four corners of the globe, returning home periodically and then quickly head out for the next destination. For others, travel means taking to the open road in an RV, visiting relatives and seeing all the sights the country has to offer. Maybe you just plan to travel a few times a year to visit your grandkids and then go home!
But what about the safety of your property while you’re gone? Things like collections, photo albums, antiques and the like will be safer in a secure, locked storage unit than left in your house or apartment while you’re gone. You’ll be a lot more comfortable knowing that your grandmother’s china and Uncle Bill’s book collection are stored in a locked unit in a protected self-storage facility.
Whatever kind of traveling you may choose to do, retirement definitely offers you the opportunity to go where you want, when you want, without needing to show up at the office ever again. Self-storage can help you relax and enjoy your trips and visits, knowing your belongings are protected.
It’s common to find, in retirement, that you’d prefer to live in warmer climates during the cold winter months. Plenty of retirees leave the cold and damp of the cooler areas of the country for the sunshine and warmth to be found in places like Arizona, Florida, and southern California.
When you decide to leave home for three to six months at a time, self-storage can be there to protect your property and keep it immediately available to you when you return. Of course, you’re not likely to remove sofas and beds from your home, but things like electronics, art work, and even jewelry will likely be safer and more secure in a self-storage unit. With the great security most storage companies offer today, the use of affordable storage to safeguard your belongings, even for just a few months, just makes sense.
Another living option that some retirees choose is to live in a different country, returning to the U.S. for visits, or for holidays and other big events. Living in a different country can be a great way to stretch retirement dollars; moving to a country with a moderate climate is a big bonus!
So, once you’ve decided to move to Mexico, or Ecuador, or wherever else appeals to you, what are you going to do with all your stuff? It doesn’t make sense to get rid of everything when you may find that the expat life isn’t really for you. And again, what about all those things you’re saving to pass along?
Self-storage can hold as much or as little as you want to store, to guard against having to replace even basic household items if you decide you’d rather retire in the United States after all.
Maybe you’ll decide to retire, travel very little, and instead buy some of those grown-up toys you never had time for before. An RV, travel trailer, boat, classic car, or other large recreational item might be exactly what you want to spend time and money on. But you can’t do that every day.
When you’re not camping in that trailer, fishing in your new bass boat, or cruising in your Mustang convertible, you may need a place to keep that toy safe and sound. Self-storage can do that!
A vehicle parking space, or even a storage unit large enough for your RV or boat, is a great way to keep things handy and accessible when it’s not in use. Considering that many homeowners associations have rules and prohibitions regarding the presence of recreational vehicles, and the size of some of these things, self-storage may be a necessity. Luckily, you’re sure to find a storage facility near you, with great security and service, so you can feel good about keeping your new “baby” there.
Whatever your plans for your impending retirement are, self-storage can help you with those changes you know are coming by giving you the space you need to accommodate your new life. Even if you only use it for a short time, self-storage is a great help in transitioning to retirement.
When you find yourself in need of self-storage, the idea of finding the right storage facility, getting the right sized unit, deciding between heated or not, and making your monthly payments can all seem a bit labor intensive and, sometimes, overwhelming. Lucky for you, self-storage in the new millennium has gotten a lot less complicated and a lot more user-friendly! From online tours to online payments, self-storage is now an e-friendly solution to your need for more space.
Online tours, photo albums, and videos.
Many self-storage companies have virtual tours and online photo albums available for you to visit their facility without ever leaving home! Of course, you don’t want to rent based solely on a a video you found online, but you can certainly get a good idea of whether or not a specific place is right for you.
When you’re self-storage shopping, check out Facebook and Google Plus pages, You Tube, self-storage listings sites (like SpareFoot and StorageFront) and even the company’s own website for these types of presentations; they’ll help you narrow down your search pretty quickly, and in the comfort of your own home.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, make a visit to your top two or three choices, to select the one that will work best for you; be sure to consider extras and amenities when deciding. It’s still a bit of a time and effort investment, but you want to make sure that the facility you pick is as good as it looks; videos and photo albums are definitely a “best foot forward” kind of thing.
Choose and reserve a space online.
Once you’ve decided where to rent your storage unit, go back to the company’s website or other site (like Northwest Storages) to determine what size of unit you’ll need. Most places have graphic representations of what a particular unit will hold, which will help you choose the size of space you’re going to need.
At this point, you want to reserve your storage unit. The company you’re renting from will likely let you do this online, too. There should be a link on their website, or one of the listings sites mentioned above, which will take you to a secure page from which to select a storage unit and reserve it. Generally, the page will include pricing. Pick a unit size, fill out the form, and the space is reserved for you. It’s like magic!
If you’re sure you’ve selected the right size space and are ready to get moved in, you can even rent your space online. You will definitely need to visit your storage’s office to sign paperwork and provide proof of insurance (your homeowner’s insurance will cover your stored belongings so you don’t have to buy an additional policy) to be put in your file.
Pay the easy way!
One of the best things about the internet is the fact that you don’t have to pay bills in person, or by check (which is just so 20th century!); you can pay your bills using your checking, debit, or credit card and do it online!
Once again, your storage company likely offers a secure online payments platform on their website. Just a few clicks and a little information and, viola!, your monthly rental payment is made. Just a reminder: be sure the url for the payment page begins with “https://” to be sure you’re on a secure site! You might even be able to set up automatic monthly payments, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to login and pay rent.
The use of online options for choosing, reserving, renting, and paying for your self-storage unit makes self-storage easier and more convenient than ever before. Just one more benefit self-storage has to offer you!
Summer is known as vacation time, but when you live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth (and the PNW certainly is that!) it may seem silly to leave home for new scenery. There’s more to the state than the Puget Sound and environs though, and you might want to consider checking out parts of the state you might not have seen lately. Here are a few local driving vacations to think about; many of these trips also offer hotels along the way and hiking trails.
1. The Cascade Loop - A 440-mile drive that takes Highway 2 to Leavenworth then Wenatchee; at that point, take Highway 97 north through Chelan. After Chelan, you head east through Methow Valley. Head back over the Cascade Mountains on the North Cascade Highway for a run through Skagit Valley and along Whidbey Island. This trip is so scenic you’ll want to do it every year!
2. Loop Around Olympic Peninsula - You’re going to want to repeat this one, too! Take Highway 101 for the most part, and visit places like Port Townsend, Cape Flattery, Hurricane Ridge, the Hoh Rain Forest, and more. This is about a 300 mile, eight hour drive if you start from Olympia; to go roundtrip from Seattle, add a couple of hours.
3. Washington’s Highway 31- For a really different adventure, this drive through northeastern Washington is a great choice. Start on Highway 31 near the Canadian border; this is known as the Selkirk International Loop, which terminates at Tiger, WA, where it runs into the Pend Oreille Valley Scenic Byway. Places to visit on this route include Crescent Lake, Crawford State Park, the Lion's Club Train scenic railroad, Box Canyon Dam and the Tiger Museum. This trip will also give the opportunity to visit the Colville National Forest, a view of the Salmo-Priest Wilderness Area and Sullivan Lake.
4. White Pass Scenic Byway - A nationally designated Scenic Byway, White Pass offers amazing scenery, from the incredible beauty of Washington’s evergreen forests to the majestic Cascade Mountains, and the Tieton River’s drainage area and it’s rolling sage covered hills on the state’s east side. Wildlife such as elk, bear, and bighorn sheep, plus eagles, red-tailed hawks and osprey are common on this road, so be sure to take your camera.
5. The Columbia River Gorge Loop - For one of the most beautiful and breathtaking trips in Washington, drive the Columbia River Gorge Loop. A short but scenic route if you make no stops, it’s worth the extra time to check this one out. Places to stop and marvel at include the Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuge (drive to the end of Indian Mary Road for the best views), Beacon Rock State Park, the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center Museum and the nearby Bridge of the Gods, Bonneville Fish Hatchery, and Vista House. You can then venture further east into the deserts of eastern Washington, cross the river and explore the Oregon side of the river (including Multnomah Falls), or turn around and head home. Begun in 1915, the Oregon side of the Gorge Loop is listed as a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
Self-storage is everywhere! Most of us probably pass by at least one storage property in our daily comings and goings. But what do we really know about self-storage? Here is some information you probably weren’t aware of. Self-storage has been around a long time. There is evidence of a type of public storage space being used as far back as 4000 B.C. It wasn’t anything like the secure facilities you see today, of course, but things were stored in pots, buried in the ground, and protected by guards. America’s modern self-storage industry dates back to the latter part of the 1960s. It was around this time that the first storage chain got its start, too. In the United States, self-storage is big! We’ve got over 2 billion square feet of storage space in approximately 50,000 self-storage facilities; that’s more establishments than all the McDonald’s and Starbucks in America, combined. Worldwide, there’s less storage, mostly in Europe. The United Kingdom is home to about 1,000 storage properties while France has around 400. Spain, Germany, and Sweden have about 500 sites combined, and another 260 self-storage facilities can be found in The Netherlands. Self-storage is popular in America. Roughly 10% of American households rent at least one self storage unit, despite the fact that most of them also have a garage, attic, or basement in their homes. It’s more than just storage, too. Many storage companies offer additional products and services such as mailboxes, packing supplies, fax and copy services, and more. Many of these storage offices also have truck rentals available; it’s not uncommon for new tenants to be offered the free use of one of these trucks for move-in. In addition to these facts, there’s one more thing to know. Security is paramount in self-storage. From video cameras to motion detectors and door alarms, the more security you can find, the better protected your stored property will be. Self-storage companies invest heavily in security and upgrade frequently to keep up with technology.
Self-storage is everywhere! Most of us probably pass by at least one storage property in our daily comings and goings. But what do we really know about self-storage? Here is some information you probably weren’t aware of.
Self-storage has been around a long time. There is evidence of a type of public storage space being used as far back as 4000 B.C. It wasn’t anything like the secure facilities you see today, of course, but things were stored in pots, buried in the ground, and protected by guards. America’s modern self-storage industry dates back to the latter part of the 1960s. It was around this time that the first storage chain got its start, too.
In the United States, self-storage is big! We’ve got over 2 billion square feet of storage space in approximately 50,000 self-storage facilities; that’s more establishments than all the McDonald’s and Starbucks in America, combined.
Worldwide, there’s less storage, mostly in Europe. The United Kingdom is home to about 1,000 storage properties while France has around 400. Spain, Germany, and Sweden have about 500 sites combined, and another 260 self-storage facilities can be found in The Netherlands.
Self-storage is popular in America. Roughly 10% of American households rent at least one self storage unit, despite the fact that most of them also have a garage, attic, or basement in their homes.
It’s more than just storage, too. Many storage companies offer additional products and services such as mailboxes, packing supplies, fax and copy services, and more. Many of these storage offices also have truck rentals available; it’s not uncommon for new tenants to be offered the free use of one of these trucks for move-in.
In addition to these facts, there’s one more thing to know. Security is paramount in self-storage. From video cameras to motion detectors and door alarms, the more security you can find, the better protected your stored property will be. Self-storage companies invest heavily in security and upgrade frequently to keep up with technology.
Heated self-storage can be a great way to store certain household items that are susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures, moisture, or humidity. Here’s a brief explanation of what it is and the kinds of property that ought to be stored in a heated unit.
A heated self-storage unit is generally maintained at a specific minimum temperature, usually around 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Often, people assume that the word “heated” means “warm,” but this is not exactly correct. The unit is warmer than the outside air on very cold days, but it’s not a comfortable, livable temperature. The temperature of the storage unit is meant to protect your property from various kinds of damage, such as mold, mildew, and musty odors from moisture, cracking from contraction due to cold, and more.
When storing your belongings, especially in colder times of year, consider renting a heated unit for the following items.
Musical Instruments. Your guitar, saxophone, trumpet, drums, even pianos . . . they’re all susceptible to damage from cold (contracting wood will crack and warp, for instance) and from the humidity that can result from colder temperatures, like damage to finishes. Heated self-storage costs a little more than other units, but musical instruments are a major investment you’ll want to protect.
Paper things. Important documents, photographs, and books all will benefit from being kept in a heated, moisture free environment. If you live in a very humid area, consider adding containers of silica gel (a dessicant) for extra protection from mold, mildew, and warping.
Art. Original paintings, lithographs, ceramics and sculptures will all be better off in heated self-storage. Just as with paper items and musical instruments, these items may warp, crack, bow or bend, develop mold, or end up with ruined finishes when stored in a normal unit.
Electronics. Obviously, moisture is damaging to electronic items, so controlling humidity in storage is important. And while things like computers and monitors benefit from being kept cool, very cold temperatures can damage housings, cables, and other hardware. Protect your electronics in heated self storage.
Other belongings, like sporting goods, tools, furniture, and even vehicles can all benefit from heated self-storage, too. When renting storage, consider renting heated space for everything; a slightly higher price for your storage is worth it when everything comes out the unit undamaged and in the same condition it went in.