Moving means packing, loading, and transporting things, and it can also mean a lot of stress. In addition, there are many opportunities for injury to yourself or damage to your belongings. A little care and proper technique can make your packing, moving, and storing experience much safer!
Before you even assemble your first box, make sure you’re well-rested and focused on your task. Packing a box of books or kitchen supplies or bedding might not seem like something you need to concentrate on, but being distracted might cause you to make a mistake (like over packing a box) that could cause problems later on. When you’re ready to start packing, do it on a good night’s sleep when you’re feeling well and can focus on your work.
When packing, keep these rules in mind:
Pack boxes for stability. Use towels, clothing, bedding, bubble-wrap, or other items to pack things so they don’t shift.
Limit the weight of your boxes. You know how much you can lift comfortably; don’t exceed your limits simply to save space. Don’t forget you’ll be lifting and moving those boxes later, so make sure you won’t be straining to do it.
For appliances, furniture, and stacks of boxes, use a dolly and straps. If you don’t have one, and if your moving truck didn’t come with one, you can usually rent one for a small amount of money.
Close boxes securely with strong tape. Use rope, bungee cords, or shrink wrap to secure the doors and drawers on furniture and appliances. You don’t want anything popping open mid-move!
Protect your back!
If you’ll be lifting a lot, or very heavy items, invest in a back-protecting brace or lifting belt.
Get help! If an item is too big or heavy for you to lift or move without undue strain, stop! Ask someone for assistance.
Once everything is packed and you’re stacking boxes on your dolly, put the heaviest containers on the bottom and the lightest ones on top.
When lifting, bend at the knees, pick up the load and hold it to your body near your core, then lift with your legs.
Get help! If an item is too big or heavy for you to lift or move without undue strain, stop! Ask a friend for assistance.
A secure load is a safe load!
Load furniture and appliances first. Stack them tightly and use rope, shrink wrap, or locking bars to keep them snug. A shifting load is an accident waiting to happen, both inside the truck and on the road.
Now load your boxes, just as in item 7, above. When they’re all in and packed tightly, secure them as you did your appliances.
When you arrive at your destination, whether it’s your new home or a self-storage unit, unpack from the top down. Pulling items from the bottom or middle can cause things to fall, maybe on you!
When unpacking, be careful; even with your best efforts, items may have shifted or come loose; be aware of potential hazards.
Moving is never fun or easy, but it can be safe. Use the information above to help make your move accident-free, and to get everything to your new location in one piece.
With spring and summer comes gardens, which also means equipment and supplies. Here’s how self-storage can help you manage your gardening, and do it affordably.
Spring is in full force in the Pacific Northwest, and gardeners are out in their yards in every neighborhood. Whether you’re planting fruits, vegetables, or trees, or even if you’re just nurturing your lawn or encouraging perennials, gardening can be a relaxing, rewarding hobby. Read on to find out how self-storage can make gardening easier.
All that equipment takes up space!
If you’re the owner of a power tiller, or just a large collection of shovels, rakes, hoes, and other gardening tools, it’s not always practical to store them in the garage or shed once you’ve got your garden going. Take all those big tools and machinery, unused pots, leftover materials from your raised beds, and anything else you don’t need once your seeds are planted and put them in self-storage. Make sure they’re clean and dry when you store them, and that’s how they’ll be when you pull them out next season.
At the end of the summer, you can also put your lawn mower, garden hoses, and other yard maintenance equipment in this unit, too! And with all this stuff out of your way, you’ll be storing bikes, kayaks, motorcycles, and other summer stuff in your shed or garage until fall.
Pile on the Sale Stuff!
Your garden’s in place, but you just found a huge sale on terra cotta pots or organic compost. Did you just pick up a bunch of free pallets for making garden boxes next year? No worries. A self-storage unit is a great place to keep things you’ve bought during the season so they’re safe and protected until you need them next year. As fall approaches, all those gardening supplies are going to have reduced pricing and it’d be a shame to miss out on a good deal because you didn’t have room for it in the shed!
Seeds and stuff.
Do you have a large or extremely varied garden? You might want to think about picking up a display rack (check thrift stores and retailer close-outs) to store your seeds in, and maybe some shelving or drawers to protect bulbs. Whether you’re buying supplies for next year’s garden or storing the seed harvest from your current plants, a safe, dry, climate-controlled place to store them can be a great thing.
Garden Storage can be very affordable.
Self-storage units come in a variety of sizes, and are designed to be packed from floor to ceiling and wall to wall if you want. This means you only pay for the space you’re using and no more. A small unit to keep manual garden tools, hoses, bags of supplies, racks of seeds, and stacks of pots and boxes won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Check with your local storage facility to find out just what size of unit you’ll need and how you can make the most of the space.
Self storage isn’t just for boxes of possessions, furniture, and moving. We’re here to help you in everyday life. Gardening is a great way to de-stress, cut your food budget, have great fresh fruits and veggies for the winter, and keep your yard looking beautiful with all those flowers and shrubs. Self-storage can make gardening easier and more organized while keeping your home, garage, and shed less cluttered. Just be sure to check with your storage facility about how to store things like soil, fertilizer, and gas-powered equipment.
Life is full of changes. You never know from one day to the next what might happen. Even the most stable life offers the occasional surprise. Coping with those surprises can be complicated and inconvenient, but changes don’t have to unsettle our lives dramatically. There are many ways to handle new situations with the least amount of upset to your day-to-day life, and one of the easiest of these options is self-storage.
Self-storage offers a great many options and services to help you cope with new life situations, difficult events, exciting growth opportunities, and even marriage and parenthood! Keep reading to find out how self-storage can help keep your life on track, even when changes throw you off balance.
So, you’ve found true love!
Relationships, like life, require constant adjustment. But, when you find the right person, you might also find that between the two of you, you just have too much stuff. You and your partner are likely to have duplicates of furniture, kitchenware, and more, in addition to plenty of things you want to hang on to but won’t be using soon. Like that hope chest full of baby clothes, for instance.
Self-storage to the rescue! Anything you’re not going to use can be put in storage until you’re ready to bring it home or let it go. She’s got the better furniture? Put that futon and recliner in storage. He’s got nicer pots and pans? Put your old set in a storage unit so you can use it when you need. Sharing a living space with your romantic partner is sometimes an adjustment for both parties; starting off with as little clutter and chaos as possible can help you settle in at first. Self-storage is here to let you hang on to a little of your past while you work on creating your future. And a small, affordable storage will keep your belongings safe and protected while you adapt to your new life.
Working for a living.
We’ve all got a job to do, but not all of us work for someone else. If you’re in the process of starting a business of your own, of if your business has succeeded so well you’ve outgrown your home office, self-storage can be a great business partner.
Whether you need to clear all the stuff out of your spare room to make an office, or you need a place to store your product or supplies, or even if you need a place to have deliveries shipped to, your local self-storage facility has got you covered!
Not only can you rent a storage unit to protect the things you cleared out of the house to make room for your entrepreneurial endeavors, self storage offers you so much more in the way of business services! In addition to storing files, inventory, machinery, and materials, many self-storage facilities offer:
File and shipping boxes for storing paperwork or mailing product.
Shelving sales and assembly, to keep your unit organized and efficient.
Acceptance of deliveries for your business.
Fax and copy services; this is especially helpful if you don’t have a fax machine or copier at home.
Multiple space discounts, to keep things affordable as your business grows!
Some self-storage facilities offer very large spaces for contractors, and even mailboxes, to give your business its own mailing address.
When you’re building your own brand and doing all the work yourself, self-storage is available to take some of the weight off your shoulders. Even a fledgling business can afford the benefits of self-storage, even if all you do is store paperwork in a locker-sized unit.
You can go home again.
Maybe things haven’t gone your way and you find yourself in need of some help. Maybe a parent, sibling, or friend is in need of shelter and assistance for a little while. There’s no shame in it; most of us have had a setback or two in our lives. So, whether you’ve lost your job, gotten ill, or any number of other things. You might find yourself in the situation of moving back home, or of needing to live in a shared-space situation. Living with your parents is hard, and adapting to roommates - who may be complete strangers to you in many cases - is even harder. Self-storage can make it a little easier to adapt to your new living arrangements while letting you hold on to the things you’ll want and need when you’re ready to be on your own again. So, whether you’re moving into a furnished room, a smaller space, or your parent’s (or children’s) basement, attic, or spare room, you can relax in the knowledge that the furniture, household items, mementos, art, and everything else you can’t bring with you is safe in a secure facility. Renting the smallest self-storage that will hold your property means you’re paying a minimal amount to avoid starting from scratch when things change again.
The pitter-patter of tiny feet.
Not everyone wants kids, and that’s fine, but almost everyone knows that kids bring a lot of changes to life, and some of those changes can be addressed with self-storage. Perhaps you’ve got to empty your spare room to make it into a nursery, but you don’t want to put your grandmother’s chest of drawers in the garage. Maybe you’ve got furniture or accessories that aren’t particularly suitable for toddlers; glass-topped tables and expensive decor items might need to be protected from small fingers and rambunctious games for a while.
In addition, your children will be outgrowing things at an amazing pace! That crib will soon need to be replaced with a toddler bed, the playpen, stroller, and high chair won’t be needed after a couple of short years, and you’ll have boxes and boxes of clothes that are still in good shape but are just too small. Store it all! Whether you want to hang on to this stuff in anticipation of more children, intend to pass it all along to a friend or family member at some point, or even expect to put it all in a yard sale, go ahead and store these things until you’re sure you won’t be needing them.
It’s hard to let go.
It’s a sad fact of life what we all pass on at some point. Our friends and loved ones, and even ourselves, will one day pass away and leave all of our earthly belongings behind. Death is an immutable fact of life, and as hard as it is, it can be made a little easier if you remember that self-storage can help with some of the changes death brings.
Have you inherited items, from furniture to art to books or collections, as a result of someone’s passing? You may not have space for these things, or may not be ready to bring them into your home yet. You might not live in a situation where you want to bring these things into your living space. Rest assured that secure self-storage can keep these items safe until you’re able to determine what you want to do with them.
Perhaps you find yourself in the situation of being the executor of an estate. Or possibly you’re responsible for someone’s possessions while the recipients of the items contest the will or try to make room for everything. Maybe, the estate has managed to sell the decedent’s real property, but has not made final arrangements for the things inside the home.
If any of these situations are yours to deal with, renting a self-storage unit to hold everything until the legalities and procedures surrounding the passing of a loved one are completed makes good sense. A secure, affordable, convenient storage unit will make coping with a death in your life easier to manage.
Change comes to us all.
There are so many situations in life that can completely shift our outlook and our expectations, while also affecting our day-to-day reality, that we can almost expect change to happen at any moment. But no matter what happens to create a need for extra space, or for a place to keep your belongings, your local self-storage professional and secure self-storage facility can make change easier to weather and help you come out even better in the end.
In Washington, summer means musical festivals, and plenty of them. We’ve compiled a list of the biggest and best to make it easy for you to plan your long weekends in the summer months. Whether you attend just one of these outstanding shows, or all of them, you’re sure to have a great time and take home some fantastic memories.
Paradiso June 15 & 16 The Gorge at George
This EDM (electronic dance music) festival packs quite a punch and makes for a great weekend away from home. Nearby Quincy offers several motels for your stay, or you can camp at the Gorge and enjoy the festival with other campers. Featured performers include Deadmau5, DJ Snake, Armin VanBuuren, and more. If you’re a fan of brostep, this is the place to be in June. The venue alone is worth the two-and-a-half hour drive; the music is just icing on the cake.
Capitol Hill Block Party July 20 - 22 Capitol Hill, Seattle
Featuring indoor and outdoor stages, beer gardens, bars and restaurants, a diverse mix of national and local talent comprised of big names and lesser knowns, a wide choice of genres and styles, and so much more, the Capitol Hill Block Party is a Seattle celebration you won’t want to miss. This years performers include Dillon Francis, Betty Who, Busty and the Brass, The Dips, Jamila Woods, and almost one hundred others. Come out and enjoy the neighborhood, the weather, the music, food, and drink, and the incredible people who turn out for this big event.
Watershed August 3 - 5 The Gorge at George
Quickly becoming one of the west coast’s biggest country music festivals, Watershed promises to be even bigger and better this year. There’s camping at the Gorge, of course, or accommodations in the nearby town of Quincy. The three-day festival’s roster of stars this year includes The Voice coach Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Brantley Gilbert, Big and Rich, Cassadee Pope, and almost a dozen others.
Bumbershoot August 31, September 1 & 2 Seattle Center
Although it began with a different name, Bumbershoot has been around for over 45 years and shows no signs of slowing down. This year’s festival will feature acts such as T-Pain, Ludacris, Blondie, Mt. Joy, J. Cole, Li’l Wayne, and many, many more. You’ll also enjoy the Rock Art Show (a display of Northwest concert posters), the Yogashoot session, over two dozen comedy shows, live theater, plus the food and drink, and the great community atmosphere.
In addition to music festivals, there are concerts and shows all summer long, all across the state. Whether you prefer rock, country, reggae, or classical, local acts or national headliners, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes, and our beautiful Washington weather makes these outdoor events even better!
One of the best things about summer is the end of the school year. If you’re a college student, you’ve worked hard for nine months, keeping your grades up, probably keeping up with a job (or two), and still trying to have a social life. Summer means a little bit of freedom, a little less work to do, and possibly even a trip home to be with family for the warm months. It’s gonna be great!
But, what about all your stuff? You’ve got a dorm room, or maybe even an apartment, full of things you may not want to give up. Your desk, television, refrigerator, favorite chair, maybe even your bed; all of it needs someplace to be while you’re gone for the summer months. You don’t want to have to drag it all back to your parent’s house, right? You’re just going to have to drag it back with you in a few weeks! You can’t leave it in your dorm room, or pay rent on an apartment you’re not going to be living in for three months. It’s a problem, to be sure.
Self-storage can help make this easy for you! Whether you’re just storing a few books and your winter coat, or an entire apartment full of stuff, it’s easy and affordable to store everything for the summer and have it ready to use again next fall. Here are some ideas, tips, and tricks for getting the most storage, for the least money, with the best results.
What should you store?
If you won’t need it for the summer, store it! Beds, desks, chairs, books and bookshelves, winter clothing, electronics, appliances, your bike; anything and everything you want to keep for next semester can be put into self-storage. Luckily, self-storage can hold it all. If you’re storing some books or smaller items, you can rent a locker sized unit for just a few dollars a month; if you have an apartment’s worth of furniture and belongings, you may need something larger. It’s fine! Talk to your storage professional and get the exact size you need; you are encouraged to stack and store as much as you can get into the unit you rent, which means you get exactly what you need for the lowest possible price. Boxing up books, decor, clothing, and other smaller items will help you save space as boxes are easier to stack. Be sure to clean out your microwave and/or refrigerator before storing to ensure it survives until fall.
Why should you store instead of taking it home with you?
Assuming you have a vehicle you’re using to get home (or anywhere else), this is a good question. And we have a good answer, too!
Self-storage is a secure means of keeping - and protecting - your property. If you have spent money on furniture and appliances, even second hand, keeping them safe for use next school year is important. Piling your stuff in your car and driving it across the state, or the country, increases the possibility that something will be lost or damaged or ruined. Put your belongings in self-storage, and you don’t need to worry about it all summer long!
Aside from security and protection, another good reason to store your belongings is this: Your parent’s home (and garage) probably has everything it needs. Why drag your stuff home, to create clutter and take up space, when you don’t have to? Your mom and dad will thank you for choosing to store your things when you come home with just yourself. And maybe some laundry.
If you don’t have a car, consider the cost of shipping all of your things home and then back, come fall. Self storage will likely offer a less expensive option for you. Because the only other real choice you’ve got is to sell everything off now and then try to replace it next fall. That’s going to cost you more money and cause you more inconvenience than easy, safe, affordable self-storage.
What should you look for in a self-storage company?
Security, convenience, price, and extras are all important when looking for self-storage. Check reviews online, at sites like SpareFoot.com, and then call the top facilities. Questions to ask:
What security features do you offer? More is better, of course. Video surveillance is an industry standard, so if they don’t offer it, keep looking. Fences, security codes, alarms, motion detectors,security patrols, lighting, even on-site managers; get as many of these options as you can find in your self-storage property.
Do you offer a move-in truck, and is it free? Why pay for something you can get for free? Many companies offer the use of a truck for transporting your things to storage.
Do you have any move-in specials or discounts available? Don’t be too shy to ask about saving money! Move-in specials are common, as are various price reductions, including military (are you in the Guard or Reserves?), senior citizen, and student discounts. You can save money on your monthly rate, plus get a deal when you sign your contract. And speaking of contracts -
Can I get a month-to-month or short-term contract? You only need this unit for a limited time. If the storage company insists on a six-month or even a one-year contract, it’s doesn’t make any sense to rent there. Make sure you will only be paying for storage for as long as you actually need it.
What other services do you offer? Some self-storage companies also offer mailbox rentals, which may be useful for you. Other services might include delivery acceptance, shelving rental for your space, or free items like a high-security lock for your storage unit. More is always better!
Do you sell insurance or do I need to get it on my own? Most places have an affordable policy available to you, and in some circumstances your parent’s homeowners insurance may cover your belongings. This added layer of protection for your belongings is important; even the most secure facility can’t protect your stuff from natural disasters, fire, or other exceptional events.
Can I pay my rent online? If you’re going to be away for several months, you want to be sure your payments will be made on time. A self-storage facility that offers online payment options will make that easier.
You say you’re just getting ready for college?
Collect furniture and appliances for your first year and keep them in self-storage until you’re ready to go. A refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, bookshelf, desk, some lamps… they’re all going to take up space at home and since you’re not going to be using them, store them until it’s time to leave. This also means you’ll have the entire summer to find everything you need, and a place to keep it all together and safe.
Are you done with school and ready to start your new life?
Great! Congratulations on getting your degree! Now, you’re probably looking for a job in your field, and a place to live, and basically trying to get your life in order. Chances are, you’re going to be living in limited space or sharing your living space for a while, either with your parents, other family, friends, or roommates. You may not have room for everything. In that case, sell or give away whatever you don’t intend to keep and take the rest with you to wherever you’re going. Then, store what you can’t keep with you until you’re ready to bring it home with you!
Self-storage is an affordable, convenient, sensible solution to keeping your furniture, supplies, books, and other belongings in a safe and protected place when they’re not in use. Asking the right questions and making the best choice for you means that you can enjoy your summer without worrying about what condition your stuff will be in when you retrieve it.