Northwest Storages
Northwest Storages
Northwest Storages

Northwest Storages

Northwest Storages

Moving 101: Supplies Come First

by NW Storages on 08/11/17




Moving is not a fun time. It’s a lot of stress and a lot of work and it’s never easy.  But even a do-it-yourself move can be more organized, streamlined, and doable than you might imagine, if you have the right information. You’ll want to get the best prices on moving supplies like boxes and packing material. You’re probably going to need a self storage unit, especially if you’re  downsizing or moving into temporary digs for some reason. What about the pets in all of this? There is so much to know when you’re moving yourself, and it’s hard to keep track of all the information.


We’re here to help. We’ve got all the information you need to know to have a smooth DIY change of home, and we’re happy to share it with you. We’ll be bringing our experience and expertise to you in upcoming blog posts, so that when the time comes, you can  make your move more quickly and with less stress than you’d imagine.


Supplies


Let’s start this series with the most basic unit of  moving:  Supplies. You’re going to need more than you might think, and it’s a good idea to get these together before you start packing and moving. You can often find most of these items at local stores; your local self storage facility may even offer them at a discount.


Boxes

Most of the things you’re moving that isn’t furniture is going to end up in boxes. Clothes, toys, books, and most household items will need to be properly and securely boxed up to protect them during your move. Sturdy cardboard boxes are the best choice here.  Uniform sizes make loading your truck easier and faster, too.


  • For hanging clothing, wardrobe boxes are a great choice. They’re large, and they have a bar for hanging the clothes, instead of folding them flat. This will eliminate the need for ironing when you unpack your clothing; everything can go straight into your new closet. If there is room, you can pack blankets, bedding, or even coats on the bottom of the box.

  • Book boxes are specially designed to hold your books, and balance their weight. Smaller than other boxes, these containers keep you from lifting too much weight at one time. These boxes are good for other small, heavy items, such as tools and home decorations.

  • Mirror and picture boxes are important to have on hand, too. Large mirrors and framed artwork fit easily into these boxes and, add a little cushioning, and your items are well protected from damages. Remember that, even for items like this, boxes are easier to pack in your moving truck for maximum space usage.

  • Dishes and glassware have their own special boxes, too. You can find double-wall boxes with cushioning and separators to keep your things safe, from your everyday dishes to your grandmother’s china. Same goes for your barware, wine glasses, and other drinkware.

  • Don’t forget the electronics boxes. Double-walled and able to hold in excess of a hundred pounds, you’ll want these for your computers, televisions, microwaves, and game systems, among other things. These boxes come in a couple of different sizes to accommodate your needs. Electronics boxes are a must have for your flatscreen televisions.

  • Lamp boxes are what you need for those standing lamps you’ve got all over the place. Awkward to load, these lights become much more manageable when packed into a tall, narrow box made specifically to hold them. Boxed up means easier to carry and easier to pack in the truck.

  • Packing boxes from small to extra large. Again, uniformity of size helps, so sticking to, say, large and medium boxes is going to make packing and stacking much easier. Everything that doesn’t have a special type of box can go into these. If you’re not sure how many boxes you’ll need, try a packing calculator to help figure it out.

  • Items like rugs, floor mats, throw pillows, and small blankets don’t need to be boxed on their own. They are great for insulating and protecting other items, and can be used to fill gaps in the moving van as you pack it.


Other Supplies

  • Tape. Wide, strong packing tape his best for this. You want your boxes sealed completely and securely to prevent them from opening in transit and spilling their contents everywhere.

  • Labels.  Yes, you could just write on the sides of the boxes, but placing two labels - white or brightly colored - in two different places on your container will make it easier to identify the contents of a box without having to dig through it. Label as you pack, placing one label on one side of the box, and one on the opposite side.

  • Markers. At least two, and probably black. Large, chisel type tips make lettering stand out, but smaller nibs are easier to write with. Make sure not to use washable markers; you don’t want something to cause the writing to run and become unreadable.

  • Furniture covers, moving blankets and paper packing, bubble wrap, or other protective materials. Your blankets, sheets, towels, and decorative pillows can serve as insulation and furniture covers, as well.

  • Stretch wrap, in large and small rolls. Useful to keep your boxes tightly packed, to keep items like brooms and mops together, and to help secure your load in the truck. Similar to the plastic wrap you use in the kitchen, stretch wrap is extremely helpful when packing.

  • Tarps or drop cloths. These can be used to cover couches, chairs, and mattresses. They also serve as floor covering in the truck; lay them out on the bottom of the cargo area to protect your belongings and boxes from dirt, dust, and spills that may be there.

  • Working equipment. You’ll want work gloves, a step ladder or step stool, paper towels, cleaning spray, scissors, and maybe a box knife. If you’ll be packing in areas where chemicals are stored (the garage, for instance) you may want to wear a breathing mask, too.

  • Lifting straps, load bars, rope, ratchet straps, bungee cords, or other types of tie-downs.  You’re going to want to secure your load at various stages of the truck packing process. The more you are able to tighten your load and keep it restrained, the safer your belongings will be while you’re on the road.

Once you’ve assembled all the supplies you’ll need, you’re ready to get ready to pack.  Check back here later for tips on how to clean and cull for packing.


Make Big Change in Your Little Corner of the World

by NW Storages on 07/22/17




You’ve had the thought before, right? “If I had the money or time or opportunity, I could really do some good in the world.”  We’ve thought it as we walked past children playing in a run-down park, or as we drove by a homeless man sleeping at a bus stop. We want to make this a better world but time and money and the lack of concrete ideas make it difficult for us to get started.


But there are things close by we can do that will make a real difference. Buying school lunches or painting a park bench may not seem like world changing ideas, but they can be. Anything you do to make the world a nicer, kinder, prettier, more compassionate place is not wasted, and the effects of your actions will be felt now and for time to come. When you help - one person or an entire community - you make change happen. Positive, long-reaching change.


So, what can you do?  Lots of things! Here’s a list of some very immediate, do-able things you can act on to make your little corner of the world just a bit nicer for everyone. And when that happens, you’ll be amazed at how the change ripples outward and touches everyone and everything around you.


Money makes the world go around, and the money is out there!


“If I had a million dollars, I’d….” What? Well, you don’t need a million dollars. You just need a couple of bucks.  Maybe the cost of a latte or a burger. Take that money, and get your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, and family to pitch in that amount, too. Now, you’ve got a tidy sum to donate somewhere.  You could even create a giving club, where people contribute a set amount of money to a pool, and then vote on what they’d like that money to accomplish. Some ideas on how to spend whatever money you collect:  


  1. Pay off school lunch accounts.  There’s almost certainly a school near you that has a number of delinquent meal accounts. We know that food is essential for school performance, and when kids aren’t given a lunch because they lack money, those kids suffer not just from hunger, but their grades and learning are affected, too. Just think what $100 or more could do to wipe out some of that backlog and get those kids back in the lunch line! And who knows what those kids will accomplish someday, due in no small part to your generosity.

  2. Donate to a community cause.  Perhaps your community’s park is in need of new equipment or fresh paint on the playground.  Possibly the local animal shelter needs food and medicine for its charges.  Maybe the library down the street can’t afford to buy as many new books as it could. Whatever the cause, donating money to  your community is a definite move toward changing the world.

  3. Help out a neighbor. Is there someone in your neighborhood whose car needs work they can’t afford, or whose kids need clothes that are beyond their budget?  Do you know an elderly person with a house in need of repairs or painting, or maybe a family suffering through the winter with no heat?  Your collected funds would go a long way toward fixing one or more of these people’s problems. How amazing would it be to collect the money, buy the starter, or the paint, or the air conditioner, and go make someone’s life better?


There are so many more suggestions to be made here. Money can do a lot to make the world a nicer place, and you have the ability to create change by spearheading a movement to find the money to make things happen.


Building a better economy means building a better community.


Do you buy your coffee from the big chain shop, or do you patronize a local place? If you need a birthday cake, do you pick it up from the supermarket or do you go to the local bakery? When your car needs an oil change, do you go to the big Superstore, or to the corporate oil change place, or do you take your business to the mechanic down the street?


Spending your money locally, with hometown-owned businesses, does a lot to improve your town. Small business owners have a vested interest in the communities they serve, and when you support them, you support your town. If your town’s economy is sluggish or slowing, spending your money with local businesses is a sure way to pick it back up. So, attend those community events, buy goods and services from local merchants, and keep your hard-earned money in your town. You’ll be making your town a better place, and that will make the world a better place.


Share your skills, your knowledge, and yourself.


Making change happen doesn’t have to cost a dime. You can help people, improve someone’s life, and help someone who needs it just by being you. Your skills and knowledge, your education and experience, can help someone else and when you pass those along, you pass along the means to change everything.  


  1. Volunteer at your local YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, senior center, or other group. You can teach a skill (cooking, auto repair, photography, or whatever you know), offer homework assistance, tutor a kid, or even just sit and talk to a lonely child who needs a sympathetic ear. Perhaps you’d prefer to join your hospital’s auxiliary and provide support to family and friends of patients.

  2. Sit by your street.  It’s so simple!  Just plop down a lawn chair and sit out on the sidewalk or in your front yard, and chat with people who walk by. Say hello as kids ride past on their bikes, maybe pet the occasional dog on a leash. Become aware of what’s normal in your neighborhood so you’ll notice when something’s not right. Make acquaintances, if not friends, of your neighbors and you’ll notice the changes this brings right away.  Just from sitting down and making a little small talk.


There are other places to take your skills to, as well. All you have to do is look around. For instance, if you’re a gardener, maybe a  local church could or business could use your green thumb. If you make a living by providing a service - auto maintenance or HVAC, for example - donating your time and know how could make a huge difference to a business or a neighbor.


When you give of yourself, you give everything to someone. You don’t need money to help someone, and the difference you can make is enormous.


It actually is easy being green.


One of the most important issues of our time is protecting the earth. Pollution, greenhouse gases, fossil fuels, ozone depletion… each of us contributes to these in some way, every day.  But we can  change that. If you’re looking to make a better world, taking steps to save that world seems like a good place to start.  Reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose everything you can. Food waste becomes compost. Old clothes become new rags, quilts, and pot holders. Plastic containers become planters and organizers.


Of course you can always take your plastic and paper and metal waste to the recycling center, but there are so many other ways to save on waste. Give it a little thought.  Helping to clean up the planet is a big way to make a big difference.


Pretty is as pretty does.

Is there a part of your town or neighborhood that isn’t nice to look at? Maybe a wall covered in graffiti, a playground filled with rusted toys, or a community building that could use a fresh coat of paint. Whatever it is that needs a makeup job, you can do it!


A community needs pride and self-respect, just like a person does. If your town looks dreary or run down, it affects the outlook of the people in it. For just a few dollars (less, if you can get paint or other supplies donated) you can increase the beauty of your surroundings and change your entire community’s outlook.  


Is litter  problem in your town? Do a litter walk! Take your family or your work group or your friends, grab some gloves and garbage bags, and walk around cleaning up a section of town. Nothing looks worse than trash littered streets and sidewalks and cleaning them up is an immediate and notable improvement. All for the price of a box of trash bags!


You might want to plant some flowers, too. In your yard, at your church, wherever you can.  Flowers are pretty, they feed the bees and the butterflies, and they clean the air a little bit. But what flowers can really do is create a sense of beauty in the place they’re planted. Beauty creates inspiration,  and the more flowers you plant, the more inspiration your fellow citizens may have to do the same. Imagine, a flower revolution!


Do more than one project, and you make a lot of change. No, a coat of paint won’t fix any community problems, but it will create a sense of dignity in the people who live there, and that will fix problems.  


Let’s be honest, here. We all want to change the world. We want to be the one to cure a disease, or stop war, reverse global warming, or any number of grand thing. But the odds are that we’re  not going to invent the perpetual motion motor for automobiles. This doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference in the world around us. We can. We can take small steps, make small changes, and those changes will reverberate and resonate within our communities to make them better. And better communities create better humans, who will  go out into  the world and make even more change. Think about it. And then go do it.


Seven Simple Things to Enjoy This Summer

by NW Storages on 07/11/17




Summer is made up of lots of fun, warm weather, barbecues and vacations. This year, your 92 days of summertime fun might include an outdoor musical festival, a cross-country drive, or even a flight to a foreign country. But whatever way you spend your summer, you’ll likely need a lot of money.  Right? Wrong! There’s a lot you can do to create wonderful family memories of the summer of 2017 that cost little to nothing.


Think back to the summers of your childhood, and remember the great times you had with your family and friends. Chances are, not everything you did cost a small fortune. In our busy, stressful lives, we often forget the virtues of just hanging out and enjoying simple pleasures, beautiful days, and the company of those we love.


With an eye toward the days of childhood summer freedom, we present you this list of things to do this summer that are fun, family-oriented, and nearly free!


  1. Remember the Slip ‘n Slide? A big sheet of vinyl you laid out in the yard, hooked up to the hose, and proceeded to skim, slip, slide, flip, flop, ,and just generally roll around in cool, clean water. It was always a great time, and you’re not too old to do it again. For under $30 (at least on Amazon.com) you and your spouse, children, and friends can spend hours having a great time and building great memories together.

  2. How long has it been since you’ve had homemade ice cream? Sweet, creamy, soft serve, and delicious, homemade ice cream is a summertime staple.  If you have an ice cream maker, manual or electric, now is the time to pull it out of the cupboard (or garage?) and put it to use.  But you don’t need an ice cream machine to make great ice cream at home. Check local and online retailers for the Ice Cream Ball, which gets the kids in on the fun, or try  zip lock bag ice cream or this no-churn recipe for coffee ice cream (you can swap the coffee for cocoa, vanilla, or any number of other flavorings) to  bring the goodness of ice cream made at home to your summer fun without having to buy a big and costly ice cream maker. Because what’s better than ice cream in the summer?

  3. There’s nothing like a piece of juicy, delicious, ice-cold watermelon on a hot summer day. Low in calories, almost  fat free, and loaded with vitamins A and C, watermelon is a fun, healthy treat that doesn’t cost a lot. Sit down with the kids and enjoy watermelon sticks or one of these other great serving ideas.  Or, ditch the kids, invite the grown ups over, and share some fantastic watermelon margaritas or an infused watermelon. Be sure you pick a ripe melon, then enjoy this classic summertime treat.

  4. Blue summer skies and endless weekends at the park or the shore, just beg for some kite flying. Remember how exciting it was to see that bit of paper, string, and stick go soaring?  It’s still a lot of fun for kids and grownups alike, and it’s something your family can enjoy together. You can make your own kite, from simple to elaborate, and it won’t cost a lot.Or you can buy one if you prefer. What’s that? You don’t remember how to get that kite airborne?  No problem, you can get a refresher course here. Now, go fly a kite!

  5. Communities around the country offer great free concerts and movies at public venues and parks. Great local artists and family friendly films are usually accompanied by a few food vendors, and the casual setting makes it a relaxed family outing you can enjoy. Check your local newspaper (or do a Google search) and find a little free theatrical or musical entertainment. to help you and your family while away a warm summer evening. Take a few pictures for the family album while you’re there!

  6. Have you  been out to a really good restaurant lately, and enjoyed an outstanding meal?  Good for you! But, here’s a better idea for family dining fun: Have a picnic! Kids love the adventure of it, and if you choose a great park, you can send them off to play while you relax on the grass and just enjoy the summer air. You don’t even need a fancy picnic basket; a paper grocery bag or a nylon tote bag will do just fine. Plus, a picnic doesn’t have to be fancy food. Grab some sandwiches, fried chicken, potato salad, chips, and cold drinks, and you’re golden! You can make the food or pick it up on the way, and it’s going to be great either way.  Because when you’re sharing summer fun and food with your family, of course it’s going to be great.

  7. It’s baseball season, and there are games everywhere. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on a major league game, or spend less on a minor league one, or you could save that money for peanuts and hot dogs by going to local games. Little league, community leagues, and high school intramural teams are all out there, playing baseball and having a great time. You don’t even need to know any of the players or pick a side; cheer for everyone, snack yourself silly, and enjoy an American tradition. Baseball goes with summer like football with fall, and you’ll find that even a bunch of little kids playing their hearts out evokes that love of the national pastime that we all share. And your kids will have a ball!

  8. Did you ever have a really great, huge water fight on a hot summer afternoon? Of course you did! You can do it again, too. Water balloons, soaker tubes, and squirt guns can turn a sweltering afternoon into a party.  Inexpensive (you can  get everything at a dollar store if you want), universally fun, and a great way to cool off, a water fight will have your family, friends, even your entire neighborhood, laughing and having fun together. Plus, the kids just love to shoot, splash, and soak the grown ups; the children in your life will be thrilled!  Just be sure to wear old clothes or bathing suits to “fight” in, and have fun!


Summer doesn’t last long, and these warm days and temperate nights will soon give way to the cooler air of autumn, and the long days will get short. Your kids will head back to school and the entire world will seem a little less exuberant as the season passes. Take advantage of these days now, to spend time with family and friends, to have fun, and to make memories you’ll carry with you forever.


"Working Moms Need Self Storage!"

by NW Storages on 06/30/17


Working a job and keeping a house and raising kids and making a future for your family. Women do a lot every day, and much of it goes unnoticed. Being a mom is hard, and being a working mom is even harder! You’re going a hundred miles an hour doing three things at once and someone’s crying over spilled milk or a skinned knee, and your husband needs your help “just for a minute,” and dinner’s boiling over. You’re stretched thin, and some days it seems like you’ll never get caught up, much less ahead. But, family - your home, husband, kids, and even pets - is your priority. Your goals are clear, of course: save money, save time, be a good parent, and have a good life with the people you love.

 

It may not seem obvious to you  that self storage can help you with your daily life, but it can! From personal documents and files to excess furniture, you can use self storage to declutter, destress, and decompress. Read on to see how we you can have less hassle and more freedom in your life.

 

  1. Mail services.  Many self storage facilities offer mail service in addition to storage units. You can pick up daily or weekly and never worry that your mail’s security might be compromised. Plus, facilities offering this service usually have supplies available for sale right there. No extra trips to the store!

  2. File storage. You’ve been working for a long time and, if you’re married, so has your spouse. You’ve got mortgage documents, tax returns, and more important papers. You’ve also got birth certificates for everyone and personal keepsakes like cards, letters, children’s drawings, and many other items that take up space in your home but aren’t necessarily needed on a daily basis. File storage is a safe, secure, and convenient way to keep important papers out of your way without losing them. Often, the storage facility will even have file boxes and shelving available for sale, making storage even better!

  3. Hand me downs. We all know that kids are expensive, and most of us have hung on to items from baby number one for the next kid or kids to come along. Rather than devote an entire part of your house or garage to storing these things (crib, stroller, changing table, or outgrown clothes and toys, for example) you can keep them in self storage. A small storage unit, just to house this stuff, is an affordable and logical option; you’ll have access when you’re ready for it, but you won’t be tripping over it every day!

  4. Seasonal items. Your summer patio is a thing of beauty, with it’s glass-topped table and market umbrella, cushiony furniture and festive strings of lights. But those things won’t hold up well to winter’s cold, and rain, snow, and ice. Same goes for bicycles, watercraft, and above ground pools. The barbecue grill and smoker can be stored for the winter, too. Winter items, like hunting gear and snow toys, can be put away for  the summer. Instead of allowing all those out-of-season belongings to overcrowd your garage during the year, you can store them. Knowing your valuable seasonal items are dry and safe, ready to use when you want them, is a load off your mind and a space-saving move.

  5. Arts, crafts, and recreational items.  All that scrapbooking equipment, golf clubs and tennis racquets, that weaving loom you’ve bought but haven’t learned to use yet, and just about any other supplies and equipment you’re not going to be using immediately, can go into a storage unit. You can still get to it without falling over it every day. Other stuff to store includes camping gear, the kids’ lemonade stand, and your huge Beanie Babies collection.

  6. Extra household items. Spare beds, your grandma’s china hutch that you have no current use for, those end tables you love but don’t really need; these are the things you don’t want to get rid of but don’t have room to keep. Well, now you do! Put that hutch, those tables, and even that sofa you’re saving for “someday,” into storage. Get a unit large enough to leave a path between your items, and you can take out and put back easily, whenever you want.

 

Imagine having all of your closets holding nothing but clothes and shoes, or bedding and towels. Envision your living room clutter free and furnished only with the items you want to be using. Think what it would be like to be able to access your knitting without having to sort through painting supplies and tools! You can do it. You can have a less stressed life, knowing the things you want to keep are safe and secure, while your home is more spacious and family-friendly. Study after study has shown that when your life is less cluttered, your stress levels drop and you become more able to focus on what really matters: your job, your family, and your future. Moms work hard, moms do a lot, and moms have a lot going on these days. Let self storage take some of that stuff off your plate.


Moving Information You Need, and Can Actually Use!

by NW Storages on 06/15/17



Moving.  Whether it’s across the street, across town, or across the country, moving is a stressful time. No matter how much you organize your move, no matter how much effort you put into minimizing the stress and confusion of moving, the fact remains that a move is a disruptive,  unsettling life event. And the single biggest problem with moving? Time. There’s not enough time to pack, there’s not enough time to make lists, there’s a delay between the time you leave your current home and the day you move into your new house. Always at a premium, time becomes a matter of vital importance when you’re  moving.  Just like planning a wedding, planning your move means making sure things are done on time, and that each task is done on schedule, so the next job can be completed when it needs to be.

 

But how can you know what needs to be done, and when? Should you put in your change of address before or after you leave your old place? How much lead time does the moving company or truck rental place need to accommodate you? Who is going to tell you what to do and when to do it?

 

We are!

 

Below, you’ll find a list of things that need to be done when you move, and when they need to happen. While you can’t always stick to the timeline religiously, it’s certainly a handy guide to keeping track of your moving progress.

 

Eight Weeks Before Your Move

 

  • Purge anything and everything you can. Discard what’s broken, unwearable, or unusable. Donate the rest.

    • TIP: Many thrift and secondhand stores will pick up your donations, particularly if they involve large items like furniture and appliances.

  • Rent a self storage unit to store things to make room for major cleaning, or to stage your home for selling.

    • TIP: Check to see if your storage facility offers hand trucks, moving trolleys, elevators, and roll up doors, so you can more easily store larger items.

  • Pack and label belongings you won’t be needing before the move.

    • TIP: If you’re having difficulty finding strong, appropriately sized boxes for packing, check with your storage facility. Many offer discounted moving supplies, including boxes and tape.

 

Four Weeks Before Your Move

 

  • Notify your utility company, water, sewer, garbage, telephone, cable, satellite, and internet provider of your new address and date of your move. Arrange disconnect and reconnect services.

    • TIP: If you’re not sure when you’ll be in your new home, or if you don’t have a place arranged yet, check with your self storage company to see if they offer mail and/or forwarding services. Some do.

  • Make a home inventory list of your items in storage, items still in the house, and personal belongings you’ll be packing later.

 

Two Weeks Before Your Move

 

  • Create a “survival” box, filling it with items you’ll need while between homes and until your belongings are delivered to your new place.

  • If you’re using movers to relocate, confirm dates and times with them now.

  • Arrange child and pet care for moving day, if necessary.

    • TIP: It’s a huge relief to be able to supervise the movers, or load your truck and/or car, without worrying where the kids are or if the dog has run off!

  • Begin deep cleaning your house, and making needed repairs.

 

Two Days Before Your Move

  • Finish the laundry, so you won’t have to do it while you’re trying to move into your new home.

  • Time to do final cleaning of windows, cabinets, and closets.

    • TIP: If you run across an item you may have missed in earlier cleaning and packing, don’t panic! Take a moment to add it to items in self storage, so you don’t leave it behind.

 

Moving Day

  • Final cleaning of floors and things you may have missed.

  • Turn down (or off!)  the thermostat on your heating/cooling system, as well as the refrigerator and freezer.

    • TIP: Leave a full, opened box of baking soda in the fridge and freezer to absorb any remaining odors and prevent new ones while not in use.

  • Do a last minute walk through of all rooms, and outside, checking for uncleaned areas and possessions you may have missed.

 

For more information, download a free, printable moving guide filled with information, tips, and ideas to make your move easier, less stressful, and maybe even fun!


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