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.
Small businesses may find that increased success necessitates additional space to keep growing. Find out about solutions to the need for more room.
Once you’ve begun a business, worked hard, and started to succeed, you may find that you face new challenges to continued growth. Storage for files, materials, inventory, and other property is a common concern for a growing business. Let us show you how business storage can be a great, affordable solution for your business’s need for more room.
No matter what your enterprise may be, success means you’ll find one day that you need additional space for equipment, production materials, files, or whatever other items your business needs. Your nearby self-storage facility can offer solutions to your storage needs while also offering additional advantages you may not realize you can use.
SECURITY - Self-storage companies are constantly updating their security features to include the latest technology; this means that not only is your business property safe, it gets safer over time. Whether you’re storing last year’s files or your saleable stock, self-storage security will give you peace of mind, knowing that your business is well protected.
LOW COST PER SQUARE FOOT - Retail and commercial real estate are not cheap; business space leases can be long term and very expensive. Self-storage for your small business is much more affordable than the average cost of retail space. Since you’ll be storing things, rather than presenting them for sale, there’s no reason to pay premium price for a retail space, electricity, and the incidental costs associated with commercial rental. You’re likely to find that the storage space you need is much less costly than the storefront or warehouse you don’t.
HEATED/CLIMATE CONTROLLED STORAGE - If you’re needing a place to keep documents, files, manufacturing materials, and inventory, you need to ensure that your items are not damaged by weather. A heated or climate controlled storage space can help keep your property dry and free from moisture damage. In addition, stored liquids won’t freeze and vehicles and machinery are ready to go despite outside temperatures.
BUSINESS SERVICES AND PERKS - Many self-storage companies offer services and products specifically tailored to small businesses. For instance, if your expanding business uses machinery or requires large quantities of production materials, a contractor spaces often include power and lighting in the unit, in addition to being larger than other spaces. Your storage facility may also offer sales of file storage boxes, shelving rental to keep your unit organized, fax and copy services, and acceptance of deliveries of all kinds. A storage company that also offers mailboxes can provide your home business with a separate mailing address, as well.
CONVENIENCE - These days you’ll find self-storage in many neighborhoods and most cities; chances are there’s a self-storage facility within a few short miles of where you are right now! This means that keeping your business property in self-storage is not a major hassle and can be quite convenient. The idea of storing things away from you may seem like a lot of hassle, but when you can keep your current space clutter-free and usable, while also keeping your business property in a secure, nearby, easily accessible facility, it’s really not a problem. If your storage company offers spaces with 24-hour access, and it gets even better.
From home contractors of all types to Etsy craft store operators, you’ve got things taking up room in your home or other space. Whether it’s a spareroom or a small office, a growing enterprise will soon exceed the space originally allotted to it. Unless you want to move all the kids into one bedroom, or sleep in the couch and convert your own room into a warehouse, you might want to consider all that self-storage can offer your small business.
Call your local self-storage company and ask how they can help you keep your small business growing and thriving.