Wednesday, 30 October 2013

What you Can and Can't Put in Storage

Storage units are a great way of cleaning out your home and practically anything can be stored in them, whether it’s books and kitchen utensils or antique furniture and clothes and garden equipment. 

However, this doesn’t mean that everything can be stored; there are some items that can be dangerous if left enclosed for long periods so here is a quick rundown on what kind of things you shouldn’t put into a storage unit.

What not to put in storage:

  • Any organic or living materials – although this may sound obvious there have been cases where people actually kept their pets in a storage unit, or even slept there themselves!  Plants need sunlight and water to thrive and will simply die if left in a dark storage space, and people simply shouldn’t be there!
  • Any food that can go off – decomposing food will start to smell and attract insects and flies.
  • Anything of very high value, or personal documents.
  • Substances that are toxic, poisonous and flammable – this includes things like paint, gas bottles, chemicals, medical waste and methane gas as the fumes can build up and be very dangerous within a confined space
  • Firearms, ammunition or explosives. There are specialised places for these kinds of items.
  • Anything wet as this can cause mould to grow which will affect everything in the unit and could ultimately destroy it.
  • Photographs can be put into storage but could get damaged. If you have to, then place them between 2 pieces of cardboards and wrap tape around it as this will stop the corners from curling up and ruining them.
  • Illegal items can’t be kept in a storage unit; this means drugs and stolen goods and anything else the law prohibits.

What you can put in storage:

  • Furniture items that are properly packed or wrapped
  • Kitchen items and silverware that are boxed safely
  • Electrical appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers
  • Collectable items without a large monetary value
  • Books and documents
  • Clothes and materials
  • Promotional materials and displays
  • Patio and garden furniture
  • Large items such as canoes, bicycles or surfboards

It is always best to check with the storage company before putting anything you are unsure about in a unit. A good rule of thumb is that if it is in any way perishable, illegal, or potentially dangerous then it should not be placed in a storage unit.

Keep everything in your unit packed well to avoid any damage and make it easier to sort through when you need access later on. There are lots of tips online that help you organize packing your unit so it’s neat and tidy and the things you might want to access at certain times can be reached easily when needed.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Moving Your Bedroom Items

When moving house there is always a lot to do and the bedroom can often be one of the trickiest rooms to sort, clean, and pack. If you have a large family this means organizing multiple people, and multiple rooms full of clothing, personal belongings, toys and furniture.

You should always start off by packing those rooms that aren’t in regular use, such as the attic, the guest bedroom, the garden shed and garage, and even large closets. Then turn your attention to the main bedrooms. First sort through all the clothing and personal items in each bedroom, get the member of the family whose room it is to help too even if they are still young as this will make them feel easier about the upcoming move too, together you can decide what is to be taken to the new house.

Kids especially grow out of clothes and toys very quickly so it is very likely that you’ll soon have a growing mound of unwanted items to get rid of. This is good news for the new property as it won’t be as cluttered, but the bad news is that it will take up valuable time to organize, which is why it’s always best to make a detailed plan before moving with regards as to what needs accomplishing first and always give plenty of time to get things like this done as they will take a while.

Make different piles with items to be given away, items to be thrown away and those to be kept. Start sorting through the clothes that are to be kept and make sure they are packed in marked boxes so they can be placed in the right room in the new home. Try to keep clothing boxes sealed so they don't get dirty during the move. Also put shoes in separate containers - you don't want your clothing to smell of cheesy feet!

If you really want more space at the next house then try and encourage the kids to give some of their things away, clothes they have outgrown and toys they are too old for now. If they still really can’t bear to part with certain belongings then consider putting some things into a storage facility as they are very affordable and will keep things safe until it’s decided what’s to be done with them. You can rent a storage unit at a low storage price and clear space whilst keeping everyone happy at the same time.

Next clear out the linen and other bedding and pack it away in black bags or boxed. Personal items in the room can be sorted through and kept or discarded so in the end there is only the furniture left to deal with. Larger pieces of furniture can usually be dismantled, for example beds can be taken apart so it’s easier to move them and wardrobes too.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Moving Your Business

Business owners or entrepreneurs looking to relocate need to consider various aspects before making any final decisions if they are to move for the right reasons. One of the most important is how the new location will afford access to a suitable workforce, this means finding premises that are either close to public transport and easy and affordable to get to, or is close to a population centre, for example in a city centre.

If a business requires educated or specialised workers then the location has to be attractive enough to draw potential employees with the relevant experience, if there is nothing in the area to appeal then the business will have a hard time filling positions with quality staff. These are all factors likely to affect the final decision of where to relocate.

Most importantly, businesses should consider the costs of relocating as these can quickly add up. In the long term it could pay off to move to a less expensive area, on the outskirts of the city for example, as money can be saved on rent, however in the short term there could be high charges involved for the moving process. Other factors that can push up the costs of moving concern whether self storage space is required for extra pieces of office equipment or documents, and for how long, and the price of changing contact details on printed materials and websites.

A business also has to take into consideration the fact that new offices will need to have internet access, some refurbishment may be necessary, and the time it will take to move could also involve losing some business days, and thus income. Think about where suppliers are located and how this will affect them, as well as existing clients.

A business owner will have to decide what to do with unwanted stock and furniture from their current location, especially if downsizing. They can either choose to sell it to other businesses that are starting up and earn themselves some extra cash, or paying a little extra for short-to-medium or even long term storage. Deciding to keep hold of these extra items, with the expectation that the extra shop fittings and stock will be required at a later date, makes financial sense as they can then be brought out of storage when the business is ready to expand thus saving money on buying new things.

The location of a business is vital for its growth; identify the motivations behind the move and weigh up the pros and cons before making any ultimate decisions. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

What Can You Put into Storage?

It’s taken as the norm these days that most homes simply aren’t big enough to contain all the items a family owns, that’s why more and more are turning to storage units to take control of the chaos in their house.

Storage facilities offer flexible solutions for keeping household and business items safe when you do not need to use them on a daily basis. However, there are some restrictions common to most storage unit providers around the country. This is due to legal and safety considerations on the part of the storage company.

Common restrictions include: 
  • Combustible materials such as chemicals, gas and fuel
  • Live animals or plant materials
  • Firearms - although there are some conditions where these are allowed
  • Illegal goods, stolen goods or restricted substances.

Some goods may not be subject to restriction but could require specialised storage, such as wine which requires a controlled temperature.

Large items for weekend and holiday entertainment purposes are common things that end up in storage units as people simply don’t have the space for them. These include things like canoes and small rowing boats, windsurfing and parasailing gear, surfboards and other similar items that take up a lot of space but aren’t used on a regular basis.

There are some people that like to collect cars, or have a spare vehicle that is taking up space outside the home but rarely driven. Everyone has their reasons as to why they don’t want to sell these vehicles and so putting them into storage means they are safe and kept out of the rain and wet, this also applies to motorbikes, and boats that need to be sheltered.

Most things you keep in the house are allowed to be put into storage; this includes furniture and household items, kitchen utensils and carpets, shelving, wardrobes, beds and sofas. Self storage gives the perfect opportunity to declutter the premises, store belongings safely, or put away items that you want to keep but are simply in the way at home.
Facilities generally offer two types of storage services that can accommodate businesses and private clients. Business storage is ideal for archiving sensitive or confidential documents, client records and files, and is generally much safer than keeping them under lock and key in the company office. Excess stock, surplus materials and promotional equipment and literature are also often put into storage until they’re needed again so they don’t take up all the space at the business premises.

People like to put their personal possessions into self storage if they are sharing a house with other lodgers or the house is simply too small to hold all their belongings. It means they can go and look at them whenever they feel like it and don’t have to throw things away that could offer memories from their childhood or some other happy occasion.
Ask your storage provider if you have something that requires storage but are unsure if it is allowed. Most household items will be fine to keep in storage and you will only be limited to the size of the mobile storage module or facility.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

What Unusual Things Have Been Found in Storage Units?

Self storage facilities are used by residents and businesses for all kinds of reasons, from families simply looking for a storage space for a few months, to individuals who like to collect and never throw anything away. While storage units usually contain old documents and files, antique furniture and general household items, over the years some companies have found some truly bizarre items.

When someone stops paying the rent on their storage unit the company gives them a certain period of time to clear the debt, but if the payment still isn’t forthcoming the unit often ends up being sold off in a self storage auction sale. There are plenty of people out there who take a risk when buying a storage unit at auction; they either end up paying a thousand dollars or more for a unit that just contains a pile of junk or a hundred dollars and strike lucky. 

Here are just some of the surprises people have got when opening an abandoned storage unit:
  • The dearly departed - yes, it is more common than you might think for human remains (such as ashes) to be found in storage units. In one case in Florida in the United States a family stored their grandmother's body for almost 20 years after her death!
  • Weapons - guns are more common in US storage units, so that isn't entirely unusual. However, there have been cases of live hand grenades and other more serious munitions found in storage.
  • Long lost music - it seems a storage unit belonging to Michael Jackson's father Joe was the home of over two hundred songs by the pop artist that had never been released.
  • Treasure - in one case in San Jose, a man found over half a million dollars worth of bullion, gold and silver ingots, and rare coins, valued at thousands of dollars, after he invested just over $1,000 to buy the contents of the unit without knowing what was inside.
  • Space materials – a storage unit in the neighbourhood of Cape Canaveral in Florida revealed its contents as a rocket from the NASA base and a countdown clock.
  • Body parts – a medical examiner kept his unit stocked with brains, lungs and body tissue and other body parts that when discovered came to the grand total of 100 different people! Seems he liked to carry out private autopsies and then store the parts in plastic Tupperware.

As you can see storage units are used for all kinds of things, they’ve been known to be the venue for parties and get-together's for guys, some people have based their offices in them, and there was a case where a woman lived in one with her young child for 5 years! This shows you just how flexible and adaptable they can be and how imaginative people can be when hiring one.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Moving Your Mattress Safely

Whilst moving your bed to a self storage facility is more than likely quite easy as it’s able to be separated into easy-to-manage pieces on moving day, you will have no such luck with your mattress. Mattresses are bulky and unwieldy, making them particularly difficult to maneuver and move from place to place if you don't have a large van or truck to accommodate them. This can mean that the only option available is to throw them up onto the roof rack of the car and, while it may not look pretty on the move, it is possible with most standard sized vehicles, as long as you don’t have  a small mini car or something similar in size you should be ok!

Start off by preparing for the move to the storage facility by getting hold of the right materials for the job, this includes a good length of rope or ratchet tie downs, tape, and a big piece of plastic or a waterproof bag large enough to fit your mattress. You could try asking around some of the local warehouses in the area to see if they have any spare heavy duty plastic lying around they might give you for free or for next to nothing. Get help too when moving the mattress especially if it’s a king size – it’s definitely not a 1 man job!

It’s best to wrap the mattress in plastic so that if it rains it will remain dry and clean. Even if the weather is fine, you still don't want to expose your mattress to dirt and exhaust fumes on the road. Leaving a mattress uncovered can attract dirt and gives the possibility of being torn during the moving process, and as they don’t come cheap you don’t want the extra expense of having to replace one.

Once it is wrapped up securely get some help from a friend to lift it up onto the roof rack, if you don’t have a rack and don’t want to buy one just for the sake of one trip then you can actually just strap it onto the roof of the car instead. An important point to mention again is that you need to really secure the plastic tightly with strong packing tape, normal sellotape just isn’t up to the job and if a corner gets loose then it’s very likely to tear and your mattress will be open to the elements and for all to see!

Throw the rope over the top of the mattress and then either under the roof rack, or if you don't have a roof rack, through the car windows. Make sure that you secure the rope going in both directions of your mattress, lengthwise and width ways, as this will prevent it from moving around, and then tie the end of the rope very firmly making sure it’s taut so it can’t come loose.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Prepping Your Belongings for Storage

When you are moving your belongings into storage near Sydney, whether it’s to keep them safely out of the way until your new home is ready or whilst some major renovations are underway, then it’s easiest to treat the process the same way that you would deal with moving house. Make a start by listing all of the items you are intending to move, begin with the smaller items that can be packed into boxes and work your way up to the larger ones that include furniture or appliances if applicable.

Start with the things that aren’t needed on a daily basis and make sure they are packed neatly into the boxes as tight as possible to avoid them moving around and possible damage. Put the heavier stuff in the bottom of the box and lighter stuff on top to avoid them getting squashed. Try to use boxes that are all the same size as this will make loading the portable storage unit so much easier than trying to fit irregular shaped boxes together.

Label each box with which room it belongs in and even a short list of the items inside if you feel that is necessary. Try to avoid the 'miscellaneous' tag as this is sure to confuse you later on. Make sure any linen and clothing is sealed inside the box to avoid them becoming damp or mouldy, or from taking on the smell of the storage unit. You can also buy special wardrobe closets that make packing clothes so much simpler; you just transfer your clothes, still on their hangers, to the wardrobe boxes and seal them up.

Larger items need to be stacked at the bottom of the unit, preferably on pallets to avoid contact with the floor as this can also cause mould due to no air flow. Do not pack any large or heavy objects up high as they could fall over at some point during the storage and cause injury or may damage lighter and smaller items stacked underneath.

Make sure you do not store any perishable items as these can attract rodents and other unwelcome creatures that you really don’t want sniffing around your possessions. Also it’s a good idea to take a storage insurance when putting belongings that are highly valuable, such as jewellery, into self storage as, although they are very safe, it would be devastating if for some reason they did get lost. While as long you have a good insurance, at least the value is covered.

Anything fragile that can get broken easily, such as mirrors and china ornaments should be carefully wrapped in lots of newspaper or bubble wrap before being stored. There is nothing worse than paying for all that storage time only to find lots of broken items when it comes to unpacking, simply because you didn’t take the care and time to pack everything properly in the first place.

Be aware that storage facilities have certain rules and regulations in place as to what items can’t be stored. For instance you won’t be allowed to store chemicals or flammable items in your portable storage units as they could cause a fire, and it goes without saying that anything illegal won’t be allowed either.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Protecting Fragile Household Items During a Move

Moving belongings to a new house can be a mammoth task and can be quite stressful for the home-owner, and there is enough going on when moving without the added factor of worrying about things getting broken.
While some household items can be packed without much chance of damage, others need to be packed very carefully if they are to arrive in the same state as they left.

Anything fragile, such as glassware and china, are the most likely items to be damaged in a move. Provide fragile items with plenty of protection by wrapping each piece separately and placing them carefully in a hard box, this can be cardboard as long as it’s tough and good quality, or invest in durable plastic boxes with handles, making sure there is no room for the items to move around. Stuff the empty space around the items with extra padding, newspaper or old magazines are fine and do the job just as well, but if you have bubble wrap then even better.

Padding in-between each item will stop them from banging against each other which could lead to breakages or cracks, plates for example should be packed separately and placed on top of each other at the bottom of the box as they are flat and heavy.

Art pieces can be easily damaged in a move because they are often delicate, large, or irregularly shaped.

These kinds of valuable things should always be kept separate from regular household items; you might even want to take them to the new house yourself by car. For smaller items wrap them well in bubble wrap or similar padding and pack them in sturdy boxes, if they are quite large then a moving blanket might make more sense as it acts as a very effective padding material. Consider hiring an art transport company to do the job if you are really anxious, or at the very least insure expensive artwork before the move.

Always check boxes containing fragile items are labelled accordingly, so that others helping with the move treat them with the care they need. You could even colour code the boxes, a bright colour for the fragile items would make these boxes stand out and remind the movers that there are breakables inside.

Large or oddly shaped furniture can be awkward to move. Ask others to help lift heavy objects to avoid damage to the furniture or physical injury to yourself. If you really do have a lot of things and are daunted by the thought of moving then why not hire the services of a professional moving company and make life easier?

Another good method of saving yourself some trouble is to make the move in little steps, start by moving the larger items to the new property and put other things into self-storage for safekeeping until you’re ready to collect it. This can make a move much more manageable as there is less to deal with on moving day, and as most good storage services will come and pick your things up you don’t even have to worry about getting to the facility for storage in Sydney!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Putting Leather Into Storage

While most of the furniture items that you place into a storage unit will be fine without too much preparation, leather items need a little more care and attention. Leather jackets and boots, and sofas and chairs, can cost a lot of money to buy so it pays to ensure you take the best possible care of them if you don’t want them ruined or being damaged. Made to last a lifetime, leather is worth the extra care and attention needed to preserve its beauty, and the older and more worn it is the better it looks.

  • Start by cleaning your leather items with a non-abrasive cleaner.
  • Use a good leather moisturiser so that your leather item can avoid becoming cracked or dry during storage, especially if you have not done this in a while.
  • Wrap your items up even if they are small, because if they have too much exposure they can become dry or dirty.
  • Make sure your leather items can still 'breathe' - avoid any airtight containers or wrapping them too tightly.
  • Hang clothes and jackets as this will stop crease lines from folding, and use strong plastic or wooden hangars, then cover with a cloth garment bag
  • Leather boots or shoes are fine in cardboard boxes or cloth bags as they are still protected but have air to breathe too.

It is best to get your large leather furniture cleaned by a professional before storage as this will ensure it is in tip top condition when it goes into the unit, and should remain this way until it comes out again. It should also be completely dry as any moisture could lead to damp.

When you place leather furniture or small leather items in storage first lay out a large sheet of plastic on the floor as this prevents moisture from forming which leads to mould and can be very harmful for all your possessions. Then make sure the items are not sitting directly on the ground to prevent damp or mildew; wooden pallets are fine for this purpose and easy to get hold of.

While nearly all storage units are dark (and suitable for leather), make sure there is no direct sunlight or too much heat on your leather items. Differences in temperature can cause cracks in leather so you need to store your things in a unit that is kept indoors where the temperature is controlled within the facility. Then drape or cover your leather sofa or chair with fabric to stop dust from settling. Don’t then put all your heavy boxes on top of the sofa or chair as this will press down on the fabric and cause indentations which will ultimately mark it.

If you have any doubts about how to store items properly you can always ask the storage facility as they have experience in everything to do with storing household items, furniture, books, clothes and more. They should give you good advice on how to prevent mould and damp and tips on how to pack your possessions properly.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Reducing the Size of your Move

The cost of transporting your belongings interstate or overseas to a new location can actually cost quite a lot of money. Once you arrive at the new house you might also be waiting for some time until the household goods arrive, especially if they are coming overseas by ship, which can takes months sometimes. Due to this, it is often better to settle in to your new surroundings just with the bare essentials and put other household items into self storage for the present.

If you are going to store your furniture for a period of time, you should think about taking advantage of the services provided by the many furniture rental companies that now exist. Rental furniture is useful for medium term moves, such as a short contract overseas, or if you are trying to sell a property and want to ‘dress it’ so it looks good when potential buyers come to have a look.

Homeowners going abroad for work can store their own belongings in a self storage facility in their own town, hire furniture overseas, and then take their old furniture out of storage once they return home. This is often much cheaper than shipping furniture over large distances and avoids any risk in the process.

Furniture rental services provide practically everything needed for a comfortable lifestyle, from sofas and armchairs to home entertainment systems, rugs, and even kitchen equipment. Quality will be high and they’ll have various styles to choose from to suit your taste, after all if you are living somewhere for up to a year it would be a much nicer experience to have an attractive sofa to sit on!

Meanwhile the storage facility at home will be taking good care of your personal possessions and furniture so you needn’t worry about them. Get some quotes from a number of storage facilities as prices can vary quite a lot, and check out what services they actually provide too, in terms of the sizes of the units available and if they have a promotion available for instance. You can save a lot of money just by taking the time to research and compare different facilities.

Storage facilities in Sydney are also very useful for those who have the itch to travel to foreign destinations in the later years of their life, perhaps when the kids have gone to college or they have retired. Generally older people already have a house full of possessions and furniture and don’t want to have to sell everything they’ve collected over the years, as they will be away just for a year or two the easy option is to put it into storage where it’s safe and looked after by professionals.