Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Do’s and Don’ts When Deciding to get a Self Storage Facility

The self storage industry has grown now to be a multi-billion industry since the very beginning. There have been studies that showed how it has progressed to where it is right now, and that more and more individuals have realized the need of getting one. Self storage is not just contained to the concept of renting a few boxes and storing it somewhere but it is more than that – it is a piece of real estate, a specialized kind of property that has certain characteristics that could answer several needs for storing items, be it valuable or not. As more and more individuals, families, business and organizations are looking into securing one, there are certain considerations that you need to ask yourself before you join in the bandwagon. There are certainly benefits of hiring a storage facility, but you need to assess and ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs of securing one.

So when is the time that you would actually need one?

Here are some questions that you can start with asking yourself before you hire a self storage facility.

  1. Do I have a lot of clutter at home to put into self storage?
This is a common question that I often hear from friends who are looking at extending their home space by securing a self storage facility to put their clutter at home. However, take a moment to reflect on it. Do I really need one? Or should I start de-cluttering first and see what I have left before I secure one? It is just easy for us to extend our real estate thru self storage facilities but it is likely that we end up storing items that we may not need for the next 6 months or more. In the end, we pay for storage of our junk that we eventually have to throw away.
What to do in this situation? Step back and assess if the items in your house or what you call ‘clutter’ are things that you would use in the next 6 months. If the answer is no – then let go (throw or donate). If yes, then set aside and see if you have enough to put on storage.

  1. Old pieces of furniture that are still good but needs refurbishing – would I need these anytime soon?
Unless you are going to refurbish these to make it look brand new, then you can keep them for a while until the time you are going to refurbish these. Otherwise, if these do not fit anymore the current design of your place or your new place if you are moving, then might as well let these go, too.

  1. My babies are growing up too fast – baby stuff anyone?
Well, if you are thinking of planning to have another baby in the next 3 years and the baby stuff won’t get so old and outdated, then you might keep these. Sometimes having some baby items passed on to one kid to another could bring out the sentimental person in you, but if you have chosen baby stuff that could be outdated in the next year or so, then you can consider giving these away to a relative who is going to have a new addition to the family.

  1. Mementos anyone?
Unless you see that your souvenirs or even old stuff from college would appreciate in value, then keep these because you will definitely earn some profit. However, if these haven’t appreciated in value and end up gathering dust in the corner of your house, consider throwing these away, too.

  1. Green thumb – the magic is no longer there.
Gardening tools are usually kept for a long time. If you don’t plan to use these for a while but might revive your gardening skills in a few years, might as well keep these. You might want to rent mobile storage that allow you to pay for the number of boxes you keep rather a big room with only gardening tools to store. Otherwise, if there is no option for mobile storage and pay only by the number of mobile pods, then make an effort to clear up some space under your staircase storage or kitchen area.

Extending your living space has become a norm in households nowadays especially ‘livable’ real estate has become more expensive and the desire to create more living space has grown. If the items that you would like to keep in your storage space are not considered ‘junk’ or ‘clutter’, then securing one is worth it. Otherwise, you have to re-think on how you keep items and re-evaluate whether you would like to keep these or let these go. 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Packing Fragile Items for Moving and Storage

Moving to a different location means that you need to uproot yourself from one place to another. It is not an easy task even if you are moving only one part of the house (your room, for example, if you are a college student or sharing an apartment with friends or other people) or the entire house. You draw up a list to get things moving from sorting out your items, throwing or giving away what you do not need and planning on whether to put these for storage for a while or deliver the items right at your new doorstep. We would rely on our movers to help us pack, load and deliver for storage, but there are a few things that we need to do on our own, and one of these is to handle our fragile items.

What should you do when you have fragile items at home and would like to move or store these somewhere?

  1. Put fragile items in categories
There is no better way to start handling your fragile items but knowing what these are and sorting them according to how you would like these to be handled. You may put them in a spectrum of super fragile to the not-so-super fragile items. With this, you would be able to know what kind of packing materials that you should have and how to pack these, too. Putting these into categories would also mean easier for you to pack and label these for better handling.

  1. Premium services offered by storage and movers
Some storage and movers businesses would offer premium services that would include handling fragile items by providing packing materials, packing and loading/unloading these to your new location or at the storage area. Some fragile items require some airflow and temperature controlled room, thus, you may want to check these out with your service provider. If you do not have a lot of these items, you may secure a mobile storage pod and have it stored at a common area where they keep fragile items. Most households don’t have a lot of fragile items and they would usually seek storage providers that may take economies of scale, i.e. have a common area for all fragile items. This option may be easier on your pocket, too.

  1. Recycling old clothing items
If you have the not-so-fragile items but are still considered as fragile, you may look at the option of handling these yourself. However, you may be running out of bubble wraps that you have purchased at a local store. Thus, one way to do it is to use old thick clothing items like cardigans, shirts or even towels to use as a wrap and provide support in boxes. But if you do this, make sure that you label the boxes accordingly in case you would think that the box would just contain old clothing and may mishandle the box entirely.

  1. Old newspapers, anyone?
Just like old clothing, you can use old newspapers to provide support on the sides and bottoms of boxes. You can crumple these like round balls to stick to corners of boxes for support and even in empty spaces between fragile items. Crumpled old newspapers would also not add up too much weight on your boxes for easy handling.

  1. Packing lightly

One cardinal rule of packing fragile items is to pack the boxes lightly so that it is easier for you to carry. If you stack a lot of these in one box, you might end up with a heavy load and may not be able to handle it properly. It is not only applicable to fragile items but boxes that contain valuable items that you intend to handle yourself. Movers are used to carrying and shuttling boxes back and forth, but for a novice like you, you might want to take it easy on your hands and back.