Simple Rules for Self Storage

Simple Rules for Self StorageWhen making the decision to use a storage unit for personal or business use, you’ll want to be aware that every storage business  prohibits the storage of certain items to protect the storage units,  staff, and other customers. If you have any questions about whether an item is permissible, ask your storage manager or someone on staff. Self storage professionals are your guide to the specifics of self storage local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Combustible, Flammable, Hazardous, or Toxic Materials

Any object that is considered inherently dangerous, like those that cause fires or explosions, are usually prohibited. These items include gasoline, paint, cleaners, compressed gas, lamp, and motor oil fertilizers, among other things.

Cars and Tires

If the self storage location has a space for vehicles, you should have no problem storing your vehicle as long as it is in safe operative conditions and is registered and insured. If you want to store tires only, be sure to check the number that you are allowed to store. Most storage units have a limit because tire disposal costs.

Perishable Food and Animal Food

Perishable food, animal food, and meats are not allowed in storage units because these foods can spoil and attract pests. Canned food goods however are allowed to be stored in the typical storage unit.

Asking a self storage professional is the best way to determine what you can and cannot store at any self storage location. If you have any questions, contact one of our self storage professionals today!

Mottos of the Organized

Mottos of the Organized

Don’t let your stuff own you

It’s easier said than done. Some people collect so much stuff throughout their lives, they have no idea what to do with it. So they keep it. Then have to pay for space to store it. And the problem just perpetuates itself. When you make financial decisions about where to live, because you have a bunch of stuff that you don’t use but need to bring with you, then your stuff owns you. Don’t let that happen.

When it’s not fun, you’re done

Two questions to ask yourself about the things you own: Are you using it and is it fun? If the objects sitting around your home are never used, why do you keep them? Consider this: clutter in your home contributes to, or may reflect, mental clutter. It may both cause and reflect anxiety. Clear up the things you don’t use, the things that no longer contribute to your life, and notice how it affects your day-to-day mentality.

Free space is worth more than occupied space

When all kinds of objects just occupy space and have no other use, you basically pay for the objects to sit there. It’s like renting out space. And every time you want something new, you’ll have to find a new place for it. This is the cycle that owning too many things all too often becomes.

To get out of this rut, consider the value of free space. Free space is possibility. You can do anything with it.

The past should remain in the past

If you want a change in your lifestyle, consider the objects you surround yourself with. Are they just things of the past, no longer contributing anything to your lifestyle or the lifestyle you want? Are they things that remind you of what you were but don’t want to be? Let everything that holds you back stay in the past. Try surrounding yourself with things that inspire you, things that hold you to a certain level of living.

Getting organized can be very difficult. Disorganization is a habit, and breaking habits is difficult. Remembering these mottos will make it easier to break the chains of habit.

Tips for Storing Rugs

Tips for Storing Rugs

Maybe you’ve downsized your living space for a while. Or maybe you have family staying for an extended visit, and you don’t want their dogs to trample your large, pristine rug. Whatever your situation, when you put your rug in storage, you’ll want to prepare it properly.

Clean

First thing’s first: clean the rug thoroughly. Dirt, when concentrated in a small area of a rug, can form a clump, causing a smooth, hard surface on the rug. This, obviously, is completely undesirable. So dust the rug, then vacuum, and repeat a few times. Diligence will not only rid the rug of dust and dirt, but it’ll also prevent entrenched hair and dust from causing odors over long periods of storage.

Prevent

Next, you’ll want to prevent water and pest damage from ruining your rug while it’s in storage.

To prevent pests, apply a repellent designed for rugs. Then let it set for a few minutes before you roll it up, especially if the repellent is a liquid. You don’t want the rug to be wet for the next step. A wet rug in storage is a recipe for mold.

Never fold the rug. This will compromise the foundation, causing breaks and folds that irreversibly separate its material. Rather, roll up the rug. If it’s delicate, have the material facing outside, as this will put less pressure on its foundation. Either way, be sure to wrap the rug in paper wrapping which will allow moisture to escape while also protecting the exposed, rolled-up exterior.

Storage

The ideal place for a rug is in a climate-controlled storage unit. That way, you’ll control how much moisture is in the air. Some rugs soak up humidity, causing them to trap odors. But, to be sure, check out the material type and what kind of conditions it can endure. Certainly, a temperature-controlled unit or a regular storage unit will be less expensive. If this is a route you can go, it will be more cost-effective.

At the end of the day, you’ll just want to have your rug off the floor, which prevents pest infestation and moisture accumulation. And you’ll want it out of direct light, which can cause certain materials to fade. You’ll also want to check it every once in a while. The sooner you discover issues, the sooner you can resolve them.

Conclusion

Rugs can be finicky. Be sure to research the kind of rug you have and what kind of conditions it can endure without losing value or beauty. And, as you follow these tips, you can be sure that your rug is perfectly prepared for storage.

How to Prepare Your Washer and Dryer for Storage

Tips for Preparing Your Washer and Dryer for Storage

Maybe you’re in between homes, or your new place doesn’t have a designated area for your washer and dryer yet. Whatever your situation, the following tips will prove useful as you prepare your washer and dryer for storage.

Cleaning

First thing’s first: clean your washer. You don’t want your washer to rust while it sits in storage. Nor do you want detergent residue to harden beyond the point of no return. Simply clean your washer by running a hot water cycle with vinegar. Then dry it with a towel.

All you’ll want to do for your dryer is clean out the lint tray well, by simply rubbing a damp cloth against its filter.

Disconnecting

Many manuals actually lay out the steps for disconnecting your washer and dryer. You’ll want to consult a manual if you have it. Otherwise, generally you’ll want to turn off the water, the electricity breakers, and disconnect the hoses. Then your machines will be ready to move.

Moving

You may be surprised by how light washers and dryers are. But, whether they’re light or heavy, you’ll want to purchase or borrow a dolly. Transportation will be much easier, and you won’t have to worry about denting or jarring anything. If you hire a moving company, don’t forget to stay informed about their policies.

Storing

Wrap both your machines with either shrink wrap or a blanket. This will keep them clean from dust and protect them from dents and scratches, if you’ll be moving things around a lot.

Another thing you’ll want to do is store them on pallets. This will keep them from forming condensation underneath, as pallets allow airflow. And, as a bonus, they’ll protect your units in the unlikely occasion that water gets into your unit.

Tips for Moving Large Mirrors

Tips for Moving Large Mirrors

It’s the one thing you dread moving: the 100 pound, colossal mirror. If you’ve never moved a large mirror with a moving truck before, every little bump in the road will make you second guess the thickness of the sheet you wrapped it in. But, with just a few tips, you’ll be ready to go.

Tape

This step is especially important for larger mirrors. You’ll want to tape across the mirror, horizontally and vertically. Create all kinds of crisscrosses. If your mirror breaks during the move, the pieces won’t shatter all over the place. Instead, the tape will keep the shards in a somewhat better position to dispose of without injury.

Bubble Wrap

It’s just essential. Bubble wrap will protect the mirror from edges and corners, bumps and boxes. Bubble wrap the mirror as many times as you want. The more you have the better, right? Just don’t pop the bubbles until after the move.

The Best Box

Invest in a mirror carton. It’s a box specially made for mirrors. The mirror carton is divided into four parts that interlock and move to fit the frames of most mirrors. In conjunction with the bubble wrap and tape, you won’t have any problems moving any mirror.

And best of all, you won’t have to worry about breaking them. Who needs that kind of luck, anyway?

How to Break Old Habits and Adopt an Organized Lifestyle

How to Break Old Habits and Adopt an Organized Lifestyle

Now the holidays are over, and the New Year’s resolutions are kicking in, it’s time to think about sustainability. Whether you are resolved to eat healthier this year, get organized, exercise more, or even learn a new instrument, you’ll have to think long and hard about how you’ll accomplish your by-the-end-of-the-year goals. The good thing is you’re not alone. Gaining traction on your New Year’s resolution is a matter of forming a new habit. So it’s important to understand how habits work.

Habits are like Cycles

In an interview with NPR, Charles Duhigg discusses his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business. Everything we’ve made into a routine, from exercising to cooking, from brushing teeth to cleaning laundry, begins with the same “psychological pattern.” This is called a “habit loop.” It’s really simple, actually: every habit begins with a cue, proceeds by routine, and ends with a reward. That’s it!

Let’s look a little closer. A habit begins with “a cue, or trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and let a behavior unfold.” Then the routine occurs, which is the behavior itself, or the habit. Lastly, the reward is “something that your brain likes that helps it remember the ‘habit loop’ in the future.”

The interesting thing is habits are formed in the part of the brain that has a major influence on “emotions, memories and pattern recognition.” It’s called the basal ganglia. Why is this interesting? Because it’s a separate from the region of the brain responsible for decision making – the prefrontal cortex. And, as a result, when automation kicks in, when habit loops initiate, the prefrontal cortex goes into hibernation.

This is readily available knowledge, at least by quick reference to experience. Think about how difficult the very basics of reading and math once were. We learned by rote memory, by memorizing the alphabet and times tables, and this period of learning required intense concentration. But after a while these things became second nature. It’s because, like any other habit, our focus, determination, and persistence eventually formed habit loops.

Lessons from in the Loop

Because all habits begin with a cue and end with a reward, it’s important, especially if you have big plans for your health this year – to exercise three or four times a week, to cut out sugar from your diet, etc. – to figure out some sort of consistent pattern to follow when you eat, go to the gym, or whatever you may do.

Maybe before a trip to the gym you listen to music you really like as you prepare, and afterwards you treat yourself to some yogurt. When some people crave a sweet snack, they cut up some apples and eat those as substitutes instead.

With new habits, especially healthy habits, old habits are broken. And this means the power of the reward system established by the old habit loop becomes more and more powerless. As you exercise more, your desire to lay around all day will weaken. And as you stay away from sugar, your cravings will diminish.

For more information on habits and the science behind them, you might also be interested in Scientific American’s podcast episode where Dr. Art Markman discusses things like “How to know you have a habit,” “How to work in league with your psychology to from new habits,” and “How we are more likely to succeed when we view failure as part of the process.”

Conclusion

But, most importantly, remember that habits are like cycles: as you reinforce them, they eventually become as automatic and predictable as the sunrise in the morning. Don’t be discouraged by failure. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to change, and an opportunity to become better at what you are trying to do.

How to Organize for a Clean Garage

How to Organize for a Clean Garage

Nobody knows exactly why or how the garage gets cluttered. It just does. Right? And during the holiday season, with the kids on college break, and the presents that must be stored until the last minute, the garage can be especially packed. Perhaps moving everything from the now spare bedroom into the garage was a great idea, but is it a good idea to move it all back?

It’s the beginning of a new year, and that means it’s time to make changes. Follow these tips to declutter your garage.

Where to Begin

Shivani K, writing for the renown organizing website Unclutter.com, mentions that 57% of two-car garages either only have enough space for one car or do not have enough space for any car. That’s astonishing in and of itself. But she also gives tips on how to declutter your garage.

Of course, this will be a huge task, no matter when you choose to do it. A garage is made to store a car, if not the tools to work on it, a work bench, etc. So you’re at least dealing with the storage capacity of a very large room. The garage is typically used as a middle-way point: between wanting and not wanting, between decision and indecision. Should you keep that mammoth $15 roll of wires you bought at a garage sale twenty years ago because you might use it one day? Is twenty years in the garage enough time to override the just-in-case?

Begin decluttering by pulling everything out of the garage. This is no easy task, to be sure. But it is the easiest and quickest way to determine what you have and plan where everything should be stored. Shivani recommends creating four groups for all your items: Keep, Donate, Sell, Recycle/Toss.

Don’t hold on to anything simply because you don’t want to lose money on it. Think of it this way: you paid for it to take up space in your garage. Whether you throw it away now, or never use it, you’ll lose money on it either way. And nowadays, more platforms for selling your things are available than ever before: from Facebook to Amazon, from eBay to Craigslist. Be sure to learn about listing costs and/or associated fees these services charge before you choose one.

Where to End

Commence organization! A helpful way to organize is by category or use. Tools obviously should go together. But long and short term storage should not. Make one more accessible than the other. Build shelves or hang hooks for larger items.

But most of all, never use your garage space as a way to live indecisively. Be purposeful about what you place in the garage. Only store things you know you will use (not might use), and only bring into the garage what will add to its value or utility.

Prepare Your Clothes for Storage

Prepare Clothes for Storage

It’s time to put those summer clothes away for the season. Here are some tips to help prepare your clothes for storage.

Clean

You probably don’t want to pack away clothes with bad odors. But don’t forget your clothes might be stained too. And those stains will become permanent if you let them sit for half a year. Just be sure, wash all the clothes you plan to put in storage.

Pack

Everyone has boxes of some sort lying around. You’ll be tempted to use them. But purchase some plastic containers to store your clothes in. These containers secure your clothes from insects and rodents. And if you have clothes from the drycleaner, don’t just leave them in the drycleaner plastic. They could get water damaged.

If you use a storage facility, like Infinite Self Storage, you can purchase wardrobe boxes to hang up your clothes while they’re in storage. Then you won’t have to worry about creases or folds.

Label

You might think you can just throw everything together. And that’s fine, if you are just going to get everything out once spring arrives. But if you have a more variegated clothing selection, you’ll want to label your items by season or, even, activity. Then you can keep your harvest season clothes in storage while it’s planting season.

Store

Sure, it’s reasonable to think plastic bins will protect your clothes from temperature changes. But they won’t. In fact, they could compound the effects condensation has on your clothes. If you have an expensive wardrobe, invest in a temperature controlled storage unit to protect your clothes from condensation.

If you have any more questions about storing clothes, we encourage you to contact one of our professional storage team members. At Infinite Self Storage, we have solutions to all your storage problems.

Tips for Packing the Kitchen

Tips for Packing the Kitchen

Whether you’re moving to a new home, or you just need to put your kitchenware in storage for a while, the following tips will help you pack your kitchen efficiently.

Glasses

Many people pack their glass cups in boxes with their bottoms to the floor. It’s just like putting them in a cabinet, right?

Actually, to prevent movement, after you wrap your glassware in newspaper, felt, or dishcloths, it’s best to place them upside down. Since most glassware has a bowl-shaped top, the top generally covers more area. This extra area will add significant stability when you move your boxes from one place to the next.

Plates

You’re worried about your plates moving around in their boxes, so you stack them on top of each other. This isn’t a good idea. As you add plates to the pile, more pressure is placed on the plates at bottom. This causes them, eventually, to crack.

Rather, the best practice is to wrap each plate. You can use anything from newspapers to handy dishrags that you need to pack anyway. Once wrapped, stack the plates on their sides, next to each other. Then there will be no pressure on the plates. And, if there is extra space, just stuff more newspaper in the box. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about movement.

Appliances

You might wonder what you do with small appliances. Some of them can have many parts. And if you want to place them in storage, you’ll want to take them apart to require less space for storage.

Don’t just throw every piece to every appliance in a small box. It’ll be a nightmare when you try to piece them back together. Rather, grab small Ziploc bags, label them, and place the parts to different appliances in different bags. Then when you re-assemble, you won’t have to play the trial-and-error guessing game. That small blade probably doesn’t fit with the can-opener.

For larger appliances, clean all food out thoroughly, especially if they’re headed for storage. This will prevent any unwanted creatures from visiting. You’ll also want to wrap them in plastic, for a final layer of security. You can get plastic at any moving-supplies store and at most Infinite Self Storage locations.

If you have any questions about packing your kitchen for storage, feel free to give one of our professionals a call!

Tips for Storing Quilts

tips for storing quilts

Quilts are valuable because they’re made and inherited by family members, and their significance only increases as time passes. It can be worrisome to store them for long periods of time. Most people know not to store quilts in direct sunlight. But what about storing quilts for several consecutive months? Follow these tips to keep your quilts in pristine condition.

Store in a Temperature Controlled Unit

Transitioning from an extremely cold to an extremely hot environment can cause condensation to accumulate. And quilts will act like sponges to this build-up of water. Eventually, the moisture will eventually dry out the fibers that hold these quilts together.

But you control the temperature changes in a temperature controlled unit. So it’s best to get one to store your quilts in. Just keep the temperature consistent, and you’ll be fine.

Don’t Store in Plastic

Quilts are known to sweat in air-tight containers. It’s because the cotton fibers need oxygen to maintain their structure. You may think plastic is the best container to prevent a rodent infestation. But it won’t help the longevity of your quilt.

If you store your quilt in a plastic container, it may gain spots.

Store Your Quilt Rolled-up or Flat

Instead, find a reputable self storage facility, like Infinite Self Storage, and roll up your quilt in a furniture cover. Either suspend the rolled up quilt from the ceiling or find a space long and wide enough to lay it flat on the ground. Folded quilts can acquire permanent creases which will breakdown the fabric. So it’s best to either store your quilts flat or suspended.

Infinite Self Storage has a packing supplies store at most of its facilities. Contact your local Infinite Self Storage professional staff for more information on storage techniques and self storage unit availability.