Best Practices for Storing Power Tools: A Cautionary Tale

The cardboard box in which I kept a finishing sander buckled from basement moisture. The sandpaper stored with it became useless.

I used to be a cabinetmaker and general contractor, and I’m an avid home-improver, so I’m the type of handyman who is loathe to part with anything that might someday be useful. Even when living in New York City, I had my own trove of tools and building supplies in storage.   When I moved to the Washington, D.C. area 12 years ago, an occasion arose to use my amassed tools. I got married and bought a nice 100-year-old farmhouse to work on.   Once we got settled, I announced to my wife that I was going to spend weekends building steel-reinforced block retaining walls around the basement … [More]

5 Tips for Packing Your Stuff for Storage

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The basics of moving don’t seem complicated: boxes, wrapping material, tape. But you might want to think a little more deeply if you really want your stuff to stay safe and clean, especially if you are moving your things into storage for an extended period. Here are some tips to make your packing the best it can be.   1. Use sturdy, undamaged boxes. When moving into storage, you have to consider the longevity of your boxes; they need to be durable enough to hold up for weeks, months, or years under a lot of weight. Almost as important is using boxes in only a few sizes to … [More]

Taking Your Car or Boat Out of Storage

Taking Your Boat Out of Storage

If you live in a cold climate, putting your car or boat into storage makes good sense. Hopefully you performed careful maintenance before storing your vehicle so as to ensure that it remained in good condition.   Even if you did take steps to store your vehicle properly, it’s important to perform a few inspections when the time comes to take your car or boat out of the storage unit. Following these simple tips can help prevent damage caused by trying to drive (or transport) a damaged vehicle:   Taking Your Car Out of Storage Your car may have a musty smell after a long storage, open all … [More]

How to Fit Everything You Own in a 5’ x 10’ Storage Unit

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Life changes happen: marriage, new home, newborn baby…etc. Then there are more unusual changes like the one I’ll undertake next month when I quit my job to travel the world for a year with my husband. Since we’re moving away and living only out of backpacks for a year, we had to figure out what to do with all the items we would leave behind.   With the amount of nice furniture and keepsakes we’d collected over the years, we had no other option but to store it all safely in a storage unit. Thinking optimistically we hoped we could fit everything into a 5’ x 5’ storage … [More]

Storing Your Cold-Weather Items

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Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to make room for summer and move all that winter gear to storage. Don’t know where to start to kick the winter blues out of your home? Here’s how to best organize your winter items in your self-storage unit so everything stays neat and tidy until next winter:   Organize Your Clothes First, organize your cold-weather clothes. Gather up your entire family’s supply of heavy coats, hats, scarves, mittens, snow pants and boots. Make sure to weed out any unused or worn out items before packing up your boxes. Then, place clothing into plastic totes or vacuum storage bags. You can … [More]

5 Things You Need to Host a Mad Men Premiere Party

Hosting a Mad Men Premier Party

If you’re a die-hard Mad Men fan, you know that the upcoming Season 7 will feature Don, Peggy, and the rest of the gang reacting to historical events, just as they always have. This time it’s 1969, when Woodstock, the space-race, and flower power are in full-swing.   And whether you lived the decade or inherited the memorabilia from your parents, here are some essentials that you’ll need to pull from the archives (your storage unit) to host a truly authentic season premiere party.   Fondue Originally from Switzerland, the trend of dipping food into a heated dish of melted cheese was extremely popular in the 1960s. Break … [More]

Rotate Your Storage Unit

Give your stored belongings a helping hand. Image via flickr Betsssssy

  You know that rotating your tires is a good practice, but do you also know that now could be the perfect time to rotate your storage unit? Just to be clear, rotating your storage unit doesn’t involve moving your stored belongings to a different storage unit. Instead, when you rotate your storage unit, you’re moving items around inside the storage unit.   Unlike a simple spring-cleaning to remove dust and clutter, a storage unit rotation gets you into the guts of your stored belongings. Sound intimidating? It shouldn’t be, but devote a few hours to the task. First, let’s talk about why you should rotate your storage … [More]

Right-sizing Your Storage Unit

Sizes chart

  It’s a question we get all the time: What is the right size storage unit for my stuff?   There are general guidelines, but how can you know if your stuff compares to the generic templates used to generate those guides?   The trick is to not over-think the project. The vast majority of customers will find that their stuff fits into the storage unit that the guidelines recommend. If you have a 1 BR apartment, go with a 10’ x 10’. A three-room office? 10’ x 15’.   Here’s a handy visual for matching your needs to the best unit size. First, the sizes: What to … [More]

How to Store Your Car

Vehicle Storage

Whether you’re storing a classic car for posterity or sticking your car in the driveway while away for a month, make sure you’ll return to a vehicle in good shape. Proper storage is essential, whether you’re leaving it outside or in. Follow these steps.   First, wash the car, then change the oil and filter. Then top up the tank with premium gas and check coolant levels. Filling up the fuel tank all the way to the top will prevent condensation inside. You may want to add a gasoline stabilizer, often used in lawn mowers and landscaping equipment.   Next, fill your tires up to the manufacturer’s recommended … [More]

Spring-cleaning Your Storage Unit

Spring Cleaning Storage Unit

At long last, spring is here! It couldn’t be more welcome, but it does bring a few things to worry about. One of those is your stuff in storage, especially unheated storage.   If your unit is climate controlled, you can breathe easy: A seamless transition between climatic states is part of what you’re paying for. But if you have your stuff in a standard unit, be aware that the increasing humidity and heat might affect your stuff in various ways.   Get ready to do a little “spring cleaning” in your unit to make sure nothing gets damaged.   Documents: These are sensitive to heat and moisture; … [More]