Archive for October, 2010

7 Reasons People Use Self Storage Units

Self storage units are popping up all over the place so you generally don’t have to look too hard to find one.  There are some large public chains like Public Storage as well as smaller independent storage facilities.  Most of them have a similar setup in that they have several units and an onsite manager that works and sometimes lives in an attached apartment effectively guarding your belongings, managing the facility, and keeping the premises clean and in good working order.  Why do you think self storage units have become so popular?  I think it is because people have figured out several ways to use them effectively to improve their lives.  Here are just seven of the possible reasons that people use self storage units:

Moving – Temporary Storage

Sometimes when people move to a new home they either have excess furniture or belongings that just won’t fit in their new home.  Yet, they just aren’t ready to part with all that great stuff.  This is a really great reason to rent a storage unit.  Of course, it could also be possible that you have some temporary construction projects at your home and don’t have space in your home for the furniture you need to clear out to remodel.  If you have a temporary need for storage, regardless of the reason then self storage units are perfect for you.  Do keep in mind though that this type of storage is prone to becoming permanent.  You know the old saying “out of sight means out of mind.”

Boat/RV Storage

In general it is very difficult and sometimes against the covenants of the home owners association or neighborhood you live in to keep a boat or RV at your home.  One great way to keep your boat and to know that it is safely stored is to rent a storage facility.  This also holds true for motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles, and other vehicles that take up a lot of space and/or need good storage options when their use is seasonal.

Basement No More – Lack of Storage

In several parts of the country there are no basements to store any extra items you accumulate.  Self storage units are a great alternative when closet space, attic space, and cupboard space is just not enough.  This is an example of using self storage in a more permanent way… almost as an extension of your home.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and again can be a lot more economical than finding housing with enough storage to hold all of your belongings.

Life Change – Moving/In Out With Friends and Family

As we go through life… things happen.  College students move out of the house and then often back home for the Summer and this can cause a need for temporary self storage.  Sometimes a job loss can cause us to have to move in with friends or family or even a loss of a significant other (break-up, sickness, death).  There are lots of life events that can cause us to need to down-size and/or temporarily store our at least some items in a self storage unit.

Document Storage – Keep Your Records Safe

Whether it is your personal tax documents or records from your small or large business, one of the most common uses of storage units is for keeping permanent records.  Many companies and/or individuals have record retention policies and those records take up a phenomenal amount of space.  A great way to reclaim that space at the office or at home is to keep those documents in a storage facility.

Clothing Storage – Seasonal or Other Reasons

Another great use of storage units is for rotating your seasonal clothing.  Sweaters, coats, and other Winter items can be really bulky and take up a lot of excess space in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  This actually happens year-round with various items getting rotated.  If you are short on closet space you can usually pick up a small climate controlled storage unit to use in this way and avoid cluttering up your home with clothes you can’t wear.  Speaking of clothes you can’t wear… as we gain and lose weight we also have to buy additional clothing.  If you tend to slide up and down the scale then you might want to have a storage unit for your “big” and “small” clothes (whichever happen to not fit this month).

Excess or Inventory for a Business

If you run a small business you may not have room at your home for all your inventory.  This could range from people that are in various businesses like Mary Kay, Nikken, or Amway.  Actually, it could be any type of business.  Inventory generally takes warehousing space and if you don’t have it readily available to you then you can find ample supply of warehousing space at self storage facilities.

However you decide to use storage units we hope that you keep them in mind and realize that there are many people just like you that have had a storage need and found their solution through self storage facilities located across the country.  So now I have provided some reasons why self storage facilities are popping up on street corners all over the U.S.  People have lots of reasons for needing self storage and as the demand goes up, so too does the supply.

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15 Tips to Prepare Your Auto for Shipping

When people move long distances they generally won’t be driving their car when they move especially if they are moving internationally. So what do they do? Well, the choices are pretty simple they can either sell their car or choose to have it shipped to their new home. There are several great auto shipping companies to choose from, but if you have never shipped an auto before you might not know what to expect or how to prepare your car for shipping. Here are 10 helpful tips on how to prepare your car for auto shipping:

Pre-Shipping Rules for Your Car – Most auto shipping companies have some general requirements about the condition of the vehicle before they will agree to ship it for you. Here are some of the standard conditions:

  1. Your vehicle must be fully operational or you should be prepared to pay additional fees (it costs more if they can’t drive your vehicle onto the truck, etc.
  2. You need to let your auto shipper know of any modifications you have made to your standard vehicle like a camper shell, a 4×4 lift kit, or if you had the vehicle lowered, etc.
  3. Your vehicle must not be taller than 7 feet. If it is, then again additional fees will apply.
  4. Your vehicle needs to have at least a 4 inch clearance from the ground to allow them to load the vehicle onto the truck.
  5. Your auto shipper will need a telephone number where they can reach you at all times while the vehicle is in transport.

Shipping Day Rules – There are multiple items that you need to take care of right before getting ready to ship your vehicle (the few days leading up to your ship date). Here is a quick checklist:

  1. Check your vehicle for any obvious fluid leaks, due to risks to workers and other vehicles no obvious leaks are allowed.
  2. Make sure you have secured your battery with a mounting bracket (don’t just set it in place).
  3. Your vehicle must be clean for inspection, make sure it will pass any inspection as well (know what inspections to expect).
  4. You need to have at least an eighth of a tank of fuel for the shipper to be able to move the vehicle.
  5. All alarm systems for the vehicle must be disarmed and completely disabled.
  6. Remove all unnecessary items like CD’s, garage door openers, EZ passes for tolls, and all personal items.
  7. All exterior antennas need to be fully retracted or removed if they do not retract.
  8. Remove all exterior tire covers, grill covers (bras), or full car covers.
  9. One set of ALL keys (hubcaps, trunk, ignition, etc.) must be provided.
  10. Remove non-permanent luggage, ski, and bike racks.

If you have taken care of everything above, then your vehicle should be ready for shipping. As always, you will want to confirm all of the specific rules that your particular auto shipping company has but these general guidelines should serve you well in most cases. The over-riding rule is to clean the car, empty the car, and don’t have ANYTHING in it that you want to keep.

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