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self storage debt

What Happens When You Are Unable To Pay For Your Self Storage?

A lot of people worry about the consequences of not paying for self storage. Here we alleviate those fears by looking at what happens, so self storage customers can be aware.

One of the reasons people avoid investing in a self storage unit is through fear of what happens when you don’t pay. The glorified programmes showing the auctioning off of units makes many worry that is what will happen to their belongings. This is a warranted fear when you don’t understand the way self storage works when you are unable to pay, however, once you recognise that there is a clear system which doesn’t automatically result in your unit being taken from you, it is reassuring and self storage becomes a much more desirable option.

So How Does It Work?

When you sign a contract to pay for a unit for a set amount of time you have a legally binding obligation to pay your fees. If you fail to do this the facility you have the contract with does have a right over the contents of your unit, called a ‘Right Of Lien’. So they can hold on to your unit’s contents until you have paid your debts to them. When you don’t settle the debts the contents are able to eventually, at the end of a long process, able to be sold to make up some of the debt. To be clear – getting to this point is a very long process, you don’t just miss a payment and your goods are up for auction.

First and foremost you will be notified you are late with your payments. This might be a formal reminder, or it might be a warning explaining what will happen if you do not pay the amount by a set time. Most centres will send out several of these notices clearly explaining the situation, until they take action. Obviously the longer you don’t pay, the longer they are losing out on money.

Speak To The Unit As Soon As Possible

If you are having money troubles it does pay to speak to the facility as soon as you possibly can. Remember the facility doesn’t want to get into a dispute with you, it doesn’t do them any favours either. There may be things that can be done to help your situation, and at the very least explaining your situation will make the facility feel like you’re not being underhand in any way.

Avoiding The Situation Altogether

It is important to avoid the situation altogether where possible. Removing all your belongings from the storage unit and ending your contract as soon as you can is a good idea – ideally before you run into trouble paying fees. You could also possibly move to a smaller unit which costs less, getting rid of some of the items you already store.

So, although the facility does have the right to hold onto your items if you don’t meet payments, they are also legally obliged to give you plenty of warning and notice to pay your debt before this happens. A good facility will be clear about the process and do everything they can to help you avoid the situation in the first place.

 

self storage units for small businesses

How to Make the Most of Self Storage

It’s fairly obvious that the larger a self storage unit is the more it is going to cost you to rent so it makes sense to try and squeeze as much into a unit as possible as the saving each month could be significant, especially for a long term rental. But you do also have to think about the practicalities. Let’s say, for instance you run a small business that has outgrown your home or garage storage but are not yet ready to take the leap to renting a warehouse so you are using self storage as an inexpensive warehouse alternative. In situations such as these it is a false economy to pack the storage unit to the rafters because you will need regular and easy access to your stock or equipment. You don’t want to have to remove piles of boxes every time you visit the storage unit.

 

On the other hand if you are moving house to a new area and have placed all your household possessions in storage and are renting while you settle into your new job and take a look around the region to see where to move then it is unlikely you will eant to regularly pop back to your unit so in situations such as these you can pack it to the rafters (not literally, perhaps as you need to allow some air flow).

So here are the main things to consider to make the most of the storage space you are paying for:

Maximise the Storage Space

If you don’t need regular access to your items and only plan to return to retrieve them once you have found your dream house or your current work contract expires, or you return from travelling the world (or whatever), you can keep costs down by maximising your self storage space:

 

  • Store your stuff inside cupboards, dressers, wardrobes or cabinets and on bookshelves.
  • Fill every available corner. Don’t forget the storage drawers underneath divan beds if you have those too.
  • Avoid hollow space – there’s always something that will fit inside everything – it just takes a bit of pre-planning
  • Stack cardboard boxes as high as is safe with heavy boxes at the bottom and lighter ones on top (it’s not rocket science)

Allow Easy Access

If you need regular access to your items – maybe if you run an eBay or Amazon business, or other small business, you need to ensure you have easy access:

  • Leave an aisle between your boxes large enough for someone to walk along and manoeuvre out any boxes you need.
  • Don stack the boxes above head height as it is potentially dangerous lifting down heavy boxes above that height.
  • Label every box clearly and on all sides.
  • Always keep a detailed inventory of all the items you are storing. If you are running a small business this is essential for stock taking and so you know when to replenish your stocks.

Implementing these tips and tricks might take a little bit more time upfront, but completing them will decrease your chance of having a complete melt-down the next time you open your storage unit and an avalanche of boxes rains down on you.

 

 

self storage tips

Essential Self Storage Tips and Tricks

Self storage is so useful in our lives; when we are moving house, relocating to a new area or even a new country, for storing heirlooms that we want to keep but don’t necessarily want in our own home, even for small businesses who need to store stock or equipment. But to get the most out of our self-storage unit we need to know these essential self storage tips and tricks. That way we can avoid breakages, damage due to damp or condensation, or even an infestation of bugs or vermin. You can then be confident that your precious belongings, whatever they are, will be protected, safe and secure.

Keep Out Pests

We all know rodents can get into self storage units if not protected adequately but also spiders and moths can too and they can all cause serious damage to your belongings. Here’s the best way to keep pests out of your storage unit:

  • Set some traps
  • Put tumble dryer sheets inside the unit because the smell deters many pests.
  • Tape dust sheets to the walls and to the floor before placing your stuff into the unit – these are heavy duty and another deterrent to pests.

 

Reduce the Humidity

Fabrics, wooden furniture, paintings and rugs can all be destroyed by moisture so if you are storing any of these items then you need to keep the moisture out of your storage unit as follows:

  • Try not to place items directly on the floor of the unit – if you can, store all your precious items raised up off the floor using something like wooden pallets to help the air circulate all around.
  • To absorb moisture that is naturally present in the air, use an old-fashioned remedy by placing pans of  charcoal dotted around the unit.
  • Make sure everything is completely dry before storing it – especially check household appliances like the dishwasher and the washing machine. Wipe out the inside and the hoses before storing them.
  • Never use plastic sheeting to cover items – it might keep the dust off but condensation can form underneath if there are large variations in temperature inside the unit, and this is very likely for long-term storage throughout all the seasons of the year..

 

Avoid Breakages

Take extra care when packing your items, transporting them to the self storage facility and when loading the self storage unit if you want to avoid damage to your items (and why wouldn’t you?)

  • Wrap everything carefully and don’t skimp on the wrapping material – it’s obvious really.
  • Make sure all space within a packing box is filled – pad out with newspaper, bubble wrap, even cushions or towels to prevent items moving around inside the box during lifting, transportation and loading.
  • Remind yourself which boxes contain especially fragile items by labelling them clearly and always stacking them on top.
  • Place mattresses, sofas and armchairs flat for long term storage to avoid all the filling shifting to one end.

 

secure self-storage

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Using Secure Self-Storage

Small businesses can struggle a lot, especially in the beginning, and so it’s important to take and use all the support they can get. Secure self-storage might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but it could actually end up saving you a lot of time and effort, as well as helping you to keep your business organised and functioning smoothly. In this article, we look at how small businesses are able to benefit from self-storage, and why you should consider using it. Take a look and see if self-storage could be the next big thing for your small business.

 

What is Self-Storage?

Before we go further, it’s important to explore what self-storage is. Essentially, it is where you rent a unit within a large building or warehouse (sometimes, these units are outside). These units vary in size, depending on what you need, and you are free to store items in there in exchange for a monthly rental fee.

Increasing in popularity during the 1990s, self-storage has become an incredibly easy and accessible way of storing good and possessions across the world. With a lot of companies to choose from, the competition is very active, which means that you are likely to find an amazing price that fits in perfectly with your budget. After all, companies only want the best for you and the items that you have chosen to store with them.

Often, secure self-storage is used for personal possessions and items that do not fit inside the home. However, it is also becoming very popular for use by small businesses, due to the convenience of the unit and the easy accessibility. Plus, it saves a lot of space within your home or office. Below, we discuss the benefits that you can expect when you use self-storage for small businesses.

 

Convenience and Cost Effectiveness

When you are running your small business, you are likely to have a good chunk of excess stock at various points. Often, this takes up a great deal of room in your office and/or home, which can be off-putting and result in a lack of motivation.

Medium and large businesses tend to have warehouses that hold their excess stock, and is ready to be shipped out when required. Small businesses often do not have the additional funds required to hire a warehouse, and they don’t usually need that much space.

self storage units for small businesses

A storage unit is a much more cost-effective method. It’s a great deal cheaper than a warehouse, and you can select the exact amount of space that you need. Plus, you can upgrade or downgrade your plan, or the size of your unit, at practically any time. It’s massively cost effective.

When it comes to the convenience of storage units, a lot of it comes down to the location and the access provided. You are likely to be able to find a unit that is within close proximity to your home or office, so that you can get there quickly if you need to.

Plus, most self-storage companies have 24/7 access, so you are able to get to your stock any time you want or need, and without any hassle. Many of them even offer loading docks that can fit large vans or lorries inside so that you are able to load your stock up quickly and efficiently. In fact, there are even some that have van hire services attached to make things even easier for you.

All in all, the use of storage for small businesses makes things easier and more convenient, as well as cost effective; and there are very few things that cannot be store in a self storage unit. However, if you still need a little more convincing, keep reading.

 

Added Security for Your Business

A lot of the time, you will find that secure self-storage facilities offer a greater level of security than your home or office can provide. Ever facility will have CCTV installed so that movement can be tracked, and also so that if anything happens, they can capture the people who did it on camera.

secure self storage

In addition to this, you will also find a good chunk of units have an alarm system installed, as well as a code that is required for access past a certain time. This is a feature you will likely find in 24/7 units, so that they can keep track of who is coming and going after the staff have gone home.

The code helps to prevent thefts and tightens the level of security. Some companies may even go a step further and hire security personnel to patrol the area after hours, so that there is a lower risk of break-ins, and also to add a further sense of safety when it comes to leaving your stock behind.

Security is a very important aspect when it comes to choosing a storage company, so make sure you take the time to discuss the security that has been implemented before you commit to your unit. After all, there is nothing wrong with shopping around until you find a security level and price that works for you.

 

Document Storage

When you run a small business, you are required to keep a large number of documents stored away in case they are needed at a later date. This can include things like receipts, tax returns, and legal documentation. Of course, many businesses have completely digitised themselves, but there are some who feel safer knowing that they have a hard copy to hand if things go wrong.

document storage

Keeping these documents in your home or office can be a security concern, as they often contain sensitive information that you would not want the wrong people to see. In order to keep these files stored securely and in an organised manner, many businesses will take advantage of the services that storage units have to offer.

Using a storage unit for your documents is not only a great way to reduce clutter in your home or office, but it also means that they are all in a guarded place with high levels of security – so the risk of theft is very minimal. It can also prevent the discolouration of these files due to the fact that units are kept at an appropriate temperature and level of humidity, meaning that the files will last longer and be at much less risk of damage.

It should be noted that not all units will offer climate control, and so if this is a feature that you need for your documents, it should be discussed thoroughly with the storage company prior to you committing to the rental.

 

Storage and Office Space

The best storage companies for small businesses are the ones that also offer office space for an additional fee each month. There are a lot of reasons as to why this is a good thing, and we will go through them all in this section.

The first reason is that the inclusion of office space means that you are close to your stock at all times. It’s literally an elevator ride away, and everything will be easy for you to access at all times. So, when a customer places an order, you can run straight down to grab the item they need so that you can pack it.

Following on from this, it also means that you won’t need to store any stock at home. This means that everything is safer as it is being held in a secure unit, but it also allows you to take the time to separate work from home life.

office space at self storage facility

Generally speaking, if your office is located in a 24/7 unit, the office will have the same amount of access. Each one has a key, so only you and the people who own the storage facility will be able to enter at any given time. This means you have the freedom to work whenever you want, and you also know that your office will be kept secure at all times.

You may also be offered a street address for your business for an additional fee. This is very useful for businesses that would like to be registered on Google to increase their search ranking. PO Boxes are not accepted when registering a business on Google, so a street address is required instead.

In addition to being able to register on Google, it also means that customers have an address to send returns to, but suppliers also have somewhere secure to send your stock. Even if you are away from the office, the storage company will accept your package and store it for you until you go and collect it from the front desk. They can even help you transport it to your unit.

 

Businesses That Can Benefit from Secure Self-Storage

Of course, practically any business can benefit from secure self-storage in one way or another. However, there are some that may get more out of it than others, and the purpose of this section is to explore those industries and how self-storage may benefit them.

 

#1 Restaurants

This isn’t for the storage of food or other such items. Instead, a storage unit for a restaurant owner is for the storage of seasonal equipment and furniture. It can also include the storage of wine in climate controlled facilities. There isn’t always enough room on site to store these items, and sometimes keeping them on site can infringe on the overall standards of the restaurant in terms of hygiene.

A storage unit is a practical and convenient way to combat this. It creates a more spacious and comfortable environment for customers and staff, as well as keeps things clearer and more organised for you. Here are some examples of the things restaurant owners can store in units:

  • Excess stock (cutlery, dishes, etc.)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Patio furniture
  • Kitchen supplies
  • Seasonal decorations
  • Non-perishables

 

#2 Independent Publishing

Despite increasing digitisation, publishers still keep an incredible amount of physical manuscripts and books on hand. These tend to take up a lot of space quite quickly, and this is where a storage unit can come in particularly handy.

Instead of trying to find space in the office to store them, the better option may be to rent out a storage unit. It’s economical and convenient, especially for items that aren’t being used at the time. Saving a lot of space in your office or home, it might be the ideal way to go.

 

#3 Landscapers and Contractors

Landscapers and contractors need a lot of space, and this goes without saying. After all, a great deal of the machinery and tools used are quite bulky and will not fit in a garden shed. On top of this, they tend to be quite valuable and an easy target for thefts – hence storing it in your work van is not a good option.

Storing tools and equipment in a unit is a great choice if you want a secure location to keep your work items between jobs and overnight. Most units, as previously mentioned, will also have a loading bay – so packing the van up each morning won’t be a difficult task.

Additionally, it helps you to keep paperwork and physical work separate, allowing you to take care of the administrative work separate so that you can get things does in a more organised and efficient manner. It also prevents clutter, creating a workspace that will help to increase productivity.

 

#4 Theatres and Galleries

When it comes to theatres and galleries, a lot of this has to do with the high turnover of pieces of display or used on sets. Once a performance or exhibition is over, the old paintings/pieces need to go away, and the new ones need to come out and be prepared for use or display. Of course, this turnover can cause a lot of clutter to build up at an increased rate.

What self-storage can do for you is remove the vast majority of this clutter by providing you with a safe and secure place to keep it when it is not in use. Warehousing the items in a unit means that things are safe and well looked after while the new pieces are on display – especially if the artists are unable to collect their pieces for a prolonged period of time.

 

#5 Online Shops

Online stores receive most of the benefits when it comes to renting a storage unit. After all, they are the ones who are most likely to take up the offer of having a storage unit and an office in the same building. After all, it offers them a level of convenience and cost effectiveness that they might not have in a home office.

Online shops (including on platforms like Etsy and eBay) are able to take advantage of the storage units available, selecting a size that works well for them, and finding a monthly cost that suits their budget. They can then store their stock in the unit, maximising space, and keeping their office free from clutter. This promotes a better work environment, which then creates improved levels of productivity.

If they choose to hire an office space in addition to the unit, they can benefit even more. The unit itself will be incredibly close, as the offices are in the same building as the unit. So, business owners will only need to take an elevator ride to reach their stock and pack orders.

Having an office also adds a more professional feel to a business. They can have an address for it that can be registered to Google for better rankings, and they can also use that address to receive stock as well as customer returns. They can benefit from a new phone line with a business number, and the office environment continues to promote productivity as the distractions of home are not around.

Of course, this can be an expensive option for some, and if this is the case, then it is possible to purchase shared office space. This is good for admin work and other such details, and it is also a lot cheaper to rent every month. Just make sure you shop around and compare prices before you make any commitments to a particular company.

 

#6 Electronic Repair Shops

This is another industry that is likely to benefit from hiring a storage facility for their goods. Electronic repair shops are likely to have a lot of parts and goods that need to be stored away safely. Of course, this shops also tend to be small, with little to no storage in the back. As a result, having a unit to keep the excess in ensures that it is all secure, while also remaining easy to access.

With the backlog out of your way (and sight), you are able to complete your work in peace and quiet – with no unnecessary mess to distract you. Alternatively, you can also use the unit as an additional place to work if you need to pull some extra hours, or just need somewhere quieter to get your work done with higher levels of concentration.

 

#7 Construction and Decorating

If you work in construction or are a home decorator, you are going to have a lot of tools and materials that need to be stored away. Most workers don’t keep tools in their vans overnight because it increases the risk of robbery, which would mean massive losses when purchasing whole new sets of tools.

A storage unit means that you have a safe place to keep everything stored away safely so that you don’t have to worry as much about things getting stolen – especially as the unit offers heightened levels of security. Plus, it means everything can remain organised and accessible, and you don’t need to worry about excess materials taking up too much room in your van or garage. It’s an excellent solution.

 

To Conclude

Hopefully, this article has taught you a little more about how amazing and beneficial secure self-storage can be for you as a small business owner. No matter the type of business you run, self-storage can have some amazing benefits for you. After all, what better place to store excess stock and equipment than somewhere that offers increased security levels and a safe place for all of your items? The choice of using self-storage is entirely up to you, but it’s a good decision for those that need the extra space, as well as those who might need an office.

pack wine glasses

How To Pack Wine Glasses For Storage

Packing wine glasses can be tricky, but it’s so important to get it right when you’re moving the glasses to another home or placing them in storage. Here are some tips to help you.

When you have invested in self storage, you want to make sure your items are as safe as possible while they aren’t in your care. By investing in a storage unit you will have already looked into the security at the facility, so the storage company’s part in your items safety is done. The part of it that falls to you is packing the items properly so they are protected from breakages, environmental factors and dirt.

Any type of glass is of packing concern, but the delicate shape of a wine glass makes them particularly tricky to protect.

Here are some tips to help you pack your wine glasses for storage properly:

Buy The Proper Boxes

Lots of places stock proper wine glass boxes, you can even find them in the supermarket. They usually have holes for each wine glass and a handle in the middle of the container. The boxes will not protect your glasses against all the elements, but they do keep them separate and protect them from bashing against each other in transit. Remember to invest in the strongest boxes you can if your wine glasses are really precious and consider asking if your cheap storage company sells these boxes (if you’re short on time).

Focus On Protecting The Weakest Part Of The Glass

The stem of the glass is the weakest part of it, which means it needs additional protection. If the stem is subjected to a lot of pressure, it will break. Thick packaging like bubble wrap should be used to protect the stem. Simply cut a long strip of bubble wrap that measures the same length as the stem. Then wrap it around a couple of times and sellotape it securely.

Fill The Glasses

Unfortunately on this occasion your wine glasses don’t need to be filled with wine. Instead you’re going to need to fill them with paper. This supports the glass and also makes them weigh more which will prevent them from moving around.

Wrap Them Up

When you have added the extra protection to the glass, you will need to wrap it as a whole. You must not wrap the wine glasses together as they will clink against each other. Instead wrap them individually using newspaper, bubble wrap or thick tissue paper. If the glasses are going in a standard box, stuff the gaps between the wrapped glasses with tissue paper or newspaper to stop the objects moving around.

Label, Label, Label!

Always label fragile items as fragile. If they are in a standard box use packing tape to secure the entire box so it won’t fall through when you pick it up. Place labels on all sides of the box if possible so the ‘fragile’ wording can be seen whatever position the box is in. This will also stop anyone putting the box underneath heavier boxes in the self storage facility, or wherever you choose to store your precious glasses,  or in the moving van.

 

These are just a few tips to help you pack your wine glasses properly – remember the more time and effort you put into packing your wine glasses, the more likely you are to get them back unscathed when you remove them from storage or unpack them at your new home.

 

 

 

storage for concealing clutter

Short Term Solutions For Concealing Clutter

When you don’t have time to have a clearout you may have a lot of clutter you don’t know what to do with. Here we look at short term solutions for concealing clutter.

 

The answer to most clutter problems is to get rid of it, but sometimes we can’t. Or perhaps we have a lot of items that aren’t clutter, but they don’t have a ‘home’ within the home. In both instances, there are lots of ways to conceal pesky items that make the room look untidy. This may seem counterproductive, but sometimes clutter isn’t clutter, it is just something we don’t know how to display or make look pretty yet. Sometimes, we just need to make do until we can have a clear out.

Here are some top tips to help you conceal clutter:

 

Always Fully Cover

One of the worst things you can do, is partially conceal something you are trying to hide. Perhaps you have a TV on top of a TV stand that has lots of clutter piled under it. A cool throw will conceal the underneath for now, but only if it fits in full. If it partially exposes the underneath, it will look really messy.

 

Buy Clever Furniture

A foot stool with a concealed storage box inside, a soft with compartment drawers underneath, a bed with storage boxes underneath – you get our drift. Buy clever furniture even if you don’t think you need the storage because the chances are, you will need it at some point.

 

Replace Furniture That Is In Fact Clutter

You may find some of your clutter displaced, when in fact it could easily go in a set of drawers, except you don’t have the set of drawers because you have an old poof in the space instead that serves absolutely no purpose. If you got rid of the poof however, you could fit a set of drawers in. Look at all your furniture and get rid of it if it does not serve a purpose.

 

Look For Storage Where You Hadn’t Thought Of Putting It Before

Maybe there is room next to your sofa for a cool fruit crate that could store magazines, maybe you have room for some shelves that could house some ornaments and books, maybe there is space on the ceiling for storing sports equipment (which looks very cool at the same time). Look for storage space in places you had previously discounted.

 

Tidy It Up

Sometimes it is all about how we display the clutter. A group of vases you don’t know what to do with, might look wonderful with some bamboo and greenery sticking out of them, they might look cool lined up on top of kitchen cupboards, or maybe filled with marbles (if they are glass). A pile of magazines could look like a pile of rubbish, but if you fan them out on the table, or put them in a wicker basket nicely, they suddenly look very inviting.

 

In The Long Run

Clearly, in the long run you will have to think about what to do with having too many items, as there’s only so much a bit of jazzing up can do.

 

Declutter

Decluttering is a really good experience for your home and for your soul. Chuck some clutter, give some away, sell some – just get it out of your home. You will feel better for it.

 

Self storage

Perhaps you are saving for a bigger home where you can spread out all your beloved bits and pieces, in which case, why not get some self storage. You get to enjoy the space in your current home, all whilst paying a minimal amount to look after the items for your new home in secure, safe cheap self storage.

 

 

self storage units for small businesses

The 3 Most Important Considerations When Choosing A Self Storage Unit

Choosing a self storage unit is difficult, but if you put these three things as your top priorities when choosing one, you will struggle to go wrong.

When you are looking for a self storage unit, you are likely to want to find a good priced unit, but that should never be your top priority. Three of the key things you want the owners to be on top of is security, maintenance and safety. Their units will hold a lot of high value items, so it is important security, maintenance and safety is top of the priority list and should be something you have no problem asking about when checking out the self storage unit you are interested in. Here’s why these three things matter the most when it comes to choosing a self storage unit:

  1. Security From The Start

All self storage facilities should have a security system that starts at the gate. Security cameras, alarms, and indeed a gate, should all be part and parcel of the security system. Individual alarms should be included, so your individual unit is protected. Clearly, if there is more security then that is even better. The unit may also boast: Electric gates controlled digitally, extensive security video cameras, sensor alarms, intercoms and various technology related to security. They should boast about this aspect of their unit because every self storage company wants to stand out from competitors. Security is clearly a key priority when it comes to storing your items because there is no point in keeping the items in a unit if they aren’t going to be safe there. You may as well leave them in your garage. If a unit claims to be secure, don’t be afraid to find out why.

  1. Safety Procedures

A great unit will have safety procedures for staff to follow. This could be as simple as using a wet floor sign if the floor has just been mopped. It may seem minor, but the more laws the company is following the better – because it means they will be doing what the law requires in terms of keeping your items safe. The last place you want something underhand to be going in is in a place you keep your treasured belongings. It also means you can feel safe when you are on the premises as well. A unit incorporating these safety measures may also train staff to look out for signs of untoward behaviour or signs of issues. This could be less obvious signs a unit has been broken into or signs of criminal behaviour of tenants as an example. This is great as it shows all eyes and ears are on the ground ensuring everyone is protected and looked out for.

  1. Maintenance Means Pride

This is a key sign that a company really wants customers to get what they pay for. From maintaining cracks in the walls, to painting a peeling door, you want to see that the entire premises is kept in great condition. It shows that the company really do have pride in the operation they are running, and ensures you can trust that you are paying for high quality all round. It also shows that your items are going to be safe. Why? Because the unit will be well maintained. You shouldn’t have to worry about damp, cracks or pests because the standards are so high at your facility, the unit will have had maintenance completed before you were sold the space.

Remember, before you invest in your unit, you should be asking questions and checking it is safe, secure and well maintained, because that reassures you that your items will be completely protected.

 

motorbike ready for storage

Getting Your Motorbike Ready For Storage

Plenty of people put their motorbike into cheap storage. If you are one of those people you will need to prepare your vehicle properly so it comes out of the unit as you left it – here’s how.

There are plenty of motorbike enthusiasts in the UK, and plenty of people who simply don’t have room to store their beloved two wheeled machine at home. Perhaps you’re staying in a smaller home temporarily, you’re suffering from an injury that renders you unable to ride for a while, or you simply want to put your motorbike away for winter. Whatever your reason for putting your bike into self storage, you’re going to want to spend a little time thinking about how you can store it without it deteriorating and getting your motorbike ready for storage. Environmental factors, dirt and general lack of usage are all potentially damaging factors that you need to try and prepare your vehicle for.

Here are some tips to help you get your motorbike ready for storage:

Make Sure The Tank Is Full

If you do not fill up the fuel tank, it may mean you’ll be getting some organic growths you didn’t ask for when you pull the machine out of storage. When a tank is partially full, condensation can occur which then reacts with the fuel in the tank and clogs up your bike. Odd organic growths can form, which is never a good thing! It’s an easy issue to avoid.

Focus On The Oil

The oil in your bike should be clean and the filters should be changed over before you place the machine into self-storage. When oil is left in a machine, contaminants can become trapped in it which will in turn damage parts of your motorbike.

Don’t Leave The Battery To Die

If you leave a motorbike battery in freezing conditions for a long period of time, it will die – it really is that simple. If you have a self-storage facility that provides air conditioning or heating options, it is possible to keep the motorbike in a neutral temperature long-term, which means you don’t have to take the battery out. Many good independent self storage companies provide this option, however, many cheap facilities do not so it is more than likely the battery will need to come out.

Don’t Let The Rust Eat Your Bike

You should never really leave rust to eat away at your vehicle, but this is more of an urgent issue to address if your bike is going into self-storage Bedford. Rust is like cancer to a vehicle, and it will spread and rot metalwork. It might cost you a little to get the rust sorted out now, but it will cost you a whole lot more if you leave the problem while your vehicle is in storage and come back to a much bigger problem when it comes out.

Take Pressure Off The Tyres

You should take pressure off the tyres by elevating the bike. There are stands and supports available for you to do this.

Invest In A Bike Cover

To protect your motorbike from dust particles and other environmental factors, invest in a good quality cover to keep it protected while it is in storage. The price of these covers vary greatly, so don’t go all out unless you were planning to treat yourself anyway. Just think of it like a fitted dust sheet in this instance.

make decluttering easy

Can you ever have too much storage space?

I’ve never actually lived in a new-build home but I have visited plenty – either when visiting friends and family or just when I have been curious and taken a peek at the show homes on one of the many new developments springing up in our already crowded part of the South East. I don’t need statistics to tell me that new homes are getting smaller and smaller (but there are stats that show this) because you can simply feel it in the new homes – even show homes that are cleverly dressed by skilled interior designers using furniture that isn’t full size. You just know that that small wardrobe and chest of drawers will never be enough storage space for anyone actually living full time in the house. And the few kitchen cupboards will simply not be able to store a family’s needs.

Whenever I see kitchens in new homes I wonder where the people living there put all their stuff – most of the base units are actually housing the fridge, washing machine and dishwasher and at least one of the wall units will be housing the boiler. Add to that the fact that the designers are cutting back on kitchen units so they can squeeze a table into an already small kitchen and the storage issue becomes even worse. Older, period houses may not have had overly large kitchens but they did tend to have spaces such as a traditional larder which, with it’s floor to ceiling shelves provides a huge amount of storage. They also had spacious under stairs cupboards for storing brooms, hoover, ironing boards and other household paraphernalia that need a home. That under stairs space in a new build is more likely to have been used for a cloakroom.

Actually I do new builds a disservice because some of the high-end developers are creating huge, amazing spaces so when I say new-build developer I am thing of the mass-produced new builds – you know those big names we have all heard of. Rather than the smaller, more niche luxury new home builders.

But back to my issue with storage – if a home does not have enough storage then it will be almost impossible to keep the home from becoming cluttered. I’m sure there are some minimalists out there who can live with just a few well-chosen items but most of us just aren’t like that. I think that at heart most of us are hoarders. Combine that intrinsic nature with a lack of storage and you end up with homes that are cluttered. And no matter how much good advice there is available online about how to declutter and the benefits of decluttering many of us find it impossible to create a clutter-free home – and this comes down to a lack of storage.

Many homes are not technically cluttered because all the items in them are used and needed, but there is not enough space for everyday family living.

Finding more storage space where you thought there was none

So if you already live in a home without enough storage what can you do about it? The chances are that the room sizes are such that they can’t accommodate any more shelves or cupboards – if your rooms are large enough for more storage units then get yourself down to the shops and buy more – you don’t need much money for a few shelving units or cupboards – check out charity shops and secondhand shops if you are on a tight budget – (go – what are you waiting for?).

But what if there simply isn’t the floor space or wall space?

There is actually a lot of under-utilised space in even the smallest of homes if we just look up. Why not think about running shelves all around a room about 30cm below the ceiling. This is dead space that could easily be used to store any manner of things. If you are worried it won’t look great then invest in some pretty baskets or storage boxes to go on the shelves. Maybe even make the storage boxes your self or at least cover them. If the room is wallpapered – even better – cover the storage boxes in left over wallpaper and they will blend into the background. Paint the shelves to match the rest of the woodwork in the room.

Baskets or storage boxes on high shelves can be used to store anything that is not used on a daily basis. For instance, out of season clothes or seasonal sports equipment or Christmas decorations can all be hidden away in attractive storage boxes.  Books, ornaments, DVDs etc. can be displayed openly. Even if you already have shelving units for these things in your home you can make the space seem less cluttered by using this one simple trick.

The same idea can be used for storage boxes or baskets on top of your kitchen wall units – there is also plenty of dead space up there too. The trick is to make the storage attractive and make it so that it blends in with the décor of the room so the eye is not automatically drawn to the high level shelves and spaces. The space on top of kitchen wall units in an average sized kitchen could be the equivalent of another couple of kitchen units or maybe more so make use of it.

Another way to find more space is to buy beds that either have storage drawers already built in (if it is a divan) or has the space for under-bed storage boxes if it is a wooden or metal framed bed. These are great places to store bed linen, spare pillows, spare duvets and towels

And if you have free-standing wardrobes then don’t forget to also make use of the space on top with storage boxes for your out of season clothes.

Even the smallest of homes can benefit from these storage tips which will add storage in all the dead space we have around our homes which so few of use utilize.

prepare your self storage unit for winter

As winter approaches make sure you prepare your self storage unit properly

Many people store precious belongings, household items or business stock in self-storage units year round because they provide an inexpensive option to other forms of storage. But if you do have possessions in storage over the cold winter period ahead then it will pay you to prepare your self storage unit for the cold weather to ensure your items survive the winter intact.

A storage unit may be protected from the external elements of rain, snow and wind but it is unlikely to be heated and one of the issues with long-term storage is that moisture is present naturally in the air inside the unit and rises and falls in temperature will cause this moisture to condense on internal surfaces, and that includes your possessions. So follow these simple guidelines to protect your stored possessions for the long, cold winter months ahead.

  • Firstly make sure everything is as clean as possible: shake out fabrics to remove dust and generally give everything a good airing.
  • If you have stored items made of fabric, metal, leather or wood (and, let’s face it there is a high chance that you will) make sure they are not covered with plastic sheeting or bubble wrap. This is a common mistake because  plastic will trap moisture, which will penetrate these fabrics over time. Use natural materials to cover and protect your items instead, like cotton sheets, woollen blankets, acid-free paper or corrugated cardboard.
  • Anything made of leather should be treated with a specialist moisture-repellant leather protector as an added precaution.
  • Anything made of wood should be treated with wax for the same reason – to repel moisture.
  • Carpets, curtains and rugs should be rolled up with tissue paper or cotton sheets between each item.
  • You can minimise tarnishing of silver-plated or solid silver items and protect other metal items by wrapping them in a cotton cover.

The moisture that is naturally present in air is harmful to a variety of materials but those most at risk are wood, fabric, metal and leather. If you have very valuable or precious items made of these materials then you may want to consider investing in a de-humidifier or rent a climate-controlled self-storage unit to reduce the amount of moisture in the air and give your belongings some added protection by taking professional packing advice for storage.

Included in the list of metal goods might be larger items such as a car, motorbike or motor home and these types of stored items will need some additional levels of protection to survive the winter months:

  • Drain the engine oil and replace it with fresh oil
  • Make sure the windscreen wash has the right amount of anti-freeze for the temperatures you are expecting over the winter.
  • Leave the handbrake off to prevent it seizing up – as an added precaution you may want to place bricks strategically to avoid any movement of the vehicle.
  • Leave windows open a small amount to improve air circulation and avoid condensation.
  • Use WD40 (or similar) on moving metal parts to prevent corrosion
  • Oil the locks if you are expecting very low temperatures for a prolonged period.