10 Tips for Organizing Your Storage Unit

Storage units are a great short or long-term solution for your storage needs. They can simplify your life as they help you declutter your space and protect the items you want to keep but don’t currently need in your home. When organized properly, these units can store an incredible amount of furniture, books, collectibles, and appliances. Your home will have more actual living space, and your prized possessions will be safe and easy to access. However, you need to plan the use of your storage unit to take full advantage of it. As you organize your storage unit, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Pallets

Even the best storage units may be affected by the elements. The floors can become damp, so you should put your items on pallets. They are inexpensive and could save you thousands in damages. Also, using pallets helps keep you organized. Placing like items on each one makes finding things much easier. For instance, you can have a kitchen items pallet, a sports items pallet, and a toys pallet.

2. Labeling

Don’t forget to label your items! This step may seem obvious, but many storage unit users don’t bother to do it. Every box should have several labels that are protected by clear packing tape to prevent them from fading or tearing. Clearly labeling the top and sides of each box will make it easier to find items.

3. Placement

You may be tempted to organize your items by size, but storing a large item in the back is a bad idea if you use it frequently. Keep the items you use the most in the front of the unit so you don’t have to disrupt everything to get what you need, even if this means keeping a big hope chest front and center.

4. Aisle

Experts recommend creating an aisle through the center of your unit. You may want to use every inch of space for storage, but you need to access things in the middle and back of your unit without having to rip the place apart. A small aisle is well worth the space it takes.

5. Box Size

Invest in quality boxes, and don’t use more than two sizes. This makes them easier to stack and will keep the stacks steady and fragile items safe from damage. Also, odd-sized boxes waste space because they don’t fit together snugly. If you choose larger boxes, mix heavy items with lighter ones. A big box of books can be a terror to move.

6. Drawers

Once you have your dressers, hutches and chests moved into the unit, fill them up with smaller items. You should use all of the space in these pieces of furniture, but remember to label them as well. It is too easy to forget that you put the towels in the entertainment center or your pictures in the dresser.

7. Wrap

You should wrap your items with plastic in order to protect them from dampness, dirt and the occasional insect. You can also use colored plastic wrap to help organize your items. For example, you could wrap your heirlooms in red so you can easily find your most treasured items.

If you prefer to use cloth wrappings, the same principle applies. Choose differently colored fabrics so you’ll have visual clues when you are searching for items.

8. Furniture

To save space, you can store some furniture, such as sofas, upright. They won’t be damaged, and they make nice corner fillers. Mirrors should always be stored upright to prevent breakage. Also, you may disassemble the furniture that you will not be needing in the near future. Dining room tables and chairs are prime examples.

9. Content List

Creating a content list makes your life easier in the long run. Keep a detailed copy of exactly what’s in the storage unit on your computer, and update it as needed. This simple measure will prevent you from running to the storage unit for something that is actually in your basement. Also, you should have a list to show your insurance company in case of damage or theft.

10. Create a Map

You don’t have to be an illustrator to draw a rudimentary map of your storage unit, and having one can save you hours of time. You won’t have to read the labels on every box to find what you need. The map can simply show you that books are in the middle of the unit or that clothes are in the back. With a map, you can get in and get out of your unit in a matter of minutes.

People rent storage units for a number of reasons. They may be in the midst of a move, or their possessions may have outgrown their homes. A personal storage unit solves many problems as long as you use it correctly. Take the time to organize and protect your items as you move in. Then, whenever you need to retrieve something, you can visit the unit and be on your way in a few minutes rather than a few hours. After all, storage units exist to make your life more convenient.

Contact Us

You can reach us at 1 (800) 233-6683 or visit your local Massachusetts moving company to learn more about what we can do to help you during your move. Download the Ayer Moving Guide for a Stress-Free Move!

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

Climate Controlled Storage is not something you think about when you’re taking some time off to travel Europe. It’s your first time leaving the country and you can’t wait. The beauty and adventure of the coastal city of Barcelona, the timelessness of the Roman ruins, the famous towers and buildings of Paris, drive you to such excitement you think you might burst.

But looking online at places to rent a storage unit, you start to worry. How do you know that everything will survive for a year, especially with the heat and humidity of summer on its way?

Perhaps there’s something you haven’t considered. A climate controlled storage unit can put your mind at ease if you have any worries about the corruption or heat damage of your property. It not only manages the temperature inside the unit but also keeps humidity under control and helps to regulate air quality and dust.

However, with the expenses of your travel, paying extra for the climate controlled unit may not be sitting too well with you, so here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not you need a climate controlled storage unit:

 

Climate Controlled Storage – What do you want to store?

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

A lot of things can be damaged by changing temperatures or the high humidity and heat of the summer. Papers can deteriorate, metals can rust, wood can rot, and mold and mildew can grow in your appliances, books, and even your clothes. Certain furniture can have drastic reactions to humidity and extreme temperatures, whether it be a wooden table or a leather sofa. You especially want to consider if you have any of the finer things being stored such as wines, artworks, sentimental childhood photos, or even your grandma’s special silverware that’s been in the family for years. All can experience damage through the changing temperatures and heavy humidity.

 

Climate Controlled Storage – How long are you storing them for?

Do you think that you’ll be gone for six months? A year? Ten? Or do you have no idea? No matter what, you’ll want to consider what sorts of seasons this storage unit will be facing. As the summer heat sweeps the Northern Hemisphere you’ll want to consider the effects that scorching temperatures might have on your more valuable items or even your everyday objects.

 

Climate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

Climate Controlled Storage – Does your region experience extreme temperatures?

A lot can happen to the contents of your storage unit as the temperatures rise to blazing heat and drop to frigid cold. Leather furniture can tense up in reaction to the winter but loosen as summer rolls back in, resulting in the wearing of the material. Metals, such as that in coins or appliances can rust, crack, and warp from exposure to strong temperatures. Screens and the internal components of your electronics can also rust or deteriorate. Climate control is almost necessary if you want to store things such as wine, which accelerates in aging when exposed to temperature change, as well as photos and books. High temperatures can cause your photos to run and blend together if stacked on top of each other. Even documents and books can become unreadable after enough time in an uncontrolled climate space as the pages start to yellow and distort in extreme heat.

 

Climate Controlled Storage – Is there high humidity?

High humidity is another demon of summer storage, often resulting in mold and water damage in many household items. Wood is particularly sensitive to high humidity; things such as furniture will crack and rot while wooden instruments will start to distort or even grow mold. Even brass instruments become home to bacteria in high heat and humidity. The moisture can result in cracked and rusted structures of microwaves and dishwashers. High build-ups of this moisture can be as damaging to electronics and wires as if you spilled water on them directly. Certain special collections you may have like stamps or comics may start to curl and ruin under harsh humidity and mold can build up in books and documents. Even your clothes aren’t safe. To avoid the mold and mildew, a gross occurrence in high humidity, you may want to pack your clothes in a plastic bin to help ensure their protections against the moisture.

 

Climate Controlled Storage – Making your decisionClimate Controlled Storage for the Summer Months

If you need to store one or more of these items (and it is likely you do) climate control is a must. Protecting the integrity of family photos and the usability of your appliances and furniture is vital to getting the most out of your storage space. If you can’t protect your items from rust, mold, and corruption, then what’s the point? The benefits to keeping all your belongings safe while you’re out on your own expeditions will be well worth the extra cost you pay to keep them in a climate-controlled environment.

Contact Us!

You can reach us at 1 (800) 233-6683 or visit your local Massachusetts moving company to learn more about what we can do to help you. Download the Ayer Moving Guide for a Stress-Free Move!

The one trick you need to know when packing dishes

Dishes are notoriously fragile. That’s true if they’re heirloom China or if you picked them up cheaply at a department store. They’re also heavy and hard and a stack of them packed poorly will crash into one another and break into shards while being shipped for moving day. Fortunately, there is one dead-simple approach when shipping them that will make sure they arrive safe, sound and whole.

The trick is to load them in the box on their sides, like you’re loading a dishwasher, instead of stacking them in a pile. This will prevent too much weight from accumulating on the bottom dishes and puts any pressure on where the dishes are the strongest, their sides, instead of the fragile middle.

Now, the dishes are still going to need padding to keep them from bumping each other and chipping. If you have access to bubble wrap, place a layer on the bottom of the box and then wrap each dish and bowl with bubble wrap or crumpled shipping paper. Make sure you fill any gaps in the box with balled up paper to prevent the plates, bowls, and cups from shifting during transport. You will also need to label the box with an arrow to make sure everyone know how fragile it is and which end needs to be up.

Consider using a special dish packing box, which has twice the thickness in cardboard to protect the vulnerable contents. With a little planning and know-how, your dishes will look just as good at your new home once your move is completed.

 

Score free moving boxes for your next relocation

Storage or moving boxes are as essential to moving as a spoon is to a eating a bowl of soup. You need to find a rich supply of medium sized cardboard moving boxes, as many items are too large to fit in tiny boxes and larger boxes are too unwieldy and heavy for moving.

Score Moving Boxes from your supermarket

A lot of people will hit up the supermarket and ask for spare banana boxes from the produce department. These are decent boxes for moving, despite the large hole in the top and bottom, but unfortunately they’re often a victim of their own success. Simply put, too many people know about banana boxes for you to be able to rely on getting enough of them from a supermarket. They can provide some supplemental help, but don’t expect to get enough to complete your whole move with them.

What you will need to find is a business that regularly receives deliveries in medium-sized cardboard moving boxes that will be able to give you some for free that they would otherwise throw out. One of the easiest ways to find such a store is to look for businesses with a designated cardboard-only dumpster out back. Only use this as a way to identify businesses that could help you; taking items from a dumpster without the owner’s permission is a crime.

Score Moving Boxes from local retailers

Some typical stores that have useful boxes include tool and appliance stores, hardware stores, restaurants, liquor stores, supermarkets, bookstores and office supply stores. Typically, these stores will be happy to let you have them to avoid letting the boxes go to waste.

When you find the right store, ask the manager for permission and be prepared to come back multiple times when they have spare boxes on hand. Bring a box cutter with you in case you need to break some of the boxes down to transport them.

Try searching for boxes weeks in advance so you have time to build up a supply and pack before your move. However long it takes, thank the people at the store and make sure you have enough packing tape on hand to reassemble and seal the boxes.

6 Tips to get the most out of your Self-Storage Unit

Maybe you’re considering a storage unit as a way to hold onto your couch and tables in preparation for an upcoming move, or you want to put your birdbath or garden decor someplace warm for the winter. Maybe you’ve just got too much stuff. Whatever your reason is, we offer climate-controlled storage space to help you protect your possessions. If this is your first time using a storage unit here are some tips to help you prepare.

Let nothing touch the ground

Much like a basement, storage units are designed to stay dry but accidents happen and it’s better to be prepared for the worst case scenario. While most floors are sloped to keep water from pooling within the units, rare accidents are possible, such as something spilling in the next unit over. Get your hands on some wooden shipping pallets or blocks so your possessions will remain above the floor.

Bring a hardy lock

Just like in the changing room at the gym, your storage unit will need a lock that you control. Make sure it has a short elbow so someone, such as another storage unit renter, can’t simply snip it off with a pair of bolt cutters. (At Ayer Moving and Storage, we supply the lock for you.)

Bring packing materials

A storage unit isn’t just another room in your house where you can move objects, so don’t treat it like one. You need to prepare by bringing packing materials like thick sheets of flexible plastic, cardboard boxes and bubble wrap to make sure everything is protected. Be careful with wrapping things in old newspapers as the ink can come off.

Disassemble and stack high

The legs will come off most tables, so save space by breaking items down into easy-to-store segments. You can get the most out of your unit if you place items in safe, secure stacks, so bring some plywood or boards to place between layers of items to help make sure everything stays flat and firm.

Get organized

Leave an empty channel down the center of the storage unit so you can walk through the middle and access items without juggling too many objects. If items are in cardboard boxes, label them, especially if you plan to keep items in the storage unit for more than a few months. If you have something that could possibly leak fluids, like oil from a lawn mower, make sure you put them away or below items like clothing, furniture and sheets.

Check your insurance

Some homeowners’ insurance policies will cover items in a storage unit. Others won’t, so check your policy to see if you should purchase any insurance for your unit. You can also modify your homeowners’ insurance policy, or you can try to purchase one through the storage unit.

Decluttering before you move

Chances are somewhere in your home is a big cup full of pens. Pens with business names, ballpoint tips, felt tips, clickable and capped pens, black and blue ink, and a few pencils. It’s usually a plastic cup, but it sometimes a large glass or a mug. Once in a while it’s a shallow box at the front of a drawer bursting with pens. Whatever the variations are, you probably have one right now.

Now imagine your life without that cup of pens.

We all accumulate little things here and there over time. A lot of those things are useful, but only up to a point or for very specific circumstances. The life you imagined without that cup of pens should not be any different because you would still have other pens to use.

However, when you move, every item adds weight and volume to your boxes, regardless of the item’s actual usefulness. That’s one of the many reasons generations of people have used moving time as a chance to get rid of excess stuff.

The trick is convincing yourself that you can get rid of perfectly good items, many of which you paid for with real money. Let that thought go and ask yourself if the item is doing you any good today, or if it’s just taking up space.

Here’s some more good questions to ask yourself: Do I have something else that does the same thing as this item? Do these clothes actually fit me anymore and how often do I actually wear them? When was the last time I used this thing? Is this a broken thing I said I’d fix but never did? If I lost this item would I even bother to replace it? Is this a nostalgic item I could take a digital photo of instead of keeping?

Try leaving your home and imagining that you lost everything and had to start over. Write down what you would need – everything from a toothbrush to a bed frame. Be specific, and add anything you would like to have, like your photo albums. When you get home look very hard at the items that you did not include. If you forgot about them, perhaps they’re not so important after all.

What you actually do with the excess stuff is up to you: Moving sales, Craigslist ads, donations to thrift stores and landfills are all popular choices (Usually in that order). The important thing is to get rid of it. In time, your place can look more like something from an interior design magazine with lots of free space and simple, clean rooms.

Packing your clothes like a pro

Moving is often ranked as one of the most stressful life experiences, but it doesn’t have to be! Watch this video for helpful tips on how to pack your clothing before your next move.

Before you start packing your clothing, it’s a good idea to go through your closets and dressers to find clothes that you haven’t worn in a year. You can donate your old clothes to charities and those in need. Get new cardboard boxes so that you don’t risk staining your clothes with used ones, and group your hanging items together with twist ties and standard garbage bags. Inexpensive clothing items like t-shirts can be put in a bag and transported easily on moving day.

Ayer Moving & Storage begins all of our moves with pre-move counseling, which we can use to help you come up with a plan for your entire moving process. Call us at (978) 772-2558 or visit our website to learn more about all of the ways we can help you take the stress out of moving.

Ten Top Reasons Why You May Need a Storage Solution

Ten Top Reasons Why You May Need a Storage Solution  1) If you don’t have extra space in your home for storing household items you still want but don’t use very often: furniture, electronics, seasonal clothing, outgrown toys …

2) If you have a sports car or antique vehicle that needs a safe place to winter …

3) If you have business or household paperwork or tax records that you are required to store for a number of years …

4) If you have an Recreational Vehicle that you need to get out of your driveway or backyard …

5) If you have out-of-season “toys” like a boat, ATV, jet-ski or motorcycle …

6) If your student is home from college and you need to store dorm room furnishings …

7) If you are or a loved one is in the Military and needs short- or long-term storage …

8) If you have valuable artwork you need to keep in a temperature-controlled storage unit …

9) If you are selling your home and need to remove furnishings to stage it properly …

10) If you have sold your home but are not yet ready to move to your new home …

… you need one of the storage solutions available from Ayer Moving and Storage: Our 20,000 sq.ft. temperature controlled warehouse for long- or short-term storage; one of our COWs (Containers on Wheels); or our self-storage units!

We’re located at 109 Central Avenue, Ayer MA.

Call us at 978-772-2558.