How to Properly Pack a Rental or Moving Truck

How to Pack a Moving Truck

There are many decisions and preparations that need to be made when deciding to move across town, to a different state or across the country. One of the major decisions that you need to make when you are moving is if you are going to hire a professional movers or if you will do the move on your own by renting a moving truck and volunteering friends and family to help. When choosing a moving company,  you need to follow certain steps to fully prepare for the move. In some circumstances, professional movers will help pack boxes and prepare furniture as well as pack everything in to the moving truck. Unless you have experience as a mover, there are questions that you need to consider when packing a moving truck such as: How can you make sure that all of the items that you need to move will fit into the moving truck? How can the items in the truck be protected during the move?

If you are renting a moving truck to move items into a storage unit, the same truck packing concerns will apply.  Stop N Stor has a variety of storage units in climate and non-climate in sizes from 5×5 to 10×30.  If you are moving the contents of the entire home, a 10×30 storage unit is the best storage solution.

Renting a Moving Truck

When renting a moving van, truck, or trailer there are ways to make the rental experience easier.  If you reserve the moving truck online via U-Haul,  verify the pick-up and return destination. Before driving the moving truck off of the lot, visually inspect the vehicle for broken lights, leaks or other damages. In order to save time and money when renting a truck, have everything that you are moving ready to go the day of the truck rental.  If you plan ahead for your moving day, you can save money on gas, mileage, & time.

How to Load a Moving Truck

Make sure that you rent the correct size of the moving truck or van that you need for your belongings. If you only have a few items, then you will not need a large moving truck. The key is to plan ahead thinking of what you need to move as well as being creative and concise in packing the moving truck. Following the eight tips below will help you to utilize every needed space in the truck and protect your belongings during transit.

  1. Compile moving and packing supplies,  such as boxes, a moving dolly, furniture padding and tarps to cover your items, packing tape and straps to keep your items in place on the truck.
  2. Do not overload the truck’s weight limit as this could cause a drag to the truck, which results in using more gasoline. The weight of the items loading onto the truck should be evenly distributed on both sides.
  3. Load kitchen appliances and washer and dryers into the truck first. Place these at the back of the truck against the wall closest to the cab. Keep these appliances upright and covered by a tarp.
  4. When loading furniture onto a moving truck, place items such as mattresses, box springs, headboards, couches and table tops upright against the longest wall of the truck. Then, cover them with mattress and furniture pads. Dissemble bed frames and tables and place them near the table tops or mattresses. Secure the items to each other or to the truck with bungee cords or rope.
  5. After the furniture and larger items are put in the truck, then start loading in the packed boxes. Boxes can be placed on top of the appliances, but make sure that they are secure. Fill in the empty areas towards the back of the truck with boxes first and then move forward. Put the heavier boxes on the bottom of the stack of boxes and the lighter boxes should be on top. Stack the boxes to the ceiling of the truck with keeping like-sized boxes stacked together.
  6. Fill in leftover spaces with items that can be used as buffers such as bags of clothing, linens, bedding or pillows.
  7. Load the most fragile items, such as plants, unboxed lamps and electronics last on the truck.
  8. The last boxes on the truck will be the first ones that you need in your new home. These “open first” boxes should contain items that you would need right away in your new destination such as paper towels, bathroom needs, garbage bags and tools to reassemble your furniture.

By following simple moving and packing tips, you can fit everything that you need to in your moving truck and make the moving experience much easier. There will always be surprise set-backs on moving day, but if you know that you have planned as much ahead that you can then, you will be much happier.

 

How to Store Books at Home or In a Self-Storage Unit

Storing Books at Home or In Self-Storage

Nothing compares taking the time to relax and escape to different worlds and times by opening a good hardbound book. Even with the popularity of e-books, people still continue to have large cook-book, children’s books or other collections in their homes. Books are great to have, enjoy and read, but they do take up a lot of space. There is always a need for a good book storage solution.

Book Storage Solutions for the Home

There are many great home book storage solutions. Depending on the amount of storage space in a home, people can store books in home libraries, while others have to be a bit more creative in how they store their book collections. Books can be stored in wicker decorative baskets that can be put on shelving units, under tables and in corners. For smaller houses and apartments, use ottomans, stools and chairs that have removable lids for book storage or store “up” using every wall space for additional book storage. Also, book shelves make great space dividers for smaller studio apartment or open living or dining rooms.

Organizing a Book Collection

The larger the collection of books, the harder it is to keep organized. Organizing a book collection can vary based on your style. Books can be placed on a book shelve based on author, genre or even the color of the cover. Most home organizers recommend separating fiction and non-fiction and then do separate categorization from there. Special or limited edition books can be very expensive and hard to replace. Special care needs to be given to these types of books. Store rare books in custom sleeves for added protection.

The ideal place to store books is an area in the home that is well-ventilated and not subject to big temperature changes. Do not store books in a spot with high humidity. Books should be stored upright so you can read the spine correctly. Books are designed to be stored this way and can be supported by other books to keep them stable. Do not store books with the binding or spine pointing up, this will crack the binding, ruining the book. Dusting books on a regular basis will help keep books clean over the long-term.

Storing a Book Collection in Self Storage

A storage unit  is a great place to store excess books and other household storage items. When storing books in a storage unit, it is important to properly prepare and pack the books, so they stay in good condition. Below are eight tips for how to store books in a storage unit:

  1. Keep storage boxes out of direct sunlight and away from radiators and heating vents.
  2. Pack books in small or medium size boxes or plastic containers that are weatherproof and moisture-proof.
  3. For rare or limited edition books, take special care when placing them in storage. Wrap each book in a paper towel or cloth to protect the surface from dirt or residue buildup.
  4. Never wrap books in plastic bags, plastic wrap or foil.
  5. Store similar size books together, lying flat in the box. Do not stand the books in the box with their spines as this can damage the spines over time.
  6. Put heaviest books at the bottom of the container and go to lighter books, such as paperbacks at the top of the box. Make sure the boxes are packed tightly and use filler material to finish filling the box.
  7. Seal the boxes with packing tape. Label the boxes with a list of the contents.
  8. If possible, place boxes of books on shelving in the storage unit.

Stop N Stor has a variety of climate controlled and non-climate controlled storage units from 5×5 to 10×30 that are perfect for storing everything from a comic book collections to a cookbook collection. Stop by any of our six locations in Hinesville, Port Wentworth or Savannah to see how our storage professionals can help you with any of your residential or household storage needs.

Are Your Business Documents Organized for Tax Season?

Organizing business documents for tax season.

Tax day, April 15th, will be here before you know it and businesses need to start organizing their files now in order to have the correct documents to properly prepare their tax returns. Companies need to go through their documents from the previous year, and then organize and determine what files need to stay in an office and what business documents can stored in a self storage unit.

Business Documents Needed for Tax Preparation

Tax preparation services such as TurboTax have provided a handy small business tax planning checklist for the documents that are needed to fill out business tax forms. The IRS also has a website to help small company owners and those who are self-employed with their tax forms and preparation needs. Listed below are just a few of the required business documents that are needed in order to fill out a tax return. See the websites above and your professional tax preparer for more information that could be specific to your business:

  • Income Records-These documents include gross receipts from sales and services, returns and allowances, business checking/savings account interest and other income.
  • Cost of Goods Sold (If applicable to your business.)-This paperwork includes totals for inventory, beginning and then end of year total dollar amount, materials and supplies and any inventory purchases.
  • Expenses-There should be documentation saved for all business expenditures including, advertising, phones, computer and internet costs, and travel expenses such as hotel, mileage, meals, tips, tax, and internet connection.
  • Business insurance-These documents pertain to business insurance and not personal insurance, which goes under a different form category.
  • Professional fees-Any types of fees from lawyers, accountants or consultants would fall under this type of document requirement.
  • Office supplies-It is important to keep tabs of any pens, paper, stable and other consumables used by the company.
  • Rent expense-Office space rent and business-use vehicle lease paperwork are required for tax preparation.
  • Home office expenses-These documents include square footage of office space at home, mortgage interest or rent paid, homeowners insurance and utility forms.
  • Wages paid to employees-When you think of tax forms, the W-2 and W-3 forms instantly come to mind. These would also include employee payroll forms needed for federal and state payroll return, employee benefit expenses, contractor’s forms and 1099-Misc forms.
  • Other expenses-Lastly, there should be paperwork for repairs and maintenance of the office, estimated tax payments and other business related expenses such as health insurance and premiums paid.

How Long Should a Business Save Documents?

After businesses have gathered and then prepared their tax forms, documents should be organized and stored in a central area either in an office or in a self-storage unit. Federal and state laws require the retention of specific business documents for accounting records to personnel records.

According to federal and state laws, certain business documents can be placed into archival storage, while other documents need only to be retained for as little as two years. Business files for the current year should be kept within the office and then can be stored outside the office in a storage unit starting the following year.  All corporate and fixed asset records, accounting records such as financial statements, check registers, general ledgers and income tax returns need to be retained permanently. Other accounting documents such as accounts payable or receivables, bank statements, expense reports or charge and cash slips can be shredded after seven years.

Self-Storage Solutions for Business Files and Documents

Renting a self storage unit is a great place to store excess business equipment, files and documents. Storing documents in self-storage helps to reduce the clutter in your office, while increasing work space and productivity! Stop N Stor offers many business storage solutions, such as file and document storage at our 6 Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah area locations. Our storage professionals will help determine the best storage unit size for your business storage needs.

Self Storage Solutions for Plumbers and Electricians

Self Storage for Plumbers and Electricians

Self storage is a great storage solution for many types of businesses from retail to construction to restaurants.  A self storage unit can be used to store retail inventory overstock, office equipment and business documents. But, where do the construction companies, contractors, plumbers and electricians, store their tools and equipment? They store it at a self storage facility!

Contractors, plumbers and electricians usually work out of their vans, trucks or their homes, most do not have “brick and mortar” locations or buildings to store their equipment.  The cost of renting a storage unit is much lower than paying for rent and utilities for a storefront or a warehouse. Using a self storage unit for plumbing and electrical tools and equipment storage helps contractors keep their overhead low and their budget in-check. Storing plumbing equipment at a self storage facility is a cost-effective solution for plumbing and electrical contractors to easily keep their tools, equipment and piping all in one place and allow their vans or trucks to be less cluttered.

Self Storage for Electricians

Electricians are tradesman who design, install, maintain and troubleshoot electrical wiring systems in homes, commercial buildings and large pieces of industrial equipment. Electricians can install new electrical systems, repair power outages for homes and businesses as well as troubleshoot and repair electrical issues. Electricians use a variety of tools during the course of the day including wires, tape, power drills and saws, and smaller tools such as pliers, screwdrivers and wire strippers.  They also will have a supply of lighting fixtures, fuses and other electrical needs.  A self storage unit is a convenient place for electricians to store their electrical tools and equipment.

Self Storage for Plumbers

Plumbers are trained to do a variety of jobs including installing or fixing home heating systems or hot water tanks, fitting bathrooms and kitchens and making emergency calls for issues that could arise. Plumbers have to use a variety of tools in their day-to-day repairing or installing projects. They have to have pipes, Teflon tape, plungers and augers of all types on-hand at all times for their work. Because of the increase in the cost of building and plumbing supplies, plumbers purchase building materials in bulk to keep their overall costs down.  Having a place store these items, such as a self storage unit, is a great and low cost storage solution.

Storing Plumbing & Electrical Equipment in Self Storage

Most self storage facilities have 24/7 computerized gate access hours allowing contractors, electricians and plumbers to access their tools before they need to be on the job site. Self storage facilities have drive-up storage units, which allows for easy access for contractors to load and unload their equipment.  Safety and security measures such as well-lit facilities, video surveillance and keypad entry gates give tradespeople peace-of-mind that their equipment will be safe while in storage. Self storage units come in a variety of sizes in both climate and non-climate controlled giving the contractor a range of storage solutions.

Stop N Stor makes it easy for contractors, electricians, and plumbers to store their equipment with our construction storage solutions. Stop by our six Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah locations  to see how we can help with your plumbing and electrician contracting storage needs.