Category Archives: Moving Tips

5 Items to Consider for Climate-Controlled Storage

South Georgia summer temperatures will be here before you know it. Not only does this mean more summer fun-in-the-sun but along with it comes that dreaded high humidity. While Stop N Stor offers both climate and non-climate storage options, many items put in storage require climate control to avoid damage from the heat and humidity. Other items (such as lawn mowers and vehicles – anything that is stored in a garage) may not need to be stored in climate-controlled units. Before deciding whether to rent a climate or non-climate-controlled unit, ask yourself these questions:

  1.      Am I Storing Artwork or Photographs?
    If you’re storing any artwork or photographs climate-controlled storage is essential to avoid damage to these irreplaceable items. The high temperatures and humidity of the low country can cause photographs to blend together or deteriorate over time, permanently damaging your priceless memories. The heat and humidity have the same effect on paintings, prints and other works of art. Keeping these items in a climate-controlled storage unit ensures that your portraits and memories will stand the test of time (and heat).
  2.      Am I Storing Books, Paperwork or Documents?

    Storing paperwork, books or business files in a non-climate-controlled unit can lead to moisture damage from humidity causing paper to warp. Important papers such as tax forms, financial documents and other business documents can take up valuable space in your office. To maximize space in your office or place of business while ensuring these documents maintain their condition, we recommend storing in a climate-controlled storage unit.
  3.      Are my Items Electronic?

    Probably one of the most important things to store in a climate-controlled environment are your electronics. Televisions, sound equipment, computers and monitors should all be placed in climate-controlled storage. Not only are these items costly to replace, but they are extremely vulnerable in drastic temperature changes. Long-term storage in high humidity can cause electronics to accumulate moisture which ultimately damages them both inside and out.
  4.      Is my Furniture Wooden or Leather?
    When exposed to high heat and humidity, wooden and leather furniture like bed frames, nightstands, entertainment centers, tables, couches and chairs can warp, crack or even rot. Climate-controlled storage is essential when storing living room, bedroom and dining room sets along with other wooden or leather furniture. For extra protection, furniture covers are also recommended.
  5.      Are my Items Antiques or Collectibles?
    If you’re storing something that is irreplaceable or of extreme value, you should always consider climate-controlled storage first. Antiques and collectibles may lose their value and may not retain quality if they aren’t stored properly. In order to preserve collectibles and antiques and maintain their best condition, we recommend storing in a climate-controlled unit and if possible with a protective cover.

Climate-controlled storage has benefits for almost all your self-stored items. Although it is more necessary in certain cases than others, extra protection for your items is always a great idea. To find a climate-controlled unit near you, visit one of our ten locations in Hinesville, Savannah, Pooler, Port Wentworth, and Richmond Hill, Georgia as well as our newest location in Bluffton, South Carolina. For information on pricing, locations, or to learn more about climate-controlled storage in the South Georgia and South Carolina areas click here or give one of our highly trained managers a call at 844-913-STOR (7876).

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 Pack and Move a Dining Room Table

How to Pack a Dining Room Table for Moving.

In today’s busy world, many people don’t use their formal dining room except for special occasions, holiday gatherings or to use as a place for additional storage.  The kitchen has taken over as the dining or gathering area in a home. They might not be used as much, but, the dining room table and chairs are still treasured pieces of furniture. It is very important to take extra time to properly prepare and move dining room furniture in order to protect it from damage and costly repairs.  Before starting to pack the dining room, it is recommended to take a picture of the dining room table from all angles. This documents the item and any existing damage and provides proof if there is damage made during the move.

Tips for Packing a Dining Room Table

Below are nine tips for preparing dining room furniture for moving day. Make sure that you have moving and packing supplies such as cardboard, bubble wrap and packing tape on hand for this part of the project.

  1. Clean/dust the furniture before preparing for storage.
  2. To make the transport of the table easier, unbolt and unscrew the legs from the table. Tape the hardware in a re-sealable bag and attach it to the bottom of the table or on one of the legs. Label the bag with its contents.
  3. If you cannot remove the table legs, wrap them in bubble wrap for protection on moving day.
  4. Wrap each detached leg with bubble wrap for protection.
  5. Remove the table leaf and wrap it in a moving blanket.
  6. Put the sides down on a drop-down side tables and then wrap the entire tabletop with a moving blanket. Secure the blanket with packing tape, so the blanket will not move.
  7. Wrap the tabletop with as many blankets as is needed in order to cover the surface. Tape the blankets to the bottom of the table to keep them secured. Do not use tape on the surface of the table as it could leave a residue or peel the paint or wood surfacing.
  8. Glass dining room table tops should first be wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap and then wrapped with at least two moving blankets. For additional protection, add a layer of cardboard taped over the blankets.
  9. Wrap dining room chairs in a moving blanket and secure with tape. Wrap the legs and the back of the chair in bubble wrap.

Moving a Dining Room Table and Chairs

Once you have the dining room table wrapped and ready to go, you must make sure that it gets moved properly into a moving truck. Below are six tips for moving a dining room set to get the most optimum room in the moving truck and storage unit.

  1. Move chairs by picking them up from the bottom of the seat. Do not move chairs by lifting up from their backs or by dragging them across the floor as this could damage the chair and the floor.
  2. Stack chairs in groups of two in the moving van and secure with bungee cord or rope. Place the second chair upside down on top of the cushion on the first chair.
  3. When moving the table, have one person lift it from one end and another from the other end. Lift the table by the apron and turn so it is vertical to the floor. This will allow for easier movement through doors and up/down stairs.
  4. Load the table top against the wall of a moving van and secure with rope or bungee cords. Another option is to lay it flat on the floor of the moving truck.
  5. Place the separated legs in a secure position on the moving truck, where they won’t roll and damage other items.
  6. If the legs remain on the table, be very careful how you load the table into the moving truck. If the table is being moved in a standing position, you can load items below it, but it might not be able to support a large amount of weight on top. Tables can also shift during transit. It might be a better idea to place the table on its side in the moving van and make sure to keep the legs protected as much as possible.

Protecting a Dining Room Table in Self Storage

It is very important to protect the investment in your furniture, especially cherished dining room tables, while moving or in storage, so you will be able to use the items for many years to come. Self storage is a great personal storage solution to keep these items protected until you need them again. Some furniture might require storage in a climate controlled storage unit to keep the wood in good condition and protect it from possible warping or drying out from extreme temperatures and humidity.  Once you place the dining room tables in storage, make sure to keep them covered with furniture tarps.  Stop N Stor has a variety of storage units available in both climate and non-climate controlled to keep your dining room furniture protected in storage.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Downsizing a Senior’s Home

Tips for Downsizing a Senior's Home

Moving. It is one word that brings stress to the most level-headed person. The average person moves at least twice in their lifetime.  There are many reasons why people move from relocating for a new job, new school or opportunity, needing a larger home or downsizing to a smaller home. There are a lot of different tips and tricks  to help make the moving experience easier for the entire family including pets.  If it is time to consider downsizing your home, the thought of going through all your belongings and deciding what to keep, what to store, what to donate, or what to give to family members can make entire moving process extremely overwhelming.

For senior citizens the decision to downsize to a smaller home can be a difficult decision. They might require to move to a smaller home due for many reasons ranging from health issues, cost of living or they can no longer do the maintenance on a larger home.  Regardless of whether seniors are moving into a smaller apartment, in with family, or into an assisted living facility, there will need to be time to go through belongings and organize items for the move.  Downsizing a home for a senior can be both challenging and emotional for the senior as well as the family and friends helping with the move.  For many seniors, downsizing is an emotional task that brings physical challenges as well. If the senior has lived in the home for a long-time, there is a lifetime of memories to sort through.

Downsizing and Self Storage

Part of the downsizing process is determining which items can be stored, donated, given away to family members, sold or thrown away. Belongings that need to be kept, but will not fit in the smaller home can easily be stored in a storage unit. Renting a storage unit close to the senior’s new home is a great idea, then the senior can have access to their items at the storage unit. Storing the items in the storage unit will also give the senior and family members more time to sort through items. Stop N Stor has  6 location in the Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah  areas that offer a variety of storage options from climate controlled to non-climate controlled storage units to outdoor RV and boat storage.  Our storage professionals can help solve your downsizing storage needs.  

Downsizing and Packing Tips

Moving to a smaller apartment or condo can be a difficult task as it requires a lot of planning and sorting through personal belongings.

  • The first step for moving and downsizing is sorting through the many belongings of the home. When moving to a smaller home, keeping everything is not an option.
  • Getting family members and friends involved in the sorting and moving process. Loved ones can help make decisions can help designate items for family members. This will allow the senior to know that the items are going to a place where they’ll continue to be well cared for.
  • Create a sorting system to make the downsizing process easier to handle. Make a list of what you need to do and when it needs to be completed. This will help keep the project organized and on task. Make lists of the things to keep and place in storage, things to give to family members, and items that can be donated or sold.
  • Do the downsizing project room by room. Do not attempt to do the project all in one day. Don’t forget to go through the attic, basement, and closets. These could be items that can be quickly sorted and put into a storage unit.
  • Know the plan or layout of your new home. This will help you know what furniture you can bring along and how much storage space you’ll have access to. You can figure out where your belongings will be placed ahead of time to make the moving day less stressful for everyone. If there is access to the new home, move your items over in several trips before the official moving day.

Moving Tips for Pet Owners

Moving with PetsSummer is traditionally the busiest time to make a move, either within the same city, across town or across the country.  Everyone gets a bit stressed out on moving day, even if everything is going smoothly. However, the entire process of moving to a new home is even more stressful for a family pet. If you are moving pets across town or across the country, it is important to plan ahead for how you will move your pet.  It is imperative to plan ahead for your moving day including creating a moving checklist, hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck, packing and preparing he items that are being moved and switching utilities.  Part of your moving checklist should include a plan for moving your pets to your new home! If you are moving during the hot days of summer, it is important to keep you, the movers and your pets as comfortable as possible and provide water and food.

Tips for Moving with a Pet

In order to make the move easier for both the pet and the pet owners, it is important to be as prepared as possible.  Before the moving day, there are a few things that you need to do. Check with your new state or city for any specific regulations that require you to get a pet license or if you need to provide pet health records. If you have exotic pets, some states have laws on how to properly house these types of animals. If you are moving to a new city, inform your current veterinarian so you can take your pet’s records and a list of medication with you. Ask the veterinarian if they can recommend a veterinarian in your new city. It is best practice to move a pet in a crate or carrier.  Start acclimating your pet to being in a crate as soon as you know if you are moving as this could take some time to do.  Moving day will be simpler if you don’t have to fight with your pet to go in a carrier.

On the actual moving day, it is best to leave the pet with a friend or at a kennel. If that isn’t possible, then put the pet in a quiet room away from the major moving action. If you are just moving within a short distance, transport the pet to your new home in your own vehicle. This will allow the pet to feel a sense of comfort in a vehicle that they already are familiar with. Move the pet in a crate or carrier big enough for the animal to move around and lie down during the journey. If you are transporting the animal on an airplane, check with the airlines about allowing pets in the cabin or if they need to be put in the cargo section of the plane.

When you are traveling to your home, do not feed or water your pet for a few hours before you leave. For long distance trips, only feed the pet once a day, but make frequent stops for walking and water. If possible, bring extra water from home, as different water could upset the pet’s stomach. While traveling in the car, do not let the pet hang out the window. Bugs and dirt can get in the pet’s eyes causing infections. Keep the windows locked to prevent pets from lowering the windows and jumping out. Be very careful when you arrive to your new home and let your pet out. Make sure you open the crate or carrier in an enclosed place when the pet can’t take off.

Set up your new home before you move in your pet. Limit the number of rooms that you allow the pet in and then gradually increase their freedom to the entire house. Give your pets food in their favorite dish and have their favorite toys, blanket and bedding nearby to make them feel safe at the new home. The familiar smells with help them adjust easier and quicker to their new location.

Take some of the stress out of your moving day by planning ahead. This including planning for moving your pet to your home. Good Luck with you move!

First Impressions Count: Tips for Staging Your Home

Indoor & Outdoor Home staging tips

View into a contemporary kitchen with island from dining area with round table.

Summer is the major home buying and selling season. Summer is the time of year when families move for new jobs and opportunities across town or across the country.  Home buyers are looking for new homes in their new cities and to sell their older homes quickly and easily.  In order to have a home stand out from the competition in the neighborhood, a seller needs to extenuate the strengths of the home and downplay the weaknesses in order to attract the most potential buyers.

Realtors recommend that their clients “stage” their homes to sell quicker. Home staging is the process of decluttering, painting, re-decorating and in some cases upgrading the home to make it appeal to more buyers. This can be done by the homeowner, realtor or hiring a staging company. We have talked about staging a home during the winter months previously in our blog.  Staging a home during the winter months is actually a bit more difficult than during the summer months. During the summer, you can add flowers and spend time accentuating the curb appeal of your home, which is hard to do during the winter months.

Home staging does work in the home seller’s advantage. According to a 2014 study by Home Staging Resource by Home Staging Resource, 12% of real estate agents believe that staging “increases the dollar value of the home” by at least 11-20%! Consult with your realtor for more information about staging your home. They also can get a client in touch with local companies that will professionally stage your home if you cannot do it yourself.

Interior Home Staging Tips

The purpose of staging a home is to allow the potential buyer to see their own belongings in the home. So, it is important to make the home’s décor and color as neutral as possible. Below are essential home staging tips to give the “finishing touches”   to help your home sell faster:

  1. The first step in any home staging project is to de-clutter. Remove excess books and accessories from the rooms and place in a storage unit. Do NOT pack them up and place in storage in a basement or attic in your home. The boxes would add more to your clutter instead of reducing it!
  2. A vital step in staging a house to sell is making sure that the house is cleaned from top to bottom. It is important to sweep, mop and dust all surfaces so that the house is shining and inviting. Don’t forget to clean and organize storage spaces in the attic and basement.
  3. Replace the personal photos with neutral artwork or mirrors.
  4. Paint the room in neutral hues such as beiges, tans and soft blues.
  5. Do a walk thru your home to see the items that will need to be repaired. Then, have a friend or a neutral party walk through and assess the home as well, because they might see other things that will you might have missed during your walk thru.
  6. Fix cracks in the bathroom and kitchen tile, wood floors, windows and walls. If these are not fixed, it could affect the bid amount and buyers could ask for money for repairs.
  7. In the kitchen, change out old cabinet doors and hardware for a fresh, updated look. If that isn’t in your staging budget, then just paint the cabinets and change the hardware.

Exterior Home Staging Tips

First impressions are everything, especially with selling a home.  Over 80% of home buyers start their new home search online and then drive to see the house in person. Buyers will see the exterior, front yard, front porches, garages, driveways and sidewalks first before they see anything else in the home. If they like what they see, then they will make an appointment to see the interior of the home.  Making sure the home has great curb appeal is important to your home selling process.

  1. Power wash the porch, patio and walkway on the outside of your home. This is a lower cost alternative than re-painting the home.
  2. The exterior of the home should be a neutral color. However, you can do a bright and inviting color on the front door or shutters. Paint or touch-up the front door, trim, shutters and garage door.
  3. Clean up flower beds, flower boxes and planters around the home. Update the outside look of the home with new flowers and fresh greenery and plants. If the backyard is landscaped, make sure that this is well maintained and weeds are pulled and grass is cut.
  4. Make sure that the house number is viewed from the street. Replace any missing or damaged numbers.
  5. Use solar light fixtures along the walkway in the front of your home. This will add a security feature, which also highlighting the best features of your home.

Stop N Stor  offers moving and packing supplies that will help you with your home staging and decluttering projects. We have 6 locations in the Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah area to serve any of your business or personal storage needs.

10 Tips for Packing and Storing for College Students

Packing tips for college studentsThe end of the college year can be stressful for students with taking final exams, setting up internships or summer job and packing up a dorm room or college apartment.  At the end of each college year, students have to pack up their personal items, electronics, furniture and all other memorabilia that they acquired over the school year and transport it back home for storage for the summer.  This can be very stressful for the student and the family! A better solution is to rent a self storage unit to store these items during the summer months.

10 Packing Tips for College Students

College students might need a gentle reminder about how to properly pack their items for home. There are also certain items that should be placed in storage versus what should be taken home with the student.  Below are ten tips for college students when they are packing their dorm or apartment and moving home for the summer:

  1. There are certain items that college should place in climate controlled versus non-climate controlled storage. Climate controlled storage is comparable to storing in your home, where non-climate storage is like storing in your garage. Personal items such as clothing and toiletries are better off through the summer months in climate controlled storage, where they are not exposed to the elements. Also, laptops, computers, printers, electronics, TVs and other higher-end electronic equipment is better kept in climate controlled storage as well.
  2. Self storage is great for storing everything else not listed above including books, furniture, mattresses, comforters, linens, kitchenware including plates, pans and glassware, mini refrigerator and other kitchen appliances including a blender, toaster or microwave.
  3. Books should be packed horizontally in a sturdy smaller box. Storing books vertically can damage the spines of the books.
  4. Clothing should be packed in clear plastic boxes or new cardboard boxes. Do not use grocery store boxes as these can contain food and other residue that can ruin the clothes. Wash all clothing before packing them for storage.
  5. Hang winter coats, heavier quilts and blankets in wardrobe boxes.
  6. Do not pack linens, comforters or quilts in plastic bags if they are going to be stored in non-climate storage. Moisture can form inside the bad causing damage to the items.
  7. Pack glasses, plates and dishes in bubble wrap or plain newsprint in sturdy cardboard boxes. Do NOT use regular newspapers as it can leave a print residue on the items. Place heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter objects at the top of the box. Place filler material between the pieces and layers of items for additional protection. Once the boxes are packed up to an inch of the top, add filler material and then completely seal the boxes with packing tape before storing.
  8. Clean out all appliances before placing in a storage unit. Leave the door to a mini-refrigerator open while in storage to allow for air flow.
  9. Label each box with the contents of the box on all four sides and the top of the box. If you are storing plastic boxes, tape of list of the contents to the outside of the box. Create an inventory list of the items that you have stored that lists the contents of each box that you are storing.
  10. Utilize all storage space by storing items vertically and in stacks whenever possible.

Self Storage for College Students

Stop N Stor in Savannah is nearby for Armstrong, SCAD, and Savannah State students. Stop N Stor offers month-to-month rentals, which is perfect for college student’s short term needs and budget. When choosing a self storage unit, start with the smallest size that will fit your books, linens, winter clothes and kitchen items. If you need to store furniture or larger items, then choose a larger size storage unit. Stop N Stor has storage unit sizes from 5×5 to 10×30 that any serve any student’s storage needs. The state-of-the-art security including gated access, digital camera systems, anti-pick locks and on-site managers, at Stop N Stor will also give students peace-of-mind that their belongings are safe and secure when they are in storage.

Stop N Stor offers a 10% discount to students with agreement to auto-draft terms.  Stop in to our facilities in Hinesville, Port Wentworth or Savannah with your student ID to find out more information.

Tips for Moving and Storing a Couch

Tips for Moving a CouchBuying furniture for a home is an investment. When you are moving and storing a couch or other living room furniture it is important to keep your investment protected. Each type of furniture can require different preparation for moving and storing, so check with manufacturer instructions before cleaning, moving and putting in storage.  For example, if you are moving or storing a mattress, it is recommended to move the mattress vertically, but storing it horizontally in order to protect the inner springs.  Knowing the specifics about moving a couch and storing leather furniture is important in order to keep these pieces of furniture in good use for years to come.

  • Do not move a couch on your own. Make sure that there are at least two people moving the couch.
  • Clean the furniture before the day of the move. Clean the fabric on the couch with an antimicrobial cleaner and dry completely. Clean wood furniture with furniture polish. Pre-treat leather couches with furniture wax.
  • Use old sheets and blankets to cover and protect the couch during the move. This will help protect the furniture from dirt, scratching and other dings that could occur when moving it.
  • So, you will not run into possible problems or impediments, clear a path for the route that you are moving the couch.
  • Do not use plastic to cover furniture either during moving or in storage. Plastic does not allow the furniture to “breathe” and it can possibly cause water damage during long-term storage.
  • If you are moving or storing a leather couch, it is recommended to rent a climate-controlled storage unit in order to protect the leather from cracking or peeling due to extreme temperatures. Do not wrap a leather couch in plastic covering as the plastic can enhance the development of moisture inside the plastic and damage the leather of the couch.
  • Place plastic or cloth covering on the ground of the storage unit before you place any type of furniture in storage. This will protect the furniture from cold or moisture damage that can seep through the concrete floor.
  • Place a couch at least 4 inches away from the walls of the storage unit and leave enough space in-between larger furniture or appliances to allow for easier access.
  • Place the couch horizontally in storage. If you do not have the space in the storage unit and the couch is very sturdy then you can store the couch vertically. Placing a couch upright can damage the coils and inner workings of the couch over long-term storage.
  • Do not stack heavy items on top of any type of furniture, but especially couches cushions. This can cause damage to the fabrics and upholstery, especially if the items are sharp and very heavy.

It is very important to protect the investment in your furniture, especially mattresses and couches while moving or in storage, so you will be able to use the items for many years to come. Self storage is a great home storage solution to keep these items protected until you need them again. Stop into a Stop N Stor location in Hinesville, Port Wentworth or Savannah to see how we can help you with your storage needs!

 

Tips for Staging a Home During the Winter

Tips for Staging a Home in Winter MonthsThe busy house buying and selling season begins to get going during the spring and is extremely busy during the summer months.  January, February and March are the slowest months for buying and selling homes. Because of a sudden job change or a life changing event, a family might have to put their home up for sale during the winter months. During the “off-season” months, the seller will need to extenuate the strengths of the home and downplay the weaknesses in order to attract potential buyers. In order to get more offers and sell the home quicker, realtors encourage “staging” a home for sale.  Home staging is the process of decluttering, painting, re-decorating and in some cases upgrading the home to make it appeal to buyers. This can be done by the homeowner, the realtor or staging companies. The goal of staging a home is to make the home welcoming during anytime of the year, but more so during the winter months. A clean, clutter-free home will be more attractive to potential buyers and could sell faster and for more money.

Staging companies and realtors recommend renting a self storage unit to help you with the staging process. Renting a self storage until can be done on a month-by-month basis, which is great for staging opportunities.  A self storage unit is a perfect place to store large bulky furniture that might clutter up a room or place for the boxes of a toy collection. A self storage unit is also the place to put those personal items that are not needed in a home when you are trying to sell it. Box up and place in storage collectible items, personal artwork and photos and music collections.  A buyer wants to try to imagine a home as they would want to decorate it, so it is important to make the home as neutral as possible.

Staging a Home During the Winter Months

Staging a home during the winter months might be a bit more challenging due to dreary weather. Below are seven winter staging tips to follow to help your home look its best and attract the right buyer and the right price:

  1. For home staging, the most important thing to do is de-clutter your home. Make sure that you go room-by-room to de-clutter. Have packing supplies on hand to properly store your excess items. Stop N Stor offers packing and moving supplies from boxes to newsprint to packaging tape to help you get your items ready for storage.
  2. Make the home visually appealing. This involves cleaning, repairing problems, dusting, vacuuming and painting rooms a more neutral color. Make sure to keep on top of the maintenance projects, if it is taking longer for your home to sell.
  3. Even though realtors recommend removing personal photos during home staging, it is actually a good idea to have photos (or at least a photo album) of the home during the spring and summer months, so potential buyers can see what the landscaping, flowers, patio and garden looks when everything is in full bloom.
  4. A home’s curb appeal is vital to make the home look inviting and welcoming to potential buyers. The outside of the home is the first impression that a potential buyer has when seeing visiting a home that they are interested in buying. Keep up with outdoor projects such as raking the leaves, cleaning out the gutters, sweeping down porches and repairing and replacing any exterior lighting problems.
  5. During the winter months, it gets darker much earlier. It is important to make good use of the natural lighting in your home as much as possible. Open up the drapes and blinds to let the natural light in the home during daytime showings. If you have to show the home in the evening, make sure that all exterior and interior lights are on and working properly. Replace light bulbs with a higher wattage and warmer hues to make the rooms more inviting.
  6. Keep the temperature of the home at a comfortable setting. If you have a fireplace, add a fire during the home showing hours. Use battery powered candles to add warmth and light to the room. But, do not use an overpowering scent for the candles as that can turn away potential buyers.
  7. Paint the walls for the rooms in your home a neutral color and have similar colors for your furniture. Then add colorful seasonal accessories such as rugs, pillows and throws to give an added “pop” to the rooms.

Tips for Moving and Storing a Mattress

Tips for moving or storing a mattressAn average person over 15 years old sleeps over eight hours a night. If you think in terms of a lifetime of sleep time, then we spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping! Having a good bed, bed springs and mattress is a very important and long-lasting investment.  Bed sets, including a headboard, box springs and mattress, can cost thousands of dollars, so it is important to protect your investment. A properly maintained bed set can last decades.  Mattresses and box springs can last at least 10-15 years with good care. It is important to keep your mattresses and bed sets in good condition when you are moving or placing them in storage, so you can continue to use them for many years to come.

 

Mattress Moving & Storage Tips

We spend over 1/3rd of our lives sleeping, so it is important to keep mattresses and bed sets in great condition. Below are eight tips to keep a mattress in good condition during moving or storage:

  1. Avoid storing mattresses in the basement. Basements can be damp, which could damage the mattress. Keep mattresses away from pets and sharp objects.
  2. Consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit to store your mattress. Extreme temperatures and humidity can create moisture, which can in turn damage your mattress. If you need to store a mattress in a regular storage unit, it is a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier to keep the storage unit dry.
  3. Before moving or storing a mattress, be sure to thoroughly clean the mattress. Use upholstery cleaner on the actual mattress and then vacuum both sides. Clean the bed frame with oil soap and water before moving or placing in storage.
  4. Disassemble the bed set for moving or storage. Keep all screws/nuts/bolts in a plastic bag taped to the frame or headboard for safe keeping. Cover the bed frame and headboard with old blankets during transit and storage to protect from dust and damage.
  5. Invest in a mattress cover to protect the mattress while it is in storage. Cover the entire mattress with a breathable plastic cover. These usually cost $20 or less at stores. Secure the cover with tape and cover any holes or tears in the cover.
  6. Storing a mattress in a climate controlled storage unit is recommended to help against moisture growth due to extreme temperature and humidity levels. If you are not able to store in a climate controlled storage unit, then it is recommended to place a dehumidifier in the storage unit to keep the unit dry.
  7. If you are storing a mattress long-term, store it flat in the storage unit. It is okay to move the mattress on its side, but for storage, it is better to store flat as the coils and inner workings could shift with storing on the side over a long period of time. When storing on the ground in a storage unit, lay a tarp on the ground and place the covered mattress on the ground. You can also store the mattress on top of flat furniture.
  8. Do not store anything on top of a mattress. Heavy items can cause damage to the mattress material as well as could damage the mattress springs and create more wear and tear on the mattress.
  9. Once you are ready to remove the mattress from storage, freshen up the mattress before use. Sprinkle baking soda on both sides of the mattress. Allow baking soda to sit so it could absorb any odors and then remove the baking soda by a vacuum.

Stop N Stor has a variety of storage unit sizes for all of your storage needs. A 5×10 (or 50 square feet) storage unit is perfect to store the items in a bedroom.  Stop N Stor offers climate controlled storage at most of our facilities which can help protect your mattress or bed set investment.