Tag Archives: choosing a self-storage facility

Items NOT to Store in Self Storage

Do not store aerosol cans in self storage

Stop N Stor  is your one-stop self storage solution in the Port Wentworth, Savannah and Hinesville areas. We have talked about how self storage is a great option for storing personal and business items.  You can store nearly anything in a self storage unit from business files to family heirlooms to construction equipment and tools. However, there are certain items that should NOT be stored in a self storage unit. These items are the same for most storage facilities across North America. Some states might have different laws pertaining to items stored in a storage unit, so check with the facility management and your read your contract before you move your items into storage.

All storage facilities have lists of what you can or cannot store in their units. This “Do Not Store” list will help you when you are planning on renting a storage unit.

1. Perishable items-Do not store any type of perishable items in your storage units. The food could spoil very quickly in a storage unit. This will attract bugs and other unwanted vermin.

2. Plants and Living Items-This should be a given, but it has appeared not to be in certain parts of the country. NEVER store animals in a storage unit! They do not have proper ventilation, oxygen or light when in a storage unit. The same goes for plants. They cannot survive in a dark environment without light. Plants and Animals can also invite bugs and vermin to the storage unit.

3. Flammable or Combustible Items-Cleaning fluids, paint thinners, gas, oil or anything in an aerosol can should not be stored in a self storage unit. This also includes fireworks. These items can burst into flames when under a lot of pressure from extreme heat.

4. Toxic, Hazardous or Illegal substances– Do not store chemicals, fertilizers, or radioactive medical supplies in a self storage unit. The items could cause a fire or chemical spill in or around the storage unit.

5. Valuable Items-Do not store valuable items such as jewelry, coins or precious metals in a storage unit. These are higher risk items and could be in danger of being stolen.  These items would be better to be stored in a safe deposit box.

6. Illegal Items-Another one that should be pretty obvious, but yet you still see stories about storing illegal or stolen items in a storage unit.  Some states prohibit the storing of firearms and ammunition. This could also include antique firearms.

Check with your local storage facility for their lists of “banned” items. Don’t risk your health and your personal belongings as well as the health and property of the other renters around you by storing these banned items.

Back to school Time, Already?

Bacl to School Time

Photo courtesy of 123freevectors.com.

Where did the summer go? It felt like it was only yesterday when it was time to get excited about summer holidays, cookouts and family gatherings? How did it become that dreaded back to school time already? The Liberty County School District  already started classes on August 6, 2012. This also included Britten Elementary school in Ft. Stewart. The other 2 elementary schools at Ft. Stewart  started back to school on August 13, 2012. The Chatham County school district schools  start back to school on Monday, August 27, 2012.  Families with school aged children are starting to get back in their school year routines and schedules. There have been back to school sales at all the stores and the kids are collecting their school supplies, uniforms and sporting equipment for the year.

How does back to school tie in with self storage? Self storage is a great option to store all of your children’s extra sports equipment, uniforms, musical instruments, old projects and documents. All of these items tend to clutter up homes starting at the beginning of the school year. As the year progresses, the collection grows bigger and bigger and takes up more space in the home. Renting a self storage unit can help eliminate the extra clutter of all of the school year activities.

Some Savannah area colleges have already started their fall semester classes this week, including Armstrong Atlantic State University  and Savannah State University . Savannah Tech will start classes at the end of the month at their 5 area campuses. Savannah College of Art & Design  will be starting their classes on September 10, 2012.

This time of year is a big time of transition, especially for new college students. New students, who are living away from home for the first time, need to be highly organized with their belongings. They need to reduce their home bedroom into a few boxes and suitcases. Their dormitory living space will be much less than what they are used to. They will not be able to bring childhood collections and items with them to college. Once, the college students are out of the house, parents might decide to do a major clean or a redecoration of the student’s room. But, where can you store all of the student’s collectible’s, clothes and furniture when you change the room into an office or in-home gym? Store these items in a self storage unit, so you can keep them in good shape for your student to look through them when they are at home. Then, it will be up to the student to decide to keep the items! As we have mentioned earlier this year, college students and self storage are a perfect match. The student who had used self storage in the spring to store their school items for their summer break now needs to clean out their storage unit and move back into the dormitory or college apartment.

Stop N Stor  wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable school year!!! We are here to help with your storage needs through the transitional back to school time.

Moving Tips

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Moving is an extremely stressful life event. Everyone moves at least one in their lifetime. There are some people who move multiple times in their life! Even if you are just moving across town, even thinking about everything that you need to do before your move date is quite a hassle! The best thing to do is come up with a plan and start organizing your move well ahead of time. There are many websites that offer moving checklists  that will come in handy as you plan your move.

The best time to start planning is at least 6 to 8 weeks ahead of your move. Start researching moving companies at this time. It is good to get several estimates from moving companies. The estimates will be based on the number of items to be packed or moved, the travel time and the mileage between the two homes. Once you have booked your moving company or decided to rent your own moving truck, set up a plan for your moving day. Make sure that the professionals or your friends know your plans for moving day way before the actual day. This is also a good time to start to contact utility companies to shut off and/or turn on your new phone, gas, electricity, water, internet and cable services. If you have children, start researching the schools in the new neighborhoods, so you will be able to register your children in a timely fashion.

One month from your move, you should contact your local Post Office to change your address. Also, notify your insurance and credit card companies of your address change. At this point in the moving process, it is time to start your packing. Moving is a perfect time to go through and de-clutter your home. Go room by room as you pack your belongings and create a sorting system comprised of boxes for: keeping (or moving), placing items in storage, donating or selling items (setting up for a garage sale) or throwing away. List the items in the boxes to be moved or stored on the outside of the box. Label the boxes by their room. Also, label the boxes “fragile”, “load first” or “load last”. This will help instruct the movers on moving day where to put the boxes. Keep an inventory list of the items that you are moving, especially the larger priced items such as computers and televisions. During this time, it is also good to decide if you need to rent a storage unit. The location of the storage unit is key if you will need to take items from the unit. If you are in the Savannah, Port Wentworth or Hinesville, Georgia areas, contact your local Stop N Stor  for all of your storage needs!

During the week of your move, verify the details of your moving day with your moving company, family and friends. Empty, clean and defrost your refrigerator at least a day before moving out. Decide which boxes you will be moving yourself and keep them separate from the ones that the mover will be taking. Also, pack a separate box with things that you will need immediately at your new home.

The day of the move is here and you have planned and fretted about the move for weeks! Don’t forget to check the closets, basement, attic and the garage to make sure that you have packed or removed all your items. Watch the moving and loading process and verify boxes against your inventory list. Before you leave, make sure to clean the floors, counters and cabinets. Inspect your old home for any last minute things that you might have forgotten. As you leave, turn off the lights and lock the windows and the doors. As you are moving items into your new home, make sure there are not any damaged or missing items. Keep a list of anything that is missing and present this to your moving company for possible insurance claims. Verify that your utilities are connected correctly and are in working order. As you are getting settled, check out your neighborhood for local hospitals, grocery stores and shopping malls. Check your mail to make sure that it has been forwarded to the correct address. Also, change the locks on your new home and keep at least 2 sets of keys. If you are moving items into a storage unit on your moving day, make sure that you keep an inventory of the items that you are storing. Put the items that you might need to access the most closer to the front of the storage unit. Once you have moved in and started to unpack, then take a deep breath and enjoy your new home!

Keeping Your Photos Safe While in Storage

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There have been huge developments in how we take and save photos over the years and the technology keeps changing even as I type this blog post. Digital photo taking has become the norm, while film and negative photos are considered to be “old school”.  Many households have old photos that are considered family heirlooms or have many old family photos of vacations and holidays stored around their homes.  How can you store these important family keepsakes to protect them from damage? Due to extreme temperature fluctuations and moisture, do not store your photos in a basement or attic. If you are storing photographs, the best option is to rent a climate-controlled storage unit. To further protect the photos, chose an inside facing storage unit on the second floor of the storage facility if possible. These preventive steps will help protect the photographs while in storage from extreme light fluctuations, dust, dirt and possible insect issues.

When storing photographs, you need to take precaution to protect the photos from damage. Over time and improper handling, photographs can become cracked, brittle and faded. We all have old family photos which are getting harder and hard to see the images. Some older photos can be restored, but it is an expensive and tedious process. In order to protect photos from damage, there are some simple steps to take to make sure that your photos continue to be in your family for years to come.

1. Do not store photos in albums with sticky or magnetic pages. These albums can cause damage to the photos over time. The photos can tear as they stick to the page as well. Store photos in an acid-free photo album that has been made with materials that pass the ANSI IT 9.16 Photographic Activity Test (PAT). Do not store photos in plastic slips with material made from PVC. The PVC omits an odor and can create acids that will damage your photos over time.

2. Do not store your photos in old shoeboxes or envelopes. These boxes contain chemicals that are unsafe for your photos. Use packaging that has been labeled “Photograph safe”. These boxes protect your photos from dust and light exposure. Also, when storing your photos, try to organize the photos by date or special occasion so they can easily be found.

3. In a storage unit, make sure that you place the boxes with the photos higher up to prevent moisture damage. These boxes can be stacked on top of tables or in shelving units.

4. In the digital age, it is important to keep your digital photos safe as well. As a backup, store photos on a CD or DVD and then store these items in a climate controlled storage unit. Label the discs for easy identification. This will make it easier to find the photos that you need. Storing the photos on a disc is a great back-up just in case your computer, where all of your photos are stored, crashes.

With proper storage, your photos will be protected for years to come. Stop N Stor  has climate controlled storage units to help safely secure your priceless photos.

College Students & Self Storage

College students and self storage

What to do with all my college stuff? Photo courtesy of usselfstoragelocator.com

May is a busy month for celebrations: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and the end of the school year for college students. We’ve mentioned this before,  but self storage is a great option for college students going home for the summer or recent graduates who are not quite sure where the future will be taking them.

Each spring the college student has to pack up their dorm room or apartment. Over the course of the school year, the student has accumulated more and more “stuff”. Instead of packing items to go back home to take up space in a basement or garage; think about renting a self storage unit for the summer break. Most self storage facilities will offer month-to-month rentals that are perfect for college students in transition. Storing your personal belongings in a self storage unit gives you piece of mind that your belongings are safe and secure and ready to be used again when school starts up in the fall. In some cases, storing the items in self storage could be a much better solution for the student if they don’t have a way to transport their belongings back and forth from home to school.  If you look at the flip side, your parents might have turned your room into an office while you were away at school, leaving you only a small space to put your belongings. Your parents might need self storage as well. They need some place to put all of your old trophies, posters, toys and stuffed animals.

If you are a recent or soon-to-be college graduate:  Congratulations! The time right after graduation is a time of transition. If you are moving to a new city to start your first new job, it might be easier to store your items in a storage unit until you are able to find proper housing. Or you could have found a place to live, but it is not big enough to hold all of the items that you have accumulated over your college years. Self storage is a great option to store all of these extra items that won’t fit into your new studio apartment in the city. If you are moving home after college, you will need to share space in your old bedroom that your parents now turned into an office. You will find that you don’t have room for all of the items that you once had in your apartment.  Once again, renting a self storage unit would be the best option to safely store your items.

Stop N Stor  is your self storage option in the Savannah, Hinesville and Port Wentworth areas. Stop in and look for our monthly specials to help you find the best storage solution for your personal belongings during your summer break or even all year long.

Is Self Storage Green?

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Sunday, April 22nd was Earth Day. This celebration of the Earth and its resources was developed at a United Nations conference in 1969 and in 1970 became officially adopted by the United Nations. This celebration has continued and grown all around the world ever since. The purpose of Earth Day is to recognize how humans influence the limited resources of our planet. The day’s celebrations encourage recycling, being energy-efficient, using sustainable energy resources and trying to keep the earth clean for future generations. Liberty County, Georgia is a great supporter of Earth Day activities. The “Keep Liberty County Beautiful” program was started earlier in the year and continues until the end of May. This program helps clean up parks and areas in Liberty County every weekend.  Many cities within Liberty County are also having their own “clean-up” days. The community clean-up for Hinesville and Walthourville  is this Saturday, April 28, 2012. The City of Hinesville had their 6th annual Earth Day celebration on April 23rd with programs that taught about organic gardening and organic foods, recycling and using “green” energy.

The self storage industry is actually on the forefront of the “green” movement. Many newer self storage facilities are powered by solar power. Some facilities have designed their facilities to be based on a geo-thermal program and use energy-efficient LED lights instead of the standard light bulbs. Some facilities are setting up recycling areas for cardboard boxes and other items that could be stored in a storage unit that can be recycled instead of thrown away.  Some companies are sponsoring electronic or paper recycling events at their facilities as well.  In addition, self storage companies are selling boxes made out of recyclable products. Stop N Stor offers boxes made out of recycled materials  at all of their facilities.

There are also things that you can do when packing your items (or even cleaning out storage units) for storage that can help lessen your footprint on the planet:

1. Use boxes made out of recycled materials. Reuse these boxes after storage or make sure to recycle them in the proper containers.

2. Pack fragile items such as collectibles, glasses or plates in clothes, recycled paper towels or packing peanuts made out of recycled materials. Use clothing as filler material in boxes filled with books or pots and pans.

3. When cleaning out the storage unit, recycle your belongings to use them again, donate or sell the items. Do not just throw the items away.

With the self-storage industry’s focus on encouraging “green” facilities, recycling programs and selling recyclable products, they are leading the way in helping protect the Earth’s resources.

How to Store Vinyl Records, Comic Books and Collectible Books

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Do you have collectible items such as vinyl records, comic books or vintage books cluttering up your space? Self-storage provides the added space that you need to save these treasured items from the garbage bin! There are many collectible items that have increased in value over the years. If you are a regular watcher of Antiques Roadshow  you know that a vintage album or book in good condition could bring the owner hundreds if not thousands of dollars! Who would have thought that vinyl records have become a collector’s item and a must have for disc jockeys and music lovers? E-readers have become a growing force in consumer electronics relegating rare and vintage books to attics and basements. Comic books have always been a collectible item over the years with some special issues being valued at thousands of dollars. How do you store these treasured items to protect them from moisture, heat, dust and vermin damage? The best place to store these items is in a climate-controlled storage unit. Stop n Stor  offers a variety of climate-controlled storage units  to help you pick the best place to store your precious items. If you opt to store your collectibles in a self-storage unit, here are some valuable tips to keep the items in pristine condition.

Buying vinyl records has become “trendy” again for music collectors. Independent bands are putting out vinyl records for sound quality and collection purposes. All the albums that you collected “back in the day” could actually be worth something if you kept them in great condition. To keep your vinyl record collection in the best condition, store them away from heat and light in a climate-controlled storage unit. The optimal way to store the albums is in the upright position in a plastic crate or very sturdy cardboard box. Do not lean the albums or stack the albums when storing as this causes warping and breakage and can damage the cover art. If you are storing the albums in cardboard boxes, do not stack them higher than four boxes high as the pressure on the bottom boxes can cause damage to the items.

Comic books have been collected and stored for decades. In order to protect your comic books from variations in temperature and moisture, do not store them in an attic or a basement! To preserve the comics’ condition, place them in polypropylene sheets with acid-free comic packing boards. Use more expensive Mylar sheets for storing extremely rare and valuable comics. You can find these storage supplies at your local comic bookstore. Also, these stores will carry acid-free comic book storage boxes. These boxes come in either short or long depending on the amount of comic books that you need to store. Like vinyl records, store the comic books upright and don’t stack the boxes too high while in storage.

Books have become a great collector’s item. With the prevalence of e-readers that can store hundreds of books, rare, vintage and first edition books will become even more of a collector’s item. Direct light, heat, humidity and pests are the enemies to rare books. Therefore, storage of the collectible books in a climate controlled storage unit is a must! Do not put books in a plastic bag during storage as this could form moisture in the bag. This moisture will damage the binding and the pages of the books. Store books in boxes with the spines in the upright position. This will help protect the books by putting less pressure on the binding of the books.

If you store your collectibles in the proper way, your will be able to enjoy these treasures for years to come as well as pass them on to future generations of your family! Plus, you never know if one of your pristine vinyl records or comic books might be worth a good sum of money!

 

Getting Organized for the New Year!

Outside Storage Units at Stop n Stor

Help De-Clutter your home by using Self-Storage

It’s that time of year again….New Year’s Resolution time! Everyone is trying to make themselves better for 2012! These resolutions can be very diverse from losing weight, quitting a bad habit, exercising more, spending more time with family and friends to getting organized. Becoming “de-cluttered” and becoming more organized is always within the top 5 resolutions at the beginning of each New Year. The holidays bring extra clutter to our homes with decorations and presents. Self-storage is a great option to help de-clutter your home after the holiday season and actually all year-long!  

If your goal is to get more organized this year, then make sure that you have a plan of action in place to accomplish this goal. You don’t have to do it all at one time, but you can work on small projects. Work on one room at a time. This will make the task less daunting. You can even organize your garage, so your car will finally have a place to park. When you are working on each room or the garage, create piles for your belongings: what to keep, what to donate, what to throw away and what to put into storage. Utilizing self-storage gives you back the space that you have lost in your home. You can store important documents, family heirlooms, photos or seasonal items securely in a self-storage unit.

If you are already renting a storage unit, don’t forget to spend some time re-organizing the unit. Over time, you can forget what you stored in the unit, so it is good to look through the items every season. Throw away or donate items that you no longer want or need in your storage unit. You might be able to renegotiate with the storage facility to get a smaller unit or realize that you have more stuff than you thought and rent a larger unit.

For 2012, Stop n Stor  has made their own resolutions! These are just a few of the resolutions:

1. To better serve our customer needs.

2. A hope that all the deployed military soldiers return home safely.

3. To support military families left behind as a result of a deployment of a family member.

4. To build better relationships with our customers.

5. To be the #1 storage facility in the Savannah, Port Wentworth and Hinesville, Georgia areas!

Stop n Stor hopes to be your storage destination in the Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah areas. Stop in to see how Stop n Stor can help you organize for the New Year! Keep an eye on our blog posts for information on future storage auctions and community events that Stop n Stor is proud to be involved in 2012. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter  and like us on Facebook!

Winterizing Vehicles for Self Storage

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For most of the country, it has been a relatively mild fall season. But, in a few days, winter will officially start. The temperatures will begin to fall and snow might be on the horizon! This means that it might finally be time to store away those summer seasonal items such as lawn mowers, patio furniture, motorcycles, boats and non-winter weather cars. A self-storage unit is a perfect solution to store all of these items and more for the winter months. If you are planning on storing personal belongings over the winter months, make sure that you store your possessions off the floor. This prevents damage from moisture and dampness to your items. It is always good to put protective covering on the floor before you store your belongings. Stop n Stor  has a variety of storage unit sizes that can help in your winter storage needs. There are storage units up to 10×30, which would be perfect to store cars and boats for the off-season.

You can find many tips on how to properly store a car, boat or motorcycle in the vehicle’s owner manual. It is important to read the owner’s manual or consult with your storage facility’s manager before your store these items. There are some basic steps that need to be completed to make sure that your vehicles are prepared for storage:

1. For all vehicles (boat and car), make sure that the interior and exterior of the vehicle is clean. Vacuum the inside of the car to remove any food crumbs and other items. A dirty vehicle could invite vermin in the interior of the car or boat during storage.

2. If the vehicle will be stored for longer than a month, disconnect the battery. In some cases, the owner’s manual might recommend totally removing the battery from the car or boat. If this is the case, store the battery in a clean, dry and warm place.

3. Make any repairs to the car or boat before storage to prevent future problems.

4. For boats-remove any electronics and store them in a warm dry place.

5. For boats-remove cushions, sails, curtains and other materials that could form mildew during storage.

6. Make sure the gas tank and anti-freeze is full for any vehicle in storage. This prevents condensation, oxidation or gas spoilage during the time that the vehicle is in storage. Also, add a fuel stabilizer for your car or motorcycle to prevent gas from breaking down. Drive the vehicle around for 10 miles to let the stabilizer run through the engine.

7. Change the oil and filter one to two days before storage in your car or motorcycle.

8. Use a cotton or wool tarp with good ventilation to cover your vehicle during storage.

9. Check your insurance to make sure your vehicles are covered while in storage.

If you follow these simple tips, your vehicles will be ready for use again for late spring and summer!

Business Self Storage

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Renting a self-storage unit is a perfect way to help clear out items that are not used every day, store collectables and store household goods if you are moving or downsizing. But did you know that self-storage has become an ideal storage solution for small home businesses to larger corporations?

Leasing a self-storage unit is a cost-effective way for businesses to store excess inventory, furniture, files or electronics, such as computers and phones. Storing items on a short-term basis is beneficial for companies in transition because of remodeling, relocating or downsizing. However, having extra space to store important documents or files is also valuable for companies over a longer time period. Business owners could also receive a tax write off for expenses incurred in renting a storage unit such as paperwork, materials and general inventory. Also, the cost of moving the items, including supplies and equipment can add up to be deductions on the company’s tax return.

For expanding businesses, instead of leasing or building a larger office space, consider renting a self-storage unit to store those items that are not needed on an everyday basis. The climate controlled storage units are a great alternative to store unneeded everyday equipment such as extra computers, office furniture, archived files and documents and other unused paperwork. Using a climate controlled unit helps protect these items from damage from the elements. Home businesses could use a self-storage unit for a staging area for products and inventory. The storage unit could give that extra space needed for shipping and packing inventory items to be sent to customers.

When selecting the right storage facility for your business, make sure that you plan ahead. Create a list of items that you plan to store in order to know what size storage unit you will need. Stop n Stor offers a variety of storage unit sizes  that could fit any business storage need. For example, if you just need the storage unit to pack small boxes, then a smaller unit size could fit your needs. Pack the items that you will be storing correctly and efficiently in sturdy file boxes or storage boxes. Label the contents of the boxes for easy accessibility and identity purposes. Some self-storage companies are offering special amenities for business storage usage such as larger spaces, special shelving in the units, longer hours and some discounts for long-term rentals. Start to organize and de-clutter your office space today!