Friday, February 28, 2014

Selling Your Home? How to Increase Your Resale Value

With the market slowly turning around, chances are you may be wanting to sell your home. You’ve invested the money for upgrades and expect to get a nice return on your investment. Although you have this mindset, there are additional ways you can increase the resale value of your home that don’t require such a large investment. Taking the time to do these things will not only give you a value boost, but get your home sold pronto!

Here are a few pointers:

  • Put anything you don’t need seen into your self-storage unit. You can get a lot of benefit here. Having a climate-controlled unit will guarantee that whatever you need to be stored won’t be affected by the elements and will stay clean. If you don’t have one, it’s time to reevaluate your space and determine whether or not one is needed.
  • Clean! Never underestimate the value of having a clean home. This means everything. Closets, basements, attics and any other storage spaces you may have. Also take some time to clean all your ceiling fans, light fixtures and tile grout on the floor or walls. A little known fact: Homebuyers inspect the kitchen and bathroom twice as hard as the other rooms. They may even look in the refrigerator! Stage your refrigerator by giving a nice scrubbing, change any blown bulbs and putting nice bins in there will help you out. Having items for your prospective buyers to drink also helps.
  • Take clutter and get rid of it. Loose papers, loose toys and any other loose items that are hanging around out of their proper places.
  • Organize your visible spaces with nice baskets and decorative items.
  • Paint – choose beautiful but neutral colors in high traffic areas. You would be surprised what a little paint can do.
  • Change your door hardware. This can go from the front door down to the bathroom cabinets. New hardware can accentuate your painting efforts in a major way which will guarantee big results.
  • Use magazines to create a design scheme with items you already have. Picture placement, furniture arrangement and ambient lighting can work wonders for creating a mood that buyers will love.

These are little things that can instantaneously give you added value. Other investments can include changing the flooring with new tiles, refinishing your existing wood floors, cleaning your carpet, adding new counter tops.

When buyers see a home, they immediately look at how they can improve the home or change things that would complement their tastes. Providing neutral backdrops will allow them to do that. Making your home a nice, clean backdrop will give you leverage when buyers are contemplating their options. Don’t forget curb appeal! Investing in some mulch, flowers and pressure cleaning your stone walkway and outside of your home can make a huge difference in how your home is presented. It’s the little things that appeal to home buyers, as they are looking to make a home for themselves.


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How facility reviews and ratings can impact the future of your self storage business.

A communication crisis is always on the top of the lists of things that marketing professionals never want to encounter. Previously, in everyday marketing, whenever a crisis was at hand, a company would have a couple hours or maybe even a day or two to plan out a response. However, the immediacy of social media has put the customer in direct contact with businesses and responses are expected sometimes in a matter of minutes.

Most self storage facilities will never face any major scandal or blowup on social media or other but it is still wise to plan for any possible scenario that could end up affecting your sales. A plan should outline the relevant contacts and how they should be contacted when it comes to dealing with a public issue online.

You should always pay attention to what is being said about your brand online. Signing up for Google Alerts is a great way to keep your ear on the ground in the online community. You may choose to get alerts as soon as they become available or once a day, depending on your preference. Also sign up for alerts on your direct competitors so that you can be made aware of any recent developments they might make.

In the unfortunate event that a crisis arises, acknowledge it as quickly as possible. Speak the facts, as clearly and openly as possible and let your customers know that you have nothing to hide. In cases where someone at your self storage facility has made a mistake, own up to it and provide possible solutions. People will respect your brand more if they see you deal with situations like these and end up turning it into something positive.

Allow people to vent if necessary about the situation. You should of course monitor it but allow people to voice their opinions. If you always delete negative comments without addressing them, then your audience will be under the impression that your brand is not trustworthy. Show the public that you can handle criticism in a mature manner and this will help to build a loyal customer base. You can dedicate a section on your website for comments or just respond to people on your Facebook page or via Twitter. Also ensure that you keep your cool while responding to the negative criticism.

Negative criticism, if addressed promptly and in a cordial manner, can be turned into a powerful marketing tool. People will know you are human and as such mistakes are made, but handling it in a timely and positive fashion puts your company, and yourself, at the top, as a person that recognizes when something went wrong. Also, some people may try to vent in the heat of the moment without realizing that the mistake was in their part and when confronted with a positive remark and a willingness to address the issue it makes them take a step back and look at all the angles of the problem, most of the time they will end up apologizing to you. When you handled the issue and you showed respect and care, the customer will take that at heart and keep buying from you, and what is most important, he or she will keep recommending you, and that my friend is priceless.

If your self storage business has ever been faced with a crisis, then you will already know that it is a tasking experience. A crisis via social media is no different. All it takes is an ample amount of people sharing information for it to go viral. However, the last thing you want to do is to stay out of the public when handling a crisis. Be visible and transparent on social media in order to fix the issues. There is no formula for solving a social media crisis but taking the recommendations outlined above can help you to efficiently manage one.


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Why New Zealand Wool?

Click here to view the embedded video.

Climate, terrain and tradition all go into making the finest, renewable wool carpets

This video from the Just Shorn sheep farmers of New Zealand explains some of the superior traits of New Zealand Wool. While wool carpeting is normally a pricey product, Carpetland Carpet One is making Just Shorn available at prices that compete with synthetic carpets, thanks to a special partnership they have reached with the sheep farmers.



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The Perfect Woodworking Ideas: Plans, Patterns and Projects

When you are looking for some woodworking ideas, it may come as no surprise to you that you can find a great many of them online. There are perhaps thousands of websites that cater to your need and you are certain to be able to find at least half a dozen instantly that can help you to come up with some great ideas. This website  is full of some great ideas and has anything from spice rack plans to indoor furniture and more. When you visit the site you will see that each category has a sub-category and once you find a topic that interests you, all you have to do is click on it and you will be given a full set of instructions that can help you to effectively make the TV stand that catches your eye or anyone of the hundreds of designs that appeal to you.These designs tell you exactly how much wood you need; the length depth and height of the pieces and of course the tools that you need to use as well while guiding your through every process until you have a finished article you can be proud of.

If you’re not looking to get some woodworking ideas online then perhaps you would like to buy a set of books that tells you what you can do and how you can go about it. ‘The new best of fine woodworking’ set of books that contains 6 volumes will show you how to create some small woodworking projects that also teach you how to design and build a large range of pieces, both modern and classic. The book is geared towards those who are not very experienced with woodworking, but it’s great too for those that are, and if it’s a simple project that you’re looking for, then you can find it here. Although this set of books is quite expensive and has been seen to sell for just under one thousand dollars, you can be sure that you will get a great deal of help and advice that will help and guide you every step of the way.

Woodworking plans don’t always cost money

You should be aware that not all woodworking plans have to cost a lot of money and as you can see from your search online, you can get a great many of them for free. Some of the free plans are pretty basic, and you may want to make a few changes to the designs and adapt them if you feel confident enough to do so. As with anything you want to buy, it’s worth shopping around, and you may be able to save yourself a few dollars per plan if you know where to look. Always make sure the plans are easy to read and you understand them, having a glimpse of a plan before you buy it can help you to determine this.

If you are not sure that a plan will work and you are not proficient enough to make the changes yourself yet, then perhaps you should move on to another project until you are sure you can confidently alter a plan that does not seem to add up correctly. Many plans that you can get online will be fine and drawn out and designed by knowledgeable people who are happy to let their designs ‘Go public’. It does always pay to know what you’re doing when you’re looking for some woodworking ideas, but if you only have basic woodworking skills then it’s probably wise that you start off with a set of plans that have been tailored to your level of experience.

Looking for woodworking patterns

When it comes to looking for some woodworking patterns, is a great place to start, there is an extensive range of patterns and designs for you to choose from and many of them are written by people who have gone and made the outbuilding etc. themselves, which means you’re getting a design that can be made and great tips and advise on how to go about it. This is a great way to start if you are looking for some woodworking patterns and you’re not quite confident enough yet to follow some ‘plain’ instructions that don’t go into much detail. The only downsides to this website are that you’re spoilt for choice and you have to trust people who aren’t necessarily woodworking experts, but who are happy to show you what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.

The weekend woodworker’s project collection is a highly detailed book that is great for those of us who like to partake in a bit of woodcraft when we have the time. This book will teach you how to make all kinds of things using our favorite material, from shelving to storage and frames for mirrors and more, this is an excellent book that will guide you all the way.  Some of the plans do ask you to use specific pieces and components, which may not always be that easy, but they are always adaptable which gives you added flexibility.

Woodworkers blogs and forums

There are a lot of blogs and forums that might be able to help you should you have a problem with the plan you are working on, or any of the tools you are using. These forums and blogs can come in very useful and even though you may not always be able to get a reply right away, you are sure to get some help. Thanks to the internet, we now have access to a great deal of woodworking ideas, plans and more, this means if you have the time and the budget to get working on a project, it is very easy for you to start working on your ideas as soon as you can. There are many forums and blogs for you to choose from, you just need to find one that knows what it’s talking about and is frequently added to and updated, this way you can be sure that you will get a whole host of information about tools, plans and more, whenever you need it.


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Amy “The Junker”


My name is Amy Lake and I am Storage Unit Auction List’s newest Blogger!!!!

But…I am also a Junker, a Collector, an antique Hunter, and an Auction Seeker, Craft maker, Artist, Decorator and an all-around Humorous Person!!!

Phillipino shoes

Philippino Shoes

I started “Collecting” “Junk” when I was 13.  As a Birthday gift, my best friend gave me a pair of WWII Hand Painted Wooden Philippino Shoes.  I fell in Love with those shoes!!!!  From that moment forward, I was on the “Hunt” for the Unique, the Unusual and the Very Colorful!!

My first apartment consisted of a small bed from home, a 23-year-old couch and an old wooden crate for a coffee table!  Not to be thrown into despair with my meager independent beginnings, I headed off to the Salvation Army store and loaded up with colorful pitchers and dishes and scarves and lamps all for the terribly low 1971 price of $7!  I had a unique eye for the eccentric and I rearranged my finds into a delightful combination for my First Home!!

living room with DTs paintings

DTs paintings

counter collage

Over the years, two marriages, two kids, countless cats, four dogs and nearly 3 dozen apartments and houses in a half dozen states, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of oddities!  I still have those Wooden Philippino Shoes proudly displayed as bookends, but they have joined an enormous collection of Fiesta ware and Roseville along with Antique Books, quilts and rocking chairs. My husband, D.T. LaVercombe was an international Artist and after his untimely death at 57, I keep his works proudly displayed from floor to ceiling in my home in cohabitation with all the other collections. 

DT and I owned a 1927 opera house, which had a huge vaudeville stage.  We produced Children’s Theatre Productions, showed movies, presented local garage bands, comedians and a couple of Halloween Shows.  I was the official “Set Dresser” and had to keep my eyes open all year round for the unique item that could be observed from the back of the theatre house.  This job took me through the dark caverns of Antique shops and Antique malls.  Our goal was always to spend very little money and finding the perfect item at the perfect price was like winning a Gold Medal!!!!

We also owned several restaurants. They ranged from a Cinema Grille to a 35 seat intimate fine dining experience.  Again I decorated these eateries as though the customers were in my home with all the personal touches. One of these restaurants was located in an old school house in the TVA lake region of North Carolina. It was called The Elf School Inn in the community of Elf.  We had 8 classrooms that were bed and breakfast rooms and two other classrooms were the restaurant.  The old gym was used for wedding receptions, parties and group meetings.  I had so much fun decorating using the themes of “Elf”, “School”, “Teacher”, “Classroom”, and other educational and foodie décor!

In time, I have added to these collections with my own eclectic paintings and pillows and various art, and continue to add to the pottery and books. My favorite evening out is to attend an auction and a “must do” Saturday is scouring  garage sales. The “hunt” is the biggest thrill, as I never attend any of these events with a particular item in mind, I just go to be surprised by the Treasures.

As a Blogger, I am going to take you on a Junker’s Journey!  We will attend auctions of all kinds and Antique Malls and Garage Sales and Junk Stores.  I will introduce you, the reader, to ideas for crafts both for the home, a shop, the garden and the garage!  We will explore resale ideas and marketing. And, We will get to know Each Other!!!! I like to think of Myself as a Earth Person who Recycles, Reuses and Repurposes, But…The Truth be told….I Love Love Love the Hunt for the Treasure!!!

I hope you join me and Please….Let me know what YOU think, find, create, invent and explore!!!!

Until Next Time

Happy Hunting!!!

Creatively crafted chair!

Creatively crafted chair!


Creatively crafted chair!



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Irvine, California: America’s Safest City



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Repurpose Your Setting With Shipping Containers

There are many unconventional methods to finding adequate housing. In today’s society, anything goes. If you’re willing to do the work for transforming something that was typically used for storage into something that could become habitable, you’re well on your way.

Welcome to the world of shipping containers that have turned into gorgeous homes. Gone are the days where you had to use a conventional method to create a livable space, and with so many outlets for being creative with locations that were typically meant for storage, there continue to be reports of storage facilities and other storage items becoming multipurpose articles for use.

Not only are these containers useful for living, but businesses can also capitalize on this trend. These containers have transformed into beautiful and spacious office spaces that embrace green construction. Once everything is properly registered, you will have an opportunity to market your company on social media and through detailed marketing materials. This be an inventive spin to your efforts, and the thought of having a really nice office housed in a shipping container is kind of cool!

These shipping containers have produced awesome results. Glass sliding doors, wood flooring and all the amenities of luxurious living have been put into these projects. Some designers have been very ingenious, putting four or five together to make a two-story or tri-level house. Design can take anything and make it into something worth having. Other countries have taken this concept and turned large shipping containers into small apartment complexes and “micro” lofts. Who said you can’t have the finer things in life just because it doesn’t look so hot at first glance?

This concept also capitalizes on the concept of green architecture, recycling and reusing containers that become inexpensive solutions to housing and business needs. Interestingly enough, this trend is continuously growing and has been embraced by quite a few large corporations. Palotta TeamWorks has a 47,000 square foot warehouse/office made from shipping containers. The design was so nice, it won an architecture award. Travelodge hotel also has the world’s first hotel in Uxbridge, West London built entirely from recycled shipping containers, and it’s said that there will be numerous pop-up facilities serving as hotels during the Olympics that will be created with these containers.

With so many shipping containers around the world just taking up space on the docks, it’s a great alternative for making use of recycled space. The expense is minimal, depending on what you want to do with the container. Here are a few advantages:

  • They are readily available in large quantities
  • They are very easy to transport
  • They are inexpensive
  • They are durable

The world of storage and its uses continues to evolve, turning a simple concept into one of usefulness that can provide an immediate need to a lot of people and businesses. Ingenious, creative, resourceful and sustainable, the shipping container revolution is making its own lane with definitive plans of staying around for a very long time.


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2014 Google Page Algorithm Changes

Have you noticed some changes in your rankings or organic search traffic during the last week? If you have, it’s okay. Google’s flipped the script once again. Matt Cutt’s announcement on February 6 via Twitter about the new page refresh algorithm has gotten people in a frenzy once again. This new algorithm is targeting sites that do not have a large amount of content and ad heavy.

It was no secret that Google had been working on the page layout algorithm and had mentioned that would have a huge impact on other languages. It’s best to check your analytics to see if you have any changes that have occurred in your site since February 6. For companies that operate primarily online, this could be huge.

It’s very important to stay on top of these issues as they occur. For pages within your site, you may experience changes as well, which could become problematic. Your marketing and social media strategies must be in sync and continuously monitored to make sure you are getting the most out of your plan. Local search results can also be affected, so ensuring you have updated all your local page information and are reaching out to those prospective clients is important.

Here are a few additional tips to help you retain and get new customers:

Communicate – This is very important. Use all you media outlet vehicles – blogs, website, social media accounts and community partnerships to enhance your user experience and engagement efforts.

Use communicative words – This means using the words your customers want to hear. It’s important to transmit messages that will broaden your audience and keep your current audience engaged. If you aren’t targeting your customers the right way, your efforts are futile.

Be personable – This is also a huge part of engaging your users. By responding quickly and effectively on social media, you will have a continuous stream of individuals reading your content and engaging with your tools.

Be quick – Responding to your clients and potential customers quickly and effectively will help get problems resolved smoothly and questions answered in a timely manner. It’s a huge part of customer service that should be a priority.

Make sure you are using the right platforms – Taking the time to make sure you are using the right platforms and tools to get your messages across is important. Optimizing your site, making your site mobile responsive and using the social media platforms that are right for your business will make a huge difference in the success of your strategy.  

Employ the use of contests and other strategies – This helps keep your customers engaged into what you are doing. Everyone loves to participate in an activity where they may benefit in some way. Make sure your contests are relevant and add value to your business and to your current and potential clients.

These are just a few of the things you can do to make a difference, even with the consistent changes from Google. Good luck!


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Forum Post: Design Guidelines For People With Low Vision

The National Institute of Building Sciences is developing guidelines to accommodate people with low vision. The number of people with low vision has been growing, according to NIBS. That's partly due to increase in the population of older adults. The guidelines cover the site and landscape design, interior design and lighting. NIBS is seeking comments on the guidelines. The deadline is April 4. 2014. Click here to get a copy of the Design Guidelines for the Visual Environment.


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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moving Your Office? Here’s How!

Moving your office can pose quite a challenge. Maybe you’re moving from a home office to an office space, or you’re getting a bigger and better space or downsizing. Either way, you should be prepared when it comes to moving:

Preparation is Key

Prepping your office is one of the biggest challenges you have. There are files and documents that need to be packed and some need shredding.

If you have a large company, there are a number of things that must take place:

  • A meeting of all supervisors should be held to explain when and where the company is moving and the expectations of each supervisor.
  • Each supervisor should have a master manual in which to handle their department.
  • Supervisors should be in charge of their departments and serve as the point person for their staff, distributing boxes, etc.
  • Employees should be briefed in a short meeting by the supervisor of the move and their expectations.
  • Each employee should be provided an office moving manual and boxes in which to pack their items and items they are responsible for.

Maintenance should come by to label all desks and office furniture. If they are lockable, do so. Make sure any employee personal belongings boxes are moved by that employee separately than the other items.

There are many sensitive documents that will have to be moved. There should be a sign-off list for the employee, the supervisor and the mover.

Any equipment or furniture that will stay behind should be clearly marked or tagged by the supervisor for the movers.

Any documents that need to be shredded should be placed in one area for the shredder to come pick up.  

Your master checklist should look something like this:

  • Furniture cleared and labeled?
  • Everything removed from walls?
  • Electronics disconnected and labeled?
  • Lights and restrooms working at the new facility?
  • New stationery created?

This will alleviate a lot of confusion and make the transition easier for everyone to quickly get back to work. For smaller companies, the same applies but not so formally. Everyone should be responsible for their files and belongings with the exception of the heavy furniture, files and equipment. Smaller companies usually don’t have the time to make it a big production, so there is an urgency to get packed, get moved, and get to work.

There are items that may be moved to an off-site storage facility. These should all be clearly labeled and ready to organize so that things will be accessible and easy to find. Make sure you employ a moving company that is familiar with moving offices, and pay extra to get all your items fully covered in the case of damage. Your movers should provide a visual quote for moving from one location to the other and be able to explain their entire process of loading and unloading to protect your property. Find out what equipment they need. Whatever insurance options are available to you, get the maximum. Make sure all your paperwork is in order and get ready for the big move!


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Is Your Blog Worthy?

As you're rethinking your strategy for 2014, one of the things you should really consider is whether or not your tools are effective. One of the most widely used tools today is the blog, which provides advice, suggestions and reading material to help brand your company as an expert. That’s a good thing. Being labeled an expert gives you credibility in your field, and makes people want to hear what you have to say. Although this can be a tool that will help you, it can also hurt you. Readers want to be engaged and informed, and anything short of that does not add value.

There are a number of reasons why your blog may not be as effective. One thing good brands realize is that they don’t have to have their content filled with links, nor do they have to self-promote at every turn. When you have a loyal following, you’re getting the promotion without doing a thing. Here are a few other ways you can hurt your own brand:

  • Self-promoting too much. When you promote your company or services all the time in every single post, it gets boring. Good companies realize that readers want value, and your content should reflect that. Giving a customer information to help them solve a problem will work more effectively than having your content filled with links. A good company knows that one link that connects them or at the most, two will suffice. Anything more, especially if it takes away from the relevancy, kills the post and the brand. For instance, a news piece may link to one article that directly relates to the story. That adds relevancy but does not take away from the content. If you have a service blog though, like self-storage, having links to climate-controlled, auto, and outdoor storage within one posting is a bit much. Design blogs will link to a photo or featured piece of a designer to get their point across, but you never want to have too many links. Spamming your own site hurts your brand more than you can ever know.
  • Not responding to comments. Having a consistent rapport with your readers is important. It’s good to respond to comments, whether they are bad or good on the blog or social media. Readers respect you more and feel that you care about your brand.
  • Content is too keyword driven. Although having some keywords within the content is good, there is such a thing as too much. Creating posts specifically for keywords is obvious and it gets tiring. You want to have a good mix of content that is relevant, trend driven and current to create a balance that works. Companies that place too much on keyword driven content are doomed before they get out of the gate.
  • Writing is not diverse. This is important. Every post on your blog does not have to be about your company. When you show a diversity in your writing, it increases your ROI in your brand.

These are tips that can help you in 2014. Look at your strategy – is your blog worthy?


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Enhancing Your Content in 2014

Having the right content makes a huge difference in your online marketing strategy. If you haven’t already ramped up your efforts and taken a closer look at your current tactics, now is the time. One of the main objectives should be moving to the front of the line, increasing your market share. Want to know how to do it? Here are a few tips:

Market and Measure Your Automation - It’s no secret you need the best content you can get, whether you’re a self-storage facility or a Fortune 500 corporation. You should have vehicles in place to measure your content patterns and see how many sales come out of your online users.

Get Personal - Current and potential customers want personalization. Generic E-mails and E-mail marketing campaigns don’t work anymore. If you’ve been online for a while, you should know what type of customer you are directing your communication to, making their interaction with your company a personal one. If you want them to renew their drive-up unit, then that should be conveyed.

Make your Mobile Experience One to Remember - Almost everyone uses smart technology, whether it’s through a smartphone or a tablet. There’s no limit to how you can use this to your advantage. There are three types of devices you should be optimizing for the best experience: desktop, tablet and mobile. Make sure you integrate responsive design this year, and create your web experience to adjust to any size screen.

Separate the Content from Your Link Building - It can’t be said enough. Companies hurt themselves by adding too many links in content, diluting the message that is being conveyed. Google Trends indicate that content marketing trend has replaced link building, and until a company gets it right, they will continue to lose traction within the market. A good link strategy is one link per 200 words. Companies who abuse this will not see an increase in anything but disappointment. Your purpose is to inform and be an authority, not shamelessly self-promote your company.

Smaller can be a good thing - Companies that concentrate on having large articles can hurt themselves more than they know. With the shift in mobile technology and so many people on the go, it’s hard to sit and concentrate on a long article, even if it’s good. Giving your customers smaller tidbits of information that can immediately sink in would work wonders.

Joining social media marketing organizations may help your company understand how to navigate through this issue. Content is here to stay, but it’s up to you to use it wisely. The SBA has additional tips on creating a marketing strategy that will garner great results. Put the life of your company first and incorporate tactics that are proven to work. Companies that do their own thing and negate the advice of the gurus won’t see positive returns, but will have a negative bottom line at the end of the year. Start your new year off right! Knowledge is definitely power.


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Self Storage: Can I Store Anything?

One of the biggest myths you may hear is that you can store anything in a self-storage facility. The quick answer to that question is NO. Although the list is quite extensive of the items you may store, there are certain things that could be damaging to your goods and the facility. Knowing what can and cannot be stored may seem self-explanatory for some, but it’s not that cut and dry.

First, you should know that there are rules that must be followed by the facility. The National Self-Storage Association has guidelines that come down the pipeline for everyone to stay within regulation. Additionally, when partnering with other companies, it is important that they both adhere to regulations. New information is usually disseminated via web pages, social media and direct communications.

What can be stored?

Although there are many documented stories of interesting finds in self-storage units, you should know what can and cannot be stored. You should make sure you are getting the right one to house what you need. Furs, albums, documents and non-perishables should be kept in a climate-controlled unit to preserve what you have. Furs should be stored in a facility that is a little colder than a standard climate-controlled unit to make sure it does not dry out or become damaged. Although climate-controlled units are set at a standard temperature, it’s not a cold environment, but rather a set temperature.

Household goods are usually welcomed, but when acquiring a unit, you need to make sure you avoid flammable liquids like paint or gasoline. Even if you have an outdoor drive-up unit, these items should be first on the list to exclude. Outside work equipment is even in question, depending on what needs to be stored. You may have driving lawn mowers that may not be acceptable at your standard facility and may need to be moved to an auto storage location just because it runs on gas.

Each facility should have a list of acceptable and unacceptable items. Federal agents recently seized 44 guns in a self-storage unit. It goes without saying that these guns were on the list as not being acceptable. Allowing these types of violations could hurt the business and its reputation, especially when it spreads across different social media pages.

One of the best things a self-storage company can do is provide a list of acceptable and unacceptable items on their web page or Facebook page so that current and potential customers will be able to see this list and compare it with what they need to be stored. This can alleviate confusion and potential fines on both ends.

Many people may think they are getting away with housing illegal items in a self-storage unit but should know that closed-circuit cameras show quite a bit and those tapes are reviewed (at least at responsible facilities). There is a reason why certain facilities are more expensive than others, and they usually have more technologically sound equipment to protect their business and their clients.


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Self Storage for Guys

Now this is interesting. I’ve been in the self storage industry for 12 years now and never have I rented a storage unit. Well never have I paid for a self storage unit. One of the perks of working in the industry is some employers give their employees a free self storage unit. As with my employer, Devon Self Storage I have been granted a free unit. I don’t however live anywhere close to one of our facilities now that I’m in need of a unit. So, I was forced into the market to fend for myself. Luckily, I have experience on how all this works, experience I will share with you.

Recently I got married, bought a new home with my wife and as many men before me I’ve lost the right to retain my furniture. Sound familiar? It happens on a daily basis to men all over the world. We work hard to accumulate our “junk” as some might refer to it, only to be overruled on the placement of such items. Not to worry my brothers, I have a solution.

Let’s start with the basics. How should a newly married man pack up his items? Simple, throw everything you own in the worlds largest box. If you have more than what fits in the box, use garbage bags for everything else. I recommend the Hefty Ultra Flex.

Now that you are packed up, log on to and type in your zip code to find the nearest Devon location. Picking the right size unit for guys is an important step. You want to make sure you have a large enough space to accommodate your items and still have some room left over for digging through boxes.

You see there will come a time when you need a special tool to finish a job your wife has assigned to you. This tool is probably in the bottom of the world’s largest box we discussed earlier. To get to the tool, you must unpack the world’s largest box. This will take some room. I recommend leaving at least a 3×3 foot space for these searches. Yes searches, there will be more than one.

Once you have secured your space though our website, throw everything into the back of your buddy’s truck without tying it down. It will be fine. Seriously, you don’t own a vase anyway and the free plastic cups from the gas station are indestructible.

Once arriving to the site, a friendly Storage Manager will walk you through our property and lease as quickly as possible since you will mostly likely be doing all of this on a Saturday. What if college football is on? This is when choosing Devon and their experienced managers really pay off.

OK, this last bit I’m going to breeze through since my wife is calling me to hurry up. She’s making me sit down at the table for dinner, like a real family.

Right, now throw your belongings into your new storage unit in a similar fashion as you packed your buddy’s truck. Then lock the storage unit. Put the key to your storage unit in the glove box of your car. Trust me on this. If you don’t you will lose the key. Also, have the storage manager write down the gate code, then take a picture of the gate code with your phone. You will after all eventually lose the code.

That’s about it. You have saved your former life from destruction and will be able to visit this former life usually from 8AM to 10PM depending of the Devon Self Storage location. Not to mention your wife will be happy and as I’m sure you have heard, happy wife = happy life ☺


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Effective and Proper Storage for your Holiday Decorations

When taking the time to put holiday decorations up, it’s a lot of fun, your home is beautiful inside and out, and you’ve created this beautiful holiday utopia. After all the gatherings, parties and presents are unwrapped, there comes a time when you have to take everything down and properly store it for the next year. If you have a lot of decorations, you may want to think about getting a self-storage unit to keep the space you have in your home. This will also ensure you have all the room you need, everything is in one place, and you can take your time to properly store your items.

There are a few things you can do to make that process easier. First, decide on what type of storage you want to use. You may want an indoor, climate-controlled unit, but if the only thing you will be using the unit for is decorations, a drive-up unit could work. You want to have the right type of containers and filing system to find everything when you need it.

Now, if you’re a person that decorates for every holiday, it would be best to categorize your items based on the holiday to make things a lot easier. By using a “U” pattern, signs and color coordination, you will have quick access to everything whenever you need it.

Since Christmas decorations are usually the bulk of decorations, here are a few storage tips:

  • Make sure you wrap your holiday lights. You can use a piece of cardboard, or something that will prevent your lights from getting tangled. This systems also makes storing them a lot easier.
  • Glass bulbs should be stored in partitioned foam cardboard or plastic containers to help keep them from breaking. If you put them in a round container, make sure you use a lot of paper to keep them from moving. Remove all hooks from the bulbs.
  • Store your decorative hooks in one container with a lid.
  • Your wreaths should be put in wreath holders or wrapped and put in boxes with cardboard separations to avoid being crushed.
  • If you have an artificial tree, storing it in the box provided and taping it shut should suffice.
  • Any wall hangings or pictures should be wrapped and stored as well.
  • Specialty ornaments should be stored in their original packaging.
  • Outside decorations should be stored separately in containers.

Taking the time to properly store your items will make a huge difference in space and accessibility and will make getting your items ready for next year’s holiday a breeze. Keeping an inventory of what you have and what you need for next year will make it easier to replace and get your things on sale. The best part is, now you will have someplace to store your new items without hassle. Building on what you have when things are on sale is one of the best things you can do to always keep your decorations fresh and lively. You’ve got the basics. The rest is up to you!


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Almost that time again! Using Storage to help De-Clutter and Distress the Holidays


The holidays are quickly approaching and there is so much to do.  We must all remember we are not Martha Stewart! We need help at times.  De-cluttering is the trick to help with stress.  If things are out of the way we can make room for the holidays and the family that will be visiting, not to mention all those presents.  A nice way to do this is to get a storage unit for holiday storage.  You can even purchase boxes for your convenience. Now it’s time to get the family involved.  Ask everyone to use these boxes to put items in that won’t be needed until after the holidays. Don’t forget to label the boxes before you place them in storage. Then when you retrieve them, after the holidays, it will be easy to determine where the items belong.  Also another use of this storage could be to hide those Christmas gifts that we don’t want nosy kids and/or family to try and peek in.

I know it seems early to start talking the “holiday” talk but let us face it, that is how it is starting to go. Stores are decorating earlier then ever and some people even begin their shopping now. Since the holidays bring enough stress of their own, I think it is to peoples benefit to beat stress to the punch. Besides, who wants to spend the holidays with the added stress of clutter anyway? Do not let the clutter become a headache or eyesore for you and your home.

Here is a list I found of some of the top reasons people use storage around this time of year, and maybe all year round. Enjoy!

1.) Relatives have to stay somewhere (just kidding). Its easy to stick things in your spare room all year long since it is something you don’t really use except for once a year around Christmas. Rather than throw your stuff out or clutter up another part of the house why not just take our precious belongings to your local self storage facility?

2.) It may sound silly, but if your loved ones really are so intent on finding out what Santa got them before he gives it to them then get a self storage unit.

3.) Christmas decorations. We love them; we even drive around our neighborhoods to go look at them, but when the season is done that stuff needs to go somewhere. If you have more than a couple boxes of decorations or if your one of those people who turn your lawn into the North Pole with inflatables than a self storage facility should be in your near future. Santa’s suit needs a home as well.

4.) A self storage unit is a great hiding place for all the stuff you bought for yourself (those deals are hard to pass up), but don’t want to tell your significant other about just yet. It can also be a great place to store all the less than desirable gifts you got this year than you may be looking to give next year.

5.) Everyone needs an out-of-the way space. Got exercise equipment from Santa last year and don’t want him to know you never used—store it. Live in a nice war climate now, but don’t want to ditch all those really cool sweaters? Store them too. Basically, if there is something your not using, but don’t want to get rid of yet than a self storage unit may be in your future.

Sources Used:
“Hide-Away Storage Lists Top Ten Reasons People Use Self Storage During Holidays.” Yahoo!News. 15 December 2010.


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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we’ve no place to go, Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!!  A little early for Christmas carols, and talk of snow storms, but with living and working in northern New Jersey, we’ve already gotten our first taste of what the next few months are going to be like.  With many weather “experts” predicting a harsher than normal winter, we could be in store for lots of snow and frigid temperatures for the next five months, leaving many of us with a difficult task at hand…. Finding a place to store all of our warm weather toys.

Inevitably, even the most well prepared of us ends up spending a weekend or two in November running around to clean gutters, take down Halloween decorations, and various other outside projects that should have been taken care of weeks ago.  As we all start the annual winter put away and take out, many of us are faced with the same problem, where am we going to fit all of the must have items we purchased of the last few months that now must be put away.  As we try to fit the new patio set and riding lawn mower into the shed that only has enough room for one of these items and not both, many an inappropriate word it muttered under our breath.

As the annual storage project begins, we all have to make sure that we remember to pull out the snow blower, shovels, left over bags of salt, sleds, snow shoes, and various other winter items out of there hiding spots.  You know the spots we’re talking about, it’s the spot in the garage or shed where we shoved everything in April when we didn’t need them anymore.  The same spot where we’ve had to move all of these same items at least a half dozen times since putting them away, because we either need something behind all of it, or while looking for one of our spring time tools, we searched that area only to find out that it wasn’t there in the first place.  This spot, which will now become the winter resting place for all of our summer time toys, has been the vein of many a home owners existence since the dawn of home-ownership.

While many of us may choose to fight this seasonal battle year after year after year, there are some of us that go a completely different route, which leads to new grills and patio sets every year.  We all have that one neighbor, you know the one, that never puts away his grill or patio furniture.  We’ve watched all winter long as our once summer time joys turn into an ice cold frozen monument to seasons past and barbeques had.  We’ve all snickered a bit, as we’ve watched the ravages of winter destroy lawn ornaments and bikes that never made their way inside, and silently laughed a little when we see the rusted out grill on the side of the road with the trash come spring time.  The snickering ends quickly though, once we look into our backyards and see all of the same items in our yards because we had no place to put them.

Some of us are lucky enough to have homes with a garage, or room in our yards for a small shed.  Depending upon where we live though however, many of us have minimal yards with no room for a shed, and certainly no room for a garage.  There has to be an easy solution for us, the masses, with eighth of an acre plots with just enough room for the drive way, and more things to store than we could possibly have room for.  The answer is quite simple really, renting a self storage unit.  With many different sizes available and options to choose from, your local Storage Station can offer a multitude of affordable and convenient options to take the hassle out of this annual headache.  Let’s take a look at the two biggest reasons why we believe storing your seasonal items in a self storage unit at Storage Station is the best option for you.

First and foremost, the main reason would have to be convenience.  Every late fall / early winter, we all spend countless hours digging through boxes, never clearly labeled, looking for all things holiday.  The Christmas lights as usually in a box that’s been crushed under the weight of the fake Christmas tree, and half of the glass ornaments have been shattered while being thrown around the shed as Dad was looking for the weed eater.  Each year, we spend hours looking for items just to find that they have been destroyed or are half broken due to neglect or Dad’s heavy hand.  With a self storage unit at Storage Station, you can keep everything neatly organized and at your finger tips so to speak, minimizing the amount of time you spend searching for grandma’s handmade stockings.  You are more than able put temporary shelving inside of your unit, allowing you to have an place for everything, and everything in its’ place.

Digging through and storing holiday decorations can be a minimal task as far as winter items are concerned.  Decorations are not usually all that heavy or cumbersome.  You won’t through your back out moving those boxes around repeatedly throughout the year.  What about that 250 pound snow blower that you’ve had to wrestle with a few times this summer while trying to pull out the lawn mower and pool toys?  It makes your back cringe just thinking about having to pull that out again this year.  I’m sure you’d look for any excuse not to fight with that thing every time you needed something from the shed.  It’s easier to go out and buy pool toys, until you realize that no family really needs 15 water noodles or 5 blow up rafts.  Why waste all of that time, money, and back pain, when you can just rent a self storage unit and only have to deal with those items as needed, not everything time anything is needed from the shed.

Secondly, and some may say equally as important, is affordability.  There are many different storage unit sizes available, making finding the most cost effective unit to suit your budget a snap.  Many of our tenants, while originally thinking they’d only be staying with us for a couple of months over the winter, end up staying with us year round.  Of course any expense is an added expense, but the peace of mind and additional free time you gain while not having to deal with this over and over, far outweigh the cost, regardless of what they may be.  Think about that the next time you’re standing in line at the store to buy the exact same things you bought last winter, whether it’s a shovel or an ice scraper, because when you put the snow blower away in April, you accidentally snapped the handles to both.  There’s nothing like spending money on the exact same items over and over, for no real reason.  While some of may like having a reason to buy a new grill every spring, to replace the rusted one that you left out last winter, I’m sure most of us could find a much better use for that money.

With winter upon us and the snow slowly starting to come down outside, take a moment to visit us here at Storage Station, and let us show you why storing your items in a self storage unit is the way to go.  You won’t be disappointed that you did.

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Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow brought to you by : Storage Station Self Storage and Storage Blog


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Michael Jordan Memorabilia at Auction: Authenticity Under Dispute

Deloris Jordan

Michael Jordan's mother, Deloris.

Famed basketball legend, Michael Jordan is once again in the media spotlight. Although, this time it's not for shooting hoops, switching to a different professional sport (hint: baseball), or even gambling. This time, it's about storage unit auctions! Several pieces of "Air Jordan" history are being auctioned off by Goldin Auctions, with the final day to bid being February 7th, 2014. The auction company purchased several documents from a consigner; Jordan's diploma from UNC Chapel Hill, recruiting letters, and his transcript. The consigner purchased the items from someone who found them in a storage unit they won at auction.

Michael Jordan recruitment letter

Deloris Jordan disputes the authenticity of the items up for auction.

Here's where it gets controversial. Michael Jordan's mother, Deloris Jordan, claims that the items could not possibly be authentic, because she has saved every single one of her sons' honors and awards, and has plans to exhibit them in a museum someday. To make things more interesting, Goldin has had the items in question verified as authentic by a third party, Professional Sports Authenticator.

As this story progresses, it looks like we will find out if authenticity verification services are as authentic as the documents they verify. Who do you think has the truly original documents? Let's hear your thoughts!



-Rovell, Darren. "Jordan's Auction Items questioned." ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 16 Jan. 2014. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.

-Fisher, Alexandria, and Marion Brooks. "Deloris Jordan Disputes Authenticity of Michael Jordan Recruiting Letter Up for Auction." NBC Chicago. N.p., 15 Jan. 2014. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.


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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What’s included in Homeowner’s Insurance?

When moving into a new home, it is good to understand what’s included in your homeowner’s insurance. As a new homeowner or an existing homeowner that’s relocating, you are faced with the decision of having a standard policy or add riders for extra protection. Knowing the basics on what is automatically covered and what isn’t covered is key. If you have a condominium or a renter’s policy, you should know the differences as well.

These are the basic provisions in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy:

  • Property insurance
  • Personal liability

Standard homeowner’s insurance policies are usually referred to as HO-3, based on the form in which the policy is written. HO-2 is a cheaper homeowner’s policy, and an HO-1 is the minimum you can possibly have. HO-6 is for condominiums, and HO-4 is a renter’s insurance policy.

The HO-3 (standard) covers structural damage and personal property damage caused by a variety of things such as theft, snow, minor water damage, falling objects, smoke, fires and windstorm occurrences. In the event something happens and you have to place your possessions into a self-storage facility, chances are that the coverage extends to those items.

The personal liability clause covers the liability in the event someone gets hurt on your property, or someone in your family has an accident on your property. Having this insurance is very important and can protect you in the event of a lawsuit.

You should research your policy to see what is not covered. Generally, flood insurance is not included unless you live in a flood zone, at which time the mortgage company will usually require it as part of your policy. Earthquakes are also not covered, so if you live in an area that is known to have earthquakes, you may want to add this to your general policy.

Understand that if you have to exercise your policy, your items will be covered for their value and not what you paid for them. If you have recently bought items, having receipts available can get you more money in your settlement. If you have expensive items such as jewelry, paintings or other precious valuables, you want to get an addendum to your policy that will give you additional coverage. Your standard homeowner’s insurance carries a certain amount of coverage and won’t have enough of a threshold to cover the replacement value.

Living expenses in the event you have to move out while your home is being repaired may or may not be covered. In most instances, the coverage is not enough to cover an entire family’s expenses for an extended period of time. This will also be an added rider to your policy to make sure these things are covered. If you live in a flood zone or earthquake prone area, you want to be sure to get these additions in place.

Reading your policy thoroughly to know what type of coverage you have will allow you to make informed decisions moving forward in protecting your home and family.


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Putting Your Marketing Plan in Perspective for 2014

Are you planning your strategy for 2014? Does it include monitoring or building on your current results? If it doesn’t you’re in trouble. This should be a major focal point of how you navigate going forward. You need to make sure that each and every venture you take on has a plan in place to help build your ROI through your media channels. How can this be achieved?

There are a few things you can do:

  1. Have a strategy in place that integrates all your vehicles. This includes your social media, blogs, video, website and whatever else you use to reach the masses. This makes a huge difference when you plan to have your message disseminated across platforms. Even when you use content that links you to additional places, your website should be the main focal point of use for your consumers.
  2. Use your data to help you strategize and make decisions to enhance the strategy and brand. If you weren’t sure whether or not it mattered, make no mistake; it does.
  3. Use your vehicles wisely. Set your objectives and make sure you are using the vehicles that attract the most attention to your benefit. Even if you have multiple social media vehicles, you need to spread your integration out from the top down. Always leverage what you have to move forward and expand.
  4. Optimize your assets. Using what you have to develop your tactics and use them to engage and enhance your reach is important. You want each individual who uses your platforms to have their own unique experience.
  5. Make sure you understand your reports to tweak your strategy to evaluate and quantify your results. If you’re investing money into making an effort to engage your audience, you need to know whether or not it is working. You figure this out through analytics and reports. You won’t know the full ROI until you get the numbers to quantify your efforts.
  6. Do not hesitate to collect your data and analyze it properly. Having the data without looking at it is like giving someone your credit card with no limit. What’s the point of doing all of this if you are not going to look at the results and revise your strategy where needed? This is very important in moving forward.

Taking the time to have strategic meetings to gather and get your information is important. Your team needs to understand your business. For instance, if you are in the storage business, having a meeting in a climate-controlled unit or a portable storage unit can help them become familiar with the overall intent of your marketing concept. You can’t effectively market something you don’t know anything about.

Taking the time to know and understand Google Analytics should be a very important piece of your branding. You want to be prepared for the next page rank surprise and enhance your SEO tactics to their full value. Don’t be left behind, but take the challenge to move to the front of the pack.


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See Spot Repair

U.S. Contractors and homeowners start to understand the benefits of natural oil finishes

363When it comes to site-finished hardwood flooring, the good old US of A has, for most of recent history, relied on polyurethane.

But in the wake of concerns about chemical emissions from interior finishes that can compromise indoor air quality, we are starting to follow our European brothers and sisters, who for some reason, are always ahead of the curve on such things as healthful home finishes and furnishings.

We have in the past resisted natural oil finishes. We have thought they are not as durable as polyurethane. We have bemoaned the fact that they periodically require recoating. But in using natural oil on small residential and large commercial jobs, we have learned that these finishes offer many advantages.

Tennesse Hardwood 1 IMAG0222Natural oil finish allows you to see the natural look of the wood grain, and because it is a matte finish, it hides signs of normal wear. This is one reason commercial contractors serviced by Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors in Milford, OH., have been specifying it for large projects, such as Boca Restaurant in downtown Cincinnati.

The product Schumacher uses also is zero-VOC and has very little odor.

But perhaps the most outstanding benefit is something called spot repairability. When an area of the floor becomes noticeably scratched or damaged, the finish on that area can be repaired, without having to sand and re-coat a large area of the floor, as you have to do with polyurethane.

We demonstrate with the following series of photos:

These two wood samples have been finished with our favorite plant-based oil, one in natural, one with a dark tint. The product comes in more than 25 colors.
















We have now deliberately scratched both samples.

















A skilled flooring contractor will know how to prepare the scratched areas for spot-repair. This process in the photograph is called grain-chasing.
















The area is then recoated with the original finish. This finish will only bond with the damaged areas. That applied to undamaged areas will simply wipe away.













Once dry, the repair is finished.


















Schumacher & Co. Custom Hardwood Floors also does hardwood installation and finishing for Carpetland Carpet One, Buddy’s Flooring America and ProSource Wholesale Floorcoverings of Cincinnati.

Nancy Kibbee is editor at


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House for Life by Ryntovt Design

Ukrainian studio Ryntovt Design has completed the House for Life project, a 2,906 square foot single family house located in Dnepropetrovsk, the fourth largest city in Ukraine. Photos: Andrew Avdeenko More... Continue reading


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Storage Can Develop Inventive Ideas

There are so many things you can do with self-storage facilities. These units have been the inspiration for a number of businesses, movies and books. Taking things a step further, Jacqueline Sharp has taken her ideas and transformed them into a thriving business – all because of a storage unit. After a serious heartbreaking situation, Ms. Sharp took matters into her own hands. She always took old furniture and new pieces that she would find to make new selections.

Renting a storage unit, she put her ideas to work and started attending estate sales to house and develop her product. Through her motivation, her company FORT (Furnish or Trade) was born. “The more I went to estate sales, the more I fell in love with furniture, the more I would collect. Once I filled up the storage unit, I realized I had to do something with all my pieces, so I started to sell,” says Sharp.

She decorated her first home with furniture she made, getting her first table saw from Craigslist. “I didn’t know how to use it, so I went on YouTube and figured out how to use one, and that’s sort of where it began. After I made my first table, then I started making mirrors and side tables, and it kind of spiraled from there.”

Knowledge of FORT quickly spread, and Jacqueline’s storage unit became a showroom of sorts. After about four months, she had to move into her own facility. The brand has grown, getting recognition from an online promotion and a print ad from American Express featuring small business owners. Sharp was also asked to participate in the Tory Burch Foundation’s first West Coast class.

The company has grown through the sales of items and also works with a company to acquire furniture left over from Hollywood sets. Building furniture has always been a lifelong dream of Jacqueline, and she used to make forts in her grandparent’s house. Jaqueline says that every piece featured at FORT tells a story.

FORT has taken the Los Angeles furniture market by storm. Sharp says, “I love old things – old people, old furniture, old fabrics, old everything. I just feel like there is a history or a soul to these things that make them so much more valuable.”

Jacqueline has the support of her family to help her endeavor. Her brother Jeffrey speaks highly of his sister, calling her a talented craftswoman who can find value in what others have discarded. “This is what she’s been passionate about since she was young. You can almost make a room with just a piece from FORT. It really becomes a definitive piece of any room – a talking point in its second life.”

FORT holds a lot of promise for the future. Jacqueline’s company has been featured in Forbes Magazine, attracting attention from designers and retailers all over the world. It’s amazing what you can do with recycled materials and a lifelong passion. And it all started from a storage unit!


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