Using Your Storage Unit for Offsite Computer Backups

hard-diskMost of us understand the importance of backing up our computers. These days, so much of our lives is stored on our hard drive – family photos, financial data, our entire music library – all it takes is one fatal crash to underscore how vulnerable our digital information is. But it is also important to understand that backing up your computer involves more than one backup done on an external hard drive sitting next to your computer. Continue reading

Spotlight on Laveen

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The Estrella Mountains west of Laveen

Laveen is a community southwest of downtown Phoenix. The area was originally inhabited by Pima and Maricopa tribal members.  In the 1870’s, dairy farmers and cotton farmers settled in the area. By the early 1900’s, a large enough community had grown up that Walter Laveen was able to open the first general store, and the town became known as Laveen. Walter also became Laveen’s first postmaster, and later a Sheriff for Pinal County.

Laveen was long separated from Phoenix by the Salt River, which has water in it year-round.  As the twentieth century progressed, more bridges were built and Phoenix kept on growing, until the previously rural Laveen finally became part of the larger urban area of the city of Phoenix. Continue reading

Micro-Apartment Living

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Tiny House!

Here’s an interesting update on the micro apartments we talked about in a previous post: leasing has begun at New York City’s first micro-unit development, a nine-story building on East 27th street with 55 studio apartments ranging from 260 to 360 square feet.  Fourteen of the units are designated as “affordable”, meaning they will rent for about $950 a month – 60,000 people have applied for those 14 apartments. (Check out this article in The New York Times.)

 
The idea behind these micro apartments is to provide an option for the many single people Continue reading

A History of Self-Storage

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Dollar Self Storage facility – Bright, Clean, Secure

Self-storage facilities are such a common part of the American landscape these days, it’s hard to remember a time when they weren’t around. The fact of the matter is, self-storage as we know it is only about fifty years old, although the concept of storing your goods somewhere other than your home is much older. The Self-Storage Association believes personal storage first began in England when British banking institutions were asked to safeguard valuables for clients embarking on extended voyages. But bank vaults quickly became filled up, and other locations had to be used, such as drayage, or moving companies’ facilities. In the 1850’s, the first warehouse specifically dedicated to personal storage was built. This became the model for many years — warehouses as tall as ten stories were built for personal storage, with freight elevators to reach the storage rooms

Continue reading

Storing Temperature-Sensitive Items

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Even climate control can’t save your ice sculpture.

There are a number of factors that need to be considered when deciding whether or not to rent a climate-controlled storage unit. If you are storing things like garden tools, bicycles, or holiday decorations, or are doing very short-term storage, temperature variation might not be very important. But if you are storing items with a great sentimental or monetary value, you might want to give serious thought to renting a climate-controlled unit.

Here are some materials that can be affected by extremes of temperature:

Wood (furniture) – can crack and warp from expanding and contracting as temperatures swing from extreme hot to extreme cold. Continue reading

Storage Unit Inventory

inventoryIn the last post we talked about how to organize your storage unit. You may recall the last tip offered was to make a diagram of the storage unit and note the location of items in the unit. This will indeed make your life easier, but now we are going to crank it up a notch: a complete inventory of your storage unit, stored in the cloud! How high-tech, 21st century hip is that!

And, of course, there’s an app for that. This article on Mashable.com discusses not only the benefits of doing an inventory of all your stuff, but also reviews eight home inventory apps that will allow you to upload photos and receipts and any other pertinent information about your items, then store it all safely in the cloud.

The beauty of this is that you can use these apps not only for home inventory, but also for storage inventory.  The importance of all this will become painfully clear if a hurricane blows through, or some other unavoidable disaster causes you to scramble to remember what you had and what it was worth.  If you want the best settlement from your insurance company, you need a thorough and complete inventory.

You don’t have to be an organization nut to see the sense in that!

How to Organize Your Storage Unit

organized-your-storage-unitIt is so tempting to just shove everything into your storage unit, lock the door, and run away! But you are going to have to use those items again – after all, that’s why you are storing them instead of getting rid of them, right? So make a plan, you won’t regret it. You will, however, regret storing your weight set on top of Grandma’s antique china, or all of those boxes of books on top of your memory foam mattress.

Here are some tips on how to organize your storage unit so that it serves you well:

  • Rent the largest unit you can afford. Not so you can jam more stuff in there – so you can leave a little open space. If you can leave a narrow aisle from front to back of your storage unit, you will be able to access more of your items, and you won’t have to unpack the entire storage unit to get to something at the back. (Note: Our Corona Third Street location  has units up to 1,000 square feet, also suitable for business storage.) Continue reading

Spotlight on Glendale

The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ

The University of Phoenix Stadium In Glendale, AZ Taken by en:Flickr user MCSixth

Glendale, Arizona is a bustling metropolitan area about 9 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix that is home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. They play at the University of Phoenix stadium which hosted Super Bowl XLII in 2008, and Super Bowl XLIX in 2015. In January of 2016, it will host the College Football National Championship.

Although now considered part of the larger Phoenix metropolitan area, Glendale has a history dating back to the late 1800’s, when William John Murphy was in charge of building a 40-mile long canal for the Arizona Canal Company. Murphy formed the Arizona Improvement Company, and sold the land and water rights south of the canal, referring to the area as Glendale. To provide better access from Glendale to Phoenix, he built an 18-mile road he named Grand Avenue. Continue reading

Grandma’s Moving In: Why You Should be Glad

grandmaIs it time for grandma and/or grandpa to move in with you? This is a big decision for everyone, and can evoke a lot of strong emotions and stress. We hear a lot about the “sandwich generation”, adults who find themselves caring for their children as well as their aging parents, but this is a difficult time for the aging parents as well. No one likes to give up their independence and their authority. People spend a lot of time dreading this very scenario, looking for ways around it, but here’s the surprising truth: the benefits of multi-generational households far outweigh the risks. Here are just a few reasons to embrace a full house:

Financial: Sharing a home can take financial pressure off of both the aging parents and their adult children. It makes a lot of economic sense to share resources these days, and everyone can usually contribute something. Sit down and talk Continue reading

Create a Baby Accessory Co-op with a Shared Storage Unit

baby-toysIf you have young children, you know how much room baby and toddler “stuff” takes up. Bassinets, high chairs, booster seats, exersaucers, bouncy chairs, strollers, baby swings – how did our ancestors raise children without all these things? Not to mention baby clothes, maternity clothes, baby blankets …

It is not long before your house is so full of baby “accessories”, you can barely move. But getting rid of them is difficult, too. Not only do you get emotionally attached to some of these items (especially clothes and toys), but what if you want to have another child? You’ll just have to buy them all over again, right?

Well, here’s a solution you may not have thought of that just makes so much sense. If you are a young family, you probably live in a neighborhood with other young families. Or you may have siblings or cousins that are also raising young children. If you share the cost of a storage unit with a few other families, you can create a communal baby accessory co-op of sorts that will provide tremendous benefit to all involved, at minimal cost. Continue reading