Storing Temperature-Sensitive Items


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 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

Spotlight on Chandler


Chandler’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree

Chandler, Arizona has grown from a small townsite established in in 1912 (the year Arizona became the 48th state), to a prominent suburb of Phoenix, with a population of over 230,000 residents. Originally, the town’s economy was based on agriculture (cotton, corn, and alfalfa), but these days Chandler is home to businesses like Intel, Verizon Wireless, and Microchip Technology.

In addition to its impressive business resume, Chandler is very popular with tourists, and hosts many colorful festivals, including the annual Ostrich Festival, a tribute to the days when ostrich farms in the Continue reading

Moving with Your Pets

cat-dogIf you think moving is stressful for you, let’s talk about your pets for a minute. Cats and dogs are very sensitive to changes in their environment, and moving to a new home is a huge event for them. Here are some tips on how to make it easier on your furry kids.

While you are preparing for your move:

  • Set out their carriers several days before you leave, and leave them open so they can explore them and perhaps sit in them.
  • Bring the packing boxes in a few days early as well, so they have time to acclimate to the sight of them. (The Dollar Self Storage in your area has high quality packing and moving supplies available for purchase.)
  • Try to keep their routines as normal as possible – feed and walk them at the normal times.
  • Your pets respond to your mood – if you can manage to stay calm and upbeat during this stressful time, it will help your pets to stay calmer as well.
  • Keep track of your cats – the more stressed they are, the more they are likely to look for hiding places, including holes at the back of your closet you didn’t know existed, the tiny space between the dryer and the wall — and packing boxes.
  • Keep your dogs leashed – even the most well-behaved dog can run away when faced with the stress of moving to unfamiliar surroundings.
  • On the final day, you might want to confine them to one room. Cats especially might try to run away, so best to keep them safely confined. You could also consider having a friend or neighbor take care of them while the truck is being loaded, or board them for the day at your vet.

Continue reading

Choosing the Right Size Storage Unit


If you are considering renting a storage unit, it can be hard to figure out just how big a space you will need. For instance, I know that  I seem to have a problem estimating space requirements for my all my stuff – which may explain why my car won’t fit in my garage anymore. If you have the same spatial reasoning issues I do, you could probably use a guide to storage unit sizes. (Remember that in a storage unit, you usually store large items like beds and couches on end to take advantage of vertical space and use a smaller footprint.)

Here are the typical sizes available, and a description of what they can hold:

  • 5 x 5 (25 sq. ft.) holds the contents of one small room, or is a great option for storage of sports equipment or seasonal decorations.
  • 5 x 10 (50 sq. ft) holds the contents of two small rooms, or one larger room (can handle a queen sized bed)
  • 10 x 10 (100 sq. ft.) holds the contents of three rooms (a living room and two bedrooms, for instance)
  • 10 x 15 (150 sq. ft.) holds the contents of four rooms (will accommodate larger items, like pianos and dining tables)
  • 10 x 20 (200 sq. ft.) holds the contents of five rooms, including items such as appliances
  • 10 x 25 (250 sq. ft.) holds the contents of an entire 3 bedroom house

Dollar Self Storage has units from 25 sq. ft. to 1,000 sq. ft, so you only pay for the size you need. And if you need to store some really big items, like RVs and boats, Dollar has five locations that offer affordable, clean, and secure RV and boat storage.

How to Choose a Lock for Your Storage Unit

We have been locking up our valuables for a very long time. Six thousand years ago, people used ropes and complicated knots to ward off robbers. Then the Ancient Egyptians invented a pin tumbler lock made entirely of wood.  It is believed the Romans were the first to use metal for their locks. These days, although high security government facilities may be moving toward futuristic biometrics to keep things secure (think eye scans), most of us still rely on the traditional lock and key. With every new innovation in the technology of locks, the principal remains the same: limit access to your stuff to those with the key! Continue reading