Category Archives: Storage

Rent a Storage Unit, Help a Friend

help-a-friendHere’s an interesting thought: did you ever consider that renting a storage unit could save someone’s life? Well, OK, that might be a little exaggerated, but consider this scenario: you have a friend who has lost their job. You commiserate, give them helpful advice, and encourage them to keep looking because something good will turn up. But a couple of months go by, and they still haven’t found a job. Now their savings account is running low, and they probably can’t make next month’s rent. You could loan them some money (always a dicey proposition between friends) or … you could rent a storage unit for them.

What good is a storage unit going to do them, you ask. Well, they can give notice on that apartment before they get kicked out, move all their stuff into the storage unit, then move in with a relative or friend (maybe you, maybe not) while they regroup. Once they find that new job, they can save up for a new apartment, joyfully get their stuff out of storage, and make a fresh start. All because you rented a storage unit.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day to reflect on the many blessings in your life. But today could be a day when you could make a real difference in the life of a friend.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Dollar Self Storage family.

The Future of Self-Storage Looks Bright (and Attractive!)

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No longer relegated to the edge of town next to the defunct drive-in theater, today’s self-storage facilities are bright, clean, and designed to fit in with the aesthetics of the local neighborhood. In a previous post, we talk about the historical roots of the storage industry, beginning as it did in warehouses in the industrial part of town. Even after its transformation in 1960’s Texas to the “self-storage” industry, where you could drive right up to the door of your unit, the facilities were still visually unappealing and usually in the low-rent district. But flash forward to the 21st century, and as the demand for off-site storage has increased, consumers have come to expect more upscale, conveniently located facilities.

In addition to attractive modern architecture, these re-imagined self-storage facilities often offer special amenities, like covered loading docks, elevators, access to moving dollies and rolling carts. Luxurious landscaping features often brighten the environment, and air-conditioning, controlled access, and security cameras are par for the course. Continue reading

Storage Scarcity

storage-unitsYou know what storage scarcity looks like in your house – overflowing closets and cupboards, and a garage you can’t park your car in. But even after you have committed to renting a storage unit, sometimes there is a scarcity of the right sized units. If you have your heart set on a 5’ x 5’ unit, for instance, and can’t find any in the storage facility near you, there are some strategies you can employ to solve this problem. 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

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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

Choosing the Right Size Storage Unit

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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


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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