A-OK Self Storage
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Storage Tips

Why Climate Controlled Storage?

Severe hot or cold weather can damage items stored in storage units. Important documentation for your home or business, computer equipment and electronics, wood or leather furniture, photographs, books, clothing, artwork and other valuable possessions can be destroyed if not properly protected. If you live or work in a geographic area with these weather conditions, climate-controlled storage units provide the ideal solution for storing your personal or business-related items.

A-OK self-storage climate control units endeavor to maintain as close as possible a steady temperature offering In-Floor radiant heat with in each unit. A-OK self-storage considers In-Floor Radiant a superior and evenly distributed heating system that allows the heat to rise evenly through-out the entire unit. A-OK self-storage personnel would be pleased to explain the differences in climate control and even show you the furnaces that will heat your unit.

Before choosing any self storage climate controlled facility, carefully have them explain how they will heat your unit and the type of system they use. 

Helpful hints to make the packing and storing of your belongings at A-OK Self Storage a breeze!

  1. Use furniture drawers to hold delicate items. Wrap them in bubble wrap or newspaper.
  2. When packing toys or smaller objects, remember to fill boxes completely, stuffing open areas with plain newspaper to prevent collapsing when stacked.
  3. Be careful not to store anything combustible (such as paint and chemicals) or perishable (such as food).
  4. When storing lawn and garden equipment, drain any fluids prior to storage in order to avoid corrosive damage.
  5. Use trash cans to store shovels, hoes and rakes.
  6. Always use high quality locks on your unit. A-OK Self Storage sells locks on-site; as well as all your packing supply needs.
  7. When storing delicate heirlooms, use specially constructed boxes, such as wardrobe boxes, and utilize dehumidifiers to prevent mildew build up. A-Ok Self Storage has those items as well.
  8. Store furniture carefully on boards or pallets.
  9. Cover mattresses and store them flat on level surfaces.
  10. Store small items like pots and pans in large appliances, such as stoves or refrigerators.
  11. Break down items (such as table legs) and store large furniture (like tabletops and sofas) on end to save space.
  12. Use protective covers and treat wood surfaces before storing.
  13. When storing business files, label all boxes and construct aisles so files are easily seen and accessible.
  14. Clean furniture, boxes and the storage unit of all food and perishables

 

Packing Efficiently for Storage

Self-storage units don’t have to be a space you visit once or twice a year to dig something out of a stack of boxes. They can be highly organized, easily accessible spaces that free up necessary space in your home or office. To get the most out of them, though, it is best to plan ahead before you start loading up the truck. Here are steps to help you plan:

Step 1: Plan What You Will Store

  1. Start by identifying items that will be packed in boxes and stacked. 
  2. Prioritize boxed items you will want to access most frequently (they’ll go closer to the front of the unit). 
  3. Group by fragility or weight – heavier, sturdier items should be stored on the bottom of stacked items, fragile items on top. 
  4. Consider awkwardly-sized items that won’t stack well, including how often you will need to use them, and how heavy they are. 

Step 2: Choose the Right Size Unit

Nobody wants to pay for storage they don’t need. But a little extra space makes moving around within the unit much easier. It also gives you room to add those unplanned items that always seem to pop up.

A-OK Self Storage facility personnel can be quite helpful in determining how much space you will need.

Step 3: Organize and Pack Your Items with a Plan in Mind

Organizing and efficiently packing your items will take time and concentration. However, the up-front effort will be well worth it when you’re able to easily unload and organize your items at the storage unit. Here are some tips for packing:

Invest in Supplies

  • Use boxes, not plastic bags. Boxes are sturdier and stack well, taking up less space. Many moving companies require that goods be packed in boxes for transport. Also, sealed plastic bags can trap humidity which can cause damaging mildew.
  • Invest in good quality, sturdy boxes and packing materials. Boxes should be sturdy enough to hold up for years under the weight of the stack. You may be tempted to get boxes for free from supermarkets and liquor stores; however, the mismatched shapes and sizes will impede your ability to organize most effectively. You can buy standard-sized boxes and specialty boxes for items such as TVs, videotapes and pictures.
  • For wrapping breakables, paper will do, but bubble wrap can be used repeatedly, is cleaner, and because it is transparent, makes identifying contents easier.
  • Most people end up needing more tape than they thought they would when packing. A-OK self-storage personnel can help you estimate how much tape you’ll need for the number of boxes you’ll be packing. Some places sell tape that is pre-labeled.

For your convenience, packing supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap and tape are available for purchase at the A-OK Self-Storage  facility.

Packing in Boxes

  • Box up everything that you can. Anything left unboxed in a self-storage facility can get dusty.
  • Fill boxes to capacity. The contents in half-empty boxes can shift during transport or lifting. Corners and sides can collapse if there’s nothing to support them. Foam peanuts are handy for filling in the gaps in boxes.
  • Distribute the weight in packed boxes evenly. Make sure they are not too heavy for you and others who may be lifting them.
  • Wrap all fragile items and breakables such as dishes, glasses, ornaments, etc. separately. Pack these items tightly into strong or reinforced boxes, filling any gaps with paper or filler. Mark “Fragile” on any boxes containing breakable items.
  • Clearly label all boxes on more than one side so you can easily identify the contents. A-OK self-storage has a full line of labels for your needs.
  • Pack books flat to avoid damaging their spines.

Packing Other Items

  • If you plan to store clothes, think about investing in a wardrobe box with a built-in hanging rod. These are available for purchase at A-OK self-storage.
  • Large appliances must be prepared correctly for proper storage:
    • Defrost refrigerators and freezers thoroughly to avoid water damage and mildew growth. Tie down the appliance doors during transport, but leave them slightly ajar once in storage. 
    • Drain washing machines, and tie down hoses and cords before storing them.
    • It’s a good idea to wipe down the inside of appliances with baking soda before you store them to keep them dry.
  • Wrap mirrors and pictures in protective covering such as bubble wrap and mark them as “Fragile.” Cardboard corners can be purchased to protect the sharpest, weakest areas of frames.
  • If storing photographs, consider a climate controlled unit where temperature fluctuations will not damage your photos. If you do store loose photographs, place them between pieces of clean cardboard and consider taping them together to avoid curling.
  • Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection.
  • If you're storing upholstered products such as mattresses and sofas, consider investing in covers, bags or sheeting for additional protection. Storage and moving facilities often sell large heavy-duty bags for this purpose.
  • Vacuum-sealed bags work really well for draperies, bedding, and clothing.
  • Electrical equipment such as TVs, stereos, and computers should be packed in their original boxes whenever possible. If using other boxes, choose ones that are as close in size to the original as possible, and fill all gaps with paper. Make sure you secure the player arm of a record player and turntable.
  • Disassemble furniture such as beds and tables before you store them. Wrap and cover the separate sections, clearly mark them and keep them together. Keep assembly components such as screws and bolts together in a plastic bag, mark them clearly, and tape the bag to the appropriate piece of furniture. (Use tape that is safe for use on furniture, or tape the bag to an inconspicuous place on the piece.) Cover chair legs with bubble wrap or rags for extra protection.
  • Spray your wood furniture with a good quality furniture polish before storing it to give it some added protection.
  • Treat leather items with a leather conditioner before you store them.
  • Wipe down metal objects and tools with a little oil before storing them to avoid rust formation that can occur when the tools are not used regularly.
  • When storing a vacuum cleaner, clean out the bag or canister first; bacteria, mold and vermin can accumulate otherwise.
  • When storing an oven as well as a refrigerator, enclose the exposed back area of the appliances to prevent vermin.

Step 4: Unpack and Arrange Items Efficiently

As you arrive at the A-OK self-storage facility and begin to unload, arranging your furniture, equipment, boxes, and other odds-and-ends efficiently in your storage unit will make a big difference in maximizing its convenience.

Here are a few tried-and-true suggestions for putting items into your unit:

Plan ahead

  • While your storage unit should already be clean and swept out, consider putting down protective canvas sheeting, cardboard or wooden boards on the floor for cleanliness.
  • Keep a fold-up step stool in your space for accessing hard-to-reach areas.
  • Frequently-used items should be placed near the entrance for easy access. This holds true for file boxes and other business items, too.
  • Unload the largest items and place them against the far wall, as well as along the sides of the unit.
  • For archived business documents that you won’t need to access frequently, place them against the far wall of the unit.
  • When arranging items, leave an aisle space for easy access to your items. You can either leave aisles between your stacks of boxes and furniture, or line up all your furniture and boxes against the outside walls of the unit in a “U” shape, leaving the inside of the U as open space.

For furniture and other large items

  • Break down furniture into smaller pieces, if possible. Take the legs off of tables, disassemble bed frames and lean them against the wall, etc.
  • Cover furniture with sheets or tarps to protect them against scratches, dust and other damage..
  • Store large pieces of furniture vertically to save space. Stand sofas on end when possible.
  • If you have room to store a sofa flat, then a loveseat can be placed upside down on top of the sofa, and a table stacked on top of that.
  • Chairs can be stacked seat to seat.
  • In most cases, you can stack dryers on top of washers.

For odd-shaped, miscellaneous items

  • You can tie tools and long-handled items such as rakes, snow shovels and brooms in bundles. Or, put them inside garbage cans to keep them neat.
  • Mirrors and framed artwork should never be stored flat, as they can collapse under their own weight.
  • Be sure when stacking boxes and containers that you can clearly see the labels you put on them.
  • When stacking boxes, always make sure to put the heaviest boxes at the bottom to avoid damage.
  • Stack boxes and similarly sized items together to save space.

Be creative

  • You can use virtually all of the space in and around your stored furniture, including other items, as places to store more items. Fill anything that's hollow with items to maximize your available space:
  • Furniture drawers are good for storing fragile items
  • Stack the shelves of bookcases with books, small boxes and other odds and ends
  • Store boxes containing fragile goods inside of wardrobes
  • Store pillows, blankets and other bedding inside washers and dryers
  • Store clothes inside dresser drawers

You may be thinking that all this planning, preparing and setting up your self-storage unit may seem like a big project. You’ll find the time and effort are worth it, though, when you discover the peace of mind that comes with knowing your belongings are protected, conveniently accessible and well-preserved. At A-OK Self-Storage.

 

What Should or Should Not be Stored in a Self Storage Unit?

Self-storage is an excellent option for storing overflow of many different types of materials from your home or business. You can think of your storage unit as a second garage or business supply room.

When planning what to store in your unit, whether for business or personal purposes, consider that all storage facilities have State restrictions on what they will allow you to store on their premises. This is for the protection of not just you and your belongings, but the facility staff and other customers and their goods. You will be required to sign a lease indicating that you understand and agree to adhere to the rules and restrictions for what items are allowable. As a general rule, any item or material that is considered “inherently dangerous” will not be allowed. 

if you’re not sure if an item is allowed, call A-OK Self Storage ahead of time to find out. This will prevent any related inconvenience upon arriving at the storage site.

A-OK Self Storage frequently gets questions about what is acceptable to store. Here is a list of items and materials about which we are commonly asked:

Combustible, Flammable, Hazardous or Toxic Materials

Considered “inherently dangerous,” these include gasoline, compressed gas, propane tanks, kerosene, lamp and motor oil, acid, grease, corrosives, fertilizer, paint, cleaners, chemicals, narcotics, or hazardous, toxic or biological waste. Asbestos or products containing asbestos are not allowed. You also cannot store fireworks, explosives, weapons or ammunition.

 Vehicles – RV’s - Boats

A-Ok’s self-storage units are a convenient place to store vehicles of virtually any type. Keeping your car, truck, van, RV, ATV, golf cart, boat, motorcycle, jet ski or trailer at a storage facility frees up valuable space on your property or in your garage. Since A-OK self Storage rents on a month-to-month basis, this makes storing vehicles during the off-season or during extended periods of travel an excellent solution.

Storing vehicles is generally acceptable, at A-OK Self Storage as long as they are registered, insured and in operational condition.

  • Wheeled vehicles must be in drivable condition, (i.e. must be driven onto the lot)
  • Tires must be inflated
  • Customers are prohibited from occupying vehicles while in storage.

Medical/Pharmaceutical Supplies & Equipment

If you are a sales representative, you may find a self-storage unit a convenient place to manage medical supplies and pharmaceutical samples. It is a useful way to keep your products organized and easily accessible without cluttering up your office or filling your car trunk. While most supplies are acceptable, radioactive equipment – or anything that contains radioactive materials – cannot legally be stored.

Construction Equipment

If you work in construction, it can be convenient to stop by the storage unit on the way to the site and pick up the equipment you need. However, please check with A-OK Self Storage before planning to store any construction equipment. Some equipment – for example, equipment used to locate underground water – is prohibited.

Perishable Food and Animal Products

Canned foods can be stored in storage units, but perishable food products such as cereals, produce or meats are not allowed. These may spoil or attract pests.

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items

Any animals or plants – alive or dead – cannot be stored. Nor can any stolen items. People are not allowed to plug in or use refrigerators, freezers, generators, space heaters or live in storage units.