7 simple tools to declutter your garage

Your garage doesn’t have a lot of free floor space, especially if you have a vehicle parked there. Think about what’s currently there and what can be placed on the walls and ceiling.

Hooks

Hooks can be used to suspend bikes, hang coats, hold chainsaws and hedge trimmers, even to keep rakes and shovels off the ground. Be creative, you’ll be surprised at what you can do with such a simple item.

Peg boards

Peg boards are great for small tools like wrenches and screw drivers. You can utilize quite a bit of space on a wall with a handy item like this. It keeps your tools accessible which will save you time the exact tool you’re looking for. Most peg boards come with small, suspendable boxes where you can keep nuts and bolts, screws and washers and other small items.

Baskets

Baskets can be used to store everyday items. They can be fastened with hooks on the wall to utilize even more space. Consider using them for holding sports gear, smaller power tools and cleaning products.

Shelves

Whether you’re storing sports equipment like baseballs and bats, paint cans or smaller items, shelves come in a variety of lengths and depths. Don’t forget this all purpose solution for virtually anything.

Storage systems

If you need more than just a few shelves, consider purchasing a proper storage system. This could range from a closet or wardrobe, to large tool storage systems, to a multi-purpose outdoor cabinet system. Depending on what you’re using your garage for and the size of the space, these systems, although costly, can be incredibly handy.

Wheeled storage

Most garages are changed seasonally to keep functional items close by depending on the season. Keep that in mind when you’re purchasing storage tools, and invest in wheeled cabinets or trolleys. That way, you can easily wheel things around your garage or outdoors as required.

Scrap lumber

Last month, you finished rebuilding your deck, but you’re left with a stack of different pieces of wood. Instead of throwing them away, consider building your own small storage unit or use individual pieces as shelves. That way, you’ll save some money by not needing to buy a separate item… and you’re recycling!

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7 tips for storage auction bidding

You’ve all seen the shows about storage auction wars. It’s competitive, it’s rough, it’s disappointing and yet rewarding at times. Before getting into the game, here are a few tips.

Know the rules

Storage facilities have general rules that need to be applied. For liability reasons, they don’t usually enter the units they’re selling. However, when that door rolls up for bidding, back off if you see a couple of things:

  • odors, such as mold which can come from old food in appliances,
  • critters or insects like rats and cockroaches,
  • storage drums, which could contain anything, even hazardous waste.

Most storage facility owners can’t sell units like these, so know the rules and make sure you don’t get caught with an unsafe unit.

Keep quiet

The last thing you want to do is announce to the world that you’ve found a signed letter from George Washington or an unopened collection of original Star Wars figures. Keep your findings to yourself, identify buyers quickly and liquidate your haul… quietly.

Get in shape

Most professionals look to turn around units quickly, but it’s not as easy as it looks. Sifting through unit upon unit is physically demanding, so make sure you can handle the job.

Don’t get caught up in the excitement

There’s no need to buy a unit every time you attend a storage auction. Take your time and weigh your options. Have a goal in mind and bid on the units that make sense for you. Set a limit for yourself to ensure you can make a profit later. If you’re just getting into the business, don’t bring any money with you. Instead, have a look at what it’s all about.

Identify buyers

As mentioned, most professionals try to go through units quickly. You may need to bring items home or keep them in your own self storage unit for some time. To streamline the process, find buyers ahead of time like pawn shops, specialty buyers and online classified advertising services like Kijiji or Craigslist.

Go through everything

Some units may seem like they include a pile of junk, but you may find some hidden gems. Be meticulous and sort through all items. You never know what you’ll find!

Be safe

Not from the bidders, but from the hazards of an old storage unit. It’s a dirty business so invest in a mask and heavy duty gloves.

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The three D’s of storage

 

There are three main reasons why people choose storage: divorce, death and downsizing. They are all difficult times and you’ll likely feel overwhelmed. One of your concerns will likely be what do with your stuff.

Divorce
Going through a divorce can be one of the hardest times of your life. It affects you, but it can also involve kids. Determining assets and figuring out what you’re going to keep can be a complicated process, but in the end, you’re going to part with many possessions.

There may also be a long transition going from your old home to a new lifestyle. You may need to find a new place or move to a new city altogether. Your new house is probably smaller than your last, or maybe you’ll rent for a bit. Either way, you need some time to get back on your feet.

With all these changes, many people choose self storage units to keep their stuff in while they figure out their next step. That way you can deal with the more important things while knowing that your possessions are stored away safely in a convenient location.

Death
Losing a loved one can be one of the most painful things in life. The time immediately following is stressful and emotional. Eventually, you’ll need to go through the belongings of your loved one and determine what you want to keep, give to someone else, donate, or throw away.

You’ll likely end up with a whole new bedroom set, clothes, collections and other keepsakes. You may not have the space in your own home, but these items are important to you. That’s where a storage unit may come in handy.

Downsizing
People downsize their homes for different reasons, but ultimately that means getting rid of stuff. Perhaps you recently retired and want to move into that neighbourhood you always dreamed of, the kids moved out and you’re looking for a condo, or you’re moving from the country to the city and can’t afford a big place.

Whatever the reason, you’ve gone from a large home to a smaller one. You’ll get rid of some stuff, give items to others, but there are probably some things you want to keep. You may want to hold onto useful items that you may still need like tools, or keep sentimental pieces like family heirlooms that you want to pass onto your kids.

Make sure that you enjoy your new lifestyle without clutter in your new home and grab a storage unit nearby.

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4 reasons why people keep things

We’ve all heard the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It’s all too true when it comes to our possessions. An old t-shirt, a collection of vinyls, a One Direction poster… Why do we keep things? What makes these things so important to us when they are seemingly unimportant to someone else?

Sentimental
One of the main reasons people keep objects is the sentimental value they have – the personal link they hold. There’s an association with a particular object that is important to us. Perhaps someone we admire values it and you may feel guilty if you throw it away. Old china from your grandmother or your someone’s trophies for example.

Sometimes objects are connected to memories. Old movie tickets from your first date, a tie from a loved one or a yearbook. Possessions are tied to important moments in our lives, whether they be positive or negative. These items help us remember specific times and losing them makes us feel like we’re losing a memory.

While these may not be of practical value, they are important nonetheless.

Market value
Objects hold value because, well… they’re valuable! They’re worth something, such as collectibles. Do you have some old Star Wars figurines? Bonus! In mint condition and still in their original packaging? Now we’re talking.

Gold and jewelry maintain and sometimes increase in value. Autographed memorabilia or a book that is no longer in print. You may want to keep these types of objects aside to cash in later.

Maybe these objects are not worth something now, but they could some day. One word: vintage. Something that is out of style today could come back later and is suddenly very valuable.

Utility
People also keep objects because they’re useful. Tools are a good example. How often do you use your mitre saw? Your chainsaw? They may not be needed now… or next year… or the following year, but they’re still useful. You’re not going to throw them away because they could come in handy later.

To keep for later
Similar to utility, we often keep objects for later use for other reasons. We’re saving them for a special occasion, a special moment. Or maybe you’re saving them for someone else.

Keepsakes for future generations, something you want your kids to have. Like an instrument you played that you want your kids to play, your mother’s wedding dress or even war medals. These may not be items that you necessarily need or want, but you may hold onto them for others.

 

Whatever the reason you’re holding on to those items, you may not have the space to keep them in your home. A storage unit may just be the right place to keep them.

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Is that your garage?!

It’s cold, it’s dark and it’s full of junk! It used to store vehicles, bikes and other shiny objects, but now, it’s one of the most inhospitable places on the planet for humans.

Oh wait… that’s your garage.

Imagine the liberation in reclaiming the two-car garage you got when you purchased your home. You could turn it into anything: a workshop, a recording studio, a yoga space or even a place to park your cars.

Per square foot, renting a self storage unit is actually cheaper than that space attached to your house that’s become unusable, jammed with bikes, camping gear, and who knows what’s under those boxes.

You own that space… put up a fight and take it back my friend!

Heck, if you need a van to cart everything away, many storage facilities can help.

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Downsizing doesn’t mean junking

Whether you’re downsizing your home, your life or your kids, you may find yourself in need of a storage unit in a hurry.

room

 

Maybe you’re retiring and need to move from your five bedroom country home to a condo downtown, closer to a popular neighborhood and friends. Perhaps your kids have moved out of the house, on to university and living lives of their own, and you don’t need that big space anymore.

Sometimes it isn’t your choice. You lost your job and need to downsize to a more affordable home or you’ve gone through a divorce and need to find a new, smaller space. You don’t always choose what life throws at you.

No matter what the case, downsizing doesn’t mean junking – don’t throw everything away! You can keep your belongings that you don’t necessarily access every day: items that remind you of your kids, a vinyl collection, art, power tools, etc… they can all be kept in a self storage unit.

You may need a small storage space, or something a little bigger. Self storage units come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs.

Although you’re downsizing your life, don’t downsize your stuff.

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Perks of climate control

Worried about your items being damaged because of the weather?

We have two words for you: CLIMATE CONTROL. The majority of storage facilities offer this important perk, for a premium.

Climate control keeps temperatures and humidity levels constant, which can be very important when storing things long term, such as sporting equipment, mattresses, books, documents, board games, instruments, artwork…

Climate-controlled units reduce these risks by keeping the space at a safe temperature.

Is climate control for you?

If you are storing items with sentimental, historical, or monetary value, climate control might be worth the extra few bucks. If these possessions are irreplaceable, expensive or being stored for an extended period of time, a clean, secure, and dry storage unit is essential.

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Breaking up and boxing up: How the right storage solution can help you through a difficult transition

Moving is tough, even under the best of circumstances.

What can make it even harder is figuring out the logistics when you’re in the midst of a divorce or recent split.

Sifting through belongings can be painstaking and exhausting… so where should you even begin?!

The important thing is to deal with the essentials- first and foremost. The bedroom furniture, the kitchen appliances, the designer coffee table. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re taking with you to start on this next chapter in your life in a new home. Box it up, pack it up, and get it ready for the big move.

This is where it gets tough : Christmas decorations, family keepsakes, the children’s memory boxes, your wedding dress. These are not things you want to be sifting through during what may be a more emotionally difficult time in your life.

These belongings are important to you, and you should absolutely take the time to go through them- when you feel good and ready.

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