A Guide for Selecting the Right Moving Supplies and Packing Supplies

Whether you’re hiring full-service movers or DIY’ing to save money on your upcoming move, getting at least some moving supplies is non-negotiable. So, unless you completely outsource packing (which will be expensive but will eliminate the need to get moving supplies yourself), you’ll need certain items to protect and transport your belongings. Even if you do pay someone to pack your home, you’ll still need to pack personal essentials for moving day.

Using the right packing material and moving supplies will keep you organized and your belongings safe so your move is streamlined and stress-free. Some are essential, some are just great to have. Here’s our complete list of moving supplies, packing tips, advice on how to save money on packing supplies, how to choose the right packing and moving supplies, and FAQs.

Here are some steps you can take when it’s time to choose your packing and moving supplies.

Figure out your moving budget

The best way to pack for moving is to start earlier, rather than later. Our moving checklist suggests that you figure out your moving budget two months before the move. Before hiring a moving company or committing to a DIY move, figure out your overall relocation budget. Those looking to hire a moving company for a long-distance move should budget around $5,000. A local move, on the other hand, may only cost around $1,000. If moving for a job, be sure to also check with your employer about whether or not they’ll be covering expenses. The budget amount might fluctuate as you adjust, but it’s helpful to start with the ballpark figure at least. Please take advantage of our online moving cost calculator to figure out how much you can expect to spend.

Create an inventory

If you hire professionals, they will do an inventory too (in person or via a virtual survey), but you need to create your own inventory. This is a necessary step for several reasons, including figuring out what moving supplies you’ll need and in what quantities. Go through all your belongings, room by room and closet by closet. Include all cabinets and drawers. Get an idea of how much you’ve got and make notes of what can go. Take inventory of what furniture isn’t worth moving, and also do a closet purge. If it doesn’t fit, is out of style, and/or you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it. The same goes for your children’s closets, linen closets and bathroom shelves. Toss, recycle or donate what you don’t need. Sell your better yet still unwanted items. It’s an undertaking, but it’s the only way to get an idea of how much you’ve got to move and to lighten your load. If there are some items you want to keep but don’t want to bring them to the new home, consider storing the items in a storage unit. You can rent a storage unit (big or small) according to the number and size of the items you want to store. At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities and storage unit sizes across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our self-storage facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack and our team is thrilled to help you with your storage needs! Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Strategize your packing process

About five weeks before the move and boxing up your things, figure out a timeline for the packing process. Plan to pack all non-essentials first. These include items you won’t need in the weeks leading up to the move, including books, home decor items and electronics. Packing essentials should be last. These include kitchen items, dinnerware, clothing, toiletries, and any other items you’ll need in the days leading up to the move.

Plan out your packing supplies

Use our packing calculator to get a good idea of just how much you’ll need in terms of packing supplies. This way, you can be sure to get what you need on the first run to the store. To use the calculator, simply plug in the number of bedrooms in your home, the number of adults moving, your packing style (basic, average, professional), and your lifestyle (minimalist, modest, pack rat). The calculator will also give you the rundown of exactly what kind of boxes you’ll need by size and/or type, and the estimated total cost of your moving supplies. Take it with a grain of salt, as you might need fewer or more supplies as you go. You also don’t have to buy all the supplies. Some you can source for free (more on that below).

A Guide to Renting a Storage Unit

If this is your first time renting a storage unit, we can help. Whether you need to temporarily store your belongings while moving or store them long term after downsizing, renting a storage unit provides an excellent, space-saving solution. Storage facilities are a secure, convenient and easy-to-find option for those in need of storage. The majority of short term storage and long term storage facilities also offer a wide range of unit sizes and services to meet your needs. Use this first-timer’s guide to renting a storage unit to learn more about storage types, how storage works, and more.

How does self storage work?

Most storage units work similarly. Once you find a storage unit near you, you sign a contract with a storage company for a specified amount of time to secure a rental on a storage unit of your choice. A storage unit is a space in a storage facility where you store your belongings. Although some companies require a three-month minimum, most offer storage rentals on a month-to-month basis.

Rules and regulations differ among storage companies depending on the services they offer, but you only pay for the time you need the unit for (unless you break the contract, but that’s another matter). Also, it might seem obvious, but it’s illegal to live in your storage unit per state and federal housing laws. It’s also illegal to conduct business in your storage unit. Some storage facilities allow band practice, but there are restrictions like noise ordinances and no access to electricity.

Why You Should Rent a Storage Unit

People rent self-storage for more reasons than moving or decluttering. Some common reasons people rent self-storage include:

  • Seasonal storage. Holiday decorations, costumes, seasonal gear clothing, and lawn equipment can all go into storage during the off-season.
  • If your new home isn’t ready. New home not complete, but you need to move out of your old home? A rental storage unit can house your stuff till the move can be completed.
  • Needing more space in their home. Say, you’re downsizing and decluttering but not ready to part with some of your stuff. Or a family member moves in with you and needs a guest bedroom that you were using for storage. There are many reasons people would need more space in their homes. If you’re not ready to toss, sell or donate your stuff, store it.
  • House renovation. Renovating take time and create a lot of chaos and mess. To protect your belongings and clear space, you can store furniture and other belongings in storage until the renovation is completed.
  • College storage. Students who don’t want to lug their dorm room belongings back home during summer break might want to rent a storage unit near campus.
  • Military service. The members of the military can use this option during deployment.
  • To store vehicles. If you don’t have room where you live, you can store your boat, RV, car or motorcycle at a storage facility.

How to rent a storage unit

Storage companies have their own protocols but the process of renting a storage unit has similarities. To rent storage near you:

  • Determine what you need to store
  • Decide what type of storage you want (full-service vs. self-storage, outdoor vs. indoor)
  • Determine what size unit you’ll need based on what you need to store
  • Set your budget
  • Consider purchasing insurance
  • Search for the storage you want to rent (see above)
  • Reserve a storage unit online or in person by signing a storage unit agreement or contract (read it carefully before you sign)
  • Get a move-in day date
  • Invest in a good lock

What Size Storage Unit Should You Rent?

Most residential renters rent storage unit sizes such as 5’x5′, 5’x10’, 10’x10’, 10’x15’ and 10’x20’ storage units. The storage unit depends on the type and number of items you want to store. If you have any questions about storage unit sizes, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

How Long Can You Rent a Storage Unit For?

You can rent a storage unit for as long as you like. Some people even rent storage units indefinitely as an extra space for personal or work-related items. At U-Lock Mini Storage, we offer monthly contracts so you don’t have long-term commitments.

Ready to book your first storage unit? Visit or contact any of our self-storage facilities and we’ll be happy to help. Our facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack.

5 Simple Clothes Storage Ideas When You Have No Closet

What do very old homes and small, ultramodern apartments sometimes have in common? A troubling lack of closet space and clothes storage.

Don’t panic: In these situations, you may have to deconstruct how you think about clothing storage. You’re going to literally live with your decisions, so home decor and design become part of the equation, too. It’s an interesting challenge, but one that can offer unique and colorful results.

Need some help getting started? We’ve compiled 5 simple clothing storage ideas to help you see your closet situation (or lack thereof) in a whole new light.

Add a Shelved Rack or Storage Bench for Shoes

Don’t have a hall closet near your garage to store shoes, coats, and other outdoor accessories and necessities? Depending on how much space you have to play around with, a shelved rack or storage bench could be a great option to add some additional storage compartments. 

You can also use the rack as a home for your socks. Assign each member of your family a bin and fill it with their socks, keeping those easy-to-misplace pairs together and ready to go whenever anyone heads out the door.

Use a Wardrobe Rack

If you simply want to mimic a traditional closet, a clothing rack is an economic option that could work in just about any space.

Sure, this means your clothing will be more on display than in a traditional closet, but with some creativity and organization skills, wardrobe racks can provide your room with an adorable boutique-style visual display. After all, fashion is one of the best ways to express yourself and your personality— so why not display it all in a way that feels fun and inspiring?

If your clothing rack is small, be strategic about how you fill it to get the most out of your space. 

You can also double your hanging space by using pop-can tabs. Slide your first hanger’s hook through the top of the tab and hand a second hanger from the bottom.

Use the Space Under Your Bed

The space under your bed may have been a little scary when you were a kid, but there’s no reason to be afraid: we’ve checked, and there are no monsters. The space beneath your bed is a great place to organize and protect your shoes and handbags when you’re not using them.

It’s also an excellent spot to store heavy sweaters since you’ll avoid those unwanted stretched-out shoulder marks often caused by hangers.

To take advantage of this under-bed space, we recommend using rolling storage drawers, short plastic bins, and other under-the-bed storage containers that fit nicely in this small space. All you need to do is neatly fold each piece of clothing you’re planning on storing and tuck them away until the next time you need them.

Hang Accessories on Wall Hooks

When storing your belongings and organizing your closet, it’s easy to let accessories like hats, scarves, and jewelry become an afterthought. And if you’ve accumulated a bunch of different accessories over the years, you already know that things can get really cluttered really quickly. 

Instead of tucking these items away, why not embrace your flair by making them a part of your room’s decor? 

You can easily use Command hooks, wall organizers, or even just a handful of thin nails to display and organize your jewelry— if you can situate it in an aesthetically pleasing way, even better! When it comes to trickier items, like tights and scarves, a simple clothes hanger will do the trick. Simply tie each item in a knot around the hanger and put it on display. The hanger also fits nicely on a detached clothes rack!

Rent a Storage Unit

If you simply don’t have enough space in your room to store your clothes, rent a storage unit. You can rent a storage unit that’s suitable for the amount of clothes you want to store. You can start small with 5’x5’ and go up to 5’x8’ if you have clothes plus some items you want to store!

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our self storage facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about self storage and our team will be more than delighted to help.

5 RV Storage Tips For When You’re On The Road

Recreational vehicles are an attractive travel option and even provide a full-time home for some. Many say they prefer this lifestyle over staying at a hotel and enjoy the family memories of togetherness it brings. Traveling in an RV allows you to bring the comforts of home with you: your bed, kitchen and bathroom. It’s usually more economical than a hotel, too!

Whether you own a basic pop up tent trailer or a luxury bus, you will want to pack efficiently with minimal downtime. By organizing ahead of time, you allow more relaxation time while on the road. Today we are sharing a few simple RV storage ideas to efficiently pack and organize before a trip, as well as get the most out of your limited living space.

Use Baskets

You should measure all your shelves, drawers and empty spaces before going shopping for your new best friends. Baskets come in an array of sizes, colors and materials.

Organize your supplies by category in baskets, such as all the drink supplies (cups and straws) in one basket and all your eating supplies (plates and bowls) in another. The advantage to having such items in a basket is you can also bring all the supplies to the table in one round.

You can also find baskets to fit in those tight or underutilized areas such as these ones used on top of the kitchen cupboard. They are used for miscellaneous items that aren’t needed daily such as toys, games and outdoor supplies.

Leverage Pantry Space

Plan your shopping trip before your travels based on some quick meal planning. You should be able to stock the pantry with staples such as cereal, canned goods and of course fun camping snacks.

Baskets, such as the wire ones shown in the pantry here (which came from the dollar section of a popular store), contain snacks perfectly and prevent shifting while the vehicle is in motion.

Place your tall boxes, such as cereal, in the back extra space, if available. Lighter items that cannot be contained, such as crackers and other boxed goods, can be stored on the top shelf. Heavy items like bottles of water should be placed on the bottom shelf.

Use Line Drawers with Shelf Liners

One of the first items we would recommend when you set up your RV is shelf liners. Line all your shelves – kitchen, bathroom and bedroom – to give a fresh, clean surface to your shelves and drawers.

Lining drawers and shelves in your RV will also prevent spills and ease the cleanup of if an item should happen to fall or break. The liners provide an anti-slip layer so things do not move around.

Maximize Space in the Bedroom

Storage tubs work well for the space under the bed. Use them to store bathroom supplies, bedding and blankets, cleaning supplies, outdoor gear or perhaps to store shoes. Your clothing can be rolled tightly to save some space for more use of those drawers and baskets.

Use Personalized Labels

Take your organization one step further and label your bins and baskets with tags to identify what each tub contains. Identifying your clothing items help if you do not have a dresser or simply want to take advantage of the extra space in the closet. By labeling items, you make cleanup easier. There will be no question what item goes where.

7 Tip For Organizing Your Kitchen Countertops

Organizing your kitchen countertops can be a daunting task, but it’s one that can make a significant difference in the functionality and appearance of your kitchen. A cluttered and disorganized kitchen can make meal prep stressful and time-consuming, and it can also be a source of frustration when you can’t find what you need. By following these seven tips, you can transform your kitchen countertops into a functional and organized space.

Evaluate your current setup

Before you begin organizing your countertops, take a step back and evaluate your current setup. Ask yourself what’s working and what’s not, and think about how you use your kitchen on a daily basis. This will help you identify problem areas and create a plan for organizing your countertops in a way that works for you.

Clear off the countertops

The first step in organizing your kitchen countertops is to clear everything off of them. This will give you a blank slate to work with and allow you to see exactly how much space you have to work with. Once everything is off the countertops, take the time to clean them thoroughly. This will make your kitchen feel fresh and new and help you start your organizing project with a clean slate.

Group like items together

One of the keys to organizing your kitchen countertops is to group items together. For example, keep all of your cooking utensils in one container, all of your spices in another, and all of your oils and vinegars in a third. This will make it easy to find what you need when you need it and will also help you keep your countertops clutter-free.

Use vertical space

When organizing your countertops, don’t forget to use vertical space. This can be as simple as installing a magnetic knife holder on the wall or using a tiered fruit basket to store produce. By using vertical space, you can free up valuable counter space and keep your kitchen organized and functional.

Invest in storage units

Investing in storage units is key to keeping your kitchen countertops organized. This could include anything from a utensil holder to a spice rack to a set of stackable canisters for storing dry goods. Whatever your needs, there are plenty of storage solutions available to help you keep your countertops clutter-free.

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack.

Keep it simple

When it comes to organizing your kitchen countertops, it’s important to keep it simple. Don’t try to cram too many items onto your countertops, as this can make them feel cluttered and overwhelming. Instead, choose a few key items to keep out, such as your most frequently used cooking utensils or a decorative piece that adds personality to your kitchen.

Maintain your organization

Finally, it’s important to maintain your organization once you’ve achieved it. This means taking the time to put things away in their designated spots, wiping down your countertops daily, and decluttering on a regular basis. By doing so, you can ensure that your kitchen stays organized and functional for years to come.

In conclusion, organizing your kitchen countertops can be a challenging task, but it’s one that’s well worth the effort. By following these seven tips, you can create a functional and clutter-free kitchen that’s a joy to cook and entertain in.

How to Keep Your Kids’ Stuff Organized

Is your child’s bedroom, art drawer, or craft closet always in a state of chaos? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many parents struggle to keep their kids’ spaces organized, only to see them revert back to their previous disarray within a matter of days. However, with the right approach, you can teach your child good habits and skills to help them maintain a tidy space. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

Offer an incentive for your kids to put away their toys

Encourage your child to get involved in the organization process by offering incentives for completing small chores. For instance, you can reward them with coins or extra playtime if they put away their toys or tidy up their room.

Designate a basket for your child’s artwork

Children love to create artwork, but it can be challenging to find space to display it all. Keep a designated basket for all of their masterpieces, then go through it together every few weeks to decide which pieces to display or keep. This way, you can avoid clutter while still honoring their creativity.

Keep drawing supplies in mason jars

Keep all of your child’s drawing utensils organized and easily accessible by storing them in individual mason jars. This way, you won’t have to spend time searching for lost pencils or markers, and your child can quickly find what they need for their homework or art projects.

Rent a storage unit

If you have too much clutter in your home and struggle to keep it all organized, consider renting a storage unit. U-Lock Mini Storage offers various sized units across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island, ranging from 5×5 to 5×10. This is an excellent solution if you have items such as toys, bicycles, or kitchenware that you don’t use frequently but don’t want to throw away.

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack. Contact us if you have any questions!

5 Tips For Storing Your Shoes

Shoes are an essential part of our daily attire. We rely on them to protect our feet and keep them comfortable throughout the day. However, storing shoes can be a challenge, especially if you have a large collection. Shoes can take up a lot of space, and if they’re not stored properly, they can become damaged or lose their shape. In this blog post, we’ll share five tips for storing your shoes to keep them in excellent condition.

Clean Your Shoes Before Storing Them

Before you store your shoes, it’s essential to clean them thoroughly. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on them. If your shoes are made of leather, use a leather cleaner to wipe them down. For canvas or fabric shoes, use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt. Make sure your shoes are completely dry before storing them to avoid any mold or mildew growth.

Choose the Right Storage Solution

There are many storage solutions available for shoes, but not all of them are created equal. You need to choose the right storage solution that will protect your shoes and keep them in good condition. If you have a small collection of shoes, you can use shoeboxes to store them. Make sure to label the boxes, so you know which shoes are inside. If you have a larger collection, consider investing in a shoe rack or a shoe cabinet. These storage solutions will keep your shoes organized and easily accessible. If you have many shoes that you don’t necessarily wear all the time, you can rent a small storage unit such as a 5×5 storage unit. At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack. Contact us if you have any questions!

Use Shoe Trees

Shoe trees are an excellent investment if you want to keep your shoes in good condition. They help to maintain the shape of your shoes and prevent them from developing creases. Shoe trees also absorb moisture, which can prevent your shoes from developing any odor. When choosing a shoe tree, make sure it’s the right size for your shoes, and it fits snugly.

Store Your Shoes in a Cool, Dry Place

When storing your shoes, make sure you keep them in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in areas with high humidity or moisture, such as the basement or the bathroom. Moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow on your shoes, which can damage them. Make sure to store your shoes away from direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause the material to fade or crack.

Rotate Your Shoes

If you wear the same pair of shoes every day, they can become worn out quickly. To extend the life of your shoes, rotate them regularly. This will give them time to rest and recover between wears. You can also invest in shoe protectors to help protect your shoes from wear and tear.

In conclusion, storing your shoes properly is essential if you want to keep them in good condition. Clean your shoes before storing them, choose the right storage solution, use shoe trees, store your shoes in a cool, dry place, and rotate your shoes regularly. By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep your shoes in excellent condition for years to come.

8 Ways to Organize Your Life With Pets

Pets bring joy and companionship to our lives, but they also come with added responsibilities. Taking care of a pet can be challenging, especially when trying to balance it with work, social life, and other responsibilities.

Pets bring joy and companionship to our lives, but they also come with added responsibilities. Taking care of a pet can be challenging, especially when trying to balance it with work, social life, and other responsibilities. However, with some simple organization tips, you can make it easier to manage your life with pets. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips on how to organize your life with pets.

Create a Pet Schedule

One of the most important things you can do when organizing your life with pets is to create a pet schedule. This will help you keep track of feeding times, walks, playtime, and other important tasks. Depending on the type of pet you have, you may need to feed them several times a day, take them for daily walks, or play with them regularly. By creating a schedule, you’ll be able to manage your time more effectively and ensure that your pet’s needs are met.

Organize Pet Supplies

Another important step in organizing your life with pets is to organize their supplies. This includes food, toys, grooming supplies, and medication. Store pet supplies in a designated area, such as a closet or cabinet, and keep everything neatly organized. This will make it easier to find what you need when you need it, and also prevent clutter from taking over your home.

Create a Pet-friendly Home

Pets need a safe and comfortable environment to thrive in. To create a pet-friendly home, start by making sure your home is free from hazards such as loose wires, poisonous plants, and sharp objects. Provide your pet with a comfortable bed, toys, and a designated area for eating and drinking. Also, consider investing in pet-friendly furniture that is durable and easy to clean, such as leather or microfiber couches.

Hire a Pet Sitter or Dog Walker

If you have a busy schedule, hiring a pet sitter or dog walker can help you manage your life with pets. A pet sitter can come to your home and take care of your pet while you’re away, while a dog walker can take your dog for daily walks. This can help ensure that your pet’s needs are met even when you’re not available, and also give you peace of mind knowing that your pet is being well taken care of.

Create a Pet Emergency Plan

Emergencies can happen at any time, so it’s important to have a pet emergency plan in place. This includes having a first-aid kit, knowing the location of the nearest emergency veterinary clinic, and having a designated caregiver for your pet in case you’re unable to care for them. Make sure that your pet’s information is up to date and easily accessible, and also consider getting a pet identification tag or microchip in case your pet gets lost.

Keep Your Home Clean

Pets can bring dirt and hair into your home, which can make it feel cluttered and disorganized. To keep your home clean, vacuum and mop regularly, and consider using air purifiers to help remove pet odors and allergens. Keep pet bedding and toys clean and wash them regularly to prevent odors and bacteria from building up.

Rent a Storage Unit

If you simply have too many items at home, consider renting a storage unit. By renting a storage unit, you can place items that you seldom use in a storage unit and retrieve the items when you need them. If you only have a few items to store, you can rent a smaller unit such as 5”x5”. If you have more items to store, you can go bigger with 5″x6″ or more.

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack. Contact us if you have any questions!

Make Time for Play and Bonding

Finally, it’s important to make time for play and bonding with your pet. This not only helps strengthen your relationship with your pet but also provides important exercise and mental stimulation. Set aside time each day to play with your pet, whether it’s a game of fetch, a training session, or simply snuggling on the couch.

In conclusion, pets bring love and joy into our lives, but they also require organization and responsibility. By creating a pet schedule, organizing pet supplies, creating a pet-friendly home, hiring a pet sitter or dog walker, creating a pet emergency plan, keeping your

How to Organize a Storage Unit for Frequent Usage

If you plan on frequently accessing your storage unit to retrieve items, you want to keep your storage unit organized so that you can quickly and easily take out your belongings. To help you keep your storage organized for frequent use, use these four tips.

If you plan on frequently accessing your storage unit to retrieve items, you want to keep your storage unit organized so that you can quickly and easily take out your belongings. To help you keep your storage organized for frequent use, use these four tips.

Select One Box For Most Of Your Items

Same-size boxes help with stacking and accessibility. Keep in mind large boxes are excellent for items that aren’t very heavy, but may not hold up well at the bottom of large stacks. Large boxes (especially at the bottom of a stack) are also more difficult to remove if you need something out of them.

Identify the items you may need to access while in storage. Things you don’t use regularly when you’re packing may be needed later on. Carefully consider what you may need while your items are in storage, giving extra thought to seasonal items. Here are a few things you may need to retrieve from your storage unit: 

  • Winter or summer clothing Trip supplies (tents, sleeping bags, snorkeling gear, sleds, cookout utensils)
  • Holiday items (decorations, costumes, bakeware)
  • Kids toys (kids may enjoy a “new” box of toys when they get bored of the toys they held onto when packing) Tools and hobby supplies Office documents

Label each box you pack

Label each box on the top and at least one side with a unique box number, the room it came from, and the contents of the box. Place a special mark on boxes you may need to access at some point during storage and remember to put them in your storage unit last. Be as detailed as possible with the contents.

Create a master contents list

Write down all of the contents of each box along with the box number on paper. This seems like a cumbersome step, but a master list becomes really handy when you need to find a specific item, especially if some of your boxes will be completely out of view. If you prefer to keep things digital, there are even tools you can use to dictate text so you don’t have to type as you go. And if you want to take the organization one step further (or don’t trust your handwriting), you can print each line from your inventory to create custom labels for your boxes!

Plan an organized layout for your storage unit

If you’re going to access your unit frequently, you’re going to need to put some thought into how you pack your storage unit. Ideally, you want to put the furniture against the wall opposite your boxes to leave a path in the middle of the unit. This way, you can access boxes and furniture items without any hassle. If you need to use the space in the middle, place your most moveable items there so you can remove them with ease.

Shelve or stack boxes

If this is a long-term storage solution, place sturdy shelves along one wall of the unit. If not, stack your boxes with these guidelines in mind: Stack from back to front in order of need. The boxes that you will access most frequently should be the last ones packed inside the storage unit and be near the door or on shelves with labels facing out. Put larger, heavier boxes down first, and then you can stack lighter ones on top. Be careful how high you stack. If boxes are stacked above your head, the whole stack is susceptible to falling, creating a hazard for you and anything breakable in the storage unit. Consider using a brick-wall pattern when stacking same-size boxes. It’ll seem somewhat inefficient, since you’ll have spaces on the ends of your stack, but the brick wall pattern allows you to remove and replace boxes without moving the boxes above it.
At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack. Contact us if you have any questions!

5 Tips on How to Organize Photos

Do you have bins and drawers full of photos from years gone by? Does it take you longer than it should to find that one special picture for your child’s family history project? If the answer is yes to either question, it’s time for you to re-organize your photos.

Organizing and preserving precious photographs is important, but often these tasks are set aside until “later.” However, “later” rarely seems to turn into “now.” To help you organize photos, we have come up with five tips you can use.

Decide Your Objective

The very first step to organize your pictures is to figure out what your end goal is. Is it to preserve them for future generations? Is it to create a celebratory slideshow for your daughter’s graduation? Do you just want to be able to find those cute pictures of the kids to share on Throwback Thursday?

Whatever your final goal may be, give some thought to it now. It will help you prioritize your actions as you work through the organizing process.

Collect Photos You Want To Keep

You can’t decide what your photo organizing process is going to be until you know exactly what you’re working with. Scour your house and find all your printed photos, including both loose and framed pictures, photo albums and even slides and negatives. By getting everything together and putting all the pictures in one area, whether it be in your guest room or on your current laptop, you will be able to better evaluate what you have and what you need to do to reach your end goal.

Sort Your Photographs

Start putting some order to the chaos by sorting your photographs.

One of the most common ways to do this is to sort them chronologically. If you don’t know the exact dates of pictures, you can often find clues such as printer’s codes on the backs of the pictures, a receipt attached to the developing envelope or even the hairstyles of the people in the photo.

Don’t worry if your chronological sorting is not perfect. You can always tweak it later. You can also sort by themes such as vacations and birthdays, or by person.

Sort directly into your photo boxes if possible. Remove pictures from developing envelopes and plastic bags. Keep the negatives with the photographs: they will be helpful in the next step. Take the time now to toss any duplicate prints and blurry shots.

This is a good time to decide what you are going to do with your intact photo albums. If your albums include those pesky magnetic albums so popular from the 1960s until the 1990s, I highly recommend you remove the pictures. These albums are slowly destroying your precious pictures.

Some albums may need to stay intact, like the black paper ones from your grandmother in which she documented your family history. If you do remove the pictures from your albums, sort these photos into the boxes as well. You can always put them back into an album later.

Scan Your Photos

Your pictures are part of the beloved record of your family’s life. By scanning and digitizing the photos, you are creating a backup copy of the prints and creating a method to more easily share and enjoy your pictures in this digital age.

If you have negatives and slides, it is helpful to find a scanner that will scan them as well. If you have printed photos and the negatives that go with them, it’s better to scan the negatives; they will give you a truer color and clearer picture.

If you have decided to keep your albums intact, you can use a small, portable scanner such as the Flip-Pal to scan the pages without damaging the albums.

Rent a Storage Unit

Once you’ve scanned all your photos, you can keep the original copy of the photos in a safe place. A fantastic place to keep the photos safe and sound is in a storage unit. You can rent a smaller storage unit such as a 5×5 feet storage unit. This storage unit size should suffice for your photo storage needs. If you have a few more items you want to store alongside your photos, you can go with a bigger storage unit size such as 5×7 feet or 5×8 feet. At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include storage units Victoria, storage units Parksville, storage units Nanaimo, storage units Burnaby, storage units White Rock and Surrey and storage units Chilliwack

Contact us if you have any questions!