9 Scenarios Where Homeowners Should Use Storage Units

Storage units are useful for homeowners to store valued possessions at a secure location while creating more space in their homes. Here are the top nine scenarios where homeowners should use storage units:

1.   Downsizing

If you are moving to a smaller home and not everything[RM2]  from your current home fits in your new place, you can store your belongings in a storage unit. Once you have settled in your new home, you can visit your storage unit to retrieve your belongings as needed.

2.   Staging a home for sale

You may have a lot of things in your home that don’t necessarily look ready for a real estate showing. To enhance the look of your home interior, you might hire a stager to decorate your home. Meanwhile, you can rent a small storage unit to keep some of your house items off-site during the selling or showing process.

3.   Closing date is pushed back

If you need to be out of your apartment by September 25th, but your closing date will not happen until October 7th, you need a storage unit. It is inconvenient to have to move twice, but at least you know your belongings will be kept safe and sound in the meantime.

4.   Moving Back Home Temporarily During School Break

If you are going for a business trip for some time, or going abroad for studying or training, storing certain valued items at a storage unit is a great idea. You can safely keep belongings and items that you cannot take on your trip at a secure location and easily retrieve them when you are back!

5.   Consolidating homes

This process can happen when a couple first moves in together or when an elderly parent moves in with family. In either situation, there is likely to be an excess of belongings. A storage unit can give you and your family time to get through the transition.

6.   Creating more space at home

Even before the dawn of the Marie Kondo era, people have had a strong desire to declutter. However, sometimes we are not in a position to get rid of belongings. They might have a sentimental value, or they might belong to another family member who is out of town.

Many people will temporarily rent a storage unit so they can slowly go through the decluttering process and keep their home tidy. People who have a knack for interior decorating also may utilize storage units for house decor items they can switch out from time to time.

7.   Keeping vehicles safe in the offseason

Customers can store their vehicles at our Burnaby/Vancouver Self Storage facility! If you are going to be out of town for several weeks or months and don’t have access to a secure parking spot, our car storage unit is a great solution. We have storage units in a variety of sizes. Our car storage is located in a gated, alarmed, access controlled facility that is monitored via random patrol  services as well as our 24/7 digital video recording system. This robust security system will keep your vehicle safe and sound while you are away.

8.   Helping organize a home renovation

Summer is here and you are ready to renovate your home. The first thing to do after selecting the home renovation company you want to work with, is finding a storage unit near you. You can store valued possessions or furniture to avoid accidental damage, while creating more space for home renovators to work freely.

9.   Organizing Home Office Inventory

As more business owners are setting up home offices to work from home 100% of the time, their homes become cluttered with office supplies or documents. Yikes! This is where storage units can help. By storing documents or office supplies at a storage unit, a business owner can declutter and clear his home or working area and keep his home office organized. Additionally, keeping your office supplies at a self storage unit will prevent them from being inadvertently damaged at home by pets, kids, or every-day activities.

Some common businesses that find value in storage units include:

●       Carpenters and contractors

●       Landscapers

●       Online shop owners

●       Sales and marketing service professionals

Looking to reserve a storage unit? Find a self storage facility near you:

  1. Self storage Burnaby or Vancouver
  2. Self storage Chilliwack
  3. Self storage South Surrey or White Rock
  4. Self storage Parksville
  5. Self storage Nanaimo
  6. Self storage Victoria

Questions? Feel free to call us at 1.866.647.8673 or contact us online athttps://www.selfstorage.ca/contact-us and our staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!

Security Features To Look For When Renting A Storage Unit

Security is one of the most important features to look for when choosing a self-storage facility.

Security Features To Look For When Renting A Storage Unit

Security is one of the most important features to look for when choosing a self-storage facility. When you are putting your items into self-storage, you want to have peace of mind that your items will be safe and protected by choosing a storage facility that utilizes the latest in security features. Regardless of what you are storing, here are some of the security features to look for in a self-storage facility:

Perimeter Fencing & Main Gate

Does the storage facility have a strong initial layer of security? Make sure the storage facility has perimeter fencing around the property to keep out anyone who isn’t working or storing at the property. How do people enter/exit the property? Look for a property that has a main gate with electronic gate access that can only be opened or closed when a code is entered on an electronic keypad. This ensures that the storage provider is aware of who is coming and going from the facility at all times.

Digital Video Surveillance

You want to afford yourself with peace of mind knowing that your items will be safe in storage. Look for storage facilities that have multiple cameras strategically placed throughout the property, ensuring nothing goes unseen. Digital video surveillance that is run 24/7 ensures that whether or not the staff is on-site, the facility and property can still be monitored at any time. Research also shows that just the mere presence of security cameras is enough to ward off potential thieves or trespassers.

Individually-Alarmed Storage Units

Controlled access to your storage unit is a must. Make sure that your indoor storage unit or outdoor storage unit is fitted with an alarm system that prompts an alarm if someone attempts to break into your unit. With individually-alarmed units, each renter is given a unique access code to the property, which they enter at the main gate and/or facility entrance doors to disable the alarm on their unit. When exiting, the renter will enter their access code again, thus, re-arming the unit alarm and ensuring their items are safe and protected.

Locks

As the renter, you are required to use your own lock. Ensuring the storage units are secured with a high-quality storage lock should be the priority of any storage facility and self-storage renter. Many storage facilities of a selection of self-storage locks available for purchase, but which type do you buy? When choosing a lock to protect your storage unit and valuable items, consider the following self-storage locks:

Disc Locks: A popular lock in the self-storage industry, these thickly built locks are extremely tamper-proof and are drill-proof, pick-proof, resilient against impacts. Made of heavy-duty stainless steel, these locks have a disc-like shape and built-in shackle that fits tightly around your storage unit door latch, making them very difficult for anyone to cut with bolt-cutters or grind off. Removing these locks requires electrical equipment, as well as a lot of time and effort.

Cylinder Locks: Becoming the new industry standard, like disc locks, these tamper-proof self-storage locks are drill-proof, resilient against impacts, and virtually impossible to pick. These locks have a cylinder shape, which means they have no locking bar and are inserted internally inside the storage unit latching system with no part of the lock extending out from the door, making them impossible to be cut off. Not all self-storage facilities have this configuration, so it’s always best to call your storage provider before you arrive and inquire if their roll-up doors support cylinder locks or not.

Lighting

Lighting is an effective crime deterrent and a must for on-site safety. Make sure the property of your storage provider is well-light both inside and out. If you have an outdoor storage unit, you want to make sure the property has excellent exterior lighting and is well-light at night to avoid accidents and ensure you feel safe. When inside your storage unit, you want to make sure you’re not having to hold a flashlight at all times when sorting through your items, so look for self-storage facilities with good interior lighting with well-lit hallways and aisles.

Looking for secure self-storage?

If you’re getting ready to move your items into storage and need a safe and secure storage unit for your belongings, contact your nearest U-Lock location and speak to our storage specialists. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have, tell you all about our security features, and set you up with the right storage unit to fit your needs. 

Common Self-Storage Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Are you getting ready to move your belongings into storage? To help you save time and stress, and ensure you get the most out of your storage unit, here are a few common self storage moving mistakes to avoid:

Not labelling your boxes

Amidst the rushing around and chaos that is moving, many people often skip labelling their boxes to save time. Fast forward a month later when you need to grab something from your storage unit, but you have completely forgotten where you packed it. There is nothing more frustrating and time-consuming than having to rifle through every box to find what you came for. Save yourself a lot of time and stress in the future and label your boxes. We recommend labelling boxes by room with a number and keeping a detailed record of all the items that are in each box. That way, you can reference your inventory list and quickly find what you need when you need it.

Trying to reserve a moving truck the day of your move

The most common days people move are the first and last day of any month, which means reservations on moving trucks fill up fast. More often than not, people wait until the last minute to book a moving truck only to be told that there are none available in their city. Don’t wait until moving day to start finding a moving truck. To get the time slot and moving truck you want, start your search 1-2 months before your moving date. 

Not giving yourself enough time

Not giving yourself enough time to organize and properly stack your items in your storage unit will make it a nightmare to access. You want to be able to access your storage unit without having to rearrange it every time. If you leave everything to the last minute on moving day, you’ll likely find yourself tossing boxes and furniture into your unit in a rush – potentially damaging your belongings, hurting yourself, and creating a cluttered disaster. Do yourself a favour and plan your moving day well in advance. Check the hours of the storage office and storage facility and make sure you plan to give yourself and/or movers enough time to get your storage unit properly organized and accessible.

Not getting the right boxes

Whether you’re storing your items short-term or long-term, it’s important to pack your belongings in the right boxes. Using weak boxes that aren’t designed for absorbing weight won’t up stand up well during the move or in storage as they can bulge, tear or collapse. Instead, invest in moving boxes designed for moving and storage. Try to stick to 1-2 different sizes of boxes so you can efficiently stack your boxes and utilize your storage space to the fullest. Use larger moving boxes for lighter items and smaller moving boxes for heavier items. When stacking, be sure to place heavy boxes at the bottom and lighter boxes at the top. 

Avoiding Self Storage Mistakes

Need a few more storage tips? If you’re getting ready to move your items into storage and need some expert advice, contact your nearest U-Lock location and our storage specialists would be happy to answer your questions and set you up with the right storage unit that best fits your needs.

New Year Resolutions for a Less Cluttered Home

Let’s make 2020 our least cluttered year yet! Get more organized and reduce clutter around your home with these new year resolutions!

Let’s make 2020 our least cluttered year yet! Get more organized and reduce clutter around your home with these new year resolutions:

#1 Tackle Your Worst Clutter Zones

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Almost every room in the home has at least one clutter zone – the nightstand full of odds and ends; the desk drawer packed with unopened mail; the mountain of shoes stacked in the entryway; the infamous junk drawer piled with all those knick knacks you have no idea what to do. Often just casualties of daily life, these areas are clutter magnets for anything and everything. With the new year upon us, it’s time to put a few minutes aside and transform these out-of-control clutter zones into clean-and-tidy spaces! 

  • Completely empty out the spaces and organize everything into piles.
  • Throw out anything that belongs in the trash or recycle.
  • Put anything that belongs elsewhere back in its proper spot.
  • Try out a few different arrangements for your contents to find the one that’s right for you and stick with it.

#2 Wardrobe Update: Declutter Closet and Dresser Drawers

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It’s super easy to accumulate clothing that you don’t wear anymore. As the years go by, our styles change, we outgrow things and we keep a lot of “just in case” or “back-up” options. Whatever the case may be, if you have clothing that’s uncomfortable to wear, haven’t touched in the past year, or hate the way it looks on you, donate it. If it’s stained, unusable or just falling apart, throw it away. To figure out what stays and what goes, try asking yourself:

  • Have I worn it in the past year?
  • Does it fit me?
  • Do I like the way I look in it?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, then you have some clothes to get rid of!

#3 Kitchen Clutter Hotspot: Organize Your Pantry

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The kitchen pantry often becomes of hotspot of clutter. There’s a lot of things in there you don’t need –  half eaten chip bags, numerous canned vegetables, opened boxes of cereal, snack bars and suspiciously old spices, to name a few.  We often see these things on the shelf so often that we stop thinking about them, accumulating more and more. Not anymore! The new year is the perfect time to give your pantry a much needed makeover. Throw out stale or expired items, donate anything you’re not going to eat to your local food bank and if there’s anything in there you don’t remember buying, probably safe to say that can go too.

Here’s a few pantry items to start with:

  • Suspiciously old spices 
  • Breakfast Cereals
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cooking Oils
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Brown sugar

#4 Cut Down On Paper Clutter

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Paper accumulates in our homes fast. Our drawers and cupboards are full of receipts, unopened mail, take-out menus, instruction manuals and flyers. If you’re sick and tired of dealing with piles of paper in your home, here’s a few ways you can cut down on paper clutter:

  • Go digital. Change receiving your bank and utility statements and notifications from mail to email. Most banks and major utility companies will offer this.
  • Cut down subscriptions. Recycle your stacks of magazines and newspapers and switch to digital.
  • Buy a shredder. We often hold onto paperwork we don’t need because we’re worried about privacy. A small shredder is a simple solution for getting rid of that sensitive paperwork you don’t need.
  • Scan everything. Notes with information you want to keep, old photographs or artwork from your children are a few of the paper items you can get rid of but still keep forever. Scan everything you can and save them on your computer, external hard drive or cloud storage. A scanner is a relatively low-cost option that will help you cut down on a lot of paper.

Wanting to clear up more space in your home? U-Lock Mini Storage has convenient storage locations across British Columbia and can provide the storage unit and services you need to enjoy a clutter-free lifestyle.

8 Things You Should Never Put in a Storage Unit

When moving out of one home to another, a self storage unit is a perfect storage solution for many things, but there are a few items that for safety and legal reasons, cannot be stored. Like any other rental space, there are limitations in your lease on what you can store, and if you fail to comply with these policies and regulations, you could be responsible for any potential damage that may occur. To save you time and stress when you are in the middle of your next move, here’s a list of things you should never put inside your storage unit.

1. Food & Perishables

Storage units cannot be used as a pantry. Food and perishable items left for a prolonged period of time can attract unwelcome critters like rodents and insects that can not only destroy the items in your unit, but in neighboring units as well. Secondly, expired foods will rot and start emitting unwanted odors, creating favorable conditions for bacteria and mold to grow and spread inside your unit. To avoid these issues, simply keep perishable food items out of your storage unit.

2. Animals


Goes without saying, right? Never leave a pet or any animal inside a storage unit! Storage units cannot serve as kennels for your pets, or a holding space for exotic animals. If for whatever reason you can no longer care for a pet after a move, leave your pet with a family member, trusted friend, or adopt them to another person that will provide the loving home the animal deserves.

3. Plants


Storage units cannot provide the three essentials plants need to survive: sunshine, water and fresh air. Furthermore, plants can attract pests and insects, potentially creating more problems. If you cannot find the space for your plants in your current residence, consider storing your leafy friends with family, friends, or giving them away to interested people who want to take care of them.

4. Wet Items


Before you put your items in a storage unit, whether it be heated storage or non-heated storage, make sure they are 100% dry. Moisture will create the right conditions for mold, mildew and bacteria to spread in your self storage unit, causing serious damage to your possessions. 

5. Dangerous Materials

Any items that burn, explode or corrode can pose serious risk to human health, lead to costly property damage, and are forbidden by law. Strongly prohibited hazardous and combustible materials that cannot be stored inside a storage unit include: fuels, chemicals, acids, gases, pesticides, liquor, fireworks, and medical waste. If you are unsure about the items you are storing, always inquire with your storage company first.

6. Cannabis


With the legalization of cannabis, you may be wondering if you can store it inside a storage unit. The simple answer, no. You cannot store or grow cannabis inside a storage unit.

7. Unregistered Vehicles

Only vehicles that are registered, fully operational, and have storage insurance may be stored at a storage facility. This includes cars, trucks, boats, trailers, RVs and motorcycles.

8. Irreplaceable Items


While storage companies take many precautions to keep their sites safe and secure, a storage unit is not an ideal place to store valuable, one-of-a-kind items such as money, jewelry or important documents like passports, birth certificates, or family photos. It is recommended you keep such items in a safety deposit box in your bank or invest in a high-quality safe for your residence.

Insure your belongings 

Now that you know what can and cannot be stored in your storage unit, it’s time to look into the proper insurance you need for your belongings. Storage companies are responsible for maintaining the safety of the site, but are not responsible for your personal belongings. Getting proper coverage for your items will ensure your belongings are protected in storage and give you peace of mind.

What Size Storage Unit Do You Need?

ed to rent a storage unit but have no clue what size you need? It can be difficult determining how much space you may need, especially if you are renting a storage unit for the first time.

Need to rent a storage unit but have no clue what size you need? It can be difficult determining how much space you may need, especially if you are renting a storage unit for the first time. Every storage facility offers a variety of sizes, but which one is best to fit your needs? To avoid renting a unit too big or small, check out the following guide for an estimate of how much can fit in each size unit:

  • 5×5 Unit: Ideal for items such as chairs, boxes, miniature desks, golf clubs, tires, seasonal items, documents & records.
     
  • 5×10 Unit: Recommended for a small one-bedroom apartment or dorm (without appliances). Ideal for chairs and small dining set, bicycles, boxes, kitchen appliances, small mattresses, or a motorcycle.
     
  • 10×10 Unit: Recommended for a large one-bedroom or small two-bedroom apartment/condo. Ideal for storing small to large items such as large appliances, furniture, king-size mattresses, and furniture. ​​​​​​
     
  • 10×15 Unit: Recommended for storing the contents of a two-bedroom condo or townhouse. Store items such as landscaping equipment, business merchandise, large furniture, or full dining room.​​​​​​
     
  • 10×20 Unit: Recommended for the contents of a three-bedroom home, small business, or vehicle. Store small to large items such as excess inventory, warehousing, sports equipment, small furniture sets, and boxes.
     
  • 10×30 Unit: Recommended for a four-bedroom(+) home with appliances or commercial inventory. This size is ideal for the contents of a large home.

Contact the location nearest you to start getting organized today. If you’re not sure what size you will need, our team of experts are here to help. We’ll assess your situation and make recommendations based on your needs and budget to make sure you get the right size to get the job done.