5 Things You Should Never Put in Storage

fire in a storage facility

Photo courtasey of Herald Journal News

Just recently, there was a fire in a storage facility in Hyrum City. Although firefighters did there best to put it out quickly, it still did close to $1.5 million in damage. (source). While the cause of the fire has not been released as yet, it did get me thinking about how some thing shouldn’t be stored in our facilities. I realized that’s something I’ve not talked about. A few things are explicitly forbidden as a part of our terms and conditions, but now’s probably a good time to go over a few good rules.

Things You Should Never Put in Storage

1. Flammables

This is the one that got me thinking about this subject, and it’s one of the items that is expressly forbidden under contract. The reason why is obvious. It can get hot in a storage shed, especially during the summer months. It doesn’t take a spark to start a fire, the temperature just has to be higher than the ignition point. For most things, that’s pretty high; higher than it could conceivably get inside a storage shed.

Flammables are an exception, though. Gasoline, certain chemicals, and other materials all have lower ignition points than most substances and a hot summer might set them alight. Since a lot of the things you’ll have in storage are wood, cardboard, and paper, once a fire starts, it will quickly spread. It should be common sense to keep flammable materials out of storage, but just in case, I reiterate the point: don’t do it.

2. Explosives

explosivesThis is another thing forbidden in our terms of service. It’s also illegal.  Like flammables this one should be obvious. Stable explosives might not go off just on a hot day – though some can, especially if they’ve degraded due to time or contamination – but if there’s a fire, they certainly will. When explosives go off in a storage unit, it makes putting the fire out all the more dangerous and difficult. It spreads the burning materials around and can put firefighter’s lives at risk.
For reference, explosives also includes weapons and ammunition, which are also illegal to store in public facilities.

3. Hazardous Materials

This one is another obvious one, but what’s not so obvious is what is and is not hazardous. Sure, poisons, medical supplies, and radioactive waste – where are you even getting radioactive waste to store in the first place? – are all clearly hazardous materials and you wouldn’t think of storing them in a common storage facility. Even household items like cleaning fluids and fertilizer are hazardous, though. If improperly handled, they can leak out and mix with the groundwater or run-off from rain, which risks the health of people living nearby.
Some hazardous materials can get stored accidentally. There have been a surprising amount of occasions where someone stored asbestos in storage facilities without even knowing it. Despite what people think, asbestos is not actually illegal in the United States. While the EPA has been working on it, most of the bans were overturned in the 90s.  Numerous products containing asbestos in them that are back on the market. For a short list of products that contain asbestos, you can check this website.

4. Food

You’re clearly not thinking of storing raw meat or dairy products in our facilities. That would be stupid and you’re not an idiot. But it’s also a bad idea to store canned goods. The changes in temperature that occur in a storage unit can cause expansion and contraction in metal cans, which may cause them to break open and leak, spoiling the food. Even in climate controlled facilities, canned goods are a bad idea, because they can attract pests. While it’s not strictly illegal, it’s just not a good idea.

5. Living Things

sad dog

“Please don’t leave me in a storage shed.”

While you may think this one is obvious, I’ve heard so many sad stories of people who tried to leave their pets in storage units while they were away for a couple of days. Even if you leave food – which just attracts pests, if you remember the previous point – and water for them, it’s impossible to guess just how much they’ll need. Furthermore, water evaporates.  After the first or second day, most of it will be gone. Where it goes from there is obvious. Furthermore, the temperatures in storage units can sometimes get hotter or colder than your pet could possibly survive in. All in all, it’s just not a nice thing to do to your beloved animal friend.
This goes double for plants. Plants will wither and die quickly in warm temperatures, and will run out of water much faster. Even leaving a potted plant in a storage facility for one to two days will most likely kill it.
Spare yourself a heartbreak and make better arrangements for your pets.

For Your Protection

There are lots of restrictions on what you can and can’t store in a facility, but keep in mind that these regulations are for your safety. All of these things pose health and safety risks if you break the rules, so don’t consider breaking them, even if you think it’s just for a day. One day is all it takes for something to go terribly wrong.
On the other hand, there’s plenty of legal things to store. If you need to make some space in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ve got plenty of space and a wide variety of unit sizes to suit your needs.

right size of storage unit

How to Pick the Right Size Storage Unit

Maybe you’re moving and you need a place to store your things while you prepare to get into your new house.  Maybe you just have a lot of junk taking up space that don’t have time to go through.  Or maybe a relative died and left you a lot of things that you don’t have time to go through, but need to get out of the old house.  Whatever the reason, you’re looking to rent a storage unit.

But how do I pick the right size?

1. How Long Are You Storing?

This is a good question to ask yourself before renting a storage unit.  It may not seem that important, but it may make a huge difference.  For example, if you’re just putting a bunch of things into the shed that you intend to leave there for a few months while you get a new house ready, then you don’t have to worry about getting into it and moving around.  You’re just going to pull everything out of it the next time you open it up, right?  So, if you don’t need to worry about making paths to move around it, you can pack it as tightly as possible.  If you do this, you can reduce the space you need by quite a lot and that means a smaller, less costly unit will do.

2. Take Inventory

Knowing what you intend to store is an important part of deciding on a unit size.  How big are the items you’re trying to store?  Can they be stacked?  Are any of them irregular shapes that can’t be boxed, like bikes or lamps?  Having an inventory of what you intend to store gives you a good idea of how much space you’ll need.

Don’t forget that most storage units are at least 8 feet tall.  That means that very long, but narrow items, like couches, can be stored vertically to reduce the space they take up.

3. Moving Trucks Make Great Comparison

A moving van can be a good indicator of how much space you’ll need.  If you can fit everything you intend to store in one moving truck, then you know that it won’t need to be any bigger than that.  If you don’t fill up the whole truck, you know you can definitely go smaller.

4. Understand the Dimensions

packing a storage unitYou can generally guess how much you can fit into a unit based on its size.  We have a variety of sizes to choose from.  Our smaller unit sizes (less than 100 square feet) are pretty good for temporary storage in between moves, or for seasonal storage.  The mid-range storage units (100 to 200 square feet) can hold two to four bedrooms worth of items, including furniture.  The larger units (200-300 square feet) are enough to hold everything in a fully furnished, 5-bedroom house.  Then we have our very big storage units (above 300 square feet) for more permanent storage solutions.  If you’re renting one of these, it’s probably because you own a couple of cars, a boat, or maybe a giant trailer.  If you don’t have space to store these in your garage and driveway, then our big storage units are for you.

5. When in Doubt

The guidelines mentioned in section 4 are assuming you’re good at packing.  If you’re not a good packer, don’t be afraid to go a little bigger.  It’s usually only a few dollars more and it might be worth the convenience.

Free Up Space Today!

Whether you’re in Park City and looking to get a better deal on some seasonal storage, or you just want a place to store your things while you get your new home ready to move in, we’ve got what you need.  Get in touch with us and find out how we can help you start saving space in your home today.

Spring-cleaning

Spring-Cleaning for Self-Storage

Spring cleaningThe winter is coming to an end. With the snow starting to melt as the weather warms, it’s a good time for some spring-cleaning. That includes your self-storage.

Seasonal Storage

Last fall, we talked about why seasonal storage is good. It’s a great way to save space in your home. By switching out your storage between summer and winter, all the things you don’t use won’t clutter up your house. So, if you’re using a seasonal storage strategy, now’s a good time to start going through your storage unit.  Figure out what you’ll be needing and get ready to switch it out with the stuff you’ll be putting away soon.

Spring-Cleaning

Even if you’re not using a seasonal storage strategy, in the next month or two is probably still a good time to get up to your unit and start going through it. For one thing, dust accumulates. The things you’ve put in storage will be getting pretty dusty by now. Hopefully, you’ve put down plastic sheets over things to keep the dust off, but now’s a good time to check and make sure everything’s still okay.

declutterAnother good reason to do some spring-cleaning is that regularly going through your storage will help you get rid of things. One of the hardest things keeping your life uncluttered is getting rid of things. We all have things we don’t use, but don’t ever get around to getting rid of them. These things often end up in storage units, out of sight, out of mind.  They’re still clutter, though.

Going through your storage shed for regular spring-cleaning will help you work out what things you’re not using and likely won’t use again. It’ll help you get rid of them. Once you do, you might be able to switch to a smaller unit and save some money, or you could put more things into it and free up space in your home. Either way, it’s a benefit to you.

How Can We Help?

Vernon StorageIf you’re looking to rent some storage, we’ve got the space. If spring-cleaning changes up your storage needs, that’s great, too. Got any other needs or question we can help you out with?  Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re always willing to help.

Winter self-storage

5 Tips for Self-Storage in the Winter

Winter self-storageWinter is coming. The cold will require some extra steps be taken to protect your things.  You’ll find now is the best time to check up on your storage and make sure everything is ready.  Let’s look over a few tips.

 

Why Have Seasonal Storage?

There are many things people don’t use during the colder months.  Especially if you have a small living space, seasonal storage can free up a lot of room in your house.  Seasonal clothing, recreational gear, lawn equipment, motorcycles and ATVs, these are all things that you won’t be using over the winter.  They all need to go somewhere, so why not put them in storage? That way, you won’t be bothered with them in your home.

 

Tips For Winter Storage

 

1. Make Repairs

When you put things into storage for the winter, you don’t usually plan to take them out again until you plan to use them.  It’s very inconvenient to pull an item out you want to use only to find it needs repairs.  To avoid this hassle, make any necessary repairs to your summer items before you put them away for the season.

 

2. Clean Everything

Things that sit gather dust and moisture, which can cause corrosion.  How much worse will that damage be if they’re already dirty before you put them in storage? Before you put anything into storage, make sure you clean it thoroughly.  This will not only protect it from the elements, but make it much easier to clean when you pull it out in the spring.

 

3. Use Cotton or Wool Covers

Vinyl or plastic covers are a bad idea for long-term storage.  They trap moisture, which leads to rot and rust.  A much better option is to use wool or cotton.  They breathe, allowing moisture to pass through it as it evaporates.  It can make all the difference for protecting your items.

 

4. Keep Electronics Off The Ground

The cold can damage electronics and batteries. Since cold air sinks, it’s always colder on the ground.  If you must store electronics over the winter, keep them elevated.  Put them on shelves, or get some wood pallets to keep them raised.  This will help keep your devices in good condition while they are in storage.

 

5. Winterize Your Summer Vehicles

One of the most common items to store over the winter are your summer vehicles.  Motorcycles, ATVs, even certain kinds of cars are best driven in the summer and put away during the winter.   Take steps to protect your vehicles from the cold.  SE Performance recently put out an article for winterizing your motorcycle and it’s full of good advice.  Take similar steps for other kinds of vehicles.  If you don’t know what they are, you can check with a local mechanic, who will be happy to help you out.

 

We’ve Got The Space

If you’re looking to make some space in your house this winter, consider coming to us for some seasonal storage.  Since we have no time commitments, you’re free to load up over the winter and empty out in the summer.  Feel free to get in touch with us to get a quote, or find out about our availability.  We recently completed expansions to our facilities, so we’ve got plenty of space for you to rent.