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6 Rules for Pest-Free Storage

Picture this: You’ve gone to find your great grandparents’ wedding album and your great grandmother’s wedding dress that you’ve had carefully stored for years and instead you find pictures with chew marks on them and a train full of holes. A not-so-friendly guest has gotten to your most important possessions and there’s nothing you can do about it! Now picture this: You’ve followed these six rules for pest-free storage and the album and dress are as intact and beautiful as the day you got them.

  1. Just say “no” to food
    Storing your belongings with food is basically an invitation for vermin and bugs. Even if you’re storing nonperishables and have never seen a pest in the area before, you’re setting yourself up for an infestation. Don’t store food with any of your belongings and vacuum the area often to keep it free from wandering crumbs.
  2. And say “yes” to plastic containers
    Airtight lids and plastic containers are your belongings’ first defense against unwanted guests. If you do need to turn to cardboard boxes, purchase new ones instead or reusing some you already have at home. They are stronger, typically have smaller gaps, and won’t have risky residue already built up inside.
  3. Raise it up
    Invest in some shelving or ask your local store if you can take the used (food-free) pallets they discard after receiving new shipments. Raising your belongings off the ground will not only make it more difficult for pests to find their way into your boxes, it will also protect them from damp floors and water damage.
  4. Wrap furniture
    Mattresses and upholstered furniture should be properly wrapped in plastic or cloth to prevent vermin and insects from burrowing into the fabric and destroying it. It is important to remember that these items should be thoroughly wrapped to keep things out, but also able to breathe to avoid moisture build-up.
  5. Use deterrents
    When all else fails, bug and vermin deterrents can work wonders. Bug sprays and strategically placed mousetraps are good ways to protect the area. If your belongings are stored in a place where a family pet may wander, make sure to use all-natural solutions like mothballs and cedar blocks.
  6. Turn to the professionals
    While home storage in your attic, basement, or garage is convenient, it’s not always ideal. The best way to ensure your important belongings are safe from pests (and to free up more space at home) is to store them at a self storage facility. These facilities are experts when it comes to keeping belongings in and pests out.

Now that you understand the best steps for pest-free storage and why a self storage facility may be the right choice for you, it’s time to find one that’s affordable, convenient, and even climate controlled. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage today and keep your belongings safe tomorrow–and every day after that.

5 Reasons to Empty Out Your Empty Nest

A life filled with children is a great adventure full of love and memories, but there are two days that shine a little brighter for many parents: The day they’re born and the day they finally move out. Whether your child started the transition gradually by going away to university first or just made the big move all at once, a home without kids takes some acclimating to. How much should you cook for dinner? Who’s going to take the garbage out? And, most importantly, what are you going to do with all that extra space? If you can’t answer this last one because your kids are gone, but their stuff isn’t, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Here are five reasons you should give their stuff an eviction notice:

  1. Clutter = Stress
    Forget “a messy house is a happy house;” a messy house is a chaotic house. When you have a home full of kids, it’s difficult to wrangle all the laundry, dishes, homework, sports equipment, and general mess that comes with the package. Now that yours are grown and gone, you can finally restore order to your home and life. That includes all of the stuff they managed to leave behind when they moved out. Declutter your house and destress your life.
  2. You Don’t Need a “Shrine” Room
    Many parents of adult children leave their childhood bedrooms the way they left it, complete with outdated posters on the wall and unwanted clothes in unused dressers. Take that square footage potential and do something for yourself with it. Whether you’ve always wanted a home office, gym, or hobby room, use that space to enrich your life. . . and maybe add a daybed for when your kids want to visit.
  3. Your House Shouldn’t Be Their Junk Closet
    While it’s normal to get sentimental about your kids’ belongings because it reminds you of them, that doesn’t mean you have to store their grade seven math book or that guitar they never learned to play. Ask your kids to go through their old stuff and donate or throw out anything they’re not overly attached to or need any longer.
  4. It Will Help Them Become More Independent
    Your kids may have technically moved out, but if they still have their old room and things to go back to whenever they want, they’re using you as a safety net. Obviously, it’s important for them to know they’ll always have a place in your home if they need it, but removing that rather large safety net gives them the push they need to work harder to make it on their own.
  5. It’s Time to Downsize Your Home
    A four-bedroom with two baths and a huge backyard made a lot of sense when you had children who needed their own rooms and a safe place to play, but is it really necessary when it’s just you on your own or you and your partner? Not only are you holding on to unused space, but you’re also holding on to unnecessary property taxes and upkeep expenses and efforts. Moving to a smaller home or retirement community will free up a large home for a young family—and other things you can do with your money.

Now you understand the possibilities of a truly empty nest, but your kids don’t have space for their old stuff and you don’t have the heart to throw it out. So, what do you do? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a safe, secure, climate-controlled home for their belongings that isn’t your home.

How to Protect and Store Antique Dolls

Whether it’s a collection passed down to every new generation in your family or a passion that’s all your own, antique dolls need a level of care beyond Malibu Barbie standards. While displayed in your home, you’re able to ensure your collection is free from dust and the curious hands of your kids (or grandkids), but what happens when you need to place your precious dolls in storage? Here are some helpful tips to keeping your collection as beautiful and safe as the day it started.

  • Keep them shining
    Your collection should be thoroughly–and very carefully–cleaned prior to storage. The actual method to cleaning them isn’t the same as your typical process and varies depending on whether the doll is made up of porcelain, plastic, bisque, or cloth.
  • The dark is their friend
    Direct sunlight is especially harsh for delicate dolls and can fade their clothing and hair over time. If kept in a place lit by fluorescent lighting, dolls made of vinyl may actually turn green! That’s why your collection should be stored in the dark and only exposed to indirect sunlight when necessary.
  • Handle with care–and clean hands
    Before you or anyone else handles your collection, you need to make sure everyone’s hands are properly clean to avoid transfer of dirt and harmful oils. Also avoid moisturizing right before handling the dolls, as lotion can be especially harmful.
  • Keep them healthy
    If there is something that needs fixing on your dolls prior to putting them in storage or due to an accident while in storage, don’t try to fix it yourself. Instead, contact your local historical society for a referral to an antique doll “doctor” and preserve their integrity.
  • Treat them like Goldilocks
    Don’t let your collection get too hot or too cold. These fragile dolls are very sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and need to be stored in ideal conditions, not your attic or basement. Instead, opt for a climate-controlled environment, like a storage unit.

Now that you understand how to best care for your antique doll collection, it’s time to find a place they can call home until they can once again be displayed proudly. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for an affordable, secure, climate-controlled solution to your collection’s unique needs.


5 Things You Should Never Store in your Attic

One of the best things about owning a home is that you never run out of storage space. No room in the main part of your house or the garage or basement? That’s OK, the attic is the perfect out-of-the-way place to keep things, right? Not necessarily. While there are some things you can safely store in your attic, these five items should never be among them:

  1. Anything with Fabric
    If you want your wedding gown to get a second life when your daughter walks down the aisle or to see your future grandkids in perfectly preserved baby clothes, skip attic storage— where they’re susceptible to water damage, heat, and moths—at all costs. Leather furniture and clothing should also be avoided, as they can crack and discolor over time.
  2. Documents, Artwork, and Books
    If you’re storing important documents and artwork or saving books, magazines, and newspapers for posterity, the attic is the best place to destroy them. These sensitive items are all negatively affected by heat, light, and humidity. This can cause discoloration and mildew and may result in exposure to moths and silverfish who want to make a meal out of them.
  3. Wood Furniture
    Keep your great grandmother’s antique armoire in pristine condition by keeping it away from your attic. The humidity and heat in the confined space can cause wood to crack and expand and leaves it vulnerable to mold and mildew.
  4. Unused Electronics
    Maybe you’re a collector of computer generations, perhaps you’ve got the live series finale of M.A.S.H., complete with original commercials, on VHS and you can’t give up your VCR, or maybe you just don’t like getting rid of electronics—either way, you need to store them all in a climate-controlled space not affected by heat and humidity, unlike your attic.
  5. Paint
    Whether it’s paint for your house’s exterior, paint for your bedroom and living room, or paint for that masterpiece you’ve been working on, it needs to be stored properly. Changes in your attic’s temperature throughout the year can actually change the paint’s consistency and cause it to dry out quickly.

Now you know there are things you can’t store in your attic, so where can you store them? At a convenient and affordable storage facility. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for the ideal climate-controlled storage solution for these common but important items.

8 Ways to Stop Your Home’s Toy Invasion

Whether it’s dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, or interactive games, there will always be a new children’s toy kids want and old ones they refuse to give up. Before you know it, your house starts looking like a disorganized toy store stockroom. Before you sacrifice any more of your home’s square footage, consider these eight toy storage hacks. 

  1. Let Them Bunk with Their Toys- Did your kids used to share bunk beds before living in separate rooms? Don’t let that bottom bunk space go to waste! Remove the bed and use that real estate for a desk and toy storage. Not only will it help keep the room organized, but it will also open up space elsewhere.
  2. Cubbies Aren’t Just for School- Cubbies are a practical and simple way to keep toys organized and out of the way. You can purchase a full cubby or individual ones you can stack, based on your needs. Go one step further: Instead of tossing toys in the cubbies, place them in labeled boxes, baskets, or crates first

  3. Keep Bath Toys from Making a Splash- Bath time is messy enough on its own without factoring in tub-time toys. Corral them with a simple curtain rod across the wall and use zip ties or similar to attach small, porous buckets that keep them within reach when it’s playtime, and out of the way when you need to take a shower.

  4. Drive Cars Up the Wall- Tired of slipping on a toy car every time you walk across the living room? Garage them when they’re not in use by attaching a magnetic knife rack to the wall that their metal frames will stick to easily.
  5. Peg Those Soft-Dart Guns- Let them show off every kid’s favorite soft-dart collection while keeping your house uncluttered and organized. A pegboard like the ones you use to hang tools in your garage is a space-saving and fun way to store them.
  6. Give Loose Toys the Boot (Treatment)- Shoe organizers are a very versatile storage solution. Whether it’s over the door, hanging in the closet, or freestanding, they’re a simple—and affordable—way to keep small toys off the floor.

  7. Stuff Your Own Bean Bag Chair- No kid’s room is complete without a comfy bean bag chair! Make their chair pull double-duty when you remove the stuffing and replace it with their stuffed animals. When they want to play, they can simply unzip the bag and grab their favorite toys. Time to clean up? Another quick zip and you’d never even know they were there.

  8. Play the Frame Game- Do your children love a good board game night? Put them on display! Purchase inexpensive picture frames to keep the boards in and store the pieces and cards somewhere out of the way. Not only will this help keep your house free from clutter, but it’s also a unique decorating choice.  

Now you know how to save your home from a complete toy takeover, but what do you do with the toys they don’t play with anymore but aren’t ready to part with? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a climate-controlled, secure and affordable home for their childhood favorites.