If you’re fortunate enough to have an extra room or two you never use, renting them out can go a long way in helping you earn some extra money for those mortgage and household bills. However, before you move into storage those little used items from that spare bedroom or attic so you can rent it, there are some important to-dos to take care of first. Below are five to help ensure your move into landlord status is a positive one.
- Do the math. Check out online ads in your area on Craigslist to get a ballpark figure of what you can charge for rent based on your zip code and what type of room you’re offering up.
- Advertise specifically. Think about what you will and won’t tolerate in a roommate and mention it clearly in the ad. Don’t like smoking? Early riser and need nights to be quiet time? Do you want someone to stay for six months or longer? How do you feel about their canine or feline friends? Establish your boundaries early on to save you both time and headaches.
- Get your home renter-ready. To ensure that your home is ready to rent to a stranger, you should let no stone go unturned in securing your (and your tenant’s) safety: Put keyed deadbolts on each bedroom door, remove self-locking doorknobs to prevent lockouts, stash any jewelry or valuables in a fireproof safe or in secure storage, and fix anything that needs some TLC. Broken dishwasher? Use that new rent check to get a new one.
- Check their credit report. Once you’ve interviewed and checked references, it’s a good idea to run a soft inquiry credit check on rental candidates, which tenants pay for and share with you. The report will have information that can help you decide if the candidate will be a financially dependable renter or not.
- Put it in writing. Use a detailed written rental lease, not an oral agreement because no two people remember verbal agreements in quite the same way (and just try to prove the details in court!). The lease should include rent amount and due date, other deposits and fees (especially if they have a four-legged friend), costs the renter will share (utilities, etc.), how you’ll share common areas, and other concerns like cleaning, parking, quiet time and overnight guests.
So, now you know how to ensure you rent to the right person but what will you do with all those things you moved out of that spare space? For expert advice on storing your valuables and more, contact Secure Self Storage.
For most of us, self-storage is essentially an extension of our walk-in closet or garage: a clean, dry and secure space to store your stuff for as long as you need. But did you know that there are different types and sizes of units you can choose based on the types and volume of items you’re storing? Here, we discuss what you need to know to help you decide on the right unit for you.
Drive-Up. As the name suggests, you can gain access to these outdoor units by driving up to the door and unloading directly from your vehicle. Drive-up self-storage units are typically the size of a one-car garage and are used for storing household and personal possessions, seasonal decorations, outdoor recreation items and winter snow equipment.
It’s important to note that drive-up self-storage sites do tend to offer fewer amenities. They may cost you less per month, but you may not have the option of climate control or enhanced security.
Climate control. Indoor climate-controlled units typically maintain a consistent temperature that is above freezing and below 80 degrees all year round, and some even offer enhanced humidity control. Climate-controlled units are air sealed so the air is circulated continuously and remains clean. They’re vital to protecting wood furniture, antiques, musical instruments, electronics, documents and other heat-sensitive items from extreme temperatures.
If cost plays a big factor in your choice, review the following check list to determine whether or not you need climate control:
- Am I storing anything that can discolor, warp, or crack with varying temperatures?
- Am I storing in a place with extreme heat, cold or humidity?
- Will I be storing long-term?
Size really does matter. No one wants to spend money on a storage unit that’s too large or too small. There are a multitude of storage unit sizes available, here are just a few and what you can use them for:
- 5’x5’x5’ (25sq. ft.) lockers are the size of a small closet and can accommodate personal items, clothes, books, etc.
- 5’x10′ (75sq. ft.) fit the contents of a larger closet and can easily accommodate small furniture, like sofas, chairs, a chest of drawers, a box spring and mattress, business supplies and records, plus other small items and boxes.
- 10’x20′ (200sq. ft.) will store the equivalent of three-bedroom house with major appliances, plus lots of boxes. It is also ideal for storing business files and inventory on racks.
- 10’x40′ (400sq. ft.) offers enough space for the contents of a five-bedroom house with major appliances and room for boxes. Excellent for business storage of files, equipment and permanent records.
Now that you know the difference between unit features and sizes, contact Secure Self Storage to find the right unit to fit your needs and budget.
There are a lot of things to consider and prepare for when it comes to moving homes. You need to find a new home, sell or rent out your current one, potentially find new employment and new schools for your kids—you may even have to buy a new wardrobe if you’re leaving somewhere warm like Victoria, British Columbia for somewhere as cold as Yellowknife (home to Canada’s coldest winters of -28.9 Celsius)! With all these things to consider, it’s easy to overlook one very important part: The move itself! Moving homes doesn’t have to be stressful and time-consuming. Follow these six tips to turn your moving day into a success:
- Stock Up First
The key to any successful move is using the proper materials. Start with boxes and tape: Go through each room in your home and estimate how many boxes you’ll need to properly pack your items, if you’ll require any uniquely shaped boxes, and approximate how much tape you’ll use. Then you’ll need cushioning to ensure nothing breaks, as well as labels and markers to make sure each box ends up in the right place. You can buy all this—and more—at your local Secure Self Storage.
- Pick the Right Day
Skip the high moving truck or professional movers’ fees charged for the first or last of the month and weekends. Instead, schedule your move for the middle of the week, in the middle of the month. The extra money you save will be well worth it.
- Don’t Move What You Don’t Want
There’s no sense in packing, moving, then unpacking things you no longer have use for. For sentimental items, you may want to consider investing in a self-storage facility, but everything else should be donated (make sure to hold on to the receipts for tax purposes) or turned into pocket money from a garage or yard sale. Don’t want to move your whole pantry? Contact local food shelters instead of throwing all the food away.
- Take Time to Count
The last thing you want to discover after you move into your new home is that you’re missing some of your belongings. Whether they were left behind at your old home or overlooked in the moving truck, it can be a hassle to track them down. That’s why you should count and number all your boxes so you can inventory them as you take them off the truck.
- Hire a Babysitter–or Pet Sitter
Moving can be confusing, stressful, and exhausting—all of which can be made worse if you’re also worried about your kids or your pets. Young children and animals should be left with a sitter away from the home so you can concentrate on the task at hand.
- Pack an Essentials Bag
After a long day of moving, you’re going to want to shower, put on clean clothes, and go to sleep. But you’ve packed away your towels and shampoo, all your clothes are mixed together, and you can’t find your sheets! Make things easier on yourself (and your whole family) by packing your day-one must-haves in one convenient place.
Now that you know how to make sure your moving day is a success, it’s time to find a safe, reliable place for the things you weren’t able to take with you, but don’t want to say goodbye to. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for an affordable, secure, climate-controlled solution to your storage needs.
It’s no secret that cardboard moving boxes are both biodegradable and recyclable. But did you know they are versatile too? Strong and sturdy, your garden variety corrugated fiberboard box may be great for shipping and storage, but it’s also useful around the house, back yard, or wherever you find yourself. Here are some ways to get the most out of boxes you already have lying around the house—all year long.
For hours of sleigh-riding fun on a brisk winter day, you can save money and get creative by turning a flattened cardboard box (held together with some tape) into your own sleigh. Faster than you know it, you’ll be gliding down those snowy hilltops! If you’d rather stay inside and get crafty instead, use cardboard to create seasonal placemats by cutting it into desired shapes and sizes, covering with wrapping paper or cloth and securing with tape. These DIY placemats are also perfect for wedding or baby showers, birthday parties or just to brighten up the inside when it’s dark and cold outside.
Get a head start on weed control for your flowerbeds and vegetable garden: Ditch the newspaper or garden weed control burlap and use cut-up cardboard as your weed barrier. Not only will this stop those unsightly weeds from overgrowing and choking your precious plants, it will save you hours of backbreaking labor pulling weeds. Another plus—the cardboard will eventually deteriorate right into the garden soil.
When the temperature rises, you know it’s time to get those air conditioners out of storage and into the windows. But what happens if you find your unit’s insulating side panels are broken or have holes? You don’t have to revert to expensive foam insulators or buy a whole new unit. You can stuff pieces of cut up cardboard into the frame to block out the hot air and stay cool all summer long.
What’s on your mind at the first sign of brilliant colored leaves falling from trees and a slight chill in the air? No, not pumpkin spice lattes, it’s Halloween, of course! And this year, why not use one of those empty boxes from your last online purchase to fashion your own show-stopping Halloween costume? With a little imagination, you can turn plain cardboard into a robot, cereal box or even SpongeBob SquarePants! Chances are your original design will not only outshine the overpriced store-bought ones, you may just win first prize!
Creative uses aside, the best way to use cardboard is for storage. Whether you need to pack away boxes of holiday lights or Halloween decorations, or gardening tools and air conditioners, look to Secure Self Storage for the right solution at the right price for all your storage needs.
Moving homes can be a very exciting time–but it can also be a chaotic time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when packing, especially if you’re a first-time mover. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have these 10-must-have packing and moving supplies before the big day comes to help make the transition to your next adventure as easy as possible.
- Boxes and Totes
Depending on what’s going inside, you may need a cardboard box or a plastic tote. Cardboard boxes are more uniform in size and can cost the savvy mover nothing when they approach local businesses on their delivery days. Totes, on the other hand, are a sturdier choice and have greater storage reusability (but they can be pricey).
- Packing Tape
Folding the flaps of cardboard boxes into one another may be a quick fix for a single box, but when you’re loading boxes in and out of trucks and cars where they may be jostled or take a tumble, you’ll want the security of a well-taped box or a reinforced tote.
- Bubble Wrap and Newspaper
Keep your belongings in the shape they left your old home in by using proper cushioning. While using your own clothes and linens is the most environmental- (and cost-) friendly option, recyclable newspaper and bubble wrap will suffice if you run out.
- Color-Coded Markers and Labels
A smart mover labels and writes the room where each box should go, like “kitchen,” “bathroom,” or “storage.” A brilliant mover uses color-coded labels and matching markers for even faster and more accurate unloading and unpacking.
Let your blankets pull double duty by also serving as protection for easily scratched pieces of furniture and electronics, like your antique coffee table or 4K TV. Not only will your belongings be well-protected, but you won’t have to worry about packing the blankets, too–just make sure to wash them before you make the bed!
- Furniture Pads
Keep your old and new floors scuff-free while moving. A simple set of furniture pads on the legs of your belongings will ensure you don’t lose a deposit or ruin your hardwood floors before you’ve even unpacked.
- Dolly or Hand Truck
The last thing you need when you’re moving into a new home is to hurt yourself. That box of books may seem like a quick grab, but it’s a lot heavier than it looks. Rent or invest in a dolly to save you—and your back—unnecessary strain.
Get a better grip on things and prevent painful blisters with an inexpensive pair of moving gloves. When you’re carrying a dresser up a flight of stairs, you’ll be glad you took the time to wear them.
- Cleaning Supplies
No matter how clean of a home you kept, chances are there will be dust and cobwebs on some of your hard-to-reach belongings. You may be tempted to wait to clean them, but that will just track unnecessary dirt into your new clean home.
A basic tool set is a must when moving. Maybe you can’t fit the fridge through the door without taking off the handles or you want to remove your table’s legs to save space; chances are you’ll need quick access to tools.
Not sure where to get all the moving supplies on your list or ready to find a home for the boxes marked “storage?” Contact the professionals at Secure Self Storage for a one-stop shop for all your packing musts and an affordable, secure, climate-controlled solution to your new home storage needs.