Car Covers & Outdoor Storage

“Should I use a car cover?”

We are often asked if using a car cover is allowed when using outdoor car storage at our facility. The simple answer is yes! It’s your vehicle and you are welcome to use a cover. The correct answer is more complicated and follows a slightly different question: should you use a car cover?

Most people don’t realize that car covers are a kind of double edged sword. Yes, they offer some protection against rain and dust; and against the possibility of twigs, sticks or other debris scratching the paint during strong winds; however, normal vehicles in good condition are made to be outdoors. Car covers trap moisture in after a hard or frequent rain – not good for the paint or the rubber seals. Covers shift and rub during storms and windy days, causing wear in the paint where they make contact. Dust gets under the cover anyway. If you are not going to be visiting the car frequently to remove the cover, inspect for wear, have the car cleaned and securely replace the cover, it’s probably a good idea to leave the vehicle “naked” for storage.

Car Sun Shield

Car Sun Shield

Fit is important when considering a car cover. “One-size-fits-all” covers do not do well in outdoor storage situations because without a tight fit they shift and rub. Cheap covers degrade in a few months of sun, rain and wind. All covers, even custom sized covers, require bungees or tie downs to stay secure over time in outdoor weather conditions.

What do we recommend for outdoor storage of vehicles? Sun Shields, also known as sun reflectors or sun visors. The good news is that they are easy to install, last a long time and are inexpensive. Placed in the windshields of the vehicle, sun reflectors keep light out, prevent fading, prevent dashboard damage including cracking, and keep the temperature of the car down. Custom sun shields are available from many retailers. The advantage of a custom model is a tight fit for the maximum amount of light blocking for your particular vehicle.

At Gateway Storage, we recommend getting a quality wax job on the vehicle before storage, using sun shields in the front and rear windshields and disconnecting the battery for long term outdoor storage. Our facility surface of recycled compacted asphalt will cradle your tires instead of creating a flat spot as a concrete storage surface may do. Our yard staff maintains the facility, routinely cleaning debris and assisting with drainage and snow removal, to ensure your vehicle remains safely stored.

Every storage situation is different. If you plan to monitor your car and your cover frequently, it could be a good option to protect your car’s paint job. If not, consider leaving your vehicle naked and taking the above steps to ensure it stays looking new while in storage.

We offer storage and parking space for all sizes of vehicles at Gateway Storage. Request a quote today to learn more.

Your Car and Winter: Maintenance to Consider.

Winterizing your car can save you a lot of trouble, money, and help ensure your safety in the long run. Knowing where to start or how to properly and effectively winterize your vehicle can be a bit confusing, luckily the DMV has a few pointers on how to begin and what exactly to do.

Snow Covered Car

Snow Covered Car

When you’re looking to winterize your car you can begin by reading your owner’s manual and follow the recommended servicing schedule to keep your car well maintained. Have someone who’s car-savvy take a look at your car, that way you’ll know if you have to replace any type of filters, brakes or belts. The colder weather can change the way your car runs if not taken care of properly; making your car’s current problems much worse, a poorly running engine cannot perform at its best and can cause the burning of more gasoline.  Change your oil and air filters as often as your owner’s manual suggests, change these things more often if you drive more than the average mileage per day or take frequent trips. As the temperature drops, purchase a bottle of fuel deicer and put it in your gas tank to prevent freezing. Keeping your gas tank full the majority of the time always allows you keep moisture out and not need to run to the gas station in case of a weather emergency. Make sure the heater and front/rear defroster are working at their best, so you have clear visibility and comfort for both the driver and passenger. Have your battery checked; having a weak battery during winter weather can reduce the battery’s lifetime. If you aren’t too sure of how to go about checking the battery, your local mechanic or your local car care/parts store may be able to help.

Exhaust fumes can be harmful to your car and the environment, have your exhaust system checked to make sure it’s functioning properly and has no leaks or problems. The undercarriage of your car should also be inspected while on a lift to ensure nothing is damaged or could be damaged with the winter weather. Maintain your car’s cooling system by flushing and refilling it as recommended by your owner’s manual. Windshield wiper blades should be replaced regularly; there are many types of blades that you can purchase specifically for winter weather. Making sure you have windshield washer solvent can make your visibility much better.  Having extra solvent and carrying an ice scraper in your trunk can make cleaning your car windows much easier, especially if it begins to snow, hail or freeze.

Making sure you can see other drivers is important, but also ensuring other drivers can see you are as equally important. Inspect all exterior and interior lights and bulbs to make sure they are functioning correctly. Replace or fix any malfunctioning or damaged bulbs. If your headlights are clouded, you can purchase a kit at an auto store to clean them up or have a service auto shop do it for you. Ensure your tires are at their best performance during the winter months.

If you have worn tires replace them with new ones, worn tires can be a hassle during inclement weather and also make your engine work harder to keep the car going, thus using more gasoline than normal. Take a look at your car’s tire tread: if you aren’t sure whether they need replacing most tires have a tread bar that lets you know when to replace them. If your tires don’t have a tread bar you can always use the penny test, place a penny between the tread ribs on your tire. A “rib” refers to the raised portion of tread that spans the circumference of your tire; tire tread is composed of several ribs. Turn the penny so that Lincoln’s head points down into the tread. See if the top of his head disappears between the ribs. If it does, your tread is still above 2/32”, if you can see his entire head, it may be time to replace the tire because your tread is no longer deep enough (a tip from Bridgestone Tire).

Always check the air pressure in the tires, colder months can cause the air pressure to go down which will cause you to put air in your tires more frequently.  You should always have an emergency kit in your car, but during the winter months you may have to add things like gloves, boots, a small shovel, ice/sand, and anything else that you may think might be useful in an emergency situation.

The most important thing to remember during winter weather/inclement weather is drive with caution (keep a safe following distance, go a few miles under the speed limit, and avoid any distractions), add more time to your commute for any delays or accidents on the road, and be safe/careful with other drivers around you.

Going somewhere warm for the Winter? Lucky you! We can store your car for as low as $99/month in an assigned space inside our secure car storage facility. We have free monthly autopay and only require advance notice of one full calendar month to move out. Call us today!


Car Buying: New or Used, Consider this Advice

Having a new car is something almost everyone looks forward to but the purchase process can be a bit stressful. In the end, whether new or used, it’s a new car to you!

There are so many things you might want or need in a vehicle, you have to look around Buying a New Carand see what kind you want, what color, what type of features you want it to have whether you want leather seats, what type of transmission, just to name a few.

Before you begin car shopping, make a list of yourself for what you want your car to have; knowing exactly what you want can very helpful, such as a family sized car or a smaller car, what color you would like the exterior interior, a hybrid/eco-friendly car, even down to the smaller details of the auto. Of course, being more flexible with what you desire in a car can give you a wider range of cars available for sale in your area.

Decide what type of a car you’re going to want, a brand new or used car. A brand new car is great; in some cases it’s much more reliable than a used car and can last longer than a used car. There is nothing wrong with buying a used car; if you aren’t ready to make a big purchase, it can be less expensive than buying a brand new car.

An important thing to know if you aren’t purchasing your car with a check or cash, is what types of loan you can be approved for. You can save money on interest rates by going to your financial institution and getting pre-approved for an auto loan, whether you’re purchasing the car from a dealership or a private party. Normally the financial institution has lower rates than what a car dealership can offer you and being pre-approved will give you a bit more leverage to negotiate with a salesperson. If you’re trading in your current car for a new one, know the price before you go to the dealership. Getting a trade in value before you start shopping can let you know whether you’re getting more or less than what your current car is actually worth. (Kelly Blue Book) is a great website to get an estimated value over your current car or a used car you’re thinking about purchasing.

Car Dealerships:

Check different dealer locations (if you’re purchasing closer to Arlington chances are prices could be higher than purchasing in Stafford, Dale City or even Fredericksburg). Purchasing at a smaller dealership vs. a larger dealership can have its pros and cons. A smaller dealership pro: you can negotiate more but you have higher interest rates. A larger dealership pro: lower car prices, lower interest rates but less room to negotiate. If the vehicle you’re looking for is not terribly unique, try find identical models at two or more dealerships and compete each dealerships offer against the others.

Online Shopping:

The internet can be a great tool to make your car buying easier, rather than driving from location to location looking for cars you can search many dealerships. Many dealerships can offer you an “online special” or have a “price promise” that can get you a lower deal on your vehicle. If the dealership you’re shopping from doesn’t have any type of online deals going on, they possibly might have an information tab where you can submit to them your information and a salesperson will contact you either through phone or by email.

Car Buying Services:

USAA, Costco and other membership based groups have car buying services to negotiate a lower rate for you. Keep in mind the price may still be higher than what you could negotiate on your own.

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, you have to keep in mind several things. A few of those things can be how much your monthly payments will be, how much interest you’ll be paying over the years, and what benefits the dealership can offer you (such as free state inspections, promotions on car care packages, discounts on servicing your vehicle).

Think about where you’ll keep your newest purchase. Do you have a garage, will you park it in your driveway at home or will you have to park it on the street? Will you trade in your old car or keep it for a while to sell at private party value? Private party sales almost always net you more money than a trade in offer. For your old wheels, consider temporary outdoor storage or container storage until you find a buyer. Showing potential buyers your vehicle at home can be a safety concern. At a storage facility like Gateway Storage, you can meet your potential buyer onsite to complete paperwork or let your buyer take it for a test drive, instead of your home. If you want to keep your old vehicle in storage for a bit while you decide whether to sell it, you can remove the tags and reduce the insurance from liability to general to save money. You will not be able to drive the vehicle on the road without tags or liability insurance, but you can place it into storage at Gateway. Many storage facility require current tags or full insurance, so make sure to call ahead with these questions. If your old car is not running, you may want to store it for a few months while you decide whether to repair it and to what extent. Check your local requirements, as it may be illegal or against HOA regulations to leave wheels with expired tags in your driveway or on your neighborhood street. Tow-in vehicles are welcome at Gateway Storage.

After the Purchase:

The moment you drive your vehicle off the lot it depreciates in value up to 20%, which can be a strong negotiating factor in purchasing your car. You want your vehicle to hold as much value as it can from the moment you drove it off the lot, meaning take good care of your car. Keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance/ mechanical and cosmetic needs (both on the interior and exterior). Regularly change the oil (most auto servicers recommend ever 3k-5k depending on the oil you use), change the breaks and tires when needed as well, detail the interior to to keep it looking nice/clean, give it a good wax to keep it looking as good as the time you bought it. Purchasing a car can be an extremely exciting thing to do, just keep these tips in mind when you are looking around the car market.

New Year, New Garage: Organize your Car Garage Now!

Researchers estimate only 30% of homeowners with a garage actually use them for car or vehicle storage. More often, garages are used

Organized Garage

Organized Garage

for storing extra household items, property from other family members, estate sales, or landscaping and lawn care equipment. Start planning now to organize your garage in 2016!

There are many solutions to organizing and de-cluttering your garage: first, you’ll need to make space to work. Consider a self storage container unit to pack away your extra household items. Container storage offers more space for less money than traditional indoor storage units, and are a secure, clean, safe alternative storage option for a large amount of boxes, furniture, equipment, materials or tools.

When considering cleaning out the garage, keep in mind you’ll need at least a full weekend or possibly two, to get everything done. Consider flooring early in your planning. An epoxy coating, rubberized coating, or concrete floor sealant can be an attractive addition to your garage and increase your home’s overall value. Flooring requires removing all items from the garage, so it’s a good idea to consider renting a storage unit large enough for all the items in your garage if redoing the floor. Custom floors with designs or colors are popular in some areas. If you are planning on staying in your home for many years, a custom garage floor may be a wise investment.

Get the family into the loop: depending on your garage size you might want to call in reinforcements. To stay organized and stay on track you’ll want to make piles of the things you’ll keep close to home and items you may want to put into a storage unit. Items you may never use again might be good candidates for charitable donation. Before donating, consider whether family members may be able to use these items in the future. Many of the things you’ll come across may make you somewhat nostalgic. For these items storage in a storage unit or self storage container may be the best option. You or your children can review these items at a less hectic time in the future.

For items you are keeping close to home, organize them first by order of importance. Keeping most of your goods in labeled plastic bins can be very helpful for organization as well as making it easy to find. Once you’re done storing your items make a floor plan for yourself, where do you want certain items? Where do you want to keep handyman tools? If you’re looking into buying shelves or putting up any type of cabinet, measure out the dimensions on your garage before you go out and buy anything. Buying the wrong thing can put a hole in your budget and can be a hassle trying to exchange it for something new. Consider making overhead storage for smaller household items or boxed items that you don’t have to have readily accessible.

Your local hardware store or big box store (Home Depot or Lowe’s) can be great places to start planning a garage storage strategy. Overhead storage can be attractive, but it can be expensive and time consuming to install. Consider the cost and time of researching, installing and using overhead storage versus storing items in a self storage unit or self storage container for a month or two.

A few general tips for garage organization:

  • Keep your bikes and scooters closer to your garage door, using racks or other hangers, so you don’t have to haul them through the entire garage for when you want to go on a bike ride.
  • Keep larger gardening tools further away from your car, so neither your car nor your appliances get damaged.
  • Keep chemicals in a child proof area, locked away. If you have any types of tanks such as propane, you should always keep them outside; a small spark could ignite a fire.
  • Keep a functional fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place.
  • Keep seasonal items and things you don’t use as often in higher or harder to reach places.
  • Keep any pet food in tightly sealed bins (the scent attracts insects and critters)
  • Place electronics accessories, cables, wires, and plugs in invidual Ziplock type bags and place all in the same storage bin, to prevent time consuming tangles.
  • Keep a storage bin or two stocked with emergency supplies such as water, non-perishable food, flash lights, batteries, blankets, matches, and a first aid kit. A complete guide to emergency preparedness can be found at the American Red Cross. 
  • Consider off site storage for extra vehicles, trailers or project cars.

If you have many tools, but don’t have a tool chest it can get messy. Tool chests are nice to have, but can be somewhat expensive especially if you’re organizing on a budget; consider having a tool pegboard for your bigger tools and a multiuse clear plastic cabinet for smaller bolts, nails and such. Storing your tools in storage bins wouldn’t be ideal for a few reasons; you can damage your tools, easily lose your smaller tools and when you can’t find them you might make a bigger mess than what you started off with. If you have inherited tools from a family member that are more sentimental then functional, consider storing them for a future time. An antique toolset, watch bench, chest or work bench makes a sentimental and irreplaceable gift for a grandchild.

Consider garage security: Are the windows and side doors of your garage lockable and tightly sealed? If your garage is not part of your security system, you may want to relocate any expensive items or items attractive to thieves to your home or to your self storage unit.

Try to re-evaluate your garage a few times a year to make sure things aren’t piling up again. Move items into your storage unit than are not being used, but could be helpful in the future. Keeping on top of your garage will save you from needing a complete overhaul ever again. Finally, if you have extra vehicle or project car at home, consider outdoor car storage to get it out of the way. Affordable outdoor car spaces and storage containers units are available at Gateway Storage. Check out our Facebook page for the latest specials or give us a call today!



Car Tips: Preparing your Car for a Road Trip

Have you thought about taking your car on a road trip lately? Maybe driving cross country or visiting landmarks along your coast? Planning a road trip can be stressful, especially if you don’t know where to start. One of the most important things you should do before you consider going on a road trip is giving your car a good checkup including checking fluid levels, checking the windshield wipers, and checking belts and hoses. If your car has recently had a checkup before your planned road trip then no need to worry!

A few key points regarding your vehicle before your trip:

  • Have your car serviced before a road trip just ensures you that your car has a greater chance of remaining reliable and efficient.
  • Double check your car battery, make sure the terminals are clean and the battery is functioning properly.
  • Take a look at your air filter, checking it and replacing it before a long road trip could get you better gas mileage.
  • Check the electrical functioning parts of your car such as the dashboard, interior lights, your daytime/bright lights, turning signals, brake lights, and your horn.
  • Inspect your tires before you hit the road, making sure there isn’t excessive wear and tear on the tires. Depending on what distance and the type of weather you will be traveling in, your tires will require having a good amount of tread on them.
  • Make sure you have a spare tire full of air, along with proper equipment to handle any type of roadside repairs (jack, lug nuts, wrenches, tire plug kit and jumper cables).

Now once you’re done making your car is in tip top shape to hit the road for an extended period, let’s make sure your gear is in order. One of the most important things to pack on a road trip is an emergency kit, which can include many things. More commonly it’s a first aid kit, flashlights, blankets, and water. Depending on who is traveling with you, you may need specialty items in your emergency kit.

Pack smart: don’t over pack if you’re only traveling for a few days and don’t pack unnecessary items. Over packing can weigh your car down, causing your trip to take longer therefore increasing your fuel economy (fuel economy is reduced with extra cargo). If you have an older car, your car manual can give you your vehicles total load capacity (including passengers and cargo). Allow enough time to consider your car’s storage areas most effectively. Many vehicles have extra storage in the doors, the sides of the trunk or when the seats are folded down. There are specialty car storage products to help you maximize space, such as mesh netting or storage bins, or storage containers that attach to the roof of the car. Try googling “interior car storage” to find a bounty of items to choose from.

Car Storage for Road Trip

Car Storage for Road Trip

If you have a newer car you can find the total load capacity printed on the driver’s door jam. If you’re taking a road trip for the very first time, take a GPS with you along with your map.  If you haven’t purchased a map within the last year or so, then your map could be outdated, newer maps can be purchased at most gas stations. If at any given moment you need to know your exact coordinates a GPS will be able to provide you with that information. Your GPS can also make it easier for you to find nearby gas stations, rest areas, restaurants, along with many other attractions. The GPS can help you avoid many congested areas, closed roads, and provide you with an alternate route. If you’re traveling with children include stops for rest areas, bathroom breaks and food; allow extra time so the kids can stretch and play before getting back into the car. Gather basic necessities for the trip such as garbage bags, baby wipes (diapers as well if traveling with smaller children), paper towels, an extra blanket per child, and snacks/ drinks for the road. Children tend to get bored very easily so be sure to pack some entertainment for them or better yet get the whole family involved by playing word games using signs on the road. Bring along their favorite music, a portable DVD player with movies, books, and some car games. If you are bringing along electronics make sure to also take along chargers, adaptors and any USB’s or batteries that you may need. One thing some drivers forget when they decide to take a road trip is that traffic is inevitable. Allow extra time for traffic, use your GPS or Google maps with traffic alerts to be informed. The main thing to remember when you’re road tripping is to be safe. Know the laws from where you’re driving and obey the laws. Safety should always be your main priority when driving.

Finally, depending on the length of time you will be gone, you may consider secure storage for your extra vehicles. This is a common scenario when relocating cross country. You may drive one vehicle and leave another behind to pick up at a later date. At Gateway Storage, we offer monthly vehicle storage options for outdoor car storage and storage in enclosed container units. Container units frequently offer additional storage behind and around the vehicle, which can be convenient when selling your home at the time of your move. Service member or individuals traveling for an extended period of time out of the country may take advantage of our low rates on container combo spaces: park a vehicle and rent a 20’ storage container for household items for the total monthly price of $285 (current rate, subject to change).

We hope you have enjoyed our tips for taking a road trip. Please contact us if we can be of service to you!

-Gateway Storage

Shrinkwrapping for Boat Storage?

It’s time to put your boat to bed for the winter! Should you shrinkwrap it or just use a cover? At Gateway Storage, we believe either method is acceptable for boat storage in our climate, but shrinkwrapping does provide the best protection. A shrinkwrapped boat protects the surfaces from weather, dust and salt from snow removal efforts. You can have your boat shrinkwrapped by a professional for $25-60 per foot depending on your boat and the vendor. A shrinkwrapped boat can be left on the trailer – the best solution for most of our customers. Boats can be stored on blocks at our facility, but it’s more hassle to place them back onto the trailer after winter is over. There is no extra charge to store a boat on a trailer or on blocks, since our spaces are priced on size, not on number of items stored.

When acquiring quotes for shrinkwrapping, make sure to ask if the per foot pricing includes all materials and insurance.

Sometimes we are asked if we think it’s worth a customer attempting a DIY Shrinkwrapping job. While we do have some very handy and capable customers, it’s critical to estimate the investment in the tools and materials you would need for this project upfront. A propane heat gun, the shrinkwrap itself, vents, strapping, vertical supports, tape, adhesive spray and protective gloves all add up.

A PWC shrinkwrapped for on trailer storage.

A PWC shrinkwrapped for on trailer storage.

Avoid Fairfax County Fines for Trailers

Fairfax County Parking Regulations and Fines

Did you know Fairfax County prohibits parking of commercial trailers in residential districts? Vehicles parked in violation are subject to a $100 fine for each violation. They may also be towed at the owner’s expense. The photos show a few examples of prohibited parking.

Safety Concerns Leads to Increase Ticketing

Parking restrictions are unavoidable in areas with dense populations and development. Parking trailer or tall, boxy vehicles on public streets may reduce visibility for both drivers and pedestrians and may lead to accidents. Street parking trailers or work vans in poorly lit cul-de-sac areas or office parks invites thieves who may be interested in tools or other materials kept inside.

Consider Storage for your Trailer or Work Trucks

To protect your business and your property, consider storing the trailer in a fenced, lighted and gated facility that allows unlimited access. At Gateway Storage, we cater to all sizes of businesses and offer affordable monthly storage rate. We do not require a long term commitment. Store your trailer or vehicle with us for one full calendar month or go for one year for a discount and locked in rate.

We offer affordable trailer storage for all sizes of utility, cargo and work trailers. We permit storage of ladder racks, scaffolding and other large materials and equipment.

Trailer prohibited from parking in residential areas.

Trailers prohibited from parking in residential areas.

How To Unload Your Moving Truck Like A Pro

moving truck unloading

Photo Credit: erix!

Once you’ve successfully packed your moving truck and have driven it to your new destination, either your new home or an Alexandria storage unit, it’s time to begin one of the final stages of the process. Unloading, and finally unpacking.

Below you’ll find our best unloading practices that will help to simplify the process. If you’re still in the packing stage of the process make sure you check out our article on how to pack your moving truck effectively.

When you’re just beginning the unloading process it can be tempting to simply dump everything out of the truck at once. But, this will only lead to added stress later. The best course of action is to unload in an organized manner.

1. Decide Where Your Items Will Go

Before you even begin to take items out of the truck consider where they’re going to be moved to. The last thing you want is to have your new living room filled to the brim with boxes and other items.

When transporting items from the moving truck make sure there’s a clear pathway. You’d hate to accidentally trip and break one of your fragile items this close to the finish line.

If you’re making a stop at your Alexandria self-storage unit. Then make sure you’re placing items you’re going to need to readily access towards the front of the storage unit.

2. Safely Unload The Fragile Items

Before you move any large items from your storage unit it’s important to take care of your fragile items. This will help to avoid any items accidentally becoming damaged during the unloading process.

Make sure you safely store these items in your new home, or inside your storage unit.

3. Unload The Living Essentials

Once you’ve safely placed the fragile items you can then start moving all of your boxes. It can be helpful to take care of your boxes that have your living essentials first. Such as, clothes, and kitchen and bathroom essentials.

This will simplify the unloading process as you’ll be able to take a break to eat if the need arises.

4. Remove The Large and Heavy Items

Finally, it’s time to unload the heavy and large items. These will take a little more man-power and energy. So, feel free to take a break, or bring in extra help if need be.

When moving your larger items make sure to take them into their respective rooms in the house, so you don’t have to move them more than once.

5. Take Your Boxes To Their Respective Rooms

We mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating. When you’re moving any new items into your home or storage unit make sure you bring the boxes or items into the rooms where they’re going to be used.

That way you can avoid making two trips, and your home will be less cluttered.

If you’re interested in renting a storage unit throughout the duration of your move, we hope you consider using Gateway Storage.

We love to serve our clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield, and Northern Virginia areas. Get in touch today.

How To Effectively Downsize and Move Into A Smaller Home


Photo Credit: baslow

Are you considering moving to a smaller place? If you are then taking the time to effectively downsize will ease a lot of the stress about your upcoming move. Over time we tend to accumulate a lot of stuff in our homes. This can make moving quite difficult, especially if we’re moving into a smaller place.

Below you’ll find a process that will help you effectively downsize into a smaller place.

1. Take Stock Of Your Current Items

Before you begin the downsizing process you’ll need to take stock of what items and furniture you currently have in your home. Make sure to check all of your typical storage areas, as well as hidden closets and cabinets.

This part can be very overwhelming as you’ll come face-to-face with items you’ve been storing and holding onto for years. However, keep in mind the stress won’t last long as you’ll be moving into a smaller place very soon.

It can be helpful to sort your new items and group them by category. 

2. Measure All Furniture You’re Keeping

Once you can visually see everything you own it’s time to start sorting the items you’re going to keep, and the items you’re going to give away or sell.

Make sure you measure the dimensions of the items you’re going to keep, so you can be sure they’re going to fit into your new place. Anything that’s too large will have to move into the donation pile.

3. Assess Your New Space

Do you know the dimensions of your new space? If you don’t know the exact dimensions of your new place, or Woodbridge storage unit, you can make an approximation based upon how much space you wish to have.

This will help you pare down your goods to only the essentials. After all, there’s no reason to hold onto items forever if you don’t actually enjoy them, or use them frequently.

4. Donate or Sell Old Items

Now that you have your items sorted, and know which items you’re going to keep you can begin the process of selling or donating your goods.

Common methods of getting rid of old goods include listing them on eBay, or Craigslist. Or hosting a garage sale.

After you’ve attempted to sell all of your items you can take your remaining goods to a thrift store, or consignment shop.

5. Get Organized

Once you’ve successfully unloaded all of the items you no longer want to keep you can then begin the process of organizing your goods for your move.

Box up all of your items and use the necessary packing materials to ensure their safety. It can also be helpful to label everything by room, so you know exactly where to take each box.

By applying the strategy above to your downsizing process you’ll find it will be much less stressful overall.

If you need a self-storage solution throughout the duration of your move we hope you consider Gateway Storage.We love serving our clients and customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield, and Northern Virginia areas.

How To Master Moving Truck Packing (It’s More Important Than You Think)

moving truck

Photo Credit: CJ Sorg

Packing a moving truck can be a very overwhelming process, especially if you haven’t taken the time to adequately prepare. By preparing effectively you’ll be able to minimize damage to your precious goods and make the packing process more enjoyable. Whether you’re moving your goods into a Springfield storage unit, or a new home, packing effectively will save you time and stress.

Below you’ll find our tips and recommendations for effectively packing your moving truck before a big move.

1. Prepare Your Goods For The Truck

To move your goods in the most efficient way possible it can be helpful to gather a few extra supplies to assist in the moving process. The supplies are listed below:

  • A dolly: this will help you move heavy items.
  • Extra padding: this will help you add extra padding to spaces between items and boxes.
  • Packing tape: this will help to secure the extra padding and loose items.
  • Extra straps: you can use these to secure large items to prevent them from shifting.

2. Get The Moving Truck Ready

Most moving trucks have a separate cab area. Put any items you’ll need to readily access here, so you don’t accidentally box them up.

Make sure you sweep out the back of the truck, as there could be dust or dirt that has accumulated from a previous move. It can also be beneficial to stock the moving truck or cab with a toolbox to help with re-assembly.

You can also load fragile items into the cab, or store them in another vehicle if you have another car you’re using for the move.

3. Prepare Your Furniture

Dissembling your furniture will make your truck much easier to pack. Although it will add a little extra time, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. Make sure you label your items so you don’t get any pieces mixed up.

If you have any items such as bookcases, or drawers, you can use these to store boxes and other items. Otherwise, you’re just wasting space. Just make sure you place items on the shelf that aren’t going to shift during the move.

4. Load The Truck Effectively

When loading the truck you’ll want to load in your heaviest and bulkiest items first. This will help you maximize space as you get further into the packing process. This will also help to balance the truck and make it much easier to drive.

As soon as you load any fragile items, or items you’ll want to protect, into the truck make sure you wrap them with protective wrap. Secure larger items to the sides of the truck with ties and straps.

Once all of the larger items are secured then you can begin filling in the gaps with boxes and other items.

Throughout the moving process it can be helpful to consider renting a storage unit. This will ease any stress you have about where you’re going to store your old goods.

We hope you consider using Gateway Storage for all of your storage needs. We love serving our clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield, and Northern Virginia areas. Get in touch today.