Taking An Extended Trip? Consider Storing Your Goods

Sometimes your life might require you to leave your belongings behind for an extended period of time. This could be due to a long-vacation, a temporary move, or something else altogether. Whatever the reason, it requires you to store items while you are away.

When you’re someplace else the last thing you want to be thinking about is your belongings back home. How do you know they’ll be safe? How do you ensure they’ll be free from damage?

Benefits Of A Storage Unit

A Woodbridge storage unit can ease a lot of stress and strain during your travels. You’ll know exactly where your goods are, you know that they’ll be protected and safe, and you won’t have to put the burden of your items on family or friends.

Most storage unit facilities offer a flexible storage structure which allows you to either extend or cut short the amount of time you’re storing your goods.

If you need to store larger items, such as, a vehicle or home furniture you can store those goods along with your regular household items.

Renting a Woodbridge storage unit will give you peace of mind that otherwise might be hard to find while you’re off living or visiting some place else.

Important Items To Consider Storing

When you’re taking an extended trip there are certain items you’ll definitely want to keep safe in a storage unit.

These items include: home furniture, large electronics, appliances, books, vehicles and seasonal clothing. Basically, anything you won’t be bringing with you.

Tips For Packing And Storing

When you have a multitude of items to store away you’ll want to pack these items effectively, so they won’t become damaged in storage. The tips below will help to keep your items safe:

  • Use bubble wrap for all fragile items, including kitchenware and glassware.
  • Use sturdy boxes, or plastic bins for all your items. Weaker boxes will lose their integrity over time and won’t hold a lot of weight.
  • Use plastics stretch wrap or sheeting to cover all your furniture, including wooden furniture. This will protect it during the move and while in storage.
  • Don’t overstuff boxes.
  • For any mechanical items or outdoor equipment make sure to drain the fuel tanks so there won’t be any leaks.
  • Label everything. This will make the unpacking process much easier and stress free.

By renting a Woodbridge self-storage unit you can ensure your goods are safe while you’re gone.

We hope you consider Gateway Storage, the premier self-storage facility across Northern Virginia. We love serving our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield, and Northern Virginia areas.

5 Ways To Make The Unpacking Process Simple And Easy

unpacking doesn't have to be stressful

Photo Credit: GillmanInsurance

Most people think the moving process is over once they’ve loaded everything into boxes. However, for most of us we’re only halfway finished. Whether you’re transporting your goods to a Woodbridge storage unit, or moving the boxes into your new home there are steps you can take to simplify the process.

If you’re tired of getting stressed and overwhelmed when it comes time to unpack, the steps below will get you moving in the right direction.

1. Pack To Unpack

Many of us are so excited to move into our new place that we end up packing haphazardly. Instead of putting everything into boxes in an efficient manner we end up randomly throwing items into boxes and taping them shut.

When you start the packing process remember that each of these boxes is going to have to be unpacked at a certain point as well. Start the process with the end in mind and you’ll make it easier on yourself in the future.

2. Keep Related Items Together

No one wants to unpack the television only to spend hours looking for the power cord or remote. Make sure you group all similar items together in the same box. Moving can be hectic and it’s easy to lose track of small electronic items.

Take extra care in keeping similar items together and you won’t be pulling your hair out later looking for single screw or set of batteries.

3. First Box In Is The Last To Leave

The same idea goes with loading boxes into your moving truck or personal vehicle. Load the boxes in a conscious manner. So, if you need to drop off a round of boxes at your local Woodbridge self-storage unit, then make sure you load these boxes last.

After all, you’d hate to have to unpack your entire car just to reach a small box you accidentally packed away first. A little strategic thinking will save you a lot of future stress.

4. Unpack By Room

Once you’ve made your storage unit stop and are ready to unpack at your new home it can be tempting to want to get everything done at once. However, this will lead to overwhelm very quickly.

The simplest strategy is to take it one room at a time. That way you’ll leave a series of smaller finished projects in your wake and it will be easier to sustain momentum.

5. It’s Not A Race

Lastly, remember it’s up to you to make the process fun. Why don’t you order a pizza and a bottle of wine so you can truly enjoy the process? As much stress as their is during a move it can help to throw some relaxation time into the mix.

We hope the steps above will help you have an enjoyable unpacking and moving experience. If you’re considering using a self-storage service throughout your move consider Gateway Storage. We love serving our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

5 Signs It’s Time to De-Clutter Your Home

is it time to declutter?

Photo Credit: raining rita

You home should be a place of relaxation and enjoyment. A place where you can unwind after a long and hard work day. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for a lot of us. Luckily there are a few signs that will help you figure out when it’s time to start the decluttering process.

The decluttering process may feel a little overwhelming, however, when you think of how your home is going to make you feel once the process is finished it will be well worth it.

1. Your Garage Is A Storage Unit

Your garage should be a place to store your vehicles, or perhaps a small workshop. But often it takes the form of a storage unit. If you can’t even begin to think about parking your cars inside your garage then it might be time to start decluttering.

If you’re too embarrassed to open your garage door, because of the mess that lies inside, then you can definitely benefit from thinking about what items you really need to keep.

2. You Can Never Find What You’re Looking For

If you find yourself constantly looking for items, only to give up in frustration after not being able to find them, then you might need to declutter. If all the surfaces of your home contain trinkets, and other odds and ends it’s easy for your keys to fall into a trap between these strange items.

Wouldn’t it be great to finally have a dedicated place for the things you love? By decluttering you’ll start to free up a lot of space for the things that actually matter.

3. Cleaning Never Seems To Quite Be Enough

Sometimes after cleaning your home you still feel like you’re living in chaos. You’ve vacuumed, wiped the counters down, swept and dusted, but you still don’t feel clean.

When every part of your home is packed to the brim with items your home will just feel chaotic, no matter how much you vacuum. Why don’t you consider donating a few of the items you don’t use anymore? Or, you could even rent an Alexandria self-storage unit to store those goods you’re not ready to part with.

4. You Can’t Close Your Cabinets Or Closets

If your kitchen cabinet or closet doors remain open, even after you’ve slammed them shut, then you may have too many clothes or kitchen accessories. As much as we hate to admit it, it is possible to have too many pairs of jeans.

If closing your cabinets is a struggle, then maybe it’s time to bring a box full of your old dishes to the local thrift store.

5. Your Children Have More Toys Than Space To Play

It can be easy to accumulate toys for your children. After all of the gifts from their birthdays and the holidays it can be easy to have a playroom that looks more like a toy store. Although it may be hard to get your children to part with their precious toys, you’d be amazed by how much they love the added play space.

If any of the above feel true to you, then it might be time to consider decluttering your home. Remember, just start small. A corner of the room at a time will be enough. After a while, you’ll end up with a relaxing home you can feel proud of again.

I hope you’ve found this post useful. If you can’t part with some of the goods from your home why don’t you consider an Alexandria Storage unit. We’ll keep your goods safe out of sight and out of mind. We love serving our clients and customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

Spring Cleaning 101: How Self-Storage Can Help

spring cleaning 101

Photo Credit: Scooter Lowrimore

By the time spring starts to blossom you’re probably ready for winter to be over. For some springtime means it’s time to thaw and finally start living outside again. For others it means the time for spring cleaning has begun.

Springtime is a time for renewal. The same can be said for your home. Throughout the winter months a lot of dirt, dust, and general stuff can accumulate throughout your home. Sometimes thinking about starting the cleaning process can be overwhelming, however; with the help of a self-storage unit you may be able to simplify the process.

1. Decide What You Want To Keep

This is probably the hardest part of the process. As items begin to pile up during the winter months you may want to just get rid of everything. However, by the time next winter rolls around you’ll be regretting this decision.

It can be helpful to break things into three piles. The first are things you’re going to donate or throw away. The second are things you’re going move to a different part of your home. The third are things you’re going to move to your Springfield storage unit, because you won’t be needing them for a while.

Once you’ve broken down your household items into different groups, then the process can really begin.

2. Go Through Every Space

You probably have a lot of spaces in your home that haven’t been cleaned out in a long time. Once we have spaces where we’re comfortable storing junk it seems to accumulate endlessly. These are important areas to get under control.

Common areas include the garage, any closets that aren’t being used for clothing, sheds, and even kitchen cabinets. You’d be amazed at how easy it is for things to pile up. If something hasn’t been used for three months and it isn’t weather dependent there’s a good chance you don’t need it anymore.

After you’ve gone through the spaces you usually neglect it’s important to hit the common spaces as well, which includes bedroom closets, bathrooms, and under your bed.

3. See If A Self-Storage Unit Can Help

A Springfield self-storage unit can come in handy when you don’t want to part with the goods you’ve been keeping at home all these years. Sometimes, people just crave a little added space in their homes when the temperatures start to rise, so they end up storing all of their winter goods.

If your home still feels cluttered after you’ve made trips to the donation center, or dump, then a storage unit may come in handy. Sometimes, all you need is a little extra space to truly enable your home to feel like a home again.

Some people even prefer to make their storage unit a part of the process, by bringing all their goods out of their home and sorting them at their unit. Often, it can be easier to part with things once they’ve already left your home.

If you’re about to start the spring cleaning process we hope you consider Gateway Storage, we love to serve our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

Get The Best Bang For Your Buck: How To Save Money On Your Storage Unit

save money on your springfield self storage unit

Photo Credit: Reggie Bishop-970-973

Face it, spending money on self-storage can be a big investment, especially if you’re already on a tight budget. Sometimes it can be hard to justify the pressing need to have a little bit of extra space for storage. However, by making sure you’re getting the best deal you can more easily justify the cost of renting your very own Springfield self storage unit.

Go Through Your Items First

Once you’ve made the decision that you’re definitely going to need extra storage space it’s a good idea to go through your goods before taking them all to your storage unit. Otherwise you run the risk of filling up your storage unit. Think of this as a downsizing process.

When you have goods that are actually worth storing, then it makes sense to start the process of finding the perfect storage unit. When you see inside some storage units they’ve morphed into nothing more than a very expensive trash can.

Make sure you’re not wasting money by only storing those goods that matter.

Always Be On The Lookout For Discounts

A lot of times storage companies end up running seasonal discounts or other promotions throughout the year. It’s a good idea to consistently check in to see if you can secure a lower rate than you’d usually be paying.

Sometimes, in order to have you as a customer some storage companies will even you a few months free, so you can get comfortable with the service. Discounts may not always be on the table, but if you can find even a slight discount then the added effort will be worth it.

Use Your Space Effectively

If you want to use your storage unit efficiently, then you need to maximize the space you’re using. If you just stuff your unit randomly with everything you own then you may run out of space and need to invest in larger, more-expensive, storage.

Make sure you spend a little extra time packing and invest in any boxes that are going to keep your goods together and make them stackable. You’d be amazed at how much more space you have at your disposal with a little extra time spent packing strategically. By using proper packing form you can maximize the amount of usable space, which translates to money saved.

We believe in making self-storage work for you. We hope that if you’re interested in finding a storage solution that you consider Gateway Storage. We serve customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

Tips For Storing Your Business Documents

organize your business documents

Photo Credit: EvelynGiggles

If you run a small business chances are you’ll need to keep years of tax information and other important documents in some form of storage. Usually, this means you’ll have stacks of boxes and confidential documents clogging up your office.

Instead of having these documents take up precious space in your home or place of work, many business owners have opted for renting a Woodbridge self storage unit. You don’t want these documents to become damaged or end up in the wrong hands, so you’ll need to take extra precaution. 

We’re going to highlight a few of our best tips for taking care of your sensitive business documents. You have enough to worry about as it is, so don’t let having to keep years of printed business documents weight you down.

What Are The Right Documents To Keep?

You probably have a lot of documents to sort through. Knowing the correct documents to store and which ones to get rid of can be very beneficial. You’d hate to hold onto documents for years when they’d be better suited for the trashcan.

Documents to keep permanently include: tax returns, year-end financial summaries, bond and stock certificates, deeds of ownership, health and trust records, birth certificates, and custody and death records.

Documents to keep for a short period of time include: paycheck stubs, utility and phone bills, monthly bank and credit card statements, monthly mortgage statements, brokerage statements, and any cancelled checks or tax deductible expenses.

Documents to trash include: bank deposit slips, credit card receipts, receipts for minor purchases, old magazines and articles, and any documentation and warranties for items you no longer own.

Consider External Factors

Once you have your collection of documents under control it’s time to move on to external factors that could destroy your documents. The downfall about storing paper documents is that it’s easy for them to get damaged. Factors like light, moisture and temperature can make all of your documents virtually unreadable.

When you’re organizing your documents you’ll need to think about which ones you’ll need to access regularly and place these documents towards the front of your unit. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging or losing certain papers when you have to shuffle them about.

Keep all of your documents dry from the start and invest in proper containers to keep your documents in good condition. This means you’ll want to go beyond simple cardboard boxes, and purchase plastic containers that have snap-on lids. These will help to keep moisture out. It can also be valuable to store your containers on top of wooden pallets to keep them elevated.

Investing in the proper Woodbridge storage unit is very crucial in keeping your business documents safe. When it comes time to keep your goods safe and protected we hope you consider Gateway Storage . We love to serve our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

How To Make Sure Your Pets Will Stay Safe During A Move

take care of your pets when moving

Photo Credit: John Rabbit

Pets play many roles in our family and personal lives. In some families they get the same level of treatment as another brother or sister. For that reason, moving and relocating your family can be very stressful on your pets. As a result you’ll want to make sure your pets stay safe and comfortable throughout the duration of the move.

When you’re considering moving with your pet you can either take care of the transportation yourself, or utilize the services of a pet transporter.

Think About Preparation Beforehand

You’ll need to make sure you’ve done a little preparation beforehand, regardless of whether you, or a pet transporter is going to be transporting your pet.

Your pet needs to be ready to travel when the time comes. This means you’ll need to get all of their shots and any medication taken care of to ensure they’re healthy enough to make the trip.

Also, if you’re transporting them via crate you’ll need to train them, so they’re comfortable with being in a crate for extended periods. Being locked up inside of a crate while on the move can be a shocking experience for your pet, so you’ll want to make sure they’re used to it. 

Things To Know When Using A Pet Transporter

If your car is packed and you don’t have room for your pet you can consider using a pet transporter. For starters, you’ll need to make sure you choose the right transporter. They can either be willing friend, or a professional transporter, but they need to have experience moving the same kind of pet.

An experienced pet transporter will be able to take your place while you’re on the road. They’ll act as the pet’s comfort blanket and will ensure they’re properly fed, taken care of, and get enough breaks throughout the duration of the trip.

It can also be useful to pack an extra bag for your pet that has their favorite toys and any other items that might remind them of home. This will add an extra layer of comfort so your pet feels safe throughout the journey.

Lastly, once your pet has made it to your new home there still might be a slight adjustment period for your pet. Try to surround them with familiar elements of your old home and keep to the same walking and feeding schedule that existed previously.

Once the move is finished and your pet has adjusted they’ll be back to their peppy old selves.

If you need any added storage during your move we hope you consider Gateway Storage, your premier Alexandria self-storage facility. We love serving our customers throughout the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

Top Tips For Moving In The Cold Weather

When most people are picking a time of year to move they usually don’t choose the winter. However, every person’s situation is different and sometimes you have to move during a less than ideal time. Rather than dwelling on your situation it’s much more productive to simply get the show on the road.

In this post we’re going to dive into our tips to make sure your move is as flawless as possible, even in the winter months.

1. Always Make Safety A Priority

Safety should be your biggest concern when moving during the winter. Throughout the winter you have to worry about ice and slippery conditions both on and off the road. As well as when you’re moving goods into your Woodbridge storage unit. 

If you’re moving things yourself, are working with a moving company, or are having friends and family help make sure you take them time to shovel the sidewalk and make sure it’s free of any ice. This will help you avoid any accidents that could happen from people slipping and falling.

2. Take Extra Care When Packing Some Items

You’ll need to pack some items differently, or keep them out of the cold entirely. Having some items sit in the back of a cold moving truck for an extended period of time can potentially ruin them. For example, some wooden pieces of furniture shouldn’t be stored in freezing cold temperatures for an extended amount of time, as it will cause the wood to change shape.

If you are moving a lot of wooden items and pieces of furniture, then you should take extra care in making sure they’re properly wrapped and protected from the elements. 

3. Consider Warmth And The Environment

If it’s cold out the day of your move, make sure you take extra care to cultivate a warm and nurturing environment. This might not seem like a big deal, but it will help the moving process unfold in more seamless manner.

For example, you could prepare hot drinks, such as hot chocolate and coffee for the movers and any friends who may be assisting. It’s also important to have enough warm clothes for when you’re moving back and forth from your home to the truck. The more comfortable everyone is the more enjoyable the process will be.

4. Always Exercise Caution 

Lastly, you’ll want to exercise extra caution when driving. Especially if you’re driving a large rental truck, that you don’t have a ton of experience driving. Even if you’re used to driving in the snow and inclement weather you should still take extra caution when driving a new type of vehicle.

Moving during the winter doesn’t have to be a nightmare, just take the necessary precautions and preparations and you’ll be on your way towards an easy moving experience. If you need to store any items throughout the moving process we hope you’ll consider Gateway Storage, your premier storage in the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

How Self-Storage Can Help When You’re Re-Doing Your Garage

garage self storage help

Photo Credit: dno1967b

When it comes time to re-do your garage you know you’re already going to have a lot on your plate. Your garage becomes a place for extra storage throughout the years, and eventually reaches a point where it’s a disorganized disaster. Various odds and ends start to accumulate, and soon your garage that used to be used for parking is now simply an extra storage space.

But, the time has finally come and you’re ready to take charge of your garage and expand it into a useful extra space. In this post we’re going to explore how self-storage can be incredibly useful when you’re re-doing your garage.

Breaking Down The Process

The process of re-doing you garage is a lot of work, especially if you’re starting with a cluttered and overstuffed garage. However, one of the best ways to beat overwhelm is by having a plan of attack. Below you’ll find a series of steps that will help to guide you through the process.

1. Determine What Is Clutter And What Isn’t

The first step is to take a look at your clutter and separate the goods you don’t use from the ones you’re going to use in the future. During this phase using an Alexandria self-storage unit can be very helpful. For instance, if you have goods you know you won’t be using in your new space, but you can’t bear parting with them, then storing them away in self-storage will help to resolve this struggle.

Also, if you need to re-do your garage very quickly, you can simply move the items from your garage into an Alexandria storage unit. Sure, you’ll have to go through all of the items later, but it will speed up the garage remodel process initially.

2. Make A Plan Of Attack

Once you have the space cleared you’ll want to plan out the remodel process. You’d hate to be halfway through the project only to realize you’re missing a key element, all because you forgot to plan. Another important element to look into is electrical and utilities.

Of course, this depends on how much you’re transforming the room from its original state. But, botching the utilities or not taking note of your electrical load will become a headache for years to come.

3. Store Goods You Want To Keep And Re-Decorate

The final phase, which can be the most fun part of the process, is all about decorating and finishing the space. You can either pull furniture from other areas of your house, hit the thrift stores, or visit a furniture outlet to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Also, if you’re already storing older furniture in a storage unit for this very purpose, then by all means visit the storage unit and put the furniture to use!

Redecorating your garage doesn’t have to be a difficult process. We hope this article has helped to simplify the process for you as much as possible. We love to work with our customers and clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

3 Most Common Mistakes People Make When Storing Furniture

storing furniture mistakes

Photo Credit: seesix

You may think storing furniture is an easy process, however a lot of people make simple mistakes that end up ruining their furniture in the long-run. Even though you might think you can just drop your couch off at your storage unit and come back to get it in a few months, you run the risk of actually damaging your precious furniture. It’s easy for couches to become mildewy and moldy if not stored properly.

We’re going to examine some of the most common mistakes people make when they’re trying to store their furniture in their Springfield self storage unit.

Biggest Threats To Your Furniture

Although storage units will keep your goods safe it’s still necessary to take a few precautions in order to protect your furniture.

One of the biggest threats you’ll come across is moisture. In more humid climates this is going to be the largest problem you’ll face as excessive moisture leads to mold and mildew.

Another common problem you’ll face is overpacking your storage unit. When it’s filled to the brim you run the risk of damaging your furniture and any fragile goods the moment you move something in or out of your unit.

1. Damaging Your Mattress

Of course you could place your mattress in your storage unit without any added coverings, but you run the risk of bugs, dust and humidity.

One of the easiest ways to keep your mattress in good condition is to use a mattress storage bag. These bags are specifically made to keep your mattress in tip-top shape. Also, make sure you store your mattress vertically so you don’t damage the springs.

2. Forgetting To Take Extra Care With Wood Furniture

In order to keep your wooden furniture in good condition it can be beneficial to rub the outside with oil to keep the moisture in.

It’s also a good idea to use covers to prevent the wood from getting scratched or damaged when you’re moving your furniture into your Springfield storage unit.

3. Overstuffing Your Storage Unit

Stuffing your self storage unit to the max might help you get the most value for your money, but you may end up damaging your goods in the process.

A great way to conserve space is to break down and disassemble all of your furniture before moving it into your storage unit. This will allow you to stack everything much easier, and avoid damaging anything important.

Lastly, make sure you cover all of your furniture with linens, as this will protect them better than using plastic sheeting.

Feel free to get in touch with our storage team with any questions regarding safe furniture storage. We love serving our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.