5 Common Decluttering Mistakes to Avoid

lifting_containerIf your home is cluttered it can be very stressful. You’re not alone! Most people usually have at least one room in their home that’s a little out of control. Living with clutter can be like living with a huge elephant in the room. Most people realize it’s there, but don’t want to talk about it or do anything about it.

However, once you’ve finally started the process there are some things you’ll want to avoid.

1. Don’t Do Everything At Once

If you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start the decluttering process it’s important you don’t overwhelm yourself and try to do everything at once. If you pile too much on your plate, then you may feel like giving up.

It’s easier to pick a small area of your room and then go from there. You’ll be able to see your results very quickly, which will help to create momentum to keep you going.

2. Don’t Forget To Plan

If you don’t have a plan of what to do with your goods as you’re going through the decluttering process it can be easy to simply move your mess from one room, or one corner to another.

You need to have a plan with what you’re going to do with your clutter. Some people will move their items into a Springfield self-storage unit, while others may opt to have a garage sale and donate the rest to charity.

Whatever you choose, just make sure to plan before you begin moving stuff around.

3. Don’t Go At It Alone

Like we mentioned earlier, decluttering can be an overwhelming process. It’s much easier if you can recruit friends and family to help make the process fun. You can even turn the decluttering process into an event and make it a good time for everyone involved.

4. Don’t Get Emotionally Attached To Your Goods

It’s very easy to get emotionally attached to your goods. It seems that most of us are addicted to our devices, or our clothing, or something we own. However, if you can break this emotional bond you’ll be better for it.

Often, you can get caught up in going through sentimental goods when you’re in the middle of the decluttering process. This can slow down the entire process and bring it to a standstill. If you have too just save your old pictures and other items for another time.

5. Remember, It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect

A lot of times it’s easy to think that you’re organizing wrong, or that everything needs to be perfectly arranged in the boxes. However, it’s more important that everything gets put away and dealt with, rather than being organized perfectly.

I hope you’ve found these tips useful and are on your way towards finally decluttering your home. If you need to store any of your goods temporarily or for an extended period of time we hope you consider Gateway Storage, we serve our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

How To Store Precious Keepsakes In Your Storage Unit

safely store your precious keepsakes

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Sometimes you may have a few precious goods that you need to part with and store away, yet you’re afraid they may get ruined or lost. This is a common problem with a lot of our clients. Perhaps, you just inherited a bunch of beautiful furniture, yet you don’t have any room in your home to use it or store it effectively. You can utilize one of our storage units to keep this furniture and other keepsakes safe, until you’re ready to use them.

In this post we’re going to cover a few ideas that may help with keeping these items safe and preventing them from getting lost. Especially, if you end up using your storage unit for other items besides your family keepsakes.

1. Set A Dedicated Space

If you’re using your Woodbridge self storage unit for other items besides your family and personal keepsakes, then you’re going to want to set aside a space for these goods to “live”. If you’re constantly moving items in and out you’d hate for some of your precious items to accidentally get moved out and lost in the shuffle.

In can be helpful to label this space and even set up a protective barrier if possible, for the smaller goods. You’d be surprised at how far effective labeling can go.

2. Always Ensure Their Safety

You’ll need to make sure that your keepsakes are packed and protected effectively. When you’re transporting them, or even in storage accidents do happen and you’d hate for them to get damaged.

Make sure they’re boxed up and have enough padding. When you’re choosing the space in your Woodbridge storage unit make sure that regular foot traffic won’t be disturbing the items.

3. Check Back Often

If your storage unit is going to be used by more people than just yourself, you’ll want to check back on a regular basis. This will ensure that you can keep track of your goods, just in case they get moved around, or accidentally taken out of the unit. Luckily, our location right off I-95 makes it easy to swing by on a regular basis and check in on your keepsakes and precious goods.

I hope you’ve found this post useful and have a better idea of how you can keep your family heirlooms and keepsakes safe and in good condition, even while in storage. If you’re looking for a storage facility to store these precious goods we hope you consider Gateway Storage, we serve our clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

How To Store Fragile Items Without Worry

how to store fragile items

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When you’re moving items from your home into a storage unit the last thing you want to hear is the crash of your most fragile items. You may think it’s easier to simply carry fragile items by hand, but mistakes do happen.

Overall, the best way to take care of your fragile items is to simply spend a little extra effort making sure they’re secure. In this post we’re going to dive into what you can do to ensure your fragile items make it through the move.

Go For Sturdy Boxes

If you’re trying to move with old boxes maybe it’s time to upgrade your moving supplies. Old boxes can have holes, tears, and even water damage. When you use old boxes they have a greater chance of tearing, which can lead to accidents with your fragile goods.

When you’re looking to upgrade your moving boxes you’ll want to choose boxes that are are thick, study and have a thick base. This can be reinforced cardboard, plastic or even wood. You’ll just want to make sure they hold their shape.

Use Packing Peanuts And Other Padding

Most fragile items tend to be strangely shaped as well. This mean you’ll need to fill this empty space with something. This is where the power of packing peanuts comes in.

Packing peanuts can serve a wide variety of roles. They not only fill the empty space and gaps in your box, but they also add that extra much needed cushion.

Some people even add old clothing to their boxes of fragile goods in order to help absorb shock. Anything to cushion the blows that could potentially occur, just make sure they’re clean!

Consider Adding Extra Crushed Paper

Crushed paper can add another layer of extra storage to your boxes. If you’re transporting any glass or kitchenware you can stuff the crushed paper into the inside of any bowels or cups. This will help prevent them from shifting around during transportation and arranging the boxes.

Overall, when packing fragile items just make sure they’re sturdy, safe and can handle any accidental drops. This will help keep them safe when you’re moving them to your Alexandria storage unit, and when storing them inside.

By taking the necessary precautions we mentioned above you’ll be able to keep your fragile items intact. If you have any questions regarding self storage feel free to get in touch. We serve our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

How To Get The Most Out Of Storing Your Children’s Toys

childrens toy storage

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Face it, most children these days have an almost endless amount of toys. Whether you’re trying to store their toys in an orderly manner in you home, or store the extras in your storage unit this article may have a little something for you.

No longer do your children’s toys have to be scattered about the house, causing you unwanted stress. With our easy storage recommendations you’ll forget your children’s toys were ever a problem in the first place.

1. Sort Through What You’ve Got

It can be very beneficial to do an initial sort to take note of what toys are worthy of keeping, need fixing, or could be thrown away or donated. It doesn’t make sense to hold on to toys that are broken, or aren’t being played with anymore.

It can be helpful to have a regular time every couple of months where you can go through your children’s toys. This will help to stop them from piling up.

Once everything has been stored you can categorize the items you currently have and store them in specific sections.

2. Make It Fun For Your Children

If you’re smart you’ll want to get your children involved. This will help to save time on your end and can ever be fun for them, and teach them basic principles of organization.

You can encourage your kids to get rid of anything that’s broken or has any missing pieces. If they have toys they don’t like to play with any more you could consider donating them to charity, giving them away to a family member, or putting them into storage if you’re planning on growing your family in the future.

3. Set Up An Easy Storage System

Now that you’ve gotten rid of toys you don’t need, have them categorized and know where they’re going to go, it’s time to develop a system that works for you and your children. Remember, the easier the system is to implement the more effective it will be in the long run.

Make sure you get the whole family involved and you children’s toys and room will be organized all year around.

4. Consider Storing Your Seasonal Toys

Sometimes your children may have a bunch of toys that are seasonal or maybe you want to store your some toys away that your children have grown out of. If you don’t have any extra space in your home it could be very beneficial to consider using an Alexandria self storage unit to hold the toys until you need them again.

I hope you’ve found this article valuable and can see just how beneficial it can be to take charge of your children’s toys. If you’re looking for the number one Alexandria self storage solution we hope that you consider Gateway Storage. We love serving our customers across Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

Most Common Storage Unit Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid

have enough storage space?

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Sometimes trying to store all of your goods in your storage unit can be quite the feat. Depending on how much you’re moving it can be helpful to hire movers. When you have a lot of pieces up in the air bringing them all together can be quite difficult.

In this post we’re going to explore what storage unit moving mistakes you’ll really want to avoid.

1. Not Knowing How Much Space You’ll Have During Your Move

Before you end up renting a Springfield storage unit you’ll want to double check exactly how much space you’re going to have. Otherwise, you don’t have any dimensions to base your move off of.

It’s also important to know the dimensions of what vehicles you’ll be using for your move. The includes a moving truck, if you’re renting one or are using movers, or your own vehicle.

2. Not Double Checking Whether The Moving Truck Will Fit

Depending on how many goods you have to transport to your Springfield storage unit, you may have to get a larger or small truck. If you’re dealing with a larger truck you’ll need to make sure it’s going to fit through the aisles of the facility.

If you’re trying to get an 18-wheeler through the facility you could be in for a rough time, and you’d hate to learn this on the day of the move as well.

When checking dimensions, make sure that you ask about clearance heights, aisle widths, and if there are any load maximums across the facility.

3. Not Getting Enough Storage Space For Your Goods

It can be difficult to estimate how much space you’re going to need. However, if you’ve taken the time to pack and box everything up it will be much easier to see how much space you’re going to require.

If you really don’t have a great estimate of how much space you need. You can always rent a second unit for overflow goods, or simply hold onto the items that didn’t fit.

Overall, at Gateway Storage we’d love to help you come up with a creative storage solution.

4. Planning Your Move During A Busy Time

Most people end up moving either during the weekend, or right after the work day ends. Even though these times will be the most convenient they can actually end up being a huge hassle.

After all, if you end up visiting the facility when everyone else does, you won’t really be saving yourself any time by choosing a convenient time to move.

We hope this article has been helpful and you have a better understanding of how you can avoid the most common storage unit moving mistakes. If you’re a client or customer in the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia, we’d love to serve you.

How To Effectively Downsize Your Home

downsizing your home

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When the time comes to downsize your home it’s easy to become bombarded with stress. Or maybe you’re one of the strange few who relish in packing and are actually excited about the experience. Whatever side of the spectrum you fall on you’ll want to ensure that you downsize your home in an effective manner.

In this article we’re going to dive into what you’ll want to do in order to make sure you have a graceful downsizing experience.

1. Take Stock Of What You Currently Have

Sometimes this first phase can be the most overwhelming. After all, it’s easy to forget how much stuff we’ve accumulated over the years. During this initial phase you’ll be taking note of your goods and classifying them into certain sections. For instance, some items you’ll want to keep forever, others you’ll want to donate, and others will belong in the trash.

2. Take Measurements Of All Furniture

You’ll want to measure everything you’re considering keeping. Mostly, this applies to furniture, but it can apply to other bulky items as well. You’d hate to arrive at your new home or Woodbridge storage unit and not be able to move the furniture through the door.

3. Know The Measurements Of Where You’re Moving To

This is in line with the previous point. You’ll want to make sure you remember or record the dimensions that you’ll be moving into. That way you’ll be able to compare sizes and make the decision if the piece of furniture is worth holding on to or not.

4. Make Sure To Check Extra Storage Spaces

Most homes have hidden storage spaces. There’s a good chance these spaces will be filled with stuff you stored away long ago, only to be forgotten about. Some common places include in the rafters of your garage and hidden closets.

Make sure you clear these out early and add them to your list of items to classify as keepers or junk.

5. Pack Up Before You Move

When moving day actually comes along you’ll want to pack up your goods into boxes or bins before you try moving anything. If you’re storing your furniture and other household goods in your Woodbridge storage unit, then you’ll be setting yourself up for an easier packing and unpacking experience. Face it, no one wants to bring small items to and from the car time and time again.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and are well on your way towards downsizing your home stress-free. If you’re looking for a great facility to store your goods we hope you consider Gateway Storage. We love serving our clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

How To Safely Store Your Tailgating Gear

tailgating storage

Photo Credit: James Willamor

If you’ve been tailgating for years, or are new to the process one thing still remains. You’ll want to take good care of your tailgating gear. After all, it’s hard to pass up the pre-game celebration with friends, grilling and good food.

Even though tailgating can be the perfect combination of relaxation and excitement it still does involve a good amount of work to get everything going. Storing and organizing all of your tailgating items can take a serious amount of time and effort.

In this post we’re going to look at what you should do to get the most out of your tailgating gear.

1. Always Clean Everything

No matter how long you’re considering storing your goods it’s important that you thoroughly clean all of your items. Especially, items that may contain food residue from cooking or eating.

All it takes is a few left over crumbs to attract a bunch of bugs or host of other critters. If you’re storing your tailgating equipment for the end of the season make sure you pressure wash anything like grills, or grilling equipment.

2. Consider Using Plastic Bins

Plastic bins make it much easier to keep track of your small items. For instance, it’s easy to lose your utensils, tablecloths, say items, grilling equipment, and other odds and ends. Plastic bins not only hold items effectively, but they are easy to stack and arrange inside your Alexandria self storage unit.

Also, consider using multiple bins, as opposed to filling one unit to the brim. After all, your goal is to make unpacking easy on yourself as well.

3. Ensure Your Storage Is Easy Access

If you’ll need to make frequent trips to your Alexandria self storage unit make sure that you keep the unit organized. The last thing you’d want is to be late to the game simply because you couldn’t find what you needed. It can be helpful to set aside a certain section of your unit specifically for tailgating goods.

Our storage center location right off I-95 makes it easy to pick up whatever you need easily and quickly.

4. Don’t Store Dangerous Materials

Make sure you avoid putting any flammable items into your storage unit. It can be tempting to simply put away any lighters or propane tanks into your unit, but can end up being a big mistake. It’s usually best to store your propane tank outdoors in the upright position.

It can also be helpful to remove batteries from all your devices before you place them into storage too.

If you’re looking for a place to store all of your tailgating gear consider Gateway Storage. We love serving our customers across Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

Effectively Store Your Holiday Goods And Decorations

holiday self storage

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Now that the holidays are just around the corner it’s important to start thinking about how you’re going to store your holiday decorations. No matter the holiday, whether it’s Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving or something else entirely you’ll want to take special care when storing your goods.

If you’re overwhelmed about the process of storing all of your holiday decorations consider the steps below as a way to reduce your stress and overwhelm during this busing time of year. In this article we’re going to look at how you can store your holiday goods in an effective manner.

1. Take Note Of Broken Items

When you’re taking down your holiday items make sure you inspect them for any broken elements. Once you’ve packed everything away it’s a good time to buy replacement parts.

Right after the holidays a lot of holiday goods and decorations are on sale, so it’s a good idea to take advantage of the lower prices.

2. Label Your Bins

It’s a very common practice to store your holidays goods and decorations in bins. However, it’s also a good idea to label the bins so you’ll know which ones belong to which holiday.

By developing a simplistic labeling and storage system you’ll be able to get in and out of your Woodbridge storage bin in record time.

3. Always Store Items Out Of The Way

There’s no need to store your holiday goods in a highly trafficked area of your Woodbridge self storage bin. Makes sure you store all of your holiday bins and boxes in an area of your bin that is out of the way, since you’ll usually only need to access your holiday goods a few time of the year.

As a bonus, this will also help to protect fragile items from getting bumped or knocked over.

4. Take Extra Caution With Fragile Items

Fragile items and decorations can be the bane of your packing existence. However, if not taken proper care of you could easily lose these precious items. It’s always worth it to take extra time wrapping these items and placing them neatly into their containers.

When stacking these boxes make sure you place them in an area that won’t be as early disturbed.

I hope these packing tips have been helpful and might save you a little stress throughout the busy holidays. We hope you consider Gateway Storage for all of your holiday storage needs. We serve our clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

Tips To Safely Store Your Precious Electronics

storing electronics

Photo Credit: Bruno Girin

If you’ve ever moved, or had to move electronic items into Springfield self storage then you know just how difficult it can be. A single lost or broken cord can mean hours upon hours of added frustration and time. When you’re storing or moving your electronics it’s important to take extra precaution to avoid making your life more difficult.

In this article we’re going to take a look at our best tips for storing and transporting your electronics.

1. Always Consult The Owner’s Manual

The owner’s manual will be able to suggest the best storage options for your needs. If you don’t have the original guide you can usually find a free copy available online. The better you can follow the storage instructions the better you’ll be able to transport your electronics effectively.

If you don’t have the box that the original item came in it can be helpful to find a box that will fit the item snugly.

2. Remove And Store Any Loose Pieces

Make sure you remove any item that isn’t directly connected to the main piece of hardware. This includes any wires, batteries, flash drives, DVDs, and anything else. Make sure to tie or tape up any dangling cords to ensure they don’t get tripped on or snagged. Also, keep any smaller electronic elements in a bag to keep them from being lost.

On another note make sure you back up all of your precious data before you move and store your electronics, just in case an accident happens.

3. Label Every Element

It’s important that you take the time to label all of your electronic pieces to ensure that nothing gets mixed up. It’s very easy to mix up cables and wires, so make sure you label them properly so you can get your electronics up and running again.

It doesn’t hurt to use more descriptive words when laying your boxes and bins.

4. Consider The Storage Climate

Most electronics will get ruined if they’re left in extreme heat or cold. Even just a little bit of time in extreme climates will end up making most of your electronics non-functional. If you’re storing electronics for the long-run make sure you store them in an environment that’s between 50 and 80 degrees and not very humid. If you are storing in a humid environment consider using a dehumidifier, which will help to prevent further damage.

You can also use silica gel packets which will help to reduce further moisture in your Springfield self storage container.

5. Transport Safely

When transporting your electronics consider using a smaller vehicle where you can transport your items more securely. You’d hate for your precious electronics to get damaged during a routine trip to the store unit.

Consider Gateway Storage for all of your electronics storage needs. We love to serve our clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Storage Unit

getting your storage container in order

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When it comes time to fully utilize your storage container it’s important you know how to pack it properly, so you can optimize your space. We believe you should always get the best storage deal possible, so that means taking full advantage of the space you’re renting.

In this post we’re going to take a look at storage an packing techniques that will help you get the most out of your unit, as well as showcase a few unique storage solutions that we offer.

1. Consider Your Packing Needs First

When it comes time to utilize a storage space effectively and efficiently you’ll need to consider why you’re storing your goods in the first place – as every situation is unique.

For instance, will you need to access your storage container on a regular basis? Or, will you primarily be using the container for yearly storage? The frequency that you’ll need to access your unit will change how you’re going to store everything. You’d hate to have to re-pack and unpack your Springfield storage unit every single time you need to remove an item.

Once you have a better understanding of how you’re going to use the unit, then it actually makes sense to move forward with a packing strategy.

2. Use Standard Packing Procedures

When it comes to packing there are a few general procedures you can follow that will help you store your goods safely and easily. For starters, box up any goods before you leave your home. You may think that it’s easier just loading up the car to transport, but you’ll be thankful that everything is in boxes the moment you arrive.

Always start with the heavier boxes and larger items on the bottom. You’d be surprised how often people either run out of room, or end up ruining their prized possessions, simply because they didn’t take time with their packing process.

If you have anything fragile, make sure to always wrap it up. It’s better to spend more time prepping your goods, than having to deal with broken items, or a big mess to clean up.

Overall, the more time you spend prepping your goods for storage the better. Also, be aware of where you’re placing items and when you’ll need to access them. Keep these rules in mind when packing your unit and everything should be protected and ready to go when you need them again.

3. Utilize Our Flexible Springfield Storage Spaces

If you have a very unique storage situation we do offer spaces that are very flexible. For instance, we have combination spaces that allow you to store your belongings in a container and have an adjacent outdoor storage space in which you can park a trailer, motorcycle, vehicle, or anything else.

We exist to cater to your storage needs, so if you have a very unique storage situation, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love to cater to our customers and veterans across Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield counties, as well as most of Northern Virginia