Category: Lifestyle

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.

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.

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.

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

Photo Credit: Jametiks

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 Effectively Downsize Your Home

downsizing your home

Photo Credit: quinn.anya

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

Photo Credit: ginnerobot

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.