Tag: alexandria self storage

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 Self-Storage Is Beneficial For College Students

alexandria college self storage

College marks a large period of transition for many young people. When you’re transition to a new school, or need a place to store your goods for the summer months renting a storage unit can definitely come in handy. Even with all of the planning you do, it’s easy to end up with a surplus of extra items on your hands when the school year is over, with no place to store them.

Below you’ll find our best tips for choosing the right storage unit for your college student, when extra storage space is needed.

1. Find The Right Facility

If you’re a student there’s a good chance you’re on a budget. For this reason you’ll want to give yourself time to do your research and shop around for the perfect unit for your needs.

Some Alexandria self-storage facilities end up offering discounts during the summer months, which will help to make your decision easier.

If possible, it’s always a good idea to book your unit ahead of time. This will make the packing and moving transition much easier, and will ensure you have a secure spot for your belongings.

2. Choose The Right Sized Unit

What size storage unit are you going to need for all of your goods?

Most students opt for the smallest possible size, but it’s important that you take note of all of your items you’d like to store. After all, you’d hate to run out of space just as you’re finished loading your unit.

In some cases you can share your storage unit with friends, but often you can only have one name on the lease, so you’ll need to trust every party involved. Another great benefit to students are the flexible lease dates that most Alexandria self storage companies offer.

Whether you need your unit for one-month, six-months, or longer most facilities are willing to accommodate.

3. Effectively Preparing Your Items

Some of the items you own will require extensive preparation before they can be stored for a long period of time.

For instance if you have a mini-fridge you’ll need to de-frost, clean, and dry your fridge before storage to prevent mildew buildup.

Any musical instruments also need to undergo prep work, along with any other wooden furniture you might own.

If you’re storing any textbook or paper products it’s a good idea to store these in boxes, or plastic containers that will prevent them from being damaged.

Depending on the weather in your area it might be a good idea to opt for a climate controlled storage unit, if possible, as these will ensure your items don’t become damaged from inclement weather.

We love serving our clients and for customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield, and Northern Virginia areas. Get in touch for a free quote.

5 Easy-To-Implement Home Organization Tips

alexandria home organization

If you have a cluttered and disorganized home then chances are this is adding to your daily stress levels. However, organization doesn’t have to be difficult. By implementing a few simple tips and shortcuts you can be on your way towards an organized and clutter free home.

Below you’ll find five tips that will simplify the home organization process and allow you to easily keep your home organized into the future.

1. Clear Out Your Bedroom Drawers

Most of our bedroom drawers are filled to the brim with clothes and other bedroom goods. It’s important to start here, as having a clean bedroom can bring motivation to organize other parts of your home.

Your bedroom should be a sacred space. A place where you can unwind and relax.

Start by emptying out all of your bedroom drawers and organizing your clothes into piles of items to keep and items to donate. Once you’ve separated them into piles make sure to fold your clothes and store them in your drawers, with the items you wear the most on top. 

2. Think About Placement Before You Buy

Whenever you’re considering buying a new item for your home you should think about where it’s going to go. It’s easy to fill up your home with items you don’t need simply by buying things on impulse.

Before you buy anything for your home make sure you consider getting rid of any older items to make room for the new piece. If you want to keep older items, yet keep your home organized, you could consider storing them in an Alexandria self-storage unit

3. Group Like Items Together

If you have items scattered all over your home, it can be hard to find things you’re looking for. By storing like items with each other you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for every time. You’ll also be able to tell when it’s time to re-stock certain items in your home, like toiletries and other household goods.

For instance, you could store all of your craft items in the same bin, instead of having them spread throughout your home.

4. Keep Your Workspace Simple

If you have an at-home office it’s easy for items and papers to pile up. This is why it’s important to have an organizational system in place. If you work from home, but don’t have a dedicated workspace it can be helpful to have a small desk or area of the house you use solely for work.

This will help keep your work documents from spilling into other areas of your home.

5. Make To-Do Lists and Set Goals

Starting the habit of creating a to-do list will help keep you much more organized. By taking the time to write down your goals, even if they’re simple household goals, you’ll be able to track your progress and are much more likely to get things done.

Organizing your home doesn’t have to be a difficult and overwhelming task. By starting small with the tops above you’ll be on your way towards a more organized home.

If you’re looking for a self storage solution as you organize or downsize your home, we hope you consider Gateway Storage. We love serving our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield, and Northern Virginia areas.

What You Need To Know About Hiring A Mover

alexandria moving company

Image via: TheMuuj

The moving process is already overwhelming enough. However, if you have a lot of bulky or heavy items to move, then you may consider adding hiring a mover to that list as well. Working with a mover can be a stressful experience if you don’t take the necessary precautions. In this post we’re going to dive into a process that will help you select a high-quality mover or moving team.

1. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

When you’re researching different movers or companies it’s important you ask questions to see if they’re right for your needs. Make sure to ask about their rates and estimates, the time required for the project, if they use subcontractors, if there are any hidden fees, and insurance availability in case something becomes damaged in the move.

The more questions you ask the better picture you’ll get of the total costs and timeline for the move.

2. Uncover Extra or Hidden Fees

Hidden or added fees can surprise you at the end of your move. Make sure you request all extra fees are discussed upfront. Some companies also do a flat rate move, so you know exactly how much you’re paying. We dig into this a little more during the estimate gathering process.

3. Ask For Estimates

By asking for project estimates and price quotes you can filter out companies who quote you too high. This will also help to ensure there are no surprises when it comes to your bill. Some companies also charge more if you’re crossing state lines during your move, or require moving heavier items.

To truly get the most accurate estimate it’s useful to schedule in-home viewings with multiple companies. During these in-home viewings make sure to show the estimator every single item you’re planning on moving.

Only after you’ve gotten all of the estimates should you compare them to find the best bid. Watch out for bids that are significantly lower than the rest, as there could be hidden charges that aren’t mentioned.

4. Do Your Research

It’s not uncommon to contact 2-3 moving companies before settling on one for the move. 

Make sure you do background research that includes screening the company through the Better Business Bureau, and the American Moving and Storage Association. This will help screen out companies that aren’t legit.

If you need to move items into an Alexandria storage unit for the interim of your move we hope you consider Gateway Storage, the premier storage solution in the Northern Virginia area. We love serving our clients across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, Springfield, and Northern Virginia areas.

Organize Your Garage Before Summer Hits

organize garage

Photo Credit: elliottcable

Taking time to organize your garage before summer starts will save you a ton of stress and time. By taking the little bit of extra time now you’ll be able to jump into summer full swing.

The sooner you organize your garage the easier it’ll be to locate and use all of your fun summer toys, gear and anything else you might need. Below you’ll find a series of steps that will get the garage organization process heading in the right direction.

1. Set Designated Zones

Partitioning your garage into designated zones will help you stay organized. When laying out which equipment will go where make sure the items you’ll be using most are the easiest to access.

This will help you keep the garage organized in the long-run. No more guessing where those pool toys, or yard equipment has to go.

If you have a large family, or a lot of people coming and going it can be helpful to actually label these specific areas in the beginning.

2. Invest In Hooks And Bike Racks

You can purchase simple screw in hooks that can hold a lot of weight. This will help you to store any tools, lawn equipment, or summer toys up and out of sight.

Vertical bike racks can also help you conserve a lot of space. You can attach these vertical racks to the walls of your garage, so you have more floor space.

3. Use Storage Bins

If you have a lot of miscellaneous goods lying around it can be helpful to load them into boxes. Make sure you invest in high quality boxes with snap on lids, as this will keep all of your goods safe from damage.

This will also allow you to stack your boxes, which frees up even more space.

4. Dispose Of Old Items

Usually, our garages end up morphing into the dumping ground for all of our extra household items. This can include items like old paint and re-modeling goods, outdated appliances, or old boxes.

Take the time to go through these goods and dispose of what you can. If you notice you have too many older goods you can’t bear to part with it can be helpful to rent an Alexandria self-storage unit.

This will allow you to store anything you won’t be using during the summer months and give you a ton of extra space.

If you’re looking for a storage unit we hope you consider Gateway Storage. We love serving our customers across the Alexandria, Woodbridge, and Springfield areas, 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.

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.

How To Store Fragile Items Without Worry

how to store fragile items

Photo Credit: 5lab

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

Photo Credit: stevendepolo

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.