The Renter's Bent New to self storage and looking for solutions? Curious about this relatively modern trend in American life? Want to know what motivates the StorageFront team? StorageFront's blog is a helpful mix of tips and tales for renters, conjured up by our own diverse team of writers. Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:54:38 +0000 en hourly 1 Funny Fridays: Shared Custody by Kelly Kamowski Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:53:52 +0000 GuestBlogger thumb StoreLocalVisitation 2 1024 Funny Fridays: Shared Custody by Kelly Kamowski

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Dollar Store Finds to Keep You Organized Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:00:23 +0000 Jon Fesmire When it comes down to it, isn’t the point of self storage to help keep your home or office organized, spacious, and free of clutter? Once you have your storage unit and have put what you need to in it, you may find your home could use some fine tuning. Look no further than your local dollar stores for items to help improve your home organization on a budget.

All About Boxes and Bins

Bins and boxes, made of plastic, canvas, or wicker, can go a long way toward keeping your home better organized. Here are some possibilities.

  1. Use bins in your clothing drawers to separate out types of clothing. Kids especially, tend to get their shirts mixed up in one drawer, pants and shorts in another, and so on. At the very least, this method can help keep school shirts from being mixed in with t-shirts, and underwear with socks. With a little encouragement, you may be able to get them to fold or roll up their clothes within the bins.

  2. Smaller bins and containers work great for kitchen, desk, and bathroom drawers. If you don’t care for standard silverware separators, a set of plastic boxes may work better. Or you may use them to separate items in your free-for-all kitchen drawer, where you keep rubber bands, matches, and batteries. In your desk, they can help you keep pencils, pens, and the like organized, and in the bathroom, they may be more convenient than a medicine cabinet for pills, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

  3. Metal mesh file boxes can have multiple uses. What can you do with them hung on a wall? In your office, you can keep incoming and outgoing mail in them where you’ll see them frequently. In the bathroom, you could use one to store certain lotions and shampoos.

  4. Need cute, cheap shelving for a kid’s room? Install some plastic crates in row along a wall, open end facing out. You can use them for your children’s books and stuffed animals, giving them more floor space for when they play.

  5. Speaking of storing toys, those easily-stored, pop-up, round hampers may be made for laundry, but they make great toy storage bins, too. Put one in the corner of your child’s room and toss in stuffed animals or rubber balls.

  6. An attractive way to keep extra towels available in the bathroom is to attach wicker baskets, open side out, on the bathroom wall. Then, fold or roll up your towels and wash rags and stack them neatly within.

Hang It Up

While boxes and bins help sort a variety of items, and make room on walls for storage, there are a variety of dollar store purchases you can use to organize your closets and even bathroom by hanging items.

  1. Your shower rod is great for keeping the curtain in place, keeping the floor dry, and giving you privacy. Just think what you could do with a second! Get another shower rod installed next to the first, and use it to hang baskets for soap, shampoo, and a loofah. You can often do this with shower hooks.

  2. Shower hooks have a number of uses, in fact. Want to keep your scarves or ties easily organized in one place? Put shower hooks on a standard plastic clothes hanger, and drape a scarf or tie through each, then hang it up in your closet. You can also use them to hang belts!

  3. Shoe hangers can be amazing for storing favorite items. Hang it from a wall and think about all you could put in it. Of course, they’re made to store all your shoes, and you may need one for that, anyway. You can also use them to store small stuffed animals, video game accessories, art supplies, and a lot more.

Very Small Containers

Look around a dollar store and you’ll find many small containers with specific functions. With a little imagination, these can be adapted to help keep track of many other things.

  1. Craft boxes, with their multitude of small sections, are great for storing a variety of tiny items. For example, if your child has some small, specific Lego pieces that are hard to find, sort them into such a box to make building easier. They’re also great for hair accessories, beads, and more.

  2. Plastic soap containers just happen to be the perfect size for other things. Use one to store your favorite pack of cards or loose crayons. Lost the box for a board game? Use soap containers to keep the cards, dice, or playing pieces.

  3. Pill carriers help people plan out their medication a week in advance and make sure they take the right dosage. Do you like putting your own spices on food when you eat out? Use a pillbox to carry them with you and pinch out that white pepper or garlic on your food. Going on a trip and want to not only plan out your jewelry for each day, but keep it all together? Use a pillbox to organize your earrings and necklaces.

  4. Back to spices, when storing them at home, pick up some small ball mason jars from your dollar store. Put a different spice in each, and label each jar. These stack well and give a homey look to any cabinet.

The biggest take-away from this article should be this: with a bit of creativity, you can make your home more attractive, better organized, and a more relaxing place to live on a dollar store budget. Take these suggestions and run with them!

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The 10 Commandments of Self Storage Mon, 22 Aug 2016 17:00:36 +0000 Krista Diamond Whether you’re religious or not, you can probably learn something from the Bible. Some lessons, like the whole being a good person thing, are still pretty relevant today. Others, like divine bear attacks, not so much. While the Bible is certainly comprehensive, it is missing one thing: self storage. That’s why we created the 10 Commandments of Self Storage.

1. Thou shalt not forget to read thy lease.

Don’t sign those documents without giving them at least a cursory glance. The lease isn’t just a piece of paper that your facility manager files away somewhere. It’s an official agreement that outlines what you can and cannot reasonably expect from your storage facility. It goes over basic things like the size of your unit along with more complex topics like what happens if you don’t pay your rent.

2. Thou shalt not put dirty items into storage.

No one wants to have their stuff destroyed by mildew, mold or bugs. No matter what you’re storing, take the time to clean it properly before boxing it up. This is especially true of soft items like clothing and upholstered furniture which are more likely to absorb moisture and suffer damage.

3. Thou shalt not leave items unsecured.

You’re paying to keep your belongings safe, so why not get your money’s worth? Choose a storage facility with good security features like surveillance cameras, gates, good lighting and a staff that’s dedicated to patrolling the property. Make sure you understand how to close and lock your storage unit properly. You’d be surprised by how many people get thrown off by roll-up doors.

4. Remember the storage facilities hours, to keep them holy.

Don’t expect 24 hour access to your unit unless you’re renting at a facility that offers this. Know when you can access your stuff and know when the facility’s office hours are in case you ever need to speak to a staff member.

5. Honor thy storage facility manager and staff.

Yep, it’s the classic treat people how you want to be treated rule. If you’ve got a question or concern, it’ll get resolved a lot faster if you’re nice about it. On that note, don’t forget that storage facility managers are in the customer service business and they should treat you with respect as well.

6. Thou shalt not live in thy storage unit.

It’s illegal and it’s dangerous. Don’t put any living thing in your storage unit. This applies to you, your family, your friends and your pets. Some tenants get special permission to practice music or do other daytime activities in and around their units, but no one should ever sleep inside of one.

7. Thou shalt not neglect to pay thy rent.

Know when you rent is due and know how long the grace period is too. If you tend to forget important dates or you travel frequently, look for a facility that offers online bill pay or at least write it down on your calendar.

8. Thou shalt not forget about amenities.

The storage industry is growing and evolving to be more customer focused every day. In addition to offering you extra space, storage facilities also offer amenities like climate-controlled units, mobile storage, wine storage, moving truck rentals, RV wash stations and more. Take advantage.

9. Thou shalt not rent the wrong sized unit.

If you’ve never rented a storage unit before, it can be tough to figure out how much space you need. If you rent a unit that’s too small, you won’t be able to fit all of your stuff. If you rent a unit that’s too big, you’re wasting your money. These size guide videos will point you in the right direction but if you’re still unsure, talk to the facility manager.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s storage unit.

Come on, this one just makes you creepy.
There you have it. The 10 Commandments of Self Storage. Follow them and your storage experience will be a holy one. Amen.

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Funny Fridays: Animal Rights by Kelly Kamowski Fri, 19 Aug 2016 16:00:44 +0000 GuestBlogger  Funny Fridays: Animal Rights by Kelly Kamowski

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How to Use Storage to Make Major Life Changes Easier Wed, 17 Aug 2016 17:00:52 +0000 Krista Diamond They say the only constant thing in life is change. Like most cliches, it’s one of those phrases that doesn’t really mean anything until you experience it firsthand. Often it arrives in the form of something that’s worth celebrating like a new job or an engagement. Other times it feels less like a Facebook life event and more like a tragedy. Either way, whether it’s a wedding or a funeral, relocating to a new city or moving back in with your parents, major life changes don’t just come with emotional baggage. They come with actual baggage. Here are five extremely major and extremely common situations that can all be made easier with the help of something unexpected: self storage.

1. Moving

If you’re preparing for a big move, it might feel like your only options are hiring a moving company, renting a moving truck or stuffing everything into your car and pretending like you don’t need to be able to see your blind spot. Basically, you’re being forced to choose between expensive and stressful. But there’s actually another way to get your stuff where it needs to go. Mobile storage is often cheaper and always easier. With mobile storage, your storage unit is brought to you and you have as much time as you’d like to fill it, after which it’s brought to your new home or kept at the facility until you’re ready for it. No bribing your friend with a pickup truck required.

2. Getting Through a Breakup

Your heart may be broken, but it will get better. In the meantime take advantage of a month-to-month lease (the industry standard) on a storage unit to store all of your ex’s stuff or all of that stuff you’ve acquired together that you’re not sure what to do with. Whether you end up selling it, recycling it, or lighting it on fire (preferably not inside of your storage unit) is up to you. The most important thing is that you won’t have to look at it every day. And because storage facilities offer those aforementioned month-to-month leases, when it’s time to break up with your unit, you’ll be the one doing the dumping.

3. Shacking Up

Moving in with your significant other is exciting. What’s not so exciting is finding out that your soulmate has hideous taste in furniture. It’s a classic scenario. You want to hang up that butterfly picture but your partner thinks it’s too girly. You both have surprisingly strong opinions about whose mug collection is better. Instead of fighting over it, get a storage unit. Your mother may have always told you that relationships are a compromise, but we respectfully disagree. Get what you both want by filling your apartment with stuff you both like and keeping the rest of it somewhere else.

4. Financial Hardship

It happens to all of us at some point. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you were saddled with the bills from some unexpected medical emergency or the legal fees from an expensive divorce. Financial hardship might make you think that you can’t afford storage, but you actually can. When money problems arise, the biggest bill is often the one that pays for the roof over your head. If your budget has got you considering moving to a smaller place, getting a roommate or moving back in with your parents and you’re not sure what to do with all of your stuff, storage can help. Talk to your facility manager about your situation and see what kind of specials and payment plans are available. Facility managers are used to seeing people who are going through major life changes. You’ll be surprised by how sympathetic they might be.

5. Having Kids

You built your entire young professional life around acquiring cool furniture for your place. Gone are the rickety futons and couches that came from the sidewalk. You’ve invested in real stuff, like the beautiful statement vase on your antique coffee table, that hand-crafted rug and sheets with a thread count so high they should be illegal. But now you’re ready to be a parent, and all of that beautiful stuff is going to get destroyed by your little bundle of joy. You don’t have to give it away or sell it and you certainly don’t have to hope and pray that your newborn baby will miraculously have the manners of an English lord either. Read our tips on storing items like antiques and art (Hint: Don’t forget to insure them.) and keep them safe until your kids are officially done with their cover-everything-in-peanut-butter phase.

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Drew Barrymore’s #oldstorageunitday Is a Treat for Us All Mon, 15 Aug 2016 17:00:50 +0000 Krista Diamond What did you find the last time you cleaned out your storage unit? If you’re like most people, you found a bunch of old sweaters and VHS tapes. If you’re Drew Barrymore, you found priceless Hollywood memorabilia.

This past week, the 41 year old star gave us a peek inside the treasure trove that is her storage unit via her Instagram. We’re guessing that the unit (probably at least a 10×20 given the massive amount of stuff inside) is located somewhere near Barrymore’s Culver City, California home, but given how seriously storage facilities take the confidentiality of their tenants, we doubt any staff members are going to be putting out celebrity storage unit star maps anytime soon.

While cleaning out her storage unit, Barrymore took the time to share some of her favorite discoveries, most notably an amazing shot of the young actress alongside E.T., Quincy Jones (he produced the film’s soundtrack) and his daughters Kidada and Rashida Jones, the latter of whom most of us know as Ann Perkins from Parks and Recreation. Other memories included a 1982 SNL promo shot of young Drew standing atop a limo, an 80’s glamour shot featuring an insane gold ensemble, a delightfully 90’s photo of her and Sharon Stone and some early magazine clippings. Barrymore also shared a letter she found in her storage unit addressed to an unknown—but very lucky—childhood penpal in which she expressed her love for school, jazz, swimming and of course, acting.

“I live with my mom and my brother,” Barrymore wrote in the 1982 letter, “And I am happy with my life just the way I am.”

She captioned the Instagram shot with the hashtag #stillfeelthesame, reminding us that even though she’s a famous actress, she still believes in those storage unit memories. Isn’t Us Weekly always saying that stars are just like us?

Along with all of those glamorous memories, Barrymore also shared pictures of some more common storage unit finds, like old arts and crafts supplies, which she plans on passing along to her daughters. She also found a Navajo inspired rug, a 1970’s style teal and gold chair and a very on-trend faux deer bust, proving that whether you’re a famous actress or just a regular old so-and-so like the rest of us, you can always find something awesome and unexpected inside that old storage unit.

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Funny Fridays: Ex-Girlfriends by Kelly Kamowski Fri, 12 Aug 2016 16:00:41 +0000 GuestBlogger  Funny Fridays: Ex Girlfriends by Kelly Kamowski

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10 Tips for Storing Makeup Wed, 10 Aug 2016 22:00:04 +0000 Krista Diamond There’s nothing pretty about storing makeup incorrectly. Whether you’re a total makeup junkie with the Sephora Rouge card to prove it, or you just dabble in occasional drugstore lipstick purchases, everything in your collection requires proper care. Store your products incorrectly and they can cause you to break out or even get sick. Store them right and they’ll perform better and last longer, making you and your bank account both look beautiful. Read on and learn how to store makeup at home and in your storage unit like a total pro (professional makeup artist, that is).

  1. Clean up your act. Ideally, you should clean makeup brushes at least once a week. Use a gentle, unscented cleanser (baby shampoo works just fine), or buy a makeup brush cleansing shampoo like this delightfully scented citrus one. For catastrophically dirty brushes, use coconut oil. Always clean with warm water and never ever store brushes vertically when they’re still wet as the excess water can collect inside the handle and do major damage.

  2. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Yes, you love that lip gloss, but if you bought it back when flare jeans were still cool, it’s time to say goodbye. If a product’s color, consistency or scent has changed, toss it. Keep in mind that powders last longer than liquids, so eyeshadows will be good for about two years, whereas mascara will only be good for about two months. It’s also worth mentioning that higher end products almost always have a longer shelf life, so that $60 foundation might actually be worth the steep price.

  3. Sometimes it’s actually the heat and the humidity. Desert climates can cause products to dry out, which is why that eyeliner seems like it’s crumbling after your Vegas vacation. Humid climates (like your bathroom) can cause bacteria to fester. If you’re storing products at home, keep them away from your shower if possible. If you’re storing them in a storage unit, consider climate control.

  4. It’s okay to judge an eyeshadow palette by its cover. Display pretty products like your dazzling array of lipsticks prominently and keep the less Instagram-worthy stuff out of sight, but not out of mind by buying a drawer organizer like the one you use to keep your silverware in order. Your bathroom sink will thank you.

  5. Clear things up. A clear makeup organizer will allow you to see all your products, that way you’re never wondering where that one bronzer you only sometimes use is. Plus, it looks classy and matches literally any decor. If you’re putting makeup into storage, clear storage containers are also useful in helping you figure out where everything is.

  6. Think outside the makeup bag. Keeping your makeup handy without letting it clutter up your space is a constant struggle. Good news? You might already have the solution. Repurpose a tea cup, vase or that pretty pot that houses a now deceased succulent and add a touch of whimsy to your makeup storage game.

  7. Get in touch with your inner vampire. Makeup fares better when it’s not in direct sunlight, so if you’re storing it at home, keep it away from your window. If you’re storing it in your storage unit, the problem is pretty much solved, but do mind those UV rays during transit.

  8. Precious cargo. If you’re packing up your makeup to put it in storage, handle it with care. Wrap glass bottles in bubble wrap and secure eyeshadow palettes, blushes or other compacts with elastic bands. Pack items tightly so they don’t jostle. And if somehow your eyeshadow ends up crumbled anyway, simply spritz it with rubbing alcohol or makeup setting spray and press it back into place.

  9. Don’t forget about that return policy. Simplify makeup storage by reducing clutter. If you tend to buy luxury makeup products, there’s a good chance they’re returnable. Don’t hang onto that blush if it makes you look like a clown. Know your preferred makeup counter’s return policy and take advantage of it.

  10. Learn to love labeling. When storing makeup, don’t just label boxes with what’s in them. Label them with dates so you know how long you’ve had your products. This will help you remember what to take home from your storage unit and what to take straight to the trash.

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Strategizing Before You Fill Your Storage Unit Mon, 08 Aug 2016 17:00:26 +0000 storelocal Are you planning to clean out your home and to place a houseful of your just-can’t- part-with- it-yet items into a storage unit? When it comes to filling up storage units in Missouri City, TX, strategizing can be key to making the most of the space you have rented. As with other tasks in life, planning ahead is important before you begin loading up your unit. For instance, what happens if you decide to place much of the furniture you are planning to store in the back of the space, only to discover that you cannot reach it without removing all of your boxes? Consider too that without mapping out where you place items in the storage unit, you may be preventing yourself from using the full space.
You do not want to haphazardly move your possessions into your storage unit without proper planning. Some simple organization tasks in the short-term can help you immensely in the long-term. What tips do we recommend when it comes to strategizing for your storage unit move-in? Take a look at some of the following ideas you can try for your self-storage units.

Take an Inventory of Your Items

Your strategy for moving into your storage unit should begin with an inventory of all of the items you plan to store. If you do not know what you intend to keep in this space, how can you plan to organize it?
As such, we recommend making a list of everything you own that will fill up your Missouri City storage unit. Whether you make that list on your smartphone or rely on pencil and paper for taking inventory, the important thing is that you do it.
You might organize your list by the size and type of the items you are storing. For instance, your inventory might include some of these larger categories:
● Large furniture and larger objects
● Smaller furniture and smaller objects
● Large boxes
● Small boxes
Your inventory list can help you to keep track of your items, but it can also give you a sense of how to map out the unit space. That brings us to our next tip idea.

Map Out Your Storage Unit Space

How are you going to get to any of your items if you do not know where they are? And how can you maximize your self-storage unit space if you do not map where your possessions will go? It is important to map out the way in which you will fill your unit for just a few of the following reasons:
● Making use of the height, and not just the floor space, of your unit
● Ensuring that you can reach objects if you want to remove them
● Ensuring that your property is securely stored.
Heavy boxes and items should go on the floor level of the unit—do not stack heavy boxes on top of lighter objects. Keep in mind that you can stack lighter boxes and belongings toward the top of the unit. In addition, you should create a map that provides walking space between your possessions. After all, you want to be able to get into the back of the unit if you need to remove something. By obtaining a floor plan of your unit before you move in, you can rely on your inventory list to map out where your stuff will go.

Find a Storage Unit that Works for You

The key piece of information to remember is this: planning ahead and developing a strategy for your storage unit will save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run. If you are in the market for a storage facility, be sure to check out some of the best storage facility options in Missouri City, TX today.
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Funny Fridays: Storage Auctions by Kelly Kamowski Fri, 05 Aug 2016 17:00:00 +0000 GuestBlogger  Funny Fridays: Storage Auctions by Kelly Kamowski

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