Make Staging Your Home Easier with a Self Storage Unit

Selling a home is a stressful experience. You want to get the best price possible and you want your home to sell quickly. According to real estate professionals, staging your home is a crucial step in making that happen. Recent real estate reports have indicated  homes that are staged sell for about 17 percent more than homes that have not been staged and sell for 6 percent more than the asking price. In addition, homes that are staged sell 79 days faster than those that have not been staged. (more…)

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Millennials Find Solution to Storage Woes with Self Storage Units

Storage space never seems to be in abundance, but for those in the Millennial Generation, the struggle to find adequate space for their stuff is even harder, in part thanks to the fact that they’re part of the generation that was hardest hit by the recent recession. If you’re part of the Millennial Generation, you and your fellow Millennials account for one-third of the U.S. population. With more than 75 million members, your generation is the largest generation in the United States. As you may be aware, your generation is made up of a very diverse group of people at various life stages, from college students to established professionals starting families. On the bright side, you are part of the most educated generation. On the downside, thanks to staggering student debt, high unemployment rates, and credit issues, your generation is worse off than any other current generation at the same age.

Due to these economic hardships, Millennials have been hesitant to become home owners or independent renters. Instead, many of your fellow Millennials are opting to move in with friends or even back home with their parents. Others are choosing to live in small spaces that are more affordable or closer to work. Even the few who are purchasing homes are favoring small houses that better fit their budgets. Unfortunately, these smaller spaces also offer less storage space. But regardless of where you call home or which life stage you find yourself in, self storage unit offer an excellent solution to your storage shortage.

If you’re among the youngest of the Millennials who are still in college, you know first-hand how inadequate storage space is in dorms and apartments. If you share your living space with a roommate, you have even less. If you opt to head home over the summer, you have the additional issue of deciding what to do with all of your stuff while you’re gone. A self storage unit is a great option. With month-to-month leasing, it provides the perfect place to store things you can’t squeeze into your dorm room, such as out-of-season clothes and text books from last semester, or all of your belongings while you’re away for a few months.

If you’re among the recent graduates who are just beginning your career, you may be sharing your living space to cut expenses and make ends meet. It can be tricky to fit everything in when you’re sharing space, especially bulky things like furniture. Rather than get rid of it, consider storing your stuff in a self storage unit. This will keep your living space uncluttered and keep your furniture safe until you’re ready to move into a place of your own, or until your roommate moves out and takes his sofa with him. If you’ve opted to live with Mom and Dad, you’ve undoubtedly discovered that all of the storage space has already been claimed, possibly by your old childhood possessions. A self storage unit, again, is a great place to keep anything you can’t squeeze into your old room, offering easy access if needed.

If you’re among the oldest of the Millennials, you’re probably relieved to be settling into your career. Even if you’ve taken the leap and purchased a home of your own, you’ve probably started with a smaller space that is budget-friendly. If you’re one of the 40 percent of Millennials who have started a family, you’ve realized that kids are accompanied by a seemingly endless amount of toys and gear that take up a tremendous amount of space. This is in addition to your own possessions. If your parents are ready to downsize now that their own nest is empty, you may find yourself with all of your own childhood treasures to store as well, further adding to your storage woes. You can solve your storage problems with a self storage unit. It’s ideal for storing all the hand-me-down toys and clothing waiting for the next child, as well as your own out-of-season clothing, seasonal decorations, lawn tools, furniture, sports equipment, and more. It’s even the perfect spot to keep those priceless collectibles that Junior could destroy in minutes.

At AAA Self Storage of Lansing, we offer self storage solutions for every situation. Our storage units ranges in size from small units that are perfect for storing boxes of books and clothes to large storage units that can accommodate furniture from multiple rooms. If you have items that may be susceptible to extreme temperatures, we also offer self storage units with climate control. You can access your unit, any time of day or night, ensuring you can always get what you need when you need it. With AAA Self Storage of Lansing’s month-to-month leasing, you’re never locked into a lease. You can rent for as long as needed, whether that’s for a couple of months while you’re away over the summer or for several years until all of your kids have outgrown everything and you can reclaim your storage space. Our video cameras, individual unit door alarms, and password protected entry gates help ensure the safety of both you and your possessions.

As you move from one life stage to the next, you may find that your storage needs also change. With our flexible leasing options, you can easily move to a smaller or larger storage unit as needed.

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Self Storage Units Make Downsizing Easier

Until recently, the goal of most homeowners was to upgrade to a bigger home, with the average home growing from under 1,900 square feet 20 years ago to more than 2,400 square feet in 2013. But that trend is reversing. An increasing number of homeowners are opting to downsize to smaller homes.

There are several reasons for the new downsizing trend. As baby boomers head into retirement, many are looking to move into smaller dwellings with less required maintenance, often in retirement communities. Empty nesters are finding themselves with more space than they need. Other retirees may simply find that their retirement incomes can’t support a large house and need something with a smaller mortgage payment and smaller utility bills. Even homeowners who are years away from retirement are choosing to downsize so that they can reduce their carbon footprint or to enable them to live in urban areas where living spaces tend to be more compact.

Whatever the reason, downsizing offers both advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include the aforementioned lower mortgage and utility payments, along with lower taxes. A smaller home also means less space to maintain and clean. The biggest disadvantage to downsizing is having less space. Obviously a two-bedroom condo is going to have significantly less space than a 4-bedroom home. And storage space in particular seems to diminish the most when downsizing. Even giving up a few hundred square feet can greatly impact the amount of storage available.

So how can you enjoy the perks of downsizing without feeling like you’re sacrificing? Reduce and declutter. Eliminate things you no longer need and look for creative organizational and storage solutions.

The first thing you should do is inventory your belongings and decide what you really need to keep and what you don’t. Be honest with yourself. Do you really need to keep the supplies you bought for that hobby you’ve been meaning to start for years? Do you really need to hang on to all those books you’ve already read? Get rid of any duplicates or excess items you have as well. After you’ve decided which items you no longer need, donate anything that is still in usable condition.

Now it’s time to deal with the items you’ve decided to keep. Because your new living space is smaller, it’s important to be creative with storage. In addition to built-in storage, look for furniture than can double as storage, such as ottomans or coffee tables that feature storage compartments. Shelving can also help maximize space. But you still may not be able to comfortably fit everything you want to keep into your new home. Self storage is a great alternative for those things that you don’t use on a daily basis. This could include things like seasonal lawn equipment, power tools, holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, hand-me-down clothing and toys, sports equipment, small business supplies, documents, and furniture you’re not using but want to keep for future use or sentimental reasons. In some cases you may have inherited furniture or belongings from relatives that you don’t want to part with but also don’t have space for at home.

Good organization is also important as you move items into your self storage unit. Group like items together by room or by function. Be sure to label each box so you know what is in each one. Place items you use infrequently in the back of the unit and keep those things you anticipate needing to access on a regular basis at the front. Keep a master list of everything that is stored in your storage unit and be sure to update it as you add or remove items.

Whether you need to store a few boxes of seasonal items or several rooms’ worth of furniture, AAA Self Storage of Lansing can assist. We offer several different sizes of self storage units from which to choose. We also offer climate controlled units for those items that are susceptible to extreme temperatures. At AAA Self Storage of Lansing, we want you to feel confident that your belongings are safe, but we also want you to feel secure while you’re on the property. For that reason, our property has video cameras and requires a passcode to gain access onto the property. You will have access to your storage unit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also offer month-to-month leasing, providing you the flexibility to rent for as long as you need or upsize or downsize your storage unit as needed.

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When Disaster Strikes, Be Prepared with a Self Storage Unit

Surviving a disaster is never easy, whether it’s a disaster unleashed by Mother Nature, such as a tornado, microburst, or flood, or an emergency situation such as a house fire, burst pipes, or roof leak. They often strike without warning and leave destruction in their wake. While you may not be able to avoid disaster, you can minimize the stress and damage caused by being prepared. (more…)

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Proper Preparation for Self Storage will Help Keep Your Belongings Safe

A self storage unit is the ideal solution when you’re short on storage space at home. Your belongings will be safe, yet easily accessible, while you have more space at home for other uses. But, without proper planning and preparation, the contents of your storage unit may become difficult to find or vulnerable to damage. Taking the time to prepare your belongings for storage will help ensure their safety.

Before you begin packing, make sure you’re armed with the tools you’ll need to pack like a pro. Following is a list of items you should have on hand; most of which can be found at AAA Mini Warehouse.

  • Boxes – Make sure you have plenty of sturdy, professional-grade boxes. While it may be easy to go grab spare boxes from your local grocery store, these boxes aren’t as sturdy as boxes made specifically for packing. Plastic containers are another good option for protecting contents from dust and moisture. Try to use boxes that are similarly sized to make them easier to stack inside your storage unit.
  • Tape – Have several rolls of packing tape on hand for sealing up boxes.
  • Scissors or box knife – These come in handy for cutting tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, and other packing materials.
  • Labels – Labels are crucial. Labeling each and every box with the contents will make it easier to find what you need later.
  • Notebook and pen – Use these to keep a list of what you have packed.
  • Sharpies – These work well for labeling boxes and plastic containers.
  • Packing paper and bubble wrap – Wrap items in acid-free paper or bubble wrap before placing them into boxes to protect them from breakage or damage. This is especially important for fragile items.
  • Paper padding – Use paper padding to wrap any items that are not going to be packed into boxes. This will give them a layer of protection and won’t trap moisture.
  • Cedar chips – These will protect clothing and other fabric items from moths and other pests.
  • Moisture absorbing packets – These packets will pull moisture from the air to help prevent mildew.
  • Furniture polish – Applying furniture polish or wax to wood furniture will add an extra layer of protection against moisture and humidity.
  • Mattress bags and sofa covers – Use these to protect mattresses and fabric furniture from dust and moisture.
  • Tarp or plastic sheeting – These can be used to cover the floor of your storage unit to help protect your belongings from moisture and humidity. They can also be used as a cover over items to keep off dust.

How you pack your items will affect how easy they are to find when you need them, how protected they are from damage, and how easy they will be to unpack later. First, reduce the amount of items you need to store by weeding out items you no longer want or need. This will save you time packing as well as reduce the amount of storage space you need. Devise an organizational plan before you begin packing. Organize boxes by room or by like items. Putting a label with a detailed list of contents on each box will help you find what you need quickly and easily later.

As you begin packing your belongings for storage, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Everything should be clean and dry before being placed into boxes. This will help prevent mold and mildew that could result from any remaining moisture. It will also help prevent stains from forming on clothing and other fabric items.
  • Affix a label on each box with a detailed list of the contents. Make sure to designate boxes that contain fragile items.
  • Fill boxes as full as you can to reduce the number of boxes required and save space in your storage unit.
  • Distribute weight evenly within boxes so that they can be stacked securely.
  • When organizing boxes within your storage unit, place the heaviest boxes on the bottom and stack the lighter boxes on top. Consider using portable shelving units to provide easier access to boxes on the bottom.
  • Place any boxes you think you may need to access often at the front of the storage unit for easier access.
  • Organize boxes within your storage unit so that there is an aisle to provide easy access to boxes in the back of the unit.

In addition to the steps above, some items require special storage preparation to prevent damage during storage:

Clothing – Launder clothing and make sure they are completely dry before packing them. Washing them will help prevent stains from developing. Be sure to fasten all buttons, zippers, and snaps. Folded clothing can be stored in cardboard boxes or plastic containers, while hanging clothing should be hung on sturdy hangers and stored in a special garment box or covered with a garment bag.

Electronics – Pack electronics into their original packaging if possible. If that’s not possible, pack it in a professional-grade box and cushion it with crushed acid-free paper. Be sure to label any boxes containing electronics as fragile.

Tools – Any tools that contain oil or gasoline must be drained before they can be placed into storage.

Appliances – Clean appliances thoroughly and drain all of the hoses completely. Leave the appliance door slightly ajar to allow air to circulate and prevent mold and mildew. You may also want to put a box of baking soda inside to absorb odors.

Dishes and other breakable items – Line the bottom of boxes with crumpled newspaper for cushioning. Wrap each item individually and use more padding than you think is necessary. Be sure to place larger items on the bottom.

Books – Avoid packing too many books into a single box to prevent the box from become too heavy to lift. Books should be laid flat and alternated so that the spines face the opposite direction on every other book to help prevent damage to the spines.

Fabric furniture – As with clothing, clean it and allow it to dry completely before covering it or placing it into storage. If possible, remove the legs, then wrap them and place them into a clearly labeled box. Cover the furniture with padded paper or a sofa bag to keep off dust.

Wood furniture – Clean it and wipe it with a high-quality furniture polish or wax to help prevent it from drying out and protect it from moisture damage. If possible, disassemble it to make it easier to store. Place all screws, bolts, and other small parts in a clearly labeled plastic bag and tape it to an unfinished surface of the item. Wrap the item in padded paper and label it.

Taking these simple steps while you’re packing your items for storage will keep them protected while in storage and ensure they are easy to find when you need them.

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Groups and Organizations Can Benefit from Self Storage Units

Self storage units are a great way to give yourself much-needed additional storage space. But they can be beneficial for more than just personal use. If you’re a member of a group or organization, you know that finding storage for your group’s supplies can be a challenge. This is especially true if your group doesn’t have a permanent physical location. While you can store items at members’ homes, that means you have to keep track of what is stored where and it may be difficult to access it when you need it. Whether your group is a church, sports team, school, club, charity, HOA, or fraternal group, a self storage unit is the ideal solution. You can store everything you need for your group or organization, including supplies, equipment, displays, props, or items for fundraisers in one convenient, easy-to-access place. (more…)

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Once Your Taxes are Filed, Store Your Documents in a Self Storage Unit

We all dread tax season. Even if you’re lucky enough to get a refund, the process of gathering all the necessary documents and filing the paperwork is a chore. Once you’ve filed, what do you do with all that paperwork? Properly storing your tax documents may prevent headaches later.

Unlike a utility bill or other document that can be shredded once it’s been paid or dealt with, tax documents need to be kept for several years. According to the IRS, the amount of time you need to hang onto your tax documents depends on the action, expense, or event impacting those records. You need to keep your documents for the time frame during which the IRS can audit a return or you are allowed to file an amended return. Depending on the complexity of your tax returns, the IRS recommends that you save your federal tax returns for up to seven years. In addition to the tax forms, you must keep all related documentation, including W2s, 1099s, and any documents related to itemized deductions. You should also keep investment forms, such as IRA account documents, for at least seven years. Bank statements and paystubs, on the other hand, only need to be kept for two years. Property records and other similar documents should be kept indefinitely. (more…)

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Spring is the Perfect Time to Clean and Organize Your Home and Storage Unit

Spring is traditionally a time for renewal, which makes it the perfect time to clean and dispose of all the old stuff you no longer need. It’s also a great opportunity to pack away all your winter gear and holiday items and dig out your warm weather clothing and lawn and garden tools.

Many people make the mistake of spending time cleaning and organizing their home only to have it cluttered again in a week because they didn’t establish a plan for keeping it organized. Start your spring cleaning efforts by creating an organizational plan you can implement as you clean and that you can use going forward to keep everything neat and organized. (more…)

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Get Your Car Back in Your Garage with Good Organization and a Storage Unit

If your garage contains everything but your car, you’re not alone. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that 25 percent of homeowners with two-car garages are unable to park any cars in them because the space has been taken up for other uses, such as workshops, office space, home gyms, storage, or a combination of these uses. To add to the problem, the average garage size has gotten smaller over the years, leaving even less space to work with. But there is hope. With good organization and a self storage unit, your garage will be neat, clean, and have plenty of room for your vehicles. AAA Self Storage of Lansing has a variety of sizes of self storage units to fit any need. With their month to month leases, you can rent the storage unit for as long as you need. (more…)

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Achieve Your Resolution to Get Organized with a Self Storage Unit

Every year, Americans start their year by making resolutions. For 2015, “getting organized” was the second most common resolution made. But only 8 percent of people are successful in achieving their resolutions in any given year. By July, less than half of those who made a resolution are still on track. If your resolution for 2015 was to organize your home, a self storage unit may be the perfect tool to help you achieve that goal. AAA Self Storage of Lansing has a variety of sizes and types of storage units that are ideal for storing all of the stuff you don’t have space for in your home but that you need to keep. (more…)

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