Self-storage space and warehouse facilities are a multimillion dollar industry all over the world. People continue to rely on these storage facilities to put their excess stuff in. These items could be furniture, old unused files, old clothes, tools, toys and almost anything you would want to hang on to but have no space in the house to keep it in. Even celebrities have been known to rent a self-storage unit or two.

There are many benefits to renting self-storage space. One the most obvious use is to free up space in your own home. People used to store things in their garage. When that gets full, they have no choice but to throw their stuff away. Somethings like broken furniture can be thrown away but for those things you want to keep for the future you can still store them in self-storage spaces.

Another advantage of renting a self-storage space is that it can be safer than your own garage. Some of the more sophisticated self-storage spaces require the use of heavy duty locks and identifying marks like a fingerprint scan in order to be opened. If you plan on keeping important things like backup copies of your pertinent documents or a beloved painting or an antique then this is the way to go. With these types of self-storage facilities you can rest assured that no one would be able to get in and out of your space. Highly sophisticated storage spaces also often have temperature control so if you don’t want your things to get molds or warp due to heat then you can rent this kind of storage space. Just be ready to shell out a little bit more as these kinds of self-storage facilities don’t come cheap.

Self-storage space and warehouse can be used to keep your collection. If you are an avid toy collector for example, you will need space for all your unopened boxes of toys. Highly coveted toys appreciate in value so some collectors hold on to them as long as possible. As their collection increases, so does the space the items take up. Rather than keeping them in a place where they could be easily destroyed, i.e. the garage or the attic, a self-storage space can be a better option.

People also use self-storage spaces after they get married or start cohabiting. Prior to cohabiting couples who live in separate apartments normally have their own bed, couch, ref and other household items. Once they have joined homes they get to have two of everything. The natural thing to do is to sell these items. You can use storage spaces to store these items before you sell them. If you still want to hang on to them even after you have bought a new king size bed for you and your significant other, you can also put them away in storage until the time you need them.

If you are having your house renovated you can store all your stuff in a self-storage space until the renovations are finished and you and your family are ready to move back in. Placing your furniture outside the house or in the garage can damage them as rain and other weather elements do occur. Leaving them outside makes them easy target for thieves and vandals. Putting them in self-storage spaces saves not just your furniture from being damaged while the renovations are going on but also frees up space in your house so you won’t have to bump into these displaced furniture.
Self-storage spaces are also havens for people who like to hold on to items that remind them of their childhood or of people close to them who have already passed away. They store dollhouses, favorite toys when they were kids, baptismal gowns and the like. People store keepsakes from times they spent with their departed loved ones and items that remind them of their loved one.

People operating a home business can also benefit from renting storage space. At home catering businesses for example often provide chairs and tables other than food so they need a place to store these items in until they are ready for use. Some at home businesses like buy and sell businesses also need storage facilities to store their inventory. If you are just starting and cannot afford to rent a big office or space, then you can try using self-storage spaces to keep all your stuff.

You can also use self-storage spaces to store your boat, ATV and jet-ski. There are storage facilities as huge as two car garage spaces so you can easily store something as big as a boat or a jet-ski inside.

If you are planning to move to a different city or get relocated to a different country altogether but you still plan on returning to that place where you left, you can use storage facilities to leave your stuff in while you are away instead of keeping your apartment. Just make sure to keep the payments coming and check on your stuff from time to time whenever you have time or ask a trusted friend or relative to do these things for you. A storage space is cheaper and more economical than keeping your apartment empty for long periods of time. Subletting your apartment might mean someone else will use your house and they might have their own furniture. Store your furniture and other household items in a safe storage facility when you are ready to come back, you can just take them out like you never left.

Renting a self-storage space frees your house of clutter and mess. It can make your house feel “lighter” and less disorganized. As your family grows, so does the mess they make. Use self-storage spaces to put away some of the important things that you really don’t need to have access to immediately. Keep them safe as you keep your house clean and free of clutter too. A clean and organized house is a house you’d feel happy to come home to.

Storage rental for businesses and organizations have grown increasingly popular over the years. As businesses expand, so does the demand for their products and office requirements. This means buying more office equipment or replacing old ones with newer and more efficient models. So where do the old items go until the business is able to get rid of them? The answer is often in storage facilities.

Storage facilities are spaces being rented out by storage owners to people, business, and organizations that require temporary storage for their belongings. These spaces are rented out on a short term basis usually month to month. Each storage space is secured normally by the renter. This means the renter is the only one with access to the items inside as he is the only one with the lock and key.

Most storage facilities employ roving security personnel to ensure that there are no trespassers in their facility. Keep in mind that while they have roving security, the storage owner still won’t be responsible if the items inside the storage are lost or stolen. This can, however, be re-mediated by getting insurance for your belongings. This is important if they are rather valuable.

There are various advantages to storing or renting out a space at a storage facility. If you’re not yet convinced you need one, here are some reasons why it’s good to rent a storage space.

1. They’re relatively cheap – renting a space can set you back anywhere between $75-200 a month depending on the size of storage you will need. Most storage facilities rent out space on a month to month basis but there are times when they allow for longer leases. Some storage facilities will even give you a discount for renting out the storage for long periods of time. The cost of building, maintaining and safekeeping a facility to store some old business files is time consuming and can cost your business a lot more than renting a storage space.

2. Storage rentals can be used when you are about to move offices – Uprooting a business from one location to another is often complicated. It requires proper planning, good logistics, and sometimes a temporary space where you could put things that cannot be moved to the new location just yet. Storage rentals can solve problems like this. Rent out a space for a few days to store your office equipment until such time that you are ready to move them to the new office. Place conference tables and office chairs in storage spaces until your new office is ready to accommodate these items.

3. No need to hire a moving team – some storage facilities would help you move stuff in and out of the facility at no extra cost. Most storage facilities already have a moving van or truck ready to pick up or move your stuff for you. Some even offer boxes and other packing materials ready for use to anyone who rents their facility. The added cost of hiring movers and packing materials, which could sometimes be really expensive, is removed from your operational expense.

4. It can serve as an offsite backup facility – as part of their business continuity plan some business place backup files outside their office to ensure that in case the office gets destroyed or compromised, the backup files will still enable the business to get on with their everyday activity as if nothing happened. Storage facilities of this kind are more sophisticated than regular storage because these are most likely climate controlled and highly secured. You will most likely pay higher fees for this type of storage. Storage rentals of this caliber sometimes require fingerprint scans so that only authorized renters are able to enter.

5. Storage can be used as a temporary storage for excess items – if your office storage facility is at a full capacity, you can easily rent a small space to store other items that you cannot hold in the office. This can sometimes happen when there are huge orders from customers or if there is a surplus of products. Just take note of the kinds of things that you can store inside as some storage rental facilities often have a list of things that you can and cannot store with them. If you are manufacturing perishables for example, most storage facilities will turn you away.

6. Use it to store seasonal items – businesses engaged in selling items that are needed only on special occasions can benefit from storing their wares in storage rental facilities. They can simply bring out these seasonal items once the occasion is nearing and store them away again once it’s finished. Party supplies and craft stores are some of the business that sells seasonal items. Sporting goods that are not in season can also be stored in these facilities until the season starts.

7. Use it to store old office items until you are able to get rid of them – buying new equipment for the office often means that the old equipment needs to be removed or sold. Don’t let old office equipment clutter your office. They can accumulate dust if left out in the open for long. They can also serve as hiding places for pests like mice and cockroaches who love putting up house in unused office items. You can store old printers, fax machines, computers and office furniture in temporary storage facility until the time comes that you are able to dispose of them.

8. Store office supplies – sometimes the best deals come with buying in bulk. Offices often buy office supplies in bulk to save on expenses. When you buy bulk office supplies you will need an area to store these in. Storage rental for businesses and organizations can be used to store excess office supplies in. You can leave a few supplies available at the office and just take out what’s needed every couple of months. Just make sure to find a storage rental that’s near your office so that you won’t have to travel far just to get some paper clips.

Whether you are running a small or a big business you’ll sure have some use for a storage facility.

The first consideration for choosing a storage facility for your boat is its size. Smaller boats are easier to store in a shed, garage or an indoor self-storage space. Vessels larger than around twenty feet or so become increasingly more difficult to store, with the very large yachts being confined to marinas, harbor specially designed to accommodate large pleasure craft.
The second is how often you intend to use it. During the summer, you might value ease of access. In the winter, security during long storage might take precedence.
Before choosing a storage facility for your boat, remember that all boats require constant maintenance. This is especially true of wooden boats, which are more vulnerable to mildew or termites in high humidity. Used boats also require special care—even smaller vessels might be safer to store indoors if they are especially old, since they have already endured so much wear and corrosion.

Small Boats

Small boats include kayaks, canoes and motorized dinghies up to fifteen to twenty feet long. Selecting a storage space could be as easy as hanging the boat upside down from hooks on the side of your shed. Hanging a boat upside down takes advantage of the water resistant hull, which acts as the boat’s roof. Detach the motor if there is one and drain it of fuel, then store it separately, preferably indoors.

Add some more protection by covering the boat in canvas or tarp. Don’t wrap the covering too tightly, because you want the air to flow and carry evaporating water away from the craft. Ensure a few feet of clearance from the ground for the same reason.

If you intend to use your boat with any regularity, consider storing it in your house or in a shed. Try contriving a place where it could be hung or tethered. People living in a waterfront can also install boat-lifts to winch their craft clear off the water when not in use. A trailer is as good a place as any to keep your boat if you have one.
If you really can’t find the space, or if you figure you will be using it less frequently, rent some self-storage space near you. A wide shelf in a warehouse where you can keep your boat inverted and covered is one possibility.

Self-storage places made especially for boats include racks that are usually stacked one atop the other to accommodate more craft. Usually, these racks are inside roofed storage for better security and preservation. You may face some mild inconvenience when it comes time to retrieve your boat, especially if it’s at the top of an especially tall stack, though one might say the same of a high shelf.

Whatever your choice, try hard to rent a space that is indoors and has good climate control. In cold climates, low temperatures can cause water to expand into ice, worrying into the wood or plastic and widening gaps and creating furrows, disrupting the integrity of the vessel. When the ice melts, it contracts, further putting stress on the warped material.
Wet climates bring the problem of high humidity. When the air is humid, it is saturated in water, which means water will have a more difficult time evaporating from your boat. A wooden craft stored in conditions of excess moisture is haven to fungi and termites. Even non-wooden vessels will benefit more from dry conditions than wet since it lessens the likelihood of rust or corrosion. When checking the temperature at a facility, be sure to note if it’s in Fahrenheit or in Celsius.
A storage facility for your boat can also hold maintenance supplies, gear and trailers. Keeping everything centralized will prevent things from getting misplaced and will make check-ups and maintenance trips less of a hassle should you feel the need to make them.

Mid-size Boats

Running the gamut from power cruisers to pursuit boats, mid-size boats are generally twenty to thirty feet long. As with smaller craft, choosing a storage facility for your boat depends on how often you intend to use it, though options of indoor storage are vastly more limited for these more massive vessels.
Regular use might persuade, such owners might prefer to keep the craft in the water rather than hauling them to be parked on a trailer. Often, these boats will be left with others in a special harbor called a marina. Some boat lifts can also handle the lighter mid-size boats if you wish to minimize contact with water, especially saltwater. When uncertain about a boat lift’s capacity, err on the side of safety.

When you do want to store your boat away from the water, several services offer rentable parking spaces where you can leave your boat on a trailer. Parking spaces will vary in size even if the service says they can be used for boats like yours, so measure your boat carefully to see if it can fit.
Again, indoor spaces are preferred, but depending on where you live, these might be uncommon and hard to rent. Rarely, you might have access to indoor facilities built over the water so you can drive your boat right into it. Such places will usually be full up with prior occupants or reserved for the use of a company or a private individual, but sometimes, you might get lucky. When considering your options, it never hurts to ask.

Maintenance measures apply to mid-sized boats as well. Do the necessary engine check-ups before and after use, ensure the tank is empty of fuel when storing boats over longer periods and cover your boat adequately against the elements. Clean the boat thoroughly and ensure even and constant air circulation.

Large Boats

Yachts are almost always confined either to outdoor parking spaces for them and their trailers or, more practically, to marinas, where they are moored to the dock. Thankfully, most marinas can provide power, water and other amenities, letting you use the yacht as a living space and a place to store tools.
Clean your yacht regularly, from deck to stern and every compartment, and perform maintenance as required in the instruction manual that commonly accompanies these large craft upon purchase.

Diligent and meticulous preparation ensures that your investment in an RV or trailer will not be compromised while it is in storage for any season.  Taking the right steps assures you that your vehicle will remain in good condition.  Otherwise, you run the risk of encountering problems just when you are about to take your family on a road trip.  Aside from the hassle, you will have to worry about a significant repair bill when your RV is damaged due to moisture, cracks, and freezing.

General Checklist before Storing Your RV or Trailer

Initially, check the overall condition of your RV or travel trailer before storing it for any season.

Here is a general checklist of items you need to look into. It is also best to read the manufacturer’s manual that came with your RV or trailer for specific storage instructions.

  • Prior to storing your RV or trailer, it is a good idea to go on a short drive around the block. Take note of any significant sounds that may indicate engine or tire trouble. Make sure to have these checked by a professional prior to storage.
  • Carry out a thorough inspection of your vehicle from top to bottom. Check for anything that may be broken like awnings or seals. Get these fixed right away to prevent further damage due to moisture.
  • Take the time to remove items that may freeze during the winter season from the RV or trailer. In particular, take out liquid containers that get damaged due to extreme cold.
  • Remove and wash bedding sheets and linens for storage.
  • Make sure to vacuum the carpets, floors, and cushions.
  • Seal and waterproof cracks or peels along the exterior of the RV or trailer.
  • Wash the RV or trailer then apply a coat of wax.
  • Empty the cupboards for food items to minimize the onslaught of critters.
  • Turn off and empty the refrigerator then defrost it. To reduce odors, place baking soda inside the refrigerator and leave the door open to prevent the growth of molds.

Saving Your Battery for Storage

It is essential to ensure that your battery is prepped for storage to protect it from the cold. Moreover, you do not want to deal with a dead battery when you take your RV or trailer out of storage.

Make sure that the battery is fully charged as this lessens the chances of freezing in cold weather. A battery with a weak charge is more likely to freeze and get damaged.   Your battery will also last longer if you take the time to prevent the possibility of discharge. Make sure to disconnect or turn off equipment in the RV or trailer that can drain the battery.  This includes the alarm, TV antenna, and shut-off valves. It is also best to detach the negative cable from the battery. In this way, even if you forget to switch off a device, the battery charge stays intact.

If you live in an area that experiences extreme cold during the winter, it is better to take out the battery. Keep it stored in a dry room with an ambient temperature.

Prevent Plumbing Disasters

The chances of a plumbing disaster are greater if you do not take the necessary precautions. For the winter period, it is advisable to get rid of the water running through the system before storage. This includes the water in the heater tank.

Afterwards, add anti-freeze to the pipes, valves, traps, as well as the waste tank to treat the entire system. The addition of antifreeze prevents any leftover water from turning into ice.

In some cases, it may not be necessary to add antifreeze to the fresh water or black water holding tanks. If a small amount of liquid is left, there is still enough space for expansion should it freeze up. However, it is important to pay close attention to the waterlines as these have little room for expansion.

Leftover water that freezes in the system can cause expansion and eventually break the pipes open. As a result, the RV or trailer may get soaked and cause additional damage to the floors.

Take Care of Your Tires

See to it the tires of the RV or trailer are prepped correctly for storage. This ensures it is ready for road travel when you need it. The last thing you want is to discover tire blowouts on the day of your trip.

As with any other vehicle, tires weaken if left in the same place and position for a long period of time. This could lead to an accident while you are on the road. Bear in mind the following tire tips before checking your RV or trailer into storage.

  • In terms of storage location, choose an area that is cool, dry and away from direct sunlight.
  • Leave only the bare essentials, if possible, take out items that are not built in to the vehicle. The lesser weight carried by the tires the better.

In some cases, it is helpful to place the vehicle on blocks to limit the weight on the tires. This is especially practical if you plan to keep the vehicle in storage for more than three months.

Alternatively, you may opt to remove the tires altogether and place the vehicle on top of blocks while in storage. This reduces the chances that your tires will get flat spots if kept in a stationary position for too long.

If possible, move the RV or trailer to turn the tires to keep the rubber from cracking. This also limits the chances of flat spots. However, avoid doing this if the weather is too cold.

  • Add 25% more air into your tires on top of the recommended pressure. However, take care not to go beyond the inflation capacity set by the rim manufacturer.
  • Take the time to wash your tires thoroughly. Use soap and water to remove oil that has gathered over time during your travels.
  • Use protective tarps to cover the tires after pressurizing and cleaning.

It is best to prepare your RV or trailer for storage to minimize problems later on. So that when the season permits you can get on the road safely without delay.

Taking the time to prepare your RV or trailer for storage certainly pays off in the long run. It limits the likelihood that you would spend thousands of dollars to have damages repaired. Moreover, you and your family will get to enjoy your RV or travel trailer for a very long time.

Towards the end of the boating season, it is wise to map out options for storing your boat-RV during winter. Preventive measures are keys to protecting your investment in this recreational vehicle. Do not be complacent even if you have an insurance policy, or if you live in a state with a more temperate climate. Unexpected cold spells have been known to happen even in states that are considered warmer than the northern climes. If your boat sustains any damage due to neglect or improper winterization, you could have a steep expense to deal with come spring. Thus, it would be best for you to anticipate the possible cold spells in your area, and schedule your boat-RV winterization well before that.  You can actually check out your local gardening websites to find out when the first freeze is expected.

Here are some quick tips on how you can get your RV for the colder winter months:

Tip #1:  Decide where it’s best to store your boat. Some boat owners prefer to dock their RVs in the water during winter, so they can take advantage of a couple mild winter days and easily take their boats out in the water.  There are others who prefer to store their boats in their own garages or storage facilities.

If you own a big boat, then it’s probably best to have your boat stored in your local Marina, where they’re bound to have a winterization service to offer. Alternatively, you may opt to shrink-wrap your boat to ensure it is safely sealed against possible cracks, condensation, and other damage usually brought on by deep freezes.

For those on a budget, marina storage and shrink-wrapping are costlier ways of keeping your boat safe during the winter.  You may opt to keep your boat on land – on your trailer, in your garage, in a boat yard or storage facility. Just keep in mind that having boats on dry land during winter is actually a riskier undertaking.  The boat will be more exposed to freezing temperatures all around, without the moderating effect of water temperatures to keep the boat relatively safer from hard freezes.

Tip #2:  If you do decide to keep your boat on land, make sure you winterize it properly before keeping it under a dry, secure cover, and storing it inside a climate-controlled boat storage facility.

Tip #3:  First check your boat’s manual for specific instructions on how to winterize your boat or for where to find certain valves and other parts.  You may have to move around your boat to have a visual check before you start working on your RV.

Tip #4:  Prepare all the materials you will need in winterizing your RV.  You will need:

    • Battery charger – You can charge your battery while you are winterizing the boat. Be sure to disconnect your charger after your winterizing is done.
    • Oil-changing kit – Prepare an oil pan, a funnel, a 12-volt charger to help pump the oil out, and some handy towels.
    • Storage fogger or fogging oil
    • Sea foam – This is your fuel stabilizer, and you can buy it by the gallon.
    • Motor oil
    • Lower unit oil
    • Grease gun
    • Anti-freeze with an optional dispenser (attached to a hose with hose adaptor) for hard-to-reach valves or pipes – It is advisable to use non-toxic anti-freeze so that when spring arrives, you can just fire up your boat and you’re good to go.

Tip #5:  Stabilize your fuel for long storage. Check your sea foam container for instructions on mixing (example = 1 ounce of sea foam:1 gallon fuel). Not only will the stabilizer prep your boat for winter storage, it will also preserve fuel for several months to a year, prevent fuel system deposits, and even help prevent corrosion.

Run your engine, bringing the temperature up to operating temperature in order to run the fuel that was just treated, and get the engine hot enough to facilitate oil flow during the oil change. For safety, always remove the propeller before running your engine. Then clean the prop shaft and grease it adequately. Finally, put the propeller back on, making sure to lock it tightly.

Tip #6:  Drain oil from the engine, then change the oil filter according to your boat model. Have an oil diaper handy to catch any residual oil. Before replacing the filter, coat the seal and threads of the filter with engine oil, and pour a little bit of it in to prime the filter as well. Then screw the new filter in place.

Refill your engine with new oil. Just as a little side note: remove the cap foil completely so there’s no risk of it falling into the engine.

You also have to check that the splines and O-rings are properly oiled and lubricated.  Drain and refill the lower unit of your overdrive with gear lubricant.  Always remember to have water running through the lower unit while replacing the oil. The internal impeller is made of rubber.  If it is not wet, it will be damaged. Hook up a water muff so water pump impeller won’t be ruined.  Do not forget to top up the gear lube monitor bottle.

Tip #7:  Fog your engine and drain cooling water.  Run your engine to fog it.  Remove the spark arrestor and spray the fogging oil into your carburettor, with the engine RPM slightly up. After fogging, change the fuel filter in anticipation of your spring crank up.

Drain the block and manifolds of all cooling water. Again, be sure to check your owner’s manual to locate all of your boat’s drains. It’s vital to open all of them.  After draining, fill the block and manifolds with anti-freeze. Any residual water will be treated to prevent any water freezing and pipe corrosion during winter.

It is always best to check the condition of your outdrive at least once a year. When you disconnect and reconnect your drive, put it in forward gear for alignment when sliding it on or off the shift coupling.  Before you store your boat RV for the winter season, remember to fully charge its battery and then remove and store it separately.  It is also advisable to wash and wax your boat before covering it with a tarp. If this is your first time to winterize a boat, have an experienced friend help you or get a professional to do the job.