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Use a Proven Lock on Your Self-Storage Unit: It Makes a Difference

Most self storage facilities have stringent security measures in place, including perimeter fencing, digital video monitoring and electronic gates with keypad access. Some have keyless systems that require only an app on your mobile phone to gain access and others offer “smart” units. Whether or not your facility is equipped with the latest in mobile or smart technology, you should purchase a high-quality padlock as an extra layer of protection for your valuables.

 

Before you purchase a lock for your self-storage unit, there are several things you need to consider.
  1. Depending on the security level of your storage facility, you’re probably trying to decide between a medium- and high-level quality lock. Remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for.” Don’t compromise the security of your belongings. Go with the best lock in your budget range, especially if you’re going to have your valuables in self-storage for a lengthy period of time. 
  2. If it fits your needs, consider a shrouded shackle. They are more expensive, but harder to drill because of a protective covering on the shackle.
  3. Consider the size of your padlock and where you’ll be using it. You want it to fit; don’t buy an industrial-sized padlock for a small unit.
  4. If you’re considering a regular vs. a disc padlock, the disc padlock actually provides better security. These are considered by many to be the best locks for storage units because there is virtually no space to use bolt cutters.
  5. Be sure that your padlock is made of materials that will provide strength, hardness, longevity, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Common materials that will provide these qualities are steel, alloy steel, aluminum, carbides, and brass. 

 

Seven of the Best Storage Unit Locks for 2021 

According to Storagefact.com, the following are a few of the best locks for 2021. If you need more information, or these locks aren’t the best fit for your needs, check the above link to see more types of locks. 

 

4 Digit Combination Lock by Desired Tools

The Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Lock is Storagefact’s top pick for 2021. This lock is so popular that it has a 4.5-star rating, with other 5,000 reviews on Amazon. The manufacturer claims that this lock is great for lockers, fences, and storage units and can survive both indoor and outdoor.

 

Pros

  • Weatherproof – survive sun, rain, and snow
  • Stainless steel hasp – unlikely to rust
  • Steel, metal, and zinc alloy – durable and sturdy
  • Easy to set and reset combination
Cons

  • The manufacturer has been known to bombard customers with spam emails

 

Abus 20/70 Diskus Stainless Steel Padlock

The Abus 20/70 Diskus Padlock is made of stainless steel, and the shackle has little room for cutting or drilling.

 

Pros

  • High quality and high security
  • Heavy duty
  • Resistant to drilling
  • No springs in the mechanism
  • Difficult to pick
Cons

  • Could get jammed on an extremely cold day
  • Finding replacement keys for this lock is very difficult. They are custom made and shipped directly from Germany

 

Stanley Hardware S828 Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock

The Stanley Hardware S828 boasts a six-pin cylinder and anti-pick pins, and its hardened steel that will protect the contents of your storage unit even from sawing and cutting tools.

 

Pros

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Will stand up to electric and manual saws
  • Keyway cover provided to combat drilling
  • The 6-way pin core is resistant to picking
  • Inexpensive
Cons

  • Finding or even getting a replacement key made is quite difficult
  • Compatible only with Android and iOS

 

WGCC Fingerprint Keyless Padlock

The WGCC Fingerprint Keyless Padlock is built from aluminum alloy and was given a 4-star rating by around 200 customers. 

 

Pros

  • This lock has a three-month free return policy
  • Weather and dustproof
  • Long-lasting, rechargeable battery
  • Cut resistant body
  • Works with a mobile app that allows you to manage access to your storage unit
  • You can record 15 fingerprints, giving 15 people access to your unit
  • You have the option of using the app as well as a fingerprint to unlock
  • The app displays battery status
Cons

  • The app asks for too much personal data during the installation and configuration process.

 

The ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock

The ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock does not compromise in design and has a tensile strength of 25,000 pounds.

 

Pros

  • High Security
  • Well made, heavy-duty
  • Worth the cost
  • Excellent resistance to pulling and drilling
  • Strong and shrouded shackle
  • Durable
Cons

  • May not fit all storage units

 

Master Lock 930DKHPF

The Master Lock 930DKHPF’s corrosion resistance makes it a great option for the outdoors. It’s also the least expensive option for these locks.

 

Pros

  • Comes with two keys
  • 5-pin cylinder locking mechanism
  • The lock works in many weather conditions
  • Resistant to cutting, prying and drilling
  • Solid, high quality, but inexpensive
Cons

  • The shackle is long, so be sure to check that it will fit your unit.
  • The lock has been known to rust over time, however, it’s still worth considering as an all-weather lock. 

 

Master Lock Titanium Shrouded Padlock 

The Titanium Shrouded Padlock by Master Lock is durable and easy to use. Master Lock has been raising the bar on locks since 1921. 

 

Pros

  • Stainless steel body won’t corrode or rust
  • Shrouded design
  • Four-pin cylinder makes picking difficult
  • Dual locking levels provides defense against hammering
  • Fits most storage units
  • Keyhole protected from dust
  • the key-retaining feature that makes it hard for you to drop your keys
Cons

  • The keys Master Lock provides are made from weak metal. They bend and break easily

 

Choosing the right lock can be overwhelming; we hope this information helps. When you look at locks, consider the value of your possessions and the security features at your storage facility. Having the right lock will add an extra layer of security and put your mind at ease.

New Year New You: Use Self Storage to Turn Your Garage into a Home Gym

Are you tired of crowded gyms, expensive memberships, and travel time going to and from your gym? Are you concerned about contracting Covid 19, or are you tired of the mask mandate and social distancing? Maybe you live in an area where none of this is relevant because gyms are still closed. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up and go to a mini-gym that is conveniently located just a few short steps from your bedroom? 

 

Why not transform a room in your house into the perfect personal workout space? If you don’t have the extra space in your home, think about your garage. You can turn it into a home gym with all of the equipment you need right at your fingertips. It may take some time and a self storage unit, but in the end you’ll be working on your strength training at home!

 

Read the following to discover how to make your vision of a personalized gym a reality. 

 

Clear it Out

Unless you’ve been cleaning it regularly, your garage has become a space for everything that you don’t want to keep in the house. Unopened boxes from your last move, Christmas decorations, craft supplies, and useless junk are taking up valuable space. This is why you need to rent a storage unit. Before you read further, read Choosing the Right Self Storage Unit. 

 

Take everything out of the garage and place it in three groups: keep, discard, and donate. The items you’re keeping will get packed up and put in storage, and the items you’re discarding will get packed up for the trash. The items you’re donating can be placed in storage until you decide who is getting what. You’re focused on your home gym right now; self storage gives you a place to keep the donations until later.

 

Clean it Up

Now that you’ve emptied your space, it’s time for a deep clean. The best way to ensure that you don’t miss any dirt is to work from the top down. Start with the ceiling, move to the walls, and then down to the floor. You’ll need to dust and scrub everything before you get to the fun of making the space appealing as well as functional.

 

Spruce it Up

Paint the walls and ceiling an appealing, bright color and install good lighting. You want to be able to use this space at any time of day or evening. Flooring is important; a cold, cement floor is not the most comfortable place to work out. Carpet sounds nice, but won’t last under heavy workout equipment. The best option is laminate flooring; or, if you want to spend a bit more, you could opt for jigsaw interlocking floor mats. If you choose the laminate, you’ll need to consider purchasing workout mats.

 

Ventilation is important. You don’t want to be exercising in uncomfortable conditions. If the garage isn’t already temperature controlled, you can look into portable units that will do the job. 

 

Make it Entertaining

Watching TV or listening to music makes it easier to motivate yourself to work out. If it fits your budget, a wall-mounted TV with a sound system is perfect. You can use it for watching TV and listening to music. Not essential, but fun. 

 

Equip it Properly

Purchasing the right equipment can be a challenge. Where do you begin? Think about your goals and what you want to achieve. If you’re experienced, you’re already aware of your specific needs, but where do you find the right equipment at the right price? Do you want a bike, treadmill, weights, or a freestanding punching bag? If you’re a newbie, check out the verywell fit site for help. This site explains different types of setups, cost, safety, and other handy hints.

 

If you have the budget, one of the new home exercise mirrors looks like fun. They’re pricey and there is a monthly fee for the companion app, but the investment may be worth it if you decide to forego the gym membership permanently. 

 

Don’t forget to add shelving or storage for your weights, kettlebells, and other small items. 

 

Time to Enjoy Your Hard Work

You’ve moved all the clutter to your storage unit, and you’re gradually finishing your home gym. Get the TV connected, fire up the sound system, learn how to use your new exercise mirror, and you’ll be ready to enjoy your workouts without the hassle of costs, commutes, or expensive gym clothes. Happy New Year!

Self Storage: The Best Solution for Your Christmas Decorations

I know – you haven’t even gotten through Christmas yet, and we’re talking about storing the decorations. It’s never too soon to plan ahead. You need to get to 2021 as quickly as possible so that you can put 2020 into the vault of terrible years.

 

Christmas 2020 is soon to be another magical memory. Watching your kids fall asleep, face down on top of their gifts while your relatives argue about politics and Covid, as you cook dinner for 37 people, will soon be past history. Before you have time to say, “I’m going to quarantine myself out in the backyard while the rest of you cook,” it will be time to move on to the time-honored tradition of storing the decorations. Ugh!!!

 

Nobody enjoys this task. It’s tedious and lonely because no one wants to help. If you do coerce family members into helping, they suddenly remember a previous engagement or a contagious disease (Covid is perfect for this). Get used to it; it’s not going to change. Ask Alexa to play “the happiest songs for dismantling Christmas decor,” and get to it. 

 

Before you start packing your decorations into either the very expensive storage containers from Target or Wayfair or the leftover egg cartons and disposable coffee cups from your garbage, you need to think about where you’re going to store these items. If you’re anything like me, the ornaments and decorations seem to multiply while your space seems to shrink. You need a solution, and you need it before the Christmas ornaments find a new home in your garage and the cars are stuck out in the driveway all year. 

 

What you need is a self-storage unit, preferably a convenient, secure, climate-controlled storage unit. Here at Universal Storage Group, these units are available in a variety of sizes that are suitable for large or small Christmas trees and all your other seasonal items. You can add pegboards to the walls for hanging your wreaths and garlands and shelving for plastic ornament boxes and Christmas linens. With climate-controlled storage, you won’t find a pool of hardened wax that used to be a candle or a moldy piece of fabric that was once the beautiful table cloth that grandma crocheted with her arthritic hands

 

 

Tips to Prepare Your Decorations for Their Temporary Home

 

Take Pictures of Your Decorations

Did you ever begin your Christmas decorating, suddenly realizing that you can’t remember which decorations you used on the mantel or which centerpiece you used on the dining room table? As you age, this will happen. Before you remove those decorations for storage, take pictures for future reference. Mobile devices make it so easy to take photos. Add a few selfies before you store them; memories of the bags under your eyes are precious.

 

Be Careful with the Christmas Ornaments

In many families, Christmas ornaments are irreplaceable treasures. They represent life events, travel, and tradition. Many were created with little hands out of construction paper, glue and glitter. Some are given as special gifts. Fortunately, you can find endless options in boxes and containers made specifically to protect fragile ornaments. They’re available in Wayfair, Home Depot, and Target, just to name a few. Remember to leave the hangers on the ornaments, so that  you don’t have to make a trip to the store in the middle of next year’s decorating.

 

Keep Your Christmas Tree Looking New

Even though artificial trees are quite durable, storing your tree in its original box is not the best idea. With each passing year, the box will deteriorate, making it prone to insect (and deranged squirrel) infestation, and the tree will not look as nice if it has to be jammed into the box and reshaped every year. There are several different tree storage container options that will protect your tree and keep it in great shape. Climate-controlled storage is perfect for keeping your tree in pristine condition. This is especially important if you have a frosted or flocked tree; they don’t do well in extreme temperatures. Actually, they make a mess at any temperature.

  

Maintain your Wreaths and Garlands

As with all your other Christmas paraphernalia, there are numerous options for wreath and garland storage. Look for sturdy containers that will preserve the shape of these items and protect any decorative bows and ornaments. They can also be hung from hooks on a pegboard in your storage unit. For extra protection, you can cover them with a lightweight dry cleaning bag.

 

Keep Your Christmas Lights Untangled

Clark Griswold should not be your “go to” example for Christmas light storage or design. Think “organization.”  The first thing you need to do is to dispose of any lights that are damaged or not working properly. Then, you need to avoid the tangled mess of previous years by wrapping your lights around storage reels. When you’re finished organizing the lights, place them in a large plastic storage bin along with the necessary extension cords. Don’t forget to take pictures as a guide to next year’s light design.

 

Keep Your Christmas Linens Crisp and New Looking 

Be sure that your Christmas table linens, bed linens, and towels are clean prior to storage.  Stains can oxidize over time and be impossible to remove, so don’t be lazy and store them with wine and gravy stains. Don’t wrap linens in tissue, newsprint, or cardboard as these materials can release gases that will turn your fabric yellow. Plastic can also damage the fabric, and hangars can cause creases that are hard to iron out. If you have the space, you can store these items on an extra shelf in your linen closet. A better option is a suitcase that you no longer use in your storage unit. Keep in mind that these items should be stored in a climate-controlled environment to maintain their beauty and prevent further damage.

 

Candles Require Special Care

Wrap candles in old socks or cellophane to prevent scratching and color transfer.  Do not use plastic wrap or wax paper as they can stick to your candles. After you finish wrapping, store them in a box or crate, even in your ornament storage boxes.Be sure that they are in a climate-controlled area in your home or storage unit.  Unless, of course, you want melted, misshapen globs of wax.

 

Organize 

It goes without saying that you should store your boxes strategically and with labels. Not only should each label show a detailed content list, but they should be numbered and stored in the order in which you want to open them. 

 

Storing your decorations the right way is tedious and time consuming; but, when next year rolls around, you’ll be happy to find everything organized and in perfect condition. Then, you can start the process over again. Happy Holidays!

Self Storage: The Secret Weapon for Storing Holiday Gifts

It’s early December, and you know what that means. The holiday season is breathing down your neck. People have already begun to stash away Christmas gifts and surprises. If you haven’t started shopping, you’d better get your hustle on. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over; you’re already a step behind. 

 

When you think of the excitement on those sweet little faces at 5:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, it’s hard to resist buying everything they want!. Calm down and step away from the credit card. By noon, they’ll be playing with an empty box and sobbing with exhaustion. And you still have to navigate them through the remainder of the day with relatives and friends.  Here’s an idea. Make the time leading up to this day of memories (and disorder) a little bit easier by using self storage. 

 

Give Yourself a Break – Use Self Storage to Stash the Presents

Black Friday is the shopping kickoff, followed by Cyber Monday, and every day and night thereafter until you have to find time to bake cookies, drink wine, and have one of many emotional breakdowns leading up to the big day. After all of that shopping comes the challenge of trying to find hiding places for all of those presents. It’s harder than trying to find a parking space at the grocery store on Christmas Eve. 

 

You need a plan, or the simple task of hiding gifts will become a logistical nightmare. You’ll forget where you put them; and, if you wrap them prior to hiding, you’ll absolutely forget who they’re meant for. It’s so annoying when you open the freezer and the Lightsaber Academy Interactive Battle Lightsaber falls out and breaks your toe because brain fog caused you to forget you hid it in there. But the most fun you’ll have by far is watching Aunt Karen open Cousin Sydney’s Cards Against Humanity. Cue another breakdown.

 

Universal Storage Group is your seasonal helper. Rent a convenient, secure, affordable self storage unit to use as ground zero for gifts. Our small sizes are perfect. You can use inexpensive shelving to keep the gifts off the ground, and you can even add a table to use for wrapping the presents. You don’t have to worry about making a long-term commitment to rent a unit, because we have flexible month-to-month leasing. 

 

The More the Merrier – Wrap With Friends

Better yet, if you want to save money, rent a slightly larger unit and share with friends. You not only use the space for gifts, but you can set up a wrapping station. Place a folding table with several tape dispensers and pairs of scissors in the unit. You can use it individually, or plan a wrapping party, complete with eggnog and snacks. Wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbon can be supplied by each renter.

 

Choosing The Right Storage Facility

If you’re going to use storage for your gifts, you need to find a facility that is secure and convenient.

 

Location

At this time of year, you need to think about convenience. You’ll be stopping at the unit frequently, so you’ll need a facility in your neighborhood that is close to the places where you shop and run errands.

 

Security

Cost is an important factor, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. Find a reputable company with state-of-the-art security. Look for video surveillance, perimeter fencing, security locks, and electronic keypad access. You’ll also want a friendly, knowledgeable management team that is willing to answer your questions, understand your needs, and show you around the property.

 

Delivery

As an additional advantage, many self-storage facilities accept deliveries. You can spend a day shopping on the internet and have all of your items shipped to your storage facility: the ultimate in convenience.

 

Climate Control

If you live in an area that’s subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, opting for a climate-controlled unit will be better for you and your gifts. If you plan to share with friends and spend time wrapping gifts in the unit, you want to be comfortable and you want your gifts to be protected from damage and humidity. 

 

Insurance

One last thought. Don’t forget to check with your insurance agent to verify that your gifts are covered under your homeowners’ or renters’ policy. If your policy does not cover these items, you can purchase insurance from your storage company.

 

You’ll be surprised at how much less stressful your life will be with a safe, comfortable hiding place for your gifts, especially if you bought one of the kids an electric ride-on car. You won’t have to store it in your neighbor’s living room for two months. Merry Christmas!

Self Storage to the Rescue: Get Your Guest Room Ready for the Holidays

The holidays are approaching quickly. Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are slowly creeping into your already cluttered brain. If you’re expecting overnight guests, you need to get ready now – not when their plane is 15 minutes away from arrival.

Greeting guests at the front door and realizing that you have to excuse yourself to empty drawers and make closet space in the guest room is not a good look. It sets the tone for the entire experience.

If you want to make your holiday guests feel like kings and queens (and don’t forget the little princes and princesses), follow the tips in this article. They may want to stay a few extra days (uh-oh)!

 

Make Your Guests Contented and Comfortable

 

General Tips

Clean the House

This is a no-brainer and your motivation to get rid of the clutter. It’s time to get a self-storage unit if you don’t already have one. It’s a place for the extra clutter and furniture crowding the guest room. You and your guests will have a much more enjoyable experience in a tidy house. For more information read Put that Clutter in Self Storage and Get On with Your Life.

Be Ready with Snacks and Drinks

Stock the fridge and pantry with snacks and drinks that you know your guests will enjoy. Don’t forget the littles; have plenty of juice boxes, fruit, and crackers.

Plan in Advance for Entertainment

You know your guests (I hope), so you’ll be aware of the activities they’ll enjoy. There are plenty of holiday events at this time of year. Shopping trips, craft fairs, tree lightings, concerts, and local cuisine are all at the top of the list. This doesn’t mean you have to pack every day with endless adventures, but it helps to have some back-up plans. You can always just hang out and watch A Christmas Story.

Remember the Kids

If there are children in the mix, remember to accommodate their needs. Baby proof where necessary. You can put all of those valuables in your self-storage unit with the extra furniture from the guest room. Parents should be able to relax and not spend their entire time reprimanding a child for touching valuable pieces or sticking their little fingers into light sockets. Make sure that you have a few board games and simple (not messy) crafts for elementary-aged kids. They will undoubtedly bring their own technology.

 

Bedrooms & Bathrooms

Drawer & Closet Space

Remember to clean out several dresser drawers for guests to use and provide a luggage rack for their suitcases. And don’t forget to make room in the closet and add extra hangers.

Clean Linens

It goes without saying that the beds will be made with clean sheets, blankets, and cozy comforters. Be sure to have extras so that everyone is comfortable. Buy fluffy new towels for the guest bathroom, and have plenty of extras in a cute basket. Provide another basket for dirty towels so that you can throw them in the wash every day. Don’t forget a decorative container of extra toiletries in case one of your guests is forgetful: soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. 

Extra Touches

Provide a pretty tray with bottled water, granola bars, and fruit. A vase of fresh flowers or live plants are always nice touches. If you want a festive touch, add a small tree and a few holiday decorations. Arrange a variety of books and magazines on the night table, and don’t forget nightlights in both bedroom and bathroom.

Technology

Leave a note card with your Wi-Fi password and TV remote instructions in a convenient spot in the guest room.

It looks like you’re ready. Bring on the company, but don’t waste a lot of time worrying about the “perfect experience.” Being  with friends and family is the perfect experience. Use the time to have fun and make memories! Take tons of pictures and share special moments. Happy Holidays!

Low Cost Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience

At USG, We’ve Got You Covered. Learn how you can use low cost technology to enhance the customer experience in this quick video shot at one of the nation’s best new storage facilities.

Choosing the Right Self Storage Facility for Your RV

Even the most avid RVers need to store their vehicle for at least part of the year. Leaving it in your driveway, backyard, or the street in front of your home may not cost anything; but that isn’t always the best option. If you leave the RV in your driveway or yard, it’s not only inconvenient for you but an eyesore for your neighbors and may be against your HOA restrictions. Unless you use the proper covering, environmental damage caused by the sun, rain, and snow is inevitable.

Building a garage that is specifically designed for your RV can be a good choice if you’re constructing a custom home, but it can affect resale value if and when you try to sell your home. Building codes and HOA restrictions could make it impractical or even impossible to add to an existing garage or build a separate RV-sized structure.

If you want to avoid the hassle that comes with storing your RV at home, your best option is to find a self-storage facility. Many storage facilities provide indoor storage and some even boast climate-controlled storage for your home away from home. If you decide that this is the way to go, read below to understand how to find the right facility and prepare your vehicle for storage.

 

Check the Self-Storage Facility

Be sure to pick a reputable facility for your recreational vehicle. Convenience is important, but security should be your main concern. Check the following guidelines:

  1. Visit several facilities before making a commitment.
  2. Verify the reputation of the facility by checking reviews. Ask about break-ins and vandalism. 
  3. The facility should be clean, well-lit, and well maintained.
  4. Check that there is 24-hour recorded surveillance with motion sensors.
  5. Verify that electronic gates are accessible only by security code.
  6. Look for sturdy perimeter fencing.
  7. The facility should have regular, posted hours during which time you can enter the premises.
  8. There should be an on-site manager, and staff should perform regular walk throughs.
  9. Typically there are three types of RV storage: outdoor, covered, and indoor. Consider your needs and availability before making your final decision.

Outdoor, Uncovered Storage

This is the most affordable option, and it offers the widest range of sizes. Your vehicle will be exposed to the elements; but If weather isn’t a concern and cost is, this could be your best option. These spaces can hold everything from Class A motorhomes to small pop-up campers and tow trailers. If you’re using this type of storage, you should consider a high-quality cover.

Covered Storage

Covered storage offers shade and provides some protection from the elements. This storage is also less expensive than indoor, and close to that of outdoor, uncovered. Almost all RV and trailer sizes can fit in these spaces. A good cover helps to shield your vehicle from the weather. Both uncovered and covered storage are the best options for short-term storage.

Indoor Storage

This is the best solution, especially for long-term storage. Indoor units are more costly, but they provide ultimate protection. Not only will your RV be protected from the weather, but you may find that some facilities offer a climate-controlled option. Security won’t be as much of a concern because along with the conventional storage features available, you’ll have a space with a unit lock.

 

Prepare Your RV for Storage

 

  1.  Drain All Tanks – Drain the fresh water holding tanks as well as the black and grey holding tanks.
  2.  Drain the Water Heater – Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve.  Caution:  Do not drain when the water is hot!
  3.  Remove Food and Supplies – This seems obvious, but even that forgotten bag of unopened chips can attract bugs.  In any case, food left for long periods of time will become moldy and/or inedible.
  4.  Disconnect the Refrigerator and Leave the Door Open – Leaving the refrigerator door open prevents stale air and condensation that can ultimately cause mold.
  5.  Use RV-Approved Non-Toxic Antifreeze – To keep your pipes from freezing during frigid weather use RV-approved, non-toxic antifreeze so that you don’t poison your water.
  6. Pressurize Your System – Start with the faucet closest to the water pump and slowly open the hot and then the cold valves until the antifreeze appears.
  7. Cover External Vents to Prevent Pests – Don’t let your RV become a home for pests during an extended storage time.
  8. Check Roof Condition – Repair any holes or damage to your roof.
  9. Coat Your RV With Wax – If you give your RV a coat of wax prior to storage, it will not only look brighter the next time you’re ready to use it, but you’ll give it an added layer of protection from the weather.

At Universal Storage locations, we have state-of-the-art security features so you won’t have to worry needlessly. Here are some additional tips on doing the best job of getting your RV ready for storage. Enjoy your travels!

On the Move & Anne Ballard: Using Your Branded Moving Truck for Good

Using a branded Moving Truck, self storage operators can make a positive impact in their community in many ways. USG’s Anne Ballard joins On The Move to encourage operators to “think outside the box” and put that rolling billboard to use for the greater good.

 

 

 

Your Boat is a Big Investment: Keep it Safe and Protected in Self Storage

Unless you’re the captain of the Flying Dutchman, the legendary ghost ship doomed to forever sail the oceans, it’s that time of year to think about storing your watercraft for the colder months.

It can be very costly to store your boat at the marina for the winter months or when you’re unable to use it for an extended period of time. Trying to store it at home is inconvenient and can be a security risk. It takes up space in your driveway or elsewhere on your property and is exposed to theft and vandalism. A better solution would be to store your boat in a conventional storage unit that has sufficient space for your boat and trailer, or a secure outdoor parking area. Your jet skis, kayaks, and canoes can be stored right along with your boat. Storing with us is far less hassle for you and a safe, secure option for all your watercraft.

Here are some tips to help you get your boat prepared for storage. Some extra work now will have your boat in pristine condition and waiting for you when the warmer weather arrives.

 

Get Your Boat Ready for Storage

 

  • Clean the Hull and Deck

You’ll be storing your boat for an entire season. You want it clean and free of last summer’s trash when you’re ready to put it in the water next summer.

 

  • Add a Fuel Stabilizer and Fill the Tank

Condensation can form in an empty gas tank, causing corrosion or worse if the moisture freezes. Fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening and your fuel will be ready to go when you are.

 

  • Change the Oil

Water or acids that have gotten into your oil can corrode the engine. Change the filter and flush it out so that no water remains. Then, add new oil.

 

  • Refresh the Coolant System

Drain the current coolant, flush with water, and fill with fresh antifreeze. Make sure you’ve diluted the antifreeze to specification. This will protect your engine from freezing and corrosion.

 

  • Disconnect the Battery

Don’t allow your battery to drain over the winter. Disconnect it and top it off with distilled water. Charge it periodically to make sure it’s ready to go when you hook it back up to your boat.

 

  • Grease the Steering Mechanism

Grease the steering and control mechanisms so that they will be moving smoothly when it’s time to take the boat out again.

 

  • Remove the Drive Belts

Before storing your boat, loosen or remove the drive belts. They may crack under the stress of being kept under tension for long periods of time.

 

  • Maintain the Interior of Your Boat

If you have electronics in your boat, they are vulnerable to extreme cold and moisture. Remove them prior to storage. Leather, canvas, and any other organic fabrics should be removed to prevent mold and mildew. Empty the water tanks and run antifreeze through the pipes.

 

  • Wash and Wax the Exterior

Cover the body of your boat with wax. This will prevent rust from corroding your boat’s exterior and is particularly important if you are storing your boat outside.

 

  • Use A Cover

cover is not merely an accessory, it is a necessity. A cover can be a significant investment, but it will protect your boat from moisture, mold, fading, cracking and animals as well as being a theft deterrent.   

Here at Universal Storage we can offer you a convenient, affordable, and secure facility to not only store, but protect your watercraft. Any one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss your boat storage options.

Spooky Self Storage: Be Careful When You Store Your Halloween Decorations

Goblins and witches and werewolves, oh my! It’s that spooky time of year again, and Halloween is only a few weeks away. You’re busy carving pumpkins, decorating your front yard, and buying Halloween treats. Decorations for this scary night have come a long way in the last decade. In the past, a glowing jack-o-lantern was the traditional decoration. If you carved one with unique features, it was a big deal. Now we have everything from strings of purple and orange lights to a 6 foot animated Freddy Kreuger.

 

Costumes have also evolved through the years, and there is no shortage of ideas. Specialty Halloween stores lure you with a variety of weird costumes and frightening masks, and they’re not inexpensive. You can be anything from a glittering emoji to Demogorgon from Stranger Things. Couples, group and family costumes are available in everything from Scooby Doo to Harry Potter. There are no limits to your Halloween vision.

 

After a festive night of trick or treating, you’ll want to put those costumes and decorations back into your self storage unit. Deflate your inflatables, pack up those costumes, and bubble wrap the animatronics. But, be warned, there are certain spooky creatures that you may want to avoid storing in your unit. 

 

If You Store These Spooky Creatures, Be Ready for Trouble

Skeletons

That bag of bones looks harmless enough, but they have some nasty habits. Skeletons love to dress up. They will tear open your bags and boxes to find their idea of a perfect outfit (don’t ask). After they dress up they “party like it’s your birthday.” Their idea of a good time is making a mess (just like your kids). They’ll tear open boxes, overturn shelving and then break down the rolling door so that they can find the nearest graveyard and hang out with the “walking dead.”

 

Witches

Witches are the mean girls of the netherworld. Their idea of a good time is casting spells on creatures and humans that they don’t like. Remember The Craft? If you put them in your storage unit they’re sure to make trouble with the ghouls and werewolves. Before long they will be fighting with all of the other creatures and lighting fires under the cauldron so they can brew magic potions. Try explaining that to the fire department.

 

Ghouls

Ghouls drool. There’s no getting around it. They will slobber all over everything in the unit. You’ll have creepy mold and mildew everywhere. And when they slobber into the witch’s cauldron, there will be an argument that will make an eruption at Mt. St. Helens look like the overflow from a shaken can of Coke. The screeching and howling will wake the dead, who will join the party.

 

Ghosts

Ghosts are quiet. They won’t make much noise, and they’ll walk through boxes and walls without destroying any of your stored items. But you’ll be sorry if you store them in your unit. They are super mischievous. These ghostly troublemakers will fly all over the property trying to scare the staff and prospective customers. If you store paperwork in your unit, they’ll rearrange it and change names and numbers. They’ll put your Christmas ornaments in with your Easter baskets and change the lock on your unit. It’s time to buy some bolt cutters.

 

Werewolves

Storing a werewolf in your unit is just asking for trouble. Because of their shape-shifting power, you might think you’re storing a cute little lion cub. But, as soon as you close and lock the door, that huge werewolf will break out and start looking for dinner. If he decides to bring his meal back to his new home and eat in the unit, you’ll be overrun with creatures of a different variety.

 

Vampires

Never store vampires and werewolves in the same unit. Everything you own will be bloodstained and covered in bite marks. There will be some ugly conflicts because they have a strong dislike for each other. Vampires think of themselves as aristocratic, whereas werewolves are more laid back. Think Prince Philip and Larry the Cable Guy. Be sure to visit only during the day, and keep your wooden stake and silver bullets handy. If there’s a confrontation, you don’t want to be in the middle. They clearly don’t like each other. It’s really an issue of superiority complexes: who is the bigger, badder creature? 

 

Take Away

You all know we’re only kidding. These creatures don’t really exist. You buy them at the Halloween store in the form of animatronics, inflatables, or just plain old decorations, use them for Halloween and then put them in storage. This was all just a crazy Halloween joke. Or was it?