Prepare Your Motorcycle for Storage

Now that the roads are wet and icy, and a clear, warm sunlit day is as unlikely as a year-long summer season, it’s time to prepare your motorcycle for storage.

Clean

Whether you have a motorcycle that you just bought and it needs a lot of work, or a motorcycle with a new chrome finish, the most important thing you can do at the outset is clean your bike. Dirt traps moisture, and moisture causes rust. This is the number one reason that unless your bike is clean it probably isn’t ready for storage. As an extra preventative measure, once you wipe your bike clean, lightly cover all exposed metal surfaces with an oil like WD-40. As oil is hydrophobic, it will protect the surfaces most vulnerable to rust from water.

Fuel System, Engine Prep, and Tires

As with anything that runs on gas, either draining the tank of gas or supplementing the gas with a fuel additive is a necessity if you want to prevent the gas tank from rust erosion. Storing gas in the tank without running your bike all winter might cause condensation in the tank; this is one thing the fuel additive protects against.

Another preventative measure you’ll want to take is changing the oil. With old oil in your engine, gunk could build up over time as the motorcycle is stationary. Changing the oil and running your motorcycle for a few minutes so it cycles through the system will help prevent buildup in the engine. Likewise, don’t forget to double check your antifreeze, which will protect against freezing, which causes condensation, which causes erosion.

Lastly, whether you are in a climate controlled unit or a regular unit, it is difficult to raise the temperature of concrete slabs that are poured into the ground above ground temperature. When the ground freezes, as a result, the floor temperature of your unit could drop below freezing. As a result, many motorcycle enthusiasts either use center stands, which suspends their bikes in air, or roll their motorcycles onto cardboard or wood. Using a cycle stand is certainly the most ideal, given that it not only protects the tire rubber against below freezing temperatures, reducing cracks, the motorcycle stand also protects against lumps in the tires. If you cannot get a cycle stand, however, you should at least get a cardboard box, as below freezing temperature could cause your motorcycle tires to crack.

Storage Unit

For maximum protection from the elements, it is recommended that you reserve either a climate controlled or temperature controlled unit. The difference is that climate controlled units not only control temperature but also control humidity, whereas temperature controlled units just control the temperature of the unit. However, if you just have a new fixer-upper motorcycle that needs a lot of work, a regular storage unit will probably serve you well.

Prevent Bugs and Pests in Your Storage Unit

Prevent Bugs and Pests in Your Storage UnitThe number one fear of storage unit customers is that their prized belongings will be taken over by pests. This fear, though warranted in some areas, is preventable if you take a few crucial steps.

First Things First: Facility Measures

The first thing you want to do is know the policy of your self storage facility. Many facilities have pest control come out on a regular basis to spray the premises. Not only is this preventative measure effective at repelling pests from outside the premises entering into storage units, but regular pest control preventative measures also reduces the chances that if any given unit has a pest problem it will spread to neighboring units.

Secondly, look around the self storage facility to determine if the staff keeps the grounds in good shape. Is there trash everywhere, or are trash cans and dumpsters closed and well kept? A trash problem on facility grounds could be a huge source of attraction for pests.

You Can Prevent Pests

Mold and mildew build up in your storage unit is bad news. If you use boxes, you’ll want to elevate them off the ground. Most storage unit floors are slabs of concrete, and, of course, with no crawl space or basement, the floor temperature will parallel the fluctuating temperatures of the ground. This can cause condensation to build up on the floor and when boxes are added to the mix you might create a stew of wet paper, mold, and a crowd-pleasing environment for pests. Storing boxes on crates is ideal for pest prevention.

You will also want to use furniture wraps for major items and store clothing in containers. Any upholstery item is particularly susceptible to changes in temperature and pest infestation. Plastic containers for smaller items are perfect protection from outside pests. The key is to create separation between your items and the self storage unit floor.

And, lastly, if you are really paranoid about pests, there are multiple pest prevention products sold at general stores. But if the self storage location is relatively clean and has pest control regular visit for preventative measures, you should have nothing to worry about.

Tips for Moving with Pets

Tips for Moving with PetsWith all the boxes, fragiles, and furniture you’ll pack into the moving truck, it’s easy to lump your pet’s belongings with everything else. But your pet’s belongings are key to comforting your pet during this time of change. As you think about moving, don’t forget your pet. Below are two important pieces to making the move with your pet as smooth as possible.

The Vet

Before you move, you’ll want to make sure you have your pet’s vaccination records, especially if you’re moving to an apartment. If you schedule a check-up with your pet you can get any records your missing and, more importantly, you can check the state of your pet’s health to ensure it can handle the stress of moving, especially if the move covers a long distance. Some vets will even provide a sedative. If you haven’t yet, be sure to schedule a vet checkup before your move, so that you will have all the relevant information on your pet, including its current state of health, and any extra tools that might make the move easier.

Your Pet’s Belongings

Moving day can be as stressful for your pet as it is for you. In the rush to move everything, you might be tempted to just throw all your pet’s toys and beds into a box and move them out with everything else. This will only exacerbate your pet’s anxiety. Your pet’s belongings have its scent, and this scent is an important signal to your pet that they are in a familiar place. When things get stressful, your pet will look for familiar things and places to comfort it. Taking your pet’s belongings away at the beginning of the move will make a bad situation worse, as it will leave your pet without the comfort of familiarity. Confine most of your pet’s things to a room and leave your pet with them while you move everything. This will help ease the transition to the new place.

While comforting your pet in a time of change, your pet’s belongings will also play an important role in introducing it to its new home. Introduce your pet to its new home by furnishing a room with its belongings, which already contains it scent, so that the new environment will already contain elements of familiarity. This will reduce the shock of transition and create a welcoming environment in a new space.

Tips for Packing Boxes

Tips for Packing Boxes for StoragePacking boxes for storage is not rocket science, although without some experience doing it you might make minor mistakes that, over time, become considerable problems. The following tips will help you pack boxes to prepare for moving or long-term storage.

 Should we take our boxes from the attic or garage and place them directly in storage?

When people place things in storage around their homes, whether in the garage or in the attic, generally much thought isn’t given to the organization of the things inside the boxes or the condition of the boxes themselves. Whether you should repack boxes you have in storage around your home will depend on how long you have used these boxes and what is inside them. If your box is falling apart, you should just automatically recycle it and get a new one, because moving the box from place to place shouldn’t be an anxiety-filled affair. If the items within the boxes are delicate, you’ll want to replace the box anyway, because if the box is exposed to different levels of humidity or temperatures, the box could break down more and expose its elements to the elements. Generally you will need to repack things you have had in the storage of your garage or attic.

 Can I just use any kind of tape for these boxes?

Packing tape uses a specific adhesive that sticks especially well to boxes and paper materials. Use packing tape and not duct tape or masking tape might save you from a headache later. For instance, duct tape, if not completely sealed to any area on the box, is known to peel off over time by itself. The fine particles on boxes can cover the adhesive layer on duct tape without forming a bond, rendering the duct tape useless. The same is true for masking tape. Different adhesives are designed to bond with different kinds of materials, this is why it is best to use packing tape over any other kind of tape when you are preparing your boxes for storage.

 How much stuff should I pack in each box?

Generally it is not recommended to pack more than 30 pounds in a box. But depending on what is inside, it might be wise to aim lower than that mark. Be sure to fill spaces in between objects with paper so that the contents to do move around when the box is moved from place to place. Generally bubble wrap for fragile items works well and paper for anything else. Pack the boxes tightly, filling in spaces with packing paper.

Three Places to Store Your Spare Keys

Improvements in technology haven’t really solved the old, eternal dilemma: where to put the spare key. Hiding it is imperative, but keeping it accessible, and in a memorable spot, is difficult. We recommend 3 easy, accessible places to hide your key in plain sight.

Car floor mat

As long as you don’t lose your car keys, your car floor mat is a great place to keep your spare key. It’s so great because, presumably, your car will be wherever you are.

Wind Chime

It may be unorthodox to hide your spare key in plain sight, but it’s perhaps a most effective method, given certain constraints. Attaching your key to a wind chime gives you accessibility and also an alarm. If anyone is attempting to take your key, you’ll hear it. On the other hand, every time your wind chime rings you might be tempted to peek outside. It’s a worthy sport for consideration, though.

Pet or Pet House

This may not just be unorthodox, but downright heresy. So long as you have the spare key on a keychain loop, you can attach it to almost anything. Consider placing the key either on the collar of a pet or in an outside pet house. That way, the spare key has a guard, and it’ll come to you when called.

Wherever you hide your spare keys, just make sure you don’t forget where they are, and keep them in accessible locations. That way, next time you get locked out, getting back into your apartment or home won’t be a nightmare.

Simple Rules for Self Storage

Simple Rules for Self StorageWhen making the decision to use a storage unit for personal or business use, you’ll want to be aware that every storage business  prohibits the storage of certain items to protect the storage units,  staff, and other customers. If you have any questions about whether an item is permissible, ask your storage manager or someone on staff. Self storage professionals are your guide to the specifics of self storage local, state, and federal laws and regulations.

Combustible, Flammable, Hazardous, or Toxic Materials

Any object that is considered inherently dangerous, like those that cause fires or explosions, are usually prohibited. These items include gasoline, paint, cleaners, compressed gas, lamp, and motor oil fertilizers, among other things.

Cars and Tires

If the self storage location has a space for vehicles, you should have no problem storing your vehicle as long as it is in safe operative conditions and is registered and insured. If you want to store tires only, be sure to check the number that you are allowed to store. Most storage units have a limit because tire disposal costs.

Perishable Food and Animal Food

Perishable food, animal food, and meats are not allowed in storage units because these foods can spoil and attract pests. Canned food goods however are allowed to be stored in the typical storage unit.

Asking a self storage professional is the best way to determine what you can and cannot store at any self storage location. If you have any questions, contact one of our self storage professionals today!

Self Storage for Beginners

Self Storage for BeginnersMoving can be tough. To reduce hassle, many people choose to temporarily use self storage units to store items that won’t be put to use for a while. This is especially true if remodeling projects are on the horizon for the new home. The following quick tips will help those who don’t have experience using self-storage units.

Couches and Beds

Utilize furniture coverings to protect from dust and mildew. Larger coverings or bags can usually be purchased at storage facilities. When storing a mattress or couch, be aware of whether you’ve positioned them too close to other furniture. Over long periods of time, color transfer between items becomes a possibility.

Tables, Dressers, and Chairs

If a chair or table does not disassemble, place a moving blanket on the floor and store the chair or table with the legs in the air. If the chair or table does disassemble, wrap each part in plastic or bubble wrap to prevent damage. When moving dressers you can use the drawers for more fragile items. This is recommended only if you can lock or wrap the dresser doors closed.

Use lots of plastic and bubble wrap to protect the corners, especially your more valuable items. Use cotton and canvas tarps to avoid dust on furniture. These covering will also allow for airflow. Using pallets in the unit  to raise your furniture off the ground will prevent damage from moisture. You can also put down a tarp on the ground to collect moisture.

Lamps, TV’s, and General Storage

When moving lamps, wrap the bases in bubble wrap or a moving blanket. Place lamp covers in loose plastic, cotton, or bubble wrap and store them in boxes.

You can never be too careful with larger flat screen TVs and computer monitors. Temperature controlled units are the best option to protect these, and other electronics, from damage that may be caused by extreme temperature fluctuations.

Make sure that you properly plan for your moving or putting personal items in storage. It is vital that the proper plan is in place so that you save money as well as time. If you have any questions regarding the use of your unit, contact your friendly, professional Infinite Self Storage management team.

Tips for Storing Books

Tips for Storing BooksIf this is your first time storing books, you might think the process will be as easy as storing anything else: pack them up in boxes and throw them on a shelf. But that’s not exactly the case here. Books are delicate, sensitive to changes in their environments. Store your books with the confidence that they won’t diminish in value.

Preparation

Clean. You might not think dust is a big problem, but it can cause covers to fade, lose texture, and damage their surfaces after books set for too long. Inspect all your books for dust and dirt.

After you clean, you may want to wrap any books with dust jackets in Mylar book covers. This thin, plastic material is actually sturdy enough to prevent most damages to book covers. Plus, in the future, if you spill something in the vicinity of your book, it won’t necessarily ruin its cover.

Storage

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the kind of storage unit you want your books in. Climate-controlled storage is best, since you will be able to not only monitor the temperature of the unit but also the humidity levels. Aside from that, you probably shouldn’t store books in a unit without, at least, temperature-control, which makes the unit immune to major temperature changes (these units typically guarantee a range of temperatures for your storage: a range in Fahrenheit from about 50 degrees to 90 degrees).

Next, boxes, bags, or totes? If you use boxes, don’t use secondhand boxes, especially if they contained items that typically emit an odor (food, leather, etc.). These odors will settle in books after a period of exposure.

Don’t store in plastic bags. Not only can these produce gases after some time (which will settle in your books), but they also can trap humidity and water, forming a layer of condensation around your books. Bags can basically create the same environment as a humid basement.

Totes are usually okay for a few reasons. If the outside of the tote gets wet, the moisture won’t sink through the tote to the books (like it would a box). Secondly, there is usually extra space in the tote, which would allow for some air circulation for your books. And, thirdly, you won’t have to worry about the acid that some boxes contain yellowing the pages of your books.

Whatever you choose to do, now you have the information to store your books like a pro. Happy packing!

Mottos of the Organized

Mottos of the OrganizedDon’t let your stuff own you

It’s easier said than done. Some people collect so much stuff throughout their lives, they have no idea what to do with it. So they keep it. Then have to pay for space to store it. And the problem just perpetuates itself. When you make financial decisions about where to live, because you have a bunch of stuff that you don’t use but need to bring with you, then your stuff owns you. Don’t let that happen.

When it’s not fun, you’re done

Two questions to ask yourself about the things you own: Are you using it and is it fun? If the objects sitting around your home are never used, why do you keep them? Consider this: clutter in your home contributes to, or may reflect, mental clutter. It may both cause and reflect anxiety. Clear up the things you don’t use, the things that no longer contribute to your life, and notice how it affects your day-to-day mentality.

Free space is worth more than occupied space

When all kinds of objects just occupy space and have no other use, you basically pay for the objects to sit there. It’s like renting out space. And every time you want something new, you’ll have to find a new place for it. This is the cycle that owning too many things all too often becomes.

To get out of this rut, consider the value of free space. Free space is possibility. You can do anything with it.

The past should remain in the past

If you want a change in your lifestyle, consider the objects you surround yourself with. Are they just things of the past, no longer contributing anything to your lifestyle or the lifestyle you want? Are they things that remind you of what you were but don’t want to be? Let everything that holds you back stay in the past. Try surrounding yourself with things that inspire you, things that hold you to a certain level of living.

Getting organized can be very difficult. Disorganization is a habit, and breaking habits is difficult. Remembering these mottos will make it easier to break the chains of habit.

Tips for Storing Rugs

Tips for Storing RugsMaybe you’ve downsized your living space for a while. Or maybe you have family staying for an extended visit, and you don’t want their dogs to trample your large, pristine rug. Whatever your situation, when you put your rug in storage, you’ll want to prepare it properly.

Clean

First thing’s first: clean the rug thoroughly. Dirt, when concentrated in a small area of a rug, can form a clump, causing a smooth, hard surface on the rug. This, obviously, is completely undesirable. So dust the rug, then vacuum, and repeat a few times. Diligence will not only rid the rug of dust and dirt, but it’ll also prevent entrenched hair and dust from causing odors over long periods of storage.

Prevent

Next, you’ll want to prevent water and pest damage from ruining your rug while it’s in storage.

To prevent pests, apply a repellent designed for rugs. Then let it set for a few minutes before you roll it up, especially if the repellent is a liquid. You don’t want the rug to be wet for the next step. A wet rug in storage is a recipe for mold.

Never fold the rug. This will compromise the foundation, causing breaks and folds that irreversibly separate its material. Rather, roll up the rug. If it’s delicate, have the material facing outside, as this will put less pressure on its foundation. Either way, be sure to wrap the rug in paper wrapping which will allow moisture to escape while also protecting the exposed, rolled-up exterior.

Storage

The ideal place for a rug is in a climate-controlled storage unit. That way, you’ll control how much moisture is in the air. Some rugs soak up humidity, causing them to trap odors. But, to be sure, check out the material type and what kind of conditions it can endure. Certainly, a temperature-controlled unit or a regular storage unit will be less expensive. If this is a route you can go, it will be more cost-effective.

At the end of the day, you’ll just want to have your rug off the floor, which prevents pest infestation and moisture accumulation. And you’ll want it out of direct light, which can cause certain materials to fade. You’ll also want to check it every once in a while. The sooner you discover issues, the sooner you can resolve them.

Conclusion

Rugs can be finicky. Be sure to research the kind of rug you have and what kind of conditions it can endure without losing value or beauty. And, as you follow these tips, you can be sure that your rug is perfectly prepared for storage.