6 Long-Term Storage Tips You’ll Want to Save

Whether you’re always traveling for business, away at university, living in a smaller space, or simply don’t want to be tied down to a permanent address, there’s a solution to your storage needs: Long-term storage. Long-term storage gives you the accessibility to your belongings you want, when you want it, while also affording you a higher level of flexibility when it comes to living arrangements. 

Follow these six long-term storage tips to get the most out of your investment:

  1. Just Say No to Plastic Bags- Contrary to popular belief, loose-plastic bags don’t protect your belongings from moisture. In fact, they encourage moisture-building properties that can damage or destroy your possessions, especially over long-term use.

  2. Prep Furniture Properly- Before going into long-term storage, all furniture should be properly cleaned and, if applicable, treated with polish. Disassemble any furniture you can, like tables and chairs, to get the most out of your space, and then drape a clean, 100% cotton, white sheet over it to keep it clean while also avoiding color transfer stains.  

  3. Invest in Quality Totes or Boxes- It may cost a little now, but in the long run, you’ll be glad that you spent the extra money to keep your belongings safe and organized. This will not only make things easily stackable, but you’ll also be able to label everything for accessibility. 

  4. Elevate or Create a Layer of Protection- Laying a tarp or sheet on the floor or using pallets to elevate your belongings will encourage airflow in your unit and also protect your things from potential moisture. Want even better moisture protection? Consider climate-controlled storage.

  5. Vacuum-Seal Fabric- Keep your wardrobe, curtains, and other fabrics in top shape and save valuable space with vacuum-sealed bags. These affordable packing solutions are simple to use and make a big difference.  

  6. Be Mindful of Placement- When it comes to packing your belongings in your unit, take the time to consider what you’ll need regular access to—like clothes and important documents—and what will remain there until you take it out once and for all—like furniture. Keep important things upfront to avoid digging through all your belongings for your birth certificate or favorite sweater.

Now that you understand how to properly utilize long-term storage, it’s time to find the storage company you can trust to keep your belongings safe while you’re away from them. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to give them a climate-controlled, secure and affordable home.

Keep These 7 Things Cool In Climate-Controlled Storage

Not all self-storage companies offer climate-control, so many people assume it’s a perk, not a necessity, or that it’s a fancy way to say air conditioning. Climate-controlled storage is actually vital to protecting heat- and cold-sensitive items with stable humidity and temperature levels.

Most people don’t realize just how many of their belongings require this level of control—here are the top seven:

  1. Wine
    If your wine is fine enough to put in storage, it’s fine enough to need temperature control. Stored in uncontrolled temperatures, wine may develop an oxidized, metallic taste. It’s best stored on its side in a 12- to 13-degree Celsius environment.

  2. Wooden Furniture
    Wooden furniture is very susceptible to moisture, which may cause it to warp, crack, or rot. Climate-controlled storage will keep your wooden bed frame, nightstand, table and chairs, and other furniture in the condition in which you left it.

  3. Instruments
    Instruments may seem durable, but they’re actually quite delicate. Humidity is the greatest enemy of musical instruments, especially pianos, which have over 15,000 glued joints that can come apart and strings that are susceptible to rust. Brass instruments can develop bacteria and corrosion, whereas woodwind instruments can warp and crack over time.

  4. Leather Furniture
    Leather is incredibly sensitive to both hot and cold, so it’s vital that it’s stored in the proper climate. When stored somewhere with major shifts of temperature, it can easily develop discoloration and mildew from moisture exposure.

  5. Artwork
    If you want to maintain the integrity of your art—whether it’s truly fine art or simply has sentimental value—climate control is a must. Humidity can create a number of deterioration risks, from cracked paint, fiber-breakdown, and faded dye, to cloudy glass, yellowing paper, and mold and bacteria growth.

  6. Pictures
    Physical pictures are a rarity nowadays, so it’s even more important to preserve the ones you do have—especially older photographs of ancestors that can never be duplicated again. Your precious memories should be stored in Photograph Activity Test-approved (PAT) boxes and albums that were designed specifically for this purpose, and that should be stored in a climate-controlled environment to avoid deterioration.

  7. Household Appliances
    This may be the one category of items people least consider when it comes to climate control. However, the electronic and mechanical parts of appliances like dishwashers, ovens, washers and dryers, refrigerators, and microwaves can irreparably crack and rust. Mildew is also a big risk for these items.

Now that you understand just how important climate-controlled storage is for your belongings, you’re ready to find the storage company you can trust to keep them safe. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a climate-controlled, secure and affordable home for your belongings.

5 Tips For Storing Photos In A Snap

A picture may be worth a thousand words—but that moment frozen in time is priceless. The art of print photographs has been steadily declining since digital cameras joined the scene, but nothing has been as detrimental to photography printing than the smartphone. It’s not hard to see why when you consider that over 1.2 trillion pictures are taken every year with a smartphone. Years ago, you had to print your pictures to find out if there were any “keepers,” but now you can simply take another one…or 50. And thanks to social media and cloud storage, these memories can be stored digitally, if not physically.

But what about the pictures you, your family, your friends, and even your ancestors took the time to develop? The ones that only exist as a single photograph, with no way to recover if they’re lost or damaged? Those pictures need to be preserved properly today to stand the test of time tomorrow—here are five tips on how:

  1. Safety First. Avoid storing your pictures any place they would be vulnerable to things outside your control. Does your basement flood in bad storms? Is your attic home to the neighborhood’s critters? Don’t keep your pictures in potentially-hazardous places and risk losing them forever.
  2. Location, Location, Location. When stored improperly, your precious mementos can degrade over time. Photographs are printed on paper with ink and pigments, all of which need optimal humidity, temperature, and light conditions to retain their quality. In a humid environment, your prints are subject to mold and moisture, which can make ink run and cause them to stick to one another. Storage temperature should remain below 23 degree Celsius and stay consistent throughout the year. They should also be kept in a dark location to avoid fading, especially from UV and florescent lights.
  3. Be Positive About Negatives. If you’re lucky enough to still have the negatives to your pictures, consider them a valuable back-up method that can’t be recovered if treated improperly. You should always handle your negatives with clean hands, free of even lotion, and touch only the edges, as the natural oils in your skin can cause irreparable damage.
  4. Contain Your Memories. Whether you choose to collect your pictures in a box or display them in an album, it’s important to choose the correct type. Look for special photo boxes and albums that state they are acid-, lignin-, and PVC-free. Avoid using tape or glue, mounting to anything other than archival paper, using paperclips or rubber bands to hold together, storing in envelopes, and writing on the back of pictures.
  5. Go Digital. While having the originals of your pictures—especially ones that have been handed down generations—is the purest way to enjoy them, there’s nothing wrong with having a back-up system…or two…in place in case the worst happens. Scan your pictures into a secure database and also save the digital files to at least one flash drive, so you can enjoy access to your best memories no matter what life throws at you.

Now you understand how to properly preserve your cherished memories, but what if you don’t have the space to keep hundreds or even thousands of photographs? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a safe, secure, climate-controlled solution to your picture storage needs.

Clean Out Your Storage Unit With These 5 Tips

Cleaning out a storage unit can be a physically and mentally grueling task. If you are planning on emptying your unit, whether to make more room, move locations, or get rid of things you don’t need, just thinking about it might be stressful. Here are a few useful tips that will make the process of cleaning out your unit as smooth as possible.  

  1. Don’t Tackle It All at Once. Depending on what you have in your storage unit, you might need to divide the job into a few different trips. Plan your time accordingly! This way, the move is more manageable and you won’t be as overwhelmed. If you devote an entire day to cleaning out an especially full storage unit, you’ll quickly run out of steam.
  2. Ask for Help. Cleaning out a storage unit is a big job and often too much for one person to handle. Get together a team to help you out and create a game plan with a job for each helper. You’ll be most productive when everyone knows what they have to do. Eventually, you’ll get into the swing of things and before you know it, you’re done! Make sure to provide water and light snacks as you work, and remember, nothing says “thank you” like pizza!
  3. Take Inventory. Make sure nothing gets lost in the process of cleaning out when you make an inventory of all the items in the unit. Cross check the list regularly and re-label boxes for easy identification. This way, your belongings will be handled correctly and will stay safe during transfer.
  4. Leave It the Way You Found It. If you are moving all your belongings to another location, remember to clean your unit before you head off. Sweep or mop your unit, especially if it’s dusty or if it fell victim to some spills. Lastly, don’t leave anything behind, even if you don’t want or need it anymore.
  5. Plan Your Next Move. If you are moving your belongings to another storage facility, take advantage of offers like a full-size truck on your move-in day. Otherwise, arrange for a donation pick-up ahead of time or ensure you have a vehicle with enough space to transport your items. If none of these are an option, it might be best to do multiple trips instead of trying to stuff everything in one vehicle.

Follow these five tips and cleaning out your storage unit will be a lot easier. If you’re looking to upgrade to a more convenient and affordable climate-controlled storage unit, contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find the perfect solution for yourself today.

A Quick Guide Relocating to Canada

Have you decided to join your neighbors to the north and make “O Canada” your new favorite song? Whether it’s for school, work or personal reasons, relocating to a new country can be a very exhilarating—and overwhelming—experience. Before you make any major decisions, you should, of course, do your due diligence and extensive research, but here’s a Canada quick guide to get you started!

  • Citizenship. Relocating to Canada requires more than an interest in hockey and an affinity for moose. There are 10 programs through which you can apply to immigrate:
  1. Quebec-Selected Skilled Worker: Limited to immigrating to Quebec only and subject to the providence’s decision.
  2. Self-Employed: For those self-employed in cultural or athletic activities or farming.
  3. Provincial Nominee: Requires nomination by a Canadian province or territory.
  4. Refugee: Reserved for those who are forced to flee their home.
  5. Express Entry: For skilled immigrants based on their ability to contribute to the economy.
  6. Start-Up Visa: Applicable to those starting a business that will create jobs.
  7. Family Sponsorship: For immigrants with Canadian family members who sponsor them.
  8. Atlantic Immigration Pilot: Reserved for school graduates or workers in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland and Labrador.
  9. Caregiver: For caregivers of children, the elderly, or those with medical needs.
  10. Immigrant Investor: Requires you to invest in the Canadian economy.
  • Money. Much like the euro, you’ll have to get used to using coins in place of $1 and $2 bills (casually referred to as a “loonie” and a “toonie”, respectively). Working off of the Canadian dollar (CAD), the bills are brightly colored to more easily differentiate their value. The good news is that the U.S. dollar has been stronger than the Canadian dollar for a while—at the time this was written, 1 USD = 1.31 CAD—so you’ll get more bang for your USD buck.
  • Climate. Simply put, the winter is a cold most Americans have never experienced. The interior and Prairie Provinces average a daily temperature near -15° C (5° F), but it can drop below -40° C (-40° F) with wind.
  • Language. With a population around 32 million, the majority of people speak the official Canadian languages of English (59 percent) and French (23 percent). The remaining 18 percent speak other languages.
  • Healthcare. Yes, the rumors are true: Canada offers free healthcare, but it’s not without a catch. Only citizens and permanent residents are eligible, so until your immigration is finalized, you’ll need to purchase your own health insurance. Another negative of free healthcare is how long it takes to be seen by a doctor, and it keeps lengthening. A 2017 study found the average wait time to see a specialist with a referral was a record-high 21.2 weeks, 128 percent longer than 1993’s reported 9.3 weeks.
  • Food. Get ready to adjust your palate and embrace Canada’s favorite fast food chain: Tim Hortons (or Timmies). You’ll find yourself ordering poutine (chips—French fries to you—smothered in gravy and semi-melted cheese curds) buying your milk in bags, adding maple syrup to everything, and craving bannocks (baked or fried bread) and beaver tails (fried pastry dough).
  • Slang. Avoid looking like a tourist by learning local colloquialisms; “toque” is a brimless, cool weather hat; “klick” is short for kilometers; “runners” are sneakers; “what you sayin’” is for when you want to know someone’s plans; “serviette” is a napkin; and, yes, we do say “eh” a lot.

Now that you’ve started a smooth transition to Canadian life, you’ll need a place to keep your belongings when you search for your new home sweet home. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage in North York or Mississauga and find the safe, affordable, convenient way to store what matters most to you.