Prepping Your Vehicle for Storage: Automobile (Part 2)

Aaaand we’re back! Last time on the Albuquerque blog we spent our time discussing how to get your automobile prepped and ready for a long-term storage. We covered a few points but there is a wealth more to cover so without further ado, let’s get back to it. This time you’ll be spending lots of time under the hood. If you are a car enthusiast this is probably no problem, if you’re less knowledgeable well you can always have a mechanic help or find a detailed guide online.

Tune Up

Remove your spark plugs, and spray oil into the cylinders. Take all the necessary measures to prevent rust and corrosion in all the places it can crop up. Speaking of oil, change that filter out and replace with fresh oil.  Get the fresh oil circulating (use a wrench on the crank pulley). Replace the spark plugs.

Next, you’ll want to address the battery. Disconnect the cables and remove it. Clean that battery up well. Again, anything that can retain moisture has got to go. Get yourself a float charger and keep it connected to maintain the charge for the long duration it’ll be stored. When you’ve taken the battery out, look for any corrosion in the battery box and tend to it.

Lubricate the latches and hinges, close it up and then prop those wiper blades up.

Critter Defense

As we mentioned last time when it came to vacuuming out the vehicle, you don’t want to entice any pests to make your ride their new home. In that aspect, you’ll want to make sure there is no entrance for rats or mice to dig into. Use clothes in the tail pipe etc. Empty a container of mothballs on the floor to deter pests.

Past that you may want to consider jacking the car up entirely off the ground to avoid flat tires, otherwise you should be in much better shape than just driving it into the unit and leaving it. If you are storing your car outdoors (and you should really try to find something indoors instead!) well then you have an entirely different set of circumstances to account for. Next time on the blog we’ll look at the steps needed to prepare a different type of vehicle for storage: a motorcycle.

 

 

Prepping Your Vehicle for Storage: Automobile (Part 1)

Student heading back to school for the year? A car enthusiast with one too many rides? Whatever the reason, you may find yourself in a position where you have just too much car and not enough space. If in just such a pickle then it might be beneficial for you to rent out storage space in order to have your extra auto in a safe, secure environment. Before you drive it into the space, here are a few steps to make sure your baby sits well.

Cleaner the Better

The cleaner your ride heading into storage the better. Wash, wax, and shine sure but go further. Ensure there isn’t any dirt on the under body and wheel wells. Dirt can hold moisture; moisture and air will cause rust. If you’re looking to still have your car intact when you return to it then you will want to make sure there’s no place for moisture to take hold.

Vacuum out the interior, really well. You want to make sure there is nothing to feed any pests who may stumble into the unit. Won’t matter how well the outside is maintained if your interior has become a nest to possums.

Fill ‘er up!

Fill the tank and if the car is going to be sitting for longer than 30 days, look at adding a gas stabilizer. Any other fluids should be topped off. If the reservoirs are full, there is no space for condensation to build. No place for condensation no place for… That’s right moisture!

We’ll stop there for now because there is still a lot left to do before storing your vehicle, especially for long term. We will cover even more, next time on the blog.

Summer Moving: Treating the Heat

This month on the Albuquerque Self Storage blog we have been tackling the summer move topics you need to know before it gets too dang hot! Last time we talked about how to prevent heatstroke in your workforce (read: family and friends) when they are helping you move. But what if you hadn’t read those useful tips? Now your cousin is laid out in the living room throwing up and your friend is acting all weird. Well, let’s waste no more time. If they have heatstroke, you should get them medical attention STAT! It is a medical emergency! If it is heat exhaustion or a lesser illness, or while you’re waiting for the professionals to arrive, you can take these steps:

  • Get in the shade or air conditioning
    • Lower your body temperature by moving out of the sunlight and out of the high temps.
  • Rehydrate
    • Drink fluids! Your body has no doubt lost a lot of salt through sweating so you need to replenish your water and salts. Avoid very cold, alcoholic, or sugary drinks as you attempt to rehydrate. Those can all mess with your body’s attempts at controlling the temperature.
  • Cool shower or bath
    • The goal is to lower your body temp and submersing yourself into cool waters can do the trick. In the future if you find yourself outdoors and way from shelter a cool pond, stream or other body of water can help.
  • Apply Ice Packs
    • Applying ice packs to the armpits, neck, back, and groin. These areas are rich with blood vessels that are close to the surface. Cooling these can reduce body temperature.

Remember, heat stroke is a medical emergency and should be met with immediate medical attention. These treatments are for lesser heat illnesses like exhaustion, or to be first aid rendered while waiting for help to arrive. Delaying in getting treatment for those with heat stroke can be dangerous.

Symptoms of heatstroke include (but are not limited to):

  • High temperature
  • Altered or strange behavior
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Flush skin
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headache

 

Summer Moving: Preventing Heat Stroke

Welcome back to the Albuquerque Self Storage blog. Last time we talked about summer storage tips and ways to make sure your summer self-storage goes as smooth as can be. This time we are going to talk about something just adjacent to that. You’ve found your storage unit, got in at the last minute before they all booked up. You have your crew of movers waiting to help and your boxes, furniture and miscellany all packed and ready to go. But wait! Nothing will put a hamper on a move quite like half your workforce falling ill with heatstroke! Before you step out the door and begin the shuffle make sure you take the steps to make sure everybody comes out healthy.

  • Wear loose fitting and lightweight clothing
    • Your body has a natural way of cooling. If your clothing is too tight or heavy that can impede it and make it work harder for less.
  • Protect against sunburn
    • Sunburns will hamstring your body’s attempts at cooling as well. Wear a wide brimmed hat and some sunscreen to prevent your skin from frying.
  • Drink fluids!
    • Staying hydrated (with water!) will help your body sweat, maintaining its normal temperature.
  • Avoid the hottest hours
    • If you have the option and are planning your work day. Try to get everyone assembled and working early or late in the day. Avoid the hottest parts of the day to make sure nobody falls to the heavy labor and increased temperatures, both of which are unusual environments for many people.

If you plan your day with these tips in place then you should be able to get all moved safely with no casualties. Your friends and family (not to mention yourself!) will be thankful that everything went smoothly and nobody fell to the ground with heatstroke.

 

 

 

Summer Storage

When it comes to storage, the busiest time of year is right around the corner for us. Summer, for a variety of reasons, is the busy season when it comes to the self-storage business. Students heading home for the summer months, kids out of school and families leaving town on vacation, whatever the reason storage units tend to fill fast when the heat rises. As such here are some tips and ideas to keep in mind heading into the summer swelter.

Book early! Much like your favorite popular vacation destination (though they lack the poolside drinks, ziplines or deep-sea fishing excursions,) storage units book up in the summer. To avoid getting stuck with all your stuff on the curb, call in early and reserve your space. This has two other benefits as well. You can lock in a lower price from the spring or winter months. The other benefit is by getting your storage unit earlier, you’ll have more time to move everything in and not be in a rush once the heat really kicks in. That’s an article for another time perhaps.

When it comes to summer storing, make sure you are storing items that won’t be damaged by excess heat, or if they are, you find a facility with climate control capabilities. Items such as wood furniture, electronics, and many others can be damaged by serious heat. Keep this in mind when figuring out what needs storing, and what your options are for facilities.

Storage units can be there in a pinch to help alleviate some of the stress inherent with moves or space issues. But with a little bit of prep or foresight you can ensure that you are using it in the most effective manner for you and your belongings.

A Brief History of Plastics (Part Two)

We know, we know. How can it be a brief history if it takes two blog posts! Well, listen, when it comes to plastics, a material that has been used for thousands of years, from ancient naturally occurring rubbers all the way to the lab designed products of today, two blog posts are cutting it pretty thing. Last time on the Albuquerque Self-Storage blog we detailed the first man-made plastics in Parkesine and the later creation of galalith. This time we’ll be starting in the early 1900s, in Yonkers, New York.

The year is 1907, a rich Belgian American chemist named Leo Baekeland began testing the reactions of formaldehyde and phenol. If you recognize formaldehyde, you’ve been paying attention. Baekeland and other chemists began to realize that many naturally occurings resins were polymers, a type of molecule made up of much repeated smaller units. Let’s take a step back before we get too deep into the chemistry (that quite frankly is out of our purview.)  Anyways, Baekeland discovered Bakelite, the first fully synthetic thermoset, or the first type of liquid or soft solid state that when heated changes permanently into a solid. This would be the beginning of the 20th century’s explosion in plastics.

The era between the world wars saw many plastic improvements. Polyvinyl chloride (or as we all know it, PVC) was commercially produced in the late 1920s while polystyrene was invented by BASF in the 1930s. 1933 saw the discovery of polyethylene by Imperial Chemical Industries. Polyethylene is the most common plastic, annual production rates hitting 80 million tons!

While the most common plastic had been discovered, its far from the final destination. 1954 saw the creation of polypropylene another common plastic found in packaging, labeling, reusable containers, and textiles. Polyethylene terephthalate was created in the 40s and is one of the few plastic that is appropriate for glass replacements such as for bottles.

Plastics are one of the most overwhelming influential developments in our history. And sure, while we think plastic containers are the b’s and e’s, it really is everywhere. Phew, ok, all that science is done. Next time on the blog we’ll look at something a little less technical, we swear.

A Brief History of Plastics (Part One)

Here on the Albuquerque Self-Storage blog, we’ve talked at length before about using plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. The better security of plastic, the more stable form, and the protection from unwanted pests are all boons to the use of plastic of cardboard. Have you ever wondered just how plastic came to be? It’s completely overtaken our world. Look around you right now; chances are there are plastic items everywhere. You might even be wearing something with plastic in it! It’s a material used in just about every kind of items, but so many of us don’t know anything about it! Well, this time on the blog we’re going to go over the history of plastic.

The first man made plastic dates back to 1859 in Birmingham, UK when Alexander Parkes created Parkesine. Made from cellulose, the main component of the cell walls of plants, and treated with nitric acid.  The product of this process could then be dissolved via alcohol and solidified into an elastic, transparent material. This material could then be molded by the application of heat. Parkesine is also known as nitrocellulose and is still used in a wide variety of products from nail polish, to flash paper, and even in rockets!

Almost 50 years later, another advance came in the pursuit of an alternative for blackboards. An Austrian scientist put work together but ultimately found the material did not work for the hoped-for purpose. Later a French chemist found the means to take this material and make it usable. Like an earlier proto-plastic, milk proteins casein was treated with formaldehyde, and it made a material known as Galalith. Today Galalith is mainly found in buttons and other fashion accessories.

That brings us just to the turn of the 20th century! There’s still another hundred years of plastic history to discover! We’ll cover that next time on the Albuquerque blog! If you’re interested in continuing the lesson, we’ll see there!

Small Businesses Use Self Storage for Profit

Looking for ways you can use your storage unit past the storage of your excess furniture? What if we told you that some small business owners utilize the freedom of self-storage spaces to their advantage? Sounds strange? Well, it is the kind of outside the box thinking that gives them the edge over their competitors. Here are just some of the ways business owners leverage the extra space to increase their profits.

  • Store stock
    • By using self-storage facilities for the stock, you are able to better use your store location space. Often the dollar per foot value of self-storage is drastically lower than commercial space. Storing stock elsewhere and you can lower your rent by using smaller or better located business space.
  • As a Showroom
    • An independent businessman online said he used a storage facility as a showroom for examples of custom bathrooms and other home additions he can build. This gives him an advantage over other contractors in having a ready to show example

Those are really the two large umbrellas that storage use falls under. How they can individually be used for you may vary. Whether you store excess stock, items ready to be sold on eBay or Craigslist, or even as a stopping point on the path from construction to eventual home delivery. Even businesses who don’t have any real physical space or are run out of the home can benefit from the extra space.

Now, this is certainly something you will need to discuss with your self-storage management team. The last thing you would want to happen is to fill your unit full of stock or a showroom of your services only to find out it is not permitted and the following hassle. With a little bit of creative thinking, you can make the cheaper, more cost effective space of self-storage work for you.

Moving? What to Do and Remember? (Part Three)

Here it is, the day we have been talking about for weeks now, and likely you’ve been sweating for months: Moving Day. To avoid any hiccups, you have been following this blog and planning out your move much more carefully than any move previously made my man. Surely nothing can go wrong now? Right? Well, let’s just go over some Day Of tips to keep you on track and all your belongings in hand.

Moving Day

  • Finish Packing. You always plan and hope that this time will be different. The day arrives, and everything is boxed and just needs to be picked up. Well, if it didn’t happen, no point stressing now, let’s get to it.
  • Make sure your new place is already clean and ready for your movers to trudge through.
  • MOVE
  • Get to your new place ahead of whoever might be helping you and ensure the path is clear.
  • When dumping boxes, do your best to divide them into the rooms where they will end up.
  • Pay your movers, crack open the beer and pizza for friends. (Probably don’t try and pay the movers in beer. Probably.)
  • Unpack your priorty box (as discussed last time) and anything else you feel you have time and energy for at the moment. The more you can get done while you have the day set aside already, the sooner you can have a free day.
  • Enjoy your first night in your new home!

After moving day is there is still work to be done of course. No doubt you’ve got your upcoming final walkthrough with your former landlord, you need all sorts of furniture you had not anticipated, or groceries to restock your pantry. Keep the discipline and motivation in check and march on; you’re almost completely through the woods of work you find yourself mired in.

We hope your move has gone swell; we’ll catch you next time here on the Albuquerque Self-Storage blog.

 

 

Moving? What to Do and Remember? (Part Two)

Last time on the Albuquerque Self Storage blog we began the seemingly monumental task of the moving prep check list. Starting two months out and going up to the one month cut off, we talked about the various things to keep in mind or address early on, such as putting together a moving folder and hiring movers. Now we find ourselves at T-minus one month til the moving date. Each day the movers are eking closer, are you ready to move everything you own from one shelter to another? Let’s go over the moving checklist to make sure you’re good to go.

One Month – Two Weeks Out

  • Confirm with your work that you can get a day off to supervise if needed.
  • Change address with banks and move accounts if needed.
  • Pack all non essentials, anything you won’t be needing to get into over the next couple weeks.
  • Ensure arrangements with the utility companies; you don’t want to spend any days in the dark.
  • Confirm your moving date with the movers or volunteers you’ve looped in.
  • Plan a cleaning day

One Week Out

  • Finish packing! Some people suggest labeling each box with its contents, others to pack by room.
  • Create an inventory if you choose, numbering your boxes, Whatever method will help you confirm you have everything following the move.
  • Confirm, confirm, confirm! All plans for utilities, pets, childcare,
  • Pack two specific boxes. Cleaning supplies and essentials. The supplies for the last cleaning you do before turning in keys, the essentials to make sure your first night or so in the new place goes swimmingly.
  • Schedule the walk through of your current place, if needed.

Almost there? Absolutely. We’re so close you can almost smell that new, clean place! But there’s still the big day. Next time on the Albuquerque Self Storage blog we will go over that day – Moving Day and all the things to keep in mind as you uproot and replant yourself in a new place.