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Moving From A Big Home To A Small Home – How To Make It Work

in Storage, Your New Home by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

There are a lot of stereotypes about the Bay Area, some of them true, some of them not, but there is one truth: it’s expensive to live here and you don’t get a lot of house for your money. So, how can a person (or family) adapt to a small home without losing their minds? Here are a few tips:

Store stuff

— If your move into a smaller space is temporary, then by all means, store your extra furniture and things.

Sell stuff

— Sites like Nextdoor.com, Facebook and Craigslist are great ways to get some cash for your extra goods. You can also host a yard sale or sell to a consignment shop.

Look up

— You might feel horizontally challenged, but when it comes to small homes, the sky, er, ceiling is the limit. Hang pots from the ceiling above your stove. Build lots and lots of shelves.

Image via Amy Guth/Flickr.

Image via Amy Guth/Flickr.

Decorate in neutrals

— Neutrals with pops of colors tend to make a small space seem bigger.

Image via Modern Miami Furniture/Flickr.

Featured image via Modern Miami Furniture/Flickr.

Buy convertible furniture

— Sturdy ottomans can double as seats and many have storage. Sofa beds offer additional sleeping space without having to have an extra bedroom. Folding tables and chairs can be a lifesaver. A murphy bed allows you to hid the bed altogether.

Stop buying music and books

— No, I’m not suggesting that you stop indulging your music and reading habits. I’m all for those, just stop buying the physical versions. For books, use the library or download on a tablet. For music, downloads are just as convenient and take up no space.

Buy smaller furniture

— While a full-sized sofa might seem adult, how often do more than two people actually sit on it? Buy a love seat instead and you might be able to fit a chair that people might actually use. Buy a table for two or four with a leaf and folding chairs for extra guests. Buy a queen sized bed instead of a king. Think smaller and narrower when buying sofa tables, coffee tables and end tables, if you need all of those at all.

Move outside

— If you are in a house instead of an apartment, or if you have a deck, think of it as living space. Invest in outdoor furniture and you might be able to do all your entertaining outdoors.

Going small can be a challenge, but it can be a fun one. Just let your imagination lead the way. If you have any creative ways to make smaller living better, leave them in the comments.

Featured image via Wikimedia.

Why Would I Store My Stuff With A Moving Company Instead Of A Storage Facility?

in Storage by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

As the price of real estate rises, especially in the Bay Area, people often find themselves with more stuff than they have room. Sure, purging is great, but do you really want to get rid of that dresser your grandfather finished for you or the 12 boxes of toys your children have grown out of but you know will want in the future?

Untitled

Of course, I’m oversimplifying the uses for storage. Sometimes people need temporary storage while they’re waiting for a home to be built or remodeled or they have had a flood or just a visiting relative and no where for them to sleep. Regardless of why you need storage, deciding what kind of storage can be another story.

The most obvious choices are typically the ones you are exposed to the most. Most of us can pinpoint a self storage facility (the type with lockers) within a few miles of our homes, and they are perfectly reasonable storage solutions — for certain people.

There is another option for storage, though. It’s called warehousing storage and it’s usually offered by moving companies like Ninja Movers. There are advantages and disadvantages to warehousing and to self storage. Here they are:

Pickup and Delivery — Most self storage facilities don’t have movers. Most moving companies will do all the heavy lifting, but there is generally a charge, but you will be hiring professional movers and often at a discount. If self storage facilities have pickup and delivery services, they will also charge, but they will likely to be better described as delivery people rather than professional movers. Moving companies will protect your goods, as well and the protection will stay on while in storage.

Advantage: Moving company

Accountability — With self storage, you rent the room. The storage facility will generally offer cameras and security, but if something happens, it’s all on you. With warehousing, the movers will take inventory and tag each and every item. Your items may not be stored together, but the warehouse personnel will be able to locate every item within minutes. No sorting through your goods to find the thing that’s (always) at the very back. Also, there is limited liability from the mover and you can always purchase more insurance. Insurance companies often prefer that you store with movers because there is always a clear chain of custody.

Advantage: Moving company

Accessibility — Self storage facilities sometimes have 24 hour access and warehouses rarely do. Most warehouses will not allow you to rifle through your goods, but they will be happy to help you out — sometimes at a charge.

Advantage: Self storage

Security — As I mentioned, movers’ warehouses don’t just hold customers’ goods, they hold everything that keeps the movers in business. It’s to their benefit to have the best security possible, which usually includes cameras and guards. Most self-storage facilities also have cameras and guards, but a person who’s clever enough who has a code to get in the facility could enter your room without detection. It’s rare that it happens, but it does on occasion. More importantly, you don’t know what’s being stored next to you. All storage facilities have rules against dangerous substances or contraband, but since storage customers are mostly left alone, they are difficult to enforce. With moving company storage, your household goods would be stored next to other household goods. Period.

Slight Advantage: Warehousing

To be realistic, most storage companies offer excellent security. Whether to choose self storage or warehouse storage completely depends on your needs. If you need to access your goods on a regular basis, go with self storage. If you want out of sight and out of mind for at least a while, then choose warehouse storage.

Featured image self storage via Wikimedia | Featured image warehouse storage via Pixabay.

What To Do When The Rain Becomes Too Much For Your Home

in Local moving, Storage by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

Over the last couple of months, California has gotten a much needed deluge of rain, but our houses don’t know how badly we need it. Roads are flooding, but in many cases, so are our garages, our basements and even our main living areas. While a moving company can’t keep your home from flooding, it can help you deal with the problems caused by flooding.

Obviously, things aren't quite this bad in California, but water damage is nothing to take lightly. We can help.

Obviously, things aren’t quite this bad in California, but water damage is nothing to take lightly. We can help.

Obviously, the first thing you should do when dealing with a flood or just a leak, is try to stop it. Get sandbags, call a handyman if necessary. You might even need to build a trench, but what about the water inside your house?

Flooding tends to affect areas like garages and basements, which typically don’t have easily damaged floors, but they do tend to have items like cardboard boxes and often, furniture. The first thing you must do is get those out of the way of flooding, and probably, replace and repack the soggy boxes. We can help.

Unlike with your local self-storage company (or a big, not so local self-storage company), we have the staff and ability to take care of everything for you. We can repack all your water damaged boxes. We can protect your furniture from future damage. We can move your goods out of harm’s way and we’ll protect them in our dry, clean, secure storage facility.

Unlike with self-storage, we’ll do all the work. Not only that, but we inventory and take responsibility for every item that enters our warehouse. If there’s water damage on your favorite antique dresser, we’ll let you know before it leaves your home. We can even refer people who can fix it.

In less than best case scenarios, more than just a few stored items are damaged. Sometimes, new flooring, new drywall and even mold remediation are in order. We can help with that too. We will take things out of the way, store them as long as needed and return them when your renovations are complete.

Water damage is a hassle and for some homeowners, it’s a nightmare. While we can’t stop the rain or even the rain damage, we can certainly help you get back to normal without breaking the bank.

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