storage

Home » storage

Get A Quote

Customer Name:
Your Email:
Phone:
Moving Date:
Move Size:
From Zip Code:
To Zip Code: Find Zip Code
Comments:

Are You Ready To Move Into A Tiny Home?

in Bay Area Real Estate by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

If you spend any time watching home channels on TV, you probably think the tiny house movement is the rage. On one level, it makes a lot of sense. Tiny houses are cute as all get out and with the cost of housing in the Bay Area, going small could mean the difference between having a place to live and not.

Image via <a href=

Ben Chun/Flickr” width=”960″ height=”643″ class=”size-large wp-image-10167″ /> Image via Ben Chun/Flickr

Tiny home owners typically go in with a budget ranging from $20,000 to $60,000, but for that, people don’t get much and they don’t get the land. According to Forbes, the average per square foot cost ranges from $200 to $400, which is a bargain when you consider that Bay Area home prices can go for upwards of $1,000 a square foot. The only problem is that the tiny houses rarely come with land.

Still, if you are looking to minimize your environmental footprint or if you want portability, a tiny home might be perfect for you — as long as you go into it with your eyes wide open.

There is no track record on tiny homes, so don’t look at a tiny home as an investment. The resale value might hold, but it might not.

Every tiny home buyer knows that they have to downsize to fit into a tiny home, but they may not know to what degree. For many tiny homes, there is no closet space for even dresses (they are often too long for the miniature closets). Big shoe collections have to go and while many who are drawn to tiny homes are outdoorsy, there’s very little room for skis, rock climbing equipment, surf boards and other outdoor gear. Storage units across the country are filled with not-quite-ready-to-be-thrown-away belongings of tiny house owners.

That’s not to say going tiny is a bad thing. If I were single, I would consider it. I love cozy surroundings and I love the idea of being able to afford a home that’s completely renovated and made to look exactly the way I want. With a husband, two dogs, a cat and a lifetime of belongings though, it would be a big mistake.

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.

How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Two (Long-Distance Moves)

in Long-Distance moving, Moving Costs by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

970963_10152049856778065_1353210290_n-1In theory, no matter how far you move – whether it be across town or across country, the moving process doesn’t change. Your home is packed and then loaded onto a truck. The truck drives to your new home and then the items are unloaded into your new home. In reality, however, distance does make a difference.

A long distance move is generally defined as one that crosses state lines and is more than 200 miles away. From a moving company’s perspective, there are two main things that distinguish a local move from a long-distance move – the way the move is billed and the way it’s delivered.

A long-distance move starts very similarly to a local move. A crew of movers pulls up to your home. They might be driving a semi-truck, but more likely, they will be driving a smaller truck. As your items are prepared for the move, however, the process changes a bit.

With a local move, the truck is exclusively yours. You see the items being loaded and you see the items being unloaded. It’s very straightforward. With a long-distance move, unless you have a large home or if you pay a fee for an exclusive delivery, you will be sharing a truck with other customers. For that reason, it’s imperative that the movers take a thorough inventory when the truck is loaded and that they will check each item off the inventory when the truck is unloaded.

Obviously, it’s more time consuming to take an inventory, but that’s okay. Unlike with local moves, you are not paying for time. With long-distance moves, you are paying based on a formula that calculates pricing based on weight of your items, the distance they will travel and the amount of packing that needs to be done. There might be extra charges, like a bulky fee or a piano handling fee, but typically, weight, distance (with fuel) and packing are it. If either of your homes are not accessible by a semi-truck, you will be charged a shuttle fee.

Some moving companies will try to charge you for volume instead of weight. The best advice that can be given if you encounter one of these companies is to run and run fast. When you are being charged by weight, you are entitled to follow the truck to the weigh station and receive a copy of the weight ticket. When you are being charged by volume, you have no such assurances and you will be charged if the mover is inexperienced at efficiently loading the truck.

Avoid over the phone estimates with long-distance moves. There are far too many variables. It’s always best to get a not-to-exceed or binding price, so there are no surprises at the end.

Ask who will be delivering the move. Your goal is not to get the names of the actual people, but the name of the company. Many movers outsource their long-distance moves to other companies. In fact, even big-named van lines (e.g. United, Atlas, Allied, Bekins, etc) cooperate with local agents for long-distance moves. If you need a guaranteed pick-up day or if your home is not accessible for a 53′ semi-truck, you will be charged for a shuttle and your home will be packed and loaded by a local affiliate (or agent) of the van line. The van line will pick them up from the local agent. You’ll want to check the reputation of the local agent as well as the van line.

If you need a guaranteed delivery date or if your new home is not accessible for a semi-truck, you can expect a shuttle and possible storage fee on the delivery end as well.

Like with local moving, all items that aren’t furniture should be packed. Make other plans for plants. Movers will typically not take plants across state lines and even if they do, it’s unlikely they will make the trip alive.

It’s not uncommon for long-distance customers to need storage while they find a home in their new location. Most movers are able to offer this service. Some will give you 30 days of free storage, some will not. Make sure you are very clear on storage pricing since it can add up quickly.

Whether you want your delivery as soon as possible or you want some storage in between, your household goods will most likely go through some extra steps. They will be unloaded into the mover’s warehouse and then they will be loaded onto the semi-truck that will take them for the long-haul. To protect your goods, the movers will check the inventory list each step of the way.

Because of these extra steps, it’s always a good idea to purchase extra insurance. Federal law only covers your items for $.60 per pound per article. In other words, if a 20 pound LED TV breaks, you will only be covered for $12.00. Movers should offer insurance if your homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover the move or allow you to purchase a rider for the move.

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part One (Local Moves)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Three (Short Hauls)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Four (International Moves)

 

How to Move Heavy Furniture Without Killing Your Back (VIDEO)

in Uncategorized by Wendy Gittleson 1 Comment

The movers are gone. After looking around your new home – where everything is placed exactly as you had directed – you decide that it’s just not right. Absent those highly capable men (and women) you just sent on your way, how do you move heavy furniture?

I am barely 5’2″ and I have moved many pieces of furniture all by myself. My first piece of advice is to prepare yourself before the need arises. Shell out a few extra dollars on move day and buy a couple of the blankets that are are used to wrap your furniture. They will probably cost you between $15 and $25 each and they are well worth the investment.

If you don’t have any moving blankets, old sheets or blankets will work. In many cases, a few small pieces of a cardboard box is all you need.

The first thing you should do is measure. There’s no point moving a heavy piece of furniture to a place where it simply won’t fit.Then you should empty shelves and drawers, to make the item as light as possible.

Put small squares of cardboard underneath each leg of your furniture. You’ll find that even the heaviest piece of furniture should slide with ease. Squat a little and use the power of your legs. Your back will thank you for it. If you can get a good grip, pull rather than push. The power of physics will back you up. If the grip is awkward, pushing will be easier.

Better yet, put that moving blanket or sheet under the furniture and simply pull.

If it’s still too heavy, put broom handles under two sides of the furniture for makeshift rollers.

If you need to maneuver some stairs, lay your furniture down on a moving blanket or sheet. Make sure there is some extra blanket and pull or push – depending on whether you’re going up or down the stairs. You’ll want two people for this one to hold the piece stable on the downside of the stairs.

If you have tools like hand trucks, dollies and straps, then by all means, use them. Here’s a short video giving you some tips.

Of course, it’s one thing to move a piece of heavy furniture across the room. It’s an entirely other thing to move an entire household. There’s a reason that most movers are young and fit. Even with tools, it can be back breaking work.

What are the Best Storage Options for your Extra Stuff?

in Uncategorized by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

toomuchstuffHave you ever bought something, took it out of its meticulously packed box and failed to get it back in? Sometimes moving can feel a bit like that. In your old home, for the most part, there was a place for everything and everything had its place.

Your new home might even be bigger, but for some reason, you feel like you are putting square pegs in round holes. You just can’t get all your things to look – well – at home in your new home. You really don’t want to get rid of the table that your Grandfather refinished or the very first piece of furniture you bought together as a couple, but they just don’t work.

Perhaps you’re doing some renovations and you need to clear space. Maybe it’s time to convert the kid’s room to a home gym. Whatever the reason, having extra stuff is an American phenomenon – so much so that the acquisition of extra stuff and the storing of it has prompted a handful of reality TV programs.

As Americans’ need for storage has grown, so have their options for storing. While in the past you might have rented a nearby locker, adorned it with a padlock and called it a day, today, you can store your items in a warehouse or even in a portable container. Each of the individual storage options has their advantages, so how do you choose which one is right for you?

spaces-self-storage-02-larg

1. Self Storage – Self storage, also known as “mini storage” is what most people think of when they think of storage. Essentially, with self storage, you are renting a room. You are responsible for moving your goods into storage, although you can use a mover. Some have garage-like doors and some have more conventional doors. Like when you are renting an apartment, the landlord is responsible for the general maintenance but is not responsible for your belongings. While most have some sort of security, it is up to you to provide a secure lock. Blankets and other types of furniture protection might or might not be offered by the storage facility, and if they do it will be at an extra cost. If anything is damaged while in storage, that’s also your responsibility. It is up to you to insure your items, although the storage facility might offer you insurance – at an additional cost. You pay based on the size of the room, no matter how much you have stored in the room. You will have access to your items anytime the facility is open.

images-2

2. Warehouse Storage – Warehouse storage is not as well known as self storage, but for many, it’s a convenient option. Warehouse storage is typically run by moving companies. The moving company will move your things into storage and they will move them out. Everything will be professionally packed and will remain in that condition until you are ready to have them delivered. Every item is inventoried both before going into storage and after being delivered. Your items might be stored on shelves or in wooden crates. Since your items never leave the mover’s possession, they have more liability, although it is limited. In California, the liability is only $.60 per pound (that’s right – no matter how valuable an item, you are paid per pound). I’d advise that you still check into additional insurance. You are only charged for how much space you are actually using, so it can be less expensive than self storage. Access is typically given on appointment only and don’t expect to root around in your stuff. The warehouse employees will have to pull them out for you.

images-3

3. Containerized Storage – A relative newcomer to the storage industry is containerized storage. In the last decade, it’s grown tremendously in popularity and for good reason. It offers flexibility that neither warehouse or self-storage can. Containers are brought to your home. You generally have three days to fill them. You can hire movers to fill them, if you wish. You have the option of keeping the container in your driveway indefinitely and for an additional cost, if your neighborhood allows. After the container is loaded, the storage company takes it to their warehouse or parking lot to be stored. You will need to purchase insurance for your items. Like with self storage, you are charged for the full size of the container, no matter how much space you are using. Access policies will vary from company to company.

How to Stage a Home to Sell

in Uncategorized by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

Image from Redfin.comImage from Redfin.com

Your home is everything. It’s where you raise your children. It’s where you breathe after a long, hard day. It holds your memories. Unfortunately, if you are trying to sell your home, those very memories might be holding you back.

There is a reason show homes are beautifully furnished but impersonal. When buyers view homes, they want to imagine their own families in the home. In order to sell your home, you, as a seller, should let your home foster their imagination.

The process of making your home more salable through decor is called “staging.” Until fairly recently, staging was a relatively unknown profession. The job of a stager is to make your home sell much faster than if you were to try to sell it unstaged. The Real Estate Staging Association claims that an average time on market can be reduced from nine months to just two with proper staging. If your home is sitting empty, cutting the time on market can save you far more than what a stager will cost. However, if you are living in your home while you are waiting for the right offer, there are steps that you can take to make your home more sale-ready.

1. Arrange storage – Unless you have a new home for your a-bit-too-personal items to land, you will want to put them in storage. I recommend that you consider this to be part of the moving process. Most movers have storage and if it’s stored in their care, they take at least some responsibility for it. It is still recommended that you have additional insurance, but a mover will inventory all items both coming and going, so there is no question about what you might have in storage. If you rent a storage locker, there’s a good chance that the room will be too big or too small. You will never run that risk if you let a mover store your items for you.

2. Pare down – While your tastes in decorating might be eclectic (mine is), buyers want to see show home quality. If your furniture doesn’t match and if it’s not in perfect condition, move it to storage. Think about traffic flow. Get rid of anything you’ve ever stubbed your toe on. You want your home to have far more empty space than full space. It will make your home look bigger.

While your family pictures make your house your home, buyers want to envision their own families. Store all pictures except for art.

3. Rent furniture – If your furniture isn’t show home worthy, rent. There are several places where you can rent by the month for a fairly reasonable price. If you decide to hire a professional stager, most have furniture available.

4. Paint – Neutral but interesting paint colors will make your home look fresh and can help make sense of hodge podge furniture.

5. Buy stronger light bulbs – Lighting will help make your home seem brighter and more inviting.

6. Accessorize – You don’t have to be wealthy to have an exquisitely accessorized home. The human eye likes to see odd numbers – so arrange your accessories in threes or fives. While you don’t want them to match (in fact, they should vary by color and size), you do want them to have a common theme, which could be color or texture. Put the largest item in the back and the smallest in the front.

7. Invest in flowers – Scattered throughout the house, fresh and dried flower arrangements add interest and a little life.

8. Clean out your closets – the emptier the better.

9. Buy new hardware for your kitchen cabinets – You can buy new doors and drawer fronts relatively inexpensively.

10. Clean, clean and clean again – I won’t sugar coat it. Living in a for sale home isn’t fun. Beds have to be beautifully made each morning. Children’s and dog toys need to be out of view. Errant shoes are a no-no. Dishes must be washed and put away immediately after using. Cluttered kitchen or bathroom counters might be a way of life, but they will take away from buyer appeal. Vacuum carpets daily and make sure your hardwood floors shine. Scent is a big part of clean. Rather than obvious air fresheners, try potpourris and the old real estate trick – baking.

Home and Garden TV has some more detailed tips on staging your home.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Moving

in Uncategorized by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

There are few things that change a life more than moving. Most people embark on a moving journey more than once in their lives, but most give very little thought to the hows and whys of the moving industry. Here are 10 things you probably never knew:

1. When most people think of moving, they think of a truck, but did you know that the first moving van wasn’t even a van? It was a covered horse drawn carriage. Goods were transported across country on rail. As the combustable engine became more common during the turn of the 20th Century, moving companies used two-cylinder, two axle trucks with air cooled engines.

2. The storage industry is rumored to have started in England, when bankers stored items for their clients, but self-storage is an all-American idea – and fairly recent. It started in Texas in the mid-1960s. It spread quickly from there.

3. Americans are very mobile. Approximately 15% of the population (or 37 million people) moves in any given year.

4. Not surprisingly, young people (ages 18-29) are the most mobile.

5. About 2/3rds of people move within the same county. Of the 1/3 of people moving to different counties, about 40% move less than 50 miles.

6. 57% of Americans have not ventured to live outside their home state. 37% have never left their hometown.

7. The most common moves are:

  • New York to Florida: 59,288 people
  • California to Texas: 58,992
  • California to Arizona: 49,635
  • Florida to Georgia: 42,666
  • New Jersey to New York: 41,450
  • New York to New Jersey: 40,815
  • California to Nevada: 40,114
  • Georgia to Florida: 38,658
  • California to Washington: 38,421
  • Texas to California: 37,087

8. The most popular reason for moving is for a job.

9. A whopping 38% of people don’t call their current place of residence “home.”

10. People are leaving cities and moving to the suburbs. Between 2005 and 2010, urban areas lost 4.4 million people while suburban areas gained 8.8 million people.

Page 1 of 11
Customer Name:
Your Email:
Phone:
Moving Date:
Move Size:
From Zip Code:
To Zip Code: Find Zip Code
Comments: