Tips and Tricks for Your First U-Haul Experience

Whether you’re trying to free up some space in your home or making a cross country move, you could be using a U-Haul truck for the first time. Many of our storage locations, in an effort to help make your moving and storing experience more convenient, offer U-Haul truck rental on site.

U-Haul is unique in the industry because they work with manufacturers to design a truck specifically for household or small business moving. U-Haul offers more safety features than any other truck in the industry along with gentle ride suspension and high visibility mirrors to assist the driver.enefit of Driving a U-Haul Truck

  • 50% easier to load –  A wide, stable EZ Load Ramp makes loading your large, heavy items a breeze.
  • Safely move your furniture –  Gentle ride suspension and aerodynamic styling keep your furniture safe and secure.
  • Quiet, with independent seating for three Driver and passengers enjoy a peaceful, comfortable driving experience.
  • Save money –  This is important with current gasoline prices. While many trucks use acrid, expensive diesel fuel, these trucks use cleaner, cheaper, and more convenient unleaded fuel.

It’s great to have a truck at your disposal, but If you have no previous truck-driving experience, you’re going to need a little help. We want to share the following tips to get you started on your journey and keep you safe.

First Time Driving a U-Haul

As with any new experience, driving a truck for the first time can be tricky. Be sure that you choose the right size vehicle, and discuss any concerns you may have with office personnel. They have plenty of experience and will be happy to answer your questions.

We always have a selection of the newest trucks to fit your moving and storage needs.

  • U-Haul trucks are heavy vehicles, especially when fully loaded. It takes longer to stop than a car, so allow at least 4 seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you (allow 5 seconds in adverse weather).
  • Because a truck is longer than your average vehicle, you’ll need more time and distance to pass. Don’t pass on hills or curves.
  • Shift into lower gears when driving uphill to prevent jerking due to engine lugging.
  • Before going downhill, slow down and shift into lower gear to allow the engine to control your speed. Do not ride the breaks on a downgrade.
  • If your truck moves off the paved roadway, don’t panic, don’t make a sharp turn, and don’t apply the brakes. Slow down to below 25 mph, and make your way gradually back to the road.
  • When turning at a sharp corner, drive slightly past the corner or make a wider turn than you would in a car. 
  • Avoid parking on steep inclines. The parking brake may not hold, and the bumper may drag or get stuck. 

Using a Truck Ramp for the First Time

Using a truck ramp for the first time isn’t difficult, but like any first-time experience it can be confusing. The following tips will help you through the process.

  • First, open the rear door of the truck.
  • Push down on the latch that keeps the ramp securely under the truck and pull the ramp out slightly.
  • Use the straps on the end of the ramp to slowly and carefully pull the ramp out until it is fully extended.
  • Set the ramp on the ground gently.
  • Grab both sides of the ramp near the rear of the truck and lift up. You’ll see two hooks. Place these hooks over the slots on the truck deck to secure the ramp in the loading position.

If you’re thinking about towing your car or a trailer. U-Haul has an easily understandable series of videos to help with that.

Whatever your needs, our friendly, knowledgeable staff is always here to help. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and express your concerns. Have a safe trip!

How Self Storage Can Help When the Kids Are Home for the Summer

If this is your first time as a parent with a college kid who has been living in a dorm, you’re in for a love-hate experience. You love that your child is going to be home for the summer because you’ve really missed the patter of their little feet sneaking out when they’re already grounded for sneaking out last week. On the other hand, you hate that your child is bringing home all that junk that they just took with them. 

You’re wondering how time flew by so quickly. This isn’t high school, Momma. College semesters are shorter than you realize. In spite of that brief stopover at school, your child has managed to accumulate a few strange, and maybe scary, items. Many of them will be unfamiliar, and you’re better off not even knowing they exist. 

Unless you want this stuff stored all over your house, these items need to find a temporary home before next semester. You have a problem, and we have a solution – a safe, secure, affordable self storage unit.

Self Storage Saves Your Sanity

You need an actual solution to this problem, not a Band-Aid. Your solution should keep your space just the way it is – full of your own possessions and not tripping over cartons of text books and bags of dirty laundry. It has to be affordable because you’re already paying big bucks for tuition. State-of-the-art security, including electronic gates, perimeter fencing, and 24-hour video monitoring are not optional. Having any of this junk stolen does not fit the plan.

Month-to-month leasing is another necessity. Flexibility is important, and you don’t want to be committed to a long term lease. Location is another factor to consider. The storage facility that you choose should be close to the school and in a safe location.

The following tips will help you find the storage that you need.

The Right Self Storage Facility Should Keep the Possessions Safe and the Student Safe 

As shocking as this might sound, college students don’t always have the best judgment, and cautious behavior is not always a priority. It’s probably a good idea if you help them to choose the right storage facility. 

You want security not only to keep the things safe, but to keep the student safe. Look for a clean, well-lit property that is fully fenced and gated with digital video monitoring and electronic keypad access. Have the manager take you on a tour of the property, and check to see if a tenant protection plan is available.

Look for Layers of Security

  1. A facility in a safe, convenient location
  2. A clean and well-maintained facility
  3. Well lit property
  4. Perimeter fencing
  5. Gates equipped with electronic access 
  6. Twenty-four hour video surveillance
  7. An indoor unit with keypad access
  8. On site and/or resident managers
  9. A disc or cylinder lock that is resistant to tampering
  10. Do Not share gate access code with friends

Be thoughtful when choosing a storage facility, but don’t worry. There are plenty of safe, secure self storage facilities. For more detailed information read, Choose the Right Self Storage Facility.

Ease and Accessibility

You want to be close to the school and in a safe area. Look for 365-day access, with packing supplies, and moving carts and dollies available. Drive-up access and wide aisles can relieve loading and unloading problems. 

Added Amenities

Depending on the items you’re storing and the local environment, you may be interested in climate-controlled storage. Many facilities offer a free truck with move-in, accept deliveries and offer free copy/print/scan services. Check with your manager for details.

Student Discount

Don’t forget to check on available specials, particularly student discount programs. You may even be able to share with another student.

Conclusion

Whatever you decide, your life will be less chaotic with a storage solution. And remember to have a serious conversation with your kids. You don’t want them storing their younger siblings or that roommate that doesn’t believe in personal hygiene. Take a deep breath. Only three??? more years of this. Then…grad school!

Why You Need Self Storage After the Wedding

If you think preparing for a wedding is a lot of work, wait until you move into your new home together. Many couples start out in a small apartment while saving for their dream home.  Combining these accumulated belongings in a small space takes effort and compromise. 

He may have enough college memorabilia to decorate the entire house or apartment. She may have a collection of holiday decor that would be enough to make the entire neighborhood look like a Hallmark Christmas movie. Add wedding gifts to the mix, and you have a small battle on your hands. Instead of spending those first days of marital bliss in confrontation or angry silence, find a solution. Rent a safe, secure storage space

You don’t have to dispose of your treasures or even your duplicate wedding gifts. The following suggestions will help you find the perfect space.

Self Storage After the Wedding is Your Lifesaver

Choose a Self Storage Facility

Your first task is to choose the right self storage facility. Think about what you’re storing and how long you plan to store these items. Choose a reliable, affordable, climate-controlled secure self storage facility. Talk to our friendly, professional staff about options, specials, and amenities. Tour the facility so that you can get a visual sense for how much space you’ll need. Some units are narrow but have a lot of vertical space; others are wider with lower ceilings. In some cases, one layout may be preferable. Take your time choosing a unit.

Sort 

Sort items based on what you want to keep in your home, place in storage, and dispose of or donate. Remember, it’s  important to respect each other’s needs. You may think that college mascot statue is ridiculous, and your spouse or partner can’t understand why anyone needs 150 pairs of shoes. Try to find a middle ground, and a self storage facility that’s open 7 days a week. That way, if you want to visit your items in their new home, you can do it every day.

Organize

Create a general plan of how you’re going to organize furniture and boxes in your unit. It’s very possible that you may have multiples of sofas or large appliances. After you decide which item to keep in your home, having a duplicate in storage means that you won’t have to spend your savings on a new washer. 

Put some thought into how you’ll place these items. Ideally, furniture and large appliances should be against a wall opposite the boxes. Leave space in the middle of the unit for easy access. Boxes that you’ll need to access frequently should be stored last. In any case, use labels so that you can easily find what you may need in the future. If you end up storing more than you expected to, it’s a good idea to create a map. It’s ideal to hang it on a clipboard on a wall in your unit. The drawing doesn’t have to be fancy; a pencil sketch works. This way, you can easily locate what you need without tearing everything apart.

Duplicate Wedding Gifts

If you have a large wedding, you will receive a plethora of gifts. It’s possible that you’ll find yourself with three toasters, two coffee makers, and several sets of steak knives. If you’re living in a small space, you don’t want to store three toasters on the kitchen counter. You can return these items or use your “self-storage after the wedding” solution. If you’re using climate-controlled storage and packing carefully, when one toaster stops working, you’ll have a duplicate waiting. 

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Here’s a great idea for wedding guests. If you’ve been invited to a wedding and can’t decide on that perfect gift, think self storage unit. Gifting a year’s worth of self storage for after the wedding is like giving the newlyweds more space instead of more things. While self-storage units are rarely listed on a couple’s wedding registry, you can be certain they won’t want to return it. Enclose a note, explaining the many ways it can be used, now and in the future. They may not be enthusiastic at first, but they will thank you many times over the years. Self storage can be a thoughtful, romantic wedding gift. Who knew?

Takeaway

A storage unit helps to keep the early days of your marriage peaceful. Putting those excess items into a self-storage unit will give you space and time to think. Later, when you’ve had some time to settle in, you can evaluate the things you hid away and decide what stays, what goes, and what continues to live in your storage unit. And, of course, there’s always that extra perk of having a great place to hide from your future kids!

 

If You Give Your Mom a Self Storage Unit

What do all moms want the most? Expensive jewelry, a fancy sports car, and maybe a trip to the Greek isles? No. They want a neat and tidy house that isn’t full of everyone’s junk taking up space that they need for their own things. Or maybe moms just want to look at empty space – rooms and closets that aren’t crowded to overflowing. Maybe she would like to actually use the garage for that fancy sports car you’re going to give her for her birthday or turn the crowded attic into a yoga studio. 

There is one way that you can give Mom the neat and tidy house that she wants. You can rent her a climate-controlled self storage unit, and get everyone’s junk out of the house. Don’t be surprised if she is not thrilled at first, but once she gets started, look out. 

 

If You Give Your Mom a Self Storage Unit…

If you give your mom a storage unit, she’ll want you to start cleaning the house right away!

She won’t like the way you clean, so she’ll join you and supervise.

She’ll say that you need boxes and packing materials for all of your junk, so she’ll jump in her sports car and go to the local self storage facility where she’ll buy tons of high-quality, affordable moving and packing supplies.

When you move the boxes to the storage unit, she’ll want to buy a new Land Rover SUV because all of those boxes won’t fit in the sports car.

When you get to the storage unit, she’ll want to go to Home Depot to buy shelving to keep a neat and tidy unit.

When you get back home, she’ll want a cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner to clean all of the newly emptied space.

When she gets the Dyson, she’ll want an extra battery, so that she’ll never run out of power.

When she goes into the nice, clean garage to plug in the extra battery, she’ll decide that she needs indoor vehicle storage for her sports car because she wants to keep the Land Rover in the garage.

After she gets the sports car stored, she realizes she needs a massage because her back is killing her from doing so much cleaning and packing.

While she’s getting a massage, she notices her nails are a mess from all that packing and cleaning, so she needs a mani-pedi.

After the mani-pedi, her nails look so nice, she decides that she needs a gorgeous new ring.

After she buys the ring, she needs a matching bracelet.

After she buys the bracelet, she goes home and calls a contractor to remodel the attic. She’s finally going to get her yoga studio. 

Her husband says, “Why do we need a yoga studio?” ”I’ll rent another storage unit, and you can do yoga  in there.”

She says, “Ha Ha.”

He says, “I’m not kidding. We’ve spent enough money, and a storage facility is not expensive.”

They go back to the self storage facility and lease another unit.

After they rent the unit, she wants to decorate the unit and buy yoga mats and accessories so that she can be comfortable. 

She buys lots of yoga mats and accessories, but now she needs a carpet. 

She goes across the street to the Oriental rug dealer and gets the perfect carpet. 

Once the storage unit is ready with the new carpet, she practices yoga every day.

She eventually gets tired of doing yoga every day and goes every other day, then once a week, then once a month, then every leap year. Finally, she gives up yoga.

It’s a good thing that the storage facility she chose offers flexible month-to-month leases, so Mom doesn’t have to keep this unit if she no longer needs it. But, as it turns out, Mom decides to hold on to this unit for any extra storage issues that may arise. She’s thinking about becoming a “stager” for real estate agents. This way, with all of her extra space, she can change up her own furniture now and then. 

If you give your Mom another storage unit for her staging business…