Keep Your Belongings Safe: Use the Right Lock for Your Self-Storage Unit

Most self storage facilities have rigorous security measures in place. Digital video monitoring, electronic gates, keypad access and perimeter fencing keep your belongings safe and secure. Some facilities have gone the route of keyless systems that require only an app on your mobile phone to gain access. Others offer “smart” units that offer real time storage unit monitoring. If your unit isn’t equipped with the latest in smart technology, you should consider purchasing a high-quality padlock.

Before you purchase a lock, there are several things you need to consider.

  1. Depending on the security level of your storage facility, you need to decide between a medium- and high-quality lock. Don’t compromise the security of your belongings. Go with the best lock in your budget range, especially if you’re going to be storing for a lengthy period of time. 
  2. If possible, consider a shrouded shackle. They are more expensive, but harder to drill because of a protective covering on the shackle.
  3. Consider the size of your padlock and where you’ll be using it. You want it to fit, and you don’t want to buy an industrial-sized padlock for a small unit.
  4. If you’re considering a regular vs. a disc padlock, the disc padlock actually provides better security. Some say these are the best locks for storage units because there is virtually no space to use bolt cutters.
  5. A combination lock isn’t recommended. It’s better used for your kid’s school locker. Combination locks may deter a lazy thief; but, even for an amateur, they are easily snipped with a bolt cutter.
  6. Be sure that your padlock is made of materials that will provide strength, hardness, longevity, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Common materials that will provide these qualities are steel, alloy steel, aluminum, carbides, and brass. 

Best Storage Unit Padlocks for 2020

According to Locksmith Nerd, following are some of the best padlocks for 2020:

ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock

The ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock is the top pick for 2020. It does not compromise in design and has a tensile strength of 25,000 pounds.

Pros

  • High Security
  • Well made, heavy duty
  • Worth the cost
  • Excellent resistance to pulling and drilling
  • Strong and shrouded shackle
  • Durable

Cons

  • May not fit all storage units

 

Medeco Padlock

The Medeco Padlock is the #2 pick. There is only marginal difference between this and the #1 padlock. It features maximum strength, durability, and security.

Pros

  • Comes with three keys
  • Shrouded shackle
  • Unique key duplication card
  • Excellent resistance to pulling and drilling
  • High-security padlock

Cons

  • Expensive

 

Master Lock 930DKHPF

The Master Lock 930DKHPF’s corrosion resistance makes it a great option for outdoors. It’s also the least expensive option of these locks.

Pros

  • Comes with two keys
  • 5-pin cylinder locking mechanism
  • Lock works in many weather conditions
  • Resistant to cutting, prying and drilling
  • Solid, high quality, but inexpensive

Cons

  • The shackle is long, so be sure to check that it will fit your unit.
  • This lock has been known to rust over time, however it’s still worth considering as an all-weather lock. 

 

Abus 20/70 Diskus Stainless Steel Padlock

The Abus 20/70 Diskus Padlock is made of stainless steel, and the shackle has little room for cutting or drilling.

Pros

  • High quality and high security
  • Heavy duty
  • Resistant to drilling
  • No springs in the mechanism
  • Difficult to pick

Cons

  • Could get jammed on an extremely cold day.

If you’re interested in looking at further options, check the Locksmith Nerd link above.

Choosing the right lock can be overwhelming because there are so many options. We’ve narrowed your choices in this article, but there are many more selections. It helps to consider the value of your possessions and the security features at your storage facility. Having the right lock will add an extra layer of security and a little more peace of mind.

Self Storage: The Secret Weapon to Staging Your House on a Budget

Selling your home is stressful on so many levels: it’s emotional, bewildering, and expensive. Whether you’re selling your home for the  first time or your tenth time, it’s never easy. If you talk to 5 real estate agents you get 5 different recommendations on everything from price to paint colors. But, the one thing they all agree on is that you have to “stage” your home.

Professional staging has turned into big business, and it’s not cheap. On HomeAdviser professional stagers cost anywhere from $508 to $1,881. There are a couple of problems associated with this trend. 

The first one is HGTV. Watching HGTV can be fun and entertaining and you’ll pick up some valuable redecorating tips, but these programs make homeowners (and buyers) think that staging involves ripping down a wall or two, adding bathrooms, and giving the kitchen a complete remodel. This is a bit misleading. 

The second problem is that most of today’s buyers aren’t able to look past the paint colors and design the way they used to. They can’t wrap their brains around the idea that buying a home, in most cases, doesn’t mean that you keep the furniture and live with the paint. So they want everything to look like the “after” on an HGTV set. If you want to sell you home quickly, you have to do at least some minimal staging. Even if you can afford a professional, wouldn’t you rather DIY your staging and spend that money on something for your new home?

Staging can be done without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips and tricks to guide you in getting your home ready for buyers with a little help from your self storage unit.

Use Self Storage to Help You Stage on a Budget 

  • Begin by Decluttering – Remove all clutter from living areas. Newspapers, magazines, paperwork, and empty soda cans need to go. Keep closets from overflowing by removing half the clothes and miscellaneous items. You can put all of these items into a small storage unit to keep them safe until you need them. The same goes for your kitchen cupboards and linen closet; get those areas organized with baskets and containers and put the overflow into storage.
  • Remove all Personal Items – It’s easier for potential buyers to visualize themselves in your home if you remove your personal items. Family photos, trophies, awards, and memorabilia need to be stored so that they don’t distract buyers from the task at hand.
  • Give Your Home a Deep Cleaning – Before you put your home on the market, you need to give it a deep cleaning. If you’ve neglected certain tasks, it’s time to get them done. Baseboards, corners of ceilings, window blinds, and everything else from bathrooms to basements has to be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Keep it Fresh – Place a vase of bright, fresh flowers in the center of your kitchen table, and place a few healthy plants in areas that may need a little boost. If you don’t have time to maintain your plants, artificial ones should do. Speaking of freshness, make sure there are no odors. Empty trash daily and use some scented plug-ins in a few spaces. You don’t want your buyers being hit with offensive odors. 
  • Paint and Repair – Don’t let buyers pick up on signs of neglect. Remove scuffs from walls with a foam eraser pad, spackle and caulk as necessary, and do touch ups where paint is chipped and cracked. Another thought – your favorite colors may be a turn off to prospective buyers. It may be a bit time and cost intensive, but a coat of neutral paint helps buyers to understand that they have options when it comes to colorful accessories. 
  • Rearrange the Furniture – This is where you really need that self storage unit. It makes no sense to rearrange furniture if you’re going to shove it into the garage or another room, making that part of your home look crowded and chaotic. You want to show as much open, navigable space as possible. This will help your buyer to visualize their own furniture and possessions in each room. Store over-sized and/or damaged pieces to make your rooms look as spacious and appealing as possible. 

Set up the dining room table to look like a special family dinner. Arrange plates, cutlery and napkins on pretty place mats, and don’t forget an attractive centerpiece with clean, simple lines. Use fresh comforters or duvets in the bedrooms, and don’t forget the extra pillows and throws to make these rooms look tranquil and cozy. Use fresh white towels and a few plants in the bathrooms.

  • Keep it Light and Bright – Your home should look bright and welcoming. Open drapes and blinds, and turn on all the lights, including lamps and closet lights, for showings. This will not only make your home seem bigger, but it will keep buyers and agents from having to search for light switches and lamp controls when their focus should be on your home.
  • You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression – The first thing the buyer sees when walking up to your house is the front entrance. Start the showing off right by removing any seasonal decorations (they should be in storage by now), adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to your door, and power washing the front porch. A simple doormat and a few potted flowering plants, will add a welcoming touch. 
  • Not All Rooms are Equal – The rooms that hold the most importance for a buyer are the living room, master bedroom and kitchen. Don’t forget about the entryway. If you have a large entryway with a grand staircase, be sure to keep the decor simple and the paint neutral.

Don’t forget about the secret weapon to staging your home. Self storage is your solution for decluttering and presenting your home as an appealing, spacious place to make memories and enjoy family and friends. Now get to work on staging your house, and spend the money you save on something special for your new home!

Get to Know This Popular Self-Storage Packing Material

It’s a stress reliever, it comes in rolls, it protects fragile items, and it’s name is a generic trademark used by Sealed Air Corporation. Any guesses as to what I’m talking about? It’s a solution for consumers and small businesses alike, and people love to spend an aimless hour or two popping it. It’s not only the most protective packing for your breakable items, but this stuff keeps kids occupied for hours. You’ve probably figured out by now that I’m talking about the ever-popular, ever-entertaining rock star of the packing material world, Bubble Wrap. You know you love to pop those bubbles. Admit it. But, do you know the history of this humble plastic wrapping material.

The History of Bubble Wrap (Textured Wallpaper???)

Bubble Wrap has been around for a while. In 1957 two engineers, Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes set out to create textured wallpaper. Textured wallpaper – let that sink in. They created this trend-setter wall covering by sealing together two shower curtains with air bubbles trapped inside. Can you imagine having your walls covered in bubble wrap? It would be great for your baby just learning to walk or for great-grandma who has balance issues. I see no other advantages. Can you imagine having to reprimand your kids for “popping the air out of the wallpaper?” You’d have to put them in the middle of the room for a timeout or your walls would look like used plastic wrap.

After discovering that this wall covering wasn’t as popular as they’d hoped (shocking!!), they had to change direction. For their next trick, they tried marketing this “textured wallpaper” as greenhouse insulation. Apparently, their marketing skills weren’t up to the task because that proved to be unpopular as well.

Three years later, Frederick W. Bowers, a marketer at Sealed Air, the company that makes Bubble Wrap, discovered the perfect use for this product. IBM had announced their new 1401 computer, and Bowers got the ingenious idea that Bubble Wrap could be used as a protective packing material during shipping. He pitched the idea to IBM, the demonstration was a success, and IBM began using Bubble Wrap to protect all of their fragile products during shipping. From modest beginnings, Bubble Wrap currently accounts for 10% of Sealed Air’s revenue, translating to around $400 million in annual sales.

A Modern-Day Marvel With One Small Problem

Today, Bubble Wrap takes on many forms and can be purchased almost anywhere that moving and office supplies are sold. You can always find it at your local self storage facility that carries moving and packing supplies. Mailers, pouches, and padded envelopes are examples of other popular uses for Bubble Wrap.

A downside for customers who are buying Bubble Wrap has been the space it takes up during shipping and storage. In the early 1990s a group of engineers began work on a product that could be shipped in thin, flat sheets of plastic without the bubbles. The method is to eject tiny pellets of polyethylene into sheets, which are then heated. These tiny pellets then flatten to form strong polymer sheets with rows of un-inflated bubbles that are connected in lines. Customers lease a special machine from Sealed Air which inflates all the lines of bubbles and seals the openings. This customer-inflated Bubble Wrap is 40 times cheaper to ship than the original.

Bubble Wrap is useful for so much more than merely packing. Wasting time has never been more productive.

Bubble Wrap Fun Facts

The amount of Bubble Wrap produced by Sealed Air annually is enough to wrap the entire Earth, at the equator, with Bubble Wrap about 10 times.

While originally used primarily for packing, most of the Bubble Wrap currently produced is used for food packaging.

In a demonstration done by Sealed Air, an 815 pound pumpkin dropped from a height of 35 feet onto layers of Bubble Wrap survived without a scratch.

The next time you watch a TV show in a school setting, know that the backpacks everyone is wearing are filled with Bubble Wrap so that they don’t have to lug heavy books.

To survive a six-story fall, you would need 39 layers of Bubble Wrap (don’t try this at home).

In 2015, Boy Scouts in Elbert, Colorado set a Guinness World Record for the most number of people popping Bubble Wrap simultaneously: 2,681 Scouts participated.

Bubble Wrap was a Toy Hall of Fame Finalist in 2016.

Sealed Air manufactures Bubble Wrap sheets with air cushions shaped like letters that spell out “happy holidays” and bubbles shaped like hearts or smiley faces.

Sealed Air licenses day calendars that allow consumers to punctuate dates by popping a giant bubble. Much more fun than marking off the days with a conventional calendar.

Teenage girls all over the world use it to stuff their bras.

If you’re very patient and adept with a syringe, you can make jello shots with Bubble Wrap.

For added dimension to an already great party game, place Bubble Wrap under Twister.

People love to pop Bubble Wrap because:

  • It releases muscle tension
  • It distracts you from your worries
  • It makes an awesome noise
  • It provides instant gratification
  • It has a satisfying, calming tactile feeling
  • You can throw it away when you’re done

Who would have thought a humble plastic packing material could be so versatile in addition to being so useful. I hope that this article provided you with a newfound respect and admiration for Bubble Wrap. Wrapping a package will never be the same.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to popping – it’s cheaper than a therapist.