Tips to Spring Clean Your Storage Unit

Spring Cleaning

Too much junk in your storage unit? The classic storage unit clutter is everything to toys, old magazines, outdated cassette tapes and holiday decorations. It’s not uncommon for most people to hold onto mementos from the past. Storage units are often forgot about along with all the accumulating junk inside it. They very rarely get the proper “spring cleaning” treatment that they deserve. After all, you’re storing those precious belongings, why not give it some extra TLC this spring season.

So if you wish to properly preserve those special belongings, it’s highly recommended to regularly clean out and organize your storage unit, at least a few times a year. This way, you’ll be able to easily access your items and find exactly what you need, when you need too. You will also be able to make sure that college CD collection is well kept and still in relatively good condition for years to come. Just in case you need to show your grandchildren what CD’s looked like. Another great bonus for spring cleaning…Garage Sale! Make a few extra bucks from those unwanted items and free up some space in your storage unit.

You’re probably asking yourself, where do I start? Gather the necessary cleaning supplies and roll up your sleeves! The first step is probably the most labor-intensive if you have big items, like furniture, and probably won’t be an easy task, but I promise you it will be worth it in the end. Clearing out the unit completely will help you clean out the space as thoroughly as possible and remove unwanted junk along the way that no longer serves your or has that special sentiment it once did. This is also the perfect time to organize and consolidate items into fewer containers. Everything should have a place. Also, make sure to label everything to make it easier to find later.

After all that hard work and letting go of a few emotional attachments, it’s time to put those items back in storage. The items that remain need to be divided into – Trash/Recycle, Sell or Donate. Once that’s done, immediately haul the piles to their appropriate destinations. You may have found that you’ve eliminated enough clutter that you can downsize to a smaller unit. Bargain Storage will help you determine what fits in the different storage unit sizes they provide. Now you’re ready to enjoy Spring clutter free!

Tips on Organizing & Storing Financial Documents

Organizing Financial Documents

With only a few days left before April 15th, you might be feeling a bit stressed. Getting your receipts and files together before filling your taxes can seem like a big job. Do you know where all of your tax documents and receipts are? You might have recently moved and stored a majority of your documents and files, along with your personal items, in a storage unit to help save up some space. The truth is, it’s important to stay organized instead of scrambling at the last minute to get everything ready. This process will make your accountant’s job much easier for both of you.

Here are a few tips to staying organized at home or off-site, so you can maximize that tax return:

  1. Create a System – You want to make this system simple. If it’s complicated, you probably won’t stick with it. Make sure to keep documents, such as statements and current bills in a folder that’s easy to get. Those other documents and receipts that you don’t necessarily need on a regular basis but need to be saved should be filed away in boxes.Organizing Business Documents
  2. Eliminate Unnecessary Documents – Next tip is eliminating any of those unnecessary documents, such as pay stubs and ATM receipts. Most of your year end information will be able to be found online. It’s time to clean up and remove the clutter from your desk and wallet. Remember – tax records should be kept for at least seven years from the filing date.
  3. Secure Place for Documents Off-Site – Another important tip is keeping extra copies of financial documents, like tax forms and mortgage papers. Bargain Storage, for instance, is a great place to keep all those important documents safe from any unexpected disaster. This will give you an ease of mind that your documents and personal items are organized and secure.
  4. Keep Track – Having an organized system will only work if you use it regularly. Whether you decide to store documents electronically or in a storage unit, it’s important for it to be easy and accessible for you. Remember, if you do decide to store documents electronically, such as a cloud-based service, make sure to have a protected password in place.

Use these tips to help formulate an organize a system that is right for you. The sooner you send in your taxes, the earlier that tax refund is in your bank account!

5 DIY Gifts for Mother’s Day

Mother's Day Ideas

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it, and we all know it’s hard at times to find that perfect gift.  So rather than spending all that time buying mom “the perfect gift”, why not spend it making her something special as a gift.  These projects range from beginner to expert, so you should have no problem figuring out which one is the right fit for you (and mom!).

1. Homemade Cookie Butter (Using any Cookie!)


(via A Beautiful Mess)

Using your mother’s favorite cookies, this recipe, and a few items from the kitchen, you can create delectable cookie butter! Combine that with a few mason jars for storage with black board duct tape and you have a completely tailored gift for mom.

2. A Bouquet of Satin Roses


(via Handmade Flower Craft)

Whether recycling old fabric or using new, you can create a beautiful bouquet of flowers for your mother to cherish year round instead of just for a week or two.  Check out Handmade Flower Craft for a tutorial on how to create these beautiful fabric arrangements.

3. Breakfast in Bed… or Not



Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  So why not start your Mother’s day off right with a nice breakfast in bed!  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and you can use these easy tips to create the perfect meal.  These ideas can easily be translated to a delightful on-the-go breakfast as well by reusing a cereal box to hold the items for easy transportation and storage.

4. DIY Bath Bombs

Nothing beats a relaxing soak in the tub.  Add a bath bomb to the mix and you’ve got the recipe for a wonderful experience.  Try making homemade bath bombs to make it extra special, filling the space with soothing aroma in the process.  With nothing more than simple ingredients that you can pick up at any local Walmart or similar convenience store, you can create an amazing experience for mom using her favorite scents in the process!


(via Something Turquoise)

5. Quality time!



Sometimes the best gifts in life are free.  When it comes to mom, this couldn’t be more true.  When was the last time you spent some quality time with your mother?  Make some time to spend it with her doing whatever she likes to do.  It doesn’t have to cost anything other than your time and attention.  Play a game of cards, cook a family dinner, help her with projects around the house, or just make the day all about her.  No gift could be sweeter or mean more to any mom.

How to Downsize Your Life

Downsize Your Life

smaller houseAt one point in just about everyone’s life there comes a time when one is faced with the task of downsizing and simplifying their living situation.  Whether you’re joining the tiny house movement, reducing maintenance requirements by moving into a city condo, or simply no longer needing all that extra space that kids and life filled up, you will have quite a storage task at hand that’s for sure.

How does one go about this endeavor?

You know you can’t take everything with you, so how does one downsize anyway?


First, consider what you absolutely need to live day to day.  The key word here is “need” and not want.  Items like a bed, sofa, clothes are examples of need.  Of these items, how many do you have that are multiples that won’t be necessary in a smaller space?  Also, of these items, which could be downsized in just their size alone.  Do you need that full sized sectional sofa or could a loveseat work just fine?  What about your California king sized mattress?  Is that really necessary?  Go through your list of needs and start an inventory of stuff that isn’t a need.  You can put this list into categories like:  sell on Craigslist, donate to Goodwill,  place in a self-storage facility, discard using a service or put in the garbage.

Now that you have a better idea of what stuff goes where, you can start working through the necessary steps.


The first step is to clear the playing field if you will.  Self-storage units can help you do this task.  Use your inventory list of items to be put in storage to gage how much space you need.  Choosing the right sized self-storage unit is key.  Don’t be afraid to ask the manager of the storage facility for advice.  Use your inventory list to help them help you visualize the space you will need.

By moving all of these items into a storage space, you will now have room to move through the remaining items in your downsizing project.  It will also help you determine if there are extra items that you had originally marked for storage that you actually can just eliminate instead.


Anything that you think has value but you’re not taking with you or placing in storage should be sold.  There are a multitude of ways to approach this task.  A popular avenue is eBay.  With the smartphone app, listing and selling on eBay has never been easier!  Create an account, snap a photo and list it for sale.  Once sold, you’ll have to package up the item and ship to the buyer but eBay has made that a simple process as well with the buyer paying the shipping and you being able to print the label right from home.

If online auctions are not your thing, consider using Craigslist to sell the items you aren’t going to place in storage.  Think of this site as an online classifieds ad section.  You can photograph and list your items for sale, adding a brief description, and then listing options for prospective buyers to contact you.  A word of caution though.  These are strangers you are speaking with and many email scammers troll the listings to spam you with unsolicited materials.  Also, think about meeting the person at a public place such as a Starbucks or other coffee house so that they don’t know where you live nor see that you are moving out with other items just laying around for the taking.


Last but not least, why not hold a good old fashioned yard sale?  Easy and free, pick a good weekend and post some signs on busy streets guiding people to your location.  Don’t have enough stuff yourself?  Tell a few friends and make it a yard sale party at your place.  People always have stuff to sell and get rid of so the fact that you’re holding a sale makes it that much easier for them.  Make sure they price all of their items and put their initials so there isn’t any confusion as the sales start rolling in.


Don’t have time to sell all those items that aren’t going with you or into your storage unit?  Donation is a great option to consider.simplify  Not only will you be helping the charity with your donations you can take tax deductions for the items you donate.  Well known places like Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul have convenient drop off locations but don’t forget there are many charities in your area.  You might take the time to look them up and donate to one that makes a difference in areas that are important to you.


The final step in the process is probably my favorite.  Discard, trash, throw out, and eliminate anything that is left over.  It feels so good to get to this point and simplify your life by removing all of the items that you don’t need, use or will miss once they are gone.  If it wasn’t worth storing, selling or donating, then why on earth do you need it anymore?  Throw it away and be free of it!  You will find the process exhilarating, trust me.  Keep in mind the vision of you living your simple, stress and clutter free life and you’ll tear right through this project like nobody’s business.

By Steve Reed

Store Your Vinyl Records with Ease

Vinyl Record Storage


Audiophiles love vinyl. To most, it is still the best way to listen to music. There are die hard fanatics that collect them to your average consumer who is old enough to have a few vinyl records around somewhere. Often times they are reminders of one’s youthful days and hard to part with even if not played very often.

Regardless of your motive, vinyl records are a sensitive product that require special handling and storage to ensure they hold up over time. Here are a few helpful hints on how to store and protect that collection of yours:


Keep it Clean: Your friend is a record cleaning kit. It includes a record cleaning brush and a liquid cleaner that will help you keep the surface of the vinyl free of excess debris and dust. Follow the record cleaning kit instructions on how to properly keep your vinyl clean and do so before putting the records back into storage.Vinyl Records

Keep it Temperate: Climate controlled storage should be a big consideration when deciding how to and where to place your vinyl records in storage. Humidity and heat are your worst enemies. The more controlled the temperature and storage environment is the longer your records will last.

Keep it Covered: Vinyl records come with an inner sleeve that is made of paper for a reason. They help keep the record dry and clean so make sure to put your vinyl back in this sleeve before storing. Also, each record comes in an album cover. Another great way to keep it clean and dry for self-storage. If the record cover still has the shrink wrap, remove it immediately.

Keep it Vertical: Store exactly vertically to prevent warping. Spacers are recommended and never use bookends. Avoid mixing sizes too, keeping everything the same uniform size and shape as much as possible. Ideally store them on metal shelves. Wood is not recommended as it expands and contracts over time. The main thing is to keep them exactly vertical so they don’t warp over time.

For more information on the proper storing, cleaning and preservation of your vinyl collection, click here.

By Steve Reed

Staging by Storing Vehicles

Car Storage

When putting your home on the market to sell, a bit of staging and decluttering can be that extra aide to the fast sale of the house. Any realtor can tell you that having too much stuff can really work against you with buyers. It will make rooms appear smaller and many buyers will get distracted by your clutter and not see the house as a place they can live in.

In an effort to clear the spaces in the home, many sellers will rent storage units and move the extra stuff to a space outside of the home. What they frequently neglect, however, is the garage and driveway space. Many never consider how much space their extra vehicles, boats, RV’s and toys take up.

Some of the reasons to consider storing your vehicles during the sale process:

  1. Buyers want as much space as they can get in their price point. Having your house, driveway and garage cleared of any excess helps buyers imagine how much space they have to work with in the house. Cars and RV’s take up large amounts of visual space and give the impression of less room then there actually is when left behind.
  2. Alternatively, if you just move them into the street then it blocks the front of your home from potential buyers and gives the impression that your neighborhood has a street parking problem.
  3. Lastly, if your cars are in less than perfect shape or are a work in progress, it gives a terrible first impression of you home making it appear less valuable and in need of work before the buyer has even stepped foot inside the home.

If you’re like me, you care about your vehicles, classic cars, RV’s and trailers. You want to make sure if they aren’t going to be at your house that they are stored properly and securely. Depending on what facility you choose nearby, there are a few options to consider.

Classic Cars and Vintage Trailer
  • Climate controlled drive-in storage units are the most expensive and yet highest caliber of storage for your auto, RV or toy hauler. I would consider this option for a restore classic car or vintage trailer that you want to protect from the elements. The price is considerably higher but for an investment piece of equipment, it’s worth considering.
  • Non-climate controlled drive in storage spaces would be the next tier down as far as price. Depending on the time of year you are storing the equipment, and the climate of where the facility is located in, this can also be a very nice option. Similar to a garage, it will protect your vehicle from the elements and, just like the option above, gives you extra space to place other items in the garage-like storage space.
  • The next price point down would be a parking garage space. While not as private as your own drive-in storage unit, it still protects from the elements while providing security.
  • Covered outdoor parking spaces. I like this option if you are only parking a car or RV for a short time and it just needs to be protected from excessive sun and/or rain. Similar to a carport, this option keeps your equipment covered and protected while not costing as much as the other options mentioned above.
  • Last but not least there are outdoor parking spaces that you can use to store your vehicles. Consider these options like a large outdoor parking lot where you rent a space to park. This is by far the most cost effective option. Things to consider with this type of storage are length of stay, local climate and what type of security is in place around the lot.

While everyone has heard about staging your home and decluttering it before putting it on the market, not many people have thought about the vehicles, autos, RV’s and similar equipment that can clog the visual space of a driveway or a garage in just the same manner. If you have extra vehicles that are in the way, consider renting a space to put them so buyers see your home as their new home and not a vacant car lot.

Photo and article by Steve Reed

How to Budget for Your First Apartment

Your First Apartment

Are you ready for your first apartment? Moving out on your own for the first time is a big endeavor. Just moving in general tends to be a venture.  One of the best, and most important, ways to prepare for a move is to start budgeting.

Budgeting should start well before moving to ensure that you’re ready financially. Of course you’ll want to make sure you can afford your rent and other bills on a monthly basis, but you also have to consider saving money to cover the initial cost of renting an apartment. When renting you can expect to pay a large sum upfront, usually consisting of (but not limited to) a security deposit, first and last month’s rent, and any application fees. With that being said, you can expect to pay at least double the amount of your monthly rent to start.

So what is a budget and how does it help? Basically, a budget is just a summary of income and expenses over a period of time. Income is money you receive, like pay from work or profit from investments.  Expenses are the cost/money spent on things, such as a cell phone bill and a credit card payment. By keeping track of your incoming and outgoing money, you can take a Monthly Budget Worksheetcloser look at how your money is being spent.

This can be a great eye-opener for anyone that doesn’t think they make enough money to be able to save money. Every penny starts to add up in the grand scheme of things. Taking the time to add up a month’s worth of costs can show you where you can cut down on spending.

Not sure where to start?

You can use this free printable MONTHLY BUDGET WORKSHEET to help you crunch the numbers.


If an area to save money on isn’t obvious, here are a few things you can keep in mind:

  • Eat out less. $15 in groceries can be spread out and used over multiple days and meals instead of paying for one meal and tip at a restaurant.
  • Check prices by quantity. Of course you could spend $1 on a soda instead of $5 on a case of 12 sodas, but will you still end up buying 12 sodas that month? If you’re going to end up drinking 12 sodas anyway, you could save yourself $7.
  • Don’t settle for the first price you see when shopping. With apps like RedLaser easily available, you can scan the barcode of an item to see where else it’s available and at what price. Other apps, like ShopSavvy, can alert you when something you’ve been shopping is discounted. And the Walmart Savings Catcher will scan your receipt and compare their prices to the prices of nearby competitors, giving you the difference back if they’re not the lowest price.
  • Don’t pay top dollar for gas. If you don’t wait until the last minute and your car is only running on fumes, you can keep an eye out for the lowest priced gas station on your daily commute to make sure you’re not over-paying for gasoline. Or if you’re already adding apps, the GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas prices in your physical area.
  • Consider carpooling and public transportation. Splitting the cost of your usual commute is one way to save while carpooling, but if you’re also taking turns driving, you’re only adding half the miles and needs for maintenance to your vehicle. Just like carpooling, with public transportation you’re saving the cost of gas as well as the added wear and tear to your vehicle, and/or parking.
  • Avoid unnecessary bank fees. Withdrawals done at another financial institution that doesn’t belong to your bank or credit union will cost an additional fee. Bounced checks and overdraft fees are avoidable by keeping track of your funds on a regular basis.
  • Save your spare change. Keep a jar in your room to empty any coins from your pockets at the end of the day and/or your coin purse once a week.
  • Be proactive and shop in advance.  You’re more likely to splurge if you’re in a rush.  Not only will you give yourself the time to check for the lowest price, but you’re giving yourself time to make sure your purchase is actually what you want.  And if the lowest price is available online, enough lead time should cut out the need to pay for faster shipping.

Even after you’ve moved, keeping a budget is a smart routine to continue. You might not have the same need to cut corners and save a chunk of change, but monitoring your bank account is a good habit that can come in handier than not.  The next thing you know, you’ll be using the Monthly Budget Worksheet preparing to be a first-time homeowner!

Part-Time Opportunities for Motivated Self-Starters

Friendly, Reliable Storage Advisor Needed for Self-Storage Facility!

Looking for a unique part-time opportunity that offers responsibility, variety and a chance to make a difference? Are you a people person that knows your way around the computer? Are you willing to get your hands dirty? Do you excel at finding creative solutions? Do you have a history of inspiring 5-star reviews? If the answer is yes, apply for the Storage Advisor position at our Self-Storage facility.

As the Storage Advisor, you will relieve and support the full-time Manager in all aspects of business operations. Your days will be filled with a variety of tasks, including interacting with customers, leasing, collecting rent, administrative reporting and cleaning out units.

We are a growing company with numerous locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Denver, Dallas, Houston and Las Vegas.

We specialize in providing quality self-storage at a bargain price. The Storage Advisor is expected to enhance this image by maintaining a friendly, professional demeanor and appearance at all times.

Typical Duties:

  • Operating the storage office during business hours
  • Answering telephone and email inquiries; showing and leasing spaces
  • Collecting rent, including proactively calling clients with past-due accounts
  • Completing administrative tasks including filing and vendor management
  • Completing move-in paperwork/inspections
  • Responding to customer service requests
  • Inspecting and maintaining a clean property, including minor landscaping and picking up trash
  • Cleaning vacated units and perform other light physical labor/maintenance
  • Holding auctions of abandoned units

Successful candidates must display enthusiasm, good interpersonal skills, and a “Can-Do” attitude. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, work well with little supervision, and demonstrate a high degree of initiative and follow through.

Prior mini-storage experience is not required, though multifamily or hotel experience is a plus. Strong computer and Internet skills are required. Candidates must be able to lift 25-50 pounds, be on their feet for extended periods of time, and work outside in all weather conditions. Additional requirements include a valid Driver’s License and reliable transportation. The ability to speak Spanish is a plus.

This is a part-time position.

Go Getter Needed to Manage Self-Storage (Various Locations)

Enthusiastic, Reliable Managers Needed for Self-Storage Facilities

Are you a people person that knows your way around the computer? Are you willing to get your hands dirty? Do you excel at finding creative solutions? Do you have a history of inspiring 5-star reviews? If the answer is yes, apply for the Property Manager Trainee position by emailing your resume.

Your days will be filled with a variety of tasks including interacting with customers, leasing, collecting rent, administrative reporting and cleaning out units. This full-time position is ideal for a friendly go-getter with a high level of drive, salesmanship and attention to detail.

We are a growing company with 28 locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and Denver.

Typical Duties:

  • Operating the storage office during business hours (in-person sales)
  • Answering telephone inquiries (telephone sales)
  • Responding to email inquiries/assisting in web marketing
  • Collecting rent, including proactively calling clients with past-due accounts
  • Completing administrative tasks including filing and vendor management
  • Inspecting/monitoring grounds daily
  • Completing move-in paperwork/inspections
  • Responding to customer service requests
  • Cleaning vacated units and perform other light physical labor/maintenance
  • Holding auctions of abandoned units

Successful candidates must display enthusiasm, good interpersonal skills, and a “Can-Do” attitude. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, work well with little supervision, and demonstrate a high degree of initiative and follow through. We specialize in providing quality self-storage at a bargain price. The Manager is expected to enhance this image by maintaining a friendly, professional demeanor and appearance at all times.

Prior mini-storage experience is not required, though multifamily or hotel experience is a plus. Strong computer and Internet skills are required. Candidates must be able to lift 25-50 pounds, be on their feet for extended periods of time, and work outside in all weather conditions. Additional requirements include a valid Driver’s License and reliable transportation.

This is a full-time position.

Choosing the Right Sized Self Storage Unit

Storage Space Needs

At Bargain Storage, we want your self-storage experience to be easy, friendly and affordable. With that in mind, we know it’s not always easy to figure out what size self-storage unit you’ll need to rent. That’s why we’ve come up with our convenient self-storage sizing chart to help you size up your self-storage needs.

We’ve provided a visual key of what fits in each size unit we have available:

5′ x 5′ Storage Unit

  • Comparison: Small walk-in closet
  • What Fits: Small furniture, a few boxes and small miscellaneous items
5′ x 10′ Storage Unit

  • Comparison: Large walk-in closet
  • What Fits: Couch, chair, bedroom set and small boxes
10′ x 10′ Storage Unit

  • Comparison: Small bedroom
  • What Fits: Contents from a 1 bedroom home
10′ x 15′ Storage Unit

  • Comparison: Medium to Large bedroom
  • What Fits: Contents from a 1-2 bedroom home – including boxes, etc.
10′ x 20′ Storage Unit

  • Comparison: 1 car garage
  • What Fits: Contents from a 2 bedroom home – including boxes, etc.

Packing your self-storage unit can be a total nightmare or an organized beauty. Once you’ve picked the right size self-storage unit, you’ll want to organize your belongings with “easy access” in mind. We wrote a recent post all about packing and storing tips for self-storage units with the following advice:

With a little bit of forethought and planning ahead, a self-storage unit can be well organized and your stored belongings easily accessible.

Packing Smart

The trick is to pack smart and store your belongings in an organized manner, so you don’t have to climb through a mountain of boxes or unload your entire unit to access your things. Stack your boxes along the wall from floor to ceiling with the heaviest boxes on the bottom to make a sturdy base. Create a clear path down the center of your unit, so you can easily access items stored in the back of your unit when needed.

If you’re still not sure what size storage unit to rent for your self-storage needs, our friendly managers are self-storage experts and are happy to assist you with any questions you may have. To get started today, simply find the location nearest you and give us a call.