Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in Storage

Basic Tips for Keeping Clothes in StorageWhen the closet becomes full and room for new clothes is scarce, a self-storage unit can be just what you need for the clothes you’re not wearing but still wish to keep in a safe place. When placing clothing items in a self-storage unit, it is necessary to take every precaution to prevent your clothes from damage, whether by weather or pests. No matter if you’re storing your clothes for thirty days or one year, follow these tips to keep your clothes in great condition until you are ready to wear them again.

Clean all garments thoroughly before storage. For long-term storage, don’t use starch or any other form of fragrance on the clothes as it will attract moths or other pests. The place where you store your garments should be cool, dry, and dark. Sunlight, extreme heat, and moisture might damage your clothing. Extra care should be taken when keeping garments in regions with high temperatures, perhaps in these places, a temperature or climate controlled unit would be best.

Try not to leave clothing in storage without reviewing its condition on at least a quarterly basis. Leaving your clothes sitting for months-on-end could promote the growth of mold, especially if they don’t have access to appropriate ventilation. This is particularly true in regions of high moisture. Using silica gel is a fantastic way to mitigate humidity in these kinds of environments. And for moths, cedar cubes are a great, all natural method to discourage them. These will offer protection for the garments without the lingering odor of mothballs or other chemical pest control items.

When utilizing hangers, nonmetallic hangers are best because they won’t rust, and be specific when labeling storage containers. This will help retain the integrity of every item and protect against mildew or dye transfer between clothes, as will storing clothes with as few folds as possible.

Whatever you do, a bit of research can’t make your situation worse. Before you put your clothes in storage, being prepared with all the relevant information will make it anxiety-free and worthwhile.

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How to Create and Securely Store Strong Passwords

In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to create and securely store passwords. Each year hundreds of millions of consumer accounts are hacked, thanks to passwords that were easily guessed or reused after they were revealed following large information breaches. The solution, of course, is to create strong and unique passwords regularly. And the easiest way to do this is by using a password management program. Management programs not only help mitigate the worst of our habits, preventing us from reusing the same password over and over with simple variations like character substitutions rather than character strings that are  arbitrary, but they are also the most secure for this task, as they are specifically designed and encrypted for password storage.

Password managers can generate secure passwords for every site you use and put them in a list. The only catch is you have to create a master password to have access to this list. Security researcher and creator of Have I Been Pwned? Troy Hunt says that, when developing a master password, it must be strong. What does this look like? Human behavior, even faulty behavior, follows certain patterns and rules. So the main thing is to create a password that will come to you unnaturally and will require memorization. Secure passwords have plenty of things in common: they are long, distinctive, involve a character mixture, and avoid hints and references to our personal lives.

Lorrie Faith Cranor of Carnegie Mellon University says people are predictable. They place their unique characters at the start and end of passwords rather than mixing them up in the center, or use common phrases and patterns, such as iloveyou. In addition, people frequently choose passwords which are too short. For a secure master password, at least 12 characters long is a good rule of thumb. For Lorrie, the key measure of password security is entropy. “This, in computer science terms, is a measurement of how unpredictable a password is based on how long it’d take an attacker to work it out by making a guess at each character.”

By this standard, longer passwords are more secure. Nevertheless, people are bad at being arbitrary. So it’s best to find a good password program that will store and create unique, difficult-to-guess passwords for you, like 1Password.

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The NCA’s Tips for Storing Coffee

What’s worse than waking up in the morning to a sour cup of coffee: a cup of coffee that, for all the routines and tasks for which you need it to energize you, you cannot stomach? The National Coffee Association gives us a few tips on how to store coffee, in order that your storing techniques won’t contribute to an awful morning coffee experience.

“Your beans’ greatest enemies are air, moisture, heat, and light.”

The best container is light-proof and air-proof. Light will diminish or change the flavor of your coffee, and has the greatest effect on your beans directly after roasting. Light actually causes coffee beans to go stale. So the best container will be one you do not open often and that houses the beans in total darkness. For the chemical changes light causes, take a look at eLightBulbs’ blog.

Another coffee killer is air. This is because carbon dioxide is responsible for most of the aroma and flavor aspects, according to The Atlantic. As carbon dioxide leaves the coffee beans, oxidation begins, which “degrades quality by altering coffee’s essential oils and aromatic components….” Although it is pleasing to smell the bright coffee aroma as you open the sealed container, each time you do diminishes the quality of coffee you can brew.

In fact, all of these elements: air, moisture, heat, and light contribute to the oxidation process, and that’s why the best coffee container blocks these elements.

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Tips for Storing a Boat

Tips for Storing a Boat

Owning a boat isn’t typically like owning a car. For landlocked folk, a boat doesn’t normally fulfill everyday needs, nor is it normally put to use every day. For many people, boating is a hobby. So it’s all the more important that you take precautions when storing and maintaining your boat when it’s not in use. Unnecessarily stretching your budget to pay for easily preventable damages is the last thing you want to do.

Fuel

The first thing you’ll want to do is either treat the gas or remove it altogether from your boat. What you do will decide on how long your boat will be in storage.

If you’ll use storage for just a few months, fill up the tank with a high quality fuel stabilizer. Then run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the treatment reaches the engine. You should be set to go.

But if you’ll be storing longer than a few months, especially closer to a year, you’ll want to drain all the gas. It turns out, just like food at the grocery store, fuel has a shelf life. And after a period of stagnation, the gas will form gum, clogging, blocking, and destabilizing lines, tanks, and carburetors.

Dry It Out

After you settle the fuel situation, you’ll want to completely dry out the boat. This is a great time, also, to check for leaks. Water can get in anywhere there’s a leak, especially your hatches or vents. Inspect your boat inside and out and dry anywhere water is present. If you find water in a spot it shouldn’t be, you can patch up or fix the issue, without having to learn about it while you’re on the water, in the middle of a lake.

Storage

At many self-storage locations, you can simply store your boat outside on a trailer. But you might want to keep it inside, just in case. If you’d hate to have your boat exposed to negative temperatures, maybe a temperature-controlled unit is best for you. If you just want it out of the elements, a regular storage unit will fit your needs.

If you have any questions about storing your boat, just give us a call! Infinite Self Storage is managed by storage professionals and would love to help you out!

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How to Store Gasoline: According to the API

Tips for Storing GasGasoline is a substantial source of energy for many of the machines we operate. From lawn mowers to cars, if you have a house and a garage, you’ll probably have gasoline stored somewhere. Follow these tips from the American Petroleum Institute (API) to ensure you efficiently and cautiously store gasoline.

For Specific Standards and Regulations

Standards and regulations on gasoline storage are established by your local and state governments. The first place you should look, for specific information on gasoline storage, is your local and state governments.

Where

First of all, gasoline should be stored in a container specifically designed and approved for gasoline storage. These containers generally air-lock gasoline fumes and prevent leaks and saturation. Store gasoline in a shed or another “building separate from the house or place of occupancy.”

How

Don’t store gasoline in direct sunlight, near potential sources of heat (like water heaters, furnaces, etc.), and “at least 50 feet away from ignition sources.” The API notes that “gasoline vapors are heavier than air and can travel along the floor to ignition sources.”

Follow these two tips to store gasoline effectively!

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The Basics of Storing Paint

How to Store PaintWe all know the situation. You buy a few gallons of paint to paint a room. You proceed to paint the room. And then you have a few gallons of paint left over. Where and how should you store it all?

Storage

The first thing you’ll want to do is seal the can of paint. Do this by wiping the edges of the lid, making sure no paint will stick between the lid and the can’s seal. Next you’ll want to press the lid down. Do this by either using a mallet to tap the lid down, or cover the lid with a piece of wood and tap the piece of wood with a hammer. Never hit the lid directly with something dense like a hammer, as this could cause bends and breaks in the lid, preventing a secure seal.

Next, store the paint cans in an environment not susceptible to extreme changes in heat. Cold air can cause latex paint to separate and heat can cause it dry out. If moisture is consistently present in the environment, elevate the paint cans to keep them dry.

Quick Test to Determine if Paint is Good after Storage

Reopening paint cans is an awful experience for most, especially if left to their own devices. You’ll definitely want to avoid using screwdrivers and hammers because if you bend the lid, you might not get a good seal in the future. Rather, purchase a paint can opener. Then reopening won’t be such a huge deal.

Lowe’s recommends the following, to test your paint.

If you have latex, smell it. If it emits a rancid odor, it’s bad. Secondly, if film is on the top, remove it. Stir the paint. Then test the paint by brushing it on newspaper to discover whether it is clumpy. If it is, then it’s bad.

If you have an oil-based paint, it is good for up to fifteen years so long as it hasn’t been exposed to extreme temperatures and was sealed adequately.

That’s it! It’s pretty simple. Follow these tips to know how to store paint and whether paint you’ve retrieved from storage is good or bad!

TV Storage Tips

TV Storage TipsThe best case scenario for storing a TV is to place it back in the original packaging, surrounded by styrofoam and all, and store it sitting upright. This ideal case, however, is the most unlikely for most people. The following are tips for storing your TV if you don’t have the original packaging.

First things first, you’ll want at least a temperature controlled self storage unit, although ideally you’d store the TV in a climate controlled unit, for a few reasons: (1) electronics are especially sensitive to moisture, the levels of which change with temperature and humidity; (2) extreme temperature changes can cause the thin hardware components of the TV to warp, affecting the screen, circuitry, and even basic functionality. So it is imperative that you first ensure you’ll store your TV in the optimal environment.

Per packaging, most Infinite Self Storage locations carry television-specific boxes. Older, boxed TVs could fit in a regular moving box, but you’ll want to make sure you store your flat screen in a TV specific box as these are specifically designed to ensure maximum protection for flat screens. Before placing your TV in the appropriate box, you’ll want to wrap it in a dust cover to protect it from any accumulating dust and to protect your screen from scratches. The dust cover also will allow some more separation between the box and the television screen. You can use a blanket for this task, but you’ll want to ensure no hard materials, like zippers, make contact with the screen.

As an added measure of protection, visit your local electronics store to pick up some desiccant pouches. These are the pouches of silica beads you find in typical electronic packaging. They absorb moisture to create an extra dry environment and an added layer of protection against shifting humidity levels. Lastly, remove any detachable cables and stand from the television. Store it upright, with separation from other items to allow for airflow.

Following these tips should ensure optimal storage conditions for your TV. Please stop by an Infinite Storage location should you have any questions and our storage professional will make sure you have everything you need!

Tips for Storing Financial Documents

Tips for Storing Financial Documents

The task of storing financial documents can seem daunting at first, not only because some documents might be relevant in the foreseeable future while others virtually useless, but because typically financial documents include sensitive personal information. On top of a good organization system, storing financial documents requires a certain level of security not usually demanded of other kinds of storage. Read the following tips to get on you on the right track.

First thing’s first, for documents you don’t want to keep, destroy them: do not simply recycle or toss them in the trash. Because these documents contain sensitive information, the only safe way to dispose of these is through a shredder or incineration. If you don’t have a shredder, and don’t care about incineration, just visit Office Depot, or other office supply stores, to shred documents, as these businesses usually offer shredding services.

Physical Storage

For financial documents you won’t need access to, but should still keep in storage, just place them in filing boxes. To keep it simple and easy for the future, you might name boxes by category. For  security, a filing cabinet with a lock is the best direction to go, or even a locker where you can stack the boxes on top of each other.

On the other hand, if you want certain financial documents accessible, there are a few things you can do. Of course a filing cabinet is optimal, and then categorizing financial document types by file color. Also breaking down categories by date needed or date received could be useful.

Other, long-term financial-relevant documents you might need, like birth certificates, you can store at a safe deposit at your local bank, or purchase a safe for their keeping to protect it from possible future damages.

Digital Storage

A good way to keep your financial documents accessible while also adding an element of security is to purchase a small external hard drive. You probably won’t need more than 5 or 10 GBs, given how little space documents themselves take up, when compared to pictures and videos. With an external hard drive you can add a password protection. Another advantage is you won’t have your financial documents directly on the computer designated for everyday use. This will keep your sensitive files out of the hands of hackers and, maybe, your children. You won’t have to worry about accidentally sending the files or deleting them, as they’ll always be on the external hard drive, which you can disconnect from all devices when you don’t need access to the files stored there.

Another easy way to store sensitive documents is through the cloud, which will enable you to have access to these documents on any network-connected device. A free option is Google Drive, but there are other services like iCloud that provide similar services. You might also just want to look into getting a sensitive document storage program.

Whatever you do, remember to balance security and accessibility.

How to Avoid 3 Common Moving Scams

How to Avoid 3 Common Moving ScamsThe three most common moving scams all involve money. Before you continue to read about the common scams of moving companies, just know that all can be avoided, quite simply, if you sign a contract before you officially decide to hire or use moving services.

  1. Inflating Prices after Packing All Your Belongings

One thing you want to watch out for is hiring a moving company without having a contract with an established, agreed upon price for the move. If you don’t have a contract, some rogue moving companies will pack all your belongings and then require that you pay a fee two or three times larger than estimate or refuse to unpack your stuff. This is a terrible situation: avoid it at all costs!

  1. Inflating Prices after Giving an Estimate

Some dubious movers will just glance at all your belongings and give a “rough” estimate of how much moving fees and services will cost. Do not trust this, and do not base your final decision on the estimate being true. Rather, if you receive an estimate or not, do not agree to use the services of a moving company without signing a contract with an agreed upon price.

  1. Deposit Required before Moving

Lastly, unscrupulous moving companies might require a deposit before showing up to move your stuff. Never do this. This is the sure sign of a scam. Scammers will just take your deposit money and never show up. Then you’ll be out of both movers and out of money.

Signing a contract is the best way to avoid the scams listed above. But there is also more you can do to protect yourself. First of all, never give a deposit. The only time this might be necessary is if you move on a holiday, but otherwise virtually no reputable moving company will require one of you. Another thing you can do is ensure the moving company is licensed by the Department of Transportation. Simply visit their website and do some research on your movers. Additionally, the Department provides a checklist brochure so you’ll never be in the dark about whether your movers are legitimate or not. Lastly, you can always check online reviews. Chances are, if they’re scammers, other people have already reported them.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Storage

Now that the roads are wet and icy, and a clear, warm sunlit day is as unlikely as a year-long summer season, it’s time to prepare your motorcycle for storage.

Clean

Whether you have a motorcycle that you just bought and it needs a lot of work, or a motorcycle with a new chrome finish, the most important thing you can do at the outset is clean your bike. Dirt traps moisture, and moisture causes rust. This is the number one reason that unless your bike is clean it probably isn’t ready for storage. As an extra preventative measure, once you wipe your bike clean, lightly cover all exposed metal surfaces with an oil like WD-40. As oil is hydrophobic, it will protect the surfaces most vulnerable to rust from water.

Fuel System, Engine Prep, and Tires

As with anything that runs on gas, either draining the tank of gas or supplementing the gas with a fuel additive is a necessity if you want to prevent the gas tank from rust erosion. Storing gas in the tank without running your bike all winter might cause condensation in the tank; this is one thing the fuel additive protects against.

Another preventative measure you’ll want to take is changing the oil. With old oil in your engine, gunk could build up over time as the motorcycle is stationary. Changing the oil and running your motorcycle for a few minutes so it cycles through the system will help prevent buildup in the engine. Likewise, don’t forget to double check your antifreeze, which will protect against freezing, which causes condensation, which causes erosion.

Lastly, whether you are in a climate controlled unit or a regular unit, it is difficult to raise the temperature of concrete slabs that are poured into the ground above ground temperature. When the ground freezes, as a result, the floor temperature of your unit could drop below freezing. As a result, many motorcycle enthusiasts either use center stands, which suspends their bikes in air, or roll their motorcycles onto cardboard or wood. Using a cycle stand is certainly the most ideal, given that it not only protects the tire rubber against below freezing temperatures, reducing cracks, the motorcycle stand also protects against lumps in the tires. If you cannot get a cycle stand, however, you should at least get a cardboard box, as below freezing temperature could cause your motorcycle tires to crack.

Storage Unit

For maximum protection from the elements, it is recommended that you reserve either a climate controlled or temperature controlled unit. The difference is that climate controlled units not only control temperature but also control humidity, whereas temperature controlled units just control the temperature of the unit. However, if you just have a new fixer-upper motorcycle that needs a lot of work, a regular storage unit will probably serve you well.