Monthly Archives: March 2016


When to Use a Storage Facility

A recent survey shows that one in every 11 American households rents space in a storage facility. The average rental time for storage facility spaces in 15 months. The first storage facilities were built in Texas in the latter part of the 60s. In the early 70s after the idea took hold, large companies began building them all over the US.

When using a storage facility makes sense

There are many reasons why people use Vancouver storage facilities today:

  1. A huge number of higher volume eBay sellers use storage facilities to house the goods they sell.
  1. With the advent of cell phones, people starting a business often use storage facilities as offices and shipping centers.
  1. When people have sold their home and cannot get into their new home, storage facilities provide a place for them to store their belongings. Statistics show that the average American changes residences 11 times in his lifetime.
  1. Sales personnel use the facilities to keep their samples and supplies in so they do not have to keep them in their homes
  1. Reformed clutter bugs find a haven for the things with which they absolutely cannot part in storage facilities.
  1. People living in ranch style houses and older houses with small closets and no attics or basements need the extra storage space offered by storage facilities.
  1. RV and boat storage for people with small yards is also quite popular.
  1. Often storage facilities offer more security than homes, so some people store their valuables in storage facility units. Not only are the units locked, they are protected by a security fence, a gated entrance accessible only during limited after hours, bright exterior lighting, surveillance cameras, security guards, and daytime onsite management. This is far more protection than the average home has.
  1. Parents of small children can safely store items such as power tools, ladders, saws, and drills away from the curious hands of small children too young to educate about the tools.
  1. Storage units have also been rented a month prior to Christmas as a place to store and wrap Christmas gifts away from the prying eyes of one’s family.

Pearson Airport storage units are a great place for all these storage ideas.

Iron Gate Storage
2225 East 5th Street
Vancouver, WA 98661
(360) 899-0030

7 Ways Businesses Use Storage Facilities

Businesses are finding storage facilities a convenient, secure, and comparatively inexpensive way to maintain a competitive edge as well as to expand their business. Almost any materials used by businesses can be stored until needed in a storage facility.

Beaverton – Iron Gate Storage is a perfect example of a storage facility that can house a business’s materials and equipment. From electronic equipment to data files, storage units in Beaverton will house it all.

Storage units offer businesses many ways to expand, cut costs, or store materials

There are few materials that cannot be stored in storage units. Here are some great ideas of how to use a storage unit to enhance your business:

  1. Business startups have a tough time finding affordable rental space. A climate controlled storage unit makes a very cost effective place to start a new business. If the business is service oriented, the equipment can be stored in a non-climate controlled unit and the office work can take place in a climate controlled unit.
  1. Online retail stores are an excellent way to begin a new business, but the problem of where to keep your inventory can quickly grow to be an issue. A storage unit can house inventory and provide a shipping department for you as your business grows. Most storage facilities have daily UPS and/or FedEx delivery and pickup.
  1. Spare parts for equipment can easily accumulate and overrun your business. If your business is equipment-intensive, it is important to keep on hand parts that frequently wear out. Having a part handy shortens down time for the equipment, and makes the business more efficient.
  1. File storage and storage of items that are not needed on a daily basis is another popular business use of storage units. Getting old files out of the way frees up space in an office and allows the most cost effective use of the space.
  1. Seasonal stock, decorations, and equipment find a wonderful home in storage units, getting them out of the way of day-to-day business.
  1. Sales reps’ samples, display and exhibit equipment can be housed in storage units until needed.
  1. Buying bulk office supplies is more cost effective than buying individual items, and they can be stored in a storage unit right along with data files and equipment. Larger businesses may prefer to have a unit just for office supplies.

Many storage facilities now offer business services such as mail boxes, meeting rooms, and even restroom or bath facilities, and many will go out of their way to assist the businesses who rent from them.


Moving Beyond Our Attachments to Things

Milne’s character Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh once opined that while his tail was not much of a tail, he was quite attached to it. Like Eeyore, we often get quite attached to our things, even when they are not attached to us as Eeyore’s tail was to him. This attachment often leads us to clutter up our lives with things.

Why we become attached to things

Many of us have in our lives experienced a strong attachment to one or more objects that we treasure and cannot imagine parting with. What we are not aware of is the fact that our attachment has little to do with loving these objects and more to do with their satisfying a specific emotional need.

There are many things objects may represent to us:

  • An object that belonged to a deceased loved one may symbolize the love that we felt from that loved one.
  • An object could be significant to us because it was a gift from someone special.
  • Sometimes we have an attachment to a gift for which we have no use simply because we have an attachment to the giver of the gift.
  • There are also things from our pasts that remind us of special times. Items that have special memories attached to them can be tough to part with. A favorite childhood toy no matter how battered and worn can still evoke both positive emotions in us.

Letting go of attachments

Making a decision to sell, donate, or trash things to which we are attached is not an easy process, especially if they fulfill an emotional need. A great first step is to box up all of the items that tug at your heartstrings and store them in a Vancouver storage unit like the ones at Orchards – Iron Gate Storage.

When these items are out of sight and out of your house, you can begin the process of relinquishing your attachment to them. After a couple of months of not seeing these items daily, go to your storage unit and open one box there. Be sure to have a chair there so you can sit down and take one of the items out of the box you have chosen.

Look at the item for what it is, just a clock, or a toy, or a piece of clothing. Ask yourself what this item means to you, and recognize that the item itself really has no intrinsic meaning. Only the emotion attached to the item is significant. This emotion needs to be processed and released so that you can let go of your attachment to this item.

As you go through your boxes releasing emotions, you will find you can also release each item from your life.

Iron Gate Storage
7920 North East 117th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98662
(360) 799-5082

3 Tips on Using a Storage Unit

Storage facilities are a wonderful place to put all sorts of things you no longer have room for in your home, garage or attic. Before moving your things into one of them, it helps to have a few insider tips on how best to store your things.

Things to know before you stow

While you can just throw things haphazardly into a Westside storage unit, you will enjoy using your storage unit much more if you follow these simple tips:

  1. Insurance

Be sure to check with your homeowners or renters insurance company to see if your belongings that you store will be covered by your policy. If not, there may be a rider they can attach for a few dollars extra a month. Or, you may be able to get insurance on your unit through the storage facility. Be sure to take pictures of your things both before you pack and store them and as they are stored in your storage unit.

  1. Pack effectively

If you are storing furniture, remove the legs from tables whenever you can as well as from chairs. Wrap them in bubble wrap to store them. Turn table tops sideways after you have wrapped blankets around them to keep them from being scarred and lean them up against the sides of your unit. Put furniture and appliances on wooden pallets to keep them off of the cement floor.

Store hanging clothing in wardrobe boxes or rolling garment carriers. If you must fold clothing, place the heaviest on the bottom and the lighter pieces on top. Use the boxes you can get from the storage facility as they are designed to fit nicely into a storage unit. They also do not contain glue, as glue is an attractant for insects.

  1. Lists

Make a list of everything you put in each box. Then give each box a name that reflects its contents. Write that name on your list. There are some great to-do list apps that can even be used with a tablet to help you list the items in each box. If making these lists gets a bit tiresome, just contrast that effort with the effort you will expend opening every box to find that one item you must have after your things have been in storage for a while.

Downtown/Westside is just one of the many wonderful Vancouver storage facilities.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

Tips on Creating the Perfect Man Cave

One of the unusual uses for a storage unit is turning it into a man cave or an entertainment center. This is a novel trend that is sweeping the country. Man caves are being designed in storage facilities that allow guys to do everything from restoring classic cars to relaxing with friends during a game.

Creativity knows no bounds when it comes to designing a perfect man cave

Whether watching sports in peace or with a group of male friends, or pursuing a hobby when there is no room for at home, your man cave needs to be outfitted with items to meet your needs as well as your tastes.

For creating a great entertainment center, here are some suggestions:

  1. Decorate your walls with memorabilia from your favorite team(s). Pennants, framed articles about wins, jerseys, and helmets are great decorations.
  2. One television just will not do for watching games. You need several so that all your guy pals can see the screens.
  3. Get a mini refrigerator and fill it with your favorite beverage(s). Even better, get a full sized refrigerator and fill it with snacks and beverages.
  4. A wall-mounted bottle opener with a trash can beneath it is a great accessory to have. If wine is your thing also, be sure to have a cork screw handy.
  5. A pool table is a great addition to a recreation room, but for it to fit well and allow playing room, you need to have a unit that is at least 20 feet by 20 feet.
  6. Type out in large print and frame a list of your man cave rules.
  7. Be sure to keep extra batteries handy for all of your remotes.

Whenever the term “man cave” is used, it often conjures up an image of a place where men can throw darts, drink beer, belch loudly and scratch themselves in delicate places. But many man caves today go far beyond this image, and can be wonderful places for men to congregate, enjoy each other’s company, share hobbies, and relax and unwind.

Whether you are setting up a weight room, a gymnasium or exercise room, a display room for your collectibles, a dance practice studio, or a rehearsal center where you can enjoy playing that drum set you have had for years, your man cave needs to reflect your tastes. Let your creativity run wild as you consider how you want your man cave to look when you create it at Mill Plain – Iron Gate Storage.

Iron Gate Storage
12406 SE 5th Street
Vancouver, WA 98683
(360) 799-5100

Tips on How to Successfully Fill a Storage Unit

Moving your things into a storage unit takes a bit of planning beforehand. Be sure to sort out the things you will want to access frequently and put them in one or more boxes together. Label the boxes, making a list of the contents of each box that you either tape to the box or keep separately with the lists from all your other boxes.

Draw a floor plan of your storage unit at Beaverton – Iron Gate Storage. Most units are rectangular, so making a drawing will be an easy task. Review the things you want to put into storage and then decide where they will go on your floor plan.

Storing your things in a storage unit is easier than you may think

Making your things accessible when you need them is the goal of your storage plan. Having your things survive the move into the storage unit is also important. Here are some guidelines that will help you store your things:

  • Take apart all furniture that can be disassembled. Remove the legs from tables and chairs. Wrap table tops in blankets or moving pads to protect them from scratches and store then upright, leaning on their sides against the back or side walls.
  • Pack your boxes completely, using bubble wrap to protect delicate things, and wadded up paper or bubble wrap to fill up the holes between the items. Seal each box with strapping tape. Keep a list of what is in each box or write it on the side of the box.
  • When packing books, store them flat in the box rather than turned up on their spines as that can damage them.
  • Store freezers and refrigerators with the door slightly open to prevent mold and mildew. Make sure appliances are completely dry inside. It is also a good idea to store large appliances on wooden crates rather than directly on the concrete flooring in a storage unit.
  • Always stack the heaviest, most sturdy items on the bottom, with the lighter items on top. Check for stability after you have stacked a group – you don’t want a stack tumbling down on you.
  • The most effective way to fill a storage unit is to first stack things all around the sides and the back. Be sure to turn your box labels to face the aisle so you can know what is in each box. Then put things in the middle of the unit, leaving an aisle all around between the things against the walls and the things in the middle.

Enjoying your Beaverton storage unit depends on your being able to retrieve your things when you need them.

Iron Gate Storage
4050 SW 160th Ave
Beaverton, OR 97007
(503) 649-7531

Using a Storage Facility as an Extra Closet

Freeing up space in our closets as we go from one season to another can be a challenge unless we look to a spare closet storage unit at Pearson Airport. Using a storage unit for seasonal clothing or fur storage is a convenient solution to an overcrowded closet.

Just folding clothes up and putting them in a box or hanging them on a rack in your Vancouver storage unit could end up being a costly error. With a little effort and some packing materials, you can rest assured your clothes will be ready to integrate back into your wardrobe with a minimum of fuss.

Find the right place to store your clothes

To take the best care of your stored clothing, you need a space that will be cool and dry year round. Temperature fluctuations, sunlight and insects can damage fabrics, leather, and fur, so storing extra or seasonal clothing in your attic or garage is not a good idea.

Sunlight in attics and garages fades fabrics, insects and mice chew on them, and the heat tends to cause furs to molt and leather to dry out. A controlled temperature helps to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, and prevents the other problems, so a climate-controlled storage unit is the perfect answer.

How to store your clothing

Properly packaging your clothing goes a long way toward protecting them:

  • Avoid plastic bags when you get ready to store expensive clothing. Especially avoid the vacuum-sealed plastic bags as they tend to crush fabrics and furs permanently, and the airtight seals can be a hotbed of growth for mildew and mold.
  • Choose plastic rather than metal hangers when hanging clothing as the metal ones may rust and damage your clothing.
  • Wardrobe boxes are available at all Vancouver storage units. They are specifically made for the long term storage of clothing and have a built in clothing rod in them. Furs, suits and other hanging garments store well in them.
  • Rolling garment carts are another option for storing part or all of your hanging garments.
  • When storing clothing that you fold and pack, here are a few tips:
    • Place the heaviest of the pieces on the bottom and the lightest on the top layers.
    • Separate garments from each other with acid-free white tissue paper.
    • Natural fabric need a bit of breathing room, so a wicker trunk or a large suitcase is ideal for them. They include cotton, wool, linen, silk, leather and suede.
  • Hang furs from the shoulder in wardrobe boxes or rolling garment carts, ensuring that they are not touching anything else or the fur might end up permanently crushed.
  • Glue attracts pests, so avoid using boxes with glue in them or storing clothing in dresser drawers or trunks lined with paper glued onto the sides.
  • Chemical desiccants can be used to deal with the moisture that can cause mold and mildew.

Storing your off-season clothing with Pearson Airport Storage facilities will guarantee you will be ready for each upcoming season when it arrives.

Iron Gate Storage
2225 East 5th Street
Vancouver, WA 98661
(360) 899-0030

Packing Tips for a Storage Facility

There is no need to get uptight when thinking about packing up your things to store them. Packing might take a little time, but the extra time you spend wrapping your things to store them ensures that when you get them out of storage later, they will be unbroken and unharmed.

Handy packing tips that can take the hassle out of packing

There are certain things that can make your packing a whole lot easier for any of the Vancouver storage units:

  1. Packing planning

First off, take an inventory of everything you need or want to store. You may or may not choose to write it down, but writing it down ensures that you will not forget anything when you get ready to pack.

Group all of the items you know you will want to be able to access often in your storage unit together. These are items that you will probably want to pack last and have in the front of your storage unit.

Next, group similar items together, as they are easier to find that way. Searching for one Y in a box of X’s can be difficult. Separate each group of things into the number you think will fit in a box.

Head off to the office supply store and get the biggest roll of bubble wrap you can find. Whoever invented bubble wrap must have had storage unit packers in mind. Go to the storage facility and get packing and moving boxes in the sizes that will be easiest for you to handle. Once the moving crew that helps you move your things has dissipated, you will be the one rummaging through the boxes to find what you need. So, get a size of box that you can easily handle.

While you are at the office supply store, get one of the hand-held shipping tape dispensers such as the Scotch brand one that comes with two rolls of tape. The little red dispensers are cute, but they are very difficult to use. You will find many uses for the big one over time, but the main use right now for you is in being able to quickly seal boxes that you are packing.

  1. Packing

Now all that is left is to use copious amounts of bubble wrap to protect all of your valuables so they do not get broken in transit. Bubble wrap is a much better wrapping material than newspaper because it has no ink to fade onto your things in the heat of your Orchards storage unit. It also does not flatten as you pack things together like newspaper does. Here’s hoping these handy tips make your move easy. Be sure to make a list of everything you pack in each box so you can find it all later.

Iron Gate Storage
7920 North East 117th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98662
(360) 799-5082

6 Odd Uses for Storage Units

We are all familiar with the standard uses for storage facilities and the services they offer. For a month-to-month rent, we can store most anything in them, and we do. Some of them even have room for our boats and RVs that would otherwise clutter up our yards and perhaps violate our homeowners’ association rules and regulations. But there are also some very unusual uses people have chosen to create for their storage units.

Odd, bizarre, different, creative, and unusual ways people use storage units

Your typical Vancouver storage unit may not hold any of these special ways people use storage facilities:

  1. Trending now is the practice of climate controlled storage units being used for band rehearsals. With most storage facilities located outside of residential areas, bands can be assured of not disturbing anyone when they practice and try out new music. This is generally done in the facilities that offer air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and electricity sufficient to power the band’s instruments.
  1. Climate controlled units are also a great place to store a wine collection when the unit can be guaranteed a steady temperature. Some wine lovers have collections that outgrow their ability to store the wine in their homes. Wines need a specific temperature, level of darkness, and humidity as well as long term storage to achieve maturity. Some storage facilities that cater to wine connoisseurs even have special wine cabinets in some of their units.
  1. Storage units are a boon for college students studying far from home to store their things during summers rather than having to take them home every year. They can also provide a quiet place to study, rehearse for plays, and exercise.
  1. Traveling circuses often lease storage units to store their props, tents, and other paraphernalia during the winter season when they are not performing.
  1. In San Francisco, one storage facility has outfitted storage units to serve as art galleries for local artists. These units have walls with lighting to highlight the artworks. Some even have sky lights and special glass French door entryways. Richmond, California and Manhattan are also host to storage facility art galleries.
  1. In Surrey, England, Limbcare uses a storage facility to store the discarded prostheses they collect to help amputees in Tanzania who are unable to afford an artificial limb.

Downtown/Westside – Iron Gate Storage has units that await your creativity in storage.

Iron Gate Storage
1200 West Fourth Plain
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 419-4200

How to Store Electronics in Storage

Computers, televisions, printers, X-boxes, and other electronic equipment need special care when you store them if you want them to emerge from storage in the same condition in which they were stores. Heat, moisture, and insects are just a few of the things that can damage electronics that are not stored correctly.

Getting your electronics ready for storage

When you are getting your electronics prepared for storage in a Vancouver storage unit, here are some things to remember:

  1. Back up your data before you store computers. Back up the computer’s system if your system allows it and store the backups in a different place from where the computers are stored.
  2. Make sure there are no tapes, CD’s, DVD’s, or other media in electronics.
  3. Do not wrap electronics in plastic as that traps in moisture and can lead to mold and mildew that damages electronics.
  4. Use boards or pallets to raise the equipment off of the floor.
  5. If at all possible, store the electronics in their original boxes.

Tips on safely storing your electronics

If you are storing electronics your first and best choice of storage units at Cascade Park – Iron Gate Storage is the climate controlled units. While they are a bit more expensive than the regular storage units, the benefits to your electronics of having them in climate controlled units cannot be overestimated.

Having a controlled temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold is crucial to the safe storage of your electronics. The temperature in climate controlled units usually ranges between 50 and 80 degrees, preventing cracking of the plastics housing electronics and damage to internal components.

Even in a climate controlled environment, if there is not a dehumidifier active in the facility, a small dehumidifier can prevent moisture damage to your electronics. You may have to visit the facility every few days to empty the water that is pulled from the moisture in the air, but that is a small price to pay for keeping your electronics safe.

Televisions are particularly tough to store with their fragile glass faces that a single scratch can ruin and complex interior elements. The newer slimmer ones are often quite heavy and their size precludes their being transported or stored in a standard moving box.

When moving or storing a television, be sure to dust it well first. If you no longer have its original packaging and box, wrap your television in thick, soft blankets or comforters and secure the blankets with a rope. Many storage facilities sell boxes sized for today’s large, slimmer television sets.

Iron Gate Storage
802 NE 112th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98684
(360) 799-5090