Monthly Archives: April 2016


How to Store More in Less Space in a Storage Facility

“Where is it all going to fit?” you wonder as you look the things you need to store. The answer is a storage unit in Beaverton. Your next question will likely be, “What size unit do I need?” With a Beaverton storage unit, you are in luck with that question. You can go online to their Space Estimator, plug in the information on what you have to store, hit the Calculate button, and get the answer to the question of what size storage unit you need.

Maximize your storage space

Now all that is left for you to do is pack everything up so that it fits in the storage unit you have chosen. Here are some handy tips for putting thing into your storage unit:

  1. While it is nice to find boxes rather than having to buy them, it is actually worth the investment to purchase boxes. The rationale here is that boxes of the same size store more easily. They stack better, and they maximize your space in ways that boxes of several different sizes cannot do.

When you are packing boxes, use smaller boxes for the heavy items such as books, canned foods from your pantry, and heavy appliances. Do not load them more than 50 pounds in each box.

  1. Label each box with a number and keep a list of what is in each box. This will help you locate things later.
  2. Sort your things (excluding furniture) before packing them. The first things to sort out for packing are the things you will not need for a long time. The next things to sort out are the things you will likely need fairly soon or even immediately. The rest of your things lie somewhere in between those two categories.

Once you have sorted for immediacy, sort for similarity, putting similar items together so they can be boxed together. If you are moving a household into a storage unit, you may also want to sort by which items belong in which rooms.

The whole purpose of doing all this sorting is so that you can put the boxes of things you do not want any time soon at the back of your unit and the boxes you will need soon at the front.

  1. Disassemble any furniture that can be disassembled and get pads to put around it to protect it. Stand sofas up on their end in the rear of your unit, accompanied by tables that have had the legs removed. It is best to put all furniture in the rear of your unit.
  2. Line each side wall with boxes. As you stack the boxes, use sheets of plywood in between layers to provide extra stability.
  3. By now you have an open center in your storage unit. Leaving an aisle large enough for you to walk in and perhaps get a hand truck into all around the unit, you can now begin filling the middle area.

Using these handy tips, you can maximize your storage unit in Beaverton.

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

Unusual Uses for Storage Facilities

Most of us look at storage units in Orchards as merely a place to store our stuff. But some very creative souls have come up with very intriguing ways to use their storage units.

What will you store in your storage unit in Orchards?

From a distance, these storage units look exactly like all of the other units, but a quick look inside them tells you they are anything but your typical unit:

  • From behind a pastel blue heavy metal door in the UK comes the sounds of American rock music. As you move closer and open the door, there is the aroma of sweat in the air. Go inside and you are greeted by bell weights, lockers, and people wearing gym clothing and paired-off kicking and punching each other while the instructor, Philip Else, barks out staccato commands.

His students come to this 800 square foot windowless gym every day from 7 in the morning to 7 in the evening to learn martial arts skills. Else’s expansion ideas include removing the wall to the next unit to create room for a boxing ring and weight machines.

  • In another UK storage unit, Fred Wright operates his bird fancying equipment business. His cages and seed are beside piles of sawdust as he mixes his own special recipes for his bird food named Fred Wright’s Exotic Bird Mix. Wright is open for customers twice a week.
  • A story that has circulated among storage facilities tells of a California woman who rented a unit to store a totally disassembled Corvette in it until she could get it reassembled. She had won it in her divorce settlement to the dismay of her former husband, who gave it to her in pieces.
  • Bands have established everything from a place to store their instruments, to a place to practice, and even a full-fledged recording studio in storage unit. Amps, horns, guitars, bass, drum kits and other instruments take up too much room at the band members’ homes.
  • NASA has been known to store a countdown timer and rocket in a storage unit. The television show Auction Hunters ferreted that information out.
  • Although not allowed in any facility, people do try to live in storage units from time to time.
  • One innovative storage facility manager in San Francisco, California has begun equipping storage units with walls, special lighting, sky lights, and French doors for the use of local artists and musicians. These art galleries have become quite popular in the area.
  • A UK charity in Surrey, England rounds up prosthetic limbs from rehab centers to donate to an organization in Tanzania to be used by people who could otherwise not afford them. The unit provides a place of them to store the prosthetic limbs as they are collected ready for shipment.

Another UK charity located in Southampton does restoration on old and damaged wheelchairs, operating from a storage unit. It is a very affordable place for the disabled volunteers to work on the wheelchairs.

Although many of these ideas are ok uses for storage units in the UK, many may not be permitted here in the USA. Check with your Storage provided to see what you can do with your unit.

Once you unleash your own creativity, you will likely find other unusual uses for an Orchards or Vancouver storage unit.


Creating the Storage Facility Entertainment Center

Many men are in need of a Man Cave where they can kick back, invite buddies over, relax, watch sports, or shoot pool. Unfortunately, many homes and apartments do not include space for entertainment. But with a few decorating ideas, you can create your very own entertainment center in a rental storage unit in Pearson Airport.

Designing and creating your very own entertainment center

First, you need to decide what all you want in your Man Cave. The amount of furniture, accessories and equipment you want in there will determine what size you need to rent. Here are some fun options to consider when you are choosing what will go in your space:

  • Massage chair

Hardly anything can beat sitting back and getting a total body massage from your chair as you watch your favorite team score points. This is the ultimate Man Chair, the one that will occupy your thoughts as you go through your stressful day at the office or wherever. Some of the chairs even have a remote control you can use to customize your massage.

  • Pool table

While it requires a bit of space so that you have room to get just the right spin on the cue ball, a pool table can be hours of fun for you and your buddies. Of course, you also need a wall rack for the pool sticks, chalk and a place to hang the pool table cover.

  • Home theater seating

Not just a few uncomfortable chairs, the home theater seating chairs are just as comfortable as those in upscale theaters. They recline fully, have built-in cup holders and other storage space, and feel amazing.

  • A bar with bar stools

Bars are available that take up little space or that run the full length of a storage unit in Pearson Airport. Bar stool can be the stacking variety to conserve on space when they are not in use.

  • Portable potty

Camping stores are a great place to get a portable potty. The GO Anywhere Portable Toilet folds up to suitcase size and opens up to a regular toiler size in minutes with three legs that lock tight. It comes with a waste bag for convenient disposal of waste.

  • Miniature refrigerator

The storage capacity of these small refrigerators has increased as the technology for making them has miniaturized its components.

  • An extremely big flat screen television

What would a Man Cave be without a TV? And of course it has to be a really big one so that you can feel like you are on the turf with the football players or zooming around the track in a race car.

Your preferences in these options for your Man Cave will determine the size of unit you need. Be sure to tell the manager at Pearson Airport what you plan to do with your unit so you have sufficient electricity to power all your options.

A great place to find decorating options for your Man Cave is Whether you set up your Man Cave at Pearson Airport or one of the other Vancouver storage units, you will definitely enjoy having friends over to watch a game, shoot pool, or just chill.

Iron Gate Storage
2225 E. 5th St.
Vancouver, WA 98661
(360) 899-0030

How to Pack Boxes to Store Household Goods

Whether packing to move, or just packing up things to store them to get them out of the way, there are a few things that can make your packing job easier. Once you have everything packed up, you will be ready to store it in a storage unit in Downtown/Westside or one of the other wonderful Vancouver storage units.

Tips on packing

  1. 50 pound limit

When you are getting ready to pack things up, it is a good idea to sort them out so that similar items are packed with other items. A very handy rule of thumb is to pack all boxes so as not to exceed 50 pounds. This way all of your boxes will weight the same and be easy to handle when moving them.

When packing heavier things like books, canned goods, and the heavier pots and pans, use smaller boxes so that you can be assured that you will not exceed 50 pounds. Pack your lighter things in progressively larger boxes, not to exceed 50 pounds. Regardless of who is moving the boxes, they will be grateful for the weight limit as their backs and leg muscles will not be strained picking up heavier boxes.

  1. Toolbox

Wait until the very last to pack your tool box, as there are many things you will need it for.

  1. Disassemble whatever can be disassembled

Take apart any furniture that can be taken apart. Remove legs from tables, the headboard, railings and footboard from the box spring support, and take the box spring support apart. Put any screws and washers into zippered baggies and either tape them to the piece of furniture from which they were removed or label them and put all baggies in one box.

Dressers can be moved with the clothing in the drawers unless you will need to store the dresser for a period of time. If this is the case, remove the clothing and the drawers, making the dresser easier to move.

  1. Remote controls

Nowadays, many appliances and electronics have remote controls. Put all remote controls in one box and label it so you can easily find them later.

  1. Things NOT to pack

Be sure to keep your checkbook, credit cards, passport, driver’s license, birth certificates for all family members, and any other important papers out. Put them in a lock box in the bank or keep them with you at all times during your move.

  1. Fragile things

Wrap fragile items individually with bubble wrap or foam wrap and tape them. If you have any doubt about an item’s safety, double wrap it, first with foam wrap and then with bubble wrap. Do not use newspaper as the ink comes off on anything it touches, and can ruin lampshades, porous items an items with a rough finish.

Put a sheet of bubble wrap in the bottom of the box and up all four interior sides. Then gently put a layer of items in the box. Cover them with a layer of bubble wrap, and then do the next layer. Continue until you have filled the box. Small items can use a piece of brightly colored tape on them so you know something is inside the bubble wrap and it is not just extra packing. Fill in any holes with extra bubble warp, and tape the box tightly closed, marking ‘Fragile’ on the outside on all sides and the top.

You can safely store your more fragile items on one of the higher level of stacked boxes in your storage unit in Downtown/Westside or Vancouver storage unit.

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

How Businesses Use Storage Units in Mill Plain

Storage units in Mill Plain are ideal solutions for many business needs. Storage facilities are no longer just for storage; they offer a full range of services to businesses that help the businesses operate in a more cost effective manner.

A storage facility is a wonderful solution for many types of businesses

Whether a business needs storage because it is expanding too quickly, or it needs to cut back its current space because it is streamlining or outsourcing some of its operations, a storage unit is the answer to where to put the extra things.

In fact, some businesses have found Vancouver storage units like in Mill Plain to be such a great logistical solution that they have indeed cut back on their office space to house just the employees and have moved everything not needed on a daily basis to one or more storage units for easy access.

Businesses utilize the services of a storage facility for many reasons:

  • To free up space in their offices that has been used to store files that must, according to government regulations or accounting purposes, be kept for a certain period of time.
  • To warehouse certain items
  • As a distribution center
  • As an archival repository for files and paperwork
  • As a place to keep extra supplies so the business can save money by ordering in bulk
  • To store extra office furniture and equipment
  • As a place for a retail business to store seasonal stock and extra stock
  • To store seasonal decorations
  • As a place for sales reps to store samples
  • To store display or exhibit equipment in between shows
  • As a place to start a business.

Secure, individually alarmed units are a great place to store sensitive information to keep it from being compromised. Depending on the weather, a climate controlled storage unit in Mill Plain can also be a great place to hold a training session for prospective employees, recruits, and current employees.

Some businesses have even set up an exercise room for their employees in a storage unit. With several pieces of exercise equipment, a mini refrigerator for water bottles, and a towel service, a storage unit makes a great exercise room that is available to a business’ employees before, during and after work.

Non-profit organizations also find storage units a great place to store items from their various charitable activities and fund raising events.

Storage facilities offer wonderful services to businesses

Businesses utilize their storage units the same way individuals do. Features of Mill Plain that are appealing to businesses include:

  • The use of a move-in truck from the facility
  • A web-based payment gate for easy payment of the rental fee
  • Units with alarms and round the clock video monitoring
  • Acceptance of deliveries
  • Climate controlled units
  • An option for a month-to-month or a long term lease
  • Special promotions that help with costs
  • Storage shelves for document and record storage.

If your business is in the Mill Plain area, give us a call. We also have Vancouver storage units that might be closer to your business.

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

Why People Use Storage Facilities

Herodotus said that a friend is the most precious of all one’s possessions. At first glance, one might say that a friend is the only possession people do not put in a storage unit in Cascade Park. But read on, even friends have their place at our facility.

The many uses for a storage unit in Cascade Park

From the first known storage facilities in ancient China to modern times, people’s creativity has led them to use storage facilities for a wide variety of reasons:

  1. The hands down most common use of a storage unit is to store things that no longer fit in one’s home. Many situations can cause someone to need a storage unit:
  • Divorces often necessitate storing things while the divorcing couple seeks other housing.
  • Couples getting married often have too many things to fit into their new home. Storage can give the couple time to go through the extra stuff and make decisions about it.
  • College students going home for the summer need a place to store their things.
  • A death in the family, being the executor for a will, and probate are all good reasons to need a storage unit.
  1. Decluttering is an excellent reason to need a storage unit. Clutter often accumulates without our even being aware of it until all of a sudden we are overwhelmed with its presence. Clutter is very wearing on the body and mind. It interferes with our ability to focus and causes stress. Decluttering is a very healthy thing to do.

In addition to being healthy, it is a very necessary thing to do if we are getting ready to sell our home. A home shows best when it is decluttered. Realtors recommend removing personal photographs, knick knacks, and many other things that are just sitting around. They further advise sellers to pare down the items in their cabinets and closets to those actually needed in the immediate future.

Buyers want to be able to envision their own possessions in a home, and they cannot focus to be able to do that when there is so much clutter competing for their attention. Nor can they imagine their things decorating a house when the seller’s things are all over it.

  1. Vancouver storage units are also used for purposes other than storage:
  • Bands practice in them.
  • They can be used as an exercise room, a gym, or a practice area for martial arts.
  • Art galleries have been located in them
  • People have turned them into rec rooms, complete with a wide screen TV and a mini refrigerator, making it a great place to invite their friends and family for a fun time.
  • EBay sellers often use them to store and ship their items.
  • Some businesses use them as showrooms.
  • Other businesses work out of storage units, such as plumbers, electricians, and many other types of contractors. They arrive in the morning, take what equipment they will need for the day’s jobs, and drop it off at the end of the day.

These are only a few of the reasons people use storage facilities like Cascade Park or our other Vancouver storage units.

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

The History of Storage Facilities in the US

The storage industry, formerly known as self-storage, is predominantly a United States phenomenon. Of the estimated 58,000 storage facilities throughout the world, over 46,000 are located in the United States with more being built every day.

Self-storage, from inception to today

Early world history

There appears to be evidence of a historical nature that publicly available storage was available 6,000 years ago in ancient China. Personal belongings were stored in clay pots in public pits that were located underground.

The US Self-Storage Association says that the earliest record of space being dedicated to personal storage on a rental basis happened in England in the 19th century. Whenever people went on extended voyages for trading or other purposes, they left their valuables with banking institutions in Britain. The bankers purchased space for storage from moving or drayage companies, who used lofts for the storage.

When word of this service spread through England, the vaults at the bank quickly became overloaded with the personal treasures of people who were merely traveling within England. As a result, in the 1850’s, Bekins and other storage pioneers had the wonderful idea to construct a warehouse that was dedicated to the storage of personal treasures and household goods. This type of structure was utilized often throughout England, remaining unchanged for many years.

United States history of storage facilities.

At some point, the idea for storage facilities traveled to the United States, and during the 1920’s Weimer Storage and Minneapolis Van Lines in Elizabeth, New Jersey offered storage facilities for the personal use of their customers. Then, in 1928 Arthur Trachte of Trachte Building Systems in Wisconsin began building interconnected steel building to house what he called ‘cars without homes’ that were used for personal storage of much more than cars. The liability for the items stored fell upon the warehouse owner or manager.

The switch to self-storage with the liability of the item stored being on the person who contracts for the space happened in the mid-1960’s with the advent of self-storage. Russ Williams and his stepson, Bob Munn, constructed the first self-storage facility in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was named A-1 U-Store-It U-Lock-It U-Carry the Key.

Located in an area full of industry, the facility was 100 feet in length and 30 feet wide. Built of block walls with cinderblocks for partitions, it was colored bright yellow with black doors. The asphalt drives were much like the asphalt drives in today’s modern facilities like storage units in Beaverton. When Williams became aware that people wanted to store more than just their boats in the facility, he added on to it several times with more units and an office.

Williams and Munn started an industry that spread throughout Texas and later on to California. Louis Rochester, who sold the land to Williams and Munn for the first storage facility, saw how successful the idea was, and went on to build 25 storage facilities named Colonial Warehouses throughout Texas and New Mexico. He also formed partnerships with other early storage facility builders to create even more self-storage facilities.

With such an interesting history to share, storage units in Beaverton stands ready to answer all your storage needs.

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

Business Uses for a Storage Unit

Businesses find having a storage unit in Orchards to be very handy for a variety of reasons. Rental can be month-to-month, which comes in handy for temporary rental space. This means a business does not have to commit to an extended lease for space that will not be utilized the full length of the lease.

Other uses businesses have for a storage unit in Orchards

Whether a business uses storage units in Orchards or one of the many other Vancouver storage units we have available, there are several advantages:

  1. Businesses can free up office space. Commercial real estate can be a bit pricey, but a storage unit is much less expensive. Most offices have old files, extra furniture, and equipment that could easily be stored in Orchards to allow for more space. Space becomes quite important when a business is expanding. A unit is a great place to store extra supplies, allowing companies to buy at reduced bulk pricing.
  1. Freeing up floor space is helpful also. Retail businesses especially need extra floor space when they have products that they buy in case lots that their shelving will not hold. Furniture retailers love having extra space for their shipments. Our round the clock security is very appealing to businesses. Many businesses find that they save money by storing their inventory with us instead of searching for a large facility to accommodate their inventory.
  1. File storage gets rid of boxes of files, and puts them in a secure location. The government requires that businesses keep certain documents for a specified length of time, after which they may be shredded or otherwise destroyed. A storage unit provides a secure storage area for all those boxes taking up space in closets and offices.
  1. Shipping can be handled from a storage unit. Some companies move their shipping department into a unit as they grow and before they are ready to take on a much larger lease to accommodate their growth. With our boxes, strapping tape, and Wi-Fi, there is nothing more that shippers need other than a laptop and printer to generate shipping labels.
  1. Extra equipment storage is boon to businesses also. Contractors, plumbers, and other professional workers frequently store their extra equipment with us. Some even run their businesses out of a storage unit, having their employees stop by to pick up the equipment needed for jobs in the morning, and drop it off later in the day.

Cleaning services have also found having a unit to house their cleaning supplies and equipment an excellent option rather than having to rent office space somewhere.

  1. Pharmaceutical sales reps and many other types of sales reps store their samples in our climate controlled units.
  1. Many auction related businesses also store their inventory in a unit rather than in their homes.
  1. Businesses sometimes use a unit as a showroom.

Whatever your business needs are, we are here to help you with an Orchards storage unit or one of our other Vancouver storage units.

Iron Gate Storage
7920 NE 117th Ave.
Vancouver, WA 98662
(360) 799-5082

What Cannot Be Stored in a Storage Unit

Sometimes we are so anxious to get our homes cleaned out and take things to storage that we forget that there are certain things that cannot be stored in a storage unit in Pearson Airport. Some are restricted by federal, state or local laws, other things are restricted due to fluctuations in temperature, and some things are prohibited by the storage facility itself.

Do not store these things in your storage unit in Pearson Airport

If you are ever in doubt about whether you can store something, ask the manager, but here is a list of things you definitely cannot store in your Vancouver storage unit:

  1. Firearms that are loaded or ammunition

While the laws governing the storage of firearms vary in different states, storing a loaded weapon in your storage unit is not a wise idea. The heat in the summertime could easily cause ammunition to explode, harming you or someone else.

If you are heading out on vacation and do not want to leave your firearms in your home, you have a few choices of how to safeguard them while you are gone: with a friend, at your local gun shop, and even some shooting ranges offer weapons storage.

  1. Fireworks

They may seem harmless sitting there in their pretty packages, but they can cause major problems in a storage unit. Most consumer fireworks have to pass the thermal stability test, meaning they are tested at high temperatures in ovens. While the ones that pass this test will only ignite with a flame, not all the fireworks sold on the 4th of July are made by reputable companies.

There is always a danger that the less reputable ones might ignite in excessive heat. If there is a fire in the storage facility, the fireworks in your storage unit will make it very hazardous for the fire department and the facility.

Moisture, which gets into storage units when temperatures fluctuate, also causes fireworks to fizzle out, so a storage unit is not recommended for their storage.

  1. Live animals or plants

Fido and Fifi deserve better than to be left in a storage unit in the dark. This goes for dogs, cats, fish, and even an ant farm. People who do this type of thing may be fined or jailed for animal cruelty.

  1. Flammable, combustible, hazardous and toxic materials

This is not a good place to store your lawn mower for the winter unless you drain all the oil and gas out of it. Anything with gasoline, propane, or compressed gas is highly combustible and there are federal and, in some cases, state and local laws against their being stored in a storage unit.

A storage unit is also not a good place for paint, paint thinners, fertilizers, and other solvents. Nor can you store biological waste in it.

  1. Perishables like people and food

Much as you might like to store your teenager there at times, it is not legal for a person to live out of a storage unit. Nor is it a good place to put perishables that can rot and stink up not only your unit, but all those attached to yours.

There are a few more things that are not recommended for putting in a storage unit, but the best place to get all your questions answered about this subject is the manager at Pearson Airport or one of the other Vancouver storage facilities.

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

How Storage Units Help When You Put Your House up for Sale

While the term ‘clutter’ usually implies a big mess, especially according to its definition, it actually can mean just too much stuff, no matter how neat the stuff may be. Clutter happens, and it happens to all of us at some point in time. We acquire things, people give us things, and before long, we have a lot of things on display in our homes.

Oftentimes we do not even realize we are living in clutter and that it actually impacts us negatively both physically and mentally until one day we look around and feel our possessions overwhelming us to a certain degree. Excess things (clutter) in our environment can and often does have a negative effect on our ability to focus our attention and to process the information that we take in.

In a research study, a group of neuroscientists at Princeton University determined that a cluttered environment competes for our attention, causing us to have a decreased ability to perform basic tasks and an increase in our stress levels. Additionally, UCLA researchers found that physical clutter overloads our senses, causes stress, and weakens our ability to do creative thinking.

When it comes time to get your house ready to be shown so you can sell it, clutter becomes a very important factor to deal with. We want prospective buyers to be able to see their things in our house. We want them to not be distracted by clutter, but to be able to focus on the good points of our house.

A storage unit in Downtown/Westside is the answer to decluttering your house

Here is what realtors recommend as steps needed to show your house to its best advantage by removing the clutter:

  1. Remove and pack up all photographs, plaques, and other personal decorations from walls, shelves, and furniture.
  2. Pack away all knick knacks and other personal decorating touches that can distract buyers.
  3. Go to your front door, go outside, and then walk back in as if you were a buyer. View the furniture in each room as if you were redecorating it. What would you get rid of? What would you keep? Buyers are turned off by rooms that have too much furniture in them, and a whole new profession called stagers has evolved to put furniture in houses that are vacant. You want your house to be in that delicate area of having not too much and not too little furniture in it.
  4. In the kitchen, pack away and store all but essentials in your pantry and cabinets. It is easier for a buyer to envision his or her things in cabinets that are partially empty than in cabinets that are stuffed with things. Remove all but essential daily use appliances from counter tops and pack them away
  5. Bathrooms need to be treated the same as kitchens. Leave the necessaries, but pack away the extras.
  6. Pack away clothing that is out of season and store it.

Once you have packed all of these things, bring then to your storage unit in Downtown/Westside or one of our other Vancouver storage units and we will keep them safe while you sell your house.

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