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Storage Ideas -- NewYorkStorage.com
Self Storage New York >> Self Storage Help >> Storage Ideas

Storage Ideas

Storage for Snowmobiles, Motorcycles, 4-Wheelers, Wave Runners, and Jet Skis

Some of the vehicles that provide the most pleasure also take up the most space. Many are dissuaded from purchasing recreation vehicles due to space constraints, but self storage is a convenient solution.

Storing your big toys in a self storage unit rids you of the hassle of having your driveway or garage encumbered by a machine you can only use during certain times of the year. But even in a storage unit, these vehicles can still give you trouble if you don’t store them effectively. Let’s delve into a few areas you should consider to make the most of your self storage experience:


  • To prevent leaking and avoid fire hazards, take out as much gasoline as possible from your vehicle’s gas tank. Corrosion is a possibility when your vehicle will be stored for a long time, so be sure to check gaskets and fuel lines periodically. Also lay cardboard or another covering on the ground to protect the floor of your storage unit from leaks
  • Find the covered parking that fits your needs. Some facilities have covered parking that has a thin aluminum roof while some covered parking structures are made from cinder block
  • Stored vehicles or trailers must be drivable and must have working tires. Tires can also become flat or can suffer from dry rot, so you’ll want to check on your vehicle from time to time when it’s not in frequent use.
  • Each facility has different safety restrictions, so check with your storage manager to determine what is and is not allowed at your storage facility
  • Keep in mind that some storage facilities have electronic gates only accessible by access code and often utilize security cameras as a visual backup to facilities’ gate access. This added security is designed to give you comfort when storing your vehicles at a self storage facility
  • Self storage units and covered parking options provide added protection against the elements. If your vehicle has a cover, place it over your vehicle for added protection. Use tie-downs for additional protection when necessary (subject to availability—check with the storage manager for further details)
  • Consider using a climate controlled unit if you live in an area that is exposed to major swings in temperature. Climate-controlled units usually cost a little bit more than basic storage units, but the price difference is often worth it. Your unit will be kept cozy between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit which will prevent fluids in your vehicle from freezing and will provide a bearable temperature for you to attend to the needs of your vehicle


  • Don’t forget about all of the peripherals (helmets, trailers, etc) that go with your recreation vehicle when you’re calculating the size of your storage unit. A closed unit would provide extra storage space for these extras, whereas a covered parking stall would not
  • Some trailers are too wide to be placed into an inside or drive-up storage unit, so make sure you check the width of the door to your storage unit before renting your unit. If the door to your storage unit isn’t wide enough, check to see if the storage facility has covered parking available


  • Before you will be allowed to store your vehicle at a storage facility, the manager will usually ask for proof that the vehicle has been registered. The manager may also ask for proof of insurance because insurance for storage facilities does not cover personal property. Make sure you have registration and insurance documents with you when you go to the storage facility to store your vehicle
  • Stored vehicles must have current license plate registration at the time of storage. If your registration expires while your vehicle is being stored you may be asked by the manager to renew your tags.
  • Vehicle maintenance and repairs are not to be performed in storage units. Storage units are available for vehicle storage but are not supposed to become workshops

Contact a storage facility manager for any additional questions or concerns.

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Storage Solutions for Cars, Trucks, and Vans

When you own a vehicle but don’t have a reliable parking spot, vehicle ownership can become a hassle. If you have office space in a downtown area or live in an apartment complex, finding a safe parking space in a convenient location at a decent price can be a daunting task.

Self storage facilities provide an affordable alternative for storing an extra set of wheels and sometimes provide security features that may not be offered at your current parking space.

Here’s a closer look at the parking solutions offered by self storage experts in your area.

Self Storage Options for Your Vehicle
Storage facilities typically have various types of vehicle storage available. Storage options vary by price, outdoor exposure, and security features.

Outdoor Parking Spaces
Storage facilities have both open outdoor spaces and covered outdoor spaces. These parking spaces are located on paved or gravel lots and provide a great solution for short term storage needs, for larger vehicles, and for less-expensive vehicles. Because these spaces are the most exposed to elements and have the least amount of security features, they are the most affordable vehicle storage option.

Garage Parking Spaces
These parking spaces are located a basic garage structure with a pull-down garage door. This storage option is more expensive because it provides greater protection from the elements and more security than outdoor parking spaces.

Indoor Parking Spaces
Indoor parking is the most expensive storage option because it provides the most protection for your vehicle. These parking spaces are located in the main building of the storage facility for increased security. The main storage building also often has central heating and cooling to control the climate of your parking space, keeping it between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Helpful Hints for Vehicle Storage

  • Measure your vehicle before renting a parking space to ensure that your vehicle isn’t too tall or wide for your storage space
  • Most storage facilities offer monthly contracts, so consider storing your vehicle during off-seasons or during an extended vacation
  • Classic car and sports car owners typically store their vehicles in an indoor space and lay down a piece of carpet for added vehicle protection
  • If you need to use your stored vehicle frequently you may want to request a parking space or unit close to the storage facility’s entrance so you’ll be able to quickly exit and enter with your vehicle
  • If you rent an outdoor space you may want to purchase a cover for your vehicle to protect it from extreme weather conditions. If your vehicle is an eyesore, the manager may require you to purchase a cover for your vehicle. Storage facilities often have vehicle covers available for purchase at the facility store

Basic Vehicle Requirements at Most Self Storage Facilities

  • Storage units are for storage purposes only. Using your self storage unit as a workshop for cars is not prohibited because storage facilities have no way of disposing of harmful chemicals
  • Vehicles must be in working, drivable condition. They cannot be towed onto the premises and stored on blocks
  • Tires must be in good condition and must be inflated
  • Storage tenants must provide required proof of registration and insurance for most vehicles stored at storage facilities

Managers of storage facilities will be able to give you further guidance and tips for storing your car, truck, or van so you can get the most out of your self storage.

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Putting Appliances in Storage

When you end up with extra appliances, it can be frustrating feat trying to place them out of the way so that they don’t encumber your home by occupying valuable space. Self storage is an attractive alternative to keeping an extra microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, or other appliance in your garage or on your balcony. However, it is essential to store appliances properly or else they can get ruined or start functioning poorly. Here are a few items to consider when storing your appliances in a storage unit.

Before the Storage Unit

  • Let your appliances dry and spray them for bugs before putting them into storage
  • Carefully clean appliances along with all attached tubes, grids, or filters
  • If you are storing other household items, load your appliances into your truck last so that they will be placed in the storage unit first. This will give you greater access to the items you need to access more frequently
  • Use strong tape to keep oven, dishwasher, and refrigerator doors shut during transportation, but make sure the tape is removed and that the appliance doors are either removed or slightly opened once the appliances are placed into your storage unit. This will help to prevent the buildup of mildew
  • Drain water from appliance hoses and other parts found on refrigerators, dryers, washers, and dishwashers. This protects against mildew and freezing temperatures
  • Use bubble wrap, blankets, or another protective packing material to wrap your appliances. This will protect appliances that contain glass or that can be easily dented or scratched. For added convenience, storage facilities listed on StorageColorado.com usually sell protective appliance materials

Refrigerator specific

  • To prevent damage to the refrigeration unit, always keep your refrigerator upright when it is stored and also during transit
  • Clean the inside of the refrigerator and then dry it. Also drain the water from the holding tank and clean the defrost pan, which is typically located underneath the refrigerator or at the back of the appliance

In the Storage Unit

  • Think about using a storage unit that has climate control if you live in a climate with extreme temperature swings. Climate controlled self storage units are kept between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit to protect appliances from unsuitable temperatures and also protects electronic parts from cracking. If storage units with climate control are not available at your storage facility and your appliance have had exposure to freezing temperatures, ensure that you let your appliance thaw for a day or two before you use it to minimize damage
  • Avoid propping heavy objects against glass surfaces on microwave and oven doors. Consider marking these surfaces as “fragile”
  • Don’t plug appliances in while they’re in storage. Not only is it against storage facility policy, it’s not smart
  • Although you can store dishes in a dishwasher, place blankets or pillows in a dryer, it isn’t generally recommended that you store items in appliances
  • Use a protective sheet to drape over your appliance to keep away dust but still maintain air flow

For any additional questions, contact the manager at a storage facility listed on this site.

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Storage Solutions for Furniture

Storing furniture can be a beast. Many pieces of furniture are unforgivably heavy and can cause stress on your mind and strain on your back if you have to move them often. Renting a storage unit for extra storage space can provide a fix to frequently moving an old oak armoire or a piano. Here are a few tips to making storing your furniture as comfortable as possible.

Select a Suitable Self Storage Unit

  • The storage unit you select should be easily accessible to lessen the burden of storing your heavy furniture. Look into getting a drive up unit or request an indoor unit located on the first floor of the storage facility. If only upper levels are available, make sure there’s an elevator. Most storage facilities have dollies and other tools available for customers to use to make it easier to store large items such as furniture
  • Find a storage facility that offers climate control. Climate controlled units store your belongings at comfortable temperatures (between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit) to help protect your furniture from harsh temperature extremes. Many units also have dehumidifiers available in first floor indoor units
  • Typically, if something is worth the hassle of putting it in storage, it’s worth insuring. Ask the manager of your self storage facility to what extent your belongings are covered. If you desire further insurance, inquire whether the storage facility offers any kind of insurance for your possessions

Store Your Furniture Safely

  • Raise the floor by placing boards, pallets, or thick cardboard on the floor to protect your furniture from floods. Once the floor has been raised, cover the raised part of the floor with a plastic tarp to keep moisture from ruining your furniture
  • Cover all furniture by draping over plastic or cloth to keep out dust. Storage facilities typically sell special protective bags for mattresses, sofas, and arm chairs
  • Be careful that your furniture isn’t touching any items that could potentially bleed color onto your furniture during storage
  • Keep cabinet doors and dresser drawers closed during the moving process by wrapping them with stretch wrap. Stretch wrap can be purchased at most storage facility stores
  • Mirrors, paintings, and other artwork should be placed upright in storage as though they are being hung. If stacked flat they can stretch or collapse under their own weight. Use corners or bubble wrap to protect corners. Bubble wrap can be purchased at most storage facility stores
  • Disassemble furniture such as tables and bed frames and wrap furniture pieces in bubble wrap or blankets. Protect furniture corners and edges by using cardboard or bubble wrap
  • A table that cannot be disassembled should be placed on its top over a pallet with a blanket to protect the table’s surface. If there are chairs that need to be stored with the table, place the table right side up and stack the chairs upside down so their seats rest on the table top
  • Although you’ll want to empty dresser drawers while they’re being moved, store fragile items in dresser drawers and stack lightweight boxes on dresser tops once they’re in the storage unit
  • Try not to seal furniture in plastic. Airflow prevention can trap moisture and cause mold and mildew growth in addition to rotting
  • Lamp bases should be wrapped in blankets or bubble wrap and then packed in a box or container. Lamp shades should be covered with plastic or a blanket to keep dust from infiltrating
  • Any cleaning solutions used to clean your furniture before it is stored should be allowed to try before your furniture is stored. This will help to prevent the buildup of mold
  • Obtain a climate controlled unit if you are storing computer monitors or TVs as these items can freeze or break when exposed to subzero temperatures

Ask a storage facility manager for further guidance in storing furniture and other valuable items. The have experience in the industry and will be able to provide you with valuable tips for successful storage.

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Storage for Important Documents

Self storage units provide a convenient solution for storing important, classified documents. However, there are a few measures that should be taken for added protection.

1.  Check to make sure your storage facility has appropriate security features

  • Make sure the operating hours of the storage facility are convenient and that the storage facility is open during times when you or your employees will need to access your storage unit
  • Inquire about whether the storage facility’s manager lives on site or if the storage manager is on duty during times you will need storage unit access
  • Consider using a climate-controlled unit to protect your documents against extremes in temperature. Also ask whether the storage facility has a dehumidifier, as humidity can also be a damaging factor
  • Find out whether the storage facility uses an electronic gate with access codes. This ensures that only storage tenants can access the storage facility grounds. Many storage facilities also have cameras to provide a visual backup to key code access
  • Pay attention to where your unit is located and whether or not it is in a well-lit area
2.  Take measures to protect DVDs, CDs, and paper by packing appropriately

  • Carefully label boxes with waterproof markers to make retrieving documents hassle-free
  • Place older documents closer to the back of the storage unit so that newer documents are more accessible
  • Don’t use newspaper to wrap objects as the ink can transfer
  • Use antistatic, airtight bags to store CDs and DVDs for added protection. Airtight bags also prevent the buildup of mildew and mold
  • Stack boxes of documents and other media on a raised surface, such as a pallet, wooden boards, or cardboard
  • Even if you’re only planning to use a storage unit for a few months, still pack as though you’ll be using it long-term, just in case
3.  Think about safety and security when packing your documents

  • Use password protection for CDs, DVDs, and digital media
  • Make backups of your data and store the backups at a separate location
  • For extremely sensitive information use safes or locking file cabinets
  • Completely fill boxes with packing materials so box contents don’t shift during movement
  • Don’t pack boxes heavier than 30 to 50 lbs

Talk with the manager of your storage facility for additional information about securing your important documents in a self storage unit.

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Putting Magazines, Books, and Other Media in Storage

Books, magazines, and other media such as CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray, and video and cassette tapes deserve special attention during the storage process because they are very prone to damage caused by the environment. Pages are susceptible to yellowing and other media are harmed by humidity and dust. By taking some steps before storing your media you can thwart the damaging effects that would otherwise occur, making your self storage experience more enjoyable.

Preserving Books and Magazines

  • Separate magazines with a piece of plastic, wood, or strong cardboard to keep magazines from warping
  • Seal books and magazines in plastic bags designed for archiving
  • Consider renting a unit that utilizes climate control. As extreme temperatures are a major cause of damage for books and magazines, a few extra dollars in rent to keep your belongings between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit could save a slew of books and magazines from torrid temperatures
  • If you stack books or magazines in a box, arrange the media so that the spines of books or media are switched from right to left in the stack to evenly distribute pressure
  • Protect books by placing a piece of paper in the front cover of the book and wrapping that same piece of paper to cover the back of the book. This will prevent books from sticking

Print Media

  • Instead of using boxes, consider using plastic storage containers, filing cabinets, or a safe for added protection
  • Keep boxes or containers from direct contact with the floor by laying down wooden pallets, cardboard, or plastic
  • If you have multiple boxes or containers, try to use the same size of box or container to facilitate easier stacking. Also, ensure that the boxes or containers you are using are good quality to avoid large stacks of media from toppling
  • Identify which items you won’t need frequent access to and pack them first to make it easier to access essentials
  • Fill boxes completely to keep them from shifting during the storage process, such as during transport. Your self storage provider will likely sell packing products to help you fill all of your boxes
  • Do not wrap print media in newspaper because newspaper ink can transfer to your media
  • Clearly label your belongings to increase your ease of access
  • Pack your belongings as though you’ll be storing them for a long period of time, even if you only think you’ll use storage for a few months. You never know what can happen

CDs, DVDs, Tapes, and Other Recorded Media

  • Place media in airtight, antistatic bags to protect them from moisture. Tapes are especially susceptible to moisture and static and can be damaged if not protected
  • Try to store media in its original casing to prevent accidental scratching

Many self storage facilities have packaging material available for purchase that can assist you in protecting your media. Talk with the manager at your self storage facility for additional measure you can take to protect your precious media.

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Storing Pictures, Collections, and Heirlooms

Holding on to heirlooms and preserving pictures is important, but a lack of storage space can make storing these items impractical and burdensome. Renting a self storage unit can solve your storage shortage, allowing you to preserve memorabilia for future generations.

The following storage tips will help you to keep your belongings in tiptop condition.

Storing Photographs and Photo Albums

  • Clearly label all boxes so that their contents will be more readily accessible
  • Use airtight plastic bags or containers to store photos to hamper the harmful effects of humidity
  • Only use quality photo albums that are designed for archiving purposes
  • When stacking photo albums, magazines, or books, alternate placing the spine to the right or the left to prevent the spines from cracking
  • Place paper between pictures to prevent them from sticking together. Archival paper is recommended and can be purchased from most craft stores
  • If photos are loose, sandwich groups of photos between bound pieces of plastic, wood, or cardboard to prevent photos from warping

Storing Heirlooms and Other Collectibles

  • Create a separation between your boxes and the storage unit floor by laying down a wooden pallet, a plastic tarp, or sheets of cardboard
  • Ensure that fragile items and boxes are marked as fragile on all sides
  • Use packing peanuts or crumpled up packing paper to fill empty spots of boxes to prevent items from shifting during transit
  • Organize items in boxes so that they sit snugly, but not too tightly
  • Consider cutting pieces of cardboard to create dividers to partition items in boxes that may collide or tip over during lifting or transportation
  • Use packing paper to wrap items for added protection. Do not use newspaper, as the ink from the newspaper can transfer onto your belongings, especially in humid climates. Packing paper can be purchased from most self storage facilities
  • Use sturdy boxes that are the same size so they can be easily stacked and stored. Old boxes may collapse under the weight of boxes stacked above them, causing chaos
  • For fragile items, pack the bottom of your boxes with foam or dishpack padding for further protection
  • Stack glasses, vases and other fragile items in rows. Use dishpack between objects to prevent them from colliding and cracking or chipping

Taking Advantage of Climate Control
Climate controlled units are the best kept secret at self storage facilities. Photo albums and photographs are especially at risk when exposed to extreme temperatures. Storage units utilizing climate control are kept cozy between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which can prevent minimize the effects of yellowing and fading that so often harms photos with the passage of time.

For your convenience, many storage facilities sell sturdy boxes, packing foam, dishpack, and other helpful storage supplies. Be sure to let your storage manager know your storage plans so she or he can let you know what items and options are available to help you get the most out of your self storage experience.

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Business Storage Solutions for Storing Inventory and Supplies

A good indicator of a retail store’s health is its sales per square foot. But, if retail space is being eaten up by storage space revenues can quickly dwindle. Renting a storage unit for holiday decorations, large signs, and other items that are gobbling up space can actually save you money. Reducing cost of goods stored, in turn, reduces cost of goods sold.

Manufacturers, retailers, online merchandisers, and other businesses will generally spend more to store items in their building or restaurant than they would by renting a self storage unit. This inexpensive storage solution allows businesses to stay organized and store excess inventory when it takes advantage of supplier discounts and when it holds hefty levels of safety stock.

The following suggestions will help you identify which items at your business should be placed in storage and to select a storage unit that will cater to your storage requirements.

Deciding on the Right Storage Facility

  • Find out what security features are available at each storage facility. Storage facilities often have some or all of the following security features: entry points with restricted keypad access, fences, cameras, and a manager that lives on-site
  • Talk with the facility manager about when storage units can be accessed. Although some facilities have 24-hour access, typically, facilities with gated entrances are only accessible during certain times of day. So, if you need to access your unit during other times of day you will need to make special arrangements with the facility manager
  • If the storage facility allows you to make arrangements for the facility manager to accept package deliveries on your behalf, you can cut on additional costs. After the facility manager accepts your delivery the manager will notify you by phone and you will usually have 24 hours to pick up the package
  • If you are storing materials that are temperature sensitive and you are storing items in a an area where the climate is subject to extreme swings in temperature or if you will be frequently spending time retrieving and arranging items in your storage unit, you may consider renting a climate-controlled unit. Storage units with climate control are kept between 50 to 80 degrees, so you and your belongings aren’t exposed to frigid and sauna-like temperatures

Deciding on the Right Self Storage Unit

  • If you need to make frequent deliveries and pick-ups, a storage unit with drive-up access may be more convenient if want to park your truck, van, or trailer right next to your unit
  • Locations within storage facilities that are closer to the ground floor entrance will cost more, but the price can be worth it, especially if you are storing awkward or heavy objects
  • Plan out how much storage you anticipate in the long term. Most people end up needing more storage than they originally thought for longer periods of time than they originally thought
  • If you have various business locations, the most convenient solution may be to rent several small units and different storage facilities instead of renting one large storage unit to store your business goods
  • If you use multiple self storage units for your business, consider using some storage units for deliveries and storing inventory and using other units for long-term storage

Things Not Allowed

  • Tenants may not sell directly from their storage unit
  • Perishable items may not be stored as they attract unwanted vermin and pests

Ask the manager of the storage facility for further questions regarding the best practices for business storage.

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Finding the Right Boxes and Packing Materials

Deciding to rent a storage unit usually happens before you realize that you need boxes to put your things in and other packing materials to protect furniture, mattresses, and other objects.

The Box Predicament
When it comes to boxes, many succumb to the tempting sound of “free,” and head to the local liquor store or grocery store to collect free used boxes. If one is lucky to find boxes before they’re broken down, the boxes are found in all sorts of shapes and sizes and are often flimsy but look like they might be sturdy enough to get by. Don’t be deceived, though. While buying boxes may feel like forking out money for a useless commodity that would be better spent on ice cream, quality boxes are definitely worth the investment when it comes to safely storing your belongings in self storage.

Here are a few reasons why.

Why Purchase Boxes?

Purchasing boxes saves time.

  • If you buy boxes you can usually purchase the boxes you’ll need all at once instead of scavenging all the liquor and grocery stores in the area until you amass enough boxes to satisfy your storage needs
  • Some moving companies require sturdy, sealed boxes and will actually repack items from flimsy boxes into nicer boxes and charge you

Purchasing boxes is a sturdy choice

  • New boxes are guaranteed to be clean and more durable than used boxes
  • Second-hand boxes are only supposed to be used temporarily, but purchased boxes can be used for a long time and can also be reused. Old boxes can be reused as shelves by cutting off box tops and placing boxes on their sides
  • Purchased boxes are sturdier than used boxes and can offer better protection for fragile items because they won’t collapse under the weight of boxes stacked above them

Purchasing boxes is convenient

  • Boxes can be purchased in certain sizes, from small to extra large, so you won’t have to work with misfit and awkwardly sized boxes
  • Because purchased boxes are the same size and shape they can be easily stacked
  • Some items that would normally be difficult to store, such as mirrors and formal clothing, have boxes specially designed for such objects for safer, more convenient storage
  • Purchased boxes usually have grooves on the opening flaps so they can be used for different sized items

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