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Preparing Plastic/Plastic Resin Patio Furniture For Storage

Preparing for storage tips
How to prepare plastic and plastic resin furniture for storage.

Outdoor living and patio time are some of the best parts of summer in Brewer, Maine. Plastic composite and plastic resin patio furniture have become very popular and for good reason! It is highly durable to withstand the Maine winters and easily cleaned. Cleaning your plastic patio furniture is the single most important thing you can do to keep it looking like new.  Keeping your plastic composite and plastic resin patio furniture clean and fresh for the summer is easy with some simple cleaning tips. Use the easy cleaning guide below to clean and prepare your patio furniture for proper storage during the off season. Utilizing self storage will prolong the life of your investment.  

Most patio furniture has cushions that require proper care. Read this article about caring for your cushions and storage tips.

air drying cushions before storage
Preparing for storage hint: allow your freshly cleaned cushions to thoroughly dry in the sun and fresh air.

Plastic or Plastic Resin Cleaning tips:

Plastic is the easiest of all to clean. Any type of cleaning solution can be used as long as it is rinsed immediately from the surface. A great cleaning hack for greasy grime is to use shaving cream, spray on the surface and let sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft brush until clean, rinse and allow to dry. Molded resin furniture will need to be brushed to clear any debris then wipe down with a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Depending on the amount of dirt a sponge will suffice. If it’s a large area of dirt use a soft bristled brush to really clean the affected area. If the finish of your plastic patio furniture is chalky, sprinkle a wet sponge with baking soda and rub the entire piece, rinse off with clean water and dry. To restore shine use paste car wax and cover the furniture with a light coating. Allow the paste to dry for about 5 minutes and then softly buff the glow back into your furniture.  

If your molded resin furniture is white and you would like to restore the color of your furniture  follow the same instructions for molded resin furniture but do not wax. Instead mix 2 tablespoons of powdered oxygen bleach (like OxyClean) in a gallon of water or if you have tough stains mix 1 cup of liquid bleach with a gallon of water, don rubber gloves and sponge the mixture onto the furniture and scrub until the stain is gone. Let the mixture sit on the surface for 5 to 10 minutes then rinse with clear water, dry and follow with the wax step above for a sparkling shine. 

Textured plastic composite furniture will need a soft bristled brush to clean the lines and crevasses. Follow the grain of the composite and rinse well to ensure all soap is removed from the texture. A low pressure rinse will whisk the soap from any deep texture.  

Wicker and Wicker Resin Cleaning tips:

Traditional wicker should only be used indoors or on a screened in porch to protect it from the elements. It doesn’t fair well left outside because of the organic material real wicker is made from. Clean using a vacuum cleaner with the soft bristled brush attachment. Damp cloth away any spills with a solution of warm water and white vinegar in a 50/50 mixture. This will prevent mold and mildew on your wicker. Allow to air dry completely before storing.

Traditional wicker has been replaced with a wicker resin weave that is super durable and weather resistant but retains all the charm of traditional wicker. Cleaning wicker resin furniture will keep it looking new and extend the lifespan of your investment. Use a soft bristled brush for surface debris, vacuum with a brush attachment for deeper debris. To deep clean the weave use a pressure washer set on low or moderate and wet the entire piece, then gently scrub with a hand brush and warm soapy water. Rinse well and allow to air dry in a shaded area until completely dry. Storage tip: remove the cushions and place cleaned and thoroughly dry cushions in a garbage bag with a dryer sheet to protect them from rodents. Wrap your clean dry wicker resin furniture in plastic to keep dust or dirt away from the weave. This will save you time in the Spring when it’s time to bring your patio furniture from storage!

Mold and Mildew Removal Tip:

 A generic mold cleaning solution that will work on most surfaces is a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar sprayed on the surface of your furniture, let set 30 minutes before rinsing followed with a towel dry and then allow to thoroughly air dry. Mold and mildew if left untreated will permanently stain your furniture. Once the furniture has been cleaned and dried, if you notice mold and mildew stain you can retreat for mold and mildew or use the bleach method above to remove the stain. 

Cleaning plastic composite and resin patio furniture is the first step in preparing your furniture for self storage. Most plastic resin furniture can be stacked without fear of damage. It is the easiest of all patio furniture to store. Wrapping wicker resin furniture helps keep it fresh for the next outdoor or patio living season!

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What is Humidity Controlled Self Storage in Bangor, Maine?

Is Humidity Control an important consideration for climate controlled self storage? 

What is humidity control?

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air. It can’t be seen with the naked eye but it exists in the form of vapor. The amount of water vapor the air contains determines the humidity level. When the levels of moisture in the air are too high or too low damage can occur to your property in self storage. Humidity control is an important consideration for many reasons when looking for a climate controlled self storage unit in Bangor Maine. Each end of the spectrum of humidity has its own special risk. 

Not enough moisture and your wooden items like furniture and musical instruments can dry, split and craze. Crazing is a network of fine cracks either on the wood or in the finish which can ruin musical instruments or wooden furniture.This same dry air can damage leather goods, like jackets, pants, wallets, handbags and sports equipment. Leather is extremely porous therefore, the amount of moisture in the air plays a huge role in the pliability and integrity of leather. Too dry and your leather will crack. Static electricity becomes an issue with low humidity levels increasing the risk of damage to sensitive electronic devices. The correct amount of moisture or humidity in the air will help prevent any damage to your stored property. 

Too much moisture and artwork, important documents and photographs are at risk of damage or total destruction. Keeping the moisture in the optimum range provides ample protection for paper products. With high humidity comes the risk of mold and mildew. Maintaining the correct range of humidity prevents the growth of damaging mold, mildew and bacteria. Humidity control is an important factor for the safety of your valuables. When choosing a climate controlled unit be sure they have humidity control measures in place.

What are good humidity control measures in climate control?

The best and most consistent methods have several factors involved to control humidity. First is the type and amount of insulation the building incorporates into their facility. Spray foam will control humidity and condensation, will not rot or deteriorate plus it does not attract mold. Additionally high density insulation in the roof will counter the effects of extreme cold and heat fluctuation which assist in maintaining humidity levels. Therefore there is a big reduction in moisture and heat loss in buildings using this dual insulation method.  Coupling the superior insulation with a high efficiency VRF heat pump system and humidity control becomes more consistent. VRF is a “Variable Refrigerant Flow” system, which is considered to be state of the art in low energy heat pump units. VRF systems are reliable, quiet and highly efficient. A good humidity control system will maintain the moisture in the optimal range.

What is a good humidity rate or range?

Most house hygrometers, a device used to measure humidity or moisture content in a home, have the safe range from 30% to 60%. This is considered the comfort zone. Within this range there is an optimum range from 45% – 55%. In this range the air contains enough moisture to prevent drying of your stored items and not too much moisture that it produces mildew. Therefore, when looking for a humidity controlled self storage unit ideally the range they maintain should fall between 35 and 50 percent. This range will protect your wooden items, leather goods, valuable wool rugs, artwork, important documents and photographs from the damage caused by unchecked humidity changes.

Typical House Hygrometer

A simple hygrometer like this one pictured can be purchased easily online or locally. It’s a great tool for measuring the humidity in your home! Humidity is as important in your home as it is for your self storage unit. Keep your possessions safe from the damages of unchecked humidity!

Top 10 Waterfalls in Maine

Tobey Falls in Willimantic, ME Piscataquis County
Photo Courtesy of Gloria Fox ~ Tobey Falls in Willimantic, ME (Piscataquis County)

10 Largest Waterfalls in Maine

Maine sports over 425 mapped waterfalls, so how do you decide which ones to visit? The highest falls come in with a staggering 90 foot drop. Some of Maine’s popular waterfalls are easily accessible and others require a hike to enjoy. No matter your skill level you can access some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Maine. Top on the list is Angel Falls with it’s stunning 90 foot drop over a set of plunging tiers through 115 foot cliffs. Not to be rivaled by Moxie Falls rated as Maine’s tallest waterfall with a straight 90 foot plunge into a 17 foot pool at the base. The sound of rushing water draws people from everywhere for the spectacular views and cool pools, often great swimming spots on a hot summer day. Following is a list of the 10 most popular waterfalls in Maine.

Top 3 Waterfalls by Height

Angel Falls in Franklin County Maine with 90ft falls
Angel Falls in Franklin County Maine

#1: Angel Falls located in Franklin County on Mountain Brook near Houghton, Maine in Township D. The 90 foot drop through a set of tiers which causes the water to fan out like angel wings. Angel Falls is easily accessible by taking Route 17 North from Mexico, Maine to the Bemis Road. Travel 3.6 miles on Bemis Road and look for a logging road that goes left and down a hill. The main parking is at the bottom of the hill. The hike into Angel Falls takes about 30 minutes at a distance of 0.8 miles. The hike is rated as easy to moderate on a family friendly trail. 

Rated the highest waterfall in Maine is Moxie Falls in Somerset County
Moxie Falls in Somerset County Maine

#2: Moxie Falls located in Somerset County on Moxie Stream near West Forks, Maine. Moxie Falls is another stunning 90ft falls with a 17ft pool at the base. It’s a moderate 1 mile hike into Moxie Falls which includes bridges, boardwalks and stairs to access the breathtaking views of Moxie Falls. Just outside the small village of The Forks turn onto Moxie Pond Road (A.K.A. Moxie Lake Road) go 2.3 miles past the rest stop to the parking at the trailhead.  The trail is marked and has several observation points to enjoy the falls and the surrounding beauty!

Lower Dunn Falls in Oxford County Maine
Lower Dunn Falls in Oxford County Maine

#3 Lower Dunn Falls located in Oxford County on the West Branch of the Ellis River near Andover North Surplus.  Lower Dunn Falls is a plunge falls at an 80 foot drop. Part of this 2.5 mile hike is along the Appalachian Trail lending gorgeous views of the mountains in Western Maine, to complete the looping trail will give you access to both Upper and Lower Dunn Falls. This trail is rated as moderate with an easy start and wide trails but becomes more difficult as you travel along. There are several smaller cascades and pools along the journey including Middle Dunn Falls making the trek worth the effort.

Next 3 Highest Waterfalls in Maine

Upper Dunn Falls in Oxford County Maine
Upper Dunn Falls in Oxford County Maine

#4 Upper Dunn Falls is a fan with an overall 70 foot drop. To find the trail take Route 26 North from Grafton Notch State Park to Andover Road. Travel 6 miles to a parking area for the Appalachian Trail where it crosses the road. This trail is marked with blue blazes. The trail starts out wide and then becomes more narrow and hilly with some areas relatively steep. Take an extra pair of hiking shoes as you may end up with wet feet crossing the river.

Small Falls in Franklin County Maine
Small Falls in Franklin County Maine

#5 Small Falls is in West Central Franklin County on the Sandy River in Township E near Rangely, Maine. Small Falls is a series of horsetails and cascading waterfalls with an overall drop of 54 feet. To find Small Falls go South of Rangely on Route 4 look for the Small Falls Rest Area. The falls are viewed in the Rest Area and has a rocky beach at the lowest falls for children to splash around in on a hot day. The rest area has picnic tables, charcoal grills and primitive bathrooms. A great way to spend an afternoon enjoying a picnic lunch and a splash in the pool to cool off. 

Grand Falls in Somerset County Maine
Grand Falls in Somerset County Maine

#6 Grand Falls is in Somerset County on the West Branch of the Dead River in Township 3 Range 4 near Bingham and The Forks, Maine.  Grand Falls is a block falls with a 40 foot drop and an impressive 100 foot wide waterfall. Swimming is prohibited because of the raging currents. To access Grand Falls use Lower Enchanted Road North of The Forks, Maine. The road will come to a split stay left and continue until you find a large clearing and a Kiosk Building. It’s an easy, short hike to the falls from the parking area.

Last 4 of the Tallest Waterfalls in Maine
Little Wilson Falls in Piscataquis County near Monson Maine
Little Wilson Falls in Piscataquis County Maine

#7 Little Wilson Falls located in Piscataquis County on Little Wilson Stream in Elliotsville near Monson, Maine. There is an Upper and a Lower Little Wilson Falls, the upper falls is a series of cascades totalling a 40 foot drop. The lower falls has a total drop of 18 feet. The trail is 2.5 miles round trip with a rough access road and a moderate to difficult trail due to the tree roots. It can be slippery on wet or damp days so use caution. The hike is on part of the Appalachian Trail and gives access to a few smaller falls between the upper and lower falls. From the town of Monson, go North on Maine Route 6 & 15, turn Right onto Elliotsville Road. Travel 7.6 miles and turn Left just before the bridge over Wilson Stream. This road has sections of large potholes, a high clearance vehicle is required to travel further. If you have a low clearance vehicle you can park at this point in the parking lot on the left side of the road, note this will add an additional 2 miles to your hike. About another .8 miles there is additional parking in a gravel lot with a short hike of about .3 of a mile to the trailhead. Note: there is very limited parking at the trailhead. 

Snow Falls in Oxford County Maine
Snow Falls in Oxford County Maine

#8 Snow Falls is in Oxford County on the Little Androscoggin River, at a roadside rest area near West Paris, Maine . The falls are a plunge and cascade with a total drop of 25 feet. From South Paris Maine travel North on Route 26 look for the Snow Falls Rest Area on the left side of the road. From West Paris take Route 219 and look for Route 26 on your right. Travel south until you see the Snow Falls Rest Area on your right.  The trail is easy and short with a nice bridge so you can cross over to the opposite side. Note: If you enjoy Gem hunting stop at the Dig Maine Gems location between West Paris and the Snow Falls Rest Stop for some extra family fun.

Kees Falls in Oxford County Maine
Kees Falls in Oxford County Maine

#9 Kees Falls in Oxford County on Morrison Brook in Batchelders, near Hastings, ME in the White Mountain National Forest.  Kees Falls is a horsetail and has a 25 foot drop on the main falls. If you hike the entire loop it is a 7 mile hike rated moderate to hard. The beginning is easy and at the 3rd crossing of Morrison Brook about 1.6 miles from the parking area you will be a short distance from the falls. Kees Falls will be downstream from this crossing with a breathtaking emerald colored pool at the base of the 25 foot drop. The beginning of the hiking trail is located in a parking area on Route 113 approximately 4.6 miles south of the town of Gilead. 

Screw Auger Falls in Oxford County Maine
Screw Auger Falls in Oxford County Maine

#10 Screw Auger Falls is located in Oxford County on the Bear River inside the Grafton Notch State Park located near Newry, Maine. The falls are a plunge and cascade falls with an overall drop of 23 feet. This easy 2 tenths of a mile hike has many ledges and drop offs so caution is needed during wet weather.  Screw Auger Falls is easily found by taking Route 26 North from Newry, ME for about 9 miles, go 10 miles to view Mother Walker Falls which is a 40 foot wide cascading waterfall dropping a total of 98 feet. If up for more adventure, while right in the neighborhood, go another mile from Mother Walker Falls to see Moose Cave Falls. Moose Cave is in a 45 foot deep canyon and the waterfall disappears into a cave then reemerges a short distance later. Use extreme caution: the rocks are slippery when wet.

Any of these natural masterpieces are worth the effort to see. Choose a trail that matches your skill level and bring along a picnic lunch. As with any outdoor adventure, go prepared with snacks, water, an extra pair of shoes, some sunscreen and bug spray (during fly season) and enjoy a day exploring near one of Maine’s beautiful waterfalls. 

Do I need Climate Controlled Self Storage in Ellsworth Maine?

What is climate control storage and do I really need it for my possessions?

This is the most asked question when considering self storage in Ellsworth, Maine and the surrounding areas. Climate control is when the external temperature and humidity are no longer part of the equation for possible damage to your valuables. The humidity level is kept in the optimal range of 35 to 50% to prevent damage from excessive moisture or drying from too little moisture which can be devastating to wood and leather. The temperature is kept within a range relative to the outside temperature to prevent drastic temperature fluxuations. Condensation and moisture caused by this drastic change can wreak havoc on stored items. 

When considering climate control ask yourself a few questions to determine if climate control is needed for your possessions. Use the chart below to help.

QuestionIf the answer is yes… recommendationIf the answer is No… Recommendation
Will it freeze?Climate Control StorageDrive Up Storage
Is it replaceable?Drive Up StorageClimate Control Storage
Will it be stored for longer than 6 months?Climate Control would be best esp in extreme temp fluctuation conditionsDrive up is ok for short periods 
Is it an heirloom?Climate Control StorageDrive Up Storage
Will moisture of any kind ruin it?Climate Control StorageDrive Up Storage
Will the temperature have drastic changes during storage time?Climate Control StorageDrive Up Storage

What items should always be stored in climate control to protect them?

The following list contains items highly recommended for climate control:

  • Photographs ~ moisture will destroy photographs or cause them to stick together
  • Artwork including refrigerator art ~ canvas, paper and wood should all be stored in climate control
  • Heirlooms ~ keepsakes and valuable heirlooms will succumb to moisture ruining them
  • Electronics ~ check manufacturers recommendations for storage
  • Antiques ~ moisture and dryness are both enemies of antiques
  • Leather goods ~ from jackets, to furniture and sports related items if it’s leather extreme heat and/or dry air will ruin them.
  • Musical instruments ~ the delicate nature of instruments require the humidity controlled environment of climate control
  • Important papers or documents ~ moisture is the bane of paper, it can cause destruction beyond repair in a short period of time. 
  • Sports Equipment ~ especially leather in nature
  • Medical supplies ~ most medical supplies can freeze causing them to become useless 
  • Makeup and toiletries ~ lots of makeup items will freeze ruining them or moisture will destroy their usefulness.
  • Art supplies and paint 
  • In colder climates washers and refrigerators with ice makers any water left in the lines or pump will freeze and burst causing them to leak.

In conclusion, climate control is your best option for long term storage to help prevent damage caused by extreme temperature changes and humidity levels. If your storage needs are for a short period of time drive up or conventional storage will suffice. If you have any questions ask the facility manager for their recommendations. 

PRO TIP: If you opt for outside, drive up storage, stop by your unit every few weeks during the Fall and Spring months when temperature changes are the most drastic and open the door for 5 to 10 minutes allowing the air to circulate and help reduce the possibility of condensation in your unit.

DIY Natural Tick Repellents

Natural Tick Killers and Repellents for a Safer Outdoor Experience in Maine

Spring in Maine brings joy. Finally it’s time to clean up from the winter, trim the apple trees, plant your garden and do some hiking, camping or fishing. Spending time outside refreshing your soul. Suddenly another Spring reality strikes when you find a tick crawling on you or attached to your body. The tick population has exploded over the last few years. One of the reasons may be we have moved away from burning fields, which kills ticks, coupled with the increased population of host animals like deer, mice, rats, and squirrels. More ticks are finding their host animals easily, therefore laying more eggs. Nature provides some natural predators to help control ticks like guinea fowl, chickens, turkeys, opossums and ducks. What if you don’t have these around or can’t keep them because you rent. What can you do to feel safer outside?

The number one thing is to start is a tick protocol every time you venture outside. The best protocol starts before you go outside with treating your exposed skin and clothing with a repellent. Following are some natural, simple, safe and effective ways you can protect yourself from tick bites and the bacterial or protozoan infections that cause the diseases and co infections associated with a tick bite. Not every tick is a carrier of these diseases or co infections but the best practice is to treat every tick bite like the tick has a disease. 

Tick Killer/Repellent #1:  CEDAR OIL

The most effective choice is cedar oil. Cedar oil is non toxic to humans and pets. The same can’t be said for its use on ticks! Cedar oil is a natural insect and tick killer or repellent. This oil can be sprayed directly on your skin and clothing. You can treat your yard with a dilution of this oil but be aware it does kill ants, crickets, roaches, chiggers, mosquitos and japanese beetles and many more insects. It is safe for butterflies and bees! Cedar oil is safe for your pets and can be purchased at most pet stores. 

Tick Repellent #2: ORGANIC NEEM OIL

 Organic neem oil can be rubbed directly onto your skin. Use several drops in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and then spread the oil on any exposed skin. You can mix the neem oil with an almond oil or other light carrier oil to dilute it. In it’s diluted state it is safe to use on your dog. DO NOT treat your cat with neem oil. There is a recipe for a pet safe spray you can use on your cat included near the bottom of this article. Optional spray you can make using Neem oil if you prefer this method of application:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoon of Neem oil
  • 4 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • Mix together in a spray bottle, shake well before use and spray on clothing and exposed skin. This solution is great to use on dogs as well. Be sure to label your spray bottle with the ingredients!

DIY tick sprays are very effective at repelling ticks. What makes them effective? Ticks dislike certain scents. All those scents are available in organic essential oils. Therefore, making solutions using one or any combination of these scents is a great way to repel ticks. The scents most repugnant to ticks are peppermint, lavender, cinnamon, orange, rose geranium and lemon or lemongrass. These scents can also be used with a light carrier oil like almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, jojoba, olive or sunflower oil. Mix them well and rub onto your skin. It is recommended to use 100% organic essential oils for making your tick repellent solutions. 

DIY Tick Solution # 1: ESSENTIAL OIL SPRAY

  • 4 oz Water
  • 20 drops of Lemongrass essential oil
  • 20 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil

Add all the ingredients to a small spray bottle and mix well, label the spray bottle. Shake well before every use, spray your exposed skin and shoes, socks, pants or other clothing as desired. Store in a cool dark place to maintain the efficacy of your solution. This solution is suitable for use on children, adults and dogs. 

DIY Tick Solution #2: ESSENTIAL OIL SPRAY

  • 4 oz water
  • 20 drops of Rose Geranium essential oil

Mix in a spray bottle, label with ingredients before storage. Shake well before use and enjoy the great scent. Can be sprayed on skin and clothing, has an added benefit of antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Store in a cool dark place. BONUS: can be used to treat acne! 

DIY Tick Solution #3: ESSENTIAL OIL SPRAY

  • 4 oz water
  • 20 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil

Mix in a small spray bottle, shake well before use. Spray exposed skin and clothing before going outside. This solution is safe for dogs as well but only in this diluted state. Never use straight eucalyptus oil on your dog. As with all DIY sprays label the bottle before storage and keep in a cool dark place to maintain the effectiveness of the essential oils. 

DIY Tick Solution #4: ESSENTIAL OIL LOTION

If you would rather have an oil based body lotion try this nice combination for insect and tick repellent. Choose your favorite carrier oil, jojoba, olive, sunflower, coconut or almond oil to use in this recipe.

  • 1 Tablespoon of light carrier oil
  • 6 drops of Tea Tree essential oil
  • 6 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 9 drops of citronella essential oil

Mix well and spread lightly onto your skin. Take the remaining mixture and put in a little bottle to take with you for reapplication if needed. Any one of the above solutions will work to repel or in the case of the cedar oil kill the pesky disease carrying ticks. 

DIY Tick and Flea Solution for Pets (including cats)

  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Mix these two ingredients together in a large spray bottle then add the following ingredients. There will be a foaming reaction so slowly add the wet ingredients while holding the bottle over a sink. 

  • 8 oz of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz of warm water

After the foaming reaction subsides spray on pets avoiding the face and eyes. If you want to treat their faces, spray solution onto your hands and gently rub into their fur. Spray your pets body with this solution and then rub into fur down to their skin. This solution can be used on their bedding and throughout the house to treat for ticks and fleas. Retreat on a regular two week cycle during the flea and tick season. 

PRO TIP: If you own a lint roller use on your body before entering your house. The sticky paper will pull the tick off your clothes preventing infestation of your home. Keep one in your car to use after hiking or working away from home. 

Go wild with your essential oils and combos, try cinnamon and orange or lavender and peppermint, lemon or lemongrass with cinnamon, be adventurous with your scents. No reason tick repellent can’t smell great! If you forget and need to purchase an OTC spray use Ben’s Tick Repellent Spray. It works great but avoid getting it on your skin. 

The next step in tick protocol is when you return home. Remove all your clothing and put them immediately into the washing machine. Washing does not kill the ticks but drying them will dehydrate them, preventing an accidental infestation of your home. Take a hot shower and check yourself all over paying close attention to your legs, head, arm pits, mid section including your groin as these are favorite spots for ticks to attach. Slowly run your hands over your body feeling for hard bumps, even tiny ones as the tick nymph are small. 

What to do if you find one attached:

  • Use a tick removal tool kit, (spoon or key type) Don’t have one? Follow these steps.
  • Use fine point tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible
  • Gently pull straight up ~ Do not twist or jerk the tick 
  • Do NOT crush the tick between your fingers (bodily fluids carry any diseases)
  • Wash the wound and follow with peroxide or alcohol to disinfect 
  • If the head of the tick is left in the skin do not dig it out. If it can be easily extracted with tweezers without crushing the head, remove it. If not, leave it and let your body take care of it or go to your doctor for proper extraction. 
  • Capture tick in a zip lock baggie (do not tape or use alcohol to kill the tick if you are having it tested) 
  • Write in permanent marker on the bag date: time: location on body: location where tick was picked up : Activity during this time
  • If in Maine follow this link to have the tick identified and tested https://extension.umaine.edu/ticks/submit/
  • Watch the bite site for a rash, bullseye ring or for fever for several weeks
  • Call your doctor immediately if you develop any rash or fever.

Arm yourself with knowledge in the war against ticks. Know what works to repel or kill them, and how to properly remove them if they do make it past your defenses. Don’t let ticks prevent you from enjoying the great outdoors! 

4 Ways To Save On Your Next Move

4 Ways To Save Money On Your Next Move By Using A Storage Facility

Have you considered moving, like an entire interstate relocation and change of city process? Even if you haven’t considered it, it could happen anytime. According to the United States Census Bureau, an approximated number of 31 million Americans move each year, and as much as 3 million, move interstate. 

Various reasons can prompt the need to move out of state. These reasons may include the need for a fresh start in life, an office promotion, traveling for further education, moving in with a partner in a different city, or the loss of a loved one resulting in the need to sell off property as soon as possible to trusted house buyers

Whatever the reason may be, the easiest part of moving out of state is “the decision” to move. Every other part of the process is challenging and has some concerns associated with it. 

Some of these challenges include:

Leaving all previous experiences, friends, and family

This process is not an easy one. From the moment you announce your possible move out of state, even for new and exciting opportunities, the gloom sets in. Subconscious sadness and a wild attempt to adjust to the reality of living without family and friends, with whom you have created amazing memories, becomes a daily routine. This does not mean you will not move, you will, probably amidst tears. 

The cost of moving out of state

Moving out of state costs a lot of money. If you have lived in your current city for a long time you may have accumulated a lot of belongings. These belongings may include presents from all forms of celebrations, the spur of the moment purchases you never used, and the non-essentials needed for daily comfort. 

If you have to move with all of these belongings, you are going to need a truck or a mover, and the larger the truck, the greater your expense, amidst other payments. The estimated average cost for an interstate move is $4,800. That is an amount you may be concerned about spending. However, there are easy and effective ways to save money on your next move out of state, whenever that may be.

Four Ways To Save Money When Moving Out Of State

Tip #1 Rid yourself of sentiment. Don’t move what you don’t need.

This may be a good time to make some extra cash, you are moving to a new state and need all the money you can get. How about creating a note, honestly taking into consideration every belonging you own? Yes, you may need to sell off some of them. 

The television set no one ever used, the worn-out favorite couch from a decade ago, the grand piano your mum loved greatly which no one plays it anymore since her death, bulky electronics and furniture, the list should be as exhaustive as possible. What do you have on that list which you haven’t used in a year? This is a tough decision, but to save money, you need to get rid of them. 

Don’t move what you don’t need. You can sell them off locally at garage sales, list them online using apps or on local social media communities, and for those items that you love dearly, you can offer them as gifts to friends and family who need them. With this, now you have the essentials left.

Tip #2 Use local storage facilities.

Using a storage facility is cost-effective. Having sorted through your belongings and gone through the gruesome task of decluttering, now you have the essentials—properties and belongings you have to keep. Some of these belongings may not be needed for immediate use. If you can live without them for a while then maybe you should opt for an affordable and safe storage facility. This will save you the stress, time, energy, and money required to move everything across the state.

The average standard storage unit rent costs $60 to $180. Additionally, you can save more money by taking appropriate measurements of your fixtures’ dimensions, especially the furniture, and running the measurement by the unit estimator to ensure you pay for the right unit size. Also, you get to choose favorable conditions for the storage of your items—climate controlled or non-climate controlled, anything to keep your items safe.

Tip #3 Do some local search to source storage boxes.

When moving, you don’t need to buy new storage boxes. Some open conversations in your neighborhood, physically or in online communities requesting storage boxes can get you all the storage boxes you need. Even if you don’t get them completely free, you can get them at heavily discounted rates. However, as much as you can, try to fit your items into equal-sized boxes. This ensures that the boxes can be packed properly without tipping, whether they are moved miles across the state or moved to a local storage facility for safety.

Tip #4 Call in favors from friends and family.

What do you have left to move across the state? Can your friends and family help you move them? If all you have left are easy fixtures and properly packed storage boxes, then you may call in your friends and family to help you move. 

Instead of paying professional movers, you get to buy boxes of pizza, have a merry inter-state trip, and also get a new company on arrival at your new house. While this is a great tip, you need to consider how far your new location is, and also ensure that your friends/family can move whatever items you have efficiently to this new location. 

Moving out of state is not an easy task, there will be various challenges and unbudgeted expenses before, during, and possibly after moving. Consider all your options meticulously and explore all possible ways to save money, you will need the extra cash at your new location. 

Try to avoid moving during the busy or peak travel period, it will save you some money. Even if you have to move during a busy period, if you don’t have to move everything at the same time, you can opt for a storage facility, keep your belongings in a safe unit and move them at a convenient time.

Tips For A Successful Maine Yard Sale

Planning a Yard Sale in Maine

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

The official start of Spring is in March but in Maine Spring begins for most with the first yard sale. Yard sales are a favorite hobby of the avid bargain hunter. Hosting a successful yard sale is a lucrative event.  Successful yard sales take planning and organization, so having a clear plan of action can greatly reduce the stress and extra work associated with a yard sale. There is a huge difference between a well planned yard sale and one thrown together at the last minute. It’s evident the second you walk into the yard. Rows of neatly laid out items, clearly marked with prices as opposed to piles of things heaped on the lawn with no tags. It’s definitely worth the time and effort to plan and organize your sale. Most people will walk away from the heaps of items piled on the lawn. Tips for planning a successful yard sale are below.

If this is your first time hosting a yard sale take a little time and think about the yard sales you have been to. Were the items displayed in a pleasing manner, how were things tagged, what did the signage look like. These clues can help you plan your yard sale with a few extra tips listed below.

Planning Tip:

Plan far in advance. Choose a date and stick to it.  Decide if it’s going to be a one day deal or a two day event, typically 2 day events are more successful.  This will help you break down the list of things that need to be done in a timeline. The timeline will help you keep on track and make sure you aren’t rushing at the last minute to complete tasks that could have been done weeks or months ago for a smoother sale. This is what a typical timeline could look like.

January/February: Declutter the house and sort sale items, donation items into bins. Throw out the other things that no longer have a use. Arrange to donate the items sorted to appropriate organizations. 

March: Clean, wash and repair all the items for the yard sale. Organize them into boxes or totes to keep them organized.  Price the items that need to be priced. PRO TIP: Sort into categories to make set up at your sale easier. Label the totes with the category. The Dollar Store is a great place to find inexpensive price tags or masking tape and permanent markers for pricing your yard sale goodies!

April: Research expensive items or old items for their current value. You wouldn’t want to put Aunt Betty’s 1890 painting she had hanging in her living room for $5.00 to find out it’s worth $5000.00 to a collector. Those items will require a different kind of sale to gain the best value from them.  PRO TIP: Pricing can be tricky too high and no one will be interested so remember yard sales are for bargain hunters and price accordingly. It is best to keep sentimental value out of the equation when deciding on a price. For new or larger items like furniture, the best rule is 25 to 30% of the original value. For example, you purchased a table for 100.00 ten years ago and it’s still in great shape, at your yard sale the price tag should be 25 to 30 dollars and be prepared to haggle. 

May: Make signs that are easy to read. Plan out your advertising. Keep it simple to gain the biggest return on your sale. Plan how your yard sale will be laid out, keeping in mind the successful yard sales you have been to before. Gather the items you need for the day of the sale: tables, chairs, cash box, cooler with lunch etc. Have an exit plan for the yard sale: a bag full for 1.00 so you have less to take down or nothing special because you plan on having another yard sale in the next weeks or months. Know ahead of time what you want so you can plan accordingly. PRO TIP: Keep your signs simple and easy to read, choose fluorescent colors to catch the eye. Keep the sign to three lines: YARD SALE, Date & Time, Location remember people will be in their cars driving by so the larger the letters the better. Also choose a stop sign or location where people will have to be going slow so they have time to read it all.  If you need extra tables consider using boards and boxes to create tables. Plan on donating the left over items from your yard sale? Make arrangements now to drop off or arrange to have someone pick up your donations.

Week to several days before sale: set up tables and put up the signs in strategic locations to make people aware your sale is happening. PRO TIP: Plan the layout of your sale and have it on paper so when it’s time to set up you have a clear idea of where things will go. 

2 days to the sale: start putting out things that can be protected from night time dew or rain. You can hide sealed totes under the tables making the day of the yard sale an easier set up. Have help moving big furniture pieces into place and cover them  with plastic for protection. PRO TIP: This would be a great time to verify everything is clearly marked with a price. If you like to haggle you can make your yard sale a “name your price” sale but have in mind a fair price for someone who doesn’t want to haggle.  Use the Dollar Store again for inexpensive plastic tablecloths or coverings. 

1 day away: get balloons to add at the end of the driveway with your sign to catch people’s attention. Put out as much stuff as you feel will be protected from night time moisture to help you be more prepared for the day of the sale. Make sure you have change for sales and bags to help people take home their treasures. If you need to make signs for the fill a bag for the last hour of your sale have them ready. PRO TIP: Have help lined up to help you set up and take down the sale at the end. Set up your check out area in the shade or have a popup canopy for your protection from the sun. 

Day of the sale: Make sure you have enough time before the sale starts to have everything set up. Have your cooler packed the night before with your water and lunch to save time.  Place your attention-getting sale sign with the waving balloons early. Lock your house for your protection while the sale is going on. You wouldn’t want strangers wandering into your home while you were occupied with the sale. Another safety tip is to keep your coins for making change in a money box but the bills on your person. PRO TIP: Have someone lined up to come give you a quick break to use the restroom throughout the day.

This is a basic outline, it can be changed to suit your needs. Clearly planning helps keep your sale moving along and eliminating the last minute rush and stress. Ultimately the success of your yard sale rests a lot on the items you have available, the prices you have set and what your bargain hunter is looking for. Having a wide variety of items helps you appeal to a broader range of shoppers! Good Luck and Happy Yard Sale!

How To Store Cushions, Hammocks & Umbrellas in Brewer Maine

Proper Cleaning and Storage of Cushions, Hammocks and Umbrellas in Brewer Maine.

How Do You Clean and Store Patio Cushions, Hammocks and Umbrellas in Brewer, Maine?

Living in Brewer, Maine has its challenges especially when it comes to your outdoor living time. The season for patio and outdoor living in Brewer last about five months which means your patio furniture is stored appropriately seven months of the year. Ever take your patio furniture out of  storage and find mold and mildew have taken up residence on your cushions, hammock or umbrella material? Preventing this phenomenon starts before putting your patio furniture in self storage. Simple cleaning tips for optimum self storage of your outdoor living investment can help prevent damage during it’s off season time.

Cushion Care:

No list of cleaning tips would be complete without discussing the cushions used to create your comfortable patio or deck space. Cushions are either removable or not. The removable cushion covers can often be washed in a washing machine with any laundry detergent. Cleaning your cushion covers by hand is the best way to  give them a really deep cleaning. First remove the foam core, then remove any loose dirt by brushing the cover. Next soak the covers in a bucket of warm soapy water, then scrub with a soft bristled brush. Cleaning Tip: Scrub the inside of the cover as well, to remove stubborn or deep stains.  Then rinse with clean water and allow to air dry thoroughly before reinserting the foam cores. 

Non removable cushions are almost as easily cleaned. Sponge on the warm soapy water and rub to create a foamy coating on your cushions. Scrub any extra dirty spots with a soft bristled brush until the dirt is gone. Use a high pressure setting on your hose nozzle to rinse the foam and all soap residue from the cushions. Squeeze excess water from the cushions and allow them to thoroughly dry. 

Cleaning tip: If your cushions already have some mold and mildew, mix a solution of 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of bleach and ¼ cup of mild detergent. Using a spray bottle, spray onto the affected area, allow to soak in for 15 minutes or so then use a soft bristled brush on the area until the mold and mildew are gone. A sponge or cloth will work equally as well to remove the mold or mildew stain.  Storage tip: Place thoroughly dry cushions in plastic bags to protect them during storage. Garbage bags work great for storing cushions. Add a strong scented dryer sheet for fresh smelling cushions in the Spring plus mice dislike strong odors which will help protect your cushions from rodent damage while being stored. Keep your cushions off the floor especially if it’s a concrete floor. Moisture is the leading cause of damage to stored cushions. 

Hammock Care:

Remove the hammock from its frame, lay on a tarp and sweep off any surface debris. Wet the entire hammock with a hose. Using a mixture of warm water and dish soap sponge clean all surfaces of the hammock. Rinse all soap from the hammock and dry thoroughly. Cleaning tip: If mold and mildew have stained your hammock material use full strength white vinegar and scrub the area using a hand brush, allow to sit for 10 minutes or so then rinse and allow to dry before storage. Once dry, fold and store in a contractors garbage bag or wrap in plastic to protect the hammock during storage. Storage tip: if your hammock frame is easily disassembled place it in the same bag. This will make finding all the pieces easy when you are ready to relax on your patio again next summer!

Umbrella Care:

The fabric of your umbrella is easily cleaned once you remove it from it’s frame and lay it out on a tarp to protect it from grass and dirt while cleaning it. Sweep the loose debris from the fabric, scrub any mold or mildew areas with a dry brush, then wet with a hose until all the fabric is wet. Mix a cleaning solution of 2 cups of warm water, 2 cups of white vinegar and a tablespoon of dish detergent (Dawn cuts grease). Scrub the umbrella fabric with a hand held brush and the cleaning solution until the entire umbrella is covered. Let the solution set for 10 minutes then rinse with a hose to remove all of the cleaning solution. Allow to air dry thoroughly.Cleaning tip: Treating the umbrella fabric for mold and mildew before storage will help protect it during the months stored. If after cleaning you see additional mold and mildew stains wet the fabric and scrub using a hard brush and full strength white vinegar, allow to sit for 10 minutes, rinse clean and allow to dry.  Storage Tip: Place a clean and dry umbrella in a bag and tie to the cleaned umbrella frame. 

Mold and Mildew Removal:

A generic mold and mildew cleaning solution that will work on most surfaces is a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar. Spray on the surface of your furniture, let it set 30 minutes before rinsing. Follow with a towel drying and then allow to thoroughly air dry. For extensive mold and mildew removal especially on fabrics like cushions, hammocks and umbrellas, dry brush the area to remove surface mold, rinse and allow to dry. Scrub using a hand brush and full strength white vinegar completely soak and scrub the affected area, let sit for 10 minutes then rinse off with clean water and let dry. Protecting your outdoor living and patio furniture from mold and mildew is important to prolonging the life of your investment.

Cleaning your furniture properly before putting it in self storage is the best way to protect it. An additional step would be to add strong scented dryer sheets in the bags to prevent rodent invasion. They dislike strong odors. Check with the storage facility to be sure they have pest control methods in place. With regular cleaning and proper storage you can enjoy your patio living space for years to come. 

What will fit in a Self Storage Unit in Bangor, Maine?

If you are like most of us square footage means nothing. Short of pulling out the tape measure and measuring out the area of a self storage unit in Bangor, Maine and visualizing if what you have will fit into that space. It’s hard to imagine. Then take into account the height of the self storage unit this will also influence what will fit.  Choosing a self storage unit that is appropriate for your needs can be easy by using the size guide below and utilizing the knowledgeable staff in Bangor. Safety tip: boxes and totes should not be stacked higher than your shoulders. Lifting heavy items from over your head can lead to injury so use care when stacking your boxes and totes in self storage. 

The self storage industry uses standard size guides to help determine what will fit into a designated size unit. Take into consideration if your items are larger or smaller than the standard size when making a decision on a unit. Between the size and height of a unit and the measurements of the items going into storage, you can see how tricky it can be to choose the right size for your needs. Self storage facilities have a simple size guide that can assist you in choosing the correct unit. This size guide will provide you with a general idea of what will fit in a self storage unit based on the size.

5×5 Size Guide:

A 5×5 self storage unit is like a small closet, great for storing a small dresser, a twin mattress and several small boxes. It is also perfect for seasonal decorations, clothing, sports equipment, lawn and garden tools or just a little extra storage space if you have a small apartment. Looking to store old files from your office? 40 standard file boxes will fit in this size unit.

5×10 Size Guide:

A 5×10 self storage unit is like a walk in closet. This size is great for a couch, chair, standard bureau and some small boxes. For an office looking for some off site storage 85 standard file boxes will fit.

10x10 Size Guide:

A 10×10 self storage unit is equivalent to an average bedroom. This size will hold the standard furnishings from a one bedroom apartment. For off site storage for standard file boxes it will hold about 170 standard sized boxes.

10×15 Size Guide:

A 10×15 self storage unit is equivalent to a large bedroom. This size will hold the furnishings from a 2 bedroom apartment or a small house. Offices needing off site storage will be able to store 290 standard sized file boxes.  A two door small car can be stored in a 10×15 unit.

10×20 Size Guide

A 10×20 self storage unit is like a large one car garage. This size will hold furnishings from a 3 or 4 bedroom apartment or house. A car, truck or small tow-behind camper can be stored in a 10×20 unit.

10×30 Size Guide:

A 10×30 self storage unit has the capacity to hold a 5 to 7 bedroom house. This unit can easily hold a car or truck plus the furnishings from a small house. This size unit is great for a large tow-behind camper or a small RV. The size of the RV or camper is limited by the height of the door for access and the length of the vehicle. 

If the simple guide above doesn’t clarify the size needed we have three resources available to assist in a decision on the appropriate size. The first is our Size Guide , the Space Estimator and our friendly, professional staff who are always ready to help you. 

What if I choose the wrong size and realize it after I’ve rented the unit? If you find you need a larger space the facility manager will be able to easily assist you. What will fit in a self storage unit can vary depending on your packing and stacking skills. A nicely packed unit will hold more than one that is unorganized. Tip: consider using a moving company to move your items into storage, they pack and stack for a living!  

Are Self Storage Units Safe in Ellsworth, ME?

How safe are self storage units in Ellsworth, ME?

How safe are self storage units in Ellsworth, ME? Security is an important consideration when choosing a self storage unit. There are many factors affecting how safe a self storage facility can be. Most important are the measures the facility has in place and the things you can do to help secure your property while in storage.  Ask about the security measures in place before you decide!

What Security Measures Are Already in Place?

We utilize each of the following security measures at our facility but what if we aren’t near you? Check out the security protocol the self storage facility has in place, oftentimes driving by will clue you in on some of the most obvious features such as security fence and gate, lighting and surveillance cameras. What about some of the other important factors such as secure key code entrance and staff that have your best interest as their top priority? This will require a call or a visit to ascertain.

Digital Surveillance:

Digital surveillance offers the best quality picture over tape storage. A security camera records everything that happens 24 hours a day. They will record in low light and provide evidence if an incident does occur. 

Gated Security:

A security gate and fence is your first line of defense. A fence surrounds the facility and deters access from unwanted guests. Our gate is monitored day and night with a digital camera recording all activity around the gate.

Password Protected Entrance:

A good self storage facility will require each renter to have their individual secure pass code for entering the gate and any doors. These codes are unique to each user and provide an added layer of protection against unwanted visitors. 

Lighting:

A well lit facility is a huge deterrent to criminal activity. Lighting throughout illuminates suspicious activity as well as brightens nighttime images on the video surveillance system. Lighting is very important to the overall security.

Staffing:

Onsite staffing is another layer of protection often overlooked. They monitor who goes in and out and look for unusual activity at the facility. They can be your eyes when you are not there. Walking throughout the self storage units inspecting locks and looking for evidence of tampering. 

What Can You Do To Increase The Security Of Your Unit?

There are several things you can do to provide greater protection of your possessions while they are in self storage.

  • Purchase a disc or cylinder lock. These locks afford the best protection because they are not easily snipped or cut. Oftentimes your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance will require this type of lock in order for your policy to be valid.
  • Do not store valuables. Insurance policies whether your homeowner’s or the insurance you purchase at the facility will not cover money. Many will not cover valuable jewelry or collectibles. It is best to know what your insurance policy will and will not cover before deciding what to store in your unit.
  • Keep your unique entrance code private. Sharing your code with others will increase the chance of a security breach. 
  • Choose an inside unit for an added level of protection. 
  • Make sure your unit is closed properly and locked before leaving the facility. 
  • If your door lock does not work properly report it to the facility manager. Your disc lock will not work as intended if the door lock isn’t working or is broken. 
  • Keep a record and pictures of your contents. This will expedite any claim if it becomes necessary.
  • IF the unthinkable happens call 911 immediately! Do not touch anything until the police arrive. Notify the facility manager and your insurance company as soon as possible. 

Picking the best self storage facility with the most security measures in place plus all the things you personally do to protect your possessions means self storage can be safe. It’s up to you to decide what level of security you feel the most comfortable with to secure your belongings while in storage. We strive to provide excellent security for a worry free self storage experience.