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4 Tips on Mattress Storage in Ellsworth, Maine

attractive woman joyfully bouncing on a mattress, happy it was safe in self storage
Tips on Mattress Storage in Ellsworth, Maine

Let’s face it, a mattress is an investment. It is a financial investment for your sleep and overall health. A good mattress takes time and energy to find. Once you find a good mattress in Ellsworth, Maine, you want to protect it and extend the life of your mattress for as long as possible. So what do you do if you find you must store your mattress. What is the best self storage option for your mattress? Taking a few steps to protect your investment just makes sense. Following are four tips for storing your mattress.

Mattress Storage Tip #1: Cleanliness is Mandatory

Take a little time and thoroughly clean your mattress. A clean mattress will resist mold and mildew from developing during storage. 

  1. Vacuum thoroughly using the upholstery attachment cleaning every crack and crevice.
  2. Remove stains with upholstery cleaner following the manufacturer recommendations. (See DIY methods and Memory Foam Mattress recommendations below)
  3. Allow to dry and sprinkle with baking soda, let it set overnight if possible.
  4. Vacuum baking soda off Mattress 
  5. Flip mattress and clean the other side using steps 1-4

Certain stains require a different approach. Biologic stains like urine, blood, vomit, sweat and other bodily stains are best approached with an enzyme based cleaner. Spray enzyme based cleaner on a clean cloth and blot the stained area. Remove the cleaner with a clean cloth dampened with cold water until the stain lifts.  

DIY Tip: Mix up some dish detergent and water but only apply the foam from this mixture to the stain, remove soap with a dampened cloth of cold water. Another solution is a 50/50 mixture of cold water and hydrogen peroxide. This works great on blood.

Memory foam has become the most popular type of mattress. Memory foam isn’t supposed to be wet, so clean with caution. All the methods above will work on memory foam mattresses but work on the principle; less is more. If you should accidentally use too much moisture in cleaning your memory foam mattress, sun and fresh air is the best practice for thoroughly drying before storage!

Mattress Storage Tip #2: Protection

The best protection is a plastic mattress cover. Once your mattress is dry from cleaning, install a plastic cover. This will prevent moisture from humidity or other sources from damaging your mattress. PRO TIP: add a few of your favorite scented dryer sheets in with the mattress. The fresh scent will discourage pests and be a welcome addition when you remove it from self storage.

Mattress Storage Tip #3: Self Storage Duration

A few things to consider before choosing a self storage unit, will it be a short term storage situation of 3 months or less, or will it be stored for longer. For under three months a drive up storage will work but for anything longer than that use climate controlled storage! Climate controlled storage offers greater protection against humidity. Pro Tip: If you store in an outside drive up storage unit, stop by your unit once a month and open the doors for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will change the air and allow any moisture that may have accumulated to evaporate. Unzip your mattress cover and check for any dampness, the fresh air will keep your mattress fresh smelling.

Mattress Storage Tip #4: Correct Storage

To prevent any damage to your investment it is recommended that the mattress be stored flat with nothing heavy on it. If you have room, lay the mattress on the floor and stack other mattresses on top. If you need all that space, create a flat platform with your totes and boxes to put your mattress on top of. The goal is to prevent any structural damage to the inside material. Nothing would be worse than putting the absolute most amazing mattress in storage and when you take it out, find that the boxes or other items that were stored on top of the mattress rendered it useless.  What if you need all the space and laying the mattress flat is not an option. If it’s a short term storage you can prop the mattress on its side, flat against a wall. Make sure it is straight with no bends or sags! A bend of sag will damage the structural material inside your mattress. TIP: If you have a box spring you can wedge the mattress between the box spring and wall to assist in keeping the mattress straight. Speaking of box springs, they can be stored on their side as they have no coils or other structural material to damage!

When it comes time to remove your mattress from self storage, open the protective cover and air the mattress out in the sun and fresh air. Sunshine is great, the UV rays kill mold or mildew spores and any moisture that may have invaded your mattress. If by chance there is a lingering odor from storage you can retreat with baking soda. Baking soda absorbs moisture and odors! Vacuum after allowing the baking soda to sit on the mattress for several hours and reassemble your bed. Make your bed with your favorite sheets and bedding to reacquaint yourself with your favorite mattress! 

What Size Storage Unit Will Fit A Vehicle?

What size storage unit will fit a vehicle? Vehicle storage tips
Vehicle Storage tip’s, trick’s and FAQ’s

Vehicle Storage comes with several questions. First, what size unit will be needed to store a vehicle? Next, what needs to be done to the vehicle before storage? Then, does the self-storage facility have any specific requirements to store a vehicle? Lastly, how long will the vehicle be stored? Knowing the answers to these questions will help decide the best choice for vehicle storage. Therefore, ask these questions before deciding on a storage unit for a vehicle.

What Size Storage Unit Is Needed For Vehicle Storage?

The best answer to this question lies with; “What size is the vehicle?’ Most people have no idea how long their vehicle is without taking a tape measure and measuring the vehicle. Is there a faster way to figure out the size storage unit needed for vehicle storage? There is! It comes down to a couple of simple questions. Is it a car or a truck? Does it have two doors or four?  

If the answer is a two-door car, then the storage unit will need to be at least a 10×15. If the answer is a four-door car, then the unit will need to be at least a 10×20. Lastly, if you said a truck, the smallest unit is a 10×20 as all trucks are over fifteen feet in length. A 10 by 20 will accommodate most passenger trucks.

What Should Be Done To A Vehicle Going Into Storage?

A little prep work before a vehicle goes into storage can save time when it comes to taking it out of storage. A quick trip to the mechanic can give you peace of mind. Let the garage know this is a pre storage checkup. The mechanic will check the following things. 

  • Test the battery (a weak battery can go flat and freeze in the winter making it useless) 
  • Verify the antifreeze is at a satisfactory level for the geological location 
  • Change the oil (having fresh oil helps with lubrication) 
  • Check the tire pressures 

PRO HINT: If the vehicle inspection runs out during the storage time, ask the garage to perform an inspection. Therefore, it will not be an issue when the vehicle comes out of storage

What Can The Vehicle Owner Do To Protect The Vehicle During Storage?

Now that the garage or the DIY’er has completed the pre-storage inspection, what else can be done to protect the vehicle? For added protection complete the following steps. It seems like a lot but ultimately the preservation of the vehicle while in storage is the most important thing. It will be worth the extra effort. 

  • Wash and wax the vehicle to protect the finish.  
  • Clean all food containers or crumbs from the vehicle to prevent rodents from invading. 
  • Add rodent protection. Use moth balls or dryer sheets in the interior and engine compartments of the vehicle. (Shaved Irish Spring Soap is another great alternative) 
  • Use a rubber protect on the tires to prevent cracking while in storage 
  • Lay down a plastic sheet or super absorbent pads under the engine compartment. (Most self-storage facilities require some sort of protection for the floor and to help protect the other tenants from leaking fluids from a stored vehicle. This protects the vehicle owner as they will be responsible for any spills) 
  • If using a vehicle cover be sure it is made from breathable material. Moisture trapped under a cover not breathable will cause damage to the finish.  
  • To prevent mold and mildew in the trunk, purchase and install some water absorbent tubes that are mildew resistant
  • Purchase and use Fuel Stabilizer.  

DAY OF STORAGE: 

  • Fill the gas tank ¾ full and use the fuel stabilizer (this protects the gas from breaking down while in storage. Fuel starts to break down after 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks))  
  • Lay down the plastic sheet or absorbent pads and drive the vehicle into storage. 
  • Disconnect the battery unless the manufacturer recommends not to because of the onboard computers.  
  • Install the water/mildew absorbent tubes in the trunk as well as the rodent repellent of choice.  
  • Roll up the windows and use the rodent repellent of choice in the interior.  
  • Install rodent repellent of choice in the engine compartment.  
  • Verify the keys are not inside the vehicle.  
  • Make sure the parking brake is off, if a standard shift vehicle, that your wheels are blocked to prevent rolling.  
  • Cover the vehicle if using one. 
  • Lock the storage unit.  
Are There Any Special Requirements For Vehicle Storage In A Storage Unit?

Most self-storage facilities will have specific requirements for vehicle storage. These requirements can range from proof of ownership, proof of valid insurance, pictures of any damage prior to being stored, drip pan or absorbent material under the engine area. Each storage facility will have their own requirements. It is best to check the requirements before renting a unit.  

How Long Will The Vehicle Be In Storage?

This may not seem important, but it is particularly important. Vehicles stored longer than a year need extra prep at storage time. These things could be overlooked and would cause an issue when it came time to remove the vehicle from storage. Based on manufacturer’s requirements, remove battery for storage in a warm location. If the battery cannot be removed a battery tender or trickle charger will need to be installed to keep the battery charged. Check with the storage facility before renting to see if they offer units with electricity. Another major difference will be jack stands. These will alleviate the possibility of flat spots on the tires from long term storage. The weight of the vehicle can cause flat spots making the tires unusable when it comes time to drive it again. Then there is the possibility of engine rust. To prevent this, use an engine oil additive like Lucas Oil or TriboTEX Engine. These products have superior lubrication and remain on the engine components to prevent rust and dry starts. If possible, coming to start the engine periodically will prevent all the oil from draining away from the engine components and avoid rusting. While there check on the moisture tubes and replace if necessary to prevent mold and mildew. Freshen the rodent repellent when needed and consider installing small screen protectors over the exhaust and on the air intakes to prevent mice from invading your vehicle.  

These steps may seem extensive but when it comes time to remove the vehicle from storage the benefits will be clear. As always before starting your vehicle remove all rodent repellent from the engine compartment and any screens used on the exhaust and air intakes. Check the tire pressures before removing jack stands or driving. In other words, doing all the prep work before storage will save time at the end of storage allowing the owner to drive away and enjoy more time on the open road.  

How To Store Metal Patio Furniture In Maine.

Proper metal patio furniture storage in Maine.

Whether you live in Bangor, Brewer, or Ellsworth, Maine when it comes to your metal patio furniture the extreme Maine weather can wreak havoc on it. Storing it outside will shorten the life of your furniture exposing it to extreme cold and being ice caked for months on end will compromise the integrity of the metal. Self storage is a great option to protect your metal patio furniture when the garage, basement or leaky shed out back are no longer viable places for storage. To properly store your metal patio furniture will require a little prep work depending on the type of metal used for your furniture. Proper cleaning and repair are your best weapons for maintaining the new look of your furniture. 

General Metal Cleaning Tips:

First let’s address mold and mildew on your metal furniture. On most metal surfaces mold and mildew are easily removed with a good washing using a solution of warm soapy water. Have you ever noticed that mold and mildew can stain your furniture? To remove this stain is easier than you might expect.  Mix a solution of water and white vinegar in a 50/50 mixture. Simply spray the solution onto the affected surfaces. Let this sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with clear water. Towel dry the surface and allow it to thoroughly air dry before storage. Moisture is needed for mold and mildew to thrive. White vinegar is the best cleaning solution to kill mold and mildew spores because the PH level is typically 2.5 which is extremely acidic. While mold and mildew need a slightly acidic environment to grow, white vinegar’s extremely acidic formula is perfect for killing mold and mildew. 

Most metal surfaces are easily cleaned, first wash away any large debris with a hose. Use soapy water to thoroughly clean all metal surfaces. Rinse the soap from the metal and dry with a soft cloth, microfiber cloths are great for drying metal furniture. Avoid using anything abrasive as this will scratch and damage your metal furniture.  Some metals require special care see those below:

Aluminum Coated Furniture Cleaning Tips:

On aluminum coated furniture use non abrasive liquid cleaners. Remove scuffs by gently rubbing the area with a soft cloth covered with the cleaner and warm water. Rinse and dry with a soft cloth. If the powder coating is glossy you can apply a light coating of baby oil or a car wax to maintain the finish. 

Stainless Steel Furniture Cleaning Tips:

Stainless steel requires a different approach especially with grease or smudges. These are easily cleaned with white vinegar on a damp cloth, once gone rinse and dry with a clean soft cloth to restore the stainless steel shine.  Rust and corrosion are combated with a paste of baking powder and water. Scrub the mixture onto the affected area, in the direction of the grain of the finish, using a soft bristled brush, rinse with clean water and wipe off excess water and allow it to air dry. Water marks from hard water are easily removed with a cleaning followed with a good wipe down to remove excess water and allow it to air dry.  Hard water hazing aka the white film can be cleaned with a mixture of 1:4 of distilled white vinegar and water. On galvanized steel use a mixture of 50/50 of distilled white vinegar and water to remove the white haze. 

Wrought Iron Furniture Cleaning Tips:

Wrought iron can be the trickiest of all to clean due to the often ornate designs. Vacuum with a small brush attachment to remove dust and dirt. Use soapy water and a soft bristled brush to clean, a toothbrush can be used for small crevices in the intricate designs. Rinse well and wipe dry with a soft cloth. If there is damage to the finish follow these instructions to repair. Scrap to remove large flakes of finish, use a wire brush to remove small flakes and rust areas. Sandpaper any remaining rust off and smooth the rough spots in the finish for a sleek finished product. Clean thoroughly using the method above, allow it to dry. Use a rust proof primer to cover the exposed iron, followed with a few light coats of enamel paint. Once dry polish with a paste car wax and buff to a shine. Storage tip: Make sure your metal furniture and appliances are thoroughly clean and dry before storage to prevent mold, mildew or rust.

After properly cleaning your metal patio furniture it’s now time to store it. Typically your cushions should be cleaned and thoroughly dried before storing (see here for cushion cleaning). Stack your metal chairs if possible, protect any surfaces that can be scratched with plastic furniture wrap or an old blanket. Make sure where you store your furniture is dry as moisture will cause rust. Look into self storage as a great alternative to on site storage in your basement or garage. Cleaning before storage has a dual purpose, it prevents rust, mold and mildew during storage. Then next Spring you will be able to enjoy your metal patio furniture as soon as the first nice day arrives!

How To Care For Wood Patio Furniture in Maine

How to Care for Wooden Patio Furniture

Wooden patio furniture leads a rough life in the extreme Maine climate.  Some woods high in oil are designed to withstand the worst Maine can throw at them and others are better suited for self storage to protect them. Depending on the wood type and what the desired goal is for your wooden patio furniture will dictate the type of care you choose for your furniture. Some wood like teak, meranti, baloui and ipe to mention a few are high in natural oil. These woods are designed to withstand years and years outside with minimal care. They will fade to a warm grey or reddish brown color over time. If that is your goal no extra care other than an occasional cleaning is needed, other wood types will require more care to maintain their natural glow. So how do you care for wooden patio furniture?

General Wooden Furniture Cleaning Tips:

Normal cleaning is easy for all wooden furniture, clean off surface debris with a soft nylon bristle brush then use a mixture of mild household cleaner on a sponge or cloth rag. Rinse, if required by the household cleaner, then remove any moisture with a lint free or microfiber cloth and allow to completely dry before storage. If you plan to maintain the natural brown color of your wooden furniture, treat your wood with furniture oil before storage or you can skip the oil and allow your furniture to gain the faded wood look. 

If you oil your wooden furniture use an outdoor oil formulated with both resin and oil designed for outdoor furniture. A good brand will have heat stabilizers, UV and mildew inhibitors great for extra protection for your wooden patio furniture. Outdoor oil can easily be used over exterior oil paints, clear coats or stains for added protection. When you notice signs of wear on the finish, clean the surface and apply the outdoor oil without any need for sanding. The added oil will bring that luster of new wood back to a much loved outdoor wooden piece. No cleaning tips would be complete without touching on the cushions used to create your patio space. Keep the cushions bright with proper cleaning and storage tips found here.

High Oil Wooden Furniture Cleaning Tips:

Teak, meranti, baloui, shorea, jarrah, eucalyptus, ironwood, Brazilian walnut, pro lope and ipe woods are all oil rich wood that require a different care aside from regular cleaning. Due to their natural oil content they are strong and weather resistant. Eucalyptus and jarrah wood have the least amount of natural oils and require the use of a good outdoor oil and 2 to 3 layers of sealant to prevent cracking and should be dried off after a rainfall to help maintain their natural glow. To keep them looking great, eucalyptus and jarrah need to be kept in the shade to protect them from UV ray breakdown of the wood. 

Teak, meranti, baloui, and shorea will naturally weather to a warm silvery gray over time. If you would like to keep the natural warm golden honey color of teak it should be sealed after 2 to 3 weeks of being weathered outside. Clean the teak, allow it to thoroughly dry and then apply a thin layer of sealant, allow it to dry for an hour and then apply a second coat of sealant, wait 5 hours before using the furniture. Only oil teak if it is to be used inside, oiling teak used outside will more likely mildew over time. 

Meranti, baloui and shorea have very high oil concentration in the wood making it rot and insect resistant. To keep the warm reddish-brown color, oil the wood every few months with teak or linseed oil. These woods can also be sealed to keep their glow. 

Ironwood, Brazilian walnut, pro lope and ipe woods are three times harder than teak. Kept outside these woods will go from dark brown to pewter gray. Light cleaning will suffice for this extremely durable wood. However, if you do need to deep clean these woods you can use a stiff brush and mild soap and water to clean, then rinse and allow to air dry. Allow furniture to age 30 to 60 months before oiling to keep the dark color. You can also sand the surface to remove any stains and no need to use any sealant to keep this wood looking new. 

Mold and Mildew on Wooden Furniture:

Wooden furniture requires a different approach to mold and mildew removal. If after a normal cleaning the mold or mildew is still evident then utilize the following solution. Use 1 gallon of warm to hot water, add 1 cup of ammonia, ½ cup of white vinegar, and a ¼ cup of baking soda. Sponge onto the mold and mildew scrub with a soft bristled brush until the stain is gone, rinse and allow to air dry. For stubborn stains a light sanding may be required with a fine grained sandpaper. After sanding oil the furniture or reseal to protect the wood.

Storage Tips:

Storing wooden patio furniture for the winter will depend on the type of wood used for your furniture. Woods high in oil with the exception of Eucalyptus and Jarrah can be stored outside unprotected. All other woods should be cleaned and dried thoroughly before being stored. Self storage offers climate control to protect your wooden furniture from extreme temperatures that can cause damage. Wooden Patio Furniture that has been stored improperly will show signs of crazing which is fine lines and cracks in the finish. This can crack and peel off leaving your patio furniture exposed to the ravages of the elements. Keep your investment protected with proper care and storage!

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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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.

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. 

Find a local plumber in Brewer, Maine

How to find a local plumber in Brewer, Maine!

How to find a local plumber

Moving has many challenges including finding service people, especially a good local plumber, to help keep your new home in Brewer, Maine running smoothly. Finding a good local plumber before an emergency strikes can make the difference between minor damages or a total catastrophe.  When finding a local plumber your first resource could be the previous home owner. If they had a local plumber you could ask who they used and how they felt about their service. But what if they didn’t have a plumber or didn’t like the plumber they had? Here are some important questions and considerations when searching for a good local plumber. 

Referrals:

If you have family or friends who live close by, ask for a referral. Ask if the company or plumber provides emergency services, as we all know emergencies rarely happen during regular business hours. Still research the referral they may or may not be a fit for you. If you don’t have family or friends close by, use the Internet and search for “Local plumbers near me” read the reviews, both the positive and negative ones. Pay attention to how the owner or plumber responded to the negative reviews. Was the issue resolved, did the company respond compassionately or defensively. These would be a huge consideration when choosing a local plumber. Also use the Better Business Bureau, on the BBB website you can look up the rating for a company.

Communication:

Communication is one of the most important aspects of any business relationship. Your first contact with the local plumbing company or plumber will help you determine the likelihood of a good fit. The initial contact can be a huge clue as to the level of communication you can expect if you become a client. Where they courteous or curt, do you feel like all your questions were answered or not? These are some things to think about after your conversation. 

Licensing and Certifications:

All states require some form of licensing or certification to become a plumber, be sure to ask for their license number and verify it. Your State’s government website has a “verify a license” tool, easily accessible via a web search for <Maine (or your state) plumbing license lookup>.  The tool is easy to use and will verify the plumber’s license! Ask if all their employees have a license and if you can request a master plumber if you feel the job requires their expert knowledge.  A master plumber has years of experience and even though their hourly rate is generally much higher than a journeyman’s rate they could save you time and money with their extra knowledge. 

Insurance and Bonded Company:

You should ask about the type of insurances they hold. As a business they are required to carry some form of liability insurance to cover you if there is an issue. They should also carry Workers Comp Insurance to protect their workers from any injury they incur. If they don’t have workers comp insurance be aware that you will be held responsible for any and all injuries that happen while working on your house. The next type of insurance is bonding. Bonded means a bonding company has set aside a certain amount of money in the event a customer files a claim against the plumbing company. The state holds control of these funds not the plumbing company. You should check to verify they are actually bonded as well. 

If you choose a company that isn’t bonded and insured and something happens while they are on your property you accept all the responsibility for any injury or damage. It’s not worth taking the risk for a cheaper rate. You could ultimately lose everything because you chose a company that was uninsured and not bonded.

Emergency or After Hours Service:

One very important consideration when choosing a local plumber is; Do they have an “on call” service? Do they provide assistance when an emergency arises at 2am on a Sunday morning? Most companies will only take on your emergency if you are already a customer. It is recommended that you schedule a routine service call to establish that relationship. Walk through your home, take note of any leaky faucets, low pressure in your shower head or sinks, drains that are not going down well, etc and call to set up an appointment. This will establish your relationship.

Rates:

Rate comparison may be the most confusing aspect of finding a local plumber. There are many variables to a rate. Some companies have a flat rate for a certain service and an hourly rate for others. It’s important to find out as much as you can about how they bill to avoid a shock after a service call. Ask the following questions:

  1. Do they bill for travel time?
  2. Do they have a minimum charge rate? IE will they bill you for an hour even if the tech is only there for 30 minutes
  3. How do they bill if it goes over the minimum time? Some bill by the 15 minute increments after the first hour and some in 30 minute increments.
  4. What is their rate for a master plumber, a journeyman, or an apprentice?
  5. What is the emergency rate? Most places have a different rate for emergencies
  6. Can I request a certain plumber? This is important if it’s not a single person business.

The average range for the hourly rate goes from $45/hour to $150/hour. The higher end of the rate scale is for the master plumber or the emergency rate. Remember the hourly rate is only part of the equation for your total bill, included will be travel time(if charged),  materials, parts and supplies if used. 

Finding a good local plumber can take a little time but when an emergency does happen you will be glad you made the effort and are already a customer. One call and your plumber is on the way hopefully before any real damage occurs. If the unthinkable does happen remember to use self storage while the damage is being repaired!