9 Tips for Storing Documents in Self Storage

Tips for storing documents in self storage

 

 

 

 

Are files and other documents taking over your office? Is your office running out of storage room and file space? It might be time for your business to consider storing excess documents in a self storage unit. Self storage and business storage actually work hand-in-hand. Storing documents in self storage helps to reduce the clutter in your office, while increasing work space and productivity!

When choosing a self storage facility to store your documents, make sure to pick one that is close to your business, so you don’t have to drive across town to retrieve your files. A climate controlled storage unit is recommended for business document storage. Climate controlled storage units help to protect the documents from damage from extreme temperatures and humidity. Because you are storing employee and business records, it is vital to pick a storage facility with secure document storage including video surveillance, keypad entry and computerized gate access.

It is important to have the right types of document storage boxes and other storage supplies when you are packing your documents. Magellan Storage offers moving and packing supplies at our 6 locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in order to pack your business documents.

After you have decided to store your business documents in a self storage unit, there are a few things to keep in mind as you are preparing you boxes and storage units.

  1. Documents should be stored in sturdy cardboard boxes with filler material to make sure that the documents will not shift while being moved to/from the storage unit. As with other storage boxes, make sure that the boxes are sealed securely with packaging tape.
  2. Before you pack the documents, make sure that you have multiple back-ups of the documents on-line, saved on a password protected CD or DVD, or downloaded on another separate file as a back-up.
  3. Do not share the security code and keys to the storage unit to a lot of people. There are personal files being stored that should only be seen by a limited amount of people.
  4. Do not over stuff the document boxes. Do not use regular printed newspaper as filler as the print can rub off on the documents.
  5. Document storage boxes should be no heavier than 30-50 pounds, so you can still lift and move them easily.
  6. Raise the document boxes off of the ground on pallets, wood, plastic sheeting or cardboard. The optimum document storage solution would be using shelving units in the storage unit.
  7. For extra security, store the documents in locked file cabinets or fire safes.
  8. Place the oldest files that you will not need as often towards the back of the storage unit. Place the files that you might need to access more frequently towards the front of the storage unit. Place the boxes with the oldest files or documents towards the bottom and the boxes with the newer documents towards the top.
  9. Label every box with the contents. Create an inventory list for the boxes and use a numbering system for your stored boxes that you can put into a spreadsheet for cross-checking. This will help to make it easier to find the documents that you need to find more quickly.

 

 

Transforming the Landscape in South Los Angeles

Rails for Trails in Los Angeles

 

Last month, over three dozen community residents of South Los Angeles attended a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to encourage a rail and trail project in the community. Community activists are encouraging transforming an 8 mile stretch of abandoned roadway into a bike and pedestrian path near Slauson Avenue. Currently, there is very little park or public space in this section of Los Angeles and walking or biking along this area can be extremely dangerous. The MTA board approved $2.8 million to build a rail to trail path along Slauson Avenue from the Los Angeles River to the Crenshaw Metro Line. This is a start of the project which could take up to 10 years and $35 million to complete with the hope of having governmental funding help. This would a great start to reinvesting in the community.

Rail to trail projects have gained popularity over the last 30 years with over 2,000 projects in the United States during that time. Rail to Trails Conservancy  is an organization that encourages and lobbies for these conservation projects. The organization encourages a healthy, mobile lifestyle by making places to walk and bike possible. The rail to trails projects promote a healthier climate and environment by making active transportation a viable alternative to the automobile while also promoting local businesses, tourism and increasing property values. Rail to Trails Conservancy has worked on projects in Cleveland, Ohio, Compton, California, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Springfield, Massachusetts to just name a few of the many projects. The first rail to trail project, Elroy-Sparta State Trail in Wisconsin, was started in 1965 and is still thriving today. The longest trail project, The Katy Trail in Missouri, is currently 240 miles long, but other projects are creating even larger trail to rail projects. The Slauson Road rail to river project would be another addition to this great conservation project.

Magellan Storage has a facility in the South Los Angeles area.  Our Slauson location  is located at 700 East Slauson Ave and was renovated in 2013. The facility has a state-of-the art security system powered by PTI, digital keypad access control, digital cameras with 24 hour recording, motion sensor lighting for our customer safety. There is also a business center with free use of phone, fax and internet that is available to our customers. Customer can have access 7 days a week to their storage units and if you need moving and packing supplies, the location has everything that you need from boxes to newsprint to packaging tape. Magellan Storage is very proud to be part of the South Los Angeles area!

The Cultural Diversity of Downtown Los Angeles

Magellan Storage in Downtown LA

 

The territory of California was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1600’s. By the mid 1700’s, a permanent Spanish settlement was created along the Los Angeles River. The population for the area slowly grew with settlers and gold prospectors in the early 1800’s. In 1850, California became the 30th State of the United States of America. The late 1800’s and early 1900’s were boom times for the city of Los Angeles. The modern Los Angeles started to take shape in the early 1900’s with the arrival of the movie industry to the Los Angeles area. Once the industry became fully entrenched in the city and surrounding areas, Los Angeles became a major tourist destination. The Los Angeles area is the most populous city in California and the 2nd most populous city in the United States after New York City. Just the city alone has a population of nearly 3.8 million people covering a land area of 469 square miles. The city is the center of the Greater Los Angeles Area region, which includes Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim. The 3 areas combined is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 13 million people.

Because of the perfect climate, ocean access and mountain views, Los Angeles is a destination point for visitors from around the world. Thrill seekers from far and wide come to the Los Angeles area to visit the many amusement parks and to tour movie and television production sets, visit the many beaches and parks, and soak in the Southern California way of life. The downtown area of Los Angeles has seen a resurgence in visitors and residents in the past decade. There are many little ares in downtown that have re-established themselves as small business and artist friendly, and they are thriving. Two such areas are The Arts District and Little Tokyo.

Los Angeles has many great, diverse neighborhoods to visit such as the LA Arts DistrictLittle Tokyo , Chinatown, and Downtown. Los Angeles has many, many different tourist areas in and around the city. Los Angeles has been a melting pot of cultures since the mid 1800’s. Japanese immigrants settled in the Los Angeles area starting in the 1880’s and created their own community filled with shops, restaurants, theaters, Buddhist temples and churches. This area is known as the Little Tokyo District.  The community is a major historic, culture and civic center for Japanese Americans living in Southern California. The Little Tokyo District is a 7 block square area from Alameda Street through to Los Angeles Street, Temple Street and 3rd Street.

The Arts District, which is near the Little Tokyo area of downtown Los Angeles, covers the area between Alameda Street to the Los Angeles River with the 101 freeway as a north boundary and 7th St. as the south boundary. This area was originally vineyards, but after World War II was developed into an industrial zone with warehouses and factories. As the factories and warehouses closed or moved, there were empty buildings with vast available spaces. These are perfect spaces for artists, which started to move into the buildings and use them for residences and work spaces in the 1960’s.Today, the neighborhood has been transitioning yet again with the opening of higher-end lofts, boutiques, shops and restaurants.

Magellan Storage has a storage facility in downtown Los Angeles in the Arts District on 801 E Commercial Street near the Little Tokyo District. The facility was recently renovated in 2013.  The facility has a free business center with free use of fax, phone, internet and a conference room. There is a specialized state-of-the-art security system including digital keypad access and digital cameras. Stop in to see how our many amenities can help solve your storage questions. Magellan Storage  is excited to be part of this thriving community in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

Six Important RV Storage Tips

Indoor RV Storage

Indoor RV storage at the Costa Mesa Magellan Storage location

November is time of the year to start making preparations to store your camper, trailer or recreational vehicle (RV) for the winter months. Most people will park these vehicles in their driveway or in large garages if they have the extra space to do so.  If there is not enough room to store these types of vehicles at home, then parking the RV, trailer or camper at a self storage facility is a great storage solution. Most self storage facilities have space indoors and outdoors to store boats and RV’s. Magellan Storage  offers boat and RV storage at all of their facilities. Magellan Storage’s Costa Mesa facility has indoor storage options for boats and RV’s. The facility had outdoor RV parking spaces which are 12 feet wide as well as 14’x30’ by 13’ high garage space. The Costa Mesa location has special amenities for RV and boat storage including a covered wash rack, trickle charge receptacles for indoor tenants, dump stations, vacuums with 40’ hoses and air compressors.

There are some steps that need to be taken for boat and RV storage to protect them during the long storage months. Consult the owner’s manual to make sure that you are following all the necessary steps to place your vehicle in storage. Doing these important storage preparation tasks will allow you to have continued use of your vehicle for many years to come.

Before you start the cleaning and preparing the vehicle for storage, you need to make sure that your registration, insurance and license plates are current and renewed. You will need to show proof of these documents when you are storing the vehicles at a storage facility.

RV Storage Tips

  1. Before you place the vehicle in storage, inspect the vehicle inside and out and from top to bottom. Look for problems that will need to be fixed before placing the vehicle in storage.
  2. Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the RV. Remove all food from the vehicle. Vacuum the interior of the RV, wipe down the counters and inside the cabinets. Defrost and clean out the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the battery and store in a dry, cool place. If possible, connect the battery to a maintenance charger if you are storing the RV over a longer period of time. If you are keeping the battery inside the vehicle, it is a good idea to start the engine every couple of months to prevent moisture build-up.
  4. Change the oil and oil filter right before storage. Fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer additive to the gas tank.
  5. Drain and flush the water tanks and the water heater. Disconnect all air conditioning connects and clean out the air filters.
  6. If possible, cover the RV, camper or motor home to keep it clean and dry. If storing the vehicle outside, cover the tires to protect them from the elements. Place the vehicle on plywood off of the ground to protect the tires.

 

Doing these important storage preparation tasks will allow you to have continued use of your vehicle for many years to come.

2014 Halloween Events and Festivities in the Los Angeles Area

Halloween Events in LAThis time of year is full of ghosts, goblins, witches, “Frozen” princesses and spooky skeletons! It’s time once again for Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations in the Los Angeles area. There are many haunted attractions, pumpkin festivals and events held throughout the area to celebrate Halloween. Since the Los Angeles area is home to so many amusement parks and movie production companies, the Halloween celebrations activities are not to be missed.  Disneyland has their Halloween Celebration for the month of October with characters dressing up in costume and the park decorated in Halloween décor. Universal Studios hosts “Halloween Horror Nights” with haunted houses, mazes, rides, shows and other attractions. Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain also have Halloween displays, Haunted houses and other activities.

Halloween Attractions and Events

The Los Angeles area will host a variety of spooky Halloween celebrations over the next week and these are just a few of the haunted attractions that you can go to. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride takes place at the Old Zoo at Griffith Park. This hayride will take your for a ride through the old abandoned zoo and its spooky inhabitants! There are also mazes, scare zones and an audience participation stage show. If you really feel like getting scared this Halloween season, head to Blumhouse’s The Purge: Breakout, which is based on the Paranormal Activity movies. This experience is like no other, as participants have to find their way out of the haunted house by using clues and solving puzzles. The Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, presents Raymond Hill Mortuary Haunted House, where the past visitors are there to scare you. For the entire family, there are visits to pumpkin patches and farms such as the Lopez Ranch Pumpkin Farm, Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch and Johnson Brothers Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival.

You can also experience real “haunts” by taking ghost and paranormal tours. One of the most famous haunted tours is the Starline Haunted Hollywood Tour  where you can visit famous scandal and death sites around Hollywood. You can visit actual haunted buildings and sites with paranormal investigator, Michael J. Kouri in Hollywood, Pasadena and Orange County or take a tour of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Day of the Dead Celebrations

The activities and rituals of ancient pagan festivities have been handed down over the centuries and molded by different cultures into holidays such as Halloween.  Mexicans celebrate Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1st, which is also called All Souls Day. This holiday honors family ancestors by having the living family members commune with the dead. Families care for the graves of deceased family members and build elaborate altars to honor the loved ones who have passed away. Celebrations include processions with dancers and music. The symbol of the festival is the Calaveras or skull. You will find participants wearing skull masks, costumes, making paper mache skull puppets and making skull shaped candy. There are many Day of the Dead festivals in the Los Angeles area. The biggest event is the Day of the Day Festival at Hollywood Forever Cemetery with ceremonial tributes, performances and alter creations around Hollywood’s most famous celebrity graves. Olvera Street Merchants have 9 days of processions and events to celebrate the day.  There will also be special events at the Museum of Latin American Art. 

Enjoy all the fun Halloween and somber celebrations of The Day of the Dead events in the Los Angeles area during this “spooky” season, enjoy! Magellan Storage  wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween season!

Light the Night Los Angeles 2014

Light the Night Walk 2014

 

The Light the Night Walk  is the annual major fundraising event for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Over 200 communities in the United States participate in Light the Night Walks from Boston to Seattle. This walk helps to raise money for programs that provide hope and pay tribute to people battling blood cancers: specifically leukemia, lymphoma and melanoma. Walkers during the Light the Night Walk carry illuminated balloons symbolizing survivors, supporters and in memoriam. The balloon colors are white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of someone who had lost their battle to a blood related cancer. It is quite a moving site to see the lit balloons as people do the walk. The Leukemia Lymphoma Society has raised an average of $240 million annually by the event. The money raised has been committed to research in the United States, provide free educational materials, support programs and events, and helps with advocacy on the patient’s behalf. This money is invested in outcome based science and technology. In the past 10 years, nearly 50% of new cancer drugs approved by the FDA were actually for treatments for blood cancer patients. Twelve of these drugs are already approved for people beyond those that they were originally developed for thanks to the money raised from the Light the Night Walks.

The main 2014 Los Angeles area Light the Night Walk event is October 18th in Hollywood at the Sunset Gower Studios. The evening’s festivities kick off at 5pm. There is a remembrance ceremony at 6pm and the 2 mile walk starts at 7pm. The goal for this walk is $850,000. For more information about the Sunset Gower Studios walk, you can visit their Facebook Page.

Magellan Storage has been proud to support the Leukemia Lymphoma Society for the past few years. We are participating in this year’s Hollywood Light the Night Walk. Our entire staff has been raising money for the team and this great event. The team goal this year is to raise $10,000 and we are one quarter of the way there.   Our team page is available for donations and other information. Thanks to those who have already donated to our team and for those who will be donating in the future.

 

Fall Cleaning Tips for Your Home and Storage Unit

Fall Cleaning for Storage Units

 

 

Just like during the spring, the fall is a great time for reorganizing & cleaning your home! Fall cleaning is just as important as spring cleaning projects. In fact, you can finish up those spring/summer projects that you didn’t complete during the spring or summer and start preparing for the craziness of the holiday season.  When you start your fall cleaning project have a goal in mind and checklist of your tasks that you need to complete. Don’t let the cleaning list become daunting. It is much more important to take your time to do the project properly. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean each room including dusting, sweeping or vacuuming and reorganizing. Remove items in the room that you no longer need or use. This is a great time to go through the room sorting process: keep in storage, place in storage, donate, sell, or throw away. If it is an item that you might need in the future, then store it in a storage unit. If you don’t need it and it is still in good condition, consider selling or donating the item and if the item is not in good shape, then throw it out.

Fall is a great time to air out and freshen up your storage unit, just like you do your home. To start your storage unit cleaning project, remove all of the items from the unit. Then, sweep out the entire unit. If you need to wash down the walls, then this would be the time to do that task. Do a quick inventory on the items that you currently have in storage. Open the boxes and look for any damaged items. Go through your stored items to see if you really need to keep the items or if they could be sold, donated or thrown away. Replace the floor covering, such as plastic or cardboard boxes in the storage unit. If needed, replace the moisture control products that you have in non-climate controlled storage units. It is important to keep your storage unit clean. Storage units that are dirty can attract bugs or other vermin, which in turn ruin your stored belongings.

As you clean out the unit, rotate the items that you would use more frequently during the fall and winter months, such as winter clothes, and holiday decorations to the front of the storage unit.  Don’t forget to label all of the new boxes that you are storing. Plus, add these boxes to the inventory list of the items that you have started for your storage unit. If you have holiday display items in storage, this would be a good time to put them aside to take back to your home. Once you have cleaned out and looked through the items in your storage unit, then it will be time to place them all back into storage.  Make sure to place the items that you will need to access the most towards the front of the storage unit.

Stop in to one of the 6 Magellan Storage locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties to pick up packing and moving supplies to help your fall cleaning and reorganization projects! Our friendly and professional staff is available to help you with any of your storage needs! Good Luck with your fall cleaning and organization project!

 

Self Storage for Empty Nesters

empty nesters and self storage

 

Throughout our lives, we experience many life events from getting our first apartment to getting married to transitioning to a smaller home. Self storage can be a great storage solution for life’s major changes. Placing your personal items in self storage will give you peace-of-mind that your belongings are in a safe and secure place as you tackle your life events. One major life event that every parent goes through is called the “empty nest syndrome”. This is when the children grow up and go to college leaving the home very quiet and empty. Parents can go through a time of sadness during this phase, since it signals a time when a parent doesn’t feel as “needed” in their children’s lives. This time can be a challenge for some parents, but it can also be a great time to learn new things, travel and create new spaces.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

One of the very first things that empty nesters need to do is to decide what they want to do with their homes. Do they want to stay in the larger home or should they downsize to a smaller home, condominium or apartment? The next step, accessing the items in the child’s bedroom, could be a rite-of-passage for both the parent and the child. In fact, it is a good idea for the parent and the child to work together to decide with to do with items in the room before the child leaves for school. Once the child has left for school, the parent can then delve into the de-cluttering project. The parent can make the official last decision if the furniture or items should stay in the room, donated or placed in storage.

Re-Purposing and Re-Organizing

Once you have sorted and organized the child’s “stuff”, it is time to decide what to do with the empty bedroom space. The room can be turned into an office, craft room, exercise room, or a TV room. Move all of the items out of the child’s room and sort them into boxes like you would for any other re-organization project: keep in room, place in storage, throw away, donate or sell. Renting a self storage unit is a great solution to store the items from your child’s bedroom. There might not be enough room in the home to store extra furniture and all of the smaller boxes of projects, trophies, stuffed animals and toys that the child has accumulated over the years.  It could be a good idea to keep the furniture in storage, just in case the child returns home after graduating from college. If the child didn’t get a chance to go through their items before the re-organization project, then the empty nester can box them up and place in storage and leave it to the child to decide what to do with the items

The re-purposing project can be a daunting one for empty nesters, so you don’t need to rush the process. Work on the project a few hours a day until it is complete and you are satisfied with your new room. Just think; it could actually be fun to pick out new furniture and accessories for the room!  Stop in to one of the 6 Magellan Storage locations  in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas and see how we can help with storage options for empty nesters.

 

 

Self-Storage History

Magellan Storage in Costa Mesa

Welcome to Magellan Storage in Costa Mesa

The self storage industry might seem like it’s a newer industry, but it has actually been around in some sort of form since the late 1800’s. There were mentions of self storage in movies during the 1930’s.  During the 1950’s, self storage was mostly “mom and pop” operations, with smaller facilities and virtually no competition in the marketplace. Today, storage companies range from small one facility self storage operations to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) with hundreds of facilities have state-of-the-art facilities across the country. According to the Self Storage Association (SSA),  there are close to 60,000 self storage facilities worldwide. In the United States alone, there are over 48,000 self storage facilities that cover 2.3 billion square feet of rentable storage space. That size represents an area more than three times the size of the island of Manhattan! According to the SSA 2013 survey and study, 9% of the American public is currently renting a self storage unit.

Where can self storage trace its roots? Actually as far back as 2,000 years ago in ancient China! Remains were found by archeologists revealing that the Chinese stored belongings in clay pots in an underground storage pit.  These pits would be guarded and monitored to make sure no one but the owner could remove their pot and belongings. Many years later, British banking institutions entered the self storage industry, although it was still a very different concept from today’s industry. Banks would store valuables for clients going overseas for extended periods of time. As these bank vaults became overcrowded with belongings, another option became necessary.  In the 1850s, the first warehouse specifically designed to hold personal and household items was built.

The concept of self storage didn’t arrive in the United States until 1891, when brothers Martin and John Bekins found Bekin Van Lines in Omaha, Nebraska.  In 1903, they were the first company to use motor trucks instead of horse-drawn carriages, and in 1906 they built the first concrete and steel warehouse for storage.  It wasn’t until around the 1960s that the self storage industry became truly successful in the United States and it has continued to flourish through ups and downs in the economy ever since. The first facility to use garage-style doors was built in Texas in 1964. After the mid 1960’s the self storage concept quickly swept across the country to the west coast and Canada. Today, the self storage industry is growing in emerging markets in China and South America!

The rates for renting a self storage unit have obviously changed over the years, but it is still a very affordable way to store personal and business items. In the 1960s, self storage unit rental rates went for around 15 cents per square foot per month. By 1985, the rate went up to 60 cents per square foot per month. In the late 1990s, rates were an average of one dollar per square foot, and today, rental rates are anywhere from $1.50 to $4 per square foot depending on the market.

The self storage industry has come a long way from clay pots stored in ancient China.  Today, many facilities offer state-of-the-art security services, computerized gate entry, climate controlled units and many other amenities. Magellan Storage  is your self storage destination in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Stop by any of our 6 storage facilities to see how our storage professionals can help you with your personal storage to business storage needs.

Tips for “Living Large” in Small Spaces

Micro Apartment Living

Micro Apartment in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of http://www.sfgate.com.

 

Based on the increased need for urban housing, many large cities across the globe have housing in short supply.  The rent in the big cities, such as Los Angeles, New York City or San Francisco is extremely high. There has been a trend for these cities to look at building micro apartments ranging from 220 square feet to 300 square feet. The smaller units are rented at a lower amount, making it more affordable for recent college graduates or young professionals to move to the big city. These apartments are close to major business areas and transportation in the city.

The micro apartments average 300 square feet with some spaces actually being even smaller. The room has a kitchen, living space and a bathroom in different configurations. With micro-apartments or even studio apartments, you will need to be very creative with your furniture, storage and belongings. Furniture will need to serve multiple purposes in the room. A micro-apartment dweller will need to be very organized and use every nook and cranny in the allotted space. You will not be able to clutter the spaces in these apartments with a lot of “stuff”.

Tips for living in smaller spaces

Each piece of furniture or storage cupboard in the space will have to be functional as well as decorative. If there is enough room in the space to have a bed, separate the bedroom area off from the rest of the space by using a curtain, room divider or shelving units. Create zones in your room for sleeping, eating and entertaining. Use as much vertical storage that you can. This is especially important in the bathroom. Use vertical storage units above the toilet. In the closet, add shelving if there is room. Use ultra-thin hangers to hang clothing as they take up less space. In the kitchen, only buy essential utensils and accessories. You will not have room to store your larger kitchen accessories in such a small space. A great tip is not to store a lot of perishable items in your kitchen cabinets. Limit the amount of food that you have on hand to what you will use in a few weeks. Perishable food items can take up lots of space in your cupboards. Do not clutter your counters and kitchen sink with dirty dishes. Wash the dishes and pans soon after use and return them to their proper storage area.

What do you do if all off your belongings won’t fit into a studio or micro-apartment?  The best solution is to rent a storage unit. It is important to find a storage facility that is near you apartment so you can easily access your items when you need them. Storage units are perfect to store clothes, suitcases and boxes of personal belongings that you cannot throw away.  Magellan Storage offers a variety of storage unit sizes at their 6 Los Angeles and Orange Counties locations. Stop in to one these locations near you to find out how self storage can help with your micro-apartment storage issues!