I’ll move all this stuff to off-site self-storage…. tomorrow

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Your garage is bulging, torn dusty boxes are heaped up in precarious piles on top of old un-used furniture and treasured bicycles. You’ve been meaning to get to it for ages now, but keep putting it off. The last straw was when that old hamster cage fell and narrowly missed your head but dented your brand-new car. It’s clearly time to spring clean, sort through the heap, throw away the rubbish and pack your valuables off to a safe and secure self-storage.

Many people are so daunted by the prospect of tackling this task that they’d rather avoid it indefinitely and live miserably with the mess. Those that do pluck up the courage usually find it incredibly rewarding and wonder why they didn’t do it years earlier.

Before you change your mind, and that hamster cage puts another dent in your bonnet, here are a few handy tips on how to get this done quickly, easily and efficiently. Before we begin, there are two important things to remember – firstly, the purpose of self-storage is not to simply move the clutter, but rather to de-clutter and simplify your life. And secondly, the time you spend packing and labeling properly today will save you hours and hours in future.

So, let’s begin by reversing your car into the driveway to create working space. Now, divide the garage (or carport) into 5 areas and start moving the big heavy stuff first. Pile 1 is for Junk. Be Ruthless and let go of rubbish. If you’re really, really sentimental about an old broken lamp, bed-side table or frame, rather take a photo of it and post it to a new FaceBook album. Pile 2 is for Charity and is for all the functional things you (or your kids) are never going to need again. Rather than throw them away, or spend money on storing them needlessly, give them to a non-profit organization that can either sell or use them. Pile 3 is for Re-Cycling, all those empty bottles, newspapers, magazines, tins etc. Pile 4 is the stuff you want to still Store at Home and Pile 5 is Move to Off-Site Self-Storage (Cedar Storage).

Now for some adventure…. Load up Piles 1, 2 and 3 into your car, bakkie, station wagon or trailer (if you don’t have, ask your self-storage company to refer you to a nearby truck/trailer rental company they trust.) Head off to Cedar Storage – your selected storage company to unlock and take occupation of your new store (you may have to make a last-minute change to a different size store depending on how big Pile 5 is compared to what you initially booked). Gone are the days of “one-size-fits-all” storage as companies are offering storage units in varying sizes (from as little as 3m2) to suit your specific needs and budget. Most reputable storage companies sell boxes, so while you’re there, buy some of various sizes as well as some packing tape and bubble wrap. Cedar Storage has an on-site Box Shop for your convenience. On your way, pass your local recycling depot, SPCA http://www.nspca.co.za (or other worthy charity organization), and your local Municipal dump.

Now head home with your empty boxes and fill them up. Heavier items at the bottom. Fragile items safely wrapped-up. Remember to label each box clearly, with a permanent marker, on all sides (you never know which way the box is going to face in the storage) Use labels like 1,2 and 3 or A, B and C, or room names the items belong in or even your family members’ names. As you fill up each box, write down what’s in it in a little notebook. This will make retrieving items a breeze later.

You are now ready to make your final trip to your storage unit. Not such a daunting task after all.

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