Knowing How to Use Packing and Moving Supplies Properly
It happens all the time, you make a decision to up and move cross country and then realize you’ve waited till the last minute to plan out the packing and moving supplies to move your stuff without it getting damaged in the process.
Having the correct supplies for a move couldn’t be more important, because it means the difference between your personal items coming out of storage the same way they came in. Safe & Secure offers boxes, packing and moving supplies and we’ve also provided helpful information on packing a storage unit properly and how to pack fragile items. Storage facilities typically offer packaging and moving supplies. However, they’re not there to educate you on how to store items properly within the boxes using bubble wrap for fragile items.
The Bottom Line…
You can’t store your items in garbage bags and expect to get them back the same way you stored them. Garbage bags can cause condensation and crush its contents. In order to protect your valued items, you’ll definitely need to properly pack them for moving and storage if necessary.
The Proper Usage of Boxes for Packing and Moving Supplies
Boxes and Filling Materials:
The cost of packing and moving supplies is peanuts in comparison to how they will protect your valued items being loaded on the back of a truck or in a storage unit. Safe & Secure self storage has several sized boxes available at their Bergen County location in Garfield, NJ. The focus here is the how and why you need to use packing tape, bubble wrap, peanuts and boxes properly. Using smaller boxes for heavier items is the safest way to pack and store. The reason you put the heavier items in smaller boxes for loading on the moving truck or self storage unit is when you go to lift it, it’s light, but also it’s less top heavy when being stored on something else. The extra large boxes are great for storing light items, like blankets, pillows, wardrobe, drapes and much more. You can align the smaller boxes with the heavier items on the floor and stack the bigger and lighter boxes on top of them. If you’re storing documents, it may be best to use file boxes or something that will preserve the integrity of each page. We cannot express enough how important it is to store your items using peanuts, newspaper and bubble wrap for extra cushion and security.
Using Mattress and Furniture Covers
Bedding and furniture items are the easiest target for mold from condensation, especially if stored for a long time. In the old days people would store mattresses with covers hanging from the rafters with mattress covers. Mattresses and furniture should always be stored with covers on them. There are several sources for mattress covers and other items and luckily with Amazon, next day delivery is always available. During your packing and storage process whether it be in a moving truck or a storage unit, cover wood and leather furniture with the proper sized furniture covers. If you don’t have time to grab some use old linens to protect them. Remember, using plastic on wood and other furniture could cause condensation.
Using Various Miscellaneous Supplies
Several storage companies, including Safe & Secure offer various packing items. Rope and other items to tie down your items during the move are typically available at a moving and storage facility. Packing tape is always available at storage facility’s. If you want some kind of order to your storage experience, use an inventory list to document boxes and items within them. Seal each box that you put into your storage unit to avoid dust accumulating on the boxes contents. It’s best to bring some screw drivers and a box cutter to have the ability to disassemble furniture and cut open boxes.
If you follow these guidelines, it will save you from having to worry about your items while in long distance transit or long term storage. Many people in the middle of a move wind up not having a great experience and the same goes for storage, but if you pack items properly using the correct protection this give you added assurance.
10 of the Self Storage Top Customer Complaints
It would just be splendid if you were to open a self-storage company, everything ran smoothly, and we never heard any complaints from any customers, right? Unfortunately, we’re dealing with human beings, not robotic beings. It’s only natural for any business that someone, someday will complain. So here are the self storage top customer complaints.
Firstly, how do you handle the self storage top consumer complaints? If an unhappy customer arrives, follow the steps illustrated below. More importantly, write these items down or print them out on a piece of paper and pin/tape them to the front desk!
- Stop what you’re doing and be sure to look that person in the eyes. This shows that you’re attentive and care.
- The moment that they convey complaints, acknowledge their issue, apologize for the issue and request a means of helping the valued customer.
- Make sure you listen intently to what they have to say.
- DO NOT interrupt them, let them finish what they have to say.
- Issue another apology, then explain how you will solve it, if possible.
The above process can take 5-10 seconds or 15 minutes. Regardless of the time, remember that your job and the company success depend on quality customer service! There are several companies out there the only difference between you and them is how you treat your customers and your surrounding environment. The following will help you avoid encountering the self storage top customer complaints.
Let’s take a look at each:
1. Being attentive to customers
Absolutely no one likes to be ignored, especially if they feel they’ve been wronged in some way. If you continue to keep your head burrowed into the computer screen, it will cause an even bigger issue than before. Direct eye contact is the only way to acknowledge you’re listening. Show sympathy, even if you haven’t any.
2. Acknowledge, then apologize and help
Firstly, you want to apologize. It’s helpful to say, “we’re very sorry you’re so upset. What can we do to help you?” this will defuse the conflict brewing. Many customers with complaints just want an ear to express their issues to someone that will care. ALWAYS remain calm, don’t let them make you angry.
3. Listen Intently
It’s very hard to listen to someone when they’re screaming at you. Listen to what they’re saying. Observe their body language. Is the breakdown the customer is having “the end all be all of issues” , or is this a real issue that needs to be addressed? Listening to the complaint helps you determine a solution if there is one.
4. Do not interrupt
If you don’t let the customer finish before jumping in, you’re adding kindle to the fire and adding to the turmoil brewing. Use the time you’re listening to formulate an answer or solution. Using terms like, “Oh My” or “Oh No” will validate their feelings. It’s always easier to give an explanation to someone who feels like they have had their side heard first.
5. Take swift action
When the customer is finished addressing their issue, apologize again. A simple “I am so sorry this happened” will do just fine. Explain to them how you intend to solve the issue. Regardless if they’ve caused the difficulty, (rent overdue, can’t get in gate, etc.) you can address the solution and be helpful to them in their time of need.
Always remain calm and don’t argue! Fighting with a customer is a can’t-win situation. They’ll leave in a fury and tell everyone they know not to use your company. Attempt to resolve their issue before they leave.
What are the ten self storage top customer complaints?
- My Gate Code Doesn’t Work:
Typically, the fault lay with the customer for forgetting their code, late on rent or misplacing their card. Educating the customer upon lease execution as to the steps and procedures if a payment is missed, is your best bet. During the lease process, teach them how to punch in the code for access and explain the details behind your late payment policies. When a tenant has forgotten their code or key, it’s important to ask for ID before helping them, this insures security over ones’ unit. Allowing a client to see that you’re protecting their unit give them a sense of ease and a feeling of protection.
If they’re entering the code incorrectly, demonstrate the correct way to punch in the code. Don’t use a speaker system if it can be avoided, go to the gate to greet them. Always be pleasant, don’t express frustration because they’re having trouble with a simple task.
If a customer’s rent is delinquent, explain in a pleasant mannor that they may not have realized their rent hasn’t been paid. Do not chastise or reprimand. In many cases it’s just an honest mistake.
- Late and Miscellaneous Fees:
Throughout the lease process, be sure to explain how fees are assessed. Make eye contact; make sure the customer is paying attention and understands the policies implemented by your establishment. Sometimes offering a one time “late fee waiver” will help them feel more comfortable. Clarifying and defining all miscellaneous charges at leasing can help you avoid misunderstandings in the future. Request initialing of the fee policy on the contract to acknowledge they understand the late fees, policy’s and procedures, if one was to be late with a payment.
- The Collections and Auction Process:
Many customers have claimed that they never knew about the collections/auctions policy and weren’t notified. Education is paramount; while processing the lease, explain the policy’s regarding fees, collections and auctions clearly. Presenting the signed lease with signature and initials will most likely help them settle down. This helps them accept responsibility and avoid an angry rant.
- Vacate Notifications and Refunds:
Many facilities require move out notices and don’t give refunds. Due to most leases being month-to-month, refunds for partial months aren’t really feasible. According to learnselfstorage.com: Stamping or writing “NO REFUNDS” on the lease, putting a copy of a move out notice in the lease package and explaining policy may help, but in most instances, people just forget. All you can do is to reiterate the rules.
- Your Climate Control Isn’t Cold Enough
Most people think that climate controlled storage units should be air-conditioned and heated like that of a home or office building is controlled. Truth be told, grandma’s old liquor cabinet doesn’t need to be 71 degrees at all times. Climate-control exists primarily to regulate humidity and maintain a consistent temperature. Customers will typically accept this explanation. Always explain the temperature policy at leasing.
- Access to the Unit
There are usually two issues that arise from unit access times, the first is access hours. In many cases, hours are regulated for the security of the people and their belongings. Storage unit access hours can sometimes be governed by government or by the owner or property manager. If a customer requests 24 hour access, define the policy and/or adjust hours for the customer for a surcharge.
The second issue usually has to do with a person or persons not listed on the lease agreement not getting access. Call the tenant immediately and ask if the person is permitted access. Make a note on the rental unit file to request update authorized access permissions. Authorizing access without approval can open the door to liability.
- Requesting Electric in Units:
The majority of storage facilities will not provide electrical outlets in the units. In most cases, it will be commercial tenants that require electricity. Find out the person’s needs; if the customer mows lawns or uses other electrically powered equipment, ask if they need access to electric and water. Upon showing them the unit, show them where the electrical outlets are and consider a surcharge if they intend on using the electricity a lot.
- Prices are way too high!
In the market of older worn-down facilities, price could be an issue. Newer storage facilities with more amenities will justify a higher price. Distinguish the customers’ needs and present the property in a manner that meets their needs the best you can. NEVER Criticize the competition!!! The manager makes the difference by making the customer comfortable with you through rapport building. A couple dollars over the competition won’t matter if you have all of your ducks in a row with customer service.
- Invoicing is very important
Many self-storage operators don’t invoice every customer. If you do invoice, charge a small fee; invoicing requires time and money. Address this topic during the lease process and also consider invoicing habitually late customers at no addition fee.
- Actual Unit Size isn’t what it says it is…
We love this complaint. If a person actually measures a unit, they will most likely find other grievances. Units are always approximated and should be listed as such on your lease agreement and your website. Your answer should be that all sizes are listed as approximate and the pricing stands. Many customers look at this as a loophole to request discount or they’ll threaten to move out. Let them.
If you’re catching an earful about the facility being dirty, doors or elevators not working, or lights are out, this is a maintenance issue and can easily be avoided by making sure the crew is keeping up on it. Customer feedback is the only measuring tool we can use to gage how the customer feels about our services. Offer the opportunity to fill out a brief survey.
22 Tips for Organizing A Storage Unit Properly
Storing your items in a storage unit is actually an art form in many ways. Anytime your store your items in self-storage, it’s very similar to solving a geometry equation. If you don’t store your items properly it could result in underused space and higher costs, this is why organizing a storage unit properly is very important. Many, stack items on top of one another, but fail to realize that if they don’t stack them correctly, items can topple and crush other items. This brings to light, the fact that people need to know how to properly organize their storage units.
Knowing how to organize your storage locker will also help you during the time of your storage experience to access frequently used items without having to search through the storage locker and clutter things up. Safe & Secure Self Storage decided to educate you the reader on how to save space, time and money by organizing a storage unit properly when you store your goods with us.
Without Further ado…
Here’s 22 Tips on Organizing A Storage Unit
12 Tips for Packaging Boxes Correctly
1. Organizing: Before boxing your things, make a list and assign each room that your packing to groups of boxes, then sub label them to identify what’s in them. Make sure you have the label clearly marked on the box, so you can see it when searching for it in your storage locker.
As you’re making the list, it’s good to note the estimated value of the items inside, this helps you gauge the value of the items in your storage unit for insurance that most companies make you purchase when storing with them.
2. Don’t use more than two different sizes of boxes: This allows you to stack boxes on top of one another much easier. If you watch “Storage Wars” or have ever been to a storage auction, then you’ve seen what stacking big boxes on little boxes can do. It’s important to stack smaller boxes on top of bigger boxes and to make sure that the bottom box is sturdy enough to hold any boxes on top of it.
3. Avoid dust: Make sure you put all items in boxes to avoid dust and mildew.
4. Don’t waste space: Make a good attempt to fill every box, but don’t pack a lot of heavy materials in one box. This will allow you to conserve space and avoid pulling your back out, moving it. When packing the bigger boxes, pack the heavier items first, then fill the rest with the lighter items to assure maximum space usage.
5. Don’t Use Plastic Bags: Storing items in sealed plastic backs could seem like it’s safe, but it’s not. Storing stuff like cloths in plastic bags and other fabrics could potentially spell disaster due to mildew.
6. Pack Books Wisely: If you have a lot of books that need to be stored, store them properly. Using smaller boxes will assure you can move them easily and that they’re not being crushed by other books. Store books on their sides to assure there is no spine damage to the books while in storage.
7. Avoid a water mess: You usually only have to worry about this in an out-door storage unit, but if you’re storing in an out-door storage unit, it’s best to listen. Freezers and refrigerators should be completely de-thawed before being stored in a storage unit. Drain your washing machines completely. Then, make sure that your valuables aren’t on the floor. Lastly, ask the storage company if there have ever been any problems with flooding, especially if the storage company is located in a flood zone or close to water level.
8. Storing Fragile Items Properly: We covered this here in-depth, but to further the discussion, packing breakables in bubble wrap and tape padding onto pictures, to assure maximum safety.
9. Wardrobe Boxes are the best: When packing cloths, we suggest using wardrobe boxes where you can. You can hang the cloths inside to ensure their shape stays the same.
10. Make use of old towels and sheets: When wrapping your stuff, use old cloths and not plastic.
11. Storing Tools and Equipment Safely: When preparing metal equipment for storage, you must drain the fuel completely. (In many cases this is requested by insurance.) Giving the tools a rubdown with oil will keep them from rusting.
12. Use packing tape to seal boxes: Sealing your boxes with packing tape will help ward off dust and mold.
10 Tips for Organizing A Storage Unit After Boxing is Done
1. Planning ahead: Making a plan of how you’re going to be inserting the boxes into your unit before you get started with the loading of your items will save you a lot of time in the long run.
2. Using pallets on the ground: Before loading your boxes, you may want to arrange raised pallets according to the plan you develop. This will prevent rats, ants and silverfish from building a home in the bottom of your boxes. (This usually only applies to outdoor storage.)
3. Avoiding Mildew: Don’t store wet items because wet items can cause mildew, mold and water damage.
4. Using shelves for storage: If you have shelves available, you may want to think about using them for your “storage plan.” Using shelves to store smaller items and the items you may need access to on a regular basis are a smart idea.
5. Smart Storage: Store mirrors and frames on their sides and never flat. This avoids them being crushed. It’s also good practice to wrap them in blankets.
6. Storing for best access: It’s always best to stack boxes in such a way that they can be readily accessible. If you can, make an aisle that will help you move through your storage unit to find items you’ll need throughout your storage lease.
7. Keeping the important stuff in the front: Placing boxes that contain items you may need later are best suited in areas easy to access.
8. Dismantling furniture to save space: For example, storing a table or chairs with detachable legs disassembled is the best way to maximize space. Use drawers to store small items as well. We covered this here.
9. Conserving Space: Use hollow areas of the furniture to store small items to make your unit appear less cluttered and your important items easier to find.
10. Avoid infestation: Use moisture absorbers, mothballs, and rodent bait within your unit to assure the maximum safety of your stuff.
Selecting a Safe & Secure Storage Unit for Organizing a Storage Unit Properly
One of the more important decisions is choosing the right storage facility and making sure it’s going to meet your needs. Safe & Secure Self Storage has several thousand units for anyone looking for self storage in New York City or New Jersey.
Practicing the fundamentals we have described above will assure your stuff is stored correctly, easy to access and safe for its stay and years to come.
6 Ways to Make Finding the Best Storage Units Easier
Many can’t stand feeling like they’re cramped up in an apartment in New York City or any apartment for that matter. While the tristate area; mainly the surrounding areas of NYC get inundated with new move-ins and an expanding population, people are always looking for best storage units for extra space. Self-Storage is always a great solution for opening more space in a very small apartment.
Safe & Secure Self Storage finds that several people make their way over the bridge from Manhattan to visit our facility for a more affordable price to store their items, than the prices of storage in New York City. While most facility’s in “The Big Apple” will quote for their bottom prices on sizes, many arrive to the surprise that their climate-controlled storage unit they were looking for is twice the price they were told. This is why they come to us. However, we know we’re a good company, but even if you don’t choose us, we want you to know how to find a better and more affordable means to finding the right storage facility in your area.
6 Ways to Find the Best Storage Units
1. Do your due-diligence on a storage facility wisely
Prior to renting a storage unit, we suggest getting price estimates from three nearby locations, Consumer Reports Suggests. You may also want to see if they’re members of the Self-Storage Association, if they’re not it could be a red flag. Members of the Self-Storage Association are held to a higher caliber of expectations then that of those that aren’t members.
2. Never Base Your Storage Company Options on Price
Of course, no one wants to be ripped off or price gouged, but don’t base your selection off price alone. One of the better benefits to self-storage is the ability to store your belongings in a place that is safe and secure. Don’t go for the lesser price if they’re not providing a secure storage unit that could be at risk of damage or theft. Choose a facility that’s within 30 minutes driving distance from your home. Additionally, extended hours should be offered by the facility, so you can get there outside regular business hours.
3. Considering Environmental Circumstances
If you are located in a geographic location that has very extreme cold or hot weather or major variances in temperature, it’s important to choose a climate-controlled storage facility to store your goods. We covered climate control storage here. The issue with non-climate-controlled storage facility’s is that you’re risking your items being affected by the elements. Glass breaks in cold, wood warps in damp environments and mold can affect everything. Make sure the facility has pest control too, it makes for a more secure storage environment and your belongings will remain Safe & Secure.
4. Insure Your Stuff
If your storing your items for safe keeping, it’s safe to say that they mean a lot to you. Don’t risk losing them in a fire or roof collapse. Many with renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance will be covered, but those who don’t have either of those should get insurance through the storage company. It’s a mandatory expense when people come to Safe & Secure Self Storage. On average a couple thousand dollars’ worth of insurance for around 10 dollars a month.
5. Store Your Items Well
Don’t just toss your stuff in a storage locker and walk away, make sure that all fragile items are packed correctly and stored closer to the floor. Stack appropriate boxes on top of one another, don’t stack bigger boxes on top of smaller ones. Make sure your clothes and other cloth-like items inside of vacuum sealed bags or plastic bins. This helps avoid mildew or the need to wash them when they’re removed from the storage unit. We covered this here
6. Always Make Sure You Know the Location of Your Items
If you’re using self-storage to store your items in, make sure to account for the times you’ll be coming to access your stuff. If you’re going to come frequently to access your belongings, put the items you need most in the front. This avoids you spending hours sifting through your stuff and making a mess. Label boxes as necessary to also know how to find what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for stored kitchen supplies for a holiday, it’s easier to find the items by labeling the boxes.