How to Store Hand and Power Tools

how to store tools

Most people have a variety of tools at their home from small hand tools like screwdrivers or wrenches to large power tools usually found in workshops or tool shops. Tools are stored all around the home from the basement to the garage, but if not stored properly, they can rust and break. Hand and power tools have different requirements for care and storage.

So to keep these tools safe and in good working condition, where and how should they be stored? Most people will keep their tools in their home in the basement, in a workshop or in the garage. There are many different home tool storage ideas from DIY solutions to expensive storage cabinets that you can find at your local hardware store. A handy way to keep tools stored at home is to hang peg boards on the walls of your work room, in the garage or basement. This will keep tools off the floor and organized. For smaller tools and accessories, use a drawer storage system to protect from dust.

Storage Ideas for Tools

If there is not enough room to store tools in the home, then consider renting a self storage unit. Putting tools in a self storage unit will keep them safe, away from children and frees up space in a basement or garage for other items. Contractors looking for construction storage can store their tools and equipment in a self storage unit allowing them to keep their overhead low and to have a handy place to keep everything organized in one place. If you are storing tools in self storage, place small tools in plastic bins. Organize like-sized tools together in a bin. Plastic bins provide an added layer of protection. The bins are also easy to stack and carry from the storage unit to a truck to a construction site. Make sure to label the boxes with its contents so you will be able to find the tool when you need it. Keep an inventory list of the tools that you have and where they are stored.

How to Prepare and Store Tools

In order to keep tools in good working condition during storage, there are some basic preparatory steps that should be taken. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics on how to store power or hand tools. It is important to follow the cleaning and storage instructions, especially for larger power tools such as power saws or drills.

  1. To keep tools tidy, clean them after each use. Wipe down with a rag or towel to be sure that they are free of dirt, grease and debris.
  2. As you do your cleaning, check for damage or defects. If the tool cannot be repaired, then throw it away. Do not leave it to clutter up extra space.
  3. Clean every metal surface with an approved solution and scrape away any soil and dirt. Completely dry the tool with a towel or rag before it is placed in storage.
  4. Coat the metal parts of the tools with a lubricant metal protector spray.
  5. Do not place tools directly on the ground for storage. Place small hand and power tools on shelving.
  6. Store short-handled tools in a plastic bin or box.
  7. Tie together long-handled tools in a garbage can while in storage. Otherwise hang these tools on a wall.
  8. Power tools should have all surfaces cleaned and completely dry before storage. Spray lubricant on all metal surfaces.

 

Tips for Moving with Pets

how to move with petsBefore we know it, it will be spring and moving season will be soon upon us. May through September are the busiest months to move. Starting to plan for your move as early as possible will help with the anxiety of moving day. Moving Day is normally a stress filled day for people, but it can also be extremely stressful for the family pet. If you are moving pets across town or across the city, you need to plan ahead. Check with your new state or city for any specific regulations that require you to get a pet license or provide pet health records. If you have exotic pets, some states have laws on how to properly house these types of animals.

Moving Pets Across the Country

If you are packing for your move and realize that you do not have room in your car to take your pet with you, then you can hire an animal transport service to take your pet to your new home. These services will treat your pet just as their own with regular rest stops and food breaks. These services help to relieve some of the stress of moving. There are a few things that will need to be taken care of to make sure your pet is ready for transport including: making certain that they have all of their shots, their medical records are up-to-date, their claws are trimmed and they are crate-trained. Make sure to pack a bag for your pet including the following: food, toys, bedding, special blanket, leash, ID tags, health records and any special care instructions. The animal transport groups are a great option for stressed out movers!

How to Move with a Dog or a Cat

If you are moving with a dog or cat via your car, there are preparations to make the trip comfortable for you and your pet. For transport during a move, a pet should be carrier and crate trained.  It is essential that the crate is big enough for the pet to get up, move around and lie down during the journey, especially long trips. The carrier should have cross ventilation and a leak proof bottom. If needed, add extra absorbent layers of blankets or towels to the bottom of the crate. Before you travel for your move, do not feed or water your pet for a few hours before you leave. Once you are on the road, only feed them once a day, but make frequent stops for walking and water. If possible, bring extra water from home, as different water could upset the pet’s stomach. While traveling in the car, do not let the pet hang out the window. Bugs and dirt can get in the pet’s eyes causing infections. Keep the windows locked to prevent pets from lowering the windows and jumping out. If you are transporting the animal on an airplane, check with the airline about allowing pets in the cabin or if they need to be put in the cargo section of the plane.

Once you have arrived at your new home, give your pet time to get used to their new surroundings. At first, limit the number of rooms that you allow them in and then gradually increase their freedom around the entire house. Give your pets their food in their favorite dish and have their favorite toys, blanket and bedding nearby to make them feel at home. The familiar smells with help them adjust easier and quicker to their new location.

There are many stresses that come with moving day. Being prepared with moving and packing supplies, a moving inventory list, and a moving day plan for the family and the family pet can help alleviate some of the stress. Good Luck with your move!

 

Business Documents Storage Solutions

Business Document Storage Solutions

All types of businesses use self storage for extra storage needs. Self storage is a great storage option for offices, contractors, and sales representatives.  If papers, business documents and files are stacked up on desks and workspaces, leaving less space for your employees to actually work, then it is a sign that you are running out of storage space in your office. It is time to gather your documents and find a document storage solution at an off-site storage facility. Self storage and business storage 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 you. If you need to access the stored files, you do not want to drive across town. If you store employee and business records, it is very important to pick a storage facility with very good security measures including video surveillance, computerized gate access and strong locks!

How Long Should A Business Keep Documents in Storage?

Federal and state laws require the retention of certain types of business documents either on-site or in a storage unit. Accounting records such as financial statements, income tax returns, payroll tax returns, general ledgers, expense reports, bank deposits and income tax withholding should be stored permanently at the office, business or a storage unit. Corporate records such as fixed asset reports, plans and blueprints, property appraisals and internal audits should also be stored permanently at the office or in a storage unit. Human Resources and Payroll Records including W-2 forms, worker’s compensation benefits, payroll records, attendance records, medical benefits, payroll checks and personnel records should be stored for at least seven years.

 Business Document Storage Tips

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 your boxes and storage units.

  1. Make sure that you have the proper moving and packing supplies when you are packing your business document. When packing the business documents in boxes, fill the boxes up to the top and then add filler material. Do not over stuff the boxes. Also, do not use newspaper as filler as the print can rub off on the documents. Plain newsprint paper or bubble wrap are good filler materials.
  2. Raise the document boxes off of the ground on pallets, wood, plastic sheeting or cardboard. Using shelving units and filing cabinets will also help reduce the mess and clutter of business documents.
  3. If you plan on archiving the business documents in storage for a long period of time, add shelving units and possibly filing cabinets for archival storage. For extra security, store the documents in locked file cabinets or fire safes.
  4. Place the boxes with the oldest business documents and files towards the back of the storage unit. Place the boxes with files that you might need to access more frequently towards the front of your storage unit.
  5. Label every box with the contents. Create a numbering system for your stored boxes that you can put into a spreadsheet for cross-checking. This will also make it easier to find the documents that you need to access.
  6. Follow the proper guidelines for how long business documents should be stored. The IRS has a great site with tips on how long you should keep certain documents and files.

 

8 Motorcycle Winter Storage Solutions

motorcycle winter storageA motorcycle is a great way to get around during warm and dry weather. But, it is not recommended to take a motorcycle out for a ride in snowy, rainy or cold weather. Motorcycles should be stored in proper conditions to keep them protected during the off-season months. Renting a self storage unit is a perfect motorcycle storage solution if you don’t have enough room to store a motorcycle in your garage (or don’t have a garage) during the winter months. You can find storage tips specific to your bike in your owner’s manual. It is important to read and follow the instructions in the owner’s manual or consult with your storage facility manager before storing your motorcycle or any vehicle.

Motorcycle Storage Tips

There are some basic steps that need to be completed to make sure that you properly prepare your motorcycle for storage. Following these steps will allow the motorcycle to be ready for the spring riding season in no time!

  1. Before you place the motorcycle in storage, make sure that your registration and license and insurance are up-to-date. It will be necessary to provide proof of insurance when you rent your storage unit.
  2. If you are planning on storing a motorcycle in a garage or a storage unit, consider storing it off of the floor. Place the motorcycle on a pallet or piece of wood. Doing so will help protect the tires from deflating during storage.
  3. Before storing, change the oil. This will remove the excess sludge and dirt in the engine and will allow easier start-up of the motorcycle when removing from storage.
  4. Clean the motorcycle and then completely dry it before placing in storage. Spray protective oil on every metal surface of the motorcycle to help prevent rusting.
  5. If possible, remove the battery from the motorcycle and store in a warm dry space.
  6. Check the tires to make sure that they are properly inflated when you place the motorcycle in storage.
  7. Cover the motorcycle while it is in storage. Do not use a plastic cover as this will allow moisture to be trapped under cover and cause damage to the metal surfaces. Use a cotton tarp, sheet or blanket as a covering.
  8. Check your self storage facility’s rules and regulations before storing.

ezStorage offers a variety of storage unit sizes that can accommodate a motorcycle. ezStorage also offers easily accessible storage units, in order to move your motorcycle in and out of storage.

 

Celebrate Mardi Gras in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Areas

Mardi Gras Events in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington DC

History of Mardi Gras Activities

Its Mardi Gras season around the world! There are parades, festivals, fun and lots of great food at Carnival celebrations in Venice, Italy and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and of course in New Orleans!  All of the celebrations will accumulate with Fat Tuesday events on Tuesday, February 17th. Mardi Gras celebrations and traditions can be traced back to pagan spring rites and rituals. Today, Mardi Gras is celebrated with music, food, floats and excitement. The city of New Orleans is famous for their Mardi Gras celebrations, which usually start in the beginning of January and run to Ash Wednesday, which is 40 days before Easter. Modern Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans date back to the 1830’s with masked and costumed parade participants dancing through the streets. The New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewe, the first organized group of Mardi Gras celebrants, was formed in the 1850’s. Costumed parade participants have been throwing out beads and other small gifts in the Mardi Gras parades since 1871. Today, there are over 50 krewes who sponsor Mardi Gras events such as parades, masked balls and parties. There are over 70 free parades in the city that are sponsored by different krewes with the first parade starting at 8am and the last one kicking off at sundown each of the 12 days. The larger parades can have hundreds of floats, marching bands and participants that wind through the streets of the French Quarter.

Mardi Gras Events in Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Baltimore Areas

 

Mardi Gras in Baltimore

The Power Plant at the Inner Harbor is hosting Baltimore’s largest Mardi Gras event on Saturday, February 14th from 9pm to 12am. There will be a carnival atmosphere with Cirque style Aerialists, stilt walkers, fire breathers, a parade, Cajun food, Zydeco music and much more. Ten bars and restaurants in the Power Plant will be participating in the event. If you can’t make that event, many restaurants in the city will be having special Mardi Gras celebrations and menus.

Washington D.C. Mardi Gras Events

Washington D.C. hosts quite a few Mardi Gras events and celebrations. The Mardi Gras Masquerade will take place Sunday, February 15th at the Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square. This black tie event will feature New Orleans style brass and jazz bands, DJ’s, costumed performers and of course, plenty of beads.

The Clarendon Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade takes place at 8pm on Fat Tuesday, February 17th in Arlington, Virginia. The parade is the largest Fat Tuesday celebration in the Washington D.C. area. The parade, which runs along Wilson Boulevard from North Barton Street to North Danville Street, is family friendly with floats, marching bands, community groups, costumed performers and beads! Last year, the weather limited the number of participants in the parade. However, this year the parade hopes to be back up to over 50 participating groups and performances. You can continue with the Mardi Gras activities in Arlington after the parade at the Bayou Gras Block Party with many area pubs and restaurants participating with live music, great food and other activities. The Strathmore is presenting a special concert on Fat Tuesday by the Grammy winners, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra on Wednesday, February 18th.  Family can be part of Mardi Gras celebrations at the Anacostia Community Museum on Saturday, February 21st for storytelling, face painting, mask-making, a parade and more!

Even though Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. are thousands of miles from the epicenter of Mardi Gras events in New Orleans, there are still many ways to celebrate the holiday from family friendly events to adult only celebrations. ezStorage has  46 storage locations  in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas that can serve all of your storage needs from business to household.

Celebrate Presidents’ Day at Events in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia

President's Day Events in Washington DC

George Washington’s Birthday

 

The third Monday in February is designated, Presidents’ Day, a day to honor all of the Presidents of the United States.  However, the day started off as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday on February 22nd.  General Washington’s actual birth date was celebrated by the young country for decades before it was officially made a federal holiday in 1885. At the time, there were only three other official federal holidays: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Independence Day. President Washington was the first person to have a national holiday designated in his honor. In Washington D.C., Presidents’ Day is actually still celebrated as Washington’s Birthday.  In 1970, Congress moved to have Monday holidays to have an extended weekend and Presidents’ Day as we know it was signed into law. Today, it is a day designated to honor all of our country’s presidents, with an emphasis on President Washington and President Abraham Lincoln, who also has a birthday in February. In fact, Abrahams Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th was celebrated by many states and the federal government as well as Washington’s Birthday for nearly one hundred years! This Monday, February 16th banks, federal, city and state offices, post offices and most schools are closed in observance of this holiday.

Things to Do On Presidents’ Day

Mount Vernon Celebrates George Washington’s 

There are many events to celebrate President’s Day in the Washington D.C. area, specifically in Northern Virginia, including a parade and special events at Mount Vernon.

Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, is celebrating Washington’s Birthday for the entire three-day holiday weekend, but has a special birthday celebration on Monday, February 16th with free admission for visitors on this day only.  Special events include storytelling from re-enactors of George Washington’s family and friends, wreath laying and a visit with “General Washington” himself.  There will be an 18th century dance demonstration, tributes to our first president, patriotic music and Revolutionary War military demonstrations on the east lawn.

Presidents’ Day Events in Northern Virginia

The city of Alexandria, Virginia hosts many of the Presidents’ Day events this weekend. Alexandria played an important role throughout the Colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War periods and has many great historical buildings that still stand. The Alexandria’s Annual George Washington Classic 10K and 2K fun run is scheduled for Sunday February 15th starting at 8 am. The race benefits the Washington’s Day parade.  Take a step back in time to celebrate President Washington’s birthday at the Birthright Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. The 18th century tavern once played host to George Washington, John Adams, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson amongst other notable figures in our history and is one of the few taverns that is still in operation today. The Birthright Ball takes place the Saturday before Presidents’ Day and is an evening of toasts, re-enactors, historical programs, dancing, and an 18th century banquet. Monday, February 16th, Alexandria hosts the country’s largest Presidents’ Day parade in Old Town Alexandria. The Alexandria Presidents’ Day parade, dating back to 1923, contains marching bands, floats, wagons, horses, historical reenactments and special performances. The parade kicks off at 1pm. After the parade, you can visit and tour some of Alexandria’s historical buildings and museums for free including Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Friendship Firehouse Museum and the Lycium. There will also be a Revolutionary War reenactment camp at Fort Ward on Sunday, February 15th with military review and demonstrations of military life during the colonial years.

Presidents’ Day is a perfect day to visit the monuments on the National Mall in Washington D.C. There are monuments and memorials to Presidents Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Franklin D. Roosevelt along the National Mall or the Tidal Basin.  The museums and monuments are always free.

If you have the day off head out and enjoy history and honor our presidents by enjoying one of the many Presidents’ Day events in the Washington D.C. area. Stop by ezStorage’s six Northern Virginia storage locations to find out how we can help you with all of your storage needs.

How to Start Planning Your Wedding in 10 Steps

How to start planning your wedding

Photo courtesy of gravesfamilycatering.com

 

The holidays are a big time for couples to get engaged. It is a very exciting time and a special moment that couples will not soon forget. Once the excitement settles down, it is time to start planning that special day. The wedding planning process usually starts 9 to 16 months before the big day. There are many important steps that the couple needs to follow on how to start planning a wedding.  There are many websites and magazines that can help the new couple create wedding planning checklists and share wedding planning tips for both big and small weddings.

In order to start making decisions for your wedding day, there are 10 wedding planning tips that you should consider.

10 Wedding Planning Tips

  1. Start a wedding binder or folder for all of your wedding planning tips, notes and ideas. Go through bridal, lifestyle, food, and fashion magazines for ideas for your wedding. This is a great time to consult Pinterest and get wedding ideas. Add pins to your Pinterest page of wishes and ideas for the wedding day. Pinterest is an amazing reference tool for how to start planning a wedding.
  2. Attend the wedding shows in your city. The Baltimore and Washington D.C. area has a few major wedding shows in the winter. Wedding shows are great places to gather pamphlets and information from wedding industry vendors and to get ideas for your wedding.
  3. Determine the budget for your wedding. Include the money that you and your family will contribute to the big day. According www.costofwedding.com, to most weddings in the United States have average costs ranging from $18,900 to $31,500, with the majority of weddings costing less than $10,000.
  4. Start to work on a guest list. The list will determine the size of the venue that you need. The larger the guest list, the larger the cost. If you are looking to cut costs for your wedding, then a smaller guest list would be the best option.
  5. Reserve a date and the venue for the big day. The most popular time of year for weddings is May and June, with September and October following closely behind. If you want an outdoor wedding, then it is best to have it during the summer. There are many questions that a couple will need to answer about the actual wedding day. Do you want to have a destination wedding? This would require even more planning and coordinating between the wedding party and guests. Another consideration for the wedding day is if you want to get married in a church or another location? Will the ceremony be held separately than the reception?  Is it a daytime or a nighttime wedding? Once you have the day and the venue then you can really start planning the wedding and reception.
  6. Choose who you would like to have in your wedding party. These family and friends will also be great sources for information on planning your wedding.
  7. Research photographers, caterers, florists, bands and disc jockeys. The wedding shows are great resources for interviewing local wedding vendors. Ask friends who have recently married for recommendations. Decide if you want to have a band or a DJ for your wedding. A DJ usually costs less than a band and can also act as the master of ceremonies for a wedding.
  8. Pick an officiant for the wedding. Will you get married in a church or in another venue? The type of ceremony will determine the officiant that you will have.
  9. Once you have a venue and date set, create a save the date postcard, flyer or an email for wedding guests. The save the date could be a part of the invitation package that you purchase.
  10. Create wedding planning checklists for every portion of your wedding from dress and tux shopping to the wedding shower wishes (the bridesmaid usually take care of the shower with the bride’s wishes), rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding day and reception. Having a wedding planning checklist will help you track what you have done for your planning and what you still need to do.

Weddings and Self Storage

Getting married is one of many life’s many pivotal events. Couples are combining their lives and their households.  If the couple is older, then both bride and groom have household items that will need to be combined. This means that there could be many duplicates in furniture, kitchen appliances and linens. Instead of getting rid of these items, renting a self storage unit is a great solution for household storage.  You can place the items in a self storage unit until you decide to keep, sell, donate, throw away or continue to store these items. A self storage unit is also a great idea for storing table displays and favors and other items you will need for the big day. If you need to rent certain items for your wedding that you do not have room for at your home, then store it inside a storage unit until he wedding day.