About Ken

Ken is the Director of Content and Promotions for the Online Self Storage Directory blog. He loves the St. Louis Cardinals, obscure historical trivia, and the incredible beards on Civil War generals.

How to Pack Anything Like a Pro

Few people relish the daunting task of packing, and even fewer have mastered the art of packing like a pro. Unless you and Martha Stewart share the same DNA, you’re going to need a few tips to ensure that you are well-prepared for your trip to the Grand Canyon, the next sofa in your couch-surfing career, or the Betty Ford Center. There’s nothing like arriving at your destination and realizing you forgot your toothbrush, or unraveling a twisted, wrinkled clump of clothes you were going to wear for orientation night.

With these pointers at your disposal, in no time flat you will be packing your suitcase, storage boxes, and car so expertly people will be paying you to do it for them. And at $26,000 a month to kick the peace pipe habit, you could certainly use the extra cash. Continue reading

10 Tips to Save Your Space (and a Meltdown!)

The last time you tried to retrieve something from a self storage unit, some special friends had to wrestle you into that cool designer jacket with the very long sleeves and take you to that lovely “resort.” Apparently you spent a lot of time knitting with spoons and hanging by your knees from the rafters singing “Let’s Go Crazy.” If you have to deal with one more chaotic and over-stuffed storage unit, they’re going to name the new wing at Riverside after you.

So take a few deep breaths, listen to some calming music, and use these tips to become a storage stacking Feng Shui master.

1. Visualize Storage Nirvana

Continue reading

A Guide to Selecting a Self-Storage Facility

stressed out guy sitting at a desk in a storage unitЅеlf stоrаgе fасіlіtіеs hаvе bееn рорріng uр іn drоvеs аll оvеr thе соuntrу. Тhеу аrе bесоmіng mоrе аnd mоrе рорulаr fоr реорlе whо dоwnsіzе thеіr hоmе, mоvе tо а nеw stаtе, оr lіvе іn аn араrtmеnt wіth lіmіtеd stоrаgе sрасе. Units vаrу in size frоm а tурісаl сlоsеt tо аn oversized 2-саr gаrаgе. Units most often have drive up accessibility, though many are found inside a larger building, or even on levels other than the ground floor (especially in city centers). Ѕеlf stоrаgе unіts аrе certainly соnvеnіеnt, and the business has come a long way, but choosing the right unit can sometimes be confusing. To help, we created a short guide to help you as you search for the perfect unit. Continue reading

Things that no one tells you about parenthood

baby with food around mouth

This is what we parents call, “a neat and tidy meal.”

Having a child is the greatest thing that ever happened in my life. I used to hate hearing parents talk about how much their children changed their life. I still do, but now I get to join in the conversation, so it’s not as bad.

However, there are a lot of things that they don’t tell you about parenthood that would be nice to know. I’m not referring to diapers and bottles and crying in the middle of the night.

No, I’m talking about the stuff that really matters. There are some lessons that I have learned in my nineteen months as a dad that I think all prospective parents should know. Continue reading

How Google Saved My Life

As a professional writer about all things storage and organization, you might imagine that I’m extremely organized. You might imagine that, but that doesn’t necessarily make it true. In fact, I’m a mess. However, over the course of the last several years, Google has made my life significantly more organized, and I want to take a stab at explaining how, so that maybe you can learn something that will help you, too. Continue reading

Craigslist Sucks! Part II: A Dresser’s Tale

Seriously. It just sucks.

The four minutes that I spent superimposing the circle/slash over the Craigslist logo is really paying off.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about Craigslist and how much it sucks. My opinion of Craigslist hasn’t changed much. It’s still a great place to go to get stuff for cheap, and it’s still the definition of caveat emptor. This story proves that Craigslist can only get you so far.

This story is about a dresser. It’s not a particularly nice dresser. It’s not a particularly expensive dresser. It’s basically just a dresser. Continue reading

DIY for Dummies: A Guide to the Homeowner’s Basic Toolkit

guy holding way too many tools

That’s not how you use a wrench, silly.

A coworker of mine offered a single piece of advice when I bought my first home. He told me to get ready for the giant sucking sound. That sucking sound, he said, is the sound of your money being pulled from your wallet at high speed as household repairs and improvements start adding up.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue reading

Lock up the NRA and the GOP

Enough already!

Enough already!

I know that this is a storage blog, but I’ve been pretty pissed off lately, and I’m not really feeling like writing one of those “nine ingenious couch cushion cleaning solutions” articles today. I don’t understand how an entire country of people seems to be going insane and no one is doing a damn thing about it. So, today you’re getting my rant about what the hell is wrong with the world today. To make it fit into the expected format, you’ll be getting two problems that we should be able to lock away if we just decided to DO SOMETHING about it.

Continue reading

The 6 Types of Storage Users

man saluting storage unit

Is he saluting the unit, or is he flustered? We may never know…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

With all due respect to Thomas Jefferson, any storage facility manager will tell you that all storage renters are not created equal. In the same way that everyone’s office looks different, their storage lockers look different as well. Follow me to learn about six different types of storage users:

The Neat Freak

The Neat Freak is organized. Ridiculously organized. His co-workers prank him by moving his pen three inches to the left after he leaves for the night. His storage unit is lined with identical modular shelving systems. His shelves are lined with color-coded and carefully packed plastic bins. He has an inventory list that is maintained and regularly double-checked for accuracy. He occasionally wonders whether he should issue QR codes to his belongings in order to more carefully track his items. He sweeps, vacuums, and dusts.

The Newlyweds

The Newlyweds rent a storage unit because Wife is not willing to allow Husband’s furniture in The Newlywed’s house, and Husband is not willing to allow Wife to throw away his stuff. Here you will find a lumpy, well-worn couch and recliner. You will find a coffee table with well worn beer rings. You will find an old mattress from a queen-sized bed. You will find an unopened 1989 Upper Deck set, with Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card. You will find a carefully alphabetized collection of beer bottles, each unique, from every corner of the world. And you will find cobwebs, because no one will ever visit.

The Hoarder

The Hoarder is a special breed. They had a plan. Really, they did. They would stack a few things away in the storage unit, just to free up a little space at home. Just a few things, really. But then it became a few more things, then a few more, then two adjacent units, then a third. Opening the door has become difficult without being buried in an avalanche of musical playbills from 1974-1989, a collection of bowling trophies from every state, the cutest pot holder that you’ve ever seen, and seven very confused mice. This storage locker gets paid for every month because no one in the family has the heart to tell Grandma / Mom / Sister / Aunt that there’s no purpose in keeping any of these items. It’s just not worth the fight over those “his and hers” wicker wastebaskets from that great flea market in 1993.

The Businessman

The businessman has two types of units. Businessman 1 (B1) has a unit to keep surplus inventory. It’s organized with shelving units and labels. Businessman 2 (B2) has a unit to clear out space in his office or store room. This unit is filled with boxes of paper and files. There is an old office chair teetering dangerously on another old office chair. There are three boxes of 2009 calendars that never quite got mailed out to clients. B1 and B2 may very well be business partners and friends, but they definitely don’t share an office.

The Student

The Student will only be gone for a few months, so you would think that this unit would be extremely organized. Not so. This unit is filled with hastily packed boxes and gym bags sitting on one old couch, with a TV leaning precariously against the arm. The boxes are primarily labeled, “MISC.” because what else do you label a box that contains two sweatshirts, the remote controls, about ⅔ of the silverware, and all of the spare toiletries? The Student shares this unit with two other Students, who all used the same “system” to pack, and complain about how messy the others are.

The New Parents

The New Parent storage locker is an interesting place to be. All comers recognize immediately that something significant has changed. The New Parent storage locker is the remains of the man cave that has now become the playroom. In this locker, you’ll find a foosball table with dart boards stacked carefully on top. In the corner, you’ll find the handmade bar that New Dad built when they first bought the house, and the set of matching bar stools. Neon Budweiser signs long to be plugged in to flicker once again. All that’s missing is the big screen TV, which was left in place to replay Sponge Bob DVDs, SportsCenter. New Mom loves the new playroom. New Dad loves the new playroom, but secretly misses his man cave. This is actually the Newlyweds a few years later, but now New Dad/Husband has officially lost the war.

The Wrap

This is not all… not by a long shot. There are as many types of storage users as there are storage users. To bring things full circle, let’s hear what Thomas Jefferson might have said about modern storage users: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are… is that a leather couch? Because I’ve been looking for one and I would love to… I mean, if you are thinking about selling it, I don’t want to step on your toes or anything, but if you would consider selling… or a swap? I’ve got a nice TV stand that I could part with…”