Mountain Storage Has Gone Solar!

Mountain Storage 1In an effort to better protect and serve the beautiful mountain community, Mountain Storage is excited to announce that they have officially gone solar!  Mountain Storage 2

The planning started in mid July and the installation was completed a month later by the Solar Panel Installation company Smart Energy.  General Manager Lew Nottke is very pleased with the new installation, “I am very excited to know that we are doing something that reduces our use of fossil fuels and I feel really good about the positive environmental impact from going solar”, he said.

Since installation, there has been a lot of positive feedback from the tenants as well, who feel good knowing that they are renting from a company that is conscious about the environment – Another great reason to make Mountain Storage your go-to storage facility! Stay tuned for updates!

Thinking about going Solar? Here are a few key facts from Smart Energy!

Financial Savings

Who doesn’t want to save money? With utility rates increasing by as much as 6% a year, now is the time to go solar.

Energy Independence

Take back control! Enjoy the independence of owning and controlling an electric power source located right at your home. No more utility rate increases, no more spikes in electricity rate charges during peak loads. In fact, some days you’ll be able to watch the meter spin backwards as your surplus of energy is fed back to the utility.

True Investment

Make money in one of the safest investments available today. Like we say, Savings Today, Energy Forever! How about an annual return of 12% or more in savings you can count on?

Our Economy

Support creation of great, skilled American jobs in a high growth industry. Your investment in solar energy supports American workers who live in our cities and towns building, designing and installing solar systems.

The Future

Do it for your kids, grandkids and thousands of animals, plants and other living creatures right outside your door. Investing in solar energy reduces your carbon footprint which reduces global warming and directly promotes the use of sustainable energy with no emissions or harmful side effects.

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Moving Made Easy: How to Inventory Your Belongings

by Patrick Galvan featured on Storage.com

Whether you’re moving directly into your new home or temporarily using a storage unit to store everything you own, creating a home inventory when moving is a good idea. Not only does this help you keep track of your stuff, but it also makes unpacking easier because you’ll know what goes where.

Why You Need a Home Inventory for Moving

images (1)If you’re hiring a moving company or keeping everything you own in self storage until you can move into your new home, a home inventory is a good backup plan should anything happen to your belongings.

Moving companies are usually cautious when moving items, and most self storage facilities have security features like video surveillance, gated access, and alarmed units to protect your items. That said, accidents can happen, and a security system is never a 100% guarantee that your belongings are safe.

Keeping a record of everything that’s being moved or stored is a good way to protect yourself. Should any of your items get damaged or stolen, having an itemized list (or photos) of each belonging can help you file an insurance claim and work faster with your insurance company to recover what was lost.

Label All of Your Boxes and Keep an Itemized Record

When moving, write or attach labels to all of your boxes and storage containers. There are a few different ways you can organize your stuff with labels, but the best ways are by item and room.

  • By Item: Labeling boxes and storage containers by item is good when you have lots of similar items. For example, a bunch of photo albums can be put in one box labeled “Photo Albums,” which keeps them together and makes it easier for you to find all of them when unpacking.
  • By Room: Let’s say you have several kitchen appliances and utensils in one box. It’d be hard to categorize them by item. In this situation, it’s better to label them by room. That way, when you’re moving the box into your new home, you’ll know it needs to go into the kitchen because it’s marked “Kitchen.”

Once you’ve packed and labeled everything, make an itemized record of what’s inside your boxes and containers. The more detailed and itemized the list, the better.

For example, an itemized list for a box marked “Electronics” could look like this:

moving inventory example

If you anticipate the need to retrieve something from the box before you unpack, tape the list to the outside of the container rather than putting it inside. This will help you avoid rummaging through all of your boxes to find what you need. Also, taking photos of everything inside the box and taping them outside can be useful.

There’s an App for That!

mobile-apps-1Of course, electronic records are much more convenient—and easier to produce—than writing an inventory out by hand. That’s why there are apps for smartphones and tablets specifically designed to help! In fact, some apps include features for storing pictures and video clips to help you document your items.

Here are three examples of moving and home inventory apps available through Apple’s app store:

  • Moving Day: With this free app, you can catalog items while you pack, track the value of items and store photos for insurance claims, create bar codes and labels for your boxes that can be printed, and more.
  • Moving Van: While this app does cost $1.99, you can keep track of each box and item you’ve packed and assign them to rooms. If you need to find an item, you can search on the app for the item and the box it’s in. Data can also be exported into a PDF or email if you need to file an insurance claim.
  • Sortly: This app allows you to take photos and organize items with the option to even keep track of product part or serial numbers. You can export items into a PDF and use QR codes to keep track of boxes and where each item is. (This app does have in-app purchases, otherwise it’s free.)

An inventory may not seem like it’s worth the work while you’re packing up your belongings, but it’s helpful to have when moving and storing belongings. With a good spreadsheet or inventory-related app, you can keep everything organized and make more efficient insurance claims should anything happen.

The Complete Guide to Downsizing

Article by Logan Livers on Storage.com

downsizeEvery year, people around the country move into smaller living spaces for a wide variety of reasons. Whether it’s downsizing to a rental property or selling a home to move into a smaller one, downsizing can offer a lot of benefits. Most people downsize as part of a financial decision, since a smaller space often means lower costs. Many of the other reasons for downsizing can also be directly or indirectly related to finances. Use this guide to find out the common reasons for downsizing, determine whether or not you need to downsize, and ways to make downsizing simpler.

Common Reasons for Downsizing Your Home

  • Lower monthly costs— The main reason that most people downsize is to increase the spendable income every month by lowering their rent or mortgage payments. A smaller home is a great way to decrease the biggest part of your budget so that you can save money in other areas, such as:
  • Taxes: In a smaller house, you’ll pay significantly less in real estate taxes. Not only will you decrease your mortgage payments, but you’ll also be able to decrease other major costs as well.
  • Utilities: Going from two water heaters down to one can be a great money saver. Even if your downsize isn’t that drastic, heating and cooling a smaller space is far more efficient and costs a lot less.
  • Maintenance: A smaller home will be a lot more affordable to maintain, especially in the long run. For example, if you ever need to install a new roof or paint the exterior, having a smaller home will reduce the total cost of replacement.
  • Move to a better location— Many people will sacrifice square footage to live in their ideal neighborhood or in a downtown space. While the need to downsize can be related to higher costs in that area, these people are mainly driven by their love for a specific location.
  • Don’t need that much space— Empty nesters will often be left with more house than they need once all of their children have grown up and moved out. Moving into a smaller home can be much more convenient for maintenance and a new lifestyle.
  • Newer but smaller — Larger isn’t always better. Some people will sacrifice some space to move into a better or more modern home because they value amenities over space.
  • Smaller footprint— As people are becoming more interested in preserving the environment, many have chosen to minimize their ecological footprint by living in a smaller home. In that case, downsizing is not only a housing choice, but a lifestyle choice.
  • Sometimes it isn’t an option— Unfortunately, downsizing isn’t always an option. A recent divorce or sudden unemployment scenario can force people to downsize their living arrangements in order to afford rent or mortgage payments.

confused-businessman_23-2147504388

Should You Downsize Your Home?

Moving into a smaller home is a very big decision, so it requires a lot of planning and foresight to make sure it’s the right move. Just because there are a lot of benefits to downsizing, that doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone. While many instances of downsizing are based on necessity, some decisions are made based on future goals and the willingness to sacrifice square footage for the ability to invest more money elsewhere.

If you are debating whether or not downsizing is right for you, here are some things to consider:

  • Does size matter to you?— This is a simple question that you should ask yourself before you consider anything else on this list. If the size of your home doesn’t matter to you, then you should reconsider downsizing. If you value a high square footage layout, explore other options to decrease your monthly expenditures before making the decision to downsize your living space.
  • Will it ease your financial situation?— Another simple question that will help you decide if downsizing will actually be beneficial for you. If you can help your financial situation by moving to a smaller place, then it is definitely a worthwhile decision.
  • Overall cost of downsizing —This is an important aspect to consider in the total cost of moving, even when you’re going to a smaller place. You may have to buy entirely new furniture that fits your new space better, and getting rid of belongings can be considered a “cost” as well, albeit not monetarily.
  • Do you like the neighborhood/area?— Any time you move, you have the opportunity to live in a neighborhood you really enjoy. When downsizing, your list of options increases significantly. Neighborhoods that were once out of your price range, like downtown condos or apartments, are much more affordable when you’re looking for a smaller size.
  • Is it the right house for you?— You want to make sure that you’re making a decision that you’ll love. That means the criteria for your new home has to be much more complicated than just being smaller. You don’t want to sacrifice happiness, just space.

new house

How to Make Downsizing Easier

Now that you’ve decided that downsizing is the appropriate step for your life, it’s time to start focusing on how you can make it easier on yourself. In most cases, it’s fairly difficult to make the transition from a larger living space to a smaller one. It’s a lot like trying to pack too much into your carry-on suitcase. It can leave you with making big decisions on what should be kept and what won’t be making the move with you.

  • Take inventory of your belongings— The first step of downsizing is to take a thorough inventory of everything that you own so you can figure out what you really need and what you can part with. Categorize your belongings to figure out must-have items and items you can replace with smaller sized counterparts.
  • Don’t duplicate items— When downsizing, you probably won’t be entertaining any large groups of people, so you can stand to lose a few chairs or beer glasses. Don’t weigh yourself down with duplicate items that you may only need in unique situations, and limit yourself to what will be used frequently.
  • Explore storage options— One thing is certain when downsizing; you’ll need to become a storage fiend. That means you’ll need to look into shelving units, ottomans with built-in storage, and other storage solutions. By using these great storage options in your smaller living space, you’ll be better organized and can avoid feeling cramped in your new home.
  • Stay organized— One of the keys to happiness when living in a smaller home is to stay organized so you don’t end up with a cluttered living space. Take the time to consider where something will be stored before you bring it into your home so you don’t ever end up with more than you have room for.

All in all, downsizing your home can be a worthwhile decision for all sorts of people. It can cut down on your carbon footprint, simplify your life, and most importantly— save you a lot of money. Take the time to really think about what downsizing means before making the decision to move and you’re sure to enjoy your smaller home.