Category Archives: Storage Tips

create your own lab

Create Your Own Science Lab

What is Frankenstein Day? It’s the day to honor Frankenstein author Mary Wollenstone Shelley, who was born August 30, 1797. But it’s also a great day to create your own science lab right in your home! With well-known inspiration such as Sharp Labs, it’s easy to see why many here in Camas, Washington would love to have their own dedicated lab space for experiments – even if it’s “for their kids.” Northwest Self Storage can help you clear out the clutter so you’re able to create your own today.

The Requirements of a Home Lab

Before getting started building your lab, it’s important to know what will be required. Below are a few must-haves for your space.

  • Labs can take up a lot of counter space with microscopes, notebooks, chemicals and other supplies. You’ll need at least ten square feet of work surface with two designated areas – the experimentation counter area and the note-taking area. Get some mats to keep the surfaces safe.
  • Figure out additional storage space to keep equipment and chemicals safe, especially anything hazardous. Keep pets, kids and general household items away from these dangerous chemicals.
  • Ventilation is necessary for any fumes, odors and smoke that are possible. Ensure there’s a window and exhaust fan nearby, but an exhaust hood is even better.
  • There needs to be lots of lighting so you can avoid errors and perform your experiments safely. Get some additional table lamps or portable light sources if you don’t have enough.
  • That leads us into electrical sources. You’ll need quite a few outlets.
  • Have quick access to running water with a sewer connection for safety.
  • Accidents happen, and your flooring will be the first to suffer. Concrete would be the best flooring option in your lab, or protected linoleum or vinyl.

How to Choose the Right Lab Room

With so many good rooms to choose from, it can get tough deciding where to grow you lab space. Laundry rooms offer most of the items on the checklist, but you’ll have to make sure to clean up after every use so your clothes aren’t damaged. Kitchens also provide work space, storage, and access to water, ventilation and electricity. Just remember to avoid contamination with surfaces and food or prepping tools.

The best locations for a lab are unfinished basements and garages, mainly because they’re the most widely available in terms of space. You’ll have plenty of storage and the floor is usually concrete. Remember, the garage could end up getting a little hot or cold, and you’ll need to ventilate the basement.

Moving Extra Clutter to Storage Companies

If you’re like most folks in Camas, Washington, you’re currently using a lot of your basement or garage space to store your extra stuff. That’s where storage companies like Northwest Self Storage come in. You can rent a unit that’s the perfect size for your things, and easily move them over for the time being.

Take a little time today to start planning what your new lab will look like. While you may not be creating any of your own Frankensteins anytime soon, the world is still a mystery just waiting to be discovered by you!

energy efficient home

Going Green: How to Make Your Home More Earth Friendly

As a resident of the beautiful city of Gresham, Oregon, you know firsthand how important it is to the local government and your neighbors to remain a designated EPA Green Power Community. Using green resources to power your home and community is your city’s way of taking care of the environment. But there’s even more you can do to continue this noble effort. Northwest Self Storage Company is sharing tips on continuing to make your Gresham, Oregon home environmentally friendly, one room at a time! We’ll cover the small stuff, like knowing what goes into making the household items you buy, all the way to making your big renovations efficient money savers.

Sweat the Small Stuff

There are many small things you can do that, combined, make a big impact on your environmental footprint. You can start with the usual stuff, like keeping lights off, maintaining a consistent temperature in your house and switching out your current light bulbs for more a more energy efficient option.

But there are also some less thought of ways. Did you know that regular fireplace logs produce a considerable amount of tar and carbon monoxide? If you have an regularly used fireplace, it’s worth the extra expense to buy earth-friendly logs like Java Log, made from recycled coffee grounds. To update your insulation, consider using GreenFiber Cocoon, which uses recycled newspaper treated with fire retardant that can be blown through a small hole – making it much easier to use for already-built homes.

Large and Recharged

If you’re looking into updating a room or two in your home, now’s a great time to consider green choices. It’s also a good time to use storage units to keep your items out of the way while the renovations are taking place!

Living Room: Consider bamboo as a flooring option, as it’s very easily grown and it will last a lifetime in your home. New furniture is an exciting indulgence, but there is a wide range of gently used tables, chairs and decorations that you can consider when updating your space. Sometimes antique stores have already updated items, giving them an artistic, unique touch. Storage companies in and around Gresham are happy to store anything you find while the renovation is completed.

Bathroom: Toilets made prior to the 1990s use over three gallons of water per flush. Don’t skimp on a toilet – that will be the most water-saving source in your entire house. Just by upgrading your shower head to a water efficient option, you save enough energy in your house to power your television for almost a year! There are also a wide-range of bathtubs that keep your water warm without having to turn on the hot water faucet, saving your water heater from working overtime.

Kitchen: Appliances provide a great opportunity to save energy, but there’s even more energy-saving options to discover in the kitchen. Try locating workspaces near windows so you don’t even have to turn on the lights. Install task lighting so you only have to turn on lights where you need them. Cork flooring is becoming a viable and long-lasting option for kitchen floors. When replacing cabinets, if the interior is in good shape, only replace the exterior doors and look into formaldehyde-free options.

The city of Gresham, Oregon is truly a wonderful place to live, and most of that has to do with the natural surroundings that we are so lucky to have. Forests, mountains, and rivers all around make it obvious why we need to work hard to keep the earth just the way it is. At Northwest Self Storage units, we do what we can at home and work to “be green” and we’re always looking for suggestions to shrink our environmental footprint. Together, we can make an impact – one room at a time!

Person holding a card that says grand opening with people jumping in background

5 Fast Facts You Need to Know About Our Brand New Facility

Northwest Self Storage is very excited to announce an addition to our line-up of storage facilities, with a brand new location in Hillsboro, Oregon!

While we naturally think this is the biggest deal in the world, folks may be wondering why it should matter to them. Well, here’s a few fast facts to get others just as excited about this as we are.

  1. Skate World is Now Self Storage World

That’s right! We’ve converted the old Hillsboro, Oregon Skate World into a whopping two-story, indoor self storage facility that boasts a ton of new features. We took an aging building and made it beautiful again – upcycling at its best!

  1. The World Will Be Watching

Ok, so maybe not “the world” – but the self storage world will be, using our state of the art camera monitoring system designed to keep you and the items you store here safe from crime.

  1. Pick a Number Between 1 and 380

One of those numbers is going to be your new storage unit – and you’ll be the FIRST in! Yep, we have a whopping 380 units for you to choose from, but there’s more. Depending on your needs, you can pick indoor storage or parking, a small unit or a large one – it’s all up to you!

  1. We’re Both Steaming Hot and Cool as a Cucumber

How can we be both, you ask? Because at our Hillsboro, OR location we offer climate controlled self storage that keeps your items at room temperature all year round. We turn up the heat when the outside temperature gets cold, and crank it low when the summer sun kicks it up.

  1. Meet a New Local Rock Star

Our facility’s manager will be there each day during regular business hours, and they are going to be famous for their service. Helping you through the rental process, monitoring the security cameras, keeping up with the paperwork, and more – all with a friendly smile.

We know all of this exciting news can be overwhelming, so take a couple deep breaths. Because at Northwest, we bet that if you stop by to see us about a self storage facility, we’ll be sure to get your heart racing and your adrenaline glands pumping at the thought of storing your things at such a top of the line facility.

baby socks on top of crib

How to Create a Nursery That Will Grow With Your Baby

For the past few years, Eugene, Oregon home prices have been on the rise — and it’s only expected to increase with time. Knowing this, new parents are looking to make their current living situation work no matter what, even with a lack of space and self storage. Northwest is all too familiar with this situation, and has come up with a few tricks to help parents create a place for their child that will grow with them throughout the years.

Map it Out

Planning out the new nursery before you get started is important, but equally important is mapping out what the room is capable of holding beyond just the crib years. Will it accommodate a growing child, and what do you need to do to ensure it can? Whatever changes you make need to work for a child and a teenager, as well.


When deciding on paint colors and themes for the room, think ahead. Chances are, the child will quickly grow out of pastel colors and bubbly baby animal designs. Instead, opt for more mature, neutral color palettes that are still youthful and calming. Don’t negate the power of white walls, either. They provide a blank canvas for making simple changes to décor and adding any pop of color your child prefers as he grows.

If you want to include cute designs, look into easily removable vinyl wall decals. The options are endless, and when it’s time to change it up, just peel them off and start over.


Convertible cribs are a great solution for growing into. While they work great for your newborn, they quickly transform to provide the perfect place for your young child to snuggle up. The initial cost can be high, but remember that you’ll be keeping this for a long time to come.

Speaking of that, opting for durable furniture that doubles as self storage and can be updated with paint or vinyl decals, is a sure way to keep your overall costs down. Buying a good dresser now means that it doesn’t break down over the years. And that dresser can act as a changing table, too! Just purchase a removable changing table top and when the time comes to put it away, you’re not getting rid of an entire piece of furniture.

Follow the Rule of the Price Tag

There’s a simple rule to follow when designing your nursery: The cheaper the item, the more age-appropriate it can be. Things like pillows, wall décor, blankets and table lamps are usually inexpensive enough to continually change. For the more expensive items, make sure they’re able to grow with the child. Opt for more age-neutral colors and styles – and stay away from “trendy” touches.

Smart Storage

Self storage is a major issue for a lot of parents. Babies may be small, but they come with a lot of stuff. Consider outside-the-box self storage areas, like walls, closet hangers, doors and window sills. When you look into rocking chairs to add to the nursery, consider getting a storage ottoman that gives you a place to put up your feet, and put away your things.

It’s also helpful to think ahead. Remember to choose a wide variety of storage sizes that can accommodate different-sized items. When the room fills up and it’s time to make some space, storage facilities offer units ranging from a few feet to enough room to fit a car.

Buy Ahead

Your child may only be a certain age, but you might find great deals on items they will need in the future, like when it’s finally time to buy their growing bodies a bed that will fit them for years to come. This is another way storage facilities near your Eugene, Oregon home can come in handy. Just store it there until it’s ready to be used, and put your old furniture in until you’re ready to sell it.

As you go through this amazing, scary yet wonderful time in your life, planning ahead will always work to your benefit. By creating a space your child can easily grow into, your family stays put without the stress of encroaching clutter. And you always know that when it’s time to clear things out, Northwest Self Storage is right down the road – ready to help you move on to the next stage of your life.

coast hanging up on hangers in closet

Storing Your Winter Clothes

In a perfect world, you’d have unlimited closet space and plenty of room for your winter clothes without the need to store them away. Living in Centralia Washington, though, you know how much space those bulky sweaters, thick jeans and oversized coats can take up. When it’s time to store your winter clothes, look to self storage and take these steps to keep them in pristine condition throughout the summer.

5 Tips for Storing Winter Clothing in Centralia, Washington

  1. Wash your clothes thoroughly. Soiled clothes attract mold and pest insects, so wash your clothing thoroughly before storing them for the summer. Even if you think your clothes are clean, run them through the washer and dryer one time to prevent staining and damage from pests.
  1. Store them in a climate-controlled area. Don’t pack your clothes away in the attic or the basement. Direct sunlight and damp basements can create numerous problems, such as fading and mildew. If you look to storage companies to house your winter clothing, choose a climate-controlled unit to prevent heat and moisture damage.
  1. Use the correct packaging for your clothes. Pack your clothing in plastic containers to keep out unwanted pests during storage. Place the heavier clothes on the bottom, and wrap them all in acid-free, pH-neutral paper to prevent yellowing and fading. You should also store furs and other delicate items in wardrobe boxes and hang them to prevent wrinkling and deterioration.
  1. Label your items accordingly. Label each box according to the contents it contains. Use a permanent marker to jot down the information on the side, such as the clothing type and to which family member it belongs. Labeling the boxes accordingly helps you easily find your clothing once you take it out of storage.
  1. Use self storage for your winter clothes. With self storage, you don’t have to make extra room in your home for your winter clothing. Just pack all your clothes, and keep them safe and secure in a storage unit. If you’re looking for storage companies with climate control, Northwest Self Storage can help with that! You’ll not only get a unit that prevents heat and moisture damage, but also keeps out pests for season-long protection.
classic cars lined up in a row

Tips to Fixing Up a Classic Car

The 26th annual Oregon Mountain Cruise Car Show is taking place June 12-13. If it gets you in the spirit to buy and fix up your own car, we can help! Here are some tips on how to find the perfect classic car for fixing up and how to keep it safe in Northwest storage units.

5 Tips on Buying a Classic Car in Hillsboro Oregon

  1. If you see rust, walk the other way. Don’t spend your money on a car with rust holes in the trunk and floors. You’ll end up spending more on repairs than you would buying a nicer car. A few bubbles and rust spots aren’t a big deal, just avoid buying a car lacking any hope at all.
  1. Check the production numbers. Always check the production numbers before buying. Look for cars that manufacturers didn’t produce in mass amounts. A car with a lower production number will have a higher value, which has the potential to bring you more money if you decide to sell it in the future.
  1. Pick a car from the 80s. If you’re looking for an investment, buy an 80s performance car like a Buick Grand National or a Camaro IROC-Z. You can even buy a Mazda RX-7 FC3S and fix it up with aftermarket parts that will make it stand out and outperform many of the cars on the road today.
  1. Don’t buy what you don’t want to drive. Just because a car is a classic doesn’t mean you’ll want to drive it. Instead, choose something that you’re itching to drive. If you decide to fix it up and sell it, you’ll get just as many people wanting to buy the car and drive it for themselves.
  1. Upgrade a classic with modern features. Buy a car from the 50s, 60s or 70s, and upgrade it with power windows, door locks and other modern features. Adding these features will not only make the car exhilarating to drive but also increase its value. Upgraded features on a car that normally wouldn’t have them provide something to show off at the Oregon Mountain Cruise Car Show.

Storing Your Classic Car in Hillsboro, Oregon

Protect your investment by storing it at Northwest Self Storage in Hillsboro. We have storage facilities that shield your classic car from the sun’s rays and rescue it from the dreaded humidity. You can also use the storage facilities to store tools, parts and other items while working on your car. After the car show, park your classic in a Northwest Self Storage unit, and have peace of mind knowing that it’s safe and secure 24 hours a day.

Gavel with cash and toy cars

Amazing Storage Unit Auctions Finds

People have searched for lost treasures long before the show “Storage Wars” hit the air. Though not all Northwest Self Storage units contain hidden treasures worth thousands, some auction finds can yield a hefty return on your investment. If you’ve never thought about attending storage auctions in Vancouver, Washington before, these stories might just interest you.

Finding Treasure in Storage Units

There’s history in the making.

A storage auction in Virginia led to a significant find for Bob, a man who placed a successful $27,000 bid on two units. Inside the units, he found Civil War documents, Harry Truman’s cane and rare artwork. Because the bidders had a good idea of how valuable the units were, the starting bid was placed at $10,000.

It’s funny what you can find.

In 1997, Nicolas Cage bought a pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1 for $150,000. Three years later, it was stolen and remained missing for more than a decade until a storage auction in the San Fernando Valley took place. The winning bidder placed the comic on a collector site and sold it for more than two million dollars.

We take cash for gold.

A San Jose man paid $1,100 dollars for an abandoned storage unit and came out of the auction a richer man. Inside the unit, he found numerous rare coins and a few gold and silver bars in a plastic container. After getting it all appraised, his treasure was worth $500,000.

He scored at the buzzer.

Adrian Petrus attended a storage auction in Maryland and paid $300 for a unit hoping he didn’t just inherit a bunch of junk. On the contrary, he found Dikembe Mutombo memorabilia inside, such as autographed basketballs, shoes, trading cards and photos of Dikembe posing with Michael Jackson and other celebrities. Though Adrian reached out to Dikembe about the memorabilia, he never heard anything back. Adrian sold the items later on eBay.

Test Your Luck at Storage Auctions in Vancouver, Washington

People use self storage for numerous reasons, but when they can no longer pay, their items get sold at auctions. Whereas some units may contain video game consoles, priceless heirlooms and even cars, others contain old household goods and a mattress or two. You’ll never know what you’ll find at Northwest Self Storage in Vancouver until you get out there. Find an auction and test your luck in the storage wars!

Man taking picture while woman looks at map

Get Bitten by the Travel Bug

More and more people every day are saving their money, quitting their jobs and putting all their things in self storage to go travel the world. Why not you? A permanent vacation sounds like a dream come true, a life in which you have no worries and can go from place to place, meet new people and see wondrous things. Redmond, Oregon may have beautiful views and offer plenty to do, but there’s a whole world out there just waiting for you to experience it.

Going On a Permanent Vacation

Perhaps you dream about traveling along the Venice waterways, or maybe you just want to hit the highway and visit every major landmark in all 50 states. Before you can leave your old life behind, you’ll need to save enough money to support you during your trip. If you already have that covered, here are a few storage tips to get you ready for your long-term getaway.

Cover the basics before traveling.

Get a passport if you don’t already have one, and book your plane flights ahead of time. Book an appointment with your doctor to make sure you have a clean bill of health and to get your vaccinations up to date. Take care of these things at least three months before you travel.

Determine your living situation.

Where will you live when you travel? Are you planning to buy a recreational vehicle or rent hotel rooms? To continue making money during your travels, consider renting out your residence. Leave most of your furnishings in place for the new renters, and use self storage to protect your valuables. We have long-term storage facilities in Redmond, OR available to keep your belongings safe and secure during your trip.

Pack the right stuff.

It might be spring or summer when you leave Redmond, but it could be fall or winter in another part of the world. Pack appropriate clothing and accessories to cover all the seasons. Make sure you have your passports, driver’s license and other important documents on you at all times. Invest in a mobile phone that you can use in the U.S. and abroad.

Don’t Forget to Share Your Experiences

While you’re traveling, blog about your adventures, and share your experiences with the world. It’s an easy way to let your family back home know how much fun you’re having while you’re away. If you decide you’ve had enough traveling to last a lifetime, coming back is as easy as getting your stuff out of Northwest Self Storage and settling down once again.

covered boats stored in storage yard

Prepping Your Boat and RV for Summer Fun

As the weather warms up, owners of RVs and boats everywhere are rejoicing! It’s finally time to get the boat or RV out of Northwest Self Storage in Hillsboro and get ready for fun in the sun, whether that be summer road trips through Oregon or a cruise on Henry Hagg Lake. As an RV or boat owner, you know that preparing your vehicle for storage facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon requires certain tasks – and so does taking it out!

Follow this de-wintering checklist to ensure that your RV or boat is in tip-top shape, and get ready to hit the road – or water – running!

Getting Your Boat Prepped for the Water

  • Give your boat a thorough once over. Clean the exterior and the interior, including running the vacuum and power washing the bottom. Apply a coat of wax to protect the boat’s surface from UV rays. Repair any small dings or scratches.
  • Electrical Components. Inspect your boat’s electronics for corrosion; use a wire brush to eliminate corrosion or replace components. Don’t forget to check your battery to see if it still holds a charge.
  • Belts, Hoses and Cables. Many belts, hoses and cables are made of rubber, which can crack over time. Inspect these parts for cracking and swelling and replace as needed. Make sure that the belts are tight.
  • Fuel System. Examine the fuel system for leaks, and look for visible damage to the fuel lines. These may be cracked or brittle, and need to be replaced. Make sure that the connection is secure to prevent leaks.
  • Fluid Levels. Check the fluid levels for oil, power steering and coolant. Change out your fluids if they weren’t changed when the boat was put in storage.
  • Safety Gear. Lastly, have a variety of life vests on board, as well as first aid kits, flares and a fire extinguisher.

De-Winterizing the Family RV

  • Inspection from the outside in. Check the exterior of the RV for any damage and give it a thorough wash. Check the tire inflation pressure and make sure your tires are still in good condition; inspect for damage like premature cracks. Look for signs of animal damage or leaks in the interior, as well as holes. You should have left your fridge cracked to avoid rotting smells, but wipe out your fridge with disinfectant anyway.
  • Reinstall the battery. The first order of business is re-installing the battery, which you should have removed when you placed your RV in storage. Top off the fluid, charge the battery and reconnect it. You can do a quick test to see if it’s working by turning on the lights.
  • Flushing the fluids. Flushing your plumbing system is essential to getting all the antifreeze out of the system. The best way to do this is to take your RV to a water hook-up area so you can dispose of these chemicals down the correct drain. While flushing the plumbing system, run the water pump and open all the faucets in the RV. Allow the water to flow until it runs clear. Don’t forget the water in the toilet and the shower as well.
  • Check the electrical systems. Test the electrical systems throughout the RV. This includes everything from appliances to lights. Check the batteries in your small appliances, and ensure that all the interior and exterior lights are working.
  • Take it for a test drive. After performing any necessary maintenance (and the above tips), it’s important to take your RV for a short test drive. Take a 10 to 20 mile trip and note anything unusual.

The de-winterizing care can vary depending on the location of your vehicle and the pre-storage preparation. Follow our basic tips and get ready to enjoy your favorite summer recreation. And remember, Northwest Self Storage in Hillsboro offers both indoor and outdoor spaces for RVs and boats. If you need self storage in Hillsboro, contact Northwest Self Storage today!

furniture sitting on driveway

3 Ways to Use Self Storage During Garage Sale Season

Located in the heart of Oregon’s farmlands, Canby overflows with small town charm and scenic views. Home to more than 15,000 people, this town is full of entertainment. And as the ideal place to raise a family, Canby isn’t short on activities. As winter weather disappears and temperatures start to rise, Canby residents start prepare for an even bigger season: Garage sale season. With temperatures averaging 70 degrees throughout the summer, Canby is the ideal city for hosting a garage sale. So lace up your sneakers and get ready to hit the road in hunt of great deals.

Whether you’re shopping or selling, Northwest Self Storage in Canby, Oregon can benefit you. Here are the top ways to use storage units during garage sale season.

Preparing for Your Sale

While garage sale season is upon us, you may not be garage sale ready. If that’s the case, don’t fret about taking up your valuable garage space while you wait for your slotted garage sale date. Transfer your for-sale items out of the house, and start your preparations with storage units in Canby, Oregon. A storage unit gives you plenty of space to plan and price your items. Choose one nearby and on the day of the sale, you can move your items back to the garage. Pack from back to front, and be sure to leave a path for easy access.

Making Space for Garage Sale Finds

Garage sale finds can be anything from gently used clothing to furniture you plan to refurbish. Small items don’t take up as much space, but the large pieces can make your home feel crowded fast. If you’re planning on replacing pieces of furniture with garage sale finds, then using convenient self storage in Canby, Oregon to store your replaced belongings is an easy fix to an overcrowded living space. Furthermore, if you have a project in mind for a garage sale find, then self storage is the ideal locale to work on your piece.

Keeping Clutter Out of the Home

When garage sale season comes to end, it’s very likely that you haven’t yet rid yourself of all your garage sale clutter. Don’t bring the clutter back into your home! Store unsold items in a storage unit. You can wait until the next garage sale season rolls around, find a place to donate your items to, or try your hand at selling belongings online.

Garage sale season is a great time to find bargain deals! Second-hand items aren’t the only deals available. Utilize affordable self storage units to save yourself money and space. Contact Northwest Self Storage today to find a storage unit that fits your needs.