Category Archives: Storage Tips

teacher and students

Celebrate World Teacher’s Day October 5th

Teaching is one of the most integral jobs in every city, from right here in Kelso, Washington, to the far reaches of the world. This World Teacher’s Day on October 5, there is much more you can do besides wholeheartedly thank the teacher that is making a difference in you and your child’s lives. You can help them do their job even better by putting together a school supplies drive! But it doesn’t have to be your run-of-the-mill school supplies. Kelso teachers would love help with the pricier items, like awesome classroom technology, interesting field trips and even educational guest speakers. To help you get started, Northwest Self Storage is sharing tips for starting a supplies drive that will keep your teacher – and kids – smiling all year long!

School Supplies Drive Ideas

New for the Old. There’s a free technology recycling company that will pick up old and broken electronics in Kelso and send it off for proper recycling, called Earth Friendly Recycling. Schedule a day for them to pick up items, and hold a recycling drive in your school parking lot (shoot for the weekend so it’s empty). Spread the word through social media, and give your PTO and teachers a flyer to place around the school. Parents can bring in their old computers, cables, batteries, televisions and more, and you can request a donation for specific new items like iPads, software, projectors, or smart boards. The more specific the items, the more likely people will donate to that particular technology. If Earth Friendly Recycling can’t immediately pick up the items, or is unable to pick up the entire load at once, just store them in a storage unit until it can all be gathered.

Works of Art. Instead of selling items like posters, t-shirts or calendars, get the students together and have them create something. It could be planters, canvases, dream catchers or wind chimes – whatever their hearts’ desire. Then sell those items online or through an art gallery like The Broadway Gallery in Longview. Work with your art teacher to reserve a day or two for the students to create the items, then speak with the gallery manager or owner to determine if they are willing to reserve space to sell the items, without taking a portion of the proceeds. If that’s not possible, work with the school to create or use a current social media account to hold the sale in the park or even at the school. You could easily create an “Event Page” that shows a photo of the item for sale, and a short bio on the student who made it. Again, storage units in Kelso are a great place to store all of the items prior to the event date. The proceeds earned could go toward giving away tickets to the Columbia Theatre Rainy Months series for parents to take their kids on Sundays during the rainy season.

Go Digital. Kelso Public Schools has a foundation listed on that allows you to create a fundraiser around anything. It could be as simple as paying for a guest speaker or as large as a new wave of technology. All you need to do is sign up, create the page, add pictures and a detailed description of your needs, set the fundraiser date and integrate it with social media. This tool allows any parent to make a big effort towards helping funds get raised, without having to do a ton of planning. All the funds will go straight into the Kelso Public Schools Foundation’s account, so once you set up the fundraiser, all you need to do is get the word out.

Northwest Self Storage in Kelso can help with any fundraising needs, by providing you with a storage unit that fits all your organizational needs – plus our storage companies offer convenient month-to-month leasing. That way when you’re all done raising the money and don’t need a storage unit anymore, you can pack up and head out until next time. Give us a call or reserve a unit online today, and get started thanking your teacher on World Teacher’s Day!

Latern in Winter

Transitioning Your Home Into Colder Weather

Canby, Oregon is no stranger to snow, ice and great skiing opportunities. But even the most prepared have a hard time transitioning to the cold. And so does your house. Getting ready for winter isn’t just about exchanging swimsuits for flannel shirts. Your home’s interior and exterior both require a little time and attention to prepare them for the drop in temperature. Here are a few tips from Northwest Self Storage to help you get started.

Indoor Winter Preparation Tips

First, check all weather-stripping and caulk around your doors and windows to keep out the cold air and help you save money on energy bills. To stay warm and toasty, make sure your heating unit is working properly and its filters are clean. If you have a fireplace, you’ll need to stock up on fire logs, and make sure the area around the fireplace is safe and uncluttered. You’ll also need to ensure the chimney is obstruction-free.

Before the first freeze hits, be sure your bedrooms are dressed for winter with your heavier comforters, electric blankets and flannel sheets. If your nose and skin tend to become dry in winter, set up your humidifier to stop the discomfort before it starts. Pack your summer clothes to make room in your closet for your sweaters and boots.

Outdoor Winter Preparation Tips

To get ready for winter storms, stock up on salt to melt ice. Check the exterior of your house for weaknesses that could become serious problems in severe weather. For example, inspect your roof for leaks and damaged shingles. Cover exterior pipes, and prepare supplies needed to protect vulnerable plants from freezing. Ensure that your car is equipped with winter emergency items.

Self Storage Is a Winter Lifesaver

Outdoor summer items like pool floats and toys, outdoor sports and fishing equipment, kiddie pools, lawn and garden equipment and barbecue grills can take up room and leave your yard cramped and cluttered. Instead of trying to cover them or simply letting them accumulate snow, find them a safe, warm temporary home in a self storage unit. You can also store unused indoor items and your entire summer wardrobe to leave your home neat and organized. If you need to access stored items, they are always conveniently within reach. Check out Northwest Self Storage’s local storage facilities for information about climate-controlled storage units that protect your belongings from freezing temperatures and moisture. With your home prepped for the cold weather, you can focus on making the most of the winter season.

baby laying on bed

September Is National Baby Safety Month

September is National Baby Safety month. Whether you have a baby on the way, or you’ve already been blessed with the laughter of little ones, it’s important to make sure your Gladstone, Oregon home is a safe environment. With a little help from your local storage facilities, the following tips can help you de-clutter, organize and optimize your home with your baby’s safety in mind.

Household Baby Safety Tips

  • Be sure that items made from glass and other fragile materials are out of your baby’s reach.
  • Tape back or tuck away cords on blinds and curtains.
  • Move your baby’s crib, playpen and other furniture away from windows.
  • Check all screws and bolts in children’s furniture to be sure they are tight.
  • Place plug protectors in all unused electrical outlets.
  • If you need to increase humidity in your baby’s room, use a cool mist humidifier instead of a vaporizer that could leak or spill hot water.
  • Place window guards to prevent accidental falls.
  • Be sure your baby doesn’t have access to medications, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products.
  • Place a non-skid rug or carpet beneath your changing table.
  • When your baby is capable of getting up onto his or her hands and knees, it’s time to remove hanging crib gyms, toys and decorations.
  • Check baby toys for small, potentially removable parts these can present a choking hazard.
  • Make sure there is a working smoke alarm and fire extinguisher on each level of your home.
  • Set your water heater’s thermostat no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Relocate large collections of fragile or sharp items.
  • Store electric gardening equipment and power tools outside your home.
  • Don’t let clutter build up; keep walkways and play areas neat and organized.

Storage Units Help Optimize Your Home for Safety

Some items you own may present a safety hazard, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye forever. Renting self-storage units is a great way to keep your belongings out of reach until your baby is old enough to be exposed to them safely. Climate-controlled units are available, so you don’t have to worry about bugs, mold growth or temperature extremes ruining your prized items. Check out all the options from Northwest Self Storage throughout your area!

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!