love locks cropped  Pank Seelen

While all storage facilities may look similar at first glance, they aren’t.  Before you decide where you’ll store your possessions, take a tour of the facility you are considering, and look and listen closely for these five indicators that you’ve found the right place:

1.      Secure entry:  From the access gate to the individual unit locks, security should be the number one priority of any storage facility.  Look for a sturdy, smoothly functioning, well-maintained entry gate that can only be opened with a personalized code.  Inside the facility, examine the locks used on individual units—the best ones are key-only high-security disc models.

2.      Clean surroundings:  As you walk through the facility, look in corners, around stairwells, and inside an empty unit.  Areas should be swept clean and tidy.  Dumpsters and trash containers should be closed and free of surrounding debris.

3.      Bright lighting:  Adding to your sense of security and to your ability to easily find and access your items, bright overhead lights should be easy to turn on in hallways and individual units.  A smart manager will be conserving energy along with providing light, by installing motion- or time-sensitive light switches that illuminate the space at your command.

4.      Convenient access:  You may not be planning to access your storage at dawn or dusk, but you might surprise yourself when you need your favorite set of dishware (or your snow blower!) late one evening.  When you tour, ask the manager about access hours.  He should enable you to securely access your unit 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

5.      Happy manager:  True, once the tour is over and the paperwork is signed, you probably won’t need a face-to-face meeting with the manager.  But knowing that your manager is happy, helpful, and able to solve most any problem means you’ll have someone you can count on if and when you do need something extra.  Observe how the manager responds to a phone call or to a customer who walks into the office.  See if he’s intent on listening to the customer, understanding her situation, and finding the right solution.  If so, you can be confident you’ll be treated professionally as well.

Before you decide, put the storage facility to the 5 Indicator Test.  At Acorn Mini Storage in Eagan, manager Bob Gottlieb will gladly give you a tour so you can decide if Acorn is the place for you.  Bob considers his job to be your storage consultant—from the moment he greets you, he zeroes in to help you determine what you need, find the right space at the right price, and take the steps to move in quickly, easily, and painlessly.  Call Bob at the Eagan Acorn Mini Storage , 651-905-0601, to schedule your tour.

Image of love locks in Verona, Italy, courtesy of Pank Seelen

Geese in fall sky

LaVonne Grant takes customer service to a whole new level as the manager of the Blaine Acorn Mini Storage facility. Helping her customers prepare for the coming Minnesota winter, LaVonne’s patience and enthusiasm shine as she offers advice, answers questions, and finds the right storage solutions for residents in the surrounding area.

This Acorn facility stores numerous cars and boats during the season.  Keeping vehicles dry and snow-free in covered storage spaces, or securely stored in one of Blaine’s outdoor rental spaces, ensures that their owners’ own driveways and garages are available throughout the season.

Many of LaVonne’s new storage customers utilize the availability of a free truck for easy, same-day moves within the Twin Cities.  And as a certified UHaul facility, Acorn’s Blaine location can help you reserve a truck for both one-way and in-town truck rental.  Saturday mornings often find LaVonne working speedily to ensure her rental customers get on the road.

Many Acorn storage units house family treasures or off-season equipment and furniture.  But few units compare to one of the most amazing possessions LaVonne remembers being stored at her facility – a full-size, professional wrestling ring, complete with all of the bells and whistles. Although no body slams were delivered during the ring’s stay at the Blaine location, LaVonne says you could just picture standing at ringside, watching two wrestlers grapple for a big shiny champion’s belt.

We asked LaVonne for the advice she gives to first-time storage customers.  She stressed the importance of being extremely organized during the packing and moving process.   While it’s tempting to use large boxes, they can quickly become too heavy to lift.  Use small boxes and pack them snugly with similar items.  Clearly label each box with its room location and a brief list of contents. And keep aside one last box or tub clearly marked “LAST IN/FIRST OUT”—fill it with markers, more tape, a box knife, and any screws/bolts/connectors that you’ve collected and will need when you put things back together.  Finally, organize your storage unit with the boxes facing label side out so you can quickly scan and find exactly the one you need.

Minimizing the exasperation of moving and storage is LaVonne’s specialty.  Call her at the Acorn Mini Storage location in Blaine at 763-767-2349, and see how she can help you find your just-right storage solution.

Image courtesy of Paolo Villanueva

MN Vikings Truck

The Cottage Grove Acorn Mini Storage provides home and business owners with a great variety of storage options, including temperature-controlled storage units.  One of the only facilities offering this feature in the Cottage Grove-Woodbury-Hastings area, this Acorn location ensures that its customers find the best solution for their particular storage needs.

Manager Jessica Krans, who just joined the Cottage Grove location from Acorn in Maplewood, stresses the value of choosing the right units for each client.  For example, Jessica knows that leather upholstery and fine furniture, electronics, photographs, and legal and tax documents are best preserved where temperature and humidity swings are kept to a minimum.  Outdoor furniture and many garden tools can be maintained in a unit without temperature control.  Jessica works individually with each new client to find both the size and type of unit that’s the perfect fit for year-round storage.

Cottage Grove also hosts contractors, electricians, and plumbers who use the facility as the hub of their business.  They keep their tools and supplies in storage units, and can arrange to have packages delivered for them right to the Acorn office for no extra charge.  Many also rent an easily accessible parking unit for their trucks and trailers.  Juggling projects and jobs that can demand around-the-clock work, these professionals appreciate the security and ease of accessing their units at any time, day or night, 365 days a year.

The Cottage Grove facility features open-garage, ground-level parking units for cars, boats, RVs, commercial trucks—including, in the past, a Minnesota Vikings tailgating truck. A converted ambulance, the Purple Pride masterpiece featured a purple and gold paint job adorned with Vikings logos and, of course, a keg tap on the side for easy pre-game pouring.

Jessica makes sure that her clients know about the added values available to Acorn customers.  New customers receive a free safe and secure lock, which is much more durable and heavy duty than any lock you can buy at your local hardware store.  Most new customers qualify for a free* moving truck they can reserve for use when they move into their space.  And the facility is constantly collecting extra pallets to have ready for any clients who need items elevated in their storage units.

Whether you run your own business or manage a busy household, give Jessica a call at 651-459-0016 to find out how the Cottage Grove Acorn Mini Storage location can help you solve your storage problems today.

*Ask the manager if you qualify for this special offer.

Photo of Purple Pride truck courtesy of BananaBuzzbomb