The Box Self Storage Blog Provides information on Storage, Moving, Relocation and Related Topics

7 December 2016

Seasonal Storage that slips through the cracks

With all the excitement of the season, there are those little (or big) things, which turn up every year that we often don’t think about until they’re here. Get a jump on 5 of them with these helpful tips:

1. Turkey/Ham. We’re normally eating one of these things well into the New Year. But they should be stored quickly and properly once the festivities are over. Chop up the meat into smaller pieces (several small freezer bags for easier storage) and store the bones separately. Freeze the meat that won’t be used immediately and make stock with the bones. Done! This is safer as it prevents food poisoning and lets you be a bit more creative with your leftover dishes.

2. Donations. It’s a giving time of year so pack up unwanted gifts, older clothes etc. and prepare them to be donated to someone who really needs them. Not only do you make someone else’s day brighter, but also lessen the risk of giving unwanted gifts back to the giver. Recycle used gift boxes and wrapping paper for a special touch.

3. Decorations. Wrap string lights around hangers, put baubles in empty egg cartons and wrap your synthetic Christmas tree in plastic. It will also help to put all these odds and ends in clear storage boxes so you know exactly what’s inside.

4. Guests. No you can’t store guests, but you can make life a bit easier for them if you get items like suitcase racks (the kind you find in hotels), a simple folding screen (to divide smaller apartments and create privacy) and a portable clothing rack. These simple additions can actually make your guests’ stay more comfortable and your home a little less cluttered.

5. Sales. An odd one? Not quite. If you want to stock up and store Christmas items for next year, the best time to buy them is right after the season is over. Buy greeting card sets and other décor and be prepared.

Naturally at The Box we’re happy to do our part. Store all your seasonal items with us, and find useful tools like portable clothing racks, storage boxes and more to help you be organized in your own home as well as in ours.

Season’s Greetings and best wishes for 2017 from all of us at The Box!

Image source: kimmccrary.blogspot.ae
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2 November 2016

Game of Throws: Winter is Cleaning (and 5 tips for the cooler season)

Much of the world does ‘Spring Cleaning’ after being sealed in for winter. For Dubai, winter is when we emerge from our cozy air-conditioned cocoons no longer needing to run from summer’s wrath.

Now that we can leave the windows open, actually use the outdoor furniture and get natural air circulating in our homes – it’s time for the conquest of cleaning!

Here’s the step-by-step strategy to guarantee victory:

1. Clean
Clean while you can. A moist A/C environment can create mold – so check behind sofas, under beds, in bathrooms & kitchens and even inside your A/C units for the sneaky fungus. Mold is destructive and can seriously affect your respiratory health. Plus, dust gathers easily in closed environments, so shake out those carpets and duvets and do a thorough vacuuming.

2. Throw…or donate
Since you’re moving furniture and digging through your belongings, it’s a good time to get rid of things you just don’t need or that are unusable. The less you have, the less you waste. Donate to the needy, give away to neighbors and have a second-hand sale. Decide what’s worth keeping and what needs to go.

3. Protect
Now it’s pleasant to go outside it’s the ideal time to protect outdoor furniture in preparation for next summer. Consider stain or varnish for wood, wax for metal and oil for wicker. Fabrics with lighter colors and synthetic mixes do better outdoors.

4. Store
There may be items you want to keep, but don’t need at the moment. The Box will take them off your hands. This means a specialized environment with no need to worry about mold, clutter or weather damage. Start thinking ahead to summer and consider storing away outdoor furniture rather than leaving it to the elements – this extends their life and means not having to spend to replace or refurbish them.

5. Decorate
For those who enjoy participating in the festive season – now’s a good time to start showing the Christmas spirit. So get out the decorations and start ‘decking the halls’. That is if you have all your seasonal décor already. If you don’t – well that’s a subject for another post!

However, if you want more tips and info right now, there’s always our Pinterest page, which has loads of helpful categories including moving with pets, kitchen organization and food storage just to name a few. Check it out.

Image Source: babadonationhouse.com
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10 October 2016

Fulfilling Work: The surprising way where startups can stock goods, fulfill orders and save money

Every startups challenge
Indra discovered something very quickly: there was only one of him. But that didn’t change the fact that he had to either do, or monitor the doing, of every aspect of his business.

He has to take, pack, double-check and dispatch all orders of his small tech company. On top of all that, there was stocktaking, new inventory to acquire, buying patterns to analyze and more. Much more.

We haven’t mentioned the coordination of courier and warehouse – and that is only after the third warehousing company.

Indra is every small business owner. And even if he hires on help – there’s still only one of him.

True stories of fulfillment
At The Box, we act like a partner to businesses just like Indra’s. Our main service is self-storage, but our passion is helping people. So while we store your inventory, we also become the manpower you wish you had.

Along with ensuring your goods in storage correspond with what’s on paper,
we provide an essential service in 3 simple steps:

1. You email us your daily orders
2. We pack and prepare items for courier
3. We send monthly reports to help you keep track of orders and inventory

In practice, we’re your business’s order fulfillment department, and we’re helping our startup clients in just this way, everyday.

For more information, email help@theboxme.com or call 800-THEBOX.
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1 September 2016

Moving Day

This is the final in a 3 part moving series we've been doing for the past three months. The first was prep for a domestic move, the second was prep for an international move, and this would be relevant for the moving day and the days before and after.

To recap, by now you'd have loaded up on packing supplies - something The Box has in abundance, and it should be noted, specialized supplies fit for purpose like boxes that store clothes on hangers or document containers.

You have done your real estate research and found your new accommodation, mapped out the rooms and put all your vital essentials in one easily accessible box.

The movers are good to go and the family can’t wait to get settled. So what’s next?

Tie up loose ends at the old location – Once everything is moved out, go through the old house and check cupboards, closets or any other place one could forget smaller items, and check if there’s any damage for which you could be liable. Pay off all utility bills and/or apply for a change of status with your energy suppliers. This may vary from place to place but the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), for example, allows you to do quite a few transactions online.

Double-check the new tenancy contract – It’s too late to change anything, but go over it just to make sure you’re clear on all terms and conditions and know all the obligations for tenant and landlord.

Check utilities - Don’t get sideswiped by bills from the previous tenants or owners. Make sure all bills are cleared and that everything is in working order. Also check with cable and Internet providers if they supply service readily to your new area. This is particularly relevant for remote locations and new builds.

Inform security - If you live in a gated community or apartment complex, make sure security personnel know who your movers are and when they’re arriving. If movers show up without proper clearance there could be a long delay or they could get turned back altogether. Also make sure you’re movers know exactly where to go and that there’s parking available. It’s always best if you or someone you trust is present.

Have a floor plan and checklist - Done best before the move, you must have a floor plan on hand so you can easily direct the movers where to put what. A floor plan, especially one done to scale, can save on time and unwanted surprises. Moving day is not when you want to discover that sofa is too big for the den. Your checklist is self-explanatory – ensure all your goods arrive and in good shape.

Meet the neighbors - It’s not just polite, it’s practical. From deliveries, to babysitting or emergencies it’s neighbors can be lifesavers, plus it’s always good to meet the people who make up your new community, and aim to establish contact from early on.

Warm up the house – Now it’s all done, invite over friends and family and have a good time!

Contact our expert team for all your storage and moving requirements: 800-THEBOX / help@theboxme.com

Image Source: handydandymoving.com
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1 August 2016

Moving to the United Arab Emirates? 6 ways to do it right

This is the second in a series of moving and storage tips, the first you can see here - a run-down of pre-moving tips when relocating domestically. This list is for those considering a move to another country, and the UAE in particular.

The UAE is a transient place, people come and go, some stay while others never quite adjust and call it quits early into their sojourn. That aside, the country and its cities (primarily Abu Dhabi and Dubai) continue to attract increasing interest and curiosity, which often leads to folks deciding to jump right into desert living. If you're soon to be one of the nomads, consider the following:

1. Don't bring everything...yet. Before you ship all your belongings over land and sea, determine whether your new country really is the place for you and your family. Give it a couple months if necessary, but don't underestimate the cultural shift that takes place under these circumstances. It's a change in language, work culture, schooling, weather and more - so if you need to keep your belongings back home in storage until you're sure of this new land, it might just be worth it. We provide services in several countries across the globe, so explore the site to see if we can help where you are.

2. Stay in a furnished hotel apartment. That's the next consideration. Where can you stay temporarily without any of your belongings on hand? Serviced hotel apartments are common in the UAE and usually fairly affordable. Many employers will put you up for a limited time, but a hotel apartment is a reasonable longer term option, while you adjust to the new surroundings and look for a new place. Plus, you can rent them month-to-month and leave when you're ready with no long term contractual obligations.

3. Never appear desperate or hasty in looking for accommodation. You want to feel settled - totally understandable - but rushing into a new place could mean paying significantly more than the market rate or ending up with less than ideal leasing conditions. Tenancy contracts can vary greatly depending on your landlord, so due diligence is paramount to finding value for money, not to mention a manageable commute to work and/or school. So even if you are desperate, don't let on, play it cool and give yourself as much time to search as possible.


4. Research the real estate market. This is easier said than done, especially in a country you know nothing about. Visit local listing sites or the official industry regulatory body. Dubai's Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) makes it easier to research accommodation costs by providing the market rate for property across the city. Still, costs and leasing terms can vary widely so the more research you can do the better.

5. If you bring your belongings, you can still store them. If you are hard-pressed and simply need to make a quick move, you can still store your furniture in the new country till you find accommodation. We can definitely help with that. We've got a range of affordable options regarding size and function of storage, so you have choices open to you, including the next point.

6. Have a moving service ready on the ground. Once you've found a place and it’s time to set it up, we can also help. We can store your belongings, move them in and even set up your new home. Our services give you the option of doing it yourself or letting us do it all for you. Let us know your preference and we'll take care of the rest.

Bonus point:
While you can hire agents to do a lot of the immigration legwork for you, and some employers take care of this paperwork, you might find you have to do some of it yourself. Note that much of the essentials (like activating utilities, Internet, mobile plans etc) cannot be done without:
1. A national ID card
2. A local credit card
3. A tenancy contract (which includes getting something called an ejari contract in Dubai).

Get things done in the proper order and it will help the rest to go a little smoother.

Contact us for all your storage and moving requirements: 800-THEBOX / help@theboxme.com

Image Credit: guideataskexplorer.wordpress.com
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1 July 2016

How to Move Part 1: The Pre-Move Prepping


We’re always talking about moving and we will even more so during the summer, which tends to be a major period for changing accommodation or relocating to another country altogether. We’re big on details and believe if you have those down, your move will be easier. The three stages of moving include pre-move, the move, post-move.

This month it’s all about the pre-move prep.

1. Some of the simplest and most obvious things to get done before moving is prep the new accommodation as much as possible: this includes painting, installing new outlets (usually in the bathroom or on the balcony), changing plumbing and lighting fixtures and installing plumbing where it may be useful.

2. Load up on administrative material: markers, a notebook, packing tape, measuring tape, colored stickers, post its etc. You’ll need to remember where everything is and where it should go.

3. Load up on packing material. Take note of what sizes and kinds of boxes you might need. Get a variety – not just big ones but boxes for documents and smaller odds and ends. Plus there’s the indispensible bubble wrap or foam for breakables, and there’re wardrobe boxes that actually allow you to hang your clothes in transit. Purpose built packing equipment can really save you time if you know where to find it.

4. Put all your necessities in an easy to reach place. Sometimes we pack away things we actually use – like the coffee maker, electric kettle or microwave. It’s a good idea to have a box that you either keep with you, or have ready access to.

5. Some folks spend most of the time in the kitchen, others in the living room.  Determine which room is your base within the home and inform your movers to set that one up first, or if you’re self-moving, plan to have it fully functional on the first day.

6. Plan to set up the must-use rooms from day one: The bathroom and the bedroom. You can order in food, but you have to sleep and use the bathroom.

7. Pack according to the new house, not the old one. Sometimes your rooms match up perfectly, but sometimes they don’t. So group your boxes according to where they are going, not where they are coming from.

8. Change your address with your bank (or other institutions). You don’t want confidential info heading to the next tenant at your old place.

9. Take note of oversized furniture. Some items in your home may have been assembled IN your home and are now too big to fit through doors and awkward angles. Consider which pieces might have to be disassembled before the move begins.

10. Keep all the little but important bits safe: the screws, the bolts, the nuts and washers. The things without which your bed won’t stand up or your closet doors won’t close.

What kind of pre-move prep do you recommend? We want to hear.

Otherwise check out our other blog posts for moving info, and keep an eye out for upcoming posts on moving and post-moving tips.

Image Courtesy: thisismoney.co.uk
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1 June 2016

How to Save on Moving House this Summer

The Inbetweeners
It’s summer, your rental contract has ended and you’re doing that thing no one likes to do: waiting. Waiting for the new place to be ready and to move all your belongings in, then settle into a predictable routine instead of living out of suitcases.

You might be negotiating with your landlord to give you a little more time to move, you might even be paying him for the extra time your stuff is still in the old residence or you might be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Make a Move
A simple fix is to move your belongings into storage during the transition period. That sounds like a hassle if you have to do it all yourself, but a vendor that offers adequate storage plus a moving service saves you time and money. You avoid having to coordinate the move between two companies yourself, and the costs will usually be consolidated with a bundled service.

Welcome Home
So the vacation is over, but there’s nothing more burdensome than knowing there’s a ton of unfinished business waiting for you – in this case moving, and even worse, unpacking. That just erases the entire vacation experience right?

The Box has affordable short-term rental options that are ideal for the duration of the summer break. And we’ll help you move your goods into our storage, then move them into your new home. We take every precaution in protecting your property at each stage of the moving process, from high quality packing materials to our highly trained people.

Not only do we have units ideal in size to store furniture from a variety of accommodation types - whether small apartments or spacious villas – but you have a choice of Premium, Budget or Economy moving packages based on your budget or other requirements. You can find out more about our packages here, plus we have a few seasonal offers you can take advantage of right now, and save even more.

Give us a call, we’ll help you to make room for tomorrow.
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