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How to keep portable shipping container storage safe from theft

If you’ve been looking for options to store your belongings, you may have come across multiple options for storage. Self storage means that you manage the storage unit for a renter’s fee, usually with a secure access code that is only used by you to enter a facility where there are several other locked storage units.

The other type of storage is with large industrial storage containers, or shipping containers that are then used as storage. These types of storage units are called ‘portable storage because they are transportable. This means that instead of you needing to go to a storage unit, load and unload your belongs, the storage unit can come to you. It’s not ‘fixed’ to the ground or part of a building. This provides a lot of convenience, as you can imagine.

This way, you can store your belongings in a shipping container used as storage, and then have that entire container moved to a new location, such as for a long-distance move, when you’re ready for it.

It can also mean that if you are temporarily renovating a home and need to put belongings elsewhere, a storage container can come to your location, drive away with your stuff, then come back with your stuff in that same container when you need it.

Considering safety and theft with portable storage using shipping containers

But there can be a dilemma regarding storing your belongings in a shipping container. How will it be safe from theft? Whether it’s on your property or not, thieves can try to access it. One family’s shipping container was broken into and stolen off a truck! It contained several memorabilia that were only meaningful to the family. As the owner said, insurance can cover the furniture, but the big losses were the things like kids’ drawings they can’t get back. And if you are storing valuables, all the more you wouldn’t want it broken into.

And theft from any type of storage unit is not uncommon. Lots of reports of storage theft can be found on the web, such as on this site. Also, this article explains that even self-storage units in buildings are becoming susceptible to theft. This issue is not unique to portable storage options.

Ways to prevent theft from shipping container storage

There are some measures you can take to keep your shipping container safe, or your belongings safe inside of it, if you’re using it for storage.

Invest in a good lock

As this Australian company explains, the common types of locks used on shipping containers are padlocks. But padlocks can be broken quite easily with tools you could get a hardware store.

So there are some alternatives. For example, you can get a lockbox to go around the padlock. You can also use bolts that go on the inside of a door on the container. Any extra measure here could help deter thieves. But of course, there are no guarantees, especially if your shipping container is out in the open, or in an unmanned area.

Get an alarm system

As the article above also explains, an alarm system may be possible on the unit itself, but it’s not exactly practical if you’re going to move the container around. Alarm systems will need to be mobile-based if you’re going to use one at all on a shipping container.

Inspect the shipping container before you buy it

Some people choose to go the route of owning an old shipping container instead of either buying new, or renting one from a storage company temporarily. If you do this, you’ll need to be good at inspecting it. An old shipping container could have been used to store or transport dirty things, or things laden with chemicals, etc. that you would not want your belongings affected by. But not only that, the damage to a storage container can cause moisture damage to your belongings.

However, since we’re talking about security from container storage theft in this article, we’ll note that you’ll want to ensure there is no door damage to theshipping container before you buy it. This article explains more on the issue. If any hinges are bent, it will be hard to keep the door closed at all.

Consider a portable storage company with a secure facility

At Ferguson Moving and Storage, we do provide an alternative that should help prevent theft from storage containers. Not only do we provide the portable storageunits, with a service to drive them to and from your home, load and unload them, etc. We also keep the units stored in a safe facility. Having a locked containerinside a locked and surveillance-equipped facility provides less incentive for thieves. This also takes a lot of the onus off of you to keep your belongings safe.

Our storage facility is climate controlled too, so you have less to worry about when it comes to moisture damage.

And during transport, we can help you get insurance for your belongings. We would also advise you on what shouldn’t go in the storage container, to prevent extreme losses or damage.

See more on this page of our website:

To conclude: portable storage theft can be preventable, if you take measures to secure your belongings

As we’ve seen above, portable storage containers can get broken into if you’re not safe. Proper security can be applied to a storage container, or they can be modified to use stronger locks. But the easiest option may be to let a company handle the safety of the container storage for you.

See our related articles on this topic:

Ferguson Moving & Portable Storage in Vancouver BC

If you’re looking for portable storage in Vancouver or making a move in the Greater Vancouver Area, you might need the services of a professional moving & storage company — give Ferguson Moving and Storage a call at 604-922-2212 or request a quote online through our website!

Neat ways to repurpose storage containers from movers in Surrey

Ideas on how you can re-purpose portable storage containers in Surrey BC

After you complete the process of moving in Surrey, it will then be time to focus on settling into your new house and making sure it feels like home. Part of this process includes figuring out what to do with the remnants of your Surrey move. If you took your time moving in, or your house underwent a big renovation before you arrived, chances are you may have storage containers hanging out in your backyard. Luckily, there are endless possibilities of what you can do with moving storage once it has served its purpose.

Here are just a few ideas of how you can repurpose portable storage containers.

Turn your portable storage into a tiny home!

Once you have your perfect new home and you are done with your portable storage in Surrey, you can use your storage container to make a second, little, home. Tiny homes are growing in popularity and can make a perfect guest house, private space for a teenager, or a small sanctuary for yourself. They are also useful as temporary dwellings while a renovation is going in the larger house on your lot. You can design it any way you want, but you can start with the basics in this Pinterest post.

Read more on reasons why you should move to a tiny house in Vancouver here:

And some solutions for when you do plan to dwell in the tiny house:

Office movers in Surrey may recommend storage container offices

A storage container office can be a perfect place to get away from everything going on in the house so you can focus on work- right in your backyard. Like a tiny home, you can exercise a lot of creativity in your storage container office design, based on your personal working or studying needs. But if you’re the kind of person that could get distracted by being too close to home, try one of our other ideas for repurposing a storage container! Plus, don’t forget the office maintenance needs and permit requirements with the city.

These articles on our blog may help you decide if you should set up a home-based office when moving:

Plus, read the following tips from office movers in Surrey to help with your office move:

Create a personalized swimming pool out of portable storage in Surrey

Have you always wanted a swimming pool in your backyard but never made it a priority? Now that your move in Surrey is completed and you have an empty shipping container, you are one step closer to checking a swimming pool off your wish list! There are many creative ideas of how to turn your portable storage into a great place to splash and swim around in. Check out this list from to get your ideas rolling.

Taking the time to pursue a larger-scale project like this will not only give you a goal to pursue in your free time, but it will also make your new home much more unique. Upcycling items is also great for the environment, which is an added bonus! So once our movers in Surrey BC are done helping you with the first step of settling into your new home, have fun taking the next step to really make it your own.

For your moving and storage needs anywhere in Greater Vancouver, give Ferguson Moving a call at 604-922-2212 or request a quote online through our website

things to know before renting out a Portable Storage unit in Vancouver

Helpful things to know before renting out a Portable Storage unit in Vancouver

With the housing prices in Metro Vancouver soaring, people are moving into smaller and smaller spaces to try to reduce the cost of rent. But sometimes, you just need more space. Usually, it’s not more space to live in, but more space to store your stuff. What is a solution to this problem? Portable storage units! In this article we would like to offer some advice on this topic.

How to prevent damage to fragile items in storage

If what you are storing are small fragile items, it is wise to individually wrap them in bubble wrap before putting them in boxes. If they are not so easily broken, a time-saving way to pack a lot of small lighter items into boxes is to fill the boxes with expanded polystyrene (packing peanuts) or newsprint. You may be tempted to just use old newspaper instead of newsprint. Newsprint is unprinted newspaper. These are relatively inexpensive at stationery stores or stores that provide packing supplies. The risk with using old newspaper is that the ink of the paper may come off and stain your items.

How to maintain efficient access to your stored items

The type of boxes used are important in packing for storage. You may be able to tape of a cardboard box up and stack them up on top of each other easily. However, an advantage plastic storage tubs have over cardboard boxes is that they have a resealable lid. If you will access your items multiple times a year, it is not practical for you to always cut open your cardboard box and find tape to reseal it again. With a plastic storage box, you will always have easy access to what you need throughout the year. plastic storage boxes can also guard against water better than cardboard.

Storing furniture in Vancouver: prevent mould and mildew!

The biggest culprit to furniture damage when storing them away is mould. From our previous article on moving with mould in Vancouver, we know that mould loves moisture. To prevent mould, the first thing to remember is to ensure your furniture is clean and well-treated. For wooden furniture, it is worthwhile to invest some time into polishing it and treating it with linseed oil or furniture polish. This will decrease the chances of mould. With leather furniture, polish and wax the leather to repel moisture from seeping. It is also recommend to prevent your furniture from leaning against a storage room wall. This will allow for maximum air circulation around the furniture. Remember to keep it off the ground by elevating it on wooden pallets! Plastic wrapping your furniture is not recommended, since it is least breathable and will retain moisture. Instead, use a porous light fabric or cloth to cover your furniture.

The best position and composition to store furniture in Vancouver

Because furniture is designed to be stored in their upright position, it is best also to store them in this way. You may be tempted to use your Tetris skills and arrange them in the best possible way to get everything to fit. However, storing furniture in this way may cause damage due to improper weight distribution, and may warp its shape.

Purchase insurance for your valuables in Portable Storage

Do you have home insurance or renter’s insurance already in place? According to our research, a lot of policies (TD, Canadian Direct, Westland) include off-premises property protection for a variety of things. However, depending on the policy, there are restrictions. Aside from deductibles and maximum limitations, there are a list of things that the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will not cover or will be limited on covering. Take note of various valuables like stamp collections, jewelry and furs, bicycles, and other more expensive items specifically listed on your policy. Other things to take note of is whether the policy will cover loss or damaged due to vandalism, theft, fire, earthquake, and other natural disasters.

After reviewing your home insurance policy, you may feel that it is not enough to cover your valuables in storage. At this point, you have two options. One is to buy insurance provided by the storage facility. The other is to buy storage insurance from a third-party insurer in addition to the insurance provided by your portable storage company. There are many different policies out there for storage insurance. It may be helpful to contact a local broker to find the best policy for your needs.

How to Contact Ferguson Moving & Storage

For a trusted Moving Company and portable storage solution in the Greater Vancouver Area, contact  Ferguson Moving & Storage online or call us at 604-922-2212 today!

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Benefits of Climate-controlled Storage in Metro Vancouver

Do I need climatecontrol storage in Metro Vancouver?

When planning to pack and store away items in rental storage, it may seem simple to just rent a storage space and start loading. Actually, depending on what you are planning to store, you may want to consider an upgrade for your storage space to something called climate-controlled storage.

Generally these types of rented storage rooms are one of the most expensive types of storage choice in a given storage facility and should only be considered if you are especially worried about valuable, high-priced items that you just can’t keep at home anymore (for whatever reason). Climate-controlled storage units are air conditioned or heated. Usually, a climate-controlled storage unit’s temperature is kept between 18-23 degrees Celsius and the humidity is regulated to be around 55-65 percent. This makes it the most ideal storage space for all your most sensitive items.

Whether or not you need climate-controlled storage really depends on where you are storing your items and what items you are storing. Living in Metro Vancouver is great, because it does not face extreme temperatures. However, the area does have relatively higher humidity levels, which means the air contains more moisture than what is usually ideal for storing some items.

There are specific items that are more likely to change or get damaged with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Humidity and temperature-sensitive items include: collectibles (antiques and paintings), electronics, personal items (books, photo albums), media (all photography-related items, CDs, vinyl records), and other valuable items that contain wood, glass, leather, metal and plastics.

Protect your storage items from rainy Vancouver by staying above ground

How would being in a wet city like Vancouver affect a rental storage unit? This depends on the type of storage. If we are looking at drive-up, outdoor storage units, there is no guarantee that the rainwater or melted snow won’t seep in underneath the door. Storage companies will secure and prevent damage as much as possible, but moisture and flooding is a problem that is sometimes out of their control. In light of this, it is wise to keep your items off the ground. The most common way to do this is to use wooden pallets. Just a few inches off the floor will give you a peace of mind that nothing will get wet.

How to care for specific specialty items before placing them into your climate-controlled storage

Over a long period of time, metal can oxidize and rust if not properly maintained. Your bicycle, power tools, equipments and machines may need some preparation before being placed into storage. Before storing your equipment, apply a small amount of machine oil on the bolts, screws, and various parts of your machinery. Make sure it is all clean and free of dirt before storing.

The same care needs to be to applied to musical instruments. Musical instruments are especially fragile. They most definitely need a climate-controlled storage unit. Keep them in their original carrying case, cleaned and disassembled. If it is a large sized item without a case like a piano, cover it with a tarp or a cloth.

Art, especially oil paintings, are also very sensitive. Always store your art upright and off the floor to prevent them from distorting. There are cardboard corners that you can purchase to prevent things from leaning on them. If it is an especially expensive piece of painting, you can look into buying a custom-sized plywood container to protect it and to allow for proper airflow.

How to Contact Ferguson Moving & Storage

For a trusted Moving Company and portable storage solution in Vancouver and Greater Vancouver, contact us at 604-922-2212 or online today!

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Tiny House in Metro Vancouver: Difficulties and Solutions

Moving into a Tiny House in Metro Vancouver: Difficulties and Solutions 

Last week, we talked about the benefits to the tiny house movement. After reading that, you may think that moving into a tiny house in Vancouver is the way to go. However, this may not be a solution for everyone. In this second part of our two part series, we will discuss the concerns of moving into a tiny house in Vancouver.

Where can I park my tiny house in Vancouver?

As we have mentioned in our previous article, a tiny house is not a permanent structure. While this makes it more flexible and mobile, we have to consider where we can place these tiny houses for long term stays.

Contrary to what some may believe, you cannot just park a tiny house wherever you like. One obvious option is to buy land. But since buying land in Vancouver is fairly expensive, that would negate the reduced costs of moving into a tiny house. It will be much easier to find land at a reduced rate outside the city. If you want to live in the Metro Vancouver area, it is likely that you will pay more to get a good location.

Where do I get utilities for my tiny house?

There are many things to consider when buying land for your tiny house. If we are looking for unoccupied land, we may need to consider a few other things. Costs that we do not often think about when we are moving into a regular home can be things such as water, electricity or sewage hook ups. Also, tiny houses require different equipment, such as smaller, less powerful heaters. They also might need expensive solar panels. One Abbotsford tiny house owner learned this by embarking on a tiny house design herself.

Most zoning rules, which determine the use of land and the buildings on the land, will allow residences to park trailers in their backyard. Because of this, many lane house homeowners suggest that it is easiest to contact other property owners to rent their land. But where do the rules lie when parking a tiny house, versus a trailer? If allowed, this would be a good idea because on a pre-existing residential lot, all the utility hook ups are already taken care of. Renting existing land and piggybacking off the residences’ utilities will be the easiest and possibly the cheapest route to take.

We found this Facebook page that lists information for tiny house seekers, including available places to park them.

A great place to start your research on this topic is to learn from the experiences of others. There is a Tiny House Meetup in Vancouver, where you can meet other downsizers and hopefully embark on figuring out the technicalities of these questions.

Where can I put all my stuff?

An obvious and very legitimate concern is whether the space will be enough. The tiny house movement is as much a change in living space as it is in lifestyle. Another movement that goes quite well with this is the minimalist lifestyle. Minimalism is a lifestyle where the minimalist chooses to live with a significantly reduced number of material possessions. Essentially, living with just what you need, and nothing more. Many believe this is a real release from the materialistic world, and can allow your life to be free of clutter and stress.

Not many are able to live like this, and even though you may have to part with many of your beloved items, there are ways to not take this to the extreme. One option is to have storage space nearby. You may want to use this if you have things that you want to keep but will not need every day. Larger items such as bikes, outdoor sporting equipment, and other seasonal things can go in there.

Another tip you can consider is to store documents and photos electronically. It would be a good idea to find a local professional scanning service, such as this one, that can scan a large volume of documents and photographs. Those large boxes of photos and documents, whether they are important or not, can all be scanned electronically. It is many times easier to search up a document by name or look through an electronic album than to go through the boxes stored up in your attic. For your new tiny home, you can display your important stored pictures with a few high-resolution digital picture frames.

Contact Ferguson Moving for Optimal Storage for Tiny Homes

We hope this short introduction to the tiny house movement has piqued your interest in your consideration to move! If you are planning to move, whether to a tiny house or not, for all your moving needs such as mobile friendly container storage solutions if you choose to downsize, contact us at 604-922-2212 or contact us online today!

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Reasons why you should move into a tiny house in Vancouver

The Vancouver Tiny House Movement

There is a recent trend, which is a mix of both a social and an architecture movement, called the tiny house movement. This movement involves people downsizing their homes to a very small space.

This article comes in two parts, and the working definition for ‘tiny house’ in them would be from 100 to 400 square feet.

At first glance, these tiny houses seem impossible to live in. But if you are thinking about moving in the Lower Mainland, you may want to look further into reasons why this is gaining popularity in cities like Vancouver. In this two-part series, we will first talk about some reasons of why it is a benefit to move into a tiny home in Vancouver. In our second article, we will address some issues and concerns with the tiny house movement.

Why would anyone want to move into a tiny home?

1)      Reduced carbon footprint

Many Vancouverites are eco-friendly folks. To be eco-friendly or to reduce your carbon footprint is not that easy if you are living in a large home. Did you know that of the energy that is used in home is heating or cooling the home? If the house is large, then you will need more energy to heat or cool that space. In addition, you will have smaller and fewer electric appliances. You will of course, also use less materials in building the actual house. All these factors reduce electricity and fuel use, which in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

And small and eco friendly can take many creative forms. Watch this video to see some fun commentary on the possibilities of tiny house designs:

2)      Reduced costs

Reducing energy usage as seen in our first point, automatically reduces costs to living in a tiny home. In addition to reducing energy consumption, we know that affordable housing has been a hot topic and a serious issue during government elections. These tiny homes may be one solution to this debate.

A tiny house can come ready-made and delivered to your door starting at around $57,000. If you decide to build the house yourself with pre-made plans, it will cost you about half as much. Some people are getting creative and even turning old shipping containers into houses.

Some have rumoured that you can avoid paying property taxes by moving into a tiny house in Vancouver. Since most tiny houses are not permanent structures, tiny home owners do not have to pay property taxes. Given the expensive real estate in Vancouver, home-ownership of a tiny house  is much more realistic.

3)      Mobility and Flexibility

You may be wondering at this point: why not just buy a camper or an RV? Yes, just like with an RV or a camper, a tiny house is small and can be mobile. But campers are not designed for a prolonged stay. Tiny houses take a small space and make it as cozy and homey and possible. They do not sacrifice comfort for space and are not any less durable than a regular-sized house. This is a great option for moving into Vancouver where there are many distinct parts of town. With a moveable tiny home, you can experience various neighbourhoods of the city without being tied down to one place. With a tiny house, there isn’t a permanent commitment to one city either. You can move into Surrey, Coquitlam, or Burnaby, and discover which locations you like best.

 How to Contact Ferguson Moving

We hope this short introduction to the tiny house movement has at least piqued your interest in your consideration to move! For all your moving needs, and for storage solutions if you choose to downsize, contact us at 604-922-2212 or contact us online today!

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