Are You New to Driving a U-Haul Truck?

Driving a U-Haul Truck

Now that we’re well into 2023, are you making plans to upgrade your home or relocate your business? If so, it’s a good idea to keep the cost of moving in mind. Like everything else in the past year, it has been impacted by inflation.

In fact, reveals that the increased cost of moving is a standout in this year’s inflation trends. Professional moving costs jumped by nearly 12% in the past year. In line with this increase, you might want to explore the cost of a DIY move.

Depending on the magnitude of your move, a professional company might be your only option. On the other hand, if you have friends or family who can help, consider using a U-Haul truck. This might be the least expensive option for your needs.

If you’re concerned because you are a U-Haul truck newbie, the friendly, professional staff at one of our Trusted Self Storage locations can fill you in on the details. In the meantime, check out the following tips and tricks to help you get started with your first U-Haul driving experience.


U-Haul Trucks Are Designed For You

U-Haul is unique because they work with manufacturers to design a truck specifically for household or small business moving. You’ll find more safety features on U-Haul than any other rental truck. Gentle ride suspension and high visibility mirrors help an inexperienced driver to navigate the roads with ease.

A few benefits of driving a U-Haul truck are:

  • It’s 50% easier to load. A stable EZ Load Ramp makes loading your large, heavy items a breeze.
  • Your furniture will stay safe and secure. Gentle ride suspension and aerodynamic styling keep your furniture stable.
  • Three people can ride comfortably in a quiet cab. Drivers and passengers enjoy a peaceful, comfortable driving experience.
  • You’ll save money. This is important with current inflation and gasoline prices. While many trucks use expensive diesel fuel, these trucks use cleaner, cheaper, and use more convenient unleaded fuel.

It’s great to have a truck at your disposal, but If you have no previous truck-driving experience, you’re going to need a little help. We want to share the following tips to get you started on your journey and keep you safe.

First Time Driving a U-Haul

If you’re driving a U-Haul for the first time, it can be daunting. Make sure you pick the perfect size vehicle, and don’t hesitate to ask the office staff any questions you may have. They have a lot of expertise and will be delighted to help.

  • We have a wide selection of the newest trucks to fit your moving and storage needs.
  • U-Haul trucks are hefty, particularly when filled to the brim. Stopping takes longer than with a car, so make sure you give at least four seconds of space between you and the car in front of you (five seconds in unfavorable weather).
  • Since a truck is longer than your regular car, you’ll need additional time and space to overtake traffic. Don’t move ahead on hills or turns.
  • Go into lower gears while driving up a slope to stop jerking caused by the engine lugging.
    Before going downhill, slow down and shift into a lower gear to let the engine take control of your speed. Don’t continually press the brakes on a drop.
  • If your vehicle veers off the main road, don’t panic! Don’t make a sharp turn and don’t apply the brakes. Slow down to a speed lower than 25 mph and make your way back to the pavement gradually.
  • When going around a sharp turn, drive slightly past the turn or make a wider turn than you would if you were in a car. Try to avoid parking on steep slopes. The parking brake might not hold, and the bumper might drag or get stuck.
Using a Truck Ramp for the First Time

Using a truck ramp for the first time isn’t difficult, but like any first-time experience it can be confusing. The following tips will help you through the process.

  • Start off by opening the back of the truck.
  • Use the straps on the end of the ramp to slowly and carefully pull the ramp out until it is completely extended.
  • Set the ramp on the ground gently.
  • Grab both sides of the ramp near the back of the truck and lift it up. You will see two hooks.
  • Put the hooks over the back of the truck, and you’re good to go.

If you’re thinking about towing your car or a trailer. U-Haul has an easily understandable series of videos to help with that.

Whether you’re moving to a three-bedroom home or a medium-sized business, U-Haul is your solution. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’d love to help you have a safe and successful trip!

Benefits of Climate-Controlled Self Storage

If you collect valuable antiques and own an envious wine collection, or just want to store upholstered furniture, photographs and electronics, you need climate-controlled self storage. 

The consistent temperatures of a climate-controlled storage  unit will protect your belongings from damage and deterioration. 

High temperature and humidity levels can warp, crack or split wood or leather furniture. High humidity levels can create moisture in electronics, books and textiles, and this moisture leads to damaging mold and mildew. Fluctuating temperatures can permanently damage electronics, medical or pharmaceutical supplies and retail inventory.

Climate Controlled storage facility interior.


What is Climate-Controlled Storage?

Climate-controlled storage is an additional option offered by many self-storage facilities. These units maintain a consistent temperature no matter what the season. While these options may be more expensive, they can offer peace of mind when storing certain valuables.

Climate-control keeps a unit’s indoor temperature between 55° F and 85° F and maintains a humidity level of 55%. As a comparison, the average air-conditioned home stays between 35% and 45% humidity. Think of climate control as an air-conditioner, humidifier, and dehumidifier combination to maintain the proper temperature and humidity levels for specific types of items. 

Be aware that there is a difference between temperature control and climate control. Some facilities offer temperature control, which only manages the temperature. Climate control manages temperature and humidity to control moisture levels. 

Climate-controlled self storage can be a lifesaver If you’re storing in an area that has extreme heat and humidity during the summer months, extreme cold during the winter, or combinations of these conditions throughout the year. To maintain your possessions in ultimate condition, climate-controlled storage is your best bet.


Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether climate-controlled storage is a good fit for you.

Question 1.  Does the temperature where you’ll be storing your belongings drop below 32° F or rise above 90° F?

Question 2. Is the facility located in a climate that is subject to high humidity?

Question 3. Do any of your possessions have high monetary or sentimental value?

Question 4. Are you storing for a lengthy period of time?

Question 5. Will you be making frequent visits to your unit, in which case you’ll want comfortable conditions?


If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you need climate-controlled storage to protect what is important to you.


What Should be Stored in Climate-Controlled Storage?

You may have inherited an antique table from a close relative. You don’t want to use it because it doesn’t blend with your contemporary look, but you certainly don’t want to dispose of it. So, you decide to store it. Against the advice of the storage facility manager, you decide to use storage that is NOT climate controlled because it is less expensive. 

A year later you decide that you want to use this beautiful piece. You go to your storage unit to retrieve it and find that there is mildew on the fabric and that the wood trim has swollen and cracked. Climate-controlled storage would have prevented the damage and maintained the original condition of this piece. You can probably locate a similar item, but you can never replace the monetary and sentimental value.

The following list will give you an idea of the types of items that should be in climate-controlled storage:

Artwork and Craft Supplies

Business Documents


Golf Clubs 

Household Appliances

Leather and Upholstered Furniture


Musical Instruments


Stamp, Coin, and Comic Book Collections


Wood and Antique Furniture

Vinyl Record Collections

Climate-controlled storage is slightly more expensive, but damaged or destroyed property can be far more costly. Why take the chance when you have an available solution. Talk to your storage professional for details.


Have You Heard that Self Storage can be Your Black Friday Helper?

It’s November, and you know what that means. The holiday season is coming in for a landing. With the ease of online shopping, many of us have already begun to stash away Christmas gifts and surprises. And we all know, the earlier you start shopping, the more you buy.

When you think of the excitement on those sweet little faces at 5:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, it’s hard to resist buying everything they want!. Calm down and step away from the credit card. By noon, they’ll be playing with an empty box and sobbing with exhaustion. And you still have to navigate them through the remainder of the day with relatives and friends.  Here’s an idea. Make the time leading up to this day of disorder a little bit easier by using self storage. 

Give Yourself a Break – Use Self Storage to Stash the Presents

Black Friday is the shopping kickoff, followed by Cyber Monday, and every day and night thereafter until you have to find time to bake cookies, drink wine, and have one of many emotional breakdowns leading up to the big day. After all of that shopping comes the challenge of trying to find hiding places for all of those presents. It’s harder than trying to find a parking space at the mall on Christmas Eve. 

You need a plan, or the stashing of gifts will become a logistical nightmare. You’ll forget where you put them; and, if you wrap them prior to hiding, you’ll absolutely forget who they’re meant for. It’s so annoying when you open the freezer and the Lightsaber Academy Interactive Battle Lightsaber falls out and breaks your toe because brain fog caused you to forget you hid it in there. But the most fun you’ll have by far is watching Aunt Karen open Cousin Sydney’s Cards Against Humanity. Cue another breakdown.

Trusted Self Storage is your seasonal helper. Rent a convenient, secure, affordable self storage unit to use as ground zero for gifts. Our small sizes are perfect. You can use inexpensive shelving to keep the gifts off the ground, and you can even add a table to use for wrapping the presents. You don’t have to worry about making a long-term commitment to rent a unit, because we have flexible month-to-month leasing. 

Wrap With Friends

Better yet, if you want to save money, rent a slightly larger unit and share with friends. You not only use the space for gifts, but you can set up a wrapping station. Place a folding table with several tape dispensers and scissors in the unit. You can use it individually, or plan a wrapping party, complete with eggnog and snacks. Wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbon can be supplied by each renter.

Choose The Right Storage Facility

If you’re going to use storage for your gifts, you need to find a facility that is secure and convenient.


At this time of year, you need to think about convenience. You’ll be stopping at the unit frequently, so you’ll need a facility in your neighborhood that is close to the places where you shop and run errands.


Cost is an important factor, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. Find a reputable company with state-of-the-art security. Look for video surveillance, perimeter fencing, security locks, and electronic keypad access. You’ll also want a friendly, knowledgeable management team that is willing to answer your questions, understand your needs, and show you around the property.


As an additional advantage, many self-storage facilities accept deliveries. You can spend a day shopping on the internet and have all of your items shipped to your storage facility: the ultimate in convenience.

Climate Control

If you live in an area that’s subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, opting for a climate-controlled unit will be better for you and your gifts. If you plan to share with friends and spend time wrapping gifts in the unit, you want to be comfortable and you want your gifts to be protected from damage and humidity. 


One last thought. Don’t forget to check with your insurance agent to verify that your gifts are covered under your homeowners’ or renters’ policy. If your policy does not cover these items, you can purchase insurance from your storage company.


You’ll be surprised at how much less stressful your life will be with a safe, comfortable hiding place for your gifts, especially if you bought one of the kids an electric ride-on car. You won’t have to store it in your neighbor’s living room for two months. Merry Christmas!

Moving With Your Furry Family Members

Your getting ready for the big move. You’re almost finished packing and you’ve decided what to keep in your newly rented storage unit. The kids are mentally prepared and you’ve done more planning than you thought possible. You’ve read our Prepping for the Big Move and Moving Day Tips and Tricks blogs. You are ready. But hold on…you forgot about your furry friends. Read on to see how you can keep them happy during the chaos of moving.

Keep Your Pets Calm and Happy

Pets are an important part of your family, and moving can be bewildering for them. Their current home is their territory, and they’re going to need time and patience to adjust to a new environment. Dogs are social and their adjustment will be reasonably easy, but cats tend to be more sensitive to their surroundings. Whether you’re moving a cat or a dog, try to ease the transition by maintaining the schedule that they are used to.

It goes without saying that you know your pet’s unique personality traits better than anyone, but moving can be chaotic and a few tactical suggestions can be helpful. The following guidelines should help get you and your pet through this major life event. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to involve your kids in this process.

  • Prepare a pet friendly “overnight kit” with food, treats, dishes, grooming tools, toys, and kitty litter to keep your buddy content throughout the first few days of unpacking.
  • If you’re moving out of state, or even out of your area, be sure to contact your vet so that you have medical records and necessary medication. Don’t forget to get a recommendation for a new veterinary practice.
  • When moving day arrives, your pet should be away from the action. The best solution is to have your pet stay with a friend or in a kennel. If that’s not possible or you really want to keep your dog or cat with you, the next best solution is to keep them in a quiet, empty room with the door closed. Try to maintain their feeding and walking schedule and check on them at regular intervals. Giving them a sense of routine will be good for them and mean less headaches for you.
  • If you’re able to drive to your new home, take your pet in your own vehicle so that there is a feeling of familiarity. If your drive is lengthy, plan your stops to ensure pet-friendly hotels. Be extra cautious (especially if your children are helping with pets), and use a leash when getting your pet out of the car and into the hotel. Many animals have been lost in unfamiliar surroundings. If you’re traveling by air, check your airline for pet travel requirements. Always keep your pet’s vet records in your carry-on bag.
  • If possible, set up at least one room in your home before introducing your pets to their new surroundings. Confine your animals to this area while they adjust to their new environment. Be sure they have familiar toys and blankets; and, as always, maintain their regular schedule.
  • As soon as possible after the move, make sure your pet’s tags and microchip information are updated with your new address and phone number.

Dogs and Cats Acclimate Differently


The sooner your dog gets used to the smells of his new environment, the sooner he will feel comfortable. Let him tour the new home inside and outside. Use a lease on the initial introduction until you’re sure he feels completely secure. Do not leave your dog unattended outside during this adjustment period. Dogs are known to be masters of escape in an effort to return to their familiar territory.


Don’t be surprised if your cat disappears for a few days. Without familiar surroundings, cats look for dark hiding places like closets or even under a bed. Keep doors and windows closed as your cat may try an escape in the hopes of locating familiar surroundings. Your cat may refuse to eat and become “forgetful” when it comes to using the litter box. Choosing a special room as a private refuge, complete with food, water, scratching post, and litter box, can sometimes work. Eventually, your cat will be comfortable enough to explore the new home, and you can place a second litter box in what you hope to be a permanent location.

Remember that pets and people will eventually acclimate to and enjoy their new environment. Planning, patience, and routine will get everyone with two and four legs back on track in no time!

Keep Your Home as Secure as Your Self-Storage Unit

Finding a safe, secure self-storage unit is easy because most of them are equipped with digital video monitoring, electronic gates with keypad access, bright lighting, and secure perimeter fencing. Many facilities are equipped with smart technology security that does everything from monitoring unauthorized activity at your unit to allowing for mobile entry and digital key sharing. Shouldn’t the people and belongings in your home be as secure as the items in your storage unit? has identified what, in their opinion, are the top providers and best values in home security systems for 2020. Take a look.

How to Compare and Choose a Home Security System

Choosing a home security system can be an overwhelming task. Do you want all the bells and whistles or just the basics? The site will give you all the details and information that you need to make an informed decision for you and your family. The following information will help you get started on finding the right equipment for your needs.


ADT has the most experience and the best guarantee in the industry. They have certified monitoring centers, a competitive equipment lineup that includes intrusion protection, environmental monitoring, video surveillance, and smart home automation. There is a contract required, no option for self installation, and no mobile app access.


Vivint provides professional monitoring, home automation, mobile app access and extensive smart home options as well as flexibility with your equipment configurations. They also offer flexible payment options; but, if you decide to finance, you’re facing an extended contract. Vivint has no self-installation option.


Frontpoint has a great customer service reputation and a competitive range of security equipment and monitoring services. They also offer flexible month-to-month contracts, which are perfect for renters. The outdoor and doorbell cameras are only available as add ons, and their home automation devices are limited.

Protect America

If you’re looking for a no-frills home security system that you can install yourself, Protect America is a low-priced option. They offer a price-match guarantee, smart home devices, and mobile app access. There is a contract required. Video surveillance, smart features, and smoke detection are upgrades. Cellular monitoring is the most expensive option.


A 60-day risk free trial is a plus with SimpliSafe. They offer self-installation, self-monitoring, video verification and month-to-month pricing. You can take advantage of inexpensive professional monitoring, wireless equipment and cellular monitoring, but mobile alerts and smart home devices and capabilities are not available in the basic monitoring plan.


Alder does not have a selection of packages, but works with customers to build security systems that are the best fit for their needs. The price of professional monitoring varies depending on the equipment you choose, but you are covered by a lifetime warranty. DIY installation is easy, but there are no smart home devices.


Cove is relatively new to the home security market and features the advantage of locked monitoring rates and a lifetime warranty. They offer a $5 credit each month which can be used toward future equipment purchases. Cove does not offer packages, but you can easily build your own online. You will be able to use the InstaText function for fast notifications of activity in your home. A premium app subscription is necessary for many of the features, and there are no smart home devices.

Blue by ADT

Blue home security systems give families flexible and affordable DIY security solutions. Their focus is more on privacy for your personal and home data with encrypted networks. You’ll find smart cameras, ADT professional monitoring, and smart home compatibility. There is a 7-day practice period but no smart-home add ons.


Brinks has flexible pricing and bridges the gap between DIY smart home security and conventional professional monitoring systems. Your options run from flexible monitoring for a Google Nest system up to a long-term plan with extensive equipment. A contract is required for all packages, and only top tier packages include the smart home hub. Award-winning customer service is a plus.

Link Interactive

Link is the nationwide DIY branch of Mountain Alarm Fire & Security, a commercial and residential protection company founded in Utah in 1952. It’s family owned and operated and professional installation is not an option. You can build your own equipment package, but there are no smart home or video monitoring capabilities in the base plan. Contracts are offered on a 1-, 2-, or 3-year basis.


If you’re in the market for a home security system, you want to make an informed decision. This article gives you information on the 10 best options for 2020 according to Keep your family and your home as safe as the items in your self-storage unit.

A Self-Storage Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there were three bears…

Momma Bear, Poppa Bear and Gen Z Bear lived in a very small, very cluttered English cottage. When Gen Z bear left for college, Momma and Poppa turned his bedroom into a Zen/Yoga retreat and stored the contents of Gen Z’s room in the attic. They enjoyed a quiet existence, meditating and practicing Kundalini Yoga for stress relief. They loved to hibernate in this cozy space during the winter months. Gen Z bear had been a handful, and they assumed that, after college, he would get a job and move out. Ha!!!

Gen Z, to his parents dismay, did not get a job and move on with his life. He came home after graduation to ponder his life’s “meaning and purpose.” While living in the basement, he began calling his Momma and Poppa M and P (because it was “cool”). He ate all of their honey and hung out with Goldilocks (they’d been friends since she broke into the bear’s house 18 years ago). Being a “digital native,” he surrounded himself with technology and wiled away his days FaceTiming Goldi, gaming, and posting Instagram selfies performing brainless stunts – all very meaningful pursuits.

Don’t get me wrong. Momma and Poppa loved Gen Z, but they also loved a peaceful existence and a tidy home. The longer Gen Z lived at home, the messier the house became. The closets were overflowing,Gen Z’s college furniture and assorted junk were added to an already overcrowded attic, and every surface in the house was sticky because Gen Z didn’t wash his paws after snacking on honeycomb. Everytime Poppa wanted to watch Animal Planet, his fur stuck to the remote. Momma gave up cleaning because she couldn’t wade through the debris. This family would have been the perfect candidates for Hoarding: “Bearied” Alive.

Momma and Poppa were miserable. Their serenity was replaced by a chaotic, disorderly environment. Conversation was replaced with growling; They growled at each other and they growled at Gen Z, who was oblivious because he was in a gaming induced coma. To maintain their sanity, Momma and Poppa decided to start practicing yoga at the local studio. As fate would have it, the yoga studio had a bulletin board for advertisements from community businesses. Poppa noticed an ad from the local self-storage facility. He immediately checked the self-storage website on his mobile phone. This could be the solution to their clutter problem.

The minute they got home (and unstuck their paws from the door knob) Momma and Poppa checked the website further and discovered a blog to help them choose the right storage facility for their needs. Poppa called the facility that was the best fit for them and discussed his options with the manager. Momma made an inventory of all the things that they needed to put in self storage, and she decided on a climate-controlled unit to protect her fur coat and Gen Z’s extra technology paraphernalia. Poppa was thrilled to discover that this facility had vehicle storage. He would finally be able to back his car out of the garage without slamming into Gen Z’s motorcycle.

When Momma discovered that the facility sold moving and packing supplies, they headed straight over to buy enough boxes, tape, and bubble wrap to pack up the clutter. They were careful to keep the bubble wrap away from Gen Z. Popping it was one of his favorite pastimes.

Little by little, they packed and moved everything they didn’t need. They kept the “bear minimum,” keeping only what gave them joy. With all of their excess belongings moved to a clean, secure, affordable storage unit, their problem was solved. The house was clean, and the clutter was gone. It was a big job, but it was more than worth the effort to move their overflow into storage. Once again, their home is tidy and organized, conversation has replaced growling, and the motorcycle is safely stored away in its own unit…and everyone lived happily ever after…

except Gen Z, because Poppa arranged a job interview for him at the storage facility.

Good luck with that.

Self Storage Eases the Task of Swedish Death Cleaning

I’ll admit it. Swedish death cleaning sounds morbid. The first thing that comes to mind is a couple of ethereal, ghoulish figures floating around the house with a Dyson and a feather duster. Or maybe a new cleaning service: The Living Dead: We Get Rid of the Skeletons in Your Closet.

Neither of those examples is even close to the reality of Swedish death cleaning. According to Margaret Magnusson, author of the book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, it is “the process of radically decluttering your home so your children don’t have to do it after you’ve passed away.” Personally, I think it’s a fabulous idea.

Time and again I’ve watched friends and family, while trying to deal with their own grief, have to deal with the mess and clutter left after a death. The chaos, hostility,and  bitterness that follows these events can last a very long time. Swedish death cleaning can prevent all of this ugliness. It is reflective, gentle, and considerate of everyone’s feelings. Decluttering is a kindness to everyone left behind. It is meant to help to smooth the grief process for family and friends.

When to Start the Process

It’s probably a good idea to begin this process at around age 65. At this age, unless there are extenuating circumstances, mental capacity is still good and the confusion that can accompany aging hasn’t set in.

Some people are completely on board with this concept and happy to make things easier for their children and other relatives. Then, of course, you will have the people that have difficulty dealing with any type of change or simply don’t care what happens after their own demise. Here are a few tips to get your parents or other elderly family members to “buy in” to this process. Actually, it doesn’t hurt to make it a goal for your own future.

The “Safety” Perspective

  • Mention that throw rugs, small tables, and ottomans are potential trip and fall hazards. They need to be removed.
  • Piles of books, newspapers, and magazines are not only unsightly, but a fire hazard. They need to go.
  • Items piled haphazardly on the top shelf of a closet may fall out when the door is opened, causing a head injury. They need to be sorted and reorganized.

Make it Their Idea

  • Admire a few items that you would like to have now. Many elderly people love to give

away their belongings, and they are flattered if a family member is interested enough in an object to want to own it. This may encourage them to give away even more items.

  • A piece of jewelry or another memento will be so much more meaningful if it is gifted to that special grandchild or family member while the owner is still living. A story can be shared that will create a lasting memory that is forever linked to that gift.

The Best Solution

The perfect solution for this task is a secure, affordable self-storage unit. If your parents or loved ones are having difficulty letting go of their belongings, you can involve them in making the decision to store rather than discard items. Turn this chore into a special event by asking your parents or elderly loved ones to share their favorite memories of special objects. You can record these moments, take pictures of the items, and create a memory journal. Another thing to keep in mind – there will be some bad memories, and this process enables you and your family to let go of them.

Placing these items in storage is not as final as discarding or donating them; that can be done much later. Your parents will be more relaxed knowing that they can give some thought to what they want done with their possessions. In fact, they may enjoy discovering things that they’ve forgotten about. This gives you plenty of time to consult with other family members as to what they might want.

Introducing the Swedish death cleaning concept can be difficult. It requires sensitivity and tact. But, once you’ve begun an open dialogue, you’ll find it far less traumatic than expected. Don’t be hesitant; in the end you’ll have that good feeling of knowing that you’ve done the right thing for everyone involved.

Back to Top