HSC Expert Tips: Easy Winter Cleaning

Man cleaning the gutter

I can’t imagine a better place for winter than the Conejo Valley.  A little bit of rain, and a lot of 70 degree temps!  However, it is still cold & flu season, so it’s a great time to avoid germs by doing some winter cleaning.  We were talking about this here at the Hollywood Storage Center of Thousand Oaks with The Clean Team™, so I thought I’d pass along my top five tips.

+ Check your rain gutters and clear them of leaves, twigs, and debris.  It’s important to keep gutters clean so they won’t clog and drive water under the house eaves… and into your walls.  That’s a recipe for unhealthy mold and yuck!

+ Dust the heating vents and even unused fans around the house.  This will help make sure the air in your home is nice and clean.  Oh, and don’t forget to replace the furnace filter while you’re at it!  Air filters for furnaces are rated by level of efficiency.  The higher the rating, the better the filter is at removing dirt, mold spores, and pet dander.

+ Clean your mattresses to get rid of the sweat, mildew, dirt, oils, trace chemicals, and even pollen that collects in there when we don’t even realize it.  Start by vacuuming the top and then sprinkling it well with baking soda.  Rub it in with a stiff-bristled brush, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then vacuum it up.  Next, flip the mattress and do the same on the other side.  When you’re done, I suggest getting washable mattress covers.  It makes cleaning much easier and prevents icky substances from absorbing into the mattress in the first place!


+ Wash the blankets that everyone likes to throw on the couch and take a vacuum to the couch itself (a HEPA-filter one, if possible).  Remember to vacuum underneath the couch, where lots of dust typically collects.

man disinfecting phone

+ Wipe your cell phone with an antibacterial wipe that has alcohol and benzethonium chloride — a combo that works super-well against nasty stuff like staph and salmonella. And wipe down those TV remotes too.

Oh, and don’t forget: Keeping your home free of clutter keeps everything cleaner and is healthy for your state of mind too! So, if you need some breathing room to rotate belongings or hold onto items that you don’t use every day, come by and take a look at one of our clean, affordable storage units. We’ll help you pick the best space for your needs, and beat all storage deals everyday. Have a happy, healthy year!

This was a guest post from Dion, a member of The Clean Team™ here at Hollywood Storage Center. Dion an expert on “all things storage” and he prides himself on learning the best home cleaning tips. Thanks, Dion! Readers: Post your own favorite seasonal cleaning ideas below, or on Facebook!

HSC Expert Tips: Fun Personalized Storage Labels!

Hey guys! Amanda here! Even though I spend my days at Hollywood Storage Center, I often find myself tackling storage projects at home on the weekend — and this last weekend was no exception.

Fun Personalized Storage LabelsIf you’re anything like me, you like to add a bit of flare and style to everything in your home — even your storage! So I thought it would be fun to kick off the new year by sharing these super-stylish Free Printable Storage Labels. They’re perfect for helping you organize things in your house or office, maybe some of them could even work in your storage unit space. There are 23 different types of labels (!) that can be customized and used for just about everything. Thankfully, there are some that are sized to fit right into those clear luggage tags you can find at Target. What an easy way to help prevent wear and tear. I also recommend printing them out on card stock to make ‘em extra durable.

I ended up using some cool matching ribbons to tie the labels to my various storage containers for a little extra “oomph,” but you can also use some twine (very “shabby chic”) or just some plain ol’ string (but make sure it’s relatively strong).

I also asked some friends — including a few moms — how they’d use these labels, and together we came up with these awesome suggestions:

+ I love the idea of using the labels for candy, cookie, and dog treat containers. There’s no end to how cute and funky you can make ‘em! (Bonus: You’ll never mistake a cookie tin for a doggie treat tin again.)

+ The labels come in three different colors, which is a great way to help separate and organize items. Last year, I found that separating holiday decorations by color is super helpful when packing and unpacking from storage…

+ Have kids that all play the same sport and constantly mix up their equipment? Use the labels to set up personalized bins for each kid and eliminate the guessing game!

Seriously, there’s no end to what these labels can be used for … I’m kinda bummed I only found them recently… I could’ve been labeling things before 2015! LOL! Hope these helped you as much as they’ve already helped me…

This was a guest post from Amanda, a Storage Consultant here at Hollywood Storage Center – Newbury Park where we’ll beat any deal. She’s one of the friendly folks you might meet when you look into one of our self-storage units. Thanks, Amanda!

Readers: Do you have a unique way of labeling your storage? Share with us on Facebook, or post about it below!

Santa Saturdays at Hollywood Storage Center!

Santa at Hollywood Storage Center of Thousand Oaks

Despite the holiday hustle and bustle, there’s always time for magic and merriment. Stop by Hollywood Storage Center of Thousand Oaks Dec. 13 & 20, from 10am-4pm for a FREE photo with Santa, fresh-baked cookies, hot cocoa, candy canes and more! Bring your family, friends, band mates, scout troops, sports teams, and even pets!

Please also bring some joy to local children in need by donating new, unwrapped toys and gifts. Holiday presents will be given directly to children in Thousand Oaks, ages 1 month to 17 years, through non-profit Play Conejo. Donations are being accepted every day from 8:30 am to 6 pm through Dec. 20 in our storage lobby at 3425 Old Conejo Road in Newbury Park.

Play Conejo, in partnership with the Conejo Recreation and Park District, provides positive programming to students whose families survive at a household income level of just 20-50% of the area median.

While here at Hollywood Storage, you can also mail and ship your cards and holiday packages at our Fast, Fun & Friendly post office, open seven days a week.

Share your Santa memories with us on Facebook!

Do You Need Wine Storage?

Hollywood Storage Center Wine Storage TipsHere at Hollywood Storage Center, we love wine as much as the next guy (or gal), and after the recent Wine & Jazz Festival in Thousand Oaks, we started wondering, what is the difference between a wine drinker and a wine collector?

We’re fortunate to be able to chat with many wine friends and customers who use our temperature and humidity controlled wine storage. The consensus? Once you buy a case of wine that you enjoyed at a tasting, winery tour, or even the restaurant where you dined last night, you’re hooked. You’re a collector.

Of course, people collect wine for different reasons. It might be to save money with multiple bottle discounts. Or, it could be a passion for assembling a collection you can enjoy over time. In any case, the issues of space and proper storage quickly become relevant and are much discussed on wine blogs and boards and even at dinner parties. We know, we’ve been there!

So, how do you decide where your vino collection should reside?

We gathered some advice from wine experts to swirl around:

+  According to Alex Finberg who represents the Louis/Dressner, Rosenthal, and Jose Pastor wine portfolios in Northern California, “The in-home wine cellar is the raided-at-the-end-of-every-dinner-party wine cellar.” Keeping wine at a secure, temperature-controlled off-site facility prevents you from losing too much of your best stash.

+ Erin Sullivan of Acme Fine Wines in St. Helena recommends that you try a bottle early on to determine what you think and how long you’d like to age any other bottles you have and then hide the rest in offsite storage. “Out of sight, out of mind is key for accomplishing this goal, at least for me,” she says.

+ If you get excited when you taste old wines, then cellaring might be for you. “Wine is a living thing—which makes it both fascinating and unpredictable,” says sommelier Courtney Humiston of Charlier Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, CA. “The joy of aging wine is discovering how the fruit from a single year can continue to evolve for decades.”

+ The staff at Wine Spectator looks at it this way: How much did you spend last year on your wine habit? If a $1,000 home cooling unit represents less than 25% of your annual wine-buying budget, it’s time to think about professional storage. Might as well protect your investment.

+ Our Hollywood Storage Center customers — who come from all over the ConejoWine Storage in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Valley and Ventura County, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, and Camarillo — agree that our cost-effective wine storage saves them money (think huge home electric bills) and gives them peace of mind (no hassles!). Plus, they love that we’re open seven days a week and can accept shipments for them.

One other piece of advice from collectors: Whatever number you’re thinking of when it comes to bottle capacity, double it. Once you’ve started accumulating wines to drink later, it’s hard to stop. Cheers!

Readers: Tell us about the best bottle of wine you’ve ever had here or on Facebook!