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February 06: SELF STORAGE UNITS ARE THE BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS, AREN’T THEY?

    1. Start:
    2. 02/06/2019 at 8:30 am
    1. End:
    2. 12/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
    1. Description:
    2. SELF STORAGE UNITS ARE THE BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS,

      AREN’T THEY?

      But when you use a self-storage area for your business, it seems like it’s something you should be able to write off on your business taxes. And the good news is that you can.

       

      They come in handy to hold a wide variety of necessities, such as extra inventory, materials used to create your product, excess office supplies, parts and equipment that aren’t immediately needed in your repair shop, and old records and files that you’d prefer not to have cluttering up your work space, yet you know you should keep on hand for future reference.

       

       

      HOW CAN I DEDUCT SELF STORAGE EXPENSES?

      While you might initially consider the storage space your “home office,” especially if you visit there a lot for your business, you don’t want to classify the business deduction the same way you would your den or other dedicated work space, says Gary Blumenthal, CPA and vice president of Betro and Company in Foxboro, MA. Instead the storage space actually should be classified as “rent.”

      That means the rental charge would be added to any other rental charges you might incur for leased space, such as for an office or factory, and deducted as a business expense as part of the rental category, says Mark H. Misselbeck, C.P.A., M.S.T. with Katz, Nannis + Solomon, P.C, in Waltham, MA.

       

      Here’s exactly where you would include it on your taxes, according to Blumenthal:

      ·         For sole proprietors and single-member LLCs: Include it on Schedule C—Line 20B

      ·         For partnerships and multiple member LLCs: Add it to Form 1065—Line 13

      ·         For C-Corporations: Include it on Form 1120—Line 16

      ·         For S-Corporations: Include on Form 1120S—Line 11

       

       

      WHAT IF THE SELF STORAGE IS “MIXED USE?

      Got a few personal items included in there; say some out-of-season camping equipment on shelves off to the side from your main inventory area? It’s common for the entire unit not to be used solely for business purposes but doesn’t mean that you can’t take the deduction you’re owed, Blumenthal says.

      “If you also use the units to store personal items, the cost of renting the space must be allocated between the business use and the personal use,” Misselbeck says. But to make sure you’re legally deducting what you should, you’ll want to figure out what percentage of the square footage is occupied by the business items compared to your personal property.

      Blumenthal suggests that the easiest way to figure the business portion is by taking the percentage of square feet taken up by your business needs over the total square footage of the unit and multiply that by the total rental charge.

      So let’s say your 10 x 10 storage unit runs $100 a month. You use 60 percent of it to store furniture that you have salvaged and intend to refinish and sell. The other 40 percent, well, it’s none of anyone’s dang business that you are holding on to Beanie Babies and a few other collectibles hoping for a resurgence, now, is it?

      You’d take that $100 and allocate $60 of it for the tax deduction and $40 for the “other uses” that can’t be written off.  If you have any questions about how to determine the appropriate ratio for tax purposes, be sure to consult with a trusted tax advisor.

      But, if the greater part of the entire volume of space is devoted to one or the other use, Misselbeck suggests modifying the equation. “An allocation using cubic feet might be more appropriate to measure the allocation of the cost of renting the space and how much can be deducted,” he says.

      Estimate to the best of your ability, but it can’t hurt to take photos for each tax year, says Blumenthal, in case you need to prove it in the event of an IRS or state tax audit.

       

      Bottom line? Self-storage units can play an important role in keeping your business running smoothly, and you should make sure you enjoy the full tax deduction you legally deserve.

       

      Article by: Cathie Ericson on June 15, 2018

      SpareFoot Blog

      by Cathie Ericson on June 25, 2018

March 04: Keeping Your Self-Storage Unit Organized Easily

    1. Start:
    2. 03/04/2019 at 6:00 am
    1. End:
    2. 12/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
    1. Description:
    2. Keeping Your Self-Storage Unit Organized Easily

      It is all too easy for a self-storage unit to end up looking like that closet you are afraid to open, or that corner of the garage you’ll tidy up some day. Protect your valuables and save yourself some stress by following just a few easy steps listed below for an organized self-storage unit.

      ? Make a List

      Start out with a list of every item you are storing. This is helpful to do before you start filling your unit. Having it all laid out in front of you will help you plan where to place each item to maximize the amount of available space. The list can later hang inside the unit to remind you of which items you stored.

      ? Make a Map

      Make a simple map of your storage unit as you pack it up. Three months from now when you are searching for your summer clothing or those tax papers from three years ago that map will save you the stress of having to tear apart the entire unit.

      ? Pack Properly

      Plan ahead when you’re packing. You can save space by placing boxes on bookshelves or small items inside a washing machine or dryer. Organized just right, you’ll be amazed at how much you can fit inside your storage unit.

      ? Label Everything

      While this step may seem obvious, it is often overlooked, especially if you are packing in a hurry. Even if you only have a few items to store now, it is still important to label each box accurately. You may add to your stored items later and those boxes could be easily mislaid if they aren’t labeled clearly.

      ? Protect Your Valuables

      There are several ways to protect valuable items, including important papers, in your self-storage unit. The most important step is careful packing. Make sure you provide ample padding to breakable items and label delicate boxes.

      If you are storing clothing, furniture, instruments, important documents, artwork or electronics you should consider renting a temperature-controlled storage unit to prevent damage from extreme temperatures or humidity.

      ? Use a Storage App

      It seems there is an app for just about everything these days, and self-storage is no exception. There are a variety of apps that can help you stay organized. One example is called Moving Day. As you pack and load up each item you can easily categorize it with the app. Moving Day even lets you assign values to each item in case you have to make an insurance claim one day.

      Check out this link for some others to choose from:

      http://blog.furnishedquarters.com/relocation/top-5-moving-day-apps/ 

      A quality self storage facility will have educated staff members available to assist you in choosing the best space for your needs and utilizing all the tips suggested here.

      Call the experts at Overton Road Self Storage to learn more, 205-956-5522.

March 06: Spring Forward: 8 Smart Tasks To Do Every Daylight Savings Day

    1. Start:
    2. 03/06/2019 at 6:00 am
    1. End:
    2. 12/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
    1. Description:
    2. Daylight savings time rolls around twice a year for most of the country, and while it may moderately disrupt your sleep schedule for a few days, the event is an excellent reminder to tackle those infrequent chores. The days are slowly getting longer from now until the summer solstice, leaving you plenty of time to check off a few extra tasks. Add add these eight tasks to your daylight savings time change to-do list.


      1. Wash your windows. It’s an arduous chore that, thankfully, needs to be done only periodically. “Unless you have pets or small children who leave smudges, you may not need to clean the inside of the window,” says Donna Smallin Kuper, a certified housecleaning technician and small-space expert. (Pro tip: You can hire someone to do this for you for around $100.)

      2. Clean under rugs and appliances. Roll up your area rugs and vacuum underneath them. Pull out your stove and refrigerator and do the same. It’s also a good idea to gently vacuum your refrigerator coils, which will keep the fridge running properly. Be sure to unplug the fridge before doing this, and consult your user manual to find the location of the coils.

      3. Clean for safety. The daylight savings time change is a good reminder to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. But while you’re at it, remove and wipe the detector cover with a damp cloth, then vacuum the interior to remove any dust particles, says Smallin Kuper. Check your dryer vents too, to make sure they are lint-free.

      4. Swap out your winter bedding. Remove your winter quilts and sheets and replace them with lighter-weight bedding. “Always launder these items before storing,” advises Smallin Kuper, adding that it helps keep moths at bay.

      5. Clean those hard-to-reach places. Working from high to low, start by wiping down ceiling fans and the tops of bookcases and other furniture with a duster that has an extending pole. Gently clean the inside of light fixtures and wipe down (cool) light bulbs to remove grime. Finally, dust baseboards and windowsills with a slightly damp microfiber cloth.

      6. Deep-clean carpets and rugs. If you haven’t done this before, it’s a sound idea to start now. “Many carpet manufacturers will void the warranty on carpets if they’re not professionally cleaned at least once every 12 to 18 months,” says Smallin Kuper.

      7. Declutter. Start with the obvious places, like your closet or junk drawer, but don’t skip the often-forgotten ones, like your bathroom and pantry. Go through your medicine cabinet and toss expired medications. Open up your cosmetic bag (or drawer) and throw out anything that looks a little grungy, and if you haven’t changed your toothbrush in a few months, swap it out for a new one. Toss anything in your pantry that’s expired and give your utensil drawer a once-over — are the knives too worn or in need of a little sharpening? Is there anything there that should be tossed?

      8. Clean your appliances. Wipe down the door of your stove, dishwasher, and fridge with warm, soapy water. Turn on the self-clean cycle in your oven and then tackle the inside of your dishwasher with a toothbrush and hot, soapy water, making sure to clean the rubber seal inside the door. Wipe away any debris with a leftover sponge, put a cup full of white vinegar on the top rack, and run a full cycle. When the cycle is done, wipe the inside of the dishwasher with a soft cloth.

June 24: GET YOUR SUMMER GEAR READY

    1. Start:
    2. 06/24/2019 at 6:00 am
    1. End:
    2. 07/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
    1. Description:
    2. The weather is getting warmer, the kids are out of school, and that means now is the time to get your summer gear ready!  Overton Road Self Storage the secure space to keep your belongings ready for any adventure. Summer hobbies include a lot of equipment. There is always the latest and greatest toy to be had. If you are running out of room in your house or you just can’t seem to stay on top of the mess, let us help you!

       Don’t get stuck waiting for gate hours to get your items out of your unit. Come anytime you want!  We offer 24-hour access to all of our tenants.

       

      POOL AND BEACH GEAR

      ·        Replace any summer pool toys that have seen their better days. Look for breaks in the seal or faded designs.

      ·        Before putting away for the summer or until the next pool party, leave everything out to dry.

      ·        The summer sun can be harsh on your plastic toys, so, look them over before taking broken toys to the beach.

       

      OUTDOOR FURNITURE

      ·        Choose a nice warm day to remove the covers and examine your furniture.

      ·        Throw any curtains,hammocks, and seat cushions in the washer before the first guests of the season arrive.

      ·        Spray down the outdoor play area to get rid of leaves and dirt from the winter.

      ·        Wood and metal can be protected from any harsh summer storms with stain or protective spray.

      ·        Add a little WD-40 to the hinges on the grill to get it working again.

      ·        Your canopy kept you cool from the summer sun last year, but the heat may have made the exterior brittle. Look for any fragile spots and possibly replace it this season. 

      Enjoy the summer without worrying about your summer gear. Overton Road Self Storage is the storage solution for you!


      May 1, 2017

      By Self Storage


July 02: BE SAFE AND ENJOY THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY WITH THESE HELPFUL TIPS!

    1. Start:
    2. 07/02/2019 at 6:00 am
    1. End:
    2. 07/31/2019 at 5:30 pm
    1. Description:
    2. BE SAFE and enjoy THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY with these helpful tips!


      Fourth of July is this Thursday. It will be a day of picnics with friends and family, parades, fireworks, and, trips to the beach.There is one major fireworks display “Thunder on the Mountain” that is a tradition in Birmingham.

       

      The 4th of July holiday events are always fun, but they can also be very dangerous due to mishandling and misuse of fireworks, improper grilling techniques, or, unsafe beach-going practices. Keep your family safe this holiday weekend by sharing a few fireworks, grilling, and, beach safety tips!

       

      Beach Safety Tips

      Many families will be heading to the beaches along the coast of Alabama and Florida.  There area few simple tips to remember when you spend large amounts of time at the beach that even the avid beach goer should always be reminded of:

      ·        Only swim in a life guarded beach within a designated swimming area. These areas are roped off for safety reasons. If there is a rip current warning, do not go swimming!

      ·        Keep alert for local weather conditions. Storms can move in off shore very quickly.

      ·        Always swim with a buddy.

      ·        Young children should always wear a coast guard approved life jacket.

      ·        Watch out for aquatic life including turtles and turtle nests. Keep an eye out for reports for shark sightings or attacks at the beaches.

      ·        Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 am and 4 pm. If you are outside during these times, always wear sunscreen starting at SPF 15. If you are fairer, then go with higher SPF’s.

      ·        Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol when outside in hot weather as these types of beverages will make you more dehydrated.

       

      Grilling Safety Tips

      It is very important to be prepared and safe when using both propane and charcoal grills.

      ·        Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Clear away any flammable debris that is in the area where the grill is placed.

      ·        Make sure that the grill is placed in a well-ventilated area and is firmly in place and cannot be tipped over.

      ·        Never leave a grill unattended when it is in use.

      ·        Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill at all times.

      ·        If using a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid to enhance or start the fire. Do not add any other flammable fluids to the fire. When you are finished using the charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before deposing them in a metal container.

       

       

      ·        For propane tank grills use, always check the tank and hoses for leaks before each use. If you smell gas while cooking on the grill, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill!

      ·        Do not use wire brushes to clean your grill.

      ·        Use long-handled utensils when cooking on a grill to avoid burns and splatters. Do not wear loose-fitting clothing near the open flame of a grill. Use flame –retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents and grills.

       

      Fireworks Safety Tips

      It is recommended to attend public fireworks shows put on by professionals.  If you do plan on setting off any type of fireworks,there are important safety tips that should be followed.

      ·        Obey all local laws pertaining to fireworks and displaying fireworks.

      ·        Keep pets indoors if you are setting off fireworks. They could become agitated with the sights, sounds, and smells of fireworks.

      ·        Keep the children and pets at least 500 feet away from where fireworks are being set off.

      ·        Only use fireworks outside. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep fireworks away from landing in trees and brush as these materials are extremely flammable.

      ·        Have a hose, a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher on hand for emergency situations. Soak all of the fireworks after use in a bucket of water before throwing them in a metal thrash can.

      ·        Light one firework at a time. Never relight a dud firework.

      ·        Make sure to properly dispose of the dud fireworks in water before depositing in a metal container.

      ·        Supervise children when using sparklers. It is important to hold on tight to the sparklers when in use. Do not use sparklers while sitting down and never throw them when they are lit. Children do not realize that sparklers can get up to 2,000 degrees and can be extremely dangerous. 

      Overton Road Storage wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!