Storage Wars | How To Keep The Peace

Storage Wars?

Typically, in California and Texas, after 3 months of non payment on a public storage rental, the contents can be sold at auction. Different states have different rules, but it does not change the dilemma. Someone lost their stuff. I am sure this is a little embarrassing to the former owners of the contents, and even more so if it ends up on the A&E series Storage Wars which started in California but has now extended it’s reach to Texas and New York.

The show has gained critical acclaim, and critical disdain, which taken together seem to define a hit. The fact is that it is strangely, almost morbidly entertaining and, yet, painful to watch. I suppose that is what folks want to see, so I suppose that makes for what is now defined as good entertainment.

I have tried to watch, but just can’t get through the whole thing beginning to end at one setting. It is sort of like watching someone in pain. I know that it’s a reality, I just can’t avoid the mental symbolism of video vultures descending on the carcass of someones life story turned tragedy. The problem is not the show itself, or the concept of making money from found or bought treasure, it is the back story, whether told or untold that is the problem for me. It is just too painful, and unnecessary.

Storage war solutions

Yes, it is unneccessary. There is a simple solution to storage issues and losses due to not being able to pay the rent. Are you ready for this? Don’t rent storage space! It is that simple. Buy your own storage space instead and the problem will never come up.

Storage sheds are relatively inexpensive, and even if you have to buy your storage space by using a lease purchase agreement (which costs about the same as self storage rental) you will still be ahead because you are in effect, paying it out as you would a bank loan, and before to long, you will own your own storage space and not have to pay another cent.

Don’t see your possessions in syndication

Just imagine the thousands of dollars wasted on public storage before the cast and crew of “Storage Wars” ever arrives on site to view the remains. The owner never received any benefit from the contents, and probably spent more money than the contents were worth just to keep it, only to see it being carted away on TV. That is probably a little more public than they expected when renting public storage. Don’t let this happen to you! You don’t want to someday turn on the tube and see your prized possessions auctioned in syndication!

If your shed is running out of space you might consider renting extra storage units. They are an affordable and convenient short- or long-term storage solution.

New Years’ Resolution: Shed Your Stress

Sometimes the biggest problems have simple solutions. Shedding clutter can be the best way to shed the stress in your life. Learn more at Shed Advice!

Many of the top New Years’ Resolutions we hear have to do with personal goals like drink less, lose weight, stop smoking, lower stress, finish that novel, or make a million dollars. While some of these may be attainable, others are likely to go unfinished. Some, however are attainable, but may need to be broken down into the simple steps that make the goal reachable. Let’s look at stress as an example.

Shedding stress

We will probably not be able to eliminate the stress brought upon us by others. Stress from work, and stress from relationships will likely continue to be a significant problem throughout the coming year. Sadly, that is just a fact we will need to learn to deal with, and by dealing well with it, we may be able to make a dent in the issue, and lower our blood pressure by a point or two. We all need to work on responding properly to the stress in relationships both at home and in our employment, but there are a few things that we can do to make the stress more manageable on a realistic level.

If you work in a cluttered workspace, or live in a cluttered home, there is a good chance that your level of ambient stress is aggravating the situation for you and those around you. This is something that you can change.The simple act of clearing and organizing your desk, or your tool box or truck will almost invariably bring near immediate reduction in stress levels. When you have done this, others will likely follow your lead, lowering their stress level as well, and consequently lowering the stress between two or more workplace antagonists.

The same is true of the home. There is a pretty good chance that rooms cluttered with boxes, closets filled with things that don’t belong in closets, and a garage piled so high that it evokes fear in the minds of those who dare approach it are causing dissension in the family.

If you can find a way to reduce the clutter, you will reduce the stress.

Shedding clutter

First, you will need to decide where your clutter will go. Can it be thrown out? Can it be given away? Could you sell some of it for a little extra cash? Will you need a place to store these items, or is there another way? Do you really need that ancient printer, or the worn out circular saw that has already been replaced? If you have not used the items in question for a year, there is a good chance you can live without them.

Make four stacks

We suggest making stacks of these items in four categories:

One for throwing out, one for giving away, one for selling, and one to store. Try to keep your “store” pile small, otherwise, you are just moving clutter from one location to another.

If you have the option of purchasing a utility building for your back yard, this would be a wise first step. Don’t use it as a “catch all”. That is not solving the problem only delaying it. Get your building in place, and begin your stacks.

If you can’t purchase a storage building, use self storage, or public storage as it is often called as a last resort only. Paying someone else to keep your clutter costs money and adds to the stress. Find another way like better organizing or fewer items if possible. Creating shelving in your garage can allow you to go vertical with your storage space. Well designed attic space can also help, but most of all, keep that keep stack small.

Don’t be shocked if your cleanup turns into an ad hock garage sale. In fact, this might be something you would like to try. If you can plan this on a day when a garage sale is possible, all the better. Put your signs and flyers out ahead of time when good weather is predicted, and start bringing things out. some of the things from your keep pile, and your toss pile may end up in the sale pile as the day wears on. One mans trash is another mans treasure, and you can offer give aways to folks who buy something.

Move your keep items, that is the ones you know you want to keep to your storage area.

Whatever is not gone by the end of the day should be tossed.

Reducing clutter will reduce stress. Reducing stress will improve relationships, and the consequent reduction of stress in relationships will lower anxiety even more. Lowering the level of angst may actually help you with your other resolutions like smoking and alcohol use and provide you with the clear head you need to work on your other goals for the new year! Who knows? Maybe you can use some of that extra space to store all that extra money you make!

Shed Kits And Shed Kit Manufacturers

This article represents a slight change in our attitude concerning storage shed kits. The products listed here are available from Sears and Amazon.

Sears is one of the oldest and most trusted suppliers of home goods in the world, and Amazon is one of the most successful online companies in the brief history of the internet. Both are trusted and reliable sources.

Shed kits: A change of heart

I once wrote a detailed article on why you should not buy a storage shed kit. I listed all the reasons that I had encountered over years of dealing with this sort of building, and the experiences of people I know had been through similar experiences. Trust me, it was a pretty compelling argument against shed kits in general and for the purchase of a prefab building from a builder or contractor. While I still think that buying local is the best option, many of the arguments used in that essay have themselves become obsolete.

Many of today’s storage building kits come with high quality materials, rational connection hardware and reasonably clear instructions. The durability seems to be good on most, and while the materials on some may be a little light compared to their contractor built counterparts, they are usually good values for the price.

I have checked out a number of the models and brands offered by Sears and Amazon and they were pretty impressive, some were just downright ingenious. There is a lot of variety in both price and quality between different manufacturers so it pays to do your research before buying.

Shed Kit Manufacturers

The most common manufacturers are: Little Cottage Company, ShelterLogic, ABSCO, Duramax
Handy Home Lifetime, Flowerhouse, Rubbermaid, Suncast, and Arrow.

Arrow Sheds

Arrow Standard Sheds have a 12 year warranty, sheet steel siding with a durable coating and a variety of sizes and colors to fit most basic needs.

Arrow Premium Sheds are said to have paint five times thicker than those of the standard shed, and have a 15 year limited warranty. Arrow also has vinyl covered sheds available.

Flowerhouse and Rubbermaid and Suncast

Sheds made by Flowerhouse and Rubbermaid are small sheds made of plastic. You don’t need to worry about rust or rot, but in spite of UV coated protection the sun may still be an enemy. The prices are reasonable, and if a small shed is what you need, they are worth looking into. Suncast also makes a larger building under the name: HomePlace.

Lifetime Products

Lifetime manufacturers a small to medium size shed built with steel reinforced polyethylene. The product is fairly priced and reasonably attractive although limited in color.

Handy Home Products

Handy Home Products runs the gamot of storage shed sizes, types and prices. The standard buildings are wood construction and can be assembled with standard carpentry tools. There are a wide variety of products and accessories from which to choose.

Little Cottage Company

Little Cottage Company products are slightly different than the standard shed kit. They are manufactured with vinyl siding and aluminum trim, but have more decoration than the average shed. Some have Gothic style windows and steeples. If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, you should have a look.


ShelterLogic products are built with powder coated steel frames and polyethylene covers similar to large fitted tarps.


ABSCO products are made from high tensile steel and would fall into the light to medium duty category. Prices seem to be reasonable.


The Duramax family of sheds is made with vinyl siding. The prices and construction are comparable with other similar products.

Check for yourself

Many of these companies have products that are similar to those offered bu other companies, some have distinct differences. It would be hard to point out all the differences and similarities on this page, so you will need to do some research on your own to see what suits you best. Choose a product with a sturdy frame, durable siding, and the features you need. Be sure to check about things like floor kits windows and vents to be certain that you are comparing apples to apples.

Happy hunting!

Carports Are True Sheds With Many Uses

Carports are one of the most basic types of sheds. In fact, they are one of few types of real sheds when you look at the real meaning of the term. Carports can serve to protect cars, boats, and recreational vehicles from the damaging effects of weather, without the expense of a full scale building. Some examples of such uses are:
  • Car and truck protection
  • Boat protection
  • 4 wheeler protection
  • RV protection
  • Patio covers
  • Outdoor gatherings
Protecting cars, boats, and other outdoor equipment are very common uses, and when it comes to large RV's, there is nothing that can beat a very tall carport for protection, ease of use and access, and cost. Most modern carports are free standing open air shelters. This provides a measure of safety from automobile fumes or fires not found in traditional home garages, and leaves your garage free for other uses. Carports of this type provide a high level of protection from harmful weather conditions at a very reasonable price. Prefab carports are built from galvanized and painted steel for long life and durability, and are available in a number of colors to match your existing structures. Modern steel carports are a great value for the homeowner.

Pole Barns: Post Frame Construction Sheds

Pole barns as sheds

Pole barns are sheds in the very essence of the word. Many pole barns have simple single direction shed roofs with no siding which are used for protecting livestock from weather.

Post frame construction advantages

That is not the end of the story with pole barns though. Pole barns, with their post frame construction can become just about any type of building you want them to be, from the simple single sloped roof type of basic cover, to more elaborate structures such as homes. Post frame construction is very strong by nature. It is tied to the ground at the base by the poles themselves. Add plumbing, a floor, electrical, walls, and a ceiling, and they are not distinguishable from a modern home, plus they can withstand wind speeds that would shred many other building types. They fit perfectly with another modern trend, that is, building with steel. Steel siding and post frame construction are made for each other. If you are planning to build your own shed or barn, post frame could be the best option for your project. Pole barns are strong, simple, easy to build, and can be finished out with the same extras that you would use with other forms of construction. Even if you do not plan to build your own barn or shed, post frame construction can be a less expensive option than other forms of construction. The strength of design allows for less material, and that coupled with the simplicity of construction can make the per square foot cost a lot less than standard methods.

Disadvantages of post frame construction

If you are building a small shed structure and portability is an issue, post frame construction is not for you, since by nature it is connected to the ground. You should consider other construction methods.

Shed Plan Review: My Shed Plans Elite

My Shed Plans Photo

The My Shed Plans course is just the thing to get you started, and not just started, but all the way to the end of the shed building project, with everything from detailed plans and drawings, to detailed instructions, and even material lists for many different buildings.

My Shed Plans has over 12,000 plans and patterns for a variety of woodworking projects suitable for the novice and professional alike, and pretty soon, even if you are new to wood working, you will be building like a pro! Your friends and neighbors will be amazed!

The information available is top notch, detailed, accurate, and understandable, unlike many of those free shed plans on the internet, The projects are well thought out, clear, and doable.

The price is very reasonable, so you can build your own storage shed for a fraction of the cost of buying one from a shed dealer and have the pride of the knowledge that you built it yourself. You will be surprised how much your self esteem will improve every time you take a trip to your back yard!

Thinking of building or buying a shed?

If you are thinking of buying or building a storage shed, utility building, or similar structure, you should at least spend some time checking out My Shed Plans before you do either, it might help you decide which route to take. If you have already decided to build a storage shed yourself, the few bucks that you spend buying this product will save you countless hours of time, days of frustration, and a lot of money in the long run.


Trust me. If you are planning to build anything, you need a comprehensive set of plans. To start a project without them is to waste time, money, and energy. The very first step in doing anything should be planning and preparation, and without this step the project is doomed to failure, or at the very least, waste and difficulty.

My Shed Plans offers a way around this problem by having all the preparations done ahead of time. You will find about 12,000 detailed shed and woodworking plans, material lists for them, and step by step procedures for carrying them out!

Saving money

You will save money by building the shed yourself, and you will avoid expensive mistakes which will save you much more than the cost of the course.

Upon completion of your project, you family, friends, and neighbors will be astonished at how great your shed looks and works, and you don’t even have to tell them that you bought the plans. We won’t tell if you don’t!

Issues with My Shed Plans

There have been issues brought up about the My Shed Plans product, but in checking them out, I am pretty sure they are more along the line of “sour grapes”, and less like something is rotten! Maybe someone had a somewhat similar plan somewhere online, and feels like it was copied, or someone else says that it is a rip off because you could find similar plans for free somewhere online.

The facts

The fact is, that if we asked 10 experienced carpenters to each build a shed of a certain size from scratch, they would probably all be very similar, and the other part of the argument sounds a lot like the; “I had that idea too, and now someone else is profiting from it.” argument. Perhaps that is true, but someone else got to the finish line earlier!

These are home shed plans and woodworking plans. This is not advanced engineering, but it is not “shade tree” either. It is right for what it is, and it is a fair price for what it offers. If you think it is not fair, then try drawing a plan, making a material list, and building the entire thing with no help or advice.

That is where the average person who would buy these plans is coming from. Sure, they could find similar plans by spending a few hours searching, but just how much is the time saved in searching, the time saved in planning, and the money saved from not wasting material worth to you? We are willing to bet that this program will save you more than it costs you!


From what we can tell, the My Shed Plans system is a good way to get plans and advice for building a great shed! No system is perfect, and I am sure this one has some flaws, but none that we could find, and none that would cause a catastrophe.

For more information go to: My Shed Plans


Sheds Are Not Just For Storage

Sheds are utility buildings, they are not just for storage.

When we think about sheds, storage sheds, or storage buildings we normally think of them as being the same thing, although there are slight nuances to each word. In reality, all of these buildings are utility buildings. They can be used for storage, and a lot more. They have both residential and commercial uses, and the ways people use them are increasing every day. They are used for both residential and commercial purposes, and even for sales and real estate.

Residential Utility Building Uses

Utility buildings for storage

Homeowners are discovering that they need more space to store things. America’s Garages are full! Life, as we live it today demands more space. That is where residential storage sheds come into play for homeowners. We have boats, lawn equipment, and all terrain vehicles that will last longer and provide better service if kept from the ravages of weather, but storage is not the only way such buildings can be utilized.

Utility buildings for other home uses

Horse barn and cabin type utility buildings

Space for all those electronic games that have become popular may not be available in the home itself, and playing Wii games, with all their healthy benefits, can take up quite a lot of space. Setting up a game room for such activities just makes good sense. Home offices, home shops, and even home gyms can become a reality with the right buildings in place.

There are other advantages for the homeowner. Adding a storage building, utility building, carport, garage, or pole barn to your property increases the value of the property beyond the cost of the building itself. If you are selling your home, it also adds that little bit of extra encouragement that may mean the difference between a short time on the market, or a long period of continued mortgage payments.

Specific residential shed uses

Storage, Boat storage, ATV storage, Tool storage, Lawn and garden Storage, Equipment storage, Game rooms, TV rooms, Poker rooms, Craft rooms Hobby rooms, Home offices, Home business storage, Document storage. There are many other ways to use these storage buildings, they are limited only to your imagination.

Commercial Utility Buildings

Of course, storage buildings can come in handy for storing things for commercial needs, but there are many more ways to utilize them.

Having an office and a tool shed on site for a construction project, an oil field project, or any other of dozens, perhaps hundreds of jobs can mean having the information, equipment, and tools you need to get the job done on time, and under budget.

Having a place to store documents, transition moves, and temporarily, or for that matter, permanently warehouse materials and products, at your location, or remote location can give you the edge. While your competition is busy traveling back and forth between expensive self storage facilities, you can be on the move right off the whistle. You can be ready to go at a moments notice with your products or tools while the other guys are stuck in cross town traffic!

You have goods and materials coming in and out, and sometimes with the vagaries of transportation, you might end up with a bottleneck. You can avoid that bottleneck by having a place to hold the products or materials that you are not yet ready to use.

Specific commercial uses

utility sheds can be used for guard shacks, tool storage, material storage, construction on site offices, drop points for shipped materials, drop points for sales materials, break rooms, and a host of other purposes which come up with individual job applications. Think about how they could help you in your job, and then contact a local dealer to see what they can do to make your job faster and more efficient.

No Credit Check Shed Financing

No credit check shed financing through lease purchase agreements

A lot of people are having trouble with credit these days, and no matter what the reason behind the problem, (it is not always of our own making) life still goes on.

A lot of people who are not having trouble with their credit are choosing to fly under the radar for a variety of reason.

If you are seeking to purchase a shed and fit into one or the other of these groups, then a storage shed rent to own program may be just right for you.

Most lease purchase or storage shed rent to own programs do not use credit checks, and in case of default, it will not ruin your credit history or make it worse.

One of the largest sectors in lease purchase storage buildings today is the folks who have had to downsize due to the housing crisis, and the other subsequent economic problems facing the country. They often find themselves with credit problems, and the downsizing has left them crunched for space, and with bad credit. That makes it difficult to make a significant purchase, and also makes such a purchase a necessity.

There are a variety of reasons that someone might choose to fly under the radar of their financial institutions, and the prying eyes of other organizations. A bad divorce, or an unrealistic financial or legal action by creditors can lead to the need to keep things off the financial record. Besides, what you buy should be your business, and not anyone else.

In both cases, shed financing through lease purchase agreements will do the trick.

Contact your local shed dealer to see if they offer one.

Permanent Or Portable Shed Which Is Best?

Sheds meet an obvious need common to most Americans, but besides storage, they can also be used for shops, garages, offices, and recreation. Most dealers offer a wide selection of buildings that can be used for a multitude of purposes for homes and businesses. So, which is right for you, a portable shed or a permanent shed?

Portable sheds

Some sheds are installed permanently on location, but there are also portable storage sheds which can be moved onto location. Portable storage barns are usually kept to a size that makes ease of transport a major consideration. That will normally be about 14 feet wide, and around 26 to 30 feet long. Most suppliers are set up for this size, but anything longer or wider may require special permits beyond the normal small building permits required in most states.

Permanent sheds

Buildings that are not built to be moved are considered permanent, although most buildings of any type are not truly permanent. Some storage barns are built on concrete slabs, some are built using post frame construction methods. Such buildings are not intended to be moved from place to place, although there are many prefabricated, or pre-engineered buildings which can be disassembled and re assembled at a new location.

Which is right for you?

Well, that is a determination you will need to make based on what use you intend for your shed in both the long and short term.

If you need a large shop, or garage, or a very large amount of storage space, a permanent shed may be the best solution. If you just need a craft room, a hobby shop, a small amount of storage space, or you plan to move the shed at some latter date, go portable.

Rent To Own Storage Barns: The Truth

In his article: Rent to Own Storage Sheds – Why You Should Think Twice, Michael W. Mathis covered some of the reasons why he believes rent to own storage sheds are a bad idea for homeowners. He makes a few good points along the way.

The truth about rent to own storage barns

So, what is the truth about rent to own utility barns, and is it something you should consider?

It is obvious that lease purchase agreements are not the “be all, end all” for purchasing anything, and, of course, you should think twice before buying anything using this means.

The main point of his article seems to be that rent to own storage barns are expensive, since you pay about twice what the building would cost for cash. He finishes by saying that: “If they can’t obtain reasonable financing or save and pay for out right, then they probably don’t really need it.”

While I agree, that lease purchase agreements are not the best options, and that they will cost more than an outright purchase, there are some times when a rent to own storage shed makes sense.

When is rent to own a bad idea?

When you have the money to pay for it outright. You will save money if you purchase the building with cash, but there are also cases where this is not true.

When is rent to own a good idea?

This list should give you some idea, and I am sure you can come up with other cases:

  1. When the building is needed to create or preserve wealth. In such cases, the building is really a tool, like a truck, or a table saw. If it is needed, and can be obtained in no other way, it is better to have it for the purpose of creating wealth, than to not have it, and lose the opportunity.
  2. You intend to use the building for business, and taxes are an issue. This is related to number 1. In some situations, renting offers tax advantages. In some states, a portable building is not taxed as a part of the property where it resides. In many situations, business rental can be deducted from income taxes, and that can level the playing field.
  3. If you are renting space in a public storage. If you are already paying rent for something you must preserve, renting storage space that you will eventually own makes sense. You will be leasing something for a few years and looking forward to the day when it belongs to you as opposed to leasing space forever. Spending $200.00 per month forever makes far less sense than paying $200.00 per month for 36 to 48 months.
  4. You have credit problems. If you have credit problems, bank financing may not be possible for you. In fact, you may need the building to alleviate the cost of public storage.
  5. You want to avoid credit problems. If the possibility that you might default on a loan and ruin your credit has crossed your mind, and it is a risk you do not want to take, a rent to own storage shed may be the best option. Most rent to own storage barn dealers have contracts that will allow you to return the building without banging up your credit. Will your banker do that?

Check out the rules and regulations where you live, and, of course, you should look over the lease purchase agreement before you sign it. Ask any questions you have, and the dealer will be happy to answer them.