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Interview - February

Mini Mall Storage Properties' Pioneering History with Original Founder Joe Giuffre and Current CEO, Adam Villard



Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mini Mall Storage Properties reached many significant milestones. During our first year of operations, we acquired 26 properties across Canada while amassing $100 million in assets under management (AUM). As we memorialize our recent successes, current Mini Mall CEO, Adam Villard, takes a trip down memory lane with the original founder and visionary of Mini Mall Self-Storage – Joe Giuffre, who turns 94 tomorrow!

Joe Giuffre is an innovative entrepreneur and pioneer of the self-storage industry – even coining the phrase ‘self-storage’ in Canada. He opened Mini Mall Self-Storage Ltd. in 1977, which remained in operation for 43 years, before passing the torch to son and Avenue Living CEO, Anthony Giuffre, in 2020. Today, Mini Mall Storage Properties continues to build upon Joe’s legacy, industry knowledge, and experience to fulfill the need for self-storage across Canada.

According to Joe, “Self-storage was the best use and value for these sites and still remains so to this day.”

Over the past year, our talented top-tier team carried on the successful venture thanks to the many learnings from Joe. As we reflect on the history of Mini Mall, our team is looking forward to the exciting future as we continue to strategically drive innovative operations and consolidate the storage market across Canada. Thank you, Joe, for your guidance, resilience, and industry expertise — we’d also like to wish you a very happy 94th birthday.

Mini Mall Storage Properties February 5th, 2021

Storage Tips - December

Keep it Merry and Bright: How to Store Your Christmas Decorations



Picture the scene: it’s December, 2021. You can’t wait to put up your tree. The eggnog is ready, the music is cued up, and you’ve been to your storage unit to get all your boxes of stuff.  You’re ready to be festive in short order. But the top third of your tree is missing.

You rack your brain. Where could it be? It’s not with the other two thirds. You drive back to your storage unit and go through everything. Finally you discover it, in a mislabeled box stuffed in the back corner. Now you’re back on track, but the nog is warm and you’re annoyed.

Like anything in your storage container, your Christmas decorations need to be stored in a way that’s clear and organized — and protects them, too. We’ve got some tips to help you put everything back so the next time you pull them out, you’re ready to get festive in as little time as possible.

Storing Your Tree
If you have an artificial tree, you’ll want to make sure you store all the parts together. It’s tempting to keep the original box, but Martha Stewart says not to bother — once it’s been up, your tree’s branches need more room for storage. You can buy bags or even tree-storage boxes that will make sure the tree stays dust-free and safe. Most experts recommend storing the tree horizontally, but if you have to store it standing up, make sure you do so on the appropriate stand.
Make sure you remove all the ornaments and lights first, and vacuum or dust the branches. It’s best to disassemble the tree before you put it away, as well.

Storing Wreaths
If you have a wardrobe or clothes rack in your storage unit, make room for your wreaths. Attach them to a coat hanger and cover the entire thing with a plastic bag (or garment bag) and then hang them on the bar. Hatboxes are also a good way to store multiple wreaths if you don’t have a way to hang them.

Keeping Lights and Garland Neat
Lights can get tangled easily, which can make them your least favourite part of decorating. Wrap them on cardboard to keep the wires neat. Check for any burned-out bulbs before you pack everything away. You can store spare bulbs in a plastic bag taped to the piece of cardboard.
Beaded garland can quickly become a tangled mess — and ruin other ornaments — if you store everything together. Good Housekeeping suggests storing them in empty water bottles. You can see what’s inside and 500 ml bottles are the perfect size to hold two strings.

Protecting Ornaments
You have a few options here, depending on how delicate your ornaments are. You can buy special boxes (some even padded, with handles) for storing ornaments. They often come with a divided insert that keeps your ornaments separated and away from dust, moisture, and ultraviolet light.
You can also make your own storage solution with plastic drink cups lined with tissue paper (use a piece of flat cardboard in between layers to stack them in a box. 
And speaking of boxes and containers, make sure that whatever you choose protects your items from dust, light, and moisture. If your storage unit is unheated and you’re concerned about temperature fluctuations, keep more delicate items (especially wood) in a more controlled environment.

Label, label, label.
Make sure everything from your tree bag to your ornament boxes is labeled clearly, and try to stash everything close together in your storage unit. There’s nothing worse than rooting through your valuables to try to find one missing box!
Taking just a few minutes to sort everything out before you put it away can make a world of difference when the holiday season rolls around next year.

Looking for a place to store your extra stuff? Find a Mini Mall facility near you. <link to: https://www.minimallstorage.com/nearby>

Mini Mall Storage Properties
December 4th, 2020

Storage Tips - November

Storing Furniture: What You Need to Know

That desk you love but have no room for can still be in your life again, if you give it a safe home in your self-storage unit. So can your favourite chair, which needs to move out while you renovate your living room.
They can even stay in an unheated unit through the winter, if you prep them properly. Here's how you do it:
  • Clean everything thoroughly. Vacuum and clean fabric chairs, couches, and mattresses with a suitable antibacterial cleaner. Give it plenty of time to dry before you store it. Dust wood furniture, then wipe it down with a gentle wood cleaner and a soft cloth. Polish any metal to remove tarnish and protect the finish.
  • Use protectants. If you have leather furniture, use a leather conditioner. Give your wooden pieces a rub with polish or paste wax. Use a fabric protector on fabric upholstery.
  • Disassemble and label parts. Remove table legs and take headboards apart. Make sure you gather all the screws in a plastic bag, label it, and keep it with the furniture pieces.
  • Wrap, wrap, wrap. Cover fabric furniture with padded furniture blankets (or even regular sheets and blankets) to keep dust and moisture out. Wrap wooden furniture pieces in plastic, to keep them from drying out, and use those padded furniture blankets again to keep things from getting chipped or scratched during transit.
  • Store carefully. Avoid putting anything heavy on top of your upholstered furniture, in order to protect the cushions. Keep furniture as far away as possible from the door of your unit to minimize exposure to moisture, heat or cold. 
If you’re thinking about storing your antiques in an unheated storage unit, we’ve got some advice for you.  Don’t.
Antique furniture is often fragile, and original stains and finishes may not hold up to extreme heat or cold. It’s also susceptible to cracking or deterioration from moisture loss, so if you’ve got special heirlooms you need to store, it’s best to spring for a temperature-controlled environment if you’re storing long-term, and then follow as many of the steps above as you can.
These steps should help keep your newer pieces in good shape, so they’re ready to take their place in your home again whenever you have space for them. Want to know how much storage space you need? Mini Mall Storage is here to help. Check out our size guide and storage calculator!

Mini Mall Storage Properties
November 11, 2020

Storage Tips - September

Free Up Your Living Space: Store Seasonal Items in Your Storage Unit


How many times have you told yourself that this year, when you change your tires or pack away your summer clothes, you’ll make sure you have the space? The changing seasons seem to be a natural time to reassess how we use our living space — but it’s also great time to think about how to use your storage space more effectively. No matter what size your house, you can use your storage unit to stash away seasonal items and free up living space. Save yourself tripping over the bicycles or the Christmas lights by making the most of your unit. All it takes it a bit of organization and planning.

Here’s how to use your storage unit for seasonal items:

Label everything. You might think you’ll remember where you stash your favourite shorts or camping gear, but when the warm spring breezes are blowing again you’ll want quick and easy access.

Pack strategically. If you know you’ll be back for an item before all the others, put it where it’s easily accessible. Arrange items you’ll store for the longer-term at the back. Consider laying things out in categories – put clothing in one area, household items in another, outdoor gear in a third. Draw yourself a map, if it helps, and keep it on your phone. Then when you visit to swap out your items you’ll be in and out in a flash.

Use durable containers. Plastic bins with a tight-fitting lid are the sturdiest and will keep out dust and moisture.

Pack properly. Make sure breakables are wrapped carefully and stashed in appropriate containers. Wrap your summer (or winter) tires in garbage bags to protect them and your other items.

Clean everything first. Give your bike a wash and tune-up before you put it away. Make sure your patio furniture has been wiped down. Clean up your garden implements. Check the storage instructions for items like lawnmowers, boats and motorcycles.

Think about temperature. Items like musical instruments, antiques, or books need a constant temperature. Is your unit temperature-controlled? Think about how cold or hot the environment might be over the season.

Keep your valuables at home, not in your storage unit. If you store all the other gear you aren’t using in the unit, you’ll have plenty of room for those extra-special items.

And finally, enjoy your clutter-free space! You’ll be amazed how much room you’ll gain when your out-of-season gear is tucked neatly away in your storage unit. Do you need to rent storage space? Calculate how much you’ll need with our handy tool or get in touch to learn about our affordable rental options.

Mini Mall Storage Properties
September 25, 2020