Friday, April 20, 2018
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15 Unique Storage Tips to Help You Organize Your Home

Tips to Organize Your Home

People absolutely love organizing or despise it with a deep passion. It comes naturally to some while others stare off in disgust at how much their friend’s home resemble a magazine cutout. Whether you’re an organization pro or not, these 20 unique storage tips are guaranteed to help you in ways you could not imagine.

What we recommend doing is simply going from room to room and taking a look at everything. First, start sorting through the small knick-knacks you own. This will help you get in the mindset of decluttering and minimizing your home essentials. The benefit? Decreased stress, easier routines and less weekly cleanup time.

Go through each room and create different boxes for categorizing things. Try making a keep, store and donate box. Work through one room at a time in order to make these projects less intimidating. Once you’ve sorted everything, donate what you need to and put the rest in your self-storage unit. Then the fun begins! Check out our top 20 unique storage tips to help you organize your home.

  1. Repurpose Wine Racks

wine rack towel holderWine racks are great for holding wine, but we bet you’ve never considered using them in your bathroom. For a decorative, and space saving, addition to your bathroom transform wine racks into a bath towel holder.    It will add a bit of charm while freeing up tons of cabinet space that bulky towels use. Just make sure your towels aren’t too unsightly otherwise it makes for a poor addition.

 

  1. Organize Your Ornaments

One of the most frustrating things is trying to sort through all of your tangled, potentially broken, Christmas ornaments when the holidays roll around. We recommend recycling an old storage bin, making a few tweaks and putting it in your storage unit for the holidays. Check out an awesome tutorial here.

  1. Look at Shower Rings in a Whole New Light

If you have a shower curtain then you’re not stranger to the tiny plastic rings that are used to hold them up. However, we guarantee you’ve never tried using them for organizational purposes. Just attach them across a hanger and use them to hang everything from hats, scarves, purses and more.

  1. Get Creative with Tackle Boxes

Tackle boxes aren’t just for fishing anymore. If you live anywhere near a lake then you’ll enjoy its original purpose, but for everyone else, we still recommend purchasing one (or a few). Since they are nicely sealed boxes with a lot of different sized compartments inside, the opportunities for organization are endless. Store anything from batteries, first aid kits, kid’s crafts and more. Whatever fits, works and it’s so satisfying to see.

  1. Repurpose Empty Glass Bottles

Don’t spend a ton of money on fancy jewelry holders. If you have any bottles lying around, repurpose them – they are the perfect size and shape for bracelets. Simply put them on a shelf and slip your bracelets over the top. Try and fill them up to the top to hide the labels or you can remove them by following these easy instructions.

  1. Ice Cube Holders Double as Jewelry Storage

Those handy earring holders with the mesh-like backing are made for a purpose, but it can be such a hassle to put earrings back on them that they usually just end up in theice cube trays drawer organizers drawer. Once they’re in the drawer, the chances of them staying together are not very high. However, if you put a few ice cube holders in, all of your pairs of earrings are kept in order with an inexpensive and easy solution.

  1. Make Your Own Stylish Jewelry Organizer With Wood Trim and Everyday Thumb Tacks

Continuing in line with jewelry storage, you can easily create an appealing necklace holder in minutes. All you need is some simple wood trim, paint and your everyday thumbtacks. Cut the trim to your desired length, paint it to match your room and then paint the thumbtacks as well. You can also use nails, hooks, pegs and different kinds of wood to change up the style.

  1. Use Crown Moldings for Heels

Use crown molding to organize high heelsFor the ultimate closet space saver, get your shoes off of the ground. All you need is a leveler and some old crown molding for the perfect place to show off the collection of heels that have been gathering on the floor. Simply attach the crown moldings near your ceiling and hang your shoes up using the heels.

 

  1. Use Pegs for Sneakers and Shoes

The same idea can be applied to sneakers and other shoes. Instead of hanging crown moldings, you’ll need a pegboard. If you don’t have one lying around, they’re easy to make. Then, mount it your wall and you have a clean and organized entryway or closet.

  1. Install PVC Pipes for Styling Tools

Styling tools are basically just a jumbled mess of cords that are impossible to keep organized in a drawer. This problem is easily fixed by installing a few PVC pipes to the insides of your bathroom cabinet. PVC pipes have a perfect shape for curling irons, blow dryers and straighteners and you can install smaller pipes alongside them to hold the cords nicely.

  1. Store Cleaning Supplies with Shoe Organizers

Cleaning supplies can take up a lot of room and we want to keep them sanitized while we’re storing them. In order to save space and avoid germs building up, try cutting a plastic shoe organizer in half and hanging it on the inside of the door under your sink. You can even use the other half in the bathroom so you don’t waste precious cabinet space. Read more about how to DIY here.

  1. Cans Fit Perfectly in Magazine Holders

Do you remember those old magazine holders that everyone used to love? Chances are you still have a few hiding out somewhere in your home and if you do, you’re in luck. Canned goods actually fit perfectly inside of them. It’s a great way to optimize space in your pantry without having to shuffle everything around when you need something. If you can’t seem to find your old magazine holders, head to an office supply store and stock up.

  1. Rethink Your Cup Storage

Kitchen space is valuable and oftentimes not efficiently maximized. There is so much cabinet space available but no one ever has so many plates that they stack all the way to the top. This leaves you with a large useless gap. The best way to utilize this space is by rethinking how you store your cups. All you need to do is buy some cup hooks, screw them into the top of your shelves and hang teacups and coffee mugs from the top.

  1. Get Creative With Magnets

Magnets are great to include in your unique storage ideas for your home. They are self-adhesive to metal surfaces and don’t leave marks when they’re removed. You can put magnetic strips on just about anything and create tons of opportunities. For instance, try using the self-adhesive magnetic strip to store loose bobby pins inside of your medicine cabinet. Or try making some magnetic jars to stick to your fridge for storing small knick-knacks or spices.

  1. Repurpose Old Bungee Cords

The garage space is sacred, especially for the man of the house. However, as the summer months approach the space can get crowded with outdoor equipment, sports accessories and lawn care items. While you probably have a system in place for most of the big things, using bungee cords can help you fix the timeless problem of inefficiently storing sports equipment. All you need to do is attach bungee cords to shelving units and place everything inside. It may be easier with unfinished walls, but it’s still possible in a developed garage. Check out this example to see how you can update your sports storage.

If you use these great techniques in order to take your home organization to the next level, you’ll start to notice a difference immediately. While you’re organizing everything, you might find some things that you rarely use but don’t want to part with just yet. If that’s the case, consider renting out a self-storage unit. It’s the perfect way to keep your life decluttered so you can focus on what really matters. At The Lock Up Self Storage, all of the storage units are secure, affordable and climate controlled. No matter what storage needs you have, you’re sure to find a solution at The Lock Up. Head over to www.thelockup.com to browse our available storage units today.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Your Home’s Appeal

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spring clean your home to add appeal

Whether you’re looking to move or just wanting to start the warmer months off with a clean home, spring cleaning is the perfect time to start things off on the right foot. Unfortunately, a lot of people just don’t know where to start. They think that spring cleaning is just another routine to make sure nothing looks dirty.

However, good spring cleaning involves getting down and dirty in order to address areas of your home that are otherwise overlooked. Take your cleaning to the next level with our top 5 spring cleaning tips to boost your home’s appeal.

1.Embrace Minimalism

The first thing we recommend doing in your spring cleaning routine is embracing minimalism. Go through all of your things and decide whether or not you really need it. A home with too much stuff is always harder to clean.

Declutter

There’s nothing good about having a cluttered home. It increases stress levels, makes it difficult to find things and in general isn’t very fun to look at. That’s why we recommend dedicating a good portion of your spring cleaning routine to decluttering your home.

Unfortunately, when it comes to decluttering, a lot of people don’t know how to properly start. Once they get going, it gets much easier. Check out this creative article that offers great tips or head to your local library and pick up a copy of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo. If there are things that you don’t necessarily need in your home, but don’t want to get rid of, renting a self-storage space is a great alternative.

Organize Closets

In the essence of decluttering your home, head into your closet and apply the same mindset. A lot of us have an overbearing amount of clothes, shoes and accessories that don’t see the light of day for years.

Start by organizing things by season. If you have tons of bulky, winter clothes, pack them up in some storage bins and put them into your self-storage unit. It’s much more relaxing to have those out of the way when you’re trying to sort through your warm weather clothes.

Next, go through each piece of spring clothing. If there are holes, rips or unsightly stains it might be time to toss them. The same mindset applies for clothes that don’t fit or you no longer enjoy. For the remaining clothes, try this cool trick to see if you’ll really wear it again.

2. Deep Clean Ceilings, Walls and Floors

A lot of people remember how important it is to clean your floors because they’re always being used and are constantly in your line of sight. However, walls and ceilings shouldn’t be overlooked. Dust and dirt builds up overtime and while they may not look dirty, they probably are. Put aside some extra time during spring cleaning for all three major surfaces in your home.

As a point of recommendation, start with your ceiling. This way, as you work your way down the dirt and debris will continue falling downward rather than sticking to freshly cleaned areas. It is by far the most efficient way of cleaning.

One thing you might want to consider when you start this process is removing any popcorn ceilings in your home. These ceilings are outdated and have a reputation for decreasing the value of your home. Just keep in mind that this process can be very time-consuming, so prepare to set aside a good amount of time.

When you start cleaning, first use a vacuum cleaner with a long extension to get all of the cobwebs out of corners, light fixtures and fans. If there are any marks on your ceiling, get your ladder out and scrub them clean. This is especially noticeable in kitchens where there is a potential for food to splatter.

After you finish the ceilings, do the same for your walls. When you’re done you won’t believe your eyes.

Finally, move on to your carpets and floors. If you haven’t deep cleaned your carpets in a while, it’s worth doing. Deep cleaning helps restore the original quality of your carpet from old and drab to new and vibrant. It’s also a perfect time to change up your furniture arrangement for a new look.

Clean your hardwood floors last and consider a polishing treatment.

3. Scrub Your Appliances

Spring cleaning is all about giving things a fresh start for the warmer months through deep cleaning. Sometimes it can be hard to remember to clean things that aren’t always seen, but we’re here to remind you. That means it’s time to give all of your kitchen appliances a good scrub.

Oven

Cleaning your oven can be time intensive, but is always worth it especially if you use it frequently. Luckily, with bicarbonate of soda, you can take out most of the grime with elbow grease.

Bicarbonate of soda is essentially baking soda without the raising agents added. Just mix a small amount of bicarbonate of soda with water and spray it inside of your oven. Leave overnight, wake up and wipe it down. Afterwards you can run the oven in self-cleaning mode for an extra boost in case you missed anything.

Refrigerator

We don’t clean our refrigerators as often as we should, but that’s what spring cleaning is for. To start, take everything out so that you can clean more efficiently. If you have removable shelves and drawers, remove those as well. Then tackle the build up with your favorite cleaning agent. Toothbrushes work especially well for sticky stains and you can finish with lemon wedges to naturally kill any bad odors.

Microwave

An easy trick to deep clean your microwave is by using steam. It helps to loosen any old food, grease and grime and can be done with minimal effort. All you need to do is put a bowl of equal parts vinegar and water in the microwave for 10 minutes. After, simply wipe it clean with a cloth.

HVAC

Finally, never overlook your HVAC System. Use this time to get a tune up for your furnace and air conditioning so that everything is in working order. It’s always better to keep up with small maintenance than to wait until things turn into expensive problems.

4. Fix Any Problems

During the colder months there is a lot of opportunity for problems to arise. With the changing temperatures, intense weather and safety concerns for fixing outdoor issues, it is sometimes best to wait until spring. When the weather warms up use it as an opportunity. Fix any holes, pipes or general structural issues.

If it seems like you can’t do it on your own, don’t skimp on hiring a professional. It will cost you less in the long run.

5. Don’t Forget Exterior Maintenance

Finally, don’t forget about the outside of your home. Exterior maintenance is extremely important for spring cleaning in order to keep your home’s curb appeal high.

Wash Away Dirt

Start by washing away any dirt that has built up on your sidewalks, siding or porches. Rent, or borrow, a power washer in order to efficiently clean any pathways but always be careful. You can easily damage things if you misuse the pressure.

Revamp Your Driveway

After you’ve washed away all of the dirt you’ll be better able to see if there are any damages. If there are small cracks or holes patch or reseal them before a major renovation is needed. If there is major damage, consider getting it redone.

Refresh Your Yard

Move onto your yard in order to add a noticeable amount of appeal to your home. Get your yard work tools out of your self storage unit and trim, cut, feed, weed, mulch, plant and groom your garden and shrubbery for a fresh makeover. Collect all of your clippings and put them in a bag to be picked up by your community. If you don’t have any flowers already, head to your home department or garden store to add some color to your yard.

Make Your Windows Shine

In order to let all of the glorious natural light of spring into your home, make sure your windows are ready. Replace any broken panes and clean windows from both the inside and outside. All you need is some fresh water, vinegar, detergent and a lint-free rag or squeegee.

Put on a Fresh Coat of Paint

If throughout your cleaning you’ve noticed that your home’s paint job is starting to look aged, consider giving it a fresh coat. A fresh coat of paint helps increase your home’s value and is easily the most noticeable way to make your home’s appeal sparkle.

If you’ve decided to take a proactive approach to spring cleaning in order to increase your home’s appeal then these steps are sure to help. Don’t forget, the less cluttered your home is during staging, the more likely prospective buyers will be able to picture themselves building a home there. If you’re simply cleaning to prepare for the warmer months, then keep an eye out for out-of-season clothes and décor or things you simply don’t use often. A storage unit is a perfect way to keep things accessible but out of the way. The Lock Up Self Storage has something for everyone’s budgets and are all secure and climate controlled. Head over to www.thelockup.com to browse the selections in your area today.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Self-Storage Facility

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interior of generic self storage unit

People use self-storage facilities for endless reasons. They are far more commonly owned than people may think. For instance, if you need to downsize, if your home just doesn’t have enough storage, if you’re moving or if you’re flipping homes you’ll need a storage unit.

If you find yourself in need of a self-storage unit, make sure that you do some research first. It’s important to ask questions and make an educated decision based on your individual needs and the amenities of the company you’re interested in. Luckily, we’ve come to the rescue with our list of the top 10 questions to ask your self-storage facility before making a decision.

  1. Do you have security code access?

When storing your things in a self-storage unit, it’s important to know that things will stay secure. The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your valuables are safe. That’s why one of the first questions you should ask your self-storage facility is whether or not there is a security code accessible gate.

Having this type of gate allows you to store your things in a private facility that cannot be accessed by anyone who does not own their own unit. When you have a computer-controlled security code access it means that you can be sure only customers will be entering the lot. Another benefit of security code access is that it actually records each and every access – verifying who enters and at what time. Since all of the activity is recorded, it deters potential theft between neighbors and allows you to check the activity log if tragedy strikes.

In addition to security code access, you can ask if your self-storage facility has any options for digital video recording or CCTV monitoring security. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, cameras deter thieves. It’s as simple as that. Second, if there is any type of break in, it will be recorded and logged so that the police have a greater chance of identifying and prosecuting them.

  1. Are there alarms pre-installed in each unit?

The second question you should ask your self-storage facility is whether or not there are individual alarms installed in each storage unit. This is important because sometimes, the facility will have an alarm simply for the building and not for each unit. When you have individual alarms, it is easier to realize whose unit was broken into and helps identify the police faster. There are benefits to both, and you might not need individual alarms, but you should ask so that you know what you are paying for.

When it comes to individual alarms, keep in mind that you can often be notified immediately. It is essentially a burglar alarm for your storage unit. There are a lot of benefits to having these types of alarm systems at self-storage units, but usually if a company doesn’t have individual alarms it is because they have taken other measures to ensure that your unit is safe. You can also install your own remotely monitored alarm system if you’d like. This way, you can monitor your things from your mobile device.

Like we said, it all comes down to personal preference so keep this on the list to ask your self-storage facility and go from there.

  1. Are there any deals or specials currently running?

So, now that you understand the security of the company you’re looking at, it’s time to figure out pricing. The best way to approach this is to ask if there are currently any deals or specials. Some facilities run continuous deals for new tenants, some run big discounts depending on the season or event and some do both. The best way to find out is to simply ask.how to find a self storage unit

For example, at The Lock Up Self Storage there are always rental discounts and special offers. One running offer is a free-moving truck with every new lease to help you get your things comfortably into storage.

  1. Can I lock in this price or will it increase over time?

It’s always frustrating when you sign up for something because of the price… only to find out that it will continually increase over time. Therefore, make sure you ask your self-storage representative this question. If you sign into a contract, will you price remain the same? What about if you don’t want to sign up for a long term contract and prefer to determine your needs month-by-month? Each of these things will make a difference.

One thing to consider before asking about prices is what your needs actually are. Consider how much space you really need in order to store your items safely. It’s no surprise that more space is usually more expensive, so it’s important to only rent what you need. If you’re a bit lost, see if there is anyone on staff that can help you determine your needs. The best self-storage facilities offer different sizes so that you don’t get stuck paying for wasted space.

  1. Are the units climate controlled?

Regardless of what you need to store in your unit, you’ll probably want to find something that’s climate controlled. The benefits of storing things in controlled climates far surpass non-controlled units. Climate controlled units allow you to store a variety of your objects without worrying about them being damaged due to extreme temperatures. You are able to personally control your temperature, which also helps with moisture control and decreases damages to your items.

If you live in an area with a steady climate that doesn’t reach extreme temperatures, you may be able to pass on climate-controlled units. The price differences vary; so if you want to save a few dollars consider your location. Usually, your self-storage facility will be honest with you about whether or not you’ll benefit from a climate-controlled unit.

  1. Is there a manager on duty or at least on call every day of the week?

Sometimes things happen and you’ll want to talk to a manager. Maybe you’re having a problem with your unit or an emergency is happening. Whichever it may be, ask your prospective companies whether or not there will be a manager that is on duty every day during the week. If they’re not on duty and working on site, see if they are able to be on call for emergencies. Oftentimes you’ll find that family owned and operated companies are more readily available for their customers.

  1. If I need to talk to someone, will it be with a local employee or someone at a call center?

This question falls in line with the aspect of speaking to a manager. However, it relates more to localized personal rather than higher up positions. Imagine you need to speak with someone so you give the company a call at their number. Sometimes, it is directed to a call center with foreign workers who might not understand your personal question because it deals with a localized aspect. It can be a little frustrating talking to someone new each time who doesn’t understand the problems associated with your city or storage facility location. Big companies might even have automated answering systems, which we all loathe. Ask your facility if there is a local number to call or if you’ll need to go through a call center. There are pros and cons to both, but again, you’ll want to know the answer prior to committing.

  1. Can I set up payments online?

People have started moving from paying paper bills to completely online payments. It’s convenient, saves paper and allows you to set up automatic payments. With the rise of online business, it’s very likely that how to find a self storage unityou’ll be able to pay for your storage unit online. However, it’s important to ask just to be sure. It would be very difficult to manage your unit from across the country, or even the world, with paper bills.

  1. Is my unit accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

When you have full access to a storage unit it means that you’re able to access it regardless of the time of day or day of the year. For some people, this isn’t important. For others, it’s everything. Make sure that you ask your prospective facility whether or not you’ll have access to your things after store hours have ended.

  1. Is there action taken against pest control

Finally, talk to your self-storage facility about pest control. It often goes overlooked when thinking about long-term self-storage, but it can make a huge difference. If you’re storing clothes or other fabrics, pest control can help make sure that you’re items aren’t ruined by moths and other pesky pests. Ask them if this is an option or what they do to help prevent pest invasions.

If you’re looking for a great self-storage facility that can answer all of these questions and more then head on over to The Lock Up Self Storage. The Lock Up Self Storage is a family owned and operated self-storage facility that has been in business since 1976. We have tons of different options for each and every budget and need. All of our units are climate controlled and have video monitoring for added security. Give us a call today so we can walk you through our process, or head over to www.thelockup.com.

How to Store Antique Furniture

how to store antiques

Antique furniture is a great asset to many people’s lives. They can be family heirlooms, conversation starters or precious collections from special moments in your life. Whatever they may be, they’re always fragile. Weathering, deterioration and time take a toll on our furniture and we need to take that into consideration.

This is especially true when you look into storing your antique furniture. You may need to store your furniture if you’re going through a move, downsizing temporarily or redesigning your home. Whatever the reason, make sure you do it right. Take a look at our tips on how to store antique furniture to ensure that you keep it in great shape.

Environment Matters

Storing your every day furniture requires a certain controlled environment. It is no different with antique furniture. In fact, it is much more important to pay attention to the environmental conditions of your storage fachow to store antique sideboardility with delicate pieces, as they tend to be affected much easier. For this reason, we recommend avoiding storage in the basement or in attics, as neither are optimally controlled environments. In order to keep your antique furniture looking like new, take the following factors into consideration.

 

Air Moisture

One of the most harmful things for your antique furniture is a high level of humidity. This is especially true if your antique furniture is made of wood. When wood furniture is exposed to high levels of moisture in the air, the pores and fibers begin to expand and burst. When the levels of moisture are too low, wood dries out and cracks. The more the levels of moisture in the air change, the more likely that the integrity of your wood will be beyond repair. If you’re storing your antiques, you can combat damage with controlling the levels of moisture in the air. Find a climate controlled unit and your humidity will remain constant.

Temperature

Having control of the temperature when you go to store your antique furniture is important. This is why it is not recommended to store in your home, as things fluctuate with the changing seasons and preferences of your family. Luckily, it’s easy to find a self-storage facility with temperature control. Find one that maintains a constant temperature somewhere between 50-80 degrees. This will help keep your antique furniture preserved for years to come.

Light Exposure

There are three different types of lights, a mixture of both natural and artificial, which can cause damage to your furniture. This happens slowly over time but once this damage is done, it is irreversible. It’s more important for antique furniture than other pieces of furniture, since they are likely to have already gone through years of bad exposure. In order to limit any more damage, finding a storage unit with lighting control is ideal. The best option is finding an indoor self-storage unit so that you can limit and control the light that reaches your things. Avoid any ultraviolet lighting conditions, as they are the most damaging to antique furniture. Additionally, try to find a unit with no florescent lighting. Whenever you can control is best. When storing your furniture make sure that the lights in your unit remain off – save energy and your furniture at the same time. You can even go the extra mile and cover your furniture with light-blocking materials.

Security

Sometimes storage units are located in less than ideal areas and don’t take any additional security measures to protect your things. Find a self-storage unit that goes the extra mile. Look for companies that have alarm systems in place, CCTV accessibility and connectivity to the local police.

Handle With Care

how to store antiquesThe next thing you want to remember is that you need to handle your antique furniture with care. While the storage conditions are important, making sure that items are not damaged during the move into storage is even more important. Imagine damaging your antiques, storing them and only realizing so once you start moving things out again. It would be devastating, and a costly investment for less than ideal pieces of furniture. Value of antiques decline as the damage increases, so if you’re storing for monetary value this is even more important. 

Clean

We first recommend cleaning all of your antique furniture. This will take off layers of built up dust and make sure that things go into storage in their best conditions.

You can start by simply wiping down all of your furniture with a clean cloth. Afterwards, make sure you use a material-specific type of cleaner for each of your items. Don’t clean wood with a glass cleaner and vice versa. Each piece of antique furniture has a unique composition and in order to keep things in good condition, you should not ignore this. After using the right cleaner, wipe down your furniture one more time to make sure that you’ve removed any harsh chemical residue.

After you wipe everything down and clean it, make sure you give your furniture an adequate amount of time to properly dry. If you skip this step, you could end up with trapped moisture, mold, discoloration and irreversible damage.

Prepare

After you clean everything, you’ll want to prepare your antique furniture for storage. The easiest way to do this is by disassembling anything that you can so that transportation is easy and you decrease your chances of damage. For anything that’s large and has drawers, make sure that they are empty. You can then remove the drawers for transportation in order to decrease the weight of your move. If you have tables, beds or sofas that have removable parts, take them off. It will make storage easier and will reduce the strain on your items over time.

Cover

Next, you’ll want to make sure that things are adequately covered for storage. Protecting your furniture with the right materials will decrease the amount of dust buildup in storage along with reducing damage from things touching. Each type of furniture usually has a material that works best with it, but as a general rule: never cover your furniture in plastic. Antique furniture needs to be able to breathe and if you restrict the airflow you could end up with more problems than you’d think.

For instance, when you store things covered in plastic, you’ll open up your furniture to mold, mildew, cracking, splitting, warping and an all around bad smell. This trapped moisture can accumulate even if you’ve made sure that everything was 100% dry prior to storage. Another problem that occurs is the finish getting stuck to your furniture. This means, when you take off the plastic, the finish will come off with it and you’ll need to refurbish everything.

You can do a little bit of research on which type of cover is best for each material, however blankets, soft cloths and furniture pads are always a great option. 

Store Carefully

Just as you need to take special care in preparing your antique furniture for storage, you should take special care in actually putting things into your unit. Consider the following tips.

Organize

After you’ve taken the required measures to prepare your antique furniture, it’s time to consider your storage options. How you put your furniture into a storage unit does matter. It’s almost like a puzzle and you’ll want to remember that once it’s full, things in the back are difficult to access. In order to keep accessibility easy for items that you may need, keep them out until last so that they can be stored at the front of your unit.

Protect

Never, ever, ever stack your antique furniture. It is a risk that you Don't stack antique furnituredon’t want to take. While it does save a ton of space in your unit, stacking furniture can cause permanent imprints on each other. Stacking furniture is also one of the most common reasons that antiques end up breaking. They are old, and can’t hold up as much pressure as they once could. Stay safe and keep furniture in the position they were intended for. You can also leave some space between each piece of your furniture so that you can allow airflow to move throughout your unit. Doing this also gives you a layer of security in accidental damage.

Consider Insurance

Finally, even if you’ve taken all of the safety measures in ensuring that your antique furniture is safe and sound, you should consider insurance. Things don’t always go as planned, and if your furniture is valuable you’ll want to protect it. Insure your antique furniture prior to storage so that your things are protected from the beginning. It is not as expensive as you might think and can protect against a myriad of disasters.

If you are considering storing your antique furniture, always make sure that you find a storage unit you can trust. At The Lock Up Self Storage, we offer climate controlled and secured storage units that will perfectly compliment your storage needs. We have a multitude of different options for each personalized budget and storage needs. It’s an investment that is sure to pay off, especially when storing precious antique furniture. Visit www.thelockup.com to look through all of our available self-storage units.

12 Storage Tips for Your Small Home

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creating storage in your small home

Whether you’ve just moved or are just looking to optimize the space you have, living in a small home can make it tough to find a place for everything. We live in a world of materialism and consumerism and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it leaves us with a lot of stuff. Finding the perfect place for everything becomes an art form. 

In order to take advantage of our living space by keeping our things out of the way, it’s important to optimize your storage. That’s why we’ve put together our tried and true top storage tips for people living in smaller homes. The best part? You can apply these tips to any size home to maximize your living space.

1. Entryway Storage

When you first walk through your door, you want to immediately get the warm feeling of being home. Unfortunately, this feeling can quickly turn sour if your entry way is a mess and you start tripping over shoes, coats and miscellaneous objects thrown every which way. Having an organized and efficient entryway is a great way to keep your mood elated when leaving and entering your home.

If you have a closet near the entryway, use it! Keep coats, shoes and outwear inside the closet and out of the way. You can add a shoe rack on the floor for even more organization or you could insert a cube shelve to make the closet more of a recessed mudroom.

If you have the space for it, consider getting, or building, a mudroom bench. These are amazing and improve the functionality and style of your entryway. Mudroom benches have hooks, a ceiling high shelf and a bench that flips open for extra storage. This means not only do you have a place to put everything, but you also have a place to sit down and take off your wet, sometimes dirty, outerwear without making a mess and trying to balance on one foot.

2. Functional Furniture

Our favorite way to help increase the storage in smaller homes is by investing in multi-functional furniture. These designs have come a long way and are now sleek and completely disguisable. Check out some of these great ideas to add storage to any room.

Storage Bed

Gone are the days of throwing everything underneath the bed only to have to get on your hands and knees and rummage through a field of dust bunnies to find something. Now they specifically make beds for storage! 

You can purchase a bed frame that has shelves included underneath so that your room stays looking stylish, yet functional.

Coffee Tables

Coffee tables are the staples of our living rooms, but they have the potential to be so much more. If you have a really small home (i.e., sans dining room), you can find coffee tables that extend up and out to ergonomically reach your body. These can double as desks or even kitchen tables if you’re really tight on space.

There are so many coffee tables you can find that include secret drawers, beautiful shelves and tons of space.

Ottomans

small storage space ideas

If you’re more of an ottoman type of person, never fear. There are more amazingly functional ottomans than you can even start to imagine. Most simply have a removable top, or hinged lid, so that you can stash your favorite blankets, books or magazines.

If you’re looking to make a change, ottomans are great because they’re versatile. They can be used as a seat, a footrest, a coffee table and now a storage bin.

3. Utilize Wall Space

If you have a small home, stop looking for floor space to store things. Instead, turn to your walls. Hanging things on your wall doesn’t have to be just for decoration. Make it functional and hang everything you can.

Coat Rack

If you’re short on closets or simply don’t have the room to sacrifice one for outwear, install a coat rack. Coat racks keep everything organized and out of the way.

Hanging Shelves

If your home doesn’t have many shelves, hang some up! Use them to store books, art, office supplies and more. Make them functional and decorative to get the most out of your wall space while increasing your home’s décor.

4. Custom Closets

One of the most effective ways of increasing storage space in smaller homes is to make your closets as efficient as possible. Take a plain, boring closet with clothing rods and transform it into something you’d see on an HGTV show. They sell tons of DIY options at Home Depot and Lowe’s, or you can hire a professional to come in and make some changes. Get inspiration here, and see how you can store so much more than you thought possible while still being organized.

5. Under the Stairs

Space under the stairs often goes without notice. Whether you have an open staircase design or something that is closed off, the opportunities are endless. If it’s open, thinkunder the stairs storage ideas about transforming it into a home office space, or add hanging shelves on the underside opposite of the stairs. If you have a closed staircase, see if there is a possibility of using the reclaimed space. You might need to call a carpenter for this, but it will be worth it if you need the space.

6. Reclaimed Space

Along with reclaimed space under the stairs, homes are often filled with a lot of opportunities to reclaim space that people never realize.

Wall Dresser

A really cool option would be making a dresser out of reclaimed space in bedrooms. This is a little unique, but if you have the space it would free up massive amounts of space in your bedroom.

Bookshelf

Bookshelves are one of the best ways to use reclaimed space. This is because you can include breaks in the bookshelf when you come across a stud without compromising aesthetics. You can add a bookshelf across an entire wall, or just use small areas of reclaimed space for a more modern feel.

7. Garage Storage

If you have a small house that happens to have a garage, take advantage of every inch possible. Garage space is good for more than just storing cars. Consider installing a pegboard to hang things or to use in place of a toolbox. You can also install rafters along the ceiling for unique and easy-to-get-to storage containers. This is a great option because it doesn’t compromise any space in your garage.

8. Baskets, Baskets, Baskets!

We love baskets. They are great for getting the most out of your storage space on shelves, under side tables and more. When you use a basket, you are able to utilize more vertical space than using the shelf alone. Plus, it keepsbaskets for small storage things out of sight, so they don’t have to be perfectly organized inside of baskets. Use them in your kitchen, living room, bathroom, entryway and more. You can also get a great variety of colors and patterns to match your current home décor. 

9. Smart Drawers and Shelving

Have you ever looked at those small spaces in between things and thought about how much of a waste they are? Think about the small places between the oven and the end of the counter or the refrigerator and the wall. Consider installing some smart drawers to optimize these spaces. There are vertical drawers that go in smaller, often unused spaces, in order to give you more storage. You can store everything from spices and seasonings to oils and vinegars. It’s a perfect way to be able to see everything you have rather than having them take up space in a horizontal drawer where you have to pull each one out in order to find what you’re looking for.

10. Divide Rooms

If you are living in a small home, one thing you probably deal with is a lot of multi-functioning rooms. If you’d prefer to have smaller spaces dedicated for specific areas, then consider adding a large bookshelf to serve as a room divider. You’ll create two livable spaces out of one and add a ton of additional shelving and storage options. Remember, if you don’t have a large book collection you can always turn to baskets.

11. High Storage

A great way to get more use out of your floor space is turning to high storage. Add shelves or cubbies along your ceiling in order to keep things out of the way. Putting things above eye level will make your home feel larger without sacrificing storage space.

12. Use Your Bathroom

Finally, don’t be afraid to use your bathroom for storage. A lot of people prefer using a separate closet for their towels, extra toiletries and appliances, but you can save a ton of space by keeping these close by. Look into over the toilet cubbies, high ceiling storage and under the sink storage.   

If you’re still struggling with finding enough room in your home, consider renting a storage unit. It’s a great place to keep all of the things you don’t use frequently throughout the year. The best part about the storage units at The Lock Up Self Storage is that they are climate controlled, secure and affordable. Head on over to www.thelockup.com today to see how we can help you make the most out of your living space.

Sources:

https://www.topdreamer.com/12-storage-tips-for-your-small-home/

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/37-easy-ways-to-add-storage-to-every-room

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/13/storage-ideas_n_4589949.html

How to Properly Store Wine

How to Properly Store Wine

Storing wine is an art. Regardless of what you might think, it actually makes a difference on whether your wine tastes sour and spoiled or refined and crisp. Each and every wine bottle should be taken care to ensure that the taste remains as it’s intended to. Properly storing wine goes a long way, whether you’re a wine connoisseur, restaurateur, or collector. 

However, a lot of people don’t know how to store wine the proper way. That’s why we’ve put together everything you need to know about storing wine in this guide.

Before Opening

Most of your storage needs for wine are probably going to be for pre-opened bottles. Once you open a bottle, the storage conditions needed to maintain an optimized taste are vastly different and for much shorter periods of time. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or not, these tips will help you get the most out of your collection. 

Keep it in the Dark

Wine loves being stored away in the dark. This is due to the ability of light to change the chemical composure of wine… in a pretty negative way. Direct sunlight and UV rays not only change the smell of the wine, but they also impact the flavor. If you’ve ever opened a bottle of wine and been surprised by the odor, and even more thrown off by the taste, chances are that it’s been spoiled by light.

Regardless of the tint of the bottle, light can still get in. Make sure that your wine is stored in a dark place to maintain the quality.

Store Bottles Horizontally

horizontal wine storageEver wonder why all wine racks that are sold are made so that the bottles are stored on their sides? It’s not just for decorative reasons. It is actually so that wine is always in contact with the cork. When wine is stored upright, no liquid is touching the cork so it dries out. When the cork dries out, it shrinks and allows air to enter the bottle and get into the wine. This exposure to air causes wine to spoil over time, so always store your bottles horizontally.

Keep the Temperatures Consistent

One of the most important things that all wine connoisseurs can agree on is the temperature of where you store your wine. Since temperature fluctuations are one of the main reasons that wine goes bad prematurely, this storage tip should never be overlooked.

If your wine were stored somewhere too hot, it ages much faster than you’d expect. While this isn’t detrimental at first, if the temperature continues to rise your wine may reach the level of being “cooked.” This means that it has oxidized and the aromas and flavors have flattened out. If your wine becomes “cooked” it isn’t likely that you’ll actually enjoy drinking it when the time comes.

Additionally, if your wine is stored somewhere that is too cold, your corks can dry out. When this happens, air can get into the bottles and damage the structural integrity of the wine. If your wine reaches freezing temperatures, the cork is likely to completely come out. This means a big mess for you and no more drinkable wine.

Most experts agree that the perfect temperature to store your wine is at 55 degrees. This should be kept as stable as possible because consistent fluctuations in temperature will damage the chemical processes of aging wine.

Keep Humidity at 70%

In addition to temperature control, you’ll want to monitor the amount of humidity for wine storage. The ideal amount is 70% so that your cork doesn’t dry out. When your cork dries out, air gets in and quality goes out. Spoiled wine is no good, so aim for 70%.

It should also be noted that too much humidity is dangerous as it promotes mold growth. While this won’t affect the quality of your wine, it will damage your labels and make things feel pretty nasty.

Don’t move the wine

This tip is not as well known as some of the others we’ve mentioned, but you should avoid moving your wine too much once you place it in storage. When wines are bottled from the winery they contain differing amounts of sediment in them and when they’re moved the sediments don’t have a chance to fully settle.

There are mixed reviews on whether small vibrations make a difference, but the more you move your wine the less likely it is that those sediments will settle. This means that when you do decide to enjoy a bottle, you might experience an unpleasant amount of grittiness.

Isolate Wine Storage

Wine storage should only be used to store wine, nothing else. If you store it with other things, especially things with strong odors, the odors will actually permeate through the cork. This will taint your wine and you may even be able to taste other flavors when you go to drink the wine. Garlic mixed with a Cabernet does not sound appealing. To avoid any chance of your wine absorbing unwanted flavors, isolate your storage. Proper ventilation also helps combat this, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Time Matters

Different types of wine will have different storage times for optimal excellence. Not all wines can be stored for years on end. Some can be stored for over 20 years and some should be consumed before 2 years.

Typically speaking, you should be storing your red wines anywhere from 2 years to 10 years in order to properly age them. Each type of red wine has a specific aging period, so make sure that you research before storing. On the other hand, most white wines have an optimal storage period of 2-3 years. It all comes down to the blend and type because of the unique chemical balances for each wine.

Bring to Serving Temperature

Finally, when you’re ready to serve your wine, make sure that you adjust the temperatures. Every wine has a specific temperature where taste is optimized and it is usually not the same as what temperature they need to be stored at. Let the temperatures adjust before serving to get the most out of your wine.

Storage Options

There are a few different options when it comes to where you can store your wine. Some people have rooms in their homes professionally built into wine cellars and others only have room, and money, to keep a few bottles at a time. Here are some great storage options for you to consider. wine cooler

Wine Cooler

With a wine cooler, you can shop different sizes and shapes in order to find something that fits your home. They’re discrete and thanks to technology, extremely efficient.

Basement

Basements make a surprisingly successful place for at-home wine storage. Since they are underground, they are cooler and usually windowless (unless you have a walk-out basement). As long as you’re keeping wine away from the furnace, you should be fine. Just make sure to test the temperature and levels of humidity prior to storing large amounts of wine.

Makeshift Closet Wine Cellar

If you don’t have the space for a wine cooler, and your home is lacking a basement, consider making some adjustments to one of your closets. Closets are often cooler than your living spaces and, as long as the light is turned off, are dark and isolated. If you have a spare closet and want your wine kept close, consider making the transformation. 

Professional Wine Storage

The best option if you truly want to preserve your wine, without paying a fortune to install The Lock Up Wine Storageyour very own wine cellar, is to invest in professional wine storage. Whether you’re a wine collector, investor or restaurateur, investing in a proper storage will save you time, money and sanity. The Lock Up Self Storage offers professional wine storage with controlled temperatures of 55 degrees and humidity levels of 70%. We offer advanced control systems and a high level of security so you never have to worry about your wine.

After Opening

After you open and enjoy your wine, storage needs change. When you open a white wine, you can store it in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days. You can extend this by taking some precautions, but it’s best to consume it sooner rather than later.

For red wines, all you need to do is put the cork back in the bottle and place it in a dark area. You can leave this wine out without worrying about it spoiling, at least for a few days.

Conclusion

Having a professional storage unit for your wine is a great investment. If you improperly store your wine, the chances of you losing your investment are much higher than that of a unit. In order to ensure that your wine is secured safely, The Lock Up Self Storage uses security-controlled gates, electronically coded access points and 24-hour camera monitoring. When you’re in need of a reliable and effective place to store your wine collection, look no further than The Lock Up Self Storage. Check out some of our units at www.thelockup.com. You can also stop by any of our locations to see our units in person. 

Resources:

https://www.wikihow.com/Store-Wine

https://www.rd.com/food/fun/how-to-properly-store-wine/

https://learn.winecoolerdirect.com/how-to-store-your-wine/

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/45577

http://www.wineracksamerica.com/Content/storage_tips.html

https://www.winecountrygiftbaskets.com/blog/how-to-properly-store-your-wine.asp

Top 5 Home Upgrades With the Most ROI When You Move

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Best ROI for Selling a Home

Moving can be a hectic time for everyone. One of the hardest aspects of moving is making sure that you get what you deserve for your home. In order to do this, you’ll want everything in great shape. If you’ve lived there for a while, it may be time to take a look at some home upgrades prior to putting a listing on the market in order to ensure this.

Luckily, we’ve put together a great list of our top 5 home upgrades that will give you the highest return on your investments.

  1. Remodeling

Remodeling is one of the best things that you can do to increase the value of your home. It is an opportunity to give a room a complete makeover and start from scratch. Remodels are especially important if you have old, outdated appliances or a kitchen that looks like it’s stuck in the 80’s.

As we move through time, interior design and housing models have become more contemporary. People love walking into a home with trendy features and an open floor plan. If you’re stuck on where to start, check out some of our suggestions for remodeling room-by-room.

Interior Design

Let’s start with simple interior design. As we mentioned, trends come and go but a lot of them can be easily achieved through interior design planning.

One of the best solutions to increase your home’s value is simply by painting. It transforms your home and instantly makes each room look up to date. Before painting, check with a few professionals and see what colors are popular right now. However, it’s important to keep in mind that neutral colors tend to appeal to more people than bright, vibrant ones. In addition, replace any old wallpaper in your home.

If you have one of those popcorn ceilings, think about removing it. It is outdated and a lot of people see them as eyesores. Luckily, removing them are easy DIY projects – just make sure to get them tested for asbestos before you begin.

Next, take a long look at your carpets. If they make you cringe, chances are they will have the same effect on any potential buyers. If they’re beyond the point of no return, look into replacing them. Otherwise, hire a professional cleaner.

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels go a long way. This is partially due to the fact that the kitchen is a very commonly used area of the house and also because efficiency matters in this room. If your appliances are old or extremely unsightly, start there. Stainless steel can do wonders for simple transformations. Other ideas would be knocking down a wall for a more open floor plan that connects the kitchen to the dining room or giving your cabinets a new paint job. You don’t have to break the bank for this transformation.

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodels are a great way to instantly increase the value of your home. It’s one of the areas that buyers can tell whether or not you’ve put effort into it. This is because the bathroom is one of the areas of your home that gets used the most. However, bathroom remodels can be expensive. So, in order to move forward with a remodel that doesn’t break the bank, consider the basics. Some things you can do would be to upgrade the countertops, transform your shower and consider replacing your tile.

Spare Rooms

One great way to instantly add wow-factor to your home is by turning spare rooms into something useful. For example, property value tends to increase along with the number of bedrooms. If you have some areas of your house that are unused, but show potential, consider turning them into bedrooms. Think about the attic space, garage or even a large basement for these transformations.

  1. Eco-Friendly Upgrades

One sure-fire way to increase the value on your home is by going green. In today’s day and age, everyone is thinking about the environment. Not only will it give you a large ROI when you move, but it will also cut your energy bills back while you’re still there.

Solar Panels

Solar panels are a long-term investment. If you are considering going this route, think about doing it prior to putting your home on the market. This way, you will reap some of the benefits. They are a high initial cost, but come with significant savings on energy bills. Due to this, your home will likely sell for much more than it would have without panels.

Attic Insulation

One of the easiest and most cost effective, eco-friendly upgrades is simply adding the proper insulation to your attic. Surprisingly, most homes in the United States currently don’t have adequate insulation, therefore their energy bills are huge. Find out what is the perfect amount for your home and your energy efficiency will skyrocket.

Programmable Thermostats

These are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Just program your thermostat to change in the morning, at nights and when you are usually out of the house for longer periods of time. It saves money and is great for the environment.

Window Replacements

Old windows can be the leading factor of costly energy bills. They may no longer be sealed properly and use glass that doesn’t do much for refracting light. Check out some of the new, high energy efficient windows available and make the switch. It will also add a boost of curb appeal to your home and buyers are sure to notice the difference.

  1. The Great Outdoors

Another great way to increase your ROI when you move is by sprucing up your home from the outside. This is important no matter where you live, since chances are at some point in the year it’s nice enough to hangout outside. For now, we’ll focus on the back of the house.

Backyard Patio or Deck

One of the best things to make sure that your home has is a patio or deck. This is because both patios and decks provide your family with a place to relax, barbeque and spend quality time together. They also serve as a sort of transition from inside to outside and create a smooth, seamless feeling when walking in or outside. Depending on the material you use, adding either of these (or sprucing up existing ones) can help increase your property value.

Landscaping

Additionally, the landscaping in the back of your home should not be ignored. While potential buyers won’t see it when initially passing by your home, it adds a great amount of value when they step out onto the deck. No body wants to walk onto a beautiful deck just to look at drab landscaping. One great idea is if your yard doesn’t have a fence then consider planting trees along your property line for a more natural and appealing option.

  1. General Repairs and Upgrades

One of the most generic, but necessary, home upgrades you can do is simply checking your home’s structural stability and existing appliances. This gives you a huge ROI because most of these aren’t too costly to do. However, since most people don’t want to move into a home that needs repair work or upgrades, taking these steps will help increase your property value ten-fold. Check out some great recommendations here.

  1. General Curb Appeal

Finally, you should pay special attention to what your home looks like from the front. This is because if a home doesn’t appeal to prospective buyers from the outside, the chances of them looking inside is very low. Take these small steps in order to increase your home’s appeal.

Paint

Painting your home gives you one of the highest returns on investment. It makes your property value skyrocket and can be the difference between one offer and ten. Choose a neutral color and give the exterior of your home a makeover.

Siding

Siding is another aspect you should consider. It tends to bring about an 85% ROI and helps make your home much more attractive to buyers. Try going with a cement-mix siding rather than vinyl or other low cost materials, as it will last longer and look cleaner.

Landscape

Landscape has a positive effect on curb appeal. Whatever you can do to add a wow-factor to your home will make people stop and give it a second look. While it won’t take your property value through the roof, it is a great way to reel people in.

Powerwash

Borrow or rent a power-washer and give your sidewalks and driveways a good clean prior to putting your home on the market. It’ll take off years of wear and tear.

As you begin with these upgrades to improve your ROI when you move, don’t forget the importance of renting a storage unit. It’s always much easier to work with a clean, clutter free area and you never want to risk damaging your furniture or existing appliances. Additionally, when staging your home it is better to have less out than more, so having a storage unit handy is ideal. The Lock Up Self Storage has tons of options for all price ranges. Additionally, of the units are climate controlled and ready for move in. Head over to www.thelockup.com to browse the selections.

Sources:

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/which-home-improvements-pay-off

https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/home-improvement/renovations/home-upgrades-payoff

Preparing Your Stuff for Long Term Storage

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Prepping Your Things for Long Term Storage

Life can be an unexpected journey. At some point, you might end up in a situation where you won’t have a permanent home. Or maybe you get an opportunity to move to another country or city for a year or two. Whatever happens, sometimes you need a place to keep all of your things for a while.

That’s where a self-storage unit comes in.

However, you don’t want to just throw everything in a unit and call it a day. If you do this you might come back to an unsightly mess of ruined objects and lost investments. That’s why we want to share our best tips on how to prepare your things for long-term storage.

 

Dust is the Enemy

One of the main things to take into consideration is the accumulation of dust. If you choose a self-storage unit that uses strictly outside accessibility, you will likely see a larger amount of dust. This is because when it is dry and hot outside, it is easier for small debris and dust to enter. One of the best ways to avoid dust accumulation is to find a storage unit that offers indoor accessibility. When there are enclosed hallways involved, the chances of dust accumulation from outdoors is cut down almost 100%.

Be Thorough

Everything that you store will need to be stored differently. In order for your possessions to be kept in pristine condition, you need to be thorough in how you prepare them for storage. While you can keep them all in the same unit, the preparation will be vastly different depending on what it is and the materials used to make it. Here are some tips for storing the following items:

Furniture

Furniture can be difficult to prepare for storage. It is large and can easily get dented or damaged during the move. In order to store furniture like a pro you should first clean each item as best as you can. Empty out all of the drawers – never use them as places to store extra things – and vacuum the interior. Clean all of the surfaces and let it dry completely. If you don’t let it dry, expect mold in your future. To go above and beyond, look into spraying your favorite pieces with a protection spray or conditioner.

Take large things apart and wrap extending pieces in bubble wrap. If you end up taking things apart and have a collection of screws or other hardware, put all of the small pieces in a plastic bag and tape it to your items or place in a corresponding drawer. Finally, wrap everything in white sheets, light blankets or custom furniture covers and secure them in place.

Appliances

If you plan on storing any appliances, you’ll want to make sure you take extra care since they can be costly to replace. The first thing you want to do is to make sure that all appliances are empty and that any freezer or refrigerator is defrosted. Disinfect all of the surfaces to remove any unpleasant odors. When you empty everything, make sure you also check connected hoses and any other area that may have water buildup. When you place them in your storage unit, leave the doors open just slightly so that they can breathe.

Clothes

One problem with storing clothes is that all types of clothing needs to be stored differently depending on their material. We have a great comprehensive guide to storing clothes here, but some general tips are as followed. First of all, make sure everything is clean, dry and undamaged prior to storing. You’ll want to store delicate items using tissue paper so that they are kept fresh and don’t have any colors transferring. Additionally, consider rolling clothes loosely and storing them in large plastic bins. Make sure that nothing is packed too tightly, as this restricts airflow and can lead to moisture build up and damage over time. Hanging clothes can also damage the shape over time, but if you take this route then make sure you invest in a proper wardrobe box or covered clothes hanger rather than cardboard.

Electronics

If you want to store some of your electronics (DVD players, stereos, etc.) it is always best to do so in boxes. Storing them openly risks the chance of damage and dust accumulating in hard to clean places. If you have the original box that it came in, use that for storage. If you, like many of us, got rid of it after your purchase then find a similar sized box and place it inside. In order to keep it secure, fill the rest of the box with packing peanuts or crumpled paper. Seal the boxes and you’re ready to go.

Mattresses

When storing mattresses, you’ll want to make sure that they will be in good condition whenever you choose to take them back out of storage. The main concern with mattresses, as well as soft-furniture (couches, love seats, etc.), is making sure that they are clean. If there are any signs of infestations, get that taken care of before you put it in storage. You will thank yourself later. Another thing to thoroughly check for are any signs of moisture. Make sure that your mattress is completely dry in order to avoid mold and mildew growth. Then, place your mattress in a custom bag that fits snug. Usually, you can find these bags specifically for mattresses and they provide a higher level of protection. Seal the bag well and place into your unit.

Books

Books can take up a lot of space, but they should still be stored properly in order to extend their shelf life. Make sure that they are as dry as they can be. If you store them with any moisture, you’ll come back to find a moldy, non-readable book. If you have any leather books, place paper in between each one or just wrap the entire thing. This will help avoid any of them sticking together. Next, since books are heavy, arrange them in small boxes as opposed to large ones and you’re all set!

Golden Rules

Whatever you are putting away into storage, there are a few “golden rules” that you should follow. These will make for a seamless and easy transition from your home to your storage unit and eventually back again.

Organize

Keeping everything organized is a great way to ensure that things are stored properly and easy to reach. Try to store heavier items on the floor with lighter items stacked on top. You can even attempt to keep areas of the house in similar areas of your storage unit. If you have any valuable items, we recommend storing them towards the back of your unit for added security while you keep the big furniture closer to the front. Finally, anything that you might need access to should be stored near the very front of your unit.

Label Everything

One of the worst things is when you get back to your unit and have no idea what is in each box. The best way to save time and energy is to label everything. Pack like things with other like things and stick a label on any box that you can’t see inside of. It’s an easy step that you’ll thank yourself for later.

 

 

Climate Control Matters

Always use a storage unit that has climate control when you need to store your things over a long period of time. Otherwise, you risk opening your storage unit to a mess of ruined items. For instance, even if you can’t feel it, humidity is in the air. Over time it can warp, yellow, tarnish, rust and ruin almost all of your items. Additionally, bacterial growth is more common in higher temperatures – which can be combated with a controlled unit. The same goes for any pesky pets or small rodents. It is much less likely that they will flourish in a climate-controlled unit. Better safe than sorry.

Remember Your Bills

One thing that may go overlooked in this process is making sure that you pay your storage bills on time every month. Since you are putting things away in storage for the long haul, you might want to consider an automatic bill payment system. Alternatively, you can ask if it is possible to make advanced payments. Anything that is going to make your life easier is worth looking into!

For whatever reason you need to put your things in long-term storage, never compromise the quality of your storage unit. Renting a climate controlled and secure storage unit is an investment that is sure to pay off when you return to all of your possessions in great condition. At The Lock Up Self Storage, there are tons of different options for each and every budget. Visit www.thelockup.com to look through all of our available self-storage units.Source:

Amazing Tips and Tricks for Preparing Items for Storage

How to Organize Your New Home

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Organizing Your New Home

Moving is a stressful experience.

It takes a lot of time, effort and planning. However, sometimes it’s a necessary evil. Organization should be your first priority in order for you to make your move as stress free as possible. In addition, make sure you unpack as soon as you can. If you don’t, things might continually get pushed back and lead to a house that is never fully unpacked! Set a deadline and do something every day to help you unpack and move in.

In terms of new home organization, some people are naturals and others need a little help. If you’re one of those that need guidance, read on. We’ve put a few of our favorite room-specific tips together in order to make your move easier and organize your new home.

Think Ahead

One of the best ways to get ahead in organizing your new home is to pack strategically. When you do this, you take away tons of unnecessary stress of having to dig through box after box and sort things into their respective places. Instead, we recommend labeling all of your moving boxes and making sure that you pack boxes for each room rather than just throwing everything in at once. After you pack each box, make sure that you label them with writing, stickers or tape. When the boxes are labeled, movers can easily put them into their respective rooms and save you the hassle. Additionally, it is a great idea to put the essentials that you’ll need right away into one box and label it “open first.” This way you make sure that you don’t have to dig through every box to find things that you’ll need right away.

Organize Your New Home by Labeling Boxes

Another important thing to do is to make sure that your new home is completely cleaned before you unpack. The previous owners should have done some cleaning, but after time things can still get a bit dusty. Clean all of your rooms, carpets, lighting fixtures, filters and appliances prior to unpacking any boxes. In addition, install any shelves or storage additions you might need prior to unpacking.

If you haven’t already, decide each rooms’ purpose prior to unpacking. Put all of the larger pieces of furniture in place first and then go from there. This way, you at least have places to sit, eat and sleep while you begin organizing your new home. It’s better to unpack things that you’ll need first rather than smaller, less used, items and decorations.

Kitchen

The kitchen is a great place to start. When you unpack the kitchen first, you forgo any temptation to order unhealthy take-out food night after night. However, it can be a bit difficult to determine how to set up your kitchen for the best functionality. Walk into your new kitchen before you unpack and take a few moments to assess the space. Consider the location of the appliances, cabinets and the pantry. You’ll want to use the space efficiently and put cups, plates, cookware, utensils and food in areas that make sense. For instance, putting your pots and pans near your stove makes much more sense than storing them on the other side of the kitchen. Dedicate certain areas for certain uses so that you can visualize everything prior to unpacking. If you come across any boxes that have holiday kitchen items in them, consider putting them into storage until you need to use them. If you don’t have the space to unpack them, there’s no need to keep them around until the holidays.

Once you unpack your kitchen, you’ll feel a bit more at home. Head to the grocery store, stock up your pantry and put your kitchen to use with some home-cooked meals.

Bedroom

Another area you’ll want to focus on is the bedroom. After a long day of unpacking and organizing, it’s nice to be able to head into your bedroom and feel relaxed. When every thing is still in boxes, it’s hard to get that feeling. Begin by putting all of your large items in their respective places. Consider your floor plan and try a few different arrangements to see what you like best. After you have everything in place, start unpacking your clothing and accessories. When you’re unpacking try out some new organization tricks. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Hang your jewelry instead of using counter space
  • Hang scarves and purses on hooks
  • Add a bookshelf to your closet for shoe storage
  • Get dividers for dressers and closet shelves
  • Put things you don’t use often under your bed or in a storage unit

How to keep clutter out of your closet

Another thing we recommend is letting your children unpack their own bedrooms. Get all of their furniture in place and all of the bigger items, and then let them unpack it like they want. This is a great way for them to build up their personal space and helps distribute the workload. It’s the perfect chance for them to have a fresh start. Try and give them a deadline and offer help if they need it.

Living Room

Your living room brings your family together. It gives you a chance to bond, socialize and relax as a whole. When your living room is filled with boxes, it gives off a feeling of stress and unfinished business. We recommend planning out how your furniture will be arranged prior to moving in to make things go more smoothly, but don’t be afraid to change things up and try new arrangements. You’ll know when you find the right one. After you get all of your big furniture in place, you can start to unpack all of the smaller things. Set up your entertainment center and make plans to hide any cords that you want out of sight. It’s always nice to have a family room to spend quality time in after a long day of unpacking while organizing your new home.

Bathroom

Having a well-organized bathroom is one of the greatest feelings. When you’re packing for your move, go through all of your toiletries and throw away anything that is old, expired or that you never use. This will not only make packing easier, but it will help you stay organized when you start to unpack. You can donate anything that you don’t use or give them to friends and family.

When you start to unpack, consider utilizing vertical storage. This helps keep the bathroom spacious while also making sure everything you need is in arms reach. There are tons of options, but our favorites are shelving units that go over the toilet. These units don’t take up any floor space and give you an ample amount of space to store towels, extra toilet paper and toiletries.

Garage

A garage is a man’s best friend. Make sure that you don’t neglect this space, as it often gets taken for granted. You can use your garage for extra storage or even as a warm place to hangout in the winter months. If you have a large garage and only need space for one car, you have a ton of opportunity. If you’re a bit tighter on space, consider hanging bicycles and storing things high off the ground. You can also install pegboards to keep things organized.

Boxes

You are sure to accumulate quite the collection of boxes during your new home move. Some people prefer to save them for later use while others like to get rid of them as soon as possible. We definitely recommend getting rid of them to keep your home clutter free and organized. Put them online for free pickup and let people know where to find them. Just leave them on your driveway and we guarantee they won’t last long.

Be sure to declutter your moving boxes when organizing new home

You may begin to unpack and realize that you don’t have as much space for storage as you used to. While you can add a few shelves here and there, our best solution is renting out a self-storage unit for anything that you don’t use or need on a daily basis. You can also find a ton of great organization tips here. At The Lock Up Self Storage, we offer weatherproof, climate controlled self-storage units that are sure to fit every budget. Head over to www.thelockup.com to check out our selections.

How to Store Winter Wardrobes for Easy Retrieval

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How to store winter wardrobe

Whether winter is coming or going, chances are you will be making a massive wardrobe change.

It can be hard when you live in such a drastically changing climate, but it doesn’t have to ruin your clothes. Taking a few extra steps when storing your winter clothes each season can make a huge difference.

Properly caring for, and storing, clothes means that you will get more out of them and keep them looking better than ever. It also means that when you need to retrieve your winter clothing, things will go much easier. That’s why we’ve put together our top 5 suggestions to store your winter wardrobe for an easy retrieval.

  1. Preparation

One of the most important things of storing your winter wardrobe for easy retrieval is making sure that everything is cleaned, repaired and organized prior to putting things away. Doing all of these things will make things run much more smoothly when it comes time to take them out of storage.

Donate

It’s inevitable. As each year passes our tastes change along with the differing styles and fashions. What we put away last year may not be our favorite this year. That’s why our first suggestion is to go through all of your clothes and see what you still love and what you might never wear again. Put all of the items you don’t want into a pile and either donate them to charity, hold a garage sale or see if any friends and family would like them. Don’t put them in storage thinking that maybe next year you’ll like it again. The chances of that are slim to none and all it does is take up space and give you more work.

Clean

Once you’ve gone through your clothes and determined what you will be putting away in storage, it’s time to make sure that they are cleaned thoroughly. Dirty clothes can bring about a myriad of problems when you store them for an extended period of time. If your clothes smell bad when you put them away, you’ll not only attract pests but your clothes will also start to produce even more nasty odors and probably begin growing mold or mildew. This is not a fun surprise to find when you open up your storage container the following winter.

Surprisingly, just as dirty clothes cause problems, clothes with perfumes or lotions on them can also cause unwanted results. When an article of clothing that contains one of these is stored, over time the product can cause the fabric to turn yellow, stain or even start to degrade. This is because perfumes and lotions can contain harsh chemicals that aren’t natural for fabrics to come in contact with for long periods of time.

Therefore, make sure that you wash all of your clothes prior to storing them in the hottest water you can that won’t ruin clothing. Remove any stains that are visible so that they don’t get worse during storage and then machine wash all items that don’t need to be professionally cleaned. Get delicate articles of clothing made of cashmere, silk or wool dry cleaned. We also recommend cleaning your shoes since winter is so harsh on them. Remove any salt buildup and polish and condition shoes made with a more delicate material. Taking these steps to clean your wardrobe will ensure that no insects or moths take up residence in your clothing. It also means that all of your clothes will stay safe during the warmer months so you can start the season off right.

Repair

Repair winter clothes before storing themAnother important thing to do prior to storing your clothes is to make sure that everything is in good condition. While you clean, put things aside that seem damaged, ripped or broken. For instance, zippers that don’t work, clothing with missing buttons or rips and shoes that look like they’ve seen better days. If you can’t fix them yourself, take them into a professional. This way, you’ll be 100% prepared and ready to go when winter hits. If you don’t have an interest in fixing them, see if they are in good enough condition to donate or find another way to recycle them.

Organize

Finally, in order for quick and easy retrieval, try to organize your clothes a bit before putting them in storage. Whether you arrange them by material, frequency of use or type of clothing doesn’t matter; just pick whatever works best for you. This is important for when you start to take things out of storage, as you’ll know where everything is.

  1. The Right Containers

Half of storing things correctly is making sure that you use the right containers. For instance, make sure that you take everything out of plastic. That goes for dry cleaning plastic, vacuum-sealed bags or the plastic that new shirts come in. Plastic traps moisture and doesn’t allow your clothing to breathe. This causes your clothes to change color or, if there is moisture inside when you pack them, grow mold. Here’s what we recommend.

  • Plastic Containers

Plastic containers are great to store your clothes in for the summer seasons. They protect your clothes against bugs, humidity and dust. Pack things loosely so that your clothes can breathe and you don’t cause any permanent wrinkles.

  • Canvas Bags

Canvas bags are a great option for all of your more delicate items. This goes for your silk, cashmere and wool outfits, or anything that is meaningful or special to you. Wrap them in tissue paper and put them in a canvas storage bag. Taking this extra step makes a huge difference when storing for the season.

  1. Storing Clothes

Next we move on to actually storing your clothes. Surprisingly, how you store your clothes does make a difference. This is especially true for winter clothing as there are a lot of materials that need a little more TLC. Check out some of our tips for a stress-free process that will leave your clothes looking as good as new next winter.

Folding or Hanging?

Some clothes are best stored folded, while others need to be hung. For instance, never hang your sweaters. They are made from material that can easily become misshapen and droopy. Fold them nicely and store your heaviest sweaters at the bottom of your bins. This ensures that you don’t “squish” other garments. Again, make sure that everything is loosely packed for optimal breathing. Fold winter sweaters for better storage

Additionally, avoid hanging your winter coats as they can also become distorted and unsightly. They also take up a ton of space when they are hung! Zip all the zippers, fasten all the buttons, clean out the pockets and then fold your coats and place all of them in a plastic bin. Storing your coats together will help you organize things and make for an easier retrieval.

For delicate items, like we mentioned, fold them and place tissue paper between each article. This helps reduce wrinkles and avoids the possibilities of colors transferring during the warmer months.

Hang any real furs or delicate dresses. These are basically the only things that need to be on a hanger. Keeping furs hung in a temperature-controlled unit will guarantee that they don’t get ruined. However, it’s important to mention that the type of hanger you use matters. Never hang anything on wire hangers. They stretch fabric and are prone to rusting. They can even damage your clothes since they can have sharper ends. Opt for wooden or padded hangers to make sure your clothes are protected.

For everything else, try rolling them instead of folding. This actually helps with wrinkle control and takes up less space than folding.

Avoid Chemicals

Don't Use Toxic Chemicals When Storing ClothesFinally, avoid using any mothballs or harsh chemicals during storage. While they may be effective, they aren’t always safe. They attract children and pets and are extremely toxic.

Instead, opt for cedar or lavender scents. These get you the same result without the addition of any toxins or chemicals. Plus, your clothes will smell great when you get them out of storage!

  1. Storing Shoes

In addition to properly storing your clothes, it is important to treat your shoes with care. When you follow these steps, your shoes will last you many more winter seasons looking like new.

Boot Trees

Boot trees will help keep your tall boots shapely. Just insert a tree into each boot and you’re ready to go. If you’d like, you can store them in plastic bins or on their own in your storage unit. If you opt for a plastic bin, just make sure to separate each pair using a cotton t-shirt or shoe bag.

Tissue Paper

Putting tissue paper inside of your shoes during storage helps to absorb any unwanted moisture that may accumulate (or was already there). This also helps to keep the shape of your shoes.

  1. Find the Perfect Storage Space

Remember that all of these steps are meant to make the retrieval process easier and stress free. Getting the right containers and choosing the right storage unit are essential in order to make your next winter a breeze.

That’s why one of the most important things you need to do is make sure that your storage space is cool, clean, dark and dry. If not, your clothes will weather and age and the chances of them looking the same as when you put them away are not very high. Investing in a climate controlled storage unit is a great way to keep things looking new.

At The Lock Up Self Storage all of the units are climate controlled, weatherproof, and most importantly, affordable. Head over to www.thelockup.com to check out all of the available options and find something that will fit your winter storage needs.

 

 

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