Friday, February 23, 2018
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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.

 

 

$25 Holiday Special for You from The Lock Up (S)Elf Storage

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Elf Special Self Storage

The holidays are a time filled with the joys of family and friends, but they can also be filled with stress and aggravation. The Lock Up Self Storage understands this and has put together a Holiday Special of low cost self storage units that will help you to make this holiday season the best yet. You know what happens when the holidays come around…gift buying and then trying to find a place to stash the presents out of the prying eyes of curious children (or spouses). Don’t resort to prying open walls in an effort to avoid spoiling holiday gift giving surprises.

The Lock Up has your solution! Announcing the Lock Up Self Storage Holiday Special: from November 22nd, 2017 to December 31st, rent a 5’x5’ unit for as low as $25. A minimum of one month stay is required and availability is limited. If a 5’x5’ size unit is unavailable at your location, another size unit may be substituted for the same price, just talk to the site manager for details.  This Holiday Special is for new rentals only and is available at all Lock Up locations except for Northfield and Lisle Illinois, Honolulu Hawaii, Downtown Sarasota, Downtown Naples and St. Petersburg Florida and Branford Connecticut.

The Lock Up Self Storage’s Holiday Special isn’t just a great way to ensure that your gifts remain a surprise until the moment they are opened, it can also help you celebrate this festive season in style. We all know the holidays are a time for celebrations with friends, family and co-workers, and whenever you need to accommodate a large gathering of folks, the issue of shuffling furniture around becomes a big problem. Well, with The Lock Up’s Holiday Special, you can store furniture or any other items that eat up precious party space. Store your dining room table that only seats four and you’ll finally have the room to put in table large enough for everyone to enjoy a holiday dinner together. Or, have you always wanted to set up the toy train set you inherited from your grandfather, but never had the room to do it?

Move some furniture into a Lock Up Self Storage holiday unit and make the room. Get creative…we all need extra space during the holidays. “Between shopping for gifts, hosting events in your home or office and possibly having out of town guests staying under your roof, you’re bound to feel overwhelmed.  And one of the best ways to alleviate that is to give yourself some breathing room…literally!  Instead of worrying about finding the perfect hiding place for presents, or where you’re going to relocate a room full of furniture to create space for the big party, let us be your solution,” says Andrea Carnes, Vice President of Operations for The Lock Up Self Storage. The Lock Up Holiday Special is a simple, effective and affordable solution to your holiday needs. Don’t forget that The Lock Up will accept deliveries for you. So you can order gifts online without worrying about them showing up and spoiling your surprises! And with new leases, you are allowed to use The Lock Up’s free move-in Truck too, so getting large furniture into your Holiday Special unit will be a breeze. The Lock Up has your holiday needs covered. Just choose your location to the right and RENT a unit online today.

DIY Storage Ideas For Your Next House Flip

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How self storage helps you with your next house flipping project
31060102 - renovate a house.

Sometimes it’s fun to sit in front of your TV and watch dramatic transformations of the homes you’d never imagine could be saved.

Other times, it’s fun to take matters into your own hand and test your skills at home renovation. The fun usually tends to lie in the creativity involved. Maybe you enjoy watching these shows because you want inspiration, or motivation, to find your own creative outlet. However, when you begin your own home flipping project, the creativity transfers to you and trust us, it’s a great feeling.

Along with creativity, the point of renovation for flipping a home is to improve the property and make it better than when you found it. And while it’s a ton of fun, there is definitely a lot of work that goes into it. Along with re-designing, you need to address all of the logistics before you begin. This includes thinking about storage, before, during and even after the project.

Why do you need to consider all of these?

Well, before the project, you’ll want to consider how you can increase the amount of storage that a home has. This is because more home storage, especially when done efficiently, usually relates to an increase in property value. This is an area that you can really get creative with and has the potential of really “wowing” the potential buyer. The opportunities are endless. During the project you will need to utilize a place to store all of the furniture and appliances that occupy the home. Keeping them safe and out of the way will save you money and stress. After the renovation, if you decided to change the look of the home, you may have some furniture and items that just don’t seem to go anymore. Storing them away helps maintain their value. You can look for a new buyer, or even save them for future house flips.

Investing in a self-storage unit is recommended in order to continually have a safe, weatherproof place to store everything. It’s always easier to get things done efficiently when you have the proper space to do it. It also protects you from potentially damaging your furniture and appliances, which saves you money in the long run. The Lock Up Self Storage has multiple different types of storage units available to choose from to help make your house flipping projects easier.

Okay, so once you’ve planned out where you’re going to store everything, the fun part begins. Here are some of our favorite DIY storage ideas to implement in your next house flip.

  • Smarter Use of Space

If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “work smarter, not harder” then you know where we’re going with this. Homes contain so much space that often goes completely unused. At first, you might be wondering where this magical extra space comes from, but the following ideas will help you gain a sense of clarity.

Recessed Walls

With drywall, you often have tons of usable space that is left between the studs. In order to take advantage of this space, think about installing some recessed shelving or walls. While there are restrictions in the dimensions, you can still create things like single shelving, bookshelves or displays. The limits are endless and give you tons of space for storage and interior design.

Staircase

One of the most underrated spaces in homes is the space under the stairs. It has huge potential, but often goes wasted. During your home renovation, work on taking advantage of that space by either installing pull-out drawers or making a small useable space. You can transform it into a reading nook or even a small office. The open space design will make you feel less cramped and gives off a modern design.

Near the Ceiling

This is one of our favorites. It’s takes no floor space away from you and gives you a place to store those things that you don’t use everyday. Try installing shelving that extends all the way to the ceiling. You can do this in a laundry room, bathrooms, an entryway, or even in bedroom closets. When you finally show the house, include some baskets in the shelves to demonstrate that things can be easily pulled out rather than needing a step stool to sort through your items. Take this idea and apply it to your garage as well. People love extra garage storage that doesn’t take away space from their vehicles!

Kitchen Islands

Another great option is upgrading your kitchen islands to be an essential piece of storage for your kitchen. If you don’t currently have one, consider adding one to double your cabinet space. It also gives you more counter space, which can be great for large families and the natural born chefs. It’s a great area to socialize around during get-togethers.

  • Bathrooms

Bathrooms have tons of unused storage potential. One of the greatest areas that go unused is the sink. If your bathroom currently has a freestanding sink, trade it in for a sink cabinet. You’ll add more room for towels, personal hygiene products and extra toilet paper. This can help you by keeping everything that you need close as well as freeing up the area that is currently being used for these products. Our other favorite way to increase the efficiency of your bathroom is by installing a vanity cabinet. This, along with an under the sink cabinet will increase your bathroom storage space 100x over.

  • Open Shelving

We’re moving in the direction of modernization, both with home décor and our lives in general. Bring the home that you’re flipping up to date by utilizing open shelving. This is an exceptional trick, because it not only increases storage space, but also makes your space feel larger than if you were to use clunky cabinets. It’s especially good for homes that have smaller kitchens or bathrooms. If you decide to install an under the sink cabinet, like we previously mentioned, but still need more space, try open shelving for things like towels and toilet paper.

  • Closets

You’d be surprised at how many people focus on closets when they do their initial walk through while house hunting. People love finding doors to open, hoping that they will be glorious empty closets waiting to be filled with all of their things. When you create additional closets, they will take notice. If you don’t have much room on your main floor, try utilizing basement space. You can also knock down walls and create more usable space in order to add closets without making a room seem smaller. The convenience and location of closets is also an important factor to consider.

  • Built-Ins 

You can add built-in storage. It’s similar to our idea with recessed walls, but can be taken to the next level since there are no limitations by studs. Find an awkward space, or space that would commonly be used for shelving or an entertainment center, and let your imagination take wild. Here are our favorite ideas.

Bookcases

One way to add a special charm to your renovation project is by building a large built in bookcase. It allows increased space for storage, without taking up much room. If your future prospects aren’t book lovers, they’ll see it as a place to display all of their cherished family pictures and heirlooms. Bookcases are multi-functional and add a feeling of homeyness to any room they’re in.

Office Desks

A great way to make use of awkward spaces (think angled ceilings) is by installing a built-in office desk. This is perfect for any family, since both parents and children can use it. It can also be used for craft stations and a place to store your important documents.

Entertainment Center

An entertainment center is a stylish addition to your house flip. You can include an area for a TV, a fireplace and shelving on either side. One thing we recommend is when creating the area for the TV, opt against a recessed area. When you allow the option for open mounting, you don’t limit the prospects preferred TV size

Bedroom Headboard

Bedroom headboards are another area that you can add a built-in. You can make it elaborate or simple, but it draws attention and offers great alternative to clunky nightstands. Side note: book lovers will go crazy over this.

Closets

Finally, our favorite thing is creating built-in custom closets. Everybody remembers the California Closets craze and it has not faded away yet. Built-in custom closets allow you to create a space for everything. Create shelving for shoes, hanging space for dresses, suits, shirts and more. It screams organization and will be a huge selling point for prospective buyers.

As you continue to build on these storage ideas with your creativity, don’t forget about the storage needs that are involved in a house flip. Like we mentioned, it’s much easier to work when you have a clear space. Head over to The Lock Up Self Storage at www.thelockup.com to check out all of the available options. All of their units are weatherproof and affordable.

Sources:

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/organization-basics/hidden-storage/?slideId=0a689399-1a29-45e5-a28e-166cee446eac

http://www.bhg.com/blogs/better-homes-and-gardens-style-blog/2016/07/22/8-built-ins-youll-need-to-try-for-your-next-remodel/

Life in Small Spaces: How to Adjust to City Living

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Small Living City Apt
48292412 - trendy white city bicycle in bright bedroom

Sometimes life puts you in situations where you need to make a change.

Whether it’s a new job, a long commute or just a desire to try something newchances are things will be different. This is especially true when you transition from a large, open, suburban home to an apartment in the heart of a city. You no longer have a yard or garage, let alone a finished basement and extra rooms in your house. Now, your home becomes your small apartment and the thriving city that surrounds it.

The transition in square footage can be impossible to fathom, but it is possible. It can even be exciting. We want you to thrive in your changes, which is why we’ve put together our favorite pieces of advice on how to adjust to city living.

Work with Illusions

One of the hardest parts about moving into a city apartment is the fact that what you see is what you get. You aren’t able to do any major home renovations, and it’s close to impossible to increase the square footage – unless, of course, you choose a different apartment all together. We’ve heard a lot of people say that they could never move into a city apartment because they’d feel too claustrophobic or, in a way, stuck. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

For instance, have you ever been stumped by an optical illusion? One of those puzzles you stare at for hours, but just can’t figure out what is happening or how it can be true. Well, you can do the same with your small living space. That’s one of the beautiful things about the human mind… it can be tricked. In regards to apartments or small living spaces in general, you can adjust a few things so that your mind thinks that you actually have more room than you do.

Decorate with Light Colors

One of the biggest things you can do is give your apartment a makeover using light colors. Everyone’s heard of this trick, but why is it so effective?

Well, it’s basic science. Dark colors absorb light and light colors reflect it. Therefore, when you use light colors in your home, it becomes more reflective and thus creates the illusion of a larger and more open space. It also allows more natural light to be reflected into your home, which creates an almost airy feel. White is always a great option, but think about choosing an off-white color so you can add a bit of character to your home and diffuse the intensity. Some other great colors to choose from are light hues of blues, greens or generally soft tones. Some people also say that using bright, energetic colors makes the room feel larger and more alive. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Another pro-tip for painting is to paint the trim and moldings lighter than your walls, which makes it seem like your walls are farther back than they actually are.*

When you use light colors, you can choose an eye-popping color scheme for accents around your home. Think furniture, blankets, throw pillows, rugs, lamps or even plants! In fact, having living plants in your apartment can make you feel more like you’re outside, which can help minimize the feeling of being cramped.

Lighting is Everything

In addition to using light, bright colors, we want to stress the importance of lighting. It is a key element when you want to make a room feel open and more inviting. When you allow natural light to fill a room, it makes everything look and feel larger. We recommend leaving your windows uncovered, or using a sheer, or white, curtain.

Unfortunately, depending on where you’re living and the circumstances of your apartment, natural light isn’t always an option. If you’re stuck in this situation, it’s time to get creative. The use of a few lighting fixtures can help tremendously. We recommend straying away from overhead lighting that is usually in apartments, as they are often dull and tend to illuminate the room unevenly. Opt for a few smaller lamps in order to spread light across the entire room while creating focal points.

Use Mirrors

Remember how we mentioned that the more reflective a color is, the bigger your room will feel? Well, what’s the most reflective thing you can think of? Mirrors! They are wonderful things. When you strategically place them around your apartment, they have the ability to add the illusion of depth and size. Since they also reflect light, they aid in any lighting problems you may have by bouncing it further into a room. We recommend placing mirrors near any windows you have as well as utilizing them on multiple walls or even tabletops.

Furniture Options

Another huge thing to consider is furniture. It takes up the majority of space in any home and can either make or break a room. One thing that we recommend is investing in some great, multi-functional furniture. When you have a simple coffee table, you are wasting space. Consider one that has drawers underneath or one that opens up to reveal a hidden layer of storage gold. The same goes for any side tables, ottomans or even beds. When you utilize space that furniture offers, you help decrease clutter and stay organized, which is crucial to maximizing your space.

Furniture placement is also crucial. Placing things directly against a wall makes a room feel cramped. Try placing things even just a few inches from the walls to maximize space. Also, aim to buy furniture that actually fits your apartment rather than stuffing in anything from the move. When it comes to choosing a sofa, we recommend buying one piece that fills the room. When you have multiple small sofas or couches you decrease the usability of your room and make it feel smaller.

Finally, opt for furniture that has open arms and exposed legs.* This allows the space to breathe and makes the room appear larger.

Buy a Rug

If you’ve never been a “rug person” then we recommend changing that. Rugs can be extremely useful in small apartments. They can help to separate and differentiate small spaces where there are no walls. They can also help add a pop of color to your apartment. However, the biggest benefit of rugs is that they can cover up unsightly floors. This is especially important if you don’t have the ability to do any renovations.

Stay Organized

One of the best things that you can do to make your small space feel larger is to stay organized. Clutter gives off a feeling of chaos and makes a room feel cramped. All it does is decrease the size of any given room. However, when you organize things well, you will create more space to live. Plus, when things are out of sight, your room continues to reflect more light and again, increases the feeling of space. Some of our best tips for staying organized include:

  • Have a place for everything. Get in the habit of putting things back where they go when you’re done using them so you don’t let your living space get out of hand.
  • Opt for less. If you aren’t currently wearing all of the clothes in your closet, store some of them in a place that can’t be seen or in a storage unit. When you have a messy closet, it is hard to keep your room clean.
  • Embrace clever storage solutions. Under the bed, multi-functional pieces of furniture, ceiling-high cabinets, etc.
  • Consider removing doors. One of the things that can create space that feels cramped is an excessive amount of doors. When you remove a door from a closet or pantry, you remove the floor space needed to open the door. Instead, replace it with an extendable curtain rod and some eye-popping curtains.
  • If you need more ideas for clever storage, check out this article.

Enjoy the City

If you are moving from a large house in the suburbs into an apartment in the city, one way to adjust to your new life is by enjoying the city around you! Big cities, or even small ones, have so much to offer. There are parks, cafes and tons of public hang out spots. Get out and enjoy what it has to offer. It will give you some time away from your apartment, which only makes you appreciate it more when you come home.

Rent a Storage Unit

At the end of the day, we know that it will be hard to downsize. This is especially true for larger families or those coming from a place with a much higher square footage. If you aren’t ready to part with all of your things, or aren’t sure if the move will be permanent, we recommend renting a storage unit. You can safely store things you don’t currently need or refuse to part with rather than trying to stuff everything into your new place. This is extremely helpful for seasonal items and sentimental keepsakes.

At The Lock Up Self Storage, there are multitudes of options to fit everyone’s specific needs. All of the units are weatherproof, climate-controlled and affordable. Head over to www.thelockup.com to browse their options.

Sources:

* https://freshome.com/2007/05/29/5-tips-for-fooling-the-eye-and-making-a-room-look-bigger/

More Room for Life by Living with Less

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More Room, Less Stuff

Life has become increasingly dependent on material things…

As we move farther into the future, technology advances more quickly than we can keep up with. Cars are becoming things people have only imagined in movies and fashion trends change every season. In addition, social media has people focusing on how others are living their lives more than ever. We live in a world of comparison and competition, in a world run by the next best thing and everyone’s desire to have it. Advertisements are staring us in the face more than ever. They’ve even begun to be customized through algorithms based off of your computer search history and mobile activity. Technology has evolved into something that knows us and knows exactly how to persuade us to give in to the temptations of consumerism… and oftentimes, we do.

But what if we’re focusing on the wrong parts of life? With a deepening focus on material things, when do we make room for the physical and emotional needs of ourselves as well as others around us?

Think about how hard you work at your job and how many hours of your life revolve around that work. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else. However, society tends to fill the void with unnecessary purchases in order to get one step closer to happiness and validation. The time you spend at work turns into countless dollars worth of spending on big homes, fancy cars, the most popular gadgets, toys and an intense desire to fit in with all of the fashion trends.

But, we know, that deep down happiness is not something that can simply be purchased.

No matter how many things you have in your life, it doesn’t equate directly to your happiness and it’s likely that deep down we all know this. Think about all of the free time, energy, space and money we’d have if we stopped trying to fill our lives with things instead of moments. We’d be free to experience life in a whole new way!

However, we understand that it can be difficult to go full on minimalist in the course of a few months, or even a few years. If you’ve ever read Marie Kondo’s, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, you’ve seen one extreme of getting rid of things, but we have an alternative solution that will help you take some baby steps.

We recommend going through your possessions and, as an experiment, putting aside a majority of things that you feel are unnecessary or that don’t bring you absolute joy when you see them or interact with them. However, rather than purging them immediately, try renting out a storage unit! This way, if you find that you are missing some things or that you really did need that BreadMaker5000, you can still access it.

By renting a storage unit to de-clutter your home, you can test out the minimalistic lifestyle to see if it’s something that works for you, risk free! Try starting with some of the following areas.

  1. Décor

The amount of home décor that we accumulate is tremendous! We hoard mass amounts of decorations for every season in addition to every holiday. We spend hours taking things out of storage, decorating our homes, only to change them out one month later. Unless they hold some sort of sentimental value, chances are these decorations don’t bring us anything other than a reminder of the time of year that it is. This can actually be distracting to the things that do hold value in your homes.

We recommend walking around your home and taking a close look at all of the decorations that you have. You can even go as far as pulling out all of the additional things you have in the back of closets or basements. Go through everything. Try and find the decorations that are meaningful and also attract your eye. If you want to keep them simply because they are breathtaking, that’s fine! Don’t stress about downsizing, it will come naturally.

Everything that you decide to put back into a box you should put in storage instead of the back of your closet. This will free up space for the things that your closet is meant to hold! If in a year you don’t miss anything in storage, consider donating it or holding a garage sale. Try doing the same for your holiday decorations.

  1. Clothes

This one is big. For many people, it is hard to let go of an item of clothing, especially if it’s one of your favorites. One of the first things you should do is to go through your closet and put aside anything with holes or that is worn out. If you can’t fix it, toss it.

Surprisingly, we only wear about 20% of our clothes 80% of the time1. This means that most of the clothes in our closets are hanging around “just in case.” They are cluttering your closet, which can lead to a cluttered mind. When your closet is filled with distractions, it can be harder to find an item of clothing that you already know you are going to wear for the day. It can also cause your clothes to wear out more quickly. Try going through and removing any clothes that you haven’t worn in the last 6 months. Put them in storage. If you haven’t thought about them 6 months later, get rid of them!

To take things a step further, after you’ve put your first batch of clothes in storage, try reversing all of your hangers in your closet. Every time you wear something, put it back on the rack with the hanger facing the correct way. After 6 more months, when you’re going to get rid of your clothes in storage, take a look at what outfits are still on reversed hangers. Repeat the same process by putting them in storage and you won’t believe how much less stressful picking out an outfit becomes! It will also bring about a sense of calm every time you look into your neatly organized closet.

  1. Shoes

For the ladies that love shoes, this can be a tough one. If you religiously wear every pair of shoes in your closet, we understand. However, if you have a few pairs (or 20) that you only wear once a year, consider testing out the same process as you did with your clothes. If you don’t miss them, then you don’t need to hoard them on your closet floor. Shoes take up a lot of space!

  1. Electronics

The average home today has a TV in almost every room. There’s one in the family room, the basement, the living room, every single bedroom and maybe even one in the kitchen. I even know of some people that have a TV in their garage! This is unnecessary and, if you have more than one person in your household, can cause separation between family members. Consider putting your TVs into storage and testing out having the only TV reside in the family room. This will lead to your family watching less television as a whole. It will also perpetuate more family time, as when someone wants to watch TV they will need to navigate to the shared room rather than lock themselves up in their bedrooms.

If it is working after a few months, sell the old TVs and take the family out to dinner or even on a weekend getaway (depending on how many TV’s you had!). If you absolutely can’t live without more than one TV, try limiting yourself to two rather than one for every room.

  1. Kitchen Items

Kitchen items are one of the most unused accessories we buy. Today, they have everything from banana slicers to herb grinders. But guess what else cuts a banana or grinds herbs? Knives! Kitchen gadgets have evolved so that each thing has one specific purpose rather than utilizing what we already have. But it is possible to – gasp – do things the way our grandmothers have been doing them for years. Is it not possible to cut an apple without a slicer designed specifically for apples? The answer is obvious… it’s quite possible.

Go through all of your kitchen cabinets as well as countertops and try getting rid of those unnecessary gadgets. Put them in a plastic bin in storage and proceed with the same process as we’ve discussed. If you don’t miss them, toss them. Also, try living with your countertops completely clear for a week! We guarantee you won’t be returning every single accessory back when you’re done.

  1. Children’s Toys

Finally, we can make more room for our life by getting rid of those outdated and unplayed with children’s toys. While parents may hold sentimental value to the toys (like my mother does) we don’t need to store them under our beds or in our closets. Put them in a bin and place them in a storage unit. That way, they will remain pristine and undamaged so that you can pass them down to your grandchildren when the time comes. We aren’t promising that they’ll play with them the way your kids did, but it’s worth a shot!

After you try living with less for a while, we’re sure that you’ll start living a more fulfilled and meaningful life. Your lack of stuff will give more space to spend time with your loved ones and pursue passions that you have. The Lockup Self Storage offers great services to store all of your items while testing out your minimalistic lifestyle from purchasing storage boxes to free move-in trucks. Try renting a self storage unit at www.thelockup.com today.

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

1https://www.becomingminimalist.com/sample-living-with-less/

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