Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Home Blog

How to Organize Your New Home

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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


You are sure to accumulate quite the collection of boxes during your 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

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.


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.


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 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.


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

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

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.


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.


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.


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.




Life in Small Spaces: How to Adjust to City Living

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.


* 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

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.








Temporary Housing Survival Guide

How Self Storage Can Help You Manage the Stress of Temporary Housing

Moving is Hectic

It’s time consuming and many people absolutely loathe the process. Having to sort through every room and meticulously pack up all of your personal belongings only to haul them off to another place to be unpacked seems monotonous. It is stressful, but it must be done. This is especially true when you start to move in your later years of life – after you’ve started a family and accumulated more possessions than you know what to do with. Life changes from moving yourself to moving an entire herd of people, and while it is straightforward, it’s still a pain.

Most people believe that the moving process is easy. You go from point A to point B, packing and unpacking. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy.

Sometimes, we get stuck in temporary housing in between moves. This leaves us feeling a little helpless (and homeless) while we try to adjust to life outside of our homes we had come to know so well. It can be frustrating, but also inevitable. You may face yourself needing temporary housing for a variety of different reasons. Some of them being relocation, relationships coming to an end, building your dream home or even internships in new cities. Regardless of what your situation is, just remember that you will survive temporary housing!

If you happen to find yourself getting stuck in the undefined limbo that is temporary housing, we’ve put together a few tips to help you through it.

Finding the Right Temporary Home

Finding the right temporary home can be difficult. It all depends on how many people are involved, if there are family pets joining the party and the length of time that you’re going to need temporary housing. In addition, budget will obviously come into play. Regardless of your needs, there is something that will work for you. In fact, there are a surprising amount of options in the short-term housing world, more than you probably would have thought!

Some options are as follows:

Vacation Rentals

We don’t mean packing up all of your things and moving to the tropics while you wait, but some vacation rentals can double as temporary housing options. Specifically, look at websites like Airbnb and HomeAway. Both of these options allow users to browse through an extensive collection of listings that include numerous different types of housing. You aren’t stuck in a lease and make all of your payments through a secure website – so no dealing with impossible landlords or pesky leasing agencies. When you are browsing, be sure to find one that offers rentals that could be extended or that can be booked for months at a time. This will save you the hassle of having to move from one property to the next.

If you are single, renting a room can also be an option that could save you money and open you up to meeting some new people in a potentially unfamiliar area! Check out the listings on the popular sites above.

Another option that is gaining popularity in the online rental world is Sublet.com. This is essentially the same as Airbnb and HomeAway, but provides an option for securing a short-term lease or even an open lease. This helps provide flexibility without the anxiety of potentially having to leave before you move into your forever home. Again, it depends on your personal situation, but these are great resources to use when browsing your options.

Extended Stay Hotels

Another popular option is utilizing extended stay hotels. It’s easy, convenient and provides a ton of additional amenities. It’s practically the same as staying in a hotel room, however the rates are usually cheaper for longer periods of time and the rooms come equipped with the essentials you need for long periods away from home. In addition, most of these hotels are pet friendly since they know that you would never think of leaving your four legged children behind.

Extended stay hotels are also a fun option if you have children. It’s like a mini-vacation!


In addition to newer online renting options, we can also fall back on trusty apartment guides to find temporary housing. You can search places based off of how long you plan on staying and move into an apartment that is perfect for everything you need. Both fully furnished and non-furnished options are available. The bonus here (in comparison to vacation rentals) is that you’ll be moving into a vacant apartment rather than someone else’s home.

Temporary Houses

The same idea goes for temporary houses. In fact, there is a website, Short Term Housing, that takes all of the guesswork out of everything. If you are tired of searching, planning, packing, moving and negotiating this is the perfect website for you. They specialize in handling the entire process of getting you into your temporary home. From leases, deposits and moving dates a professional consultant works with you to secure everything with the third parties involved. They work within your preferences as well as your budget, so you can pass some of the stress onto someone else’s plate for once!

Pack Strategically

Regardless of what your situation is that moves you to temporary housing, chances are you’re still going to be moving out of your previous home. That means that you’ll still need to pack everything up and get it organized for storage. Depending on the type of temporary housing that you will be moving into, we recommend that you only bring the essentials along.

If you will be renting a fully furnished apartment/home or staying at a hotel with reasonable extended stay prices, then you will have all of the essentials in your kitchen, living room and bedroom. Some places may even have a bathroom that is stocked with towels and appliances. Take some time to look through your options and when you decide on a place, do a walk through. Does it have everything you’ll need? If so, only pack the essentials for your temporary home. It will reduce the stress of packing, unpacking, repeat. Trust us, it gets old fast!

If you happen to move into a non-furnished temporary home, try out the minimalistic approach. Only pack furniture that you will need – think bed, sofa, kitchen table, etc. Think of what you use daily and bring that rather than moving in every single piece of furniture you own. It will make a world of difference when it’s time to move into your forever home.

Everything else that you have packed that won’t be accompanying you to your short-term rental can go into storage. When you pack things strategically, by room or by use, it is easy to get if the need arises. It will also make moving into your new home a breeze. Find a great storage unit at The Lock Up Self Storage for all of your needs.


Once you’ve moved into your new temporary home, it might feel a little bit weird. You know that you’re not going to be staying here forever, so you feel stuck. Not quite at home but also not quite without one. We recommend using this time to get up and get outside. Do some exploring and spend some quality time with your family outside of the house.

Getting outside and exploring is a great way to not only relieve some of the stress that comes with moving, but it is also a perfect way to get to know your new surroundings. This is especially true if you are moving to a new city! Find your new favorite coffee shop and learn how to navigate the streets around your house. Maybe there is a great new health club or beautiful parks close by, go and find them. Whatever will make you the happiest, don’t be afraid to give it a try. Anything is better than cooping yourself up and waiting for your forever home.

Make it Your Own

Moving into a temporary home can feel… well… weird. You’re no longer surrounded by all of your favorite mementos or comforts and you won’t be living there all that long. While most of your things will likely be in your self storage unit, you can still add a touch of “home” to your temporary housing. Try packing a few pictures or your favorite scented candles. Add a few flowers to some of the rooms and you’ll notice a huge difference! These small details can help you feel more at ease during your transition.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember that it is only temporary. Whether you find yourself in a short-term leased apartment or renting out a vacation home, try and enjoy this time and don’t stress too much. You don’t have to absolutely love it, but make sure it’s something you’re comfortable with for at least a few months.

Regardless of your situation – if you’re traveling for an extended period of time for work, in the process of creating your dream home or going through a major transition in life, The Lock Up Self Storage is here to help. Find one of our conveniently located self storage facilities near you by visiting www.thelockup.com.










How to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

Getting House Ready for Fall

Things to Think About – Getting Your Home Ready for Fall

Everybody loves fall. It’s that time of the year where the air begins to change and colors burst throughout the neighborhoods. It brings about a certain feel in your home and reminds you that the holidays are inching closer every day. It’s a time for family, friends and celebrations. It’s hard not to smile as you watch your family enjoying the brisk air and falling leaves and even though it gets colder outside, it always feels warmer inside. While these feelings can lead you to put some responsibilities aside, it’s important to remember to take care of things around your home. That’s why we recommend getting your home ready for fall while it’s still nice out.

Everybody knows that during fall, temperatures begin to drop and days get shorter and shorter. It is a reminder that winter is just around the corner. This is why it is important to take advantage of the last days of summer in order to get your home ready for fall and the harsh winter months that follow. We encourage you to take care of a few little things while you can in order to save yourself some hassle (and discomfort) down the road. Preparing for fall can make a huge difference for you, your family and even your home.

While most of the things you can do to prepare are easy to handle on your own, if you feel like you need some help never be afraid to call a professional. Regardless of whether you decide to DIY or hire someone, here are a few steps that we recommend you take in order to get your home ready for fall.

1. Protect Your Summer Furniture

One of the best things about summer is the chance to spend time outdoors with your friends and family. We spend hours barbequing outside with friends and family, trying to soak up all of the sun and warmth that we can. We invest in patio furniture, yard games and expensive grills. We love our outdoor patio accessories, which is why we need to protect them when the weather gets harsh.

We recommend moving everything to a weatherproof storage unit, especially if you don’t have enough space in your home. It’s a small investment considering the price of furniture, grills and all of your favorite summer gear. Storing your things properly is the perfect way to make everything last for years to come. You can check out some of our storage units at The Lockup in order for fast and easy solutions to all of your storage needs.

2. Check Your Roof

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense and should never be neglected. Doing a visual inspection is an easy way to avoid costly repairs or uncomfortable nights during the fall and winter. If you don’t, you risk having to deal with leaky roofs and high-energy bills until the weather is warm enough to have them safely fixed.

Check the shingles to make sure that they are not damaged, loose or missing. If you see signs of mold, make sure to get it taken care of before the rain and cold sneak up on you. You should also check inside your attic for any holes or visible damage. If you need help with your inspection, or if you find anything that needs attention, don’t be afraid to call a professional.

3. Pay Attention to Your Yard

Your yard is one of the first things that people see. It helps set the stage for your home, inside and out. When spring comes, and it’s time to start landscaping again, it’s important to have prepared properly to save time, money and your sanity.

The first thing to do is make sure you remove any chance for pipes to freeze. Drain your hoses and disconnect them from the main water source, then shut the water source off. You should also shut off any faucets that are housed outside and drain your sprinkler system.

This time of the year is also a great time to give your trees, bushes and shrubs one last trimming before the leaves fall and the snow comes. It will help you decrease the amount of maintenance you need to do once fall hits and make it easier to pick back up when spring comes. Fertilizing your lawn before fall and winter using a special fall fertilizer can help minimize the damage that winter causes. Simply ask your local gardening center for their recommendations.

One other thing that you can do to help make things easier is to put your yard equipment that you won’t be using into storage. Any flowerpots, gardening supplies or hoses can be transferred to a storage unit in order to keep clutter to a minimum. Putting these things into storage helps make more space for things that matter during the holidays. We recommend emptying and cleaning any gardening supplies before storing them for the easiest transitions in the spring.

4. Give Your Gutters Some Attention

As you inch towards colder weather, it’s important to remember the damage that water can have on your home. This is especially important as the weather begins to change and the leaves begin to fall.

When leaves start falling, your gutters and downspouts can get clogged. This can cause water to collect in your gutters and will lead to a much higher likelihood of damage. When water can’t make it away from your home, it will start to seep through any small holes or cracks. This means that the more water that collects around your home or on your roof, the more likely that it will end up finding a way inside.

When you allow leaves to gather, you are also creating a perfect nesting ground for potentially damaging pests. Once the weather gets colder, they will try and find a way into your attic and can cause a lot of internal damage. This is why we recommend taking the time (even though we know how time consuming it can be) to clean your gutters regularly before and throughout fall. You can also find some different products online or at your local hardware store that can be installed to prevent the backup of leaves while still allowing water to pass through.

5. Change Up Your Décor

One of the best things about fall is the decorating that comes with it. Warm colors and holiday décor begin to emerge and makes your home feel welcoming and full of love. With all of the new decorations you’ll need to make room for, you’ll want to store your summer and spring belongings.

In order to organize everything and keep it out of the way, you can always rent a storage unit! This is especially important if you don’t have as much storage space in your home as you’d like. Removing any non-seasonal clutter helps your fall décor stand out and gives everything else a little bit more room to make an impact.

Renting a storage unit also allows you to put away your summer clothes to make more room for the warm sweaters and winter coats.

6. Interior Maintenance

One thing that can completely ruin the feeling of fall is having a cold home or a high-energy bill. Make sure that your home is well insulated before the weather hits to avoid expensive repairs and uncomfortable nights. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for a 10% rise in your energy bills1.

All you need to do is check the caulking around any windows or doors to make sure there are no cracks or gaps that could allow air to get in or out. An easy trick to do this is to take a candle and slowly move it around the edges of windows and doors. If you see a flicker in the flame, then it is most likely due to a draft from a gap somewhere. You can also check vents that lead to your exterior as well as any outdoor piping.

Another thing that will save you time and frustration is to make sure that if you have central air conditioning, that you winterize it. You might have to cover the unit for winter in order to avoid any long-term damage or store any units that are removable. If you need help, or are unsure of how to do this, stop by your local hardware store and ask a professional.

However you decide to prepare your home for fall, remember that The Lockup offers great services to store your out-of-season things. Remember, you can always rent a self storage unit at www.thelockup.com.

1 http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/advice/your-homes-fall-checklist/

Small Space Living: How to Adjust to City Living

City Living

Are you planning on making the move to a metropolitan area? Well, life in the big city is very different from suburban or country life in many ways. The accessibility and convenience of city living can’t be beat. You don’t have to drive for miles to pick up a gallon of milk, you can often walk a block and get most of whatever you need. But in exchange for such convenience, there is a tradeoff with regards to your living space. With so many people concentrated in a small area, living spaces are often more compact than what you may be used to. Living and thriving in a city requires a different mindset that emphasizes purposeful living. Since there’s not much room for clutter in a city apartment or loft, everything must have a purpose and a place. This makes life more orderly and that’s what you need when dealing with a small space so that you don’t get overwhelmed. But not to fret, with a little planning and creative thinking, you can create the ultimate city dwelling to call home sweet home.

Small spaces, while limited in some ways, have a lot of benefits. For example, utilities like power and gas will be much lower than larger spaces, small homes are easier to maintain, and they prevent you from collecting too much clutter, therefore making you a more conscientious shopper because you’ll tend to only buy what you need. Plus, they can be made to be a cozy place that serves as a sanctuary and escape from the busy pace of a city.

The Hunt

Finding the perfect place to nest in can take some time, but if you have a clear idea of what you want, you can make quick work of it. An apartment or loft that has the right “bones” as they say, will provide the perfect backdrop to your new city life. Look for spaces that have a few key elements and the rest will come easy.

High ceilings create a sense of more space and the extra wall space can be used creatively to create storage for items that you don’t need on a daily basis. Lots of windows will also open up a space. Try to find a place with windows that have a view of the outdoors…if you can’t have extra space, you can at least have a pretty view to gaze upon. South facing windows are a plus as you’ll get tons of natural light which will boost your mood.

Many buildings have a communal laundry room, but an even better option is to try to find a place that has compact stackable laundry machines in the unit. They can fit into tiny spaces and then you’ll have one of the most important creature comforts right in your own home.

If you luck out and find an apartment with a balcony, it can serve as a seasonal extra room for you to stretch out, catch some rays and fresh air, and even grow an urban garden. Not able to find a place with a balcony? You can still keep a little bit of nature close by securing a window box for flowers or herbs on the outside or even inside sill of one of your windows.

Choosing an apartment that is close to public transportation will make navigating your new city a breeze. Proximity to good restaurants, coffee spots, grocery and shopping will help to create your sense of new community.

The Right Stuff

There’s no need to be daunted by trying to acclimate to living in a small space because there are lots of design ideas that already exist. Let’s start with furniture. Many furniture designers and stores have entire collections dedicated to small space living. Such furniture is often a little smaller in design, does double duty, provides extra storage space, or collapses to save space. Examples would be a smaller bistro table set for an eat in kitchen, or you might opt for a loveseat instead of a seven foot long sofa. Choosing a convertible sofa that can serve as a bed for a houseguest or a buffet that serves as a bar for entertaining can save a lot of space and provide extra functionality for you. Ottomans with lids can serve as a coffee table with extra storage inside, decorative folding wall screens can provide privacy or define a space, while nesting coffee tables save space when not in use. There are even beds called Murphy beds, that fold up into a wall so that you can convert your bedroom into an open space that you can use for your yoga practice.

The way you decorate can also have a big impact on a small space. Stay away from using dark colors on walls as they can make a space feel small and suffocating. Instead, opt for bright neutral colors on walls that will keep the space feeling light & airy. Large mirrors placed on walls will create the illusion that your space is larger than it is. Plus, they bounce extra light around, so they’re great for small places that don’t get a lot of natural light.

Some simple ideas that help organize small spaces include using behind the door hooks. Place them in bathrooms for towels, use them in bedrooms for robes, belts, or the jeans you want to wear again. Putting garbage cans inside the cabinet under the kitchen sink is helpful too, as it’s convenient when cooking, doesn’t’ take up any floor space and can help keep odors under control.

Converting closets into living space is a popular tactic as well. It may seem counterintuitive to not use closets as storage at first. But remember that small space living requires a different mindset where every inch, every space has a specific purpose. No space is considered wasted. Many people opt to use a small closet as a home office. Place a small desk inside and shelving on the walls to replicate a mini cubicle. The bonus is that when you finish your work, you can close the door so that your home is a home again. Other creative uses of closets are to make cozy reading nook, or transform it into a baby changing station. As baby grows, the closet can then return to its original purpose.

Another creative solution is to place a tall console table behind your sofa with chairs tucked in. This can serve as makeshift dining room table where lots of activities usually happen such as crafting, coffee talk, homework, or eating meals while watching tv.

Make It Your Own

If you’re buying your new apartment, condo or loft, you might be more willing to make some bigger changes to it than if you are renting. There are some easy home modifications that will help your new home feel more organized and livable.

Simple DIY changes such as mounting floating shelves can really change a space. Use shelves in bathrooms and kitchens for organizing items, or in living rooms to display knick knacks and books. Corners are often ignored and walked by. But with a few floating shelves, they can serve as a curio collection display. A corner shelf mounted on the wall can also serve as a bedside table if your room is tight on space.

Curtains are for more than just windows…they can work as walls too. Curtains add an element of color to any decor that can be easily changed, plus, when used correctly, they provide the functionality of creating a separate space. Mount decorative curtain rods across a room or doorway and use curtains with grommet tops so that they’ll slide open and closed easily. This design element can separate living from sleeping areas, work from living areas, or divide a kid’s room. It can also help to keep a space warmer or cooler if you use thermally insulated curtain panels.

A larger job such as removing overhead kitchen cabinets in favor of shelving for your pantry items, dishes and glasses can create a more open feeling and cut down on space wasting cabinet doors. All your items are visible, so you’ll be more inclined to keep them tidy and using matching sets for your dish and glassware can make for a pleasing visual aesthetic.  

A dishwasher that’s hidden with custom cabinetry is a way to have a modern luxury while maintaining a clean look which makes a small kitchen feel more unified, less disjointed.

Another helpful change to your space would be to build a small storage closet into an existing wall in between the studs. This is a perfect place to store unsightly items like brooms, mops and cleaning supplies. You must use an interior wall as exterior walls are meant for insulation, and be sure the wall is clear of any air ducts or electrical wires. Space between studs typically measures 14.5 inches wide and 3.5 -4.25 inches deep, not a huge storage area, but every inch counts in a small living space.

Self Storage To The Rescue

Of course, you probably have items that simply cannot fit into your small city apartment or loft no matter how crafty you get. Seasonal playthings like beach toys (boogie boards, paddle boards, picnic baskets or coolers), or holiday decorations take up a lot of space and are not needed very often, so you certainly don’t want them cluttering up your limited living area. Check to see if the building has additional storage available in the basement. Some buildings have small storage units for tenants. If that’s not an option, you can always visit www.thelockup.com and easily secure an affordable self storage unit.

Step By Step Self Storage Tips

Woman Packing Boxes for Self Storage Unit
Woman Packing Boxes for Self Storage Unit

If you’re new to the self storage realm, it’s important to know the tried and true ways to make the most of your self storage experience before you get started. We’ve been in the game for a long while (The Lock Up started in 1976), and we’ve learned a thing or two in that time that we’d like to impart to any of you just starting on your self storage journey. Let’s start with how to choose the self storage solution that’s best for you.


Location, location, location

This is a key choice in your self storage experience. You don’t want to have to drive out into the middle of nowhere for your stored items when you need them. The Lock Up has strategically placed facilities in centrally located hubs of metropolitan activity. This allows our tenants to be able to include accessing their stored belongings into their daily routine. Drop kids off at school, pick up dry cleaning, drop off the box of summer clothes at The Lock Up, go to the market. This is how we contribute to an easy daily errand life flow. Visit the Locations section of our website to find The Lock Up’s facility that’s nearest to you.

Choose Wisely

Once you’ve found the right facility for you, the next decisions are what type of unit you need and what size should it be.

Depending on the facility, The Lock Up has a few choices when it comes to the type of unit you can select. There are drive up units, units inside the facilities and some locations have mezzanine units or even wine storage. What you need to store will dictate this choice.

You must also consider what size unit will suit your needs. We offer a handy online guide to show you how much stuff can fit into our available sizes. You will see all these options and easily be able to secure your storage unit directly on our website, simply select the location you’re interested in and it’s all laid out for you.

One of the biggest concerns a new tenant may have is whether or not to secure a climate controlled unit. We say yes! For that reason, all Lock Up Self Storage facilities have expertly tuned climate controlled units that provide the perfect storage environment free of fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels. Yes, there are some facilities that have options that are not fully climate controlled, but often even those have, at the bare minimum, enough heat throughout a winter to provide protection to your belongings.

When making these choices, we highly recommend that you think into the future. Consider what might be going on in your life 6 months, a year, two years down the line. If you are planning on growing your family, if you are planning on downsizing, you might end up needing more space than you currently do, or needing a fully climate controlled unit to protect your sensitive belongings in the future. It’s best to secure a unit that will suit your needs now and into the future. Remember, with such affordable rental rates, you can save yourself the hassle of having to move all of your belongings from one unit to another in the midst of a big life change.


Box It Up

When prepping all your belongings that you want to move into your unit, we cannot stress enough how important it is to pack items properly.

Boxes are the best method for containing your belongings. It doesn’t matter whether you use cardboard boxes or plastic bins, you just want to be sure that you have boxes that can be carried easily and are sturdy enough to be stacked on top of each other. This will keep your unit organized and accessible. Clear plastic bins are helpful because they allow you to see what’s inside, however you should never rely on that alone. Be sure to clearly label any and all boxes that you intend on storing. Use some masking tape and a permanent marker on the outside of every box and write the contents on it.

If you are in need of specialized boxes for items such as mirrors or glassware, you can visit your Lock Up facility and find all your packing needs. Boxes, bubble wrap, tape, you need it…we have it.

When packing your boxes, you want to place heavier items on the bottom, lighter items on top. Fill boxes fairly snugly so that items don’t jostle about during transportation. And be sure to add padding to the top before sealing up a box, especially when it comes to cardboard boxes. This will prevent boxes from caving in when you stack them. If you have lots of books, be sure to pack them flat in smaller boxes so that the boxes aren’t too heavy to lift.

As with most things, there are exceptions to the rule: sometimes boxes aren’t the perfect solution. For example, if you’re storing fluffy winter bedding, you’d be wasting space if you put that into a box. Instead, opt for a vacuum sealed storage bag. These will compress items such as pillows, comforters, and winter sweaters into flat, compact units that you can stack on top of one another.

Take Stock

Before you load everything into your storage unit, it’s a wise idea to make a list of every single thing that you’ll be storing. While although all of our facilities boast top notch security systems with 24 hour video monitoring and electronic coded access, nobody can prevent natural disasters from occurring. And if a disaster should hit the facility where your belongings are stored, you will need some documentation of what was in your storage unit for insurance reasons.

This is where The Lock Up Self Storage app shines. Our app that’s available on iTunes and Google Play for free, has a unique feature that allows you to use your phone to snap a photo of an item and take notes about it as well. This is an incredibly easy and efficient way to keep all of the documentation of your stored items in one location that’s literally at your fingertips. Other perks of our app are that it allows you to manage your bills, and even store your access codes to the facilities where your items live…which sure beats trying to find that little slip of paper that you wrote them on! If you want to learn more about the app, read this post.

Pack Right

Now that you’ve got all the logistics of your unit figured out and your stuff is boxed up and documented, it’s time to move it into your climate controlled storage unit. This is where the real fun begins…well, that’s what we think anyway…moving and storage is kind of our thing.

Just like the proper technique of packing up a moving truck, packing a self storage unit requires a plan that promises to make things easier and safer for you.

There’s an easy system to remember: large in back, small in front; heavy on bottom, light on top. You’ll want to move the largest and tallest items like mattresses, sofas, or dressers into your unit first and place them at the back. Furniture sliders placed underneath heavy items can really help you move things around in your unit.

If you have tables or other furniture that can be disassembled, take them apart and store them together (be sure to bag up screws and tape them to the item so you can reassemble them later). This will help maximize your storage area.  Another good idea is to use all available storage areas like drawers in dressers. Just be sure to note where things are in your storage documentation. Place all your small items like lamps and boxes at the front of your unit.

Leave a Walkway

As you move items into your storage unit, you’ll want to be sure to leave an aisle down the center. No, this walkway is not wasted space…it’s invaluable. You’ll find it so much easier to be able to walk right into your unit and access the items in the back. Also, it provides a way for you to be able to see what’s in your unit on either side. If you placed an aisle on the side of your unit, you’d be wasting valuable storage space against a stable wall, not to mention that you’d have limited access to the items that are stored within the width of your unit. Providing a clear path in the center of your storage area will prevent a dangerous situation of having to climb over objects to get what you want, or worse, having to remove the contents of half your storage unit to get to them.

We at The Lock Up hope that these tips and tricks help those of you who are just starting to investigate what it takes to have a positive self storage experience. We know that it can be daunting to face all of the options available, so we wanted to break the process down into bite sized pieces that demystify the process. And we know that everyone relies heavily on technology these days, so we’ve made sure that both our website and our mobile app are designed to help you at every step of the way.

Whether you’re just starting to search for a good storage solution, or if you’ve already secured your Lock Up lease, don’t forget that we have incredible teams of people at each of our facilities that are there to help with any questions or concerns you may have.

See you soon!