Home Renovation Survival Guide

Home renovations are notorious for being stressful. Whether you’re taking on a large project like a historic house or “just” remodeling your kitchen, home renovations can challenge your relationships, budget, and sense of sanity.

However, it is possible to cut down on the stress and conflict of a home renovation. Here are some tips to help you manage a renovation with fewer headaches and more joy.

Choose a leader.

If several people are trying to lead the project, conflict is likely to ensue. This tension can be especially damaging in a marriage. To help avoid arguments, the couple can decide beforehand who will manage the project. If both you and your partner are strong-willed and want to stay involved, consider relying on an outside person, like a designer.

Hire reliable experts.

DIY projects can be fun, but when you’re dealing with a massive undertaking like a home renovation, hiring experts can relieve a lot of stress. Although you might be able to do some things yourself, it’s important to know your limits. Be honest about your weaknesses, and bring in experts for the rest.

Do make sure the experts are trustworthy, though. Take time to compare reviews, research legalities, and evaluate the contract before you hire. A critical eye during the hiring process can help prevent unpleasant surprises later.

Set aside plenty of time.

Even if you’ve hired contractors to do everything, you’ll still need to spend several hours each week answering questions and reviewing the contractors’ work. A home renovation can easily turn into a part-time job, or even a full-time job if you’re doing a lot yourself. Be sure you’ve reserved enough time in your schedule for this work. Otherwise, you might end up renovating your home for years.

Find an effective way to stay organized.

To successfully manage a home renovation, you’ll need an effective way to keep track of deadlines, expenses, appointments, and paperwork. Before you start the project, find an organizational method that works for you. For example, you can use a bullet journal or an accordion folder with a calendar. Ideally, the method you choose will not only help you stay on schedule, but also give you peace of mind.

Budget for surprises.

Even with meticulous planning and the best contractors, you may still run into problems, delays, and unexpected costs. You can hope for a smooth renovation, but your budget should be prepared for the worst. Then, if you do survive the renovation without any extra costs, you can use that money to hire professional cleaners after everything is done.

Protect your valuables.

Renovations tend to be dirty and messy. The dust alone can get everywhere. You can try to protect your valuables with plastic sheeting, but for complete safety, it’s best to move them somewhere else.

Items you regularly use, such as clothing, can be stored in plastic bags and put into a “renovation-free” zone, like a spare room. Other items like collectibles or artwork can be put into self-storage unit. Then, they’ll be completely secure, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Give yourself a break.

A home renovation is important, but so is your health and wellbeing. To ease the stress and prevent a burnout, take a time-out every now and then. Plan fun activities away from the renovation, doing something that takes your mind off the project. During this mini vacation, avoid talking about the renovation and focus on other activities you enjoy.

Also, try to create peaceful areas in your home where you can escape the renovation. This oasis doesn’t need to be large. If you don’t have much extra space, you can reserve a small corner or a balcony for relaxation. Keep this area chaos-free, and go to it whenever you need a break.

Keep your team’s spirits up.

A renovation is a team effort. Even if you’re the only person continuously working on the project, the chaos and stress still affects other people. Anyone who’s affected is part of your team, from your spouse and children to the contractors you’ve hired. Remember to stay attuned to how these people are feeling. Are they positive about the project or feeling overwhelmed? How can you buoy their spirits?
This thoughtfulness doesn’t need to take much time or effort. A compliment or a glass of wine at the right moment can make a big difference. The better your team is doing, the easier the project will seem. Together, you can turn a difficult renovation into a memorable adventure.

Tips for Moving with a Newborn Baby


Moving in itself is stressful. When children are involved, multiply that stress exponentially, and if you are moving with children and pets, then organizing will become your best friend.

But what about moving with a newborn baby? The majority of the pregnancy advice you get will probably be to move before the baby arrives. However, here at Metro Self Storage, we understand that life happens.

Whether you are actively looking for a new home to buy or decided to move out of your rental because of a leaky roof, moving with a newborn baby is possible. Especially, if you can plan ahead and extend the time it takes to unpack everything in your new home.

If you can afford it, hire movers to pack up the house and load the moving truck

Whether you are planning a DIY move or hiring professional moving company, you will end up packing lots and lots of boxes.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Whether you should be lifting during pregnancy or not is a question for your health care provider but the general rule of thumb is to let someone else do it for you.” Postpartum moms will want to follow this advice and well and lean on friends, family, and neighbors to help.  

Buy a baby carrier for your newborn and be hands-free

Babywearing has been practiced around the world for centuries and is designed to give parents freedom and comfort babies at the same time. If you haven’t already done so, add a baby carrier to your registry right away.

While getting a carrier isn’t a necessity for most moms and their newborns, it will be for moms moving with a newborn baby. It is the only gadget that allows you to be hands-free. There are three types of baby carriers. However, wraps and slings are better suited for newborns.

Baby wraps like the Moby is one big piece of cotton jersey fabric that you configure around you and the baby every time you wear it. Parents say that it takes quite a bit of practice to get the hang of wrapping it—not too loose or too tight.

Moving moms might be too busy to add one more thing to their list. The ring sling is ideal because it can be used right from birth and through your child’s toddler years. Babywearing parents say it is their favorite product. Moreover, having your hands-free for unpacking boxes while your little one is close to you will comfort you and the baby.

Moving with a newborn baby is a story you can tell your child time and again

Arriving at your new home during those weeks and months it takes to recover from childbirth means you can unpack and rearrange all of your belongings without that big baby bump.

Moreover, newborns are easier than you might think. Unless they are colicky, they mostly sleep in between feeding and diaper changes. Don’t worry about assembling a new crib before you move because newborns can sleep in a bassinet or portable cradle the first few months easily.

The most important thing to remember is that the baby feels your emotions so keep it stress-free as possible by accepting all help offered and by packing up everything you don’t use on a regular basis before the baby arrives.

Tips to Teach your Kids Bedroom Organization

Are you frustrated by how quickly your child’s bedroom organization? Does it turn chaotic after tidying up? You’re not alone. For many parents, a messy kid’s bedroom is a source of conflict and annoyance, both for them and their child. The child doesn’t like being nagged, while the parents despair about their child’s disorganization and uncleanliness.
However, keeping a child’s bedroom tidy doesn’t have to be a never-ending fight. With the right strategies, you can teach your kid how to organize their bedroom without much effort. The following guidelines can help them learn to tackle the mess to keep their bedroom clean and organized.
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Home Remodel | How To Keep Cat Safety in Mind

There’s no denying, moving is stressful. It is stressful for people, and it causes stress in cats. Moving is so stressful that many homeowners decide to stay put and renovate. Keeping cat safety in mind during a home remodel will be at the top of your list whether your remodeling plans include creating a cat-friendly home, replacing drafty windows, or something more extensive.

Create a Cat Safety Room

If you work from a home office, keeping your cat at home during the remodel is a viable option. Help prevent cat anxiety by moving your pet’s food, water, and toys into your office. Relocating the litter box to your workspace might not sound appealing, but at least it will remind you to clear it out once or twice a day.

If you are working away from your home, you may want to consider boarding your kitty. It may sound drastic but, if your home remodel is extensive, this could reduce your cat’s anxiety in the long run.  

Choose Low VOC Paints for Your Home Remodel

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are toxic and potentially dangerous to humans and their pets. The most common products used in home remodels with high VOCs are found in paints and adhesives. Fortunately, there are plenty of choices for eco-friendly, low-VOC paints, stains, and finishes for your renovation project. These choices are much less toxic than their counterparts.

If your cat suffers from feline asthma, manufacturers like ECOS Paints manufacture paints and coatings formulated for individuals with chemical sensitivities. Keep in mind, selecting safer paints and coatings is of particular importance in bedrooms. It is important to have healthy indoor air quality where people spend such long hours sleeping.

Clearly, a better choice, using low-VOC paints during your home remodel will be safer for your family, cats, and the environment.

Know the 5 Signs of a Stressed-Out Cat


Remodeling involves considerable decision-making, and it rarely gets finished on time or under budget. Even so, nobody knows Frisky as you do, so be sure to keep a watchful eye for these signs of stress in your cat. If you are juggling a full-time job, kids, and remodeling, then you’ll be stressed out too. Task family members with showing extra affection and attention to your cat.

1. Urinating Outside the Litter Box

A cat that tinkles outside the litter box is typically suffering from stress or an underlying health issue. One of the most common causes of cat stress is when their environment changes in unpredictable ways. Loud noises, new smells, and strange people in your home are sure to set off alarm bells. Insulate your cat from these changes to the best of your ability.

2. Decrease in Appetite

Anyone who loves Garfield already knows that cats do not go on diets. If your fluffy friend loses his appetite, it is important to consult your veterinarian. It will probably be due to the disruption happening in your home. However, it could also be due to an underlying health condition.

3. Hiding

Even though cats are often characterized as aloof animals, most cats are sociable— just on their terms. If your cat is hiding under the bed, it might be a good idea to set up her home in a bedroom room during your remodel. Relocate their litter box, toys, water to this room. Also, be sure to turn on a radio or TV to help disguise constructions noises.

4. Excessive Grooming

A kitty grooming itself is such a natural sight that it might be difficult to determine when too much grooming turns into a bad thing. Sure signs are sores or bald spots, but barring those, you probably don’t need to worry too much. Grooming is a natural way for cats to alleviate stress.

5. Aggression Toward People or Other Animals

If your kitty shows aggression towards another animal, the simple solution is to avoid the other animal and keep your cat feeling safe. However, if your otherwise mellow cat starts acting aggressively towards people during your construction project, it’s time to check-in with your cat veterinarian. Starting treatment for pet stress sooner rather than later will result in a better outcome for you and your cat.

Construction Clean Up


Creating a cat safety zone during some phases of your home remodel will be more challenging. It is advisable to make cleaning up the construction zones at the end of every day a part of your contract with your remodeler. Doing this will help eliminate dangerous objects to your cat such as nails, staples, or scraps of sandpaper. Before letting your feline enter the remodeling zone at the end of the work day, double check for poisonous substances such as open glue bottles or paint cans.

Whether you own a famous kitty featured on the #catsofinstagram or your cat is too cool for social media, emergency trips to the vet is an unhappy cat. It is never too early to start thinking about cat safety during your next home renovation project. You know and love your kitty better than anyone else.


Thankful Thanksgiving Storage Tips + Free Printable


While Halloween kicks off the winter holiday season, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for some serious celebrating. Will it be last-minute planning and chaos? Or, will you keep calm and Thanksgiving on? There is no time like the present to get ready to entertainlearn how to organize holiday helpers and keep leftovers safe with our thankful Thanksgiving storage tips. 

The holiday rush can make it easier to get distracted and miss out on the special moments. It’s why Metro Self Storage is dedicated to helping you live an organized life every day of the year.  Continue reading “Thankful Thanksgiving Storage Tips + Free Printable”

3 Reasons Self Storage Makes Christmas Easy

Whether you decided to opt out of the Black Friday madness this year or to jump in with both feet the big question remains—is there a way to simplify Christmas?

We think so. Renting a storage unit during the holidays can certainly alleviate the stress created by not having enough space in your home to hide oversized gifts, entertain friends, or accommodate out of town guests.

You don’t have to worry about long-term financial commitments either; many storage facilities offer flexible short-term leasing options during the holidays to meet the temporary storage needs of families and businesses just like yours.

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Home Organizing Tips for the Holidays

If you Google “Home Organizing Tips for the Holidays,” in exactly 0.37 seconds you will get 101,000 results. Two questions immediately come to mind: Where does one possibly begin, and aren’t the holidays already stressful enough? There are probably at least 50 organizing tips for every room in your house, and at that rate you might be organized in time for next Christmas.

If you are super-organized, say, like Martha Stewart, the real queen of home organization, then kudos to you. The other 99% is green with envy, especially if you have a team of minions at your beck and call as Martha does. However, for most of us getting ready for the holidays is simply a way of ensuring that our loved ones will not have to deal with an overly-emotional, stressed-out version of ourselves.

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The Zombie Apocalypse: Self Storage Can Save Your Life!

We’ve all seen at least one zombie apocalypse movie about the undead taking over the world. However, unlike aliens, who come from outer space, where zombies originate remains a mystery as does why the zombie brain has only one program running: Eat! Eat! Eat!

Are you looking for ways to survive this Halloween’s Zombie apocalypse?

You can learn more about zombie behavior and survival strategies at the Zombie Research Society, we’re not joking, this really exists and it has loads of information to satiate your curiosity.

Here is our simple suggestion for the best way to survive an attack: Take shelter at your local self storage facility; it is the ideal anti-zombie fortress.
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Why Retirees are Moving to Sarasota, Florida

What do the beach, ballet, and baseball all have in common? We’ll give you a hint … with sunsets that last forever and sugar sand beaches this Garden State city is a popular destination for tourists and retirees alike. Are thinking about moving to Sarasota, Florida? We thought so. Whether you are a snowbird researching the best places to retire or want to relocate your family to an excellent school district on the west coast of Florida, the vibrant town of Sarasota has something for everyone.

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8 Unusual Things to do with Cardboard Moving Boxes

There are more than 101 things to do with cardboard boxes, and besides building an actual skyscraper or luxury ocean liner, almost anything can be made out of a moving box. From napkin rings and picture frames to castles, airplanes, and rocket ships, it would appear that when it comes to cardboard, inventions range from the sublimely simple to museum-worthy art pieces.

The Imagination Foundation’s Cardboard Challenge invites the world to play with cardboard and build anything they can dream up. With 46 participating countries and almost 500 events in the United States alone, thousands of children around the world have the opportunity to bring their ideas to life with their cardboard creations. Here are a few humble ideas for a day of play with your moving boxes that will offer a welcome respite from the stress of moving. Continue reading “8 Unusual Things to do with Cardboard Moving Boxes”

7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to North Side Chicago

When it comes to deciding what to do and see in Chicago, there are so many choices in the Windy City that Fodor’s Travel decided to publish an article titled “10 Things Not To Do In Chicago.” While this might be helpful for tourists who are on a tight schedule, if you’re moving here the first question on your mind probably is something like: “Where are the nice neighborhoods in Chicago?”

We’ve narrowed the playing field for you by identifying two very fine communities on Chicago’s North Side, and info on Chicago culture and trivia so you’ll feel right at home when you arrive.
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Moving Tips to Reduce Pets’ Stress

It is a commonly held belief that moving is one of the most stressful events that can occur in a person’s life. But why is that?

Anyone who has moved knows that it requires planning, preparation, and a tremendous amount of hard work. Moreover, it disrupts our familiar daily routines, which is precisely what behavioral health scientists believe creates all the stress in the first place.
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Create Moving Box Masterpieces

Just build it, and they will come! That’s what happens if you end up building with large cardboard boxes. Youth and science organizations have caught on to the universal appeal of playing with moving and shipping boxes, and are engaging kids of all ages to create cardboard masterpieces that include everything from boats and rocket ships to princess hats and palaces.

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How To Combine Two Households Harmoniously

She Said Yes!

You Googled tirelessly searching for romantic Valentine’s Day ideas, and no doubt found a plethora of ways to pop the big question. You might have even come across the wedding opportunity of the century … to get married at the world-famous 86th floor Observatory of the Empire State Building. But whether or not you are dreaming of getting hitched on top of a hi rise, a barefoot beach wedding or just making a commitment to move in together, February is a special time of year.
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5 Tips To Survive And Thrive When Your Parents Move In

Helping your parents downsize for a move into a nursing home or an assisted living facility requires hours of research and can be fraught with some tough choices. But what happens if mom and dad are moving in with you? More than likely, you will be faced with the dilemma of what to do with a myriad of possessions accumulated over a lifetime.

Moving an aging parent into your home requires more than simply packing up their belongings however. Follow these five essential tips to ensure you and your folks make the transition in harmony.
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5 Fun Things to do with Moving Boxes After the Move

After all the expenses and hard work of orchestrating a move, are you ready for a little fun? How about something that gives your pocketbook a break? Before getting rid of that pile of moving boxes in the corner of your family room get in touch with your inner child, and give the kids something inexpensive to play with that offers hours of entertainment.

Young yoy with moving box creation car
Photo Credit: MrMcgroovys.com

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