After browsing home improvement magazines or websites like Pinterest, you may find yourself wishing you had an extra month’s income to make your home picture-perfect. You don’t have to abandon your organized dream home completely, though. Even with a small budget, you can create a place you love living. Continue reading “How to Organize your Home on a Budget”
We all know Christmas can be a little chaotic, and with the addition of new toys, gadgets, and other goodies, your home can start to feel cluttered and disorganized. January is the perfect time to purge and make room for the new. Why not donate the things you no longer need or use? You can feel good about wrapping up the festivities and starting the year off right with these super easy ways to declutter after the holidays.
1. Define Boundaries
One of the hardest parts about organizing any home is deciding where to begin. If you get easily distracted, you might want to enlist an organizing professional to help out. If hiring an expert is not in the budget, check out Peter Walsh’s 31 Days To Get Organized Challenge. It’s free on Facebook and makes organizing fun. Wherever your clutter piles up, there are a few simple rules to follow.
Decide what you are going to declutter before you start. Is it an entire room or the kid’s toybox? Apartment Therapy’s Rebecca Blumhagen recommends starting with bulky items that take up a lot of space first. She says, “Large items can be really easy to purge in a short amount of time.” For example, extra towels and linens take up a lot of space in your linen closet and can be easily downsized and donated to pet shelters.
2. Lay it on the Line
To get rid of something useful, but outdated or worn, it helps to know what you are keeping in its place. Blumhagen suggests to donate coats or sweaters that are duplicated by color or fabric because these take up valuable real estate in your closet. Whether you decide to tackle the kid’s toybox or your closet, define it and take one step at a time so you don’t get sidetracked or overwhelmed. If you are going through a closet, for example, lay out all the items you’re working through then make four piles:
- KEEP. If it’s useful and/or you love it, then by all means, keep it.
- TOSS. If it’s broken or no longer useful, might as well get rid of it sooner rather than later.
- DONATE. Hold it close and ask yourself, Does it make my heart sing? If no, then donate it.
- RECYCLE. Old shoe boxes and shopping bags? Has it reached the end of its long useful life? If yes, recycle it.
3. Staging is Everything
Have you ever walked into a model home or apartment and fallen in love? There is a reason for that, and it’s called staging. Realtors frequently advise homeowners to declutter before selling their home and many claim staged homes bring in higher offers. However, why wait until you are moving to have someone tell you to declutter and make your home picture perfect? Instead, love where you live now.
Before you put everything back in its place, think about how you will organize it and make it look appealing. Determine if you need any organizational solutions.
4. Exception to the Rule
If you come to the end of your decluttering project and find you still don’t have enough room to store everything you own at home or park your car in the garage, then upsizing is a consideration. Renting a storage unit will come in handy either way.
Most people think of a storage unit as a place to store holiday decorations or other seasonal items, and they are correct but storage units are great for other uses too. For example, if you want to convert a craft room into a guest room, a short-term storage rental gives you that ability and costs less than you might think.
5. Declutter for Tax Deductions
It is never too early to get a head start on yearly tax deductions. Getting a deduction for the items you donate from the IRS is pretty easy, but even so, you’ll want to consult with a tax advisor in your state for specific rules.
If your decluttering results in a big pile of donations, it’s a win-win—for both you and your community. Green Drop converts donated items to help fund several types of charities, and if you live in one of their service areas, you can schedule a donation pick up or drive to a nearby drop-off center.
When you declutter and donate after the holidays, you will appreciate your new haven and might just avoid the post-holidays blues that January often brings. However, more importantly, you may have helped to make someone’s New Year a little brighter.
Every holiday season is an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. However, if you’re in charge of cooking, you can easily miss out on this opportunity by getting stuck in the kitchen the whole time.
One way to avoid this problem is to organize your pantry before the holiday rush. An organized pantry can make cooking faster and more relaxing, and it can make you feel more comfortable involving other people in the kitchen. In fact, your pantry could actually be a source of comfort. The rest of the house may be chaotic in December, but at least your pantry will be clean and orderly.
Getting this perfect pantry doesn’t have to be difficult, either. You can organize it slowly, dealing with one task at a time. Even at this slow pace, you can create a beautiful, organized pantry within a week. For some guidance, here’s a day-by-day schedule to help you tackle even the messiest pantry.
Day 1: Create pantry zones.
To get organized, you first need to know where everything should go. That’s why it’s important to create “pantry zones” before you start unloading the shelves. These sections should be organized in categories that fit your cooking style. For example, if you bake a lot, you might have a zone just for baking ingredients and pans. Or, if you like quick meals, you might create a section just for boxed food mixes and instant noodles. Drinks, kids’ snacks, and holiday fixings are other great ideas.
Keeping these sections well-organized is easy if you use cabinet organizers, like baskets or transparent containers. You could also hang pocket organizers on the door for extra space. Once you’ve created these “zones” and found a way to organize them, you’re ready to get your pantry in order!
Days 2 & 3: Rearrange, organize, and clean.
Depending on how large and messy your pantry is, this step could be simple or overwhelming. Either way, you don’t have to conquer it all in a day. You can reserve one day for emptying and cleaning the shelves, and another for putting everything in order.
As you organize each item, be sure to check its expiration date before putting it back. Moldy and stale food can be embarrassing, especially if you accidentally serve it. Taking a moment to check the expiration dates can prevent this unpleasant mistake and save you an extra trip to the store later.
If your pantry still seems overcrowded, you could consider moving extra kitchen supplies into a self storage unit to free up space. For instance, if you have two dozen jars of jam you canned this past summer, you could keep half of those in your unit. Removing these extra supplies can make your pantry look clean and well-organized almost immediately.
Days 3 & 4: Label jars and containers.
Labeling jars and containers can save time and prevent cooking mistakes when friends and family help in the kitchen. With clearly-written labels, no one will need to interrupt you to ask, “What is this?” This process can take some time, so break it up into two days. One the first day, find a label design you love. (You can download free stylish labels online or buy an inexpensive pack at the store.) Then, on the second day, fill out the labels and stick them on the containers. Once everything is labeled, you can step back and admire your pantry, which is already looking beautiful.
Day 6: Stock up on food.
While going through your pantry, you might have noticed that you’re running out of certain ingredients. Today, go through your pantry more thoroughly and check whether you have everything you need for the holidays. Since your pantry is now organized, you’ll be able to see what you’re missing much faster. Still, it might be worthwhile to make a list of staple ingredients and items you use regularly. If you have time, you can even create a holiday meal plan and shop for those ingredients in particular. All this preparation will save you time and stress later, when you’re cooking for guests.
Day 7: Add finishing touches.
Your pantry is almost perfect now. It’s only missing small details—things you don’t necessarily need but would be happy to have. For example, if the top shelves are too high for you or your guests, you could get a small ladder for the pantry. You could also hang a shopping list on the wall or get a dispenser for your plastic bags. These final touches will make your pantry go from “nice” to “amazing,” turning it into a source of pride during the holidays and the rest of the year.
The holidays are a special time of year. It’s when we gather together with family and friends to celebrate the year that was and look ahead to the year to come. And while we all love the holidays, there’s no denying that it can be a hectic time of year, especially if your home is cluttered. That means before the sleigh bells ring and the snow starts to glisten, you need to get organized and declutter. Continue reading “10 Tips to Declutter Your Home Before the Holidays”
Clothes on the ground. Papers stacked up on the desk. A lone shoe missing its mate. Does that sound like your bedroom storage? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to get organized.
When most people think of affordable bedroom storage, they think of big ugly boxes, plastic totes, or DIY furniture from big-box stores. Metro Self Storage is here to change your mind and offer an alternative. Here are a few ideas to help you organize your bedroom and do it in style.
Five Cheap and Easy Ways to Organize Your Bedroom
Buy Bed Risers
Call it a trick from our college days. If you’re living, or have ever lived in a dorm, then you know that when space is tight, you’ve gotta get creative. Bed risers are the perfect budget solution to give you more space and help you get organized. Sold in sets of four, some lifts can raise your bed up to six inches. While that might not sound like much, you’d be surprised at the amount of storage space you actually get with six extra inches. You can purchase bed risers for under $10 from many retailers and big-box stores, including Target, The Container Store, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Vacuum Pack Bulky Winter Items
It’s no secret that parkas, puffy jackets, and down comforters take up a lot of space. And while they are vital for warmth during the winter months, you don’t need them year round. One of the easiest ways to store these bulky winter items is to seal them in a vacuum packed bag. Not only will it save you space, it also makes these items easier to store under your bed or in the closet. Bags cost only $6.99 when purchased from Kohl’s or Walmart.
DIY Jewelry Organizers
If you wear jewelry, then you know what a pain it is to untangle a necklace chain or track down missing earrings. Sure, you could buy a fancy jewelry holder on Etsy, but it’s much cheaper to make one on your own. All you really need is a cork board and push pins from your local office or art supply store. Simply hang the cork board on your wall and insert the pins to begin organizing your jewelry. You can hang necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and more!
Unlike a chest of drawers which can take up too much room in your closet, vertical hangers are a great storage solution for when you’re short on space. Tie on your scarves, hang up your belts — there are even vertical hangers just for storing your shoes. Best of all? They’re cheap, like under $10 apiece cheap, so you save both money and space.
Clever Storage Spaces
Anyone who has ever searched for “bedroom storage ideas” on Pinterest can tell you that repurposing everyday items for storage is all the rage right now. Not only is it chic, it is also quite affordable. Hit up your local thrift shop or second-hand store for a gently-used ottoman with removable lid, or pick up a few old suitcases to stack on top of one another as a statement piece to put next to your bedside table. The trick is to find pieces that are beautiful but also double as storage.
Other Ways to Store
Have you followed all of our tips, but are still feeling short on space? Consider leasing a small storage unit from Metro Self Storage. We offer affordable storage units for rent throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States. Contact our friendly leasing team to learn more about bedroom storage on a budget.
The Saturday after Labor day is National Clean Out Your Garage Day, however, becoming a National Holiday isn’t easy. It begs the question—is there a compelling reason to dedicate an entire day to organizing a garage? Turns out, there is. Of the nearly 1,000 garage owners Consumer Reports polled in a recent nationwide survey, a whopping 62% said their garages were overcrowded. Continue reading “Celebrate National Clean Out Your Garage Day”
Sweaters are great for December but do you really need them in June? When the seasons change, so does our wardrobe. Unfortunately, closets are often too small, and even walk-in closets don’t offer enough clothes storage if you are sharing with a roommate or spouse.
The solution? Seasonal clothes storage will instantly give you more closet space. However tempting it may be to store extra clothes in the garage, basement, or attic, these spaces can be detrimental to your clothing. Especially, if it is hot or humid where you live. Where and how you store your clothes determines how long they last.
Seasonal clothes storage will inspire you to declutter your closet and keep it organized. We offer you a few simple steps and the best solutions to keep your clothes fresh and ready-to-wear when the seasons change.
Every neighborhood has at least one garage that looks organized by someone suffering from OCD, a cross between a hospital operating room and a home improvement store ad. However, truth be told, deep down, we think, “If only I could have a garage that looked half as good as that.” My garage looks like the stock room of the local Goodwill store. What’s in your garage? If you are ready to crush the clutter in your garage, here are some organizational tips and tools to help you get started.
Have you ever really thought about how clutter accumulates in your home? We all have things that we cherish like a set of favorite golf clubs or a comfortable chair for binge-watching TV. But let’s face it, we own a wide variety of objects that often have a powerful grip on our psyche. Continue reading “Home Organization: How to Downsize Your Possessions”
Clutter happens, often for good reasons, such as a new baby, a death in the family, a move or any other event that throws life out of balance. The New Year is a good time to hit the reset button, and since January is National Get Organized Month why not learn how to organize and simplify your home? Anyone can appreciate a place to rejuvenate after a long day, and without the distraction of clutter all around. Continue reading “Popular New Year’s Resolutions: Celebrate National Get Organized Month”
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.
Renting and loading a large storage unit might seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be if you do a little up-front preparation. The most familiar way to think of a large storage unit is that it’s roughly equivalent in size to a one-car garage. If you want more organization, larger storage units can give you more flexibility and space.
Large storage units can hold an entire household of belongings, but they are also utilized for storing vehicles, small boats, snowmobiles, and jet skis. The most sought after large storage units are typically 10X20 (200 square feet) and 10X30 (300 square feet).
Follow these steps to keep your large storage unit organized. Making it easier to locate and retrieve your items will save you time and a headache:
Continue reading “The Best Ways to Organize Your Large Storage Units”
Whether you need a self storage unit to meet your business storage needs, or to keep clutter at bay while your house is on the market, it doesn’t have to be a place your rarely visit. On the contrary, with a few helpful tips on how to organize your storage unit, you’ll have no regrets when you can easily find an item you want to retrieve.
4 Organizing tips for personal storage
Continue reading “The Best Ways to Organize Small Storage Units”
The decorations are put away, and the new diet has begun. With a renewed commitment to the gym and perhaps a few moments to reflect on the past 12 months, January is the time of year to make that infamous list called “New Year’s Resolutions.”
Even if you don’t believe in resetting your resolutions every year, clearing out the clutter is worth putting on your to-do list. Maybe you got some really cool presents you want to show off. Perhaps you have a tortured relationship with “stuff.” Maybe you’re married to the King or Queen of Clutter.
It’s not too late to get a head start on the New Year and begin clearing out the untidiness that might otherwise undermine your best efforts to begin anew. Here are three timesaving tips to help declutter your home.