Family Friendly Toy Storage Tips for Busy Parents


Family friendly toy storage tips can be invaluable when you’re preparing to move, have a baby, or simply clean the house. Keeping toys tucked away when not in use can relieve stress and prevent your home from becoming a toy disaster zone, especially during transitions.

While you can find plenty of great ideas and inspiring pictures online, in the end, all you might need is a few good principles to follow. Here are some toy storage tips that can make the difference between organization and chaos.

Choose toy storage options that work great for kids and adults

toy storage puzzle holder using a lid rack

Image Source: WhatsUpMoms

Children grow up quickly. Shelves or drawers designed specifically for children may be cute and perfect now, but they’ll soon be too small or babyish for your growing kids. Instead, choose furniture and storage options that could work for teenagers and adults as well as children. Then, you won’t need to buy something new later.

Similarly, look for storage options that are adaptable and multi-purpose. For instance, look for shelves that are adjustable and beds that have room for toy storage underneath. You want storage items that can quickly adapt to different toys, books, or clothes in the future.

In fact, you don’t always need to buy furniture specifically meant for storage. Drawers can turn into shelves, or a coffee table could turn into a toy table for Legos.


Use storage products that can survive wear and tear

A post shared by TOY CORNER (@toycorner) on

 Image Source: @toycorner via Instagram 

Pretty ribbons and chalkboard labels look great in photos, but they probably won’t last long with children. If you’re aiming for long-term use, choose storage containers and labels that are durable, such as high-quality plastic bins.

Opting for durable items doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck with unattractive toy boxes, though. You can find sturdy storage containers in a range of colors, designs, and materials. With the number of options available, you’re sure to find something that’s both durable and stylish.


Use a toy storage system that encourages kids to clean up

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Image Source: @emilymorganized via Instagram


If you want your children to keep their bedrooms and play areas tidy, look for toy storage options that make cleaning up easy. For instance, if your children are younger, you can use labels with pictures instead of words. Similarly, your kid may prefer open storage bins rather than boxes with lids. Determine where your child struggles with cleaning up and make it as simple as possible.

The location of their toys can also make a difference. Toys that are often used should be easy to retrieve and put away. Consider putting these toys on lower shelves, especially if they’re heavy, and position them as close to the actual play area as possible. For example, if your kids usually draw while sitting at the kitchen table, place the art supplies somewhere close by rather than in their room.

Also, avoid putting well-loved toys together in a big box. Otherwise, your child may pull out all the toys and create a mess while searching for one special toy. You can avoid this mess just by reorganizing your toy storage.

For more ideas, check out these tips about teaching your kids about bedroom organization.


Only keep toys that are frequently used

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 Image Source: @pixar via Instagram 


Of course, toy storage tips and ideas are easier to follow when you have fewer toys to organize. Toys have a way of multiplying, though, especially with birthdays, holidays, and grandparents. How can you narrow down your kids’ toys when every toy seems to have a purpose or value?

First, pay attention to the toys your child plays with every day. You may think certain toys are special when in fact, your child has outgrown them or moved on to other interests. Any toys that are regularly ignored can be removed—even they were gifts or favorite toys at one point.

If you’re struggling with this first step, keep in mind that you don’t have to get rid of the toys entirely. You can always put unused toys in your self-storage unit or home storage until you are sure your child no longer wants to play with them. Your main goal is to reduce the number of toys in your living spaces and play areas. Where the “retired” toys ultimately go is up to you.  

Next, look for toys that are played with, but only rarely. For instance, you might have seasonal toys like beach balls or sleds, or toys for special occasions like birthday parties. These toys tend to clutter up closets and drawers, making it harder to find things you do use regularly. Make sure to put these toys away in storage, too.

Finally, if your home still seems over-cluttered with toys, consider using a cabinet, closet, or storage unit to create a toy library for your children. Simply select certain toys that your children can “check out” or swap for other toys from the library. This system helps to limit the number of toys on the floor while also ensuring that your children regularly have “fresh” toys to play with.

Though toys and chaos may seem to go hand in hand, it’s not impossible to create an organized play area for your family. Hopefully, with these toy storage tips, you’ll be able to find a storage system that works for you and your children without cutting down on the fun!



Moving to Alabama? Metro Offers Storage Units in Montgomery


Whether you are moving to Alabama or have lived here your entire life, there are great things to see and discover in  Alabama’s state’s capital of Montgomery.

Central to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s, Montgomery is recognized worldwide for its historical and cultural significance and landmarks due to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s.

Today, Montgomery is a well-traveled tourist destination as well as a desirable place to raise a family, get a top-notch education, or to become a member of the U.S. Military. With so many choices, it’s no wonder so many people are moving to Montgomery.

Here at Metro Self Storage, we understand there are times when renting a storage unit can make the difference between chaos and calm during one of life’s many transitions. We opened our first storage facility in 1973. Today, we are proud to become a member of the community here in Alabama.

Our Montgomery self storage facilities are easy-to-access off U.S. Highway 80 and feature climate-controlled units in a wide range of sizes. Moreover, all of our storage units are competitively priced and feature superior customer service state-of-the-art security.


Why do people rent storage units in Montgomery?

Renting a storage unit comes in handy for any number of life events. Sometimes planned, and sometimes a complete surprise, transitions of any kind can be hard to manage. The number one reason people rent storage units in Montgomery is no different than any other city or state in America.

Moving to a smaller home and do not want to get rid of your furniture and other personal belongings

Temporary storage during a move to a new home or city

Seeking the wanderlust life and planning to travel for several months

A member of the military deployed for duty in another country

Home renovations such as kitchen and bathroom remodels

Staging homes for resale

Collectibles requiring a clean, dry, secure climate-controlled storage unit for safe keeping

Fast-growing Montgomery businesses who need affordable storage space for inventory, business records, and office furniture


If you are looking for secure, convenient, and clean and affordable storage units in Montgomery, contact a member of our friendly storage team. From our professional on-site managers and electronic gates with coded access to climate-controlled storage units and RV and boat storage in Montgomery, Metro Self Storage is hard to beat.


With so many universities in town, thousands of students rent storage units in Montgomery each year

Montgomery, Alabama, is home to a number of universities and colleges where students come from all over the world to pursue their college dreams. Alabama State University (ASU), founded in 1867, currently enrolls approximately 4,764 undergraduate students on its 172-acre campus in Downtown Montgomery.

Home to the ASU Hornets varsity sports teams, ASU students watch their favorite teams play basketball, football, soccer, and more. Moreover, the 4-year public university is primarily a residential campus, so students don’t have to worry about living off-campus until they are ready to rent a nearby apartment.

Serving high school graduates as well as adults returning to school, Auburn University at Montgomery is a top-ranked university that enrolls more than 22,000 undergraduate students and approximately 6,000 graduate-level students. The university offers study abroad programs in 15 countries.

College students frequently use self storage to hold their belongings over summer break, during their year studying abroad, or during a gap year. We offer clean, reliable, and convenient student storage units in Montgomery on Vaughn Road and Ray Thorington Road.  


Metro Self Storage in Montgomery is near these universities:

Auburn University at Montgomery less than three miles

Alabama State University less than eight miles

Ambridge University less than six miles

Virginia College in Montgomery less than six miles

Huntingdon College less than eight miles


Here at Metro, we pride ourselves on creating relationship-driven facilities where people come first. Our well-maintained self storage facilities offer top-notch security features, great customer service, and are always clean and well-maintained.

Contact us today to learn more about your options for storage units in Montgomery in addition to parking for boats, cars, and RVs.


How Sheepshead Bay Self Storage Makes Apartment Living in Brooklyn Easy


Big city apartments are usually high on costs and short on space, especially in terms of storage space such as closets and cabinets.  The trend towards smaller apartments in New York continues to gain popularity. Prefabricated in Brooklyn, New York, these modular micro-apartments range anywhere from 260 to 360 square feet. It’s no wonder many Brooklynites turn to Sheepshead Bay self storage to make their lives more manageable.

While the idea of living in a minute amount of space may come as a shock to most, for many New Yorkers, a self storage unit often serves as their second home because it provides the extra space people need to make living the apartment life in Brooklyn more enjoyable.

Continue reading “How Sheepshead Bay Self Storage Makes Apartment Living in Brooklyn Easy”

Self Storage? It’s Affordable If You Do It Right


Self Storage can be a safe space for your things while you address your life goals. For some, the opportunity to travel abroad or go on a road trip is irresistible. For others, it all comes down to too many things and a lack of space. Rather than getting rid of your sports gear, bed, or furniture, to name a few examples.

Say you’re a recently graduated college student with an apartment full of furniture and no clue how to move with it, or a newly married couple intent on selling your home and traveling for the next six months. While selling everything might work, it’s difficult and sometimes a significant waste of time and money compared to other options.

Continue reading “Self Storage? It’s Affordable If You Do It Right”

How to Choose the Best Self Storage Company


In some ways, looking for a great self storage unit with a reliable company is like looking for a great apartment with a reliable building manager. The unit will ideally have everything you want at the right price, and you’ll be able to trust the self storage company to take care of any problems that arise, from security to pest control.


However, unlike the building manager for your apartment, you may only meet the manager of a self storage facility once or twice, if all goes well. Your trust in the company will be partly based on this initial meeting, as well as any background research you do.


For this reason, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for and the questions you want to ask before visiting and choosing a self storage company. This preparation and research takes a little extra time, but in the end, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your property is stored at a top-notch self storage company.


To find a trustworthy and affordable self storage facility in your area, here are some steps you can take while researching your options.

Step 1: Decide what kind of storage unit you’ll need

In particular, you’ll want to think about size, climate and access. First off, gather together the items you want to store and estimate how much space you’ll need, both for the items and for yourself, moving around. Although you can technically fill the unit to the max, you might regret that decision later if you need something specific at the back of the unit. With extra space for moving around, you’ll be able to reach anything you want without needing to haul everything out first.


Next, check whether anything you’re storing is sensitive to moisture, dust or changes in temperature. For example, you wouldn’t want to expose wine to the balmy heat of summer or bitter cold of winter. Artwork, family heirlooms, a library of books or collection of photos are other items you might want to keep in a climate controlled unit.


Finally, consider how often you’ll want to access your unit. Not all facilities offer 24-hour access, 7 days a week. Being restriced to business hours may not be a problem for you, but if it is, you’ll want to find a self storage company with more flexible hours.


Step 2: Make a list of self storage companies in the wider area

The wider your search, the more likely you are to find a company that fits your needs at an affordable price. You can find great deals just by considering facilities farther away, especially if you live in a city. Driving 10-20 extra minutes might sound inconvenient, but it might be worthwhile for a more reliable company at a lower price.


Step 3: Compare reviews, prices, and office/gate hours

You can often find reviews about self storage companies on websites like Yelp. With enough reviews, you can start to get an idea of whether a company is reliable or not. If nothing else, you’ll have a background idea of what to expect when you visit the facility.


As you look at the opening hours, keep in mind the difference between office hours and gate hours. The gate may be open for longer than the office is. In other words, you may be able to access your unit even though the office is closed.


However, if you have a problem, you’ll have to wait until the office opens again. Make sure that the facilities you’re considering have convenient office/gate hours for your schedule, as well as prices you can afford.


Step 4: Choose and visit several self storage facilities

When you visit each facility, pay special attention to its cleanliness, security and customer service. Essentially, you want to see whether the image you had of the facility from your online research matches the reality. Are the personnel friendly and helpful? Do the buildings look in good shape?


Is there trash lying around? The best self storage companies take pride in their customer service and excellent facilities, so you should expect nothing less than good organization, tidiness, and a welcoming atmosphere.


Step 5: Ask plenty of questions

As you speak with the facility manager, make sure you ask for specifics about security, pest control, and payment policies. For example, how often do pest control professionals visit? What will happen if you’re a day late with payment?


You can also ask to look at the unit you’d actually be renting. This way, you’ll get exactly what you’re expecting when you sign the contract. Definitely ask about deals or discounts, too, so you know exactly how much (or little) you’d be paying.


Step 6: Make your decision

If your visit goes well, you can ask to take the contract home to review at your own pace. With the contract and a clear picture of each facility, you can make a decision with confidence, knowing that you’re choosing the best self storage company.


Step 7: Enjoy your decision

Storing your property at a trustworthy self storage facility will not only give you peace of mind; it’ll also free up more space for you to travel, find a new home, or simply enjoy living with less clutter. Congratulate yourself for making a good decision, and savor your new freedom!



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”

10 Tips to Declutter Your Home Before the Holidays

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”

Bedroom Storage on a Budget

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!

Vertical Hangers

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.

How to Prepare Family Heirlooms for Storage

When you think of family heirlooms, what may come to to mind might be an expensive object such as antique furniture or a Cartier necklace. However, anything from furniture and musical instruments to recipes, photos, and diaries could be considered a family heirloom. When it comes to preserving your family traditions and memories, it is important to learn how to prepare heirlooms for storage.

The decision to rent a storage unit for your heirloom or declutter it all depends on your family, the types of items under consideration, and whether or not you consider the items in question valuable multi-generational heirlooms. Continue reading “How to Prepare Family Heirlooms for Storage”

Clothes Storage: Best Solutions to Keep Your Clothes Fresh

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.

Continue reading “Clothes Storage: Best Solutions to Keep Your Clothes Fresh”

Top 5 Storage Facility Security Features to Look For

When you use a self-storage facility, you expect that your items will be safe from theft. After all, isn’t safety one of the top reasons for using self storage?

Unfortunately, though, not all self storage facilities are equally safe. Some provide excellent customer service, yet have gaps in their security. Once you’re gone, your items become vulnerable. That’s why it’s important to carefully evaluate the security features of any self-storage facility you’re considering. While friendliness and cleanliness are important, they ultimately won’t protect your property.

But what exactly should you look for? To judge a self-storage facility’s security, you should look at the following 5 features.


1. Lighting

The best time to visit a self storage facility is after sunset. Then, you can easily see how much lighting the facility has. There should be plenty of light. A self storage facility shouldn’t be trying to save electricity. Security should be its #1 priority, not reduced light bills.

Sufficient lighting is an easy way to discourage crime, but it’s also important for other security features. For example, video surveillance is only effective if the area is well lit. Before asking about high-tech security, then, first check out the quality of the lighting.


2. Video Surveillance

If there’s enough light, start looking for and asking about video surveillance. Are there enough cameras? Are they always on? For how long do they record video?

Recorded 24-hr video surveillance is absolutely necessary. Don’t be satisfied with just ‘video surveillance’. Be curious about it, since you want any potential crimes to be on video. Otherwise, if your stored property does get stolen or vandalized, you won’t be able to identify the criminal or get your property back.


3. A Good Fence

Robert Frost once wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” The same could be said of self storage facilities. An excellent fence is an essential security feature every self storage facility should have. The fence should surround the entire perimeter, not just the entrance, and be sturdy and difficult to climb. A chain-link fence won’t be enough to keep criminals away from your valuables.


4. Secure Access to Storage

Let’s say you want to get something out of your self storage unit. How does the self storage facility allow you to access your unit? Is it easy—perhaps too easy?

Accessing your unit should be convenient yet secure. Simple locks are convenient, but not secure enough. Coded keypads are much safer. The main gate to the self storage facility should definitely have a coded keypad, ideally monitored by video surveillance. Then, entering the premises will be difficult for outsiders, yet easy for you.


5. Disc Locks

Getting an excellent lock is an essential part of making sure your storage unit is secure. The self storage facility might have the best security possible, but that shouldn’t stop you from choosing the best lock—a disc lock.

While padlocks are cheaper, they’re not the most secure option. Even an inexperienced thief can pick a padlock or cut it off. Disc locks, on the other hand, were designed especially for storage units. They’re resistant to picks, bolt cutters, and heavy hammers. A thief would have to grind it off, a loud, time-consuming process.

Disc locks are more expensive than padlocks, but that extra investment is worthwhile if you’re storing valuables. They definitely discourage theft, and they’re not hard to find. You should be able to buy one at the self storage facility.

If a storage facility offers these five security features, you can rest assured that your storage unit will be safe. However, keep in mind that security features can’t protect your property from natural disasters, like earthquakes and flooding. For complete peace of mind, take advantage of tenant insurance, which covers accidents and unexpected events.

For more information about security features, contact Metro Self Storage and check out what we offer our clients!

Top 6 Wine Storage Tips

Have you ever wondered why wine improves with age? So many things do.

The great English Philosopher and Statesman, Francis Bacon, explains why, “ … age appears to be best in four things—old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” Many red wines—and some white wines—are meant to be aged before they are opened. Our 6 top wine storage tips will guarantee your wine tastes great when you are ready to drink it. Continue reading “Top 6 Wine Storage Tips”

Utilize Self Storage During Your Home Improvement Project

There are lots of reasons why people decide to remodel rather than move. If the kids are in a great school, or you love your neighborhood, you might not want to give those things up. While spring and early summer are the best times of the year to put your house on the market, you might decide to undertake a home remodel instead. If you utilize self storage during your home improvement project, you can decrease the chaos of remodeling while increasing the value of your home. Continue reading “Utilize Self Storage During Your Home Improvement Project”

Top 10 Moving Tips from 40 Years in the Storage Business

To celebrate National Moving Month, we questioned storage managers from 10 Metro Self Storage locations to bring you the top 10 tips from over 40 years in the storage business.

Founded in 1973 by Karl F. Nagel, Metro Self Storage has grown to over 100 storage facilities in 11 states and continues to help people just like you find the perfect storage solution when moving or experiencing another type of life transition. Continue reading “Top 10 Moving Tips from 40 Years in the Storage Business”

Business Storage Solutions | How a Self Storage Unit Can Help Your Business Grow

Business growth is a great thing. It is a healthy sign that business is doing well and making money but getting bigger doesn’t come without its challenges. For many businesses, growth and expansion equate to the need for more physical space. Renting a business storage unit can be a cost-effective solution for businesses who want their growth to remain profitable. Continue reading “Business Storage Solutions | How a Self Storage Unit Can Help Your Business Grow”

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle on Earth Day with Self Storage

Say, what? You are no doubt asking, “How is it possible to reduce, reuse, and recycle on Earth Day with self storage?” It’s a legitimate question because according to the media America has a serious problem with consumption. Even Slate weighed in to tell us how we have become a self storage nation. But the reality is that self storage is most often used to ease stress during life transitions like moving or relocating for a new job, an unexpected death of a beloved grandparent, or combining households. Continue reading “Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle on Earth Day with Self Storage”