You might be wondering how self-storage could possibly be related to the party-hearty green explosion of St. Patrick’s Day. Perhaps you think of self-storage as a useful place to keep things while moving or living in a small apartment, not as the kind of place you’d need for a party.
Is your car ready to take back its rightful spot in the garage? Our garage storage tips can help you do just that. 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.
Garages of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Do you ever wonder how garages came about? Me neither, but after a quick Google search, it all makes sense. Before automobiles, people had horses and buggies, which were kept in a carriage house usually located behind the property. Horses make odorous smells, so the further the way from the kitchens and bedrooms, the better.
Automobiles continued to gain popularity in the US, and home builders soon realized around the 1950s that houses sold better with attached garages. Carrying in the groceries sheltered from snow and rain is a luxury suburbanites take for granted because big-city garages are hard to come by.
Today’s garages are used as flexible space and serve many purposes. Some of your neighbors may take a creative approach and turn their garages into man caves, music studios, or a garage-based business start-up. Others have a place to park their cars as well as space for garage storage.
What will tomorrow’s garage look like? That mostly depends on what the cars of the future will look like, and who better to ask that Jay Leno, a world-renowned car aficionado whose new CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage, airs on CNBC Prime Time.
Crush the Clutter in Your Garage
The first step in any decluttering project towards garage storage is deciding what stays and what goes. The general rule of thumb for closets is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, toss it. However, for garages, the timeframe is longer.
Professional home organizers recommend that if you haven’t used an item housed in your garage for three years, then it is time to either donate it or toss it. If you have items with significant sentimental or financial value, then consider placing them into a secure, convenient self storage facility.
Working Walls Make Great Garage Storage Solutions
Create more usable square footage in your garage by using easy-to-install shelving. Pictured here is steel shelving by Monkey Bars, which is a combined hook-and-bar system to create customized garage storage spaces. Depths range from 16-inches to 32-inches deep, allowing you to customize the storage system based on the size of your garage.
The hooks come in a variety of sizes and weight capacities that enable you to hang even heavier items like bikes and golf clubs or lighter things such as strollers, miscellaneous yard tools, tennis rackets, and helmets.
Upgrade the Floor to Keep Your House Cleaner
Chemical-, oil-, and water-resistant, epoxy-based garage floor coatings have come a long way thanks to improved materials and not a moment too soon since the garage is fast becoming more than a place to park your car. This type of flooring does double-duty, durable enough to handle hot tires and de-icing salts and beautiful enough to create a hang-out space.
Not only does a floor coating look beautiful, but it’s also much easier to keep clean. Regular concrete garage floors attract and then kick up dirt and grime, which is tracked into your home. A coated garage floor gets rid of that nuisance and also brightens up the garage space because it is very light-reflective.
Garage Floor Tiles Give Garages a Polished Look
If you have limited time, or you are a DIY kind of guy or gal, then you may want to consider garage floor tiles. Tile installation doesn’t require prepping your garage floor for adhesion to a paint or epoxy coating and is less expensive than having a professional do the installation. Price and quality vary, and, depending on where you live, melting snow and subzero temperatures may dictate a high-quality, rigid tile. These types of tiles are advisable if you use kickstands or floor jacks. They are easy to clean and come in perforated versions that drain spills and snowmelt, making slippery spots less of an issue.
Overhead Bins Require Owning a Ladder
After making the painful decision of what stays and what goes, it’s time to look up for storage. If you have seasonal ski gear or sentimental items that don’t need climate controlled storage and with which you can’t bear to part—such as your grandfather’s toolbox, toys, or holiday decorations—then, consider installing overhead bins for garage organization. These are ideally suited for the long-term storage of items that you don’t plan to access frequently. Unless you opt for a pulley system like the ones you can find at Home Depot, reaching these items will require a ladder. Also, remember to choose storage containers that are not too large or too heavy.
Conceal Clutter to Create an Enviable Garage
If you, like that neighbor down the street we mentioned earlier, suffer from a touch of OCD, then a behind-closed-doors solution may be the focus of your garage organization project. Free-standing cabinets are easy to install, protect items from dust, and can be designed to accommodate different heights and features to meet your specific storage needs. The interiors are configured with shelving for stacking boxes or with bars and hooks to hide a bag full of soccer balls and sports equipment or garden tools and bikes.
Whether your inspiration for a garage storage comes from the desire to create a man cave or a game center boasting a ping-pong table for family fun night, remember your newly organized space will require maintenance. Just like you take your car in every 5,000 miles for an oil change, your garage will need periodic maintenance too.
Clutter is essentially deferred decision making and what better way to help you remember to declutter your garage than the “National Clean Out Your Garage Day.” Celebrating its 8th year, this relatively new holiday is celebrated the first weekend after Labor Day. Add it to your calendar now to keep your garage looking as good in 2017 as it will in 2016.
Are you thinking about moving to El Paso, Texas? The sixth-largest city in Texas and locally known as “Sun City” due to 297 days of sunshine, El Paso has a lot to offer current and new residents alike. From leading universities and the world’s largest military base to a thriving economy and restaurants dishing up delicious Texas barbecue and Mexican food, who wouldn’t love moving to El Paso? Continue reading “Why People Love Moving to El Paso, Texas”
Are you wondering how to have a stress-free Valentine’s Day? Is that even possible? If you are single, then Valentine’s Day could be anything from empowering to a major downer. If you are in a new relationship, and nobody has said, “I love you” yet, things could get awkward. But for anyone in a relationship between the first kiss and a 50-year wedding anniversary, take notice because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
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”
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.
Have you been procrastinating your Holiday shopping? Don’t panic yet. Chicago has some of the best Christmas shopping destinations in the Midwest. It is an exciting place to be any time of the year, but at Christmas, the sky is the limit in Chicago. Get ready to bundle up because you can watch the Magnificent Mile sparkle, ice skaters doing pirouettes in Millennium Park, and free concerts everywhere.
But perhaps the biggest treat in store for tourists and Chicagoans alike this holiday season is Christmas Shopping in River North Chicago.
Is your car like a second home? For many people, the answer is a resounding yes. Our cars are the place we can practice singing like Adele or croon like Chris Martin. Cars also serve as a respite from the kids, the hustle and bustle of work, and if the volume on the radio is loud enough traffic noise.
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.
Is it really that time of year again? Yes! Christmas is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to figure out where to shop and what gifts to give. As the bags and boxes start piling up, you might start wondering how and where to hide them from prying eyes and fingers. The answer? A storage unit! You can rent one for cheaper than you might imagine.
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.
Battling unwelcome insects and rodents in your living space is one thing—you are there to wage war on a daily basis. However, preventing rodent and pest infestations in your storage unit takes special care and consideration. The most popular type of items people put into storage is furniture. Think overstuffed sofas, plush recliners, mattresses, and grandmas antique kitchen table. So it is a little creepy to think the things we take out of our homes and put into storage can then become home to pesky little creatures such as mice, cockroaches, ants, and spiders.
Just in case you doubt the importance of finding a clean, pest-free storage facility, did you know that mice leave a trail of urine wherever they walk? Not only are they prolific breeders but they produce thousands of fecal pellets that may contain millions of bacteria or viruses. Grossed out yet?
Winterizing your RV for the winter is just the tip of the iceberg. If you are moving to or live in a colder part of the country like moving to Minneapolis or moving to Chicago find a suitable winter home for your vehicle before the mercury really starts to plummet.
If you’re lucky enough to have access to indoor climate-controlled RV storage, and can afford the fee, this type of facility will allow you to skip some of the winterizing steps and tasks that are typically required for RV winter storage in freezing temperatures. Continue reading “How to Prepare Your RV for Storage in Chicago”
When it comes to deciding whether or not to rent a climate controlled storage unit, it’s not just high temperatures that you have to worry about. When planning to store valuable business and household items, also think about moisture and humidity as well as freezing temperatures.
While most self storage companies offer slightly higher storage unit rates for climate controlled storage features, keeping your belongings from sustaining damage due to high temperatures, humidity, or freezing conditions is worth the investment.
The best methods for storing electronics include remembering that technology evolves faster than lightening, and if you put something out of sight will it be relevant by the time you unpack it from your storage unit.
Of course, vintage electronics are popular collectibles and keeping any electronic gadgetry safe and protected from the elements is a worthwhile investment.
Be sure to remove all batteries, and not store anything directly on the floor where it will be more susceptible to moisture. Label boxes as “fragile” and use bubble wrap or foam padding to protect delicate items. But don’t wrap electronics in shrink-wrap because moisture can be trapped inside.
It’s better to use paper wrapping, moving blankets, or beach towels that you can pick up cheaply at the local Goodwill store.
Wood expands and contracts with changes in surrounding temperature and humidity, which is why a temperature-controlled unit is usually the best option. But before you store, prepare your wood furniture beforehand. Painted furniture may simply need to be wiped down, but stained, dyed, oiled, and waxed wood furniture may require special care such as applying linseed oil or a specific type of furniture wax.
After you’ve prepped your furniture one way to keep it protected is to wrap it with moving blankets and then shrink-wrap it. This will keep it from getting scuffed or dinged during transport and storage.
Plan to allow for space between items so that air circulates between the furniture and you can remove your pieces more easily should you need a particular item in the future.
Storing wine in “perfect” storage conditions is something wine geeks can argue about all day long. While that makes it impossible to give definitive advice about the “perfect” wine storage conditions, you’ll be fine if you put wine in a dark, largely undisturbed place with a moderate and fairly constant temperature.
When it comes to storing your wine in a storage facility choosing whether or not you need a specialized wine storage option or simply a storage unit that meets your storage needs depends largely upon where you live. Talk to your local storage facility manager about how long you need wine storage and how often you plan to access the collection.
In the meantime, if you want to start a serious wine collection, take your time and remember this advice: “The only collection worth having is one filled with wines you like.”
Hmmm … you may find yourself asking whether or not you need wine storage after all.
Photos and Artwork
When it comes to storing your most treasured possessions, family photos, paintings, and art supplies are usually at the top of the list. Not only do these items need to be protected from UV exposure and humidity, but they also need to be packaged and stored properly. Storing photos of family, friends, and travel adventures are easy if you have a Flickr or Smug Mug account.
But what about grandmas’ family tree of ancestral photos tucked into an aging photo album? Or the hundreds of baby pictures mom and dad took of you and are now stored in boxes? Exposures.com offers photo sleeves made of photo-safe materials that pass the same safety test used by the Library of Congress and the National Archives.
Storing photos in a climate controlled storage unit is a temporary solution until you have the time or inclination to transfer them into digital files.
Medical and Pharmaceutical Products
Pharmaceutical reps often turn to their local self storage facility to keep their inventory and shipments safe. Besides choosing a climate controlled storage unit, facility, reps should also ensure the storage unit is clean and that there are no signs of bug or rodent infestations and conveniently located. New or renovated storage facilities are always more attractive, but older facilities with good maintenance programs and reputations are also good choices.
Most but not all storage operators accept deliveries without an extra charge. At Metro Self Storage our friendly storage managers will happily accept deliveries and work with each pharmaceutical rep to create a plan for deliveries to avoid running into any issues down the line.
Bonus Tip: At the end of the day, if you still find yourself asking, Do I really need climate controlled storage? We can help. It’s one of the most popular questions we hear in the storage industry. Answering these three easy questions will help your storage facility answer your biggest questions about climate-controlled storage units.
What are the temperature ranges where you live?
What are you planning to store?
How long do you plan to utilize a self storage unit?
Whether you are a homeowner getting ready to move or a real estate agent staging a home for sale, self storage can provide both short- and long-term options to reduce clutter during a move. Home furnishings usually represent the largest investment inside a home, and the wide range of styles and quality characteristics makes finding the right type of storage very important. If you are wondering how to store furniture long term, we’ve got some handy tips to keep your belongings in the best possible condition. Continue reading “How To Prepare Furniture for Storage”
Flying the American flag is acceptable any day of the year, especially on National Holidays like Veteran’s Day and Labor Day. However, every June 14th, we celebrate Flag Day to commemorate the adoption of the official symbol of the United States of America; the flag called the “Stars and Stripes.” This happened on that date in 1777 by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress. Continue reading “How to Properly Care, Store, Handle, and Retire the American Flag”
Whether you love festivals, are a foodie at heart, or enjoy the surf and sun at the beach, moving to Tampa will prove there is no lack of things to do in Florida, especially in and around Tampa. It’s the third-largest city in Florida and features miles of beachfront living.
We’ve gathered 5 neighborhoods we think you should know more about. This once rural area now boasts the largest city neighborhood with new master planned residential communities and a growing population.
8 Insider Tips on How to Get the Best Student Storage Deals
Finding clean, secure, and convenient student storage becomes more of a challenge as summer approaches. As a college student, you understand better than anyone that there are only so many nooks, cubbies, and crannies to cram stuff into in a dorm room.
When faced with sharing a room, the big question is, “What do I do with all this extra stuff?” From a surplus of college books and university gear to clothes and kitchenware, it’s easy to accumulate more stuff than you have room for in your dorm room.
Renting and loading large storage units might seem like a daunting task. Whether a business or personal residence, with a little up-front preparation using our pro storage tips, you create an ideal storage solution. 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).