Five Family-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

 

The best family-friendly New Year’s resolutions are those that create more fun, laughter, and love in the family. Some resolutions, like eating more healthfully, sound good on paper but tend to fail because they lack this “fun” factor. As a result, they become a burden which can cause conflict, guilt, or stress in the family. Continue reading “Five Family-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions for 2019”

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How to Hide Big (and Small) Christmas Presents from Clever Kids

 

Knowing where and how to hide Christmas presents can be difficult if you have smart kids. They’re sharp enough to pick up on little clues, and they have enough time during the holidays to snoop out any poorly hidden gifts. Figuring out how to hide big Christmas presents from these dedicated, clever kids gets harder every year.

Motivated by excitement, curiosity, or the challenge of discovering your hiding spots, they can be relentless in their search. Need help outsmarting them? Here are some tips to keep your holiday presents a secret.

Continue reading “How to Hide Big (and Small) Christmas Presents from Clever Kids”

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Gift Ideas for Your Dog Anytime of Year (But Especially at Christmas)

 

We totally get it—the idea of buying your pooch a gift for Christmas or Hanukkah is not silly. According to a survey reported by Pet Age, 95% of dog owners buy Christmas gifts for their furry friends. So we’ve compiled a handy list of gift ideas for your dog.  Continue reading “Gift Ideas for Your Dog Anytime of Year (But Especially at Christmas)”

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Essential Thanksgiving Tips | How to Have a Happy, Loving Family Gathering

 

The most essential Thanksgiving tips are the ones that help reduce your stress, allowing you to enjoy the holiday and appreciate your family. Your primary sources of stress will depend on your situation of course. And, If you’re hosting for the first time, you might feel overwhelmed by all the cooking. Moreover, if your family tends to argue, you might feel anxious about the coming conflicts. 

Whatever your stress triggers are, it’s important to recognize them and find ways to deal with them in advance. Though you might not be able to remove 100% of the stress, you can at least make it more manageable. With proper preparation, you can make your family gathering into a loving event and a happy memory.

Related: Thanksgiving Pantry Shopping List  Free Printable

 

Write down a game plan

Christmas to do list concept for home organizing tips

Writing down your worries is the first step to solving them. With that in mind, take 20-30 minutes to brainstorm everything that needs to be done, as well as anything that concerns you about the day. For instance, what dishes will need to be made? What time will you start eating? Who will be coming, and where will they be staying?

If family get-togethers tend to be stressful because of conflicts or irritations that always happen, feel free to write those down, too. Try to identify the core problem, then start to think of possible solutions. Instead of despairing about your family’s drama, find ways to either prevent it or minimize its effect on your mood.

 

Stock up on supplies

pantry-organization

Running out of a key ingredient or item, such as toilet paper, is a sure way to make your Thanksgiving more stressful. You can save yourself from this stress by taking inventory of the needed ingredients and supplies before your final shopping trip.

If you’re unsure whether you need more of something, go ahead and get more. It’s better to have too much than too little when you’re hosting an event.

Related: How Pantry Organization Makes the Holidays Better

 

Prep the food

Pantry organization makes baking holiday cookies easier concept   

Experienced cooks know that Thanksgiving starts well before the holiday itself. Preparing certain dishes in advance is both smart and necessary for your sanity, as there’s already so much to do on Thanksgiving. A lot of dishes freeze wonderfully, and for the rest, try to get as much done as you can the day before.

If you’re hosting, remember that you don’t have to make everything. Delegating some of the dishes is an easy way to lighten your stress levels. Similarly, you don’t have to make every Thanksgiving dish. Choose the dishes everyone loves the most and eliminate the rest.

If you’re not hosting, offer to help. If you’re bad at cooking, offer to bring something else, like drinks or games for the kids. You can also offer to set the table, do the dishes, or clean up afterward. If nothing else, be sure to show plenty of thanks and appreciation of the meal that’s been made for you.

 

Consider limiting alcohol or going alcohol-free

In many families, alcohol is a common part of holiday festivities. However, drinking can also lead to problems and conflicts, which stress out the holiday. This is especially true if your family (or one particular family member) struggles with moderation.

If alcohol has contributed to problems in the past, consider putting a cap on how much is served, serving it later in the day, or not serving it at all. If you expect pushback from this decision, make sure to announce it ahead of time, so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Though it can be a hard conversation to start, it can be a big step towards creating a warm and loving family gathering.

 

Provide entertainment, especially for kids 

little boy posing with homemade cardboard rocket made out of moving boxes

Family get-togethers, including Thanksgiving, can feel awkward or boring for some family members. While kids and teenagers are the most prone to boredom, adults are also more likely to enjoy a family event if there’s something fun to watch or do.

Board games and playing cards are an excellent place to begin, plus coloring books and toys for the toddlers. If you have a yard, it’s always a good idea to have a football on hand. TV and movies are often a hit, too, as long as they’re in a different room, so they don’t disturb anyone who doesn’t want to watch.

Finally, consider putting out some family photo albums. If nothing else, it’ll give the older folks something nostalgic to look through and talk about.

 

Guide the conversation

Another reason why family meals can be uncomfortable is that the conversation sometimes veers into conflictual topics. Perhaps your family has differing political or religious views, or maybe some rivalries show themselves through passive aggressive comments. Whatever issues or irritations plague your family, they can crop up during Thanksgiving conversations.

If you’re concerned that these conflicts and uncomfortable conversations will happen (again), take hold of the situation by making ground rules or guiding the conversation as the host.

For example, if political conversations are a problem, you can lay down a “No Politics” rule from the beginning. Afraid of awkward silences? Try writing fun questions on cards, which can be pulled from a jar or box.

You can find a lot of great conversation starters online, like these. This way, the conversation will go in the right direction, toward shared happiness and relaxation rather than anger and stress.

Most importantly, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Related: 10 Tips to Declutter Your Home Before the Holidays

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More Americans are Remodeling to Age in Place Instead of Moving to Downsize

 

Once the kids go off to college, most people will start thinking about downsizing. While it may seem a little early to think about what life will be like post-retirement, the home you live in today will impact your options years down the road.

As you get close to post-retirement, your tasked with making a big decision. Do you remodel to age in place so that you can stay put? Or do you move to a senior-centric community that can accommodate your changing needs as you age? The answers to these questions are always the same: Aging Americans prefer the idea of avoiding assisted living facilities in favor of living at home. Wouldn’t you?

 

The dilemmas facing aging Americans today

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) “Within 20 years, one in five Americans—almost 80 million people—will be older than 65 … they will want to remain in the current homes for as long as possible.”

However, the study goes on to reveal that today’s homes and neighborhoods, and supportive social services are not ready to accommodate the natural desire to stay in one’s home.

If you or anyone you know is over the age of 75, you’ll understand this concept: As we age, our homes gain importance in our physical and emotional lives. It can feel like a marriage for some: until death do us part. More Americans are remodeling to age instead of moving to downsize because it gives them more control over their space and comfort.

 

Is the home you live in today, the right size for the house you’ll live in tomorrow?

You may love your home—maybe you raised your kids there and have fond memories of family gatherings over holidays and other cherished events. Ask any realtor, who will gladly tell you, there is a ton of sentimental value associated with homes. Unfortunately, emotional equity does not get factored into a home’s market value.

However, if you are remodeling to age in place, it is a win-win. You get daily reminders of all that you love about your home and the comfort and safety of remaining there through your latter years. But there are few things to consider before mature adults and seniors decide to invest in a home remodel.

Is your current home located in a walkable neighborhood? A walkable neighborhood not only features a short distance to shopping, dining, groceries, and parks, but it also features good lighting and safe, well-maintained sidewalks.

If your home is centrally located near these types of amenities, then remodeling to age in place could very well be sound investment. Walkable neighborhoods are a highly desirable amenity that increase home values.  

But if you or a loves one are telling yourselves, our neighborhood isn’t really walkable but we’re near a bus stop! Think again. As a senior citizen, taking a bus can be fraught with all types of challenges.

 

How to decide if remodeling to age in place is the right choice

You want your home to be easy to take care of—even managing landscapers and other types of household help can become burdensome as we age. Here are some things post-retirement families need to consider before starting a remodeling project:

  • Does your home have a sprawling green lawn? Are you prepared to maintain it?
  • When was the roof last replaced on your home? You may need to factor this and other “hidden” expenses into your remodeling cost.
  • Is your home a single-story layout, with no entry stairs? If your master bedroom is not on the main floor, can you convert a bedroom on the main floor to accommodate you and or your spouse?
  • Your remodeling costs may include new flooring. If so, ensure that thresholds are flush with the floor to make using a walker or wheelchair safer.
  • As we age, our eyes continue to age as well. Before you begin your remodel, gather some inspiration then consult with an interior designer to determine if your home has plenty of lighting.
  • A must-have in any remodeling to age in place project: a walk-in shower with a seat or a walk-in bathtub with a wide door.

 

Other things to consider when remodeling a home for senior living include installing extra handrails to outdoor and indoor stairs, adding non-slip surfaces to the bathtub and shower to prevent falls, and building easy-to-reach storage spaces.

Whether you’ve lived in your home for 25 years and are remodeling to age in place to live there another 25 years or you plan to move around to accommodate your changing needs, we understand that either choice is a life transition.

If you decide that it’s time to downsize or remodel your home to age in place, we’re here to help you through the process. Our storage facilities are designed to make life transitions a little less stressful.

Conveniently located with the latest security features, are just two reasons why our customers return time and again when they need an affordable storage solution. Contact one of our friendly Property Managers to learn more.

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9 Ways to Make Moving Easier for Young Children

 

Moving is stressful for people of all ages, but young children are especially sensitive to moving. They’re old enough to feel grief and anger about the change, yet too young to understand the reasons behind it. They have to cope with this confusion in addition to the other stresses of the move.

Fortunately, there are many ways to make a move easier for young children. A lot comes down to good planning. If you can plan the move well in advance, keeping the following tips in mind, you can help your child adjust faster and feel happier during the move. Continue reading “9 Ways to Make Moving Easier for Young Children”

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Tips for Keeping the Peace when your Children Share a Bedroom

 

When your children share a bedroom it can go in two directions. A shared bedroom can either be a source of endless fighting, or it can lead to good memories and bonding between siblings. Can you prevent one and encourage the other? Is it even possible to influence your kids’ relationship?  In a word, yes. Continue reading “Tips for Keeping the Peace when your Children Share a Bedroom”

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How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day On A Tight Budget

 

On a tight budget this February? No problem! Valentine’s Day is about love, not money. With a little time and creativity, you can create a Valentine’s Day experience that shows your love without breaking the bank.

In fact, a tight budget can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. It can make you more romantic, as you create more thoughtful gifts and experiences. Instead of buying something mass-produced, you put time and effort into something personal. After all, something free or cheap can still be special. Continue reading “How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day On A Tight Budget”

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The Zombie Apocalypse! How Self Storage Can Save Your Life

 

Halloween is the time of year when people start thinking about how they might survive the zombie apocalypse. Why? With millions of loyal viewers watching hit TV series like the Walking Dead and iZombie, it’s clear we have just as much of an insatiable appetite for zombies as they do for us.

If you are looking for ways to survive the zombie apocalypse this Halloween, learn more about zombie behavior and survival strategies at the Zombie Research Society. That’s not a joke. And, it has loads of zombie-related facts and trivia to keep your mind off the real thing.

Here are some suggestions for the best way to survive an attack. And remember, if all else fails to take shelter at your local self storage facility; it’s the ideal anti-zombie fortress. Continue reading “The Zombie Apocalypse! How Self Storage Can Save Your Life”

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The Ultimate Guide to Moving with Kids

 

Moving with kids can be a big challenge. On the one hand, you need to focus on getting everything done for the move. Tackling a seemingly endless to-do list of things to organize and pack may seem overwhelming. However, at the same time, you need to think about your kids and their emotions as they work through the change.

To help you strike a balance between moving and parenting, read through this guide and note anything that’s important for your situation. Continue reading “The Ultimate Guide to Moving with Kids”

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Moving Tips to Reduce Pet Stress

 

Looking for ways to reduce pet stress during your next move? It turns out humans aren’t the only animals to thrive on healthy routines. Fido and Fifi do too.

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 stress in both humans and pets in the first place.
Continue reading “Moving Tips to Reduce Pet Stress”

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How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel with Toddlers

 

Any home renovation project can be challenging, but a kitchen remodel can be especially difficult when you have toddlers. However, it is possible to survive a kitchen remodel with children of all ages. In fact, with enough planning, it may actually lead to good memories and adventures with your kids.

Good organization and forethought are key for making your kitchen remodel as fun and safe as possible. Here are a few tips to consider as you prepare for your renovation with toddlers.

Continue reading “How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel with Toddlers”

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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.

Continue reading “Home Renovation Survival Guide”

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Tips for Moving with a Newborn Baby

 

There is no denying, moving 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.

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

Continue reading “Tips for Moving with a Newborn Baby”

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Tips to Teach your Kids Bedroom Organization

 

Are you frustrated by how quickly your child’s bedroom becomes cluttered and disorganized? Does it turn chaotic as soon as you’re done 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 kids bedroom organization skills they can use throughout their lives. The following guidelines can help them learn to tackle the mess to keep their bedroom clean and organized.
Continue reading “Tips to Teach your Kids Bedroom Organization”

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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.

Continue reading “Home Remodel | How To Keep Cat Safety in Mind”

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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”

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5 Tips for Moving with Your Cat

Cats generally don’t like change. They’re sensitive animals, so a major life event like moving can come as a shock. That’s why moving with a cat requires special care and thoughtfulness. If you approach the move like any other normal event, you could end up with an overly anxious cat and a particularly stressful move.

Preparing for and adapting to your cat’s anxiety during a move can prevent a lot of difficulty. Easing your cat into the move takes more effort and planning, but in the end, you’ll have a happier and more well-adjusted cat. Here are 5 tips to make your next move go as smoothly as possible for you and your cat. Continue reading “5 Tips for Moving with Your Cat”

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