5 Ways to Use Self Storage that Will Simplify Your Life

 

Self storage is useful for so many situations, and it would be hard to imagine what they all are! Even so, that doesn’t stop us from trying. This blog is dedicated to helping our visitors understand how self storage can help make life more manageable during life transitions such as moving, selling a home, or expecting a new baby.

The possibilities are endless. We work hard to bring you moving and storage tips, tricks, and expert advice. Our goal? To help you create more space and make life more manageable in ways you never imagined.

Whether you are rolling up your sleeves for a little spring cleaning or taking on an ambitious endeavor like moving across the country for a new job, let us show you how using self storage can help make life a little less stressful and a lot more manageable.

 

STORAGE UNITS CAN HOLD RECREATIONAL GEAR FOR ALL SEASONS

Whether you live in a big city or a small town, the great outdoors can always offer a great escape. From fishing in Florida to mountain biking in the Rocky Mountains, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreations. With that enjoyment, however, comes the cost and responsibility of caring for the equipment.

 

STORAGE UNITS FOR ALL TYPES OF RECREATIONAL GEAR

Participating in outdoor activities and sports usually comes with a price tag. Though many of us will choose to buy used equipment and pick up items from ski swaps, recreational gear is costly. Storing your seasonal outdoor sports equipment doesn’t have to be though.

The types of recreational equipment people buy are vastly different—tents, mountain bikes and helmets, fishing and hunting gear, rock climbing ropes and crash pads for bouldering, kayaks  … and the list goes on.

 

A DRIVE-UP STORAGE UNIT IS LIKE AN EXTRA GARAGE

Storing recreational gear can take up a lot of space in your apartment or house. But what do you do if you don’t have the extra space you need?

Self storage can simplify your life by providing you with the convenience of more square footage of home but for less money per square foot. This means it is a cheaper alternative to moving to a larger home or apartment.

Moreover, storage units come in a wide range of sizes, from handy, 3X5 storage lockers to larger, 10X10 units with drive-up access, finding secure storage provides you an easy way to keep doing the recreational activities you love without the worry of clutter at home.

 

SELF STORAGE MAKES IT EASIER TO LIVE IN A BIG CITY

Everyone knows high rents and small spaces are the norms when it comes to living in big cities like New York, LA, and especially, San Francisco, rents are big, and spaces are small. This is especially true when living downtown or in highly desirable neighborhoods within a large city.

 

SAVE YOUR MONEY

There is no doubt, rental prices for everything from apartments to commercial real estate is more expensive in a large metropolitan area. This holds true for self storage prices as well. Even so, instead of searching for a bigger apartment, loft, or house, you can rent a storage unit for less money per square foot.

 

MATCH YOUR LIFESTYLE

Large, small, or somewhere in between, you’ll have no trouble finding the right-sized storage unit for your stuff. Small, storage lockers—sizes 3X4 and 4X5— are ideal for climbing gear (ropes, carabiners, cambrs, and more). Outdoor photographers and videographers can also store their equipment in storage lockers.

 

EXPAND YOUR SPACE

Today’s self storage facilities offer a wide selection of sizes and features when it comes to choosing the right fit for your lifestyle and belongings. In cities, storage facilities are usually multi-story with climate control with some even offering 24-hour access. It nearby ‘burbs, like in the Atlanta Metro, you can find facilities with outdoor drive-up access as well as indoor climate-controlled units.

 

DECLUTTER YOUR HOME ANY TIME OF YEAR WITH SELF STORAGE

 

According to NBC’s Jean Chatkzy, one in four Americans have a clutter problem. Research conducted for the Huffington Post revealed, “84 percent of Americans worry that their homes aren’t organized (or clean) enough—and 55 percent of those folks say it’s a big cause of stress.” Is it any wonder then that the self storage industry has been booming for the last several years?

While there are plenty of avenues for turning your “garbage into gold” by selling items you no longer want, the average U.S. household has 300,000 things. Therefore, chances are pretty high that even after you’ve purged, you may still desire fewer things and more free spaces in your home to further simplify your life.

 

PRESERVE RECORDS AND TAX DOCUMENTS

Most accountants and even lawyers will advise their clients to keep ALL financial documents (taxes, investments, credit card statements, loans, etc.) indefinitely. If the Social Security Office is missing your biggest income-earning year, only you have the ability to provide what they are missing. Small self storage units are also ideal for storing business documents as well as home and vehicle documents (mortgage files, insurance policies, home appliances manuals, etc.).

 

CHERISH FAMILY HEIRLOOMS AND KEEPSAKES

Keepsakes include special items, such as photo albums, antiques, collectibles, and furniture that you want to keep for future generations or to use later down the road. While you might not need these items on a day-to-day basis, they’re belongings you want to keep for emotional or personal value

 

MAKE ROOM FOR SEASONAL ITEMS

Seasonal items can include winter and summer clothing, holiday decorations, lawn equipment, boats and ATVs, and sporting gear. These are usually the possessions you keep in closets, garages, attics, or basements when they’re not in use.

How do you determine what needs to go into self storage? That’s easy. Create an inventory of the non-essential items taking up space in your home. The best way to take stock of these items is to separate them into four categories: records, keepsakes, seasonal, and junk.

 

USE SELF STORAGE WHILE STAGING YOUR HOME FOR RESALE

Let’s face it, moving is already stressful enough. The logistics of buying, selling, or renting a new home coupled with already busy schedules can easily throw off the work-life balance. Thankfully, when you combine a great realtor with an awesome storage unit, selling your home can almost be enjoyable. Yep, you read that right. Staging your home for resale often gives sellers pause on whether they really want to sell.

 

STAGED HOMES SELL FOR MORE MONEY

According to a study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homes that are staged are selling faster and at higher prices than those that are not staged.

 

HIDE YOUR JUNK IN A STORAGE UNIT

In a perfect world, your home-for-sale would look like Marie Kondo lived there— it would be neat, tidy, and perfectly staged. In the real world, renting a storage unit short term comes in handy for life transitions like selling your home and moving into a new home.

While your first inclination might be to stuff everything in a closet or spare bedroom, potential buyers a curious lot. It’s almost guaranteed they will open doors. “Storage space sells homes, and you want home buyers to think you have plenty of it,” says Noelle Nielsen, a real estate professional with Bright BirchGroup | Re/Max Advantage Plus in Burnsville, MN.

Keep your home tidy and remove all personal items like family photographs. This allows buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.

 

SELF STORAGE CAN HELP WHEN YOU’RE BETWEEN HOMES

Whenever you’re moving into a new apartment or house, you have a lot to think about. Often, for renters, the old lease ends before the new one begins. For homebuyers, their house may sell before they’ve closed escrow on their new home. What do you do with all your furniture and household belongings when this happens?

The Property Manager at your local Metro Self Storage can help you navigate the process with tips on renting and moving into a storage unit to help along the way. A self storage unit can be an easy, affordable answer for bridging the gap between leases.

 

FLEXIBLE MONTH-TO-MONTH LEASES

Whether you are a college student needing dorm-room storage or a professional moving abroad, a short-term storage unit will give you the flexibility to rent for as long or as little time as you need. Moreover, you can manage your unit from anywhere as long as you choose a storage provider that offers online bill pay.

 

EASY, CONVENIENT ACCESS 365 DAYS A YEAR

Look for a local self storage company that offers modern security systems like 24-hour video surveillance, ample lighting, and electronic keypad access. If you’re living with a friend or family member temporarily, organizing your storage unit so you’ll have easy access to move things in and out that you may need.

 

FIND A FRIENDLY STORAGE MANAGER

A self storage manager who offers excellent customer service is easy to spot. Someone who is outgoing and friendly will be your guide to a great experience. But most importantly, is feeling assured that you can trust the people you’re working with at a storage facility.

For many, self storage is a lifesaver during difficult transitions like a new family member or unexpected move. Knowing the company you’re working with is reliable, friendly, and secure means you can focus on other ways to simplify your life without worry or concern.

 

AFTER MOVE IN BE SURE TO CHECK IN

One of the most significant reasons self storage will simplify your life is because it is so much easier than finding a bigger home or apartment (Or friend’s garage) for your belongings. Though, one thing many self storage users don’t consider is whether or not they should go visit their storage unit.

If you are one of those people who doesn’t need to swing by the facility and grab items frequently, then schedule a time every three months or so to stop by your unit. It is always a good idea to regularly check in on items in your storage unit to make sure you stored things correctly and that everything is still in good condition.

 

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Make Holiday Decoration Storage Easy with Metro Self Storage in Brooklyn

 

The guests have all gone home and you’re facing New Year’s resolutions with an optimistic attitude. But you still have to pack up all the holiday decorations. That’s no small task. We totally get it. That’s why you can make the job a lot less stressful by storing your holiday decorations in storage lockers at Metro Self Storage on Knapp Street in Brooklyn.  

If saving money after holiday splurges is at the top of your list, we’ve got good news. Our Brooklyn storage lockers are the cheapest storage units we offer. After all, Brooklyn and New York are two cities that have a high cost of living and definitely keep you busy and occupied outside your apartment.

Continue reading “Make Holiday Decoration Storage Easy with Metro Self Storage in Brooklyn”

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Your FAQs About Self Storage Answered

Metro Self Storage New Addison, Illinois Indoor Climate Controlled Facility

 

If you’re new to self storage or need help figuring out whether or not your life transition can be made easier with self storage, you probably have questions. How much does self storage cost? Are self storage facilities really secure? Should I rent a climate-controlled storage unit? What if I change my mind?

These are just a few of the questions people ask when deciding whether or not to rent a storage unit and why your friends at Metro Self Storage have put together a helpful list of some of the commonly asked questions we hear from current and prospective tenants.

Keep in mind, no matter where you decide to rent your unit, each storage facility will have their own set of features and rules such as access hours. The best way to know for sure what you’re getting is to contact your local storage provider. At Metro storage facility, our friendly, professionally trained Property Managers are on site at each and every one of our locations to give you personal attention.

 

How much does self storage cost per month?

Tampa Bay Area Self Storage in Riverview, Florida

 

The cost of your storage unit depends on several things, but mostly the age and location of the facility, the type of security features available, and whether or not you rent a climate-controlled storage unit. According to MarketWatch, “The average asking rent for a 10X10 unit in the U.S. is $118 a month for non-climate controlled and $152 for climate controlled.”

The two most common types of storage buildings are indoor where all storage units are housed within a structure, and outdoor, single-story buildings. Outdoor facilities function much like household garages (drive-up units with wide roll-up doors).

Indoor, climate-controlled units are like storing your items in an extra room in your home or office. Many storage companies like Metro have facilities with a combination of outdoor drive-up units and indoor climate-controlled units.

The cost of climate-controlled storage varies by market, and you can expect to pay roughly 20% less for a traditional non-climate unit than you would for a temperature-controlled space. Keep in mind, paying a bit more for storage is advisable for anyone who is storing high-value items or lives in a region of the country with extreme temperature swings or high humidity.

 

How much storage space should I rent?

Metro Self Storage Indoor Storage Units and Storage Lockers in Pinellas Park, Florida
Indoor Storage Units and Storage Lockers in Pinellas Park, Florida

 

The most popular storage units sizes are 5X5 and 10X10. However, storage unit sizes can be as small as 3X5 (storage lockers). These smaller units are ideal for personal items such as jewelry, collectibles, or seasonal decorations and sports gear.

Large storage units commonly referred to as commercial units, are ideal for business and inventory needs as well as large households. Here is a list of the most common sizes you can expect to find at your local storage facility:

  • 5×10 unit is roughly the size of a large walk-in closet
  • 10×10 unit is about the size of a child’s bedroom and tends to be the most popular size
  • 10×20 unit is about the same size as a one-car garage
  • 15×20 unit is roughly the size of a master bedroom
  • 20×20 unit comes close to the same size as a two-car garage

 

The unit size you choose will depend on the number and size of the items you plan to store as well as how frequently you’ll need to access those items. A 10X10 unit, for instance, covers 100 square feet and can hold the contents of a one- or two-bedroom house or apartment.

For more information on choosing the right storage unit sizes see our blog:  Storage Units Sizes: How to Choose the Right-Sized Unit Every Time

 

Do I need to reserve a storage unit?

Inside the Metro Self Storage office in Wichita, Kansas
Metro Self Storage office in Wichita, Kansas

 

If you’re one of the 11 million American households who need to rent a storage unit, reserving your unit ahead of time can help you lock in the best price at the time of your search. Especially if you live in a city where there is a high demand for storage units, or you’re renting during the height of moving season (May-September).

Most storage facilities welcome walk-ins and don’t require a reservation, but you’ll risk not finding the right-sized unit for your things. Even so, if you see an attractive, well-maintained facility while your out running errands, stop by and speak with a member of the storage team.

If you like to do all your research online, be sure to choose storage websites that are easy to navigate, offer free reservations and online promotions, and provide details of the specific facility that you’re inquiring about.

Websites are a first impression and representation of a company or brand. If a company doesn’t keep their website well maintained and up to date, it could be reflective of how they do (or don’t) maintain their facilities.

 

What features make self storage facilities secure?

Car bumper shown with Secure Electronic Keypad Access at Metro Self Storage in Kingwood, Texas
Secure Electronic Keypad Access at Metro Self Storage in Kingwood, Texas

 

Be aware that security features typically vary from facility to facility. For example, Metro Self Storage prides itself on offering upper tier facilities that are newer or recently renovated, and we regularly add brand new state-of-the-art facilities to our self-storage portfolio. We take security seriously at all our facilities which offer state-of-the-art video surveillance 24-hours a day 7 days a week.

If you find a facility offering bargain rates, check to make sure that cheap storage units don’t mean low-end security features. The last thing anyone needs is to deal with insurance claims for damaged or stolen belongings—an investment in a secure storage facility is for the safekeeping of your things. All Metro Self Storage facilities provide on-site managers to give personalized attention.

Here are some of the best security features to look for in a storage facility:

  • 24-hour recorded video surveillance
  • Ample outdoor and indoor lighting,
  • Fenced perimeters
  • Coded keypad gate access
  • On-site Property Managers

 

Red flags to watch out for when renting storage unit include apparent signs of deferred maintenance issues. Also, if you’re not required to present your driver license and proof of current address and insurance prior to storing your items, keep looking for a more secure option.

 

Do I need to insure the items in my storage unit?

 

Most likely, yes. Storage facility insurance requirements are governed by the states and cities in which they are located. As a result, each storage facility will have their own policies around tenant insurance requirements. While many storage companies accept proof of existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, they also offer tenant insurance (usually around $10 to $20 per month). Fees are automatically added on to your monthly storage bill.

Getting tenant insurance is the best option for people who are between homes or expect to move in the near future and cancel their existing homeowner’s policy.

 

How can I prevent the contents of my storage unit from being auctioned off?

 

The answer is simple: Pay your storage rent on time, which brings us back to choosing a company that offers an up-to-date website. Good self storage providers offer a variety of payment options: Online payment, cash, check, credit card, or automatic bank withdrawal.

The advantage of online bill pay options can’t be overstated. During a storage unit auction, the contents are auctioned off to the highest bidder in order for the company to recoup the loss of rental fees.  

However, these events are not as glamorous as they look on reality TV shows. Also, auctioning off someone else’s belongings is always a last resort. Moreover, it is a well-known and respected practice for the highest bidder to return personal items such as photo albums to the facility’s manager.

To keep your belongings safe, it bears repeating, pay your storage fees on time every month. To help ensure this happens without fail, look for a storage company that features online bill pay options and other amenities like a 24-hour customer service number.

Some storage facilities have 24-hour kiosks that allow you to rent and pay your storage fees, but if you aren’t visiting your unit on a weekly basis, it could be a source of inconvenience.

 

Can I upsize or downsize my unit if I need a different size?

Metro Self Storage moving boxes stacked inside 5X5 storage unit in Round Lake Beach, Florida
Metro Self Storage moving boxes stacked inside a storage unit in Round Lake Beach, FL 

 

Absolutely! However, you may have to wait depending on availability and the terms of your lease. While storage facilities like Metro rent units on a flexible month-to-month basis, it’s worth a conversation with management to make suitable arrangements.

 

What type of lock do I need for my storage unit?

Beautiful moving supplies display at Metro Self Storage in Amarillo, Texas
Disc Locks, packing tape, furniture covers and wraps on display at Metro Self Storage in Amarillo, Texas

 

Think of Storage locks as an additional investment to protect the things that really matter in your life. When choosing a lock for your storage unit, location is a big factor. Whether you’re renting a drive-up storage unit at an outdoor facility or an indoor storage unit inside a multi-story building, it can help determine the type of lock you choose.

For instance, when a lock is kept outdoors, it won’t be worth much if it breaks due to rust or dirt. Other reasons you may need to increase your budget for a padlock is because there is a high burglary risk at your storage location.

The costs for padlocks vary wildly. You can expect to pay as little as $15 for a disc padlock designed for the storage industry. These affordable disc locks have drainage holes and a reputation of deterring criminals who know it’s difficult to pick and practically impossible to cut.

 

Can I store my car, boat, or RV at a storage facility?

Covered vehicle parking at Metro Self Storage in Tampa, Florida
Covered vehicle parking at Metro Self Storage in Tampa, Florida

 

Medium and large drive-up storage units can typically accommodate a car or motorcycle. Besides cars and motorcycles, vehicle storage includes RVs, boats, ATVs, and commercial trucks and vans.

Whether you live in a suburb or a large city like Chicago or Atlanta, finding free, off-street parking for RVs and boats is nearly if not entirely impossible. To store specialty vehicles like RVs and classic cars, renting a secure space can be of great benefit when they are not in use.

There are three kinds of vehicle storage:

  • Outdoor vehicle parking
  • Covered/Canopy storage
  • Indoor vehicle storage

 

You’ll want to look for the same 24-hour security features you’d look for when renting a storage unit with an emphasis on electronic gated entry. While the sight of security cameras discourages potential thieves, a gated entrance gives you a private access code and simultaneously prevents anyone else from getting into the facility.


WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT METRO SELF STORAGE?

To learn more about renting a storage unit from Metro Self Storage, visit our website for specifics about our facilities, policies, and services we offer. To find a storage facility near you, visit our locations page.

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Storage Unit Sizes: How to Choose the Right Sized Unit Every Time

 

Even though storage unit sizes are standardized, most people wing it when choosing a self storage unit for the first time. Naturally, this usually results in renting (and therefore paying for) more space than they need. Even so, budget crashing disasters are avoided every day at Metro Self Storage thanks to our highly trained Property Managers. Continue reading “Storage Unit Sizes: How to Choose the Right Sized Unit Every Time”

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7 Reasons to Choose Metro Self Storage

 

When it comes to choosing a self storage facility, how do you decide? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the choices around you. How do you know which is right for you?

At Metro Self Storage, we simplify your storage experience. Our professionally trained Property Managers are on site at every location to assist with selecting your storage unit and answering all of your questions. Continue reading “7 Reasons to Choose Metro Self Storage”

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The Best RV Storage Operators Make Vehicle Storage Easy

 

Boats and RVs are great for traveling on America’s endless highways and scenic byways. However, finding a place to park oversized vehicles in between trips can be a challenge. That’s why the best RV storage operators in the country recognize the need to provide options for storing recreational vehicles such as boats, campers, motorhomes, and RVs.

Market research shows that fewer than 5% of RV and boat owners have a place to store their vehicles at home. Off-site self storage options for recreational toys and vehicles is in high-demand due to the growing popularity and affordability of RVing.

Continue reading “The Best RV Storage Operators Make Vehicle Storage Easy”

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How to Keep Mold Monsters (and Other Gross Things) Out of Your Storage Unit

 

If you’re planning to move, there’s a good chance you’ll rely on self storage during your transition. Besides moving, people utilize off-site storage space during other types of life transitions as well as for seasonal storage. Most household items need climate controlled storage units to protect them from ice-cold temperatures, rainy and wet conditions, and damage caused by mold, heat, and humidity.

Why is that? It comes down to science, and unless you’re a chemical engineer or a medical professional, you may not have heard of this word before:

*Hygroscopic – (Of a substance) tending to absorb moisture from the air.

For humidity to destroy something you own, it must be hygroscopic. Think, mattress, fabric, upholstered furniture … you get the idea. Additionally, hygroscopic things are the ideal place for mold monsters to grow. So in a nutshell, most of the things your own are hygroscopic. Read on …

Continue reading “How to Keep Mold Monsters (and Other Gross Things) Out of Your Storage Unit”

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Why You Need Climate Controlled Storage in Hot, Humid Climates

 

No matter where you live if you’re planning a move this summer, keep in mind that most household items need climate controlled storage units. They are designed to protect your belongings from the damage caused by heat and humidity and to keep you more comfortable while loading your storage units.

There’s a good chance you’ll need to rely on self storage during your transition. During the summer months, renting a basic storage unit might be sufficient for some items if you live in a state with temperate weather.

Why is that? It comes down to science, and unless you’re a chemical engineer or a medical professional, you may not have heard of this word: Hygroscopic. In order for humidity to destroy something, it must be hygroscopic.

Adjective: Hygroscopic
(of a substance) tending to absorb moisture from the air.
relating to humidity or its measurement

In a nutshell, most of the things your own are hygroscopic. Read on … Continue reading “Why You Need Climate Controlled Storage in Hot, Humid Climates”

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Student Storage Deals | Find Clean, Reliable Storage Units Near Your Campus

Finding the best student storage deals is easy if you plan ahead. Procrastinate and finding cheap storage gets harder as summer approaches. Moreover, living in cramped quarters brings home the fact 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. Continue reading “Student Storage Deals | Find Clean, Reliable Storage Units Near Your Campus”

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Reasons to Consider Self Storage When Selling Your Home

 

You’ve decided to sell your home. Perhaps the listing contract is already in place with your real estate agent. This is the time when a seller begins to appreciate all the work it takes to get a home ready for sale. An owner might be downsizing. The closets could be overflowing. Furniture might make a home look too full to show well. A garage could be stuffed to the rafters. Considering self storage might prove to be a big help in making a sale. Here are five reasons why.

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Where Not to Store your Guitar and Other Stringed Musical Instruments

 

Where you store your guitar and other types of wooden instruments will determine their longevity. Stringed instruments are some of the pinnacles of music creation. From Stradivarius Violins to the wide world of classical guitars, these creations are as delicate as they are priceless.

Continue reading “Where Not to Store your Guitar and Other Stringed Musical Instruments”

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Quick and Easy Wine Storage Tips for Texans (in Less Than Ten Minutes)

 

Our quick and easy wine storage tips will have you looking like a sommelier in less than 10 minutes. Okay, maybe not quite at that level but close.

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. 

Why should you consider wine storage? Continue reading “Quick and Easy Wine Storage Tips for Texans (in Less Than Ten Minutes)”

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How to Properly Care, Store, Handle, and Retire the American Flag

 

Flying the American flag is acceptable any day of the year, especially on National Holidays like Veteran’s Day and Labor Day. American flags are collected and cherished by many, becoming heirlooms and keepsakes. However, these aging flags need to be carefully stored because the fabric used to make older flags often become fragile over time.
Continue reading “How to Properly Care, Store, Handle, and Retire the American Flag”

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The Benefits of Utilizing Short-Term Storage Between Homes

 

At some point our lives, most of us will go through a transition that requires us to rely on short-term storage between homes. Whether Mother Nature has forced you out of your home, you are taking on a temporary work assignment, or you are in the midst of a remodel, experiencing any type of change in your day-to-day lifestyle is stressful.

One of the easiest ways to give yourself the peace of mind you need during a time of transition is by moving your valuable belongings to temporary storage to protect your belongings from theft or damage. Continue reading “The Benefits of Utilizing Short-Term Storage Between Homes”

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Kid 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.

Continue reading “Kid Friendly Toy Storage Tips for Busy Parents”

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