Garage Storage Made Easy | Moving and Organizing Advice

 

Is your car ready to take back its rightful spot in the garage? Our garage storage made easy 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

ClutteredGarage

 

The first step towards garage storage made easy 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

hanging bike and accessory rack for 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

Antique car stored in garage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

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

Motorcycle stored in garage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

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

Overhead garage storage
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

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 

Garage Storage Cupboards
Photo Courtesy of Monkey Bars

 

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 made easy 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.

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Why People Love Moving to El Paso, Texas

 

 

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?
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Ease Valentine’s Day Stress with Self Storage

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.

Planning to impress your partner with a chef-inspired meal at home, popping the big question, or separating from your spouse, here is how self storage can help you ease Valentine’s Day stress. Continue reading “Ease Valentine’s Day Stress with Self Storage”

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Christmas Shopping in River North Chicago

 

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.

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Holiday Gift Hiding Ideas – How Self Storage Can Help

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.

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How to Keep Spiderman and Other Pests Out of Your Storage Unit

 

Battling unwelcome insects and rodents in your living space is one thing—you are there to wage war on a daily basis. However, keeping spiders and other pests out of 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.

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.

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?

Me too. So let’s look at this from another vantage point. Pretend a superhero bug is attempting to invade your storage unit: Here are some pest prevention tips to stop those pesky vermin from infesting your stored belongings.

 

Is Spiderman Hiding in Your Unit?

If you are like me, and Ron Weasley in Harry Potter, then you have an inherent fear of spiders. However, Toby McGuire helped alleviate arachnophobia for girls everywhere when he starred in the 2002 Spiderman movie.

Nevertheless, spiders are more of a nuisance than they are a threat to your stored items. Unless of course, the air-breathing arthropod happens to be one of the most feared spiders in the country – a Black Widow or a Brown Recluse. These are the two most dangerous types of spiders to people in the U.S..hen unpacking stored belongings be alert if they live in your region. A common way to keep spiders and other pests out of your storage unit is to spray a solution of white vinegar or peppermint oil around all the cracks and crevices.

When unpacking stored belongings be alert if they live in your region. A common way to keep spiders and other pests out of your storage unit is to spray a solution of white vinegar or peppermint oil around all the cracks and crevices.

 

Newsflash: Ant-Man Eats Halloween Candy

Part of Marvel Comics pantheon of heroes, Ant-Man can shrink himself to the stature of an ant and then transform into a 12-foot-tall giant. While ants may or may not be a terrible subject for a superhero film, an army of ants in your storage unit is a particular nuisance. Because ants are attracted to the same types of food you and I eat, you can keep them out of your unit by not storing food there.

Most ant species have a sweet tooth, yes, ants have teeth and are attracted to sweet and sticky substances. As tempting as it might throw in that bag of extra Halloween candy when you return your seasonal decorations to your unit, don’t do it.

Students who are planning to use storage for the contents of their dorm rooms or apartments should take special care to make sure all kitchen-related items are cleaned properly before placing them in storage. All storage facility operators have policies on what can and cannot be stored at their locations, which includes not allowing perishable food products in individual units to discourage pest infestations of all types.

Further steps you can take to prevent ants from coming into your unit is to place ant bait traps around the inside perimeter of your space. Another popular pest-control method to keep pests out of your storage unit is to make a concoction of borax and sugar. Mix equal parts in a jar then punch holes in the lid of the jar and sprinkle around the inside perimeter of your space. However, before using this method, check with your

Mix equal parts in a jar then punch holes in the lid of the jar and sprinkle around the inside perimeter of your space. However, before using this method, check with your facility’s storage manager to see if this is an acceptable practice.

 

Mighty Mouse Lives in Storage Unit

It turns out that Mrs. Mighty Mouse is a prolific breeder otherwise she would be at her husband’s side out saving the world. More seriously though, and a real threat to your upholstered furniture and mattresses is the intrepid House Mouse. This species is active all year round, which means they could invade your household or business storage unit at any time.

House mice are one of the most common storage facility rodent invaders, and female mice can give birth to up to a dozen baby mice every three weeks!

The White-Footed Mouse can be found in eastern and western parts of the country. If you have a storage unit in one of these geographic regions: Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, Montana, Colorado, and Arizona, you only need to worry about these critters if you are storing near a forest, brushlands, or bordering agriculture lands.

Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a dime and rats can fit through holes the size of a quarter. The surest solution to get rid of mice is to set traps in your storage unit but for obvious reasons, mousetraps need to be regularly checked.

A Natural pest prevention strategies recommended option is to use botanic oils such as peppermint oil. Place saturated cotton balls around the perimeter of your unit but especially near the door.

 

Yes, You Can Keep Pests Out of Your Storage Unit

Be sure to ask your self storage manager about their facility’s policy on pest prevention. If the building is newer it is less likely to have cracks and small openings due to wear and tear. Reputable storage companies employ pest management servicers who have specific knowledge and understanding about the types of pests that live in your city and state.

Exterminators use targeted methods to discourage bugs, mice, and other pests from entering a facility in the first place. Finding a reliable storage operator that practices routine pest control like we do at all Metro Self Storage facilities is your best bet in keeping pests out of your storage unit.

This gives exterminators targeted methods to discourage bugs, mice, and other pests from entering a facility in the first place. Finding a reliable storage operator that practices routine pest control is going to be your best bet. Keeping pests out of your storage unit and your personal belongings free from harm while they are being stored is certainly possible with a little planning and perseverance.


Are you looking for pest-free storage? With more than 45-years of storage experience, Metro Self Storage facilities are secure, clean and maintained to exacting standards. Contact your local Metro to learn more.

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How to Prepare Your RV for Storage in Chicago

Get Ready! Winter in Chicago is On its Way

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.
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Declutter Your Student Storage Before Heading Back to School

 

Taming a dorm full of clutter can be a daunting task. But decluttering your student storage unit isn’t nearly so intimidating. Just think of it like you would a closet. Anyone can handle a closet, right?

Besides, after being away from the things that you didn’t think you could live without at the end of the last semester, you might discover they look a little less like treasure.
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5 Things That Need Climate Controlled Storage

 

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.

 

Most electronics belong in a climate controlled storage unitClimate Controlled storage for electronics

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.

 

Save nursery and children’s toys and furniture for future generationsstore tinker toy creations in climate controlled storage units

Saving things like children’s toys, clothes, and nursery furniture can come in handy for future generations. Giving a family member or a friend a head start down the road is easy if you store baby and child treasures in a climate-controlled storage unit.

The first step is to donate slightly blemished toys if you don’t want to store them. Go ahead and discard broken toys. Also, keep in mind baby toys with chew marks or cracks can harbor bacteria that are difficult to get out.

Prevent mold and mildew from growing, as well as stop bacteria from spreading by disinfecting all toys before storing.

Place toys in plastic totes or containers with clear labels, such as Legos, Barbies, Matchbox cars, etc. It’s advisable to choose a temperature controlled storage center for these types of items. Most toys are susceptible to damage when exposed to fluctuating temperatures over time.

Remember to take out all batteries from toys, baby monitors, and any other items with an on and off switch. While extreme heat can cause batteries to swell, crack, and leak acid, so can the lack of day-to-day use.

Wooden furniture should never be stored in a hot atticClimate Controlled storage for Wooden Furniture

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. Also, 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.

 

Wine always requires a controlled temperature environment

climate controlled storage for wine bottles
Metro Self Storage offers climate controlled storage units for wine collections

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 on 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.

 

Artwork and family photos will last longer if stored in a climate controlled unitkeep artwork like this in climate controlled storage units

When it comes to storing your most treasured possessions, family photos, paintings, and art supplies are usually at the top of the list. These types of items need to protection from UV exposure, heat, and humidity. 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? 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 must always be stored properlyphoto of climate controlled storage for medicine bottles

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 must ensure the storage unit is clean and there are no signs of bug or rodent infestations. 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.

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?

Read more: Do I Need to Buy Insurance for My Stored Belongings?


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How To Prepare Furniture for Storage

 

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-term 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.
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The Best Ways to Organize Large Storage Units

 

Organizing 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).

Follow these steps to keep your large storage unit organized. Making it easier to locate and retrieve your items will save you time and a headache:
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The Best Ways to Organize Small Storage Units

 

Small storage units come in handy for a wide variety of situations. Whether you need a self storage unit to meet your business storage needs, or to keep clutter at bay while your house is on the market, it doesn’t have to be a place you rarely visit.

On the contrary, with a few helpful tips on how to organize your storage unit, you’ll have no regrets when you can easily find an item you want to retrieve.

 

4 Organizing tips if you are renting small storage units for personal belongings

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How Much Does Chicago Self Storage Cost?

Moving? We’ve got some money saving ideas for you

Chicago is a city of superlatives. It is the home of the world’s first 15-story Ferris wheel, best deep dish pizza, busiest airport, highest steeple, and if you exclude the Pentagon, the largest building. As the third most populated city in the country, it’s no wonder Chicagoans are sometimes crunched for time and space.
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3 Time Saving Post-Holiday Tips to Declutter Any Home

 

The decorations are put away. The new diet has begun. January is the time of year to renew commitments and refresh goals. This year, Marie Kondo’s decluttering reality TV show on Netflix is the talk around town.

It’s not too late to get a head start on the New Year and begin clearing out the untidiness that might otherwise undermine your best efforts to begin anew. Here are three timesaving tips to help declutter your home.

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The Million Dollar Self Storage Question: What Size Do I Need?

It’s a question we’ve all asked experts, even perfect strangers, and ourselves. From carry on suitcases and skis to mountain bikes, moving trucks, and yes, even self storage—What Size Do I Need?—is usually the first question that comes to mind.

Finding the correct answer practically guarantees you’ll save time and money. If you start out with the right size, it means you aren’t overpaying for more than you need. Nor will you waste time on returning or exchanging something because you got the wrong size.

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What is the Difference Between Climate Controlled vs. Non-Climate Controlled Storage Units?

 

Deciding between climate controlled and non-climate controlled storage units is easier when you answer these three questions:

  1. 1. What items are you planning to store?
  2. 2. How long do you plan to store these items?
  3. 3. Is your storage location in a region with extreme temperatures?

 

I recently put everything I owned into storage after relocating to a city where the temperature gauge frequently dips below freezing during the coldest months of the year. I knew my items would be in storage for at least one full winter, possibly two, and that I was storing family heirlooms, artwork, dozens of books, and hundreds of photographs.

So the answer to the question, “Do I need climate controlled storage?” was a resounding yes. Like many people, I assumed that climate controlled storage units would cost too much. However, I quickly realized that the benefits of keeping my valued belongings safe throughout the seasons (whether bitter cold or scorching hot) outweighed any additional storage costs in the long run.

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Do you need Self Storage Tenant Insurance?

What would you do if the unimaginable happened to your worldly possessions? Whether you own a home or rent, insuring the things you own is a wise choice. Most folks wouldn’t dream of driving a car without car insurance, but recent surveys by InsuranceQuotes.com found only one-third of those leasing their home or apartment have renters insurance.

But what happens when you put your belongings into a storage unit? Depending on whether you rent or own your home, you are probably asking yourself one of the following three questions:

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