You spend approximately one-third of your day on your mattress. Along with a good night’s sleep, you want comfort, support and durability. With the vast array of available choices, sizes and styles, finding the right mattress is challenging. You shop for hours and stretch out in your favorite sleeping position on what seems like hundreds of mattresses. After all of this, you still may not be able to make a decision.
In addition to this side show, selections go on forever: innerspring, memory foam, gel foam, hybrid, and latex, to name a few. It takes not only a lot of time to locate the right mattress, but also a lot of money. This is not something you want to do on an annual basis. With the right care, you shouldn’t have to.
There may be times that your mattress has to find a temporary home in self storage. Maybe you’re building a new house and it’s not ready before the old one sells, or you’re temporarily downsizing. In any case, it’s a good idea to understand how to store your mattress safely to keep it free from damage or deterioration.
How to Transport and Store a Mattress
Transport Your Mattress in a Covered Moving Truck
For the love of all that is holy, please don’t tie your mattress down on the top of your car. And do not have one of your buddies hold it down as you drive to your destination. If you can’t figure out why this doesn’t work, you may as well stop reading now. You’re either going to distort your mattress by tying it down too tightly or destroy it because it will fly off of the car onto the road. Squashing it into the bed of a pickup truck is no better. This could damage the springs as well as the entire structure of your mattress. Ideally, you should transport your mattress in a safe, covered moving truck. It will be protected from mishaps as well as the elements. You’ll find that many good storage facilities have rental trucks available on site.
Choose the Right Self Storage Facility for Your Mattress
To keep your mattress in good condition, it should be stored in the proper environment. When you’re looking for a storage facility, climate-controlled storage is a must. Climate-controlled storage will keep the temperature and humidity of your unit at the optimum levels to keep your mattress free of mold and mildew. Be sure that your unit is well-maintained, free of pests and has sufficient room to store the mattress flat, not in an upright position leaning against the wall.
Give Your Mattress a Thorough Cleaning
Give your mattress a thorough cleaning prior to placing it in storage You can keep pests and unpleasant odors away by cleaning the mattress before you store it. Upholstery cleaner and a good vacuuming should get the job done.
Cover Your Mattress
Even if all you can do is wrap your mattress in a tarp or plastic sheeting, some protection is better than none. Don’t leave your mattress to the mercy of dirt and pests. If your self storage facility sells moving and packing supplies, they probably have a variety of protectors available, including vinyl covers, plastic covers, and mattress bags.
Lay Your Mattress Flat
Standing a mattress on its side is not the best way to store a mattress. While that may work for a quick ride in a moving truck, it doesn’t work for short- or long-term storage. If you store a mattress on its side, it may fold and buckle, leaving it lumpy. Store it the way you sleep on it – flat. This will keep the structure in place and prevent damage.
Don’t Use Your Mattress as a Base for Heavy Items
If you stack heavy cartons on your mattress, you’ll cause permanent impressions. Using your mattress again will be impossible. If you’re tight on space, you can stack your mattress on top of a level surface. For example, a collection of heavy boxes placed on the floor, would make a good base for a mattress.
When Your Ready to Retrieve Your Mattress
Air Out and Clean Your Mattress
After being stored, your mattress may need freshening. No matter how clean your storage unit and how carefully you stored it, your mattress can develop a musty odor that will make sleeping unpleasant. Clean your mattress the same way you did prior to storing. When you’re finished with cleanup, sprinkle baking soda on your mattress. Let it sit for 10 minutes to absorb any remaining odors and vacuum the baking soda before you make the bed.
If you follow the guidelines in this article you should be able to enjoy your mattress for years, even after a lengthy storage period.
It’s that spring cleaning time of year – time to refresh the house and get rid of the clutter. Did you ever start to declutter, only to realize that you’re sitting in the middle of a huge mess? You’re not sure what to keep and what to throw away. You have a multi/tiered solution to this dilemma. You can use self storage for the items that you definitely want to keep, and you can have a garage sale for the rest. Turn those unwanted items into cash, and buy new stuff that you can store next year!
Garage Sale Genius
Have you ever heard of Aaron LaPedis? His mother left seven-year old Aaron to tend her garage sale while she made lunch. The garage sale was moving along nicely, so Aaron decided to take advantage of the brisk sales. He went into the house and grabbed everything that he could carry from the living room — lamps, end tables, and other small decor — and sold those items as well. His mother would eventually notice that half of her living room furniture was missing, but she probably wasn’t upset for too long. Aaron eventually turned this into a profitable enterprise for himself by flipping items that he purchased at garage sales. You can read all about Aaron’s rise to garage sale fame in his book, “The Garage Sale Millionaire.”
Make the Most of Your Garage Sale
A garage sale can seem a bit overwhelming, but the following tips will help you to organize, price, and advertise your items. Do it right and you can end up with an orderly home and/or self storage unit, as well as some big bucks.
Clean: Go through your home room by room looking for items you don’t use or wear regularly. Don’t forget the garage, basement, attic, and shed. If you already have a self-storage unit, make time to go through those items. There are typically a number of long-forgotten goodies in your self storage unit.
Sort: The next step is to sort your items into the ever-present categories: Keep, Sell, and Discard. Your goal is to sort and organize; get rid of the junk and find a permanent home for the keepers.
Set the Date: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings are typically the most opportune times to hold your sale. That doesn’t mean you can’t think outside the box and consider a different time to have less competition. There are dozens of Saturday morning garage sales, but how many do you see scheduled for a Tuesday morning? If you time your sale during early morning or late afternoon commuting hours, you could attract commuters, car-pooling parents taking kids to school, and anyone else looking to score a deal.
Stock up on Supplies: Buy basic pricing stickers and blank labels at your local office supply store or the dollar store. If you’re on a tight budget, just pick up some masking tape and a permanent marker. Use a card table or any small table and chairs so that you have a designated place to comfortably cash people out. Make sure you have some boxes, and stable, inexpensive shelving to display one-of-a-kind and breakable items.
Price the Merchandise
Price it Right: Don’t attach sentimental value to your item, and overprice it in the process. If you’re not sure how to price an item, ask a friend for an objective opinion. Check current value by doing an online search. A good rule of thumb is to sell items at one quarter to one third of their original value. Most people aren’t looking to spend a great deal of money at a garage sale, so try not to price anything over $100. You’re better off selling big ticket items online. Toward the end of the sale, consider posting a “half off” sign. The goal is to get rid of your stuff!
Price Visibly: Don’t make a buyer search for a tiny sticker. Use large enough tags so that potential customers can easily see a price tag. Another option is to use colored stickers and a chart that specifies cost by color. If you do this, hang several large charts in different areas to make them easily visible.
Bundle Items: If you offer DVDs at 4 for $5, they will get more attention than if you’re asking $1 each. You can also bundle things like small kitchen gadgets, tools, or holiday decorations. Get creative.
Don’t Overprice and Expect to Haggle: Buyers will walk away from overpriced items. Garage sale shoppers like to snag a deal, but they won’t haggle over unrealistic prices. You’ll lose a sale.
Spread the Word: Use fliers in your neighborhood and online ads. Craigslist, Nextdoor, and Close5 are good ones. Forums like GarageSaleHunter.com and Yard Sale Search are forums directed specifically to garage sale regulars, and don’t forget about garage sales groups on Facebook.
Use Signs: Use 15 to 20 large, brightly colored signs. They should be at least 3 feet square. Keep them simple with large arrows pointing in the direction of the sale. They should be easy to see when driving and simple enough for a first grader to read.
The Big Day
Organize Your Checkout Area: Be sure to have plenty of small bills and coins on hand to make change. You could lose a sale over not having change readily available. Have enough plastic grocery bags and moving supply wrapping paper for fragile items. These details go a long way in showing your customers that you are organized and ready to sell.
Make it Look Like a Retain Store: Group items together: kitchen items in one area, tools in another, and clothing and accessories easy to sort through and hanging on racks. If you do have any big ticket or specialty items, place them near the street so that people know you’re selling more than mismatched dishes and outdated CDs. Reorganize throughout the day to keep things looking fresh.
Go for Appeal and Ease: Before you try to sell things, make sure they are clean and free of dust. Be sure that your shopping area doesn’t look disheveled. Borrow or rent tables so shoppers don’t have to crouch down to look at your items. If something needs batteries, insert them so that the buyer knows the items will work. Keep extension cords handy for small appliances, Christmas lights, and electronics. Place a mirror near the clothing and accessories. These details will go a long way in making customers feel comfortable and increasing your sales.
Elevate the Mood: Take a lesson from retail stores. They play music to encourage customers to stay longer and spend more. Make people feel welcome with bottled water, soda, lemonade, and don’t forget the cookies. People are far more apt to buy if you put them in a “buying” mood.
Stay Safe: Most shoppers are good people looking for a good deal, but you need to be practical and aware of what is going on around you. Most of these people will be strangers to you. Keep your doors locked during the sale, don’t let anyone in your house to use the bathroom, and don’t leave your cash unattended.
It’s time to put these tips into action. Organization is the key so that you’re ready to go when the first customer pulls up to the curb. If you remain calm, happy, and vigilant, you’ll have a successful sale and be ready to do a victory dance at the end of the day. Remember, any left over items can go into your self-storage unit for your next sale.
Depending on where you live, the country is slowly recovering from the Covid 19 lockdown. Nevertheless, in some areas, the economic fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic has been staggering. During the past year, people lost their livelihoods, their jobs, and their hope. You can’t watch the news without being emotionally moved by individuals who have been devastated by this virus and its residual effects. The cure has definitely been worse than the disease.
The only thing that remains for some are personal and business possessions. They need a place to store their furniture, household items, business inventory, and more. Self storage is the solution. Most are determined to recover from this mess, and they need a place to store their belongings. Funds are low, so they need convenient storage options that are safe and affordable.
Money Saving Self Storage Tips
Share with Friends and Family
This is a great option. The larger the unit you lease, the more money you’ll save. By combining your belongings with friends and family, you can maximize your purchasing power and lease a larger unit. This strategy can lower your rent by 25 to 50 percent.
Check Discounts and Monthly Specials
Self storage is a competitive industry. They work hard to obtain customers through monthly specials and seasonal promotions. Ask about discounts that can range anywhere from 10 to 25 percent off regular price. You may even be able to score several months free.
Consider Your Options
Compare the self storage options in your area in terms of size, price, and amenities. Discuss your storage needs with the store manager. Staff is typically friendly and knowledgeable and able to help you sort through the available units, amenities (security and access), and contracts. Read all documents carefully prior to signing.
Take a Chance on Negotiation
As mentioned above, self storage is a competitive industry. Some providers have strict pricing policies, while others may be willing to accommodate certain needs. It doesn’t hurt to ask. You may end up with a larger space for your money.
Don’t Make Your Storage Unit a Huge Junk Drawer
The ever-present junk drawer – everybody has one. It’s full of tools that don’t work, pens that have run out of ink, dead batteries, and those mystery items that seem to appear out of nowhere. Don’t use your storage unit for this kind of junk. Scrutinize everything you store so that you’re only paying for space that you need. You don’t have to go full on KonMari Method, but you should use the “keep, discard, donate” piles to determine what is most important to you and your family.
Pack Your Unit Efficiently
Put some thought into the way you pack and store your items. Use your space effectively by packing boxes fully, storing large items in the back of the unit, and remembering to use the vertical space – most units have 8 foot ceilings. With careful planning and efficient packing, you may be able to downsize to a less expensive unit.
Use the Free Truck
Many self storage facilities offer the use of a free truck with a move-in. Take advantage of this benefit, as well as discounts on available moving and packing supplies.
Whatever your budget or your reason for needing a self storage solution, you want a good deal on a convenient, safe self storage unit. Allowing yourself to be creative and flexible by using some of the money saving self storage tips we shared, can get you the best value and potentially shave hundreds of dollars from your expenses.
Searching for a self storage unit doesn’t have to be as difficult as Prince Charming searching his kingdom for the owner of the glass slipper. You’re not looking for Cinderella – you’re looking for self storage. You don’t have to visit every self storage facility in the land to find the perfect fit.
Whether you’re looking to store your small business inventory or the contents of a typical bedroom, knowing what size you need will save you time and money. You don’t want to have your unit half packed before you realize it’s too small, and you don’t want to spend extra money on a unit that’s too large.
How Do I Choose the Right Size Self Storage Unit?
Here are some guidelines that will help you determine the storage space that you need.
Take inventory of the Items Your Storing
Consider the number of boxes, measure appliances and large items, and take into account any large or irregularly-shaped items like bicycles or exercise equipment.
Use Size Guides and Visit the Unit Prior to Reserving
Most self storage websites include a storage unit size guide and many have an interactive space calculator. An in-person visit to the unit that you’re reserving is good idea. A visual representation of the space will help you better plan for your needs.
It’s Better to Overestimate than Underestimate
Even using all of the resources at your disposal won’t determine the exact size unit for your belongings. Of course you don’t want to spend extra money; but, if you’re uncertain, it’s better to spend a few extra dollars for enough room. It’s always a beneficial to have enough space for a path between your boxes and large items.
Think About Storage Unit Dimensions
Self storage units are typically sized as length by width, making it easy to estimate your floor space by square footage: for example, a 5 x 10 unit is 50 sq. ft. Self storage units typically have a height of eight feet, giving you extra vertical space. You can easily stack boxes and containers and position furniture and appliances to save space.
Look for Packing and Organizing Tips
After you locate the right unit, be sure to get it packed and organized properly to make the best use of your space. Check our Packing and Storage Tips for more information.
How Much Storage Space Do I Need
Below are unit sizes and typical contents. This should give you a rough idea of what you need. This is the type of information you’ll see on a typical size guide.
5 x 5 (25 sq. ft.): The size of a walk-in closet. Ideal for boxes, books, seasonal items (garden tools and pool toys), clothing, office supplies, and twin size mattresses.
5 x 10 (50 sq. ft.): This is a good size to store a mid-size bedroom, office, or an entire studio apartment.
10 x 10 (100 sq. ft.): An entire living room and two full bedrooms are a good fit for this space.
10 x 15 (150 sq. ft.): A three-bedroom house will fit in this size unit. It’s ideal for large screen tvs, sporting equipment, bikes, pianos, and tables.
10 x 20 (200 sq. ft.): This space is ideal for a five-bedroom house, including large appliances. This unit is also big enough for cars, boats, and other vehicles.
10 x 30 (300 sq. ft.): This unit has enough space to store a five- to seven-bedroom home or a large vehicle or small boat with room to spare. If you’re making a cross-country move, this size will enable you to store the contents of your large home while getting settled.
Vehicle Parking: Most facilities offer indoor, covered, and open parking spaces for cars, boats, and RVs. You can find information on the vehicle storage page of most self storage websites.
Whatever your storage needs, the information in this article can guide you in the right direction to easily find the right size unit at your local facility. If you’re still uncertain, speak to the manager at your local self storage business.The friendly, knowledgeable employees are always happy to answer your questions and help you to find the right fit.
According to the Self-Storage Association, one out of every 10 households in the U.S. rents a self storage unit. That means 10.8 million Americans are comfortable that their possessions are safe, secure and well protected at their local self storage facility. They’ve taken the time to choose the right self storage facility for their possessions, and they know that the majority of self storage businesses have cutting edge security. Video monitoring, electronic gates, keypad access, and even bluetooth enabled keyless entry keep their belongings safe and protected.
Despite these precautions, insurance is required at most facilities to mitigate risk and cover losses. A growing number of self storage businesses have added a tenant protection plan as another layer of protection. A tenant protection plan covers certain losses not covered by insurance.
Storage Insurance vs. Tenant Protection Plan
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners states that even though items in a storage unit are not physically in your home, your homeowner’s policy may help protect those items from certain hazards. Homeowners/renters insurance typically includes personal property coverage, from certain risks, for clothing, appliances, electronics, and furniture. These items, however, are covered only up to the coverage limits on your policy.
Tenants who depend on the “off-premises” coverage of their homeowners or renters insurance to pay for any damages to items in their storage unit may be disappointed in the event of loss; “off premises” coverage is usually capped at a certain rate.
Be sure to check with your insurance agency to verify exactly how much coverage you will have for “off-premises” items.
Homeowners/renters insurance covers the contents of a self storage unit only up to a certain limit.
- According to the Insurance Information Institute, coverage for items in a storage unit is generally provided by the “off-premises” personal property coverage in a homeowner’s policy. Typically covered are fire, lightning, theft, and vandalism.
- “Off-premises” personal property usually has a coverage limit of up to 50% of the policy’s dwelling coverage limit. Some homeowner’s policies have even lower limits for property located away from your home. For example, if you have $75,000 coverage on your personal property under your homeowner’s policy, coverage for “off-premises” property may be capped as low as 10% or $7,500.
- Renters insurance generally covers items in a self-storage unit for up to 10% of your policy limits.
What is covered by self storage insurance?
Buying self-storage insurance will usually give you coverage for damages to your possessions, less your deductible, due to loss from:
- Leaking Water (excluding flooding)
A tenant protection plan offers advantages that you don’t see in conventional insurance coverage.
How does a tenant protection plan work?
A tenant protection plan is a contractual agreement between the facility and the tenant, with the facility assuming limited responsibility for the tenant’s belongings while they are stored in a locked unit. In other words, operators agree to pay customers for damages to belongings up to a specified dollar amount.
Customers will be reimbursed at replacement cost for their damaged or stolen property (clothing and household linens are subject to depreciation). Protection plan fees are conveniently collected with the monthly rent, and there are no deductibles.
Losses from the following are covered:
- Theft due to forcible entry
- Fire, smoke, lightning, or explosion
- Water damage from a leaking roof or broken pipe (up to protection plan limits)
- Furs, antiques, works of art, and consumer electronics
Certain protection plans also cover:
- Cars, boats, jet skis, RVs, motorcycles, and quads stored inside units
- Document re-creation costs (up to protection plan limits)
- Moth, insect, rodent, or vermin damage up to $500
- Jewelry up to $500
Tenant protection plans do not cover:
- Loss due to flood damage
- Damage caused from dropping or moving property in and out of a storage room
- An improperly packed room resulting in damaged belongings
- Mysterious disappearance
- Any property stored outside a locked storage room, including RV’s, cars, boats
With a tenant protection plan, you’re guaranteed an extra layer of safety for your possessions.
Before you make a decision on any insurance or protection plan to cover your losses, think carefully about the monetary and the sentimental value of your possessions. Be sure to consult your insurance agent, and discuss your options with the manager of the facility where you choose to store your belongings.
Most self storage facilities have stringent security measures in place, including perimeter fencing, digital video monitoring and electronic gates with keypad access. Some have keyless systems that require only an app on your mobile phone to gain access and others offer “smart” units. Whether or not your facility is equipped with the latest in mobile or smart technology, you should purchase a high-quality padlock as an extra layer of protection for your valuables.
Before you purchase a lock for your self-storage unit, there are several things you need to consider.
- Depending on the security level of your storage facility, you’re probably trying to decide between a medium- and high-level quality lock. Remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for.” Don’t compromise the security of your belongings. Go with the best lock in your budget range, especially if you’re going to have your valuables in self-storage for a lengthy period of time.
- If it fits your needs, consider a shrouded shackle. They are more expensive, but harder to drill because of a protective covering on the shackle.
- Consider the size of your padlock and where you’ll be using it. You want it to fit; don’t buy an industrial-sized padlock for a small unit.
- If you’re considering a regular vs. a disc padlock, the disc padlock actually provides better security. These are considered by many to be the best locks for storage units because there is virtually no space to use bolt cutters.
- Be sure that your padlock is made of materials that will provide strength, hardness, longevity, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Common materials that will provide these qualities are steel, alloy steel, aluminum, carbides, and brass.
Seven of the Best Storage Unit Locks for 2021
According to Storagefact.com, the following are a few of the best locks for 2021. If you need more information, or these locks aren’t the best fit for your needs, check the above link to see more types of locks.
4 Digit Combination Lock by Desired Tools
The Desired Tools 4 Digit Combination Lock is Storagefact’s top pick for 2021. This lock is so popular that it has a 4.5-star rating, with other 5,000 reviews on Amazon. The manufacturer claims that this lock is great for lockers, fences, and storage units and can survive both indoor and outdoor.
Abus 20/70 Diskus Stainless Steel Padlock
The Abus 20/70 Diskus Padlock is made of stainless steel, and the shackle has little room for cutting or drilling.
Stanley Hardware S828 Shrouded Hardened Steel Padlock
The Stanley Hardware S828 boasts a six-pin cylinder and anti-pick pins, and its hardened steel that will protect the contents of your storage unit even from sawing and cutting tools.
WGCC Fingerprint Keyless Padlock
The WGCC Fingerprint Keyless Padlock is built from aluminum alloy and was given a 4-star rating by around 200 customers.
The ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock
The ABUS 37/80 Granit Alloy Steel Rekeyable Padlock does not compromise in design and has a tensile strength of 25,000 pounds.
Master Lock 930DKHPF
The Master Lock 930DKHPF’s corrosion resistance makes it a great option for the outdoors. It’s also the least expensive option for these locks.
Master Lock Titanium Shrouded Padlock
The Titanium Shrouded Padlock by Master Lock is durable and easy to use. Master Lock has been raising the bar on locks since 1921.
Choosing the right lock can be overwhelming; we hope this information helps. When you look at locks, consider the value of your possessions and the security features at your storage facility. Having the right lock will add an extra layer of security and put your mind at ease.
Are you tired of crowded gyms, expensive memberships, and travel time going to and from your gym? Are you concerned about contracting Covid 19, or are you tired of the mask mandate and social distancing? Maybe you live in an area where none of this is relevant because gyms are still closed. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up and go to a mini-gym that is conveniently located just a few short steps from your bedroom?
Why not transform a room in your house into the perfect personal workout space? If you don’t have the extra space in your home, think about your garage. You can turn it into a home gym with all of the equipment you need right at your fingertips. It may take some time and a self storage unit, but in the end you’ll be working on your strength training at home!
Read the following to discover how to make your vision of a personalized gym a reality.
Clear it Out
Unless you’ve been cleaning it regularly, your garage has become a space for everything that you don’t want to keep in the house. Unopened boxes from your last move, Christmas decorations, craft supplies, and useless junk are taking up valuable space. This is why you need to rent a storage unit. Before you read further, read Choosing the Right Self Storage Unit.
Take everything out of the garage and place it in three groups: keep, discard, and donate. The items you’re keeping will get packed up and put in storage, and the items you’re discarding will get packed up for the trash. The items you’re donating can be placed in storage until you decide who is getting what. You’re focused on your home gym right now; self storage gives you a place to keep the donations until later.
Clean it Up
Now that you’ve emptied your space, it’s time for a deep clean. The best way to ensure that you don’t miss any dirt is to work from the top down. Start with the ceiling, move to the walls, and then down to the floor. You’ll need to dust and scrub everything before you get to the fun of making the space appealing as well as functional.
Spruce it Up
Paint the walls and ceiling an appealing, bright color and install good lighting. You want to be able to use this space at any time of day or evening. Flooring is important; a cold, cement floor is not the most comfortable place to work out. Carpet sounds nice, but won’t last under heavy workout equipment. The best option is laminate flooring; or, if you want to spend a bit more, you could opt for jigsaw interlocking floor mats. If you choose the laminate, you’ll need to consider purchasing workout mats.
Ventilation is important. You don’t want to be exercising in uncomfortable conditions. If the garage isn’t already temperature controlled, you can look into portable units that will do the job.
Make it Entertaining
Watching TV or listening to music makes it easier to motivate yourself to work out. If it fits your budget, a wall-mounted TV with a sound system is perfect. You can use it for watching TV and listening to music. Not essential, but fun.
Equip it Properly
Purchasing the right equipment can be a challenge. Where do you begin? Think about your goals and what you want to achieve. If you’re experienced, you’re already aware of your specific needs, but where do you find the right equipment at the right price? Do you want a bike, treadmill, weights, or a freestanding punching bag? If you’re a newbie, check out the verywell fit site for help. This site explains different types of setups, cost, safety, and other handy hints.
If you have the budget, one of the new home exercise mirrors looks like fun. They’re pricey and there is a monthly fee for the companion app, but the investment may be worth it if you decide to forego the gym membership permanently.
Don’t forget to add shelving or storage for your weights, kettlebells, and other small items.
Time to Enjoy Your Hard Work
You’ve moved all the clutter to your storage unit, and you’re gradually finishing your home gym. Get the TV connected, fire up the sound system, learn how to use your new exercise mirror, and you’ll be ready to enjoy your workouts without the hassle of costs, commutes, or expensive gym clothes. Happy New Year
I know – you haven’t even gotten through Christmas yet, and we’re talking about storing the decorations. It’s never too soon to plan ahead. You need to get to 2021 as quickly as possible so that you can put 2020 into the vault of terrible years.
Christmas 2020 is soon to be another magical memory. Watching your kids fall asleep, face down on top of their gifts while your relatives argue about politics and Covid, as you cook dinner for 37 people, will soon be past history. Before you have time to say, “I’m going to quarantine myself out in the backyard while the rest of you cook,” it will be time to move on to the time-honored tradition of storing the decorations. Ugh!!!
Nobody enjoys this task. It’s tedious and lonely because no one wants to help. If you do coerce family members into helping, they suddenly remember a previous engagement or a contagious disease (Covid is perfect for this). Get used to it; it’s not going to change. Ask Alexa to play “the happiest songs for dismantling Christmas decor,” and get to it.
Before you start packing your decorations into either the very expensive storage containers from Target or Wayfair or the leftover egg cartons and disposable coffee cups from your garbage, you need to think about where you’re going to store these items. If you’re anything like me, the ornaments and decorations seem to multiply while your space seems to shrink. You need a solution, and you need it before the Christmas ornaments find a new home in your garage and the cars are stuck out in the driveway all year.
What you need is a self-storage unit, preferably a convenient, secure, climate-controlled storage unit. Here at Universal Storage Group, these units are available in a variety of sizes that are suitable for large or small Christmas trees and all your other seasonal items. You can add pegboards to the walls for hanging your wreaths and garlands and shelving for plastic ornament boxes and Christmas linens. With climate-controlled storage, you won’t find a pool of hardened wax that used to be a candle or a moldy piece of fabric that was once the beautiful table cloth that grandma crocheted with her arthritic hands
Tips to Prepare Your Decorations for Their Temporary Home
Take Pictures of Your Decorations
Did you ever begin your Christmas decorating, suddenly realizing that you can’t remember which decorations you used on the mantel or which centerpiece you used on the dining room table? As you age, this will happen. Before you remove those decorations for storage, take pictures for future reference. Mobile devices make it so easy to take photos. Add a few selfies before you store them; memories of the bags under your eyes are precious.
Be Careful with the Christmas Ornaments
In many families, Christmas ornaments are irreplaceable treasures. They represent life events, travel, and tradition. Many were created with little hands out of construction paper, glue and glitter. Some are given as special gifts. Fortunately, you can find endless options in boxes and containers made specifically to protect fragile ornaments. They’re available in Wayfair, Home Depot, and Target, just to name a few. Remember to leave the hangers on the ornaments, so that you don’t have to make a trip to the store in the middle of next year’s decorating.
Keep Your Christmas Tree Looking New
Even though artificial trees are quite durable, storing your tree in its original box is not the best idea. With each passing year, the box will deteriorate, making it prone to insect (and deranged squirrel) infestation, and the tree will not look as nice if it has to be jammed into the box and reshaped every year. There are several different tree storage container options that will protect your tree and keep it in great shape. Climate-controlled storage is perfect for keeping your tree in pristine condition. This is especially important if you have a frosted or flocked tree; they don’t do well in extreme temperatures. Actually, they make a mess at any temperature.
Maintain your Wreaths and Garlands
As with all your other Christmas paraphernalia, there are numerous options for wreath and garland storage. Look for sturdy containers that will preserve the shape of these items and protect any decorative bows and ornaments. They can also be hung from hooks on a pegboard in your storage unit. For extra protection, you can cover them with a lightweight dry cleaning bag.
Keep Your Christmas Lights Untangled
Clark Griswold should not be your “go to” example for Christmas light storage or design. Think “organization.” The first thing you need to do is to dispose of any lights that are damaged or not working properly. Then, you need to avoid the tangled mess of previous years by wrapping your lights around storage reels. When you’re finished organizing the lights, place them in a large plastic storage bin along with the necessary extension cords. Don’t forget to take pictures as a guide to next year’s light design.
Keep Your Christmas Linens Crisp and New Looking
Be sure that your Christmas table linens, bed linens, and towels are clean prior to storage. Stains can oxidize over time and be impossible to remove, so don’t be lazy and store them with wine and gravy stains. Don’t wrap linens in tissue, newsprint, or cardboard as these materials can release gases that will turn your fabric yellow. Plastic can also damage the fabric, and hangars can cause creases that are hard to iron out. If you have the space, you can store these items on an extra shelf in your linen closet. A better option is a suitcase that you no longer use in your storage unit. Keep in mind that these items should be stored in a climate-controlled environment to maintain their beauty and prevent further damage.
Candles Require Special Care
Wrap candles in old socks or cellophane to prevent scratching and color transfer. Do not use plastic wrap or wax paper as they can stick to your candles. After you finish wrapping, store them in a box or crate, even in your ornament storage boxes.Be sure that they are in a climate-controlled area in your home or storage unit. Unless, of course, you want melted, misshapen globs of wax.
It goes without saying that you should store your boxes strategically and with labels. Not only should each label show a detailed content list, but they should be numbered and stored in the order in which you want to open them.
Storing your decorations the right way is tedious and time consuming; but, when next year rolls around, you’ll be happy to find everything organized and in perfect condition. Then, you can start the process over again. Happy Holidays!
It’s early December, and you know what that means. The holiday season is breathing down your neck. People have already begun to stash away Christmas gifts and surprises. If you haven’t started shopping, you’d better get your hustle on. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over; you’re already a step behind.
When you think of the excitement on those sweet little faces at 5:00 a.m. on Christmas morning, it’s hard to resist buying everything they want!. Calm down and step away from the credit card. By noon, they’ll be playing with an empty box and sobbing with exhaustion. And you still have to navigate them through the remainder of the day with relatives and friends. Here’s an idea. Make the time leading up to this day of memories (and disorder) a little bit easier by using self storage.
Give Yourself a Break – Use Self Storage to Stash the Presents
Black Friday is the shopping kickoff, followed by Cyber Monday, and every day and night thereafter until you have to find time to bake cookies, drink wine, and have one of many emotional breakdowns leading up to the big day. After all of that shopping comes the challenge of trying to find hiding places for all of those presents. It’s harder than trying to find a parking space at the grocery store on Christmas Eve.
You need a plan, or the simple task of hiding gifts will become a logistical nightmare. You’ll forget where you put them; and, if you wrap them prior to hiding, you’ll absolutely forget who they’re meant for. It’s so annoying when you open the freezer and the Lightsaber Academy Interactive Battle Lightsaber falls out and breaks your toe because brain fog caused you to forget you hid it in there. But the most fun you’ll have by far is watching Aunt Karen open Cousin Sydney’s Cards Against Humanity. Cue another breakdown.
Universal Storage Group is your seasonal helper. Rent a convenient, secure, affordable self storage unit to use as ground zero for gifts. Our small sizes are perfect. You can use inexpensive shelving to keep the gifts off the ground, and you can even add a table to use for wrapping the presents. You don’t have to worry about making a long-term commitment to rent a unit, because we have flexible month-to-month leasing.
The More the Merrier – Wrap With Friends
Better yet, if you want to save money, rent a slightly larger unit and share with friends. You not only use the space for gifts, but you can set up a wrapping station. Place a folding table with several tape dispensers and pairs of scissors in the unit. You can use it individually, or plan a wrapping party, complete with eggnog and snacks. Wrapping paper, gift bags, and ribbon can be supplied by each renter.
Choosing The Right Storage Facility
If you’re going to use storage for your gifts, you need to find a facility that is secure and convenient.
At this time of year, you need to think about convenience. You’ll be stopping at the unit frequently, so you’ll need a facility in your neighborhood that is close to the places where you shop and run errands.
Cost is an important factor, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration. Find a reputable company with state-of-the-art security. Look for video surveillance, perimeter fencing, security locks, and electronic keypad access. You’ll also want a friendly, knowledgeable management team that is willing to answer your questions, understand your needs, and show you around the property.
As an additional advantage, many self-storage facilities accept deliveries. You can spend a day shopping on the internet and have all of your items shipped to your storage facility: the ultimate in convenience.
If you live in an area that’s subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, opting for a climate-controlled unit will be better for you and your gifts. If you plan to share with friends and spend time wrapping gifts in the unit, you want to be comfortable and you want your gifts to be protected from damage and humidity.
One last thought. Don’t forget to check with your insurance agent to verify that your gifts are covered under your homeowners’ or renters’ policy. If your policy does not cover these items, you can purchase insurance from your storage company.
You’ll be surprised at how much less stressful your life will be with a safe, comfortable hiding place for your gifts, especially if you bought one of the kids an electric ride-on car. You won’t have to store it in your neighbor’s living room for two months. Merry Christmas!
The holidays are approaching quickly. Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving and Christmas are slowly creeping into your already cluttered brain. If you’re expecting overnight guests, you need to get ready now – not when their plane is 15 minutes away from arrival.
Greeting guests at the front door and realizing that you have to excuse yourself to empty drawers and make closet space in the guest room is not a good look. It sets the tone for the entire experience.
If you want to make your holiday guests feel like kings and queens (and don’t forget the little princes and princesses), follow the tips in this article. They may want to stay a few extra days (uh-oh)!
Make Your Guests Contented and Comfortable
Clean the House
This is a no-brainer and your motivation to get rid of the clutter. It’s time to get a self-storage unit if you don’t already have one. It’s a place for the extra clutter and furniture crowding the guest room. You and your guests will have a much more enjoyable experience in a tidy house. For more information read Put that Clutter in Self Storage and Get On with Your Life.
Be Ready with Snacks and Drinks
Stock the fridge and pantry with snacks and drinks that you know your guests will enjoy. Don’t forget the littles; have plenty of juice boxes, fruit, and crackers.
Plan in Advance for Entertainment
You know your guests (I hope), so you’ll be aware of the activities they’ll enjoy. There are plenty of holiday events at this time of year. Shopping trips, craft fairs, tree lightings, concerts, and local cuisine are all at the top of the list. This doesn’t mean you have to pack every day with endless adventures, but it helps to have some back-up plans. You can always just hang out and watch A Christmas Story.
Remember the Kids
If there are children in the mix, remember to accommodate their needs. Baby proof where necessary. You can put all of those valuables in your self-storage unit with the extra furniture from the guest room. Parents should be able to relax and not spend their entire time reprimanding a child for touching valuable pieces or sticking their little fingers into light sockets. Make sure that you have a few board games and simple (not messy) crafts for elementary-aged kids. They will undoubtedly bring their own technology.
Bedrooms & Bathrooms
Drawer & Closet Space
Remember to clean out several dresser drawers for guests to use and provide a luggage rack for their suitcases. And don’t forget to make room in the closet and add extra hangers.
It goes without saying that the beds will be made with clean sheets, blankets, and cozy comforters. Be sure to have extras so that everyone is comfortable. Buy fluffy new towels for the guest bathroom, and have plenty of extras in a cute basket. Provide another basket for dirty towels so that you can throw them in the wash every day. Don’t forget a decorative container of extra toiletries in case one of your guests is forgetful: soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
Provide a pretty tray with bottled water, granola bars, and fruit. A vase of fresh flowers or live plants are always nice touches. If you want a festive touch, add a small tree and a few holiday decorations. Arrange a variety of books and magazines on the night table, and don’t forget nightlights in both bedroom and bathroom.
Leave a note card with your Wi-Fi password and TV remote instructions in a convenient spot in the guest room.
It looks like you’re ready. Bring on the company, but don’t waste a lot of time worrying about the “perfect experience.” Being with friends and family is the perfect experience. Use the time to have fun and make memories! Take tons of pictures and share special moments. Happy Holidays!