As Americans continue to acquire more goods, niche storage is becoming more popular. Think about document storage, band practice storage, and portable storage, all growing niche markets. An increasing number of self storage renters are looking for amenity-rich specialty storage options for wine.
Dr. Liz Thath, Professor of Wine, states “After 24 years of continuous growth in wine consumption the US market slowed to only 1.2% in volume in 2018 (bw166). Despite this flattening of volume growth, dollar value still grew at a 3.7% suggesting that, though Americans may be drinking less, they desire higher quality wine and are spending more per bottle. This indicates that wine still maintains its place as an important American beverage. The total dollar value of the US wine market in 2018 was $69.7 billion, with $23.3 billion (33%) derived from imported wine (Wines & Vines Analytics, 2019).
As a wine enthusiast, you understand the conditions needed to maintain desired flavor, texture, and quality. You’ll immediately know if a facility is properly equipped to store wine. Wine that is exposed to the wrong humidity and temperature variations can spoil what once was an exquisite and very expensive wine.
Keep in mind that climate-controlled storage keeps a unit’s indoor temperature between 55 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and maintains a humidity level of 55%. That should be adequate to maintain the quality of your wine. Still, finding units that are designed specifically for wine storage is the best way to go, as these units will likely have a slightly higher level of humidity than typical climate-controlled storage units.
What A Facility Needs to Offer Wine Storage
Ideal Temperature and Humidity
High temperatures and the wrong humidity levels significantly change wine. Wine does best at 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level of 60-80%. Temperatures that are too low could freeze or dry out the cork. A dry cork can crack, allowing air into the bottle and oxidizing the wine. Have you ever had a glass of wine that tastes like vinegar? That is oxidized wine; great if you enjoy vinegar, but not so good if you’ve invested in a very special bottle.
Even an air-tight seal can be affected by humidity. A 60-80% humidity level will keep the cork from drying out. Yes, you can store wine bottles on their sides to keep the cork from drying out, but severely fluctuating temperatures and humidity can eventually push the cork out completely. If conditions are too damp, wine labels can be ruined.
Keep it Dark and Quiet
Did you ever wonder why good wine is typically stored in green, black, and bluish bottles? Those colors protect the wine from UV light, but they can only do so much. Wine has to be protected from sunlight, incandescent light, and fluorescent light to keep the complex molecules from breaking down. Wine does best in a quiet environment. Too much movement or vibration can cause a gritty texture from disturbed sediment. Keep it away from too much foot traffic.
Organize Your Wine Storage
If your chosen facility isn’t equipped with their own wine racks, you may want to use your own miniature wine racks, wine storage cubes, or wine crates. Storing bottles on their sides is not only space efficient but, as mentioned above, will prevent corks from drying out.
When searching for a place to store your wine, look for a reputable, secure, climate-controlled
facility with the appropriate sized space for the quantity of bottles you’re storing. Spend some time discussing options with your storage professional. Have your questions and concerns addressed so that you feel comfortable with the arrangements. Several of Universal Storage Group’s managed self storage facilities offer specialty wine storage. Check out our listings to find a facility near you!
Storing wine takes some effort, but it’s more than worth it. A few years in the right storage can transform a great wine into an exquisite and valuable wine that you’ll be enjoying for celebrations to come.
The KonMari method is a system of organizing your home by getting rid of anything that doesn’t make you happy. In the powerful words of Marie Kondo, the woman who developed the KonMari method of decluttering, “discard anything that doesn’t spark joy.”
The Miriam Webster dictionary defines joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” I’ve seen it defined in a more spiritual context as a “settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope.” So, if you’re Star Wars action figures and your Disco Fever Barbie no longer delight you, it’s time to say good-bye.
Hmmm. In that case, since cooking no longer sparks joy, I’m getting rid of the stove and most of my pots and pans. My husband’s golf clubs spark no joy in my heart. Won’t he be surprised when he gets to the golf course tomorrow morning. Doing laundry is not what I’d refer to as a “joyful activity,” so I guess I’ll donate the washer and dryer to Goodwill and turn the laundry room into a Zumba studio.
While reading Ms. Kondo’s best selling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I admit that I giggled on occasion (well, maybe it was more of “laugh out loud). This woman actually suggests that before getting rid of items, you thank them for serving their purpose. She texted her old cell phone from her new cell phone to thank it for “all it has done.” I wonder if the old cell phone and the new one are still having conversations. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t appreciate or care for our possessions; I just don’t want to have a conversation with my coat before I donate it to The Salvation Army.
Making the Case for a Tidy Home
For most of us, it feels good to keep our homes tidy. If you check our last blog, Put that Clutter in Storage and Get On With Your Life, you’ll note that clutter can be physically and psychologically damaging. Marie Kondo has made quite a good living as an organization consultant and author, so there is probably something to be said for her method. I’ll give her props for mentioning self storage as a solution for those who have trouble “letting go.” I’m still on the fence with thanking my items for serving their purpose.
As you’ve probably guessed this method is highly detailed, so I’m going to give you a very simplified overview. The KonMari Method advocates sorting your belongings category-by-category rather than room-by-room. The reason for this is that people typically store items of the same category in different locations. Imagine that.
Before you begin your organization journey, read the following rules. This can be quite the overwhelming process, so you’d better have a glass of wine first.
Rule 1: Commit yourself to tidying up.
Rule 2: Imagine your ideal lifestyle (visualize your life in an organized home).
Rule 3: Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each one for serving its purpose (this is where she loses me because having conversations with inanimate objects is just weird…unless they’re stuffed animals).
Rule 4: Tidy by category, not location.
Rule 5: Follow the right order (Categories 1 through 5).
Rule 6: Ask yourself if the item sparks joy (now we’re talking to ourselves as well as our things).
And try not to laugh while you thank your belongings for a job well done.
Category 1: Clothing
Clothing is typically stored in closets, dresser drawers, and maybe under the bed. After you’ve removed all of your clothing from these spaces and laid it on the floor, you can then move on to creating sub-categories. For example, you could separate your clothes into seasonal categories or “this hasn’t fit since high school.” You can then further subdivide into “what the heck was I thinking when I bedazzled this bridesmaids dress.”
Category 2: Books
As with clothing, remove all books from shelves and place them on the floor. Place them into four broad categories:
- General (books you read for pleasure)
- Practical (references, cookbooks, etc.)
- Visual (photograph albums, etc.)
Hold each book and decide whether you want to keep it or toss it. Remember you’re looking for books that “spark joy.”
Category 3: Papers
Papers include accumulated newspapers, invitations and school announcements stuck to the refrigerator, as well as junk mail. The basic KonMari principle for papers is to throw everything away unless it does not fall into one of three categories:
- Currently in use
- Needed for a limited period
- Must be kept indefinitely
You’ll find the complex system for categorizing all other papers (bills, sentimental letters/diaries, receipts) in the The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
Category 4: Konomo (miscellaneous items)
These are the items you will find everywhere in your house.
- Makeup (cosmetic samples that have never been used)
- Valuable Items (passports, credit cards, etc.)
- Electrical Equipment (broken appliances, cameras, cords, etc.)
- Household Equipment (stationery, writing materials, sewing baskets, etc.)
- Household and Cleaning Supplies (medicine, detergents, cleaners, tissues, etc.)
- Kitchen Goods (pots and pans, small appliances, kitchen implements, etc.)
- Other (spare change, keyrings, etc.)
- Anything Related to a Particular Interest or Hobby
Category 5: Sentimental Items
These are items from your past that still hold meaning for you. The problem is that they are probably stored in a drawer or closet where you never see them.They include memementos, photographs, and souvenirs. These things tend to appear in unexpected places (like behind the toilet). The KonMari Method will help you organize what is most meaningful. You’ll use the same method for sorting these items as you do for everything else. Lay them out on the floor (or bed or table), and create categories. Be aware that you will be holding on to each photo to see if it “sparks joy,” and then you probably need to have a long conversation with it before you throw it away.
Self Storage and KonMari
So now you’re ready to “put your space in order and change your life forever.”
Anyway, that’s what the book says. If you’re going to follow this method, you really need to investigate self storage because it will give you the best of both worlds. You can follow the KonMari Method and still have a place for those “maybe I’ll need them later” items.
If you’re lonely or just really enjoy talking to inanimate objects, you can visit your items whenever you like and thank them for serving their purpose. Don’t worry. Our friendly, professional storage management team will not laugh. They’re probably having discussions with their own stuff.
Is your home so cluttered that you don’t even notice the mess anymore? Is your social life suffering because you can’t open the front door? Does your environment look like a contender for “Hoarding: Buried Alive”? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to take action. This is not good for you or your family. Do you know that uncontrolled clutter can cause stress, overeating, and, yes, even jeopardize relationships.
As hard as it may be to believe, excessive clutter can actually produce tangible effects on your mental and physical health. It’s time to get this situation under control. Read below to see how too much clutter can affect your health and destroy relationships.
The Ugly Truth About Clutter
Clutter Elevates Stress Levels
According to the The Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people who live in cluttered homes have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, than those who live in restful, uncluttered environments. Cortisol has been associated with greater chronic stress, disease progression, weight gain, and even mortality risk.
Clutter Encourages Overeating
Dr. Eva Shalhoub explains that because clutter is stressful for the brain, you’re more likely to resort to coping mechanisms such as choosing comfort foods or overeating. You’ll grab anything just to make more room in the fridge. If your refrigerator isn’t stuffed with spoiled, unappetizing leftovers, you’ll be able to find those healthy snacks.
Clutter Can Cause or Worsen Allergy/Respiratory Issues
Cluttered homes are frequently dustier than orderly living spaces, especially when messiness levels make it difficult to keep your home clean. As things accumulate, more dust is generated, creating the ideal living environment for pests like dust mites. Excessive moisture, the cause of mold and mildew, promotes the growth of bacteria and viruses and impacts respiratory health. Anyone in the house, with or without allergies, can experience eye, skin, nose, throat, and lung irritation. The longer the space is unclean, the more serious these respiratory issues can become.
Clutter Can be Isolating for the Entire Family
According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., “Living in clutter impedes your identification with your home, which should be a retreat from the outside world and a place to feel pride.” A cluttered home can inhibit your desire to entertain. You will eventually begin to avoid social gatherings because your house is a mess. Sadly, children can also feel the negative effects of a cluttered home. They can be prone to elevated levels of distress and have difficulty making friends because they are embarrassed by the condition of their home. This, alone, should encourage you to clean up.
Clutter Can Threaten Relationships
Clutter in the home can can undermine relationships because of the negative impact on one partner. We all have certain mementos that we just can’t throw away: that high school letter jacket or that well-loved stuffed animal that your child carried everywhere. That’s understandable and acceptable. But when you multiply that by hundreds, it becomes obsessive and unmanageable. To some people, the idea of parting with any of their belongings is psychologically distressing. Spouses or partners who are bothered by this clutter tend to be judgmental, angry, and irritable. They may resort to name calling and negative comments, the end result being a shattered relationship.
Clutter can Torpedo Your Budget and Create Debt
A cluttered environment makes it easy to misplace things, like a particular kitchen implement or a child’s favorite toy. If you lose something, it’s easier to buy a duplicate. If this becomes a habit, you could end up with accumulated debt and multiples of the same item. If you aren’t a fan of paperless billing and online banking, a cluttered home can also make it challenging to locate bills and bank statements. They’re probably in the sofa cushions or under a pile of clothing. This can lead to late payments,additional fees, higher interest rates, and ultimately, collection calls.
Clutter Can Interfere with Your Career Goals
People’s messy tendencies can also creep into their professional life and impact job performance. A disorganized desk, filing system, or briefcase can inhibit your ability to focus and decrease productivity, keeping you from moving forward with your career and probably ending your employment.
The Self Storage Solution
One way to save your health and sanity and get this situation under control is with a safe, secure self storage unit. The bottom line is that everything has its place. Getting rid of physical clutter can be emotionally devastating to certain individuals, but there is a strategy. Don’t just relocate your possessions to another area of your living space. Store them.
Self storage is your practical solution. Locating a secure, affordable, convenient storage facility will resolve this problem. The clutter is gone—not gone forever—but removed to a secure self-storage facility where it will no longer negatively affect you and the people close to you. You can visit your belongings any time, but you don’t have to live with the mess and chaos.
Give us a call today. A professional, knowledgeable staff member will be happy to help you develop a customized plan for your belongings.