Stress is the Trash of Modern Life

The last few decades have placed a concentration on the advancements in technology. The millennial generation has developed a new energy emphasizing the need for efficiency, speed, and accessibility in work places and day to day activities. This expansion in the current and ever evolving technology has created higher expectations and increased intensity in our society. This vigor to grow in a technological era gives way to an indefinite amount of potentially beneficial societal improvements which will undeniably continue over the next decade. Unfortunately these developments, expectations, and new knowledge brought about unavoidable consequence. Stress! Our culture has increased stress levels on average by 30% in the last three decades according to NY Daily News. You could just ask some of our student residents at U-Stor-It Self Storage South Loop around finals at Roosevelt College.

Find Relief

The ages effected by stress have lowered and the levels have increased which has ultimately taken a toll on people, behaviorism, and life styles.
There are so many different ways to help you manage this pressure. As an individual, it is essential to find some sort of relief from whatever is burdening you. It could include regularly exercising, meditations, listening to music, volunteering, or reading a book.
Environments also can alter the level of stress a person may be experiencing such as cleaning or organizing your work space or home.

“Clutter has been said to be directly correlated to pressure. You should organize as thoroughly as you can so that you are able to access whatever it is that you will need immediately.”

-Gloria, Assistant Manager of U-Stor-It Self Storage South Loop

Find Release

I always struggle with maintaining cleanliness, but one easy method of sustainable keeping your space clean would be by discarding or relocating rarely used possessions. Storing bulky furniture or belongings that you can’t part with but never use will make a big difference.
Remember to take a break! Sometimes life can become overwhelming and it can become so easy to be entirely absorbed in a task. Frustration and overworking oneself will more likely create less productivity and poorer results.
Whatever it is, be sure that you are taking care of yourself and have some sort of stress reduction method at hand to ensure your health, strength, and happiness.

Living Small and Storing Large

A South Loop Perspective.

Living downtown in a large metropolitan city, such as the South Loop of Chicago, IL can be incredible considering the food, nightlife, and quick moving environment. However, one downside is the ever decreasing square footage of apartments and condos. With the rise in popularity in micro-apartments, saving money can be easy, but making space is another issue.

As the old English proverb goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” For those in a tight situation willing to spend a bit more effort, we have found some tips to make the most of your space, with the help of our self storage team in downtown Chicago at U-Stor-It Self Storage South Loop.

Lucky Stripes

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First and foremost, if your living space simply feels cramped and claustrophobic, there is one simple trick to stretch a room to look larger. Stripes. Horizontal stripes can visually widen a space with an optical illusion known as dimensional transcendence. Don’t get lost in the pronunciation of the phrase, but just remember stripes help, and the bigger they are the better.

“Using stripes in a small room will instantly widen a room and make low ceilings feel taller. A floor area rug with a larger print is great to open up a space. When shopping, avoid narrower stripes. They become too chaotic or busy.”

-Gloria, Assistant Manager of U-Stor-It Self Storage South Loop

Storage, Storage, Storage

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We cannot stress enough how storage can save you on space and headaches. Maybe we’re obsessed, but it is our business. From mason jars, milk crates, to the IKEA Kallax Shelving Unit; you have incredible options to store your belongings while maintaining a great look to your apartment. Let’s start with your bed. With about six inches of clear room underneath, it’s an obvious choice to store everything from your holiday knick knacks, wrapping paper, to long lost love letters.

“Simple Ikea risers can also be added underneath your bed to give you the extra few inches you need to store plastic storage bins or drawers. Your floor and closet space will be thanking you kindly.”

– Gloria, Assistant Manager of U-Stor-It Self Storage South Loop

Go Vertical

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Since floor space is limited and your bed can only be raised so much, it may be time to go vertical. Strategically placed floating shelves will not only provide a home to your Comic Con Exclusive Legos, but also give your living space a new design aesthetic that looks modern and interesting.

“Floating shelves are a great way to also bring change to your space. It’s the perfect platform to rotate in and out seasonal items; snow globes, jack-o-lanterns, Easer eggs. Changing the content every month or so will be just enough to bring a fresh vibe to your home.”

– Emily, Assistant Manager of U-Stor-It Self Storage South Loop

 

So there it is. Three tips to get you started in rethinking your space. To leave you with one last tip from the U-Stor-It South Loop team, think cozy, not cramped. It’s a home not a cell. Just don’t forget to add a touch of feng shui.

How to Style an Apartment to Impress Your Guests

Making an apartment look beautiful can be difficult. There is only so much space and an overwhelming feeling of clutter is nearly inevitable. This unfortunately has made entertaining company complicated. Thankfully there are some secrets to organizing your living space that would impress any guest. Some simple changes could assist you in organizing, decluttering, and revitalizing your apartment. After all, a home can be seen as a reflection of a person.

Make Your Living Space Look Large!

Use light colors to decorate your apartment
The best way to brighten a room would be to use soft hues when painting your walls, accompanied by color complimentary furniture. The lighter color scheme will make each room look more spacious and less restricting than a darker counterpart.
Keep Your Walking Paths Clear
Creating a distinguished and uncluttered walkway will prevent guests from having to navigate around sporadically placed objects. Maintaining these specific areas will ultimately avoid the feeling of congestion in your apartment. Pushing your furniture against the walls is one easy way of creating a manageable pathway.
Use Decorative Pieces that Will Give the living space dimension
The appearance of depth in your apartment could be as easy as buying shear curtains, clear/glass topped tables, or over sized mirrors.

Rethink Storage

Use Decorative Boxes and Bookshelves
Bookshelves can hold large amounts in an organized style without taking up very much space. One idea that I personally enjoy is placing a bookshelf on its side to create a bench.
*Remember: Keeping a tidy apartment is the first step towards an organized mindset.
Don’t leave any closet space unused
At our South Loop facility, in downtown Chicago, we have found that many residents have vertical shelves along the interior of your storage units to increase potential storage space. Adding shelves above your stove, sink, or wash/dryer are great ways of effectively using space. Additional tools to better utilize your space are rods and shoe racks.
Buy Furniture with Seating and Storage
To maximize your potential storage space around your apartment, while maintaining a clean and open atmosphere, use multipurpose furniture that could be used to store miscellaneous items in addition to their original use. For instance, coffee tables and TV stands can hold plenty of storage space below in a neat manner. While ottoman can be opened up and closed without any indication of their storage-like characteristic.

Find Conversational Pieces

Be a Minimalist
The best way to keep your apartment organized is getting rid of everything you absolutely do not need. Seasonally decorating and cleaning an apartment is great and whatever is not currently being used could be placed in self storage elsewhere. However, a purge of the unnecessary materialistic items to prevent clutter accumulation in essential.
When You are Decorating Keep it Simple
Decoration should be used as conversational piece, so try and avoid anything bulky that could be using space in an inefficient fashion. Rather, replace it with a small sculpture or meaningful picture.
Do Not Over Decorate
Less is more when decorating an apartment. Limit your wall art to one or two art pieces or pictures a room. This will emphasize the painting itself as well as assist in making the room feel larger. Some ideas to consider if you do not have any wall art are hanging plants from clothing hooks in room corners.

Backpacking Adventure Recommendations

Backpacking is an adventure and opportunity you would not want to miss out on. You’ll have the chance to see places you’ve only ever imagined going to and experience things that are entirely outside of your comfort zone. However, there is a lot of planning to do before you venturing out into the great outdoors. Travelling the world with only a few possessions can be scary, but it is also undeniably exhilarating. When it comes to travelling abroad, there are two types of people. Those who stay with their friends and family, who share the experience and leave with unforgettable memories. And those who travel alone and integrate themselves into a culture with the mindset of cultural immersion and understanding. No matter what type of traveler you are, there are always going to be big obstacles to face when planning, especially when that trip is for a longer extended period of time. Two of these obstacles include, how you are going to maintain your home and how you are going to pack for the trip. Here are a couple suggestions to consider making these decisions.

Subleasing Your Apartment

An option that should be deliberated when travelling for long periods of time is renting out your home. There is a process in doing so, but it will reap more rewards than consequences more times than not. Renting your home could be a financial supporter towards your trip and extremely helpful to whomever becomes your tenant.
When preparing your home for a tenant, it is essential to make it as clean as possible. This includes storing away any personal items you would rather they not touched. Since a backpacking trip is usually only for a finite period of time, you’ll need to consider your storage options. People who rent their homes usually choose between two different methods of storing their valuables and personal possessions. You can either rent a self-storage unit during your trip, or you can lower the rate of rent and use a room in your home to store your possessions. If you use one of the rooms in your home for storage space, be sure to keep a lock on the door and take the key with you.
When renting out your home you will need to answer three important questions: are you capable of becoming a landlord, how much you can rent your home for, and have you found an appropriate tenant. Be sure that your home is as safe as it can be and that there are no home improvement jobs that will become issues later in the lease.

How To Pack for Your Backpacking Adventure

The other obstacle to overcome before you leave on your backpacking adventure is what and how you are going to pack. The first step on deciding what to pack, begins with laying out everything you think you’ll need to bring. From there you can decide what is essential. This usually includes cutting the amount of clothes you plan on bring in half. Clothes will ultimately be what takes up the most space in your bag. To use the limited space available as effectively as possible, roll your clothes instead of folding them and try to fill empty spaces with small or compressible items. A week prior to your trip departure, you should practice your technique on how to pack your bag as to prevent unexpected obstacles during your travels. The way you should organize your things would be by packing the lightest items at the bottom, the heaviest in the middle (against your back), and the middle weight towards the top of your pack. This will ultimately allow you to travel most comfortably over large expanses, by balancing and centering your weight. As seen below.

How to Make the Most of Your 4th of July BBQ:

The 4th of July is undeniably my favorite holiday. It’s a time to come together with your friends and family, to remember the day our country won their independence. This is the holiday that celebrates the characteristics that the United States of America is internationally famous for: Freedom, Patriotism, and Strength.

Every year my family, friends, and I come together and compete for the 4th of July team title. We separate into three groups (a red team, blue team, and white team) and the rest of the day consists of endless games or competitions. The games could include running, swimming, tennis, volleyball, horseshoes, corn hole, chess, and fishing. Obviously this is a lot to be doing in one day, and I admit that our tradition may be a little over the top. However, there are some great things to incorporate into a 4th of July party to spice up the atmosphere and keep your company entertained.

1. Corn Hole

You could simply buy a corn hole set that is ready to go, or you could decorate it by painting the corn hole set red, white, and blue. Corn hole is good game to keep guests preoccupied for short periods of time. This game will not interfere with any other activities or events you have planned. Additionally, it is a game that is easy to learn and fun for all ages.

2. Costume Contests

Get your guests into the spirit of the holiday and challenge them to dress up in their best American attire for a small prize. It will ultimately make your BBQ or party feel unique and stand out in contrast to the endless summer kickbacks you may have over the next couple weeks.

3. Baseball/Football/Kickball Game

In your backyard or a nearby park, set up a baseball, football, or kickball game. The classic sports are a glimpse into some of America’s favorite pastimes. It’s a great way to keep your guests busy while the burgers are on the grill and will make everyone ravenous before dinner. Everybody knows that food always tastes better when you are already hungry!

4. Water Balloon Toss

A classic summer game that is fun for all ages. Nearly everyone remembers playing in a water balloon toss growing up. The balloons are cheap and the cleanup is easy! This game is a fun way to keep everyone cool on a hot day and keep the little ones at the event preoccupied for a decent amount of time.
The U-Stor-It staff on Auburn Gresham, Beverly, Carol Stream, Lisle, South Loop Chicago, and Streamwood wish you the best over the 4th of July weekend. We hope that you have fun, relax, and stay safe.

Happy 4th of July!