All posts by emily

Maximizing Your Dorm Room Space

More recently, the appearance of minimalist lifestyles have been growing in popularity. However, when you are moving into a dorm or apartment for college, the minimalist look is not an option. Space is limited and you are going to have to think of some solutions to storing all your possessions into the cramped living quarters. Preparing for how you are going to store your stuff will ultimately assist in maximizing your space and preventing your quarters from feeling cluttered. With the help of some of our team at U-Stor-It Self Storage South Loop near Roosevelt University in Chicago we have found some tips for uncramping your style!

Container Storage

Lifting your bed with bed risers will provide a space beneath to place containers and drawers.

“If you’d like, you can line your storage containers with decorative paper to prevent seeing whatever it is you are storing inside them.”

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

bed college dorm room

Closet Storage

You will want to be using all the potential space in your closet. It is highly recommended to purchase a hanging shelf which could be used for storing shoes, sweaters, or any excess clothing. Using Cascading Hangers could also help in maximizing storage space. Each of these hangers can hold up to five articles of clothing at different heights, allowing you to fit even more into your closet.

“Once you have everything organized, use a curtain attached to a simple closet rod to hide all your clothing from sight.”

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

clothing college dorm room

Divider Storage

Drawer organization is essential to fitting everything into a tight space while maintaining easy access to whatever it is you need. Dividers can be used to help with desks, clothing drawers, jewelry/makeup, technology organization (i.e. cords), and school supplies.

furniture college dorm room

Hanger Storage

Keep in mind that you will want to prevent accumulation on your floor to the best of your ability. Try placing hooks around your room for all remaining miscellaneous items. This could be on the back of your door or near your desk. In most dorms, you will not be allowed to drill holes into the walls, however command hooks are a great substitute. They can be used for photos, purses, coats, whiteboards, keys, or wall storage bins.

document college dorm room

Using small tricks like these can absolutely assist in maximizing space in your dorm. Remember to plan how you will organize and store everything coming to college with you to create a clean and spacious room. At the end of the school year, when you are looking for a space to store all of your things, U-Stor-It on 615 S. Wabash will safely and securely store any of your belongings until you are ready to move back in.

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.

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!

How to Make Use of Your Useless Surfboards

Let’s face it San Diego, our surfboards are accumulating dust, reminding us of that time we tried to fit the Southern California surfer stereotype. We’ve all been there… but we can’t just throw them out or give them away — they were expensive and deep down, we are still hoping that one day we may become the next Kelly Slater or Alana Blanchard. While the surfer image is appealing, surfboards take up a lot of space. No matter how often we try to rearrange them or find a place to store them, they seem to always be in the way. So you may ask, are surfboards really worth keeping if they cause such a hassle?

Yes! Even waterlogged or retired surfboards have great potential to become an interesting decor piece for your home and may be a fun art project as well!

Our team at U-Stor-It is always looking for ways to help brighten and improve our living space. We’ve developed a few creative ways to incorporate your surfboard into your home without wasting space. With the right supplies you can turn your unusable surfboard into a piece of art or furniture.

Mosaics and Chalkboard’s:

This is a great activity to do with your friends and family this summer. The right supplies and a positive attitude are all you need to make a beautiful piece of art to brighten your home. If you are looking for something to do with a skimboard or surfboard that has been laying around collecting dust, you can easily turn it into a chalkboard to hang on your wall in three easy steps.

  1. Cover the board with chalkboard spray paint and let it sit for a day.
  2. Use acrylic paint to decorate the borders (optional).
  3. Drill two holes for string to hang the board around your home!
Photo used from Pleasure in Simple Things. Small aesthetic alterations in your home, whether it be  in San Diego or elsewhere could brighten nearly every environment.

For more of a challenge, try creating a mosaic. Your finished masterpiece will give your home a unique flare and leave you feeling like an accomplished craftsman.

surfboard 4
Photo used from Saatchiart

Shelves and Tables:

If you love a good arts and craft project, we have just the one for you! A great way to spruce up your living room or bed side is by adding a homemade surfboard table. York Surf  gives a great tutorial of how to make a table from your old surfboards that are taking up too much space no matter how you organize your home. Additional shelves and tables are always an easy way to add more storage space for your home and be organized.

table 2
Photo used from Houzz

Vintage Wooden Boards Provide Classic Wall Art:

Storing your surfboard has never been so easy. All you need is a small rack to attach to your wall! You can buy a rack at nearly every surf shop or hardware store and they are very affordable. Propping your board up around your home creates a beachy and relaxing environment that San Diego is known for.

Photo used from Corsurf


Items such as surfboards can be used in creative ways beyond its intended purpose. While the aforementioned art projects are a great way to reuse old surfboards, they can also be kept in storage until the next time you’re inspired to get back in the water.

U-Stor-It  offers this alternative at our newest location on 930 South 47th St San Diego CA 92113 . We safely store all your memories and possessions that are too difficult to let go. Remember to keep your mind open towards the opportunities that could keep your valuable possessions close without the consequence of clutter.