All posts by Marissa Walsh

How to prepare for your child moving back home

Come mid-May, universities throughout the country are closing their doors for the summer; releasing thousands of graduates, (congratulations class of 2016!), out into the real world. Once the excitement of finishing college wears off, the reality sets in. Roughly 50% of recent graduates are moving back home with their parents in order to save money while looking for jobs. Students nowadays are indebted thousands of dollars’ worth of student loans and more and more entry-level positions require up to 3 years of experience; making it really  difficult to find a secure job to fully support themselves. Moving back home can be a time of excitement and stress for both parties (the students and their parents).

Parents usually jump at the opportunity of spending time with their child, especially if they have been gone away at school for months. However, a lot can happen in those few months, and chances are they have created a new routine that has nothing to do with accommodating for their child’s needs. They may have even transformed using their old room into a guest room or use it for storage. While the student is having to come to terms with the fact that they are moving back home, parents can use these tips to make for a smoother transition for everyone.

Give them their own space

Make sure that they have a place that they can call their own. Clean out their old room or designate a specific area just for them. In order to make room for all of their things, you may consider getting rid of a few items or transferring them to your garage, attic, or self-storage unit.

Give them their own space
Give your child their own space when they are moving back home

Figure out finances

Having your child come back home means another mouth to feed and another person using electricity, which can lead to spending significantly more money. Work out a compromise with your child to have them help out in some way. Chances are they won’t be able to afford rent, however they can pitch in for groceries once week, do certain chores throughout the house, or pay for a portion of the bills. It will give them some responsibility while alleviating some of the burden off of you.

Remember that you are both adults
Moving back home can be hard for recent college graduates, so remember to treat them like an adult

Treat each other like the adults you are

It can be hard not to revert to the old parent-child relationship that you had while they were growing up, but you need to remember that you are both adults now and you should treat each other that way. You should not be expected to pick up after them or do their laundry, but you also can’t ground them for leaving a mess in the kitchen one day. The common mantra “treat others the way you want to be treated” really applies in this situation in order to foster a good relationship.

Think about the end game

While it is great to have your son and daughter come home, it is also a relief knowing that it isn’t forever. Make sure you know the exact reason they are moving home and what their plan is. Are they working in the area and want to stay home to raise enough money for their own place, or are they planning on moving out once they find a job? This will give you an idea as to how long they are planning on staying so that you can help them reach their goal and ultimately get the house to yourself once again.

U-Stor-It buys Lunch for Kindergarten Students

La Jolla, CA
March 3, 2016

A few members of the U-Stor-It Team tagged along on a field trip to the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California for Ms. Stephanie Williams’ Kindergarten class at Johnson Elementary School in El Cajon, California. Many of the students live in a low-income area and do not have access to new school supplies and the school cannot even afford to send them on class excursions. This was the case for the majority of the kindergartners in Ms. Williams’ class; none of them had ever been on a field trip before.

Stephanie wanted to make sure that her students were getting the best possible education and applied for a government grant in order to pay an educational and interactive field trip at the Birch Aquarium. Williams was awarded $500 which covered the cost of admissions and transportation to and from the aquarium. Unfortunately there were no other funds allocated to providing lunches for the students.

Upon hearing about Stephanie’s dilemma, U-Stor-It wanted to help out in any way it could. Touched with the work that Stephanie had put into making this trip possible, the team offered to buy all of the students a McDonald’s Happy Meal complete with either a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets, french fries, apples, and a toy. The kids were so excited with their surprise lunch and had a wonderful time learning about marine life at the aquarium.

If it weren’t for Ms. Williams’ passion for providing underprivileged children with an enriched educational experience and U-Stor-It’s generous donation, the students would not have gotten this amazing opportunity. About a week after the event, the office was flooded with handwritten and decorated thank you cards from the students saying: “Sr. y Sra. Nora, Gracias por las deliciosas Happy Meals” which translates to, “Mr. and Mrs. Nora, Thank you for the delicious happy meals.”

Keep checking the blog and like our Facebook page to get updates on how U-Stor-It is making an impact in the community!

Your guide to a hassle-free spring break

Spring time is here which means thousands of students are exchanging their textbooks for swimsuits and beginning their spring break. US News Travel posted an article on the best affordable and accessible spring break destinations for college students. Popular destinations include: Miami Beach, Cancun, the Bahamas, Maui, and our very own San Diego, where our newest facility on 930 South 47th Street, San Diego, CA 92113 is expected to open May 2016. No matter where you are going, one thing is for certain, packing is stressful and a nuisance. Fear not, here are some tips that will make packing and preparing for your trip a whole lot easier.

Bring one bag: It may be difficult, but bringing only one bag that weighs around 20 pounds eliminates a lot of hassle. They can fit in an airplane’s overhead bin, saving you the cost of checking in a bag, and if you are going on a road trip, you won’t have to worry about your bag taking up too much space. Their small and light weight design makes it less of strain on your back and shoulders to carry or roll around which also decreases the risk of them getting lost or stolen.

Traveling, Spring Break, Backpacking
Spring breaker enjoying the freedom of traveling with only one bag

Pack light and very little: Believe it or not, you do not need to pack the entirety of your closet with you. To avoid bringing too much pack outside your suitcase by laying everything out that you think you may need and ask yourself whether or not it is worth it. Bring neutral colored clothing that you can mix and match or pack specific outfits for each day. You should also purchase travel-sized toiletries rather than bringing larger bottles. Lastly, leave your valuables such as your laptop at home; your smart phone should be enough!

Packing, rolling clothes
Rolling your clothes is the best way to make space in your luggage

Roll your clothes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them not only creates extra space, but also prevents creases. It is also advised to invest in travel compression bags to keep clothes safe and well organized. This helps you pack lighter while ensuring that you are able to bring everything that you need.

Secure your dorm/apartment:  To prepare your dorm/ apartment for your departure, get rid of all perishable foods in your fridge and unplug all electronics to save you money on your electricity bill. To avoid burglary while you are away, make sure that all of your valuables are hidden out of sight and lock the doors behind you. If you feel uneasy about leaving your items unattended, look into renting a storage unit that you can keep for when it is it time to move out at the end of the semester.

Have Fun: Now that you are successfully packed and your apartment or dorm is well secured, you can fully enjoy your vacation. We at U-Stor-It hope that you have a wonderful and safe spring break!

Being organized makes you happy and healthy!

Whether or not your New Year’s Resolution was to get organized, the promise of spring’s early arrival means it’s time to get your priorities straight. Being organized can be a physical activity by organizing your home or work space or by cleaning, throwing away, or moving your items to another location such as your attic or a storage unit. It can also be a mental activity by organizing your tasks and personal or professional goals in order to stay productive. Getting organized can be a very daunting task for many that requires a lot of time and energy on your part, but can really make all the difference when it comes to your health and well-being. Here are some of the major health benefits associated with getting organized:

Being organized
Keeping a clean and organized home can help reduce stress and give you more free time.

Reduces Stress and Depression: Excess clutter can be very stressful to your mental psyche. It creates excess stimuli which  make us feel anxious, helpless and overwhelmed. Keeping things organized can help reduce this stress and lower risk of depression because you no longer have to worry about misplaced items or forgetting tasks off of your to-do list. Having a well-planned out schedule and clutter-free work space allows you to have the time to do the things that you want, ultimately increasing your happiness.

Meal Prepping, healthy, lose weight,being organized
Meal-Prepping is a good way to stay organized and healthy.

Lose Weight:  Losing weight is as easy as taking the first step in organizing  your kitchen by getting rid of any holiday or Valentine’s Day goodies in order to make room for fresh and healthy ingredients. It has been said that those who work in a neat environment  opt for healthier food choices, than those in a messier environment. This is because all the excess stimuli caused by a cluttered space result in indulging on comfort foods as a coping mechanism. Having a spacious and organized home can also free up space for you to do your workouts from home, saving you time and money. Planning out your day can keep you accountable for following through with those workouts and allocate time to meal prep for the rest of the week.

improve relationships with friends and family by staying organized
Having a clutter-free home or schedule can allow you to open up your space and time to be able to spend with family and friends

Improve your relationships: It is no secret that a messy house can cause tension among couples, families,and  roommates, making you feel shame and  embarrassment.  It can also hinder you from wanting to invite people over which creates a physical and emotional barrier between you and your friends and family. Keeping a clean and orderly home can help you avoid these situations and allow you to continue to maintain and develop lasting relationships with friends and family.

Be More Productive: As mentioned before, clutter is distracting. Freeing up your home or work space can make all the difference in your ability to focus . By doing so you can finish your work more efficiently leaving you more time to conquer other tasks such as working out, meal prepping, getting personal time, spending time with friends and family, and sleeping!

There you have it, the key to a healthier happier life starts with making sure that your life and space is well-organized. This simple life hack can make all the difference when it comes to job performance, strengthening your relationships, good health, and your overall happiness!

New Year’s Resolution – 4 Easy Steps to Get Organized

2016 is just days away, so it is time to start thinking about your New Year’s Resolution. According to Nielsen,  a consumer research firm, the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in 2015 were:

  1. Stay fit and healthy
  2. Lose weight
  3. Enjoy life to the fullest
  4. Spend less, save more
  5. Spend more time with family and friends
  6. Get organized
  7. Will not make any resolutions
  8. Learn something new/ new hobby
  9. Travel more
  10. Read more

Additionally in 201 5, Statistic Brain reported only 45% of Americans made a New Year’s Resolution with only 8% of them successfully achieving their resolution, and the remaining 92% losing motivation after the first two weeks. We say it every year, “This year will be the year that I finally follow through with my resolution” but it is the same cycle over and over again, you are committed in the beginning and then drop out at the end. Maybe, it is time to start re-evaluating your resolution and choose something more attainable, like number 6 on our list “Get Organized”! Being organized is a good start to helping you achieve all of your other new year’s resolutions, whether it be organizing your priorities or your home. It can help you with your goal of weight loss by freeing up some space in your living room to accommodate an area for an exercise machine or give you ample room to do a workout video. It also helps relieving stress that is caused by lots of clutter. Here are 4 easy steps to help in successfully achieving your New Year’s Resolution of getting organized:

Step 1: Say Farewell to the Holidays

Vowing to achieve and stay organized is a major task and takes a lot of energy, therefore it pays off to start with smaller tasks and then work your way up. An easy first task is to pack up your holiday decorations. This will allow you to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter and give you a fresh base to start organizing the rest of the house. Invest in some storage bins in order to safely package your items and find a place to store them that is accessible and easy to find for next season, whether it be in a hall closet, attic, basement, or even a storage unit. Doing this now will also help you with packaging and storing decorations for all of the holidays.

Step 2: Go through your wardrobe:

Once all those decorations are packed away, it is time to start on the next task, and that is your personal closet. It is said that we follow the 80-20 rule with regard to our clothes; we wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. Think back to the last year, if you hadn’t worn a particular item at all, then toss it. Or better yet donate them to your nearest Salvation Army or Goodwill stores. If you feel like you still have too many clothes or cannot fathom parting with any, consider separating them into 2 categories, summer and winter, and then moving one out of your closet until it is needed. You can find another location in your home, or you can consider renting a climate controlled storage unit to ensure that your clothes are kept in a cool, clean, dry and dark place at all times.

U-Stor-It Self Storage of Beverly Storage Units
U-Stor-It Self Storage of Beverly Storage Units

Step 3: Find a home for every item:

Next it is time to make sure that everything in your home has its own designated space. Finding these areas can help you determine what it is you actually need/ want. If you find that there is simply too much extra stuff that you cannot accommodate for, it means you need to either get rid of it, or find another place to put them. Again, this is where having a storage unit can really come in handy, it allows you to keep your things safe and secure until you need them again without having to give it away!

Step 4:  Make a long-term commitment:

Once you finish steps 1-3, you are already well on your way to realizing your New Year’s Resolution, however the hardest part is to keep everything organized. Trying to change your lifestyle is difficult, however there are many tools to keep you on track. Take advantage of the hundreds of helpful blogs and websites that offer great tips and tricks. You can also create a weekly cleaning schedule to help make sure that you are keeping your house clean. Lastly, get a calendar or planner so you can write down everything that you will be needing to do on a particular day, including your cleaning schedule. This will not only help with keeping your house organized, but also yourself!


U-Stor-It, Beverly, Self Storage, New Year's Resolution, 2016, Getting Organized
Photo of our Beverly Self Storage Facility

U-Stor-It Beverly wishes you a happy organizing for the end of the holiday season and good luck with all your New Year’s Resolutions! Make sure to check out our website to discover the perfect storage unit for your storage needs.

U-Stor-It Fall Festival Fun!

Halloween came a day early last week on October 30th at U-Stor-It of Carol Stream/ Wheaton and U-Stor-It of Beverly. U-Stor-It hosted two Fall Festivals which were complete with free pumpkins, Halloween goodies, and fun for the whole family to enjoy! For those of you who did not attend, here are some snapshots from the Carol Stream/ Wheaton Fall Festival!

U-Stor-It, Office, Fall Festival, Halloween

The Carol Stream/ Wheaton U-Stor-It office was well decorated with pumpkins, leaves, and fun Halloween characters.

Fall festival, storage units, caution tape, Halloween, decorations

zombies, halloween, fall festival, U-Stor-It

pumpkin hunt, free pumpkins, halloween, u-stor-it, fall festival

All of the guests were led on a “pumpkin hunt” to find their free pumpkins! They had to go through the entirety of the facility to find them and were met with some spooky surprises!

Free pumpkins, Fall Festival, U-Stor-It, Family Fun

This family successfully found where all the pumpkins were hiding and got to pick out their favorite one to carve!

goodie bags, U-Stor-It, Halloween, free candy, Fall Festival

Halloween, U-Stor-It, Fall Festival

After the pumpkin hunt, all of the attendees went back to the office to pick up their free goodie bag and U-Stor-It Halloween coloring page!

Starwars, U-Stor-It, Halloween, Fall Festival, Free Pumpkins

Fall festival, trick-or-treaters, Halloween, U-Stor-It, Free Pumpkins, Free Candy

However no Fall Festival is complete without some creative Halloween costumes! Here are a few of our favorite Trick-or-Treaters, Yoda and ObiWan Kenobi and some fun Halloween inspired outfits!

Family Fun, Fall Festival, U-Stor-It, Halloween, Free Pumpkins, Free Candy

The Fall Festival was the perfect event to jump start the Halloween Weekend for the whole family!

Thank you to everyone that attended the events and helped make them so successful. We hope you all had a very fun and safe Halloween!

Keep checking the blog and like our Facebook page to be on the lookout for more events happening at any of our U-Stor-It locations throughout the Chicagoland area! Also, do not forget to bring in your toys for the Toys for Tots toy drive happening now until December 6th at all of our locations. Additional information about the do’s and don’t’s of the toy drive are on our blog!

Other U-Stor-It locations in Chicagoland: Streamwood, Auburn-Gresham, and Lisle.


Donate to Toys for Tots at U-Stor-It!

Toys for Tots is a charity program established by the U.S Marine Corps Reserve that collects new, unwrapped toys during the months of October, November, and December, and distributes them to less fortunate children in the community each year. Countless businesses, schools, and other organizations participate nationwide. We are proud to announce that U-Stor-It will be one of those businesses! This year hundreds of children in the Chicagoland area will be able to experience the joys of Christmas thanks to your help.

However, there are a few requirements to keep in mind when dropping off toys:

  • All toys must be unwrapped and clearly seen in order to be evaluated.
  • All DVDs, CDs, and Video Games must be sealed and in their original shrink-wrapped packaging.
  • No toy weapons (including squirt guns, play swords, etc), gift cards, or food (including candy) will be accepted.

Click here for more information on the Toys of Tots organization.

The following U-Stor-It locations are now accepting toys:

U-Stor-It Auburn Gresham

8737 S Ashland Ave

Chicago, IL 60620

Office Hours: M-F: 9:00am-6:00pm; Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5:00pm

Contact Information: 773-779-1090;

 U-Stor-It Beverly

11118 S Rockwell St

Chicago, IL 60655

Office Hours: M-F: 9:00am-6:00pm; Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5:00pm

Contact Information: 773-779-8700;

U-Stor-It Carol Stream/ Wheaton

120 Tubeway Dr

Carol Stream, IL 60188

Office Hours: M-F: 9:00am-6:00pm; Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5:00pm

Contact Information: 630-462-7300;

U-Stor-It Streamwood

145 W Irving Park Rd

Streamwood, IL 60107

Office Hours: M-F: 9:00am-6:00pm; Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5:00pm

Contact Information: 630-372-4636;

U-Stor-It Lisle

2100 Ogden Ave

Lisle, IL 60532

Office Hours: M-F: 9:00am-6:00pm; Sat-Sun: 9:30am-5:00pm

Contact Information: 630-527-4100;

If you do not have time to run to the store to get a new toy, you can always submit a cash donation to the Toys for Tots Charity here.

You have until December 6th to bring in those toys! We at U-Stor-It are extremely excited to be participating in such a wonderful charity event. Help us spread the holiday cheer to all of the children in need of a Christmas present this year. Make sure to like our Facebook page for important updates regarding Toys for Tots and other events!




Free Pumpkins & a Fall Festival at U-Stor-It!

The leaves are beginning to brown and the wind has started to howl, which means that Fall is in the air! Tis’ the season to bundle up and eat pumpkin flavored everything , and in order to celebrate the coming of Autumn, U-Stor-It is hosting a Fall Festival at our Carol Stream/ Wheaton and Beverly locations. Each festival will take place on October 30th from 4pm-6pm. The events are sure to be a lot of fun! All guests, large and small,  are welcome to come dressed in their best Halloween costumes. There will be a spinning prize wheel where you can win an assortment of cool prizes and a bean bag toss to test your skills amongst your family and friends! Lastly it would not be a festival without a delicious assortment of candies, chocolates, and soda. Be sure to get there fast because the first 60  Fall festival-goers will get a FREE pumpkin to take home and carve with the rest of their family and friends. Once you are done carving your pumpkin, send us a picture of your hard work and we will feature it on our Facebook page! Be sure to join us on the 30th for an afternoon of family fun! This is definitely an event you that you will not want to miss!


U-Stor-It Carol Stream/Wheaton
120 Tubeway Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188

U-Stor-It Beverly
11118 S Rockwell St
Chicago, IL 60655

For more information please contact U-Stor-It at (630) 473-3503 (Carol Stream) or (708) 746-0521 (Beverly). We cannot wait to see you there!

Stay tuned at for events coming to a location nearest you! Also be sure to check in to our Facebook page, and give us a Like so that you will have the chance to see your picture featured!

U-Stor-It Self Storage Lisle

U-Stor-It Self Storage Streamwood

U-Stor-It Self Storage Auburn Gresham

Extreme Makeover: Self Storage Edition

We hear about “make-overs” all the time in the media, whether it is the latest of episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the Cinderella stories of all those corny rom-coms, or even notifications from your friends dramatic  transformations on your Facebook feed. The term makeover is “a complete transformation or remodeling of something, especially a person’s hairstyle, makeup, or clothes” and you can add self-storage facilities to the mix. In the past, these buildings were never described as “sexy” “beautiful” or anything of that matter, but rather thought of as “warehouse” looking eye sores. The self storage facilities of today have top security, much more convenient locations, and are more attractive than ever!

The Beginning of Self Storage: 

The concept of storage has been around of years, however it was not until 1964 in Odessa, Texas, where the first self storage facility was founded. Since its beginning, the self storage industry had boomed to become a national phenomenon and has proven to be a very successful industry, guaranteeing Americans a safe and convenient place to store all of their most prized belongings. Since its inception, there have been three different eras of self storage facilities: Generation 1, Generation 2, and Generation 3.

Generation 1:

Generation 1, storage unit, drive up, self storage, warehouse, eyesore
An example of a Generation 1 storage facility.

These storage facilities make up the majority of the beginning facilities in the 1960s. They are very basic and consist primarily of garage-style doors and outside units, hence the warehouse comparison. They did provide their customers with the convenience of drive-up access. However, they had only basic security measures due to lack of technology.

Generation 2: 

generation 2, interior storage units,  self storage
Interior storage units.

Once the demand for self storage increased, the facilities phased into Generation 2, which comprises the majority of self storage units that we are most familiar with. The basic “garage-style” units were then connected to buildings with interior units. These indoor unit allowed for extra precaution when it came to harsher weather conditions. They also upped their security measures and they started offering on-site managers and even live-in managers at select locations.

Generation 3:

generation 3, self storage, drive up, blend in to stand out, modern
An aesthetically pleasing storage unit that blends in with environment.

 In most recent years, there has been a more dramatic transformation as these facilities moved into Generation 3. These building are known for their newer technology such as climate controlled units and in-door drive up units, and tighter security measures such as cameras, gates, keypads access, etc. They have also been experiencing a new trend in the construction or renovation of these facilities, which is the “blend in to stand out”

Blend in to Stand Out: 

Generation 3, blend in to stand out, multi story, self storage
A rendering of a design for a new self storage facility in South Beach, Miami, Florida.

The storage facilities of Gen 1 and 2 were quite the image problem. They took up a lot of space, were bland, and looked like a warehouse fortress; which is mostly attributed to the fact that  were originally restricted to industrial zoned areas. Increase in demand has caused consumer expectations of the industry to change as they are demanding better locations, security, and innovative features. The storage facilities of the 21st century are able to enjoy prime locations nestled within retail or residential areas, which have led to the sophistication of their construction. These newer facilities emphasize aesthetics to match the communities that they serve, hence blend in to stand out. Some of the other trends include multi-story buildings, vibrant colors, lush landscaping, unique architecture, and niche storage options for boat, RV, and wine.

Benefits of Generation 3 Facilities:

Not only do these new buildings help with the aesthetics of the community, they benefit you, the consumer, as well! These are important features that you are typically looking for when searching for the perfect storage facility. Rest assured that these generation 3 buildings are going to have everything you want to keep your items safe such as climate controlled units for your electronics and sensitive items, top-notch security, and convenient locations. The main goal is to create a stable, secure, upscale environment that you can trust!

Here at U-Stor-It, all of our facilities are Generation 3 buildings which come with all the perks! Our Carol Stream and Streamwood locations especially go along with the trend “blend in to stand out”. They are beautifully designed to match the community that they serve. U-Stor-It in Carol Stream looks like an office complex and Streamwood has the beautiful brick architecture similar to the rest of the town. We also have a new location opening up, U-Stor-It of South Loop which is our first storage facility located in the heart of Chicago. It also offers wine storage options. This location will be opening up this winter so go check it out and the rest of our locations.

U-Stor-It Carol Stream, IL, Generation 3, Self Storage,  blend in to stand out
U-Stor-It Carol Stream
U-Stor-It Streamwood,  self storage, blend in to stand out, generation 3, brick
U-Stor-It Streamwood



Carol Stream



Auburn Gresham

South Loop