All posts by Taylor Hata

Spruce Up Your Space for Spring

After dealing with the winter blues, you’re probably itching to refresh your home for sunnier days. Updating your home doesn’t have to be costly; a few tweaks here and there are all you need to spruce up your space. Maybe you want to open up your space, or experiment with color—or maybe you’re just not sure where to start. Need a little bit of inspiration to get you started? Here at U-Stor-It, we rounded up some tips to whip your place into shape for spring.

Spring, Cleaning, Color, Bright
Refresh your home with pops of color

Add Some Color

Longer days and warmer temperatures make spring the best time to play with color. Take spring cleaning to a new level by giving your walls a makeover. Hang wallpaper on an accent wall or apply a new coat of paint for a dramatic but inexpensive way to update your space. If you aren’t interested in painting your space, add a few pieces of wall art to incorporate fresh color, without giving up your weekend. You can also bring in bright, airy curtains and add little pops of color throughout the room to create an atmosphere that screams spring.

Spring, Cleaning, Nature, Bright
Bring the outside indoors with plants and flowers.

Embrace the Outdoors

Incorporate little bits of nature into your home design by decorating with flowers or fruits. Bright flowers such as sunflowers, carnations, or geraniums are a great way to refresh your home. They can be planted in a small container for a simple table centerpiece. You can also choose indoor plants that don’t need too much sunlight and are low maintenance, like succulents or bamboo plants. A filled fruit bowl adds a natural pop of color to your kitchen and reminds everyone that it’s finally spring. Even the tiniest touch of the outdoors reminds you that the seasons are changing.

 

Spring, Cleaning, Organization
Use bookshelves as a way to organize more than just books.

Update Your Shelves

Bookshelves are quickly becoming a must-have multipurpose item and are no longer reserved for storing literature. Thanks to sites like Pinterest, bookshelves are used for everything from storing bath towels to organizing a shoe collection. For spring, use your bookshelf to organize spring necessities such as gardening tools.

Bright, Pillows, Spring, Cleaning
Bright throw pillows scream spring time

Rotate Items Seasonally

Adding a few new photos to your walls that embrace the spirit of spring is one of the easiest ways to create a seasonally appropriate design. Think bright colors, summery landscapes, and anything inspired by nature. Consider rotating accessory pieces throughout your home, such as curtains, throw pillows, and accent rugs. Add bright pillows and a table runner to give the room a fresh look. Even at U-Stor-It Lisle we change arrangements every so often, for a fresh new look.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take an expensive remodel to bring a much-needed refresh to your home. With the summer months approaching, now is the perfect time to bring new life into your home. A few little changes is all you need to spruce up your space and welcome the new season.

6 Places to Hide Holiday Gifts – Beverly

You’ve finally found the perfect gifts for every member of your family, but you overlooked where to hide them until the big day. Whether you’ve got a nosy spouse or curious children, finding true hiding places can be tricky. Here at U-Stor-It, our Beverly location has come up with some tried and true hiding places to keep your holiday gifts a surprise.

Holidays, U-Stor-It, Life Hacks

Borrow a Friend’s House

Swap storage spaces with a friend or neighbor and you won’t spoil any surprises. If you buy gifts online, have them mailed to a friend or neighbor’s house instead of yours. You might even consider paying a little extra for gift-wrapping so the present is a secret the moment it arrives. Or if you purchase gifts in store, consider wrapping them before you take them over so no one gets nosy at your friend’s house, too. If you’re buying someone a big present, like a car or a bicycle, a friend’s house would be an easy place to stow it.

Rent a Storage Space

If you have too many presents to hide, you might need to consider places outside your home. A storage unit is the perfect solution. Choose a storage unit with a location that’s convenient to where you do your shopping and you can drop your gifts off at the unit before you even return home. Depending on the size of the unit, you can even wrap up everything there before bringing it home. U-Stor-It has six convenient locations in Illinois that would be perfect for your holiday storage needs! To find a location near you, click here.

Garage

Depending on the age of your children, the garage may be the ideal spot to hide your presents. Many garages have rafters and other out-of-the way spots that kids rarely venture. Wrap up the gifts and place them in large, black garbage bags. The kids will never suspect a thing. This is also a great place to stow gifts for your spouse or significant other if they tend to avoid cleaning the garage.

Holidays, Gifts, U-Stor-It
A car trunk makes an excellent place to store presents.

Pop the Trunk

Your car trunk can be the perfect place for gifts as long as kids don’t have access to your car. Be careful about keeping electronic items in your trunk. These items won’t appreciate excessively cold or warm temperatures. Keep in mind, this won’t work if you have an SUV or hatchback, but if you have a car with a trunk that’s closed off from the backseat it’s a great place for presents.

Mislabeled Boxes

Sometimes you have to opt for hiding gifts in plain sight. Find big boxes and get creative with the labels you place on them. Kids won’t be interested to look in boxes labeled “tax returns” or “baby clothes”. Place the boxes anywhere that you would ordinarily store items and your kids will probably pass right over them.

Cleaning Supply Closet

It might seem cliché, but chances are your kids don’t go into the cleaning supply closet, which makes it a perfect place to hide holiday presents. In fact, a cleaning bucket placed on a shelf can conceal small trinkets and gifts. You can also pop presents in a garbage bag or a shoebox and store them with the cleaning supplies.

With a little creativity, you never know what hiding places you might discover. A word of caution, though – don’t get so creative that you forget where you put items. Scrambling to look for hidden gifts can definitely put a damper on the holidays. Once you succeed in truly surprising your loved ones with gifts they never expect, you will see the importance of hiding holiday gifts.

Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space

Thanksgiving dinner can be an unnerving task for anyone, but it can be especially daunting when you decide to host Thanksgiving at your small apartment. With limited space and no dedicated dining area, many people may shy away from hosting a dinner party of this caliber. Don’t fret! Having a small space doesn’t mean you have to refrain from entertaining. Here are some tips on how to create the perfect Thanksgiving feast in a small space.

Rearrange Your Space

In a small apartment, you’ll need to get creative with the limited space available. Take a look at your living space and move things around to accommodate your needs. Maybe move your dining tableto the living room and take your coffee table out. Make space in the living room by pushing furniture against the walls or removing it altogether. You can also gain more space throughout your apartment by using your bedroom as a storage area for the day. All unnecessary pieces of furniture can be temporarily moved to your bedroom to create less clutter and more seating in other rooms.

Thanksgiving Dinner, Holidays

No Table? No Problem!

Look around your space for anything that could be converted into a usable dining surface big enough to accommodate your Thanksgiving feast. Everything from kitchen carts to desks to pieces of plywood with a table cloth over it are fair game. Push everything together to form a big table. Don’t stress if it doesn’t look perfect. Or if you want to go table-less, all you need are floor pillows and a coffee table or two. Allow guests to sit wherever they please. Anything from couches to folding chairs work.

Helping Hands

Solicit help from good friends and loving family members. Assign guests a side dish to bring. It takes the pressure off of you to man everything in the kitchen, so you can focus on the staples. Just be sure to keep track of who’s bringing what so you don’t end up with 3 of the same dishes. After dinner is done, ask everyone to help clear the dishes and at least rinse everything off. The faster the clean-up, the sooner everyone can get back to mingling.

Thanksgiving, Family, Holidays, Thankful

Don’t Stress

In the end, it’s important to remember that a successful Thanksgiving dinner party with your guests depends on your attitude. Instead of setting up impossible standards for the event, realize that the opportunity to get together and enjoy each other’s company is the whole reason for the holiday. Be sure to keep it spontaneous. Don’t stress over any plans for entertaining. Guests won’t remember that the tables didn’t line up or that the chairs didn’t match; they’ll just remember the food and the wonderful company they shared, so accept the flaws and go with the flow.

Scary Self-Storage Mistakes

With Halloween just around the corner, spooky ghosts and terrifying monsters are not the only things that have us scared. When using self-storage, there can be plenty of possible mishaps – some of which may make your blood run cold. Here at U-Stor-It, we have come up with a few common self-storage mistakes, along with tips on how to prevent them.

  1. Choosing the Wrong Size Unit

Often, people will underestimate how much space their belongings will take up and end up choosing a unit size that is too small to fit everything. When it comes to picking the correct unit size for your needs, it is important to be realistic about how much space is needed. We recommend choosing a unit that is a little larger than necessary in order to accommodate both present and future needs. Having a spacious unit will not only allow you to add items later on, but it also allows you to create aisles inside the unit for easier access to your belongings.

  1. Not Labeling Boxes

There is nothing more frustrating than looking for something and being unable to find it because your boxes are not labeled. You may think labels are a waste, but they will save you time and a headache. For your own piece of mind, label the boxes with a number and its general contents. Keep a detailed list for each box and use it as a reference whenever you need to retrieve something from your unit.

  1. Skipping Climate-Controlled Units

Many people are under the impression that climate-controlled storage is only necessary for valuables such as heirlooms and electronics. However, for people who live in areas that experience temperature and moisture extremes, choosing a climate-controlled unit is essential. Everyday items can be adversely affected by high humidity levels, dryness, or below-freezing temperatures. Climate-controlled units keep items in a constant environment, reducing the likelihood of damage to your belongings.

  1. Forgetting the Details

In self-storage, it is easy to overlook minor important details such as removing food residue from kitchen appliances or taking batteries out of electronic devices. By leaving crumbs behind, you run the risk of attracting pests to your storage unit. Also, make sure to have a designated area where you keep small items like keys. This will save you time and trouble when you need to find them again. Not taking care of the “little things” can possibly lead to more problems later on.

With all these self-storage tricks up your sleeve, it’s time to enjoy your treat! Happy Halloween!