Category Archives: Millenial Dwelling

River East Lofts: The Pros and Cons of Loft Living

Lofts can be one of the most luxurious and sought-after apartment types out there. They are especially popular in the River East, Chicago neighborhood and offer their residents many benefits — however, like most things, they have some drawbacks. Here are some of the biggest pros and cons of living in a loft.

Pro: High Ceilings

As remodeled commercial buildings, loft apartments typically have vaulted ceilings – often in the 10’ to 15’ range.  High ceilings make the place feel open and spacious—something you won’t necessarily find in a traditional apartment layout. Often times loft-style apartments have more windows, so if you don’t like feeling closed in, a loft-style apartment gives you the light and airy surroundings you desire.

Con: Expensive Utilities

Huge windows and old construction can mean major heating and cooling costs if the temperatures in your city fluctuate with the seasons. And in Chicago as we all know, they do quite a bit.

River East
Pro: Open Layout

Lofts are inherently wide open, with very little walls or barriers. This makes even the smallest lofts feel spacious and provides plenty of decorating opportunities. Artists and other creatives often prefer this layout so that they can make the space their own and feed their creativity.

Con: Limited Storage

Because lofts are so open, this often means they lack closets, cupboards, or other storage areas that require walls. This gives many loft owners headaches when they try to store away their possessions in a way that they’re not cluttered in plain sight. That is why self-storage is a loft owner’s best friend. U-Stor-It South Loop is conveniently located at 615 S Wabash Ave, Chicago IL 60605 and has everything you need to keep your loft uncluttered and luxurious.

Pro: Industrial Style Details

One of the charming characteristics of a typical loft apartment is the inherent industrial-type details in the architecture. Exposed brick walls or air ducts are not uncommon in loft apartment. These details are often embraced as these help to create an chic, relaxed vibe within the space.

Lofts certainly aren’t for everyone — but if you prefer a wide-open, airy creative space, they’re just what you need.

Book Storage Ideas for Small Apartments – Printer’s Row

Printer’s Row is known for its rich history in books and literature, and whether you’re a big reader or just a student with books piling up, it’s always a struggle to get that book collection under control in your small Chicago apartment. Rather than cramming them into the corner of your room or under the bed, try some of these creative storage solutions to make great use of that small space.

Wall-Mounted Shelves

If your landlord allows it, wall-mounted shelves are a great option as they save the space that a large bookcase would take away. You can get very creative with these, arranging them in any which way and whatever best suits your space. To maximize storage, install shelving all the way up to the ceiling and all the way across the wall.

Printer's Row
Printer's Row

If you can’t use an entire wall for storage, consider installing shelving along the top of the wall, or in corners like these examples above.

Get Book-Friendly Furniture

Whether you’re looking to pick up a couple pieces of furniture for a new apartment or just trying to switch up the old stuff you already have, opting for book-friendly furniture can be both stylish and practical. If you’re in the market for a coffee table, get one that has storage underneath it or inside it, perhaps a crate or shelving style. Need a new nightstand? Grab one that allows you to store books with sleek and stylish shelving. There are even some reading chairs available that offer book storage underneath seat or in the sides alone the arms. Whatever type of furniture you’re looking for, you can find pieces that serve your book storage needs.

Printer's Row
No Furniture, No Problem

Don’t want to spend a lot on furniture or shelves? No problem. The greatest thing about books is that they’re stylish all on their own. Stack them proudly along the hallway, on a table, or in the living room and they will become a nice addition to any space.

Printer's Row

Too many books for your small apartment? Self-storage is a great option as well; For fairly cheap, you can rent a small, secure storage unit to free up space at home and hold on to that precious book collection. U-Stor-It South Loop is conveniently located at 615 S Wabash Ave, Chicago IL 60605 and serves Printer’s Row as well as the South Loop area.

Back To School Tech Must-Haves

It’s already here. The end of summer. I know, it all happened so fast. As you’re starting to pack for school, make sure you pick up these back to school tech must-haves to stay ahead of the game this semester and make your roommates jealous.

1. A Smart Pen

Smartphones, smart watches, smart cars, and now… Smart pens? Yup, they’re here and they’ll make your life a lot easier by making note-taking a breeze. By converting handwriting to digital text, you can go seamlessly between your physical notebook and your digital one. Not only that, but many come with built-in microphones to record lectures, and even convert those lectures into text. Pretty cool, huh? Pick one up here.

back to school tech
2. Tablet Keyboard

If you’re one that likes to be light and quick, you probably use a tablet for class rather than a heavy laptop. Outfit that tablet with a keyboard to make typing easy as can be. Grab one here.

3. Voice Assistant

Adding a voice assistant will allow you to change music, make calls, send and receive messages, even change the color of the lights in your dorm, all hands-free and voice-controlled. These are bound to impress any guests you have over, and can be relatively cheap.

4. A Smart Bulb… Or 10

Smart bulbs are the next step in your back to school dominance. They can be paired with a voice assistant as well as your smart phone to change the colors in your dorm room. An instant conversation starter and vibe-creator. Buy one, or buy 10, and make your whole house a customizable experience.

back to school tech
5. An E-Reader

Ditch the textbooks this year. Get a nice e-reader that you can download everything on to make your backpack lighter and your wallet thicker.

6. A Charging Station

As you start to rack up the amount of devices you have, your charging situation will quickly become a mess. Handle the mess with a sleek charging station that will keep all your devices in one place and ready to go when you leave for class in the morning.

As you prepare this year’s new tech arsenal and pack away the old stuff, consider using storage to keep your old technology and furniture safely packed away and keep the clutter out of your dorm. Back to school doesn’t have to be a drag – get excited about the new year by upgrading your technology game.

Packing Tips for College Students: Wheaton, Illinois Storage

Wheaton, IL Storage:
Having trouble packing for your first day at Wheaton College? It can be difficult to know exactly what to bring and what to leave behind when heading to the dorms for your first year. We’ve compiled a great list here of essentials and items commonly forgotten.

Think Organization

Your dorm desk is going to get extremely cluttered since it will likely be one of the only free spaces to set items down. Bring only the essentials when it comes to the desk area: pens, pencils, and notebooks. Desk chairs, lamps and shelving will likely already be provided.

Keep the bathroom organization simple—you’re most likely going to have to walk everything to the communal bathroom anyways. Try to keep everything, aside from large shampoo bottles, inside a simple shower caddie.

Decorations should be brought at a minimum; for reference bring a max of pictures that would fill approximately the surface area of two standard posters. One extremely overlooked piece of a dorm is a room rug. Not only does it look nice, it feels nice, and is just nice overall. A rug really helps the room come together and become your home.

Carol stream storage×300.jpg

Order Online

If you haven’t purchased things like food storage containers and the rug yet, wait! Items can be so easily delivered now—it’s not worth transporting it yourself. None of these items will be essential immediately anyways; you are extremely unlikely to cook a meal for yourself in the first few weeks, let alone at all.

Old Hobbies

There is a lot about what not to bring, but here are some things you don’t want to forget! College is a time to really explore what you love, so don’t limit yourself. If you were once passionate about something and are considering starting again, bring it! It’s likely you’ll find a group of students who are just as enthusiastic about it as you are.

Already Too Much Stuff

If you’re late to see this list or chose to ignore it, don’t worry—we’re still here for you. Our U-Stor-It Carol Stream & Wheaton Storage facility is located extremely close to the Wheaton campus at 120 Tubeway Dr, Carol Stream, IL 60188. Check us out on our website by clicking here!

Wheaton / Carol Stream Storage Tips – Reorganizing Your Bedroom

Wheaton / Carol Stream – Whether you want to save valuable space or improve the feng shui of your bedroom, reorganizing is never a bad idea. Our Wheaton and Carol Stream U-Stor-It self storage staff is here with the best tips for moving around your furniture and ultimately creating a new bedroom and living experience!

Utilize Corners

Not every room is perfectly square with 90 degree corners. It is important to know which corners of the room are available for square furniture. The best option for saving room is to place your bed with the head against one wall and either the left or right side against the other wall of a corner. There will only be one entrance and exit from the bed, however those few extra square feet saved from pushing it against the wall add up and make a big difference.

Exercise Simple Shelving

Adding light shelves to a wall not only looks great, but creates a new place for books, baskets, or trinkets. Placing baskets on these shelves, let alone other places like under your bed and in your closet, is a great space saver. Belongings can easily be grouped and put in the appropriate basket and shelf which vastly improves organization.

Work Around Odd Spaces

Similarly to non-square corners, there are sometimes strange features of rooms you must plan around. These may include built in cubbies, wall extensions, or window ledges to name a few. Every room is different, so for this aspect you have to get creative.


In a past room of mine there was an odd brick ledging that protruded about 2 feet from the wall and was 2 feet tall; the ledge ran all the way across an 8 foot wall. What I ended up doing was building a bed frame that could rest along the ledge so that it was no longer wasted space. I built the bed frame following a guide online, but then didn’t attach two of the legs. This resulted in two legs of the frame rested on the ground like normal, but the portion of the frame where the legs had been omitted rested comfortably on the brick ledging. This saved an incredible amount of space especially since the ledge took up so much room on its own.


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.

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


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


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


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.

Gimme Shelter – Vinyl Record Storage

With the sudden resurgence and in some ways the modern day renaissance of vinyl records, it has become apparent that for some this may seem like a novelty or fad, whereas others regard listening, studying, and collecting records as a complimentary necessity to their personal music appreciation. Whether you are just beginning to build your collection or need a refresher for your growing accumulation, we assembled a few pointers to make sure you are knowledgeable and organized when caring for your vinyl.

For now, let’s start with the basics. Before getting fancy and spending any money on a custom, cherry wood Jenn Atocha designed cabinet or an IKEA Kallax shelving unit; it is important to understand some fundamentals; to avoid any issues with dust build up, mold, warping, bending, or breaking.

And even on steady ground we get worn out on all of the safety sounds.  “I Had a Motorcycle” – Cheap Girls.

  • Store Vertically
    1. Never store your vinyl records flat and definitely avoid stacking your vinyl records on top of each other. This will cause your vinyl to warp or bend over time, as well as damage the jacket.
      • It’s easiest to organize your collection by records size. (7”s with 7”s, 12”s with 12”s)
      • Don’t wedge your records too tightly. Remember, they’re your babies., and if you’ve learned anything from The Weeknd, you’ll know, “Let it be, baby breathe.
    2. For future reference, vinyl records can average about 35-40 pounds per foot of shelving, with the concentration of their weight resting on the centerline of the shelf you have chosen.
      • It makes sense in the past tense, Can’t hold its weight today. “Static” – Tigers Jaw.
  • Temperature
    1. Your collection should always be stored in a room that is dry (about 35-40% relative humidity).
      • With time a mold will form and what’s can become warm. “Nonfiction” – Touché Amoré
      • Attics, basements, sheds, and garages are all susceptible to the extremes of the environment and fluctuations in temperature, even though they are technically indoors.
        1. Fluctuations in temperature are what cause warping. Shifting from cold to hot temperatures cause expanding and contracting of material, never leaving the affected item in the same condition, whether it be a vinyl record or a wooden chair.
        2. Of course, we suggest climate controlled self-storage as a safe alternative to maintain your mint collection. (This method, however, can create listening difficulties when wanting to slow things down from fast-paced Beach Slang to a more intimate, low-fi Waxahatchee, when your copy of Ivy Tripp is locked away at your closest U-Stor-It.)
  • Packaging
    1. Placing each record and jacket in its own high density (4 mil) polyethylene sleeve is always recommended. This will help maintain the crispness of the jacket to protect from dust and other airborne materials, and act as a chemical-free buffer between records. Through trial and error, our Marketing Analyst at U-Stor-It has found the optimal sizes for his vinyl sleeves, (which even fit most double LPs).
      • 7” – 7 ⅜” x 7 ⅝”
      • 12” – 12 ¾” x 12 ½”
    2. If you do opt to store your records in storage boxes (specifically 7”s), they should be cardboard or acid- and lignin-free paper stock. For larger containers, avoid anything that will retain a static charge (plastic or metal).

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.