Category Archives: Seasonal

Clarendon Hills Halloween: 3 Events This Fall Season

Halloween is finally here! We hope you’ve picked out your costume, but even if you haven’t its probably time to start figuring out your plans. Sure it’s fun to sit around binge watching Season 2 of Stranger Things, but of course there’s much more to do in Clarendon Hills, IL this Halloween!

Halloween House Decorating Contest: Clarendon Hills

Date: October 25th, 2017
Time: 5:00pm
Location: The Community House

The Village of Clarendon Hills is looking for the best decorated house this Halloween! Each house will be judged on originality, creativity, and arrangement. All decorations, spider webs, and bleeding walls should be put up by the family or tenants of each house to be able to participate. Winners will be announced via the Clarendon Hills Park District Facebook page. Do you have what it takes?

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will win gift certificates to a local restaurant

Enter Contest Before: October 23rd, 2017 by 5:00pm
House Judging: October 25th, 2017 between 6:00-7:30pm
Winners Announced: October 27th, 2017

Directions to the Clarendon Hills Park District from U-Stor-It Westmont
1. After leaving U-Stor-It Westmont, head west on Plaza Dr toward Blackhawk Dr
2. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Blackhawk Dr
3. Turn left onto E Chicago Ave
4. The Clarendon Hills Park District will be on the right

Clarendon Hills Park District
315 Chicago Ave, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

Clarendon Hills Pumpkin Masterpieces

Date: October 26th, 2017
Time: 4:30-6:00pm
Location: Community CenterClarendon Hills Halloween Pumpkin Event

Tired of the same old jack-o-lantern carving every year? Join the Clarendon Hills Community Center for an afternoon of pumpkin decorating! Grab your friends, family, and neighbors and let your imagination run wild in designing your Halloween pumpkin. Pumpkins and snacks will be provided, but remember to dress in your painting clothes, as it could get quite messy! The event will only host 35 participants, so register early!

Directions to the Clarendon Hills Community Center from U-Stor-It Westmont
1. After leaving U-Stor-It Westmont, head west on Plaza Dr toward Blackhawk Dr
2. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Blackhawk Dr
3. Turn left onto E Chicago Ave
4. Destination will be on the right

Clarendon Hills Park District
315 Chicago Ave, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

Clarendon Hills Halloween


Date: October 31st, 2017
Time: 3:00-7:00pm
Location: Community Center

What better way to celebrate Halloween than some ol’ fashioned Trick-Or-Treating. Grab your best costume and join your friends in collecting as much candy as possible. Clarendon Hills asks that you keep your trick-or-treating activities between the hours of 3:00-7:00pm. If you are looking for something a bit more structured, check out the Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce Annual Family Trick-Or-Treat event, which will be held October 28th, 2017 from 11am-2pm, in downtown Clarendon Hills.

Directions to the Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce from U-Stor-It Westmont
1. After leaving U-Stor-It Westmont, head west on Plaza Dr toward Blackhawk Dr
2. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Blackhawk Dr
3. Turn left onto E Chicago Ave
4. Turn right onto N Prospect Ave
5. The Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce will be on the right

Clarendon Hills Chamber-Commerce
4 S Prospect Ave, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

Westmont Halloween: 3 Events This Fall Season

Halloween is here and we are ready to keep you informed of all the great Westmont Halloween events near you! From Haunted Hayrides to Costume Parades, strap in and get ready for a very fun Halloween Season!

Westmont’s Wicked West Fest

Scarecrow Decorating Contest


Date: October 9th, 2017 – October 23rd, 2017
Time: 8:00am-3:00pm
Location: Downtown Westmont on Cass

Want to get extra creative this Halloween? Westmont’s Chamber is hosting an event for you. Gather your friends and family to decorate a scarecrow! All entries will be on display in downtown Westmont for the entire Westmont community to cast their votes for their favorite scarecrow! All winners will be announced at the Village of Westmont Board meeting on October 26th.

3 Votes can be submitted
– Best Scarecrow by a Business
– Best Scarecrow by a Community Organization
– Best Scarecrow by a group of Children

$5.00 to Enter a Scarecrow
FREE to Vote

Directions from U-Stor-It Westmont to see the scarecrows on display are as follows
1. Leave the U-Stor-It Westmont Parking Lot and head west on Plaza Dr toward Blackhawk Dr
2. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Blackhawk Dr
3. Turn right onto Algonquin Rd
4. Turn left onto Iroquois Dr
5. Turn right onto Burlington Ave
6. Turn left onto Cass Ave
7. Destination will be on the right

Corner of Cass Avenue and W Dallas St in Westmont, IL 60559

Westmont Halloween Haunted Forest Tour

Date: October 21st, 2017
Location: Diane Main Park

For one night only, Twin Lakes Woods will host a magical night of fun! Guided tours on hay racks will take participant’s throughout the first half of the trail, telling stories of the haunted woods. The trail will become alive with ghouls, creatures and more as you make your way through.

$6 ticket sales will range from 4:30-9:00pm with tours throughout that time. Get there early, as the popularity of the event from prior years will surely draw crowds.

Merry Monsters Matinee (Kid Friendly): 5:00-6:30pm
Sheer Terror Tours: 7:00-9:30pm

Directions from U-Stor-It Westmont
1. Leave the U-Stor-It Westmont Parking Lot and head west on Plaza Dr toward Blackhawk Dr
2. Turn left onto N Cass Ave
3. Turn right onto W 59th St
4. The Westmont Haunted Forest Tour will be on the right

Twin Lakes Learning Center
200 W 59th St, Westmont, IL 60559

Halloween Fun Fair of Westmont

Date: October 31st, 2017
Location: Westmont Community Center

What better way to spend your Halloween than at a FREE Carnival! Packed with prizes and carnival games galore, join the Westmont Community Center for a family friendly evening of trick or treating! With special event features like a monster bounce house and Parade of Costumes, it is sure to be an evening to remember. Join the parade to win a special prize from the Westmont Park District! Fresh food and drink will also be served!

Games: 4:30-6:15pm
Concessions: 4:30pm
Parade of Costumes: 6:30 pm
Showtime: 6:45 pm

Directions from U-Stor-It Westmont
1. Leave the U-Stor-It Westmont Parking Lot and Head west on Plaza Dr toward Blackhawk Dr
2. Turn left onto N Cass Ave
3. Turn left onto E Richmond St
4. The Halloween Fun Fair of Westmont will be on the right

Westmont Park District Community
75 E Richmond St, Westmont, IL 60559

Summer Storage Tips

Wheaton Self Storage/Carol Stream Self Storage:
Summer is right around the corner. Whether you are finishing up finals in school, or simply preparing for the warmer weather—there are many factors to keep in mind when storing your possessions this season. Our Wheaton and Carol Stream U-Stor-It staff have the key tips to keep in mind for all of your various storage needs.


If you are renting summer storage while you return home for college be sure to look into the various options that you have. The most important thing is to choose the appropriate size of unit. If you only have boxes or minimal furniture like lamps or night stands a 5×5 unit is the right size for you. If you have a bed or some extra furniture then you will likely have to bump up to a 5×10.

Many students often overestimate the size they need. Larger than a 5×10 is rarely necessary. At U-Stor-It ceilings are high so many items can be stacked to maximize space and efficiency.

Wheaton College

Snow Gear/Equipment

Sadly the skiing and snowboarding season is officially over, and so it is time to pack it up until next year. Clothes are always recommended to be vacuum sealed, however our facilities are sure to keep them safe either way.

For all equipment from snowboards to snowmobiles, preparation is necessary. Skis and snowboards should be cleaned and given a fresh coat of wax to keep the base in prime condition. If you have a bag for either that is great, but if you don’t there is no need to worry! Simply hang the equipment or leave it on top of other stored items to make sure it stays off of the ground and more easily avoids being nicked.

Large items like snow mobiles require proper cleaning and engine maintenance. They should be stored with a cover over them, and elevated by a jack so that the weight does not rest on the bearings. This prolongs the life of your possessions.

Clearing Room for Summer Guests

Be sure to take advantage of the tools and deals U-Stor-It has to offer. U-HAUL trucks are available to rent and move your items easily from your place to the facility. If you are not completely sure on the size of unit required, use the U-Stor-It storage calculator which gives a precise estimate of the measurements you will need.

How to Make a Corn Hole Set

San Diego Storage:
In honor of our U-Stor-It Lincoln Park storage location near Logan Avenue and Imperial Avenue, we have put together a fun project to enjoy the San Diego weather. Everyone loves the tailgating atmosphere whether it be at a local sports facility or a simple beach day. Corn Hole is a great game that anyone can play, and the process of making your own boards is easier than it may seem.

What you’ll need:


4×2 Plywood Board, 2×4 boards that add up to at least 16 feet in length.

Supplies: 320 and 60 grit sand paper, drill with drilling bits in addition to screwing bits, wood glue, 2” wood screws, jigsaw.

Paint: Clear coat gloss, colors of your choice for design.

Optional: 3/8”x4” screws to make the legs retractable, wood putty, to hide holes made from drilling on top of boards, handles to make transportation easy.

All of these items can be picked up at a local home improvement store. Just across the freeway from our Lincoln Park U-Stor-It facility in the Imperial Marketplace is a Home Depot. It can be conveniently accessed by crossing the 805 freeway to Ocean View Blvd and Marketplace Ave. The Home Depot can also make all of the main wood cuts necessary on the project.



Imperial Avenue×563.jpg

The base is 48”x24”. Start with your 4×2 plywood face down and measure the wood so it perfectly measures to the edges of the plywood. Have the short ends measure all the way across the plywood and adjust the long ends to account for the wood of the short ends. The short boards will measure approximately the full 24” but the long ends will be somewhere around 44” rather than the full 48”.

Glue the boards to each other in simple butt joints, and also glue them to the plywood. This will need to dry for about a full day before continuing. Once dry screw in the butt joints, and screw the plywood into the base.

Logan Avenue×735/gallery-1463997446-attach-top.JPG

The legs of the boards will need to be measured so that, once they are fit in, the board stands 12” tall from the back.

The hole is 6” in diameter, with the very center being 9” from the top and “12 from each side. Measure it out and trace it using a compass. Use a drill to puncture a hole, then use your jigsaw to cut along the circle. After this you can sand the entire board with the 60 grit sandpaper.


The design of your paint can be done however you would like. Common designs include a triangle coming down from the hole with a logo or design in the center. When you’re satisfied with the paint design you have created it becomes time for clear coat.

Clear coat protects your project while also providing the slipperiness on top of the board that makes the bean bags slide. After each coat, except the last coat, you want to lightly sand it down with 320 grit sand paper to ensure it comes out evenly and smooth.

You’ve now created your very own Corn Hole boards to enjoy and play with at your next gathering. The only downside is they take up space—not to worry, we have plenty of units available in a U-Stor-It facility near you!

Whether you are in Lincoln Park or Chicago, there is no way not to have fun with these boards!

Melrose Park’s Guide to Winter Car Storage

Do you have a summer hobby car, or a two-wheel drive you know has no way of safely navigating the icy roads of winter? It sounds like you’ve stumbled upon adding car storage to your winter prep.

Don’t worry! Thankfully there are multiple ways to safely store your vehicle for the snowy season. Here are the Top 3 options for winter vehicle storage provided by our Melrose Park staff:

  1. Outside Storage

Sometimes we just have to tackle the environment head on, and show it who’s boss. Here’s how to do it.

  • First, and often extremely overlooked, you must find a safe and legal place to store the car. You don’t want any snow plows demolishing the side of your car!
  • Top up your fluids. Your oil should be fresh and clean to prevent corrosion within the engine, and the fuel tank should be just about as full as possible to avoid air build up and expansion from the frigid temperature.
  • To prevent the tires from freezing to the ground, roll them onto a sheet of plywood, carpet, or plastic. Also make sure the tires are at their max PSI so no flat spots develop on the rubber.
  • Purchase a tarp that can cover the entire vehicle, and secure it as tightly as possible. Make sure all crevices are as covered as they can be (you don’t want anything making a home of your car).
  1. Garage Storage

If you’re lucky enough to have an available garage, make sure you don’t stop there! It’s easy to assume your car is safe within your own confines, but there are still measures to be taken.

      • While a tarp is no longer necessary, it is still of major importance to fill holes and crevices to avoid critters from seeking shelter. Put steel wool in the exhaust pipe, and consider mothballs to surround the undercarriage as a secondary line of defense.

– U-Stor-It Melrose Park

  1. Consider a Storage Facility

The winter storage process can be a hassle, why not take the load off and enjoy the luxury of convenience and safety! Many facilities offer ground-floor climate controlled storage units as well as safe and camera monitored outdoor parking.


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 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 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.

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.

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!