Category Archives: Seasonal

Ground Hog Day Means Spring Cleaning Comes Early

Today, believe it or not is Groundhog Day! Yes, it’s actually one month into 2016 and we’ve hopefully all heard the good news by now! Punxsutawney Phil, Gobbler’s Knob’s most famous groundhog (and probably the world’s most famous), did NOT see his shadow this morning, meaning Spring surely to come early this year. This is a bit hard to believe however that the Winter season will not continue on with 6 more weeks, considering the Phil’s onlookers waited for hours in the 22 degree Pennsylvania cold. Even in San Diego, citizens awoke to a crisp 34 degrees this morning.

Regardless of the inconsistencies, we will trust our ole woodchuck bud in good faith and prepare for the balmy weather. And with Spring just around the corner here are a few tips to prime you for a much speedier Spring Cleaning. With the way this year is already flying by, it may be a great idea to get a head start on your disorganized garage you promised yourself you’d tackle, after throwing the Christmas lights into its black abyss under the spell of a vicious blackout food coma.

Showers

Baths, showers, and jacuzzis are a day of work on their own, so let’s start small with the simplest of tasks, the showerhead. This trick should work for all showerheads, including detachable ones. You will simply need vinegar, a plastic sandwich baggie, and a rubber band. Fill the baggie with vinegar and place over the showerhead. (Make sure the fixture is completely submerged). Wrap the rubberband, (a hair tie will work just a well), around the baggie, making sure it is secure and will not slip off. Leave the baggie to soak the showerhead overnight. The next morning can take the baggie off and easily scrub off the leftover sediment, if any!

With that chore set, you can move on to your next time saver.

 

Carpets

Before you bust out the laundry and starches, plug in your iron and take a good look at your carpet. With a bit of care and skill, an iron can actually be used to remove some stains.

First, prepare a solution of three parts water and one part vinegar. Then we would recommend you vacuum your carpets to remove any solids and then dampen your worrisome stains or spots with your vinegar mixture. Once dampened, leave your moistened towel flat over the stain and use the iron to heat the towel. You should be able to see that the stain has begun to lift. Move to the next spot after the stain has been completely lifted or appears to be removed as much as possible.

NOTE: If you are feeling speedy, you may be able to prepare this next cleaning solution while the iron heats up.

 

Microwaves

If you have not cleaned your microwave in a while, especially after little Corey and Harris’ New Year’s Eve experiment with fireworks, it’s about time to give the zapper some much needed attention. Try our method of steam cleaning.

What you’ll need is ½ cup water, ½ cup vinegar (notice a common ingredient), a sponge, a microwave-safe bowl, and a wooden stir stick.

  1. Mix together the water and vinegar into your bowl.
  2. Place the stir stick into the mixture. This step is actually more of a safety prevention than a cleaning tool. Since the stir stick is not smooth like the side of the bowl, bubbles will be able to form allowing for the mixture to boil. Without the micro rigidity of the stick, bubbles would not be able to form and could eventually explode when moved.
  3. Place the bowl, mixture, and stir stick into the microwave and heat for about five to ten minutes.
  4. When the time is up, do not open the microwave. Let the mixture sit inside for a few more minutes, and more steam develop.
  5. After waiting a bit, take out the mixture and bowl with some oven mitts. Next, dip the sponge into the mixture and scrub off any gunk inside. With a few quick swipes, most of the gunk and leftover meat mysteries should clean off.

 

So there you have it, 3 tips to get you started for a much needed and hopefully strategic Spring Cleaning!

NOTE: Hopefully there was never an issue with the microwave and little Corey and Harris’ New Year’s Eve experiment. As much as vinegar appeared to be a super kryptonite to gunk and grime, we think this may be a task too hard to wrestle. It might just be time to make long overdue goodbye and maybe part ways with this obsolete wedding gift, and head over to Sears.

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!

 

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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.

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.

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; 88thstreet@ustorit.com

 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; beverly@ustorit.com

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; garyave@ustorit.com

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; streamwood@ustorit.com

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; lisle@ustorit.com

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!

Locations:

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 www.ustorit.com 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

U-Stor-It Streamwood Event!

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U-Stor-It Self Storage Streamwood Summer Celebration

We had a great time at the Streamwood Summer Celebration! We hope you did too! We spoke to about 100 families about our self storage facility in Streamwood.  We handed out tons of hats, shirts, keychains, and toys for the kids! This year a promotional spinning prize wheel was included to our booth, and it was a huge hit!

If we spoke at the event, please come visit us! And if you could not make it out to the festival, we would still love to meet with you! We still have plenty of promotions specials available for the end of Summer!

Please keep a look out for some of the other events we have planned all around the Chicagoland area, at some of our other facilities in Carol Stream / Wheaton, Beverly, and Lisle! Our new promotional wheel will be featured at these events too! Look forward to the giveaways!

Speaking of upcoming events, our self storage facility in the Chicago neighborhood of Auburn Gresham is hosting a new Back to School event August 15th, where we will be handing out backpacks and school supplies to the local elementary school students in the area. Everything has arrived at the storage facility, and we are now preparing for the big day! It is going to be a great time, that you surely will not want to miss.

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Back to School with U-Stor-It Self Storage in Auburn Gresham Chicago

Summer Celebration with U-Stor-It Self Storage of Streamwood!

U-Stor-It Self Storage of Streamwood will be participating in Streamwood’s Summer Celebration this weekend! The event will be taking place July 24, 25, and 26th at Hoosier Grove Park (Look for the event hours and address below, to copy and paste into your smart phone’s Maps App, if you are unfamiliar to the area).

This year, there will be a “Christmas In July” theme to the event. An incredible amount of activities will be featured at the event, that you will surely not want to miss: The Annual Celebration Parade and Carnival rides (of course), food vendors, BINGO, a Children’s Stage, and a Golf Tournament among other fun activities.

And don’t forget to stop by the Business Expo Tent! We will be running a prize wheel with giveaways all weekend! Stop by Booth #20 and check out some of the awesome prizes we will have and ask about our self storage facility on Irving Park Road! We have new self storage promotions running for a limited time. Also, please check in soon after through your various Social Media channels, because we will be posting pictures from the event!

For any questions, visit streamwoodsummercelebration.org. A full event line up and much much more information is available to get you even more excited for the weekend at the Streamwood Summer Celebration!

Hoosier Grove Park
700 W Irving Park Rd
Streamwood, IL 60107

Business Expo Tent Hours
Friday, July 24: 5pm – 10pm
Saturday, July 25: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday, July 26: 12pm – 5pm

For any questions, visit streamwoodsummercelebration.org. A full event line up and much much more information is available, to get you even more excited for the weekend at the Streamwood Summer Celebration!

If you can’t make the Streamwood Summer Celebration, try visiting us August 15th at U-Stor-It Self Storage of Auburn Gresham for our Back To School event, presented by Alderman Howard B Brookins Jr., where we will be giving out backpacks and school supplies to the local elementary school students in the area.

Keep checking back in to our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus pages, because we will be announcing more events at some of our other self storage facilities in Carol Stream / Wheaton, Beverly, and Lisle!

 

3 Ideas for a Shame Free 4th of July

How is it July already? It just seemed like it arrived..uninvited, leaving us unprepared for summer. Suddenly, you’ve been invited to Craig’s place down the street for an Independence Day BBQ and you’ve got nothing planned. How he was prepared? Who knows? Some people just live to grill. Flashes of embarrassment shoot through you’re mind. Suddenly, you feel as uninvited as July.

Two days until the 4th should be enough time to prepare something to bring to Craig’s right? Don’t doubt yourself. You won’t be the embarrassment bringing the Nth bag of tortilla chip to the party. You planned. You prepared. You prepped.

Here are a few ideas, to save you the humiliation and shame.  This weekend what we aim for is satisfaction. The satisfaction of the perfect high five. Excellent form. Thunderous pitch, timbre, and tonality. You’ll earn it. A perfect 10.

 

The Starter: Brown Sugar Smokies
You will not regret making these. They work for any occasion. Plus, the fact that they are wrapped in bacon just makes these little bites of heaven a win for you all day long.

MarchMadnesstwo0017

Ingredients
– 1 pound of bacon
– 1 cup of brown sugar
– 1 package of smokie sausages (about 16 ounces)

The Prep
– Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
– Cut the strips of bacon into thirds
– Wrap each smokie with a cut of bacon, and secure with a tooth pick
– Place on a baking sheet
– Sprinkle brown sugar over your bacon wrapped smokies

Cook
– 20 Minutes
– (If you don’t want to make it to July 4th 2016, pour the bacon “extract” on top)

Arrangement
– It’s bacon, no one cares. Just make them easily accessible.

 

The Side: Grandma’s Corn Pudding
You may or may not be a grandmother, but after serving anyone this… I don’t know where I’m going with this. But trust me, this recipe is incredible.

Southern-Grandmas-Corn-Pudding_ExtraLarge1000_ID-768251

Ingredients
– 2 cans of cream corn
– 1 can of whole kernel corn
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/3 cup butter, melted
– 5 eggs
– 1/4 cup white sugar
– 4 tablespoons cornstarch

The Prep
– Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees F
– Lightly grease a casserole dish
– In a large bowl, beat the eggs
– Add the sugar, milk, and melted butter
– Whisk in the cornstarch
– Stir in corn and creamed corn
– Blend as best you can
– Pour into your pre-greased casserole dish

Cook
– Bake for 1 hour

 

The Dessert: Red, White, and Blueberry Popsicles
It’s sure to be a warm 4th of July, so why not create a themed icy treat that will surely have people raising you over their shoulders?!

Red-White-Blue-Popsicles-2

Ingredients
– 2 cups Greek Yogurt (plain or honey, just make sure it’s white)
– 2 cups blueberries
– 2 cups strawberries, hulled (it means cut, don’t worry, I had to look it up too)

The Prep
– Pour yogurt into popsicle molds so they are about 1/3 full
– Blend your blueberries so they are smooth
– Add your blueberries to your molds, making sure to leave room for the strawberries
– Blend your strawberries and fill the remaining area of the mold
– Add a popsicle stick to each mold

Cook
– I mean Freeze (For about 4 hours)

 

Preparing just one of these will surely earn you that high five. We suggest only bringing 1 of these items. In two days, it may be difficult to do it all. We don’t want you cracking under the pressure. Plus, no one likes a show off. If you do, you can surely have to kiss your high five goodbye.

We at U-Stor-It hope this helped. Enjoy! If you are planning a move this weekend, we have a special Independence Day Sale going on at all our facilities throughout the Chicagoland area in Streamwood, Lisle, Carol Stream, Beverly, and Auburn Gresham. However, we will be closed Saturday in observance of the holiday. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

 

Memorial Day

For many people, Memorial Day is just another reason of excitement because of having a three day weekend. After all, who doesn’t enjoy having an extra day off? Especially at this time of the year when the sun is starting to come out, bringing out the first taste of warm summer days. For many others, it is a reason to celebrate because it brings families together to have a barbecue, spend sometime together, and enjoy one another’s company.

We would like to remind everyone what this holiday is really about. Memorial Day was formally known as Decoration Day and originated after the Civil War to honor all Americans who had died in service of their country. Later on this day became officially recognized by the Federal Government as Memorial Day to honor all of those who we have lost while in military service.

We would like to honor this country’s fallen heroes who have give their all to protecting our freedoms that we greatly enjoy. We will be showing our support by hoisting a flag at each one of our locations located throughout Chicago in Auburn Gresham, Beverly,  Carol Stream, Streamwood, Lisle, and Wheaton,

Additionally, we will be offering 3 Months at 50% for a limited time during the Memorial Day holiday. Visit our website now to reserve!