Tag Archives: Life Hacks

Auburn Gresham Living: Moving from Apartment to House

Moving to your first house after living in apartment complexes for your whole life is an exciting new chapter to begin. More space, privacy, and your own parking spot is a lot to be excited about. Unfortunately with all of this excitement, also comes overwhelming pressure on how to make it work. Here’s a few tips that will help you settle into that new dream home of yours in Auburn Gresham with ease.

1) Furnishing the New Space

While it may be exciting to see how much more space you have, it will definitely take some work to fill up all that extra space that you didn’t have in your old apartment. If the furniture you had in your last apartment all shared a consistent style and theme, be sure to stay consistent with that look in your new home when looking for new furniture to add. This will ensure that the overall finished interior design of your home looks crisp. Here’s a few ideas for how to find furniture at a favorable price:
Ikea is always an option. The quality of the products may not be the best and they may deteriorate over time, but you can count on finding some modern designs that may just suit the style of your new home in Auburn Gresham. You can always count on package sets and other deals that make a trip to Ikea a great idea when shopping on a budget.
Craigslist. With this option, you are guaranteed to find the cheapest prices out there from second hand sellers, all in your local area.
Check with friends and family if they have furniture they no longer need. There’s no better price than free!

2) Hire Movers

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This is almost a necessity. It takes a lot of hard, physical work to move your belongings into a home, especially if there are multiple floors. By hiring movers, it will make the moving process much faster, while also probably saving you from pulling a muscle at some point.

3) Prepare for Yardwork

A major perk of moving into a house is having that lawn space you’ve always dreamed about. Whether it’s used for outdoor games, gardening, or relaxing, it’s important to know that it requires constant upkeep. A trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot might be a good idea so you can stock up on lawn mowers, lawn care products, and outdoor furniture. Also, be sure to have a general idea of what kind of insects populate your area so you know what insect repellants to buy. The last thing you want are ants invading your new home!

4) Meet your Neighbors

Socialize! Another great thing about moving into a residential neighborhood is the opportunity it provides you with meeting new people and making new friends who live around you. This will make you feel more comfortable adjusting to living there, knowing who is a part of your community. Who knows, some of them may even offer to help with your move.

You’re now ready to move into your new home in Auburn Gresham! Enjoy that new dream home of yours and don’t forget to check back here for more blogs to come. To learn more about our availability with storage units at our Auburn Gresham location, click here.

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.

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.

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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.


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.

Kitchen Storage Tips

Do you ever feel that you would have the perfect kitchen if you had just one more inch of room. You are not alone. In my case, I still have not found the perfect place to store utensils…utensils! With abstract kitchen designs, it can be difficult to find room for that new Vitamix 6300. Here are a few storage tips to save for some extra room in your kitchen.


Cereal Containers
We love our pets. We love to feed them right. However, its difficult to find space for their kibble when all we can find is labeled “BIG food for BIG dogs!” You order one bag and it arrives on a pallet at the shipping yard. One solution is to pour their food into cereal containers. They don’t spill, they aren’t completely awkward to use (think every time you’ve tried to pour a huge bag of dog food), they fit easily into cabinets, and most importantly they save space! They are a simple, cheap, and easy solution.


Chalkboard Organization
For some, baking is a hobby, for others it’s therapeutic, and for the rest of us…it’s frustrating. Losing measuring cups and tablespoon utensils can turn a simple afternoon of baking into a complex math equation, starting with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and ending with a burnt bundt cake and a whisk shaped hole in your wall. A simple solution can just be through organization, a can of chalkboard paint, and mountable coat hanger rack. This is an excellent way to not only a creative way keep track of your utensils, but will save you plenty of drawer space.


Cleaning Supplies
As we grow older, we stop fearing what is underneath the bed and start dreading the horrors that could be lurking underneath our kitchen sink. By adding a tension rod, you will be able to hang cleaning supplies, leaving plenty of room for bins to hold sponges, gloves, and the gremlin you weren’t supposed to feed passed midnight.


Unopenble Drawers
What’s more frustrating than an unopenable drawer? This fix is a bit more advanced, but you’ll be thanking yourself for the extra room once you complete this little project. With a couple hinges, 6 screws, and a plastic tray you’ve developed another compartment fit myriad items!