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How to Organize for a Clean Garage

How to Organize for a Clean Garage

Nobody knows exactly why or how the garage gets cluttered. It just does. Right? And during the holiday season, with the kids on college break, and the presents that must be stored until the last minute, the garage can be especially packed. Perhaps moving everything from the now spare bedroom into the garage was a great idea, but is it a good idea to move it all back?

It’s the beginning of a new year, and that means it’s time to make changes. Follow these tips to declutter your garage.

Where to Begin

Shivani K, writing for the renown organizing website Unclutter.com, mentions that 57% of two-car garages either only have enough space for one car or do not have enough space for any car. That’s astonishing in and of itself. But she also gives tips on how to declutter your garage.

Of course, this will be a huge task, no matter when you choose to do it. A garage is made to store a car, if not the tools to work on it, a work bench, etc. So you’re at least dealing with the storage capacity of a very large room. The garage is typically used as a middle-way point: between wanting and not wanting, between decision and indecision. Should you keep that mammoth $15 roll of wires you bought at a garage sale twenty years ago because you might use it one day? Is twenty years in the garage enough time to override the just-in-case?

Begin decluttering by pulling everything out of the garage. This is no easy task, to be sure. But it is the easiest and quickest way to determine what you have and plan where everything should be stored. Shivani recommends creating four groups for all your items: Keep, Donate, Sell, Recycle/Toss.

Don’t hold on to anything simply because you don’t want to lose money on it. Think of it this way: you paid for it to take up space in your garage. Whether you throw it away now, or never use it, you’ll lose money on it either way. And nowadays, more platforms for selling your things are available than ever before: from Facebook to Amazon, from eBay to Craigslist. Be sure to learn about listing costs and/or associated fees these services charge before you choose one.

Where to End

Commence organization! A helpful way to organize is by category or use. Tools obviously should go together. But long and short term storage should not. Make one more accessible than the other. Build shelves or hang hooks for larger items.

But most of all, never use your garage space as a way to live indecisively. Be purposeful about what you place in the garage. Only store things you know you will use (not might use), and only bring into the garage what will add to its value or utility.

Tips for Packing the Kitchen

Tips for Packing the Kitchen

Whether you’re moving to a new home, or you just need to put your kitchenware in storage for a while, the following tips will help you pack your kitchen efficiently.

Glasses

Many people pack their glass cups in boxes with their bottoms to the floor. It’s just like putting them in a cabinet, right?

Actually, to prevent movement, after you wrap your glassware in newspaper, felt, or dishcloths, it’s best to place them upside down. Since most glassware has a bowl-shaped top, the top generally covers more area. This extra area will add significant stability when you move your boxes from one place to the next.

Plates

You’re worried about your plates moving around in their boxes, so you stack them on top of each other. This isn’t a good idea. As you add plates to the pile, more pressure is placed on the plates at bottom. This causes them, eventually, to crack.

Rather, the best practice is to wrap each plate. You can use anything from newspapers to handy dishrags that you need to pack anyway. Once wrapped, stack the plates on their sides, next to each other. Then there will be no pressure on the plates. And, if there is extra space, just stuff more newspaper in the box. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about movement.

Appliances

You might wonder what you do with small appliances. Some of them can have many parts. And if you want to place them in storage, you’ll want to take them apart to require less space for storage.

Don’t just throw every piece to every appliance in a small box. It’ll be a nightmare when you try to piece them back together. Rather, grab small Ziploc bags, label them, and place the parts to different appliances in different bags. Then when you re-assemble, you won’t have to play the trial-and-error guessing game. That small blade probably doesn’t fit with the can-opener.

For larger appliances, clean all food out thoroughly, especially if they’re headed for storage. This will prevent any unwanted creatures from visiting. You’ll also want to wrap them in plastic, for a final layer of security. You can get plastic at any moving-supplies store and at most Infinite Self Storage locations.

If you have any questions about packing your kitchen for storage, feel free to give one of our professionals a call!

Tips for Storing Quilts

tips for storing quilts

Quilts are valuable because they’re made and inherited by family members, and their significance only increases as time passes. It can be worrisome to store them for long periods of time. Most people know not to store quilts in direct sunlight. But what about storing quilts for several consecutive months? Follow these tips to keep your quilts in pristine condition.

Store in a Temperature Controlled Unit

Transitioning from an extremely cold to an extremely hot environment can cause condensation to accumulate. And quilts will act like sponges to this build-up of water. Eventually, the moisture will eventually dry out the fibers that hold these quilts together.

But you control the temperature changes in a temperature controlled unit. So it’s best to get one to store your quilts in. Just keep the temperature consistent, and you’ll be fine.

Don’t Store in Plastic

Quilts are known to sweat in air-tight containers. It’s because the cotton fibers need oxygen to maintain their structure. You may think plastic is the best container to prevent a rodent infestation. But it won’t help the longevity of your quilt.

If you store your quilt in a plastic container, it may gain spots.

Store Your Quilt Rolled-up or Flat

Instead, find a reputable self storage facility, like Infinite Self Storage, and roll up your quilt in a furniture cover. Either suspend the rolled up quilt from the ceiling or find a space long and wide enough to lay it flat on the ground. Folded quilts can acquire permanent creases which will breakdown the fabric. So it’s best to either store your quilts flat or suspended.

Infinite Self Storage has a packing supplies store at most of its facilities. Contact your local Infinite Self Storage professional staff for more information on storage techniques and self storage unit availability.

Store Your Bike for Winter

Store Your Bike for Winter

With the changing seasons come changes in life. Transportation is one of the most obvious. Winter is coming. And that means no more bike rides along the park. And, for the most part, no more biking around town. It’s time to put your bike in storage. Here are some tips to make it simple.

Clean and Maintenance

Now that you’re off the dusty trail for a while, take some time to wipe down and clean your bike, especially your tires. Lubricate the chain to prevent rusting. And lubricate the tires to prevent cracking from changes in temperature. Removing dirt from the frame helps keep it rust and scratch free, and it’ll prevent discoloration in the paint.

Another part of bike maintenance is airing up the tires to recommended levels. Proper air inflation not only prevents cracking in the tires, but it also helps maintain the structural integrity.

Hang, Box, or Stand

If you will have your bike in storage for a long time, longer than a season, you might want to invest in a bike box. They save space and protect your bike from scratches and dents during storage.

However, you can just hang your bike on a wall either in your house or in a garage. Especially if you’ll take it back out one the first of spring.

Likewise, if you invest in a storage unit, you could get a temperature-control unit and just roll it in to storage. This is a good idea, especially if you have other things you’d like in storage.

How to Organize Your Car

How to Maintain a Clean Car

We all know this experience. You go to the car wash. You pay for a nice shine. You vacuum the seats and floors. And after a month, not only has the shine faded, but it looks like a dump on the inside. Follow these tips to maintain a clean interior throughout the winter.

Trash Cans

This idea might seem unappealing at first. Who wants a trash container to take up legroom in the car? And won’t it smell? But, especially if you don’t want to clean out your car every time you drive it, a secondary benefit of a trash can is to get you in the habit of cleaning out your car. Even if it means just taking out the trash once a month.

But obviously the primary benefit of having a trash can in your car is it eliminates the garbage. And it won’t take up too much space. Buy a small 3 or 5 gallon trash can with a lid. Once you get in the habit of taking the trash out of the car, you can get rid of the trash can.

Organizers

Invest in a good car organizer. Then purchase some car wipes to keep the interior shiny and clean. Also stock up on some baby wipes for any messy passengers. Place these cleaners and any objects or tools in the organizer.

With the trashcan and organizer, what else can be in your car? Once you get organized, cleaning will be the easiest part of owning a car. Even if you have a family, an organizing box will hold toys, crayons, books, and anything else you’ll need.

Now that the floor is clean and the dashboard wiped, the interior of your car will stay as clean as it came out of the factory.

Prepare Your Car for Storage

Prepare Your Car for Storage

You may be leaving the Midwest for winter. Or maybe you just have a vintage Corvette you don’t want to sit in the snow. Whatever your reason, follow these tips to prepare your car for storage.

Maintenance

First thing’s first: you might as well maintenance your car before you put it in storage. Then it’ll be ready to go when you need to move it, especially if you want to do so unexpectedly. And besides, you don’t want just plain gas sitting in the tank. You’ll need to add stabilizer to prevent corrosion of gas lines.

Outdoor or Indoor

Next, determine what kind of storage you’ll need. Outdoor storage makes your car susceptible to weather conditions. It could get damaged from ice storms or hail, and it could rust from wet conditions. But it’s usually much cheaper to rent outdoor storage than indoor storage.

Indoor storage adds a level of security outdoor storage can’t. Not only does it protect the car from weather, but it also protects against animals and rodents. You can go a step further by adding temperature control.

Whichever you choose, measure the length and width of your car so you’ll know how much space you’ll need. And, no matter if you choose indoor or outdoor, Infinite Self Storage provides an added layer of security with cameras and coded gates at most facilities.

Learn the Rules

Most storage facilities require your car to be in running condition with insurance and registration. All this ensures the car isn’t junked or stolen. And don’t be surprised if you can’t work on your car while it’s in storage. Most self storage facilities will want you to use their units just for storage. Besides, they won’t want oil spots on their floors for their next customers.

If you have any questions about preparing your car for storage, give one of our professional team members at Infinite Self Storage a call!

Create Your Self-Storage Inventory

Self-Storage Inventory

Some storage units have as much storage space as a three-bedroom home. Some are even larger! One consequence is more stuff can get lost or forgotten about. Don’t leave your things in the dark. Start a self-storage inventory today.

Categorize

The easiest way to begin organizing your storage is to begin at the beginning. When you drop off an item, write it down. Some of us like the motto, “Why do today what can be done tomorrow?” But procrastinating certainly won’t help you organize your storage. And it won’t put you in a good position to plan and be ready for unexpected events.

Categorize different items you put in storage. Then create a map of your unit’s layout. If you need something in a bind, you’ll at least know the general area in which to look. To go further, if you’re using boxes, number them, and take note of the contents of each box. Don’t be looking for that replica quill James Madison used to sign the constitution at one in the morning. Especially if you collect replica feathers. And you have thirty boxes of them.

Receipts and Photos

As you’re logging, naming, and categorizing the things you put in storage, review your insurance or protection plans. Take pictures, compile receipts, and store all the information you’ll need in one place. If ever you need to make an insurance claim, having everything in one place will significantly expedite the process.

Google Sheets

An easy way to create, update, and manage your inventory is by creating a Google Sheet in Google Drive. This simple tool will give access to your inventory across all your devices. And it works much like a Microsoft Excel document.

Creating an inventory of your storage is a good way to stay organized and expedite claims. It also might save you a few hours, if you need something from your storage unit in a bind. Contact one of our storage professionals today to learn more about creating a storage inventory!

Tips for an Effortless Move

tips for an effortless view

Moving is always an exciting experience. It can be stressful, however, if you don’t prepare. These three tips will help you put your best foot forward on move day.

Packing

Begin packing for your move a few weeks in advance. Pack clothes you won’t wear soon first, a few weeks ahead of the move. Then follow up with rare-use items. Those candles you haven’t lit since last year? Wrap them in your extra towels. Leave day-to-day stuff for the final week before the move. Preparing for your move early ensures a less stressful move-day experience.

Donate or Sell Unwanted Items

When you begin packing, you’ll notice some things you would rather leave behind. This is why it’s important to get a head start. Take all the unwanted stuff to Goodwill or make a few bucks hosting a yard sale. Whatever you do, it’s a good idea to lighten your load. Fewer boxes mean fewer things to move. And it also means more space for new stuff in your new home!

Label Boxes and Pair Items

As you look around at all the glassware you own, don’t worry about getting newspapers or bubble wrap to pack with. Use things you already have handy and need to store anyway. For instance, clean sheets, blankets, towels, and clothes work just as well to create layers of separation between glassware. There’s no need to get fancy.
And while you’re putting that all-purpose cleaner and dish detergent into boxes, be sure to label them appropriately. Then you won’t have your friends asking every few seconds, “Where does this go?” The less you need to explain when you get to your new home the less time it will take to setup your living room and watch Netflix.

Tips for Hiring Movers

tips for hiring movers

Moving can be tedious. It can also be fun: when someone else does all the work.

If you’re considering hiring movers, it is important to stay informed on their moving policies and practices. Are they liable if your box of fragile glassware arrives in pieces? It’s also important to know about the business itself. ApartmentHomeLiving.Com provides helpful questions that ensure you or your stuff won’t be left in the dark.

Staying informed can be a chore. An estimate from a professional moving business requires, at times, complicated variables. What must be considered, and what you should ask about, is how long it will take to move your possessions and how they will be handled. Ask about previous experience, and what sort of challenges come with each move.

Before you pack up your stuff, you may want to visualize how you will arrange your things before you arrive. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your movers. If your new home is a thousand miles away, don’t expect a rush, next-day delivery. And if you do get that rush delivery, you may have moved too fast.

Photo credit: Thad Zajdowicz via Foter.com / CC BY

Storage Hacks for Apartment Living

Apartment Storage Ideas

Ever notice how densely populated areas have tall buildings? It’s because when you run out of horizontal space, you have to think vertically. If you ever lived in a dorm room at college, you’ll understand this principle. Most dorm room roommates position their beds over their desks and dressers. It’s efficient, and it opens the rest of the room for other things (like a table tennis table).

This means lack of closet and storage space doesn’t have to be the last word on your storage capabilities. Here are some hacks for making the most of your apartment space.

Use the Walls

Get some command strips. Hang everything. From your hats and hair ties to your shoes (the trick is to tie them together) and backpacks. You can probably think of more things to hang. You can also buy bags just for the purpose of placing things in them to hang on your wall.

Bed Lifts

If your bed doesn’t sit high off the ground, take a tip from dorm rooms: raise it. You’ll be able to fit a lot more things under there than you might expect: dressers, book shelves, desks. The possibilities are endless. You could even purchase a portable clothes rack and hang your clothes underneath.

Bookshelf Storage

This one is kind of obvious if you keep your bookshelf vertical. But try placing it on its side. Then you can purchase linen baskets and place anything inside of it (like charging cables, papers, extra blankets, and sheets, etc.) without making your room look cluttered. Using linen baskets to create storage blocks in your bookshelf gives you the advantage of storage space without the messy appearance.

Don’t Hang Clothes

You read that right. Instead, go the military way and roll your clothes in their drawers. If rolled correctly, they won’t wrinkle. And you won’t have to dig through your drawers to find the perfect outfit.

If you feel like you don’t have enough space in your apartment, you may not be using the space efficiently. Use these hacks to maximize your apartment space.