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5 Tips to Managing Kids Toys

It’s a joy to watch children use their imagination and creativity to learn and play—but then you’re left with an endless mess of toys, books and whatever else they can get their hands on. If playtime often results in a long and drawn out cleanup or your activity space looks like a constant mess, these five tips can help you manage your toy storage.

  1. Ditch the Toy Box. If a toy box is currently housing most of your child’s playtime things, it might be encouraging the mess. The inside of a large box doesn’t encourage organization and can also result in broken toys. Not to mention that you need to rummage through it to get something at the bottom, leaving a huge pile of clutter outside the box until the right toy is rescued. Instead, place smaller, labeled bins on a short rack in your child’s play area for a neater space and a great way to keep organized, motivating your child to practice putting things back where they belong.
  2. Utilize Door Space. Use the space behind a closet door or bedroom door to hang a shoe organizer. The compartments are great for storing anything from dolls and stuffed animals to toy cars and art supplies.
  3. Keep Toys Off the Floor. Use storage that isn’t so close to the ground and, while it might be tempting, stop using under the bed as toy storage space or you’ll end up with a mess under there too. Try hanging toy hammocks or hanging closet organizers as alternative space solutions.
  4. Clean Up Your Library. It’s true: The best way to organize books is on a bookshelf! If you have smaller children, a forward-facing bookshelf allows them to see the covers without taking the books off the shelf, preventing a mess from forming as they search for the right title. If you don’t have space for a bookshelf, stand the books up in small boxes or bins and arrange on a shelf.
  5. Arrange Your Games. If your board games and puzzles are taking up too much space in their boxes, transfer them to smaller containers. Use plastic containers, freezer bags or pencil bags and don’t forget to label them. Kitchen organization items can also translate to the playroom, like organizing Play-doh cans on a coffee pod carousel and using a plate rack to keep puzzles and books neat on shelves.

Follow these five tips to prevent a toy overflow in your home and make playtime (and cleanup) more fun! As your kids grow a little older, you’ll need a safe place to store their toys (and other prized possessions) until the next generation is ready for them. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find a safe place to keep all your children’s favorite toys today.


Gardening Storage Made Easy: 5 Simple Steps

After toiling over your lawn and beautifying your garden for months, there finally comes the time to retire your tools for the colder seasons ahead. It always helps to have a few tricks up your sleeve when storing your gardening tools, so we thought we would share five clever ways to organize and protect your garden storage.

  1. Get a Handle on Your Long-Handled Tools. Long-handled tools are naturally awkward to store. They somehow always fall down and knock everything else down with them. Try hanging your more cumbersome tools along a wall using heavy-duty hooks or PVC pipes. If you usually keep them in a garbage can or bin, add some sand to the bottom of it. The sand not only weighs the can down, making those unfortunate spills less likely, but it keeps your tools sharp and protects them from rust. Mix some oil in the sand and it works even better!
  2. Store and Sit. A storage bench doubles as—storage and a bench! If you are in need of a little more storage space for smaller items you want to keep around the yard, add a storage bench to your garden, backyard or lawn. It’s an inconspicuous way of storing your tools while adding value to your outdoor space.
  3. Dry and Drain to Prevent Rust. Make sure your tools are clean and dry when you store them to prevent rusting over time. You might want to condition them with a rust protectant for extra help. To prevent your lawnmower from rusting in storage, add some fuel stabilizer to a full tank of new fuel. Run the lawnmower for a couple of minutes to make sure it circulates and the job gets done!
  4. Properly Store Your Hose. Storing your hose can be an unruly process. Luckily, we have some tips to store your hose properly! First, it’s best to keep your hose off the floor, so use hooks or brackets to hang it. Next, make sure the hose is free of kinks. Lastly, leftover water in the hose can freeze in the wintertime, damaging it, so be sure to drain the hose thoroughly before packing it away.
  5. Create a Hanging Garden Tool Organizer. You can buy a premade hanging garden tool organizer or create your own! Repurpose a wooden pallet or a pegboard to hang your smaller tools on the wall. It’s a great way to keep your tools organized and within reach.

Follow these steps and you’ll be able to easily pick up where you left off once warmer weather rolls back around! If you need a safe place to store your gardening tools during the long winter months or more storage space, contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage!


Your 10 Point College Move-In Checklist

College move-in day can be overwhelming, to say the least. New faces, new places and emotional farewells are a lot to handle; add in the actual moving-in part and things can quickly descend into chaos. Unfortunately, you can’t just snap your fingers to magically unpack and neatly organize your belongings, but you can make the entire process a lot easier! We’ve prepared a checklist of 10 tips for a less stressful move-in this August!

  1. Time it Right. Find out when your roommate is planning on moving in and schedule around them. If you end up there at the same time, odds are there will be way too much going. Plus, space-wise, dorm rooms tend not accommodate multiple family members and dozens of boxes packed to the brim!
  2. Pack a Bag of Essentials. Getting ready to go to bed after a long first day will be a lot harder if you can’t find your toothbrush and have to rummage through everything for your favorite pajamas. Just in case you don’t get to unpack and organize everything that day, pack a small bag of your bedtime essentials!
  3. Refuel. Moving in is hard work! Make sure to pack some water and snacks for a quick break to refuel before heading back to the car to get the second half of your stuff.
  4. Dress for the Occasion. It’s your first day at college and you want to dress to impress, that’s understandable! When picking out your outfit, remember that moving-in is a lot of physical work. You might want to pick out something more comfortable rather than an outfit that will limit your move-in day prowess!
  5. Scrub it Down. It’s hard to look at your bare room and think that someone else lived there a whole year before you. That being said, you might want to clean it before you settle in. Even if your college says they cleaned it before you arrived, it doesn’t hurt to take a second sweep!
  6. Check What’s Allowed. Many colleges have restrictions as to what you can and cannot bring into the dorms. Familiarize yourself so you don’t waste car space with items that are only going to be confiscated or hitching a ride back home with mom and dad.
  7. Prioritize. Have a game plan when you walk into your dorm room. It helps to fully unpack one part of your room before moving on to the next part. Do the important things first, like setting up your bed. Leave the decorating for last, no matter how much your bland walls are driving you crazy!
  8. Buy Things There. One way to increase car space is to wait to buy bigger items once you are there. If there are stores that carry those essentials closer to school, pick them up once you have everything else in your dorm room squared away.
  9. Be Organized. Pack smart! How you pack makes all the difference when it comes time to unpack. Put loose items in bigger boxes or containers for easier transport. Make sure you don’t lose anything in the transfer by labeling your things with your last name and room number. Lastly, keep related items together and label each box by its type.
  10. Don’t Overpack. Don’t make the rookie mistake of packing up your entire room, plus more, and expecting it all to fit in your significantly smaller, shared dorm room. You’ll soon find that you didn’t need half the things you brought, so do your research! Ask seasoned dormers, look up packing lists, and think critically about what you really need to bring.

Follow this move-in day checklist to make your transition to college a little easier! You’ll get into the swing of things and before you know it, it’ll be time to pack up and head home. When that time comes, contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to store all your college belongings for the summer!


How to Repurpose Sentimental Items You Just Can’t Throw Away

It can be hard to say goodbye to things that mean something special to you. We’ve all been there: Holding a frayed yet beloved old T-shirt over the trash while desperately trying to come up with a reason to keep it. Maybe the item belonged to a loved one or it reminds you of when your children were still little. Whatever the reason, it’s a struggle to let go. Luckily, we’ve compiled a couple of creative ways you can repurpose those sentimental items so you don’t have to get rid of them.

  1. T-Shirts and Baby Clothes . There are a lot of ways to breathe new life into your unwearable favorite T-shirts and baby clothes long outgrown. You can wrap them over a canvas or frame them to create a new wall hanging for your space. You can also transform them into pillowcases or craft a unique panel blanket for your bed or couch.
  2. Trophies. If an achievement warrants a trophy or an award, why would you want to forget it? Remove the figurines and attach them to jar tops or wine corks with super glue for fun looking containers or bottles. Love to read? Spray paint your trophies to create bookends or decorative pieces for your shelves. For a more functional option, you can also attach them to a flat piece of wood to make a wall-mounted coat rack! Lastly, you can frame the metals and nameplates on your trophies for a wall decoration that celebrates your achievements.
  3. Letters, Cards and Notes. All the letters, cards and notes from friends, family and loved ones you’ve received for holidays, birthdays and other special occasions can pile up over the years. If you are one to keep cards for sentimental reasons, make good use of your space and put them on display by framing them or preserving them in a scrapbook. You can also hole punch the corners and keep them on a ring to flip through when you are feeling nostalgic.
  4. Jewelry. If you have old jewelry you never wear, turn it into something new! Contact your local jeweler and find out if they can repurpose a single earring into a necklace or an old brooch into a bracelet. You can also use old jewelry to create art pieces that can be hung up in your home or repurpose them in a variety of other ways.
  5. Dishware and Pots. Not sure what to do with that broken or unused dishware and china? Make a mosaic with some craft cement or use them as flower planters or garden décor!

There you have it, a few creative ways to repurpose the items that mean the world to you! If you have more sentimental items that you can’t let go of, but want to keep just as they are, contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find a safe and secure place for your precious memories to live.


10 Items That Are Every Self-Sorage Lover’s Best Friend

Whether you love packing and organizing or find it absolutely dreadful, finding ways to easily store your possessions can be a daunting task when you don’t have the right tools. We’ve compiled a list of 10 must-haves that will make your life easier when storing your belongings.

  1. Permanent Marker or Label Maker. You won’t fully appreciate labeling all your boxes until you are faced with the nightmarish task of searching for one particular item in a sea of unmarked boxes and bins. Do yourself a favor and tag your boxes. You might find listing the specific items on the side of the box or color coding will further help you in your future quests.
  2. Dryer Sheets. Not only do they keep your stored items smelling fresh, but a few dryer sheets placed strategically in the corners of your storage unit keep insects at bay too. Replace the sheets about once a month and you’ll have a cruelty-free trick to keep those unwanted visitors from making a home of your storage unit.
  3. Furniture Covers. Protect your mattresses, couches, and tables against dust or damage with a cover. If you don’t have specific covers for certain furniture, a large sheet will do the trick.
  4. Clear Plastic Bins. If you can store your things in clear plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes, do it. They are more durable, reusable, stackable and sturdier, and best of all, see-through! But don’t throw out your marker just yet, it still helps to label. Here’s another pro-tip: When buying bins, get them all in the same size for easy stacking.
  5. Box Cutter. There is nothing worse than having to use dull scissors or—when desperate times call for desperate measures—your house key, to cut through tape, cardboard or string. You never know when you are going to need something especially sharp when storing, so you should always have a box cutter for those unexpected “I think I may have left my cell phone in one of those boxes” moments.
  6. Vacuum-Sealed Bags. If you are worried about storing clothes, bedding and other linens, vacuum-sealed bags can drastically reduce size while protecting your fabrics in an airtight seal. They’ll protect your old clothes for whenever the world decides they’ve come back in style. If you don’t want to spend the money on actual vacuum-sealed bags, you can learn how to D.I.Y. here.
  7. Bubble Wrap. Bubble wrap is an important item to have especially if you are storing delicate valuables. If you don’t have bubble wrap, you can wrap your more easily broken possessions in alternatives such as old T-shirts, newspapers or even paper towels. Avoid leaving gaps when stuffing the box to ensure everything stays secure and in place.
  8. Cardboard. Rather than throwing out old or damaged cardboard packing boxes, repurpose them! Plain ol’ cardboard has multiple nifty uses when it comes to storage. You can stick it in between photos to protect them from curling, on top of glass mirrors, or underneath heavier boxes to slide them short distances.
  9. Basic Cleaning Supplies. You might want to wipe down any dirt or grime on any appliances or electronics you plan on putting in storage. Storage units get pretty dusty after a while, so keeping some basic cleaning supplies like a broom or some paper towels for a quick cleanup when you visit stops the dust from piling up over time.
  10. Inventory App. It’s a smart idea to keep track of all the belongings you store in your unit because, let’s face it, you are bound to forget exactly what you decided to keep there. There are a variety of helpful and easy apps that will do the hard work for you! Instead of racking your brain trying to remember where or if something is tucked away in your storage unit, simply consult your app.

Get yourself these 10 must-haves and you’ll be more than well equipped to begin storing like a pro! Now all you have to do is contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to find the perfect place to store your things and get those must-have supplies like boxes and bubble wrap.