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Are you taking a break from the daily grind and getting ready for your next vacation like nearly 100 million Americans? You’ve set an Out of Office reminder on your work email and phone, asked a neighbor to bring in your mail and water your plants, and ensured your four-legged friends are taken care of, but what about your suitcase? Packing for vacations—especially ones that include flying—can be overwhelming and make people anxious, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are eight packing hacks to start your vacation right!

  1. Check it Off. Start simple and make a list of specific items to pack. Don’t say “shoes” when you need to bring sandals for the beach and hiking boots for that walking tour, “jewelry” when you want that necklace that complements your favorite dress, or “toiletries” when you have medications, contact lenses, and your favorite shampoo. Not only will itemized lists help ensure you don’t forget a thing, your anxiety will lessen with every checkmark you make!
  2. Do Your Airline Homework. Airline baggage policies are anything but simple and have also become more expensive. While some airlines charge $30 or more for a checked bag, other airlines comp your first one. Luggage dimensions and weight limits can also vary depending on the airline, and the last thing you want is to be stopped at the gate because your carry-on is too big or heavy. Save yourself some time (and money) and research your airline’s policies before you pack.
  3. Roll with It. If you’ve had trouble with space limitations and wrinkled clothes in the past, this hack is going to change the way you travel for good. Roll your clothes instead of folding them and you’ll open up much more room and avoid pesky wrinkles. Because, really, who wants to iron on vacation?
  4. Pack Outfits, Not Clothes. We’ve all been there: You pack X number of shirts and X number of bottoms, but then you start to get ready and realize none of them go together, or that one of your favorite pieces never gets worn. Avoid this by packing laid out outfits instead of just enough clothes to last the number of days you need. Your mood (and pictures) will thank you.
  5. Carry-On the Essentials. Anything of high value (like your tablet or expensive jewelry) and importance (like your medication and phone charger) should stay with you at all times to avoid getting lost, stolen, or broken. You should also pack an emergency outfit on the unpleasant off-chance your luggage lands in Texas when you land in Hawaii.
  6. Keep Things Dry. There’s nothing worse than opening up your suitcase to discover all of your clothes are damp. Whether the culprit is a loose cap on your body wash or the bathing suit you didn’t let hang dry long enough, avoid the irritation and discomfort by putting all liquids and any damp clothes in plastic bags first.
  7. Play Meteorologist. With today’s technology, there’s no reason to be caught off-guard by unexpected weather. While it’s still possible for a curveball from Mother Nature, prepare yourself as best you can by checking the forecast before you leave so you know just how much sunscreen you’ll need and whether to pack a poncho.
  8. Save Room for Souvenirs. A great vacation tends to end with an abundance of souvenirs to remember the good times and share with the people waiting for you at home. Make sure you have enough empty space between your carry-on and checked bag or you may have to pay to ship them.

Now that you know how to make the most of your space and pack your suitcases the optimal way, you’ll need a place to store your trusty traveling gear until your next vacation! Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a secure and affordable home for your favorite jet setting accessories.

7 Big Storage Ideas For Your Tiny Home

The cost of home ownership in the U.S. is soaring, forcing more and more people to continue to invest their money in rentals that don’t generate a return on that investment. But now a new alternative is sweeping the nation: Tiny homes. The average tiny house can be anywhere between 100- and 600-square-feet, while still providing the comforts of home. In addition to being less expensive, tiny homes also produce a much smaller carbon footprint and can often be attached to a trailer so you can relocate in a moment’s time!

More than half of Americans—and a whopping 63 percent of Millennials—would consider living in a tiny home. If you’re one of them, you may consider the lack of storage a negative factor in your decision, but we can help with that. Here are seven storage tips to get the most out of your tiny home and your budget!

  1. Underneath it All. Traditional houses may have basements, but tiny homes can have their own storage space beneath the floors. Ask your builder to create, or find a home with, a hidden compartment beneath a section of flooring. It may not be easily accessible on a regular basis, but it’s a great place to store seasonal clothes and recreational equipment.
  2. A Bed That Makes Itself. One of the easiest ways to increase your usable square footage without sacrificing comfort is to install a Murphy bed that can be quickly lifted and affixed to the wall. No wall space available? Invest in a trundle bed that can be easily stored underneath any slightly elevated area, like a table.
  3. Double-Duty Shelves. If you’re just using the top of your shelves, you’re missing out on 100 percent more storage. One of the best ways to maximize this area is to affix jar lids onto the bottom of shelves so the jars can simply be twisted on and off whenever you need.
  4. Step by Step. If your tiny home has a lofted area with stairs, make the stairs even more functional by adding storage to this empty space. If the stair design is open, add shelves or stackable cubbies underneath. Closed design? Turn each stair into a drawer.
  5. Pop-Up Dining. Unless your dining table also functions as desk or other oft used area, there’s no reason it should take up valuable space when you’re not eating. A fold-out table is ideal for saving space without being doomed to dine every meal on your couch.
  6. Aim High. While you might not consider adding perimeter shelving directly below the ceiling in a traditional house, tiny homes have their own set of rules. Whether it’s keepsakes, books, movies, or anything else that doesn’t require daily access, high shelves will expand your storage and make your space feel larger. Just don’t forget the step ladder!
  7. Hanging Around. The kitchen is a prime place to utilize a hanging storage system. From pots and pans to utensils, colanders, and cutting boards, don’t bog down your limited cabinet and drawer space when you can install a simple rack from which to hang all your kitchen tools…except for those steak knives.
    Now you know the best ways to maximize your tiny home’s space while minimizing your costs and carbon footprint. Still have some possessions you can’t fit but don’t want to part with? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a secure and affordable home for your favorite things.

Now you know the best ways to maximize your tiny home’s space while minimizing your costs and carbon footprint. Still have some possessions you can’t fit but don’t want to part with? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a secure and affordable home for your favorite things.

5 Ways To Determine If Your Antiques Are Valuable

Do you ever wonder if the painting you bought at that garage sale was worth more than its $20 price tag? Have you ever wondered about the value of those family antiques? Satisfy your curiosity and figure out if your antiques are valuable. Here’s how to start.

  1. Condition Is Key. The better condition your antique is in, the more it will be worth. But don’t attempt to improve or fix your antique if you do see some damage. You might ruin it or compromise the original integrity, depreciating its value. Leave the restoration to the professionals. Remember that moisture and temperature fluctuations can damage antiques, so maintain their condition by storing them somewhere safe, like a temperature controlled storage unit.
  2. How Rare Is It? Another way to determine if your antique is valuable is to consider the rarity of the object. Is it one of a kind? Are there countless others listed on eBay? The rarity of an antique is one of the most important factors in how much it will be worth.
  3. Do Your Research. In order to get a better grasp on how much your antique could be worth, it pays to do your homework (literally). Find out the history behind the object you are trying to appraise by checking out an online database or hitting the library. You can also reach out to an expert and compare what similar items sold for.
  4. Look for Signatures. Find out more about your antique by thoroughly checking for any marks or signatures, especially on dishware, paintings and furniture. Marks or signatures can give you more information as to who made it and where it’s from. If you can’t figure it out on your own or it’s illegible, a professional appraiser will know how to research the mark.
  5. Find a Trusted Appraiser. Once you have compiled enough evidence that you have something valuable on your hands, consider calling an appraiser to give you a more precise estimate before selling it. To find a certified appraiser, visit an antique store or ask a bank manager or estate attorney to refer you to a good one. If you’re unable to find one in-person, try a reputable site, like The Appraisers Association of America. Just remember, while you might have an idea of how much your antique is worth, it all comes down to how much a buyer will pay for it.

Keep your antiques in top shape—and in line for potentially top dollar: Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to find a temperature-controlled place for all your antiques and valuables.

5 Small Home Improvements That Will Transform Your Home

When it comes to beautifying your home, it can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or undergo a time-consuming renovation to redo your space. These five low-maintenance home improvement projects will make a big difference in the overall look of your room and have people raving about the space!

  1. Paint a Little. You don’t have to repaint your entire room in order to see a difference. Over time, moldings, ceilings and doors fall victim to dust, yellowing, scuffs, spots and stains. Freshen up your space by repainting these areas as well as any areas on your walls that need some retouching.
  2. Try Wall Trims. If you don’t have them already, wall trims are a simple way to instantly add style to any room. The best part is crown moldings, door casings, and baseboards are easy to install.
  3. Make Some Updates. Aged light fixtures, faucets and knobs can really drag your space back a few decades. Invest in some more modern options to bring your room back to life. Don’t forget to upgrade your light switch plates too!
  4. Lay a Rug. An area rug can really enhance and add character to your space. Consider using an area rug as a focal point, a color accent, or a piece to tie the room together. Not only does a rug look nice, but it feels nice too.
  5. Stain Your Wood. Staining your wood furniture, railings, stairs, wall trim or even ceiling fan a darker color can add some sophistication to your room. This project might take a few days until the stain has properly dried, but the wait is well worth it.

In five easy and simple ways, you can drastically improve the look of your home. To make sure your newly transformed space is looking its best, keep it free of clutter and unnecessary items by contacting the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage. They’ll help you find the perfect place for all your things today!

7 Ways to Keep Your Organization Resolution

At the start of every year, we make a list of resolutions to improve certain areas of our lives. It’s a great idea in theory, but in reality, most of us end up ditching our resolutions a few weeks after all the New Year’s excitement has faded. If one of your resolutions is to be more organized, we’ve made a list of seven ways to help you keep the momentum going for the entire year.

  1. Start by Decluttering. Between the holidays and the sales, we often end up with a lot of new things after the holiday season. Combat the clutter by getting rid of one old item for every new one you add.
  2. Put It Away Right Away. Whenever you take something out, make it a habit to put it back where it belongs as soon as you’re finished. This might sound obvious, but it’s amazing how quickly things pile up. At the end of the day, one big mess is harder to clean up than separate smaller ones.
  3. Have a Place for Everything. Assign a place for all your belongings. Even if it is something you usually keep out, like remotes, magazines or your tablet, mentally assign it a certain spot on your table or counter to keep life more organized and tidy. And remember, having a miscellaneous junk drawer or corner in your house will not do you any favors!
  4. Label It. If you have a hard time assigning things a particular spot, try using labels to motivate you to put things where they belong. Stick them on bins, drawers or shelves and make your labels as specific as you need to.
  5. Allot Time. With a busy schedule, it can be hard to find time to clean or organize your space. Try setting aside at least ten minutes a day to organize a specific area in your home that needs a little TLC.
  6. Partner Up. It always helps to have someone alongside you when you are trying to achieve a goal. Find a partner to join you on your quest for organization. If you live with others, share your organization goals so you can transform your space together.
  7. Practice Makes Perfect. Resolutions are hard to keep but give yourself a grace period. If you don’t stick to a goal you’ve set, start again! It takes awhile to maintain good habits and develop organizational skills; but in order to improve, you need to stick with it.

Put these seven tips into practice and you’re guaranteed to have the most organized year of your life! If you are in need of a place to put some of your belongings once you get into the swing of things, contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find the perfect place for all your things.