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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.


5 Ways to Enjoy the Summer of 2018 in Norwalk

Spring may be in the air, but summer is right around the corner! It’s time to look forward to warm evenings, barbeques, beach trips, and flip flops. Add a little extra fun to the season by attending one (or all!) of these events and make this summer one to remember!

  1. Scavenger Hunt  A collaborative effort by the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, and Stepping Stones Museum for Children, this June 3 scavenger hunt throughout Mathews Park will have you searching for mysterious symbols, architectural details, objects, and history on the exterior facades of all three buildings and inside the mansion. Find clues, solve riddles, and unlock the mysteries for the chance to win a prize! Kiddies six and up are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.
  2. The Norwalk Art Festival This June 23 and 24 festival has it all: juried fine art by 125 local and national artists, performing artists, a food court stocked with international cuisine, a mini print show and sale by the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, and much more! Bringing the kids? Jerry’s Artarama and the Norwalk Arts Commission will be hosting a free, hands-on art experience and there will also be a community mural project—stop by at 12:30 Saturday to sketch the mayor!
  3. Norwalk NICE Festival Experience the diverse culture and art of people around the globe at this festival, hosted by nonprofit organization, The Norwalk International Cultural Exchange (NICE). Held on July 7 (rain or shine), you’ll enjoy the music, food, art, and talent of dancers, musicians, food and craft vendors from a variety of cultures. So, bring your blankets and chairs (but leave your coolers and glass containers at home) and come down to Oyster Shell Park to support the global and local organizations that work to make the world a better place.
  4. SoNo Arts Festival The streets of South Norwalk will be bursting with over 100-juried artists, live bands, food vendors, and more the weekend of August 4. The local shops and restaurants even get into the spirit by offering special discounts. Bringing your little one? There will be plenty of free hands-on activities at the Children’s Art Playground and an annual puppet parade on Sunday!
  5. Annual Old-Fashioned Flea Market This free, Fairfield County Bank-sponsored, September 16 event is a Norwalk must—regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s something for everyone. Shop antiques, furniture, collectibles, jewelry, crafts, household items, clothing, toys, and a “white elephant” table of goodies starting at $1. In the mood to grab some grub? Check out the farm-to-table food, food trucks featuring international specials and demonstrations. All proceeds go to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, which will be hosting $5 mini tours!

Whether you live in Norwalk, Connecticut or will just be visiting the area, there’s always something fun to do this summer. You’ll need someplace to store all your new wares—or make some room among your old stuff. So, contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and get a head start on making the summer of 2018 your best yet!

6 Tips for Organizing the Perfect Wine Collection

Do you enjoy the bouquet of a classic glass of red? How about the oaky taste of a smooth white? You may have realized that your love of wine has transformed itself into a passion—and you into a collector! If you find your wine selection quickly outpacing your wine consumption, it may be time to create a system worthy of your beloved bottles. Follow these six tips and take the first step from oenophile to collector.

  1. Create rows based on wine type. If your collection has grown enough and you’re not committed to specific wines, this is a very easy (but very important) first step to organizing your wine. Separate your wines into reds, whites, and sparkling. Have an even vaster collection? Create a row for rosés and dessert wine too.
  2. Organize by grape variety. Once you group your wines based on type, you may realize just how unique each bottle is, even though they look alike. Access your favorite flavors and accommodate others’ preferences faster by grouping wines together based on their grape. Want a white? Easily find your riesling, moscato, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc. More of a red fan? Choose from your cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pino noir, or zinfandel with ease.
  3. Create custom tag labels. Wine should be stored on its side to avoid drying out the cork and prematurely aging it. Don’t waste time pulling each bottle out to read the label properly, create convenient custom tags with the wine’s type, vintage, winery name, and any other helpful descriptive information.
  4. Note drink-by dates. This isn’t a hard and fast date, like a gallon of milk. This is based on your personal preference. You may find that you prefer some wines when they’re young and vibrant, and others when they’ve matured. Generally speaking, white wines are best enjoyed within two years of their vintage to preserve their fruitiness, whereas reds containing more tannin (a natural but bitter preservative) may need years to mellow out. There are always exceptions to these rules, like white rieslings and chardonnays that become more complex over time, and reds that contain fewer tannins. Do your research before popping that cork or putting it into long-term storage.
  5. Group by pairing. Want to organize outside the box? Create your system based on ideal food pairings. Enjoying a meal of feta, pine nut salad and lobster with some Key lime pie for dessert? Walk straight to your sauvignon blanc section. Are lamb and mushrooms with a crème brûlée finish on the menu? Find your perfect pinot noir for that. The possibilities are as endless as your menus!
  6. Create and maintain an inventory system. You’ve put in all this hard work to create your ideal wine collection—keep proper track of it! Whether you download an app specifically designed to inventory wine or prefer the simple tracking of an Excel file, keep your inventory up to date. This should include region, brand, varietal, vintage, price, and quantity.

Now you know how to organize your robust wine collection—but where do you store it? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to give your wine the ideal climate-controlled environment to preserve taste—and free up space!