A life filled with children is a great adventure full of love and memories, but there are two days that shine a little brighter for many parents: The day they’re born and the day they finally move out. Whether your child started the transition gradually by going away to university first or just made the big move all at once, a home without kids takes some acclimating to. How much should you cook for dinner? Who’s going to take the garbage out? And, most importantly, what are you going to do with all that extra space? If you can’t answer this last one because your kids are gone, but their stuff isn’t, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Here are five reasons you should give their stuff an eviction notice:
- Clutter = Stress
Forget “a messy house is a happy house;” a messy house is a chaotic house. When you have a home full of kids, it’s difficult to wrangle all the laundry, dishes, homework, sports equipment, and general mess that comes with the package. Now that yours are grown and gone, you can finally restore order to your home and life. That includes all of the stuff they managed to leave behind when they moved out. Declutter your house and destress your life.
- You Don’t Need a “Shrine” Room
Many parents of adult children leave their childhood bedrooms the way they left it, complete with outdated posters on the wall and unwanted clothes in unused dressers. Take that square footage potential and do something for yourself with it. Whether you’ve always wanted a home office, gym, or hobby room, use that space to enrich your life. . . and maybe add a daybed for when your kids want to visit.
- Your House Shouldn’t Be Their Junk Closet
While it’s normal to get sentimental about your kids’ belongings because it reminds you of them, that doesn’t mean you have to store their grade seven math book or that guitar they never learned to play. Ask your kids to go through their old stuff and donate or throw out anything they’re not overly attached to or need any longer.
- It Will Help Them Become More Independent
Your kids may have technically moved out, but if they still have their old room and things to go back to whenever they want, they’re using you as a safety net. Obviously, it’s important for them to know they’ll always have a place in your home if they need it, but removing that rather large safety net gives them the push they need to work harder to make it on their own.
- It’s Time to Downsize Your Home
A four-bedroom with two baths and a huge backyard made a lot of sense when you had children who needed their own rooms and a safe place to play, but is it really necessary when it’s just you on your own or you and your partner? Not only are you holding on to unused space, but you’re also holding on to unnecessary property taxes and upkeep expenses and efforts. Moving to a smaller home or retirement community will free up a large home for a young family—and other things you can do with your money.
Now you understand the possibilities of a truly empty nest, but your kids don’t have space for their old stuff and you don’t have the heart to throw it out. So, what do you do? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a safe, secure, climate-controlled home for their belongings that isn’t your home.
One of the best things about owning a home is that you never run out of storage space. No room in the main part of your house or the garage or basement? That’s OK, the attic is the perfect out-of-the-way place to keep things, right? Not necessarily. While there are some things you can safely store in your attic, these five items should never be among them:
- Anything with Fabric
If you want your wedding gown to get a second life when your daughter walks down the aisle or to see your future grandkids in perfectly preserved baby clothes, skip attic storage— where they’re susceptible to water damage, heat, and moths—at all costs. Leather furniture and clothing should also be avoided, as they can crack and discolor over time.
- Documents, Artwork, and Books
If you’re storing important documents and artwork or saving books, magazines, and newspapers for posterity, the attic is the best place to destroy them. These sensitive items are all negatively affected by heat, light, and humidity. This can cause discoloration and mildew and may result in exposure to moths and silverfish who want to make a meal out of them.
- Wood Furniture
Keep your great grandmother’s antique armoire in pristine condition by keeping it away from your attic. The humidity and heat in the confined space can cause wood to crack and expand and leaves it vulnerable to mold and mildew.
- Unused Electronics
Maybe you’re a collector of computer generations, perhaps you’ve got the live series finale of M.A.S.H., complete with original commercials, on VHS and you can’t give up your VCR, or maybe you just don’t like getting rid of electronics—either way, you need to store them all in a climate-controlled space not affected by heat and humidity, unlike your attic.
Whether it’s paint for your house’s exterior, paint for your bedroom and living room, or paint for that masterpiece you’ve been working on, it needs to be stored properly. Changes in your attic’s temperature throughout the year can actually change the paint’s consistency and cause it to dry out quickly.
Now you know there are things you can’t store in your attic, so where can you store them? At a convenient and affordable storage facility. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for the ideal climate-controlled storage solution for these common but important items.
Whether it’s dolls, action figures, stuffed animals, or interactive games, there will always be a new children’s toy kids want and old ones they refuse to give up. Before you know it, your house starts looking like a disorganized toy store stockroom. Before you sacrifice any more of your home’s square footage, consider these eight toy storage hacks.
- Let Them Bunk with Their Toys- Did your kids used to share bunk beds before living in separate rooms? Don’t let that bottom bunk space go to waste! Remove the bed and use that real estate for a desk and toy storage. Not only will it help keep the room organized, but it will also open up space elsewhere.
- Cubbies Aren’t Just for School- Cubbies are a practical and simple way to keep toys organized and out of the way. You can purchase a full cubby or individual ones you can stack, based on your needs. Go one step further: Instead of tossing toys in the cubbies, place them in labeled boxes, baskets, or crates first
- Keep Bath Toys from Making a Splash- Bath time is messy enough on its own without factoring in tub-time toys. Corral them with a simple curtain rod across the wall and use zip ties or similar to attach small, porous buckets that keep them within reach when it’s playtime, and out of the way when you need to take a shower.
- Drive Cars Up the Wall- Tired of slipping on a toy car every time you walk across the living room? Garage them when they’re not in use by attaching a magnetic knife rack to the wall that their metal frames will stick to easily.
- Peg Those Soft-Dart Guns- Let them show off every kid’s favorite soft-dart collection while keeping your house uncluttered and organized. A pegboard like the ones you use to hang tools in your garage is a space-saving and fun way to store them.
- Give Loose Toys the Boot (Treatment)- Shoe organizers are a very versatile storage solution. Whether it’s over the door, hanging in the closet, or freestanding, they’re a simple—and affordable—way to keep small toys off the floor.
- Stuff Your Own Bean Bag Chair- No kid’s room is complete without a comfy bean bag chair! Make their chair pull double-duty when you remove the stuffing and replace it with their stuffed animals. When they want to play, they can simply unzip the bag and grab their favorite toys. Time to clean up? Another quick zip and you’d never even know they were there.
- Play the Frame Game- Do your children love a good board game night? Put them on display! Purchase inexpensive picture frames to keep the boards in and store the pieces and cards somewhere out of the way. Not only will this help keep your house free from clutter, but it’s also a unique decorating choice.
Now you know how to save your home from a complete toy takeover, but what do you do with the toys they don’t play with anymore but aren’t ready to part with? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a climate-controlled, secure and affordable home for their childhood favorites.
Over 162 million people in the U.S. own video game consoles—that’s half the entire U.S. population. Video games are no longer just for kids or serious gamers, they’re part of a $6.9 billion industry that keeps growing. With consoles costing hundreds and the average game costing $60, it’s important for any gamer—from the casual Mario Kart player to the Madden season ticketholder—to know the proper way to store games and equipment.
- To Display or to Disguise?
If you’re proud that your game collection ranges from Atari and Pong to a Playstation 4 and Kingdom Hearts III, you should give them the recognition they deserve and display them on a bookshelf, floating shelves, or in a game tower. If you’re looking for more of a low-key solution or have limited space, you can make use of covert storage options, like ottomans and coffee tables with hidden space, keep them in a drawer, or ditch the cases entirely and house them in a CD or DVD sleeve case.
- Make Them Comfortable
Just like most people, video games and consoles don’t like extreme temperatures. If you keep them somewhere that gets very hot, like that storage room by your furnace, you can easily fry and damage them. Conversely, if your game room is in the garage, the winter will be very rough on them. Try and house them someplace with a temperate atmosphere to ensure they keep working well.
- Keep an Eye Out for Critters
There are few things mice and other uninvited houseguests enjoy more than snacking on your cables and wires. Sure, you can easily replace some of the newer ones—for a price—but you’ll find yourself scouring eBay for the rarer ones. Play it safe and keep them away from edible things that attract mice, or in a plastic tote with a lid if necessary.
- Avoid Scratches
Once disc formats started replacing game cartridges, “scratch” became a four-letter word. While minor scratches may not affect your game’s playability, too many or ones too deep can mean game over. Try to store games in their original cases to stop scratches, but if you don’t have the original, keep them stored in CD or DVD sleeve cases with soft lining.
Now you know how to properly store your video games and consoles at home, but what do you do with the ones you don’t use often but can’t part with? You need long-term storage you can trust to keep them safe until Player 1 is ready to enter the game again. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage for a climate-controlled, secure and affordable home for your favorite past-time.
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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.