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8 Ways to Stop Your Home’s Toy Invasion

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.


How To Beat The Top Score In Video Game Storage

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.


8 PACKING HACKS FOR THE PERFECT VACATION

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.