The holiday season is upon us! With so much going on this time of year, it can be easy to put off decorating the outside of your home. It may seem like a daunting task, but with a few tricks up your sleeve, decking out your home can be an exciting tradition you look forward to every year. We’ve created a guide to outdoor holiday decorating that will make it easier to have the most-festive house on the street.
- Out with the Old! Before you start, get rid of any decorations that are broken or not functioning properly. You are better off tossing them beforehand so you don’t accidentally use them up or put them back in storage for yet another year. Are only one or two bulbs causing a problem? Invest in a Christmas light tester, they not only tests bulbs, they fix them too, saving entire strands of lights!
- Save Some Money. Including lights in your outdoor holiday display can leave you with a sky-high electricity bill at the end of the month. To keep it in check, purchase a timer that automatically turns them on and off at selected times. Consider LED lights, which last longer and are more energy efficient than traditional ones. Battery-operated lights are also a great alternative.
- Minimize Damage. Wreaths can be hard to hang without damaging your door or using an unsightly hook that ruins the aesthetic. Rather than attaching it to the front of your door, hang your wreath discreetly and with minimal damage from the top. Just open your door, drill a small screw on top, flush enough so your door will still close. Then simply tie fishing line from the screw to your wreath on the other end. With the fishing line and screw out of sight, your wreath will look as if it is effortlessly floating! Save more than your door: Hang lights and garland on columns, poles, railings and fences with zip ties that can easily be removed at the end of the holiday season.
- Consider Outlets. Make sure to locate your outdoor outlets before you put any lights or other decorations up. Measure distances and the length of your lights to gauge if an extension cord is needed. If you have areas of your house that cannot be reached, try using battery-operated lights to add to some holiday cheer.
- Cheat a Little. If all of this still seems too much but you still want your home to embody the holiday spirit, there is something made just for you! Easy-to-install light projectors cast colors, patterns and shapes wherever you aim them on your home. They’re an affordable and hassle-free way to “decorate” your home for the holidays.
Now that you’ve learned some new outdoor decorating tricks, make sure you keep your holiday decorations safe and in good condition after you to take them down. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and find the perfect place for all your holiday decorations today!
Outdoor furniture is an investment that beautifies your space, creates room for entertainment, and makes your own corner of the great outdoors feel more like home. With the harsh winter approaching, it’s time to protect your pieces from the elements and tuck them away for the season. We’ve compiled five tips to help you properly store your outdoor furniture so it looks its best when it comes time to move the party back outside!
- Wash Your Cushions. Make sure to wash your furniture cushions before you put them into storage. This will kill any mold and mildew before they can worsen when packed away. Dust off and vacuum dirt and pests before putting cushions in the washing machine. If your covers aren’t removable, scrub them by hand instead. If you use bleach to kill mildew, wear plastic gloves and read the manufacturer’s instructions on the tag to avoid damaging your cushions (and your hands).
- Clean According to the Type. Outdoor furniture is made of a variety of materials, so remember to clean accordingly. Most materials, like metal and plastic, can be thoroughly cleaned with a homemade soap-and-water solution. Clean glass furniture simply with glass cleaner. To clean wicker furniture, brush it with a water-and-bleach solution before rinsing with water. Though they are sometimes more efficient, be wary of using pressure washers to expedite your cleaning. They may actually do more damage to your furniture, especially pieces made of weaker materials like wicker.
- Leave Them to Dry. It’s important to make sure your furniture is dry before storing. Leftover moisture and dirt can cause mildew to grow over time. To help with the drying process, don’t fully drench your wicker and wood items. They tend to absorb water, making it harder for them to dry completely.
- Time for a Tune-Up! You might want to throw a fresh coat of paint or a protective finish or wax on your outdoor furniture so it’ll look as good as new when you take it out again. For any folding tables, chairs or umbrellas, lubricate the frames’ moving joints to keep them working properly.
- Cover and Stack. Once you’re ready to move your furniture inside for the winter, stack your chairs and tables to make good use of your space. Finally, cover your furniture with a tarp or blanket to protect from dust and moisture.
Now that you know how to properly store your outdoor furniture during the winter season, you need a spacious and safe place to do so. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to find the perfect spot for your outdoor furniture until it’s time to break it out again for spring!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
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!
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!