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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.

5 Creative Ways to Wrap Holiday Gifts

There are so many reasons to love the holiday season. The cheerful spirit in the air, spending time with loved ones, and the joy of exchanging thoughtful gifts with friends and family make for fun times and great memories. This season, make your gifts stand out from under the tree with these five creative ways to spruce up your holiday giftwrapping.

  1. A Sweet Surprise. Attach treats like holiday cookies and candy canes to your presents to make gift giving extra sweet! Use customized holiday cookies as nametags or pinch candy packets in the center and secure with a string for a bow that can be eaten.
  2. It’s for You! Creatively label your gifts in a more personal way. Spell out your recipient’s name in letter game tiles and glue them together or use paint samples for a colorful nametag. You can also attach your favorite picture of you two to the front of the present with thin string or ribbon.
  3. Bring It to Life. A 3-D feature can add character to your overall presentation. Small flower arrangements, plant sprigs, Christmas ornaments, small wreaths, and bells make the perfect accent. Tie smaller gifts to the backs of stuffed toys, plastic animals, or toy cars to create the illusion that a caravan is transporting the present.
  4. Customize Your Paper. Not impressed by the wrapping paper at the store? Make your own! Wrap your gifts in white or brown butcher paper and customize with illustrations, painted designs, ink stamps, stickers or handwritten messages of holiday wishes. Use black paper and white chalk for a trendy blackboard look.
  5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! There are many things lying around your house you can repurpose as wrapping paper. Use old sheet music, the comic sections of your local newspaper, maps, or last year’s holiday cards. Add some ribbon to tie the look together and you’ll have an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and uniquely wrapped present.

Now that you know five new tips to boost your giftwrapping abilities, you need a place to keep your supplies once the holiday season ends. Store all your wrapping accessories at Secure Self Storage until it’s time to deck the halls next year!

5 Tips for Outdoor Holiday Decorating

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!