Finding that extra space through self storage
We'd all love to have unlimited space to store our personal belongings and professional items, but the truth is that sometimes it just doesn't exist in our homes and places of business. But does that mean that all hope is lost and we should just toss everything that we aren't going to need right this second?
Of course not! Fortunately, there are ways to maximize the space you do have and a means to store the excess and overflow – in a personal self-storage unit.
Regardless of whether your needs relate to your home or business, here are some tips on de-cluttering and organizing your existing spaces and a bit more on how to settle on the self-storage unit that will work for you.
First Things First: Kick Clutter to the Curb
Even the most vigilant organizers and cleaners recognize how "things" can accumulate in our homes and businesses despite our best efforts. With the busy lives we lead, we barely have sufficient time for ourselves and our families, let alone time to keep our stuff straight.
But that's just it: by prioritizing organizing and keeping things in order, the rest of our lives follow suit.
Think about how much time is wasted hunting things down and how much money we spend on buying items we already own (we know we bought them before, we just can't find them when we need them!). Plus, the mental stress that sneaks up by living in chaos eventually takes its toll.
So, to put clutter in its place – and out of your place – consider these de-cluttering guidelines:
- Set aside items of clothing that are clearly out of fashion or of which you have too many multiples (arguably qualifying for both categories: how many pairs of jhorts or jean jackets does one person need?).
- Pull out pieces you have not worn in 5 years and those you will never wear again (embrace the two kids you've had since your size 4 college days when you were running 10 miles a day on the track team...it's time to let go). This also includes formal wear and bridesmaid's gowns.
- About those two kids: remove things they have outgrown and those you cannot hand down to the next kid in line.
Toys & Furniture:
- Once your children outgrow playing with dolls and stuffed animals (that we all know collect dust and take up tons of space in a room), donate them to charity or younger relatives.
- Remove unused pieces of furniture, like cribs, side tables and chairs that are space-hogs but provide little in the way of storage options.
Documents & Receipts:
- Become a filing fanatic: create folders and files for bills and receipts, clearly label them and sort them into their places as soon as possible.
- After three years (for IRS purposes), scan documents and shred them.
For everything that you haven't donated to charity, given away to friends and family members, recycled or trashed, rather than allowing it to pile up in your house, store it off-site in a self-storage unit.
Supplemental Storage Solutions
There are many things in life that we need to keep/want to hold onto but we just don't have the room within the four walls of our house or business. For that, we need a supplemental storage unit so that things are within our reach without being underfoot.
For example, what parent wants to part with their child's receiving blanket, or christening gown, or first pair of tennis shoes or ballet slippers? What about those boxes of photo albums and old books/magazines that you flip through once every couple of years or so?
In addition to long-term storage of items with sentimental value, folks often find themselves in need of a self-storage unit for short-term uses like:
- When moving your family or relocating a business
- During remodeling, redecorating or other construction projects in the home or business
- Storing seasonal items like patio furniture, grills, pool accessories, outdoor sports equipment and "toys" like jet skis, ATVs or surf boards
- Storing excess inventory before a holiday season at your place of business
- Storing holiday decorations or winter clothes and other temperature-sensitive items you either cannot or do not want to store in a garage or attic
In terms of what you should look for when selecting the self-storage unit that will work best for you, make sure you consider:
- Size: Don't pay for space you don't use and don't jam everything into the space to the point that you can't navigate inside and access what you need.
- Climate Control: Extreme temperatures and humidity can cause damage to items in regular storage. Climate Control storage maintains a temperature of 55 – 80° with central heating and air conditioning and is a good option if you are storing items that are difficult to replace.
- Security: This includes the physical security of the premises as well as insurance on your property.
- Arrangement: Make sure everything you store is noted in an "Inventory" list that you keep with you, clearly marked and labeled, and placed within reach in the unit.
What other ways have you found to cut down on clutter or organize your self-storage unit?