With the advent of cultural phenomenons like minimalism and Marie Kondo, tidying up has become a joyful experience. When you create order and unity in your surroundings, inner calm tends to follow.
Are you on a cleaning kick yourself? Well, self-storage units are perfect solutions for opening up space in your home. Whether you’re moving, downsizing or purging, you can tuck away cherished possessions in a safe and secure facility like U•STORE•IT.
And just like you would in your home, you’ll want to keep your storage unit spick and span. Rather than tossing everything in garbage bags, be smart about how you organize your belongings. With that in mind, we’re here to spark a little joy in your life with our top 10 tips for maximizing storage space.
- Part with the excess
Do you really need that third TV? And when was the last time you went skiing? Take a moment to reflect and decide what you actually need to store. Prioritize sentimental and frequently used items—sell or donate the rest.
- Tally up what you’ve got
Take photos, draw a map, write up a list: However best suits you, keep track of everything you’re storing. If you forget where your baseball card collection ended up, you can check your handy inventory.
- Put it on a shelf
Free up valuable floor space with sturdy shelving along your walls. It’ll be easier to scan your possessions at a glance, while also making room for bigger ticket items.
- Think inside the box
Bags and totes are flimsy and difficult to stack. Instead, choose durable boxes and bins in a uniform size, so you can neatly place them on top of one another. We’ve got a variety of packing supplies to help you in that department.
- Give everything a home
Put electronics on the same shelf, file documents in one cabinet and place antiques in a designated container. When you group similar items, you can track them down much faster.
- Label, label, label
What’s in that box? Save time wondering and digging with a smart labeling system. Colour-code and write in large, clear lettering—you’ll find what you need in a snap.
- Free the furniture
When you stack tables, desks and chairs, you can cause wear and tear over time. So, take them apart if you can. Arrange the disassembled pieces flat or vertically to maximize space.
- Play a little Tetris
Packing can be fun, right? Treat suitcases and dressers like Russian dolls by placing smaller items inside large containers. Roll your clothes into compact cylinders, and vacuum seal winter coats to shrink them down. Fill small gaps with posters, pictures or mirrors.
- Pave a path
Pack your storage unit from back to front, focusing on the walls first and moving outward. Create a spacious aisle, so you can move freely and access the items you need.
- Stack it to the sky
Place containers on top of one another, from heaviest to lightest. Prevent hazards by leaving enough clearance from the ceiling and vents.
Get storage savvy with U•STORE•IT
Are you inspired to go on your own cleaning spree yet? Maximizing storage space allows you to pack your possessions right the first time, so you can feel cool, calm and collected every time you go inside your unit.
If you’re on the hunt for a modern and clean place to stash your goods, our storage facilities in Edmonton, St. Albert and Red Deer boast spacious units, 24-hour surveillance, climate-controlled bays, and helpful staff.
Finding a new home is an exciting time. From redecorating with fresh fashions to exploring new neighbourhood spots, starting over in a different place can be inspiring. But, it can also be quite stressful. All the planning, packing and change is enough to overwhelm anyone.
Before the big day arrives, write up a moving checklist with all the to-dos you need to accomplish. Whether it’s sorting through a pile of old clothes or making dreaded phone calls, the earlier you cross tasks off your list, the better you’ll feel.
To boost your motivation, we’ve rounded up our top nine moving tips. Follow our advice, and you’ll be well on your way to a smooth and seamless start in your new home.
Two months before the move
- Find the right moving company.
Spare your friends and family the headache and search for accredited movers in your city. Vet a variety of reviews on Google, Better Business Bureau and Facebook. Then, get written quotes from at least three companies. Ask plenty of questions: Can they provide a breakdown of costs? How many workers will be present? Do they offer moving insurance? Once you’ve picked the best team for the job, get confirmation in writing.
- Sell, donate or store unneeded items.
Now is the perfect time to start fresh, especially if your new home is much smaller or larger than your old space. Put that old couch up for sale on Facebook Marketplace, donate unwanted clothes to Goodwill and rent a storage unit for any oversized sporting equipment or cherished antiques you need to stow away.
- Research your neighbourhood.
Is your new community in a different part of town, or in a whole other city? Ease your jitters by looking up malls, banks, grocery stores, doctors and dentists in your area. If you can, take a stroll around the block to familiarize yourself with your surroundings.
One month before the move
- Buy packing supplies.
Stock up on a variety of boxes, tape, box cutters, labels, and markers. At U•STORE•IT, we offer specialty packing supplies, such as moving blankets and dish-guard kits, to protect your belongings. To avoid any surprises on the big day, buy more boxes than you think you’ll need.
- Change your address.
Share your new details with your employer, insurance company, bank and magazine subscriptions. Visit your local registry to update your license and vehicle registration. If you’re worried about missing important letters, sign up for mail forwarding with Canada Post.
- Start packing.
Begin with infrequently used odds and ends, like Christmas decorations or relics from the attic and basement. Label and colour-code boxes with the name of the room where they belong, and then create an inventory to keep track of everything.
One to two weeks before the move
- Switch over your utilities.
Let the gas, electric, water, internet and cable companies know you’ll be moving. They can help you schedule shut-offs at your old place and set up utilities at your new home. Your phone bill will thank you for the wifi connection later.
- Keep packing.
Complete a little bit every day, focusing on one room at a time. Be sure to pack a separate box for valuables, jewelry and important documents, so you can safely move it yourself. Have each family member stock a suitcase for essentials, like clothes, toiletries and snacks, to tide you over for the first few days after the move.
- Tidy up your space.
Ace your final walk-through so you can pocket that security deposit. As you pack up furniture, dust, vacuum the rug, mop the floors and scrub out the oven. If your fridge and freezer are coming with you, be sure to unplug them at least 24 hours before the move to allow them to defrost.
Shake off moving stress with U•STORE•IT
Once moving day is here, give yourself a pat on the back. You survived a big change and you’re ready to welcome a wonderful new phase in your life.
While you’re packing, consider renting a self-storage unit to keep your excess possessions organized. With convenient storage facilities in Edmonton, St. Albert and Red Deer, we offer spacious units, 24-hour surveillance, climate-controlled bays and helpful staff.
From fine china and figurines to carved oak and mid-century furnishings, every antique has a story to tell.
Do you own a family heirloom passed down through the generations? Or, have you snapped up a rare trinket while thrift shopping? No matter how you’ve found your antique furniture, these beloved treasures hold deep sentimental value, and can often carry high financial worth.
It’s vital to store your collectibles in a safe and protected place, especially if you’re looking to cut down on clutter in your home. At U•STORE•IT, we offer spacious and secure self-storage, along with specialized packing supplies to safeguard your prized possessions.
Once you’ve chosen the best storage unit for you, be sure to take the right steps to stow away your valuables. Read on for helpful tips to prep, clean and store your antique furniture to keep your possessions sparkling and shining for decades to come.
Dust off the cobwebs
Before you pack your antique furniture away, keep it looking fresh with a proper cleaning. Every collectible has unique care instructions, so research extensively before ever spraying it down with chemicals. Always read the package directions or consult an expert if you’re unsure how to proceed.
But, as a rule, antique collectors recommend you take these steps:
- Wipe down items like wood furniture with a soft, dry cloth to remove excess dust and grime. If that’s not doing the job, wax the wood with a natural polish, which prevents cracking and drying.
- Consider cleaning glazed porcelain and ceramics with isopropyl alcohol. However, steer clear of this chemical when wiping wood or painted glass, as it can strip the finish.
- Dust off delicate pieces with a paintbrush or moisture-free canned air. But, avoid the temptation to over-clean jewelry, which can lose its shine when scrubbed too often.
Break it down
Stacking chairs to the ceiling might sound like a clever storage solution, but you’re risking damage to your antique furniture if you go this route.
Wherever possible, you should disassemble pieces to prevent stress and damage on joints. Try these tips:
- Carefully dismantle removable pieces, such as legs, headboards, slats, shelves and drawers.
- Stay organized by labeling each part and creating a complete checklist.
- Take pictures to remind you how to put the furniture back together. If you should ever need to make an insurance claim, these photos will also come in handy as evidence.
Keep everything under wraps
When properly sealed and packed, antiques retain their beauty and value. Whether it’s a stately desk, ornate mirror or delicate doll, it’s essential to choose the correct material to protect your treasures.
Luckily, we offer a variety of storage supplies to preserve your vintage collectibles:
- Cover your antiques with protective paper pads to shield against dust, moisture and mildew.
- Add Saf-T-Pak to the edges and corners of mirrors and artwork. Store them horizontally to prevent them from falling over.
- Glass- and dish-guards will cushion your delicate pieces against chips and damage.
- Depending on the size of the antique, place it in one of our small, medium or large storage boxes. Arrange pieces closely enough together to maximum square footage while still allowing air flow through the space.
Protect your precious antiques at U•STORE•IT
Your antique furniture deserves a safe and happy home, one that will keep it looking as immaculate as the day you inherited it.
Once you’ve cleaned and packed your possessions, we’re eager to help you choose the right self-storage unit for your needs. Our modern and highly hygienic storage facilities in Edmonton, St. Albert and Red Deer come fully equipped with 24-hour surveillance, climate-controlled bays and expert staff.
Whether you’re an up-and-coming small business or a more established enterprise, the perfect office space is hard to come by.
Perhaps you’re working from home, with papers stacked to the ceiling—or you’re maxing out on square footage in your current shop. It can be challenging to find the right workplace, one where productivity, collaboration, and inspiration come naturally.
From documents and equipment to shipping and receiving, commercial storage spaces are convenient options for keeping your excess inventory organized. But, have you ever wondered if you could actually run your office from a storage unit? Well, we’re here to debunk any misconceptions and answer your questions on operating a business using a storage facility.
So, can you run a business inside a storage unit?
The answer is two-fold: While our facilities are great for storing your belongings, like files, machinery, merchandise, and furniture, you can’t kick back behind your desk and run your day-to-day operations in your storage space.
The ventilation and electrical systems are built to keep your important possessions safe and protected, rather than accommodate a body shop or a retail storefront.
But, there’s good news—you can still use our storage units to boost your business, grow capacity and encourage productivity.
Versatile commercial storage solutions
At U•STORE•IT, we offer an array of benefits for entrepreneurs who need a secure and spacious place to stow their valuable assets.
- 24-hour surveillance and gated facilities to safeguard your important inventory
- Climate-controlled bays to shield you against harsh weather
- Variety of storage unit sizes, from small (25 sq. ft.) to large (300 sq. ft.)
- Shelving, racks, and aisles to stack up your merch
- Affordable truck rentals, along with free dollies and hand trucks on site
- Storage insurance for as little as $7/month
- Parcel receiving for when you’re away (extra charge)
We offer flex-office business solutions in St. Albert
Still looking for a place to set up shop? Our state-of-the-art U•STORE•IT St. Albert facility has you covered.
From creative freelancers to online apparel stores, you’ll love the freedom and connectivity our flex offices provide. Plus, you’ll be steps away from your storage unit, where you can ship, manage and secure your inventory.
- Modern office space with electricity, desks, and chairs
- Reliab wifi for sending emails and managing digital platforms
- Professional conference rooms to host client meetings
- Cutting-edge tech: top-notch security, climate-controlled units, and in-floor heating
Keep business booming at U•STORE•IT
Managing your own venture is a monumental task. Our commercial storage solutions will help shoulder the weight, minimizing the chaos of clutter while protecting your valuables.
Ready to snatch up one of our storage units? We’re eager to help. Choose from one of our trusted U•STORE•IT Red Deer, St. Albert or Edmonton locations.
Learn How To Store Like A Pro
We’ve previously talked about the merits of self-storage and how picking the right self-storage unit can save you plenty of headaches and tears later when it comes to size. After you decide upon a self-storage unit that works for you and your items, what’s the most effective way of storing those items? It’s important to pack your items in a way that makes the most out of the unit you’ve got. Below are some ideas from your team at U•STORE•IT on how to maximize your space in a self-storage unit.
Use The Room
Most self-storage units tend to have high ceilings. Take advantage and stack your boxes vertically, making sure your boxes are sturdy enough that the bottom box can withstand the weight of other boxes stacked on top of it. Your heaviest items should stay at the bottom and your lightest boxes at the top. Pack them tightly to maximize the use of space and wrap up any fragile valuables in bubble wrap, paper or towers, and linens.
Keep an inventory and let that dictate how you move items. Larger items you won’t be using should be stored at the far back and items you predict you’ll go back to should be kept somewhere closer to the door. Place your items in a U leaving enough room between your boxes and packages to create aisles to walk through and make sure all your items are labeled so you know exactly what to look for and create easy access to your belongings. Using your inventory list to create a map plotting where your belongings are in the U. Tape this map to one of the front boxes for you to reference whenever you need to grab something from your storage unit. If you add anything to the unit, make sure you add it to your map.
There is a good chance that your items may not Tetris together inside your self-storage unit. There’s nothing wrong with that; it means you’ll have to be creative and think about how to best maximize the storage unit’s space to your advantage. Disassemble everything to reduce future moving headaches and stack chairs vertically seat by seat. Avoid creating any inaccessible pockets of space. If you have big furniture packed, you can use their hollow areas to create more space opportunities. You can store boxes inside of wardrobes, refrigerators, stoves and washing machines. Be sure to add this to your storage map and if at all possible, do not store anything in front of these items if you know you will need to access those boxes on a regular basis. Place your tables against the wall and use covers on all your items to keep them looking pristine.
How To Determine What Size Of Storage Unit You Need
The storage units we offer at U•STORE•IT are made to solve any challenge you have with storing the things most valuable to you. Self-storage units have housed it all: from furniture to boxes of archival materials to personal vehicles and more. So the question arises: what size storage space do I need? For the uninitiated, this can be challenging. Fortunately, when it comes to looking for the right self-storage unit size, we have a few tips to find the right storage solution for you.
1. Make An Inventory List
Before you undertake a task as monumental as packing a storage unit, it’s essential to make a list of all the items you’re planning on storing. Organize your items into two categories: items you intend to access on a regular basis and items that need to be sealed away as that will affect how you approach packing. Start visualizing your items in boxes, make notes as to whether you need to take apart anything. Disassembling furniture can help you pack units flat and could be the key decision in deciding what size unit to use. Make sure to label everything. Keeping labels on your belongings will make going back to your self-storage unit a whole lot easier.
2. Do Your Research
Size matters. It’s important to measure out the larger items you need to stow away in a self-storage unit. It’ll save you time by focusing on storage units that meet your needs. It can be difficult to assess how much space you will actually need, especially if you haven’t used storage units before. Once you’ve created an inventory and know just what’s going into storage, you can use that to better determine the size unit you need. We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of the equation by detailing the specs of our available storage units with our unit size guide. Our smallest one is a 5×5 unit, roughly equivalent to the size of a personal closet. Perfect if you were just looking to store some boxes or some other small household items. If you need something bigger to store your furniture, a 5×10 unit or a 10×10 unit would have enough space for the large appliances and furniture in your life. If that’s not enough, upgrade to the 10×30; it’s big enough to house the contents of a five-bedroom home.
3. Check Out The Unit In-Person
This step is one often overlooked by people but visiting the storage facility in person can immediately answer questions you have about what items can fit. U•STORE•IT offers tours of our facilities so that you can find the perfect size to fit your needs. Besides getting a good understanding of how to move your items in, you’ll also be able to make appropriate measurements and see if you will be able to take advantage of the unit’s height by stacking your boxes. Our staff is always on hand to answer any questions you have that can help make your storage experience a smooth one.
These steps can eliminate some of the challenges and risks involved in picking a self-storage unit with adequate space and get you much closer to having your belongings properly stored and accounted for.
Are Your Winter Clothes Hogging Too Much Space In Your Home?
Alberta winters are rough and demand plenty of you and your wardrobe. But as the snow melts and the weather warms, what is one to do with their bulky winter clothing? If you haven’t already, store your winter wardrobe elsewhere: in a storage closet in your home or in a self-storage unit. Here are a few pointers on how to make the most of winter storage with the help of a U•STORE•IT self-storage unit.
1. Clean, Clean, Clean
Should you clean your winter clothes before you stow them away for months? The answer is a definitive yes. Dirty clothes will only get harder to clean with time as stains and odours further settle in. That’s not all, you also have to make sure your clothes are dried out before they’re packed to avoid mould and mildew build up.
It’s a must to create an inventory of your items going into storage. Make sure to label everything and pack like items together so you’ll have an easy time finding them later. One benefit of cleaning your entire winter wardrobe now – they’ll be ready to wear when it’s time to take them out in the fall.
2. Store Effectively
One great way to save space is to pack your winter clothes in vacuum-sealed bags. Compressing your clothing with these bags is a handy way to maximize your storage space, not to mention you’ll know exactly what you have going into storage thanks to clear packaging. The key to using vacuum bags is to make sure your usage is strictly short term: less than six months is the recommended amount of time. The longer you keep clothing in vacuum bags, the longer you risk having the fabrics and materials damaged due to the lack of air present. If you know your items need to be stored longer than 6 months or you are storing natural fibres such as wool or fur clothing, or fluffy items such as down jackets or leather, we don’t recommend vacuum sealing. Instead, pack these items in boxes or breathable bags.
3. Climate Control
One major reason people elect to store their clothing outside of their home is to avoid sunlight damage and damp basement spaces. Clothes can become susceptible to mould, mildew or discolouration from simply sitting in damp spaces. When dealing with winter storage, it is recommended to use self-storage spaces with climate control – much like the ones U•STORE•IT offers – that work to reduce the risk of heat and moisture damage.
These tips can make a lasting difference in how you feel about your home and how your winter clothing takes up space during the spring and summer months.
Top Ways To Declutter
Nobody enjoys having to deal with clutter in their home. Clutter can keep you from relishing in a space that’s truly clean and it can make it hard to feel productive. We can all benefit from a proper decluttering in our homes – the less mess we have can make a big impact on reducing our overall stress. Here’s the lowdown on how to best organize your home with some decluttering tips.
1. Don’t Think, Just Clean
Start by cleaning your surfaces. Take everything residing on your desk or other similar surfaces off, wipe all of your flat surfaces down and remove dust buildup. Wipe all of your items and only return the most essential items. Removing excess clutter early on will help you define what you need to keep and what needs to leave your home. Start small and work your way up to the larger, more difficult piles taking up space in your life and home. For the non-essential items that you still need to access, organize them in a drawer, or decorative storage box that can be placed in an out of the way but accessible location.
2. Sort Everything You Have
Take your teeming piles of documents files, clothing, books, and other non-essential or needed items and sort through them, one pile at a time. Be merciless, we can’t stress this enough. If you can easily access it elsewhere or you don’t think you’ll be using it again, throw it out or donate the item. Once you’re left with smaller piles, designate them to a home. Put them in a basket hidden from sight or keep them tucked away in a box or a file cabinet. Sorting through everything is a great way to make an inventory of your belongings. It’s important to find homes for everything out of place – otherwise, they’ll be free to take up space elsewhere and clutter up your world.
3. Continually Purge
We tend to associate times of purging with seasonal changes like spring cleaning. The reality is we should be cleaning and purging on a consistent basis. Preventing build-up is essential to reducing clutter and that can be done by regularly taking your clothes and other items to a secondhand shop or clothing swap, slowing down purchases and giving away things that you no longer have a use for. The thought of having to purge and declutter your entire home can also be daunting! Start one room at a time, set a reminder in your calendar every two weeks to purge and organize your home and you’ll be surprised at just how many things you’ll be getting rid of.
4. Set Up Decluttering Systems
If you don’t use systems to immediately take care of clutter, it can grow in ways you won’t be able to control later. Clutter has a tendency to set in, so it’s important to devise systems to help keep it to a standstill. If they’re set up properly, these systems can help you purge clutter with ease. For instance, paperwork should be divided immediately into filing storage or shredded and recycled when you’ve gone through them so they don’t take up space elsewhere. Keep magazines and books out of sight if they’re not being read.
5. Integrate More Storage Options
More often than not, clutter is the result of a lack of space of storage to house them. Where are your items going? Where can they go? Create storage spaces like vertical wall shelves or racks that go up or use baskets and hooks to maximize your storage opportunities and make your home feel less cluttered. If possible, build cabinets that sink into your walls instead of stick out. Use those cabinets to build multiple compartments to organize and store items and keep your place looking clean.
Adding more storage to your home is not always possible. When you have items that are cluttering your space that you need to store but do not have room for, consider renting a storage unit. Clutter can wreak havoc in your everyday life, so taking a few of these tips to heart and working to eliminate clutter in your home will leave a big impact in your daily mood and help you save more time in the long run while allowing you to enjoy the space in your home.
Looking for more space to store your beloved belongings? Contact our experts at 780-469-7867 for a tour of our storage locations.