6 RV Storage Tips for Protecting and Storing Your Recreational Vehicles

A car pulling a camper trailer into the sunset.

Recreational vehicles like motorhomes, travel trailers, and campers set you free to experience vacation in a whole new way. The open road is like a blank page before you, just waiting for you to sketch out your family’s adventures. But when you’re not traveling, neither is your RV, and in most neighborhoods, there simply isn’t enough driveway space to park your vehicle until your next road trip. Some communities even have strict regulations against parking oversized vehicles in the street or in your driveway.

Rather than parking your vehicle where you shouldn’t, or in the grass next to your house, or in some other inconvenient location, consider a pair of creative alternatives. Outdoor RV storage gives you another RV parking option besides storing your camper, trailer, or motorhome on your own property. A secure RV lot should offer 24-hour monitored video security as well as a computerized gate access system to ensure only customers parking their vehicles gain access to the storage area. Just as conveinient but with even more benefits, indoor RV storage in California offers you a safe and secure place to park your RV with a roof overhead, keeping your vehicle in “garage-kept” condition.

A family on vacation inside their RV driving.

Vehicle self storage provides quite a few benefits, including:

• Convenient offsite storage, keeping your property clutter-free
• Locked and monitored security against theft and vandalism
• Protection from the elements, particularly rain, which can cause rust
• Protection against bird droppings, rodents, and other critters
• Locations accessible to major highways for your next road trip

Large motor home parked in the outdoors.

Here are a few RV storage tips to ensure your recreational vehicle is protected and stored properly:

  1. Know your RV’s dimensions. If you are seeking trailer storage, camper storage, or a place to park your motorhome, make sure you know the vehicle’s measurements so you can reserve the right spot.

  2. Ask about specialty offerings at the RV storage location. You may wish to park in an end spot or a pull-through spot, or you may have another special request. Simply inquire with the main office before your reserve your storage space to make sure your needs can be accommodated.

  3. Look into all the available security features. Before choosing your RV storage facility, make sure the RV parking lot or storage center offers video surveillance, locked and gated access, and passcode requirements.

  4. Avoid storing anything of value in your RV. Even with the added layers of security, it is still prudent to keep important documents and valuables in a safe or other protected location at your residence.

  5. Choose a month-to-month lease if you like to be spontaneous. You never know when your next road trip opportunity may appear! Give yourself an easier time with planning and logistics by selecting RV storage with a flexible monthly lease period. You can also reserve long term vehicle storage if any new vacations are currently off the table.

  6. Protect all of your recreational investments. If you find that you need a safe place for your other toys, consider indoor boat storage or a motorcycle storage unit for safety and convenience.

Keep your RV safe, clean, and ready to roll out for your next adventure by choosing a secure RV storage facility. For more information on vehicle storage, be sure to check out our state-of-the-art secure RV storage location and options.

8 Tips to Soothe Storage Concerns for a Growing Family

Happy family and their Labrador Retriever dog in the foreground.

Hand-me-down furniture and boxes of items amassed over the years unfold into the landscape of a couple’s first house together. Once moved in, you buy the rest of the furnishings you need, along with things reflecting your personal flavor in décor, and maybe even welcome a pet to make your house a home. As holidays and birthdays come and go, the possessions in the home continue to grow. And once a baby is on the way, your possessions seem to double in a mere matter of months.

From nursery furniture to baby clothes, a baby seat, highchair, swing, and countless baby-entertaining contraptions, plus countless other baby items, the initial storage concerns are set in motion. Add another child or two to the mix, and needing to move to a new house—or at the very least, buy a new car—becomes a very real possibility for many families.

A little girl holds her toys in a bin.

The good news is that some smart organization tips can help assuage storage concerns for a growing family. The sooner you tackle your family home storage projects, the sooner you’ll feel more comfortably at home in your own house. Here are eight family storage tips to get clutter under control for more organized living spaces.

  1. Make use of a toy box or a few attractive baskets. Store like toys in a basket for quick and easy cleanup. As one example, you can place all the baby toys in a canvas basket so they are always accessible for your little one, but also a snap to pick up when your son or daughter is ready for bedtime.

  2. Place baskets under end tables to store books. Keeping books in reach of little hands at all times can inspire kids to learn to love reading. Keeping a basket nested under an end table or other piece of furniture makes extra-smart use of the table’s footprint.

  3. Try the five-minute scramble. When you don’t have time to deep-clean your whole home, go from room to room and set a timer for five minutes. Quickly pick up, put away, straighten, and organize as much as you can before the timer goes off, and then move on to the next room. Have baskets and a toy box or two at the ready to make your cleanup process even quicker. Bonus points if you can get your kids to help you!

  4. Round and square wicker baskets for organizing in the home.

  5. Place attractive baskets on your steps for easier cleanup. Label the baskets, one for each person’s bedroom. As you clean the downstairs, fill the baskets with items that belong in those respective rooms. Then, once per day, take the baskets upstairs when you are already on your way up and put all the items away in the appropriate rooms. This technique works especially well when your family members don’t always pick up after themselves. You can easily train young kids to use the baskets on a daily basis with a little positive reinforcement.

  6. Look into organizer systems. Whether you plan to slide them under the bed, hang them in the closet, or place them in drawers, organizer units can make life a lot neater. Smarter storage options can often get to the root of clutter, preventing it from becoming a recurring problem.

  7. Give children responsibility from a young age. Even toddlers can learn to put their dirty clothes in a hamper or to help pick up their toys. Preschoolers can take on even more responsibilities, and the chore list grows as children get older. Teach your little ones what is expected of them and it can make your home less of a hassle to keep clean. Once everyone learns to put their own things away, any true storage concerns become easier to address.

  8. A closet organizing system with shelves and hangers.

  9. Take inventory of your possessions and find things to purge. Donate, give away, or sell those items that you don’t mind letting go. For things you want to keep but don’t need on a regular basis, put them away in your attic or look into self storage units for safe-keeping convenience. Storage units make it especially easy to clear up any home’s clutter problems without facing difficult decisions about what do to with your possessions.

  10. Move infant items to a storage unit in between babies. Pack up all of the baby necessities and box up all of the baby clothes with clear labels defining sizes or other key details. Save all of these nursery items, toys, and baby belongings for the next little one without stressing over where to put everything.

In some parts of the world, Family Day is September 26. Mark your calendar so you remember to spend some extra special time with your brood. In the meantime, try to tackle as many of your family home storage issues as possible so you can enjoy the day free of stress.

The Closet Cleanse: 5 Tips for Organizing Your Seasonal Clothing

Young woman looking confused pondering clothes in her closet.

Autumn is upon us, which, for many people, means it’s time for boots and booties with dresses and skirts, tunics and leggings, beloved football jerseys, and dozens of other fall fashion favorites. Even if the weather doesn’t get cold enough to warrant completely cleaning out your closet, you may still want to switch clothing colors or styles when the seasons change.

Of course, clearing out your closet and drawers does have its perks. Just organizing clothes you wear all the time and making extra room by putting away those you don’t can make a big difference in your day. Keep tabs on all of your outfits and accessories by boxing up anything that is no longer seasonally appropriate and saving it for next year. Getting your closet and drawers organized makes it quicker and easier to get dressed for any occasion at a moment’s notice.

Young woman taking clothes from closet, packing into boxes.

How to Organize Clothes

Soon it may be time to say goodbye to some of our summer clothes until next year or vacation, whichever comes first. It’s just about time to break out the fall fashions, and winter style is only a few months away. Consider these clothes storage ideas to help keep your wardrobe polished and fitting for the season.

  1. Go through all of your clothes and assess. All of them. Decide if some no longer fit or have fallen off-trend. Those would be good bets to donate or give away. Even the clothes that you love—like the outfit that you met your spouse in or the one you got engaged in—but still don’t wear—may be clothes to let go. Make peace with how good these clothes were to you and either thank them for their faithful service before donating them, or set them aside for storage and sentimental safekeeping.

  2. Organize each storage area with like clothing. If you have the space, consider a closet organizer to make all of your favorite clothes easily reachable. Under-the-bed storage can be great for folded clothing as well as shoes or other accessories. Keep your tees together in the dresser with tanks and other similar clothes.

  3. Set out your week’s outfits on a garment rack.If you have the space to display it, a decorative garment rack can be a lovely way to organize your clothes. Knowing what you plan to wear ahead of time also cuts down on the frantic flurry of outfits in the morning when absolutely nothing you own seems to be the right choice for the occasion.

  4. Invest in a few clothes storage containers. Pack your can’t-part-with pile in one clothes storage box and fill the others with seasonal clothing that you plan to wear again next year. Label each box clearly as to what is inside, even if the boxes are transparent.

  5. Consider offsite storage to keep your house neater. Even if you have an attic or a garage with rafters, storage space fills up quickly. A personal storage unit affords ample space to safely stow your possessions until you need them next. Clothing tends to clutter up the house rather quickly when dressers and closets get full, making it more difficult to put away clean clothes and trickier to put together outfits. Move your seasonal clothing into storage for a stress-free experience. When you want to change clothes, your boxes for the next season are just a short drive away.

The changing seasons inspire fun and attractive fashion changes as well as new activities and adventures. Even if you still wear some off-season clothing from time to time, it just makes sense to keep the current season’s must-haves most accessible. Tackle the clothing clutter now for a fun and carefree season ahead!

A modern his and hers walk-in closet complete with shoe racks.

7 Things to Do Before the End of Summer

Looking down at a young couple's bare feet standing in the sand at the edge of the ocean.

Is that the new school year already in sight? How is it possible that the summer is winding down so quickly? It’s hard to believe in two short weeks it will already be September. The change of the seasons certainly isn’t taking its time this year. So with the end of the summer upon us, it’s time to enjoy the last of the longest days of the year in the best way we know how… packing in as much fun and productivity as possible!

Here is an end of summer to do list featuring some must-do day trips and activities as well as a few around-the-house projects that really should be out of the way by the time autumn arrives.

Three kids laying on the grass with their dog enjoying the last days of summer.

1. Take Your Little Ones (or Your Love) on a Picnic.

Throwing together a picnic lunch can be as simple as leftovers and fruit or sandwiches and a bag of chips. Grab a blanket, toss everything in a basket, and head off to your favorite serene spot for a relaxing and soothing meal amid nature.

2. Plan a Day Trip.

With the last few weekends about to pass in the blink of an eye, try to schedule your final shore trip or daytime excursion before you miss your chance. Whether your family prefers an amusement park or you and your friends want to hit the wine trail, the last days of summer can be the perfect time to really soak up some fun and relaxation.

3. Enjoy an Outdoor Adventure.

Be it rafting, hiking, biking, or exploring in some other fashion, take some time to breathe in the fresh air and really enjoy it. Find a new place you’ve never been and snap some pictures to capture the memories.

Three young women riding their bikes along the shore.

4. Clean and Organize Your Garage and/or Shed.

When summer is over, you’ll be faced with new activities and plenty of chores for the fall season. In the meantime, split your time between fun things to do in the summer, and a couple of chores to help you get ahead of schedule. As much as you’d probably prefer to party all the time, try to save a few hours here and there for the housework that’s been piling up. Take some time to inventory your tools and supplies in the garage or shed. Set aside anything you’d like to get rid of and try to organize the rest with shelving, wall hooks, or boards on the rafters above to give you even more space. You may find some things you forgot you even had!

5. Assess Your House for Needed Repairs and Upgrades

The end of the summer could be just the right time to clean out your gutters, schedule a roof repair, replace windows, or tackle a host of other projects. Make a list of your home projects and gradually start checking them off one by one. Take some time to go through your spare rooms and clear out any clutter that’s accumulated. If you don’t have enough space at home, you can box up your items and store them safely in a personal storage unit. By the time the holidays arrive, your clutter will be gone, your house will be fixed, and you’ll be all ready for guests.

A group of young people and a curious dog enjoy barbecue food and drinks in the backyard.

6. Host a Barbecue.

Before the summer draws to a close, hosting a barbecue is one of the things most people think of doing. Even though you can grill any time of year, there’s just something special about those summer barbecues and the fun they inspire. Tip: Ask your friends to bring a side dish, appetizer, or dessert for a more eclectic menu.

7. Relax at a Bonfire.

Perhaps one of the most memorable and exciting end of summer activities to enjoy with friends and family, a bonfire can be the perfect way to end the summer. Gather your favorite people, grab your favorite food and drinks, and hold on tight to the last lingering moments of the season.

If you can’t fit in all of the exciting items on your wish list, don’t fret. Most fun summer activities can still be enjoyed into the fall season as well, and sometimes beyond. Make your end of summer to do list now so you can get your plans on the calendar. Encourage your family and friends to do some last-minute summer activities as well, making the most of the long daylight hours and the lighter schedules.

Send Them Off to College: Helping Your Student Prepare and Pack

Young student makes the leap from high school to college superimposed in front of a school blackboard.

Going off to college is one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of a young adult’s life. This long-awaited goal of saving and studying for the past 18-ish years finally comes to fruition. College orientation arrives with bated breath as students get a brief glimpse into what life will be like without Mom and Dad right there in the room next door. Soon after orientation, coeds will embark on their own journey living as adults.

How to Prepare for College

The college planning process begins way before move-in weekend. To get your son or daughter started off on the right foot, create a college packing list as well as a moving checklist. Sure, your student is going to need plenty of clothes, a computer, school supplies, a microwave, mini fridge, and other college necessities, but college shopping won’t be the only item on your to-do list.

Young woman and her parents carrying her things as she heads off to college

Consider these vital college prep steps:

  • Verify that any financial aid is approved and locked in place. Complete any other steps to ensure tuition bills are covered.
  • Encourage your child to work and save up some spending money. College comes with known expenses, but also plenty of impromptu ones, like ski trips and 10 o’clock pizza orders. Encourage your student to work here and there over the summer to save a few bucks for these occasions.
  • Encourage your child to connect with his or her roommate. Breaking the ice before a face-to-face meeting can make things more comfortable for both students. Consider video chat, an in-person meeting, or even emails and texting.
  • Research moving companies and packing services. Depending on the university’s location, you may wish to rent a moving van or hire movers to do the job.
  • Purchase or obtain boxes, bubble wrap, and other packing supplies. Label the boxes clearly and wrap anything that’s breakable.
  • Register for classes and double-check that everything is set in stone. Also buy required text books and other required supplies before classes start. Look online for used editions to save some money if desired.
  • Look into job opportunities with your current connections. If your child works at a retail store or chain/franchise business, look for local affiliates near the college campus.
  • Decide whether or not your college kid will be taking a car to school. Ensure the car is up-to-date on maintenance and service, inspections, and registration. Work out the particulars on securing a parking pass and following any campus parking requirements.
  • Open a bank account at a branch within walking distance of campus. Order checks and a debit card to help your son or daughter manage money properly.
  • Fill any prescriptions (inhalers, etc.) and purchase any needed health and dental items. Having these on hand before moving time can dramatically reduce stress.
  • Make a dorm room checklist and start shopping. You can find plenty of online guides listing what to bring to college. Don’t forget an Ethernet cable! Get started with the shopping process early so you can find—and pack—everything your student needs ahead of time.

Two young women heading to college as roommates.

Other Tips for First-Time College Students

Whether excited, nervous, or a bit of both, your student can benefit from a little extra reassurance before the drop-off date. Take the family out to lunch or dinner and make a big point to offer heartfelt encouragement and a reminder that you are only a phone call away. Keep the lines of communication as open as possible so your child feels confident and supported.

Young man in his college dorm doing homework.

Planning a family campus visit before move-in weekend can be helpful so you can scope out the area, discovering where the grocery stores, restaurants, and other hotspots are located. Help your child fill out and drop off job applications if desired or ask around about campus employment opportunities to allow for a little spending money.

After you encourage studying and good behavior, be sure to remind your freshman to enjoy his or her first year in college as it will go by very fast. Before you know it, you’ll be talking about what to do with all those college necessities over summer break!

Tips on Clearing out the Clutter before Finishing Your Home Addition

Home improvement sketch visualized

Adding a new living space to your home can be a pretty big decision. First you must decide if the home improvement you’re looking at involves a patio, porch, sunroom, second story addition, or an extra room somewhere else. You’ll also have to consider your budget and what furnishings you’ll need to complete the room—some you might already have and others you’ll need to purchase. Finally, you will need to prepare your home for the renovation process, which can take quite some time, particularly depending on the extent of your project.

Some thoughtful planning can help to keep your renovation project on track. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Clear Away the Clutter First

Before the remodeling crew even sets foot in your home, tackle any cluttered areas to set yourself up for a more successful upgrade. Being as organized as possible from the start makes it easier to get your house back into shape once the construction is complete. Box up and label anything you specifically want to save for the new space. Decide what else you’d like to keep, toss, donate, and sell, and get started on the purging process. Getting rid of older items makes room for new items—and shopping for new furniture and décor is half the fun of creating a home addition!

Keep Your Floor Plan in Mind

As you await your home addition, take some time to consider your current belongings and home furnishings. Determine which ones will be a good fit for the new space and which you’d like to unload before the new area is complete. Draw floor plans so you can see what layout works best for your family’s needs.

Take inventory of what you have and cross-reference it with what you’d like to have in that sunroom, patio, or extra room. Perhaps you would prefer some brand new furnishings to accentuate the exciting new setting. Maybe you have a few heirloom style pieces you simply can’t let go. Whatever the case, give some careful thought to how you will design and decorate the room, what furniture you need, and how you’d like to tie it all together, whether by color, theme, or mood.

A couple looking at floor plans in their new home

Protect Your Possessions

A custom home addition often creates dust and debris that can go airborne, raising the risk of dirtying or damaging your adjacent furniture and belongings. Depending on the layout of the area being expanded, your house may or may not be protected by compression-fit temporary walls or other dust barrier systems designed to minimize the mess.

When possible, you should move important possessions and keepsakes out of the home to keep them safe during the renovation process. If you don’t have an attic, shed, or other separate area to store your things, consider renting a personal storage unit. Remote storage keeps your things clean and protected from breakage for the duration of the renovations or until you have a chance to redecorate your home.

Expect the Chaos

Remember that construction and remodeling can turn your home upside-down in a big way. You’ll have people working in your house for quite some time, not to mention the dust, the mess, and the need to avoid certain spaces where work is being done. You may find that everyday items get lost more easily in the shuffle and everyday tasks become more of a hassle. You’ll be glad when the home addition project is finished and you can relax in your new space, but until then, you’ll have to make do. The less you have to worry about, the better off you will be. So get started on organizing and decluttering now so you can just enjoy your new home addition once it’s finally complete.

Eight Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

A girl and her mom shopping for a dress at a yard sale

The recipe for how to have a successful yard sale depends on a lot of things—some inside your control and some totally out of your hands. The weather can certainly throw a big wrench in your plans, but with all other things considered, you can host a fairly successful sale with a little planning and practicality. Here are eight key yard sale ideas to improve the outcome of your sale.

1. Do Your Homework

First and foremost, before you host your sale, find out if you need a yard sale permit in your city. Without a proper permit where required, you may face fines and be forced to shut down your yard sale. Next, do a little recon around the neighborhood and by searching online to discover when nearby neighborhoods and homes may be planning a yard sale. Coordinate your dates with local yard sales if possible to capitalize on your efforts. In almost all cases, people who love going to yard sales will be thrilled to find more sales in the area on a day they’re already out shopping. Moreover, your sale will also benefit from the signage the other sellers are using. Post a few signs of your own in strategic places, and simply add a sign with an arrow or with your address to help funnel the traffic to your sale as well.

Yard sale sign in a wagon

2. Advertise Early

Post your yard sale signs far enough in advance of your sale so that commuters can see the location and the date, making a mental note for their weekend plans. You might also want to advertise your sale in the local paper and on online groups and forums for yard sales to maximize your exposure.

3. Ensure You Have Change

In yard sales, few things are worse than losing a sale to an interested customer by not being able to break their $20. Be sure you have a selection of smaller bills and coins to assure proper change for your yard sale shoppers.

4. Organize Your Items

Group like items together so that your yard sale presents like a regular store. This makes it easy for people to find what interests them and may increase the number of things that they decide to buy. Also organize clothing on a rack according to size so customers can easily browse what you have. Put all of the kids’ stuff together so little ones can immediately find what interests them and parents can take a sweeping glance for what may delight their children at a bargain. Place the high impact items where they can be clearly seen from the road, helping to convert curious drive-by onlookers into serious shoppers.

A girl and her mom paying for their items at a yard sale

5. Price Items Effectively

Before you start your yard sale, decide if your goal is to make money, to clear out your clutter, or a bit of both. Price your items accordingly and know which pricing is firm and what’s negotiable. Consider using yard sale stickers—little dots or rectangular tags—to color code your pricing flexibility and clearly mark the price for everything you’re selling. You can also make a 25 cents box, a FREE box, and so forth to help you unload items efficiently. This also makes for easy cleanup. When possible, display the original price of the item so customers can see the value and the bargain you are offering.

6. Keep Checkout Convenient

Remember that bag of bags you keep filling up even more every time you get home from the store? Bring that and some old newspapers for wrapping delicate items so your customers can safely and conveniently transport their newfound items home.

Two young women goofing around the clothing rack at a yard sale

7. Cross-Promote Your Items Online

At the end of the day, if you haven’t sold as much as you’d like, you can take your remaining big ticket items to the Web. Many communities have an online yard sale Facebook group, and you can also post yard sale pictures on your own social media pages in case any of your friends or connections may be interested in what you’re unloading.

8. Save and Store for Next Time

If hosting yard sales is an enjoyable activity for you, you may wish to keep your items organized and available for next time rather than donating them or giving them away. Pack everything back up into their clearly labeled boxes and drive them over to your personal storage unit until your next yard sale date arrives. This keeps all of your stuff conveniently together and keeps the clutter out of your garage or home.

Too Much Baby Stuff? Storage Tips Until Next Time

Folded baby clothes and booties with sippy cup and baby keychain toy

Clothes, toys, bottles, seats, swings, diapers, wipes, blankets, booties, bibs—it’s truly amazing how much one teeny-tiny, itty-bitty person can require—or at least benefit from—with such a vast influx of new possessions. Some items last quite a while and others the baby may outgrow in just a few short weeks or months. Speaking of growing, little ones do a lot of that their first year, particularly evidenced by wearing so many different sizes of clothing in a such short time, not to mention shoes, hats, hair accessories… you get the idea and you’ve surely experienced it already if this isn’t your first rodeo.

The good news is that all of that baby stuff rotates through your home quicker than you might expect. From newborn to infant to toddler to little kid to big kid, plain and simple, they just grow up way too fast, and life seems to fly by that much faster once we’ve become parents. The better news is that you already have everything—albeit not necessarily always in the right color or season or style—should Baby #2 or #3+ come along anytime soon.

A father and his toddler daughters playing with toys on the floor.

This of course begs the question—what do we do with all of this baby stuff until we need it again, or decide that we don’t? Nursery storage is already at a premium, with diapers, clothing, toys, and linens taking up the lion’s share of your little one’s den. If you’re fortunate enough to have an attic, chances are that space is already spoken for as well. Rather than cluttering up the basement with items you may or may not need for a few years, put that space to better use with a playroom and an area for the adults to relax. And as for your baby’s items once he or she grows out of them, consider moving them to your own personal storage unit, where they will be safely and neatly waiting for you “next time.”

Expectant mother admiring baby clothes while the dad puts together the crib in the nursery.

Here are a few tips to help you ensure your baby items are organized and stored conveniently until that time comes.

Baby Clothes Storage

You’ve likely already figured out that organizing baby clothes is a never-ending process, at least until your child isn’t a baby anymore. Out of one size and into the next, swapping out the baby clothes is sometimes more exhausting than just keeping up with the laundry. Finally things slow down a bit, but you’re still swapping sizes at regular intervals according to your kids’ growth. Here are a few tips to help you organize your baby’s clothing for use and for the next time someone so little and cute can wear it again.

  • Invest in a set of baby storage bins. You will probably need about a half dozen to start.
  • Label each bin for the sizes your little one will go through in the first year—for example, newborn + 0-3, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 12 months.
  • Wash and fold everything, and then put the clothes into the bins by size and season. Ensure that any holiday or themed outfits make it into the bin for the baby’s age at that time of year. Also take note if some items run noticeably small or large and place them in the correct bin.
  • Stack the baby storage bins in the baby’s closet and fill the dresser drawers with the current size.
  • Once your little one outgrows the current size, remove those items and place them back in the bin. Plan to move that bin to more permanent storage and replace the clothing in the drawers with the new size.
  • Once your little one moves out of baby clothes and into kid clothes, your baby bins will be nicely labeled and organized for storage until you need them again!

Baby's stuffed animal, folded clothes and pacifier.

Baby Toy Storage

It won’t take your baby long to outgrow some of his or her toys, and new ones area always waiting on the horizon as the next birthday or holiday approaches. Just as you did with the baby clothes, be sure to keep age-appropriate baby toys grouped together when you put them away for future children. Consider placing plush toys and anything needing added protection in jumbo zipper-seal bags or vacuum storage bags before placing them in the storage bins. Label the bins according to what’s inside as well as the acceptable age of use.

Kids’ Storage Units

More and more, doesn’t it seem as though your kids have more things than you do? All those birthday presents and visits from Santa Claus are starting to add up. Keep what you need and what your kids really love, but once they’ve outgrown it, consider whether you’d prefer to give it away, sell it, donate it, or save it in case you welcome another baby into your home in the coming years. Your kids might also appreciate having some of their favorite toys and belongings back when they have kids of their own. The happy memories of playing with their favorite action figures and play sets become even more sentimental when they are able to enjoy their toys for a second time, playing with their own sons and daughters.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with storage for your baby’s and kids’ belongings!

26 Things You Should Do Before You Go on Vacation

Toy car with luggage driving on a toy globe.

Ever have that feeling you’ve left the stove on after leaving the house? You are not alone. Many of us get that sinking sense that we’ve forgotten something important like turning off a major appliance, blowing out a candle, locking a door, or remembering to bring something important along with us. The last-minute scramble to rush out of the house on time is often to blame.

In the flurry of excitement to get out the door—especially come vacation time—our bodies seem to switch into autopilot mode, completing those daily tasks we hardly notice anymore due to their repetitive nature. To keep from feeling as if you’ve perpetually forgotten something, consider using a vacation checklist to help you get all your ducks in a row before you shove off to sandy shores. Here are some helpful tips, from packing your suitcase to house preparation.

A couple checking their passport and looking at a map getting ready for vacation.

Travel Checklist

As you start to plan your next vacation, here are a few important vacation planning tips to keep your trip on track.

  • Ensure your passport and/or driver’s license are current.
  • Ensure any prescription medications are filled for all members of your family.
  • Book your accommodations and airfare, if applicable.
  • Make any important restaurant reservations well in advance.
  • Gas up the car and ensure it is up-to-date on service appointments.
  • Ensure your camera or cell phone has sufficient memory available to store new photos and videos. Purchase a new media card or save existing files to free up space if necessary.
  • Make a vacation packing list of your desired outfits, accessories, and also daily essentials to gather at the last second—cell phones, chargers, camera, spare battery, sunglasses, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics, and so forth.
  • Withdraw a bit of cash from the bank for any purchases and gratuities where you cannot use a charge card.
  • If you’re flying, check in online and print your boarding pass.

Young girl and her dog sitting in family car packed and ready for vacation.

Vacation Packing Tips

Everyone has their own favorite way to pack before vacation. Whether you plan for weeks in advance or rush everything together the night before you leave, your routine most likely leaves a little room for fine tuning and optimizing. Consider these vacation packing tips to ensure ultimate care and convenience in packing while also lightening your load.

  • Pack your toiletries in a plastic zipper-seal bag to prevent lotion, shampoo, or conditioner from leaking all over your things should the bottle come open.
  • Be sure to adhere to TSA requirements for any liquids that you’re bringing in your carryon.
  • Pack in advance, setting aside washed, folded clothes that you want to bring, resisting the urge to wear them in the meantime.
  • When packing, remember to add at least one outfit and swimsuit to your carryon in the event you and your luggage get separated.
  • If you are driving to your destination, don’t forget much-needed items like a cooler, beach chairs, a beach umbrella, and other essentials. If you have stored any of these or similar items in your personal storage unit, be sure to drive out and pick them up!

A man's hand holding his smart phone with a home security app before leaving on vacation.

Last-Minute Home Preparation before Vacation

Make yourself a list of things you should always plan to do before you leave home for vacation. Your list might look something like this:

  • Arrange for someone to care for your pets if they aren’t coming with you. The same goes for someone to water your plants or your gardens if you’ll be gone a substantial amount of time.
  • A few days before you leave, visit the post office to temporarily stop your mail or ask a trusted neighbor to grab it for you.
  • Check that all appliances are turned off.
  • Ensure no candles or fireplaces are in use.
  • Clean out the refrigerator from anything that will spoil while you’re away.
  • Adjust heating and cooling settings for a vacant house.
  • Turn off morning alarms.
  • Set timers on various lights throughout the home.
  • Engage the home security system’s cameras and alarms, if applicable.
  • Close the curtains and lock the windows.
  • Lock the doors.
  • Drive away and don’t look back!

Now that you’ve completed your travel checklist, you can leave your cares behind. Enjoy your special time of rest, relaxation, and adventure!

How to Stage Your Home for a Successful Sale

House with for sale sign in front

Deciding to sell your home may come as an overnight decision for some, but actually preparing your house to be sold is quite a different story. Selling your current home and buying a new one becomes a delicate dance of timing, planning, and strategizing. You want to make your home as enticing as possible but you obviously have a lot of other things on your plate to deal with at the same time. From a real estate perspective, some simple home staging tips can go a long way to luring in attractive offers on your house.

The multipart process of selling a home often relies on the timeline of your family’s new home purchase. Offers to buy or sell may need to be contingent on the flip side of the coin, and settlement dates often need to be flexible as well. Sometimes selling a home becomes a game of hurry up and wait. No matter what your timeline happens to be, taking some time to stage your house can improve your chances of a speedy and successful sale. To get started, consider these tips on how to stage your home.

Clear Away Clutter

Arguably the biggest step in staging a home for sale is typically getting your own belongings under control. It’s difficult for potential buyers to envision where they will set up their Christmas tree and where their kids will play when there’s stuff every which way they turn. Put away or pack what you aren’t using and make sure that the items you have on display really count. Hide dog toys and personal items that don’t contribute to the overall positive emotion of buying a home. Consider a personal storage unit for an easy, offsite solution to dealing with your possessions while you focus on selling your house.

A young couple painting the interior of their house

Paint the Picture

When it comes to home buying, different families have different preferences for sure. Most families don’t want to have to tear down wallpaper, sand the walls, and start over with new paint. A truly effective house staging tip is to slap on a fresh coat of paint for an instant pick-me-up in the main rooms of the home. Additionally, if your home still has wallpaper in some rooms, it may pay off to take it down and paint the walls a nice neutral color, alleviating the buyers’ mental to-do tally for your house before they (in their minds) can comfortably live there.

Make Your House Sparkle

Scrub your home from top to bottom to really give it that squeaky clean look. The clean surfaces, walls, and floors make it easier for buyers to see the home for what it is, not for all the work they have to do to make it their own. Set aside a weekend to deep-clean the house or hire a professional cleaning company to do the job for you at a convenient time, maybe even while you’re at work. A thorough cleaning makes staging a house an easier feat to achieve in a shorter time.

Happy woman cleaning her floor by hand

Enhance Curb Appeal

Remember, most buyers will see only a small thumbnail or a digital photo of your home’s exterior before they ever see it in person. Photos don’t always do a home justice, but getting your landscaping and front yard in check can go miles toward attracting serious buyers, even as they drive by your home. Consider a few simple tricks to help ready your home for sale—washing the siding and the windows, planting colorful flowers in existing beds, adding potted plants or hanging baskets, and repairing anything in disarray.

Keep It Neutral

When it comes to color choice, less is often more. As pretty as tangerine and lime green may be in certain applications, the average home buyer is likely to prefer something simpler in the gray to beige, tan, and earth tone spectrum. Save the wild hues for your next home and dress up your rooms with attractive hues that don’t distract. This goes double for the master bedroom, which works best in a gender-neutral scheme when possible, as you never know who will be walking through the door as potential buyers.

Beautiful kitchen counter with a bouquet of flowers and a bowl of fruit decor

Display Deliberately

Once the house is clean and the clutter is gone, it’s time to strategically place a few items throughout the home for a positive emotional effect. In the kitchen, set some fresh-cut flowers or a bowl of fresh-picked fruit on the table and counter. In the family room, straighten throw blankets, fluff the pillows, and set out a book or a unique handcrafted bowl or accent on the coffee table. Create interest without creating clutter.

Appeal to the Senses

The last thing you want is to scare your buyers away with pet odor or another negative sensory incident. For an aromatic boost, place perfumed reed diffusers throughout the home, being careful not to mix clashing scents. Many realtors swear by throwing a batch of cookies in the oven prior to an open house, immediately creating that warm and homey atmosphere.

Beautifully decorated living room with large airy windows

Also remember that your home’s lighting makes a huge impact on the way it presents, and ultimately, the buying experience. Replace dead light bulbs rather than making a buyer wonder if it’s actually the socket or a wiring issue. Ensure that your fixtures are fitted with the proper wattage and style of light bulbs for the space, illuminating rooms in beautiful light. When possible, invite natural light into the home as well.

As you work on home staging tactics to help sell your house in a shorter span of time, remember to create a positive environment and a relatable experience for prospective buyers. You want your home to be clean and for the most part pristine, but you also want it to be believable. Keep a comfortable lifestyle and the current season in mind as you spruce up your living spaces, inspiring a new family to call this place home.