Self Storage and the One-Hour Decluttering Challenge

A cluttered home isn’t good for you or your family. It can affect your mental and physical health, causing overwhelming stress. If you want a quick and easy method to get motivated to clean up your home, read the following article to learn about the one-hour decluttering challenge.

We all know that uncontrolled clutter can affect your mental and physical health. When you have to wade through toys, books, unopened mail, and dirty dishes to navigate your home, you have a problem. It’s time to clean up the mess before your stress levels cause you to destroy relationships, overeat, and lose your job. A good way to get started on this task is The One-Hour Decluttering Challenge.

In case you weren’t aware, there are an abundance of decluttering challenges to choose from: The Thirty-One Day Home Detox Decluttering Challenge, A Year of 15-Minute Decluttering Missions, and 40 Bags in 40 Days, to name a few. They all have their advantages, but this quick decluttering process gets you started and motivates you to continue with your cleaning project. 

If you’re all in for the slow and steady approach, this blog probably isn’t for you. This is not the KonMari method where you spend hours sorting and organizing, only to spend even more time thanking your possessions for a job well done. This is a fast and furious one-hour burst of decluttering.

Self Storage and The One-Hour Declutter Challenge

If you’re going to attempt any decluttering, you need a safe, convenient self storage unit. No matter how well-intentioned your motives, there will always be something that you are not sure you want to surrender. For some crazy reason (we don’t want to know) even that half-empty bottle of nail polish may be meaningful to you. 

While blasting through your rooms in one hour, be sure to delegate some extra boxes for those precious possessions that you aren’t ready to let go. When you decide to move on to your next decluttering project, you’ll be so relieved that you have that unit waiting to give your belongings a new home. With 365-day access, you can visit them daily.

The Challenge

Time to begin. Grab three boxes – one for trash, one for donations, and one for self storage (or the “I’m not quite ready to say good-bye” box). OK, it’s time to get started.  Next, choose the recommended areas and enough items to equal 100 (or more). 

To avoid wasting cleaning time, write down the areas you want to attack and the items you want to declutter from each area. Once you’ve completed these tasks, set your timer and GO!! 

Below is an example of an already completed list. This is only a guideline designed to motivate you. You can use this list or create your own.

(1) 10 Items From Your Bathroom

Suggestions:

  • Expired cosmetics
  • Unopened boxes or samples of toothpaste, soap, shampoo, or toothbrushes that you won’t use
  • Worn towels and washcloths
  • Nail polish that is no longer usable
  • Overused emery boards 
  • Hairbrushes and other hair accessories that you no longer want

You can donate your unopened samples to homeless shelters and your old towels to animal shelters.

(2) 10 Items From Your Junk Drawer

Suggestions:

  • Broken meat thermometer
  • Pens that no longer write and pencils that are too short to hold
  • Empty scotch tape dispenser
  • Random plastic utensils
  • Batteries that haven’t worked since 1980
  • Mapquest directions to your obstetrician’s office (your youngest child is 40)

(3) 10 Items From Your Kitchen

  • Expired food
  • The food you bought on sale that your family will never eat
  • Extra dishes and utensils
  • Small appliances that are collecting dust because they’re too old or you’re too lazy to grind your coffee beans. That’s what Starbucks is for.
  • Tea towels and dishcloths that aren’t even nice enough for the animal shelter
  • The teakettle with the broken spout
  • Fancy jello molds because you don’t do “fancy jello” anymore

If you do have any non-perishable food that you don’t want, donate it to a local food bank.

(4) 10 Items From Your Laundry Room/Linen Closet

Suggestions:

  • Sheet and towels that are marked for the rag basket but still sitting on top of the dryer
  • Outdated clothing that never made it back to the bedrooms.
  • Extra blankets and quilts
  • Empty laundry soap and cleaning containers that you thought you might use someday

Don’t forget that those extra blankets, sheets, and towels can be donated to homeless or animal shelters.

(5) 20 Items From Your Crafts/Hobby Room

Suggestions:

  • Items in this room are too numerous to mention. Let’s just say anything that you no longer use or need to be creative. 

If you have unused yarn, beads, thread, felt, or any other craft materials in good condition, a local nursing home or preschool would enjoy using them.

(6) 10 Items From Your Bedroom

Suggestions:

  • Nightstand clutter, including extra books and papers
  • Decorative items that you no longer enjoy
  • Extra pieces of furniture than found a home in your bedroom because you lacked space elsewhere

(7) 20 Items From Your closet

Suggestions:

  • Clothing that no longer fits (including those 10-year old skinny jeans that you think you’ll wear again someday)
  • Anything that you haven’t worn in the last year
  • Any items of clothing that you don’t enjoy wearing
  • Shoes that aren’t worth the blisters and discomfort they cause
  • Clothes with the price tags still attached
  • Handbags and accessories that you no longer use

(8) 20 Items From Your Kids Rooms

Suggestions:

  • Clothes they don’t wear or have outgrown
  • Toys they no longer play with
  • Games and puzzles with missing pieces
  • Classwork, announcements, and any other school materials that are no longer needed

Give your children an empty box and suggest that they donate their outgrown toys to children in need.

(9) 10 Items From Your Car

Suggestions:

  • Shoes, jackets, and extra clothing that you stashed in the car in case they were needed
  • Travel cups, snacks, and paper clutter
  • Toys and any other scraps that you kids left in the car
  • Don’t forget to check the glove box, and get rid of last year’s insurance information, flashlights that don’t work, dirty tissues, and miscellaneous debris.

(10) 10 Items From Your Computer (digital disorder counts as clutter, too)

Suggestions:

  • Junk email
  • Spam
  • Documents you’ve never opened
  • Empty you trash
  • Blurry photos or duplicates

(11)  20 Items From Your Garage, Attic or Shed

Suggestions:

  • Holiday decorations that are past their prime
  • Burned out Christmas lights
  • Broken lawnmowers and gardening tools
  • Damaged furniture that you were going to fix, but never had the time or the inclination

Windup

You’re finished and, if you used this plan, you have 150 items to discard, donate or store. Furthermore, if you lease a self storage unit, you’ll have a safe, secure place for those “I just can let this go yet” items. You know you had fun – admit it. And you just can’t wait to get started on your next one-hour decluttering challenge!!

How Do I Attract College Students to My Self Storage Facility?

If you’re a self storage owner with a facility in a college or university town, summer can be a great time to attract students. When summer break begins, they’re looking for a place to stash their stuff so that they don’t have to pack up and move their belongings home. Toward the end of summer, they may be planning for the upcoming school year. Given the tiny dorm rooms and shared housing, you can market self storage to students year-round.

To attract college students to your self storage facility, examine your services and amenities through the lens of what’s important to a college student. What do they need, what do they care about, and what are they willing to spend? 

Following are some easy ways to get you started on marketing your facility to college students.

Self Storage Services that College Students Care About

College students are looking for services and amenities that speak to their needs. It’s not hard to gear your services toward student renters.

Student Discounts and Specials

College students don’t generally have large budgets. Tuition, books, meals, and social activities don’t leave much disposable income. If you haven’t already, consider offering student discounts. A reputation for being the low-cost self storage provider will encourage new tenants.

Flexible Lease Options

With summer classes, internships, and study abroad programs, college students are always on the move. The flexibility of month-to-month self storage on their terms will have far more appeal than being stuck in a long-term lease. 

Small or Shared Units

College students are not likely to store large furniture or appliances. Their belongings are typically packed away in boxes and take up minimal space. Your smaller, less expensive units are a more suitable option for the college crowd. If you have only larger units, market them as a “shared” space so that several students can “share” one unit for less money.

24/7 Access Hours

College students don’t keep regular schedules. We’re talking about late nights, early classes, midday naps, and any study they can squeeze in between their social schedules. They want to know that they don’t have to keep track of access hours if they want to retrieve something from their units. Extended hours make your facility more appealing to them.

Technology Friendly

If a college student can’t log on to your website from any device and easily pay their bill, reserve a unit, and manage their account, you’re sending them to a competitor. Another desirable option is a Bluetooth access control system that allows self storage tenants to enter their units with their mobile devices. With their crazy busy schedules, students appreciate these time-saving amenities.

Your Website Should be Student Friendly

A user-friendly, visually appealing website that is optimized for mobile devices, establishes a connection between you and this tech-savvy generation. The following pages will make it easier for students to find your facility when they’re searching for self storage.

Student Storage Page

Having a student-specific page will give your website a higher Google ranking for college storage searches. Optimize your title tag with something like “Budget-Friendly Self Storage Near (local university)”. Include driving directions from the local school to your facility.

Student Discount Page

Even if you have an overview of all of your specials, be sure to showcase student discounts. Students love to know that renting a unit from you is affordable.

Add a Student Section to your FAQ Page

This is another great method to increase your ranking for student storage. By adding information specifically geared towards students, your site will be more likely to appear in student-specific searches.

Student Moving and Packing Supply Page

To college students, packing means throwing their belongings in the nearest trash bag or stuffing them into a broken cardboard box. They’re not focused on sturdy boxes, wrapping, tape and labels. Your moving and packing supply page could include a section for 2 or 3 different sized “student” packing bundles. Students will appreciate being able to purchase bundled supplies without making the effort to actually choose what they need. Their parents (who are footing the bill) will also appreciate you.

Market Your Message in the Right Places

Following are some quick and easy ways to get the word out about your self storage facility.

Attend University Events

Look for your prospects where students gather. Getting involved in campus activities is a simple way to make your self storage facility more visible. Attend campus sporting events and tailgates with flyers and business cards. Buying ad space in sports programs is another excellent way to increase your visibility. 

Post Flyers

This is a simple, but effective, strategy. Create professional-grade flyers and post them in dorm lounges, university offices and student hangouts. Be sure to get permission from the administration.

Target Facebook Ads

If you have a social media page for your self storage business, consider buying ad space on Facebook. These ads are affordable, and you can easily target your university student audience.

Study Abroad

Contact the study abroad department of your local university, and find out how to provide information to students who are planning to leave the country for a semester or even longer. They may be subletting an apartment or giving up a dorm room and need self storage services for a short period of time.

Offer a Small Scholarship

If you can afford it, consider offering a small scholarship for the following semester. Not only would you be helping a student, but this could get your business listed in the scholarship section of the university’s website. 

Summary

Start promoting your facility as the summer is drawing to a close and market year-round. Make your facility the preferred choice by offering student discounts, flexible lease terms, smaller units, and mobile access. With the right amenities and the right marketing, you may just find that your facility is the go-to storage business for area college students.

How Self Storage Can Help When the Kids Are Home for the Summer

If this is your first time as a parent with a college kid who has been living in a dorm, you’re in for a love-hate experience. You love that your child is going to be home for the summer because you’ve really missed the patter of their little feet sneaking out when they’re already grounded for sneaking out last week. On the other hand, you hate that your child is bringing home all that junk that they just took with them. 

You’re wondering how time flew by so quickly. This isn’t high school, Momma. College semesters are shorter than you realize. In spite of that brief stopover at school, your child has managed to accumulate a few strange, and maybe scary, items. Many of them will be unfamiliar, and you’re better off not even knowing they exist. 

Unless you want this stuff stored all over your house, these items need to find a temporary home before next semester. You have a problem, and we have a solution – a safe, secure, affordable self storage unit.

Self Storage Saves Your Sanity

You need an actual solution to this problem, not a Band-Aid. Your solution should keep your space just the way it is – full of your own possessions and not tripping over cartons of text books and bags of dirty laundry. It has to be affordable because you’re already paying big bucks for tuition. State-of-the-art security, including electronic gates, perimeter fencing, and 24-hour video monitoring are not optional. Having any of this junk stolen does not fit the plan.

Month-to-month leasing is another necessity. Flexibility is important, and you don’t want to be committed to a long term lease. Location is another factor to consider. The storage facility that you choose should be close to the school and in a safe location.

The following tips will help you find the storage that you need.

The Right Self Storage Facility Should Keep the Possessions Safe and the Student Safe 

As shocking as this might sound, college students don’t always have the best judgment, and cautious behavior is not always a priority. It’s probably a good idea if you help them to choose the right storage facility. 

You want security not only to keep the things safe, but to keep the student safe. Look for a clean, well-lit property that is fully fenced and gated with digital video monitoring and electronic keypad access. Have the manager take you on a tour of the property, and check to see if a tenant protection plan is available.

Look for Layers of Security

  1. A facility in a safe, convenient location
  2. A clean and well-maintained facility
  3. Well lit property
  4. Perimeter fencing
  5. Gates equipped with electronic access 
  6. Twenty-four hour video surveillance
  7. An indoor unit with keypad access
  8. On site and/or resident managers
  9. A disc or cylinder lock that is resistant to tampering
  10. Do Not share gate access code with friends

Be thoughtful when choosing a storage facility, but don’t worry. There are plenty of safe, secure self storage facilities. For more detailed information read, Choose the Right Self Storage Facility.

Ease and Accessibility

You want to be close to the school and in a safe area. Look for 365-day access, with packing supplies, and moving carts and dollies available. Drive-up access and wide aisles can relieve loading and unloading problems. 

Added Amenities

Depending on the items you’re storing and the local environment, you may be interested in climate-controlled storage. Many facilities offer a free truck with move-in, accept deliveries and offer free copy/print/scan services. Check with your manager for details.

Student Discount

Don’t forget to check on available specials, particularly student discount programs. You may even be able to share with another student.

Conclusion

Whatever you decide, your life will be less chaotic with a storage solution. And remember to have a serious conversation with your kids. You don’t want them storing their younger siblings or that roommate that doesn’t believe in personal hygiene. Take a deep breath. Only three??? more years of this. Then…grad school!

Self Storage: How to Transport and Store a Mattress

You spend approximately one-third of your day on your mattress. Along with a good night’s sleep, you want comfort, support and durability. With the vast array of available choices, sizes and styles, finding the right mattress is challenging. You shop for hours and stretch out in your favorite sleeping position on what seems like hundreds of mattresses. After all of this, you still may not be able to make a decision.

In addition to this side show, selections go on forever: innerspring, memory foam, gel foam, hybrid, and latex, to name a few. It takes not only a lot of time to locate the right mattress, but also a lot of money. This is not something you want to do on an annual basis. With the right care, you shouldn’t have to. 

There may be times that your mattress has to find a temporary home in self storage. Maybe you’re building a new house and it’s not ready before the old one sells, or you’re temporarily downsizing. In any case, it’s a good idea to understand how to store your mattress safely to keep it free from damage or deterioration.

How to Transport and Store a Mattress

Transport Your Mattress in a  Covered Moving Truck

For the love of all that is holy, please don’t tie your mattress down on the top of your car. And do not have one of your buddies hold it down as you drive to your destination. If you can’t figure out why this doesn’t work, you may as well stop reading now. You’re either going to distort your mattress by tying it down too tightly or destroy it because it will fly off of the car onto the road. Squashing it into the bed of a pickup truck is no better. This could damage the springs as well as the entire structure of your mattress. Ideally, you should transport your mattress in a safe, covered moving truck. It will be protected from mishaps as well as the elements. You’ll find that many good storage facilities have rental trucks available on site.

Choose the Right Self Storage Facility for Your Mattress

To keep your mattress in good condition, it should be stored in the proper environment. When you’re looking for a storage facility, climate-controlled storage is a must. Climate-controlled storage will keep the temperature and humidity of your unit at the optimum levels to keep your mattress free of mold and mildew. Be sure that your unit is well-maintained, free of pests and has sufficient room to store the mattress flat, not in an upright position leaning against the wall. 

Give Your Mattress a Thorough Cleaning

Give your mattress a thorough cleaning prior to placing it in storage You can keep pests and unpleasant odors away by cleaning the mattress before you store it. Upholstery cleaner and a good vacuuming should get the job done. 

Cover Your Mattress

Even if all you can do is wrap your mattress in a tarp or plastic sheeting, some protection is better than none. Don’t leave your mattress to the mercy of dirt and pests. If your self storage facility sells moving and packing supplies, they probably have a variety of protectors available, including vinyl covers, plastic covers, and mattress bags.

Lay Your Mattress Flat

Standing a mattress on its side is not the best way to store a mattress. While that may work for a quick ride in a moving truck, it doesn’t work for short- or long-term storage. If you store a mattress on its side, it may fold and buckle, leaving it lumpy. Store it the way you sleep on it – flat. This will keep the structure in place and prevent damage.

Don’t Use Your Mattress as a Base for Heavy Items

If you stack heavy cartons on your mattress, you’ll cause permanent impressions. Using your mattress again will be impossible. If you’re tight on space, you can stack your mattress on top of a level surface. For example, a collection of heavy boxes placed on the floor, would make a good base for a mattress. 

When Your Ready to Retrieve Your Mattress

Air Out and Clean Your Mattress

After being stored, your mattress may need freshening. No matter how clean your storage unit and how carefully you stored it, your mattress can develop a musty odor that will make sleeping unpleasant. Clean your mattress the same way you did prior to storing. When you’re finished with cleanup, sprinkle baking soda on your mattress. Let it sit for 10 minutes to absorb any remaining odors and vacuum the baking soda before you make the bed. 

 

If you follow the guidelines in this article you should be able to enjoy your mattress for years, even after a lengthy storage period.