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!!

Money Saving Self Storage Tips

Depending on where you live, the country is slowly recovering from the Covid 19 lockdown. Nevertheless, in some areas, the economic fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic has been staggering. During the past year, people lost their livelihoods, their jobs, and their hope. You can’t watch the news without being emotionally moved by individuals who have been devastated by this virus and its residual effects. The cure has definitely been worse than the disease.

The only thing that remains for some are personal and business possessions. They need a place to store their furniture, household items, business inventory, and more. Self storage is the solution. Most are determined to recover from this mess, and they need a place to store their belongings. Funds are low, so they need convenient storage options that are safe and affordable.

Money Saving Self Storage Tips

Share with Friends and Family

This is a great option. The larger the unit you lease, the more money you’ll save. By combining your belongings with friends and family, you can maximize your purchasing power and lease a larger unit. This strategy can lower your rent by 25 to 50 percent.

Check Discounts and Monthly Specials

Self storage is a competitive industry. They work hard to obtain customers through monthly specials and seasonal promotions. Ask about discounts that can range anywhere from 10 to 25 percent off regular price. You may even be able to score several months free. 

Consider Your Options

Compare the self storage options in your area in terms of size, price, and amenities. Discuss your storage needs with the store manager. Staff is typically friendly and knowledgeable and able to help you sort through the available units, amenities (security and access), and contracts. Read all documents carefully prior to signing.

Take a Chance on Negotiation

As mentioned above, self storage is a competitive industry. Some providers have strict pricing policies, while others may be willing to accommodate certain needs. It doesn’t hurt to ask. You may end up with a larger space for your money.

Don’t Make Your Storage Unit a Huge Junk Drawer

The ever-present junk drawer – everybody has one. It’s full of tools that don’t work, pens that have run out of ink, dead batteries, and those mystery items that seem to appear out of nowhere. Don’t use your storage unit for this kind of junk. Scrutinize everything you store so that you’re only paying for space that you need. You don’t have to go full on KonMari Method, but you should use the “keep, discard, donate” piles to determine what is most important to you and your family. 

Pack Your Unit Efficiently

Put some thought into the way you pack and store your items. Use your space effectively by packing boxes fully, storing large items in the back of the unit, and remembering to use the vertical space – most units have 8 foot ceilings. With careful planning and efficient packing, you may be able to downsize to a less expensive unit.

Use the Free Truck

Many self storage facilities offer the use of a free truck with a move-in. Take advantage of this benefit, as well as discounts on available moving and packing supplies. 

 

Conclusion

Whatever your budget or your reason for needing a self storage solution, you want a good deal on a convenient, safe self storage unit. Allowing yourself to be creative and flexible by using some of the money saving self storage tips we shared, can get you the best value and potentially shave hundreds of dollars from your expenses. 

What Size Self Storage Unit Do I Need?

Searching for a self storage unit doesn’t have to be as difficult as Prince Charming searching his kingdom for the owner of the glass slipper. You’re not looking for Cinderella – you’re looking for self storage. You don’t have to visit every self storage facility in the land to find the perfect fit. 

Whether you’re looking to store your small business inventory or the contents of a typical bedroom, knowing what size you need will save you time and money. You don’t want to have your unit half packed before you realize it’s too small, and you don’t want to spend extra money on a unit that’s too large. 

How Do I Choose the Right Size Self Storage Unit?

Here are some guidelines that will help you determine the storage space that you need. 

Take inventory of the Items Your Storing

Consider the number of boxes, measure appliances and large items, and take into account any large or irregularly-shaped items like bicycles or exercise equipment.

Use Size Guides and Visit the Unit Prior to Reserving

Most self storage websites include a storage unit size guide and many have an interactive space calculator. An in-person visit to the unit that you’re reserving is good idea. A visual representation of the space will help you better plan for your needs.

It’s Better to Overestimate than Underestimate

Even using all of the resources at your disposal won’t determine the exact size unit for your belongings. Of course you don’t want to spend extra money; but, if you’re uncertain, it’s better to spend a few extra dollars for enough room. It’s always a beneficial to have enough space for a path between your boxes and large items.

Think About Storage Unit Dimensions

Self storage units are typically sized as length by width, making it easy to estimate your floor space by square footage: for example, a 5 x 10 unit is 50 sq. ft. Self storage units typically have a height of eight feet, giving you extra vertical space. You can easily stack boxes and containers and position furniture and appliances to save space. 

Look for Packing and Organizing Tips

After you locate the right unit, be sure to get it packed and organized properly to make the best use of your space. Check our Packing and Storage Tips for more information.

How Much Storage Space Do I Need

Below are unit sizes and typical contents. This should give you a rough idea of what you need. This is the type of information you’ll see on a typical size guide.

5 x 5 (25 sq. ft.): The size of a walk-in closet. Ideal for boxes, books, seasonal items (garden tools and pool toys), clothing,  office supplies, and twin size mattresses.

5 x 10 (50 sq. ft.): This is a good size to store a mid-size bedroom, office, or an entire studio apartment.

10 x 10 (100 sq. ft.): An entire living room and two full bedrooms are a good fit for this space. 

10 x 15 (150 sq. ft.): A three-bedroom house will fit in this size unit. It’s ideal for large  screen tvs, sporting equipment, bikes, pianos, and tables.

10 x 20 (200 sq. ft.): This space is ideal for a five-bedroom house, including large appliances. This unit is also big enough for cars, boats, and other vehicles. 

10 x 30 (300 sq. ft.): This unit has enough space to store a five- to seven-bedroom home or a large vehicle or small boat with room to spare. If you’re making a cross-country move, this size will enable you to store the contents of your large home while getting settled.

Vehicle Parking:  Most facilities offer indoor, covered, and open parking spaces for cars, boats, and RVs. You can find information on the vehicle storage page of most self storage websites.

Whatever your storage needs, the information in this article can guide you in the right direction to easily find the right size unit at your local facility. If you’re still uncertain, speak to the manager at your local self storage business.The friendly, knowledgeable employees are always happy to answer your questions and help you to find the right fit.

Do You Know the Difference Between Self Storage Insurance and a Tenant Protection Plan?

According to the Self-Storage Association, one out of every 10 households in the U.S. rents a  self storage unit. That means 10.8 million Americans are comfortable that their possessions are safe, secure and well protected at their local self storage facility. They’ve taken the time to choose the right self storage facility for their possessions, and they know that the majority of self storage businesses have cutting edge security. Video monitoring, electronic gates, keypad access, and even bluetooth enabled keyless entry keep their belongings safe and protected.  

Despite these precautions, insurance is required at most facilities to mitigate risk and cover losses. A growing number of self storage businesses have added a tenant protection plan as another layer of protection.  A tenant protection plan covers certain losses not covered by insurance. 

Storage Insurance vs. Tenant Protection Plan

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners states that even though items in a storage unit are not physically in your home, your homeowner’s policy may help protect those items from certain hazards.  Homeowners/renters insurance typically includes personal property coverage, from certain risks, for clothing, appliances, electronics, and furniture. These items, however, are covered only up to the coverage limits on your policy.

Tenants who depend on the “off-premises” coverage of their homeowners or renters insurance to pay for any damages to items in their storage unit may be disappointed in the event of loss; “off premises” coverage is usually capped at a certain rate.

Be sure to check with your insurance agency to verify exactly how much coverage you will have for “off-premises” items.  

Homeowners/renters insurance covers the contents of a self storage unit only up to a certain limit.

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute, coverage for items in a storage unit is generally provided by the “off-premises” personal property coverage in a homeowner’s policy. Typically covered are fire, lightning, theft, and vandalism.
  • “Off-premises” personal property usually has a coverage limit of up to 50% of the policy’s dwelling coverage limit. Some homeowner’s policies have even lower limits for property located away from your home. For example, if you have $75,000 coverage on your personal property under your homeowner’s policy, coverage for “off-premises” property may be capped as low as 10% or $7,500.
  • Renters insurance generally covers items in a self-storage unit for up to 10% of your policy limits.   

What is covered by self storage insurance?

Buying self-storage insurance will usually give you coverage for damages to your possessions, less your deductible, due to loss from:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Wind
  • Hail
  • Lightning
  • Leaking Water (excluding flooding)
  • Smoke
  • Earthquake

A tenant protection plan offers advantages that you don’t see in conventional insurance coverage.

How does a tenant protection plan work?

A tenant protection plan is a contractual agreement between the facility and the tenant, with the facility assuming limited responsibility for the tenant’s belongings while they are stored in a locked unit. In other words, operators agree to pay customers for damages to belongings up to a specified dollar amount.

Customers will be reimbursed at replacement cost for their damaged or stolen property (clothing and household linens are subject to depreciation). Protection plan fees are conveniently collected with the monthly rent, and there are no deductibles.

Losses from the following are covered:

  • Theft due to forcible entry
  • Fire, smoke, lightning, or explosion
  • Windstorms
  • Water damage from a leaking roof or broken pipe (up to protection plan limits)
  • Furs, antiques, works of art, and consumer electronics

Certain protection plans also cover:

  • Cars, boats, jet skis, RVs, motorcycles, and quads stored inside units
  • Document re-creation costs (up to protection plan limits)
  • Moth, insect, rodent, or vermin damage up to $500
  • Jewelry up to $500

Tenant protection plans do not cover:

  • Loss due to flood damage
  • Damage caused from dropping or moving property in and out of a storage room
  • An improperly packed room resulting in damaged belongings
  • Mysterious disappearance
  • Any property stored outside a locked storage room, including RV’s, cars, boats

With a tenant protection plan, you’re guaranteed an extra layer of safety for your possessions. 

Before you make a decision on any insurance or protection plan to cover your losses, think carefully about the monetary and the sentimental value of your possessions. Be sure to consult your insurance agent, and discuss your options with the manager of the facility where you choose to store your belongings.