Category Archives: Seasonal

Changing it Up: Inexpensive Ways to Freshen Your Decor

decorAs we put away the Christmas decorations and face the New Year, it can be a great time to look around and think about how we want our living spaces to look. Are you one of those people who likes to change up the look of your home on a regular basis? Do you go for beach cottage in the summer and cozy ski lodge in the winter? It’s fun and surprisingly easy to do, and doesn’t require moving a lot of furniture (unless you like that sort of thing.) This article on Apartment Therapy talks about how little changes can make a big difference in updating the look of your living room, and this page at Better Homes & Gardens has links to dozens of seasonal decorating craft projects and ideas. Here are some of the best inexpensive ways to freshen your décor: Continue reading

5 Tips on Getting Ready for Holiday Guests

holidaySeeing beloved friends and family who have come from out of town is one of the very best things about the holidays. Hosting them in your home can be one of the most stressful. But it is definitely worth it. Cousins playing with cousins, sisters and brothers, grandma and grandpa, catching up and remembering the love. Lots of laughter, favorite traditions, and good food. The memories you make will last a lifetime, and some day your children will want to be gracious hosts just like their mom and dad were. So here are some tips for surviving and thriving with house guests during the holidays.

  1. A comfortable place to sleep. This doesn’t have to be an elegantly appointed, en suite guest room with a high-end memory foam mattress. (I mean, you do want them to leave eventually, right?) It can be an inflatable mattress on the floor. The way to make that a restful option for your guests is to go big on the pillows and blankets. Buy some new pillows and give them a choice of warm, cozy blankets, and of course, make sure the sheets and pillow cases are impeccably clean.
  2. Space for their stuff. Again, you may not be able to give them their own walk-in closet, or even their own room, but clearing a space and furnishing it with a place to put their suitcase, and even a small table and/or chair will help them feel more at home. You might also find space in a closet or room where they can put some of their belongings completely out of sight, which will protect their privacy and help them feel less in the way.
  3. Extra towels. Giving them their own private stash of towels, washcloths, and mini toiletries (the basics, toothpaste and shampoo, just in case they forgot) will make them feel extra welcome
  4. Show them where the snacks are. Travelling can lead to late nights, missed meals and limited food choices — make sure your guests have access to bottled water, show them how to use the coffee maker, put some chilled beers in the fridge, and maybe even leave some individually wrapped snacks and candy in a basket near their sleeping area. They will love you for it.
  5. Techie conveniences. A temporary “charging station” near their bed (even if it’s an outlet strip) and your WiFi password will help them settle in digitally.

For more tips on how to be a good host to house guests, check out this post on Houzz. And don’t forget to clear out space for your guests by taking a few things to your storage unit when you go to pick up your Christmas decorations!

From all of us at Dollar Self Storage, Happy Holidays!

 

Fall Organizing

pumpkin-bread

Tea and Pumpkin Bread

Spring cleaning is a great way to clear out the cobwebs of winter, but Fall cleaning, to my mind is more purpose driven. It’s kind of a crazy, but fun, time of year: the kids are back in school, schedules get filled up, and everyone is on the big countdown to the holidays. A clean, well-organized home helps us stay focused and calm during the hectic times. But true organization goes beyond an uncluttered kitchen counter. Streamlining routines like meal planning, grocery shopping, and keeping track of appointments and activities, can really help you carve some down time out of your busy schedule. This will give you more space to be creative and, well, just relax once in a while – with a cup of tea and some pumpkin bread! This article on 7 Fall Organizing Tips is really an excellent overview on how to bring order to busy lives during this busy time of year.

Fall is also a time when we may be preparing our homes for guests and visiting family members. Sprucing up the guest room may be on your to-do list, and this will be a lot easier if you have already de-cluttered and organized the rest of your home. If there are big items in your guest room, like exercise equipment or crafting materials, your storage unit can come to the rescue again. If you live in Southern California, Arizona, or Nevada, your local Dollar Self Storage facility is a clean, safe, and secure place to store your things, during the holidays and beyond.

The Storage Ghosts of Christmas

christmas-carolChristmas is a festive time when we welcome visitors into our home for celebration, when we renew bonds of kinship and comradeship. We look forward to these visits from our friends, our neighbors, and our family. But you might receive some unexpected visitors this holiday season, some ethereal spirits known as the Ghost of Storage Past, the Ghost of Storage Present, and the Ghost of Storage Yet to Come. Continue reading

The Snowbird Lifestyle

open-roadAhh, you lucky snowbirds, it’s Fall again.  Flee the snow, seek the sun. It seems like such an ideal lifestyle, I think almost everyone gets the bug to try it — winter in the warm, southern part of the country then return home after the spring thaw, wherever home may be – Canada, Minnesota, Oregon (I think they call you folks rainbirds). Some people enjoy the snowbird lifestyle by actually owning or renting homes in two different locations. Then there are those adventurous souls who live in their RVs half the year, either returning to the same park and spending the winter with new (old) friends and favorite activities, or tapping into their inner gypsy and exploring new destinations all over the Sun Belt. Continue reading

Decorating for the Holidays – All of Them!

halloween-decorationsDo you love to decorate for the holidays? If you do, you have plenty of opportunities. “Decorating for the holidays” is not just about Christmas and Hanukkah anymore. It can mean Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, or the Fourth of July, just to name a few. It is pretty ingrained in us to recognize the change in the seasons: the bounty of fall (turkey and pumpkin pie!), the bright, glowing ornaments of Christmas that light the long, dark nights of winter; the lovely pastels of Easter eggs that mirror the new growth of spring; and the red, white and blue of the Fourth of July, a full-on celebration of summer as well as a marker of the birth of our country. For many people, the fun of transforming their home during the winter holidays has given them the bug to spread out the fun all year long. Continue reading

Creative Organization

pencil_circleSeptember always puts me in the mood to organize. I guess part of it is the old association with the beginning of the school year – a new backpack; clean, crisp notebooks full of potential; unbroken crayons in all the good colors. But unlike spring cleaning, which is all about squeaky clean surfaces, autumnal organizing brings out my creative side. It makes me want to decoupage that old wooden crate before I stow away my vinyl collection in it. It makes me want to put stickers on the old baby wipes container to make a new home for my kid’s marker collection. You get the idea.

So, if like me, September makes you want to sharpen a few pencils and get crackin’ on some “homework”, you might want to take a look at this article on Bob Vila’s website  about creative storage solutions that feature clever, re-purposed items, like old books, dish drainers, cake pans, worn out luggage – and even last year’s cast off lunch box! These fun ideas will help you get organized and get your creative juices flowing. Who needs finger painting?

When you get done organizing, if you have a few things you need to transfer to your storage unit, don’t forget that Dollar Self Storage has boxes and packing supplies, including specialized items, such as dish packs and wardrobes, which will make that job easier. When they are all packed up, you can put some stickers on them!

Storing Seasonal Clothing

Storing seasonal clothing.

How not to store your clothing.

Storing seasonal clothing is a great idea, especially if you have limited closet space. It’s one of those times when less is more. By that I mean, when you go to your closet to pick out something to wear, and you can actually move the hangers around and see what is in there, you suddenly feel like you have more options. If you are a woman, you might even see outfit combinations you hadn’t thought before. Come to think of it, I guess guys might do that, too.

But if your closet is so jammed with clothes you can barely extract an item without the Jaws of Life, you are going to get frustrated and just grab something that is easy to get to. Again. Or, worse yet, you will be tempted to buy something new, compounding your problem. Continue reading

The Mother’s Day Question

chocolatesFlowers and candy are nice, but what do Moms really want? An age-old question to which there is no single answer, but one thing is for sure, a little help around the house is always appreciated. Whenever I used to ask my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day, she always answered “I want you to clean your room.” I thought that was a joke, so I ignored it, but now I think I get it. Moms are frequently held accountable for the appearance of the home, at least in their own minds. Other members of the family look only at their own clutter and think “what’s the big deal?” but Mom sees all of it. She may spend hours getting one area cleared up, only to turn around and find her work undone within minutes. I can see how that might be frustrating. Continue reading

Outdoor Living

file000612558478It’s almost May, and if you’ve been cooped up all winter (and even if you haven’t), it’s time to spend some time outdoors. These days, people are taking their outdoor living spaces to new heights of luxury and style – no more perching on a flimsy webbed lawn chair with a paper plate balanced on your knee. Now people serve pizza rustica from their wood fire ovens to guests around elegantly laid tables lit by outdoor chandeliers, or gaze at the stars while getting cozy by the fire pit with a snifter of brandy.

Outdoor furniture in particular has made incredible advances, with beautiful and comfortable pieces that rival the couch and chairs in your living room.  The most common materials for outdoor furniture frames are wood, wicker, aluminum, and wrought iron. Wood has a casual, natural look, is fairly easy to maintain, and can always be made new again with a fresh coat of paint. There’s nothing like a classic Adirondack Continue reading