Are you a Packing Pro, Wizard, Ninja, or Jedi? (Quiz)

What do you think your personal style of packing is? The answer might surprise you…


No matter what your style of packing may be, Simply Self Storage has all supplies you need for moving and storage.

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5 Simple Tips to a Successful Garage Sale

how to organize a garage sale

Planning a garage sale seems so simple, but in reality, you may not realize exactly how much work goes into holding one. And after you’ve gone to so much trouble preparing for the sale, you want to be sure it’s worth the time and effort you put into it. Follow these five tips, and we guarantee your garage sale will not only be a success, but will also be a lot less stressful to organize than you thought possible.

Set a Date

If you’re considering a garage sale, you’ve probably stumbled across items in your home that need to go. Before you go any further collecting items, you need to set a date. Establishing the date of your sale will set a timeline so you can plan and prepare in a more proactive manner.

Gather and Price Items

Once the date has been set, it’s time to really dig in and start gathering items you want to get rid of. Go through the basement, the attic, your kids’ closets—anywhere items may be hiding that you are ready to part with. It’s unlikely you’ll want to host a garage sale every month, so take this opportunity to thoroughly clean your home and really purge it of clutter.

Consider taking the time to price your items as you add them to the garage sale pile. Pricing items can become a daunting task, especially when you’re looking at a giant pile of stuff. Take a few moments to really consider the item and make sure you mark it with a fair price, but don’t undersell yourself—if a customer doesn’t like your price, they’ll try to haggle. If you err on the side of a higher price, you may be more likely to end up getting a higher price for the item even after negotiations.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise!

When hosting a garage sale, advertising is essential if you really want to attract buyers to your home. Consider placing an ad in the local newspaper, then take to the internet and post an ad on Craigslist, share the event on Facebook, tweet about it—you want to make sure news of your sale is spread near and far to ensure a good showing of customers, which in turn means better sales and more money for you.   

Display Items Well

Throwing everything out on the lawn just isn’t going to cut it—make sure you lay out your items in a way that is attractive and shows each one in its best light. Set up tables to display items, and lay down tarps if you must place anything on the ground. Hang clothes on a rolling rack, plug electronics into a surge protector so customers can easily see that they work, group like items together—doing so allows customers to easily identify the tables and items they want to check out, ensuring they won’t miss anything or pass up any deals they otherwise would have purchased.

Create a Welcoming Environment

Make sure that you welcome and acknowledge every customer who stops by your garage sale—people are more likely to buy when they’re dealing with a friendly and welcoming host. Don’t be pushy, but continue to interact with your customers as they shop—compliment them on their cute purse, tell them how adorable their kids are—make a connection. Be prepared to haggle, don’t settle for a price you’re not comfortable with, and keep a smile on your face—it’s so much easier doing business with someone who’s nice.

We Can Help

Not quite ready to part with all of your items just yet? At Simply Self Storage, we have storage units available to keep your prized possessions safe until you’re ready to get rid of them.

Contact us today at 1-877-STORE-HERE to learn more about our storage options.  

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How to Find the Right Moving Company in 8 Easy Steps

8 tips for choosing a moving company

Moving can be one of the most stressful events you’ll ever experience, regardless of if it is ten blocks away or across the country. However, hiring the right mover can help eliminate most of that stress, making it well worth the extra cost. To help you out, here are 8 steps you should take when it comes to hiring the right moving company for your needs.

  • Get referrals. While jumping online might be your initial instinct when searching for a mover, it will likely be overwhelming and can lead you in the wrong direction. When you ask family, friends, coworkers, or even the real estate agent you worked with, you’ll be off to a much better start and will better be able to avoid the scammers associated with many of the moving sites you come across. If someone you know has personally used a moving company, they can tell you the pros and cons of their experience first hand.
  • Ask questions. After you find several companies to consider, call their offices and gather information about each company. It’s always good to ask how long they’ve been in business, what their full company name is and if they have any DBAs (Doing Business As), where they are located (meaning get a physical address so you can go check them out), what procedures and policies they follow, etc. And, while you are speaking to a live person, this is also a great time to ask for license numbers (see #5).
  • Request in-home estimates. Arrange for at least three moving companies to do an in-home estimate. If they don’t actually come see what stuff you’ll be moving, there is no way they can give you a totally accurate estimate. If they won’t come do an estimate in person, move on and try another company.
  • Compare estimates in detail. If any one company’s estimate is significantly lower than the others, use caution. Check the other bids and compare the details to see where the higher costs are coming from. Ask questions if you aren’t sure about anything, and if the company you were leaning toward has the highest estimate, don’t be afraid to try and negotiate a better rate.
  • Check for proper licensing and insurance. It’s important that the moving company you select is properly licensed and insured. Legit movers will have a DOT and MC license number that can be verified through the FMCSA’s website.
  • Call the FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline. You can ask about any complaints filed against your moving company, which may help in your decision when selecting the mover that’s right for you. The number is (888) 368-7238.
  • Double check with the Better Business Bureau. If you are wondering about a moving company’s track record, the BBB allows you to do that research for free. You’ll be able to see if the company is BBB accredited and can check for good ratings or complaints. If a company isn’t listed with the BBB, you might want to choose someone else.
  • Select your mover. Now you should be able to make an educated decision and can select the moving company you feel most comfortable using!

Be Aware

Even after doing all the necessary research, it’s always good to be aware. If anything seems off on moving day (i.e., movers ask for cash upfront, the moving truck doesn’t have a permanent label, etc.) be cautious. Make sure you have a written copy of the mover’s inventory list and get phone numbers from the actual movers themselves so you can contact them at any point during the move. And finally, if you don’t feel comfortable, send them away!

If you would like more information about finding a great moving company in your area, please call Simply Self Storage at 1-877-STORE-HERE today.

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5 Tips For A Clutter-Free Kitchen

kitchen organization tips

The kitchen is the heart of your home; it’s where family gathers, friends unite, mouths are fed, and memories are made. Because of its central, popular location, however, your kitchen is also a prime landing pad for clutter. But by following these 5 organizational tips, you can keep your kitchen neat, tidy, and ready for any occasion.

Make The Most Of Cabinet Space

Are you tired of having to dig through cabinet clutter just to find one simple item? Here are some fun ways to make the most of cabinet space by utilizing vertical space as well as horizontal space:

  • Organize mugs by placing small hooks underneath cabinet shelves.
  • Install a stemware holder to hang wine glasses.
  • Apply stick-on hooks inside cabinet or pantry doors to hang clutter-prone items like measuring cups, pot holder, oven mitts, dish towels, etc.
  • Hang a circular rack from your ceiling for pots and pans and stick a plastic adhesive dispenser underneath your sink to store old grocery bags.

The key is to get creative with ways to free up shelving space inside your cabinets, so you can reduce clutter and achieve optimum organization.

Love Your Lazy Susan

Contrary to popular belief, lazy susans aren’t just for the dinner table. In fact, rotating trays are the ideal organizational tool for just about anything. Install a few smaller models to hold things like oils and vinegar, spices and baking ingredients, vitamins and medications, or syrups, honey, and other condiments. Lazy susans are also a perfect solution for preventing refrigerated items from getting hidden and going bad. Put a couple on top and bottom shelves to hold jams, pickles, olives, dressings and other small, cluttery food items.

Tackle Your Messy Tupperware

Tupperware has a funny way of creating clutter – fast. First and foremost, throw away or recycle any containers that don’t have lids, have grungy buildup, or aren’t frequently used. Then create a “file cabinet” for your remaining plastic containers by installing dividers inside your drawer. Group like-sizes in designated sections and store the lids together for easy access and ideal organization.

Designate Cleaning Days

One of the best ways to ward off kitchen clutter is to develop a cleaning schedule. Pick one day a month to sort through your refrigerator and discard any expired items. Every four months, choose a day where you completely empty your cabinets and go through each item, discarding or donating the things that you don’t use frequently, have duplicates of, are broken, or are expired. The key is to not hold back and keep only the things you use: be diligent about your cleaning and try to avoid the “what if I might need it” scenario.

Consider marking these important dates on your calendar so you stick to a cleaning schedule.

Clear Your Counters

Perhaps the biggest enemy of kitchen clutter is disorganized counter space. With everything from to-do lists and homework to cookbooks and mail, counters are often subject to extreme buildup. Designate wall space by your pantry or refrigerator and mount a wooden or metal magazine holder for things like mail, newspapers, and homework. Hang another specifically for cookbooks, and use an adhesive whiteboard or chalkboard to write to-do lists, shopping lists, phone messages, and other notes. Again, by getting creative with your use of vertical space, you can avoid common clutter build-up and maintain a tidy, organized kitchen.
For more storage and organization ideas, visit Simply Self Storage or call 1-877-STORE-HERE.

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How to Store These 50 Common Household Items

how to store common household items

If you are getting ready for a big move or leaving town for an extended period of time, you might need to consider how to store your possessions so they remain in prime condition until you can get to them again. Simply Self Storage knows a thing or two about storage and has put together a list of how NOT to store the following 50 common household items to help you out.

Personal Items

Don’t just assume that all your personal items will be fine shoved away in a box or drawer. You’ll want to make sure that every product is closed or sealed and stored in an airtight container. You should also consider discarding any items that will expire while you are away—and keep in mind that most of these items should be kept at 75 degrees F or lower.

  1.     Medications
  2.     Soaps
  3.     Hair products
  4.     Facial creams
  5.     Powdered makeup
  6.     Foundation
  7.     Mascara
  8.     Lipstick and lip glosses

Foods and Drinks

Don’t leave foods in the refrigerator or cabinets. Make sure everything that is perishable is eaten or tossed before you leave. Anything that has been opened, whether in your refrigerator or cabinet, should be taken care of.

This is also the perfect opportunity to go through your fridge and freezer to throw out older items or foods that have expired (or will expire while you are gone). Any liquor should be kept in a cool room and corked wine should be stored on its side.

  1.     Meats and poultry
  2.  Dairy
  3.  Breads and grains
  4.  Fruits and vegetables
  5.  Fresh herbs
  6.  Spices and ground herbs
  7.  Beer
  8.  Liquor
  9.  Wine
  10.  Juices and other drinks

Clothing and Jewelry

While clothing and jewelry are probably one of the easiest things to store, don’t just toss them in any old box. Nothing is worse than opening a box of clothing filled with moths and mildew! Clothes should be kept at 66-70 degrees F and placed in garment bags or new cardboard boxes to ensure freshness.

  1.  Cottons
  2.  Polyesters
  3.  Leather
  4.  Jeans
  5.  Undergarments
  6.  Socks
  7.  Shoes
  8.  Jewelry

Electronics

If you aren’t taking all of your electronics with you, don’t forget to remove batteries! The following electronics can also be damaged if stored without padding or extra space in boxes, and should be kept in a space that is between 50-70 degrees F.

  1.  Computers
  2.  Printers
  3.  Tablets and iPads
  4.  MP3 players
  5.  Cell Phones
  6.  Cameras
  7.  Televisions
  8.  Blu-Ray and DVD Player
  9.  Stereos
  10.  Speaker Systems

Furniture, Rugs, and Other Home Items

Don’t assume furniture is fine as is. You may want to consider disassembling furniture to prevent breakage and protect fabrics by wrapping in plastic. Remove drawers from desks and dressers and wrap or put any home goods or décor items in plastic as well.

  1.  Upholstered couches and chairs
  2.  Leather couches and chairs
  3.  Coffee tables
  4.  End tables
  5.  TV stands
  6.  Armoires
  7.  Area rugs
  8.  Throw pillows and blankets
  9.  Bedroom furniture
  10.  Bedding
  11.  Pillows

Fragile Dishware

Don’t store dishes or glassware without something between each piece. Any fragile dishware should be wrapped individually or stacked with a fabric like fleece or felt between each item. If everything is cushioned and protected, they’ll be safe for as long as you need.

  1.  China and Other Ceramic Dishes
  2.  Stemware
  3.  Glassware

Regardless of your situation, we promise that if you take the time to store everything properly, you’ll be a much happier person on return! If you need help or would like more information about proper storage of household items, please call 1-877-STORE-HERE today!

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What to Do When You Relocate to a New City

what to do when you relocate

Relocating to a new city is a big life change that can be exciting and adventurous. However, the stress of moving and learning a new area can also leave you feeling overwhelmed. There is so much to remember once you make it to your new house that can start your mind racing and leave your body feeling stressed.

Combat those feeling by using this checklist to help you achieve a smooth and easy transition immediately following your relocation. Once you’ve completed the list, you’ll be ready to sit back and enjoy your new home and settle into your new community.

Inspect Your New Home and Check Your Belongings

There’s more to moving into a new home than unpacking boxes. Before you get too comfortable, be sure to complete the following safety-oriented tasks:

  • Check window locks and change door locks.
  • Reprogram garage door and security alarm codes.
  • Inspect the house thoroughly for visible signs of damage, plumbing leaks, and rodents.
  • Connect and check major appliances (fridge/freezer, stovetop/oven, microwave, washer/dryer).
  • Locate fuse box and main water valve.
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
  • Childproof by identifying hazards such as furniture or boxes that can top over, long cords, and unprotected electrical outlets.

Now you’re ready to complete the following move-in tasks:

  • Check your boxes and belongings for damage.
  • Take “before” photographs of your home for security deposit reasons and also as a keepsake.
  • Unpack and decorate as time allows.
  • Take extra or unneeded items to a self-storage unit for safe keeping. Call 1.877.STORE.HERE for units of any size and budget.

Turning On Utilities and Hiring Out Services

Before you can get too far on your path to settling in, you’ll need to call the following utility companies to get everything turned on and set up in your new house:

  • Power
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Phone
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Waste Management (trash and recycling pick up)

Do some online and word-of-mouth research to get started on hiring the following services:

  • Nanny or babysitter
  • Cleaning services
  • Landscape company
  • Pest control

Updating Your Address and Phone Number

There are a variety of people and places who must have your new address and phone number updated in their contacts list or database. They include the following:

  • Friends and family
  • Employers and schools
  • Post office and subscription services
  • DMV for your driver’s license
  • Bank and credit card companies
  • Financial companies (Lenders, 401k provider, stockbroker, etc.)
  • Home, auto, life, and health insurance companies
  • Mail-order prescriptions
  • Rewards programs

Also, six months after your move, be sure to check your credit report as changing your address can make you more susceptible to fraud due to the mass exchange of personal information that takes place through the mail and online. 

Registering in Your Community

After your move you’ll need to reregister with the following:

  • Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • Schools
  • Voting district

Preparing for Emergencies

It’s a good idea to know the following locations and contact information before an emergency so you can get help quickly should you need it:

  • Police and fire stations
  • Doctor
  • “In-network” after-hours clinic, hospital, and pharmacy
  • Dentist
  • Veterinarian

Getting to Know the Area

Getting to know the following places will help ease your transition and make you feel more a part of your new community:

  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Supermarkets
  • Parks
  • Donation centers
  • Library

Getting to know your neighbors on a personal level will go a long way to making you feel welcome in the neighborhood. Take time to introduce yourself and make an effort to attend local social events. Another great way to “get into the know” is by subscribing to the local newspaper or community magazine.

Once you are more familiar with your new house and community, you’ll be able to start making the transition complete by concentrating on making it feel more like home.

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5 Of The Best Furniture Donation Organizations

5 places to donate furniture

Are you ready to get rid of furniture but don’t know how to properly remove it from your home? Check out these five nation-wide furniture donation organizations to find out the best option for you.

Donation Town

Donation Town is a mobile resource for donating clothing and other household goods like furniture to a variety of different charitable organizations. Founded in 2008, Donation Town is an online directory of different charities that offer pickup services for your unwanted goods. Donation Town is passionate about the benefits of providing reliable donation services to help charities get more donations.

As one of the best online resources for people who want to donate non-cash items  like clothing and household goods to charity, Donation Town’s free service makes it easy for you to connect with your desired charity organization. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing your belongings are going to a good cause. Again, the process is easy:

  • If you’ve got stuff to donate, visit the Donation Town website.
  • Donation Town will show a list of local charities that will pick up your donations
  • Meaningful charities that need your clothing and household goods will come to your home – for free – and pick them up. You’ll also get tax deductions for your donations.

PickUpMyDonation.com

PickUpMyDonation.com takes the hassle out of the common donation process. By simply entering your zip code, you’ll be entered into the PickUpMyDonation.com online system and provided with  a variety of different organizations who are looking for donations similar to what you’re giving away. Select donation centers that appeal to you and they’ll call to confirm a specific time to pick up your goods.  

After realizing the need for a quick and easy step-by-step donation process, PickUpMyDonation.com’s founders established this website as a helpful tool that automatically establishes the minimum criteria for a donation pick up. Not only does it help partnering donation organizations succeed by reducing fuel and labor costs, but PickUpMyDonation.com also makes your job as a donor virtually effortless.

The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division

As an international movement, The Salvation Army is founded on evangelical beliefs of  the universal Christian church. With a message based on the Bible and a ministry motivated by the love of God, the Salvation Army organization is made up of thousands of officers, soldiers, adherents, employees, volunteers and other individuals all working together to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people as well as struggling to meet the physical needs of those less fortunate.

As a means of helping those less fortunate, The Salvation Army have Family Thrift Stores across the nation that accept all donations of clothing, furniture and other resalable items. All furniture and other homegoods are handled through The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where donations are used to provide services for substance abuse treatment and recovery programs. Ways to donate your items include:

All items donated to The Salvation Army are tax-deductible based on The Salvation Army Donation Value Guide.

Goodwill Industries International Inc.

At Goodwill, your donated goods aren’t just going to a reputable organization, they are also helping provide jobs to people struggling to find work. In fact, just this year your donated goods, and those of others, will help you get 177,429 people back to work. Furthermore, donating your furniture and other household goods to Goodwill is easy.

  • You can personally donate items by contacting your local Goodwill to find out about hours of operation and the most convenient drop-off location for you.
  • Most Goodwills across the country also make house calls for furniture and other large items that you might not be able to transport by yourself. Call your local Goodwill to find out more about pick-up services available in your area.

Goodwill strives to be more than a common donation center. In fact, 82 percent of Goodwill’s resale revenue goes directly into employment and training programs for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. By sending your unused furniture and other goods to Goodwill, you’ll be contributing to an organization that uses your donations to give back to the greater community.

Habitat For Humanity ReStore

Lastly, one of the most reputable organizations for donating your furniture is at Habitat for Humanity. Save your unwanted items for ending up in a landfill by donating to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, a store and donation center that accepts all hard-to-dispose-of items like new and used furniture, appliances and surplus building materials. More often than not, Habitat provides a useful pick-up services for these large items.

As a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry, Habitat builds homes for people in need regardless of rage or religion. From families left homeless by natural disasters, war and civil unrest, to people living in slum housing, Habitat provides shelter and housing assistance to people in need. All of the money raised by your donations that the Habitat ReStore go directly to helping families build decent and affordable places to call home. When choosing your local Habitat ReSale center, you’re not just offloading your unwanted items, you’re helping families and those in need gain the strength, stability, and independence they need to achieve a bright future.

If you need help storing goods before donating them to charity or for more information on ways you can make better use of your storage items, visit Simply Self Storage, today.

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Why Moving Boxes Are The Best For The Job

why to use packing boxes

 

 

Are you planning a move soon? Forget about scouring grocery stores, liquor stores, and other places in search of boxes you can use for packing. Instead, opt for moving boxes that are designed to do the job right. Simply put, grocery store boxes just aren’t the same as moving boxes; they are made specifically to store and transport produce and other products and then discarded or recycled.

Moving boxes, on the other hand, have the durability, protective layers, and quality needed to properly protect, store, and transport your belongings. Below are five more reasons why moving boxes are superior over grocery store boxes and other containers.

They’re Clean

Boxes from grocery stores are subject to spills, stains, mold, bugs, and other mysterious substances that contaminate cleanliness and threaten the integrity of your belongings. Even if a grocery store box looks and smells clean at first, odors can be trapped within the cardboard and infest your things.

Moving boxes, on the other hand, are bought directly from a moving company or hardware store and have never been used before. This means you won’t have to worry about storing your belongings with remnants that can attract vermin or tarnish your things.  

Strong and Durable

Moving boxes are made with layers of cardboard that make them strong and durable in areas that need it the most. There are several different types of boxes that are constructed specifically to withstand the weight, size, and pressure of your things. Boxes made for heavy objects, for example, have additional support at the bottom, whereas things like wardrobe boxes have reinforcements by the upper area where hangers are placed.

Grocery store boxes, on the other hand, may have been damaged and could put your belongings at risk. The last thing you’ll want to do is have the bottom fall out of boxes holding valuable glassware and china.

Standard Sizes

Moving boxes come in standard sizes which make packing and storing much more efficient and effective. Other boxes and containers come in various shapes and sizes which can lead to cluttered trucks. Having standard sized boxes also enables you to organize and sort your belongings in ways that will make your move quick and easy.

Boxes For Special Uses

There are many moving boxes designed for specific uses. Wardrobe boxes, for example, are ideal for hanging your clothes and preventing them from being wrinkled and damaged. There are also specially-designed boxes for things like kitchenware, tall lamps, heavy items, pictures, and much more. These boxes are more reliable for keeping your belongings safe and secure during a move than the generic boxes typically found at grocery stores.  

Clean Slates

One of the best ways to stay organized during a move is to properly label everything. By using grocery store boxes with prints, designs, numbers, and words already on them, clearly identifying what box is what can be difficult. Moving boxes, however, can be clearly labeled, and you can even include notes that help you and movers determine where the boxes should be placed at the new home. This will save you a ton of time when it comes to unpacking and organizing your new home.


When planning your move, take advantage of Simply Self Storage for moving and packing supplies, moving tips and advice, and much more. Call 1-877-STORE-HERE to learn more today.

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Two DIY Shelves to Give You Extra Storage

diy shelves

Take a look around your home and garage. Are your belongings taking up a lot of floor space? Are your closets crammed full of hard-to-reach items? Do you feel like you’re running out of proper storage space? If so, it’s time to consider building your own shelving units to add organization and character to your indoor space.

Below are two ideas and how-to steps for building simple DIY storage shelves. Knowing the concepts behind building these shelves can give you the power to adjust the size and shape of each idea, so you can build creative shelving units for whatever your heart desires.

Vertical Wall Shelves

These shelves are great options for large rooms with blank open walls. You can even include built-in lights to showcase artwork, collectables, books, and more. Note: the following instructions are for one shelving unit. Multiply materials as needed.

Step 1 – Collect tools and materials. The tools you’ll need are a carpenter’s square, a tape measure, and 120- and 180-grit sandpaper. Materials include:

  • ¾ x 20 x 72 glued pine panel
  • 2 – ½ x 3  72 pine boards
  • 4 – 17 ¾-in x 8-in hidden bracket shelves
  • 2 D-ring holders

Step 2 – Make the hangers. Screw a d-ring holder into each ½ x 3 x 72 strip centered on its width and four-inches from the top. On the top back of the panel, measure (twice!) and mark one-inch in from each side. Glue and nail the spacer on the back of the panel along the one-inch inset marks.

Step 3 – Sand and paint. Thoroughly sand the front and edges of the panel and the hidden-bracket shelves with sandpaper. Wipe the surfaces clean with a wet rag and let dry completely before apply two coats of your desired paint color onto all visible surfaces.

Step 4 – Install shelves. After the paint dries, measure 12 inches up from the bottom of the panel and center and mark a one-foot-long horizontal line. This is where you’re bottom shelf will be placed. Use the five upper mounting holes on the hidden-shelf holder (may be more or less depending on where you purchase your supplies) and screw it to the panel with the bottom edge of the holder on the pencil line. Repeat this process, spacing each shelf 12-inches apart.

Step 5 – Hang unit. Carefully measure the exact distance between the back hangers and mark mounting locations on the wall. If no studs are available, use hollow-wall anchors and consider using a level to ensure your units aren’t crooked.

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are all the rage these days because they are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Best of all though? They are easy to make! Again, the following instructions are for one floating shelf, so you’ll need to multiply materials depending on how many shelving units you want to make.

Step 1 – Collect tools and materials. Gather clamps, a screwdriver (or drill), a stud finder, a level, a brad nailer with nails, painters tape, a paint brush, paint of your choice, and wood glue. Then stop by your hardware store or lumber yard to pick up one ½-in. x 2-ft. x 4-ft. sanded plywood project panel and one 1-in. x 2-in. x 8-ft. select pine boards.

Step 2 – Cut the wood pieces. Cut the wood pieces into the following dimensions (Note: some stores will even cut them for you!):

  • Two: 1-in. x 2-in. x 21-in. These will be side-planks of the frame.
  • Four: 1-in. x 2-in. x 6.5-in. These will be the cross-beams of the frame.
  • Two: ¼-in. x 8-in. x 21-in. These will be glued to make the top and bottom of the shelf.
  • Two: ¼-in. x 2-in. x 8-in.  These will be glued to line the sides of the shelf.
  • One: ¼-in. x 2-in. x 21 ⅜- in. This will be glued to line the front of the shelf.

Step 3 – Build the frame. Lay the side-planks parallel to each other with 6.5-in in between the two. Evenly space out the four-cross beams between the side-planks making sure two of the beams are flush with the ends of the planks. Screw all parts together.

Step 4 – Secure the top and bottom. Apply a line wood glue to the top of one side-plank and all four cross-beams. Carefully place one of the two ¼-in. x 8-in. x 21-in. pieces on top of the frame, ensuring all sides are flush. Clamp and let dry.

Step 5 – Prepare to hang the unit. Remove the screws attaching the unglued side-plank to the cross-beams. This will give you access to the inside of the box-like shelf and allow to you attach it the wall.

Step 6 – Attach the shelf. Attach the shelf to the wall from inside with a screwdriver. Ensure your shelf is screwed into at least one stud for stability and use a level to make sure the shelf is both vertically and horizontally level before adding the remaining screws.

Step 7 – Finishing touches. Screw the missing plank back into the cross-beams and clue the remaining ¼-in. board to the front. Use a brad nailer to hold in place and wipe away any leaky glue. Apply painting tape to the wall surrounding the shelves and apply two or three layers of your desired paint color for a sleek finalized look.

For more creative storage ideas and information on how proper storage can add organization to your life, call 1-877-STORE-HERE.

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10 Ways a Cardboard Box Makes the Best Toy

10 ways a cardboard box makes the best toy

Packing and moving comes with several dilemmas, and if you have kids, perhaps the biggest is keeping them entertained long enough so you can actually get some packing done. But with only a bunch of moving supplies around and perhaps even their toys and bedrooms packed up, how can you keep them busy and out of trouble?

The answer is right in front of you – and probably stacked all around you: cardboard boxes. That’s right, you can turn those moving boxes into one of these 10 incredible creations that will keep your toddler busy all afternoon!

An Ice Cream Shop

Cut out some windows and draw on some curvy window treatments, colorful signage, and of course ice cream, and let them pretend to their heart’s content. You can even dig out some kitchen utensils to add to the magic. Cutout ice-cream cone shapes and let them take turns being the shop attendee and the customer, and they’ll be happy for hours.

A Pretend Kitchen

Simply tip a tall box on its side so the doors open out, and you have a fridge! Stack a smaller box next to it, draw 4 circles on the top, and you have a stove! Again, you can pull out some kitchen gear to help their culinary endeavors, or cut them out of cardboard.

Coloring World

Set your toddler in an empty box with crayons, markers, paint, stickers, etc. and let them create all around them – literally! If the box is big enough, you could tip it on it’s side like the fridge and even let them color on the ceiling above them.

A Racetrack Maze

First, take a cardboard box and cut it up into rectangles. Cut a half-circle at the bottom of most of them, so it creates a tunnel. Then, with another cardboard box open at the top, insert some of the slats at 90-degree angles to each other, and some right next to each other, so that it creates a maze. Give them their toy cars and let them go to town racing creating new paths through the maze.

A Traffic Light

A rectangular box can make a great stoplight if you have some construction paper or even some markers to create the different-colored lights. Then they can wear themselves out playing “red light, green light.”

Pirate Ship

If they’re old enough to know what pirates are, this will be a big hit. Cut out some holes for the windows on the sides, and use a longer paper towel roll to create a sail. Don’t forget the skull and crossbones! If they’re a little young to appreciate the excitement of a pirate ship, a regular boat will suffice.

A Long Train

If most of the boxes are full, let them line them up to create the boxes of a train, and give them an empty box for the driver’s seat so they can control it, of course.

An Entire City

Again, something that can be done if most of the boxes are packed is to let your children arrange them into a city. Bonus points if you let them design them into various buildings, such as the bank, a skyscraper with lots of windows, the jail, etc.

Sensory Box

For younger ones, this is a big hit. Simply cut a hole in the top, and hide surprise items inside. If the items are hidden among packing peanuts it will be even more fun for them to dig around and try to guess what’s in there.

Puppet Theater

With one side open, make some small cuts in the top where you can dangle strings from. Tie a knot at the top of the strings, and then tie stuffed animals, toys, or anything else onto the other end. Then, put them in the box with the tied-end of the strings coming up through the small cuts, and you’ve just created a marionette puppet stage!
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