Best Tips for Packing Light – Memorial Day Weekend Travel

best tips for packing light

It’s that time of year when things warm up, school is out, vacations are planned, and you are always on the go. By now you’ve probably dug out the old suitcase and are beginning to question if you can just fit everything into a few carry-ons instead of checking your bag.  To pack with a purpose, use these tips to help you make the most of your luggage space for any trip ahead.

Don’t Wait till the Last Minute

Instead of waiting until the last minute, it is best to start packing at least 3 days ahead of time. Need some motivation? Create a packing playlist to get you moving and jam out while you organize your suitcase and toiletries.

Come Prepared with a Plan

When you wait till the last minute or pack without a plan, you’re more likely to throw things in there you don’t really need. Decide your bag limit (a couple carry ons, a big checked bag and a carry on, etc.), make a list of how many essential items you need based on the amount of days you’ll be traveling, and eliminate any items you’re unsure of before you place anything in the bag.

Pick Versatile Clothing Items

Pack neutral colors that can be mixed and matched. Use small accessories like vests and scarves to change up what feels like repeated outfits. Lightly worn clothing items can be reworn, and reuse clothing items to avoid a bulging suitcase. Utilize hotel laundry services.

  • Have any clothing items you are preparing to donate? Bring all these clothing items on your trip for one last hurrah and donate them in the city you are visiting for an almost empty suitcase to fill with souvenirs for the return trip.
  • Traveling across countries with no laundry services and need to make room in your suitcase? Consider using disposable clothing items such as socks and underwear. Every bit of space may count.
  • Wear your bulkiest clothing items on the plane instead of packing in your suitcase. These can be taken off and stored in the overhead bins while flying and may save you the need to check a bag.

Pack Strategically

To create more room in your suitcase, roll your clothing items instead of folding. This method allows for ultimate space utilization. Tuck socks and jewelry inside your shoes. Put your items and clothes you will need first access to upon arrival on top.

If you’re traveling for a long road trip, get standard size moving boxes from your local storage facility in which to put all your items. They will stack perfectly in the back of your vehicle and keep things from shifting around while driving.

Downsize Toiletries

If you are flying, instead of squeezing shampoo and liquid soap from larger bottles, just purchase travel size toiletries created specifically for travel and avoid a size mishap through security. Call to hotels ahead of time or check their website for complimentary amenities–you may not even need to bring certain toiletries which will save you space and hassle. If on a road trip with a group, have one person pack large bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, etc. and all share the items.
Wherever you are traveling and however you plan on getting there, packing with intention and strategy is a sure fire way to free up extra space. Contact Simply Self Storage for other packing tips and materials for transporting items on your Memorial Day trip.

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45 Pro Tips & Ideas that Make Organizing Your Closet a Breeze

closet organization

Our closets are something we see on a daily basis, yet despite that interaction, a closet can quickly become one of the most cluttered places in our homes. No one means to lose control of their closet, but it happens. The clothes slip off the hangers and fall to the floor, the shoes get thrown in, and before you know it, you have a mess on your hands.

If you’re ready to reclaim your closet space, we’ve gathered 45 tips that will help you take back your closet, once and for all!

We’ve divided our tips into sections. Feel free to jump around and find the closet cleaning strategy that works best for you.

The Basics

“If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?” — Unknown

closet organization

  1. Just start. The biggest obstacle for most people is just getting started. Take a deep breath and find an area you know you can really dig into today. Maybe it’s going through your winter sweaters. Maybe it’s re-organizing your shoe collection; whatever it is, don’t let the size of the task intimidate you.
  2. Take everything out. It may seem like you’re just moving the mess from one area to another, but this will help you see your entire wardrobe spread out in front of you. You will be better able to determine what to keep and what to donate or throw out.
  3. Clean your closet. The closet isn’t a space that gets regularly cleaned, so take advantage of the free space and get rid of cobwebs, dust bunnies, and give your closet that extra bit of shine.
  4. Assess your space. While the closet is empty, use this time to figure out how best to use the space you have. Decide what you’ll need to keep things organized, whether it’s purchasing extra bins or installing extra shelves. Think about how you can improve your storage space within your closet.
  5. Sort your clothes. Create three piles: Keep, Donate, Trash. Throw away anything that is worn out or broken. Donate items you haven’t worn in a year or are no longer your style. As you go through your closet, review the clothes you only wear for special occasions. If they are in good condition (not moth eaten) and something you’ll still wear, store them in the back of your closet.
  6. Love It or Lose It.  Ask yourself this question, “If I was shopping right now, would I buy this?” If the answer is no, don’t hold onto it.
  7. Get a friend or two. An objective voice can help clear up the confusion about those items you might be reluctant to part with. Friends will also speed up the process, and may even take some items home with them.
  8. Key Takeaway: Taking all the clothes out and going through the closet will give you back the space you deserve. Here are some suggestions on where to take your clothing donations.

    Reorganizing the Closet

    “Sort clothing in zones by type.” — Nancy Haworth

    closet organization

  9. Keep everything visible. Keeping clothing visible will help cut down on future messes and give you options for your wardrobe.
  10. Organize your clothes. Lots of experts suggest organizing your wardrobe by color, which can also help you cut down on excess clothing. Nancy Haworth, a professional organizer from On Task Organizing, suggests sorting clothing in zones by type. For example, t-shirts go with t-shirts, skirts go with skirts, and so on. This way you’ll be able to pick an outfit quickly, and you’ll be able to discard more items you obviously never wear.
  11. Invest in the same hangers. Different types of hangers means valuable space is being taken up by the assorted sizes. Invest in some thin-set hangers, available at most retailers. These hangers should have a non-slip grip, and they’ll help maximize your closet space. Reagan Toal from Federal Brace suggests to “Color coordinate your hangers to give a more cohesive feeling.”
  12. Pair up your shoes. Shoes that are thrown about your closet make it look cluttered and unorganized. Store shoes toe-to-heel so you can find them easier. Another idea is to use an over-the-door shoe rack to utilize your small space better. For shoes you never wear, now is the perfect time to donate them along with the clothes you no longer want.
  13. Face your hangers backwards. Once you’ve gone through your clothes and replaced the items you want to keep back in your closet, hang your hangers backwards. When you wear the item, hang the piece back up with the hanger facing the “correct” way. In a year or so, if the hanger still faces backwards, you’ll know to donate the piece.
  14. Store heavy items at the bottom of your closet. This way, you won’t break your back if you need to get them off shelves, or have heavy things fall on your head if you’re reaching to grab something.
  15. Key Takeaway: Come up with your own system to maintain order in your closet. If you want to sell any items from your closet, here are some tips you might want to consider.

    Advanced Techniques to Keep the Closet Tidy

    “Develop your own system to make picking out an outfit semi-automatic.” –Reagan Toal

    closet organization

  16. Keep items in the closet relevant. Don’t store things like games, papers, and other items. That’s valuable closet real estate you could be using for your clothes.
  17. Contain the mess. Once you’ve organized your closet, store out-of-season clothes in plastic containers along with purses, hats, and scarves.
  18. Label everything. Create labels to go on your bins so you know what’s inside. This will save you from having to search through them to find what you want.
  19. Sentimental items.  If you’re keeping things that have sentimental value (the outfit your child first came home in or  your grandmother’s favorite dress), place these items in their own special bin, label it, and put them in a separate closet.
  20. Consider getting a storage unit. If you’re in the process of downsizing or are going through an extensive decluttering phase throughout your home, a storage unit might be a good way to cut down on clutter and keep your belongings safe. Check out storage units near you.
  21. Fold sweaters. Rather than take up valuable closet space with bulky hangers, Amy Trager, Certified Professional Organizer, recommends folding sweaters on the shelves to save space and avoid stretching them out.
  22. Get creative with your storage spaces. Try using the area under your bed for out-of-season items or bedding.
  23. Utilize unused pillow cases. When storing sheets, tuck them and the fitted sheet inside a pillow case. This will save you on space and you won’t be left wondering if the set is complete.
  24. Key Takeaway: Get creative with your storage spaces. Here are some other unique ways to store your things.

    DIY Closet Ideas

    “Opening up your closet should be like arriving at a really good party where everyone you see is someone you like.”–Amy Fine Collins

    closet organization

  25. Redecorate. While your clothes are out of the way during your organization session, now is a great time to add a nice touch of paint or wallpaper to give your closet a personal touch.
  26. Measure twice, DIY once. Before you start any DIY project, be sure to measure your closet and write down the dimensions. This way you’ll avoid any errors and confirm you have the correct size for space.
  27. Get creative. Not everything has to be used for its intended purpose. Use a shoe holder to hold cleaning supplies or smaller objects you don’t want to get lost. Use shower curtain rings to hold scarves. Share the fun idea you came up with on Pinterest, and spread the love!
  28. Install sliding shelves. Luis Leonzo from Table Legs Online suggests a sliding pegboard for jewelry, belts, or scarves.
  29. Make your own vacuum bags. Luis also suggests using a trash bag and household vacuum to make your own vacuum storage bags. You can invest in regular vacuum storage bags as well.
  30. Illuminate the space. If your closet doesn’t have a light fixture, take the time to install one; or, if your closet already has a light fixture, take time to update it. A light will help make things easier to find and add some nice ambiance to your space.
  31. Hook yourself up. Use hooks to hold purses, bags, and other items to keep your floor space free for walking. If you’re worried about installing hooks, use Command Hooks to avoid putting any holes in the wall.
  32. Add a mirror. Feel free to install a mirror if you don’t have one yet. Not only will you be able to see how an outfit looks, you’ll give your closet the illusion of more space.
  33. Key Takeaway: Adding that personal touch to your closet can motivate you to keep it organized. If you’ve caught the DIY bug, check this out for more DIY ideas for storage.

    Tips for dressers and drawers

    “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” –Benjamin Franklin

    closet organization

  34. Catalog your shirts. Rather than stacking your shirts on top of each other, gain tons of space by storing them vertically. You’ll be able to see all your shirts at a glance this way.
  35. Divvy up the drawers. Use shoe boxes to store and divide things like underwear and socks. Not only does this utilize your space better, but it prevents different items from getting mixed together.
  36. Make it smell good. Tuck in bars of soap or packaged potpourri in the drawers to keep clothes smelling fresh. No musty, been-in-storage-too-long smell here!
  37. Roll your clothes for maximum space. Ever heard of rolling your luggage to fit more clothes in your suitcase? This packing tip can also help you maximize your storage in your closet as well.
  38. Organize your drawers. Place items in your drawers in the order you get dressed. Underwear, socks, and other personal items go in the top, whereas shirts, pants, and other outerwear items go in the bottom drawers.
  39. Key Takeaway: Free up some space in your drawers by trying something new with your clothes.

    Bins & Cubbies

    “Organizing is a journey, not a destination.” — Unknown

    closet organization

  40. Store your hats in bins. If you have hats floating around, consider storing them in bins rather than just setting them on the shelf. Don’t want to use bins? Install dedicated hooks for your hats to keep them off the floor and from losing their shape.
  41. Kids bins. Consider getting smaller, more colorful bins for a child’s closet, and help them establish a system for organizing it. Use stickers or pictures for younger children that can’t read.
  42. Stack ‘em up. Purchase bins designed to stack to save on space. Avoid stacking them higher than 2 boxes, though, to prevent them from falling every time you need something.
  43. Use ornament boxes for more than the holidays. You can use a holiday ornament box to store your socks and other small clothing items.
  44. Key Takeaway: Use bins and cubbies to contain the items that may not have a place otherwise.

    Closet Organization Systems

    “Organization is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.” A. A. Milne

    closet organization

  45. Hanging shelves.Hanging shelves help cut down on clutter by filling the under-utilized vertical space in a closet and providing you a place to store your folded items.
  46. Tiered Hangers. A tiered hanger will allow you to hang multiple items on one hanger. You can even make your own using a soda can tab.
  47. Suit protectors. Keep dust and lint off your suits by keeping them in a suit protector bag. These are also great for travel.
  48. Double hanging rod. A double hanging rod will add space for your clothes and use that vertical closet space.
  49. Freestanding closet rack. Sometimes, you’ll just need a rack to hold clothes. Get creative with it: store your dresses or suit jackets on it.
  50. Shelf dividers. Perfect for sharing a closet with someone, or just to add some more organization on your closet shelves, use these to create orderly piles.
  51. Hanging jewelry organizer. Save on drawer space with a hanging organizer and prevent the loss of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

Now that these tips have inspired you to organize your closet, what are you going to do first? Remember, as you start out, pick two or three tips from above so you don’t become overwhelmed and get discouraged in your organization. Be creative in the process and find ways to make your closet space work for you.

Did you enjoy this post? Share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Have organizational ideas, tips, and tricks of your own? Tell us about them below in the comments.

Want more information about storage units by Simply Self Storage? Give us a call at 1.877.STORE.HERE and check out our locations near you.

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Simply Self Storage VP of Pre Development and Senior Acquisition Analyst Earn Master of Real Estate Degrees from Auburn University

Simply Self Storage’s Katya Hristova and Andrew McKinley graduate from AU

May 13, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VP of Pre Development, Katya Hristova, successfully completed Auburn University’s Master of Real Estate Development Program and graduated in May. Katya maintained a 4.0 GPA. During her studies she competed at the MIT CASE Competition and presented at the semifinal round. While obtaining her MRED degree, Katya gained a profound understanding of the real estate development sustainable and responsible business practices. She was a part of dynamic, real-world development projects while traveling in the country and abroad. The MRED program prepared Katya to be a well-rounded real estate professional by expanding her knowledge not only of the built environment but also by providing her the tools for an in-depth financial analysis, both needed to thrive in this evolving real estate landscape. Katya will continue her involvement with the program. She has recently joined the Alumni Council and is looking into ways of welcoming more women to the program and the real estate development profession.

Senior Acquisition Analyst, Andrew McKinley, has just completed Auburn University’s Master of Real Estate Development program. This well-rounded program teaches students how and why a building is built and how to build for the sustainable future. The program combines three schools of study at the University, including the College of Business, College of Architecture, and College of Construction Management. With this degree in hand, Andrew will continue to analyze and underwrite deals for Simply Self Storage. He will be focused on acquisitions and will assist the new development team with site selection and the underwriting process. Andrew is also looking forward to working with the Alumni Council and mentoring future students.

Kurt O’Brien, CEO, says “Being a graduate of this Auburn program, I am excited for Katya and Andrew.  The program is excellent and will make them even more valuable to Simply as we grow into our next phase of evolution.  It is very difficult to finish a degree when you are working full time in a challenging career, Kaya and Andrew deserve to be congratulated for completing this degree.”

About Simply Self Storage

Simply Self Storage is one of the largest privately owned self storage companies in the United States and Puerto Rico. Founded in 2003 by Kurt O’Brien, Simply Self Storage is headquartered in Orlando, Florida and has self storage facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Puerto Rico. Simply Self Storage has over 15 million square feet of storage space with 201 operating self storage facilities.

Simply Self Storage also specializes in value-added acquisitions and professional third party management. For more information about management opportunities, please call 407-248-7878.

Contact

Simply Self Storage

Kyle Schmutzler, SVP & Authorized House Counsel

407-248-7878

kschmutzler@simplyss.com

###

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DIY Storage Boxes – Tips and Ideas for Storing and Organizing

diy storageMoving, downsizing, and decluttering. We all do it, most of the time we hate to do it, and we always have so little time to actually do it.

The process of going through every possession you own and having to make a decision to store, trash, donate, or throw it in a moving box promising you’ll deal with it next time you move is exhausting! Next time you’re getting ready to make that big move or just want to declutter and add some boxes to your storage, here are some ideas on how to make your own storage boxes by getting creative with what you already have on hand.

For the Desk

Looking for a great way to organize all of those loose papers, mail, bills, invites, and anything else you may drop into your “I’ll deal with it later” pile? Try these ideas using common cardboard boxes:

  • Cereal boxes are the perfect width and height for folders and regular sized pieces of paper.
  • Cracker and fruit snack boxes are great for cards, envelopes,notes.
  • Pasta boxes work great for pen holders.

Cut the top off the boxes leaving a flap up at the back of the box, and a lower cut on the sides and front, stagger the height of different boxes so that they’re not flush with each other, but don’t cut the smallest box any shorter than the height of a toilet paper roll . Line the boxes up and duct tape them all together. Continue with as many different boxes as needed.

You can also place toilet paper rolls into the smaller box, so they act as a holder for pens and pencils you can easily grab and not lose at the bottom of the box.

For the Pantry

Do you hate stacking your canned goods on top of each other and never knowing what is behind them? Old soda can boxes can be utilized to store and dispense canned food items. The boxes already have a built in pop-out for where the cans come out, but all you have to do is cut a rectangle the size of the can you want to store on top, all the way in the back. Drop cans in and when one is taken out, the next will roll to the front just like a soda can.

The great thing about this is you can easily stack these boxes on top of each other and when moving, no need to pack cans separately, just grab the box and go.

For Makeup and Jewelry

We all know that the moment you set a necklace down next to any others they immediately get tangled. Here are some ideas for organizing your jewelry and makeup:

  • Ice cube trays are just the right size for a necklace, bracelet, rings, and earrings. Use adhesive saran wrap to easily contain the ice cube tray when moving or storing.
  • Pillbox organizers are just as good and come conveniently with a lid
  • Old rakes add a little rustic decor and you can use the tines to properly hang necklaces and avoid the tangle.
  • Use an over the door shoe organizer to store eyeshadow pallets, foundation bottles, tubes of mascara, hairspray, brushes, barrettes, etc. It is easy to then take off the door and roll right up when planning to move.
  • Get an old piece of metal, frame it, and place magnets to the back of all your pallets and brushes. Hang it on the wall and all your items will stick in place.

For Toys

Toilet paper rolls or or halved paper towel tubes and over the door organizers also work great for toy storage. Place tubes in an old shoe box and use them to store action figures, toy cars, etc. Use the over the door organizer for small books, doll clothes, etc.

 

Posted in Packing/Unpacking, Self Storage Tips | Leave a comment

Moving Day Checklist – Tips to Help You Prepare

moving day checklistIt’s moving day! Now what?

If you haven’t prepared adequately for your move, then it’s probably not going to go very smoothly. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a checklist of helpful tips to make sure Moving Day is as pain-free as possible.

2 Weeks Before the Move

Give yourself ample time to prepare for your move, so you’re not stressing out the day of:

  • Change your address on any important mail including bills, utilities, etc.
  • Make one last grocery store run to avoid throwing out food on the big day.
  • Definitely begin packing if you haven’t already—it’ll take longer than you think!
  • Pack with care and be sure to mark boxes with breakables as fragile.
  • Label boxes while packing and be specific. Label what is inside and where they will need to go at your new place to make unpacking easy.
  • Donate items you don’t want or never use to a thrift shop or charity organization.
  • Arrange child or pet care for the day of your move so there is one less thing to worry about once the movers show up.

T-Minus 24 Hours

Your move is so close, you can taste it! Here’s what to check off the day before Moving Day:

  • Pack an overnight bag—you’ll be too tired to try and find anything that first night.
  • Put any other items you want accessible in a clear bin so you can find them right away, i.e. toilet paper, paper towels, phone chargers, power strips, trash bags, etc.
  • Disassemble all furniture that needs it in order to be moved.
  • Put all small parts (bolts, screws, etc.) of disassembled furniture somewhere safe, like in a plastic ziplock bag that has been securely taped to the furniture it belongs to.
  • Unplug all of your large appliances so they are ready to go—think washer, dryer, and fridge, if possible.
  • Put all cords in a gallon size ziplock bag (electrical, extension, etc.) so they are easy to find on the other end.

Moving Day!

The big day has finally arrived, and it’s time to get down to business:

  • Be ready! Make sure everything is packed before your movers arrive.
  • Take the time to make your movers aware of any items that need special care.
  • Have some light refreshments for your movers—donuts, muffins, pizza, or anything you can just grab and eat is perfect.
  • Do a final walk through to make sure nothing has been left behind.
  • If there’s time, clean what you can before meeting the movers at your new place.
  • Try to relax—your movers are professionals and know what they are doing!

The Day After

You thought you were done, but the fun has just started:

  • Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Just do what you can when you can.
  • Start unpacking boxes room by room—it seems much less daunting that way.
  • Take it easy and enjoy your new home!

By checking off all the above preparations for you move, you’ll be relaxing in your new place sooner than you ever thought possible!

If you need packing supplies, Simply Self Storage offers essentials such as boxes, packing tape, and mattress covers.

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Simply Self Storage Hires SVP of Corporate Growth

“Last piece of the puzzle,” Joe Robinson, joins Simply

April 27, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Simply Self Storage Hires SVP of Corporate Growth

Orlando, FL – Simply Self Storage (http://www.simplyss.com) announces the hiring of Joe Robinson, Senior Vice President of Corporate Growth.

Joe Robinson joins Simply Self Storage as Senior Vice President of Corporate Growth. Prior to joining Simply, Mr. Robinson was the Vice President of Pricing and Marketing at Extra Space Storage where he led the pricing, data science/analytics teams and call center.  His leadership was key in establishing a world-class pricing capability and driving marketing innovations through deep analytics. Prior to his employment with EXR, Mr. Robinson held a variety of roles in marketing and finance at Dr Pepper, Deloitte Consulting, and FedEx. Joe holds an MBA from Rice University.

Kurt O’Brien, CEO, says “Joe, with his experience in pricing and call center management at Extra Space, was the last piece of the puzzle for Simply.  We are very excited for him to join our team in Orlando. We feel Simply is now well positioned to outperform the market for many years to come.”

About Simply Self Storage

Simply Self Storage is one of the largest privately owned self-storage companies in the United States and Puerto Rico. Founded in 2003 by Kurt O’Brien, Simply Self Storage is headquartered in Orlando, Florida and has self-storage facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Puerto Rico. Simply Self Storage has over 15 million square feet of storage space with 199 operating self-storage facilities.

Simply Self Storage also specializes in value-added acquisitions and professional third party management. For more information about management opportunities, please call 407-248-7878.

Contact

Simply Self Storage

Kyle Schmutzler, SVP & Authorized House Counsel

407-248-7878

kschmutzler@simplyss.com

###

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4 Places To Give Your Old Books New Life

old-books-436498_1280Packing is never fun. Ever.

Have you noticed how it’s not until you’re packing to move that you realize how much stuff you have? Where on earth does all that stuff come from?

While packing does offer the advantage of helping you find items you may have previously considered lost forever, deciding what to do with all of that clutter can be a daunting task. It’s usually pretty simple to find a place to recycle old magazines or donate unwanted clothing, but when it comes to books, finding a new home for them can be difficult.

Here are 4 places to consider when looking to donate those books you’re having difficulty parting with to be sure they will go to good use.

Non-Profit Organizations

The Salvation Army and Goodwill are often the first places to come to mind when you think about donating to a non-profit. Donating to one of these organizations means your books will be sold in a retail store for a small fee, and the majority of that money will be invested back into your community.

The Salvation Army uses the money earned in their brick and mortar stores to support a program they have in place for men going through drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Goodwill, on the other hand, uses the money they earn from your items to provide job training and other resources necessary to help members of your community find jobs.

Deseret Industriesis another nonprofit that takes the money they earn from your books to help with job training and humanitarian aid.

Donations made to any of these organizations not only provide a way for your books to find a new home, but also for a person struggling in your community to get the help they need. To donate to one of these non-profits, you can visit their website and find the store or donation drop-off location nearest you.

Books for Soldiers

Books for Soldiers was started during the Gulf War as a way to get reading material to soldiers stationed overseas who were experiencing huge periods of down time. This non-profit charity now serves as a way for soldiers overseas to convey their requests for books, and people back home to fill their needs.

The process is relatively straightforward; once registered on the site, you receive a User ID that allows you access to the names and addresses of the soldiers participating in the program. From there, you can find soldiers looking for specific books you are looking to part with, or send the whole lot to a platoon in need of reading material. The only downside to this option is that you have to pay for shipping yourself.

Books for Africa

Another charitable venture, Books for Africa, gathers novels, textbooks, and reference books to be sent to Africa to incite an interest in reading and empower children there with knowledge. This charity asks that books sent are no more than 15 years old, especially when sending encyclopedias and other instructional materials. You can check their website for a complete list of what they are looking for and what they cannot accept. Please note that you are responsible to cover shipping costs to get your books to the charity’s main location in St. Paul, MN.

Friends of Libraries

Most local libraries have their own chapter of Friends of Libraries, a non-profit group that gathers donated books either to be sold to earn money for the library, or to help build up the library’s inventory. If this option interests you, you can find out more information about making a donation by contacting your local library.

Packing is stressful, but now that you know where to take your books for donation, you don’t have to take all of those heavy boxes with you. Each of these charitable organizations allows you to help a different cause, so you can decide who you want to benefit from your donation. Now get out there and put those old books to good use!

If you need a place to store your extra stuff, find a Simply Self Storage location near you!

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Can You Guess Which Strange Items Were Found In Storage Units?

StuffOver time some of these treasures can be forgotten and end up in someone else’s hand. Take our quiz to see if you can guess which of these strange and unique things were found in storage units.

Simply Self Storage believes in taking the hassle out of self storage. With low prices, no long term contracts, and packing supplies, it’s no wonder why more people are turning to Simply Self Storage to keep their treasured items safe.

Check out the Simply Self Storage nearest you!

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3 Creative Design Ideas For A DIY Storage Bed

Are you tired of having to cram all of your stuff into a minimal amount of storage? Are you constantly looking for ways to to create more storage? A storage bed could be the solution to your organizational problems.

Incorporating discrete shelves into the frame of your bed is the perfect way to store clothing, shoes, bedding, and any other items or clutter that might need a home. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, creating a DIY storage bed is much easier than it may seem. This simple outline walks you through three innovative design ideas that can make your bed-building process easy.

The Bookcase Bed

bed

Photo via Shanty-2-Chic

Using just three bookcases, you can create an entire storage bed. You can look for bookshelves similar in size, or build bookshelves from scratch. The following dimensions are designed for a queen-sized bed:

  • Side shelves: 76” in length, 15” in height, with two cubbies measuring 29 ?” in length
  • End shelf: 54” in length, 15” in height, with two cubbies measuring 26 ?” in length

Secure a 63 ½”-long 2×4 to the back of each side shelf. From here, you can screw in several  30 ½” slats to help make a sturdy base. Once your frame is put together, fill screw holes with wood filler, sand down rough edges, apply a layer of primer and finish with your choice of paint or stain.

The Rolling Crate Creation

diy-rolling-storage-crate-10

Photo via Teal and Lime

For beds with taller frames, consider building four rolling crates that can snugly roll underneath. Measure the height and length of your frame and draw out a blueprint considering the following:

  • Your crates should clear the frame by approximately ½ inch
  • Keep in mind that you’ll be attaching 2” tall wheels
  • You’ll likely need to cut wood slats according to length and height measurements

After constructing your boxes, stain and attach casters (wheels) to all four corners of your crate. From here, you can add handles or knobs, fun spraypainted designs, etc. that help your crate fit with the tone of the room.

The Drawer King

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Make the most of your bedroom and your storage with a king size storage bed. You’ll need:

  • Wood and plywood
  • Screws
  • A piano hinge
  • Wooden shelves
  • Clamps
  • A circular saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Wood glue

Draw up a blueprint. Your bed will be divided into three even sections: the two outer sections will have three drawers each; the middle section will be separated into two sections with the piano hinge. Unlike the previous two options, this design allows you to take advantage of the entire space rather than just a portion of it. For detailed instructions, check out Do It Yourself Divas in depth instructions.

For more information on ways to improve organization or for other creative storage ideas, stop by your local Simply Self Storage location.

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Packing Playlist: 10 Songs That Make Moving Day Fun

girl listening to music Do you have the moving day blues? Are you feeling sad about leaving behind your home or discouraged at the amount of packing that still needs to be done?

If so, consider listening to music while you pack boxes, load up the moving truck, or drive to your new house.

Music is actually considered one of the greatest natural antidepressants. In fact, Yuna L. Ferguson reported in The Journal of Positive Psychology that listening to upbeat music results in overall impressions of happiness on listeners.

So whether you’re excited about the move, or experiencing a mild case of cold feet, turn on your stereo and crank up this 10-song upbeat playlist that’s sure to help you get in the moving groove.

Your Hand-Picked Moving Playlist

  1. Apartment Story by The National: With a rhythmic beat that gets you in the mood for packing, the lyrics in the song constantly remind you not to worry – everything will be alright.
  2. Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: This catchy song will stick in your head as you gather the things that make a house, a home.
  3. I Like To Move It Move It by Reel 2 Real: Though not directly related to moving homes, this groovy tune will get you jumpin and jivin.
  4. Moving Out by Billy Joel: Sad to leave your place? This throwback jam will get you excited about moving on up!
  5. Bust A Move by Young MC: Another irresistible dance jam, Bust A Move will get you back in the move-mood just when you’ve started dragging.  
  6. Moving On by Bad Company: You’re “moving on, moving on from town to town.”  
  7. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place by The Animals: This 1960’s tune will remind you that there’s a better life ahead of you in this move.
  8. Move by Mercyme: Even if you’re sad leaving your old home or are stressed about the move, this song’s lyrics will resonate in your mind: “There’s gunna be brighter days”
  9. Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield: Bust a move and pack like a pro with this upbeat jam that will get the whole family pumped for the move.
  10. Hit The Road Jack by Ray Charles: A moving classic, this throwback sing-a-long is the perfect song for waving goodbye to your old home and hitting the road to your new life.

With the sweet sound of these songs boosting your mood as you move, you’ll feel the stress of the moving process ease with every beat.

Find a Storage Unit Near You

If you’re moving in stages and need a stress-relieving solution that lasts longer than a 10-song playlist, visit Simply Self Storage. With over 192 locations nationwide, you can make your move as simple and worry-free as possible, no matter where your new home may be. At Simply Self Storage, we are your one stop shop for everything moving. Make a no-obligation, free online reservation, today.

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