How Not to Clear Clutter at Home

When it comes to decluttering your home, surface-level organization only puts a temporary band-aid on your messy space. And, while your first trip to your Hermosa self storage unit might get things off to a good start, bad cleaning habits can put you right back to square one in no time. At Safeguard in Chicago, IL, our storage experts at here to help you rethink how to clear clutter at home without unintentionally making the job harder on yourself.

6 Decluttering Mistakes You Can Conquer

1. Overthinking At-Home Storage Systems

Resist the temptation to stock up on storage systems before you declutter the house. Clever cabinet organizers and suspended closet shelves are great, but hold off on buying them until you sort out clutter first. Once you are done, you will be able to keep your at-home storage systems clean, organized, and easy to navigate.

2. Working Without a Plan

Don't try to figure out a decluttering strategy while you are in the middle of going through your belongings. Start with a plan on paper that lists problems in each room. Break cluttered spaces into manageable zones. Figure out a schedule that lets you make progress every day. Save your sanity by keeping it flexible.

3. Skipping Over Sorting

Maximize efficiency by sorting as you dig in. Streamline the process by setting up container stations in each room. This lets you quickly sort items into boxes for keepers, throwaways, and things headed for long-term storage.

4. Being Emotionally Distracted

Special treasures can derail figuring out how to clear clutter at home. This is not the time to sit down with a favorite photo album. Put that wonderful journal in a keeper box and move on. Enjoy things you are emotionally attached to after you have decluttered the house.

5. Worrying About Monetary Value

You paid good money for it. Should you really let it go? This reasonable question can set back your best decluttering efforts. Frame it differently. Could that item generate extra cash at your next garage sale? If the answer is yes, move it to your storage unit for now.

6. Having Second Thoughts

It's easy to stack those well-organized boxes in neat piles and relax, but be careful. Do not give yourself time to second-guess all your hard work. Avoid a change of mind by getting everything out of the house. Move keepers and donations to self storage as soon as you can.

Conquering Clutter With Safeguard Self Storage

Conquering clutter around the house gives you the serenity of an organized home. And stashing your excess belongings in one of our climate controlled storage units in Hermosa gives you the luxury of extra space. Here at Safeguard, we are happy to offer the peace of mind that comes with always having room to spare. When you need to expand your decluttering options, trust Safeguard Self Storage in Chicago, IL, to serve you with the best.

Can I Keep My Kitchen Appliances in Self Storage?

Storing kitchen appliances isn't a complicated job, but affordable storage units in Chicago, IL, make it easier. Most stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers just need a little pre-move prep. Use our handy kitchen storage guide to make sure your appliances are ready for long- or short-term storage.

Clean the Stove

Don't give bugs a reason to set up house in the stove. Clean it inside and out with a mild detergent before moving it to self storage. Be sure to scrub burner liners, oven racks, and broiler pans. Secure knobs with painter's tape so that they make the move without getting lost.

Drain the Refrigerator

Kitchen storage and wet refrigerator components don't mix. Defrost the freezer, drain the ice maker, and clear the water supply lines. Clean trays, drawers, and the drip pan. Let everything dry for several days. Use a hand vac to clear dust from the motor and compressor on the refrigerator's backside.

Disconnect the Dishwasher

Run the empty dishwasher one last time using white vinegar or bleach. Clean the door gasket with baking soda and water. Leave the door open for at least 24 hours. Disconnect hoses, let them completely dry and then wrap in towels and store inside the dishwasher.

Pack Up the Microwave

Remove and clean the microwave turntable. Clean inside and outside the oven housing. Tape the door shut, put the oven in a sturdy cardboard box, and fill with packing material.

Make a Safe Move

Large kitchen appliances travel best with their doors securely shut and their cords taped to the outside. Protect glass panels with cardboard inserts. Keep appliances scratch-free by covering them with large blankets. Always move them in an upright position. Otherwise, you risk damaging motors and components.

Follow Kitchen Storage Basics

Self storage options in Chicago keep appliances in good shape indefinitely, but even the best storage units need a little help. Follow these appliance storage basics to make sure your kitchen essentials stay in top condition:

  • Lease a climate-controlled unit to protect appliances from humidity.
  • Maximize air circulation by leaving appliance doors open.
  • Keep everything off the floor on wood or plastic pallets.

We're Here to Help

You don't have to store appliances every day, but we're here to help. From multiple move-in specials to choose from to on-site carts and dollies, you can count on Safeguard to have the storage space you need conveniently located in your neighborhood. Safeguard offers the following 16 Chicagoland locations:

Join the World Movement on World Environment Day

In mid-June, Chicago hosts the Green Music Fest, an environmentally conscious festival that features green vendors, food and biodiesel bicycles. You'll also discover Remix Chicago, a festival of repurposed crafts and eco-friendly workshops. However, you don't have to wait until these events to go green in Chicago, IL. In fact, you can get started right away and help protect the environment even in the big city. Safeguard Self Storage has all the tips on going green!

Make a Difference on World Environment Day

World Environment Day happens annually on June 5 and raises awareness for protecting the environment. It started in 1974 and has since gone global as more than 100 countries now celebrate this event. You don't have to join a flash mob or hand out pamphlets on the sidewalks to participate. No matter how small, you can do your part and still help the planet in a big way.

1. Reduce

Don't throw away unwanted tools, clothes, toys or other belongings. Instead, donate them to charity. You'll help others in need and reduce the amount of garbage in the landfills. Buying in bulk can also help reduce packaging and help you save money at the same time.

2. Reuse

Buy used items such as clothing, books and furniture at consignment shops and thrift stores. Used items are normally less expensive than new items and serve the same purpose. Repair your belongings instead of throwing them away. You can also borrow or rent items when you need them.

3. Recycle

You can recycle almost anything and help conserve natural resources such as wood and water. Recycling also reduces the amount of greenhouse emissions that occur when factories produce more goods. If you recycle your glass jars, plastic bottles and cardboard, you'll also reduce the amount of waste in the landfills.

Daily Tips for Going Green

  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
  • Don't leave the water running when you brush your teeth.
  • Separate recyclable items from your trash bin.
  • Unplug electronics when they're not in use. 

Go Green This June in Chicago

You can make room in your home by reducing the clutter and either donating the items to charity or hosting a yard sale. As you collect more items, you can use one of the many storage units available at Safeguard Self Storage to organize everything in one place. In the end, you will have helped people in need, reduced excess waste in the landfills and created more space in your home.

Celebrate This Festive Food Month in Chicago Right at Home

Several glasses of wine and food samples sitting on a table in a restaurant.

For those who love to try new delicacies, you don't want to miss the food festivals going on in Chicago this month. Whether it's Bacon Fest, the Artisan Food Festival or the Taste of the Gold Coast, there are plenty of chances to fill your belly with delicious treats all month long. However, if you're unable to make it to the festivities, don't worry. You can host a special Around the World Festival right at home! 

Hosting a Food Festival at Home

1. Pick the themes. 

An Around the World Festival should include several foods from different parts of the world. Consider your favorite foods and places that you like to visit. You could include Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Japan, and serve a dish from each location. 

2. Select the dishes. 

Pick one dish to represent your selected countries. For example, you could serve pizza from Italy, marzipan from Spain, brats and kraut from Germany, crème brûlée from France and hibachi steak from Japan. Choosing these foods gives you three main meals and two desserts, treating your guests to a taste of sweet and savory.

3. Invite the guests.

Pick a date and a time that's good for you, your family and guests. Afterward, start inviting everyone at least two weeks ahead of time. Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also call ahead or text everyone before the big event.

4. Prepare the meals.

  • Chef Emeril Lagasse has a delicious pizza recipe for your festival, including how to prepare and serve it.
  • You'll need blanched almond flour, powdered sugar, almond extract, food-grade rose water and an egg white to make marzipan. This recipe will put you on the right track to pleasing your guests.
  • You can pick up a pack of brats and a bag of sauerkraut at your local grocer for a quick and easy meal plan.
  • It takes about 10 minutes to prepare crème brûlée and another 30 minutes to bake it. This delicious recipe will make you look like a professional chef to your guests.
  • Sautéing the steak with veggies is the key to making great hibachi steak. Follow this recipe for an authentic taste of Japan. 

5. Set up sectioned themes.

Make your home festival livelier by sectioning off different areas for each location. You can split the kitchen down the middle and have France on one side and Germany on the other. Devote the den to Spain, the living room to Italy and the patio to Japan. 

Enjoy Your Around the World Festival

When it's time to clean up, store your decorations, chairs and tables in storage bins at Safeguard Self Storage. We'll keep everything safe and secure until your next big event. 

Toss Tradition Aside and Propose on St. Patrick's Day

A man covering a woman's eyees before he reveals an engagement ring to her.

When most Chicagoans think of March, they think of one giant celebration: St. Patrick's Day. With all the festivities going on, it's easy to forget that Proposal Day also happens this month. If you missed your chance on Valentine's Day, toss tradition out the window, and propose to your significant other on St. Patrick's Day instead. If you're short on ideas, Safeguard Self Storage has a few tips for popping the question on this lucky day in Chicago.

5 Ways to Propose on St. Patrick's Day

1. A Romantic Walk Along the Chicago River

On March 12, the annual Dyeing of the Chicago River takes place. For five hours, the entire river will glow a beautiful emerald green color, giving you the perfect chance to pop the question with thousands of onlookers eagerly awaiting the answer.

2. A Clover Charm to Symbolize Good Fortune 

Nothing symbolizes luck quite like the four-leaf clover. Skip buying a four-leaf clover charm online. Instead, hit up the local parks, and search for one or two yourself. Making the charm by hand will have more meaning and provide you with a little extra luck when it's time to ask the big question.

3. A Scavenger Hunt in Lincoln Park

Create an adventure out of the occasion with a real-life scavenger hunt. You can write down all the clues and place them separately in plastic green eggs. Start the hunt with one clue, and have your significant other continue the search until the big reveal.

4. A Sweet Message Spelled Out on Guinness Beer Glasses 

Not everyone likes sappy, romantic-type stuff. For the person who enjoys a good beer and fun times, pop the question at the pub. Invite a few friends along for the occasion, and have a round of Guinness served in four special glasses that spell out the question: "Will You Marry Me?"

5. A Moment Alone After the Parade

Quite a few parades take place during March, but the main parade happens from noon until 8 p.m. on the 17th. After some dancing, drinking and celebration, sneak off for a romantic moment, and pop the question under the stars.

Safeguard Self Storage Wishes You Luck on St. Patrick's Day

After your significant other says "yes," you'll need to make plans for the future. When it's time to move in together and take the next step, we have storage bins available in many different sizes to clear up space back at home. Whether you need a large storage unit or a couple small storage lockers, our exceptional team of self storage experts make moving in together easier by ensuring you get the perfect storage unit. A storage space equipped with computer controlled access, individually door alarm, digital video recording, drive in loading area and our vast selection of packing and storage supplies will protect your belongings until you get settled in.

 

Organize Your Chicago Business with Self Storage

 Get Organized Week is the first week in October, and Chicago business people should take notice! Before the winter blows in and keeps you trapped indoors, take the time to declutter your office space. Safeguard Self Storage has the tips for organizing your office, and how to use self storage effectively to get excess items out of your way.

Get Rid of Office Clutter

Take on any trash around the office; Styrofoam cups, aluminum cans, left-behind leftovers, get rid of it all! Start with your personal space first, and remove any papers that are doing more harm than good. Use a small trashcan that you can carry as you go. After you’ve gotten your personal space clutter-free, dust and wipe down the surfaces. Then, move on the public areas of your office. Tackle these spaces in teams, sorting items into categorized piles, such as trash, keep and sell. Throw out any broken items and make a shopping list for replacements.

Retire Old Equipment 

Any old equipment that’s gather dust and has been replaced by newer technology should be removed from the office space. If it needs to be replaced before it’s retired, do so. We don’t recommend throwing these items out altogether though. You never know when you’ll need an old computer in a pinch if the new one breaks. Store electronics and other equipment in a nearby Chicago storage unit. Keep in mind when storing electronics that many require climate control (heating and air conditioning) to maintain their condition.

Clean Out the Storage Spaces 

Supply closets and office cabinets can quickly become disorganized. People go in, get what they need, and leave the contents in disarray. Take the time to remove any supplies that you have an abundance of and move these to your business storage unit. You can replenish the supply when it runs out, but these items can take up valuable space and cause unnecessary clutter. Only keep a reasonable amount of supplies on hand. Fifty pens can be a realistic number for a small company to keep on hand, but hundreds of pens is a little pointless. Use bins and labels to organize like items, and keep small items in sets of plastic drawers. Hang a clipboard with a blank list in easy view, and people can write down any supplies that they need.

Backup and Archive Files 

If your company has a lot of documents filling filing cabinets, then you can utilize self storage to archive these documents without losing track of them. Whether you choose to move whole filing cabinets to your storage locker, or prefer to move files into boxes, your office space can benefit from moving these items offsite. Make electronic backups to keep in the office, and transport the physical documents to a secure unit. It’s important to keep the electronic copy and the printed versions in separate places, so you’ll always have a copy of the documents if some emergency happens at either location.

Implement Organization Tactics and Routines 

Set up personal tactics for yourself and routines to help maintain the organization. You can make a list of organization tasks to implement daily, weekly, and monthly, to keep your office space organized. One simple thing to do is to clean out the fridge at the end of every week. It’s easy for people to forget leftovers, but these items can quickly leave your office reeking of rotten food. Check the supply closet organization bi-weekly to ensure everything is stocked and staying organized. If you have different departments, each team can be assigned a different task on the list. 

With so many people in the same space, it’s easy for offices to get cluttered. Take the time to organize your office and set routines in place to ensure it stays that way. And remember, even if you need to hold onto items, but don’t have space for them in your office, you can always keep them in a secure Chicago storage unit. Contact Safeguard today to find out how we can help you declutter your space.

5 Things Chicagoans Want You to Know

Residents of Chicago keep their passion strong and their opinions public, with good reason. There’s a lot to be proud of and if you’re thinking of moving to The Windy City, we’ll explain what that nickname means and why you (and your stomach) will be very content there. Transitioning to Chicago lifestyle is exciting and whether it’s extra Chicago storage or a temporary space to hold your belongings, Safeguard wants to help get you there to enjoy everything the city has to offer.

1. The best pizza around …ask anyone. Chicago residents are proud of their cuisine, and they’ll show it. Asking a local will open the door to an extensive and passionate defense of why they bring home the gold in the pizza world. The most famous is their signature deep-dish pizza. It’s baked in a round pan, which out of towners would normally use for something like a cake. This allows for a high edge and deep surface to put all the pizza goods. Throw on a generous amount of cheese and some chunky tomato sauce and you’ve got yourself a Chicago-style pizza. Claimed to have possibly been the first to coin Chicago-style pizza, Pizzeria Uno is a top contender. For more prized pizza locations, check out this list that outlines the best of them.

2. The best hot dog around…and keep the ketchup to yourself. It starts with the poppy seed bun, and within rests only the finest all-beef hotdog. It’s all about the toppings, making the dog sometimes referred to as being “dragged through the garden.” You’ll be enjoying yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet green pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges, and a dash of celery salt. If you even hint at needing ketchup, you will be finding your own ride home. In fact, many hot dog vendors don’t even have the “k” word to offer you. It’s a dog eat dog competition, but here’s a list of some of the best in show.

3. The best Italian Beef Sandwich around…and they know it. If you have not had the chance to savor one of these works of art, you’re missing out on thin slices of seasoned roast beef, soaked in meat juices on a long Italian-style roll. You can find giardiniera (pickled vegetables in either vinegar or oil), which is many times just referred to as “hot”, or sweet green Italian peppers, referred to as “sweet”. This crafted sandwich originated in Chicago, and they still claim to do it best. Here’s a list of the top Italian Beef joints that will satisfy your savory needs. 

4. They’re athletic, too! This one is not about food, we promise. Chicago sports fans are proud and devoted. They cheer on five major professional sports teams; baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer. They include the Chicago Bears football team, the Chicago Cubs baseball team, the Chicago White Sox baseball team, the Chicago Bulls basketball team, the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, and the Chicago Sky women’s basketball team. There’s a lot to be proud of, even if the Cubs still haven’t broken the curse of the goat. The Blackhawks seem to make up for it after winning the 2015 Stanley cup (for the sixth time in history). Whether you’re a Sox fan, Cubs fan, or maybe soccer is more your thing, there is a fiery Chicago passion that stands behind each team.

5. The Windy City. Yes, that’s the nickname, but it might have come from a different place that you presumed. Although you will catch gusts of wind now and again and the weather is a convenient explanation for the name, it actually derives from a political background. (If you’re looking for the actual windiest city, check out Brockton, Massachusetts, or the other six Massachusetts cities ranking in the top 10). Rather, the nickname actually refers to a history of boastful, long-winded leaders. The first known reference to “The Windy City” was in the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1876 when the two cities were in the midst of political tension.  While the term stuck, the intentions have changed and most people actually believe the nickname refers to the city’s blustery elements.

Not only does Chicago have the eats, but it has the passion, the history, and the people to make it a great place to live. If you’ve had Sinatra’s “Chicago” running through your head for a few months now, it’s time to make the move. Safeguard wants to help make the transition easy with self storage so you’ll be cutting into deep dish pizza before you know it.

Making a Move with Self Storage

Whether you're moving inside the Loop from the burbs or relocating to the Windy City from another state, pulling up stakes creates all kinds of challenges. If you're a university student, roommates and apartments seem to change as quickly as semesters. Regardless of your situation, it's hard to adapt to all the coming and going. But affordable Chicago, IL self storage takes the stress out of any moving scenario.

Caught Between Locations

Did your home's sale close sooner than expected? Are the residents at the new place slow about vacating? In a perfect moving world, schedules would run as smoothly as all four clocks on the Wrigley Building. When they don't, you're stuck between locations with a truck full of furniture. Take advantage of
Safeguard Chicago storage facilities that offer flexibility when you need it most. Your belongings stay secure, so you can sort out temporary living arrangements while the moving dust settles.

Setting Up a New Home

Imagine taking it easy and arranging the new house just the way you want it. Make that move-in daydream come true by leaving some of your packed belongings in a nearby rental facility. It's easier to organize a home that isn't stuffed from floor to ceiling with moving boxes.
Safeguard Self Storage lets you put the house together at your own pace and gives you room to arrange furniture without dodging the small stuff. With easy access to everything, you resist the temptation to throw it all inside and straighten it out later.

Switching Roommates and Apartments

Student life stays busy year round here in the Second City, and that includes an ever-changing apartment scene. It's hard to find a place that holds everything, and roommates can change with the semester. When a great apartment becomes available, it's easier to switch addresses with Chicago, IL self storage. Whether you need to park excess furniture, store books or stash seasonal gear, a storage unit lets you stay flexible. Many facilities offer move-in discounts and deals on rental trucks that help you balance that student budget.

A successful move depends on many things, but it all gets done, and you eventually settle into that new home. Convenient Chicago storage facilities throughout the city and surrounding neighborhoods offer affordable rental options that help ease the transition. Whether you're coming, going or somewhere in between,
contact Safeguard Self Storage to make your move easier.