4 Ways to Declutter Your Mind While Working from Home

For some, working from home during the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise. From eliminating long commute times and increasing productivity levels to taking control of more aspects of daily life, remote work has proven to be a positive experience for quite a few employees during this unusual year.

Unfortunately for many others, the long-term departure from the office (on top of the anxiety-inducing effects of the pandemic) has left them feeling isolated, unmotivated, and mentally cluttered.

Much like junk drawers, kitchen cabinets, and storage closets, our minds can easily become a cluttered mess—which means they need a bit of tidying from time to time to maintain a balanced headspace.

Fortunately, if your thoughts are in a chaotic jumble due to COVID-19 and your new remote work environment, Safeguard Self Storage is here to help. With this guide, we will teach you how to declutter your mind while navigating your work-from-home experience. By doing so, you can stay mentally and emotionally sharp as we wait for society to return to normal.

1. Start a Journal

One of the easiest ways you can start decluttering your mind is to keep a journal. Whether you reach for a pocket-sized notebook or a few sheets of ruled paper, hand-writing your negative thoughts—including jotting down quick notes or creating a bulleted list—will help you get rid of mental baggage and clear your mind for daily work-related tasks.

According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, journaling reduces intrusive thoughts about negative events while improving your working memory. In fact, researchers believe these improvements free up cognitive resources for other mental activities, including our ability to effectively cope with stress.

Other benefits of journaling include:

  • Prioritizing problems, fears, and concerns in a clear manner.
  • Tracking and recognizing triggers while learning better ways to control them.
  • Identifying negative thoughts and behaviors, as well as opportunities for positive self-talk.

You don’t have to be an expert writer to get the mental health benefits of journaling, either—so don’t hesitate to write whatever you feel without worrying about proper sentence structure or grammar. 

2. Reduce News and Social Media Consumption

While staying informed about the pandemic is a good thing, too much news and social media consumption can leave your mind in a cluttered tailspin. Between spending multiple hours online each day for work and a constant flow of content from every angle, it’s easy for negative news cycles and social media posts to clutter your thoughts and even trigger depression.

Thankfully, many smartphones offer features that allow you to limit social media app use daily. For example, on iOS devices, you can use the “Screen Time” feature to set app time limits—making it easy to track how much you are interacting with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or any news application every day.  

In addition to spending less time with social media platforms, it’s important to make the right decisions when it comes to media consumption. Only follow reliable news sources for important updates and avoid click-bait articles with catchy headlines that are from unknown sources. Also, unsubscribe from unnecessary news subscriptions in your email, and do your best to organize your inbox.

3. Take On One Task at a Time

While working from home, you likely have a lot on your mind. With work-related tasks on top of looming household chores or personal errands, it can be easy to get lost in multitasking projects that do more harm than good.

If you are constantly bouncing back and forth between different tasks in an effort to complete them faster, you could be adding additional clutter into your mind—meaning your limited attention span will make it difficult to focus and absorb information. In fact, according to research conducted by the Stanford Memory Lab, heavy multitaskers actually have a reduced capacity for memory

Rather than allowing unnecessary multitasking to cause you to stress or impair your cognitive control, try to focus on a single task at a time. To help get you started, make daily checklists that begin with your most important task and end with your simplest task. This will allow you to devote all your mental brainpower to each item on your to-do list while avoiding debilitating mental clutter.

4. Streamline Your At-Home Workspace

When it comes to mental clutter, your physical workspace plays an integral role in your ability to maintain a well-balanced headspace. If your at-home office or workstation is filled with excessive stimuli, unorganized clutter, or physical distractions, your mind could be working overtime—even when you’re trying to complete simple tasks.

No matter if you are working from a kitchen table, desk, or breakfast bar, you should declutter your main workspace as soon as possible. Begin by getting rid of all unnecessary or non-essential items from your work area, as well as giving your essential items a proper place.

Clear up unruly piles of paper, take old coffee cups to your kitchen sink or dishwasher, and make sure you have plenty of space for your computer and other essential work materials. As you continue to work from home, make it a point to organize and clear your workspace every day prior to tackling your assignments.

Let Safeguard Help You Declutter Your Mind

At Safeguard Self Storage, we know the importance of having a clutter-free mind—and oftentimes that starts with having a clutter-free workspace. If you are new to working from home and you don’t have a designated, organized office area, our selection of contact-free self storage units can help you clear out space for one today.

Find your local Safeguard facility today and start taking control of your remote work environment during the pandemic.

Organizing Your Child’s Hybrid Learning Environment

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, new societal rules have taken a toll on all of us. From wearing face coverings in public spaces to working from home becoming the new normal, people across the country have changed their daily routines to curb the spread of this dangerous virus. Consequently, one group of youngsters has had to adapt to these major changes practically overnight: students.

With new regulations being implemented in schools—such as adding sneeze guards around desks or minimizing physical interaction between peers—many students have been introduced to hybrid learning for the first time. Hybrid learning combines online and in-person education into one curriculum, meaning some students can learn remotely while others learn in a traditional classroom setting simultaneously.

While hybrid learning has been around for some time, many teachers and parents are just now adopting these remote learning strategies to keep students’ exposure to a minimum while ensuring learners are still getting the education they need to succeed. But if you are a parent who is new to hybrid learning, you may be wondering how to provide your child with the best at-home educational experience possible.

At Safeguard Self Storage, we know the first step to ensuring your child stays on track while learning from home is creating an organized hybrid-learning environment. Fortunately, with these easy at-home classroom organization ideas handy, you can rest assured your child will remain focused, motivated, and excited to learn during these unusual times.

Choosing the Right Hybrid Learning Space At Home

Establishing a healthy learning environment for your child goes hand-in-hand with their ability to absorb subject matter and think critically. Rather than having them complete their coursework in common areas around your home (such as at the kitchen table or on the living room sofa), it’s important they have a designated space that’s quiet, is well-organized, and provides all of the learning tools they need in one place.

 Once you have an area picked out that’s perfect for remote learning—like a spare bedroom or office space—then you can focus on keeping your kid’s workspace clutter-free.

4 Classroom Organization Ideas for Remote Learning

From creating an easily digestible class schedule to establishing a designated area for materials, here are a few classroom organization ideas you can use to turn your child’s at-home classroom into an organizational oasis.

1. Supersize Your Child’s Class Schedule

While not a physical item, your child’s class schedule is one of the most important things to organize right away. An easy-to-read and streamlined schedule will allow your student (and you) to stay on track with their curriculum while they are out of the classroom. A fun and easy way to create a visually appealing class schedule is to dedicate an area of your wall to chalkboard paint.

 With chalkboard paint, you can create a daily calendar above your child’s desk or learning area, which makes it easy to refer to as they work on their studies throughout the day. Plus, when you need to make edits, you can easily wipe away old text and write in new. If you would rather not dedicate an area of your wall to chalkboard paint, you could also hang a large whiteboard, bulletin board, or a traditional chalkboard. 

2. Create a Curriculum Control Center

When your child’s school supplies are unorganized, it can be difficult for them to stay on track—not to mention it can be a waste of their school time if they are constantly looking for materials they need. Instead of leaving things like textbooks, notebooks, folders, and craft supplies lying around, create a curriculum control center that is a focal point for your student. Large bookshelves with extra space for individual storage bins will work perfectly for your control center.

Moveable Control Centers

If space is limited in your child’s hybrid learning environment, it might be difficult to create a permanent curriculum control center. Instead, you can create multiple moveable control centers on rolling storage carts. As a bonus, these carts can easily be wheeled away into a closet or other storage area on the weekend to free up space. 

3. Give Each School Subject Its Own Color

Speaking of keeping things organized in your curriculum control center, it is best to designate individual storage bins to each subject your child is studying. No matter if you use small plastic tubs or file holders, assign a specific color to areas of study like English, science, history, and math. Then create labels for each subject so they are easy to remember and spot on the fly.

4. Minimize Distractions with Help from Safeguard Self Storage

If your child is new to a hybrid learning environment, at-home distractions can quickly pull their attention away from getting schoolwork done—especially if you are unable to designate a dedicated learning area in your home due to limited space. Thankfully, Safeguard Self Storage is here to help your child get the most out of their remote learning experience.

Whether you need to transform a spare room or a section of your child’s bedroom into a makeshift classroom, our convenient storage solutions are here to help. With a wide selection of unit sizes and types, you can rid your child’s at-home study space from things like seasonal sports equipment, unused belongings, or clutter with ease.

Create the perfect hybrid learning environment for your child; find your local Safeguard Self Storage facility today to start saving valuable space!

Getting the Most Mileage Out of Your Clothes

When it comes to fast fashion, there are few benefits for you or our planet. Although these clothes may be affordable and on-trend with high-end fashion retailers, they are cheaply made and eventually contribute to a significant amount of waste in landfills around the globe.

While we all want to dress in a way to express our personalities, there is a global price to pay when you choose to shop at fast-fashion retailers—and that price is contributing to more carbon emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste.

At Safeguard Self Storage in Brooklyn, NY, we all want to do our best for the planet while expressing our individuality, which is why we wanted to take a closer look at how you can get the most out of a fashionable wardrobe without impacting the environment.

Why Is Fast Fashion Bad?

It's hard to resist the latest trends when you can buy three affordable versions at a fast-fashion retailer. And, while it can be fun to invest in easily accessible, trendy clothes for a diverse wardrobe, that joy wears off quickly due to changing trends or items falling apart from poor craftsmanship. Speaking of changing trends: as styles change with the times, fast fashion houses are forced into manufacturing new articles of clothing to keep up, which contributes to significant global carbon emissions.

Cheap materials quickly wear out. Once those new jeans fade or lose their shape, you move on. Think about the expense of stuffing your closets with fast fashion. Replacement costs add up, and replaced items end up in a landfill if they are not disposed of properly or donated. Remember, quality lasts, and that's better for your long-term budget and the health of our planet.

Stop Before You Toss

It may seem easy to throw out inexpensive items, but make sure to stop before you toss. Remember that fabric decomposing in landfills emits toxic greenhouse gases, and clothes are always better off being donated. If an item is torn or damaged, sew it up yourself or support a local business that offers mending services.

Choose Quality Over Quantity

Invest in your wardrobe and our planet by making quality clothing purchases, even if they have a higher up-front cost. These items will be wearable and durable for years to come and can be easily mended if damage occurs.

Additionally, try to source ethical, trustworthy clothing companies that work hard to reduce carbon emissions and treat their employees fairly. And always follow the recommended care instructions to ensure your washing machine doesn’t harm them.

How Clothing Storage Can Help

Rather than tossing out or donating the clothes you already own, you can make room in your closet for high-quality items by adding additional storage space with Safeguard. With our wide selection of climate controlled self storage units, you can keep the items you’ve already purchased out of landfills, save space at home, and come back to them whenever you desire.

When you organize clothes for self storage, you can also clear up cluttered home storage spaces and donate things you don't want to keep. In addition, you can monetize extra items by selling them to a used clothing dealer near you. The idea is to give old clothes a new life instead of throwing them away, allowing you to transition from fast fashion to a wardrobe that lasts—and that's good for you and the planet.

Store Extra Clothes at a Safeguard Facility Near You

Safeguard Self Storage can help you protect our environment by giving you affordable storage solutions that always fit. We offer climate-controlled clothing storage in Brooklyn in a variety of sizes (including units the size of a standard closet), and our leasing options are flexible, too. You want the best clothing storage available, and Safeguard is here to help. Call us today to rent a unit or reserve a space online!

Guarding Art: How to Protect Fine Art Prints, Paintings, and Photographs

Every year, art lovers in Miami Beach and across the globe look forward to exploring the unique world of Art Basel. This international art fair celebrates fine artists and leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, as well as art collectors and sellers. It's a unique opportunity to see some of the world’s most masterful modern and contemporary artworks, meet emerging artists, and build your personal art collection. At Safeguard Self Storage in Miami, we are here to help make it all happen—whether you’re a vendor who needs temporary art storage during Art Basel or you’re a Miami resident looking to protect your investments.

How to Protect Your Fine Artwork

Knowing how to store art lets you easily expand and rotate your home gallery, as well as keep your work safe before and after events like Art Basel. Prints, canvases, and photographs are made of delicate materials that can’t withstand drastic fluctuations in temperature and humidity, and that’s why they need to be in a storage space that’s climate controlled.

Here at Safeguard in the Design District, we provide a wide selection of climate controlled self storage units in Miami. Not only do our units maintain consistent temperatures and humidity levels to combat the hot, muggy environment in Florida, but our secure units also shield valuable art from damaging UV rays.

But climate controlled spaces are just the first step to guarding your art, and these tips will help you add extra layers of protection to each type of art in your stored collection.

How to Store Art Prints

If you’re a collector, securing prints of your favorite artist’s work can be an affordable and exciting experience. And, if you’re an up-and-coming artist, selling prints is an easy way to get your name out there and your work on peoples’ walls. Regardless of what role you play in the art world, knowing how to properly store art prints is crucial for their long-term integrity:

  • Art prints should be matted and backed with acid-free materials.
  • Safely store framed prints by sandwiching them between acid-free mat boards.
  • Protect loose paper prints with archival glassine, and store in sturdy folders.

How to Store Canvas Paintings 

Canvas paintings, no matter how large or small, are captivating works of art that can elicit emotion and turn a bland living space into an exciting experience. But canvases, like many other materials, can become damaged if they are stored in the wrong space:

  • Keep canvases from cracking by storing in a climate controlled space.
  • Avoid directly touching canvases while preparing for storage.
  • Never cover a stored canvas painting with glass or plexiglass.
  • Protect canvas surfaces with cotton or muslin sheets.

How to Store Photographs

Photography is a stunning medium that can convey a message and create emotion in the blink of an eye, no matter if they are journalistic or abstract. But the papers used for photography prints are sensitive to UV light and fluctuations in temperature, so it’s important they are stored or shipped properly to ensure high quality and color retention:

  • Wear cotton gloves when arranging, storing, or shipping photographs.
  • Place acid-free paper between photos boxed for storage.
  • Store individual photographs inside archival sleeves.

The Best Ways to Store Art in Your Miami Storage Unit

At Safeguard Self Storage in Miami, we want to be your ideal solution for holding artwork. Our climate controlled storage units regulate temperature and humidity, and our facility-wide surveillance keeps your priceless works of art protected. With these art storage tips, you can turn your unit into a secure archive:

  • Store framed art upright and separated with sheets of acid-free mounting board.
  • Use wood pallets to elevate stored artwork and boxes off the unit floor.
  • Extend vertical storage with wheeled shelving units that can handle the weight of frames and boxes.
  • Leave clearance between shelving units and walls to ensure fresh air circulation.
  • Make sure frames and boxes don't overhang shelf edges creating bumping hazards.
  • Give yourself wide pathways and easy access for moving artwork in and out of the unit.

Protect Your Art with Miami Self Storage

No matter if you’re a Miami art collector or an artist traveling to Miami Beach for Art Basel, knowing how to properly store your work will ensure it stays in good shape. At Safeguard Self Storage in the Design District, our climate controlled self storage units in Miami are here to help you keep your art intact daily. Give us a call today to reserve your unit, or feel free to reserve your space online at any time!

May Day: A Day to Celebrate!

So What is May Day?

You have heard of May Day, and you know it is on May 1st every year, but do you know what it is?  Do you know why we call May 1st “May Day”?  There are a number of reasons, and they all are reasons to celebrate!

The Beginning

In ancient Ireland, the Celts measured the year by the path of the sun.  They divided the year into four quarters, called Quarter Days (the solstices and equinoxes), then divided each section in half, which gave them cross-quarter days.  These divisions not only echoed the four seasons, but they fit the sequences of their farming cycle.

What we now know as May 1st was the Celts Beltane, which marked the halfway point between spring equinox and summer solstice, and was considered the beginning of summer.  Seeds had been planted and were beginning to sprout, so May Day became a day to celebrate. 

May Day Traditions

After Roman Catholicism swept through Europe and the British Isles, May Day evolved into more than just a celebration of the sprouting crops.  As the old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”, so the first day of May became a day to celebrate the beauty of spring flowers.  Dancing around the maypole was part of festivals, which would include plays, dance performances, and the crowning of a “May Queen”.

Christianity also introduced the “May crowning”, where artists would create works featuring the Virgin Mary wearing a crown of flowers.  In 1955, Pope Pius XII chose May Day as a feast day to honor St Joseph the Worker. 

Another tradition, which has faded over the years, is the tradition of giving “May baskets”.  These small baskets were filled with flowers or sweets, or a combination of both, and left on a neighbor’s doorstep anonymously.  The person giving the basket was to knock on the door and yell, “May basket!”, then run off.  If the neighbor caught the person as they were fleeing, the recipient was entitled to a kiss.

How Will You Celebrate May Day?

Now that you know what May Day is and how it was observed in the past, what will you do to honor this long-standing holiday?  If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you could go for a walk and enjoy all the beautiful flowers in your neighborhood.  Maybe this year would be a good time to bring back the May basket tradition.

Another option to welcome summer is to pack up all of your winter items and pull out the summer stuff! If you need a place to put those coats, skis, and sleds, look no further than Safeguard Self Storage.  We have a variety of sizes available to suit just about any need and with over 73 locations, we are likely located in your neighborhood. 

How to Celebrate Earth Day Everyday

At Safeguard, we do our part to help our planet every year by expanding our number of green storage centers, including our self storage facility in East Williamsburg. But we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t take expensive solar panels, LED lighting or major life changes to make a positive impact on our planet. If you're wondering how to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, we have some great, environmentally friendly ideas for you. Join us in making these 10 earth-friendly resolutions, and we promise you’ll leave the world a better place.

1. Choose Green Transportation

Whether you’d like to ride a bicycle or hop on the public transportation system, the less you drive a car, the better. Individual passenger vehicles contribute multiple metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. By choosing green transportation, you are eliminating a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, if you ride a bike, you will get a great workout, too!

2. Grow Your Own Food

Have you ever thought about why the non-native produce you eat is in season all year long? The answer is simple: transportation. Because the produce industry relies heavily on fossil fuels to transport food all over the country, it contributes to a significant amount of carbon emissions. By growing your own produce—including things like tomatoes, cucumbers, or peppers—you can incrementally reduce the amount of shipping that’s necessary to get those ripe veggies to your local grocer.

3. Plant a Tree

Trees are like nature’s filters, not to mention they provide habitat to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. By planting a tree, you’re helping to clean the air we breathe, as trees absorb harmful pollutants and release clean oxygen back out into the atmosphere. Plus, if you plant one near your home, you can enjoy watching it grow over the years and take pride in your accomplishment.

4. Create a Compost Bin

If you start to think about the amount of trash humans produce, you can get overwhelmed extremely quickly. As the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, landfills are contributing to the degradation of our planet rapidly. Rather than tossing out food waste or organics for them to end up in the nearest dump, you can create a compost bin at home. You can put things like fruit scraps, old vegetables, and coffee grounds in your compost bin, which will benefit the soil and prevent harmful greenhouse gases from damaging the atmosphere.

5. Shop Smart

At this point, you know how bad plastic is for the environment. Plastic has become such a widespread problem that most wild-caught seafood has microplastics inside them! Fight plastic pollution by shopping with reusable bags, avoiding plastic take-out containers, and choosing not to use plastic straws. Buy fresh, non-packaged food at the grocery store, and support local organic farmers markets that don’t pack their foods in plastic wrap.

6. Bottle Your Water

Don't contribute to the 50 billion water bottles headed for our landfills and oceans every year! Resolve to always use reusable water bottles. Make sure to keep a backup with you in your office or car so you’re never without one.

7. Save Energy

If you have a faulty, outdated HVAC system or improperly sealed windows and doors, your home is contributing to higher-than-average carbon emissions; not to mention you’re likely paying a fortune in utility bills. Consider servicing or upgrading your HVAC system, installing an energy-efficient thermostat, and ensuring all the openings in your space are properly sealed.

8. Pick Up Trash

Trash is everywhere, and many of the discarded items you find on the street are recyclable. If you see litter, do your part by picking it up and placing it in the nearest trash can or recycle bin. There’s strength in numbers, so try to organize a litter patrol in your neighborhood. Your team could offer to pick up trash around a local school or adopt a nearby park. Remember, try to recycle as much litter as applicable!

9. Make Connections

Connect with local organizations that support earth-friendly activities. Learn about events happening online or ask neighbors for information about groups that need your help.

10. Create Awareness

Start your own Earth Day awareness movement with a catchy hashtag. Mobilize social media to promote planting trees, recycling, and showing our planet the love it deserves. It’s important to let others know that even small acts of earthly kindness will go along away, and there’s no better way to promote this message than on Earth Day!

Our Green Self Storage Solutions

Since 2014, Safeguard Self Storage has done our part to celebrate Earth Day in a big way. That's when we transitioned to green solutions with solar panel installations at our storage facilities in New York and New Jersey—including our East Williamsburg self storage facility.

Ongoing, we're committed to this green policy, as solar panel installations at our self storage sites continue to expand with our Illinois facilities being next in line to go green. Our solar panels meet over 90% of our energy needs with clean, renewable power, which makes us the perfect place to store your belongings while protecting the environment.

If you’re in need of self storage in East Williamsburg, NY, Safeguard is proud to provide you with energy-efficient storage solutions. Join us in celebrating Earth Day this year!