Another quote! Need a Bigger Food Pantry? Storage Units Could Be the Answer.

by Kathleen Krueger for www.selfstoragefinders.com

June 20, 2015

The affordable extra space available through self-storage units is being used to accommodate all kinds of lifestyle needs. Why rent or buy a larger house or apartment when you all you need is extra closets or garage footage? With a little creative thinking, you can come up with all kinds of different ways to utilize the space of a storage unit.

One of newest and most practical ideas has been to use part or all of a storage unit as a food pantry. Storage units can allow a family to purchase in bulk or to store food preserved through home canning, even when there is a shortage of storage space in your apartment or home.

Organizing Your Food Pantry

Whether your food pantry is in a storage unit or in your home, developing a simple organization system will help you to find what you need when you need. Since many food items also have expiration dates, proper organization can also ensure that those items closest to expiration get used first.

Angelica Holiday, owner of Organize Rescue, suggests creating an inventory list of the food items you have stored in your storage unit. “Keep an inventory of your supply and dates you canned them. Use it to avoid planning to use something that you may have already depleted and spoilage due to expiration. Every time you use something, mark it off your list.”

There are several storage services which now offer easy to use apps for tracking your items in storage along with their pickup and delivery service. Seattle-based Storrage is one company providing their customers with inventory apps. Clutter, which currently serves Los Angeles and Orange counties, also provides customers with an online visual inventory. Both these companies also provide pickup and delivery of your stored items, meaning you never have to visit the storage facility yourself.

Home-canned Food Storage

If the foods you will be storing in your storage unit are foods that you’ve canned yourself, there are few items to keep in mind depending on your location and climate. Since home-canned goods are packed in glass jars, temperature and stability are factors to consider. “A temperature-controlled environment will protect your canned goods from freezing in cold climates and getting to warm in hotter climates.” Holiday says. If you live in an area where earthquake tremors are frequent, glass jars set on open shelving (either at home or in your storage unit) could result in horrific mess. Make sure your jars are stored in such a way that only get shaken and not shattered.

If you’re just beginning your journey into home canning, it is important that you are aware of how to can safely and recognize when a jar of food may have not sealed properly or is spoiling for any reason. Freshpreserving.com provides answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding home canning safety. Here are some of their tips:

Leave the recommended amount of headspace in your jars between the food and the lid. Too much or too little headspace can prevent your jar lid from sealing properly.
Storage temperature for canned goods should remain under 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures can decrease the nutritional value in your foods.

Store your canned foods away from direct sunlight. Light can cause your foods to fade in color and destroy certain vitamins.
A temperature controlled storage unit provides the ideal environment for food pantry storage units. It is dark and dry. Keeping your food at a constant temperature between 50 and 70 degrees will also preserve them longer than if kept in a place where temperatures fluctuate above and below that range.

Another quote! Need a Bigger Food Pantry? Storage Units Could Be the Answer.

Garage Storage Tips: Organize and Declutter

Homeclick Community added by Kathleen Krueger

Professional organizers offer tips on how to prevent overwhelm when you use your garage for storage space.

The job of a garage is, first and foremost, to be a safe storage area for the family vehicles. However, the average garage provides more than one function for homeowners. In most cases, the garage is a storage area for many other things as well. When fitting your vehicles into the garage becomes a challenge or absolutely impossible, it’s time to declutter and reorganize your garage.

Declutter First
Dani Perea, from BrightNest.com, a leading source of advice for homeowners, offers this advice on how to begin the decluttering process: “Keep your garage’s job in mind as you clear clutter and organize. Anything that doesn’t fit its job should go in a “put away (somewhere else)” pile or a throw away or donate pile.”

Just because something is currently stored in your garage, doesn’t mean it has to stay there or that the garage is the best place to store it. Seasonal items can be stored in a separate garden shed or a self-storage unit and retrieved when needed.

Perea also provides this savvy tip – ”Never buy bins before you declutter – or you’ll have less motivation to actually get rid of items with a nice new empty bin in front of you.” If you do buy bins for garage storage, organizers generally recommend that you purchase clear plastic bins. This allows you to see what is stored inside without having to open the bin.

[More Decluttering Tips: 4 Steps to a Clutter-Free Home]

Storage Time
Now that you’ve decluttered and determined which items really should be stored in your garage, its time to get organized. Angelica Holiday a professional organizer and owner of Organize Rescue suggest creating zones for similar items.

“Place all sporting equipment in one zone. Lawn care and tools make a nice pairing in another zone.”

You’ve decluttered and sorted your items, now it’s time to decide how to create garage storage areas that are both accessible and fitting for the types of items you are storing. Holiday offers this advice: “I say “UP” with it all. Hang as many things as you can from the ceiling and on the walls.”

Perea gets even more specific, “If most of the items in your garage are sports related, then opt for metal shelving and hanging hooks rather than large boxes (which easily become clutter traps). If your ‘keep’ items are mostly tools – a pegboard and hooks will hold tools, and won’t take up as much space as clutter-friendly shelves.”

Keep safety in mind as you determine storage areas for items. “Always store substances like paint, pesticides and auto fluids in their original containers,” Perea reminds us. “If the containers are damaged at all, get rid of them. If you have pets or children, make sure that containers of toxic substances are high and far out of reach.”

For a truly clutter-free look in your garage, invest in storage cabinets that hide your tools and other smaller items behind sleek doors. Select cabinets that mount on the wall to protect them from floor moisture that could cause damage.

Another reason to choose cabinet storage in the garage is to add another layer of safety and security. Cabinets can have locks to keep children from accessing dangerous power tools and toxic substances. Locked cabinets also add a further deterrent to those who would like to take your tools without your permission.

A final word from professional organizer Angelica Holiday is a good one to keep in mind: “Garages are for parking cars, not packing in so many things you can’t move.”

Garage Storage Tips: Organize and Declutter

Tips for organizing on a budget: Organizing on a budget

Quoted on the Sparefoot Blog!

http://blog.sparefoot.com/7891-cheap-organizing-solutions/

Tidy and Thrifty: How to Get Organized on the Cheap
BY CYNTHIA J. DRAKE JUNE 5, 2015

That brimming closet. The junk-filled garage that no longer accommodates your car. The basement where you’ve got to clear a path to get to your holiday decorations.
Who couldn’t use a little organization, right? But when you’re on a budget, fancy tools for organization and storage might not be wallet-friendly.
Don’t sweat it. We challenged organizing experts to come up with some creative solutions that you can carry out right away—and that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Stress-free sorting tips

“Sort everything—and I mean everything—into piles: definitely keep; move to another location for a definite purpose; give away/sell (and then do it), repair/clean/alter (and then do it, or else it goes in the next pile); and recycle/throw away.” — Kirsten B. Feldman, author

“Set a timer for 20 minutes. Tackle one section of the space you’re trying to organize. When the timer goes off, you’re done for the day. Yay! Once a day, repeat the process. After a few sessions, you’ll be organized. Plus, doing your organizing in small chunks makes it easier to find a place for those wayward items, instead of ending up with a large pile that begs for a trip to The Container Store.” — Dani Perea, growth and engagement manager, BrightNest

“Use painter’s tape to mark out sections on a floor or tarp for sorting categories. You can also use it to label boxes and tape the protective cushioning you may put on a fragile item. If you invest in a couple of different colors or widths, it can be used for an informal coding system for your items.” — Lauren Williams, owner, Organizer2Harmonize

“Group like items together—for example, photos in white frames or sea shells you’ve brought home from the beach—so they have impact and avoid looking like clutter.” — Kirsten B. Feldman

“Get a friend or neighbor to help you if you can’t afford a pro to help you.” — Denise Baron, home and lifestyle expert
Turning clutter into cash

“The first and most profitable way to declutter is always to sell something. Almost every area in the country now has Craigslist, but you can get better prices if you have a local ‘yard sale’ website or Facebook group. Bookoo.com is the largest site behind Craigslist for this type of listing.” — Paul Moyer, owner, SavingFreak.com

“Monetize the process as much as possible by donating for a tax credit or somehow selling what you can. It’s not likely that you’ll get back as much as you spent on the items, but you will get back more than just sending the items to the landfill.” — Lauren Williams
Cheap or free storage solutions

“Before you buy expensive organizers and containers, shop your home first. Think outside the box and use what you have to organize. For example, an ice tray or an egg carton can be used to organize jewelry inside a drawer.” — Dianne de Las Casas, Once Upon A Storage

“Reuse old baking pans in the garage to hold tools or repair items. For example, use an old baking pan to hold the chalking and grout tubes on the paint shelf in the garage. A loaf pan is the perfect size for rolls of tape. Repurpose an old CD cabinet into toilet paper storage inside the bathroom.” — Karen Lankford

“Small to medium-size baby-wipe containers make great holders of many things. I have them lined up in the junk drawer to catch extra pens and mini note pads, rubber bands and batteries. They are great in the craft room and garage, too.” — Angelica Holiday, owner, Organize Rescue

“Over-the-door shoe racks or other types of clear organizers can hold household cleaners, tools, jewelry, makeup and many other items. Don’t be afraid to get creative and repurpose what you already have!” — Alison Kero, owner, ACK! Organizing

“Use recycled clear containers to store your dried ingredients in for your pantry. Make certain to label them with the name of the contents and the use by date.” — Angelica Holiday
“Hooks are useful for hanging purses, keys, towels, pots and pans and many other household items so they’re easy to see and reach.” — Alison Kero

“Use command hooks on the sidewalls of the cabinet under your bathroom sink to hold less-often-used beauty tools. A single nail and a potato chip clip mounted to the wall can hold reusable plastic storage bags.” — Karen Lankford

“Visit your local dollar store and look at all of the organizing options. They carry foldable cubes, plastic storage bins, over-the-door shoe bag hangers, inside-drawer organizers, chalkboard labels, office supplies and so many more items that can be used to organize a chaotic space.” — Dianne de Las Casas

“Shoeboxes make wonderful socks, underwear and pantyhose organizers to use in your drawers.” — Alison Kero
Maintaining your clutter-free house

“Don’t purchase in bulk unless you have a large family to buy for. Those 20 jars of tomato sauce that you got at a bargain are no longer a bargain when you have to throw them out after they’ve expired and you forgot you had them. The only products that we purchase in bulk in my home are toilet paper, paper towels and tissues.” — Eileen Bergman, professional organizer

“The ‘just in case’ rule—if you say it’s ‘just in case’ and it’s been two years since you used it or wore it—then it has to go.” — Denise Baron

“Use free apps to help reduce clutter. Get rid of paper clutter by scanning your documents and uploading them to Evernote. Use BrightNest to get cleaning and organization tips on your phone. And download Closet for iPhone for organizing your clothes.” — Dani Perea

Tips for organizing on a budget: Organizing on a budget