4 Tips for Cleaning and Organizing a Closet

Is your clothes closet as clean, organized and streamlined as you’d like it to be? Do you find yourself repeatedly wearing only two or three items from your overstuffed closet? If you are like most people, your closet contains things that no longer fit or items you no longer like to wear. When your closet is disorganized it makes finding what you actually like to wear a frustrating task. As seasons change, it’s a great time to learn how to clean a closet and organize your storage space from top to bottom!

So set aside a long afternoon, grab the following supplies, put on your tunes and let’s get started!

  1. Take out everything from your closet first

It might seem like a drastic measure, but the best way to do the job right and be happy with the end result is to actually remove everything from the closet. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your closet, you’ll want to wear a dust mask to avoid headaches or allergies. It’s amazing how much dust accumulates in a closet!

  1. Donate your clothes

Don’t second guess yourself – remove everything you haven’t worn in the past year and take it to the car to be dropped off the next day at your favorite charity. While there is a possibility you’ll give away something you wish you had down the road, in the long run it will have been worth it. Cleaning out a closet will make future decisions much easier. Chaotic closets end up costing us money! Being more organized will help you know what you actually need to buy going forward and you’ll make less clothing mistakes.

  1. Rent a storage unit

If you have some outfits that you LOVE but only wear seldomly for special occasions, you can rent a self storage for either short-term or long-term to store these outfits. There are a variety of storage unit sizes for a person to choose from. If you’re looking to store a couple of clothing items, you can go with a 5×5 storage unit which is approximately the size of a walk-in closet.

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we offer storage units across Greater Vancouver and Greater Vancouver Island. We offer self storage Burnaby, self storage South Surrey and White Rock, self storage Chilliwack, self storage Nanaimo, self storage Parksville, and self storage Victoria. Book a storage unit today! Contact us if you have any questions.

  1. Hang up the clothes you actually wear

Only hang up clothes you wear so that your closet is occupied with outfits that you actually wear. Doing this helps you deter hoarding outfits that you rarely wear and making a huge mess in your closet! If you have some outfits that you’re on the fence about whether you’ll wear them on the regular, we’d recommend storing these items in a storage unit to avoid clustering your closet with outfits that you seldomly wear.

3 Tips and Tricks For Living in a Studio Apartment

Living in a studio apartment can be challenging since the bedroom and living room are combined. Depending on the space’s size, you have to find ways to live in a studio apartment effectively. We have come up with some valuable studio apartment living tips that will help you re-imagine small spaces.

Here are three tips and tricks for living in a studio apartment.

  1. Rent a storage unit

Since a studio apartment is minimal in space, it’s ideal to keep as few items in the apartment as possible. To do so, we recommend renting a storage unit. By renting a storage unit, you can store items that you seldom use or use them seasonally such as snowboarding equipment or camping gear and access these items whenever you need them.

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we offer storage units across Greater Vancouver and Greater Vancouver Island. We offer self storage Burnaby, self storage South Surrey and White Rock, self storage Chilliwack, self storage Nanaimo, self storage Parksville, and self storage Victoria. Book a storage unit today! Contact us if you have any questions.

  1. Buy multi-purpose furniture according to your lifestyle

Create a space where you can hang out with friends, watch TV, and work on your laptop. To do this, think multipurpose. Instead of buying a desk, a TV stand, and a bookshelf, install wall shelving that you can use for all three. Instead of buying a huge, bulky couch, get a couple of smaller armchairs. But before you buy anything, think of how you’re going to live in space.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I need to work in this space? If so, how can I fit in a desk or use another area (like a dining table) to serve this purpose?
  • Realistically, how many people will I have over for get-togethers? Make sure you have space for everyone to sit. If you only have one or two people over, a larger scale two-seater sofa should suffice. If you have more, think about a smaller couch in addition to floor poufs and accent chairs.
  • Am I making the space do too much? Is there some functionality you could give up to make your apartment seem more streamlined? Perhaps you don’t need to have a gym studio in the corner. Maybe you can do your work at a coffee shop instead of in the apartment. Sometimes, a compromise can help your home base feel more serene.
  1. Declutter kitchen utensils and clean your kitchen often

In a studio apartment, your kitchen is probably going to be one of two things: a strip of cabinets against one wall of the living room, or a room so small there’s hardly enough space to open the refrigerator door all the way. How can you make it work? Consider doing the following.

  • Only buy essential kitchen utensils.

Remember that you don’t really need a tofu press, and twelve different knives aren’t necessary. Don’t let your cabinets fill up with boxes of pasta and cans of vegetables that you’re never going to use.

  • Clean your kitchen routinely

Whatever you do, do not let kitchen messes build up. Wash the dishes as you use them, throw out expired food right away and wipe down all your surfaces after cooking.

4 Tips for Cleaning Your Home

When we want to purchase other items for our homes, it’s usually because we think we need those items to make our lives better. That said, If we take an honest look, these extra items end up being the cause of additional clutter and stress in our lives. It’s become almost second nature in our culture to think we are going to enhance our life with something new when inadvertently we have made it more complicated.

If you are looking for ways to clean your home, here are four simple tips you can use.

  1. Avoid impulse purchases

When you can, don’t go to places that will cause you to buy more stuff to deal with or tempt you with more decisions to make. Try consolidating shopping lists and trips so you don’t make multiple visits in a week. It’s amazing how much less you buy and how much easier your subsequent decisions are when you spend less time going into stores.

  1. Rent a storage unit

If you have some items or belonging laying around your home and occupying space, consider booking a storage unit to store these items for short-term or long-term. For example, if you have some outdoor sports gear or outfits that  you use or wear once in a while, you can store them in a storage unit (e.g. 5×5 storage unit or 5×6 storage unit), and gain access and use them when you need these outfits or sports gear. There are a variety of storage unit sizes you can choose from. If you’re looking to store clothing items, you can go with a 5×5 storage unit which is approximately the size of a walk-in closet.

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we offer storage units across Greater Vancouver and Greater Vancouver Island. We offer self storage Burnaby, self storage South Surrey and White Rock, self storage Chilliwack, self storage Nanaimo, self storage Parksville, and self storage Victoria. Book a storage unit today! Contact us if you have any questions.

  1. Clean your home on a weekly basis

It’s easy to keep you home tidy if you clean it on a weekly basis. Every week, you can clean up your home by assuring that laundry is done, all your belongings are in the right places (e.g. clean cups are in the cabinet and your clothes are hanging in the closet). Doing this weekly limits the amount of cleaning you have to do each week and helps keeping your home clean and organized at all times!

  1. When in doubt, donate it

If you have random belongings laying around your home and you aren’t sure if you want to keep them or not, you can donate to local charities. For example, if you have some older electronic devices or clothing that you most likely won’t use again, you can contact your local charities and ask if they would find these useful. If these charities find these items of us, donate these items to the charities! Doing this helps you achieve an excellent good deed as well as declutter your home!

4 Steps for Organizing Your Drawers

Drawers are a fantastic way to compartmentalize one’s belongings. But, it can also get real messy, real fast… Especially if you clean with the “out of sight, out of mind” approach. From office desk drawers to “junk” drawers, let us teach you how to reverse the entropy in those pesky little compartments in 4 easy steps. 

1: Emptying and Dusting the Drawers

Emptying out the drawer is a great idea to understand what exactly has been packing inside. Although you can still attempt to organize the drawer with all your belongings inside, it won’t be as effective to declutter for step 2, and be especially difficult for cleaning the dust out of the drawer itself.

Next, use a handheld vacuum or hose attachment to remove the dust that has accumulated inside. After all the dust has been removed, you can move onto using a cleaning spray on the drawer and subsequently wiping it clean with a microfiber cloth. If you spot any stubborn stains, baking soda and a wet brush works as a gentle exfoliant.

2: Sorting & Decluttering

Now, turn your attention to your pile of belongings you’ve removed from the drawer and categorize the items on utility. This is a great way to determine if you should actually keep the items. As you’re doing this, keep an eye out for items that are damaged and sort those into items that you would fix, recycle, or throw away. 

Although it can be tough to say goodbye to your possessions, here are 4 helpful questions to help you decide if you should keep your possessions. 

  1. Have you used the item within the last six months? 
  2. Do you foresee yourself using this item in the near future? Some seasonal items are exceptions to rule 1, as they can be cycled between storage and drawers as necessary. 
  3. Would you purchase this item again? If not, and you’ve said no to rules 1 and 2, it’s time to let it go.
  4. Would you keep the item if you were movin? If not, it’s time to say goodbye. 

Finally, consider the size of your drawer. If it’s a small drawer, don’t expect to keep more items than what you are able to fit within it. As for the no-pile, they can be sold at a garage sale or donated to a local charity shop. 

3: Designating space for the organized items

Similar to the previous tip, it is important to organize the drawers to make sure you have enough space for everything you’re choosing to keep, and that you’re able to categorize these items efficiently. 

For example, if you have a drawer full of power tools, screws, and mail, consider removing the mail into another safe place in your office drawer. Similarly, instead of folding hoodings and placing it into a dresser, the most efficient use of space would be hanging it up. The bottom line is that you’re keeping only the essentials in your home, and you’re doing so in a way that maximizes the space you have. 

4: Getting creative in categorizing your belongings

You’re all set in organizing your drawers and deciding what to keep. For items that are small and may require further sorting, the next step may be to think about getting dividers to keep things neat. Drawer liners are a great choice in dividing the space into usable sections, and they are also great in helping to minimize dust. A liner without holes is great for preventing any dust accumulation on the drawer underneath, and it is also easier to clean than going back to step 1. 

However, if you are on a tight budget, shoe boxes and cereal boxes are great make-shift containers for organizing dresser drawers. The bottom of cereal boxes are great too for storing silverware and utensils. Egg cartons and ice-cube trays are also a good method for storing smaller items, such as jewelry, on a budget.

And finally…

There you have it! Four steps to cleaning and organizing your drawer. However, if you’re someone who has gone through these four steps and still aren’t able to part with their belongings, it may be time to look into a self-storage unit to tidy your belongings. And conveniently – these 4 steps are great for organizing your drawers in the storage unit too!

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include self storage Victoria, self storage Parksville, self storage Nanaimo, self storage Burnaby, self storage White Rock and Surrey, and self storage Chilliwack. Contact us if you have any questions!

6 Things You Should Consider When Choosing a Long Term Storage Unit

Life is unpredictable and you never know when you might need  a long term storage. Maybe you’re relocating for a new job and need to put your items away, or maybe you are a store owner who needs a place to store the seasonal merchandise (afterall, there isn’t much demand for skiing equipment in the summer months). Or, some people prefer to store large items such as cars, boats, and RV’s in a long term storage because it takes up a lot of space in their home. 

Regardless of the reason for why you need a long term storage, it can be dizzying to choose from so many options of long term storage, but not all of the choices will suit your needs. Read on to find out 6 important factors you should consider to make sure you chose the best long term storage unit for your needs! 

1.The location of the facility & its accessibility

The distance of the long term storage should be carefully considered because it determines how accessible your trips will be. Unlike short-term storage, you can expect to travel back and forth a lot to retrieve your items in long term storage. How important is it to have a storage close to you? Are you willing to go for a more distant, but storage plan that is of better value? These are important questions to answer so you make the best choice for both your gas and storage budget. At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include self storage Victoria, self storage Parksville, self storage Nanaimo, self storage Burnaby, self storage White Rock and Surrey, and self storage Chilliwack.

2.The Hours of operation & your personal schedule

Factoring in the facility’s hour of operation allows you to determine if you can access the storage unit at a time that is convenient for you. For example, if you are someone who works long hours during the day and the storage unit follows a strict 9 to 5 work day, it will make it very difficult for you to find the time to retrieve your belongings without sacrificing work hours. Ideally, we would recommend a storage unit that offers access on weekends or past work hours. 

3. The Finances & The “Fine-Print”

There is often flexibility in paying by the month or by the week, and sometimes there may even be “freebie” storage months if you are a long term client. On the other hand, if you’re not sure how long you’d want to keep your items in storage, make sure to find out if you’re able to terminate the contract anytime without penalty. It is always in your best interest to pay attention to these details so you are storing your items on your terms, and not the other way around.

3. The Safety & Security of the Unit

While all storage units offer some level of protection, not all security measures were made equal and you should consider what levels of protection you are comfortable with for your belongings. The security can range from a simple lock on the unit, to ones that include additional 24-hour digital surveillance in a brightly lit environment. It is never a bad idea to double check with the security measures before signing a contract with your chosen facility.

4. Insurance Options for the Storage Unit 

If you have insured your items through a third-party insurance policy, you may need to check if those items are still protected when they are placed in a storage unit. If not, you may need to opt for a storage facility that offers additional insurance policies to protect your belongings. These policies usually cover losses such as water damages, theft, and will properly compensate you if the unfortunate events do happen. Plus, it can offer your great peace of mind to know that your items have an additional layer of protection in the storage unit.

5. Past Reviews and Ratings 

Last but not least, past review ratings paint an honest picture of what you can expect when you trust the long term storage with your belongings. Even if you are signing with an established storage facility, it is still important to double check with your specific location. 

Websites like Yelp or Facebook can give you an idea of the storage unit’s services from the customer’s point of view, or even asking for friends’ and neighbours’ recommendations are a good way to gauge whether or not you should go with a certain storage unit.

And there you have it – 6 important things to consider when choosing a long term storage unit. You are now all set to find an option that works the best for you!

6 Tips for Storing Your Student Dorm Room

Student life isn’t easy, but at least you can say goodbye to a few months of stress by moving off-campus at the end of the semester! But before you go, don’t forget to safely put your belongings in a storage unit so they are just the way you left them by the time you return. 

Not sure where to start? Here are six essential tips for storing and safekeeping various belongings in a storage unit

1. Books 

You spent a pretty penny on those textbooks, and they should be packed, transported, and stored with care. Books should stay upright or flat on their sides, or their spines may be damaged from improper storage. 

In terms of protecting the books during transport and storage, plastic sleeves are ideal for those rare, prized first editions, and plastic bins are also great for protecting against the elements. 

Moreover, always make sure to store books separately in a smaller box. Otherwise, these books can be too heavy to lift.

2. Bedsheets and towels

Moisture is your number one enemy when it comes to storing bed sheets and towels. As a first step, make sure everything is completely dry before it’s packed away for the summer. 

Similar to protecting the books, plastic bins provide a sealed barrier against the elements and keeps your dry fabrics mildew-free in storage. 

As a final touch, mothballs are great for protecting your fibers against cloth-eating insects during the summer months that you are gone.

3. Laundry hamper 

Laundry hampers are a delicate essentials to any dorm dorm, so it’s important to place your collapsible laundry hamper on top of your belongings so they won’t get crushed. If it isn’t collapsible, you can stack them on top of eachother to save some room.

4. Electronics

Before storing your electronics, make sure all batteries are removed. Batteries can leak if they are not used for a long time, which can damage the appliance in the long run. Next, pack all appliances in the original packaging if possible. If not, packing peanuts offer great protection, especially during transport. Taking the time to cover your screens with a cloth will protect them from the elements during storage as well. Plus, as a bonus, it will protect your gaps and vents from being clogged with dust. 

During moving, make sure to keep them at the top of the moving pile due to the electronics’ fragile nature. As well, keeping the electronics on top keeps them from getting damaged by moisture during storage.

Finally, temperature and humidity will play a huge role in the longevity of your gadgets, so it’s worthwhile to make sure it’s stored somewhere shady and cool.

5. Pictures frames and mirrors 

Picture frames can be scratched during transport and can be damaged by moisture during storage, so packing it in bubble wrap offers great protection for both problems.

During transport, avoid placing anything heavy on top of your picture frames or mirrors. No matter how light, the weight is still capable of damaging your fragile belongings.

When sorting in a storage unit, avoid placing glass frames or mirrors directly on the ground. Old blankets or thick cardboard are a good way to protect the glass from scratching or shattering. Otherwise, cold or rough surfaces from the concentrate may also cause the glass to crack. 

6. Dishes

Much like picture frames, dishes are delicate and need proper protection. Make sure to wrap everything in paper when packing – plenty of paper. Packing bowls and plates on their sides in boxes provides adequate protection from chipping and shattering during transport and storage. 

Still paranoid about your dishes’ integrity during transport? Specialty dish boxes with individual compartments for glassware give protection while in transport and storage. Finally, not all glassware and ceramics were made equally, so make sure to store your most fragile utensils at the top of the pile. 

With the six essential moving tips above, all that’s left to do is to book a van and set a date to temporarily move your well-packed belongings into a storage unit. Unofficially, we think it’s the most fun to do with your best buds – though they might take a little bit of convincing with a large pizza and fizzy drinks on a hot summer day. After that, it’s time to kick your feet up and let the summer adventures begin!

At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have storage facilities across Greater Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Our facilities include self storage Victoria, self storage Parksville, self storage Nanaimo, self storage Burnaby, self storage White Rock and Surrey, and self storage Chilliwack. Contact us if you have any questions!

5 Ways to Keep Your Kids’ Washroom Clean

We all know how a kid’s bathroom can go from neat-as-a-pin to a complete disaster in less time than it takes to fold a stack of towels. When you have children in the bathroom, some innovative organizing and design tips can help save you time when it comes to keeping things tidy. Here are 6 organizing tips to try out in your child’s bathroom.

We all know how a kid’s bathroom can go from neat-as-a-pin to a complete disaster in less time than it takes to fold a stack of towels. When you have children in the bathroom, some innovative organizing and design tips can help save you time when it comes to keeping things tidy. Here are 6 organizing tips to try out in your child’s bathroom.

1. Labeled hooks for towels

Wet towels on the floor are the bane of many parents’ existence. This can be exacerbated  when the bathroom is used by multiple kids.

Ginger Bowie of Ginger Snap Crafts suggests replacing door hooks or towel bars with a hat rack; choose an oversized rack with six or more hooks for more versatility.

If you’d prefer to go with classic hooks, consider painting the name of each child – or better yet – place a picture of them, above their hook. This will prevent arguments (”Who used my towel!?”) and help you keep track of them for laundry day. Plus, how cute would it be to have photos of your favorite littles all in a row?

2. Corral dirty clothes with a bathroom hamper or bin

If you don’t have a laundry chute, you probably keep hampers in each family members’ bedroom. But dirty clothes are likely to accumulate in the bathroom as well. Placing a hamper in the bathroom will give your kids an easy dump zone for soiled clothing.

Plastic hamper bins are perfect for wet clothes after an afternoon at the pool or muddy clothing from playing in the rain. Even better, you can easily carry the bin to the laundry room or even rinse it out in the tub.

3. Keep cleaning supplies close

Your children’s bathroom probably needs cleaning about twice as often as your own. Save yourself some time by making space for your cleaning supplies right in the bathroom. A small caddy works perfectly and often fits under the sink.

And if your kids are old enough to be a part of the clean-up crew, consider including a checklist with the cleaning supplies. That way, they have no excuse for forgetting to clean the toilet bowl or the mirror.

4. Come up with a code or system for toiletries used daily

According to Becky Mansfield of Your Modern Family, one of the most effective things you can do to help the kids keep their own bathroom organized is to set up daily use kits  for each child. Fill the kits with each child’s toiletries—deodorant, makeup, hair supplies, or whatever else they might need. This is particularly helpful as the kids get older.

Store the kits out of sight in a linen closet or drawer. If you don’t have the space to hide them, a shelf works just as well. And when it comes time for a move or remodel, your children’s belongings will be ready to go! Just throw the kits together to keep them easily accessible during the transition.

For an added degree of organization, you can color code everything. Each child gets a color. Their  kit, toothbrush, hairbrush—even towels—can be the same color, making it easy to find the owner of any item in the bathroom. Color coding also makes packing a snap, whether you are packing for one night or for a move.

5. Add storage to a small bathroom with corner shelving units

Very small bathrooms can benefit from corner shelving units. Many of these are quite narrow, providing just enough space to store extra toiletries or linens. This is a great solution for houses with kids of multiple ages—the lower shelves are perfect for the youngest kids while the older ones can easily access the higher shelves. You can also rent a storage unit to store your bathroom belongings.

11 Tips for Spring Cleaning 2022

his an annual ritual or you’re attempting to tackle the process of spring cleaning for the first time, we hope these tips inspire you to create a home you love.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If you’ve been forced indoors by Coronavirus, you’ve been given the gift of time. Pair it with these spring cleaning tips, and you have what it takes to make home a place you’ll never want to leave, even after shelter-in-place orders have been lifted!

We’ve rounded up our favorite spring cleaning tips, plus a tried and true process to get you started. Whether you’re part of the 75% of people that make this an annual ritual or you’re attempting to tackle the process of spring cleaning for the first time, we hope these tips inspire you to create a home you love.

1. Start by breaking out the warm weather equipment

Isn’t it exciting to pull out these reminders of the fun to come this summer? Pull them out and hose them down.

  • Grills
  • Lawnmowers
  • Sports equipment
  • Patio furniture

2. Put away winter

Now that you’ve pulled out your warm weather equipment, you’ve made room to stow away cold weather items. Here are some things you can happily store away in a basement, attic or storage unit until next fall:

  • Heavy outerwear
  • Winter boots
  • Snowblowers
  • Shovels
  • Winter sports gear

3. Switch out linens with lighter fabrics and colors

Say hello to spring indoors, too. Put away the heavy bedding, fuzzy throws and velvet pillows to help rid your home of the winter feel. Change up your curtains in favor of a lighter, sheer material to let in more light. Add some plants, mirrors and lighter wall decor to create an open, airy feel for your family and your guests. You’ll immediately feel less cluttered.

4. Switch out your wardrobe

Did you know the average person only wears 20% of the clothes in their closet on a regular basis? If you come across clothing that you haven’t worn in the last 6-12 months, it’s time to get rid of it! Consider donating these clothes to a local Goodwill.

Besides downsizing your wardrobe to make outfit decisions easier, you can take this time to pack up your fuzzy sweaters and bring out the shorts. Here’s a guide to storing winter clothing in the warmer months.

5. Skip the sentimentals

If time is limited for your spring cleaning process, we recommend skipping sentimental items until you can dedicate time to really go through them. After surveying 2,000 Americans on the stuff they store and why, we learned that sentimental connections to our belongings make the decluttering process much more difficult.

6. Dust before vacuuming

In case your mother never taught you this nugget of wisdom, we thought we’d include it in here. You stir up dust as you try to remove it and it will most likely settle on the ground. You can take care of it after dusting by vacuuming (or sweeping).

Baseboards and ceiling fans are two areas that often get neglected when it comes to dusting. They are also areas that collect a disturbing amount of dust. So don’t forget to add them to your spring cleaning list!

7. Don’t forget the windows

Over the long winter months, debris like pollen, dirt and dust can build up along your window sills. Cleaning the interior and exterior on a routine basis will not only let more light into your home but ensure that your windows easily open and close. Fresh air will also reduce allergens and germs in mattresses, even if you can’t haul them outside.

8. Even furniture can use a spring refresh

Just because you don’t see stains doesn’t mean your couch is free of dust, crumbs, dirt, animal fur or allergens. Many hardware stores, including major chains like Lowe’s and Home Depot, rent upholstery cleaning machines, which can help clean your favorite room in a matter of minutes. At the very least, be sure to vacuum upholstered surfaces.

9. Extend the lifetime of your mattress by cleaning and flipping it

Despite linens and mattress pads, mattresses are still popular places for dead skin cells, sweat and dust. First, take a vacuum over both sides of your mattress to collect any dust or debris. If it’s nice enough outside, the best remedy for your mattress is some fresh air and sunlight.

To spot clean a mattress, mix the following ingredients in a spray bottle:

  • 16 oz. hydrogen peroxide
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 drops of dish soap
  • Soak the stained area with the mixture, and let it sit for 30-60 minutes before pressing it off with a clean towel. This solution has been magical for my children’s mattresses!

While you’re flipping your mattress, do yourself a favor and leave it on the opposite side. Over time, pressure leads to irregular wear. Flipping it twice a year can help keep it in tip-top shape while also making sure it’s clean.

10. Wipe down lightbulbs

It may seem like overkill, but it’s really so simple to do. Dirty light bulbs emit 20 percent less light than clean ones. Brighten up your home by giving your lightbulbs a wipe with a damp microfiber cloth. I bet it will take you only five minutes to wipe each bulb in your home. Need to keep a kid busy during quarantine? This is an easy job for any kid elementary-age and up!

11. Use salt and grapefruit to remove grime from showers and tubs

The grit of the salt plus the acid of the grapefruit cut down on elbow grease needed. It’ll also give your bathroom that extra boost of freshness that is usually only obtained with heavily scented candles and not-so-friendly cleaning products.

9 Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen To Maximize Space

Here are our top nine kitchen organization tips to try today.

“Everything in its place and a place for everything” isn’t just a saying Grandma cross-stitched on a pillow. It’s also the best of the kitchen organization tips you can apply. For most people, though, an organized kitchen is a dream to be achieved someday after retirement when the kids have moved out and life is less hectic. Reversing years of bad organization habits seems like too daunting a task to ever really tackle.

But it is possible to keep the heart of your home clear of clutter without spending weeks on boring cleaning projects. It’s time to stop procrastinating, be honest about what you really need, and reclaim the space you use to cook meals and enjoy time with family and friends. Here are our top nine kitchen organization tips to try today.

1. Start by reflecting on how your family uses the kitchen

Today’s kitchen isn’t just for food storage and cooking. It’s often part of your living area and is a multi-purpose space.

Consider all the functions your space serves. You might have a sitting area off the kitchen that comes in handy for entertaining. Does part of your kitchen end up being used as a workspace? Write down the ways that you use the area to ensure that your kitchen organization accommodates the needs of your family.

Here are some common uses for kitchens to think about:

  • Create a place to store items used when entertaining. From a bottle opener and wine glasses to coasters and serving trays, select an accessible spot for your things so it’s easy to welcome friends and family.
  • If your dining area is combined with your kitchen, keep placemats and napkins in an easy to reach spot so little hands can help set the table while you cook.
  • If your kitchen island is often turned into a game area or homework zone, keep favorite games in a nearby cabinet or have a bin with pencils, pens, and notebooks easy to grab.

2. Think like a minimalist

Your first step toward kitchen freedom is to give the whole space an objective assessment. Forget about any sentimentality attached to the items you’ve kept all these years, and give serious thought to what you actually use on a regular basis.

Take a cue from minimalists, people who do their best not to acquire more than they need and to get rid of anything lacking a clear purpose. Apply this logic to your kitchen by:

  • Setting aside your most-used tools and appliances.
  • Identifying duplicates.
  • Determining which single-function items can be replaced or tossed.
  • Throwing out old, broken, rusty, or hopelessly dirty items.
  • This gives you a starting point to work from as you create a plan of attack to organize your kitchen space.

3. Emphasize ease of use

Every kitchen has a few key items used to prepare and eat meals on a regular basis. Put the items you use most in easy-to-reach places to keep from tossing everything out of the way to get to that one bowl you need. Remember the old rule: “Like goes with like,” a key philosophy when it comes to storage units.

Make it as easy as possible to find your favorite items by storing dishes in one place and cups in another, and putting similar preparation tools together. This not only speeds up meal prep and table setting but also streamlines the appearance of your kitchen.

4. De-Clutter drawer space

As you’re rearranging the items you use most to keep the kitchen organized, you’ll inevitably run across clutter in drawers, including the ubiquitous “junk drawer.” Take the opportunity to clear out the messes you find as part of your overall cleaning strategy.

If you need to pop out to the store to grab some inexpensive drawer organizers, do it. These simple plastic or wooden inserts can turn even the messiest drawer into a neat and tidy space. Get one for silverware and another for everyday items such as tape, twist ties, and rubber bands.

Some utensils take up too much space when stored in drawers. Big items such as ladles and potato mashers are better kept on a mounted wall rack or simple suction hangers stuck to the side of a cabinet.

5. Categorize cabinets for better kitchen organization

Keeping with the “like goes with like” rule, move on from the drawers to the cabinets. Pick logical spots for plates, glasses, and mugs, and place all the similar items together. Organizing in this way will unearth some things you haven’t seen in years. If you find something you have little or no memory of using, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you really need or even want promotional items from companies you rarely do business with?
  • Will you ever use “kiddie” dishes and cups again?
  • Is there any reason to keep lids with no matching pots?
  • Which items can be donated or given away to clear out more cabinet space?

This keeps you in the minimalist mindset and allows you to let go of items you have no reason to keep without the nagging feeling that you might use them at some unforeseeable time in the future.

6. Power up your shelving

Now that you’ve sorted through most of the overwhelming volume of stuff in the kitchen, you should have a good idea of what items you’re going to keep. It’s time to turn your attention to the shelves and see how best to organize this space in your kitchen.

Open shelving creates a sense of light and space and gives you a place to showcase your everyday dishes when not in use. Mix in decorative, functional items like cookbooks, gourmet olive oils, and flowers for an attractive display. Make sure you give these shelves a good wipe-down at least once a month to address dust, grease, and grime.

If you don’t have the space for an open shelf unit, make an effort to empty space on the shelves you do have. Use decorative plates, potted plants, or small appliances to break up larger groups of items and improve the appearance.

7. Make the most of your storage

If your kitchen has deep storage drawers, roll-out shelves, or a swing-out pantry, organizing your kitchen will be a breeze. But don’t panic if your kitchen is not outfitted with these great storage hacks. You can easily find perfect kitchen organization solutions that will help make life easier.

Shelf inserts can be used to create additional storage space, cookware organizers make it easy to grab the pan you need, and a tiered organizer helps keep things visible and organized.

8. Consider the countertops

Your countertop can make a big difference in the way you feel about your kitchen. Clutter-free counters make preparing food and cooking meals easier, and they reduce the possibility of accidents. They also improve the visual appeal of the space.

These kitchen organization tips can help you tidy your counter space:

  • Clean up the sink and counter as soon as possible after preparing food.
  • Store containers of flour, sugar, and other dry goods in cabinets or the pantry.
  • Consider moving knives out of large wooden blocks and into drawers.
  • Put away small appliances, such as the toaster, when not in use.
  • If you don’t have the option of putting everything out of sight, consider mounting as many things off the counter as you can. By mounting things off the counter, the area still appears less cluttered and gives you more space to work when cooking.

9. Make a seasonal storage plan

You don’t need the cookie jar you only use for one month around Christmas cluttering your in-home storage space all year long. Get it out of the kitchen along with those holiday dish towels and fancy serving platters and into a shed or self-storage unit. Keep an eye out for other holiday-specific items, such as cookie presses or candy molds, and store them somewhere else until you actually need them.

When the holidays roll around, get what you need out of storage and wash it thoroughly. Find a good temporary spot for it in the kitchen, and put it back into storage as soon as you no longer need it. Leaving seasonal items out for too long can start the cycle of clutter all over again.

4 Tips for Storing a Mattress

Proper mattress storage decreases the chances of funky odors. Storing a mattress with care will prevent it from soaking in odors from your home.

Mattresses are an investment, both in cost and in the time it takes to find the right one. In fact, a quality mattress can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years if properly maintained.

Because the right mattress is expensive, it makes sense to want to store it when it’s not currently being used. However, a few months or years in storage can damage a mattress beyond repair if the proper care isn’t taken.

Maybe you’re getting married and you need to upgrade from a twin to a queen, or your kids are moving out, and you want to repurpose their rooms. Whatever the case — proper mattress storage will significantly expand the longevity of your bed. Keep reading to find out how to store a mattress correctly.

The Importance of a Proper Mattress Storage

Proper mattress storage decreases the chances of funky odors. Storing a mattress with care will prevent it from soaking in odors from your home. Insufficient air circulation between the layers can also result in a stale odor.

You definitely don’t want any mold or mildew in  your mattress. Proper humidity is as important as proper aeration, and if your mattress is just lying on the basement floor, it could become an easy target for colonies of mold or mildew that thrive in humid environments.

Proper storage will help your mattress retain its shape and structure and protect the construction.This is especially important for firm and ultra-firm mattresses that typically have fewer layers, making them more susceptible to outside impact.

Finally, let’s run through a list of things you need to do before you place your mattress into a storage vault or a dark room.

Clean The Mattress

Your mattress has probably collected some dust and debris during use. The dust buildup, along with insufficient cleaning, creates a perfect environment for dust mites, which are the most common allergens in U.S. homes.

To prevent them from hosting a party inside your mattress, give it a thorough cleaning session before you put it into storage:

  • Remove all the bedding and mattress protectors from the  mattress and vacuum it from all sides. If your mattress has a tufted top, use a small brush for hard-to-reach places to clean every crevice.
  • If your mattress has some stains, treat them. Make a mixture of lukewarm water, dish soap, and baking soda and pour it into a spray bottle. Generously spray the mixture on a stained area and a few inches around it. Let sit for 10-15 minutes and blot the stain with a cloth. Allow the mattress to dry before storage or use .
  • Disinfect the surface. To make sure that your mattress has a minimal amount of microorganisms, you can disinfect the surface by spraying it with a Lysol spray and allowing it to dry out.

Invest in a Mattress Storage Bag

You should store your mattress in wrapping to prevent any unwanted critters from using it as their home.

The easiest way to do it is to use perforated plastic wrap, but if you’re about to get fancy, we recommend that you purchase a mattress storage bag. Dedicated mattress storage bags a layereds design with waterproof linings which can keep your mattress secure while protecting it from any unpleasant accidents.

Store a Mattress on a Flat Surface

Mattresses have a structure: they consist of top layers, comfort layers, transitional layers, and the base. The best way to maintain your structure, and therefore the comfort of your mattress, is by laying it on the floor or another flat surface. 

Placing a mattress on the side, folding, or rolling it may cause the structural elements to shift or bend under their weight, which will result in lumps or broken coils. That’s why your storage room should have enough space to place your mattress as you’d typically put it on the bed.

How to Store a Mattress Depending on Its Type

Generally speaking, the way you store your mattress is the same regardless of its type: don’t place it on an uneven surface or right on the ground, and make sure it’s protected from mold and dust mites.

Each  mattress type has its unique features, which may require special care: 

  • Memory foam mattress. Memory foam mattresses don’t have coils inside and can adjust to your body curves pretty easily. However, the softness of memory foam can work against you if you place a mattress on an uneven surface. Plus, memory foam is especially susceptible to mildew growth, so be sure to wrap the mattress into a plastic or place it in a storage bag.
  • Latex mattress. Natural latex is dense and heavy, so it has a higher chance of bending under its own weight. Place a latex mattress on a flat, supportive surface. Avoid storing it on the side or in an upright position.
  • Hybrid mattress. Hybrid mattresses are among the heaviest, and they also have a rigid coil layer for a core. However, the coils inside a hybrid mattress typically are individually wrapped, making them  more likely to shift if you place the  mattress on its side.
  • Spring mattress. Unlike hybrid mattresses, spring mattresses have a reinforced coil unit with a wired perimeter, which maintains shape better. But they are still prone to bending and breaking, so be sure to store it in a flat position.
  • For big sizes, such as King, California King, high-profile, or bulky RV mattresses (check the best ones on this page), the main concern is their weight. If you place these mattresses on a lumpy surface or  store them on the side, they might bend under their weight and lose all supportive properties.

Store your mattress in a storage unit

You can rent a storage unit and store your mattress for long-term or short-term. At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have a wide selection of storage unit sizes for you to choose from.
We offer storage solutions to our clients across Greater Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley with storage units in Chilliwack (Chilliwack U-Lock Mini Storage), South Surrey and White Rock (White Rock U-Lock Mini Storage), Burnaby and Vancouver (Burnaby U-Lock Mini Storage), Victoria (Victoria U-Lock Mini Storage), Nanaimo (Nanaimo U-Lock Mini Storage) and Parksville (Parksville U-Lock Mini Storage).