5 Ways Decluttering Boosts Mental Health

Have you ever experienced the frustration of searching for an item in your cluttered closet or felt distracted from your work due to a pile of disarray? Clutter can be a significant source of stress, affecting both your physical environment and mental well-being. Consider the impact of walking into a professionally staged home—harmonious, attractive, and notably clutter-free, creating a sense of calmness.

Here are five ways to enhance mental health through decluttering:

Enhance Focus by Eliminating Distractions

A cluttered environment is a breeding ground for distractions. Clearing away the mess allows you to eliminate visual noise, fostering discipline, and enhancing focus. Tackling clutter now makes future organization more manageable, preventing overwhelming feelings when deciding where to start.

Reduce Stress with Minimalism

Excess clutter is a leading cause of stress. Your living space reflects your mental state, and a crowded, cluttered home can contribute to mental clutter. Streamlining and decluttering create a sense of peace, alleviating stress related to unfinished tasks and fostering a serene atmosphere.

Minimize Frustration by Decluttering

Too much clutter leads to disorganization and the frustration of searching for essential items. This frustration can permeate negative thoughts, impacting overall well-being. Decluttering and organizing reduce unnecessary frustration, enabling easy access to belongings without the hassle of searching through piles.

Reclaim Time for Yourself

Consider the time spent cleaning and reorganizing clutter. Getting rid of unnecessary items not only declutters your space but also frees up valuable time. Whether you donate, sell, or use a self storage unit, decluttering provides more time for activities you truly enjoy.

Enjoy Extra Living Space

Rather than feeling the need for a bigger house, consider decluttering to create more living space. Cleaning out closets and drawers not only eliminates unnecessary belongings but also results in a more open and enjoyable living environment. Enjoy the added benefit of easily locating items when needed.

Embrace the transformative power of decluttering, not only for a cleaner living space but for the positive impact it can have on your mental health.

How to Spring Clean Your Email

When we do spring cleaning, our focus often centers on tidying up our living spaces, decluttering rooms, and tackling household chores. However, one aspect frequently overlooked is the realm of digital clutter residing on our computers. In the hustle of daily life, we tend to forget about the need for a digital spring cleaning, only realizing its significance when we encounter the chaos during our routine interactions with technology.

Among the most neglected digital spaces is our email inbox. Overflowing with subscriptions, social notifications, and a backlog of messages, our email accounts silently accumulate digital debris. As you undertake your spring cleaning this season, allocate some time to declutter and organize your email inbox with these five effective strategies.

Bid Farewell to Old Emails

Begin your decluttering journey by deleting old and obsolete emails. Arrange them from oldest to newest, and systematically purge those that are no longer relevant. If hesitation lingers about permanently deleting an email, consider archiving it for future reference, especially useful for concluded work projects.

Review and Eliminate Unused Accounts

Over time, we accumulate various accounts while exploring new apps. Many of these accounts, once forgotten or deemed unnecessary, linger on without our active attention. Review all your created accounts, eliminating those you no longer use. For active accounts, turn off unnecessary email notifications to save inbox space.

Unsubscribe from Newsletters and E-blasts

Newsletters and e-blasts often clutter our inboxes, originating from past opt-ins that we might overlook. Conduct a thorough review of your subscriptions and promptly unsubscribe from those that no longer pique your interest. This proactive step will significantly reduce irrelevant notifications and streamline your inbox.

Organize with Folders and Labels

Combat the struggle of searching for crucial emails amidst a sea of messages by creating folders. Organize these folders based on categories such as work, personal, or school-related. For better granularity, establish folders like “Today,” “Tomorrow,” and “Next Week” for emails with impending due dates. Leverage labels within each folder for additional organization.

Take Immediate Action

Prevent inbox overwhelm by adopting the habit of taking immediate action on incoming emails. Whether it’s responding promptly, deleting unnecessary messages, or organizing emails, addressing them promptly ensures that your inbox remains clutter-free. If immediate action isn’t feasible, schedule dedicated time each day or week for email management to maintain order.

While these five steps offer a streamlined approach to decluttering your email, remember that perfection isn’t the goal. Establish a personalized system that suits your preferences, even if it means having some unopened emails or postponing immediate organization. Consistency in following your chosen system will bring a sense of lightness to your inbox and alleviate the stress associated with email clutter.

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!

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.

8 Amazing Spring Tips You Can Use

Spring is here and it is a great time to tidy up your home and make it sparkling clean! To help you organize, declutter and clean up your home, we have come up with eight tips you can use. Enjoy!

Spring is here and it is a great time to tidy up your home and make it sparkling clean! To help you organize, declutter and clean up your home, we have come up with eight tips you can use. Enjoy!

Store belongings in a storage unit

The most effective way to declutter your home is renting a storage unit. At U-Lock Mini Storage, we have a wide selection of storage unit sizes from which to choose. This means that you can pick a storage unit size that best fits your needs. For example, if you have a couple of items, such as old CDs or clothes, that you want to store for the long haul, you can go with a 5 x 5 feet storage unit, which is approximately the same size of a regular closet. This storage unit can hold personal items, clothes, boxes, skis, children’s toys, small furniture items, business records and sales rep materials. If you have many items you want to store, you can go with the 10 x 15 feet, which is equivalent to two-thirds of a one-car garage. This storage unit can hold appliances, boxes, miscellaneous items and commercial storage inventory.

Clean toasters and tea kettles using cream of tartar

Mix 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar with just enough water to create a milky paste. Rub the solution onto your stainless steel appliances and wipe away to unveil their original shine!

Remove water stains using lemon

Clean your faucets and make them sparkle by rubbing a half of a lemon on the water stains. The citric acid helps remove hard water marks. After rubbing the lemon on the water stains, leave the lemon juice on the surface for a little while, then wipe the lemon juice with a towel and you will see nice and shiny faucets.

Clean your microwave by heating lemon juice and rinds in water

Cut a lemon into halves, squeeze the juice into 1/2 cup of water and drop the rinds into the mixture. Microwave the liquid for three minutes and let it stand for five minutes without opening the microwave door. The trapped steam will loosen the grime, so you can wipe the microwave clean with less elbow grease.

Remove showerhead buildup with white vinegar

Vinegar can dissolve the mineral deposits that accumulate in showerheads over time, causing reduced pressure and water flow. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar, secure it over the showerhead with a rubber band and leave it soaking overnight to get rid of buildup. You will see all the unknown particles in the bag the next day!

Clean your grill with an onion

Get your grill cleaned up and ready for the warm weather. First, heat it up and spray some white vinegar onto the grates to help loosen the residue. Then, scrub the area firmly using half an onion. The acid from the onion will rid your grill of any leftover grime.

Clean computer monitor with coffee filters

Does your computer monitor show fingerprints, smudges, and dust? You can use the fiber in coffee filters to gently rub the smudges or fingerprints away, even on delicate computer monitors. Just make sure to not press too hard!

Clean air vents using a butter knife

You can use a butter knife – yes, a butter knife – to clear up dust stuck in air vents. To do so, simply wrap the knife in a rag and wipe between the slats. Then, open the windows and run your central air to fill your home with fresh spring air (just make sure your heat or AC is off while you are running the fan).

5 Spring-Cleaning Tips for a Clutter-Free Garage

Spring is here! Longer days, cozy sunshine, refreshing breezes, and the best of all, there are baby animals everywhere (seriously, it is the most adorable season).

Spring is here! Longer days, cozy sunshine, refreshing breezes, and the best of all, there are baby animals everywhere (seriously, it is the most adorable season). Everything seems pretty perfect… except your garage is still cluttered and disorganized. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Our garages become a dumping zone for the things we don’t want in our home. The majority of us have to keep our cars in the driveway because it just won’t fit in the garage anymore. As the junk and things you do not know what to do with pile up and gather dust, cleaning out your garage can seem like an incredibly daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Here’s 5 tips for a more functional, tidier, and clutter-free garage.

Photo: Tristan Schmurr-Flickr

1 Clear the space

Do you know everything that’s in your garage? If not, there are likely things stored deep in your garage that you’re not even aware of. The best way to start the decluttering process is to completely clear everything (we know, but you gotta do it!) out of the space so you can start with a clean slate. Make sure you check the day’s forecast for rain before you start.

  • Sweep, vacuum or wash the floors to remove accumulated dirt, dust, bugs, and grime.
  • Use a broom to remove any cobwebs and dust from walls.
  • Wipe down any shelving or flat surfaces.
  • Open all windows and doors to give your garage a good airing out now that there is no more clutter restricting airflow.

2 Organize your items

Once you have removed everything from the garage and cleaned, it is time to start sorting and organizing your items. This will allow you to better assess your contents so you can decide what to keep and what to discard.

  • Sort everything into piles – keepingtossingsellingrecycling, and donating.
  • Avoid making a “miscellaneous” pile.
  • Group items you are keeping together: tools with tools, sports equipment together, yard equipment with garden tools – you get it.
  • Set up a system of organization by preparing and labeling drawers, cabinets, plastic totes, bins, or boxes that are to go back into the garage.

3 Purge

With your keeping pile off to the side, it is time to sort through your tossingselling, and donating piles. Before you start, make sure you have cardboard boxes, garbage bags, or plastic bins on hand.

  • Tossing – These are the damaged, broken, or junk items that cannot be sold or donated. The best way to get rid of your garage clutter depends on what you have and how much. If you are left with a pile of stuff that is too big for the curb, consider renting a pickup truck to take your load to the dump.
  • Selling – You rolled up your sleeves and got some serious work done, so why not make some money? Consider hosting a yard sale or posting your items for sale online through Craiglist, Kijiji, or Facebook Marketplace. Do some research online to help you decide how to price your items.
  • Donating – Create a list of places to donate your items to. You can start with the Salvation Army, BC SPCA, Value Village, or Habitat for Humanity, to name a few. That way, you will know what items you can and cannot donate.

4 Install storage options

Photo: Rubbermaid Products-Flickr

Upgrade your garage’s functionality and organization by investing in the right storage solutions. To make better use of your space, consider these:

  • Garage cabinetry systems – These come in a variety of shapes and sizes including free-standing cabinets, cabinet systems, and wall-mounted cabinets.
  • Slatewall – Take advantage of unused wall space and install slatewall panels with easy to move hooks to hang items such as tools, sports equipment, or ladders. You can also attach a variety of accessories for even more storage options such as bins, baskets, and shelves. 
  • Ceiling Storage  – Convert unused space by installing ceiling storage racks, overhead hangers, or strap systems.
  • Pegboards – Hang up pegboards to organize hand tools.  
  • Garage Shelving & Racks – Add heavy-duty storage racks and metal shelving to your garage to keep items off the floor.

Imagine, finally being able to fit your car into your garage! Or parking your car into your garage for the first time… ever!

Photo: Christian Kitchens-Flickr

Besides a clutter-free garage, there are a lot of other advantages to parking your car inside:

  • Protection from the outside elements.
  • Reduced risk of theft or vandalism.
  • Protection against extreme weather & temperatures.
  • Increased comfort & convenience.

5 Inventory everything

You may store a lot of different things in your garage: house supplies, sports equipment, tools, gardening equipment and tools, cars supplies, camping gear, and maintenance equipment, to name a few. If you’re like most of us, you often forget where you put your things in the garage, or even what you put in there. The best way to both declutter and organize your garage items (and keep them that way) is to inventory your items. This does take some time to complete, but it is totally worth the effort. A completed inventory will not allow things to go unnoticed and will force you to put things back into the proper places.

  • You can make your list in an Excel spreadsheet, write everything down in a notebook, or use an inventory app, such as Sortly (iOS), Nest Egg (iOS), or Encircle (iOS). That way, two years from now when your bicycle has a flat tire and you ask yourself, “Where is the tire pump?” You can be like, “Oh, never mind, it’s in ‘box 3’ on the top rack of the ‘sports equipment shelf.’ Of course.” Because isn’t that the dream?
  • Label your boxes or containers on all four sides. Ensure you include a title and small description of the contents on at least 1 side.
  • When making your inventory, include the following columns: Item DescriptionCategoryQuantity, and Location of where the item(s) are located in the garage.

Making an inventory will help you stay organized, give you a better understanding of what you own, and will help you make better use of the space. In addition, here are some other benefits to keeping an inventory of your garage items:

  • Reduced pain and stress because you are prepared for the unexpected.
  • Unexpected or natural disasters like flooding or fire can damage your home and garage. If you need to claim these items, a documented inventory will give you complete recollection to all the items you own.
  • If you experience theft, a prepared inventory will make the process of your claim easier. If you track your serial and model numbers in your inventory, you will have a better chance of even having some items recovered. 

Cleaning out and organizing your garage doesn’t have to be the overwhelming, impossible task it appears to be at first glance. Now that the beautiful weather is here, it is the perfect time to cross one more thing off your to-do list and give that garage a real spring-clean! In the end, you will find yourself making better use of the space and enjoying a more functional and clutter-free garage for both you and your vehicle.