As a Chicagoan, if it is one thing I look forward to every year, it’s saying goodbye to winter. Hello, fresh air. Goodbye, bulky sweaters and big blankets. It’s time to bust out the patio furniture and fire up the grill. But this year is a little different. As spring was approaching, so was coronavirus.
Instead of flocking to stores to buy flowers and shrubs, people were stocking up on cleaning supplies and toilet paper to get them through Chicago’s shelter-in-place. But as the saying goes, every dark cloud has a silver lining.
This year, spring cleaning takes on a different meaning. Many of us are taking our time in isolation as an opportunity to deep clean, declutter, organize, and refresh our living spaces. The following are some of our favorite sites, shows, and books to inspire your spring cleaning, whatever that may entail.
- Real Simple magazine published an A-to-Z guide on how to clean almost anything in a slideshow format. In addition to the slideshow, viewers can also access their ultimate cleaning checklist.
- If you are concerned about COVID-19 germs, the CDC recently published a comprehensive article on everyday steps you can take to clean and disinfect your home when someone is sick. A downloadable PDF file is available for future reference.
- For those with limited time, CNN Health produced a video on how to clean and disinfect your home properly to stay safe.
Declutter and Organize
- For those who prefer to binge-watch shows on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, if you haven’t yet heard of or watched Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (we’d be surprised if you haven’t), perhaps this will be that “spark” you need to get decluttering and organizing. This show is filled with great tips and tricks to get your home in pristine shape.
- If you are the bookworm type, consider reading, The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life. The author, Joshua Becker, also has a website, Becoming Minimalist, which is full of decluttering tips and resources.
- For those taking on decluttering an entire home, popular lifestyle website The Spruce wrote a great article on how to declutter your home room by room. The article breaks down home decluttering in stages, so you don’t feel completely overwhelmed.
Refresh and Update
- Popular home and garden site, HGTV, recently posted an article focused on refreshing the exterior of your home. Visitors can view a nicely laid out gallery of 10 things to focus on outside.
- Although written in 2015, this Elle Décor article provides five simple ways to refresh a home for spring that doesn’t require a big budget or store runs.
- Home and décor site, Apartment Therapy, make spring cleaning a whole lot easier with its engaging daily list composed of 20 different tiles. Choose what room or zone you want to work on, depending on your mood.
From deep cleaning and disinfecting to refreshing and decluttering, we hope these resources help you find new ways to spend your days indoors. And if all that decluttering and organization results in you needing additional storage, we’re only a phone call away.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
Self-storage is a flexible solution to meet the needs of just about anyone. But some people may not realize self-storage as an option. Storing what you don’t need could actually save you money and give you that much-needed space. The following are five types of people who can benefit from self-storage and why.
1. Empty nesters
Empty nesters are often more than ready to start decluttering or downsizing once the kids go to college or no longer live at home.
The moment I went off to college, my mother swiftly packed up my keepsakes as if I was never coming back. She couldn’t wait to have more room in our small, Chicago-style Georgian. What she didn’t realize is that when I returned from school for the Summer, she would be packing up my dorm room furnishings and cramming those into our small house as well.
The moment I found a place of my own after college, she was telling me to take all my stuff. Tired of years of holding on to my keepsakes, clothing, furniture, and more, she couldn’t be happier to part ways. Unfortunately, the only place I could afford to live in Chicago was a tiny studio apartment. I wasn’t in a place where I could store all my stuff. Sorry, Mom.
But empty nesters need not despair. Self-storage makes decluttering and downsizing easier. You can keep things for your kids and items you can’t decide whether to keep or toss. And finding a nearby self-storage to your kids’ college campus beats having to cart a dorm room full of belongings back home.
Self-storage units can be as small as 5×5 and as big as 10×20 and larger. Most storage facilities have flexible lease options and sometimes offer special promotions such as the first month’s rent-free.
When a former colleague of mine had to help her father move into an assisted living facility, the burden was on her to sell the house. She was forced to quickly go through an entire house that had been lived in for decades.
Unfortunately, situations like this are stressful for everyone. She didn’t realize at the time that self-storage was an option.
Rather than being forced to make rash decisions about items to keep or discard, caretakers should consider putting items into nearby self-storage. This allows them the time and space to carefully go through items they may want to keep or pass down to family members.
3. New parents
Having a baby is
exciting stressful. As a new parent, you can’t wait to meet your new bundle of joy. But wait, where is the baby going to eventually sleep and play?
That home office. A guest bedroom. Sorry, honey, you just lost your man cave. Making room for baby may involve emptying or decluttering a room. Self-storage is a great place to store all the previous room’s belongings until you get a larger space or have more time to go through items.
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the clothes and toys. Did I mention toys? I’ve known some parents to use self-storage to store baby clothes and nursery furniture if they were going to have another baby. I’ve also known parents to store toys in nearby self-storage and periodically swap out their children’s toys. The children didn’t notice any toys missing and actually played more with their toys.
4. Local business owners
There are many types of small businesses in Andersonville, Albany Park, and the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods. While many may consider self-storage to store extra equipment or store furnishings while their shop is undergoing repairs or renovations, there are other reasons to consider nearby self- storage.
Many small business owners rent storage units as an affordable way to store inventory. Rather than leasing more space, local businesses recognize that local self-storage can be an affordable option. Those that utilize storage units for inventory find that they are more organized and better able to track inventory and keep more inventory on hand.
Other businesses use nearby self-storage to store important business documents and some are even required by law to keep documents for a certain number of years. In 1992, Chicago witnessed one of the worst floods in the city’s history. Some businesses had up to 40 feet of water in their lower levels. Keeping important documents in the basement may not be the safest option. Self-storage keeps business files in a safe and secure environment, protected from the elements.
5. Tradespeople and sole proprietors
Tradespeople and those who use small equipment for various jobs, such as lawn care, fencing, and snow removal can also benefit from using self-storage. Many of these service professionals use secure self-storage for the equipment they don’t need right now and save space in their garage. Some common businesses that find value in storage units include:
*Sales and service professionals
*Real estate agents and staging companies