Things to Do Before Moving Into Another Country

Things to Do Before Moving Into Another Country

Moving into another country temporarily takes planning. Knowing what to bring with you and what to leave behind is a matter of need and preference. You know what it takes to remain comfortable wherever you go. That knowledge helps you make the difficult decision of what to pack and what to put in storage.

There are some things to do before moving into another country. They are:

  • Get rid of items that you no longer need or use.

    Why pack up your apartment or house with things that you want to get rid of? Take a few extra moments of your time to consider the usefulness of the items that you already own. If it’s something that you haven’t worn, read or used in the past six months, consider donating it to charity or selling it to make more cash for your move.

  • Pack what you want to keep but don’t want to bring with you in urBin storage bins.

    Decide how many you’ll need to keep your items safe while you’re out of the country. The bins are large enough to fit half a closet’s worth of belongings in them. Best of all, you have access to them whenever you want it so if you come back to the States, you can get what you need out of storage before returning to the country that you temporarily reside in.

  • Create a source of income before you go.

    Lifehack emphasizes how important it is to have some form of paid work before leaving your homeland. Even if your partner has employment of some sort, you’re going to want to have money for emergencies. Even if you freelance from a corner café, keep in mind that it’s not only something for you to do, it’s also adding to your financial security.

  • Obtain a major credit card that is well-recognized by the country you plan to live in.

    You may have difficulty opening a bank account overseas. Even if you’re able to, it could be a problem to make deposits if they’re under or over a specific amount. That’s where having a major credit card on hand helps. Not only does it serve as backup in the event you don’t have access to money, it also prevents you from making a big legal mistake if you don’t quite understand the business culture of the place you’re temporarily living.

  • Get customs forms for your household goods. com

    states the importance of clearing things with customs when you move things from your home in the States to your new residence abroad. You’ll need entrance and exit forms to provide to customs. If you have questions as to what to bring with you and what to leave behind in storage bins, contact the consulate and ask what is permitted.

  • Insure your valuables.

    Before heading to your new home, you’ll want to take the time to buy an insurance policy that covers your valuables. By doing so, you’re taking the necessary precautions needed to protect your investments. Research insurance companies that cover belongings internationally and keep copies of the policy with you for safe keeping.

 

 

One of the easiest ways to protect your belongings while out of the country, is to rent a storage bin to contain the items that are the most precious to you. Starting as low as $20 a month, it’s an affordable solution that gives you options. Not only are you able to monitor your belongings 24 hours a day, you can retrieve them any time you want. That means that once you’re back in the United States, you’ll have full access to your storage bin’s contents with absolutely no issue.

Maximize Storage Space in Small Bathrooms

Maximize Storage Space in Small Bathrooms

A small bathroom doesn’t have to be an imposition. There are many storage options that you haven’t thought of yet. By reevaluating your small space layout, you’ll find solutions that work for you no matter how few of square feet you have to work with. By moving things around and giving objects dual purposes, you increase the amount of space that you have in your apartment.

Here are some tips that make small bathroom storage effortless:

  • Use shelves, racks, and hooks on walls and doors.

    Apartment Therapy suggests placing a shelf above your sink that holds everything that you use on a daily basis. Instead of leaving a lot of negative space on walls, strategically place racks and hooks in a way that they look artistic when empty but hold what you need so you can access them easily. This is a great way to store towels, robes, and toiletries. It makes the items readily available but keeps them from becoming an eyesore because of the way that they are arranged.

  • Place baskets and bins on shelves and in cabinets to keep clutter minimal.

    Rather than rely on memory to find the things you need to get ready for work or bed, trust that the objects are right where you can find them thanks to the organization solutions you’ve chosen. You’ll maximize every nook and cranny’s worth of space in your bathroom this way and never experience a lost tube of lip balm or razor blade again.

  • Use jars to increase the amount of small item storage you have.

    Mount the lid of a jar to the bottom of your cabinets. Fill the jar with things like cotton balls and cotton swaps. Screw the jars to the mounted lids so you can monitor the contents and refill them as often as necessary. In addition to being practical, jars look nice in every bathroom. They’re easy to find and come in options other than clear, too. Jars range in size from small to large, making it easy to close up empty spaces and store your bathroom essentials.

  • Make sure to use the space above the toilet, too.

    Houzz suggests using a stone or wood slab to extend the countertop and create additional space above the toilet. This is one area of the bathroom that seldom gets used to its fullest potential. Store what you need at arm’s length and add to the general aesthetic of the room by choosing shelving materials that work seamlessly with existing décor.

  • Change how the mirror hangs.

    If you have a mirror that isn’t mounted to the wall, take it down and hang it back up horizontally. It will make it easier for two people to get ready in the morning, and close up some of the negative space on the wall. If the mirror that you have currently isn’t large, ask your landlord if you can take it down and replace it with something bigger and more practical.

  • Use a sink skirt if you don’t have a door.

    If your sink is the type that doesn’t hide things well, solve the problem easily with a skirt. A small amount of fabric will do the trick by hiding the contents of the cabinet. You can place cleaning supplies there without any issue and even add a pop of color in a space where none exists.

Maximize storage space in small bathrooms by following the tips listed above. If you’re not able to properly display or house items, consider renting a storage bin to keep the remainder of your belongings in. It’s an economical solution for small apartment dwellers living on the East Coast.

Getting Ready for School

Getting Ready for School

With school in session once again, it’s time to consolidate your belongings so you’re better able to manage them. If you’re transitioning from one living space to the next and limited in the amount of square footage made available to you, it’s time to get real about what you need and what to stow away. Taking into consideration your current lifestyle and what it takes to make you comfortable gives you a starting point for packing and unpacking all the things you’ve brought to campus with you.

Factoring in weather conditions, what your roommate owns, and the amount of space you have left after accounting for furniture, appliances, and electronics gives you an idea of what you’ll want to place in a storage bin. The following list of suggestions helps you prepare for school without bringing too many things with you.

Consider Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Deciding what clothing to bring with you to college is a big deal. It’s hard to know what you’ll feel like wearing with a busy schedule like yours. One of the easiest ways to tackle this issue is to create a capsule wardrobe full of items that you like and wear often.

A capsule wardrobe consists of 35 to 40 versatile garments. They’re usually solid in color with minimal pattern. This allows you to mix and match items with ease and create a number of outfits without having to buy new clothes to achieve a certain look.

Apartment Therapy states that instead of shopping the racks of a department store or boutique, you shop your own closet. This keeps you from buying things on a whim that you’ll need additional storage to keep. Bulkier items such as coats and parkas can be placed in an urBin and stored until you need to wear them.

Go Digital

If you love to read but just don’t have the space to keep books, consider buying an e-reader or downloading a digital book reading app on your tablet. This will allow you to free up space that wouldn’t be available if you fed your reading addiction with hardback or paperback books. A whopping 6,000 books can be stored on an 8GB Amazon Kindle device!

You can also download movies, music, magazines, and textbooks this way. It will prevent you from packing too much and ensure that you’re thoroughly entertained between classes. You can always buy hard copies of the things you really, truly love and store them elsewhere until you need them again.

Store Winter Clothing and Blankets Until You Need Them

If you don’t go back to your hometown on weekends, it’s difficult to retrieve items that you need through the colder months of the year. You may have brought plenty of blankets and winter clothing with you to help you get through the coldest months of the year. Why keep these items on hand when you aren’t going to use them right away?

Free up space in your residence by storing heavy covers and sweaters until the first frost occurs. You’ll have them close by when you need to retrieve them, but you don’t have to deal with the hassle of tucking them under the bed or in a corner during warmer weather months. If the space you’re in is minuscule, you don’t have to deal with clutter for the sake of being comfortable during the winter.

If you’ve found that you overestimated how much built-in storage you have in your dorm room or apartment, don’t fret. urBin offers affordable solutions for students just like you. For what it would cost to eat dinner and see a movie, you have peace of mind knowing that your belongings are carefully tucked away in storage where you can retrieve them anytime you want.

Choosing the Right Lighting in an Apartment

Choosing the Right Lighting in an Apartment

The right lighting makes a world of difference in a living space. It transforms rooms instantly by adding to the overall ambiance you’ve created. If your apartment could use a makeover, don’t discount how important light fixtures, lamps, and even light bulbs are. Not only do they illuminate the room, they also add a sense of style to your space, too.

Mix and Match Colors

Houzz suggests mixing and matching colors for a look that delivers year-round. Rooms feel layered and more interesting when you have at least two different colors in them. Think of how specific color combinations evoke certain moods and then have some fun shopping for lamps and fixtures that make it all come together.

Choose complementary colors that play well off of each other. A bright color paired with black never fails to deliver style and sophistication to a space. Neutral colors and warm colors also look great together. Tan and orange is one combination that looks great year round.

Choose Patterned Lampshades

Use patterns on lampshades to add a pop of color and personality to the space. Choose textured materials to add interest. For even more visual appeal, match different colors of bases with the lampshade pattern of your choice. Don’t be afraid to go all out and choose something trendy or kitschy if that’s what you like.

Improve the Lighting That You Already Have by Doing This

Apartment Therapy suggests doing a number of things to improve the lighting in your apartment. One really helpful tip is to consider scale and how it can work in your favor. An oversized pendant or sculptural floor lamp commands attention. It becomes the focus of a room without dwarfing your furnishings.

Obtain Three Sources of Lighting in Shared Spaces

Thinking in threes helps keep your room well-lit and comfortable. Consider adding three light sources in shared areas of the apartment. For example, an overhead or pendant light fixture, a task or table light, and ambiance lighting in the form of candles or sconces in the living room transforms the space that you’re in, making it comfortable and easy to entertain in.

Energy Efficient Bulbs are Key

Making your apartment energy efficient is likely a priority for you. For that reason alone, you’ll want to invest in CFLs and LEDs. If you want softer light, choose full spectrum versions which are less harsh than the standard reds and blues you find in energy efficient bulbs. You’ll lower your home energy costs and still have a well-lit apartment which is ideal.

Install Dimmer Switches

If you don’t want to be sitting in bright light all day long, a dimmer switch is a sound investment. For about $20, you’ll be able to turn down lighting whenever the need arises. It gives you the opportunity to experiment with different types of lighting for the different rooms in your apartment without investing a lot of money into lamps and fixtures, too.

Choose the right lighting for your apartment. Now that you have a greater sense as to how to do this, you’ll be able to select your next light fixture, lamp or box of light bulbs with ease. You won’t wonder how to make your space cozier because you’ll be able to do that naturally with the lighting you choose for your residence’s rooms.

If you don’t have the luxury of a lot of space in your apartment, you’re in luck. UrBin storage bins help you store what you don’t have room for in your residence safely and conveniently. You’re able to retrieve your belongings whenever you need them and storage starts as low as $20 a month which is very affordable.

Choosing an Apartment in NYC

Choosing an Apartment in NYC

If you’re looking for a place to live in New York City, you’ll want to know what to expect while apartment hunting. Although you may not be able to find the spacious loft you were hoping for, you’re likely to find something smaller but centrally located to all the things you need to access. It’s a trade-off that many people make when moving to the Big Apple.

When searching for an apartment, these are the considerations you need to make:

  • This is among the most important things you’ll have a voice in. After all, you want to live in a safe part of the city and in a central location so you can get to where you need to go with ease. You’ll want to study the statistics for the area so you can make an informed decision about the place you call home
  • How much square footage you’ll have.

    This gives you an idea of how much storage you have to work with if any. The nice thing about living in NYC is that you’re able to rent an urBin storage bin for as low as $20 a month. You can keep your belongings safe and secure but won’t need to account for the extra space they take up in your new apartment.

  • The proximity to grocery stores, public transportation, and work.

    If it takes you hours to travel to a destination, you might have chosen the wrong apartment to live in. If the rent is low but the commute is long, it may be a trade-off you don’t mind making. When researching a neighborhood, see what attracts residents to it. Does it have what you need to feel comfortable?

  • Whether or not you’ll need a roommate or roommates.

    If living on your own is way out of your budget, you’ll need to account for the fact that you’ll have less living space the more roommates you have. This is where it pays to be organized. Choosing home furnishings that double as storage is ideal because you won’t have free reign over the apartment. Whatever you can’t keep inside your space, you can put in a storage bin and retrieve it whenever you need it.

  • Whether or not you’re allowed to alter the space.

    If you’re able to install a loft bed, floor to ceiling shelving, and other alterations, you might not have too much of an issue with storage. If you cannot, however, make changes to the apartment, you’ll want to invest in storage bins for whatever size of belongings you have on hand. An urBin ranges in size from 10’X10′ to 100’X100′ to meet your needs. Best of all, you’re able to monitor your belongings online and ask to have them back to you in no time flat

  • If pets are permitted.

    If you have a dog or a cat, you’ll want to make sure that they’re allowed to live in the space with you. Don’t presume that it will be ok without inquiring about pets first. The last thing you want to do is pay a deposit on a place only to learn that you can’t stay there because of your dog or cat. Most pet-friendly locations state that in their listing. You’ll be able to know right away if having a furry friend live with you is permissible.

Finding the right apartment that meets your needs takes time. You can significantly reduce the amount of effort you put into looking for the perfect space by knowing what to expect and keeping your belongings to a minimal. The things you can’t live without are worth having on hand and the rest of what you own can go into a storage bin where the items are accessible day and night, 365 days a year.

 

Clever Bedroom Hacks

Clever Bedroom Hacks

Does the state of your bedroom have you tossing and turning at night? Bedrooms are one of the hardest rooms in the home to design. If you feel like your bedroom is kind of bland or drab, you’re not alone. Here are some clever bedroom hacks to make it comfier and more stylish:

Layers of Blankets

Make your bedroom as cozy and snug as possible. Layer on the blankets and make them all super soft and plushy. Opt for a fluffy down comforter, sheets with a high thread count, a washable duvet cover, and one or two knit blankets for when it’s chilly.

Piles of Pillows

Once you’ve layered on the blankets, turn your bed into a fluffy pillow fortress. Buy some soft throw pillows in your favorite shades and patterns and pile them on. This is also a great way to add pops of color to your room.

Wall-Mounted Bedside Tables

Don’t have the floor space for a nightstand on either side of your bed? Take it to the walls with wall-mounted bedside tables or wall shelves.

Wall-Mounted Lighting

You can do the same for lighting to save space on your shelf or nightstand. Get lights that mount to the wall to keep your tabletops clear of clutter.

Keep Décor Simple

Your bedroom doesn’t need to be filled with trinkets—in fact, a cluttered bedroom might make you feel uneasy and won’t help you get to sleep any better. Keep décor simple. Pops of color or patterns here and there are ok, but try not to overdo it!

Pay Attention to Color

Color can affect mood. Painting your bedroom yellow, orange, or red might not be a good decision, considering those colors may make you feel anxious or energized. Opt for shades of blue or neutral colors for a more relaxing environment.

Make a DIY Pillow Mist

Having trouble falling asleep? A soothing pillow mist with lavender essential oil might help you wind down and fall asleep faster. Here’s a recipe to try.

Throw in a Throw Rug

Wooden floors get cold in the winter, and that doesn’t feel so great on your feet first thing in the morning. Put a throw rug down next to your bed so your feet have a warm landing spot when you get out of bed.

Or an Area Rug

Whether or not you have wooden floors, a large area rug can add a lot to a bedroom. Choose either a 5×8 rug and place it horizontally at the end of your bed, or a 9×12 rug and place it horizontally under your bed.

Get a PJ Set

Invest in a comfy PJ set or two. You know you’ve always wanted to. Plus, it’ll get you into sleep-mode, and keep you warm (or cool,) throughout the seasons, without running up your heating and cooling bills.

Add a Plant

Every room deserves a little life, even the bedroom. Plants can help purify the air and create a more comfortable environment for sleep.

Don’t Forget a Candle

What’s more relaxing than a scented candle? A good rule of thumb is to always have two larger-sized candles: one for the living room, and one for the bedroom.

Make Your Bed

Making your bed has been shown to increase productivity and mood. Start incorporating this step into your day and feel the difference!

Skip the TV

Unplug before bed, and keep the TV out of the bedroom. The light from our screens messes with our circadian rhythms and can cause trouble sleeping. This is a great article about the techno dangers to watch for in your apartment.

Transform your bedroom with these clever hacks for a better night’s rest. And if you find anything you can’t hang onto while you’re redesigning, check out UrBin Storage. They’ll come to you!

Painting Envy: The Best Paint Colors for Small Spaces

Painting Envy The Best Paint Colors for Small Spaces

A lot depends upon color: your mood, the lighting, and yes, the illusion of space. It is true that certain colors can make a space look larger and more open, but is there a truly perfect shade for small spaces? Many would argue that white walls are the only way to go in a small apartment, but that’s up for debate (although a crisp white color does do a lot to open up a room and awaken the senses.)

You don’t have to limit yourself because of square footage. In fact, you can make practically anything work somehow. Opening up your small space is more about strategic furniture placement and accent pieces than the color of the walls. That being said, there are colors that are more difficult to use in a small space, and there are certainly colors that are easier to work with.

Shades of Blue

Blue is a great color for small spaces. Not only will it create the perception of depth in a room, it also has the added bonus of boosting your mood and creating a sense of calm. A lot of smaller spaces lack an abundance of natural lighting. Pale shades are a go-to for boosting the lighting in a darker room. But don’t shy away from darker shades, if that’s what you’re looking for. A darker, sharper shade of blue can create depth. Darker colors are perfect for rooms for unwinding. Just make sure you have plenty of artificial light in the room for when you need to brighten things up a bit.

Brighten Your Bathroom

Pastel shades are great for the bathroom, but you can really step things up in there with a brighter shade, like orange or bright yellow. The bathroom is a great place to go bold. If you’re really feeling courageous, you could even paint a pattern or used patterned wall paper in there. On the other hand, if you’re a little hesitant, keep the walls neutral and instead paint the accents, like the cabinets and mirror frames for a pop of bright color. This bathroom looks crisp and clean, and the bright blue bath mat makes for a great color combination with the green cabinets.

Paint the Ceiling

One great way to add depth to any room is to paint the ceiling a different color than the walls. The best strategy here is to keep the walls a neutral color, like white, and paint the ceiling a crisp, dark color. This is another place to go bold: dark blue, dark gray, even turquoise or orange work here. And no one ever said you couldn’t put a pattern on your ceiling. Stripes are a fun pattern to play around with, and on the ceiling they won’t make the room feel too busy.

Go Crazy in the Kitchen

The kitchen is a great room to experiment in—and I don’t mean with your baking skills. There’s usually plenty of lighting in the kitchen, so you don’t have to worry too much about painting the room too dark. Bold colors like red, orange, or yellow might not work well everywhere, but they do liven up a kitchen. Experts suggest hanging lots of artwork and dishes on the walls in the kitchen to reflect light and add color.

As you can see, there’s no one way to paint a small space; the options are endless. We hope these tips give you some inspiration! Before you get painting, it might be a good idea to move some things into storage. Check out UrBin Storage for fast, convenient service—they’ll come to you!

What to Toss and What to Keep: Baby Items

What to Toss and What to Keep: Baby Items
What to Toss and What to Keep: Baby Items

Pregnancy and raising your child give certain items value beyond their dollar worth. That’s because those beautiful moments you shared with your baby and the memories you made together often become linked with the things around you. Deciding what to keep and what to get rid of can be an emotional experience, one that you might not be fully prepared for. It’s hard to move on and face the fact that your little one is growing and changing faster than you feel comfortable with.

But while some items are definitely worth storing away, you can’t hold on to everything. Even if you do plan on having more children, there will always be changing safety standards, recalls, and the wear and tear of time that will make certain items worth saying goodbye to. Plus, there are always people in need: pregnancy crisis centers, the homeless, and friends who are expecting. It feels good to give back, and things are replaceable. It’s the memories you make that count.

Safety Standards

One thing to consider when sorting through baby items is that safety standards are always changing. If you plan on having more children, it might turn out that certain items that you once thought were perfectly safe could pose a hazard, however small, to your future child’s health. These are the kind of items you should throw away, rather than donate or give away. Stay up-to-date on recalls here.

Seasonal Items

Another thing you should think about? Seasonal items. Season-specific clothing isn’t necessarily worth hanging on to, even if you plan on having more children. If your first child was born in the summer, and your second child is born in the winter, those clothes likely won’t fit by the time the next season rolls around. Consider selling them, donating them, or giving them to a friend or relative. They’ll appreciate it, and you can always buy appropriate clothing when the time comes. It’ll be worth it.

Gender-Specific Items

Just as seasonal items might not hold over very well, gender-specific items may not either. You’ve got a 50/50 chance here. Is it worth taking? You could box up all those clothes and cross your fingers, or you could donate them to a family in need and purchase new, up-to-date clothes when the time comes. It’s up to you!

Items that Weren’t Used or Needed

Between the baby shower and the overflow of gifts and hand-me-downs from relatives and friends, there’s a good chance you acquired some things that your baby didn’t really need or use. These items are the easiest to let go of. If they’re still in the package or even just lightly used, you could sell these items and put the money towards new toys or clothes as your baby grows.

Things to Keep

If you’re planning on having another child, there are some items worth hanging on to. Large furniture, like cribs and changing tables, are expensive to replace, and as long as they’re made from durable material they’ll hold up over the years. Keep a few toys and clothes that you think will be a hit a second time around.

And if you aren’t having another child, that doesn’t mean you’re expected to get rid of everything! Absolutely not. Save sentimental items, like the clothes your baby wore on your way home from the hospital, his or her favorite toy, and gifts that hold a lot of meaning for you and your family.

You don’t have to part with everything. UrBin Storage is a great way to store baby items that you would rather hold on to. Their storage facility is heat controlled, so your items won’t wear down from heat exposure.

Top 6 Couches for Small Spaces

Just because your living room is on the smaller side doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Or comfort, for that matter. Everyone needs a good plushy couch to snuggle up on and binge-watch Netflix on the weekends, or evenings, or when you’re sick, or just lazy…you create the occasion, okay? But you don’t have to cram a big bulky sectional in there either. There are plenty of small options out there that will help you save on space and still make a statement. Just for you, we rounded up our top 7 favorite couches for small spaces. Maybe one of them will work for you!

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