Useful Storage Items for Your Small Apartment

Useful Storage Items for Your Small ApartmentMany people live in small spaces with style. They’re not as concerned about square feet as they are about the location. If they live somewhere they love, they seldom worry about how small their apartment is. Instead, they make the most of the space they’re in by decorating it cleverly.

If you’re a city dweller who wants to continue to live large in a small apartment or loft, you’re in luck. There are tools that make it easy to increase the amount of storage space you have in even the tiniest residence. The following five items cost little to acquire, enhance the beautiful look of your home, and make stowing away essential items easy.

Baskets

Baskets come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and finishes to meet your needs. Some are even lined on the inside, too. If you have a lot of small items that you want to put away, place them inside of the baskets you keep on display in your apartment. You’ll have easy access to them but not have to worry about your belongings getting lost whenever you have visitors in your small space.

Bins

Typically made of plastic, storage bins are stackable, hold a number of items, and come with lids to keep contents secure. They’re available in a variety of sizes and can be bought inexpensively. Grouping like items together and labeling the bins makes it easier to discover their contents without going through each and every one.

Boxes

Decorative boxes are all the rage these days. You can find them in virtually every home décor and craft store in different colors, patterns, and motifs. There are even plain boxes that you can decorate yourself. If you’re more of a DIY type of person, you’ll enjoy the process of painting and collaging the storage items. Best of all, when you’re done, you’ll have a few more safe places to keep your belongings inside your apartment.

Bookcases

You don’t have to store books on the shelves of a bookcase. You can store other things there, too. Better Homes and Gardens suggests displaying books horizontally and vertically to create visual interest. The publication also notes that brightly colored photo frames make great bookends as well, so feel free to use them as such.

Think about housing your collections, plants, and photographs on the shelving. If you don’t have space for large bookcases, choose shelving and place it as high up on the wall as you’re physically comfortable. Retrieve the items that you need by climbing a ladder when necessary.

Over-the-Door Hanging Racks and Organizers

Lifehacker author Eric Ravenscraft suggests using hanging organizers on both sides of every door minus your front door. This allows you to fit more in less space. Hanging shoe holders with clear pockets are great because you can see the contents in each easily. You can use these organizers for everything from craft supplies to toiletries.

Your small space isn’t lacking personality. Think about the different ways you can include additional storage in your apartment and rearrange things until the order of your furniture and belongings makes sense to you. If you need additional storage outside your home, contact urBin Storage for more information about our convenient and affordable storage bins. You don’t have to get rid of what you love when you have a company like ours willing to protect your belongings in a climate-controlled atmosphere until you need them once again.

To store larger items, request a price quote. Keeping your small apartment comfortable and clutter-free is easy when you have a company like ours by your side. We keep your belongings safe until you need them again. When you’re ready to retrieve them, all you need to do is tell us.

 

Recycled Storage Container Ideas

Recycled Storage Container Ideas

If you’re environmentally conscious and on a budget, you can transform average household recyclables into beautiful storage container ideas. It won’t cost you much other than the time it takes to make said items, and it enhances your living space by giving you more storage solutions than you had before. If you’re not afraid to use a glue gun and want to make your new space more comfortable, follow the suggestions below for some fun DIY projects.

Recycling Throw Away Objects into Something Spectacular

Here are five recycled storage container ideas for you to make for your small apartment or loft:

Coffee Can and Spice Tin Containers. Drill a hole in these and mount them to the wall. House small items from your office such as paperclips, staples, and brads in each container. You can even use the cans and tins for plants if you drill drainage holes in the bottom. Make sure to put a mat underneath the containers to prevent water from damaging your floors and countertops.

Cereal Box Magazine Holders. Convert cereal boxes into beautiful holders with a pair of scissors and some scrapbook paper. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’re able to make this project and just how helpful it is in getting you organized.

Shutter Door Turned Organizer. Find an old shutter door on the curb or at a yard sale and convert it into an organizer for photos, arts, and keys. The slots in the door make the perfect place to house various items. You can attach the door to a wall and remove it easily if you decide to move out of the apartment or loft that you’re in. If you don’t like the color of the door, paint it and create an interesting conversation piece for your home.

Rake Jewelry Organizer. Remove the handle from the rake and hang the metal piece on the wall. Use the ‘teeth’ of the rake as hangers for necklaces and bracelets. It’s a unique and memorable way to organize accessories.

Dish Drainer File Organizer. Organize your files using a dish drainer. Its slots are the perfect size for holding folders and various pieces of paper. Best of all, it fits neatly underneath a desk or shelf, giving you ample room to store your important documents.

You can get a lot of ideas for craft projects from the internet. Before you buy something and throw it away, ask if you can find another use for it. Think of how it can help increase the amount of storage in your residence.

If you cannot possibly find a way to use it, see if it is recyclable. As a last resort, throw it away. You don’t want your tiny space to be clutter with half-finished recycling projects.

Reduce the Amount of Trash You Throw Away

According to DoSomething.org, the average person creates over four pounds of garbage a day. That’s a whopping 1.5 tons of waste per year! Even more alarming is the fact that 75% of the American waste stream is completely recyclable and only 30% is actually recycled. Recycle and reuse and give your stuff a new lease on life!

 

Rent a Storage Bin for the Items You Can’t Store in Your Home

Still don’t have enough room for your stuff? Don’t worry! urBin Storage has you covered with a range of storage solutions to meet your needs. Contact us for more information and to receive a price quote for large storage units.

Signs You Have Too Much Stuff and Not Enough Storage

 

If you’ve lived in the city long, you know how expensive it is to rent an apartment or loft on your own. If you share your current residence with other people, you have even less space to work with. That doesn’t mean that you can’t display what you love, though. It does mean that you’ll have to be more selective in what you keep in your space and what you choose to put in storage.

Too Many Things to Hold Onto

Here are five signs that you have too much stuff and not enough storage:

You can’t enter or exit your area of the apartment or loft without knocking something over. There is a difference between convenience and clutter. If you knew that you could retrieve the storage bin you rented day and night, would you feel more comfortable renting one? What if you didn’t have to retrieve your belongings yourself and instead had them delivered to your residence? Could you justify paying $25 a month for storage?

You got boxes stacked on top of boxes of things. You’re not sure what’s in them but you know you have no room to store the contents unpacked. That’s why they remain where they are. You can’t part with them but you can’t display them, either.

You don’t remember the last thing your friend borrowed from you. Whatever it was, it can’t be too important. After all, wouldn’t you want it back right away? If your friend tells you that they have something of yours but you can’t recall the object, you’re likely lacking in the storage department and need an offsite bin to help you get organized.

You’ve filled every basket, bin, and tote that you own. There is not another place to store a thing. You’ve hidden away nearly everything you own and you just can’t squeeze another inch of space out of your living area. You’ve even rearranged things in an attempt to put another tote somewhere but you’re out of luck.

You’ve got the largest area of the apartment or loft to call your own but you still have no room to work out, study or entertain friends. It’s time to prioritize. If having your stuff at hand is more important than having space to move around, that’s your choice. If you rather be clutter-free, renting a storage bin is the option for you.

You don’t have to get rid of what you own to make more room in your small apartment. City dwellers know just how convenient it is to rent a bin from urBin Storage. For one low monthly fee, they can stow away half a closet’s worth of items safely and conveniently. If you’re looking to increase the space inside your shared apartment or loft, this is the way to go.

 

Donate What You Don’t Want to Keep

Family Circle suggests donating things that you’d rather not put in storage. It’s about blessing others with your abundance. You can give things away to a friend or opt to donate accepted items to a non-profit organization or thrift store.

The point is to only store items that mean something to you. If you’re holding onto something because you think it might help someone else, now is the time to give it to them. You don’t know how appreciative people are to be given an item they truly need.

U.S. News and World Report notes that certain items are tax deductible when donated to charity. This includes things as large as a sofa and as small as a pair of shoes. Keep in mind that donations must be itemized for them to count on your tax return.

 

 

 

How to Organize Your Apartment in 5 Easy Steps

How to Organize Your Apartment in 5 Easy Steps

We’ve all been there. Organization is not always a top priority when you’re drowning in other tasks. It’s easy to fall behind and get comfortable with chaos. But if you’re ready to step things up and get organized, here are five steps to take (and they’ll help you stay organized too!):

1. De-clutter

The very first step you should take to seriously organize your apartment is to get rid of some things. The more junk you have, the harder it is to stay organized. Go room by room and decide what absolutely needs to stay, and what’s just taking up space. Make a bag for donation and a bag for garbage and lighten your load. You’ll find yourself with so much more space to work with—and less stuff to organize. Try putting some items into storage with UrBin Storage. They’ll come to you and store all your items in a safe place until you’re ready for them again. That way, you won’t have to say goodbye forever. And they’ll bring them back to you too!

2. Get Thrifty

The dollar store is your friend. They have everything you need to organize your apartment, and it’s affordable too. Stock up on baskets, tension rods, command hooks, and racks. These are the tools of the trade. Buy baskets in all sizes. You can use small ones to organize bathroom and kitchen drawers, and medium and large ones to organize your closets. Tension rods can be used for a plethora of things: hanging cleaning products, providing extra hanging storage in closets, and even as separators in your cabinets. Command hooks are just as handy. Use them on the inside of cabinets, the side of your fridge, or in your bathroom. Racks will help you organize particularly your kitchen and bathroom. Here are some links for inspiration on how to use your new tools:

30 Wonderful Ways to Organize your Life with Command Hooks 

Pantry Organizing Ideas

Perfect Use for that Cupboard Above your Fridge

Dollar Store Bathroom Drawer Organization

3. Invest in a Label Maker

Ah, the satisfaction that a label maker brings is like no other. Not only are labels pleasant to look at and extremely functional, they’re a huge help if you live in a multi-person home. They are constant little reminders to keep putting things in the right place, so you can stay organized no matter how chaotic your life is, and no matter how terrible the people you live with are at staying organized. They also make finding things significantly easier. Rather than searching around your cluttered home for items when you’re in a hurry, you’ll have everything clearly marked and easy to reach. Label drawers in your medicine cabinet, items in your pantry, the baskets in your linen closet—label everything. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Make the Most of Your Space

This one is a biggie. Most of us do not make the most of our space. Even if you live in a tiny one-bedroom apartment, you probably have more space than you realize. Use wall shelves to create vertical storage, utilize the backs of doors and cabinets, and squeeze small racks or sets of drawers into unexpected places. Give yourself the room to stay organized. Here are a few links that will help you make the most of your space:

Organized Linen Closet

Cleaning Tips – DIY Cleaning Closet

29 Sneaky Tips for Small Space Living

5. Get Smart

Items that work together stay together. Make sure when you’re organizing that you put items that you typically use together with each other, and put them close to where you use them. This way, you won’t leave items lying out when you’re finished with them because their storage place is out of reach, or in an inconvenient place.
We hope these tips help! Now go get organized!

Apartment Hacks that Will Upgrade your Life

Apartment Hacks that Will Upgrade your Life

Let’s face it. Life could be easier. We all have about a million things going on at once: term papers, finals, parenting, that huge make or break project at work right now. It’s hard to keep on top of the little things at home. As things pile up, it becomes easier and easier to neglect chores like laundry, dishes, or—dare I say it—dusting. But they must be done.

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10 Space-Saving Furniture Choices

Downsizing to a smaller apartment, or looking to open up a cramped space? Large furniture can overwhelm a tiny home. But don’t fret. We have options for you! We did some research and compiled a list of ten space-saving furniture choices to make your tiny apartment feel like a mansion.

Here they are:

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5 Cool Organizing Hacks for your Tiny Bathroom

5 Cool Organizing Hacks for your Tiny Bathroom

If you live in a tiny space then one of the hardest rooms to organize, by far, is the bathroom. Without built-in storage, it’s hard to find a place for all of your towels, toiletries, makeup, toilet paper, and extra soap. It’s tempting to leave an abundance of items out on your sink, and to hide everything else underneath, but if you want an organized, clean-looking space, we have some cool bathroom hacks for you.

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How to Store your Winter Stuff like a Pro

It’s about that time of year that we all must face the task of swapping out our winter jackets and scarves for the flip flops and t-shirts we have tucked away in storage (or maybe crammed under our beds?) The “out of sight, out of mind” mentality only really works until you have to pull everything out and sort through it. If you didn’t make an attempt to organize back when fall came around, it could take all day to transition your closet for spring.

Lucky for you, we are storage professionals. We know the best ways to store your unused items until next season, and we are ready to share our secrets with you. We have devised multiple ways to approach spring cleaning, depending on the amount of space you have available.

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Top 10 Space-Saving Kitchen Gadgets

A tiny kitchen space can be frustrating.  Between the microwave, the toaster oven, and the coffee pot, not to mention all the pots and pans and utensils, you might feel a little overwhelmed in the organization department. We have good news for you: You won’t have to give up cooking to eat in your tiny space! urBin has compiled a list of kitchen gadgets that will make your small kitchen experience easier and a little less cluttered.

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Wall Street Journal: Self Storage, Without the Schlepping

Bins and Boxes Are Picked Up and Delivered

New York-based startups MakeSpace and Urbin offer an alternative self-storage model, with workers who make pickups and deliveries on-demand. Photo: Jennifer Weiss for The Wall Street Journal

By

GLORIA DAWSON

Updated Jan. 8, 2015 5:05 p.m. ET

In a city where living space is tight and almost anything can be delivered, a few entrepreneurs are betting on a new self-storage model: empty bins and boxes that can be dropped off for packing, whisked away to a warehouse and then delivered on demand.

In the last 18 months, a handful of new firms, including urBin and MakeSpace, have begun offering space- and time-starved New Yorkers valet storage with a digital twist: Pickups and deliveries can be scheduled online, and clients can view online inventories and photos of their stuff.

Rather than renting out whole storage units, urBin offers 40-by-20-by-20-inch lockable heavy plastic crates, which it will store for $20 a month each. MakeSpace will keep up to four smaller, lightweight bins for $25 a month, and $6.25 per additional box. Large or loose items run more and retrieval fees (in the $20-to-$25 range) are extra. Both companies have storage buildings in New Jersey.

UrBin and MakeSpace aren’t the first valet-storage service in New York. Box Butler, which opened to the New York City market in 2008, stores both bins and customers’ own boxes.

Scott Sinclair, Box Butler’s chief executive, said he welcomes the competitors because he sees them drawing more attention to the new model.

“They are educating the consumer,” he said.

UrBin storage employee Raheem Williams loads bins in Brooklyn.

UrBin storage employee Raheem Williams loads bins in Brooklyn. RAMSAY DE GIVE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

For those who aren’t keen on renting a storage unit—and schlepping unused furniture, sports equipment and off-season clothes there—the new option is a welcome one.

Jason McMann, a doctoral student in political science at Princeton University, has lived in five different apartments in as many months while he looks for a more permanent base. Until recently, he had been storing his things, including a dresser and flat-screen TV, in a friend’s basement in Queens. But shortly after moving his items there, he said, the fire department inspected the building and declared the makeshift storage space a hazard.

Now, he said, he uses urBin. “I didn’t have a truck or anything to transport my stuff. So having my stuff picked up, that was a big attraction.”

Leaders in the traditional self-storage world say they have other advantages.

Archie Gottesman, co-owner of Manhattan Mini Storage, which has 17 locations throughout the borough and is known for its ubiquitous quirky ads (“Liposuck your closets”), argues that the bin business offers customers less space for their money. Small units measuring 4-by-4-by-3 feet rent for about $29 a month at Manhattan Mini Storage.

And Ms. Gottesman said a storage unit can be more than just a place to dump stuff. Clients, she said, can customize their space with rolling racks and shelving units. Locations have Wi-Fi and accept package deliveries.

“We’re important to people in these ways; it’s not just a storage room,” she said. “They feel like it’s an extension of their home.”

UrBin storage owner Josh Ernst does a pick-up/drop-off in Lefferts Gardens, Brookly.

UrBin storage owner Josh Ernst does a pick-up/drop-off in Lefferts Gardens, Brookly.RAMSAY DE GIVE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Ms. Gottesman said she is aware of her new competitors and isn’t ruling out some expansion into the bin business. Already, she said, her company offers a free “storage taxi” van to help customers move stuff to and from their units.

Meanwhile, the new players in the storage-space trade continue to grow. Boxbee, a California-based company, recently raised $5 million and expanded its business to New York.

With its own recent $10 million venture-capital infusion, MakeSpace has begun a service shipping cardboard boxes to customers anywhere in the contiguous U.S., who send them back at a flat fee for storage. The option, said Sam Rosen, MakeSpace CEO, is particularly popular with people in the military.

MakeSpace’s services also include a bird’s-eye view photo, available online, of customers’ boxes to jog their memory of what they packed. Both MakeSpace and urBin allow customers to keep an inventory online.

But while many traditional storage-rental units are open 24 hours, stuff stored with a concierge firm is accessible only by appointment, making it harder to, say, grab skis for a spur-of-the-moment getaway after work hours. Prime-time slots for deliveries fill up fast, and both companies require one to two days notice for retrieval.

Companies say they have expanded delivery windows and added staff. Mr. Rosen said MakeSpace has grown from five to 50 employees within the past year or so and is working to improve its process by purchasing more vans.

But considering the limited options New Yorkers have for managing their belongings, concierge storage makes a lot of sense, said Mr. Rosen: “It’s really, really expensive to get another closet in New York.”