Tips for Storing Ice Cream This Summer

Sure seems like we’re getting very close to the glorious summer season, and we don’t know about you- but we couldn’t be more excited!

With the summer comes all sorts of seasonal treats – barbecue, fresh berries and ICE CREAM.

We’re a huge fan of this sugary treat and typically have a few pints (at least) in our freezer.

There’s nothing worse than when you’re craving a scoop or two after dinner, you go to serve yourself some and… there’s a line of ice crystals lining the top. Major bummer.

According to some chefs and ice cream experts, this is usually a sign that the ice cream is past its prime and has depreciated in quality. Worse case scenario – it’s expired and could make you sick. Yikes!

Never fear! There are ways to avoid this! We’ve got a ton of tips and tricks for you to store ice cream like a pro. Follow these and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your ice treats as delicious as possible. 🙂

Winter is Coming

The key to your ice cream’s longevity is keeping it COLD. As cold as your freezer can go. Like… Winterfell cold. (Any GoT fans out there?!)

Brands like Ben & Jerry’s have freezers that are cold enough to keep ice cream fresh for years. However, you can do just fine without this amount of freezer power. Just try to keep your pint as cold as possible. Lower that temperature as much as possible and place them all the way at the back.

Avoid Drafts!

In any given household, odds are the freezer door opens and shuts at least a few times a day, if not more.

All of those temperature fluctuations, though, are harsh on your ice cream. It’s the most susceptible to losing quality and freshness with the influx of hot air – so store it at the very back to avoid this. Or better yet, store in a freezer that you don’t open a lot, if you have access to this!

Cap it Up!

Make sure that cap is solidly ON when you put that ice cream back in the freezer. You’ll want minimal amounts of air or other things floating around to get inside. Wrap some saran wrap around it too to guarantee maximum freshness.

Pay Attention to Those Ingredients!

Ice creams that have more sugar in them will lose quality and freshness faster! Sugar is one of the first things to go and depresses the freezing point of ice cream making it harder to store at a temperature cold enough.

There’s no need to avoid the sugar all together – just keep it in mind when buying, storing, and enjoying!

Did You Make the Ice Cream Yourself?

Homemade ice cream goes bad faster than store-bought, mainly because store-bought ice cream has stabilizing ingredients in it that homemade ice cream doesn’t.

Don’t fret! This just means you need to enjoy your hard-earned sweet treats faster. Many experts recommend within 5 days, if you can even wait that long.

That’s it! Enjoy those flavors for us this sunny season, and let us know of any storage hacks you love for ice cream in the comments below!

Everything You Need to Know About Storing Specialty Items: 6 Ways to Protect Electronics

Alright, today we’re talking about storing and moving items that for some of you us the most expensive things we own. A lot of us acquire these and own more than one variety due to updates, the latest innovation, the latest trends, etc. Electronics.

These complicated pieces of machinery have come to play a significant role in many of our lives, so their care is of the utmost importance whether they’re waiting to be used or moving to a new location.

Unlike our clothing or shoes, we don’t exactly know what materials and components make up these electronic devices, and it can therefore be harder to know exactly how they should be cared for and maintained.

We’re here to set the record straight – and give you a short list of tips for caring for your electronics – in storage or during a move.

  1. Avoid Fluctuations in Temperature

One of the worst things for technology is extreme temperature. The expanding and contracting that can happen in very warm or cold environments, respectively, can irreversibly damage certain parts. Avoid either of these options if possible.  

2. Back Up EVERYTHING

This should be a consistent practice no matter what state of usage your technology is in, but ESPECIALLY before a big move. One drop from the mover and your memories could be lost forever. Trust us, take the time to back it up just in case.

3. Packaging

If you can, keep the original packaging that the device came in. There is nothing more protective than this, as it’s what the makers designed. However, if you can’t find the box or you threw it out – bubble wrap, moving blankets, and silica gel to keep everything in place should do the trick.

4. Extra Parts

You’ll want to remove anything extra and move/store it separately for best results. This includes chords, DVDs, CDs and other equipment that isn’t completely necessary in that moment. Color code the chords to keep them organized and designate various bins for everything else. Organization will keep everything easily accessible- and avoid anything getting damaged.

5. Dust, dust, dust

Dust is tricky – as its inevitable, but can also potentially harm your electronics if you’re not careful. When storing items, tape a paper towel or bubble wrap to all openings to keep dust from getting inside and eroding valuable pieces of the machinery. Try to dust things regularly when they’re sitting out, and make sure everything is tightly sealed before a move.

6. Security + Tracking

A move and storage can, sadly, bring about theft if you’re not careful. Place your most expensive items in unmarked boxes at the back of your unit to deter thieves, and bring valuable things with you, if possible, in a move rather than on the truck.

Make an inventory list of every piece of equipment before the move so you can check once you arrive and make sure nothing is missing.

It can take a bit of extra time – but spending that time now can save you a lot of heartache, hassle and stress later on! Avoid damage, theft and other undesirable results with a little extra effort – your electronics will thank you!

Everything You Need To Know About Storing Specialty Items: Part II

Welcome back to another installment of our series on storing specialty items! Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite clothing that’s high stakes to replace – formal wear.

No matter who you are or where you live – chances are you possess a few items in your wardrobe that are reserved for special occasions.

Church, a fancy birthday party, date night with your significant other, a wedding, etc. Formal wear pieces are our nicest pieces of clothing that most likely cost a bit more than your other items. They’re reserved for special occasions, which means they spend a lot of time sitting in our closets – awaiting their time in the sun.

When the time comes and it’s ready for a night on the town – you want to be looking your best! Make sure these items get the TLC they deserve so they’re ready to go when you are.

The four most important things when storing your formal clothes are that they’re clean, cool, dark and dry!

Clean

Make sure your formal clothes have been dry cleaned and that stain from red wine or mini quiche has been removed before you put it in your closet and it has weeks or even months to set.

Cool

You’ll want your clothes to hang out in a cool place, so they maintain their shape and texture. Environments that are too hot can cause clothes to expand, retract and lose their quality.

Dark

A little sunlight now and again is no big deal, but formal clothes should not be exposed to consistently bright lights as they’ll discolor and fade. Keep those vibrant colors vibrant by keeping your closet relatively dim most of the time.

Dry

This one is most important. Formal clothes, and all clothes in general that are in storage, should be dry. Damp or wet clothes will lose their quality at a much quicker rate. If something does get wet- throw it in the dryer if the cleaning instructions allow you to do so – otherwise you’ll want to head to the dry cleaner for a proper drying.

In terms of storage and the use of physical space- hanger storage is the way to go for most things if you can fit everything! If you can’t, box storage with acid-free tissue paper is the way to go!

Let’s talk formal dresses.

If your dress has intricate beadwork, you’ll want to wrap it up before storing it, or wrap between the folds if folding and placing it into a box.

If you have the height in your closet, hanging dresses is the best way to go. For longer ballgowns and skirts that may not fit, folding into an airtight box or other container is the way to go.

For men’s formal suits – make sure they’re hung up on a wooden hanger that leans slightly forward to maintain the shape of the shoulders, and that pants are hung to be wrinkle-free on a separate or the same hanger.

Overall, give everything the room it needs to breathe. Stuffing clothes together does them a grave disservice when it comes to their quality and longevity.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be looking sharp no matter how many months go by between a reason to wear your nicest clothes.  

Everything You Need to Know About Storing Specialty Items: Part I

In this series, we want to highlight those possessions that are very valuable and require a bit more effort when it comes to storage. Things like shoes, formal wear, sweaters and batteries are all very important to our everyday lives and have an incredible amount of longevity if we take care of them properly.

Don’t worry – it’s very do-able if you have the right information, and we’re here to give you the details you need to make it happen without involving a lot of new equipment or time spent organizing.

Part I: SHOES

If there’s any one piece of clothing that everyone owns – it’s shoes. For many of us, we own a lot of shoes. Like, A LOT. Owning a lot of shoes means storing a lot of shoes – you can’t wear all of them at once!

They’re our hardest working accessory, and typically very expensive to replace. We’re focused on storing them for longevity and helping them support you and perform as long as they can.

Unfortunately, many of us share a habit of simply throwing them into a pile. This doesn’t cut it. The most important things when you’re storing your shoes is to keep them clean, shapely, temperature-controlled and dry.

Too much moisture, extreme environments, harsh environments and dirt and damage can all wear on shoes over time and make them lose their quality.

A few of our recommended tools for storing shoes properly and keeping them in tip top shape:

  • Shoe Tree
  • Shoe Boxes – the ones they arrived in will work just fine for this!
  • Shoe Shelves – there are great DIY ones you can build for an organized mudroom
  • Show Horns – these will become your best friend, especially with those nicer shoes that have a very distinct point

You want to store your shoes for all seasons somewhere where they’ll be dry and protected from the elements. If you have no choice but to store in the garage or another place that’s less insulated, airtight boxes will become necessary.

Clean your shoes thoroughly before storing them – this detail is essential. Use leather conditioner on your nicer leather shoes, and wrap all of them in acid-free tissue enough to hold everything in place but not so much that they stretch out.

The last important tip is silica packets. While many of us find these in new shoes and immediately throw them away. They can actually be quite useful when storing shoes as they eliminate moisture and keeping them fresh while they’re in storage.

How do you store and protect your favorite shoes? Leave us a comment and let us know down below! We always love to hear from you. J

Our Comprehensive Guide to Decluttering

Welcome to spring! In our effort to help everyone get their homes in tip top shape for the new season, we’d like to give you a few tips for decluttering and achieving that clean, organized, calming home you’ve always wanted!

The most important thing to remember about organizing, decluttering or any other type of ritual chore? Take. It. Slow. There’s nothing worse than starting a process like this, getting overwhelmed because of the incredibly high expectations you’ve put on yourself, and quitting part-way through. Let’s avoid that – you’ll feel much better if you take it step by step and by a few month’s time your house looks and feels completely different.

These are a collection of our favorite tips and strategies for decluttering. Use what you will, leave what you won’t. It’s all about what works for you.

Sound good? Let’s begin.

  1. Move room by room. Different rooms have different needs, and so it’s best to take them on one at a time and tailor your strategy for each one. We’ll give advice for different rooms later on, but just remember – if you look at your entire house and try to tackle it all in one day, you’re going to lose that battle.
  2. Three Essential Questions Ask yourself these three questions every time you pick an object up. That’s right, every time!
    1. Have I used this in the past 12 months?
    2. Will I use it again?
    3. Is it worth a space in my home, and potentially sacrificing my peace of mind?
  3. Triple D Rule. For each of these objects – follow the triple D rule: ditch, divide, designate. If you haven’t used an item in over 12 months, don’t need it and don’t know why you’ve kept it – ditch it. Just do it. Trust us, it’ll feel good. Once you’ve thrown away everything, divide things into categories – immediate use or storage for sentimental reasons. We understand, just because you don’t use something each day doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value. Lastly, designate everything a spot. Every item you own should have one spot where it belongs – simple as that. We’ll dive into this a little deeper.
  4. Someone Else’s Stuff. Whether it’s your deceased relative’s plate set that doesn’t bring you joy or your ex boyfriend’s sweatshirt – it’s time to return that stuff or throw it out. You have enough stuff already – it’s not your responsibility to take care of anyone else’s belongings.
  5. It’s the little things. Adding tiny tune ups to your space can really help make and keep things organized all year round. For example, a plastic cart in the laundry room that fits exactly what you need can help wrangle in all of the mostly-empty bottles of detergent you’ve got lying around. Consolidate them into one plastic cart that can be stored between the two machines and easily cleaned up in the case of a spill.
  6. Grab some trash bags. In just 10 minutes a day, your home can start to look very different. Grab two trash bags – the first one is for actual trash. The second one is for things you can donate to charity or give away – old books, knick knacks, school or office supplies, etc. Going through your home and gathering things for 10 minutes a day every day over a few weeks or even months will make a huge difference in your surroundings. Try it out!
  7. Manage your paper. One of the biggest sources of our clutter is paper. It makes sense – we’re surrounded by it daily! Now’s the time to manage it. When you start going through the mail – finish going through the mail! Bills are the first to get opened, then time-sensitive invitations, throw away any ads or pamphlets you don’t need or want, and a new catalog or newspaper replaces the old one. Simple as that.
  8. It’s time to leave that unnecessary memory clutter behind. A lot of the extra stuff lying around our houses belongs to deceased relatives or is nostalgia from a time gone by. The question now is – do you really need it anymore? You might feel like it’s valuable and is therefore wrong to sell, donate or get rid of. The truth of the matter is – it’s not! You’ll always have the memory, but it may be time to part with the item itself. Think of it this way – you’re making room for new memories and experiences!
  9. Keep what you actually use. Got a ton of clothes you don’t wear? Figure out which ones by turning all your hangers around, and when you wear something returning it with the hanger facing the right direction. After a while, the thing you haven’t worn will still be turned around, and you’ll know what it may be time to part with. The same can be done with silverware, school supplies, or anything else by putting it in a big cardboard box! What’s left in the box after a few weeks is probably unnecessary and can be donated.
  10. Visualize, visualize, visualize. Spend a bit of time visualizing how a room is supposed to look. How did you picture it looking when you first set it up? Where should everything go? Are there any elements you’d like to add to the room? Most of the time, the way you pictured a room involves less clutter- so get rid of it! Fulfill your dream and return to what the room was truly meant for. Your past self will thank you.

Ready to move? Let’s do this! This spring it’s out with the old, in with the new and onward towards simplicity, organization and calm.

Spring Cleaning Tips and Tricks!

Spring is here! To celebrate the first official week of spring we wanted to give you a few of our favorite spring cleaning tips and tricks so you can enter the warmer weather and fresh season with a fresh living space!

With spring cleaning may come some newfound storage needs. For items you’ve removed from your space but aren’t quite ready to part with yet, we’re happy to come in and help you out! Check out our website for information on all of our locations, storage options and to reserve your spot today.

Now, let’s get cleaning!

  1. Gather everything you’ll need and plan ahead! Create a schedule! It doesn’t all need to happen at once or even in one week. It’s about making your way through your house, giving it a good wipe down as well as reaching those areas you don’t reach during your regular cleaning cycle. Make sure all of your supplies are cleaned and ready to go with fresh filters and wipes. Gather all of those unconventional cleaning tools you’ll be using – lemons, white vinegar, baking soda, and onions – as well as all relevant cleaning information about your couch, upholstery, and curtains.
  2. Work from top to bottom in every room! This is crucial so dust gathers at the bottom, rather than you having to go back and wipe everything down again in those hard to reach corners. Dusting, vacuuming and cleaning in general can stir up all sorts of dust and mites, you’ll want it to move downward into your broom or vacuum bag rather than up onto surfaces that you’ve already cleaned.
  3. Transition your wardrobe. With spring weather comes spring clothing! Put those dresses, skirts, light blouses and cardigans out in front so they’re easily accessible during their time to shine!
  4. Go deep. Strategize a plan to hit those spots around your home that never get touched or are barely used. This is what spring cleaning is all about. Use a mixture of lemon, white vinegar and water to clean the corners of your microwave. Use a wet dryer sheet to target burnt on residue on your ceramic stove. Use white vinegar on that shower head build-up. Heat your oven with white vinegar sprayed on it and then scrub with an onion to freshen it up for grilling season! Grab a coffee filter to gently remove dust from computer and television screens! The possibilities are endless!
  5. Throw out, give away, store. Repeat. Go through everything and get rid of anything you don’t need, haven’t used, or have never used. This can feel incredibly cleansing. Plus, donations can be the most satisfying tax deductions you ever get! It’s a win-win.
  6. Reorganize EVERYTHING. Car center console, kitchen cabinets, storage underneath your bathroom sink, broom closet, coat closet, junk drawer, EVERYTHING. Throw away anything that’s expired, broken, or worn out. Use small bowls and a non-stick pad to get your junk drawer back in (semi) order. Install Lazy Susans in your cabinets and refrigerator to make everything easily accessible.
  7. Clear the air. No, we don’t mean have that difficult conversation with your significant other (but if you need to do that – go right ahead). We’re talking about those air filters. These are essential to change regularly, so make sure you put in new ones this spring to protect against allergens and other harmful particles.
  8. Speaking of, got allergies? Take care of yourself. When cleaning your home, dust and other mites will get unsettled which may trigger the onset of spring allergies. Getting rid of it all, vacuuming your couches and curtains, installing new air filters and even air purifiers can all be proactive steps to take against allergies this spring from the inside out.
  9. Don’t forget about the outdoors! Prepare your outdoor space by wiping down lawn chairs with dish soap and water before giving them a rinse with your hose. A pressure-washer can be used to get dirt and mud off of your stone driveway or other stone surfaces throughout your property that’s accumulated over those rainy winter months. Clean those gutters, check the pool filter, trim those trees and plant those bulbs! Spring is here – and you want to make sure your outdoor space is ready to reap its benefits!
  10. Use this spring as a chance to brighten up your space! The winter months bring dark and cold as much as they bring cuddles, great soup recipes and winter wonderlands. Your body is craving sunshine and lightness – so give it to it! Spice up your living room with some fresh throw pillows, get fresh flowers for that vase that just sits there. Enjoy your clean, beautiful, sun-filled space and happy spring!

10 Essential Moving Tips for Everyone

Plan Ahead

One of the best things you can do for yourself with a move is to plan ahead. Schedule movers way in advance, change your address a week before, cancel internet and other services with enough time to return equipment, and buy PLENTY of boxes. Taking care of these tasks with plenty of time will greatly reduce your stress your final few days in your home as you’re getting all of your possessions and family members ready to go.

Throw away as much as possible

There is no better time to get rid of everything that you don’t need or doesn’t spark joy than during a move. It makes perfect sense! If you don’t need it – you certainly don’t want to spend the time, money and effort moving it just to not use it in your new place. Throw away as much as possible, and donate the things you can. Scheduling a donation pick up is quick and easy – and can be one of the tasks you check off during the planning ahead phase. 🙂

Pack a clear box with items you’ll need right away

There are some items that are going to be essential right when you arrive at your new place. These are things like paper towels, wipes, toilet paper, trash bags, etc. You’ll save yourself a headache by packing a small crate with a kit to get you started, before you have the time to make a big trip to the store.

Pack a personal overnight bag

There are many great, reliable moving companies out there, but even the best places can’t avoid external circumstances like weather and traffic that could delay your belongings from arriving at your new digs. If this happens, you don’t want to have nothing to wear or no toothbrush while already trying to adjust to a new place. Pack yourself a few days worth of clothes and some overnight items like face wash and a cell phone charger in case your stuff gets delayed. We hope you don’t need to use it, but you never know.

Make copies of your most-important documents

This one is kind of a pain, but in the worst case scenario you’ll be so glad you did. Make photocopies of all important documents – social security cards, passports, birth certificates, and other essentials. The likelihood of all of this getting destroyed or lost in your move is low – but taking an extra half hour to do this instead of having to spend weeks or months getting it all replaced is motivation enough.

Schedule all disconnect times and change your address a week before

We mentioned this one in the first section, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Having your mail and all deliveries still being sent to your old address and missing important things because of it will make the moving process much more stressful than is needed. You can change your address quickly and easily online via the Post Office or UPS. Follow this link to learn more: https://www.usa.gov/post-office

Call in favors early

If you’re asking friends to help you move or having people take belongings you no longer need/want – schedule these things early and CONFIRM. There’s nothing worse than relying on a friend, forgetting to follow-up and learning the day of your move that you actually can’t borrow their truck or they can no longer make it. Do a quick check a week or so out so you have time to replace their help if necessary.

Be tedious with labeling your boxes

This one also makes a huge difference. Be diligent about the labels you put on your boxes – clarifying certain rooms, closets and even shelves. This can make unpacking so much easier once you know where things were and thus where they need to go now. Take the time to do it while you’re throwing everything into the boxes, and you’ll be able to unpack everything and get settled just as quickly.

Do your do diligence while researching moving companies

This one’s essential. All moving companies are NOT made the same. Let me repeat that: NOT. A quick scan online may not always be what’s enough to find the best one in your area – ask around, look at actual message boards and reviews, call and get a few quotes before you decide. You’ll be happy when you avoid the many horror stories we’ve heard from people relying on those that are less than reliable, to say the least.

Get every piece of moving supplies you think you may need – and grab extras if you can

Last but not least- do your shopping and do it well. Buy every little item you even remotely think you’ll need – because if you don’t get it odds are you’ll end up desperately needing it. That’s just how moving works. Packing tape, foam corners for pictures, post-its, tabs, sharpies, extra packing tape, etc — all will come in handy one way or another. Don’t make yourself do multiple trips and get it all in one fell swoop.

Welcome to our brand new blog!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to American Mini Storage’s brand new blog! Here you’ll find the latest news from our facilities, storage tips, moving guides, and other topics we think will benefit our customers and network!

Thank you for joining us, and being a valued member of our community.

Stay tuned here for more!