Moving With Pets: 5 Tips to Make it as Easy as Possible

If you think moving is stressful for us humans – imagine what it’s like for your pets! They have no clue what’s going on! They are now surrounded by a completely new environment with new smells, new sights and sounds – but similar humans, thankfully. J

What are some ways to ease this stress and make sure your pets get to the new home all in one piece? Here are our top tips on moving with pets and making the process as seamless as possible.

  • Take Them to the Vet ASAP

Different states have different vaccination requirements – so check with your current veterinarian early on and get it all squared away a few months before your move ideally.

  • Get your Carrier Early

Transporting animals obviously involves carriers no matter what method(s) of travel you’ll be using. Get your carriers early, put some of their favorite toys in there and leave them out to be explored.

  • Make Flight Arrangements With Care

Some airlines have changed their rules around animals in the cabin – limiting the number of them that are allowed. Additionally, making arrangements for them to fly underneath can be finicky – so it’s best to make all of these arrangements as early as possible and make sure you have all of the necessary documents, identification and other paperwork.

  • Make Their Space Cozy

One thing that will definitely calm them down is having a comfortable space to travel in. Make sure you’ve got a carrier that is the proper size, a few blankets, access to food and water (when appropriate) and some toys. Calming sprays and some treats can also do the trick if things get particularly anxious.

  • Security

Make sure your pets are microchipped, have updated information on their collars and have spare photos on hand in case your pets get lost. In a new space, you never know what could happen – and the last thing you want is a lost pet on top of everything else. Do your due diligence now to keep your pet safe and cared for.

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

8 Steps to Actually Organize Your Office

The home office – it’s a breeding ground for mess. No matter what you do for work – you probably have stressful moments and that stress can manifest very easily in your physical space!

Cleaning up this space can calm the mind and the body – leading to more productive work and more satisfaction!  

The good news is there are many ways to organize that office and keep it clean ONCE AND FOR ALL.

Let’s dive in!

  1. Go Through and Throw Out

This is one of the most important first steps you can take. Over time, a lot accumulates in our offices. Old papers, opened envelopes that are now irrelevant, broken knick knacks, old chords to electronics you no longer have, etc. This stuff gathers and clouds your space – and therefore your mind. Throw it out!* Trust us, it’ll feel so good and your clutter-free space will feel just like new.

2. Find Your System

Everyone operates differently! When it comes to finding a space for everything and everyday organization – find what works for you. It might look radically different than what works for someone else and that’s okay! Bins, (clean) piles, file folders, etc – it’s all good in our book as long as you stay consistent.

3. Make a Home for Everything

Adding on to the previous tip, make sure you know exactly where everything goes. Your unpaid bills, your stapler, extra stamps – it should all have its place. This might mean coming up with a bunch of different categories if things don’t fit neatly into a few different labels. This is okay! A lack of clarity of what goes where is where piles come from – avoid this.

4. Label, Label, Label

After you’ve decided where everything goes – label it! Labels will make it even clearer and help you stay consistent with putting things back where they go.

5. Deep Clean Consistently

Clean your office as often as you clean your bathroom! Or every other room in the house! Wipe your desk surface down, sweep underneath and dust off those picture frames. Organization goes deeper than just loose papers- make it a clean place from the inside out!

6. Avoid Sticky Notes

We don’t want to outlaw sticky notes by any means as they’re an incredibly useful tool! However, overusing them is a quick way to visually clutter your space in a way that isn’t helpful. If you’ve got too many around chances are you aren’t able to focus on one and read what it says anyway! Keep them to a minimum, and have a miscellaneous notepad where you take quick notes and transfer the info to where it belongs shortly after if necessary.

7. Invest in a Good Chair

We can’t emphasize this enough. Spending hours hunched over a computer or bent in a weird way puts a ton of stress on our bodies and over time, can create lasting effects. Save your back, hips, neck and other key joints by investing in an ergonomic chair. There are so many on the market now and the heavy price could save you hours of physical therapy and even surgery later on.

8. Decorate

After all of the organizing and cleaning – it’s time to make it fun! Make your space a place you want to be and curate it to your taste. Adding fun colors, objects with meaning and pictures of loved ones can all make it a place that’s fun and comforting as well as one for discipline and work.

After all of these steps we hope your work-from-home routine improves and you’re able to find more fun and clarity of mind in your home office.

What tip worked best for you? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

** When throwing out your office junk – donate what you can and throw away e-waste responsibly please!

Storage Containers: Paper or Plastic?

Ahh yes. The age old question – paper or plastic? In the grocery store, we leave it up to you (if your state hasn’t banned plastic bags that is!) But in terms of storage containers, we’ve outline some pros and cons for you with each one so you can make an informed decision that fits your priorities as well as what you’re looking to store.

In terms of which material is better, it depends! There are a number of factors to consider including where you’re storing, what you’re storing, how much space you have, your budget, how long you’re looking to store, etc.

Sounds like a lot – but not to fear! We’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

Cardboard Boxes

Pro: Store Using Minimal Space

  • One of the biggest pros to cardboard boxes is their ability to be disassembled, folded and stored with very minimal space. If you’re lacking space for storing your boxes after use, know you’re going to use them again in the near future and need something light but durable – cardboard is a really good option.

Con: Not Super Durable

  • After a few heavy-duty uses, cardboard boxes get worn down and lose strength and durability – go ahead and replace them when needed. Using them longer than you should can result in a big pile of your belongings crashing to the floor, which might cost you a bit more than new boxes would’ve!

Pro: Stack Easily in Storage

  • Whether it’s in the back of a moving van or in a longer-term storage unit, cardboard boxes are designed to all stack directly on top of one another and not take up any extra space. If you’re pressed for space, this can really help use vertical space efficiently.

Con: More Exposed to the Elements

  • Cardboard boxes are not as sealed as other options on the market – and therefore leave your belongings open to potential infestation from bugs, rodents, moisture in the air as well as liquid leaks and spills. Whether or not this is an issue depends on where you’re storing your goods.

Plastic Bins

Pro: They’re Reusable  

  • Unlike cardboard boxes, plastic bins can be reused over and over again for years with very minimal wear and tear. Also, many have different colored tops than can be used to categorize storage seasonally or based on family member!

Con: Bulkier, Generally Take Up More Space

  • Due to the bins being made of sturdier material, they can take up a bit more space than cardboard boxes.

Pro: More Protective

  • Plastic bins have the ability to seal completely and with a harder exterior they’re the superior option when looking for something that’s protective from the elements

Cons: More Expensive

  • Durable plastic bins will set you back further than cardboard boxes will. This comes down to how often you will be using them, and whether you need something for a longer-term storage option.

Overall, plastic bins are our choice for the superior storage option – no matter your circumstance. They will pay for themselves in a few move’s worth of cardboard boxes and provide longer-term protective storage as well.

You can find some excellent options at your local Costco, online on Amazon and other storage supply centers!

How to Organize Your Bathroom (Even If It’s Small)

Ahh the bathroom. No matter what, it seems to gather clutter and mess – and for good reason! It’s one of the most frequently used rooms in the house while also being one of the smallest. Many of us run in and out of it without paying it much thought, but this is a surefire way to accumulate a buildup of clutter and make the smallest space seem even smaller.

Taking a few extra moments each day to keep things organized can make a huge difference in the state of affairs.

Here are some top tips for keeping your bathroom space organized and clean, no matter how small it is, from organization experts.

  1. Only The Essentials

Only use the bathroom to store what’s absolutely critical for use in the bathroom. Extra cleaning supplies, rolls of toilet paper and that Costco-sized box of Q-Tips can go in the hall linen closet.

2. Go Vertical!

Use the vertical space in your bathroom for storage as much as possible. Tall shelves behind the toilet make a great decorative storage option, and shower caddies that stand upright can create a large amount of storage for shampoo and other cosmetics without taking up a ton of room.

3. Work With the Seasons

Sunscreen and certain moisturizers are better for the summer, and can be switched out once the warmer weather hits. Similarly, colder weather can mean a heavier conditioner, or different eye makeup. Switch it all out just like you do with your wardrobe! Making a consistent habit of getting rid of expired products or ones you no longer use can also eliminate clutter and make the space one of calm and serenity.

You spend a little of each day in your bathroom! Make it a space you love to be in, and the joy of your morning and nighttime routines will radiate into the rest of your life.

Check out our other blog posts on storing in the winter, summer, as well as our series on specialty items like electronics and formalwear!

How to Store and Care For Winter Bedding in the Summer Months

The summertime is all about playing outside, taking summer trips to exotic locations, excursions into the great outdoors and long days relaxing on the beach.

The summer is also all about relaxation – and in order to sleep soundly you need a bed that’s not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

So what should you do with your warm duvets, heavy blankets and wool during these warm summer months? Storing them properly is essential to maintaining their longevity, avoiding smell as well as damage so they’re ready to go once the temperature drops and winter sets in again.

The good news? You don’t need ample linen closet space to make this happen effectively! There are plenty of alternative storage options available that will achieve the same result.

First things first, you’re going to want everything to be super clean when you put it in storage. You should be washing your comforter way less than your bedding – as exposure to water and moisture aggravates it. Wash your sheets more than your actual bedding to decrease the need to wash larger, bulkier items.

When laundering bedding these are the best tips to follow.

  1. Use cold water and a delicate wash cycle.
  2. Make sure your dryer is big enough to fit your comforter – if not take it to a laundromat to avoid damage.
  3. Be sure to use low to medium heat when drying.
  4. Don’t put too much into the dryer as it can damage both items in extreme circumstances. A dryer should never be more than halfway full. Plus, you want to leave enough room for your comforter to fluff up again! Dry your sheets separately and remove everything from the dryer as soon as its done. This will avoid wrinkling and other wear and tear.
  5. Check the label! Some bedding requires hand wash or dry cleaning only – follow these instructions carefully for best results. Above all, the manufacturer knows best.

After you’ve cleaned everything – storing properly is your second step to success and protecting your bedding from mold, mildew, damage, wear and tear and critters for years to come.

Here are some steps to follow for optimal storage:

Let It Breathe

  • Allow the fabric to breathe and avoid tight plastic bags that constrain fabric and make it a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
  • Some alternative storage options include cotton storage bags, comforter hangers, or acid-free boxes with tissue paper.

Avoid Damp Storage Areas

  • Humidity is the ultimate thing to be avoided here – do not leave valuable bedding exposed to the elements in these hot summer months.

Explore Creative Storage Places

  • Storing them in a linen closet, under the bed, or in the attic will certainly do the trick, but decorative storage baskets, ottomans, or hidden in armoires also works!
  • Storage doesn’t have to be boring and don’t worry if you feel like you don’t have enough of it! There’s always a way to find more space somehow. Make it fun and add a decorative element to your home in the process.

Fold Properly

  • Folding properly is the key to using storage efficiently!
  • Make sure you don’t stack blankets on top of comforters that are made with goose or down feathers as it can crush them and create bunches within the comforter
  • Roll blankets into a ball and tie with a ribbon if needed to avoid this effect, thus making them easier to access and use

Tips for Freshness

  • Place a few dryer sheets within the piles of bedding before it’s stored – this will keep it fresh for longer while it’s in storage
  • DIY odor absorber – combine baking soda with a few drops of essential oil in a jar, punch some holes in the top and place it in your linen closet or bedding storage area for prime freshness
  • Hang blankets in the sun! Once you remove your blankets from storage and launder them fully dry them on a clothesline on a bright sunny day. The sun acts as a deodorizer and kills bacteria that causes odors.

Take a few extra steps now and save your bedding from potential damage in these long glorious months of summer when you don’t need it! Once you want to get cozy again and protect from the chill, they’ll be ready.

Summer Storage Tips for Skis and Snowboards

As the winter comes to a close and the snow melts, the purpose of skis and snowboards lays dormant for the summer and storing them properly becomes tantamount.

As you change out your snow gear for sunscreen and pool floaties, it might be tempting to just throw your skis in the garage and deal with the consequences come colder weather. Avoid doing this! Taking the extra time now will save you a lot of time, money and headaches when the powder is fresh and you’re delayed because of rusty skis!

Here’s our comprehensive guide to preserving your skis during the offseason, and keeping them in tip top shape so you’re ready to glide once the first snow falls.

8 Steps for Optimal Ski/Snowboard Storage:

  1. Clean Your Skis

The first step is to wipe down your skis with a damp towel to get rid of any obvious debris. Let them dry properly overnight, and then move on with the rest of the maintenance routine.

2. Reduce Binding Tension

This is not totally required, but can help save the retention of the springs on your skis over time. The springs that fasten the bindings can wear down with excessive use, and reducing the tension when they’re not being used is a great way to preserve them.

You can do this by lowering your DIN, accessible via the screws in the tow and heel pieces. Use a screwdriver to turn the screws counter-clockwise until you reach a low number on the DIN scale.

Before you do this, be sure to note what your DIN was already after being set up by a professional so that you can return it to this number once you’re ready to ski again.

3. Inspect Your Edges

Your edges are crucial – take a look and make sure there aren’t any nicks, scratches or other damage that should be addressed before storage so you can start the next season on the right foot!

4. Prepare Your Bases

Use base cleaner and a plastic brush to run all the way down your ski at the base, removing any leftover wax and residue from the season, 2-3 times is good enough to get most of it. After this, use a nylon brush to get rid of leftover debris.

5. Wax it Up!

Rub some wax on the base of the skis to prevent burning as you iron the rest of the wax on. Drip hot wax all down the ski, and use an iron to melt it onto the base evenly. 2-4 passes up and down should set your skis up for the offseason and keep air, moisture and dirt from damaging the blades. Lastly, protect your edges by rubbing wax on them again.

6. Store Properly

After all of this extra effort, the container you store them in matters! Your ski bag is a safe bet – as the manufacturers made it for protection and longevity. Somewhere cool, dry and out of direct sunlight is of paramount importance.

Garages, basements and attics tend to be a little too exposed to the elements, so try a closet or under a bed.

Position them naturally in storage – avoid putting pressure on any one area in particular.

7. Don’t Forget Your Booties!

Boots need some love too! Don’t forget them – they’re just as important!

Pull out the liners and make sure they’re dry and clean before inserting them back in. Buckle your boots loosely so they maintain their shape in the offseason. Check your toe and heel pads to see if anything needs replacement or repair, and store them with your skis – in the same cool, dry place.

8. Wait For Snow

Once snow falls again and you’re ready to hit the slopes – scrape off all of the storage wax, tighten up your DINs again and you’re ready to go! If you really want your skis to glide, apply a fresh layer of wax.

That’s it! Skis are an investment, so take care of them in the offseason! It takes just a few steps to preserve something for years to come.

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