Storage Tips

Space Saving Tips for College Students

If you or one of your family members is moving into a college dorm this upcoming fall, you’ll soon experience the difficulty of trying to fit all of your belongings into a 12×19’ space, which gets smaller still if you have a roommate. Thankfully there are clever solutions to help make the most out of your dorm experience.

  • Pare down: Before you move in, going through all of your things and getting rid of or donating anything that isn’t necessary will make living in the dorms easier. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used/worn something in over a year, chances are you could part with it and survive just fine.
  • Use bed risers: If your dorm does not provide materials to bunk the beds, consider purchasing bed risers to lift your bed off of the ground and allow for storage underneath. Those few extra inches make all of the difference, and will let you store more than you could have otherwise.
  • Tension rods: Tension rods are inexpensive and can be used to cover closets that don’t have doors, or to create storage areas in small, awkward spaces. They can be used to hang clothes, belts, or even high-heeled shoes.
  • Use wall space: Hanging wall racks or over-the-door organizers take advantage of space that would otherwise be left unused. They create quick spots to store items that you use regularly.
  • Store extra items: No matter how much space saving you do, there may be items that simply do not fit in your dorm room. In this situation, consider renting a small self-storage unit nearby to house your things until you move out of the dorms. This can be used to store seasonal items or larger pieces of furniture that you will use when you move into a house or apartment, but do not need while in the dorms.  


How to Create A Successful Mudroom

Without a buffer between the outdoors and your home, coming inside can get messy, especially in the winter. Snow, rain, and mud can get tracked through the rest of your home if they aren’t contained in the mudroom. There are a few ways to ensure that your mudroom is successful at creating this barrier and keeping your house clean.

  • Storage for boots and shoes: Boot trays and mats reduce dirt where shoes are taken off, and allow water to pool and evaporate there instead of being spread around your house. Built-in shoe racks and hanging bins are great space savers in closets, and make sure that your family can always find the pair of shoes they need.
  • Cubbies: Box-like cubbies built into the wall or benches provide additional storage for hats, mittens, scarves, and other winter gear. Cubbies can be bought, made, or fashioned out of repurposed cabinetry originally used elsewhere.
  • Using the whole wall: Shelves and cubbies allow you to get the most use out of your wall space by storing vertically. Items for kids can be kept at lower heights, and adult items at higher heights.
  • Doubling up: Since space can be limited in your mudroom, try to fit as much functionality as possible into its features. For example, a bench could double as a storage container for winter gear by having a seat that opens to reveal cubbies beneath.

Types of Small Businesses that Use Self Storage

Most small business owners don’t have the square footage to store extra inventory, equipment, or supplies in their workspace. For many industries, self storage units are a convenient solution. Here are a few examples of industry-specific benefits of self storage:

  1. Landscaping: Storage units allow you to take only the specific equipment with you that you need for each job, as opposed to bringing everything with you everywhere. Storing equipment in a self storage unit keeps the equipment accessible and allows for quick loading and unloading.
  2. Roofing: Roofers have lots of supplies that need to be kept organized. From power tools and shingles to tiles and adhesive, to everything in between, these items can be stored in a self storage unit and are easy to access for the short or long term.
  3. Construction: Many construction contractors do not have an office at all, and a self storage unit is a cost-effective way to store your equipment and supplies. Lumber, sheetrock and other items are easily accessible and secure.
  4. Retail: Whether if you’re a brick and mortar or an online-only retailer, extra space is necessary. Extra inventory, displays, and additional necessary supplies are costly and take up a lot of space. These items need to be safely stored to prevent damage and lost sales.

If you are a small business owner in the Appleton or Neenah area, let Stor It Mini Storage help you organize! Call (920) 734-1265 or visit for more information.


One Bedroom Storage and Organization Ideas

In a small apartment, storage and organization can be challenging. Rather than accepting that you need more space to be organized, try the following tips to make the most of the space you have:

  1. Choose a bed with built-in storage, either open shelves or spaces hidden by doors.
  2. Put your bed on risers and use decorative containers to store items underneath.
  3. Boxes or other containers can be stacked and used as a nightstand while storing items out of sight.
  4. High shelves utilize the space above your head and can free up floor space.
  5. Choose furniture that moves easily or has more than one use. For example, a fold out bed or table.
  6. Use common items in uncommon ways. Think how you could use old baskets or other items for storage. Pegboards can make great coat hooks and tension rods can create hanging racks anywhere.
  7. For items like pants and tank tops, store them compactly by adding a second hanging clothing rack in the bottom half of your closet.
  8. Hang belts, bags, coats, or ties on the walls of your closet to utilize that empty space.

For items that simply won’t fit in your apartment, consider renting a storage unit nearby to hold them. If you live in the Appleton or Neenah areas, give Stor It a call today at (920) 734-1265 to discuss which self storage unit would be a good fit for you.


Preparing Patio Furniture for Storage

If you want your furniture to look as good next summer as it did this year, consider placing it into storage during the winter months. Winter weather can take a toll on your furniture’s appearance, but properly storing it can help extend its life.

The first and most important step is to do a thorough cleaning. For aluminum, plastic, and vinyl, you can use a sponge with hot soap and water. For wicker and wood, use water and a little oil soap followed by furniture-grade paste wax when dry. For canvas, scrub with upholstery cleaner.

If your metal furniture is starting to rust, scrub it with a wire brush and apply a coat of paste wax to prevent further rusting. You can also use a silicone sealant spray on these pieces.

Once everything is cleaned and has dried, now it’s time to decide what size storage unit will best fit your needs. With locations in Neenah and Appleton, WI, Stor It Mini Storage offers various unit sizes and can help you make your decision. Give us a call today at (920) 734-1265 to discuss which unit could be right for you!

Advice for Moving During the Holidays

Needing to relocate happens for a variety of reasons and doesn’t always happen at the most convenient times. Especially during the holidays, no one enjoys packing or moving. We know that moving during this time can be hectic, and hope that the following tips help you to stay organized and still enjoy the holidays.


  1. Pack a little bit at a time: Instead of trying to tackle the project all at once, consider which rooms you can begin to pack up. If guests will not be coming to your home, for example, you can start to pack guest bedrooms, closets, and storage areas.
  2. Plan holiday get-togethers away from home: Consider arranging with relatives to hold your family gatherings at someone else’s house this year, and offer to host at your new home next year. This will alleviate added stress on you and your family. If you do still plan to entertain, try to keep it small. Consider inviting fewer people, or even asking others to bring a dish to pass to lighten how much cooking you need to do.
  3. Plan for unexpected moving expenses: Keep records of all of your moving details in one place so they can easily be brought up on moving day if necessary. Confirm and reconfirm with your moving or truck rental property, as people and companies can be forgetful during the holidays.
  4. Buy moving supplies during holiday sales: Look at office supply stores for sales on boxes and moving supplies, especially around Black Friday. Also make a list of utilities and home services you will need to schedule.

Winter Cleaning?

We’ve all participated in the well-known tradition of spring cleaning once the weather starts to get warm, but what about winter cleaning? The holidays are, in fact, just as good of a time to declutter your home. Think about it: you’re already digging into the depths of your home storage to retrieve your decorations, you’re cleaning your home in preparation for family to come over, and the gifts you receive are, in a sense, adding to the clutter you’ve amassed over the years. Why not take a weekend, or even a day, to clean out your home and start the new year off with less stuff and more space?

There are lots of options for what to do with all of those things you’ve been holding onto but really have no use for anymore. Here are some suggestions of what to do with those old electric candles that have burned out or sweaters that never get worn:

  • Toss them: Sometimes, no matter how attached you may be to those half-burned out lights that you’ve had since you moved in, you just have to let them go. Chances are, if you haven’t used something in the last two years, you won’t use it in the next two, or ten.
  • Donation: A great way to get into the holiday spirit is by donating clothes or items that you no longer have use for, but would greatly benefit someone else. Find a Salvation Army or Goodwill near you, and start digging through your closet.
  • Alternate storage: Sometimes there are items that you really can’t get rid of, but simply don’t have room for. Renting a storage unit is a great way to open up some space in your home without having to part with your favorite things.   

Storing a Refrigerator

Whether you’re buying a new refrigerator and want to hold onto the old one, or are moving and need to store your current refrigerator temporarily, it is important to store it correctly. Not taking the proper steps before storage can cause issues down the road when you want to use your refrigerator again. These five steps will ensure that whether it be two months or two years from now, your refrigerator can be taken out of storage and will be ready to go.

  1. Clean thoroughly: The last thing you want is for uninvited guests to make a home in your refrigerator while it’s in storage. Rodents or insects can be attracted to the smallest amount of food, and can cause damage to your appliance. Use warm, mild soapy water to clean the outside of your refrigerator, and plain warm water or a gentle non-toxic soap to clean the inside.
  2. Keep the appliance upright: Turning a fridge on its side can prove to be detrimental to the appliance. Storing or moving a refrigerator on its side can displace the oils and gases that make the machine run, rendering it useless. Keeping the fridge upright during all phases of moving and storage is important for maintaining its working condition.
  3. Keep it dry: If any moisture creeps into your fridge during the moving process, you’ll have mold and mildew to clean when you want to use it again. This can in part be prevented by fully drying the inside, and then removing the doors on the fridge and freezer compartments, following the instructions in the user manual. The hardware can then be stored in the refrigerator in plastic bags.
  4. Prop the doors open before storage: If removing the doors is out of the question, propping the doors open before storage will allow moisture to escape, also preventing against mildew. An object can be wedged between the door and the compartment frame, such as a ball of tape or a small wooden board.
  5. Store indoors to prevent weathering: Heat from the sun can cause severe damage to your refrigerator’s handles and seals, as well as the plastic on the inside. Additionally, moisture from any rain or snow can cause parts of the fridge to rot. Storing it indoors is your safest bet, and a great place to do that is in a rental storage unit.  

Moving in the Rain

Moving day can be stressful enough as it is, but adding unfavorable weather on top of everything else can make the process more grueling than necessary. Sometimes there is no other option than to move into your new home while it is raining, and so it is important to be prepared to make the experience as easy on yourself as possible. There are a few simple tips that can make the day go according to your plan.

  1. Garbage bags: When cardboard boxes aren’t enough to keep your books or electronics dry, opt for big plastic garbage bags to transport them. For the sake of organization, the items in the bags can then be placed into boxes for easier stacking and transporting.
  2. Gather items in one place indoors: Before venturing out into the weather, gather all of your boxes into one space, such as the garage. This will minimize the distance that needs to be spent traveling through the house while your clothes and shoes are wet. This also allows you to back the moving truck as close to your house or apartment as possible.
  3. Use mats: Using cardboard or plastic tarps is a great way to prevent slipping or keep floors dry. Make sure to tape down any plastic mats in the home to prevent them from moving. Cardboard can be placed between the truck and the home to decrease the chances of falling.
  4. Use an assembly line: By having certain people in the truck, other trekking between the truck and the home, and some inside the home, this will minimize the amount of dirt and water brought into the new home during the unpacking process. Additionally, it will be more time efficient and will allow more time for settling in.
  5. Dry as you go: Drying items off as they are brought into the home eliminates a greater mess to clean up later on and brings less water into the living space, while decreasing the potential damage to your belongings from the excess moisture.
  6. Plastic wrap: Wrapping large items such as furniture in plastic shrink wrap will help protect them from the elements and keep them dry during the move. Since moving blankets are not waterproof, this step can prove to be crucial.

Benefits of Climate Controlled Storage

When deciding to rent a storage unit, how do you know if paying the extra money for a climate controlled unit is worth it? These units stay at a consistent temperature, and some even offer humidity control. When it comes to storing valuables such as antiques or documents, the peace of mind knowing that your items are safe can be worth the investment. Here are a few of the benefits you can obtain from renting a climate controlled unit:

  1. Protection from extreme temperature: In some climates, temperatures can fluctuate from over 90 degrees in the summer to below zero degrees in the winter. Living in such a climate can cause damage to stored items such as instruments, wood furniture, books and magazines, electronics, important documents, or antiques, among other things. Climate controlled units will stay above zero and below 90 all year round, ensuring the the outside temperature does not harm your belongings.    
  2. Protection from dust and debris: The chance of any accidental flooding, leakages from adjoining units, or dirt being tracked in is greatly decreased with one of these units. Since they are sealed to keep the temperature (and/or humidity) consistent, they also seal out other unwanted materials. This includes insects or rodents that may want to make a home in the items you’ve stored.
  3. Better air quality: The constant circulation inside climate controlled units ensures that fresh air is in your unit at all times. This way you don’t need to open your unit to get fresh air inside. When storing sensitive documents or electronics, air quality should be taken into consideration.
  4. Peace of mind: While you do pay more, it is a small price to pay knowing that fluctuations in outdoor temperature will not damage your belongings. However, if the items that you are storing are not of great value and will only be stored for a short period of time, traditional storage is often adequate.