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Learning how to declutter your home is an important aspect of any spring cleaning project, and with any decluttering project, it is important to focus on the “big payoff” items first. If the storage spaces within your home are already packed full, then it is time to place those household belongings in storage. Self-storage is a great place to store seasonal clothing, extra furniture, collections, or anything else that is cluttering up your home you do not plan on donating or selling.
Decluttering Tips: 10 Things to Get Rid of in a Decluttering Project
- Mismatched storage containers: Match up lids to bottoms of storage containers throughout your kitchen. If you can’t find a match, recycle them or throw them away.
- Old or unused kitchen equipment: Throw out old and unused kitchen equipment. If it’s gathering dust, it’s taking space you could better use for something else.
- Outdated bathroom items: Throw away old and outdated cosmetics, medicine and first aid items. Check the expiration date and clear out space for anything past its prime.
- Clothes you don’t wear anymore: Go through your bedroom closets and pull out anything you don’t wear anymore. If it’s still in good shape, donate those items, if it’s not throw it away. For seasonal clothing items, self-storage units could be a great solution for additional decluttering.
- Throw out old office equipment: Do you still have a fax machine in your home office? Throw out any office equipment you are no longer using to increase storage space around your home; this include old office supplies like pens, pencils, empty tape dispensers, etc.
- Stacks of magazines, newspapers and unread books: Maybe you’re holding on to those magazines because there’s a recipe you wanted to try out, or you just haven’t had time to read that paperback. If several months have passed and you still aren’t getting around to reading them, recycle them or consider donating them to a hospital, school or senior center.
- Miscellaneous cords, cables or wires: Many people have a box of random cords and cables for electronics they may not use or even own anymore. Before tossing them, just make sure none of them go to anything you’re currently using.
- Unused vases: If you have a stash of vases in a cupboard from various floral gifts, box most of them up and take them back to a local florist. Keep only your favorites.
- Expired food and spices: Go through your refrigerator or pantry and check expiration dates. If items are about to expire, make sure you use them up in the next week or so. Anything past the use-by date needs to get tossed.
- Paperwork and receipts: Unless you need certain documents and receipts at tax time, start shredding those piles of paperwork on your desk, table, counters, etc.
The more often that you declutter a home, the easier the task will become. For example, instead of a daunting project once a year, follow these decluttering tips on a monthly basis. Keep a bag or a box nearby for items that you can donate, and once the box or bag is full, take it to the donation center. Then repeat this process regularly.
ezStorage has moving and packing supplies to help in decluttering your home this year. If you need a place to store additional items that no longer fit inside a room after you declutter your home, then renting a self-storage unit is a great home storage solution. ezStorage has a variety of storage unit sizes to fit any storage need, so stop in to any of our 46 locations to find out how we can help!
Evolution of Earth Day
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd. The annual event was created in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson to promote ecology and encourage respect for the Earth by shining a spotlight on soil, water and pollution. Over the last decade, Earth Day has also evolved into a week-long celebration of the green movement. Starting today and continuing throughout next weekend, several fun and educational events are being held in Washington, D.C and Baltimore to celebrate Mother Nature for the whole family to enjoy.
During these Earth Day events in D.C. and Baltimore, you will get simple tips for helping to protect our environment on a daily basis; everything from the opportunity to learn best practices in recycling, how to repurpose and reuse boxes, bottles, and cans along with properly disposing of computers, cell phone batteries and other electronic items. There are games, prizes, music and food as well to help celebrate the beauty of our planet, and a couple events throughout the area are listed below for your reference. For more Earth Day Events in D.C. and Baltimore check out EarthDay.org.
Earth Day Events in Washington D.C.
Earth Day at the National Zoo: Saturday, April 23 10AM-2PM
Earth Day Washington, D.C via Smithsonian National Zoo
“The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is committed to saving species and our planet. Did you know that the Zoo recycles approximately 100 tons of materials and composts 600 tons of waste each year? This Earth Day, make the Zoo your go-to place to participate in green-themed activities. You'll have the chance to get gardening tips from our expert horticulturists, take a tour of the Zoo's green facilities, attend special demonstrations, and more. Don't forget to ride your bike!”
Alexandria Earth Day: Saturday, April 30 10AM-2PM
Earth Day Washington, D.C. via Alexandria.gov
“Mark your calendar for Alexandria Earth Day 2016! This year's celebration will be held at Lenny Harris Memorial Fields at Braddock Park, 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave., on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year's theme is Choose to Reuse - Your Choices Matter. The event will include educational exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages! This year's event will also feature the Upcycling Showcase, where students will showcase their creative interpretation of Earth day through literature, fashion, visual arts and performing arts.”
Earth Day Events in Baltimore
Party for the Planet at Maryland Zoo: Saturday, April 23, 2016 10:00AM-3:00PM
Earth Day Baltimore via MarylandZoo.org
“During Earth Week, our on-grounds Education programming will be themed as a “Party for the Planet.” Come celebrate Earth Day by learning how you can make the world a greener place. All activities are free with Zoo admission.”
Earth Day at Montgomery Parks: Sunday, April 24 12:00PM-4:00PM
Earth Day Baltimore via MontgomeryParks.org
“What better place than Brookside Gardens, M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks, to celebrate Earth Day? Through volunteering, walks and tours, earth friendly activities and browsing our green craft fair, you can learn while having fun. Interactive family-friendly activities and a “green” vendor and craft fair will be offered from 12noon- 4pm. Enjoy wildflower and plant walks starting at 12:30pm. Discover how small changes in your everyday habits can make a big impact on improving our environment.”
ezStorage Supports the Green Movement
ezStorage is a self-storage company that is proud to support Earth Day throughout the year by being part of the “green” and sustainable movement. Our latest Baltimore area ezStorage facilities, Elkridge and Charles Village, are considered “green” facilities having earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications. Our storage facility in Elkridge and our storage facility in Charles Village utilize LED energy efficient lighting, native plants in the landscaping around the buildings, use reflective room membranes and are water, waste and energy efficient. All future ezStorage facilities will be LEED certified.
Spring has sprung! With its arrival, we welcome the warmer temperatures after the long, chilly winter. This time of year, everyone starts to get antsy to remove all those thick layers of clothes and replace them with t-shirts and lighter jackets, ready to put away those heavy winter coats, hats and gloves. In fact, as you start to tackle all your yearly spring cleaning projects, it’s recommended that you start preparing all those winter clothes for storage until you need them again next year.
Proper Winter Coat, Hat and Glove Storage Tips
Spring is a transitional time of year for wardrobes, because it isn’t quite warm enough to wear summer clothing, but it isn’t cold enough anymore to continue to wear all those cozy sweaters and coats! By taking the time to properly organize and store your winter clothes, you’ll ensure that everything will be in great condition when you take them out of storage in the fall.
A few ideas and tips for winter coat storage and hat and glove storage include:
- Sort, purge and organize. Before you consider storing winter clothes for the season, take the time to sort through your winter wardrobe. If you didn’t wear certain clothes over this past winter, make decisions about whether you should donate, sell in a garage sale, or throw away the clothing. Goodwill, homeless shelters or the Salvation Army always welcome clothing donations. Once you’ve sorted through everything, make piles of similar items: hats in one pile, scarves in another, gloves and mittens in another, etc. This will make it easier to keep everything together in storage.
- Thoroughly clean the clothing before placing in storage. Wash the clothing according to manufacturer’s instructions, and if some clothing requires dry cleaning, bring all those items to the cleaners at one time. At the very least, spot clean any stains, dirt or food particles and make sure that the clothing is completely dry before it goes into storage.
- Purchase the proper storage containers. Store clothing in clean, unused cardboard boxes. You can pick up a variety of moving boxes at ezStorage including wardrobe boxes (tall boxes with a metal crossbar for hanging). The best storage solution for clothing is to use clear plastic boxes with air tight lids so you can easily see what you are storing. You can also consider using suitcases for winter clothing storage.
- Store like items together. Since you’ve already sorted through all your winter clothes, as you’re placing things like sweaters, scarves, hats and mittens into storage, make sure you’re keeping similar items together in the container, with the heaviest items on the bottom. Heavy coats should be stored in plastic garment bags during the off-season. Wardrobe boxes are also a great winter coat storage option, because you can just hang the coats on the bar in the boxes to keep them wrinkle-free and then easily unpack them next season.
- Keep things fresh. Before you put the boxes full of your winter clothing into storage for the season, a final tip is to add a dryer sheet, mothballs or cedar blocks in the box with your items. This will keep everything smelling fresh and safe.
If you have winter clothing and other seasonal items that need to be placed into storage, consider ezStorage for all your household storage needs. We offer self-storage solutions throughout the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas to help keep your home tidy and organized year-round!