Archive for month: May 2019

Does It Spark Joy? What That Means (And Why You Should Care)

 
A few years ago, all of the buzz around home organization had to do with Marie Kondo and her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Now, the KonMari method has come to the small screen, taking Netflix by storm with the new show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
 
In the show, Marie visits homes that are in some serious need of decluttering and organization. But the KonMari method isn’t necessarily about throwing away as much as possible. Rather, it’s about keeping the right things—specifically, the things that “spark joy.” The idea is that if you keep only these things, your life and your home will be full of things that make you feel happy, calm, and peaceful.
 
The concept of “sparking joy” may sound simple at first, but, based on examples from the show and on Marie’s own words, it’s not very easy to implement.
 
We wanted to take a closer look at this approach to decluttering, to find out how it can help families have tidier, happier homes.
 

What does “spark joy” really mean?

At the most basic level, something that “sparks joy” brings you a feeling of happiness when you see, wear, or use it.
 

Why is it hard to decide which things spark joy?

 
It’s easy to look at your closet full of clothes and think, “ALL these clothes make me happy. I wouldn’t have bought them otherwise.” But in the KonMari method, “sparking joy” isn’t so much a mental experience as it is an emotional one. That is, the only things worth keeping are the ones that make you feel joyful—not the ones that you think should bring you joy or used to bring you joy.
 

How do I find the things that spark joy?

 
The KonMari method requires that you sort your items into categories (e.g. clothing), and pile everything in your house that belongs in that category into one big heap. Then, hold every item in the pile, one-by-one, to determine whether or not that item sparks joy in you. If it does, keep it. If not, it’s time to thank it and let it go.
 

What if I have a hard time knowing if something sparks joy?

 
You probably will. Marie says that the feeling is one you have to train yourself to recognize, and that it gets easier over time. (That’s why, when she’s helping to clear out an entire house, she saves sentimental items to the very end, when a client’s “spark joy” sense is more finely tuned.)
 
One way to get started is to find your very favorite item in that category (e.g. your favorite shirt), hold it, and recognize the feeling it gives you. Think about why you love it so much. Try to memorize that feeling as you sort through the rest of your items. If an item brings up a similar feeling, it’s sparking joy!
 

What if something doesn’t spark joy, but I still don’t want to get rid of it?

 
Marie suggests offering a heartfelt “thank you” to every item you get rid of, giving your “relationship” with that item a sense of closure, so you can truly let go of it. If an item doesn’t bring you joy anymore, but it has deep sentimental value, put it with the rest of your sentimental items, to be sorted through at the end of the process. Alternatively, you could use a self-storage unit to get the item out of your home, while still having access to it, if you ever need it.
 

Why should I try this?

 
As we mentioned before, the KonMari method is all about ending up with a home that is full of things that spark joy for you. Imagine being surrounded, all day, everyday, by things that you truly love and that make you deeply happy. That could make a profound difference in your mood, your family’s moods, and the energy in your home.
 
For more information about this method, and how the idea of “spark joy” can help your home, we highly recommend checking out Marie’s book or Netflix series. Hopefully, these resources will inspire you to create a tidy, happy home.
 
Arizona Storage Centers is here to help make that tidy home a reality. With secure self-storage units in a wide variety of sizes, we can help you store anything that you don’t want to keep in your home. Sentimental items, large pieces of furniture, documents, and more can be kept in a safe and accessible place, not far from your home. With centers in Phoenix, Glendale, Deer Valley, Chandler, and Gilbert, serving the entire Phoenix area. Visit one of our centers today, or call us at 480-386-6022 to learn about the difference self storage could make in your life.
 

New Year, Clean Slate: How to Get Your Home Off to a Fresh Start

 
When the New Year arrives, many of us are excited for a new beginning and a fresh start. While we often take the time to set goals for things like personal health and finance, we shouldn’t underestimate the impact that a clean and tidy home can have on our attitude and mental state. Getting your home in order will give you a physical representation of a clean slate, and it just might help you feel a little calmer and more in control in the coming year.
 
Here are some organization-related projects you can do around your home that will have a huge impact on getting your home off to a fresh start this year.
 

Conquer the paper chaos.

 
Paper is one of those things that builds up slowly, but eventually becomes incredibly overwhelming. Before you know it, you can’t find anything, from your water bill to your kid’s friend’s birthday party invitation. There’s no better time than the new year to take care of the paper problem, once and for all. Some ideas:
 
Don’t give it a chance to grow – Keep a recycling bin right inside your door. After you pick up the mail, sort through it immediately, and recycle anything you don’t need or aren’t interested in. This alone could drastically cut back on your paper buildup.
Sort it out – Instead of piling anything and everything in the same place, find a way to sort the papers before you set them down. Get a file folder for each category (e.g. bills, action items, kids) and a file sorter to keep your folders organized.
Clear it often – Make sure you are regularly going through your papers, taking care of your action items, and getting rid of anything that is outdated. Don’t let it build up and become overwhelming.
 

Get things off the floor.

 
The floor space in your home should be reserved for large items, like furniture, large plants, and floor lamps. What should it not be used for? Piles of papers, linens, shoes, books…just about everything else. If you have a “pile” of something on your floor, something you’ve looked at a thousand times and thought “I’ll get rid of that…someday,” then it’s time to get rid of it! Everything in your home should have a place where it’s not in danger of being stepped on. And when your floor space is clear, your home will look and feel much cleaner.
 

Solve (little) problems.

 
Do you have a place to hang your keys? Can you never find a clean, matching pair of socks? Are you constantly losing the remote? Are your daughter’s stuffed animals taking over her bedroom, your family room, and everywhere in between? Take a minute to think about these pain points in your home, and the trouble they’re causing you. Often, problems like this can be solved quickly and inexpensively (case in point: get a hook for your keys that can adhere to the wall).
 

Ditch the clutter.

 
Nothing says “fresh start” quite like a less cluttered space. While clutter clearing is most easily done slowly and over time, doing a big push at the beginning of the year could motivate you to keep going. Start with one room (or even one closet!) and get rid of things that you no longer use or love. If you’re having a hard time parting with sentimental items, consider renting a self-storage unit to keep things safe while keeping your house clutter-free.
 
You deserve a new start this year—and so does your home! Tackling these problems will get you off to a fresh new beginning!
 
Need extra storage space? Arizona Storage Centers can help. With centers in Gilbert, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, and Deer Valley, we offer secure and reliable storage to our clients, along with impeccable customer service. See for yourself by calling 480-386-6022, or stop by one of our centers today. We look forward to serving you!
 

12 Months, 12 Projects: A Year of Organizing

Many people want to keep their homes clean and organized all year long, but the task can quickly get overwhelming. Breaking the job up into smaller, more manageable pieces sets yourself up for success.
 
In that spirit, we thought we’d suggest twelve cleaning/organization projects that are perfect for spacing out over the course of a year. You can start at any point in the calendar year, but with the new year approaching, it just might be the resolution you need to make to get your home in shape.
 
Here are our ideas for the projects you can do each month.
 

January: Clear clutter.

 
It’s a new year and a fresh start, so start with a clean(er) slate. With the holidays behind you, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed at all the “stuff” starting to take over your home. Spend this month focused on clearing clutter and keeping only the things you need or truly love.
 

February: Organize pictures.

 
This is one of those projects that seems to be on everyone’s “to do” list. Whether you want to digitize your pictures, create scrapbooks or memory books with them, or simply get rid of excess photos, taking the month to get your photos in order will be a huge win.
 

March: Clean the garage.

 
While the weather is nice, take the opportunity to organize your garage. Throw away or donate old, broken, or unneeded items, create an organization system that works for you (overhead racks, pegboards on the walls, etc.) and clear some space. If your garage is full of stuff you never use but don’t want to get rid of, rent a storage unit to keep everything safe and out of the way.
 

April: Closets and bathrooms.

 
This is when you might start feeling a little spring cleaning fever, so freshen up your home by cleaning out your closets and bathroom cabinets, and deep cleaning your bathrooms if needed (clear drains, scrub tile grout, fix plumbing problems, etc.).
 

May: Electronics.

 
May can get a little hectic with school ending, so here’s an easy one: sort through and get rid of outdated electronics, cords, and adapters. Find a company that will recycle them for you, and you’re good to go!
 

June: Clear clutter.

 
Time for another clutter clearing month! Clutter is one of those things that tends to add up over time and sneak up on you, so it’s a good idea to revisit this task a couple times a year.
 

July: Outdoor stuff.

 
Spruce up your landscaping. Clean those pool toys. Hose off the patio furniture. Wash the outside of your windows. Find a place to keep all those gardening tools. Spend this month focusing on outdoor organization.
 

August: Office/craft/workspace.

 
Back to school time! Spend this month organizing your home office, craft room/area, desk, or other workspace. Sort through papers, shred private information, file away important documents, throw away broken pens. Having a clean and organized space to work could make all the difference in your productivity.
 

September: Books.

 
Books are one of those things that people love to buy, but hate to get rid of. Give yourself permission this month to get your book situation under control. Curate your collection to only include books you really love, and give away the ones that you won’t read again or that your kids have outgrown.
 

October: Cleaning supplies.

 
Cold and flu season is coming. Be ready for it by having a well-stocked, well-organized stash of cleaning supplies. Throw out anything that is old or unused (if you can’t remember when you bought it, it’s probably time for it to go). Have cleaning supplies handy where you need them most (like in bathrooms). Don’t forget to keep anything toxic out of reach of children!
 

November: Kitchen.

 
Your kitchen is about to get some extra use over the holidays, so now is the perfect time to clean it out and spruce it up! Make sure your kitchen is well-organized, well-stocked, and deep-cleaned to make all that holiday cooking and baking a little less stressful.
 

December: Toys.

 
Keeping toys organized is a tough and ongoing job. At the beginning of December, spend a little time sorting through your toys and keep only what is still loved and played with. If you don’t have kids, take the month off or tackle another organization project of your choice!
 
And there you have it: one well-planned year’s worth of organizing projects. By the end of the year, your home should be in great shape, and you won’t feel frazzled like you would if you did all these projects at once!
 
If you want to take your organizing to the next level, you definitely need a self storage unit. Arizona Storage Centers offers secure storage for your valuables, while keeping them conveniently close to you and, best of all, freeing up space in your home! We have centers in Phoenix, Deer Valley, Glendale, Chandler, and Gilbert. Stop by today or give us a call to learn about all the self storage options we have to offer. We look forward to serving you!
 

Why Self-Storage Is the Gift You Give Yourself

 
‘Tis the season for giving! This time of year, we spend a lot of time searching for the perfect gifts to give to friends and family. But some of the best gifts we give are the ones we give to ourselves, all year long. The gifts we give ourselves are often useful, practical things that make our lives a little easier, sometimes even solving problems we didn’t know we had.
 
We certainly think self storage falls into this category. It keeps giving all year long, benefitting your home and life in noticable ways. Here’s why we think self storage is the ultimate gift you can give yourself.
 

It frees up room in your home.

 
This is perhaps the biggest benefit self storage can bring to your life. A storage unit frees up valuable space in your home, whether that’s in the garage, the guest room, the linen closet, or the pantry. All that space can be put to good use by you and your family, but not if it’s overrun with clutter and items you never use but don’t want to get rid of. By moving some of your belongings into storage, you free up space for the things that you do use regularly. This ultimately leads to a cleaner, more clutter-free home and a more calm environment.
 

It brings peace of mind.

 
It’s true that having a less cluttered home can bring a little peace into your life immediately, but self storage can give you peace of mind in more ways as well. With a self storage unit, you know that your items are secure and protected. There’s no chance of them being stolen from your home, or damaged (by, say, a car pulling into the garage). Keeping your valuables out of the way protects them from any in-home accidents, and as long as they are packaged and stored properly, your items will stay in good shape until you’re ready to pull them out again.
 

It offers flexibility.

 
Need to store a delicate or temperature sensitive item? Some storage facilities offer temperature controlled units to keep valuable artwork, musical instruments, or antique furniture in top condition.
 

It allows you to keep things you don’t have a place for.

 
If you have an item that has sentimental value, but you don’t have room to keep it in your home, a storage unit is the perfect solution. You can hang on to items that you love, without sacrificing space.
 

It’s there when you need it.

 
If you have to move unexpectedly, have to manage a deceased loved one’s estate, need somewhere to store extra inventory for your business, or just need a place to hide Christmas presents, having a storage unit gives you a convenient solution for more space. It’s easily accessible and a total blank slate, ready to serve whatever purpose you need it to.
 
When you’re thinking about gifts you can give to brighten up the lives of your friends and family this holiday season, don’t forget to think about how you can make your own life easier with the simple addition of a storage unit. You just might be surprised at the difference it makes!
 
Need top-notch self storage in the Phoenix area? Then you need Arizona Storage Centers. With facilities in Phoenix, Glendale, Deer Valley, Chandler, and Gilbert, we provide flexible and reliable storage options that you can feel good about. Stop by one of our centers today, or give us a call at 480-386-6022 to learn more about us. We look forward to serving you!
 

Setting Yourself Up for Holiday Decor Success…Next Year

 
The presents have been unwrapped, the fruitcake has been put away (again), and the last carol has played on the radio. Now there’s not much left to do…except take down all the holiday decorations.
 
As much as we all love holiday decorations, they are often a bit of a hassle to put up and to take down. That said, a little bit of prep this year might go a long way in saving yourself a little headache next year.
 
Here are some things to be aware of as you put your holiday decor away that will help set you up for decorating success in Christmases yet to come.
 

Keep it all Together

 
Ever gone to put your Christmas decorations away…and found a box of decorations that somehow never got put up (#facepalm)? It happens to the best of us. To avoid such a mishap in the future, stash all your holiday decor in the same storage space. If possible, label the boxes, or use a certain color box to indicate holiday decor. If you find that your holiday decor is taking over your garage or in-home storage space, expand to a self storage unit and keep your decor safe and out of the way until you need it again.
 

Throw Away Unwanted Items

 
There’s no reason to store something that you don’t want anymore. If you have broken items, either get rid of them or make sure they are properly repaired before packing them away. If a certain item doesn’t have a good place to be displayed in your home, got in the way of your day to day life, or simply doesn’t bring you joy anymore, don’t be afraid to donate it and keep your holiday decor to items you truly love.

 

Untangle Lights

 
Holiday lights are the stereotypical holiday headache makers. There’s nothing like spending 30 minutes untangling a strand of lights only to find out that none of them work (even if they worked before you untangled them). Before packing, untangle all your strands, test them to make sure they’re working, and then wrap them around a plastic reel to ensure smooth sailing next year. (And if you really want to be on top of your game, go buy some extra strands of lights while they’re on clearance, and stash them in their boxes alongside your other lights. You’ll have replacements strands ready to go next year, just in case.)
 

Package Appropriately

 
When you’re putting anything into storage, it’s important that it be packaged properly to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged or broken during moving, or during its 11-month stint in a box. Before packing items, dust them or wipe them down, put them in protective boxes, bags, or bins if you have them, and place them carefully in a larger storage box. Fragile items should be wrapped in bubble wrap, or, ideally, in the styrofoam packaging they came in. Artificial trees should be put in a storage bag (yes, there are bags specifically for this purpose) or placed in a sturdy cardboard box. Be extra careful with special ornaments or other keepsakes, and label your boxes “fragile” as appropriate.
 
Following these tips should help you out when it’s time to bust out the holiday decor next year. With any luck, putting up your decor next year will be as joyful as the season itself.
 
Looking for the perfect place to stash your holiday decor until the season rolls around again? Arizona Storage Centers offers convenient, secure, and reliable storage, along with the best service in the business, for customers in the Phoenix area. We have facilities in Phoenix, Glendale, Deer Valley, Gilbert, and Chandler, so no matter where you are, you’re never too far away from your unit. We’d love to chat with you about how we can help meet your storage needs. Give us a call at 480-386-6022 or stop by one of our centers today.
 

19 Simple, Home-Related Resolutions for 2019

 
The new year is coming up fast, and for many of us, that means that it’s time to make resolutions. The problem is, most people end up ditching their resolutions after a few weeks (guilty) because they realize that the goals they set are unrealistic or overly complicated.
 
If you’re looking for a new way to make resolutions in 2019, consider ditching the typical, vague statements (“eat healthier,” “exercise more,” and “save money” come to mind), and instead give yourself a list of tasks to accomplish over the course of the entire year. This list is the perfect place to put things that you’ve been meaning to do for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to. Resolve to do them in the new year, and you’ll have your most productive year yet.
 
We know firsthand how a clean and organized home can contribute to your overall happiness and well being. Making home-related resolutions can help you can a clean and organized home as you work to tackle other resolutions throughout the year. To give you some inspiration, we’ve compiled our own list of 19 simple, home-related resolutions you could make for 2019.
 

    1. Dust hard to reach places (ceiling fans, above cabinets, etc.)
    2. Sort through books and donate ones you don’t want anymore
    3. Touch up the paint throughout the house
    4. Replace broken fixtures (think: ceiling lights, bathroom faucets, etc.)
    5. Clean out the garage
    6. Organize your craft supplies
    7. Update the pictures in your picture frames
    8. Defrost (and clean out) your freezer
    9. Clean out your closet
    10. Gather kids’ clothes that don’t fit anymore and donate them
    11. Have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned
    12. Create an emergency binder full of important documents and information
    13. Deep clean your mattress and wash your pillows
    14. Get a storage unit to keep things safe away from home
    15. Go through your game collection and throw away anything that is broken or missing pieces
    16. Clean out your bathroom drawers
    17. Clean and organize your tools
    18. Change your air filters
    19. Get rid of extra pots, pans, and kitchen utensils

 

The list of possibilities is endless, and of course you’ll want to create a list that fits your specific needs, but hopefully this list will help you get a good head start as you make simple, realistic, home-related resolutions for 2019.
 
If you’re planning to do some decluttering this year, you’re going to want to get a storage unit to give you a safe place to put the things you can’t seem to get rid of. Arizona Storage Centers is the best option in the Valley, providing secure and reliable storage, along with friendly customer service, in Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix, Deer Valley, and Glendale. Stop by today to check out our facilities and options, or give us a call at 480-386-6022. We look forward to serving you.
 

Keys to a Minimalist Holiday Season

 
The holidays are a time of peace on Earth… hypothetically. In reality, the holidays often leave many of us feeling tired and worn ragged by the hustle and bustle. The shopping, the cooking, the baking, the wrapping, the caroling, the parties—it can all add up to a season that is more “stress and chaos” than “comfort and joy.”
 
Minimalism is a lifestyle that has grown popular in recent years for its promotion of a slower paced, simpler life. Having less, doing less, and stressing less are key hallmarks of minimalism, and they are all things that could potentially make the holidays a little better as well.
 
With this in mind, we’re applying minimalism to the holiday season to see how the concept of “less” might add a little more joy to your holiday. Here are the keys to a more minimalist holiday season.
 

Give (and get) experiences, not things.

 
One key to a minimalist lifestyle is having fewer things. Less “stuff” in your space promotes a peaceful environment. This holiday season, give the people you love experiences rather than things, and ask that they do the same for you and your family. You’ll keep the clutter at bay and you’ll feel more peaceful during the holidays and all year round. Some great “experience gift” ideas:
 
– Membership to a zoo or museum
– Movie tickets
– Tickets to a concert or play
– A nice meal out
 

Scale back the decor.

 
While holiday decor is, for many people, a sentimental part of the season, it can also get out of hand pretty quickly. Take stock of your current decor. What do you still love? What have you always hated? If you have undecorated spaces in your home, how can you use what you already have to fill them? Answering these questions will help you avoid buying new decorations you don’t really need, and may inspire you to get rid of some of the things that no longer bring you joy.
 

Keep the treats under control.

 
Two weeks into the season, kitchen counters are often overflowing with seasonal candies, treats brought over by neighbors, and more. While it’s not a bad thing to indulge, don’t let it get out of control, especially if it’s taking up precious counter space. Eat perishable treats as soon as possible (or discard them if you don’t think you’ll finish them), and store everything else in containers and out of sight. Bring out one treat at a time.
 

Make a place for everything.

 
There are some holiday things (we’re looking at you, cards and wrapping paper) that don’t always have a designated place. That means that they end up floating around anywhere, taking up space and stressing you out. Create a place to display your cards, and a place to keep your wrapping supplies. Find homes for any other “homeless” holiday items. You’ll feel much more organized and in control.
 

Focus on the people.

 
Make sure you are taking time to make memories with the people you love. Whether it’s watching a classic holiday movie together, driving around to look at lights, or serving together in your community, spending time with your friends and family will truly make the holiday a little brighter.
 
Taking these simple steps toward a more minimalist holiday season just might be your key to a more peaceful time of year. So slow down, focus on what’s important, let go of what isn’t, and enjoy.
 
Want to incorporate more minimalism in your home? Use a self-storage center to store all your excess items. Arizona Storage Centers in Phoenix, Glendale, Chandler, Gilbert, and Deer Valley can help you with all your self-storage needs. We have many different unit sizes and features to keep your belongings safe and sound, no matter the time of year. Stop by one of our centers today, or call us at 480-386-6022.
 

The Best Hiding Spots for Holiday Gifts

 
If you’re the “get your holiday shopping done early” type, you’ve likely encountered the problem of where to hide all those presents before it’s time to wrap them and give them. You don’t want to use all the usual hiding spots (kids can sniff those out in a heartbeat), but if you get too tricky, you run the risk of not being able to remember where you hid it when you need it. (Then you happen to find it in April, and things just get awkward.)
 
We’re here to help, with this list of the best hiding spots for holiday gifts.
 

Holiday Decor Storage Boxes

 
Chances are, you’ve got a few boxes sitting around that are usually used to hold your holiday decor. But since your holiday decor is now on display in your home, they’re sitting empty. Utilize that space to hide gifts. The boxes won’t stand out (since they’re always in the garage, or under the stairs, or wherever they’re kept), and you’ll be able to keep everything relatively close together, so it’s easy to pull the gifts out when you need them.
 

Storage Unit

 
If you really want to make sure your gifts aren’t found, take them off-site. A self storage unit is the perfect place to hide holiday gifts. There are many different sizes of units available, so you can be sure that even a large haul of gifts will fit. Arizona Storage Centers also offers features like temperature controlled units, so if you have any delicate items, they can be stored safely as well.
 

Luggage

 
No one looks inside luggage if you don’t have a trip coming up. That means that anything you hide inside a suitcase or duffel bag is likely to go undisturbed. Keep the luggage in its usual storage place to avoid suspicion.
 

Upper Cabinets

 
You know those super high cabinets in the kitchen that you have to stand on a chair to reach? They usually house kitchen items that aren’t used often, but during the holidays, they just might be the perfect place to stash gifts. Since these will be very far out of sight, make sure you have some kind of reminder of this hiding place.
 

Car

 
Do you have a car that the rest of your family typically doesn’t use? (Maybe a commuter car, for example?) You could easily store gifts in the back seat, especially if they’re kept in a plain box or bag to avoid any accidental sightings. You could also use the trunk of just about any car, since kids don’t really use the trunk on a regular basis.
 

Clothing Drawers

 
While the closet is the first place everyone looks for hidden gifts, dresser drawers often go unnoticed. Smaller gifts should be plenty safe buried beneath your folded clothing.
 
No matter where you decide to stash your gifts, it’s always a good idea to keep a list of what present is kept where. This will help you avoid a lot of frustration when it’s time to get wrapping!
 
Happy hiding, happy gifting, and happy holidays!
 
Arizona Storage Centers offers secure and convenient options for all your storage (and gift hiding) needs. We have centers in Gilbert, Chandler, Phoenix, Glendale, and Deer Valley, and we pride ourselves on our top-notch security and exceptional customer service. Stop by one of our centers today, or call us at 480-386-6022 for more information.
 

Prepping Your Kitchen For the Holidays

 
The holidays are a time for tradition, family, and of course—food! Whether you enjoy spending hours on end in the kitchen, or you call in catered meals to save yourself some time, most people end up spending a good amount of time prepping, cooking, serving, and eating food.
 
No matter where you fall on the spectrum of food preparation, having an organized and well-stocked kitchen will save you a lot of stress when it comes time to make or serve the food. So before the holiday crazy hits, spend an hour or two implementing these tips for prepping your kitchen for the holidays.
 

Have More Than Enough Plates and Silverware

 
There’s nothing worse than running out of plates or silverware when you’re hosting a get together. (Ever had to serve a turkey dinner in a cereal bowl?) Make sure you have more than enough on hand, and if you’re not sure, a backup supply of disposable plates and silverware should cover any potential emergencies.
 

Clear Space in the Fridge

 
That cream pie has to be kept in the fridge…but where’s it going to fit? Rather than balance the pie on one hand while trying to clear out three bottles of expired ketchup with the other, take a minute to clear a good amount of space in your fridge. Things to consider when deciding how much space you need:
 

  • – Are you making anything ahead of time that will need to be refrigerated until it’s cooked?
  • – Do you have drinks that need to be chilled?
  • – Will your dishes fit in the fridge space available?
  • – What’s your plan for leftovers?
  •  

    Find a Place for Everything

     
    What could be more frustrating than not being able to find your measuring cup, rolling pin, favorite serving dish, or a clean cutting board when you’re trying to prepare a holiday meal? You need to make sure there’s a place for everything—and that everything is in its place—before embarking on your cooking adventure. It’ll save you a headache, for sure. Plus, if anyone else will be helping you in the kitchen, you’ll be able to direct them exactly where they need to go. (Decluttering is a great place to start!)
     

    Stock Up on the Basics

     
    It’s always a good idea to keep your kitchen and pantry stocked with basic goods, but it’s pretty much essential during the holidays. You’ll want to have plenty of your most used ingredients on hand (think: flour, sugar, baking soda, oil, cream, etc.), with extra to spare in case of emergencies. Nobody wants to have to make a last minute run to the grocery store on a holiday, so take a moment to take inventory and shop ahead of time.
     

    Clean the Linens

     
    Haven’t used that tablecloth since last Thanksgiving? What about those cloth napkins? If your linens are getting a little musty, make sure you pull them out ahead of time and wash them or air them out.
     
    With a few simple steps, you can feel confident that your kitchen will be ready for whatever this holiday season throws at it.
     
    Need to free up a little space in your kitchen? Move some unused items into an Arizona Storage Centers storage unit. We have many different unit sizes and options, and our secure facilities and outstanding customer service will help you know you’ve made the right choice. Visit one of our centers in Phoenix, Glendale, Deer Valley, Chandler, or Gilbert, or call us at 480-386-6022 to learn more!
     

How to Create a Welcoming Guest Room

 
It’s that time of year—when friends and family come from all over to be together for the holidays. If you’ll be hosting out of town guests this season, you’ve probably started to put some thought into how to make sure your guests are as comfortable in your home as possible. What will they need? How will you entertain them? How can you go above and beyond to create a truly welcoming environment for them?
 
It’s not always easy to make room for more people, but with the right plan in place, your guest room will give your guests a comfortable and welcoming place to enjoy their trip. Here are some of our best tips for creating a welcoming guest room.
 

Designate a Space.

 
Have a space in mind before your guests arrive, so that you can prep it accordingly and avoid any last minute problems. Ideally, of course, this would be a guest room—a bedroom (preferably with its own bathroom) that is somewhat separate from the other bedrooms and gives guests plenty of space. Unfortunately, not everyone has a guest bedroom in their home. If you don’t, see what space you can clear up. Can you move your children into the same room for a couple nights? Can you set up a home office or playroom to be a makeshift guest room? If you’re really short on space, separating part of a living room or family room would suffice. The important thing is that there is a separate place for your guests to keep their things and have a little space to themselves. Make sure you designate a bathroom for them to use, too!
 

Clear out Clutter.

 
Has that guest room become a magnet for all the things in your house that don’t have a home elsewhere? If that spare room is all cluttered up, it isn’t going to be a very relaxing place for your guests to be. Take some time to clear away stacks of papers, unused items, old furniture, and other junk that might be detracting from the welcoming feeling in your guest room.
 

Make it Comfy.

 
Sleeping accommodations can make or break a stay away from home. Do your very best to make your guests comfortable by providing them with a comfortable mattress (even a good quality air mattress will do), real bedding, and good quality pillows. Don’t worry too much about your guests having any special needs (if they do, they’ll probably bring what they need themselves) but do consider having extra pillows and blankets available for them to use.
 

Take it a step Further.

 
While bedding is very important to your guests’ comfort, it’s really only one piece of the puzzle. If you want them to know you were thinking about their comfort, include touches like:
 

  • A space heater or portable fan so they can adjust temperatures to their liking.
  • A white noise machine.
  • A light source (table or overhead lamp).
  • Fresh towels.
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    If you’re really wanting to go the extra mile, you could include things like an inexpensive pair of slippers, water bottles in the room, and some nice toiletries (think: in-home hotel experience). Most guests will not be expecting this at all, but that just makes it all the more special.
     

    Have a (rough) Itinerary.

     
    Schedule out big events, and then fill in the blanks with other activities you could do together. Having a list for them to choose from will make entertaining much easier. You might want to also consider building some alone time into their stay, allowing them to spend some of their time however they choose. You probably know your guest better than we do, so take their preferences into account when determining how much scheduling to do.
     
    Hosting at the holidays can be overwhelming, and many people who host out of town guests feel a lot of pressure to meet a certain standard. The most important thing you can do is be hospitable and thoughtful; your guests will appreciate that more than anything else!
     
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