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make decluttering easy

Clever Ideas To Make Decluttering Easy

Is your home stuffed with trinkets, treasures and things you no longer need? Are your shelves and storage cupboards overflowing with who knows what? Are your clothes squashed into your wardrobes and drawers? If this sounds like your home then it could be time to do a spot of decluttering – many of us may hate the idea but we know it makes sense. Most people are natural hoarders and even the neatest home probably has a cupboard, a loft, a garage or garden shed that is their junk room. But if you have less junk in your home your life really will be better. Less stuff means less to clean and keep tidy; it means it is easy to find things in the early morning rush to get to school or work but getting into the decluttering habit is not easy.

So here are some clever ideas to make decluttering easy:

Pick Your Battles Carefully

Start by making a list of each room that is unnecessarily cluttered and the particular parts of that room that need tackling. It could be shelves stacked high or chests of drawers with junk piled on top because all the drawers are full (hang on, that is beginning to sound like my daughter’s room).

Now pick just one room – or just one part of the room if it is particularly bad – this is the clever bit. Work on that area until it is done and then stop. By taking a bite sized chunk of this problem each day or week you can achieve great things after a few days or weeks and not feel as if decluttering has taken over your life.

Bag It Up

Grab a large black bin bag and set yourself a time challenge to see how quickly you can fill it. Decide before you start whether  the content will really go in the bin or whether they are good enough to go to a local charity shop or other good cause. If you do decide to fill a charity bag just make sure you take it to the charity shop the same day – otherwise it will just be clutter in a bag.

 

Box It Up

Find 3 large boxes and label them: Rubbish, Charity, Keep. As you declutter your chosen area pop items in the relevant box. The contents of the Rubbish box can immediately be thrown out or, even better, recycled. The Charity box can be put in the back of the car ready to drop off as soon as you can at the charity shop – in fact, my local recycling centre now has a “pop up” charity shop there so I only have to make one trip with both of my boxes. And the contents of the final Keep box can then  be placed back in/on your clear drawers/shelves/cupboards. Ahh so easy…

 

Colour Coded Hangers

Start by making sure you have a bunch of hangers that are 2 different colours. Put all of one colour in the bottom of the wardrobe and hang all your clothes on hangers the same colour. Each time you wear something then wash and iron it place it back in the wardrobe on a hanger from the wardrobe floor. After a few months you will start to get a pretty good idea of the clothes you never wear as they will be on the original colour hangers. Obviouly there may be some special occasion outfits that you will want to keep even if you haven’t worn them for 6 months but on the whole this is a foolproof way of reminding yourself what you really don’t wear when it comes to everyday clothes. You know really you just need that reminder to get them out of the wardrobe and down to the charity shop or clothes recycling bank. Think of the extra space it will give you – more space for the clothes you do like and do wear and maybe even some more space for new clothes.

Make Use of 5 Minutes

We can all find 5 extra minutes in the day if we really try – in fact, you probably won’t have to try that hard to find a spare 5 minutes. Open up a single drawer or cupboard and just get started – don’t think too hard about it. I probably shouldn’t say this but for my 5 minute declutters I just  dump everything I don’t want straight in the bin – there is simply no time to sort thing sout on one of these ultra fast decluttering sessions and I console myself that when I have more time I do recycle almost everything either via the local recycling centre or via various charity shops.

Tackling small spaces in five minute blasts means decluttering won’t feel like it is taking  over your life and you’ll maintain your motivation for longer. If you really want to think about setting a timer on your watch or phone – there’s nothing like the seconds and minutes ticking away to spur you on to actually achieve something.

The 10-10-10 Challenge

This is one of my personal favourites when it comes to decluttering and great if you have kids – it is just as good and just as much fun for all ages from toddlers to teens. Making decluttering into a game that everyone can play is a great habit to get into. So what is the 10-10-10 challenge? It’s simple everyone in the house has to find amongst their own possessions 10 things to throw away, 10 things to give to charity and 10 things to put back in their correct place.  Just make sure you do actually bin the rubbish straight away before anyone changes their mind.

Decluttering a whole house in a single day or week-end is almost impossible – it is demoralising and often difficult to know where to start. So instead try one of these clever and fun ideas over a few days, weeks or months and then keep them up to prevent the clutter from returning. Tackling only small areas is much more manageable and will help maintain your motivation and see the task through until you eventually have a clutter-free home.

storage for concealing clutter

Self Storage for your Home Business

There are literally millions of small businesses or micro businesses being run in the UK alone as we embrace the “gig economy” that gives people the freedom and ability to work for themselves in a way that simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. And more and more of those people are running their small businesses from home.

A home business makes financial sense in so many areas where there is fast and cheap broadband available and in fields where video calls are commonplace. This could be as a web designer, seo consultant, social media manager or any number of other online jobs.

Many people have started living their long-held dream of working for themselves – of course, these things don’t always happen by choice and, no doubt, redundancy can be a nudge to start out on your own. Nevertheless through choice or necessity the gig economy seems here to stay.

Another reason so many work from home is that it is so much easier to get a smart website and gain customers online for your services or products. Indeed small online retailers are booming with names not heard of a few years ago now becoming household names in their niche markets.

With the right sort of online presence a business employing only 2 or 3 people can have the sort of impact on the marketplace that only big-brand companies could previously have done.

So it’s easy to start up an online retail business from home and it may initially run well enough using your garage or left for storage but as it grows and develops and your stock seems to take over your living space you will need to think about alternative forms of storage.

And self storage facilities are fast becoming the natural answer for additional storage for so many small businesses. What started out primarily as self storage for thos moving home or relocating has developed into facilities and services that allow small online retailers to take advantage of their cheap rentals costs to effectively gain secure warehouse space much more cost-effectively that from traditional warehouses. A significant number of self storage facilities even take in deliveries of stock for when you can’t be there to do so yourself.

If your home-based business is any type of online retail business then storage space is a must. In the early days of a business there may be limited stock held but as the business grows significantly this is never a good long term solution. Depending on the business there are fast “on-demand” services available, such as printing services, so you might only have to hold minimal stock. But for other items there are huge cost savings on both the items themselves and delivery costs if you buy from wholesalers in bulk.

Working from home as your own boss offers the sort of freedom that you just can’t get working for someone else according to the small business advocates at problogineer.com. This can help you achieve a much better work-life balance – giving you more time for your family and for yourself and allowing you to do something you truly enjoy. It can be a much needed break from office politics and constant pressure from above for many people – a chance to do what they want not what is expected of them.

But remember that running your own business from home – being your own boss – is not all rosy and it is certainly not an easy option.  Self-employed people tend to work longer hours in the early years of establishing a business and have the financial worry of paying the bills in a way that someone with a regular salary does not.

self storage tips

Making Your Office Move Less Stressful

We all know that moving is stressful and that is just as true if you are moving office as if you are moving house. Sometimes an office move is even more stressful than moving house because you have to try and keep the business running smoothly during the transition period. If you own a small business with few staff this can be a real headache as you likely can’t afford to bring in a 5-star office removal company so you will be doing much of the packing your self and maybe even some of the moving and heavy lifting.

So here are some tips from the small business experts at problogineer.com to try and make your office move less stressful – they won’t remove the stress entirely but they will help you to cope more easily in the lead-up to the move and on moving day by helping your prepare well in advance.

Relocating a small business to new premises will affect everyone in the company – sure it is exciting, especially if you are growing a small business and doing well and you are moving to better premises in a better location. But the excitement will not eliminate the stress – it will probably just add to it as their is the anxiety of taking that step up not just for the owner who has the financial (and maybe reputational risk) but also for the employees who may be wondering whether the company they enjoy working for will be the same again as it grows and develops.

Everyone from the owners, directors, managers, web designers, seo experts and all other employees will need to get involved in the relocation of the business. It may be just to pack up their own desk or it may be essential work such as setting up new servers and computer equipment at the new place for a seamless switch over. It may be project managing the move so that everyone knows what their roles and responsibilities and so that everything happens at the right time.

Whatever your responsibility during the run up to the move and on the day, try and do everything that can be done in advance as soon as possible if you want to reduce the number of last minute jobs and keep calm on moving day.

Advance Tasks

  1. Get recommendations from office removal companies – you may have to do the packing yourself to keep costs down but the physical lifting and moving should need to be done professionally for health and safety reasons. Referrals are one of the best ways to find a reputable removal company – if you don’t know anyone who has done an office move recently check out online reviews of local removal companies.
  2. Get quotes from at least 3 removal companies making sure that each quote covers the same level of service so that you can accurately compare quotes.
  3. Measure doorways, lifts and staircases at the new premises to make sure large equipment or furniture will fit without being dismantled.
  4. Make a floor plan for the removers highlighting where large equipment and pieces of furniture are to be placed.
  5. Allocate office space to individual employees so there are no last minute wrangles. But do include employees in the discussions so they are all as happy as they can be about their new locations.
  6. Contact phone and utilities companies and Internet Service Providers well in advance. The physical moving bit is often the least of your worries and many utility companies require plenty of advance notice to get you hooked up with services on the right day in the new premises.
  7. Prepare a backup plan in case phone lines and/or internet connections do not work initially at the new location. Maybe key staff members could work from home.
cannot store hazardous chemicals

Self Storage Units: What You Cannot Store

There are many reasons why an individual or business would need a self-storage unit but you should remember that there are limitations and restrictions on certain items you can store in a storage unit. The reason for the limitations is usually for legal and safety reasons. Clearly a storage facility will not knowingly allow illegal item to be stored on their premises. Neither will they allow items or products that a dangerous such as any flammable goods, corrosive products or hazardous chemicals.

Self-storage units are a cost effective choice when you need additional storage for items from your home or small business. They can be used by families to store seasonal goods such as garden furniture, barbecues or winter sports equipment. Small businesses can also use them as overflow warehouse space for excess stock or seasonal goods. Another common use is when you are moving house and relocating to another area and need temporary storage for your personal possessions. This used to be the most common reason for using self storage but, increasingly, individuals and businesses are using self storage units as semi-permanent extensions of their home or business space.

So just what are the restrictions on what exactly you can store in a typical self storage unit and are the rules the same nationwide and worldwide?

All facilities will have restricted items that they will not store – flammable goods, corrosive products or hazardous chemicals are the most obvious and these rules apply at all facilities in all regions and countries because of the risk such products pose to the safety of all goods being stored and the safety of personnel working at the site.

The restrictions are in place to protect your belongings and those of the other people and your insurance policy would likely be invalidated if damage was caused due to restricted items.

You will usually have to sign a contract agreeing to abide by the restrictions so make an inventory of all the items you plan to store and check them against the restrictions as some items may not be obvious – for example household paints are often flammable and cannot be stored.

It should go without saying that any illegal items (drugs or weapons for example) or any perishable food stuffs cannot be placed in a storage facility.

Always check the actual restrictions at your chosen self-storage facility but here is a guide of the most commonly restricted items:

Combustible, Flammable or Hazardous Items

  • Fireworks
  • Paint
  • Fertiliser and other garden chemicals
  • Petrol (gasoline) and motor oil
  • LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas), Propane or Butane (eg, Calor gas for BBQs and propane/butane canisters for weed killer wands)

Perishable Food

Any perishable food will not be allowed even if it has a long life as it can attract pests which can do damage within other units at the site.

Other

Weapons, ammunition or explosives (legal or otherwise) and any radioactive equipment (eg medical equipment) can never be placed in a self storage unit.

If in doubt about what can be stored always check first with the storage facility.

 

prestige car self storage

Car Self Storage For Your Precious Vehicle

There are a number of reasons why you might want to use car self storage – you might be lucky enough to have a vintage or prestige car that you only use in the summer. Or it may be a car bought purely for investment purposes that you rarely drive. Perhaps you are going to live overseas on a temporary assignment and it is just not worth the cost and hassle shipping the car to your new home. So ordinary people, car enthusiasts and even owners of  a vintage or classic car business that has simply run out of space, might require secure storage at some point that will protect the car when not in use.

Moisture in the air can damage a car if it is not being used for an extended period so the best storage environment is one that is climate and humidity controlled.  However, it is not enough to just put the car in a climate controlled storage space without preparing it properly first, not if you want it to come out of storage in the best possible condition anyway.

The Battery

The battery should usually be disconnected before placing the car in a self storage unit but check the handbook before disconnecting the battery because modern day car computers may be affected if the battery is disconnected over a long period. If the handbook advises not disconnecting the battery or letting it run out of charge you can buy chargers that will only charge the battery if needed so that you can leave it connected and avoid any problems with the on board computer. Remember if you need to go with this option that you will require a power socket in your storage unit.

 Pre-Storage Checklist

  • Replace the engine oil
  • Add anti-freeze
  • Release the handbrake
  • Leave windows fractionally open for air circulation
  • Spray WD40 (or similar) on metal parts liable to rust
  • Lift windscreen wiper blades away from the windows
  • Oil the door locks to avoid them seizing up
  • Jack the car up off all four wheels to reduce the stress to the tyres

 

Post-Storage Safety Checks

Safety checks are essential after a car has been in storage – never just start it up without performing some basic checks first:

  • Reconnect the battery if it had been disconnected
  • Check the level of oil in the engine
  • Check the tyre pressures – if the car was jacked up lower off the jacks first.

Once you have completed these basic checks start the car and drive it slowly to ensure everything is working as it should, particularly the main brakes and the handbrake. Storing a car long term requires careful preparation before storage and checks afterwards but for prestige cars, classic cars or investment cars a climate controlled self storage unit can be the best solution if you don’t have your own garage or don’t have enough space in your garage. It is also a cost effective way to preserve  a car for a long period when it is not being driven regularly.