It's that time of the year again for the creepy and spooky Halloween dress-ups, decorations and treats. The shops and malls are filled with eerie-sistible decorations, loads of freaky treats and fun-filled ideas.  But as much fun as it may be, it’s an annual festival and storing these items can be challenging for the remainder of the year.  

In an ideal scenario, you’d have extra room to store everything; however, our lives are far from ideal when it comes to storage. A simple solution is to rent a self storage unit to remove needless mess from your home and keep them safe till they are needed again. 

Here are some easy storage ideas for putting away of those ghostly and unnerving items. No tricks here but putting away your Halloween decorations can be a treat! 

  1. Clean and dry the decorations and costumes thoroughly before storing as insects may take refuge in the outdoor decorations. 
  1. Find and toss any broken items that you won’t be able to use next year; Like the gel stick on window creatures that wont stick next year. Chuck that Jack-O-Lantern before it gets gross. 
  1. Use newspaper, bubble wrap and cling wrap to protect fragile item. You can also put your Halloween themes fabrics/curtains etc. for cushioning breakable decors. 
  1. Group and label the items based on which part of the house you displayed them. This will make unpacking and arranging easier for next year. 
  1. Invest in translucent boxes for better visibility of the contents. 
  1. Wrap up light strands in fabric sheets to keep them untangled. Tie a piece of ribbon on the ends so that you can easily find the ends next year. 
  1. Store your items in a weather proof area to protect them from getting damaged.  

Smartbox is a convenient solution that offers protection of your assets and clears space in your home. Smartbox self-storage includes a range of extra value services like packing and loading and an online box shop. Calculate your free self storage quote online here

Renovations and additions can improve the liveability and sustainability of your home with careful planning, thoughtful design and a considerate choice of builder. 

Renovating the house is no small feat so it’s important that you protect your belongings from any dust or damage that may occur during the construction. While it might seem like a good idea to throw down some protective sheets and move all of your furniture into the one spare room available, this can quickly become an inconvenience.  

Create a worksite 

Builders will need access to space throughout the renovation. To provide them with enough room to bring in their tools and materials, clear out your household goods. You need to consider not only the safety of your own belongings, but also that of the workers who won’t be able to do their job properly without adequate space. Rather than shove everything into the garage, consider a mobile self storage solution. You’ll be able to load what you need out of the way into the storage unit and store it away until you’re ready to refurbish the house.  

Protect your household goods from damage 

There are a number of hazards that arise during construction, some of which you may not be able to protect your household goods from. It’s always better to be safe than sorry by putting your goods completely out of harm’s way. By keeping your goods in a secure storage unit, you’ll be protecting them from potential damages as well as dust and debris that is common on a building site.   

Keep it clean 

While it might seem like a useless feat as each day of the renovation creates more dust and debris, it’s important to keep the house, especially the worksite, clean. Speak to the builders about keeping their worksite clean and tidy at the end of each work day. Since dust has a tendency to float through the house, sweep and vacuum daily. If the weather permits, open the doors and windows to encourage dust to leave the house on its own accord.  

Self storage solutions 

Before you start knocking down walls or throwing down protective sheets, get in touch with Smartbox self storage. We pride ourselves on providing high quality storage facilities. We’ll deliver a mobile storage module which you can pack yourself, or get our experienced team to load for you. Once you have filled the box, we’ll collect it and take it to one of our secure storage facilities which are modern, clean and tidy and most importantly, pest and vermin free. Get your instant self storage quote online today.

Often family homes can fill to the rafters with clutter from years of collecting things. And although we promise to do some spring cleaning each year, it’s not long before the house is overrun.  

An Australia Institute study found that of the 1,000 houses surveyed, 90% had at least one cluttered room in the house.1 The survey also revealed the top three clutter hotspots in the house as the spare room and bedrooms, the kitchen and the garage.  

But how does one go about clearing the house of clutter? 

Organise your wardrobe 

One of the top three hotspots identified in the survey was the bedroom. Decluttering your closet is a great place to start. On average, Australians buy 27kgs of clothes per year. Take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and discard anything that you haven’t worn in the past year or more.  

Clear the floor 

Whether that’s in the spare room, the bedroom or the garage, clear the floor of clutter so you no longer have to move things around to get through. Shelving and cabinets are a great way to make these rooms look tidy without actually getting rid of anything. Of course anything that doesn’t serve you a purpose should be discarded.  

Clean the kitchen cupboards 

Have you got a cupboard filled with coffee cups you consider your back up coffee cups? It might be time to let some of those go. Any items or utensils you find that are no longer useful, toss them. The same goes for food that has long passed its expiry date. Once you have tidied and cleaned up the kitchen and cupboards, ask everyone in the family to put things back where they came from.  

Utilise garage wall and roof space 

Create more space in your garage by utilising the wall space. Pegboards are very popular when it comes to garages. Simply attach magnetic strips to hang metal tools or place hooks on the board. Consider drawing an outline of the tools once they’re in their rightful place so you know where they need to be put back to. Don’t forget about installing roof racks to store longer, bulkier items such as surfboards or camping gear. 

Keep decluttering 

Decluttering is an ongoing process that never stops. The moment you stop decluttering is the moment the house begins to fill with clutter. Don’t give in to the temptation to throw something into a room and leave it there until you know what to do with it. Instead, take the time to consider where the item should live within in the house.  

Self storage 

If you’ve manage to accumulate too much clutter and can’t find the time to sort it or space to store it, consider a self storage solution. Self storage is a convenient solution that offers protection of your assets and clears space in your home. Grace self storage includes a range of extra value services like packing and loading and an online box shop. Calculate your free self storage quote online here.

The weather is turning and it’s time to say goodbye to the winter blues because spring is definitely in the air. For a lot of people this means shaking off the last of the cold and the vast array of stuff they managed to collect during the winter months. Whether it’s the ten lap blankets you just needed because they were so soft and warm, or the heavy flannel sheets that take up too much storage room in the linen closet, it’s time for the big spring clean so you can welcome summer with a smile. 

Rather than be scared off by what can seem like such a massive task, follow these helpful tips and you’ll find spring cleaning a breeze. 

Make a Schedule 

I know this seems kind of obvious but trust me you’ll want to have things well planned when you start throwing open windows and letting in the warm sunlight.  

Go through your house and see what needs the most work. Have you neglected the windows lately? When was the last time you really cleaned the oven? Have you been dusting the easy to reach surfaces, but avoiding the top of that one bookshelf because it’s just a little bit too high? 

Have a list of each room and what needs work in them. Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t get distracted by that photo album you haven’t seen in three years. This isn’t the time to take up drawing again, just because you stumbled on your abandoned note book. We all do it, but we shouldn’t. 

De-clutter! 

It’s a word that can either spark joy or instil dread. I know you’ve spent the winter collecting gorgeous scarves and perfectly puffy jackets, but you’re not going to need these for another six months. Now, I’m not saying throw everything out. You will need those ten blankets again next year, but the downside to all that warm comfort is how much room it can take up.  

Rather than stuff it all away into a linen closet or boxes in the garage, try a self storage solution. While a whole storage unit may feel like overkill and driving back and forth is no fun at all, there is a solution. Smartbox delivers your very own storage unit to you, letting you pack away those winter items and other bits and pieces you won’t be needing over summer, before taking it away for you. You’ll be the only key holder to the box and you’ll have packed it, meaning you know exactly what is, and isn’t, going away. Smartbox then take it away and store it for as long as you like and deliver it back home for unpacking when you’re ready. 

Work Top to Bottom 

And from the back of the room outwards. When you’re cleaning, dirt and dust can drift downwards, so you want to be starting up high and leaving the floor to last. You don’t want to start with the vacuuming, just to realise you’ve dislodged a family of dust bunnies when you finally get to that high bookshelf. 

When you’re mopping those hard surfaces, make sure you work from the back of the room through to the exit. You don’t want to mop yourself into a corner and be stuck waiting for the floor to dry. 

Think Green 

We all want to help the planet, but it’s not always easy to get things clean without using chemicals. One solution is steam cleaning. Hot water vapor is a great steriliser, anyone who has cleaned baby bottles will attest to that. 

Obviously, some items can’t be steam cleaned, so this isn’t for anything that can be damaged by heat such as water-based paint, porous surfaces like brick and marble, large areas of carpet and delicate items made of silks or thin plastics. 

For things unsuited to steam: 

  • Baking soda is good for carpets and textiles  
  • Vinegar is good for most hard surfaces (mixed about a quarter of a cup of vinegar to two cups of water for spot cleaning and a splash in a bucket for mopping) 
  • Castile soap (one tablespoon mixed with a third of a cup of baking soda) for a natural scrub for tiles, tubs, showers and sinks 

Don’t Forget your Walls and Windows 

A wipe with a damp cloth should be enough for internal surfaces, but your handy steamer with a squeegee attachment will work wonders on the outside of your windows. You only need to do this once a year, and you’ll be thanking us when your home is bathed in natural light. 

Don’t forget your curtains either. While washing them probably isn’t necessary, a good vacuum can go a long way. For sheer, lace curtains, hang them out for some fresh air. 

Making Tracks 

If you have sliding doors or windows, you may notice that their tracks can get pretty grimy. They can also be less than easy to clean. 

The best way to tackle them is to use an old, dry toothbrush to scrub and loosen the dirt that gets caught in all those little grooves. Follow this up with a once over with your vacuum hose, using a narrow attachment if you have one. Then finish with a wet sponge. 

Clean that Kitchen! (And Bathroom) 

I know these rooms always feel the hardest. They’re always the first to get dirty and the ones you want clean. Use this big clean as an excuse to clear out your cupboards properly. Wipe down all the shelves and finally throw out that bag of lollies that’s been hiding in the back corner for who knows how long. 

When you get to the bathroom, throw away anything that’s expired when you weren’t paying attention. Check your makeup supply and see if anything needs to go. Make sure you haven’t got three empty band-aid boxes. While you’re there, if you have a ceiling fan in your bathroom, give it a good clean. 

Lift the Rug 

Move your furniture, roll up that rug and clean under those big items that are too hard to move during normal cleans. Even wiggle your fridge off the wall, just enough to get the vacuum behind it because dust bunnies hide everywhere. 

Safety First! 

For both you and your home, make safety a priority. If you have any serious allergens or suffer from asthma, work in well ventilated areas, use gloves and wear a face mask. 

For your home, use this time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and clean your gutters. Water drainage is important in keeping your roof safe, your home free from mildew and mould and stopping major leaks. 

The weather is warming up and the year is coming to an end. For a lot of people, this means it’s time to prepare for the end of year vacation we’ve all been hanging out for. From either taking those paddle boards and kayaks out of storage or spending a week chilling by the pool or some camping in the outback, it’s time to kick back and just relax for a while. 

What about your home? Sure, you can have a friend check the mail every other day, or even have someone house sit. But, is that really the best choice? With the gaining popularity with home sharing services such as Airbnb, you can make some extra cash while you’re away on a relaxing holiday. Just move your valuables into storage, take some appealing photos and put your listing up on Airbnb. 

Before you put your listing up, here are some quick tips to make sure everyone walks away happy. 

Check the Law 

Restrictions may be listed in your insurance, or if you’re renting, in your lease. You want to make sure you’re not opening yourself up to risk when putting your home on Airbnb. So, check your documents, call your insurance company, take that little extra time to double check just in case. 

To best protect yourself, consider photographing your home before and after stays to identify any damage, and personally check guests out when you can. 

Consider Your Neighbours 

Yes, you want a good reputation amongst your guests on Airbnb, but you have to live with your neighbours. If there’s excessive noise, mess or people coming and going at all hours, you will hear about it. Or worse, you won’t and all those friendly conversations over the fence will just stop. 

If you need to, make a few rules for guests such as quiet hours, or leave a note saying that the guy two houses down works night shift, so please don’t wake him. Communicate the particular rules and requirements of your home early so there are no misunderstandings. 

Don’t Forget to Review 

Reviewing your guests is good for numerous reasons. It provides better transparency across the Airbnb community, it gives guests feedback and, most importantly, it reminds them to review you. When you’re starting out, reviews will encourage others to book with you, so encourage guests to leave some feedback when you can. 

Give Clear Directions 

Whether it’s how to get to your home, where you’ve stashed the spare key or how to use the dishwasher, make your instructions clear and fool proof. If you’re unsure, give too much information rather than not enough. Remember, this is a strange city, suburb and house for your guests, so things you take for granted are a whole new world for them. 

Listing Details 

Include plenty photos of your property, including at least one exterior shot to help tired guests identify which house their heading for. Show the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, including available appliances and wardrobe storage so they know what they’re working with. 

Also, let people know if there are basic items provided, such as toilet paper or shampoo. If you do provide these, try and make sure you leave enough for the duration of their stay. I know this can be hard to judge, and there’s that constant fear of people walking off with any extras they find, but do you really want to be known as the host that skimped on toilet paper? 

This can extend to the kitchen. Let people know if they can use your pots and pans, list the herbs and spices in the pantry. No one wants to be buying salt and pepper every other week while they’re travelling. 

Use Your Knowledge 

You’re a local, you know the best places to eat, which café has the perfect coffee and which attractions are absolutely packed on weekends. Share some of your favourite things to do with your guests, leave out some brochures or even a local map marked with some nice spots to visit. They can choose to ignore it, but most will appreciate the extra ideas. 

Check Up! 

Obviously, everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to communication but sending a message about 24 hours after check-in and check-out is a safe bet. This lets you see how your guests are settling in and if they found everything okay. It also encourages them to leave a review once they’re gone. 

Checking in with your guests early also lets them raise any concerns before they become serious and lets the guests know you’re thinking about them. Using the Airbnb app is probably best for this, as Airbnb can access the conversation should a dispute arise. 

The Little Things 

Do you have some veggies growing in the garden? Or make a mean chocolate chip biscuit? Think about leaving some out for guests before they arrive. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and can make all the difference in the all important first impressions. This isn’t mandatory, but who doesn’t like freshly baked, homemade cookies? 

Consider making a little emergency kit including an extra umbrella, a flashlight in case of power outage, a box of pain killers and assorted band-aids, all just in case. Hopefully your guests won’t need them, but they’ll really appreciate the thought if they do. Also, leave a note of where to find spare lightbulbs and the like so you’re not coming home to simple things that need fixing. 

In Case of Issues 

Contact Airbnb straight away if something goes wrong. Take photos of any damage and compare these with those you took before the guest stayed. Send these through to the guest and Airbnb straight away to recoup your money, because a delay could see the guest keeping their money. 

Obviously, you’ll want to resolve things with the guest directly, hopefully amicably, but sometimes Airbnb will need to get involved and sooner is better than later. Note that you can’t claim for a particularly dirty home, this is meant to be covered by your cleaning fee.  

Still Worried? 

Opening your home to strangers can be daunting. If you want an extra layer of protection, consider putting together a brief contract and inventory list for each stay, including how long the guests will stay, the agreed rate and check in and check out times. Have an inventory of items you expect to be left behind, so they can’t claim ignorance at the end of their stay. 

If there are certain items you just can’t stand to risk, maybe that quilt your grandmother made you or your favourite book series you had signed by the author, then consider using Smartbox to store your precious belongings. We’ll deliver your Smartbox storage module to your door, let you spend the next day packing it, and store it safely while you’re away. Once your guests are gone and you’re back from your holiday, give us a call and we’ll drop your Smartbox off again.  

You’ll be the only keyholder while it’s gone and your Smartbox is securely stored out of the elements, so you know your belongings will come home in the same condition they left in.  

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