All posts by Erika Jordan

A simple guide to getting the best value out of storage

When it comes to comparing storage options, it’s helpful to consider all associated costs, from renting a van to buying packing supplies to spending hours of your time hauling and schlepping stuff to a facility. What’s more valuable to you? An affordable price? Your time? The security of the facility? Thankfully, with a full-service solution like MakeSpace, you don’t have to choose. MakeSpace will pick up, haul, and store your belongings—then deliver them back when you need them. And it’s affordable, too.

But along with the actual price and value your storage solution affords you, there’s the value of your belongings to consider, too. A good place to start is by asking yourself: What do I want to store? Then, once you have an idea of *what* exactly you want to store, ask yourself: Will I want these items in my home in a year? In five years?

  • If you answer no to the second question, then you should consider donating or selling the items. (If this gives you separation anxiety, just remember that letting go of something means making space for something new to come in!)
  • If you answer yes, it can be helpful to consider the value of the item(s) in question, both monetary and sentimental. For example, the tea set you inherited from your grandma might be worth more in memories than in actual dollars, making it just as valuable as a more expensive belonging.

Now you might be wondering: What’s the best overall value when it comes to storage? So we compared three common scenarios in Manhattan, looking at the annual costs of storing via an extra bedroom, with MakeSpace on-demand storage, or with a traditional self-storage option. The results were surprising.

Are a futon, desk chair, and 10 boxes worth nearly $4.7k? Yikes! Probably not.

With traditional self-storage you’d pay around $3k for a year of storage—which might match the items’ value. But there’s a whole lot of work involved in that: schlepping, sweating, navigating a vast warehouse, and probably losing a friend or two along the way (we’ve all been there).

What’s amazing is that MakeSpace is the least expensive option, even though it’s a fully-loaded storage service. We’d provide free bins, wrap and pack the chair, put the mattress in a bag for you, and place it all into secure storage for you. No sweating or schlepping, just more space. And when you need something back, you’d just tap the app and the MakeSpace team would bring it back to you on-demand.

Let’s be honest—one of the perks of moving in together is sharing the rent *and* the belongings that you don’t need two of (like a bedframe, for one). So we’re going to venture a guess that an extra bedroom worth of stuff probably isn’t worth nearly 10k.

Not sure whose lamp you want in the living room? Store his for now, then get it out of storage when you want a change of scenery. Oh, and as for getting two people’s entire wardrobes into one closet—storage is *the* solution (especially if you’re not in a Marie Kondo kind of mood). Because when it comes down to it, 2k is a small price to pay to keep all of your belongings while still making space for your relationship.

We love the holidays as much as the next person, but paying nearly 2.5k to store decorations you use for just a few months out of the year? Well, that’s enough to send even Santa spiraling. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in seasonal fun and festivities. You can store your warm-weather gear, then swap it for your holiday knick knacks for just over $400/year with MakeSpace. Because the holiday spirit might be priceless, but we’re guessing your decorations aren’t worth ~$2.5k.

 

AUTHOR: ERIKA JORDAN 

Erika Jordan is the Copy Lead at MakeSpace. When she’s not working her magic with words, she’s doing yoga and/or eating peanut butter (she’s still trying to figure out how to do both at once).

3 ways decluttering is actually a practice of gratitude

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, lots of us have gratitude on the brain. But what, exactly, does it mean to give thanks? And what does decluttering have to do with gratitude, anyway? (A lot!) Here are 3 ways decluttering and gratitude go hand in hand.

1. It’s a chance to take stock of your stuff.

The choice to declutter (and perhaps to store a few things) is an opportunity to reassess your relationship to the things you own. Even the urge to store comes from a place of consideration—how do your belongings fit into your space? Do they reflect where you’re at in your life and, perhaps more importantly, where you want to go? Asking yourself these questions as you sort through your stuff can help you assess if your belongings are still serving you, or if it’s time to make space for something new to come in.

2. It’s a moment of (re)discovery.

No matter your motivation for decluttering, the very act of going through your belongings can help remind you of things you’ve held onto but have forgotten about. Like that birthday card your best friend gave you a few years back—or the figurine you bought on a family trip. Just taking the time to cherish the belongings you’ve collected over the years can help remind you of why you held onto them in the first place.

 

3. It’s a chance to give back.

When you’re sorting through your stuff, you’re bound to find a few things you no longer need. That sweater you haven’t worn in two years? The shoes that give you the most painful blisters of your life? They’re not doing you any favors taking up space in your closet—and there’s probably someone out there who will cherish them in a way you haven’t been able to. Plus, getting rid of something just means you’re making space for something new to come in. Donate the belongings you haven’t been using—and trust that something better will come take their place.

 

The holidays are the perfect time to give back. Donate unused clothes or blankets to your local shelter or Goodwill—or just request a Goodwill donation bag at your next MakeSpace appointment!

AUTHOR: ERIKA JORDAN

Erika Jordan is the Copy Lead at MakeSpace. When she’s not working her magic with words, she’s doing yoga and/or eating peanut butter (she’s still trying to figure out how to do both at once).

 

Featured Image courtesy of Alexandra Tallulah  (@tallulahalexandra)

 

Redecorate without redecorating: How to transform your space with a few simple tweaks

Fun as it is, redecorating can be an overwhelming task. The initial excitement can quickly turn into stress over logistics, then next thing you know, you’ve scrapped the idea entirely and made peace with the current state of your space. Well, we’re here to tell you that redecorating doesn’t have to be a big endeavor. In fact, it can be as simple as a few small, conscious tweaks that create big effects.

Make it geometrical.

One of the easiest ways to create order—or the illusion of order—is to simply arrange items geometrically. (Threes are your friend.) Have an odd number of mismatched picture frames? Or a bunch of colorful, different-sized plates? Hang them together in an imperfect—but still considered—collage.

Color-code your closet.

This one is actually really fun! If you’re not in the mood to purge your whole closet, you can just refresh your clothes by organizing them according to hue. It looks pretty *and* it makes it a lot easier to find that rogue green cardigan amidst the multicolored chaos.

Change out your lampshade.

Swap your standard shade for one that’s bright or beaded or even embroidered. Head to your local antique shop to suss out the cool vintage options, then give your lamps a new look. You’ll literally be changing the way you see things (because light).

Get a nice pillow. Or two.

Feel like your bed’s a little stagnant, but not in the mood to spend hundreds on a new duvet and sheet set? Get a couple of fun accent pillows to add some personality to your sleeping space. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even monogram them.

Make space with mirrors.

Pressed for space? Hang mirrors for a more expansive, multidimensional effect. You can hang a few next to each other for a decorative statement—or just opt for a (very) big mirror to create the illusion of more space.

Paint an accent wall (or just a nook).

If the thought of painting an entire room overwhelms you, then paint one wall instead. If that feels like too much, then paint a small nook for a small-but-mighty infusion of color. The interior of an old (non-working) fireplace or the shelves of your bookcase are good places to start.

Rearrange your furniture.

Sometimes the simplest way to refresh your space is to just move a few things around. Try your bed against the opposite wall, or perhaps put your bookcase in a different corner. You’ll be amazed at how different things feel when you just shake up the normal order you’ve become accustomed to.

 

Stack your books.

Too many books and not enough shelves? Create a few stacks of books and display them on bedside and coffee tables. Showcase small knick knacks like candles, crystals, or succulents atop a few of the stacks for an added decorative touch.

 

AUTHOR: ERIKA JORDAN 

Erika Jordan is the Copy Lead at MakeSpace. When she’s not working her magic with words, she’s doing yoga and/or eating peanut butter (she’s still trying to figure out how to do both at once).

 

 

Six organizational hacks for people who hate organizing

Want an organized home (but hate organizing)? You’ve come to the right place. Yes, we’re here to tell you that achieving a chic-looking space doesn’t necessarily require a degree in interior design—or even a knack for space-saving. All you need are few handy hacks to take your abode from arg! to ahh.

1. Make your bed.

We know, we know. This seems obvious. But making your bed (and maybe fluffing a pillow or two while you’re at it) goes a long way in making your space feel tidy and buttoned-up.

 

2. Put like with like.

Have a bunch of rogue candles lying around? Or a handful of helter-skelter jars all over the place? A good way to create a sense of order (without actually putting anything away) is to simply group like items together. This can make your space seem more considered, both visually and categorically—and it can be a choice opportunity to consolidate the collections you currently have.

3. Look to the wall.

Utilizing wall space is a great way to showcase the belongings you don’t have room to store at home. Pressed for space for an extra bookcase? Try floating shelves instead. They’re functional *and* visually appealing. No room left in your closet? Hang bags and scarves to save space, and to infuse your walls with your personal style.

4. Clean your fridge.

Chances are, you’ve got an expired bottle of ketchup or an old jar of jam crammed in the back corner of your fridge. Take 30 minutes of your day to go through the contents of your ice box and discard items that are old or expired. It’s basically the easiest way to reap the rewards of organization without doing much. And hey, you might be so inspired by the extra shelf space that you’ll feel compelled to give them a good clean.

5. Makeover your medicine cabinet.

Sure, perishable foods and liquids have clear expiration dates. But a lot of people don’t realize that cosmetics and creams expire, too. So that tube of mascara you’ve been using for the last year? Get rid of it. Those vitamins you never ended up taking? Toss ‘em and recycle the container. Consider it making room for a new-and-improved set of personal care items.

6. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

Once more for the people in the back: Recycle! Have old papers and documents lying around? Coupons you never got around to redeeming? Put them in the trusty recycling bin. For important paperwork, scan what you need, then get rid of the hard copy. You’ll be surprised how much lighter you feel after cleaning out your drawers—and you might find that half the papers you thought you needed are actually unnecessary or outdated.

 

 

AUTHOR: ERIKA JORDAN 

Erika Jordan is the Copy Lead at MakeSpace. When she’s not working her magic with words, she’s doing yoga and/or eating peanut butter (she’s still trying to figure out how to do both at once).