All posts by Hannah Van Arsdale

A Step-By-Step Guide to Hosting A Successful Yard Sale

Yard sale season is upon us, friends. And if you’re anything like us, your consistent decluttering has unearthed stuff in nooks and crannies you totally forgot about.

What’s the best way to get rid of those items you no longer need, while also making some extra cash?

A yard sale, of course.

Whether you’re a newbie or just need a refresher on the ins-and-outs of “yard sailing,” this step-by-step guide to throwing a successful yard sale will give you the ultimate low-down.

So grab your finest DVDs, Pyrex mixing bowls, once-loved jackets, a couple friends, and some lemonade, and get ready to host your most successful yard sale yet.

Click any of the below links to jump to a specific section:

What to sell
When to host
What to do a week before
What to do the day of
How to price items
What to expect
Creative yard sale tips
Cleaning up
Celebration

What to sell at a yard sale

A table full of cups, bowls, and other miscellanea at a flea market.

This is the most obvious step but it might also be the most difficult one. Before you get too excited by the prospect of hosting a yard sale, figure out what you’re going to sell first.

Go through the belongings you have stored in your closets, basement, or garage, and sort everything into piles like “keep,” “sell,” and “donate.”

Also, take a look around your home to see if there’s a chair you’ve been avoiding sitting on because you dislike it. Or if there’s a painting you’re sick of looking at.

When going through your items, you’ll be looking through old stuff that probably hold memories for you. It’s bound to get emotional. That’s okay!

Pro Tip: Use our handy guide on what to do with sentimental items.

But really, don’t hold back. If you come across things you haven’t used in over a year, it’s time to let it go. And with the cash you’ll make from the yard sale, you’ll be able to buy things that you *will* want to use.

When to host a yard sale

An open planner and flowers are on a vintage desk

Give yourself ample time to plan and prepare for the yard sale. If you’re hosting one with multiple people, it might take longer to get everyone on the same page.

Check the weather. Then check it again. Plan for a day that won’t rain, and make sure it’s not going to be too hot.

Also, don’t plan a yard sale on a major holiday as people will probably be out of town. Or they’ll have plans instead of just wandering around town for a yard sale. Not that there’s anything wrong with wandering around town, looking for a yard sale.

Definitely host your yard sale on a weekend since that’s when most people aren’t working. Ideally, host it on Saturday and Sunday to get the most traffic. More traffic = more sales.

Start early. Like 7 AM early. Early birds walking around their neighborhood love to poke around yard sales. Ideally you’ll be open all day. Even more ideally, you’ll have friends that can join you so you can work in shifts. Basically you’ll want to camp out on your lawn all day to be available to the most amount of people.

Pro Tip: Know when people get paid, and plan accordingly. If most of the people in your neighborhood work for companies that pay them every other Friday, host your yard sale the following weekend.

What to do a week before

A handmade sign for a yard sale.
j.sanna via Visual hunt / CC BY

Do loads of prep work. Grab tables. Find cardboard for signs, and put the signs up a few days ahead of time. Make sure your signs have all the basics:

  • The words “yard sale”
  • Your address
  • The date
  • An arrow pointing to your place

Feel free to also get crafty and employ your design skills.

In addition to physical signs, post on Craigslist, tell all your friends, and write something about it on Facebook. Spreading the word is essential to having a big turnout.

Get pricing stickers from a dollar store when you’re grabbing sign supplies, too. If you’re having a sale with a few friends or families, assign each group a different color sticker. That way you’re not wondering whose grandmother’s vase that is when a customer tries to buy it.

Plus, having more families means you can advertise that on your signs, which is an instant crowd winner. You can also choose the person’s yard with the best location. Choose an active residential neighborhood with a mix of ages.

Coordinate how you’ll set things up, who will run and get lunch, and what everyone’s roles are the day before. Price all your items the day before (more on that in section #5). And set the items aside so that when you’re ready to haul them to the sale or to your front yard, you’re not struggling to find anything.

It’s also a good idea to get your cash and cash drawer squared away before the day of the yard sale. Always over-estimate the amount of change you’ll need, especially if you plan on selling a range of higher and lower priced items.

It’s always better to have more change than not enough. The last thing you want to do is risk turning someone away because you don’t have the right change to give him/her.

What to do on the day of your yard sale

Closeup of a white picket fence

We said it once before, and we’ll say it again: Get up early, even if you’ve done your prep work the night before.

Ready your team. Go over the game plan once more if you’re working in shifts.

Set up your tables and other displays in a way that’s easy to navigate and visually appealing. Your curbside appeal is a major ticket into getting traffic to your sale.

Keep an eye on your merchandise. If you have valuables out, make sure someone is watching them at all times. Also, make sure your items are displayed safely. There’s nothing worse than propping a vintage mirror up against a wobbly table and having to clean up shards of broken glass if a gust of wind knocks it down.

Have some bags on hand. This step is easy to forget, but your shoppers will appreciate it. It’s also an awesome way to get rid of those plastic bags you have in your kitchen cabinets.

Another good idea is to keep some newspaper around if you’re selling breakable stuff. Keep some under a rock near your bags and cash so that you can quickly wrap items after a purchase.

Don’t get overzealous and put out *too* much stuff. It can overwhelm guests if they see rows and rows of clothes to look through. Be discerning: Put out the things you’re more confident will sell. Donate the rest.

Check through everything once more beforehand. Make sure there aren’t any old family photos used as bookmarks in books, or wads of cash stuffed in old jacket pockets.

Last but not least: Maintain your cool. While it can be stressful dealing with strangers all day haggling over prices, niceness will ensure you can have many more yard sales in the future.

How to price yard sale items

Someone rifles through a collection of old LP vinyls

When pricing an item, consider what you spent, how long you’ve had it, and most importantly, how much you’d actually pay for it if you came across it for the first time. People are coming to your yard sale for a deal.

For your more valuable items, you may want to sell them on Craigslist, Ebay, OfferUp, or Facebook Marketplace to get the best offer.

Either put price stickers on your items (as mentioned before), write down the price on a card stationed nearby if it’s a larger item, or get ready to have people asking you what the prices of things are. Avoid winging it. Think of the prices ahead of time. You don’t want to be caught off guard and accidentally give something away for much less than it’s worth.

Pro Tip: Price things in 25 cent increments, so you’ll only need quarters.

Price most things to move. Get in the mindset to get rid of the stuff you no longer need. Some things, like more expensive items or ones that you’re really trying to make money off of, can be priced accordingly.

If you have a bunch of one item, like DVDs, price them all the same and put them in a box. Offer bundle deals too, like 1 for $2 or 5 for $8, and be open to offers on multiple items for a lower price.

Need more inspiration on how to price your items?

Check out this handy garage sale pricing guide by Garage Sales Tracker.

A rundown of what to expect

a woman looks overwhelmed by her yard sale
marmunia via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

You’ll be interacting with strangers, so get ready. Introverts be warned: This yard sale may drain you. The day will be long. Bring a book for downtimes. And make sure you’ve got a chair to sit on.

If it’s sunny that day, give yourself, and if possible everyone else, some shade. Your customers will appreciate it.

Have food handy, or have a friend watch your stuff while you go grab food. This will give you a much needed break in the middle of the day.

Finally, expect to fill spots once things start to sell. You want to always be curating the space and making sure there aren’t holes in your display.

Extra points for creativity

a dress and hat are hanging and ready to be sold

This is where the fun comes in. If you’re design-savvy, show off your skills by making your displays beautifully cohesive. Organize by color, add decorations, or pretend like this is a vintage store you own.

Offer drinks. You don’t have to go too crazy. Some iced-down soda from Costco will be a godsend at a yard sale on a hot day.

If you have kids and aren’t able to get a sitter, give them the task of running a lemonade stand. Who knows, you might make some extra cash there, too.

Set out some mystery grab bags. Organize things by category, like children’s toys, rom-com DVDs, paints, and silverware. Then put them all in their own brown paper bags, staple them shut, label them, and sell them for a flat $5 or $10.

If you’ve got Square, use it. Although Square takes a percentage of every transaction, you’ll sell more items than if you’re only accepting cash. You can even advertise “credit and debit cards accepted” on your signs.

Put on music. Make it a party. You’ll want the music to be inoffensive and easy for people of all ages to listen to. (That means no heavy metal or dubstep.)

Cleaning up

Four tiny toys are ready to clean

Although it might be tempting to leave your signs and tables up until the next day, don’t do it. It’s best to get it out of the way that evening so you don’t need to think about it later. And because you’ll be doing this during summer, you’ll have plenty of time after you’ve closed up shop to pick up those signs while there’s still light left.

Remember, you can always donate things you don’t sell, or do a swap meet party with friends after.

And keep this rule: Don’t let an unsold item come back into your home. You’ve already mentally prepared to let it go. If an item doesn’t sell, then donate, gift, recycle, or toss it.

Celebration

Two girls are celebrating with their hands in the air

Finally, treat yourself to a nice dinner with the cash you made! Order in through DoorDash so that you don’t have to talk to any more strangers.

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

13 Terrific Things We Can Learn About Storage From “The Office”

The Office is one of those shows that will stand the test of time. It’s hilarious, hardly (if at all) problematic, and great for binge watching. It’s what we all wish our work environment could be like… minus the dysfunction, lack of professionalism, and the fact that Creed works there, of course.

The Office can also teach us valuable life lessons, like the following:

  • Don’t dress up as a cheerleader on Diwali.
  • Party planning committee disputes can get pretty heated.
  • Dating your coworker will always be a bad idea (unless you’re Jim and Pam).

Some other things it can teach us? Mostly what not to do when it comes to design and storage. (Plus, a few things we totally wish we could.)

In no particular order, here are 13 design and storage lessons we can all learn from The Office:

1. Stapler in the Jell-O

via GIPHY

Ah, who could forget Jim’s signature prank: the stapler in the Jell-O. He’s also stashed Andy’s calculator, Michael’s mug, and someone’s phone in Jell-O on three separate occasions.

It’s a great way to prank someone, but a horrible way to store your office supplies. Pretty much all desserts are terrible places to store your staplers or calculators.

But in case you’ve got a Dwight in your office and you need a prank to pull, Instructables user kazmataz has written up a how-to for concealing a stapler in Jell-O.

2. Dwight’s makeshift gym

Dwight ripping phonebook
Lipstick Alley

Imagine your office has a gym. Not just any gym, but the perfect gym. A gym with a full spectrum of weights, machines, cardio options, and places to stretch out. Now throw out all those ideas and replace them with random farm equipment. That’s the kind of gym Dwight made for Darryl on The Office.

This makeshift gym includes:

  • A huge tire hanging from the ceiling that you can hit with a sledgehammer
  • A yoke made from buckets filled with gravel
  • Sheets of tin to cut
  • Phone books to rip with your bare hands

Whether you want to switch the elliptical for a tractor is up to you. We’ll stick with our Y membership for now.

3. Stanley’s pizza slice storage

via GIPHY

The way Stanley acts in Florida is the way we wish we could all act, all the time. Hawaiian shirt on, shades on, rolling in an expensive car. “DGAF”-ing, if you will.

And let us not forget the time he stored a slice of pizza inside his Sabre Pyramid pouch. A stroke of pure genius. All we want to know is: When will these be available for purchase?

In the meantime, guess we’ll just have to settle for one of these pyramid pouches on Etsy.

4. Dwight’s “Mega-Desk”

Dwight mega desk
via Twitter/@allisonjensen_

Need more space in your office?

Try taking over your neighbors’ desks!

You’ll triple your work space and annoy your coworkers at the same time.

But beware: This might prod your coworker into creating a quad desk to spite you.

5. And Jim’s Quad Desk

Jim quad desk
via Twitter/@drfitzysimmons

Yep, that brings us to Jim’s quad desk. In an act of retaliation against Dwight’s mega-desk, Jim created the quad desk by stacking his on top of Dwight’s and Pam’s.

Standing desks are old news. Quad desks are where it’s at. No, you don’t get any of the benefits of standing at your desk. Yes, you do get to survey all your coworkers from a higher perch. And they won’t be able to get any work done because you’ll be taking up all their desk space.

6. And that time Jim made Dwight’s desk out of wrapping paper

dwight wrapping paper desk
via Twitter/@heathermometer

Want to annoy your coworkers and give your office a festive feeling?

Swap out their desk for one made of wrapping paper.

Sure, it’s really not functional – at all. You might get written up by HR, but boy will you be able to feel the holiday spirit. And expect to find a lump of coal in your stocking.

7. …And toy bricks

the office duplo brick desk
via Twitter/@drfitzysimmons

Okay, there’s no excuse for this one other than Jim wanted to piss Dwight off. Did he succeed? Of course he did. Which is probably why he keeps coming up with elaborate ways to mess with Dwight’s desk.

If you sincerely like the toy block aesthetic, you can make this DIY Lego table or use EverBlocks instead. And spare your coworkers the pain of realizing you’ve replaced their desk with Legos.

8. …And put it in the bathroom

Dwight's desk in the bathroom
Imgur

You don’t need to be a feng shui expert to understand that putting your desk in the bathroom can’t be good for your work flow. But that’s what Jim did to Dwight’s desk in yet another one of his pranks.

Look, you may be tempted to move your own desk into the bathroom just for the ease of not having to walk back and forth from your desk to the bathroom, but take our word for it – don’t do that.

9. Storing your George Foreman grill next to your bed

via GIPHY

Not storing a hot grill near your bed is common knowledge. Michael Scott doesn’t have a lot of that.

Learn from his mistakes. Don’t put your grill near your bed, or even in your bedroom for that matter. Store it out of reach, and don’t keep it running while you’re sleeping. (These tips are mainly for Michael Scott.)

10. Throwing a garden party

Jim garden party the office

Ever wanted to throw a garden party?

You might not want to read anything written by a James Trickington on the subject, because that’s actually Jim.

In this episode, Jim writes a wacko how-to manual on garden parties. Dwight, being Dwight, goes along with the entire thing. This include screaming the names of the guests as they approach. And stopping all festivities in the middle of the party to do an elaborate dance.

Curious about how to actually throw a garden party?

Check out this fancy garden party guide by HGTV and Atlanta’s Four Seasons hotel.

11. Storing Toby very far away

via GIPHY

We’re all guilty of doing it: When there’s something we need to hang onto, but don’t want to think about, we store it out of sight. No wonder Michael, who hates Toby’s guts, placed his desk in the annex next to lovebirds Kelly and Ryan.

Instead of doing this in your home with an item you want to keep but temporarily forget about, follow the KonMari method. Let go of the item for good. And by “item” we mean “stuff.” Not an actual HR employee.

12. Storing golden tickets

Michael Scott as Willy Wonka
via Tumblr/bumblesbounce

Strategic planning is key when it comes to storing your stuff.

It’s also key when it comes to doling out golden tickets that give your paper clients 10% off for a year. Unfortunately, Michael Scott didn’t plan strategically, and ended up placing all of the golden tickets into one shipment for the same client.

From this, we can learn about the precious tool of strategy.

13. Designing Cafe Disco

Cafe Disco the Office
via Twitter/@SavannaKayB

Now this is something you might actually want to create for yourself. In one episode, Michael opens up an espresso bar and dance zone in his failed “Michael Scott Paper Company” space within Dunder Mifflin’s office. He entices fellow employees with all-you-can-drink espresso and blaring music. Although it takes a while for folks to join in, they eventually do, and even Jim and Pam in wedding clothes stop in after eloping.

This might inspire you to make your own “Cafe Disco” at your own office, but this might be easier to do if you work from home. If you work in an office, just check with HR first (and make sure your HR representative isn’t Toby).

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

A Spring Cleaning Playlist Of 15 Songs You’ll Absolutely Love

Here’s a spring cleaning playlist to get you in the mood. That means motivational tunes that are also about different cleaning tasks.

So get your Swiffer-ing pants on, grab your best green cleaning supplies, and blast this spring cleaning playlist!

Bonus points for following along with our handy 4-Week Cleaning Challenge Checklist to stay on track.

1. “Welcome Back” by Mase

 

Just imagine that when they sing “welcome back” they’re actually welcoming you personally back to spring and the cleaning that comes along with it. It’s also just a super upbeat song to get you pumped for scrubbing, dusting, and sweeping your place.

2. “Countdown” by Beyonce

 

What’s more motivational than the musical stylings of Beyoncé? Listen to this while you’re counting down tasks and checking them off your checklist.

3. “Dust My Broom” by Elmore James

 

This song by Elmore James isn’t *literally* about getting up early in the morning to get a head start on your spring cleaning, but music is up to interpretation! So play this blues song when you’re feeling not-so-happy about having to sweep your floor.

4. “So Fresh, So Clean” by OutKast

 

What embodies spring cleaning more than this song about being fresh and clean? This could even be the spring cleaning anthem.

5. “Work” by Rihanna

 

Cleaning your entire home is obviously hard work. Who knows about work more than Rihanna? Rihanna practically invented the concept of working.

Fair warning: You might get so caught up in this song that you stop cleaning and just dance to this on repeat for like an hour. No? Just me? Okay.

6. “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” by Jay-Z

 

Okay this might be a stretch but … maybe when Jay-Z talks about brushing the dirt off your shoulder, he means cleaning out your closet and doing your laundry. It’s not impossible.

7. “Clean Up” by Towkio feat. Chance the Rapper

 

Clean up! What more do we need to say? And this beat is extremely upbeat, just try feeling unmotivated while listening to it.

8. “Dirty Laundry” by Kelly Rowland

 

Here’s another song about cleaning your clothes and doing your laundry. This is a little more serious and somber than the other songs, but that’s kind of what doing laundry is like. It’s a bummer.

Pour your sorrows out and sing along with Kelly Rowland. “Let’s do this dirty laundry.”

9. “No Scrubs” by TLC

 

Say no to scrubs, but yes to scrubbing your shower. And toilet.

10. “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters

 

You’ve probably heard this song before, but did you realize they’re singing about taking out the trash?

Well now you know. And you can blast this in your earbuds while you lug your trash and recycling out of your house and to the dumpster, or roll it out onto the curb.

11. “Spring Cleaning” by Bright Eyes

 

Although this song is both a bummer and doesn’t really have a lot to do with cleaning, we had to include it. Because the title is literally “spring cleaning.”

12. “Picture a Vacuum” by Kate Tempest

 

Picture a vacuum … and then take that vacuum, plug it in, and vacuum your carpet.

13. “Get Down On It” by Kool & The Gang

 

You’re going to have to get low to reach and clean some spaces, like your toilet or under your sink, so get inspired by this classic song by Kool & The Gang.

This song, much like Rihanna’s “Work,” might derail your spring cleaning efforts by making you dance like no one’s watching.

14. “Dirty Work” by Akon feat. Wiz Khalifa

 

This whole song is just Akon encouraging you to “do your dirty work.” By this I’m sure he meant cleaning your house. Right? No? Oh …

15. “CRZY” by Kehlani

 

CRZY by Kehlani is the last song on our list because after a long day spent cleaning, you might be going a little crazy too. So once you begin to wrap up work, play this song to get you through the last of it.

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

The 5 Stages Of Spring Cleaning

We live our lives in stages: childhood, teenager-hood, adulthood. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. See where I’m going with this? It’s all a cycle. Guess what else is a cycle:

Spring cleaning.

Yes, similar to grief, spring cleaning has five stages everyone goes through. The first is enthusiasm, before the reality of the day sets in.

Next, we have doubt and fear, two emotions you’ll feel when you’re on the downswing of cleaning day, after realizing this might be a harder task than you anticipated.

Then there’s reassurance, which pulls you out of the previous two stages. Lastly, comes satisfaction, which you’ll get once you finally conquer cleaning your place that probably hasn’t been deep cleaned for several months.

If you’re getting pumped up to clean your space soon, this might give you some insight into what to expect. And if you’re a seasoned spring cleaning professional, you’ll probably get a kick out of this.

Ready to go through this journey with us?

Keep reading below:

1. Enthusiasm

enthusiasm stage of spring cleaning

Today’s the day. You marked it in your calendar. You stocked up on all the supplies. And you mentally prepared yourself for the task of spring cleaning your whole home.

You also have plenty of snacks to sustain you, and a plan for rewarding yourself after the deed is done. This may or may not include wine and a bath in your sparkly clean tub. Or eating food off your floor because it’s so clean …

Okay, we don’t actually recommend the last one.

Like the well-prepared person you are, you’ve made a list of everything that needs to get done:

  • Clean stove
  • Scrub shower
  • Dust wardrobe
  • Vacuum everywhere
  • Windex almost every surface

You may have even written a physical list, which you’ll feel oh-so satisfied checking off as you go through each task.

The day is young. And you’re feeling confident that soon, your house will look just like the ones you read about in Dwell.

You might be going it alone. Or you may have enlisted the help of your significant other and/or friends in exchange for pizza and Netflix later. Trading pizza for cleaning help is always a smart deal.

2. Doubt

 

Okay … now that you’re looking around, did your home somehow get way dirtier overnight?

I mean, you knew it was due for a deep cleaning, but you didn’t think it was this bad. How many rooms do you have anyway? Did you always have this space under your sink? And since when was there mold in your shower?

You start going through boxes you haven’t touched in far too long. And you’re quickly realizing there’s a lot of stuff lying around that you’ve forgotten about.

What are you supposed to do with all of these old band t-shirts? Why are there so many single, lonely socks lost behind your headboard?

You might ask yourself these questions and many more while assessing the damage around your home.

This is when the doubt starts to creep in. Maaaybe it’s not going to be as easy as you thought. Perhaps you actually need several days to get through all this cleaning. Maybe a little autumn and winter cleaning in between last year’s and this year’s spring cleaning session would have been helpful.

3. Fear

fear stage of spring cleaning

This is when the fear sets in. It’s not uncommon to also feel dread and/or panic at this stage.

You might begin thinking things like:

  • There are simply not enough hours in the day for me to take on this mess.
  • I decided I hate cleaning.
  • I’m embarrassed of how dirty my oven, toilet, and shower have gotten.
  • I’m afraid to open my trash can.
  • My house is never getting clean.
  • My house *has never been clean*.
  • How do people even clean their entire homes in one day?
  • What even “is” cleaning?
  • Why don’t we have robots that do this for us?
  • I’m going to keep on avoiding my responsibilities forever.
  • I guess this is just my life now.
  • Maybe I should just move into a place that’s already clean.
  • Yep, I’m moving.

This stage is pretty much the lowest point. You may find yourself sitting in the middle of your bedroom, surrounded by boxes of memories, a few friendly dust bunnies, and lots of green cleaning products.

You could be feeling a little hopeless too. But don’t worry. It’s super temporary.

When you’re at your lowest point in your spring cleaning schedule, the only place you can go is up. Which leads us to …

4. Reassurance

Hold up. You’re better than this. You’re stronger than the monster that is spring cleaning.

Give yourself a quick pep talk and realize that it’s just one day of your life. And it’s probably way better than any given day you spent in middle school. I mean, middle school was rough, right?

And hey, once you’re done, you’ll have a brand spankin’ new place to revel in, which will feel awesome.

Maybe you can just do a speed cleaning, like YouTuber Elise Sheree:

 

Or maybe all you need to get through cleaning your house is a deep breath.

Come up with a new action plan once you’re in a calm space. Now that you’re aware of the depths of your responsibility today, take some time to get organized.

Turn on your go-to music for getting pumped up (mine is anything from Beyonce’s album 4), tie your hair up, and put on some clothes you don’t care about.

Declutter as your first step. Toss trash, put things back in their rightful place, and store or donate anything you don’t *need* to keep around.

Go through each room one-by-one and only do one task, like dust all the surfaces first. Once that’s done, clean up bigger messes, rearrange things if need be, vacuum, sweep, mop, and all that other jazz.

Of course, do cleaning jobs that are specific to certain rooms. Take the trash out (don’t forget to clean the trash can), scrub down your sink, sweep your porch, and clean off your stove. Basically, an all-purpose cleaner and a bunch of rags are going to be your new best friends.

And if, at this point, you’re feeling a little curious, try out some of these insane cleaning hacks with stuff you can probably find lying around your house.

5. Satisfaction

 

That wasn’t so bad after all, right?

Sure, it took several hours, lots of inner turmoil, and maybe an existential crisis or two, but you made it.

The best part:

You won’t have to do a deep clean like that for a very long time – but hopefully sometime before next spring.

If you invited friends over to help, make sure to reward them for their hard work. If you did this all by yourself, make sure to pat yourself on the back.

And maybe don’t invite anyone over to your home for several days so you can really take in how awesome and clean it is.

Top image via A Beautiful Mess

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Spring Cleaning Habits

We’ve got good news and mixed news.

The good news: Spring is now.

The mixed news: Spring cleaning is also now.

We know, we know. You’ve been in hibernation all winter. And the fact that it’s still chilly outside, coupled with the fact that there’s only so much daylight, means you may have been unmotivated to clean your space.

Sometimes clutter can feel cozy … until it starts to drive you crazy.

So, we made this handy astrological cleaning guide to bring some fun to spring cleaning. Read below to find out what your zodiac sign says about your spring cleaning habits.

Click any of these links to jump to your zodiac sign:
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

aquarius zodiac sign

You’re a bit of a wild card, Aquarius. Sometimes you might even fall into bad habits and patterns (maybe like leaving your dishes dirty for far too long, or keeping a messy desk). And with winter blues in the mix, that can spell trouble.

But here’s the good news:

You’re also inventive and you’ve got big ideas. So this spring, get crafty with DIY projects.

Take inventory of all the stuff you have but don’t use, and all the stuff you need but don’t have, and see if there’s an overlap somewhere. Your logic, practicality, and intelligence will lead you into spring feeling resourceful and crafty.

Plus, you can be eccentric, so make these projects (and your home) something unique and special to you. And then invite all your friends over for a huge party in your newly cleaned and organized space, because we know how much you love a good party.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

aries zodiac sign

Commanding and magnetic, Aries know how to get stuff done. You’re also down to dip into uncharted waters. Take that passion and put it to good use: Try new cleaning techniques you’ve never used before and clean parts of your home you never knew were there.

When’s the last time you looked under your sink?

Find a place that’s gathering dust and start there.Additionally, because you’re great at making things happen, gather all your friends and have a stuff swap! It’s basically like a party where you bring things, like appliances, small furniture, and clothing you no longer use, and swap it for things you do have use for.

Additionally, because you’re great at making things happen, gather all your friends and have a stuff swap! It’s basically like a party where you bring things, like appliances, small furniture, and clothing you no longer use, and swap it for things you do have use for. And if you still have leftovers, you can always have a yard sale.

And if you still have leftovers, you can always have a yard sale.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

taurus zodiac sign

This is your time, Taurus! Long gone are the days of laying in bed, eating snacks, and watching The Bachelor (unfortunately).

Perhaps it’s time to wash those sheets, make the bed, and rearrange your furniture. Spring is a perfect time to shake up the layout of your space. After all, you were just in hibernation, and if there’s one thing you love, it’s comfort.

Make your space even more comfortable by following these 9 easy feng shui tips and clearing out all that stagnant energy that’s been hanging around since November.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

gemini zodiac sign

Geminis are ruled by Mercury, meaning they’re ultra creative and quick-thinking. When you start brainstorming on a project, the ideas flow like nobody’s business. But because your mind is going so fast, sometimes there’s no follow-through.

Don’t worry, we’ve got just the trick:

Switch things up in your place with an easy, quick DIY project like these 10 DIY storage and furniture projects you can finish in under an hour.

Feeling overwhelmed by having to clean your entire home?

Make lists and delegate break times to help you stay on task. Try to view each room as a separate entity, instead of thinking about the fact that your whole house could use a cleaning.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

cancer zodiac sign

Cancers are all about home, and they’re proud of it. They love the domestic, and they’re known to be a little emotional.

In your place, that might manifest by hanging on to items with sentimental value. Perhaps it’s time to check in with what you have taking up space around your home.

If your closets are stuffed with things you have a hard time letting go of, ask yourself which things should stay, which can be donated or sold, and which might be better placed in storage.

Spring cleaning is a great time to get honest with your belongings, especially if you’re feeling cramped.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

leo zodiac sign

I’m just going to skip right to it: If you’re a Leo, you should probably get real with the size of your wardrobe.

Leos are ambitious, fiery, and love to be in the spotlight. So it’s not uncommon for them to acquire a sizeable amount of clothes (and makeup) to make sure they’re presenting as their most polished, ideal selves.

But there is a limit. So free yourself from your fall and winter clothes and MakeSpace for new favorites you’ve yet to find. As Apartment Therapy said, we’re an infinite closet.

Do your best to pare down your closet by selling and donating your clothing. If you’re still having trouble parting with those few magical pieces, but need to make room for new things, we’ve got you covered.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

virgo zodiac sign

Let’s be real: You’re kind of a perfectionist. You like things to be a certain way, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s super helpful when you have an apartment that hasn’t seen a bottle of Windex in a while.

You know, because you’ve been busy working on creative endeavors or making a perfect schedule for your life. And that’s okay! But don’t let your perfectionism get in the way of diving into that much-needed spring cleaning.

Sure, you might feel the urge to gather all the right cleaning products. Or you might wait until you can schedule “clean entire house” into your calendar. However, waiting until everything is perfect can stop you from just doing it. Sometimes it’s better to simply let go and jump in.

Need some help?

Use our 4-week cleaning checklist as a guide to make the task less intimidating.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

libra zodiac sign

Justice and order-loving, Libras have a great moral compass, and a great eye for design and beauty. Because spring = nature unleashing its beauty on the world, why not bring some of that inside your home?

Adding some plants to your space is a surefire way to bring life back into it after a long winter.

If you’re feeling stagnant and bored with your place, it might be because you haven’t changed it up in a while. Aesthetics change. It happens. So along with giving everything a nice deep clean, make sure your furniture is up to par with your keen eye.

Not satisfied?

Change it up. Either sell the things you no longer like, or put them in storage for a rainy day. Or, giving them a new paint job might just do the trick.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

scorpio zodiac sign

You’re a charmer, for sure, and you’ve just got a certain way of doing things that screams “power.” You know how to get something done, and you’re determined enough to do it. And the fact that you can be a little secretive means having your space how you want it is important to you.

Your spring cleaning plan of action?

Challenge yourself to shake up your place by using the KonMari Method of organizing. It might be a little different than the way you’re used to organizing your stuff. But it’ll challenge you to view your space and belongings in a different way, shake up some attachments you have with your stuff, and find even more comfort in your home.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

sagittarius zodiac sign

Sagittarians are nothing if not fiery and curious. Philosophical yet free-spirited, you’re not really one to be tied down. Make the most out of these traits by organizing a yard sale.

Get real with yourself about what’s necessary to hang on to and what you can let go of. Once you’ve done inventory and figured out the day, have fun with it.

After all, Sagittarians can be real talkers, so take advantage of the strangers picking through your stuff and turn it into somewhat of a party. A party that leads to taking yourself out to dinner or dancing with all that cash you’ll earn.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

capricorn zodiac sign

Much like Sagittarians, Capricorns are philosophical and intellectual. They’re ambitious, practical, and expert organizers. Get ready Capricorn, you’ll enjoy this spring cleaning task: Go crazy with organizing.

Knowing you, you probably already have a setup. Is it still working for you? Are there things you could add to help with your organization? Are all your organizing containers clean and functioning properly?

Take stock, craft a new game plan for how to best organize your space, and then roll up to The Container Store like a kid in a candy store.

And because we know how hard you work, treat yourself after putting in some time deep cleaning your space. Rewarding yourself for your hard work makes it all the more sweet.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

pisces zodiac sign

As a Pisces, you’ve got a big heart, but like to keep a low profile. Aaand sometimes your big heart gets attached to objects too, not just people. You’ve been known to acquire perhaps one too many vintage lamps or band t-shirts because they were just too good to pass up.

At the same time, you’re also compassionate, charitable, and you look out for those you love. Put all of those qualities to good use by rounding up all the furniture, gadgets, and clothing you no longer wear and donating them to charities.

Want to make an even bigger impact?

Offer to gather your friends’ gently-used items too.

Pro Tip: Need to make a donation and store some things?

MakeSpace does both, because we partner with Goodwill.

Next time you’re packing up your MakeSpace bins, toss whatever you’d like to donate into our blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag and hand it to us. We’ll then take your donation to a local Goodwill — for free!

Here’s another way MakeSpace makes your life easier:

When you store your belongings with us, we eliminate the need to rent a car, drive that car to a storage unit way across town, lug your stuff up the stairs, and then do it all again when you need to grab any of it.

We also provide our durable storage bins and wardrobe boxes, and we do the heavy lifting. That means more time for you to plan that yard sale, or go shopping for the organizer of your dreams.

So schedule a MakeSpace pickup today. And cross off “visit storage unit” from your spring cleaning checklist — forever.

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

What To Do With Sentimental Items (And How To Store Them)

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they just can’t stand to have those boxes of stuff taking up any more space in their closets, garages, and maybe even the space beneath their beds. You’re probably familiar with that feeling too.

We can’t count the number of times we’ve opened up a dusty box of memories determined to free up some space, just to find those special, long-forgotten objects.

But at some point, you either need to face the memories and determine a new life for them, or get right with the fact that they’re going to keep taking up space, rent-free in your home.

If you’re ready to do the former, read along. We’ve got nine tips on how to store your not-so-easy-to-store sentimental items.

1. Learn to let go of sentimental items you don’t need.

a woman thumbing through an old book

A good rule in general and the first step in storing sentimental items is: letting go.

We’re not saying it’s easy, but it’s necessary.

Once you’ve decided to take a look through special belongings, take a deep breath before you dive in. Make sure you’re in the right mindset and ready to let go. Some things might bring up difficult memories, and that’s okay.

Remember: You are not your stuff!

When sorting through sentimental items, some things you’ll immediately see and think, “Why did I hang onto this for so long?” Other things you’ll come across might take you a moment to figure out if you’re ready to let go.

For each item, ask yourself:

  • Why am I holding onto this? Does it, as Marie Kondo would say, spark joy?
  • If it conjures up memories, could I still remember it without the object?
  • Does this object still have life? Could someone else get something out of it?
  • Does someone else I know need it more?
  • If I had an image of it, would that be enough?
  • Can I repurpose it into something useful?

We find it’s easiest to separate things into three piles:

  1. Give away/donate
  2. Keep (use sparingly)
  3. Unsure, for things you need another moment to think about

Once you’ve sorted your sentimental items into categories, it’s time to figure out the best way to either give them new life, or send them on their way.

2. Give sentimental objects to friends.

hands giving a holiday gift to someone

This is a win-win situation: You get more space in your home, and your friends save money on stuff they were going to buy anyway. Baby toys, baby clothes, band t-shirts from exes, artwork, and furniture are just a few examples of sentimental objects that can easily be given new life.

Even though you might have sentimental attachment to an armchair doesn’t mean your friend does. And if your friend is moving into a new place, giving him/her your sentimental items (as long as they still have some life left) is good for both of you.

This is especially true for baby stuff. Although you might want to hang on to some things, like one specific toy or a special outfit, a friend with a new baby could benefit from hardly-used, second-hand clothing.

Also, strollers. Basically anything baby related that babies grow out of fast and hardly use, you might want to consider letting go of.

If you’re ready to give, but your friends don’t really need anything, donating is another great option.

3. Donate used items to charities.

makespace offers free goodwill pickups for storage customers in nyc, chicago, and dc

You can donate clothing, furniture, dinnerware, and a whole lot more to charities and other organizations that help people in need.

Not sure where to donate a specific item?

Check our comprehensive guide on where to donate clothes, books, furniture, toys, cell phones, and more.

If you have stuff that’s too hard to keep emotionally, someone who doesn’t have that attachment will be able to use it in a practical way.

And it might make the process of letting go easier if you know someone will be benefiting from getting your lightly-used stuff inexpensively or for free.

Pro Tip: We partner with Goodwill. So the next time you’re handing over MakeSpace bins and other items for us to store, fill up the shiny blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag with anything you’d like to donate. We’ll then drop off your donation to a local Goodwill — at no extra cost to you.

4. Ceremoniously trash unwanted stuff.

people sitting in front of a bonfire

Sometimes we hang onto sentimental things that are sentimental in a bad way.

Maybe you’re hanging onto love letters from your 9th grade boyfriend, like I am. Maybe you can’t let go of the paintings your partner made for you, or the sheet music of the song he/she wrote you, or perhaps a burger wrapper from your very first date.

Printed photos that are too hard to keep? Journal entries from a tough breakup? Cards from past Valentine’s Days?

Ceremoniously trash them. But do it safely. We definitely don’t condone lighting anything on fire … definitely not outside, in a controlled, well-ventilated area …

Make whatever you do into a sort of ritual. Bring all your unwanted love stuff to a dumpster, close your eyes, tell your ex you finally release his/her energy, and then dump it.

You can even bring friends and make a party out of it. You’ll feel a lot better, and that stuff won’t be taking up any more space.

5. Prioritize the items you do keep, and decide where to put them.

a woman's hand writing "my plan" in a notebook

Okay, as mentioned before, no one said this would be easy. Sometimes you just can’t make up your mind on whether or not you want to hang on to an item .

Instead of just shoving everything back into its box and letting it lie dormant for another five years, prioritize.

If you need to keep everything, figure out what you want displayed, what can go in hiding, and what can go in more long-term storage.

Ask yourself the hard questions like: Do I need all these Mickey Mouse sculptures my grandma gave me displayed on the coffee table?

Probably not.

Things like dinnerware, tchotchkes, and stuff from relatives or loved ones fit into this category.

Reducing clutter on surfaces, in cabinets, and on walls can be a big step.

6. Take photos of sentimental objects to preserve their memories.

hands using an iPhone to take a picture of a photo

If you feel like you need the object to remember the moment, but you just don’t have the space anymore, take photos! (You can even take photos of photos.)

Just make sure you store the photos somewhere secure, and back them up too. It’s best to keep them on two different hard drives and somewhere in the cloud, to make sure all your bases are covered.

Now you can take a trip down memory lane whenever you want without sacrificing space in your home to do it.

7. Reach out to the person who gave the item to you.

hands holding an iphone 6 plus

Another option, if you feel more attached to a memory rather than an object, is to reach out to that person. Of course, sometimes you’re unable to. But if you are able to, emailing or calling the person with whom you shared that special memory can be better than just hanging on to the object itself.

We’re not saying this is the easiest option, but it might be the most cathartic. Once you’ve reached out to the person and taken a photo of the object, let go of that object.

8. Breathe new life into old sentimental things.

diy flower artwork

Aside from the “ceremoniously trash stuff” tip, this might be the most fun option.

If you’re artistically or DIY-inclined, and don’t feel precious about the sentimental object in question, turn it into something new.

Press some flowers from your significant other. Turn that old love letter into a collage. Build a mixed media sculpture out of your old stuffed animals. If you have some plates your ex gave you that you absolutely hate, take a hammer to them and make them into something you do love.

Let your imagination go wild on this one. It might even feel therapeutic.

9. Let MakeSpace store the stuff you love but don’t need in your home right now.

 

We get it, sometimes you just can’t bear to part with that special item. If you know you want to hang onto it, but you can’t stand it taking up any more space in your home, we might know someone who can help.

Us, we mean us.

We’ve got you covered with those special items you just can’t bear to let go of. We make it easy to store your stuff by supplying the durable bins, the heavy lifting, and the driving.

If you have old photos, follow these rules for making sure they remain undamaged in storage. And here are some tips for making sure fragile items stay as safe as possible.

Next, schedule a MakeSpace pickup, pack your stuff, and leave the rest to us. It’s self-storage if self-storage could be self-less, painless, easy, and any other positive adjective you can possibly think of.

And with all the time you save from not buying boxes to pack, not driving to a self-storage unit, and not heading back when you need something, you’ll have more time to call the person all those sentimental items remind you of. While looking at photos of said sentimental items because we can also create an online catalog of everything you have in storage.

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR

19 Awesome Winter Moving Tips That Will Save You Tons Of Money, Stress, AND Time

Moving in the winter is not ideal for the obvious reason: Depending on where you live, it’s probably going to be freezing. Perhaps even rainy, snowy, or icy. Which means not only can the experience not be fun, it can also potentially be slippery and unsafe.

If you don’t really have the option to move during a different time of year, don’t worry. An upside to moving in the winter is that you could end up saving a lot of money during the moving slow season. Plus, you’ll probably be able to get more options for which services you can get and when you can use them because there’s less demand.

Here are 19 of our best winter moving tips for making the best of a not-so-ideal situation that’ll save you tons of money, stress, and time:

1. Check the weather for heavy snow, and plan accordingly.

check the weather before moving in the winter, especially if it's snowing outside

Maybe this is obvious, but it’s pretty important: Keep tabs on the weather throughout the week. If conditions get bad, consider rescheduling.

Moving your stuff is not worth risking your safety! And as mentioned above, moving companies are likely to have more flexibility in their schedules during the winter.

2. Check in with your movers a week before your moving day.

moving day circled in red on a calendar
Flickr/Guy Kilroy

Whether you’re renting a truck, hiring movers, or a combination of the two, check in with them about a week ahead of the moving date. This is always good to do as a rule of thumb, but it’s especially good to do in the winter, just to make sure you’re on the same page.

It would stink to have them show up when you’re not ready, or to start turning off your heat and electricity and have the movers simply not show up.

3. Hire a babysitter to watch your kids and pet.

A photo posted by MakeSpace (@makespace) on

Moving with children and animals is hard. Moving children and animals in the winter is even harder. Consider trying to move boxes in the snow while also being responsible for smaller bodies that aren’t able to help move stuff.

If you can hire a babysitter for the day, or move during the school day, that’s ideal. As for animals, see if a friend can take them for the day, or drop them off at a pet day care center.

If none of those options are available, see if someone you’re moving with can stay with them (kids and/or pets) at the new place you’re moving into.

And ICYWI, we can’t store pets, but we can store pet toys.

4. Organize your stuff and label your boxes ahead of time.

labeled meathead movers moving boxes
Flickr/Meathead Movers

Make it so that you’re spending the least amount of time as possible scrambling last minute. You want your move to be fast and strategic, and organizing ahead of time will save you a ton of stress.

You don’t want to get stuck making a million trips in the cold, so make sure you know what you’re loading in first and roughly where it should all fit.

5. Transfer utilities from your old home to your new home.

netgear prosafe router model gs108tv2

This step happens any time you move, but it’s even more important when moving during winter months. Call all your utility service providers (here’s how to transfer utilities when moving) and double check that your services are transferring on the correct day.

You might even want to have them turn the heat on in your new place a few days ahead of time. Because who wants to move into their new place if it’s absolutely freezing?

No one, that’s who.

6. Save money by asking your friends to help you move.

v-shaped cash art

Save some cash, skip the movers, and enlist your friends. They probably won’t be tired of helping people move, like they might be during the summer, which is great for you.

7. Save A TON of money by using the train to move your stuff.

 

Self-storage is stupid. Self-moving is smart when you’re a packing genius who only pays $2.75.

8. Start moving early.

sunrise over the east river in nyc
Flickr/Global Jet

Another lovely part of winter is it feels like our days are cut in half. So get your move started early, so that if any hiccups occur, you’ll get them straightened out before it gets dark.

For your safety, and because it gets even more cold at night, don’t move when it’s dark!

9. Prep your car and walkways.

snow on the driver's side sideview mirror and window

This rule really only applies for snow or excessive leaves, but it’s an important one:

Clear snow or leaves from your driveway and the street ahead of time, and throw salt on any ice you see around.

Lay tarps down so that if anything gets soggy or gross, your car won’t suffer too badly. You might also want to lay tarps down in both your old place and new place, just so you don’t need to do extra cleanup.

Finding cleaning supplies during a move should be the last of your worries.

10. Dress in layers, and wear water- and slip-proof boots.

dress in layers (including a warm winter coat) when moving during the winter months

Even though it’ll be cold out, you will work up a sweat. So dress in layers so you can peel them off and drop them at your new home if it starts to get too hot.

And wear your best waterproof and slip-proof boots to combat snow, hail, rain, black ice, or whatever else winter throws at you at the eleventh hour.

11. Turn off the heat in both homes…

nest thermostat turned off
Flickr/Bit Boy

With so many people going in and out of your place, there’s really no point in trying to keep it warm. Save yourself a little money on heating and keep the heat off in both homes.

You’ll be bundled up and sweating beneath those layers, so you won’t even notice how cold it is.

12. …But do create a warm room.

makespace storage bin storing the winter hats, gloves, jackets, and space heater of LA professional organizer beth penn from bneato bar
MakeSpace

Here’s a smart tip for moving in the winter from imove:

Leave a space heater on Low in the bathroom or in another small room. It’ll give you and the movers/your friends a space to catch their breath and warm up in between trips.

If you’re finding it hard to chug through the move, taking a moment to warm up can make a big difference.

13. Protect fragile items with bubble wrap.

bubble wrap glasses and other fragile items
Flickr/aprilandrandy

Glassware and other fragile items become more frigid and prone to breaking in the cold, so wrap them with bubble wrap. And because things are bound to be more slippery in the winter, double-wrapping fragile items is a good idea in case of a fall.

Electronics are also not fond of the cold. They also hate water, so you might want to even wrap a box full of electronics in a tarp if you have to move in the rain or snow.

14. Do not pack away your winter gear.

 

Obvious tip #2, but moving is stressful, and when we get stressed our brains often don’t work the way they should. Make sure to set aside your winter gear, like boots, jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves so that you have those to wear on moving day.

And while we’re at it, keep clean sheets and pillows handy and accessible. After a long day of moving in the cold, you don’t want to go rummaging through boxes before you can sleep.

15. Keep spare winter gear in your car.

red leather mens gloves

If you’re moving in snow or rain, your hands are bound to get wet. Keep an extra pair of gloves and stash an extra jacket somewhere in your car so that you can swap wet clothing items out if need be.

16. Have towels on deck.

stacked towels and a rubber ducky on a bathroom stand

Much like keeping tarps around is a good idea to minimize cleanup, keeping towels around is an A+ idea as well. Keep some in your car in case you need to wipe down your boots, wipe down wet boxes, or clean up a spill (because hey, accidents happen).

17. Make a Crock-Pot of warm wintry goodness.

3 glasses of non-dairy latte, chai, and mocha with marshmallows and cinnamon sticks
A Beautiful Mess

This isn’t a necessity as much as it is a great idea if you want to win the award for best mover: If you have a Crock-Pot, plug it in and have some congratulatory cider or hot chocolate going for when your team is finally done moving.

Or treat everybody to Starbucks if you don’t feel like making a vat of winter cheer. Either way, your friends/movers will thank you.

18. Leave moving to the moving experts.

moving truck with a ramp extended onto the snow
Flickr/Sarah

Odds are, moving company expenses will be lower now than during peak months, so you’ll still save money, stress, and time even if you hire professional movers to do everything for you.

Use an online service like Unpakt or imove to easily book a reputable, insured, and licensed professional moving company.

19. Leave storage to the storage experts.

makespace full-service storage with pickup and delivery
MakeSpace

Who else has your back while you’re moving during the most difficult season?

MakeSpace.

While you’re busy switching over utility services and calling a babysitter, we’ll pick up and store anything you don’t plan on bringing to your new home.

We can also create an online catalog of everything you have in storage, so you don’t have to worry about where you left your summertime clothing. Because as we mentioned before, moving stress can do crazy things to your brain.

Schedule a MakeSpace pickup today, and cross off “storage” from your winter moving checklist.

 

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

12 Best IKEA Hacks And Ideas For Every Room In Your Home

If you read our blog, you already know we’re fans of taking cheap and plain furniture from IKEA and turning it into masterpieces.

We’re also fans of kicking things up a notch. So we’ve compiled a list of the most stylish and best IKEA hacks and ideas we could find, categorized by room. You’ll find you don’t need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars to have chic furniture pieces like the ones you can find at Williams & Sonoma or other high-end stores.

Nope, you just need a little time to plan, some power tools, gold paint, and a way to get furniture from IKEA to your home.

Even better, you may already have some of the IKEA furniture and materials floating around your home, saving you even more of your hard-earned money.

Click any of the below links to jump to IKEA hacks and ideas for a specific room:
IKEA Bedroom Hacks
IKEA Living Room Hacks
IKEA Kitchen Hacks
IKEA Bathroom Hacks

IKEA Bedroom Hacks

1. MALM Bed Frame Hack: Stikwood Headboard

malm headboard hack using stikwood
Sugar and Cloth

It’s very likely that you, dear reader, are the owner of a MALM bed frame, like I am. Want to take it to the next level?

Add some reclaimed wood, like Ashley from Sugar and Cloth did with their bedframe and a case of Stikwood. She measured everything out, then stuck the strips of reclaimed wood onto the headboard, covered it with a coat of polyurethane, and that was that.

It’s a simple way to add more dimension to a classic piece of furniture.

IKEA Living Room Hacks

2. SIGNE Rug Hack: Floor Pouf

ikea signe rug hack floor pouf
Retropolitan

Erika from Retropolitan created her own poufs out of rugs from IKEA and we think it’s genius. They look like some expensive ones you might get at West Elm or a similar furniture store, except these only cost around $3 to make.

You just need a few SIGNE rugs, a sewing machine, basic sewing skills, and something to stuff inside, like cotton or beans.

3. EKBY BJÄRNUM Bracket Hack: Gold Accent Wall Shelves

ikea ekby bjarnum hack spray painted in gold
Design Manifest

This is probably one of the easiest IKEA hacks you’ll come across, and it can make a huge difference in the look of your home. Spray EKBY BJÄRNUM brackets with gold spray paint for a pop of class.

Why stop there?

Go crazy and add gold accents to a bunch of different things in your living room. Just not everything.

4. HEMNES Coffee Table Hack: Farmhouse Coffee Table

ikea hemnes coffee table hack that looks like a farmhouse table
The Creative Mom

This IKEA HEMNES coffee table hack is elegant yet easy, and the included shelf will increase storage space too. Just stain 2x4s, cut them to size, glue them onto your coffee table, and there you have it.

That’s The Creative Mom’s DIY farmhouse coffee table tutorial in a nutshell. So grab a HEMNES coffee table, take a trip to Home Depot, and get to DIY-ing.

IKEA Kitchen Hacks

5. KALLAX Shelving Unit Hack: Kitchen Island/Dining Table

ikea kallax kitchen island hack
IKEA Hackers/1brto_O

This one is less of a hack and more of a good idea to make the most of a small space. Read this tutorial over on IKEA Hackers. You pretty much combine a small KALLAX shelf unit, add a tall LACK table to the side, and voilà.

You’ve just created your new favorite space to prepare food, read a book, or entertain friends with Chipotle … because to us, this dining setup resembles Chipotle’s decor. And thanks to the added storage area, you’re able to store pots, pans, cookbooks, and more.

6. FINNVARD Trestle Hack: Kitchen Island/Dining Table/Wine Racks

ikea finnvard trestle hack kitchen island
Ikea Hackers/Sofia Clara

IKEA Hackers, once again, have come up with a great IKEA furniture hack. Surprise, surprise. This one takes two FINNVARD trestles with shelves, two slabs of wood, and a wood sealant that’s food-safe.

By cutting a few holes and situating the slabs of wood properly, you’ll create a kitchen island that has plenty of storage for plates, towels, produce, and wine bottles. Plus a work surface for chopping food or enjoying a glass of wine.

7. BEKVÄM Kitchen Cart Hack: Faux $695 Kitchen Cart With Marble Top

ikea bekvam kitchen cart hack
Oliver and Rust

Want an island in your kitchen that looks like this $695 one from Williams and Sonoma, but doesn’t cost half your rent?

Then check out Oliver and Rust’s tutorial on how to make your own out of a BEKVÄM kitchen cart (only $59), some pipe, a few fancy accents, and a fresh coat of paint.

Oh, and a beautiful slab of marble for the top. Not only does that kitchen cart/island look amazing, but you can use it to store fruit, veggies, pots, and pans underneath, too.

8. GRUNDTAL Towel Rail Hack: Wine Rack

ikea grundtal towel rail hack wine rack
IKEA Hackers/Jules Yap

Jules from IKEA Hackers came up with this great idea for a DIY wine rack. Simply stack up a bunch of these GRUNDTAL towel rails. Use as many or as little as you need, depending on the vastness of your wine collection.

9. TARVA Dresser Hack: Kitchen Sideboard

ikea tarva dresser hack
Lucy Jane

Okay, we know it’s kind of weird to put a dresser in your kitchen, but your guests probably won’t even be able to tell. Lucy Jane has a great DIY tutorial on how to spruce up a 6-drawer TARVA.

All you have to do is slap on a nice coat of white paint and add some decorative knobs.  No one will ever have to know your greatest storage secret.

IKEA Bathroom Hacks

10. LACK Wall Shelf Hack: Industrial Floating Bathroom Shelves

ikea lack wall shelf hack floating bathroom shelves
Simplified Building/Selber Machen

This floating industrial bathroom shelf from Simplified Building is pretty dope. It’s a little involved, and the instructions are in German, but it’s pretty easy to get the jist of the project by looking at the pictures.

You’ll need a good amount of pipe, different pipe elbows, and five 43 1/4″ x 10 1/4″ LACK wall shelves and two 11 3/4″ x 10 1/4″ LACK wall shelves. Once you’re done putting everything together, you’ll have a minimal, rustic modern shelving unit for your bathroom that pretty much no one else will have.

11. SNIGLAR Crib Hack: Retractable Drying Rack

ikea sniglar crib hack retractable drying rack
IKEA Hackers/Jules Yap

If you’ve got delicates that you can’t put in the dryer, but also can’t spare space to hang around, IKEA Hackers have just the thing:

Use a SNIGLAR crib to create a Murphy-style drying rack that swings up to dry clothes and stows away against the wall when it’s not in use.

What you’ll need: a few extra hinges, hooks, and a cord.

What you won’t need: a few extra breaks because this tutorial isn’t too labor intensive.

12. RUNNEN Floor Decking Hack: Spa Bath Mat

ikea runnin floor decking hack spa bathmat
House Of Hepworths

Have a less-than-attractive linoleum floor in your bathroom?

Cover it up with this outdoor RUNNEN floor decking. It’s available in three different colors and comes with zero disappointment.

Craving more creative IKEA hacks for your home?

Check out Poppytalk’s ravishing roundup of 20 live/workspace ideas for all types of creatives.

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

10 Pawdorable Dog Toy Storage Ideas That Will Make Your Pup Smile

If you’re a dog owner, you probably feel the urge to give your best friend the best you possibly can. That means all your attention, only the best food, and plenty of exciting toys.

But that also means, at some point, you might get your dog too many toys, and it might feel like those toys are taking over your space if they don’t have anywhere to go.

The solution?

Personalized and custom dog toy storage boxes, bins, and buckets that look much better than a plain ol’ plastic bin, or worse — slobbery dog toys strewn everywhere.

We’ve got 10 pawdorable dog toy storage ideas to make your life easier, your dog happier, and your home less cluttered.

1. Dog bone storage bin

dog bone storage bin by ourpets
The Our Pet’s Co.

This bone-shaped dog toy storage bin from OurPet’s is great because no one will get confused about the contents of the box.

It’s made with dogs in mind; the plastic is food-grade, so don’t worry if your puppy happens to gnaw on it. Plus, it comes in two different sizes. The small is 18” long and 10” high and can hold up to 10 lb. of food. The large is 23.5” long and 13” high and can hold up to 30 lb. of food, but you can store really anything you need in there.

The top of the container features a handle, so it’s easy to transport or carry around the house in case your dog threw his/her toys *literally* everywhere.

2. Custom natural wood dog toy box

handmade softwood dog toy box by sally grist
Etsy/SallyGristArtwork

If you’re searching the internet for dog toy storage ideas, you’ll soon find that some of the best stuff is on Etsy. That’s because mostly everything is handmade and customizable, like this natural wood dog toy bin made by SallyGristArtwork.

It’s a little pricey at $70.61 (if you want custom lettering), but it’s worth it. If your home has a rustic vibe going on, this dog toy bin will blend in perfectly. It comes in two different colors and features bone-shaped handles on the side for easy handling, and a cover to hide your dog’s toys from sight (but there’s still a tiny crack so they can still sniff out his/her stuff).

3. Metal dog toy bucket

galvanized recycled steel good dog gift bucket by harry barker
Harry Barker

This bucket is simple, goes with pretty much any decor you have going on, and because it’s made from galvanized recycled steel, it’s slobber-proof. And at $10, it’s one of the cheapest dog toy storage bins you’ll find.

Plus, Harry Barker offers complimentary personalization (great if you have multiple dogs and they each like different toys).

4. Personalized wicker basket

empty wicker baskets

Bucket not your cup of tea? Try this personalized cotton cover and dog toy wicker basket. Even though, yeah, your dog can’t read, they’ll still be able to sense the thought and love that went into getting them a special toy basket that’s just for them.

The best thing about this wicker basket/cotton liner combo is that if your basket starts to get dirty, and it’s bound to become, you can just take the liner off and throw it in the wash. The pair sells for $31.90 at PersonalizationMall.com.

5. Small bone-shaped boxes

dog toy box by black squirrel primitives
Etsy/BlackSquirrelPrims

Here’s another bone-shaped dog toy box. It’s around the same size as the first one we looked at (size small), but this one’s custom made. It comes in two different colors and features an open bin construction. That makes it easy to just drop toys in as you accidentally step on them.

6. Personalized wooden dog toy box, available in six different colors

dog toy box by collegeviewcrafts
Etsy/CollegeViewCrafts

This adorable and inventively designed dog toy box is where it’s at. It comes in six different colors, and the store even throws in free personalization.

It’s unique because your dog can easily pull toys out of the pawprint-shaped bottom, and you can easily lift up the hinged top when it’s time to put everything away. It’s 21” tall too, so it’s got plenty of room to store every toy.

7. Felt dog toy storage basket

dog toy storage basket by tuloz
Tuloz

This is what you want to buy if you’ve got a hip and minimalist look going on in your living room and don’t want anything to ruin that.

It’s made of gray felt in a perfect 12” x 12” square and comes with *animal-friendly* faux leather. No one will notice it’s filled with squeaky fake ducks and long purple ropes.

8. Recycled nylon dog toy bucket

red eco good dog toy storage bin
Harry Barker

Here’s another great dog toy storage solution from Harry Barker. They made a dog toy bucket out of recycled nylon. It’s 9.5” high and 14” wide, comes in three different colors, and it comes with handles. Handles make everything easier. We love handles.

And once again, Harry Barker offers personalization (for an extra $12).

9. Custom dog toy box in 32 different colors

personalized and bright blue wooden dog toy box storage crate by our sweet home alabama
Etsy/OurSweetHomeAlabama

Here’s the ultimate customized and personalized dog toy storage crate. It comes in 32 different colors, so you can match it to whatever color scheme your home rocks. This Etsy user even says they “love custom orders,” so don’t be shy about offering up additional customization requests. Plus, they have a bunch (67?!) of other dog toy storage items in their shop.

10. DIY version of the same crate

diy dog toy box by dog mom days
Dog Mom Days

Lastly, if you’re feeling particularly crafty, try your hand at this DIY dog toy box tutorial. DogMomDays shows you how to build your own. She sanded down a wooden crate to get all the splinters off, then painted it with the color of her choice. Next, she took some wooden shapes, painted those, and fixed them to the crate with wood glue once everything dried.

But feel free to get creative here. You can use multiple different colors, add handles, paint your dog’s name on the side, whatever. Let your imagination go wild on this dog toy crate. The only thing holding you back is however long your dog will let you focus before demanding attention and belly rubs.

Organizing and storing your cute dog’s toys in almost-equally-as-cute storage solutions is great and all, but sometimes, too much stuff is just too much stuff. No matter how many paw or bone-shaped bins and boxes you have.

Here’s an idea: Ditch the furniture, books, and shoes you’re not in love with anymore, and MakeSpace for puppy love.

A photo posted by MakeSpace (@makespace) on

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

9 Insane Self-Storage Stories That Will Shock You

From meth labs (?!) and mummified remains from the 1950s, to chop shops and cremated body parts, some pretty insane things happen inside self-storage units.

And not fun, find-the-literal-first-copy-of-Superman-that-belongs-to-Nicholas-Cage kind of insane. Like, dangerous and disgusting and life threatening kind of insane.

Here’s a round-up of the craziest self-storage stories we could find. Enjoy. Or read in horror/disbelief.

1. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, a man is wearing a mask from a 90s horror flick and jacking your stuff.

3 people wearing ghostface costumes from the movie scream
Flickr/Miguel Castaneda

Imagine Ghostface from Scream cutting the lock off your self-storage unit and making off with a bag filled with your valuables.

Now stop imagining because this actually happened. The burglar wore a Ghostface mask and used a bolt cutter and a propane torch to break into not one, but three self-storage units in Central Nyack, New York.

And then he fled with a large bag filled with multiple customers’ belongings.

Other than having your furniture damaged, having your stuff stolen is probably the #1 thing you don’t want to happen. You know, because you’re literally paying for the opposite to happen:

For everything to stay in your storage unit, untouched, and in one piece. And to not have nightmares of a masked man stealing your things.

2. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, one aspiring entrepreneur is running a chop shop.

Ever wonder what it’d be like to pull up to a self-storage unit in Hartford, South Dakota on a Saturday afternoon and ask its renter, “Hey buddy, can I get a small 2003 Civic coupe with a side of Murcielago doors please?”

Yeah, us neither.

3. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, two aspiring entrepreneurs are running a meth lab.

Unless you’re Walter White, “I’m going to run a meth lab … out of a self-storage unit,” probably isn’t your answer when your coworkers ask what you’re doing this weekend. But that’s exactly what two people were running out of a self-storage unit in Freehold, New Jersey.

Not that we’re a full-service storage company or anything, but we can safely say that trying to store 15 grams of crystal and a fully-functional meth lab breaks one of the most obvious storage rules:

Don’t store anything illegal.

4. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, a dude is trying to peddle illegal fireworks.

Watching fireworks is fun. Watching your stuff blow up because the guy who rents the storage unit next to yours is storing $75,000 worth of fireworks? Not so much.

Let’s leave the firework peddling to the professionals: the guys who set up stands on the side of the road past the city limits and definitely don’t have a license.

5. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, a lady’s furniture is vanishing into thin air.

moldy furniture inside an abandoned place in gary, indiana
Flickr/Lindspetrol

When you’re searching for a storage unit, temperature control is an important feature to consider. If you’re paying money to keep your items stored somewhere, you expect them to be safe and free from water, mildew, and mold.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for one woman who, after returning home from Army basic training, found several thousands of dollars worth of damaged furniture in her self-storage unit in New Berlin, Wisconsin.

We don’t mean “a chipped coffee table leg” and “ripped sofa cushions” damaged. We mean “I literally picked up a book case and it disintegrated in my hands” and “It was absolutely covered in mold” damaged.

Not only did she pay for her things not to be stolen by a man wearing a Ghostface mask, but she also paid for them to, you know, be there, and not be a pile of mush when she came back.

6. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, a man is shoving his ex-girlfriend’s cat into a storage bin.

Arguing with your ex over who gets to keep the pet you bought together is normal. But one brute took things way too far. As in he trapped his ex-girlfriend’s cat in a storage bin. Without air holes. Or food. Or water. And stored the poor thing in a self-storage unit in Chicago.

Not only is that an extremely unchill way to deal with a relationship problem, but it’s also animal cruelty.

Next time, we’re calling PETA.

7. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, there’s a mummified baby from the 1950s.

 

We wish it weren’t, but it’s true. A woman found a mummified baby wrapped in newspaper from the 1950s in her deceased parents’ Florida self-storage unit. :*(

Things you hope to find when cracking into your parents’ long-abandoned storage unit:

  • 3,000 bucks, so you can put the majority of it towards your rent, and the change towards your pint-sized NES Classic Edition Fund
  • Incredibly valuable car parts or vintage cameras, so you can pawn them just in case you don’t find said 3,000 bucks
  • A painting by Picasso or some other art bro

But a mummified baby? Not at the top of the list.

8. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, a 20-something is growing magic mushrooms.

mario kart 8 triple mushrooms
Super Mario Wiki

In Twin Falls, Idaho, a young man who wasn’t Luigi from Mario Bros. thought it was a good idea to grow psychedelic mushrooms inside his self-storage unit. Surprise: bad idea.

After the suspect was narc’d on by a former classmate for selling weed paraphernalia, police obtained a warrant to search the suspect’s storage unit. And that’s where they found several containers filled with shrooms and mushroom spores.

We don’t know about you, but any place that’s damp and musty enough to sustain mind-altering mushrooms must be pretty nasty. We’ll take the storage unit that’s the farthest away from that dude’s.

9. Somewhere in a self-storage unit, a bunch of body parts are being stored in Gucci Mane’s container of choice.

styrofoam cup of jamaica agua fresca
Flickr/Lisa

Alright, picture this: You roll up on a self-storage unit auction in Pensacola, Florida. You bid $900 in the hopes of scoring something sweet.

But instead, you score a police investigation. Plus an outrageous amount of body parts (we’re talking lungs, brains, and a heart) stored in … styrofoam cups. And in specimen cups, plastic containers, and trash bags.

Police believe the remains are from autopsies performed by a former associate medical examiner.

We believe the remains are from a psychopath of Hannibal Lecter proportions.

Bottom line: Use MakeSpace, and Never Visit A Storage Unit Again®.

 

No one should ever have to worry about theft, chop shops, animal cruelty, meth labs, mummified babies, or a slew of other horrible things that happen at self-storage facilities. And you won’t have to, if you use MakeSpace.

Not only are our storage facilities closed to the public and temperature-controlled, but they’re also protected with 24/7 security, motion-sensing cameras, and alarms to ensure the safety of your stuff at all times.

The best part:

We’ll pick up, store, and deliver your stuff back so you never have to visit a storage unit in the first place.

No muss, no fuss. Only shlep-and-worry-free storage at the push of a button. So schedule a MakeSpace pickup today, and Never Visit A Storage Unit Again®.

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR

Free 4-Week Cleaning Challenge Checklist 2016 [Download]

When’s the last time you remember cleaning and organizing everything in your home?

Having a hard time remembering?

We did too. We get it. Finding the motivation to clean your home can be tough. Especially when it’s 9 o’clock at night on Sunday and watching The Night Of while enjoying your favorite Seamless order outweighs everything.

It’s also tough to see each room, and each aspect of each room, as a separate component, not one huge task you need to accomplish all at once.

That’s why lists are awesome. And why we made this awesome 4-week cleaning challenge checklist just for you:

4-week cleaning challenge checklist by MakeSpace, a full-service storage company in NYC, Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles
Love our cleaning checklist? Click here to download a PDF you can print at home.

The first week you’ll tackle your kitchen. You’ll clean your fridge, oven, and floors, and throw out all the food that’s been overstaying your fridge’s welcome rent-free for far too long.

The second week you’ll work on your bathroom. You’ll sanitize your tub, sink, and toilet. You’ll also organize your medicine cabinet, and toss anything you no longer need but is still eating your precious space.

The third week you’ll head to your bedroom. You’ll clean your linens and bed, declutter your closet and dresser, and let some light in by cleaning your windows. It’ll make your room much more inviting and relaxing, which might even improve your sleep.

The final week is devoted to cleaning your garage. You’ll organize your seasonal stuff, service your lawn equipment (which probably needs some love), and pressure wash your house and deck (if you have one, can we come over?).

By the end of this 4-week cleaning challenge, your floors will be so clean you’ll want to eat off them (we don’t recommend doing that). Your bedroom will be so organized you’ll want to stay in bed forever (we don’t recommend doing that). And your kitchen will look so healthy you’ll want to go Paleo (if you don’t want to eat like a cavewoman/caveman, we don’t recommend doing that).

What we do recommend doing is following these two simple steps before you take this cleaning challenge:

  1. Arm yourself with your finest vacuum, mop, rags, and cleaning supplies.
  2. Arm your face with your finest grime-busting expression.

You might even want to lure your friends over like Pokémon with a bottle of wine and pizza, and then smooth-talk them into helping you scrub your floors.

It’ll be like a party. Except instead of leisurely chatting and lounging around, you’ll be on your hands and knees scrubbing dirt off your floor and chatting.

Click here to download our 4-week cleaning challenge checklist. Then print it out and tape it to your fridge so you can easily track your progress.

We’ve also included the steps of our cleaning challenge below along with some links to help you conquer them. With or without your friends.

Cleaning Challenge Week 1: Kitchen

  1. Organize and toss any expired food from the fridge and pantry.
  2. Scrub and sanitize the fridge.
  3. Scrub and sanitize the oven, stove, and microwave.
  4. Scrub and sanitize the sink, and organize items underneath it.
  5. Scrub and sanitize any remaining cooking appliances.
  6. Scrub and sanitize the cabinets, walls, and garbage can.
  7. Mop and wax the floors.

Cleaning Challenge Week 2: Bathroom

  1. Scrub and sanitize the toilet, sink, and mirrors.
  2. Scrub and sanitize the tub and shower.
  3. Scrub and organize the medicine cabinet.
  4. Wash your towels, shower curtain, and bath mat.
  5. Organize and declutter the linen closet.
  6. Toss old medicine and bath and beauty products.
  7. Scrub and sanitize the walls and floor.

Cleaning Challenge Week 3: Bedroom

  1. Clean curtains, blinds, windows, and mirrors.
  2. Clean bedding, throw pillows, and seat cushions and covers.
  3. Clean the TV and other electronics.
  4. Clean your mattress and wash your pillows.
  5. Declutter your lamp table, nightstand drawer, and any piles.
  6. Declutter and organize your bedroom closet and dresser.
  7. Wash the walls, clean under large furniture, and shampoo carpets.

Cleaning Challenge Week 4: Garage

  1. Clean and service your vacuum, washer, and dryer.
  2. Declutter your stored seasonal belongings.
  3. Vacuum, mop, and sanitize the walls and floors.
  4. Clean your outdoor patio furniture.
  5. Clean the inside and outside of your vehicle and lawn equipment.
  6. Clean and service your lawn equipment.
  7. Pressure wash your house, patio, and deck.

Pro Tip: Schedule a MakeSpace pickup to effortlessly store anything you don’t need in your home right now, like your seasonal clothes, shoes, sports equipment, and furniture. We’ll pick up, store, and deliver your stuff back so you have more free time to do the things you love instead of visit a self-storage unit.

Top image via Sumables

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.

How To Store Skis Off-Season — Fast (6 Simple Steps)

Summer is here, and it’s hot. People are reveling in the sun. It’s the season for hosting barbecues with friends, trying (sometimes in vain) to stay out of the heat, and getting out of town as much as possible to relax, hike, or play in some kind of body of water.

Unfortunately, that also means it’s the end of ski season. And though it’s been awhile since anyone got some really decent snow, it’s never too late to give your skis some TLC and store them the right way in preparation for their off-season retirement.

Whether you’re storing your skis (and your gear!) in your garage, in your home, or in MakeSpace, follow these six simple steps to make sure they’re ready to go once the first snow hits.

1. Inventory your ski gear.

ski gear inventory organized neatly
Cooler

After a full season of hitting the slopes, your gear has likely taken a beating. And depending on how old it is, you may or may not need to replace some things.

Take it from us: It’s much better to see what needs repairing or replacing now versus when winter starts to come around. Get ahead of the crowds that are bound to be bombarding ski shops once the snow hits.

That ski jacket you’ve had for years that has long lost its weatherproof coating? Replace it.

Got a pair of ski goggles that are doing more harm than good to your visibility? Find some new ones.

Not confident enough or too busy to tune your own skis? Take them to your local ski shop.

Being proactive about inventorying your gear now means that when the time is right and that first perfect snow comes in, you’ll be at the slopes while everyone else is waiting around at the shops.

2. Tune up your skis.

After a long season of skiing, your skis are going to need a little love.

The folks over at REI have some expert advice on making sure your skis are living their best lives.

They break it down into these three steps:

1. Base repair

The main things to look for are nicks, burrs, and rust spots, all of which will damage your skis if left alone. If your skis have large scrapes, get them fixed at a ski shop.

If your skis have small nicks on their bases, you can easily fix them at home. Here’s a tutorial by REI that shows you how:

 

You’re essentially scraping away any excess material around the gouge, filling it in with a P-Tex candle, and then scraping away the excess.

2. Edge work

After that’s done, it’s important to sharpen the edges of your skis so that you can decrease drag and ensure that your skis are as fast and smooth as possible.

Use a diamond stone to work on burrs, and a gummy stone to polish the edges all over.

And here’s another handy video tutorial to show you just how to do it:

3. Waxing

Once you’ve sealed up gouges in the bases of your skis and cleaned the edges of any burrs, nicks, or rust, you’re ready to wax them.

The first order of business is to scrape off any residual wax. This gives you a clean base for your summer coat.

Next, use a specially made wax iron to heat up your summer wax, and dribble it over the bottom of your skis from tip to tail.

Then smooth the iron over the waxy skis, making sure to get an even coat.

Oh, and in case you, like us, can’t get enough visual aides, here’s a tutorial for that part of the tuning process too:

 

The only difference to note for summer ski storage is that, unlike here, you don’t want to scrape the wax off. Leaving a layer of wax will keep your skis sealed and protected during the summer months.

When ski season rolls around, just remember to scrape off the wax from your skis before hitting the slopes.

And of course, if you don’t feel like tuning your skis at home, your local ski shop should be able to help get your gear back in shape. That way, when November finally comes around and the first few snowflakes of the season hit, you’ll already be prepared to hit the slopes with a pair of beautifully manicured skis.

3. Turn the DIN screws on your ski bindings to their lowest setting.

adjust din ski bindings
Jans

Once you’ve tuned up your skis, their bindings are your next concern. The bindings on your skis are loaded with heavy-duty springs that keep your boot locked in while still being able to release them at a moment’s notice if necessary. Which means you definitely want these to be in their best working order.

Nate Tomlinson over at Jans gives solid advice:

“In order to ensure that the springs in your bindings stay true to the numerical indicators on your DIN windows,” he says, “it is a good idea to back them out to the lowest setting before storage. To do this, find the DIN screws on both toe and heel pieces – usually located on the front of the toe piece, and the rear of the heel piece – and turn them counterclockwise.”

Remember: When it’s time for you to ski again, turn your DIN screws back to their original settings before you hit the slopes so that you don’t get ejected. Cover the bindings with a note written on a piece of tape so you don’t forget.

4. Strap your skis together, and lay them down on their sides.

4 pairs of skis and ski poles strapped together
Woodwards Resort & Inn

The last thing you want is to accidentally warp your new, perfectly-cleaned-and-waxed skis, right?

That’s why you should store them in a place that’s temperature-controlled (like MakeSpace). Not too hot, not too cold, and definitely not too humid. Storing your skis in direct sunlight isn’t a good idea either.

Also, make sure to store your skis in a way that doesn’t compromise their shape, or put any strain on them. Leaning your skis against objects is okay, as is hanging them. But the best in-home option is to just  lay your skis on their sides on the ground (much like we all wish we could do in front of an A/C right now).

As long as your skis aren’t strapped together too tightly, and they aren’t left in a position that would warp their bodies, they’ll be perfectly safe.

And of course, don’t forget to pack away your poles in a ski pole bag, like this one from Skiweb, which also stores skis:

black skiweb skis and ski pole bag
Amazon

5. Give your ski gear some TLC too.

skiing equipment consisting of ski poles, googles, jacket, backpack, helmet, gloves, socks, canteen, and tools
SkiNet

Even though your skis are the star of the show and may need a little more TLC than the rest of your gear, your jackets, boots, and goggles need love too.

Check out our tips on how to clean and store your ski and snowboarding gear.

Although the gear used with snowboarding varies slightly from the gear used with skiing, the same principles apply: Clean it, let it dry, and make sure everything goes back in the right place.

Additionally, now is the time to re-waterproof your jackets, deep-clean your boots, and clean your goggles if necessary.

6. No room in your garage or home for your skis and ski gear? MakeSpace.

 

If you’ve been wracking your brain this whole time trying to think of a space in your home that 1. Doesn’t get too much light, 2. Isn’t too hot or cold, and 3. Is big enough for your skis to lay down on, well, schedule a MakeSpace pickup.

We’ll pick up your skis, all your gear, and any other winter-sport-related items you may have on your hands. We’ll then store everything in our secure and temperature-controlled storage facility. It’s closed to the public and has 24/7 security, motion-sensing cameras, and alarms to ensure the safety of your stuff at all times.

We can also create an online photo catalog of your stuff, so you won’t be left wondering things like if you actually did replace those busted bindings. Or if your new goggles match your ski pants.

The best part? When you need your stuff back from storage, we’ll deliver it to you. This means more slope time and less renting-a-U-Haul-truck-in-literally-freezing-weather time.

Top image via Cloudline

This article was written by Hannah Van Arsdale, a freelance writer and dog person based in Portland, OR.