All posts by MakeSpace

Introducing The New MakeSpace iOS App: Measure Your Stuff And Get A Storage Estimate In Seconds

We always want you to have the best storage experience possible. Starting today, that includes you being able to quickly measure your stuff and get a storage plan estimate — in only a few seconds, and from the comfort of your iPhone. All thanks to the new MakeSpace iOS app.

Effortlessly measure your stuff in 3D

MakeSpace ARKit app measuring tool
Download the MakeSpace app
  1. Update your iPhone to iOS 11.
  2. Download the new MakeSpace app, built with Apple’s new augmented reality toolkit in iOS 11, ARKit.
  3. Point your camera at the item you want to measure.
  4. Trace the item with your finger.
  5. Drag the faces of the box to adjust as necessary.

Want to measure more items before we pick up everything and store it in our secure storage facility?

Tap the “+” in the top left, and repeat steps 3 through 5.

Get a storage estimate in seconds

MakeSpace ARKit app storage plan estimate screen
Download the MakeSpace app

When you’re done measuring  everything you want us to store, the MakeSpace iOS app will show you your stuff’s total volume and the storage plan size you’ll need to fit everything.

Watch the MakeSpace app’s new augmented reality feature in action

No more measuring tape. No more guestimating. Simply point your camera, trace the item, and smile. The MakeSpace app does the rest.

Download The MakeSpace App
 


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7 Reversible Apartment Upgrades That Won’t Break The Bank, Or Your Lease

Apartment living, whether by necessity or as a chosen lifestyle, often lacks a desirable factor: The freedom to do whatever you please with your space. For tenants, the lease may be as limiting as it is binding.

The good news? Your home needn’t be any less cozy just because it’s temporary. While knocking down walls – or in some cases, even a simple paint job – is probably out of the question, there’s a lot you can do without declaring war on your landlord.

You might think “redecorating” necessitates a grand-scale, permanent renovation. However, swapping some smaller, everyday things can also greatly influence the way you feel about your surroundings.

Ready for some subtle-yet-effective embellishment? Our friends at RENTCafé have seven tricks up their sleeves to make you feel instantly more at home in your flat.

And when your lease is up? Simply revert these swaps, sweat-free.  

1. Let there be light fixtures

kitchen light fixtures
RENTCafé Charlotte NC apartments

So you want to put your apartment in good light and are wondering where to start … With the lights, obviously! Since they’re such integral parts of any room, changing the light fixtures will affect the space’s entire atmosphere.

Whether you prefer tungsten, fluorescent, halogen, or LED light bulbs, pendant fixtures work with all of them. They also come in all shapes and sizes to make bold statements.

The same goes for surface-mounted units. They’re a more subdued choice and guarantee an easy, reversible installation.

Change the switch covers, too, while you’re at it. In a small space especially, this tiny swap can make a big difference. Funky picks add whimsy, while clean ones make for a streamlined effect.

2. Add a breezy frame with curtains

bedroom window curtain
RENTCafé Cincinnati, OH apartments

Natural light is also something you can play with. Blinds rarely offer much flexibility, if any. But if your windows happen to be set up for textile curtains, you’re in business, since the good old curtain rod works with any fabric you fancy.

It’s been said that curtains make a room, so the fabric you choose should reflect that room’s purpose. Setting a formal tone? Opt for silk. Prefer a more casual look?  Go with linen or crinkly velvet. Balance patterned furniture with a solid-colored curtain, or vice-versa.

3. Get a handle on your cabinet’s appearance

upgrade kitchen cabinet handles
Gusto & Grace

Handles: You wouldn’t believe how much of an impact these little guys have on the way your cabinets look. Until you change them, that is.

It’s a cheap swap, and the only tool you need is a screwdriver. Keep the original ones stashed away, though, to stay on the safe side with your landlord.

4. Get a better faucet and go with the flow

upgrade kitchen faucet
RENTCafé Fullerton CA apartments

Whether style or functionality is what you’re after, you’ll almost certainly find something at your local supplier that can do better than the cookie-cutter faucets that come standard in most apartment kitchens.

If you’re not comfortable with wrenches and o-rings, a professional will be happy to install it for you.

5. Make the bathroom sparkle in more ways than one

upgrade shower head
RENTCafé Austin TX apartments

All those tiles and porcelain may lead you to think that bathrooms are pretty much set in stone. But there’s plenty of stuff you can personalize. Add a unique toilet seat cover, or switch your mirror out for a newer one.

Even a good shower head has the power to radically change the way you think of your time in the tub. Don’t worry, replacing them is a breeze most of the time.

6. Treat your toes to a clean, dry floor

upgrade bathroom rug
Flickr/meline@

You already know that stepping on cold tiles after a nice hot shower feels uncomfortable, to say the least. So if you’ve been enduring it until now, it’s time to invest in a nice rug.

Pro Tip: Buy several, smaller rugs. They fit in any bathroom and you’ll always have a crisp, dry one at hand.

7. Take control of your personal climate with a thermostat

man changing thermostat

Speaking of temperature, it goes without saying that optimal temperature is crucial if you want to feel at home in your apartment. Invest in a high-quality thermostat. It will take care of your thermal comfort and save you money in the long run.

A good thermostat can control all kinds of heating and cooling systems. It should also last a lifetime so you can bring it with you when you move.

We hope our tips and tricks will serve you well. If you are after more artsy ways to personalize your home sweet home, don’t worry: our friends at RENTCafé have more ideas to jumpstart your imagination.

Top image via RENTCafé Evanston IL apartments

This article was written by Balazs Szekely from apartment search website RENTCafé.

Moving In Together? Don’t Make These 11 Common Mistakes

You’ve taken trips together, you’ve survived your first fight, and you’ve celebrated anniversaries. Now, you and your significant other are about to hit another milestone: moving in together.

Living together comes with all kinds of perks, like less rent and more quality time. But it’s a big transition, and lots of couples struggle with cohabitation.

You don’t have to be one of them.

Simply study up on these common mistakes couples make when moving in together. Once you know how to avoid them, you’ll be well on your way to domestic bliss.

Here are 10 missteps to avoid:

Mistake 1: Not talking about why you’re moving in

Moving in together is a huge step, so consider it carefully before you sign on the dotted (lease) line. You and your partner should have several conversations about this, but the first one should be about why you’re doing it.

Be honest: Why are you moving in together?

Is it because you’re sick of the subway commute to your partner’s place? Are you looking to save money on rent?

It’s totally fine if money and convenience are motivations for you — everyone likes having extra cash in the bank — but those shouldn’t be your only reasons.

So with that said, do you see this as a step towards marriage? What are your long-term goals and plans with this person?

It’s important to be transparent with each other in case you aren’t quite on the same page. Some people assume moving in together is an unspoken promise of engagement, only to discover their significant other doesn’t believe in marriage at all.

Whatever you do, don’t move in together because you think it’ll “save” your relationship. It definitely won’t, but it will place you in a legally binding living situation with your soon-to-be ex.

Mistake 2: Ignoring the signs that you aren’t ready

It’s natural to be nervous about living with your boyfriend or girlfriend. But there’s a difference between some harmless moving-in jitters and well-founded fears that this is a horrible idea.

Do you and your partner know how to compromise? More importantly, do you know how to move past fights?

These aren’t sexy skills, but they are essential for cohabitation. If you two have never settled a big argument — or have ongoing ones all the time — that’s a bad sign.

Here are four other red flags:

  1. You’ve never spent more than a few consecutive days together.
  2. You can’t comfortably talk about money, health, or other weighty issues.
  3. You’ve always been long distance.
  4. You’re rushing into this because of an expiring lease — or you’re rushing things because someone (family, friends, or your partner) is pressuring you.

If the negative signs are there, take a step back and rethink moving in together. Maybe you need to hit pause on the plan for a few months while you work out some issues, which is totally okay.

It doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, or that you’re immature. It’s just smart planning.

Mistake 3: Avoiding the conversation about money

You and your significant other are about to share the costs on a lot of bills — electric, cable, groceries, and rent, to name just a few. That means you have to get frank about your finances.

Figure out how you want to divide up your expenses first. How much will each of you owe per month? And how are you going to pay it?

Will it be an even 50-50 split? Or will you work out percentages based on income?

Make sure the division is fair, and that both of you feel comfortable with the final numbers.

The two of you may want to devise a budget while you’re at it. That way, you’ll stay on track with all your boring bills and your planned vacation to Thailand.

Another important question to ask:

Do you want to open a joint bank account?

It’s not for everyone, but it can come in handy when managing shared expenses. One BuzzFeed tipster recommends putting the same chunk of your paychecks into a joint account each month for bills, food, and cleaning supplies.

That way, “you’ll never have that awkward ‘I spent $35 on groceries yesterday, so it’s your turn to order food tonight’ conversation — you both can happily stuff your faces with Chinese food knowing everything is even.”

But no matter what system you land on, always make sure to keep the lines of communication open. If one of you is stressed about money or has an issue with the new budget, say so.

It might be awkward at first, but it’ll help you avoid fights in the future.

Mistake 4: Searching for an apartment without a gameplan

Since you’re already getting real about how you want to spend money and where you see yourselves in five years, it’s also important to get real about where you want to live. Sit down together and figure out your ideal neighborhoods and an ideal budget.

Then, come up with your list of must-haves. You can’t go into this expecting your significant other to read your mind. Unless he/she is a Legilimens or Professor X, in which case, run.

Be sure to also check in with each other frequently throughout the process. What does your boyfriend or girlfriend think of your broker? What about the pet clause in the lease?

Finding a new place is exhausting, and the only way you’ll survive is by keeping a united front. Well, that and following all these crucial apartment hunting tips.

Mistake 5: Procrastinating on the required renter documents

The bad news: There’s a mountain of paperwork in your future.

The good news: You can knock some of it out early. And you should, if you want to land a place in time and on budget.

Before you head out to the 15 apartment tours on a Saturday, you and your partner should each collect some key documents. Scan color copies of your IDs. Get and print letters of employment and/or pay stubs. Request a free credit report.

Next, bring all of these papers with you when you meet with your broker or prospective landlord so you can get an application ready immediately if the opportunity arises.

This boosts your chances of snagging a great apartment and preserves your relationship. Because if one of you stalls on printing a pay stub and it costs you that dream one bedroom, there’s bound to be resentment.

Mistake 6: Only putting one person’s name on the lease

We’re not trying to jinx things for you, but there is a chance you and your partner could break up. And although you can’t protect yourself from the heartache following a potential split, you can protect yourself from a potential financial strain.

How?

By making sure both your names appear on the apartment lease.

As Kiplinger’s explains, this move holds both parties accountable for the rent should things turn sour.

If you end up taking your ex to court for skipping out on payments, your case will be much stronger with two names — not just your own — on the lease. It’s a situation you don’t want to imagine, obviously, but it’s happened before.

Mistake 7: Failing to consolidate your stuff

You’ve each spent years building up separate stashes of furniture, appliances, dishes, bedding, and towels. Now you’re about to combine all that stuff into one living space. So unless you’re going to rent a multi-million dollar penthouse with a basement storage unit, there are going to be some cuts.

You need to decide what to keep, store, sell, donate, and ditch together (our decluttering flowchart will make it easier). Start with the furniture, because that’s the trickiest. Whose bed makes the move? What about the couch? Coffee table? Bookcases?

Come into this discussion willing to compromise, and be realistic. You may cherish the chairs you scored for $15 at a yard sale in college, but they’ve probably seen better days.

Next, move on to duplicate appliances, like TVs, microwaves, coffee makers, and blenders. Who knows, you may even decide to shrink 11 big kitchen appliances into one small Lakeland Multichef. And don’t forget about your duplicate drinking glasses, eating utensils, and cooking tools. Those items need to be considered, too.

Also keep an eye on little things like books (here’s how to decide what books to keep or get rid of) and DVDs (here’s how to store and sell DVDs for cash). There’s a good chance the both of you own copies of Almost Famous (or Bad Boys), but you only need one in your new place.

Once you’ve sorted everything to satisfaction, plan out any necessary trips to the storage unit, Goodwill, and/or dumpster. Actually, skip the first two trips we just mentioned because MakeSpace will not only pick up, store, and deliver your stuff back, but we’ll also take your donations to Goodwill (if you live in NYC, Chicago, or Washington, DC).

Then, just to put a bow on everything, pick out one new item for the apartment together. It can be a lamp, a dresser, or just a set of coasters for now.  It’ll help the place feel like a shared space — and give you both an early lesson on making household decisions.

Mistake 8: Not dividing up chores

Who wants to spend all their spare time fighting about dishes? Having a conversation about cleaning responsibilities early can help you avoid a ton of silly arguments about whose turn it is to vacuum.

You don’t need to map out a strict chore schedule, but do talk about expectations and the chores each of you hate doing the most. Maybe you loathe laundry, but your partner doesn’t mind it. Which means your partner can grab that task, while you take care of the porcelain throne scrubbing he/she can’t stand.

If there’s a massive gap between the two of you in terms of tidiness, you might want to hire a cleaning service. That way, the “neat freak” isn’t constantly losing it over the “slob’s” trail of dirty socks.

Mistake 9: Spending all your time together

Just because you live together now doesn’t mean you should be shut-ins. You’re bound to drive each other insane if you spend every spare minute in the apartment, just the two of you. So get outside and spend some time apart.

Go out for drinks with your college friends. Post up in your favorite coffee shop with a new book. Keep up with any hobbies or interests your significant other doesn’t share.

Is there an art exhibit you’re dying to see, that you know isn’t his/her scene?

Go to it by yourself.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean you should ditch date nights, or refuse to hang out with your partner’s friends in favor of your own. It just means you should have an active social life that’s yours.

Giving each other space is key to preserving the peace, especially if you live in a tiny apartment with your significant other. Talk to each other about alone time, because it applies to more than just that standing Margarita Mondays appointment you have with your coworkers.

Sometimes you’re going to be upset or overwhelmed, and you’ll need some space (or perhaps an Ecocapsule) to sort out your feelings before you talk to your partner about it. Make sure your partner knows that it doesn’t mean you’re mad at him/her, or don’t trust him/her.

Maybe you just need to sit alone on the couch for a minute, preferably with a sleeve of Oreos. Your partner can join in later.

Mistake 10: Hiring a shady moving company

It’s tempting to speed through this step. You’ve just spent weeks sorting through your stuff, assigning chores, and having many long, serious talks. Can’t you just pick a mover and be done with it?

Nope.

If you need to hire movers, don’t solely rely on the first company that appears in Google after you search “cheap movers near me.” Do your research, ask your friends, and compare prices. Sites like imove and Unpakt will help you sift through your best options.

11. Not calling MakeSpace for storage

When it comes to finding storage for the extra Crock-Pot, coat rack, comforter, and mattress in your inventory, don’t go with a random self-storage facility way across town where insane things happen. Go with MakeSpace.

Simply schedule a storage pickup and we’ll pick up all your duplicate stuff — plus that Pasta Boat your partner vetoed.

Next, we’ll transport everything to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll even create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you never forget what you have in storage.

But that’s not all. Here’s something you and your new roommate will absolutely love:

When you want something back from storage, simply log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

You and your significant other might disagree on how to cook spaghetti, but thanks to MakeSpace, you’ll never disagree on how to store your stuff.

19 NYC Apartment Hunting Tips That Will Save You Tons Of Money And Stress

You thought moving to a tiny NYC apartment was the hard part. But getting a New York apartment is the real nightmare. Just when you think you have one, someone else swoops in. Or just when you think you’ve found something in budget, more hidden fees emerge.

The New York City housing market is confusing for new transplants and seasoned veterans alike. That’s why we compiled this list of 19 essential NYC apartment hunting tips to make sure you don’t get scammed, stressed, or put out on the streets.

Read them all before you schedule any apartment tours. And remember: If a Craigslist post seems too good to be true, it usually is.

1. Figure out your max budget — and stick to it.

calculator next to 3 short stacks of different coins

The insanely competitive New York City housing market requires you to be flexible. You need to be able to move fast, put up stacks of documents and cash, and give up on your dream of a washer/dryer in unit.

But one thing you shouldn’t budge on? The amount of money you’re willing to spend.

Before you start responding to apartment listings, sit down and seriously look at your expenses. Write out what you spend each month on groceries, gym membership, Seamless, the internet, Netflix, and your other expenses. Be specific and honest. It isn’t going to help you to leave anything out.

Then, once you have a total, look at your salary and figure out a price range. Set a ceiling for the absolute most you could spend on rent and not starve. Once you’ve done that, don’t change the number, no matter how spacious the bedroom closet is.

As a heads up, most landlords in NYC require your gross annual income (before taxes) to be 40 times your monthly rent.

2. Remember that rents are lower in the winter.

moving in the winter means lower rent for an apartment

No one wants to move in the middle of a snowstorm, but December through March is the best time to rent an apartment in NYC. The winter is considered “off-peak” for housing because the summer months are when most people move (just consider all the college grads).

When it’s warm out, you can expect rent prices to be outrageous and places to go in minutes. In the winter, there’s less demand — which means you can usually get a better deal. The rent might be lower, or the landlord may even offer to pay the broker’s fee to get the spot filled.

3. Make a list of your must-haves.

queens plaza station entrance for e, m, and r trains

Okay, so you’ve figured out your budget and your time frame. Now it’s time to decide on your must-have checklist.Your

Your apartment hunting checklist should be realistic, so don’t make it too long. Everyone has requirements for their living space, and it’s best to nail those down early.

Have a pet, or plan on getting a pet in the near future?

Then it’s only “pets allowed” places (and these 17 pawesome pet-proofing tips) for you.

How close does the subway have to be? What about the laundromat? Are you comfortable living on the first floor, or the sixth floor in a walk-up?

Think carefully about what you’d like your daily life to look like, then write down the things that would make that possible.

4. If you’re apartment hunting with another person, include them in the process.

bert and ernie from sesame street sitting on the ground and talking behind a new york license plate
Flickr/See-ming Lee

When you’re looking for a micro-apartment, studio, or one-bedroom for yourself, you call all the shots. But when there’s another renter involved — like a roommate or significant other  — you have to make them an equal partner in every decision. That means you need to merge that person’s budget and must-haves with your own, and respect their concerns each step of the way.

As for touring places together, BuzzFeed has this great tip:

Write down (or just mentally gather) your thoughts on the spot but do not share them. Then, ask the other person for his/her honest opinion. If it sounds a lot like yours, say so and move forward. But if it doesn’t, keep on looking.

This way, you can both independently determine if a particular apartment will make you happy. You won’t just say that because the other person did, which can lead to resentment later on, after you’ve moved into a place you don’t actually like.

5. Prepare your documents early.

us passport atop a small sheet of paper, a small notebook, and a clipboard

Rental units move fast and require excessive documentation. You can easily lose your dream apartment if you don’t come armed and ready with the (admittedly absurd) list of papers most NYC landlords expect to see before they let you sign on the dotted line.

According to U.S. News & World Report, you should have the following items:

  • A copy of your most recent paystubs
  • Tax returns from the past two years
  • A color copy of your driver’s license or passport
  • A current credit report
  • A list of personal and professional references

If you’re using a guarantor, you’ll need some extra documents. A guarantor is somebody who basically vouches for your financial responsibility. The implication is that if you fall behind on the rent, your guarantor will cover it.

Guarantors are often necessary if you don’t make 40 times the monthly rent. (Most landlords stick to this figure.) Your guarantor will usually need to make even more — 80 times the rent — and live in the tri-state area. The guarantor will also need to provide some ID, so make sure to give your guarantor a heads up on that.

6. Google your brokers and/or landlord.

unfurnished studio for rent sign
Flickr/Steven Damron

Unfortunately, there are some shady people controlling New York City property, and they aren’t always obvious. Google a broker or agent’s name before you share any important personal information with them. If Google returns links to reviews titled “SCAM ARTIST,” back away fast. But if there are no alarming red flags, proceed.

Do the same for the landlord of any place you’re strongly considering. There’s actually a list of the “100 worst landlords in New York City” compiled by Public Advocate Letitia James. It’s based on the number of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) and Department of Buildings (DOB) violations they’ve accrued. Scan it for your prospective landlord before you sign anything.

Then, search Google News for any lawsuits brought against your landlord, and poke around the web for complaints on other sites.

7. Bring a friend.

lego star wars characters holding hands and looking through a window on a rainy day

If you’re sharing your new place with a roommate or significant other, you have a built-in buddy to go with you on apartment appointments. But if you’re searching solo, it’s best to call on a friend to accompany you.

This isn’t just a safety precaution for women. As Psychology Today points out, having someone you trust by your side is good for your mental space. It’ll calm you down, which will help you avoid rash decisions you’ll regret.

Plus, your friend can serve as a natural sounding board for your concerns. If that friend happens to be a seasoned city dweller who knows the right questions to ask, even better.

8. Ask if pets are allowed.

Every building has a defined policy on dogs, cats, and other animals. Some are all-inclusive, some are cats only, and others don’t allow any furry friends at all. 🙁

It’s best to know this upfront, since pets are part of the package deal. Ask the broker (or landlord) what kind of animals — and what kind of breeds — are allowed in the building. Then ask if there are any additional fees you’ll need to pay because sometimes your pet gets factored into the security deposit or monthly rent.

Free Bonus: How To Safely Move With Dogs And Cats: The Ultimate Guide

9. Check for major appliances — and a functioning smoke detector.

modern apartment kitchen with a fridge, freezer, stove, oven, microwave, 2 coffee makers, a kitchen island, and 2 stools

Most apartments you tour will have blank walls, empty floors, and closets free of clutter. But you should see a refrigerator, stove, and kitchen sink in every single one. Make sure they all work. If anything is missing or faulty, press for a concrete answer about when that fridge will be fixed.

You should also locate the smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Then test it. Property owners are legally required to provide at least one “approved and operational detecting device” in every unit. Plus,  this concerns your safety, so hold them to it.

10. Check your cell reception.

Did the service bars on your phone drop the second you walked through the door?

Pace around the entire place and see if there’s any change in your cell reception. Having to make your calls from certain corners might be annoying, but it’s doable.

Not being able to make any calls from your home? Unacceptable.

11. Ask if utilities are included.

water coming out of a kitchen sink faucet

Are utilities included? If they aren’t, how much are they going to cost?

You should try to estimate what your heat, electric, and/or water bills might be if you’re expected to shoulder those fees yourself. They can add up, and they might even set the place over your budget.

12. Scan for signs of rodent life.

If your prospective place has had bedbugs in the past year, you’ll know — the landlord is bound by law to disclose that information. But if the apartment has had rat or mice problems, you won’t.

There’s no legal requirement on landlords to tell you about rodent issues, so you have to do some recon work yourself. Time Out New York recommends you search the cabinets, especially the ones under the sink, for traces of unwelcome pests.

There’s also the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Rat Information Portal that lets you search addresses for rat inspection data. It’ll tell you if the place has “active rat signs,” “problem conditions,” or “passed inspection.”

13. Take measurements and pictures.

closeup of a tape measure on a wooden surface

No matter how good you think your memory is, you’re not going to remember the exact layout of each place you see. Or whether the living room can fit your current couch and coffee table.

When you arrive at a new place, take a picture outside the building, maybe of the exact street number so it’s easier to remember. Then snap photos of each room in the apartment and the insides of the closets.

After that, it’s time to pull out your tape measure. Bring it to every appointment along with all those documents we discussed earlier. Take some quick measurements of the doorway and rooms so you know if you can push your headboard through the door and into your bedroom.

14. Find out the fees.

stacks of dollar bills

You’ve heard of those mythical “no-fee apartments.” You know, the ones where you don’t have to pay an additional 15% to a broker who brought you to the place. We’re not saying they don’t exist, but we are saying they’re incredibly difficult to find.

While Brick Underground has a list of the eight best websites for finding a no-fee apartment in NYC, one of which is Naked Apartments, you should still brace yourself for that 15% fee (plus a security deposit) just in case.

Also, watch out for scams. The HPD notes that “key money,” or fees for supers and/or doormen, is illegal. And if your place is rent-stabilized, the security deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent.

15. Look for rent-stabilized apartments.

1930s 6-story apartment building located at 208 east 28th street in manhattan, new york
Flickr/Mr.TinDC

Now, you may be wondering what exactly “rent-stabilized” means. Any rent-stabilized unit is protected against dramatic price spikes. Your rent can still go up, but it can only be adjusted annually by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board. Thankfully, the adjustments tend to be $50 rather than, say, $500.

Another perk of rent-stabilized apartments:

You’re guaranteed the right to renew.

If you don’t want to stay in your place when renewal time rolls around, you’re welcome to leave. But your landlord still has to ask you if you want to renew before other tenants are considered.

Rent-stabilized leases are also much more attainable than rent-controlled leases, which prohibit the owner from changing your rent at all. While the Rent Guidelines Board estimates there are over one million rent-stabilized apartments in NYC, it puts the number of rent-controlled apartments at roughly 27,000.

Rent-controlled apartments tend to stay in families who’ve owned them since the ‘70s, and the Rent Guidelines Board estimates that eventually, there will be zero rent-controlled apartments.

16. Spend some time in the neighborhood.

manhattan, new york at sunset

You can’t get a true sense of a neighborhood from the 30 minutes you spent there on a Saturday afternoon with a broker. If you’re unfamiliar with the area but want to get a sense of where you’d be living (note: this is a good idea), explore the neighborhood on your own.

Spend an hour in a local cafe. Walk a few blocks. And most importantly, check out the neighborhood at night. You need to get a sense of what the area is like at all times of day so you can make sure you feel comfortable living there.

17. Learn the alterations policy.

paint brush painting a wall white

Let’s say you’ve seen a place you love … only the weird paint on the walls has got to go. Don’t assume you can just slap on a fresh coat of sage green or Feathr wallpaper once the apartment is yours.

As Refinery29 explains, most leases require you to obtain express permission from the owner before you make alterations (even seemingly small ones) to the unit. Even if you do get the green light from management, you may still have to return the walls to their original shade before you move out.

And since we’re discussing lease specifics …

18. Read the lease carefully.

hand signing apartment lease with a pen

By the time you sit down to sign your lease, you’ve probably been through so much apartment hunting stress that you’d sign away your first-born child without a second thought. But you need to read the whole thing very carefully, or you could wind up missing a major problem.

If the jargon confuses you, ask a lawyer to look it over. Can’t afford a lawyer? Ask a friend who passed the bar, or at the very least read up on tenant rights at nyc.gov. There’s even a free “ABCs of Housing pamphlet” that should clear up a lot of questions.

If something in the lease doesn’t align with what you were promised, take it up with the owner before you sign or initial a page. It could simply be a mistake, but you can’t expect good faith or a verbal agreement to trump a legal document once it’s signed.

19. Let MakeSpace store your extra stuff.

 

Your brand-new apartment is under budget, beautiful, and blocks away from a great grocery store. There’s just one tiny hiccup:

You downsized two whole closets, and there’s no way all your clothes will fit in the IKEA dresser you’re bringing along.

Luckily, there’s a way to keep all your clothes and the cool apartment:

Use MakeSpace.

Schedule a pickup and we’ll come get your extra sweaters and scarves. Next, we’ll transport it over to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll also create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you always remember what you have in storage.

The best part:

When you want something back, you won’t have to dig through boxes in a dusty self-storage unit. Simply log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

With MakeSpace, there are no shifty landlords, rodent problems, or faulty stoves. Just affordable full-service storage, no matter where you live in NYC.

Want more super actionable tips on finding an apartment in NYC?

Check out Wit & Whimsy’s wonderful article “So You Want To Move To New York.” It’s chock-full of awesome advice from Meghan and her friends on apartment hunting plus moving to and living in New York City.

Top image via Flickr/Teri Tynes

How To Cat-Proof *And* Dog-Proof Your Home: 17 Pawesome Tips

After years of casually browsing Petfinder and begging your friends to let you dog-sit, you’re actually doing it: You’re getting a pet.

But your work isn’t done after you’ve completed the adoption papers and cleared things with your landlord. You still have plenty of things to buy, and plenty of cords to coilbefore your new bundle of fur can safely walk through the front door.

This guide will help you make your home cat and dog-friendly. If you still have questions after you’ve read it, call your vet for his/her expert advice.

Until those questions come up, here’s how to cat-proof and dog-proof your home:

1. Get a good collar with tags

sleeping cat

Both cats and dogs like to run away, so it’s important for you to have a collar with ID tags waiting for your new pet on day one. Now, you may be thinking, “Okay, sure, a dog needs that, but my cat won’t wear a collar with a tag.”

Not true!

According to a study by the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State University,  three out of four cats will wear a collar, even if their owner doesn’t expect they will.

Considering this, plus the fact that less than 2% of lost cats are returned to their homes, getting your kitten a collar with tags is a no-brainer.

All the major pet supply chains stock customizable tags. They come in heart, bone, circle, and other simple shapes.

After you provide your cat or dog’s name and your contact information to a store employee (or to a tag engraving machine at a chain like PetSmart), the employee will make sure it gets etched onto whatever tag you choose.

Pair it with a breakaway collar (i.e. the ones with a safety buckle) and you’re all set.

2. Then buy a leash and harness for your dog

husky wearing dog harness

This rule obviously doesn’t apply to cats. No matter what your crazy neighbor who keeps her tabbies on a leash says, kittens do not need this kind of equipment. But dogs definitely do.

Leashes are mostly a matter of preference. There are materials (e.g., nylon and leather) and style (e.g., straight and retractable) to consider, but don’t fret too much about your choices.

If you have a big dog, consider a heavier leash. Here are some picks from the American Kennel Club, if you’d still like some guidance.

Harnesses are another story. There are three major styles:

  1. Front-clip
  2. Back-clip
  3. No-pull

Think about your pet’s personality when you’re weighing each option. For instance, the no-pull is for rambunctious dogs who like to go rogue on walks. It’s probably not the best fit for a calmer pup, who would do well with a back-clip.

You also need to keep your dog’s size in mind when it comes to harnesses. If the one you pick doesn’t fit, your dog might feel uncomfortable or even experience pain. Trainer Mikkel Becher gives some pointers on selecting the right harness in this video from Vetstreet:

3. Find a local vet

maltese mix puppy at the veterinarian
Flickr/Army Medicine

Your pet may not need a vet immediately, especially if he/she is up to date on shots. But you should have a vet lined up because you’re quickly going to have questions that only a medical professional can answer.

Your first stop should be the AAHA-Accredited Hospital Locator. The AAHA is the American Animal Hospital Association, and it only accredits clinics that pass their evaluations based on about 900 standards. Plug your address into their hospital locator’s search bar and see what comes up.

Once you have your list of accredited clinics, Prevention recommends you investigate all prospective vets. Ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Did the vets complete multiple internships or residencies?
  2. Are the vets certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP)?

The vets with the strongest educational backgrounds and experience will be your best bet. You can schedule multiple appointments and make your decision based on which vet you and your pet like best.

You can also consult your friends who live in the area. They’ve likely already been through this process and can tell you which vet on your shortlist is tops.

4. Figure out what food your new pal needs

cat bowl of cat food

There are tons of pet foods on the market, but only some will be right for your new dog or cat.

First, check the pet food labels to see if it has all the nutrients your cat or dog needs. Puppies and kittens have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs and cats, so be sure not to buy young animals food that’s formulated for grown-ups.

Next, be mindful of your furry friend’s allergies. The tricky part is you might not know what those are yet. Unless the people who were caring for your pet before you entered the picture identified them, you’ll have to figure this out for yourself.

Carefully watch your dog or cat’s reaction when you introduce it to a new food. If your pet gets sick afterward, it may be allergic to an ingredient in the kibble or Fancy Feast you bought.

Of course, that’s just a maybe. Animals get sick for all sorts of reasons. Consult your vet if you’re unsure about a possible allergy.

While we’re on the subject of food, remember to buy food and water dishes before your pet arrives. Also, stock up on treats you can use for training.

5. Pick out a crate for your dog

white puppy crate training
Flickr/Suzette Franck

Crates are necessary for housebreaking your pup.

Why?

As The Humane Society explains, dogs don’t like to soil their own dens. Using a crate will teach them that your home is a number two-free zone.

Remember that puppies get bigger, so shop for an expandable crate that grows with your dog.

6. Pick out a litter box for your cat

black cat in a blue litter box
Flickr/Laura LaRose

Cats, on the other hand, need litter boxes to do their business. Once you have the box, choose a designated spot for it in your home.

A corner or otherwise secluded place is a good call because cats, like humans, value their privacy. Also, have a big bag of kitty litter on deck.

7. Don’t forget toys

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Your pets need to have a little fun, too. Toys will keep them entertained while you’re away— and also distract them from trashing the place.

Look for good chew toys for dogs. Bones, ropes, and hard rubber toys will help with teething and give them something to gnaw on besides your shoes.

As for cats, make sure they have scratch posts to shred instead of your carpets.

And when your best furry friend is done with a toy, be sure to store it in any of these 10 pawdorable dog toy storage ideas that will make your pup smile.

8. Put medicine, cosmetics, and chemicals far out of reach

Like little kids who are obsessed with electric outlets, animals enjoy messing with things that could really hurt them. They don’t know that Drano and nail polish are bad for them. It’s up to you to keep all medicine, makeup, green cleaning supplies, and other chemicals out of their grasp.

Do this room by room. Locate the dishwasher detergent in your kitchen, the tub cleaner in your bathroom, the creams on your beside table, and the disinfectants in your closet for example. Then relocate them to a spot where your pet definitely can’t get them.

9. Child-proof your cabinet doors

Even if you already moved your Clorox to a high shelf, child-proof your cabinets as an added precaution. These latches will keep your dog or cat from shredding the paper towels you left inside, or breaking your favorite coffee mug.

10. Cover your trash cans and air vents

pull-out trash cabinet
Flickr/Kelly Sue DeConnick

Leaving your trash uncovered is basically asking Fido to gorge himself on rinds and coffee grounds until he’s sick. That leaves behind spilled garbage and puke for you to clean up. And who wants to spend their evening doing that?

Make sure the lid on your trash can is securely fastened. If the Fido in question is a big dog who could easily knock over that can, you might want to move the trash can inside one of those cabinets you just latched.

While you’re covering up things, check all the grilles on your air vents. Those need to be properly secured so curious kittens don’t pry them loose and get trapped in the vent.

11. Close your toilet lid and dryer door

black and white cat walking in front of a washing machine
Flickr/zoetnet

Sure, everyone laughed when the pups drank from the toilet in The Secret Life of Pets (and every other dog movie). But pets can get sick from lapping up the chemicals in your toilet — and the little ones could even fall in. So keep the lid closed, especially while your pet is still getting used to your home.

Another thing you should shut? The dryer door.

Many cats (understandably) see a warm dryer as an ideal sleeping spot. You probably shouldn’t let them wander off into the laundry area at all. But just in case they do, keep the washer and dryer doors closed 24/7.

12. Mind your wires

black power cord wrapped with a black plastic tie
Flickr/The Next Web

Dumping phone chargers on your coffee table is a recipe for disaster. They look like toys to your pets, and the pets won’t know better until they bite them.

Don’t leave any loose wires or cords out for curious cats and dogs to chew. And tape any wires or cords that need to stay put (like the plug for the TV) to the baseboards.

Also, any sort of string or thread is catnip for, well, cats. Pack up crafting supplies so your kitten can’t get into your sewing projects, and coil or clip your blind cords.

13. Hide your food and any other small objects your pet might choke on

cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt containers on a fridge shelf

Hopefully, you already thought to hide your chocolate and other foods that are obviously toxic to animals. Do your best to limit your pet’s access to all of your food. Even if it’s harmless, do you really want Whiskers eating all your snacks?

Don’t set food out on counters your pet can reach. Put everything in the fridge or freezer, or in one of those newly child-proof cabinets.

While you’re at it, scan your home for small items that could prove a choking hazard. Any knick-knacks on low shelves or tables have to find a new home. Preferably far away from your pet’s mouth.

14. Install gates, if you need them

black and white border collie with an orange ball in its mouth standing behind a wooden gate
Flickr/bambe1964

Even with all that hiding, covering, and child-proofing, there might be some areas you just don’t want your new pet in. Or maybe your pet isn’t quite ready to explore upstairs yet. Either way, we recommend putting up some gates to protect your pet.

Gates are key to laying the ground rules for new pets. It keeps them out of trouble while they’re still learning what’s allowed and what isn’t, and it’ll make you a lot less nervous. It may also be a long-term solution if you want to keep certain rooms pet-free at all times.

Buy gates that are tall enough to fence your pet in, and be sure to read the installation instructions carefully. Crafty cats and dogs can find a way around loose locks.

15. Block small spaces

stove, sink, dish washer, and an all-ine-one washer dryer crammed next to each other in a small kitchen
Flickr/Marion Doss

Now it’s time to think about the tiny nooks and crannies in your apartment that you normally never think about. That means the space between the oven and your wall. Or basically any spot you can’t reach with your vacuum.

Small animals can reach those spots, and get stuck. Block small spaces now to avoid a rescue mission down the line.

16. Make sure your plants aren’t poisonous

white and brown cat sitting underneath raised potted plants
Flickr/torne

Common houseplants, flowers, and herbs that seem harmless can be toxic for your new roommate. The no-no list for cats includes:

  • Sage
  • Lace fern
  • Daisies
  • Lavender

Meanwhile, poisonous plants for dogs include:

  • Hydrangeas
  • Irises
  • Thyme
  • Aloe

Several of these are bad for both animals. For a more complete list of plants toxic to your pet, check out the lists the ASPCA compiled for cats and dogs.

Thinking about planting a garden outside?

Check out Rascal and Rocco’s guide on how to create a cat-friendly garden, patio, or outdoor space.

17. Clear the path for bones and bowls with MakeSpace

 

Even the tiniest toy poodle is going to take up some space in your place. Between your pet’s toys, bed, and hourly lap around the entire apartment, the little guy needs some room.

The only problem is you don’t have it. You’re ready to rescue a furry friend, but your apartment isn’t quite as ready. It’s a bit cramped, and you have no idea how you’re going to fit a puppy in between all your furniture, shoes, and clothes.

Don’t give up on Buster. Use MakeSpace.

Simply schedule a storage pickup and we’ll come get that coat rack taking up valuable crate space. Then, we’ll transport it to our secure temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll even create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you always remember what you have in storage.

But here’s what will really get your tail wagging:

When you want something back, you won’t have to spend hours sorting through boxes in a self-storage unit two hours away. Simply log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

Your dog’s 3 AM barks might give you a headache, but with MakeSpace, storage never will.

How To Easily Clean And Organize Your Garage [Infographic]

When you don’t know where to put something in your house, where do you usually store it?

In your garage, until you figure out a better home for the item?

While that solves your storage problem, it’s only temporary. Things pile up. Next thing you know, you forgot where you stored your luggage for your upcoming Caribbean cruise.

That won’t happen anymore, though. Because we created this step-by-step guide (plus an infographic!) on how to easily clean and organize your garage.

First, we’ll take you through the best ways to clean your garage floor,  door, and walls. Then, we’ll explain how to organize and store your stuff in cabinets, on pegboards, and in other brilliant garage storage solutions.

The advice all comes from home improvement experts, so you can trust their word.

Click any of the below links to jump to a specific section:
How To Clean Your Garage Floor
How To Clean Your Garage Door
How To Clean Your Garage Walls
How To Organize Your Garage Space
How To Organize Garage Cabinets
How To Organize Garage Tools
How To Organize A Garage Pegboard

how to clean and organize your garage infographic by makespace storage

Want to embed our garage cleaning and organizing infographic on your site?

Awesome! Copy the code below. 🙂

<p><a href="https://makespace.com/blog/posts/how-to-clean-organize-garage/" target="_blank"><img src="https://cdn.makespace.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/20123840/how-to-clean-organize-garage-makespace-storage.jpg" title="How To Clean And Organize Your Garage" alt="How to clean and organize your garage infographic by MakeSpace"></a></p>
<p><a href="https://makespace.com/" target="_blank">via MakeSpace</a></p>

How To Clean Your Garage Floor

1. Soak up any oil slicks.

 

Garage floors are especially susceptible to grease and oil stains, but you can remove them with some basic cleaners and cat litter.

The pros at DIY Network and Lowes both recommend applying a layer of kitty litter to the stain first. This helps absorb the excess liquid. If you don’t have a cat, sawdust or cornmeal will do.

Once you’ve let the cat litter work its magic, vacuum or sweep it up. Then attack the stain with a detergent or cleaning agent. Out of the several cleaning options that Jeff Patterson tested for Home Repair Tutor, his favorites were Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) and Drylok Etch.

2. Scrub out other stains.

For all the splotches on your floor that did not come from your gas tank, try a mild detergent first. This should take care of light stains, but if you need something more heavy-duty, muriatic acid can help.

Just as it does with oil spots, TSP works wonders on rust stains. Mix it with water and then scrub it into the problem area with a push broom. After it’s soaked for 10-15 minutes, rinse it all off.

3. Fill in any cracks with epoxy paste.

Does your garage floor have cracks from construction projects or heavy items that fell off a shelf?

Fix the cracks with a little epoxy paste. Simply fill in the gaps with the paste, wait for it to dry, and then sand the area until you’ve buffed out any extra or uneven paste.

4. Seal cracks with sealant.

 

A sealant will help maintain and protect your garage floor. And if you’re planning to paint your garage floor, you absolutely need to apply sealant to it first. As Angie’s List explains, there are several different types of garage floor sealers.

First, there’s a topical sealer. Acrylic is the cheapest topical option but also requires the most upkeep. Epoxy is more expensive but thicker and more durable. Polyurethane offers the most protection at the highest price, and you’ll need a primer to pair with this one.

Then, there are penetrating sealers. These are often siliconate-based and require just one coat. For this reason, they’re the most common sealants used for garage floors.

Once you’ve landed on the right option for your garage and cleaned the floor, apply the sealant like you would paint on a wall. Start in the corners and apply a healthy, even coat.

Give it plenty of time to dry, so it bonds with the concrete. And if you need more guidance, pick up some extra tips from the experts at PPG Paints in the video above.

How To Clean Your Garage Door

1. Brush off the dirt.

Before you bring buckets of water and soap into the equation, shake down any loose debris clinging to your garage door. A stiff brush or broom should do the trick.

2. Hose it down.

man holding a garden hose in his left hand

Knock out any lingering dirt with a garden hose. Give the entire door a good spray before you move onto the next step.

3. Wipe it with warm water and mild household detergent.

soapy yellow sponge on a wood floor

Now comes the actual cleaning. You’ll want to have a bucket of warm water mixed with a mild household detergent on deck for this part.

Dip a sponge or old rag into the soapy water and wipe down the door, inch by inch. Look out for splotches or stains as you go, so you can buff them out by hand.

It’s just like cleaning the car sitting in your garage, minus all those pesky tire spokes.

4. Grease and tighten all the moving parts.

This is a pretty quick and easy cleaning process, so while you’re at it, tune up your garage door.

Check for any bent or malfunctioning pieces and use a household oil to grease every moving part. Also, tighten the screws before you close the door.

How To Clean Your Garage Walls

1. Vacuum cobwebs and debris.

cobwebs
Flickr/Matt Brown

Even if you use your garage frequently, it’s a natural home for cobwebs and spiderwebs.

Before you wash your garage walls, use the bristle attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any webs or grime lurking in the corners.

2. Sponge the walls with warm water and detergent.

You’ll be doing exactly what you did to your garage door just moments ago. Take your bucket filled with warm water and detergent, grab a sponge, and systematically scrub the walls with careful strokes.

You should be going bottom to top, to avoid long muddy streaks. Keep a step-stool close by so you can hit those hard-to-reach areas by the ceiling.

3. Attack tough stains with ammonia.

For the spots that detergent can’t dissolve, try some basic ammonia. Mix one or two cups into a gallon of cold water to minimize the stench.

Then dip your sponge in the liquid and treat each stain individually. If the ammonia can’t do the trick, Housekeeping Channel recommends trying that trusty TSP.

How To Organize Your Garage Space

1. Separate everything into four piles.

You can’t really get organized until you’ve taken stock of your stuff. So gather everything in your garage and sort it into four groups:

  1. Keep
  2. Donate
  3. Trash
  4. Sell

You should only hang onto items that make you happy. All the rest? Donate it to a charity or hawk it at a yard sale.

Well, except for anything broken or useless (i.e. old newspapers). Those items belong in the garbage can or recycling bin.

2. Find a new home for paint, paper goods, and propane tanks.

paint cans on four workshop shelves

Once you have a “keep” pile, separate out the things that don’t belong in your garage. According to This Old House, these items include propane tanks (a fire hazard best kept outdoors) and paint cans (which are ruined by extreme temperatures).

Paper goods like napkins are also likely to attract bugs, and pet food might bring all the possums to your garage. Relocate this stuff to a more suitable space, such as in your cabinet or pantry.

3. Create a basic floor plan.

garage wall storage for tools

Now that you’ve made all those cuts, it’s time to get down to the real work of organizing. This will be a lot easier to do if you sketch out or at least map in your head a floor plan for your garage.

While you can design it however you want, we recommend following these four basic guidelines:

  1. Group similar items together.
  2. Put the bulkiest gear in the corner, where it’s safely out of your car’s way.
  3. Place seasonal items in the harder-to-reach areas, so the stuff you use all the time is more accessible.
  4. Whenever possible, keep things off the floor. Maximize your walls and ceiling as best you can to avoid crowding the floor space.

How To Organize Garage Cabinets

1. Consolidate items into storage bins and tubs.

A post shared by MakeSpace (@makespace) on

Don’t just throw junk onto your cabinet shelves. Storage bins and tubs can help you manage the chaos. This works best if you dedicate categories of items to specific bins and tubs.

Holiday decorations can have one bin, winter clothes can have another one. Once they’re all filled up, slide them into your cabinet. Just make sure you label everything as you’re sorting.

2. Store small stuff in old coffee cans and gum containers.

For the little things that would get lost in a tub, upcycle containers from your own kitchen. Lil Blue Boo cleaned out some old coffee cans to serve as battery recycling receptacles. You could easily use yours for small items in your garage.

Or take a cue from The Ugly Duckling House and save old Orbit gum containers. They’re great homes for your screws, nuts, and bolts.

3. Convert a metal office cabinet into a pantry.

Martha Stewart suggests getting a metal office cabinet to serve solely as a pantry. That way, you can use a magnet to attach a clipboard — with an inventory of your LaCroix, spring water, and other sundries — to the cabinet’s front door.

4. Consider a locker for each family member.

Giving each member of your family their own garage cabinet might seem excessive, but what about assigning everyone a locker?

Shelly at 100 Things 2 Do salvaged a set of old school lockers, repainted them, and then gave herself, her two daughters, and her husband one unit apiece.

Each person could then sort their helmets or sidewalk chalk to his/her liking. Shelly found the lockers in the Canadian classifieds, so keep an eye on Craigslist or The Container Store for your own set.

How To Organize Garage Tools

1. Mount toolboxes on the wall.

Popular Mechanics shared a smart storage tip from car collector Bernie Nevoral:

He bolted his toolboxes to his garage walls and mounted a few metal tool cabinets high up near his ceilings. This garage organization system keeps his floor empty so he has more room for tune-ups.

Even if you’re not a motorhead like Bernie, this approach can also help you save space in your garage.

2. Store garden tools in a converted filing cabinet.

Turn an upcycled filing cabinet on its side and you’ve got a great home for your rakes, shovels, and mops. As The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel illustrates, all you have to do is remove the cabinet’s drawers and slot your tools into the empty space.

You can even install a little pegboard storage with hooks on the side of the cabinet so you can hang wrenches, scissors, garden shears, and more:

3. Build a portable tool caddy.

Your tools make life so much easier. Return the favor by building them a tool caddy with these instructions from Mom 4 Real.

This DIY garage storage project requires wood, pegboards, a saw, screws, glue, and casters. Once you’re done building it, you have a movable one-stop-shop for all your tools.

4. Outline your tools on the wall.

It’s easier to keep track of your screwdriver when it’s literally drawn on the wall. When hanging up your tools, carefully trace an outline around each one with a pencil.

Then, take down the items and make the sketches more visible by going over each sketch with a marker or paint pens. When you’re done, put your tools back in their (now very clearly) assigned spaces.

How To Organize A Garage Pegboard

1. Install a pegboard.

 

Garages sadly don’t come with built-in pegboards, so before you can organize one, you need to set it up. For this project, you’ll need a tape measure, screws, a drill, an actual pegboard, and a few other items to mount it.

Bob Vila lays out the process in five steps here, but if want a more dynamic tutorial, watch the above demo from Frugal Home DIY.

2. Add hooks.

Once your pegboard is all set up, you’ll need to install some hooks so you can actually hang things.

Hooks can easily slip off their slots after you attach them. Which is why The Family Handyman recommends locking them in place with zip ties, pegboard clips, or some hot glue for extra security.

3. Use baskets and bins.

garage wall-mounted pegboard storage bins
Flickr/mtneer_man

Small wire baskets and pegboard bins can help you store items that don’t easily fit on a hook — think stud finders and loose screws. Check your local Home Depot, Staples, or Sears for these accessories.

4. Or skip the pegboard and let MakeSpace store your stuff.

 

Still have stuff that won’t fit in your garage cabinet, on your shelves, or on your new pegboard?

We’ll store it for you.

All you have to do is schedule a  MakeSpace pickup, pack your stuff, and leave the rest to us.

We’ll pick up everything (including your bulky snowboard, skis, sports equipment, and appliances) and store it in our secure temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll also create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you always remember what you have in storage.

The best part:

When you want something back from storage, simply log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you. It’s that simple.

MakeSpace Raises $30 Million In Series C Funding Led By 8VC

Company Modernizing $30 Billion Storage Industry Scales to Meet Consumer Demand

NEW YORK – April 20, 2017 – MakeSpace, the leading full-service storage provider that picks up, stores and brings back your belongings, announced today it has raised a $30 million Series C round led by 8VC. Existing investors Upfront Ventures, Harmony Partners, and Summit Action also participated. The capital will be used to scale the business and further develop the company’s logistics technology platform and operational infrastructure to meet the growing demands for moving thousands of customers during peak season. 8VC partner Kimmy Scotti joined the company’s board of directors.

“We are driven and highly focused on creating the very best experience for our consumers,” said Sam Rosen, founder and CEO of MakeSpace. “8VC shares our passion for disrupting an antiquated industry and creating the 21st century version of a storage company. Kimmy has deep experience in business development and direct-to-consumer marketing and will bring her expertise to the board, which is invaluable as we continue our rapid growth.”

“MakeSpace is modernizing the archaic storage industry – with a clear opportunity to change how we think about the $30 billion space,” said Scotti. “MakeSpace has achieved impressive growth over the last year, signaling an enormous opportunity for the company. I have tremendous respect for Sam and his team and look forward to working with them.”

MakeSpace’s professional movers provide pick-up, packing and delivery services so that customers never have to visit a storage facility. Unlike traditional self-storage, MakeSpace stores customers’ belongings in massive warehouses outside city centers and passes along the real estate savings to its customers. Customers can manage their storage remotely by viewing their digital catalog to easily review items and schedule deliveries.

Following its launch in 2013, MakeSpace operates in New York City, New Jersey, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and most recently added Los Angeles.

About MakeSpace
MakeSpace, founded by Sam Rosen and Rahul Gandhi, set out to make storage more consumer-friendly, creating an affordable storage service that allows consumers to store their belongings without lifting a finger. MakeSpace’s professional movers provide pick-up, packing and delivery services so that customers never have to visit a storage facility. Customers can select a storage plan that suits their storage needs and manage items remotely through their digital catalog to easily view stored items, and manage pick-ups and returns. MakeSpace is headquartered in New York City. Find out more at makespace.com.

How To Clean Your Apartment Fast: 17 Quick And Easy Tips

You know how it goes. You’re at home enjoying a very lazy Sunday afternoon when the phone rings. It’s your college roommate, and she’s in town. No, she’s not just in town. She’s in your neighborhood, and will be over in about 35 minutes.

You can’t possibly turn your apartment into a sparkling centerspread from Better Homes and Gardens in that time, but you can still get it in shape for an unexpected guest.

All you have to do is relax, breathe, and follow these 17 cleaning tips. They won’t take care of everything  — and they cut a few notable corners — but they will get your home ready for company, however unannounced.

1. Take a picture of your place.

take a picture of your apartment before cleaning it

Before you rush into panic cleaning mode, snap a few quick photos of your space on your phone. Now look at them. Does anything strike you as glaringly out of place?

It can be easy to get used to the gym bag you dropped in the corner two weeks ago, but a photo can help you notice things that don’t belong. (This tip comes courtesy of A Beautiful Mess blogger Emma Chapman, who clearly knows all about messes.)

2. Focus on rooms your guest will actually use.

 

You don’t have time to make every inch of your apartment spotless, so narrow your scope. Millennial Moms host Jordan Page makes an excellent point in her quick clean tutorial (embedded above):Your guest is only going to hang out in a few spots in your home.

Your guest is only going to hang out in a few spots in your home.

That means there’s no need to clean your home office, since you won’t be showing Aunt Diane how to use your new printer. Simply shut the door on that space and worry about it later.

Instead, focus your energy on sprucing up your bathroom, living room, kitchen, and bedroom.

3. Pick up dirty clothes and towels.

laundry basket next to a white eames style vortex chair on a wooden floor in a clean home

Speed walk through all those rooms we just mentioned, with your eyes trained on the floor. Do you spy crumpled T-shirts next to your bed? Damp used towels by the shower? A rogue sock peeking out from under the couch?

Grab them all up and toss them into your hamper. You don’t need to wash them today, but you definitely need to get them off the ground.

4. Deposit empty glasses or dirty dishes into the sink.

cool coffee mugs from the london coffee festival at the old truman brewery

Time for speed walk, round two. This time, you’re looking at your tables and counters.

Do you see a coffee mug stained with this morning’s latte? The plate you used last night for your Bachelor snacks? Anything else that clearly belongs in a kitchen cabinet?

Collect all those dirty dishes and drop them in the sink. You’ll get to them in a bit. But until then, onto the next task.

5. Caddy your cleaning supplies.

cleaning supplies caddy
Flickr/Collin Anderson

Now is the time to bust out your detergents and disinfectants. Keep your cleaning supplies in one portable place to make this step a lot easier on yourself .

You can use a bucket, caddy, bag, or any other portable item that can hold all your sprays and rags. This way, you can clean more quickly from room to room.

And when you’re all done? Everything goes back in the same place.

6. Give the toilet, sink, and bathroom mirror a quick clean.

decluttered bathroom with a clean mirror
Flickr/Christine Warner Hawks

Your guest is going to ask to use the bathroom at some point. So wipe down the main fixtures like your toilet, sink, and mirror with your preferred cleaning agent. (But first, put away any hair dryers or shaving cream you have sitting on the ledge.)

GQ cleaning expert Jolie Kerr recommends spraying the toilet and sink with Scrubbing Bubbles. Since the bubbles need a few minutes to work their magic, you can run off and do other tasks while you wait.

When you return to wipe everything off, make sure to Windex your mirror, too, for any streaks or spots. And straighten out your hand towels while you’re at it.

7. But just keep the shower curtain closed.

closed shower curtain
Flickr/Dan DeLuca

Yes, your tub should be clean, but it’s also way more work to scrub it than a toilet bowl. Plus, your friend dropping by isn’t going to hop in the bath for an hour-long soak.

Save yourself the time and effort by simply snapping the shower curtain shut. No one’s going to look inside, unless they’re the kind of person who also snoops through medicine cabinets. In which case, why do you even invite them over?

8. Tidy up your surfaces.

white wood pallet coffee table with wheels in a clean living room

As you move out of the bathroom and into your three remaining rooms (kitchen, living room, and bedroom), start looking for out-of-place items on your surfaces. We’re talking about your coffee tables, nightstands, and countertops.

If you spy something that you can easily put away in a second, do it. For everything else? Stack and clump together what you can into semi-neat piles.

Once that’s done, give those surfaces a good dusting. Feather dusters cover lots of ground in very little time, and they cost basically nothing. Bustle suggests this $6.99 microfiber duster from OXO.

Is your counter in need of more than a light dusting?

Wipe up any obvious spills or stains for now, and make a mental note to give your surfaces a more thorough clean tomorrow.

9. Toss stuff in baskets.

multiple pairs of white, red, and black converse chuck taylors in a laundry basket

So what about the junk on your counter that isn’t so easily sorted or stacked?

Here’s a cleaning secret:

You don’t have to put it away right this second.

Grab a laundry basket and load it up with all the stuff you’re not quite sure what to do with. Then set it aside, so you can move on to the next step.

If you happen to have extra time at the end of all this, feel free to put away all the items in your laundry basket. But if you don’t, just slide it under your bed before company arrives.

It’s okay, we won’t tell anyone.

10. Make your bed.

custom plywood bed frame supporting a made bed
Flickr/Pedro Reyna

Maybe your throw pillows spend more time on the floor than they do delicately perched on your comforter. But no one needs to know that.

Making your bed is the easiest way to make your apartment look more put-together than it actually is. And besides, there’s a very good chance your guest will end up storing a coat in this room.

11. Take out the trash.

green trash can on a sidewalk

If you just took the garbage out last night, you can skip this step. But if your trash can is packed to the brim with banana peels, eggshells, and coffee grounds, it’s time for a purge.

Bag up all the trash — not just from the kitchen, but the bathroom and bedroom, too — and get it out of your apartment. Don’t forget to add fresh new bags immediately, in case your friend needs to throw something out.

12. Do the dishes.

clean yellow coffee mug, drinking glass, and dish brush in a kitchen

Remember how you put this off eight steps earlier?

Well, you can’t do that any longer. No one likes the sight of a sink stacked with smudged, stinky plates, so you have to do something about this mess.

If you have a dishwasher, just throw everything in there and move on. If you don’t, wash the biggest pieces and place them on the rack to dry. A sink with a few forks isn’t so bad. But a sink with a skillet full of last night’s stir fry? That’s not great.

If you really don’t want to leave anything behind in the sink but are running out of time, Cosmopolitan has a funny fix:

Simply stack all your dirty dishes together and hide them in your freezer or oven. What they don’t know won’t hurt them.

13. Take care of pet hair.

cute brown dog lying on a white fabric sofa

You probably don’t mind the fur your pup seems to shed every five seconds. But other people might, especially if they have allergies. Run a dust buster over the couch for stray animal hairs and give the floor a quick sweep.

While you’re at it, clean out your cat’s litter box and/or pick up the chew toy your dog left right by the front door. Then remind Winnie to be on her best behavior because you have company coming.

14. And vacuum if you can.

red and black hoover vacuum cleaner on a carpet

Vacuuming is a big time suck (pun intended), and realistically, you might not get around to this task. But if you can give your floors a cursory clean, it will make a big difference.

To ensure maximum vacuuming efficiency, cleaning pro Laura Dellutri suggests tackling the entire length of the room in one straight row. Then adjust and start again at the front of the room.

Loop the cord over your shoulder while you’re making these long rows, so you don’t trip in your mad dash to cleanliness.

15. Fluff your couch pillows.

homespot hq decorative pillows on a clean sofa
Flickr/Homespot HQ

It’s a silly, simple step, but it will not go unappreciated. As a final touch before your friend or family member arrives, fluff the pillows and cushions on your couch.

If you happen to notice a stain on the cushion as you’re fluffing, flip it over to the cleaner side. Also, fold up any throw blankets hanging off your sectional.

16. Spray a scent or light a candle.

porter and plot pinot gris-scented candle

Between the garbage can you just emptied and the dog fur you vacuumed up, there are a lot of weird smells floating through the air right now. Make your home less musty with a fresh scent.

Spray some Febreze, plug in the Glade, break out the essential oil diffuser, or light your favorite candle. The welcoming aroma will trick your guest into thinking your place smells (and looks) this good all the time.

17. MakeSpace.


While you were cleaning your home in a hurry, you may have found some things you love but don’t need in your home right now. Instead of putting them back after your guest leaves, only for the items to take up unnecessary space in your home, schedule a MakeSpace pickup.

We’ll pick up your stuff and transport it to our secure, temperature-controlled storage facility. We’ll also create an online photo catalog of your stuff so you never forget what you have in storage.

That’s not all.

When you want something back, you won’t have to spend hours rifling through a bunch of boxes in a storage unit. Just log into your MakeSpace account, select the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver it to you.

Last-minute visits from your family will always be stressful. But with MakeSpace, storage never is.

Top image via Flickr/Living Rooms London

4 Crucial Things To Keep In Mind When Organizing Your Stuff

We know you’re busy, so we’ll dive right in:

1. Only save the items you’ll need

 

Decluttering Flowchart by MakeSpace, a full-service storage company that picks up, stores, and delivers your stuff so you never have to visit a self-storage unit

Let’s be real: We’ve all kept junk we won’t ever use or need. Too much clutter, though, will ruin your life.

The solution: Be more conscientious about the items you keep, and declutter your stuff on a regular basis.

When it comes down to organizing, you’re only making things harder on yourself if you don’t part with those old, out-of-date items that you’ll simply have no use for.

Take the time to decide what to store and what to toss. Invest in a paper shredder to get rid of those piles of junk mail and bills that can’t just be thrown away.

Also, look for ways to remove clutter in problem areas like your bathroom. By minimizing the overall amount of stuff you have in your home, you’ll be making your organizing plans much smoother and easier. Less is more.

2. Make the most of limited space

over-the-door shoe organizer storing winter gloves, scarves, and hats
The Borrowed Abode

The most essential tip in organizing your home is to make the best use of your free space.  Instead of piling up your books and magazines on the floor, add in some space-saving book storage. And free up some floor space in your closet with convenient shoe racks.

We’ve also offered a few next-level ways to organize your kitchen cabinets, drawers, and pantry. In more cozy areas, think outside the box. Use an over-the-door shoe organizer to store your knick knacks and other supplies — without wasting any floor space.

3. Turn less frequently-used items into home decor

blue and white surfboard against a bamboo wall

Love snowboarding, surfing, or playing hockey?

These are just a few examples of activities you can do to stay active and fit, but they also require you to store large equipment that can lead to clutter. Instead of tossing your snowboard in your closet, turn your equipment into part-time art.

You can also install wall mounts for bicycles, guitars, painting supplies, computer monitors, and plenty of other equipment. Look to make the most use of your everyday supplies by incorporating them into your home decor!

4. Let MakeSpace store your extra stuff

makespace full-service storage with pickup and delivery
MakeSpace

We know that there are some items you just can’t part with. This is totally understandable. But if the items are getting in the way of keeping a clean living space, look into storage.

If you have sentimental keepsakes like your family’s fine china but nowhere to put them, take the time to consider the best and most convenient storage company: MakeSpace.

We’ll pick up, store, and deliver your stuff so you have more space in your home to do whatever you want.

Once your home is organized and you have free space to enjoy, make sure to keep your home clean as well. Keeping a clean, organized, and healthy home can reduce stress and improve your overall mood.

Regular maintenance and organization can positively affect you and your loved ones, so be sure to keep these crucial tips in mind for a happy and healthy living space.

This article was written by King of Maids, a platform that makes it super easy for you to book a professional home cleaning.

If you’re in the middle of spring cleaning (or still fearfully procrastinating), you know what a pain it is to figure out how to make space for all your stuff. Storage would be great for all your seasonal clothes and other nonessentials. But traditional self-storage is a hassle, time suck, and expensive.

Thankfully, MakeSpace developed a solution: full-service storage with pickup AND delivery — for less than what self-storage companies charge.

Here are 7 no-brainer reasons to use MakeSpace today:

1. We pick up, store, and deliver your stuff while you relax

makespace full-service storage with pickup and delivery

With self-storage, you haul everything. With MakeSpace, you haul nothing. Simply get a free quote, schedule a pickup, pack your stuff, and leave the rest to us. We’ll pick up, store, and deliver your stuff back so you never have to rent a truck or visit a storage unit.

2. MakeSpace is more affordable than self-storage

piggy bank

Storage rates in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC are extremely expensive. MakeSpace is able to offer you much lower rates because we don’t need to occupy pricey real estate like self-storage.

Plus, when you commit to an annual plan, your rate can be up to 30% lower. And unlike self-storage, we’ll never increase your monthly bill for the same plan size. In fact, if you store fewer items that could fit in a smaller storage space, we’ll lower your bill.

On top of that, deliveries start at only $20. That’s less than the cost of a roundtrip cab and a latte. 🙂

3. You get FREE storage bins and wardrobe boxes

makespace bin

Save hundreds on boxes and tape by using our free durable storage bins and wardrobe boxes. We’ll drop off as many as you want when you schedule your storage pickup.

4. You get a FREE online photo catalog of your stuff

makespace macbook iphone

Drag your mouse to your storage unit, not yourself. When you need something back from storage, you don’t have to dig through boxes for hours inside a dusty storage unit. Simply log into your online MakeSpace account, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver your stuff to you.

5. Your stuff is always safe

lock heart

Our secure storage facilities are closed to the public and have 24/7 security, motion-sensing cameras, and alarms to ensure the safety of your stuff at all times.

6. We’ll pick up and drop off your donations to Goodwill

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

We’ll bring a shiny blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag to your appointment. Fill the bag with anything you’d like to donate and hand it to us. We’ll drop off your donation to a local Goodwill — for free.*

7. Customers love MakeSpace.

We always strive to deliver a 5-star experience. Our friendly Customer Support team is here to help you 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Click the button below to learn more about MakeSpace and get $75 of free storage!

Get $75 of Free Storage
 

*Free Goodwill dropoffs are only available to MakeSpace customers in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

1. Steam-clean your microwave with lemon, water, and a sponge.

lemon slices in a glass of water
Instructions:

  1. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl with ½ cup of water.
  2. Microwave the bowl until the water boils, usually around 3 minutes.
  3. Let the bowl stand for 5 minutes. The steam will loosen up the gunk.
  4. Remove the bowl and turntable from the microwave.
  5. Wipe the inside of the microwave with a sponge or paper towel.
  6. Pat yourself on the back. (Without the sponge in your hand.)

Got some hard-to-remove stains?

No problem. Dip the sponge into the hot lemon water and then scrub the stain with the sponge.

2. Clean your sink drain with baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water.

yellow strainer in a kitchen sink
Flickr/Rachel Zack

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar down the drain.
  2. Let the mixture work its magic for a few minutes.
  3. Pour boiling water down the drain.

Have a garbage disposal?

Follow the above three steps. Then turn on the garbage disposal and drop a handful of lemon peels down the disposal to give it a fresh citrus scent.

When you’re done, turn off the garbage disposal. Your intact fingers will thank you.

3. Refresh your fridge with baking soda, hot water, and coffee grounds.

ground coffee beans on a clean white surface
Flickr/Joe King

Instructions:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of hot water.
  2. Dip a sponge into the mix and wipe the fridge’s interior with it.
  3. Wipe the interior again, this time with a damp cloth.
  4. Dry the interior with a clean towel.

Nasty smells coming from that lasagna you forgot about?

Scatter fresh coffee grounds onto a tray and leave it inside your fridge until the odor vanishes.

Pro-tip: Let MakeSpace store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

Learn more
 

4. Remove stovetop stains with baking soda and a wet cloth.

clean a glass stove top with baking soda and a wet cloth
The Make Your Own Zone

Instructions:

  1. Make sure the stove is off and the stovetop is cool.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stains.
  3. Wipe the stains with a wet cloth.
  4. Dry the stovetop with a towel or paper towel.

5. Dust your blinds in half the time with a Swiffer cloth or rag attached to tongs.

clean blinds in half the time with swiffer sweeper clothes rubber banded around tongs
A Cultivated Nest

Instructions:

  1. Rubber band a dry Swiffer cloth or rag around tongs.
  2. Clamp the tongs onto one end of a blind.
  3. While holding the tongs, move your arm to the opposite end of the blind.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the rest of the blinds, and swap out the cloth or rag as necessary.

6. Iron out carpet stains with vinegar, water, and a wet rag.

paige smith removing carpet stains with an iron and wet pink towel
Paige Smith

Instructions:

  1. Spray the stain with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.
  2. Put a wet rag over the stain.
  3. Set your iron to “steam,” and iron the rag for 30 seconds.
  4. Smile in awe as the rag magically lifts the stain.

7. The Ultimate Hack:
Get MakeSpace to store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

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

Simply get a free MakeSpace quote, schedule a pickup, pack your stuff, and toss anything you’d like to donate in the blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag that we bring to your appointment.

We’ll pick up your stuff, store it in our secure storage facility, and drop off your donation bag to a local Goodwill.*

The best part: When you need something back from storage, we’ll deliver it to you.

Click the button below to learn more about MakeSpace and get $75 of free storage!

Get $75 of Free Storage
 

Happy cleaning!

*Free Goodwill dropoffs are only available to MakeSpace customers in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

1. Steam-clean your microwave with lemon, water, and a sponge.

lemon slices in a glass of water
Instructions:

  1. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl with ½ cup of water.
  2. Microwave the bowl until the water boils, usually around 3 minutes.
  3. Let the bowl stand for 5 minutes. The steam will loosen up the gunk.
  4. Remove the bowl and turntable from the microwave.
  5. Wipe the inside of the microwave with a sponge or paper towel.
  6. Pat yourself on the back. (Without the sponge in your hand.)

Got some hard-to-remove stains?

No problem. Dip the sponge into the hot lemon water and then scrub the stain with the sponge.

2. Clean your sink drain with baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water.

yellow strainer in a kitchen sink
Flickr/Rachel Zack

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar down the drain.
  2. Let the mixture work its magic for a few minutes.
  3. Pour boiling water down the drain.

Have a garbage disposal?

Follow the above three steps. Then turn on the garbage disposal and drop a handful of lemon peels down the disposal to give it a fresh citrus scent.

When you’re done, turn off the garbage disposal. Your intact fingers will thank you.

3. Refresh your fridge with baking soda, hot water, and coffee grounds.

ground coffee beans on a clean white surface
Flickr/Joe King

Instructions:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of hot water.
  2. Dip a sponge into the mix and wipe the fridge’s interior with it.
  3. Wipe the interior again, this time with a damp cloth.
  4. Dry the interior with a clean towel.

Nasty smells coming from that lasagna you forgot about?

Scatter fresh coffee grounds onto a tray and leave it inside your fridge until the odor vanishes.

Pro-tip: Let MakeSpace store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

Learn more
 

4. Remove stovetop stains with baking soda and a wet cloth.

clean a glass stove top with baking soda and a wet cloth
The Make Your Own Zone

Instructions:

  1. Make sure the stove is off and the stovetop is cool.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stains.
  3. Wipe the stains with a wet cloth.
  4. Dry the stovetop with a towel or paper towel.

5. Dust your blinds in half the time with a Swiffer cloth or rag attached to tongs.

clean blinds in half the time with swiffer sweeper clothes rubber banded around tongs
A Cultivated Nest

Instructions:

  1. Rubber band a dry Swiffer cloth or rag around tongs.
  2. Clamp the tongs onto one end of a blind.
  3. While holding the tongs, move your arm to the opposite end of the blind.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the rest of the blinds, and swap out the cloth or rag as necessary.

6. Iron out carpet stains with vinegar, water, and a wet rag.

paige smith removing carpet stains with an iron and wet pink towel
Paige Smith

Instructions:

  1. Spray the stain with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.
  2. Put a wet rag over the stain.
  3. Set your iron to “steam,” and iron the rag for 30 seconds.
  4. Smile in awe as the rag magically lifts the stain.

7. The Ultimate Hack:
Get MakeSpace to store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

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

Simply get a free MakeSpace quote, schedule a pickup, pack your stuff, and toss anything you’d like to donate in the blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag that we bring to your appointment.

We’ll pick up your stuff, store it in our secure storage facility, and drop off your donation bag to a local Goodwill.*

The best part: When you need something back from storage, we’ll deliver it to you.

Click the button below to learn more about MakeSpace and get $75 of free storage!

Get $75 of Free Storage
 

Happy cleaning!

*Free Goodwill dropoffs are only available to MakeSpace customers in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.