What You Can (and Can’t) Store in a Unit

Self storage units are convenient for people that are moving out or just trying to tidy up their home. If you are relatively new to the concept of renting a storage unit, you might not know what exactly can be kept in there. Many items can be stored away, from large pieces of furniture to smaller boxes of memorabilia. However, there are some objects that are advised against and possibly even illegal.

Welcome back to the Albuquerque Self Storage Blog! There are quite a few things to take into consideration when first starting to use a storage unit. Earlier this month, we talked about some helpful tips to make using a storage company easy and efficient. This article is going to focus on what you can (and can’t) store in a unit. If you are moving or just trying to de-clutter your current home, a storage unit is a simple way to get some extra space.

Items You Can Store in a Unit

Furniture

Here, at Albuquerque Self Storage, our indoor units come in a variety of sizes. You might be remodeling your home and not know where to put items like furniture. The different dimensions and sizes of units allows you to keep larger pieces like couches and bookshelves locked away safely. Renting a storage unit, even for a short period of time, will help solve this problem and keep your furniture in good condition.

Electronics

Oftentimes, people like to keep their electronics stored away somewhere in their home when they aren’t being used. However, if this isn’t a possibility, electronics should be kept in a unit that is climate controlled. Televisions, video gaming systems, and other electronics need to be treated and stored with care because of their high quality and delicateness. We offer climate controlled storage units, but if you are out of the area be sure your nearest storage company has this feature too!

Appliances

The most important part of storing household appliances is the steps you take before moving them into the unit. You must make sure that your appliances have been carefully wiped down and are completely dry to avoid mold or other bacteria build up. Also, you must not store them plugged into an outlet. Some of the appliances that you can store range in all sizes from refrigerators to toasters. The key piece of storing these items is making sure they are thoroughly cleaned in order to be sure they remain in good shape.

Items You Can’t Store in a Unit

Perishables

We all know that food goes bad relatively quickly, if not consumed fast enough. Perishable items like fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, etc. should not be stored away in a unit. These items have expiration dates and need to be kept in a refrigerator which makes it challenging and unlikely to store.

Not only does our food perish, but so does our pet’s. Dog and cat food should not be stored in a unit. If food goes rotten, it could attract bugs and other creatures. Also, it could create a build up of mold and lead to bigger problems. So, for these reasons, it’s suggested to avoid storing perishables when renting a unit.

Hazardous Substances

It’s important to keep any dangerous materials out of your storage unit. It is against safety regulations to store away anything flammable like propane, gasoline, oil and similar substances due to the potential risk catching on fire. Not only is there a possibility for fire, but these substances can release toxins in the air that are unhealthy for the human body to be exposed to. It is also prohibited to store substances that are illegal by the government such as narcotics and radioactive materials.

Weapons

Like the hazardous substances listed above, weapons are against protocol. In general, this applies to most storage companies depending on the government regulations that are in place. For the most part, firearms are not permissible in storage units because of these strict rules. These rules are there for the safety of yourself and others and must be followed in order to use the facilities.

In conclusion, storage units are very helpful in making extra space in a cluttered house or providing additional room for people in the transition of moving to a new home. Be sure to research and gather information before storing any belongings that might be questionable. As long as you are aware about what you are storing and follow these suggestions, you will have a great experience while using a storage unit! Contact us if you are ready to get started or have any further questions!

The Importance of Climate Controlled Storage Units

When making the decision to store some belongings in unit, you might come across a few worries. You might be thinking, “Will any of my things get damaged? How can I make sure that my stuff stays in good condition?” These are definitely reasonable uncertainties to have on your mind before putting your items in storage. However, if you rent a climate controlled storage unit, this stress won’t be a problem anymore!

Welcome back to the Albuquerque Self Storage Blog! We’re going to dive into some of the wear and tear that might happen if your belongings are improperly stored. Today, we will focus on the importance of climate controlled storage units and some possible damages that could occur without it.

What Can Climate Controlled Storage Units Prevent?

Mold

Since we are on the verge of the winter and spring seasons, rainstorms are more frequently occurring than other months of the year. Although you are keeping your items inside, some damage might still take place if they aren’t kept in a climate controlled space.

Mold is one of the most common effects from too much moisture in the air. This fungus is an organism that is similar to a plant and has the purpose of removing dead cells. We’ve all seen mold before in places like on bad food in the refrigerator or on plants when it’s moist outside. Mold shows up in a variety of colors including white, orange, green, black, and brown.

Oftentimes mold isn’t extremely harmful to humans, but might cause some allergies when around a large amount of it. However, when it comes to your belongings, mold can digest and deteriorate whatever the molecules start growing on. As long as there is nutrients and water, mold is bound to appear. Mold can grow on furniture, in plastic bags and coverings, on wood, and pretty much anything that can hold moisture. When storing your belongings, be sure to take precautions and stay aware in order to prevent this from happening. Look for a storage unit that can control the temperature!

Rust

Have you ever found an old penny or a nail on the ground that is all worn down and discolored? Well, the reason it looks like this is from a chemical reaction that creates rust. Rust is semi-permanent damage that happens when there is humidity around metal objects. This damage is usually a reddish-brown or yellowish colored coating that develops from a process called oxidizing. When iron (or a similar metal like steel) meets oxygen and water, this reaction occurs that causing discoloration and corrosion. This can not only affect the appearance of your belongings but the purpose of them as well.

While storing your things, you want to try to prevent anything from ruining them. Rust can form on things like kitchen appliances, electronics and more. These items are important to keep in good condition to maintain their function and clean appearance. Kitchen appliances and utensils are used for food that you consume, so rust on any of these items would potentially be hazardous if ingested. Coin collections will lose their value if they have damage. Musical instruments and electronics could stop working if the internal pieces become rusted.

Heat Damage

In the spring and summer months (which will be approaching soon enough), warm weather is a factor that can cause problems for your possessions. If you keep old photos in an album or stacked in boxes, they might end up fading or getting stuck together if the unit gets too hot. In order to keep your precious memories stored away safely, make sure your pictures are not facing one another. Put them back to back to keep the glossy sides from sticking together and getting ruined.

Just as heat damage occurs in cars, the same thing can happen in storage units. You might notice the dashboard of an older car begins to curl up after years of being in the sun and heat. Comic book collections, paperwork, old baseball cards, etc. all might face this similar problem if you store them somewhere that isn’t prepared for weather changes. Since you are now more aware of this, you can stash your belongings away in a climate controlled unit to prevent this from taking place.

In conclusion, it is important to know about what can happen to your belongings if not properly stored away. The best way to ensure your items remain in tip-top condition is with a climate controlled storage unit. If you are interested in making more room in your house and renting a self storage unit, please feel free to contact us!

Self Storage Tips

As you’re cleaning and reorganizing your house, you might come to the realization that it is filled with too much “stuff”. Throwing away these items is not an option because of the value they have to you. Yet, keeping them around makes your home look and feel cluttered. So, what do you do? Well, the best way to solve this problem is to rent a storage unit!

We have some self storage tips that will help make the whole process much easier and more efficient for you. Although it might sound like an overwhelming and time-consuming task, the suggestions we provide will ease some of this unwanted stress. Let’s get to it! 

Tidy Up & De-clutter — A Few Self Storage Tips!

Research the Best Option For You

Before actually storing your belongings somewhere, it is crucial to do some research. Since you will be putting some of your possessions in a location outside of your home, you will want to know all about the company that your choosing to trust. There are always a few options to pick from, but Albuquerque Self Storage is one of the best in New Mexico. If you are anywhere in the nearby area, this company will definitely fulfill all of your storage needs!

We have been around for 25 years and understand the expectations and standards that are in place. Pleasing our customers and storing their items safely are priorities for us. Being a family owned company, we understand the significance and connection there is to the belongings being stored here. Even if you aren’t storing anything valuable, these are still your possessions and have meaning to you. Having a trustworthy and reliable company is the top thing to look for when deciding to rent a storage unit.

Organize Your Unit

After you’ve picked out a company that is the best fit, you should plan out what you’re moving out of your house and into storage. Keeping an inventory will help you remember what you are putting into the unit and help you determine the actual size unit you will need. Also, with this inventory, you will be able to split your items into categories and store them in a systematic way.

One of the most uneasy steps of renting a storage unit is the actual act of moving the clutter from your home to an external place — with no organization at all. You fear that the clutter will be a big messy pile at this new location. However, this does not have to be the case!

When removing belongings from your home, you can label boxes in order to know exactly what items are placed there. Usually, the items you are storing won’t be needed for a while, so you might forget what is in the boxes, if you don’t mark the contents on them. By just doing a simple step of labeling, you will notice how this strategy helps you stay organized when searching for items that have been locked away for some time.

Security and Safety

It is important to take precautions to make sure your items stay safe. Whenever you visit the unit, always double check that you have locked everything up before leaving. Here, at Albuquerque Self Storage, we offer strong locks and allow you to keep your own key. This way you have peace of mind that you are the only person that can enter the unit.

However, if your storage unit has a privacy access code or PIN number, it is advised to not tell many people this information. Although you might not have prized possessions being stored there, you still do not want anybody getting access and rummaging through your things.

All in all, the process of self storage is not as intimidating as you may have previously thought. As long as you follow these simple steps, you will remain organized. Using these tips as basic guidelines will let you be efficient in transporting your things in a systematic way. Now that you have these suggestions on storage units, contact us to get your de-cluttering process started!

How to Ask Friends to Help You Move

friends help you move

Asking friends to help you move can always be a bit stressful and tricky. You never want to overstep on anyone’s time, but you know it is always easier to pack and get ready with a few extra hands. Building up a network of friends willing and able to help you move is always a great trick.

Think about the friends you want to ask to help you move. Do they have kids? Do they work every day? Do they run around between their kids schooling and extra-curricular activities? If these are the main friends you are thinking of asking to think again. Be considerate of their time. While these friends may be willing to help you finding the time for them can be difficult. If they run around all day with the kids and working they may be very tired and not have the down time available to help you.

Now consider friends that aren’t running around with kids but consider that they also probably work all day. Weekends may be the best time to ask friends help you move. Whether they work or not this tends to be the best time for everyone and allows you to ask your friends to help you move more than an hour or two.

When asking friends to be sure that they know you will reciprocate something in return or give them a reward at the end for helping you. When your friends agree to help you move make sure you always supply water and snacks or pizza at the end of the day for everyone. When you say you will reciprocate the favor offer to help them with bringing the kids to activities, setting up a holiday party, or even help spring cleaning. To reward your friends, depending on where you are moving, have everyone over to your new home and have a wine tasting and fun dinner.

When you ask for friends help you move many want to but are unable to. Don’t be upset if friends are unable to help you move as everyone has a lot going on in their adult lives. Some friends will gladly help you move, and some won’t and that is okay! Just be sure you don’t take anything personally. You also want to be sure that you give your friends a notice well in advance. You are going to be stressed moving, try not to stress out the people who want to help you. Try to give at least a week’s notice (two weeks are even better), so that they can figure out their schedules.

So, you friends help you move and now everything is packed up and ready. Be sure to show your friends gratitude with pizza and drinks. Also, be sure you know when to use the pros and not just your friends. While your friends can help you fold, box, and label everything the heavy items like bed frames, dressers, and other items are sometimes done best with the pros. You also want to remember that you and your friends may damage some of the heavy items in the move; whereas, the pros know how to properly place everything in the moving truck.

Remember that it is okay to ask for help when you need it! Don’t feel odd asking friends help you move. They will either say yes or no and you can work from there on what to assign everyone and how to have everyone help. If during your move you need anywhere to store your items contact us and we will do our best to help you find the perfect size unit in Albuquerque.

How to Make Room When Having A Baby

make room for a baby

Having a baby is an exciting time for you and your loved ones! Waiting is filled with excitement, wonder, and definitely planning more than you ever thought. Maybe you have a smaller home or apartment than you originally planned when having a baby, but that’s okay! We are here to tell you just how to make small home living and babies come together.

Many items you assume you need, like diaper genies and wipe warmers, may just cause clutter in a smaller home. What is most important is that you give your baby all the love you have in your body! The transition from pregnancy to taking care of your baby in your home or apartment will be better than you anticipate.

When preparing for your baby you want to be sure that you are ready for the baby in your house, so we tell you what to keep or put into storage. Whether you have a one-bedroom apartment or more than that there are ways to keep your home decluttered for when you are having a baby.

As you are searching for sharp edges and places that the baby may get stuck as he/she learns to crawl. You can cover many of these items with corner covers for your baby’s safety, but sometimes covering corners isn’t enough for your worried mind. If you are fearful that the corner covers won’t stay or provide enough protection don’t be afraid of storing items like coffee tables.

having a baby

When purchasing toys and items to help your baby’s development, remember they are small humans, so you don’t need to buy a toy that is sized for a 10-year-old. Some toys are unnecessary and make small living difficult. If your family travels a lot you can use a travel bassinet as your everyday bassinet to not over purchase and over clutter your home. Think about using items in your house as multi-taskers. For instance instead of purchasing a changing table, use a dresser with a changing mat on top. You can use the drawers to store diapers, wipes, powder, and even clothes.

If you only have a closet for yourself or one you share with a partner all you need to do is add an extra rod. Baby clothes are small so when you are having a baby you don’t need to worry about the amount of space they take up in the closet. Maybe you think your baby needs their entirely own walk in closet – they don’t. Chances are that these clothes won’t take up much space and you may fold most of them in the dresser anyway.

We understand how important it may be for you to keep your baby’s clothes and shoes, especially if you plan on having another baby in the future. However, don’t keep these items in your home if they are taking up unnecessary space. If you are keeping these clothes and toys that your baby has outgrown consider storing them in a storage unit (maybe store them with your coffee table).

Having a baby is a ton of fun and making room for a baby in a small home is much easier than you think! With hidden storage ideas and keep your home decluttered and baby safe. If you are looking for a self-storage unit in New Mexico, contact us and we will work with you to find the perfect size unit for your needs!

Moving in the New Year

moving in the new year

Moving in the New Year can be difficult. Everyone is jolly and cheerful for these next 12 months of wonderful times and memories, but you’re the one who is moving to a new city and new life. Remember this is an exciting time for you and your loved ones are cheering you on!! While this may be difficult we are here to give you tips on moving in the New Year.

We understand how expensive it can be when you move – especially after the holidays. At Albuquerque Self Storage we give you tips on how to make your move more affordable. Whether you are moving into a new house or apartment we want to help you!

1. Recycle and Give Away 

When you are moving you are able to start fresh. As you begin packing up your belongings remember that this is a time for a new you and a new life. If probably have items in closets and boxes you forgot you even had from your last move. Now is the time to get rid of these items whether you are able to donate them or need to toss them. Take a look at your wardrobe, what do you really wear and not wear? What shoes have you kept in the back of your closet for three years? What paintings from college have you kept in your closet and not on your walls? Some of these items can be great to donate! While other items like your college notes on the one Algebra class you needed as a Communications major can definitely be tossed out.

2. Moving with Personal Vehicle 

Moving from one home to another can be cheaper with your own personal vehicle. Traveling in your personal vehicle allows flexibility with time and low fuel costs. There are pros and cons to moving yourself. Something that can prove to be very difficult is not having enough space for all of your furniture and household items. Renting a trailer and hitching it to your car can help you, but this also depends on how much furniture you have and how large it is. While this can be a huge money saver to rent a trailer remember that you will have to do everything on your own (or with the help of friends) and will be liable for all of your items. You may also want to consider the mileage you are adding to your vehicle.

3. Moving with a Rental Truck

Maybe you have too many items to move in your own personal vehicle and rented trailer. Another option is by renting a moving truck. Most companies allow you to rent based on one-way trip or round trip. Renting a moving truck allows you to continue to be flexible with your schedule, but with more room for all of your belongings. If you don’t have room left in the rental truck you may be
able to rent a trailer to attach to the truck. However, keep in mind that as you are moving you will be in charge of loading and unloading your truck.

4. Moving with Professional Movers

So this is more expensive than moving your own items, but it is one of the most convenient solutions. Hiring professional movers is especially great for long distance moving in the New Year. Certain companies give a full service of handling everything from loading the truck and unloading the truck once they reach your new home. Depending on the company they may also help you pack your items. Compare different companies and how they charge you and see what is best for you! Also read reviews on how furniture and other items were handled during the move.

5. Manage Moving Stress

Moving can be a stressful process. The pre and post stress can be a lot on top of your work schedule. Before moving you likely have a large list of things that need to be taken care of before the big move. From small to large tasks like changing your address with the Post Office, changing your bank (or notifying them of your move) and possibly registering in a new state can be a lot. Be sure to map out the most important to the least important tasks that need to be done before you move to your new town or city. When you have decided what needs to be done and know the location of those places you will be able to complete your tasks quickly.

Once you are officially moved and in your new home set aside an entire weekend to unpack. When you have boxes lying around all over the place it is stressful to dig through when you are looking for your favorite mug, or even just a fork! By setting aside an entire weekend you can make sure everything gets cleaned, unpacked, and put away. This will allow you to relax and not worry for three years about unpacked boxes.

Looking for a place to store your items during your move or furniture that no longer fits in your new home? Contact us and we will find a storage unit for you. Moving in the New Year is a great way to start a new you!

How to Organize for Your Dream Closet

walk-in closetWho doesn’t want a glamourous, customized, walk-in closet? Maybe you don’t have room for a large walk-in closet, but we give you tips on building your dream closet whether it’s large or small. The smallest changes make the largest difference in storage and how you are able to keep everything in one space.

Walk-In Closet

So, you have the ability to finally build your dream closet – you can have rows and rows of clothes, shoes, bags, and anything else you’d like! Here are a few ways in which you can make your dream closet come true.

Color Scheme

Before you decide your shelves and cabinets you need to decide what color you want your closet to be. Do you want it to be bright with hints of vibrant colors of neutrals? Or do you want your closet dream closet, colorsto be dark and mysterious? Many people do light and neutral shades, but you need to do what feels best for your personality! If you don’t want to do a fully turquoise closet or bubble gum pink closet remember there are ways to put small pops of color. You can put color on the wall behind the shelves to give a little brightness that is subtle and add accents.

Doors

You want to install a closet door that has you excited to get dressed each and every day. Depending on your style you can do French doors, a sliding barn door, glass doors, or if you want to feel like James Bond go with a door that opens at the press of a button! No matter which style you choose make sure it has you giddy.

Flooring

Flooring can be difficult to choose for your closet. Most commonly closets have carpet flooring, but if this is not your taste you can do hardwood or tile. The carpet and hardwood make your closet feel homier and more comfortable, where a shiny tile floor can make your closet feel as glamorous as walking into Saks Fifth Ave.

Island

A staple of a walk-in closet in a center island. This allows more storage by placing drawers or shelves in the island. It is also a great spot to lay out an outfit for you to get a good look at or even set a few small bags that you use every day to grab and go. If you are looking to plan an outfit with jewelry and a bag an island is a great spot to do just that!

Shelves

The number of shelves you install will depend on your inventory. If you have more shoes than you do clothes you will want plenty of shelves from floor to ceiling to have room for all of your shoes. However, if you have more clothes than shoes then you’ll want more racks to hang all of your items. Be sure your shelves are all different sizes for shoes, boots, purses, or hanging different lengths of clothing.

Mirrors

Why build a beautiful walk-in closet and not have a single full-length body mirror? Think of how many mirrors there are in a clothing store – the more mirrors the better! Having more mirrors will also allow the room to feel larger. You can have one forward, one in the back, and even some on the side to allow you to see your entire outfit.

Smaller Closet

While you may have a smaller closet that you are unable to walk into and have sliding doors for instead you can still make the most of your space! With expandable organizers and wire kits for closets you can do almost anything. Utilizing all the space you have will amaze you just how much you can really fit into your closet.

Add hanging space with extender rods. Whether you have one or two rods in your closet you can make this into 4 by adding an extender rod to hang more clothes. This is especially helpful for things dream closetsuch as tank tops and t-shirts so that the sleeves are not touching the ground. On your shelves add small and decorative shelf dividers to stop sweaters from toppling over into another pile of clothes.

Feel as though you’re out of shelf space? Think again with under shelf baskets. Often used in the kitchen for mugs and glasses these are great to hold more clothes underneath your shelves for a little more space. These little wire shelves from the Container Store are a great addition to any closet.

Shoe racks can become your best friend in a smaller closet. You may not have room for a full wall of shelves for your shoes or room behind the door to hang shoes but stacking them on your floor can be a life saver. Purchase a few shoe racks to stack them one on top of the other and get as much space out of your floor as possible!

Conclusion

Are you ready to turn your closet into your dream closet? No matter the size of your closet, small or a large walk-in, you can make it whatever you want it to be! Don’t hesitate to even explore Pinterest for more organization tips. If you have clothes you want to put away in storage throughout the seasons,contact us and we will find the best fitting storage unit for you!

Christmas Decoration Storage: How to Store Properly

Welcome back to the Albuquerque Self Storage blog! The holidays are over and let’s face it, no one enjoys taking down Christmas decorations. The fun and the merriment feels as though it’s gone once all the bright ornaments and wreaths are put away. You spend all this time setting up for the holidays and tearing it down, but there is always something that breaks.

We are sure each year you open your box of ornaments to find a few broken, or maybe find your lights too tangled and hurry to buy a new set. Don’t stress this year about what you’ll need to buy again for the holiday season – we give you tips on how Christmas decoration storage is done properly! Follow our tips on how to store your decorations, save money, and be happy when you pull them out in 10-11 months again!

Christmas Lights

We have all been there after taking all this time for Christmas decoration storage and the next year your lights are twisted together and impossible to take apart. Sometimes you are able to replace one bulb, but oftentimes you need to replace the whole strand of lights. To help prevent this here are a few ways to store your lights. Having neatly wrapped lights makes your storage and take out process that much faster.

Using plastic bags is a good way to help store your Christmas lights if you wrap them well. Make a loose circle with the lights using your forearm by bringing the strand down and back around your elbow. When you have formed a small circle use three to four twist ties to help hold the lights together. Another way of storing lights is using a sturdy cardboard sheet. Cut two slits on either side of the sheet and wrap individual strands around the cardboard. The slits will help to secure the plugs on both sides.

One more way in which to store your Christmas lights is by using a wire spool. Using a wire spool helps to keep the lights perfectly wrapped without catching on to other items. However, only wrap one strand around a spool since they can end up tangled one strand with the other. Look for specific light reels for storage that can help you.

Ornaments

If you have ornaments that are from the store, given as gifts, antique, or homemade you want to be sure they are stored in the best way possible. These items can be one of the more difficult Christmas decorations due to the odd shapes they take. We want to help you keep your ornaments in pristine condition for re-use the following year.

Oftentimes ornaments are stored in cardboard boxes that are flimsy – you want to avoid these entirely. There are multiple boxes you are able to buy designed for round or oddly shaped ornaments.

Some of the most common boxes are commercially designed that are specific to protecting ornaments in storage. These boxes have separators that hold each ornament and prevent any bumping and breaking. It also makes it easy for you to find your box of ornaments. Another Christmas decoration storage idea for your ornaments is to use clear plastic boxes making it easy to see each ornament in the box.

Using these boxes makes it easy for you to find exactly what you want. When wrapping your ornaments you want to wrap each one individually before storing. Use items like bubble wrap, tissue paper, or foam to protect your delicate decorations.

Tree

If you use an artificial Christmas tree each year, then storing this properly is extremely important. You don’t want to have to get a new tree because yours has bent and broken branches. Artificial trees are a great investment, so you’ll want to properly store this to keep the quality of your tree over the years.

These are just a few tips to helping put away your tree that we give you. Use a Christmas tree bag for storage. More often than not they have sturdy handles that allow for easy carrying. While you can use the original packaging it came in over time it becomes torn and mildewed, especially if this is a cardboard box.

When putting away your tree be sure to wear lightweight gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges and pines on the tree. You will want to fold the tree with the branches pointed up to help keep them intact. When holding the tree down use bungee cords that won’t put too much pressure on the tree but will help keep it together. 

Time to Store

Throughout this process you want to make sure you properly label everything to make it easy on yourself the following year. Use markers, tape, or any item that makes it easy for you to quickly read the labels and know what you are reaching for. Don’t have room in your house for Christmas decoration storage? Don’t worry! Contact us and we can work with you to find the best storage unit possible at Albuquerque Self Storage.

What Shelters Need the Most During Winter

Homelessness has remained a large problem in the United States over the past decade. The past year it is estimated more than 500,000 people have been homelessor seeking shelter in the U.S. During the winter months it is especially difficult for those who do not have a place to call home. They may not be able to see family, enjoy the holidays, or struggle to just stay warm.

This is a time of love and warmth between family and friends but can be a difficult time for those who are unable to have a stable home for different reasons. By giving during the holiday season to those that may be less fortunate than yourself you are helping in tremendous ways. Even the smallest of donations goes a long way in difficult times.

If you and your family members are looking to help during the holiday season, we provide a list of items that are most often needed in shelters.

1. Socks and Warm Clothes

The winter months can be very harsh. Whether you live in a warm state or cold state the nights are always brutal when you are unprepared for the wind whipping and the rain or snow hitting the ground hard. Without proper clothing it is easy to become cold leading to becoming sick. Almost any warm wearables are needed at shelters as these months bring in many more looking for emergency shelter.

Many shelters provide a coat drive throughout the winter months for those who need proper warmth. Whether you have old children’s coats to donate or even your own they can help keep someone else a little warmer. You can also donate gloves, mittens, boots, hats and scarves, and any outerwear that can also be waterproof.

Another item that is necessary are socks and undergarments. It is very difficult for those in a shelter or on the street to find a clean pair of items every day that we find necessary. Donating socks and undergarments is more needed than many often think would be. Another item to donate would be hand warmers. Emitting heat for 8-10 hours can help someone keep them in their pockets, shoes, or gloves for a little extra warmth in the cold air.

2. Blankets, Sheets, and Towels

Giving clothing to the shelters is a great necessity for those going in and out of the shelters, but don’t forget what the shelter needs for all of those people. Sheets, towels, and blankets are in high demand. People are going in and out every day needing a warm place to sleep and a clean towel to shower. Giving the shelter these items allows them to quickly prepare for more people and give more warm items to those that need them.

Check with your local shelter on the size beds they have for sheets to donate, as well as if they have a preference of the size of blanket. Allowing someone the ability to shower in the evening with a warm towel, sleep in a warm room, and crawl into a warm bed is giving more than you know. These are often items we take for granted as having in our homes and in these months, you bring safety and happiness to more than you may know.

3. Personal Care

Personal care items for both men and women are very important. Sometimes showers are not an everyday ability for those without a stable home. By donating personal care items to a shelter they are able to send people with these items when they move out of the shelter. Travel sized items are often wanted in order to be given to each person.

Each shelter will often have their list of specific items they recommend be donated. These items can range depending on the shelter, so be sure to check your local shelter. Here is a small list of items that are often needed:

  • Liquid soap
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Shaving Cream
  • Baby Wipes
  • Diapers
  • Reading Glasses

4. Cookware and Snacks

Many shelters ask for simple cookware and snack items to hand out in the mornings or afternoons. Snacks that are easy to hand out such as breakfast bars, protein bars, and other easy snacks are great for donation.

Shelters sometimes also need plastic silverware, cups, and other utensils to have used every day for all meals provided. Ask the staff at a shelter near you what they would need during the year, especially the busy months of winter.

5. Bras

This may seem something that many women may have or pack when they are unable to have a stable home; however, in situations where women are on the run and have children they often leave with the clothes on their back. The main thought is their child or children and safety.

With little money and most of it going to food and shelter donating bras is a great way to help women in need. One national resource, The Bra Recyclers, is a great philanthropic company that has helped donate over a million bras to girls and women in need.

6. Entertainment

Everyone deserves that moment of relaxation with a book, Netflix, game, song, or movie on DVD. However, when homelessness strikes that relaxation becomes a large luxury that is not easily available. There are many donations for entertainment from the young to old that are great in a shelter.

A small list of items for donation include the following:

  • Gift cards to retailers
  • iPods or MP3 players
  • Headphones
  • Journals and Pens
  • Art Supplies
  • Movie theater gift cards
  • Children’s games
  • Stuffed Toys
  • Books
  • Prepaid cell phones with talk minutes loaded

7. Compassion

Many people do not hope to live life in a shelter or on the street. Having compassion and understanding that while they may not be as fortunate, they are humans with feelings too. Saying hello, offering to purchase a bottle of water, a hot tea or hot chocolate, or even a sandwich goes a long way. Be polite and remember during the holiday season it can be difficult for those struggling and alone to see the happiness we may hold. Even just a smile can brighten someone’s day!

Themes for Your Holiday Party

holiday party

Holidays, no matter the season, are often about spending time with family and friends. To enjoy your time with them how else would you celebrate other than a fun party? We want to give you a few different ideas this holiday for a themed party you may be having before the New Year.

Not only do you want to have all of your holiday decorations set out but having a party with a theme is always fun. Whether you want to keep it simple or expand to a more creative party we have options for you to choose from!

Add Some Sparkle

Whether you are having a holiday party or a New Year’s party a little sparkle goes a long way. By adding some sparkle to your holiday party, you give dimension to your decorations. This makes it more dazzling for your guests. Whether you hang sparkly streamers, place large metallic shapes on tables, or get table clothes with sparkle or a metallic sheen – all of this will bring more life to your party.

Winter Wonderland

Winter wonderlandis one of the best themes to create, especially if you live in a warm area you can bring the winter to your guests. Paper snowflakes, sparkly icicles hanging, snowmen made of cotton balls – these are all fun to DIY. This is a great way to get the kids involved in preparing for the party. You can also lay fake snow on the floor or tables with pinecones and branches in large vases and on the side tables. Be sure to spray some fake snow on these items as well too!

Movie Theme

Who doesn’t love holiday movies? If you are doing a Christmas theme party consider doing something along the lines of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Santa Clause, The Elf, or Polar Expressare all great movies to have themes. Take the color schemes of these movies and make your party space feel like the real movie. You can create cupcakes that are green and signs for the Grinch or even the dessert spaghetti from The Elf. You won’t go wrong with any movie you choose!

Chocolate Factory

Creating a Chocolate Factory is a great way to draw in guests and make a warm welcome. You can base this off of Willy Wonka for a theme or do your own chocolate idea. As long as you have chocolate all over the party room everyone will understand! You want to decorate with as much candy as possible and scatter throughout your party room. Make sure your guests know that they can eat the decor and take some home at the end of the night. Give your guests a candy gift bag to remember a night in Chocolate Heaven.

Santa’s Workshop

This theme is to make it appear as though everyone is in Santa’s workshopat the North Pole. You can set out your children’s toys to be a part of the theme or ask your guests to bring a toy for donation to your favorite charity and have it displayed during the party. Set out colorful lights and wreaths to feel warm and welcome. If you choose to have guests bring a toy for donation you can also have them be placed in a red Santa bag in the main room of the party for display.

Holiday Colors

Choosing a color theme for your holiday party is a great way to incorporate your beliefs. If you Celebrate Christmas, you can do a red and green theme. Have a Christmas tree and set out a Santa for the theme. If you celebrate Hanukkah, you can decorate in blue and white. Fill ornaments in glass bowls with blue and white ornaments, and lay balloons on the floor. Do you celebrate Kwanzaa? Use black, red, and green colors all over. String lights and garland with those colors.

There are so many themes you can create. Just use your imagination and use the theme that is best for you and your guests! It can be difficult to pick out decorations and place everything so ask a friend or family member to run errands set up with you. Having a few helpers always makes the event even more fun once you can be more relaxed! When you need to store these decorations and any others that take up space in your home contact us.