Storage Solutions


The Ultimate End-of-Semester College Checklist

30

Mar 2022

The Ultimate End-of-Semester College Checklist

The spring semester is coming to a close and a fun filled summer is right around the corner, but before you start planning your first beach trip, you need to be prepared to move out of your dorm room or apartment. With final exams and research papers taking priority right now, it’s easy to forget about everything that goes into a smooth dorm room transition. Take a look at our handy checklist below of things you can do one month out, one week out and on the big day to make it an easy process.

Male college student works on laptop computer sitting at desk.
Back up your computer hard drive in order to keep a semester’s worth of projects safe.

A Month Out:

  • Make sure you (or your student) have confirmed their travel plans once classes have wrapped up. This includes booking any flights or planning driving routes well in advance of the big day.
  • Remind your student to keep an eye out for emails from professors or administrators to make sure they don’t miss any important notices or steps that need to be taken to wrap up the year.
  • Set aside and pack any important documents or assignments you want to have available for future use. Consider backing up your laptop or hard drive to keep a semester’s worth of work protected.
  • Consider booking a storage unit ahead of time for your summer storage needs. The closer you get to the end of the semester, the fewer choices you’ll have (and prices WILL go up).
Start packing winter clothes and jackets you won’t need at least a week early.

A Week Out:

  • Start going through clothes and dorm room items early. Set aside things you no longer need or want and find a nearby non-profit or donation event you can take them to.
  • Pack heavy coats and winter clothing you won’t be wearing away early. Set aside minimal toiletries you will need over the next week and clean out your bathroom.
  • Clean out your fridge and pantry and donate/discard any food items you don’t plan to eat in the next week.
  • Set aside any textbooks you no longer need and look into your options for selling them either at your campus bookstore or an online retailer like amazon.
  • Need help on moving day? Coordinate ahead of time with friends/roommates to work together
Make sure you have a few sharpies with you on moving day to label all your boxes.

Moving Day:

  • Have some water and snacks on hand to keep everyone hydrated and happy throughout the day.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and be prepared to get a little dirty and dusty.
  • Have plenty of trash bags on hand not only for trash, but for transporting things like comforters, sheets, and pillows.
  • Make sure to have a sharpie on hand to label boxes and make unloading and organizing easier.
  • Pack some patience! It’s going to be a long day and everything will most likely NOT go according to plan, but just remember that you’ll get through it and the summer is finally here!

A little prep work now can go a long way to making your move-out a painless and easy experience. Then you can worry less about where you’re going to store your stuff and more time planning the best summer ever.


Learn tips and tricks to make moving out of your college dorm easier.

16

Mar 2022

College Life Hacks: Moving Out for the Summer

Moving out of your dorm room is a lot less exciting than move-in day, but it’s still a part of the annual college experience. Whether you’re a freshman wrapping up an eventful first year on campus, or a senior finishing up your college career, these expert tips can make this end of semester process as smooth and easy as possible.

Plastic trash bags can be a versatile tool on moving day.

1. (Trash) Bags Are Your Friend

Inevitably, you will end up with more trash than you expect during the move-out process. That’s why it’s important to bring a full box of trash bags when packing and moving. Black trash bags are also an inexpensive way to quickly pack lightweight items like linens, bedding, towels, and clothes. They can be easily thrown in the truck of your car or moving van and can be discarded once you are done using them.

Pro Tip: You can also utilize white trash bags with drawstrings to protect more delicate clothing you want to keep on hangers. Just pull them up over your hanger and tighten the drawstring before moving your clothes out of the closet.

Many campuses offer recycling events at the end of the year for clothing and smaller items.

2. Reduce & Recycle

Before you start packing up everything in your room, take a few minutes to see if you actually need to keep all of your stuff. You can reduce the number of boxes you have to move by setting aside items you no longer need. Many colleges like the University of Florida host Recycling Drives at the end of the semester where you can drop off unwanted items like clothes, linens, and small electronics on campus

Renting a storage unit early can actually save you money in the long run thanks to lower rates.

3. Book Storage Space Now

It may sound counter intuitive, but you could actually SAVE money by reserving a storage unit a month or two early. Even if you don’t plan to use your storage space before the end of the semester, you could end up saving in the long run.

Here’s How: The closer you get to the end of the school year, the more students will be searching for summer storage. Thanks to the law of supply and demand, prices will inevitably go up as fewer units are available and if you wait until the last minute, you could get stuck paying a premium every month. By booking a storage unit early, you can lock in lower rates now, plus you can take advantage of rent specials available today, that won’t be offered later on.

You don’t have to wait until the last minute to start cleaning your dorm room.

4. Don’t Wait to Clean

There’s already enough to do on moving day without having to worry about dusting blinds. Spend time in the weeks leading up to your move-out date sweeping, dusting, and mopping your dorm room. Don’t forget to clean out the inside of appliances like your refrigerator, microwave, and coffee pot as they can develop plenty of build up over time.

Pro Tip: Some colleges will charge fines to students who leave dirty dorm rooms at the end of the semester so be sure to check on the specific rules on your campus.


With a little planning and effort, your summer move-out experience can be a quick and painless process. Plus you can always stop by one of our six Gainesville locations to reserve storage space, rent a moving truck, and pick up packing supplies any time.


Just Moved? Here’s How to Make Your New House Feel Like Home

02

Mar 2022

Just Moved? Here’s How to Make Your New House Feel Like Home

Moving can be a stressful time. Between unpacking all of your belongings and traveling to a new location, it’s often difficult to settle down and make your new house a comfortable place right off the bat. Fortunately, there are many ways to make your new house feel like home! Follow these tips and ideas to help make your new home a comfortable place to live after a big move.

A calculator and a pair of glasses lay on a table next to a budget being reviewed by someone holding a pencil.
It’s important to make a financial plan so you’re prepared for unexpected costs.

Do Some Cost Planning

The process of moving comes with unexpected expenses; therefore, cost planning is an important step to consider. Start a thorough process by writing down all of the expenses you expect to incur. These can be moving van or storage services, home upgrading costs, or even security and safety expenses. Once you’ve researched your options and documented your findings, tally a total spend, and see how it fits into your home budget.

It’s a good idea to look into your options in order to make sure you’re making the best decision for your money and your goals, especially if you plan to finance your expenses. As you do research into different financing options available, you’ll find that some will make more sense for your particular circumstances than others. For instance, a personal loan provides you with a lump sum upfront, whereas personal lines of credit and credit cards allow you to borrow against a certain limit. Each option will have its set of unique benefits; it’s about choosing the option that’s right for you.

A couple work together to move a blue armchair inside a living room.
Furniture can have a big impact on the look and feel of your home.

Focus on the Furniture

After moving, your new space is going to look like a blank, empty canvas for you to make your own. New furniture is a great way to fill the space and create more dimension. It can truly make your home go from plain to comfortable and stylish.

When thinking about furniture additions, create a layout of your living space. This process may be done in a few ways, either by drawing out your floor plan or mapping everything out virtually with services such as Amazon Showroom or Living Spaces. This might help you get an idea of what size, color, or style of furniture you’d like in your rooms before purchasing.

It’s important to keep in mind that furniture has a big impact on the aesthetic and comfort of your home. Although buying furniture online is a popular option, looking in person at stores is a way to test the waters and avoid buying furniture that is uncomfortable, something you can’t tell just by looking online. While you’re walking through the store, try out different sofas, chairs, or benches to make sure that what you’re going with is exactly what you want.

A young woman takes towels out of a moving box inside of her bedroom.
Unpacking and organizing your things will go a long way to feeling more at home.

Stay Organized

After a big move, you’ll likely have a lot of moving boxes, clothes, and other items from your old home that need to be unpacked and stored. You can stay organized by putting your moving totes into their designated rooms to prevent everything from being crammed into one room. This is important for creating a more relaxed and organized environment.

If your home has less storage space than you might need, or if you’d like a place to keep your belongings while you move, utilizing a storage unit can be a great option. Look for a storage unit in your area before you move and utilize it to save yourself space in your new home.

Decorations like shelving units or multi-purpose furniture like beds with storage space underneath can be a great way to conceal extra clutter. Whatever you decide to go with, having items in your home that can keep your space organized will reduce the time you need to spend cleaning and decluttering on a day-to-day basis.

A man and woman work together to paint a wall blue inside their home.
A fresh coat of paint can instantly make someone else’s old house feel like your new home.

Add a Splash of Color

New spaces may come with old colors, so you may need a fresh paint job if the last owner’s choice is not your personal preference. Sometimes updating the color scheme in your home can make a difference and help you get acquainted with your new home faster.

You can do this by choosing colors that remind you of your old home or another place you’re particularly fond of, like the beach or the forest. Doing this can create a nostalgic atmosphere in your home, helping ease your transition from your old home to your new, and making your new home feel comfortable and relaxing. This can be done with an entirely new paint job for your house or just some accents and decorations here and there that give you subtle reminders of places you love.

As you become acquainted with your new house, these extra details like proper financing, paint color, and storage will help with the transition and allow you to feel comfortable in the space you’ve created.



Learn more about retiring to the Central Florida area

16

Feb 2022

Retiring to Central Florida? Here Are Some Things You Need to Know

Florida has consistently been named one of the best places to retire in the United States year after year, and for good reason. The state of Florida offers many perks such as beautiful warm weather most of the year, close proximity to Disney World, and gorgeous beaches to name a few. When planning on retiring to sunny Florida, there are some things you’ll want to know before starting your journey. Below are some bits of information that you will want to know to help you along the way!

A woman signs paperwork in the background while a set of house keys hangs in the foreground.
Housing prices tend to be more affordable in Florida but other costs can add up.

Buying a Home Can Be Tricky

As with many places in America, the current housing market in Florida can be a bit of a roller coaster. When deciding to buy a home here, there are several things to consider to ensure that you don’t make a common home-buying mistake. First and foremost is your budget. The sunshine state boasts lower housing prices than average for the rest of the United States, which means more bang for your buck. Before buying you’ll want to know what your credit score is, as well as what credit score is needed to buy a house. This will ensure that you get the best deal on your purchase. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be. This equals a smaller overall loan for your new home. Something additional to keep in mind is that although housing is more affordable, homeowners insurance tends to be more expensive here. This is mostly due to the high number of hurricanes that Florida receives each year.

A stack of blank tax filing paperwork.
No state income taxes make Florida a popular choice for retirees.

There’s No State Income Tax to Strain Your Budget

Retirement can sometimes come with some financial anxiety. This is completely normal for new retirees, as you’ve always had a consistent flow of income each month. It’s crucial, especially when first starting your retirement, that you create a budget and stick to it. This will allow you to track how much money you have coming in and going out each month.

One reason many retirees prefer to move to Florida is that Florida does not have a state income tax. This also includes no tax on both retirement income as well as social security benefits. Even property taxes tend to be on the lower side. This allows retirees to get the most out of their monthly income without putting strain on their budget.

Clouds cover the sun in the background with palm trees in the foreground.
While Florida has a comfortable climate almost all year long, hurricanes do remain a threat.

The Weather is (Mostly) Gorgeous

Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State for good reason, but there’s not perfect weather all of the time. Since 1851, 41% of the hurricanes that have made landfall in the United States have hit some part of Florida. This may not come as a surprise to you, but it’s definitely something to consider when planning your retirement here. As mentioned above, hurricanes drive up the cost of homeowners insurance, so you’ll want to make sure that’s factored into your budget.

However, when the sun is shining, that does come with its own concerns as well. Florida is one of the hottest states in the country, and with that comes the risk of heat-related illnesses. Things such as heat stroke and exhaustion are fairly common in Florida and pose a higher risk for the senior retirement community. Make sure that you’re aware of how to stay safe in the heat when retiring to Florida.

Elderly man jogs while listening to headphones.
Year round sunny weather allows for more time spent outdoors.

You Can Live a More Active Lifestyle

With mostly beautiful weather comes a more active and healthier lifestyle. There’s no cold winter to keep you cooped up inside for months at a time, and no snow to shovel. With retirees moving here in droves every year, you’ll also be surrounded by others who are of a similar age as well as with similar interests as you. Making new friends in your new home should come quite easily. Florida is also one of the most pet-friendly states, so if you have a dog, or would like to get one, you’ll have no problem finding places to play with them outside, giving you and your friend the exercise you need to stay fit and healthy throughout your retirement.


Retirement can be some of the best years of a person’s life. Without the added stress of a job taking up your time, you’ll be free to do the things that make you the happiest. Make sure to keep the above tips in mind when planning your move to the sunshine state in order to make the most of your retirement for years to come.


5 Things to Know About Clearwater-St. Pete

02

Feb 2022

5 Things to Know About Clearwater-St. Pete

Known for year round sunny weather and miles of beautiful beaches, the Clearwater-St. Petersburg area, located on the gulf coast just west of Tampa, is a vibrant and growing community that offers so many things to see and do. This is why it has become such a popular choice for those looking to relocate to Florida from out of state. But before you start packing up your bags, check out our list of 5 things you should know about the Clearwater-St. Pete area.

Clearwater Beach has been ranked the top Beach in the world by Trip Advisor.

Top Rated Beaches

With over 35 miles of white sand along the coast, it’s understandable why the Clearwater-St. Pete area is best known for their beaches. Clearwater Beach has been voted #1 beach on Trip Advisor for multiple years, and is a favorite among both locals and tourists. Residents get to enjoy the clear blue waters, aquatic wildlife, and local restaurants all year long. St. Pete Beach is another picture-worthy spot, with award winning hotels and restaurants lining the beachside. Indian Rocks Beach, Treasure Island and Caladesi Island State Park, while lesser known, offer some of the same stunning vistas while sporting fewer crowds.

Experience vibrant and unique art at the Dali Museum in St. Pete.

Enjoy The Arts

The art scene in Clearwater-St. Pete is fantastic and a must see for both visitors and locals. The most popular spot is the world class Dali Museum located in St. Pete, exhibiting a rotation of Salvador Dali’s vibrant and unique art pieces. Dale Chihuly also has a permanent glass exhibition in downtown St. Pete, providing a unique visual experience of his work. If you’re interested in catching a play or show be sure to check out the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, plus you’ll also find over 70 painted building murals in downtown St. Petersburg that should not be missed.

Taste the Spanish and Cuban influence at one of the area’s fantastic restaurants.

Fantastic Food (and Drinks)

If you’re a self proclaimed foodie, you’re going to love this area. With hundreds of restaurants offering every type of food you can imagine, there’s something for everyone. If local seafood interests you, grab a grouper sandwich and the ‘famous’ smoked fish dip at one of the Frenchy’s locations. Enjoy the spanish charm of tapas bar Ceviche in St. Petersburg, or try the popular Cuban sandwich at Bodega. Maritana Grille, located at the famous Don CeSar Hotel, Birch & Vine, Salt Rock Grille and Cafe Ponte are a couple local favorite spots to also check out to grab something delicious to eat.

Clearwater/St. Pete has also become a hot spot for local craft beers with a handful of breweries operating in the area. Popular choices include Big Storm Brewing and Grindhaus Brew Lab in Clearwater, as well as Green Bench Brewing and 3 Daughters Brewing located in the Downtown St. Pete area.

Play ball and catch a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field in St. Pete.

Play Ball

Offering sporting events all year round, you can find football, soccer, baseball, racing, golf and more when you’re here. The MLB’s Tampa Bay Ray’s stadium is actually in St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field, and while there are ongoing discussions of building a new stadium in Tampa, you’ll have a few more years to check out some games here. In the spring, the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays do their Spring Training in the area. If you like racing, the annual Firestone Grand Prix takes over the streets of St. Pete in the fall, and you’ll be sure to have fun attending a Tampa Bay Rowdies professional soccer game in downtown St. Pete. Just across the bay, you can catch an NFL game at Raymond James Stadium, home of the 2020 Super Bowl Champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

It’s a pirate’s life for me on Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise in Clearwater.

A World of Attractions

Want to board a pirate ship, parasail over the ocean or pet ocean life? You can do all these, and more in the area. Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise takes you out for an adventure at Clearwater Beach, and provides awesome views and a fun experience for people of all ages. There are dozens of rental companies offering parasailing, snorkeling, jet skiing, banana boating and other beach activities. There’s also various sunset cruises and dolphin boat tours that go out daily. Clearwater Marine Aquarium, best known for Winter, the rescued dolphin whose story inspired the movie Dolphin Tale, is a must visit. While sadly Winter passed away in 2021, you will have the opportunity to interact with other dolphins, sharks, sea turtles and rays, plus experience educational exhibits and activities.


It’s easy to fall in love with Clearwater-St. Petersburg, and these are just a few reasons why. If you’re planning a move to the area, let us help make your move easier with storage options, moving truck rentals, and packing supplies available in Clearwater and St. Pete.


Learn how a local garage door company utilizes self storage to grow their business.

19

Jan 2022

Storage Stories: Garage Doors By Soho Stone

Many of us rely on self storage to help get through a big move or to free up more space at home, but did you know storage facilities can be an important resource for small businesses?

We spoke with Dan Arvelo, owner of Garage Doors by Soho Stone, to discuss how he utilizes multiple storage units at Personal Mini Storage in St. Cloud to save money and to continue growing his business even during a pandemic.

Dan started Garage Doors by Soho Stone in 2016 and hasn’t looked back.

Starting Small

One of the biggest expenses a new company faces is a physical location. When Dan Arvelo first opened Garage Doors by Soho Stone in 2016, he knew he needed to find a storage solution for his equipment, door parts, and extra inventory. “When we first started the business, we weren’t sure whether we should buy, invest in real estate or property as the prices were going up” said Dan. “With Personal Mini Storage, I was able to start small and scale up to where I’m at right now.”

Dan found that renting a storage unit was an affordable and convenient alternative to investing in the expensive real estate market. This gave him and his team the flexibility they needed, especially in the critical early days of his company.

Having the ability to stock up on inventory and parts helps Dan provide same day service.

Growing Together

One of the main benefits to using self storage for any small business is the flexibility it offers during both good and bad times. Even though many industries struggled during the pandemic, Dan found his business was actually in high demand and he needed to grow his storage space quickly. “I call it a partnership because that’s the way I feel. Every time I’ve needed to scale a little bit more, they’ve been there for me.” said Dan. “In the future, I plan to have a few more units with them just because I’m comfortable, and the prices are right.”

Supply chain issues have affected nearly every industry and having the ability to stock up on parts and inventory has helped Garage Doors by Soho Stone stay ahead of any potential shipping issues and gives them a leg up on the competition. It’s a business model many are adopting in today’s uncertain economic climate.

Dan receives a personal touch from the managers as Personal Mini Storage.

Personal Attention

Another surprising benefit Dan noticed while storing at Personal Mini Storage has been his interactions with store managers, Karen and Vinny Richards. “Here I get the personal attention and I know Karen and Vinny, they’re the managers. I almost see them every day,” says Dan. “The place is well lit. I’m very comfortable leaving my merchandise overnight here.” Having resident managers who live on the property gives him additional piece-of-mind knowing they are always close by and ready to resolve issues or concerns.

Dan sees a bright future for his growing business and credits his partnership with Personal Mini Storage for helping him achieve his goals. His best piece of advice for anyone considering starting their own business? “Start small and scale up. Get your first storage unit and as you grow, add more space to help you grow the right way.”


Is your company dealing with inventory issues? Check out our blog post featuring 3 small business strategies for dealing with supply chain disruptions, plus learn more about the business storage options available at Personal Mini Storage.


Learn four ways to organize your life in 2022.

05

Jan 2022

4 Ways to Live a More Organized Life

A new year means a new opportunity to get organized. But where and how do you start? Many of us set goals and resolutions, only to see them become an afterthought by February. Building new habits and then sticking to them can seem like a tall task, but we’re here to help!

We’ve previously shared tips on how to get organized for summer, and this time we’re going to focus on new habits to build in the beginning of a new year. Below are four specific areas of your life you can focus on in 2022 that will help you reach those goals and live a more organized life.

Stay on top of important events and appointments with a family calendar.

1. Your Calendar

Heading into 2022, our lives are busier than ever with work events, family gatherings, and after school activities filling up our days. An important way to keep you and your family on track is to establish and consistently use a calendar. Whether you choose a digital app like Cozi Family Organizer or prefer to go old school with a dry erase magnetic calendar on the fridge, start writing down all of your important meetings and events along with start times so everyone in the family knows when and where they need to be.

Pro Tip: Make your calendar even easier to read by assigning a different color or label for each family member. That way anyone can tell who has an appointment or event on any given day with just a quick glance.

Treat your bedroom like a sanctuary by keeping it neat and tidy.

2. Your Bedroom

Your bedroom should be considered your personal sanctuary. The one place in your home you can go to unwind after a long day at work to relax and refresh. Nothing can ruin that peaceful vibe faster though, than a room full of clutter. Make it a priority to focus on organizing and keeping your room clean. Start by going through your closets and moving anything you don’t need on a daily or weekly basis into the garage or a storage unit. It may sound like common sense but making your bed every morning can go a long way to establishing that feeling of serenity and comfort. Keep the top of your dressers clear of pocket change and clutter by using a nightstand organizer.

Pro Tip: Help set the mood even more by lighting incense or scented candles whenever you are home.

Organizing your finances can provide a positive impact on other parts of your life.

3. Your Bills

Getting your financial life organized is just as important as getting your physical space organized. Start by taking stock of all of your current expenses and bills by creating a budget using an excel spreadsheet or an app like Mint. If you receive paper bills in the mail, keep all of them in the same place in your home like an office or wherever you normally write checks. Create a folder on your computer to save any digital bills you receive.

Pro Tip: Autopay can be both a blessing and a curse. While It can make it easier to consolidate your bills and never miss a payment, it can also make it easy to forget about recurring charges for services you may no longer use like a video streaming service free trial you signed up for six months ago.

The best way to stay on top of resolutions and goals is to keep them organized.

4. Your Goals

Setting goals and resolutions is a New Year’s tradition but finding ways to stick with and complete them is another story. Our first tip may not sound exciting but can be surprisingly effective: Write down and track your goals. Writing these down helps you clarify exactly what you want to achieve as well as making it easier to review and adjust them throughout the year. When you do hit milestones during your progress, take the time to celebrate your wins. Finally, when you face a setback and miss a deadline, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes and it should be seen as a part of the journey.

Pro Tip: Even if you do run into roadblocks or stumble, the most important step is to make sure you don’t give up on your goal and choosing to continue working towards it. Persistence is the key to success!


Establishing a few of these habits will go a long way to helping you become more organized in 2022 and beyond. Plus be sure to check out the Personal Mini Storage blog for more tips, tricks, and ideas on how you can stay organized every day.


The Florida Guide to Moving During the Holidays

22

Dec 2021

The Florida Guide to Moving During the Holidays

The end of the year can be a hectic time filled with last minute shopping and holiday parties. One thing that can make the season even busier though, is dealing with a move to Florida at the same time. Having to balance decorating your tree while also packing up kitchen appliances can stress anyone out. Luckily, our team has compiled our list of tips to make moving during the holidays a smoother process.

Christmas decorations with lights hanging together.
Keep your decorations minimal if you plan to move during the holiday season.

1. Minimize the Decorations & Gifts

You don’t need to go all out when decorating for the holidays in order to enjoy the spirit of the season. Keep your celebrations low-key by focusing on a few of your favorite traditions and skip the elaborate decorations that take up a lot of time and space (like a full size Christmas tree). If your move is scheduled right before the holidays, pack up your decorations last so you’ll have easy access to them as soon as you get to your new home.

Pro Tip: Keep the gifts small too by choosing to give gift cards, passes, and tickets to experiences like sports events or concerts. Check out our Shop Local Holiday Guide for ideas on tickets and gift cards available in the Central Florida area.

2. Remember Daylight Savings

As the holiday season ramps up, the sun sets earlier and earlier especially in Florida after daylight savings causes us to turn back the clocks an hour. Plan accordingly and try to begin your moving day as early as possible. This will allow you to maximize daylight hours and avoid hauling boxes and furniture in the dark.

A card saying "Merry Christmas" is surrounded by ornaments.
Take advantage of your usual holiday card list by including a new address announcement.

3. Announce Your Move With A Holiday Card

If you send out holiday cards every year, take advantage of the opportunity and include a note about your new home. Include a “We’ve Moved” insert that has your new address and add it inside your holiday cards. This way your friends and family will know where to send your housewarming and holiday gifts!

Pro Tip: You can save money by creating your change of address notes at home using a program like Microsoft Word or Pages and printing them with your own printer.

4. Dress Like a Floridian

If you’re moving from out of state, you may not be expecting sunshine and sandal weather in the middle of December. Check the forecast for the week of your move and be sure to pack and wear appropriate clothing. It’s not uncommon for Floridians to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas in shorts and flip flops.

Large indoor storage unit with door opened.
You can still enjoy the holiday season by renting a storage unit and delaying your move date.

5. Buy Some Time With a Storage Unit

If you still want to go all out for the holidays this year, another option is to rent a storage unit and delay your move by keeping large items like furniture packed away for a few months. This will allow you to take out your full lineup of decorations and enjoy the full holiday experience without dealing with the majority of your move until the new year.


With a little planning, and some help from a facility like Personal Mini Storage, you can make a successful move even during the busy holiday season. Most importantly thought, remember to take some time to celebrate with your family and friends even if you’re surrounded by moving boxes.


The Central Florida “Shop Local” Holiday Guide

08

Dec 2021

The Central Florida “Shop Local” Holiday Guide

Some people know exactly how to find the perfect gift without breaking a sweat. For the rest of us though, it can certainly be a challenge to figure out what to get everyone on your list before the big holiday party. Plus, it always feels good to support small businesses whenever possible. That’s why we’ve made it easy this year by compiling the list below of locally owned shops in the Central Florida area offering unique gifts your loved ones are sure to enjoy.

Locally Owned Businesses

  • Writer’s Block Bookstore – The book nerd in your life will appreciate a gift from this independent shop with locations in both Winter Park and Winter Garden.
  • Pedego Electric Bikes – Looking for a gift that will really stand out? This family owned shop in Baldwin Park offers the latest electric bikes for everyone from beginners to experts. They also provide service and rentals to keep your bike running smooth all year long.
  • Freehand Goods – this store in College Park sells hand crafted Florida made leather goods, grooming products, and gifts. Perfect for that special man in your life!
  • Rifle Paper Co. – What started as a small stationary shop in Winter Park has grown into a national lifestyle brand offering a full range of home décor and gifts.
  • Park Ave. CDs – If you’re shopping for the audiophile in your life, then be sure to visit Park Ave. CDs in Audubon Park. This vintage style shop offers the latest and greatest music and merch in a variety of formats.
  • Personal Mini Storage – Give the gift of more space to the ones you love. Rent a storage unit at one of the 46 locations in Florida and surprise them by decluttering your home or garage.
  • Retro City Cycles – Family owned and operated, this bike shop near Downtown Orlando offers bikes and accessories for both casual and professional riders.

Online Options:

  • Corksicle – You can find Corksicle products at stores across America, but did you know their headquarters is based in Orlando? Their signature tumblers make a great holiday gift for just about everyone.
  • Orlandogiftbaskets.com – Looking for a gift basket with more than just fruitcake? This local business, operated by a former Disney gift basket curator, creates unique and personalized gift baskets for any occasion.
  • Flower No. 5 – Everyone loves getting flowers! This locally owned shop offers a wide variety of hand crafted flower arrangements that can be delivered to the recipient of your choice.

Tickets & Passes:

  • Orlando Science Center – Purchase a gift membership to the Orlando Science Center and give a full year of unlimited general admission, exclusive member-only events, discounts, and even more perks.
  • Leu Gardens – Located just north of Downtown Orlando, this 50 acre botanical oasis is the perfect place to spend some family time. Gift memberships can be purchased online or in person.
  • Kanapaha Botanical Gardens – This Gainesville favorite features 24 major collections to view on a 1.5 mile walking path. Memberships make an affordable and unique gift for both young and old.
  • Brevard Zoo – Visit a giraffe or take a train ride from Cape to Cairo at the Brevard Zoo. Three levels of membership are offered featuring various benefits.

Dining Gift Cards:

  • Clermont Brewing Company – You can expect more than just craft beer at this popular spot in Clermont. Their expansive menu features tacos, hand rolled sushi, and artisanal pizzas cooked in an Italian brick oven.
  • Santiago’s Bodega – Spend an evening enjoying traditional Spanish tapas dishes at this Orlando eatery. Be sure to try one of their classic sangrias.
  • Bakechop – Fresh, local ingredients are the highlight of this DeLand restaurant. Their kitchen features American fare including burgers, salads, and a variety of sweet treats.
  • Dragonfly Sushi – If you’re in the Gainesville area and appreciate a good sushi roll, Dragonfly Sushi is a must-see. For a special event, try the Chef’s Select Menu.

Using this comprehensive list, you should be able to find a special gift for every family member to put under the tree. Plus don’t forget to create some extra space for your holiday party by reserving a storage unit at a Personal Mini Storage location near you.


5 Space Saving Tips For Hosting Holiday Parties

19

Nov 2021

5 Space Saving Tips For Hosting Holiday Parties

Playing host to friends and family during the holidays can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can also be extremely stressful time having to plan out a full menu while creating extra room in your home to host a large gathering. In addition to cleaning out your refrigerator before the big day, there are a number of things you can do ahead of time to make everything go smoothly. To help you prepare for the big day, here are five space saving tips to successfully host your next holiday party at home.

Pumpkin decorations on table
Limit the decorations you keep on your tables in order to save space for food.

1. Clear the Table

Everyone loves to decorate for the holidays, but when it comes to hosting at home, less is definitely more. In addition to making sure there aren’t any lingering Halloween decorations to pack away, you can maximize your space by keeping centerpieces and décor to a minimum on your tables and serving areas. This will leave you more room for staging food and more space for your guests to eat.

Pro Tip: When decorating for the holiday season, focus on things you can hang on the wall, instead of taking up table and counter space.

Kitchen appliances and pots laying out on the counter.
Clearing off your countertops can make a big difference when trying to cook a large meal.

2. Declutter the Kitchen

When it comes to cooking a big holiday dinner, counter space becomes extremely valuable. Spend some time decluttering your kitchen a few days before you plan to cook so you’re not left scrambling for a place to carve a turkey on the big day. Store small appliances, cookbooks, and decorations you won’t be using in a closet or nearby storage unit.

Food in bowls sitting on top of a table.
If you’re roasting a turkey, plan to make side dishes that don’t require using your oven.

3. Keep Sides Out of the Oven

The star of most holiday meals is usually a large turkey or ham. These dishes can take 3-5 hours to roast inside the typical oven depending on the size. According to Epicurious.com, you should calculate 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey, or 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.

Because your oven will be in use for most of the day, try to choose appetizers and side dishes that can be made ahead of time and don’t require using your oven to cook. Easy recipe ideas include salads and fresh fruit dishes along with thanksgiving favorites like stuffing.

Pro Tip: Instant mash potatoes can be a fast and easy alternative that can be made on the stove top.

A couple lifting a small couch inside a living room.
Try moving your furniture around to create more gathering and walking space in your rooms.

4. Shuffle the Furniture

If you’re hosting friends and family in a small space, every extra inch matters. Before your guests arrive, take some time to organize each room of your home and remove any clutter you find. Rearrange your furniture in a way that allows your guests to easily gather together. Pushing sofas and chairs against the wall can help create more central space for tables .

Pro Tip: It may sound counter-intuitive but consider moving some side tables into storage. Your guests will appreciate the extra room to spread out.

Food sitting out on a table with utensils.

5. Spread Food & Drinks Out

Guests tend to congregate close to where food and drinks are being served. If possible, set up multiple serving areas to help keep guests spread out in different areas. Avoid traffic jams and long lines by serving appetizers and your special holiday punch in different areas.


With a little planning and effort, your home will be ready to host friends and family this holiday season. If you need to make a little extra space, let the team at Personal Mini Storage help with storage spaces of all sizes available at any of our 46 locations across Central Florida.



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