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.
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).
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.