Category Archives: Miami

Home Restoration after Irma – Avoid Costly Mistakes

These home restoration tips will help you avoid time-sucking delays and help you keep your sanity.

Irma has come and gone, but is your home back to normal? Like natural disasters, unexpected disasters can cause frustrating and lengthy delays. What potential delays await?

Here’s a list of common delays and mistakes homeowners often make.

Home Restoration Mistake 1: Getting the Wrong Contractor

If your home was damaged in Irma, you should first contact your insurance so that an adjuster can determine funds you will receive. The next step is to choose who will make your home repairs. Choosing wrong can be costly.

Tips to find the right Miami contractor:

  1. Get Multiple Bids
  2. Use resources like Angie’s List, Porch, or Thumbtack
  3. Check local homebuilder associations, plus the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry
  4. Get References – Always ask to speak to prior clients and ask if your contractor (preferably local) has hurricane experience or experience performing your exact repair.

You can find FEMA’s Resources for Smart Rebuilding After Hurricane Irma HERE.

Home Restoration Mistake 2: Indecision

Every cloud has a silver lining, so maybe I’ll go with a new roof tile since I have to repair my roof anyway. In these days of Pinterest and HGTV we are bombarded with options.

Treat design plans as firm. Once your project is started take a break from Pinterest and all those home design shows. If you don’t you may find yourself weeks behind schedule with workers waiting for you to decide.

Home Restoration Mistake 3: Shipping Delays

When creating a time line, be specific. Ask your contractor or vendor how much time it will take for materials to ship. Many home remodels simply allot installation time without considering how long that piece of granite will take to ship.

One way to get around this is to order materials ahead of time. Schedule contractors to start AFTER that date. That way you can avoid having workers to install your new roof tiles and appliances without actually having the tiles.

Also, test materials (paint, tile, wood etc.). Don’t find yourself second guessing your choices. If replacing cabinets, a 3″x3″ sample doesn’t suffice.Get an entire cabinet door! If replacing roof tiles, stack and live with them for a week before pulling the trigger.

Home Restoration Mistake 4: Permits

This one is a no brainer, but worth repeating. Make sure your contractor is pulling the right permits. You may want to give your local building department a call to ensure you’ve pulled all the permits you need (Miami-Dade permit office can be contacted HERE.

Remember to budget time for inspection. This will help you avoid months of inspections and repairs.

Home Restoration Mistake 5: Living in a Disaster

You survived a natural disaster simply to live in a disaster of your own making. Dust everywhere, living in plastic, with living spaces becoming overpriced storage space.

Disorganization will rob you of time (and your sanity). Get a strategy for removing things that need a new home while construction is happening. Local companies like Stow Simple can help by providing heavy-duty bins, storage pickup and delivery from $30 a month.

What Last-Minute Gift Idea is Right for Your Dad this Father’s Day?

Father’s Day is just around the corner, but before you panic, take a look at some unique last-minute gift options that will show your dad just how special he is.

For the dad who wants it all

Go Flex TrainerEvery dad wants the perfect golf game. With the help of the SKLZ Gold Flex Trainer, your dad will shine brighter than ever. Use it for practice to help gain strength and skill or as a low-impact stretch before a game. SKLZ is made of high quality, durable material so it will last for years.

For the dad who (sometimes) loses it all

tile

If dad is a little forgetful about where he puts his keys or remote, then Tile Mate is the gift for him. A thin tile with a year-long battery and Bluetooth technology can be attached to most items including keys, wallet, remote, or briefcase. Locate the item by sound, use the Tile app to see its last location, or even work with the Tile community to find your item. Order at Tile Mate for free shipping and gift box.

For the dad who has it all (but needs more room to put it)

Young Delivery Man Holding Trolley With Stow Simple Boxes

Schlepp free storage from Stow Simple! Making room for the perfect man cave has never been easier! Other storage units require you to find a large vehicle and the time to drive to their location and pack it all in a unit yourself, but not Stow Simple! Set up an appointment and Stow Simple will deliver high quality storage bins for you to pack, then they will return, for free, to take your bins and other items to their storage location. If you need help remembering what you packed, it’s no problem for Stow Simple to upload a picture of your bin to help remind you. When you need something from storage, set up an appointment online or call the office for item returns in as little as 24 hours. Specific items are delivered right to your door! Simply perfect for the dad who has it all! With storage solutions starting as low as $25/month, you won’t break the bank getting dad some of his space back.

For the dad who wastes not

Screen Shot 2017-06-14 at 10.32.02 AMGet your practical dad a gift he will not put to waste. While underwear isn’t a gift you normally show off, your dad just might when he relaxes in the special blend of super soft and uniquely printed fabric from MeUndies. This online-only company offers free shipping so you can order today to send dad a gift he’ll use every day.

For the Star Wars loving dad (under $10)

galaxy best dadShow your dad how you feel with this $9.99 t-shirt from Target. Not only may it spark a laugh, but this t-shirt is also sure to make him smile every time he puts it on.

For the perfect dad

No matter the gift you choose, add a card to tell dad how much his love and support through the years has meant to you. And when he saves all those cards, call Stow Simple to help store them.

9 College Storage Tips – University of Miami

Spring term is coming to an end at the University of Miami. With finals around the corner you have a lot on your plate. Figuring out how to store your stuff shouldn’t be one of them.

Once you’ve turned in the last paper, pulled the last all-nighter, and finished the last exam, it’s time to take off for the summer. Whether you’re heading home or backpacking around the world, you’ve got to figure out what to do with your stuff. It can seem like a daunting task (how did you end up with so much stuff?), but Stow Simple can help.

Stow Simple takes the hassle out of storing your things over the break. We drop off heavy-duty moving boxes, pick everything up, and store it in our climate-controlled facility. When you’re ready, we deliver it to your new location. Here are our top 10 summer packing tips for college students:

College Storage Tip 1:

Avoid damaging the spines of your book – pack them horizontally.

WhatFits_Books7

College Storage Tip 2:

Plastic bags are great for containing clothing during a normal move, but not for storage. Moisture can lead to mold and mildew that will damage clothing. Ew!

College Storage Tip 3: 

Don’t pack dirty clothes – wash and thoroughly dry clothing before storing it.

College Storage Tip 4: 

Have you heard of the KonMari Method? It’s a great way to fit twice as much stuff in our bins. Goop has one of our favorite guides.

WhatFits_40Jeans2

Fit 40 jeans in a Stow Simple bin using the KonMari Method.

College Storage Tip 5: 

Roll glasses with newsprint and tuck-in tightly as you roll. This protects them from breakage and scratches.

College Storage Tip 6:

Blankets, towels, and clothing can help cushion breakable items.

College Storage Tip 7: 

Save room by using a vacuum-sealed bag for bulky items like comforters and pillows.

College Storage Tip 8:

Label your boxes with our bin labels – this will make unpacking so much easier at the end of the summer.

College Storage Tip 9:

Worried about keeping track of what’s in storage and what’s at home? Our online Lookbook lets you keep an inventory of all your items, so you can easily reference them when you’re unpacking in the fall.

Stow Simple Lookbook

With your stuff safely packed and stored, you can relax and enjoy your summer!

Best Storage Solution for Miami Cruise Ship Workers

From being the home to some of the largest cruise ships in the world to being the busiest port in both passenger and cruise lines, there’s no questioning how Miami earned itself the title of “Cruise Capital of the World.”

While cruises only last a week on average for tourists, the workers spend many months out at sea. Obviously, they can’t bring all of their belongings on the ship with them. So, many choose to simply store their things while they are away instead of paying rent.

Many of those very workers are kind enough to choose us for their storage needs. We recognized early on that Miami is home to people who are tired of the clutter that comes with urban life. We vowed to do everything we can to make their lives easier.

So what makes us the best storage solution for cruise ship workers?

  • We go above and beyond to take the frustration out of storage. We will come straight to your door to pick up your things and deliver them right back to you when you are ready.
  • Just like the water, we have crystal clear pricing plans with no surprise fees or long-term contracts.
  • To make things even more convenient, we photo catalog all of your belongings so that next time you need something, you know exactly where to find it. Tired of digging through storage with no idea what you’ve stored? Problem solved.
  • We are passionate about our community and strive to bring you the greatest quality that we can. Because we’re Miami’s highest rated 5-star storage company, you can have peace of mind out at sea knowing that your belongings are safe!

8 Signs you are Ready to Move In Together

Moving in together can be sheer bliss or struggle. Merging spaces at that right time makes all the difference. Below are some tips to know when you’re ready to move in together.

Sign 1: You’re Scared

If you’re not apprehensive you may be in the fantasy world of “playing house.” It’s natural to be nervous. It’s a big decision. Being somewhat scared means that you are fully considering the magnitude of your decision.

Sign 2: You’ve Traveled Together and Survived

Have you spent 100% of your time together? If not, traveling together is great training for moving in. You can better understand habits and how your loved one deals with stress.

Sign 3: You’ve Advanced Beyond the Honeymoon Phase

The first 6 to 12 months of a relationship can be sheer bliss, but can also blind you to realities of what’s going on. Social psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, observes that oxytocin released during the initial stages of a relationship (The Happiness Hypothesis) is similar to a drug that creates an altered mental state.

Sign 4: You’ve Had a Major Argument and Survived 

Recovering from disagreement is essential for couples to take the next step. Do you remember your last major blowout? The fact that you’ve survived means you are more ready to share a place. You’ve put into place valuable tools that are essential for living together.

Sign 5: You’ve Defined Your Relationship

Communication is key to couple survival. Have you had the “what are we” talk? Sitting down and defining your relationship can help solve communication gaps that often tumble relationships.

Sign 6: You Don’t Ignore Problems

Are the same issues coming up time and time again? If so, and you’re not working to solve them that’s a bad sign. Once you’ve moved in together problems only compound and explode.

Sign 7: It’s Not About the Money

It’s hard to negate that moving in may cut your rent in half. But you need to ask yourself, does moving in together have to do with money? If so, take a pause.

Sign 8: You’ve Made Room

Finally, you need need to make room both mentally and physically. Have you given yourself time to understand one another’s needs, expressed your deal breakers and discussed expectations? One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not discussing with each other what moving in together really means.

What are the next steps? Why are we doing this now? Do you have enough space?  Wait… We can help you with the last one. If you have decided to give it a go, and don’t want to fight about whose stuff stays and whose stuff goes… Stow Simple.

We hope this helped and wish you the very best with your decision.

 

Organizing for the New Year

After the holidays, chances are, organizing for the New Year has become a priority in your life. Gifts received over the holidays, especially if you have kids, may feel as though they’re taking over your home! On the other hand, getting organized may feel like a monumental task. You aren’t sure you have room to store everything. Thankfully, that’s where using a storage facility comes into play.

Sort out all the seasonal decor and other items in your home. If you only use it once or twice a year, go ahead and move it out! That way, it’s not taking up valuable storage space that can be used for items that you use on a regular basis.

Clean out the gifts you won’t be using just yet. This is especially helpful if you have kids who were given toys to “grow into.” With little ones running around the house, it’s easier to store away toys that they aren’t quite old enough for yet, then bring them out when your child has grown into them. The same is true of gifts for you: if you were given gifts for an event that’s still in the future–a move, a career change, or going back to school–you can store them away until it’s time to use them.

Clean out items that have been replaced by new gifts. You don’t have to get rid of them just yet, especially if you aren’t sure the new one is going to work for you or if you think you might want it later. Instead, store it away where you can access it if you need it, but it won’t be cluttering up your home.

If you’re ready to clean out your home and make everything bright, shiny, and organized for the New Year, contact us! We’ll make it easier than you ever thought possible to store items that you don’t need. You only have so much storage space in your home, but we have plenty of storage for you.

8 Thanksgiving Space Saving Tips

It’s that time of the year where good cheer, and friends abide. But if you live in a tiny space, how do you make room for all your guests? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with these 8 Thanksgiving Day space saving tips.

Tip 1. Say hello to the space saving bench

If big, bulky chairs are occupying more than their fair share of space in your dining room, consider using a bench along one side of the table to accommodate one or two additional guests. It’s a family holiday, after all; closeness is fitting.

Tip 2. Don’t be afraid of mismatched seating

stowsimple_tip2

Don’t go crazy trying to secure enough seating for everyone. Chances are you won’t find all of what you need in one place — and if you do, you’re probably not going to want to pay the hefty price tag to buy it (and then store it). Instead, be practical. Use your couch, your loveseat, and bistro chairs, and create clumps of seating. Rid yourself of the idea that you’ll all fit together at one long table.

Tip 3. Extend that table

stowsimple_tip3

Most dining tables are made in standard sizes of 36″W x 72″L with one leaf. You can extend the width one foot and the length an extra 24 inches by simply placing a sheet of standard plywood on top. With a tablecloth draped over the surface, you won’t know the difference.

Tip 4. Stick to your guest list

stowsimple_tip4

Just say, “No.” When you’re dealing with minute square-footage, you don’t have the luxury of making room for everyone and their mom (literally). Keep the guest list intimate. Meet all the extras for drinks afterwards.

Tip 5. Rethink your space

If your extended table is a tight fit for your dining room, brainstorm ways to position it differently. If you position the table diagonally, it might give guests on the end a little more breathing room, or even free up space for a couple more chairs

Tip 6. Put your plans on paper first

Before you so much as think of inviting anyone, put your plans to paper — and get comfortable with the idea that you’re going to have to try a lot of different options before finding a layout (and a head count) that you’re comfortable with. Just keep in mind that there should always be a clear “route” to the kitchen and to the bathroom from no matter where your guests are seated.

Tip 7. Double up on the dinner buffet

dinner-buffet

Create multiple buffets, and reserve a few dishes for the tables. That way you keep hungry guests happy. When possible have a buffet that guests can access from multiple sides to limit the time waiting in line.

Tip 8. Less is more

If the dining room is filled with non-essentials—clear them out before you start decorating and arranging. This will make the room seem more spacious, and a spacious room is more comfortable. Also, removing unnecessary furniture will place emphasis on the table, which seems only right. If you don’t know where to store your stuff, contact an on-demand storage company like Stow Simple. They’ll pick up that extra chair or box of stuff for free and deliver it back on-demand. Storage prices start at $25/mo.

jorge-pushing-bins_edit2

 

Images: The Kitchn; Flower Factor, Phil Dragash, Brooklyn Bride,Vintage Revivals, fyrefiendJay Vice/Flickr; The Effortless Chic (3); A Beautiful Mess

4 Japanese organizing ideas for Tiny Spaces. We need this Miami.

 

Stow Simple hits Japan
Stow Simple hits Japan

Japan is the land of creative storage techniques and organizing ideas. The average Tokyo resident has less than 1,000 square feet of living area and have had to learn to live with less stuff in their lives. Japan is also vulnerable to lots of earthquake shaking so not only do they have to own less stuff, it also has to be organized and stored securely.

Stow Simple in Tokyo!
Stow Simple in Tokyo!

Last summer, one of our Stow Simple Team members had the opportunity to travel to Japan and take notes on clever storage techniques and gathered several organizing ideas that could be utilized in Miami’s tight condo spaces. Here are four tips we should all be using right now.

1. Pull-out drawers and pull-down cabinets

Japanese homes really use lots of long, narrow pull out drawers in as many spaces as possible, especially kitchens where counter spaces are limited. They are awesome.  Use them.

Home Kitchens/08 KW House
Look up!  Don’t forget about all the unused space in top cabinets or up on your walls, especially in the kitchen. Many Tokyo apartments have pull down cabinets to maximize kitchen storage. Although, not all are as cool as this one:

2. Organize with semi-porous baskets or labeled boxes

If you have ever been to Japan, you have probably dived into a 100 yen store (sort of like a dollar store on crack.)  You can pick up just about any kind of household item for organizing. There a wide variety of plastic bins with handles to help organize items together in cramped spaces and cut down on disaster zones of clutter. If you live in any major city in the US with a notable Japanese community (LA, San Francisco, Seattle, New York– you’ll find a Daiso that carries these items).

Japanese dollar store bins-every organizer's dream store
Japanese dollar store bins-every organizer’s dream store
Seriously, amazing.
Seriously, amazing.

3. Organizing ideas that show off quirkiness

Sometimes we just don’t have a place for everything so some Japanese display stuff with quirkiness. Have fun and be lighthearted and showcase it in a neat way.

Ultra minimalism at its best
Ultra minimalism at its best

 

Fun storage--display it in a quirky way! http://cushandnooks.blogspot.se/2012/01/tiny-in-tokyo.html
For the non-minimalist–display stuff  in a quirky but neat way! http://cushandnooks.blogspot.se/2012/01/tiny-in-tokyo.html
Quirky "Rilakuma" (Relax Bear) file boxes
Quirky “Rilakuma” (Relax Bear) file boxes

4.  Use textiles

Don’t forget about textiles when organizing.  They give small spaces movement. In Japan, the changes of seasons are celebrated more prominently than in the US. Residents and business owners change their “norens” in their homes from season to season. These rectangular pieces of fabric with one ore more vertical slits are hung in doorways or windows. Sometimes they are used to divide the space between cooking areas and dining areas. For example, a breezy linen cloth with bright flowers can be used in the summer to make people “feel cooler” with the visual cues of summertime themes.

They can also be used to give a small room a feeling of flow and movement, especially if they are made of linen or hemp.

organizing idea-norens to hide clutter
Norens can hide clutter and also make you feel in tune with the seasons.

 

Our Stow Simple friend, Kim Hyacynthe, recently moved to Tokyo to start business school and shared her short tour of her tiny apartment with our team. You can get a sense for the lack of space and we are looking forward to her new tours after she gets fully moved in and organized!

To Hang or Fold? We have the Answer.

Want a happier closet? Knowing what to hang and fold is key to gaining closet space. Did you know that you can fit 25-40 folded items in the same space required to hang 10? And you can save money on all those hangers too. Here’s how to triple the size of your closet by folding.

What do you fold and what do you hang? We’ve got you covered with our handy Stow Simple Hang-or-Fold Guide.

HANG

Hang clothes in the same category side-by-side.

Coats, jackets, and blazers –  Heavy and tailored items like blazers and jackets are best hung. Go for curved hangers for heavy coats to better handle their weight and keep their shape.

Dresses and jumpsuits – Always hang your dresses and jumpsuits on hangers, unless they’re heavily embellished.

Skirts – Unless they are made out of denim or a thick material, skirts should be hung at the waist with clipped hangers.

Light blouses Silk, linen, rayon, and satin blouses should be hung. If you’re hanging button-downs, make sure the top button is secured—this keeps the collar from developing pesky creases.

Delicate pants –  Use clips to hang pants at the waist or the hem (so they hang vertically in your closet), or fold them along the crease and drape over the bar of a hanger.

FOLD

Sweaters – Even the best of hangers will stretch sweaters when hung.

Shirts –  Short-sleeve and long-sleeve tees should be folded to take up less space.

Casual skirts – Denim skirts or thick-knit skirts can be folded on a shelf or slung over a hanger’s bar.

Heavy pants – You’ll be shocked at home much room you can save by folding jeans, cargo and other thick pants. These are thick enough that folding won’t cause them to wrinkle.

Shorts – Unless linen, silk or a lightweight material that flutters in the breeze, shorts can easily be folded wrinkle-free.

 

Now go and create the closet of your dreams!

 

Declutter Before a Hurricane

“A tropical disturbance is forming outside Florida” is an anxiety provoking phrase for most South Floridians.

Many of us have heard the horrible stories of Hurricane Andrew or have lived through the havoc a major tropical storm or hurricane created and we don’t take our chances with mother nature.

And yet, we often find ourselves out of breath and in a mad rush to prepare at the last minute. Cluttered garages, loose backyard items, and sheds with a disarray of stuff that hasn’t been touched in several years tends to get in the way when we are looking around to prepare for a natural disaster.

storm-home

Getting rid of clutter in the home is a great way to be prepared during a disaster and to protect your family. Stow Simple will help jumpstart this process with minimum work on your end. Simply schedule a time for them to drop off high-quality bins for free, fill them up, and they pick-up when it’s convenient for you. They’ll take them to their secure storage facility and will redeliver whenever you need them back. Simplifying your life and creating a safe environment for you and your family couldn’t be any easier with Stow Simple.

Residents in high surge areas or low lying flood zones like Miami Beach, Key Biscayne, Coconut Grove, Brickell and many other areas can rest assured that Stow Simple services your areas. Don’t let clutter disrupt your safety during a disaster. Prepare ahead of time so you can easily access important items when lights are out and also have clear spaces for moving about in the case of flooding or tornadoes.

Here is a fantastic disaster preparedness checklist and family communication plan worksheets. It’s a good idea to check in with loved ones to update emergency meet up sites ahead of any disaster.

Call: (888) 544-6050 for free storage pickup.

www.stowsimple.com