Get Holiday-Ready with These Tips and Tricks – CONTEST ALERT!

This article is written and posted by Vancouver is Awesome. To enter the contest, please visit the article link.

Follow these decluttering and organizing tips to ensure your holiday celebrations are stress-free, unlocking endless possibilities, and get a chance to win a brand new KitchenAid 6Qt Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer

There is a secret to help ensure your holidays are stress-free.Photo by jacoblund / Stock Photos / iStock

As we quickly approach the holidays, it may seem like your to-do list is growing longer by the day. The anticipation of family gatherings, Gordon Ramsay-level cooking frenzies, and finding and exchanging the perfect gifts is exciting, of course, but it can also be overwhelming. 

But don’t fret! There is a secret to help ensure your holidays are stress-free. It all starts with decluttering and organizing your living spaces to ensure you can embrace the joys of the season while enjoying quality time with your loved ones. 

If you’re unsure where to start, no worries! 

Advanced Self Storage has a few tips for decluttering and organizing your home for the holidays:

1. Make a plan 

Depending on your level of clutter, the thought of trying to attack it head-on may be more daunting than the act itself. Start by drawing out a plan that outlines each individual area of your home that needs attention. 

Drawing up this blueprint will help you stay focused and efficient while providing a template to help you conquer everything on your list. 

2. Tackle one area at a time 

Once you have a plan in place, avoid the overwhelming feeling of having to take on everything at once. Instead, focus on one room or area at a time. If you’re so inclined, you can even make a checklist per room with steps of what and how you want to declutter and organize.

This approach will help you make steady, visible progress without feeling like you’re biting off more than you can chew.

3. Embrace the magic of minimalism 

The holidays are the ideal time to reflect and embrace the beauty of minimalism. They are the perfect opportunity to catalogue and let go of items you no longer need or use, such as broken ornaments, old decorations, outdated technology, old toys and more. 

Gather all these items and sort through those you’d like to donate, recycle, or sell to give them new life and purpose elsewhere. For those items with sentimental value that you can’t part with but don’t wish to keep year-round, consider separate storage solutions.

4. Be diligent with your decorations 

When decorating for the holidays, there is a fine line between lived-in, homey décor and clutter. To avoid sensory overload, be selective about the decorations you choose to display and select those that bring joy and sentimentality while complimenting your year-round design. 

That way, once the holidays have come and gone, you can spend less time taking everything down and place all ornaments and decorations back in well-organized containers to ensure they’re ready for next year. 

5. Conquer the kitchen 

The kitchen is the beating heart of holiday celebrations. After all, you know what they say: the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach! 

As such, it’s crucial to keep this area organized to preserve your sanity while lessening the likelihood of a chaotic mess. Invest in organized storage solutions and utensil organizers to maximize space and make meal preparation and cleanup a breeze.

Speaking of kitchens, one of the most highly anticipated elements of the holiday season is the terrific treats it entails.

To learn more about how Advanced Self Storage can provide the best storage solutions for you and unlock your endless possibilities, visit one of our eight locations.

Spring Cleaning Tips to Declutter

Spring is in the air and it’s time for us to do some #cleaning around our home. decluttering can bring not only joy and happiness but also extra space and peace of mind as well.

We’ve organized our spring cleaning tips in rooms so you can easily follow them through. There is no need to rush as this is an ongoing project.

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Tip #1:

Remove items and clothing from shelves, closets and dressers then wipe surfaces and fixtures. Make sure you clean the corners to get rid of all the dust.

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Tip #2:

Declutter by sorting items into 3 piles: keep/donate/trash – don’t forget to keep donations and recycling in mind. Not everything deserves to go to the dump!

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Tip #3:

Clean mirrors and windows with a microfiber towel. Microfiber is more effective than any other cloth at removing dirt, most bacteria, and some viruses from surfaces around the house!

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Tip #4:

After sorting items and clothes into categories, put them back in drawers and on shelves. Try to keep them in its section so it’s easy to find them.

Bedroom Spring Cleaning Tip #5:

The final step, vacuum/mop the floor then clean your linens (if your linens are 3-5 years old, it’s best to replace them as they can accumulate dead skin cells and possibly dust or dander allergies).

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tip #1:

Remove everything from cupboards and drawers, then wipe down all surfaces with a microfiber towel.

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tip #2:

Toss out old dry goods, then organize and label the remaining ones so it’s easy to find.

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tip #3:

Organize pots and pans first, then utensils and dishes. Donate extras if you don’t need them anymore.

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tip #4:

Move on to your #refrigerator. Remove items and wipe down shelves, then organize and label food as per their expiry date.

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tip #5:

Clean oven, microwave, and any small countertop appliances.

Kitchen Spring Cleaning Tip #6:

The final step, wash and clean your trash can and recycling bin, then mop the floor. Voila.

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tip #1:

Remove items from shelves, drawers and cupboards.

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tip #2:

Organize and label items by type (hair care, skincare, makeup, etc.)

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tip #3:

Clean surfaces including shower tiles, bathtub, toilet and faucets. Believe it or not, using a toothbrush can work wonders!

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tip #4:

Clean mirrors with a microfiber towel.

Bathroom Spring Cleaning Tip #5:

Wash towels and bathmats to complete the final touch.

Garage Spring Cleaning Tip #1:

Make sure garage door and lighting fixtures are working

Garage Spring Cleaning Tip #2:

Remove everything from garage and go through vehicle supplies (oil, gas, cleaners)

Garage Spring Cleaning Tip #3:

Clean and go through equipment (toss anything that’s old or broken)

Garage Spring Cleaning Tip #4:

Clean and paint cupboards and shelves

Garage Spring Cleaning Tip #5:

Use leaf blower/broom to clean the floor, mop then put all items back

Hopefully, this checklist will help you spring clean with ease. Have fun!

How to tackle your decluttering resolution for good

We make promises to ourselves every year. “Things will be different this time! I swear I’m actually going to stick to my goals.” But how often do you actually follow through on your new year’s resolution?

If your 2023 resolution is to declutter your home, here are some tips and tricks – not just for making it easier to clean and organize, but to make sure you actually get it done.

Don’t do it all at once

The quickest way to failure is over-commitment. If you promise that you’re going to tackle your entire home decluttering project at once, it’ll probably result in feeling overwhelmed, especially if it’s something you’ve wanted to do in the past. It doesn’t feel good to let yourself down.

It’s tough to make time for massive projects. But it’s easier to carve out a few hours in your schedule to chip away at your goals. Set small, reasonable milestones that you can achieve over time. 

Don’t: Say “I’m going to make my entire house spotless.”

Do: Say “I’m going to organize my kitchen this Saturday.”

You’re more likely to accomplish something and you might even feel a nice dopamine rush every time you check a mini goal off the list.

Take inventory

Go through your belongings and start by putting them into broad categories. For example, if you’re organizing your bathroom, you might have categories like this:

  • Toiletries
  • Skincare products
  • Hair care products
  • Medicine
  • Travel supplies
  • Makeup
  • Towels

Pull everything off the shelves and out of the drawers. Wipe down every surface, then check the dates on any perishables and toss expired items. 

FYI: Did you know that hair care and makeup products have a limited shelf life? If you see one of these on the label, it indicates the number of months the product is good after opening.

Assign a ‘zone’ for each category. Medicine might go on one shelf, while hair products go together in a drawer.

Plan where everything will go

Junk piles and junk drawers happen because we always seem to end up with items that have no set ‘home’. If you plan in advance where everything will go, that junk pile or drawer will get smaller and smaller until even your half-used pens and receipts have a set place.

It’s much easier to do this with small items. Don’t forget to toss, recycle, or donate anything you don’t need.

But what about furniture pieces you aren’t ready to get rid of, or seasonal clothing and sporting/outdoor equipment? You can’t exactly put those in a junk drawer.

If there isn’t enough space at home, you can look into an offsite storage unit to keep these things. Not only does it feel extra satisfying to quickly open up more space by removing larger items, but it means you can hold onto grandma’s antique dresser without losing valuable square footage in your living room.

Clutter be gone: you’re finally going to complete your new year’s resolution in 2023. Break it down into manageable tasks, take things step by step, give yourself time and grace, and you’ll be relaxing in your big, clean space before you know it.

5 Storage And Packing Tips That Protect The Planet

We live in a country where we’re lucky to have recycling programs, public transportation systems and eco-friendly initiatives. Many of us benefit from clean hydro-electric power. Canadians love to talk about how amazing we are. But are we actually ‘walking the walk’? 

We’re still a society that creates a ton of waste. Canadians throw away over 3 million tons of plastic every year. From unnecessary plastic packaging to disposable fashion, we can and should be doing better. 

As a Canadian self storage company, we’d like to share some ways you can be even more green, whether it’s storage at home or leasing an off-site unit with someone like us.

Use cardboard instead of plastic

While it’s tempting to use plastic tubs and containers to keep items safe and dry, try to use recycled cardboard boxes instead. Plastic isn’t biodegradable like cardboard and can take anywhere from 20 years (grocery bags) to 450 years (water bottles) to break down.

However, we understand if you’re worried about moisture seeping through paper-based boxes. In this case, we recommend trying to find storage bins that are made of bamboo or bioplastics made of biodegradable materials (like corn).

But if you already have plastic bins, you might as well get as much use out of them as possible. We just don’t recommend going out and buying new ones!

Pack with paper instead of bubble wrap

Like using cardboard boxes instead of plastic tubs, you should choose paper packing materials (including professional packing paper or newspaper) or biodegradable peanuts instead of bubble wrap and styrofoam. These will protect your belongings just as well (if not better) than plastic products.

If you’re moving or leaving a significant amount of stuff in a storage unit, buying in bulk can also save on waste because there may be less packaging materials. 

Recycle or reuse your packing and storage materials

If you’re done with your boxes, packing paper and peanuts, recycle or donate them so they don’t end up in the landfill. You might have a friend, relative, or neighbour who could put them to use and keep paying it forward until the materials are finally worn out.

Save energy with off-site storage

A climate-controlled off-site storage unit can help you free up space at home so you don’t have to use as much energy to heat the whole space. Think of public storage like public transportation, where everyone shares the cost and results in less energy used per person or household.

Climate-controlled storage also helps to preserve your belongings. If you keep your things in a cold, damp basement, you might end up having to toss things due to mold or water damage, which results in more waste.

In a nutshell, moving and storage can be eco-friendly if you do it right. In fact, putting things in storage rather than throwing them away is one way to keep them out of the landfill. Whether you’re reusing, recycling or donating, you can reduce your impact on the environment, even if it’s in your own small way.

No More Stolen Packages! Get An Offsite Mailbox

Have you fallen victim to a ‘porch pirate’?

As online shopping has become increasingly popular, there’s been an increase in mail theft, especially in the form of packages stolen from outside homes and businesses. One FedEx survey found that 1 in 4 Canadians have had a package stolen this year. It’s become such an issue that police are even setting up stings with bait packages in some cities.

People are starting to worry about missing deliveries because if they leave it outside the door, it might disappear by the time you look for it. It isn’t always possible to have someone pick up your mail while you’re on vacation, and sometimes mail arrives when you’re at work or out at an appointment.

Unless you order something by courier that requires your signature for release, how can you make sure you get your mail?

You could combat mail theft by having it sent to the front desk of your workplace or your local post office, but there’s no guarantee it’ll be accepted every time.

While Advanced Self Storage is known primarily for our secure self storage units, you can find another kind of secure storage here: mailboxes!

An offsite mailbox is perfect for:

  • Anyone looking for a theft-proof location to receive mail
  • Someone going on vacation or in the process of moving
  • People who don’t want to wait around for a courier’s delivery window
  • Those who want to keep their home address private
  • Home business owners who want to use a commercial address
  • Anyone looking to reduce mail clutter at home or at work

There’s always someone available to accept your delivery

It won’t matter if you’re busy, out for the day or on vacation. With an offsite mailbox, there’s always a trusted team member around to accept your mail. Outside of office hours, our high security facility keeps your packages safe with 24/7 monitoring.

You’ll get a notification when it arrives

There’s no need for guessing games or waiting around; you’ll get notified as soon as your delivery is ready for pickup. Some Advanced Self Storage facilities have 24-hour access, so find out if the closest location meets your needs.

There’s no minimum rental time

Whether you need a mailbox for a few weeks or a few years, set up a mail service at our address for as long as you need. All you have to do is rent the mailbox and authorize our team to accept your mail.

It’s tough to make sure you’re present to receive deliveries, especially when postal workers and couriers can often only give you an estimated time window, if that. 

Do you trust your vulnerable package will be fine sitting out on the doorstep all day?

An offsite mailbox is the safest and most convenient answer to this. It comes with peace of mind – and you can’t put a price on that.

How To Prepare Your RV For Winter

One of the best things about being an RV owner is being able to take your home-on-wheels pretty much anywhere while seeing the country and taking in nature.

But like any home, RVs need constant maintenance. And with northern winters being as extreme as they are (with the exception of Vancouver and Vancouver Island), you probably won’t be traveling much during the dark season.

If you live where it gets below freezing and you leave your RV parked outside, you’ll need to winterize your RV. If you don’t:

  • Your pipes and water lines could burst
  • Snow and ice could damage your awnings
  • Low temperatures could shorten the lifespan of your battery and deflate your tires
  • Exterior seams on the body could split
  • Your paint could start peeling

Whether you plan to park in your driveway or at a secure storage facility, here are 8 tips to winterize your RV:

1. Drain your water system while making sure all faucets are open. Remove any water filters and close the faucets before you fill the system with antifreeze (check your system’s manual to make sure you’re doing this correctly). You should also have a hot water heater bypass system so you don’t waste antifreeze.

2. Remove batteries if possible. If you need to leave them in the vehicle, make sure they’re fully charged before cold weather hits. Low temperatures can drain battery juice, and it’s much more likely to happen if your battery isn’t fully charged.

3. Turn off any electronic devices that might drain the battery (if you’ve left the battery in the RV).

4. Clean and close your awnings. It might seem like common sense, but it bears repeating. Snow and ice can quickly damage fabric, so don’t leave them open all winter. Wash them so they’re nice and clean the next time you take out the RV. But make sure your awnings are completely dry before closing them – you don’t want to develop mold or mildew.

5. Clean the fridge. It should go without saying, but make sure you’ve emptied and wiped it down so you don’t develop mold or attract pests. Talk about an unsightly spring surprise!

6. Cover your tires. Cold weather can deflate your tires and moisture can also seep in, causing a number of potential problems. Covering them also protects your tires from UV damage.

7. Keep your insurance policy up to date. You can get storage-specific insurance during the winter, which covers stationary threats like fire, theft, and vandalism. If you don’t have space to park your RV all winter (or want to free up your driveway), Advanced Self Storage has affordable outdoor vehicle storage that’s fenced and monitored 24/7. It’s much more secure than a home driveway or street parking.

8. Have a pro winterize your RV if you don’t know what you’re doing. Call your local RV dealer and see what kind of winterizing packages they offer.

Follow these tips and you’ll help prevent the elements from causing unnecessary damage to your rig. Your vehicle will last longer and you’ll be able to confidently get back to RVing this spring!

Tips For Moving Solo

Moving is difficult enough. But having to do it alone? Not fun. It’s stressful just thinking about it, right?

It can cost thousands to hire movers, especially if you live in anything bigger than a one-bedroom apartment. Some people rent a U-Haul and ask friends or family to lend a hand in exchange for some cold drinks. And we’re grateful for our loved ones who donate their time and energy.

However, this isn’t always possible. Maybe you need to move on a weekday but can’t find someone to help. Or you could be moving to a new city where you don’t know anybody at all.

These tips will get you ready to organize your move so you can enjoy your new place – even if you don’t have a sidekick.

Make a checklist

Come up with a packing strategy early. Create a checklist and start packing room by room. You can organize the content of your boxes by item type (ex. pots and pans) or location (ex. the entire contents of a bookshelf or drawer – let’s not pretend we’re all perfect here).

Here’s a starting point for taking inventory of a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment:


  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Cutlery
  • Small appliances
  • Mugs
  • Glasses/Cups
  • Bowls
  • Large plates
  • Small plates
  • Baking sheets/dishes
  • BBQ tools
  • Soft items (dish towels, oven mitts)
  • Bar contents (bottles, accessories)


  • Pants
  • Shirts
  • Socks/underwear
  • Jackets/coats
  • Shoes
  • Formal/business wear
  • Hats
  • Seasonal clothing
  • Accessories (jewelry, belts, etc.)
  • Other stored items (side table drawers, shelves, etc.)


  • Toiletries
  • Hair care products
  • Skin products
  • Storage bins and accessories

Living Room

  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Decorative items (statues, bookends, vases)
  • Plants


  • Sports equipment
  • Games
  • Costumes
  • Wall art/mirrors
  • Musical instruments
  • Figurines/collectibles

Don’t forget to leave out any essentials like daily toiletries and a few kitchen items to keep you going before you move. Start disassembling less used furniture a few weeks in advance, and take apart your final pieces 24-48 hours before moving day.

Tips for packing alone

When you’re moving alone, you might be worried about how you’ll transport fragile or awkward-shaped items. Here are some tips to make the process easier:

  • Pack heavy items (like books) in smaller boxes.
  • If you’ll be stacking boxes, completely fill each one so they don’t collapse under the weight of others.
  • Wrap mirrors and pictures in bubble wrap or use mirror boxes.
  • Disassemble as much as possible in advance. Place screws and bolts in plastic bags and tape them to the items.
  • Protect mattresses and furniture with pads and covers. You can rent these from a storage company like Advanced Self Storage or from a moving company.
  • Use a dolly (something you can also borrow or rent) so you can move long or awkward items.

Rent a storage unit to avoid rushing

The toughest thing about moving alone is having to get it all done in one day. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need to?

One way to avoid the rush is to rent a storage unit so you can move at your own pace. If you don’t want to spend the first few weeks in your new digs drowning in unpacked boxes – or you want to paint or renovate before settling in – self storage could be a perfect temporary home for your stuff.

If you go the storage unit route, here are some tips to maximize space: 

  • Store couches and loveseats vertically.
  • Never store mirror boxes and TV boxes horizontally.
  • Disassemble tables and shelves and store items on their sides.
  • If you’re in a bigger unit, leave a clear aisle for easy access to everything.
  • Be sure to clean and dry fridges and barbecues before storing.

If you want to know more about how a storage unit could give you freedom to move at your own pace, get in touch with us!

3 reasons to get a back-to-school storage unit

3 reasons to get a back-to-school storage unit

Early mornings. Homework. Rides to school. It’s that time of year again!

September might have the kids crying and screaming about the end of summer break, but it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom for you. You can’t put a price on a good education, right?

Every year is a good year to make a change, especially when it means things will be quieter around the house. Peace, silence, and time? You can finally tackle the clutter and get your home back to the state it was in before summer hit.

Here are three reasons to get a storage unit this September:

  1. They’re moving back to campus

If your ‘big kids’ are flying the coop for the school season, there’s no reason to keep their clutter around. Turn their room into an office or yoga den and move their bedroom set and extra clothes into storage. It might even inspire you to move their childhood ‘keep’ pile out of the house (so they don’t threaten to ‘disown’ you).

This brings us to our next point:

  1. The kids won’t let you toss their stuff

They’ve collected too much stuff over the years and you don’t know what to do with it all. You’ve asked them to give up the old to make room for the new, but they throw a tantrum – even the teens – when asked to choose what to toss. 

While you’re the parent and you could choose for them, a temporary compromise would be to get a small storage unit in the meantime. It’ll be easier to go through everything together if it’s in one place – plus it’ll help relieve some of the tension at home.

  1. There’s no room at home for summer stuff

    Who has room for inflatable crocodiles, baseball bats, unicorn-themed sprinklers and beach toys at home year-round? Instead of cramming summer toys and clothes into an already-full closet for the next 8 months, get a small off-site storage unit so you have more room to breathe this winter.

    Organize everything by type (ex. Sports equipment, pool toys) and carefully pack them in labelled plastic bins. Stack the bins in your new storage unit or add shelving for easier access.

With the household adjusting to the routine of the new school year, getting clutter out of the way will free up both floor space and mental space. Imagine how excited the kids will be to come home and see how fresh and clean the house is!