A Few Easy Steps to Make Cleaning Easy

Spring Cleaning Cartoon Pic

Cleaning is easy for some rare people, but for the rest of us being able to keep a living area organized and making extra space for the newest garage sale haul isn’t high on the list of things we like to do – if it sneaks on there at all. The problem is, you know how quickly this becomes a huge problem, especially the longer you put it off. Continue reading

The ONLY tip you need to keep your fridge organized

clean refrigerator

I know, I know… my fridge doesn’t look that good, either. But I’m trying!

The quiet centerpiece of most homes is the refrigerator. Quiet, solid, stoic, understated, efficient. It stands there in the kitchen, occasionally grumbling to drop a few ice cubes and purring quietly to adjust itself. Most of the time, a well-functioning refrigerator is the perfect appliance: works perfectly, without hassle, pretty much all the time.

But then there’s the moment that we all dread: time to clean out the fridge.

There are two types of people: people who keep their fridge clean, and people who hate cleaning the fridge. There’s really no middle ground. But, what if there were a simple way to avoid ever having to clean out the fridge, without constant expiration date vigilance?

Good news… there is. And I can summarize it in one word: rotation.

No, I’m not recommending that you drive a giant stake through the center of your fridge and spinning around at high speed, though that would certainly get the neighbors to notice you. (By the way, if your neighbors ARE talking, and it’s getting a bit awkward, it might be time to look at cleaning up a bit… if you need someplace to store all that miscellany, we would be happy to help. It’s, like, totally what we do and stuff.)

Instead simply rotate the items in the fridge as you add new things.

For instance, if you buy a new package of Kraft American cheese slices for the kids’ lunches, instead of throwing them in the dairy drawer, try this: open the drawer, pull everything towards the front, and put the new package in the back. It’s really that easy.

For the shelves, you need a slightly different technique. I like to follow this pattern: back, right, forward. In other words, when you get back from the store, anything that’s in front on the left goes to the back, everything in the back left goes to the right, everything in the back right comes to the front, and the new stuff goes in the front left. Your newest stuff is always front left and – here’s the key – your oldest stuff is always front right.

In this way, you can always keep tabs on what you have, and you’ll never open tupperware and have to ask your spouse or roommate, “what was this?”

My New Year’s Resolutions: One More Try

happy new year

Happy New Year from these giant letters!

I’ve never been a big believer in New Years Resolutions, mostly because they’re usually toast by my birthday, which is only three weeks later. (You can just mail me gifts… no need to show up in person.) However, I am a big believer in setting goals. Since lots of other people ALSO like setting goals, and New Years is as good a time as any, I figure I’ll give the Resolution thing one more try. I’m hoping that if I post it publicly and promise to write about each of them, maybe that will help. Will it work? It’s a mystery to me, but let’s find out!

Clean out the junk drawer

My wife and I have a drawer in the kitchen that is basically filled with spare change, pens, stamps, screwdrivers, receipts, scissors, flashlights, candles, and other miscellaneous junk. I think that most households have one. It would be nice if that were clean for at least a couple of days.

Remodel the living room

Ok, this is sort of a big one, and is not usually the type of goal that I set since I’m generally far more ambitious than I should be. But I’m cheating on this one. How? I’ve already started on it. I’ve torn up the carpet, painted the walls, and now I’m laying down the new floor. There are pictures. There are huge mistakes. There are trips to Home Depot. Many, many trips to Home Depot. Assuming that I finish sometime before the end of 2014, I’ll post the whole story. If I don’t finish before the end of 2014, I’ll still post the whole story, but it will probably take more than one post.

Tidy up the garage

As a result of a set of recent home projects, my garage has gone from a nice, neat workshop that shares space with two cars and a lawn mower to being a storage unit for chairs, TV stands, an old bike in need of desperate repair, three strollers, and a roll of carpet. Underneath it all is a nice workshop. Next to it, the lawn mower. In front of it, two cars. It would be nice to have that space back again.

Write up A Storage Inns of St. Louis

About a month or so ago, I put my daughter in the car and we met up with my father-in-law for a tour of several storage facilities that he runs. Before meeting my wife, and in turn her family, I knew nothing about the storage industry, and he’s been a major source of information for me over the years. Touring his facilities gave me great insight into how an independent, world-class storage company operates on a daily basis, and meeting his managers helped me understand the people who keep the industry running.

I will be including pictures of my daughter in this post. Not sure why I mentioned this, but I really love that kid, so you’re getting pictures of my daughter.

Introduce you to the OSSD team

We work hard to make sure that you can find the best possible deals on storage, and also to offer you helpful, illuminating information about storage, organization, and more. So, who are these OSSD folks, you might ask? Matt, Stacy, Mindy, Howard, Brian, and myself. Plus the Sparefoot gang, of course. It seems like the time has come to meet these Stockpiling Sages, these Piling Pundits, these Lords of Large Loads.

Implement simple home organization solutions

I’ve been a homeowner for nearly five years, and I’ve been in my current house going on two years, and I’m just now starting to really figure out simple tricks to keep things convenient, organized, and out of sight. I want to keep finding new ways to simplify and enrich my homelife by changing little things.

Write a book

I love to write and I’ve always wanted to write a book. I started working on one over Thanksgiving, and I want to get it to the point where I can start looking to get it published. It’s nonfiction, it’s historical, it’s totally nerdy, and I’m not sharing anything more than that. Watch this space.

Write something crazy every month

I love sharing information about storage and organization and blah blah. But I also really like writing more ridiculous pieces. Writing about my experience finding a renter on Craigslist was a real highlight for me, as was coming up with the most absurd baby gifts for the royal family.

The Wrap

These seem reasonable, right? I think so. I hope so. To keep myself honest, I’ll be posting regularly about my progress. Eight items. Twelve months. Two of them already underway. Regardless, on behalf of the OSSD team, I want to wish each of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!