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outdoor furniture

Time to Store Outdoor Furniture

With the leaves turning and the weather getting cooler in most of the country that means outdoor time is at a premium. If you have a lot of outdoor furniture you might have a hard time storing all of it. You don’t want to leave it on your deck over the winter, but it does need to go somewhere. That is why many homeowners elect to store their outdoor furniture in a secure self-storage unit. 

It is not as simple as renting a unit and throwing your stuff in one though. There are certain preparatory steps you should take first.

Give Your Cushions a Good Wash

If you put away wet cushions it can lead to mildew. If you give them a good wash it will kill any mold and mildew that is developing. Be sure to also dust and vacuum them before putting them in the washing machine. Many covers are removable and can be washed in a regular washing machine, but if not, you can scrub them by hand. 

Use Proper Cleaning Materials

Several type of outdoor furniture are made of different materials, so it means that you need to clean them properly. Metal and plastic can be cleaned with regular soap and water. Glass furniture needs glass cleaner. Wicker furniture can be tricky, but a water and bleach solution that is rinsed with water does wonders. Just be wary of using pressure washers. Sometimes those can cause more damage than anything. 

Allow Time to Dry

It is critically important to let all furniture dry before storing. If it is put away mold and mildew can grow, ruining the furniture. Also, do not completely drench wood and wicker furniture, as those materials can absorb a lot of water. 

Make Necessary Repairs

Do you have a table that is not sitting right or a chair with a bent leg? Now is the time to make any repairs that are needed. It is also a good time for a fresh coat of paint or stain. This way when you bring it back out in the spring it will look good as new. 

Cover Your Furniture

By stacking your furniture properly you’ll save space and time when it comes to unpack everything. Also, be sure to cover everything with a tarp or blanket so dust and moisture does not affect things. 

These are just a few ways to prepare your winter furniture for storage. Before you know it spring will be here again and it will be time to break everything out. 

Holiday Party

Hosting a Holiday Party in a Smaller Apartment

Holiday Party

The holiday season is almost here. It can often be a troubling time if you are an apartment dweller. You may feel that your space is too small to host something like a family Thanksgiving or a Christmas party for a group of friends. The good news is that you can, indeed, host events like these no matter how small your apartment is. Sure, it will take a small amount of pre-party planning, but with a little work you can pull off a great party.

Make Some Space

Yes, you have a limited amount of space to work with, but an added benefit of clearing away some clutter is that you can create more room in your apartment even after the apartment. Look at it this way: you are probably wanting to clear away some clutter anyway, so why not do it to benefit hosting a great party?

You’ll want to start by moving some furniture that may be in the way of a centralized area. If you have a bunch of unnecessary items and out of place belongings this is a great time to put them back where they belong. If you’re struggling to figure out what needs to be pared down take photos of your apartment. This can help pinpoint areas where you can clear out space. Who knows, your apartment may even look BETTER when you’re done.

Make Room in Your Coat Closet

Since the holidays means cold weather it is a great time to purge coat closets. You can switch out seasonal clothing and create room for your guests. Many communities also have coat drives, so you can donate items you no longer wear. Once you have made room make sure that you have extra hangers for your guests. If their coats are out of the way in the coat closet it means you have more room for your party.

Rearrange the Furniture to Encourage Conversation

The default setting of most living rooms is around the television, but this discourages conversation. The way around this is to shake things up with your existing furniture. Ignore the TV. Places sofas and chairs facing each other. Make sure you have a coffee table or something in the middle so guests can set down their drinks or snacks. If possible, arrange all furniture in a round layout around a centralized area. This encourages guests to engage in conversation and interact with each other.

Keep Your Place Open

The kitchen and the living room are the natural hotspots for the party, but keep your entire apartment open. Leave doors open so guests can explore. Just be sure to make sure all open areas are free of clutter too. This can greatly increase the space of the apartment while still allowing for areas of one-on-one conversation.

Don’t Forget Your Dining Area

Many apartments may not have much of a dining area, but you can maximize space by using other areas. If you have a coffee table drape a tablecloth over it for a secondary eating area. Limit the décor on your tabletops so there is more room for food and plates. When it comes to table decorations a little goes a long way.

Use Every Surface

With space at a premium, flat surfaces become critically important. End tables can become drink stations if placed in high-traffic areas. A padded bench or ottoman can become functional with a serving tray on top. Bookshelves, TV consoles, and other objects with a flat surface can become handy places for people to put down their drinks.

Find Alternative Seating

Everyone likes to sit at a party, but what if you don’t have enough seating? The first way to avoid this is to know your number of guests. Try to have a seat for each guest, especially if it is a dinner party. With a more casual affair you can probably get away with having a few fewer seats than guests. To come up with enough seats you can repurpose furniture from other rooms. Desk chairs, bed benches, and even patio furniture are great for this. Even stepladders can be used in a pinch.

The key to hosting a great holiday party in a small apartment is to be creative. With a little work you can pull off an event that your guests are sure to love.