Storing Special Collections

collectionsThere is a difference between junk and a collection, as I am sure those of you who are collectors have patiently explained many times to your loved ones. Because collecting is a hobby, as opposed to hoarding, which is now officially a psychological disorder. Collecting makes us happy, hoarding makes us anxious.

So this post is for all you happy, well-adjusted collectors out there. There are almost as many kinds of collections as there are people, because you never know what will strike a chord. Antique handkerchiefs? They remind me of grandma. Salt and pepper shakers? I played with my aunt’s collection as a child. As this article on zmescience.com explains, we all looking to hold on to a little bit of the past. Continue reading

Storage Scarcity

storage-unitsYou know what storage scarcity looks like in your house – overflowing closets and cupboards, and a garage you can’t park your car in. But even after you have committed to renting a storage unit, sometimes there is a scarcity of the right sized units. If you have your heart set on a 5’ x 5’ unit, for instance, and can’t find any in the storage facility near you, there are some strategies you can employ to solve this problem. Continue reading

Turn a Spare Room into the Closet of Your Dreams

hangersIf you are an empty-nester gleefully considering all the possible uses for your son or daughter’s old bedroom, here’s a great one: the walk-in closet of your dreams.

It sounds extravagant, but there are many advantages to this idea.

  • It can be done on a small budget.
  • There is natural light and ventilation available in a spare bedroom not normally available in a closet.
  • With careful planning, the room can still function as a “guest room” for the visiting son or daughter by putting in a day bed that can also double as a lounge for your dressing room.
  • It doesn’t have to be permanent, there are many free-standing options which would allow you to turn it back into a bedroom with very little effort.

Continue reading

Helping the Environment One Storage Unit at a Time

apartment-buildingThere are a number of emerging studies that suggest that urbanization is actually good for the environment. The theory goes that by condensing a large population into a smaller geographic area, you save more natural open space from being destroyed. Also at play are economies of size: with smaller spaces to heat, cool, and light, electricity use per capita in urban areas is actually lower than in suburban or rural areas. Those who study this also say there are fewer carbon emissions per person in an urban area where many people are using public transportation, rather than suburban areas where there is often one person per automobile. Continue reading

How to Organize Your Garage

garageThere are so many articles, instructional videos, DIY projects, and guides for organizing your garage on the internet, there is really no excuse for any of us to still be parking our car on the street. But some still do. You know who you are.

Let’s face it, when storage space starts getting a little tight inside the house, it is incredibly tempting to start making “temporary” piles in the garage. It is not long before that garage can become a no man’s land, terrifying children and making grown men cry. Family members argue over who will be sent in to retrieve something, and you tie a rope around your 12-year-old’s waist to make sure he is not lost forever. Continue reading

Spring Training 2016 Comes to Glendale

baseball-stadium-seatsIf you are a baseball fan, the Cactus League spring training in the Phoenix area offers an unparalleled experience. You can see half of the Major League’s 30 teams play, all within less than an hour’s drive of each other. Not to mention the beautiful surroundings and the warm weather, when much of the rest of the country is in an icy grip.

One of most impressive spring training facilities is in Glendale, AZ, a neighborhood in West Phoenix. The amazing Camelback Ranch facility is home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. With more than 118,000 square feet of Major and Minor League clubhouse space, 13 full baseball fields, three half-fields, and seating for more than 13,000 fans, Camelback Ranch is one of the largest and most scenic facilities in the Cactus League. Continue reading

Preserving Priceless Memories, Part III

film-reelWe have talked about preserving home movies, videos and old photographs by transferring them to more technologically up-to-date formats in two previous posts (Part I and Part II). But there is one more important consideration: when reformatting family memories, you should be aiming for two goals: viewable copies and archival copies. Which is to say, if you scan your old photographic prints so you can email them to family members or look at them on your phone, that’s great – but don’t get rid of the original photographic print or negative, because that is your archive. Continue reading

Using Your Storage Unit for Offsite Computer Backups

hard-diskMost of us understand the importance of backing up our computers. These days, so much of our lives is stored on our hard drive – family photos, financial data, our entire music library – all it takes is one fatal crash to underscore how vulnerable our digital information is. But it is also important to understand that backing up your computer involves more than one backup done on an external hard drive sitting next to your computer. Continue reading

Spotlight on Laveen

laveen-estrella-mountains

The Estrella Mountains west of Laveen

Laveen is a community southwest of downtown Phoenix. The area was originally inhabited by Pima and Maricopa tribal members.  In the 1870’s, dairy farmers and cotton farmers settled in the area. By the early 1900’s, a large enough community had grown up that Walter Laveen was able to open the first general store, and the town became known as Laveen. Walter also became Laveen’s first postmaster, and later a Sheriff for Pinal County.

Laveen was long separated from Phoenix by the Salt River, which has water in it year-round.  As the twentieth century progressed, more bridges were built and Phoenix kept on growing, until the previously rural Laveen finally became part of the larger urban area of the city of Phoenix. Continue reading

Micro-Apartment Living

tiny-house

Tiny House!

Here’s an interesting update on the micro apartments we talked about in a previous post: leasing has begun at New York City’s first micro-unit development, a nine-story building on East 27th street with 55 studio apartments ranging from 260 to 360 square feet.  Fourteen of the units are designated as “affordable”, meaning they will rent for about $950 a month – 60,000 people have applied for those 14 apartments. (Check out this article in The New York Times.)

 
The idea behind these micro apartments is to provide an option for the many single people Continue reading