Moving Back to the City

For baby boomers, moving to the suburbs when they got married and had children was part and parcel of the American Dream. It seemed to be the natural order of things that you would leave behind the strife and stress of the city for a greener, safer place where you could raise your children.

Recently, though, I stood at the kitchen window watching an industrious gopher unearth a truly gopheramazing amount of dirt into the middle of my back yard. As the excavation of his ever-expanding underground empire began to pile up, I began to think. That back yard is little used now, (except by the gopher), and the swing set is long abandoned by children who have gone off to make lives and families of their own.

I began to remember the care-free days of apartment living. No weeds to pull, no lawns to mow, no roof tiles to replace. Is it time to move back to the city?

The fact of the matter is, according to U.S. census data, large city centers are growing faster than their suburban counterparts for the first time in more than 90 years. As we discussed in a previous post, both baby boomers and the adult children they raised are looking for “urban villages”, where they are not tied to their automobiles as tightly and can walk and bike to the places they need to go. Continue reading

Food Truck Culture in Mesa, Arizona

tacosIt is a 21st century fact that food from a truck has been elevated to high culinary art. It used to be something you would only eat if there were absolutely no other options. Now it is something people will drive miles and stand in long lines for. How did this happen? Well, some people point to the economic recession as a factor; others talk about the high cost of building out a brick and mortar restaurant. Continue reading

Helping Your Aging Parents Make the Move to Assisted Living

sailboat-sunsetSometimes it becomes clear that our aging parents need to chart a new course for their remaining years. Sometimes we see that before they do.

We talked in an earlier post about the advantages of the multi-generation household. When you move your aging parents into your home, there can be surprising benefits – financial, practical and emotional. It can be a time to give back, and a time for your children to bond with their grandparents.

But for some families this scenario is just not a practical one. Perhaps your parents require daily caregiving that is beyond what you can offer. If they have Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, they might require constant supervision. Your home may not be set up to accommodate them, if, for instance, all the bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor and they can no longer handle stairs. It is a difficult and emotional decision for the whole family, but sometimes a move to an assisted living facility is the best choice for everyone. Continue reading

Build Your Craft Business with Self Storage

craftsLove to throw pots? Knit baby booties? Make prom dresses out of duct tape? Many people dream of starting a home-based business, but those with an actual talent for crafts have a real edge. The beauty of crafting is you can start small, and keep it small if you choose. But if you have big dreams (and make big pots), you might need a plan. There are lots of guides out there on turning your hobby into a business (this is a really good one), so we will just hit the highlights.

It is important to set aside an official space for your home business. There are definitely going to be times when you want to walk away and leave your work in progress, and not have to put Continue reading

Boomerang Kids: They’re Coming Home – Again!

boomerangYou packed them off to college. You shed a little tear of pride at their graduation. You gladly moved them back home so they could look for their first full time job. They found one!  You moved their bed and a few boxes into their first shared apartment (secretly glad it wasn’t you who had to live there.) The roommate was a flake, the job didn’t work out. They’re coming home. Again. Continue reading

Wedding Planning and Storage

wedding-bouquetEver wonder why June is the most popular month for weddings? Apparently this tradition goes back a long way. The Roman goddess Juno was the goddess of marriage, and many people considered it highly propitious to marry in the month named after her, as they believed they would be blessed with luck and goodwill from the gods. That, and nice weather, are as good a reason as any to tie the knot in June. But whether you are a June bride or a November bride, there is one thing that is certain: wedding planning takes a lot of time – and space! Continue reading

Spotlight on Eastvale

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The San Gabriel Mountains Behind Eastvale at Dawn

Eastvale, California is a burgeoning new city in northwestern Riverside County with a strong sense of community and an eye on the future. Incorporated in 2010, it is one of the fastest growing cities in the State of California, with a current population of over 63,000. Eastvale is bordered on the north by Ontario, on the south by Norco and Corona, on the east by Chino, and on the west by Jurupa Valley. It gets its name from the East Vale school district, which was on the record when Riverside County was created in 1853.

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The Future of Self-Storage Looks Bright (and Attractive!)

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No longer relegated to the edge of town next to the defunct drive-in theater, today’s self-storage facilities are bright, clean, and designed to fit in with the aesthetics of the local neighborhood. In a previous post, we talk about the historical roots of the storage industry, beginning as it did in warehouses in the industrial part of town. Even after its transformation in 1960’s Texas to the “self-storage” industry, where you could drive right up to the door of your unit, the facilities were still visually unappealing and usually in the low-rent district. But flash forward to the 21st century, and as the demand for off-site storage has increased, consumers have come to expect more upscale, conveniently located facilities.

In addition to attractive modern architecture, these re-imagined self-storage facilities often offer special amenities, like covered loading docks, elevators, access to moving dollies and rolling carts. Luxurious landscaping features often brighten the environment, and air-conditioning, controlled access, and security cameras are par for the course. Continue reading

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 are 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