It is so thrilling to watch our babies grow and achieve all those “firsts”. The first time they sleep through the night. The first time they smile. The first time they roll over. The first attempts to crawl. And the big one – the first step!
Uh oh. Suddenly we look around, and our once safe and cozy home seems fraught with danger. Uncovered outlets, top-heavy floor lamps, sharp-cornered coffee tables, easy-to-reach cabinets full of toxic chemicals – oh my! For first-time mothers especially, this can be overwhelming, because they may have never seen babies and toddlers in action, and they aren’t sure exactly how much baby-proofing they should do. Continue reading
The city of Phoenix, Arizona is a jewel of the southwest that has attracted explorers, adventurers, farmers, artists, archaeologists, scientists, mystics, and tourists for over 150 years. Phoenix is situated in the Salt River Valley of southern Arizona, in an area that had been occupied for more than 2,000 years by the Hohokam people, who mysteriously abandoned the area between 1300 and 1450, after what we now believe were extensive periods of drought and severe flooding. They left behind many artifacts of their impressive culture, including an extensive irrigation canal system, the remains of which served as the skeleton for the modern Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, and the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct. This is how the city got its name, rising as it did from the ashes of a former civilization. Continue reading
There’s nothing quite as exciting as bringing home a new pet. A sweet and furry new member of the family! There are many benefits to owning a pet:
- They give unconditional love.
- Studies show that people who own dogs get more exercise.
- Children who grow up with pets in the home are less likely to suffer from pet-related allergies.
- Pets also aid in a child’s emotional development – they have someone to care for and talk to who won’t judge them. (There’s that unconditional love again.)
- Pets help people socialize. They’re a great icebreaker, and people who walk their dogs usually see and chat with other dog owners, creating a sense of community.
- Studies also show they lower stress levels in general, and just petting your dog or cat can actually lower your blood pressure.
- Did I mention the unconditional love?
As Southern California deals with the aftermath of record-breaking rainfall, two things are becoming clear: the drought is over (for the time being), and lots of people are dealing with water damage.
Water damage is the number one cause of loss for home insurance claims. Of course, flooding is not the only way the contents of your home can be damaged by water. Broken or cracked water pipes, a damaged washing machine hose, even an ice maker on the fritz can ruin your day, not to mention your floors and your furnishings.
But flooding from a natural disaster is a particularly traumatic event to deal with. We have all seen the heartbreaking images on television of distraught families and their lovely homes completely ruined by flood water and mud flows. Financial hardship aside, it is an event that can have a lasting impact on the emotional well-being of those affected. Time and time again, when you hear their stories, the loss of priceless family photos and memorabilia is one of the things that causes a surprising amount of grief in the face of this overwhelming disaster. Continue reading
I have always been one of those people who hopes to travel the world when I retire. Reading this article in Forbes really fanned the flames of that desire. Lynn and Tim Martin, two self-described senior gypsies in their seventies, have been traveling and living abroad since 2011. They sold their house in California and everything else that wouldn’t fit into a 10 x 15 storage unit, and set off to live, as they describe it, “home free”. It has worked out incredibly well for them, and that is very encouraging to me. Continue reading
January and exercise seem to go hand in hand. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves, but January 1 is the day we shake off the New Year’s Eve hangover with a power smoothie and a 12 mile run. Perhaps we think it is fitting payback for the excesses of the holidays, but I say the punishment does not fit the crime. I mean, come on! I promise I will not eat pumpkin pie and whipped cream in January, OK? Can we just ease into this thing?
But no, instead we embark on our most ambitious exercise programs in January, a month when the weather is usually not that great, the days are shorter, which means there is less sunshine, and for many people, the work schedule ramps up for the new year as well. I really don’t see what’s wrong with April, but I guess no one Continue reading
As we put away the Christmas decorations and face the New Year, it can be a great time to look around and think about how we want our living spaces to look. Are you one of those people who likes to change up the look of your home on a regular basis? Do you go for beach cottage in the summer and cozy ski lodge in the winter? It’s fun and surprisingly easy to do, and doesn’t require moving a lot of furniture (unless you like that sort of thing.) This article on Apartment Therapy talks about how little changes can make a big difference in updating the look of your living room, and this page at Better Homes & Gardens has links to dozens of seasonal decorating craft projects and ideas. Here are some of the best inexpensive ways to freshen your décor: Continue reading
Seeing beloved friends and family who have come from out of town is one of the very best things about the holidays. Hosting them in your home can be one of the most stressful. But it is definitely worth it. Cousins playing with cousins, sisters and brothers, grandma and grandpa, catching up and remembering the love. Lots of laughter, favorite traditions, and good food. The memories you make will last a lifetime, and some day your children will want to be gracious hosts just like their mom and dad were. So here are some tips for surviving and thriving with house guests during the holidays.
- A comfortable place to sleep. This doesn’t have to be an elegantly appointed, en suite guest room with a high-end memory foam mattress. (I mean, you do want them to leave eventually, right?) It can be an inflatable mattress on the floor. The way to make that a restful option for your guests is to go big on the pillows and blankets. Buy some new pillows and give them a choice of warm, cozy blankets, and of course, make sure the sheets and pillow cases are impeccably clean.
- Space for their stuff. Again, you may not be able to give them their own walk-in closet, or even their own room, but clearing a space and furnishing it with a place to put their suitcase, and even a small table and/or chair will help them feel more at home. You might also find space in a closet or room where they can put some of their belongings completely out of sight, which will protect their privacy and help them feel less in the way.
- Extra towels. Giving them their own private stash of towels, washcloths, and mini toiletries (the basics, toothpaste and shampoo, just in case they forgot) will make them feel extra welcome
- Show them where the snacks are. Travelling can lead to late nights, missed meals and limited food choices — make sure your guests have access to bottled water, show them how to use the coffee maker, put some chilled beers in the fridge, and maybe even leave some individually wrapped snacks and candy in a basket near their sleeping area. They will love you for it.
- Techie conveniences. A temporary “charging station” near their bed (even if it’s an outlet strip) and your WiFi password will help them settle in digitally.
For more tips on how to be a good host to house guests, check out this post on Houzz. And don’t forget to clear out space for your guests by taking a few things to your storage unit when you go to pick up your Christmas decorations!
From all of us at Dollar Self Storage, Happy Holidays!
Here’s an interesting thought: did you ever consider that renting a storage unit could save someone’s life? Well, OK, that might be a little exaggerated, but consider this scenario: you have a friend who has lost their job. You commiserate, give them helpful advice, and encourage them to keep looking because something good will turn up. But a couple of months go by, and they still haven’t found a job. Now their savings account is running low, and they probably can’t make next month’s rent. You could loan them some money (always a dicey proposition between friends) or … you could rent a storage unit for them.
What good is a storage unit going to do them, you ask. Well, they can give notice on that apartment before they get kicked out, move all their stuff into the storage unit, then move in with a relative or friend (maybe you, maybe not) while they regroup. Once they find that new job, they can save up for a new apartment, joyfully get their stuff out of storage, and make a fresh start. All because you rented a storage unit.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a day to reflect on the many blessings in your life. But today could be a day when you could make a real difference in the life of a friend.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Dollar Self Storage family.
Everyone knows the best time to buy turkey-shaped place mats is the day after Thanksgiving, and the best time to buy Christmas decorations is the day after Christmas. Retailers just can’t keep those seasonal items in stock, and slash the prices to clear the shelves. But it’s not just consumers who benefit from these end-of-the-season sales. Small business owners and retailers can take advantage of this opportunity to add items to their inventory that they can use or sell during the next holiday selling cycle, at a savings of as much as 75-80%. Continue reading