Category Archives: Lifestyle

January and Exercise

exerciseJanuary 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

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

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

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

Spotlight on Chandler

chandler-tumbleweed-tree

Chandler’s Tumbleweed Christmas Tree

Chandler, Arizona has grown from a small townsite established in in 1912 (the year Arizona became the 48th state), to a prominent suburb of Phoenix, with a population of over 230,000 residents. Originally, the town’s economy was based on agriculture (cotton, corn, and alfalfa), but these days Chandler is home to businesses like Intel, Verizon Wireless, and Microchip Technology.

In addition to its impressive business resume, Chandler is very popular with tourists, and hosts many colorful festivals, including the annual Ostrich Festival, a tribute to the days when ostrich farms in the Continue reading

Mining Your Storage Unit for Hidden Gems

antique-watchAnyone who has seen “Storage Wars” on TV has likely dreamed about the possibility of finding buried treasure in their family storage unit. Recently, a near-mint copy of Action Comics No. 1, the first comic in which Superman appeared, was found by the winner of storage unit auction in Los Angeles. It sold for over $2,000,000. Continue reading

The Snowbird Lifestyle

open-roadAhh, you lucky snowbirds, it’s Fall again.  Flee the snow, seek the sun. It seems like such an ideal lifestyle, I think almost everyone gets the bug to try it — winter in the warm, southern part of the country then return home after the spring thaw, wherever home may be – Canada, Minnesota, Oregon (I think they call you folks rainbirds). Some people enjoy the snowbird lifestyle by actually owning or renting homes in two different locations. Then there are those adventurous souls who live in their RVs half the year, either returning to the same park and spending the winter with new (old) friends and favorite activities, or tapping into their inner gypsy and exploring new destinations all over the Sun Belt. Continue reading

Creative Organization

pencil_circleSeptember always puts me in the mood to organize. I guess part of it is the old association with the beginning of the school year – a new backpack; clean, crisp notebooks full of potential; unbroken crayons in all the good colors. But unlike spring cleaning, which is all about squeaky clean surfaces, autumnal organizing brings out my creative side. It makes me want to decoupage that old wooden crate before I stow away my vinyl collection in it. It makes me want to put stickers on the old baby wipes container to make a new home for my kid’s marker collection. You get the idea.

So, if like me, September makes you want to sharpen a few pencils and get crackin’ on some “homework”, you might want to take a look at this article on Bob Vila’s website  about creative storage solutions that feature clever, re-purposed items, like old books, dish drainers, cake pans, worn out luggage – and even last year’s cast off lunch box! These fun ideas will help you get organized and get your creative juices flowing. Who needs finger painting?

When you get done organizing, if you have a few things you need to transfer to your storage unit, don’t forget that Dollar Self Storage has boxes and packing supplies, including specialized items, such as dish packs and wardrobes, which will make that job easier. When they are all packed up, you can put some stickers on them!

Back to School in Another Town

College studentGive your college student the benefit of extra storage all year long.

Back to school. The same simple phrase that strikes terror into the heart of school-age children everywhere brings secret delight to parents. Back to order. Back to routine. Back to a cup of tea in a quiet house.

If your child is a college student, back to school means back to campus – perhaps in another town, even another state. College students have a special relationship with storage units. Many college students who go to school far from their homes have to figure out what to do with their belongings over the summer break each year. Self-storage is a smart and handy solution that makes these times a little more hassle-free for both students and parents.

If you take advantage of self-storage in this way for your college student, you might want to consider keeping that storage unit all year long for them. There are several benefits to this idea: Continue reading