The Renter's Bent https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent/ New to self storage and looking for solutions? Curious about this relatively modern trend in American life? Want to know what motivates the StorageFront team? StorageFront's blog is a helpful mix of tips and tales for renters, conjured up by our own diverse team of writers. Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:35:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Funny Fridays: Self Storage Insurance https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//funny-fridays-self-storage-insurance/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//funny-fridays-self-storage-insurance/#comments Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:35:31 +0000 GuestBlogger https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7229 Junk in the Trunk Funny Fridays: Self Storage Insurance

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So You’ve Decided to Find a Roommate on Craigslist https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//so-youve-decided-to-find-a-roommate-on-craigslist/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//so-youve-decided-to-find-a-roommate-on-craigslist/#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2017 19:00:18 +0000 Krista Diamond https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7189 Despite its popularity, Craigslist (aka the land of casual encounters and missed connections) has a sketchy reputation at best. The website, which is home to actual phrases like “Perfect home jobs…Make $2,500 a day” and “HAIR UNICORNS WANTED” along with some others that we can’t print here, hardly seems like the place where you’d go to invite someone into your home. And yet it is.

If you have a vacant room in your apartment and you’re looking to fill it with a non-crazy person, Craigslist can feel like both the most convenient and the most terrifying place to start your search for a roommate. Horror stories about bad Craigslist roommates range from the ones who don’t pay the rent on time to the ones who might be actual serial killers.

Whether you’re looking for the kind of roommate who will become a lifelong friend, or you’re just looking for a quiet, non-smoker who will run the dishwasher when it’s full, here are some foolproof ways to find that person on Craigslist.

Write the Perfect Ad

If you work in marketing or have at least seen a few episodes of Mad Men, you already know how important it is to understand your audience when creating an ad. Follow this advice when looking for a roommate on Craigslist. Picture your ideal roommate and write the kind of ad that they’d respond to. Include some details about who you are (your job, hobbies, likes/dislikes) and some details about who you’re looking for.

Example: I’m an environmental studies major who likes yoga and vegan food. I would love a social roommate who gets along with my two dogs and enjoys nature and cooking the occasional meal together.

Be sure to also include photos of the apartment, along with details about the neighborhood.

Be Safe

Play by the rules of Tinder and talk to potential roommates online before meeting in person. Craigslist makes this easy by using a 2-way email relay. This means that when someone responds to your ad, they will see an anonymous email address instead of your actual email address. This anonymous email address will forward emails to your personal email address.

Get a feel for who you’re talking to by chatting via email before giving out your phone number, social media handles or any other information.

Don’t Be a Hater

There’s a fine line between searching for a roommate who you have stuff in common with and being discriminatory. That’s why there’s a little thing called the  Federal Fair Housing Act. If you’ve never heard of the Federal Fair Housing Act before, it basically states that you can’t discriminate based on race, origin, religion, sex, handicap or familial status—yep, even on Craigslist. Common examples of discriminatory language in roommate ads include phrases like “no pets, even seeing eye dogs” and “Christians only.” In other words, don’t be a jerk.

One exemption: If you’re advertising an apartment where you and your roommate will be sharing a common area (bathroom, kitchen, etc), you can express whether you’d prefer a male or female roommate.

Your First Meeting

Ready to meet the roommate candidate IRL? Start with a meet and greet. Because psychopaths do occasionally lurk on the internet, meet in a public place like a coffee shop or bar. Keep it casual; the goal of this is to see if your personalities are a good fit. Have an idea of what questions you want to ask (here are five great ones) and give them time to ask you questions too.

One clever way to size up your potential roommate fast is to offer to meet at their current residence. While you obviously shouldn’t do this if you’re not comfortable with it, this is a pretty genius way to get a feel for how someone will be as a roommate by seeing how they currently live.

Your Second Meeting

If you’re vibing with your hopefully-future roommate, it’s time to show them where you’ll be shacking up. Give them a tour of the apartment and provide all the details. Be up front about what the rent does and does not include. For example, if there’s available shared storage space or parking, point it out.

Discuss the total rent, including shared bills. It’s best to charge a flat rate for utilities rather than splitting them up. This will prevent someone from potentially trying to get out of certain utility bills (like cable, for instance) for things they don’t use that often.

Talk hard rules, like whether or not smoking and pets are allowed, and soft rules, like cleaning and your guest policy. Make your expectations clear. Yes, this might discourage some applicants, but it’ll help you find the right person.

Do Your Homework

Even if the first and second meeting went well, don’t commit to living with someone right away. Take a moment to write down the pros and cons of different roommate candidates and then do a little sleuthing.

Checking out their social media might feel creepy, but hey, if you’re okay with Facebook stalking your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, you can be okay with scrolling through the Instagram feed of someone you might live with. Hopefully, a glance at the prospective roomie’s Facebook will reassure you that the two of you are going to be best buds, but it’s also possible that things might go the other way. Are they a member of not one but five different Nickelback fan groups on Facebook? Consider that bullet dodged.

If you want to be really comprehensive, you can do a background check and ask for references as well.

Have an Escape Plan

No, we’re not talking about a getaway car standing by in the event that your prospective roommate gets creepy (though that’s not the worst idea, come to think of it), we’re talking about practical steps that you can take to ensure that you don’t end up living with a bad roommate for any longer than necessary if you end up choosing the wrong person.

Avoid long leases. Month to month is best. And speaking of leases, it’s best to get every roommate’s name on the lease so that some responsibility will shift to the landlord as far as background checks, references and rent payments go.

And most importantly, don’t be afraid to have the “What if?” conversation before you move in together. Specify what behaviors would warrant a reevaluation of whether or not your roommate relationship is working out. That way, should the day come when your roommate decides to get a pet without telling you, do illegal drugs in the kitchen or participate in some other decidedly uncool activity, you’ll have an easier time addressing it.

Don’t Rush It

Give yourself enough time to find the right roommate. If you end up waiting until the last minute, you’ll be forced into saying yes to the first person who responds to your ad on Craigslist. If some of the steps that we’ve outlined seem a bit exhaustive, it’s because we want to emphasize the importance of taking your time in your search. Spend at least a half an hour at the initial meeting. Hang out until you’ve got all the information you need.

And most importantly, don’t make snap judgements. If someone seems totally perfect, don’t rush into committing to living with them. Mull it over before saying yes. After all, inviting someone to share your home is kind of an intimate thing and finding that person online can be awkward. Make it a pleasant experience for both of you by taking the time to choose the right person. Who knows? You just might end up becoming friends for life.

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6 Things Your Storage Facility Wishes You Knew https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//6-things-your-storage-facility-wishes-you-knew-2/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//6-things-your-storage-facility-wishes-you-knew-2/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:54:11 +0000 Krista Diamond https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//6-things-your-storage-facility-wishes-you-knew-2/ You can learn a lot about self storage if you ask the experts. The problem is, most of us never do. Instead, we rent storage units, put our stuff inside of them, lock the doors and hope for the best. While renting a storage unit is a relatively simple concept, there are a few tricks to getting the most out of your self storage experience. Consider the following a look inside the private thoughts of your storage facility manager’s head. These are the things he really, really wishes you knew.

1. Giving your storage facility the right contact information is insanely important.

You might not put much thought into filling out paperwork when renting a storage unit. You put down your current address even though you’re going to be moving next week. You forget to put in the area code on your phone number. You don’t put down your parents’ contact information even though you’re going to be studying abroad next semester.

And then it happens.

Whatever it is, it’s not good. Maybe you left your storage unit unlocked. Maybe there was a fire or a flood. Perhaps you forgot to pay your rent.

The bottom line is, if you don’t put down accurate contact information, the storage facility can’t communicate important information with you. Take the extra five seconds to make sure your phone number is legible when you write it down and you’ll always be in the loop.

2. Your storage facility doesn’t want to auction off your stuff.

If you spend enough time reading reviews of storage facilities while watching Storage Wars (What? That’s not how you spend Friday night?) you’ll come across the following conspiracy theory: Storage facilities want you to get behind on your rent so that they can auction off your stuff and make a killing.

This is not true.

The truth is, hosting storage auctions costs the storage facility time and manpower and is almost never profitable. They’re forced to navigate an often confusing legal process while taking staff away from their actual duties. The hope is that the auctioned off storage unit will make up the unpaid rent, but this doesn’t happen every time and even if it did, it probably still wouldn’t be worth the headache.

In other words, get that image of vulture-like storage facilities looking to sell your stuff out of your head and go forth and store in peace.

3. Don’t use the storage facility’s dumpsters.

Is your storage unit filled with junk? If so, cleaning it out probably involves a dumpster rather than a moving truck. And hey, look, there’s a dumpster right on property!

It’s tempting to toss your old mattress and boxes of miscellaneous stuff into the dumpster by your storage unit, but most facilities would prefer you didn’t do this. In fact, many facilities will even lock the dumpster to make this clear. If you happen to be storing at a facility with an unlocked dumpster, don’t take this as a go-ahead to throw whatever you want in there. Ask first, especially if you’re throwing away something really big.

4. You really don’t need 24 hour access to your storage unit.

24 hour access is a magical phrase when it’s applied to just about anything. 24 hour diner? Waffles at midnight. 24 hour gym? Your choice of elliptical machines at 2am. In a world where 24 hour access to everything seems necessary, it stands to reason that 24 hour access to a storage facility should come standard.

Start looking for a storage unit that you can access at any hour of the day, however, and you’ll find out pretty quickly that they’re actually quite hard to come by. Offering 24 hour access requires the facility to schedule staff around the clock and can often open them up to additional liability. From the customer standpoint, 24 hour access to a storage unit usually costs more and isn’t that necessary in the first place. Unless you’re a vampire, you don’t need it.

5. Self storage insurance isn’t a scam.

When you’ve already given someone your business, it’s natural to feel suspicious if they start trying to sell you additional things. If you’ve ever gotten sucked into a pyramid scheme or shelled out way too much money for a supposedly ultra premium oil change, your scam-radar is probably always on.

But when it comes to self storage insurance, you should know that the facility isn’t trying to con you out of more money.

If you have homeowners insurance, your personal property coverage will extend to some, but likely not all of your belongings when they’re in a storage unit. That’s where self storage insurance comes in. It’s certainly not for everyone, but for about $20 a month, it can be an affordable extra layer of protection for your valuable items.

6. It’s okay to ask questions.

Seriously, there are no dumb questions. Storage facility managers aren’t just in the business of renting out units; they’re in the business of customer service. If you have a question about your lease, about a late payment or even about how to store an unusual item, don’t be shy.

Your storage facility can provide you with the resources you need to recycle that couch, advice on storing that wedding dress and more information about self storage than you could ever care to know. They’re the self storage experts, after all, and if you take the time to ask them questions, you’ll be one too.

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It’s Time to Organize Your Junk Drawer https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//its-time-to-organize-your-junk-drawer/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//its-time-to-organize-your-junk-drawer/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2017 17:01:05 +0000 Jon Fesmire https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7172 The junk drawer. Everyone has one. You keep your house in order, but there are always little things that don’t quite go anywhere, so they end up in this space. What do you have in yours? I’m betting you’ll find rubber bands, tacks, batteries, and old keys. You may have some headphones, power cords, and other things too.

Eventually, the time comes to organize your junk drawer. Here’s how:

De-Junking the Junk Drawer

Keep in mind that since the junk drawer is a small space, organizing it needn’t be a huge chore, and it can even be an opportunity to exercise some creativity.

Open the drawer and go through everything in it. Use your kitchen counter for extra space. Chances are there are things you just don’t need. Perhaps you’ll find expired coupons, bent paperclips, and a few broken cords that you randomly threw in there. Throw out the junk! In the case of cords, bring them to an electronics recycling center. Some electronics stores will recycle them for you.

Digitize

Some items may contain important information that you can keep on your phone or computer. These include things like business cards and product manuals.

Get all those business cards together and then input the information into your address book, be that on your computer or smartphone. Make sure the information is backed up to a cloud server so that if you get a new phone or your computer dies, you don’t lose your contacts.

Product manuals for everything from a refrigerator to a webcam can come in very handy if the item runs into a problem. However, these days, you can usually find digital copies of the manuals on the manufacturer’s website. Download them into a folder on your favorite cloud server and you’ll be able to access them without having them cluttering up your junk drawer.

Consider These Organization Options

What’s the key to organizing a junk drawer? Compartmentalization. Put more simply, little boxes.

For around $50, you can get a collection of small, wooden bamboo boxes of various sizes. Put them in the drawer, arrange them how you like, and then fill each with one type of item. You may have a long box for batteries, a square box for your bundled cords, and so on. The good thing about a solution like this is that the boxes are of high quality, are the same height, and all match visually.

Of course, there are cheaper solutions. Other ideas people have used are check boxes, the bottoms of cereal boxes, candy boxes, and jewelry boxes. Your local dollar store or office supply store might also have a variety of boxes to choose from.

You could also measure your drawer and look for individual drawer organizers, like this junk drawer organizer, until you find one that will fit. You might put an attractive lining in the drawer, then use clear plastic boxes. You’ll be able to see the lining through the boxes, which can provide a unified look.

Putting Away Your Items

Once you have the box or organizer structure in place, you can decide where to put the various items. You’ll want to put everything away neatly. That means winding up cords and binding each snuggly with a rubber band, and placing batteries together in rows rather than having them thrown haphazardly into one box.

Finally, we recommend having one box in the drawer reserved for new items, to be sorted later. When you’re busy, you will then have a place to drop that new business card or rubber band you just unrolled from your newspaper.

With the drawer properly arranged, you’ll be able to quickly grab those little things you need. Happy organizing!

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Capturing Memories: How to Store Photos https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//capturing-memories-how-to-store-photos/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//capturing-memories-how-to-store-photos/#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:00:29 +0000 Jon Fesmire https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7174 Do you have a collection of photographs that you’d like to keep in good shape? Printed photos are sadly susceptible to aging and physical damage, so it’s important to learn how to store them safely. Proper storage prevents fading, wrinkling, crumpling and other forms of deterioration.

Where to Store Photos

You can store your photographs at home or in a self storage unit. Whichever route you go, always remember that photos should be stored between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot weather is especially bad for photos, as it can cause them to fade. This is especially noticeable in color images.

You also want low humidity. If it’s comfortable for you, it should be fine for your photographs. If the humidity is too high, the excess water in the air can damage the paper and ink, and if it is too low, photos can become dry and brittle. If you plan to store photos at home, you’ll want to keep them out of the basement, as this part of the house is often more humid than the rest of the home. Avoid storing photos in the attic, which can be too dry. If you’re keeping them in a self storage unit, get one with climate control if possible.

Wherever you keep them, remember that light, especially sunlight, will prematurely fade the colors. Aside from framed pictures on your walls, avoid exposing your photographs to sunlight.

Negatives

Consider negatives your back-ups. Of course, this only goes for photographs taken with traditional film. Photos taken with a digital camera will have their digital counterparts that you should store with a cloud service, like Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive.

If you do have negatives that you want to keep as image back-ups, store them in a separate location from the photographs. If an unexpected event ruins the photos, the negatives should be safe elsewhere, and vice versa.

Use the Right Storage Materials

Don’t use just any boxes, photo albums, or separators for your photographs. Also, don’t store them with newspaper clippings or other acidic paper. Paperclips & rubber bands can physically damage photos with grooves and bends. Tape, even applied to the back of a photograph, can cause damage. Don’t write on the back of a photo in pen. Instead, write lightly in pencil only.

To help you with choosing storage materials for photos, the photography industry has developed a national standard called the Photographic Activity Test (PAT). Check the label of boxes or albums you’re interested in to see if they have passed the PAT. If not, then the item likely contains chemicals that will damage your photographs over time.

One excellent way to store your photographs is in archival boxes that pass the PAT, which you can find at photography shops. Also purchase acid-free envelopes of the correct size, or photo-safe mylar sleeves. For pictures that are 4” x 6” and under, use 4” x 6” photo envelopes and boxes. For larger images, up to 8” x 10”, use 8” x 10” photo envelopes and boxes. In light pencil, you can write something about each photograph on its envelope. With this sizing system, stacking the boxes will be easy.

Digitizing Pictures

If you have photographs that you want to digitize, and you’re missing the negatives, this should help. Scan each at a high resolution to store as much detail as possible. PNG, TGA, TIFF, and BMP images save large, but without loss of detail. If you save your images as JPEGs, save them at the highest quality possible.

Also, try to not scan each image more than once or twice. Scanning involves both bright light and heat, which can damage the photographs. As suggested above, store your digitized images with a cloud service. These days, those cost little to nothing, and are a great way to ensure that, should your own computer suffer data loss, you’ll still have your pictures.

It’s common to assume that photographs will be fine in any envelope, album, or box. This simply isn’t true. While it may take years for photographs to fade or become brittle, it is still worth keeping your most treasured pictures as well-preserved as possible.

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Funny Fridays: Divorcée https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//funny-fridays-divorcee/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//funny-fridays-divorcee/#comments Fri, 17 Feb 2017 15:55:39 +0000 GuestBlogger https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7194 Sex Toys Funny Fridays: Divorcée

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7 Cities to Move to If You Love Books https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//7-cities-to-move-to-if-you-love-books/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//7-cities-to-move-to-if-you-love-books/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:00:39 +0000 Jon Fesmire https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7104 For a book lover, there’s nothing like entering a bookstore or library and knowing you’re in a place where knowledge and imagination meet. If you want to move but aren’t sure where you’d like to live, consider a city that matches your love of books.

Here are seven great U.S. cities for book lovers to live. These are in no particular order, since there are many factors that affect what makes a city great for book lovers. Some may surprise you!

New York, NY

New York City is home to many major publishing houses like Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins. For traditionally published writers, that makes it a center for business.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily affect bookworms, so here’s what you need to know. The city boasts a huge public library system—the second largest in the country—and many independent bookstores, like the famous Strand, which boasts 18 miles of books.

Of course, if you’re looking for somewhere to read, you can always have a seat in Central Park. If you’re looking for bookworm friends, you can join one of the local book clubs like Books That Make You Go Hmm…! or The Upper West Side Book Club.

Boston, MA

Boston’s library system is the third largest in the U.S., but the Boston Public Library is the second largest in the country, just behind the Library of Congress. Sound encouraging? It also has many notable book clubs, like the Brookline Booksmith Book Club which meets at the local bookstore that gives the group its name.

Among Boston’s many popular independent bookstores, you’ll find Brattle Book Shop, filled with used and rare books.

Portland, OR

If you want to spend your free time at a truly impressive bookstore, consider moving to Portland! There, you’ll find the five-story Powell’s City of Books with more than one million books for sale.

The Portland Public Library encourages book groups and allows them to meet on library grounds. If you’re looking for a group to join, check there first!

Portland loves its authors, and has its share of independent publishers. These include Craigmore Creations and Forest Avenue Press. If you’re looking for something strange and delightful, though decidedly for grown-ups, check out Eraserhead Press.

In addition to the booming literary scene, Portland is home to the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden, where you’ll find sculptures of characters from Cleary’s popular children’s novels. You can always read in a library, bookstore, or cafe, but you can also relax in the sculpture garden with a book.

Los Angeles, CA

Looking for a great art, acting, and literary scene in a large city where there’s always something to do? Look no further than Los Angeles. This major Southern California city has too many book clubs to count, and you’re sure to find the right one for you.

There are also dozens of independent bookstores, such as Skylight Books, an eclectic shop that sells art, film, local history, and music books, Vroman’s Bookstore, with books and lots of gift ideas, and if you’re into mystery and crime fiction, Book’em Mysteries.

It also has the wonderful LA Times Festival of Books, which is the largest book festival in the country. This is a wonderful event for publishers, writers, and readers where you can buy books directly from the authors, get them autographed, and ask questions all while enjoying food trucks and live musical entertainment.

Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN:

Listing these two cities together might seem like cheating, but they’re linked so closely they may as well be one. Move to either, and you’ve got a great literary scene right out your front door. In 2015, Minneapolis was ranked the most literate city in the U.S., beating out Washington D.C.

The Twin Cities have many independent presses, including Coffee House Press, Gray Wolf Press, Dragon Door Publications, Afton Press, and Smith House Press.

If you move there, check out Magers and Quinn Booksellers, which has a huge collection of new, used, rare, and collectible books, or head to Birchbark Books if you want tips on the best books to read. Want to have a beer while talking about books? Check out the Books & Bars book club.

Detroit, MI

This may be the least expected on the list. Sadly, Detroit has seen a huge decrease in population and lost of industry, and the crime rate is higher than in most places. However, there are some good reasons for book lovers to consider being part of helping Detroit grow again.

In fact, you can get paid to live in Detroit! If you’re not only a reader but a writer, you might consider entering the Write a House contest when available. This group fixes up old Detroit homes and gives them to winning writers in an effort to improve the city by building its literary scene.

John K. King Used & Rare Books is Detroit’s largest used bookstore and a great place to visit to find those treasures we book lovers want. Looking for other book stores? Don’t worry, Detroit has the third largest number of bookstores per capita in the U.S.

Detroit also has a large number of book clubs, so you’re sure to find one that matches your tastes. Here are a few worth mentioning: Fables and Reflections is great for sci-fi and fantasy lovers. Brews and Books Metro Detroit is all about relaxing with a beer at a brew pub and discussing the monthly read. If you love good food and reading the classics, check out Detroit Classics and Fine Food Book Club.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, we hope this helps you start your search for the ideal city for you to live and enjoy books, libraries, and meeting other bookworms.

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Spring Cleaning Tips for Real People https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//spring-cleaning-tips-for-real-people/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//spring-cleaning-tips-for-real-people/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:00:41 +0000 Krista Diamond https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7158 Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted six more weeks of winter, but that doesn’t mean you should put off spring cleaning. If you’ve been hibernating in your home all winter, now is the time to dust off those cobwebs, open up the windows and get out your cleaning supplies.

If you’re like most people, spring cleaning sounds about as appealing as waiting in line at the DMV. It’s one of those things that’s easy to brush aside based on the fact that you’re too busy, too tired or just completely opposed to devoting your free time to dusting.

The truth is, spring cleaning—like self storage—can make your life better. So how do you tackle the task if you’re not exactly Martha Stewart? By utilizing the following Real Person Approved spring cleaning hacks.

Don’t Do it All in One Day

What sounds better: A long Sunday brunch or a long Sunday morning mopping your kitchen floor? For those of us who hate spring cleaning, part of the agony is how much time it takes up. It’s like regular cleaning but so much longer. Avoid sacrificing too much free time by breaking up spring cleaning over the course of one or two weeks. Schedule a few hours out of every day or plan on tackling a few big cleaning projects a week and before you know it, you’ll be done.

Hire a Professional for the Stuff You Really Hate

Is it cheating to hire a professional to handle your least favorite parts of spring cleaning? If so, we’re fine with it. Paying a cleaner might sound expensive, but go through a website like Care.com and you’ll find housekeepers who work for as low as $10 a hour. For that price you can afford to do the bulk of the cleaning yourself and then hire someone for a few hours to wash the windows, shampoo the carpet or do whatever else it is that you hate doing.

Declutter

If you’re going to throw something away, recycle it or donate it, you don’t have to worry about organizing it. Use spring cleaning as an opportunity to get rid of the clutter that’s crowding your home. When dusting your bookshelf, set aside the books you don’t want. The same goes for your closet and drawers. Decluttering creates space and makes spring cleaning feel much easier.

Make a Schedule

This spring cleaning hack is a lifesaver if you’re Type A. Create a schedule (or follow this incredible eight hour plan) for your spring cleaning. Designate a time frame for each activity or room of the house and spring cleaning will seem like an attainable, black and white task rather than an abstract goal.

Focus on Key Tasks

Look, there’s no set rules when it comes to spring cleaning. If the thought of cleaning your whole home from top to bottom doesn’t sound doable, don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to do it. Instead, focus your spring cleaning on the handful of cleaning and organization projects that you’ve been putting off for months. Have a closet you’ve been meaning to declutter or too many boxes of junk under your bed? You can vacuum and wipe down the counter any day of the week, but taking care of the stuff you’ve been procrastinating is a real spring cleaning accomplishment.

Stock Up

Spring cleaning is a battle against dust and grime. Don’t go in unprepared. Spring cleaning is much more manageable if you take the time to run to the store first and stock up on the right supplies. Items like gloves, dusters, sponges, garbage bags, cloths and scrub brushes along with an all-purpose cleaner that you actually like the scent of (French lavender, anyone?) will set you up for success.

Forget Elbow Grease

While there’s a lot to be said for the amount of calories you burn cleaning, all of that exhausting scrubbing is far from enjoyable. Ditch the elbow grease and use cleaning supplies that do the work for you. Products like Scrubbing Bubbles are great because you can spray them, let them sit and wipe clean rather than spending hours on your knees scrubbing your tub. Baking soda is also a miracle worker for this same reason. Use it along with some hot water to easily remove burnt residue off of pots, pans and even your outside grill.

Try Cleaning Slippers

Yes, these cleaning slippers are very silly. But guess what? They’re also kind of great. Pop them on when cleaning and you’ll avoid tracking dirt on a freshly mopped floor or getting cleaning products on your feet.

Reward Yourself

As with all tasks, it’s nice to have some incentive to clean. While the domestic goddesses of the world might argue that the real reward for spring cleaning is a beautiful living space, the rest of us know that that’s not enough. Plan on treating yourself to something you like, whether it’s takeout from your favorite Thai place, a new outfit or even a few episodes of a show you’ve been streaming. Having something to look forward to will motivate you to stop procrastinating and get your spring cleaning done faster. And after all that work, you deserve it.

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20 Reasons Why Getting a Storage Unit is the Most Romantic Thing You Can Do This Valentine’s Day https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//20-reasons-why-getting-a-storage-unit-is-the-most-romantic-thing-you-can-do-this-valentines-day/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//20-reasons-why-getting-a-storage-unit-is-the-most-romantic-thing-you-can-do-this-valentines-day/#comments Tue, 14 Feb 2017 17:00:27 +0000 Krista Diamond https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7145
  • Less clutter will give you more space for that candlelit dinner you’re going to prepare (even if it is just Taco Bell).

  • You can finally give your significant other the gift of a dresser drawer at your place. #ValentinesDayPresentSolved

  • Not ready to rent an apartment together? Start by renting a storage unit together.

  • You can stash your ex’s stuff there so there’s zero chance of your date stumbling upon it.

  • You know that teddy bear you’ve had since you were in kindergarten? Mood killer. Put it in storage.

  • You can convince your spouse that you’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in getting rid of that filthy bean bag chair from college without ever having to really get rid of it.

  • If you can’t fit your furniture and her furniture into your shared apartment, you can be the chivalrous one and put yours in storage.

  • Renting a storage unit is one of those grown-up things that makes you more attractive. Casually mention “the old 5×5” and watch the free drinks and phone numbers start rolling in.

  • If you’re looking to totally surprise your partner with a proposal, a storage facility is a very…surprising…place to propose.

  • You can rent your Valentine a storage unit and give them a card with the following inscription: “You’re so hot I had to get you a climate-controlled storage unit.” Works every time.

  • But seriously, there are a thousand more self storage related pick up lines. They will all send your lover’s heart aflutter.

  • A storage facility with 24 hour access is a great place for late night, starlit strolls.

  • Even if you still live at your mom’s place, renting a storage unit is a great way to demonstrate that you’re independent and totally relationship-worthy.

  • Having a storage unit is the perfect excuse to prove to your date that you’re very capable of hauling heavy objects to and from your car. Swoon.

  • You know what’s even more romantic than a box of chocolates? A storage unit full of chocolates.

  • You can impress your date with legal jargon that you learned when you signed your lease.

  • If you think about it (like, really think about it), explaining the excellent security features that a storage facility provides is just another way of saying, “You are the love of my life and I will always protect you.”

  • You know what they say: “The couple that stores together, stays together.”

  • Giving someone the key to a disc lock is basically like giving them the key to your heart.

  • Nothing says commitment—for at least the next 30 days—like a month-to-month lease on a storage unit.

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    Do You Need Self Storage Insurance? https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//do-you-need-self-storage-insurance-2/ https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//do-you-need-self-storage-insurance-2/#comments Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:25:59 +0000 Krista Diamond https://www.storagefront.com/therentersbent//?p=7143 So you’re filling out the lease on your new storage unit when the facility manager asks if you’re interested in self storage insurance. Do you A) Assume it’s a scam B) Sign up for it because it sounds like something a responsible adult would do or C) Make an informed decision?

    If you’d like to go with option C but you haven’t quite mastered the “informed” part of informed decision, read on to find out what self storage insurance is and whether or not you need it.

    What is Self Storage Insurance?

    As the name implies, self storage insurance is an insurance policy that protects the stuff in your storage unit. Many storage facilities require this when you rent with them, while others simply offer it as an add-on. Some storage facilities even include very basic insurance as part of the rental agreement, but this is not very common.

    What Are My Options?

    If you’re a fan of cutting out the middleman, choose a storage facility that offers insurance. This type of policy is usually very basic. There’s often little to no deductible but rates are higher. This type of self storage insurance will typically cover less than $5,000 worth of stuff and may exclude certain items, like that box of diamonds you’ve been smuggling in your storage unit (Pro tip: Don’t store a box of diamonds in your storage unit.)

    If you want more than a basic plan, or your storage facility doesn’t offer insurance, you can go through an insurance agency. This will cover a higher value of items (more than $10,000) at a lower rate per month with a higher deductible. If you’d prefer to go this route, you can try to defray costs by adding self storage insurance to an existing homeowner’s insurance policy rather than purchasing a new one.

    How Much Does it Cost?

    The cost of your policy will depend on the value of the items you’re insuring. If you’re trying to figure out whether or not you can afford self storage insurance, plan on factoring in $1-$2 per month for every $100 worth of stuff you’re insuring. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $25 a month, but if you decide to splurge for the Cadillac of insurance plans, you’ll be spending more.

    What Should I Ask Before Signing?

    Don’t cross those t’s and dot those i’s without asking the right questions. Inquire about specific items in your storage unit to make sure they’re covered. Some of your belongings, like that vintage fur coat you’ve been hanging onto, might not be. You should also inquire about specific risks that the policy covers. Think about natural and manmade calamities that happen in the area you’re storing in. Live in an area where earthquakes occur? Make sure your policy covers against earthquake damage. Storing in Tornado Alley? Ask about how your insurance policy handles twisters. Most self storage insurance policies will cover events like fire, pest damage and water damage but may exclude certain natural disasters like floods. Get the information you need regarding your specific concerns before signing.

    What Should I Do On My End?

    Filing an insurance claim isn’t fun. You’re stressed, you’re dealing with the loss of your belongings and you just want to fast forward to the part where you’re getting a check in the mail from the insurance company.

    Should you find yourself in this situation, you’ll be glad that you took the following steps:

    1. Make an inventory of everything in your storage unit. Include photos, description and the value of the item.

    2. Store your stuff the right way. This means choosing climate control if you need it and taking the time to stack boxes with care. Insurance can’t help you if you stored a wedding dress that requires climate control in a non-climate controlled unit or if your wine glasses are broken because you stacked those boxes too high.

    3. Choose a storage facility that’s safe and spotless. While cleanliness and excellent security practices don’t always prevent fires and burglaries, they can prevent them from occurring on a regular basis. This will give you peace of mind for the future.

    Do I Need It?

    You might be thinking, Wait, I already have homeowner’s insurance! Do I really need another insurance policy?

    The answer depends on you. Here’s why: Your homeowner’s insurance policy should include personal property coverage, which protects the actual items inside your home. This plan often protects these same items when they’re outside of your home, but it might not protect all of them and it might not protect them against every kind or risk.

    For example, your insurance policy might cover furniture that gets stolen from your storage unit but it might not cover artwork that suffers water damage in that same storage unit. It’s also worth noting that your current amount of personal property insurance (say, $100,000) won’t apply to those same items—even the super valuable ones—when they’re in your storage unit.

    So do you need self storage insurance? If your homeowner’s insurance offers enough off-premise coverage and you’re confident that you’ve chosen the right storage unit with the right features in an outstanding facility, or you just don’t value the junk in your storage unit enough to justify the cost, you might not need self storage insurance. But if the value of the items in your storage unit outweighs what your personal property coverage can handle, you’re storing in an area prone to bad weather and crime or you just really, really believe in the words “better safe than sorry,” self storage insurance is for you.

    Just remember, while the best insurance is the kind you never have to use, be sure to choose a plan that covers your belongings and your unique needs, just in case.

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