Closet Conundrums

I should know better than to test Mother Nature. No sooner had I claimed her incredible kindness at the balmy and beautiful spring weather than she up and threw a monster storm on one side of the country and little threats for everyone else. When will I learn? Luckily, I had been cleaning out the garage over the weekend and didn’t have time to fully trade up my wardrobe. My closet is currently spilling over with everything from snow coats to flip-flops. How do you ever know when and how to transition clothes from winter to spring (to summer, naturally)? TRANSITIONAL FOR LAYERING It’s not a pretty name, … [More]

How to Pack Boxes for a Move

If you’re like me, you leave the actual moving of boxes to the professionals, but you’d rather pack the boxes yourself. I’m not saying that I can do a better job than a professional packer, but I think packing my own boxes does have some advantages. For one, I can mull over whether I really want to keep and move an item, or toss it in the pile to donate. Yes, you might argue I can do the mulling before professional packers arrive, but I’d rather take my time deciding if I want to keep those satellite jumping shoes passed down from great aunt Martha. Another advantage of … [More]

How You’ll Benefit from a Home Energy Audit

Most of us just grin and bear it when it comes to various checkups – dental exams, cholesterol screenings, even car tune-ups. But when do we take time out to check up on what could be our biggest material investment? Yes, I’m speaking of home sweet home. I’m just as much of a procrastinator as the next person. My wife can tell you that she has to remind me to straighten up leftover messes from garage projects, or to hose the birdie mess off our mailbox! However, when it comes to getting a home energy audit, none of us should be procrastinating. By the way, some people refer … [More]

Putting Winter Away

I hope I am not jinxing Mother Nature and her recent springtime kindness, but I believe that winter may be officially behind us. There have been sprinklings of snow, but they quickly turn into gushing streams of water as soon as the sun shines. I have to admit, I am pretty much in love with Spring this year. Which means it is also officially time to pack up the winter gear. There is always a temptation to skip steps when storing winter equipment and gear, which usually leads to future problems and issues. Doing it right (and right away) will save you in the long run. WASH Whether … [More]

What to do with Used Moving Boxes

When you need it most, there’s nothing more perfect than a good moving box! When I move, I usually need a few more boxes than I had anticipated, but once the unpacking starts, I can’t wait to get rid of the cardboard clutter. I have to keep in mind that while the easiest solution may be to take the boxes to a recycling center, that’s not always the very best choice. Expand the Box Life Cycle You know I love recycling. (If you don’t then you missed my series on plastic recycling!) It’s wonderful to recycle, but reuse is better. If you allow someone else to use your … [More]

Buy an Eco-friendly Home

I’m sometimes weary of “green”  or “eco-friendly” claims. After all, anyone can say a home (or just about anything) is green. So, it’s good to look out for greenwashing, which occurs when a person or company tries to sell you something that’s promoted as green, but is really just regular brown in a green package. It’s one thing if you buy a laundry detergent that you later discover isn’t really so eco-friendly, but I think houses are a bit too heavy to return! When you’re ready for a green home, you can cover yourself by building a certified green home or purchasing an existing home that’s been certified … [More]

Conquering Your Cookbook Collection

Ok, I’ll admit it – I have a problem with food. The problem is that I love it! If you follow me on Twitter (@joshuazerkel) or on Pinterest (Joshua Zerkel), you’ve probably noticed that many of my musings are about food – what I’ve been eating and/or what I’d like to try. I’m always interested in what’s new – and sometimes this means having lots of cookbooks around. Cookbooks are great, but just like everything else, they can become a challenge to manage if you don’t keep them organized and under control. Here are a few ideas for getting your cookbooks wrangled: Minimize. Unlike most other things you … [More]

After the Will, Find a Way

One of my dear friends and neighbors recently brought home a truckload of inherited stuff. Her grandmother passed away a couple of months ago and the family had sold her home. They were hoping to either donate or throw away most of her furniture, but my friend couldn’t imagine all of her grandmother’s treasures being tossed away. Instead, she filled a small moving truck and brought it all into her own garage. A few days ago she came over to my house and in so many words asked me, “Now what?” All of this treasured stuff wasn’t filling a dump, but it was cramping her family’s style. Naturally, … [More]

Saving Energy One Retrofit at a Time

Did you know in December of 2011, our country used over 54 million tons of coal to generate electricity? That’s more than 108 BILLION pounds of coal. That’s right, I said BILLION!!!! That’s insane!!!!! And this is only one source of many that generates electricity for our country. At Extra Space Storage we understand the importance of energy conservation. This is why we take a focused approach to decrease our energy consumption and to shrink the size of our carbon footprint. One of the many ways we try to reduce our energy consumption is through lighting retrofits at our properties. T8 Light BulbsOur first area of focus with … [More]

Kitchen Organization Tips: Make Cooking Easier

Whether you want to prepare gourmet meals or just get dinner on the table quickly, organizing your kitchen will make it easier for you to cook. Clear clutter. Mysterious items can migrate to the backs of cabinets and the depths of drawers. Clear out things that you never use and you’ll find you have more space than you thought. Toss orphan plastic container lids, spices from the last century, and gadgets that seemed useful when seen on TV (how many hard boiled eggs do you make? do you eat so many mangoes that you need a special slicer for them?) Easy essentials. Make it easy to reach the … [More]