Managing What’s Inside: Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing

Photo via Anton Fomkin, flickr

  We’re proud of our energy-saving projects like solar panel installation, but what’s at the very heart of facilities management is MEP, or mechanical, electrical and plumbing. That stuff inside properties that makes them tick, the MEP, is always top-of-mind for me when it comes to saving energy. So, I want to share what we’ve been up to with MEP. We’ve made improvements to the MEP systems of our properties in the past, and we kept that going last year. In 2012, we analyzed an additional 119 properties from an MEP standpoint, and made improvements where necessary to lower our impact on the environment and save money.   Mechanical: … [More]

How To Organize Life With Pets

The Dog's Dinner

Like any member of your family, pets accumulate stuff, and stuff accumulates dust. Follow these steps to get a handle on your pet’s accoutrements and streamline your life with your furry friends.   1. Purge your supplies As pets grow, they leave a wake of old toys, unused carriers, obsolete cages, and uneaten treats. And as time goes by, you might not have all the pets you once did, though their stuff may well still be in a corner of the garage. The first step in organizing your pet gear is purging all this old, unused clutter. Get rid of that chewed-up tennis ball that’s been replaced by … [More]

5 Hidden Storage Ideas

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  With extra stuff comes extra clutter. Overstuffed bookshelves. Bureau drawers bursting with clothes. Cupboards chaotic with spice jars. It’s no wonder that some of the best storage is the kind you don’t see. There are all sorts of inventive ways to declutter using hidden compartments and drawers. Here are a few ideas for making storage a little easier on the eyes. Storage under stairs: Use the space under the stairs to store everything from books to bicycles. Under-bed drawers: Under your bed is prime hidden-storage territory, whether for extra sweaters or your collection of old magazines. Concealed changing table: Designing a changing table that folds away can … [More]

Our Superstorm Sandy Recovery Progress

NASA image of Superstorm Sandy, October 30, 2012

  Since Mother Nature can be so unpredictable, it’s one of my goals to make sure properties and the people in them are safe before the worst happens. I believe that the most important work is to mitigate loss happens before a disaster. Superstorm Sandy was a huge, rather freakish storm, but we were well prepared, and only a few properties sustained major damage.   Tough, Together Before I describe how the storm affected our properties, I’d like to share that our hearts are with all families who experienced any kind of loss due to Sandy. I hope that in this difficult time, we’ll all find a unity … [More]

Clever Food Storage Tips

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  Food storage is the most common and relentless storage task most of us do. It’s more work than it seems at first, since it takes a bit more than just cramming everything in the fridge to make your groceries last as long as they should. If you know how to properly—or in some cases ingeniously—store your food, you’ll be glad you made the extra effort. There are myriad tips to collect regarding wrapping, freezing, and bagging. Here are just a few of the most effective.   Keep your salad fresh using a paper towel or bath towels. Use tin foil to keep celery crisp. Freeze wine in … [More]

Pinterest Favorites: Cozy at Home

Decorating Pinterest

  Now that Old Man Winter is knocking at the door, it’s time to plan some cozy days in. Next time the gales howl, check out Pinterest to find some wonderful ideas for puttering in your pajamas. Spend your time decorating, playing games, doing crafts, and enjoying some comforting snacks. Decorate Discover fun decorating ideas, such as tips for rented spaces and cute kitchens. This whimsical collection of projects will inspire you to make button-bedecked cards and knit lampshades. Find charming ideas on this fun page, from twinkling lanterns to Easter flower holders. Play games Playing cards can be just the thing to while away the hours; try … [More]

Moving Forward with Solar Power in 2013

Photo by Alan Light

  We’ve been busy the last few years adding solar power to more than 100 properties in six states. And 2013 is full of bright promise for much more solar power activity! With careful analysis, we continue to make the best choices about where to add solar power. This year, we expect to invest about $15 million to add solar panels to around 40 to 50 additional properties. As we move forward in 2013, Extra Space Storage continues to grow into an even more sustainable company with these additional solar power installations, as well as other sustainability projects.   Powering New York with Solar What’s different about our solar progress in 2013 is … [More]

Build Your own Bird Feeder for National Bird-Feeding Month

Birdfeeder craft from Centsational Girl

  You probably already know that February is the month of love, but did you know that you’re supposed to extend some adoration to your feathered friends this month as well? February is National Bird-Feeding Month! It’s an official designation too. Congressman John Porter read a resolution for National Bird-Feeding Month that’s on the Congressional Record on February 23, 1994. In honor of this month, I have plenty of ideas for you on how to build your own bird feeder using reclaimed materials. Support birds with a soda bottle Why not put that empty soda bottle to good use? Kate at Centsational Girl posted a step-by-step tutorial on how … [More]

Five Nursery Organization Tips

Photo via Marthastewart.com

  Nurseries tend to be small, but babies need tons of stuff. Without a little planning, it would be easy to end up with a nursery overflowing with stacks of diapers, piles of stuffed toys, and mountains of onesies. How can you avoid that fate? The goal is to design a well-organized room in which there’s a space for everything. Here are some tips to get you started. Tip 1: Make good use of the closet. If you don’t have a shelf up top, install one with a rod underneath. Line up canvas baskets on the shelf, filled with things like blankets, extra diapers, and baby towels. Hang … [More]

Alternate Uses for Closet Space

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  Most people need all the closets they’ve got to store clothes, coats, sheets, and piles of unused Christmas gifts. But if by some chance you happen to have an extra closet on your hands or are so organized you might not need all the storage you’re currently using, there are many other uses for those nooks and crannies. It turns out you can put closets to all sorts of creative uses, from creating a nursery to installing a mini kitchen. Photos from around the Web reveal how much these changes can enhance your living space. Check out these great ideas. Make your closet into an office. Convert … [More]