HSC Tips: Stash Your Summer Stuff!

 

Happy Family Of Four Camping Together

Hey folks! Jeremy here, coming to you once again from the best self storage facility this side of the Conejo Grade, Hollywood Storage Center of Thousand Oaks! Well, the summer is winding down (although it seems we always have heat advisories here in Newbury Park this time of year). But, with school starting, that still means it’s time, once again, to think about stashing all that “summer stuff” you have lying around the house … Do you find yourself tripping over beach balls or boogie boards in your garage? Is your spare closet a mess with camping gear and sleeping bags jumbled together with suitcases and souvenirs? We here at HSC have a fantastic solution to all that clutter — store those things here in one of our self-storage units!

What kind of things could you put into storage, you may ask? Here’s a handy list we’ve put together to make that job a lot easier:

+ Camping and outdoor vacation gear such as tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, hiking boots, and even your canoe, kayak, paddle board, and scuba equipment

+ Water sports stuff like Boogie boards, surf boards, wake boards, and water skiing equipment

+ Beach items like beach chairs, umbrellas, beach balls and the sand toys for the kids

+ Water toys such as sprinklers, slip and slide, rafts, and pool toys

The first thing we recommend is that you clean and dry out everything.  Use water with a little mild soap to clean off all those outdoor items, along with cleaning camp gear like utensils and food storage containers.  We especially advise you to use fresh water to clean those pool items, as you don’t want the smell of chlorine when you retrieve them later.

Next, if you’re like me and spend your free time over summer doing lots of different things, then it would be best to organize your stuff into different groups like pool toys, beach items and water sports.  Marking boxes and storage bins with these different group names will make it easier to get what you need when the fun days of summer return.

Wardrobe Box for Clothing StorageSince tents, sleeping bags and other outdoor fabric items are often subject to dirt, food, charcoal and oils like sunblock or bug spray, it’s a great idea to make sure they’re clean before being stored. Tents can be spot cleaned and folded away. Sleeping bags can also be spot cleaned or washed in large washing machines (hint: I go to the laundry mats where they have over-sized machines). It’s then easy to store sleeping bags and other camping clothes (like your cleaned and aired out hiking boots) in storage boxes. You can find a complete selection of storage boxes here at Hollywood Storage Center to help you with your storage needs.

See? It’s not that hard to get rid of your summer clutter! And everything will be in great condition when you come back to take it all back home for some “fun in the sun”!

We know all kinds of storage tips and tricks here at Hollywood Storage Center … stop in and see us soon! We’re located at right off the 101 Freeway at the Wendy Exit (3425 Old Conejo Road), near Newbury Park High School, and we appreciate helping all our customers from Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, and beyond…

PHOTO_HSCTO_Jeremy-Evans-1627_2015-01-29This was a guest post from Jeremy, a longtime Storage Consultant here at Hollywood Storage Center. You might’ve met him the last time you checked out one of our lowest price-guaranteed self-storage units. Thanks, Jeremy! We’re always happy to pass along your great tips to our customers. Readers: Do you have any other tips for storing your summer stuff during the rest of the year? Share ’em below! 

HSC Tips: The 5 Best Back-to-School Apps!

Hard to believe we’re already heading into fall. While we don’t get a huge diversity of weather patterns here in the Conejo Valley, we certainly know the time of year from the hustle and bustle of kids, sports, and school. While I don’t have any children yet, I have several friends who are getting ready to send theirs off for the new school year … which got me thinking — there’s gotta be some amazing “back-to-school” smartphone apps that would be a huge help to both parents and kids.

Back to School 2014!So I asked around Hollywood Storage Center, both my fellow Thousand Oaks Storage Consultants and some of my favorite customers, and I even checked in with a couple teacher friends to put together my list of the Top 5 “back-to-school” apps you need this fall!

+ SIMPLEMIND FREE: Think about it … the last time you wrote a paper. Could’ve been in college; might’ve even been the other day for a work presentation. Wouldn’t it have been cool if you could’ve put all your thoughts into a “mind map” of sorts, to get them organized? SimpleMind Free does just that — you can add all your ideas, and then just rearrange the chart connections to fit the assignment. And best of all, they have a free version! (Available on both Android and iPhone.)

+ REALCALC SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR: Okay, so maybe this one is for the actual students among us … (unless you work at CalTech, you probably don’t have much need for a scientific calculator for your day-to-day). Your older kids will appreciate this free calculator that’s a great alternative to lugging one around in their backpack — provided their teacher doesn’t mind them having a smartphone (or a tablet) on their desk during class! (Available for Android only, but there are several iPhone equivalents.)

Smartphone Apps for Back to School+ DUOLINGO: This one’s really cool. I’ve been using it myself, and my “student” days ended quite a few years ago! Duolingo is this amazing app (it also has an online version) that turns learning a language into a game of sorts. It even encourages you to move forward with fun achievements, a “health” bar, and reminders to play each day. Want to learn some Italian before that trip next year? Have a kid in French class who needs a bit of help? Duolingo could be the answer. (Android and iPhone.)

+ FLASHCARDS+: I remember having to sit (for hours, it seemed), making flash cards to help with memorization in different classes. Kids today have it so easy! They can use an app like Flashcards+, which lets you add info to both sides of a virtual “card,” quiz yourself, and mark the problem cards that might need more reviewing. (For iPhone only, but there are Android equivalents.)

+ DROPBOX: And finally, here’s an app that everyone in your household can use … Dropbox is a fantastic “cloud” storage service that allows you to keep all your classroom notes handy while you’re on-the-go. Believe me — I know about storage, and this service is amazing! You can even share documents with your classmates. (Available for both Android and iPhone, as well as online.)

Technology really makes it so much easier to go back to school … your kids (and maybe you!) will be studying for their classes and acing tests like the best of ’em! And don’t forget: We can help make your lives easier by storing your belongings right here in our self storage units! Visit us at 3425 Old Conejo Road in Newbury Park storage today!

PHOTO_HSCTO_Amanda-Castro-1636_2015-01-29This was a guest post from Amanda, a Storage Consultant here at Hollywood Storage Center of Thousand Oaks. She’s one of the friendly folks you might meet when you look into one of our lowest cost storage units.Thanks for the info, Amanda! Readers: Do you have a favorite back-to-school app? Post about it below!

HSC Day Trips: Summertime in Hollywood!

Hi everyone! Summer is finally here! Now don’t get me wrong — I actually love the other seasons too, but there’s just something so fun and carefree about summer. It’s great to have BBQs with the family and spend time with visiting relatives.

PHOTO_HSCTO_Hollywood-Blvd-Sign_2015-06-29

While I do fancy myself a bit of an expert in all things Conejo Valley, I also know a bit about our neighbors to the south… Hollywood! I mean, we are called Hollywood Storage Center for a reason! And, if you’ve got family in town, a day trip to “Tinseltown” should definitely be on your agenda.

Besides the fact that the family who owns our Conejo Valley storage facility also founded the Hollywood Wax Museum, we are all movie and TV buffs — so I compiled a list of great places to go in Hollywood … my favorites, as well as some awesome ideas from my co-workers (you know, those storage unit consultants and Hollywood Storage Center Clean Team guys!)

Hollywood Wax Museum+ For celebrity lovers, take ’em to the Hollywood Wax Museum on Hollywood Boulevard — located right on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. This cool museum literally puts you “up close and personal” with seriously realistic wax replicas of TV and movie icons! And as I realized when I took my visiting aunt there last year, nothing makes a fan happier than standing face-to-face with a wax version of Johnny Depp!

Guinness World of Records+ Right across the street from the Hollywood Wax Museum is more family fun: The Guinness World Record Museum. Also located on the Walk of Fame, you can try to break a real world record with official Guinness World Record adjudicators (judges) right there to stake your claim to fame! This museum also lets you do stuff like check your weight against the world’s heaviest person; compare your height with the world’s tallest man; and challenge your world record knowledge against the Quizbot and your friends.

El Capitan Theatre+ Just down the street from both attractions is the El Capitan Theatre; first built in 1926, it was refurbished by The Walt Disney Company back in the early ’90s and is now showing Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out. Can’t wait to see it! BONUS: The exterior of the El Cap was used in both recent Muppet movies: The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted! It’s also right next door to Jimmy Kimmel Live, which shoots every weeknight. Totally fun to get free tickets to see a live taping!

Musso and Frank Grill+ Finally, at the end of your Hollywood day, take your guests to one of the oldest, coolest restaurants in all of LA! Musso and Frank Grill opened in 1919 (can you believe that?!) and used to be frequented by famous folks like Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, and Marilyn Monroe. I guarantee your visitors will love it! I’ve been a few times, and my favorite dish is the actually their hot pastrami on rye (served with fresh potato chips).

Don’t forget — if you have guests coming sometime during summer, or if you’ve got family planning to stay a while, make room for all the merriment in your home by storing that unused stuff right here at Hollywood Storage Center (3425 Old Conejo Road in Newbury Park)! And please tell us all about your summertime Hollywood adventures…

PHOTO_HSCTO_Lindsay-Cochran-1612_2015-01-29This was a guest post from Lindsay, one of Hollywood Storage Center’s storage consultants! She’s a friendly face you might see when you stop by to find out about our fantastic, low-priced storage units. She always knows what’s going on around the Conejo Valley … but she’s also up on all things SoCal! Thanks for these Hollywood tips, Lindsay! Readers: Do you have a favorite place in Hollywood to take out-of-town guests? Post about it below.

HSC Organizing Ideas: Packing Tips for Summer Travel!

Hi everyone! Are you going on a summer vacation? I am — I’m visiting family that I haven’t seen in a while, and I’m so excited! The only problem is … packing. Traveling itself can be pretty stressful — and checking luggage is no fun at all. But how do you fit everything you need into one tiny carry-on bag?

Packing Tips for Holiday TravelThankfully, I work with a ton of organizing geniuses (and I’m not so bad myself!) here at Hollywood Storage Center of Thousand Oaks — so I not only asked around, but I also uncovered some great ideas and tips — all to make you a “star traveler” this summer!

+ Make sure that your carry-on suitcase meets the height and size requirements for your particular airline; check their website before you start packing.

+ Try to pick luggage that has multiple compartments that will allow you to separate different items.

+ Generally speaking, passengers are allowed two carry-on items: one for the overhead compartments, and a smaller “personal item” to be stowed under your seat. I suggest using either a tote bag or a backpack (with several compartments) for your smaller carry-on. This is a great place to keep your personal items like wallet, cellphone, and passport.

+ The easiest and most efficient way to make space in your luggage is by rolling your clothes — not folding them. It saves space, and keeps ’em from getting wrinkled.

Carry-On luggage+ Check the weather at your travel destination and bring clothes that can work for day and night (and yes, this is important for guys too!). Also, lay your bulky items on top before zipping up.

+ Remember to measure out liquids (like shampoo or mouthwash) in small clear containers that you can label. You’ll want to keep these together in plastic zip-lock bags (in case they leak). Pack these in an accessible place, since you’ll have to put them in a bin container while going through the security checkpoint.

+ If you’re bringing a coat or other bulkier items, I suggest actually wearing them on your travel days — when possible — to save space.

+ Take time to consider your “case layout.” What might slide to the bottom of your suitcase when it’s in its upright position? Items you’re worried about breaking should be wrapped in-between layers of clothes (and maybe some bubble wrap) if necessary.

+ No one enjoys wondering if they forgot anything while on the way to the airport. Don’t skip the ever-important “checklist” — one that covers toiletries, clothing, and special needs for the trip (like medications).

If you’re still not left with enough room after all that packing — and don’t want to brave checking luggage — might I suggest shipping a box of your non-essential, heavier items? This is actually a cost-efficient way to get stuff to your destination.

And don’t forget — you can find all the packing and shipping supplies you’ll ever need in both our Hollywood Storage Center self-storage lobby on Old Conejo Road AND at our U.S. Post Office counter! Our self storage units also make a great place to store your pieces of luggage and other large travel accessories in-between vacations. See you soon!

This was a guest post from Will, a friendly, knowledgeable storage consultant at Hollywood Storage Center — your Newbury Park storage facility. Thanks, Will! These are amazing packing ideas that will help in organizing for summer travel! Readers: What are some of your foolproof packing tips? Post about them below, or over at Facebook.