Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer’s Here….Grab Your Gear

We made it, we finally made it.

Summer, while not officially starting for a few more weeks, has finally arrived.  Cold winter nights and wet spring days have given way to 85 degree days with not a cloud in the sky.  As many of us were on the brink of clinical depression caused by the dread of assuming Northern New Jersey had turned into Northern Alaska with the amount of snow we got, this beautiful turn in the weather is Mother Nature’s way of slipping us a “happy pill”.

The smell of food cooking on the grill, the crackle of logs burning in back yard fire bowls as S’mores are being made, and the sounds of children laughing as they run through the yard playing a game of freeze tag are all welcome signs of the arrival of the best time of year.  As the kids are getting out of school for the summer and many of us start planning all of our summer get-a-ways, the days of sub freezing temperatures are but a distant memory…but are they?

As a working parent, the majority of my time is split between the two major things in my life, work and family.  As many of you who are reading this can empathize with, it seems like the majority of our time is spent working, not necessarily always getting paid for it.  We put in our 8 to 10 hour shifts at work, only to go home and put in another 6 hours worth of, let’s call it pro bono, work.  Kids need to be picked up from basketball and band, groceries need to be purchased, homework needs to be helped with, the house needs to be cleaned, that stack of paperwork that made its way home with you from work needs to be completed, and lord knows dinner certainly isn’t going to cook itself.  This is life on a daily basis for many of us, and somewhere in between, we try to sprinkle in a bit of sleep.

With many families having two working parents these days, it’s not always easy to find the time to devote to taking care of the non day to day tasks and projects that many of us are faced with.  My wife can attest to that, just ask her about the 15 gallons of exterior house paint that have been sitting in my shed for longer than I will admit aloud.  With that being said, summer is a time to take a moment and relax, spend time doing what you love (whether that’s taking the kids to the beach or playing a round of golf), and really enjoying life.  The last thing on your mind should be the fact that in order to grab your lawn mower, you have to move your snow blower, shovels, 25 pound bags of rock salt, and all those decorations you haven’t found the time to put away yet.

It’s inevitable, humans for the most part, are collectors of “stuff”.  Do we really need that $2500 commercial grade snow blower that takes up a quarter of the garage, when we only have a drive way big enough to fit a compact car, probably not.  Do we really need enough Christmas lights that if were they all put on the house and turned on, the astronauts on the International Space Station could make out the words Merry Christmas on our roof top, again I’d say that’s a negative.  Each year we buy more and more things for whatever the reason, and ultimately run out of places to put them, but don’t realize until we need something that is buried so irretrievably, that we just go out and buy another one.

As I mention before, my wife and I both work, and while I do enjoy a fun filled Sunday of “Honey, lets’ clean the basement”, I’d much rather be doing something where I’m not knee deep in boxes and totes.

I’ll admit, I am as cheap as they come.  I hate spending money nearly as much as Ebenezer Scrooge does, but even more so then wasting money, I can’t stand wasting time.  Spending hours sorting through last seasons’ clothes, and other seasonal items I know I won’t need for months, but yet have to deal with daily cause I have no place to put them, is quite possibly one of the biggest wastes of time I have to deal with.  It wasn’t until I started working here that I truly saw the benefit of having a self storage unit, and how much simpler and easier with would make things around my house.

After 7 years of being together, 3 kids, a dog, and buying a house, my wife and I have accumulated more “stuff” then I thought possible in such a short time.  It wasn’t until I went into the basement and saw that a giant stack of boxes had full down and nearly every item in them had either broken completely or destroyed, that I finally went out and got a storage unit.  Not only was I about to waste time and have to clean all of the mess up, but I was now going to have to waste money to replace the items that had just broken.

Now before you roll your eyes and remark about storage units and cost, Storage Station, 1867 Greenwood Lk. Turnpike West Milford NJ 07480, has many different unit sizes and prices to accommodate anyone’s budget and needs. Call (973) 846-4637.

When I initially got our storage unit, I rented what I thought was going to be the right size, i.e. the cheapest.  Of course, about a quarter of the way into loading it, I knew I had made a mistake, and would have to get something larger.  Being as frugal as I am, I was remarkably surprised with the general affordability and availability of many of the size there were.  Self storage units on the whole can range from a coat closet to a 2 garage, and the prices are set accordingly.  With a family of 5, we ultimately decided that a 10 x 20 storage unit would be perfect to store our items, being that it’s roughly the size of a 1 car garage.  It wasn’t more than we needed, and the price made the added ease and peace of mind a no brainer.

I no longer spend my Sundays moving boxes from one pile to the other looking for last years’ pool toys or digging out the fire bowl to put in the back yard.  I have everything neatly organized in one central location that’s a stones’ throw away from my house.  If I need something, I know exactly where it is being that everything is organized and in its’ proper place.  Where I used to spend all my free time cleaning, organizing, searching, and cursing the day we bought the 8 foot inflatable snow globe, now I spend it playing with the kids and enjoying time with my family, which to me is priceless.

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