Contributing Editors

Fresno Downsizer Gives Away $200 Million in Ansel Adams Negatives for $45

by John Stevens July 27, 2010 7:56 PM
You never know what you will find in a garage, attic, basement, or self storage unit -- or at a garage sale or yard sale. If you find old photographs, artwork, or antiques, maybe you should store them in a secure storage unit until you are sure that they are not a lost treasure. A Fresno, California resident sold two boxes of Ansel Adams’ negatives at a garage sale in 2000, their buyer confirmed today. Rick Norsigian, an antique aficionado, was hoping to find a vintage barber’s chair, but when he saw the two boxes of antique glass negatives, he started bargaining. Norsigian managed to negotiate the price of the antique negatives down from $75 to $45. Then he began the process of finding an antique appraiser to verify his opinion as to what, exactly, he had found. The value of the antique collection is actually around $200 million. Ansel Adams is regarded as the father of American photography. [More]

Don’t Plan on Financing Your Move with a Payday Loan

by Tony Gonzalez July 27, 2010 2:03 PM
Moving can be expensive, when you factor in the cost of movers, taking time off work, and, if you are downsizing or trying to sell a house, putting some possessions into self storage. Despite the expense, if you have to go into debt to pay for all your moving expenses, it is better to find a way to do so without taking out a payday loan. Payday lenders tend to charge exorbitant interest rates. Even a credit card will charge a lower -- MUCH lower -- interest rate than a payday loan will. A better way to finance the self storage side of your move is to go to a self storage company that offers the first month free. Or, if you are a student, are retired, or are a veteran or an active member of the military, try going to a self storage company that offers discounts to students, retirees, veterans, or military families. You may be able to find movers that will offer discounts, as well. [More]

Storing Emergency Supplies -- How Can You Prepare for Flash Floods?

by John Stevens July 23, 2010 10:01 PM
Summer thunderstorm season has hit -- with a vengeance. Severe storms, possible tornadoes, and more flash floods are predicted to hit the Milwaukee and Flagstaff areas again this evening, as well as Ann Arbor, Michigan and Des Moines, Iowa. St. Louis and Hannibal, Missouri are still recovering from flash flooding earlier this week. The Mississippi River is said to be at a “minor flood stage” in the St. Louis region. How can residents prepare for more storms and flooding? [More]

More Americans Moving Again

by Kim Kilpatrick July 23, 2010 9:16 PM
The American Moving and Storage Association reported today that Americans were shipping 4.2 percent more household goods during the first five months of this year than during the same period in 2009. (AMSA is a storage and moving trade association, and puts consumers in touch with professional movers through its Mover Referral Service.) When AMSA looked only at items shipped by consumers, the shipments were up by 11.2 percent. During 2008 and 2009, shipping dropped dramatically, by 21.5 percent in 2009 and 18.2 percent in 2008.

The statistics suggest that more Americans are moving from one home to another again, which means that the housing market may start to pick up. Relocation tends to stimulate consumer spending in general, because people who are moving spend more money on take-out food, renovations, and household items for the new home. [More]

Safe Gun Storage Can Prevent Tragic Accidents

by Holly Robinson July 21, 2010 10:46 PM
About ten days ago, a nine-year-old Los Angeles boy, looking for something to do, rummaged through a closet in his home. He found something he thought would be fun to play with -- a gun. The gun was loaded, and the boy wound up accidentally shooting and killing his two-year-old brother. According to a National Rifle Association brochure on gun safety, around half of all U.S. households contain at least one gun. Guns, whether loaded or unloaded, do not belong within the reach of children. Ammunition, likewise, should be stored out of reach. Children can be quite creative about finding ways to get items that have been stored on high shelves or locked drawers thought to be out of their reach. Consequently, the safest place to store a firearm, whether it is a hand gun, a shotgun, or a hunting gun, is outside the home, in a locked, secure facility. Tragic gun accidents illustrate one of the best uses of self storage -- to keep dangerous items out of the hands of children. [More]

Ebooks Driving Hardcovers into Collector Status Faster Than Previously Predicted

by Winnie Hsiu July 19, 2010 10:18 PM
It turns out that people really do love to read. Not only do people love to read, but they want to read what they want to read when they want to read it -- and that means that digital book, or ebooks, which can be downloaded instantly from the Internet, are taking off even faster than anyone could have predicted as recently as six months ago. Now has announced that Kindle books are selling much faster than ordinary hardcover bound books. (Kindle books are books that can be read by the Amazon Kindle ebook reader, the Amazon Kindle 2, Apple’s iPhone or iPad, Blackberry and Android devices, and PC and Macintosh computers.) The statistics do not include free ebooks offered by Amazon, of which there are more than a million.

Between the ebooks offered by Amazon and other booksellers, and the ebooks available through Google Books, the world of book publishing is about to go through a dramatic change. If you are currently choosing between getting rid of hardcover books that are in good condition, or putting them in a self storage unit, this may be the time to consider preserving those bound books -- a few years from now, they may indeed have become collectors’ items. Paperback books are still outselling ebooks, for the moment -- but the day is coming when paperbacks may be collectors’ items too. [More]

Back to the Future DeLorean To Go Back to Storage in Ireland

by Tony Gonzalez July 16, 2010 11:04 PM
Another of the rare 1981 DeLoreans, one of which played a starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Back to the Future movies, changed hands in Ireland this week. At first, the famous DeLorean was put up for auction on July 2 at auctioneer Bonham’s “Goodwood Festival of Speed,” but it did not sell that day. Finally, car collector Michael Gallagher of Crossmolina, in Mayo County, Ireland bought it directly from the previous owner, Miranda Guinness, the Countess of Iveagh. Gallagher is showing the DeLorean in the Mayo Old Engine and Tractor Club Show this Sunday. Then he will put it into a secure storage facility with the rest of his car collection. [More]

NC Self Storage Owner Changing Shape of Local Politics

by John Stevens July 15, 2010 10:35 PM
A High Point, North Carolina real estate and self storage owner has emerged as a driving force in local politics and an upcoming local election, even though he is not running for office himself. Sanders Dallas III, of Winston-Salem, runs a real estate and self storage business in the same space that once housed his father’s furniture store. Recently, Dallas organized a group of businesspeople from the High Point business community to discuss ways to improve the local economy. While the group has no formal name, many members refer to it as “Comeback High Point,” after the book Comeback America: Turning the Country Around and Restoring Fiscal Responsibility, by David Walker. (Walker is an author who works to raise awareness about the U.S. economy and current national debt.) [More]

Self Storage Operators Show Their Sense of Humor

by Kim Kilpatrick July 15, 2010 5:52 PM
One of the best kept self storage industry secrets is the quirky sense of humor that many self storage owners and operators bring with them to each business day, even when the day feels like a comedy of errors. Sometimes that sense of humor comes out in funny jokes told to tenants, sometimes storage facilities try for a comic or humorous edge to their marketing efforts, and sometimes it comes in priceless humor generated by the tenants themselves. [More]

Et Tu, Libraries? Save Those Books -- They May Soon Be Collectors’ Editions

by Holly Robinson July 12, 2010 11:00 PM
“Make sure to save that -- someday, that will be worth something.” That’s what people always say, about everything from dime store kitsch to the latest shrink-wrapped toy. Should books -- not only first edition vintage books, but any book -- be added to that list? As Google Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders manage to digitize more and more books and periodicals, even libraries have begun to downsize and divest themselves of their book collections. Libraries are the institutional book collectors we always thought we could count on, the places that could be relied on to have rare books, out-of-print books and antique books. But now libraries are putting their oldest books -- the ones that have entered the public domain -- into digital format. A patron can then view, and search, a rare book online, instead of checking out a hardbound copy. Using this system, Stanford’s Engineering Library has decreased the size of its book collection by 85 percent, paring down from 80,000 books to a mere 10,000. [More]
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