Introducing the SpareFoot College Cooler Giveaway

By John Egan   April 23, 2014

College Cooler Giveaway

What could be cooler than owning a cooler? Winning a cooler!

SpareFoot wants to help you cool off this summer with our College Cooler Giveaway.

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California Cops Shut Down Marijuana-Growing Operations at Storage Facility

By John Egan   April 23, 2014

Humboldt County marijuana

Moneymaking marijuana-growing operations discovered at an industrial storage facility in Northern California appear to be going up in smoke.

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In Alleged Extortion Plot, Cops Uncover Jay Z Recordings at Storage Facility

By John Egan   April 22, 2014

Jay Z

In their investigation of an alleged extortion plot, cops have unearthed a treasure trove of original recordings by rap superstar Jay Z (pictured above) at a Southern California storage facility.

TMZ pegged the value of the Jay Z tapes–known in the music biz as “master” recordings–at $15 million to $20 million. Police snatched the tapes April 18 at a storage facility in Northridge, a Los Angeles neighborhood.

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America’s 6 Fastest-Growing On-the-Rise Startup Hubs

By John Egan   April 22, 2014

John Curtis

In the startup world, places like Silicon Valley and New York City are sharks in a pond full of smaller fish. Yet despite being dwarfed by the sharks, many of the smaller fish are swimming along just fine.

“From Silicon Valley in California to Silicon Alley in New York, it may seem that those areas have cornered the market on tech genius, but don’t be fooled,” Entrepreneur.com reported in 2012. “The Internet is decentralizing business, allowing entrepreneurs to build smart, lean businesses in far-flung places.”

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Professional Organizer Nicole Anzia: ‘All Progress Is Good Progress’ When Decluttering

By Jay MacDonald   April 21, 2014

Nicole Anzia

Nicole Anzia’s mission is to organize Washington, DC—one brownstone at a time. Anzia’s popularity has grown strictly by word of mouth among Capitol Hill’s movers and shakers, with a touch of help from her popular Washington Post organizing columns and her impeccable Neatnik.org website.

In an interview with The SpareFoot Blog, Anzia offered insights into the world of organizing in our nation’s capital, and served up advice about how to approach moving and storage.

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Habitat Debate: Should You Buy or Rent a Home?

By Liz Wolf   April 18, 2014

buying a home

After 14 years of renting, Rami Sabanegh became frustrated with paying high rents and began weighing the purchase of a home.

“I felt like I was throwing my money away,” said Sabanegh, 33. “Also, when you rent, you don’t have privacy.”

When Sabanegh and his wife found out they were expecting a baby, that further prompted them to pursue homeownership. “I wanted to have a home for him to grow up in,” Sabanegh said.

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The Best Coffee Shops in Austin

By Tony Emerson   April 17, 2014

coffee shops

If you ask a completely random Austinite about his or her favorite coffee shop, you’ll probably get a completely random answer. The cup runneth over with literally hundreds of shops in the city that get the job done. Usually, though, it’s the location, ambiance or availability of power outlets that sets these coffee shops apart. Since to most people coffee is coffee, your average Austin resident will tend to forgive–or at least place less importance on–the coffee itself and pick the nearest place to his or her home or office.

Fortunately for you, the reader, I’m no forgiving reviewer of coffee shops. To me and a small but adamant group of coffee enthusiasts (or snobs, depending on your disposition), some shops perform far above and beyond the norm in Austin.

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The 7 Top Tech Hubs Among America’s Small College Towns

By John Egan   April 16, 2014

college graduation

In the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley,” one of the characters refers to the famed tech hub as “the cradle of innovation.” To be sure, Silicon Valley has given us the home computer, the iPhone and many other tech innovations.

Yet even some small college towns in the U.S. can lay claim to being cradles of innovation, although on a much smaller scale than Silicon Valley. Without a doubt, the built-in brainpower and resources of a university can be a catalyst for tech startups in small college towns. Not every college town graduates to the level of a mini-Silicon Valley, though.

“College towns are no longer just sleepy hamlets where learning, sports, conversation and partying prevail,” social and economic theorist Richard Florida wrote in 2011 on The Atlantic Cities website. “The rise of the idea-driven, human capital-powered knowledge economy has transformed many of them into economic powerhouses.”

So, which small college towns in the U.S. make the grade as standout tech hubs?

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Bathroom Trends for 2014: Serenity, Safety and Style

By Rhonda Owen   April 15, 2014

bathroom trends

Bathrooms always have been the place where we prepare to face the day in the morning, but they’ve increasingly evolved into restorative spaces where we retreat to unwind and recharge.

In 2014, homeowners want to steam, soak and wash their cares away in open, spa-like spaces with clean, minimalist lines, according to the 2014 National Kitchen and Bath Association trend report. This year, they’ll spend $5,000 to more than $30,000 to upgrade and update fixtures and color schemes.

While bold, bright colors are trending for other rooms, homeowners are asking for sleek, contemporary bathroom designs that sport sensory-soothing gray and white color schemes. Consumers also are attracted to Asian-inspired designs featuring warm neutrals like beige and stone with light finished wood and bamboo, according to Houzz.com, a home design website. What follows is a look at several 2014 bathroom trends.

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Unhappy Customer Service Reps? Not at SpareFoot!

By John Egan   April 14, 2014

pharrell williams

We were disheartened to learn that customer service representative appears at No. 4 on CareerBliss’ new list of the unhappiest jobs in the U.S. Why were we disheartened? Because we hate to see SpareFoot’s customer service representatives shoved under the “unhappiest” umbrella.

By and large, the 45 members (and growing) of the Amazing Customer Experience (ACE) Team at SpareFoot are a happy lot, and they’re pretty happy to take phone calls from storage customers across the country. The happiness of the ACE Team yields serious dividends. For example, the team recently won the bronze award from the 2014 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Unhappy employees don’t win awards like that.

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