Storage Tips + Uses

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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New York vs. LA vs. Chicago: Which One Is America’s Best Big City? [Infographic]

By John Egan   April 10, 2014

city skyline

The Big Apple seems to have everything you’d ever want, from bagels to Broadway to the Bronx Zoo. In the City of Angels, you’ll find beaches and sunshine and stars. The Windy City offers deep dish pizza and Michigan Avenue and Wrigley Field.

Of course, the best qualities of each city go beyond these. But if you were considering a move to either New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago, how would you choose which of America’s three biggest cities to call home? This infographic may help answer that question.

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Cellphone Storage Thriving Near New York City Schools

By John Egan   

cellphone storage truck

You can store furniture. You can store business records. You can store wine. You can store cars. Now, there’s a new high-tech wrinkle in the business of stashing stuff: cellphone storage.

A recent New York Times story points out that several shops near public schools in New York City’s borough of Queens are ringing up extra money by charging students to store their cellphones during the school day. In New York City, students aren’t allowed to carry cellphones in public schools.

These stores aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the cellphone ban, which took effect in 2005. The Associated Press reported in 2012 that thousands of New York City students are paying a $1 a day to leave their cellphones at gadget-storage trucks parked near schools—namely those campuses equipped with metal detectors, which can be set off by cellphones.

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How to Avoid 10 Common Decluttering Mistakes

By John Egan   April 8, 2014

clutter

Here’s a startling statistic: The U.S. has an estimated 40 million clutterers, according to Beverly Keyes Taylor, author of “Clutter to Clarity: The Easy Key to Organizing.”

Can’t wrap your brain around that figure? Then consider this: That’s about the same number of people who live in the New York City, Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth metro areas—combined.

While cluttering may not be an epidemic in the U.S., it certainly qualifies as a major headache. Of course, decluttering is the remedy, but it’s obvious that a lot of us aren’t taking the medicine.

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Professional Organizer Bekka Fink: Clearing Space and Clearing Minds

By Jay MacDonald   April 7, 2014

Bekka Fink

Globetrotting actress, singer, composer, teacher and spiritual seeker Bekka Fink brings a world of experience to her growing San Francisco Bay enterprise, Rockstar Organizer. Clutter is only half the challenge for Fink, who embraces ancient “space clearing” techniques and “green” coaching to help clients overcome internal barriers and make peace with their surroundings.

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Are You Guilty of Making These 10 Home-Selling Mistakes?

By John Egan   April 4, 2014

home for sale

While it might be more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s market for homes in the U.S., that doesn’t mean a home seller can just kick back and wait for the offers to flood in.

For one thing, there’s heightened concern over lending. Home sellers are fretting more about the ability of home sellers to qualify for mortgages, according to a recent survey of homeowners by real estate brokerage Redfin. In addition, more homes are being sold. Sales of existing homes went up 9 percent in 2013 compared with the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors, and hit their highest mark since 2006.

To be sure, a tight lending environment and an abundance of for-sale signs should give home sellers something to wring their hands over. But even if those concerns weren’t a factor, a home seller still must avoid slip-ups that could cost thousands of dollars—or could kill a deal altogether.

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9 Tips From the Pros on How to Get Apartment Deals

By John Egan   April 3, 2014

apartment for rent

About one-third of Americans are renters. And that means about one-third of Americans, at one point or another, have practically pulled their hair out when hunting for an apartment or another rental property. Searching for an apartment is about as much fun as getting a cavity filled.

Still, the quest for an apartment doesn’t have to be nearly as anxiety-filled as sitting in the dentist’s chair. One way to ease the apartment-hunting anxiety is to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. And according to an Apartments.com survey, deals are important to many renters. In the survey, one-fourth of the renters who said they’re moving this year are doing so to find a cheaper apartment.

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Birthplace of America’s ‘Obsession’ With Storage Is Hollywood Time Capsule

By Troy Anderson   March 31, 2014

Hollywood Storage

The sign on the door is the only clue to the treasure trove of entertainment artifacts, nostalgia and history locked inside the iconic Hollywood skyscraper.

The sign simply reads: “Iron Mountain Film & Sound Archive Services.”

Whether it’s the recordings of Beatles and Elvis or films by Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg, this 14-story skyscraper from the Golden Age of Hollywood is a literal time capsule of Tinseltown. Some even say it’s the birthplace of America’s self-storage industry.

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8 Tips for Splitting Up Household Chores

By Deb Hipp   March 24, 2014

household chores

Tired of fighting with your significant other about dirty bathtubs and messy kitchens?

Even with millions of women working full-time, only one-fifth of men do housework such as cleaning and laundry, compared with 48 percent of women, according to the 2012 American Time Use Survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s easy to see how that imbalance could lead to an argument or two.

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