Organizing Your Child’s Hybrid Learning Environment

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, new societal rules have taken a toll on all of us. From wearing face coverings in public spaces to working from home becoming the new normal, people across the country have changed their daily routines to curb the spread of this dangerous virus. Consequently, one group of youngsters has had to adapt to these major changes practically overnight: students.

With new regulations being implemented in schools—such as adding sneeze guards around desks or minimizing physical interaction between peers—many students have been introduced to hybrid learning for the first time. Hybrid learning combines online and in-person education into one curriculum, meaning some students can learn remotely while others learn in a traditional classroom setting simultaneously.

While hybrid learning has been around for some time, many teachers and parents are just now adopting these remote learning strategies to keep students’ exposure to a minimum while ensuring learners are still getting the education they need to succeed. But if you are a parent who is new to hybrid learning, you may be wondering how to provide your child with the best at-home educational experience possible.

At Safeguard Self Storage, we know the first step to ensuring your child stays on track while learning from home is creating an organized hybrid-learning environment. Fortunately, with these easy at-home classroom organization ideas handy, you can rest assured your child will remain focused, motivated, and excited to learn during these unusual times.

Choosing the Right Hybrid Learning Space At Home

Establishing a healthy learning environment for your child goes hand-in-hand with their ability to absorb subject matter and think critically. Rather than having them complete their coursework in common areas around your home (such as at the kitchen table or on the living room sofa), it’s important they have a designated space that’s quiet, is well-organized, and provides all of the learning tools they need in one place.

 Once you have an area picked out that’s perfect for remote learning—like a spare bedroom or office space—then you can focus on keeping your kid’s workspace clutter-free.

4 Classroom Organization Ideas for Remote Learning

From creating an easily digestible class schedule to establishing a designated area for materials, here are a few classroom organization ideas you can use to turn your child’s at-home classroom into an organizational oasis.

1. Supersize Your Child’s Class Schedule

While not a physical item, your child’s class schedule is one of the most important things to organize right away. An easy-to-read and streamlined schedule will allow your student (and you) to stay on track with their curriculum while they are out of the classroom. A fun and easy way to create a visually appealing class schedule is to dedicate an area of your wall to chalkboard paint.

 With chalkboard paint, you can create a daily calendar above your child’s desk or learning area, which makes it easy to refer to as they work on their studies throughout the day. Plus, when you need to make edits, you can easily wipe away old text and write in new. If you would rather not dedicate an area of your wall to chalkboard paint, you could also hang a large whiteboard, bulletin board, or a traditional chalkboard. 

2. Create a Curriculum Control Center

When your child’s school supplies are unorganized, it can be difficult for them to stay on track—not to mention it can be a waste of their school time if they are constantly looking for materials they need. Instead of leaving things like textbooks, notebooks, folders, and craft supplies lying around, create a curriculum control center that is a focal point for your student. Large bookshelves with extra space for individual storage bins will work perfectly for your control center.

Moveable Control Centers

If space is limited in your child’s hybrid learning environment, it might be difficult to create a permanent curriculum control center. Instead, you can create multiple moveable control centers on rolling storage carts. As a bonus, these carts can easily be wheeled away into a closet or other storage area on the weekend to free up space. 

3. Give Each School Subject Its Own Color

Speaking of keeping things organized in your curriculum control center, it is best to designate individual storage bins to each subject your child is studying. No matter if you use small plastic tubs or file holders, assign a specific color to areas of study like English, science, history, and math. Then create labels for each subject so they are easy to remember and spot on the fly.

4. Minimize Distractions with Help from Safeguard Self Storage

If your child is new to a hybrid learning environment, at-home distractions can quickly pull their attention away from getting schoolwork done—especially if you are unable to designate a dedicated learning area in your home due to limited space. Thankfully, Safeguard Self Storage is here to help your child get the most out of their remote learning experience.

Whether you need to transform a spare room or a section of your child’s bedroom into a makeshift classroom, our convenient storage solutions are here to help. With a wide selection of unit sizes and types, you can rid your child’s at-home study space from things like seasonal sports equipment, unused belongings, or clutter with ease.

Create the perfect hybrid learning environment for your child; find your local Safeguard Self Storage facility today to start saving valuable space!

May Day: A Day to Celebrate!

So What is May Day?

You have heard of May Day, and you know it is on May 1st every year, but do you know what it is?  Do you know why we call May 1st “May Day”?  There are a number of reasons, and they all are reasons to celebrate!

The Beginning

In ancient Ireland, the Celts measured the year by the path of the sun.  They divided the year into four quarters, called Quarter Days (the solstices and equinoxes), then divided each section in half, which gave them cross-quarter days.  These divisions not only echoed the four seasons, but they fit the sequences of their farming cycle.

What we now know as May 1st was the Celts Beltane, which marked the halfway point between spring equinox and summer solstice, and was considered the beginning of summer.  Seeds had been planted and were beginning to sprout, so May Day became a day to celebrate. 

May Day Traditions

After Roman Catholicism swept through Europe and the British Isles, May Day evolved into more than just a celebration of the sprouting crops.  As the old saying goes, “April showers bring May flowers”, so the first day of May became a day to celebrate the beauty of spring flowers.  Dancing around the maypole was part of festivals, which would include plays, dance performances, and the crowning of a “May Queen”.

Christianity also introduced the “May crowning”, where artists would create works featuring the Virgin Mary wearing a crown of flowers.  In 1955, Pope Pius XII chose May Day as a feast day to honor St Joseph the Worker. 

Another tradition, which has faded over the years, is the tradition of giving “May baskets”.  These small baskets were filled with flowers or sweets, or a combination of both, and left on a neighbor’s doorstep anonymously.  The person giving the basket was to knock on the door and yell, “May basket!”, then run off.  If the neighbor caught the person as they were fleeing, the recipient was entitled to a kiss.

How Will You Celebrate May Day?

Now that you know what May Day is and how it was observed in the past, what will you do to honor this long-standing holiday?  If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you could go for a walk and enjoy all the beautiful flowers in your neighborhood.  Maybe this year would be a good time to bring back the May basket tradition.

Another option to welcome summer is to pack up all of your winter items and pull out the summer stuff! If you need a place to put those coats, skis, and sleds, look no further than Safeguard Self Storage.  We have a variety of sizes available to suit just about any need and with over 73 locations, we are likely located in your neighborhood. 

Storing Your Items During Uncertain Times

We are all living in a different world now. Social distancing and self-quarantine are today's norms. Wearing gloves and a mask to the supermarket is as common as wearing shoes and a shirt. The value of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes has never been greater.

Safeguard Self Storage completely understands the worries and concerns that this pandemic has caused, and as society is changing, so is the way we are doing business. We have always approached self storage a bit differently than others in our industry, but today, more than ever, our differences are lending themselves to a better storage experience.

Contactless Storage Unit Rentals

Safeguard has always felt that business should be conducted in a manner that is the most convenient for our customers. Now, we are taking it a step further. For over a decade, we have offered the ability for our customers to rent a storage unit on our website. Out of an abundance of caution, we are now urging all customers to rent online. When you complete your rental online, your rental agreement and all appropriate forms will be sent to you electronically. There is no need to ever step into the office.

If you’re not comfortable renting your storage space on our website, simply call us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, recommend the perfect unit for your storage needs, and complete your rental on the phone. Again, your rental documents will be sent via email, so there are no required face-to-face interactions.

Touchless Entry

At all of our facilities, we offer touchless access to the building and each storage area using an access fob. The fobs are sold in our office and are programmed with a unique code, which will provide access to the building and allows access to the storage area where your unit is located. Our system also records the access activity of each entry for security purposes. 

At some of our facilities, we have gone a step further by installing the latest Bluetooth or iCloud access. All our newest locations are being built with new access systems that allow customers to use an app on their smartphones to gain access. These high-tech systems can be found at the following locations:

Property Cleaning

We have always held cleanliness to a very high standard. Now, it is more important than ever.  We have added greater focus to cleaning processes and frequency, making it our top priority.  Directives have been sent to all our facility personnel with new and improved cleaning duties, all to keep our customers and our team members safe and healthy.

All personnel has been instructed to wash their hands at least once an hour and after every exit from the office. We have provided antibacterial soap to each facility for both the manager’s service area and the customer restrooms. We have also placed hand sanitizer in every office for customer and manager use.

In the storage facility, we have instructed that any common areas be wiped down with disinfectant wipes, especially frequently touched places, such as keypads, cart handles, and elevator buttons. While customers are at the facility, managers are urged to stay in the office with the doors locked and to conduct as much business as possible through locked doors.  Whenever that is not possible, social distancing is to be practiced by keeping all individuals a distance of at least 6 feet apart.

Our Commitment

Even during these trying times, we remain open and available to solve the essential storage needs of our community. At Safeguard Self Storage, we are committed to the safety and well-being of our customers and our staff. Please remember to stay safe and together we will make it through these tough times.

Get More Value Out of Storage with Our “Choose Your Special” Feature

When searching for a storage unit, we understand that you want the best value. That’s why, at Safeguard Self Storage, we offer special discounts for many of our units. Recently, we launched a new feature on our website that gives you more flexibility in the special that’s best for you – and more opportunities for savings.

How Our Specials Work

We understand that everyone’s storage needs are different. You may want self storage for a short period of time to help you with a move, or perhaps you’re looking for something longer-term to hold on to things you don’t have room for at home. To fit your situation, we offer three different specials for three different lengths of time:

  • Free First Month’s Rent
  • 50% Off 2 Months’ Rent
  • 20% Off 6 Months’ Rent

Because we want you to have the best storage experience right from the start, you can choose to have the first month's rent while storing with us free for select storage units. With discounts beyond the first month, you also get the option of a lower overall cost – and greater total savings – if you need to store with us longer. Our contracts are month-to-month, so you don't need to make any time period commitment to activate a special.

Note: Discounts for any unused periods are unearned and therefore non-refundable.

“Choose Your Special” Online Option Now Available

With a recent update to our website, you can now “Choose Your Special” online anytime, anywhere. It’s built right into our unit descriptions, so you’re easily able to see what discounts are available and select the one you’d prefer. This new feature helps as you do the following:

  • Look at our unit offerings: We specifically highlight the units for which we offer specials. This lets you easily scan the specials alongside other unit features and sizes. This makes comparing unit options easier than ever.
  • Select your special: Check the box of the special you’d like – it’s that simple. We automatically account for the pricing change in our system when you make your online reservation.

Get the Best Deal on Self Storage with Safeguard

If you’re looking to get the most out of self storage, look no further than Safeguard Self Storage. Our new special-selection feature lets you take full advantage of the deals we have to offer. Simply check the box to activate the special of your choosing. You no longer need to rely on discount schedules, sales reps, or special limitations. For convenient savings and even more convenient storage, reserve a storage unit with us today!

Forget Times Square, Throw Your Own New Year's Party in The Bronx

If you've been in Manhattan on New Year's Eve, you know how chaotic things can get. Thousands of people come together to watch the ball drop at Times Square and to commemorate the event with a kiss. It might seem fun and exciting, but it can be quite overwhelming for those who don't like crowds. This year, your local self storage experts at Safeguard Self Storage suggest hosting your own New Year's Eve party, where you can stay comfy at home in Concourse Village and bring the festivities to you.

5 Tips for Hosting a New Year's Eve Party in the Bronx, NY

Keep the invites to a minimum.

One of the reasons to host a party at home is to avoid a huge crowd. Keep the party cozy by only inviting a handful of your closest friends. You'll connect with everyone more easily and enjoy the night yourself.

It all starts with the snacks.

You can't have a party without snacks. Although you could get by with chips and salsa, you'd make a better impression by having a variety of hearty bites for your guests, such as pizza-stuffed mushrooms and bacon skewers. Having some brownie bites, cupcakes or chocolates available will satisfy everyone's sweet tooth.

Pick a worthy soundtrack.

The right music will get the party started and keep it going until the ball drops. Let your friends pick out some songs to make them feel included in the selection. You can also ring in the New Year by singing "Auld Lang Syne."

In the words of John Lennon & Paul McCartney - Get by with a little help from your friends.

You don't have to foot the bill for everything. Ask your guest to bring their favorite drinks or foods that they enjoy. You'll drastically reduce the cost of your party if everyone pitches in and helps. It's also a good way to try new things by having your friends share their favorite cocktails or appetizers with everyone who attends.

Nothing beats some fun party favors. 

You'll make a great impression if you give party favors to everyone when they arrive or before they leave. These small gifts could be anything from shot glasses to funny "Happy New Year" hats. Handing out party favors is a great way to give thanks to everyone for coming and to make people remember your party long after it ends.

Plan Ahead for Your New Year's Eve Bash

It's important to plan ahead if you want everything to go smoothly. Write down a list of all the supplies that you'll need for the party, including who you'll want to invite. If you're planning a huge New Year's Eve party, you may want to use self storage as a way to keep all of your supplies in one place and to reduce clutter in your home before the event. 

Safeguard Self Storage has convenient storage units located in Concourse Village, Wakefield, and throughout the Bronx, NY, giving you a convenient place to store your party supplies. You can rent storage units as small or as large as you need and have everything ready to go on New Year's Eve.

Be Inspired in Brooklyn to Create Your Own Underwater World

Brooklyn, NY boasts the SeaGlass Carousel, a huge crystal nautilus shell that takes people on a ride through a world of luminescent fish. Though it's a big hit with the kids, even adults get caught up in the wonderful world of the sea. When the ride ends, you don't have to leave your underwater adventure at the park. By putting together your own fish tank, you can recreate the experience right at home. Safeguard Self Storage is showing you a few simple ways to get started today!

Finding the Perfect Spot 

Before you can set up a fish tank, you'll have to find the best spot in your house for viewing. Whether you set up the tank in the living room or your bedroom depends on the look and feeling that you're trying to achieve.

  • Living room: Setting up the tank in the living room gives everyone in your home and those who visit a chance to see the fish whenever they want.
  • Master bedroom: You can create a cozy, intimate setting with a fish tank in the master bedroom. The bubbling sounds may also help you fall asleep faster.
  • The children's room: Placing a fish tank in your children's room will boost their underwater imaginations. However, it's more difficult to watch the tank and prevent accidental damage as your children play.

Setting Up a Fish Tank

Once you have a spot picked out, it's time to gather the equipment. You can buy all the parts separately or purchase a beginner's kit with everything included. In case you opt for separate pieces, you'll need:

  • A beginner's 10-gallon glass or acrylic tank
  • A heater
  • An air pump
  • Prime and biological filtration booster
  • Nets, gravel, fish and plant and rock decor

Follow the directions in the boxes for putting your system together, and slowly add the fish last. Great starter fish include swordtails, guppies and mollies. Talk with your local pet store for additional recommendations on the best starter fish for your tank.

Make Space for Your New Aquarium

If you lack space for a new aquarium or need more room to store extra supplies, Safeguard Self Storage can help. Our storage lockers provide the right amount of space to keep aquarium supplies and accessories stored away until you need them. We also have larger units available for storing any excess furniture and making space for a new aquarium at home. 

Start a Poetry Night in Your Garage

Miami celebrates Poetry Month in April as numerous venues host live poetry readings throughout the city. Poetry Month started as a way to introduce poets and poetry to as many kids, students and adults as possible. Today, it's an annual celebration and a great time to read or recite poetry from your favorite poet. Even better, you could host your own poetry night at home. Safeguard Self Storage is showing you four easy ways to get started today!

How to Host Your Own Poetry Night

1. Pick a spot.

Your garage, den or living room make great spots for hosting a poetry reading. By having it in the garage, you can open up the door and invite the night air inside. If you have a furnished attic, it could also serve as an ideal location for hosting the event. 

2. Create some invitations.

Get those invitations out well before the event. You can write a small poem in an email blast and send it to your friends or simply text everyone using your smartphone. Create a poetic invitation to send on social media, and make sure to include the date, time, location and a required RSVP.

3. Gather your supplies. 

You'll need a microphone and speakers if you want everyone to hear you loud and clear. You can rent a microphone and speaker from a local rental company or purchase a cheaper on-the-go system from a retail store. In addition, make sure to provide enough seating, beverages and food for your guests.

4. Host the party.

With the date set, the seating ready, the microphone hooked up and the food on hand, it's time to host your party. Test the microphone ahead of time, and get the volumes sorted out. Start with a cheerful introduction, and give people time to get acquainted with one another before the poetry reading begins. 

Celebrate Poetry Month This April

While you wait for the next Poetry Month to come around, store all of your supplies at Safeguard Self Storage. Our climate-controlled storage units will protect your speaker system and provide enough room for your chairs and other supplies. When it's time to host another event, your items will be right where you stored them and ready to go. Get started by contacting us today! 

Spring Clean for Self Storage

A woman wearing rubber gloves inspecting a coffee table for dust.

All across the Bayou, from Harvey to Marrero to Metairie and beyond, spring has sprung – and that means one thing for many folks around here: It’s time to bust out the mops, brooms, dusters and rags and get to scrubbing every surface in our home neglected over the cooler months. As you spend days going from room to room, cleaning out the closets, emptying drawers, going through those old boxes in the attic, you realize pretty quickly that you need to do something about all of the extra stuff lying around.

Some of it can be discarded, but what about the things that are too important to get rid of? You could dust off your book of spells and craft an enchantment that creates extra space in your home from thin air. Or you could forget the magic for now and settle your space issues with convenient nearby self storage. 

A storage unit, it is. Let’s get started on finding a unit and prepping your things for storage.

How to Spring Clean Your Items for Storage

The first step to getting your things prepped for storage is to figure out how much storage space you really need. Our handy Space Estimator works with our Unit Size Guide to help you figure that out. And of course, our friendly staff is more than happy to lend a hand, too.

Once you’ve reserved your unit, turn your attention towards your items. Since you are using climate-controlled storage, you won’t have to clean you things after you put them in. But giving them a good scrub now will ensure they come out of self storage looking just as good as they went in. Use this checklist to help you clean and prep the most commonly stored items.

1. Start with Dusting: Wood, metal, plastic, paper – you have it, it needs to be dusted. Use a quality duster instead of a rag. Not only will this help keep all the dust in place, but dusters are soft enough that you can use it on just about any surface without harm.

2. Clean and Polish: Climate-controlled units will prevent damage to your sensitive belongings, but it’s still a good idea to give them a little polish before you store. Wood polish is perfect for your furniture and wood decorations. Saddle soap will clean and protect all of your leather pieces like belts, shoes, furniture and gloves. Warm water and dish soap works well for metal objects like wall décor.

3. Protect Everything: Moving items, no matter how carefully, can result in damage. Prevent this by wrapping your furniture in moving blankets, using plenty of bubble wrap on your breakables, and sticking support tape in the shape of an ‘X’ on your glass mirrors.

4. For the Fabrics: Keep your fabric-based items fresh by following a few guidelines. Don’t hang heavy clothes, as hangers can imprint them after time. Wash all of your clothes and treat for stains prior to storing. Place tissue paper in between your stacked clothing to keep it wrinkle-free.

Since you’re using climate controlled storage, you won’t need to take extra steps such as placing cedar chips throughout. But you can add dryer sheets or other scented items throughout your unit to keep it fresh no matter how long you store.

Now that you know what to do to prep your items for storage, it’s time to get started! Before you move it all in, check out our other space-saving and packing tips to get you here with ease. We look forward to serving you and your storage needs! 

Celebrate This Festive Food Month in Chicago Right at Home

Several glasses of wine and food samples sitting on a table in a restaurant.

For those who love to try new delicacies, you don't want to miss the food festivals going on in Chicago this month. Whether it's Bacon Fest, the Artisan Food Festival or the Taste of the Gold Coast, there are plenty of chances to fill your belly with delicious treats all month long. However, if you're unable to make it to the festivities, don't worry. You can host a special Around the World Festival right at home!  

Hosting a Food Festival at Home

1. Pick the themes.  

An Around the World Festival should include several foods from different parts of the world. Consider your favorite foods and places that you like to visit. You could include Italy, Spain, Germany, France and Japan, and serve a dish from each location.  

2. Select the dishes.  

Pick one dish to represent your selected countries. For example, you could serve pizza from Italy, marzipan from Spain, brats and kraut from Germany, crème brûlée from France and hibachi steak from Japan. Choosing these foods gives you three main meals and two desserts, treating your guests to a taste of sweet and savory.

3. Invite the guests.

Pick a date and a time that's good for you, your family and guests. Afterward, start inviting everyone at least two weeks ahead of time. Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also call ahead or text everyone before the big event.

4. Prepare the meals.

  • Chef Emeril Lagasse has a delicious pizza recipe for your festival, including how to prepare and serve it.
  • You'll need blanched almond flour, powdered sugar, almond extract, food-grade rose water and an egg white to make marzipan. This recipe will put you on the right track to pleasing your guests.
  • You can pick up a pack of brats and a bag of sauerkraut at your local grocer for a quick and easy meal plan.
  • It takes about 10 minutes to prepare crème brûlée and another 30 minutes to bake it. This delicious recipe will make you look like a professional chef to your guests.
  • Sautéing the steak with veggies is the key to making great hibachi steak. Follow this recipe for an authentic taste of Japan.  

5. Set up sectioned themes.

Make your home festival livelier by sectioning off different areas for each location. You can split the kitchen down the middle and have France on one side and Germany on the other. Devote the den to Spain, the living room to Italy and the patio to Japan.  

Enjoy Your Around the World Festival

When it's time to clean up, store your decorations, chairs and tables in storage bins at Safeguard Self Storage. We'll keep everything safe and secure until your next big event.  

5 Ways to get Spring Back Into Your Step

Spring has finally arrived in Lyons, IL and with it brings blue skies, yellow sunshine and warmer temperatures. For those who have counted the days since winter first began, now's the time to jump for joy and put your winter clothing back in mini storage. Whether it's planting new bulbs or playing with your kids outdoors, we're sharing a few ideas to help put the spring back in your step this season. 

1. Plant a flower garden.

Welcome in the spring air with a colorful garden filled with pansies, daffodils and tulips. These spring flowers have vibrant petals and create a wonderful fragrance in your yard. You can tackle the project over the weekend or knock it out in a day with some help from your kids. When you’re done with the project, just store all the heavy-duty gardening tools in your nearby storage unit so you don’t clutter up the garage. 

2. Make a handcrafted bird feeder. 

Create wonderful memories by crafting spring projects with your kids. To craft a homemade bird feeder, you'll need: 

  • A paper towel roll
  • Peanut butter
  • A bowl of bird seed
  • A butter knife

Spread the peanut butter on the paper towel roll, and spin it in the bird seed. You can then hang the bird feeder on a tree branch and watch the birds swoop in for a treat.

3. Practice yoga in the yard.

Take advantage of the nice weather with some yoga in the backyard. You'll stretch out your muscles from their winter dormancy and feel more alive and ready to take on the rest of the year.

4. Enjoy a walk around the neighborhood.

If the winter kept you bundled up indoors, now's your chance to get some exercise. Get out your spring clothes from your storage unit, put on your comfortable sneakers and make your way outdoors. A walk will help you burn off those calories from the holidays and get you in shape for summertime on Lake Michigan.

5. Play outdoor games with your kids.

Whether it's "Red Rover" or "Simon Says," playing outdoor games with your kids shakes off those winter blues. You can play hopscotch on the sidewalk, shoot hoops in the driveway or bring out the jump rope for some old-fashioned fun. 

Enjoy a Pleasant Spring in Lyons 

Safeguard Self Storage wishes everyone in Lyons, IL a happy spring! When it's time to put away your winter clothing, we have heated and air-conditioned storage lockers equipped with computer controlled access and individual door alarms designed to keep your items safe and secure until the next season. You can also use our storage units to help clear out some space once it's time to spring-clean your home!