As of June 1st, hurricane season is back again. This year, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expects an above average season predicting 13-20 named storms. A hurricane can quickly cause widespread devastation, but planning and preparing now, can make a big difference in the case of an emergency later. Our team at Personal Mini Storage compiled a list of 6 important ways you can prepare right now for the 2021 hurricane season.
Plan Your Evacuation Route
If you live in an area that may need to evacuate, especially coastal or low-lying areas, know your evacuation route ahead of time. Florida’s Division of Emergency Management has a website where you can find what roads are used for evacuations during an emergency. It’s still a good idea to be aware of these evacuation routes even if you don’t live in one of these areas. Florida counties also have an emergency shelter list that you can review ahead of time. Be sure to share your evacuation plans with family members so everyone knows where to go.
Stock Up Your Pantry
Once a hurricane is approaching, items like bottled water and canned goods tend to fly off store shelves. Many stores run out of supplies quickly, and you may not be able to get them if you wait until the last minute. Since stores are currently stocked up, grab water, canned foods and non-perishable goods the next time you head to the grocery or convenience store. Experts recommend having 7 days of supplies available for your family during an emergency.
Gather Emergency Supplies
Gathering emergency supplies in advance is another important step you should take before a hurricane arrives. Stock up on flashlights, candles, matches, first aid kits, a radio, toiletries, batteries, portable phone chargers, and blankets. Organize your supplies and keep them stored in the garage or nearby storage unit for easy access. Ready.gov has a full list of emergency supplies to have on hand. If you have any important medications or medical equipment, make sure your prescriptions are up to date and you have enough on hand.
Organize Important Documents
If an evacuation is mandatory, or if you are choosing to evacuate, you may be in a hurry to grab your stuff and hit the road. Taking important paper documents with you is extremely important. Get a folder or some type of storage, preferably one that is waterproof, for your paperwork and gather all your documents ahead of time. In addition to birth certificates, passports and social security cards, print extra copies of documents like your health insurance, homeowners insurance, bank information and an emergency contact list. Keep some extra cash in with these documents too, as it may come in handy if you evacuate.
Check Your Insurance
Insurance plays a huge factor into the aftermath of hurricane destruction. It’s best to review all details of your insurance before a hurricane hits, so you know exactly what kind of coverage you have as well as the insurance company’s specific storm policies. Home or renter’s insurance is most important, but don’t forget to check on health insurance, car insurance, storage unit insurance, flood insurance. and any other insurance you may have.
Prepare Your Home
If your home could possibly be damaged by a hurricane, it’s a good plan to stock up early on items like sandbags and plywood to cover windows. A storage unit is a great option to keep items like these packed away year round so they’re not taking up space in your garage. For inside your home, invest in surge protectors so your electronics don’t get fried in the event of a power outage. Outside, check that all your drains and gutters are cleared out so they are draining correctly and won’t create more flooding. If you have items like patio furniture, potted plants, flagpoles or any other items that may need to be put in before a hurricane comes, make sure you’ve cleared some room in your garage, attic, spare room or storage unit.
While we all hope this hurricane season will be more calm than last year, you never know what mother nature has in store this season. Remember, safety is most important, and you should always listen to government guidelines and mandates. Utilize these tips so you can be prepared ahead of time and have a safe game plan during the 2021 hurricane season!
Whether you are starting your search for the perfect Orlando neighborhood to call home, or have had your belongings in a storage unit for months, buying a house can be a confusing and overwhelming process. With the real estate market heating up, we sat down with an Orlando home expert and Mortgage Advisor, Greg Roberts of Primary Residential Mortgage, to discuss some of the most common mistakes he sees customers make and his best advice on how to avoid them.
1. Looking for A Home Before Talking To A Mortgage Lender
One of the most common mistakes you can make is starting the search for your dream home BEFORE getting pre-qualified for a mortgage. “There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a house and realizing it’s just out of your price range,” says Roberts. Taking the time to speak with a mortgage lender first, can help set realistic expectations as you being your search. Plus getting pre-approved can make your offer look more attractive to sellers, allowing you to schedule a moving truck in no time.
2. Buying More House Than You Can Afford
This may sound like common sense, but it can be easy to get
caught up in the emotion of buying a home. Before you realize it, you can find
yourself in a bidding war, leaving you in over your head financially. “If you
find yourself needing to dip into your retirement fund in order to make a down
payment, it could be a red flag,” says Roberts. An honest review of your
finances with a mortgage expert can give you a clear view of your limits and knowing
exactly how much you can comfortably afford will set you up for success for
years to come.
3. Ignoring Special Loan Programs
Saving up enough money for a 20% down payment may sound like a daunting task, but there are several options that can help you qualify for a mortgage with drastically reduced financial requirements. According to Roberts “Many people don’t realize they qualify for some of these loan programs that can drastically affect their homebuying experience”. Check your eligibility for special programs like FHA loans and VA loans which can reduce interest rates and down payment requirements.
4. Applying for Credit Before the Sale is Final
So, you’ve found the right home, agreed on a price and even set a closing date. Time to start shopping for new appliances and home upgrades, right? Not so fast says Roberts. “One mistake we see is home buyers applying for a new credit card after their offer has been accepted, but before the official closing is completed.” It may be tempting to get a head start on any home improvement projects you have planned, but this can negatively affect your credit profile and even put your loan at risk. “It’s best to wait at least one full business day after your closing to apply for any new lines of credit,” suggests Roberts.
The Roberts Team at Primary Residential Mortgage is a local hometown, family operated, direct mortgage lender. Primary Residential Mortgage is a top 20 nationally recognized mortgage lender, offering a wide array of mortgage products.
Can you believe the official start of summer is only weeks away? With covid restrictions easing in many places, we are all eager to get back to vacations, beach days, and kids camps. Getting prepared now can help make your summer a relaxing and stress-free time. Here are 5 ways to make sure you are organized and ready for all of the summer fun.
1. Build A Car Kit
Nothing is worse than getting to the beach or pool and realizing you forgot the sunscreen or towels. With a Summer car kit, you won’t have to worry if you left something at home. Fill a tote bin or container with outdoor necessities like extra clothes, hats, sunscreen, snacks, hand sanitizer, first aid kid, and any other items needed on your day trips. Keep the bin in your trunk or back seat so your kit is with you wherever you go.
2. Make Plans With A Checklist
If you’re a busy parent with kids, welcoming back a college student on break, or just trying to take advantage of the long summer days – it can be hard to keep track of all of your plans. Daily and weekly checklists are a great way to remember your gym classes, sports practices, birthday parties, and all of the things you and your family have planned. A printable summer workbook checklist can keep yourself accountable and on track to meet your goals and events.
3. Create Fast Snack Options
Time flies when you’re having fun and sometimes hunger can hit when you least expect it. Instead of heading to the nearest drive-thru, prep some freezer friendly foods that you can take out and make in a few minutes. For breakfast, smoothie packs are great on-the-go options. For snacks, easy frozen yogurt bites or DIY freezer Uncrustable sandwiches are popular with everyone and easy to take with you.
4. Pull Seasonal Items Out of Storage
Some of your favorite summer items like swimsuits, bikes, warm weather clothing, or pool toys, may be stored away in places like a storage unit. Don’t wait until the last minute to get the summer items you need out of storage. While you’re at it, take cooler weather items you won’t be using for a while and put them away in storage to give yourself more space.
5. Plastic Bins Are Your Best Friend
Stay clutter free this summer by stocking up on inexpensive bins or baskets. Place the bins in your backyard to keep gardening equipment organized for your summer garden, in the garage to store outdoor toys, or inside your home to keep flip flops in one spot. The possibilities are endless with bins or baskets, and you don’t have to break the bank to do so.
Whether your summer is jam packed with plans, or you just see yourself spending some time going to the beach or hanging out with friends or family, make your summer that much better by getting organized ahead of time!
Need space to store your winter gear? Personal Mini Storage has self storage locations across mid Florida with convenient sizes to fit your needs. Find a facility near you and get up to 1 month free rent.
got your marigold seeds, columbine, and blanket flowers all ready to put in the
ground. If only you could find your spade, trowel, and shovel. They’re probably
piled up in the garage, under the bicycles, and other stuff taking up space. By
the time you’ve dug out all the rusty tools, you’re probably too tired to dig
in the garden.
If you live on a small lot, storing yard and garden equipment at home may be inconvenient (especially because you only use these items a few months out of the year). Renting a storage unit will keep your stuff out of the way until it is time to dig, plant, weed, feed, and water. It will keep you from stepping on the prongs of your rake, and it will keep your tools from rusting.
your way through summer’s gardening season with these helpful hints.
Where Does Your Garden Grow?
you dig up the yard for a garden, keep in mind: Not everything grows perfectly
everywhere. Flower and vegetable plots must soak up at least six hours of
sunlight every day. The plot should also be near a water source (hoses and
sprinklers are easier than carrying buckets back and forth). Test the soil to
find out what nutrients it needs. You can get a kit at your local garden store
or take a sample to the Orange County plant
through the University of Florida’s county extension office.
Seeds or Seedlings?
stores are teeming with seeds for whatever flowers, fruits, and veggies strike
your fancy. If you go the seed route, note that some types such as tomatoes,
peppers, beans, and broccoli are stronger when started in small containers and
then transplanted into the ground. Corn, pumpkins, cucumbers, and other “large”
seed kernels do well when directly placed into soil beds. You can also buy
small seedlings (and larger stems) to place directly into your garden. Don’t
throw those plastic trays and pots away when you’re done. Put them in your
storage unit for next year.
What to Grow
heat and humidity of Orlando summers determine the types of flowers and
vegetables that will thrive. Flowers
that can handle Orlando’s summertime heat come in a variety of colors, from
annuals to perennials. Summer bedding plants to consider? Torenia and
zinnias are colorful annuals that stand out against pretty foliage. Scarlet
salvia is a perennial that does well in tropical climates. Pentas lanceolata keeps its bright colors in summer
while producing pink, red, and white blooms to attract hummingbirds and
Vegetables that can handle high temperatures include:
need a weekly tune-up to stay productive. If you care for it while you’re caring for your Orlando
they’ll add to your curb appeal and increase your property value. Keep in mind:
The curb appeal drops if you leave the garden tools scattered on the lawn.
and watering are the main tasks, and it is a good idea to pinch off dead blooms
and leaves. While you’re caring for the lawn and garden, take care of yourself
by wearing a sunhat, sunscreen, gloves, and insect repellant. Drink a lot of
water and take shade breaks.
Ready For Summer?
With so many things on your to-do list, getting organized before summer can help you get started gardening a lot sooner. Plus, with that stuff you’re not using — such as your wheelbarrow and rakes– in storage, there’s less clutter and more chance you’ll find what you need when you need it. You dig?
Caroline Gray is a
freelance journalist who balances writing for newspapers and blogs with taking
care of a 5-acre ranch. She finds it tough to part with any of her garden tools
but says it can’t be hoarding if they’re all meticulously placed on pegboard
Whether you are new to the area, or have lived here for decades, there’s always something new to see and do in Orlando. Many don’t realize there’s much more to the city waiting to be discovered outside of the theme parks. We’ve compiled some of the most interesting and unique, local neighborhoods worth checking out below.
1. Mills 50 District
If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, your search should start in the Mills 50 area. According to Mills50.org, this neighborhood is a culturally minded urban district focused on creating a walkable community with a creative spirit. Street art is a common sight as well as well as plenty of diversity. Be sure to check out eclectic businesses like Retromended Vintage, a funky preowned fashion store, and Dong A Imports, an asian supermarket. If locally sourced food and craft beer interest you, then be sure to check out local favorites like Tako Cheena, Santiago’s Bodega, and Ten 10 Brewing Company.
2. College Park
Combining an urban lifestyle with small town charm, College Park is definitely on our list of must-see Orlando neighborhoods. A vibrant community located just north of downtown Orlando, College Park is well known for bungalow style homes, unique shops, restaurants, and parks creating a comfortable place to call home. Take a walk down Edgewater Drive and be sure to check out some of the small businesses that contribute to the area’s unique vibe such as Trevi Pasta, Orange Cycle, and Good Crowd Gifts.
3. Audubon Park Garden District
An award-winning shopping and dining neighborhood in Orlando, the Audubon Park Garden District is described as hip, diverse and independent. This unique neighborhood just north of downtown Orlando is known for eclectic shops, cafes, craft beer, boutiques and more. Locals love to visit East End Market where vendors sell everything from gigantic homemade cookies, to fresh baked bread, to locally sourced produce. Do you know the difference between a lager and a lambic? Then make sure to visit Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour where they’ve been serving up unique and rare brews since 2005 (be sure to try one of their own microbrews while you’re there).
4. Lake Nona
Lake Nona is the newest neighborhood on our list. A mixed-use planned community located southwest of Orlando International Airport, this growing area is home to the USTA National Campus, Medical City, and the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. Designed as a smart and connected community where residents benefit from a vibrant culture and innovative collaboration. Many young families call the area home and have lead to the growth of modern neighborhood amenities like the outdoor food hall concept, Boxi Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, head to Nona Adventure Park to experience water based family entertainment.
5. The Milk District
The neighborhood with the most interesting name has got to be The Milk District. Named for the T.G. Lee Dairy processing plant in the area, there’s much more than milk to this funky, eclectic corner of Orlando. This neighborhood is home to numerous murals, giving a nod to the artistic spirit felt throughout the area. Thanks to a growing list of bars and eateries, the Milk District has become a late night hot spot. Local favorites include MX Taco, Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwichera, and Sideward Brewing Company.
More than one in eleven households in the U.S. rent a storage unit. While they provide flexible storage options for many Americans, is renting extra space the right choice for you? Below we’ll go through three examples of when they can be a great option and one situation where it isn’t a good fit.
1. Buying and Selling Your Home
So you’re ready to put your home on the market, hire a realtor, and schedule an open house. Now you need somewhere to keep all your belongings. That’s when self storage can be a good investment. Having a space to move personal items and furniture can be a great short-term option for those in the process of buying and selling a home. Most storage companies offer various sizes to choose from as well as climate controlled spaces and drive up units to make loading and unloading easier.
2. Growing Your Small Business
Owning and operating your own small business can be an exciting and liberating experience, but managing expenses can be a daunting task. One of the biggest expenses many small businesses face is renting physical space to set up an office or store inventory. A storage unit can be a cost saving option for many businesses. For example, a lawn care company can utilize the extra space to keep equipment safe and secure allowing for crews to pick up and drop off gear. Check out how Second to None Tree Care of Orlando utilizes space at Personal Mini Storage to save money.
3. Outdoor Hobbies
Enjoying the great outdoors is a part of the Florida lifestyle. From kayaking to mountain biking, there are plenty of options in the sunshine state. Many of us don’t have space for larger recreational equipment at home though. That’s why renting storage can be a convenient choice. Most facilities offer drive up units that make it easy to get your stuff out of storage and into your vehicle quickly. Many Personal Mini Storage locations also offer large vehicle parking that can fit boats and RVs.
If you are looking for a place to store food or perishable items, renting storage is not a good idea. In fact, many storage facilities do not allow food, produce or plants to be stored at their location. Other items that typically cannot be stored include ammunition, gasoline, paint, paint thinner, propane, and fireworks.
Still unsure if a storage unit is right for you? The team at Personal Mini Storage is here to help. Our self storage FAQ page has answers to more common storage questions. Plus you can reserve a space quickly and easily with our express move-in process.
The annual tradition of spring cleaning is here. Our team at Personal Mini Storage has already covered 4 Tips for Tackling Your Garage in a previous post, but one appliance that can easily get overlooked this time of year is the refrigerator. Over time, spills and crumbs can add up, contaminating the fresh food you store inside. Below are 3 steps you can take to deep clean your fridge fast and efficiently.
1. Take (Literally) Everything Out
The easiest and fastest way to finish this project is to get
everything (and we do mean EVERYTHING) out of the way including food, removable
shelves, and drawers. This makes them easier to deep clean and scrub from top
to bottom. According to Bon
Appetit, using a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water is a safe, and
effective all-purpose cleaner.
Pro tip: Have a cooler handy to store temperature
sensitive food like meat and seafood during the cleaning process.
2. Don’t Forget the Outside
It’s not just the inside of your fridge that needs a thorough cleaning every year. Unplug it and move it out from the wall carefully to find the refrigerator coils. Use a vacuum brush attachment to clean off any built-up dust or dirt. If you have an ice and water dispenser, you’ll want to take time to deep clean those as well. HuffPost has a useful guide on tackling this unique challenge.
Pro tip: If the coils are not easily visible on the
back side, check the bottom and top of the appliance as different brands may
have these coils placed in different locations.
3. Control Future Odors
Now that you’re starting fresh with a clean refrigerator, you’ll want to keep it fresh as long as possible. Leaving an open box of baking soda inside your fridge can help to neutralize strong odors. Another suggestion from RealSimple.com is to soak cotton balls in vanilla and place them in an inconspicuous area to tackle tough smells.
Pro tip: After a deep clean, take advantage of an
empty fridge and organize your food as you move everything back. Check out this
guide from Martha Stewart on the best way to organize your fridge.
Looking for more cleaning and storage advice? Check out our storage blog for tips, tricks, and hacks to make your life easier and let us know when you are ready to reserve a storage unit at one of our 46 locations!
Between social distancing and virtual classes, it’s been a very unusual year for college students. As the spring semester comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about how and where to store your belongings over summer break. The good news is that with a little planning, summer storage can be much easier than final exams, and simple enough to leave extra time to safely celebrate the end of the semester.
1. Start Early
Most busy college students don’t have a whole day to devote to packing. Plan to start a week or two in advance of moving day. A good place to begin is with out-of-season clothes that you won’t need anytime soon, like coats and sweaters. Continue to spend a little bit of time each day going through your belongings and packing them in labeled boxes. For the final few days before summer vacation, keep out only what you will need. Think of it like packing for a weekend trip, only you are packing everything but tomorrow’s outfit, a toothbrush, bedding, and other essentials.
As you pack your belongings, don’t just shove everything into a box. Go through items and ask yourself: Is this something I’ve used in the past six months? While you may want to keep some textbooks, consider selling those you won’t need again to earn extra cash. Unwanted clothes or dorm decor can also be donated to a local charity like Goodwill Industries.
It’s a terrible feeling to arrive home for the summer and begin searching for your favorite video game or comfy pillow only to realize that you left it packed up with your things in a storage facility nine states away. To avoid this, spend some time thinking about your summer plans, and what you will need to take home with you. From hair dryers to bathing suits, make sure you don’t leave anything important behind.
4. Work Together
Don’t have much stuff? Instead of filling up half of a storage unit, consider sharing one with another person you trust to save on costs. You should also consider renting a small truck or moving van to cut down on the number of trips you’ll need to take.
Make sure you choose a self storage facility that offers plenty of features. Look for facilities that offer comprehensive security measures, strategies to control pests that could damage your belongings and generous access hours to your unit.
Pro Tip: National trade associations, such as the U.S. Trade Association’s Self Storage Association can be a useful source of information for first-time renters. Learn more about how to pack your unit strategically here.
While packing up and storing your dorm room belongings for the summer may not be the most fun part of college, with a clear plan, it can be quick and easy experience.
Flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising and that means the annual tradition of spring cleaning is right around the corner. One space that seems to be the most daunting for many is the garage. We’ve compiled a list of useful tips below to help you clear out the clutter and make space in your garage to store a car (or two) again.
1. Get Everything Out!
While it may seem daunting at first, the best way to clean
and organize your garage is to move everything (and we do mean EVERYTHING) out.
This includes all boxes, bikes, and shelving that isn’t bolted to the wall.
Once you’ve gotten everything out of the way, take the time to wipe down the
walls and floor removing any dust, dirt, and grime built up over the past year.
This will give you a clean slate to start organizing your new garage!
2. Create Categories
Our next tip for a successful garage spring cleaning is to
separate your items into groups. Start by breaking down your things into three
Garage Storage: These are items that are used on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and need to continue to be stored inside your garage. Examples may include tools, lawn mowers, and bicycles.
Other Storage: Belongings you don’t want to get rid of, but you don’t necessarily need daily access to can be moved to another space like a nearby self-storage unit. These can include seasonal items such as holiday decorations, and sports equipment like water skis or surfing gear.
Donate or Toss: Set aside items you no longer use or need that may have been piling up for years. Find local organizations that accept donations like Goodwill of Central Florida and review their list of approved items they accept. Some items will not be accepted and should be thrown away instead.
3. Use Vertical Space
Sometimes the best place to go for extra storage in your garage is up! Utilize your wall space by organizing and hanging items on the wall instead of taking up valuable ground space. Home improvement stores like Home Depot offer plenty of wall organization and shelving options to fit your needs. Bikes and tools can be placed on hooks while extra shelves and baskets can hold small tools and accessories. This will allow you to leave floor space for larger items and vehicles.
4. Find Alternative Storage
So you’ve cleared out enough space to park your car inside the garage again. But what about all of your stuff you don’t want to get rid of? Renting a storage unit is a convenient and inexpensive way to keep your belongings out of the garage and within reach. Personal Mini Storage offers 46 convenient storage locations across Central Florida with options ranging from drive-up units to A/C storage depending on your needs.
Looking for more information about your self-storage
options? Check out our Self Storage FAQ
page for answers to some of the most common questions and let us know when
you’re ready to reserve a unit
If you are thinking about relocating to Clermont, Florida
you’re not alone. According to The City of Clermont,
it has become one of the fastest growing cities in the Central Florida region with
a population of more than 44,000 residents and climbing. Here are 5 things you
should know about living in Clermont, Florida.
1. From Orange Groves, to Booming City
During the first half of the 20th century, citrus groves dominated the local economy, and the famous Citrus Tower is a tribute to the industry’s role in Clermont’s development. Visitors can choose to head up to the observation deck and enjoy the panoramic view of the area. Today, Clermont is listed as the largest city in Lake County and home to a growing, diverse population. Historic Downtown Clermont sits on the shores of Lake Minneola and offers plenty of shopping and dining options for residents.
2. The “Choice of Champions”
With beautiful weather year-round, it is no wonder
Clermont’s tag line is the “Choice of
Champions”. Many Olympic athletes have chosen to live and train in Clermont
including Tyson Gay,
Gatlin, and Noah
Lyles. In addition, other track-and-field, water sports and triathlon athletes
have called Clermont home due to the many lakes and hills that can be found in
the surrounding areas.
3. Affordable Housing
The quality of life in Clermont makes it an optimal
destination for anyone looking to move to Central Florida. Clermont has housing
options for various income levels including gated communities to single-family
homes, condominiums, and apartment complexes. With close proximity to the city
of Orlando as well as Central Florida’s famous theme parks, many residents
choose Clermont thanks to the affordable cost of living and easy highway
4. Living the Outdoor Lifestyle
Lakes, rolling hills, and recreational parks can be found
throughout the City of Clermont making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Families can enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at the Champions
Splash Park, while boaters can take advantage of one of the many boat
ramps throughout the city. You can also enjoy numerous disc
golf courses and outdoor
hiking trails including the Legacy Loop Trail.