2nd Annual U-Stor-It Backpack Giveaway a Success!

For the second year in a row, U-Stor-It partnered with One San Diego, Univision San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman, and the San Diego Police Department to give away 1,000 backpacks and school supplies to local elementary school students in the Lincoln Park area! The event was held on August 24th, just before the school year began.

backpacks
Officers from the San Diego Police Department helped hand out supplies to the kids.
backpacks
1,000 backpacks were donated by Univision San Diego.

Students were able to choose the color of backpack and pencil box they wanted, and had them packed with pencils, crayons, colored pencils, erasers, keychains, and stickers.

backpacks
Kids and families were excited to receive their free supplies.

Students were excited to start the school year strong with their new backpacks and supplies.

backpacks
Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman, Councilwoman Myrtle Cole, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

After picking up their supplies, students and families were treated to gourmet bacon-wrapped hot dogs and Hawaiian shaved ice, which everyone couldn’t get enough of.

Overall, the event was a huge success and provided Lincoln Park area kids with the supplies they need to succeed in the coming year. A big thanks to the San Diego Police and Fire Departments, One San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman, Univision San Diego, Porter Elementary, KUSI News, CBS 8, NBC 7, and everyone that volunteered and visited the 2nd Annual U-Stor-It Back to School Bash!

River East Lofts: The Pros and Cons of Loft Living

Lofts can be one of the most luxurious and sought-after apartment types out there. They are especially popular in the River East, Chicago neighborhood and offer their residents many benefits — however, like most things, they have some drawbacks. Here are some of the biggest pros and cons of living in a loft.

Pro: High Ceilings

As remodeled commercial buildings, loft apartments typically have vaulted ceilings – often in the 10’ to 15’ range.  High ceilings make the place feel open and spacious—something you won’t necessarily find in a traditional apartment layout. Often times loft-style apartments have more windows, so if you don’t like feeling closed in, a loft-style apartment gives you the light and airy surroundings you desire.

Con: Expensive Utilities

Huge windows and old construction can mean major heating and cooling costs if the temperatures in your city fluctuate with the seasons. And in Chicago as we all know, they do quite a bit.

River East
http://www.homedit.com/living-in-a-loft/
Pro: Open Layout

Lofts are inherently wide open, with very little walls or barriers. This makes even the smallest lofts feel spacious and provides plenty of decorating opportunities. Artists and other creatives often prefer this layout so that they can make the space their own and feed their creativity.

Con: Limited Storage

Because lofts are so open, this often means they lack closets, cupboards, or other storage areas that require walls. This gives many loft owners headaches when they try to store away their possessions in a way that they’re not cluttered in plain sight. That is why self-storage is a loft owner’s best friend. U-Stor-It South Loop is conveniently located at 615 S Wabash Ave, Chicago IL 60605 and has everything you need to keep your loft uncluttered and luxurious.

Pro: Industrial Style Details

One of the charming characteristics of a typical loft apartment is the inherent industrial-type details in the architecture. Exposed brick walls or air ducts are not uncommon in loft apartment. These details are often embraced as these help to create an chic, relaxed vibe within the space.

Lofts certainly aren’t for everyone — but if you prefer a wide-open, airy creative space, they’re just what you need.

5 Easy Tips for a Dog Friendly Home

Thinking of bringing home a cuddly, four-legged, wet nosed, ball of joy (dog) – think first of how your the rooms in your house are organized to accommodate a new addition to your home. Kitchen, bathroom, backyard, living room, all of it. Here are a few easy tip to making sure your house is extra comfortable for your new fur friend.

1. The Last Temptation of Chewbarka

Phones, remote controls, glasses, books – all excellent and surprisingly tasty appetizers  and chew toys for a dog. Tammy Jensen of Wheaton, Illinois keeps all of her shoes, socks, and more safe by placing them far above her Boston terrier’s reach. “Try above the kennel or dog house first,” she explains. Do what you can to avoid an accident. Or don’t. Give yourself and excuse to buy that new Kate Spade bag.

dog-kitchen

2. Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

Think of your dog as you child. I’m sure you already do. (Hopefully you don’t think of Slippers as your enemy). A lot of what you are going to do in preparing your house is like child-proofing for a toddler. Jill Plummer of Mt Greenwood urges to “never leave chocolate on the counter.” Keep anything toxic to pooches far from reach. They do not know any better – they’re just looking for a snack. Think of it as an opportunity to cut chocolate out of your diet.

chocolate-dog

3. 2 Queen Beds – Nonsmoking

The thought of getting a new dog is great, until you can’t get Buster off the couch. Think about placing doggy beds in two or three rooms in your house. Even if you can create a makeshift bed from old comforters or folded blankets, most dogs will be ecstatic with their new bed. Not only will your pup feel like a King with multiple nap pads, but your couch will thank you.

4. Safeguard Your Backyard

The backyard is like a 2nd home to your dog. (Well, maybe like a third or fourth considering how many doggy beds you just set up). You are going to want to doggy-proof everything, similar to your kitchen, so little Skippy avoids any and all harm. Roll up hoses and put away any sharp gardening equipment. Remember to block any escape routes (gaps where a dog can dig or even a holes in the fence) and never leave your dog outside while you’re out. Boredom leads to barking which leads to mad neighbors which leads to torches and pitchforks and your eventual moving to nowheresville.

dog-backyard

5. The ReX Files

This should be on everyone’s to do list if you have not already. Keep a file on everything related to your dog. Adoption papers, veterinary records, Tinkle’s birthday! Keep these files at home and not your storage unit, because you’ll want this information nearby. These will all come in handy when you’re rushing out the door during an emergency with a pained pooch. It will save you headaches a million times over and definitely avoid any more stress in a time of urgency. Once you create a doggy file, go ahead and make one for your kids too.

file-storage

Wheaton Illinois – Best Restaurants

From southern BBQ to decadent desserts, these are the top restaurants Wheaton, Illinois has to offer when it comes to satiating your taste buds. Moving season is here, lose the pizza – dine in style!

Family Friendly Wheaton

Steamboat BBQ
Specializing in smoked meats, Steamboat BBQ located in Wheaton off of E Geneva Rd, cooks daily with fresh-cut hickory wood producing the most authentic, southern style BBQ in the Wheaton area. They are dedicated to the process and passionate about BBQ.

Must tries from locals always go to Steamboat’s ribs and potato salad. One patron said “The rib tips were large in size and very meaty.”

wheaton-bbq

Not only do they specialize in BBQ, but the wide selection of flavorful sauces is something to awe at. From vinegar and mustard based sauces, to sweet and hot-n-spicy -they have it all!

Family friendly, the BBQ joint wants to make sure the experience is shared with friends and family the way good food should be eaten.

Best Sport Bar

Warren’s Ale House
First opening its restaurant doors to Wheaton in 2013, Warren’s Ale House (part on Wheaton’s Town Square off of S Naperville Road), offers an assorted menu from Italian Beef Egg Rolls to incredible burgers. Not your typical Sports Bar, Warren’s caters to families and friends who want to catch the latest game or relax after work. Be sure to come with a big appetite.

wheaton-sports-bar

A local Wheaton favorite, the restaurant’s truffle fries are mentioned consistently throughout their Yelp page. Well-seasoned and skinny, these fries come in abundance topped with large parmesan shavings and an incredible mayo dip.

Previously mentioned, the Italian Beef Egg Rolls are everything a local Illinoian would want? Think Italian Beef in a crispy coating. Juicy Italian beef, giardinara, herbs, cheese. What more could you ask for?! Oh ya. Don’t forget to dunk it in the au jus. Sweet sweet perfection.

Best Steak

Ivy Restaurant
Steaks, Chops, Seafood. Ivy of Wheaton is located right downtown, across the street from the Wheaton Grand Theatre on N Hale St. Located in a 1920s old chapel, Ivy has some of the most interesting ambiance and decor in Wheaton. Old lanterns and historic memorabilia hide throughout the restaurant, while large stained glass windows and large archways provide an impressive setting to this steakhouse.

wheaton-steakhouse

With a meat selection that is tender, full of flavor, and literally falling off the bone this is definitely the “go to” spot for steaks. The House Cut Ribeye is the restaurant’s crown jewel – rich, juicy, tender, and full of flavor. If this isn’t your first choice, it surely will be your second, third, fourth, and fifth; because you’ll be visiting often.

What decadence Ivy provides in it’s steak selection only continues onto it’s Dessert menu. Chocolate mousse, Crème Brûlée, Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Tiramisu Crème De Cocoa – and the list goes on. All perfect accompaniments to fantastic meals at Ivy.

We know picking storage can be just as difficult as picking a restaurant, however thankfully you’re close to some of the finest restaurants Wheaton, Illinois has to offer. After a long day of storage unit Tetris, you will be sure to have an appetite. From a new spin on a Chicago favorite, Italian Beef Egg Rolls, to authentic, southern rib tips you’ll be happy with your choice.

Happy eating!

How to Drive a Moving Truck Like a Pro

If you’re like most of us, you don’t drive large commercial trucks for a living. You’re moving this weekend, and you have to drive this big obnoxious truck across Chicago. And in a tight downtown area like Chicago Loop, it’s even more difficult. Have no fear, here are five tips to get you from your old place to your new home without a problem.

1.     Know Your Space

First of all, and most obvious of all, a moving truck is much larger than most cars. It’s important to get to know the size of the truck before you take off; this includes the height clearance of the truck, which you can often find on a decal inside the cab, as well as the length and width. This will be important when changing lines, as you have to allow for much more room between cars in front of you and behind you.

Chicago Loop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mNKUkQsHVQ
2.     Take It Slow

Some may find this obvious as well, but it’s surprising how often people drive moving trucks like they’re sedans. Moving is stressful and time is of the essence, but take your time while driving. Don’t drive over the speed limit, and realize that the truck is much heavier than your usual car and takes much longer to stop, so you have to begin braking sooner than normal.

3.     Turn Carefully

Realize that a large truck requires considerably more clearance to make turns, especially right ones. Slow down as much as you need and allow more space for wider turns so you don’t turn over.

4.     Don’t Back Up

Just don’t. Whenever possible, park the truck so that you can exit forward and avoid parking in small lots where you’d have to have your passenger get out and direct you out of your spot. Remember, moving trucks don’t have rear-view mirrors like regular cars.

5.     Fuel Up

This is especially important on longer trips. Moving trucks average about 12 miles per gallon on fuel efficiency, much lower than your average car; make sure you’ve planned out when to fuel up and how much to expect to pay to keep that truck moving.

For more help with moving or storage, visit our U-Stor-It South Loop location where our friendly and helpful managers will get you just what you need. Conveniently located in the heart of Chicago Loop, we are more than equipped to assist with any and all moving/storage needs. Here’s to a smooth and stress-free move!

Book Storage Ideas for Small Apartments – Printer’s Row

Printer’s Row is known for its rich history in books and literature, and whether you’re a big reader or just a student with books piling up, it’s always a struggle to get that book collection under control in your small Chicago apartment. Rather than cramming them into the corner of your room or under the bed, try some of these creative storage solutions to make great use of that small space.

Wall-Mounted Shelves

If your landlord allows it, wall-mounted shelves are a great option as they save the space that a large bookcase would take away. You can get very creative with these, arranging them in any which way and whatever best suits your space. To maximize storage, install shelving all the way up to the ceiling and all the way across the wall.

Printer's Row
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/326722147941076210/
Printer's Row
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/144255994284151956/

If you can’t use an entire wall for storage, consider installing shelving along the top of the wall, or in corners like these examples above.

Get Book-Friendly Furniture

Whether you’re looking to pick up a couple pieces of furniture for a new apartment or just trying to switch up the old stuff you already have, opting for book-friendly furniture can be both stylish and practical. If you’re in the market for a coffee table, get one that has storage underneath it or inside it, perhaps a crate or shelving style. Need a new nightstand? Grab one that allows you to store books with sleek and stylish shelving. There are even some reading chairs available that offer book storage underneath seat or in the sides alone the arms. Whatever type of furniture you’re looking for, you can find pieces that serve your book storage needs.

Printer's Row
http://www.readywearturkey.com/gallery/space-coffee-table-books.html
No Furniture, No Problem

Don’t want to spend a lot on furniture or shelves? No problem. The greatest thing about books is that they’re stylish all on their own. Stack them proudly along the hallway, on a table, or in the living room and they will become a nice addition to any space.

Printer's Row
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Too many books for your small apartment? Self-storage is a great option as well; For fairly cheap, you can rent a small, secure storage unit to free up space at home and hold on to that precious book collection. U-Stor-It South Loop is conveniently located at 615 S Wabash Ave, Chicago IL 60605 and serves Printer’s Row as well as the South Loop area.

Merrionette Park Hosts 5th Annual Magicpalooza

Back for its 5th year, Magicpalooza will appear out of thin air in the heart of Merrionette Park! The event is hosted by Open Heart Magic and will feature food, an open bar, magic, raffles and live music from Windy City Rev Ups.

Proceeds from the event will support Open Heart Magic’s efforts at hospitals on the south side to engage, inspire, and help children during such a stressful and uncertain time. It strives to reach young patients one-by-one regardless of their disease, medical situation or physical ability so that all children may benefit from the engaging and entertaining therapy.

Tickets for Magicpalooza are $40 and are available online and at the door on the day of the event. To purchase tickets, visit the website at openheartmagic.org.

Directions to Magicpalooza

Magicpalooza will be located at 3359 West 115th Street, Merrionette Park, IL 60803. Our U-Stor-It Beverly storage facility is located less than 2 miles away at 11118 S Rockwell St, Chicago, IL 60655. From U-Stor-It Beverly, directions to the event are as follows:

  • Head west on W 111th St toward S Talman Ave.
  • Turn left onto S Kedzie Ave.
  • Turn right onto W 115th St, and the event will be on your left!

Elmhurst Businesses: Benefits of Self-Storage

Office space is expensive, limited, and can become cluttered very quickly. Thus, tons of Elmhurst business owners rent storage units for various uses, such as:

  • Storing documents, files and paperwork
  • Freeing up office space by storing items that aren’t needed on a daily basis
  • Storing office furniture and equipment
  • Holding stock, either full-time or on a seasonal basis
  • Storing office equipment and files during a move
  • As a small-scale distribution center

The possibilites for storage are endless and can help your business regardless of the industry. Here are some of the ways self-storage can give your Elmhurst business a boost.

Save Money

By using storage, many businesses have found that they can operate without having an actual office, or just use storage to house their inventory or other materials. As storage units are priced much lower than office spaces or warehouses, it’s easy to see why a smart business owner would go for the cheaper option.

Convenience

U-Stor-It Elmhurst is conveniently located right off the 83 highway at 877 IL-83, Elmhurst, IL 60126. With truck rental, a large heated loading bay, and easily accessible ground-level units, we have everything you need to make your storage process a breeze.

Scalability

With various shapes and sizes available, storage facilities make it easy to increase your storage unit size as your business grows, which means there is no need to rent larger and more expensive office spaces.

Security

If your business is storing inventory, files, or other valuable supplies, you will want them to be safe, secured, and monitored 24/7. U-Stor-It Elmhurst offers video surveillance, gated access, and on-site management to do just that. You work hard for your business, and we work hard to protect it.

Self-storage can open up capabilities that your business never had before, and save you money at the same time.

HispanoFest Melrose Park Is Back!

For more than 20 years, HispanoFest Melrose Park has been bringing together residents to celebrate Hispanic culture and promote the advancement of the Hispanic Community through educational and leadership development. To this day, 140 scholarships have been awarded to local Hispanic students at the event with even more to come this year!

From September 8th – 10th, HispanoFest at the Melrose Park Village Complex will have music, food, and carnival rides for all Melrose Park residents to enjoy. On Saturday the 9th at 11am, the HispanoFest Parade will begin and go on until 1pm. The festival will conclude on Sunday the 10th with the scholarship rewards being presented at 7:15pm. Bring the whole family out for a weekend of fun!

Directions to HispanoFest Melrose Park

HispanoFest will be located at 1000 25th Ave, Melrose Park, IL 60160. Our U-Stor-It Melrose Park storage facility is located 2 miles away at 4501 W North Ave, Melrose Park 60160. From U-Stor-It Melrose Park, directions to HispanoFest are as follows:

  • From the U-Stor-It parking lot, turn right onto W North Ave toward 46th Ave.
  • Turn left onto 46th Ave.
  • Turn left onto E North Ave.
  • Turn right onto N 25th Ave, and you will have arrived at the festival, on your right. Enjoy!

Wheaton Apartment: Wheaton 121 Pool Party A Success

This past weekend, luxury Wheaton apartment complex Wheaton 121 apartments held their 3rd annual pool party, which turned out to be their best yet! Residents enjoyed food, drinks, music, and time with their neighbors. The theme was “Get Your Glow On”, and Wheaton 121 residents were definitely in the spirit.

Wheaton 121 3rd Annual Pool Party

U-Stor-It joined the party with gift baskets and merchandise to give away to Wheaton 121 residents. The wheel was spun, prizes were won, and at the end of the day everybody walked away a winner!

Wheaton 121 3rd Annual Pool Party

Our U-Stor-It Wheaton / Carol Stream Storage facility is located just a couple miles away, at 120 Tubeway Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188. From Wheaton 121, the directions are as follows:

Head north on N Cross St toward Wesley St, and turn left on Wesley.

Turn right onto N West St.

Turn left onto W Harrison Ave.

Turn right onto N Gary Ave.

Turn left onto Tubeway Drive, and you’ve arrived! U-Stor-It will be on your left.

For additional pictures from the event, check out Wheaton 121’s Facebook event page.