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  • Enjoy City Life with a Storage Unit
    By jeff on March 21, 2011 | 117 Comments117 Comments  Comments

    Chicago storage units have unique designs.  We have been in a few of them in our studies around the world and Chicago is a world city for sure.  Everybody is here including a great Chinatown with great food and great German food too.  Little Italy is a small part of town with great food also.  Of course downtown is where you want to go for all the world-class food it offers.  The taste of Chicago held near Fourth of July dates is another great place to eat.  Booths are set up near the park and you buy tickets, a big roll could be as much as one hundred dollars, but if you do that, you can sample all kinds of things from cheesecake to sausage.  As a matter of fact, the largest cheesecake in the world is put together right here at the taste.  The locals call the taste of Chicago the taste, and so will we from now on.  When we managed a self storage place in Chicago, we had a lot of the taste people come in to store their stuff for about two weeks.  They had great stories to tell, but most of the time it was very hard work, but the money they made for two weeks was great they told us.  Some of the same booths have been there for years and people keep coming back.  Barbecue is very popular and they actually have great famous chefs in some of the tents they put up to show you how to cook some of the dishes you can taste.  Some of these chefs gave great shows including jokes and dancing around.  We remember one in particular where the whole family was giving advice on how to cook good food for pennies.  Of course, those pennies turned into nickels than dimes than dollars and they were selling their own secret spicy barbecue sauce too, but the show was so good and entertaining, many people bought the hot sauce as a gesture of good faith to the show people and cooks.

    Chicago storage units stored some of these products the vendors were selling.  The taste can draw a million people we guess at some times and the weekends were especially crowded.  You can be shoulder to shoulder with people for a very long time trying to get through the crowd.  It is fun unless you have a bad vibe about big crowds.  Big crowds can make a lot of people feel kind of funny inside or cause a panic within them.  We do not feel that way ourselves, but sometimes it does make you think if things went bad, you are stuck and might get hurt.  The police in Chicago are very well aware of all of that, and they are some of the best police in the entire United States of America.  Others would disagree depending on what side of the fence you are on if you know what we mean.

    Chicago storage units in Illinois are a pretty cool thing to run and manage.  We enjoyed our time doing it.  We do not know if we would ever do it again, though, once might be enough.  Why not go to somewhere warm now like Texas or Florida.  Yeah, that does sound good.

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  • Clean Up After Your Kids with a Storage Unit
    By jeff on March 16, 2011 | 283 Comments283 Comments  Comments

    Most parents will do anything for their children to a point. They want to be sure that their family is provided for and that they have all they need. It is quite easy sometimes to find out what kids want, most kids simply tell their parents. The hard thing for most parents is to distinguish the difference between what their kids want and what they need. Often parents will get many things for their kids that they want instead of getting the things that they really need. In some rare cases because the parents got their kids what they wanted instead of what they needed, they do not have enough money to get the things they actually need for their child. Parents are put in very hard positions.

    Whenever Cindy and her family go to their thrifty fast food restaurant with a place for kids to play, the kids ask for a toy to play with. They have toys that go along with the meal that her kids always seem to remember is there.  When Cindy tries to get something more economical for her family she is combated by her kids and there is an instant argument. Cindy finds it every difficult to tell her kids no especially when she wants to give it to them. The problem now was that if Cindy kept this pace up she could fill up small Villa Park storage units.

    When Cindy goes to the local store, the store does such a great job putting the toys in a great place so the kid sees it all the time. The kids beg and plead to their mom so they can play with the toys soon. Cindy knew at that point she had to tell her kids no because she had to get the things that were on her grocery list. Naturally she was not made out of money and had to choose toys or getting food for her family. She had to decide what was more important for them at this time. She also realized that her boys had too many toys in their room. There were many toys that they haven’t played with in years. Maybe if they did not have so many toys in their room she might consider getting the boys some more toys. So she decided to look into a Villa Park storage units facility to put all the toys until she could find a permanent home for them. She did not want to throw them out like trash.

    The Villa Park storage units facility was more than happy to find them a very small space that would accommodate the needs that Cindy had. She did not want to use Villa Park storage units for this but she did not want to have wasted her money.  She decided that she either needed to have a garage sale or to go ahead and donate them to charity. The Villa Park storage units facility allowed her to say for a month until she could figure out what to do with the toys. The storage facility of course rents space month to month unless you need to have it for longer. They gave her a great move in special and she had enough time to figure out what she wanted to do with the extra toys.

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  • Side Projects Get Finished with the Help of a Storage Unit
    By jeff on March 15, 2011 | 137 Comments137 Comments  Comments

    In the city of Gardner you will find that there are plenty of reasons to use Gardner storage units. For most people it is just a matter of finding the right facility that will fit their needs. It is up to the manager of the facility to determine what the needs of the customer actually are. For someone like Rob, he is one who is need of somewhere to store his access computer parts. He is looking to turn to Gardner storage units in order to see if they can help him with his storing needs.

    Rob is a person that is known for the hard work that he does. He works for a company that specializes in the storing needs of many individuals in the area, but does all the information technology set up for them as well. Whenever there is a computer problem, the people that work there call on Rob to help make their situation better. He really loves what he does and he is one that is going to go above and beyond for each customer each time. It is very interesting to see him working hard for people and ensuring that the computer needs of people are taken care of. For some people not having their computers in their hands or in their possession is very tough.

    Rob is one that also likes to do much of his computer work on the side. Rob has been into computer repair for quite some years and wanted to have his own business one day. Rob was close to reaching his goal and there was not any sign of him not reaching that goal. He just wanted to make sure that this was not conflicting with his regular everyday life.  He could then focus on the ends and outs of the computers he is working on. He is using his at home version of Gardner storage units in order to keep his extra parts managed in his garage.

    Since he was storing his computer parts in his garage, he could not guarantee his parts would stay working based on the temperature outside.  His garage was not insulated.  He talked to his wife and figured out that it would be a good idea for him to visit the nearby Gardner storage units facility to see what they had to offer. Rob realized that he did not need a lot of space, but a space that maybe is large enough to where he would not have to leave to do his work. He did not want to feel claustrophobic.  So Rob went down to the facility, spoke to the manager and they walked around the facility to see what Rob thought about the different spaces. He did decide to get a space that was climate controlled, but he was having trouble figuring out which space would work for him.

    Rob spoke again to his wife and they thought that it would be a good idea for him to take all of his computer work to the Gardner storage units facility and use the garage for practical things such as parking their car. He could then go to the storage space, do his work and then come back home to his family. His wife did not like the idea at first, but she also did not like the idea that her husband was home, but she could not be around him.

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  • Protect Your Media with a Self Storage Unit
    By jeff on January 25, 2011 | 152 Comments152 Comments  Comments

    We helped a friend the other day move his entire movie collection into a Greenpoint storage facility.  We never realized how many movies he had until we loaded them into a small U-haul truck and drove them down the road.  He had run out of room in his small New York apartment and had to move them out.  These were the old movie type, not movies on CD or disc.  All the boxes had all the information about the movie on them.  There were so many movies I was astounded to see them all.  The Ten-foot size U-haul truck was full of movies and wood.  We were also going to attempt to build shelves for these movies too.  Our friend pulled out a few tools from his car and spread them on the lot of the storage space.  A couple of people started working on the wood shelves while the rest, including myself, kept moving movies.  I glanced at some of the movie titles as I carried them and they were in groups by title.  I had a pile of horror movies in my hand than action than drama and all others.

    This Greenpoint storage place and all these movies were becoming very surreal for me.  I saw a Children of the Corn movie in my hand and laughed when I remembered first seeing that crazy movie.  I was in college and was on my first date with this blonde girl.  We saw that movie, went to a donut shop later, than went home.  The funny thing about it all was while we were in the donut shop a hearse pulled up in the parking lot and the driver came in and sat in a table away from us. It was all very creepy and here was the movie in my hand.  Storage places do that to you.  You go through stuff that carries many memories even if it is not your stuff.  Movies can do that too all by themselves, but the combination of storage and movies is very real.  I do not watch many horror movies and there is one of the few I have seen.  I saw it in collage.  I also saw the first Tron movie in collage when movies about video games were rare.  Now they are everywhere.  They come out all the time.  There is a second Tron movie out right now.  It is in 3-D.  There are now 3-D movies and 3-D TVs.  Tron in its day was a cool movie with lots of special effects in it.  I bet you this new Tron blows it away.  Hey, here is The Wall by Pink Floyd.  Saw that one too.  This Greenpoint storage experience is turning out real cool after all.  We all hate to move.  Or move others.  It is one of those things that I think most people do not like to do.  Moving other people’s stuff is not a good thing to do.  You do not want to break anything or everyone might feel bad.  Movies will not break though.  At least I do not think so.  One can drop a whole pile of them and be sure one did not break, rewind, or something like that.  Happy movie hunting.  I hope you see a good one soon.

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  • Self Storage Helps Decorate for the Holidays
    By jeff on December 1, 2010 | 161 Comments161 Comments  Comments

    What is your favorite holiday? Is it Valentines Day and all of the hearts and pink decorations? Is it St. Patrick’s Day and the green drinks and leprechauns? Is it Christmas or Hanukkah and all of the decorations that go with celebrating? Whatever your favorite holiday is it probably comes with boxes of decorations, bags of ribbons, or totes full of tinsel.

    With all of the celebrating going on and the enjoyment to be had giving up your storage space in your home is often a sacrifice that is acceptable to you because you love to celebrate the holiday with decorations. However, what if you could celebrate your favorite holiday in the style you love and be able to keep your home free of the boxes and bags that you store all your decorations in. It sound like it is the best of both worlds doesn’t it?

    With a self storage unit you can decorate when the holidays come around, and when they are over your décor can be cleared out of your home so you have a clean and organized space. With the boxes kept out of your house you can even add decorations to your festive arsenal to increase the celebration of your favorite holidays. With your boxes and bags in storage you can do the holidays bigger better and brighter than ever.

    Often the boxes of ribbons, garland, streamers, cut outs, trees, and other decorations are kept in the garage, closets, or basements. These are all spaces that already have a purpose or are used as living spaces. With a self storage unit you can keep all of the glitz and glamor of the holidays out of your living space until you decorate with them. That way you can have your decorations and your living spaces too.

    With the garage cleared out of the boxes you can park in there again, or the closet can once again hold your clothes and shoes and not a pile of boxes. If you are using your basement as a storage space just think of all of the possibilities that could perhaps be done with your basement space. Do you see it as a game room, a family room, or a library home office space? What do you envision in the space once it is no longer being used as a storage space and is once again reclaimed as living space?

    With a self storage unit you can decorate to your hears content and then put it all away until next year and not have it take up  living space. With it in storage you can stop being afraid to open the closet door for fear that boxes will fall on you. With all of your decorations safely stored away in a self storage unit you can increase the amount of decorations and you can throw the greatest holiday parties for all of your friends.

    So what holidays would you celebrate if you could keep your decorations in a storage unit? What decorations would you add to your celebration if you could store them in your own storage unit? Think of all the benefits that having a self storage unit can add to the holidays. With a storage unit you can keep your holidays organized and your home clean all year long.

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  • Features of Mini Self Storage
    By admin on May 18, 2009 | 209 Comments209 Comments  Comments

    Mini self storage services are meant to store the expensive items of households and businesses. The biggest advantage of owning a cargo space unit is that one can access the unit whenever required without having to make any prior arrangements or seeking permission to do so.

    Why Use A Mini Storage Service

    Today mini self storage services are widely used in the United States. The main reason for their popularity is that the services have a huge array of advantages to offer. The storing systems are beneficial for all who need to rent warehouse at some point of time. Like a person who is getting transferred to another town would need the services of a mini warehouse system. Similarly tourists and students who visit other parts of the world also need storing services frequently. Further, small companies and households too regularly gain benefits of storing in these small units.

    More Advantages

    Here are some more advantages of using a mini self storage service

    • Provides extra space without having to invest more- A cargo space service helps to store all that is extra in one house or workplace. And because developing more space would definitely cost a lot more, people make use of these storehouses for their storing needs. The warehouse service besides providing huge savings also proves to be a superior option as it has no continuing compulsions attached to it. There are no upfront costs involved. All that has to be done is to rent a mini self storing house according to your requirements and you are done. The best part is that all this is available at extremely reasonable cost.
    • Provides better security- Apart from being budget-friendly, a mini store room is also more secured. One does not have to worry about the stored articles as proper surveillance facilities are also available at a fraction of the cost. Although most self storage corporations would not offer insurance of the stored articles, one can have them insured by contacting a local insurance provider.
    • A cargo space unit makes renovation and relocation easier to perform- The storing services are excellent for both house owners and businessmen. In fact they will be surprised at how this storing system proves to be of extreme help when they are either renovating their space or relocating elsewhere. All they need to do is to store their entire valuable belongings in the unit till the work is complete.
    • Stocking up- These systems are also an excellent option whenever a household or a business needs to acquire articles in bulk. During such times the warehouse units provide adequate space that might not be obtainable in the office or home. With the help of a mini storehouse system, a business or a household can rent as much space as they wish to and use it till they want to.   

     

    How To Locate A Self Storage Company

    There are several warehouse companies listed in the Yellow Pages and the local directories. You can even consult the Classified Section of the newspapers to locate some good companies. The best source of information still remains the Internet. On the Internet one can come across hundreds of cargo space units. All you need to do is to locate some companies close to your office or home and contact them for their services.

    Once you locate the mini self storage for your requirement, you will find all your storing troubles vanish into thin air. Storehouses are the perfect answer to all kinds of storing needs at a reasonable price, that too without any long term commitment.

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  • A Place To Store Your Household Goods
    By admin on January 9, 2009 | 119 Comments119 Comments  Comments

    A mini self storage is the answer to the problem of keeping household or official items safely and in a good condition for a long time. These storehouses are conveniently sized to accommodate small and medium sized household articles like tables and desks. One can also store important official documents like files. Whether one is storing items for homes for sale or official stuff there are two processes that one has to undertake before the items are put in the storehouses. These two processes are moving the items from their respective locations and storing them properly in the storehouses.

    Many times one uses public storehouses to store items when they relocate. A mini self storage can be provided by the movers themselves temporarily. But if the movers do not offer any such amenities, one has to search for storehouses from firms that specifically hire them out. In either case one has to pay a considerable amount of fee for hiring the storehouses. Small and medium sized storehouses are generally portable and they can be installed in the household garden or garage, and in the office premises also. Medium sized public storehouses are usually a common sight on the sides of highways.

    These are usually provided by the transportation firms and the items are placed in them while they are being transported from one place to another on a temporary basis. Some of these storehouse operators offer to store items for long periods of time too. Usually for a person residing in the heart of the city, a mini self storage that is located on the highway is difficult to reach. It is always better to hire storehouses that are near their houses or offices, especially if they need to be accessed very frequently.

    Before moving items into storehouses they need to be packed well. It is better to use boxes of a uniform size as it is easier to stack them together. While arranging the boxes, the lighter ones should always be put on top and the heavier ones at the bottom. Placing heavy weights on boxes that contain fragile items can be very dangerous because the box might not be able to withstand the pressure and break.

    While organizing the items in the storehouses it is always better to arrange them in rows and columns and leave walkways between the rows so that one can walk through and access any item without any difficulty. A mini self storage can also be used to store medium sized furniture like tables and sofas. However, they should be dismantled into their constituent components and packed. Trying to pack the items as they are might result in the items occupying a large area in the storehouses. Some items may not be able to fit into the storehouses at all.

    While packing boxes it is always better to pack them fully. Loosely packed items might just bang against each other during transportation and get damaged. Padding with newspapers or old cloth packs the constituent items tightly. Any metallic item should be cleaned thoroughly and coated with rust protective substance before they are packed.  Before being put in a mini self storage they should be wiped, at least, with an oily rag for protection against rusting. Many of the storehouses are provided with ample security equipment and features. But taking personal security measures is always important.

    Mt. Washington Self Storage

    Harahan Self Storage

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  • Self Storage Accolade
    By admin on November 9, 2006 | 1 Comment1 Comment  Comments
    Welcome to the self storage blog, PhoneSmart’s diary of the self storage call center world.
    I wanted to respond to Dana’s posting from yesterday. Dana is far too humble. Her idea of getting the schedule right is to be 99% correct 99% of the time. She is also too smart to ever think she has the demand patterns completely figured out. That is why she is so good at doing our call center telesales rep scheduling. She is correct that every day brings a new surprise. And although she understands the self storage trends and the trend lines very well, the peaks and valleys will surprise you and the unpredictable nature of the weather and consumer behavior will always throw a wrench or two in her plans.
    Never the less, Dana is the main reason PhoneSmart maintains some of the best answer percentages, speed to answer rates and service levels of any call center out there. We are typically answering 95% of calls in 6 to 8 seconds. These are not only terrific statistics for a Self Storage call center, but any center in the whole call center worldwide industry would be proud of such stats.
    Yes we get caught short or long sometimes. But our call center has developed some pretty good methods of keeping people busy if the phones are slow or getting other people on the phones if they go crazy. I know it drives Dana crazy that the self storage peaks and valleys and surprise days are unpredictable. One day she may beat the market and come up with a predictor she can sell to the Dow Jones Company for tracking stocks.

    Tron

    Your local self storage unit provider in 2727 Shermer Rd. Northbrook, IL. 60062

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  • Changing For The Best
    By admin on April 21, 2006 | 19 Comments19 Comments  Comments

    Submitted by Angela Perry, Trainer and Call Center Rep

    Are changes always for the best? Are they always good? What about seasonal change? Do you have any loose change? Have you ever heard the phrase about “turning over a new leaf”? That phrase is talking about changing one’s personality or behavior. It is amazing how often we either use or imply the word “change” in our daily vocabulary.
    Here at PhoneSmart we are preparing ourselves for a lot of changes. With the weather and seasons changing there is an adjustment that we have to become accustomed to. Since this is the season that the storage rental industry is booming, both phone representatives and managers should take certain precautions. One is that, as the cliental increases, then so will the frustration levels. It is important for all of us to remember that it is not us that they are frustrated with, but as the temperature and the stress levels rise, so does the frustration levels. So, just be as polite as you can be and do not loose control of the conversation. Remain in control and calm and then you will be successful with any irate callers. Be prepared for the store to be full, or the information not be correct on the screens. It is possible that the manager has not had time to update the screens. It is also possible that as soon as someone has moved out that they have moved in as well. Again, remaining calm and explaining the situation will guide you through this call. Also, prepare yourself for the lovely college students and the specials that fill the stores. “Mommy” or “daddy” will be calling for their child that is going home or on a luxurious vacation for the summer and does not want to hassle with moving their household items back and forth. These will be “easy” calls and they want it NOW and no matter when the child is moving in. Using the “limited availability” will work here, as they do not want their child not to have storage and be left out.
    On a different perspective with the change of the season, the attire changes as well. It is so easy to dress in “cool” attire to keep from burning with the temperatures increasing. Although the storage industry is a pretty “laxed” industry it is still important to dress and conduct yourself in a professional manner. Instead of advertising your body with revealing clothing, why not advertise your store and sell it? Present it in a way that would be as distracting as your inappropriate attire to a potential client. There is clothing out there that you can be professional and cool at the same time. Please invest in them and then save your other clothing for the outside of work activities.
    Along with the seasons changing, so is the need for more people. This is a time when hiring is booming as well as the demand for storage is. With hiring people comes a group effort from all. The new ones aboard have to learn everyone and everything. However, those that are currently here have to be patient with the “newbies” and help them along. Lead by example is a huge step in the direction that we need to go with the new ones. It is like watching a baby starting to walk for the first time. Step by step and then they fall down but the good thing is that someone is around to help them to their feet and they try again, and the cycle continues. Although parents are there to guide those children to heir feet there are times when parents have to let the child get up on his own. In another words, it is okay to help the child up and even walk with them but eventually parents do have to let them go. If the parents do not let them go, then the child will become dependant on the parent and never let go. It may be referred to as tough love but the thing about that type of love is that you know that parents are there if you need them not if you want them. This theory works the same with the “newbies”, it is okay to help them if they stumble but there comes a time that you must let them go. In their times of need, a veteran (supervisor, trainer, manager, or other position held people) can be there to give them support at a distance (on a “needing” basis) only. This scenario makes the saying, “you must crawl before you can walk” very clear.
    Last but not least if we cooperate and accept change accordingly, then it will leave room in our pockets for the change that will make dollars!

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  • Voices in the night
    By admin on January 4, 2006 | No Comments  Comments

    Today’s self storage blog is from Kay Johnson, who is one of the friendly voices you will hear at PhoneSmart on most evenings promoting your storage business.

    Voices in the Night
    Kay Johnson

    It is unsettling to think of our callers as disjointed voices. In order to establish a rapport with any caller you must put a human face on them. When I answer a call I close my eyes for a second and get a picture that seems to fit the voice. It works very well for me to connect with the caller.

    The soft voiced young woman with an unhappy toddler fussing in her ear becomes my lovely daughter in law. She is always on the phone to gather information for my son while he is working. I can see her trying to finish preparing dinner, folding a clean load of laundry, jotting down the answers she is getting and trying to keep my grandson quiet enough that we can both hear and keeping him in sight. I always try to give a little sympathy and encouragement with the storage information. Sometimes all a stressed out young mother needs is a little laugh and to know that someone else has survived it all.

    The next caller might be my older son. He has never been in storage and wants to know the ins and outs without letting on that he is a “newbie” so he will not be “taken”. I can almost see him tugging at his earlobe as though the questions are stored there. A little patience will go a long way with this caller. There will be a seemingly endless stream of questions, some that you have never been asked. Take a deep breath, sit back and relax. He will trust you and rent from you if you don’t rush him.

    Then there is the abrasive, unhappy voice of my next-door neighbor. She is a decent person but it seems that life just never works out for her and she is always unhappy and demanding. She seems to be always waiting for disappointment and geared up for an injustice. Patience and a voice with a smile in it will do wonders for this caller. You may also get her life’s story or at least the story of today but if we just keep our focus you can win her over.

    My first ex husband is next. He is angry at the whole world and cannot get in the gate. Holding an even, professional tone through all of the screaming and obscenities is really difficult. There really is not a good outcome unless he can get all of his aggressions and hostility out. I take a deep breath, think happy thoughts, (I have outlived him) and hope for the call to end. Sometimes when they run down they are repentant and sometimes will even apologize to you when it has suddenly occurred to them that they have been ungentlemanly. (However, do not hold your breath)

    My cousin Nadine is next. There are children shouting and dogs barking in the background. Her husband is sitting across the table from her and prompting her with questions. He gives her the question, she asks, you answer, she relays it to him. The dogs bark and the children shout at the dogs to stop barking. Nadine shouts at the dogs, the children and her husband who has prompted with yet another question. The noise and confusion levels escalate but some how you get the agreements and reserve a unit for them. The children shout, the dogs bark, her husband leaves the room and she accepts the confirmation number with a huge sigh of relief – not unlike the one that you have when the call has ended.

    Our last call today is my friend from church. She is a businesswoman and very matter of fact. She wants an answer without any chitchat and seems annoyed when you try to give all of the information available. You only need to hang in with her but make sure that you get the agreements and sell the store. She is looking for the best deal and uses a slightly abrupt attitude to make sure she gets the best information. If you let her rush you she will be on to the next because she did not get your best and she knows it. By the time the call ends your professionalism will win her over and she will sign off with a smile that you can hear.

    This small technique makes the calls seem less impersonal and helps to relax with the caller and you don’t feel like you have spent hours talking to the jumbled papers tacked to the cubicle walls.

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