10 Going Back to School Tips for Elementary to High School Students

Going back to school Tips for Elementary to High School Students

Monday, August 25th, is the first day of school for the Baltimore city schools and Howard County Schools. This week, however, kids from elementary school to high school are getting ready for back to school. Whether you are a parent with a child going to school for the first time or you are a veteran of “first days”, it is important to be properly prepared for the beginning of the school year. ezStorage created the “Ultimate Back to School Guide for Parents” to help parents of “first timers” as well as parents of older children heading back to school.

Going Back to School Tips for Kids

Here are some important tips to practice for going back to school from elementary age to high school seniors:

  1. Get a good night’s sleep! Start going to bed 10 minutes early now, so you will be adjusted before the first day of school.
  2. Designate a homework only area in the home. This area could be anywhere in the home, but it must not have any disruptions (TV, computer games or other even other family members)!
  3. Prepare for the first day of school the night before. For younger children, pick out your first day outfit and have it sitting out ready for the next morning. Make sure that all of the school supplies that you need to have are packed in your backpack. Also, include any forms that need to be returned to the school administration.
  4. Pack lunches the night before. Make sure that the lunches are healthy. Don’t forget to include a mid-day snack with the lunch for the mid-day “lulls”.
  5. Eat a healthy breakfast. Do not skip breakfast, as it is very important to get a healthy start to get your energy for the day.
  6. Create a family calendar of all events, play dates, and big homework assignments that are due in the first quarter of the school year. Post this calendar in a place where the entire family can see it.
  7. Start school with a positive attitude. This is important with both children and parents. If parents reflect a positive attitude to their children, then that will help their children be positive on their first days.
  8. Start the year off with good study and work habits. Older students should write down work assignments and be able to keep track and finish all homework on time.
  9. For middle school and high school students, know how the school day is arranged. Do you go to homeroom first or do you go to a class first? If you are new to the school, take a tour of the school, so you will know where everything is before the first day.
  10. Be involved in school. Join activities, sports and groups in school. This will help new students acclimate better to the new school.

Retail Inventory and Self Storage

Retail inventory and self storage


Self storage is a great solution for business storage from medical supply sales representatives to contractors to retail store owners. Self storage can assist retail store owners in running a successful and efficient business. Having a self storage unit for excess inventory and equipment will help streamline a business’s processes as well as keep the store’s inventory more organized.

Holiday Inventory for Retail Stores

The busy holiday season is fast approaching and now is the time to start preparing for the surplus inventory that will soon be arriving.  Fixtures, signage and seasonal decorations can take up vital sales floor space during the holiday months.  Mall kiosks will be popping up for the holiday season. These kiosks will need to have a place to store excess inventory. Self storage is an affordable and convenient way to store inventory, supplies, seasonal decorations, and fixtures during the holiday season as well as throughout the year. Self storage can cost less per square foot than traditional warehouse space. Instead of moving to a larger location for additional storage, consider renting a storage unit.

Storage facilities have access hours before and after retail stores close, so inventory can be moved quickly and efficiently.  Self storage security is also an important factor in choosing where to store your retail inventory. Most facilities have gated and building access keypads, alarms on storage units and video surveillance cameras for added security providing the business the peace of mind that their inventory is in a secure space. Most storage facilities can also accept deliveries for the businesses.

 6 Tips for Retail Inventory Storage

1. Use a local self storage facility that is close to your retail location, so you will have quick and convenient access when you need to restock your retail inventory.

2. Choose the self storage unit that fits your surplus inventory needs. Make sure that there is enough room to walk-through your storage unit to retrieve, rotate and move items.

3. Depending upon the nature of the items being stored the best storage option to protect your inventory may be a climate controlled storage unit. This is especially true if you are storing inventory long-term.

4. Create an inventory list of the items that you have placed in storage. If you are keeping items in boxes, make sure to label the boxes with their content.  Add storage shelving to keep your inventory organized and off of the ground.

5. For retail clothing storage, do not store the clothing in plastic bags. The plastic traps moisture inside the bag, which can damage clothing. If retail inventory is shipped in plastic coverings, remove right away and store in unbleached muslin or between sheets of acid-free tissue paper. Also, do not hang clothes on wooden or wire hangers. These hangers tend to stretch out the neck of the item. Instead, hang the clothing on plastic hangers.

6. Keep fabric items away from light and heat sources. This is true for furniture and clothing as both can fade with exposure to direct light.

Stop into one of the 46 convenient ezStorage self storage locations in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas to see how we can create a great storage solution for your retail business.



14 Tips for Packing Dishes

packing dishes for moving or storage


Summer is the busiest season for moving companies and self storage facilities! Preparation for moving starts in the spring, so people can be ready for their move during the summer months. After you’ve established a move date, it’s time to start the packing process. Start gathering packing supplies such as boxes, packaging materials, packing tape and markers to label boxes. As you prepare to move, make sure to protect your items while on the moving truck or in storage. Making sure you properly pack your breakables for moving or storage is very important. Broken or shattered glasses or dishes are not something that you want to deal with on your moving day! The first and most important part to your packing process it to have sturdy, cardboard boxes for your kitchen items. The boxes must be strong enough to hold multiple items; however it is recommended not to use large boxes to hold glassware or dishes. Large boxes could get very heavy and easily break when stacked with other boxes. The best idea is to get smaller boxes or boxes specifically designed with dividers for glassware. ezStorage has a variety of moving boxes and supplies, such as sturdy boxes, newsprint and bubble wrap as well as packaging tape. Once you have gathered all of these supplies, then you can follow the steps below to learn how to pack your everyday dishes and special occasion plates and bowls.

How to Pack Dishes and Bowls for Moving

  1. When packing dishes for moving or storage, start off by lining a box with packing material such as bubble wrap or newsprint. Make sure that the entire bottom and sides of the box are covered.
  2. Use newspaper, newsprint or bubble wrap to pack your plates and bowls. Use bubble wrap to wrap more delicate dishes. Once you get to your new home, wash the plates and bowls before putting them in their prospective cabinets or before your first use.
  3. There are specially made packing boxes with cardboard dividers that are excellent for packing and protecting dishes and bowls for moving.
  4. Place pieces of newsprint or packing material on a table. The pieces should be large enough to properly wrap the plates or bowls.
  5. Place the first plate in the center of the packing material and then fold one corner of the sheet over the plate until it is completely covered.
  6. Place the next plate on top of the first plate and do the same folding process and then secure with packaging tape.
  7. Do not place the plates flat in a box. Place them on their sides and add filler material to keep the plates in place. Adding cardboard dividers, in the box, will help keep the plates steady and protected.
  8. Packing bowls for moving is exactly the same process as for plates: Wrap one bowl first and then adding a second or third bowl on top and secure with more packing material and tape.
  9. As with plates, place bowls on their edges in the boxes and fill the box with cushioning material such as crushed paper, linens or towels.
  10. Do not over-pack the dish boxes. Dishes can get very heavy and can easily cause boxes to break. Remember to stack the heavier boxes at the bottom of the stack and the lighter boxes on top.
  11. Leave at least one inch of space from the last layer to the top of the box for added packing material.
  12. For delicate plates and bowls, do not wrap too tightly as they could break when you remove the wrapping.
  13. Store boxes with more delicate dishes on top of heavier boxes to prevent breakage. Also, make sure to stack like-size boxes together.
  14. Label each box with the contents and create an overall inventory list, so you know where to look for the items if you need them.

If you follow these simple packing dishes for moving tips, you can protect your glasses, plates and dishes while moving and storing! Have fun wrapping and packing!



Maryland County Fairs Time

Maryland County Fairs Time


There are many great events in Maryland throughout the year from cultural events to sporting events, but nothing is quite like the experience of a good county fair! August and September are county fair time in Maryland! The counties surrounding the Baltimore area will be hosting their local fairs chock full of agriculture shows, carnival rides, musical entertainment, arts and craft exhibits and food and fun for the entire family.

List of Baltimore Area County Fairs

Howard County Fair-August 2nd to August 9th

The Howard County Fair launched the local county fair season on August 2nd. The first Howard County Fair was held for two days in August 1946. In 1947, a fair board was organized and has sponsored the fair ever since. The fair is held at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland. The fair has everything from amusement rides to pig races!  There are still great events to occur through this weekend at the fair, including musical entertainment, daily magic shows, pony rides, a float parade, baby contest, horse pulls, and family entertainment.  There are also agriculture presentations and competitions for 4-H and members of Future Farmers of America (FFA).  Discover the complete schedule of events on the Howard County Fair website.

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair-August 8th to August 16th

The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair is the largest county fair in Maryland. The fair is held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  The fair idea was launched in 1945 when the Montgomery County Agricultural Center Inc. was created.  The first fair took place in 1949.  The fair will feature carnival rides, agricultural competitions and events, great fair food, entertainment and much more. The grandstand will feature a pro wrestling event, demolition derby, monster truck competition and draft and mull pulling exhibitions.  There will be daily pig races, magic and illusion shows, puppet shows, musical entertainment, and events for the entire family. Children have their own special “KidZone”, where there will be art and crafts, games, a DJ, and a chance to be on a game show. Old MacDonald’s Barn will give the entire family a hands-on experience with farm animals such as cows, goats, chickens, ducks and pigs. Find out more information about the events and schedule on the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair website.

Prince George’s County Fair-September 4th to September 7th

The Prince George’s County Fair is Maryland’s oldest fair dating back to 1842! The fair’s original focus was on livestock and field crops. Today, it still offers livestock and agriculture competitions and events, but there is so much more for the fair-goer to experience from competitions for the best baked goods, fine-arts, woodworking and flower arranging to beautiful baby contests and entertainment for the entire family. The fair is located at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center and Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  The fair hasn’t released its 2014 schedule yet, but you can see some of the daily events, including a beautiful baby competition, NASCAR Simulator and a chair saw artist.

Anne Arundel County Fair September 10th to September 14th

The Anne Arundel County Fair was originated in 1952 and is celebrating its 52nd year this September. The fair takes place at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville, Maryland. The fair will have a wide variety of family entertainment including carnival rides and games, livestock exhibits, pony rides, pie eating contests, a talent show and much more. There will be 4-H livestock competitions and exhibitions throughout the fair. You can get a complete list of events and the schedules via the Anne Arundel County Fair website. You can also follow the fair on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest fair information.

Charles County Fair-September 11th to 14th

The Charles County Fair takes place at the Charles County Fairgrounds in La Plata, Maryland. The fair has over 800 exhibitors showcasing livestock, agricultural crops, arts and crafts, quilts and flower arrangements. The fair celebrates Charles County’s rich agricultural heritage dating back over 350 years. The fair will feature entertainment, games and shows for the entire family at four stages. There will be pig races, a beautiful baby competition, pony rides, lawnmower racing, and of course carnival rides and fair food.  The 2014 schedule of events has not been updated yet, but keep checking back to the Charles County Fair website for information. The fair is run by the Charles County Fair, Inc., a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that is run by volunteers.

Great Frederick Fair-September 12th to September 20th

The Frederick County Fair  is one of the oldest agricultural fairs in Maryland, dating back to 1822. The fair is held at the Frederick Fairgrounds in Frederick, Maryland.  As with any county fair, the Great Frederick Fair has musical entertainment, carnival rides, great fair food, tractor pulls, agricultural exhibits, and much more.  The foundation of the fair is agriculture. There are 4-H and FFA competitions and exhibitions throughout the fair.  The fair just released the featured events for this year’s fair, which includes concerts by Brantley Gilbert, Kenny Rogers, Kip Moore, Styx, and Chris Young and Cassadee Pope, a demolition derby, tractor pull and FMX motorcycle show.  As the fair gets closer, specific entertainment and daily schedules will be released.  The Great Frederick Fair a mobile app for iPhone and Android, so you can stay up to date with all the fair information.

Calvert County Fair-September 24th to September 28th

The last of the Maryland county fairs for the season is the Calvert County Fair. The Calvert County Fair is held at the Calvert County Fairgrounds in Prince Frederick, Maryland. The fair is run by the Calvert Count Fair Board, a volunteer, non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization that was established in 1940. The actual first fair was held in 1886 on a privately owned farm. The modern fair was organized in 1940 and has been going strong ever since. The fair has family activities, live entertainment, livestock and crop competitions, carnival rides, a 4-H auction and much more. There is also a Calvert County “Idol” talent contest for local performers on September 24th. This year, Aussie Kingdom, a fast action NASCAR racing event will take place throughout the fair. There are also puppet shows, a chainsaw wood carver and musical performances. To find out the schedule of events, which are subject to change, head to the fair website.

ezStorage is very proud to be located in communities that host the various Maryland county fairs. Stop by any of our storage units in Maryland  to find out how we can help you with all of your storage needs.


Ultimate Back to School Guide for Parents

Back to school. For some these three words are great news, while for others, it is an anxiety ridden event. Back to school can be a very stressful time for any age, but if you are a parent experiencing your child’s first day of school, either pre-school or kindergarten, it can be even more stressful. It is important for parents to try to manage their own anxieties about the first day of school in order to help their children have a positive experience during their first week of classes. The most important tip for any school-aged child is to create a routine from morning to after-school to evening. Children become more adaptable with a new experience (such as going to a new school) once they are comfortable with their surroundings and their routine.

Back to School Tips for Parents

How and when do you prepare for back to school? Now is the perfect time to start getting ready for back-to-school by creating checklists, gathering back to school supplies, filling out paperwork, making start of school doctor appointments and much more! If your child is nervous about his/her school, then take them on a tour of the school before classes start. Show them where their classroom is, as well as where the cafeteria, library and gym are located. Once they become familiar with their surroundings, they will be more comfortable with being in school. It is also vital for your child to get a good night’s sleep. Start adjusting the summer bedtime at least a week before school starts. Start with going to bed 10 minutes earlier each day, until you are back to the school year regular time. Also practice the daily routines from morning to night. This could involve practicing waiting for the school bus and creating an after-school play-time and then homework-time schedule.

Getting your child ready to go to school for the first time requires planning, preparation and practice. ezStorage created the “Ultimate Back to School Guide for Parents” to give tips on making the first day of school less intimidating and stressful for the entire family. The guide is a checklist to give back to school ideas and reminders to parents such as setting doctor’s appointments to meeting with your child’s teacher. These simple back to school tips for parents can help you relieve some of the overall stress during the first week of the new school year.

First Day for Schools in Baltimore Area

The schools in the Baltimore area have their first day back at school at the end of August.  The Baltimore City schools, Howard County schools, Hartford County schools, and   Anne Arundel County schools all begin their fall semester on August 25th.

Start prepping now for all for the school projects, papers and collectibles that you will be storing throughout your child’s school career. Store these precious keepsakes in a secure storage unit at ezStorage.


Back to School Checklist

Consider self storage facilities from ezStorage

Tips for Looking for Apartments in Baltimore

Tips for Looking for Apartments in Baltimore

The apartment rental business has been quite busy the past few years. Occupancy rates are very high as a result of significant demand. If you are looking for an apartment, it is important to have a game plan in mind for your search. There are many important factors that have to be determined before you can even start your apartment hunt. The first is to start searching for your new apartment 30 to 60 days before you actually need to move in. If you are now renting and need to be out of your current apartment, then you will really need to stick to the 60 day timeline to give you time to see many options for your new home. Also consider the following questions as you start your apartment hunt:

  • Will you have a roommate?
  • Where do you want to live? Do you need to be close to public transportation? Do you want to live in a more suburban or urban area?
  • How much space do you need in an apartment?
  • Are you looking for special amenities such as a washer/dryer or dish washer?
  • How many bedrooms or bathrooms do you need?
  • Does the apartment accept pets and is there an additional cost?
  • What is your budget for the apartment including utilities?

Tips for Apartment Hunting

After you have answered these questions, set your budget and decided what you really want in an apartment, then you’re ready to start your apartment hunting. In most cases, you should be able to do the search on your own without a help of a realtor. You can also look at many online sites that will help you find apartment listings in your city such as Craigslist or consult a realtor if you are having a hard time with your search. Narrow your apartment hunting to your favorite neighborhoods or areas. If you are new to the city, then walk around the neighborhood that you want to live in before you start looking at apartments.  You might actually come across more rentals walking or driving around the area instead of online. When you are looking at the neighborhood, establish that the apartment building is near schools, shopping or public transportation. Make checklists of likes and dislikes of the various places that you have seen so you can compare them when you have to narrow down your favorite places.

What to Look for in an Apartment

As you look at different apartments, be prepared to ask the landlord or leasing agent questions about the rental agreement, additional costs, amenities, garbage or recyclable materials removal, decorating changes to the apartment, and parking, just to name a few.  Make sure to get the answer to your questions in writing to use for future reference.  It is okay to look in closets, drawers and cabinets to check for hidden issues. At this point, rely on your senses by noticing any odors or looking for flaws such as cracks in the walls, windows and floors. Also, mentally take note of the size of the rooms to make sure that your furniture will actually fit. If you really like a place, ask to apply for it right away. Be prepared to fill out applications, have references (if needed) and make a deposit for the apartment.

Apartments for Rent in Baltimore

Baltimore is a diverse city with many wonderful neighborhoods from historical areas such as Fell’s Point to suburban areas such as Glen Burnie. It is home to great universities such as John Hopkins University and UMBC. With college students starting back to school next month, empty apartments that are in the neighborhood of these schools will be filling up fast. There are many apartment rental sites for Baltimore that can assist you in your search including: www.baltimore.ForRent.com, www.baltimore.apartmenthomeliving.com, and www.apartmentguide.com/apartments/Maryland/Baltimore/. If you don’t find an apartment for rent in Baltimore that you like via these sites, then it might be a good idea to consult a realtor to help you in your search.

If you are downsizing from a house to an apartment, then you will be in need of a place to put items that you no longer have room for. Self storage is a great solution to store larger home items that will not fit in a smaller apartment. ezStorage has 15 Baltimore storage unit locations to help with all of your storage needs from packing supplies to storage units. Good Luck with your apartment hunt!

Storage Tips for Artwork

storage tips for artwork

ezStorage’s Brentwood facility has 1st floor artist studios



We are a collecting culture. We collect everything from artwork to Pez dispensers and everything else in between. Many of us have artwork and family heirlooms in our home that has been passed along from generation to generation or artwork that has just been created by a friend or a favorite artist. Collecting artwork is an investment and you want to protect that investment. If you do not plan on displaying the artwork in your home, then it needs to be stored properly either in the home or at a storage facility specifically designed to store works of art. Storing the artwork in a secured and tightly regulated climate will give you the peace of mind that your artwork is adequately protected.  Most self storage facilities are not designed to secure and protect works of art so please check with your self storage facility before storing such items.  Also, most self storage facilities limit the value of what can be stored so precious works of art require extra special consideration and storage designed specifically for works of art.

Storing Artwork in Self Storage

There are also self storage facilities that offer studio space for artists to work. ezStorage provides local Maryland artists a number of 1st floor artist studios at its Brentwood/Hyattsville storage location.  The ezStorage Brentwood facility is located in the heart of The Gateway Arts District, just north of Washington D.C. The studios are rented under lease agreements via the Arts District Authority.

Store your artwork in a specially designed climate controlled environment certified for art storage. Make sure to call the storage facility before storing.