Storing Black Friday and Small Business Saturday Gifts!

holiday shopping and self storageThanksgiving is a day for us to give thanks, spend time with our family and friends, enjoy great meals and cheer for our favorite professional and college football teams. There are also many activities over Thanksgiving weekend to start the holiday season. Black Friday is the “official” kick-off to the Christmas shopping season, even though some retailers are moving their opening hours to Thanksgiving evening. “Black Friday” is seen as a day to get incredible bargains on electronics, toys and even clothing. Most retailers have already released their list of sale items, so shoppers can prepare their shopping strategies after they have eaten their Thanksgiving meals. The Saturday after Thanksgiving has been designated as Small Business Saturday in order to promote local small businesses. Many small businesses in Baltimore will be taking part in the event.  For shoppers who would much rather skip the crowds and shop online, there is “Cyber Monday”, which is one of the busiest online shopping days of the year.

Holiday Decoration Storage

Self Storage is a great option for shoppers to store their Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases.  It is also a great place to “hide” your gifts from snooping family members!! ezStorage rentals are month-to-month, which is perfect for storing items for the holiday season.  Renting a self storage unit is also a great solution for holiday storage such as Christmas trees, wreaths, lighting, inflatable displays and ornaments. Storing these decorations in self storage will help make your home, basement or garage clutter free after the holidays.

 

Retail Holiday Storage

If you are a small retail business, November and December are usually your busiest time of the year. You have an abundance of inventory and no place to store the items in your store. Self storage is a perfect option for equipment and inventory storage. The self storage unit can be used as a secondary storage room for your business and will give you peace of mind that your items are safe and secure until you need them.  You can add shelving in your storage unit for additional organization of your goods. Choose a self storage unit that is close to your retail location for easier access to your items, so you can restock your store when needed.

ezStorage wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! And best of luck with your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday shopping! Stop by any of our 46 Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area locations to find out where you can store your special holiday gifts!

Spend Thanksgiving Weekend at Holiday Events in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Areas

Thanksgiving Events in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

 

Thanksgiving Day marks a time when families gather together and give thanks for all the blessings in their lives. The first Thanksgiving is said to have lasted for three days, and took place sometime between September 21st and November 9th, 1621. The Plymouth Pilgrims were taught by the native Wampanoag Indians how to live off the land. The original menu probably included not only turkey, but also waterfowl, venison, corn and barley. The first national celebration of Thanksgiving took place in 1775, but it was to celebrate the victory of the Continental Army at Saratoga during the American Revolution.  It wasn’t until 1827 that Thanksgiving was declared an annual holiday. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be officially held the fourth Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season. The true meaning of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for all we have, and share the time with friends and family. There are many ways that you can help in your community during the holiday season by volunteering at food pantries, food banks and community Thanksgiving dinners.

Thanksgiving Weekend Events

Thanksgiving weekend in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. is full of family activities, holiday kick-off events, Turkey Trots and much more. While the day after Thanksgiving is filled with Black Friday deals and shopping, it is also a kick off to the holiday season. There are many fun events for the entire family over the holiday weekend.

 Turkey Trots

Start off your Thanksgiving by running a 5K for local charities .There are many Turkey Trots in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. areas. In Washington D.C., join the Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger  at Freedom Plaza starting at 8:30am. The 5K run and walk is sponsored by SOME (So Others Might Eat), which has programs for the homeless and serves 800 meals a day to the hungry in Washington D.C.  The Y of Central Maryland will sponsor the annual Turkey Trots at 6 locations including Arnold, Baltimore City, Bel Air, Ellicott City, Towson, and Westminster. The 25th Annual Turkey Chase sponsored by the Bethesda-Chevy Chase YMCA will have a 10K and 2 Mile Fun Run Thanksgiving morning supporting the YMCA’s Youth and Family Services, YMCA-Bethesda-Chevy Chase and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club Foundation. In Northern Virginia, there are also a few turkey trots. Alexandria will host a Turkey Trot starting at 9am at George Washington Middle School supporting ALIVE!, a non-profit organization serving Alexandria’s needy. The Arlington Turkey Trot kicks off at 8am at Christ Church of Arlington. The run raises money for Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Doorways for Women and Children and Arlington Food Assistance Center.

Holiday Parades in Virginia

Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia hosts a day full of holiday activities on Friday, November 28th. There are visits from Santa, a fun run, shopping, a parade and to top off the day, a tree-lighting ceremony. The Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade is Saturday, November 22nd at 10am in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. The parade will feature giant balloons, floats, marching bands, clowns, fire engines, dance troops and, of course, Santa and his helpers.

Thanksgiving Weekend Events in Baltimore and Washington D.C.

Baltimore Inner Harbor Christmas Village

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will once again be transformed into a Christmas Village this year. Christmas Village is a combination indoor/outdoor European holiday market at West Shore Park in the Inner Harbor. There will be over 60 vendors selling traditional European food, sweets and drinks. There will two large Christmas trees and a lighting display featuring thousands of lights. Last year, the village attracted over 150,000 visitors.  The Christmas Village will be open for a “sneak peak” on Thanksgiving Day with vendors also open on Black Friday. The official opening ceremony, with choirs, bands and city officials, will be on Sunday, November 30th. There will be many great events held at the Christmas Village throughout the holiday season.

National Harbor ICE!

One of the largest holiday events in the Washington D.C. area is ICE! at the National Harbor. This annual must-see and do event is fun for the entire family. The attraction officially opened on November 14th and will run through January 4th. The National Harbor waterfront is transformed into an ice wonderland from over two million pounds of colorful ice.  This year’s theme features scenes from Frosty the Snowman. There are ice slides, family events, entertainment and more throughout the holiday season.

 

There is so much to see and do over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. areas. ezStorage self storage locations will be open during our regular gate hours on Thanksgiving Day. The offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will reopen on Friday, November 28th for regular office hours.  ezStorage wishes everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Helping Charitable Organizations For the Holiday Season

Helping out Local Charitable OrganizationsThe holiday season is a time of giving thanks, spending time with family and friends, and helping out those in need. There are many ways to help out Baltimore community organizations from volunteering time at food banks or community meals to making donations. These charitable organizations are important to Baltimore throughout the year, but even more so during the winter months. ezStorage is proud to have 39 facilities participating in the 2014 Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Campaign. This is only one way to help out in the community, there are many more. Below are listed just a few of the charitable community organizations that help out those in need in the Baltimore area, including Thanksgiving meals.

Free Thanksgiving Community Dinners

Goodwill Industries Thanksgiving Dinners

There are many Thanksgiving community meals happening in the Baltimore area. Goodwill Industries will be hosting two free Thanksgiving dinners, one in Baltimore, and one in Annapolis. The 59th Annual Baltimore Thanksgiving Dinner and Resource Fair will be at the Baltimore Convention Center on Wednesday, November 26th from 11:45am to 2:45pm. The 26th Annual Annapolis Thanksgiving Dinner and Resource Fair will be held at the Asbury United Methodist Church in Annapolis also on Wednesday, November 26th from 11:45am to 2:45pm. Last year, over 3,000 people with special needs or disabilities were served a turkey dinner with all of the fixings from over 300 Goodwill volunteers. This year, the organization expects to serve the same amount of people. Goodwill, which has been helping the local community for over 94 years, provides services to nearly 40,000 people in the Baltimore area who are in need of assistance because of physical, mental or other social issues.

 Project Feast

Students from the University of Maryland School of Medicine will be hosting the 25th Annual “Project Feast” for over 400 disadvantaged West Baltimore residents on Thursday, November 27th at the Booker T. Washington Middle School in Baltimore from 10am to 2pm. More than 100 volunteers including students, faculty and staff all take part in the event, which includes a Thanksgiving meal, free clothing, non-perishable food items and fresh products to those in the community, who are in need.

Maryland Food Bank

The Maryland Food Bank, a non-profit organization, has been helping lead the movement to end hunger in Maryland for 35 years. The Maryland Food Bank distributes 79,000 meals per day, 29 million meals annually. The Maryland Food Bank has 3 facilities: Baltimore, Salisbury and Hagerstown. Food is distributed to soup kitchen, food pantries and schools in 22 counties in Maryland, including Baltimore City, Somerset, Wicomico, and Washington County.  The Maryland Food Bank has many programs to address hunger in the community from school breakfast and lunch programs, to culinary training, farm to food programs and SNAP programs. Donations can be made to the Maryland Food Bank this holiday season with a virtual holiday food drive.

The Door

The Door is part of the Baltimore Urban Leadership Foundation with a mission to “facilitate the transformation and holistic growth of youth, families and communities through collaborative partnerships, direct service and resource development.” The Door operates a food pantry, which serves the community throughout the year. The program provides more than 5,000 food baskets including non-perishable items, bread and fresh meat, to families in need. The program is always in need of volunteers and food donations.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army of Central Maryland has been serving those in need in the Baltimore area for more than 130 years. The organization helps Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard, Carroll and North Anne Arundel counties with a variety of services including emergency food, utilities, and rental assistance, homeless services, and transitional housing. The Salvation Army also sponsors great events throughout the year. For the holiday season, there are special community events and meals. NFL linebacker, Jameel McClain works with the Salvation Army to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal and extra food for 53 families in Central Maryland. The meal takes place on November 18th. You can help donate for the Thanksgiving Holiday Food Drive via their website.

 

ezStorage Adds More Drop Off Locations for Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots 2014 Holiday Toy DriveezStorage officially launched the 2014 Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive last week with 21 self storage facilities participating.  We are excited to announce that 18 more Baltimore self storage locations have been added to the list of Toys for Tots drop off points. With the added locations, there are now 39 ezStorage locations that you can drop off your Toys for Tots donation in Maryland and Northern Virginia! Look for the donation boxes in the office of our self storage facilities.

You can drop of your unwrapped toy donations to the following additional Maryland locations or visit the ezStorage website to view a full list of Toys for Tots drop off locations

Arbutus                                                            Highlandtown

Ashburton                                                        Loch Raven

Cantonsville                                                    Northwest

Charles Village                                                Owings Mills

Columbia                                                         Parkville/Hamilton

Columbia/Jessup/North Laurel                        Rosedale/White Marsh/Essex

Dundalk                                                           Ruxton

Elkridge                                                           Towson

Ellicott City                                                      Woodlawn

 
There are many ways to donate to Toys for Tots from dropping off unwrapped toys to one of our collection boxes to making a donation via the Toys for Tots website. ezStorage thanks everyone for their Toys for Tots donations to this great and worthwhile organization!

How to Store a Boat for the Winter

boat winterization tips

There are a variety of options for boat storage during the winter months: in the water, dry storage facilities, storing in a driveway or storing at a self storage facility. It is important to investigate the different options and what type of storage is best for you. Consult the boat’s owner manual for any specific storage instructions. Most people end up storing their boats in their drive-ways, but self storage is a great option to keep your boat safe during the winter months.

How to Winterize a Boat in 10 Easy Steps

When you are storing your boat for the winter, there are precautions that you need to take to make sure your boat it will be in good working order. Then, in the spring, you can dewinterize your boat and be ready to put it back in the water.

  1. Before you place the boat in storage, take it out for one last ride to listen for any engine issues and to see if any repairs will be needed over the winter.
  2. As part of your boat winterization process, fill the gas tank completely and add a fuel stabilizer. After you add the stabilizer, run the flusher with the new fuel stabilizer for at least ten minutes for it to run through the tank.
  3. Check the engine oil and replace the filters. Check hoses, belts and clamps. Check the steering cables and lines. Drain and completely flush the gear case and refill with new lubricant.
  4. Flush the coolant system completely and add new antifreeze. Check the owner’s manual for instructions on choosing the correct antifreeze for your boat as this will vary with boat type.
  5. Remove and replace the spark plugs. Apply fogging oil to the carburetor and the cylinders before placing in storage. When you run the engine again in the spring, there will be smoke from using the fogging oil. This will only happen for the first few times that the engine is turned on.
  6. Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the boat from top to bottom. Scrape off any barnacles that might have attached to the hull. Wash down the decks with a pressure washer. Use a vinyl cleaner to clean the vinyl surfaces on the boat.
  7. If you are storing the boat long term, remove the battery from the boat and clean it. Spray the battery with anti-corrosion spray and put the battery in a dry warm safe place.
  8. Remove all electronics, flares and fire extinguishers from the boat while it is in storage. In addition to electronics, remove pots, pans, dishes, linens and draperies and clean them. Repair and replace any damaged items.
  9. Place a canvas over the motor, then, cover the entire boat with a polytarp or polyvinyl cover that is made to specifically fit the boat. This will help protect the inside of the boat from the elements.
  10. Store the boat on a trailer and if possible put the trailer on blocks or pieces of wood to protect the tires of the trailer from damage during the winter months.

Boat Storage Facilities

ezStorage has 7 boat storage facilities in Maryland: Arbutus/Maiden Choice, Bel Air, Columbia/ Jessup/ North Laurel, Pasadena, Randallstown, Rosedale/White Marsh/Essex and South Bowie/Upper Marlboro. Contact the facilities before you are ready to store your boat for the winter to see if there are available boat storage spaces.

 

Celebrate Veterans Day in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia

Veterans Day Events in DCHistory of Veterans Day

On November 11th, we celebrate and honor the service of veterans from all branches of the United States military. Originally known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living or deceased, but especially honors living veterans who served their country whether during war or peacetime. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919, one year after the end of World War I when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.  World War I was officially over at the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month of the year in 1918.  It became a national holiday in 1938, known as a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.  When World War II ended, a veteran named Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama wanted to expand Armistice Day to include all veterans, not just those from World War I. Weeks is known as the “Father of Veterans Day”, leading the first celebration of Veterans Day in 1947 in Alabama. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill changing the holiday’s name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Other countries also observe a form of Veterans Day. Britain, France, Australia and Canada both celebrate what they call Remembrance Day on or near November 11th.

Veterans Day Events in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

There are many Veterans Day events being held in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia to honor those who have served our country.

Manassas Veterans Day Parade

The Manassas Veterans Day Parade, which takes place on Saturday, November 8th, pays tribute to all veterans and active duty military personnel. It is the largest Veterans Day Parade in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area. The parade features high school and military bands, drum corps teams, military units, military vehicles and members of local veteran organizations. The parade kicks off at 11am in downtown historic Manassas at the intersection of Quarry Rd. and Prescott Ave.

Veterans Day Concert on the National Mall

On Tuesday, November 11th there will be a very special Veterans Day Concert on the National Mall. The program is called Concert for Valor and will simulcast live on HBO. The show will feature performances by Jennifer Hudson, Bruce Springsteen, Black Keys, Dave Grohl, Metallica, Eminem, Carrie Underwood and the Zac Brown Band, just to name a few. The concert starts at 7pm, but the gates open at 10am.The concert is free and open to the public and will take place rain or shine.  The concert’s mission is to raise awareness of veteran’s issues and organizations and to honor those who have served to protect the interests of our country.

Veterans Day Events at Arlington Cemetery

The Veteran’s Day festivities at Arlington Cemetery will start at 11am with a concert at the amphitheater and ending with a special wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Military Memorial on National Mall Events and Ceremonies

There will be many commemorative events being held at military monuments on the National Mall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial will have a special ceremony at 1pm with a color guard, speakers and a wreath-laying program to honor those who fought in the Vietnam War. There will also be special events held at the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. The World War II Memorial will have a special wreath-laying program starting at 9am. There will also be special ceremonies and events at the Naval and Air Force Memorials and The National Marine Corps Museum.

Take a moment on Monday to think about those who have served to protect our freedoms over the last two and half centuries. In honor of the men and women who serve our country, ezStorage offers a 10% discount for military storage. Military personnel who are in the process of being deployed can safely store their belongings in one of our storage units, no matter how near or far they are stationed.