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Yummy Winter Comfort Foods

Favorite Winter Foods - The Storage Inn Blog

It’s late January here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and there have been some very cold days lately, but that doesn’t stop our storage rental customers from shuttling in and out of their storage spaces.

Lately I’ve noticed people storing holiday decorations, as well as removing exercise equipment, presumably in an effort to renew their commitment to better health in the new year.

Earlier this week, on a particularly cold day, one of our customers, Jodi, stopped into the storage rental office to purchase  moving boxes for the items that she was putting into her storage unit.

“Cold enough for you?” I asked.

“I’m freezing” she answered  “I can’t wait to get home and have a nice bowl of hot soup!” she said as she took her boxes and headed to her car.

Her soup sounded really good to me, so I decided to do a thoroughly unscientific polling of our customers as to their favorite winter comfort foods.

Here some of our Storage Inn customer favorites!

Soup – Of course! Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day?  The two favorites seem to be chicken noodle, and tomato.

Chicken Soup

Favorite Winter Comfort Foods

Hot Chocolate – Mmmmmm. The real chocolaty kind with the tiny little marshmallows floating on top!  Not surprisingly, this one was offered up by one of our customer’s children.

Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes – Yes, please! – Make my chicken extra crispy!

Grilled Cheese – Cooked just right, so that the gooey cheese stretches  between the two halves when you pull the sandwich apart!  These people should get together with the soup people.

Sloppy Joes – Well, a burger is just a burger, but a sloppy joe, with a slice of American cheese – Now that’s comfort food!

Macaroni and Cheese – The cheesier the better – BTW goes well with sloppy joes!

Chicken Pot Pie – One of my favorites! I like mine with salt and pepper and a little bit of butter melted on the crust. Mmmmmm!

Spaghetti and Meatballs – A good choice any time of year, but really goes well at the end of a cold day spent outside.

Chili – There’s nothing like a simmering pot of chili. Whether you like it hot or mild, with meat or without, the combination of beans, onions, peppers, mushrooms and spices are impossible to resist when you’re cozy at home and it’s chilly outside.

Homemade Beef Stew  – You know the type that simmers in the giant stew pot all day long, until the flavors of the beef, vegetables, and spices are mixed just right. Don’t forget the buttered rolls!

Well, there you have it – The official Storage Inn customer list of their favorite Winter Comfort Foods.

Well, my shift is almost over, and I can’t wait to head home, but first I’ll be stopping off at the grocery store for Sloppy Joe mix, rolls, and hot chocolate – so much for my New Year’s diet!

 

Getting Organized in 2020

Storage Inn National Get Organized Day

January is national “Get Organized Month” and the New Year is the perfect time to stop procrastinating and start organizing your home. More than likely you are not being courted by the producers of “Hoarders” to be their next featured story, but most people could use a bit of help getting organized!! The goal should be to create a place for everything, and have everything in its place.

Below are a few tips to help you get started and a special offer from The Storage Inn…

The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey is doing its part to help, by offering a $1 move in on all storage units, along with a free moving truck rental to help you get started!

The storage rental office store also carries a full line of moving and packing supplies such as boxes, tape, bubble wrap and more.

Baby Steps

Solving problem areas separately is much more doable mentally and physically than trying to take it all on at once.

Focusing on one room, or area at a time breaks organizing your household into much more manageable chunks of tasks. Pick a room a day or a room a week to focus on. Those small accomplishments will do a lot to keep motivating you for the next room.

Time to Purge

This is a great opportunity to really go through items that have accumulated over the years and decide their importance and usefulness.

The three bin method can help to sort through these items – one bin for trash, one bin for donating, and one bin for items to keep. Once items have been sorted, you can decide where your “keep” items fit into your plan.

Making Space

Having plenty of space to keep items is important – Add storage space by installing shelves, filing cabinets, bins, and baskets. The extra space will allow you to not only store items, but give you space to sort through items when needed.

If you just don’t have enough space, you can always call your local self storage facility. A self storage unit is an extension of your home and can be used as a place to store seldom used items such as seasonal decorations, sports equipment, files, etc. This just might free up enough garage space so that you can actually park your car in it again!

Call a Pro

If you’re in over your head and don’t even know where to start, consider hiring a professional. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) can help you overcome a variety of organization challenges. They provide services ranging from organization and time management strategies to blending households and estate sales. Hire the right professional organizer for your needs and be well on your way to an organized 2020.

Happy New Year and Happy Organizing from The Storage Inn!

Mr. Nick in his moving truck

Mr. Nick is one busy storage unit renter

So, it’s the day before Christmas here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey – Almost time for my annual visit from one of our biggest customers, Mr. Nick. Mr. Nick’s been a storage unit tenant with us for as long as anyone can remember. He’s an unusual guy – older – the outdoorsy type – from up North somewhere. You know, big bushy beard, wears a lot of red flannel shirts with suspenders. That sort of thing.

Mr. Nick has seven of our extra large storage spaces with the extra high ceilings. He stops in every year around this time to let us know that even though he’ll be emptying out the storage units, he’s not moving out.

 

feature_christmas-elf-featMr. Nick is certainly a bit on the eccentric side and I’m assuming pretty wealthy since he’s mentioned renting storage units like ours all over the world. Each year right around Christmas time, his crew pulls in with a couple of giant, red S.C. Moving and Storage vans, and empties out out all seven of his storage spaces. The funny thing is, beginning in January, I’ll see his helpers back again and on a monthly basis, refilling the storage units with electronics, toys, sporting goods, and all sorts of goodies.

This year I decided to have a little chat with his crew. Nice guys – unusually short, but very well mannered and hard workers too. They all refer to Mr. Nick as “The big guy” which is quite true in height and around the waist line.

While his helpers were in the yard the other day,  I decided to be a little nosey.

“Excuse me guys. Just curious. What type of business is Mr. Nick in if you don’t mind me asking?” I questioned.

“Import/export” replied one of his of helpers.

“Oh, so he buys and then resells things” I asked.

“No, no – He gives it all away!” answered a particularly short man, who appeared to be the leader of the crew.

“Wow, really? That’s great – a wealthy philanthropist!” I gushed.

“I guess you could say that, but the big guy really doesn’t care about money – He just likes to make people happy!” came a high pitched voice from behind a pile of toys.

If that don’t beat all I thought to myself. I tipped my Storage Inn hat and wished Mr. Nick’s crew a good day and Happy Holidays. I walked back to the rental office thinking about my conversation with Mr. Nick’s helpers. Hmmmm, I thought – Puzzling. A guy from up North, with a bushy white beard, dressed in all red, with an import/ export charitable organization?… who collects toys and other goodies throughout the year, only to give them away at Christmas time? If I didn’t know any better I would guess he’s… omg…. I think I know what the “S. C.” in  S. C. Moving and Storage stands for!  Happy Holidays from The Storage Inn!

The “Fa La La La La” on Christmas Songs

The holiday season is in full swing here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey! Our storage rental customers are busy buying packing and shipping supplies, and retrieving the gifts they stowed away in their storage units.

Like many retail locations at this time of year, our storage rental office is filled with holiday songs wafting through the air. Hearing non-stop Christmas music on the radio made me wonder, where did these songs come from, who wrote them, and how long have they been around?

Here are a few fun facts about some of our holiday favorites… 

While we associate “Jingle Bells” with Christmas, the song was originally written to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The first Christmas song to mention Santa Claus was Benjamin Hanby’s “Up On The Housetop.” Written in 1864, Hanby was inspired by Clement Moore’s 1823 poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas.” (The night before Christmas)

Thurl Ravenscroft, the singer responsible for classic song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”, also voiced Tony the Tiger, the mascot for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.

“White Christmas” was written by Jewish songwriter Irving Berlin.

Irving Berlin hated Elvis Presley’s version of “White Christmas” so much that he tried to prevent radio stations from playing Presley’s cover.

The American military played “White Christmas” over Armed Forces Radio as a covert signal instructing soldiers in Vietnam to evacuate Saigon.

Bing Crosby’s version of “White Christmas” is the highest-selling single of all time.

In 1906, a violin solo of “O Holy Night” was the second piece of music to be broadcast on radio.

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World” are two of the oldest English language Christmas hymns, originating in the 1700s.

 “Let It Snow” is considered a Christmas song despite the fact that it never once mentions the holiday and was written by Jewish songwriters Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn.

 “Jingle Bells” was the first song performed in space.

Songwriter Gloria Shayne Baker wrote “Do You Hear What I Hear?” as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Jay Livingston and Ray Evans’ holiday classic “Silver Bells” was originally titled “Tinkle Bells.” They changed it when Livingston’s wife explained that “tinkle” was often a synonym for urination.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by Robert L. May, a staff copywriter for the Montgomery Ward department store as part of a series of holiday-themed coloring books sold by the retail giant.

“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is one of the oldest secular Christmas songs, originating in 16th century England.

Mel Tormé’s “The Christmas Song” (more commonly known as “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”) was written during a summer heatwave in 1944.

Darlene Love sang her holiday hit “Christmas Baby Please Come Home” on David Letterman’s late-night show every year for 28 years.

Singer Brenda Lee recorded the original version of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” when she was only 13 years old.

These are just a few of the hundreds and hundreds of holiday tunes that we hear each and every year. It would be impossible to chronicle each and every one here, but I will give you a clue as to my favorite – it involves barking dogs. Merry Christmas everyone!

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Remembering Pearl Harbor

December is here at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township New Jersey – The Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, and the kids are now waiting for Santa!

The holidays are a busy time at our self storage facility. Storage customers shuttle in and out from their storage units, retrieving holiday decorations, and hiding gifts for the big day.

One of our wonderful customers, Jodi, stopped in today. Jody is stationed at our local Air Force Base, and reminded me that there is one other very important date that tends to get lost in the shuffle between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A Day which will live in Infamy.

PEARL HARBOR HEADLINE 1941.
The front page of the Los Angeles Times, 8 December 1941, announcing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the previous day.

The attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii stunned everyone in the United States. War was declared on Japan the very next day, leading to America entering World War II.

Here are a few things you might not know about the attack that both started and in a certain sense ended a war.

Prepping for Battle

Planning for the attack began in early 1941. The Japanese adapted equipment and gathered intelligence. The plan was approved on November 5, 1941.

The goal of the attack was to demoralize America so that they would give in to Japanese interests. Unfortunately, they vastly underestimated America’s ability to recover and mobilize for war.

Weekend Warriors

The attack on Pearl Harbor was on a Sunday. The Japanese specifically chose to attack on a Sunday because they thought the Americans would be more relaxed and less vigilant on a weekend.

When the attack began, most of the U.S. servicemen were still in their pajamas or eating breakfast.

Hiding in Plain Sight

The Japanese attack force, consisting of six aircraft carriers, stationed itself 230 miles north of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The attack lasted 110 minutes from 7:55 a.m until 9:45 a.m.

Waves of Destruction

The Japanese aircraft attacked in two waves, launching approximately 45 minutes apart. 353 planes were launched by the Japanese. Only 29 were destroyed.

U.S. servicemen identified the planes as Japanese because of the “meatballs,” which is what they called the large, red circle (Rising Sun) on the side of Japanese aircraft.

Lightning Strikes

Japanese Commander Mitsuo Fuchida called out “Tora! Tora! Tora!” an abbreviation of “totsugeki raigeki” (突 撃雷撃) which means “lightning attack”, signifying to the Japanese Navy that they had successfully caught the Americans by surprise.

Poor Planning

The primary intended target of the attack were the United States aircraft carriers, which fortunately were not stationed at the base.

While the Japanese attacked the ships at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base and the airplanes at Hickam field, they left the repair facilities, submarine base, and fuel oil storage areas unharmed.

There had been a planned third strike to return and destroy those facilities. However, a third strike would have required a night landing, which was deemed too risky. Yamamoto later regretted not ordering the third strike.

Bombs and Battleships

All eight battleships that were at Pearl Harbor were sunk or damaged during the attack. Amazingly, all but the Arizona and the Oklahoma were able to return to active duty. That’s what they get for not destroying the repair facilities.

After it was torpedoed, the Oklahoma turned upside down. The Arizona exploded after a bomb breached its forward magazine (i.e. the ammunition room), resulting in the deaths of 1,100 U.S servicemen who were on board, accounting for nearly half of all American fatalities.

Run For It !

During the attack, the Nevada left its berth and attempted to make it to the harbor entrance, but came under such heavy fire that it ended up beaching itself to avoid blocking the way out.

Mini Subs

As additional support for their airplanes, the Japanese also sent five mini subs to help target the battleships.

The Americans destroyed four of them and captured the fifth. Because of a broken compass, they ended up hitting a reef three times and had to abandon ship after it ran aground.

The Price of Miscalculation

The attack was unexpected, as many military experts believed that the Japanese would first target U.S. bases in the Philippines and had drastically underestimated the Japanese Navy, thinking they could not mount more than one naval operation at a time.

Infamous Date

In the wake of the attack, Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his famous speech to Congress describing the events as the “date that will live in infamy.” The speech originally read, “a day that will live on in world history.” Roosevelt changed it at the last minute to “infamy”.

Won the Battle – Lost the War

Japanese Admiral Hara Tadaichi summed up the operation by saying, “We won a great tactical victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war.” As a direct consequence of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by atomic bombs, ending the war in 1945.

Failed Delivery

Admiral Yamamoto allegedly wanted the attack to occur a half hour after a formal declaration of war, but the 5,000 word notification delivered to the Japanese Embassy in Washington took so long to process, that the Japanese ambassador failed to deliver it in time.

Because there was no official warning or declaration of war, the attack on Pearl Harbor was later deemed to be a war crime by an international military tribunal.

A Moment of Reflection on December 7th

The attack on Pearl Harbor shook the world, so on December 7th, take a momentary time out from your holiday festivities to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

Cool Facts about Thanksgiving

It’s a beautiful fall day here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and Thanksgiving is this week! Ahhh, Thanksgiving – a day for family visits, football, and overeating! I conducted a random poll of our self storage customers regarding Thanksgiving and found that while everyone seems to like the food, mostly the men like football, and everyone seems to have mixed emotions about the family visits. As one of our long time storage unit renters, Jim put it, “I love to see my relatives for Thanksgiving, then I love to see them leave!” 

As a service to our readers, the staff here at The Storage Inn has rounded up a few very cool facts about Thanksgiving, some of which might come in handy during those awkward silences at the family dinner table. 

Thomas Jefferson Nixes Thanksgiving!

George Washington was the first to declare Thanksgiving a holiday, but it was on a year-to-year basis, so presidents had to re-declare it every year. Jefferson refused to declare it a holiday during his presidency because he fervently believed in the separation of church and state and thought that the day of “prayer” violated the First Amendment. 

It wasn’t until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a federal holiday, that it was officially scheduled to fall on the fourth Thursday of every November. 

It’s a zoo out there!

The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York took place in 1914, when Macy’s employees dressed in vibrant costumes and marched to the flagship store on 34th Street. The parade used floats instead of balloons, and it featured monkeys, bears, camels, and elephants, all borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.

The parade was also originally called the Macy’s Christmas Parade but was renamed the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1927. Macy’s originally hoped their “Christmas parade” would get their shoppers ready for big holiday shopping sprees. 

Turkeytown U.S.A.

Three small towns in America are named after the nation’s favorite bird. The towns are Turkey, Texas; Turkey, North Carolina; and Turkey Creek, Louisiana. There are also two townships in Pennsylvania called Upper Turkeyfoot and Lower Turkeyfoot.

“Jingle Bells” was originally a Thanksgiving song

James Pierpoint composed the song in 1857 for children celebrating Thanksgiving. The title was “One Horse Open Sleigh,” and it was such a hit that it was sung again at Christmas.

The song quickly became associated with the Christmas holiday season, and the title was officially changed in 1859, two years later.

Ben Franklin – Turkey Lover

Benjamin Franklin thought Eagles were “a bird of bad moral character.”
Franklin thought the Turkey was a “much more respectable bird.”

The Detroit Lions always play on Thanksgiving

The first NFL football game that took place on Thanksgiving Day was in 1934, when the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving ever since, except when the team was called away to serve during World War II. The Dallas Cowboys also always play on Thanksgiving. Their first Thanksgiving Day game was held in 1966, and the Cowboys have only missed two games since then. 

The night before Thanksgiving is Party Time!

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the best day for bar sales in America. It makes sense, since nearly all Americans have Thanksgiving off, and dealing with family members can be very stressful. (But at least stuffing your face with fatty Thanksgiving foods is a perfect hangover cure.)

Thanksgiving by “Hungry Man”

In 1953 Swanson Foods overestimated the demand for turkey by over 260 tons. The owners of the company had no idea what to do with all the leftovers, so they ordered 5,000 aluminum trays and loaded them with the turkey leftovers to create the first TV dinner. 

“Franksgiving” Flops

In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt changed the date of Thanksgiving from the last Thursday in November to the second-to-last in an attempt to lift the economy during the Great Depression, by giving people more time to shop for Christmas. It caused such a public outcry that people began referring to it as “Franksgiving.” After two years, Congress ditched the new policy and set the fourth Thursday of November as the legal holiday. 

Minnesota – The Turkey State!

Minnesota produces more turkeys than any other state in America. The state produced about 44.5 million birds last year, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana, and Missouri are also top producers.

A Turkey Saved….

The White House has a tradition of pardoning one lucky turkey each year. The annual tradition began in 1947 with President Harry Truman although some think that it actually started in the 1860’s with Abraham Lincoln, after his son Tad begged him to spare his pet turkey’s life.

Despite these two theories of the origins of the pardon, George H. W. Bush was the first president to officially grant a turkey a presidential pardon, according to The New York Times. 

Okay – now that you have some cool Thanksgiving facts, courtesy of The Storage Inn, you are ready to face your relatives on Thanksgiving! Feel free to pepper these unique facts throughout the dinner conversation, and give yourself a presidential pardon allowing you to have a second slice of pumpkin pie – Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Vehicle Self Storage in Winter for our Four-Wheel Friends

November is here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, and the phone is ringing constantly with our yearly winter vehicle storage customers, looking for a storage unit to put their car, truck or van to bed for the winter. Most of them are yearly customers – some are  snowbirds heading south for the winter where they have another vehicle waiting – and some are classic car owners who only drive their vehicles during the warm sunny months.

One thing that I have learned in my years in the self storage business is that there is more to storing a vehicle for the winter than just rolling it in and pulling the door shut. There is some preparation involved and precautionary steps that should be taken. 

Here are some tips courtesy of The Storage Inn… 

Clean it up

Clean, dry and preferably waxed is the best condition to have your car in before it goes to sit for months in a vehicle storage facility. Salt and moisture are obvious culprits, so make sure it isn’t just a surface clean either, and make sure there’s a chance to dry before covering things up.

Where to Store Your Car?

For those of us who have no garage, like myself, or have a garage that is packed full of things other than automobiles, Self Storage is the next best thing. Choose a storage facility with good security, that is well-lit, and offers clean, dry units of the appropriate size – 10 x 20 should be your starting point.

Fill it up.

Over the course of a winter, fluctuating temperatures can cause moisture in your fuel tank.  With older cars especially, which means rust and a clogged fuel filter come the spring. The simplest way to combat this is to fill up the tank before you park for the winter, particularly with higher-octane, low-ethanol fuel. A smaller volume of empty air in the tank will help prevent moisture buildup, and will dilute contaminants.
The second thing to do is to invest in fuel stabilizer, which will prevent water from separating from the gasoline.

Check the Pressure

Your tires should always be at the correct pressure, but for those who park their car for long periods, pressure is extremely important. Add a few extra pounds of pressure to avoid developing flat spots – and make sure you’re taking pressure readings when cold.

Another method is to take the weight off the tires completely using jack stands. This isn’t necessarily recommended for older vehicles prone to sagging frames, nor for newer vehicles with air-adaptive suspensions.

One last, easy trick is to park the car with a flat section of 2-inch by 10-inch wood boards or similar under each tire. This provides a mild insulating effect if you’re parking on concrete, and will help keep the rubber from hardening up too much.

Oil and water

Change your oil just before parking your car, and then leave it be. Starting your car periodically without letting the engine come to full operating temperature can cause condensation to form in the exhaust system, rusting things out.

Antifreeze is an obvious check, but one that can get overlooked. You want to have this handled before you park the car, as the proper mixture needs to circulate through the engine’s radiator before you shut down for the winter. 

Keeping water out of the interior is critical too. Use moisture absorbers such as damp check to keep your storage unit dry as possible. 

Cover your baby!


Simply throwing a bed sheet over a car used to be good enough in the old days, and in many ways it’s still pretty effective. Whatever you use, make sure it’s breathable and properly secured. And avoid using a tarp, which can trap moisture!

So now that you’re armed with car and truck self storage tips courtesy of The Storage Inn, you can get down to the business of storing your vehicle for the winter properly. Let’s hope that it goes by quickly – See you in the spring!

 

 

 

 

 

October is time to Organize!

Today is the day!  The weather is great, you cleared the afternoon schedule, took the key out of the junk drawer, and you’re ready to head to the local self storage facility to finally clean out and reorganize your storage unit. You’ve been meaning to do this for months, but are finally getting around to it today.

You hop in the car, drive to the storage facility, throw open the door, and think “OMG –  I can’t believe that I left it like this!” Boxes torn open and half empty, sweat shirts hanging from old lamps, and a pile of something that you don’t even recognize shoved in the corner.

How did our storage unit end up like this? At this point you’re saying to yourself “I’m sure I had everything organized when I moved in, and I’m pretty sure I invested in a storage space to AVOID clutter.” Well, it’s time to get back on track, and get organized with a storage plan!

The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township and Ocean City has put together some tried and true planning tips for organizing your storage space.

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Plan your Work – Work your Plan

The Three Categories of Clutter
Before you begin your work, set up three areas – one for items that you will keep, one for items that you will donate, and one for items that you simply need to throw away. If you’re confined to working within your storage unit or the area immediately outside your unit, you’ll have a space limitation. Instead of pulling all of your belongings out at once, you’ll probably be more successful pulling out a packing box or two at a time and making decisions before moving on.

Repack Smart
As you repack, check to make sure that all of your storage boxes are full. Full boxes stack much more easily than half filled boxes, and are less likely to crush under the weight of the moving boxes above them. Converting your storage solution to plastic tubs can make this process even easier.

Label all of the boxes or bins in your storage space clearly, and leave a small area to walk through your unit, if possible, to facilitate access throughout the year. Place the boxes or items that you are most likely to need throughout the year close to the entrance, or at the top of the stack – planning ahead can really pay off.

cardboard-box-labeled-300x193

Ask the Pros!
Stop in and visit the staff here at The Storage Inn – We’ve probably dealt with the situation you’re dealing with, and would be happy to help you reach an ideal storage solution.

Keep in mind, most storage facilities have moving and packing supplies onsite that are designed to make your job easier. And if you’re in need of a few extra boxes, packing tape, or packing material while you’re doing your repacking at your storage unit, just walk on over to the front office to update your packing supplies.

Jerry Brown, the manager at our Storage Inn self-storage in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, recommends sizing up the items in your unit, and then taking a minute to visit the Storage Inn’s office store. “We carry many items in our store that can help our customers organize, or reorganize their storage space. We carry a wide variety of boxes, bubble wrap, tape, and even have kits specially made for storing dishes and glasses. For the ultimate in organization, we can even provide you with storage unit shelving that will fit against the walls of your storage area, and don’t forget the mattress and furniture covers!”

Hopefully these tips will help you to get your storage unit well organized once again –  remember, a place for everything, and everything in its place. Now go git’er done!

Lederhosen, Beer and Oktoberfest

Lederhosen, Beer and Oktoberfest

Fall is in full swing here at The Storage Inn of Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and this self storage rental facility is jumping with customers shuttling in and out of their storage units, most of them pulling out their cold weather clothing and fall items such as Halloween decorations.

There’s always something interesting going on here, but yesterday I witnessed a sight that I never expected to see.

I recognized the truck that pulled into our storage unit rental office parking lot. It was one of our good customers, Jason, the wrestling coach of the local high school. What I didn’t expect was to see Jason hop out of his truck and stroll into the office, dressed head-to-toe in German Lederhosen!

“You’re a little early for Halloween, aren’t you?” I said as he walked through the door.

“Not Halloween – Oktoberfest!” he replied.

Jason and his wife were on their way to an Oktoberfest celebration. They even had special beer mugs that they had retrieved from their storage unit for the occasion. Jason grabbed a roll of packing tape and some bubble wrap, and then took off to Oktoberfest.

This got me thinking not only about Oktoberfest, but more importantly, about beer!  Where did beer come from, and why do so many people around the world love it so much?

I decided to do some research and here is what I found…

Drink Like an Egyptian

Beer has a long history, one that’s longer than we’ll ever be able to trace. Residue of the first known beer was found in a jar at an excavation site in modern day Iran, presumably sitting there since someone took his or her last sip around 3400 B.C. But chances are, the first beer had been “cracked” long before that.

So while an exact date or time for the first chug, or keg stand, or even hiccup, is not known, what is known is that beer, like bread, developed best in farm-based societies where there was an enough grain and time for fermentation. One thing we definitely know is that ancient man loved beer as much as—if not more—than we do. The Babylonians had about 20 recipes for beer, Egyptian Pharaohs were buried with vats of the stuff, even the workers who built the pyramids were essentially paid in beer.

One of the first written recipes for beer actually comes from a 3800 year-old poem that celebrates the Sumerian goddess of beer and also conveniently outlines steps for brewing.

However it began, beer rapidly took hold as one of civilization’s favorite, and safest ways to drink. Historically speaking, water wasn’t always safe to drink, and alcoholic drinks like beer, which were sanitized by the application of heat, were actually safer to consume. The appearance of beer also changed as brewing methods evolved. Babylonians drank their beer with a straw because it was thicker and full of grain! 

Germany “Hops” On Board

For centuries, beer cultivation in Europe relied on a mixture of herbs and spices called gruit. Only around the turn of the first millennium A.D. were hops regularly finding their way to beer, with Germany exporting hops for brewing around the 13th century.

By the 16th Century,Germany’s “Reinheitsgebot” beer purity law had essentially removed everything but water, hops, and barley from acceptable brewing ingredients (yeast, a slight oversight, was added back to the list a few centuries later).

Over the centuries, beer’s popularity has remained constant. The Prohibition era introduced our palates to a lighter flavor profile that lingers to this day, especially among mass-marketed beers. On the other hand, craft beer has made serious gains in the market, yielding a historically unprecedented diversity of styles. One company and even brewed a beer using the ancient poem’s recipe, and Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales line includes beers like the “Ta Henket – a version of Egyptian bread beer. 

So, now that you are armed with some serious beer history knowledge, courtesy of The Storage Inn, you can pull on your Lederhosen, grab your beer stein, and head for your local Oktoberfest celebration. Have fun, but take it easy on the Bratwurst – Auf Wiedersehen!

September is a Sweet Time of Year!

Honey — it’s a sweet and delicious substance that adds great flavor to morning toast, creates decadent desserts, and even packs some serious nutritional benefits.

Here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we even keep honey on hand for sweetening our morning coffee!

The other day, just as I finished opening the storage rental office, in walked one of our storage customers, Mrs. Xander. She needed to purchase packing supplies before making her way back to her storage unit.

“ Are you celebrating?” she asked.”

Celebrating what?” I replied.

“Well, I saw that you put honey in your coffee, and thought that maybe you were celebrating National Honey Month.  My friend is a beekeeper and he has been telling me all about honey and it’s history!”

“I did not know September is National Honey Month.” I replied. We chatted about honey for a little while before she headed back to her storage unit.

I sat down to my desk and began to think about how much I love honey, and how little I know about what it takes to make it. Where did the idea of honey as a food even come from? I started my research…

A Concise History of Honey

2400 BC
Ancient Egyptians leave hieroglyphs about beekeeping in an ancient Sun Temple near Cairo.

2000 BC
The Ancient Chinese used honey because of its spectacular medicinal properties.

1000 AD
Honey was used as a form of currency in places throughout Europe.

1638
European settlers introduced beekeeping to the New England colonies.

1926
A.A. Milne created the lovable honey-loving bear, Winnie the Pooh.

How to Celebrate!

Take a beekeeping tour
You’ll get up close to beehives and find out what an effort it takes to make a jar of honey. 

Host a honey tasting party
Gather up a few different high quality jars of honey, invite a few friends over, and indulge your sweet tooth.

Whip up a honey-themed dessert
Baklava, flan, cupcakes, and ice cream. All of these sweet treats lend themselves to becoming delicious honey-flavored desserts. There are a ton of excellent recipes out there for honey desserts, so the possibilities are endless.

5 Sweet Facts About Honey

Bees try harder
The average worker bee only produces about one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey throughout its entire lifetime.

That’s a lot of flowers
For every pound of honey, honeybees must tap over two million flowers.

Insect chefs
Bees are the only insects that produce a substance that is edible by humans.

Honey isn’t just for bees
Mexican honey wasps are also known for producing honey.

Not Created equally
There are different variations of honey. Depending on the type of flower used during production, honey will have different colors and flavors.

Why We Love Honey

Honey is a health aid
Dating back to ancient times, honey has been used for its medicinalpurposes. The next time you have a cough, try reaching for a jar of honey. Honey is even known to help heal wounds and relieve dry skin.

It’s Naturally Sweet
Honey is excellent for curing almost any sweet tooth. Unlike some highly processed sugars and sugar-like substances out there, honey is chemical free and found directly in nature.

Honey Helps You Sleep
In short, honey causes insulin levels to rise, and when this happens, serotonin gets released throughout the bloodstream. Serotonin gets converted into melatonin, and melatonin has been known to aid in getting you off to dreamland.

Wow! Who knew that something that tastes so good could also be so healthy!?! 

As for me, I will continue to put honey in my morning coffee, strictly for health purposes, of course. Happy Honey Month from the crew here at The Storage Inn!