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CDC Cleaning and Disinfecting Tips

The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey is allowing access to current self storage tenants to retrieve essential items that may be needed during this uncertain time of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, we’ve found that most of our storage rental customers are opting to follow the “stay at home” and “social distancing” parameters issued by the state and federal governments . 

Due to the virus outbreak and the resulting shutdown of many public places, people are getting restless and looking for things to do around their homes. Given the circumstances, one of the biggest no-brainers is spring cleaning and disinfecting.

Here are a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control on how to disinfect your home. Cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things.

The CDC recommends we all do a bit of both, even if nobody in your home is sick.

Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface.

Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.

Do both daily if anything or anyone has entered or exited your home.

Person-to-person transmission is a much greater risk than transmission via surfaces, but the CDC recommends we clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in our homes at least once daily.

Target Your Home’s High-Touch Surfaces

COVID-19  is capable of living on surfaces such as cardboard for 24 hours, but up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel. So cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a step we should all take.

High-Touch Surfaces to Clean and Disinfect Daily:

Doorknobs, table surfaces, hard dining chairs (seat, back, and arms), kitchen counters, bathroom counters, faucets and faucet knobs, toilets (seat and handle), light switches, TV remote controls, game controllers, and any other surfaces that you come in contact with frequently.

First Clean, Then Disinfect:

First, clean the surfaces, removing any contaminants, dust, or debris with soapy water (or a cleaning spray) and a hand towel.

Then apply a surface-appropriate disinfectant using disinfecting wipes or disinfectant spray.

If a disinfectant product has an indication for killing influenza, RSB, SARS virus, or other coronaviruses, then it should work against COVID19.

Disinfectants:

Disinfecting wipes (Clorox, Lysol, or store brand will do)

Disinfectant spray (Purell, Clorox, Lysol, all make sprays that will work)

Isopropyl alcohol

Hydrogen peroxide

Does the Laundry Machine Work on Clothes?

Yes – Wash your clothing with regular laundry soap and drying them at a higher temperature than you might have otherwise is all you have to do to disinfect your clothes.

Be sure to disinfect surfaces the laundry comes in contact with, including the hamper and your hands—especially if you have a sick person in the house.

Don’t forget to clean your coat and backpack. Wiping the inside off with a disinfectant wipe should do the trick unless your jacket is machine washable.

Should You Disinfect Packages and Mail?

According to the USPS, mail and packages are relatively low-risk for transmitting the coronavirus, and packages from China pose no special risk compared to packages from anywhere else. That said, researchers have found that it can live on cardboard for around 24 hours, so giving packages a once over with a disinfecting wipe isn’t a bad idea.

How to Disinfect Your Devices

Your devices might be all that’s keeping you sane during your self-isolation but, as we all know, they’re magnets for germs. Disinfecting wipes are the best way to clean your devices, hands down. But some devices have special considerations.

How to Disinfect Your Phone or Tablet

Disinfect an iPhone or Android phone with a disinfecting wipe or alcohol solution (at least 70 percent). Make sure you pay special attention to the screen, the buttons, and anywhere dust and pocket lint tend to get trapped. Remove any case that’s on your phone or tablet, clean underneath, put it back on, and clean the outside. A once-daily disinfecting isn’t going to hurt your devices.

How to Disinfect Your Computer

Laptop displays aren’t always made of glass (matte displays are plastic) so avoid using a disinfecting wipe on the screen. Instead use isopropyl alcohol (70 percent) solution and a soft towel. Make sure you wipe down the keyboard, the trackpad, the exterior, and where your wrists rest on the laptop.

Most desktop computers are already in sore need for a cleaning. The best way to do that is with a disinfecting wipe or isopropyl alcohol solution and a soft towel. Again, avoid disinfecting wipes on the monitor. Make sure that you wipe down the mouse, keyboard, and mousepad.

Stay Home, Stay Safe

There’s a lot going on right now. It’s stressful. It’s scary. It can be hard to know what you should do or what’s going on. The staff here at The Storage Inn hopes that these tips may help you get through this trying time. Stay safe out there, and please, if you can, stay home.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

A Short History of St. Patrick – The Storage Inn Blog

The Short History of Saint Patrick

It’s St. Patrick’s Day here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and the employees, and storage space renters alike are in a ”Luck o’ the Irish” mood! I’ve even had one couple stop into the front office dressed from head to toe in green. ”Happy St. Patty’s Day” they exclaimed – “Erin go bragh!”  I replied! That got me wondering about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day, so I decided to ask my “most Irish-looking” customers what they knew about Saint Patrick. It turns out that Sean, the husband, is not only Irish, but a history teacher too. “Well” he said, “for starters St. Patrick was neither Irish, nor a Saint. What???? – Did he at least invent green beer?!? No – he did not, but here is what he did do…

Patrick, whom almost everyone calls “Saint Patrick,” was never canonized by the Catholic Church, and was born to a wealthy family in 387 AD in Kilpatrick, Scotland. His real name was Maewyn Succat. It was his extensive missionary work in Ireland for which Patrick is famous. Patrick, at age sixteen, was captured by Irish raiders and spent several years as a slave in Ireland. It was during this time that he learned the various rituals, customs, and language of Druids, and it was these people that he eventually converted to Christianity. Patrick supposedly had a dream in which God spoke to him, saying, “Your ship is ready.” Patrick was then able to escape Ireland by ship. Shortly thereafter, he experienced another dream in which he received a letter that was labeled the “Voice of the Irish.” When he opened it, he heard the voices of all those whom he had met in Ireland begging him to return.

Patrick returned to Ireland to tell people about Christianity. Though the task was difficult and dangerous, he persisted and was able to build a strong foundation for conversion. The Irish people were receptive to his teachings, especially in light of the fact that he was able to take several of their Celtic symbols and “Christianize” them. The most well-known of Patrick’s illustrations is the shamrock, a certain type of clover sacred to the Druids, which he used as a symbol of the Trinity. During his thirty years of work there, he supposedly converted over 135,000 people, established 300 churches, and consecrated 350 bishops. Patrick died on March 17, 461. For over a millennium, the Irish have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on March 17..

Each year millions of people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a national holiday in Ireland where people do not work, but worship and gather with family. In the United States, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York on March 17, 1762. It consisted largely of Irish soldiers. Today, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by wearing green, which symbolizes spring as well as Irish culture.

I thanked Sean and Erin for their brief, but insightful history lesson, and watched as they made their way back to their storage unit, presumably to retrieve some supplies for tonight’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities or maybe they were getting a jump on spring by pulling out St. Patrick’s favorite item to put into a storage unit… Paddy O’Furniture!! Is it time for that green beer yet? – Cheers!

Moving Season is Here!

March has arrived here at The Storage Inn self storage in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and we are beginning to see the yearly influx of storage renters who are in the process of moving from one home to another. 

Moving isn’t always the most fun, but there are things we can do to help minimize stress and make the move go smoothly.

Here are a few Storage Inn tips for Moving Day!

 

Make a list – Check it twice

Write it down! All of it. Create a simple record keeping system. Make a list of numbers with a space to write the contents. Place a number on EVERY box you pack and on your list, write the contents of the box under that number.This will make it much easier to find your items when you need them.

Pre-Pack

Anything you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. Pre-pack everything that you won’t need in the days leading up to the move. If it’s summer, pack your winter clothes. Pack all your extra belongings such as decorative items and knick-knacks. Box up extra toiletries as well as kitchen utensils, pots and pans, etc. Use only the bare essentials for the last few days.­

Stock up on packing supplies

You’re going to need storage boxes. Probably more moving boxes than you think. Buying enough boxes ahead of time will make your life so much easier! Have about 10 boxes set aside to use on moving day for last minute items like bedding, clothes, and cleaning supplies. Use strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely.  3M Shipping Tape or Uline Carton Sealing Tape are good brands. Use unprinted packing paper (newspaper can stain your items), or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household goods, especially delicate items.

The Storage Inn carries a full line of packing supplies, including boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and more.

Pack Smart

Put all the things you’ll need first once you pull up to your new home in a clear plastic bin. Make sure this bin is placed at the back of your moving truck or car and easy to find right away. Includes things like a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, eating utensils, select cookware, power strips, phone chargers, toilet paper, tools, etc.

A clear container allows you to see inside. Keep similar things together when you’re packing boxes. Bookends belong with books, light bulbs with lamps, and extension cords with appliances. You don’t want to be running all over the new house when unpacking to find different parts of the same sets.

Attach small, loose parts to the item they belong to with tape or in small envelopes — picture hooks with pictures, shelf brackets with a bookcase, a special wrench, and bolts with the wall unit.

Tape larger corresponding items (such as power cords) to the underside or back of the item. It is also helpful to have an “odds and ends” box with cables, cords, parts, pieces, brackets, or nails that are removed from any items of furniture. Mark this box to make it easy to find on moving day.

Moving Tricks

  • Wrap your delicate items (dishes, glasses, lamps, etc.) in clothing or towels to save on bubble wrap. For extra padding, pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks.
  • Clean your old home ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it. You’ll thank yourself later.
  • Fill luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods to save on boxes.
  • Safeguard highly-valued items. Check your homeowner’s insurance to see how you are covered during the move, and if you need additional insurance from the mover. Also, find out what paperwork you might need to file a claim in case of loss.
  • Keep important papers with you such as birth certificates, school records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps, and more. Don’t leave these with the mover. Keep them with you!
  • Pack an overnight bag with the essentials, especially if you’re driving a far distance to your new home.

 Self-Storage Saves the Day!

Often when moving homes, the timing is a little off. Maybe your lease is up in your old apartment and your new home isn’t ready to move into yet.Or maybe you’re still selling your old home and you need to clear out the rooms for realtor showings. A self-storage unit is an easy, secure, and inexpensive option for storing your belongings. The Storage Inn offers 45 different storage unit sizes located in a clean, secure family-owned facility. We even have a resident security manager! It’s a great option for keeping your stuff safe and organized. 

When moving, we often find things we never use that take up space, but we just can’t let them go. Storage units help us hold on to these dear possessions. You can rent spaces as small as closets at your local storage facility. The Storage Inn also offers a free moving truck rental for local moves as well as vehicle storage for your bigger toys.

The Storage Inn is committed to making your moving day as easy as possible. Call or stop in for great prices on storage space, packing supplies, and truck and van rentals. Happy Moving!!!

A Trip to Beat the Winter Blues!

It’s February here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey, and despite the colder weather, the place is buzzing! Many of our storage rental customers are coming in to rearrange their storage space in anticipation of Spring’s arrival – others, I believe, just have cabin fever. Whatever the reason, they are here, and like most businesses, our customers come in all shapes and sizes. We have senior citizens, young couples just starting out, students, people moving, and families downsizing, just to name a few. Our customers also run the full spectrum of personality types, from shy and retiring, to bold and boisterous! One of our more flamboyant and energetic couples, Marc and Tanya, popped into the rental office today to let me know that they were paying their rent, and that I would not see them for a while because they were going to Mardi Gras! They explained that they had been invited, spur of the moment, by some friends of theirs, and while they were very excited, they knew very little about Mardi Gras. I suggested that we do the red blooded American thing, and Google Mardi Gras. So we did – here is a condensed list of what we learned…

MARDI GRAS IS ALWAYS THE TUESDAY BEFORE ASH WEDNESDAY
Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French. With Ash Wednesday marking the beginning of Lent, a 40 day period of fasting before Easter, Mardi Gras is the “last hurrah” of sorts, with participants indulging in their favorite fatty foods and drinks before giving them up.

MARDI GRAS MARKS THE END OF CARNIVAL SEASON
Countries around the world celebrate Mardi Gras as the last day of Carnival season, which starts after Christmas, on January 6th, (known as ‘Twelfth Night’).

MARDI GRAS IS ALSO KNOWN AS “PANCAKE DAY”
In Ireland, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, people celebrate Mardi Gras by eating pancakes and participating in pancake themed activities.

THE OFFICIAL COLORS OF MARDI GRAS ARE PURPLE, GOLD, AND GREEN
Purple signifies justice, gold means power, and green stands for faith.

KING’S CAKE IS EATEN ALL THROUGHOUT CARNIVAL SEASON
King’s cake (or three kings cake), is eaten throughout the world during carnival season. In the US, it is traditionally purple, green, and gold, with a trinket baby Jesus inside. Whoever gets the baby Jesus is said to have good luck all year!

THE FIRST NEW ORLEANS MARDI GRAS PARADE WAS 177 YEARS AGO
New Orleans has been celebrating Fat Tuesday with parades since 1837. The first floats appeared in the parade in 1857.

PARADES ARE PLANNED BY ‘KREWES’
Krewes are the organizations that put on a parade and/or a ball for Mardi Gras/Carnival. They are clubs of a sort, with dues ranging from $20 to thousands of dollars annually. Krewes are also responsible for selecting carnival royalty in New Orleans, such as ‘Rex’, the king of Mardi Gras.

MASKS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW FOR FLOAT RIDERS
Yep, it’s illegal to ride on a float without a mask! The original purpose of the mask was to get rid of social constraints for the day, allowing people to mingle with whomever they chose.

BEADS HAVE BEEN A TRADITION SINCE THE EARLY 1900’s
Beads were first thrown by Santa during a parade in the early 1900’s. People also throw stuffed animals, toys and more.

MARDI GRAS IS A STATE HOLIDAY IN SOME PLACES
Fat Tuesday is an official state holiday in Alabama, (the home of the first Mardi Gras parade and 2nd biggest current celebration), Florida, and parts of Louisiana. Although it’s not a state holiday in Texas, Galveston is home to one of the biggest celebrations in the country!

After completing our research, we all agreed that this sounded like a good time! “See you when you get back” I shouted as Marc and Tanya ran out the door, and across the parking lot to their car. I have to admit, I’m a little bit jealous. I also have a sudden urge to decorate our golf cart and ride around the property wearing a mask and beads while eating pancakes! Happy Mardi Gras everyone!

Jumping Into Leap Year

Storage Inn Leap Year Blog Post

February 2020 is rolling along here at The Storage Inn in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, but the cold weather does not seem to have slowed down our self-storage customers at all! Our storage rental facility is bustling with self-storage customers!

Yesterday, a nice young man was renting one of our storage units, he commented on how busy we are.

“ It’s like this 365 days a year” I replied.

“366 days this year” replied Jake, our new tenant. 

“Ahhhh – right. It’s a leap year” I mused, as Jake and I finished his paperwork for our Free Moving Truck Rental program. This made me wonder… what is Leap Year, and why do we do it?

Why do we have one extra day at the end of February every four years?

Here are some fun facts about a leap year and leap days….

Why add a leap day?

Feb. 29 is leap day; the day inserted into the calendar every four years to keep our calendar operating smoothly. This extra day makes the year 366 days long, instead of 365 days like regular years. Leap days are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. We use “leap year” because each date on the calendar jumps ahead two days of the week instead of one.

It takes the Earth approximately 365.242189 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds – to circle once around the Sun. This is called a tropical year. Without an extra day on February 29 nearly every four years, we would lose almost six hours every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.

All Hail Caesar

Julius Caesar introduced the first leap year around 46 B.C., but his Julian calendar had only one rule: Any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. That created too many leap years. (Pope Gregory XIII introduced his Gregorian calendar more than 1,500 years later which helped to fix this issue.)

Leap Year Calculations

There’s a leap year every year that is divisible by the number 4, except for years that are both divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. The year 2000 was a leap year, but the years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not. The added rule about centuries (versus just every four years) was an additional fix to make up for the fact that an extra day every 4 years is too much of a correction.

Leap Months in other countries

A whole leap month is added to the Chinese calendar every three years. The leap month’s place in the Chinese calendar varies from year to year, and 2015 was a leap year in the Chinese calendar.

A leap year in the Ethiopian calendar occurs when an extra day is added to the last month of the year every four years.

Leap Year Traditions

It’s acceptable for a woman to propose to a man on Feb. 29. The custom has been attributed to St. Bridget, who is said to have complained to St.
Patrick about women having to wait for men to propose marriage. Patrick supposedly gave women one day to propose.

Leap Year Babies

People born on leap day are often called “leaplings” or “leapers.” Most of them celebrate their birthday on Feb. 28 or March 1 on non-leap years.

Leap Year Capital

The twin cities of Anthony, Texas, and Anthony, New Mexico, are the self-proclaimed Leap Year Capital of the World. They hold a four-day leap year festival each leap year that includes a huge birthday party for all leap year babies.

Famous Leapers

If you were born on leap day, you share a birthday with composer Gioacchino Rossini, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, jazz musician Jimmy Dorsey, actors Dennis Farina and Antonio Sabato Jr., and rapper/actor Ja Rule.

There’s a Leap year club

The Honor Society of Leap Year Babies is a club for people born on Feb. 29. More than 10,000 people worldwide are members.

Leap Year The Movie

Amy Adams and Matthew Goode starred in the 2010 romcom “Leap Year.”
It’s about a woman who travels to Ireland to ask her boyfriend to accept her wedding proposal on leap day, when tradition says that men cannot refuse a woman’s marriage proposal.

Leap Years in History

During leap years, George Armstrong Custer fought the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876), the Titanic sank (1912), Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity (1752) and gold was discovered in California (1848).

Well, now we know a little bit about leap year, why we have it, and where it came from. So, if you’re turning 40 this year the staff here at The Storage Inn would like to wish you a Happy 10th Birthday!

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.