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Back to School Tips for Elementary Parents and Students

elementary-school-students-raising-hands-in-classroom-e1380536491162Where did the summer go? It is hard to believe, but local elementary to high school students and families are in the midst of preparations for heading back to school! Students in the Savannah-Chatham County school district and Liberty County school district  will be heading back to school the first week of August.  Back to school time can be stressful for the entire family. Children and parents are nervous about going to school, having a new teacher, new classroom and making new friends and parents are in turn nervous for their children!

Back to School Tips for Parents

Getting your child prepared for school for the first time requires planning and practicing.  There are many things that need to be taken care of before the child goes back to school as well as during the first week of classes. If you follow these tips, the first day of school won’t be so stressful:

  • Parents should have a positive attitude about going back to school and share their enthusiasm about learning, reading and school with their children.
  • Attend back-to-school open houses and “meet the teacher” events and parent/teacher conferences. Have an open communication channel with the child’s teacher via email or in person conference.
  • Make sure that the children’s forms, including permission slips, health forms and school supply lists are completed and organized. Keep these items together in a folder (per child) or scan them into the computer for safe keeping.
  • Create a family calendar to list school assignment due dates, meeting dates, activities, play dates, etc. Encourage the children to add to the calendar and check it daily.
  • Develop the back to school routine that includes morning, after-school homework and evening activities. Allow the child time directly after school to “decompress” and play before delving into homework.
  • Have a designated spot for homework. It should be a clean flat surface with good lighting and free from distractions. Have homework supplies (pencils, paper, glue sticks, etc.,) near the homework spot, so a child can easily grab what they need.
  • Get involved in the school activities. If able, volunteer to help with the child’s class or at school events.

 

Back to School Tips for Kids

Back to school week can be daunting for children, but if a family has a routine that the child is used to, then the transition to summer vacation to back to school can be easier. The most important thing for a family to do during back to school time is to have a routine and daily schedule for morning routines, after-school activities and playdates, homework and bedtime.

  • It is very important that the child gets enough sleep. School aged children should have at least 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Adjust the child’s bedtime earlier the week before school starts to give them time to get used to a new schedule.
  • Have the child help with “back to school” shopping. Let them pick out the colors of their backpack, lunch box and school supplies.
  • Now that summer is over, it is time to get your child back in the healthy eating habit. Pack healthy snacks and lunches for the child. Set a time to pack lunches with your child’s assistance.
  • Have a designated spot to put backpacks every day when the school day is over. Parents and children should go through the backpack together in order to get homework assignments, notes from the school and any other information. Make sure that completed assignments get placed in the backpack every evening.
  • The night before the first day of school, pick out your outfit from socks to tops and have it laid out ready for the next morning. Pack the backpack with all of the supplies that you will need on the first day of school.

Once families are in the full swing of the school year, sports or other extra-curricular activities clutter can begin to build in your once organized space. Consider renting a self storage unit to place sporting equipment, extra supplies and children projects to help keep your home organized. Stop N Stor sends best wishes to students and families heading back to school in the Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah areas!

Cleaning Out and De-Cluttering Your Closet

Closet organization Tips

Depending on the size of the home or apartment, the amount of closet or storage space could be very limited. In fact, there usually is more stuff to store than there is storage space. Cleaning your closet clutter on regular basis is key to maximizing your storage space. If you didn’t complete your spring organization projects, now is a great time to work on them. We are “in-between” seasons, which is a great time to organize and declutter your closet before it is time to get ready to switch out the closet to fall and winter clothing.

As with any decluttering project it is important to go one room at a time. This is also true when you are cleaning out your closet. Work on one room at a time, one closet at a time.  If you do not have enough room for storing excess items that you have removed from your closet, then it is time to place these household belongings in a self storage unit. Self storage is a great place to store seasonal clothing and accessories. Just remember to wash the clothes before storage, so they will be fresh to use during the next change of season.

How to Declutter and Organize Your Closets

Having an organized closet will allow you to find the clothing and accessories that you need to have for your day. Below are a few suggestions to get you started on your organizing and decluttering project:

  • Remove any item that doesn’t belong in that particular closet and put it in its proper home. Items that should belong in a kitchen or hallway closet should not be stored in a bedroom closet.
  • Remove all items from the closet that you are going to reorganize. Designate a certain area to place and then sort all of the items from the closet. This is a very important first step of your project. It allows you to see everything that you have “stuffed” into the closet allowing you to assess the items easier.
  • Once you have everything out of the closet and before you put things back in do a good cleaning of the closet space by dusting shelves and sweeping, mopping or vacuuming the floors. If you have the time, refresh the pain in the closet.
  • Have a friend help you decide what items you need to keep or get rid of in your closet. An “outside” opinion on your wardrobe or accessories will help you keep on track for your de-cluttering project.
  • After inventorying the items in your closet, then it is time to decide what you want to with the items.  Also, look for damaged items that need repair as well as items that are out-of-date.
  • Once you are finished sorting the wardrobe and accessories that you are keeping in your closet, then categorize them into “like” groupings like shoes, scarves, hats, or by season. Create your own categories and stick with them.  There are many closet storage solutions that are used specifically for this purpose. A good closet storage solution will create more space, streamline your organization and makes items easier to find. Utilize all the storage space in the closet including shelving and the floor. There are great closet door storage ideas for shoes or accessories.  Clear plastic bins are preferred for closet storage because you can see the items that you are storing. Don’t forget to label the boxes with the items that you are storing.
  • As you are putting the items back in the closet, put the most frequently used items within reach. These items should have the “prime” space in the closet. If you have room, put the “off-season” items towards the back of the closet and rotate every season.

The more often that you declutter and organize your closet, the easier the task will become. Instead of a daunting project once a year, do weekly decluttering of your closet. Move your excess items to a self storage unit for storage both seasonally and all year long.  Wardrobe boxes or plastic storage bins are a great storage solution for winter items such as sweaters and heavy coats. These items can be easily hung in the box and items can be switched out seasonally. You can find wardrobe boxes and plastic storage bins at your local home store, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. Stop N Stor has a variety of moving and packing supplies and boxes, at their 6 locations to help with your packing needs. Stop N Stor has a variety of storage unit sizes that you fit any storage need. Stop in to any of our Hinesville, Port Wentworth or Savannah locations to find out how we can help!

Take a Cruise On a Savannah Riverboat

Savannah Riverboats
Photo courtesy of Savannah Riverboat Cruises.

The Savannah River is one of Georgia’s longest and largest waterways. It defines most of the boundary of Georgia and South Carolina. The New Georgia Encyclopedia  states  the Savannah River starts at the merger of the Seneca and Tugaloo Rivers in eastern Georgia and ends in the Atlantic Ocean, 15 mile downstream from Savannah. The river travels over 300 miles from beginning to end. There are at least 11 tributaries that form off of the Savannah River.

There are two major cities that were formed on the Savannah River: Savannah and Augusta. Both of these cities were very important early English settlements during the Colonial era. In the early 1800’s the Savannah River was used as a way to transport cotton between Augusta and Savannah. The first steamboat appeared on the Savannah River in 1808. The Savannah River was a key distribution point during the Civil War and was blockaded by the Union Navy for most of the war. After the war, distribution of cotton and other materials continued along the river until the late 1880’s when production and distribution changed. Starting in the 1950’s, the Army Corp. of Engineers started building dams along the river for hydroelectricity, flood control and navigation forming over 120 miles of lakes. Today, the Savannah River is the shipping channel for the Port of Savannah, the 10th busiest port in the Unites States for ocean-going container ships.

Savannah Riverboat Cruises

For the city of Savannah, the Savannah River is a destination point and place for boating, sightseeing or just sitting along River Street enjoying summer fireworks and the great scenery. One of the iconic ways of enjoying a trip on the Savannah River is by taking a riverboat cruise. Passengers, both tourist and locals, can take a step back in time to enjoy a slower time in history when steamboats were the kings of the river.

Savannah Riverboat Cruises  is the primary provider of riverboat cruises in Savannah. The company was founded by Captain Jonathan H. Claughton in 1991 to fill a need for riverboat dinner cruises on the Savannah River. They currently have 3 riverboats running: The Savannah River Queen, which holds 400 passengers, the Georgia Queen, which holds 600 passengers and the New River Queen, which holds over 800 passengers. All three boats are climate controlled with an open air third deck. The tours travel up river towards the ports and then back down to pass the statue of the waving girl. The length of the tours will depend on the river conditions and the type of cruise that it being taken.

Savannah Riverboat Cruises offer a variety of cruises from the popular Harbor Sightseeing Cruise to Sunday Brunch Cruises. There is usually a cruise or theme for every night of the week. The company also has seasonal cruises for holidays and special events such as Fourth of July, Mother’s or Father’s Day and Christmas.  The cruises include historic tales and stories about the city of Savannah and the river as well as the importance of the Savannah River for modern Savannah. The times of the tour vary, depending on the type of cruise that you are taking. The ticket office is located at the riverboat dock at 9 East River Street directly behind City Hall and next to the Hyatt Regency.

Stop N Stor is proud to be a member of a Savannah community and is happy to be able to share in the heritage and history of the great city along the Savannah River.

Self Storage for the Military

self storage for military Moving and being sent on deployment is a part of daily life for military personnel and their families. Military families can relocate every two years, which is 2.5 times more often than civilian families. Military personnel can be deployed or moved all over the world to over 900 bases in 150 countries worldwide. These assignments can happen on short notice requiring the military members and their families to have to quickly put together a moving or deployment plan therefore, military families learn to easily adapt and plan for any situation.

Military deployments can last anywhere from 6 months to over a year. If they are for over a year, it is a good idea for the soldiers without families to store their personal items into a self storage unit during their time away. Storing items in a self storage unit is a safe and economically viable option for military personnel during deployments or relocations. In fact, active military members rent up to 95% of available storage near U. S. military bases. Military families can use self storage as a place to store items if they know that there is going to be frequent moves or if the housing in a new assignment will be much smaller than a past home. Many self storage facilities, including Stop N Stor, offer military discounts to active duty military personnel.

The most important thing a solider needs to worry about when renting a storage unit during deployment is deciding what items they will need to take with them during the assignment and what items can stay in storage. Storage units are great to place furniture, electronics and appliances. If you have to store an entire home or apartment, it might be a good idea to invest in a climate controlled storage unit to protect your items over long-term storage. Placing a car in self storage during deployment is also a great idea. With the proper pre-storage preparations, the car will be ready for use when the soldier returns home. Soldiers can have peace of mind knowing that their items are protected by state-of-the-art security systems including video cameras, fencing and personalized gate and storage unit access.

Stop N Stor  has storage facilities in Hinesville, Georgia near Ft. Stewart, and facilities in the Savannah Area near Hunter Air Field. Ft. Stewart is the home of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division and the largest military base east of the Mississippi River.  The base is over 280,000 acres covering portions of five counties including Liberty, Long, Tattnall, Evans and Bryan. There are over 21,000 soldiers and 29,500 family members currently stationed at Ft. Stewart and Hunter Air Field. In March, over 3,000 soldiers from Ft. Stewart were deployed to different countries in Europe to train with NATO allies. Ft Stewart provides informational services to the service members and their families to help during times of relocation or deployment.

The self storage industry supports many different aspects of military life from sending essential gift boxes to supporting our wounded heroes. Stop N Stor is proud of our continued support of Wounded Warrior Outdoors, a non-profit organization that gives therapeutic outdoor adventures to wounded, but active duty service men and women.

Thank you to every member of the military past and present who have fought for and defended our freedoms!  Remember to stop at Stop N Stor for all of your storage needs. We can help during times of deployment, moving or just decluttering your home.

Be Safe in Savannah for the Fourth of July Holiday

Fourth of July Safety TipsFourth of July is this Saturday. It will be a long weekend of picnics with friends and family, parades, fireworks and trips to the beach. There are three major annual fireworks events in the Savannah area: The Independence Day Celebration at Hunter Army Airfield on Thursday, July 2nd,  the fireworks at Tybee Island  on July 3rd and the fireworks over the Savannah River from River Street in historic downtown Savannah.

The 4th of July holiday events are always fun, but they can also be very dangerous due to mishandling and misuse of fireworks, improper grilling techniques or unsafe beach-going practices. Stop N Stor  wants to keep your family safe this holiday weekend by sharing a few fireworks, grilling  and beach safety tips!

Beach Safety Tips

Many families will be heading to the many great beaches on Tybee Island or along the South Carolina coasts during the long holiday weekend.  There are a few simple tips to remember when you spend large amounts of time at the beach that even the avid beach goer should always be reminded of:

  • Only swim in a lifeguarded beach within a designated swimming area. These areas are roped off for safety reasons. If there is a rip current warning, do not go swimming!
  • Keep alert for local weather conditions. Storms can move in off shore very quickly.
  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Young children should always wear a coast guard approved life jacket.
  • Watch out for aquatic life including turtles and turtle nests. Keep an eye out for reports for shark sightings or attacks at the beaches in the Georgia and South Carolina area.
  • Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm. If you are outside during these times, always wear sunscreen starting at spy 15, if you are fairer, then go with higher spas.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol when outside in hot weather as these types of beverages will make you more dehydrated.

Grilling Safety Tips

It is very important to be prepared and safe when using both propane and charcoal grills.

  • Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Clear away any flammable debris that is in the area where the grill is placed.
  • Make sure that the grill is placed in a well-ventilated area and is firmly in place and cannot be tipped over.
  • Never leave a grill unattended when it is in use.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill at all times.
  • If using a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid to enhance or start the fire. Do not add any other flammable fluids to the fire. When you are finished using the charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before deposing them in a metal container.
  • For propane tank grills use, always check the tank and hoses for leaks before each use. If you smell gas while cooking on the grill, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill!
  • Do not use wire brushes to clean your grill.
  • Use long-handled utensils when cooking on a grill to avoid burns and splatters. Do not wear loose-fitting clothing near the open flame of a grill. Use flame –retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents and grills.

Fireworks Safety Tips

It is recommended to attend public fireworks shows put on by professionals.  If you do plan on setting off any type of fireworks, there are important safety tips that should be followed.

  • Obey all local laws pertaining to fireworks and displaying fireworks.
  • Keep pets indoors if you are setting off fireworks. They could become agitated with the sights, sounds, and smells of fireworks.
  • Keep the children and pets at least 500 feet away from where fireworks are being set off.
  • Only use fireworks outside. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep fireworks away from landing in trees and brush as these materials are extremely flammable.
  • Have a hose, a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher on hand for emergency situations. Soak all of the fireworks after use in a bucket of water before throwing them in a metal thrash can.
  • Light one firework at a time. Never relight a dud firework.
  • Make sure to properly dispose of the dud fireworks in water before depositing in a metal container.
  • Supervise children when using sparklers. It is important to hold on tight to the sparklers when in use. Do not use sparklers while sitting down and never throw them when they are lit. Children do not realize that sparklers can get up to 2,000 degrees and can be extremely dangerous.

 

Stop N Stor wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!