West River Eagle

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Home and Garden Tips


Greetings, everyone, and thanks again as always for your continued following.

It looks like winter has held on to Cheyenne River a little longer than most years. There was also a return of thunderstorms this past week. This has got to be a sign of the end of the long winter and that spring is near. I hope all are well, and wish everyone a great week ahead.

Spring is the typical time for spring cleaning as well as moving house.

Sorting items

It’s often not practical to go through everything we own every year. With our busy lives, most of us do it every two years or so. It never ceases to amaze me how much stuff we hold on to for no real reason. Here are a few ideas for paring down what has accumulated in our homes.

Storage ideas

1. Unless it’s a family keepsake, if you have not used something in a year, consider getting rid of it. Things such as crafting items for that project you never started can be donated to a non-profit.

2. Cords, cords and more cords. If you have no idea what it goes to, toss it.

3. Pictures: Digitize your memories, then put the originals into long-term storage in photo-safe bins or a safe deposit box.

4. Kitchen gadgets and gifts you will never use: Stop saving them year over year and donate them to a local non-profit.

Additional ideas to consider

1. Storage for books: You may want to consider putting part of your collection into storage and annually rotating what you have in and out of storage. This way you know what you have and may be more likely to pick up a book on a snowy day. Cookbooks are another space hogger. Instead of buying more consider e-books that take up no space.

2. Shoes: Depending on who you are, you may be like me and only have two pairs of shoes or you may have hundreds. Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if some of those shoes are ever worn. If not, donate them to a non-profit where they will be loved by someone who has none.

3. Paper: Digitize dreaded paper records with a home scanner and put them into long term storage. I.R.S. records need to be held for 10 years now. Bank statements no longer need to be held at home as e-banking is available everywhere. Birth records and such should be in a safe or safe deposit box no matter what.

Offsite storage considerations

The number one thing to consider with offsite storage is a fairly new product called storage insurance. 

These policies usually cover up to $5,000 and cost $15 per year. But you also may consider a rider for higher amounts on your renters or homeowners’ policy.

Being that South Dakota winters are so brutal, a heated unit is a must in my opinion. If you are in other areas a heated unit may be a waste of money. 

Cost of storage will vary greatly depending on where you are and the type you need. In my neighborhood we have Public Storage, Inc. 

They charge $3.84 per square foot. This is determined by length, width and height. So say you decide on a 5×10 space, this is $104 a month plus tax.

If you need to rotate items on a regular or quarterly basis, cube storage may be an option to consider. This system of storage is where you order a 5 ft. x 10 ft. cube and it is delivered to your home or workplace.

You load it and then it’s picked up and taken to a long-term heated storage location. You can order as many as you want and request they be brought back out to a location as many times as you need. These units run about $0.8 per square foot. If you need seamless services, this is the storage solution of all solutions.

At home, consider converting attic space or shed. Sheds will run you as little as $20 per square foot, depending on size, if you build it yourself. Prefabricated units vary in cost but figure at least $1700 up to $12,000.

The cost of converting attics can run very high but you will recoup that cost in home value and rental savings. Figure at least $5000 up to $20,000 to convert attic spaces. This includes cabinetry added and pull-down stair units.

Moving trucks

Moving trucks vary a lot in cost, depending on if you hire a driver/company or drive yourself. The other cost variation to consider is size. Also understand that the low price advertised is most often just the daily user fee.

Other costs that will be added are fuel and mileage charges. It is my advice to never rent a truck without taking advantage of their insurance policy that runs from $10 per rental/week to $20. 

It’s cheap peace of mind. In most cases you will not be held responsible for other people’s actions.

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