Thursday, March 14, 2013

5 Items You Should Never Buy Used

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Buying many of the objects you want and need used can save you a ton of money. You can buy amazing things for a fraction of the price you would have paid if you had bought it new. With that being said, there should be no reason you would buy anything new, right? Well, not necessarily; there are certain things you should never buy used. 

Never Buy These Used

1. Mattresses: Let’s face it people, we live in a world that is full of bugs. Some of these bugs serve an important purpose. Bed bugs are not one of them. They infest these mattresses, and once you bring them into your home, these nasty little critters will be everywhere. They are disgusting little parasitic insects that feed off of human blood. They leave little itchy bite marks and are incredibly difficult to get rid of. Yes, you may save a pretty penny buying a mattress used, but think about the expensive bill you’ll wrack up getting rid of bed bugs if you get them. 

2. Hats: Hats and other head attire may look cool inside a second hand shop, but be cautious! It’s worth repeating, we live in a world that is full of bugs! You don’t know the person who owned the hat before you. They could’ve had lice. These little suckers are also fairly difficult to get rid of. If you do buy a hat infested with lice, getting rid of them requires pesticide treatments on everyone in the household, not just the person who wore the hat. You will also have to thoroughly clean linens, bedding, clothes, mattresses,  and any other soft fabric in the house. This can be time consuming and costly. So, save yourself some money and avoid hats!

3. Vacuums: Cleaning and tidying up is tedious and your cleaning supplies can take quite a beating. Vacuums are often pressed against the wall, and the pieces, like belts and bags can get broken easily. It can be a hassle to find the right parts to replace the old. On top of that, vacuums are designed to suck up dirt from rugs. If the previous owner had bed bugs or lice, guess what’s being sucked up into the vacuum? You guessed it, those nasty creepy crawlers. 

4. Swimsuits: Swimsuits are designed to hug the body and fit fairly snug. With that being said, this close contact between the skin and the fabric can transmit bacteria and other diseases. Swimsuits come with special washing instructions. If the instructions weren’t followed properly, that could leave the fabric fragile and lead to rips. 

5. Stuffed Animals: Children love their stuffed animals, and many bring their favorite teddy with them everywhere. Now, imagine all of the places Teddy goes with their child. They are placed on various surfaces, with dirt, bacteria, and gooey substances ending up on Teddy. Washing stuffed animals can get rid of a lot of the baggage that it has collected, but again, it won’t get rid of bugs! Lice and bed bugs love stuffed animals, so be careful!

Hopefully this list of the top 5 items you should never buy used is helpful. It could potentially save you hundreds of dollars. Do you honestly want to risk buying something that could be infested? Just thinking about it gives you the heebie jeebies. 
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Buying Second Hand Items

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Are you interested in buying something new? Maybe you need something, like a new car seat for your child, or a textbook for college. Surely, you’ve questioned how much these objects are going to cost you, but have you thought about how much you would save if you bought many of your items second hand?

We live in a culture that is constantly seeking the newest and most updated version of everything. So, what happens when someone gets bored of their designer shirt after wearing it three times? They most likely donate it to a second hand or thrift shop where it will be marked down and sold. There’s a type of stigma surrounding second hand shops, like they’re dirty and only for poor people. This mindset needs to change! Of course, there are some things you should never buy second hand, like a bed for example, but there are many things you can buy that will save you a ton of money and you won’t miss out. 

Examples of Items Worth Buying Used

Second hand cars: are a very popular purchase. However, you do have to be careful, since there are some bad apples. Make sure you get it inspected before buying it, and if at all possible ask for a vehicle history report, like CarFax. This can save you a lot of money, and you can get a reliable car in the process. 
Books: are also a steal when you buy them second hand. There really isn’t a reason why you shouldn’t buy your books used if you can. In the case of textbooks, most of the used books are in pretty good shape, since they’re normally only used for one semester. The price difference is amazing for a new textbook and a gently used one. Think about it!
Sports and Exercise Equipment: aren’t used as much as people initially intend and often people decide to discard of them. Weights don’t go bad, and as long as the equipment has all the pieces, it’s normally very sturdy and useful. 

Furniture: is often a great bargain when you find it used. Just be careful, and cautious of potential hazards, like bed bugs. If you find the right piece of furniture at the right price, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars. People also go hunting for antique items or unique items at second hand shops. As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!”

Jewelry: can also be a great bargain. Diamonds are forever, right? Gold and silver never tarnish, and you can find some great pieces that will bring you joy for years. Why would you want to go to a high-end jewelry store before checking second hand shops? You might find something you love and you’ll pay a fraction of the price!

Baby Gear: is only used for a short time, babies are constantly growing, and outgrowing their clothes, toys, and furniture. You can find some really cute clothes for your little one at a second hand shop, and since you know they’re only going to fit into them for a short while, you can feel more easy buying clothes at a cheaper price. 

Other items you can buy used and save a ton of money include clothes, tools, electronics, movies and games, and dish ware. You can save thousands of dollars by buying used. Let the other people make the initial purchase, let them spend a ridiculous amount of money, and when they’re through with it, you’ll be there reaping all of the benefits; money still in your pocket!
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The 'Open Me First' Box

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Staying organized during the moving process can be tricky. There are so many small things to keep in mind, and it can be overwhelming. You would think that it would be so much easier if you could just throw all of your stuff into boxes, tape them up, and send them away. However, unpacking all of that mess would be a nightmare!

Moving can be exhausting, and packing and unpacking can cause unnecessary stress that you can avoid. If you start with an organizational approach, packing can move smoothly. If you have packed efficiently, then moving can have minimal hassle. If both the packing and the moving went ok, unpacking should go much easier. What does all of this mean, you might be wondering. Well, first, it is smart to plan your packing schedule and write everything down. Have some sort of inventory list of what each container holds and label them. This step alone can make or break your unpacking experience. If you have to rummage through your boxes time after time to find what you’re looking for, chances are the time that you spend unpacking is going to be much longer.

You should also think about your mindset on moving day. Don’t expect yourself to want to unpack everything on the first day after moving everything. You should have an “Open Me First” box for every important room. These boxes should contain the essentials, so that you can unpack everything at a more leisurely pace. “Open Me First” boxes are incredibly helpful.

After a big, hectic day of moving, you and your family are probably going to be hungry. Think ahead of time as to what you want to do on moving day, and that will determine what you pack in your “Open Me First” box for the kitchen. Some people pack paper plates with plastic silverware and water bottles so they can whip something up quickly when they are at the new place. Other people plan on ordering take out the first day, so if that’s your plan, program the takeout place’s number into your phone ahead of time; it’ll save you the hassle of looking it up on the spot. Your “Open Me First” box for the kitchen should include items such as 
  • Non-perishable snacks: for you and the family, you’re going to get hungry!
  • Roll of paper towels: things might get messy and you’ll need something to clean up with.
  • Dish soap: a small bottle should be ok, this is for the first couple of days. 
  • Cookware: one frying pan, pot, spatula, and couple of plates and utensils should do for the first couple of days until you’ve had time to unpack more. 
  • Coffee pot! The morning after the big move you’re going to be tired, and many people cant even function first thing in the morning without their coffee. Remember to pack coffee cups, creamer, sugar, coffee, and filters along with the pot. 
Your “Open Me First” box might have more in it, but remember these are the essentials; the things you’re going to need the most and probably the soonest. The china and the knick knacks are probably low on your list of things you cant live without. You can have a box for the combination of bathroom and shower. This box can contain items such as
  • Toilet Paper: at least one roll to get you through the first couple of days
  • Hand soap: moving day shouldn’t be an excuse not to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. 
  • Hand towel or paper towels: to dry your hands
  • Shower Curtain: and shower curtain accessories like the curtain rod, curtain hooks, etc. You won’t really be able to take a shower without it!
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and soap: At the end of moving day, you’re going to feel dirty and sweaty. Taking a nice shower will help. 
  • Bath Towels: You’ll need these for showering, unless you think you can pull off drying you and your family with paper towels!
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Blow dryer and hair brush
You don’t need to put your bathroom rugs and vanities around during the first day or so, remember, just stick with the basics! Some things you might not want to forget are cell phone chargers and scissors. They will come in handy in every room. Also, be mindful of your sleeping situation. If you are planning on sleeping in your beds that night remember to pack your pillows and blankets in an “Open Me First” box for each bedroom. Each family member should also pack an individual bag that has a couple of days worth of clothes in it so everyone isn’t scrambling for clean clothes. Remember your medications as well, they’re needed for a reason!
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Friday, March 1, 2013

Packing Up Your Self-Storage Unit

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If you’re planning on putting your stuff in a self-storage unit, there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind. You wouldn’t think there would have to be so much thought put into it, but in order to pack it successfully and efficiently, you have to think about it. 

First. think about the packing material you’re going to use. Make sure that what ever you put your stuff in can be stacked easily. Plastic totes are perfect for this, and are more durable than boxes. Remember, put the heaviest containers on the bottom, and the lighter ones on the top. 

Depending on the size of your storage unit, you might want to incorporate small walkways and paths throughout the unit. This alleviates having to move containers around trying to get to the one you want. 

If you decide to use boxes, make sure that you fill them up all the way. If you don’t they tend to crumple and fold in on themselves, which makes them fall apart easier, and thus they’re less durable. 

Make sure to clean metal objects before storing them. They should be be dried very well too, since metal objects that sit for a while tend to rust. 

To lower the chances of theft from your storage unit, put the most valuable belongings in the back of the unit, that way it looks like there isn’t anything valuable in the storage unit. Make sure to buy your own padlock as well. 

If your storage unit isn’t climate controlled, and humidity rises, your stuff might be effected. Furniture warps, metal rusts, appliances mildew. To avoid this, leave space between your stuff and the unit’s floor and walls. This allows the air to circulate within the unit. Also, laying plastic sheeting on the floor and stacking boxes on wooden pallets so they’re off the floor avoids trouble. 

There’s absolutely no reason for you to leave anything flammable or combustable in your storage unit. That means you cannot keep gasoline,oil, cleaning fluids or paint thinner. If you’re storing any machinery that runs on gas, drain the tank before you store it. Do not store hazardous chemicals, fuel, or illegal items.

After reading all of the above, it’s easy to see that there’s a lot that goes into packing and storing things in your storage unit. If you follow all of the advice above, your storing experience should be great. 
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