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4th of July Fireworks and Events in the Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids Area

A family enjoys their 4th of July celebration in Michigan

Independence Day is a time for celebrating our country with friends and family at parades, cookouts, and other events. There are a wide variety of 4th of July celebrations in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, Michigan areas. We’ve rounded up a few of the top 4th of July events in Michigan. Check them out below!

4th of July in the Ann Arbor and Detroit Areas

Ann Arbor Jaycees 2019 4th of July Parade

Thursday, July 4th at 10:00 am

This year, celebrate Independence Day by attending the Ann Arbor Jaycees 2019 4th of July Parade! The parade will start at the intersection of State Street and William Street and stretch for one mile at 10:00 a.m.

Salute to America in Dearborn, MI

Wednesday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 6th

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend both the days leading up to and the 4th of July, consider attending Salute to America in Dearborn, Michigan, July 3rd through the 6th! This event will feature music from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and The United States Army Field Band. There will also be a fireworks show after the performances.

Firecracker 5K

Thursday, July 4th

Kick your 4th of July celebration off to an awesome start at the Ann Arbor Firecracker 5K! The 3.1-mile race kicks off at the intersection of Fourth and Liberty. There is also a non-competitive one-mile distance offered as well as a Kids’ 100-Meter Dash. After the race, there will also be a Children’s Bicycle-Decorating Contest, and all Kids’ Dash participants are invited to march in the Epic Races float in the parade.

Independence Day in the Grand Rapids Area

4th of July Celebration in East Grand Rapids

Thursday, July 4th at noon

Starting at noon on the 4th of July, there will be a city-wide celebration and parade in East Grand Rapids! After the parade, head to the party at John Collins Park on Reeds Lake for musical entertainment, games, inflatables, balloon animals, air brush tattoos, concessions, and food trucks.

Allendale’s 4th of July Celebration

Thursday, July 4th from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

On the 4th of July, bring your family to Allendale’s 4th of July Celebration! This event will start with a parade kicking off at 10:00 at the GVSU campus! After the parade, there will be a Family Fun in the Park event featuring BBQ chicken, a craft vendor fair, an auto show, concessions, and an inflatable bounce house. Fireworks will be set off at dusk.

Red White & Boom

Thursday, July 4th at 7:30 pm

Looking for an action packed 4th of July? Head to Red, White and Boom at the Kalamazoo Speedway! This is a free event with Monster Trucks, a Motocross Ariel Stunt Show, Demo Derby, and an amazing fireworks show!
Self Storage Specialists Has Storage Facilities in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids Areas

Are you looking for household, business, or moving storage? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids areas. Our storage facilities have a variety of popular storage unit sizes including 5×5, 5×10 and 10×10 storage units. Contact us to rent a storage unit today!

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Military Moving Tips for Relocation or PCS

A military family together before a moveHave you recently found out that you or your spouse is being relocated? For a military family, this is not uncommon. Whether it is a temporary move or a PCS, finding out your life will be changing so drastically can be scary. When times get tough, we’re here to help. Keep reading this blog for 6 military moving tips!

Military Movers Guide for Relocation or PCS

  • Plan when orders arrive: When word starts going around that there may be a potential PCS or relocation, it may be tempting to start planning right away. In order to prevent unnecessary stress, wait until you receive actual orders before you start planning and packing.
  • Prepare ahead of time: It’s amazing how many items we acquire every month. Once you get official orders that you are moving, limit the purchases you make. Obviously, food is still necessary, but avoid purchasing items in bulk or items you will not be able to use before the move.
  • Sort through all items: One of the best ways to limit how much you have to move on your moving day is to comb through your house and pull out any unneeded items. As a general rule of thumb, if you haven’t used it in the last year, you do not need it. Comb through your closets, drawers, and basement, and pull out anything that will not be moved to your new home. These items can be given to friends, donated, or sold to help out with moving expenses.
  • Use a camera to take inventory: When moving, it is smart to take inventory of your home by taking pictures of everything. This not only saves you time, but if there is a problem in the future, a photo is very hard to dispute.
  • Make a first day box: Set items aside that you will need as soon as you get to your new house. Some items you may need as soon as you get to your house are: phone chargers, medicine, soap, and a change of clothes. These items should be placed in a box clearly labeled to not be placed on the moving truck. On the day of your move, make sure this box stays with you.
  • Use a storage unit: If your move isn’t permanent and you expect to be back in a year or so, consider renting a storage unit. Renting a storage unit will prevent you from having to move items you don’t immediately need in your new home and then back again in a few years. Renting a storage unit is also a great option for PCS moves if your new home will not be as spacious as your past home.

Make Your Move Easier with a Self Storage Rental!

Are you looking for a storage facility near Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo, Michigan? Self Storage Specialists have a variety of sizes of storage units available that are perfect for either big or small storage needs. Our storage facilities offer both traditional and climate-controlled storage units for rent.

Reserve a storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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6 Steps to Follow After Inheriting a House

A door with a key in itIf a loved one recently passed and left his or her house to you, you are likely going through a roller coaster of emotions. This can be a very trying time as you deal with both the sadness of losing someone you love and having to decide what to do with the house, but we want to help you as much as we can.
In this post, you will find a helpful step-by-step guide for what you should do when you inherit a house.

What to do When You Inherit a House

  • Take a deep breath: While it may be tempting to dive right into figuring out what to do with the house, take a second to process everything. You are more than likely experiencing a lot of emotions, and the last thing you want to do is to make a decision that you’ll later regret. Once you are feeling more clearheaded, the house will be there waiting for you.
  • Pay any outstanding bills: Next, it’s time to take care of any outstanding housekeeping tasks. For example, update the homeowner’s insurance policy, pay all of the utilities, and keep up with the mortgage if there is one.
  • Get the house appraised: While you are processing, get a rough appraisal of the house. This may be more difficult to do with all of the belongings inside, but figuring out what the house is worth may help you to determine the next steps. While you may know the original rate of purchase, it has likely fluctuated as time has passed.
  • Talk to family members: If you are not the sole inheritor of the house, it is important to consult with all parties before you make a decision on the house. Call a meeting with anyone involved in the decision to determine your next steps.
  • Make a decision: There really are only 3 possible options after inheriting a house; sell it, rent it out, or have one party live in it. Generally speaking, if there are more than one heir involved, the easiest option is to sell the house. If one of the heirs wants to live in the house, another good option is for that person to buy out the rest of the house shares. If you are the sole inheritor of the house, the decision is really up to you.
  • Ask for help: Regardless of which option you choose, it is likely that you’ll have to empty many of the items out of the house. The best way to do this is to have the people close to the person that passed go through the house first and identify any items they want to keep for themselves. Once everyone has had the chance to go through the house and when you are ready, plan on selling or donating any other items.

Let a Storage Unit Help

Depending on the status of the mortgage payments, you may have to either sell or rent out the house sooner than you would like. If you are in a situation like this, consider renting a storage unit in which you can store items from the house until you are ready to sort through them. When you are ready, the items from the house will be waiting inside of the storage unit.

Visit our website to learn more about storage unit options.

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5 Tips for Living at Home After College

Parents hugging child graduating from collegeThe school year is over and graduation is said and done, but what’s next? For some, the next chapter involves moving back home with their parents. Every year as college draws to a close, students all over plan to move back in with their parents while they figure out their next chapter. While moving home is an adjustment, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Make the best out of your transition back home by following these tips!

Helpful Tips for Moving Back Home After College

  • Set guidelines: Before making the move back home, meet with your parents to discuss if you will have to pay rent during your stay, if you will have a curfew, if you are responsible for doing any chores, and any other concerns you may have. Knowing what to expect before moving back home will help with the transition.
  • Make the timeframe known: Before moving back in with your family, make sure you discuss the timeframe. The last thing you want is a miscommunication about how long you will be staying, which might result in getting off on a bad foot.
  • Over communicate: A lot has changed since you moved out. One of the best things you can do when moving home is to agree to over communicate. For example, does it bug you when your mom vacuums at 9:00 a.m. on the weekends? Ask her if she’d instead consider waiting until the afternoon. Keep in mind, though, this rule goes both ways, and your parents are going to bring up things they don’t like too.
  • Make space in your home by renting a storage unit: One of the things families will most typically argue over is a lack of space. Keep in mind that it is very possible that while you were gone, your parents repurposed your bedroom into a gym, study, or library. A great way to keep your college furniture, appliances, and more from cramping your parents’ space is to rent a storage unit.
  • Reconnect with old friends while your home: One big perk of moving home after college is that you’re able to reconnect with old hometown friends. This can be a huge perk because it allows you to see friends you may have grown distant from during college.

We Have Storage Facilities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, MI!

Looking for a storage unit near you? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout both Michigan and Ohio and in major cities such as: Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids, Michigan Whether you are looking to store either a few larger items from your dorm that do not fit back home or furniture pieces from your apartment, we have the perfect storage solution for you! Reserve your storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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Things to Do in Michigan Memorial Day Weekend 2019

Marching in a Memorial Day paradeOne very popular thing to do during Memorial Day weekend is to attend parades. Are you looking for a Memorial Day parade near you in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, or Kalamazoo, Michigan? Check out this blog for a complete list of Michigan Memorial Day parades!

Memorial Day Michigan 2019 Events

Detroit and Ann Arbor Memorial Day Parade

2019 Memorial Day Parade Glacier Highlands Park

Monday, May 27th at 10:00 am
Starting at 10:00 am, the parade will leave Greenbrier Park and head to Glacier Highlands Park. At Glacier Highlands Park, there will be a service to honor the men and women who gave their lives for our country. After the service, there will be free coffee and donuts available to all parade attendees. There will also be food vendors selling hot dogs, Mexican food, and more.

Plymouth Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 27th at 9:00 am
The Plymouth Memorial Day Parade will take place on Memorial Day starting at 9:00 am. This event will end in Veteran’s Park at Main and Church Streets. After the parade, there will be a special program to salute the veterans.

Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Memorial Day Parade

Grand Haven Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 27th at 9:30 am
On Memorial Day, the United States Coast Guard will lead the parade down Washington Avenue from 6th street to Harbor Drive. The parade will end in Waterfront Stadium where there will be a short Memorial Day ceremony. Following the ceremony, there will be music from the Grand Haven High School Band.

Kalamazoo Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 27th at 10:00 am
The annual Kalamazoo Memorial Day Parade will kick off at 10:00 am on Memorial Day. The parade will proceed from the downtown area to Riverside Cemetery, with a wreath dedication at Rose Park Veterans Memorial at the Riverside Cemetery.

Grand Rapids Memorial Day Parade

Thursday, May 30th, 2019 at 7:00 pm
This year, the Grand Rapids Memorial Day Parade will take place on Thursday, May 30th. The parade will start at Lyon Street and Monroe Avenue and head up Monroe Center. After the parade, there will be a ceremony event at Veterans Park.

Self Storage Specialists Has Storage Facilities All Throughout Michigan

Looking for a storage unit in the Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Detroit, or Kalamazoo areas? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout Michigan and in Dayton, Ohio. Our storage facilities have both traditional and climate-controlled storage units, ideal to fit any storage need! Reserve your storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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8 Essential Tips for Preparing Your House for Vacation

Packing a suitcase for vacationAre you planning a summer vacation? While it can be nice to get out of the house for a while, it’s common to worry about the safety of your home. We’ve compiled a list of tips for preparing your home for vacation that can help keep your mind at ease while you’re gone. Check them out below!

Preparing Your Home for Vacation in 8 Easy to Follow Tips

  1. Stop the mail: A telltale sign that someone hasn’t been home for a while is mail piling up at the door. Before you leave for your trip, it is important to either stop your mail or have a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor pick up your mail every day.
  2. Put your lights on a timer: The best way to deter crime is to make it look like someone is living in your home. Put at least a few lights on a timer that will randomly turn on throughout the evening.
  3. Use outdoor lighting: Burglars don’t like outdoor lighting, which is why it’s a great idea to take advantage of it! Motion-activated lights are a great investment, and can really help to make your homeless appealing to burglars.
  4. Take out the trash: The last thing you want when you get home from vacation is to walk into a home with old bags of trash that had time to rot. Before leaving on vacation, empty out all of the trash bins.
  5. Clear out the refrigerator: Comb through your refrigerator and pull out any items that may spoil. This will prevent any perishable items from going bad while you’re gone.
  6. Turn off the water: Before you leave for your trip, be sure to turn off the water. Your appliances will not need water while you are gone, and you run the risk of coming home to a leak if it is left on.
  7. Unplug all electronics and appliances: Take care to unplug all expensive electronics and appliances before you leave for vacation. This will not only protect your items during a storm, but it will also help to reduce energy consumption.
  8. Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Before you leave for vacation, check to make sure that both the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. This will help to alert someone should there be a problem while you’re gone.

Keep Your Home Organized Year Round with a Storage Unit Rental!

Are you looking for a storage solution to create more space around your home? Look no further than a storage unit with our Self Storage Specialists! We have a variety of sizes of storage units available for rent including our 5×5, 5×10 and 10×10 units. Free up some space in your home, and rent a storage unit with us today!

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Summer Boat Checklist: Get Your Boat Ready for the Summer by Following These 5 Tips!

Cleaning off a boat for summerOne of the main perks of living in Michigan is being surrounded by so many beautiful lakes. For boat owners, the close proximity to water can be even more attractive. Before you can spend the day cruising on the water, it is important to prepare your boat for the nice weather.

Seasonal Boat Maintenance Tips for Summer

  • Give the boat battery a quick test: Before taking your boat out for the summer, test the battery. If the boat was relatively new, stored properly, and in good condition before storage, you shouldn’t have a problem. Check the battery’s terminals to make sure they are free of corrosion. Additionally, if your boat battery is a few years old, it doesn’t hurt to have a marine technician check it out to ensure it will hold a charge.
  • Check all of the fluids: One of the best ways to ensure the health of your boat during boating season is to make sure that when you put your boat away for winter storage, the fluids are in good condition. Check the oil level, coolant level, hydraulic-steering fluid level, and gas level before taking your boat out.
  • Test the boat lights: Check the exterior lighting on both your boat and the trailer. Test the turn signals, brake lights, sidelights, masthead light, and stern light. Checking that your lights are in good working condition will ensure your safety when boating at night.
  • Inspect the safety equipment: You never know what you’re going to encounter when boating, and it’s better to be prepared than sorry. Before your first boating trip, check and make sure your flares, flotation devices, and fire extinguisher are in good working condition. Next, check the first aid kit for any items you may be missing or need to buy.
  • Ensure your boat and trailer are properly registered: Although this isn’t necessarily a part of preparing your boat for the summer, it is important to make sure your boat is still properly registered. In Michigan, your boat registration is valid for 3 years.

Need a Location to Store Your Boat?

After a long day spent out on the lake, what do you do with your boat? Unfortunately, many homeowners’ associations will not allow boat owners to park their boat long-term in their yard or garage. When you rent a storage unit with Self Storage Specialists, you don’t have to worry about where you will park your boat. Self Storage Specialists have the perfect place to store your boat all throughout Michigan, including in: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, MI.

Reserve a storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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A Breakdown of the Best Boats for Families and Fishing

Kids Happy on Boat with DadAre you considering buying a boat? A boat can be a very big purchase, one that you have likely thought over for a very long time. Before you make that purchase, it is important to determine the activities for which you will use it. Whether you plan on boating for days on the water with your family or spending a long day fishing, we know there’s a perfect boat out there for you.
Keep reading this post for a breakdown of different kinds of both family and fishing boats!

Best Boats for Fishing and Family Fun in Michigan

Best Boats for Families on The Great Lakes

Are you looking to spend some quality family time out on the water? Check out these family-favorite boats!

  1. Pontoon Boat: The pontoon boat has come a long way. What once was a noisy, bulky, boat is now known for its smooth ride. Today, pontoon boats can be used for water sports such as tubing and water skiing, and can exceed speeds of 50 mph. These boats are also large, which makes them a great solution for boating with family and friends.
  2. Bowrider: The main reason most people choose a bowrider boat is for the ease of use with watersports. Most bowrider boats will have a tow eye on the stern of the boat for pulling either those tubing or skiing. Additionally, these boats will have a platform with a ladder for swimmers to use to get in and out of the water.
  3. Deck Boat: The deck boat is a combination of a bowrider boat and a pontoon boat. These boats are large and spacious, but also very speedy on the water. The deck boat is another great option for water sports enthusiasts.

Best Freshwater Fishing Boat for Michigan Inland Lakes

  1. Bass Boats: A bass boat is perfect for freshwater fishing. These boats are spacious with an attached swivel chair. This allows the angler to cast a line anywhere. These boats also come equipped with storage for both equipment and fishing tackle.
  2. Walkaround Boats: A walkaround boat is ideal for both fishing and cruising. The walkaround design of the boat keeps the entire deck accessible. These boats will often have cabin amenities such as a bed, toilet, sink, and kitchen.

Reserve a Boat Storage Unit with Self Storage Specialists!

There’s nothing like spending the day out on the water skiing, tubing, fishing, and swimming, but, what do you with your boat once you’re done cruising the water? Many homeowners’ associations prohibit residents from storing large vehicles, like boats, in the driveway or yard long-term. Instead, between seasons or boating trips, consider storing your boat in a storage unit.

Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities surrounding Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, and many other major inland lakes. Reserve a boat storage unit in either Michigan or Ohio today!

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Renting vs Buying a Home: The Undeniable Advantages of Both Options

A house that is soldIf you know you want your next residence to be a house, the next logical decision is whether you want to either buy it or rent it. Although this may seem like a big decision, there really is no wrong answer. There are many advantages to either renting or owning a home, so the decision really comes down to which is best for you.
Keep reading this article to find the advantages of either renting or buying a home!

Advantages of Renting a Home

  • Less of a commitment: Typically, when you buy a home, you’re looking to stay in it for the next few years. Rental contracts are usually just a one-year commitment, which gives you the freedom to move elsewhere once the year is up.
  • Smaller upfront cost: When buying a home, there are more upfront costs required, such as the down payment on the house. The down payment of the home will typically cost you between 3.5- and 20%.
  • Less of a responsibility: Maintaining a house takes a lot of work. If you’re not ready to deal with the day-to-day maintenance and upkeep of it, a rental might be the best option for you. Typically, the landlord and owner of the home will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the house, appliances, and lawn.

Advantages of Buying a Home

  • More freedom: When you’re the owner of the house, you’re able to do whatever you want with the property. If you want to knock down one of the walls to expand the kitchen, that is not a problem! Owning a house allows you to truly make the property yours.
  • Ownership: One of the biggest pros to buying a house is that you are paying towards something you will own. When you rent a house, this is not the case. Once the mortgage is paid off, you will own the house.
  • Take advantages of tax benefits: There are many tax-related benefits to owning a home. These tax benefits allow you to deduct the interest you are paying on your home from the mortgage payment on your tax return.

Keep Your New Home Organized with a Storage Unit Rental

Whether you are either renting or buying a home, you can benefit from renting a storage unit. Renting a storage unit allows you to drastically expand your storage space, which can keep your homeless cluttered. Self Storage Specialists have both traditional and climate-controlled storage units for rent all throughout Michigan and in Dayton, Ohio. Minimize household clutter and reserve a storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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A Breakdown of 3 Great Senior Living Options

Seniors stretching in a classAs your mom and dad age, you may start to grow concerned about their safety around the home. Maybe they’re having a harder time getting around, or maybe they seem to be more forgetful than before. As more concerns arise, you may be starting to consider a senior living option for them, but with so many options out there, how do you know which one is best for your parents? We’re here to help! In this article, you will find a breakdown of several popular senior living options.

3 Top Senior Options for Senior Living to Choose From

1. Nursing Home

Nursing homes will provide a wide range of services to their residents. This living option focuses more on medical care than other options. In a nursing home, residents can expect to receive care services such as: 24-hour supervision, nursing care, assistance with day-to -ay activities, and more. Often times, occupational, speech, and physical therapy are also available on-site.

2. Assisted Living

Assisted living is one of the most popular senior living housing options. With assisted living, your mom or dad will receive long-term care services including: housing, personal care, and assistance with normal day activities. Generally speaking, assisted living communities will also offer 24-hour supervision, medication management, 3 meals a day, laundry, linen services, and more.

3. Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing care retirement communities offer a different array of services all in one campus. With a continuing care retirement community, assisted living, independent living, and skilled nursing care are all available in one location. For this specific community, the location each resident lives in is dictated by the kind of care that is needed.

Using a Storage Unit for Downsizing

When your parents are downsizing into senior housing, they may not have as much space as they once did. Renting a storage unit will allow your mom and dad to store items that they care about in a safe and secure location where it will be waiting for them when they need it. This can prevent their new home from getting cluttered with out-of-season clothes, seasonal decorations, and more.

Are you looking for a storage facility near you? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout Michigan including: Detroit, MI, Ann Arbor, MI, Grand Rapids, MI and Kalamazoo, MI. We also have a storage facility in Dayton, OH. We offer a variety of storage unit sizes including 5x5s, 5x10s, and 10×10 storage units. Store your items with us, and reserve a storage unit today!

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