Holiday Events in Los Angeles

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Los Angeles area doesn’t get the snow and cold that the other areas of the United States has in December, so the majority of ways to celebrate the season are outdoors including skating rinks (yes, even in Southern California!), parades,  illuminated boat parades  and walking or driving through outdoor  holiday lighting displays.

Holiday Boat Parades

There are many illuminated boat parades held in coastal communities around the Los Angeles area during the holiday season. The largest boat parade of the season is the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade . The boat parade is a 4 day event running December 17th thru December 21st.  The boat parade starts every evening at 6:30pm at Bay Island and returns after a trip around the harbor, to the starting point around 9:00pm.  There is a fireworks display on the last day of the festival at the end of the parade. Illuminated canoes, kayaks, boats and multi-million dollar  yachts will travel 14 miles around the harbor past holiday decorated homes and businesses. There are also boat parades that took place earlier in the holiday season in Marina Del Ray  and Long Beach .

Spend Your Holidays at the Amusement Parks in Southern California

All of the amusement parks in the Los Angeles area are celebrating the holidays with special events and shows. Disneyland is celebrating “Disneyland at Christmas”. The entire resort is transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, greenery and a little bit of magic for the holidays. There are Christmas themed shows, parades and fireworks throughout the season. There is also a skating rink in Downtown Disney Village.  Universal Studios presents “Grinchmas at Universal Studios , celebrates Dr. Seuss’s classic Christmas tale with special musical performances, evening snowfalls, and a spectacular curved Christmas tree. Knott’s Berry Farm is transformed into Knott’s Merry Farm to celebrate “A Charlie Brown’s Christmas”.  There is also a Christmas Crafts Village at Knott’s Berry Farm for artist demonstrations and unique gifts

Outdoor Holiday Events and Lighting Displays

The holidays are full of fun activities for the entire family including outdoor skating rinks at various locations throughout the city, outdoor lighting displays, and special shows. There is outdoor skating at Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles through mid-January. Nokia Plaza has an outdoor rink and a nightly LED holiday light show on-screen set up around the plaza. Santa Monica, Woodland Hills and Irvine also have outdoor skating rinks through the holiday season.

One of the biggest holiday light displays is at the LA Zoo for Zoo Lights. This popular event recently re-opened at the LA Zoo bigger and better than ever. Parts of the LA Zoo are transformed into a winter fantasy wonderland with animated and glowing animal displays. You can view reindeer, visit with Santa, and enjoy holiday treats and entertainment. The LA Zoo Lights runts now through January 4th, but the tickets are going quick! The Getty Museum celebrates the holidays with festive decorations, entertainment and refreshments.  There are many great holiday lighting displays are in the Los Angeles area. Find out more information on great family events online.

Multi-Cultural Holiday Event

Los Angeles is a multi-cultural area with many different cultural celebrations occurring during the holiday season. The Mexican tradition of Las Posadas takes place for 9 nights starting December 16th on Olvera Street.  This tradition focuses on the story of Mary and Joseph trying to find an inn in Bethlehem. There is a nightly procession of musicians, singers and community members traveling down Olvera Street starting at 5:30pm.

There are so many things to do and see during the holiday season in the Los Angeles area! Magellan Storage  wishes all of our customers, friends and family a wonderful holiday season.

Be Fire Safe this Holiday Season

Holiday decoration safety tips

 

Is your home decorated for the holidays? What are you waiting for? As you are putting up your decorations both indoors and outdoors or choosing your live Christmas tree, there are certain holiday fire safety tips that you should follow to make sure that your home is safe from fire hazards. According to the United States Fire Administration, Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do occur, they can be very dangerous. One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical fire causing over $18 million in property damage per year.

Magellan Storage  wants to help keep your family safe this holiday season by proving these simple  fire safety tips for your holiday decorations including candles, holiday lights and real or artificial Christmas trees.

Candles

Candles are very popular holiday decorations, but they can be extremely unsafe in your home.

  • Fire safety experts do not recommend using flame candles for holiday decorations. The experts recommend using battery-operated candles or LED lights.
  • If using flame candles, place them away from flammable items such as decorations, greenery, and wrapping paper.
  • Do not place candle displays them on a table in a high traffic area where they could easily be knocked over.
  • Never keep an open flame unattended. Always keep a burning candle within your sight.
  • Never use candles to light up a Christmas tree.

 

Holiday  Lights

  • Check the light strands for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections. Throw away the damaged lights or repair them before use
  • The light wires should not be warm to the touch when in use.
  • Use no more than 3 standard sets of lights per one extension cord for decoration on the tree or inside the home.
  • Use LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.

 

Artificial and Real Christmas Trees

  • Many artificial trees are fire resistant  Artificial Christmas trees should have a fire resistant label attached to the tree.
  • Fresh trees are green, the needles are hard to pull off and the trunk is sticky with resin. Fresh trees are less of a fire hazard than dried trees.
  • When setting up the tree, cut off at least two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption. Place the live tree in a sturdy stand with wide-spread feet. Water the tree every day. The fresh tree stand should be filled with water the entire time that the tree is indoors.
  • Do NOT place Christmas trees near heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heat vents or other heat sources.
  • When a tree starts to drop leaves, it means that it is drying out and that it is time to remove it from the home. Do not keep a dried out tree in a garage or against the wall of the home. Investigate Christmas tree recycling programs in your city.

 

10 Tips for Packing a Moving Truck

Magellan Storage offers Free Move-In Trucks

There are many decisions and preparations that need to be made when you decide to move. Sometimes, the move is a sudden decision based on a new job, but other times a move can be planned at least a few months in advance. One of the major decisions that you need to make when you are moving is if you are going to hire a moving company or if you will do the move with friends and family by renting a moving truck.   When hiring a moving company,  you need to do certain things to fully prepare for the move. The professional movers will help pack (in certain circumstances) and they will pack the moving truck. But, what do you need to do if you are renting a moving truck? How can my make sure that all of the items that you need to move will fit into the moving truck that you have rented?

When you are renting a moving van, truck, or trailer it is crucial to follow certain important steps in order to make your rental experience go smoothly. It is also very important to have a packing strategy for your move. Have everything that you are moving ready to go the day of the truck rental, so you aren’t wasting time packing when you are paying for the truck! Also, it is crucial to pack the truck correctly to utilize every space and to protect your belongings during transit.   If you plan ahead, you can save money on gas, mileage, & time when you are renting.

  1. If you reserve your moving truck on-line via a moving company website, such as www.uhaul.com, then make sure to verify which truck rental facility you will be picking up your truck at. Also, bring your identification and the credit card that you used to reserve your rental truck. This will help expedite the rental process.
  2. Rent the correct size of the moving truck that you need for your belongings. If you only have a few items, then you will not need a large moving truck.
  3. Visually inspect the vehicle for broken lights, leaks or other damages before you take the truck off of the lot. If there is any damage, inform the rental company immediately.
  4. Have supplies, such as a moving dolly, furniture padding, tarps to cover your items, straps to keep them in place, tools and other materials that you will need in order to make your moving day easier.
  5. Distribute the weight of your belongings evenly on both sides of the truck. Do not overload the truck’s weight limit as this causes a drag to the truck, which results in using more gasoline.
  6. Large appliances should be the first items to be packed onto a moving truck. Place appliances at the very back of the truck against the wall closest to the cab. The appliances should be kept upright and covered by a tarp.
  7. Place larger and longer items such as mattresses, box springs, headboards, couches, and table tops upright against the longest wall of the truck. Use mattress and furniture pads to cover and protect the items. Dissemble bed frames and tables and place them near the table tops or mattresses.
  8. Next, add your packed boxes onto the truck. Fill in all areas towards the back of the truck first. Place the boxes on top of and in any extra space where you have placed your appliances. Put the heavier boxes on the bottom of the pile and then the lighter boxes on top until you have reached the ceiling. Stack like-sized boxes together.
  9. Fill in any gaps leftover with items that can be used as buffers such as bags of clothing, lines, bedding or pillows.
  10. Pack the most fragile items last on the truck. When packing, also designate a few boxes as “open first”. These boxes would contain items that you would need right away in your new destination.

 

By following simple moving and packing steps, you can fit everything that you need to in your moving truck and make the moving experience much easier. Select Magellan Storage facilities offers a free move-in moving truck to move your items from your home to your Magellan Storage storage unit. The moving truck is air-conditioned and has automatic transmission to help make your moving experience much easier.

Self Storage and Holiday Storage

Holiday Shopping and self storageThanksgiving Day is celebrated throughout the United States this Thursday. It is a day to gather together with friends and family and give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. The first Thanksgiving is said to have lasted for three days, and took place sometime between September 21st and November 9th, 1621. The feast would have included not only the popular turkey, but also waterfowl, fish, venison, corn and barley.  The first “official” nationwide celebration of Thanksgiving took place in 1775, not to celebrate the Thanksgiving feast of 1621, but to give thanks for the Continental Army’s win at Saratoga during the American Revolutionary War. Thanksgiving was declared by Congress to be an annual holiday in 1827, but the day that it was celebrated varied every year.  In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt with the insistence of the large retail stores at the time, proclaimed that Thanksgiving Day would be officially held the third Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season. More stores are beginning to open up on Thanksgiving Day for shopping, but most of the shopping occurs on the day after Thanksgiving or “Black Friday”. This day is the “official” kick-off to the Christmas shopping season. On average, over 135 Million people go shopping on Black Friday spending billions of dollars. For many retailers, Black Friday is their busiest shopping day of the year! This year, the holiday shopping season is shorter at only four weeks!  We have all been inundated with commercials and news stories for the big deals for electronics, computers and other special items on Black Friday.

Now is the time to plan your holiday shopping (either online or in the stores) strategy. It is also time to figure out where you want to store all of your “big” items that you bought on Black Friday. If you don’t have a lot of room in your home for storage or to keep the presents away from spying eyes, then it is a good idea to rent a self storage unit for the holiday season.  Magellan Storage offers a variety of storage unit sizes from 5×5 to 10×30 for all of your storage needs. If you need to just store smaller packages, then a 5×5 is good for you, but if you need the extra room to set up a wrapping station for your gifts, then we can happily accommodate your needs.

The holiday season adds more clutter to your home and business. If you do not have room to store holiday decorations in your home, rent a storage unit to place the Christmas lawn decorations, wreaths, Christmas tree and other decorations. Climate controlled storage units help keep artificial wreaths and Christmas trees looking fresh and ready for use in the future. Storing seasonal items in a storage unit will help reduce the amount of clutter in your home. You can keep the holiday decorations in your storage unit until you need them again next year.

Magellan Storage facility offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday so our employees can spend time with their loved ones.  Magellan Storage offices will re-open for regular hours on Saturday, November 29th. Customers can still access their storage units via the keypad gated-entry during the holiday. Magellan Storage wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

9 Tips for Storing Documents in Self Storage

Tips for storing documents in self storage

 

 

 

 

Are files and other documents taking over your office? Is your office running out of storage room and file space? It might be time for your business to consider storing excess documents in a self storage unit. Self storage and business storage actually work hand-in-hand. Storing documents in self storage helps to reduce the clutter in your office, while increasing work space and productivity!

When choosing a self storage facility to store your documents, make sure to pick one that is close to your business, so you don’t have to drive across town to retrieve your files. A climate controlled storage unit is recommended for business document storage. Climate controlled storage units help to protect the documents from damage from extreme temperatures and humidity. Because you are storing employee and business records, it is vital to pick a storage facility with secure document storage including video surveillance, keypad entry and computerized gate access.

It is important to have the right types of document storage boxes and other storage supplies when you are packing your documents. Magellan Storage offers moving and packing supplies at our 6 locations in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in order to pack your business documents.

After you have decided to store your business documents in a self storage unit, there are a few things to keep in mind as you are preparing you boxes and storage units.

  1. Documents should be stored in sturdy cardboard boxes with filler material to make sure that the documents will not shift while being moved to/from the storage unit. As with other storage boxes, make sure that the boxes are sealed securely with packaging tape.
  2. Before you pack the documents, make sure that you have multiple back-ups of the documents on-line, saved on a password protected CD or DVD, or downloaded on another separate file as a back-up.
  3. Do not share the security code and keys to the storage unit to a lot of people. There are personal files being stored that should only be seen by a limited amount of people.
  4. Do not over stuff the document boxes. Do not use regular printed newspaper as filler as the print can rub off on the documents.
  5. Document storage boxes should be no heavier than 30-50 pounds, so you can still lift and move them easily.
  6. Raise the document boxes off of the ground on pallets, wood, plastic sheeting or cardboard. The optimum document storage solution would be using shelving units in the storage unit.
  7. For extra security, store the documents in locked file cabinets or fire safes.
  8. Place the oldest files that you will not need as often towards the back of the storage unit. Place the files that you might need to access more frequently towards the front of the storage unit. Place the boxes with the oldest files or documents towards the bottom and the boxes with the newer documents towards the top.
  9. Label every box with the contents. Create an inventory list for the boxes and use a numbering system for your stored boxes that you can put into a spreadsheet for cross-checking. This will help to make it easier to find the documents that you need to find more quickly.

 

 

Transforming the Landscape in South Los Angeles

Rails for Trails in Los Angeles

 

Last month, over three dozen community residents of South Los Angeles attended a meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to encourage a rail and trail project in the community. Community activists are encouraging transforming an 8 mile stretch of abandoned roadway into a bike and pedestrian path near Slauson Avenue. Currently, there is very little park or public space in this section of Los Angeles and walking or biking along this area can be extremely dangerous. The MTA board approved $2.8 million to build a rail to trail path along Slauson Avenue from the Los Angeles River to the Crenshaw Metro Line. This is a start of the project which could take up to 10 years and $35 million to complete with the hope of having governmental funding help. This would a great start to reinvesting in the community.

Rail to trail projects have gained popularity over the last 30 years with over 2,000 projects in the United States during that time. Rail to Trails Conservancy  is an organization that encourages and lobbies for these conservation projects. The organization encourages a healthy, mobile lifestyle by making places to walk and bike possible. The rail to trails projects promote a healthier climate and environment by making active transportation a viable alternative to the automobile while also promoting local businesses, tourism and increasing property values. Rail to Trails Conservancy has worked on projects in Cleveland, Ohio, Compton, California, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Springfield, Massachusetts to just name a few of the many projects. The first rail to trail project, Elroy-Sparta State Trail in Wisconsin, was started in 1965 and is still thriving today. The longest trail project, The Katy Trail in Missouri, is currently 240 miles long, but other projects are creating even larger trail to rail projects. The Slauson Road rail to river project would be another addition to this great conservation project.

Magellan Storage has a facility in the South Los Angeles area.  Our Slauson location  is located at 700 East Slauson Ave and was renovated in 2013. The facility has a state-of-the art security system powered by PTI, digital keypad access control, digital cameras with 24 hour recording, motion sensor lighting for our customer safety. There is also a business center with free use of phone, fax and internet that is available to our customers. Customer can have access 7 days a week to their storage units and if you need moving and packing supplies, the location has everything that you need from boxes to newsprint to packaging tape. Magellan Storage is very proud to be part of the South Los Angeles area!

The Cultural Diversity of Downtown Los Angeles

Magellan Storage in Downtown LA

 

The territory of California was discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1600’s. By the mid 1700’s, a permanent Spanish settlement was created along the Los Angeles River. The population for the area slowly grew with settlers and gold prospectors in the early 1800’s. In 1850, California became the 30th State of the United States of America. The late 1800’s and early 1900’s were boom times for the city of Los Angeles. The modern Los Angeles started to take shape in the early 1900’s with the arrival of the movie industry to the Los Angeles area. Once the industry became fully entrenched in the city and surrounding areas, Los Angeles became a major tourist destination. The Los Angeles area is the most populous city in California and the 2nd most populous city in the United States after New York City. Just the city alone has a population of nearly 3.8 million people covering a land area of 469 square miles. The city is the center of the Greater Los Angeles Area region, which includes Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim. The 3 areas combined is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with a population of over 13 million people.

Because of the perfect climate, ocean access and mountain views, Los Angeles is a destination point for visitors from around the world. Thrill seekers from far and wide come to the Los Angeles area to visit the many amusement parks and to tour movie and television production sets, visit the many beaches and parks, and soak in the Southern California way of life. The downtown area of Los Angeles has seen a resurgence in visitors and residents in the past decade. There are many little ares in downtown that have re-established themselves as small business and artist friendly, and they are thriving. Two such areas are The Arts District and Little Tokyo.

Los Angeles has many great, diverse neighborhoods to visit such as the LA Arts DistrictLittle Tokyo , Chinatown, and Downtown. Los Angeles has many, many different tourist areas in and around the city. Los Angeles has been a melting pot of cultures since the mid 1800’s. Japanese immigrants settled in the Los Angeles area starting in the 1880’s and created their own community filled with shops, restaurants, theaters, Buddhist temples and churches. This area is known as the Little Tokyo District.  The community is a major historic, culture and civic center for Japanese Americans living in Southern California. The Little Tokyo District is a 7 block square area from Alameda Street through to Los Angeles Street, Temple Street and 3rd Street.

The Arts District, which is near the Little Tokyo area of downtown Los Angeles, covers the area between Alameda Street to the Los Angeles River with the 101 freeway as a north boundary and 7th St. as the south boundary. This area was originally vineyards, but after World War II was developed into an industrial zone with warehouses and factories. As the factories and warehouses closed or moved, there were empty buildings with vast available spaces. These are perfect spaces for artists, which started to move into the buildings and use them for residences and work spaces in the 1960’s.Today, the neighborhood has been transitioning yet again with the opening of higher-end lofts, boutiques, shops and restaurants.

Magellan Storage has a storage facility in downtown Los Angeles in the Arts District on 801 E Commercial Street near the Little Tokyo District. The facility was recently renovated in 2013.  The facility has a free business center with free use of fax, phone, internet and a conference room. There is a specialized state-of-the-art security system including digital keypad access and digital cameras. Stop in to see how our many amenities can help solve your storage questions. Magellan Storage  is excited to be part of this thriving community in Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

Six Important RV Storage Tips

Indoor RV Storage

Indoor RV storage at the Costa Mesa Magellan Storage location

November is time of the year to start making preparations to store your camper, trailer or recreational vehicle (RV) for the winter months. Most people will park these vehicles in their driveway or in large garages if they have the extra space to do so.  If there is not enough room to store these types of vehicles at home, then parking the RV, trailer or camper at a self storage facility is a great storage solution. Most self storage facilities have space indoors and outdoors to store boats and RV’s. Magellan Storage  offers boat and RV storage at all of their facilities. Magellan Storage’s Costa Mesa facility has indoor storage options for boats and RV’s. The facility had outdoor RV parking spaces which are 12 feet wide as well as 14’x30’ by 13’ high garage space. The Costa Mesa location has special amenities for RV and boat storage including a covered wash rack, trickle charge receptacles for indoor tenants, dump stations, vacuums with 40’ hoses and air compressors.

There are some steps that need to be taken for boat and RV storage to protect them during the long storage months. Consult the owner’s manual to make sure that you are following all the necessary steps to place your vehicle in storage. Doing these important storage preparation tasks will allow you to have continued use of your vehicle for many years to come.

Before you start the cleaning and preparing the vehicle for storage, you need to make sure that your registration, insurance and license plates are current and renewed. You will need to show proof of these documents when you are storing the vehicles at a storage facility.

RV Storage Tips

  1. Before you place the vehicle in storage, inspect the vehicle inside and out and from top to bottom. Look for problems that will need to be fixed before placing the vehicle in storage.
  2. Thoroughly clean the inside and outside of the RV. Remove all food from the vehicle. Vacuum the interior of the RV, wipe down the counters and inside the cabinets. Defrost and clean out the refrigerator.
  3. Remove the battery and store in a dry, cool place. If possible, connect the battery to a maintenance charger if you are storing the RV over a longer period of time. If you are keeping the battery inside the vehicle, it is a good idea to start the engine every couple of months to prevent moisture build-up.
  4. Change the oil and oil filter right before storage. Fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer additive to the gas tank.
  5. Drain and flush the water tanks and the water heater. Disconnect all air conditioning connects and clean out the air filters.
  6. If possible, cover the RV, camper or motor home to keep it clean and dry. If storing the vehicle outside, cover the tires to protect them from the elements. Place the vehicle on plywood off of the ground to protect the tires.

 

Doing these important storage preparation tasks will allow you to have continued use of your vehicle for many years to come.

2014 Halloween Events and Festivities in the Los Angeles Area

Halloween Events in LAThis time of year is full of ghosts, goblins, witches, “Frozen” princesses and spooky skeletons! It’s time once again for Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations in the Los Angeles area. There are many haunted attractions, pumpkin festivals and events held throughout the area to celebrate Halloween. Since the Los Angeles area is home to so many amusement parks and movie production companies, the Halloween celebrations activities are not to be missed.  Disneyland has their Halloween Celebration for the month of October with characters dressing up in costume and the park decorated in Halloween décor. Universal Studios hosts “Halloween Horror Nights” with haunted houses, mazes, rides, shows and other attractions. Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain also have Halloween displays, Haunted houses and other activities.

Halloween Attractions and Events

The Los Angeles area will host a variety of spooky Halloween celebrations over the next week and these are just a few of the haunted attractions that you can go to. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride takes place at the Old Zoo at Griffith Park. This hayride will take your for a ride through the old abandoned zoo and its spooky inhabitants! There are also mazes, scare zones and an audience participation stage show. If you really feel like getting scared this Halloween season, head to Blumhouse’s The Purge: Breakout, which is based on the Paranormal Activity movies. This experience is like no other, as participants have to find their way out of the haunted house by using clues and solving puzzles. The Fremont Centre Theatre in South Pasadena, presents Raymond Hill Mortuary Haunted House, where the past visitors are there to scare you. For the entire family, there are visits to pumpkin patches and farms such as the Lopez Ranch Pumpkin Farm, Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch, Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch and Johnson Brothers Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival.

You can also experience real “haunts” by taking ghost and paranormal tours. One of the most famous haunted tours is the Starline Haunted Hollywood Tour  where you can visit famous scandal and death sites around Hollywood. You can visit actual haunted buildings and sites with paranormal investigator, Michael J. Kouri in Hollywood, Pasadena and Orange County or take a tour of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Day of the Dead Celebrations

The activities and rituals of ancient pagan festivities have been handed down over the centuries and molded by different cultures into holidays such as Halloween.  Mexicans celebrate Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 1st, which is also called All Souls Day. This holiday honors family ancestors by having the living family members commune with the dead. Families care for the graves of deceased family members and build elaborate altars to honor the loved ones who have passed away. Celebrations include processions with dancers and music. The symbol of the festival is the Calaveras or skull. You will find participants wearing skull masks, costumes, making paper mache skull puppets and making skull shaped candy. There are many Day of the Dead festivals in the Los Angeles area. The biggest event is the Day of the Day Festival at Hollywood Forever Cemetery with ceremonial tributes, performances and alter creations around Hollywood’s most famous celebrity graves. Olvera Street Merchants have 9 days of processions and events to celebrate the day.  There will also be special events at the Museum of Latin American Art. 

Enjoy all the fun Halloween and somber celebrations of The Day of the Dead events in the Los Angeles area during this “spooky” season, enjoy! Magellan Storage  wishes everyone a safe and happy Halloween season!