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5 Ways to Enjoy the Summer of 2018 in Norwalk

Spring may be in the air, but summer is right around the corner! It’s time to look forward to warm evenings, barbeques, beach trips, and flip flops. Add a little extra fun to the season by attending one (or all!) of these events and make this summer one to remember!

  1. Scavenger Hunt  A collaborative effort by the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, and Stepping Stones Museum for Children, this June 3 scavenger hunt throughout Mathews Park will have you searching for mysterious symbols, architectural details, objects, and history on the exterior facades of all three buildings and inside the mansion. Find clues, solve riddles, and unlock the mysteries for the chance to win a prize! Kiddies six and up are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.
  2. The Norwalk Art Festival This June 23 and 24 festival has it all: juried fine art by 125 local and national artists, performing artists, a food court stocked with international cuisine, a mini print show and sale by the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, and much more! Bringing the kids? Jerry’s Artarama and the Norwalk Arts Commission will be hosting a free, hands-on art experience and there will also be a community mural project—stop by at 12:30 Saturday to sketch the mayor!
  3. Norwalk NICE Festival Experience the diverse culture and art of people around the globe at this festival, hosted by nonprofit organization, The Norwalk International Cultural Exchange (NICE). Held on July 7 (rain or shine), you’ll enjoy the music, food, art, and talent of dancers, musicians, food and craft vendors from a variety of cultures. So, bring your blankets and chairs (but leave your coolers and glass containers at home) and come down to Oyster Shell Park to support the global and local organizations that work to make the world a better place.
  4. SoNo Arts Festival The streets of South Norwalk will be bursting with over 100-juried artists, live bands, food vendors, and more the weekend of August 4. The local shops and restaurants even get into the spirit by offering special discounts. Bringing your little one? There will be plenty of free hands-on activities at the Children’s Art Playground and an annual puppet parade on Sunday!
  5. Annual Old-Fashioned Flea Market This free, Fairfield County Bank-sponsored, September 16 event is a Norwalk must—regardless of what you’re looking for, there’s something for everyone. Shop antiques, furniture, collectibles, jewelry, crafts, household items, clothing, toys, and a “white elephant” table of goodies starting at $1. In the mood to grab some grub? Check out the farm-to-table food, food trucks featuring international specials and demonstrations. All proceeds go to the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, which will be hosting $5 mini tours!

Whether you live in Norwalk, Connecticut or will just be visiting the area, there’s always something fun to do this summer. You’ll need someplace to store all your new wares—or make some room among your old stuff. So, contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and get a head start on making the summer of 2018 your best yet!


6 Tips for Organizing the Perfect Wine Collection

Do you enjoy the bouquet of a classic glass of red? How about the oaky taste of a smooth white? You may have realized that your love of wine has transformed itself into a passion—and you into a collector! If you find your wine selection quickly outpacing your wine consumption, it may be time to create a system worthy of your beloved bottles. Follow these six tips and take the first step from oenophile to collector.

  1. Create rows based on wine type. If your collection has grown enough and you’re not committed to specific wines, this is a very easy (but very important) first step to organizing your wine. Separate your wines into reds, whites, and sparkling. Have an even vaster collection? Create a row for rosés and dessert wine too.
  2. Organize by grape variety. Once you group your wines based on type, you may realize just how unique each bottle is, even though they look alike. Access your favorite flavors and accommodate others’ preferences faster by grouping wines together based on their grape. Want a white? Easily find your riesling, moscato, chardonnay, or sauvignon blanc. More of a red fan? Choose from your cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pino noir, or zinfandel with ease.
  3. Create custom tag labels. Wine should be stored on its side to avoid drying out the cork and prematurely aging it. Don’t waste time pulling each bottle out to read the label properly, create convenient custom tags with the wine’s type, vintage, winery name, and any other helpful descriptive information.
  4. Note drink-by dates. This isn’t a hard and fast date, like a gallon of milk. This is based on your personal preference. You may find that you prefer some wines when they’re young and vibrant, and others when they’ve matured. Generally speaking, white wines are best enjoyed within two years of their vintage to preserve their fruitiness, whereas reds containing more tannin (a natural but bitter preservative) may need years to mellow out. There are always exceptions to these rules, like white rieslings and chardonnays that become more complex over time, and reds that contain fewer tannins. Do your research before popping that cork or putting it into long-term storage.
  5. Group by pairing. Want to organize outside the box? Create your system based on ideal food pairings. Enjoying a meal of feta, pine nut salad and lobster with some Key lime pie for dessert? Walk straight to your sauvignon blanc section. Are lamb and mushrooms with a crème brûlée finish on the menu? Find your perfect pinot noir for that. The possibilities are as endless as your menus!
  6. Create and maintain an inventory system. You’ve put in all this hard work to create your ideal wine collection—keep proper track of it! Whether you download an app specifically designed to inventory wine or prefer the simple tracking of an Excel file, keep your inventory up to date. This should include region, brand, varietal, vintage, price, and quantity.

Now you know how to organize your robust wine collection—but where do you store it? Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage to give your wine the ideal climate-controlled environment to preserve taste—and free up space!


Wine Storage Do’s and Don’t’s

Whether you’re new to enjoying wine or have already developed your palate over years of imbibing, it’s important to know how to properly store your favorite vintage for maximum preservation and taste. Here are some helpful rules to ensure your wine collection doesn’t become something to whine about.

When…

  • Positioning your wine 
    • Do: Store it sideways. This keeps the liquid against the cork, which decreases the likelihood the cork will dry out and allow air to enter the bottle.
    • Don’t: Store it upright long term. You may see wine stored this way at liquor stores, but that’s because they have a high turnover rate and it’s harmless to store them upright for a few weeks.
  • Choosing a location
    • Do: Pick a place that is stable, rarely disturbed, and has little to no vibration.
    • Don’t: Store it on top of your refrigerator. Between the constant hum of the appliance, the direct heat and light, and the continual opening and closing of the doors, your wine will suffer for the sake of convenience.
  • Determining lighting
    • Do: Keep it in the dark—literally. While most colored glass wine bottles have UV filters, that won’t provide your wine with total protection from the light. Keep your wine as far away from light sources as possible, preferably in a garage or basement.
    • Don’t: Store your wine in direct light. White wine is more vulnerable to light degradation, which causes premature aging and significantly changes taste, but red wine subjected to excessive light will be affected too.
  • Finding the right temperature
    • Do: Keep it cool. Wine should ideally be stored at 55 degrees. Temperatures above 70 degrees will accelerate the aging process and negatively affect the taste.
    • Don’t: Keep it too cool. Many people store wine in the refrigerator, but most fridges get colder than 45 degrees to safely store food and can dry out the cork, so this should be avoided long term. If you store your wine in your garage, make sure the temperature doesn’t drop low enough to freeze liquids. If you’re unsure, leave a bottle of water for a few days to test it.

Want to store your wine properly but don’t have the space or environmental control to do it right? A storage unit can be your wine’s new home! With a temperature controlled unit, your wine can be kept in a cool, dry, dark space, with no danger of disturbance or breakage! Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and take the leap from casual enthusiast to wine connoisseur today!


6 Storage Tips to Keep Your Motorcycle Roadworthy

Whether you’re putting your wheels in storage for the winter or you simply need to keep it off the road for a while, it’s vital that you store it the right way. Follow these helpful tips to avoid the dreaded post-storage realization that your ride developed flat spots in the tires, pasty fluid, exhaust smoke—or worse—while you weren’t looking.

  1. Fill ’er up! Stagnant fuel is your carburetor and injector’s worst enemy—and your mechanic’s best friend. The ethanol in fuel retains dissolved or suspended water, which can lead to corrosion, gum, varnish, and carbon deposits that can wreck your system. Avoid this and fill up your tank before storage. Go the extra mile and treat your fuel system with specialized additives designed for this very reason. Have a carbureted motorcycle? Run the treatment, switch your petcock to off, and drain the carburetors.
  2. Keep it hydrated. Fuel isn’t the only thing that keeps your bike going. Check your brake, clutch, antifreeze, and coolant fluid levels before storage. Top off the fluids or drain them completely and refill them when you’re ready to ride again. It’s also good practice to lube any moving parts, like the chain drive, cables, controls, fork surfaces, and other pivot points to keep moisture from causing rust or binding.
  3. Do a thorough oil change. Changing the oil and filter before you store your bike is very important. In addition to its purpose as a lubricant, oil aids in your bike’s filtration system, meaning it traps small particles like carbon until the filter can remove them from circulation. When your bike isn’t running, those carbon particles rise to the surface and can cause etching on metal surfaces.
  4. Give your bike a spa treatment. In addition to a nice thorough cleaning before storage, you should add a coat of wax to its surface. This will act as a barrier and combat moisture and rust. Spray your exhaust pipes with some WD-40 to protect them and stuff a clean towel into the exhaust and intake to keep tiny critters from nesting in there.
  5. Avoid tiring out the tires. Tires are porous and tend to lose air when in long-term storage. If your tire goes soft or flat, it’s likely to develop a permanent flat spot when left in one position for a long time. Avoid this by storing your bike on its center stand. Don’t have a center stand? Invest in a paddock stand for your front and rear tires. If that isn’t an option either, overinflate your tires slightly before storage and rotate them every few weeks to change their position.
  6. Ensure the battery keeps going—and going. The battery is the heart of your bike—nothing works without it. Check your battery fluid level (if applicable) and ensure you’re not low on battery acid, which can lead to internal shorts. Don’t mistake the misnomer of a “maintenance-free” battery just because the fluid level doesn’t require adjustment. You still need to store your bike in a warmer environment and periodically charge the battery. If this isn’t practical for you, remove the battery entirely and trickle-charge it as needed.

 

Now that you know the proper way to ensure your bike survives long-term storage, find the right place to keep it safe. Contact the storage professionals at Secure Self Storage and give your beloved motorcycle a home away from home.


4 Ways to Utilize Storage for Home Décor

Are you obsessed with home décor and constantly changing your style preferences? Thanks to all the social media platforms out there these days, it’s easier than ever to get inspired, but it’s not always easy to transition a space from an old, rustic chic love to a new, modern obsession. But with the help of a self storage unit, you can realize your new vision without the oh-so-five-years-ago décor cluttering your space—and without throwing away any items you may want again in the future. Here are four tips from the experts at Secure Self Storage that will help you turn your new décor dreams into a reality—sans clutter and regret.

  1. Make painting a breeze. When your aesthetics change, your paint preferences may change, too. To ensure your furniture doesn’t get paint splattered on it, consider storing your pieces in a self storage unit. Just be sure to find a facility that offers flexible options so you can utilize the unit for as long as you need. And who knows? With the furniture out of your space, you may realize you need to change more than just the color of the walls.
  2. Don’t let supplies clutter your space. As a true home décor enthusiast, you may have acquired a decent amount of materials over the years such as paint cans, paint rollers and brushes, electric drills, a ladder, etc. Depending on the amount of space you have, you may not have the luxury of storing these items in your home or apartment. To avoid these supplies disrupting your feng shui, place them in a climate-controlled unit, so they’re in optimal shape when the time comes for you to use them yet again.
  3. Keep up-for-sale items out of your space. Keeping up with constantly changing décor preferences can become pricey, so when you know you no longer want an item, your best bet is to sell it. However, no one wants an old, unwanted item in their home blocking the new, beloved pieces. Rather than feeling in a rush to sell (and potentially accepting less than what you deserve to make off of it), store the piece in a self storage unit, buying you the time—and space—you want.
  4. Play it safe and store it. Sure, there may be some pieces you just know you’ll never want again, but if there’s any doubt, it’s best to store it. Investing in a unit now can save you tons in the future, because after all, as quickly as your style changed this year, it may change back over time. Plus, inspiration to repaint or refinish a piece may strike one day, and when it does, you’ll be ready.

For more tips how a self-storage unit can help benefit your constantly changing home décor wants and needs, contact the team at Secure Self Storage.