Don’t Lose Big Because of Inferior Boxes

Moving your possessions – whether to a new home, or placing things in storage – can lead to damaged goods if you fail to use adequate containers. Simply put, inadequate moving boxes may not adequately protect your belongs.

CrushedboxesBoxes have certain strengths and thicknesses. Two simple guides, the Edge Crush Test and burst strength can guide you to make wise box choices. Either or both of these figures usually can be found on the bottom of the box. Look for an ECT of at least 32 pounds per square inch to ensure that your boxes won’t crush when stacked up. The Burst Strength Test, also known as the Mullen Test, should be at least 200 lbs., preferably 250 lbs., so the boxes won’t split open. And try to keep the weight of your packed boxes at or below 50 lbs. to facilitate easy handling.

Boxes you might scavenge from grocery or liquor stores are often far too flimsy for moving your goods. What’s more, used boxes may have insects or insect eggs in them. Boxes purchased from the big box stores usually are made from recycled – and therefore weaker – materials and often don’t meet the needed burst and edge crust standards.

The few dollars you might save by employing used boxes or purchasing cheap ones may end up costing you dearly if your possessions are broken or ruined because of flimsy boxes.

DinoBoxAt Dino’s, we have a large assortment of moving boxes and supplies to make your job easier. Our boxes are suitable for your needs at reasonable prices.

Stacking moving boxes in a truck or self storage unit is kind of like doing a jigsaw puzzle. Having a number of similar sized boxes can make this easier. Remember to put the heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on the top to help prevent crushing. Packing the boxes full will help prevent crushing and damage. Damage is often caused when boxes are not full and things move around during the moving process.

Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Use strong, well constructed boxes for your moving.


Live-Work Space, A New Old Idea

Remember the old neighborhood grocery? A place where the owners lived in the back rooms, or the upstairs of the small grocery store. Or the neighborhood music teacher whose home doubled as a studio. Or the beauty shop in the walkout basement of a friend’s home.

Maybe you, or someone you know, works from a home office. Perhaps you have visited a deli or small café where the owners lived on the premises.

The common thread in all of these situations is a double duty space for living and working. A few years back an Omaha developer created several units offering live-work space at Giovanna Rows at 6th & Pierce Streets.

Live-work space is a niche market today, but it is making inroads as an old idea gains new popularity. It offers a comfortable place to live with no commuting needed for work. These properties range from condos to stand-alone homes or, in some cases, even larger buildings with lots of room both for living and working.

3040 CumingLandmark Group in Omaha, our partner company, currently has an ideal property for live-work available and it even has seller financing available. The property at 3040 Cuming Street near downtown Omaha is being offered at just $250,000 and contains roughly 20,000 square feet of space that can be made into an ideal live-work environment. Interested? Call David Paladino at 402-672-6566.


Pianos Disappearing from Homes

Piano retailers and manufacturers are closing their doors across North America and elsewhere as the public appetite for the expensive, space-consuming instruments dims.

Declining sales have plagued the industry for years and was exacerbated by the Great Recession. In many cases, pianos that once would have been resold are simply hauled to the trash dump.

“In our industry, it’s not as drastic as the computer replacing the typewriter,” said Ted Good, president of Ohio’s only dealer for new Steinway & Sons pianos, “it’s just changing.” The company, he said, has seen flat sales for the last five years.

PianoIn today’s fast-moving culture, shrinking homes and even competition with sports and video games have affected sales, according to industry experts and piano store owners. Nationwide sales dropped by half in a 20-year period, from nearly 175,000 in 1987 to 62,500 in 2007, according to the Bluebook of Pianos.

Bob Russell, a registered piano technician in Ohio runs a third-generation business. He said the piano business may be have been affected by some drastic changes in society but he still tunes close to 1,500 pianos a year. He believes new piano sales will continue to be flat for a while because of influences like a saturated market of used pianos.

“The problem with new piano sales is they’re competing with hundreds of thousands of pianos sold 10 years ago,” said Russell, “Ten years on a new piano is nothing. It’s like 5,000 miles on a car.”

From used and refurbished pianos to much less expensive brands and models, the piano’s biggest competition has probably been digital pianos – or even cheaper, digital keyboards that are sold in retailers that range from Kmart to Costco.

An electronic keyboard can be purchased for less than $200, while a standard piano may cost from $5,000 to $250,000. And the keyboard is portable, while the piano is a heavyweight consumer of large spaces in a home.


Landscaping Can Cut Your Energy Bill

TreeCold weather has given way to air conditioning season and home owners are ready to find new ways to save on their energy bills. suggests a variety of techniques for those who want to stay comfortable on the cheap.

Top among the site’s recommendations is to landscape for shade: landscaping can reduce air conditioning costs by as much as 50 percent. Neighborhoods with plenty of trees can see daytime temperatures of 6 degrees less than treeless areas, too. Shrubs and ground cover can cool air before it reaches the house, providing an even bigger break on bills.

Landscapes can also be designed to conserve water. Group plants with similar water requirements together, raise your lawn mower’s cutting height and water in the early morning to keep water from evaporating in the heat.

A landscape designed with these and other tips in mind can pay for itself in less than eight years, according to the website.