Your Personal Emergency Bin

Austinites, how great is it to finally see the sun again?

Austin flooding

Over the last few weeks, the Hill Country has been pounded by flash floods and tornadoes before finally returning to its usual scorching ninety-degree heat yesterday. The storms caused so much damage that President Obama declared Texas a disaster zone.

Lady Bird Lake overflowed over Memorial Day weekend and downtown Austin was hit hard by the flood. Several businesses suffered extensive damages. The entire area was shut down.

Delicious (and frequented by yours truly) bakery Easy Tiger was not spared.

austin flooding

Nor was the rest of downtown as water flowed all the way past 10th street.

Meanwhile, UHAUL’s storage facility in north Austin was blown apart like the Death Star.

uhaul austin flooding

Ouch.

Thankfully, none of Binstro’s facilities suffered any damage at all! Our bins didn’t even get wet!

I was left with the question, though: what should we do should another superstorm hit Texas? How can someone prepare for this? I found one answer scouring the web for advice: the emergency bin.

Your Personal Emergency Bin


Government disaster preparation website ready.gov recommends keeping a supply kit on hand at all times (although keeping one stored with Binstro and having it delivered before a storm can probably work too).

The supply kit should contain three days’ worth of necessary living supplies and anything else that might make the bearable. It should be kept in a location that is easily accessible in the case of an emergency.

Ready.gov recommends that an emergency supply kit contain:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable Food
  • Battery-Powered Radio
  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Whistle to signal for Help
  • Dust Mask
  • Moist Towelettes, Garbage Bags, Plastic Ties
  • Wrench or Pliers
  • Can Opener
  • Local Maps
  • Cell Phones with Chargers

So in the event of another superstorm, what should you actually do? Be ready to board your windows shut with marine plywood and grab that emergency bin.

But hopefully we won’t see another one of these for a long, long time.

Binstro Team

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Binstro’s First Contest!

At Binstro, we regularly ask ourselves what we feel is a very important question:

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

We’re thrilled to announce our very first Austin-wide contest. To win, all you have to do is guess how many chocolate kisses fit in a Binstro Bin.

binstro contestThe prize, you ask? The prizes just happen to be oh so sweet.

Submit your guess on try.binstro.com/summercontestInstagramTwitter, or Facebook by April 27, 2015. Whoever guesses the closest to the correct answer wins a $50 Visa gift card, $50 worth of storage credit with Binstro, and a 10lbs of chocolate! On April 27, 2015 we’ll select one lucky winner from all the entries we received.

So tell your friends and start guessing! You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to win.

Contest ended! Thanks for guessing everyone! So how many kisses fit in a bin?

Christina Castillo
Founder
www.binstro.com

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Binstro at SXSW: Thanks!

Binstro finished up at South by Southwest and I’d like to thank everyone who made the trek through traffic and came out to support us. Austin was an absolute madhouse last week and I know it would have been a lot easier to stay in and watch Netflix. We really appreciate it. You’re awesome.

In all of the photos below, how many times does the Binstro logo appear? 

binstro sxsw interactive
Binstro SXSW startup crawlWith the Startup Crawl starting soon, Richard had a chance for a quick picture.

sxsw startup crawl attendanceThe turnout for the Startup Crawl was incredible. Our balloons were hard to spot.

binstro at sxsw startup crawlAfter many failed attempts, I finally had a chance to pose by our both towards the end of the Crawl.

binstro at sxsw startup spotlightWe’re grateful to be one of the startups at the Startup Spotlight. Thanks to the Hilton for hosting the event.

Startup Spotlight Attendance

South By Southwest is always fun and exciting to attend. But being a part of the Interactive festival representing Binstro was an experience unlike any other. We can’t wait for next year’s festival!

Did you guess 19? A little off. Correct answer is 25 Binstro logos!  We recounted and the correct answer is 29 Binstro logos!

Christina Castillo
Founder
www.binstro.com

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Packing 101: Best Way to Pack Your Binstro Bin

Hey there, everyone! We’ve been asked on more than a few occasions now about how to best pack a bin. It’s a great question that we thought we’d address.

We here at Binstro want to make sure that you’re taking advantage of every inch you’re paying for. After all, it’s our philosophy that you should only pay for the space you use. So, we put together a step-by-step guide for getting the most out of your bin and ensuring the safety of your items.

1. Set Aside Items
To avoid packing something accidentally, set aside all the items you plan to pack before you start. There’s nothing like successfully packing then soon realizing the charger you need is at the bottom of the bin. Remember: organized packing makes for organized unpacking.
Pack Binstro Bin

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Valentine’s Day in Austin for Every Budget

Valentine's Day flowers

Are you still looking for something to do this upcoming Valentine’s Day? I feel like everyone I know is looking to get out of the house this February 14th.  Whether or not you want enjoy Valentine’s Day for its romance, I’ve found an event for you! Here’s a list of special Valentine’s events going on that you should check out:

(Scroll to the bottom to skip the romance!)

Noble Sandwich Company: Valenswine
Noble isn’t your ordinary sandwich shop. Winner of one of Austin Chronicle’s 2015 First Plates, Noble Sandwich Co. is one of Austin’s tastiest establishments. Noble will have their superb daily dinner menu available which includes signature Austin eats: The Swine Burger, the Mac and Gouda, and the Red Wine Braised Lamb. You can’t go wrong here. On top of that, though they are offering Valenswine’s specials including Charcuterie, wine, and Karbach seasonal pints.

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Grill at the Push of a Button

Although summer is four months away, the recent heat wave has me thinking about one thing: barbecue.

Everyone knows that we Austinites love our barbecue as much as we love music and dogs. Austin is, of course, home to the legends like the world famous Franklin Barbecue and up-and-comers like La Barbecue. But Austinites don’t just love eating meat. We love cooking it too.

This poses a problem for some of us. Although we would love to grill from the comfort of our own apartment, Austin (sadly) has grilling regulations that prohibit us from doing so. In fact, Austin’s Fire Code actually prohibits you from even storing a grill in your apartment.

Provision 308.1.4 in the 2009 International Fire Code states, “Residential barbecue pits, hibachis or other cooking appliances utilizing charcoal, wood or gas as a fuel may not be stored or used on any balconies of residential occupancies…”

So what is an Austinite to do?

Bin it! Did you know that Binstro’s Blue Bin is actually large enough to store grills? That’s right! You can store your grill with Binstro and have us deliver it to you for your next cookout.

We found some cool and compact mini-grills that fit right into our blue bin and your lifestyle.

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Cluttered Home, Cluttered Mind

Cluttered home cluttered mindClutter can ambush you. And I should know. I know what it’s like to not have enough space. I know how it feels to be frustrated every time you step into a room. You see I used to live in a painfully small apartment.  I mean, I’m no martyr or anything, but the place was downright tiny. Yet, despite its size my place was working pretty well for me. There were things scattered about here and there and a few bins full of extra clothes in the corner of my bedroom but it wasn’t unbearable by any means. At least it wasn’t until the clutter in my apartment reached a tipping point: when my sister moved out of her dorm room for summer.

Sarah needed somewhere to store her things, but didn’t have enough to warrant renting a storage unit. Logically, she came to the (geographically) closest individual she could turn to. “Can you store a few of my things over summer? I don’t want to pay seventy dollars a month for storage.” I quickly obliged. How bad could a suitcase or two be, after all?

But in my tiny apartment, her things took up almost half of my room. Having to squeeze between her wardrobe, suitcases, and two plastic file cabinets got old quick. In fact, I avoided entering my bedroom whenever I could. By the time Sarah got back to Austin, I was just about ready to throw her things at her from my window.

But, once her things were gone an amazing thing happened. I felt relieved. Relieved that the pile of debris that had obstructed me all summer was gone. Like a burden had been lifted off of my back.

That got me to thinking. How does living with clutter affect us mentally? Can clutter actually cause stress, or does stress lead to clutter? I did some research and the findings startled me.

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Big Super Bowl Party in Your Small Space

It’s that time of year again! The time when family and friends get together to drink, eat, and yell over the last big football game of the season. My season usually ends when Peyton Manning’s does (so pretty early this year). But, nevertheless, Super Bowl Sunday is my favorite non-holiday holiday and hosting a Super Bowl party is my favorite non-traditional tradition. I love to have people over and talk smack about their favorite teams while feeding them tasty snacks at the same time. However, hosting in a small space can be quite the challenge. So, I’ve put together tips from my five years of experience hosting in small spaces to help you throw a super-cool, super-compact, Super Bowl bash.

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Storage By the Bin: Austin’s New Closet

Storage By the Bin: Austin’s New Closet

Hi there! My name is Richard Hachar and I’m Founder of Binstro: Storage By the Bin, a new tech startup in Austin, Texas. Over the past few weeks, several people have asked me, “What the heck is Binstro?” That’s a great question. Binstro is your personal closet in the cloud.

Why Storage?

Did you know that clutter causes stress?

It’s actually pretty well documented. Mess and excessive clutter can inhibit productivity and innovation, create feelings of guilt, and leave you feeling pretty bad about yourself.

So we do our best to limit mess. The problem with clutter is that, well, sometimes it’s not only mess. Sometimes, our prized possessions just happen to outgrow the space we live in. 

What do we do then? Throw away some of our favorite things? Find a new place to live?

Storage By the Bin is the realistic solution.

Binstro is storage redesigned for a modern world. Storage by the bin is a brand new type of service that is turning the self-storage industry on its head. We’re here to provide you with a completely new (and much better!) experience.

What’s Wrong with Self-Storage?

Where should I start?

  1. It’s expensive! Storage units aren’t cheap, you know. A 5×5 storage unit in Austin will cost more than $60 per month… And that’s before you include the cost of packing supplies, gas, renting a truck, and administrative fees. Ouch.
  2. It takes forever! Seriously- have you seen traffic lately? Self-storage puts this burden on you. They expect you to do everything. They pose a single question to their members, “Who doesn’t love spending their Saturday stuck in traffic?” I don’t. And I doubt you do, too.
  3. It’s completely inefficient. After all, you pay for a certain amount of space each month… only to use half of it. Nobody wants to spend more than they have to, right?
  4. It’s frustrating. Driving around town, sitting in traffic, lugging heavy things around… only to have to do it all over again whenever you want something back. We realized that there had to be a better way.

Storage Tailored for You

Binstro is the better way.

Your closet away from home, Binstro provides seamless, secure storage and at the tap of a button. Here’s how it works:

  1. We pick up and store your things for you.
  2. We deliver your things when you want them back.
  3. Everything is organized and managed online with our website.

Plus, we provide the lockable bins for you to store your things in. But that doesn’t mean that bins is all we store! Binstro can store anything. We’ve stored everything from sports equipment to luggage. If it fits in our van, we’ll take it.

Binstro is the smarter way to store. No more sitting in traffic, no more heavy lifting, no more paying for space you don’t use. So please, tell your friends, family, and pets about us. After all, who wouldn’t love a bigger closet?

Richard Hachar,
Founder
www.binstro.com

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