Category Archives: Uncategorized

Building Something Bigger Than You — And Letting It Grow

When I left my first job on Wall Street to move into the startup world, I knew very little. A lot of my time was spent in conversations with others, trying to learn. I got noticed for hustle, but picked up some great advice along the way. The most prescient advice was that a good manager’s job is to bring on better people, and get out of their way. I remember reading a story about Michael Bloomberg when he spoke to managers inside his organization. He always asked, “Who is your replacement.” In the world of building something bigger than you, these types of things come up often. During a fundraise, we had to schedule flights to the west coast for MakeSpace’s leadership, and we had to put company executives on separate flights…because hey, ya never know. With that much responsibility, we had to think bigger than ourselves.

MakeSpace has grown tremendously since it was a eureka moment born of post-Sandy storage navigation. We created the category and very few people initially believed in us — somewhat ironic since so many venture dollars have now poured into the space. Mark Suster and Upfront provided a jumping off point that led to building something great. Very early in the process, I identified an amazing co-founder and my eventual replacement — Rahul Gandhi. He also became and still is one of my best friends. Rahul was the third person to hear the idea behind my then girlfriend and Mark. He left the relative comfort of his VC job to face the challenges of running a lean startup while being a father to two young children. Rahul’s kids were born extremely premature, and they got their tenacity from their dad.

I’ll never forget when we leased our first MakeSpace vehicle. We sat in the parking lot of the dealership, having just signed personal guarantees for about $40,000 in car payments. I kind of had this “Oh sh*t just got real” moment, looked at Rahul, and said “Now what do we do if this doesn’t work?” Rahul said, “We have no choice but to make this work. I won’t let this fail.” I knew he was right and we drove off the lot. For 9 months, Rahul would drive the van himself and did about 200 of the first pickups. I’ll always be grateful to him for his strength and ability to pick me up when I was down and vice versa.

Since its early days (in unbranded green Uniqlo shirts, when we took cabs to do our first pickup because we couldn’t even hail Uber at the time), MakeSpace has grown. It has many people interested in seeing it succeed: tens of thousands of customers, incredibly supportive investors, and hundreds of employees. MakeSpace is bigger than me, and it’s time for me to step aside to let it get bigger. It still has some risks to take and important chapters ahead, and Rahul is the best person to help guide those decisions. I’ve worked closely with Rahul and the board to layout my vision for the future of our product, and the MakeSpace brand is by far and away the most recognizable in our category and it will remain that way for decades to come.

I’m very proud of the past 5 years as MakeSpace’s founder and CEO. I’ve learned a ton, mostly about people. Startups are families. My proudest moments, similar to a parent, were watching our employees grow. There are many stories, but some of the highlights include: employees that met at MakeSpace and remain couples today; a team member who started in the warehouse, decided to go back to school and now is on our finance team in HQ; and one of our leaders who not only helped craft important parental leave policies that are better than every startup at our stage, but is also expecting the birth of her child any day now! There were challenges too — just like families – unexpected events can really hurt. We lost one of our colleagues and it depressed morale more than you can imagine. It’s never something you can plan for, and it takes a lot to get through. Ladidi Garba will always have a special place in my heart.

While I am no longer going to be involved with the day-to-day at MakeSpace, I remain heavily invested in seeing the company succeed. My brother remains an advisor and part-time legal counsel, and I continue to be one of the largest shareholders in MakeSpace. I’ll do whatever I can to help. For now, I’m going to take a much overdue breather. I’ll spend some time traveling, focus on more of my angel investing and scout work, and look forward to networking with people who were in the same place I was nearly a decade ago.

I’m grateful to the tens of thousands of customers, hundreds of current and past employees, and dozens of family and friends that have believed in my vision.

MakeSpace was born out of a literal (non-figurative) disaster. As life unfolds, I never really know where the twists and turns take me.

The best thing to do is wait and see.

SIR

If you’re in the middle of spring cleaning (or still fearfully procrastinating), you know what a pain it is to figure out how to make space for all your stuff. Storage would be great for all your seasonal clothes and other nonessentials. But traditional self-storage is a hassle, time suck, and expensive.

Thankfully, MakeSpace developed a solution: full-service storage with pickup AND delivery — for less than what self-storage companies charge.

Here are 7 no-brainer reasons to use MakeSpace today:

1. We pick up, store, and deliver your stuff while you relax

makespace full-service storage with pickup and delivery

With self-storage, you haul everything. With MakeSpace, you haul nothing. Simply get a free quote, schedule a pickup, pack your stuff, and leave the rest to us. We’ll pick up, store, and deliver your stuff back so you never have to rent a truck or visit a storage unit.

2. MakeSpace is more affordable than self-storage

piggy bank

Storage rates in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC are extremely expensive. MakeSpace is able to offer you much lower rates because we don’t need to occupy pricey real estate like self-storage.

Plus, when you commit to an annual plan, your rate can be up to 30% lower. And unlike self-storage, we’ll never increase your monthly bill for the same plan size. In fact, if you store fewer items that could fit in a smaller storage space, we’ll lower your bill.

On top of that, deliveries start at only $20. That’s less than the cost of a roundtrip cab and a latte. 🙂

3. You get FREE storage bins and wardrobe boxes

makespace bin

Save hundreds on boxes and tape by using our free durable storage bins and wardrobe boxes. We’ll drop off as many as you want when you schedule your storage pickup.

4. You get a FREE online photo catalog of your stuff

makespace macbook iphone

Drag your mouse to your storage unit, not yourself. When you need something back from storage, you don’t have to dig through boxes for hours inside a dusty storage unit. Simply log into your online MakeSpace account, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver your stuff to you.

5. Your stuff is always safe

lock heart

Our secure storage facilities are closed to the public and have 24/7 security, motion-sensing cameras, and alarms to ensure the safety of your stuff at all times.

6. We’ll pick up and drop off your donations to Goodwill

makespace offers free goodwill pickups for storage customers in nyc, chicago, and dc

We’ll bring a shiny blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag to your appointment. Fill the bag with anything you’d like to donate and hand it to us. We’ll drop off your donation to a local Goodwill — for free.*

7. Customers love MakeSpace.

We always strive to deliver a 5-star experience. Our friendly Customer Support team is here to help you 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Click the button below to learn more about MakeSpace and get $75 of free storage!

Get $75 of Free Storage
 

*Free Goodwill dropoffs are only available to MakeSpace customers in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

1. Steam-clean your microwave with lemon, water, and a sponge.

lemon slices in a glass of water
Instructions:

  1. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl with ½ cup of water.
  2. Microwave the bowl until the water boils, usually around 3 minutes.
  3. Let the bowl stand for 5 minutes. The steam will loosen up the gunk.
  4. Remove the bowl and turntable from the microwave.
  5. Wipe the inside of the microwave with a sponge or paper towel.
  6. Pat yourself on the back. (Without the sponge in your hand.)

Got some hard-to-remove stains?

No problem. Dip the sponge into the hot lemon water and then scrub the stain with the sponge.

2. Clean your sink drain with baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water.

yellow strainer in a kitchen sink
Flickr/Rachel Zack

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar down the drain.
  2. Let the mixture work its magic for a few minutes.
  3. Pour boiling water down the drain.

Have a garbage disposal?

Follow the above three steps. Then turn on the garbage disposal and drop a handful of lemon peels down the disposal to give it a fresh citrus scent.

When you’re done, turn off the garbage disposal. Your intact fingers will thank you.

3. Refresh your fridge with baking soda, hot water, and coffee grounds.

ground coffee beans on a clean white surface
Flickr/Joe King

Instructions:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of hot water.
  2. Dip a sponge into the mix and wipe the fridge’s interior with it.
  3. Wipe the interior again, this time with a damp cloth.
  4. Dry the interior with a clean towel.

Nasty smells coming from that lasagna you forgot about?

Scatter fresh coffee grounds onto a tray and leave it inside your fridge until the odor vanishes.

Pro-tip: Let MakeSpace store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

Learn more
 

4. Remove stovetop stains with baking soda and a wet cloth.

clean a glass stove top with baking soda and a wet cloth
The Make Your Own Zone

Instructions:

  1. Make sure the stove is off and the stovetop is cool.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stains.
  3. Wipe the stains with a wet cloth.
  4. Dry the stovetop with a towel or paper towel.

5. Dust your blinds in half the time with a Swiffer cloth or rag attached to tongs.

clean blinds in half the time with swiffer sweeper clothes rubber banded around tongs
A Cultivated Nest

Instructions:

  1. Rubber band a dry Swiffer cloth or rag around tongs.
  2. Clamp the tongs onto one end of a blind.
  3. While holding the tongs, move your arm to the opposite end of the blind.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the rest of the blinds, and swap out the cloth or rag as necessary.

6. Iron out carpet stains with vinegar, water, and a wet rag.

paige smith removing carpet stains with an iron and wet pink towel
Paige Smith

Instructions:

  1. Spray the stain with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.
  2. Put a wet rag over the stain.
  3. Set your iron to “steam,” and iron the rag for 30 seconds.
  4. Smile in awe as the rag magically lifts the stain.

7. The Ultimate Hack:
Get MakeSpace to store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

makespace offers free goodwill pickups for storage customers in nyc, chicago, and dc
MakeSpace

Simply get a free MakeSpace quote, schedule a pickup, pack your stuff, and toss anything you’d like to donate in the blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag that we bring to your appointment.

We’ll pick up your stuff, store it in our secure storage facility, and drop off your donation bag to a local Goodwill.*

The best part: When you need something back from storage, we’ll deliver it to you.

Click the button below to learn more about MakeSpace and get $75 of free storage!

Get $75 of Free Storage
 

Happy cleaning!

*Free Goodwill dropoffs are only available to MakeSpace customers in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

1. Steam-clean your microwave with lemon, water, and a sponge.

lemon slices in a glass of water
Instructions:

  1. Squeeze half a lemon into a bowl with ½ cup of water.
  2. Microwave the bowl until the water boils, usually around 3 minutes.
  3. Let the bowl stand for 5 minutes. The steam will loosen up the gunk.
  4. Remove the bowl and turntable from the microwave.
  5. Wipe the inside of the microwave with a sponge or paper towel.
  6. Pat yourself on the back. (Without the sponge in your hand.)

Got some hard-to-remove stains?

No problem. Dip the sponge into the hot lemon water and then scrub the stain with the sponge.

2. Clean your sink drain with baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water.

yellow strainer in a kitchen sink
Flickr/Rachel Zack

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1 cup of baking soda and 2 cups of vinegar down the drain.
  2. Let the mixture work its magic for a few minutes.
  3. Pour boiling water down the drain.

Have a garbage disposal?

Follow the above three steps. Then turn on the garbage disposal and drop a handful of lemon peels down the disposal to give it a fresh citrus scent.

When you’re done, turn off the garbage disposal. Your intact fingers will thank you.

3. Refresh your fridge with baking soda, hot water, and coffee grounds.

ground coffee beans on a clean white surface
Flickr/Joe King

Instructions:

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of hot water.
  2. Dip a sponge into the mix and wipe the fridge’s interior with it.
  3. Wipe the interior again, this time with a damp cloth.
  4. Dry the interior with a clean towel.

Nasty smells coming from that lasagna you forgot about?

Scatter fresh coffee grounds onto a tray and leave it inside your fridge until the odor vanishes.

Pro-tip: Let MakeSpace store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

Learn more
 

4. Remove stovetop stains with baking soda and a wet cloth.

clean a glass stove top with baking soda and a wet cloth
The Make Your Own Zone

Instructions:

  1. Make sure the stove is off and the stovetop is cool.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on the stains.
  3. Wipe the stains with a wet cloth.
  4. Dry the stovetop with a towel or paper towel.

5. Dust your blinds in half the time with a Swiffer cloth or rag attached to tongs.

clean blinds in half the time with swiffer sweeper clothes rubber banded around tongs
A Cultivated Nest

Instructions:

  1. Rubber band a dry Swiffer cloth or rag around tongs.
  2. Clamp the tongs onto one end of a blind.
  3. While holding the tongs, move your arm to the opposite end of the blind.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the rest of the blinds, and swap out the cloth or rag as necessary.

6. Iron out carpet stains with vinegar, water, and a wet rag.

paige smith removing carpet stains with an iron and wet pink towel
Paige Smith

Instructions:

  1. Spray the stain with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.
  2. Put a wet rag over the stain.
  3. Set your iron to “steam,” and iron the rag for 30 seconds.
  4. Smile in awe as the rag magically lifts the stain.

7. The Ultimate Hack:
Get MakeSpace to store your extra stuff and donate your old stuff.

makespace offers free goodwill pickups for storage customers in nyc, chicago, and dc
MakeSpace

Simply get a free MakeSpace quote, schedule a pickup, pack your stuff, and toss anything you’d like to donate in the blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag that we bring to your appointment.

We’ll pick up your stuff, store it in our secure storage facility, and drop off your donation bag to a local Goodwill.*

The best part: When you need something back from storage, we’ll deliver it to you.

Click the button below to learn more about MakeSpace and get $75 of free storage!

Get $75 of Free Storage
 

Happy cleaning!

*Free Goodwill dropoffs are only available to MakeSpace customers in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

If you’re in the middle of spring cleaning (or still fearfully procrastinating), you know what a pain it is to figure out how to make space for all your stuff. Storage would be great for all your seasonal clothes and other nonessentials. But traditional self-storage is a hassle, time suck, and expensive.

Thankfully, MakeSpace developed a solution: full-service storage with pickup AND delivery — for less than what self-storage companies charge.

Here are 7 no-brainer reasons to use MakeSpace today:

1. We pick up, store, and deliver your stuff while you relax

makespace full-service storage with pickup and delivery

With self-storage, you haul everything. With MakeSpace, you haul nothing. Simply get a free quote, schedule a pickup, pack your stuff, and leave the rest to us. We’ll pick up, store, and deliver your stuff back so you never have to rent a truck or visit a storage unit.

2. MakeSpace is more affordable than self-storage

piggy bank

MakeSpace starts at only $49/month in Washington, DC ($59/month in NYC, Chicago, and Los Angeles) for a 2×2 ft. (16 cubic ft.) storage space. Unlike self-storage, we’ll never increase your monthly bill for sticking with the same size storage space. In fact, if you store less items that could fit in a smaller storage space, we’ll lower your bill.

On top of that, deliveries start at only $20. That’s less than the cost of a roundtrip cab and a latte. 🙂

3. You get FREE storage bins and wardrobe boxes

makespace bin

Save hundreds on boxes and tape by using our free durable storage bins and wardrobe boxes. We’ll drop off as many as you want when you schedule your storage pickup.

4. You get a FREE online photo catalog of your stuff

makespace macbook iphone

Drag your mouse to your storage unit, not yourself. When you need something back from storage, you don’t have to dig through boxes for hours inside a dusty storage unit. Simply log into your online MakeSpace account, click the item’s photo, and we’ll deliver your stuff to you.

5. Your stuff is always safe

lock heart

Our secure storage facilities are closed to the public and have 24/7 security, motion-sensing cameras, and alarms to ensure the safety of your stuff at all times.

6. We’ll pick up and drop off your donations to Goodwill

makespace offers free goodwill pickups for storage customers in nyc, chicago, and dc

We’ll bring a shiny blue MakeSpace + Goodwill bag to your appointment. Fill the bag with anything you’d like to donate and hand it to us. We’ll drop off your donation to a local Goodwill — for free.*

7. Customers love MakeSpace.

We always strive to deliver a 5-star experience. Our friendly Customer Support team is here to help you 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Click the button below to learn more about MakeSpace and get $75 of free storage!

Get $75 of Free Storage
 

*Free Goodwill dropoffs are only available to MakeSpace customers in NYC, Chicago, and Washington, DC.