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Eight Great Things to Do with All That Bubble Wrap

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After a move (or perhaps during a move if you went a little overboard) you may find yourself drowning in bubble wrap, especially if your municipal recycling service won’t take it. No worries. McKendree Moving & Storage offers eight great ideas for getting rid of it while doing the world around you a little good.

  1. Call your nearest UPS store and ask if they participate in the Eco Responsible Packaging Program. If so, they’ll happily take your leftovers.
  2. Give it to another local family planning a move. Find recipients via sites like Freecycle or post it on your social media pages.
  3. Go shopping. Use your extra bubble wrap to protect fresh produce from bruising and to make it last longer in the refrigerator.
  4. Get toasty. Lining the windows of your home with bubble wrap adds a temporary insulation boost, helping to keep your house warmer while reducing heating costs during the cold winter months.
  5. Grow stuff. Bubble wrap can help to protect your plants, flowers and young trees from the frigid temperatures during the winter time. It’s also a great way to trap heat in your greenhouse.
  6. Get creative. Do a search on sites such as Pinterest.com to find fun arts and crafts ideas for making creative use of bubblewrap.
  7. Send stuff. Keep bubble wrap on hand for mailing fragile items.
  8. Pop it. You know you want to. After all, it can be a great momentary stress reliever. In fact, results of a study published in NYMag show that popping bubble wrap can help release muscle tension and nerves, which in turn reduces stress similar to finger tapping and foot jiggling.

If you’re just getting started planning your relocation to or from the Washington DC metropolitan area, call 800-530-2626 and find out how McKendree Moving & Storage can assure a smooth move.

Five Top Tips For Moving Wine

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Novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson said it best – “Wine is bottled poetry.” But poetry in motion is a much less unnerving thought than your wine collection on the move to your new home. If you’re looking to relocate, McKendree Moving & Storage offers these top tips on safely moving your wine collection.

  1. Plan ahead: The extent of your preplanning depends largely upon the size of your collection and the distance of your move. Heading across town is one thing. But with each mile, the risk of losing a good portion of your vino increases, especially if you’ll cross state lines (more on that later). Arrangements involved may include range from creating an insulated space in your vehicle for small collections to hiring a temperature-controlled moving truck if you’ll move a wine cellar’s worth. You’ll also need to carefully plan to timing of your move. Planning for a springtime of autumn move is far preferable, as you’ll want to avoid the extreme summer and winter temperatures. Ideally, wine should be kept at around 55 degrees throughout a move.
  2. Pack wisely: Top priority in packing wine is to make sure you’ve got adequate cushioning to avoid breakage. Skip bottles that have been opened and pack them on their sides or upside down to keep corks moist. Also make a point to label them so that movers know its fragile cargo.
  3. Check with the locals: Will you move take you across state or county lines? Be mindful that some states and counties have varying laws that govern just how much alcohol is allowed to be transported or brought in for personal use. Call ahead to check the requirements along your route.
  4. Appraise and Insure: If your vino collection is sizeable, consider getting it appraised and insured with both written and photographic documentation. This will assure that your financial losses will be covered in the case of an accident or incident that damages or destroys your collection. You can find a qualified wine appraiser via your local wine sellers and clubs.
  5. Avoid bottle shock: Wrapping up a move can be cause for celebration. But don’t be tempted to pop the cork on one of your own bottles just yet. Opening wine too soon after it’s been jostled in transit can result in what’s known as “bottle shock,” an unfortunate loss of flavor. Instead, allow your collection to rest a bit (seven days of rest for each day of transport is recommended) and take the opportunity to check out one of the wine shops or restaurants in your new hometown.

Make sure your move is a smooth as a sip of your best vintage red by calling McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626.

5 States Where Residents Get the Biggest Returns on Their Tax Dollars

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Tax season is here! Not exactly everyone’s favorite time of year. Unfortunately, taxes are a fact of life in America. But when properly used, those revenues can make a difference in quality of life for citizens. Of course, some states make better use of tax dollars than others. According to a new report by Wallethub, a personal finance website, these five states offer the overall highest return on residents’ tax dollars:

  1. New Hampshire
  2. South Dakota
  3. Florida
  4. Virginia
  5. Alaska

The top states were chosen based on combined analysis of 23 key metrics in the categories of education, health, safety, economy, infrastructure and pollution. But other states clearly stood out when looking at those categories independently. For instance, Massachusetts boasted the best school systems; Utah the best hospitals; Connecticut the highest water quality; Vermont the lowest crime rate and New Hampshire the lowest percentage of residents in poverty. Arizona and Minnesota tied for the best roads and bridges.

Take a look at the interactive map below to see how your current or prospective home state ranks in tax dollar ROI. And if you plan a move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 to speak with a relocation expert today.

Source: WalletHub

10 Budget-Friendly Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

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Looking to sell your home quickly and for the highest price possible? Effective staging is crucial. The key is to strike a balance between making each space appear pristine, yet comfortably lived-in, and to allow prospective buyers to picture themselves spending their days and nights there.

McKendree Moving & Storage offers these 10 top tips for staging your home on a budget:

  1. Assure a great first impression with a fresh coat of paint on your front door, a few colorful potted plants, a new welcome mat and a manicured lawn.
  2. Declutter rooms, cabinets and closets for a clean look.
  3. Apply a fresh coat of paint on any walls that are marked or show wear and tear. Consider white, light citrus tones, sea shades or pastels to help make rooms appear larger.
  4. Position mirrors to create more light – another trick that also helps make rooms appear larger.
  5. Minimize window dressings to allow more natural light to fill rooms.
  6. Choose gender-neutral colors and décor so that any buyer can picture himself or herself in the space.
  7. Put away personal photos. Again, a key to selling a home is to allow prospective buyers to picture themselves living there.
  8. Borrow or rent furniture if yours is worn. Choose clean, neutral, streamlined pieces.
  9. Rid your home of odd or unpleasant smells such as odors, mothballs and last night’s dinner. Use odor neutralizing candles, air fresheners and diffusers, but don’t overdo it. An overpowering scent, whether pleasant or not, won’t help.
  10. Add a few accents that make the home look lived-in. Options include a bouquet of fresh flowers in the bedroom, a bottle of wine on the kitchen table and a modern painting with a refreshing splash of color on the living room wall.

If you’re planning a move to or from the Washington DC metropolitan area, call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation or request a free quote online.

Three Healthiest Cities in the United States

Rochester MN Skyline

Life expectancy in the United States has steadily risen over the past decades, thanks in large part to medical advancements, increased health information via the internet and a boost in interest in healthy lifestyles. If you’re a bit of a health nut, you’ll be in good company with a move to one of the nation’s top healthiest cities, as determined in a recent 24/7 Wall St. special report.

The report ranked country’s 25 healthiest cities based on a range of criteria, the top factors being each areas’ premature death rate, adult obesity rate, percent of adults without insurance and the median household income. The lower the former three and the higher the latter, the healthier the locals.

Here are the three healthiest cities, along with information on those four crucial factors:

1. Rochester, MN: While it’s home to one of the main locations of the famed Mayo Clinic, but there are lots of options for medical care – Upward of 180 primary care physicians for every 100,000 area residents. That figure reflects more doctors per capital than any other US city. Adults living in Rochester say they have an average of just 2.4 physically unhealthy days per month and are more likely to be physically active than those in other areas.

Premature death rate: 229.7 (per 100,000 residents)
Adult obesity rate: 25.1%
Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.4%
Median household income: $64,210

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale Santa Clara, CA: Topping the reasons for average great health in this area is financial stability. Households there earn upward of $92,960 per year, the highest median household income of any US metro area. This makes it all the easier to afford healthy food options. Plus, more than 98 percent of the population enjoys regular access to public parks, recreation centers, walking paths and other features that promote physical activity.

Premature death rate: 200.6 (per 100,000 residents)
Adult obesity rate: 19.6%
Pct. adults without health insurance: 7.1%
Median household income: $92,960

3. Ames, IA: Ames (tied with Fargo, North Dakota) boasted the lowest unemployment rate of any US metropolitan area in 2015 – an enviable 2.4 percent. That low unemployment rate translates to a high insured rate. In fact, just 5.9 percent of the population too young for Medicare lacks insurance – half the national rate of 11.7 percent.

Premature death rate: 214.3 (per 100,000 residents)
Adult obesity rate: 25.6%
Pct. adults without health insurance: 5.9%
Median household income: $51,270

Visit 24/7 Wall St.’s website to see the full list of the nation’s 25 healthiest cities. And if you’re considering a move to one of them from the Washington DC metro area, call 800-530-2626 to schedule an appointment with McKendree Moving & Storage.

10 States That Pay Teachers the Most

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Teachers arguably are among the most important people in our lives, whether you realized it or not while growing up and mucking your way through the academic and social rigors of elementary, middle and high school. Yet, they’re also among the lowest paid of all college graduates. In fact, according to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, teachers earn just 77 percent of what other college graduates are making on a national average.

Thankfully, teaching also remains a popular career choice, probably because it’s largely a labor of love. But love won’t pay the bills, so if you’re considering a career in education, you’ll want to seek out locales that offer the best pay.

According to the EPI study, these are the 10 states where you’ll make the most as a teacher:

  1. New York – Average teacher salary $77,957
  2. Massachusetts – Average teacher salary $76,981
  3. Washington, DC – Average teacher salary $75,810
  4. California – Average teacher salary $72,842
  5. Connecticut – Average teacher salary $72,013
  6. New Jersey – Average teacher salary $69,330
  7. Alaska – Average teacher salary $67,443
  8. Maryland – Average teacher salary $66,482
  9. Rhode Island – Average teacher salary $66,197
  10. Pennsylvania – Average teacher salary $64,991

If you’re a teacher, first let us say “thank you!” And if pursuing your education career means a move to or from the Washington, DC area, McKendree Moving & Storage can help. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation.

Three US Locales Make Food & Wine Magazine’s List of World’s Most Romantic Cities

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking to woo your significant other with a quick getaway, or perhaps considering a move to a new locale for a new start in life and love, check Food and Wine magazine’s recent listing of the world’s most romantic cities. You’ll find the list includes iconic international favorites like Paris, Rome, Buenos Aires, Shanghai and Edinburgh, Scotland. But also making the cut are three idyllic cities right here in the United States:

  • San Francisco, CA: This West Coast favorite offers gorgeous vistas, rolling hills, charming row houses, and a mind-boggling array artisanal food and beverage options including fair-trade coffee shops, the Choux Bakery and the famous Ferry Building farmers’ market. Stroll through the Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers or the Palace of Fine Arts; share a tandem bike ride or a sunset seaplane flight; then end the day with a nighttime picnic with a view of the 25,000 white light installation along the Bay Bridge.
  • New York City, NY: It’s arguably the nation’s capital of food, fashion, art and culture. But it also has a plethora of romantic features. Consider a walk through Central Park or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden; a ride on the beautifully restored Janes’ Carousel, a kiss in the Cloisters and, if things are getting serious, perhaps a stop at Tiffany & Co.
  • Charleston, SC: Charleston is synonymous with Southern charm, thanks in large part to its antebellum architecture and deep history. But it also offers top-rated restaurants, bars and boutiques. Take in a show at the Dock Street Theatre, enjoy a sunset stroll on Sullivan’s Island, sail aboard the Schooner Pride or tour the city on a Palmetto Carriage ride.

If you’re considering relocating for love, and your move will take you to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation.

Four Top Tips for Choosing the Right Roommate

"Need Roommate" sign

Moving to a new home or apartment often means finding a new roommate – and that’s not always an easy task, particularly when your new digs are in a whole new city. McKendree Moving & Storage offers these four fail-proof tips to help assure that your roommate search will be a safe, smooth one.

  1. Get references: Topping all other roommate rules is to do your homework. Ask for and follow up with references including past roommates and past landlords. Former roommates can give you a feel for your prospective roomie’s personality and reliability. Former landlords will be able to confirm histories of on-time payments and property conditions.
  2. Get a credit check: While talking with a former landlord is a great start, performing a credit check can lend more assurance when it comes to a prospective roommate’s financial background and his or her ability to make rent and utility payments on time. This is particularly important if you plan share costs for phone, cable, internet services or utilities like water and power.
  3. Look over the lease: Before bringing a new roommate into your home or moving into their home, make sure to take a thorough look at the lease. You’ll need to make sure that adding a roommate is allowed and understand any financial or property damage risks you’ll be expected to accept.
  4. Get some face time: Agreeing to room with someone sight unseen is never a good idea. Plan to meet several times at a safe, neutral location like a nearby restaurant, coffee shop, library or park so that the two of you can get to know each other. If you plan to move into a home that already houses multiple roommates, be sure to meet them as well. A little face time will quickly reveal whether your personalities click.

If your next move takes you to or from the Washington, DC metro area, call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation with McKendree Moving & Storage. We can’t help you find the right roommate, but we can assure that your relocation will be a smooth one.

Top 10 States for Millennials

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According to the National Association of Realtors’ recently released 2016 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, millennials (the generation of people who reached young adulthood around 2000) have been the largest cohort of home-buyers for the past three years, making up 35 percent of total buyers.

If you’re a millennial on the move and looking to buy or rent a new home, certain states offer more than others when it comes to money matters. MoneyRates.com recently released a list of the top states for millennials, based on factors including affordable education, career opportunities and cost of living. The goal was to identify the states where this age group, primarily those age 20-14, can best balance budgets that likely include low wages and high student loan payments.

Results show the top locales for millennials are:

  1. North Dakota: An economic boom means jobs are plentiful and the cost of living is reasonable. College tuition and rental costs are lower than average and the state has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate (4.6 percent compared to the 10.7 percent state average) for 20- to 24-year-olds. Plus, North Dakota is among the top 10 states for access to high speed broadband and the number of nightlife options per 1,000 young adults.
  2. South Dakota: This state has the nation’s lowest average home rental rates and one of the lowest rates of unemployment among young adults.
  3. Nebraska: The Cornhusker State boasts the nation’s second lowest unemployment rate for young adults.
  4. Iowa: The Hawkeye State also had a low unemployment rate among millennials – just 5.8 percent.
  5. Montana: Known as “Big Sky Country,” Montana claims the nation’s second-lowest tuition rate for in-state students at four-year public colleges. And when class is out, Montana also ranks in the top 10 for the highest concentration of both health clubs and nightspots relative to its millennial population.

Rounding out the top 10 states for 20-somethings are Louisiana, Indiana, Kansas, Wyoming and Texas.

If you’re considering a move to or from the Washington, DC metro area – no matter your age group – we can help assure a smooth transition. Call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626 or request a free quote online.

Eight Great Tips to Help You Sell Your Home Quickly

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If you’re planning a move and looking to put your current home on the market, you’ll want to make sure prospective buyers see it in its best light. A great presentation can help assure you’ll get top-dollar offers. Luckily, there are multiple quick and effective fix-ups that won’t bust your budget.

  1. Make sure your lawn is trimmed, flower beds weeded and freshly mulched and shrubs pruned. Take an edger or weed eater to edges of driveways and walkways and use weed killer on weeds or grass growing out of pavement cracks. Also, clear the yard, driveway and walkway of clutter including tools, toys and trash.
  2. Clear gutters of leaves and other debris and make sure soil isn’t washed out around the downspouts. Reinforce any gutters that may be sagging.
  3. Power wash your fence and give it a fresh coat of paint.
  4. The front door is a powerful symbol, so make sure yours is as welcoming as possible. A fresh coat of paint, new welcome doormat and a potted plant can do wonders. Be sure to tighten loose doorknobs, oil squeaky hinges and make sure the doorbell is in working order.
  5. Replace burned out or dim lightbulbs, give lighting fixtures a good dusting and consider replacing dated fixtures with modern ones, particularly in the most visible locations like the foyer, den, bathroom and kitchen. While you’ll want to go easy on the artwork (prospective buyers will want to picture spaces with their own art) consider installing indoor track lighting to accentuate a few key pieces. Also use landscape lighting to spotlight interesting architectural features.
  6. Your home’s inside entry is critical to a prospective buyer’s first impression. Make sure it’s spotless and consider hanging a large decorative mirror to make the space appear larger.
  7. Clear all clutter from and polish kitchen and bathroom countertops, including chargers and cords. Leave only a few decorative pieces such as a scented candle, attractive canister or bowl of fresh fruit (no family photos, as prospective buyers will be picturing their own). Replace damaged or discolored caulking and repair or replace leaky faucets.
  8. Clear out as much of your belongings as you can from your closets, garage, attic and basement and organize the remaining contents. Consider investing in few color-coordinated storage boxes for these areas. This will help make closets and storage spaces appear larger.

Once you’re ready to plan your move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, contact McKendree Moving & Storage. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation.