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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

tax time

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

Bedroom staged to sell

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.

Top 10 States for Millennials

Group of millennials taking a selfie

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.

10 Top Places to Retire on Social Security

Elderly couple preparing to move

Statistics from the US Social Security Administration show that upward of 84 percent of retirees in the United States qualify for Social Security payments and for most – 61 percent – those payments make up at least half of their income. In fact, for a third of retirees, Social Security is their only major source of income in retirement.

It’s no news flash that living on a Social Security can be tough, considering that the average monthly SS payment was $1,341 as of January 2016. For a married couple, both receiving SS checks, that means an average combined retirement income of just $32,184, adjusted for inflation each year.

The good news is that there are ways to help stretch that benefit much further – including choosing the right locale to spend your golden years. A recent US News analysis of 104 major metropolitan areas, using data from the US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that couples receiving average SS payments would have enough money to cover all the basics – housing, food, transportation, health care and utilities – in two-thirds of major cities.

But covering the basics doesn’t necessarily mean a high quality of life. To help pinpoint areas that offer the best chances for a safe, comfortable and happy abode, researchers dug deeper into a myriad of quality-of-life factors including crime rates, access to health care and recreation opportunities. Their efforts revealed the top 10 recommendations for retirement living on SS benefits:

  1. Boise, Idaho: Low housing costs, beautiful 25-mile greenbelt and senior discounts to the Boise Art Museum, Zoo Boise, Bogus Basin ski area and many Boise State sporting events.
  2. Cape Coral, Florida: Affordable waterfront property, mild winters and no state income tax.
  3. Colorado Springs, Colorado: Breathtaking mountain views for bargain-basement costs if you’ve paid off your mortgage.
  4. Dayton, Ohio: One of the best spots for access to health care, and US Air Force retirees love the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
  5. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Relatively low housing costs, a booming healthcare industry and an impressive arts scene.
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Another great spot for relatively low housing costs, plus the nation’s 12th ranked best hospital (UPMC Shadyside) and a sports fan’s paradise.
  7. Richmond, Virginia: Several well-regarded hospitals and a favorite, lower-cost spot for retirees jettisoning northern Virginia and the Washington, DC area.
  8. Rochester, New York: Low housing costs, a highly rated hospital (Strong Memorial Hospital) and several major colleges for retirees who’d like to return to studies. Granted, the winters can be tough, but you’ll love celebrating the arrival of springtime at the annual Lilac Festival.
  9. San Antonio, Texas: Low housing costs for renters and no state income tax. Plus, it’s a pure delight for history buffs.
  10. Spokane, Washington: A top spot for active retirees who love the outdoors.

If you’re a retiree looking to move to or from the Washington DC metro area, McKendree Moving & Storage can help with special services and rates tailored for seniors. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation today.

Five Items Most Likely to Break During a Move

home with artwork

A top source of stress during a move is the worry over whether your household items are safe and sound – and with good reason. Movers know there are certain items that are far more likely than others to be damaged during transport. Here are the five most commonly broken items we see, particularly during DIY moves:

  1. Electronics: Because of their numerous delicate components, electronics such as computers and television sets are easily damaged. Even if the damage isn’t outwardly visible, one bump too many can displace functional components, causing these items to fail when you press the on button.
  2. Tables: Tables and table legs are among the most commonly damaged items, primarily because they’re simply awkward to move. A top tip is to remove the legs, pack and move them separately. Tables with tops made of heavier material, such as marble, are of particular concern because of the sheer force involved when they’re dropped.
  3. China, mirrors and other glassware: The most common culprit is a lack of sufficient padding. The more fragile the material, the more you’ll need. Let your pillows do double duty as padding for large mirrors. And don’t forget your wine and liquor selections. Damage happens not only in the way of broken bottles and stains on items packed nearby, but also in spoiled beverages caused by intense temperature changes, particularly during long moves.
  4. Artwork: Pierced canvases, broken frames and smudged paint are all too common. At highest risk are ornate frames with detailed surfaces and canvases packed near items with sharp corners or edges. Also keep in mind that long periods of high temperatures can mar paint.
  5. Appliances: After all, they’re heavy, difficult to carry and, like smaller electronics, have lots of inner components that can affect functionality. Front-loading washers are most easily broken. That’s because most fail to realize that spinning drums must be properly suspended throughout a move.

Also at risk are various features of the homes you’re vacating and moving into. Inexperienced or clumsy movers can leave behind dented walls and door jambs, broken stairway rails, scuffed floors and torn carpet. And remember – you’re at risk, too. Improperly handled moves have sent many a victim to the hospital or emergency room with broken bones, pulled muscles, skin lacerations and aching backs.

Why risk breaking your most used or cherished items? Trust your move, your health and your sanity to professionals. If you plan a move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call 800-530-2626 and schedule an appointment with McKendree Moving & Storage

Five To-Dos Before Making a Career-Prompted Move

Confident business man looking over new area

If you’ve been offered a great new job or simply know that a particular city will afford you better opportunities, making a move for your career can prove effective and exciting. It also can prove distressing without a plan for a smooth transition. McKendree Moving & Storage offers these tips:

  1. If you’ve got a job offer, ask your new employer about relocation benefits: Many businesses, particularly larger ones that regularly recruit new employees, have relationships with moving, storage and relocation companies that offer a range of discounts and other financial benefits. These may include coverage of moving expenses and closing costs, or even providing a buyout option if your current home doesn’t sell before your move date.
  2. Check out your new locale: As soon as you’ve decided to make the move, begin researching your new city and community, both via the Internet and in person. Research the local economy and housing market so that you know what you’re in for financially. This information may prove useful in negotiating your new salary and benefits. You’ll also want to know particulars such as great coffee shops near your new workplace where you can hold offsite business meetings.
  3. Test the commute: Arrange a visit to your new city to make the trip from your prospective new homes to the workplace during both the morning and afternoon rushes. Knowing which routes will help you avoid an excruciating commute may prove incredibly useful in choosing whether to live downtown or in the suburb.
  4. Make your travel and move arrangements: Topping the list is choosing a reputable mover to pack, load, transport and deliver your furniture and other household items. Then, decide how you, your family and your pets will make the move. Will you drive your own vehicles or fly to your new town and have a mover deliver your vehicles? Whatever you choose, know that making travel arrangements as early as possible will help minimize costs and your stress level. However, because moving can involve lots of variables, make sure that your travel plans have some flexibility – the ability to change flights inexpensively, for instance.
  5.  Attend to transition details: Arrange to have your utilities, internet connections, etc. turned off at your old home, and on at your new home. Make sure you’ve stocked up on prescription medications and have copies of all medical records for both your family members and pets. If you have school-age children, be sure to have their academic transcripts sent to their new schools and check into local school immunization requirements, which may differ from those in your old locale. Complete a change-of-address card at your post office and notify banks, credit card companies and other important contacts of your new address. And, update any business-related social media profiles to help assure a great start in your new position. ‘

If your move will take you to or from the Washington, DC metro area, McKendree Moving & Storage should be your first call. Reach us at 800-530-2626.

 

Top 20 Pet-Friendly Cities

Cat in moving box with styrofoam peanuts

If you’re a true pet lover considering a move, no doubt you’re seeking new hometown that’s as great for Fido and Fluffy as it is for you. According to results of a recent survey by American Pet Products Association, pet ownership in the US is booming. In fact, a record 65 percent of American households today own a pet. That figure reflects upward of 79.7 million homes with four-legged family members.

To help assure you make the best choice for you and your furry loved ones, check out results of WalletHub’s most recent compilation of the nation’s most pet-friendly cities. Researchers pored over multiple metrics including availability of a wide range of pet services and products such as professional pet walking and gourmet pet food; average costs of pet ownership as it relates to veterinary care, licenses, grooming and apartment pet deposits and related fees; and the presence of businesses designed for or open to pets, such as dog parks and restaurants that allow your pet to join you for lunch or dinner.

So here they are – The top 20 pet-friendly cities in America for 2016:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Birmingham, Alabama
  3. Tampa, Florida
  4. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  5. Scottsdale, Arizona
  6. Reno, Nevada
  7. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. St. Louis, Missourri
  11. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  12. Boise, Idaho
  13. Henderson, Nevada
  14. Atlanta, Georgia
  15. Plano, Texas
  16. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  17. St. Petersburg, Florida
  18. Portland, Oregon
  19. Gilbert, Arizona
  20. Albuquerque, New Mexico

Make sure your move goes smoothly for you and your pets. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a consultation with McKendree Moving & Storage.

 

Tips for Moving Your Prized Vinyl Collection

Vinyl Record Collection

For vinyl album holdouts – and yes, there are many of them across the United States – the notion of a long-distance move can be a sad, sad song, indeed. But you need not be singing the blues. McKendree Moving & Storage has a few tips that can help assure the safe transport and arrival of your prized collection to a whole new vinyl frontier.

First, head your nearest vintage vinyl shop and stock up on acid-free paper liners and poly sleeves. Take your records out of their cardboard jackets and place them in or between the paper liners. Then, place the jackets in poly sleeves. This will help to protect your records from dust, heat and moisture and your jackets from all sorts of outside wear, including discolored, depressed ring imprints of the vinyls themselves.

Next, choose your moving boxes wisely. Make sure they’re sturdy and have dimensions of at least 14″ x 14″ x 14″ (used wine boxes are a great option if you’ve got them). Bungobox and the Container Store offer boxes designed and sized specifically for moving or shipping vinyl records. Line the bottom and sides of boxes with bubble wrap or Styrofoam to provide a bit of shock absorption during the ride.

When packing them in boxes, stand your records and jackets vertically, side by side rather than stacking them. This helps to protect jackets from bending on the edges and from ring wear and other superficial nicks and scrapes. Be sure to pack them snuggly, but not so tight as to risk warping. Fill any leftover space in the box with bubble wrap to assure they won’t slide or get jostled around.

Once packed, make sure boxes are securely closed and mark which side is up to help assure movers know just how to handle and place them. For your own post-move sanity, also mark them alphabetically, by genre or however you’ll organize them on the shelves of your new place. Also make sure that your boxes will remain out of direct sunlight throughout the duration of the move.

From Stravinsky to Sinatra to Skynyrd, if you’re planning a move to or from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, we’ve got you covered. Call 800-530-2626 to schedule a pre-move consultation with McKendree Moving & Storage.