Contributing Editors



Save on Moving, Packing, and Organizing Supplies During Sales Tax Holidays

by John Stevens August 6, 2010 11:47 PM
Several states have instituted sales tax holidays this August, to give families a break while shopping for school supplies and to stimulate local economies. Many retail stores are offering special deals to coincide with tax-free days. Although the tax holidays are intended for back to school shoppers, many packing and organizing supplies, such as strapping tape and file folders, will be tax-free as well. People who are thinking of moving their files into storage, or decluttering a home in preparation for putting it on the market, may want to take advantage of the August tax-free holidays. [More]

Self Storage Companies Plant Trees for Customers

by Kim Kilpatrick August 6, 2010 10:26 AM
Two self storage companies are planting trees in an attempt to cause reforestation of areas of the world that are suffering from deforestation, such as Haiti, the Amazon basin, and tropical rain forests around the world. Watson & Taylor Self Storage, of Addison, Texas, announced this week that it will work with Trees for the Future to plant ten trees for every new self storage customer to rent a unit at their facility in the month of August. Likewise, iStoreGreen of Brooklyn, New York, plants a tree for every tenant through the Nature Conservancy. [More]

Don’t Plan on Financing Your Move with a Payday Loan

by Tony Gonzalez July 27, 2010 2:03 PM
Moving can be expensive, when you factor in the cost of movers, taking time off work, and, if you are downsizing or trying to sell a house, putting some possessions into self storage. Despite the expense, if you have to go into debt to pay for all your moving expenses, it is better to find a way to do so without taking out a payday loan. Payday lenders tend to charge exorbitant interest rates. Even a credit card will charge a lower -- MUCH lower -- interest rate than a payday loan will. A better way to finance the self storage side of your move is to go to a self storage company that offers the first month free. Or, if you are a student, are retired, or are a veteran or an active member of the military, try going to a self storage company that offers discounts to students, retirees, veterans, or military families. You may be able to find movers that will offer discounts, as well. [More]

More Americans Moving Again

by Kim Kilpatrick July 23, 2010 9:16 PM
The American Moving and Storage Association reported today that Americans were shipping 4.2 percent more household goods during the first five months of this year than during the same period in 2009. (AMSA is a storage and moving trade association, and puts consumers in touch with professional movers through its Mover Referral Service.) When AMSA looked only at items shipped by consumers, the shipments were up by 11.2 percent. During 2008 and 2009, shipping dropped dramatically, by 21.5 percent in 2009 and 18.2 percent in 2008.

The statistics suggest that more Americans are moving from one home to another again, which means that the housing market may start to pick up. Relocation tends to stimulate consumer spending in general, because people who are moving spend more money on take-out food, renovations, and household items for the new home. [More]

Old Dallas Walmart Becomes New Self Storage Facility

by John Stevens June 21, 2010 4:29 PM
Four Dallas-area residents, tired of looking at an empty Walmart building that has stood empty for six years, have decided to buy Walmart’s old retail building and convert it into a self storage facility. The Walmart will be turned into a Just Store It. The interior demolition work is already finished, and work on the interior renovations began today. The development is the brainchild of developer Brad Tidwell of Dallas, who looked at the old Walmart building and saw a conversion deal.

“Every time I see a new idea,” Tidwell explained in the Sunday Longview News-Journal, “my first thought is, ‘will this work in Longview?’” [More]

Where Will HP’s Laid-Off Employees Relocate (If Necessary)?

by John Stevens June 1, 2010 9:34 PM
In September of 2008, Hewlett-Packard (HP) took over information technology (IT) provider Electronic Data Systems, and then proceeded to cut 24,600 jobs. Today HP announced that it will be cutting about 9,000 more. Lately, technology firms in Silicon Valley have starting recruiting more aggressively again. But will there be enough technology jobs in the Valley for the 9,000 Hewlett-Packard employees that will be laid off over the next several years?

HP says that it will also be adding a total of 6,000 jobs to its sales and delivery teams, but the 9,000 laid-off employees will be from IT. The IT jobs will disappear as HP automates more of the services that it provides to clients. Some technology companies in the area, such as Google, Intel, and Cisco are adding jobs. But analysts say that many technology jobs are starting to migrate to other cities -- and laid-off technology workers are beginning to follow. [More]

Texas Self Storage Owner Honors WWII Vets

by Holly Robinson May 21, 2010 4:58 PM
World War II ended 65 years ago. But the 16 million American veterans who served in the war did not receive a national memorial until 2004. The youngest of those veterans are now in their 80s. Many are living on fixed incomes, and, especially in the middle of a national recession, cannot afford a trip to Washington D.C. to visit the new memorial.

To honor those veterans, self storage owner Jack McClanahan decided to get involved in the Montgomery County, Texas branch of the Honor Flight Network, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to flying veterans to Washington D.C. to see the World War II Memorial. On the honor flights, every veteran flies free and spends the day in Washington. [More]

Texas Marina Forced to Move Boat Storage Facility

by Tony Gonzalez April 19, 2010 2:32 PM
A marina in Freeport, Texas, will have to move part of its drystack boat storage facility, because the storage building sticks out onto land that has been earmarked for use by the state highway department. The boat storage building encroaches 22 feet onto land that will be used to construct the new Pine Street bridge. Freeport will have to spend $347,510 to move the offending section of the building.

Although the move will be expensive, members of the Freeport Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) were pleased with the estimate, saying that it would cost about $100,000 less than they expected. Despite their pleasure at the lower estimate, FEDC members are still not certain how they will pay for the relocation. [More]

Self Storage Owner Runs for School Board

by Winnie Hsiu March 17, 2010 10:46 AM
Mike McDaniel, co-owner with his wife, Linda, of Preferred Self Storage in Double Oaks, Texas, has announced that he is running against incumbent Tommy Kim for Place 3 on the Lewisville, Texas school board -- the LISD Board of Trustees. McDaniel filed notice of his campaign on Monday afternoon.

It's not unusual for self-storage owners to take an active role as leaders in the community. Self-storage facilities often become strong proponents of local charities and school fund drives. For Mike McDaniel, running for a position on the school board is a natural extension of the volunteer work that he already does in Lewisville. Last year, Preferred Self Storage, the facility run by Mike and Linda McDaniel, was awarded one of four Humanitarian Service Awards by Inside Self-Storage. The award was based on Preferred's support of the Lewisville High School Circle of Friends Club, a club dedicated to supporting students in the Lewisville area who have developmental challenges. Members of the club find ways to include their developmentally-challenged peers in regular high school activities, by eating lunch with them and taking them on school outings. [More]

Self-Storage Zoning Laws Changing Across U.S.

by Holly Robinson March 11, 2010 5:12 PM
Many towns in rural and suburban America are changing their zoning laws to make it possible for new self-storage businesses to be constructed. Recent changes in zoning laws that affect self-storage firms include the following:

In Richardson, Texas, the City Council changed the zoning laws to allow for "temporary" self-storage businesses in some commercial districts. The council classified this use of city land as a "secondary use" and proceeded to approve a special permit for one such business, to be located in a local shopping center. In Richardson, to meet the new zoning requirements, a self-storage business may not take up one whole building -- it must be less than half the total size of the building it is located in, and, no matter what size the building is, the self-storage business may take up no more than 20,000 square feet. [More]
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