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]
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]
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]
May 28, 2010 8:58 AM
People who are moving and relocating over the weekend in order to take advantage of the long weekend for unpacking should plan for long travel times on congested roads. A recent survey done by AAA shows that 32.1 million Americans plan to be on the road this weekend -- if accurate, AAA’s figures mean that about 5.4 percent more people will be traveling over Memorial Day weekend this year than did last year. If gas prices continue to drop, though, AAA’s estimates may prove low.
“Travel decisions are made at the last minute more than in the past,” AAA Carolinas president and CEO David Parsons said in The Lexington Dispatch yesterday afternoon. “With gas prices dropping daily, abundant hotel weekend deals and warm weather, staycations are losing their appeal.” [More]
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]
May 12, 2010 1:00 PM
In 2005, Congress established BRAC, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, to make recommendations about the future of military bases all over the United States. BRAC's job was to evaluate the future needs of the Department of Defense, weighing the military value of bases against the human impact of changes that might be made. Having done that, the Commission made its recommendations.
Most of the recommendations made by BRAC are scheduled to be completed by late fall 2011. In some cases, the process of reorganizing the bases has already begun. In many communities, though, the changes are just beginning. Some communities, such as the Washington D.C. area, will experience a fairly massive relocation of military employees and their families. [More]
January 7, 2010 5:10 AM
Just as the Washington, D.C. area Beltway gears up for the Fort Belvoir relocation, which will bring 19,000 new jobs -- and a potential traffic nightmare -- to the region, defense contractor Northrop Grumman (NG) has announced that it, too, is relocating to the Washington area. "As a global security company with a large customer base," explained NG president and CEO Wes Bush, "this move will enable us to better serve our nation and customers."
The District will have some time to prepare for its newest influx of workers, as NG has not chosen a new location yet. The company plans to move only about 300 members of its corporate staff at this time. The relocating staff members will come from NG's Los Angeles offices....When NG's corporate employees do move out of Los Angeles, they may be in for an unwelcome surprise as they start looking for housing in the Washington, D.C. area. Housing in Washington is 13% more expensive than housing in Los Angeles. The overall cost of living in Washington is about 7% higher than the cost of living in L.A. The differences are mostly in the areas of housing and transportation -- food and health care cost about the same in both places, and utilities are a little less expensive in Washington. Relocating employees may want to use the following resources as they research the Washington D.C. area: [More]