Top 10 U.S. Cities for Families

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Families

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By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com

Finding your place in this world can be pretty difficult, not to mention how hard it can be to move there. Storage.com is here to help with the moving process, either by providing storage or helping you find the ideal place to call home.

When it comes to raising a family, one of your most important long-term decisions will be picking the right neighborhood. Providing for your loved ones means finding a place to settle down where well-paying jobs are abundant and good educational facilities are just a short drive away.

These 10 U.S. cities are tops for families, based on work opportunities, cost of living, standards of local education, and general quality of life.

1. RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

Raleigh, N.C. skyline
Photo by James Willamor

Raleigh, the capital city of North Carolina, is well-known for its splendid architecture, abundance of oak trees, and beautiful weather. However, there is so much more to this city than meets the eye. Most of the locals here own their own homes. Because of its low business costs (18% below the natural average), low unemployment rate (5.4%), and promising projected job growth (3.7%), Raleigh has been consistently ranked by Forbes as one of the best cities for businesses and job growth. Even better, thanks to the local abundance of education facilities for kids and adults alike, Raleigh has developed an educated population and has been chosen by Forbes as the second-most educated city in the nation!

2. BOISE, IDAHO

View of Boise, ID
Photo by Charles Knowles

Though it may not be as well-known as its two famous neighbors, Seattle and Portland, Boise is much more family-friendly with a more affordable cost of living and housing market, strong job growth, and good educational facilities. The city’s numerous sidewalks and bicycle paths allow for family-friendly time outside, and the lovely, dry Idaho climate is perfect for a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. This is also a city of educated adults: 92.8% of the local adult population has attained, at the very minimum, a high school degree.

3. PROVO, UTAH

mountains behind homes in Provo, UT
Photo by Jason Shultz

If you’re concerned about earning enough to support your family, you can put those qualms to rest in Provo. Forbes recently ranked Provo as the third-best city for businesses in the country and cited the “microscopic” unemployment rate of 3.2% as proof of its many career opportunities. Don’t let the somewhat-pricey housing market disturb you; the cost of living in Provo comes in right around the national average. Also, the city’s low crime rate makes it a suitable environment for raising children. And Provo’s ranking as one of the most educated cities in the nation means your kids will have no problem attaining the primary and secondary education they need for success. You might even decide to pick up a few new skills yourself!

4. OGDEN, UTAH

Street scene in Ogden, UT
Photo by sirrobot

In addition to its spectacular scenic views of the Rocky Mountains and plentiful opportunities for outdoor recreation, the city of Ogden is rich with a high median income, an extremely low cost of living (12% below the national average), minimal crime rate, and superb educational opportunities. The cost of running a business here is 24% below the natural average—the fourth lowest in the nation! As for education? Ogden has its fair share of higher-level education such as Weber State University and Stevens-Henager College. Also, Ogden has an off-the-charts high school graduation rate of 93%.

5. OMAHA, NEBRASKA

Omaha, NE skyline
Photo by Patrick Hawks

You could say Warren Buffett chose a good place to make investments. In addition to the award-winning Henry Doorly Zoo (a great way to keep kids occupied), Omaha has much to offer in terms of its economy. According to 24/7 Wall St., Omaha’s unemployment rate of 4.5% places as the second-lowest in the country. Its central location alongside the Missouri River, its diverse number of businesses and industries, and the low cost of living makes this a flexible town for starting or building a career. For these reasons, it has also been ranked by Forbes as the 7th Best City for Raising a Family.

6. WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

Belmont Hill in Worcester, MA
Photo by Jonf728

Close to Boston and Providence, R.I., Worcester’s downtown area is rich with an industrial economy, and seventy percent of the local residents own their own homes. Worcester has made Forbes’ list of Best Cities for Raising a Family, and it has also been ranked by the same publication as one of the Happiest Cities for Jobs. Combine this with “one of the strongest urban public school systems in the state,” and you have a wholesome, promising city for families. According to Parenting.com, there’s also plenty to keep the kids occupied when they’re not in school: Boynton Park, Cascades Park, and the EcoTarium.

7. GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN

Downtown Grand Rapids, MI
Photo by Justin Razmus

Ranked #1 in 2012 and #2 in 2014 by Forbes among the Best Cities for Raising a Family, Grand Rapids is a great community for people with kids. First of all, the cost of living here is very low. What’s more, 77% (up from 75% in 2012) of permanent residents own their own homes, placing Grand Rapids above all other cities in the country in percentage of homeowners. Charter schools add to the already-strong local educational system.

8. CINCINNATI, OHIO

Cincinnati skyline
Photo by Russ Bowling

While the percentage of local home ownership (64%) and median household income ($52,000) is average, “The City of Seven Hills” is attractive to many families thanks to an extremely low cost of living for a major American metropolitan area. Cincinnati also ranks over most other large cities with a superb local school system.

9. MADISON, WISCONSIN

Downtown Madison, WI
Photo by Jordan Richmond

24/7 Wall St. chose the capital city of Wisconsin as their pick for the #1 Best U.S. City for Raising a Family in 2012, citing the city’s 5.1% unemployment rate and educated adult population (both the 3rd highest in the country). An economic boom that started in the 1990s has kept this city’s employment rates on the go, and the close proximity to numerous lakes means plenty of outdoor fun for adults and kids alike.

10. VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA

Lighthouse in Virginia Beach, VA
Photo by m01229

Virginia Beach has the second-highest percentage of parkland per 1000 residents in the country, with 77.7 acres to its name. This is complemented by its numerous playgrounds, low crime and unemployment rates, and its high percentage of educated adults. In fact, 93.1% of Virginia Beach’s adult residents have achieved a high school degree, making this city’s adult population the 5th most educated in the nation. A strong military presence and research programs contribute to the area’s economy. Best of all, its sandy beaches create year-round fun for Virginia Beach families.

What makes your city great for families? Tell us in the comments below!

Relocating? Use Self Storage While You Find a New Home

Relocating? Use Self Storage While You Find a New Home

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By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com

Storage.com is your number one ally when moving to a new home. We’re here to provide you with useful moving tips and hacks, or additional storage whenever necessary.

Are you relocating before you have a new home lined up?  It’s not uncommon to need a temporary place to store your household goods while you complete the details of a move, including starting a new job, selling your old home, finding a new home, or waiting for a new lease to start.

Self storage is the answer when you find yourself between homes while relocating. Rent a storage unit to store your possessions until you can move into your new home.

man and woman moving items into a truck

How to Plan Storage When Relocating

Once you know your moving date, you can search for a storage facility with a suitable unit and reserve it for your moving date.

Finding a Storage Facility: Rather than calling all over to track down storage facilities where you’re moving, use our website to search for available storage in any location in the U.S. and reserve a unit online in minutes!

Selecting a Move-In Date: It might seem convenient to move in on the weekend when you don’t have work, but it’s also convenient for everyone else. If possible, pick a weekday when the facility will be relatively empty so you won’t be tripping over other tenants.

Helpful Storage Features When Moving

Planning self storage for moving is a matter of finding the right unit size and much more. Look for these key storage features:

moving boxes into a storage unitUnit Size: Are you relocating from an apartment? If so, chances are a 10×15 storage unit will be enough space to hold all of your stuff. Capable of holding the contents of three bedrooms, it can handle furniture, boxes, and any appliances you may be moving. For those relocating from a house, depending on the size, you’ll likely want to find a 10×20 or a 10×30 storage unit. For more information, use our unit size guide to determine how large of a unit you may need.

Flexible Lease: Hopefully your transition won’t last long, and you can find the ideal new home fairly quickly. Look for a storage facility that will give you a flexible, short-term lease on a weekly or monthly basis so that you don’t have to pay for storage longer than you need it.

Drive-Up Access: Does the storage facility you’re looking at have wide-drive aisles so your moving truck or trailer can fit? Does your storage unit have drive-up access for easy loading and unloading? The wide-drive aisles and drive-up access features makes your moving experience all the easier, so be sure to use these storage amenities during your relocation.

Climate Control: If you’re going to be moving to a hot and humid climate in the summer, find a storage facility that offers climate control. This feature maintains moderate temperature and humidity levels in your storage unit. It’s important to protect sensitive items, like wood furniture, electronics, books, and more, that may warp or become damaged during their stay in a muggy and overheated storage unit.

Facility Security: Lastly, and most importantly, find a storage facility with excellent security features so you’ll know your things are safe while in storage. While basic security such as gated access is great, be sure to look for more advanced amenities like video surveillance, onsite management, and alarmed units, especially if you’re unfamiliar with neighborhoods in your new locale.

Moving into a Storage Unit

Just like packing up boxes at home, how you go about packing your storage unit can also save you work and energy later on. Channeling your inner Tetris star, start by placing your largest items—couches, beds, tables, and appliances—toward the back of the unit. You won’t be needing these items while they’re in storage, so it makes sense to keep them out of the way.

At the same time, place the items you may need to get to closer to the door of your unit, like additional clothes or documents you may be storing. If space allows, it will also pay to leave an aisle in the center of your belongings, as it will make it easier access other items that are stored away.

Once all of your things are safely stowed away, you’ve got one less thing to worry about, meaning you can focus your attention on finding your new home! When you do find your new home, your storage unit will have everything ready and waiting to be loaded back up for its final destination. ​

FIND SELF STORAGE NEAR YOU