Electronics: How to Prepare Them for Moving Day

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During a move, some things are easy to pack and relocate, while others simply aren’t. Electronics are one of the most tedious and time-consuming things to prepare and pack for moving day. They’re fragile, and most include an abundance of cords or batteries. But because our electronics are so precious to us, it’s vital to pack them properly for a relocation. To ensure the safety of your electronics during your move, follow the important steps below.

Back up important files and documents

Electronics, like computers, hold all of our most important information. And even if you pack these items to the best of your ability, you still need to be prepared for potential damages that may occur during transport. If anything happens on the road, there is a high risk that you will lose all of the important information stored on the hard drive. To say this is a nightmare is an understatement! In order to avoid irreplaceable damage to your computer files, it is crucial to back up all files and documents prior to moving. Your best bet for this is to use an online cloud service offered by a reputable, established and trustworthy company. Examples include: Google Drive, Microsoft Azure and Dropbox.

Collect the correct packing supplies

Without the proper supplies, packing can be an impossible task. This is why it is essential to ensure you have not only the right supplies but also enough

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supplies. The best way to keep your electronics safe during your move is to pack them in their original packaging. This is because it was specifically designed to keep electronics 100% safe during transport. We aren’t just talking about the original box either, but the custom-cut styrofoam inserts that snuggly fit around the electronic device, along with a generous amount of anti-static bubble wrap and protective sheets of soft padding materials.

But let’s face it. These packaging materials were probably disposed of a long time ago. This means it is up to you to acquire proper packing supplies. Search for thick-walled cardboard boxes that are slightly larger than the dimensions of the electronics you are packing. Also collect adequate padding materials to insulate your electronics properly. These materials include:

  • Anti-static bubble wrap. You probably already know the great cushion that bubble wrap provides. But why does it need to be anti-static? Ordinary packing peanuts – made from foam – conduct electricity, a problem that can harm your electronics. To avoid potential damage to your devices, anti-static is the optimal choice.
  • Packing paper. Regular, everyday paper may be too rough and tough when packing. The ideal choice is to use actual packing paper, which is softer. Packing paper provides a better protective cushioning and will insulate your electronics so they will be protected from dust and minor hits and vibrations when on the road.
  • Moving blankets. Moving blankets are another viable thing to use when packing your electronics. You can also use ordinary blankets and other soft household items like pillows and clothing to provide extra padding for all of your most sensitive electronic equipment.

Organize and label cables

Electronics come with a lot of cables and writing, especially desktop computers. Before you rip out all plugs and throw them into a box, slow down and take the necessary time to organize and label them. While you

Photo via holycool.net.

may want to get the job over with as quickly as possible, organizing and labeling these important cables will save you a great deal of time and frustration later on.

One good tip to follow when packing your electronics is to use colored stickers, colored tape or numbered tags to mark all cables.

It is also a great idea to take a photo of how your electronics are hooked up to your computer or other device. Then you will have an easy guide to follow when hooking your device back up after moving.

It’s also wise to separate all cables, remote controls and other electronic accessories and, instead, pack them with the electronic unit they belong to.

Remove temperature-sensitive items

Electronics are sensitive to abrupt temperature changes. In fact, they may even become damaged when subjected to extreme temperatures. These items include:

  • Disks and peripherals. Remove all media disks – CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays – from their video players and pack them together with your disk collection. External hard drives, flash memory sticks, and so on should also be disconnected.
  • Batteries. Batteries can overheat and leak – something you definitely don’t want to happen in the back of your moving truck. To avoid this, remove all
    Photo via remotecentral.com.

    batteries from electronic devices and their respective remote controls before packing them.

  • Toners and ink cartridges. Toners and ink cartridges pose a huge mess risk. Before packing a laser or ink printer, be sure to remove toner or ink cartridges and pack them inside plastic dust-proof bags.

Use bubble wrap correctly

When packing your electronics, bubble wrap will be your savior. And believe us when we say, the more sheets of bubble wrap you use, the better!

  • Place several sheets of bubble wrap along the bottom of each box you intend to pack with electronic equipment. This initial layer will act as a shock absorber, keeping potential damage at bay. (Towels can be used instead.)
  • Next, wrap each electronic device in soft packing paper. Then add a sheet of bubble wrap on top of it. Secure the bundle with high-quality packing tape.
  • Place the wrapped-up electronic unit inside the packing box. (Always place heavier devices first.) Then, fill any remaining spaces with bubble wrap. (Towels or pieces of clothing work too, if necessary.)
  • When done, place one final layer of bubble wrap on the very top. Ensure nothing is shifting inside. Then, close and seal the box with strong, durable packing tape.

Protect electronic screens

The most vulnerable part of computer monitors and flat-screen TVs is their screens. So you should do everything in your power to protect them. Avoid using bubble wrap directly on screens, because it can leave marks. Instead, wrap the entire device in soft moving blankets. Then cut out a large piece of clean cardboard that measures the size of the screen. Place the cardboard cutout over the blanket-wrapped item. Finally, using packing tape, secure the cardboard in place.

Label boxes

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After sealing your electronics inside their cardboard box, you should immediately label it. Write the destination room on the box, too. You should most likely avoid specific labels like “computer” or “TV” to avoid potential theft from less-than-trustable movers.

The Super-Duper Moving Checklist

Want your move to be a success? Of course you do! The question is, how do you make it a real success instead of a chaotic disaster? The answer is with impeccable organizing, planning and time management. Though it is a lot of work, we have just the thing to make the process easier – a moving checklist. And not just any checklist, but a super-duper, exceptional checklist! Excited? You should be! Check it out below.

Pre-Move

  • Get a moving binder/folder to keep all moving documents safe and in one place. (Moving-related paperwork, moving cost estimates, inventory, receipts, personal notes, etc.)
  • Change your postal address – in person at the nearest post office or online.
  • Cancel or forward any subscriptions or memberships – magazines, newspapers, newsletters, gym memberships, etc.
  • Transfer utilities from your current home to your new home – electricity, water, gas, phone and internet services, etc.
  • Obtain medical records from you and your family’s doctors and dentists.
  • Obtain school records for any school-aged children you have. This will make it possible to enroll them at a new school after you move. If possible, arrange a direct inter-school transfer. It’s easier and will save time.
  • Inform children, family and friends of the upcoming move.
  • Obtain your pets vet records.
  • Make any repairs that are necessary before moving out in order to ensure you get your security deposit back (if you rent) or to sell your home for a better price (if you’re an owner).
  • Create a floor plan of your soon-to-be home. This way you can decide which items you should take with you and which you should leave behind.
  • Ask family and friends to help you move. The sooner the better.
  • Reserve a moving van/truck as soon as possible.
  • Obtain a parking permit so your moving truck will be able to park right in front of your new home. This is especially important if moving to a big city.
  • Rent/purchase moving equipment – furniture dolly, handtruck, furniture sliders, moving blankets, hand tools, etc.
  • Collect packing supplies – boxes, containers, garbage bags, bubble wrap, labels, packing tape, markers, packing paper, etc.
  • Familiarize yourself with proper lifting techniques to avoid injury while packing and moving your belongings.
  • Disassemble any furniture pieces that are too large to fit through doorways in your home. Then prepare them properly for transport.
  • Load the moving truck the right way. Follow this order – labeled boxes, large furniture pieces, heavy household appliances.
  • Secure loaded items so they won’t move while on the road. For larger items, strap or rope them to the sides of the truck.
  • Get professional assistance if your DIY move turns out to be too difficult.
  • Have your car serviced – especially if you will be driving a far distance on moving day.
  • Plan your car trip. Include places you will need to stop along the way to your new home, such as restaurants and hotels.
  • Decide on the best way to move your pets – via car, airplane or other.

Pre-Move: Professional Movers

  • Weigh your moving options and decide what kind of moving services you will require. Do you need short- or long-distance movers? Do you need professional packers or will you pack yourself?
  • Create a moving budget.
  • Get a moving quote from several companies.
  • Request an in-home survey to ensure you get an accurate price rate.
  • Compare moving estimates to find the best company for your specific needs.
  • Research your top moving company choices to ensure you choose one that is professional and provides good service. Be sure to check each movers USDOT numbers (license number by the Department of Transportation). Only consider movers that have a valid USDOT numbers as proof of their legitimacy.
  • Check movers’ membership status. Reputable moving companies will be members of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Decide on a moving company and book them ASAP.
  • Hire an auto shipper if you will need to have your car transported to your new home.
  • Obtain any necessary moving paperwork from your moving company and store it in a binder/notebook.

Pre-Move Packing Checklist

  • Gather all of the packing supplies you need before beginning the packing process.
  • Inventory your home to create a detailed list of all your possessions. Be sure to mark any items that require special packing.
  • Sort your belongings according to type, purpose and condition. Set aside any items that you do not plan to take with you.
  • Purge your home of any unwanted items by selling, donating or throwing them away.
  • Pack an essentials box with vital items you need easy, quick access to during the first few days after your move. (Toiletries, plastic kitchen utensils, medicines, clothes.)
  • Pack any high-valuable possession separately – jewelry, collector’s items, electronics, important documents. These items should not be placed on the moving truck, but instead, kept with you at all times.
  • Reinforce cardboard boxes with high-quality packing tape. Be sure to double tape the bottoms of all boxes, specifically any second-hand boxes you may be using.
  • Begin the packing process.
  • Label all boxes as you pack.
  • Defrost your fridge at least 24 hours before moving day. Then clean when defrosted.

Moving Day

  • Keep your phone charged and close by at all times during moving day. This way your moving company or friends that are helping you can get in touch with you if needed.
  • Get a good night’s sleep to ensure energy, stamina and concentration on moving day.
  • Start moving day early; It typically takes longer than anticipated – especially for a DIY move.
  • Dress appropriately to avoid injury. Wear closed footwear with anti-slip soles. Avoid baggy clothing, jewelry and loose accessories.
  • Put kids and pets in a safe area during moving day action.
  • Finish last minute tasks.
  • Clean your home one last time before leaving for good.
  • Do a final security check to ensure no items are left behind.

Post-Move

  • Check household utilities to make sure they are all working correctly.
  • Unpack the most important boxes first.
  • Check delivered boxes to ensure nothing is damaged or missing.
  • Pay moving bill and tip your movers.
  • Tend to your pets and get them settled into their new home.
  • Childproof your new home.
  • Continue to unpack.
  • Look for new job if necessary.
  • Enroll your kids in school.
  • Register you and your family with healthcare providers.
  • Register your car if you moved to a different state.
  • Write a moving review on your professional movers.
  • Get to know your new city.

Moving House: Tips to Get Motivated

When the decision to move house is made, you should immediately jump into action – planning, organizing, packing, etc. But with such a lengthy list of things to accomplish, getting motivated to do everything you need to do can be difficult. Unfortunately, the longer you put it off and time ticks away to moving day, the bigger the risk that you will encounter a stressful and problematic move. So how do you motivate yourself for the tasks ahead? By following the tips below!

Create and follow a packing checklist. Moving house requires taking care of a lot of different jobs, packing being one of the most difficult and time-consuming. How do I start? What do I pack first? All sorts of questions like these can slow you down. So before you become overwhelmed with similar questions , do this instead: create and follow a packing checklist. A packing checklist will serve as the ultimate guide to ensure you stay organized. A good checklist will tell you when and where to start packing for a move, as well as what items you should pack.

Click here for the ultimate packing checklist.

Photo via illinoisretail.com.

Pack smart. One reason you may feel unmotivated to pack is due to a lack of organization. But now that you have created a moving checklist, you have the means to begin packing. Here are two tips to help you tackle this process:

  • Start ASAP. The best way to start packing for a move is to begin the process as early as possible. Waiting around will only lead to wasted time, more stress and a high risk of problems on moving day. Starting early is the best way to provide yourself with enough time to accurately sort and protect all of your belongings so they will make it from point A to point B.
  • Start with hardest-to-handle rooms. It may seem like starting with the easiesttopack rooms is the best way to get and keep yourself motivated during the packing process. But if you really think about it, knowing that you will eventually have to deal with these difficult spots later on can actually make the packing process difficult to even begin. For many, storage areas – the basement, garage, attic, spare rooms – are the most difficult to manage. Our suggestion is to pack the hardest areas of your home first, so you can knock them out of the way and focus on simpler tasks.
Photo via move4less.com.

Only pack what you need. When you start to box up your home for an upcoming move, you will begin to realize just how much stuff you actually own. Chances are, you will happen upon certain items in your home that you just don’t need or want anymore. Now is the perfect time to get rid of unnecessary belongings. Whether you sell, donate or trash them is totally up to you. How does ditching items help motivate you to prepare for your move? Well, the more things you get rid of, the less items you will have to pack. With fewer items to pack, the much more likely you will do it.

Along with boosting your moving motivation, having fewer possessions to pack also means:

  • Less time spent packing
  • Less money spent on packing materials
  • Less money spent on transporting your belongings

Reward yourself. If you are still having a hard time getting motivated to get ready for your home move, you may want to consider devising a reward system in exchange for your hard work. While you may be too old to bribe yourself with a piece of candy, there are other rewards that may get you to finally pack some boxes or sort and organize a set of drawers. Consider these:

  • If you pack your garage, you can go see a movie.
  • If you pack your kitchen, you can grab a meal at your favorite restaurant.
  • If you finish packing your entire home, you can book yourself a relaxing massage.

These rewards definitely sound worth the effort, don’t you think?

Ask for assistance. You can always hire professional movers to pack and transport your belongings. And this is definitely a wonderful way to reduce stress during a move. But it can also be costly. If you are opting for a DIY move, one of the best ways to get motivated to get the job done is to ask your friends for assistance. When asking your pals for help, here are some pointers:

  • Give your friends plenty of notice. This will show them that you respect their busy schedules.
  • Inform them of exactly what type of packing assistance you need and how much of their time you require. Honesty is the best policy.
  • Don’t judge them if they are unable or unwilling to help. All you can do is ask and hope for the best.

For all your moving needs, we can help! Contact us today for more information.

Moving Back in with Your Parents: The Pros and Cons

If you read our previous blog, “Moving Back in with Your Parents: Strategies to Consider”, you learned some important strategies to take to make moving back in with your parents an easier and smoother transition. But if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should move back home, we’ve come up with some pros and cons to help you decide. Check ’em out!

The Pros

Two of the biggest pros to moving back in with your parents are having their support and some time to figure out your next steps in life. But these aren’t the only benefits:

You will be able to save money. When you move back in with your folks, you will likely be charged little to no rent. Without a large portion of your income being spent on housing expenses, you will actually be able to save money. You will also be able to save money on food and utilities because you will typically be sharing these costs with your parents.

You can find a better job or career. As previously stated, when you live with your parents, you will be able to save money on housing expenses, food and utilities. Because money won’t be as tight, you won’t have to say yes to the first job that comes your way just because you need the money. Instead, you will be able to research employment options, apply to more worthwhile positions, and find a job you really enjoy. You may even be able to find a job that can lead to a real career.

You will have less household chores. Living on your own, in your own place, means having to handle all household responsibilities – taking out the trash, calling the landlord if something breaks, cleaning, etc. While you will still have certain household chores to take care of, your parents will continue to maintain their home as usual. This means you won’t have to do everything alone, and your list of household chores will greatly decrease.

You’ll have access to childcare. If you have kids, you know that good, reliable childcare is a must – especially if you are a single parent. When moving back home, you will find that your parents’ financial, physical and mental support will be truly invaluable to you. Their extra helping hands will make it easier to ensure your kids are dropped off and picked up from school, taken to any extracurricular activities, and are watched by people you trust when you are unable to be there to do so.

You’ll have a support system. Your parents are your number one support system. In both high and low times, they will be there to guide you, care for you, and cheer you up. This support will help you get back on your feet emotionally, physically and financially until you are ready to be on your own again.

The Cons

Despite the many pros to moving back in with your parents, there are some significant cons to consider as well:

You’ll lose some freedom. When you live on your own, you make and set the rules. But living in your parents’ home – even as an adult – you will have to, once again, follow theirs. This can mean a loss of the freedom you once had. Say so long to late-night parties and loud music any time you wish!

You won’t have as much privacy. When you live outside of your parents’ home, you have the privilege of privacy – lots of it! But that will change when living back at home with the ‘rents. Even if they aren’t the snooping type, they will likely be curious about your life and demand answers to their many questions: Where are you going? Who are you spending your time with? Are you dating anyone? How is your job going? Before you move back home, ask yourself this: Will you be able to handle a breech in your privacy?

You may be embarrassed. Moving back in with your parents in your early 20s isn’t that unusual. Everyone needs time to venture into the adult world and learn to stand on their own feet. But when you are living with your parents in your 30s or later, this can often cause feelings of embarrassment.

Your self-esteem may drop. Along with feelings of embarrassment for moving back in with your parents, you may also suffer a drop in self-esteem. Returning home because of financial problems, an emotional breakdown, or other reason, may cause you to feel as though you have failed in life somehow. While this isn’t necessarily true, it can be a very infuriating way to feel.

Now that you have read our two-part blog series on moving back in with your parents, you should have a good understanding of how to handle the situation. Have more tips on moving back home? We want to hear them! Leave your comments below.

Moving Back in with Your Parents: Strategies to Take

The day you first moved out of your parents’ home, you were likely filled with many emotions. You may have felt a bit nervous or sad, but overall, you probably felt eager and excited. But what happens when you have to move back home? No matter the reason, you may have some mixed emotions about it – frustration, depression, gratitude, relief, and so on. You may even feel that you are taking a step backwards in life. All of these feelings are natural. Though moving back in with your parents may be the right step – emotionally, financially and professionally – doing so is likely to be a great challenge. In this situation, you will need to find a way to be your adult self while still showing respect and gratitude to your parents. If you are considering moving back home, here are some strategies you should take:

Discuss your plans. After living on your own, you are probably used to only having to think about yourself. But a decision to move back home doesn’t just involve you – it involves your parents too. Before you show up at your parents’ front door with moving boxes in tow, be sure to discuss your plans with them first. Be open and honest with them about your reasons for moving home and the goals you wish to achieve while there – to pay off debts, build up savings, focus on your career, etc. Taking an approach that is clear and direct is one of the best ways to avoid problems while living back under your parents’ roof.

Set up an agreement. You probably won’t need a formal agreement to move back home, but you and your parents should definitely come to an agreement on certain issues beforehand. Consider these:

  • Establish roles: When moving back in with your parents, it is common for everyone to revert back to old family roles. To eliminate the risk of this happening, you should remind your parents that you are no longer a child and should be treated like an adult. Inform them that you don’t expect them to clean up after you, prepare your meals or do your laundry. Also tell them that you expect them to respect your privacy and take your opinion into account. If you treat your parents with respect and courtesy, they are likely to reciprocate.
  • Set rules: Another important thing to do before moving back in with your folks is to establish set rules. For example, do you want your parents to stay out of your room? Or do your parents expect you to join them for dinner or let them know if you will be out late? Knowing the answers to questions like these and setting clear rules is the optimal way to avoid confrontations.
  • Define your responsibilities: No matter where you live, you will have certain responsibilities to take care of. This is also true when moving in with your parents. Are you going to contribute to the family budget, and if so, how much? What household chores are you going to be responsible for? Will you be having friends or a significant other come over or stay over, and how often? Consider these questions and discuss them openly with your parents so everyone will have a better understanding of what to expect.

Be considerate and show gratitude. If your parents are nice enough to let you move back in with them, it is important to be considerate and show them gratitude. Otherwise, your parents may feel taken advantage of or taken for granted and feelings can be hurt. So,

  • Respect their house rules
  • Be polite
  • Take the necessary measures to avoid conflicts
  • Offer to help them with errands, jobs or tasks
  • Do your best not to disturb their daily habits and routines

Set an end goal. Letting yourself get too comfortable living in your parents’ home can make it harder to move out later on. This is why it is important to remember that your new living arrangements are only temporary. A good way to do this is to set an end goal and work hard to achieve it. Make plans for your future, spend and save your money responsibly, look for affordable places to rent, apply to jobs, etc. – whatever it takes to ensure you work towards moving back out on your own at some point.

Still not sure if you should move back in with your parents? Check out our next blog, “Moving Back in with Your Parents: The Pros and Cons”.

Moving: The Emotions It Creates and How to Handle Them

Emotions. No matter who you are, you have them, just like everyone else. And for many of us, we can experience a variety of emotions each and every day. But one situation, in particular, can trigger all sorts of emotions to arise, and that’s moving house. Which emotion do you feel when thinking of moving to a new home? Do you feel excited or relieved? Or do you feel sad, confused or angry? Continue reading to find out the most common emotions experienced when moving house and how to handle them:

Surprise: An event or piece of news that is unexpected or that happens suddenly. When it comes to life, it’s best to expect the unexpected. But that doesn’t mean that suddenly finding out you have to move to a new home won’t come as a major surprise. Surprises can be both good and bad, so it is hard to know right away what outcome will occur. This can make you slow to jump into action as you let the surprise of moving sink in and you weigh the pros and cons of what’s to come. But with a surprise move ahead, chances are you will need to act fast in order to get everything done in time. The best way to counter the element of surprise is to create and follow a moving checklist. This way your move will be as organized and efficient as possible.

Denial: A refusal to accept that something unpleasant or painful is true. For some, the news of an upcoming home move can send them into a sense of denial. This unconscious defense mechanism is characterized by a refusal to acknowledge the truth. Unfortunately, denial can lead to major consequences when it comes to moving house. Denial comes in many forms. For example, you may not show any emotion at all, or you may continue with your usual routine as if nothing has changed and as if things will magically change in your favor. The problem is that these behavioral patterns can lead to never starting the moving process.

The truth, however, is that whether you do or do not like the idea of moving, you are moving. A refusal to accept that there’s nothing you can do to stop the move from happening will only result in the loss of valuable time when you could have been preparing for what’s to come.

Confusion: A state of not being certain about what is happening, what you should do, or what something means. After the idea of moving has sunk in, you may find that you suddenly feel confused and overwhelmed by the mega task ahead of you. This confusion typically stems from a lack of order, structure and organization. You may not know where to start or how to manage your time. Luckily, there are ways to get the job done. Consider using a week-by-week moving timeline that will tell you exactly what you should be doing from the time you learn of your move all the way to when moving day arrives. Another thing you can do is contact a professional moving company. Not only can they offer expert tips, but they can also move all of your belongings and provide you with packing and moving supplies so you can focus on other important tasks.

Fear: A bad feeling that occurs when you are in danger, when something bad might happen, or when a particular thing frightens you. Fear is a primary emotion, so it makes sense that you are likely to experience it during a big change like moving. You may fear:

  • Having too little time to get ready
  • Your valuable possessions becoming damaged
  • The unknown

All of these are common fears you may deal with during your move. Just try to overcome them by focusing on one task at a time and staying positive.

Excitement: The state of feeling excited. As you have learned so far, there are many emotions that come with moving house. While a move may make you feel as though you are on an emotional roller coaster with ups and downs at every turn, there is one emotion that is good to have, and that’s excitement. While you may believe that there is nothing good about moving, there are actually a number of positive things to be excited about.

  • You will meet new people and form new friendships.
  • You will experience a different place – your home, but also your town or city.
  • You will get a fresh start where you can embrace new opportunities.

For more tips and tricks involving your move, click here.

Penny-Pinching Tips to Cut Moving Costs and Expenses

When tackling a residential move, there are a number of things that you will have to think about – planning, organizing, packing, cleaning. But there is one thing that will stand at the forefront of your mind when it comes to a home move, and that’s the cost. Regardless of whether you are moving locally or clear across the country, moving house is expensive! Here are some stats:

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of a home move within the same state is roughly $2,300. For an interstate move (of around 1,225 miles), the cost jumps to around $4,300.

Did your jaw drop to the floor? Sorry about that! But based on these estimates, is there any wonder that moving can cause such a great deal of stress? Luckily, we have some tips to help cut moving costs and expenses. Now, once you have picked your jaw up off the floor, continue reading to learn how to pinch those pennies!


Create a budget.
There are lots of ways to save a few dollars here and there on moving expenses, but when you are looking to save more than a few bucks, you will need a real plan to follow. The ultimate way to save money on your move is to create a personal moving budget. Based on the average cost of a move, you will want to create a budget that will help you not only stay within your limits but also lower your moving costs. This being said, a moving budget will serve as an invaluable moving costs checklist. Here are some things that should be on the list:

(If hiring professional movers.)

  • Moving cost estimate
  • Additional services
  • Moving insurance
  • Extra charges and fees

(If performing a DIY move.)

  • Truck rental costs
  • Moving equipment
  • Packing supplies
  • Hidden DIY costs

Hire low-cost movers. One of the cheapest ways to save money when moving is to hire low-cost movers. For a small DIY move, getting some buddies to help you for free is the ultimate goal. But what if you don’t have any friends who can help, or your move is too big to tackle alone? In these circumstances, you will need to hire professional movers. While a number of companies will be much too expensive, there are others out there that will be much cheaper and actually allow you to save some money. To find a moving company that fits into your budget, you’ll have to do some research and compare the rates of various companies. To figure out the lowest rate:

  • Fill out a moving cost estimator for a number of different companies.
  • Request in-house estimates with clearly listed moving services and charges.

Then, compare quotes carefully and choose the one that fits your budget best.

Word to the wise: Be wary of dishonest “rogue” movers. If a moving quote seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Pack yourself. Professional movers can move and transport your belongings, but they also usually offer packing services too. These services are worth it if you have household items that require expert packing in order to survive a relocation (for example, a pool table or piano). But for most home items, packing yourself is the best idea – especially when wanting to save money.

Negotiate with your movers. Many don’t realize this, but no moving company rate is set in stone. This means you are able to negotiate with them in the hopes of getting a better deal. The key is to save money, so even if you aren’t the best at negotiating, give it a shot just in case!

One way to negotiate price with a moving company is to inform them that you found a cheaper moving rate with a different company (be sure to include the price). Ask them if they are willing to match this price or even go lower. Top-rated moving companies typically prefer to be hired for a job that pays less if it means keeping business away from their competitors.

Another way to negotiate price with a moving company is to be persistent. If your mover will not reduce the price, ask again the next day, and the day after that. You may feel annoying, but your persistence will show you are a serious customer. There is also always the chance that when you resume price negotiations on a different day, you will speak to someone who is more flexible and willing to lower the price.

Get free moving and packing supplies. Take a moment and consider how many boxes you will need to pack all of your belongings. Now add in packing tape, bubble wrap, labels, and moving supplies like a dolly and blanket. As you can clearly see, there is a mile-long list of supplies you will require when moving house. And with such a lengthy list, the price will add up quickly. In order to cut back on moving costs, try and gather as many free supplies as you can. Check grocery and liquor stores, etc. Also look in your own house for any baskets, buckets or blankets you can use to pack and transport your belongings from old home to new.

What to Do When Dealing with a Difficult Landlord

Moving into a new home can be very exciting. Sure it takes a lot of hard work to get the job done, but when all is said and done, you are given an opportunity to start fresh. After all the hard work you spent moving in your new home, though, what if you find out your landlord is, well, let’s just say not the best? This is a problem that can easily take away most or all of your post-moving exciting. So what do you do? Here’s what to do if you end up with a difficult landlord:

Review the lease prior to signing. Before you ever sign your name on something as serious as a rental lease, it is critical that you read the entire document (this includes the fine print!). When reading, making note of any restrictions – overnight guests, noise, pets, smoking, etc. If any of these restrictions don’t comply with your lifestyle, then moving into this particular place can put you at risk for many problems – problems that can lead to a less-than-nice landlord.

Another thing to look for when reading over your lease agreement is any extra fees, such as amenities charges or a monthly pet payment. You should also find out if any utilities, like water, are included in your rent. Knowing this type of information is very important when renting a property because it ensures you know exactly what you are paying for and how much you owe each month.

Be sure to pay particular attention to any penalties you may face if you break the lease before the term is up, and also what is required in order for you to get your security deposit back after moving out. Not having an exact understanding of what you are signing is risky and can lead to many problems, so be sure to read the fine print before signing your John Hancock.

Research Local Laws. Another good thing to do when moving into a rental property is to know your rights as a tenant. This knowledge has the potential to save you a great deal of pain if you end up with a difficult landlord.

When renting, your landlord is kind of like your boss – in the sense that you have to play some some of the rules they set. But don’t think this means you have no rights as a tenant, because you do! So be in the know and learn your rights to protect yourself during any negative rental problems you may encounter. Tenant renter rights are laws that govern the standards landlords are required to meet when providing domicile to tenants. These laws also detail how tenants can legally exert their rights int the event of abuse.

Keep Records. If you begin to experience problems with your landlord, it is incredibly important to keep any and all records. Having records of problems that take place is the best way to protect your rights as a tenant. It can also eliminate any “he said/she said” situations because yo will have the visible proof right at your fingertips of the events that played out. Keep copies of any canceled rent checks and detailed records of any phone conversations, including the date and time of exchange and also what was discussed.

Pay Your Rent. The ideal way to avoid problems with your landlord is to stay on top of your rental payments. Even in the event of a dispute, it is wise to continue paying your rent while you and your landlord work out the issue(s) at hand. This way, you won’t have any negative strikes against you as a tenant, especially if you are dealing with a landlord that doesn’t play fair.

Maintain Communication. If you encounter a problem with your rental property, it is best to maintain open, clear and respectful communication with your landlord. No matter what the issue is that you are having, raising your voice, making inappropriate remarks, and overall being a total hot head will never work out in your favor. If you ever wind up in court over issues with your landlord, you’ll want the judge to look kindly toward the interactions you had with your landlord. Losing your cool has a way of biting you in the butt later.

Request Repairs in Writing. There is any of things that can go wrong with a rental property. Your plumbing may malfunction, your garbage disposal may stop working, or your air conditioner may go on the fritz. Yes, it can be frustrating, but it’s how efficiently your landlord takes care of situations like these that matters. Landlords – especially those with many properties to take care of – are very busy. Leaving a message on their voicemail is okay, but there is a chance your landlord may overlook your message. That’s why it’s a good idea to also turn in a written repairs request. A written request serves two purposes:

  1. To provide your landlord with notice of a problem.
  2. To provide documentation for your own records, just in case the request is ignored.

Find a Peaceful Solution. Along with maintaining calm verbal communication with your landlord, you will also want to ensure you find a peaceful solution to any problems that may arise. No matter what the disagreement or issue there is, law enforcement or the court system should always be used as a last resort. If you hope to continue living on the property, involving the law can damage the long-term relationship between you and your landlord. Not to mention, it also costs time and money. To save yourself a lot of unpleasantries, opt to keep the peace and settle any issues calmly and rationally.

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What to Do When Your Roommate Moves Out

Having a roommate can be great. You’ll have someone to split the bills with and be able to share household chores and responsibilities. What’s even better is if your roommate is a close friend or relative – what could be more fun? But while having a roommate can offer a lot of positives, what happens when your roommate moves out? Whether it’s because of a new job, they can’t afford their half of the rent, or for some other reason, having a roommate move out can lead to a number of problems. This is especially true if they move out before the lease is up and they refuse to pay the rent, utilities, and any damages they may have caused to the rental unit. What to do? Continue reading to find out!

Your Roommate Is Moving out but Plays by the Rules. Having your roommate move out can be a stressful event. But if your soon-to-be ex-roommate wishes to play by the rules of your rental agreement when moving out, then consider yourself lucky. Why? Because this is the best possible situation to deal with when you will soon be left without a roommate. The first thing to do to make the move-out transition as smooth as possible is to find a copy of your lease. According to the rental agreement you both signed before moving in, you should find a section that states how many days notice you must give your landlord before moving out. For most leases, it’s a 30-day notice. Typically, the tenant, or in this case your roommate, is supposed to cover the rent and utilities until the date the lease runs out or until someone else moves in and takes over their portion of the finances. It is in your best interest to have them sign an agreement stating that they will follow these rules. Skipping this step could leave you with the burden of having to pay their share of the finances, plus your own.

Your Roommate Moves out Before the Lease Runs Out. It’s common for people to need to move out of their home before the end of their lease. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean it won’t lead to problems. One of the main situations that could occur if your roommate decides to move out before the lease is up is that the landlord has the legal right to evict the rest of the tenants whether they signed the lease or not. This means you could be kicked out. The good news is that if you are able to continue paying your rent regularly and on time, your landlord most likely won’t need to evict you. To ensure you are able to continue paying the rent on time, your best bet is to find a new roommate to move in and share the financial responsibilities.

Your Roommate Moves out Early and Won’t Pay Rent or Utilities. If your roommate moves out mid-lease and refuses to pay rent and utilities after they leave, you can be left with serious financial problems. Before you ever decide to move in with a roommate, it’s important that you don’t rely entirely on them to split all of the financial responsibilities. This is because if your roommate decides to move out before the lease is up and refuses to pay the remaining rent and utilities owed, you will be left with all of the financial burden. Will you be able to stand on your own feet living solo or until you can find someone else to move in? Don’t put yourself at risk for this sort of situation. If your ex-roommate refuses to pay and/or you are unable to reach an agreement with them regarding these costs, you can take them to small claims court. It may take some time and energy, but it is the ideal way to get back the money you are owed.

Your Roommate Moves out, so You Have to Also. If your roommate suddenly moves out and you cannot afford to live at your current place, you do have the option to move out too. To do this, contact your landlord and tell them the situation. Inform them that you are unable to pay the rent yourself and ask if you are allowed to use your ex-roommates security deposit to cover the rent until you are able to move out. You will also need to return your rental home to its original state upon moving out. Not only will your landlord appreciate this, but it can also lead to benefits like getting your half of the security deposit back.

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How to Ensure the Price of Your Move Doesn’t Change on Moving Day

When it’s time to pack up and move to a new home, one of the first things you must do is contact a moving company and get a price quote. Simple enough, right? Yes and no. It’s always easy to call and get a free quote from a moving company, but as the customer, it is up to you to ensure you ask the right questions, like learning what costs are covered and what the agreed upon price includes, etc. This is the only way to ensure you are given an accurate price and aren’t surprised when the final bill arrives. So how do you avoid situations like these? Here is some advice to ensure you’re confident and informed come moving day:

Provide All Information Up Front. In order for your movers to come up with an accurate price quote, you will need to provide them with a great deal of information. Here are some questions you will need to know the answers to when discussing your move in depth with your proposed moving company:

  • How many boxes will you be moving?
  • Will your movers need to navigate stairs?
  • Will you need any furniture disassembled or packaged?
  • Will you require packing materials, like furniture blankets?
  • Are any of your items fragile or require special handling?

All of these things can lead to a higher-than-expected moving bill, so it is best to go ahead and know the answers to questions like these so you can get the most accurate price for your upcoming move.

Clean Out Drawers. One thing most all moving companies will not do is transport furniture with full drawers. Not only do full drawers make furniture heavier and harder to move, but it also comes with a high risk of items being damaged or broken during transport. This is something moving companies do not want to be held responsible for – and who can blame them? If your movers have to empty your furniture for you, they will most likely charge you for packing materials and also labor. This situation could lead to a longer move time, too, which will also increase your bill. And depending on how much extra time will be needed for your movers to do extra tasks like these, the bigger the chance your move will be pushed back to another day or time.

Figure Out Parking. Does your new house or apartment building have parking directly outside? If not, then this could hike up the total cost of your moving bill. This can lead to long-carry fees and time delays. Many cities require that moving vehicles have special permits that allow them to occupy multiple parking spaces for an extended period of time. Because these types of permits can take several weeks to obtain, it is important to arrange for adequate parking before the day of your move.

Avoid Last-Minute Add-Ons. When hiring professionals to help with your move, the cost will most likely be calculated based on the total weight of your inventory. If you decide to add on more items at the last minute, the weight of your inventory will go up, and in turn, so will your bill. To avoid costly additions to your inventory, transport any extra items you may have yourself.

Avoid Stops. Sometimes during a relocation, pit stops are inevitable. However, it’s best to avoid them if possible. Here’s why: Every stop your movers have to make during your relocation from point A to point B – whether to grab something from a storage facility or your parents’ home – you will be charged. Your detour may also add to the distance of your overall move, which will also increase your total bill. To help avoid stops during your relocation, try and complete all of your moving tasks ahead of time.

Ensure Good Directions. Another way to ensure extra charges aren’t tacked on to your moving bill is to make sure your movers know exactly where your new home is located. The longer it takes your moving company to find your home and load/unload all of your belongings, the more money they will charge you. While most everyone, including moving companies, have GPS, there is always the chance of a technology failure or a wrong turn will be taken. And as the saying goes, time is money, so if you want to keep your moving bill from increasing, be sure to give your movers good directions from the get-go.

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