Important Steps to Take When Moving Antique Furniture

Moving breakable items is always risky, whether you move a few blocks away or clear across the country. Things get even trickier when the items you need to move include antique furniture. Antique furniture requires a delicate touch and ultimate protection throughout the moving process, otherwise you risk costly – and upsetting – damage that can sharply diminish its value. Since moving antique furniture is such a specialized job, the best choice is to trust in the expertise and special equipment of professional movers. But before you move these precious items, here are some things to do first.

Take inventory

The very first thing you need to do before moving antique furniture is to complete a detailed inventory of all the pieces you own. It is also a good idea to inventory all non-antique furniture that require special packing and handling due to fragility, aesthetic appeal, sentimentality, etc. As you make a list of each furniture piece, be sure to note any existing damage, and also take plenty of clear, high-resolution photos. Photograph each item from all sides and angles, concentrating on pre-existing defects, weakened sections, or extra fragile parts.

Why is it a good idea to take photos prior to your move? Photographs will provide proof of any damage that occurs during the moving process and can be easily provided to both your insurance company and moving company.

To keep or to sell

After inventorying your furniture and having it appraised, you are ready for the next step, which is deciding whether all the antique pieces you own are worth the time, energy, and effort to relocate them to your new home. Antique furniture can be worth a good chunk of change depending on the item and condition it’s in. There is no right or wrong answer when making this decision, so simply opt for the choice that is best for you.

Have antiques appraised

Considering that antiques can be quite valuable, it’s a good idea to have these items insured before your move. This will help cover any potential damage these possessions may encounter during the moving process. However, before you are able to insure your valuables, you will need to have each piece appraised. We can’t stress enough how important it is to know the value of all of your antique furniture prior to moving day. Having these items appraised is the best step towards ensuring their safety. In some instances, you will be required to obtain more than one appraisal as verification of the value of your antiques. This is especially true if you own pieces considered to be priceless.

So how do you find a qualified and trustworthy appraiser? Ask your insurance agent/company or authorized antique dealers about recommendations for locally licensed antique furniture appraisers. You can also try contacting the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) for assistance. Most appraisers charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for their services, so be sure to find out ahead of time how much you’ll be charged.

Purchase insurance coverage 

Once you have your antique furniture appraised, you can then purchase proper insurance coverage. This is by far the most important pre-move task to accomplish in order to protect your antiques. If you are someone who prefers to “save” money by not purchasing insurance for your valuable items, be aware that the risk is almost never worth it. With insurance, even if the worst happens to your antiques during your move, you will still be able to recover the value of these prized possessions. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Take a closer look 

The final step to take before moving day arrives is to take a closer look at each piece of furniture in order to recognize any potential risks to be battled during the move. This way, you will be able to figure out the appropriate way to protect and care for each piece. Inspect the construction/main frame, top section, legs or feet, and current condition/pre-existing damage like cracks, loose joints, etc. Here are some other things to take into consideration pre-move.

Size: Before the hustle and bustle of moving day begins, it’s vital to ensure all pieces of furniture will easily fit through doors and doorframes in both your old and new home. Measuring the dimensions of all pieces and doorways will make sure moving these items goes smoothly.

Temperature and Humidity: Antique furniture comes in many different types of wood. This makes extreme temperatures and excess moisture very damaging to the delicate finishes found on some of your items. To avoid this, temperature and humidity levels should be the same at both your old and new home.

Problem Spots: Another important thing to consider before your move is to identify any potential problem spots or sections that could prove to be problematic, such as loose shelves, interior parts and non-secured glass. Mark these areas as fragile on your inventory list, and be sure to inform your movers about them before the relocation takes place.

Moving fragile items can be worrisome, but with the right steps, you can turn a risky situation into a success!

Add Some Fun to Your Move with These Special Pre-Move Ideas

Packing. Scheduling and planning. Buying moving supplies. Packing. Booking movers. Did we mention packing? With so much to do before a move, it’s all too easy to throw your arms up in defeat and exclaim, “I quit!” With all of the not-so-fun tasks to do, you’re probably wondering if there are any fun aspects to a move. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve come up with some special pre-move ideas to look forward to, so check ’em out below.

Give your friends a proper goodbye

Parting ways with good friends can often be a very sad experience, so we suggest eliminating the sad by replacing it with the fun and memorable. Take a few moments and think about each friend you will soon be leaving behind. What is a favorite activity you both like to do together? What “last” activity do you most want to experience with them? When considering these questions, you can come up with all sorts of possibilities you both will enjoy. By spending some quality fun time together before moving day arrives, you will part ways with a bang instead of pondering why your paths are leading in different directions.

Throw a memorable farewell bash

Saying goodbye to your memory-filled home, closest friends and family doesn’t usually sit at the top of the “fun” list – especially if you tend to focus on the negative side of things. But before your movers arrive, can you think of anything more fun than throwing a memorable farewell bash? The best part about organizing a farewell party shortly before your move date is that it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, no one will expect anything super special from you considering the transitional period you are in. This makes it the perfect time to invite your crew over for a casual get-together (think pizza and drinks), so you have a chance to spend some carefree time with the people you care about most.

Have a photo session

Whether you opt for your digital camera or smartphone, before moving day arrives, take some time to wander around your place snapping photos – and be creative! Along with bringing you amusement and some time to relax, it can also play two important roles in your future.

  1. Photos are practical and can serve as proof of the condition your belongings just before your move. If for any reason you need to present evidence of any damage that occurred to your belongings during your move, pictures will help you file a damage claim with your professional movers.
  2. Photos allow you to remember a certain time in your life that you can never get back. Photos can be used for photo albums, picture frames, and other creative ways to keep your fondest memories close.

Take a memento from your old home

Okay, so it’s never a good idea to take something that you really shouldn’t from your old home, like a microwave or the front door, but finding a small memento to take with you can be a lot of fun. It can also provide you with a great keepsake. What should it be?

A glass jar of soil or a few cool rocks from your private garden or driveway?

Pressed leaves from your favorite tree in the backyard?

A door handle from a room that meant the most to you? (Only if you owned the home, of course!)

Whatever memento you choose, it will keep good memories alive and help lower the chance of post-relocation depression.

Give away/donate some items

As moving day approaches, you will often question why you have so much stuff! As you pack your belongings, it is the perfect time to purge items you no longer need or want. It will also make moving day shorter and smoother. Whether you choose to give some of your belongings to friends or a donation center, both will have rewarding benefits. You will save time and money with less items to pack, and you will also brighten someone’s day by helping those in need.

Design your new home

While you won’t actually be able to design your new home until after your move, you can still fantasize about it in the meantime. Not only is it fun to visualize how you will decorate and furnish your new home, but it can also help make the process of unpacking much easier.

For all things moving, click here!

The Complete Guide to Moving to a New State

No matter where you are moving, it’s never easy – especially when moving to a new state. The process is long, tedious and stressful – as well as exhausting. With so many things to do before moving to a new state, you are probably at a loss for where to even begin. Luckily, at ABC Movers, we are here to help you tackle your relocation and come out of it with a smile on your face. To keep yourself organized during all stages of your cross-country move, read on to gain access to our guide to moving to a new state.

What to Do Before You Move

  • If possible, visit your future city/state in advance to get an idea of what to expect.
  • Research the cost of living, housing costs and career opportunities in your new state – specifically your new city.
  • Explore renting and purchasing options, and secure a place to live.
  • Unless your job is the reason for your relocation, try to secure a job before your move.
  • Set a moving budget.
  • Research moving companies: read online reviews; ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbors for recommendations.
  • Contact moving companies and ask for an in-house cost estimation.
  • Hire a top-rated state-to-state moving company.
  • Look for ways to cut moving costs.
  • Discuss any additional moving services and costs with your chosen moving company.
  • Carefully review and compare any relocation offers, including additional services offered.
  • Request all moving-related paperwork in advance to avoid unpleasant moving day surprises.
  • Create a detailed home inventory of all items you will take with you and those you will leave behind.
  • Pack, pack, pack! – Be sure to prepare a few “open first” boxes to help you survive the first few post-move days (clothes, toiletries, phone charger, etc.).
  • If traveling with pets and plants, decide how you intend to transport them to your new location.
  • Gather any required documents/certificates from your family physician and vet. Also obtain your child(ren)’s school records.
  • Cancel all current subscriptions to utility providers and services before moving day. Arrange for the disconnection of main utilities, like water, electricity, gas, etc., and transfer them to your new home.
  • Change your address with the post office and have mail forwarded to your new address.
  • Decide how you will get your car to your new home – drive it or use a reputable auto transporter.
  • Discuss the upcoming move with your children and how it will impact their foreseeable future.
  • Finalize plans for moving day by calling and confirming appointments with movers, etc.

The Cost of Moving to a New State

Moving costs money, which, for most, is a big concern. This is perfectly understandable. There are several important points to be aware of when it comes to the average cost of moving to a new state. While the price of a local move is calculated on an hourly basis, the cost of moving cross country is estimated based on relocation parameters.

  • Move Distance – When relocating to a new state, there is a direct ratio between distance and price. This will stand as a set price because, as you know, you can’t shorten the distance of your move.
  • Items Transported – The factor that will have the greatest impact on the price of your move is the number and weight of your household items. To cut costs, it’s a good idea to seriously consider which belongings to bring with you and which to leave behind. The less you bring, the lower the price.
  • Additional Services – Extras rarely come without a price, so watch how many additional services you decide to tack on to your moving bill. Examples of add-on services include packing and unpacking, post-move disposal of packing supplies, disassembly and re-assembly of big furniture, etc.

Important Post-Move Tasks

Now that you’ve learned the main principles of how to move to a new state and potential cost factors you can focus your attention on preparing for some important post-move tasks. Here are the top five things to accomplish after you move to a new state:

Find a healthcare provider. Amongst the slew of things you’ll need to accomplish post move, you’ll also need to find yourself – and your family members – new healthcare providers. You’ll also need to find a veterinarian for any pets you may have. Begin your hunt with the help of recommendations from your former doctor or friends. Searching online is another idea, that will provide you with knowledgeable reviews from patients.

Register your car. Along with getting an updated driver’s license when moving to a new state, you will also need to register your car (neither of these things can be done online). Sometime during your busy post-move schedule, you will need to take a trip to the DMV to get these two things resolved. All states impose different deadlines for when these things are required to be taken care of, so be sure to find out how long your new state allows.

Unpack. A quick glance over the endless piles of boxes stacked high around your new home will show you how much you still have left to do to finish up your move. But, there is some good news – unpacking is usually a much faster process than packing. You can also do it on your own terms without a deadline looming over you.

Get to know your new home. Once you finally find yourself inside your new home, the new logistics and mountains of boxes may be overwhelming. To familiarize yourself with your new surroundings, it is wise to explore your new home. Locate your fuse box and main water valve in case of emergencies. Also look for signs of pre-existing damage or pest infestation, check for any potential problems, and make sure your home is secured against unauthorized access and forces of nature.

Moving to a new state can be stressful, but with this helpful guide, you are on your way to a successful move.

Things to Keep in Mind When Moving with Pets

When you plan to move with your pets, the process involves a lot of things. Starting from the rules, documents required, local ordinances, and getting a permit, you need to be aware of all the important things. First and foremost, it is vital to plan a pet-friendly journey so that you can enjoy a peaceful and comfortable move with your pets. The infographic titled, “How to Move with Pets?” talks about the various important things related to moving with pets.

Every state has different rules, laws and regulations regarding pets and may require special permits for certain types of pets. Therefore, you must get all the details in advance about the laws and regulations for pets in the state where you are moving. Also check the local ordinances with the city clerk’s office; there are some zoning laws that may forbid certain animals in the residential area.

Most states also require a rabies tag for dogs, cats and other exotic animals. It is also important to get health certificates and other records of your pet from a renowned veterinary doctor as you may be asked to present these documents when moving to a new place with pets. Also, make sure that your pet wears a collar with tag that includes the pet’s name, owner’s name and the destination address. For more details about moving with pets, please refer the given infographic.

Unexpected Costs Every First-Time Homebuyer Should Be Aware Of

 

Being a first-time homebuyer is an exciting time. But it can also be very stressful, especially when costs start to escalate. While first-time homebuyers typically know to prepare for a down payment, that is definitely not the only cost to consider when buying a home. Home-buying costs add up quickly with numbers that often startle first-time buyers. So before signing on the dotted line, check out the list below and prepare yourself for all of the costs that go along with buying a home.

Earnest Money

When you make an offer on a home, you will be required to fill out a home application. Along with the application, you can opt to include a check for earnest money. Earnest money is like a deposit toward the home you want to buy. It is a good way of showing the seller that you are a committed and trustworthy buyer who truly wants to purchase their home. Here’s how it works.

If the contract goes through, the earnest money will be applied toward the down payment and closing costs. However, if the contract does not go through, there are many contingencies in place that will ensure you get your money back.

Note that backing out of your contract at the last minute simply because you changed your mind most likely won’t count as a legitimate excuse, so before putting down earnest money, be sure to carefully review any contracts before putting earnest money down.

Appraisals and Inspections

Appraisals and inspections are required when purchasing a house. Just know that both come at a cost. Here’s what each entails.

Appraisals ensure an accurate asking price, which provides you and your lending institution some protection. The buyer is generally responsible for the appraisal cost – often as much as several hundred dollars. However, keep in mind that you may be able to negotiate with the seller and split the cost.

Home inspections are another cost homebuyers are responsible for. Inspections are separate from the appraisal process and offer additional security for homebuyers. During a home inspection, everything is thoroughly checked – the foundation, electrical outlets, roof, pipes, toilets, etc. If an inspection results in any problems, it will affect your purchasing decision; it will also give you bargaining power. In some instances, you can ask the seller to address any concerns you have before the closing or negotiate a better asking price.

Insurance

Insurances comes in many forms, from health to dental and even auto. But did you know there is also home insurance? Homeowner’s and mortgage insurance are the two biggies you should know about.

Homeowner’s insurance is something every homeowner needs – and most lending institutions require you to purchase it and pay for a year’s worth of coverage before they will approve your loan. Why is it so valuable to have? Homeowner’s insurance will help pay for repairs, a rebuild, any damaged personal belongings, etc.

Mortgage insurance is a way for lenders to protect themselves in the event that the buyer doesn’t end up paying them back. Unless you put down 20% or more on a home, you will be required to purchase mortgage insurance. If you are required to purchase it, the cost will be included in your monthly mortgage payments.

Escrow Fees

When purchasing a house, an escrow officer – usually a lawyer or title company representative – will serve as an independent third party that ensures closing procedures go smoothly and that everyone you owe money to is paid accordingly. Unfortunately, escrow officers also require a fee for their services, so you will need to pay them as well. The good news here is that the escrow fee is typically split between buyers and sellers.

Utilities

If you’ve been renting a home until your first-home purchase, you have probably paid connection fees for services like electricity or gas. But when you own a home, you will be responsible for many more utilities – which will be pricier than you were previously used to. You will be responsible for paying set-up fees and monthly payments for all utilities, including electricity, gas, water, sewage, trash, recycling, and cable and internet. When you set up these services, utility companies will check your credit history and may even require you to pay a deposit to use their service.

Maintenance, Repairs and Other Home Improvements

If there’s one thing to remember as a first-time homebuyer, it is that nothing ever goes as smoothly as you’d like. A seller may cover major repairs, like sewage system leaks or issues with the foundation, but you may still come face to face with maintenance and repair costs after moving in. Some things may be important to fix right away, like the water heater, roof or HVAC system, while others may be done over time, like cosmetic upgrades to flooring and cabinetry.

For all things moving, ABC Movers can help. Click here for more.

Welcome New Neighbors to the Block with These Simple Tips

hello neighbor - blog PHOTO (ABC)Moving to a new neighborhood can be somewhat intimidating – especially when it comes to meeting your neighbors. One of the most common complaints today is the lack of community and sense of connection people feel in modern society. Busy schedules, social media and even fear are keeping us locked up behind closed doors. Not only is this a big loss in community, but also in overall health. Studies conducted on longevity and good health show that having friends and a sense of community contribute significantly to greater happiness in life, as well as how long we live. This ability to walk down the street and feel a sense of camaraderie with our neighbors is a simple prescription for greater happiness and health.

The best time to build connections and friendships with your neighbors is when someone first moves onto your block. So slip on your shoes and venture over to the newbies’ home with these simple tips.

Talk to Others. If you’ve lived in your neighborhood for a while, you may already know others on your block. This is an easy way to find out who your new neighbors are before you even say hello. Find out from others if the new neighbors have any children (and their ages), where they moved from or if they have any pets. Knowing information like this ahead of time will make it easier to engage in that first conversation, putting everyone at ease.

Knock on the Door. It’s usually easiest to approach a new neighbor when they are outside – at the mailbox, gardening, etc. But don’t dismiss knocking on their door. Knocking on the neighbor’s door with a freshly baked cake may sound as cliché as it gets, but it produces a sense of welcoming that most are appreciate of. While introducing yourself and exchanging a few pleasantries is definitely enough, if you decide to opt for a welcome gift, here are a few to consider:

  • Cakes and pies (homemade or store bought)
  • Home-baked cookies
  • Indoor plant
  • Vase with flowers

Supply Food. Moving is physically draining and exhausting. It also creates a ravenous appetite. After a long move, it’s not always possible for the people moving in to go to a restaurant or take-out place – especially if they are new to the area. One of the kindest and most memorable things you can do for your new neighbors on moving day is to provide them with warm food. This is not always possible, of course, but it is the ultimate way to welcome newbies to the neighborhood.

Provide Information for Parents. If your new neighbors have children, they most likely want to get their children settled as soon as possible. They will be on the lookout for playmates for their children, sports and recreational activities nearby, and so on. Here are some of the most helpful things you can do for them:

  • Introduce them to other parents and children on the block.
  • Share any knowledge you have about pediatricians, schools, camps and other programs for kids.
  • Provide names and numbers of reliable babysitters.

Inform Them of Local Places and Professionals. Neighbors that are not only new to the neighborhood but also new to the area will be seeking information about local places and professionals. A great idea is to make a list for them with all must-have contact information, such as: grocery stores, restaurants, dry cleaners, plumbers, handymen, physicians, etc. This is an invaluable list that your neighbors will be truly thankful for.

Throw a Block Party. An easy and fun way to welcome your neighbors to the area is by throwing a block party. You can even host the party jointly with another family in the neighborhood. Have everyone bring a simple dish to share (chips, dip, water, beer). This is a great way for neighbors to get to know each other, especially those who have just moved in.

Welcoming new neighbors may seem difficult, but with these tips you are on your way to creating a long-lasting camaraderie that will make that first hello worth it! For more moving tips and tricks, click here.

How to Move Your Piano Safely and Efficiently

moving piano - photo 2Pianos are an extravagant and treasured piece of furniture. When it comes time to move, you can’t afford to make an error in transporting such a precious and substantial item, no matter what type of piano you own.

A Grand Piano can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to half a million dollars. They weigh a great deal – 650 pounds to 1,300 pounds – and are also impressive in size, at five feet wide and nine feet long. Upright pianos may not be as “fancy” as the Grand and Baby Grands of the world, but they are still a precious item that needs to be treated with extreme care.

Sure, a piano can be manhandled during a move, but this is a very risky choice that could possibly damage the piano’s interior workings. General repairs can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars, with full rebuilds or serious damage repairs costing much more than minor fixes. As well as repair costs being a potential consequence of trying to tackle moving a piano on your own, the weight and bulkiness can translate to injury to yourself and friends. While upright pianos are easier to handle and transport than the Grands, it is still a very wise decision – and investment – to opt for professionals to move them properly.

Professional piano moving is actually a trade. It requires specialized tools, techniques and knowledge in order to safely transport and navigate a piano from one home to another. A service like this will more than likely cost extra, but the payoff will be huge!

If you choose to move your piano yourself, here are some helpful pointers to make the process a success.

tape measure - photoMeasure. In order to know how you will be able to safely move your piano out of your home and into your new home, measuring is key. Measure the piano, as well as doorways, stairwells, etc. Otherwise, you may find out on moving day that the hallways are too small to even get your piano out the door! Having all of the required measurements is the only way to configure a way to move your piano.

Tools. Moving a piano is different than grabbing a cardboard box and toting it to the moving truck. Pianos are extremely heavy and awkwardly shaped, plus they are easily damaged and broken. In order to move an item of this magnitude safely and efficiently, you’ll need the right tools and equipment, such as piano dollies, protective cloths and furniture piano dolly - PHOTOpads. Don’t forget an extra set or two of hands! You’ll want to make sure you have some trusted – and strong – friends that are willing to help you move your piano.

Safety Measures. There are several safety measures to consider and take when moving a piano, such as locking the lid of the piano and also ensuring the piano rollers can withstand movement. The last thing you want to have happen while moving a piano is for the rollers to break and your back to go out trying to lift it into the moving truck.

When you finally get the piano on the moving truck, it is extremely important to secure it correctly. A piano should be placed at the back wall within a moving truck and secured with straps. It should also be covered with furniture pads so it will stay protected from scratches, dings and other potential damage.

For all your moving needs, ABC Movers can help. 800.771.0151.

Stage Your Home with These Low-Cost Tips

house staging tips - blog PHOTO (ABC)It’s time to sell your home. You are most likely excited to get the process started, and also a little nervous. Selling a home is a big deal, after all, and you want the process to be simple, smooth and quick. When you put your home on the market, you will have prospective buyers browsing photos of your house online, as well as checking it out in person. There are thousands of houses on the market, so what can you do to make yours stand out from the rest? Stage it.

Staging a home is an excellent tool to help sell your home faster – and for more money. In fact, staged homes have been shown to sell for more than six percent above the asking price. To learn how to successfully stage your home, continue reading.

A Welcoming Exterior

The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers notice, so make it presentable. The front door (or wherever potential buyers enter your home) should be welcoming. A good way to do this is by adding a welcome mat and plants or flowers. The area should also be clean and maintained while your house is on the market. If the outside of your home isn’t appealing, buyers won’t waste their time.

The Power of Light

Opening curtains and blinds is a no-cost way to brighten your home with natural light, which will make it feel more open and inviting. If your home doesn’t provide much natural light, consider investing in light fixtures, lamps, etc. For small rooms such as the bathroom, replace old bulbs to provide the best light possible.

Remove Personal Touches

Staging a house means making it feel like a home to prospective buyers. But most importantly, you want them to envision themselves there – with their own belongings. To do this, remove family photos or artwork; it will only distract them.

Be Careful of Scents

The nose is a powerful thing,with the sense of smell having the biggest impact on a buyer’s connection to your home. Scents and aromas can make your home feel cozier, so incorporating them into a showing can be a cost-effective idea. Just don’t overdo it! As inviting as certain scents and aromas can be, too much can turn buyers away – especially those with sensitive noses. So keep it subtle. Opt for neutral aromas like lavender, vanilla or sage.

Choose Neutral Colors

If you have the time and means, it is always a good idea to outfit your home’s walls with a fresh coat of paint – and make it neutral. Neutral colors make a space look larger and more inviting. Potential buyers will also be more visually attracted to an interior with light or neutral colors than one with bold red or dark purple walls.

Organize, Declutter, Clean

Organizing, decluttering and cleaning aren’t always fun, but they are all a part of the moving process. They are also essential in staging and selling your home. A messy, cluttered house will instantly turn potential buyers away. However, storing personal items and removing excess clutter will draw them in; it will also increase the value of your home.

For rooms that tend to pile up with clutter, try cleaning it and turning it into a more useful space, such as an office. This is an inexpensive way to make your home feel more spacious. Simply rearranging the furniture in your home can transform it, providing it with a whole new look and feel.

Staging a home doesn’t have to be difficult – or expensive. But putting a little TLC into your home with these easy tips is a worthwhile choice that can make selling your home simple, smooth and quick.

Safest Locks to Protect Your Belongings When Moving

moving security locks - PHOTOOne of the biggest concerns people have during their move is the safety of their possessions. This is of utmost concern during the transportation process – a time that makes it very easy for possessions to be lost or stolen.

When moving, neighbors and passersby are able to get a good sense of the things you own. This puts you at a high risk of burglary and theft. There are also a number of different locations where theft can occur during a move (old and new homes, storage unit, etc.). With so many places storing your belongings at one time, you will have several doors and entrances to secure. Each entry should be protected with a different locking system in order to achieve the highest level of security.

Moving Van

If you require a moving van to transport your belongings from your old home to your new location, whatever you do during this time is the only security your possessions will have. This being said, you will want to secure your moving van so all of your things will be safe. To do this, try the 21B Series of Best Access Systems padlocks. Affordable in price, this lock is easy to find, provides strong security and will stand up to most forced-entry attacks.

Gate

There are only so many hours in the day to tackle everything on your moving to-do list. This can lead to boxes and property being left outside of your home. Since this is fairly inevitable, be sure to leave your belongings behind a gate and in a spot where they will be least visible.

A good locking option for gates is the Abus Granit. The Abus Granit is solid and sturdy and remains secure under six tons of malleable pressure. What makes the Abus Granit so secure? While standard locks use pin tumblers, the Abus Granit uses disk retainers, which are extremely difficult to pick. This lock provides excellent gate protection by stopping those items that cannot be lifted over your gate from being stolen.

Storage Unit

Storage units come in very handy during a move, providing a place to store your possessions until you are ready to permanently take them to your new home. Unfortunately, as handy as storage units are, they can be an unsafe place for your belongings. This is because storage units are often used to secure highly-valuable items and are typically visited infrequently by the owner.

If you intend to use a storage unit at any time during your move, you’ll want to purchase a lock of high-strength mental and carefully designed internal components. One lock that fills these requirements is the Abloy PL362. While more expensive than other padlocks (it is rather large and heavy duty), the Abloy PL 362 provides impressive security to actively protect the valuables inside your unit.

Another positive aspect about the Abloy PL362 is that it is removable. This means you can take it with you once it has served its purpose and can even be used in other parts of your security plan.

Outdoor Structures

Outdoor structures – garages, sheds, storm cellars – are great places to stash items. But don’t forget to secure them! For these spots, you want to be sure you use a different style lock than what’s used on other parts of your home so security will be at its highest.

For outdoor structures, opt for the Mul-T-Lock #13. This solid lock uses a disk containers and also includes sliders and an alpha spring – qualities that make lock bumping or picking very difficult. On top of these key strengths, the Mul-T-Lock #13 also features an anti-drill shield on its keyway and a very strong metal shroud that protects its hardened steel shackle.

Front Door

When ensuring security to your new home, your focus should, first and foremost, be on your front door. One of the top locks on the market is the EVVA MCS. As one of the few locks on the market that has never been successfully picked, it can be argued that it is one of the best and most secure locks available. The EVVA MCS may come with a heftier price tag, but to adequately protect your home and valuables, the investment is worth it.

Moving is never simple, but it can be much safer if you invest in reliable locking systems. Not only will they keep your things safe during your move, they will protect you for years to come.

How to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

curb appeal - BLOG photoAre you looking to sell your home? Or are you just wanting to create a warm and inviting exterior for your house? Either way, there are many cost-friendly, fun and attractive ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Here are some tricks to know.

The main thing to remember when working on the exterior of your home is this: keep it simple. Don’t go out of your way to build intricate and involved facades, and don’t spend huge amounts of money. Your best bet is to stick to one aesthetic that works for you and your family, as well as your space. Combining too many ideas will cause the exterior of your home to look and feel messy and disorganized.

To help keep your plans simple, ask yourself what you want the exterior of your home to look like. What styles do you like? Bright, brilliant colors? Country chic? Larger, leafy greenery? Modern? By answering these questions, it will be easier to create a plan and figure out what areas to focus on.

Have Fun with Doors

Neutral colors have been the common trend for quite some time. It’s almost as if homeowners want to blend in and become invisible. But now, homeowners are letting their personalities burst through withstatement door - BLOG photo bright and bold statement doors. If your home’s paint color is a neutral tone, play up the contrast by painting your door a rich red or vivid teal. Statement doors are a great – and simple – way to catch the eye of a prospective buyer or just a random passerby.

Other ways to play up your front door is by adorning it with cute, simple wreath or an elegant wooden letter (A for Adams or G for Griffin).

A nice welcome mat at the entrance of your home can also add a cheerful and inviting presence to your home.

Keep it Clean

clean home exterior - BLOG photoA home with a messy exterior makes its attraction level plummet from curb appealing to curb disgust. To keep the curb appeal of your home high, you have to keep it clean – especially if you want to draw in potential buyers. The exterior upkeep of a home greatly impacts how potential buyers feel about a place. When clean and kept, buyers can imagine themselves there, and in turn, are more apt to truly consider purchasing.

To make your home’s exterior clean, try power washing the walkways and patio spaces to make these areas more inviting. Also keep outdoor tools, bins and furniture to a minimum. Windows should be cleaned to give your home a squeaky clean presence.

Light it Up

well-lit house exterior - BLOG photoInadequate lighting casts a dark, even creepy tone upon a house. This is why exterior lighting is a must. A house that is well lit exudes a warm and inviting vibe. It also adds an element of safety and security – a must for potential home buyers and new residents.

Try low-voltage lighting near parts of your garden and lawn that you want to show off. Make sure to illuminate pathways and staircases. You can also use solar lights for low-rise lighting fixtures and add charming touches by hanging small lanterns from trellises and trees.

Tend a Garden

Flowers, flowers and more flowers. For the cherry-on-the-top in curb appeal, flowers are a must. In a garden, in clean and freshly-painted window boxes, flowers in window box - BLOG photoin pretty pots strategically placed on each side of your front door… there is no wrong way to enhance the exterior of your home with flowers. Adding these beautiful pops of color to your yard and the outside of your home is an excellent way to create a friendly, approachable feel to your house.

If you opt for certain types of flowers (hydrangea bushes, azaleas, camellias) they will come back every year without any work from you, which is a nice bonus.

Boosting your curb appeal can seem difficult at first, but there are plenty of ways to do it. Just remember to have fun and incorporate color and light, and you’ll create a space you and your family – and potential buyers and passerbys – will love.