Changing Your Mailing Address: Things to Know

When you are moving to a new home, you will endure many complicated – albeit, stressful – situations. In the scheme of things, changing your mailing address may seem like achange your mailing adress LETTER - PHOTO (ABC) relatively easy thing to do – and in most situations, it is. But there are some required steps to take in order to ensure the process is done correctly. Here are some things to know about changing your address so no important mail gets lost!

Top Things to Know Before Requesting a Change of Address (COA) with the United States Postal Service (USPS)

Do you know your correct address?

Sure, you know the location of your soon-to-be home, but do you know the correct address? It may sound silly, but during the stress and mayhem that surrounds your move, you may not even know your future address. You may think you’re going to live on a ‘road’ when you’ll actually be living on a ‘lane’ or ‘circle’. Before registering your new ad
dress with the USPS, be sure to confirm with your realtor, or landlord, of the correct, complete and error-free postal address of your future home.

Should you choose a temporary or permanent change of address?

When changing your address, you will have two options: to file a temporary change of address or a permanent change of address. Here’s the difference:

A temporary address change means your mail will be forwarded from your old mailing address to the new one for only a specific amount of time – usually 6-12 months. This option is best if you are moving temporarily, such as spending the winter months in a warmer climate, but then moving back to your original address.

A permanent change of address means your mailing address will be permanently changed – not just for a specified period of time. This option should be chosen if you do not plan to move house again in the near future.

Should you request an individual or family change of address?

Another option you will have when changing your address with the USPS will be to change the address of an individual or an entire family. If your entire family is moving as one – and has the same surname – you will need to fill out just one change-of-address form for the entire household. Easy! But things get a bit more complicated if members of your family have different surnames, or some individuals are moving to a new location while the rest are staying behind. For this situation, you will need to fill out a separate change-of-address request for each individual person.

How long does it take for your address to be changed?

The USPS is rather quick, but when you change your address, the request will not be immediate. In general, a change of address will take effect roughly seven days after your request is submitted. However, there are some potential road blocks that could cause it to take longer, such as:

  • Your exact location
  • The time of year
  • The number of requests currently being processed

However, do note that your COA request may be processed much faster than anticipated, especially for a local move.

When should you change your address?

It is up to you as to how far in advance you request a change of address, but a good rule of thumb is to do it two weeks prior to your move. The main advantage of this is that your mail will start being delivered to your new home by the time you have moved in. This way you won’t have to worry about mail being delivered to your old address when you no longer live there. Another advantage of changing your address two weeks prior to your move is that you won’t have to take care of this task after moving day is over. Instead, you can focus on the main job at hand – unpacking!

Now that you know some of the important things to do before changing your address, here’s a look at how to actually do it. Here are some methods to consider:

Method 1: Change address online

Changing your address online is typically the easiest and most convenient method. Here’s how:

  • Access the official USPS change-of-address form via usps.com/move;
  • Fill out the required fields with the accurate information;
  • Provide a valid e-mail address to receive a confirmation email by the USPS;
  • Using a debit card or credit card, you will be charged a verification fee of $1. This is a standard procedure to verify or identify and safeguard your personal information so no address fraud is possible;
  • Ensure you receive a confirmation email so you know your COA request was processed successfully.

Method 2: Change address in person

If you’re more of a person-to-person type of individual, you may primagesefer to change your address at the actual post office. To do this:

  • Drive to the nearest post office;
  • Request PS Form 3575, and fill it out on the spot;
  • Turn in your filled-out form to the post master;
  • Changing your address in person at the post office will not cost you anything, because you will be required to prove your identity in person.

Method 3: Change address by phone

If you want to save yourself a trip to the post office, you can also choose to change your address via phone. Here’s how:

  • Call 1-800-ASK-USPS, and follow the recorded instructions;
  • You will again be charged an identification fee of $1, so have your debit card or credit card ready when making the call.

Method 4: Change address by mail

Prefer snail mail? If so, this is also an option for changing your address. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Download the USPS printable change-of-address form – PS Form 3575;
  • Print out the COA form, following the detailed instructions from the link above to ensure you fill it out correctly;
  • Place your filled-out form in a stamped envelope and mail it to: POSTMASTER; United States Postal Service;
  • Wait to receive a move-validation letter. It will be sent to your old address;
  • You will receive a confirmation letter within 10 days after the actual change-of-address request has been processed and goes into effect. This will be sent to your new address.

Looking for more moving tips and tricks? Check out our blog, here.

Moving from Small Town to Big City: Steps to Take (Part 2)

imagesAs you learned in our previous blog “Moving from Small Town to Big City: The Pros and Cons (Part 1 of 2)”, moving from a small town to a big city is hard. It takes you out of your comfort zone and into a world that’s bigger, faster and full of greater expectations. Before you make the final decision to move to a big city, there are several things to consider and do first. Here are some tips to help you move from the comfort zone of a small town to the unknown of a big city and settle into your new life quickly and easily.

Research the Area

Before jumping in the moving truck and heading for the big-city lights, it’s important to research the area well. The internet will serve you well as a research aidresearch area - PHOTO, but you may want to take your research even further by contacting family members, friends and colleagues, and even acquaintances you may have in the city you intend to move to. Here are some things to find out:

  1. Which neighborhoods are friendly and safe, as well as convenient to local amenities.
  2. What areas to stay away from.
  3. If there are any activities you can attend for free
  4. What are the best/most affordable places/areas to shop, eat, practice your hobby, etc.
  5. How much they spend on groceries, utilities, gasoline, entertainment, etc. per month.

Here are some other important things to do when researching your new city:

  • Review different maps to become familiar with the city, the public transit system, and other important places (hospitals, schools, etc.).
  • Research available housing options, and find a place you can afford.
  • Research employment options (Unless you are already employed, of course!). Don’t dismiss the idea of taking on temporary work so you are able to support yourself financially while looking for a more permanent position/career.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations, especially parking rules and traffic regulations.
  • Familiarize yourself with the etiquette and social practices in your new area.
  • Find out what the weather conditions are like in your new city. Learn the average temperature each month as well as the climatic conditions you can expect during different seasons.

Plan and Secure Your Finances

Moving is costly, and moving to a big city only adds to the expenses. This is why it’s important to plan and secure your finances before you plan finances - PHOTOactually move. To avoid financial troubles when moving to a big city, you will need to get a realistic idea of how much money you are going to need for your relocation. Here are some ways to get your finances in order prior to your move:

  • Make sure you have enough savings to cover your living expenses for at least four to six months.
  • Find an affordable place to rent. There are lots of temptations in a big, new city, but don’t rent something you can’t actually afford. Your monthly rent should not exceed 25% of your disposable income. Also, do not forget you will need to pay a security deposit, utility bills and maintenance costs, so be sure to take all of these things into account.
  • Review your spending habit to make sure you will have enough money for essentials – food, electricity, gas, medicines – before you spend any money on fun activities, like social events, etc.
  • Compare service providers in your new city, and sign up for the best price possible.
  • Hire professional moving services that are affordable. Get several free moving quotes. Compare the costs and conditions provided by different companies so you will get the best rate. Just make sure the company is reputable!

Be a Smart Packer

Packing is usually the most dreaded part of a move. It’s not only time-consuming, it is also laborious. When moving to a big city, there are several things to take2017-01-13 into account when packing. Here are a few of them.

  • Sorting. Clean out and organize your belongings to make moving easier and cheaper. If you’re used to living in a small town, your home probably had a decent amount of space. But your living space in the big city will be very limited in size. This being said, it won’t be able to hold all of your belongings. This means you will need to sort through all of your possessions, keeping only the things you truly can’t live without. The fewer items you relocate, the less stressful your move will be, and it will also leave you much more space in your new home. And don’t forget – the less you move, the cheaper the final moving cost will be, so sometimes it pays to organize.
  • Clothing. Before you pack all of your clothes, it’s a good idea to take the climate of your new city into consideration. Don’t take a garment with you if you won’t ever have the chance to wear it – no matter how much you like it. This will only cause you to spend more time packing and extra money on shipping costs.
  • Packing materials. Before you can pack, you will need to gather the necessary supplies. For the best protection, be sure to use quality packing materials – strong, clean boxes, heavy-duty packing tape, and so on. If you are bringing any larger furniture pieces with you, you will need to disassemble them prior to your move, and pack them safely so they will not be damaged during shipping.

For everything you need to know about moving, ABC Movers can help. Visit our website and blog  for all things moving.

Moving from Small Town to Big City: The Pros and Cons (Part 1 of 2)

For many who grow up in a small town, the idea of a big city with its bright lights and forever bustScreen Shot 2017-01-13 at 8.14.24 PMling streets is very intriguing. If you are someone who has always dreamed of the chance to escape small-town life and venture into life in a big city, it is a good idea to consider all of the pros and cons that such a move poses.

The Pros

A big city provides a whole new world of possibilities, potentials and prospects to discover. Here are some of the top pros of moving to a big city.

Great Opportunities. One of the top pros of moving to a big city is the number of great opportunities it presents. While there is a lot opportunities ahead - PHOTOof competition in a big city, there will be plenty of options and opportunities that you won’t be able to find in a small town. Whether you want to advance your studies, improve your skills, enhance your professional expertise, acquire new abilities, expand your world view, or pursue a specific passion, big cities will provide you with the opportunity. Whatever your passion, skills and interests are, you will be able to explore them in full and reach your full potential.

Unlimited Options. If there’s one thing a big city provides, it is options. In fact, it offers so many options that it may actually be overwhelming at times. But, having unlimited options is one of the great things about living in a big city. You’ll suddenly have access to:

  • Enormous shopping centers
  • Every ethnicity of food available, within walking distance
  • Different social events nightly
  • A huge number of restaurants, bars and night clubs

Cultural Diversity. Small towns are known for their like-minded folk, which can lead to only one outlook on every aspect of life. But when you move to a new city, you will be exposed to a variety cultural diversityof different perspectives, values, ideologies, points of view and more. These great cultural and ethnic diversities will expand your knowledge of the world and help you learn to appreciate differences and reject stereotypes.

The Cons

Life in a big city is set at a quicker pace than that of a small town. Everyone is in a rush, and everything happens twice as fast as it does in a small town. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may make your head spin at times. It can also be added to the list of cons about moving from a small town to a big city. Here are some other cons to consider.

Higher Cost of Living. If life felt expensive living in a small town, then you are in a world of shock at the cost of living in a big city. Life in the city is much pricier than small-town life – it’s a fact. Not only will essentials, like housing, food and transportation, cost you more (around twice as much) than it does in a shigh cost of livingmall town, there are also many temptations that will quickly suck your wallet dry – pubs, theaters, museums and the like.

Strong Competition. One thing you will not be used to when moving to a big city is the strong level of competition among those that live there. While in a small town, there are only a few people with an expertise in a specific area or field. In a big city, there are hundreds – even thousands – of people with the same level of expertise or degree as you. This being said, you will face enormous competition in a big city, a problem that can make it hard to find a job.

Heavy Traffic. One of the biggest cons of city life is the massive amount of people – and cars – on the road. From vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and so on, citcity traffic - PHOTOy streets can be a continuous stream of traffic jams. Finding a parking space can also be a nightmare in a big city. Not only will it take you huge amounts of time trying to find a space, you will also be charged to park there. With such a raging mess, you will quickly become a fan of public transportation.

Now that you know about some of the pros and cons of a big-city move, continue to Part 2 of this blog to learn some necessary steps to take before venturing from small town to big city.

The ABCs of Moving

 

The process of moving comes with a lot of organization, planning, packing and stress. It also comes with a lot of foreign lingo that you may not be familiar with. To ensure you know all of the necessary jargon that’s thrown around with moving companies, etc., here are the ABCs of moving.

A

Access – The level of accessibility to the home where the moving company is supposed to pick up or deliver household items. Certain factors can increase or decrease the level of accessibility, such as the available infrastructure in the area, the distance from the home to the parked moving vehicle, the number of stairs to be passed and the availability of freight elevators in the building.

Accessorial (Additional) Services – Services such as packing, unpacking, appliance servicing, split pick-up or delivery that you request from the moving company in addition to the shipment of your household goods. Extra services are optional, but they can be necessitated by circumstances beyond your control. Accessorial services are charged in addition to the transportation costs.

Note: Be sure additional services requested are included in the final estimate.

Agent – An affiliated moving company (typically a local one) that is authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national motor carrier company. The agent may handle all interactions between the customer and the company, or just part of it.

Agreed Delivery Date – The date when a shipment is supposed to arrive at the designated destination, according to the contract between the home mover and the moving company.

Agreed Pick-up Date – The exact time period you have booked for your move. Typically refers to the date when your chosen movers should come to load your household items.

American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) – An organization of moving companies that represents the interest of the moving and storage industry and works to ensure the highest standards of professional conduct and service in the trade, to help and protect its customers.

Appliance Service – Different services required to ensure the safe disconnection, transportation and reconnection of large household appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers.

Appliance Dolly – A wheeled platform that assists in moving heavy household items between the home and the moving vehicle. It can stand vertically, horizontally, or at an angle.

Assessed Value – The amount of cash value assigned to the items in a shipment. When purchasing moving insurance, the customer pays a certain amount of money per $1000 of assessed value to cover the cost of any damaged goods during shipment.

B

Bill of Lading – The formal binding contract between a home mover and a moving company for the transportation of household goods. It states the dates, services, specific conditions and charges involved in the move. It also specifies the method of payment and the kind of insurance coverage chosen by the customer, and serves as a receipt.

Binding Estimate – A moving company’s offer that states the total charges for your relocation, based on the size of the move and the requested moving services. A binding estimate guarantees the final cost of your move and can only be given after a moving estimator has performed an in-house visual survey of your household items and discussed any required additional services with you.

Bulky Items – Any large and awkwardly-shaped items, such as pianos, automobiles, motorcycles, hot tubs, snowmobiles, campers, swing sets, etc., that don’t fit in standard moving boxes and require special packing and handling to ensure safe transportation. A bulky-article charge is required for the relocation of such items, in order to compensate the carrier for the difficult loading and shipping procedures, as well as for the large amount of space these items consume during transit. You may have to pay additional weight additive charges, depending on the exact weight of your bulky item.

C

Cancellation Fee – If a customer cancels an already confirmed move, they may be charged a cancellation fee for the inconvenience they have caused the moving company.

Carrier – A moving services provider that is properly licensed and authorized to transport household goods.

Carrier Liability – The financial liability a carrier assumes for the customer’s shipment in case of loss or damage of goods.

Claim – A statement of loss or damage to household goods while in the custody of the moving company, which services as a request for a monetary compensation.

Consolidation – The combined shipment of the household goods of two or more customers. Consolidated shipments are shipped at a lower rate than what has been assessed against each individual shipment within the consolidation.

Crating – The process of packing certain delicate or valuable items in custom-built wood crates in order to ensure better protection during shipment.

D

Delivery – The act of transporting a shipment to the designated destination, unloading goods, and handing them over to the shipper of household items.

Delivery Window – A delivery window is the time period in which the movers are supposed to deliver a shipment to its final destination.

Department of Transportation – A federal agency that regulates the transportation industry, including the relocation of household goods, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).

Deposit – A certain amount of money – usually 10%-15% of the estimated moving cost – that a shipper of household goods pays to his/her chosen moving company in order to book their services for a specific date.

Destination Services – Any service provided at the destination by a driver, destination agent, or third party – unpacking, arranging furniture, servicing appliances, etc.

E

Estimate – An approximate evaluation by the mover of the final cost of the move, based on the total weight (or cubic feet) of the shipment, the actual distance to the final destination, and the required additional services.

Estimated Weight – The approximate weight of belongings, based on the inventory list or on a visual estimate performed by a relocation specialist.

F

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – A specialized agency within the Department of Transportation that regulates the operation requirements for carriers, moving vehicle drivers, moving vehicles, and vehicle equipment.

Flight Charge – An additional charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.

Freight Service – A partial low-cost moving service that refers only to the transportation of household goods from the origin to the destination.

Full (Replacement) Value Protection – A value program under which the carrier assumes liability for the full cost of repairs or the replacement value of any lost or damaged goods without deduction for depreciation of the items.

Full-Service Move – A full-service mover will handle a move from start to finish (packing, loading, transportation, unloading, and unpacking of household items and personal belongings). Full-service rates include everything, from the cost of cartons and packing labor to unpacking and removal of packing materials.

Furniture Blankets – Large, soft covers designed to provide the best protection possible for household appliances, furniture, and other bulky items during the moving process.

Furniture Pads – Convenient felt pads that are placed under heavy household items in order to allow the mover to slide heavy furniture pieces and appliances across the floor in a safe and effortless manner.

G

Gross Weight – The total weight of the moving vehicle and its contents after all the household goods have been loaded.

Guaranteed Pickup and Delivery Service – A premium service provided by the moving company to guarantee pickup and delivery dates.

High-Value Article – Items in a shipment that are valued at more than $100 per pound ($220 per kilogram). The shipper of household goods is required to fill out a high-value article inventory form listing these items in order to ensure their adequate protection. 

Household Goods – All personal belongings and property used in a home.

Hoisting Services – Auxiliary services offered by movers in case extremely large and heavy items need to be handled.

Inspection (Visual) – A visual inspection of the shipper’s home performed by a qualified representative of a moving company in order to get a realistic idea of the type and number of household items to be relocated and the kind of moving services that will be required to complete the job.

International Move – Any relocation that involves the crossing of international boundaries, regardless of distance.

Interstate Move – Any relocation that involves the crossing of state boundaries, regardless of distance.

Intrastate Move – Any relocation (typically over 50 miles) that does not require crossing a state line. Intrastate moves are not regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In-transit – A stage of the transportation process when the shipment is en route between the origin and destination.

Inventory – A detailed list of all household goods entrusted to a mover. It includes a description of the items (their type, number, and current condition) and should be signed by the shipper and the driver, both at the origin and destination, to certify the condition of the goods, or to note any existing problems.

J, K

L

Loading – The act of taking the household goods of a customer out of his/her old property, placing them into the moving truck, and securing them to ensure their safety during transit.

Loading Ramp – A convenient retractable platform that connects the interior of a moving vehicle to the ground. It may be attached to the moving truck or may be a separate piece of equipment. In either case, it is designed to make loading/unloading operations easier and safer.

Local Move – A move within the boundaries of the state, taking place over a distance of less than 100 miles (160 kilometers). Local moves are charged on an hourly rate and are regulated by individual states’ Departments of Transportation or Public Utilities Commissions.

Long-term storage – The storage of household items for longer than one month.

M

Motor carrier – A company that provides truck transportation.

Moving Company (Mover) – A motor carrier engaged in the transportation of household goods. Movers must be properly licensed and authorized in order to operate legally. Your chosen mover may carry out the entire process of planning, implementing, and managing the relocation or may contract with third parties to complete a safe and efficient move.

Moving Cost – The cost of transportation of household items to their final destination, usually estimated without the proper insurance and the additional service charges required in the moving process.

Moving Dolly – A hand-operated wheeled platform used for easier transportation of boxes.

Moving Process – All the moving-related actions (planning, packing, loading, unloading, and unpacking), divided into three main relocation stages: pre-move preparations, moving-day procedures, and post-relocation activities.

Moving Truck / Van – The moving vehicle in which the household items of the customer will be transported to his/her new home.

N

Net Weight – The gross weight minus the tare weight.

Non-Binding Estimate – A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the requested accessorial services. It is usually issued for free without performing an in-home survey. The final moving cost, however, is not guaranteed. Instead, charges are based on the actual weight of the shipment, the complexity of the job, and the tariff provisions in effect during the time period of the move.

Non-Allowables – Moving companies will not accept specific items for shipment, such as those that pose a risk of contamination or damage to the carrier’s property or the property of other customers, as well as perishables.

O

Order for Service – A written agreement between the individual shipper and the moving company that authorizes the carrier to handle the transportation of a customer’s household goods.

P

Packers – Professionals who provide packing services to prepare a customer’s belongings for shipment in a safe and efficient manner. Professional packers can also unload and unpack the delivered goods upon the customer’s request.

Packing – The process of preparing one’s household items for shipment, wrapping them safely, placing them into suitable moving containers, and sealing and labeling the boxes. Using proper packing materials and efficient packing techniques is essential for ensuring the safety of items during shipment and keeping them in excellent condition throughout the entire moving process.

Packing Services – Services provided by full-service movers, in which all packing and unpacking activities are handled by the moving company’s staff.

Packing Supplies – Also known as packing materials, these are cardboard boxes of different sizes, wrapping and cushioning materials (packing paper, bubble wrap, foam sheets, packing peanuts, etc.), packing tape and other equipment required for providing adequate protection to household items while in transit.

Peak Season Rates – Higher moving charges that are applied to shipments in the summer months, when the demand for moving services is at its highest.

Permanent Storage – Storage of goods for an indefinite period of time. Permanent storage begins immediately after the initial storage-in-transit period expires.

Pick-up and Delivery Charges – Additional charges for transporting a shipment between a storage-in-transit warehouse and a customer’s residence.

Q

Quote (Moving Quote) – The estimated cost of a move, offered by the moving company for free.

S

Self-Service Mover – A mover that transports a customer’s goods after they have been packed and loaded into the moving vehicle by the shipper. Upon arrival, the customer unloads the vehicle and calls the mover to pick it up when the task is completed.

Shipper of Household Items – An individual whose household items and personal possessions are being relocated from a place of origin to a designated destination.

Storage in Transit – The temporary storage of a customer’s household items in a carrier’s storage facility while pending further transportation or waiting to be delivered to the final destination. Typically, SIT service may not exceed a total of 90 days of storage, but the amount of time may be determined by individual carrier.

T

Tare Weight – The weight of the moving truck and its contents before a shipment is loaded.

Transit Time – The time from the moment the customer’s belongings are picked up to the moment they are delivered to their designated destination.

U

Unpacking – The process of unloading the customer’s goods and taking them out of their containers, as well as the disposal of any packing materials.

W

Weight Additive – Any extra weight added to the net weight of certain articles, to compensate the operator for the excessive van space they have to use.

Weight Ticket – The certificate a customer gets when the moving van is weighed at the weigh station on certified scales. It will show the weight of the entire shipment, as well as the weight of the vehicle without a load.

X, Y, Z

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What to Know When Moving a Bed to a New Home

Can you guess which piece of furniture in the home is favored by most? If you guessed the bed, then you’re correct! If you think about it, is there really any wonder as to why? It’s the only piece of furniture in your home that is associated with total relaxation, peacefulness and contentment. Who could resist such an inviting spot?

There is just one situation that can move such a beloved piece of furniture from the top of your love list to the bottom, and that’s having to move it. Beds, especially those of queen- and king-size, are incredibly heavy and awkward. Managing to move them across a room can be a struggle, but moving them to a completely new home is quite a feat. To make the moving process easier, and to ensure your bed survives the relocation in good condition, there are some things to consider, like if your bed is really worth moving and how to properly pack it. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about moving a bed.

Is it worth it?

When you are planning to move to a new home, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out which items are worth taking with you. Before you jump into the hardship of packing and moving your bed to a new location, first ask yourself this – is it worth it? Here are some things to consider:

Condition. Take a look at the overall condition of your bed. Is it fairly new or very well preserved? Is it comfortable and nice to look at? Answering these types of questions will help you decide if your bed is really worth the move. If you answered yes to these questions, then you should definitely spend the money and make the efforts to take your bed with you. However, if your bed is old, worn out, damaged, or you simply don’t like it, it’s really not worth the ordeal of moving it.

Size. Another thing to consider before moving your bed is its size. So whip out a tape measure and take accurate measurements of the bedframe, mattress and box spring. Then, measure all doors, hallways, staircases and sharp turns of both your old home and your new one. If the bed won’t fit, or will be an extremely tight squeeze, you may want to leave it behind.

Distance. If you are moving across town, it makes perfect sense to take all of your furniture with you. But if your move is long distance, the cost to ship heavy items, like a bed, could be quite hefty. There is also the risk of your bedframe and mattress being damaged during a several-day transit. Unless your bed is of high sentimental value, or a family heirloom, you may want to consider selling it before the big move.

How do I pack a bed?

If you decide it’s worth the money and effort to take your bed with you to your new home, you will need to figure out the best way to pack it so it will make it through the moving process unscathed. When relocating to a new home, beds are one of the most difficult things to pack and move, and the larger and heavier the bed, the more difficult it becomes. To properly prepare your bed for shipment, you will need specific packing supplies and a number of hand tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mattress bag
  • Moving boxes
  • Moving blankets (or other large, thick and soft fabrics)
  • Packing tape
  • Basic household tools, like a screwdriver
  • Sealable plastic bags

Once you have collected the necessary supplies, follow the steps below to ensure a safe and efficient relocation.

  • Remove all bedding – pillows, bed covers, sheets, blankets, etc. Pack them all in separate moving boxes and be sure to label the boxes as “bedding” for quick unpacking post-move.
  • Remove the mattress from the frame. To do this, grip the mattress on each end (you on one side and a helper on the other), then move it to the edge of the box spring. Carefully lower one end of the mattress to the floor while raising the opposite end. Avoid excessive bending of the mattress, because it can result in damaged springs.
  • Once you have the mattress up and out of the way, go ahead and remove the box spring.
  • Disassemble your bed (frame, headboard, etc.) as far as it will go, using the appropriate tools. Be sure your bed is fully dismantled before the move. This will make it easier to remove it from your home and into the moving truck. It will also reduce the risk of damage.
  • To prevent wood frames from dents and chips, or to prevent metal frames from being scratched or scratching other objects, wrap all pieces in moving blankets. Then wrap all mattresses in quality mattress covers.
  • Place all hardware pieces (bolts, nuts, screws) into separate sealable plastic bags. Then, securely attach them to the bed piece they belong to.

Moving a bed is tough, but with the right tools and know-how, you can get the job done quickly, safely and efficiently. For more moving tips and tricks, click here.

Self-Packing Verses Professional Packing: The Pros and Cons

Preparing for a move? If so, you have one very important question to ask yourself: Should I opt for self-packing or hire professional packers? To help you decide, here is some important information to consider.

Self-Packing Pros and Cons

Self-packing is the logical choice for many reasons. You’ll have control over what, where and when to pack. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the stress and worry of strangers meddling with your personal belongings. If you’re someone who wants to pack all of your belongings in a safe and systematic manner at your own pace, then self-packing may be the best choice for you. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros

Lower Costs. When choosing between self-packing and hiring professional packers, there’s no doubt that self-packing is the cheapest route. Instead of paying for the experienced services of professional packers, you can opt for free help from yourself, family and friends. It’s even possible to find free moving supplies, like moving boxes from local businesses or various containers you already own, like laundry baskets, suitcases, etc.

Convenience. When it comes to reducing stress and ensuring a smooth relocation process, flexibility is key. This being said, self-packing allows you to pack your belongings when it is convenient for you. Not only will packing at your own convenient pace lower your stress level, it will also allow you to sort and group your belongings in a way that makes sense to you. Not only that, but if you are packing your own things, you will take much more care than a stranger, who has no attachment to the item, might.

Organization. Opting for self-packing means you will have control over how your belongings are organized and packed. By grouping items according to their type, purpose and destination room, unpacking is made incredibly easy – as long as you label your boxes accordingly, that is!

Cons

Lost time. Packing is a majorly time-consuming event – and there’s no way around it. Underestimating the amount of time required to pack an entire house is one of the worst mistakes you can make, leading to you frantically throwing your possessions into boxes at the last minute – a situation that leads to catastrophic results. In order to pack your items properly, you will need plenty of time. Unfortunately, time is something you won’t have much of when you have many other important moving-related things to handle at the same time.

Poor packing. You will obviously pack your belongings with care, but unfortunately, you may lack the experience required for an efficient and speedy process. This means many of your possessions are at risk for becoming damaged during the moving process, like fragile artwork, electronics and glassware.

No liability. A large con of self-packing is that you are responsible for everything you pack. This means your movers will not be liable for any damaged items that you packed yourself.

Professional Packing Services Pros and Cons

If your move is local, you will most likely be able to pack your belongings well enough so they’ll survive the short trip across town. But longer moves, like those across the country, may require the help of a professional packing service. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

Speed. No matter how large your home is, professional packers have the ultimate packing strategy to pack all of your belongings at impressive speed. A job that may take you weeks can take professional movers just a few hours.

Quality packing materials. The quality of the packing materials you use is directly proportionate to the safety level of your moving shipment. Professional packers will use quality packing materials, like brand new boxes, plenty of bubble wrap and packing paper, plus strong tape to provide your items with maximum protection.

Liability coverage. When hiring professional packers, they will typically accept liability for any personal possession that are damaged or lost while in their custody. So, if something bad happens, you’ll be covered.

Minimal efforts. The biggest pro to hiring a professional packing service is that they do everything for you, so you don’t have to put in any major efforts into this part of the moving process. Professional packers will handle everything, from disconnecting to reassembling wired devices, furniture and more.

Cons

Increased final moving cost. Depending on the number of items you need to have packed and the time required to pack them, full packing services can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand. If you’re on a tight budget and have time to pack yourself, hiring professionals may not be the best choice.

Poor organization and control. Full packing services mean competent packing and a decreased risk of damages and problems. But, if you like to be in control and have things done a certain way, you may want to avoid professional packers. Professional packers have no clue how you want your items organized. And since their primary concern is speed and safety, they will not spend time sorting and grouping your possessions. This can lead to a headache later when it’s time to unpack and you can’t find anything you’re looking for.

Untrustworthy packers and movers. If you have possessions of value, you may want to set these items apart from the rest of your shipment to avoid any potential problems. While many companies are honest and ethical, some are not, so always take precautions before leaving strangers alone with your stuff.

For more packing tips, click here.

Move Your Desk with These Helpful Tips

No matter if it’s in an office, kitchen, bedroom or other room, most homes have at least one desk. As useful as desks are, they can be a bit of a challenge to move. Whether you need to move a desk that’s small or large, here are some helpful tips to make it an easier and safer task.

Empty it. The first step in moving a desk to a new location is to empty it. Remove all items from drawers, along with anything sitting on top, like a computer, lamp, books and papers. Taking this step will not only make your desk lighter, it will also make it easier to maneuver without worrying about breaking something in the process. Once you have removed everything from your desk, secure all drawers and doors so they won’t move while being transported. You can also remove drawers if you’d rather.

Choose a path. Before you start moving your desk, you should think about the moving path that will be easiest to move through. Consider any obstacles, like doorways, staircases or narrow hallways. If any of these obstacles potentially stand in your way, plan how you intend to maneuver your desk through them. Also, be sure to remove anything blocking your chosen moving path before trying to relocate your desk. By planning ahead, you will save a lot of time and hassle on moving day.

Seek help. Moving a desk by yourself is hard work and, depending on the desk, can be an impossible feat. So, seek some help. With a little aid, the move will be much more manageable. One method to help make moving your desk easier is to use gliders or a dolly. Be sure you use gliders that are the correct size for the desk you are moving, as well as designed for use on the type of floors you have. For example, floors that can be scratched need padded gliders so damage won’t occur.

Once you have your equipment, be sure to use it correctly. This means making sure it is positioned correctly. For extra protection from scratches and chips during transport, you can cover your desk with moving blankets, and also attach straps to a dolly.

Move it. Once you have tackled all of the previous steps, you are now ready for the main event – moving your desk! With the aid of your helper(s), have them stand at one side (the short ends) of your desk, while you stand at the other. One will pull while the other will push. Go slowly and steer clear of any sharp movements, to avoid damage to walls, doorways, furniture and the desk itself.

Position it. When your desk has reached its destination, remove the gliders or dolly. Then place your desk where you want it. Next, put back any drawers or trays that were removed prior to the relocation. Unpack all items, and arrange them as wanted.

For more helpful tips and tricks to make your move a success, click here.

The Most Difficult Items to Move: Plants and Pets

Moving to a new home is an overwhelming and stressful situation. Throw live items into the mix and your move will quickly become even harder. Plants and pets are two of the most difficult things to transport from one location to another. Luckily, we’re here to make moving these things much simpler. Continue reading to learn more.

Plants

Living things, like plants, can be rather tricky to move. Not only are they fragile, leading to a potentially low chance of survival, but they can be rather messy to transport. They are also one of the few items that your moving company most likely won’t move for you. This means the task is solely up to you. If your move is a local one, you won’t really need to worry, because your plants have a strong survival rate. However, if you are moving across the country, there are things to consider. Yes, you can still move them with you, whether driving or flying to your new home. Just know that you will need to prepare them with extra care, and know that there is no guarantee that they will survive. You will also want to first check the local regulations in your future state or country to ensure you are allowed to “import” your plants, along with how much it will cost.

Potted Plants. Potted house plants, especially those on the smaller side, have a good chance of surviving a relocation. Here are some things to know:

  • Repot plants into plastic containers several weeks before your move. Plastic containers are lighter and easier to manage.
  • Prune and spray your plants. The less foliage – dead leaves, unruly branches, etc. – the greater the chance of survival.
  • Bag your plants – especially taller ones.
  • Place plants in cardboard boxes. Make sure the boxes have holes so your plants can breathe. To avoid dangerous shifts during transportation, fill spaces with packing peanuts, paper or other soft padding or material.
  • After arriving at your new home, unpack your plants immediately, then supply them with sufficient light and water. Plant food can also help rejuvenate them.
  • After a few weeks, remove them from their plastic containers and replant them.

Garden Plants. If your move includes garden plants, your best bet is to take some cuttings and plant them at your new home. Keep in mind that your new location may not be the right environment for your plant(s), so be sure to do some research.

Refuse to say goodbye to your plants? If you insist on moving a specific garden plant, follow these steps:

  • Dig it up
  • Wrap roots with sufficient soil in hessian cloth
  • Keep it moist
  • Be extra careful

Pets

Pets are another living thing that can be difficult to move from one location to another. But it is possible, as long as you take the appropriate measures to keep them safe and sound. The first step to take when moving pets is to visit the vet to ensure they are in good physical health. Use this time to obtain any immunization records or health certificates. Next, you need to get any required paperwork in order. Finally, ensure you have the appropriate shipping container, along with pet food, water, toys and any other essentials.

Birds. The optimal way to transport your bird(s) to a new location is to keep them in their own cage. However, if you are flying to your new home, you will need to place them inside a commercial, hard-plastic kennel cab. For both methods, it is a good idea to cover the container with a lightweight cloth to reduce the stress level of your feathery pet. Here are some other important steps to take:

  • Line the bottom of the cage, or shipping container, with paper. Then, cover it with bird seed for your pet to munch on during the journey.
  • Remove, or empty, the water dish. Replace it with juicy fruit for hydration.
  • Use tie wraps on all sides of the cage, as well as the door, to provide it with extra security. A broken cage could cause your feathered friend injuries, and even allow it to fly the coop!

Fish. Fish are one of the hardest living creatures to move. Not only are they delicate, but they are also very unlikely to survive. This is especially true if you want to keep the same water plants, bacteria colony, rocks, and so on. You will also need to store all equipment, like filters, heaters and pumps, appropriately.

For more moving tips and tricks, check out our blog.

Unique Tips for More Efficient Packing

As you probably already know, there are many proven packing techniques out there that are useful and provide protection to your belongings so they won’t be damaged during transport. But what if we were able to teach you some packing techniques that will allow you to use what you already have in your house to help pack your belongings? While some may be a bit unusual, the following unique tips will make packing much more efficient.

Not-Your-Average Containers

Moving boxes are great, but some problems can occur:

1. You may run out of them and not be able to get more immediately,

2. You may not have the correct size you need, and

3. They can be pretty expensive, especially when you need a lot of them.

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open and be creative when packing. If you look around your home, you will find a number of available containers that will work just as well as the typical moving box. Here are a few that will prove useful:

  • Laundry baskets. They’re typically on the large side and can hold a lot of items. Use them for shoes, pillows, towels and more.
  • Trash cans. You may first think, “Ew!”, but trash cans are actually a great means of transporting your belongings during a move – just make sure they’re clean. Try storing cleaning supplies, toiletries, and even smaller trash bins inside them.
  • Baskets and crates. If you think about it, baskets and crates are basically a fancier version of a moving box. So long as they are clean and in solid condition, put them to good use.
  • Hard glasses cases. As long as you aren’t storing your glasses/sunglasses in them, hard glasses cases are the perfect place to store small, easily damaged items, like figurines, jewelry and souvenirs.

Optimal Organizers

You’ve more than likely heard, time and time again, that organization is key to a successful move. While preparing for a move requires planning, scheduling and sorting, it’s also important to organize the items you pack – especially those that are small, delicate and in need of protection during transport. For these items, the best containers are non-standard.

  • Egg cartons. When it comes to organizing and packing small, fragile items, nothing beats an egg carton. This handy container is ideal for storing pins, rings, buttons and other odds and ends. For extra protection, add padding, like cotton or paper, inside the carton. To prevent the carton from opening, wrap it entirely with plastic wrap.
  • Drinking straws and toilet paper rolls. You may be scratching your head at how drinking straws and toilet paper rolls can provide good storage, but trust us, they do! For necklaces and bracelets, both of these tools make excellent organizers. Just slip the chains through the hole, clasp the ends and successfully prevent tangling. They can also be used with chargers, headphones and other items with cords to prevent damage and a dreaded box of knots to untangle post-move.

Impressive Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap may be known for use in the kitchen, but when it’s time to move, it also makes an impressive packing tool. In fact, the benefits are endless! Here are some ways to use it:

  • Cover containers that lack lids, like baskets, buckets and hampers.
  • Wrap cabinet doors and glass cases to ensure they stay closed during transportation.
  • Wrap bundles of clothes to avoid having to use plastic bags that can be hard to hold.
  • Cover and wrap entire drawers full of clothes, office supplies and more. This way you won’t have to empty drawers and pack items separately.

Useable Bags

When moving house, the first packing supply that typically pops in our minds is boxes, boxes and more boxes. While moving boxes are very practical and come with a plethora of advantages, we officially give you permission to think outside the box – and instead, to think inside the bag. Here are some bags that will be super useful to you when packing:

Ziploc bags. Large, medium, even small Ziploc bags are an extremely useful choice when packing. Use them to organize small items, or to keep specific items together.

Garbage bags. Garbage bags aren’t quite as worthwhile as vacuum bags or other specialty bags, but they still offer a lot of advantages. They’re cheap, easily available and can be bought by the hundreds. They are especially good for packing things like clothes, blankets and pillows. Plus, after you’ve used them for your move, they can then be used for trash – something you will find a lot of after moving day.

For all of the best tips for packing and moving, click here.

Packing and Moving Musical Instruments: A How-To Guide

When moving, there are a number of personal belongings you will need to take special packing precautions when packing, like musical instruments. Pianos, guitars, cellos, violins, etc. – all of these items are very delicate and fragile. So how exactly do you go about packing them? Here are some helpful tips on packing and moving musical instruments.

Hire Professionals

The best way to move musical instruments is to get help from a professional and reliable moving company. Not only are professional movers trained in moving such fragile items, but they also have access to the correct moving and packing supplies needed for the job at hand. For example, to safely move sensitive items, like musical instruments, a professional moving company has special climate and humidity controlled trucks that are designed to protect items like these. If you decide to hire professional movers, be sure to check reviews and ratings of former clients so you will know you are getting help from a company that will treat you and your belongings with respect.

Pack Correctly

An important rule when packing instruments is to never pack more than one instrument in a box. Doing so will only lead to damage.

String instruments. String instruments are very fragile and, therefore, need to be packed in a way to prevent damage during the moving process. Follow these steps to ensure its safety:

  • Lightly loosen strings.
  • Wrap instrument with bubblewrap, taping it securely in place.
  • Place instrument inside its case. If there is a lot of spare room inside the case, use crumpled paper to fill in the gaps. Be sure you are still able to easily close the case even with paper inside. If the case is soft, be sure to use more crumpled paper in order to provide it with adequate protection.

Brass instruments. Brass instruments are also fragile and need to be treated with extra care when packed and moved. In order to safely move brass musical instruments, you will need to first remove the mouthpiece and wrap it with lots of bubble wrap. The same should be used to protectively cover the remaining parts of the instrument. Both wrapped pieces (mouthpiece and instrument) should then be placed inside its case. As with string instruments, use crumpled paper to fill empty spaces inside the case.

Large instruments. Do you own a large instrument that needs to be relocated? If so, you are up for a rather difficult task. Large instruments, such as pianos, may be huge and heavy, but they are also very delicate and can suffer vast damage if not packed and moved correctly. In order to pack an instrument of such magnitude and heft, you will need to use lots of padding and packing supplies to protect it during shipping. To do this most efficiently, it’s best to contact a professional moving company that is trained in such tasks.

Moving materials. For each musical instrument you intend to pack for your move, you should always first place them inside their original case. If you do not have the exact case, the next best packing technique is to use a sturdy box that is a little bigger than the instrument itself. When packing musical instruments – whether in precise cases or in moving boxes – it’s important that nothing moves inside. Items that are loose inside the box or case can scratch the musical instrument or cause it damage in some other way.

After-Move Care

Once your musical instruments have been relocated, you probably think the moving process is over and done. But before you unpack your items, there are some after-move care rules to follow.

  • Let stringed and woodwind instruments acclimate to the new climate for at least 24 hours before use. Instruments should be room temperature.
  • If you loosened strings prior to packing/moving, or if your instrument was not used for long before packing/moving, you will have to tune it again before playing.

For more tips and tricks on moving fragile items, click here.