Moving with Kids: Mistakes to Avoid

Relocating to a new home is a big decision – especially if it involves moving your entire family. Make it easier for everyone, especially the kids, by avoiding these common moving mistakes.
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Before you move, follow these 12 must-do tips

From the moment you decide to move to the moment the moving truck shows up, you will be met with a variety of tasks to accomplish. In fact, the number of moving chores and packing jobs can become so overwhelming you may get easily confused about what things you need to do before moving out, and when you need to do them. To better tackle all your moving tasks, and make your move a success, here are the top 12 most important things to do before moving out.

1. Research packing supplies and tips on packing. This will help you prepare yourself with everything you need in order to properly pack all of your belongings.

2. Sort through your belongings, organizing everything into three main categories: “To Keep”, “To Donate/Sell”, “To Throw Away”. Remember, the more items you move with you, the more it will cost in terms of the amount of supplies you will require and how much it will cost to ship all of your possessions. By donating, selling or even throwing away any items you no longer have a use for, you will save money on your moving shipment, spend less time packing, and may even make a few bucks on those belongings you decide to sell.

3. Make a moving budget. This will help you decide what kind of move you can afford. Be honest with yourself about your finances, and ask yourself some important questions. “Will you be able to afford professional packers and movers, or will you need to stick to a self-move with just you and help from your family and friends?” “Can you afford to buy all of your packing supplies, or do you need to locate as many free moving boxes as possible?” Figuring out the answers to questions like these will help ensure you stick to your budget instead of drowning in expenses.

4. Designate a specific spot for all of your important moving documents, such as a brightly colored folder. This will make it easier to keep everything together so you won’t lose anything and also so you can access any documents quickly and efficiently. Be sure to keep this folder with you at all times so you don’t lose it during the stressful, and often chaotic, hustle and bustle of moving day.

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5. If you are moving out of a rental property, be sure to let your landlord know about your plans to move, as soon as possible.

6. Figure out how to properly pack and ship certain items, such as those that are fragile and need to be handled with the utmost care. When researching this subject, consider what specific packing supplies you will need, like bubble wrap, packing paper, protective blankets, and other cushioning materials.

7. Get a moving estimate. To do this, contact a few reputable moving companies near you. An in-person estimate is best, so schedule a time for movers to come to your current home to help create a more accurate estimate for your move. Be sure to let them know how many items you intend to move and what fragile items, if any, you may have that will require more movers or special moving tools or supplies.

Also, make sure to inform them of any obstacles that may hinder your move – flights of stairs, a long distance from your door to the moving truck, etc. All of these things will make an impact on the cost of your move and what your chosen movers will need to come prepared with the day of the move.

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8. Prepare your old home – and new one if possible – for moving day. Many things can happen during a move, from scuffed floors and damaged walls, to personal injury, etc.

This being said, you will want to ensure the property is protected. Cardboard is a great tool to use because it provides cushion and protection to all sorts of things.

Cover floors and carpets with it to help eliminate dirt and other problems from occurring. You can also wrap cardboard around stair railings and sharp corners to help keep them protected from large furniture, and other items that are being moved about.

9. Pay extra attention to how you wrap and carry large, bulky items, such as couches, tables and chairs. To avoid damage to your belongings, property, and yourself, be sure to wrap any protruding areas, like table and chair legs, with extra protective layers. If possible, remove these pieces and wrap them separately to make them less awkward to move.

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10. Find out ways you can save money during your move. One way is to opt for a self-move with free help from family and friends. Moving boxes and other packing supplies is another great way to save money when moving. Check grocery stores, liquor stores, and bookstores, which have a continuous supply of boxes.

11. Create a move-out cleaning checklist. This will help guide you through the steps to take to leave your old home in good shape. If leaving a rental property, this will help ensure you get your deposit back, which will be more money in your pocket for your move.

12. Change your address with the many companies and people who should be aware of your whereabouts. Some include: utility companies, banks, the post office, schools, the department of motor vehicles, family and friends.

For professional moving services and more pre-move tips, click here.

Tips to relocate plants and pets during your home move

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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. Continue reading “Tips to relocate plants and pets during your home move”

Moving to a New State? Check out this guide.

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. Continue reading “Moving to a New State? Check out this guide.”

Before You Sign a Lease, Ask These Important Questions First

After what probably feels like months of looking for a new place to live, you are most likely thrilled when you finally find The One. It’s close to work, it’s in an area of town that you love, and it will serve as a wonderful home for you and your family. The fact that you have actually found a place you love and can afford can be truly exciting. But before your excitement takes over and you sign a rental lease, be sure to ask these important questions first!

When is the rent due?

This is one of the most important questions you should ask before signing a lease. Rent is generally due on the first of each month. However, many landlords give you a few days grace, allowing it to be paid a few days later, such as on the third or fifth of each month. While some property managers are laid back about late payments, some are very strict – charging you late fees or even evicting you if it happens more than once. Late fees can be awful, and an eviction is even worse, so be sure to find out the exact date the rent is due and be sure it is stated on your lease agreement.

How long is the lease?

You’ll find that most rental leases run for 12 months then expire. At this point, you are required to either sign a new lease or move out. But it is important to know that there is a wide variety of leases with differing lengths of time required. This is why you should ask when your lease expires before ever signing it. Along with this question, you should also find out if the lease will automatically renew or convert to a month-by-month tenancy. Most landlords or property managers will contact you prior to your lease ending in order to find out what your intentions are, but it is best to know how long your lease lasts before ever moving in so you understand your living circumstances well.

How do I document previous property damage?

Before you move into your rental property, your landlord will most likely be handling any damages that the previous tenant(s) inflicted upon the space – stained carpets, scarred or dirty walls, etc. But some damages to the property may be overlooked. When the day comes for you to move out, you don’t want to be held responsible for damages you didn’t cause. No way! This is why it is important to document any problems before moving in. There are several things you should check:

  • Functionality of electrical outlets
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Heating and air-conditioning systems

If you find any problems, be sure they are included in the lease agreement before signing it.

Is anything included?

When you rent a house or apartment, you expect to pay a monthly fee to live there. But it is unwise to assume that anything else is included in the rent. Trash pickup and parking, for instance, may have been included in the rent at your previous location, but that doesn’t mean they will be at your new home. So ask your landlord about what – if anything – is included prior to signing the lease.

Is there an eviction policy?

This question may make you feel as though you are labeling yourself a troublemaker, but it is actually a common and worthwhile thing to ask. When renting, it is important you and your landlord are on the same page. This eliminates any miscommunications or negative feelings toward one another. If your landlord prohibits anything specific – pets, loud parties, smoking inside or out, etc. – it is important to be aware of these things so you don’t get evicted because you broke certain rules.

Can I make improvements?

When you move to a new place, there are going to be certain things you just don’t like. For example, you may hate the faucets in the bathroom sink or wish to paint one of the bedrooms a different color. When owning a home, you have the privilege of making whatever improvements you want. But when renting, the ball isn’t totally in your court. Before moving in, it’s a good idea to ask your landlord if you are allowed to make changes to the property and if they are willing to pay for them. While some landlords may welcome the offer, some will be much more hesitant and say no. Either way, it is important to know their answer ahead of time and to have it documented in the lease.

Do you know of other important questions one should ask before signing on the dotted line? Help out your fellow movers and state them in the comments sections!

Top Ways Having a Roommate Saves You Money

There’s no denying that the cost of living is expensive. There are bills to pay, food to buy, household furnishings to acquire. No matter how old a person is, affording the many things life requires can be difficult. It can be especially hard for young adults just venturing into “the real world”. So how does one manage to pay all of their expenses? One way is to get a roommate. To learn the top ways in which having a roommate can save you money, continue reading!

Bills. From rent to utilities, bills are a constant part of living. This is one area in which having a roommate can save you money. You think that the bills for two people will run higher than those for just one, but in actuality, the costs don’t increase the much. Splitting the cost of rent, electricity, internet, etc., will translate into major savings in the long run.

Meals and Groceries. Another way having a roommate can save you money is by sharing meals and grocery costs. By coordinating grocery trips, you won’t end up filling the fridge with doubles, like two gallons of milk or two cartons of eggs. You also won’t risk having your food spoil or leftovers going bad – which ultimately is money being thrown in the trash.

Buy in Bulk. Along with sharing meals and grocery costs, having a roommate also allows you to purchase items together, in bulk. While you may not want to go in on bulk items together like 20 jars of peanut butter and 50 toothbrushes together, it is a good idea to purchase certain things in larger quantities. Things like toilet paper, rice, pasta, and so on, are good bulk items to purchase together as roommates. Not only will it save you money by sharing the expense, but it will also save you time so you won’t have to go to the store as often.

Clean Up. One look around your home after just a few days of not cleaning up will show you just how much effort is required in order to keep a living space that is clean and organized. Maybe your job or schedule is so busy you are unable to keep up with household chores, or maybe you just despise cleaning, but either way, you may be tempted to hire a professional to keep your home spic and span. Though the  may be very appealing, it will only lead to spending money – not saving it. This is where having a roommate comes in handy. Instead of having to clean an entire house by yourself, you and your roommate will be able to share the responsibilities. This means just half the cleaning burden lands on you and you can spend your time on more worthwhile things.

Décor. When you move into a new place – or simply live on your own – you need a lot of stuff, like a couch, a microwave, some pots and pans, and so on. Finding the means to purchase all of the things you need to fill your living space can be hard to manage alone. But with a roommate, outfitting a home is much easier. With two of you to donate items to the household, you will save a great deal of money, all while being able to decorate your home more quickly and efficiently.

Events. Say you and your roomie want to have some people over for a get together, or want to host a small party for a friends birthday. Having a roommate means you can do these kinds of fun activities without bearing all of the financial responsibilities. For example, if hosting a friend’s birthday party, one of you could pay for the food and drinks, while another pays for the decorations or gift.

For It To Work

In order for you to be able to save money by having a roommate, you don’t want to sign up just anyone for the role. For such an important decision, you will want to take the time to ensure that whomever you pick is financially responsible. If you aren’t moving in with someone you already know, here are some important questions to ask a potential roommate:

  • How long have they had their job?
  • How do they feel about paying rent on time?
  • How do they envision splitting utility costs?

Looking for more great tips? Check out our blog.

Relocating the Elderly: A Helpful Guide

A home is more than just four walls and a roof. Home is a place that provides comfort and safety. A place that holds memories. All of these qualities grow the longer you live in the same home. Because of this, having to move to a new home can be very upsetting – especially for the elderly. Not only is it harder for seniors to endure a move physically, but it is also difficult emotionally. After all, they have spent years of their time, effort and money to create a home they truly love. Moving seniors can be an enormous challenge, requiring time, organization, and lots of patience. You will also need the assistance of the guide below that will hold your hand as you go through all of the stages of the senior relocation process.

Communication

Moving house is always a time of difficulty and worry. But for the elderly, leaving a cozy, comfortable place that has been their home for many years can be a time of great sadness and apprehension. The main cause of this distress is the perceived sense of loss – a loss of control, independence and self. In order to ensure a smooth transition, reducing your parents sense of loss and powerlessness is a must. To do this, communication is of utmost importance. To create an open line of communication:

  • Discuss the matter at length. Talk with your parents about why they need to move and their options for where they can move to;
  • Be patient. Give your parents time to think about moving, grieve their loss, and also accept the changes that are to come;
  • Be positive. Point out the good aspects of them moving – less responsibilities, less work, increased safety, better healthcare, the chance to spend more time with you and their grandchildren (if moving closer to you).
  • Give them choices. Let them choose their new home or living community. Allow them to be part of the moving preparations, letting them decide what belongings they will take with them, etc.

Planning

After a decision is made about whether or not your parents will be moving – and where they will be moving to – it is time to start planning the relocation. With every move, a great deal of time, effort and organization occurs. For a senior move, you will need to accomplish a number of important tasks, such as:

  • Downsizing your parent’s belongings.
  • Packing your parent’s belongings.
  • Hiring professional movers that are experts in handling a senior move.

Packing

When packing for a move, the elderly are not just packing mere belongings. They are packing memories, keepsakes, and other essential elements from their life. Because they will need to limit the amount of items they move with them, packing can be a longer-than-usual process. To make the packing process efficient and stress-free, you should:

Be considerate and patient. While you may want to just throw things into boxes and donate gobs of other items, it’s important to be considerate and patient with your parents at this time. Ask them what they’d like to do themselves and what they will need help with. While it’s a good idea to help them sort their belongings and steer them in the direction of getting rid of nonessential items, be sure to let them have the final say in what they keep and what they say goodbye to.

Start early. As we just mentioned, it can take time for your parents to decide what belongings to keep and which ones to toss. This is why it’s important to start the packing process early – around three – four months before moving day.

Begin with simple tasks. Easing into the packing process will make it much more bearable on everyone involved. So begin with simple tasks first. For example, try having your parents pack a room in their home that doesn’t hold much emotional attachment, such as a guest room or study.

Another way to help make the moving process easier is to focus on one area at a time. This will make everything that needs to be accomplished less overwhelming.

Pack an essentials box. The first few day after a move is always the hardest. Unpacking, finding specific items you need, and so on. This is why packing an essentials box is a must In this specific box, pack the most must-needed items your parents will need during those first few days after moving. This way they will have easy access to the necessities – medication, toiletries, clothes, basic kitchen items, etc.

Ensure the safety of belongings. Moving is hard enough without suffering the loss of items that were damaged during transportation. While packing, take the necessary steps to ensure all of your parent’s belongings are safely packed to ensure they make it from Point A to Point B on moving day.

Label all boxes. To keep the packing process organized, be sure to label all moving boxes, furniture and other belongings clearly. When labeling, include the specific location that each box, etc. is to go in at your parents’ new home. It is also a good idea to label boxes with their contents to make unpacking easier. For items that require special instructions, be sure to state them on the labels.

Moving Day

When the day of the move arrives, emotions will run high for everyone involved, especially your parents. You will need to be extra cautious in order to keep everything running smoothly and error-free. Here are some things to consider on this stressful day:

  • Be present on moving day to supervise all moving activities as well as the emotional state of your parents.
  • Take the necessary precautions to eliminate the risk of accidents and injuries during the move.
  • Set aside any items that should not be loaded on the moving truck (an essentials box, valuable items, or important documents).
  • Take the time to double check the house before leaving it for good. Ensure nothing has been left behind.
  • Create a safe and comfortable trip for the senior(s) as they relocate to their new home.
  • After the move, help your parents settle in to their new home. Place all o their belongings in the correct places and ensure they are able to freely and safely navigate through their new home.
  • If your parents have moved to a retirement community or assisted living facility, ensure they know how to reach staff for assistance.

For more moving tips, click here. For professional moving services, contact us at 800.771.0151.