Top 5 Tips for a Last-Minute Move

Getting your home and belongings organized and ready for a relocation can put a great deal of pressure on your shoulders. This is especially true if you are moving at the last minute. You may have a limited amount of time, but the job must still be done. No matter the reason for your speedy move – getting a new job, a home eviction, a natural disaster, etc. – you will need to prepare for your move quickly, and still manage to do it efficiently. When every moment counts, here are the top five tips you should use in order to make your last-minute move a success.

Separate Belongings

Since time is at stake during a last-minute move, you won’t have time to sell any belongings you don’t care to take with you. But it is still a good idea to organize and separate all items between those you plan to take with you and those you intend to donate or throw away. The more you decide to leave behind, the less time you will spend packing and moving, and you will also save a pretty penny in shipping costs.

Gather Packing Supplies

Once you know what you are taking with you, you will be able to plan what items need to be packed. You will also get an idea of what sort of packing materials you will need. Gathering all packing supplies in advance, and at once, is the ideal choice. If you have to stop packing to buy new boxes, tape, etc., you will lose a lot of valuable time. It will also ruin your concentration, which can be hard to get back into.

Pack “Open First” Boxes

For the first couple of days after your move, you will be met with piles of boxes to unpack and lots to clean. You will also more than likely be exhausted – body and mind – after such a long day of moving (not to mention the fast-action efforts you powered through to make your move happen). To get yourself through those first few days post-move, be sure to pack a box or two with all of your essentials, like clothes, toiletries, cosmetics, cell charger, and so on.

Label Everything

In your rush to pack by a very soon move-out date, you may feel there is no time to be spent on labeling boxes. During the chaos, you may even simply forget to do so. But labeling your boxes will actually save you time overall. Labeling boxes with their destination room will make moving day simpler and more organized, which are both excellent time savers. Also, marking boxes with special instructions (e.g., “fragile”) can save time by avoiding broken items that have to be cleaned up.

Stay Focused and Avoid Distraction

Staying focused can be difficult, especially when packing can feel boring and endless. Not to mention, there are so many distractions surrounding us daily – TV, cell phones, computers. But if you are going to get your belongings packed efficiently, and super speedy, you will need to keep your focus intact. To do this, distractions, like those previously mentioned, should be avoided at all cost.

Following these simple tips and hiring last-minute movers can make your relocation fast and smooth. Don’t lose another minute – get started now!

Top Tips to Avoid Damage When Moving Out

Whether you’re moving out of a rental house or a home you own, you need to take proper precautions to prevent property damage from occurring during your relocation. If your property is going to be put on the market, chipped walls and scratched floors will negatively affect the sale. This is why it needs to be in perfect condition after moving in order to pocket the most money out of the deal. If you are moving out of a rental home, you also need to leave the property in excellent condition if you want to get your security deposit back. Whatever your moving situation is, here are some tips to help protect your property when relocating.

Hire Professional Movers

The easiest way to avoid damage when moving out is to hire a trustworthy moving company. Professional movers have all the required equipment, along with the necessary skills to ensure your belongings are moved in a safe and danger-free manner. They also have enough experience under their belts to foresee every potential risk, so they can take adequate measures to keep your home and personal items safe.

Properly Pack Your Belongings

To help reduce the risk of damaged items during your move, it’s important to pack everything safely and securely. This means using adequate packing materials, sorting out your belongings, and packing every single item based on its weight, shape and fragility. Here are some tips:

  • Use sturdy boxes;
  • Secure boxes with heavy-duty packing tape;
  • Provide sufficient padding inside boxes, containers, etc.;
  • Avoid placing too many heavy items inside one box. Instead, distribute hefty items into small containers that are easy to carry around;
  • Use large boxes solely for light items; and
  • Dismantle furniture and carefully wrap edges that are sharp or protruding.

Use Proper Moving Equipment
Before you move heavy items – furniture, large appliances, etc. – it’s important to get the proper moving equipment to facilitate your needs. Otherwise, you risk serious injury. Below are some well-known tools that will help make moving large, bulky items easy, as well as keep your home damage-free.

Dolly/Hand-Cart. With the use of a dolly/hand-cart, you will be able to move heavy furniture or multiple boxes without risking damage to the floors. This tool will also reduce strain on your body, helping lower the risk of injury.

Moving Pads. Sliding hefty items across the floor in order to move them can lead to scrapes and dents. Moving pads are the most reliable and easiest method to tackle this type of task.

Straps. Cabinet doors, desk drawers, and other belongings that open can easily do so when being moved. The result: wrecked floors and damaged doorframes. To avoid problems like these, use straps to keep them properly secured.

Safeguard Your Property

Property damage is very possible when moving house. This can negatively affect a home being put up for sale, as well as cause rental deposits to be forfeited. Use adequate measures and materials to avoid accidental damage during your move. Safeguard your properly with items like these:

Furniture Blankets. Furniture blankets serve multiple purposes, which makes them very handy when safeguarding your home from moving damage. They can be used to create a protective barrier for furniture, floors, walls, etc. You can also drape and secure them over bannisters to eliminate damage when moving items up and down stairs.

Plywood Sheets. Hardwood and tile floors are highly susceptible to harm, especially when hit by a heavy appliance. To safeguard your floors, cover them with sheets of plywood to absorb any damaging blows on moving day.

Carpet Film Protectors. These protectors are designed specifically to protect carpets by providing them with a tear-free, non-slip surface. They also do not leave adhesive residue and are suitable for covering all types of floors.

Corner Guards. Moving day leaves corners and edges susceptible to chipping. Installing corner guards around your home prior to moving activities will prevent this from happening.

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Important Qualities to Look for in a Moving Company

During the strenuous process of preparing for a move, there will come a time where you’ll admit you need help. While friends and family can come in handy during the stressful events of your move, opting for the help of a professional moving company is the ultimate choice. Not only will it save you a whole lot of stress, it will also leave you time to focus on other important moving tasks. But before you hire the first help you find, here are some important qualities you should look for to ensure you make the right choice.

Are they legit?

Before you dive in and hire the first moving company you come across, it is extremely important to ensure that they are legit. There are a lot of “rogue” movers out there with the solid intention of reeling you in with ultra-low prices just to screw you over in the end. To avoid tragic situations like this, you need to do your research. To guarantee a safe move, you need to hire movers that are fully bonded and certified, who operate legally and meet all federal insurance, safety and financial standards.

The ultimate way to verify the legitimacy of a moving company is by checking their license. A legitimate intrastate moving company is required to have a USDOT number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). So in order for an intrastate moving company to legally operate, they need a state license.

Another way to detect a legit moving company is by their membership with the American Mover and Storage Association (AMSA) and/or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This guarantees that a company abides by the national guidelines and assumes liability for the items in their custody. When reviewing potential movers for your upcoming relocation, be sure to visit the FMCSA official website (or your states government website if you are moving locally) in order to find out if they have a valid USDOT number (or state license).

Are they affordable?

For most, price is the main factor in deciding if a moving company is the right choice for you. Moving is expensive enough without tacking on professional help, after all. The lower the cost a moving company asks of you, the better it seems. But is it? While you want to hire movers within your budget, it’s important that they also offer good customer service.

Finding the perfect balance between quality and cost can be tough. This is why it is worth your time to get at least three or four moving estimates so you can compare prices and conditions offered by different companies. During your estimate, be sure to find out these things:

  • What the quoted price includes;
  • What they consider to be “extra services” and how much is charged for them;
  • What packing materials and packing assistance they provide and at what cost;
  • What deposit is required and if it’s refundable under certain circumstances;
  • If they offer any discounts or promotions; and
  • What payment methods they accept.

Once you have all the necessary information, you can then make an informed decision on the best company for your move.

Are they experienced?

Hiring a moving company then finding out they are inexperienced is a situation you definitely don’t want to end up in. If you’re going to entrust your most prized possessions into the care of complete strangers, you want them to have expert skills and professional know-how in order to provide a smooth, fast and problem-free relocation.

Movers that have been in business for years have faced a large variety of relocation types and gained rich experience in all sorts of situations. This means they are good at what they do and will know exactly how to handle your belongings in a safe and efficient manner, as well as how to take proper care of all other aspects of the grueling moving process.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a moving company would only have remained in business for years if it had proved itself by performing well.

Finding a mover with a flawless track record is huge when it comes to choosing moving services. When speaking with potential movers, be sure to ask them these questions:

  • How long they’ve been in business;
  • If they hire full-time movers and provide adequate training;
  • If they employ temporary workers (Temporary workers lack experience and are likely to make mistakes.);
  • If they have specialized moving equipment (hoisting and rigging systems, for example); and
  • If they have storage facilities.

Are they reliable?

One of the most important qualities to look for in a moving company is reliability. A reliable company will provide all the key traits you are looking for.

  • Legitimate and insured;
  • Provide excellent customer service, treating your belongings with care and attention;
  • Will clear rates and conditions;
  • Will deliver on time; and
  • Will settle problems in a mutually beneficial manner.

So how do you find a well-rounded and reliable moving company? The best way to do this is by verifying the company’s credentials and performing extensive research on their background and reputation. Here’s how:

  • Read online reviews from former customers;
  • Contact the FMCSA’s safety violation and consumer complaints hotline to find out about complaints against your chosen movers;
  • Check the company’s rating with the BBB;
  • Find out if the company has won any awards for their services; and
  • Ask them to provide you with references and show you letters of recommendation.

For everything you need to know about moving, click here.

Top Reasons to Move Off-Season

When it’s time to move house, many opt for the warm and sunny months of summer. This is especially true for those with kids who are on summer vacation. While it may seem like the most convenient and favorable time to move, there are actually many benefits to relocating during the fall and winter seasons. Continue reading to learn some of the top reasons to move in the off-peak moving season.

Lower Moving Cost

There’s no doubt about it – moving is expensive. And with cost being such an important factor to most of us, any chance to save some cash can definitely be worth it. Whether you just need to rent a moving truck or plan to hire a moving company to help you move, rates of course vary. But did you know that using these services in the summer months will cost you much more? This is because summer is the peak time to move, which means there are less moving trucks and companies available. As a result, moving costs are higher. For a less costly move, the best time to move is in the off-seasons of fall and winter. During these times, moving companies lower their rates as much as 30%. Many also offer additional moving coupons and discounts for off-season moves. In a time where any extra money helps, these discounts and deals are very helpful.

More Efficient Movers

It’s a fact that people move and work better in cool weather than they do in hot. This is another reason why a fall or winter move can be beneficial to you. While many think colder weather obstructs us when moving, the opposite is actually true. The cooler and fresher air that comes with the fall and winter seasons helps us acquire more energy, and with more energy to burn, your moving crew will be much more efficient.

Safer and Faster Deliveries

Moving in summer means battling busy roadways – kids are out of school, people are traveling for vacation, and don’t forget, more people are moving so there are more trucks on the road. If you move in the off-peak season, you won’t have to deal with over-crowded streets. While many fear winter road conditions, choosing to relocate in the fall or winter can actually be safer due to less traffic, and can make for faster deliveries.

Increased Attention from Professional Movers

If you have ever been busy at work, you know that it is not always easy to spend enough time on each and every task or client. Well, this is something moving companies face too – especially during peak seasons. When moving companies are busy and their staff is stressed, they have less time to answer your questions and concerns. If you’d like more attention and time from your movers, you can definitely get it much easier during the off-peak seasons of fall and winter.

For more information on our moving services and rates, contact us today at (800).771.0151. Or, click here.

Important Steps to Take Post Moving Day

Prior to moving day, you have spent a great deal of time planning, organizing and packing. When the big day finally arrives and the moving truck pulls up ready for action, you are probably more than ready to get the long, strenuous and stressful day ahead of you overwith so you can kick back and de-stress in your new home. But once moving day has drawn to a close and you look around your new place at the piles upon piles of boxes towering around you, you will quickly realize that you’ve only completed half of the moving battle. Before your stress level starts to creep back up, here are some ways to make the process much easier.

Steps to Take

There are five steps to take to officially complete your move:

  1. Unpack
  2. Shop
  3. Update registrations
  4. Eliminate packing supplies
  5. Write a review

Unpack

As you look around your new home, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed and wonder where you should start the post-move process. The best way to start is to begin unpacking. It probably sounds torturous to unpack all those boxes you just packed, but it must be done. The bright side is that unpacking is typically much easier than packing.

While you can tear into any old box, it’s a good idea to start with any “open first” boxes that contain the essentials you will need during those first few days after your move. These items will typically include toiletries, chargers, and some clothes.

Another thing you want to unpack first is your bed/bedding. If your bed requires assembly, the more promptly you tackle this task, the better! The last thing you want after a long and exhausting day of moving is to prepare for bed then realize your bed isn’t together and you can’t figure out where you packed your bedding. So make these items at the front of your unpacking list.

When packing for your move, you were probably told to pack one room at a time for the most efficiency. While you can do this when unpacking, a wiser choice may be to unpack a bit of each room at a time. This way you can distribute your time and effort into putting away all of your must-haves first while you organize and set up your new space.

Shopping

Moving into a new place is exciting. You probably have all sorts of ideas about decorating and can’t wait to get started. But before you start buying everything you see, opt for the better option – to take it slow. Take the time to really consider what items your new home needs. This is especially true when picking out expensive items like furniture that are difficult to decide upon and even harder to take back.

Another thing to think about is this: just because your home is new to you doesn’t mean you should only fill it with new things. Consider using items you’ve placed in storage. If you have a lot of stored items, removing some to use in your new place could mean you can pay less for a smaller storage unit.

After-Move Updates

If you moved to a new state, there will be a number of extra things you will need to take care of that someone who moved locally won’t. These things include:

  • Finding a local supermarket, pharmacy, hospital, school/daycare, doctor and dentist.
  • Collect numbers to the ER and nearest hospital, and police and fire stations.
  • Register your vehicle.
  • Renew your driver’s license.

Eliminate Packing Supplies

Don’t wait until you have officially unpacked your last moving box to begin clearing out empty, or leftover, packing supplies. Instead, clear them out as you go. Some boxes can be broken down and stored for future needs, while others can be tossed in the recycling bin. You may also want to ask around to see if anyone nearby is in need of boxes and supplies and is willing to take them off your hands.

Write a Review

When your move is finally all said and done, and there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your new home, you should consider writing a review on the moving company you used. Doing this while your move is fresh on your mind will make the task much easier. It is also an excellent way to inform others who are in the process of moving about your experience.

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Essential Tips to Pack Your Shoes for a Move

Moving to a new home is one of the biggest steps you can take in your life. It will require a number of things to ensure you are well-equipped for the adventure ahead – a positive attitude, excellent organizational skills, sufficient savings, reliable moving assistance and quality packing supplies. But there’s one more thing needed to conquer the rocky steps to come … a good pair of shoes. As you already know, shoes are a necessity – every day and in every situation. This being said, you will need a reliable pair of shoes before, during and after your relocation. And just as you need to wear good shoes while moving, you also need to pack all of your shoes correctly so they will stay in good condition. To avoid smashing, tearing, breaking or deforming your footwear during your move, here are some essential tips to pack your soles the right way.

Tip 1: Sort your shoes
Before you can pack your shoes, you must first sort through them. This way you will know which pairs should be taken with you and which ones should be left behind.

  • First, put aside any worn out/damaged shoes that you can no longer wear. These shoes can be thrown away prior to your move.
  • Next, set aside any shoes that are in good condition but that you no longer wear, like shoes you have outgrown, formal shoes you no longer have a need for, outdated shoes, uncomfortable shoes, etc. There is no point in moving impractical footwear to your new home. The fewer items you relocate, the less time, packing materials and money will be wasted in the end.
  • Lastly, group all shoes you intend to take with you, according to their type – boots, flip-flops, high heels, sneakers, etc.

Tip 2: Prepare your shoes for packing
Once you have decided which shoes you intend to take with you, you will need to prepare them for packing.

Check for minor repairs. Before packing your shoes, you should inspect each pair for minor repairs. Minor repairs range from replacing zippers or soles to sewing up torn or loose sections. Then, go ahead and have them repaired. There are a few reasons why taking your shoes to a repair shop prior to your move is a good idea, but the main reason is because you may learn that a pair of shoes is not worth fixing. As a result, you may decide not to relocate them after all.

Clean your shoes. Cleaning each pair of shoes you intend to relocate is another good way to prepare them for a move. To do this, remove all dirt and dust. Also, remove any pebbles embedded in the soles, a problem that can harm delicate footwear.

Dry shoes. Packing shoes that contain moisture inside a moving box can lead to a moldy, smelly situation. To avoid this, it is strongly recommended to air out your shoes for a few hours before packing them. For shoes that are especially vulnerable to humidity (sports shoes, work shoes, leather shoes), you may also want to place crumpled paper inside each shoe to help fully absorb any moisture. You can also add powder to the insides to help draw moisture out of leather and other fabrics.

Stuff shoes with paper. Many believe that simply throwing your shoes into a moving box is an efficient packing method, but this can lead to damage. To help your shoes keep their shape and avoid being crushed during transportation, stuff them with paper. While packing paper is the ideal choice, you can also use any clean paper or soft fabric, like socks. Avoid messy items, like newspaper, which will leave behind ink stains.

For shoes/boots that go above the ankle, be sure to stuff them all the way to the top. For high heels, wrap the heels in bubble wrap to prevent them from breaking.

Use proper packing materials. For some, shoes may just be shoes, but for many, they are an investment – especially those with designer names. To preserve your investment during the moving process, you should provide your shoes with the best protection possible by using quality packing materials. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes may be fine for certain things, but for more expensive or valuable items, like pairs of shoes, you will need sturdy boxes, packing paper and quality packing tape.

Tip 3: How to pack shoes
Once you have accomplished the previous tips, you can now focus on how to pack your shoes. When packing shoes for a move, you should focus on two things: safety and efficiency. Here are some ways to make the packing process easier.

Set aside a pair of shoes for moving day. While packing your shoes, be sure to set aside a pair of shoes to wear on moving day. Be sure they have non-slip soles, will protect your feet, and also ensure safety and comfort.

Separately pack footwear you’ll need within the first few days post-move. They should be season-appropriate, good for running around town, and also provide comfort when unpacking your belongings.

Use boxes. The ideal way to pack is to wrap your shoes in packing paper and place them inside their original boxes. But if these boxes have long been thrown away, use small- to medium-sized boxes that are clean and strong enough to provide adequate protection. Once shoes are inside the appropriate box, seal the box with packing tape.

Another idea is to pack your shoes inside plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. Plastic containers will provide excellent protection from dust, dirt and external moisture.

Pack in pairs. To avoid a maddening hunt to locate a single shoe, always pack your shoes together as a pair.

Pack heavy shoes first. If packing several pairs of shoes in one box, be sure to place heavier ones on the bottom. Cover them with a protective layer of packing paper, then place lighter shoes on top.

Don’t overpack boxes. When piled together, shoes are quite heavy, so it’s important not to put too many pairs together in one box. Overpacked boxes will be too heavy and difficult to lift and carry, and may even crush under their own weight.

For more packing tips, click here.

Before Moving Out, Follow This Room-By-Room Cleaning Guide

Checklist - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)You’ve decided to make the huge commitment and move house. You’ve taken the necessary time to organize, plan and pack all of your belongings. But wait; isn’t there something you are forgetting to do? Before you carry out that last moving box and say goodbye to your home, you will need to clean it. After weeks of laborious moving preparations and exhausting moving tasks, the very idea of scrubbing floors, washing windows, etc. probably sounds like a nightmare – especially when you are leaving this particular home behind. But cleaning your property before you leave it for good is an important part of the moving process. Leaving your old home in tip-top condition will ensure you get your security deposit back if you are renting,and if you are selling, it will make the property more desirable to potential buyers. To make the cleaning process easier, check out our room-by-room clean-up guide below.

Bathroom(s)

  • Tiles. All bathroom tiles, from the floor to the shower wall, should be scrubbed with the appropriate cleaner – preferably one with bleach. Also, be sure to clean the grout betwcleaning bathroom - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)een the tiles. After you have scrubbed, rinse all areas well with clean water.
  • Tub and shower. Your tub and shower can acquire quite a bit of soap scum and mold, so make sure to put these spots on your must-clean list. Using a disinfectant, clean and rinse the tub, tub fixtures, shower rod, shower head and shower enclosures. If your shower curtain is fabric, throw it in the washing machine and reinstall, otherwise toss it.
  • Sink(s). Sinks collect a lot of slimy gunk and more, making them a major area to clean prior to moving out. Pay extra attention to the faucet(s) and handle(s). For a handy tool, try a toothbrush, which will make removing mold and stains in all of those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies much easier.
  • Toilet. The mere thought of cleaning the toilet may repulse you, but it must be done prior to moving out. Sanitize the toilet bowl, tank and seat; also wipe off the toilet paper holder.
  • Countertops, vanities and medicine cabinets. All of these places are hot spots for dust and grime. To clean them up, first remove all items from the shelves and drawers, and then wipe them down, inside and out, with a wet sponge. Also, clean any mirrors.

Bedrooms and Living Rooms

  • vaccuuming - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Clean windowsills, frames, tracks, casings, blinds and glass panels;
  • Clean sliding doors and screen doors, inside and out;
  • Wash or dry-clean curtains;
  • Clean out and wipe down furniture. Polish wood surfaces and steam clean upholstery;
  • Steam clean rugs and wash/polish tile and wood floors;
  • Wipe down air conditioners and vents to free them of dust. Replace air filter (if applicable);
  • Empty storage areas – closets, drawers and wardrobes, and clean them, inside and out.

Kitchen

  • Cabinets and drawers. All cabinets and drawers should be emptied and wiped clean with a sponge and mild cleaner. Remove old liners, and replace them with new ones once surfaces are fully cleaning kitchen - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)dry.
  • Countertops. Using warm, soapy water, along with disinfectant, wash countertops to remove any stains, residue, mold, bacteria and grime.
  • Glass. Make all glass surfaces – windows, doors, tabletops, etc. – shine with the help of specialized glass cleaner.
  • Sink and faucet. Using a powdered cleaning product or chlorine-free bleach, scrub the sink and faucet. If you have a garage disposal, use lemon slices to remove unpleasant odors that have accumulated.

If you are leaving any appliances behind, don’t forget that these items should be emptied and cleaned too. You will also want to move them away from the wall so you can clean the areas behind them, including the floor where they stood.

  • Refrigerator. Before cleaning the fridge, empty and defrost it. All drawers and shelves should be taken out and cleaned appropriately. The interior of the refrigerator should be cleaned as well. When fully dry, replace drawers and shelves. If the electricity will be turned off when you move out, leave the door open to prevent mold. You can also place a container with baking soda inside to absorb any odors.
  • Stove. To efficiently clean the stove, remove grills, oven racks and drip pans, and scrub them clean. For the interior, use steel wool along with a heavy-duty oven cleaner. *Note: wear thick gloves and ensure good ventilation while cleaning the oven. Oven cleaners, especially those with degreasing agents, can be harmful to the skin and respiratory system.
  • Dishwasher. Using a damp sponge and baking soda, wipe down all surfaces. Pay special attention to the filter, rubbers, inside and door, including the edges. For an extra clean, add a small cup of bleach to a cycle. This will help kill any bacteria inside the machine.
  • Microwave. An efficient way to clean your microwave is by placing a bowl of water with lemon juice in the microwave, then heating it on high for several minutes. Once finished, let it cool, and wipe down the inside with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Using a damp rag, also clean the exterior.
  • Sweep and mop. The final step to clean your kitchen before moving out is to sweep the floor to remove all dust and dirt. Then mop it for a deeper clean and shine.

For more moving guides from ABC Movers, click here.

Top Tips for a Smooth Relocation During a Severe Weather Evacuation

severe weather awareness - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Mother Nature brings many things, from beautiful rolling green hills to massive sunrises and sunsets. But while Mother Nature is fairly calm for the most part, she can also be quite fierce at times, blowing in with reckless abandon, causing destruction and devastation to whatever is in her path. While most times we can find safety from bad weather in a designated safe spot, there are times when weather conditions can become so severe we are required to evacuate our homes – even towns. So, what do you do when dangerous weather hits and you have to relocate? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about packing up and moving during dangerous weather.

Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit

Emergency Evacuation Supply Kit - PHOTO - ABC BLOGThe first thing you should do when evacuating is to prepare an emergency supply kit. It should include:

  • Bottled water: Water is our most vital resource, and you should have an adequate supply in your emergency supply kit. Each person needs one gallon of water per day. You need enough water in your kit to last each family member three days.
  • Non-perishable food: Food is another essential you will need during your evacuation, so stock up on non-perishable items. Example: soups, cereals, nuts, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, energy bars, etc. Also included in your supply kit should be food for babies, infants and/or pets. And don’t forget the can opener!
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, change of clothes: Be sure to pack enough of each of these things for all family members. Make sure to take the weather and temperature into account.
  • Prescription medicine/First-aid kits: Be sure to pack your emergency supply kit with all prescription medications. Also, include first-aid supplies, such as pain relievers, sterile bandages, antiseptic lotion, allergy meds, thermometer, etc.
  • Toiletries: Just as when you go anywhere overnight, you should bring along toiletries, like toilet paper, toothbrushes, soap and shampoo.
  • Tools: Another way to prepare your kit for your evacuation is by supplying it with basic tools – a pocket knife, hammer, pliers, duct tape, flashlight/spare batteries, matches and so on.

What to Take with You When Evacuating

If severe weather causes you to evacuate your home, or town, there are some things you should always bring with you – no matter what. Some essentials include:

  • Valuables: Any items that are truly valuable should never be left behind. This means things that are irreplaceable. Examples include: cash, bank cards, jewelry, expensive electronics, collectors’ items, family heirlooms and artwork.
  • Important documents: Even if pressed for time while getting ready to evacuate, it is a good idea to try and gather some of your most important documents first. These include:
    • Personal documents: IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, diplomas.
    • Financial documents: Banking information, investment papers, tax records.
    • Insurance documents
    • Medical records
    • Home deeds/other property needs
  • Pets: Your pets aren’t just important to you; they are valuable too. So, just as you are evacuating yourself and your family, don’t forget your precious pets. Be sure to bring their transportation carriers, and ensure they have their ID tags secured to them. Also, bring along food and water for them for the journey ahead.

What to Do Before Evacuating

When the time officially comes to evacuate your home, here are some of the important things you should do before leaving.

  • Prepare to evacuate using a planned evacuation route.
  • Start preparing for the evacuation as early as possible. This will help you avoid the risk of being on the road when bad weather strikes, as well as getting a jump-start on the traffic jams that are sure to form.
  • Ensure you don’t leave anyone or anything behind, from family members and pets to valuable items and documents.
  • Turn off the main water valve, switch off the electricity and stop the gas supply.
  • In case of flood, move prized possessions you are unable to take with you to higher ground.
  • Secure any loose objects inside your home – furniture, potted plants, etc.
  • Board up windows and doors.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Have your cell phone and charging cable handy.
  • Load your emergency supply kit and all valuables into your vehicle.

Other Thoughtsemergency movers - PHOTO - ABC BLOG

You may not have considered this, but if there is enough time before severe weather makes its debut, you can hire professional emergency movers to help you move your items out of harm’s way. Professional emergency movers will respond quickly and know how to handle emergency moves. They will also make it possible for you to move – and save – more of your possessions.

For more noteworthy moving tips, ABC Movers has what you need.

Prepare for Your Upcoming Move with This Week-by-Week Timeline

moving checklist - PHOTO (ABC)When preparing for something as big as moving house, it is important to be as organized as possible. One way is by creating a week-by-week moving checklist and sticking to it. Check out the following guide for help creating your own personal moving timeline – from eight weeks to one week prior to moving day.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 8

  • Decision time! Eight weeks prior to moving day is the optimal time to make that important decision – opt for a self-move or hire movers.
  • If you are currently renting, inform your landlord that you will soon be leaving the property, and begin your search for a new place in the city you are moving to.
  • Confirm with your current employer that you will be moving, and arrange your first day of work at your new job. Or, if you do not yet have a job in your new area, begin your search as soon as possible.
  • Create a moving budget so you will know roughly how much money you will need to organize and execute your upcoming move.
  • If you decide to use professional movers, being your search for a top-rated moving company that is affordable and professional.
  • Contact several moving companies and request an in-house estimation of your future relocation costs.
  • Inventory your home by making a detailed room-by-room list of all your possessions.
  • Review your home inventory list and decide which items you will take with you and which ones will be left behind.
  • Create a special binder to keep all of your moving-related paperwork.
  • Begin thinking about how you are going to pack your belongings.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 6

  • If you have opted for a self-move, begin strategizing your plans for renting a moving truck. Contact truck rental companies and compare prices and conditions.
  • Collect all medical records from your doctor and also from your pet’s vet. If you have school-aged children, now is the time to also obtain their school records. This is also a good time to take your pet(s) to the vet for a complete check-up, required vaccinations, and advice on the upcoming relocation.
  • Start looking for a new healthcare provider and a new school for your kid(s) in your future city. Be sure to ask around for suggestions and recommendations before the move takes place.
  • If your move is local, visit your soon-to-be home, and measure the dimensions of rooms and doorways. This will eliminate potential problems come moving day.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 4

  • If you will be having a self-move, four weeks prior to moving day is a good time to go ahead and contact your friends and family to ask them if they can help you move.
  • Begin collecting moving boxes of various sizes. Also, gather packing supplies, such as:
    • Bubble wrap
    • Tape
    • Markers
    • Packing paper
  • Learn what items your moving company forbids being transported due to their hazardous nature.
  • Cancel any subscriptions for delivery services and memberships to clubs/organizations.
  • Driving to your new home? Now is the optimal time to have your car serviced so your upcoming road trip goes smoothly.
  • If you are flying to your new home, you will need to find a trustworthy auto transporter to ship your car.
  • Arrange travel plans – book flights and hotels, collect important documents, etc.
  • Begin packing, being sure to label all of your boxes. This will make unpacking much faster and more efficient.
  • While packing, prepare one or two boxes/containers with all of the absolute essentials you will need during the time when you won’t have easy access to your belongings.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 2

  • Contact your chosen professional mover to ensure all plans are still in order.
  • If moving with kids, make a point to talk with them about the upcoming move. Discuss with them what is expected from them, and also use this time to calm down any fears they may have of the unknown ahead.
  • Contact your current utility companies to inform them of the date your services will need to be disconnected. Also, contact service providers in your new area, and arrange a connection date.
  • Consider how you will pack and ship any fragile or valuable items – artwork, paintings, antique furniture, and jewelry. For optimal protection, use appropriate packing techniques with materials that provide good cushion and padding, like bubble wrap and packing paper.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 1

  • Pay any remaining bills before your scheduled move-out date.
  • Begin disassembling large furniture – dressers, beds, desks, etc. Keep in mind, you may need help handling these tasks, so you will need to have enough time to find helpers.
  • If you have fallen behind in your moving schedule, seek aid from friends or professional movers.
  • Make a move-out cleaning checklist, and prepare all cleaning materials in advance.
  • Finish any last-minute organizing, packing and preparing for the big day ahead.

For all the moving tips and tricks you need to know, click here.

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.