Packing? Avoid mistakes with these tips.

moving, packing, moving mistakes, packing mistakes, moving boxesMoving to a new home involves a never-ending list of jobs to complete before moving day comes banging on the door. One moving task, in particular, that can put anyone’s patience and resourcefulness at stake is – you guessed it – packing! Continue reading “Packing? Avoid mistakes with these tips.”

Must-Know Tips When Moving into an Apartment

Deciding on a new place to live can be tough. House or apartment? One bedroom or two? City or suburbs? The possibilities are endless. If you’re considering moving into an apartment, there are a number of essential things to assess before making the big leap. For a successful apartment move, here are some must-know tips.

Choose an apartment based on your lifestyle. Choosing an apartment to live in involves much more than looking for big bedrooms and a nice layout – it also means taking numerous things into consideration, like location, convenience and even the neighbors. Moving into an apartment only to find out that it doesn’t meet your needs or lifestyle can be problematic. To avoid a potential nightmare of choosing the wrong place to live, always research all of your options, and be cautious when making a final decision.

Inspect and document pre-existing damage. Whether you purchased an apartment or are simply renting one, moving to a new residence that’s in need of repairs is going to be a burden to deal with. If you bought an apartment, it’s important to be aware of any issues that will need to be fixed quickly after moving in. This will allow you to plan ahead and create a budget.

If you are renting an apartment, be sure to inspect it carefully for any problems, and document any pre-existing damage. Not only will this provide you with a list of needs to give your landlord, but it will also provide evidence of the initial condition of the property so you won’t be held responsible for damages when the time comes to move out.

Understand your lease. When given a wordy document to read, like a lease, many just skim and sign where required. Unfortunately, not reading the fine print can lead to potential problems, so take the time to read your lease thoroughly. Sit down with your landlord and go over all terms and conditions. Discuss any clauses you fail to comprehend or terms you are uncomfortable with. Also ask about important issues, such as:

  • Available storage
  • Available parking spaces
  • Trash disposal location, dates and times
  • Maintenance hours

It’s also important to find out about any specific conditions that may cause the rent to increase, if there are extra fees for late payments, and if there are any penalties for breaking a lease early.

Assess the layout. Before moving into your new apartment, you want to assess the layout (and take measurements!) so you will know what belongings to pack and bring with you come moving day. This is an especially important step if you are moving to a smaller place. If you want to keep some of your belongings, but there’s just not enough space, knowing the exact dimensions of your new apartment will let you know which belongings you’ll need to move to a storage unit.

Coordinate deliveries. No, we’re not talking about pizza deliveries – although you will probably do a lot of those after you move in. What we are actually talking about here is furniture deliveries (or other large items). Some apartment buildings have strict rules about what days or times you can move in – this includes big deliveries, like a truck full of furniture. Before you assume any day or time is fair game, check with your landlord first. This will help you better arrange move-in times and deliveries so everything can be brought into your new place at the same time.

Learn the rules. Most apartments come with a set of rules to follow. Some may include:

  • Moving and parking fees
  • Pre-defined moving times
  • Elevator deposits
  • Accessibility of elevators/freight elevators
  • Cleaning requirements
  • Pet restrictions
  • Renovation projects
  • Safety regulations

Take care of paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork to take care of when moving, like changing your address with the post office, updating your car’s registration and insurance, voter’s registrations, etc. Handling these things before your move is ideal, but if you can’t tackle it ahead of time, just be sure you do it quickly after moving in. Some of these things may require you to take care of them within a specific deadline, and if you put it off for too long, you may have to pay a fine.

Prepare for emergencies. In the events of a disaster (fire, earthquake, etc.), exiting an apartment is much more difficult than getting out of a house. This being said, it is very important to learn the quickest and safest escape route, along with safe areas nearby to take shelter. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency kit strategically placed in your apartment in case of emergencies. Be sure to store a list of emergency numbers in your phone as well as place a written list of these numbers inside your emergency kit.

Moving into an apartment may seem difficult, but with these must-know tips, you can turn a stressful situation into a successful one. For more moving tips and tricks, ABC Movers is your number one source!

Important Documents to Collect Prior to Your Move

Considering the magnitude of the moving process, it can be a challenge to effectively plan and organize all of the complicated aspects of your approaching relocation, along with handling all of the laborious moving-related tasks. Along with key issues to take care of, like these, you also need to gather all of the necessary paperwork. All things considered, paperwork may seem like the simplest task to complete on your moving checklist, but it often proves to be more time-consuming and nerve-wracking than originally anticipated. Not only does collecting and organizing all records and papers need prior, during, and immediately after your relocation take time, effort and diligence, but you also need to keep it safe. It is important to keep in mind that procedures for issuing and/or updating documents can take a long time to complete, so preparing paperwork as early as possible is your best bet to eliminate any potential problems when moving day arrives.

Documents to Collect Pre-Move

While some of the documents you need to take with you when moving are already in your possession, some will need to be retrieved from different institutions. Here is a list of the documents you will need:

Personal IDs. Personal IDs include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Passports
  • Driver’s license
  • Social security cards
  • Marriage/divorce certificates
  • Military documents (I/A)

Be sure to gather all personal IDs for yourself as well as for each member of your family. Some of these documents will be needed during your relocation, so be sure to keep them on hand at all times.

Moving Documents. If your relocation includes hiring a moving company to transport your belongings, you will be provided with important moving documents. These include a signed contract, along with a binding estimate, inventory list, moving-guide pamphlets, etc. These documents will be needed frequently throughout the moving process, so keep them secure and easily accessible during your relocation until moving day. When moving day arrives, place all moving-related paperwork in a secure spot, such as a lockbox – just don’t leave it behind by mistake!

Financial Documents. Financial documents include:

  • Credit cards
  • Bank statements
  • Savings account statements
  • Bank transaction statements
  • Income tax papers
  • Tax receipts
  • Tax deduction bills
  • Loan papers

Be sure to keep all financial documents in a designated folder and away from potential prying eyes. Also, keep track of all moving receipts because moving-related expenses can be used for tax deductions at the end of the year.

Property Documents. If you are moving into a home you purchased and/or out of one you sold, you will have a mountain of property-related documents to keep up with, such as:

  • Selling and buying agreements
  • Lease copies
  • Mortgage documents for new and old homes
  • Property insurance policies
  • Auto insurance cards
  • Registration documents of motor vehicles

Medical Records. To keep everyone healthy, it’s important to visit your doctor shortly before your move so you can obtain all medical documents needed post-move Also, be sure to transfer all prescription medications, and obtain dental records from your dentist’s office. If you have pets, you’ll also need to retrieve copies of veterinary records and vaccination certificates.

School Records. If you have kids, don’t forget to collect their school records. This is important because you will need them to enroll your kids into new school systems after the move. If your child is applying for college, be sure to request certified copies of his/her school transcripts.

Documents Needed When Moving Abroad

If you are moving abroad, you will need to gather a somewhat different set of documents. They include:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa and work permit
  • International health insurance policy
  • Immunization records
  • Pet information and vaccination certificates
  • Emergency contact list, including the address and contact details of the U.S. embassy in your new country

It is also a good idea to obtain an apostille stamp on all important documents (birth certificates, marriage certificates, degree certificates, professional licenses, etc.) when moving abroad. This will assure foreign officials and government agencies that your documents are legit.

For everything you need to know about your upcoming move, ABC Movers can help. Click here to visit our blog or contact us at 800.771.0151.

Welcome New Neighbors to the Block with These Simple Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Move Your Piano Safely and Efficiently

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simple Steps to Pack Framed Photos

simple steps to pack framed photos - blog PHOTOWhen packing your home for a move, you will run into many breakable items. These types of things can be difficult to pack – especially framed photos. To make this task easier, follow this step-by-step guide.

Materials Required. First, and foremost, before you begin packing, you must acquire all the necessary materials. You’ll need:

  • moving boxes
  • wrapping paper / bubble wrap
  • strong packing tape
  • permanent marker

Boxes can be purchased through a moving company or salvaged via friends and local shops. You can also opt for moving boxes designed specifically for framed photos and art – these boxes can be divided into two or four sections.

Also, be sure to get boxes that are larger than the objects you intend to place inside. This way, there will be enough empty space at the top of the box to fill with packing paper or bubble wrap for extra protection.

Once you have obtained all of the necessary materials, follow these steps to ensure all fragile items are properly packed.

1. Clear a space. There’s nothing worse than trying to do something in the middle of a mess, so clear a work space and spread packing paper and bubble wrap flat. Position your framed photo directly onto the packing paper, then wrap it well by covering all areas. If only using packing paper, wrap your picture in several layers. Otherwise, wrap bubble wrap around the first layer of packing paper to ensure it’s well protected.

2. Tape around the photo. Once wrapped, using strong packing tape, wrap around the entire paper-protected frame. This will provide the glass with extra protection so it is less likely to break.

3. Mark it. To make future unpacking easier, use a permanent marker to mark the glass side of the wrapped frame.

4. Fill the bottom of the box. Before placing any wrapped items into a box, first fill the bottom of the box with crumpled paper to provide a protective layer. Then, place your wrapped frame into the box. If adding more to the box, be sure to add a layer of crumpled paper between each frame.

5. Finish off with paper. Before closing the box, finish off the last bit with more crumpled paper to prevent items inside from shaking while being transported.

6. Tape and secure. Once your box is complete, tape your box closed. Secure it further by taping around all edges of the box. Ensure tape it pulled tight with no risk of coming loose.

7. Label. Using a permanent marker, clearly label your box – on top and on all sides. Use words like “fragile” or “breakable” so movers will know to be careful.

8. Load it. When loading any boxes filled with framed photos, it’s a good idea to position these boxes vertically. This will evenly distribute pressure throughout the surface of the box and breaking will be prevented.

For more helpful tips and tricks, click here.

Avoid Losing Items During Your Move With These Must-Use Packing Tips

Blog 4 PHOTO“Where did I pack my favorite coffee mug? I can’t live without it!” … “O.M.G. – I left my iPad behind!” … “Where are my photo albums? I know they were placed in the moving truck!”

No matter how much care you take while packing, it never fails, something always manages to get lost or misplaced during a move. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are many ways to minimize the chance of losing things during your move. But, the number one way is to be organized. Here’s how.

Pack One Room At A Time. Before you start packing, first consider your packing style. Are you someone who likes to put all of your things neatly into a box? Or, are the type who grabs an armload of things and dumps them straight into a box? If you’re the dumb-into-a-box packer, this tip is definitely for you!

One of the most efficient ways to pack is to pack one room at a time. This may sound like it will take too much time and effort, but it will pay off greatly on the day of the big move – as well as the days of unpacking that follow it. A good pre-packing prepping tip is to place several empty boxes – and packing materials – in each room of your soon-to-be-vacant home. Then start at one point in your room and work your way around until everything is packed.

Cables/Wires/Cords. TV cables. Computer wires. Phone chargers. The list of cables, wires and cords we accumulate is never ending! As easy as these things get misplaced in our homes, they are just as easy to lose during a move. So what’s the solution? Bags! Bags! And more bags! For every electronic device you own, place all corresponding cords inside a labeled, zip-lock bag; then tape it directly to the device. This way, when you go to set up your computer or use your iPad after the move, you’ll know exactly where everything is.

Make a Master List. For this tip, you may have to break your OCD loose, or officially activate it. As you prep for your move, there is never a better time to become a master list maker. While packing, write each and every thing you place inside each box on your master list; also write down which room each box belongs in when moved to your new home. This way, you have control over what and where everything will go inside your new place when the actual moving takes place.

Label Everything. If you’ve never been someone who labels things, it is now the time to become a labeling machine. And no, you don’t need a label maker – the average sharpie will suffice!

While packing, clearly label each box with the name of the room it is to go in in your new place. (Be sure to label the top and all sides of the box, too!) Also, label each box with “this end up” (drawing arrows can also be helpful) or “fragile”. This way every box will be handled properly and there’s a lessened chance that your stuff will get broken.

For more moving tips and tricks, click here.