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.

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.

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.

Tips for a Manageable Holiday Move

A move is always stressful, whether big, small, long distance or local. But planning a move during the holidays takes moving stress to a whole new level – especially if you have kids. Is it actually possible to pack boxes, organize and clean your home, shop for presents and decorate for the holidays all at the same time? Well, some things may have to take a backseat during the moving madness, but with our helpful tips, moving during the holidays will be much more manageable.

Find a Moving Company for the Holiday Move

If you want to focus more on the holidays and less on the stress of your move, then opting for professional movers is the ideal choice. Not only can they tote and haul your belongings, they can also pack for you. Win-win. But, as you know, the holidays are a busy time, and this can make it much harder to find professional movers that are available to help you move – especially if your move falls during the week Ol’ Saint Nick heads to town. With personnel asking for time off during the holidays, moving companies often run short on staff. As a result, they aren’t as able to take your business, and it may also cause moving costs to increase. The best solution to finding efficient and trustworthy movers is to contact moving companies ASAP.

Research Your Holiday Moving Company

To keep your sanity during a holiday move, it’s basicallya must to hire a licensed and insured moving company. While you may be too busy to think during such a hectic time, it’s important to take the time to research your movers before actually booking them. Christmas is a time of giving, but unfortunately, many use the holidays as a time of taking – like rogue movers who are purely in the business of scamming you. To choose a reputable holiday moving company, and avoid scams, here are some tips:

  • Check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Here you can find out if your selected moving company is registered and licensed.
  • Run a check on your moving company via the check Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
  • Ask family, friends, neighbors, etc. for recommendations on moving companies they’ve used in the past.
  • Read reviews and testimonials online from former customers.

Prepare Your Kids

A holiday move can be a tricky situation when kids are involved. Youngsters love the holiday season – the games and all the activities. But moving during this time can cause them stress. Teens don’t want to leave their friends, and little ones worry that Santa won’t be able to find their new home. To ease anxiety, talk with your child(ren) and prepare them about the events to come. Encourage them to get involved in the holiday relocation. Have them help pack. Discuss the exciting opportunities waiting for them at the new home. And, most importantly, ensure little ones that Santa knows exactly where their new house will be.

Pack for the Move

The holiday season is typically spent with family and friends – grabbing coffee, window shopping, decorating the tree, attending parties, and more. But when your holiday plans include moving house, many of these cheerful events get bumped aside, leaving you staring down the barrel of moving box after moving box. Cheer up! Make packing fun by inviting friends to come help. Just throw on some Christmas tunes, serve a tasty treat and a good time will be had by all. What’s more fun than friends, music and sugar?

No Involvement Holiday Move

Want to ditch the packing, unpacking, moving day and stress of it all? Well, there is a way around the burdens that come with a holiday move. Sounds amazing, right? To tame the lust-filled gleam in your eyes, here’s how: hire a full-service moving company. Many professional moving companies offer luxury moving services that require no involvement from you – except covering the final bill, that is.

If you decide to opt for these high-end services, you will leave everything to the moving company. They will do all the packing, loading, moving, driving, unloading and unpacking of all of your belongings. They will even set up your items in your new home to mimic that of your previous home so when you and your family get back from holiday vacation, you can pull up to your new place and truly feel right at home.

A holiday move may be a time of chaos, but with these helpful tips, you can tame the mayhem down a few notches. For more moving-related tips and tricks, click here.

Top Tips for a Winter Move (Part 1 of 2)

 

The winter season is quickly rolling in. For many, this means frigid temperatures, icy rain and snowfall that grows from a few flakes to a mountainous pile outside the front door. One activity that can be hard to accomplish in winter is moving. In fact, a winter move is the toughest type of relocation there is. But it is not always avoidable. If you are planning to move this winter, it is a good idea to prepare ahead of time for the tasks to come. Here are some tips to make your winter move a success.

1. Consider Your Options

Due to the harsh conditions brought on by winter, it should come as no surprise that moving during this time poses many risks. If you are moving locally, you may be considering a do-it-yourself move. This means packing – and transporting – all of your belongings by yourself or with the help of friends, family and a rental truck. While a DIY move is pretty straightforward, the problem is that winter weather is unpredictable, changing from mild to severe in the blink of an eye. When it comes to planning ahead for a winter move, the weather forecast will be your most valuable source. If the forecast says you will be hit by a blizzard on the day of your move, don’t risk it! Instead, opt for a reputable moving company that is trained to deal with cold weather conditions.

2. Hire Professionals

When moving to a new home, you have two choices: do it yourself or hire professional movers. First, consider all aspects of a winter move, and then decide which route is best for you and your family. A self-move can be gratifying and also cost less; however, attempting to move yourself under winter conditions is generally not worth the risk of personal injuries, property damage or harm to valuable possessions. Hiring professional movers will eliminate all of these risks.

Hiring professional movers also comes with several more benefits. Here are a few of them.

Excellent Prices: You may not know this, but moving in winter is much cheaper than during other times of the year. Most people choose to move in summer, which escalates prices of moving companies. But during the off-season of winter, prices drop significantly, which means great savings for you.

Experienced Movers: Along with lower prices, moving in winter also comes with the advantage of getting the most experienced movers for your relocation. What does this mean exactly? Well, during busy times, like summer, moving companies often have to hire more movers just to keep up with consumer demands. This can lead to less experienced helpers being hired so the company will have enough hands for all of its jobs. But in winter, less jobs are available to moving companies, which means you are guaranteed to always get the most experienced movers available.

Negotiations: Since the winter season can be such a slump for moving companies, many are more likely to be negotiated into an even lower rate. This means a chance for additional discounts, a larger range of moving services, free packing materials, and more.

3. Pack for Cold Weather

Are you a good packer? Are you efficient at wrapping and labeling boxes, etc? If you answered yes, that’s great – and it will make for a much more successful moving experience. But, as wonderful a packer as you may be, there is something you may not have considered before, and that’s packing for winter verses summer, or other milder season. The main difference when packing between these two seasons is that temperature plays a very big factor in how certain possessions should be packed. While your home may be warm, outside temperatures can drop extremely low, even inside a moving truck. As a result, delicate and fragile items are put at a high risk of being damaged or broken – especially when in transit. Some items to keep in mind when packing for a winter relocation, include:

  • Plants
  • China and glassware
  • Musical instruments
  • Antique furniture
  • Electronic equipment

For more important tips for your winter move, continue on to our next blog!

Moving Costs: How Much Money Should You Save?

So, it’s time to move. Whether it’s for a job, because you don’t like your current landlord or neighbors, or just because you want a change, the prospect of moving can be quite appealing. But before you start picking out furniture for a new place you haven’t even found yet, it’s important to truly consider the many aspects that are involved in a move. One very important thing to consider before jumping into a commitment is whether you are emotionally ready to part with your old life and financially comfortable to afford a relocation. When moving house, costs add up quickly. You need to be able to cover these costs without difficulty in order to have a smooth, stress-free moving experience. But, how much money do you need to be prepared to move? It all depends on a number of things, such as:

  • The living costs in your new area;
  • The amount of items you’ll need to purchase for your new place; and
  • The size of your move, including the distance from your current to new home.

To figure out how much you will need to save in order to afford all of the moving expenses required, continue reading.

Housing

Housing expenses will typically be your largest financial challenge when moving to a new home.

Renting 

If you decide to rent an apartment or house, you will be required to provide several things, including:

Safety Net: Before you sign a lease for a new home, you are strongly encouraged to save enough money to cover at least three months’ rent – even more if you don’t have a steady income at the time of your move.

Security Deposit: When renting, you will be required to put down a security deposit at the time you sign your lease. Security deposits are typically the same amount as one month’s rent. One potential perk here is that you will be able to get your security deposit back after you move out. However, you will only get all of your money back if you leave the rental property in just as good of condition as when you moved in.

Management Fees: When renting a home, you will be charged for a background/credit check. This will add up to another $50 you will have to be able to hand out on the spot.

Buying

If you decide to buy a home, the initial costs are much, much more than that of renting. This being said, you will need to have a lot of dough saved before the idea of purchasing a home is even an option. To avoid extra fees like mortgage insurance, you will need to have saved 20% of the final cost of the home you are buying.

Whether you rent or buy, be sure the monthly rent or mortgage does not exceed 25%-30% of your disposable income. Otherwise, you run a dangerous risk of enduring serious financial difficulties.

Utilities

When you relocate to a new home, you will need to have all of the utilities turned on. These include gas, water, electricity, etc. If you like entertainment, you will also want to install extra utility services, like cable and internet. Utility costs depend on the area you live in as well as the size of your home. Also note that there are often extra connection and transfer fees you will be required to pay in order to have these services turned on.

It is a good idea to contact service providers in your future area before moving in order to get an estimate of what your monthly bills will be. In turn, you get a better idea of your total monthly expenses.

Moving Expenses

Moving house equals moving expenses – to hire movers, to buy packing supplies, and so on. These costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the distance to your new home, the size of your move and the moving assistance you require.

DIY Move: A do-it-yourself move is definitely the cheapest option when moving house. But keep in mind that a DIY move is only possible if you rent a moving truck and have reliable friends and/or family to help you. It is also, usually, only possible when moving locally. If you do opt to move by yourself, you will still need to pay for several things, such as:

  • Rental truck (and fuel)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Road tolls, parking fees, and meals and lodging, if applicable
  • Moving boxes, packing tape, packing paper, moving dollies, etc.

Professional Movers: Hiring professional movers may be more costly than a DIY move, but it is definitely the more worthwhile choice. Experienced movers have specialized moving equipment, plus the required know-how to perform an efficient and safe relocation. When moving locally, you will be charged on an hourly basis. For long-distance moves, relocation costs are based on the total weight of your items and the distance to your new home.

For a FREE price quote based on your moving needs, contact ABC Movers.