Affordable Movers: How to Find Them

When a home move is on the horizon, you will quickly see how many things need to be accomplished before your relocation date arrives. This being said, you will most likely want to find a moving company to help make the process easier. While this is a great idea, moving is far from cheap, which can make the idea of shelling out extra money to movers hard to do. But what if we told you there are ways to find movers that are not only affordable but also reliable too? If you are in need of movers but are on a tight budget, here are some ways to find a company that is actually affordable:

Look Early

As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm.” This is especially true when looking for a moving company. The earlier you start looking for movers, the greater the chance of securing a company that is both reliable and affordable. You will also:

Have a larger choice. The cheaper the rates a moving company offers, the quicker they are booked. Waiting until the last minute to find a low-cost moving company will prove difficult. So push the procrastinator tactics away and start your search in advance. By looking for movers several months before your relocation date, there will be many experienced and trustworthy moving professionals available.

Get a discount. By simply booking a moving company early, you could be eligible for a discount. This is because the goal of most moving companies is to secure as many jobs as possible in advance. By doing so, they are often willing to drop prices to draw in business.

Have more flexible scheduling. When you plan your relocation in advance, you will have the ability to set your moving date during less busy moving times, such as:

  • Off-peak moving season (September to May)
  • Less busy times of the month (second and third weeks of the month)
  • Weekdays

Consider Local Movers

When the safety of your personal possessions and valuables is at stake, many choose to hire a big, reputable, and nationwide moving company. This is because large moving companies are less likely to commit fraud or overcharge you at the end of your move. But don’t dismiss smaller moving companies. Because small moving companies rely mainly on moving jobs within their immediate areas, they work hard to gain the trust of locals; they also offer lower prices in order to attract more customers. When your goal is to find the most affordable movers, it will definitely be worth your time to consider small, local movers instead of big moving chains.

Get Recommendations

When on the hunt for a moving company, it’s crucial to do your search before booking. This way you can ensure you find movers that meet all of your must-have qualities (reliability, trustworthiness, professionalism, affordability).

Every moving company out there will claim to be the best, but what’s most telling is what others say about them. Asking for recommendations from family and friends is a great way to find a moving company that will satisfy you. If several people praise the same movers, this is a huge indication that they are a company that does a good job and you too will be happy with their service.

Another way to find worthy movers is by searching trustworthy websites like Yelp.com. Here you will be able to read genuine reviews from real customers and gain insight into the type of service a moving company provides.

Get In-Home Estimates

After gathering recommendations, you will need to get estimates from several companies in order to find the best rate. It’s important to keep in mind that any estimates you get online or over the phone are never truly accurate. For an accurate moving estimate, you will need to have a representative from each company you are considering hiring to come to your home for a visual survey of your belongings. During this in-home survey, you will be able to:

  • Show the representatives everything you intend to relocate (number, size, type of items);
  • Provide them with all relevant information (specific handling requirements, possible obstacles) needed for them to perform a smooth move;
  • Discuss the details (date, time, liability coverage) of your relocation.

Even if you like the first estimate you’re given, be sure to get a few more from other companies. Be sure to get a written binding estimate, to avoid price changes later.

If you receive an offer that is too good to be true, it probably is, so proceed with caution. This could be a sign of rogue movers who are just out to scam you.

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

Celebrating 10 Years in Business

 

We at ABC Movers wish to express our sincere appreciation to our employees and customers for their loyal support as we celebrate our tenth year in business. When our company was founded in 2007 with just two employees, we could hardly foresee our growth to a national national company with a staff of 3,000 within ten years. We could not have come this far without the loyal support and hard work of each member of the ABC team.

To further show our appreciation, when enlisting our services, just mention the following code to receive $50 off your move: 10Y50OFF.

To help celebrate ten years of helping YOU move, here are 10 fun facts about moving in the United States!

  1. Friday is the most scheduled moving day.
  1. The busiest time of year to move is during the month of August.
  1. The least busy time of year to move is during the month of February.
  1. Two of the most popular cities to move to in Texas are Austin and Houston.
  1. An estimated 43 million Americans move house each year.
  1. An estimated 33% of all moves are into apartments or multi-family homes.
  1. Local moves make up two-thirds of all moves.
  1. An estimated 40% of all moves are due to job promotions or transfers.
  1. The average person moves 12 times during their lifetime.
  1. On average, people schedule their move 42 days in advance with their chosen moving company.

Job Relocation: Should You Do It?

Being at a crossroads in life can sprout a lot of feelings. Two, in particular, being confusion and disorientation. This is mostly due to the fact that it’s impossible to know which path ahead of you will lead to success. It is especially difficult to make a decision on which course to take when a career opportunity requires you to move across the country. While you’ll feel lots of happiness because your professional skills have been appreciated, along with plenty of excitement at the chance to advance your career, you will also face some what-ifs that will cloud your judgement. It will be hard to imagine leaving favorite places and special people behind. Not to mention the prospect of packing and moving your entire household can sound extremely difficult. This will be especially challenging if you have to relocate your whole family.

What to do? When making such a life-altering decision on whether to stay or go, first weigh the pros and cons. Here are some important questions to consider:

  1. Will you receive a considerable financial boost as a result of a higher income?
  2. Can you envision yourself advancing in your career and working for many years for the company in question?
  3. Is your job stable enough? And if something goes wrong, will it be possible to find another job in the new city?
  4. Will you be able to improve your skills, knowledge and competence, as well as learn new things and acquire considerable experience?
  5. Is the overall atmosphere and attitude of the company encouraging, appealing and pleasant?
  6. Will overall living conditions improve for you and your family?
  7. Will you be able to afford the living costs of your new city?
  8. Will your significant other be able to go with you and also be able to find good employment in the new city?
  9. Will the new environment be beneficial to your children in terms of education, recreational activities, friendships, etc.?
  10. Besides work, what opportunities does your new city offer?

Along with job-related factors, there are also a number of other things to consider before taking the relocation plunge. Here’s a closer look:

Cost of Living. As previously mentioned, you must carefully research the economic situation in your potential new area. This includes the costs of utilities, transportation, food, medical care, insurance, taxes, and other relevant amenities. All of these costs should be compared to those of your current living conditions. Though you may want to move for a better-paying job, if your new city is very expensive, it may turn out to have negative effects on your finances.

Housing. Another major concern to consider before relocating for a job is housing. First, you will need to deal with your current housing situation – mortgages, leasing issues, deposits, etc. For instance, if you are currently renting a home, you will need to end it in an appropriate way with your landlord. If you own your current home, you will need to either sell it or lease it.

Next, you will need to research the real estate market in your future city. You will need to choose a neighborhood that’s suitable for you and your family – whether it be a place you rent or buy.

Timing. As the saying goes, timing is everything. So before you can say yes to a job relocation, you will need to consider if it is a good time to do so – in terms of your current commitments, your spouse’s current job, your children’s schooling, lease agreements, ongoing renovation projects, previously planned trips or vacations, and so on.

Lifestyle. Depending on how far away your job relocation takes you, you may encounter somewhat of a culture shock. Your new surroundings may cause you to encounter different points of view, attitudes, daily routines, and even unique traditions or unusual social norms. In some instances, the cultural background and established etiquette of your new community may clash with your previous lifestyle. Is this something you will be able to handle?

Weather. There is a good chance that relocating to a new state for your job will put you in different climatic conditions. If it does, will you enjoy the weather? It can be very hard to adjust to a colder, very humid or incredibly hot climate. A sudden change can even lead to health issues – allergies, more colds, etc.

One more thing

There is one more thing you should truly consider when a job relocation is up for grabs – the consequences of not accepting the opportunity. Will you miss the chance of a promotion, of expanding your skills or having a job you really love? Will you neglect the possibility to improve your living standard? Will you deny your children the chance to study and develop in a better environment? If the results of not moving will be mostly negative, then it is probably a good idea to gear up and prepare for a job relocation.

For more tips on moving, check out our blog for everything you need to know.

Top 5 Items Damaged When Moving and How to Protect Them

When preparing for a move, you will spend a fair amount of time packing. Each and every item you own will need to be wrapped and boxed in a way that will keep them safe during their transport from old home to new. Failure to do so will result in your belongings being broken or damaged. Before you start packing, it’s a good idea to make a game plan. First, figure out which items are fragile and will be easily broken during your move. Then, gather the appropriate packing supplies that will keep all of your breakables safe.

So which items should you pay extra attention to? Here’s a list of the top five items most easily damaged items during a move, and how to protect them.

1. Drinking Glasses

Considering they are made out of glass, it makes sense that drinking glasses are the #1 most easily damaged item when moving house. So how can you pack them in a way that will ensure you won’t be left with a box full of broken glass? First, individually wrap each glass in packing paper. Then:

  • Place the glass horizontally on packing paper.
  • Grab a corner of the packing paper and roll the glass into the paper. Be sure to tuck the sides of the paper in (imagine wrapping a burrito).
  • Repeat these steps 3-5 times (depending on the thickness of the glass) with more sheets of packing paper.
  • Label each glass so it doesn’t get tossed aside in the packing paper madness that will occur later during the unpacking process.

Once your glasses have been wrapped, you’ll want to ensure you use the appropriate moving box. “Dishpack” boxes are made with double thick walls that create extra protection, which make them perfect for packing all sorts of breakable dishes and glassware. With your box in front of you, crumple packing paper and place it in the bottom of the box. This will provide a protective cushion. Then, place each wrapped glass vertically in one layer inside the box. After completing the first layer, place packing paper on top, and then repeat layers until the box is full.

*If there is any remaining space left in the box, fill it with crumpled packing paper.

2. Plates

Running neck and neck with the most easily damaged item when moving, is plates. The main reason for plates breaking during a move is that most don’t put enough packing paper in each box to adequately protect them. Luckily, wrapping plates takes basically the same steps as wrapping glasses:

  • First, wrap each plate individually in packing paper.
  • Repeat this step 3-5 times with more sheets of packing paper until the plate is properly secured and cushioned.
  • Label each plate.
  • Using dishpack boxes, cushion the bottom of the box’s interior with crumpled packing paper.
  • Place each wrapped plate vertically (not flat!) inside the box.
  • Then follow the rest of the steps listed above in the section about how to pack wrapping glasses.

3. Artwork

Whether you have artwork that is valuable, or even something you made yourself, you want to ensure all pieces are protected during your move. The best way to keep your artwork safe is by using a picture box. First, line the bottom of the box with crumpled packing paper. Then, place your artwork inside the box, keeping it securely in place by stuffing more paper in the front and back, and along the top. You can also use bubble wrap. The point is to make sure whatever is inside the box doesn’t shake, rattle or move during shipment.

4. Lampshades

Due to their awkward shape and often large size, lampshades are another item that can be hard to pack, putting them at a high risk of being damaged during a move. If not packed properly, they can easily be dented or torn. What to do?

  • Wrap the lampshade in bubble wrap. Be sure to cover every inch of the shade.
  • Fill the interior cavity of the shade with packing paper. Avoid using newspaper, because the print can rub off onto the shade.
  • Place the shade inside a properly-sized moving box and fill it with packing paper to keep the shade from shifting around inside.
  • Do not place anything else inside the box, especially on top of the shade. This even includes light items, like linens or clothes.

5. Liquid Cleaning Supplies

A spill that occurs inside of a box during a move can be awful – especially if the spill involves liquid cleaning supplies. These types of liquids can leak and damage items both inside and outside of the box. To avoid this, be sure all bottles of liquid are sealed properly when packed. To do this:

  • Remove the cap of each bottle and place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening.
  • Tightly screw the cap back on.
  • Tape the outside of the cap to the bottle to further seal and secure it.

To pack your liquid cleaning supplies:

  • Choose a box that is small and secure its bottom with tape. For optimal security, run the tape in multiple directions across the bottom.
  • When the box is full, place packing paper around the bottles to stop them from shifting.
  • Tape the top of the box so it doesn’t open and spills its contents during transport.
  • Finally, be sure to label all boxes.

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

Packing Tips for a Fast Move

Packing for a move is never fun. Not only does it take lots of sorting and organizing, but it’s also very time-consuming. So what do you do when you are only given a few days to have your entire home packed and ready for a move? Your first instinct will be to panic. Defeating thoughts like, “There’s no way!” will zip through your head at rapid speed. But wait just a second. Take a deep breath and tamp down the panic. When pressed for time and faced with such a laborious and time-consuming task, your first step is to take advantage of that time. Although time is not in your favor, there are ways to expand it in order to accomplish everything on your moving to-do list. Check out the fast packing tips below to learn how to pack for a move in just a few days.

Basic Tips for Quick Packing

As soon as you push aside that initial panic of having to move house in just a few days, you can focus on the task at hand – packing. And packing quickly. But how? Here are some proven packing tips to abide by when moving in a hurry:

Start immediately. When there’s a very limited amount of time until moving day, your best bet to get everything done in time is to start packing immediately. When every second counts, avoiding procrastination and other delays is the key to success.

Leave things behind. Packing is time-consuming, and the more belongings you have to pack, the longer the process will take. To save some much-needed time, limit the number of items you have to pack. Not only will time be saved, but money will, too, because your final moving cost will be lower.

Know what not to pack. Professional movers transport a lot of items. But there are some they do not. Before your movers show up, go ahead and get a list of the non-allowable items. This way you won’t waste time and supplies packing something you’ll be forced to leave behind.

Create a packing schedule. You may think that taking the time to create a packing schedule will only waste the limited time you have, but the opposite is actually true. By spending some extra time to create a detailed packing schedule, you will save time when you start packing. Instead of packing random items in a random manner, a detailed timeline will provide you with a reliable guide that will keep you focused, motivated and well-organized from start to finish.

Get enough packing supplies. It’s impossible to pack your belongings without the appropriate supplies. So when collecting your materials, be sure to get everything you need in one trip. This will eliminate wasted time by having to stop packing to go purchase more supplies.

Get help from family and friends. Moving is a huge job that requires a lot of helping hands. Packing for a move that’s just a few days away … well, that requires even more help. To ensure you meet your moving deadline, ask for assistance from family and friends. A bonus is that it will provide you with the opportunity to spend more time together before the move.

Detailed Tips for Quick Packing

Now that you know the basics of how to pack quickly, here are more details on how to shed even more time off your packing timeline.

Have everything ready. Before you even begin the process of packing up your home, it is a good idea to already have everything set up and ready. To do this, create a packing station. At your station, keep all items in one spot. This way, you won’t waste time running around hunting down supplies. Clutter will slow down your packing progress, so try and keep your station clean and organized to achieve optimal time.

Leave drawers full. When it’s time to pack items in dressers and chests, your initial instinct is probably to empty all drawers and cabinets. But doing this requires a lot of time emptying the drawers and cabinets, and organizing and packing all the content. Here’s a tip: Before opening a single drawer or cabinet, stop and leave everything as is. Leaving your drawers full will save a lot of time during a fast-paced move.

Just make sure:

  • The furniture piece is not too heavy to lift or carry when items are left inside;
  • There are no fragile items inside the furniture;
  • You use preventative measures tokeep items inside drawers safe – foam sheets, crumpled newspaper, etc.;
  • You secure all doors and/or drawers so they don’t open during transport.

Use rolling suitcases. If you own any rolling suitcases, put them to use while packing because they make the perfect place to hold a number of heavy belongings. One thing, for instance, is books. With their wheels and handle, you can easily transport your books without putting a strain on your back. It will also save some of your precious cardboard moving boxes so they can be used for other items.

Use resealable plastic bags. Organizing small items requires a great deal of time – time you can’t afford to spare when packing in a hurry. In order to save time and keep small items in one spot, resealable plastic bags are a great thing to have on hand.

Important Tip

When time is of the essence, you, of course, want to cut corners. But one task you should absolutely spend extra seconds on is labeling your moving boxes. This will help keep the packing process much more organized and will save you mountains of trouble post-move.

For all your must-known packing tips, click here.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Moving House

Some decisions in life are easy, like what to eat for lunch or what to watch on TV. Some decisions, on the other hand, are not so simple. One, in particular, is moving house. The process of moving house is filled with levels of stress-inducing situations, puzzling complexities, and also confusion. So before you decide to go through such an ordeal, it’s important to thoroughly consider all aspects of a move before committing to it.

To help finalize your decision on whether or not to move house, there are many important questions to ask yourself. By asking yourself questions, and finding answers to them, you will get a much clearer picture of the moving adventure ahead of you, and it will also make the whole moving process easier. So what questions should you ask? Continue reading to find out!

Question #1: Is it the right time to move?

There are all sorts of reasons why you may be considering a home move – your house is too small or too big, you have found a job in another state, you want to move closer to family, and so on. In order to have a successful and less stressful move, timing is crucial. So before you jump into a move, first ask yourself this: Is it the right time to move?

Question #2: Can I afford to move? Moving isn’t cheap. In fact, after buying supplies, putting down deposits, and hiring movers, it can cost quite a lot. With this said, it makes sense that a crucial question to ask yourself is whether you can afford to move. So be sure to set up a moving budget to see how your finances look before you get into a tough situation.

Question #3: Can I handle a DIY move?

A DIY move can be a great way to save some money – especially for a small or local move. But there are some things to consider first. A self-move can be risky for safety and financial reasons, so ask yourself these questions before committing to organizing and executing a move all by yourself:

  • Do I have any previous moving experience?
  • Do I have friends or family I can rely on helping me on moving day?
  • Am I moving a short distance?
  • Am I moving only non-specialty items that I can handle myself?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you may be able to tackle a DIY move.

Question #4: Should I hire a professional moving company?

Whether or not you should hire a professional moving company is your own personal choice, but there are a number of reasons to do it. For example, if you don’t have much time until moving day, or if you are unable to gather enough reliable friends or family to help you out, then trusting professional movers is your best bet for a trouble-free move. It is also a good idea to entrust your valuable and specialty items to movers who have experience in moving such items. This is especially true when moving a long distance, where your belongings have a large risk of becoming damaged.

Question #5: What do I do until moving day?

So what exactly should you be doing from the time you decide to move until moving day arrives? The obvious answer is packing, of course. But there is much more to tackle and accomplish. You will need to organize all of your belongings, find and secure a new place to live, gather packing and moving supplies, and more! A great way to ensure an efficient move is to create a packing and moving checklist. This will help keep things under control and your stress level down.

Question #6: What packing supplies do I need so I can pack on my own?

If you decide to pack your belongings yourself, then you will need to collect the necessary packing supplies. Before gathering your supplies, first consider what items you will need to pack. Common packing materials you will need to ensure your possessions are well-protected during your move include:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper
  • Packing tape
  • Colored labels
  • Permanent markers

To help save some money, be sure to look around your home for any packing and moving supplies you may already have. It is also a good idea to check with friends or businesses that may have supplies you need.

For all you need to know for your upcoming move, check out our blog or contact us for more information.

Top Reasons You May Require Temporary Housing

When it comes to moving, you probably want to be moving into your forever home. After all, who wants to prepare and pack for a move more than once? But life is all about transitions and changes, which means that your move is probably going to be temporary. What are some reasons that may call for temporary housing? Continue reading to find out!

Moving before choosing a new home. Moving to a place where you are surrounded by completely different surroundings and unfamiliar faces can be tough. Not only can it be stressful, but it can also be confusing. Questions, like “What are should I live in?”, “What neighborhoods are best?”, and “Where are essential places located?”, will swirl rampantly around in your head. This being said, it’s important to carefully research your new area so you can find the perfect place and location for you and your family. But this takes time, and sometimes there isn’t enough time to do adequate research prior to moving. Finding a temporary home is the best solution for this situation. This way, you will be able to live in your new surroundings and learn everything there is to know before buying or renting a more suitable and permanent residence.

Temporarily relocating for work. If your job requires you to move temporarily, you definitely won’t want to uproot your entire household and everyone’s belongings unless it’s absolutely necessary. If the temporary relocation is short, you may want to find a place for just you to live in and leave your family behind at home. If the relocation is long, then you may want to bring your family with you. In this case, you will need to find a temporary home for everyone to live in. You may also consider renting out your permanent home to help make paying two monthly housing payments easier.

Moving before your new home is ready. Another common scenario that requires temporary housing is moving before your new home is ready. For instance, if you have sold your home, you may need to move out before the new owners move in – even if your new home isn’t ready yet. This means you will need to find a temporary residence to house you and the fam til you can finally move into your new digs.

Moving while your home is being repaired. House renovations are never fun – especially if you are living at home in the middle of them. Depending on the renovations needed, you may have to vacate your home for a certain period of time. This will require you to find temporary housing for your family and storage for your belongings until the upgrades to your home are complete. Luckily, this type of temporary move will only mean relocating across town, but there will still be many things to consider and take care of.

Moving to study. Your college career may feel never-ending at times, but at some point, it will definitely come to a close. This is why moving to college is one of the most temporary moves a person will make in their lives. Whether moving to a place on campus, or off, you will have many items to pack and take with you in order to survive those fun and stressful college years.

Moving to help someone. When it comes to life, always expect the unexpected. For example, a close friend or relative may suddenly be in a situation where they need your help – especially for medical reasons. Having to move closer to a person in need is another reason that will require you to find temporary housing and tackle the necessary steps to set it up.

Now that you know some reasons why you may require temporary housing, head over to our next blog to learn some temporary housing options and how to pack for your non-permanent move.

Top Tips to Make Your Move Eco-Friendly

If you are planning to move house, there are many ways in which it can negatively affect the environment. And during a time when the effects of climate change are all around us, many are opting to take matters into their own hands in order to decrease their carbon footprint and make the world a greener place. To find out what you can do to help make your move more environmentally friendly, here are some helpful tips to consider.

Use Smart Supplies

Moving house requires many supplies, from boxes and packing paper to tape, labels and dollies. On average, a single move can take up to 60 cardboard boxes. This is the equivalent of a half-ton tree. Considering that the typical American moves around 11 times in his/her lifetime, this equals a major number of trees cut down for the production of moving boxes. One good thing about cardboard boxes is that, depending on their quality, they can be used 3 to 10 times before needing to be recycled. If you want your move to be more eco-friendly, there are some alternatives to cardboard boxes – as well as other traditional packing supplies. Check these out:

Recycled Plastic Bins. Reusable plastic bins are an excellent alternative to cardboard moving boxes. They are easy to find, aren’t too expensive, and can be reused time and time again. Whether used for small items or large, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be used during your move as well as after for storage purposes.

Biodegradable Supplies. Bubble wrap is cheap and protective – two qualities that are greatly efficient during a move. Unfortunately, it’s not the most eco-friendly packing supply. For greener options, opt for packing peanuts and foam wrap. Green packing peanuts (they really are green in color!) are made from bio-plastics, which is a form of plastic derived from renewable sources such as vegetable oil or corn starch. While they may be made from difference resources, they are just as efficient to protect your belongings during a move.

Be Creative. One of the most resourceful ways to securely pack your belongings, save money on supplies, and also be eco-friendly is to use items that you can find in your home. For example, towels, bedding, and clothing can be used to wrap breakables.

Shipping and Fuel Options

The more further your relocation is, how much stuff you have, the size of your moving truck, as well as the way you drive all play a prominent role in the amount of fuel you will require to move from point A to point B. Not only is this costly to your budget, but also to the environment.

According to carbon dioxide calculations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), depending on the size of your moving truck:

  • A small truck used for a short-distance move (under 10 miles) can emit 22 pounds of CO2, while a large truck used for a long-distance move can emit up to 40 pounds.
  • A cross-country move of 3,000 miles in a small truck can emit 6,500 pounds of CO2, while the same cross-country move in a large truck can emit close to twice that, at 11,760 pounds.

Whether your relocation will take you nearby or far away, here are some green options to consider:

Biodiesel Fuel. If renting a truck from a moving company, find out if they offer trucks that run on biodiesel fuel, which is a greener alternative to standard gasoline.

Ship Car Via Train. If you need to transport a car during your move, consider doing so via train. Compared to using a truck service to ship your car to your new location, using a train service will save four times more fuel.

Lighten Your Load. Another way to make your move more environmentally friendly is to relocate fewer items. The less stuff you have to ship, the smaller the truck you will need. The result? Less spent on fuel and less CO2 pumped into the atmosphere. To lighten your load, de-clutter, donate and sell any items you will no longer need post-move.

New Habits Post-Move

Striving to make your relocation eco-friendly doesn’t just involve pre-move tasks – it also includes your post-move habits. For instance, once in your new home, it is a good idea to get into the habit of saving energy, creating less waste, and recycling in your everyday life. Here are some things you can do to stay green after your move:

Change Light Bulbs. Instead of using incandescent light bulbs around your home, opt for LED (light-emitting diodes) lights. Though a bit more costly, LEDs last at least twice as long and also don’t contain mercury.

Stop Air Leaks. Every time you use your air conditioner or heater in your new home, it costs money. To get the most of these services, it’s a good idea to stop any air leaks under doorways, window panels, and out of the roof.

Unplug. Leaving things plugged in when not in use is an easy way to increase your power bill and your carbon footprint. To counter this, unplug all appliances, electronics and phone chargers when not in use.

Install Solar Panels. Solar panels are a great way to generate renewable energy. They may require a large investment up front, but they will definitely pay off in the long run, providing renewable energy without the burden of electricity bills.

For all things you need to know for your upcoming move, click here.

Self-Storage Units: Things to Consider

Since the economic recession of 2008, there is one industry that has actually flourished. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed the self-storage industry, you are correct! For a fixed monthly fee, you can rent a self-storage unit to store all of the belongings you don’t have a use for currently, but may need in the near future. Having an extra space at your disposal to store your belongings can be hugely beneficial, providing a practical solution to a living space that is too small or too cluttered.

There are several reasons why people choose to use self-storage:

  • Marriage (two households merge together)
  • Divorce (one household splits into two smaller ones)
  • Retirement (downsizing one’s home)
  • Death in the family (specific items belonging to the deceased person need to be preserved)
  • College
  • Military deployment

While a self-storage unit does provide many pros, there are some cons to consider. Here are some to know:

Financial Burden

When you need a place to store some of your belongings – whether short-term or long-term – then opting for a self-storage unit probably sounds like the ultimate solution. But can you afford it? The price depends upon a number of external factors – location, city, and company, for example. It also depends on the size of the unit. Consider what items you need to store, then how much space these things require. For instance, a small storage unit typically measures 5′ x 5′. Generally, the monthly rent for a small self-storage unit ranges anywhere from $60-$100. With some basic calculations, you can gather that if you rent the smallest storage unit available (5′ x 5′) for the lowest possible price ($60), then in one year’s time, you will end up paying $720 a year for a unit the size of a typical home closet. If you need more space than this, the price ultimately goes up, so before you rent a storage unit, be sure to figure out the overall cost first.

Poor Security

Whether the possessions you want to store away are of little importance or utmost value, they are important to you, which is why you are considering a storage unit. This being said, you want to ensure they will be safe when stored away. When searching for a storage unit, you will want to find one that provides good security. Look for one that provides these things:

  • Solid-structured units that are climate-controlled and weatherproof
  • A gated and monitored premises
  • Experienced on-site attendants

Aside from the price and even the size, the security of your rented storage space should be one of your top priorities. If you are able to, inspect any potential self-storage facilities first. This way, you can take a look around and get a general feel of the facility and its employees. An in-person look will also allow you to request more information on what security measures are taken to keep your possessions from being tampered with or stolen.

Inconvenient Location

Sure, a storage unit will serve many great purposes for you, but this will only be true if its location is convenient to your home. Finding a storage unit that is close by is the ideal situation, especially if you intend to take your belongings in and out of storage on a regular basis. Before making the final decision to reserve a storage space, consider how much time you will need to go to and from the facility. Also think about possible scenarios that may lead to more time and money lost – heavy traffic or jams, bad weather, car issues, the cost of gas, etc.

Stress

When you put some of your belongings into storage, it may feel like a quick and easy relief. But it can lead to some stress. Each month that you pay for your storage unit, you may feel the guilt of losing money – especially if you are storing items that you really don’t need. You may also become stressed by the nagging voice in the back of your head that continuously reminds you to do something with all of your stored belongings. No matter the excuse – a lack of time, procrastination, laziness, etc. – this voice can gnaw at your conscience and become a source of guilt and annoyance.

Afterthought

In the case of most every situation in life, you will have to choose the best route for you. If you use your storage unit smartly, it can provide you with an excellent solution to your moving needs. However, if you use your storage unit recklessly, it can put a huge strain on your budget and stress level. So, what will your decision be?

How to Spot a Bad Moving Company

Moving house requires many things, but planning and preparing are two of the biggest. These tasks help make a relocation easy and more successful, and you do want that, don’t you? Sure you do! Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put into orchestrating a move that is flawless, certain events can occur that are simply out of your control. One thing, in particular, is to hire a bad moving company. After putting so much time and effort into planning and preparing a good local or long-distance move, it can be truly disheartening to have a poor moving company ruin it all. Though there are some movers out there who are dishonest, disreputable and fraudulent, let it be known that there are also many good and respectable moving companies that strive to make your relocation a success. So how do you bypass the “bad” movers and end up with a “good” one? The first step is by learning how to spot a bad moving company.

Bad Online Reputation

When on the search for a moving company to help with your relocation, one of the first things to research online are reviews and testimonials left by former customers. Good, reliable movers care about their reputation and work hard to keep their online record clean by providing excellent service and handling any claims, disputes and issues with clients in a quick and fair manner. Yes, there will also be a few bad reviews every now and again no matter what the business, but if a moving company is followed by mostly bad reviews, proceed with caution because you may be next to leave a bad review.

Not Licensed

All legit businesses must be registered with and licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This includes interstate movers. Before hiring a moving company, you should check out the FMCSA’s website and ensure they have the required licensing information. If they do not, run the other way because you may be dealing with scammers.

Refuse to Insure Your Belongings

Just as moving companies are required to have the proper licensing, they must also assume proper liability for the value of items they relocate. As a consumer, it is your right to ask a moving company for proof of insurance, request any additional information about insurance options they offer, and what their process is for filing a claim in case of lost or damaged items.

If a mover refuses to provide you with the proper moving coverage for your items, this is a big warning sign that something’s not right and you should take your business elsewhere.

Phone or Internet Estimates Only

Getting a moving estimate via the phone or internet is incredibly easy. But consider this – how will a mover be trusted to provide you with a precise moving estimate without performing a detailed, in-home inspection of all the items you have to move? Obviously, they can’t.

In order to get a detailed and accurate moving estimate, it is important to request an in-home inspection by a qualified representative from the company. The primary job of a moving expert is to determine exactly how many items a person has to move, along with any special circumstances there may be (e.g., an item is too heavy, awkwardly shaped, fragile, etc.). They are also responsible for noting any details that will affect the final cost of the move, such as special packing requirements, long flights of stairs, narrow hallways or doors, and so on.

With all of this said, to ensure you are not handed an alarming bill after your move, never accept moving estimates solely over the phone or internet. Also make sure you get an in-home estimate from several reputable moving companies (not just one!) before making your final decision in who to hire for your relocation needs.

Other Red Flags to Watch Out For

We have already discussed several things you should do to ensure you don’t hire a bad moving company for your relocation, but there are some additional red flags to be aware of. If you experience any of these things during your search for a moving company, don’t hire them.

  • They do not answer the phone with their company name.
  • They do not have a website, or their website does not provide licensing information, insurance options, nor an address.
  • The mover does not provide flexible payment options, but instead demands a large deposit or cash-only payment.
  • On moving day, your movers show up in an unmarked moving truck, seem unprofessional, bring dirty or damaged packing materials, or behave in a rude manner.

For more moving tips and tricks, we’ve got ’em!