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.

Helpful Tips to Survive Living in New York

Moving to a new state is no easy task, especially one as crowded, cosmopolitan and lively as New York City. It takes lots of time, organization, research, and money. Oh … and don’t forget packing. Lots and lots of packing! But what happens after the move, when all of the moving boxes have been unpacked and things have officially settled down? Do you sit at home in hopes you will adjust to your new surroundings? No way! You get out there and adapt to the people and places around you. To become a true New Yorker, here are some helpful tips to survive living in the Big Apple.

Avoid Taxis

For New Yorkers, public transportation is a fact of life. But which form of public transportation should you take? Bus? Subway? Before you say taxi, let us stop you … don’t take a taxi. Don’t get us wrong; taxis are great. But they are in no way cheap. Sure, public transportation can be unpredictable with construction, delays, and whatnot at all different times of the day. Not to mention, the characters and crowd you will meet may be a little unnerving. But buses and subways are a bargain in comparison to taxis. In fact, you can even call them a necessary part of life in NYC. So if you want to save some cash, public transportation is a good choice. But don’t forget. Considering NYC is huge, with sights to see and places to go no matter where you turn,walking isn’t a bad idea – and it’s free!

Complain About Rent

There’s no denying that New York City is an expensive place to live. $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment … yowza! But believe us when we say you won’t be the only one who feels the urge to complain about the price of rent. So let loose and complain with the best of them. Besides, even though square footage may be a disappointment, everyone abides by it in order to stay in such an incredible place, and your complaints will only help you create a mutual bond with others.

Be Open-Minded

The United States has always been a melting pot with people from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. This is especially true in New York City. It’s also a large factor in what gives this city such a unique personality. To live in NYC, you must be open-minded and accepting of everyone around you. Even on days when you don’t want to, it is what it is, and your open-mindedness will encourage others to be accepting of your idiosyncrasies.

Be Confident

In order to make it in NYC, you have to possess a lot of confidence, so leave your shy and worried self at home when you venture onto the streets of this city. New Yorkers are a confident bunch; they know what they want and are not afraid to say it, nor are they afraid to hurt your feelings in the process of getting what they want. This is especially true when navigating this city’s heavily populated streets. Things move faster in cities like NYC. Being new to the area, you may feel the need to abide by pedestrian walkways and traffic lights, but you’ll quickly learn that New Yorkers operate differently and aren’t scared to follow their own rules.

For all your moving needs, continue here.

Your Guide to Moving to New York City

The Big Apple. A sea of lights. A place where big dreams come true. Where are we talking about? You guessed it – New York City. We’ve all heard of it. We’ve all seen it on TV and in movies. Many of us have even been there to get a taste of one of the most exciting cities in the United States. But what will it be like to actually move there? To live there? As you can probably guess, actually moving to NYC is much different than spending a few vacation days there. So before you pack up and move to the city that never sleeps, it’s important to be prepared for what’s to come. In this guide, we will provide you with some important things to consider before moving to NYC.

The Cost of Living

The glitz and glam that come to mind when you think of New York City can be pretty alluring. But don’t let the bright lights cloud your vision and cause you to overlook one of the most serious things to consider when moving there – the cost. The glitz and glam of NYC comes at a price – and it’s a high one.

When moving to NYC, rent will be your biggest expense. So, the first thing you need to do before even considering a move there is to figure out how much you can afford – and be truthful with yourself. Renting an apartment in NYC can be incredibly intimidating. A simple search online will show you what we mean. Rental prices vary greatly by neighborhood with an average of $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in areas like Manhattan (less in other nearby neighborhoods).

Another hefty expense when living in NYC is the cost of owning a car. If you have the cash, you can of course keep your car. Just know that in order to do so, you will have to spend an average of $450 a month to keep it in a garage. Luckily, NYC is a great walking city with extensive public transportation, which can help cut some costs. But remember, as much as you like the idea of being able to walk to the grocery store or a nearby cafe, you will likely need to use some sort of public transportation to get to and from work every day. Whether by bus or train, it’ll cost you. To ride the subway, the pay-per-ride fair is around $2.50. There are ways to save money, though, such as by purchasing a variety of passes and cards so you don’t have to stop and pay a toll each time you ride.

Taxes

Taxes can be a sore topic of discussion for many, but no matter where you move, it must be taken into consideration. The state and city of New York has one of the highest tax rates in the country. Along with state and federal taxes, NYC also charges a personal income tax. State tax is 8.5%, while the city tax varies between a 2.9% and 3.6% rate depending on your personal income. And don’t forget sales tax. Sales tax in the city is 4.5%; however, essentials, like clothing and footwear, are exempt of sales tax if under $110.

Life in New York City

New York City has been a breeding ground for cultural, social and political movements and changes throughout the course of its history. Here you’ll find an endless list of places to go and sites to see. From clubs and bars to museums and Broadway, there’s no wonder NYC is dubbed the city that never sleeps. With so many possibilities at your fingertips, there is no denying that you will never be bored when in NYC. But remember, in order to do all of these things, you will need the money and to experience them. Before you move to such a bustling city, you’ll want to make sure you are someone who can handle lots of people and commotion. Also, if you don’t think you will make use of the many things to do in such an explosive city, it may not be the right home for you.

The Weather

Before moving, especially to an entirely different state, you will want to consider the type of climate it has. New York City, for example, is in the Northeast. This means very cold winters with negative temperatures, snow and ice. If you are used to a warmer climate, like Alabama or Florida, moving to a place like New York City will be quite a climate change – and a shocking one at that! Not only will you need the proper wardrobe, you will also have to endure these cold winter months on a daily basis. Can you handle it? If you excel in cold weather, go for it! But if frigid temperatures and snow aren’t your thing, you may want to consider moving elsewhere.

For more moving tips and for all your moving needs, click here.

What to Do When Your Best Friend Moves Away (Part 1 of 2)

Having a best friend is a wonderful part of life. You’ll laugh together, cry together, and be there for one another through all of life’s many challenges. But what do you do when your closest confidant is moving away? Most likely you will be shocked and completely saddened by the news. However upset and confused you may feel in this situation, you need to remember that your friend is probably even more stressed and worried by the imminent changes they will soon be facing. During this time, they will need you more than ever. So what can you do to help them, comfort them, and reduce some of their stress? Continue reading to find out.

Offer Support

It can be tough to evoke happiness when a best friend moves away. It can be a very sad situation, after all. But being supportive will help reassure your friend that their future endeavor is going to be okay. Here are some ways to show your support:

  • Offering your excitement is a great way to show your support for them and their impending move, so push away the sadness and put on your bravest face. Take some time to research positive aspects of the area your friend is moving to, and let them in on the many cool things you find. Telling them that their soon-to-be home and town have a lot of great qualities will help assure them they are making the right decision. It is also a good idea to encourage them to explore their new location at length and to make every effort to adjust to their new environment.
  • Be Sympathetic. Moving is a big deal – one of the largest changes one can make in their lifetime. So it goes without saying that your friend will experience plenty of apprehensions and worries, expectations and hopes regarding their relocation. A good way to be there for your friend is to be sympathetic and lend an ear. Listen intently to everything they have to say to help them vent their feelings, and try to come up with some useful and reasonable advice. Your efforts to ease their anxiety will reassure them things are soon to change for the better.
  • It’s also important to tell them you will miss them, but that their relocation will have no effect on your relationship, nor will it sever your special bond.

Lend a Helping Hand

Moving is hard. It comes with a never-ending list of tasks to accomplish, from organizing and packing to loading and unloading the moving truck. It may feel difficult to actually help your friend move away from you, but it’s important to push your self-pity aside and lend a helping hand. Doing so will save your pal lots of time and will help them avoid moving scams. Here’s how:

Find your friend a reliable moving company:

  • Ask all of your friends, relatives and acquaintances who have recently moved for their opinions, recommendations and feedback on moving companies they have worked with;
  • Research how to prevent moving fraud and ensure a safe relocation;
  • Read online moving reviews, visit websites and compare the cost and conditions different moving companies offer;
  • Make a list of licensed, insured and trustworthy movers that meet your friend’s unique moving needs.

Help your friend organize and pack:

Sorting out a lifetime’s worth of belongings and packing each and every item safely for shipment is a time-consuming and laborious process. A process that your friend will be more than thrilled to have your help with. To aid in these moving tasks:

  • Spend a few hours at your friend’s place, and help organize their belongings. It may sound tedious, but it can actually be a fun experience. You’ll get some quality time together and relish old memories you’ve shared in the past as you happen upon half-forgotten items.
  • As you help your friend sort through their possessions, act as the deciding vote as to which items they should definitely keep and which they can live without. Your decision making will come as a welcome help when making the hard choice of whether to keep or diss certain possessions. If there is time, take your organizational skills one step further and help your friend organize a garage sale. Selling their unwanted items can earn them some extra cash to make the moving process less stressful. You can also help them by taking their unwanted things to a charity center or recycle center.
  • Collect any packing supplies you may have at your house, and give them to your friend. Every cardboard box or roll of tape you are not using can come in very useful for them; it will also save them money on packing materials.
  • When all of your buddy’s belongings have been organized and they have the necessary moving supplies, help them pack their belongings safely and efficiently. This means wrapping and packing all items with utmost care and making sure all boxes are well padded, tightly sealed and properly labeled.

Offer to Help on Moving Day

The greatest challenge your friend will face in the relocation process is moving day. Not only will it be physically challenging, it will be emotionally challenging too. Your help and support on this stressful day will be of utmost value. Here are some things you can do:

  • Arrive at your friend’s place a couple hours before the moving truck or movers arrive in order to help them handle any last-minute tasks – removing obstacles from entryways, covering floors, walls and bannisters with protective materials, etc.
  • If your friend has kids and/or pets, offer to take care of them during the move. Knowing everyone is safe and cared for will remove a great deal of stress during this stage of your friend’s move.
  • Moving day takes many hours to complete, which means everyone’s appetites will be quite high when all is said and done. A good way to offer your friend help on the day of their move is by supplying food. Whether you provide snacks, a homemade meal, or just order some pizzas, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Continue on to part 2 of this blog series to learn even more things you can do when your friend moves away.

Moving: How Long Does It Take?

There are many things people don’t have enough of, and one of the most important is time. If there was more time, life would be better, easier and happier. We’d be able to finish our work, get the rest we need, have fun, practice our hobbies, spend more time with family and friends, and so on. But since time always ticks away faster than we’d like, it is important to prioritize and organize our daily tasks in order to do everything on time. This is especially true when moving house. There’s no doubt that relocating to a new home takes time. But how long does it actually take? Since every relocation is unique, the time it takes to move house is difficult to pinpoint. However, you can get a rough estimate with the guide below.

Finding the Right Home

Moving is absolutely not worth it if you can’t find an appropriate place to live. This is why house hunting is such an important aspect when it comes to moving. While searching for a new place to live is very exciting, it can also be very taxing. You’ll need to set aside time and gather the necessary information needed to make the right choice. In most cases, you will also need to check the place out in person to ensure it meets your needs. In order to find a home that meets all of your personal requirements, it can take anywhere from a single week to a few months. Here is a further breakdown of the time it takes:

  • If you are buying a home, you will need to allow up to 10 weeks for the transfer of ownership to take place. This includes making an offer, negotiating details, completing the conveyancing process, performing a house survey and closing the deal.
  • If you are renting, however, the amount of time needed, from finding a place you like to signing a lease, can be as minimal as a few days.

Selling Your Home/Ending a Lease

Another key factor that plays a role in the amount of time required to move is the time needed to sell your home or end a lease. The amount of time it will take to sell your home depends primarily on the desirability of the area where it is located and its sale price. You will also need to add in a couple of weeks in order to stage the house for sale and get some evaluations so you know how much you can expect to sell the property for. There will then be viewings and negotiations with potential buyers, home surveys and various other time-consuming details that will need to be taken care of before you can finally sell your home. On average, the process of selling your home can take around two months in the best-case scenario where everything goes well and no unforeseen problems arise.

If you are moving out of a rental property, the process will be much quicker. You will simply need to review the terms and conditions of your lease agreement and notify your landlord a month or two prior to your impending move.

Gathering Paperwork

Prior to your move, you will need to take care of a great deal of paperwork. Obtaining and/or updating all of these documents can take a good month or so to complete. This being said, you will need to gather and prepare paperwork as early as possible. You will need to:

  • Collect and organize personal, financial and property-related documents;
  • Obtain medical records for you and all members of your family. This also includes health certificates and vaccination records for your pets;
  • Obtain children’s school records;
  • Transfer your driver’s license and obtain a new registration certificate for your car;
  • Change your address with the USPS and update your electoral registration;
  • Transfer utilities and cancel any subscriptions and memberships.

Organizing Belongings

There’s no better time than when preparing for a move to organize your belongings and get rid of unwanted items. When prepping for your move, you will need to look through all of your possessions and decide the fate of each item. For those items you no longer have a need for, either throw them away or find a way to get rid of them. Doing so will mean less time required for packing and moving, as well as less money spent on supplies and shipping your possessions.

To accomplish this task, you will need to allow yourself at least a full week to do so. It is important that this step in the moving process be completed at least six weeks prior to moving day. This way, you will have enough time to deal with all of the items you are not taking with you – whether you plan to sell them or trash them.

Packing Belongings

Packing is the most laborious task you’ll need to accomplish when moving house. It is also what you will spend a huge portion of your move doing. While there is no set time for how long it will take you to pack your belongings, it does depend on two factors:

  1. The amount of items you plan to relocate.
  2. The complexity of the job (delicate or fragile items will require more care and time when packing them).

To help better wrap your mind around the time needed to pack your home for a move, here are some examples:

When packing belongings yourself – or with the help of family and friends – you will need to allow:

  • 2 days to pack a studio or one-bedroom apartment;
  • 3-4 days to pack a two-bedroom house or apartment;
  • 5 days to pack a typical three-bedroom home; and
  • 1 week to pack a four-bedroom home.

When using professional services to pack your belongings, you will need:

  • 2-3 hours for a studio or one-bedroom apartment;
  • 3-4 hours for a two-bedroom home;
  • 6 hours for a three-bedroom home; and
  • 8-10 hours for a four-bedroom home.

Moving Day

When moving day arrives, you can expect it to take up most of your day, especially if you tackle the job yourself. If you hire professional movers, the actual time it will take to move your possessions out of your old home and onto the moving truck will depend on:

  • The number of boxes to be loaded onto the moving truck;
  • The number of furniture pieces and household appliances to be relocated;
  • The specialized services required to move your belongings;
  • How well prepared you are – if there are any unpacked items or unresolved issues that need to be taken care of at the last minutes; and
  • The accessibility from the moving truck to your home.

For a residential move, if everything is ready to go and no unforeseen obstacles occur, moving day will typically take:

  • 2-3 hours for a studio or one-bedroom apartment;
  • 4-5 hours for a two-bedroom home;
  • 6 hours for a three-bedroom home; and
  • 7-8 hours for a four-bedroom home.

For a long-distance move, the length of time it will take will range from several hours to about a week, depending on traffic, weather conditions, and miles traveled.

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

Tipping Movers: What to Know

Moving from one home to another is a very stressful process that’s often filled with lots of tough questions and uncertainties. Two of the most notable being:

  1. Should I tip my movers?
  2. How much do I tip my movers?

As difficult a topic as money is, so is how much you should tip. On one hand, you don’t want to look cheap or unappreciative of the work your movers did. On the other hand, you also don’t want to over-tip your movers, because, after all, moving is already a costly event. To learn more about tipping movers, continue reading.

Do you have to tip your movers?

First things first. There is no rule that says you have to tip your movers. This being said, you don’t have to feel obligated to do so. Based on the quality of your move, the professional attitude of your movers, as well as the number of items that remain intact at the end of the day, you – and you alone – are in charge of deciding whether or not to tip your moving crew. To help you decide whether your movers deserve to be tipped or not, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Did your packers and movers arrive on time?
  • Were your workers nice, friendly and sociable, or rude, cold and disrespectful?
  • Did your movers act in a professional manner from the moment they arrived?
  • Did your movers treat your possessions with care and attention?
  • Did your movers do everything necessary to avoid property damage?
  • Did your hired professionals work hard from start to finish? Or did they try to deliberately extend the time they needed to finish the job by using dishonest or disrespectful time-wasting tricks – frequent cigarette or bathroom breaks, for example.

How much do you tip movers?

When it comes to tipping your movers, it is entirely up to you as to how much you think they deserve based on their job performance. But there are some ways to go about it. Here is a universal tipping formula you can use for short-distance and long-distance moves:

Short-Distance Moves.

A short-distance move, or local move, is one that will typically only require one day’s service from professional movers. For this type of move, it is easiest to tip based on an hourly rate.

  • Big tips – $5-$8 per hour/mover – if they did an outstanding job or had to work under tough conditions – long flights of stairs, narrow corridors, heavy and huge furniture pieces, etc.
  • Standard tips – $4-$5 per hour/mover – if they did a good job protecting, carrying and loading your belongings with care.
  • No tip if they did a poor job, damaged your belongings, or had a rude or disrespectful attitude.

Considering moving jobs are typically only a few hours, this will average to around $40 a day – an appropriate and standard tip for movers.

Long-Distance Moves. For long-distance moves, you may want to consider tipping your movers based on a percentage of your final moving bill. According to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average moving cost of an interstate move is around $4,300. For movers that did a phenomenal job, you could pay them up to 20% of this total. Depending on the performance of your movers, you can adjust the percentage accordingly.

If percentages aren’t your thing, then you can use the universal tipping method as previously discussed.

When do you tip movers?

If you decide to tip your movers, it’s important to get the timing right. There are two ways to go about it.

  1. Encourage your moving crew to work harder by promising tips at the end of the move provided they do a good job. Along with this verbal assurance, you can take it an extra step by giving each worker $10 to let them know you are serious about tipping them.
  2. Tip your moving team after they’ve completed the job. This means after all boxes and furniture pieces have been delivered and taken inside your home. If you’ve tacked on extra services for unpacking, tips should be handed out after the task is done. Tipping movers after the job is completed is typically the safest – and most common – option because it allows you to ensure the job is done efficiently, because if it isn’t, you will be out money on an unnecessary tip.

If you opt for tipping method number 2, be sure all of your possessions are accounted for, and that they are all in good shape. Once you sign your final paperwork, you can then reward each mover individually.

Who do you tip?

Before you can tip your moving crew, you first need to know who to tip. Typically, you are expected to tip each individual mover according to their service, professional attitude and overall performance. A potentially big mistake to avoid is giving the entire sum of cash to the foreman or driver. If they end up being dishonest, they may simply forget to share the tipping money with the crew or keep the money entirely for themselves.

For all your moving needs, click 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.

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.

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.