Self-Packing Verses Professional Packing: The Pros and Cons

Preparing for a move? If so, you have one very important question to ask yourself: Should I opt for self-packing or hire professional packers? To help you decide, here is some important information to consider.

Self-Packing Pros and Cons

Self-packing is the logical choice for many reasons. You’ll have control over what, where and when to pack. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the stress and worry of strangers meddling with your personal belongings. If you’re someone who wants to pack all of your belongings in a safe and systematic manner at your own pace, then self-packing may be the best choice for you. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros

Lower Costs. When choosing between self-packing and hiring professional packers, there’s no doubt that self-packing is the cheapest route. Instead of paying for the experienced services of professional packers, you can opt for free help from yourself, family and friends. It’s even possible to find free moving supplies, like moving boxes from local businesses or various containers you already own, like laundry baskets, suitcases, etc.

Convenience. When it comes to reducing stress and ensuring a smooth relocation process, flexibility is key. This being said, self-packing allows you to pack your belongings when it is convenient for you. Not only will packing at your own convenient pace lower your stress level, it will also allow you to sort and group your belongings in a way that makes sense to you. Not only that, but if you are packing your own things, you will take much more care than a stranger, who has no attachment to the item, might.

Organization. Opting for self-packing means you will have control over how your belongings are organized and packed. By grouping items according to their type, purpose and destination room, unpacking is made incredibly easy – as long as you label your boxes accordingly, that is!

Cons

Lost time. Packing is a majorly time-consuming event – and there’s no way around it. Underestimating the amount of time required to pack an entire house is one of the worst mistakes you can make, leading to you frantically throwing your possessions into boxes at the last minute – a situation that leads to catastrophic results. In order to pack your items properly, you will need plenty of time. Unfortunately, time is something you won’t have much of when you have many other important moving-related things to handle at the same time.

Poor packing. You will obviously pack your belongings with care, but unfortunately, you may lack the experience required for an efficient and speedy process. This means many of your possessions are at risk for becoming damaged during the moving process, like fragile artwork, electronics and glassware.

No liability. A large con of self-packing is that you are responsible for everything you pack. This means your movers will not be liable for any damaged items that you packed yourself.

Professional Packing Services Pros and Cons

If your move is local, you will most likely be able to pack your belongings well enough so they’ll survive the short trip across town. But longer moves, like those across the country, may require the help of a professional packing service. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

Speed. No matter how large your home is, professional packers have the ultimate packing strategy to pack all of your belongings at impressive speed. A job that may take you weeks can take professional movers just a few hours.

Quality packing materials. The quality of the packing materials you use is directly proportionate to the safety level of your moving shipment. Professional packers will use quality packing materials, like brand new boxes, plenty of bubble wrap and packing paper, plus strong tape to provide your items with maximum protection.

Liability coverage. When hiring professional packers, they will typically accept liability for any personal possession that are damaged or lost while in their custody. So, if something bad happens, you’ll be covered.

Minimal efforts. The biggest pro to hiring a professional packing service is that they do everything for you, so you don’t have to put in any major efforts into this part of the moving process. Professional packers will handle everything, from disconnecting to reassembling wired devices, furniture and more.

Cons

Increased final moving cost. Depending on the number of items you need to have packed and the time required to pack them, full packing services can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand. If you’re on a tight budget and have time to pack yourself, hiring professionals may not be the best choice.

Poor organization and control. Full packing services mean competent packing and a decreased risk of damages and problems. But, if you like to be in control and have things done a certain way, you may want to avoid professional packers. Professional packers have no clue how you want your items organized. And since their primary concern is speed and safety, they will not spend time sorting and grouping your possessions. This can lead to a headache later when it’s time to unpack and you can’t find anything you’re looking for.

Untrustworthy packers and movers. If you have possessions of value, you may want to set these items apart from the rest of your shipment to avoid any potential problems. While many companies are honest and ethical, some are not, so always take precautions before leaving strangers alone with your stuff.

For more packing tips, 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 Guide: Tips for a Small-Scale Move

If you’ve ever experienced a home move before, you know it’s a stressful, chaotic and all around complicated process. Not only on your nerves, but also your bank account. While this is typically a true presumption, it’s a good idea to treat each and every moving situation uniquely. For example, a move across the ocean is very different than a move across town or moving a single piece of furniture down the street. Each type of relocation comes with a different set of needs and requirements. Even if you are faced with a mini move, it’s important to plan and prepare accordingly for the situation. You may even require expert help from qualified movers. To check out our useful small-scale moving guide, continue reading.

Small-Scale Moving Help

Full house moves are the most common type of relocation. But don’t let this lead you to believe that small moves don’t require professional moving help. Moving is difficult, no matter the size, and moving companies have services to meet all your needs. This includes small-moving help, both locally and long distance. Partial-load moving, or small-scale moving, is the ideal solution if your shipment is not large enough to fill a moving van.

Good to know: A small move is generally estimated to be up to about 1,000 pounds. For a shipment that falls below this weight mark, it is called a mini move. For a mini move, the most beneficial choice is to consider a partial-load moving service.

Advantages

One of the biggest advantages to opting for small-moving services is the cost. The cost of a large move is based on a number of things, including the total weight of your belongings. A small move, however, only requires you to pay for the items you are actually moving. This means no minimum weight requirements or hidden costs. It also includes both local and long-distance moves. How is the cost so low? The answer lies in efficiency. Movers strive for maximum efficiency when performing their job, and the best way to achieve this is by using moving trucks for dual purposes. When shipping a small – or partial – load, your items will share space inside a moving truck with other customers’ items. Sharing a truck means sharing transportation costs. As a result, the final price of a small move is based on the actual weight of your items and the relocation distance – not on pre-set charges.

Want to keep your small-moving costs as low as possible? Here are some tips:

  • Book movers early: When you first know of your impending move, go ahead and book a professional moving service. The earlier you book, the greater the flexibility for your movers to combine your shipment with someone else’s. This equals lower costs because you won’t have to pay for full use of a moving truck.
  • Move essentials only: When moving, it can be all too easy to take everything you own with you. However, the more items you relocate, the more stress you will endure, as well as the increased risk that your small move will turn into one that’s larger and much more costly.
  • Pack yourself: If you have the time and supplies – not to mention, the patience – opt to pack your belongings yourself. Or with friends and family who won’t charge you for their help. Doing so will greatly cut the cost of hiring professional movers, and their supplies, to do it for you. Just note that if you are relocating artwork, fragile items, family heirlooms or other valuables, it is a very good idea to hire professional movers who are trained in such matters.

Find Your Match

Find the best company for your needs. Moving companies can provide you with convenient and economical options when it comes to moving your small load. To find the company that is best for you and your specific needs:

  • Get references from friends and/or family. These will be your most trusted sources for recommendations.
  • Get small-load moving quotes from several companies. This way you can compare prices, quality of services, terms, etc.
  • Research small-scale movers, investigating reviews and performance ratings from past customers.
  • Discuss the details of your move with your chosen moving professionals. Important topics include liability coverage, handling requirements, transportation requirements, potential difficulties, final moving costs, etc.

Ensure all negotiated terms and conditions are clearly stated in your Bill of Lading!

For all things moving, ABC Movers is there for you! Contact us, today, for a FREE QUOTE at 800.771.0151 or visit our website.

Important Documents to Collect Prior to Your Move

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

Documents to Collect Pre-Move

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

Personal IDs. Personal IDs include:

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

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

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

Financial Documents. Financial documents include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Documents Needed When Moving Abroad

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

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

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

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

How to Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

curb appeal - BLOG photoAre you looking to sell your home? Or are you just wanting to create a warm and inviting exterior for your house? Either way, there are many cost-friendly, fun and attractive ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. Here are some tricks to know.

The main thing to remember when working on the exterior of your home is this: keep it simple. Don’t go out of your way to build intricate and involved facades, and don’t spend huge amounts of money. Your best bet is to stick to one aesthetic that works for you and your family, as well as your space. Combining too many ideas will cause the exterior of your home to look and feel messy and disorganized.

To help keep your plans simple, ask yourself what you want the exterior of your home to look like. What styles do you like? Bright, brilliant colors? Country chic? Larger, leafy greenery? Modern? By answering these questions, it will be easier to create a plan and figure out what areas to focus on.

Have Fun with Doors

Neutral colors have been the common trend for quite some time. It’s almost as if homeowners want to blend in and become invisible. But now, homeowners are letting their personalities burst through withstatement door - BLOG photo bright and bold statement doors. If your home’s paint color is a neutral tone, play up the contrast by painting your door a rich red or vivid teal. Statement doors are a great – and simple – way to catch the eye of a prospective buyer or just a random passerby.

Other ways to play up your front door is by adorning it with cute, simple wreath or an elegant wooden letter (A for Adams or G for Griffin).

A nice welcome mat at the entrance of your home can also add a cheerful and inviting presence to your home.

Keep it Clean

clean home exterior - BLOG photoA home with a messy exterior makes its attraction level plummet from curb appealing to curb disgust. To keep the curb appeal of your home high, you have to keep it clean – especially if you want to draw in potential buyers. The exterior upkeep of a home greatly impacts how potential buyers feel about a place. When clean and kept, buyers can imagine themselves there, and in turn, are more apt to truly consider purchasing.

To make your home’s exterior clean, try power washing the walkways and patio spaces to make these areas more inviting. Also keep outdoor tools, bins and furniture to a minimum. Windows should be cleaned to give your home a squeaky clean presence.

Light it Up

well-lit house exterior - BLOG photoInadequate lighting casts a dark, even creepy tone upon a house. This is why exterior lighting is a must. A house that is well lit exudes a warm and inviting vibe. It also adds an element of safety and security – a must for potential home buyers and new residents.

Try low-voltage lighting near parts of your garden and lawn that you want to show off. Make sure to illuminate pathways and staircases. You can also use solar lights for low-rise lighting fixtures and add charming touches by hanging small lanterns from trellises and trees.

Tend a Garden

Flowers, flowers and more flowers. For the cherry-on-the-top in curb appeal, flowers are a must. In a garden, in clean and freshly-painted window boxes, flowers in window box - BLOG photoin pretty pots strategically placed on each side of your front door… there is no wrong way to enhance the exterior of your home with flowers. Adding these beautiful pops of color to your yard and the outside of your home is an excellent way to create a friendly, approachable feel to your house.

If you opt for certain types of flowers (hydrangea bushes, azaleas, camellias) they will come back every year without any work from you, which is a nice bonus.

Boosting your curb appeal can seem difficult at first, but there are plenty of ways to do it. Just remember to have fun and incorporate color and light, and you’ll create a space you and your family – and potential buyers and passerbys – will love.

Your First Apartment: Post-Move Essentials

first apartment - PHOTO 2There are many things to look forward to in life, and one of the most exciting is the day you move into your very first apartment. If you’re headed to college or just starting out in the world of relying on your own income, you more than likely don’t have the means to buy all of the brand-new items you dream of owning. Hopefully your family will help pitch in and provide you with a few odds and ends, but there will still be a lot of things you need to get for your new home. Here is an outline of post-move essentials.

Furniture

Moving into your very first apartment comes with lots of daydreams about how you want to furnish and decorate it. But, there’s a solid chance you won’t be able to purchase a houseful of stuff right off the bat. At first, you can get by with the bare minimums – like a bed, couch and table. If you don’t already own must-have items like these, then you should place these things on the top of your new-apartment checklist.

Kitchen

When it comes to the kitchen, everyone requires different supplies. For example, someone who truly enjoys cooking will need many more pots, pans and dishes than someone who tends to just grab food and go. Here are some things you may need.

  • dish soap
  • dish towels
  • paper towels
  • trash bags
  • pot holders
  • sponges
  • silverware
  • dishes (plates/cups)
  • cookie sheets
  • measuring cups/spoons
  • microwave
  • toaster

Bedroom

Aside from filling your closet with all of your clothes and ensuring you have a bed to sleep on, your bedroom only needs a few standard items when you first move in. They include:

  • blankets
  • pillows
  • sheets
  • full-length mirror
  • storage containers (for under bed/in closet)

Bathroom

For most, aside from bath/shower products, the bathroom is one of the barest areas in a home. To make it feel more complete when you first move in, here are some essentials it will need.

  • hand/bath towels
  • wash cloths
  • shower curtain and liner
  • bathmat

For everything moving, visit our website.

What to Know When Hiring a Moving Company

Moving Company figures - PHOTOMoving is a daunting and stressful process. It is also not a one-person job. So who do you turn to for help? The answer: a moving company. Finding a good moving company may seem difficult, but to take the stress – and heavy lifting – out of your move, it is the optimal choice. Here are some helpful tips to find the right moving company for you.

Get Recommendations. One of the first steps to take toward hiring a moving company is to get recommendations. Ask family, friends, coworkers and local real estate agents that have dealt with movers first hand. These are the most reliable sources you can get when it comes to finding a company you can trust with your moving needs.

Investigate Companies. Once you have a list of recommendations, research these companies by hopping online and doing some background checks. By investigating companies before even speaking to them, you can potentially avoid scams, and other potential problems.

Schedule an In-Home Estimate. Whether moving interstate or out of state, it’s a good idea to call several companies for an estimate. This is the best way to get a price on how much you will be charged. For out-of-state moves, ask the company for a written binding estimate or a binding not-to-exceed estimate. Both estimates place a guaranteed cap on what you will pay for your move. Note that nonbinding estimates are legal if free, just be warned that the final cost will most likely be more than the estimate.

During the In-Home Estimate. When you schedule an in-home estimate, a person from the moving company will come to your home to look at everything you will need to have moved. During the appointment, be sure to show the estimator everything you want to have moved – in the closets, backyard, basement, attic, etc. Also be sure they know certain aspects of your home that could complicate the move – stairs, elevators, a significant distance from the door to the curb outside, and so on.

There is also a chance that when moving day rolls around, the foreman may challenge the original estimate your were given if he believes you have significantly more stuff than was first calculated. (This will happen before everything is on the truck.) No one can force you to pay a higher amount, but the company also does not have to move your stuff for the original amount.

Create a Folder – and make it bright! Finding a moving company requires lots of hand-written notes, forms and website print outs. This will help you organize all of the important information and documents you will accumulate. Run to the store and grab a brightly-colored folder for all of the research and price estimates you will collect. Be sure the folder is in a bright color – the brighter the color, the harder it will be to lose during the mayhem of moving.

Another reason you should opt for a bright, organized folder is that having it handy and in plain sight when estimators come for an in-home estimate will know them that you are doing your homework. It will also encourage them to be honest with you on pricing; it may even make them give you a more competitive price.

Ensure License and Insurance. As you probably already know, not all companies or people play by the rules, which means many are not legally sound. A legit moving company will have the license and insurance required to move you legally, which means they will play by the rules and are your safest bet.

Choose a Mover and Move On. Once you have thoroughly investigated several moving companies with the checks above, you will be able to make a confident decision in which company to choose. Before the big move, confirm dates and times with your movers, and be sure to get a signed order for service.

The day of, provide movers with specific directions to your new home, along with your phone number. Also make sure you have a number to call so you can reach them throughout your move.

To learn more about our company and how we can help you, contact us at 800.771.0151 or visit our website.

 

The Pros and Cons of a Summer Move

Moving During Summer - PHOTOSummer means many things. A break from school. Family vacations. Trip to the beach, lake and pool. But did you know, summer is also the most popular time to pack up and move to a new home? A summer move comes with many pros and cons, so continue reading to learn more.

Pros

Less Stressful. For many, summer months are often less busy. School days and holidays are over and people are enjoying more laid-back days. With a schedule that’s less chaotic, moving in summer can be less stressful.

Better Weather Conditions. One thing most love about summer is its more manageable weather conditions and longer days. This is a definite advantage when moving because it allows you to get most, if not all of your moving done in just one day.

School’s Out. If you’re moving with kids, waiting until summer vacation begins is the best way to ensure an easier transition between schools. Your child’s education also won’t be disrupted by the move and no school will have to be missed.

Cons

Heat. Summer weather is definitely nicer to look at, but it’s very hot conditions are a definite con. Hot temperatures can be exhausting, as well as dangerous to your health.

More Costly. Due to the increase of people wanting to move in summer, it can be more costly to hire movers and supplies; it can also make scheduling harder. To ensure you have everything you need for moving day, be sure to plan ahead and book early.

How To Move Safely During Summer. As previously stated, the hot weather conditions of summer can make moving dangerous. If you opt to move everything yourself, this means lifting and carrying heavy boxes, furniture and appliances for hours on end. This can lead to physical strain any time of the year, but during the summer months, this greatly increases. If you decide to move during summer, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions. Here’s how.

Dress For Heat and Comfort. The day of your move, dress for the events ahead and wear clothes that will be cool and comfortable. Opting for light-weight and light-colored clothes is the best way to help prevent dangerous problems, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Stay Hydrated. Scorching temperatures and intense physical activity can be a very bad mix. Your body will need more water than usual to stay hydrated and to keep your core body temperature where it needs to be. To stay hydrated, be sure to drink lots of water during your move. Also, consider beverages with electrolytes (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.). Avoid energy drinks and sodas because they will only dehydrate you.

Apply Sunscreen. With all of the constant commotion on moving day, it will be hard to truly judge how often you are in the sun. But during summer days, sunshine is typically lurking everywhere, so be sure to apply sunscreen to protect yourself from dangerous rays on the day of your move.

For all of your summer moving needs, we can help. For a price quote and to schedule, contact us today.

Food: what to keep and how to pack it

From awkward-shaped pans to breakable dishes, heavy appliances to cabinets full of uneaten food – boxing up a kitchen is one of the most challenging parts of the packing process. Before you throw in the towel and decide to dump all food items in the trash, read the following checklist to learn what to take with you and what to leave behind, plus many other handy tips.

Consider Your New Space. An important thing to consider during the packing process is the amount of storage available in new space. Will you have more or less pantry space? If you will be downsizing in storage capacity then minimize the collection of food you plan to move with you, too.

Box Size. When packing, always think in terms of weight. For example, when packing heavy canned goods, opt for small boxes so they are easier to carry and move.

Label Boxes Accordingly. Organizing and labeling moving boxes is a great way to pack up your home. This includes food items. Separate all food into categories, such as: perishables, canned goods and spices. Then label all boxes accordingly. This will help you prioritize which boxes need to be opened first after you move.

Pack Heavy to Light. Once you have narrowed down what food items you’ll be bringing to your new home, you can then start packing. The best method is to pack heavy to light. Place all heavy items (canned goods, peanut butter) on the bottom of your moving boxes first, then layer all light items (crackers, cookies) on top.

Near-Expired Foods. When deciding which food you should keep or toss, first look at expiration dates. If something will only last a mere few weeks after your move, go ahead and toss it. Chances are you won’t eat it after you move anyway, so free up some space and ditch any near-expired foods.

If you don’t want to waste food by throwing it in the trash, donate items to others, such as family, friends, neighbors, homeless shelters and others in need.

Fragile Items. Fragile food items include basics like flour and sugar. Before you pack these things, be sure to place them in more secure packaging first. Invest in some heavy-duty, sealable containers that will stop any spills from happening. Another option is to put these items inside large ziplock bags so anything spills will be contained.

Spices. Salt, pepper and other spices are another fragile item that can lead to spills during a move. To avoid salting everything with spilled salt shakers or opening a box covered in paprika and oregano, here’s a tip: cover the tops of each shaker with a piece of masking tape. With a simple piece of tape, you will stop any spills from happening.

Pack a Cooler. If there are certain items that need to be kept cold that you weren’t able to use in time – or throw/give away – be sure you remember to pack a cooler the morning of your move. If you are moving a few hours away, a cooler will keep your items from going bad until you can hook up your fridge at your new place. Just be sure you don’t forget to unpack the cooler!

Defrost Fridge. One of the most common things people forget to do before the moving van shows up is defrost their fridge – a situation that is somewhat problematic if you are taking your fridge with you. Be sure to unplug your fridge at least 24 hours before your move so the freezer will have time to defrost.

Important Tip. When moving day finally arrives, you’ll want to be well rested and well fed for the big day. Be sure to set aside some pre-made meals and snacks that are easy to grab and won’t take long to eat. Think granola bars and PB&J sandwiches which will keep your energy up during a long day of hustle, bustle and heavy lifting.

For more helpful packing tips, check out our Blog.

Important Things To Do Right After You Move

Things To Do After You Move - PHOTOAfter months of planning, packing and hard work, you have finally completed the big move to your new home. Congratulations on a job well done! You are probably ready to break open a bottle of champagne, kick your feet up and finally relax. But, before you get too comfortable, check out this list of important things to do right after you move.

Take Photos. Before you rush to unpack all those moving boxes, whip out your camera and take lots of photos. Why would you want photos of bare, unadorned rooms? If you’re renting, photos are an essential way to get your security deposit back. Photos can also be useful if you just purchased a home. If any damage has occurred during the time the previous owner moved out and you moved in, photos are your proof – and, if necessary, can even get you money for repairs.

Check For Breakage. Did you hire movers to pack and move for you? If so, you only have a limited amount of time to report any suspected damage or missing items. Check everything from dishes to heavy appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers.

Find Out Trash Schedule. Lots of unpacked boxes means lots of trash. But, where do you put your trash and what days it is picked up? To find out, ask your landlord, homeowners association or neighbors. You can also call your city’s sanitation department.

Change the Locks. Home sweet home. It’s all yours … now. But, have you ever considered who else may have had keys when the previous residents lived there? Avoid any safety risks by having all of the locks changed as soon as you move in (or before if possible). As a new property owner, this is one of the most important things you can do.

Register Your Car. If you moved to a new state, don’t forget to register your car. You will typically have 60 days to do so, however each state has slightly different requirements. Penalties for not having your car registered within the allotted time can range from fines to your vehicle being impounded.

Along with registering your car, you will also need to obtain a new driver’s license. This typically needs to be done within 30 days of your move.

Update Voting Address. If you want to continue having your voice heard, don’t forget to update your voting address. Most states allow a small grace period which allows you to use your old address at your new polling place. However, for elections beyond the grace period, be sure to update your new address at least two weeks prior to the election so you can cast your vote on important issues.

For more tips to make your move go smoother, click here.