Important things to look for when moving to a new neighborhood

movingWhen it’s time to find a new home, there are many things to take into consideration. Here are some important things to look for when scouring neighborhoods for a new place to live.

movingGreen Spaces. Whether you dig a city vibe or more urban area, everyone can benefit from having some greenery in their lives. That’s why it’s a good idea to look at neighborhoods that offer local parks. Find out how many are in the area. Do they provide key aspects you and your family want? For example, are they within walking distance to the homes you are looking to live in and do they have play equipment like swings and slides for your children to use? It is also important to make sure these parks are safe, so check with trusted neighbors in the area and do an Internet search.

Neighborhood Watch Program. Speaking of safety, another important thing to learn about when searching for a good neighborhood to live in is whether it has a neighborhood watch program (NWP). An NWP is a good indicator as to whether the neighborhood is serious about safety and if it can provide your family with extra security. Speak with members of the community to find out if there is an NWP, how often they meet, and how they go about ensuring neighborhood safety. If there isn’t an NWP but you like the added security it provides, you may want to consider asking others in the community if they’d be willing to start one with you.

Good Schools. If you have school-aged children, then the location and quality of schools in the area you intend to live is of utmost concern. After all, what’s more important than your children’s education and safety? This is why researching the schools in the area where you plan to live is a must. When researching schools, use a school finder to compare important indicators – average test scores, ratio of teachers to students, and reviews from current and former neighbors. Ideally, you will want the school your child to attend to provide an excellent overall performance record and enough teachers to give your child the attention they need to succeed.

movingWalkability. Living in an area where you can ditch the car and simply walk wherever you need to go sounds pretty phenomenal, doesn’t it? There are several benefits of it too, like saving on gas and lowering wear and tear on your vehicle. Plus, it helps lower your carbon footprint – a definite score for the planet. Fresh air and exercise don’t hurt either, and we all want to look and feel our best, right? If you want to live in an area where you can easily walk around on foot, check out Google’s walkability score website. Just type in the name of the area you are considering moving to, and it will provide you with information on how pedestrian-friendly it is.

Friendly Neighbors. There are the neighbors that you never see and the neighbors that are overly friendly and make you want to run in the house before they notice you. And then you have the perfect neighbors that are just the right amount of friendly and trustable. Having a good relationship with your neighbors is important for both you and your family’s safety and peaceful living experience. Neighbors that have a good rapport with one another will think highly of each other, have get-togethers, and keep the yards clean and safe for kids in the neighborhood. Before you decide on a permanent residence, consider chatting with potential neighbors in the area. This will give you a feel for who you might be living near.

movingPolice/Fire Departments. Another important thing to consider before moving to a new area is to find out how close police and fire departments are to your potential home. You’ll want to live in a neighborhood that provides a noticeable police presence, but not so noticeable that it indicates the area may have a crime problem. It’s also a good idea to look for a local fire department in order to try and get a feel for how long it might take them to respond to an emergency should something ever go wrong.

Culture. What you should also think about when choosing a specific location to live in is the kind of culture or lifestyle you want to be surrounded by. If you have small children, you may want to live in an area with other families with young kids. Or, if you’re an older couple, you may want to live in an area with people close to your age. While it is definitely a matter of preference, an area’s culture can make a large impact on how much you enjoy living there.

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8 must-know tips to follow when moving in snowy weather

moving

Winter is here! That first snowfall of the year can be truly magical, can’t it? Unfortunately, the effect has a tendency to quickly wear off, especially when you have to move house in a land of white. To make your winter move a success, here are eight, must-know tips to follow:

movingConfirm detail with your moving company. It may be more difficult to move house during winter, but it is actually a pretty smart idea. With winter being moving companies off-season, moving rates are often lower, and it is much easier to book movers because they are more available. But because the winter season often brings unpredictable weather it is important o confirm the details of your move with your moving company ahead of time. Check in with them one week prior to your scheduled move as well as one to two days before. This way you and your movers are on the same page and if there are any problems due to the weather, you can come up with a backup plan.

Check the weather often. Since winter can be so unpredictable, it is important o keep a close watch on the weather as your moving day approaches. Check the forecast, paying close attention to what your trusted local meteorologist has to say. Also check it every week leading up to your move, and then every day the week of. If you are concerned the weather will cause roads to be shut down or that it will hinder your move in any way, don’t hesitate to call them and express your worries. Remember, as anxious as you are to get your move over with, it is always best to play it safe and delay your move. Getting stuck in a blizzard is definitely not worth it.

MovingCover your floors. Moving in snowy conditions leads to the floors of your home becoming dirty and wet. It also makes floors extra slippery and dangerous to walk on. To avoid ruined floors or a potential injury, it is a good idea to cover your carpets and hardwood floors. Just grab a few cheap plastic tarps from the nearest hardware store and use them to cover the areas of your home that will see the most foot traffic during your move. We also suggest laying down floor mats at every entry way to help clean off shoes and decrease the risk of injury.

MovingClear sidewalks, driveways and street. The floors inside your home aren’t the only thing that can lead to a potential injury on moving day. Your sidewalks, driveways and street can too. Carrying a heavy couch down an icy sidewalk, for instance, is a very dangerous scenario. The solution? To salt, shovel or snow blow any major walkways that will be used during your move so your movers can walk upon them safely. Not only does this help protect your movers from injury and save you from a potential lawsuit, but it also ensures your belongings are better handled and not broken or damaged.

Double pack fragile items. During cold weather, many things become more delicate and fragile. To make them less likely to break during the move, it is a good idea to double pack them. It is also important to keep any items that are prone to breaking in cold weather off of the moving truck if at all possible. If your moving truck has to stay outside overnight, be sure the most fragile items are brought inside to avoid damage.

movingTurn off your heat. It may sound crazy to turn off your heat during the winter, but it is definitely a good idea to do so on the day of your move. During your move, your home will have a constant flow of people going in and out. This will make it hard for your furnace to do its job. As it strives to heat your home, all of that nice warm air will all go straight out the door. In turn, your electricity bill will skyrocket!

Check the utilities at your new home. After a long and very cold moving day, the last thing you want is for your heating system and power to not be working at your new home. This is why it is very important to ensure all of the utilities at your new home are turned on about two days prior to your move.

movingHave sheets, towels and blankets on hand. Hopefully, you don’t encounter serious snowfall on the day of your move. But if the skies open up and your snow begins to pour down, you will want to be prepared. To do this, you will want to have sheets, towels and blankets on hand. This way, you will be able to cover and protect your furniture so it won’t be ruined when being moved in and out of the moving truck.

For all your moving needs, ABC Movers is your trusted moving company.

The top 6 things your movers want you to know

Moving
Photo via preparedforthat.com.

Hiring professional movers is a great way to get out of all the manual labor that moving to a new home requires. After all, movers have the expert know-how required to perform a smooth and trouble-free relocation. However, there are some things they wish you knew that would further ensure they are able to do their job and do it well. Here are the top six things movers want you to know in order to make moving day easier for everyone involved:

1. Stay out of the way. There’s a reason you decided to hire professional movers to move your belongings for you – and that’s so you wouldn’t have to do it. This being said, stay out of the way when your movers are at work. They are trained to relocate your belongings in the safest, fastest and most efficient way possible, so let them do their job. Trying to micromanage them and tell them how to do their job will only slow down the process and create unnecessary tension. Your best bet is to provide your moving crew with any information they may need and then get out of their way.

2. Stay nearby. Okay, so we just told you that you should stay out of the way while your movers work. But don’t take this to mean you should actually leave while your movers do their job. What we really meant was to just go to a different room or outside. Here’s why: Even though your movers will be mostly busy when moving your belongings, they may need to consult with you at some point – whether to ask you a question or for some other reason. Good communication is key to a successful move because it saves time and prevents misunderstandings and mistakes. So even though you are staying out of your movers’ path, be sure to stay nearby for the times they do need you around.

3. Take care of details ahead of time

movingDetails, details, details. If there is one thing that can make or break a move, it’s ignoring all the little details involved. Not only do you need to pay attention to them, but you also need to do so in advance. Here are some details to stay on top of prior to your move:

  • Consider your location. Does it have stairs or a long distance between the front door and the closest parking place? Are there any physical elements that may prevent access to your moving truck? Obstacles like these should be discussed with your movers in advance to ensure the necessary steps are taken before moving day arrives. This way, your team of movers can determine exactly how much time, how many workers, and what size truck they will need to successfully perform your move.
  • Reserve parking access. If parking poses an issue during your move, it is important to reserve a parking space for your moving truck before moving day. Convenience is key to making your move easier, so the closer access your movers have to the entrances of your old and new homes, the better!
  • Reserve the elevator. Are you moving out of or into an upper-level
    apartment building? If it has a working elevator, your movers will need to movingensure access to it – this is especially true if you live in a busy building with lots of tenants who require continuous access to it. To make sure your movers don’t have any problems using the elevator, go ahead and reserve it via your landlord for the day of your move.
  • Remove safety hazards. With your movers carrying heavy items to and from your home, it is vital to remove any potential safety hazards before they arrive.Ensure there is plenty of free space in all rooms so they can easily move around. Remove doors from their hinges (if necessary); remove obstacles from corridors and entryways; and keep paths from the front door to the moving truck clear – no debris, fallen leaves (they’re slippery!) or other potential hazards.
  • Prevent property damage by taking the necessary precautions – cover floors, carpets and stairs with protective, anti-slip materials, wrap banisters in old blankets, protect door frames with foam padding, install corner guards, and remove paintings, mirrors, clocks, etc. from walls.


4. Speak up.
Movers can’t read your mind. If there is something you need to tell them – speak up! These are some things you should tell your movers movingahead of time:

  • Where they can park.
  • How to access your home.
  • If there are any rules to be aware of – parking rules, time restrictions on moving hours, etc.
  • Which items need extra care.
  • What level of coverage you want.
  • What additional services you need.
  • What items you don’t want loaded on the moving truck.
  • Where you want specific items and boxes to go – a designated room, a self-storage unit, etc.

5. Pack everything before movers arrive. Another thing movers wish you knew is that the best way to ensure a fast, efficient, and smooth move is to have everything fully packed and ready to go when they arrive. This way they can immediately get to work and complete the job in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

If your movers have to wait around for you to finish packing, this delay will cost you extra money in the end. The expression is “Time is money”, isn’t it?

moving6. Pack properly. As just stated, it’s vital to have all of your belongings packed and ready to go as soon as your moving company arrives. But it is also very important that you have packed everything properly. If your movers believe something has been inefficiently packed, they will make you repack it. They don’t want to be held accountable for things breaking under their watch, and you don’t want your possessions to be broken during your move. The optimal way to deal with this is to pack everything correctly before your movers arrive.

For all your moving needs, ABC Movers is there for you. Contact us today for a FREE quote!

6 Signs It’s Time to Move to a Larger Home


Finding the perfect home can be harder than expected. You want it to be in a location you like with features you love. You also want it to have enough space to accommodate your family and lifestyle. A house that does not have enough space to properly fit everyone and everything can be a terrible problem, leading to chaos and stress. Are you wondering whether you and your family should move to a larger home? Here are some signs that will confirm that it’s time for a bigger home.

Your family is expanding. Does baby make 3, 4 or 5? Are your parents moving into your home so you can take care of them? Has the number of pets or roommates you have grown? No matter the reason, adding people to your home generally means you will need more space. More people means more stuff, more demands for the bathroom, more beds needed, and so on. In order to comfortably fit everyone in one place, the best solution is to move to a home that is large enough to accommodate everyone.

Your income has increased. The lower the income, the smaller your home will typically be. So if you manage to see an increase in how much money you have, it may mean it’s time to invest in a bigger place to live. Have you always dreamed of a roomy eat-in kitchen, or a large backyard for social gatherings or for your kids to play? With more money in the bank, you can afford to be more selective about where you live and what qualities your home has.

You started an in-home business. Running a business from your home has many great perks (you’re your own boss, for instance), but it
will turn out to be a negative experience if you don’t have enough space in your home for it to operate. To run an in-home business you will require an office or designated office space. Without it, you may find yourself
conducting business at a communal spot, like the kitchen or dining room table. This will make it hard to stay organized and focus on your many required work tasks. If your current home doesn’t have an extra room or area that you can use to run your new in-home business properly, then moving to a larger home is the optimal choice in order to make your new venture a success.

You have a new hobby. Just as you would need an extra room for an in-home office, you may also require more space in your home to indulge in a new hobby. For example, you may spend a great deal of time painting. With all of the paint, canvases, sketchbooks, and other supplies this sort of hobby requires, it is best to have a designated space to put forth your talents. This means you may need a larger home to accommodate your new favorite pastime.

Your quality of life is suffering. When you first moved into your current home, there was probably enough space, maybe even a little extra, for you to feel comfortable and content. But as time has passed, your nicely-sized home may have become a little cramped. The longer you live somewhere, the more things you acquire – pets, books, furniture, children. Are you constantly tripping over piles of clothes because you don’t have enough closet space to store them all? Do your overnight guests have to sleep on an uncomfortable pull-out couch because you don’t have a guest room? Are your cats or dogs running circles around you because you don’t have a yard for them to play in? Less wiggle room can lead to a life of chaos and stress. If your quality of life has taken a nosedive because your house is just too small, then the only way to truly solve this dilemma and make life sweet again is to upscale to a bigger home.

You don’t want to remodel. When you are in need of a bigger home, there are two ways to go about getting it: remodel your current home or move to a home that is larger. Remodels are a great way to add more space to your home without having to pack up and move. However, in some cases, remodeling your home can wind up being more costly than selling and moving to a larger house. It can also be a nightmare living in the midst of a construction zone. If you don’t want to undergo the time and stress of a home remodel, then the ultimate way to get the living space you need is to move to a home that already provides it.

Are you ready to move to a larger home? Then contact professional movers to help you with all your moving needs.

Top Ways Having a Roommate Saves You Money

There’s no denying that the cost of living is expensive. There are bills to pay, food to buy, household furnishings to acquire. No matter how old a person is, affording the many things life requires can be difficult. It can be especially hard for young adults just venturing into “the real world”. So how does one manage to pay all of their expenses? One way is to get a roommate. To learn the top ways in which having a roommate can save you money, continue reading!

Bills. From rent to utilities, bills are a constant part of living. This is one area in which having a roommate can save you money. You think that the bills for two people will run higher than those for just one, but in actuality, the costs don’t increase the much. Splitting the cost of rent, electricity, internet, etc., will translate into major savings in the long run.

Meals and Groceries. Another way having a roommate can save you money is by sharing meals and grocery costs. By coordinating grocery trips, you won’t end up filling the fridge with doubles, like two gallons of milk or two cartons of eggs. You also won’t risk having your food spoil or leftovers going bad – which ultimately is money being thrown in the trash.

Buy in Bulk. Along with sharing meals and grocery costs, having a roommate also allows you to purchase items together, in bulk. While you may not want to go in on bulk items together like 20 jars of peanut butter and 50 toothbrushes together, it is a good idea to purchase certain things in larger quantities. Things like toilet paper, rice, pasta, and so on, are good bulk items to purchase together as roommates. Not only will it save you money by sharing the expense, but it will also save you time so you won’t have to go to the store as often.

Clean Up. One look around your home after just a few days of not cleaning up will show you just how much effort is required in order to keep a living space that is clean and organized. Maybe your job or schedule is so busy you are unable to keep up with household chores, or maybe you just despise cleaning, but either way, you may be tempted to hire a professional to keep your home spic and span. Though the  may be very appealing, it will only lead to spending money – not saving it. This is where having a roommate comes in handy. Instead of having to clean an entire house by yourself, you and your roommate will be able to share the responsibilities. This means just half the cleaning burden lands on you and you can spend your time on more worthwhile things.

Décor. When you move into a new place – or simply live on your own – you need a lot of stuff, like a couch, a microwave, some pots and pans, and so on. Finding the means to purchase all of the things you need to fill your living space can be hard to manage alone. But with a roommate, outfitting a home is much easier. With two of you to donate items to the household, you will save a great deal of money, all while being able to decorate your home more quickly and efficiently.

Events. Say you and your roomie want to have some people over for a get together, or want to host a small party for a friends birthday. Having a roommate means you can do these kinds of fun activities without bearing all of the financial responsibilities. For example, if hosting a friend’s birthday party, one of you could pay for the food and drinks, while another pays for the decorations or gift.

For It To Work

In order for you to be able to save money by having a roommate, you don’t want to sign up just anyone for the role. For such an important decision, you will want to take the time to ensure that whomever you pick is financially responsible. If you aren’t moving in with someone you already know, here are some important questions to ask a potential roommate:

  • How long have they had their job?
  • How do they feel about paying rent on time?
  • How do they envision splitting utility costs?

Looking for more great tips? Check out our blog.

Relocating the Elderly: A Helpful Guide

A home is more than just four walls and a roof. Home is a place that provides comfort and safety. A place that holds memories. All of these qualities grow the longer you live in the same home. Because of this, having to move to a new home can be very upsetting – especially for the elderly. Not only is it harder for seniors to endure a move physically, but it is also difficult emotionally. After all, they have spent years of their time, effort and money to create a home they truly love. Moving seniors can be an enormous challenge, requiring time, organization, and lots of patience. You will also need the assistance of the guide below that will hold your hand as you go through all of the stages of the senior relocation process.

Communication

Moving house is always a time of difficulty and worry. But for the elderly, leaving a cozy, comfortable place that has been their home for many years can be a time of great sadness and apprehension. The main cause of this distress is the perceived sense of loss – a loss of control, independence and self. In order to ensure a smooth transition, reducing your parents sense of loss and powerlessness is a must. To do this, communication is of utmost importance. To create an open line of communication:

  • Discuss the matter at length. Talk with your parents about why they need to move and their options for where they can move to;
  • Be patient. Give your parents time to think about moving, grieve their loss, and also accept the changes that are to come;
  • Be positive. Point out the good aspects of them moving – less responsibilities, less work, increased safety, better healthcare, the chance to spend more time with you and their grandchildren (if moving closer to you).
  • Give them choices. Let them choose their new home or living community. Allow them to be part of the moving preparations, letting them decide what belongings they will take with them, etc.

Planning

After a decision is made about whether or not your parents will be moving – and where they will be moving to – it is time to start planning the relocation. With every move, a great deal of time, effort and organization occurs. For a senior move, you will need to accomplish a number of important tasks, such as:

  • Downsizing your parent’s belongings.
  • Packing your parent’s belongings.
  • Hiring professional movers that are experts in handling a senior move.

Packing

When packing for a move, the elderly are not just packing mere belongings. They are packing memories, keepsakes, and other essential elements from their life. Because they will need to limit the amount of items they move with them, packing can be a longer-than-usual process. To make the packing process efficient and stress-free, you should:

Be considerate and patient. While you may want to just throw things into boxes and donate gobs of other items, it’s important to be considerate and patient with your parents at this time. Ask them what they’d like to do themselves and what they will need help with. While it’s a good idea to help them sort their belongings and steer them in the direction of getting rid of nonessential items, be sure to let them have the final say in what they keep and what they say goodbye to.

Start early. As we just mentioned, it can take time for your parents to decide what belongings to keep and which ones to toss. This is why it’s important to start the packing process early – around three – four months before moving day.

Begin with simple tasks. Easing into the packing process will make it much more bearable on everyone involved. So begin with simple tasks first. For example, try having your parents pack a room in their home that doesn’t hold much emotional attachment, such as a guest room or study.

Another way to help make the moving process easier is to focus on one area at a time. This will make everything that needs to be accomplished less overwhelming.

Pack an essentials box. The first few day after a move is always the hardest. Unpacking, finding specific items you need, and so on. This is why packing an essentials box is a must In this specific box, pack the most must-needed items your parents will need during those first few days after moving. This way they will have easy access to the necessities – medication, toiletries, clothes, basic kitchen items, etc.

Ensure the safety of belongings. Moving is hard enough without suffering the loss of items that were damaged during transportation. While packing, take the necessary steps to ensure all of your parent’s belongings are safely packed to ensure they make it from Point A to Point B on moving day.

Label all boxes. To keep the packing process organized, be sure to label all moving boxes, furniture and other belongings clearly. When labeling, include the specific location that each box, etc. is to go in at your parents’ new home. It is also a good idea to label boxes with their contents to make unpacking easier. For items that require special instructions, be sure to state them on the labels.

Moving Day

When the day of the move arrives, emotions will run high for everyone involved, especially your parents. You will need to be extra cautious in order to keep everything running smoothly and error-free. Here are some things to consider on this stressful day:

  • Be present on moving day to supervise all moving activities as well as the emotional state of your parents.
  • Take the necessary precautions to eliminate the risk of accidents and injuries during the move.
  • Set aside any items that should not be loaded on the moving truck (an essentials box, valuable items, or important documents).
  • Take the time to double check the house before leaving it for good. Ensure nothing has been left behind.
  • Create a safe and comfortable trip for the senior(s) as they relocate to their new home.
  • After the move, help your parents settle in to their new home. Place all o their belongings in the correct places and ensure they are able to freely and safely navigate through their new home.
  • If your parents have moved to a retirement community or assisted living facility, ensure they know how to reach staff for assistance.

For more moving tips, click here. For professional moving services, contact us at 800.771.0151.

Important Steps to Take When Moving a Safe

If you read our previous blog, “Moving a Safe: Important Prep Steps to Follow”, you learned the necessary prep steps to take when moving a safe. If you didn’t read it, hurry and do so before venturing further!

Now, let’s continue…

Moving a safe is a big job and should be taken seriously. You will need to have strong people to help you move it, the correct moving equipment, a plan for how to move it successfully, and a vehicle to load it onto. For optimal results, follow these important tips to move your safe:

Step 1. After prepping your safe for transport, be sure to close the door and lock it in place. If the doors to your safe accidentally open during transport, it could cause a lot of damage – to you and your helpers, to other belongings or your property, and even to itself.

Step 2. Your safe may appear indestructible, but trust us, it can be damaged during a move. This being said, use moving blankets to completely wrap your safe; ensure no parts are visible. Then, using packing tape, moving straps or rope, secure the blankets in place.

Step 3. With the help of your moving buddies, slowly tilt the safe and slide a heavy-duty dolly underneath the bottom. This step should be performed with extreme caution. One slip or misstep and someone could get hurt.

Step 4. Once your safe is on the dolly, you will need to secure it in place. Do this by wrapping the entire body of the safe with straps or rope, fastening it tightly and securely to the dolly. It is vital that the safe remains firmly attached to the moving dolly at all times, so before continuing to the next step, double-check your work.

Step 5. All of your strength will need to be used during this step, so get your muscles ready. After double-checking to ensure your safe is securely attached to the moving dolly, tilt back the two-wheeler so the full weight of the safe is balanced on the wheels.

Step 6. As you begin to slowly roll the dolly, have at least three of your helpers support the safe. You may also want to assign someone to walk a few steps ahead of you in order to warn you of potential trouble along the way (bumps, cracks, etc.). During this time, no one should make any sudden or unexpected movements. Doing so could confuse others, or even throw them off balance. Sharp turns or bumps should also be avoided if possible because it could cause the safe to fall off the dolly.

Step 7. If you’ve managed to transport your safe to the awaiting moving vehicle, you will then need to lower the loading ramp. This way you can wheel your safe up the ramp and into the vehicle where it will remain until arriving at your destination.

Step 8. After loading the safe, strap it against one of the vehicle’s sides, securing it as tightly as possible. Remember, the more securely you strap your safe to the inside of your moving vehicle, the better the chance it will survive the many bumps and turns on the road. Be sure to use as many straps and ropes as necessary to achieve complete immobilization during transport.

Step 9. Once arriving at your new home, you will need to repeat the above steps in reverse order.

Don’t forget. Safety is your number one priority when moving a safe. If you are not 100% certain you are up to the challenge, turn to experienced professionals that can help you get the job done.

For more moving tips and tricks, click here.

Tips for Deciding How to Style Your New Home

Gearing up for a home move means lots of organizing, planning, packing, and heavy lifting. Not only that, but it can be an emotional time with large amounts of stress. All in all, moving can be very overwhelming. While you are probably counting down the days to when your move is finally over, there is one thing that you are most likely eagerly waiting to be able to start. Can you guess what it is? If you guessed decorating your new home, we are on the same page.

Sure, a lot of what you will be doing after your move will be unpacking. But as things get unpacked and put away, decorating will be the next big step to take in the post-moving process. Though it is definitely exciting to make your house a home, it can often be hard starting such a task. Luckily, there are some way to pinpoint “the look” that is right for you and your home. Check out the noteworthy ideas below!

Consider other areas in your life. When first starting out on the path to decorating your new home, first consider the areas of your life where you know and love your particular style or taste. One area, in particular, to examine is your wardrobe. Are your clothes and accessories bold and fancy? Or are they muted and minimal? Figuring out certain aspects of your wardrobe may help you decide the type of style, colors, etc. that you would like the interior of your home to possess.

Take a look around. Ideas are all over the place, from decorating magazines to websites like Pinterest. While these are great options to get the decorative wheels turning in your head, we suggest taking the time to stop and look at certain things around you. If you were drawn to a certain area of town, or neighborhood, there had to be several reasons why. One is most likely the style and architecture of the houses. So pause for a moment and look at other homes in your neighborhood and on your own street. Are they traditional? Modern? Eclectic? While you observe nearby homes, figure out what exactly catches your eye and draws you in. Is it the architecture? The color combo of the shutters and front door? Once you learn specific details about homes you admire, figuring out how to apply the same ideas to your own place is much easier.

Think about countries you dream of visiting. When you see photos of different counties, what draws you in most? Is it the rich, bold colors of a tropical location like Greece? Or the earthy, muted tones of a Tuscan landscape? When you consider the appeal of certain locations that strike your senses, you may find that you enjoy the same type of hues inside your very own home.

Scour magazines. Websites are perfectly fine, but magazines are also something we suggest using when planning ways to decorate your home. Decorating is a hands-on activity. This means you need to mix and match paint colors in person, test the comfort level of a couch by sitting on it, and feel the fabric of a pillow or throw rug between your fingers. Magazines are a great way to start the hands-on experience of decorating. Feel the magazine in your grip. Tear out the pages and make a collage of how certain colors and furniture items work together. The process is fun and will lead you to a newly-decorated home.

Figure out what you don’t like. It seems like a weird concept, but sometimes it can be hard to know exactly what types of style and designs you like. To help make it easier to know the things you do like, it’s a good idea to figure out the things you don’t like. By eliminating the styles, patterns, colors, etc. that you dislike, you will be able to steer clear of these things and focus on the true direction you want to take to set up your new home.

Now that you have read some ideas on decorating your new home, you are on your way to having the house you always dreamed of. If you have other tips to add, let us know in the comments.

Top Tips for Labeling Moving Boxes

When you think of moving to a new home, what words come to mind? If you’re like most who have gone through the process of a home move, you probably think of words like chaos, disorganization and stress. It’s not that moving to a new home is all bad. In fact, it can actually be a very exciting time in one’s life. The problem is that there are a lot of details involved in order to orchestrate and conduct a move. From finding a new place to live, to packing, cleaning and buying supplies, there is a great deal to organize if you want to get from Point A to Point B successfully.

Luckily, your moving preparations don’t have to be disorganized, chaotic or stressful. How, you ask? One way is to devise a smart and foolproof labeling system for packing. Below you will find our top tips for labeling moving boxes for an upcoming move.

Create a Color-Code System

We previously mentioned a color-code system. Now we will discuss in full what this is and how it works. So here goes! The best way to label moving boxes is to create and use a color-coding system. Here’s an example:

Say you choose the color blue to mean bedroom. You will use either a blue marker or blue tape to label all boxes that are packed with items from your bedroom. Come moving day, you will know to take all boxes labeled with blue to the bedroom until they can later be unpacked.

How will others, like friends and movers, understand your color-coding system? A good way to keep them informed is to place colored pieces of paper on the doors of your new home that match the color-code on your boxes. For example, for bedroom boxes labeled with blue, place a blue piece of paper over that specific bedroom door.

Create a Number Labeling System

Are you into numbers more than colors? No problem! Another great labeling technique you can use is a number labeling system. The purpose of using numbers to mark your moving boxes is to designate a certain number to each container. Then, you create a master inventory checklist that includes the contents located in each numbered box.

For example: If Box #1 includes a coffee maker, toaster and blender, each of these items will be listed under Box #1 on your inventory checklist. Then, on the box, you will write “#1”.

The key to using a number labeling system is to ensure you don’t lose the master inventory checklist. So print several copies and also email it to yourself and even to a friend for extra backup.

Gather Labeling Supplies

One of the keys to successfully pack for a move is to have the proper supplies to get the job done. While the most obvious supplies you’ll need are things like cardboard moving boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape, you will also need labeling supplies:

Quality Markers. One of the most important labeling supplies to have are markers (have several on hand!). Unlike ordinary pens, markers are the best choice. When shopping for markers, keep these things in mind:

Color. Using markers of different colors will allow you to color-code each box based on the room it belongs in. This will make moving day, and unpacking, much more organized.

Quality. With moving costs exploding around you, it can be tempting to cut costs on things like markers. But this is a definite mistake, as they are more likely to run out of ink faster and not show up as well.

Permanent and Waterproof. Moving day comes with a big list of what-ifs. What if it rains? What if something leaks? Problems like these can cause labels to smudge and smear. This is why using permanent and waterproof markers when labeling your moving boxes is a must.

Labels. If you prefer to have sticky labels that you write on, you can find downloadable and ready-to-use printable moving box labels on the Internet. You can also purchase labels from a local moving company. These labels will include the names of different rooms on them so you won’t even have to write on them.

Colored Tape. While packing your belongings, you will have lots of clear packing tape on hand. But this won’t work for labeling! To label your boxes, you will need to purchase colored tape. This way, you can enhance your labeling system and make box notification easier.

Label Boxes Correctly

There are, of course, no serious rules to follow when it comes to labeling your moving boxes. You are a unique individual, after all, and can label them whichever way you choose. But we do have a few proven techniques to share with you to help make labeling an easy and organized success.

  • Choose a labeling method that works best for you. Then, label the top and two sides of each moving box. Be sure your writing is legible. It should also be visible on at least one side, even when boxes are stacked one on top of the other.
  • Attach moving labels to your boxes then place clear packing tape over them. This way labels won’t fall of or get torn or wet during transportation.
  • Label boxes that require extra care with words like “Fragile”, “Breakable” or “Handle with Care”.

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

Moving Furniture: Valuable Safety Tips

Fact: Furniture is one of the hardest and most dreaded things to move. It’s big, heavy, awkwardly-shaped, and can also become damaged or cause personal injury if moved incorrectly. Your best bet when moving furniture is to hire professional movers to handle the job for you. But if you are faced with a do-it-yourself move, you will need to know how to do it safely and successfully. Here are our most valuable safety tips for moving furniture:

Disassemble Furniture

When moving large furniture, it probably seems easiest to move the entire piece at once. But in truth, doing so will likely lead to problems. Furniture is one of the most difficult items to move, due to extra-large dimensions, serious weight, awkward shape, and often fragility and high value (e.g., antique furniture). To make the task easier, it is best to take the time to disassemble your furniture. Here’s why:

  • Certain furniture pieces are too big to fit through standard doorways and narrow hallways.
  • Some furniture pieces are too heavy and awkwardly-shaped to be carried up or down stairs.
  • Some furniture pieces are too fragile – especially those with breakable glass or frail ornamentations.

Identify and Eliminate Moving Dangers

No matter what you are moving, safety is always of utmost importance. Ignore major moving safety tips and you could end up with broken belongings or personal injuries. There are many safety tips to consider when moving large furniture items. The number one safety goal is to keep exit paths and outdoor pathways clear of potential dangers. Random obstacles, packed cardboard boxes or any disorganized clutter inside or outside your home can lead to bad accidents. Another thing to remove is any dust, mud, snow, and especially ice, which can create slippery surfaces and serious injuries.

Get Help

The stress and burden of moving house is much too great for a single person to handle all on their own. This includes handling very heavy and oversized pieces of furniture. Before you try to move furniture by yourself, remember that moving house is a team effort, not a solo performance. Not only is it difficult – often impossible – to move furniture by yourself, but it is also dangerous. So be smart. Gather a team of friends to help you, or opt for professional movers who can do the job for you.

Use Proper Equipment

The bigger and heavier an object is, the harder, trickier and riskier it will be to move it. To prevent accidents and injury while moving large furniture, it’s vital to have the proper tools and equipment. To make your move easier and safer, rent or purchase the following moving equipment:

  • Furniture Dolly. A furniture dolly is an L-shaped, two-wheeled handcart that is useful and efficient when lifting or moving heavy objects. You can rent a dolly from a local moving company or can purchase one if you feel you will get good use out of owning one.
  • Furniture Slides. A furniture slider is another important piece of equipment to obtain when moving heavy items, like furniture. Slides feature durable plastic on one side and hard rubber on the other. Providing a frictionless slide, furniture can be positioned on top of it in order to be moved a short distance or all the way across a room.
  • Moving Straps. Moving straps are a very useful tool when moving heavy furniture. This is why professional movers often use them! When secured in place around your body, the weight of heavy items is redirected away from your back to a stronger muscle group. As a result, the object is easier to move and will not cause bodily harm.

Use Correct Lifting Techniques

When moving heavy objects, your body will be forced to do a lot of awkward and uncommon movements – bending, pushing, pulling, twisting and lifting. The problem is that you or one of your helpers are put at a high risk of injury. This is why it is crucial to use correct lifting techniques when moving furniture. Here are some safe lifting techniques to know and use:

  • Always lift with your legs. To do this, bend your knees, keep your back straight and use the strength of your lower limbs when lifting. This will spare your back from strains, pulls and other potential problems.
  • Avoid pulling heavy furniture. Instead, push these items whenever possible. Be sure to have furniture sliders underneath for an easier slide.
  • When turning sideways or around while holding big, heavy furniture, do so with your legs, not your hips.
  • Hold furniture you are moving as close to your body as possible and in the relative center of your body.
  • To avoid injury from poor footing, make slow, smooth movements and take small steps.
  • Keep your eyes and attention focused in front of you – especially if moving something by yourself.

Dress Appropriately

Wearing the wrong clothes or footwear can lead to unsafe moving conditions. This brings us to our final safety tip for moving furniture: dress appropriately. To achieve the level of safety you seek, here are some things to consider:

  • Wear comfortable clothes that let you move freely. Ideally, they should be made of material that is flexible and breathable.
  • Avoid clothes that you will be sorry to see get dirty or ruined.
  • Avoid baggy clothes that can become easily hooked on a piece of furniture, get caught in a door, etc.
  • Wear shoes that are closed and have rubber, anti-slip soles. Footwear should also provide good support, especially around the ankles.
  • Wear high-quality work gloves to improve your grip and to protect your hands.

For more ways to make your move easier, click here.