Step-By-Step Guide to Unload a Moving Truck the Right Way

After many hours of loading all of your belongings safely inside a moving truck, you are probably already tired and ready for moving day to be over and done. But as you roll up to your new home, you still have many hours of unloading ahead. Sigh! So how do you make the process of unloading a moving truck efficient, speedy and safe? By checking out the handy step-by-step guide below.

1. Fully extend the loading/unloading ramp your rental truck is equipped with. Check the ramp to ensure it is in good operating order and also that it is dry.

2. Open the truck door. This should be done slowly so you won’t disturb items inside, and if something falls out, you will be able to react quickly. The chance of pieces falling out of the truck as you lift the door is high because things easily shift during transportation.

3. Unload items carefully and in the right order.

  • The first item to unload will be the last items you loaded.
  • Next, remove miscellaneous items that are lightweight. These will be those belongings that have been placed on top of larger items or in remaining empty spaces.
  • Household appliances should be next on your unloading list. Since these items are delicate – and heavy – use extra care when moving them, along with a utility dolly and several extra hands.
  • After household appliances have been taken off the truck, tackle bulky boxes.
  • Now comes the time to remove furniture. Be sure to unhook any ropes or moving straps that are holding pieces in place inside the truck. For furniture that contains drawers or doors, check to ensure they are well secured and won’t fall out or swing open while unloading them.
  • Once all of the previously mentioned items have been unloaded, you should be left with just large boxes to remove. Be smart and carry only one box at a time – it will actually be just as quick and will decrease the risk of damaged items and personal injury.

4. Use proper lifting and carrying techniques during the unloading process. Bend your knees, and use the strength of your arms and legs to lift and carry heavy pieces. Be sure to hold items close to your body, take small steps and keep your movements slow and precise.

5. Avoid rushing while unloading your moving truck. Rushing to get the job done faster will only lead to broken belongings and injury. So plan every step carefully and avoid hasty actions.

6. Take belongings directly to their designated location as you remove them from the truck. This will eliminate having to move large, heavy items around your home later, and will also save you lots of time when trying to unpack, because everything will already be in the right spot.

7. Check inside your moving truck one last time to ensure all of your belongings have been removed. Then close and secure the door, and disengage the ramp.

8. If a moving company delivered your items, check your inventory sheet to make sure all of your belongings arrived safe and sound. Be sure to do this while the movers are still there, just in case!

9. If you rented a moving truck for a DIY move and it has officially served its purpose, it’s time to clean the empty truck, fuel it back up and return it on time.

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Helpful Tips to Move Your China Cabinet with No Cracks, Chips or Broken Pieces

Just looking at a china cabinet can leave you feeling tense. All of those delicate items just waiting to break at even the slightest rattle or shake. The worry of breakage is even worse when preparing for a move. One careless step and you risk some of your most valuable items being shattered into thousands of sharp, dangerous pieces. Not only that, but your china cabinet itself is breakable too and can suffer major damage during the moving process. Luckily, there are ways to tackle the fragile process of moving your china cabinet and all of the precious items inside with no cracks, chips or broken pieces. So let out those worried breaths and steady those shaky hands, and check out the following tips.

Must-Have Supplies

Before you can begin the process of packing your china cabinet, you will need to gather all of the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of all of the must-haves:

Dish boxes. To provide the best protection to your breakables, you will need to invest in dish boxes. While similar to typical moving boxes, dish boxes are better for breakables because they are made of a double layer of thick corrugated cardboard. They can also be found with specific slots to provide extra protection around each individual dish. If you are unable to find boxes specifically designed for dishes, you can still use regular moving boxes, but just be sure to include extra padding to compensate for the weaker protection of their single-layered cardboard walls.

Bubble wrap. The air-filled sacks bubble wrap provides is a must-have supply when packing breakables. For delicate items, like china, it will ensure the ultimate protection needed to keep everything safe during the moving process.

Steps to Pack Your China and Breakables

Now that you have the necessary packing supplies, follow these steps to pack your fine china when moving house.

Step 1: Reinforce the bottoms and sides of dish/moving boxes with quality, heavy-duty packing tape. Breakables, like fine china, can become very heavy when packed together. Providing your boxes with extra security is a vital step to ensure your boxes – and the contents inside – won’t break.

Step 2: Layer wads of crumpled paper on the bottom of your boxes before filling them up.

Step 3: Position one fine china plate – or other items – in the middle of several sheets of packing paper. Two or three sheets should suffice. One by one, pull the corner of the sheet stack over the plate until it ends up completely covered. Secure paper edges with packing tape.

Step 4: Using a single sheet of bubble wrap, use the same method as the previous step to wrap your item. Secure with packing tape.

Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 for each individual piece of chinaware from your china cabinet.

Step 6: When all items are properly wrapped, you can place them inside their designated boxes. For plates, place them in boxes on their edges. Stacking them flat can cause damage to those plates on the bottom due to too much weight bearing down on them.

Step 7: When your box is unable to fit anymore pieces of chinaware, fill any remaining spaces inside the box with packing paper or newspaper. You can also use bubble wrap or old, clean pieces of clothing. The goal here is to make sure nothing moves inside the box during your move. To check, give each box a gentle shake. If you feel, or hear, movement inside, add more padding materials before sealing the lid.

Step 8: Use words like “BREAKABLE”, “FRAGILE”, and “CHINAWARE” to label the top and sides of each box.

Steps to Prepare Your China Cabinet for a Move

Packing the contents of your china cabinet is just the first half of the moving process. The second half is to get the china cabinet itself ready for the big move. China cabinets are very fragile. This being said, the best way to move them is to hire experienced professionals who will do a great job of safely packing and transporting your china cabinet in a way that only experts know how. If hiring a professional mover isn’t in your budget, however, the following steps will help you move your china cabinet safely and efficiently.

Step 1: Empty Contents. Before you can even think about preparing your china cabinet for a move, the first step is to empty all of its contents. (If you skipped the step-by-step guide above on how to pack items from your china cabinet, scroll up!)

Step 2: Handle Glass with Care. Once your cabinet is completely empty, you will need to focus on its glass elements. If your china cabinet contains fragile glass doors and shelves, for instance – as most do – it is crucial to handle these areas with particular care.

Glass Doors. During a bumpy, jostling move, the doors of your china cabinet are bound to swing open – a problem that can lead to damage and even injury to those moving it. The best way to secure doors, especially those made of glass, is by removing them and packing them separately. Remove all doors one by one, slowly and carefully. Then, wrap each door in thick packing paper, followed by a layer of bubble wrap. The final protection step is to wrap doors in furniture blankets and secure them with packing tape. *Be sure to keep all screws, hinges and other small parts in a sealed plastic bag – and don’t forget to label it!

Glass Shelves. Just as you removed the glass doors to your china cabinet, you will also want to remove any glass shelves. Using extra caution, take each shelf out of the cabinet one at a time. Then, wrap them in packing paper and cover them with several sheets of bubble wrap. Be sure to take the same final packing precaution as you did with the doors, and wrap shelves in a final layer of thick furniture blankets. Old, clean blankets you already own will also work.

Step 3: One-Piece or Two-Piece Cabinet? Does your china cabinet have one piece or two? If it is a two-piece china cabinet, it will have two
sections – an upper section where china is displayed, and a lower section with drawers for storage. If there are two sections, be sure to separate them for better packing and protection during your move.

Step 4: Wrap Cabinet in Furniture Blankets. When all pieces – including drawers – have been removed, wrap the entire cabinet in furniture blankets. Be sure all areas are fully

Step 5: Secure Cabinet Legs. If your china cabinet has legs, they are highly susceptible to damage during transportation. To protect these protruding parts, wrap them in thick blankets or multiple sheets of bubble wrap, then use plenty of tape to secure them. Even better, if the legs of your china cabinet can be removed, take them off and pack them accordingly.

Step 6: Move Your China Cabinet.The final step of moving your china cabinet is both tricky and risky. You have to be able to lift it and also know how to use proper moving equipment to move it. An appliance dolly is the best tool to move your china cabinet without damage or injury to those moving it. Make sure the cabinet is adequately secured and immobilized on the dolly with rope or straps before trying to move it.

For all of your professional moving needs, contact us or visit our blog.

Continued … Must-Know Tips for a Successful Pre-Move Garage Sale (Part 2 of 2)

As you learned in part one of this blog series, having a pre-move garage sale is a good way to lower time and money spent on moving. You also found out a few first-step tips to make your sale a success, like how to organize and categorize your belongings for sale, the best date to have a sale, and even some pricing how-tos. But there’s more to know, so read on to learn even more tips on how to make your sale a success.

Advertise

In order to have a successful pre-move garage sale, you have to make it known that the sale is happening. The best way to do this is by advertising. Here’s how:

Word of Mouth: Via mouth is a good way to advertise your upcoming garage sale. Tell your friends, neighbors and colleagues about the upcoming sale and ask them to help you spread the world.

Social Media: Another way to advertise your sale is by posting about it on social media, especially sites like Facebook that have designated sell pages where people looking to buy used items are likely to visit.

Signs/Posters: It’s also a good idea to tune in to your craft side and create signs/posers promoting your sale. Place them at strategic places in your neighborhood and on busy roads nearby, several days before the sale (on trees, telephone poles, bulletin boards, etc.). Be sure to make signs big and brightly colored with large print so those driving by can clearly see them. Also consider drawing arrows on your signs so visitors will be sure to know which direction your sale is.

Whatever method you use to advertise your garage sale, be sure to do these things:

  • Clearly state the date, time and address of the sale;
  • Entice customers by including pictures of items for sale or by listing highly desirable merchandise.

Display Items Just So

You may think that all you need to do is place your belongings on some tables in front of your house, but if you want to make your garage sale profitable, then you should mind how you display your items. Here’s how:

  • Place similar goods together. This makes it easier for people to find exactly what they are interested in. It will also ensure they won’t miss something that’s jumbled in a large pile of random stuff. Being able to easily browse means they are more likely to keep shopping, which means more cash flow for you;
  • Group baby clothes and other clothing items by size and type to make shopping easier for visitors;
  • Lay smaller objects on tables or shelves. This allows them to be seen clearly;
  • A messy pile or box of clothes will discourage customers from looking through your stuff and it limits how many people can look at once. Hanging them up, however, is a great way to draw people in. Doing so will make them look cleaner and allow for much more organized browsing; and
  • An inviting and pleasant atmosphere is an excellent way of attracting visitors to your sale and will lead to more money in your pocket. So make your sale attractive. Try colorful signs and tags, even some music to help gain a crowd.

Be an Active and Reasonable Seller

As you’ve learned so far, there are many ways to make your pre-move garage sale a success, but one thing not to forget is that you also need to be an active and reasonable seller. Check out the top ways to do this in the list below:

  • Actively participate in the sale and be flexible. This means talking with customers, negotiating, offering last-minute deals, and more. The more invested you are in tending to these needs, the more efficient your sale will be;
  • No one wants to spend time at a garage sale where they feel unwelcome. So, be friendly! Welcome visitors with a smile, and encourage them to feel comfortable. Also, avoid losing your temper if faced with frustrated situations;
  • Don’t tackle a sale alone. Instead, arrange for family members and friends to help you;
  • Be sure to have plenty of change and cash before the sale begins;
  • To get rid of several items at once, and to better satisfy buyers, sell belongings in bundles; and
  • Collect paper and plastic bags and boxes of different sizes to place purchased items in. This will make sales more organized and make it easier for big buyers to tote things to their car. Also consider having some spare wrapping and packing materials to help protect fragile items.

Ensure Safety

The last thing to remember when hosting a pre-move garage sale is to ensure safety for everyone and everything.

  • Remove any obstacles and potential dangers from your property prior to your sale;
  • Animals can become scared by unknown people, and some people are also scared by animals. To avoid any potential injuries or problems, keep animals away during the sale;
  • Eliminate access to your home. Lock doors and secure entrances.

For more tips and tricks to make your move a success, check out our blog.

Top 5 Tips for a Last-Minute Move

Getting your home and belongings organized and ready for a relocation can put a great deal of pressure on your shoulders. This is especially true if you are moving at the last minute. You may have a limited amount of time, but the job must still be done. No matter the reason for your speedy move – getting a new job, a home eviction, a natural disaster, etc. – you will need to prepare for your move quickly, and still manage to do it efficiently. When every moment counts, here are the top five tips you should use in order to make your last-minute move a success.

Separate Belongings

Since time is at stake during a last-minute move, you won’t have time to sell any belongings you don’t care to take with you. But it is still a good idea to organize and separate all items between those you plan to take with you and those you intend to donate or throw away. The more you decide to leave behind, the less time you will spend packing and moving, and you will also save a pretty penny in shipping costs.

Gather Packing Supplies

Once you know what you are taking with you, you will be able to plan what items need to be packed. You will also get an idea of what sort of packing materials you will need. Gathering all packing supplies in advance, and at once, is the ideal choice. If you have to stop packing to buy new boxes, tape, etc., you will lose a lot of valuable time. It will also ruin your concentration, which can be hard to get back into.

Pack “Open First” Boxes

For the first couple of days after your move, you will be met with piles of boxes to unpack and lots to clean. You will also more than likely be exhausted – body and mind – after such a long day of moving (not to mention the fast-action efforts you powered through to make your move happen). To get yourself through those first few days post-move, be sure to pack a box or two with all of your essentials, like clothes, toiletries, cosmetics, cell charger, and so on.

Label Everything

In your rush to pack by a very soon move-out date, you may feel there is no time to be spent on labeling boxes. During the chaos, you may even simply forget to do so. But labeling your boxes will actually save you time overall. Labeling boxes with their destination room will make moving day simpler and more organized, which are both excellent time savers. Also, marking boxes with special instructions (e.g., “fragile”) can save time by avoiding broken items that have to be cleaned up.

Stay Focused and Avoid Distraction

Staying focused can be difficult, especially when packing can feel boring and endless. Not to mention, there are so many distractions surrounding us daily – TV, cell phones, computers. But if you are going to get your belongings packed efficiently, and super speedy, you will need to keep your focus intact. To do this, distractions, like those previously mentioned, should be avoided at all cost.

Following these simple tips and hiring last-minute movers can make your relocation fast and smooth. Don’t lose another minute – get started now!

Top Reasons to Move Off-Season

When it’s time to move house, many opt for the warm and sunny months of summer. This is especially true for those with kids who are on summer vacation. While it may seem like the most convenient and favorable time to move, there are actually many benefits to relocating during the fall and winter seasons. Continue reading to learn some of the top reasons to move in the off-peak moving season.

Lower Moving Cost

There’s no doubt about it – moving is expensive. And with cost being such an important factor to most of us, any chance to save some cash can definitely be worth it. Whether you just need to rent a moving truck or plan to hire a moving company to help you move, rates of course vary. But did you know that using these services in the summer months will cost you much more? This is because summer is the peak time to move, which means there are less moving trucks and companies available. As a result, moving costs are higher. For a less costly move, the best time to move is in the off-seasons of fall and winter. During these times, moving companies lower their rates as much as 30%. Many also offer additional moving coupons and discounts for off-season moves. In a time where any extra money helps, these discounts and deals are very helpful.

More Efficient Movers

It’s a fact that people move and work better in cool weather than they do in hot. This is another reason why a fall or winter move can be beneficial to you. While many think colder weather obstructs us when moving, the opposite is actually true. The cooler and fresher air that comes with the fall and winter seasons helps us acquire more energy, and with more energy to burn, your moving crew will be much more efficient.

Safer and Faster Deliveries

Moving in summer means battling busy roadways – kids are out of school, people are traveling for vacation, and don’t forget, more people are moving so there are more trucks on the road. If you move in the off-peak season, you won’t have to deal with over-crowded streets. While many fear winter road conditions, choosing to relocate in the fall or winter can actually be safer due to less traffic, and can make for faster deliveries.

Increased Attention from Professional Movers

If you have ever been busy at work, you know that it is not always easy to spend enough time on each and every task or client. Well, this is something moving companies face too – especially during peak seasons. When moving companies are busy and their staff is stressed, they have less time to answer your questions and concerns. If you’d like more attention and time from your movers, you can definitely get it much easier during the off-peak seasons of fall and winter.

For more information on our moving services and rates, contact us today at (800).771.0151. Or, click here.

Important Steps to Take Post Moving Day

Prior to moving day, you have spent a great deal of time planning, organizing and packing. When the big day finally arrives and the moving truck pulls up ready for action, you are probably more than ready to get the long, strenuous and stressful day ahead of you overwith so you can kick back and de-stress in your new home. But once moving day has drawn to a close and you look around your new place at the piles upon piles of boxes towering around you, you will quickly realize that you’ve only completed half of the moving battle. Before your stress level starts to creep back up, here are some ways to make the process much easier.

Steps to Take

There are five steps to take to officially complete your move:

  1. Unpack
  2. Shop
  3. Update registrations
  4. Eliminate packing supplies
  5. Write a review

Unpack

As you look around your new home, you probably feel a bit overwhelmed and wonder where you should start the post-move process. The best way to start is to begin unpacking. It probably sounds torturous to unpack all those boxes you just packed, but it must be done. The bright side is that unpacking is typically much easier than packing.

While you can tear into any old box, it’s a good idea to start with any “open first” boxes that contain the essentials you will need during those first few days after your move. These items will typically include toiletries, chargers, and some clothes.

Another thing you want to unpack first is your bed/bedding. If your bed requires assembly, the more promptly you tackle this task, the better! The last thing you want after a long and exhausting day of moving is to prepare for bed then realize your bed isn’t together and you can’t figure out where you packed your bedding. So make these items at the front of your unpacking list.

When packing for your move, you were probably told to pack one room at a time for the most efficiency. While you can do this when unpacking, a wiser choice may be to unpack a bit of each room at a time. This way you can distribute your time and effort into putting away all of your must-haves first while you organize and set up your new space.

Shopping

Moving into a new place is exciting. You probably have all sorts of ideas about decorating and can’t wait to get started. But before you start buying everything you see, opt for the better option – to take it slow. Take the time to really consider what items your new home needs. This is especially true when picking out expensive items like furniture that are difficult to decide upon and even harder to take back.

Another thing to think about is this: just because your home is new to you doesn’t mean you should only fill it with new things. Consider using items you’ve placed in storage. If you have a lot of stored items, removing some to use in your new place could mean you can pay less for a smaller storage unit.

After-Move Updates

If you moved to a new state, there will be a number of extra things you will need to take care of that someone who moved locally won’t. These things include:

  • Finding a local supermarket, pharmacy, hospital, school/daycare, doctor and dentist.
  • Collect numbers to the ER and nearest hospital, and police and fire stations.
  • Register your vehicle.
  • Renew your driver’s license.

Eliminate Packing Supplies

Don’t wait until you have officially unpacked your last moving box to begin clearing out empty, or leftover, packing supplies. Instead, clear them out as you go. Some boxes can be broken down and stored for future needs, while others can be tossed in the recycling bin. You may also want to ask around to see if anyone nearby is in need of boxes and supplies and is willing to take them off your hands.

Write a Review

When your move is finally all said and done, and there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your new home, you should consider writing a review on the moving company you used. Doing this while your move is fresh on your mind will make the task much easier. It is also an excellent way to inform others who are in the process of moving about your experience.

For all your moving needs, click here.

Essential Tips to Pack Your Shoes for a Move

Moving to a new home is one of the biggest steps you can take in your life. It will require a number of things to ensure you are well-equipped for the adventure ahead – a positive attitude, excellent organizational skills, sufficient savings, reliable moving assistance and quality packing supplies. But there’s one more thing needed to conquer the rocky steps to come … a good pair of shoes. As you already know, shoes are a necessity – every day and in every situation. This being said, you will need a reliable pair of shoes before, during and after your relocation. And just as you need to wear good shoes while moving, you also need to pack all of your shoes correctly so they will stay in good condition. To avoid smashing, tearing, breaking or deforming your footwear during your move, here are some essential tips to pack your soles the right way.

Tip 1: Sort your shoes
Before you can pack your shoes, you must first sort through them. This way you will know which pairs should be taken with you and which ones should be left behind.

  • First, put aside any worn out/damaged shoes that you can no longer wear. These shoes can be thrown away prior to your move.
  • Next, set aside any shoes that are in good condition but that you no longer wear, like shoes you have outgrown, formal shoes you no longer have a need for, outdated shoes, uncomfortable shoes, etc. There is no point in moving impractical footwear to your new home. The fewer items you relocate, the less time, packing materials and money will be wasted in the end.
  • Lastly, group all shoes you intend to take with you, according to their type – boots, flip-flops, high heels, sneakers, etc.

Tip 2: Prepare your shoes for packing
Once you have decided which shoes you intend to take with you, you will need to prepare them for packing.

Check for minor repairs. Before packing your shoes, you should inspect each pair for minor repairs. Minor repairs range from replacing zippers or soles to sewing up torn or loose sections. Then, go ahead and have them repaired. There are a few reasons why taking your shoes to a repair shop prior to your move is a good idea, but the main reason is because you may learn that a pair of shoes is not worth fixing. As a result, you may decide not to relocate them after all.

Clean your shoes. Cleaning each pair of shoes you intend to relocate is another good way to prepare them for a move. To do this, remove all dirt and dust. Also, remove any pebbles embedded in the soles, a problem that can harm delicate footwear.

Dry shoes. Packing shoes that contain moisture inside a moving box can lead to a moldy, smelly situation. To avoid this, it is strongly recommended to air out your shoes for a few hours before packing them. For shoes that are especially vulnerable to humidity (sports shoes, work shoes, leather shoes), you may also want to place crumpled paper inside each shoe to help fully absorb any moisture. You can also add powder to the insides to help draw moisture out of leather and other fabrics.

Stuff shoes with paper. Many believe that simply throwing your shoes into a moving box is an efficient packing method, but this can lead to damage. To help your shoes keep their shape and avoid being crushed during transportation, stuff them with paper. While packing paper is the ideal choice, you can also use any clean paper or soft fabric, like socks. Avoid messy items, like newspaper, which will leave behind ink stains.

For shoes/boots that go above the ankle, be sure to stuff them all the way to the top. For high heels, wrap the heels in bubble wrap to prevent them from breaking.

Use proper packing materials. For some, shoes may just be shoes, but for many, they are an investment – especially those with designer names. To preserve your investment during the moving process, you should provide your shoes with the best protection possible by using quality packing materials. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes may be fine for certain things, but for more expensive or valuable items, like pairs of shoes, you will need sturdy boxes, packing paper and quality packing tape.

Tip 3: How to pack shoes
Once you have accomplished the previous tips, you can now focus on how to pack your shoes. When packing shoes for a move, you should focus on two things: safety and efficiency. Here are some ways to make the packing process easier.

Set aside a pair of shoes for moving day. While packing your shoes, be sure to set aside a pair of shoes to wear on moving day. Be sure they have non-slip soles, will protect your feet, and also ensure safety and comfort.

Separately pack footwear you’ll need within the first few days post-move. They should be season-appropriate, good for running around town, and also provide comfort when unpacking your belongings.

Use boxes. The ideal way to pack is to wrap your shoes in packing paper and place them inside their original boxes. But if these boxes have long been thrown away, use small- to medium-sized boxes that are clean and strong enough to provide adequate protection. Once shoes are inside the appropriate box, seal the box with packing tape.

Another idea is to pack your shoes inside plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. Plastic containers will provide excellent protection from dust, dirt and external moisture.

Pack in pairs. To avoid a maddening hunt to locate a single shoe, always pack your shoes together as a pair.

Pack heavy shoes first. If packing several pairs of shoes in one box, be sure to place heavier ones on the bottom. Cover them with a protective layer of packing paper, then place lighter shoes on top.

Don’t overpack boxes. When piled together, shoes are quite heavy, so it’s important not to put too many pairs together in one box. Overpacked boxes will be too heavy and difficult to lift and carry, and may even crush under their own weight.

For more packing tips, click here.

Prepare for Your Upcoming Move with This Week-by-Week Timeline

moving checklist - PHOTO (ABC)When preparing for something as big as moving house, it is important to be as organized as possible. One way is by creating a week-by-week moving checklist and sticking to it. Check out the following guide for help creating your own personal moving timeline – from eight weeks to one week prior to moving day.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 8

  • Decision time! Eight weeks prior to moving day is the optimal time to make that important decision – opt for a self-move or hire movers.
  • If you are currently renting, inform your landlord that you will soon be leaving the property, and begin your search for a new place in the city you are moving to.
  • Confirm with your current employer that you will be moving, and arrange your first day of work at your new job. Or, if you do not yet have a job in your new area, begin your search as soon as possible.
  • Create a moving budget so you will know roughly how much money you will need to organize and execute your upcoming move.
  • If you decide to use professional movers, being your search for a top-rated moving company that is affordable and professional.
  • Contact several moving companies and request an in-house estimation of your future relocation costs.
  • Inventory your home by making a detailed room-by-room list of all your possessions.
  • Review your home inventory list and decide which items you will take with you and which ones will be left behind.
  • Create a special binder to keep all of your moving-related paperwork.
  • Begin thinking about how you are going to pack your belongings.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 6

  • If you have opted for a self-move, begin strategizing your plans for renting a moving truck. Contact truck rental companies and compare prices and conditions.
  • Collect all medical records from your doctor and also from your pet’s vet. If you have school-aged children, now is the time to also obtain their school records. This is also a good time to take your pet(s) to the vet for a complete check-up, required vaccinations, and advice on the upcoming relocation.
  • Start looking for a new healthcare provider and a new school for your kid(s) in your future city. Be sure to ask around for suggestions and recommendations before the move takes place.
  • If your move is local, visit your soon-to-be home, and measure the dimensions of rooms and doorways. This will eliminate potential problems come moving day.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 4

  • If you will be having a self-move, four weeks prior to moving day is a good time to go ahead and contact your friends and family to ask them if they can help you move.
  • Begin collecting moving boxes of various sizes. Also, gather packing supplies, such as:
    • Bubble wrap
    • Tape
    • Markers
    • Packing paper
  • Learn what items your moving company forbids being transported due to their hazardous nature.
  • Cancel any subscriptions for delivery services and memberships to clubs/organizations.
  • Driving to your new home? Now is the optimal time to have your car serviced so your upcoming road trip goes smoothly.
  • If you are flying to your new home, you will need to find a trustworthy auto transporter to ship your car.
  • Arrange travel plans – book flights and hotels, collect important documents, etc.
  • Begin packing, being sure to label all of your boxes. This will make unpacking much faster and more efficient.
  • While packing, prepare one or two boxes/containers with all of the absolute essentials you will need during the time when you won’t have easy access to your belongings.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 2

  • Contact your chosen professional mover to ensure all plans are still in order.
  • If moving with kids, make a point to talk with them about the upcoming move. Discuss with them what is expected from them, and also use this time to calm down any fears they may have of the unknown ahead.
  • Contact your current utility companies to inform them of the date your services will need to be disconnected. Also, contact service providers in your new area, and arrange a connection date.
  • Consider how you will pack and ship any fragile or valuable items – artwork, paintings, antique furniture, and jewelry. For optimal protection, use appropriate packing techniques with materials that provide good cushion and padding, like bubble wrap and packing paper.

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 1

  • Pay any remaining bills before your scheduled move-out date.
  • Begin disassembling large furniture – dressers, beds, desks, etc. Keep in mind, you may need help handling these tasks, so you will need to have enough time to find helpers.
  • If you have fallen behind in your moving schedule, seek aid from friends or professional movers.
  • Make a move-out cleaning checklist, and prepare all cleaning materials in advance.
  • Finish any last-minute organizing, packing and preparing for the big day ahead.

For all the moving tips and tricks you need to know, click here.

Changing Your Mailing Address: Things to Know

When you are moving to a new home, you will endure many complicated – albeit, stressful – situations. In the scheme of things, changing your mailing address may seem like achange your mailing adress LETTER - PHOTO (ABC) relatively easy thing to do – and in most situations, it is. But there are some required steps to take in order to ensure the process is done correctly. Here are some things to know about changing your address so no important mail gets lost!

Top Things to Know Before Requesting a Change of Address (COA) with the United States Postal Service (USPS)

Do you know your correct address?

Sure, you know the location of your soon-to-be home, but do you know the correct address? It may sound silly, but during the stress and mayhem that surrounds your move, you may not even know your future address. You may think you’re going to live on a ‘road’ when you’ll actually be living on a ‘lane’ or ‘circle’. Before registering your new ad
dress with the USPS, be sure to confirm with your realtor, or landlord, of the correct, complete and error-free postal address of your future home.

Should you choose a temporary or permanent change of address?

When changing your address, you will have two options: to file a temporary change of address or a permanent change of address. Here’s the difference:

A temporary address change means your mail will be forwarded from your old mailing address to the new one for only a specific amount of time – usually 6-12 months. This option is best if you are moving temporarily, such as spending the winter months in a warmer climate, but then moving back to your original address.

A permanent change of address means your mailing address will be permanently changed – not just for a specified period of time. This option should be chosen if you do not plan to move house again in the near future.

Should you request an individual or family change of address?

Another option you will have when changing your address with the USPS will be to change the address of an individual or an entire family. If your entire family is moving as one – and has the same surname – you will need to fill out just one change-of-address form for the entire household. Easy! But things get a bit more complicated if members of your family have different surnames, or some individuals are moving to a new location while the rest are staying behind. For this situation, you will need to fill out a separate change-of-address request for each individual person.

How long does it take for your address to be changed?

The USPS is rather quick, but when you change your address, the request will not be immediate. In general, a change of address will take effect roughly seven days after your request is submitted. However, there are some potential road blocks that could cause it to take longer, such as:

  • Your exact location
  • The time of year
  • The number of requests currently being processed

However, do note that your COA request may be processed much faster than anticipated, especially for a local move.

When should you change your address?

It is up to you as to how far in advance you request a change of address, but a good rule of thumb is to do it two weeks prior to your move. The main advantage of this is that your mail will start being delivered to your new home by the time you have moved in. This way you won’t have to worry about mail being delivered to your old address when you no longer live there. Another advantage of changing your address two weeks prior to your move is that you won’t have to take care of this task after moving day is over. Instead, you can focus on the main job at hand – unpacking!

Now that you know some of the important things to do before changing your address, here’s a look at how to actually do it. Here are some methods to consider:

Method 1: Change address online

Changing your address online is typically the easiest and most convenient method. Here’s how:

  • Access the official USPS change-of-address form via usps.com/move;
  • Fill out the required fields with the accurate information;
  • Provide a valid e-mail address to receive a confirmation email by the USPS;
  • Using a debit card or credit card, you will be charged a verification fee of $1. This is a standard procedure to verify or identify and safeguard your personal information so no address fraud is possible;
  • Ensure you receive a confirmation email so you know your COA request was processed successfully.

Method 2: Change address in person

If you’re more of a person-to-person type of individual, you may primagesefer to change your address at the actual post office. To do this:

  • Drive to the nearest post office;
  • Request PS Form 3575, and fill it out on the spot;
  • Turn in your filled-out form to the post master;
  • Changing your address in person at the post office will not cost you anything, because you will be required to prove your identity in person.

Method 3: Change address by phone

If you want to save yourself a trip to the post office, you can also choose to change your address via phone. Here’s how:

  • Call 1-800-ASK-USPS, and follow the recorded instructions;
  • You will again be charged an identification fee of $1, so have your debit card or credit card ready when making the call.

Method 4: Change address by mail

Prefer snail mail? If so, this is also an option for changing your address. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Download the USPS printable change-of-address form – PS Form 3575;
  • Print out the COA form, following the detailed instructions from the link above to ensure you fill it out correctly;
  • Place your filled-out form in a stamped envelope and mail it to: POSTMASTER; United States Postal Service;
  • Wait to receive a move-validation letter. It will be sent to your old address;
  • You will receive a confirmation letter within 10 days after the actual change-of-address request has been processed and goes into effect. This will be sent to your new address.

Looking for more moving tips and tricks? Check out our blog, here.

Moving from Small Town to Big City: Steps to Take (Part 2)

imagesAs you learned in our previous blog “Moving from Small Town to Big City: The Pros and Cons (Part 1 of 2)”, moving from a small town to a big city is hard. It takes you out of your comfort zone and into a world that’s bigger, faster and full of greater expectations. Before you make the final decision to move to a big city, there are several things to consider and do first. Here are some tips to help you move from the comfort zone of a small town to the unknown of a big city and settle into your new life quickly and easily.

Research the Area

Before jumping in the moving truck and heading for the big-city lights, it’s important to research the area well. The internet will serve you well as a research aidresearch area - PHOTO, but you may want to take your research even further by contacting family members, friends and colleagues, and even acquaintances you may have in the city you intend to move to. Here are some things to find out:

  1. Which neighborhoods are friendly and safe, as well as convenient to local amenities.
  2. What areas to stay away from.
  3. If there are any activities you can attend for free
  4. What are the best/most affordable places/areas to shop, eat, practice your hobby, etc.
  5. How much they spend on groceries, utilities, gasoline, entertainment, etc. per month.

Here are some other important things to do when researching your new city:

  • Review different maps to become familiar with the city, the public transit system, and other important places (hospitals, schools, etc.).
  • Research available housing options, and find a place you can afford.
  • Research employment options (Unless you are already employed, of course!). Don’t dismiss the idea of taking on temporary work so you are able to support yourself financially while looking for a more permanent position/career.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations, especially parking rules and traffic regulations.
  • Familiarize yourself with the etiquette and social practices in your new area.
  • Find out what the weather conditions are like in your new city. Learn the average temperature each month as well as the climatic conditions you can expect during different seasons.

Plan and Secure Your Finances

Moving is costly, and moving to a big city only adds to the expenses. This is why it’s important to plan and secure your finances before you plan finances - PHOTOactually move. To avoid financial troubles when moving to a big city, you will need to get a realistic idea of how much money you are going to need for your relocation. Here are some ways to get your finances in order prior to your move:

  • Make sure you have enough savings to cover your living expenses for at least four to six months.
  • Find an affordable place to rent. There are lots of temptations in a big, new city, but don’t rent something you can’t actually afford. Your monthly rent should not exceed 25% of your disposable income. Also, do not forget you will need to pay a security deposit, utility bills and maintenance costs, so be sure to take all of these things into account.
  • Review your spending habit to make sure you will have enough money for essentials – food, electricity, gas, medicines – before you spend any money on fun activities, like social events, etc.
  • Compare service providers in your new city, and sign up for the best price possible.
  • Hire professional moving services that are affordable. Get several free moving quotes. Compare the costs and conditions provided by different companies so you will get the best rate. Just make sure the company is reputable!

Be a Smart Packer

Packing is usually the most dreaded part of a move. It’s not only time-consuming, it is also laborious. When moving to a big city, there are several things to take2017-01-13 into account when packing. Here are a few of them.

  • Sorting. Clean out and organize your belongings to make moving easier and cheaper. If you’re used to living in a small town, your home probably had a decent amount of space. But your living space in the big city will be very limited in size. This being said, it won’t be able to hold all of your belongings. This means you will need to sort through all of your possessions, keeping only the things you truly can’t live without. The fewer items you relocate, the less stressful your move will be, and it will also leave you much more space in your new home. And don’t forget – the less you move, the cheaper the final moving cost will be, so sometimes it pays to organize.
  • Clothing. Before you pack all of your clothes, it’s a good idea to take the climate of your new city into consideration. Don’t take a garment with you if you won’t ever have the chance to wear it – no matter how much you like it. This will only cause you to spend more time packing and extra money on shipping costs.
  • Packing materials. Before you can pack, you will need to gather the necessary supplies. For the best protection, be sure to use quality packing materials – strong, clean boxes, heavy-duty packing tape, and so on. If you are bringing any larger furniture pieces with you, you will need to disassemble them prior to your move, and pack them safely so they will not be damaged during shipping.

For everything you need to know about moving, ABC Movers can help. Visit our website and blog  for all things moving.