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 Tips to Avoid Damage When Moving Out

Whether you’re moving out of a rental house or a home you own, you need to take proper precautions to prevent property damage from occurring during your relocation. If your property is going to be put on the market, chipped walls and scratched floors will negatively affect the sale. This is why it needs to be in perfect condition after moving in order to pocket the most money out of the deal. If you are moving out of a rental home, you also need to leave the property in excellent condition if you want to get your security deposit back. Whatever your moving situation is, here are some tips to help protect your property when relocating.

Hire Professional Movers

The easiest way to avoid damage when moving out is to hire a trustworthy moving company. Professional movers have all the required equipment, along with the necessary skills to ensure your belongings are moved in a safe and danger-free manner. They also have enough experience under their belts to foresee every potential risk, so they can take adequate measures to keep your home and personal items safe.

Properly Pack Your Belongings

To help reduce the risk of damaged items during your move, it’s important to pack everything safely and securely. This means using adequate packing materials, sorting out your belongings, and packing every single item based on its weight, shape and fragility. Here are some tips:

  • Use sturdy boxes;
  • Secure boxes with heavy-duty packing tape;
  • Provide sufficient padding inside boxes, containers, etc.;
  • Avoid placing too many heavy items inside one box. Instead, distribute hefty items into small containers that are easy to carry around;
  • Use large boxes solely for light items; and
  • Dismantle furniture and carefully wrap edges that are sharp or protruding.

Use Proper Moving Equipment
Before you move heavy items – furniture, large appliances, etc. – it’s important to get the proper moving equipment to facilitate your needs. Otherwise, you risk serious injury. Below are some well-known tools that will help make moving large, bulky items easy, as well as keep your home damage-free.

Dolly/Hand-Cart. With the use of a dolly/hand-cart, you will be able to move heavy furniture or multiple boxes without risking damage to the floors. This tool will also reduce strain on your body, helping lower the risk of injury.

Moving Pads. Sliding hefty items across the floor in order to move them can lead to scrapes and dents. Moving pads are the most reliable and easiest method to tackle this type of task.

Straps. Cabinet doors, desk drawers, and other belongings that open can easily do so when being moved. The result: wrecked floors and damaged doorframes. To avoid problems like these, use straps to keep them properly secured.

Safeguard Your Property

Property damage is very possible when moving house. This can negatively affect a home being put up for sale, as well as cause rental deposits to be forfeited. Use adequate measures and materials to avoid accidental damage during your move. Safeguard your properly with items like these:

Furniture Blankets. Furniture blankets serve multiple purposes, which makes them very handy when safeguarding your home from moving damage. They can be used to create a protective barrier for furniture, floors, walls, etc. You can also drape and secure them over bannisters to eliminate damage when moving items up and down stairs.

Plywood Sheets. Hardwood and tile floors are highly susceptible to harm, especially when hit by a heavy appliance. To safeguard your floors, cover them with sheets of plywood to absorb any damaging blows on moving day.

Carpet Film Protectors. These protectors are designed specifically to protect carpets by providing them with a tear-free, non-slip surface. They also do not leave adhesive residue and are suitable for covering all types of floors.

Corner Guards. Moving day leaves corners and edges susceptible to chipping. Installing corner guards around your home prior to moving activities will prevent this from happening.

For all things moving, click here.

Important Qualities to Look for in a Moving Company

During the strenuous process of preparing for a move, there will come a time where you’ll admit you need help. While friends and family can come in handy during the stressful events of your move, opting for the help of a professional moving company is the ultimate choice. Not only will it save you a whole lot of stress, it will also leave you time to focus on other important moving tasks. But before you hire the first help you find, here are some important qualities you should look for to ensure you make the right choice.

Are they legit?

Before you dive in and hire the first moving company you come across, it is extremely important to ensure that they are legit. There are a lot of “rogue” movers out there with the solid intention of reeling you in with ultra-low prices just to screw you over in the end. To avoid tragic situations like this, you need to do your research. To guarantee a safe move, you need to hire movers that are fully bonded and certified, who operate legally and meet all federal insurance, safety and financial standards.

The ultimate way to verify the legitimacy of a moving company is by checking their license. A legitimate intrastate moving company is required to have a USDOT number issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). So in order for an intrastate moving company to legally operate, they need a state license.

Another way to detect a legit moving company is by their membership with the American Mover and Storage Association (AMSA) and/or the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This guarantees that a company abides by the national guidelines and assumes liability for the items in their custody. When reviewing potential movers for your upcoming relocation, be sure to visit the FMCSA official website (or your states government website if you are moving locally) in order to find out if they have a valid USDOT number (or state license).

Are they affordable?

For most, price is the main factor in deciding if a moving company is the right choice for you. Moving is expensive enough without tacking on professional help, after all. The lower the cost a moving company asks of you, the better it seems. But is it? While you want to hire movers within your budget, it’s important that they also offer good customer service.

Finding the perfect balance between quality and cost can be tough. This is why it is worth your time to get at least three or four moving estimates so you can compare prices and conditions offered by different companies. During your estimate, be sure to find out these things:

  • What the quoted price includes;
  • What they consider to be “extra services” and how much is charged for them;
  • What packing materials and packing assistance they provide and at what cost;
  • What deposit is required and if it’s refundable under certain circumstances;
  • If they offer any discounts or promotions; and
  • What payment methods they accept.

Once you have all the necessary information, you can then make an informed decision on the best company for your move.

Are they experienced?

Hiring a moving company then finding out they are inexperienced is a situation you definitely don’t want to end up in. If you’re going to entrust your most prized possessions into the care of complete strangers, you want them to have expert skills and professional know-how in order to provide a smooth, fast and problem-free relocation.

Movers that have been in business for years have faced a large variety of relocation types and gained rich experience in all sorts of situations. This means they are good at what they do and will know exactly how to handle your belongings in a safe and efficient manner, as well as how to take proper care of all other aspects of the grueling moving process.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a moving company would only have remained in business for years if it had proved itself by performing well.

Finding a mover with a flawless track record is huge when it comes to choosing moving services. When speaking with potential movers, be sure to ask them these questions:

  • How long they’ve been in business;
  • If they hire full-time movers and provide adequate training;
  • If they employ temporary workers (Temporary workers lack experience and are likely to make mistakes.);
  • If they have specialized moving equipment (hoisting and rigging systems, for example); and
  • If they have storage facilities.

Are they reliable?

One of the most important qualities to look for in a moving company is reliability. A reliable company will provide all the key traits you are looking for.

  • Legitimate and insured;
  • Provide excellent customer service, treating your belongings with care and attention;
  • Will clear rates and conditions;
  • Will deliver on time; and
  • Will settle problems in a mutually beneficial manner.

So how do you find a well-rounded and reliable moving company? The best way to do this is by verifying the company’s credentials and performing extensive research on their background and reputation. Here’s how:

  • Read online reviews from former customers;
  • Contact the FMCSA’s safety violation and consumer complaints hotline to find out about complaints against your chosen movers;
  • Check the company’s rating with the BBB;
  • Find out if the company has won any awards for their services; and
  • Ask them to provide you with references and show you letters of recommendation.

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

Top Tips for a Smooth Relocation During a Severe Weather Evacuation

severe weather awareness - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Mother Nature brings many things, from beautiful rolling green hills to massive sunrises and sunsets. But while Mother Nature is fairly calm for the most part, she can also be quite fierce at times, blowing in with reckless abandon, causing destruction and devastation to whatever is in her path. While most times we can find safety from bad weather in a designated safe spot, there are times when weather conditions can become so severe we are required to evacuate our homes – even towns. So, what do you do when dangerous weather hits and you have to relocate? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about packing up and moving during dangerous weather.

Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit

Emergency Evacuation Supply Kit - PHOTO - ABC BLOGThe first thing you should do when evacuating is to prepare an emergency supply kit. It should include:

  • Bottled water: Water is our most vital resource, and you should have an adequate supply in your emergency supply kit. Each person needs one gallon of water per day. You need enough water in your kit to last each family member three days.
  • Non-perishable food: Food is another essential you will need during your evacuation, so stock up on non-perishable items. Example: soups, cereals, nuts, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, energy bars, etc. Also included in your supply kit should be food for babies, infants and/or pets. And don’t forget the can opener!
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, change of clothes: Be sure to pack enough of each of these things for all family members. Make sure to take the weather and temperature into account.
  • Prescription medicine/First-aid kits: Be sure to pack your emergency supply kit with all prescription medications. Also, include first-aid supplies, such as pain relievers, sterile bandages, antiseptic lotion, allergy meds, thermometer, etc.
  • Toiletries: Just as when you go anywhere overnight, you should bring along toiletries, like toilet paper, toothbrushes, soap and shampoo.
  • Tools: Another way to prepare your kit for your evacuation is by supplying it with basic tools – a pocket knife, hammer, pliers, duct tape, flashlight/spare batteries, matches and so on.

What to Take with You When Evacuating

If severe weather causes you to evacuate your home, or town, there are some things you should always bring with you – no matter what. Some essentials include:

  • Valuables: Any items that are truly valuable should never be left behind. This means things that are irreplaceable. Examples include: cash, bank cards, jewelry, expensive electronics, collectors’ items, family heirlooms and artwork.
  • Important documents: Even if pressed for time while getting ready to evacuate, it is a good idea to try and gather some of your most important documents first. These include:
    • Personal documents: IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, diplomas.
    • Financial documents: Banking information, investment papers, tax records.
    • Insurance documents
    • Medical records
    • Home deeds/other property needs
  • Pets: Your pets aren’t just important to you; they are valuable too. So, just as you are evacuating yourself and your family, don’t forget your precious pets. Be sure to bring their transportation carriers, and ensure they have their ID tags secured to them. Also, bring along food and water for them for the journey ahead.

What to Do Before Evacuating

When the time officially comes to evacuate your home, here are some of the important things you should do before leaving.

  • Prepare to evacuate using a planned evacuation route.
  • Start preparing for the evacuation as early as possible. This will help you avoid the risk of being on the road when bad weather strikes, as well as getting a jump-start on the traffic jams that are sure to form.
  • Ensure you don’t leave anyone or anything behind, from family members and pets to valuable items and documents.
  • Turn off the main water valve, switch off the electricity and stop the gas supply.
  • In case of flood, move prized possessions you are unable to take with you to higher ground.
  • Secure any loose objects inside your home – furniture, potted plants, etc.
  • Board up windows and doors.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Have your cell phone and charging cable handy.
  • Load your emergency supply kit and all valuables into your vehicle.

Other Thoughtsemergency movers - PHOTO - ABC BLOG

You may not have considered this, but if there is enough time before severe weather makes its debut, you can hire professional emergency movers to help you move your items out of harm’s way. Professional emergency movers will respond quickly and know how to handle emergency moves. They will also make it possible for you to move – and save – more of your possessions.

For more noteworthy moving tips, ABC Movers has what you need.

Moving from Small Town to Big City: The Pros and Cons (Part 1 of 2)

For many who grow up in a small town, the idea of a big city with its bright lights and forever bustScreen Shot 2017-01-13 at 8.14.24 PMling streets is very intriguing. If you are someone who has always dreamed of the chance to escape small-town life and venture into life in a big city, it is a good idea to consider all of the pros and cons that such a move poses.

The Pros

A big city provides a whole new world of possibilities, potentials and prospects to discover. Here are some of the top pros of moving to a big city.

Great Opportunities. One of the top pros of moving to a big city is the number of great opportunities it presents. While there is a lot opportunities ahead - PHOTOof competition in a big city, there will be plenty of options and opportunities that you won’t be able to find in a small town. Whether you want to advance your studies, improve your skills, enhance your professional expertise, acquire new abilities, expand your world view, or pursue a specific passion, big cities will provide you with the opportunity. Whatever your passion, skills and interests are, you will be able to explore them in full and reach your full potential.

Unlimited Options. If there’s one thing a big city provides, it is options. In fact, it offers so many options that it may actually be overwhelming at times. But, having unlimited options is one of the great things about living in a big city. You’ll suddenly have access to:

  • Enormous shopping centers
  • Every ethnicity of food available, within walking distance
  • Different social events nightly
  • A huge number of restaurants, bars and night clubs

Cultural Diversity. Small towns are known for their like-minded folk, which can lead to only one outlook on every aspect of life. But when you move to a new city, you will be exposed to a variety cultural diversityof different perspectives, values, ideologies, points of view and more. These great cultural and ethnic diversities will expand your knowledge of the world and help you learn to appreciate differences and reject stereotypes.

The Cons

Life in a big city is set at a quicker pace than that of a small town. Everyone is in a rush, and everything happens twice as fast as it does in a small town. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may make your head spin at times. It can also be added to the list of cons about moving from a small town to a big city. Here are some other cons to consider.

Higher Cost of Living. If life felt expensive living in a small town, then you are in a world of shock at the cost of living in a big city. Life in the city is much pricier than small-town life – it’s a fact. Not only will essentials, like housing, food and transportation, cost you more (around twice as much) than it does in a shigh cost of livingmall town, there are also many temptations that will quickly suck your wallet dry – pubs, theaters, museums and the like.

Strong Competition. One thing you will not be used to when moving to a big city is the strong level of competition among those that live there. While in a small town, there are only a few people with an expertise in a specific area or field. In a big city, there are hundreds – even thousands – of people with the same level of expertise or degree as you. This being said, you will face enormous competition in a big city, a problem that can make it hard to find a job.

Heavy Traffic. One of the biggest cons of city life is the massive amount of people – and cars – on the road. From vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and so on, citcity traffic - PHOTOy streets can be a continuous stream of traffic jams. Finding a parking space can also be a nightmare in a big city. Not only will it take you huge amounts of time trying to find a space, you will also be charged to park there. With such a raging mess, you will quickly become a fan of public transportation.

Now that you know about some of the pros and cons of a big-city move, continue to Part 2 of this blog to learn some necessary steps to take before venturing from small town to big city.

Packing and Moving Musical Instruments: A How-To Guide

When moving, there are a number of personal belongings you will need to take special packing precautions when packing, like musical instruments. Pianos, guitars, cellos, violins, etc. – all of these items are very delicate and fragile. So how exactly do you go about packing them? Here are some helpful tips on packing and moving musical instruments.

Hire Professionals

The best way to move musical instruments is to get help from a professional and reliable moving company. Not only are professional movers trained in moving such fragile items, but they also have access to the correct moving and packing supplies needed for the job at hand. For example, to safely move sensitive items, like musical instruments, a professional moving company has special climate and humidity controlled trucks that are designed to protect items like these. If you decide to hire professional movers, be sure to check reviews and ratings of former clients so you will know you are getting help from a company that will treat you and your belongings with respect.

Pack Correctly

An important rule when packing instruments is to never pack more than one instrument in a box. Doing so will only lead to damage.

String instruments. String instruments are very fragile and, therefore, need to be packed in a way to prevent damage during the moving process. Follow these steps to ensure its safety:

  • Lightly loosen strings.
  • Wrap instrument with bubblewrap, taping it securely in place.
  • Place instrument inside its case. If there is a lot of spare room inside the case, use crumpled paper to fill in the gaps. Be sure you are still able to easily close the case even with paper inside. If the case is soft, be sure to use more crumpled paper in order to provide it with adequate protection.

Brass instruments. Brass instruments are also fragile and need to be treated with extra care when packed and moved. In order to safely move brass musical instruments, you will need to first remove the mouthpiece and wrap it with lots of bubble wrap. The same should be used to protectively cover the remaining parts of the instrument. Both wrapped pieces (mouthpiece and instrument) should then be placed inside its case. As with string instruments, use crumpled paper to fill empty spaces inside the case.

Large instruments. Do you own a large instrument that needs to be relocated? If so, you are up for a rather difficult task. Large instruments, such as pianos, may be huge and heavy, but they are also very delicate and can suffer vast damage if not packed and moved correctly. In order to pack an instrument of such magnitude and heft, you will need to use lots of padding and packing supplies to protect it during shipping. To do this most efficiently, it’s best to contact a professional moving company that is trained in such tasks.

Moving materials. For each musical instrument you intend to pack for your move, you should always first place them inside their original case. If you do not have the exact case, the next best packing technique is to use a sturdy box that is a little bigger than the instrument itself. When packing musical instruments – whether in precise cases or in moving boxes – it’s important that nothing moves inside. Items that are loose inside the box or case can scratch the musical instrument or cause it damage in some other way.

After-Move Care

Once your musical instruments have been relocated, you probably think the moving process is over and done. But before you unpack your items, there are some after-move care rules to follow.

  • Let stringed and woodwind instruments acclimate to the new climate for at least 24 hours before use. Instruments should be room temperature.
  • If you loosened strings prior to packing/moving, or if your instrument was not used for long before packing/moving, you will have to tune it again before playing.

For more tips and tricks on moving fragile items, click here.

Helpful Ways to Make Your Relocation Easier on Your Cat

Cats. They’re furry and purry and full of affection. They also have extraordinary senses, constantly scanning their surroundings and responding to even the slightest change. This being said, it makes sense that they easily pick up on pre-moving vibes from you and the quickly changing settings of their home. The stress you emit, the sudden appearance of boxes, etc., all of these things can cause your cat to become filled with anxiety. During all of the pre-moving stress and chaos, it’s important to take the time to step in and try to calm your furry friend’s nerves. Here are some ways to do so:

Keep their daily routine unchanged

Cats love a daily routine because it makes them feel safe and secure. When moving your cat to a new home, it’s a very good idea to keep their daily routine as unchanged as possible. Moving preparations are likely to add a bit of chaos to your cat’s regular schedule for food, play and sleep, but just try your best to keep things as consistent as possible so your cat will feel safe, confident and content.

Talk to your cat

Don’t deny it. If you own a pet(s), you talk to it, even carry on small conversations with it. There’s no shame in this. It’s normal and creates a bond between the two of you. While your cat probably doesn’t understand spoken English, it can definitely detect the inflection in your voice. Using calm and reassuring tones, talk to your cat and tell them what’s going on. Your cat understands much more than you think, so don’t be surprised if your furry feline suddenly becomes less stressed after some words of assurance.

Take your cat for a checkup

A pre-move checkup is very important for your feline, so be sure to schedule a full medical exam at your local vet. Your cat should be in good health before embarking on a relocation. If your cat is easily frightened or excessively nervous, it is a good idea to discuss this with your veterinarian. They may be able to provide you with specialized anti-anxiety medication to help make the relocation easier on them. While you are there, be sure to request copies of your pet’s medical records or any other documents you may need during or after your move.

ID your cat

Before moving day rolls around, it’s important to provide them with adequate identification – whether it be a collar and tag or a permanent microchip. Having your cat properly ID’d is the best way to ensure their safety. In case their stress level skyrockets and they manage to escape during the move, the chance is great for a happy return to you. Be sure that your cat’s microchip or tag is updated with the address of your new home.

Get proper transportation

In order to guarantee a comfortable and safe relocation for your cat, you will need a specialized pet container to transport them. The transportation carrier should be spacious enough so your cat can sit or stand comfortably, as well as turn around freely while inside. To purchase a proper pet carrier, visit your local pet shop.

For more pet relocation tips, check out our blog.

Packing Blunders to Avoid

Moving to a new home involves a never-ending list of jobs to complete before moving day comes banging on the door. One moving task, in particular, that can put anyone’s patience and resourcefulness at stake is – you guessed it – packing! But before you recoil in horror at the mere thought of packing, we are here to help you efficiently tackle this much-dreaded job. Continue reading to learn the most common packing blunders and how to avoid them.

I can pack everything by myself

The biggest moving blunder you can make is believing that you can pack your entire home by yourself. While this would be an incredible achievement, it is an extremely difficult one to accomplish. Adding to this blunder is not reaching out and asking for assistance – or worse – refusing help that is generously offered to you.

A good way to avoid an overwhelming situation as moving day approaches is to ask friends and family to lend a hand. If you can afford it, we strongly suggest hiring professional movers who are trained for the task. This is by far the ultimate option for quick and efficient packing.

I can procrastinate because I’m a fast packer

Packing a backpack for school or a few bags of luggage for a weekend getaway may be something you pride yourself in doing quickly, but don’t let this lead you into the false belief that you can pack your home as fast. Packing for vacation and packing an entire home are two entirely different things. This is because speed alone is usually not enough to efficiently pack your home. You’ll also need adequate supplies and good organization.

When moving, time is the essential factor when packing for a move and will determine the speed at which you must pack. The more time you manage to squeeze in before the moving truck arrives, the better your packing efficiency will be, as well as the lower your stress level.

I’ll pack now and sort later

If you are planning to put off your sorting until you have already moved to your new home, we strongly encourage yo
u to avoid this at all costs. This plan is one of the worst packing mistakes you can make when preparing to move to another home. The main reason being that it is very costly. Not only will it cost you more money to pack and haul unnecessary items along with you, but it will also prove costly in time and space. Failure to optimize the number of household goods you intend to take with you before initiating the packing process will prove detrimental. Here’s a closer look at how:

  • Time. In order to finish packing all of your belongings on time for your move, you need to go through each item carefully, getting rid of those things you no longer want or need. Skipping this important step will waste hours upon hours of wrapping and packing possessions you have no intention of keeping. When time matters, use it wisely.
  • Space. Even if you are moving to a larger home, it’s never a good idea to start your new life there by filling it up with unwanted and unneeded items. This will only cause a bigger mess when it comes time to unpack.
  • Money. Packing your home for a move without first sorting through your possessions will put a hefty strain on your wallet. How so? Every box you add to your moving truck increases the final price your moving company will be forced to charge you. More content means your movers will need extra time to load/unload your belongings. More content also means a greater weight, which increases transportation costs.

I can’t get free packing supplies

Are you someone who believes there’s no such thing as free packing supplies? We are here to tell you that this is definitely a false belief. You just have to know where to find them. And trust us – moving is a very expensive affair, and as you see those prices continue to increase, you will be happy you were able to save some money o/n supplies. Here are some free alternatives to lessen moving costs:

  • Boxes. As you already know, moving boxes are an essential packing tool. Before you can even begin packing, you’ll need to collect boxes in many sizes and shapes. You will also need tons of them! Check local supermarkets, bookstores, liquor stores, etc. for free boxes. These places have a continuous supply of boxes – more than they’ll ever need. To get your hands on their abundant supply, all you have to do is ask! Be sure to only take boxes that are strong, clean and in good condition overall.
  • Bubble wrap. Bubble wrap and other protective packing supplies are great, but don’t dismiss items that are already lying around your house just waiting to serve a purpose. Old clothing, thick socks, hand towels … all of these things can do an excellent job of protecting fragile items during a move. Plus, they’re free!
  • Packing paper. Soft, clean packing paper is hard to beat, as it provides numerous advantages. However, it can be quite costly. Newspapers are a cheaper alternative and work as a great protective packing supply. Just watch out for ink stains!

For more moving tips and tricks, follow our blog, here.

Best Ways to Explore Your New City

Moving to a new city means embarking on an adventure. The opportunities are endless with new people to meet and places to see. But after your move is said and done, you may end up feeling confused – even depressed – by all of the unfamiliar that surrounds you. Instead of finding everything new and exciting, you instead find it difficult to fit into your new environment. While it may be a hard transition, with a positive outlook, open-mindedness and a dose of courage, adapting to your surroundings will eventually become easier. Here are some ways to explore your new city quickly and easily so you can better adjust to your new home.

Tap into Your GPS

Whether you decide to use the navigation system on your smartphone or in your car, tapping into your GPS is the ultimate way to find all sorts of places to go and things to do in your new city. You can also look for city maps that come with a listing of local businesses, essential services, places of interest and other key, up-to-date information about the community.

Use Guidebooks

Though typically intended for tourists, guidebooks can also be of use during those first travels around your new city. Inside, you’ll find handy information, like places to eat, things to see and how to get around. They also provide a quick introduction of the city and surroundings so you can learn important facts about the place you now call home.

Search the Internet

Searching the internet is a daily activity for most. Now, you can put your master Google skills to good use to find everything you need or want to know about your new city. Here are some ways to most efficiently tackle the internet.

Search engines – No matter which search engine you use (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), simply type in whatever it is you are looking for in combination with your zip code. This will generate lots of results, giving you a good idea of available options in your area.

Specialized websites – The internet is made up of zillions of specialized websites that are specifically designed to help you figure out how to get somewhere, how to find something, and so on. Need a list of family restaurants? Want to figure out if your new city has any museums or upcoming festivals? Specialized websites are made for exactly these types of things. Some sites that may be worth using include Good Maps, Yelp and Citysearch. All of these sites offer great suggestions as to the best places in town to eat, see movies, partake in hobbies and even simply hang out. What’s also worthwhile about specialized websites is that they typically provide you with detailed area maps and turn-by-turn directions, along with reviews, ratings and recommendations.

Social media groups – Social media sites (Facebook, Twitter and the like) provide an easy way to meet new people in the area as well as stay current on what’s happening around town. Try following local business pages or local forums/blogs to better understand your new community and even get advice on things to see and do.

Get Out There

You may feel the most comfortable and secure inside your home, but staying behind closed doors will only keep you secluded. In order to adjust to your new world, you have to get out there. Exploring your city is the only way to reveal all of the amazing things it has to offer. Here are some good places to visit:

Library – Yes, it’s full of great books, but it also offers some wonderful opportunities to better unite with your city and community. Here you’ll be able to locate local maps and guides, and also browse community bulletin boards and meet people from the area. Community buildings, like local recreation centers and community halls, are a useful resource for learning about city events and information.

Hot spots – Hitting the town’s hot spots is the ultimate way to meet locals in the area. Visit coffee shops, restaurants, small stores, shopping centers and more. These places offer a great opportunity to introduce yourself, mingle with others and potentially make some new friends.

Become a Community Volunteer

One of the best ways to get to know your new city really well, and to meet some friends along the way, is to become a community volunteer. To do this, you will need to become active and involved. Here are some things you can do to become a valuable and trusted community member:

  • Engage in community services and other local organizations;
  • Volunteer at local hospitals, shelters or soup kitchens;
  • Show your compassion and voice by getting involved with hot issues concerning your community. Search for efficient solutions to common problems, offer resourceful ideas on how to improve situations, and get on a volunteer list to be called in case of emergencies or disasters.

For everything you need to know about moving, visit our blog.

Most Common Moving Frauds to Watch Out For

Deciding on a moving company can be difficult – especially with all the moving frauds and scammers out there just waiting to take your money and belongings. There are many reasons people fall for moving scams – a lot of them due to lack of proper research and investigation. Luckily, the internet is a great source for finding honest, professional movers to hire for your upcoming move. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with common fraudulent schemes and learn to recognize the red flags of moving fraud. To detect moving company frauds and protect your move, check out the following list of the most common moving frauds to watch out for.

Fake References: Phony movers typically use false references (fake moving reviews, fictitious testimonials, etc.) to make you believe they are trustworthy. Some fraudulent companies even truck consumers by constantly changing the name of their business. Before hiring a moving company, it is strongly recommended to investigate the movers in question by asking for opinions and feedback from people who have worked with them. You can also check with the Federal Moving Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Oddly Low Estimates: If the price is too good to be true, then it probably is. A common practice of shady movers is to offer extremely low estimates in order to lure customers in. Once they secure the job, they either disappear with your money, or they will request you pay huge extra fees for alleged additional services or unforeseen difficulties during the moving process. To avoid falling for this trap, take the time to carefully research companies, compare their offers and take all relevant information into account when making a final decision on a moving company.

Fine Print: A very important rule to abide by in life is to never sign a contract without having carefully read the fine print. If you look closely, the fine print often states that the guaranteed price of your move is subject to changes under certain circumstances. A lot of moving company frauds are based on this simple trick. Usually, the movers claim the job took longer than it actually did or that it was more complicated than expected. In turn, they charge you much more than initially estimated. To best avoid swindles like these, be sure that all required accessorial services, as well as any special conditions related to your move, are clearly stated in your invoice.

Large Deposits or Advance Payments: Some crooked movers may request a very large deposit or hefty up-front payments in return for a convenient pick-up or delivery time, higher quality services or other “special favors”. This is a huge red flag! These movers are the “grab the money and run” type of scammers. If you fall into this trap, you will likely never see your movers (and money) again.

Before handing over your money, know that any requested deposits should not exceed 10-15% of the estimated final moving cost. You should also be able to pay with a credit card – not only cash. If your movers only accept cash – run in the other direction quick!

Extra Fees: Additional services offered by moving companies are not automatically included in the estimate. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for dishonest movers to deliberately perform a variety of unnecessary services to increase the price. Avoid last-minute schemes by discussing any special requirements and potential difficulties in advance with your movers. This way, you are more able to say no to any services that are not explicitly stated in your invoice.

Refusal of Delivery: Another common scenario of moving fraud involves your household items being held hostage in demand for more money. In this circumstance, the movers will refuse to release your belongings until you pay enormous extra charges for whatever ridiculous reason they come up with. If your shipment contains a lot of valuable items, the situation may become even worse, with the fraudulent movers completely disappearing with your belongings. To avoid outrageous schemes like this, it is crucial to carefully research your chosen movers before hiring them in order to ensure you are dealing with movers that are legitimate, insured, trustworthy and professional.

Stolen Items: Sometimes, you may have a very smooth and trouble-free relocation experience. But upon delivery, many of your most expensive belongings turn out to be missing. Unless your belongings have been properly insured and declared as high value articles, the moving company will only assume liability for a small percentage of the lost or damaged items. Also, if you fail to notice or immediately repot a missing piece when receiving your shipment, the moving company can deny any liability. To prevent problems of this nature, be sure to provide adequate protection for all of your valuables. Also, check them carefully upon delivery in order to verify that nothing is damaged or missing.

For a moving company that is reliable and professional, trust in ABC Movers. Contact today for a FREE quote!