Moving Mistakes to Avoid for a Less Costly, More Efficient Move

From simple mishaps to serious blunders, moving mistakes can ruin your moving adventure – especially if they result in lost money and valuable time being wasted. Moving house is a major event. It takes lots and lots of careful planning, packing and organizing. It also requires many helping hands. The last thing you want to do is create complications and suffer extra expenses by making mistakes that could have easily been avoided. To eliminate emotionally and financially draining mistakes during your move, here are some things to avoid.

Hiring the First Moving Company You Find

Google “moving companies” and you’ll be provided a mega list of choices – each company claiming to be “the best in the business” in order to compete and attract more customers and to make a greater profit. But are they really the best in the biz? All moving companies offer moving services, of course, but their services may be radically different in terms of rate, quality, reliability and terms. Their level of competence and experience, along with equipment used, will also be different. This is why thoroughly researching a moving company before actually hiring one is so important. Hiring the first moving company you discover can lead to money lost and huge disappointment, so take the time to consider all of your options so you will pick the best company for your specific needs and requirements. Here are some important steps to take before hiring movers:

  • Ask for several moving quotes;
  • Interview several selected movers;
  • Request onsite written biding estimates; and
  • Compare and analyze offers.

When contacting moving companies, be sure to give them all relevant information – the number of household items to be moved, the final destination, any potential obstacles and requirements, and so on. Clearly stating your wishes and preferences is necessary in order to get the most accurate quote. Also ask about discounts, specific conditions, guaranteed pick-up and delivery date and time, etc.

Costly Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Believing an estimate given via phone or email is accurate;
  • Withholding relevant, must-know information your movers should know;
  • Hiring movers at random.

Choosing the Moving Company with the Lowest Estimate

As the moving expenses pile up, up, up, saving money is definitely going to be at the forefront of your mind. But don’t let the fear of expenses cause you to make an unwise choice when choosing a moving company. If a moving estimate is too good to be true, then it probably is. You may be dealing with:

  • Rogue movers who plan to disappear with your money and your valuable possessions.
  • Incompetent movers who want to secure the job but will do it poorly.
  • Scam artists who will demand a much greater amount of money than previously stated, for alleged accessorial services. (In this situation, they will not deliver your belongings until you pay these extra fees.)
  • Moving brokers who will sell your move to a third company that has its own tariffs.

All of these scenarios will cause you to pay large amounts of money. To avoid situations like these:

  • Before signing a contract, check the legitimacy of your chosen movers by verifying their USDOT number.
  • Look for any complaints regarding their services by calling the FMSCA safety violations and consumer complaints hotline.
  • Learn how disputes and conflicts have been settled in the past.
  • Read the fine print before signing a contract.

Costly moving mistakes to avoid:

  • Not thoroughly reading/comprehending movers’ paperwork;
  • Not checking movers’ credentials;
  • Signing blank or incomplete documents.


Hiring Movers at the Last Minute

If you have a big move ahead of you, one of the worst things you can do is procrastinate. This means everything, from signing a lease or mortgage on a new home to packing mountains of moving boxes. It also includes waiting too long to hire a moving company. As often as people move, moving companies are quickly booked up, and the longer you wait to sign a contract with one, the bigger the risk of:

  • Restricted available moving dates;
  • Limited moving crews;
  • Limited access to moving equipment and supplies; and
  • Higher price.

Moving at Popular Times

If you want your move to be as flawless and cheap as possible, it’s all about good timing. Here are some moving times to avoid:

During peak moving season. Between the months of May and September, moving costs dramatically increase. This is because more people are moving during this time. The result is paying more to secure a moving crew and vehicle.

On weekends. It’s a lot easier for most to move on weekends when they are off work and have a larger chance of getting help from family and friends. Unfortunately, your weekend free time can mean higher moving costs.

At the beginning or end of the month. There are several reasons why moving mid-month can lead to savings. This is because things like payday, end-of-lease agreements, and starting a new job typically fall at the beginning or end of the month. Because more people move during these times, moving companies are in higher demand, which, in turn, causes prices to skyrocket.

On holidays. National holidays are an extra busy time for a relocation, with moving companies pushed to their limits. The busier the time, the more you’ll pay.

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Top Items to Never Entrust to Movers

When tackling a major move, hiring experienced movers is the ideal choice. This is because professional movers have the training and equipment to perform a smooth and trouble-free relocation. However, no matter how competent and reliable your chosen movers are, it is strongly recommended not to entrust them with certain possessions. Here is a complete list of the valuable items you should always move yourself:

Important Documents

There are many important documents you’ll need to keep track of during your move – passports, driver’s licenses, medical and school records, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, bank statements, car registration papers, mortgage papers, etc. While no one will necessarily want to steal or damage your documents, you never know what may happen or how soon you will need them after your move. For all moving-related papers, it’s a good idea to store them in a binder, small safe or lockbox and keep them with you at all times. If you opt for a safe or lockbox, be sure you have the keys to unlock it, and keep them in a safe spot.

Valuable Jewelry

Pieces of jewelry are small and expensive – two elements that make them prone to mysterious disappearances during a move. One, you may lose or misplace an item, and two, someone can easily take it, especially when left unattended during chaotic moving-day activities. To help lower the risk of valuable jewelry being lost, be sure to do your research on moving companies and only hire those movers with an excellent reputation.

Because delicate jewelry pieces can be easily damaged during transport, be very careful when packing these items, and take the time to move them yourself. You will handle them with much more care than anyone else, and you can ensure to get them to your new home safe and sound.

Electronics

You probably won’t be surprised by this, but expensive state-of-the-art electronics top the list of stolen items during a move. This includes everything from flat-screen TVs and computers to stereo, headphones and popular video games. If items like these are stolen, it is obviously a very sad and frustrating event. Not only will you be out a lot of money – and a prized or favorite possession – but you are also put at risk of identity theft if the item stolen has personal information digitally stored on it. To ensure the safety of your most expensive electronics – laptop, digital camera, smartphone, etc. – keep them with you at all times during your relocation. A good way to protect yourself in case of stolen electronics is to secure them with a password (and avoid easy ones like “1234”).

Another problem seen when moving expensive electronics is a high risk of damage. This is especially true during long-distance moves in mid-summer and mid-winter. Why do these times increase the risk of damage? Because of the extreme temperatures and weather conditions – a situation that can lead to irrevocable damage to sensitive devices. Your best bet when moving these items is to store them in a temperature-controlled environment at all times.

Family Heirlooms

The loss of family heirlooms can cost you dearly in many ways. The most obvious one being deep emotional stress because no amount of time or money can ever bring them back again. No matter the object, items of high sentimental value are irreplaceable and should be given special attention during a move. To avoid having them stolen or damaged, pack them with care and keep them with you at all times.

Antiques, Artwork and Collector’s Items

If you own antiques, there is a good chance that many of them are rather large and will need to be placed on a moving truck. To keep these items well protected, wrap them in materials like bubble wrap and packing paper.

Art pieces are much too valuable and delicate to be loaded into a moving truck. But for large items that cannot be transported by car, package them in custom wooden crates that are specifically designed to hold artwork. Be sure to use plenty of bubble wrap, foam sheets and corrugated paper.

If you are a collector, no matter what the item is that you collect, it is something that holds some sort of value to you. If possible, take these items with you during your relocation to avoid having these prized possessions lost or damaged.

An important thing to remember to do before your moving truck departs from your old property is to check to ensure nothing important has been forgotten, misplaced or mistakenly loaded onto the moving truck. It is also a good idea to remember that even if you have hired trustworthy movers, anything can happen. Opting for a liability protection plan is a good way to ensure you are compensated if your belongings end up missing or damaged during your move. For those items of high sentimental value that can never be replaced, don’t risk it, and move them yourself.

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

The Ultimate Checklist for Efficient and Speedy Packing

Time-consuming? Check! Stressful? Oh yeah! Exhausting? Yawn… Very! Okay, so moving may not be the most thrilling experience, but there are ways to make it easier. All you have to do is take advantage of the packing checklist below that offers practical and logical tips to help you pack your home quickly and efficiently.

How to Pack Efficiently

Anyone can just throw their belongings into a box and slap some tape on top. But taking the time to pack efficiently will be well worth it. Not only will it make moving day more organized, but it will also make unpacking much easier. Here are some must-know tips for being an efficient packer.

  • Create an inventory of your entire home, and decide which items you will take with you and which ones you will leave behind. The less stuff you pack, the less money you will have to pay for supplies and transportation. Also, you won’t waste time packing things that you really don’t need or want.
  • Never underestimate the time required to pack your home for a move. So, start as early as possible to avoid the unavoidable buildup of moving stress.
  • Packing an entire house is a hard and near-impossible feat for one family, let alone one person. Ask for packing assistance from friends and professional packers to get the job done faster and more efficiently.
  • Request a list of non-allowables from your moving company in advance. This will ensure you don’t waste time and energy packing items that are forbidden from being transported (e.g., hazardous goods, explosive/flammable/corrosive substances, pets, plants, perishable foods).

How to Pack Quickly

No matter where you are moving (apartment, house, new office) or what type of move it is (local, intrastate), time is of the essence. Here are the top ways to pack quickly.

  • To be a quick packer, good organization is key. Create a customized and prioritized day-by-day packing calendar so you can make the most of the usable time you have before Moving Day arrives.
  • Use the pack-in-stages approach. This means packing a certain number of boxes every single day. Just make sure you stick to it!
  • Designate one specific room as your packing station. This will speed up the packing process considerably by allowing your other rooms to stay clutter-free and easily accessible throughout the most time-consuming pre-moving tasks.
  • Institute a master packing strategy to avoid wasted time on random and disorganized packing jobs. 1. Start with the toughest rooms to pack. 2. Pack items you use least before those you use most often. 3. Pack heavy/bulky items first.
  • Make an effort to stay focused. Keeping your concentration while packing will greatly speed up the moving process.

How to Pack Moving Boxes

If you’re going to move, you will need the ultimate packing supply – moving boxes! Purchase, or collect for free, a large number of cardboard boxes that are in good overall condition. You can get them directly from a local moving company or local business/supermarket/bookstore/electronics stores, etc. While at it, go ahead and gather other must-have supplies – bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, scissors and markers. Once you have all of your supplies, packing can begin. But before you start tossing things inside with no rhyme or reason, here are the best ways to fill those boxes.

  • For extra protection of your valuables from moving mishaps, lay a sheet or two of clean packing paper on the bottom of each box.
  • Reinforce the bottom of every box with a few lengths of high-quality packing tape. No matter how durable the moving box looks and feels, this will help eliminate the risk of accidental breakages.
  • Pay attention to the size of each box. Use small boxes for heavy items, such as books, and medium-large containers for lighter belongings, like pillows, blankets and stuffed animals.
  • Ensure you use filling and padding materials inside boxes. The better you pack any unused space with soft fillers, the more immobilized your items will be.
  • Clearly label all moving boxes. By marking the content, destination room and special handling instructions, you will save time, confusion and nerves.
  • Pack a special moving box – or maybe a few – with the daily essentials you will need post-move (toothbrush, toilet paper, some clothes, etc.). This will save you time and energy trying to track down important belongings within the mountain of sealed boxes looming around you.

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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.

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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.

Before Moving Out, Follow This Room-By-Room Cleaning Guide

Checklist - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)You’ve decided to make the huge commitment and move house. You’ve taken the necessary time to organize, plan and pack all of your belongings. But wait; isn’t there something you are forgetting to do? Before you carry out that last moving box and say goodbye to your home, you will need to clean it. After weeks of laborious moving preparations and exhausting moving tasks, the very idea of scrubbing floors, washing windows, etc. probably sounds like a nightmare – especially when you are leaving this particular home behind. But cleaning your property before you leave it for good is an important part of the moving process. Leaving your old home in tip-top condition will ensure you get your security deposit back if you are renting,and if you are selling, it will make the property more desirable to potential buyers. To make the cleaning process easier, check out our room-by-room clean-up guide below.

Bathroom(s)

  • Tiles. All bathroom tiles, from the floor to the shower wall, should be scrubbed with the appropriate cleaner – preferably one with bleach. Also, be sure to clean the grout betwcleaning bathroom - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)een the tiles. After you have scrubbed, rinse all areas well with clean water.
  • Tub and shower. Your tub and shower can acquire quite a bit of soap scum and mold, so make sure to put these spots on your must-clean list. Using a disinfectant, clean and rinse the tub, tub fixtures, shower rod, shower head and shower enclosures. If your shower curtain is fabric, throw it in the washing machine and reinstall, otherwise toss it.
  • Sink(s). Sinks collect a lot of slimy gunk and more, making them a major area to clean prior to moving out. Pay extra attention to the faucet(s) and handle(s). For a handy tool, try a toothbrush, which will make removing mold and stains in all of those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies much easier.
  • Toilet. The mere thought of cleaning the toilet may repulse you, but it must be done prior to moving out. Sanitize the toilet bowl, tank and seat; also wipe off the toilet paper holder.
  • Countertops, vanities and medicine cabinets. All of these places are hot spots for dust and grime. To clean them up, first remove all items from the shelves and drawers, and then wipe them down, inside and out, with a wet sponge. Also, clean any mirrors.

Bedrooms and Living Rooms

  • vaccuuming - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Clean windowsills, frames, tracks, casings, blinds and glass panels;
  • Clean sliding doors and screen doors, inside and out;
  • Wash or dry-clean curtains;
  • Clean out and wipe down furniture. Polish wood surfaces and steam clean upholstery;
  • Steam clean rugs and wash/polish tile and wood floors;
  • Wipe down air conditioners and vents to free them of dust. Replace air filter (if applicable);
  • Empty storage areas – closets, drawers and wardrobes, and clean them, inside and out.

Kitchen

  • Cabinets and drawers. All cabinets and drawers should be emptied and wiped clean with a sponge and mild cleaner. Remove old liners, and replace them with new ones once surfaces are fully cleaning kitchen - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)dry.
  • Countertops. Using warm, soapy water, along with disinfectant, wash countertops to remove any stains, residue, mold, bacteria and grime.
  • Glass. Make all glass surfaces – windows, doors, tabletops, etc. – shine with the help of specialized glass cleaner.
  • Sink and faucet. Using a powdered cleaning product or chlorine-free bleach, scrub the sink and faucet. If you have a garage disposal, use lemon slices to remove unpleasant odors that have accumulated.

If you are leaving any appliances behind, don’t forget that these items should be emptied and cleaned too. You will also want to move them away from the wall so you can clean the areas behind them, including the floor where they stood.

  • Refrigerator. Before cleaning the fridge, empty and defrost it. All drawers and shelves should be taken out and cleaned appropriately. The interior of the refrigerator should be cleaned as well. When fully dry, replace drawers and shelves. If the electricity will be turned off when you move out, leave the door open to prevent mold. You can also place a container with baking soda inside to absorb any odors.
  • Stove. To efficiently clean the stove, remove grills, oven racks and drip pans, and scrub them clean. For the interior, use steel wool along with a heavy-duty oven cleaner. *Note: wear thick gloves and ensure good ventilation while cleaning the oven. Oven cleaners, especially those with degreasing agents, can be harmful to the skin and respiratory system.
  • Dishwasher. Using a damp sponge and baking soda, wipe down all surfaces. Pay special attention to the filter, rubbers, inside and door, including the edges. For an extra clean, add a small cup of bleach to a cycle. This will help kill any bacteria inside the machine.
  • Microwave. An efficient way to clean your microwave is by placing a bowl of water with lemon juice in the microwave, then heating it on high for several minutes. Once finished, let it cool, and wipe down the inside with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Using a damp rag, also clean the exterior.
  • Sweep and mop. The final step to clean your kitchen before moving out is to sweep the floor to remove all dust and dirt. Then mop it for a deeper clean and shine.

For more moving guides from ABC Movers, click here.

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!

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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.

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Moving Costs: How Much Money Should You Save?

So, it’s time to move. Whether it’s for a job, because you don’t like your current landlord or neighbors, or just because you want a change, the prospect of moving can be quite appealing. But before you start picking out furniture for a new place you haven’t even found yet, it’s important to truly consider the many aspects that are involved in a move. One very important thing to consider before jumping into a commitment is whether you are emotionally ready to part with your old life and financially comfortable to afford a relocation. When moving house, costs add up quickly. You need to be able to cover these costs without difficulty in order to have a smooth, stress-free moving experience. But, how much money do you need to be prepared to move? It all depends on a number of things, such as:

  • The living costs in your new area;
  • The amount of items you’ll need to purchase for your new place; and
  • The size of your move, including the distance from your current to new home.

To figure out how much you will need to save in order to afford all of the moving expenses required, continue reading.

Housing

Housing expenses will typically be your largest financial challenge when moving to a new home.

Renting 

If you decide to rent an apartment or house, you will be required to provide several things, including:

Safety Net: Before you sign a lease for a new home, you are strongly encouraged to save enough money to cover at least three months’ rent – even more if you don’t have a steady income at the time of your move.

Security Deposit: When renting, you will be required to put down a security deposit at the time you sign your lease. Security deposits are typically the same amount as one month’s rent. One potential perk here is that you will be able to get your security deposit back after you move out. However, you will only get all of your money back if you leave the rental property in just as good of condition as when you moved in.

Management Fees: When renting a home, you will be charged for a background/credit check. This will add up to another $50 you will have to be able to hand out on the spot.

Buying

If you decide to buy a home, the initial costs are much, much more than that of renting. This being said, you will need to have a lot of dough saved before the idea of purchasing a home is even an option. To avoid extra fees like mortgage insurance, you will need to have saved 20% of the final cost of the home you are buying.

Whether you rent or buy, be sure the monthly rent or mortgage does not exceed 25%-30% of your disposable income. Otherwise, you run a dangerous risk of enduring serious financial difficulties.

Utilities

When you relocate to a new home, you will need to have all of the utilities turned on. These include gas, water, electricity, etc. If you like entertainment, you will also want to install extra utility services, like cable and internet. Utility costs depend on the area you live in as well as the size of your home. Also note that there are often extra connection and transfer fees you will be required to pay in order to have these services turned on.

It is a good idea to contact service providers in your future area before moving in order to get an estimate of what your monthly bills will be. In turn, you get a better idea of your total monthly expenses.

Moving Expenses

Moving house equals moving expenses – to hire movers, to buy packing supplies, and so on. These costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the distance to your new home, the size of your move and the moving assistance you require.

DIY Move: A do-it-yourself move is definitely the cheapest option when moving house. But keep in mind that a DIY move is only possible if you rent a moving truck and have reliable friends and/or family to help you. It is also, usually, only possible when moving locally. If you do opt to move by yourself, you will still need to pay for several things, such as:

  • Rental truck (and fuel)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Road tolls, parking fees, and meals and lodging, if applicable
  • Moving boxes, packing tape, packing paper, moving dollies, etc.

Professional Movers: Hiring professional movers may be more costly than a DIY move, but it is definitely the more worthwhile choice. Experienced movers have specialized moving equipment, plus the required know-how to perform an efficient and safe relocation. When moving locally, you will be charged on an hourly basis. For long-distance moves, relocation costs are based on the total weight of your items and the distance to your new home.

For a FREE price quote based on your moving needs, contact ABC Movers.

Safety Tips to Avoid Moving Injuries

Anyone who has ever endured a residential move knows it’s stressful. Unfortunately, many don’t realize just how dangerous it is until an injury occurs in an unpredictable, painful moment. What’s the best way to avoid injuries while moving? Start by checking out our list of safety tips that will help keep you and your moving crew injury free on moving day.

Plan Several Steps Ahead

Moving goes hand-in-hand with organization. Planning each step before actually taking it will be your best approach to a safe move. So plan several steps ahead. For example, if your couch won’t fit through the living room door, don’t use brute force to push it out the doorway. This is a big mistake that will lead to damaged property and personal injuries. Instead, opt for an adequate solution, like breaking down your couch or temporarily removing the door to provide a few extra inches of space so your couch can fit through.

Get Adequate Moving Assistance

Moving is not meant to be a one-person job. No matter how much planning you do or how organized you are, a solo move is basically impossible. This is why it’s crucial to have help when moving day arrives. Friends are great for providing physical and emotional help, but hiring professional movers is the optimal way to ensure a safe move. Professional movers are trained to follow safety procedures and are familiar with safety rules so accidents and injuries are prevented.

Avoid Overly Heavy Boxes

When moving house, there is one fundamental safety rule you should always follow: never pack a box so that it exceeds 50 pounds. Boxes that bypass this weight have a much higher risk of causing bodily injury. If a box feels uncomfortable to lift and carry around, this means it is too heavy and items should be repacked. The only acceptable way to move bulky boxes and other heavy, awkward items, like furniture and kitchen appliances, is to use the proper moving equipment. A moving dolly is the ultimate moving tool for heavyweight items. When using a dolly, always be sure to have the proper assistance and use the correct lifting techniques.

Use Proper Lifting Techniques

Moving day is filled with awkward and unusual body movements – lifting, bending, pushing, pulling and twisting. These movements mean your body is prone to sustain minor, or even serious injuries. To reduce the risk of self-injuries when handling heavy objects, here are some simple and efficient lifting techniques to follow:

  • Lift with your legs, not your back. Do this by keeping your back straight, bending at the knees and using the strength of your legs to lift the object. This technique will help decrease the chance of back strain.
  • Push heavy objects forward, don’t pull them backwards. This will help prevent back injuries.
  • Avoid twisting your hips when turning with a heavy object. Instead, pivot your body with your feet.
  • Keep heavy objects close to your body and centered in relation to your body’s height.
  • Take small steps, keeping your footing secure. Also make your movements slow and smooth versus sudden and jerky.
  • When lifting/moving heavy items, keep your eyes looking in front of you and slightly upward.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, avoid lifting heavy objects over your head.

Keep Hallways and Pathways Free of Obstacles

During your move, one of the most dangerous situations is to trip and fall over obstacles in your way – a problem that can lead to body strain and even broken limbs. This is why it’s vital to keep all hallways and pathways (inside and outside your home) clear. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Place packed boxes in labeled, organized piles away from all hallways or other heavy traffic areas.
  • Clear outdoor pathways that lead to the moving truck of mud, water, snow or ice. Also remove any debris from the ground that could prove hazardous.
  • Trim overgrown shrubs or protruding tree branches that might get in the way.

Dress Appropriately

When moving day arrives, it’s important that you dress appropriately for the tasks ahead of you. Being fashionable is the last thing you should be worried about on the longest, most exhausting day of your life. For comfort and safety, check out the list below for what to wear on moving day.

  • Clothes should provide a maximum level of comfort and protection. Wear fabrics that are breathable and flexible, and that won’t restrict your movements.
  • Choose clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or ruined after a long day of moving.
  • Avoid baggy clothing because it has a high chance of becoming caught or tangled on boxes, furniture and so on – a situation that can compromise your safety.
  • Select a pair of shoes that are both comfortable and closed-toe in order to provide your feet the best protection, flexibility and traction.

For more tips to keep your move safe, check out ABC Movers blog.