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!

Tips to Conquer the Most Common Moving-Day Problems

After making the difficult decision to move to a new home, you have spent the last several weeks, even months, organizing, planning and packing. As much effort as you have put into your move, you have made certain that nothing could possible go wrong come moving day. Right? Well, hopefully this is true. However, there are some moving-day glitches that may occur. But don’t panic! With every problem there is a solution. Here is a list of the most common moving-day problems, along with a handy list of tips to conquer them.

Weather Hazards

Mother Nature is tricky. One day, the sun is shining and the temperature is perfection. Then the next, you may find a torrential downpour wreaking havoc outside your front door. This being said, weather is one glitch that can put a serious damper on moving day. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent bad weather from sweeping your way. However, there are ways to conquer it. How, you ask? By being prepared. Here are some weather glitches you may have to deal with on moving day and how to be prepared for each.

Extreme heat. High levels of stress, strenuous movements and scorching temperatures outside can pose a great threat to your health. Temperatures that are too high can lead to a serious risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Not only that, but high temperatures can also be damaging to certain belongings. Extreme heat can even cause your moving truck to overheat and break down. With all of the potential problems caused by extreme heat, it is a good idea to postpone your move until temperatures drop to safer levels.

If the heat is not too intense and you decide to continue with your move according to plan, be sure to take the necessary measures to stay cool and hydrated, by dressing in light-colored and lightweight clothing and drinking lots of water.

Heavy snowfall. One pro to moving during the months of winter is that it is typically less costly. However, moving in winter can lead to unpredictable weather conditions, like heavy snowfall. If you live in a snowy region, there are a number of problems that can stand in the way of your moving plans.

Your driveway or road between your current and soon-to-be home may be blocked by a snowdrift. Driving and maneuvering your moving truck on snowy, icy roads can be dangerous. It may also be impossible for your moving truck to access your property. Your moving shipment may even be delayed or damaged by freezing temperatures. If you intend to perform your move regardless of inclement weather, be sure to keep your driveway free of ice and snow, dress in warm clothes, and add extra layers of protective wrapping to your household items.

Torrential rain. A few raindrops aren’t worth fretting about, but torrential rain like that of thunderstorms or hailstorms can completely ruin your moving plans. Not only does rain increase the risk of slipping and becoming injured, but your belongings are also put at an increased risk of becoming damaged. Luckily, with most rainstorms, they typically taper off within a few hours, and moving can commence. To help make rainy conditions more manageable, dress in appropriate clothes and sturdy boots, and make sure your belongings are properly wrapped and kept dry and safe.

Bad Movers

Hiring a moving company to help you with your move is a great idea. However, if you fail to do adequate research prior to hiring movers, you may be caught in a moving-day dilemma. There are two types of bad movers – incompetent movers and rogue movers.

Incompetent movers. A moving company may have great intentions but may simply lack the experience and proper equipment to make your move a success. Problems like these can lead to mistakes that will result in broken items, property damage and a lot of wasted time.

Rogue movers. Incompetent movers are bad, but rogue movers are even worse, leading you to fall victim to moving fraud. Rogue movers will give you a good offer, but as soon as they get your money, they may disappear with it. They may even arrive on time and load your household items onto the moving truck as expected, then disappear with your items.

To avoid these types of moving-company disasters, be sure to do plenty of research before booking!

Poor Organization

So you’ve planned ahead and organized everything prior to moving day. Before you start calling yourself a lean, mean, organizing machine, here are some things you may have overlooked.

Measuring furniture and doorframes. Not measuring large pieces of furniture and doorframes of your house-to-be can end in major problems on moving day. It can result in you trying to accomplish an impossible feat, like pushing a couch through a too tight doorway. Not only will this waste mega amounts of time and energy, but it will also cause your stress level to elevate. It can also result in damaged property and belongings, and even having to discard new or favored pieces of furniture.

Failure to warn movers of limited home access. Failing to warn your movers about limited access to your home can result in big problems. One, for example, is having a moving truck that is too large. If your moving truck is too large to access your property, it may be impossible to complete your move. It can even lead to other inconveniences, like extra expenses.

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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.

Important Steps to Take When Moving Antique Furniture

Moving breakable items is always risky, whether you move a few blocks away or clear across the country. Things get even trickier when the items you need to move include antique furniture. Antique furniture requires a delicate touch and ultimate protection throughout the moving process, otherwise you risk costly – and upsetting – damage that can sharply diminish its value. Since moving antique furniture is such a specialized job, the best choice is to trust in the expertise and special equipment of professional movers. But before you move these precious items, here are some things to do first.

Take inventory

The very first thing you need to do before moving antique furniture is to complete a detailed inventory of all the pieces you own. It is also a good idea to inventory all non-antique furniture that require special packing and handling due to fragility, aesthetic appeal, sentimentality, etc. As you make a list of each furniture piece, be sure to note any existing damage, and also take plenty of clear, high-resolution photos. Photograph each item from all sides and angles, concentrating on pre-existing defects, weakened sections, or extra fragile parts.

Why is it a good idea to take photos prior to your move? Photographs will provide proof of any damage that occurs during the moving process and can be easily provided to both your insurance company and moving company.

To keep or to sell

After inventorying your furniture and having it appraised, you are ready for the next step, which is deciding whether all the antique pieces you own are worth the time, energy, and effort to relocate them to your new home. Antique furniture can be worth a good chunk of change depending on the item and condition it’s in. There is no right or wrong answer when making this decision, so simply opt for the choice that is best for you.

Have antiques appraised

Considering that antiques can be quite valuable, it’s a good idea to have these items insured before your move. This will help cover any potential damage these possessions may encounter during the moving process. However, before you are able to insure your valuables, you will need to have each piece appraised. We can’t stress enough how important it is to know the value of all of your antique furniture prior to moving day. Having these items appraised is the best step towards ensuring their safety. In some instances, you will be required to obtain more than one appraisal as verification of the value of your antiques. This is especially true if you own pieces considered to be priceless.

So how do you find a qualified and trustworthy appraiser? Ask your insurance agent/company or authorized antique dealers about recommendations for locally licensed antique furniture appraisers. You can also try contacting the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) for assistance. Most appraisers charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for their services, so be sure to find out ahead of time how much you’ll be charged.

Purchase insurance coverage 

Once you have your antique furniture appraised, you can then purchase proper insurance coverage. This is by far the most important pre-move task to accomplish in order to protect your antiques. If you are someone who prefers to “save” money by not purchasing insurance for your valuable items, be aware that the risk is almost never worth it. With insurance, even if the worst happens to your antiques during your move, you will still be able to recover the value of these prized possessions. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Take a closer look 

The final step to take before moving day arrives is to take a closer look at each piece of furniture in order to recognize any potential risks to be battled during the move. This way, you will be able to figure out the appropriate way to protect and care for each piece. Inspect the construction/main frame, top section, legs or feet, and current condition/pre-existing damage like cracks, loose joints, etc. Here are some other things to take into consideration pre-move.

Size: Before the hustle and bustle of moving day begins, it’s vital to ensure all pieces of furniture will easily fit through doors and doorframes in both your old and new home. Measuring the dimensions of all pieces and doorways will make sure moving these items goes smoothly.

Temperature and Humidity: Antique furniture comes in many different types of wood. This makes extreme temperatures and excess moisture very damaging to the delicate finishes found on some of your items. To avoid this, temperature and humidity levels should be the same at both your old and new home.

Problem Spots: Another important thing to consider before your move is to identify any potential problem spots or sections that could prove to be problematic, such as loose shelves, interior parts and non-secured glass. Mark these areas as fragile on your inventory list, and be sure to inform your movers about them before the relocation takes place.

Moving fragile items can be worrisome, but with the right steps, you can turn a risky situation into a success!