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.

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

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

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

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

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

3. Unload items carefully and in the right order.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more must-known moving tips, click here. To learn about our rental services, check out our website.

Changing Your Mailing Address: Things to Know

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

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

Do you know your correct address?

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

Should you choose a temporary or permanent change of address?

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

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

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

Should you request an individual or family change of address?

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

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

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

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

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

When should you change your address?

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

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

Method 1: Change address online

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

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

Method 2: Change address in person

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

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

Method 3: Change address by phone

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

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

Method 4: Change address by mail

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

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

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

Moving from Small Town to Big City: 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.

Moving Guide: Tips for a Small-Scale Move

If you’ve ever experienced a home move before, you know it’s a stressful, chaotic and all around complicated process. Not only on your nerves, but also your bank account. While this is typically a true presumption, it’s a good idea to treat each and every moving situation uniquely. For example, a move across the ocean is very different than a move across town or moving a single piece of furniture down the street. Each type of relocation comes with a different set of needs and requirements. Even if you are faced with a mini move, it’s important to plan and prepare accordingly for the situation. You may even require expert help from qualified movers. To check out our useful small-scale moving guide, continue reading.

Small-Scale Moving Help

Full house moves are the most common type of relocation. But don’t let this lead you to believe that small moves don’t require professional moving help. Moving is difficult, no matter the size, and moving companies have services to meet all your needs. This includes small-moving help, both locally and long distance. Partial-load moving, or small-scale moving, is the ideal solution if your shipment is not large enough to fill a moving van.

Good to know: A small move is generally estimated to be up to about 1,000 pounds. For a shipment that falls below this weight mark, it is called a mini move. For a mini move, the most beneficial choice is to consider a partial-load moving service.

Advantages

One of the biggest advantages to opting for small-moving services is the cost. The cost of a large move is based on a number of things, including the total weight of your belongings. A small move, however, only requires you to pay for the items you are actually moving. This means no minimum weight requirements or hidden costs. It also includes both local and long-distance moves. How is the cost so low? The answer lies in efficiency. Movers strive for maximum efficiency when performing their job, and the best way to achieve this is by using moving trucks for dual purposes. When shipping a small – or partial – load, your items will share space inside a moving truck with other customers’ items. Sharing a truck means sharing transportation costs. As a result, the final price of a small move is based on the actual weight of your items and the relocation distance – not on pre-set charges.

Want to keep your small-moving costs as low as possible? Here are some tips:

  • Book movers early: When you first know of your impending move, go ahead and book a professional moving service. The earlier you book, the greater the flexibility for your movers to combine your shipment with someone else’s. This equals lower costs because you won’t have to pay for full use of a moving truck.
  • Move essentials only: When moving, it can be all too easy to take everything you own with you. However, the more items you relocate, the more stress you will endure, as well as the increased risk that your small move will turn into one that’s larger and much more costly.
  • Pack yourself: If you have the time and supplies – not to mention, the patience – opt to pack your belongings yourself. Or with friends and family who won’t charge you for their help. Doing so will greatly cut the cost of hiring professional movers, and their supplies, to do it for you. Just note that if you are relocating artwork, fragile items, family heirlooms or other valuables, it is a very good idea to hire professional movers who are trained in such matters.

Find Your Match

Find the best company for your needs. Moving companies can provide you with convenient and economical options when it comes to moving your small load. To find the company that is best for you and your specific needs:

  • Get references from friends and/or family. These will be your most trusted sources for recommendations.
  • Get small-load moving quotes from several companies. This way you can compare prices, quality of services, terms, etc.
  • Research small-scale movers, investigating reviews and performance ratings from past customers.
  • Discuss the details of your move with your chosen moving professionals. Important topics include liability coverage, handling requirements, transportation requirements, potential difficulties, final moving costs, etc.

Ensure all negotiated terms and conditions are clearly stated in your Bill of Lading!

For all things moving, ABC Movers is there for you! Contact us, today, for a FREE QUOTE at 800.771.0151 or visit our website.

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.

Essential Last-Minute Supplies to Have Handy on Moving Day

Imagine that you wake up in the morning, and it’s officially moving day. You have worked diligently for months organizing every detail and packing every single belonging for your imminent relocation. Everything is complete except or the heavy lifting … right? Well, you may think so, but believe it or not, there is a good chance that as you empty your home of furniture and boxes, you will come across a drawer or cabinet you forgot to pack, or a few lingering items lying around. How will you pack these items? Times like this call for one thing – extra supplies! For those last lingering items that creep up, here is a list of the essential last-minute supplies to have handy on moving day.

Spare boxes: When moving, one supply you can never have too many of is cardboard boxes. Not only are they great for securely packing your belongings, but they are also useful for other things, like providing extra protection to already packed items and to cover floors to prevent damage and excessive dirt. Since boxes are so convenient, practical and affordable, they are truly indispensable, so be sure to get extras to have on hand for moving day.

Packing tape: Cardboard boxes go hand-in-hand with – you guessed it – packing tape. Without this extremely vital packing supply, there would be no way to secure or seal your moving boxes. The day of the big move, it will be very handy to have packing tape for last-minute needs, like sealing boxes, restructuring any boxes that break, and so on. It is also a good idea to get a packing tape dispenser, because it will save you time and effort.

Permanent markers: Not labeling boxes and other belongings during a move is an easy way to lose your things. Printed labels may come in handy for pre-moving packing, but for last-minute labeling needs, nothing is handier than a permanent marker. Be sure to have several on hand during your move to ensure all of your belongings are clearly marked.

Bags: Plastic bags, sealable bags, trash bags, vacuum bags … all types are welcome on moving day and make an excellent last-minute packing supply. Use them to hold random, loose items you forgot to pack, to gather trash, and so on. The more bags the better; just make sure they’re clean.

Medical Supplies

The day of the big move involves a lot of heavy lifting and moving awkwardly-shaped items. As a result, there is a fairly high risk of injury. In case of injuries, sore muscles, etc., here are some life-saving medical supplies to have on hand.

First-aid kit: For quick and adequate measures, a first-aid kit will provide you with the proper medical supplies in the unfortunate event of an injury.

Pain Relievers: Aspirin and other pain relievers for achy, sore muscles will come in handy during your move, as well as after.

Allergy medications: Environmental factors are one thing that can stir up your allergies, but moving involves a lot of contact with dust, dirt, and other irritants – all things that can really cause allergies to act up. Access to allergy medications on moving day will help alleviate allergy symptoms, which will keep sneezing, itchy eyes and runny noses at bay.

Contact lens solution: With all of the dust and dirt that get blown around during a move, it’s a good idea to have easy access to contact solution in case something gets in your eyes. You should also have your glasses handy, just in case. The last thing you want to have happen in the middle of a move is to have your vision compromised.

Daily medications: Moving day is a day of non-stop, go-go-go action. This makes it likely to lose track of time and also be unable to focus on anything except your move. Unfortunately, this can be problematic if you forget to take your prescription medication(s) during the moving madness, so be sure to keep all daily medications accessible.

Basic Tools

Whether you need to disassemble furniture, measure the dimensions of a doorway, or other random task, having basic tools at your disposal will save you a lot of hassle come moving day. Make sure you have these things:

Swiss army knife: This multifunctional tool not only serves a number of purposes, but it can also easily fit into your pocket.

Scissors: A good pair of scissors will go far on moving day, from cutting tape to sealing boxes, and more. Also consider having a box cutter on hand.

Hand tools: There are several hand tools to keep close by when moving, including a hammer, pliers, screwdriver, nails, screws, duct tape and a measuring tape.

For more moving-related tips and tricks, check out our blog.

Prepare Your Belongings for Storage: A How-to Guide

There are items we want to throw away, and there are items we want to hang onto, but we just don’t have the space – like antique furniture, outgrown children’s clothes or artwork. So what should you do with these things? For items you want to keep for future use or sentimental value, it is a god idea to put them in a storage unit. Self-storage units provide a simple and convenient solution. All it takes is choosing an appropriate storage facility and moving your belongings into it. But, before tossing your items inside and locking the door, you want to ensure your belongings will remain in excellent condition while stored. To make this happen, you will need to prepare and pack your items with great care and attention to detail. Check out our useful how-to guide to learn how to prep your belongings for storage.

How to Prep Furniture

  1. If applicable, empty furniture of any items – books, papers, etc. Using a brush attachment for your vacuum, remove any excess dirt, and clean all surfaces with a mild solution of soap and water. Let furniture air dry fully.
  1. Protect your furniture, based on its material. For leather, use a protective spray as well as leather conditioner. For wood finishes, apply a protective coat of wax to seal the wood and reduce the risk of mold development.
  1. Disassemble large furniture pieces (as much as possible). For any protruding elements (table legs, etc.), cover them with a protective layer of bubble wrap.
  1. Pack all detached pieces together so no parts get misplaced. Also, place small hardware parts (bolts, hinges, etc.) in a sealable plastic bag, then tape the bag to the corresponding furniture.
  1. Cover furniture with sheets and blankets. Use specialized fabric furniture covers if your items will be stored long-term, and secure with cinch straps, plastic wrap or rubber bands.

How to Prep Appliances

  1. Empty and thoroughly clean any appliances you intend to put into storage. If you plan to store a fridge/freezer, be sure to defrost it first or expect a wet and moldy disaster!
  1. When cleaning appliances, it’s a good idea to disinfect them properly. A cleaning solution of bleach or baking soda will work as an excellent disinfectant/cleaning agent and will also remove any bad odors.
  1. Completely drain water from any attached hoses or internal mechanisms – especially when storing dishwashers and washing machines. Missing this step can lead to water freezing and damaging your appliances during winter months or mildew during warmer months.
  1. Tie down and secure any attached cables and hoses. Remove any hoses or other attachments, if possible, and store them inside the appliance so they won’t get lost.

Things to consider:

If possible, leave doors on household appliances slightly ajar when stored. This will allow proper ventilation and will prevent condensation and bad odors.

How to Prep Electronic Devices

  1. Ensure all electronics are clean and free of dust.
  1. Pack sensitive electronic devices in their original boxes or ones of similar size and quality. Use crumpled packing paper, foam sheets or anti-static packing peanuts to fill any empty spaces inside boxes to ensure optimal protection during storage.
  1. Seal all boxes tightly in order to keep moisture out and damage away.

How to Prep Clothes

  1. Hang garments on a clothes rail inside wardrobe boxes. This will keep them wrinkle-free and ensure good ventilation to eliminate the risk of mold.
  1. For expensive and delicate clothing items, wrap them in a suitable protective cover to keep them fresh, clean and damage-free.
  1. For clothing that will be stored long-term, use an insect repellant such as naphthalene or mothballs.

Things to consider:

When storing clothes for extended periods of time, avoid folding and piling them into boxes. This will not only lead to wrinkles, but damage due to dust, dampness and mold.

How to Prep Mattresses

  1. Inspect mattresses for any signs of infestation. Also, make sure your mattresses are clean and completely dry. To make sure, consider placing them in a spot with direct sunlight for a few hours.
  1. Place mattresses in a specialized storage bag that supplies a perfect fit. Durable mattress bags are a wise investment when storing mattresses, because they protect against dirt, dust, moisture and pests.
  1. Seal the ends of the plastic protection bags with packing tape.

Things to consider:

Use vacuum bags to save space when storing bedding items, like comforters, duvets, linens, etc.

How to Prep Books

  1. Ensure all books are fully dry. Try spreading them on a table in a sunny room for several days before packing them for storage. Also consider running a dehumidifier in the room.
  1. Wrap leather books in packing paper to eliminate the risk of them sticking to each other.
  1. Place books in small, sturdy boxes. It is recommended to pack books flat – especially larger ones – to prevent damage to their spines.

Things to consider:

Books are incredibly heavy! Avoid using large boxes because they will be too difficult to lift. They may even break under their own weight.

For more useful how-to guides involving your move, click here.

How to Create a Moving Inventory List (Part 2 of 2)

In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of making a moving inventory list. This blog will provide you with the basics of how to create a moving inventory list.

Before you begin packing, you must stop, look and document. These are the key things that you must do in order to create a moving inventory list. Here are some tips.

Room by room. When making your inventory list, document all items in one room before moving on to the next room. This will provide maximum efficiency and better organization. If you prefer to list items sporadically among rooms, be sure to create separate inventory sheets for each room for good organization.

Document major items first. As you begin your inventory list, be sure to document major items first. These items include furniture pieces, household appliances, large electronic devices, etc. Once you have completed this, you can then proceed with your list by documenting smaller or more insignificant belongings. When writing down all of your belongings, be sure to note any items that will require special handling during the moving process. This will help better prepare your movers for moving day.

When making an inventory list, you do not need to document every single possession you own, like individual books, pieces of clothing, office supplies, and other odds and ends. Instead, your inventory list should include all large, valuable and sentimental items. Also note that your inventory list will become one of your most important possessions during your move, so be sure to keep it in a safe place at all times.

Details. Whether you choose to write everything down on paper or use a spreadsheet program via your computer, you will want to set up an inventory template to make it simple to use and limit confusion. Here are some essential columns to use when creating your template.

Column 1. State the name of your item.

Column 2. Give a description of each item. Make each description as specific as possible, providing information, such as: quantity, material, make, model number and any other distinctive features that may be of use to you or your movers.

Column 3. State the current condition of each individual item – and don’t sugar coat it. Inspect each item and be objective, noting the actual condition of every item. Document any pre-existing damage and include all applicable documentation, like warranties, receipts, certificates, appraisal statements, photos, etc.

Column 4. List the estimated value of each item. This is an important column on your inventory list as it will be used to establish the limit of your movers’ liability for loss or damage of an item.

Column 5. Column 5 should state the designated new location for each item on your list. By listing the specific room or location where each item on your list should go in your new home, your movers will be much more efficient; it will considerably speed up the unpacking process.

Column 6. The final column on your inventory template should be designated for any personal notes you may want to include about each of your items. For example, if you have numbered any boxes or containers, be sure to also note the number of these boxes or containers in this section of your inventory.

Visuals. Along with your written moving inventory list, another way to increase its effectiveness is to include visuals. Adding visuals, like pictures and/or videos of your belongings, will provide proof of their condition and will also better capture distinctive features of each item than written descriptions can. Just remember, visual records of your possessions are meant to accompany your written moving inventory list – not replace it.

Copy, save and backup. Once you have created your moving inventory sheet, be sure it doesn’t get lost or damaged during the chaos of your move. So always save, backup and make copies of your list. Also play it safe by keeping copies of your list in different locations, like in a folder, a filing cabinet, and even in the glove compartment of your car. For those who opt for a digital file, be sure to save your list to a jump drive or store in it in the cloud; you can also email it to yourself.

Another good idea come moving day is to compare your inventory list to the one prepared by your movers. This way you can check to ensure everything is correct.

For everything moving, click here.

Add Some Fun to Your Move with These Special Pre-Move Ideas

Packing. Scheduling and planning. Buying moving supplies. Packing. Booking movers. Did we mention packing? With so much to do before a move, it’s all too easy to throw your arms up in defeat and exclaim, “I quit!” With all of the not-so-fun tasks to do, you’re probably wondering if there are any fun aspects to a move. Well, you’re in luck! We’ve come up with some special pre-move ideas to look forward to, so check ’em out below.

Give your friends a proper goodbye

Parting ways with good friends can often be a very sad experience, so we suggest eliminating the sad by replacing it with the fun and memorable. Take a few moments and think about each friend you will soon be leaving behind. What is a favorite activity you both like to do together? What “last” activity do you most want to experience with them? When considering these questions, you can come up with all sorts of possibilities you both will enjoy. By spending some quality fun time together before moving day arrives, you will part ways with a bang instead of pondering why your paths are leading in different directions.

Throw a memorable farewell bash

Saying goodbye to your memory-filled home, closest friends and family doesn’t usually sit at the top of the “fun” list – especially if you tend to focus on the negative side of things. But before your movers arrive, can you think of anything more fun than throwing a memorable farewell bash? The best part about organizing a farewell party shortly before your move date is that it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, no one will expect anything super special from you considering the transitional period you are in. This makes it the perfect time to invite your crew over for a casual get-together (think pizza and drinks), so you have a chance to spend some carefree time with the people you care about most.

Have a photo session

Whether you opt for your digital camera or smartphone, before moving day arrives, take some time to wander around your place snapping photos – and be creative! Along with bringing you amusement and some time to relax, it can also play two important roles in your future.

  1. Photos are practical and can serve as proof of the condition your belongings just before your move. If for any reason you need to present evidence of any damage that occurred to your belongings during your move, pictures will help you file a damage claim with your professional movers.
  2. Photos allow you to remember a certain time in your life that you can never get back. Photos can be used for photo albums, picture frames, and other creative ways to keep your fondest memories close.

Take a memento from your old home

Okay, so it’s never a good idea to take something that you really shouldn’t from your old home, like a microwave or the front door, but finding a small memento to take with you can be a lot of fun. It can also provide you with a great keepsake. What should it be?

A glass jar of soil or a few cool rocks from your private garden or driveway?

Pressed leaves from your favorite tree in the backyard?

A door handle from a room that meant the most to you? (Only if you owned the home, of course!)

Whatever memento you choose, it will keep good memories alive and help lower the chance of post-relocation depression.

Give away/donate some items

As moving day approaches, you will often question why you have so much stuff! As you pack your belongings, it is the perfect time to purge items you no longer need or want. It will also make moving day shorter and smoother. Whether you choose to give some of your belongings to friends or a donation center, both will have rewarding benefits. You will save time and money with less items to pack, and you will also brighten someone’s day by helping those in need.

Design your new home

While you won’t actually be able to design your new home until after your move, you can still fantasize about it in the meantime. Not only is it fun to visualize how you will decorate and furnish your new home, but it can also help make the process of unpacking much easier.

For all things moving, click here!