Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Moving House

Some decisions in life are easy, like what to eat for lunch or what to watch on TV. Some decisions, on the other hand, are not so simple. One, in particular, is moving house. The process of moving house is filled with levels of stress-inducing situations, puzzling complexities, and also confusion. So before you decide to go through such an ordeal, it’s important to thoroughly consider all aspects of a move before committing to it.

To help finalize your decision on whether or not to move house, there are many important questions to ask yourself. By asking yourself questions, and finding answers to them, you will get a much clearer picture of the moving adventure ahead of you, and it will also make the whole moving process easier. So what questions should you ask? Continue reading to find out!

Question #1: Is it the right time to move?

There are all sorts of reasons why you may be considering a home move – your house is too small or too big, you have found a job in another state, you want to move closer to family, and so on. In order to have a successful and less stressful move, timing is crucial. So before you jump into a move, first ask yourself this: Is it the right time to move?

Question #2: Can I afford to move? Moving isn’t cheap. In fact, after buying supplies, putting down deposits, and hiring movers, it can cost quite a lot. With this said, it makes sense that a crucial question to ask yourself is whether you can afford to move. So be sure to set up a moving budget to see how your finances look before you get into a tough situation.

Question #3: Can I handle a DIY move?

A DIY move can be a great way to save some money – especially for a small or local move. But there are some things to consider first. A self-move can be risky for safety and financial reasons, so ask yourself these questions before committing to organizing and executing a move all by yourself:

  • Do I have any previous moving experience?
  • Do I have friends or family I can rely on helping me on moving day?
  • Am I moving a short distance?
  • Am I moving only non-specialty items that I can handle myself?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you may be able to tackle a DIY move.

Question #4: Should I hire a professional moving company?

Whether or not you should hire a professional moving company is your own personal choice, but there are a number of reasons to do it. For example, if you don’t have much time until moving day, or if you are unable to gather enough reliable friends or family to help you out, then trusting professional movers is your best bet for a trouble-free move. It is also a good idea to entrust your valuable and specialty items to movers who have experience in moving such items. This is especially true when moving a long distance, where your belongings have a large risk of becoming damaged.

Question #5: What do I do until moving day?

So what exactly should you be doing from the time you decide to move until moving day arrives? The obvious answer is packing, of course. But there is much more to tackle and accomplish. You will need to organize all of your belongings, find and secure a new place to live, gather packing and moving supplies, and more! A great way to ensure an efficient move is to create a packing and moving checklist. This will help keep things under control and your stress level down.

Question #6: What packing supplies do I need so I can pack on my own?

If you decide to pack your belongings yourself, then you will need to collect the necessary packing supplies. Before gathering your supplies, first consider what items you will need to pack. Common packing materials you will need to ensure your possessions are well-protected during your move include:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper
  • Packing tape
  • Colored labels
  • Permanent markers

To help save some money, be sure to look around your home for any packing and moving supplies you may already have. It is also a good idea to check with friends or businesses that may have supplies you need.

For all you need to know for your upcoming move, check out our blog or contact us for more information.

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.

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

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 8

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 6

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 4

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 2

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 1

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

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

Changing Your Mailing Address: Things to Know

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

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

Do you know your correct address?

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

Should you choose a temporary or permanent change of address?

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

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

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

Should you request an individual or family change of address?

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

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

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

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

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

When should you change your address?

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

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

Method 1: Change address online

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

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

Method 2: Change address in person

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

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

Method 3: Change address by phone

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

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

Method 4: Change address by mail

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

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

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

What to Know When Moving a Bed to a New Home

Can you guess which piece of furniture in the home is favored by most? If you guessed the bed, then you’re correct! If you think about it, is there really any wonder as to why? It’s the only piece of furniture in your home that is associated with total relaxation, peacefulness and contentment. Who could resist such an inviting spot?

There is just one situation that can move such a beloved piece of furniture from the top of your love list to the bottom, and that’s having to move it. Beds, especially those of queen- and king-size, are incredibly heavy and awkward. Managing to move them across a room can be a struggle, but moving them to a completely new home is quite a feat. To make the moving process easier, and to ensure your bed survives the relocation in good condition, there are some things to consider, like if your bed is really worth moving and how to properly pack it. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about moving a bed.

Is it worth it?

When you are planning to move to a new home, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out which items are worth taking with you. Before you jump into the hardship of packing and moving your bed to a new location, first ask yourself this – is it worth it? Here are some things to consider:

Condition. Take a look at the overall condition of your bed. Is it fairly new or very well preserved? Is it comfortable and nice to look at? Answering these types of questions will help you decide if your bed is really worth the move. If you answered yes to these questions, then you should definitely spend the money and make the efforts to take your bed with you. However, if your bed is old, worn out, damaged, or you simply don’t like it, it’s really not worth the ordeal of moving it.

Size. Another thing to consider before moving your bed is its size. So whip out a tape measure and take accurate measurements of the bedframe, mattress and box spring. Then, measure all doors, hallways, staircases and sharp turns of both your old home and your new one. If the bed won’t fit, or will be an extremely tight squeeze, you may want to leave it behind.

Distance. If you are moving across town, it makes perfect sense to take all of your furniture with you. But if your move is long distance, the cost to ship heavy items, like a bed, could be quite hefty. There is also the risk of your bedframe and mattress being damaged during a several-day transit. Unless your bed is of high sentimental value, or a family heirloom, you may want to consider selling it before the big move.

How do I pack a bed?

If you decide it’s worth the money and effort to take your bed with you to your new home, you will need to figure out the best way to pack it so it will make it through the moving process unscathed. When relocating to a new home, beds are one of the most difficult things to pack and move, and the larger and heavier the bed, the more difficult it becomes. To properly prepare your bed for shipment, you will need specific packing supplies and a number of hand tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mattress bag
  • Moving boxes
  • Moving blankets (or other large, thick and soft fabrics)
  • Packing tape
  • Basic household tools, like a screwdriver
  • Sealable plastic bags

Once you have collected the necessary supplies, follow the steps below to ensure a safe and efficient relocation.

  • Remove all bedding – pillows, bed covers, sheets, blankets, etc. Pack them all in separate moving boxes and be sure to label the boxes as “bedding” for quick unpacking post-move.
  • Remove the mattress from the frame. To do this, grip the mattress on each end (you on one side and a helper on the other), then move it to the edge of the box spring. Carefully lower one end of the mattress to the floor while raising the opposite end. Avoid excessive bending of the mattress, because it can result in damaged springs.
  • Once you have the mattress up and out of the way, go ahead and remove the box spring.
  • Disassemble your bed (frame, headboard, etc.) as far as it will go, using the appropriate tools. Be sure your bed is fully dismantled before the move. This will make it easier to remove it from your home and into the moving truck. It will also reduce the risk of damage.
  • To prevent wood frames from dents and chips, or to prevent metal frames from being scratched or scratching other objects, wrap all pieces in moving blankets. Then wrap all mattresses in quality mattress covers.
  • Place all hardware pieces (bolts, nuts, screws) into separate sealable plastic bags. Then, securely attach them to the bed piece they belong to.

Moving a bed is tough, but with the right tools and know-how, you can get the job done quickly, safely and efficiently. For more moving tips and tricks, click here.

Best Ways to Explore Your New City

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

Tap into Your GPS

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

Use Guidebooks

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

Search the Internet

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

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

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

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

Get Out There

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

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

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

Become a Community Volunteer

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

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

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

Transporting Your Vehicle to a New State: A Helpful Guide

Everyone who’s endured a move knows it’s a haggering experience. Moving locally is hard enough, but moving out of state is even tougher. A lot of the challenges are due to the colossal amount of tasks to do prior to the move itself – all within a limited time period. What can make it even more difficult is if you are forced to ship your car to another state. How do I ship my car from one state to another? How do I find the best auto transport company? How much does it cost to ship a car to another state? How do I prepare a car for transport? All of these are important questions that you will find yourself asking, and stressing over, as moving day approaches.

To help you through this head-scratching process, check out the guide below to learn what you need to know and do in order to organize your state-to-state vehicle transport in the best possible way.

What do I look for in an auto transport company?

Believe it or not, auto shippers do exist (phew!). All you have to do is find one. It may seem easier said than done, but it really is that simple – as long as you know what to look for, that is. When on the hunt for an auto shipper, pay close attention to these things:

Experience: As with all companies/businesses, what sets a great car shipping company apart from a not-so-great one is how much experience it has. Your best bet is to choose a company that’s been in business for many years. The length of time a business has been established acts as a sort of guarantee that your state-to-state auto transport will be well taken care of by someone with experience.

Trustworthiness: Having trust in your auto shipper will come from communication and dealing with the company one-on-one, and it will also come from what you read or hear from reliable, trustworthy sources. So do your research, and trust your instincts as you venture into a business relationship with an auto transport company.

Professionalism: It’s easy to tell right off the bat whether a company is professional or not. Professionalism is an attitude, a way of doing business in an honorable, honest way. A company that is disorganized or has rude, unhelpful employees is definitely not professional, so steer clear.

Affordability: A successful auto shipper will have a healthy balance between high-quality services and affordable prices. The most expensive place and the cheapest place are more than likely not your best choice, so try and find a company that stands somewhere in the middle.

How much does it cost to transport a vehicle?

One of the most important questions to ask an auto transport company is how much they charge, so be sure to ask for a price quote as early as possible to avoid wasted time and energy. Here are some things that will affect the cost of your state-to-state auto transport:

  • The distance from Point A (the current location of your vehicle) to Point B (your new destination). The more miles, the more costly.
  • The size, make and model of your vehicle. Larger or more expensive cars will cost more.
  • The total weight of your vehicle. The more weight, the higher the cost.
  • The cost of insurance to protect your vehicle (and you!) if there are any problems during the transport.

How do I prepare my vehicle for transport?

Once you’ve selected a company to transport your vehicle, you may think the task of shipping your car is complete – just hand over the keys and you’re done, right? Well, you will be handing over the keys, yes, but you will need to prepare your car for transport first. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash the exterior – if needed.
  2. Do a thorough inspection of your vehicle. Note any damage with close-up photos. This will stand as evidence of your vehicle’s pre-move condition. Also, get photos of your entire vehicle in case a damage claim needs to be filed post-move.
  3. Inspect your vehicle for leaks – around the engine, underneath the car, etc. If any leaks are discovered, have them fixed prior to shipping your vehicle.
  4. Leave your gas tank with roughly ¼ of fuel. This will decrease the total weight of your vehicle and save you money in shipping costs.
  5. Inspect tires to confirm they are in good condition and fully inflated.
  6. Ensure your car’s battery is well-secured and charging as it should.
  7. Verify the emergency brake is in good working condition.
  8. Remove any personal belongings from your vehicle. The only belongings that are allowed to stay are a child seat, spare tire, jack and emergency kit.
  9. Remove any non-permanent exterior parts (i.e., a bike rack).
  10. Disable or remove any alarm systems.
  11. Fully retract (or remove) your vehicle’s antenna.
  12. Close and secure any convertible tops, sunroofs, etc.

Now that you know a little bit about how to ship your vehicle between states, your move will go a lot smoother. For more tips and tricks to make your move easier, click here.

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.

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!