The Ultimate Checklist for Efficient and Speedy Packing

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

How to Pack Efficiently

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

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

How to Pack Quickly

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

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

How to Pack Moving Boxes

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

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

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Top Tips to Avoid Damage When Moving Out

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

Hire Professional Movers

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

Properly Pack Your Belongings

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safeguard Your Property

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

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

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

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

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

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Important Qualities to Look for in a Moving Company

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

Are they legit?

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

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

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

Are they affordable?

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

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

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

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

Are they experienced?

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

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

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

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

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

Are they reliable?

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

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

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

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

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Top Reasons to Move Off-Season

When it’s time to move house, many opt for the warm and sunny months of summer. This is especially true for those with kids who are on summer vacation. While it may seem like the most convenient and favorable time to move, there are actually many benefits to relocating during the fall and winter seasons. Continue reading to learn some of the top reasons to move in the off-peak moving season.

Lower Moving Cost

There’s no doubt about it – moving is expensive. And with cost being such an important factor to most of us, any chance to save some cash can definitely be worth it. Whether you just need to rent a moving truck or plan to hire a moving company to help you move, rates of course vary. But did you know that using these services in the summer months will cost you much more? This is because summer is the peak time to move, which means there are less moving trucks and companies available. As a result, moving costs are higher. For a less costly move, the best time to move is in the off-seasons of fall and winter. During these times, moving companies lower their rates as much as 30%. Many also offer additional moving coupons and discounts for off-season moves. In a time where any extra money helps, these discounts and deals are very helpful.

More Efficient Movers

It’s a fact that people move and work better in cool weather than they do in hot. This is another reason why a fall or winter move can be beneficial to you. While many think colder weather obstructs us when moving, the opposite is actually true. The cooler and fresher air that comes with the fall and winter seasons helps us acquire more energy, and with more energy to burn, your moving crew will be much more efficient.

Safer and Faster Deliveries

Moving in summer means battling busy roadways – kids are out of school, people are traveling for vacation, and don’t forget, more people are moving so there are more trucks on the road. If you move in the off-peak season, you won’t have to deal with over-crowded streets. While many fear winter road conditions, choosing to relocate in the fall or winter can actually be safer due to less traffic, and can make for faster deliveries.

Increased Attention from Professional Movers

If you have ever been busy at work, you know that it is not always easy to spend enough time on each and every task or client. Well, this is something moving companies face too – especially during peak seasons. When moving companies are busy and their staff is stressed, they have less time to answer your questions and concerns. If you’d like more attention and time from your movers, you can definitely get it much easier during the off-peak seasons of fall and winter.

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Tips to Conquer the Most Common Moving-Day Problems

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

Weather Hazards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad Movers

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

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

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

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

Poor Organization

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

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

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

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Essential Tips to Pack Your Shoes for a Move

Moving to a new home is one of the biggest steps you can take in your life. It will require a number of things to ensure you are well-equipped for the adventure ahead – a positive attitude, excellent organizational skills, sufficient savings, reliable moving assistance and quality packing supplies. But there’s one more thing needed to conquer the rocky steps to come … a good pair of shoes. As you already know, shoes are a necessity – every day and in every situation. This being said, you will need a reliable pair of shoes before, during and after your relocation. And just as you need to wear good shoes while moving, you also need to pack all of your shoes correctly so they will stay in good condition. To avoid smashing, tearing, breaking or deforming your footwear during your move, here are some essential tips to pack your soles the right way.

Tip 1: Sort your shoes
Before you can pack your shoes, you must first sort through them. This way you will know which pairs should be taken with you and which ones should be left behind.

  • First, put aside any worn out/damaged shoes that you can no longer wear. These shoes can be thrown away prior to your move.
  • Next, set aside any shoes that are in good condition but that you no longer wear, like shoes you have outgrown, formal shoes you no longer have a need for, outdated shoes, uncomfortable shoes, etc. There is no point in moving impractical footwear to your new home. The fewer items you relocate, the less time, packing materials and money will be wasted in the end.
  • Lastly, group all shoes you intend to take with you, according to their type – boots, flip-flops, high heels, sneakers, etc.

Tip 2: Prepare your shoes for packing
Once you have decided which shoes you intend to take with you, you will need to prepare them for packing.

Check for minor repairs. Before packing your shoes, you should inspect each pair for minor repairs. Minor repairs range from replacing zippers or soles to sewing up torn or loose sections. Then, go ahead and have them repaired. There are a few reasons why taking your shoes to a repair shop prior to your move is a good idea, but the main reason is because you may learn that a pair of shoes is not worth fixing. As a result, you may decide not to relocate them after all.

Clean your shoes. Cleaning each pair of shoes you intend to relocate is another good way to prepare them for a move. To do this, remove all dirt and dust. Also, remove any pebbles embedded in the soles, a problem that can harm delicate footwear.

Dry shoes. Packing shoes that contain moisture inside a moving box can lead to a moldy, smelly situation. To avoid this, it is strongly recommended to air out your shoes for a few hours before packing them. For shoes that are especially vulnerable to humidity (sports shoes, work shoes, leather shoes), you may also want to place crumpled paper inside each shoe to help fully absorb any moisture. You can also add powder to the insides to help draw moisture out of leather and other fabrics.

Stuff shoes with paper. Many believe that simply throwing your shoes into a moving box is an efficient packing method, but this can lead to damage. To help your shoes keep their shape and avoid being crushed during transportation, stuff them with paper. While packing paper is the ideal choice, you can also use any clean paper or soft fabric, like socks. Avoid messy items, like newspaper, which will leave behind ink stains.

For shoes/boots that go above the ankle, be sure to stuff them all the way to the top. For high heels, wrap the heels in bubble wrap to prevent them from breaking.

Use proper packing materials. For some, shoes may just be shoes, but for many, they are an investment – especially those with designer names. To preserve your investment during the moving process, you should provide your shoes with the best protection possible by using quality packing materials. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes may be fine for certain things, but for more expensive or valuable items, like pairs of shoes, you will need sturdy boxes, packing paper and quality packing tape.

Tip 3: How to pack shoes
Once you have accomplished the previous tips, you can now focus on how to pack your shoes. When packing shoes for a move, you should focus on two things: safety and efficiency. Here are some ways to make the packing process easier.

Set aside a pair of shoes for moving day. While packing your shoes, be sure to set aside a pair of shoes to wear on moving day. Be sure they have non-slip soles, will protect your feet, and also ensure safety and comfort.

Separately pack footwear you’ll need within the first few days post-move. They should be season-appropriate, good for running around town, and also provide comfort when unpacking your belongings.

Use boxes. The ideal way to pack is to wrap your shoes in packing paper and place them inside their original boxes. But if these boxes have long been thrown away, use small- to medium-sized boxes that are clean and strong enough to provide adequate protection. Once shoes are inside the appropriate box, seal the box with packing tape.

Another idea is to pack your shoes inside plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. Plastic containers will provide excellent protection from dust, dirt and external moisture.

Pack in pairs. To avoid a maddening hunt to locate a single shoe, always pack your shoes together as a pair.

Pack heavy shoes first. If packing several pairs of shoes in one box, be sure to place heavier ones on the bottom. Cover them with a protective layer of packing paper, then place lighter shoes on top.

Don’t overpack boxes. When piled together, shoes are quite heavy, so it’s important not to put too many pairs together in one box. Overpacked boxes will be too heavy and difficult to lift and carry, and may even crush under their own weight.

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

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

Bathroom(s)

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

Bedrooms and Living Rooms

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

Kitchen

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

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

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

For more moving guides from ABC Movers, click here.

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: Steps to Take (Part 2)

imagesAs you learned in our previous blog “Moving from Small Town to Big City: The Pros and Cons (Part 1 of 2)”, moving from a small town to a big city is hard. It takes you out of your comfort zone and into a world that’s bigger, faster and full of greater expectations. Before you make the final decision to move to a big city, there are several things to consider and do first. Here are some tips to help you move from the comfort zone of a small town to the unknown of a big city and settle into your new life quickly and easily.

Research the Area

Before jumping in the moving truck and heading for the big-city lights, it’s important to research the area well. The internet will serve you well as a research aidresearch area - PHOTO, but you may want to take your research even further by contacting family members, friends and colleagues, and even acquaintances you may have in the city you intend to move to. Here are some things to find out:

  1. Which neighborhoods are friendly and safe, as well as convenient to local amenities.
  2. What areas to stay away from.
  3. If there are any activities you can attend for free
  4. What are the best/most affordable places/areas to shop, eat, practice your hobby, etc.
  5. How much they spend on groceries, utilities, gasoline, entertainment, etc. per month.

Here are some other important things to do when researching your new city:

  • Review different maps to become familiar with the city, the public transit system, and other important places (hospitals, schools, etc.).
  • Research available housing options, and find a place you can afford.
  • Research employment options (Unless you are already employed, of course!). Don’t dismiss the idea of taking on temporary work so you are able to support yourself financially while looking for a more permanent position/career.
  • Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations, especially parking rules and traffic regulations.
  • Familiarize yourself with the etiquette and social practices in your new area.
  • Find out what the weather conditions are like in your new city. Learn the average temperature each month as well as the climatic conditions you can expect during different seasons.

Plan and Secure Your Finances

Moving is costly, and moving to a big city only adds to the expenses. This is why it’s important to plan and secure your finances before you plan finances - PHOTOactually move. To avoid financial troubles when moving to a big city, you will need to get a realistic idea of how much money you are going to need for your relocation. Here are some ways to get your finances in order prior to your move:

  • Make sure you have enough savings to cover your living expenses for at least four to six months.
  • Find an affordable place to rent. There are lots of temptations in a big, new city, but don’t rent something you can’t actually afford. Your monthly rent should not exceed 25% of your disposable income. Also, do not forget you will need to pay a security deposit, utility bills and maintenance costs, so be sure to take all of these things into account.
  • Review your spending habit to make sure you will have enough money for essentials – food, electricity, gas, medicines – before you spend any money on fun activities, like social events, etc.
  • Compare service providers in your new city, and sign up for the best price possible.
  • Hire professional moving services that are affordable. Get several free moving quotes. Compare the costs and conditions provided by different companies so you will get the best rate. Just make sure the company is reputable!

Be a Smart Packer

Packing is usually the most dreaded part of a move. It’s not only time-consuming, it is also laborious. When moving to a big city, there are several things to take2017-01-13 into account when packing. Here are a few of them.

  • Sorting. Clean out and organize your belongings to make moving easier and cheaper. If you’re used to living in a small town, your home probably had a decent amount of space. But your living space in the big city will be very limited in size. This being said, it won’t be able to hold all of your belongings. This means you will need to sort through all of your possessions, keeping only the things you truly can’t live without. The fewer items you relocate, the less stressful your move will be, and it will also leave you much more space in your new home. And don’t forget – the less you move, the cheaper the final moving cost will be, so sometimes it pays to organize.
  • Clothing. Before you pack all of your clothes, it’s a good idea to take the climate of your new city into consideration. Don’t take a garment with you if you won’t ever have the chance to wear it – no matter how much you like it. This will only cause you to spend more time packing and extra money on shipping costs.
  • Packing materials. Before you can pack, you will need to gather the necessary supplies. For the best protection, be sure to use quality packing materials – strong, clean boxes, heavy-duty packing tape, and so on. If you are bringing any larger furniture pieces with you, you will need to disassemble them prior to your move, and pack them safely so they will not be damaged during shipping.

For everything you need to know about moving, ABC Movers can help. Visit our website and blog  for all things moving.

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.