What to Know When Moving Your Hot Tub to a New Home (Part 2)

If you read our previous blog, “What to Know When Moving Your Hot Tub to a New Home (Part 1),” you learned three main options for relocating your hot tub when moving to a new home. In this blog, we will delve further into moving your hot tub and the steps required to do so.

But first, before you can tackle these steps, be sure to remember that the number one issue when transporting something as heavy and enormous as a hot tub is safety. So take all of the necessary precautions when performing such a risky job.

Once you have planned and prepared to move your hot tub, here are the steps you will need to follow in order to keep this task running smoothly from start to finish.

Step 1: Measure. As you know, hot tubs are very large. Before you even try to move it, you will need to measure it to ensure it will fit in the back of whatever moving truck you decide to use when transporting it to your new home. Be sure to measure all dimensions, for true accuracy.

Step 2: Secure a moving truck. Once you have measured your hot tub, you can go about renting an appropriate moving truck to transport it. A medium-sized truck will most likely be ideal. If the dimensions of your hot tub show that it won’t fit intoyour truck, don’t, under any circumstances, try to make it work. If it won’t fit, it won’t fit – no matter how many ways you try to position it.

Step 3: Inspect the pathway. To make the act of moving your hot tub safer, it’s important to inspect the pathway leading to the moving truck. It should be clear of all obstacles or dangerous spots. Also, check to make sure all openings along the path are wide enough for the tub to fit through safely.

Step 4: Remove the cover. Does your hot tub have a cover? If so, now is the time to remove it. Ignoring this step can cause it to be damaged during transport. If your cover needs to be unscrewed, be sure to keep all screws in a safe place, like a resealable plastic bag. This will make reattaching your cover easier later because all of your supplies will be in one spot.

Step 5: Disconnect the power supply. Hot tubs need electricity to work their magic, so be sure you disconnect it before moving it. Dangling cords are also a big safety risk when transporting your hot tub, making it easy for someone to trip or slip. To keep the power cable safe, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it inside the tub’s storage enclosure that’s located on its side panel.

Step 6: Drain it. A key step not to miss when moving your hot tub is draining it. Believe us, the last thing you want to deal with during a move is a water leak – no matter how big or small it is. To drain your hot tub, it is a good idea to consult your owner’s manual. But for most hot tubs, you can access the water supply line via the side panel. When you access this panel, you can close off the water supply line and let the tub drain fully.

Step 7: Dry it. To further ensure there are no water leaks, securely close the drain cap after your hot tub has drained completely. Then, use towels to dry off any remaining water inside the tub.

Step 8: Move it. All of the previous steps were helping you prepare for this particular step – moving it. This will be one of the toughest parts of the hot-tub-moving process. First, ensure you have all of the necessary supplies. Then, to move your hot tub:

  1. Working as a team, you and your helpers should lift each corner of the hot tub. When lifted, insert one 4”x4” piece of wood beneath each corner. This will elevate your hot tub, keeping it about four inches off the ground.
  2. Once all four pieces of wood are in place, slide a furniture dolly under the front part of the tub. Then, using a second dolly, do the same under the back of the tub. When the hot tub is resting on both dollies, quickly secure the tub to them with straps.
  3. Double-check to ensure the path to the moving truck is clear. Then, begin rolling the hot tub toward the moving truck. Do so slowly and carefully.
  4. When you have reached the back of the moving truck, it is time to load it. Again, use caution. Once inside the truck, leave the dollies beneath the hot tub. To avoid movement during transport, securely tie the hot tub to the side of the truck. For extra protection, cover it with several moving blankets.

For more moving tips and tricks, we can help! Click here for more.

Affordable Movers: How to Find Them

When a home move is on the horizon, you will quickly see how many things need to be accomplished before your relocation date arrives. This being said, you will most likely want to find a moving company to help make the process easier. While this is a great idea, moving is far from cheap, which can make the idea of shelling out extra money to movers hard to do. But what if we told you there are ways to find movers that are not only affordable but also reliable too? If you are in need of movers but are on a tight budget, here are some ways to find a company that is actually affordable:

Look Early

As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm.” This is especially true when looking for a moving company. The earlier you start looking for movers, the greater the chance of securing a company that is both reliable and affordable. You will also:

Have a larger choice. The cheaper the rates a moving company offers, the quicker they are booked. Waiting until the last minute to find a low-cost moving company will prove difficult. So push the procrastinator tactics away and start your search in advance. By looking for movers several months before your relocation date, there will be many experienced and trustworthy moving professionals available.

Get a discount. By simply booking a moving company early, you could be eligible for a discount. This is because the goal of most moving companies is to secure as many jobs as possible in advance. By doing so, they are often willing to drop prices to draw in business.

Have more flexible scheduling. When you plan your relocation in advance, you will have the ability to set your moving date during less busy moving times, such as:

  • Off-peak moving season (September to May)
  • Less busy times of the month (second and third weeks of the month)
  • Weekdays

Consider Local Movers

When the safety of your personal possessions and valuables is at stake, many choose to hire a big, reputable, and nationwide moving company. This is because large moving companies are less likely to commit fraud or overcharge you at the end of your move. But don’t dismiss smaller moving companies. Because small moving companies rely mainly on moving jobs within their immediate areas, they work hard to gain the trust of locals; they also offer lower prices in order to attract more customers. When your goal is to find the most affordable movers, it will definitely be worth your time to consider small, local movers instead of big moving chains.

Get Recommendations

When on the hunt for a moving company, it’s crucial to do your search before booking. This way you can ensure you find movers that meet all of your must-have qualities (reliability, trustworthiness, professionalism, affordability).

Every moving company out there will claim to be the best, but what’s most telling is what others say about them. Asking for recommendations from family and friends is a great way to find a moving company that will satisfy you. If several people praise the same movers, this is a huge indication that they are a company that does a good job and you too will be happy with their service.

Another way to find worthy movers is by searching trustworthy websites like Yelp.com. Here you will be able to read genuine reviews from real customers and gain insight into the type of service a moving company provides.

Get In-Home Estimates

After gathering recommendations, you will need to get estimates from several companies in order to find the best rate. It’s important to keep in mind that any estimates you get online or over the phone are never truly accurate. For an accurate moving estimate, you will need to have a representative from each company you are considering hiring to come to your home for a visual survey of your belongings. During this in-home survey, you will be able to:

  • Show the representatives everything you intend to relocate (number, size, type of items);
  • Provide them with all relevant information (specific handling requirements, possible obstacles) needed for them to perform a smooth move;
  • Discuss the details (date, time, liability coverage) of your relocation.

Even if you like the first estimate you’re given, be sure to get a few more from other companies. Be sure to get a written binding estimate, to avoid price changes later.

If you receive an offer that is too good to be true, it probably is, so proceed with caution. This could be a sign of rogue movers who are just out to scam you.

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

Celebrating 10 Years in Business

 

We at ABC Movers wish to express our sincere appreciation to our employees and customers for their loyal support as we celebrate our tenth year in business. When our company was founded in 2007 with just two employees, we could hardly foresee our growth to a national national company with a staff of 3,000 within ten years. We could not have come this far without the loyal support and hard work of each member of the ABC team.

To further show our appreciation, when enlisting our services, just mention the following code to receive $50 off your move: 10Y50OFF.

To help celebrate ten years of helping YOU move, here are 10 fun facts about moving in the United States!

  1. Friday is the most scheduled moving day.
  1. The busiest time of year to move is during the month of August.
  1. The least busy time of year to move is during the month of February.
  1. Two of the most popular cities to move to in Texas are Austin and Houston.
  1. An estimated 43 million Americans move house each year.
  1. An estimated 33% of all moves are into apartments or multi-family homes.
  1. Local moves make up two-thirds of all moves.
  1. An estimated 40% of all moves are due to job promotions or transfers.
  1. The average person moves 12 times during their lifetime.
  1. On average, people schedule their move 42 days in advance with their chosen moving company.

Job Relocation: Should You Do It?

Being at a crossroads in life can sprout a lot of feelings. Two, in particular, being confusion and disorientation. This is mostly due to the fact that it’s impossible to know which path ahead of you will lead to success. It is especially difficult to make a decision on which course to take when a career opportunity requires you to move across the country. While you’ll feel lots of happiness because your professional skills have been appreciated, along with plenty of excitement at the chance to advance your career, you will also face some what-ifs that will cloud your judgement. It will be hard to imagine leaving favorite places and special people behind. Not to mention the prospect of packing and moving your entire household can sound extremely difficult. This will be especially challenging if you have to relocate your whole family.

What to do? When making such a life-altering decision on whether to stay or go, first weigh the pros and cons. Here are some important questions to consider:

  1. Will you receive a considerable financial boost as a result of a higher income?
  2. Can you envision yourself advancing in your career and working for many years for the company in question?
  3. Is your job stable enough? And if something goes wrong, will it be possible to find another job in the new city?
  4. Will you be able to improve your skills, knowledge and competence, as well as learn new things and acquire considerable experience?
  5. Is the overall atmosphere and attitude of the company encouraging, appealing and pleasant?
  6. Will overall living conditions improve for you and your family?
  7. Will you be able to afford the living costs of your new city?
  8. Will your significant other be able to go with you and also be able to find good employment in the new city?
  9. Will the new environment be beneficial to your children in terms of education, recreational activities, friendships, etc.?
  10. Besides work, what opportunities does your new city offer?

Along with job-related factors, there are also a number of other things to consider before taking the relocation plunge. Here’s a closer look:

Cost of Living. As previously mentioned, you must carefully research the economic situation in your potential new area. This includes the costs of utilities, transportation, food, medical care, insurance, taxes, and other relevant amenities. All of these costs should be compared to those of your current living conditions. Though you may want to move for a better-paying job, if your new city is very expensive, it may turn out to have negative effects on your finances.

Housing. Another major concern to consider before relocating for a job is housing. First, you will need to deal with your current housing situation – mortgages, leasing issues, deposits, etc. For instance, if you are currently renting a home, you will need to end it in an appropriate way with your landlord. If you own your current home, you will need to either sell it or lease it.

Next, you will need to research the real estate market in your future city. You will need to choose a neighborhood that’s suitable for you and your family – whether it be a place you rent or buy.

Timing. As the saying goes, timing is everything. So before you can say yes to a job relocation, you will need to consider if it is a good time to do so – in terms of your current commitments, your spouse’s current job, your children’s schooling, lease agreements, ongoing renovation projects, previously planned trips or vacations, and so on.

Lifestyle. Depending on how far away your job relocation takes you, you may encounter somewhat of a culture shock. Your new surroundings may cause you to encounter different points of view, attitudes, daily routines, and even unique traditions or unusual social norms. In some instances, the cultural background and established etiquette of your new community may clash with your previous lifestyle. Is this something you will be able to handle?

Weather. There is a good chance that relocating to a new state for your job will put you in different climatic conditions. If it does, will you enjoy the weather? It can be very hard to adjust to a colder, very humid or incredibly hot climate. A sudden change can even lead to health issues – allergies, more colds, etc.

One more thing

There is one more thing you should truly consider when a job relocation is up for grabs – the consequences of not accepting the opportunity. Will you miss the chance of a promotion, of expanding your skills or having a job you really love? Will you neglect the possibility to improve your living standard? Will you deny your children the chance to study and develop in a better environment? If the results of not moving will be mostly negative, then it is probably a good idea to gear up and prepare for a job relocation.

For more tips on moving, check out our blog for everything you need to know.

Top 5 Items Damaged When Moving and How to Protect Them

When preparing for a move, you will spend a fair amount of time packing. Each and every item you own will need to be wrapped and boxed in a way that will keep them safe during their transport from old home to new. Failure to do so will result in your belongings being broken or damaged. Before you start packing, it’s a good idea to make a game plan. First, figure out which items are fragile and will be easily broken during your move. Then, gather the appropriate packing supplies that will keep all of your breakables safe.

So which items should you pay extra attention to? Here’s a list of the top five items most easily damaged items during a move, and how to protect them.

1. Drinking Glasses

Considering they are made out of glass, it makes sense that drinking glasses are the #1 most easily damaged item when moving house. So how can you pack them in a way that will ensure you won’t be left with a box full of broken glass? First, individually wrap each glass in packing paper. Then:

  • Place the glass horizontally on packing paper.
  • Grab a corner of the packing paper and roll the glass into the paper. Be sure to tuck the sides of the paper in (imagine wrapping a burrito).
  • Repeat these steps 3-5 times (depending on the thickness of the glass) with more sheets of packing paper.
  • Label each glass so it doesn’t get tossed aside in the packing paper madness that will occur later during the unpacking process.

Once your glasses have been wrapped, you’ll want to ensure you use the appropriate moving box. “Dishpack” boxes are made with double thick walls that create extra protection, which make them perfect for packing all sorts of breakable dishes and glassware. With your box in front of you, crumple packing paper and place it in the bottom of the box. This will provide a protective cushion. Then, place each wrapped glass vertically in one layer inside the box. After completing the first layer, place packing paper on top, and then repeat layers until the box is full.

*If there is any remaining space left in the box, fill it with crumpled packing paper.

2. Plates

Running neck and neck with the most easily damaged item when moving, is plates. The main reason for plates breaking during a move is that most don’t put enough packing paper in each box to adequately protect them. Luckily, wrapping plates takes basically the same steps as wrapping glasses:

  • First, wrap each plate individually in packing paper.
  • Repeat this step 3-5 times with more sheets of packing paper until the plate is properly secured and cushioned.
  • Label each plate.
  • Using dishpack boxes, cushion the bottom of the box’s interior with crumpled packing paper.
  • Place each wrapped plate vertically (not flat!) inside the box.
  • Then follow the rest of the steps listed above in the section about how to pack wrapping glasses.

3. Artwork

Whether you have artwork that is valuable, or even something you made yourself, you want to ensure all pieces are protected during your move. The best way to keep your artwork safe is by using a picture box. First, line the bottom of the box with crumpled packing paper. Then, place your artwork inside the box, keeping it securely in place by stuffing more paper in the front and back, and along the top. You can also use bubble wrap. The point is to make sure whatever is inside the box doesn’t shake, rattle or move during shipment.

4. Lampshades

Due to their awkward shape and often large size, lampshades are another item that can be hard to pack, putting them at a high risk of being damaged during a move. If not packed properly, they can easily be dented or torn. What to do?

  • Wrap the lampshade in bubble wrap. Be sure to cover every inch of the shade.
  • Fill the interior cavity of the shade with packing paper. Avoid using newspaper, because the print can rub off onto the shade.
  • Place the shade inside a properly-sized moving box and fill it with packing paper to keep the shade from shifting around inside.
  • Do not place anything else inside the box, especially on top of the shade. This even includes light items, like linens or clothes.

5. Liquid Cleaning Supplies

A spill that occurs inside of a box during a move can be awful – especially if the spill involves liquid cleaning supplies. These types of liquids can leak and damage items both inside and outside of the box. To avoid this, be sure all bottles of liquid are sealed properly when packed. To do this:

  • Remove the cap of each bottle and place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening.
  • Tightly screw the cap back on.
  • Tape the outside of the cap to the bottle to further seal and secure it.

To pack your liquid cleaning supplies:

  • Choose a box that is small and secure its bottom with tape. For optimal security, run the tape in multiple directions across the bottom.
  • When the box is full, place packing paper around the bottles to stop them from shifting.
  • Tape the top of the box so it doesn’t open and spills its contents during transport.
  • Finally, be sure to label all boxes.

For more moving tips and tricks, check out our blog!

Step-by-Step Guide to Prepare Your Pool Table for Moving Day

When going through the long and tedious process of packing your house for a move, you will find that there are certain items that are easy to box up, while others are much more difficult. A pool table, for instance, is one possession that falls into the “difficult” category. The optimal route to take when preparing your pool table for a move is to hire professionals who are experienced in doing so. However, it is possible to prepare your pool table for moving day without professional help. If you choose this path, you will require time, tools and muscle power. You will also need our step-by-step guide on how to correctly dismantle your pool table to prepare it for moving day.

Before beginning this project, go ahead and gather all of the tools and equipment you will need – screwdriver, staple remover, socket wrench, etc. You will also need to have a few resealable plastic bags or some other type of sealable container to keep all small parts – bolts, screws, nuts – together and organized. A permanent market will come in handy, too, so you can label bags or containers with what’s inside. Now you are ready to get to work!

Step 1 – Unfasten pockets. The first step in disassembling your pool table is to remove its six side pockets. Depending on the model of your table, pockets will either be stapled in or secured with screws. In order to remove them, climb beneath the table. Then, either remove stables with a staple remover or remove screws with the appropriate screwdriver.

Step 2 – Disengage rails. The next step in dismantling your pool table is to remove the rails. The rails will be bolted in place, so you will need to use a socket wrench to loosen them. Work in sections, removing bolts from one area at a time. When bolts have been taken out, gently slide the rail out. If rails are attached at the corners of the table, you will need to turn the rail over in order to remove it.

Step 3 – Remove felt. One of the most distinct parts of a pool table is the felt that lines its top. Removing it will be one of the most time-consuming steps when taking your pool table apart.

To remove felt, you have a few options:

  • If felt is worn out and you plan to replace it once you put your table back together post-move, just rip it off and throw it away.
  • If felt is stapled to the pool table and you plan to reuse it, carefully extract each individual staple from the edge of the table with a staple remover. When all staples have been removed, carefully fold or roll up the felt (without firm creases) in order to avoid damage and stop wrinkles from forming in the fabric.
  • If felt is glued to the table and you intend to use it again, gently pull the cloth up in a smooth backward motion. *Pulling it upward or forward will cause the felt to stretch out and be ruined. When removing felt from the table’s corners, use extra care. When completed, carefully fold the felt as instructed previously.

Step 4 – Take out slate(s). Once the felt has been removed from your table, you will be able to see what sort of slate it has – one large piece, or three individual pieces. Taking out the slate(s) will be the most dangerous step when taking your pool table apart. This is due to two things: their weight and their fragility. A table with one slate can weigh up to 800 pounds, while a table with several slates can weigh between 150 to 250 pounds per piece.

Because of their extreme weight, you will need to take extra precaution as well as have extra hands to help you during this step. Though slates are very heavy, they can be easily ruined – chipped, scratched, broken – if dropped. If even just one slate gets damaged, you will have to replace them all because slates are perfectly made for each other.

Step 5 – Remove the frame and legs. After successfully completing steps 1-4, you will need to tackle step 5 – removing your pool table’s frame and legs. With help, flip the remaining structure upside down. Using the appropriate hardware, remove each table leg as well as any parts of the frame that can be easily detached.

For even more moving tips, tricks and step-by-step guides, we’ve got just what you need!

Top Reasons You May Require Temporary Housing

When it comes to moving, you probably want to be moving into your forever home. After all, who wants to prepare and pack for a move more than once? But life is all about transitions and changes, which means that your move is probably going to be temporary. What are some reasons that may call for temporary housing? Continue reading to find out!

Moving before choosing a new home. Moving to a place where you are surrounded by completely different surroundings and unfamiliar faces can be tough. Not only can it be stressful, but it can also be confusing. Questions, like “What are should I live in?”, “What neighborhoods are best?”, and “Where are essential places located?”, will swirl rampantly around in your head. This being said, it’s important to carefully research your new area so you can find the perfect place and location for you and your family. But this takes time, and sometimes there isn’t enough time to do adequate research prior to moving. Finding a temporary home is the best solution for this situation. This way, you will be able to live in your new surroundings and learn everything there is to know before buying or renting a more suitable and permanent residence.

Temporarily relocating for work. If your job requires you to move temporarily, you definitely won’t want to uproot your entire household and everyone’s belongings unless it’s absolutely necessary. If the temporary relocation is short, you may want to find a place for just you to live in and leave your family behind at home. If the relocation is long, then you may want to bring your family with you. In this case, you will need to find a temporary home for everyone to live in. You may also consider renting out your permanent home to help make paying two monthly housing payments easier.

Moving before your new home is ready. Another common scenario that requires temporary housing is moving before your new home is ready. For instance, if you have sold your home, you may need to move out before the new owners move in – even if your new home isn’t ready yet. This means you will need to find a temporary residence to house you and the fam til you can finally move into your new digs.

Moving while your home is being repaired. House renovations are never fun – especially if you are living at home in the middle of them. Depending on the renovations needed, you may have to vacate your home for a certain period of time. This will require you to find temporary housing for your family and storage for your belongings until the upgrades to your home are complete. Luckily, this type of temporary move will only mean relocating across town, but there will still be many things to consider and take care of.

Moving to study. Your college career may feel never-ending at times, but at some point, it will definitely come to a close. This is why moving to college is one of the most temporary moves a person will make in their lives. Whether moving to a place on campus, or off, you will have many items to pack and take with you in order to survive those fun and stressful college years.

Moving to help someone. When it comes to life, always expect the unexpected. For example, a close friend or relative may suddenly be in a situation where they need your help – especially for medical reasons. Having to move closer to a person in need is another reason that will require you to find temporary housing and tackle the necessary steps to set it up.

Now that you know some reasons why you may require temporary housing, head over to our next blog to learn some temporary housing options and how to pack for your non-permanent move.

Top 12 Things to Do Before Moving Out

From the moment you decide to move to the moment the moving truck shows up, you will be met with a variety of tasks to accomplish. In fact, the number of moving chores and packing jobs can become so overwhelming you may get easily confused about what things you need to do before moving out, and when you need to do them. To better tackle all your moving tasks, and make your move a success, here are the top 12 most important things to do before moving out.

1. Research packing supplies and tips on packing. This will help you prepare yourself with everything you need in order to properly pack all of your belongings.

2. Sort through your belongings, organizing everything into three main categories: “To Keep”, “To Donate/Sell”, “To Throw Away”. Remember, the more items you move with you, the more it will cost in terms of the amount of supplies you will require and how much it will cost to ship all of your possessions. By donating, selling or even throwing away any items you no longer have a use for, you will save money on your moving shipment, spend less time packing, and may even make a few bucks on those belongings you decide to sell.

3. Make a moving budget. This will help you decide what kind of move you can afford. Be honest with yourself about your finances, and ask yourself some important questions. “Will you be able to afford professional packers and movers, or will you need to stick to a self-move with just you and help from your family and friends?” “Can you afford to buy all of your packing supplies, or do you need to locate as many free moving boxes as possible?” Figuring out the answers to questions like these will help ensure you stick to your budget instead of drowning in expenses.

4. Designate a specific spot for all of your important moving documents, such as a brightly colored folder. This will make it easier to keep everything together so you won’t lose anything and also so you can access any documents quickly and efficiently. Be sure to keep this folder with you at all times so you don’t lose it during the stressful, and often chaotic, hustle and bustle of moving day.

5. If you are moving out of a rental property, be sure to let your landlord know about your plans to move, as soon as possible.

6. Figure out how to properly pack and ship certain items, such as those that are fragile and need to be handled with the utmost care. When researching this subject, consider what specific packing supplies you will need, like bubble wrap, packing paper, protective blankets, and other cushioning materials.

7. Get a moving estimate. To do this, contact a few reputable moving companies near you. An in-person estimate is best, so schedule a time for movers to come to your current home to help create a more accurate estimate for your move. Be sure to let them know how many items you intend to move and what fragile items, if any, you may have that will require more movers or special moving tools or supplies. Also be sure to inform them of any obstacles that may hinder your move – flights of stairs, a long distance from your door to the moving truck, etc. All of these things will make an impact on the cost of your move and what your chosen movers will need to come prepared with the day of the move.

8. Prepare your old home – and new one if possible – for moving day. Many things can happen during a move, from scuffed floors and damaged walls, to personal injury, etc. This being said, you will want to ensure the property is protected. Cardboard is a great tool to use because it provides cushion and protection to all sorts of things. Cover floors and carpets with it to help eliminate dirt and other problems from occurring. You can also wrap cardboard around stair railings and sharp corners to help keep them protected from large furniture, and other items that are being moved about.

9. Pay extra attention to how you wrap and carry large, bulky items, such as couches, tables and chairs. To avoid damage to your belongings, property, and yourself, be sure to wrap any protruding areas, like table and chair legs, with extra protective layers. If possible, remove these pieces and wrap them separately to make them less awkward to move.

10. Find out ways you can save money during your move. One way is to opt for a self-move with free help from family and friends. Moving boxes and other packing supplies is another great way to save money when moving. Check grocery stores, liquor stores, and bookstores, which have a continuous supply of boxes.

11. Create a move-out cleaning checklist. This will help guide you through the steps to take to leave your old home in good shape. If leaving a rental property, this will help ensure you get your deposit back, which will be more money in your pocket for your move.

12. Change your address with the many companies and people who should be aware of your whereabouts. Some include: utility companies, banks, the post office, schools, the department of motor vehicles, family and friends.

For professional moving services and more pre-move tips, click here.

Helpful Tips to Create a Moving Checklist

When you’re preparing for an upcoming house move, your brain can become a cluttered and jumbled mess as you fill it with more and more tasks you must accomplish before the big day arrives. Not only will this cause the stress of your move to become overwhelming, but it can also cause errors to occur – important jobs forgotten, chaos and injury, etc. So what can you do to combat these problems and make your move less overwhelming? While moving house will never be completely stress-free, there is something you can do to tone down the tension – create a checklist.

Making a moving checklist is an essential step to take to help guarantee a successful relocation. Lists will help you organize all of your activities, from scheduling a moving truck and moving help to packing all of your belongings easier more efficiently. What’s also great about checklists is that they are useful no matter what type of move you are having – local, interstate or international.

Here are a few ideas on how to make a moving checklist:

Use pen and paper. When making a checklist, it is always a good idea to start with pen and paper. This will help get your mind focused on the task at hand – moving. Since paper lists can be incredibly hard to keep up with, and hard to read, be sure to only use this method for a first draft.

Create a Word document or Excel sheet. After you have your first draft written out on paper, you can then transfer it over to an MS Word or Excel document via your computer. Don’t forget, though, that your electronics will eventually need to be packed, so at some point, our next step will serve you well – printing them.

Print your list. Printing your checklists will provide you with easy-to-read copies of your checklists. There are also many websites out there that allow you to print pre-made checklists. These lists usually cover all of the most important moving-related tasks and items, but know that they are unable to be modified, which means you may still need to make a few lists of your own.

Use your phone. Considering your phone will typically be with you at all times during your move, it may be the optimal place to keep your checklist(s). Saving a PDF file on your phone is one way to keep your list(s) handy. Another is to download a moving app, such as the My Move app for iPhone, Android and the Kindle Fire. Not only is this app free, but you can either use pre-made checklists or create your own. You can also check completed tasks off as you do them.

Now that you know some convenient ways to go about making a checklist, here are some things to consider adding to it.

Household Items Checklist

First, make a checklist with all of the household items that need to be moved. Be sure to group all of the items that need special handling together – fragile belongings like electronics, antiques and china, or bulky items such as pianos. This will allow yourself and professional movers to better prepare for the job, including how many movers will be needed and what tools or equipment may be required.

Also on your household items checklist, you should include things that are unable to be packed or moved by professional movers, such as plants and hazardous materials (gasoline, pesticides, motor oil, etc.). Having these items on your list will help you decide if you should really take them with you on your move, and if so, to remind yourself to find a safe way to do so.

Packing Checklist

Packing will be one of the most frustrating and time-consuming jobs to accomplish when moving. Having a detailed checklist that includes all of the belongings that are to be packed will benefit you greatly.

If you decide to pack your belongings by yourself, it is a good idea to include on your list the supplies you will need to get the job done. This will help ensure you have all of the materials you need so you won’t have to keep running to the store for things you’ve forgotten.

If you are hiring professional packers, you should also add to your checklist any items that may require custom crating, such as valuable paintings and sculptures.

Utilities Checklist

Before moving, you will need to notify important utility and service providers of your change of address. Here are some that you should add to your checklist:

  • Government Offices: State/Federal Tax Bureaus, Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, City/County Tax Assessor.
  • Utility Companies: Electric, gas, water, internet, cable.
  • Personal Accounts: Bank/finance Companies, credit card companies, insurance companies.
  • Personal Service Providers: Doctors, dentists, accountant, lawyer.
  • Subscriptions: Newspapers, magazines.

You will also need to change your address with the Post Office or fill out their online form for address change.

Kids Checklist

Moving with kids can add a lot of extra stress to a move. You want to ensure they are well taken care of throughout the moving process, and also that none of their belongings get left behind or lost in the shuffle. So make a checklist designated just for them. Include on it everything from collecting school and doctor records to a rundown of all of their possessions.

For more helping moving tips, check out our blog.

What to Do When Your Best Friend Moves Away (Part 2 of 2)

As you learned from What to Do When Your Best Friend Moves Away Part 1, having a best friend move away can be very hard to handle. But helping them, comforting them, and reducing some of the stress surrounding their move is a wonderful way to show you care.

In What to Do When Your Best Friend Moves Away Part 2, we will cover some ways to make your last days within arm’s reach of your friend, count.

Stay in Touch

Technology makes it easy to keep in touch with others. More than likely, you and your best friend already spend the greater part of your interactions digitally anyway. But a distance in miles and a lack of in-person contact will definitely make an impact on your friendship. Luckily, there are lots of ways to stay in touch with your pal when they move away. Here’s how:

  • Talk on the phone.
  • Send text messages whenever you want to share something or even just to say hi.
  • Schedule a set time for video calls via Facetime, Skype, etc.
  • Use social media to stay current on your friend’s post-move life.
  • Write and send emails.
  • Send postcards, letters and little gifts to provide a physical reminder of how much you care about them.
  • Plan visits, and get together as often as possible.

Give a Gift

Giving your friend a special moving-away gift is a nice and thoughtful gesture that will further seal the bond you have. Sure, there are tons of gift shops out there, but to make your gift unique to your specific friendship, you will need to think a little deeper and even resort to your own creativity. Here are some ideas:

  • Make a photo album that commemorates your friendship. Take the time to select unique pictures that have captured special moments between the two of you. You can also write meaningful captions, etc. to make the album even more personal.
  • Get your friend a practical gift for their new home. This way, every time they use your gift, they will think of you.
  • Make your friend a survival kit. Fill it with comfort foods, funny photos, travel games, a CD with their favorite music, and anything else you think your friend will enjoy on their trip and during those first few days in their new home.
  • Select a meaningful object as a token, or reminder, of your friendship – a piece of art, a bracelet or other accessory, a book, or anything else you feel represents your friendship together.

Create a Special Goodbye

It’s never easy to say goodbye to someone special to you. But when your friend moves away, it is an important part of the process. So in appreciation of the time spent with the person you consider your best friend, it is a good idea to find a way to express your deepest feelings with them, and give them a heartfelt sendoff. Try one or more of the ideas below to create your special goodbye:

  • Throw a farewell party. A goodbye party will be a mix of joy and sorrow, but it is a good way to help embed special memories for everyone there. Eat your favorite snacks, enjoy your favorite drinks, listen to music, dance, recall funny events – anything that will make you laugh, remember the good times and set a celebratory tone for your friend’s impending move.
  • Go somewhere meaningful. For some one-on-one time, head to your favorite place in town. Here you can spend some alone time together in your beloved surroundings, sharing your thoughts, emotions and enjoying each other’s company.
  • Write a goodbye letter. Writing a goodbye letter is a great way to express to your friend how much you appreciate and care about them, and how much you are going to miss them. There are no rules to what your letter should contain, so speak from the heart and say what’s on your mind. Remind your friend of the first time you met, or of a funny experience you had together – whatever you want to include to make your friend feel your warmth and love when they open it.

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