Top Tips for Labeling Moving Boxes

When you think of moving to a new home, what words come to mind? If you’re like most who have gone through the process of a home move, you probably think of words like chaos, disorganization and stress. It’s not that moving to a new home is all bad. In fact, it can actually be a very exciting time in one’s life. The problem is that there are a lot of details involved in order to orchestrate and conduct a move. From finding a new place to live, to packing, cleaning and buying supplies, there is a great deal to organize if you want to get from Point A to Point B successfully.

Luckily, your moving preparations don’t have to be disorganized, chaotic or stressful. How, you ask? One way is to devise a smart and foolproof labeling system for packing. Below you will find our top tips for labeling moving boxes for an upcoming move.

Create a Color-Code System

We previously mentioned a color-code system. Now we will discuss in full what this is and how it works. So here goes! The best way to label moving boxes is to create and use a color-coding system. Here’s an example:

Say you choose the color blue to mean bedroom. You will use either a blue marker or blue tape to label all boxes that are packed with items from your bedroom. Come moving day, you will know to take all boxes labeled with blue to the bedroom until they can later be unpacked.

How will others, like friends and movers, understand your color-coding system? A good way to keep them informed is to place colored pieces of paper on the doors of your new home that match the color-code on your boxes. For example, for bedroom boxes labeled with blue, place a blue piece of paper over that specific bedroom door.

Create a Number Labeling System

Are you into numbers more than colors? No problem! Another great labeling technique you can use is a number labeling system. The purpose of using numbers to mark your moving boxes is to designate a certain number to each container. Then, you create a master inventory checklist that includes the contents located in each numbered box.

For example: If Box #1 includes a coffee maker, toaster and blender, each of these items will be listed under Box #1 on your inventory checklist. Then, on the box, you will write “#1”.

The key to using a number labeling system is to ensure you don’t lose the master inventory checklist. So print several copies and also email it to yourself and even to a friend for extra backup.

Gather Labeling Supplies

One of the keys to successfully pack for a move is to have the proper supplies to get the job done. While the most obvious supplies you’ll need are things like cardboard moving boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, and tape, you will also need labeling supplies:

Quality Markers. One of the most important labeling supplies to have are markers (have several on hand!). Unlike ordinary pens, markers are the best choice. When shopping for markers, keep these things in mind:

Color. Using markers of different colors will allow you to color-code each box based on the room it belongs in. This will make moving day, and unpacking, much more organized.

Quality. With moving costs exploding around you, it can be tempting to cut costs on things like markers. But this is a definite mistake, as they are more likely to run out of ink faster and not show up as well.

Permanent and Waterproof. Moving day comes with a big list of what-ifs. What if it rains? What if something leaks? Problems like these can cause labels to smudge and smear. This is why using permanent and waterproof markers when labeling your moving boxes is a must.

Labels. If you prefer to have sticky labels that you write on, you can find downloadable and ready-to-use printable moving box labels on the Internet. You can also purchase labels from a local moving company. These labels will include the names of different rooms on them so you won’t even have to write on them.

Colored Tape. While packing your belongings, you will have lots of clear packing tape on hand. But this won’t work for labeling! To label your boxes, you will need to purchase colored tape. This way, you can enhance your labeling system and make box notification easier.

Label Boxes Correctly

There are, of course, no serious rules to follow when it comes to labeling your moving boxes. You are a unique individual, after all, and can label them whichever way you choose. But we do have a few proven techniques to share with you to help make labeling an easy and organized success.

  • Choose a labeling method that works best for you. Then, label the top and two sides of each moving box. Be sure your writing is legible. It should also be visible on at least one side, even when boxes are stacked one on top of the other.
  • Attach moving labels to your boxes then place clear packing tape over them. This way labels won’t fall of or get torn or wet during transportation.
  • Label boxes that require extra care with words like “Fragile”, “Breakable” or “Handle with Care”.

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

Simple Steps to Packing Your Book Collection

During the stressful and chaotic process of moving house, packing books isn’t typically put on the high-priority list of things to get done. It’s understandable. Packing books, after all, is much easier than packing, say, a kitchen that is full of breakable items. But while books require a less tedious packing process than some other belongings, you don’t just want to throw them in a box and hope for the best. Instead, you need to know the basic principles and safety rules of packing them to ensure they make it to your new home unharmed. To prevent damage to your favorite reads and to prolong their shelf life, here are some simple steps to follow when packing your book collection.

Step 1: Sort.

A handful of books may not seem like much weight. But the more books you cram into a box, the heavier the load will become. The number one problem people make when packing books for a move is putting too many in one box. This can cause many problems on moving day, such as personal injury or a box breaking. The biggest problem, though, is this: The final price of your move is based on the total weight of your shipment. This means that the heavier your boxes are, the more costly your move will be.

So consider this: Do you really need to take every book you own? If you take the time to go through your book collection, you will most likely come across many that you no longer want or feel the desire to hold onto. Consider giving these books to a friend who loves to read, or donating them to a library, school or charity shop. You can also recycle any paperbacks that are too worn-out or damaged to be given away.

Step 2: Gather Supplies.

In order to pack your books, you will need to have the right packing supplies to avoid any damage during transport. Here’s what you’ll need:

Book boxes. Wimpy boxes won’t work when packing your books, so you’ll need to collect book boxes that can handle the job. Book boxes are

  1. Strong, because they are made out of thick cardboard.
  2. Small-medium in size (20” x 11” x 11”).
  3. Clean, dry and free of pre-existing damage.

Packing paper. Soft packing paper is a must-have supply when packing your book collection. Use it to separate rows of books arranged inside your boxes and to fill empty spots to prevent rattling during shipment.

Packing tape. Heavy boxes have an increased risk of breaking. This is why strong, high-quality packing tape is so important. You will need to use it to seal your boxes, but also to provide additional reinforcement on their bottom and sides.

Permanent marker. Be sure to use a permanent marker to label each box of books. This will make things easier when arriving at your new home.

Step 3: Pack them.

When packing your books, there are three different methods you can choose to arrange them: upright, flat and spine down. The safest method is to lie them flat in a box in stacks. If you choose this method, be sure to place heavier books on the bottom and lighter ones on top. When you have sorted through your book collection and have collected the necessary packing supplies, you can finally take the steps to pack them.

  • Individually wrap any valuable books you have in soft packing paper.
  • Line the bottom of your boxes with packing paper to further insulate it. This will provide them with extra protection during the move.
  • Don’t arrange books too tightly. This could cause damage to covers and pages.
  • Don’t let the pages or covers of different books directly touch each other. To do this, pack one row of books then place a couple of sheets of packing paper over them. Then pack the next row of books.
  • Fill any large gaps inside your boxes with crumpled pieces of packing paper to eliminate movement.
  • Place a final sheet of packing paper on the very top of your books. Then close the lid and secure it with tape.
  • Label your box with a permanent marker.

Safety Rules to Remember

The key to packing books is taking the necessary safety measures to pack and ship them. Avoiding any of the basic rules listed below when packing your books can result in damage.

  • Keep the weight of a single book-filled box under 40 pounds.
  • Use small- to medium-sized boxes.
  • Double tape the seams of your book boxes – even containers that are new.
  • Place the heaviest books on the bottom of each box.
  • Use extra care when packing books of value by wrapping them in soft packing paper. You may also want to transport books of high value (first-edition collections, etc.) yourself to ensure they are handled with utmost care.

For everything you need to know about your upcoming move, click here.

Pack Your Desktop Computer with These Tips

Whether a person is old, young or somewhere in between, computers are an essential part of daily life. They offer entertainment, education, and an easy way to instantly connect with others. So when you’re preparing for a move and it’s time to pack your precious computer, you want to take every precaution in order to avoid something bad happening to it. From specific packing supplies to packing preparations, below you will find everything you need to know about how to pack your computer safely to protect it during the bumpy journey ahead.

Packing Supplies

The first rule to packing (no matter what the item is) is to ensure you have the proper supplies to keep your belongings safe and protected. When packing something as valuable as a computer, the process of packing gets a bit trickier – especially for desktop computers because they come with a number of parts (monitor, hard drive, keyboard, mouse). Here are the essential packing supplies you’ll need:

Computer packing boxes. The optimal choice when packing a computer for a move is to use its original packaging. This is because it is professionally designed to provide adequate protection to a computer during travel. But let’s be real … if your computer is more than a few weeks old, any original packaging is most likely long gone. But don’t worry; there are ways around this.

First, ask friends and even IT employees where you work if they have any spare computer boxes you can use. If not, opt for a regular cardboard box. Make sure it’s the right size, and use lots of cushioning materials around the computer.

Bubble wrap and packing paper. Along with boxes, you will need bubble wrap and packing paper to safely pack your computer. Several layers of these two items should be wrapped and secured around your computer in order to help eliminate damage during a move.

Styrofoam inserts, packing peanuts, and air-filled plastic bags. Along with wrapping your computer in bubble wrap and packing paper, it is also a good idea to fill the moving box with extra protection, like styrofoam inserts, packing peanuts or air-filled plastic bags. Supplies like these will provide the necessary protection required during your relocation by absorbing vibrations and negating direct hits that may occur while traveling on the road to your new home.

Packaging tape. Once your computer is safely packed inside a moving box, it’s important to use quality packing tape to seal the lid shut. You will also want to secure sides and seams, along with the underside of the box, for extra reinforcement.

Sealable plastic bags. Computers come with several small parts (cords, screws, etc.). For small items like these, use sealable plastic bags to store them. Be sure to label all bags so parts aren’t lost during the chaos of your move.

Steps to Prepare Your Computer for a Move

Once you have all of the supplies needed, there are some things to do before you can actually use them to pack your computer. Here are some important steps to follow:

Step 1: Backup data. As important as the outside of your computer is, the data it stores inside is just as vital – if not more so. If your computer was to endure damage during your move, if you have a backup of all of your data, you will still have all of your photos, important documents, etc. To backup your data, there are several ways to do it – we suggest using at least two of the following methods, just in case!

  • Upload data to a cloud storage service.
  • Transfer files to an external hard drive.
  • Save information to a flash drive.

Step 2: Measure your computer. Before you can properly pack your computer inside of a box, you will need to know what size packing box you will need. To find out, measure your computer. For desktops, this means measuring both the monitor and computer tower.

Step 3: Remove cables. When it’s time to pack your computer, the first thing you should do is take a picture of how all of its cables are plugged in. This will save you time and confusion when hooking your computer back up after the move. Next, remove all cables from the wall and the computer itself, and pack them accordingly.

Step 4: Keep Your Computer in One Piece. Before you start taking apart and removing important pieces to your computer, opt for the better route and don’t disassemble your computer at all! Taking your computer apart in order to pack it for a move is not necessary. In fact, disassembling then reassembling your computer poses a much greater risk of damage than simply leaving it intact and packing it as is.

For more tips and tricks, click here.

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.

Looking for more moving and packing tips? Click here. Want to hire a reliable and professional moving company? Contact us.

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.

For more packing tips, click here.

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

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 8

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 6

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 4

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 2

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

Weeks Prior to Moving Day: 1

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

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

Self-Packing Verses Professional Packing: The Pros and Cons

Preparing for a move? If so, you have one very important question to ask yourself: Should I opt for self-packing or hire professional packers? To help you decide, here is some important information to consider.

Self-Packing Pros and Cons

Self-packing is the logical choice for many reasons. You’ll have control over what, where and when to pack. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the stress and worry of strangers meddling with your personal belongings. If you’re someone who wants to pack all of your belongings in a safe and systematic manner at your own pace, then self-packing may be the best choice for you. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros

Lower Costs. When choosing between self-packing and hiring professional packers, there’s no doubt that self-packing is the cheapest route. Instead of paying for the experienced services of professional packers, you can opt for free help from yourself, family and friends. It’s even possible to find free moving supplies, like moving boxes from local businesses or various containers you already own, like laundry baskets, suitcases, etc.

Convenience. When it comes to reducing stress and ensuring a smooth relocation process, flexibility is key. This being said, self-packing allows you to pack your belongings when it is convenient for you. Not only will packing at your own convenient pace lower your stress level, it will also allow you to sort and group your belongings in a way that makes sense to you. Not only that, but if you are packing your own things, you will take much more care than a stranger, who has no attachment to the item, might.

Organization. Opting for self-packing means you will have control over how your belongings are organized and packed. By grouping items according to their type, purpose and destination room, unpacking is made incredibly easy – as long as you label your boxes accordingly, that is!

Cons

Lost time. Packing is a majorly time-consuming event – and there’s no way around it. Underestimating the amount of time required to pack an entire house is one of the worst mistakes you can make, leading to you frantically throwing your possessions into boxes at the last minute – a situation that leads to catastrophic results. In order to pack your items properly, you will need plenty of time. Unfortunately, time is something you won’t have much of when you have many other important moving-related things to handle at the same time.

Poor packing. You will obviously pack your belongings with care, but unfortunately, you may lack the experience required for an efficient and speedy process. This means many of your possessions are at risk for becoming damaged during the moving process, like fragile artwork, electronics and glassware.

No liability. A large con of self-packing is that you are responsible for everything you pack. This means your movers will not be liable for any damaged items that you packed yourself.

Professional Packing Services Pros and Cons

If your move is local, you will most likely be able to pack your belongings well enough so they’ll survive the short trip across town. But longer moves, like those across the country, may require the help of a professional packing service. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

Speed. No matter how large your home is, professional packers have the ultimate packing strategy to pack all of your belongings at impressive speed. A job that may take you weeks can take professional movers just a few hours.

Quality packing materials. The quality of the packing materials you use is directly proportionate to the safety level of your moving shipment. Professional packers will use quality packing materials, like brand new boxes, plenty of bubble wrap and packing paper, plus strong tape to provide your items with maximum protection.

Liability coverage. When hiring professional packers, they will typically accept liability for any personal possession that are damaged or lost while in their custody. So, if something bad happens, you’ll be covered.

Minimal efforts. The biggest pro to hiring a professional packing service is that they do everything for you, so you don’t have to put in any major efforts into this part of the moving process. Professional packers will handle everything, from disconnecting to reassembling wired devices, furniture and more.

Cons

Increased final moving cost. Depending on the number of items you need to have packed and the time required to pack them, full packing services can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand. If you’re on a tight budget and have time to pack yourself, hiring professionals may not be the best choice.

Poor organization and control. Full packing services mean competent packing and a decreased risk of damages and problems. But, if you like to be in control and have things done a certain way, you may want to avoid professional packers. Professional packers have no clue how you want your items organized. And since their primary concern is speed and safety, they will not spend time sorting and grouping your possessions. This can lead to a headache later when it’s time to unpack and you can’t find anything you’re looking for.

Untrustworthy packers and movers. If you have possessions of value, you may want to set these items apart from the rest of your shipment to avoid any potential problems. While many companies are honest and ethical, some are not, so always take precautions before leaving strangers alone with your stuff.

For more packing tips, click here.

Moving Costs: How Much Money Should You Save?

So, it’s time to move. Whether it’s for a job, because you don’t like your current landlord or neighbors, or just because you want a change, the prospect of moving can be quite appealing. But before you start picking out furniture for a new place you haven’t even found yet, it’s important to truly consider the many aspects that are involved in a move. One very important thing to consider before jumping into a commitment is whether you are emotionally ready to part with your old life and financially comfortable to afford a relocation. When moving house, costs add up quickly. You need to be able to cover these costs without difficulty in order to have a smooth, stress-free moving experience. But, how much money do you need to be prepared to move? It all depends on a number of things, such as:

  • The living costs in your new area;
  • The amount of items you’ll need to purchase for your new place; and
  • The size of your move, including the distance from your current to new home.

To figure out how much you will need to save in order to afford all of the moving expenses required, continue reading.

Housing

Housing expenses will typically be your largest financial challenge when moving to a new home.

Renting 

If you decide to rent an apartment or house, you will be required to provide several things, including:

Safety Net: Before you sign a lease for a new home, you are strongly encouraged to save enough money to cover at least three months’ rent – even more if you don’t have a steady income at the time of your move.

Security Deposit: When renting, you will be required to put down a security deposit at the time you sign your lease. Security deposits are typically the same amount as one month’s rent. One potential perk here is that you will be able to get your security deposit back after you move out. However, you will only get all of your money back if you leave the rental property in just as good of condition as when you moved in.

Management Fees: When renting a home, you will be charged for a background/credit check. This will add up to another $50 you will have to be able to hand out on the spot.

Buying

If you decide to buy a home, the initial costs are much, much more than that of renting. This being said, you will need to have a lot of dough saved before the idea of purchasing a home is even an option. To avoid extra fees like mortgage insurance, you will need to have saved 20% of the final cost of the home you are buying.

Whether you rent or buy, be sure the monthly rent or mortgage does not exceed 25%-30% of your disposable income. Otherwise, you run a dangerous risk of enduring serious financial difficulties.

Utilities

When you relocate to a new home, you will need to have all of the utilities turned on. These include gas, water, electricity, etc. If you like entertainment, you will also want to install extra utility services, like cable and internet. Utility costs depend on the area you live in as well as the size of your home. Also note that there are often extra connection and transfer fees you will be required to pay in order to have these services turned on.

It is a good idea to contact service providers in your future area before moving in order to get an estimate of what your monthly bills will be. In turn, you get a better idea of your total monthly expenses.

Moving Expenses

Moving house equals moving expenses – to hire movers, to buy packing supplies, and so on. These costs can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the distance to your new home, the size of your move and the moving assistance you require.

DIY Move: A do-it-yourself move is definitely the cheapest option when moving house. But keep in mind that a DIY move is only possible if you rent a moving truck and have reliable friends and/or family to help you. It is also, usually, only possible when moving locally. If you do opt to move by yourself, you will still need to pay for several things, such as:

  • Rental truck (and fuel)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Road tolls, parking fees, and meals and lodging, if applicable
  • Moving boxes, packing tape, packing paper, moving dollies, etc.

Professional Movers: Hiring professional movers may be more costly than a DIY move, but it is definitely the more worthwhile choice. Experienced movers have specialized moving equipment, plus the required know-how to perform an efficient and safe relocation. When moving locally, you will be charged on an hourly basis. For long-distance moves, relocation costs are based on the total weight of your items and the distance to your new home.

For a FREE price quote based on your moving needs, contact ABC Movers.

Essential Last-Minute Supplies to Have Handy on Moving Day

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

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

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

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

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

Medical Supplies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basic Tools

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

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

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

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

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

Simple Steps to Pack Framed Photos

simple steps to pack framed photos - blog PHOTOWhen packing your home for a move, you will run into many breakable items. These types of things can be difficult to pack – especially framed photos. To make this task easier, follow this step-by-step guide.

Materials Required. First, and foremost, before you begin packing, you must acquire all the necessary materials. You’ll need:

  • moving boxes
  • wrapping paper / bubble wrap
  • strong packing tape
  • permanent marker

Boxes can be purchased through a moving company or salvaged via friends and local shops. You can also opt for moving boxes designed specifically for framed photos and art – these boxes can be divided into two or four sections.

Also, be sure to get boxes that are larger than the objects you intend to place inside. This way, there will be enough empty space at the top of the box to fill with packing paper or bubble wrap for extra protection.

Once you have obtained all of the necessary materials, follow these steps to ensure all fragile items are properly packed.

1. Clear a space. There’s nothing worse than trying to do something in the middle of a mess, so clear a work space and spread packing paper and bubble wrap flat. Position your framed photo directly onto the packing paper, then wrap it well by covering all areas. If only using packing paper, wrap your picture in several layers. Otherwise, wrap bubble wrap around the first layer of packing paper to ensure it’s well protected.

2. Tape around the photo. Once wrapped, using strong packing tape, wrap around the entire paper-protected frame. This will provide the glass with extra protection so it is less likely to break.

3. Mark it. To make future unpacking easier, use a permanent marker to mark the glass side of the wrapped frame.

4. Fill the bottom of the box. Before placing any wrapped items into a box, first fill the bottom of the box with crumpled paper to provide a protective layer. Then, place your wrapped frame into the box. If adding more to the box, be sure to add a layer of crumpled paper between each frame.

5. Finish off with paper. Before closing the box, finish off the last bit with more crumpled paper to prevent items inside from shaking while being transported.

6. Tape and secure. Once your box is complete, tape your box closed. Secure it further by taping around all edges of the box. Ensure tape it pulled tight with no risk of coming loose.

7. Label. Using a permanent marker, clearly label your box – on top and on all sides. Use words like “fragile” or “breakable” so movers will know to be careful.

8. Load it. When loading any boxes filled with framed photos, it’s a good idea to position these boxes vertically. This will evenly distribute pressure throughout the surface of the box and breaking will be prevented.

For more helpful tips and tricks, click here.