Electronics: How to Prepare Them for Moving Day

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During a move, some things are easy to pack and relocate, while others simply aren’t. Electronics are one of the most tedious and time-consuming things to prepare and pack for moving day. They’re fragile, and most include an abundance of cords or batteries. But because our electronics are so precious to us, it’s vital to pack them properly for a relocation. To ensure the safety of your electronics during your move, follow the important steps below.

Back up important files and documents

Electronics, like computers, hold all of our most important information. And even if you pack these items to the best of your ability, you still need to be prepared for potential damages that may occur during transport. If anything happens on the road, there is a high risk that you will lose all of the important information stored on the hard drive. To say this is a nightmare is an understatement! In order to avoid irreplaceable damage to your computer files, it is crucial to back up all files and documents prior to moving. Your best bet for this is to use an online cloud service offered by a reputable, established and trustworthy company. Examples include: Google Drive, Microsoft Azure and Dropbox.

Collect the correct packing supplies

Without the proper supplies, packing can be an impossible task. This is why it is essential to ensure you have not only the right supplies but also enough

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supplies. The best way to keep your electronics safe during your move is to pack them in their original packaging. This is because it was specifically designed to keep electronics 100% safe during transport. We aren’t just talking about the original box either, but the custom-cut styrofoam inserts that snuggly fit around the electronic device, along with a generous amount of anti-static bubble wrap and protective sheets of soft padding materials.

But let’s face it. These packaging materials were probably disposed of a long time ago. This means it is up to you to acquire proper packing supplies. Search for thick-walled cardboard boxes that are slightly larger than the dimensions of the electronics you are packing. Also collect adequate padding materials to insulate your electronics properly. These materials include:

  • Anti-static bubble wrap. You probably already know the great cushion that bubble wrap provides. But why does it need to be anti-static? Ordinary packing peanuts – made from foam – conduct electricity, a problem that can harm your electronics. To avoid potential damage to your devices, anti-static is the optimal choice.
  • Packing paper. Regular, everyday paper may be too rough and tough when packing. The ideal choice is to use actual packing paper, which is softer. Packing paper provides a better protective cushioning and will insulate your electronics so they will be protected from dust and minor hits and vibrations when on the road.
  • Moving blankets. Moving blankets are another viable thing to use when packing your electronics. You can also use ordinary blankets and other soft household items like pillows and clothing to provide extra padding for all of your most sensitive electronic equipment.

Organize and label cables

Electronics come with a lot of cables and writing, especially desktop computers. Before you rip out all plugs and throw them into a box, slow down and take the necessary time to organize and label them. While you

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may want to get the job over with as quickly as possible, organizing and labeling these important cables will save you a great deal of time and frustration later on.

One good tip to follow when packing your electronics is to use colored stickers, colored tape or numbered tags to mark all cables.

It is also a great idea to take a photo of how your electronics are hooked up to your computer or other device. Then you will have an easy guide to follow when hooking your device back up after moving.

It’s also wise to separate all cables, remote controls and other electronic accessories and, instead, pack them with the electronic unit they belong to.

Remove temperature-sensitive items

Electronics are sensitive to abrupt temperature changes. In fact, they may even become damaged when subjected to extreme temperatures. These items include:

  • Disks and peripherals. Remove all media disks – CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays – from their video players and pack them together with your disk collection. External hard drives, flash memory sticks, and so on should also be disconnected.
  • Batteries. Batteries can overheat and leak – something you definitely don’t want to happen in the back of your moving truck. To avoid this, remove all
    Photo via remotecentral.com.

    batteries from electronic devices and their respective remote controls before packing them.

  • Toners and ink cartridges. Toners and ink cartridges pose a huge mess risk. Before packing a laser or ink printer, be sure to remove toner or ink cartridges and pack them inside plastic dust-proof bags.

Use bubble wrap correctly

When packing your electronics, bubble wrap will be your savior. And believe us when we say, the more sheets of bubble wrap you use, the better!

  • Place several sheets of bubble wrap along the bottom of each box you intend to pack with electronic equipment. This initial layer will act as a shock absorber, keeping potential damage at bay. (Towels can be used instead.)
  • Next, wrap each electronic device in soft packing paper. Then add a sheet of bubble wrap on top of it. Secure the bundle with high-quality packing tape.
  • Place the wrapped-up electronic unit inside the packing box. (Always place heavier devices first.) Then, fill any remaining spaces with bubble wrap. (Towels or pieces of clothing work too, if necessary.)
  • When done, place one final layer of bubble wrap on the very top. Ensure nothing is shifting inside. Then, close and seal the box with strong, durable packing tape.

Protect electronic screens

The most vulnerable part of computer monitors and flat-screen TVs is their screens. So you should do everything in your power to protect them. Avoid using bubble wrap directly on screens, because it can leave marks. Instead, wrap the entire device in soft moving blankets. Then cut out a large piece of clean cardboard that measures the size of the screen. Place the cardboard cutout over the blanket-wrapped item. Finally, using packing tape, secure the cardboard in place.

Label boxes

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After sealing your electronics inside their cardboard box, you should immediately label it. Write the destination room on the box, too. You should most likely avoid specific labels like “computer” or “TV” to avoid potential theft from less-than-trustable movers.

Moving House: Tips to Get Motivated

When the decision to move house is made, you should immediately jump into action – planning, organizing, packing, etc. But with such a lengthy list of things to accomplish, getting motivated to do everything you need to do can be difficult. Unfortunately, the longer you put it off and time ticks away to moving day, the bigger the risk that you will encounter a stressful and problematic move. So how do you motivate yourself for the tasks ahead? By following the tips below!

Create and follow a packing checklist. Moving house requires taking care of a lot of different jobs, packing being one of the most difficult and time-consuming. How do I start? What do I pack first? All sorts of questions like these can slow you down. So before you become overwhelmed with similar questions , do this instead: create and follow a packing checklist. A packing checklist will serve as the ultimate guide to ensure you stay organized. A good checklist will tell you when and where to start packing for a move, as well as what items you should pack.

Click here for the ultimate packing checklist.

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Pack smart. One reason you may feel unmotivated to pack is due to a lack of organization. But now that you have created a moving checklist, you have the means to begin packing. Here are two tips to help you tackle this process:

  • Start ASAP. The best way to start packing for a move is to begin the process as early as possible. Waiting around will only lead to wasted time, more stress and a high risk of problems on moving day. Starting early is the best way to provide yourself with enough time to accurately sort and protect all of your belongings so they will make it from point A to point B.
  • Start with hardest-to-handle rooms. It may seem like starting with the easiesttopack rooms is the best way to get and keep yourself motivated during the packing process. But if you really think about it, knowing that you will eventually have to deal with these difficult spots later on can actually make the packing process difficult to even begin. For many, storage areas – the basement, garage, attic, spare rooms – are the most difficult to manage. Our suggestion is to pack the hardest areas of your home first, so you can knock them out of the way and focus on simpler tasks.
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Only pack what you need. When you start to box up your home for an upcoming move, you will begin to realize just how much stuff you actually own. Chances are, you will happen upon certain items in your home that you just don’t need or want anymore. Now is the perfect time to get rid of unnecessary belongings. Whether you sell, donate or trash them is totally up to you. How does ditching items help motivate you to prepare for your move? Well, the more things you get rid of, the less items you will have to pack. With fewer items to pack, the much more likely you will do it.

Along with boosting your moving motivation, having fewer possessions to pack also means:

  • Less time spent packing
  • Less money spent on packing materials
  • Less money spent on transporting your belongings

Reward yourself. If you are still having a hard time getting motivated to get ready for your home move, you may want to consider devising a reward system in exchange for your hard work. While you may be too old to bribe yourself with a piece of candy, there are other rewards that may get you to finally pack some boxes or sort and organize a set of drawers. Consider these:

  • If you pack your garage, you can go see a movie.
  • If you pack your kitchen, you can grab a meal at your favorite restaurant.
  • If you finish packing your entire home, you can book yourself a relaxing massage.

These rewards definitely sound worth the effort, don’t you think?

Ask for assistance. You can always hire professional movers to pack and transport your belongings. And this is definitely a wonderful way to reduce stress during a move. But it can also be costly. If you are opting for a DIY move, one of the best ways to get motivated to get the job done is to ask your friends for assistance. When asking your pals for help, here are some pointers:

  • Give your friends plenty of notice. This will show them that you respect their busy schedules.
  • Inform them of exactly what type of packing assistance you need and how much of their time you require. Honesty is the best policy.
  • Don’t judge them if they are unable or unwilling to help. All you can do is ask and hope for the best.

For all your moving needs, we can help! Contact us today for more information.

What to Do When Your Roommate Moves Out

Having a roommate can be great. You’ll have someone to split the bills with and be able to share household chores and responsibilities. What’s even better is if your roommate is a close friend or relative – what could be more fun? But while having a roommate can offer a lot of positives, what happens when your roommate moves out? Whether it’s because of a new job, they can’t afford their half of the rent, or for some other reason, having a roommate move out can lead to a number of problems. This is especially true if they move out before the lease is up and they refuse to pay the rent, utilities, and any damages they may have caused to the rental unit. What to do? Continue reading to find out!

Your Roommate Is Moving out but Plays by the Rules. Having your roommate move out can be a stressful event. But if your soon-to-be ex-roommate wishes to play by the rules of your rental agreement when moving out, then consider yourself lucky. Why? Because this is the best possible situation to deal with when you will soon be left without a roommate. The first thing to do to make the move-out transition as smooth as possible is to find a copy of your lease. According to the rental agreement you both signed before moving in, you should find a section that states how many days notice you must give your landlord before moving out. For most leases, it’s a 30-day notice. Typically, the tenant, or in this case your roommate, is supposed to cover the rent and utilities until the date the lease runs out or until someone else moves in and takes over their portion of the finances. It is in your best interest to have them sign an agreement stating that they will follow these rules. Skipping this step could leave you with the burden of having to pay their share of the finances, plus your own.

Your Roommate Moves out Before the Lease Runs Out. It’s common for people to need to move out of their home before the end of their lease. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean it won’t lead to problems. One of the main situations that could occur if your roommate decides to move out before the lease is up is that the landlord has the legal right to evict the rest of the tenants whether they signed the lease or not. This means you could be kicked out. The good news is that if you are able to continue paying your rent regularly and on time, your landlord most likely won’t need to evict you. To ensure you are able to continue paying the rent on time, your best bet is to find a new roommate to move in and share the financial responsibilities.

Your Roommate Moves out Early and Won’t Pay Rent or Utilities. If your roommate moves out mid-lease and refuses to pay rent and utilities after they leave, you can be left with serious financial problems. Before you ever decide to move in with a roommate, it’s important that you don’t rely entirely on them to split all of the financial responsibilities. This is because if your roommate decides to move out before the lease is up and refuses to pay the remaining rent and utilities owed, you will be left with all of the financial burden. Will you be able to stand on your own feet living solo or until you can find someone else to move in? Don’t put yourself at risk for this sort of situation. If your ex-roommate refuses to pay and/or you are unable to reach an agreement with them regarding these costs, you can take them to small claims court. It may take some time and energy, but it is the ideal way to get back the money you are owed.

Your Roommate Moves out, so You Have to Also. If your roommate suddenly moves out and you cannot afford to live at your current place, you do have the option to move out too. To do this, contact your landlord and tell them the situation. Inform them that you are unable to pay the rent yourself and ask if you are allowed to use your ex-roommates security deposit to cover the rent until you are able to move out. You will also need to return your rental home to its original state upon moving out. Not only will your landlord appreciate this, but it can also lead to benefits like getting your half of the security deposit back.

Check out more moving tips, here.

What to Do When Moving Day Coincides with a Hurricane

When moving house, there are plenty of things you can plan for, like forgetting to load a box or two onto the moving truck, or the movers you hired showing up late. But one thing that can be hard to plan for is bad weather. This year, 2017, has been dealt a number of devastating storms, with hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Nate. Violent and relentless storms like these can’t be foreseen months in advance when you are planning your big move. So how do you handle something as unexpected as the weather? Here are some tips on how to manage moving when disaster strikes:

Stay Calm. In the midst of an upcoming move, emotions and stress run high. Throw an approaching hurricane into the mix, chaos can quickly ensue. Will the storm really hit your town? Will your move be called off, and if so, then what? Questions like these are bound to zigzag through your head, causing a great deal of anxiety. The most important thing you can do at a time like this is to stay calm. It’s hard, we know! But keeping a clear head in an emergency is critical. With a widespread disaster, such as a hurricane, traveling your way, moving is simply not going to be an option. But remember, you are not alone. Other people’s moving plans aren’t working out as planned either, and putting your move on hold and ensuring your safety during the storm is the most important thing. Your move can always be postponed.

Communicate. As soon as you learn of an impending hurricane, it is important to contact your moving company and present and future landlords to discuss options. The sooner you contact your moving company, the bigger the chance they will be able to help you. For instance, if your move is planned during a slow season, they may be able to reschedule your move so you can get to your new home before the hurricane arrives. The same is true for contacting your landlord(s). The quicker you do it, the more likely they will be to help you, such as by giving you permission to move into your new home early. In all instances, having good and timely communication during an emergency is a must in order to receive the best possible outcome.

Check Insurance Coverage. An emergency situation, like a hurricane, means you are at risk for damages – to your property or personal belongings. Whether minimal or extensive, any damage you experience can be devastating. In this situation, insurance coverage is critical. You will want to contact your insurance company and make sure you are covered – especially if you have any items in storage or that are out of your control during the hurricane. Getting your insurance coverage squared away will help ensure your protection as well as give you peace of mind during the events to come.

Valuable Documents. Another thing to do when disaster coincides with your move is to create an emergency package for all your most valuable documents. Gather all critical documents – insurance policies, birth certificates, titles of ownership, passports, checkbooks, health cards, social security cards, etc. Having all of your most valuable documents together in one accessible location is the optimal solution to keep your most important information safe and protected.

Damage. A hurricane means heavy rain and violent winds – two things that can easily cause damage to your home. Whether you rent or own your home and property, it is important to take as many precautions as possible to protect it. The same is true even if you intend to find shelter elsewhere during the storm or are planning to move to a new place after the hurricane is over. To protect your home during a hurricane, here are some things you can do:

  • Prepare the outside of your home. Move patio furniture, trash cans, grills, toys, potted plants, etc. inside if possible. Check nearby trees for dead or loose branches that could fall during winds; remove them if able.
  • Lock all windows and doors to prevent them from flying open in strong winds.
  • Board up windows and doors or install storm shutters if not already present. (If renting, get permission in writing first.)
  • Check the roof to ensure it is secured and sealed.
  • Check your garage door. If extra susceptible to high winds, reinforce it with a brace kit.
  • Know your flood risk. Move as many items as possible to a higher floor or off the ground. Elevate appliances on concrete blocks. Turn off electricity to affected areas from the panel breaker.

Find more tips when moving during severe weather, click here.

Should You Move to a New City? These Reasons Say Yes, You Should!

There are pros and cons to every town or city in the world. So ask yourself this – do you love the city you live in? Does your city have all of the qualities you want? Do you feel you could never love another city more? If you’re in the majority, you didn’t answer yes to all of these questions. Now answer this: Don’t you want and deserve to live somewhere that provides everything you want and makes you shout, “This is the best city ever!”?

Moving can, of course, be tough. But if you have ever considered moving to a new city, then there is a good chance that you should. To help you decide if it’s right for you, check out the following reasons that say yes, you should!

You will leave your comfort zone. Stepping outside one’s comfort zone is hard for many. It’s dubbed a comfort zone for a reason, after all, because when you leave it, you risk being uncomfortable – nervous, anxious and awkward are other words that come to mind. So why risk these dreaded emotions? Because it provides a chance to rediscover yourself. Moving to a new city may be difficult and daunting, but these are actually reasons why you should do it. Taking risks shows you just how strong you are and allows you to grow to your full potential.

Staying in one place may be the “safe” choice, but it is really just a false sense of security that can leave you stifled. When you stand outside of your comfort zone, you will see life in a brand-new light, and it will be totally worth it!

You will reengage in life. No matter who you are, daily routines become such a habit that we wind up on autopilot. Wake up. Get dressed. Drive to work. Life can get pretty boring with no surprises to look forward to. Moving to a new city will push these habits aside and open up a whole new world of engagement. Your brain will be put to the test as you learn and navigate new streets, local lingo and social codes. The concept may seem scary, but in truth, it will empower you, and your new frame of mind will allow you to live your life more freely and wholeheartedly. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

You’ll get a fresh start. Living in one place your whole life can inhibit you from learning and growing. The beliefs of others about what you should and shouldn’t do being pressed upon you can make it hard to breathe and to live your life how you want. When you move to a brand-new city, you will get a fresh start, a clean slate. You will be free of people’s watchful eyes and stifling opinions and will finally have the freedom to be whoever you choose to be and do whatever you choose to do.

You only live once. You’re probably familiar with the phrase “you only live once” (YOLO for short), but it couldn’t be more true. With just one life on this crazy and amazing blue marble, you want to make it one you will be proud of and thrilled to have led. Moving to a new city is one way to embrace life and show yourself, and the world, what you’re made of. You will be surrounded with adventure, learn new things, discover new places and people, and even allow you to rediscover yourself. So you better make the most of this one precious life you were given!

You’ll strengthen former relationships. Sometimes, too much of someone can be a bad thing, for example, certain friends or relatives. Having someone in too close a reach can turn a once exciting relationship into a bland, tense or bitter one. This being said, existing relationships may benefit when given some space and distance. In fact, these relationships may even blossom and become stronger than they once were. Anger, judgement and criticism don’t travel well, and when you aren’t readily available anymore, you may begin to appreciate the people in your life much more. Maybe the saying “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” really does have some truth to it after all?

You’ll discover a new culture. It’s amazing how many different cultures there are in the world – and no, you don’t have to move across the globe to find them. In some cases, you don’t even have to cross state lines. Each and every city holds its own unique vibe – its food, its slang, its sense of style, its music. The list is never-ending. Moving to a new city will award you with the chance to discover a different culture than the one you are used to. And trust us, it will be a fascinating and exciting experience.

You’ll enhance your career. It’s not always easy to find your perfect job, one that can turn into a real career. There are so many job possibilities out
there that finding your niche can be difficult – especially if the area you currently live in doesn’t have many options in the field you prefer. Maybe you’re a writer or designer and need to move to the Northeast to really advance in your career. Or, maybe you’re an actor or actress, and a move to the East Coast would be the ideal spot. For many, moving to a new location is the best way to truly make or enhance their career. If you want to turn your job or passion into a true career, then a move to a new city may be in your best interest.

Have you ever taken the plunge and moved to a new city? Let us know the pros and cons you discovered during your journey in the comments!

6 Signs It’s Time to Move to a Larger Home

Finding the perfect home can be harder than expected. You want it to be in a location you like with features you love. You also want it to have enough space to accommodate your family and lifestyle. A house that does not have enough space to properly fit everyone and everything can be a terrible problem, leading to chaos and stress. Are you wondering whether you and your family should move to a larger home? Here are some signs that will confirm that it’s time for a bigger home.

Your family is expanding. Does baby make 3, 4 or 5? Are your parents moving into your home so you can take care of them? Has the number of pets or roommates you have grown? No matter the reason, adding people to your home generally means you will need more space. More people means more stuff, more demands for the bathroom, more beds needed, and so on. In order to comfortably fit everyone in one place, the best solution is to move to a home that is large enough to accommodate everyone.

Your income has increased. The lower the income, the smaller your home will typically be. So if you manage to see an increase in how much money you have, it may mean it’s time to invest in a bigger place to live. Have you always dreamed of a roomy eat-in kitchen, or a large backyard for social gatherings or for your kids to play? With more money in the bank, you can afford to be more selective about where you live and what qualities your home has.

You started an in-home business. Running a business from your home has many great perks (you’re your own boss, for instance), but it
will turn out to be a negative experience if you don’t have enough space in your home for it to operate. To run an in-home business you will require an office or designated office space. Without it, you may find yourself
conducting business at a communal spot, like the kitchen or dining room table. This will make it hard to stay organized and focus on your many required work tasks. If your current home doesn’t have an extra room or area that you can use to run your new in-home business properly, then moving to a larger home is the optimal choice in order to make your new venture a success.

You have a new hobby. Just as you would need an extra room for an in-home office, you may also require more space in your home to indulge in a new hobby. For example, you may spend a great deal of time painting. With all of the paint, canvases, sketchbooks, and other supplies this sort of hobby requires, it is best to have a designated space to put forth your talents. This means you may need a larger home to accommodate your new favorite pastime.

Your quality of life is suffering. When you first moved into your current home, there was probably enough space, maybe even a little extra, for you to feel comfortable and content. But as time has passed, your nicely-sized home may have become a little cramped. The longer you live somewhere, the more things you acquire – pets, books, furniture, children. Are you constantly tripping over piles of clothes because you don’t have enough closet space to store them all? Do your overnight guests have to sleep on an uncomfortable pull-out couch because you don’t have a guest room? Are your cats or dogs running circles around you because you don’t have a yard for them to play in? Less wiggle room can lead to a life of chaos and stress. If your quality of life has taken a nosedive because your house is just too small, then the only way to truly solve this dilemma and make life sweet again is to upscale to a bigger home.

You don’t want to remodel. When you are in need of a bigger home, there are two ways to go about getting it: remodel your current home or move to a home that is larger. Remodels are a great way to add more space to your home without having to pack up and move. However, in some cases, remodeling your home can wind up being more costly than selling and moving to a larger house. It can also be a nightmare living in the midst of a construction zone. If you don’t want to undergo the time and stress of a home remodel, then the ultimate way to get the living space you need is to move to a home that already provides it.

Are you ready to move to a larger home? Then contact professional movers to help you with all your moving needs.

Best Ways to Wow a Landlord

When the time comes to move, the first thing you have to do is find a new place to live. There are tons of houses and apartments everywhere you turn, so the process should be simple, right? Well… not exactly. In truth, the rental process can be quite difficult. You can’t just point to a place and instantly move into it. There is the cost of rent to consider, for instance. You also have to meet the landlord and pass all of their requirements. Another thing you will find when searching for a rental property is that the rental market can be very competitive – especially if you are seeking residence in a highly desirable area, like New York or other major city. So how do you stand out and get a prospective landlord to choose you as their tenant? Continue reading for the best ways to wow a landlord and make that much-wanted home yours.

Know Your Credit Score

One of the first things a landlord will need before even considering renting to you is your credit score. The reason for this is that it provides a general idea of how fiscally responsible you are. When renting, a landlord wants a tenant that is going to pay their rent – on time and in the full amount. Pulling a credit history is the best way for them to know if they should take a chance on you.

Before a potential landlord checks your credit, it is a good idea to go ahead and get this information ahead of time. This is an especially good idea if your credit history is less than perfect. Being upfront with a future landlord can show them you’re responsible and in charge of your finances. It can also help iron out any potential flaws they might find on your credit report.

There are a number of websites where you can find out your credit score for free, such as creditkarma.com and annualcreditreport.com.

Be Organized and Efficient

Another way to wow a future landlord is to be organized and efficient. Do this by creating a folder that contains all of the necessary information and documents you will be asked for when applying for a rental home. Items include:

  • Your personal information;
  • Personal information of your spouse or roommates;
  • Copies of valid ID for each applicant;
  • Current employment information;
  • Documentation of previous rental history – former addresses, length of residence, contact information of former landlords;
  • Credit report for each applicant; and
  • Financial documents – bank statements, pay stubs, recent tax return.

Know What You Want

It’s rare that the first rental property you see will be the one you choose. This being said, finding a new place to call home can take some time. Before you even start your search for a new place to live, it’s important to know exactly what you are looking for. What features do you want it to have? Is a sizable kitchen a must? Are there any aspects – like minimal storage space – that are a deal breaker? Knowing the answers to questions like these will save a lot of time for both you and a prospective landlord.

Ask Important Questions

There’s no such thing as a stupid question. In fact, asking questions about a property will show a landlord that you have a sense of confidence and carefulness. Two things you definitely need when searching for a new home. When viewing a rental property, there are a number of important questions to ask, such as:

  • How much is the rent?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is heat gas or electric?
  • Is water included in the rent?

Landlords expect questions like these and are pleased by possible tenants who want to be informed about the property they seek to rent. Just don’t go overboard. The last thing you want is to ask so many questions that the landlord is put off and dubs you a potential complainer. So find a happy medium and stick to your most important questions during that first meeting with your future landlord.

Be Personable

When meeting a potential landlord, it’s important to make a good first impression. You’ll want to arrive on time and look presentable. You are basically meeting them to discuss a business deal, after all. It’s also good to remember that landlords are people too, so be personable; find a way to connect with them. Whether it’s a shared interest or simply common thoughts about the rainy or overly hot weather, building a rapport with a prospective landlord is a good way to get your foot in the door.

Have you had good luck impressing prospective landlords? Tell us about it in the comments!

Moving with Kids: Mistakes to Avoid

Relocating to a new home is a big decision – especially if it involves moving your entire family. Whether you have young children or teenagers, informing them that they will soon be moving can bring on a supernova of emotions, from worry and sadness to anxiety and anger. If you are wondering how to make relocating easier on your family, be sure to avoid these common moving mistakes:

Not Answering Questions. As a parent, you know very well that kids ask a lot of questions. Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to eat vegetables?
Why won’t my friends talk to me? Along with the many questions they ask, kids are prone to worrying. This is especially true when change is imminent – like moving to a new house or city. It’s understandable if you don’t want to cause your children stress about moving. But a common mistake that parents can make is to avoid certain questions their kids have about moving. You may feel that you are protecting your kids by not talking to them about the move ahead, but this tactic can actually cause more harm than good. Sure, you don’t have to discuss with them every single detail of the move (how many boxes you’ll need, how much the movers you hire are, etc.), but covering the basics is a good choice. So create time to answer the exuberant number of questions your children have about the move. Explain to them why the family is moving, when the move will happen, what they can bring with them. Openly discussing these things is the best way to help ease them into all of the changes they will need to endure during a home move.

Waiting Too Long to Tell Them. It makes sense not to worry your kids with news of a move before knowing if it will actually take place. But a mistake you definitely don’t want to make is waiting too long to tell them. Springing a move on your kids at the last minute is guaranteed to cause them high amounts of stress and anxiety. Especially older kids and teens who will be leaving friends behind. It will take your kids time to process the idea of moving, transition away from their current lifestyle and become excited about their new home. So be sure to tell them about the upcoming move well before moving day arrives.

Doing Everything Yourself. Certain tasks in life can easily be handled by you and you alone. Believe us when we say that moving is not one of them! Moving is hard. It requires lots of time and energy, organization, planning and packing. Throw having kids into the mix and moving becomes much more difficult. Do you really want to be carrying boxes of dishes or heavy furniture while trying to wrangle your kids at the same time? We didn’t think so! Even if your kids are trying their best to be nice and helpful, being able to focus solely on making the moving transition smoother on your family will make things much easier. Hire professional movers to deal with all of the heavy lifting and truck organization. Then you can put your attention on the most important thing you are moving – your children.

Letting Young Kids Help Pack. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to let your kids – especially teens – help pack when moving. It can even be an okay idea to let your littlest ones help pack certain things like stuffed animals. But for young kids, letting them help pack for a move can be problematic. Instead of saving you time and stress, it can actually do the opposite. With little hands at work, packing will take much longer. It will also create a high risk of items being broken or your child being hurt. For packing to be most efficient, keep your kids busy with other activities during this time.

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Moving to a New City: Helping Kids Adjust

A solo move to a new location can be tough. A family move… well, that can be an adventure – and a huge challenge! Moving with kids poses many unique challenges, and as parents, our job is to support our children through this difficult time. Though boxes and tasks may be piling up around you at rapid speed, take the time to look at some of the things you can do to make moving easier for your kids.

Communicate. Moving is a time full of change. A new place to live, a new town to discover, and lots of goodbyes to familiar people and places. How will your children cope? The best way to help your kids deal with all of the changes being thrown their way is to communicate with them. Talk to them about the decision to move and the new area they will be living in. Encourage them to ask questions and express how they feel about moving. Communicating with your children about their concerns and preparing them for each step of the moving process will help ease any anxiety or fears they may have.

Plan a Field Trip. A great way to get your children excited about moving is to let them visit their new home or city. So plan a field trip. Take your kids for a drive around their soon-to-be neighborhood. Let them see the outside (and inside, if possible) of their new home. During this time, be sure to point out specific spots that will be of interest to them – parks, toy stores, or a cool museum or shop. Being able to visually see where they will be living will help make your kids feel more at home before the move has even taken place.

Visit Their School. When your children are going to a new school, both you and your children will be nervous. It’s only natural. You may have questions like: “Is it a good school?”, “Are the teachers and staff friendly?”, or “What sort of curriculum do they follow?” Your kids will also have lots of questions, such as: “Will I make any friends?” or “Will I be able to find my classroom(s) or lunchroom?” To ease everyone’s nerves, take the time to visit the school before their first day. (Be sure to make an appointment first!) During your visit, check out all the key places – their classroom(s), cafeteria, gym, auditorium, etc. No matter whether your kids are in elementary school or high school, seeing their school ahead of time will reduce everyone’s anxiety.

Learn Fun Facts. Yes, moving to a new city can be very stressful and involve a lot of hard work. While it is easy to become wrapped up in all of the difficult tasks you have to deal with, don’t forget to focus on the good parts of your move too. Kids feed off their parents’ moods, so if you are constantly stressed and vocalizing your worries and fears about the move, your children will quickly become worried and fearful, too. A good way to make the relocation experience more fun and exciting is to research some interesting things about your new city. Are there any yearly festivals that happen? Are there any major sports teams to root for? What is the most popular pizza joint? Learning interesting facts about your new city will make your move more exciting and will also help everyone feel more “in the loop”.

Keep a Routine. There is no denying that moving house is a chaotic time. Most of your spare time will be taken up with dealing with moving tasks like organizing and packing. Unfortunately, this can lead to usual family routines being disrupted. As you probably already know, kids do best when having a set routine. (Hey, you probably do too!). But when schedules become jumbled and lost during a move, kids can become anxious, worried and upset. Your best bet is to try and stay as close to your children’s usual routine as possible. Have dinner or watch a show together like normal. Keep bedtime routines and times the same. Doing so will keep your family much calmer and organized during a hectic time.

Wait to Pack. Young children find a lot of comfort in their surroundings. This being said, it is wise to wait to pack your children’s toys and bedroom furniture for as long as possible. Doing so will help your children maintain a sense of stability. It is also a good idea to visit your new home with your child – and some of their belongings – once or twice before you move. This way they can slowly say goodbye to their current home and become accustomed to the new one. Plus, it gives you a chance to go ahead and move some of their belongings before moving day.

Be Social. The moment you become a parent, you become a role model to your children. One thing your kids will learn from you is how to socialize. Moving to a new location means your children will need to make new friends (and you too!). For older kids and teens who have already created meaningful friendships in their current town, they will find this to be one of the hardest parts of moving. So show them how to be social. Have your new neighbors over for a casual get-together. Join a local community center or group. These are excellent ways for everyone in the family to meet new people and form new friendships after moving.

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Top Ways Having a Roommate Saves You Money

There’s no denying that the cost of living is expensive. There are bills to pay, food to buy, household furnishings to acquire. No matter how old a person is, affording the many things life requires can be difficult. It can be especially hard for young adults just venturing into “the real world”. So how does one manage to pay all of their expenses? One way is to get a roommate. To learn the top ways in which having a roommate can save you money, continue reading!

Bills. From rent to utilities, bills are a constant part of living. This is one area in which having a roommate can save you money. You think that the bills for two people will run higher than those for just one, but in actuality, the costs don’t increase the much. Splitting the cost of rent, electricity, internet, etc., will translate into major savings in the long run.

Meals and Groceries. Another way having a roommate can save you money is by sharing meals and grocery costs. By coordinating grocery trips, you won’t end up filling the fridge with doubles, like two gallons of milk or two cartons of eggs. You also won’t risk having your food spoil or leftovers going bad – which ultimately is money being thrown in the trash.

Buy in Bulk. Along with sharing meals and grocery costs, having a roommate also allows you to purchase items together, in bulk. While you may not want to go in on bulk items together like 20 jars of peanut butter and 50 toothbrushes together, it is a good idea to purchase certain things in larger quantities. Things like toilet paper, rice, pasta, and so on, are good bulk items to purchase together as roommates. Not only will it save you money by sharing the expense, but it will also save you time so you won’t have to go to the store as often.

Clean Up. One look around your home after just a few days of not cleaning up will show you just how much effort is required in order to keep a living space that is clean and organized. Maybe your job or schedule is so busy you are unable to keep up with household chores, or maybe you just despise cleaning, but either way, you may be tempted to hire a professional to keep your home spic and span. Though the  may be very appealing, it will only lead to spending money – not saving it. This is where having a roommate comes in handy. Instead of having to clean an entire house by yourself, you and your roommate will be able to share the responsibilities. This means just half the cleaning burden lands on you and you can spend your time on more worthwhile things.

Décor. When you move into a new place – or simply live on your own – you need a lot of stuff, like a couch, a microwave, some pots and pans, and so on. Finding the means to purchase all of the things you need to fill your living space can be hard to manage alone. But with a roommate, outfitting a home is much easier. With two of you to donate items to the household, you will save a great deal of money, all while being able to decorate your home more quickly and efficiently.

Events. Say you and your roomie want to have some people over for a get together, or want to host a small party for a friends birthday. Having a roommate means you can do these kinds of fun activities without bearing all of the financial responsibilities. For example, if hosting a friend’s birthday party, one of you could pay for the food and drinks, while another pays for the decorations or gift.

For It To Work

In order for you to be able to save money by having a roommate, you don’t want to sign up just anyone for the role. For such an important decision, you will want to take the time to ensure that whomever you pick is financially responsible. If you aren’t moving in with someone you already know, here are some important questions to ask a potential roommate:

  • How long have they had their job?
  • How do they feel about paying rent on time?
  • How do they envision splitting utility costs?

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