Top 12 Things to Do Before Moving Out

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tipping Movers: What to Know

Moving from one home to another is a very stressful process that’s often filled with lots of tough questions and uncertainties. Two of the most notable being:

  1. Should I tip my movers?
  2. How much do I tip my movers?

As difficult a topic as money is, so is how much you should tip. On one hand, you don’t want to look cheap or unappreciative of the work your movers did. On the other hand, you also don’t want to over-tip your movers, because, after all, moving is already a costly event. To learn more about tipping movers, continue reading.

Do you have to tip your movers?

First things first. There is no rule that says you have to tip your movers. This being said, you don’t have to feel obligated to do so. Based on the quality of your move, the professional attitude of your movers, as well as the number of items that remain intact at the end of the day, you – and you alone – are in charge of deciding whether or not to tip your moving crew. To help you decide whether your movers deserve to be tipped or not, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Did your packers and movers arrive on time?
  • Were your workers nice, friendly and sociable, or rude, cold and disrespectful?
  • Did your movers act in a professional manner from the moment they arrived?
  • Did your movers treat your possessions with care and attention?
  • Did your movers do everything necessary to avoid property damage?
  • Did your hired professionals work hard from start to finish? Or did they try to deliberately extend the time they needed to finish the job by using dishonest or disrespectful time-wasting tricks – frequent cigarette or bathroom breaks, for example.

How much do you tip movers?

When it comes to tipping your movers, it is entirely up to you as to how much you think they deserve based on their job performance. But there are some ways to go about it. Here is a universal tipping formula you can use for short-distance and long-distance moves:

Short-Distance Moves.

A short-distance move, or local move, is one that will typically only require one day’s service from professional movers. For this type of move, it is easiest to tip based on an hourly rate.

  • Big tips – $5-$8 per hour/mover – if they did an outstanding job or had to work under tough conditions – long flights of stairs, narrow corridors, heavy and huge furniture pieces, etc.
  • Standard tips – $4-$5 per hour/mover – if they did a good job protecting, carrying and loading your belongings with care.
  • No tip if they did a poor job, damaged your belongings, or had a rude or disrespectful attitude.

Considering moving jobs are typically only a few hours, this will average to around $40 a day – an appropriate and standard tip for movers.

Long-Distance Moves. For long-distance moves, you may want to consider tipping your movers based on a percentage of your final moving bill. According to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average moving cost of an interstate move is around $4,300. For movers that did a phenomenal job, you could pay them up to 20% of this total. Depending on the performance of your movers, you can adjust the percentage accordingly.

If percentages aren’t your thing, then you can use the universal tipping method as previously discussed.

When do you tip movers?

If you decide to tip your movers, it’s important to get the timing right. There are two ways to go about it.

  1. Encourage your moving crew to work harder by promising tips at the end of the move provided they do a good job. Along with this verbal assurance, you can take it an extra step by giving each worker $10 to let them know you are serious about tipping them.
  2. Tip your moving team after they’ve completed the job. This means after all boxes and furniture pieces have been delivered and taken inside your home. If you’ve tacked on extra services for unpacking, tips should be handed out after the task is done. Tipping movers after the job is completed is typically the safest – and most common – option because it allows you to ensure the job is done efficiently, because if it isn’t, you will be out money on an unnecessary tip.

If you opt for tipping method number 2, be sure all of your possessions are accounted for, and that they are all in good shape. Once you sign your final paperwork, you can then reward each mover individually.

Who do you tip?

Before you can tip your moving crew, you first need to know who to tip. Typically, you are expected to tip each individual mover according to their service, professional attitude and overall performance. A potentially big mistake to avoid is giving the entire sum of cash to the foreman or driver. If they end up being dishonest, they may simply forget to share the tipping money with the crew or keep the money entirely for themselves.

For all your moving needs, click here.

Professional Packing Services: What to Know

When moving house, competence and expertise are required in order to perform a move that is smooth and efficient. This is why it’s no surprise that hiring a professional moving service to help you relocate is the optimal way to get the job done right. But what about packing? As the most laborious, time-consuming and nerve-wracking part of your move, opting for professional packing services is the best way to ensure all of your belongings are packed safely – and quickly. With their rich experience and expertise in relocations, their services will prove very beneficial come moving day. Here are some things to know about professional packers:

When to Hire Professional Packers

There are times when you may be able to handle packing your belongings on your own, such as for a local move or if you’re familiar with safe and efficient packing techniques. But in most circumstances, a solo move is simply not a good idea. Here are some times when hiring professional packers is your best bet:

  • If you’re moving cross-country. A long-distance move like this means your possessions will be on the road for a long time. They will endure many stops along the way, potential exposure to adverse weather conditions, etc. To avoid the high risk of damages, all of your belongings will need to be packed as safely as possible. This means immobilizing them inside moving boxes as well as protecting them from extreme temperatures, moisture, and the many bumps and turns during transportation.
  • If you have too many items to relocate but not enough time to pack everything carefully and safely.
  • If you’re moving difficult-to-pack items, such as:
    • Fragile or delicate pieces like fine china, crystal, artwork or musical instruments
    • Expensive electronics
    • Large household appliances
    • Heavy furniture
    • Awkwardly-shaped and/or valuable antiques or heirlooms
  • If you lack quality packing materials and/or are unsure how to safely pack them.
  • If you aren’t up to the challenge.
  • If you’re too busy with other moving tasks and are unable to spare the necessary time to pack an entire house.

How Professional Packers Pack

So what approach do professional packers use that makes them so efficient?

1. They work quickly and systematically. Thanks to training, professional packers have the technical know-how to organize and pack household items and personal possessions with excellent speed and efficiency.

2. They use proven packing strategies and clever tricks. The result? Optimum efficiency and space utilization. Check this out. Professional packers can pack twice as much stuff into one box as an inexperienced home mover can. Impressive, right?

3. They use quality packing materials. From brand-new moving boxes to quality packing paper and bubble wrap, professional packers know what supplies to use and when to use them.

4. They are aware of common problems and potential risks. Being able to foresee certain problems that may occur during the moving process allows professional packers to better take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents and damages to your belongings.

How to Prepare for Professional Packers

After researching moving companies in your area, you will probably wonder what to expect from them and how to get the best out of their services. To best prepare for when your hired packers arrive on moving day, here are some things to do ahead of time.

Sort out your possessions and get rid of unwanted items. Your packers have no idea as to what possessions you want and don’t want to take with you to your new home, which means whatever they find in your home will be put into moving boxes. For more efficient and timely service from your packers, it’s a good idea to purge your home in advance. This will make it so any unwanted items won’t be brought to your new home; it will also save you money. Final moving cost is based on the weight of your shipment, the time it takes your packers to pack your belongings, and the amount of packing materials used. The less belongings that are packed, the less costly it will be.

Decide what to do with non-allowables. Non-allowables are specific unsafe items that your moving company will not permit you to place inside their moving trucks. Before your packers show up, go ahead and decide what you plan to do with these items and find efficient ways to transport them. Examples include: disposing of hazardous substances, using up perishable food, etc.

Create a moving inventory. By creating a moving inventory list, you will be able to keep better track of your possessions. It is also a good way to have proof of the condition of your items prior to your move in case something gets damaged. To learn how to create the ultimate inventory checklist, click here.

Clean and organize. As you know, dust and dirt easily collect on your belongings. And most times, you don’t realize how dirty something is until you move it or start cleaning it. Before your packers arrive, it’s smart to go ahead and clean and organize your household items and personal belongings. This will save both time and stress.

Label high-value and/or fragile items. To ensure your high-value and/or fragile items are handled with extra care, label them before moving day.

Pack a box of essentials. After your move, you will want quick access to certain belongings so you can easily make it through those first few days in your new home. For all of your immediate must-haves, gather them and place them inside a specific box or container. Don’t forget to label it so it doesn’t accidentally get loaded onto the moving truck!

For more moving tips, click here. To learn more about our professional packing services, check out our website or contact 800.771-0151.

Tips to Conquer the Most Common Moving-Day Problems

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

Weather Hazards

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad Movers

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

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

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

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

Poor Organization

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

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

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

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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.

Moving from Small Town to Big City: Steps to Take (Part 2)

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

Research the Area

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

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

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

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

Plan and Secure Your Finances

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

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

Be a Smart Packer

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

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

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

Moving from Small Town to Big City: The Pros and Cons (Part 1 of 2)

For many who grow up in a small town, the idea of a big city with its bright lights and forever bustScreen Shot 2017-01-13 at 8.14.24 PMling streets is very intriguing. If you are someone who has always dreamed of the chance to escape small-town life and venture into life in a big city, it is a good idea to consider all of the pros and cons that such a move poses.

The Pros

A big city provides a whole new world of possibilities, potentials and prospects to discover. Here are some of the top pros of moving to a big city.

Great Opportunities. One of the top pros of moving to a big city is the number of great opportunities it presents. While there is a lot opportunities ahead - PHOTOof competition in a big city, there will be plenty of options and opportunities that you won’t be able to find in a small town. Whether you want to advance your studies, improve your skills, enhance your professional expertise, acquire new abilities, expand your world view, or pursue a specific passion, big cities will provide you with the opportunity. Whatever your passion, skills and interests are, you will be able to explore them in full and reach your full potential.

Unlimited Options. If there’s one thing a big city provides, it is options. In fact, it offers so many options that it may actually be overwhelming at times. But, having unlimited options is one of the great things about living in a big city. You’ll suddenly have access to:

  • Enormous shopping centers
  • Every ethnicity of food available, within walking distance
  • Different social events nightly
  • A huge number of restaurants, bars and night clubs

Cultural Diversity. Small towns are known for their like-minded folk, which can lead to only one outlook on every aspect of life. But when you move to a new city, you will be exposed to a variety cultural diversityof different perspectives, values, ideologies, points of view and more. These great cultural and ethnic diversities will expand your knowledge of the world and help you learn to appreciate differences and reject stereotypes.

The Cons

Life in a big city is set at a quicker pace than that of a small town. Everyone is in a rush, and everything happens twice as fast as it does in a small town. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it may make your head spin at times. It can also be added to the list of cons about moving from a small town to a big city. Here are some other cons to consider.

Higher Cost of Living. If life felt expensive living in a small town, then you are in a world of shock at the cost of living in a big city. Life in the city is much pricier than small-town life – it’s a fact. Not only will essentials, like housing, food and transportation, cost you more (around twice as much) than it does in a shigh cost of livingmall town, there are also many temptations that will quickly suck your wallet dry – pubs, theaters, museums and the like.

Strong Competition. One thing you will not be used to when moving to a big city is the strong level of competition among those that live there. While in a small town, there are only a few people with an expertise in a specific area or field. In a big city, there are hundreds – even thousands – of people with the same level of expertise or degree as you. This being said, you will face enormous competition in a big city, a problem that can make it hard to find a job.

Heavy Traffic. One of the biggest cons of city life is the massive amount of people – and cars – on the road. From vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and so on, citcity traffic - PHOTOy streets can be a continuous stream of traffic jams. Finding a parking space can also be a nightmare in a big city. Not only will it take you huge amounts of time trying to find a space, you will also be charged to park there. With such a raging mess, you will quickly become a fan of public transportation.

Now that you know about some of the pros and cons of a big-city move, continue to Part 2 of this blog to learn some necessary steps to take before venturing from small town to big city.

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.

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