Important Steps to Take When Moving a Safe

If you read our previous blog, “Moving a Safe: Important Prep Steps to Follow”, you learned the necessary prep steps to take when moving a safe. If you didn’t read it, hurry and do so before venturing further!

Now, let’s continue…

Moving a safe is a big job and should be taken seriously. You will need to have strong people to help you move it, the correct moving equipment, a plan for how to move it successfully, and a vehicle to load it onto. For optimal results, follow these important tips to move your safe:

Step 1. After prepping your safe for transport, be sure to close the door and lock it in place. If the doors to your safe accidentally open during transport, it could cause a lot of damage – to you and your helpers, to other belongings or your property, and even to itself.

Step 2. Your safe may appear indestructible, but trust us, it can be damaged during a move. This being said, use moving blankets to completely wrap your safe; ensure no parts are visible. Then, using packing tape, moving straps or rope, secure the blankets in place.

Step 3. With the help of your moving buddies, slowly tilt the safe and slide a heavy-duty dolly underneath the bottom. This step should be performed with extreme caution. One slip or misstep and someone could get hurt.

Step 4. Once your safe is on the dolly, you will need to secure it in place. Do this by wrapping the entire body of the safe with straps or rope, fastening it tightly and securely to the dolly. It is vital that the safe remains firmly attached to the moving dolly at all times, so before continuing to the next step, double-check your work.

Step 5. All of your strength will need to be used during this step, so get your muscles ready. After double-checking to ensure your safe is securely attached to the moving dolly, tilt back the two-wheeler so the full weight of the safe is balanced on the wheels.

Step 6. As you begin to slowly roll the dolly, have at least three of your helpers support the safe. You may also want to assign someone to walk a few steps ahead of you in order to warn you of potential trouble along the way (bumps, cracks, etc.). During this time, no one should make any sudden or unexpected movements. Doing so could confuse others, or even throw them off balance. Sharp turns or bumps should also be avoided if possible because it could cause the safe to fall off the dolly.

Step 7. If you’ve managed to transport your safe to the awaiting moving vehicle, you will then need to lower the loading ramp. This way you can wheel your safe up the ramp and into the vehicle where it will remain until arriving at your destination.

Step 8. After loading the safe, strap it against one of the vehicle’s sides, securing it as tightly as possible. Remember, the more securely you strap your safe to the inside of your moving vehicle, the better the chance it will survive the many bumps and turns on the road. Be sure to use as many straps and ropes as necessary to achieve complete immobilization during transport.

Step 9. Once arriving at your new home, you will need to repeat the above steps in reverse order.

Don’t forget. Safety is your number one priority when moving a safe. If you are not 100% certain you are up to the challenge, turn to experienced professionals that can help you get the job done.

For more moving tips and tricks, click here.

Job Relocation: Should You Do It?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One more thing

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

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

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.

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.

Must-Know Tips for a Successful Pre-Move Garage Sale (Part 1 of 2)

There’s no doubt that over the years you have accumulated a great deal of possessions. From clothes and kitchenware to office supplies and more. But what if you are faced with an imminent move? What will you do with all of the things you own? There are, of course, items that you won’t want to part with, but moving house requires a lot of time and money – and the more things you move with you, the more time and money will be spent. If you have enough time before moving day, you may want to consider having a garage sale. Having a garage sale is the easiest and most efficient way to transform your unnecessary items into less packing and more money to spend on the move. But if you’re going to have an organized, profitable and stress-free sale, you will need a plan. Continue reading for must-know tips for a successful pre-move garage sale.

Organize and Categorize Belongings

The first step to follow when organizing a garage sale is to designate a space in your home where you can gather all the items you want to sell. This area should be kept clean and organized in order to eliminate confusion and stress.

The next step is to take the time to go through all of your belongings and put them into categories:

  • Belongings you only use on rare occasions;
  • Gifts and souvenirs that have no particular monetary or sentimental value;
  • Old magazines, posters, CDs and DVDs that are no longer used;
  • Comic books and old textbooks that you and your family have outgrown or no longer use;
  • Children’s clothes and shoes that no longer fit;
  • Toys your child(ren) have outgrown;
  • Musical instruments and sports equipment that are never used;
  • Tools – lawn mower, etc. that you will not need in your new home; and
  • Clothes, pieces of furniture, kitchenware, appliances, etc. that you don’t care for or use, or that will not fit in your new place.

Once you have sorted all of your possessions and organized them into categories, it’s a good idea to make a detailed list of all items you intend to sell. You may also consider noting the corresponding price for each item. This handy list will be extremely useful on the day of the sale when price tags fall off or get mixed up, and when shoppers ask a lot of questions and insist on making a deal.

Important Questions to Consider

When organizing your garage sale, there are several questions to ask yourself to ensure its success:

What is the condition of the things you are selling? When shopping, do you want to buy belongings that are in poor condition? Our guess is no, you don’t. This being said, you won’t make a very good profit at your sale if the items you are selling are dusty, dirty, wrinkled or damaged. In order to make a maximum profit, take the time to make your items shine! Wash and iron clothes, polish wood surfaces, and thoroughly clean equipment, old kitchenware, and so on. The better your stuff looks, the more profitable the outcome!

How much are your items worth? Pricing your belongings can be tough. Something that holds a bit of sentimental value to you may seem like it should be tagged with a price that’s much higher than garage sale shoppers will ever pay. As a result, overpricing the items you plan to sell will leave you with minimal sales. So do some research on the market value of things you intend to sell – then assign prices according to the demand for the objects, its brand, and especially its current condition.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to underestimate the value of items you are selling, like antiques, vintage objects, or high-quality products. Doing market value research prior to your sale will ensure you price your possessions accurately and make sure you aren’t taken advantage of.

When should your garage sale be held? If there is enough time before your move, it’s important to schedule the date of your garage sale wisely. The ideal date to have a sale is the first weekend of a month, just after payday. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast, because gloomy, rainy days or storms will bring less customers.

There’s no set rule to what time your garage sale should begin, but typically, the earlier you start, the better. Having a start time of 8 or 9 a.m. will leave you with a whole day to sell and plenty of time in the afternoon to clean up and organize everything after the sale ends.

These tips are just the start of how to throw a successful pre-move garage sale. To learn more must-know tips, continue on to our next blog!

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.