Moving Mistakes to Avoid for a Less Costly, More Efficient Move

From simple mishaps to serious blunders, moving mistakes can ruin your moving adventure – especially if they result in lost money and valuable time being wasted. Moving house is a major event. It takes lots and lots of careful planning, packing and organizing. It also requires many helping hands. The last thing you want to do is create complications and suffer extra expenses by making mistakes that could have easily been avoided. To eliminate emotionally and financially draining mistakes during your move, here are some things to avoid.

Hiring the First Moving Company You Find

Google “moving companies” and you’ll be provided a mega list of choices – each company claiming to be “the best in the business” in order to compete and attract more customers and to make a greater profit. But are they really the best in the biz? All moving companies offer moving services, of course, but their services may be radically different in terms of rate, quality, reliability and terms. Their level of competence and experience, along with equipment used, will also be different. This is why thoroughly researching a moving company before actually hiring one is so important. Hiring the first moving company you discover can lead to money lost and huge disappointment, so take the time to consider all of your options so you will pick the best company for your specific needs and requirements. Here are some important steps to take before hiring movers:

  • Ask for several moving quotes;
  • Interview several selected movers;
  • Request onsite written biding estimates; and
  • Compare and analyze offers.

When contacting moving companies, be sure to give them all relevant information – the number of household items to be moved, the final destination, any potential obstacles and requirements, and so on. Clearly stating your wishes and preferences is necessary in order to get the most accurate quote. Also ask about discounts, specific conditions, guaranteed pick-up and delivery date and time, etc.

Costly Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Believing an estimate given via phone or email is accurate;
  • Withholding relevant, must-know information your movers should know;
  • Hiring movers at random.

Choosing the Moving Company with the Lowest Estimate

As the moving expenses pile up, up, up, saving money is definitely going to be at the forefront of your mind. But don’t let the fear of expenses cause you to make an unwise choice when choosing a moving company. If a moving estimate is too good to be true, then it probably is. You may be dealing with:

  • Rogue movers who plan to disappear with your money and your valuable possessions.
  • Incompetent movers who want to secure the job but will do it poorly.
  • Scam artists who will demand a much greater amount of money than previously stated, for alleged accessorial services. (In this situation, they will not deliver your belongings until you pay these extra fees.)
  • Moving brokers who will sell your move to a third company that has its own tariffs.

All of these scenarios will cause you to pay large amounts of money. To avoid situations like these:

  • Before signing a contract, check the legitimacy of your chosen movers by verifying their USDOT number.
  • Look for any complaints regarding their services by calling the FMSCA safety violations and consumer complaints hotline.
  • Learn how disputes and conflicts have been settled in the past.
  • Read the fine print before signing a contract.

Costly moving mistakes to avoid:

  • Not thoroughly reading/comprehending movers’ paperwork;
  • Not checking movers’ credentials;
  • Signing blank or incomplete documents.


Hiring Movers at the Last Minute

If you have a big move ahead of you, one of the worst things you can do is procrastinate. This means everything, from signing a lease or mortgage on a new home to packing mountains of moving boxes. It also includes waiting too long to hire a moving company. As often as people move, moving companies are quickly booked up, and the longer you wait to sign a contract with one, the bigger the risk of:

  • Restricted available moving dates;
  • Limited moving crews;
  • Limited access to moving equipment and supplies; and
  • Higher price.

Moving at Popular Times

If you want your move to be as flawless and cheap as possible, it’s all about good timing. Here are some moving times to avoid:

During peak moving season. Between the months of May and September, moving costs dramatically increase. This is because more people are moving during this time. The result is paying more to secure a moving crew and vehicle.

On weekends. It’s a lot easier for most to move on weekends when they are off work and have a larger chance of getting help from family and friends. Unfortunately, your weekend free time can mean higher moving costs.

At the beginning or end of the month. There are several reasons why moving mid-month can lead to savings. This is because things like payday, end-of-lease agreements, and starting a new job typically fall at the beginning or end of the month. Because more people move during these times, moving companies are in higher demand, which, in turn, causes prices to skyrocket.

On holidays. National holidays are an extra busy time for a relocation, with moving companies pushed to their limits. The busier the time, the more you’ll pay.

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Top Items to Never Entrust to Movers

When tackling a major move, hiring experienced movers is the ideal choice. This is because professional movers have the training and equipment to perform a smooth and trouble-free relocation. However, no matter how competent and reliable your chosen movers are, it is strongly recommended not to entrust them with certain possessions. Here is a complete list of the valuable items you should always move yourself:

Important Documents

There are many important documents you’ll need to keep track of during your move – passports, driver’s licenses, medical and school records, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, bank statements, car registration papers, mortgage papers, etc. While no one will necessarily want to steal or damage your documents, you never know what may happen or how soon you will need them after your move. For all moving-related papers, it’s a good idea to store them in a binder, small safe or lockbox and keep them with you at all times. If you opt for a safe or lockbox, be sure you have the keys to unlock it, and keep them in a safe spot.

Valuable Jewelry

Pieces of jewelry are small and expensive – two elements that make them prone to mysterious disappearances during a move. One, you may lose or misplace an item, and two, someone can easily take it, especially when left unattended during chaotic moving-day activities. To help lower the risk of valuable jewelry being lost, be sure to do your research on moving companies and only hire those movers with an excellent reputation.

Because delicate jewelry pieces can be easily damaged during transport, be very careful when packing these items, and take the time to move them yourself. You will handle them with much more care than anyone else, and you can ensure to get them to your new home safe and sound.

Electronics

You probably won’t be surprised by this, but expensive state-of-the-art electronics top the list of stolen items during a move. This includes everything from flat-screen TVs and computers to stereo, headphones and popular video games. If items like these are stolen, it is obviously a very sad and frustrating event. Not only will you be out a lot of money – and a prized or favorite possession – but you are also put at risk of identity theft if the item stolen has personal information digitally stored on it. To ensure the safety of your most expensive electronics – laptop, digital camera, smartphone, etc. – keep them with you at all times during your relocation. A good way to protect yourself in case of stolen electronics is to secure them with a password (and avoid easy ones like “1234”).

Another problem seen when moving expensive electronics is a high risk of damage. This is especially true during long-distance moves in mid-summer and mid-winter. Why do these times increase the risk of damage? Because of the extreme temperatures and weather conditions – a situation that can lead to irrevocable damage to sensitive devices. Your best bet when moving these items is to store them in a temperature-controlled environment at all times.

Family Heirlooms

The loss of family heirlooms can cost you dearly in many ways. The most obvious one being deep emotional stress because no amount of time or money can ever bring them back again. No matter the object, items of high sentimental value are irreplaceable and should be given special attention during a move. To avoid having them stolen or damaged, pack them with care and keep them with you at all times.

Antiques, Artwork and Collector’s Items

If you own antiques, there is a good chance that many of them are rather large and will need to be placed on a moving truck. To keep these items well protected, wrap them in materials like bubble wrap and packing paper.

Art pieces are much too valuable and delicate to be loaded into a moving truck. But for large items that cannot be transported by car, package them in custom wooden crates that are specifically designed to hold artwork. Be sure to use plenty of bubble wrap, foam sheets and corrugated paper.

If you are a collector, no matter what the item is that you collect, it is something that holds some sort of value to you. If possible, take these items with you during your relocation to avoid having these prized possessions lost or damaged.

An important thing to remember to do before your moving truck departs from your old property is to check to ensure nothing important has been forgotten, misplaced or mistakenly loaded onto the moving truck. It is also a good idea to remember that even if you have hired trustworthy movers, anything can happen. Opting for a liability protection plan is a good way to ensure you are compensated if your belongings end up missing or damaged during your move. For those items of high sentimental value that can never be replaced, don’t risk it, and move them yourself.

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

Step-By-Step Guide to Unload a Moving Truck the Right Way

After many hours of loading all of your belongings safely inside a moving truck, you are probably already tired and ready for moving day to be over and done. But as you roll up to your new home, you still have many hours of unloading ahead. Sigh! So how do you make the process of unloading a moving truck efficient, speedy and safe? By checking out the handy step-by-step guide below.

1. Fully extend the loading/unloading ramp your rental truck is equipped with. Check the ramp to ensure it is in good operating order and also that it is dry.

2. Open the truck door. This should be done slowly so you won’t disturb items inside, and if something falls out, you will be able to react quickly. The chance of pieces falling out of the truck as you lift the door is high because things easily shift during transportation.

3. Unload items carefully and in the right order.

  • The first item to unload will be the last items you loaded.
  • Next, remove miscellaneous items that are lightweight. These will be those belongings that have been placed on top of larger items or in remaining empty spaces.
  • Household appliances should be next on your unloading list. Since these items are delicate – and heavy – use extra care when moving them, along with a utility dolly and several extra hands.
  • After household appliances have been taken off the truck, tackle bulky boxes.
  • Now comes the time to remove furniture. Be sure to unhook any ropes or moving straps that are holding pieces in place inside the truck. For furniture that contains drawers or doors, check to ensure they are well secured and won’t fall out or swing open while unloading them.
  • Once all of the previously mentioned items have been unloaded, you should be left with just large boxes to remove. Be smart and carry only one box at a time – it will actually be just as quick and will decrease the risk of damaged items and personal injury.

4. Use proper lifting and carrying techniques during the unloading process. Bend your knees, and use the strength of your arms and legs to lift and carry heavy pieces. Be sure to hold items close to your body, take small steps and keep your movements slow and precise.

5. Avoid rushing while unloading your moving truck. Rushing to get the job done faster will only lead to broken belongings and injury. So plan every step carefully and avoid hasty actions.

6. Take belongings directly to their designated location as you remove them from the truck. This will eliminate having to move large, heavy items around your home later, and will also save you lots of time when trying to unpack, because everything will already be in the right spot.

7. Check inside your moving truck one last time to ensure all of your belongings have been removed. Then close and secure the door, and disengage the ramp.

8. If a moving company delivered your items, check your inventory sheet to make sure all of your belongings arrived safe and sound. Be sure to do this while the movers are still there, just in case!

9. If you rented a moving truck for a DIY move and it has officially served its purpose, it’s time to clean the empty truck, fuel it back up and return it on time.

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Helpful Tips to Move Your China Cabinet with No Cracks, Chips or Broken Pieces

Just looking at a china cabinet can leave you feeling tense. All of those delicate items just waiting to break at even the slightest rattle or shake. The worry of breakage is even worse when preparing for a move. One careless step and you risk some of your most valuable items being shattered into thousands of sharp, dangerous pieces. Not only that, but your china cabinet itself is breakable too and can suffer major damage during the moving process. Luckily, there are ways to tackle the fragile process of moving your china cabinet and all of the precious items inside with no cracks, chips or broken pieces. So let out those worried breaths and steady those shaky hands, and check out the following tips.

Must-Have Supplies

Before you can begin the process of packing your china cabinet, you will need to gather all of the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of all of the must-haves:

Dish boxes. To provide the best protection to your breakables, you will need to invest in dish boxes. While similar to typical moving boxes, dish boxes are better for breakables because they are made of a double layer of thick corrugated cardboard. They can also be found with specific slots to provide extra protection around each individual dish. If you are unable to find boxes specifically designed for dishes, you can still use regular moving boxes, but just be sure to include extra padding to compensate for the weaker protection of their single-layered cardboard walls.

Bubble wrap. The air-filled sacks bubble wrap provides is a must-have supply when packing breakables. For delicate items, like china, it will ensure the ultimate protection needed to keep everything safe during the moving process.

Steps to Pack Your China and Breakables

Now that you have the necessary packing supplies, follow these steps to pack your fine china when moving house.

Step 1: Reinforce the bottoms and sides of dish/moving boxes with quality, heavy-duty packing tape. Breakables, like fine china, can become very heavy when packed together. Providing your boxes with extra security is a vital step to ensure your boxes – and the contents inside – won’t break.

Step 2: Layer wads of crumpled paper on the bottom of your boxes before filling them up.

Step 3: Position one fine china plate – or other items – in the middle of several sheets of packing paper. Two or three sheets should suffice. One by one, pull the corner of the sheet stack over the plate until it ends up completely covered. Secure paper edges with packing tape.

Step 4: Using a single sheet of bubble wrap, use the same method as the previous step to wrap your item. Secure with packing tape.

Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 for each individual piece of chinaware from your china cabinet.

Step 6: When all items are properly wrapped, you can place them inside their designated boxes. For plates, place them in boxes on their edges. Stacking them flat can cause damage to those plates on the bottom due to too much weight bearing down on them.

Step 7: When your box is unable to fit anymore pieces of chinaware, fill any remaining spaces inside the box with packing paper or newspaper. You can also use bubble wrap or old, clean pieces of clothing. The goal here is to make sure nothing moves inside the box during your move. To check, give each box a gentle shake. If you feel, or hear, movement inside, add more padding materials before sealing the lid.

Step 8: Use words like “BREAKABLE”, “FRAGILE”, and “CHINAWARE” to label the top and sides of each box.

Steps to Prepare Your China Cabinet for a Move

Packing the contents of your china cabinet is just the first half of the moving process. The second half is to get the china cabinet itself ready for the big move. China cabinets are very fragile. This being said, the best way to move them is to hire experienced professionals who will do a great job of safely packing and transporting your china cabinet in a way that only experts know how. If hiring a professional mover isn’t in your budget, however, the following steps will help you move your china cabinet safely and efficiently.

Step 1: Empty Contents. Before you can even think about preparing your china cabinet for a move, the first step is to empty all of its contents. (If you skipped the step-by-step guide above on how to pack items from your china cabinet, scroll up!)

Step 2: Handle Glass with Care. Once your cabinet is completely empty, you will need to focus on its glass elements. If your china cabinet contains fragile glass doors and shelves, for instance – as most do – it is crucial to handle these areas with particular care.

Glass Doors. During a bumpy, jostling move, the doors of your china cabinet are bound to swing open – a problem that can lead to damage and even injury to those moving it. The best way to secure doors, especially those made of glass, is by removing them and packing them separately. Remove all doors one by one, slowly and carefully. Then, wrap each door in thick packing paper, followed by a layer of bubble wrap. The final protection step is to wrap doors in furniture blankets and secure them with packing tape. *Be sure to keep all screws, hinges and other small parts in a sealed plastic bag – and don’t forget to label it!

Glass Shelves. Just as you removed the glass doors to your china cabinet, you will also want to remove any glass shelves. Using extra caution, take each shelf out of the cabinet one at a time. Then, wrap them in packing paper and cover them with several sheets of bubble wrap. Be sure to take the same final packing precaution as you did with the doors, and wrap shelves in a final layer of thick furniture blankets. Old, clean blankets you already own will also work.

Step 3: One-Piece or Two-Piece Cabinet? Does your china cabinet have one piece or two? If it is a two-piece china cabinet, it will have two
sections – an upper section where china is displayed, and a lower section with drawers for storage. If there are two sections, be sure to separate them for better packing and protection during your move.

Step 4: Wrap Cabinet in Furniture Blankets. When all pieces – including drawers – have been removed, wrap the entire cabinet in furniture blankets. Be sure all areas are fully

Step 5: Secure Cabinet Legs. If your china cabinet has legs, they are highly susceptible to damage during transportation. To protect these protruding parts, wrap them in thick blankets or multiple sheets of bubble wrap, then use plenty of tape to secure them. Even better, if the legs of your china cabinet can be removed, take them off and pack them accordingly.

Step 6: Move Your China Cabinet.The final step of moving your china cabinet is both tricky and risky. You have to be able to lift it and also know how to use proper moving equipment to move it. An appliance dolly is the best tool to move your china cabinet without damage or injury to those moving it. Make sure the cabinet is adequately secured and immobilized on the dolly with rope or straps before trying to move it.

For all of your professional moving needs, contact us or visit our blog.

The Ultimate Checklist for Efficient and Speedy Packing

Time-consuming? Check! Stressful? Oh yeah! Exhausting? Yawn… Very! Okay, so moving may not be the most thrilling experience, but there are ways to make it easier. All you have to do is take advantage of the packing checklist below that offers practical and logical tips to help you pack your home quickly and efficiently.

How to Pack Efficiently

Anyone can just throw their belongings into a box and slap some tape on top. But taking the time to pack efficiently will be well worth it. Not only will it make moving day more organized, but it will also make unpacking much easier. Here are some must-know tips for being an efficient packer.

  • Create an inventory of your entire home, and decide which items you will take with you and which ones you will leave behind. The less stuff you pack, the less money you will have to pay for supplies and transportation. Also, you won’t waste time packing things that you really don’t need or want.
  • Never underestimate the time required to pack your home for a move. So, start as early as possible to avoid the unavoidable buildup of moving stress.
  • Packing an entire house is a hard and near-impossible feat for one family, let alone one person. Ask for packing assistance from friends and professional packers to get the job done faster and more efficiently.
  • Request a list of non-allowables from your moving company in advance. This will ensure you don’t waste time and energy packing items that are forbidden from being transported (e.g., hazardous goods, explosive/flammable/corrosive substances, pets, plants, perishable foods).

How to Pack Quickly

No matter where you are moving (apartment, house, new office) or what type of move it is (local, intrastate), time is of the essence. Here are the top ways to pack quickly.

  • To be a quick packer, good organization is key. Create a customized and prioritized day-by-day packing calendar so you can make the most of the usable time you have before Moving Day arrives.
  • Use the pack-in-stages approach. This means packing a certain number of boxes every single day. Just make sure you stick to it!
  • Designate one specific room as your packing station. This will speed up the packing process considerably by allowing your other rooms to stay clutter-free and easily accessible throughout the most time-consuming pre-moving tasks.
  • Institute a master packing strategy to avoid wasted time on random and disorganized packing jobs. 1. Start with the toughest rooms to pack. 2. Pack items you use least before those you use most often. 3. Pack heavy/bulky items first.
  • Make an effort to stay focused. Keeping your concentration while packing will greatly speed up the moving process.

How to Pack Moving Boxes

If you’re going to move, you will need the ultimate packing supply – moving boxes! Purchase, or collect for free, a large number of cardboard boxes that are in good overall condition. You can get them directly from a local moving company or local business/supermarket/bookstore/electronics stores, etc. While at it, go ahead and gather other must-have supplies – bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, scissors and markers. Once you have all of your supplies, packing can begin. But before you start tossing things inside with no rhyme or reason, here are the best ways to fill those boxes.

  • For extra protection of your valuables from moving mishaps, lay a sheet or two of clean packing paper on the bottom of each box.
  • Reinforce the bottom of every box with a few lengths of high-quality packing tape. No matter how durable the moving box looks and feels, this will help eliminate the risk of accidental breakages.
  • Pay attention to the size of each box. Use small boxes for heavy items, such as books, and medium-large containers for lighter belongings, like pillows, blankets and stuffed animals.
  • Ensure you use filling and padding materials inside boxes. The better you pack any unused space with soft fillers, the more immobilized your items will be.
  • Clearly label all moving boxes. By marking the content, destination room and special handling instructions, you will save time, confusion and nerves.
  • Pack a special moving box – or maybe a few – with the daily essentials you will need post-move (toothbrush, toilet paper, some clothes, etc.). This will save you time and energy trying to track down important belongings within the mountain of sealed boxes looming around you.

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Essential Tips to Pack Your Shoes for a Move

Moving to a new home is one of the biggest steps you can take in your life. It will require a number of things to ensure you are well-equipped for the adventure ahead – a positive attitude, excellent organizational skills, sufficient savings, reliable moving assistance and quality packing supplies. But there’s one more thing needed to conquer the rocky steps to come … a good pair of shoes. As you already know, shoes are a necessity – every day and in every situation. This being said, you will need a reliable pair of shoes before, during and after your relocation. And just as you need to wear good shoes while moving, you also need to pack all of your shoes correctly so they will stay in good condition. To avoid smashing, tearing, breaking or deforming your footwear during your move, here are some essential tips to pack your soles the right way.

Tip 1: Sort your shoes
Before you can pack your shoes, you must first sort through them. This way you will know which pairs should be taken with you and which ones should be left behind.

  • First, put aside any worn out/damaged shoes that you can no longer wear. These shoes can be thrown away prior to your move.
  • Next, set aside any shoes that are in good condition but that you no longer wear, like shoes you have outgrown, formal shoes you no longer have a need for, outdated shoes, uncomfortable shoes, etc. There is no point in moving impractical footwear to your new home. The fewer items you relocate, the less time, packing materials and money will be wasted in the end.
  • Lastly, group all shoes you intend to take with you, according to their type – boots, flip-flops, high heels, sneakers, etc.

Tip 2: Prepare your shoes for packing
Once you have decided which shoes you intend to take with you, you will need to prepare them for packing.

Check for minor repairs. Before packing your shoes, you should inspect each pair for minor repairs. Minor repairs range from replacing zippers or soles to sewing up torn or loose sections. Then, go ahead and have them repaired. There are a few reasons why taking your shoes to a repair shop prior to your move is a good idea, but the main reason is because you may learn that a pair of shoes is not worth fixing. As a result, you may decide not to relocate them after all.

Clean your shoes. Cleaning each pair of shoes you intend to relocate is another good way to prepare them for a move. To do this, remove all dirt and dust. Also, remove any pebbles embedded in the soles, a problem that can harm delicate footwear.

Dry shoes. Packing shoes that contain moisture inside a moving box can lead to a moldy, smelly situation. To avoid this, it is strongly recommended to air out your shoes for a few hours before packing them. For shoes that are especially vulnerable to humidity (sports shoes, work shoes, leather shoes), you may also want to place crumpled paper inside each shoe to help fully absorb any moisture. You can also add powder to the insides to help draw moisture out of leather and other fabrics.

Stuff shoes with paper. Many believe that simply throwing your shoes into a moving box is an efficient packing method, but this can lead to damage. To help your shoes keep their shape and avoid being crushed during transportation, stuff them with paper. While packing paper is the ideal choice, you can also use any clean paper or soft fabric, like socks. Avoid messy items, like newspaper, which will leave behind ink stains.

For shoes/boots that go above the ankle, be sure to stuff them all the way to the top. For high heels, wrap the heels in bubble wrap to prevent them from breaking.

Use proper packing materials. For some, shoes may just be shoes, but for many, they are an investment – especially those with designer names. To preserve your investment during the moving process, you should provide your shoes with the best protection possible by using quality packing materials. Plastic bags and cardboard boxes may be fine for certain things, but for more expensive or valuable items, like pairs of shoes, you will need sturdy boxes, packing paper and quality packing tape.

Tip 3: How to pack shoes
Once you have accomplished the previous tips, you can now focus on how to pack your shoes. When packing shoes for a move, you should focus on two things: safety and efficiency. Here are some ways to make the packing process easier.

Set aside a pair of shoes for moving day. While packing your shoes, be sure to set aside a pair of shoes to wear on moving day. Be sure they have non-slip soles, will protect your feet, and also ensure safety and comfort.

Separately pack footwear you’ll need within the first few days post-move. They should be season-appropriate, good for running around town, and also provide comfort when unpacking your belongings.

Use boxes. The ideal way to pack is to wrap your shoes in packing paper and place them inside their original boxes. But if these boxes have long been thrown away, use small- to medium-sized boxes that are clean and strong enough to provide adequate protection. Once shoes are inside the appropriate box, seal the box with packing tape.

Another idea is to pack your shoes inside plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes. Plastic containers will provide excellent protection from dust, dirt and external moisture.

Pack in pairs. To avoid a maddening hunt to locate a single shoe, always pack your shoes together as a pair.

Pack heavy shoes first. If packing several pairs of shoes in one box, be sure to place heavier ones on the bottom. Cover them with a protective layer of packing paper, then place lighter shoes on top.

Don’t overpack boxes. When piled together, shoes are quite heavy, so it’s important not to put too many pairs together in one box. Overpacked boxes will be too heavy and difficult to lift and carry, and may even crush under their own weight.

For more packing tips, click here.

Before Moving Out, Follow This Room-By-Room Cleaning Guide

Checklist - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)You’ve decided to make the huge commitment and move house. You’ve taken the necessary time to organize, plan and pack all of your belongings. But wait; isn’t there something you are forgetting to do? Before you carry out that last moving box and say goodbye to your home, you will need to clean it. After weeks of laborious moving preparations and exhausting moving tasks, the very idea of scrubbing floors, washing windows, etc. probably sounds like a nightmare – especially when you are leaving this particular home behind. But cleaning your property before you leave it for good is an important part of the moving process. Leaving your old home in tip-top condition will ensure you get your security deposit back if you are renting,and if you are selling, it will make the property more desirable to potential buyers. To make the cleaning process easier, check out our room-by-room clean-up guide below.

Bathroom(s)

  • Tiles. All bathroom tiles, from the floor to the shower wall, should be scrubbed with the appropriate cleaner – preferably one with bleach. Also, be sure to clean the grout betwcleaning bathroom - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)een the tiles. After you have scrubbed, rinse all areas well with clean water.
  • Tub and shower. Your tub and shower can acquire quite a bit of soap scum and mold, so make sure to put these spots on your must-clean list. Using a disinfectant, clean and rinse the tub, tub fixtures, shower rod, shower head and shower enclosures. If your shower curtain is fabric, throw it in the washing machine and reinstall, otherwise toss it.
  • Sink(s). Sinks collect a lot of slimy gunk and more, making them a major area to clean prior to moving out. Pay extra attention to the faucet(s) and handle(s). For a handy tool, try a toothbrush, which will make removing mold and stains in all of those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies much easier.
  • Toilet. The mere thought of cleaning the toilet may repulse you, but it must be done prior to moving out. Sanitize the toilet bowl, tank and seat; also wipe off the toilet paper holder.
  • Countertops, vanities and medicine cabinets. All of these places are hot spots for dust and grime. To clean them up, first remove all items from the shelves and drawers, and then wipe them down, inside and out, with a wet sponge. Also, clean any mirrors.

Bedrooms and Living Rooms

  • vaccuuming - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Clean windowsills, frames, tracks, casings, blinds and glass panels;
  • Clean sliding doors and screen doors, inside and out;
  • Wash or dry-clean curtains;
  • Clean out and wipe down furniture. Polish wood surfaces and steam clean upholstery;
  • Steam clean rugs and wash/polish tile and wood floors;
  • Wipe down air conditioners and vents to free them of dust. Replace air filter (if applicable);
  • Empty storage areas – closets, drawers and wardrobes, and clean them, inside and out.

Kitchen

  • Cabinets and drawers. All cabinets and drawers should be emptied and wiped clean with a sponge and mild cleaner. Remove old liners, and replace them with new ones once surfaces are fully cleaning kitchen - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)dry.
  • Countertops. Using warm, soapy water, along with disinfectant, wash countertops to remove any stains, residue, mold, bacteria and grime.
  • Glass. Make all glass surfaces – windows, doors, tabletops, etc. – shine with the help of specialized glass cleaner.
  • Sink and faucet. Using a powdered cleaning product or chlorine-free bleach, scrub the sink and faucet. If you have a garage disposal, use lemon slices to remove unpleasant odors that have accumulated.

If you are leaving any appliances behind, don’t forget that these items should be emptied and cleaned too. You will also want to move them away from the wall so you can clean the areas behind them, including the floor where they stood.

  • Refrigerator. Before cleaning the fridge, empty and defrost it. All drawers and shelves should be taken out and cleaned appropriately. The interior of the refrigerator should be cleaned as well. When fully dry, replace drawers and shelves. If the electricity will be turned off when you move out, leave the door open to prevent mold. You can also place a container with baking soda inside to absorb any odors.
  • Stove. To efficiently clean the stove, remove grills, oven racks and drip pans, and scrub them clean. For the interior, use steel wool along with a heavy-duty oven cleaner. *Note: wear thick gloves and ensure good ventilation while cleaning the oven. Oven cleaners, especially those with degreasing agents, can be harmful to the skin and respiratory system.
  • Dishwasher. Using a damp sponge and baking soda, wipe down all surfaces. Pay special attention to the filter, rubbers, inside and door, including the edges. For an extra clean, add a small cup of bleach to a cycle. This will help kill any bacteria inside the machine.
  • Microwave. An efficient way to clean your microwave is by placing a bowl of water with lemon juice in the microwave, then heating it on high for several minutes. Once finished, let it cool, and wipe down the inside with a sponge or microfiber cloth. Using a damp rag, also clean the exterior.
  • Sweep and mop. The final step to clean your kitchen before moving out is to sweep the floor to remove all dust and dirt. Then mop it for a deeper clean and shine.

For more moving guides from ABC Movers, click here.

Top Tips for a Smooth Relocation During a Severe Weather Evacuation

severe weather awareness - PHOTO (ABC BLOG)Mother Nature brings many things, from beautiful rolling green hills to massive sunrises and sunsets. But while Mother Nature is fairly calm for the most part, she can also be quite fierce at times, blowing in with reckless abandon, causing destruction and devastation to whatever is in her path. While most times we can find safety from bad weather in a designated safe spot, there are times when weather conditions can become so severe we are required to evacuate our homes – even towns. So, what do you do when dangerous weather hits and you have to relocate? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about packing up and moving during dangerous weather.

Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit

Emergency Evacuation Supply Kit - PHOTO - ABC BLOGThe first thing you should do when evacuating is to prepare an emergency supply kit. It should include:

  • Bottled water: Water is our most vital resource, and you should have an adequate supply in your emergency supply kit. Each person needs one gallon of water per day. You need enough water in your kit to last each family member three days.
  • Non-perishable food: Food is another essential you will need during your evacuation, so stock up on non-perishable items. Example: soups, cereals, nuts, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, energy bars, etc. Also included in your supply kit should be food for babies, infants and/or pets. And don’t forget the can opener!
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, change of clothes: Be sure to pack enough of each of these things for all family members. Make sure to take the weather and temperature into account.
  • Prescription medicine/First-aid kits: Be sure to pack your emergency supply kit with all prescription medications. Also, include first-aid supplies, such as pain relievers, sterile bandages, antiseptic lotion, allergy meds, thermometer, etc.
  • Toiletries: Just as when you go anywhere overnight, you should bring along toiletries, like toilet paper, toothbrushes, soap and shampoo.
  • Tools: Another way to prepare your kit for your evacuation is by supplying it with basic tools – a pocket knife, hammer, pliers, duct tape, flashlight/spare batteries, matches and so on.

What to Take with You When Evacuating

If severe weather causes you to evacuate your home, or town, there are some things you should always bring with you – no matter what. Some essentials include:

  • Valuables: Any items that are truly valuable should never be left behind. This means things that are irreplaceable. Examples include: cash, bank cards, jewelry, expensive electronics, collectors’ items, family heirlooms and artwork.
  • Important documents: Even if pressed for time while getting ready to evacuate, it is a good idea to try and gather some of your most important documents first. These include:
    • Personal documents: IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, social security cards, diplomas.
    • Financial documents: Banking information, investment papers, tax records.
    • Insurance documents
    • Medical records
    • Home deeds/other property needs
  • Pets: Your pets aren’t just important to you; they are valuable too. So, just as you are evacuating yourself and your family, don’t forget your precious pets. Be sure to bring their transportation carriers, and ensure they have their ID tags secured to them. Also, bring along food and water for them for the journey ahead.

What to Do Before Evacuating

When the time officially comes to evacuate your home, here are some of the important things you should do before leaving.

  • Prepare to evacuate using a planned evacuation route.
  • Start preparing for the evacuation as early as possible. This will help you avoid the risk of being on the road when bad weather strikes, as well as getting a jump-start on the traffic jams that are sure to form.
  • Ensure you don’t leave anyone or anything behind, from family members and pets to valuable items and documents.
  • Turn off the main water valve, switch off the electricity and stop the gas supply.
  • In case of flood, move prized possessions you are unable to take with you to higher ground.
  • Secure any loose objects inside your home – furniture, potted plants, etc.
  • Board up windows and doors.
  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Have your cell phone and charging cable handy.
  • Load your emergency supply kit and all valuables into your vehicle.

Other Thoughtsemergency movers - PHOTO - ABC BLOG

You may not have considered this, but if there is enough time before severe weather makes its debut, you can hire professional emergency movers to help you move your items out of harm’s way. Professional emergency movers will respond quickly and know how to handle emergency moves. They will also make it possible for you to move – and save – more of your possessions.

For more noteworthy moving tips, ABC Movers has what you need.

Top Things to Do Before You Move

Everyone knows that moving day is a big day. Not only is it a busy day, but it can also be a very long day. This is why it is vital to plan and prepare for the big move ahead of time. Otherwise, you risk many problems. To eliminate these risks, here are the top things you must do before you move.

Selecting the Right Home

You may love a particular house, but there are more factors to take into consideration than the number of bedrooms and exterior appeal. If you fail to properly research your new area and to assess your lifestyle, needs and preferences when choosing a home, you risk costly and consequential mistakes. When considering housing options, pay serious attention to these things:

Location. Location is key, and while an affordable property that meets all of your requirements is the goal, if it is in an inconvenient location, it has the potential to be a major problem, causing troubles in your everyday life. Be sure your new home will be conveniently located in a safe and prosperous neighborhood. You’ll want it to be close to work, your children’s school, reliable healthcare centers, local amenities and even some entertainment locales.

Lifestyle. Do you need a place where your kids and pets can run around and be safe? Do you want quick access to entertainment and nightlife activities? These types of questions are important to ask yourself before making a decision on a new home. So, assess your lifestyle, needs and preferences when researching housing options in order to avoid choosing the wrong place to live.

Size. Whether opting for a house, apartment or something different, be sure to figure out what size it needs to be. A family of five won’t be comfortable in a two-bedroom home, just as a mcmansion will be much too large when living solo. Buying or renting a home of inadequate size can cause inconvenience and/or financial loss, so avoid this at all costs.

Condition. Before you make a decision on a new home, it’s important to inspect its current condition. If it needs a lot of attention, you will need to figure out the additional financial burden it may place upon you. You will also need to ensure you have the necessary amount of time for repairs and renovations so it will be in solid, livable condition before moving in.

Cost. A large home in a prosperous neighborhood may be tempting, but be sure to take into account the cost. This includes rent/mortgage, utilities, maintenance costs and so on. Taking on an unaffordable home is a huge mistake, so be mindful of what you can and cannot afford.

Prepare Your Home Before Moving In

After selecting your ideal home, it’s important to prepare your home before moving in. This means fixing any problems or performing any renovations. Moving into a new home that is still enduring ongoing repairs and restorations can turn into an instant nightmare. So be sure to prep your new home before moving day. Here are some ways to do so:

Create a Floor Plan. If your home is in need of renovations, it is a good idea to plan ahead. One way to do this is by creating a floor plan. A floor plan is the ultimate way for you to create the perfect interior design for your home. By figuring out the ideal location each of your furniture pieces, household appliances and other items will go, you will eliminate moving day dilemmas, like finding out your couch is too large for the space. You will also save time, money and frustration because you won’t have to rearrange furniture and other items several times to find the perfect spot.

Deep Clean. As you move into your new home, you will, of course, need to clean as you unpack and get settled in – removing boxes, trash, etc. But, it is also a very good idea to provide your home with a deep cleaning. This doesn’t mean just mopping the floors or scrubbing the bathtubs. It also means cleaning air ducts and changing air filters, washing windows inside and out, and ensuring the interior is free of dust and debris. Performing these tasks before moving in will make for a less stressful and lengthy post-move to-do list.

Transfer/Turn On Utilities

Another important thing to do before you show up at your new home with all of your belongings is to make sure you have transferred/turned on all utilities. This is a very crucial pre-moving task to take care of because you will need the utilities running as soon as you arrive at your new place. Not doing so will leave you with a long list of problems, like being without power, which means no lights and an inability to prepare warm food or keep food cold in the fridge. It also means no water, so you won’t be able to take that much-needed shower after a long day of moving.

To make sure you are ready for the big move, ABC Movers can help. Contact us today at 800.771.0151 or visit our website.

Bubble Wrap: The Ultimate Accessory When Moving

The most practical packing material available is… you guessed it, bubble wrap. It provides the perfect cushion for any item, fits any shape, and can easily be secured with packing tape. Along with being used to protect delicate items and awkwardly shaped pieces during shipping, there are many other reasons why bubble wrap is such a widely used packing tool.

Safety. Bubble wrap is made by sealing together two sheets of plastic with air trapped between them in order to create rows of bubbles. The evenly distributed air-filled pockets provide excellent protection against shocks and vibrations, and can also prevent items from breaking if accidentally dropped. Bubble wrap also protects items from scratches and chipping.

Convenience. Considering all of the hassles that go along with moving, one thing that makes the packing process easier is bubble wrap. These handy bubbles are simple to use. Just wrap an item of your choosing and seal it securely with packing tape. Bubble wrap has the ability to snugly fit the surface of whatever object is inside – no matter the shape or size.

Bubble wrap also offers moving convenience because it comes in various forms (sheets, bags, envelopes) and sizes (large or small bubbles). This way, you can easily pick the type that best suits your specific needs and requirements.

Environmentally Friendly. Another positive aspect of bubble wrap is that it is environmentally friendly. Not only can it be reused several times – a great way to save money and help the environment – but you can even opt for bio-degradable, which degrades easily when discarded and causes no harm to nature.

Financially Friendly. There’s no question that packing materials quickly add up in price, so to help lower the cost of your move, opt for bubble wrap. Due to bubble wrap’s perfect cushioning, you won’t require many more packing supplies to ensure the safety of your belongings. Not to mention, bubble wrap is lightweight (it is basically just air, after all), so it doesn’t add to the overall weight of any items that require shipping.


Fun.
Pop. Pop. Pop, pop, pop! If there’s one thing these fantastic bubbles provide, it is entertainment – and we all know a little fun goes a long way when doused in the stress and mayhem of a move. So go ahead, give in and give it a squeeze.

Which Type of Bubble Wrap Should You Use?

As previously mentioned, you can choose from many different types of bubble wrap. So which one should you choose? Here’s a guide to help you decide which type will work best for your particular needs.

Large. Large bubble wrap features air pockets as big as 1” (26 mm) in diameter. Large bubble wrap is typically used for packing large household items, like furniture pieces. It is also good for providing a significant amount of cushion inside large moving boxes.

Small. Small bubble wrap ranges in bubble size from 1/8” (3mm) to 3/8” (10mm) in diameter. Smaller bubble size provides less protection against shock or impact, but greatly aids in protecting items from scratches and other superficial damage. Use small bubble wrap for electronics, glassware and other sensitive/delicate items.

Bubble Wrap Envelopes. Bubble wrap envelopes are a good choice for protecting things like CDs, books,small framed pictures and other flat items. These handy envelopes feature bubbles along the inside, which equals to maximum protection for breakables. They also provide easy-seal protection.

Anti-Static Bubble Wrap. Anti-static bubble wrap is designed to protect electronic items, like cell phones, computers and TVs. It works by dissipating static charge. This is good for protecting sensitive electronic chips inside cell phones, etc.

What Should You Pack with Bubble Wrap?

Honestly, there isn’t a single thing that can’t be wrapped in bubble wrap. That’s part of its amazingness! However, certain items require better protection than others and will benefit more from the superior protective qualities of bubble wrap.

If you need to pack fragile items, the more protection the better. The more securely you wrap these items, the greater the chance they will remain intact during your move. Do not use bubble wrap sparingly for the following items:

China. China sets include many pieces. To protect every plate, saucer and cup, wrap them first in packing paper, followed by a secure layer of bubble wrap. Also place some bubble wrap inside all cups, and between its body and handle, to provide extra support and eliminate the risk of breaking.

Glasses. Consider how many glasses you have broken in your lifetime. Now imagine what happens to glasses when poorly packed inside of a moving box. Yikes! Glasses top the list of the most easily damaged items during a move, so be sure to wrap them carefully when packing. Each glass – whether a wine glass or a valuable piece of crystal – should be individually wrapped with bubble wrap. Also, place an extra layer of bubble wrap on top of the wrapped glasses before sealing the box.

Artwork. If moving with figurines, paintings and other valuable pieces of art, don’t forget these items need maximum protection too. First, wrap in packing paper to better protect any delicate surfaces. Then follow with several layers of bubble wrap. Secure with packing tape.

Mirrors. Mirrors are another item that is easily cracked and broken during a relocation. To provide the mirror’s surface with optimum protection, it is a good idea to cover it with packing paper. Then, using bubble wrap with large air pockets, wrap the mirror in several layers of protection. To secure all packing paper and bubble wrap, encircle the entire mirror with packing tape.

*Framed paintings and mirrors should be placed in specialty picture/mirror boxes for maximum protection.

Vases. Due to their awkward shape and delicate material, vases are highly susceptible to damage – so grab the bubble wrap to provide the best protection possible. To wrap, set your vase on its side on a sheet of bubble wrap. Then, roll it until it’s completely covered, and secure it in place with packing tape. Be sure the top and bottom of the base is safely wrapped and taped.

For all moving supplies, including bubble wrap, packing paper, boxes and more, ABC Movers has everything you need to make your move a success.