The Five “Ds” of Preparing Your Home for Real Estate Listing

Whether you have outgrown your home or simply need a change, listing your home for sale is a big decision to make. Before your home is portrayed in local real estate listings with “for sale” phrasing and a price, be sure to get your home prepared. Here are five good tips to help you along.

1. Declutter

Professionals who handle staging a home before showing it to prospective buyers say that decluttering helps by:

  • Making the house appear roomier
  • Keeping prospects from feeling distracted
  • Opening up room for visualization

If your home is brimming with belongings, prospects may not only have a hard time seeing the potential of the house, but they may also find it challenging to envision the home as their own.

2. Depersonalize

You don’t have to strip the home of everything that belongs to you necessarily, but it can be a good idea to pull out highly personal items. For example, family photos are highly personal belongings, and pet supplies are not something every prospective buyer would have in their home. In a sense, you want to make the house look lived-in and livable, but in a way that is open to interpretation. Perhaps neutral art prints could take the place of large family photos, for instance.

3. Decorate

To give the house a more home-like appearance, do take the initiative to do some interior decorating. Again, minimalistic is vital, and opt for neutrality as much as possible. Try removing everything from the bedrooms except for the most critical pieces of furniture and adding a few decorative elements, such as a vase of flowers on the dresser, some complimentary throw pillows, and a figurine perched on a nightstand.

4. Distinguish

Every home has its unique selling points or points that are bound to capture the attention of a prospective buyer. A few examples could be:

  • A large picture window in the dining or living room
  • A recently remodeled master bathroom
  • A picturesque stairway
  • A lovely outdoor living space

Take a good, critical look at your home. First, consider the aspects a buyer could find most desirable and then truly distinguish those areas. For instance, if you are sure the stairway will be a significant selling point, put a little extra effort into making that area as attractive as possible.

5. Determine

What in and around the house could be a turnoff in the eyes of a buyer? While you may not have the funds to fix every flaw or problem, taking steps to improve or correct any significant problems will always mean you see better results when you list the house for sale. First, determine what problems could be most hindering. Maybe you have a few rooms that desperately need to be painted or carpet in one area that should be cleaned. Odd paint colors and dirty rugs happen to be two of the biggest turnoffs for home buyers.

Sold! Need Help with the Move?

With the best dedication to preparing your home before you list it on the market, you will likely be ready to move in no time at all. However, when your home sells and you are making your way to your new place, be sure to reach out to residential movers who can help you with the transition.

How to Move Houseplants

Moving with pets adds a layer of complication — but sometimes houseplants are even trickier.

Houseplants need a specific environment to survive. Moving changes it.

There are several ways you can minimize damage to your houseplants as you pack up and move. Here are a few things you can try.

Check Health Before the Move

Travel tends to be harder on plants, especially those that live in a specific environment indoors. You want them in their best health before transportation.

A few months before the move, check your plants’ general condition. If you need to move them to new pots or it’s time to prune them, do it well in advance.

Treat for pests, and be sure to avoid overwatering and underwatering. That way, your plant will be able to handle the stress of moving better.

Research Transportation Options

Moving plants isn’t always as simple as how to get them there. In addition, you might complementary face quarantine requirements and other state guidelines to prevent the spread of pests or diseases.

In addition, moving companies often won’t move plants if the distance is more than 150 miles or across state lines.

It doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your plants with you, just that you need to plan ahead. Consider putting your plants in commercial soil a couple of months ahead of time to minimize most problems.

Protect From Sun

Most houseplants prefer indirect lighting at most. However, putting them into the backseat of your car can expose them to bright, direct light and heat.

You might consider buying a pre-made shade for your plant. That way, you can keep them in a car without exposing them to direct light.

If you have many plants to move, you might need to rig a portable plant screen. Just make sure that it doesn’t block your visibility while you drive.

Avoid Drafts

Your plants like regular air circulation, but you’ll need to control it during transit. Just like heat can burn a houseplant, drafts can cause it to wilt.

And this isn’t just a problem that comes up during cold seasons. For example, ifHowever, putting you blast the air conditioning while you drive, your plants might react to it.

Think about the placement of your plants before loading. Turn vents away from the plant so that the air reaches it indirectly. Try to stick to a moderate temperature to avoid running it full-blast the whole way.

Transport Quickly

No matter how carefully you move your houseplants, they’ll probably deal with some stress. Many species can bounce back, even if they are almost dead. You should research in advance to rehome a variety that isn’t likely to make it.

Trips less than 24 hours are best. If you’re planning to take a road trip as part of your move, you might want to make other arrangements for the plants. Gift them to friends or family.

And once you arrive, be sure to set up a healthy environment for the plants on the first day. They can get back to health faster that way.

Moving On

Houseplants can survive a move if you plan ahead and take care. To discover your options for a safe and healthy move, contact us for a quote.

How to Pack Items You Don’t Use Often

Many advice guides tell you how to get rid of items you don’t use before a move. That doesn’t apply to everything, though.

Sometimes you have things you don’t (or can’t) use, but you still want to keep. And you need an excellent way to pack them.

These tips will make it easier to determine what you need to keep and preserve them for travel.

Consider Your Moving Options

When you’re moving high-value or irreplaceable items, it’s a good idea to think about how to transport them. Sometimes you want to put them on the truck. Sometimes you don’t.

If you’re driving separately, you may want to consider moving some of the items with you. Make sure to leave space for your essentials and luggage.

This approach works well for items that are hard to pack, too. If you can’t box it or wrap it, it’s probably best to keep it with you.

Change the Box

If you’ve already got your items in a box, it’s time to evaluate the container. The stuff sitting in the attic or basement for five years might pick up pests or water damage.

The ideal containers for precious items, especially old documents, will minimize fading or dust collection. Avoid cardboard unless you’re putting an archive-quality container inside it.

Remember to label the box as fragile or essential. That way, you’ll be able to find it right away on moving day.

Clean and Appraise Items

If you don’t know how to clean the items, you may want to hire a restorer to take care of them. Dust accumulation can damage collectibles, but the wrong cleaning approaches could be worse.

As a general rule, take a light touch to clean. A soft brush can remove dirt without chipping paint.

Before you load them up, consider asking a professional to appraise them. Collections change in value all the time. The amount they can go up or down within a few years might surprise you.

Protect Your Collections

The last thing you want is a broken item. It happens sometimes, but you should try to avoid it.

Using bubble wrap and packing paper can only go so far. If it’s worth a lot of money, you might want to invest in custom foam packaging to keep everything in place. Or ask your moving company if they have a costume crating service to protect it.

This goes for anything made out of porcelain or glass or items that are particularly old or fragile. Spending a little now is a lot easier than paying for expensive repair or restoration later.

Think About What You Want to Keep

When you’re moving boxes from one house to another, it’s wise to think about what you’re keeping and why. Preserving a valuable collection you love is one thing. Hanging onto heirlooms that you don’t like is another.

Instead of holding onto every collection, consider what you like and use. Other family members might delight in Grandma’s quilts, even if you don’t. In some cases, selling it is also a reasonable choice.

Moving With Care

Protecting your valuables is a big part of moving. Finding a good moving company is another. To learn more about our services, contact us today.

Packing Up a Kids Room for an Upcoming Move

The moving process can be particularly difficult for adults. It can be equally trying on kids as well. According to Psychology Today, kids like to be around all familiar and comfortable things. Moving means leaving all of that behind, which is why some kids are resistant to moving.

For many, the idea of packing up their kids’ room can be a daunting task. Packing a kids’ room can be challenging because many toys, clothes, and books need organizing and packing. Here are some tips to help pack up your kids’ room in an organized and stress-free manner:

Create a Plan

Create a plan to help ensure a smooth move. Your goal should include details on how to tackle the packing of your kids’ room. Make a detailed checklist of what to pack, what to donate, supplies needed, and what items need to be left out.

Get the Kids Involved

Getting kids involved in the moving process may help ease the stress and help get kids excited for your upcoming move. Kids can help with gathering their belongings. Additionally, they can help organize and pack the items they want to take to their new home.

Work on Sorting and Decluttering

Take time to go through all the kids’ toys, books, games, clothes, etc., before packing it all up. Organize items by type to make packing and unpacking seem more organized. Work on decluttering items by getting rid of games with missing pieces, broken toys, and clothes that no longer fit.

Sorting and decluttering a room is an excellent opportunity to get the kids involved. Have them give you a tour of their room, pointing out items they do not mind donating to a local charity. Remind and encourage kids, letting them know it is okay to get rid of things before moving.

Create an Essentials Box

An essentials box is where you will place all the items your kids will need during the move. The box may include blankets, some toys, a few books, and things kids use daily. The essentials box will be placed in the car or easily accessible by the kids during the moving process.

Tips for Packing

Sort through your child’s books and determine which ones are still age-appropriate and worth packing. Use soft packing paper to wrap valuable books individually. To prevent damage, avoid placing books in the box with their spine up facing you.

Before packing:

  1. Check all board games to ensure all the pieces are there.
  2. Place pieces or small items in plastic bags so they don’t get lost.
  3. Use soft wrapping paper or bubble wrap to wrap up delicate toys, such as action figurines and LEGO creations.

For clothes, eliminate any that don’t fit or that you know they will no longer wear. Fold clothes neatly and place them in a clean cardboard box—Wrap shoes in packing paper or inside zip-locking bags.

Packing for Your Move

Moves are stressful, especially when kids are involved. We can help take a little of the stress off your upcoming move. Contact us today to discover how we can help.

The Three Golden Rules of Unpacking After a Move

Much planning and forethought go into preparing your home for a move. However, the time right after your professional movers get your belongings to your new place can be just as important. 

After the moving truck pulls away and you prepare to get life started in your new home, there are a few golden rules to remember about unpacking that can simplify the process.

1. Reserve time for unpacking.

Most people take off work to prepare for their move but don’t forget you will also need time after getting where you are going. Unpacking and getting your house in order can take a lot of time—sometimes even more time than packing. Most people don’t empty their very last box after moving until 182 days after they arrive. This significant amount of time is proof of just how long unpacking can take and how many people don’t allocate enough time after the move.

Making time for unpacking is essential. Even though you can delay it — you are still going to need to tackle it. The faster you get your boxes unpacked, your things in their places, and your house in working order, the quicker your new place will feel like home.

2. Work on setting up essential rooms first.

While looking at a house full of boxes can seem a little overwhelming, setting up your essential spaces first can put your mind at ease and make life easier. Consider which rooms your family relies on the most. A few examples include the kitchen — because this is where you prepare most of your meals —  or the bathroom because everyone needs a place to shower and handle personal grooming.

Of course, what you consider essential can vary depending on your household dynamics. For instance, if you work from home, you may need to prioritize your home office over some other areas. Most people can get by just fine if they don’t unpack their bedroom completely or their living room is just a sofa and a bunch of boxes for a few days.

3. Unpack room by room after you complete the primary spaces.

Once you have your essential items unpacked and in place, you are free to work on whatever part of the home you prefer. While you can pick pretty much any room, try to limit your unpacking efforts to one room at a time. Many people look at pulling one thing from one box and something else from another to go in another room as multitasking. For example, maybe you pull towels from bathroom boxes and intend to drop a few items off in the kitchen along the way.

Even though this form of multitasking can seem more productive, research has shown that multitasking is a bit of a myth. In other words, if you are trying to unpack more than one room at a time, you can end up wasting more time than you realize by moving from room to room and refocusing your attention repeatedly.

Trust Professional Residential Movers for Your Next Move

All aspects of a move can mean a lot of work for you and your family, but enlisting the help of a residential moving company can genuinely help. If you are in the process of planning your household move, contact us for a free moving quote today.

Tips for Switching Off and Transferring Utilities When Moving

Moving day is particularly hectic — and so are the days and weeks leading up to it. With so many moving tasks to track, utilities may be the last thing on your mind. But forgetting to cancel or start an essential service like electricity or gas can throw a wrench into your smooth move.

Follow these tips to switch over your utilities seamlessly.

List All of Your Utilities

About a month before moving day, create a spreadsheet of all the utilities you currently use. Include each provider’s name, contact information (such as website and phone number), and your account number.

Common utilities include:

  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Garbage
  • Recycling
  • Internet
  • Cable TV
  • Phone
  • Home security

Switch or Transfer Utilities?

Next, look up the available utilities for your new home and add them to your list.

If you’re moving locally, your new home may use the same utility provider. In this case, you may be able to transfer service. That means you can simply have the utility disconnected from your old home and reconnected at your new home without setting up a new account.

If your move is farther away, find contact information for local utility providers. In some areas, you may choose providers; research to see which services match your budget and needs.

Contact Utility Providers

No more than three weeks from moving day, contact your existing utility providers. Often, the provider’s website will have a disconnect form; if not, give them a call. Schedule the service disconnection for the day after you move.

A utility company will require your new address so that they can send your final billing statement. However, if you have any outstanding or late bills, pay them now to avoid any issues.

Next, contact the utility providers for your new home. Request that they start service the day before your scheduled move-in day. Some providers may require a deposit before turning on services, so keep that in mind when you’re budgeting for the move.

Don’t wait until the last minute to disconnect or connect, as some utilities require advance notice.

Follow-Up Utility Steps

Before you move out, arrange for one final meter reading. You don’t want to have to deal with a billing discrepancy after you’ve moved.

Once you’re in your new home, take a quick break from unpacking boxes and ensure all the utilities are working correctly. Turn on the heat, make sure you don’t smell natural gas, and ensure the water heater works.

Making the Move

Switching utilities on and off is just one part of the complexity of a move — but it’s essential to get it right. Give yourself plenty of time to ensure that you don’t overlook any utility providers before or after your move.

If you need help getting to your new home, we can help. Contact us for a free quote today.

5 Things to Do After You Move

After months of house hunting, preparation, and packing, you’re moving day is right around the corner.

You’re close to the finish line, but there are a few steps left in the moving process before you can sit back and relax in your new home.

Here’s a to-do list to help you complete the few tasks that remain.

1. Perform a Walkthrough

Before you fill your new home with furniture and moving boxes, do a walkthrough. It’s easier to get this critical task done in an empty house. Focus on:

  • Ensuring previous owners completed agreed-upon repairs
  • Checking that appliances, outlets, and fixtures function properly
  • Making sure everything that was supposed to be included with the sale is present

Document any issues; for instance, if the previous owners said they’d fix a broken door but didn’t, or were supposed to leave the refrigerator, but took it with them instead.

Performing a walkthrough in an empty house will also allow you to find any issues that need to be fixed later.

2. Find the Water Shut-Off and Fuse Box

Before you start moving in your things, locate the electrical fuse box and your water shut-off valve. Often, the fuse box is in the garage, basement, or storage room.

In case of an emergency, you might need to turn off the water quickly, so you’ll want to know exactly where the water valve is. In most cases, you’ll find the valve on a perimeter wall on the street-facing side of your home. If you can’t find the valve, pull out your inspection report; the inspector should have noted its location in the “plumbing” section.

3. Change the Locks

Call a locksmith and change the locks to your new home. Even if you trust the previous owners, you still don’t know how many spare keys are floating around.

Change the locks on every outside door to the house. If your main doors are missing deadbolts, ask the locksmith to install those, too.

If the garage door has a keypad or an alarm system, now is the ideal time to change the codes.

4. Do a Deep Clean

While the house is still empty, grab some cleaning supplies and get to work. A deep clean will help make you feel more comfortable and at home.

If you can’t spare much time, focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. Wiping down the inside of cabinets, polishing the counters, and scrubbing the floors make your fresh start feel genuinely new.

5. Unpack With Purpose

It’s finally time to unpack! But don’t just pile boxes willy-nilly; unpacking in an organized manner will save you time and effort later.

Start with the rooms you use most: the bedroom and the bathroom. After all, you’re probably more than ready to take a hot shower and get some rest after the stress of moving day.

As you unpack the rest of your belongings, take inventory as you go. This will help you ensure that all of your belongings made it safely to your new home.

Moving Made Easy

The most efficient way to complete a move is with the help of professional movers. If you need some help over the finish line, contact us for a free quote. We can help get you the rest of the way there — into your new home!

How to Solve the Biggest Unforeseeable Moving Day Problems

Imagine you have planned for every foreseeable moving scenario. You’ve downloaded and filled out a moving checklist, set a to-the-minute timeline, packed diligently, and even purchased moving insurance. What could possibly go wrong? You might be surprised!

The root cause of moving problems can be traced back to a single idea — unforeseeable circumstances. Whether these involve elements beyond your control or garden variety human error, the result tends to be the same. You suffer moving day problems, and the experience devolves into stress and anxiety. The good news is that the following covers issues that you cannot necessarily anticipate. But if and when they do, you’ll be prepared to get through them.

How To Deal With Extreme Weather

Forecasting the weather may be the only occupation people can predict inaccurately more often than not and keep their job. Planning ahead by checking 10-day patterns provides little solace when you get stung by severe weather on moving day. These are three types of extreme weather that can derail a scheduled move unless you are prepared to negotiate them.

  • Heavy Snow: Freezing rain and blizzard conditions can make moving day a risky proposition. Fewer people move during the winter months because of these unpredictable weather conditions. A few-hour delay may be in order if you live in an area with good plowing and road sanding practices. But if the roads are unlikely to be safe that day, better to postpone.
  • Torrential Downpours: Hard rains make driving conditions unsafe. They also can result in flash flooding. The last thing anyone wants is to be involved in an accident that results in injury or property damage. It’s advisable to wait out torrential downpours and make sure your moving route has not been compromised.
  • Extreme Heat: When temperatures soar into the 90s or higher, it may be wise to expand the timetable. Safety dictates that you should only perform vigorous activity early in the morning or after late afternoon. Avoid working during peak sunlight and heat whenever possible.

Perhaps the best solution involves discussing a so-called “rain date” with the moving company—factor in unforeseeable weather events by including a flexible timetable.

Issues at Your New Home

Unexpected challenges might also come up when you arrive at your new home. Most of these problems will have easy solutions that you can prepare for. 

  • Utilities: Keep the contact information of your utility providers readily available if there’s an issue with your gas, electricity, or other services when you arrive. Ensure you have an emergency kit as part of your essentials supplies that include flashlights, candles, water, and some nonperishable food.
  • Handyman: Make sure you have the number of a local handyman or your landlord handy if there is an emergency with your new home.
  • Essential supplies: Gather your essential supply kit while you pack your home so that if you run into any problems on moving day or need to check into a hotel, you have what you need.

Furniture Too Bulky To Get Through The New Door

Not measuring furniture to determine whether it fits through the new home’s doorway occurs more often than you might think. Most people already know their belongings fit through door “A” because it was delivered to them. But not all entrances are created equal, and a narrow opening often proves problematic.

There are several ways to resolve an oversized furniture problem, although some may seem unenviable. Take the door off the hinges to gain a couple of inches in width. Remove the item’s legs and dismantle it if possible. If that fails, you can sell it, buy slimmer furniture or call a carpenter. It may not seem like a desirable solution, but door frames and large windows can be removed temporarily and put back after the furniture is inside the home. A good carpenter can make it seem as if nothing was removed. Make sure you have a small tool kit pack in your essential supply kit. It will come in handy right away at your new home.

Moving Assistance

The best way to overcome moving day problems is to work with an experienced professional company that has negotiated these and other issues before. When selecting a reputable moving company, don’t hesitate to ask them “what if” something goes wrong.

Contact us for a free quote.

How To Pack Glassware for Your Relocation

Glassware is fragile, so packing glassware is one of the most labor-intensive moving tasks of your residential move. While packing glassware does take some time, your glassware will arrive at your new home just as fresh as when it left your old one if done correctly.

Here are some steps to successfully packing your glassware:

Gather Materials

You’ll need:

  • Boxes. If possible, obtain a cell box, which places dividers between each glass, from your moving company.
  • Packing material such as blankets, towels, socks, packing paper, newspapers, or bubble wrap. Keep in mind, however, that bubble wrap is expensive and hard to recycle. Newsprint sometimes bleeds onto items; packing paper does not. You may be able to obtain free packing paper from your mover or The Freecycle Network, or Craig’s list.
  • Packing tape
  • Marker

Line the Box

Use blankets, towels, crumpled packing paper, or other soft materials to line the entire box — top, bottom, and sides. This protects your glassware from every angle.

Wrap

Wrap each glass individually in packing paper. For each glass, start by putting the packing paper inside the glass. Then fold both sides up and around the edges. As you roll, tuck the sides in.

Bubble wrap can stick to glass and break it. If you use bubble wrap, use packing paper, and then add a bubble wrap layer for extra protection.

Double wrap each piece, regardless of what type of packing material you are using. If you are wrapping wine glasses, remember to wrap the stems first. Pack wine glasses last so that they are closest to the soft material packed at the top of the box.

Pack

Place each glass or piece of stemware into its cell in the cell box. Fill any empty space with crumpled packing paper or socks or air pillows. Pack the box about three inches from the top and fill it with these soft packing materials until closing the box is difficult. This helps prevent breakage if something is placed on top of the boxes.

Tape

Shake the box gently to be sure the contents don’t shift or that you don’t hear glasses linking. Once you’re satisfied, tape the box shut. Use the marker to label the box’s contents and indicate which room it should go to at the new house. Be sure to also write “Fragile” on the box in large letters.

Packing Bowls and Dishes

To pack dishes safely, line the boxes in the same way you lined the glasses boxes. Group plates by size, then wrap each dish in paper or other soft material and place each into the box on its side. Avoid stacking them if you can, as stacking could cause crushing damage.

Do the same with bowls. Stuff any spaces in the box with soft items until closing it is difficult. Then seal with tape, label, and mark “Fragile.”

If You Need Help

As a full-service mover, we can provide boxes and packing materials. We also can pack glassware, dishes, and other items for you, saving you time and worry. The cost is often less than you think. Give us a call today.

5 Things Your Professional Movers May Not Move for You and Why

When you face a move from your current home to a new place, you face the enormous task of getting all your belongings from point A to point B. Bringing in professional movers for help is always a good decision. The pros can step in and do the heavy lifting for you by loading and hauling your belongings where they need to go. However, certain items may not be safe to transport in a moving truck.

Here are just some of the items that are prohibited.

1. Live Animals or Pets

Most moving companies will not handle live animals or pets. While you may already anticipate that you will have to transport your usual pets like a cat or a dog, you may find it surprising that some movers will also not handle things like live fish, birds, or reptiles. In general, pets can pose risks to the other items being moved, but pets and other live animals can also be prone to injury during transport.

2. Corrosive Materials

In general, a product is considered corrosive if it will deteriorate surfaces or the skin. Corrosive materials can pose risks to the rest of your belongings when placed on a moving truck, but they can also pose a risk to the movers who may be handling these products. A few examples of corrosive materials you may find around your home include:

  • Rust removal products
  • Bleach
  • Oven cleaner
  • Drain cleaner
  • Lead-acid batteries
  • Paint stripper

3. Combustible or Flammable Items

Combustibles and flammables are products that can either explode or catch on fire when exposed to specific environments or agents. In general, professional movers do not handle these items because they can pose such a risk. For example, the enclosed trailer of a moving truck is not ordinarily climate-controlled. Therefore, the excessive heat inside the trailer in the summer could mean an explosive butane cylinder would be at risk of exploding. Propane cylinders, cans of gasoline or diesel, aerosol cans, and even tiki torch fuel are examples of prohibited items.

4. Live Plants

Live plants do not necessarily pose any risks, but most moving companies do prohibit the transport of live plants for a few reasons:

5. Personal or Sentimental Items

You should keep sentimental or personally vital items with you during your move. Moving companies won’t transport these items. 

Professional movers should not move things like keepsakes, expensive jewelry, family heirlooms, coin collections, and other valuables. Whether the things in question are valuable art pieces, cherished family photos, lovely jewelry, or other precious items, plan to move these valued items carefully on your own

Talk to Your Mover

As you prepare for moving day, make sure you take care of the personal belongings the pros may not. Be sure to get a complete list of non-allowable items from your moving company in advance to avoid any issues on moving day. 

Getting ready to move and still need a moving company? Reach out to us to get a free quote for your move today.