5 Ways to Ensure Access for Your Movers

One challenge moving companies face during a move is accessing the house or apartment safely. Homeowners or renters can take steps to ensure moving crews can freely carry items between the moving van and the residence. 

Below are some of the most common barriers movers face and ways to alleviate them for your household move.

Allow Street Access

Many cities and towns require permits to park large vehicles on the street for extended periods. As moving vans may qualify as large vehicles, you must ensure the correct permits are in place. In some cases, these permits may require the moving van to be parked too far from the moving location and, in other cases, not allowed to park there at all. Many moving companies can assist you in this process, so inquire about their service. 

Provide Building Access

Building management usually has established times for moving in and out of apartments and condos. Many also require movers to reserve elevator time and loading dock access. To ensure moves can take place smoothly, contact building management to learn about the requirements, and be sure you schedule your move date and time when loading docks and elevators are available.

Ensure Safe Walkways and Driveways

Over time, ground shifts, concrete can crumble, and driveways can crack. In addition, home access can be fraught with risks from uneven surfaces to loose rocks. This is particularly so in older neighborhoods. If you know these situations, point them out to the moving estimator. While you can’t necessarily fix them before the move, movers can take steps to deal with them. Ensuring all are aware can minimize risks to movers and property.

Clear Curbsides of Snow, Leaves, Ice

In northern states, fall and winter pose several challenges. Chief among them is snow mounds or even leaves along the curb. 

Snow is an obvious impediment, as it may prevent the moving van from pulling close enough to the curb. This may not leave enough room for cars to pass by. Also, snow mounds can prevent movers from carrying items to the moving van. Be sure the street is clear enough for parking and there is a pathway for movers to reach the residence from the road.

Leaves are less obvious. But when wet, leaves can be extremely slippery, posing a hazard to anyone walking on them. Even leaves that appear dry may have moister under the surface. Clearing the area will help the move go more smoothly and safely.

Consider Miscellaneous Objects

Before movers arrive, walk the route that they will carry items between your home to the moving truck. Look for anything that may cause a hazard. For example, you can’t remove exposed roots or hard landscaping, but you can point them out to the movers. 

Other items, like children’s toys, fallen branches, etc., should be removed before the movers’ arrival.

Smooth Move

Hiring professional movers is a great way to expedite your move. In addition, you can help the move go a bit faster and much safer by ensuring safe access between your residence and the moving van. 

If you are planning a move, contact us for a free estimate. We’ll be happy to prepare an accurate free quote and answer any questions you may have.

Apartment Moving Tips for First-Time Renters

Moving into your first apartment is exciting. For the first time, you have the freedom and responsibility to be entirely on your own.

Here are some tips to help that first move go more smoothly.

Budget

Take a careful look at all your monthly expenses to determine how much you can pay for your apartment. Generally speaking, you should spend no more than 30 percent of your before-tax income on housing, including utilities. If you have large car payments or student loans, you may be able to afford less.

Also, consider the expenses associated with moving. For example, you’ll need to pay a security deposit and also will likely need to pay utility deposits unless the utilities are included in the rent. You’ll also need to budget moving costs, including professional movers, boxes, and packing materials.

Research Thoroughly

Use online resources such as Apartments.com and HotPads to help you understand what apartments are available for your budget and to find those you’d like to explore further.

Then call the apartment manager to schedule tours. Allow plenty of time for each walkthrough. Make sure the apartment building has ample parking for you and your guests. Also, notice whether you encounter any unpleasant smells in corridors or the apartment. Finally, ensure that security is adequate.

Read Your Lease

Read the lease thoroughly before you sign it, asking questions about what you can’t understand. Then, before you move in, walk through your apartment with your landlord, taking photos of any scratches, torn carpet, or other issues. Email the pictures to the landlord as soon as possible so that you’re not responsible for this damage.

Find out what the rules are for moving into your apartment. For example, some buildings allow moves only on certain days or during certain hours. They also may require a reservation to use the freight elevator. For instance, many facilities don’t want you moving your mattress in through the front door.

Contact Utility Providers

Some leases include some utilities, while others do not. Be sure to call the service provider for those utilities that are not included well ahead of your move. You’ll want your services connected by move-in day.

Gather Essentials

You’ll need some essentials right away in your new home.

Kitchen essentials include

  • Pots and pans
  • Dishes
  • Silverware
  • At least one chef’s knife
  • Potholders, dish towels, and a dishcloth or sponge
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Small appliances, such as a coffee maker, toaster, and can opener
  • Trash cans and trash bags

You’ll also need bathroom essentials such as

  • Towels and washcloths
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain and rings unless the shower has a door
  • Toiletries
  • Plunger
  • Toilet brush
  • Trash can
  • Bath mat

You’ll also need sheets, blankets, a spread for the bedroom, and general household products such as laundry detergent, cleaning products, mops, buckets, lightbulbs, and a vacuum cleaner.

Learn Your Neighborhood

Once you’ve moved in, meet your neighbors and explore your neighborhood. Learn where the best coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores are. Ask your new friends for recommendations on services such as doctors, dentists, and pharmacies. Find your favorite gym.

Moving On Up!

We can help with your move, whether moving to your first apartment or for the 20th time. Contact us, and we’ll provide you with a free quote.

5 Reasons Not to DIY Your Move 

When you tell friends and family that you’re moving, they commonly assume that you will do it yourself. But, you must determine if tackling the move yourself is the right choice.

DIY moving is much harder than it looks, with real risks for your body and belongings. So in most cases, it’s better to leave the job to the experts.

Here are five reasons you’ll be glad you didn’t DIY your move and called in pro movers instead.

1. You’ll Still Spend Money

Most people think about DIY moving because they want or need to save money. But, in most cases, you still spend much of your cash.

You still have to pay for all the boxes and other packing supplies. You could spend thousands of dollars if you need to rent a truck for a long-distance move.

You’ll have to spend more on repairs when you make an expensive mistake. However, knowing that a professional is taking care of it for you is much better.

2. You’ll Still Need Help

When you’re young, asking friends to help you move may not seem significant. But, as you age, asking people to spend the weekend lifting heavy furniture for you is more challenging.

Even if you are strong and fit, you may have furniture or appliances that you can’t move by yourself. If you try, you put yourself at risk.

Hiring a professional mover eliminates the worry of asking for help. As an added benefit, you know that the movers will be reliable.

3. You Might Damage Your Stuff

Some people think that only they can take proper care of their belongings. But you might not know how to do that.

Do you know the best way to move a wide refrigerator out of a house? What about that heirloom piano?

Moving your most precious items, like expensive technology or jewelry yourself, is a wise idea. However, movers are more likely to get it there in one piece for the big stuff.

4. You’ll Have More Obstacles

When you DIY a move, you’re putting yourself in charge of clearing all obstacles. For a long-distance move, that might mean dozens of complicated decisions.

There are tons of things that could come up in the process of loading or moving that you didn’t anticipate. For example, loading a truck, and realizing that you can’t fit everything, is a big problem.

Hiring movers gives you experienced experts to handle the challenges.

5. You Could Get Hurt

Most people aren’t in the habit of moving heavy furniture all day. Your body simply isn’t used to it.

It’s not just a matter of whether you can lift the item in question. Moving is a repetitive task that compounds the stress on your body. You may hurt yourself in the process.

The worst part is that you might not even notice it at the moment. So instead of putting yourself at risk for complicated injuries, it’s better to have someone else do it.

Moving Assistance

DIY moving may seem like a great idea, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. To schedule your upcoming move, contact us for a quote.

Retiring? 4 Steps to Downsize Your Residence

As you plan for retirement, you’ll need to consider everything from your financial situation to where you live. While you could remain in your current home, many retirees choose to downsize. A few reasons to downsize when retiring include less maintenance, upkeep, and cheaper bills. First, however, you must ensure you’re correctly downsizing your home.

So, with that in mind, let’s look at the steps you should take to downsize your home when retiring.

Chances are you’ve been preparing for retirement for a while and have many plans. However, you must also consider your health and how that could affect your situation. For example, if you’re trying to travel a lot during retirement, will you be able to walk and hike, or will you need mobility assistance?

Step One: Consider Your Current and Future Needs

Even if you’re in the best of health right now, age can cause various problems. Eventually, you’ll likely have to move into assisted living or get someone to move in to help you around the house. So, consider these elements when deciding when and where you’ll be downsizing.

Step Two: How Much Can You Afford?

The golden question about retirement is how much money will you have, and how long will it last? Ideally, you’ll have investment funds to keep earning interest during your retirement years, so you don’t have to eat up your savings. Here is where downsizing can be a benefit since you can potentially save money on property taxes, mortgages, or rent prices.

An alternative is to move into a retirement community where they provide many amenities. Although these communities can be somewhat expensive, you’ll save money in different areas (i.e., meals and transportation costs).

Step Three: Where Can You Cut Costs?

As you’re calculating your retirement income and expenses, you should pay attention to different ways to mitigate your bills, such as:

  • Living With Roommates – Even if you’re retiring with your spouse, you may want to get a roommate or tenant to help split utility bills and mortgage payments.
  • Moving to a more affordable Part of Town – While you don’t want to live in an unsafe area, some neighborhoods are much pricier than others. Figure out what you’re comfortable with that fits within your budget.
  • Working Part-Time – Many retirees work part-time jobs, so they have something to do in their spare time and to avoid dipping too much into their savings. If you’re thinking of working, will you need to commute to a job, or do you plan to work from home? Your new location may influence your decision more than you realize.

Step Four: Reducing Your Clutter

Once you decide to downsize, you must also get rid of many of your current belongings. It’s best to shed excess clutter as soon as possible so you don’t have to transport anything you don’t need. While garage and yard sales can help you recoup some money, you may need to donate many items (usually clothes) to get rid of them.

Get Moving Help for Your Retirement

Moving your stuff by yourself seems far less appealing as you enter your golden years. Fortunately, we can help you transition to a leaner, more efficient lifestyle. Contact us for a free quote!

Simplify a Cross-Country Move: Checklist for Moving Out of State

Moving is always a bit complicated, whether moving to a different floor in your current building or a brand new home in the same town. But throw moving to another state in the mix, and the complexity level rises even more.

Luckily, getting organized well before starting an out-of-state move helps reduce stress. This checklist will help you manage so you can easily move to another state.

Make a Moving Budget

Moving can be expensive, but moving cross-country costs even more. One of the best ways to control expenses is to create a moving budget.

Plan ahead by making a moving budget that includes factors such as:

  • Moving team
  • Packing expenses
  • Specialty packing and moving costs
  • Gas
  • Lodging
  • Dining
  • Airfare

Be sure to build in a contingency for potential cost overruns. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprise expenses.

Work with Reputable Movers

Working with professional movers will help your move be more cost-effective, especially on a long-distance move. A reputable mover will provide you with clear estimates up front, with no hidden costs. (If a mover won’t give this information, that’s a big red flag.)

Get quotes from several different companies before making your decision. A moving team that specializes in state-to-state moves may be the best choice.

Manage Paperwork

While it isn’t the most exciting part of a move to a new state, getting your paperwork in order is an essential element — and a key to keeping stress levels low.

Well before your move, take care of the paperwork and related tasks such as:

  • Change of address forms with USPS
  • Notify banks, credit cards, gyms, and subscriptions of your new address
  • Cancel current utilities and set up new utilities
  • Collect records from medical and dental offices
  • Request any school transfer records
  • Fill out new voter registration
  • Transfer prescriptions
  • Update insurance
  • Register pets at the new address

Pare Down Belongings

Moving to a new state is the perfect time to go through your belongings and purge things you no longer want or need. After all, you don’t want to pay to move unwanted items, especially when a long-distance move is involved.

Starting a few months before moving day, set aside time — ideally, just a couple of hours at a time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed — to go through all of your belongings.

Separate everything into four categories:

  • Keep
  • Donate
  • Sell
  • Recycle/Trash

If you know the dimensions of your new home, keep them in mind when deciding what to keep. For instance, if your current couch won’t fit in your new living room, now may be the perfect time to sell it and get one when you arrive at your new home.

Call the Pros

Moving always comes with some stress attached. Moving to a different state is no exception and may feel much more complicated. Fortunately, planning and working through this checklist can reduce stress so you can have a smooth interstate move. Contact us for a free quote.

7 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

Moving can generate a significant amount of waste and use a lot of fuel. However, proper planning can make moving more eco-friendly. Moving can also be an excellent way to kick off a new eco-friendly lifestyle in your new home.

Here are some green household moving tips.

1. Pack Lightly

One way to reduce the environmental impact of your move is to move less stuff. First, make a written list of every item you own so that you avoid taking duplicates to your new home. Then sort through your clothes, towels, and kitchen appliances so that you only take those items you truly need and love.

Rather than throwing away items you don’t want, donate or sell as many as possible. CraigsList and Offer Up provide options for selling unwanted furniture and housewares. In addition, charities and thrift shops will accept donations. Responsibly recycle batteries and similar items appropriately.

2. Reuse Boxes as Much as Possible

Buy new boxes as a last resort. If you think you will move, save boxes from deliveries throughout the year. Also, check with grocery stores and bookshops to see whether they have sturdy, gently-used boxes you can reuse. Some movers can also provide used containers.

3. Use Alternative Packing Containers

Chances are, you have many packing containers throughout your home. Pack items in suitcases and totes.

Also, pack smartly. For example, you can put kitchen utensils and silver inside pots and socks inside shoes. The fewer containers you need, the less you’ll impact the environment.

4. Use Eco-Friendly Packing Materials

Before you buy packing materials, consider what you may already have. For example, towels, sheets, blankets, and clothes make suitable packing materials for all but the most fragile items. After that, consider using newspapers which you can easily recycle.

Buy bubble wrap only for fragile items that require it. When buying bubble wrap, look for an eco-friendly version.

6. Don’t Pack Up the Whole Kitchen Right Away

When you pack up the kitchen, leave a few plates and silverware for last-minute meals. That way, you can avoid using paper or plastic. Pack the last-minute kitchen items in a separate essentials box and take them in your car. You can also use them for the first few days in your new house.

7. Recycle Boxes After the Move

Offer your gently-used boxes to community members who are moving. Place a notice on NetxDoor or Marketplace.

Otherwise, corrugated cardboard moving boxes are recyclable. To recycle your boxes after the move, first, break them down. Then, store them in a dry place until recycling day. Wet boxes, or boxes with wet spots, cannot be recycled. If a box still has some moisture, cut the damp piece off so you can recycle the rest of the box. Then check with your waste management company on the best way to put your boxes out for recycling.

You can also recycle boxes in other ways. For example, you can donate boxes to a compost center, cut them up to make drawer dividers, or use one or two to make a cat playhouse.

Moving Made Easier

We can help with your upcoming relocation. Contact us today for a free quote.

5 Tips When Moving in a Hurry

Ideally, when preparing for a relocation, you have months to plan and pack for it. But, factors like a new job, quick property sale, or other random life circumstances can cause you to move in a hurry — without much warning.

If you find yourself on a tight schedule and need to pack for a household move quickly, you might need some time-saving packing and moving hacks to help.

1. Make a list and timeline.

A task list and timeline are essential when planning a move on short notice. With a brief timeframe, it’s necessary to stay on track. Include as much as you can, then prioritize the list. Check items off as you complete them. Tasks to include: 

  • Get moving supplies
  • Set up utilities
  • Pack your home
  • Complete change of address forms
  • Organize important documents, etc.

2. Schedule your professional movers quickly.

Contact professional movers to schedule assistance as soon as you know you have to move. Some movers stay busy, but you might be able to secure their help. The sooner you can book a spot, the better.

3. Forego the sorting and pack things where they are.

When you have time before a relocation, you would carefully sort everything before packing. This would include moving displaced items back to their designated rooms before packing. It might also involve eliminating items you no longer need or use. But since time is of the essence, you need to pack things as they are. 

It would be best if you labeled your boxes, so you know which rooms the boxes should go to in your new home. Then, you can leave the sorting and discarding for when you arrive in your new home.

4. Pack your clothes as they are.

Clothing is not necessarily challenging to pack. However, the process can take longer if you decide to box it up individually. Here are some efficient ways to handle your clothing.

  • Leave hanging clothes on their hangers and put them in a specialty wardrobe box, large box, or large garbage bag.
  • Keep your clothing in your dresser drawers.
  • Leave your stored clothes in storage containers and move them as they are.

5. Lock-in help from family and friends.

A short-notice relocation means you’ll need all the help you can get. Schedule family and friends to help out. Assign each family member specific tasks. For example, if your kids are old enough, challenge them to pack their own rooms. 

Even a few family and friends for a few hours can make a big difference in the packing process.

Get Help from the Pros

Having a professional residential moving company help with a short-notice move means you have the help you need to get it don’t smoothly and efficiently. Contact us for a free quote.

How to Help Your Kids Make Friends in a New Town After a Move

Moving to a new city can be exciting – new places to explore and sights to see. But, if you’re moving with children, they’re focused on missing friends, school, and familiarity. You can help ease this transition so your little one is excited. Here are the top ways to help your kids make friends in a new town.

1. Find Parks With Playgrounds

It should be easy to find parks with playgrounds depending on where you’re moving. If a quick Google search doesn’t yield results, try looking at the local Parks and Recreation Department. They should have a list of locations and the amenities they provide.

Playgrounds are an excellent place to meet other kids and parents. Try to go to ones close to home since there’ll be a higher chance of anyone at the park being local. Then, you can wait for your child to make a new friend and introduce yourself to their parent.

2. Go to Family-Friendly Events

Many cities and towns host events throughout the year for families and children. Often, many of these events are free, so you don’t have to spend too much money attending. This tip is helpful because it allows your kids to meet other children their age and helps you discover your new home and what to do nearby.

Usually, you can find a calendar of events on a local city page. Still, there are also lots of websites that curate this information to precisely zero in on family-friendly activities.

3. Join Local Children’s Groups

Some examples of youth groups include the YMCA, music and arts clubs, and agriculture clubs. Joining these kinds of groups is an excellent way for your little one to make friends because they often meet regularly, so you have a chance to meet parents and introduce yourself. Also, new members may come in and out regularly, so your child’s friend group can expand quickly.

4. Sign Up for Sports

These days, sports don’t have to be limited to basketball, football, and the like. Instead, you can often find competitions around anything your child likes. Some unconventional examples include chess, video games, ballet, cheerleading, taekwondo, and more. Team-based sports are good because they help facilitate bonds between the players. However, anything that allows your child to meet other kids their age is a golden opportunity for them to make friends.

5. Attend Classes Together

If there’s a local community center, you can research classes suitable for children and their parents. Or, even if you’re not participating, you can stay and watch your little one engage with other kids. Examples can include art classes, crafting, programming, and more. Again, find something your child is interested in so you know they’ll look forward to going regularly.

Get Moving Help Today!

If you’re worried about how your child handles the stress of moving, you already have a lot on your plate. So, let us take care of the logistics of packing and transporting your items to your new home. Contact us today to find out more!

5 Environmentally-Friendly Moving Tips

It’s become clear in recent decades that our society needs to become more environmentally conscious. As a result, people worldwide are actively looking for ways to be more Earth-friendly in their daily activities.

The moving process is no exception—there are many ways people can reduce their carbon footprints when relocating.

Follow these five environmentally-friendly moving tips.

1. Actively Declutter

When people think of decluttering, they think of creating large amounts of trash. However, one of the greenest things you can do is declutter your home. Think of it this way:

  • Gently used or good condition items can be donated, given away, or sold.
  • Certain items can be upcycled or recycled.
  • Fewer belongings to move results in using less packing materials.
  • Lighter loads mean using less fuel due to lighter weight and fewer trips.

Aside from these Earth-friendly benefits, you can also start fresh in your new home and envision a new space—think of how fun it’ll be!

2. Repurpose Cardboard Boxes

If you’re an online shopper like most people, start saving cardboard packaging once you know you’ll be making a move. These boxes make great moving containers, especially since you’ll have a variety of sizes. Even if you don’t do a lot of internet shopping, ask family and friends. Or stop by a local grocery, liquor, or store with standard deliveries. Chances are they’d love for you to take boxes off their hands. 

Then, when you complete your move, pass the gently used cartons to friends, family, or neighbors. Or find innovative ways to reuse them.

3. Reuse Containers

Cardboard boxes make great moving containers, but you can also use other types of packaging. Other suitable packing containers found in the household include suitcases, backpacks, duffel bags, reusable grocery bags, plastic bins, drawers, and laundry baskets, to name a few. This approach is environmentally friendly and a cost-saver because you’re paying to move these items anyway (or making fewer trips if making a DIY move).

4. Use Household Goods as Packing Materials

You must pack many of your possessions carefully, so they don’t break during transport.  Instead of buying a large supply of bubble wrap, use towels, blankets, kitchen dish towels, clothing, or any other household item that provides a sound protective barrier. Even mismatched socks make excellent packing materials for glasses or other fragile items. Aside from reducing the need for bubble wrap, you’re also lightening your load since you’re moving these items to your new home.

5. Pack the Kitchen Last

Plan to pack up your kitchen last. Packing items such as plates, utensils, glasses, and other tableware too early means you’ll probably end up using much more disposable kitchenware than you usually would. Save packing these and other highly-used items for last so you can continue to use them until you move. Additionally, try to eat down your pantry and freezer areas (the latter if you’re moving locally) to reduce takeout containers and avoid throwing out more food than you need. Again, less bulk to move as well.

Ready to Plan Your Upcoming Move?

Planning a move can feel complex with all the different tasks at hand. We want to help.

Are you looking for a free moving quote? Contact us today!

6 Tips to Save Money When Moving

Moving can sometimes be expensive. The average cost of moving ranges from $800 to $2,500, and that’s for moves of 100 miles or less. On average, long-distance moves cost even more, from $2,200 to $5,700.

Here are six ways to save during a move.

1. Create a Budget

Start the moving process by creating a budget. Having projected and actual costs in writing will help you stick to a plan and cut back on unexpected expenses.

Setting up a moving budget can be as simple as creating a spreadsheet on a computer or using pen and paper. Then, add a 5 percent contingency into your projected costs to avoid surprises.

2. Sell Items

Long before your move, go through your belongings. Set aside items you no longer need or use but are still nice enough to sell.

Hold a yard sale, head to a consignment shop, or sell items online. This will help you raise a little extra money for your move.

3. Only Move What You Need

While going through your items, get rid of things you no longer want. Whether you sell, donate or recycle, there’s no need to pay to move unwanted items.

This will help reduce the number of belongings you need to pack and load, plus fewer items taking up space and weight on a truck, which will reduce costs.

4. Move During the Off-Season

If you can choose when you move, schedule it for the off-season. Most people move in summer when kids are out of school, and the housing market is at its peak.

This means moving companies are extra busy and tend to charge more. Moving in winter, when demand for moving services isn’t as high, can result in lower rates.

5. Seek Free Packing Material

The costs of packing materials — such as cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, foam sheets, and crates — can add up fast. Save money by collecting used materials for free.

Several months before the move, ask local businesses if they’ll give you their used boxes and supplies. When you get packages in the mail, keep the packing materials. And save up your newspapers and old towels; they’re perfect for packing around fragile items.

6. Compare Moving Estimates

Before deciding on a mover, gather and compare multiple estimates. Of course, the lowest estimate isn’t always the best choice (too-low prices may be a red flag).

But comparing prices can help you hire a reputable, reliable service and save money. Just be sure to start this vetting process well ahead of the move to get the best rates.

Moving the Easy Way

Take the stress and pressure off — let us help you with your move. We have the experience to customize your move. Whether you need a little help or a full-service move, we can help with your needs. Contact us today for a free quote.