Tips on Downsizing and Decluttering for Your Move

Downsizing and decluttering are an integral part of the moving process. In addition, if you’re selling your home, decluttering will make the home more appealing to potential buyers.

However, downsizing and decluttering can help your move go more smoothly, even if you’re not selling a home. The more you can dispose of, the less you’ll have to pack and unpack. As a result, downsizing and decluttering also can reduce the cost of your move.

Here are some tips on downsizing and decluttering.

Start Early

A good rule of thumb is to start at least three months before your move, but the earlier, the better. If you can start early, you’ll leave yourself time to sort through your home without feeling overwhelmed.

Determine a Method

Several methods exist for downsizing your home. In the KonMari way, you take one category at a time and give away any items that no longer spark joy. In the one-a-day method, you let go of one thing each day or the number of items that match that day of the month. So, for example, if today were the 15th, you’d discard 15 items.

Another method is the four-box method, which restricts what you can do by only giving you four options. You either keep the item, donate it, toss it, or sell it. You avoid putting things in storage.

Have a Goal

If you already have found a new place to live, you’ll determine your downsizing goal based on the size of your new home. First, measure the rooms to know whether or not your large pieces of furniture will fit. Also, measure the closet, pantry, shelf, and storage spaces within the home.

Consider Your Lifestyle

When determining whether an item will fit in your new home, measurements aren’t the only criteria. A home indicates a lifestyle, and your lifestyle may change with the move.

For example, suppose you move from a home in the suburbs to a condo in the city. You won’t need any lawn care equipment. You also may not need exercise equipment if your condo building has a gym.

As another example, suppose you are moving to your retirement home. You won’t need most of your professional clothes, briefcases, and other items you used on the job.

Go Digital

Sort through all your paper files. You may be able to discard many of them, and you can also convert them to digital. Home movies, music, and photographs also can be preserved digitally.

Start from the Bottom 

When cleaning out closets, start with the items on the floor first, then work your way to the items on hangers. This method gives you space to work. It also boosts your confidence because the job will appear closer to being finished.

Divvy Up Sentimental Items

If sentimental items don’t fit into your new home, consider giving them to relatives or friends who also have a connection to the item. In addition, you can retain the memory by taking a digital photo of the item and writing a description of its significance.

Down to the Basics for Your Move

If you are moving soon, contact us. We can provide you with a free quote and excellent service to get you to your new home stress-free.

Packing Attic or Basement Storage: How to Minimize Along the Way

For many people, miscellaneous items that end up in the attic or basement are rarely used. So when preparing for a move, you can quickly realize just how much stuff you have collected in these spaces. Unfortunately, some of these extra belongings can just add to the load when you may not even use the stuff often enough to keep. So here are a few good tips for minimizing the number of things you have to pack in your attic or basement before moving.

1. Pull everything out of the space first.

Some basements and attics can be cramped, which means they may not be the best place to assess all you have stored in the area. Therefore, an excellent tip to remember as you pack before moving is to get everything moved to a site where you can better assess the collection. This also offers a twofold advantage of physically handling everything, which means looking at each item and deciding whether it is worth keeping. 

2. Organize everything into storage containers.

Pick up some suitable storage containers with lids. Opt for stackable versions. These containers can be packed, transported, and then restored with ease in the new house. A few good features to look for include: 

  • Sturdy handles and not handles built into the lids 
  • Secure-fit lids 
  • Proper fill weight for what you intend to store 
  • Clear bins for easy visibility if that’s important 

Once you have your storage bins, label them or do what you need to designate the container for a specific purpose. 

3. Look at what does not belong.

Once you have filled the containers with items from your basement or attic, look at the things you still have that don’t necessarily have a place to go. Attics and basements can become catch-alls for many items that may be more logical in other areas in the house. For example, if you find various hand tools, it’s better to pack those with items from the garage. 

4. Pull out what you haven’t used in over a year.

After organizing your collection and ensuring everything is in its place, you might have some other items you don’t necessarily need to take with you. Minimalist tips can help you if you are struggling to let go of things. Consider: 

  • Is this an item you actually use
  • Does the item have personal or tangible value
  • Is the item worth the space it consumes

These questions can be helpful so you can sift out what will never be used or what would be best donated, which can truly help you lighten the load during your move. 

Get Packing With the Help of Moving Pros 

From the basement to the attic and every space in between, packing up a home can be a lot of work. To make sure your big transition is not so stressful, be sure to enlist the help of a moving company. Reach out to us so we can offer a free moving quote today. 

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.