Best Ways to Pack Books for Moving

Each year, over 40 million Americans pack up and move into a new home.

Though many Americans are doing their reading on an electronic device these days, many people still prefer the real pages of a book. As a result, you might have accumulated a lot of books over the years. Now it’s time to pack them up for your upcoming move

It’s essential to strategically organize and pack your books to make the move easier. 

Here are several tips on how to pack your boxes of favorite books. 

Packing Tips for Your Books

Packing your books shouldn’t cause you stress. Here are some book-packing tips for an easier move. 

1. Cull Through Your Library

Moving is the perfect time to downsize the number of books on your shelves. 

Start the book-packing process a month or two before your move. Look through your book collection and see if there are some books you can part with. Make a few passes at it to make sure you get everything.

Drop those books off at Goodwill or see if your local library accepts book donations.

2. Gather Small, Sturdy Boxes 

Select small but sturdy boxes for packing your heavy books. Save the larger boxes for moving blankets, pillows, and lighter weight stuff. 

Invest in book boxes with handles to make them easier to lift. 

3. Pack Heaviest Books on the Bottom

There are a few different ways to pack each book box to make moving easier. Start by lining the bottom of the box with packing paper. Place the heaviest books on the bottom

Grouping the books by size makes them easier to place in the box while you pack.

Another way to pack up your books is to line the inside perimeter of the box with the larger hard covered books. Then, put the smaller, softer books in the middle. This helps them stay secure.  

4. Watch the Weight

Keep in mind that the weight of books adds up fast when packing. Pack the bigger books at the bottom of the box with the spines alternating up and down.

You can also keep your book boxes lighter by putting fewer books in and packing lighter items like stuffed animals, hand towels, or clothes in between and on top to help keep the books secure. Now the boxes are lighter, and the books won’t shift as much.

5. Use Packing Tape for Reinforcement

Be sure to use plenty of heavy-duty packing tape. Place a few reinforcement pieces of tape on the bottom to be sure the box can handle the load. 

6. Be Creative About Packing Books

When you are packing stacks of books, you don’t have to pack them in a box. Try packing them in a small, sturdy suitcase on wheels.

Sturdy, reusable grocery bags with handles may be another option. These bags tend to be smaller than boxes, so the weight of the books is more manageable. 

Get Packing

Now that you know the best way to pack books for moving, it’s time to call in the professionals to help you with your move. Click here to head over to our contact page.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have about boxing up your valued possessions in preparation for your big move. We’ll help you relocate.

5 Downsizing Tips for Moving to a Smaller House

Home sizes, and prices, have skyrocketed over the years, leaving many retirees with more ‘house’ than they need.

Downsizing is one of the best ways to reach financial goals later in life. Here are five downsizing tips to help you make the transition into a smaller home. 

1. Enlist Family Support

When downsizing a large home, it’s important to start the decluttering process early. Ask family members for help sorting old items and furniture you no longer want.

Family heirlooms won’t need to be donated if a close relative will take them instead. Giving away belongings to your family will help you through the emotional part of the downsizing process.

Knowing your possessions will go to people you love can help you find peace in letting go. 

2. Hire an Agent

Once you’ve decluttered your space, set up a meeting with a real estate agent in your area. One of the best ways to find a reliable agent is by asking friends and family for referrals. 

Friends or neighbors who recently downsized will have leads on attentive real estate agents who understand your specific needs. Another way to find a real estate agent is to connect with a relocation specialist.

These professionals can refer you to realtors in your area and potentially help you navigate the relocation process if you’re moving to a new state.

If possible, choose a realtor with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SERS) certification to help you sell your home. These realtors are experienced in working with older clients and are more likely to be sensitive to your need to downsize. 

3. Schedule Charity Pickups

Once you’ve given away important items to your family, you can work with your realtor to decide which furniture will work best for staging. Any items that don’t help market your home can be taken to storage or donated to charity.

Many charities offer a pickup service for furniture. Call to confirm available dates well in advance of needing pickup.

Charity organizations’ resources are usually limited, which can mean waiting weeks before they have the availability to pickup your items. 

4. Stage Your Home

Staging your home is an essential part of the sales process. Experienced realtors can share insight into making your home look attractive to potential buyers.

This process usually won’t require major changes to the design of your home. Instead, staging removes anything that could distract a buyer from seeing the best features of your home. 

Less is more with home staging because it allows the home’s architecture to speak for itself. Minor repairs, like a fresh coat of paint or trimming the hedges, might also be needed to make your home look more attractive. 

5. Schedule Your Move

The final step in the downsizing process is finding quality movers. Schedule your movers to transport your remaining furniture and items to your new home.

Pack items separately in an essentials box that you will need right away after the move. These are items like toiletries and medication that shouldn’t be inaccessible in case the movers arrive later than you do. 

The Best Downsizing Tips

Downsizing tips help you navigate the emotional process of leaving behind your home and many of your belongings. After years of use, it’s not uncommon to feel bittersweet after giving away your favorite furniture or dishes.

But the money you’ll save with lower housing costs means having access to new experiences that will soon surpass the old ones. For more information on preparing for your move, visit our blog for updates.

The 4 Seasons: What Is The Best Time Of Year To Move

When you’re planning a move, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of it all — how on earth you’re going to box up all your possessions, keep the kids, your pets, and yourself from freaking out and keep track of all your bills. 

But if you have the wherewithal to plan ahead, you can save a lot of money on even the smallest factors of your move. 

Like, say, selecting the best time of year to move. Not sure when that is? Keep reading to find out more. 

The Best Time of Year to Move

So, what is the best time of year to move? That depends on what your priorities are. 

The cost of moving does vary throughout the year, based on busyness and availability. The more people that want to move, the fewer availability movers will have, and the more expensive it is to book a moving service. 

If you have the luxury of deciding when to move, one of the first things to consider is what time of year to move. We’ve broken it down by season. 

Fall

For most residential movers, fall is the off-season. That’s because most moves occur between April and September. 

This is excellent news if you plan on moving between September and December. 

Since movers aren’t as busy, you can find excellent services at a reduced rate, making moving in the fall far more cost-effective. 

Then, there’s the weather. Autumn falls somewhere between frigid winter and scorching summer if you live in an area with four distinct seasons.  It’s relatively temperate, and there’s a higher probability the weather will cooperate.

You might get an unusually cool day, but you won’t have to worry about movers canceling due to extreme cold or heat for the safety of their staff. 

Winter

Winter is the least busy moving season. If you live in an area with four distinct seasons, you probably understand why — winter weather conditions. Snow, ice, hail, wind chill, even freezing rain can make a move challenging. 

On the one hand, it might be more cost-effective since that timeframe is less desirable.

On the other hand, you should be prepared to be flexible. You have to keep a sharp eye on the weather and be ready to change your moving date if movers have to reschedule because of weather conditions.

You should also prepare both houses for movers. Shovel and salt the driveways and sidewalks in advance so they can move your stuff safely. Make sure the heat and lights are on and ready to go also. 

Spring

Springtime is usually temperate. Often it’s the ideal time of year to move. 

Since the season is just warming up, many people haven’t started to think about moving, which means moving rates are still low. The trick is to move towards the start of spring rather than the end. 

Spring is a more popular time of year to move than fall and winter, so rates won’t be quite as low as those you would see in the cooler months. 

Summer

As noted, most people move between April and September. Families with children have school from September until about May or June. It’s generally more convenient for families with school-aged kids to move during the summer because they don’t have to worry about pulling the kids out of school to make the move.

Also, the weather is warm enough that you won’t have to worry about movers canceling for blizzard conditions. You may have to cancel for extreme heat, but most of the time, the weather isn’t a significant problem. 

However, since most people want to move in the summer, movers are busier than any other time of year. This means their rates will be higher than in any other year of year and you’ll have to compete for a moving date.    

Are You Preparing to Move?

Are you preparing to move? If you have leeway to plan ahead, you can save some money by finding the best time of year to move. 

If you’re moving, we can help! We offer comprehensive household moving services that make your whole experience smooth and stress-free. 

Ready to find out more? Click here to request a quote. 

How to Pack for a Move: Organization Tips Everyone Should Know

If you’re dreading an upcoming move to a new home, you’re not alone. Research shows that moving is one of the most stressful life events you’ll have.

One reason why moving is so overwhelming is that the process can quickly become chaotic. This is why organizing from the start is essential.

Here’s a rundown of four tips on how to pack for a move that will help you stay organized.

1. Develop a Binder for Moving

One of the smartest things you can do before hiring a local mover is to create and maintain a master binder for your moving process.

This type of binder can easily help you to remain organized by tracking all of your moving-related receipts and contracts. Also, you can use it to consolidate your moving tasks in one place.

You can store documents such as floor plans, contractor bids, financial documents, and paperwork from your moving company in your master binder. 

2. Purge the Unused Stuff

Before you start packing up your home, decide what you can leave behind.

Go through your home and look carefully at all the items in each room. If you don’t love an item, need it, or use it, then it doesn’t deserve a spot in your new home. This approach forces you to make some difficult decisions about your belongings.

Start with some of the big-ticket items in your home that will be difficult and expensive to move. For instance, if you know that some furniture won’t fit in your new house, or that you will want newer things or a maybe different style, then this is the ideal time to donate those pieces and not pay to have them moved. 

3. Color Code Your Moving Boxes

As you label your moving boxes, complete with box contents and room destinations, consider a color-coding system for your labels.

For instance, use blue labels for the kitchen boxes, green for bedroom number one, red for bedroom number two, and so on. Make sure you have signs to hang outside of each room at the new house to indicate what color belongs in that room.

Doing this will help you to more easily track and pinpoint your items as they make their way to your new house.

4. Print a Custom Moving Checklist

Consider creating a thorough moving checklist to guide you during your upcoming move. This master to-do list will make it easier for you to manage your move during each stage.

For instance, you can organize your various moving tasks by day or week to make the move easier.

5. Create a List of Box Contents

Another way to stay organized during your move is to create a list outlining the contents of each box. By doing this, you make it easier to track your belongings and locate them in your new home.

For instance, number each box and then write down what items are in each numbered box. 

Mastering How to Pack for a Move

Moving can be challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally. However, with our help, you can rest assured that your upcoming move will be affordable, flexible, and safe. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can make your next relocation your best moving experience yet.

Your Furry Family Members Are Moving Too: Keeping Them Content

When you’re getting ready for your residential move, your to-do list can seem endless. Canceling utilities, working with a realtor, and setting up internet service in your new home can all take a toll. It can be hard to work through all that needs to get done before moving day. It’s normal to get caught up in finalizing plans and getting settled in your new home. 

It’s also important to remember that your pets are going through a huge adjustment, just like the human members of your family. Check out these five ways to help make the transition to a new home easier on your pet.

Give It Time

Remember, your pet is not going to become comfortable with their new home overnight. It will take some time for your furry friend to get used to their new surroundings. Some anxiety and misbehavior are to be expected. With time, they’ll get back to their regular personality.

Provide Extra Attention

It can be easy to forget about your pet’s needs when you’re trying to get everything into place in your new home, but it’s essential to spend time with them. 

Take your dog out for an extra walk, or spend a few additional minutes brushing your cat to help put them at ease. This can be hard to remember when you’re caught up in moving tasks. 

Setting a reminder on your phone can go a long way to helping you stay consistent with pet care while you’re moving. If you miss a walk or two, it’s ok. Some extra pets and snuggles can give your pet the reassurance they need.

Introduce Slowly

Giving your dog or cat access to your entire new home may seem like the right thing to do, but it can be overwhelming. Exposing your pet to small spaces at a time is a great way to help them feel comfortable and secure. 

Don’t be worried if your pet wants to be left alone. Entering a new home can be scary. It’s normal for your pet to need some time to decompress.

Ask Your Vet About Supplements

There are many calming supplements available for pets. Talk with your vet to see if there’s a natural medicine option to help your pet through the moving process. Your vet can give you information on when and how much of the medicine to give your pet.

Provide Normalcy Whenever Possible

Adjusting to a new home is a huge change for your pet. Providing as much of their old life as possible can help them to feel comfortable. 

This may mean packing a dog bed in your car instead of in the moving truck. The dog bed in the car allows your dog to lie down and feel at ease right away. Making your cat’s toys available immediately in your new home can help them feel relaxed.

Just like humans, your pets will adjust to their new home over time. If you have questions or concerns about their behavior, give your vet a call. They’ll be able to provide the help you need to ensure that your cat or dog is happy and comfortable.

Getting Ready To Move? Your Week By Week Checklist, One Month Out

Your moving date is fast approaching – it’s time to make a to-do list. Keep your list organized week by week as it gets closer to your moving day. 

There are a few reasons why this checklist approach works. You’ll feel accomplished as you check things off, encouraging you to keep going. With everything written down, it’s easier for family members to pitch in and help. And, you’re less likely to become overwhelmed when you see everything broken down in small chunks. 

Let’s dig into a to-do list as you get ready to move, starting a month out from your first day in your new home.

Four Weeks Out

Get your boxes and packing supplies. Use this time to sell or donate items you don’t need. Start with packing the things you don’t frequently use like china and seasonal items.

Contact the utility companies at both your old and new locations. You’ll need to cancel your current utilities and set up with new companies at your new address. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this. The last thing you want is to find yourself in your new home without water or electricity.

Make sure you back up your computer and other electronic devices. Accidents can happen while moving, and you don’t want a broken laptop to cause you to lose all of your files during a move.

Three Weeks Out

Start clearing out your freezer. Thaw and use meats and other items that you don’t want to move to your new home.

Set up mail forwarding with the post office. You’ll be able to have your mail forwarded to your new address for free.

Get your vehicle tuned-up. Visit the mechanic for an oil change, a brake check, and air pressure check for your tires. Do anything else that your car needs before traveling to your new home.

Two Weeks Out

Clear out any local storage – this includes dry cleaning and safe deposit boxes at the bank.

Confirm your time off with your employer. Let them know if you think you may need to leave your job sooner than you anticipated.

Take some time to shampoo your rugs. This way, they’ll arrive at your new home clean and ready to be used.

One Week Out

Pack your overnight bag with at least a week’s worth of supplies. Include a few changes of clothes, medicines, and other toiletries.

Get refills on any prescription medications for you, your family members, and your pets.

Reach out to your moving company to confirm those arrangements. Make sure you know the date and time they’re coming.

Moving Day

Make sure you have space cleared on the street for the moving truck to park. And make sure all walkways are cleared of obstructions — including as well as snow or ice.

Ask a friend or family member to do a walk-through of your home. They may spot something you forgot to pack or might have an idea you haven’t thought about. A fresh set of eyes is helpful before you leave your old home.

Making the Move

Keeping things organized in chronological order of when they need to be done will help you make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Remember, even when it seems tough, everything will eventually get done. 

Do you need help with your move? Contact us for a free quote today.

Moving Internationally? Here’s How To Handle Your Cell Phone Plan

If you’re moving out of the country, it’s tough to figure out what to do with your cell phone plan. Let’s take a look at how to stay connected to the people you love as you make an international move.

  • Talk to your current service provider. While they likely don’t serve every country in the world, most large cell phone service providers do offer some international coverage. They’ll be able to advise you on the plan that makes the most sense for you in your new home. This may require you to get a new phone number and cancel your current service agreement. If you’re set on keeping your current phone number, don’t worry – you may have options.
  • Check out Google Voice. When you set up an account with Google Voice, your friends and family members in the United States will be able to call your old number and have their calls and data messages forwarded to your device, no matter where you are in the world. Many who are unsure of how long they’ll be away from the U.S. choose to stick with their U.S. number and service plan and use Google Voice while abroad. At $20 a month, this option is reasonably low-cost and convenient.
  • Another option for people who are moving abroad is to purchase a new SIM card for your phone. This allows your phone to function in your new home. Beware, however – while your phone is the same, your phone number will change.
  • Go with a temporary fix while you figure out what makes the most sense for you and your family permanently. You don’t have to have your cell phone figured out before you get to your new home. Using Google Voice, Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, and other data-based options are great ways to communicate while you get settled in your new home.
  • After you’re settled, head to a cell phone plan provider. If you’ve decided that you don’t want to stick with your United States-based provider, explore options in your new country. Talk to providers about the plans available. The cost of a cell phone plan may differ significantly from what you paid in the U.S. It all depends on what country is now your home.
  • Don’t forget to alert friends and family to changes. A simple way to let friends and family know if your number has changed, or if you’d like them to contact you in a new way, is to change your outgoing voicemail message. Something like, “Hello! You’ve reached Amanda. I’m currently living in London, and you can contact me at <mobile number> or via Facebook Messenger.” This way, your friends and family won’t think you’re dodging their calls as you get settled in your new home.

Moving abroad can be challenging, but the benefits usually outweigh the negatives. While staying in contact with friends and family back home is undoubtedly a priority, don’t forget to put down your phone every once in a while and enjoy your new home.

Getting Ready To Move? A Few Things To Add To Your To-Do List

When you’re uprooting your life and moving to a new home, getting your belongings in order can feel overwhelming. From cleaning to packing to changing jobs, it can be hard to keep moving down your to-do list. When it’s nearly moving day, you must consider more than just getting your things packed and organized. 

Let’s take a look at some of the essential pre-move work that many people forget to take care of before handing over the keys to the new owners.

Pack Your Essentials Separately

Anyone who has moved has been there: you finally arrive at your new home, but can’t find any socks, shoes, hairdryer, or other essentials. It’s frustrating having to sort through an endless sea of boxes to find the daily items you need. 

Stop this problem before it happens by packing an essentials box to keep with you through the duration of your move. Packing a week’s worth of clothes and personal care items can make the transition to your home easier while alleviating some of the stress of getting all your belongings unpacked.

Alert Card Companies

Are you moving more than a few minutes away from your old home? It’s vital to call your debit and credit card companies to alert them about your move. For many cards, your account will be flagged and frozen for fraud if purchases are made out of your typical spending area. Call your banking companies to let them know you’re moving and update your address.

Set Aside Contingency Money

You likely already have some moving expenses figured out, but it’s important to set aside some extra money for incidentals. No matter how well you prepare for your move, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. 

Some people discover unexpected house repairs or find themselves stuck on the way to their new home because of car issues or canceled flights. Set aside a cash stash for hotels, dinners out, car repairs, and other issues that you may not have considered.

Plan Your Stops Along the Way

Are you driving to your new residence? If it’s a significant distance away from your old home, bust out the map. Find find some fun things to do along the way. 

This can be especially exciting if you have young kids and essential if you have a dog that needs walking. 

Allowing your kids to choose road stops along the way to your new home can take the sting out of leaving your old home behind.

Research the New Community

Become enmeshed in your new community before you even arrive. Search for Facebook groups specific to new areas, and get to know people virtually in your new neighborhood. When you arrive, you’ll be able to connect names with faces. You’ll feel like you’re already a part of your new community.

On the Move

Moving is tough, but these tips can make the transition into your new neighborhood a little bit easier. No matter how you prepare to move into your new home, remember that there’s always an adjustment period as you get settled in. It’s normal to take some time to get used to your new house and neighborhood.

How You Can Help Your Movers Get The Job Done Right

When you hire movers to help out with your residential move, you want to do all that you can to make their job easier. It can be hard to know how you can help, and you may be scared of getting in the way. 

Check out these tips to help make the moving process as easy as possible for the people you hire to help. 

Understand Expectations

Before moving day, talk to the moving company about what they expect you to have done before the movers arrive. This will depend on what type of moving service you’ve purchased. If you’re going through a military or full-service move, you may not be expected to do anything. 

The moving company may pack and load all of your belongings. For other types of moves, you may be expected to have all of your belongings (except large furniture) packaged away. Talk with the company about how your boxes are to be labeled (including specific instructions for fragile items). The more you can prepare for the move, the easier it will be for everyone.

Talk About Gratuity

While you may want to tip movers for a job well done, some companies don’t allow this. Talk to the company in advance about whether you’re allowed to tip your movers, and feel free to do so for a job well done.

Restrooms

While you’re working on getting your things packed, it’s easy to pack up every single thing in the house, including bathrooms. Be sure to leave at least one restroom stocked with toilet paper, soap, trash can, and hand towels for your family and your movers. When the movers arrive, show them where the bathroom is and let them know they’re free to use it. 

Food and Drinks

While your movers will likely come prepared with their own food and drinks, it’s always a nice gesture to provide water and lunch. Show your movers where they can find cold beverages. If your move is happening in the morning, offering coffee and donuts can go a long way, especially if it’s cold out during your move. 

If your family has a favorite restaurant that they’d like to have one more time before your big move, this is the perfect time to order in. Pizza, sandwiches, wings, and other quick food are great, on-the-go options for your movers. If you don’t have a preference, feel free to ask your movers what they’d like. 

Relax!

It can be tempting to micromanage your move, especially when you know you have fragile items in your boxes. Do your research before choosing your moving company so that you know you’ve chosen movers you can trust to be careful with your things. 

While the move is happening, do your best to sit back and relax. There’s no need to awkwardly stare the movers down or continually ask if you can help. 

Playing a game with your kids, running errands, or playing outside with the dog are all totally acceptable while the movers are getting your life loaded onto the truck — as long as you stay available to the movers in case they have questions.

Moving Soon?

If you are making plans for your move, contact us for a free quote. We will make sure you get to your new home with ease.

Breaking It To The Kids: How To Tell Them You’re Moving

When you decide to make your residential move, you have tons of feelings – excitement, a sense of relief, and perhaps even some apprehension about telling your kids. Let’s take a look at how to talk to your young ones about a big move. 

Toddlers and Preschoolers

Keep explanations of the move simple, and don’t overcomplicate it. Using a social story, or using trucks and cars to explain the move visually, may be helpful. Answer questions and be prepared for a transitional period as your child adjusts to their new home. 

Elementary Age

At this age, kids may be excited about moving but will still be sad about leaving their friends. Provide plenty of time for them to adjust, and be sure to introduce them to their new teacher before their first day at a new school. While some experts believe that it’s ideal to move over the summer, others suggest moving during the school year so that your child can become immersed in school activities (and making friends) right away. 

Teens

Teens are the toughest group to get on board with a family move, but it can be done. Be sure to listen to your teen’s concerns about the move, and be careful that you don’t dismiss their issues with the move as complaining or being difficult. While you can see the bigger picture and understand that life will go on after the move, your teen is likely deeply invested in their friend group and perhaps a romantic relationship (even if it appears to be nothing more than a fleeting crush). 

Expect that your teen will be angry, and give them space to cry, spend time alone, or process their emotions with their friends. If it’s feasible, talk with your teen about whether they’d like to return to their old school for homecoming or prom. Having these events cemented in the future can make the transition to a new home easier. 

Adult Children

While it may be strange to consider adult children who have already moved out of the house, people of any age can be affected by the sale of their childhood home. While you don’t need to consult your adult children before you decide to move, give them plenty of time to come back and see the house where they grew up one last time before it becomes a space for a new family to create memories. 

After Moving Day

No matter how old your children are, there are a few things that you can do to help make the transition easier after moving day has occurred. 

Set up your child’s room right away, so that they have a safe space to relax as they adjust to their surroundings. Keep schedules as consistent as possible. Talk to your child about whether they’d like to continue their old activities (sports, hobbies), and get them signed up as soon as possible. 

Creating a sense of continuity can be huge for your child’s well-being. While moving can be stressful for everyone, rest assured that your child will adjust in due time.