Monday, December 28, 2009

How to Move Your Plants

Moving your house plants is a tricky task especially if you are moving long distance. The best solution is to move them on your own in your car: you can fix the pots inside so that they remain stable, regulate the temperature, and water the plants during the trip. None of this will be available on a moving van: they are not ventilated, the pots will be squeezed among big pieces of furniture which can easily shift and destroy them, no plant watering provided. Another issue is that long distance movers will not lock any perishables inside the truck – which means they may simply refuse to load your plants on their moving vehicle.

So to prepare your plants you should water them a day prior to the move. Wrap each pot with paper and bubble wrap to prevent its breakage. Adjust the bubble wrap so that it covers the soil as well –just leaving a small amount of space open around the plant. You may choose to leave the plant unwrapped, or cover it with one layer of paper, securing it with tape. The former is optimal since it will allow for the air access to the leaves. It’s important to place the pots firmly inside a vehicle, to minimize the rough movements. If the trip will take several days, come up with some sort of reminder to water the plants – you may simply forget because of all the stress associated with moving. If a plant is too big to be transported – consider trimming the branches or moving a cutting to grow it anew once you reach you destination.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Moving in Any Weather?

Well, not exactly. Movers indeed work when most people would prefer to stay inside – in 100 degrees heat with equally intolerable humidity or when it’s pouring non-stop. But there are occasions when you might expect your move to get delayed or canceled due to the weather conditions. A severe snow storm is a good example. First of all some roads might get closed and movers simply won’t be able to get to your destination. Or your driveway will be covered with 20 inches of snow, which will make it impossible for the truck to park closer to the entrance. Don’t forget that it might be too slippery for the movers to carry heavy items: if they slip and fall, they can be seriously injured. Which is why a dispatch wouldn’t risk to send his men to do the risky work that day.

The good news is that nasty weather never last too long. The sun will come out eventually creating favorable conditions for a smooth umbrella-free move.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Unpacking Tips

So there you are – in your new home. Movers are gone, now you are all by yourself … against your stuff. It took you days to pack, now you are afraid to even imagine how long it is going to take you to unpack. You have to find a new place for every single item that you have, moreover – you have to remember where that place is. But don’t panic: start with necessities, work it up to less frequently-used items – and with a systematic approach you will complete unpacking to turn your new home into a neat and cozy place.

It is a good idea to start off with the kitchen. Put whatever food you took with you into the fridge right away (make sure it’s plugged in). Stack your plates and pots in the kitchen cabinets, silverware goes to the draws. Now if you get tired from the overall mess in your house you can always take a break, go to the kitchen, make yourself some tea and sandwiches.

The bathroom is where you should turn your attention to next. Hang a couple of clean towels, unpack toiletries and put them in place. Once the bathroom is operational, shift the unpacking process to the bedroom. Make the beds, unpack your sleepwear as well as some clothes that you will put on first thing in the morning.
So mission is accomplished for the day. The kitchen is usable if you need a snack, you can now take a shower and brush your teeth, change into your pajamas and go to bed. Of course you don’t have to stop right there – if you wish you can keep unpacking all night long. But chances are at that point you will want to call it a day and get a good night rest. All the necessities are out, tomorrow is a new day and unpacking will no longer seem like a daunting task to you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How Some People Manage to Have a Stress-Free Move

This isn’t really a brain surgery – the secret is thorough planning and step by step implementation (no matter how corporate it sounds). Here is what some smart people do to avoid stress associated with moving.

1. They start shopping around for moving estimates at least 2 months prior to the move.

2. They compare the moving quotes, inquire about the extra charges, check the references, read BBB records.

3. They reserve a moving date a month in advance and confirm it a few days prior to the move.

4. They discard the unnecessary stuff rather than paying for transporting it.

5. They start packing early (they never underestimate the amount of stuff that needs to be packed – there are tons of it hidden in closets)

6. They pack as much as they can especially if they know they will be paying for the moving services on the hourly basis.

7. They label and color-code their boxes.

8. They clean out the fridge the day before the move.

9. They make their traveling arrangements (instead of asking to drive in the moving truck with their belongings).

10. They understand that moving is a delicate job and don’t rush the movers to finish faster. They just sit back and let the movers do the job.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moving with Humor

Some people go extreme when trying to save a penny or two on their move. The usual shortcut is to rent a truck, find a couple of muscular friends and move on your own – no moving company involved.

Others will make a hundred trips in their car between the old and the new places, this way transporting all the small stuff, leaving just big furniture to professional movers.

Yet certain people find such a unique moving solution, that it keeps others talking for years to come. Like moving their belongings on the roof of their van - in a huge huge pile visible from far away.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Moving into a Building in New York City

If you are planning to move to a building in New York City, Manhattan in particular, you should keep in mind that extra preparation steps might be required.

Numerous buildings especially co-ops have very strict moving regulations to minimize the inconvenience that a move will cause to other tenants. There are usually limited hours when you can move in or out: thus, some buildings wouldn’t allow any moves after 6 p.m. or on the weekends. In addition to that you might be required to make prior arrangements and reserve your moving time.

Another important detail to consider is that some buildings’ management requires that your moving company provide them with liability insurance certificate set up in their name. The insurance will cover any damages that might incur to the building property as a result of your move: scratched floors, a hole in the wall, broken elevator. The usual coverage requirement is one million dollars, however some luxury buildings will request even more than that! Make sure that your moving company has a liability insurance provider, ask for the certificate to be faxed to the building management in advance to ensure you get the approval to move in. Keep in mind that moving companies charge an extra fee for each certificate they have to issue – sometimes you may require two of them for both the buildings.

It’s no news that to find parking in New York City is a big challenge. Especially if it’s a loaded truck that has to be parked as close to the building entrance as possible. Movers will often have no choice but to double park, so be prepare to pick up the cost of the parking ticket that they may get. Another option is to have someone stand near the truck or adding an extra mover to your moving crew, who can be fixing the items inside the truck while keeping an eye on the vehicle. You can also ask your building doorman if it is possible to reserve a parking space in front of the building entrance.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Moving and Extra Charges

Moving is never a cheap service because it involves hard labor, fuel expenses, packing supplies costs. If you are planning to move soon and shopping around for moving quotes, you should be aware that there are extra charges you might come across if you have any of the following:

- Very heavy items. If you have an upright or grand piano or a pool table – those are extremely heavy items that need to be carried by at least 4 movers to avoid damage as well as human injury. Most moving companies will charge anywhere between $75 to $250 as an additional fee for moving items of excessive weight.

- Bulky items. Some pieces of furniture are not only heavy but are also wide. A sectional couch, a huge antique chest, or a large flat screen TV may not fit into your doorway. In this case you will require hoisting - it is lifting up a large or heavy object on the ropes through a window or a balcony. This usually means an extra charge for a customer.

- Narrow driveway/street. Sometimes movers are unable to park their truck directly in front of the entrance to your house or building because the driveway is too narrow, or the street is so small that the truck cannot enter it. If movers park far away and have to carry your furniture for some extra distance, be prepared to pay an additional fee for that. When moving long distance, be aware that your shipment will arrive on a trailer, which frequently cannot squeeze into a narrow street. Movers will often rent a small truck, load your furniture onto it from the trailer and then charge you additional for the shuttle service.

- Flights of stairs. If you live in a building, it makes a huge difference for movers whether it has an elevator or not. Carrying heavy pieces of furniture up five flights of stairs is an extremely hard labor. Not all the moving companies charge extra for the stairs, but since some do, make sure you inquire about it when receiving a moving quote.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Using Wardrobe Boxes for Moving

So you've packed most of your stuff for the move: your books, CDs, linen and dishes. But then you open your closet and immediately have this helpless feeling of desperation: you need to take your clothes off the hangers just to put them back on the hangers in a matter of hours. What a wasteful process. And you are going to waste even more time because you’ll have to iron many of your outfits after they stayed folded in a box for a few hours.
The solution to the problem is very easy – you need a wardrobe box. It’s a taller than usual box that has a metal bar inside on which you can actually hang your clothes without taking them off the hangers. Moreover – because the space on the bottom of the box usually remains empty, you can use it to put your other clothes – like jeans or t-shirts. There are many advantages to using a wardrobe box for transporting your clothing: not only you save yourself some time, but clothes won’t wrinkle during the move, because they remain on hangers. And if you overestimate and buy more wardrobe boxes than you actually need, you can always use them for light but bulky stuff like pillows or blankets, due to all the extra space they provide.
And here is your moving tip of the day: many moving companies offer two wardrobe boxes for free with each booked move. Some make sure you inquire your sales person about it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Declutter Your Home before the Move

It’s in the human nature to surround ourselves with STUFF: things we once used but no longer need, things we never used, outdated things, broken things – it’s amazing how quickly those unneeded things occupy a huge space of our house. And you definitely don’t want to take all that clutter into your new home: not only you will spend too much time packing, unpacking, storing the stuff you will never use, you might actually pay more for the move since many moving companies charge you by the weight. So getting rid of the clutter is definitely a thing you want to do before your move.

Here are a few helpful hints when you are ready to declutter your house:

1. Don’t try to do it all at once – it can be a daunting task that will exhaust you more than you expect, so you might give up before you finish. Do it systematically, focusing on one room at a time (or one part of the room in really complicated cases). Come up with a plan, write it down and follow you plan to stay on track. Keep a couple of empty boxes handy where you can put the unneeded stuff all at once, instead of building piles of it on the floor.

There will definitely be place for doubts, but it’s important to stay determined and face the truth. Do you WANT this thing? Do you NEED it? When did you use it last time: a month ago? Six Months? A year? If you haven’t used something in a year, chances are you won’t get to use it at all – discard it with no regrets.

3. Try to follow a split-second decision rule: take an object and immediately apply a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ reaction to it. ‘Maybe’ is acceptable, but you should impose second round questioning on your ‘maybe’ group of objects.

4. Decide how you want to dispose of the things you no longer need: garage sale; donation to a charity (they will actually pick them up for you); giveaways to neighbors and friends; or just throwing them out.

5. Think of the most cluttered areas in your house:
- Kitchen cupboards/ medicine chests – I guarantee that expired medicines and foods can be found in every house
- Books – what’s the point to keep books you are positive you’ll never reread
- Kids’ draws and closets: broken toys, endless drawings and other “pieces of art” produced by your kids, clothes they’ve long outgrown – that all can make a very impressive pile, but once it’s gone, its absence will hardly ever be noticed
- Linen closets: do you seriously need that many towels? What’s that on the bottom of the shelf? A sheet from your dorm times?

Decluttering your house has many advantages. It will keep you more organized because all your things will be neatly placed in order. As a result you will find everything you need faster and spend less time cleaning and putting things back to their places. It will give room to new things that you will inevitably end up acquiring because as you remember it’s in our nature. But at least you can rest assured that the new stuff won’t be put on top of the old stuff, making it harder to close the doors of a ready-to-explode closet.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Positive Effect of Moving

How many of us dread the upcoming moving because of all the stress that comes with it. Why not focus on the positive gains associated with changing one’s location instead.

First of all changing your surroundings will allow you to look at your life from a new perspective, to rediscover things that have become mundane and dull. You might wake up in the morning full of excitement because it’s not the same routine that you used to follow automatically. The day may actually be full of surprises: learning that your neighbor is a really nice guy and you can eventually become good friends; discovering a nice park near your new house; learning that your commute to work is now shorter and more convenient. You suddenly remember that you always wanted to jog in the mornings but kept putting it off because your previous neighborhood was too industrial. Or the magnificent view from your new window inspires you to throw a party for the friends you haven’t seen in a long time.

Sometimes changing a location is a form of an escape from unpleasant memories. A painful breakup or even divorce, rude neighbors, betrayal of a close friend, feeling that your life reached stagnation and you lost your purpose. You want to have a fresh start, to close that chapter of your life and start a new one. You want to feel hopeful and in control at the same time: you know that things can get better but you shouldn’t just wait for it to happen, you need to take action. If you were seriously hurt in the past, moving to a new place helps you heal and move on faster.

In many cases moving symbolizes your achievements and is a result of your hard work. People tend to improve their living conditions as they move up in age, they have careers and can afford to buy their dream house, which will be fun to compare to the first rented shoe-box apartment. It’s a feeling of pride and self-confidence that comes from living in a cozy house that you always wanted to have, but could only afford to buy now.

There are so many positive changes that come along with moving to a new place, you just need to remind yourself when feel too stressed out, that if you are open to change, it can bring new experiences and emotions that will make your life fuller and more joyful.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things You Need to Do Before the Move

Moving is considered one of the most stressful experiences in a person's life. No matter how much planning you did in advance, on the day of the move you wind up discovering that you are totally not prepared. You thought the the packing process can be finished within a couple of hours whereas even after two days of non-stop packing there is still loose stuff all around you. So here are a few things you could do to make your life just easier.

Pick your moving date and stick to it.

Your planning will be more efficient if you know the exact date by which everything needs to be done. If you decide that you want to move some time at the end of October, chances are you will move in December, because you won't be ready on time. Moving involves many aspects apart from packing and loading, so make sure you give yourself enough time to do everything with no hustle. If you are moving interstate, you will need at least 4 to 6 months for making the moving preparations.

Prepare yourself to deal with a lot of clutter.

It's in a human's nature to keep bringing stuff in, but neglect taking it out. We've been living among our things for so long, that we actually stop noticing some of them. But once you start packing, you will be surprised by the amount of things you have no intention to take with you into your new dwelling. Discovering the fact a day before your move leaves you with little options - chances are you will just throw the unneeded things out. However if you start going through your belongings in advance, you can actually sell, donate or give away some of the things you don't need, but someone else might find them useful.

Know who you need to inform about your future move.

Letting your mom know that you are moving is not really enough. Make sure you notify other parties as well, even though your mom should probably be the first one to know. Send enough notice to your current landlord - many tenants end up losing their security deposits just because they neglected to give at least one month notice. Arrange for a change of address and mail forward service with your Postal Office. Don't forget your bank, insurance provider and utility services. Well, as always notifying your friends wouldn't hurt either, unless you deliberately plan to keep your new location a secret

According to D. Eisenhower, "plans are worthless. Planning is essential." You will save yourself a lot of headache if you start planning your move early.