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.