Monday, December 6, 2010

Moving During the Holidays

“To new beginnings!” is the toast you say as you watch the Times Square ball countdown on TV. And new beginnings they will be since you just moved to a new house just on time to ring the New Year in. In fact your boxes are still half unpacked and you are eating out of plastic plates after failing to remember where your best china was packed in. It doesn’t sound believable, does it? Who would want to mix the moving chaos into the holiday hassle?

You will be surprised how many people move during the period between Thanksgiving and New Year. Many families choose to move because that’s when the school is out or in hopes that the wide-spread holiday sale will apply to moving services as well. Some tenants’ lease expires at the end of the year and they may choose to move to a better apartment not to get locked in the new lease.

So if your moving date is during the holiday season, there a couple of things you want to be aware of. First of all you will not be one of the “few”, so don’t expect it to be a slow time in the moving season when movers are fighting to get business from you. Holiday discount on the move is probably just a myth so you shouldn’t count on that either. In fact the biggest challenge for moving companies around this time of the year is that they are short of hands because drivers want to take some time off to be with their families for the holidays. Hence, you might expect longer than expected delays for the delivery. So if there is a way for you to postpone your move till the holidays are over, you should give serious thought to the alternative option.

Have a Great Holiday Season!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Want to Move with Less - Have a Garage Sale

Getting ready to move means that you might need to sort through your stuff and see if there is anything you can get rid of before the move. Why not hold a garage sale – not only will you dispose of the extra items you no longer need, you can also earn some cash that will help with the upcoming moving expenses.

Planning and organizing the sale will ensure a hassle-free day of parting with your belongings (and some of the memories too), counting the earnings and looking into a future that has more room for new things.

1. First thing that you should do is to check with the local authority if a special permit is required to hold a garage sale. In some places residents can only hold one garage sale per calendar year – so you want to be aware of this and similar rules.

2. Set the date. You will be better of to check the weather forecast first – a nice sunny day will bring in more buyers. Needless to say that weekend sales tend to do better but you want to avoid doing it on holidays.

3. Choose a place. The sale can be held on your patio or backyard, but it’s best if your display is immediately visible so try to arrange it closer to the street/sidewalk so that random passersby could stop by as well.

4. Advertise in advance. Run an ad in your local newspaper, put a sign in your window and spread the word through your neighbors.

5. Sort your items for sale – organize them into several groups by type, size or even assumed popularity (you may want to have a separate “hot items” pile displayed at the front for a better promotion of the sale).

6. Set the price. Think of a reasonable range to charge for items that are still in good condition – usually it would be 20-30% of the original purchase price. You may also use the Value Guide List provided by Salvation Army for the used household items.

7. Be prepared to bargain. Your buyers will want the cheapest prices so establishing a range rather than a set price will serve as a guide by how much you can lower the price for each item.

Enjoy your garage sale and don’t forget to take the signs down when it’s over!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Movies About Moving

"Away We Go" (2009) by Sam Mendes

There are quite a few movies where the plot is based on the fact that the main character relocates to a new place and the story begins so to say. Most people move because there are better opportunities waiting at the new destination: a more promising job, good schools, great recreational activities. Yet some people move simply to escape their past and start life over – a lot of movies are inspired by this idea of a new beginning in life.

Change of Address blog has come up with a list of Top 15 Movies About Moving with the oldest version of "Karate Kid" being #1. This movie is a great example of how moving affects children and all the challenges they are forced to deal with. So it’s a good idea for parents to watch this movie again if they are planning to relocate with their children: they might anticipate some of the potential problems and take a proactive approach to prevent them from happening. Watching it with kids is a good way to prepare them for the upcoming move.

There is another list of Top 9 Movies About Moving on . “Piano” is one of them and I personally consider it one of the best movies of all time. It’s about moving to a less civilized world than you are used to, where nothing is like home or will ever feel that way. Not every move can bring about positive changes: sometimes moving to a distant location can cause so much nostalgia and homesickness that a person is simply unable to adept to a new life. Moving back to where you belong and feel safe because this is your home is then the only solution.

There are many other great movies about moving and how it affects people’s lives. In “Mona Lisa Smile” Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) moves to Massachusetts because she believes she can make a change by teaching more progressive ideas to the girls-students of a conservative school. “Away We Go” is about finding a perfect place on Earth to raise a child. Moving from place to place becomes a lifestyle of Chris “Alexander Supertramp” in the movie “Into the Wild”.

What’s your favorite movie about moving?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Choosing a Storage Facility

It often happens that you are ready to move out – but it will be awhile before you actually move in: your new house may not be ready, or you don’t have a house yet and need to look for one, or you plan to go traveling for a couple of months. This means that your belongings need to be put into a storage facility - and possibly for an indefinite period of time. Choose a storage unit wisely to ensure that your things are protected while you are away.

Here are a few factors to consider:

Maybe you found a great deal in some ultra-modern storage where you will pay just a few bucks for a huge room. But the storage happens to be in the back of nowhere and getting there every time will be a pain. Choose a facility close to where you are currently staying, so that every time you need to pick up a thing or two (which will happen frequently), you can get there easy and fast.

Operating Hours.
Make sure you will have access to your belonging at reasonable hours. It’s best if your storage is open seven days a week.

Climate Control.
If you live in the area with high humidity, you want to choose a climate controlled storage facility to unsure that your things don’t get damaged especially if they are in for a long stay. Too much humidity can cause mold to form and lack of ventilation will result in unpleasant stale smell that will be absorbed by your possessions.

Right Size Room.
You may underestimate how big of a shipment you will have: getting a room that is too small will mean having to fix your things so tight, that you will have a real trouble accessing individual items. Nor do you want to get a room too big: you will end up paying more for the space you are not even utilizing in full.

Long Term Discount.
If you know for sure that you will be staying for a lengthy period of time, make sure to esquire about long term discounts. You might have to prepay for several months in advance but at least you wont have to worry about sending monthly payments promptly and will save some money too.

Good luck with finding your best storage option!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Packing Supplies You Need for Your Move

No matter whether you are moving long distance or across the street – without proper packing your belongings are likely to be damaged. Some items you can pack yourself, whereas others need to be packed by professional movers. Moving supplies can be costly so it’s a good idea to shop around in advance and see if you could find a better deal on boxes and tape. Should you discover right before your move that you don’t have enough boxes – no need to worry, all the moving companies come equipped with moving supplies including moving blankets, boxes, bubble wrap and tape. If you decide to move on your own and rent a moving truck – many truck rental companies such as U-Haul can also provide you with packing supplies. Some items such as boxes and tape need to be purchased, but things like dollies and moving blankets can easily be rented.

So here are the packing supplies you will need for your upcoming move:

• Moving boxes of various size(small boxes for heavy items such as books, large boxes for bulky items such as pillows)
• Wardrobe box
• Electronic box
• Moving blanket
• Mattress cover
• Crate
• Cushion foam
• Bubble wrap
• Packing paper
• Tape
• Carpet film protector
• Mover’s stretch plastic wrap
• Permanent box marker

Moving blankets are used to wrap your big furniture items such as couch, dresser, and coffee table. Using them requires some practice so you might want to leave this task to professional movers and devote your attention to packing smaller items such as books, clothes, bedding and dishware. Make sure to label each box as well as your furniture (the latter gets almost unrecognizable once wrapped in blankets). It’s a good idea to mark which room each items goes to – this way movers won’t have to check with you every time and the unloading part will move along faster. Don’t rush to discard your boxes once the move is finished, you might want to fold and store them to save some money on your next move.

We wish you a happy packing!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Surviving a Summer Move

Traditionally, summer is the most popular season for moving since people tend to move after their children finish school. This gives them a few weeks extra time to settle down and adjust to the new surroundings before the new school year begins. The percentage of moves in a year occurring in any given summer month peaks around 11% – 13%, compared to 8% or less for other months. Needless to say, the busiest and costliest moving season is the summer months.

We don’t always have control over when we move – if you are one of those people whose move is scheduled for the upcoming summer, there are a few things you want to keep in mind:

- If there is a slightest opportunity for you to avoid the peak season – do so, since the tariffs (the rates that moving companies base the cost of your move on) are actually lower off season, so you can save a lot of money on your move.

- If summer is the only time you can move, try to at least book the move for a weekday which is usually less expensive and easier to find available services, this includes truck rentals, too.

- Make sure to book well in advance. If possible, try for at least 8-10 weeks.

- Be prepared to lower-than-expected service quality: even the best moving companies struggle to perform when the season gets busy. They often overbook and then scramble to find an extra truck or crew to accommodate your moving needs. The schedule is tight and the movers are tired from working long hours in the heat and lack of sleep. Be patient and nice – make sure to offer them some ice water and towels.

- Ger ready for a wider than usual delivery window as a result of the heavy demand for movers and busy schedule – sometimes it can take up to 30 days to receive your shipment! Make sure you have you have all the necessities with you and be prepared to go by without the rest of your belongings for a few weeks.

Enjoy your summer (we hope it will be a hot one) and get your moving quote today!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Moving Out of Your Parents’ Home

If you feel like you are ready to take on a more independent lifestyle, you can afford to do so both financially and emotionally – it’s time to move out of your parents’ home and start a new journey of independence. It might be scary and exciting, just remember – some good planning will ensure that your transition is as smooth as possible.

• What You Take
If you are moving out of your parents’ house for the first time, chances are you don’t own a lot of the necessary stuff such as furniture, bedding, home accessories. You might feel tempted to take or, rather say, borrow something owned by your parents till the better times. But think about all the gaps you will leave in the interior that your parents (as well as you) are so accustomed to by now. A couple of missing towels is one thing, but a missing couch might be too noticeable. You may try to utilize some of the old no longer needed stuff stored in the attic or the basement. You can also use the things that your parents were planning on discarding, or whatever they have in abundance (many moms have way more china or towels that they need or use). You can take your personal things (books, CDs, clothes, computer) and things that were given to you as a gift. You should leave the items of shared use ( a toaster or a big screen TV in the living room) – your parents’ life does not end with your departure and they will still be using those things.

What You Leave
You will still visit your parents frequently so you might want to see your bedroom unchanged – with all your favorite childhood toys, trophies and posters. However it’s a rather selfish approach – maybe you should check with your parents first about their plans for the room. Maybe they want to turn it into an extra guest bedroom, or a home library, or a home office that your father has been dreaming about for the past 20 years. So you might have to sort through your things and whatever you are not taking could be donated, sold at a garage sale, thrown away or packed and stored in a public storage facility (unless there is some extra space in the attic).

How You Move
You are unlikely to have a lot of stuff that needs to be moved – so maybe you shouldn’t bother to get a moving quote from a large company with 4 movers/6 hours minimums. Renting a moving van should be sufficient, sometimes it’s more than enough to borrow your father’s car and transport your things in 2-3 trips (provided you are moving within the same town). You want to save on moving expenses so that you have funds remaining to buy new furniture that you will need since you are beginning a new life almost from scratch.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

3 Organizers That Will Change Your Life

Moving into a new place: freshly painted walls, clean windows, empty shelves…. Spacious rooms look so neat without furniture. But then you move in and your stuff fills all the space. You promise yourself to keep the new place in order, get more organized but before you know it your things begin to pile up everywhere. Empty perfectly-clean rooms are just a distant memory - this place is now a mess most of the time.

Celebrate moving into a new house by getting more organized. We found three great organizers that will help you sort things that tend to create the most mess: clothes, tools, bills.

1. Closet Carousel. Not only it’s convenient to use, but will also guarantee to make your existing closet space more efficient. It comes with a bunch of accessories such as handbags and baskets; it’s easy to assemble and its parts are adjustable to maximize the individual convenience. Getting a closet carousel will help you keep your wardrobe neat and all in one space. Finding the right clothes in the morning will no longer be such a daunting task: everything is visible and easy to pull out. You can order your closet carousel at

2. Tool Organizer. All your tools will finally be in one place: a great display, easy to take, easy to put back. Moreover, because it’s a clear pegboard that you get to hang on the wall, it minimizes the need for shelves and frees up lots of space. And it’s only $59.99 at

3. Rotating Bill Organizer. It’s designed to organize your unpaid bills in corresponding date spaces (from 1 to 31 for each day of the month), which serves as a great reminder when it’s time to pay your bills. It also has a convenient stationery compartment to keep some of your desktop tools. You can buy your bill organizer at

Ready to win the battle with mess now?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Useful Tip on How to Move Your Glassware

You can certainly use china boxes to move your dishes and glasses since they have thicker walls and can carry more weight than a regular box. But you will need to wrap each item in paper or bubble wrap. Besides those china boxes (also called dish pack) may run expensive. So here is a better alternative: why don’t you use wine boxes instead? They will work well with their little cardboard dividers. Most liquor stores will give you as many as you need free of charge, they toss them anyway. It’s a great way to protect you glassware without too much extra packing and you will save a few bucks as well.

Friday, March 5, 2010

How to Conduct Inventory Check When Moving In

As confused as you may be with all the paperwork your moving company will ask you to fill in and sign, it’s important that you hold on to all your copies. One of the documents that will help you make sure all your belongs have safely arrived to your new location is called “Inventory List Sheet”. All long distance movers are required to make one: they put numbered stickers on each and every one of your items – from large pieces of furniture to the smallest of boxes. Each sticker number is then recorded on the inventory list along with the item description. The mysterious “PBO” that you can see here and there on the list stands for “Packed By Owner”.

Once the movers arrive to your new destination, make sure to check-off each item on the list as movers begin to unload your belongings. The best way to do it is to stand in the doorway and check-off the items as movers carry them in – this way you won’t miss anything, since there can be several workers and they can carry several items at the same time. If you discover some missing or damaged items, make a notation on the movers’ copy of the inventory list prior to signing it. Ask the movers to look inside the truck – sometimes if there is more than one load they are carrying, the missing item could have shifted to another person’s lot. If movers are unable to locate the item, check with them about claim filing procedure.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Funny Moving Company Accident

Funny accidents happen in any industry. Moving is not an exception - every moving company should have a couple of funny stories to tell. We found the funniest video of a moving accident on YouTube - was it real or staged is highly debatable. We enjoyed it nonetheless.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Are Moving Expenses Tax Deductible?

It turns out you may be able to deduct your moving expenses if you:

- moved due to a change in your job or business location
- moved because you started a new job or business

You need to satisfy two conditions in order for your moving expenses to be tax deductible:

1. Your new job must be at least 50 miles away from your old home
2. You must work at your job full-time for at least 39 weeks during the first year right after you move.

Those conditions however don’t apply to members of the armed forces who moved due to a permanent change of station.

If your moving expenses were reimbursed by your employer, you can no longer deduct them.

Visit the site to learn more about the topic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Common Misconceptions about Moving – Part II

Estimate is what you will pay once the job is done. An estimate is only… an estimate. The actual amount can be close to it, or it can be nothing like it. But before rushing to accuse the moving company of hidden or unjustified charges, ask yourself if you provided your estimator with an accurate inventory. When you receive your estimate over the phone you have to describe the furniture that you have and give an approximate amount of boxes. It’s common when customers forget to mention certain items, or underestimate how many boxes they will actually have. So if you want to get a binding estimate – request for company’s representative to come in and take a look at your furniture. If you are fine with getting your quote over the phone – be prepared to pay a different amount for the actual move.

You can ride with the movers on the truck to your new location. Moving companies as a rule don’t allow customers to ride on their trucks. First of all the back of the truck might be the only available spot for you to sit in – since the moving crew occupies the cabin. And trailers are not designed to provide protection in case of a crash. Besides no moving company wants to be liable, if something happens to you on the trip. They have workers’ compensation insurance which protects their employees, but not you. So it’s a good idea to book a cab or arrange for a friend to give you a ride, if you don’t own a car.

Anything can be loaded on a moving truck. In fact by federal law or internal policy, professional moving companies cannot transport the following items:

Hazardous Materials
Items that are flammable, corrosive or explosive:

Car batteries
Charcoal lighter fluid
Chemistry sets
Cleaning solvents
Lamp oil
Loaded guns
Motor oil
Paint thinner
Nail polish remover
Pool chemicals
Propane tanks
Weed killer


Food, plants or living things that may die or spoil in transit:

Frozen foods
Refrigerated foods
Open or half used foods

Friday, January 8, 2010

Common Misconceptions about Moving – Part I

Adjusting your expectations means being more prepared and less disappointed. When you hire a moving company, keep these common misconceptions in mind so that you know what to expect:

1. Movers are Always on Time. The truth is delays in moving are as frequent as those at the airport. However when your flight is delayed, you sit patiently at your terminal since there is not much you can do. When movers don’t show up at 9 am sharp, most people start calling the office at 15 minute intervals to express their rage and frustration. Don’t forget that you are dealing with transportation so delays on the road will affect you directly. Just sit back and wait till your moving truck gets through the heavy traffic. Keep in mind that many parkways are closed to trucks, so the driver might have to take an alternative route, which could take longer. Your moving crew will often consist of three of more people – all of them have to get to the company’s parking lot first, some of them taking a subway and occasionally being stuck there. And when one member of the crew is late, the rest have no choice but wait for him. If your move is scheduled for the afternoon, be aware that there is probably another moving job prior to yours, which may take longer than estimated. So thinking that movers are likely to be late is the right bet.

2. Movers Never Feel Tired. Or at least they shouldn’t on your move. Especially if you are paying by the hour. Some people expect the movers to work non-stop for hours: taking smoking, bathroom, or lunch breaks is not quite appreciated. Others find that their crew is not moving fast enough: could you guys run a little faster on the stairs with our extra-heavy grand piano? But speed affects the job quality: things get damaged more frequently if they are being moved in rush. So remember a simple thing: movers are humans, not robots! They need an occasional break and there is clearly a limit to how fast they move around.

3. Everything Can be Wrapped in Moving Blankets. And you can save on the packing supplies – who wants to buy boxes when blankets can be used for free? Some people go even further – they throw their small stuff in large trash bags instead of using the boxes. And they put little consideration how much weight those bags can really hold. Then they demand movers to use blankets to wrap their flat screen TV, an antique mirror and their glass china cabinet. To which the movers will respond, “We will, as long as you sign that you won’t hold us liable for damage”. The point is if you want your furniture intact, use proper packing supplies. Moving blankets are good for your couch, but not for your breakables.