Preparing for a move

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How To Move During Bad Weather

in Local moving, Long-Distance moving, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

As I’m writing this, Mother Nature is flooding us. I haven’t even walked the dogs. The idea of moving in such weather is unimaginable. Many, though, don’t have a choice and bad weather moving even has some upsides.

Featured image via MaxPixel.

No one wants to move during bad weather. Moving companies, understandably, have high cancellation rates during rain or snow. Winter, which is both the middle of the school year and the time when the weather is the worst, is the slowest season for moving. If you ask, you can often get a discount during the winter, especially if it’s mid-month, mid-week and on a bad weather day.

Unless the weather is extreme, such as a blizzard, movers work and they do their jobs well.

Now is the perfect time to ask for a discount

You can help

Before the movers arrive, shovel your driveway and sidewalk. If the weather is freezing, salt surfaces. Make sure you have lots of towels on hand. Cheap rugs can help protect your floors. If there’s any way at all that the truck can be parked in a covered area, clear the way.

Protect the items you’re packing by protecting items with plastic. Hang clothing inside trash bags inside wardrobe boxes. Fully line boxes with plastic bags. Protect your electronics inside plastic.

The movers will do their part

Talk to your mover and make sure they bring plenty of bad weather supplies, including floor covers, shoe covers and plenty of shrink wrap. Make sure they use them.

In your new home

Before anyone steps foot in your new home, make sure the floors are covered, feet are covered and any ice is removed from the pathways. If any of the boxes are water damaged, you’ll want to unpack them immediately to prevent mold and mildew. In fact, on inclement weather days, it’s always a good idea to unpack quickly because you never know when moisture might sneak in.

Six Things You Can Do To Make Sure Your Move Goes As Smoothly As Possible

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

The vast majority of complaints against movers are about delays, broken items and extra charges. In fact, you might hear so much about that sort of thing that you almost think the complaints are unavoidable. They aren’t.

Featured image via Pixabay

These six steps will make your move go as smoothly as possible

1. Get at least three estimates

Even if a friend insists you have to use their mover, remember that even the worst movers have some happy customers. Do your homework. Check their online reviews. Verify that each mover you’re considering is licensed — their licensing information should be on their websites. After you do all of that, invite at least three movers to give you estimates. Don’t just go by the cheapest, though. Examine each estimate and make sure they are comparing apples to apples. If one mover says they can do the job in 10 hours and another in four, there’s something wrong. Look closely at the inventory lists to make sure nothing is left off.

2. Ask your mover for packing advice

Many customers want the movers to pack for them, but for those who don’t, ask for packing advice. Ask how many boxes you need, and what kind. Ask how to pack certain items, especially breakables. If your mover isn’t willing to offer you advice for free, choose a different mover.

3. Ask about weird things that might need to be packed

I always like to tell people that if it isn’t furniture, it needs to be in a box. That includes pictures and mirrors, lamps, electronics and in many cases, even mattresses. If you aren’t prepared, your mover will pack these items, but you will pay.

4. Take pictures of the place you are moving into

In most cases, movers don’t see the place you’re moving into until they arrive with a full truck. There may be situations, though, where the destination address can add to the cost of the move. Take your phone or tablet on a virtual tour, including from the place the truck would park to the front door. Send the video to your moving estimator.

5. Tell your property manager you’re moving

Many buildings, especially elevator buildings, require people to reserve specific slots for moving. If your mover shows up and your building won’t let you move, you will still pay in most cases.

6. Reserve parking spaces

In many cities, like San Francisco, if your moving truck needs to park on the street, you may need to reserve the space.

How A Moving Company Can Help You Sell Your House While You’re Still Living In It

in Preparing for a move, Real Estate by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

If you’re like me and spend too many weekend days binge watching home improvement shows. They all make it look so easy. Families sell homes within weeks and even days, all while dealing with chaos of living there.

Featured image via Mark Moz/Flickr

Reality isn’t quite as tidy. Everyone knows that clean homes sell better than dirty, that personal touches can be a turnoff to potential buyers. Still, not everyone can afford to move out of their home while they’re trying to sell. That’s okay. With just a little work, and a good moving company, even an occupied home can be sold fairly quickly.

Paint and clean the floors

Dull, dirty floors and walls can be a major turnoff to potential buyers. Now is the time to paint the walls and clean the carpets. If you have hardwood floors or tile, it’s time for a polish.

Clear all clutter

If you’ve ever seen a staged home, you probably noticed a few things, but the first is that a staged home is completely uncluttered. Uncluttered means more than picking toys up off the floor. It means cleaning out drawers and closets. It means taking personal photos off the walls, including your children’s masterpieces.

Clear all the mismatched furniture

Personally, I’m all about eclectic and colorful decorating, but your next buyer might not be. While matching furniture isn’t a necessity, coherence is. A neutral color scheme with pops of colors show best. If your furniture is torn, stained or chipped, it’s time to replace it, even if it’s only for the sale. A professional stager can do this for you or you can rent furniture through any number of companies.

The right moving company can help you with all of the above. They can pack your clutter and neatly move it into storage. They can even temporarily move your furniture out of the way while you paint and clean.

This last part, though, is completely up to you.

Clean, clean, clean

Get in the habit of cleaning all the time. Dust and vacuum daily. Make the beds the moment people wake up. Wipe down all surfaces right after use. Put everything away.

5 Simple Alternatives To Living On Pizza While Preparing For Your Move

in Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

One of the biggest struggles during the moving process is balancing real life against the temporary but very disruptive packing/moving stage. The kitchen, as we all know, is the most time consuming room to pack, but it’s also the most necessary for day-to-day life. Thankfully, there’s takeout, but unless you live in a major city, you’re pretty much limited to pizza and Chinese food — and then there’s the cost and the calories.

Featured image via Pizza Queen/Flickr.

The good news, though, is that you don’t have to live on pizza and Chinese food. You can keep eating normal (and healthy) food right up until moving day.

Pack everything but the microwave

Before you start packing, prepare some of your own microwavable dishes. Pasta dishes heat well, as do soups and casseroles. Freeze them in single use serving sizes (or refrigerate them if we’re talking days instead of weeks) and microwave them when you’re ready. A pre-made salad mix from the supermarket will make it a well-rounded meal.

Make sandwiches

Nearly everyone loves a good sandwich, and they can be surprisingly nutritious. If your sandwich repertoire includes the basics like turkey, tuna and PB&J and would like a little more variety, a quick Google search will give you thousands. Real Simple has several that I’ve tried and definitely get my seal of approval.

Barbecue

Who says you can only barbecue during the summer? People who aren’t in the process of moving, that’s who. While cleaning the grill can be a pain, it’s nothing compared to cleaning pots and pans, the stove (or oven) and counters.

Buy and instant pot

Instant pots are the newest hot things in cooking tools and for very good reasons. In minutes, you can whip up a meal that would otherwise take hours. Not only that, the cleanup is simple. Here are several recipes to get you started.

Ask for help

Odds are you’re past the age of enlisting your friends for the backbreaking work, but if a kind friend offers to help, take them up on it. Ask them to bring you some leftovers.

Five Ways To Help Your Friends Move Without Destroying Your Back

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Back in the day, moving meant wrangling all your closest friends (and hopefully someone with a pickup truck), springing for pizza and beer and hoping everything and everyone ends the day in the same condition as they started.

A few years have passed. Now we hire pros to help us move. That doesn’t mean we stop needing our friends. If you have friends who are moving, you don’t have to feel helpless and you don’t have to sacrifice your back. Here are ___ ways you can help your friends move:

1. Cook something

Even if your friends haven’t yet packed the kitchen, the last thing they want to think about is cooking and who wants to eat pizza or Chinese food every single meal? Your friends might not have time to accept a dinner invitation, but if you bring the dinner to them… Just don’t forget plates and utensils.

2. Help sort

Packing and purging can be difficult and time-consuming. Even useless items might have memories attached. A neutral party might be just the help your friend needs. Sure, that old stuffed animal might remind her of when her daughter was young, but wouldn’t a digital picture of the ragged toy work just as well? Does your friend really need to hang on to that chip from the charity casino? Perhaps you can gently remind your friends what really matters and help them save money and time.

3. Help pack

Packing can be a little back breaking, but no where near as bad as moving furniture. Offer to help pack a box or two. Any little bit will be appreciated.

4. Shop

Even when people are trying to eliminate stuff, they are using stuff. Your friends might find themselves short on some necessities, or perhaps they need packing and cleaning supplies. Odds are you’re going to the store anyway, so why not offer to pick things up for your friends?

5. Babysit kid or walk dogs

Pets and young children can get in the way or even freak out during moves. Help your friends out by offering to care for their loved ones, even for just a few hours.

Featured image via PublicDomainPictures.net.

21st Century Solutions For Not Being Hit With Extra Charges At Your New Home

in Advice, Moving Costs, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Even the most diligent moving consultant can miss one giant piece of the puzzle, the new home. While in most cases, the new home shouldn’t add much to the moving price, there are circumstances where the unknowns can add up. There are ways to avoid any sort of extra charges.

Long carry

When you receive a moving estimate, don’t be surprised if you get some questions about the distance from where the truck can park to the front door. If it’s longer than say, 100 feet, you are charged extra based on the amount of stuff you have. If it’s a local move, it will add to the number of hours.

Stairs

Movers don’t specifically charge more for stairs inside the home, but if there is more than one flight of stairs to get to the front door, you will pay extra. Even if the stairs are inside the home, it could require an extra mover and it will certainly add to the time.

Obstructions

People don’t give much thought to the obstructions that might impede a move. For example, my home has shrubbery next to the front walk that could prevent movers from carrying big items through. Fortunately, there’s a quick workaround in my yard, but that’s not always true. If you can’t clear your new home of obstructions, you should at least notify your mover so they can prepare.

Shuttle

Shuttles are typically only a factor in long-distance moves, but they are very costly. Most interstate moves are performed in a 53-foot tractor-trailer. Some homeowner’s associations have rules against tractor-trailers. If your new home is on a winding or hilly road, it’s often physically impossible for a truck to get through. Shuttles can add a shocking amount to the move, and for good reason. There is a lot of labor involved.

Every time a shuttle is needed, the movers have to call in another truck, often a rental. Then, all of the items are transferred from the big truck to the smaller one before the movers finally unload the contents of the smaller truck into the new home.

Storage

If your new home isn’t ready for delivery at the time the movers are ready to deliver, they will charge you for storage, often by the day. If your goods need more than a day or two of storage, the mover will charge you for unloading the truck, and then when you’re ready for delivery, loading it.

How to avoid extra charges at delivery

No one wants that hit of extra and unexpected charges. That’s how a good company can get a bad reputation, often through no fault of their own. Fortunately, there are advantages now that we didn’t have even a few years ago. Take your moving estimator on a virtual tour of your new home through your smartphone, laptop or tablet. Show them where a truck might park, how your front door is accessed and whether there are stairs.

Save money by letting your movers know in advance that your new home won’t be ready. Many movers offer one month of storage for free or at a dramatic discount, as long as they can store at their home base. Things get very expensive for the mover, and for you if they have to rent storage space.

Featured image via Pexels.

The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Stuff Before You Move

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

If Americans are good at anything, it’s acquiring stuff, and when you’re moving, it means dealing with years, if not decades of acquired stuff, much of which hasn’t been touched in a very long time.

If you haven’t used or worn something for a year or two, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself if you really want to move it. Why should you, the more stuff needs to be moved, the more you’ll pay…sort of.

Allow me to explain. If you’re moving long-distance, you pay buy weight, so the less you have to move, the lighter the weight. If you’re moving locally, you pay by time. A handful of boxes here and there won’t make a noticeable difference on time, but if you are doing a major purge, you will definitely save money. More importantly, a purge is a way to give yourself a fresh start, and isn’t that part of what moving is about?

What are the best ways to get rid of stuff?

When purging, there are basically three options: sell them, donate them or throw them away.

Sell your items

When selling goods, there are a few ways to go. There are several apps where you can list your goods. Even Facebook now has a Marketplace. Tip: If you go the route of directly selling goods to strangers, bring a friend. You can also sell through Ebay.

Direct sales might bring in more money, but it’s potentially risky and it’s time consuming, and if you are moving, you probably don’t have a lot of extra time. Another option is to sell through consignment sites and consignment stores. You’ll do best consigning if your goods are relatively high-end and in very good condition. Regardless, never try to sell stained or torn items.

Donate your items

You won’t get money for your old goods if you decide to donate them, but you can get a decent tax deduction. Here’s a great article on some of the most common donation charities. You might prefer a more local option as well. Even when donating, make sure your items are in good condition.

Dispose of your items

For the items that aren’t in good condition, or things like old mattresses, disposing might be the only sanitary option. Call your local municipality or your local trash company. Most have available bulk item pickups.

Featured image via Unnar Ymir Björnsson/Flickr.

How To Prepare Your Home Office For A Move

in Advice, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

It’s one thing to haphazardly throw your clothes in a box. The worst that might happen is some wrinkles. When it comes to your home office, though, a little organization now will save you weeks of headaches and it will get you up and running in the quickest amount of time possible.

If your home office’s organizational system needs a little improvement, like mine, now is the time to organize it.

1. File, shred, scan or do something with every single piece of paper

If you don’t own a good diamond cut shredder, buy one. Create files for taxes, for insurance, for investments, for credit cards, for utilities, for your home, for pets, for medical files, etc. A good filing system will make your life so much easier in the future. HGTV has some great hacks for creating a good system.

If you don’t need to keep the originals, and even if you do, it’s always wise to scan important papers and store them on an external hard drive. Separate out the really important papers like house deeds, car titles, Social Security cards, birth certificates, passports, etc. Move those yourself.

2. Label all cords

If you’re like most people, you have a drawer full of charging cords and no idea where they go. One is probably from that 2007 flip phone. It’s time to go through every cord. If it matches an item, label it with a sharpie and a bread tag. If it doesn’t, take it to an electronics recycling facility or to a store like Best Buy.

3. Back up your hard drive

There are several cloud and external hard drive options. Many prefer the latter for security, but the cloud has the advantage of being indestructible and you can’t lose it. If you back everything up to an external hard drive, take it with you.

4. Disassemble your electronics

Electronics are one of the items we typically recommend that movers pack, but if you do decide to pack electronics, first disassemble them. Label the cords just like the cords above. If you have the original boxes, those are always preferable, but if you don’t, you can purchase boxes from your mover. Here are some tips.

If you have any questions or you need some help packing your home office, Ninja Movers is here for you.

Six Things You Should Never, Ever Have A Moving Company Move

in Advice, Posts, Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

When you hire a moving company, you have a right to expect a lot. A good moving company is expert at moving everything from basic furniture to priceless antiques; from framed posters to masterpieces. There are some things, though, that you should never have your movers take with them.

Image via <a href=

Pixabay,” width=”960″ height=”725″ class=”size-large wp-image-10223″ /> Image via Pixabay,

Valuable Papers

Experts always recommend that in case of fire or natural disaster, always take your valuable, irreplaceable papers with them, if at all possible. The same holds true when you move. While your movers can be trusted, papers like deeds, car titles, birth certificates and social security cards are far too valuable to trust with anyone. More importantly, moving insurance doesn’t cover the loss of valuable documents.

Image via <a href=

Pixnio” width=”960″ height=”636″ class=”size-large wp-image-10221″ /> Image via Pixnio

Expensive Jewelry

As with valuable papers, moving insurance does not cover valuable jewelry. If something is important enough for you to lock up, move it yourself.

Imagine via Pixabay,

Imagine via Pixabay.

Guns

While technically movers can move unloaded guns, loaded guns are out of the question. It’s simply best to move firearms yourself.

Image via Pixabay.

Image via Pixabay.

Plants

Moving trucks are a horrible environment for plants. They are hot and dry and they get absolutely no light. While plants might survive a short trip, they can be surprisingly expensive to move. Moving trucks are meant for stacking and you can’t stack plants. It’s also difficult to prop up plants without packing the pots in boxes.

Image via Wikimedia.

Image via Wikimedia.

Pets

For most people, it goes without saying that they should make other arrangements to transport pets, but you’d be surprised at how many customers ask that movers take their non-furry friends like fish, snakes and lizards. Moving trucks don’t have a lot of air and they can get very hot. Move all pets, including the non-furry kinds, yourself.

Image via Wikimedia.

Image via Wikimedia.

Flammables, Explosives and Corrosives

Leave your cleaning fluids, paint and your propane tanks behind, recycle them or move them in your car.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Hilarious Moving Fails No Decent Mover Would Ever Make (VIDEO)

in Local moving, Long-Distance moving, Preparing for a move, Uncategorized by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

For most customers, moving nightmares might consist of being overcharged, having some items broken and *gasp* even having their furniture held hostage. Those are nightmares, but sometimes, the worst moves start with the best intentions.

The internet, the world’s repository for everything embarrassing, has compiled several hilarious (for those not experiencing them) moving fails. Most are do-it-yourselfers, trying to save a few bucks, but some are actual moving companies, and trust me, we’re embarrassed for all of them.

Of course, I’d be negligent in posting this hilarious video without offering a few words of advice. Number one, please never, ever try hoisting a piece of furniture out of (or into) a window without help from professionals who have the right equipment.

Even experienced movers are reluctant to hoist a piece of furniture through a window, without someone specifically trained in the science. Most movers can hoist furniture up one or maybe two floors, but it takes special ropes and equipment and it takes being very, very careful.

You’ll find very few in the moving industry who are against the idea of people moving themselves. Sometimes, it’s the least expensive and most practical way to get from point A to point B. Sometimes, though, people get in over their heads. If an item can’t make it through a door, rather than forcing it, take the door and frame off, with the proper tools, of course.

As for the people in this video who appeared to be pros, shame on them. Remember, a logo and a t-shirt doesn’t necessarily mean professionalism. Always be sure to check social media (Yelp, Facebook, Google) and review sites like Angie’s List before hiring a mover. You should also check licensing information.

Remember, if you’re moving yourself and you find yourself in a jam, there’s no shame in taking for help. You don’t want to be caught as one of these moving fails.

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