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How To Throw An Amazing Housewarming Party On An ‘I Just Moved’ Budget

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You’ve just moved. After your down payment and closing costs, or your security deposit, first and last months rent — and we won’t forget that you paid for the move — you’re broke. Still, you love your new digs and you want to show them off to your friends. What a better way than a housewarming party? Besides, aren’t people supposed to bring you gifts?

Invitations

One advantage to technology is that expensive paper invitations are a thing of the past. Start a Facebook event, or send evites. You should also knock on your neighbors’ doors and invite them.

Food

Even on a tight budget, you can throw a full shindig if you ask your friends to pitch in by bringing some food or drinks. You don’t need a full dinner spread. A selection of snacks and finger foods should be just fine. Here are some cheap and easy ideas.

Drinks

You may have advanced beyond throwing “keggers” but you don’t need a fully-stocked bar with top-shelf liquor to impress your friends. Instead, make a signature drink. Here are several ideas. You will only need a few ingredients and just one type of glass. If your friends want another type of drinks, ask them to bring their own. Provide a good variety of non-alcoholic drinks, including a virgin version of your signature drink.

You can also do a beer or wine tasting housewarming party. Ask everyone to bring their favorites and let everyone sample.

Decor

You don’t have to go all out with decorating for a housewarming party. After all, this is the time to show off your new home, right? Make sure it’s clean and uncluttered. Add some pretty flower arrangements (stores like Trader Joe’s are very inexpensive). Candles are always a nice touch, preferably unscented natural candles, like in soy or beeswax. If you have a fireplace, it adds a warm touch to a cool fall or cold winter night.

As for seating and party ware, try thrift and discount stores. Even dollar stores have great options. Ask friends to bring folding chairs, or rent them from party stores.

Party favors

Party favors are not as common as they used to be, but they’re a wonderful touch and they don’t have to cost a fortune. Simple hand-made soaps or candles are very fashionable and they are easy and cheap. You can even make infused sugar. Here are some suggestions.

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.

Tips for moving overseas

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If you are planning on moving overseas, it is important to consider different means of transport you could use. Traveling by a plane or a car to another country is not an issue when you have from 1 to 6 suitcases, but what If you are relocating your entire home? It might be cheaper to buy new furniture overseas and deliver it to your new home. It will be also easier and less hassle, because finding the right delivery service can take a lot of effort. If you have fragile and valuable belongings, for example, a crystal chandelier or a vase, which you would like to bring with you to your new place, you might want to consider removal companies on their own, rather than packing it all in boxes and taking them with you on a plane.

Removal services on international scale could be found in many countries, as most of them have offices everywhere in big cities or country’s capital. There is a big choice of moving companies, if you are starting from there, but make sure they can do international transfer.

When moving your belongings overseas think of the time it will take for them to arrive and if long time could damage or spoil them. If items are carried on the plane, there might be a problem of freezing. This could apply for transferring musical instruments made of wood. When those get too cold, the sound they make alters greatly. Be careful with other fragile items when you use simple means of international traveling. For that reason be sure to label all the necessary boxes with a “fragile content” notice. Make sure you insure all of your belongings with such flight delivery, so that in any case of the damaged caused by them or by an accident can cover your losses.

Tips for moving overseas

Another means of international transport may include man in van service, where a car can be assigned for your items to be delivered to another address in your new home overseas. Such delivery may take weeks, so think ahead, before ordering this service. Transferring belongings by car may be cheaper than by plane, but of course there are limitations and risks. Therefore, make sure you insure your items completely in case of any damage at all caused by the driver or by any other sort of accident on the road, where the driver is not to blame.

Removals of furniture and other possessions may require a lot of effort, when packing them in separate boxes. Make sure that all dismounted parts for each item of your furniture are packed together to avoid losing any screws or small pieces belonging together. Pack fragile items in bubble wrap and paper to provide the safest, damage free travel. Remember, that when using a plane for overseas deliveries the price you will be paying depends on the volume of the items you require to be delivered as well as on their weight. In order to avoid large costs per transfer try and pack your belongings so that they occupy least amount of space.
That could be achieved by packing some items together in one box, leaving no spare spaces in each of your boxes. This will make you use less moving boxes overall and it will ensure that the volume of your overall package is not large enough for a bigger cost.

Make sure that you only transfer items you need the most in your new place overseas. All of the spare furniture and small things could be bought in another country and that will make you save money, as the transfers can be costly. For more ideas: Wandsworth International Removal company.

Tips to make your Move Easier

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You have finally decided to move to a new place. There is something about the change of environment that nothing else can quite compare to. It can be an exciting time for your whole family, or it can be a real nightmare – depending on how you organize and how you feel about it. With the large number of activities involved, it is easy to get lost in the chaos of organizational tasks and stress from the moving.

It is very important to keep a cool head and plan ahead the process to go smooth. Here are few tips on what to consider in a removals operation.

Digital Image by Sean LockeDigital Planet Designwww.digitalplanetdesign.com

–        Give yourself enough time – whether you are doing the removal yourself, with friends or professional house movers, it is important to give yourself enough time to plan, prepare and execute the move to guarantee stress-free experience and avoid any potential problems.

–        Get good quality packing supplies – and enough of them too! You will want the movers to bring everything of your old house and into the new one in one piece. For this reason it is important to do a proper research on how to pack your belongings properly as well as what packing materials to use for the job. Boxes are a must, as they will be used generally for a large number of objects, but you will also need some specialized containers – for glassware and other kitchen equipment for example. Ensure that the packing supplies are properly stacked, to avoid damage to your items inside. It is a good idea to let the movers load, if you don’t have the experience for it.

–        Label your boxes – as you pack your stuff, you will find the number of boxes increasing and you might be overwhelmed easily, if you don’t label them. Use a marker and label on few sides of each box to assure that once you move, you will be ready to unload your belongings and you will navigate through the boxes with ease.

–        Separate your valuables – money in cash, important documents and jewelry are three things you should keep with you during the move. This is to ensure they don’t get lost among all the other stuff and that will be floating around. You’d want to keep your eye on them during the move to ensure their safe relocation.

–        Pack few boxes with essentials – keep those with you as well. Those are things that you will need as soon as you arrive in your new home or during the move. For example, these items could be baby equipment and food you will carry, especially if the move is a long one.

Each of the aforementioned tips will work towards making your move a smooth and pleasant experience, rather than a commotion. Ensure that you implement these suggestions before the moving van arrives and you will avoid any problems. For more ideas: Man with a van Ilford.

Four Moving Apps To Help Take The Stress Away

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I’m not going to lie to you. Even when you hire a great moving company, moving is horrible. You go from settled to unsettled in the blink of an eye. Boxes become your life. The place and the people near your hold home become memory. Fortunately, technology hasn’t left you behind. There are several apps that can make things a lot easier.

1. Moving Planner (Andriod) and Moving Software Pro (iOS) – Both apps are made by Jinbl Software Labs and both have more than 210 household items and todo items. If you’re a snob for grammar, this might not be the app for you, but you can’t beat its practicality. If you absolutely don’t have time for a mover to visit your home prior to the move, this tool will help both you and the mover make an accurate estimate. Both are only $.99 and are fully refundable if you aren’t happy.

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2. Moving Day (iOS) – Moving Day goes even a step further and it’s free. It allows you to barcode scan and label every single box. You’ll know what goes where and what might be missing. If you see a damaged box, you’ll know what’s inside before opening it. If you’re as generally disorganized as me, this app will be a life saver.

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3. MoveMatch (Android) – MoveMatch is the perfect app for people who don’t have the time or energy to meet people. With MoveMatch, you can take a thorough, professional inventory of all your goods and send them to movers in your area. If your inventory matches, movers should be able to give you a guaranteed price. It also works for storage, commercial moves and for overseas moves.

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4. Gas Buddy (iOS and Android) – If you plan on driving your car or a moving van across country, don’t even think about not downloading Gas Buddy. It will tell you the cheapest gas stations on the road and it’s free.

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Safes And Other Difficult Items To Move

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Image courtesy Wikimedia.

Image courtesy Wikimedia.

Most moves are pretty cut and dry. Three or four movers pack and move. Wham bam. It might not be instantaneous, but generally there are few major problems. There are some items, though, that are particularly difficult and moving companies have to know in advance so they can bring the proper tools.

1. Safes – Obviously, this depends on the size of the safe, but if you have a man-sized fireproof safe, a moving company will need special tools and sometimes additional men.

2. Pianos – When you get your moving quote, the mover should always ask what kind of piano you have. They aren’t being snobs. The size of the piano will make a big difference in preparing for the move. The piano might require additional men. It will require additional equipment. It’s highly advised that you wait to tune your piano until after it’s moved.

3. Appliances – Moving appliances is relatively easy, but you want to make sure everything is disconnected before the movers arrive. You want to disconnect the water line on your refrigerator and on your washer and dishwasher. If you have a gas dryer, it’s a good idea to have a professional disconnect that and reconnect it at your new home. Movers can typically refer you to professionals.

4. Propane grills – Moving companies can move the grill but they can’t move the propane.

5. Children’s playground equipment and trampolines – A mover must see playground equipment before it’s moved. Playground equipment generally takes a lot of disassembly and it can take up considerable room.

6. Fish tanks – It probably goes without saying, but fish tanks and aquariums need to be emptied and drained before being moved. Most credible movers will do more than just throw a blanket over the aquarium. It should be boxed.

7. Fine art – Fine art of all kinds should be custom packed. The mover will need to assess and measure. Some pieces will require wooden packing crates.

8. Murphy beds – Murphy beds, the kind that fold into the wall, are especially common in small apartments. Without proper equipment, they can be very dangerous. They are heavy and they can accidentally open. Discuss murphy beds with your mover.

9. Sofa beds – Sofa beds are much easier than murphy beds, but they are heavy and the bed mechanism should be strapped down.

10. Scrap – Yes, scrap can be moved, although it might not be cost effective. It’s generally best that if there’s a lot, it has its own designated truck.

Most of your possessions will be very easy for most movers, but if you have any questionable items, ask. It’s a mover’s job to find solutions.

How Does Apartment Moving Differ From House Moving?

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You live frugally or maybe you like the amenities of full-service condo living. Regardless of the reasons you chose apartment life, moving offers different challenges than does moving from a typical suburban home. What can you expect if you are moving in or out of an apartment or condo?

1. It might cost more – This is an unfortunate reality of apartment and condo living. Often, the parking situation is less than ideal, especially if you live on a narrow and steep San Francisco street. Some buildings have loading docks, which of course, is ideal, but most don’t. Once the truck is parked, movers will have to maneuver up and down stairs or wait for elevators. Depending on how many stairs are involved, expect one or two extra movers. They will work like an assembly line, ensuring that the move will happen as quickly as possible. In the end, extra movers won’t cost you more, but the extra steps involved may add to the time.

2. The building – Most condo and apartment buildings have strict rules when it comes to moving. Alert your management company of your moving date. You might need to reserve the elevator. You also might not be able to move on weekends or in the evenings, depending on the rules of the building. Elevator reservations tend to go fast, especially toward the end of the month and during the summer, so plan ahead. If your building has a loading dock or commercial parking, you will also need to alert management of that. Ask your mover, but typically, they will bring at least one 24 or 26 foot truck. If you are moving out of state, you might need to accommodate a 53 foot tractor trailer. Buildings that don’t have elevators tend not to have as many rules, but it’s better safe than sorry.

4. The city – We all know how awful parking is in San Francisco. Fortunately, the city will accommodate you, at a price. You can reserve parking spaces in advance, to allow space for your moving truck. They will give you temporary signs to put out.

Unfortunately, that’s not always enough. Small moving trucks – the type used for local moving – can usually maneuver through the city, but larger trucks – the type used for interstate moves, might not. With many movers, especially with major van lines, you might find yourself paying an additional fee for a small truck to move you out. The movers will then transfer your items to the larger truck for the interstate move.

While apartment and condo living offer conveniences that house living doesn’t, it definitely offers moving challenges. Plan well and you can help ensure that your moving day will go smoothly and as inexpensively as possible.

Shana Tovah Or Happy Rosh Hashanah From Ninja Movers And The Muppets

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UnknownThe Jewish year 1 Tishrei 5773 begins this year at Sundown Wednesday, September 4th and ends on September 6th. Ninja Movers would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, a Happy Rosh Hashanah and Shana Tovah. Enjoy this video from the Muppets.

How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Four (International Moves)

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It doesn’t take me to tell you that moving overseas is a bit more complicated than moving down the street.

An overseas move typically requires months of planning, including paperwork, finding accommodations and even getting inoculations. No matter where you’re moving, getting through customs is rarely a hop skip and a jump and it can be even more complicated for your belongings. That’s why it’s important to choose a mover who is familiar with customs in each country. For example, Ninja Movers is particularly expert in moves to Israel. We know the country. We know the ports and we know the customs. We can even suggest neighborhoods in many cities and villages.

The first thing you should do before moving overseas is figure out what you really need. Remember than American houses tend to be much bigger than in other places throughout the world. Your 96 inch sofa might not fit in other homes.

Before deciding to leave most things behind, however, you might want to inquire about the cost of replacement. In many cases, appliances are much more expensive than they are in the U.S.

That being said, you want to stick with the necessities. If you are moving to a place that doesn’t have winter, leave the winter clothes behind. Don’t take unnecessary furniture or accessories that might end up being useless in your new home. Many people, if they are going to be overseas for a limited amount of time, choose to rent a furnished home. In which case, belongings can be stored by your moving company while you are overseas.

Once you’ve decided what you are taking to your new country, as usual, you should contact three moving companies for estimates. The upside to overseas moves is that pricing is very simple. Your goods will be shipped in either 20 foot or 40 foot containers. You will be charged for the size and number of containers you use. A 20 foot container will fit between a 1-2 bedroom apartment and a 40 foot container will fit a typical 2-3 bedroom house.

The cost for each container includes the cost of packing. That’s right. By law, the mover must inventory and pack everything.

Once the mover has packed and picked up all of your goods, they will take the truck to the port, where they will pack the container. Organizing overseas moves is typically delegated to the most experienced of moving crews since the packing and inventory must be meticulous.

The hardest part of an overseas move is the wait. Because your items are being moved by ship, it can take several days to cross the ocean. Then, it can take time getting through customs. An experienced mover will make sure that all paperwork is in order, but that doesn’t always mean that border agents will cooperate. There is usually no reason to worry, though. Even though border agents might take their time, they will release them. You are generally talking about weeks, not months.

Some, but not all moving companies work with local moving companies at your destination. Make sure you are very clear on how your goods will get to you at your new home. At Ninja Movers, we make all those arrangements, but not all moving companies do.

If you are in a big hurry for part or all of your shipment, air transportation can be arranged but it’s much more expensive.

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Three (Short Hauls) 

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Two (Long-Distance Moves)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part One (Local Moves)

 

How To Move Houseplants

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Moving houseplants might seem like a fairly ordinary task, but they are actually some of the most problematic items you will encounter during your move. After you’ve spent so many years nurturing them, will you have to leave them behind?

The difficulty of houseplants is that they are alive and often unwieldy. Some states have regulations against many types of plants entering their borders. Most movers will not move plants long distances – and for good reason. The truck gets no fresh air, and even during moderate temperatures, the back of the truck can get very hot.

If you’ve ever driven into California, you were probably stopped at the border by agents looking for plants and even for fresh fruit. California, along with other states, heavily relies on its agricultural industry. Plants can come with a variety of pests and diseases. Even with the introduction of just one, an epidemic can occur. If you are carrying plants, border agents will have to declare them pest free before you will be allowed to continue. You should check with the state you are moving to to find out what types of regulations they have and if you should arrange for an inspection in advance.

Despite the difficulty, there are ways to keep your plants alive during the move. If you are moving locally, many movers will allow the plants inside their truck, with the understanding that there is no temperature regulation. Some plants are hardy enough to withstand a couple of hours in hot or cold temperatures. Some are not. It’s best to research the individual plants before allowing them on a truck if it’s for more than a few minutes.

The number one recommendation is for the plants to be moved in the car, but it’s understandable, that most large, or even medium-sized plants will not fit in a family vehicle. Even if you can fit your plants in the car or if you are moving them in the moving truck, it’s advisable that you “buy” yourself a little insurance by taking cuttings of your favorite plants, which can be stored in plastic bags containing moist vermiculite, peat moss or perlite.

If you do choose to move your plants, it’s important to prepare them:

At least two weeks before the move

  • Repot the plants into plastic, non-breakable pots. It’s important that they live in the new pots in their old environment for at least a couple of weeks. Plants do not like too many changes at once. Your ceramic pots can be packed and moved, so you can repot them again when they are settled into your new home.
  • Prune any wayward growth.
  • Examine your plants for pests and treat if needed.

A couple of days before the move

  • Water your plants. Your plants should be moist on moving day but not wet.

On moving day

  • Pack your plants. Wrap the base in packing paper or in old linens and carefully place them inside a box. Make sure the plant is completely supported in the box. You can carefully put a second box, upside down, over the first box to completely enclose the plant. Be sure to punch some air holes and clearly mark the box.
  • Load the plants last and unload them first.

Once you are settled, don’t shock your plants. Unpack them slowly and carefully. Let them sit in the same place for a while to settle into their new environment.

 

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