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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.

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.

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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.

The Five Best Reasons To Have Movers Pack For You, And Two For Why They Shouldn’t

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

Saying that moving isn’t fun is right up there with saying that ice cream is sweet and that the sky is blue. It’s obvious. Even the most organized moving customers toy with the idea of letting the movers do everything, including pack. There are a lot of good reasons for it and maybe two reasons you might decide against it.

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It saves a lot of time – In a working household, packing can take weeks or sometimes even months. Professional movers can generally knock the packing out in a day. Think about it, you only have to live with mountains of cardboard for a day instead of weeks.

It saves a lot of mess – See above about the cardboard boxes. You can even pay the movers to unpack and haul away all the packing material. Now, doesn’t that sound nice?

It gets done right – I’m not implying you aren’t a good packer, not at all, but professional movers do it for a living. The best moving companies only allow their most experienced people to do the packing and their most most experienced people to pack fragile items.

Everything is labeled in a way the movers can understand – You might ask why you should care what the movers do or don’t understand, but trust me, clear labeling helps the move go a lot faster. If the movers pack the boxes, they will label them in a way that tells them how to load the boxes on the truck and where to place them in the new home.

There’s no question of liability – This one is not as important as it sounds, but it is important. When movers pack and something gets broken, you know where to point the finger. While liability is very limited, as per federal and state law, you might have insurance that ensures only against mover damage.

While all of this sounds amazing, why wouldn’t you want to have the movers pack for you?

It costs money – While packing is surprisingly reasonable, one of the ways movers suggest to save money is to pack yourself. Of course, you want to weigh the packing rate against the value of your own time, but if you find that you can afford to spend the time, do it.

Movers pack everything – Wait, is this a problem? It depends. If you use moving as an excuse to clear out a lot of clutter, professional movers won’t do that. They don’t know what you do and don’t want to keep unless you tell them.

Of course, there’s a middle ground. Many customers hire movers for what’s called a partial pack. Let them pack your breakables and you can save time and money and sort through the things you no longer want.

What To Do When A Move Goes Very, Very Wrong

in Moving Costs by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Moving, even with the best most experienced mover, isn’t an exact science. Sometimes miscommunications happen and sometimes, accidents happen.

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Clearly, the best movers won’t have as many miscommunications and accidents as the *well* less respected movers, but the true test of a moving company is how they treat you after they collect your money, not before.

The beginning of the move should set up the entire experience. The crew leader should present you with some paperwork. Essentially, it’s a contract that allows them to move you. It might contain the estimate you’ve already received (always get an estimate beforehand, preferably in person, especially if you have a large home). It’s called an Order for Service.

If any of the movers are rude or disrespectful, call the company immediately. If the mover’s attitude doesn’t make a quick turnaround, ask that he be replaced. It’s possible that they might have to change that mover out with one on another job, so if it takes an hour or two, that’s okay. Just ask that that mover work outside instead of in front of you.

Odds are, you won’t find damages or misplaced items before a mover leaves your home. When you do find them, document them. Before turning to Yelp and other review sites, call the company. Most movers want their customers to be happy. While the odds are you don’t have full replacement value insurance through the mover (this is available through private companies and it’s highly recommended — discuss it with your consultant), good movers will try to help in any way they can. As when talking to anyone, though, remaining calm will typically get you the furthest.

If you feel you were overcharged, contact the operations manager. He or she will be able to go through each and every charge. You should have an exact start and finish time on local moves. On long distance moves, you should have a copy of the weight or the cubic footage of your shipment. Typically, extra charges come from unexpected packing. Compare the amount of packing that the movers did to the amount of packing they were contracted to do. Did you pack everything, including pictures on the walls, lamps and electronics? Your moving consultant should have spoken to you about each of those items, but the bottom line is, if an item isn’t furniture (and in rare cases if it is), it needs to be in a box to ensure that it’s well protected. Even your mattresses and box springs will need to be protected during a move. If you did all of that, then by all means, find out where the discrepancies are.

If your goods are delivered late, it’s usually due to circumstances not under the movers’ control. Usually. Ask for an explanation, and again, remain calm. Movers make money by freeing up their truck space as quickly as possible, so there’s no reason for a decent mover to keep your goods longer than they absolutely need to, unless…

If you’ve done all of this and discussed any problems with the company, all to no avail, it may be time to file a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, or the Federal Department of Transportation.

Featured image via Pixabay.

Introducing Your Cat And Dog To Your New Home

in Preparing for a move by Ninja Movers Leave a comment
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Moving with pets can be especially difficult because they have no idea what’s going on. While you and even your children might see opportunity in a new home, pets only see insecurity. Reassurance is the most important part of moving with a pet.

Cats and dogs require some of the same care when moving but dogs are much more easily adaptable. Conventional wisdom says that cats are attached to their surroundings while dogs are attached to their people. There’s a lot of truth to that, but it’s also overly simplistic. Dogs do get upset when being uprooted from their surroundings and cats do get attached to their people, although perhaps not as obviously. Here are some tips for moving each:

If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat or an outdoor cat, allow more time for the transition process. Begin several weeks before the move by feeding and entertaining the cat inside the home as much as possible. The ASPCA has some great tips for moving an outdoor cat indoors.

If your cat is an indoor cat, the transition will be similar to that of a dog. First, get your pet used to a crate. Dogs are naturally drawn to cozy crates, so if you have a younger dog, that should be no problem.

Check your new home for any escape routes. Check for holes in the fence or areas where a dog can dig his way out. Make sure all the doors latch. Keep doggie doors closed for a while until the dog is used to his new home. Close windows or secure all screens.

Cat and puppy proof your home. Even dogs who you think have outgrown bad behavior might revert to some old habits. Hide electrical cords and window cover pulls.

During the move, confine the animals to crates or to a single room. Provide lots of comfortable bedding, a blanket that smells like you and some familiar toys. Provide a litter box for the cat. Familiarity is key.

Once you are moved in, dogs will be somewhat comforted by the smell of your belongings, but it’s a good idea to avoid leaving the animals alone for a couple of days. Acquaint them slowly. Play games by putting treats in various areas of the home.

Keep the routine. Even if you are in the middle of the move, feed your animals at their normal feeding time and if you have dogs, take about 20 minutes to walk them. If you can spend more time, better. A tired animal is far more likely to adapt well.

If your pet is having trouble adjusting or it is very nervous or skittish, your vet might be able to help with some anti-anxiety medication to help get through the move.

How To Do A Move Out Clean In 20 Steps

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

vacuum-cleaner-268179_1280My absolute least favorite part of moving out is the move out clean. It seems so pointless. At the end of a brutal day or three of backbreaking cleaning, you end up with a spotless home that you have to leave behind. Why couldn’t it have looked like that when you lived there?

Of course, the reason it didn’t look like that when you lived there is because you lived there. People are messy. Just maintaining a decent amount of cleanliness is hard enough. Who has time to spit-polish the floors and appliances?

Unfortunately, if you rent, that’s what the landlord expects. If you own, the new owners didn’t charge you a security deposit, but it is courteous to leave them a clean home, unless they are renovating.

I promised myself that the next time I move out, I will hire professionals. As with the entire moving process, you have to weigh the value of your time vs. the cost of the service. If you decide to do the cleaning yourself, here are some steps to make it easier, or at least more thorough.

1. Invite a friend. This had better be a close friend because it’s damned hard work, but it will make everything go so much quicker.

Everywhere

2. Once the home is completely empty, except for cleaning supplies and a source of music, vacuum thoroughly. Vacuum the walls and the blinds. Vacuum inside all drawers and cabinets. If the carpet is stained, hire a professional to clean it.

3. Remove nails and screws from the walls and putty them.

4. Clean the baseboards and clean any marks on the wall. If the marks don’t come out, you may need to paint – always use a neutral color, preferably the same color as when you moved in.

5. Clean the windows, both inside and out.

6. Wipe down wall switches, outlets and doorknobs.

7. Dust ceiling fans and wash light fixtures and replace burned out bulbs.

Bathroom

8. Thoroughly scrub inside all cabinets, re-line if necessary.

9. Remove soap scum from bathtub and shower and bleach the grout.

10. Clean the bathroom fixtures, floors and the mirror.

11. Vacuum the fan.

Kitchen

12. Thoroughly scrub inside all cabinets, re-line if necessary.

13. Scrub all appliances inside and out.

Remove all the shelves and drawers from the refrigerator and clean them thoroughly. Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator and freezer.

Run the oven cleaner, if there is an automatic one, but be sure to remove all the ash at the end of the cycle. The oven cleaning is best done before move out day, so it has time to run through the cycle and cool.

If you don’t have an automatic cleaning oven, you’ll have to buy oven cleaner. Be sure to wear a mask when you are spraying. Still, you’ll want to do this before the move out day, since it will need to sit for 24 hours and then you’ll need to thoroughly scrub it out. Remember, the broiler pan is made from the same metal as the oven, so it will withstand both the heat of a cleaning cycle and the oven cleaner in a can.

14. If the sink is not stainless, remove all stains (bleach if necessary).

15. Finish off all surfaces, including counters, chrome faucets, mirrors and sinks, with window cleaner. It will make them shine.

16. Pull out the appliances and sweep under them. Wipe down the sides and the back as they are pulled out.

Everywhere

17. Clean the tile and hardwood floors.

18. Run the vacuum one more time and you are done with the inside.

Outside

19. Tidy up the outside, including mowing the lawn and pulling weeds.

20. Sweep and hose down the garage, patio and driveway.

Once you’re done, take a lot of pictures in case your landlord claims you have damaged something or that the place is dirty. Oh, and be sure to empty the trash.

Image courtesy Pixabay.

 

 

 

Your Office Moving Checklist

in Office Moving by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Your Office Moving Checklist (3)

So it’s time for you and your team to make a move to the new office. It’s time to get into gear and shift to a new home that will hopefully reflect the forward-looking nature of your business while providing a comfortable base for your staff. A potentially shambolic, stressful process can be turned into a relatively smooth, straightforward experience by following six simple tips.

 

 

1. Share Responsibility

There’s nothing worse than being left with shouldering the weight of a move alone – whether you’re the MD or the new intern there should be a role for you in the move. From boxing up the computers to carefully wrapping everyone’s favorite comedy slogan mug there’s a job for everyone when it comes to the big shift. If someone takes control in the first instance and allocates everyone their job (no playing favourites please!) there should be little to no confusion and little to no fuss.

2. Work to a schedule

So the move is in two months. What needs to be done in week one? In week three? And by who? An excel spreadsheet distributed to those involved (that’s EVERYONE remember?) detailing exactly what needs to be done and when will make the moving day itself a painless exercise. As painless as it can be anyway.

3. Throw it out

Who bought that plastic globe? When was the last time anyone used that clapped out printer? How many tons of scrap paper does one person possibly need? You know where the skip is and you know what to do. Carrying the rubbish of the past into a new environment will detract hugely from the new office’s potential to feel like a brand new, truly fresh start for all involved.

4. Pack it properly

If you’ve followed the above advice there’ll be no rushed packing and shoving of valuable items into unsuitable containers or ramming of essentials into a van at the very last minute for you. Should you encounter a moment of weakness when it seems that cramming the celebration champagne glasses into a shoebox is a great idea, imagine how you’ll feel when they turn up in bits the other end – and everyone knows you packed them because of carefully following point number 2!

5. Pick the right office

So maybe this should have been upfront but before you can schedule anything, before a box is filled, a plant pot dropped or a removal van called you’ll need to find a decent space to which to move. Think about the cons of your current office space – lacking natural light? Not spacious enough? A lack of privacy? Make these the key factors when you search for a new spot – don’t repeat the mistakes of the past – your new office should always be an improvement that gives rise to the best possible outcome from the move – a raise in both staff morale and productivity.

6. Book the right removal people

All the planning and careful packing in the world is irrelevant if you book a careless removal company. Or a massively overpriced one. Or one that turns up late and wants to go home early. You’ll need to take a long look at online reviews, take advice from other companies who have moved recently and tips from reliable friends when it comes to finding the right people for the job. Remember that the cheapest will probably not be the best but the most expensive may not be either. Picking wisely will not only reflect well on you but will serve your company very well indeed. Book a careless removal company

 

Author: Emma Macmillan

 

 

How To Throw A Housewarming Party

in Your New Home by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

Cocktails_mit_SchirmchenYou’ve moved into the perfect home. You’ve even (mostly) unpacked. It’s time to breathe. Wait, not so fast, your friends and neighbors want to see your new place, so why not follow a time-honored tradition and throw a housewarming party? Take advantage of that small window before the house becomes too lived in.

It’s somewhat traditional for housewarming guests to bring gifts. One controversial idea that’s gaining popularity is registering, like you might when getting married or having a baby. Almost any store that has a bridal registry has a housewarming registry. Stores like Crate and Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond and most department stores would be happy to accommodate. Tread lightly with this idea, though. While people might intend to bring a plant or another low-cost gift, it could turn a lot of people off if you suggest gifts. My suggestion is to leave it off the invitation and register just in case someone asks what you would like or what your need.

There tend to be two types of housewarming parties – traditional and open houses. With a traditional party, you’d probably invite a smaller group of people and you’d expect them to stick around. You might serve a full dinner or perhaps just appetizers and cocktails.

With an open house, you can invite more people because people will be going in and out. For an open house, you should serve appetizers and cocktails only. If you do host an open house, it might be nice to invite your new neighbors as well as old friends. If you have kids, you can consider a child friendly housewarming party and ask your kids to invite new classmates. If you do invite kids, have games and other activities for them.

Next, you should plan the theme. Casual is probably best. Barbecues are alway a great idea as are more casual cocktail party style.

Once you’ve planned your party, it’s time to send invitations. Online invitations are fine, if you have email addresses. You can even invite people through social media. A couple weeks in advance is fine.

Once the guests arrive, they are going to expect tours. You can either have individual tours or group tours. People tend to feel more comfortable on smaller tours, but the logistics can be difficult to maneuver. You don’t want to spend the entire party giving people tours. You can divide up the duties. If you have children who are old enough, ask them to pitch in. Remember, you don’t have to open your closets (unless you want to show off that fabulous walk-in) or your kids’ bedrooms, if you don’t want to.

If you do invite new neighbors, involve them. Ask them to talk about the neighborhood. You might consider neighborhood tours as well as house tours. This can be done as one large group and be sure to tell your guests to wear comfortable shoes.

The Quickest Renovations You Can Do

in Your New Home by Ninja Movers Leave a comment
Painted kitchen cabinets. Image courtesy of Flickr

Painted kitchen cabinets. Image courtesy of Flickr

New homes are rarely perfect. Even on a brand new home, you generally want to put your own touches on, just to give it your personality. However, when you have to live there and when your budget is already stretched, tearing down cabinets and walls is probably not in the cards. Fortunately, there are several ways you can make your new home yours without breaking the bank, your back or your family’s sanity.

Pretty much everyone knows that the easiest thing to start with is painting. A coat of paint will add instant personality to a room and it’s cheap and relatively easy. But, don’t let the paint start with the walls. Paint some furniture, if you like the look of painted wood. It’s not generally recommended that you paint your countertops, but you can even paint your kitchen cabinets, it does, however, take some work. Here’s a video on it:

New hardware will quickly spruce up a home. Change out the light fixtures. Light fixtures can add pop to any room. Change the hardware in the kitchen and in the bathrooms. Brushed metal is modern and easy to keep clean looking. Change the door pulls on drawers and on kitchen cabinets. You’d be amazed at how transformational it can be.

There’s nothing that can add more of your personality than new window treatments. While they can be expensive, good window treatments will be easy to clean and they will help insulate your home, saving you money in the long run.

Retiling your bathroom or your kitchen can be a major job, but new grout can be easy. It’s clean and it can even add some color.

If you’re really ambitious, you can refinish your bathtub or porcelain sink. Here’s a video that almost makes it look easy, but leave it to someone with lots of patience and who’s detail oriented.

Add instant curb appeal by planting shrubs and flowers, adding attractive paving stones and painting your door. Shutters on your front window can add a special touch

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