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How To Make A Summer Move Without Overheating

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Summer is by far the busiest time in the moving industry. Children are out of school, for many, work is a bit slower, and you don’t have to worry about Mother Nature snowing on your moving parade.

Featured image: Public Domain, via Wikimedia

If your home, like many in California, doesn’t have air conditioning, moving day can be especially hot. First, there’s the fact that you’re expending a lot of energy. That’s sweat-worthy even in the dead of winter. Then, there’s the in and out. That’s when things can really get animal style (in that human beings quickly start smelling like livestock). The open doors let in all the heat you’re desperately trying to keep out.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can take to help keep the heat out and to keep you and your movers from overheating.

Dress appropriately

Most moving companies provide uniforms, which usually consist of heavy, often black, pants, and a t-shirt. Some moving companies allow shorts, but for safety reasons, many do not. Your movers will look hot and sweaty after a few hours. It’s part of the job. You, though, have a bit more flexibility. Wear loose, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics. Remember that your house will be in a upheaval, so if you have a tendency to bump into things, long pants are advised.

Stay hydrated

Most movers bring a drink or two with them, but working in hot weather needs more than a couple of drinks. Provide lots of water or Gatorade, and don’t berate your mover for taking hydration breaks. Imagine how much slower the move will go if they start dehydrating.

Keep packers inside during your summer move

Most moving crews have designated packers. If you are the designated packer, you should try to stay inside as well. This helps keep you from (pardon the image) sweating all over your clean clothes and linens.

Keep the utilities on in both places

Even if you don’t have air conditioning, use fans. You’ll also be very happy to have a refrigerator and freezer. Stock both refrigerators with refreshing summer beverages and fruits.

Keep your children and pets cool

If you can, send your children and pets to stay with a friend or in daycare. Not only will this keep them cool, it will keep them out of the way and it will help keep them happy during the stressful move.

Schedule your summer move to beat the heat

Have the movers come as early as possible. If you want the movers to pack for you, ask if they can pack the day before so the heavy lifting can be done in the morning, when it’s cooler.

How To Make Your Move Less Stressful — For Real

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One of the most overused cliches in the moving industry is that moving is stressful. Duh.

Let me tell you about my last move. I chose not to let the movers pack because I needed to do some serious organizing and purging. I was lucky that I had the option of working from home, but that only meant that on top of my long work hours, I had to prepare for the move.

During the three weeks leading up to the move, we still had not closed on our house and things were not looking particularly good. The house was bank-owned. The bank received higher offers than the one that they accepted from us, so they tried everything to get out of the deal. Still, if the move were to happen, I had to go on as scheduled.

Fortunately after several anxiety attacks, our broker worked his magic and we closed on the house, a week late.

None of that begins to address the physical toll the move took on me. My back and knees compelled me to stay in bed, but I couldn’t. Instead, I packed. I lifted heavy objects. I bent over far too often. It didn’t have to be that way.

Don’t be like me. The best way to manage the stress of your move is to prepare months in advance, not weeks. Pick a daily or weekly closet or dresser, and donate everything you don’t wear or use.

Hire an Organizer

If you can afford it, hire people to help you out. A professional organizer will cost between $30 and $80 an hour. That might sound like a lot of money, but they can help you save on the move and they can help free you up to do your real job.

Let the Movers do it

Full service movers are exactly that. They won’t help you organize, but they will pack anything you want them to pack. They can even unpack for you. Again, you will pay for the service, but they will knock it out in a day or two. That’s a lot better than you can do on your own.

Hire Cleaners

For me, the most stressful part of the move was the aftermath. While I had hundreds of unpacked boxes in my new home, my old home still needed a lot of attention. Here I thought I was done with that place. I recruited a couple of friends and we banged it out within a day. Still, next time, I will hire someone to make the house spick and span for the new residents.

Five Ways To Save Some Serious Money On Your Move

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Moving is expensive. We know this and the last thing we want to do is send you into debt for your move. That’s really not a good way to get repeat business. So, here are some tips that are guaranteed to save money.

1. Save Money by Packing Everything

Packing everything in your home can save you as much as 25 percent on the cost of your move. Talk to your moving estimator about packing materials and ask for tips. They can show you how to pack fragile items. Keep in mind that if it’s not furniture, it needs to be in a box. You need to pack pictures (or move them yourself), electronics and lamps.

2. Save Money by Cleaning

Movers don’t care if there’s a little dust, but you want to be sure that there is plenty of space to move, especially near the doors. Clear all debris and empty the trash, or the movers might move it.

3. Save Money by Labeling Everything

If you are doing your own packing, odds are, the movers won’t label your boxes. One of the best ways to keep things moving smoothly is to very clearly label each item with by room. Color coordination is even better. You can even map out your new home to show the movers where all the furniture goes.

4. Save Money by Moving Some Things Yourself

Moving a box or 10 isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference on the bottom line, but if you can move loose items like pictures, lamps and electronics, you can save a good bit of change.

5. Save Money by Reserving a Parking Space

If parking is a challenge in your neighborhood, contact the city and ask about reserving space. Plan on a truck that’s about 26 foot in length. Most cities will charge you, but in the long-run, convenient parking will save you a lot of time on your move.

If you live in a condo or apartment building that has a loading dock, ask your building management about reserving time. Note that most moves start in the morning, so you should reserve your current home for the morning and your new address later in the day. Your moving estimator can give you a better estimate of time.

Featured image CC2.0 401(k) 2012 via Flickr

How To Keep Burglars Away From Your Empty House While You’re Trying To Sell

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Last year, headlines were all about the fact that a home that belonged to rapper 50 Cent was burglarized. Fortunately, Fiddy wasn’t home at the time. As a matter of fact, the 21 bedroom, 25 bath mansion was vacant because it was on the market. The burglars didn’t make it much past the front door because of security alarms.

Most of us, of course, don’t live on lavish estates. Fiddy wasn’t alone though. Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity. Vacant houses are about as close to risk free as it gets for burglars. While they won’t find fancy electronics, they are known to take appliances, staging furniture and even the copper pipes.

Robbing for sale homes is nothing new. Burglars have been targeting homes with For Sale signs for decades. Today, though, many savvy Realtors and home owners are leaving the tell-tale sign out and listing the homes virtually instead.

Unfortunately, that makes the home that much more difficult to sell and the bad guys have the internet too. In one case in Oregon, robbers found their targets on free real estate apps. The watched the houses day and night and then returned during the day as cleaning crews. They even fooled the neighbors, who were thankful people were taking care of the vacant property.

How to Secure a Vacant Home

Whether you are away for a short trip or are selling your home, the best way to prevent burglaries is to make your home look occupied. Put lights on a timer and turn the porch light (motion detector is best) and a visible inside light on at night. Stop all mail and newspaper deliveries.

Plant thorny bushes near the lower windows, so burglars don’t have a place to hide. Buy security film for the lower windows and install a heavy security door.

No one wants to pay for electricity or alarm systems for a house they don’t even live in, but a security system makes your home a much more difficult target. Some alarm companies have temporary solutions.

Keep your neighbors and the police in the loop. Let them know that the home will be empty and that if you are sending any contractors over, you will let them know.

While all of this might seem like you’re throwing good money after bad, there’s nothing that gives buyers second thoughts than a home that’s been burglarized.

Featured image via Pixabay

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)

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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.

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