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How To Move Houseplants

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Image CC0 Creative Commons, by Altinka_Bibliotechnaya, via Pixabay

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 innocent looking houseplant, 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 houseplants 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 houseplants. Unpack them slowly and carefully. Let them sit in the same place for a while to settle into their new environment.

 

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 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.

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.

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.

 

 

 

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