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Five Tips If You Decide To Move Yourself

in Advice by Ninja Movers Leave a comment

We get it, we really do. Sometimes people have more time than money so they decide to do all the heavy lifting themselves – literally. Each of us has done it, so we’re not going to judge you, but we do ask one thing of you, don’t do it like you did in college. You probably have things you actually care about now and with these few tips, you can take care of them.

1. Pack – Obviously, the packing process isn’t much different if you’re moving yourself or if you’re having professionals move you, but in my experience, people tend to be a little looser with packing when they move themselves. Maybe they want to impress movers with their packing skills, who knows. Trust me, packing is one of two places you absolutely don’t want to cut corners. Get good, quality boxes. If they aren’t new, inspect them for damage. Pack carefully and don’t skimp on cushioning. If you’re packing breakables, pick up the box and shake it before sealing. If anything moves, stuff more cushioning in there.

2. Wrap your furniture – This is the second place you absolutely, under any circumstances, should not scrimp. Rent moving blankets from the truck rental place. You can even ask local movers if they have used blankets for you. Don’t just drape a blanket over the top. Wrap the the entire piece, including the legs of furniture carefully and tape around the outside of the blanket to keep it secure.

3. Rent a large enough truck – I’ll let you in on a little secret. Truck rental companies tend to underestimate your needs. A good rule of thumb is to rent one size larger than they recommend. Obviously, if you are moving locally, you can make extra trips, but if you are moving long distance, there’s nothing worse than having too small a truck.

4. Get a truck with a lift gate – Your back will thank me for it.

5. Try to avoid the end of the month – Everyone moves at the end of the month, which means that truck inventory is low and prices are absolutely not negotiable. The same rule holds true for moving companies. You can get a much better price if you can move in the middle of the month, especially in the middle of the week.

6. Get a few quotes and don’t trust ads – Truck rental companies base their ads on availability. If they have a lot, they will honor the ads (there is a lot of fine print). If they don’t, they won’t. Try even calling a few locations of the same company. You might find one itching to get rid of some of their inventory.


The College Moving Habits You Should Drop Now – And The Ones You Can Keep

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

Image from Wikimedia


When I was in college and in my early 20s, I moved often. It was fairly easy then. Not only was my body young and able to take the abuses of carrying heavy items up and down stairs, I had young, strong friends, who were willing to pitch in for no more than beer and pizza.

Sure, a few things were damaged – they always were, but I didn’t care that much. My furniture was mostly hand-me-down and the most valuable possessions I had were my clothes, my books and my music collection.

College is now in the past. I think my furniture, my electronics and my kitchen are finally more valuable than my clothes and about half my book and music collection are digital. Still, if it weren’t for Ninja Movers, I would probably still move much the same way I did in college. Sure, the pickup truck would probably be replaced by a rental truck, but I would still rely on friends and on shoddy packing.

Fortunately, I do have Ninja Movers, but even if I were to move myself, a lot of wisdom can be taken from the pros – and the first is to drop most of your college moving habits:

1. Don’t pack in trash bags – They don’t stack in the truck and they tear.

2. Don’t get boxes from the grocery store – You don’t have to buy boxes from your mover, but you should always use boxes that are in good condition. Grocery store boxes are often water damaged, cut and just banged around.

3. Use the right boxes – Dishes are best packed in dish packs and hanging clothes are best packed in wardrobe boxes. When in doubt, smaller is better.

4. Don’t overpack boxes – Sure, you’ve hired movers, but if you fill a box of rocks, it will still be impossibly difficult to carry and it will likely break. Get out your scale. A box should weight NO MORE than 50 pounds when packed.

5. Wrap your furniture – If you are moving yourself, you can rent moving blankets. They are worth the investment. Make sure that every inch of your furniture is wrapped and tape on the outside of the blankets, to ensure that you won’t have residual tape on your furniture.

So, what are the college habits you can keep?

1. Move plants yourself – Lay the in boxes and move them in your car. Movers can move them (if you aren’t leaving the state), but I just feel better having them with me.

2. To save money, move pictures and electronics yourself – Movers will be happy to move pictures and electronics for you and if you have valuable art work, I still suggest that they are properly packed, but for a standard framed poster or for a not-so-valuable piece of art work, face to face between the back and front seat of your car is usually sufficient. For extra protection, wrap them in blankets or sheets and slip a piece of cardboard between them. Electronics, like plants, can ride on car seats in boxes.

3. Have a packing party – The reward might have to be a better quality pizza and beer, but friends are still great resources. Just make sure they pack carefully and that every breakable item is well-wrapped in paper.

Or, of course, you can drop all of your college moving habits and hire someone to do all the hard work.

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