Five Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Moving is hectic and often back breaking—between all the prep work and packing and the heavy lifting, most people find relocating nothing short of stressful. In the midst of all its craziness, there are some common mistakes we all make. Here are five to look out for and avoid during your relocation process:

 

Hiring Unprofessional Movers

The whole point of hiring professionals is to avoid a lot of the stress and strain of moving. Employing the help of those who are not pros in the business often leaves people with more stress than if they hadn’t hired anyone. The horror stories range from being ripped off to having items damaged or stolen. Save yourself trouble and find a reliable company to entrust with your belongings. 

 

Not Being Fully Packed on Moving Day

Begin packing several weeks prior to moving day. The last thing you need when the moving truck is out front is to be shoving items into boxes or plastic bags.  Having everything already boxed up saves you time and money and more importantly will ensure everything is protected from potential damage.

 

Forgetting About Utilities

Make sure you have your utilities turned on in the new place. When you are tired and have finally arrived into your home, you’ll want electricity, gas and other services ready. You can have everything transferred if you call the companies ahead of time.

 

Handing Over Valuables to Movers

No matter how trusted your movers are, it’s best to transport jewelry, money and anything else deemed valuable yourself.  It’ll give you peace of mind and ensure your items arrive safely.

 

Not Having a Moving Day Kit

It might take days, even weeks, to get to all your boxes. So pack a bag, or box, with the items you’ll need on moving day.  This includes, toiletries, sheets, a change of clothing, medications, snacks, pet and children supplies, cash and a toolbox. 

Feng Shui Your Home

The Chinese art of harmonizing with one’s surroundings—known as Feng Shui—is said to purport harmony in the home and office.  By practicing the rules of this art of placement, it’s said that people can have better relationships with, and relax more in, their habitat. So how does one arrange their belongings to harmonize energy and turn their environment more happy and calm? Here are some tips:

Place Sofa Strategically

Place your sofa against a wall—leaving a few inches of breathing room between the two—farthest from the entrance, ideally having the door in clear view.


Place Bed In Commanding Position

Similar to the sofa, you don’t want your bed in line with the door, but facing it, so you can see the door. If this isn’t possible, place a mirror such that you can see the door while in bed, but make sure you don’t see yourself, which is said to be startling.

 

Bring Energy into Space Above Kitchen Cabinets

The space between the top of the kitchen cabinets and ceiling is typically where dust and energy (or Chi) is collected and stagnant. Placing plants, lights or objects in that space is said to bring life to the area and encourage energy flow.

 

Clear Entryway

Your entryway is where the energy flows into your home. Anything in that area is said to obstruct flow—this includes bicycles, plants and mail. Clear the area to allow an unobstructed flow of Chi into your environs.

 

Bring Life into Bedroom

A handful of plants can bring much needed cheer and life force into a bedroom. Greenery is said to improve love life.

 

Fix the Broken

Creaking doors, faucets and locks should all be fixed as they bring on unneeded frustration. Fixing them helps smooth out energy.

 

Get Rid of Bedroom Television

The positive ions emitted by television and other electronics is said to drain your body’s energy. Rid yourself of the bedroom television or at least cover it when not in use.  

 

Clear Clutter

Feng Shui or not, we all know to clear clutter. Clutter reminds us of our unfinished tasks and saps our energy. Besides, who wants to look at that, anyway?

 

 

How to Avoid Moving Scams

Like any other business, the relocation industry has its share of scams. You put your belongings into the hands of strangers and the move doesn’t go as planned: Your items get damaged, the move costs more than the agreed-upon price or even worse your items are stolen or lost. But your move doesn’t have to become a nightmare. With a little bit of research, you can avoid potential scams or headaches. Here are some tips for you to avoid moving scammers:

Conduct Cursory Research

Word of mouth is often the best method for evaluating a product or company. A little online research can reveal a lot about moving companies. Check everything from reviews to social media sites to anything else you can find on the company. Speak to friends, co-workers and your real estate agent to get recommendations. Then make a list of potential companies and check the ratings of the companies on your short list on the American Moving & Storage Association and the Better Business Bureau websites.

Check the Company’s Licensing

By law, moving companies must adhere to federal and state licensing.  To ensure you are dealing with a reputable company that is licensed to operate legally, make sure they provide you with a national Department of Transportation (DOT) and a state license number. You can call the corresponding agencies to verify that information. Also, make sure the moving company is fully insured.

Ask about Insurance

If moving within the state of New York, your moving company must offer basic liability at no charge to you. They should also offer added valuation and third party insurance options. Call and find out what their terms and costs are.

Request Written Estimate

You can get two kinds of estimates for moving. A binding one provides you with a guaranteed price for the move. A non-binding estimate means the price can go up by 10 percent if the work is more than anticipated. A moving estimate takes into account volume of goods, materials used (like boxes), insurance and valuations and add-on services. If anything is left blank or seems suspicious don’t be shy to ask for clarification.

Watch for Red Flags

If anything seems fishy, such as a lack of a physical address for the company, lack of branding (trucks with no logos, or movers in plain clothes), be wary and move on to another company. There are many decent options out there and with a little research, your move can be a success.

Don’t Pay A Deposit

Upfront deposits are not the norm in the moving industry. Never give a relocation company money prior to a move. Instead, move on to another company who will not ask for a deposit.

 

 

Moving Houseplants

Like other living beings, houseplants need special attention and must be moved with care. They are sensitive to stressors—such as temperature and lack of air—and are prone to breakage and damage. But with some preparation, they can survive the trip to their new home. Here are some tips to keep your plants happy and healthy during a move:

 

HIRE A COMPANY THAT MOVES PLANTS

Not every relocation company takes on the responsibility of moving living things. Talk to various professionals to see who moves plants and read reviews of people to see how their botanical buddies fared during the move.


PREPARE PLANTS

A week of two prior to the move, remove all the dead leaves of your plants. Additionally, give them a good pruning—not only does this strengthen the plants but it also makes them more compact, which means it’s easier for them to be transported.  If you’re moving succulents, skip the pruning, which could cause them more stress than needed.

 

WATER WITH CARE

Water your plants a couple of days prior to the move. You want to water just enough so your soil isn’t a sopping wet mess on moving day but is moist enough to keep your plants happy. If the move is in the winter, you might want to keep the soil on the drier side so it doesn’t freeze or get too cold. 


REPOT IF NEEDED

Three weeks before the move, you can repot your plants in plastic containers. Plastic containers are lighter and more
resilient than ceramic pots, which means they are easier and more flexible to move.

 

USE BOXES FOR STABILITY

If you’re packing the plants, use open top boxes to place each plant in. Then cushion around the pot with tissue, newspaper, rags or towels so the pots don’t move.

 

KEEP TEMPERATURES STABLE

It’s always best to transport plants in a vehicle where temperatures can be controlled, such as a car or a climate controlled truck. If your move is long distance and you are stopping at a hotel or a house, bring your greenery inside with you.


GIVE THEM TIME TO ACCLIMATE

Once in a new home, allow your plants to acclimate to their environs. They may look unhealthy at first but after a few weeks should start looking healthy. Then you can safely repot them into their original ceramic containers. 

Moving With Cats: Tips

Moving With Cats: Tips

Even before moving day arrives, just like their owners, cats will start to feel the stress. Lots of boxes, strange smells, anxious Mom or Dad, potential disruption to their feeding schedule and a decrease in cuddle and play time.  There are, however, ways to decrease stress on your felines during a move. Here are some tips:

 

Get them Used to the Carrier

If you plan on taking your cat in a carrier—and we recommend that you do as they could run away under duress—it’s a good idea to get one ahead of time and get your furry friends to get used to it. You can place a towel inside so kitty can sleep in there. You can also place food near it so your cat can familiarize him or herself with the transporter so it’s not a strange, scary box on moving day.

Moving With Cats: Tips

 

Let Boxes be a Plaything

Cats love boxes and there’s no reason why having these new objects couldn’t be a fun activity for them. To make them more appealing, you can dust a little catnip or spray synthetic cat pheromones that would make your cat feel safe.  

 

Keep the Routine

During the relocation process, it can be hard to remember to feed your cat on time or change his or her water dish as frequently as a regular day but staying with your pet’s normal schedule can reduce their anxiety.  

Moving With Cats: Tips

 

Get or Find Cat ID

Make sure you have an updated cat ID with your cell phone number so you can attach it to your cat’s collar on moving day. Cats can get spooked and run away. Should such an event occur, an ID would ensure that if someone does find your cat, they could easily contact you.

 

Visit the Vet

The stress of moving can make your cat more vulnerable to illness. An exam before the move will ensure kitty is healthy and all his or her vaccinations are up to date. If you’re traveling long distance you might want to ask the vet about anti-anxiety and motion sickness medication.

 

Create a Safe Space in Both Homes

Keep your cat in a room away from the hustle and bustle of moving in the old home with the door closed. Keep his or her water dish, food, toys and litter box in there with the cat. In the new home, create a similar space to bring kitty in and keep away from the activity.

Moving With Cats: Tips

 

Feed Kitty

Your furry friends will be anxious on moving day. Give them a small breakfast so they have something in their stomach, but don’t overfeed as they can get sick during the relocation process.

 

Let Them Explore

Once you’re all moved in, let the cat out of the safe room to explore his or her new environs. Be careful to keep doors and windows closed for a couple of weeks while kitty gets used to the new home and remember to get back on schedule with their food, playtime and such. Routine keeps them happy.

 

 

Fixing Damages Before Moving Out: A Renter’s Guide

Fixing Damages Before Moving Out: A Renter’s Guide

Moving into a new place is exciting and most of us want nothing more than to get there and bid farewell to our old apartment quickly.  But before we leave our old homes it’s worth taking a careful look around for potential damages. It’s likely that there are holes, scuff marks and broken things here and there. Fixing these will take only a handful of hours and will ensure you’ll get your security deposit back from your landlord. Here are some common apartment damages and how to fix them:

 

Holes in Walls

Your walls will likely have holes from installed art, shelves and televisions. You’ll need putty (like Spackle), sandpaper and a putty knife to fix these. First put enough putty in to fill in the hole, then spread and blend into the wall with a putty knife. Once dry, use the sand paper to smooth out the area.  For large holes you’ll need a mesh repair patch—you’ll cut this to size to fill the hole, then smooth over with putty and sand when dry.

 

Broken Blinds

Look to see if any of your blinds are broken or bent. If bent, you might be able to straighten them by hand. If the damage is beyond simple repair, you might consider grabbing a new set of blinds—which are typically inexpensive—to snap into the place of the old one.

Fixing Damages Before Moving Out: A Renter’s Guide

 

Floor Scratches

Hardwood floors are prone to scratches—from our shoes, impact with objects and pets. Luckily, they are easily fixed. A trip to the hardware store will reveal the plethora of markers, stains and pastes available to fix nicks. Speak to a professional at the store to find the best option for your floor type. Ideally, know the wood and stain color family before going to the store.

 

Carpet Stains

If your old apartment had carpet, look for stains that you might have caused during your stay. You can use a number of stain removers designed for carpets at retailers. If the stains are too hard or large to remove, rent a carpet-cleaning machine that could literally do the heavy (stain) lifting for you.

Fixing Damages Before Moving Out: A Renter’s Guide

Finding Friends After Moving

Finding Friends After Moving

Once the hard task of moving ends, another difficult task begins: Finding new friends and settling in with the neighbors and the neighborhood. While we all seem to do this more naturally as kids, the idea of fitting in seems more trying as adults. But there are some surefire ways to make the process of settling in your new environs a bit easier. Here are some tips:

 

Get to Know Your Neighbors

After you’ve settled in you might try knocking on a few neighboring doors and introducing yourself.  You can also try sending an email—many buildings have an internal listerv—suggesting a get together on the roof, yard or at a local bar. Whatever vehicle you use to get to know your neighbors, you’d be surprised to see how many of them will be on board.

 

Locate Old Friends

Use your social media and contacts to find old acquaintances and friends in the city or town you’ve just moved to. Each person you know has several friends and you are likely to connect to a few of them. The more people you meet, the more your chances of finding like-minded folks.

Finding Friends After Moving

 

Hang out with Co-workers

Happy hours and work functions often lead to friendships. After all, you’re spending eight plus hours with these people and it’s likely you’ll find something in common with them outside the workplace.

 

Join Hobby Groups

Play the Ukelele? Like to mountain climb? There’s a group for that and you can find them via online networking portals like meetup. And if a group you’re interested doesn’t exist, you can create your own.

Finding Friends After Moving

 

Volunteer

Sharing a skill with those who can benefit from it can be both rewarding and fun. Bonus, you might snag a few friends too. Find organizations around your new home that take volunteers and consider making a difference in your community.

 

Take Classes

You’ve always wanted to learn how to water color and take spinning classes. Well, now’s the time to do it and you never know who you might meet while learning something new.  Your new best friend might just be a class away!

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