3 Ways to Downsize Efficiently and Move On

Having a large home can be overwhelming if you are living in it alone. Downsizing can make taking care of your home more manageable and less stressful. 

It’s amazing how much stuff a person can accumulate over a few years’ time. When you start to downsize, there are several things you can do to make sure your move goes smoothly and that you don’t have any misunderstandings between family members.

Here are some ways to help you with your downsizing effort.

Donate Items to Charity

Moving to a smaller home or apartment means that you will more than likely have a lot of extra furniture, cooking utensils, and other household items. Many local charities will pick up donations of large items like beds, sofas, and dressers. Just notify them about what you have and schedule a time for pick up. 

Most charities will also provide you with a receipt allowing you to take your donation off of your taxes at the end of the year. Once you have a list of items you want to donate, call your favorite charity, and schedule a pick-up time.

If there are items you just can’t part with yet, consider renting a storage unit. It might ease your concern about parting with things you aren’t ready to let go of.

Ask Family Members What They Would Like to Have

If you have family heirlooms or keepsakes, you may want to arrange to give these to your family members. This ensures that all of the things go to the person you want to have them. This will eliminate any disputes later and will make your move much easier. Another advantage of distributing family heirlooms is that there is less likelihood of something getting broken with repeated moves. 

Talk to each family member and find out what they would like to have. Once you have decided who will receive what item, make arrangements to have them come over and pick it up.

Find the Right Space

The hardest part about downsizing is making sure you have the right amount of space in your new home. 

After you have decluttered your current home, schedule a meeting with a real estate agent in your area. If possible, select a realtor called a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SERS) to help you sell your house. SERS realtors have experience working with clients that need to downsize. An excellent way to find a reliable agent is to ask friends and family for referrals. 

People who have recently downsized might have leads on real estate agents who understand your unique needs. Another way to find a realtor is to connect with a relocation specialist. They can refer you to realtors in your area and help you navigate the relocation process if you are moving to a new state.

Relocation Help

Downsizing is a great way to maintain control over your living area. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, once you make the final decision, you will feel like a burden has been lifted off your shoulders. You will have the peace of mind you need to live comfortably without having to deal with excess clutter. Downsizing also makes caring for your home much more manageable and will give you more free time to enjoy your day.

We can help with your downsizing move! Contact us today for a free quote.

Moving in a Hurry? Tips to Pack Up and Move at Max Speed

Perhaps you have landed your ideal new position with all the perks, but the job is across the country, and you start right away. Or maybe you have had another unexpected event that requires you to move quickly. 

Whatever the reason for your fast move, you will no doubt have your challenges. You’re going to have to rush, though! Read on for some tips on moving in a hurry.

Contact Potential Movers

First, get in touch with expert moving companies. Request free quotes, inquire about their availability, determine the right fit, and contract their services. Take care of this step right away so that you aren’t stuck moving everything yourself.

When contacting the prospective movers to book moving services, clarify their services and packages. Will you require full-service assistance like packing and unpacking? Does the moving company offer a moving coordinator to help you with your planning? Will you require storage? Select the residential moving company that best suits your moving needs.

Make a Checklist

It’s easy to overlook things when you’re moving in a hurry; that’s why a checklist is essential. As soon as things start progressing at a fast pace, you’ll be glad that you have the checklist to refer to. This list will help eliminate your panic. It will give you peace of mind so that you do not forget anything.

Cull through Quickly

Eliminate as much unnecessary stuff as you can. You don’t want to move things you don’t want to keep. A new home is an opportunity for a fresh start, so unload things that are cluttering up your life. Donate your useable unwanted items so that they get a new home with someone who will use them.

Pack Clothes as They Are

When you’re short on time, leave the clothes in the dresser drawers if it isn’t too heavy. Move the dresser as is! Secure the drawers closed with heavy furniture blankets and stretch wrap.

As for the hanging clothes, don’t remove them from the hangers. Bundle the hangers together, and secure them with rubber bands. Then place a plastic cover over them using something like a tall trash bag. This will keep the clothes together and prevent them from getting dirty.

Label Everything

You may be in a hurry, but labeling your boxes in not a step you want to skip. Label each box with a basic description of the contents and room that it is destined for at your new home.

Ask for Help

When you’re pressed for time in a quick move, it helps to reach out to family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. Added reinforcements can help you make decisions quicker in pressure situations as well. Friends and family can help you discard unnecessary items and help you pack up. This is an invaluable resource.

Pack an Essentials Box

Make your move a little easier by packing an essentials box to include things you need right after the move. Include items you will need but won’t have immediate access to after you arrive at your new place. Include medications, toothbrushes, toiletries, cleaning supplies, phone chargers, snacks, and a change of clothes.

Pack and Move in a Hurry 

Starting life in a new place is challenging enough, but having to pull off a move in a short amount of time is even trickier! If you have a move to make in a hurry, contact us for a quote. We can help take the challenge out of your move.

Ready to Sell Your Home? Tips for Staging

Are you preparing to move? Staging your home will likely make the difference between a fast sale and a home that lingers on the housing market for a long time. 

Now that you have decided to make your household move, you probably don’t want to wait forever for your home to sell. You are undoubtedly anxious to move on to the next phase of your life. Selling your home quickly is a top priority. 

While many factors influence how long a house stays on the market, one aspect that can affect how quickly your home sells is how well it is staged.

If you need some tips for staging your house, but you don’t know where to begin, here are some suggestions to help with a quicker home sale. 

Deep Clean 

Start with the basics. House buyers are looking for a new place to call home, and they will search for clean and fresh properties. A deep clean requires more than just wiping down the sinks and vacuuming the floor. To get your house into the best condition for staging, think deeper. 

From grimy baseboards to buggy, dusty ceiling fixtures, everything in your house needs to be cleaned so that it’s spotless and shiny. Clean the windows inside and out. Make sure the floors, wall, and switch plates are spotless.

Remove Clutter 

Maybe you have intended to declutter your home for years but just never committed to doing it. 

Now is the time to dive in.

The goal of staging your home is to showcase the space and not your personal belongings. You must examine each room of your home and remove unnecessary stuff. 

Remove things like blenders and toasters from the kitchen counters to highlight more counter space. Either tuck these things away in a cabinet or start the packing process a little early. 

The same rule applies to things like collections. From teddy bears to stamps to coins, if you have collections displayed in your home, pack them up early for your move because to others, they might appear as clutter.

De-Personalize Your Space

When potential buyers take a look at your home, they want to be able to picture their own family living there. That’s why you need to help them with that vision. Remove all of your personal items and family memorabilia. These include family portraits, personal plaques, trophies, and other elements indicating this is your home. Though you have a sentimental attachment to these items, they may just distract your potential buyers. Again, remove these by packing them up.

Let Light In 

Light plays a significant factor in the aesthetic of your home. 

Stage your home to let in as much natural light as possible into each room. Consider removing heavy drapes and anything blocking the windows. 

Before your showings, make sure you open your blinds. If your light fixtures and lampshades are dated or dingy, replace them with lighter fresher shades that cast more light. Even increase the wattage in the bulbs throughout the house.  

Upgrade the Curb Appeal

Your potential buyer’s first impression of your home will be as they approach from the exterior. Make the most of it!  

Plant some colorful flowers and add some welcoming, colorful planters near the front door. Make sure the bushes are trimmed, the lawn is cut and kept, and lay down some fresh mulch.

Perk up the whole front entrance with a fresh color of paint on the door and a new, fun welcome mat. 

Are You Ready to Move? 

These home staging tips should help you get your house sold quickly. 

And, once you’re ready to move, contact us for a quote. We can help get you to your new home with no worries. 

Moving Tips: What to Expect from Good Movers and Questions to Ask

Congratulations, you got that job offer or promotion. But you’ll need to pull up roots and move across the country. Along the road to this next chapter in your life, you have accumulated possessions, and you want to take them with you.

You’re not into heavy lifting and dismantling beds or packing up and sorting all those precious and useful items that populate your life. You want a professional moving company, and there are many out there. How do you choose one, and what questions should you ask?

Questions for Potential Movers

What is the company’s U.S. Department of Transportation registration number?

Companies transporting goods outside the state must be registered. You can check them out at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

How does the moving company estimate the cost to you?

Answer a few simple questions regarding your move then get an in-home assessment of your household items. Reputable moving companies will provide the estimate in writing, which will include all charges with signatures by both you and the company rep for it to be binding.

Are there any extra or additional costs?

Check to see if the mover charges for special handling. Those charges would cover factors like specialty items that require additional attention or special packing. Some movers charge extra if their crew has to clear obstacles when loading and unloading. Let your potential mover know of any elevators, stairs, or particularly long distances they have to tackle during the move.

Does the mover use subcontractors?

If yes, ask the company for the subcontractor’s name. This information is readily available, and reputable companies will not withhold subcontractor information. They will also use reliable local movers, who have their own moving equipment.

How does the company handle and respond to complaints?

The most upfront and reputable moving companies can provide a history of complaints and claims and how they were resolved. The Better Business Bureau profiles for moving companies are at BBB.org

Do they provide full-service move options?

Since two moves are never the same, you might need to customize your moving services for your specific needs. Does the moving company offer full-service packing, loading and unloading, fixture installation, and furniture assembly? Do they provide a move coordinator to assist you? Assess your needs and make sure you know what services are available.

The best movers provide shrink-wrap for soft furniture as well as blanket wrap services. They will also offer efficient labeling and an easily identifiable method to unpack your household goods at the final destination. If storage is involved, look for companies that provide storage service.

Reliable Movers

For help with your move, contact us for a free quote. We can help your move be smooth and successful.

Getting Your Kids Excited About Your Residential Move

While you’re busy dealing with the logistics of relocation, and your own excitement, concerns, and fears your kids are struggling in their own way to deal with the move. Many of them dreading a future filled with question marks.

Your kids are likely to move to a new neighborhood and a new school — maybe even a new part of the country.

They might be anxious that they won’t fit in. It is hard on kids, but there are things you can do to make the move easier on them – perhaps even get them excited about it. Here’s where you need to begin.

Get Them Excited About Your New Home

If you have the opportunity, take them there in person and let them see their new home ahead of time. If that isn’t possible, use virtual tours of the home to get them excited. Show them their new rooms and ask your kids if they want to paint their rooms a particular color or decorate with a specific theme in mind.

Present the new home as a fresh slate for the “next phase” of their lives and solicit their input. It gives them a little sense of power in a situation that has them feeling powerless.

Or perhaps your child wants to keep their room as close to their original room as possible. The key is to give your child choices about the move where possible while assuring them that other important things will remain unchanged.

Explore Your New Neighborhood for Points of Interest

Share these points of interest with your kids. Don’t forget that while there are some interests all your children share, each child has unique interests as well. Make sure to include something special for each child. Points of interest to consider for your children include:

  • Nearby Playgrounds

Show them places where they can go and play near your new home; the more options, the better. Most cities offer websites about community parks with pictures. Use the web to your advantage if you’re making a long-distance move.

  • Outdoor Recreation Areas

Get online and see if your new community has places for outdoor adventure such as bike trails, hiking trails, beaches, fishing ponds, botanical gardens, or horseback riding.

  • Historical Spots

Check to see if there are any historical sites nearby. From historic homes to battlefields or state capitals to museums, find out if there are fun spots to explore. 

  • Schools 

Visit the website for their new school and let them get excited about the activities and opportunities waiting for them once you move.

And of course, you will want to locate the favorite local Ice cream shops! A kid has to have priorities.

Arrange a Visit Ahead of Time

It helps if moving day isn’t the first opportunity for your children to see their new town, new community and, new home. It will feel far less foreign to them if you’re able to include them in pre-move visits.

Addressing a New Move with Teens

Teens are a different matter altogether. They have developed their own relationships, sometimes romantic relationships, and aren’t always on board with the idea of picking up their lives and moving.

It’s important to let your teens know you respect their concerns. Offer accommodations after the move, such as frequent trips to the place they consider home and the possibility of attending college in their home state – even returning for milestone events like homecoming or prom.

Show your teen that you can embrace the future without forgetting the past. That may be the most important lesson you can teach when moving.

Making Moving Easier

Relocating is an anxious time for everyone in the family. Taking steps like these can ease the transition.

If you need help with your big move, contact us for a quote. We can help ease the challenges of your relocation.

Things to Take Care of After Your Residential Move

Moving is no small task. The movers have pulled away. Now you’re left with many boxes to unpack and a house to pull together.

The heaviest part of the work is complete, and before you unpack and sit back and relax, there are a few tasks to take care of.

Yes, it’s overwhelming, but here are some of the top things you should focus on right after you move in.

Inspect Everything

Perhaps you used a residential mover, or maybe you tackled the move on your own, in either case, you will want to make sure that everything arrived safely. Inspect your boxes, furniture, and appliances to confirm that everything is intact and working.

Now is the time to go through your new home and examine it as well. Even though you completed a walkthrough before the move, take the time to inspect it again now.  Anything can happen in the days, weeks, or months between your initial visit and your moving in — even if no one has been occupying the home.

Use a “Move-In” List When Unpacking

With so many boxes, unpacking your stuff can be an overwhelming task. Stay organized by unpacking systematically. The ideal way is to use an unpacking list. 

Break the process down room by room. Prioritize the rooms that need to be unpacked and put away first. Then move down the list in order of importance.

In fact, when you’re packing consider putting each room’s essential items in their own box. Then mark that box with a priority indicator so that you know that box should be unpacked first in that room.

Clean Up and Confirm Safety Precautions

The moving process is messy work. After you have done some unpacking and much of your stuff is in its proper place, it’s time to clean up and recycle the packing material. With that out of the way, you can dig in with a thorough cleaning.

If you have kids or pets, make sure your home has safety precautions in place. Make sure all medicines are put away, stairs and windows are protected to prevent falls, and electrical outlets are covered.

Check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working correctly and have not expired. Replace the locks and add a security system if that’s in your plan. 

Change Address, Insurance, and License

File a change of address with the local post office. Also, notify various companies about your new address. Be sure to include banks, as well as credit cards and insurance companies.

If you’ve moved to a new state, you’ll likely need to set up a new bank account. Check with your insurance companies to see if you need to make changes to your policies or if you need different coverage. This includes household, auto, and health insurance. 

Make sure you register your car at your new address and update your driver’s license at the local DMV.

 Moving Help

Are you planning a household move? We can help! Get a free quote today.

Moving Guide: How to Transfer Utilities

Are you getting ready for a residential move?

Transferring utilities is one of the many details you will have on your to-do list before move-in day. You won’t want to arrive at your new home and be minus the essentials like electricity, water, gas, and internet. That would make for a tough move-in day.

If you need some guidance on how to transfer your utilities to a new place, keep reading for more details.

Transfer Utilities When You Move

Transferring your utilities might sound complex; however, it’s an easy process. This guide will help you navigate the transfer process services so that your move is seamless.

1. Research the Companies

What utility companies provide service in your new community? If you’re moving locally, it’s possible that your utility company will stay the same, but not necessarily.

Depending on what state you are moving to, you might have the option of an energy provider. Determine if you have a choice for a provider and which is the most cost-effective.

Confirm that all of your utilities can transfer, particularly with services like cable or internet, since your current utility provider may not offer service in your new community. Look at the price of service to determine if it’s more cost-effective with another provider.

You can also ask your real estate agent for lists of companies to call to set up services.

2. Plan Ahead

Once you’ve determined that you can transfer utilities, make arrangements to do so. Some transfers take longer to process than others. Contact the companies at least two weeks in advance to let them know that you will be moving — utility services like cable and internet services that require an installation appointment call a month in advance.  

When you’re scheduling your disconnect and connect dates for electric and gas, schedule the disconnect date to be a day or two after your move. This will allow the electricity and services to continue to work, in case you need to return for anything in your old house.

3. Take Care of Water and Sewer

Make arrangements for your water and sewer services through the town or village.

Contact your town’s public utility office a few weeks before the move and arrange for the service to begin on your move-in day or the day before.

4. Update Your Address

When calling to set up your new utilities, have your exact moving address available to provide them. If you don’t have it, make sure it’s updated before you move.

You want to make sure you provide your new service address. It’s also key to make sure your bills from your old address get forwarded to your new address. This can also be done online through the post office.

5. Take Care of Any Outstanding Bills

Before leaving your current home, pay any outstanding balances. Even though you’re moving your service address, it doesn’t automatically mean your billing information will transfer. You don’t want to wind up with late fees because of outstanding balances.

Moving with Ease

A residential move involves a lot of changing details. It’s essential to be prepared as much as possible. 

Do you need assistance with your upcoming move? Contact us today for a quote.

Moving? Organize and Declutter Before You Pack

There can be many hidden expenses during a residential move. Things like utility transfers, forgetting to discontinue services or memberships, packing supplies, and appliance technicians are just some of the costs you haven’t considered when putting together your budget.

Before you begin packing, consider decluttering your home. The less stuff you have, the easier and more cost-effective it will be to move. Plus, your belongings will be more streamlined and organized when you get to your new house.

Here are some decluttering tips to help you scale back before you pack.

Assess Your Belongings

Side aside some time to focus on each room one at a time. Thoughtfully consider everything you have. Gather a pile of things to donate and another to discard.

Ask yourself about each item::

  • Is this still useful to me?
  • Is it broken?
  • When did I last use it?
  • Does it have sentimental value to me?
  • Will I miss it if I don’t have it?
  • Is there a place for it in my new home

Reduce Your Wardrobe

Most people don’t wear much of what is in their closet. It’s time to take charge and sort through your closet so that you know what you’re working with.

Edit your wardrobe much like you did your other belongings. Be honest with yourself about what you wear and what you don’t.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the article of clothing still fit me?
  • Does it coincide with my current lifestyle?
  • Have I worn this in the last two years?

Scale Back on Knick-Knacks

There’s no denying that most of us like to purchase miscellaneous items when from time to time. Sometimes they’re impulse buys or souvenirs from when we travel. In many cases, these items don’t serve a purpose and just collect dust. Other times our styles change, and they no longer fit in with our decor.

Cull through your bookshelves, cabinets, and junk drawers. You may have assorted souvenir mugs and knick-knacks that you don’t need to bring with you to clutter your new home. Place them in the donate pile and move on.

Downsize the Pantry

It’s an excellent idea to scale pack on your food before you pack up. 

There is no reason to transport expired foods from your current pantry to your new one. If the date has passed, discard it.

Use up the food currently have in your pantry instead of moving it. Go through your pantry and fridge and start planning meals so that you can use up that food before your move date. 

If you have too much food and realize you won’t be able to consume it all before the big move, donate the remaining to a local food pantry.

Assess Your Furniture

Take a look at your furniture and determine if it’s worth the expense of moving. Perhaps your furniture is worn and has seen better days. It might be easier to replace it when you settle in at your new house, especially if you’re moving a reasonable distance.

Start Decluttering Early

Start the decluttering process early so that you don’t have to bring unnecessary stuff with you to your new home. Take advantage of the opportunity to have a fresh start in your new home.

Need help getting your move going? Contact us today for a free quote!

 

Move-in Day! 4 Things You Can Do to Help Your Movers

Moving to a new home is exciting. But, it can also be stressful. In fact, a majority of couples admit to getting into some of their worst arguments while moving.

Using professional movers, rather than relying on family and friends, is one smart way to reduce moving stress. That said, it can be hard for some people to sit back while others do the work.

If you’re one of those people, there are some things you can do to help the movers’ jobs go smoothly on moving day. Check out these four tips for when household movers are helping with the move.

1. Unplug All of Your Electronics

If you’ve ever looked behind your entertainment center or computer desk, you’ve undoubtedly seen the tangled mess that electronics cords get into. These cords can be challenging for movers as they determine what goes with what, all while not breaking anything.

To help things go smoothly, unplug all the electronics, and wrap up the cords neatly. You might even detach the cords from the devices and place them in labeled bags. 

2. Take Everything off the Walls

It might seem insignificant, but the extra seconds to take every picture, painting, and shelf off of the walls add up. Take everything down that is hanging up, and lean it against the wall. You can make things even easier by leaning them all against one wall.

3. Set Aside the Stuff You Need

On moving day, there will be some items you immediately want access to. The last thing a mover wants to hear after they’ve neatly packed up the house into boxes is, “Hey…where’s my phone charger?”

Take items like a change of clothes, electronics chargers, laptops, and toiletries and set them aside in a separate box or bag. Label it “essentials box” and set it aside. Let the movers know that you will be taking it with you in your own car, or they should pack it on the truck last so that it is the first to come off the truck when you reach your new home.

4. Know Where You Want Things to Go

Both you and the movers will be happier in the end if you are at the new home directing where items should go in the house. This makes it easier for them to know they’ve done their job well, and makes it easier for you not to have to move heavy items around too much.

It’s good to have an idea of where you want the big items to go in the new house. This way, you won’t have movers dragging a sectional sofa from one end of the room to the other. 

If you are packing your own boxes, label them on each side with the room you want them to go to. Packing and labeling is an essential part of the moving process.

Get Ready to Move into Your New Home!

With these tips, you’ll be ready to support your movers and move into your new home.

If you need professional help with your move, we have you covered. Check out our services and get a free quote today.