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Hidden Moving Costs to be Prepared For

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There are many moving costs that need to be considered in order to budget properly for moving day. Some are obvious, such as the cost to rent a moving truck or the cost to hire movers. Other moving costs seem more hidden such as the cost for extra mileage or using a moving truck dolly or ramp, and then there are some moving costs that are completely forgotten about altogether. Today, we are going to discover the extra kind-of moving costs to ensure you can properly prepare and plan a budget that is as accurate as possible.

Keep the Kids at the Babysitter

If you’ve ever tried moving with young kids, you know that it can be a near impossible task. At the very least, moving day is not as productive as it could have been. Fortunately, if your kids are old enough to help, you can put them to work. However, if you have little ones running around, such as babies or tipsy toddlers, they’ll be more of a roadblock than a helping hand. Hire a babysitter to make the move much more effective. Think about the price it’ll cost to have the children looked after from morning to night and maybe even overnight, so you have enough time to prepare and child-proof your new home.

Send the Pets to a Sitter

Pets can be just as distracting if not more so than little kids. Smaller pets can generally be kept in their cages during moving day but if you have a dog or cat, consider sending it to a pet sitting facility. This will keep their snouts out of boxes, paws off of furniture and fur out of the way, making for an easier and more productive day altogether. However, pet sitting typically comes with a cost and should be factored into your moving day budget.

Grabbing Food for Takeout

Chances are you won’t be in the mood to cook on moving day, and that’s assuming you’re able to unpacked all of your kitchen supplies and ingredients in a timely manner. Not to mention, cooking can take up viable time so ordering takeout for moving day meals is usually the best option. However, it comes with a price. You can opt to pick the food up instead of getting delivery to cut down on costs or a cheaper alternative to buying takeout is to buy some ingredients to make some simple sandwiches. Don’t forget the cost that entails when replenishing your energy while moving.

Professional Cleaner Times Two

It’s proper moving etiquette to leave your current home in the same condition you want your new home to be in upon arrival. This takes a sufficient amount of time and effort, as you have to clean your house top to bottom and in places you’ve never cleaned before such as behind the appliances. Hiring a professional cleaner to tackle your home once it’s empty comes with a fee but it saves you in time and energy. You may also want a professional cleaner in your new house as well to ensure it’s ready for your arrival.

Clean the Carpets with a Professional

If you’re unable to budget for a professional cleaner to come into your current home and/or new home, consider hiring a carpet cleaning company. It’ll make the home look and smell brand new, and is a nice way to welcome to the homeowners.
While these moving costs are certainly extras, they are options many home movers opt for without budgeting in the fees. So, prepare a budget that is accurate by considering all of the costs – even the ones not directly associated with the move per se.

Helpful Tips When Researching a New School for Kids Post Move

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Moving can be hard for the entire family, but even more so for the little ones. Switching schools can be a real challenge for kids; they’re uprooted from everything and everyone they know, and then thrown into a classroom with strangers. As a parent, it can be hard to remember what it’s like being a kid but it’s easy to make this transition go smoothly for them. It starts with some helpful tips and tricks to finding the best school for your kids post move.

Speak with Your Real Estate Agent

If you’ve taken the time to find a reputable, renowned real estate agent, they are likely an expert on the area in which you’re moving to. As such, they can be full of valuable information about public and private schools, as well as the type of neighborhoods that may interest you. Real estate agents can inform you of the public and private school options, school boundaries and much more.

This is an important step to never underestimate. The community and area in which you move to can play a huge role in the experience your kids have as they transition into a new social circle and school system. So, ask an expert; ask a reputable real estate agent.

Conduct Your Own Research

While it’s always good to receive recommendations from someone who is familiar with the area and the schools, it’s also important to conduct your own research and form your own opinion. After all, you’re making a decision that pertains to your child’s education and it’s a decision you want to be comfortable with.

Research the schools in the area, as well as the test scores, extra-curricular activities, programs and even online reviews about the school system, teachers and programs. The more information you have, the more confident you’ll feel with making such an important decision.

Take a School Tour

Take a field trip to the schools you’re interested in. There’s no better way to discover what a school is like other than seeing it for yourself. Schedule a time to meet with the principal and teachers. Have some questions prepared that you’d like to ask, such as the school’s disciplinary policy, busing system, curriculum standards etc. You’ll leave the meeting having a better understand of the school, it’s staff and the education your child will receive.

Visit the Areas Surrounding the School

Although the old saying goes, “never judge a book by it’s cover,” when it comes to your child’s education, it’s safe to say that you can be as judgmental as you’d like. After all, education is a huge decision and if something doesn’t feel right or doesn’t appear to be beneficial, it’s crucial to listen to your intuition.

One thing that may concern you as a parent is the type of kids that go to the schools you’re interested in. Take a drive around the surrounding areas. If you see a lot of graffiti, damage, garbage and disrespectful behavior, you may want to think twice about the schools in the area. Generally, you want a school that is in an area that portrays safety, opportunity and valuable experiences and this can come from not only the school system, but the children and areas that encompasses it.

Speak with Your Children

Depending on the ages of your child, you may want to speak with them directly in order to gain more perspective. Sometimes, children have the ability to see beyond what meets the eye and as such, they can bring plenty of value to the process of choosing a school. That’s also not to mention that you want your child to feel happy and confident with the school you choose, and speaking with them is the only way to discover how they feel.

Choosing a new school for kids after a move is a very important decision. It should never be taken lightly, and with these helpful tips, you’re on the right path to finding the perfect education for your little ones.

Helpful Tips on Adjusting When Moving to a New Climate

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Relocating can be a difficult yet exciting time in your life, especially when moving to a new climate. Whether moving into a hot climate, a colder one or a climate the changes, you’re about to embark on a journey that you may not have ever experienced before. However, no matter how much you love the weather, the transition can still be difficult. Not only is it difficult to move away from home, but the weather change can bring on many new challenges that you never knew existed. Fortunately, with a couple of helpful tips on adjusting to a new climate, you’ll be blooming all year round.

Do Your Research

The best tip when adjusting to a move into a new climate is to find things you’ll love about it. Do your research, and discover things about your soon-to-be new home, and everything it has to offer. Find adventures, events and local venues you want to explore upon arrival. Doing this little step will make you feel better about the move and it’ll help you remain positive as you say your goodbyes.

Accept the Change

Change can be hard for anyone. The first step to making it easier is to adjust your way of thinking and embrace the change. Chances are, the move will switch things up from what you’re used to. Maybe you’ve never experienced snow before or blazing hot days in the south, or a combination of all four seasons and the climates that follow. Accept the change instead of fighting it. If you don’t find the climate undesirable, find something that you like about it, such as skiing in colder climates or snorkeling in warmer ones.

Prepare for a Shopping Spree

Whenever you move into a new climate, there’s a need for a shopping spree. Often times, this is one of the best things about moving to a new climate. The weather is something you’re not used to, so you won’t have the gear needed to handle it. Things such as shovels, ice scrapers, snow tires and a snow suit are necessities for the winter. Even if you’re moving to a warmer climate, you’ll need more summer gear because you’ll be using it more. Budget for a shopping spree, whether it’s for your house, wardrobe or both, you’ll need it.

Consider Climate Controlled Storage Options

As you move into a new climate, you’ll notice things you never even thought about before. Something as simple as how you’ve always stored certain items can quickly be changed. After all, some household items, electronics and other belongings aren’t designed to withstand extreme cold, dampness or humidity. Consider your current climate along with the new climate and the items you typically store in your attic, garage and basement. Depending on your new location, it may be plausible and a better option to use a climate controlled storage facility for those items.

Decrease Stress and Anxiety by Preparing Healthcare

If you’re moving within the United States, thinking about healthcare may slip your mind. After all, you’re not leaving the country. However, it’s important for you to avoid skipping over this crucial tip. Prepare your healthcare prior to the move by getting doctor recommendations and conducting research about the health in the area. New climate can take a toll on your health. With the stress and anxiety of the move with the addition of a new climate, you may be more susceptible to common cold and flu’s during this time. Knowing you have a doctor to keep you in tiptop shape will give you peace of mind, and with less stress you have a stronger immune system.

It’s time to get excited about your move to a new climate. Embrace the new opportunities and experiences that are heading your way, stay positive and prepared with these helpful tips.

10 Tips to Make Packing your Belongings a Breeze

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Packing your entire life into a couple of boxes can be a daunting task. It’s a harsh reality for most people as they look around their household, realizing just how many things need to be squeezed into boxes, then into a moving truck and then, possibly, into a storage unit. Most people are left confused, wondering how can they possibly pack a house full of belongings into such small spaces. Fortunately, you can make it can happen. You just need some handy packing tips from the pros, and we’ve got you covered. Pack like a pro and it’ll be a breeze.

1. Start with a Schedule

Procrastination is never a good thing, especially when it comes to packing. Remember, you have to pack all of your belongings into boxes and if you leave it to the last week, it’s going to be a long and tiring process.
Instead, start with a schedule. Delegate specific tasks to specific days leading up to the big move. Start with a day to pick up the packing materials, another day to start packing up the attic, another to pack up the kids’ toys, another to pack up the shed, etc.
Spacing out your packing schedule will keep things copacetic and enjoyable.

2. Know Your Electronics

With technology taking over the world, chances are you have plenty of electronics in your household. From electronic toothbrushes to massagers, game consoles, robot vacuums and Internet systems, it’s safe to say you’ll have a lot of re-plugging and reprogramming to do once you arrive at your new home. With cords coming from all directions, setting up something simple such as your television can quickly become exasperating.
Fortunately, you can instantly make this maze of technology much easier just by taking pictures of your electronics before you unplug and pack them up. Then, when you’re ready to set things back up, you just look at the pictures and know which cords go where. It’s a genius tip that takes seconds to prepare.

3. Pack per Room

While it can be tempting to pack per category, it’s important to pack per room instead. Packing different rooms into the same box (even if they’re all the same category) will just make things more complicated. After all, if you pack all of the kids toys in one box, you’ll have to drag that box and/or its belongings to all of the rooms just to unpack. So, it’s better to pack all toys from one room in one box, and all toys from another room in a separate box and so on and so forth. It’s a simple strategy but one that makes packing and unpacking much easier.

4. Use Storage Bins When Needed

There are many household items that get stored in your garage, shed, basement, attic or cubby for the majority of the year. Instead of throwing things such as holiday decorations and seasonal tools in a box, take this opportunity to properly organize your belongings for a better future. Move these kinds of items into storage bins instead of boxes, and they’ll never have to be unpacked until you need them again. As a bonus, you’ll have a better, more organized storage system in your new home.

5. Cheers to Wine Cases for Glassware

Glasses can be one of the hardest things to pack. They’re breakable, fragile, oddly shaped and to put in simply, a pain to wrap and pack. That is, unless you use wine cases. These little boxes are already set up with the perfect compartments for your glassware. Just fill the voids with packing peanuts or bubble wrap, and your glassware is ready for the moving truck. Your local winery, restaurant, bar or store may have plenty of empty wine cases for you to make use of.

6. Label Like a Pro

The labels are one of the most important parts of packing. After all, you can pack to pure perfection but if you have no idea what’s in each box, the end result could be a timely hassle. So, always make sure to label correctly.
It’s often recommended to label each box with the room and continents. That way, when you arrive at your new home, you can unpack each box in the appropriate room.

7. Label on the Side

Speaking of labels, always put them on the side. When you’re unloading the moving truck, you’ll be able to see where the boxes need to go with a quick glance, and the entire process will be much easier.

8. Roll Don’t Fold

When possible, roll your belongings instead of folding them. Things such as linens, bedding and clothing can all be rolled to take up less space, which allows you to pack more in less. And that means less boxes for you to unpack at the end of the day.

9. Never Mix Liquids

When you’re packing boxes per room, it can be tempting to throw in liquids with towels, and detergents with dishes and so on and so forth. However, this is a risk you don’t want to take. One open bottle can cause a serious mess of a situation, making the unpacking process extremely unpleasant. So, whatever you do, pack all of your liquids separately.

10. Pack Clothes on Hangers

Contrary to the previous tip about rolling clothing, there’s no need to remove your clothes that are already on hangers only to put them in a box, then remove them from a box and place them back on hangers. Instead, just slide them into a wardrobe box, move and hang them back up when you’re at your new house.
With these tips, packing and unpacking your belongings will be a breeze!

5 Tips for Packing Your Media Library

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When considering the scope of work you have ahead of you as you prepare to pack for an upcoming move, your larger collections can be a challenge. Regardless of what your collection consists of (movies, books, figurines, ect.), these thing can all be considered fragile and you will want to take care when packing them.

Follow the 5 tips listed below to insure the safety of your collections.

  1. Sort before you start

Regardless of how organized your collection may be, go through and sort through items that you may no longer want or need and start making a new collection called donation or resale.

You may also want to consider testing all the CDs & DVDs with visible damage to make sure you’re not packing and moving items with no value to you at destination.

Pack and uncommon media equipment & mediums separately from your collection to be sure they are all packed properly (i.e. DVDs and VHS tapes should be packed separately).

  1. Use Protective Cases

If at all possible, pack your collection in its original packaging for transport. These cases/boxes were specifically designed to protect the contents inside and will help in shielding the most fragile part of the item from jostling or impact.

Additionally, these cases simplify your organization and labeling efforts by making it simple to identify each item when you unpack.

In addition to added protection, the original packaging with help you and your organizing efforts when unpacking!

  1. Line Your Media Boxes

Lots of the potential damage that may impact your media library during transit comes from pressure on the sides, bottom, or top of the box. To reduce this pressure and therefore diminish the risk of crushed or shattered discs, line your boxes well before packing.

Use crumpled butcher paper, packing peanuts, or newsprint along the bottom of your box before you start packing anything into ANY box for that matter. Additionally, fill in any gaps with paper, including those that may exist between the upper items and the box lid.

  1. Pack Spine Up

Once your box is lined, prepped and ready, you can start placing your media library items into the containers. As it is with all things fragile, refrain from laying items flat in the box. Instead, stand them up on their edge, SPINE UP.

When packed like this, you allow for the least amount of strain on the case and its contents during transportation while providing the additional benefit of easy item identification.

Pack all of your cases of one size before moving to your next media medium. For example, you could pack Blu-Rays, DVDs, and PlayStation games in the same box, but wouldn’t want to line regular CD cases up with these items.

Take extra care when packing items that don’t have a lot of protection, such as records in paper sheaths. You may need to use more padding to make these containers safe for these vulnerable items.

  1. Label & Load with Detail

If your media library takes up more than one box, it may be easy to get items mixed up. Refer back to your organizational system to ensure that each container receives the appropriate labels. For example, if you organize by release date, it may be useful to label boxes “DVDs 1970-1995,” “DVDs 1995-2017,” and so on.

Whether you plan to load things yourself or have professional movers handle the heavy lifting, ensure that your media library boxes stay on top of any stack that they become part of. Media items do not have a lot of heft and can, therefore, be crushed by heavier items easily.

In addition to identifying labels, be sure to clearly designate each of your media library boxes as FRAGILE and TOP LOAD.

Use these guidelines to ensure that your media collection arrives at your new home ready for family movie nights, video game marathons, and sing-a-longs.

At Hart Moving & Storage, we have experience with moves of all types and sizes. Our specialists will be happy to help with your upcoming relocation!

5 Best Practices When Packing Your Valuables

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There are very few things worse than opening up a box of valuables, only to find that everything is broken. Unfortunately, the fragility of your items and the process of moving isn’t a flawless combination for the majority of people. The good news is all you need are the secret tips to properly packing your valuables, and everything from your dishes, antiques, décor and even paintings can arrive unscathed.

Make an Inventory List Of All Of Your Valuables

The first step to properly packing your valuables is to create an inventory list. Take note of as much information as you can, such as how many dish sets you have, shapes and sizes of pictures, décor items, antiques, etc. Doing so allows you to properly estimate the value of your belongings for valuation coverage purposes, while also allowing you to predict the amount and type of packing materials you’ll need.

It’s always a good idea to consider valuation coverage to ensure your possessions will be repaired, replaced or reimbursed if damage is to occur at the hands of a mover.

Avoid Packing Important Things That Can Be Carried

There are some valuables that are better off remaining unpacked. Items such as your laptop, iPod, tablet etc. can easily be transported in your laptop bag, backpack, purse or even by hand. You may also want to keep small, light valuables such as jewelry on you to ensure they don’t get damaged or misplaced.

Paperwork should be left in the filing cabinet or in your briefcase during the move.

These sorts of items can become easily damaged or lost between the openings in packages or the process of moving. So, refrain from packing the things you can carry.

Invest In Proper Packing Materials

The free and empty boxes on the side of the road are tempting to use for a move, but when it comes to your belongings they can be an accident waiting to happen. As such, it’s crucial to invest in proper packing materials to ensure the safe arrival of your belongings and move as a whole.
Purchase boxes that are designed specifically for moving certain items, such as padded boxes for expensive electronics, art and antique crates for your valuables and even packing tape instead of masking tape. You’ve worked hard to garner all your prized possessions, and a poor quality or improper box can be detrimental to your collection.

Use specialty services and materials for larger items

Large valuables, such as furniture pieces, paintings and antiques can be difficult to pack, and even harder to move. As such, it’s important to use specialty services and materials as needed. The additional weight of larger valuables will require packing materials that offer more support and protection. You may also need to use special dollies to transport your items, and it’s highly recommended to do so. After all, these are your valuables and you deserve to have them in your new home.

Add More Padding

While packing up your belongings, give the boxes a shake test. If the items move inside of the box, you need more padding. Always have extra bubble wrap, packing paper, and even packing peanuts available throughout the move to ensure all your belongings arrive at their destination in one piece.
If packing isn’t your maître, you have the option of hiring professionals to pack up your belongings, as well as professional movers to move them.