Best DIY Packing Materials

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packing-and-moving-materials

If you’re preparing for a move, you probably are concerned with saving money. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire a moving service – but it does mean that you should be aware of the many ways that you can save money with DIY packing materials. Here’s our choices for the best readily available packing materials that cost minimal, if any, amounts of your hard earned cash.

 

Boxes

Cardboard boxes can be easily found at any neighborhood liquor store – they’ll give them to you for free!

 

Drawers

Keep our clothing in your dresser drawers, and simply cover them with Press and Seal material to keep them in place during the move.

 

Trash Bags

Simply cram all your clothes with hangers intact in a giant heavy duty garbage bag. Most bags fit at least 10 items.

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Fixing Walls and Floors when Moving

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wall-and-floor-fixing-when-moving

During moves, sometimes damage to floors or walls occur. Even if these situations aren’t wanted ever, there’s good news; many of the common injuries that floors or walls suffer during moves can be easily repaired through DIY techniques. Here’s our guide to some quick fixes.

Walls

Holes

If your walls are showing signs of wear with any size of hole (common in any home, even if you didn’t cause the damage) simply get some spackle and sandpaper. Apply the spackle to the holes using a putty knife, and after it dries, sand it down until the wall has a smooth surface again. If the hole is large, fill out the hole with a mesh repair piece or plaster piece, then apply the spackle and sand it down as usual.

 

Scuffs

If color has bleeded onto your wall from furniture or scrapes, simply use a magic eraser. Soak the eraser in water, squeeze out all the excess moisture so it doesn’t drip everywhere, and rub it on the stain applying steady pressure. Then dry off the wall with a clean towel. If you can’t find a magic eraser, usually normal dish soap should work fine, but it may require a bit more manual muscle work when rubbing the stain off.

 

Floors

Stains

The best way to get rid of stains si by applying a stain removal solution. Depending on the stain, you may want to use a different kind of solution. They can be made of anything from dish soap, baking soda, acetone, or ammonia. If the stain is very stubborn, rent a heavy duty carpet cleaner and apply it to the stain.

 

Warped and displaced carpets

If your carpet has been yanked outside of its metallic border, remove the old border, replace it, and attach the carpet to the new one. If the carpet is fraying, replace the carpet patch – but if the damage is smaller than just an inch, don’t worry – it likely won’t affect the structure of the carpet itself.

 

Damaged Areas

In many cases, you may have to cut out the damaged part of the carpet and replace it with a patch or plug. It’s best to make plugs out of remaining pieces of the original carpet, but if you can’t do that, simply use a piece from part of the carpet that normally sits under furniture that never gets moved. Very exactly cut off the plug and place it in the damaged area so that the naps of the two pieces of carpet are running in the same direction, making them look like a single piece.

 

Proper Moving Driving Techniques

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Proper Moving Driving Techniques

Here’s our guide to safe moving truck driving. If you’re driving your own truck make sure to adhere to these rules – and any professional moving driver should absolutely do so to.

 

Essential Moving Truck Rules

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times
  • Stop every two to three hours to take a rest – don’t let yourself get fatigued.
  • Take turns driving if you can.
  • Don’t tailgate- ever. Trucks require a larger amount of room, and a longer amount of time to stop, Keep around an entire car length between you and any vehicles to your front or back.
  • Always follow any traffic lights or signs, and use your turn signals vigilantly.
  • Stop to check left, right, and left again at all intersections.
  • Be aware of any truck-specific road signs.
  • Don’t make sudden stops or turns.
  • Use your truck’s mirrors – be aware that trucks require longer turning time, and more room to turn.

 

Passing

  • Don’t pass on any sort of curves or hills.
  • Don’t use the passing lane on any sort of major interstate parkway or highwya.
  • Don’t pass any vehicle that’s moving faster than forty miles per hour.

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Avoiding Homeowner Mishaps

Avoiding Homeowner Mishaps

With Summer’s beautiful warm days, long nights, beach trips, picnics, barbecues, and vacations, it exemplifies the season of leisure and enjoyment. Even though summer is a time for relaxation and fun, it’s important for all homeowner’s to have awareness of the seasonal risks that could end up resulting in financial debt. In this blog entry, we’ll cover some of the homeowner risks that are associated with summer, that can help you avoid any inconveniences.

Don’t be the target of burglars

It’s lovely to keep your windows open during the Summer to let a cool breeze float through your home. However, open windows and doors can be a temptation for patrolling burglars, and can result in criminal theft. Since homes are usually targeted when homeowners are not there, theft is definitely possible when people are home – but the windows and doors are left open. Since windows are often left open in the summer (or even unlocked,) homeowner’s can put themselves at risk for burglary. If you leave any of your windows or doors open, make sure that you keep any expensive items like jewelry or electronics far out of sight.

 

Get your home vacation ready

If you’re leaving home for a long amount of time, make sure to turn off plumbing valves on the washing machine, make sure that any pumps have fresh backup batteries, and that any expensive electronics are on electrical-surge protectors just in case that there’s a lightning storm, or any sort of flood or fire. It can also be helpful to have a friendly neighbor or friend check the home once in awhile to make sure that everything is alright. Also, it can help to put your lights on a timer to give off the appearance that somebody is home.

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How to throw an Excellent Housewarming Party

House owner drinking wine at party with his friends

You’ve just moved into your new home, and you couldn’t be more excited. All you want to do is show off your new digs to your friends and family, inviting them to break in your space while simultaneously showing it off. You may be wondering how to throw a truly memorable and fun housewarming party; here’s our suggestions on how to make your party a major win.

 

Do some advance planning

Make a list of the people you’d want to attend; decide how many people can socialize in your place comfortably. This depends on what sort of party you’re throwing – is it a sit down affair? In that case, think about how many people would fit inside your home sitting down at tables – if it’s a standing party, think about if there’s enough room for everyone to stand comfortably,

 

Send out all your Invitations

Use email – or even better, for the most part- Facebook to save on paper costs. If you’re using Facebook, make an event page. The best part of this tactic is it has a built in RSVP feature.

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Staying Productive While Moving Your Office

Laughing diverse multiethnic group of young friends moving house carrying cardboard boxes and houseplants in a teamwork concept

Changing the location of your office is an intense task for any business to undergo. It requires lot’s of strategic tactical decisions, and to a degree may change the regular flow of business. It’s important that you ensure that the process of moving your office does not have any major negative effects on the productivity and money-making ability of the business, or the pace of labor. If your company places its attention towards human resources to help ensure full participation and cooperation on the part of your employees it can go quite smoothly. Here’s some steps to ensure the maximum amount of office productivity as you prepare for a move,

  • Relocate your office on a weekend, when there’s much less traffic, and business to take care of.

  • Help work out new commuting routes with your employees to make sure that they have an easy way to get to work.

  • Allow employees to help assist with the move, but if there’s any other work that needs to get done that’s of a higher priority, make sure that they do that first.

  • Contact all internet service and telecom companies in advance to make sure that there aren’t any delays, and that your employees can easily access all systems as soon as possible after your business moves.

  • Make sure to have an advance plan for your move.

  • Make sure to hire the best possible moving company.

  • Make sure to backup all important data in advance of the move, and make sure that your employees do the same.

Disposing Old Electronics while Moving

Vintage consumer electronics inside a funky thrift antique store

Disposing Old Electronics while Moving

Let’s say you’re moving to a smaller place and need to downgrade, or you’re upgrading your home theatre and want to get rid of an old television. Whatever your situation is, getting rid of electronic waste isn’t as simple as putting it on the side of the street. Items like fax machines, VCRs, computer keyboards and mice, laptops, cameras, and cell phone batteries are banned from normal garbage cans in New York City.  If you try to get rid of them by leaving them on the side of the curb you can end up subject to hefty fines. Don’t worry though; you can still totally get rid of these items (you don’t have to maintain an electronics junkyard in your house.) Here’s some of the choices that you have.

 

Sell them

There’s actually a thriving market for old, gently used, or obsolete electronics. Many people are willing to use older electronics just as they are if they still work, while others will recycle some of the internal materials in order to build larger Frankensteined together machines. There are also tons of places that will pay just for the precious metals (like cadmium) within the electronics, which they then sell back to larger manufacturers. If you wouldn’t mind making a little extra money, this is a great option for you.

 

Donate them

Charities like Housing Works or Goodwill will gladly accept any used electronics and make them available for (very cheap) sale or donation for others that might be able to use them – make sure to call the charity venue beforehand, since many places have size and weight requirements; you don’t want to travel out to a charity venue with heavy electronics only to find out that they aren’t viable for donation. The functional New York Stuff Exchange is another fantastic option.

 

Try giving it to the retailer

If you’re purchasing new electronics from a retailer – whether an independant business or a big box store – ask  them if they would take the old one to resell or recycle – the likelihood is that they would.

 

Give it back to the manufacturer

Electronics manufacturers are actually legally obligated to take back old electronic items. Try calling the manufacturer of your appliance and figure out how you can get it back to them – many would provide you with a pre-labelled box or envelope to send it back to them, with postage fully paid in advance.   

How to Pack Dishes

If you want to learn how to pack up dishes before moving, it probably means that you’re about to immerse yourself in the preparations for a house move. It’s commonly accepted that packing is the major challenge homeowners face when moving – it can be incredibly time consuming, to the point of it being common advice to double the amount of time you estimate it will take to complete any task. If you’ve read any of our other blog posts, it should be clear that advance planning is an essential for a pleasant move. So it will absolutely assist you greatly to know that dishes aren’t an impossible item to move – you might think that it’s a given that a few of your dishes will be broken, but it’s not a necessity. There’s a proven technique of safely shipping and packing dishes that you can utilize for maximum productivity.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

Sturdy cardboard boxes

It’s always better to be safe – it won’t add much work for you, and it pretty much guarantees that your dishes will be transported safely. Try investing in some double layered, corrugated cardboard boxes (known as dish boxes) that are specifically manufactured to keep dishes intact during transportation.

 

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is your dishes’ best friend. Buy as much as you can and use it liberally. Double wrap all plates to prevent even seeing one small chip.

 

Newspaper and Packing Paper

Be aware that newspapers can possibly leave ink stains on plates -especially if it gets damp. Newspaper is a fantastic addition to packing paper as it’s cheap and functional – but one should always wrap dishes first in soft packing paper, and then for additional support and bolstering protection, wrap it in newspaper.

 

Guideline for Packing Dishes

  1. Reenforce the bottoms and sides of all the cardboard boxes that you’re using with packing tape – this is just to stay as safe as possible and avoid the possibility of the box breaking under the weight of the stacked dishes.
  2. Pad up the insides of the boxes with crumpled up packing paper or newspaper – this will create an additional layer of insulation that will protect both the sensitive bottom half of the box – as well as some of the sensitive areas of the dishes. If you like, you can also use a thin towel as an effective bottom reinforcement.
  3. Prepare a stack of packing paper (soft is ideal) and make sure it’s at arm’s reach.
  4. Put a fragile dish in the center of a stack, and cover it with a few sheets of packing paper. Diagonally, from one corner to the other, wrap the dish completely by tucking each corner towards the center. Tape if you need it.
  5. Once your stacked and wrapped piles of plates are ready, wrap small bundles of a few stacked plates in a sheet of bubble wrap as extra protection.
  6. Put the wrapped plates into the box one bundle at a time – the best way to arrange them is to stand them up on their edges – never lay them flat as it’s much easier to break them that way. The heaviest plates should go in the box bottom first, while the lighter pieces should be stacked on top of them.
  7. Protect each row of plates from the others with insulation inserted at the sides – you can use anything from the traditional choices of packing paper and bubble wrap to something like a dish towel or thin t shirt.
  8. Fill in any empty spaces in the box with soft cloth or newspaper to make sure that the entire structure of the package inside the box cannot shift around or move – you don’t want any pieces touching each other during the package handling.
  9. When you’re done arranging the contents of the box, put one last top layer of paper or bubble wrap on top, close the lid, and tape it up.
  10. Label the moving box with “FRAGILE’, ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’, and coordinates for what room the box should be placed in.

 

Additional tips

  • If you’re transporting a ton of dishes, save some money by inspecting all the china that you’re bringing and see if there’s any already damaged or soiled pieces that you want to discard or donate. It doesn’t make any sense to pay for supplies to transport already damaged kitchenware that you’ll just throw out later. Every additional pound of your belongings eventually increases the bill.
  • Never make boxes too heavy. Nows not the time to be a bodybuilder. Make sure that any boxes with dishes – or any fragile materials – is under 40 pounds in order to prevent any slips or accidents.
  • If you’re carrying the dish boxes during the move or loading it into the truck, be as careful as possible to move slowly and steadily – with not the slightest bump or trip – to avoid any potential accidents. A fall from even arm’s height can negate all the careful wrapping that you’ve done.
  • If you feel like packing up fragile dishes is one step too many in your roster of moving responsibilities, simply hire a mover to do it for you. Transporting fragile kitchenware is nothing new to the moving team at US Express; rest assured that our skilled and experienced servicemen can pack up and transport your dishes in a method superior to any amateur attempt.

Prepping Office Furniture for Moving Day

Moving a home or commercial office is a complicated undertaking. Whether you’re expanding or consolidating, you need to manage all the small details to your office move with a level of strategic organization – this is the only way the move will go smoothly or pleasantly. Here’s a list of tips on how to prepare any office furniture for a move – that can greatly improve the entire moving experience.

 

Clean out all your drawers

Regardless of how tedious this task sounds, it should be done first. Clean out every drawer in your entire office – no desk or filing cabinet should be spared. By allowing objects to rest in drawers during the move, you make the furniture much heavier and increases the chances of both the movers, and the furniture itself being damaged. For logic, safety, and liability’s sake, make sure that every drawer is completely emptied. As a general rule, estimate that each drawer’s worth of paperwork will need about one and a half boxes – this is also a great opportunity to throw out any unnecessary paperwork for good.

 

Make sure furniture is professionally disassembled

Make sure to be organized when taking apart furniture for a move –  unbolt any attached furniture way in advance, removing all shelving units, joined desks, or dividers. Use small plastic bags written with sharpie to hold on to any bolts, screws, or other internal mechanisms of your office furniture. Use painter’s tape to secure the clothes onto any furniture that they belong to – this really minimizes the stress of reassembling your furniture after your move. You never want to be missing any screws or bolts, as this can compromise the structural integrity of the furniture.

 

Vigilantly Label

Make sure to label as much as you can – label drawers according to number and their individual contents. It makes it much easier for you to unpack to know what rooms certain boxes belong in. Make sure large pieces of furniture are equally largely labeled so that their intended is location is clear from the very start of the move in.

 

Create a tentative floor plan in advance

By allowing yourself to take the advanced time to map out your new office space, you can greatly improve its aesthetics and flow. Consider who will be located in what office, where their furniture will go, how desks will be laid out, and how all filing cabinets will be organized. By having a clear and detailed plan from the start you can ensure that all your move in will go as smoothly as possible, with little to no mistakes or wasted time.

 

Hire professional moving assistants

Make sure to choose a team with experience in commercial moving – they offer the singular amount of experience to professionally move important files and delicate office furniture, so that you can be certain that your time is being spent as productively and utilitarian as possible. By using a professional full service moving company, you make the entire process easier for everyone involved.

7 Common Packing Mistakes

It’s commonly accepted that packing is the most begrudged element of a move. Cramming your entire livelihood and possessions into a ton of cardboard boxes doesn’t sound fun for anyone – especially when you know you’ll have to painstakingly unpack and organize them after the move. While packing might seem like a mindless chore, it’s actually not – you can certainly make things more difficult for yourself. By avoiding the below common packing mistakes, you can ensure that your move goes smoothly and professionally.

 

Don’t forget about your immediate essentials

It’s a common refrain to keep your essential items handy; however that doesn’t just mean a tote bag with a paperback and a toothbrush. It’s likely that you won’t be able to be fully unpacked for some time after you move in – it’s a process that can even take weeks. You’re going to need to pay attention to every single item you might need while you’re in the “cold-open” of your house. Make sure to include inside any “essentials bag” that you’re packing things like towels, first aid kits, snacks, journals, cosmetics – and especially toilet paper.

 

Make sure to do some advance planning.

By packing proactively, you can make unpacking much less of an ordeal. You might be wondering what this entails. Well, for a start, imagine your needs once you’ll be inside your new space. What’s the space like? How much room do you have? Where will each of your items go? Where are you going to want to store dishes, silverware, toiletries, clothing? By having an internal map of your new space ahead of time, with a rough idea of how it will be organized and laid out, you can pack boxes accordingly, and make sure each box goes to it’s designated room upon arrival, as opposed to putting them all in one room and stressing out over sorting them later on. One important tip is to put any loose miscellaneous items into a labeled Ziploc bag together which makes it much easier to eyeball and unpack than anything inside a dark box.

 

Don’t be OCD about Labeling

Labeling is important, but you don’t want to label so much you end up in a straightjacket. We recommend labeling according to rooms so unpacking will be much easier. Additionally, make sure to not label valuables too conspicuously so anyone who encounters it might not get bad ideas. Instead of labeling a box “vintage heirlooms”, try labeling it “Special Dishes” – something vague enough to be discreet but specific and coded enough for you to understand the nomenclature.

 

Don’t pack fragile items roughly

Pack all plates on their sides, where they are much less likely to shatter upon impact. You can use bubble wrap to pad any breakables – but an even better option is to use recyclable paper as a shock absorber – if you’re packing glass items, it’s important to make sure they don’t touch other glass items – using a simple shock absorber like paper can provide an instant safety solution in a pinch.

 

Don’t overpack boxes

You don’t want a hernia. Make sure not to pack boxes too heavy to carry – it’s better to have more smaller boxes than a couple impossible to carry ones. Books for example are notoriously heavy – try keeping them in smaller and easier to handle book boxes. If you’re packing expressly heavy items like weights, keep their true weight in mind and distribute the items or their parts evenly in multiple boxes – keep weights separate for example inside boxes lined with rags or newspapers to act as shock absorbers.

 

Don’t fall into a nostalgia wormhole

If you’re uncovering keepsakes and photo albums that you haven’t looked at in years, the sentimentality of leaving your living space might get to your head. This can be a major time waster that sucks up time that could otherwise be spent productively. Don’t sit on the floor glancing through photo albums – instead choose rooms to complete first as a priority – and then if you want to take a trip down memory lane, do so, but only when the majority of the tough labor is actively completed.

 

Make sure to look over the entire home before moving

Before you get rid of your old housekeeper, look through every corner of your former home, under beds, in corners, behind the oven, washing machine, dishwasher, etc. You’re going to have a much more pleasant and relaxing time in your new home if you can be certain that you didn’t leave anything essential or irreplaceable in your old home.