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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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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.   

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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.
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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.

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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.

 

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How to Pack your Car for Moving

If you’re moving any time soon using your own vehicle for the move, there’s a few items that you need to pay attention to in order to pack your car correctly – with emphasis on efficiency and space management. In this blog post, I’ll list some organizational factors to consider that will help you get your vehicle on the road with zero problems.

Inspect your Car

Before you pack your car for the move, inspect it carefully. When you show the movers your car, inspect it together, marking down any damages like dents or scratches – after your car arrives at your location, inspect the car again to see if any damages incurred during the ride.

 

Clean out your whole vehicle

During the move there shouldn’t be any loose luggage falling around your car – which could get damaged, or cause damage to your car. Remove all items from your car that can be moved around like detachable radios or antennas – if there’s any loose items inside the truck, make sure to notify the moving company first.

 

The shorter the distance, the easier the move

If you’re just moving across town, you can technically prepare and drive you car by yourself. Choose your essential luggage and pack the car – if your family or friends are coming along for the ride, make sure to allocate enough room for your luggage. Since shorter drives are easier, you could stop along the way to get food or to take breaks – this can save you time and energy in short distance moves, rather than worrying about public transportation.

Shipping your Car in Cross Country Moves

These take somewhat more time and effort, and can be greatly expedited by having your car shipped or hiring a driver. If you ship your car, it will be protected from any damage that it could incur during the trip, from mud to nasty weather. Shipping cars offers options from open to closed containers, open containers are cheaper but closed containers are more safe. If you have an expensive car, a closed container is the better option.

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How to Safely Drive a Rental Moving Truck

moving truck New Jersey

Although renting a moving truck might save you some money, it’s a major responsibility to drive. You’re transporting both your material livelihood – all your possessions – but your own body and possibly your family’s – on a huge, clunky, heavy vehicle. Maintaining a safe drive should be your number one priority. While you don’t need specific certification to rent out a moving truck, you should take certain precautions if you’ve never driven a truck in the past. In this blog post, I’ll give you some essential safety steps to follow when you’re driving a moving truck in order to get you, and your possessions, to your new place completely safely.

Inspect the Truck

Before you even start driving, check the truck’s tires, if it’s signals and lights are working properly, and if it’s mirrors are intact and properly aligned – you need to ensure that the truck is in working condition and proper shape to drive. If there is any damage to the truck’s inside or outside make sure to take photos of it and document it prior to your ride so you don’t get charged for it later on.

 

Keep Distance from Other Cars

By keeping a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, you’re ensuring your safety – it’s even more of an essential need when you’re driving a truck rather than a smaller vehicle, since the added weight of trucks make them slower to come to a total standstill. Make sure to maintain at least double the distance you would from other vehicles when you’re driving a sedan or smaller car – just to be safe.

 

Be extra careful in bad weather

When it’s raining, snowing, or the streets are otherwise slick with water or ice, it’s essential to drive with even more of a distance between your truck and other vehicles, and to drive at least 10 miles per hour under the speed limit.

 

Pay attention to Loading

Every truck has a certain weight limit that should not ever be surpassed. Find out the truck’s recommended GAWR and GVWR in order to figure out how much weight can go onto the truck.

 

Brake Carefully

Let’s say your truck gets a flat tire, or you need to stop short for some reason – never just slam down on the brakes. Slow the truck at more of a gradual pace and pull over to the side of the road. If you break suddenly, it can make you dangerously lose control of the truck.

 

Turn Carefully

Keep in mind that due to added size and weight, a truck is going to need much more driving space then a smaller car when it turns – don’t forget this when you drive; allow wide space for turns.

 

Keep a Safe Speed

The typical safe rule is to drive a truck at half the speed of which you’d drive a car – this is extra important for people that only rent trucks and don’t have the experience to know how driving a large truck feels. Slow and steady wins the race!

 

Take Periodic Breaks

If you’re making a long distance move, don’t drive for a period of time exceeding ten hours. Professional working truck drivers aren’t supposed to drive for more than eleven hours a day and typically rental truck companies shorten the duration to ten just to be safe. Take breaks of at least thirty minutes after eight hours of driving – this will ensure that your alertness and energy is sharp. You don’t ever want to be tired or slightly drowsy behind the wheel of a truck.

 

Pay attention to the Schedule

Unless it’s calibrated specifically for trucks, a GPS isn’t going to give you totally accurate information – since you’re driving more slowly than you would be with a regular car, you should give yourself twice the time that the GPS or map application estimates – just to be safe.

If you follow the above rules, any amateur driver can safely drive a rental moving truck to any new location.

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Moving Schedule Logistics

 

Moving Day in New Jersey

If you’re preparing to move with some advance time, it’s best to do so with a handy amount of preparation. In this blog post I’ll list some essential considerations to pay attention to which will help make your move much more efficient and pleasant – study them before you pick your moving day!

What’s your budget?

If you want to accomplish your move by spending as little cash as possible, you’re going to need to schedule your move on a slower moving day. As a general rule, weekends are the most busy, and incur the highest rates – this also applies to the 1st and the 15th of the month when most people get paid. As another general rule, September through the middle of May is generally a slower, and cheaper moving month. So if you can, schedule your move on a weekday during these months.

What time of day do you want to  move?

The idea of moving as early in the morning as possible appeals to many people. The reasoning is that once the truck is loaded and prepared, the rush hour traffic will have already been completed. This still might not make morning an ideal time for you. Let’s say you have a school bus stop in front of your building – you certainly don’t want the truck to be scheduled to arrive until after all the waiting children are gone. Let’s say you live above a store or restaurant that  gets a regular truck shipment in the morning – you don’t want to block their entry with a moving truck, which can cause stress and cost time. Daily timing should be a major factor in scheduling your move.

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How to Avoid a Huge Mess When You Move Out

Moving NJ

Moving can be a hugely time consuming, stressful task to undertake, but when you have to do it, you simply have to do it. There’s tons of things to get taken care of – you need to sort and pack all the items you’ve accumulated over the years, arrange plans with movers and utility companies, pack, unpack, put away all your things in your new home – and there’s tons more.

 

With all these tasks taking up your mind, it’s likely that you’ve forgotten one of the key tasks for moving – house cleaning! To avoid extra charges – and to be a courteous person – you need to clean your house thoroughly before you leave. To help make things much easier, we’re put together a list of tasks that you need to complete before leaving your old home. Good luck!

 

What you’re doing to need : Trash bags, old newspapers, all-purpose cleaner, dish detergent, scrubbing sponges, a vacuum cleaner, a mop, a broom/dustpan, rubber gloves. cleaning rags, toilet cleaner, and all purpose eraser.

 

Kitchens

First empty all the cabinets and take out their internal liners. Wipe down all the inside surfaces with a wet cloth.

Clean the oven stove, and microwave, removing all burnt food or grease. Make sure to clean underneath the drip pans, as well as the counter top, sink, and plumbing fixtures.

Take out the refrigerator shelves and let them soak in the sink while you wash the inside with a scrubbing sponge and soap. Wipe the inside dry, wash the shelves, dry them, and place them back inside. Make sure to remember to sweep below the fridge as well.

 

Bathroom

Empty bathroom closets and take out the internal liners. Scrub the shower, shower walls, tub, sink, and counter with an all purpose cleaner. Use a heavy brush or toothbrush on grout. Clean the toilet completely. Spray the mirror with glass cleaner and wipe clean. Mop the floor.

 

The rest of the house

Clean windows with a mixture of 50% tap water and 50% distilled water, and wipe clean with a rag. If windows have stubborn dirt, use soapy water before the water mixture. Wipe down windowsills.

Remove all nails or hooks that you’ve placed in walls, and fill them with putty (commonly found at hardware stores.) Use the magic eraser to take off any scuff marks, but make sure to test it first on a small surface to ensure that it doesn’t directly remove the paint from the walls.

Clean window blinds with a rag and a cleaning solution, or vinegar.

Check for any dead insects that could be on lighting fixtures or fans. Wipe down closet shelves, and remove any cobwebs from the walls or ceiling.

Lastly, vacuum and mop any tiled or hardwood floors.

 

Last Minute Questions

Ask yourself these questions right before leaving.

  • Did you take the trash out?

  • Did you take photos (with time stamps) to prove documentation of the condition of your house when you’re moving out? (This is useful in case the landlord files false damage claims later on.)

  • Are your closets empty?

  • Did you return your key to the landlord?

  • Did you tell your neighbors you’re moving?

  • Do all the electrical appliances work properly?

 

If you don’t want to get all dirty, you should consider hiring a cleaning service before leaving. Just remember that this pre-move-out cleaning is an absolute essential if you want to get your security deposit back from your landlord. By following the above rules, you can see to it that your landlord is satisfied.

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De-Cluttering Before You Move

clutter

Decluttering a single room is a hard enough of an effort; now just imagine having to declutter your entire home. Regardless of how far you’re moving – whether it’s across town or across the country – the thorough decluttering of your entire home isn’t exactly ever a fast moving affair.

 

According to experts, moving is a fantastic time for a fresh start – regarding personal space – as you have the opportunity to start in a new space without extra baggage. By modifying the amount of stuff that you keep in your space – and how it’s organized – you can vastly expand your space. Take initial steps by establishing limits in terms of how you’re going to use the space – only pack what can fit in it. Beyond this thinking, you can absolutely improve your home’s space by utilizing the following decluttering tips.

Tip One – Get an Early Start

Figure out the amount of space you’ll have in advance – before you pack. If you start the packing process already knowing exactly the amount of stuff that fits, you’ll see that your stuff can be organized into two clean sections – whatever fits, and whatever you need to get rid of.

 

Tip Two – Take Measurement

Bookshelves and storage spaces so you know the exact amount of volume it can fit. This is never an arbitrary limit – rather it’s an objective limit set by whatever space you’re moving into. By taking measurements of the footage of the space as well as the furniture that you want to bring, and detailing it on graph paper, you can have a fantastic visual scale that can help you plan out what you want to bring.

 

Tip Three- Number Everything

Number the rooms that you’re moving into. Label boxes according to the number of the room that you want it’s contents delivered to – and tape up the room number by the doors of the corresponding rooms. This way, if you’re using movers, they’ll know exactly where to move the stuff. If you’ve already packed for the space you’re moving into you can unpack as you go, saving a great deal of time.

 

Tip Four – Mindful Packing

Most people usually leave packing to the last second, and don’t correctly estimate how many belongings they have inside their house. When faced, at the last minute, these people resort to packing everything as opposed to mindfully packing – disposing of whatever you want to donate or throw away as the process goes on. This ends up giving you more work later on, when you’re unpacking, and when you need to store the pounds upon pounds that you rarely use somewhere on your new property.

When packing in a rush, utilize what’s called the “Bottom Third Rule” – think of it this way. The clothing that you use most is likely at the tops of your drawers, where you first place it when it’s clean. Most likely, the bottom layer of clothing in drawers is used the least of all your clothes. It’s also likely that you may want to donate most of that clothing – so when eliminating clutter in a rush, check out the lower levels of clothing within drawers or cubbies first.

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