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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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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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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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10 Tips to Survive the Winter Move

NJ Movers

Moving can be a difficult process in the New Jersey, especially during the winter season. To help make your move more stress-free, we’re sharing these 10 moving tips for the winter. Adopt as many as you want into practice – they can definitely make moving in windy, snowy, winter weather much more easy.

1. Be mindful of the weather

Temperatures can rapidly change in winter, with slush or rain freezing to ice within a matter of just a few hours. It gets dark much earlier – so plan your trips between your old and new properties according to this.

2. Clear all paths

Make sure to plow or shovel driveways as well as sidewalks in both your new and old properties. It’s easy to misjudge the distance between stairs and drop-offs when they’re covered by snow – by taking the few minutes to clear the snow, you can make the area safer for everybody involved.

3. Wear Layers

This should speak for itself. Even if you’re working hard, it’s wise to wear multiple layers. If you get too hot, you can always take off a layer. Don’t forget a warm hat and gloves!

4. Slip-Proof

Keep towels or rags on duty to help wipe off the snow, sand, dirt, and salt that can get caked to your shoes or shipping containers, making them extra slippery.

5. Keep Emergency Supplies with you

Whether you rent a moving van or are driving yourself, icy and snowy road conditions can pose obstacles. If your car gets stuck, you can quickly get back on the road if you carry a shovel, sand, or salt. It’s also smart to keep a car emergency kit with blankets, snacks, and water with you just in case the car gets stuck.

 

6. Keep floors protected

Place tarps or sheets on your floor to protect from tracked dirt, snow, or mud into your home. This will both keep your floors dry and clean, as well as protecting your belongings.

7. Stay Well-Lit

Make sure all of your outdoor lighting is working properly at both your old and new properties before the move. Since the sun sets early in winter, you’re going to want to make sure that you have visibility if your move is going to stretch on late in the day.

8. Take care of your plants!

Never transport live plants in the cargo area of a truck, as they can freeze. Securely pack them and bring them to your new property in your personal vehicle.

9. Make sure your utilities are on!

Make sure all your utilities will be working when you arrive to your new property. You don’t want to have to do without heating – especially in winter. Leave the heating and electricity in in your old home until you’re completely moved out.

10. Hire helpers or Moving Company!

By hiring a moving company, you can lift much of the pressure off you, and get to enjoy your new property even more quickly! Most of the above listed precautions are completely taken care of by a skilled moving company; US Express Moving talented servicemen have a commitment to completing your move with both personalized care and unrivaled efficiency. For more information, contact US Express today, and start planning your move. They’ll do all the work.

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