How to Move Alone With Ease

Share:

Americans have always been mobile people, but thanks to the rise of remote work, a historically turbulent housing market, and enticing moving incentives such as home buyer rebates, we’re moving even more than usual. In fact, 36 million address changes were filed in 2021, an 80% uptick from the 20 million filed in 2020, according to the U.S. Postal Service.

As anyone who’s packed up their life and moved across the city or country knows, moving is tough. One recent study found that people thought moving was more stressful than going through a divorce, having kids, or starting their first job. 

It’s expensive, too. Although most people who are moving will carefully negotiate their new home price or calculate their real estate agent’s commission, they often overlook the cost of a move. The same study found that Americans spend just more than $1,700 on the average move. 

As more Americans move and demand for moving services increases, prices rise too. However, there are a lot of ways to make a move easier. Here are eight of the best tips to make moving cheaper and less stressful.

Moving Alone

1. Consider Hiring Professional Movers

If you have the means to pay for professional movers and you’re willing to shell out the cash, it can save you a lot of labor. 

Professional movers can handle every aspect of your move from start to finish. They’ll come to your home, pack your belongings with packing supplies they provide, load your stuff, transport it to your new home, unpack, and dispose of the packing materials. They can also provide specialized services, such as disassembling and reassembling furniture, as well as packing and handling fragile objects.

However, professional movers can be expensive. Hiring a moving company to move a studio or one-bedroom apartment from New York City to Miami will cost between $1,255 and $4,964, according to moving website MoveBuddha. If you’re moving farther or you have more stuff, you can expect to pay more and may need to take measures to keep costs low.

Finding a good moving company is a lot like finding a great real estate agent. Start by asking friends and family for referrals. Carefully check online reviews and comparison shop to save money on moving costs.

2. Discard Your Stuff

Moving is a great opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need or use. As a bonus, anything you throw out is something you won’t need to pack and move. 

Start with items that are worn out, damaged, obsolete, or broken. This may include old power cords or outdated electronics, shabby furniture, and expired medications or toiletries. 

Next, look in your closet. Get rid of any clothes that don’t fit. If you haven’t worn an item for two years or more, you can probably live without it. Toss or donate it, depending on its condition.

Some experts also suggest making a list of everything you should keep and why. Get rid of anything that’s not on the list.

3. Assemble an Essentials Bag

Once you get moving boxes, start packing, and decluttering, it’s easy to lose track of important documents. Experts suggest that you gather important papers — such as mortgage documents, utility bills, contracts, basic IDs, and information about your destination — and put them somewhere you won’t forget. It’s best to have hard copies in case your electronics die en route.

The day before departure, you’ll want to add other necessities, such as medications, phone chargers, family contact information, and essential toiletries to your bag of vitals.

4. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

A lot of people wait until the weekend before their big move to start packing, and they end up working around the clock or having to delay their move.

Start weeks or months in advance by discarding items you know aren’t coming with you. You can also pack belongings that are out of season, such as coats in summer or summer clothes in winter.

5. Put a System in Place

Start by getting basic packing supplies, such as sturdy moving boxes of various sizes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and moving pads for delicate items.

If you’re moving heavy items by yourself, consider getting a dolly or hand truck. Print out a moving checklist to make sure you don’t overlook anything important.

If you’re packing the truck yourself, don’t assemble big boxes full of heavy items. Moving experts suggest keeping the weight manageable by putting lighter items in big boxes and heavy items in small boxes.

For example, put curtains, sheets, or pillows in big boxes, and put heavy items, such as books, in small boxes. 

Another tip is to pack items according to where you got them and label them carefully. The contents of kitchen and bathroom drawers can often be packed directly into a box and unpacked directly into drawers at your new home. The same applies to closets and bookshelves.

6. Treat Special Items With Care

Dishes will need to be packed individually and wrapped in paper to prevent breakage. Your mattress should be put in a special cover to prevent contamination during the move.

Many contemporary televisions, such as plasma TVs, need special handling to prevent damage. Even laying them flat can ruin the picture. Shoes may also need to be individually packed and padded. Valuables should be kept on your person during the move, just in case.

7. Get the Right Vehicle

Make sure the truck or trailer you rent can hold all your belongings. If you’re moving solo, many experts suggest getting a truck with a ramp. Being able to roll boxes and items into the truck instead of lifting them can make your move much easier and prevent injury.

8. Prepare Your New Home

If you’re moving across town, visit your new home the day before the move to make sure everything’s ready. If it’s an apartment building, make sure the building allows move-ins on the day you arrive. 

Regardless of how far you’re moving, call local utility companies to make sure your electricity, water, and heat are turned on before you get there.

There are few things more demoralizing than arriving at your new home after an exhausting move only to find that you can’t shower or charge your phone. You want to be able to hit the ground running when you move into your new home.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed all of these tips for moving alone.

What to Know About Insurance When Moving

Share:

Moving from one home to another is one of the bigger moments in any person’s life. When you’ve never done it before, moving can be a challenge.

Everything from finding a moving company, putting belongings into storage, transporting your car, and even knowing how much you need to tip a mover are all essential.

You pour so much of your time and personality into the place you call your own.

You have to reassess all your priorities and decide what is important and what can be changed when relocating to your new place.

Some people move because they want to be closer to the family they grew up with. Other families have to move because the main breadwinner has a new job in a whole different state.

Sometimes kids have to make the tough choice to move across the country to go to the college of their dreams.

There are so many thoughts that run through your mind. You can often forget about some of the more logistical requirements of living in a different state.

Car insurance is one of these items that is often forgotten, but doing so can have huge consequences.

Insurance when moving out of state is fluid, but you always need to have it no matter where you are in the moving process. Being caught driving without an auto insurance policy can have a huge impact on your wallet. It can even get you in a bit of legal trouble if you’re pulled over by the police.

We’ll talk about the ways to make the moving process easier. We’ll also discuss how to maintain insurance throughout the move and why you should consider the small things that will affect your insurance after settling into your new place.

What to Know About Insurance When Moving

When do you need to get new insurance during a move?

Moving can take a long time, both during the preparation and when you actually get in your car and drive across the country. When moving long distances, the culture of the new state and the regulations of the insurance policies may be vague and completely foreign to you.

One thing that is completely clear no matter your location is that most states are going to require you to have car insurance.

As we already mentioned, you could be severely penalized if you are caught driving without insurance. Telling the cops that you are in the process of moving is not going to be a valid excuse for being uninsured.

Let your insurance company know as soon as possible that you are moving. They will give you the best information on what policy would fit your lifestyle and car, depending on the state you will be living in.

You should only drop your old policy once you have completed the application for a new one and have the evidence of the change in your hands. This means that you will always be insured.

You may worry that you should wait to move until you have gotten your new insurance. There is no need to do that if you are prompt in making the change once you have arrived at your destination.

You also need to register your car, usually within 30 days. Any insurance company that sees you are not registered in the correct state will void coverage until you have updated your place of residence on your car registration at the DMV.

How does a new location affect the cost of insurance?

Be prepared for significant changes to your home insurance costs depending on the state you move to. Prices vary due to a variety of factors. These include the number of car accidents people get into, the amount of traffic and population of a city, and the type of cars driven.

For example, Florida has monthly insurance at just under $80, but North Carolina is jacked up to $130 for the same vehicle make and model. If you are someone who struggles to pay bills and the point of your move was to save some money, the increased price of insurance is going to be something you need to ask before buying a new house.

Criminal activity is also something that people don’t know is a risk factor for insurance companies. Moving into a high-crime neighborhood comes with the dangers of car break-ins, and insurance companies will increase the monthly rates on your policy.

Don’t lie about your location to try and get out of the higher rates, as this could lead to insurance fraud. Revoked coverage and even criminal charges can result from this dishonesty.

Don’t feel like your insurance prices are a deal breaker to capitalizing on your new experience in a fresh state. Shopping around for the best coverage and asking your current provider what available options will lead to surprising results.

Will your current agent have the tools to ease the moving process?

This leads us to the final point on our moving checklist. Insurance agents can often feel like dear old friends. Moving to a new state can break up this great relationship and lead to confusion and disappointment when your new agent is not the same.

Staying with the same company can often soften this blow because so many agents have connections to others in the profession across the country.

During the pandemic, zoom meetings and remote work have broken distance barriers and allowed for greater personal bonds between insurers and their customers.

You may even be able to keep your same agent with a different policy because of how people worldwide communicate.

Insurance companies don’t want to lose their customers, so ask them for their assistance and see how close you can remain throughout the move.

The worst thing that could happen is getting overwhelmed by the fallout of not investigating these steps beforehand. Preparing for change is not only the smart thing to do, but it should be an expected byproduct of moving.

Welcoming all changes that accompany a move will bring you less stress and more time to enjoy your new surroundings and environment. Figure out what elements of the process you can control.

See which ones are harder to predict. This is good advice for any type of change in life, but it suits moving as much as any other event.

Shawn LaibAbout the author: The above article on the insurance checklist to follow when moving was written by Shawn Laib. Shawn writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. He prides himself on clear analysis of issues in the car insurance industry that need more attention.

Avoid Moving Mistakes That Cost You Money

Share:

Whether you’re moving to a better apartment, your newly purchased home, or across the country to be closer to a new job or your family, moving is one of the most stressful events in life.

Careful planning and preparation can make a move less stressful. Allow as much preparation and planning time ahead of the move as possible.

There are common mistakes and oversights when moving that you can be aware of. The more of those mistakes you are aware of, the more prepared you will be.

Good planning and preparation make the experience less stressful. We’ll discuss the most common mistakes made during a move, what they cost, and how to fix them.

Costly Moving Mistakes

Getting Ready For The Move

While preparing for your move, you’ll be sorting through your belongings, packing boxes, packing clothes, and deciding what you will need right away. You’ll also need to determine what can stay packed up for a while. You will be turning on the utilities at your new address as you are disconnecting utilities at your current address.

You can probably just have your current services moved to your new home if it’s a local move. Don’t forget to change your homeowner’s or renters’ coverage to ensure you are covered during and after the move.

Having a change of address checklist will be crucial for making your move go smoothly. Not paying attention to this can cause overdue bills and missing essential mail.

You’ll want to arrange for a change of address with the post office as well as on your most vital financial information, car insurance, and driver’s license.

For instance, you may be wondering, “Can I insure my car at a different address?” Talk to your insurer.

You’ll want to buy packing supplies early. Try to find used boxes, and be prepared to lay out some cash for bubble wrap, packing tape, and specialty boxes. There are many specialty boxes and cartons for packing dishes and stemware.

Large picture boxes, mirror boxes, and garment or wardrobe boxes are all available to protect your things. These work as they are designed: to protect your belongings. They are pricey, so try to decide exactly what your needs are and buy ahead of time.

Realize that a cross-country move will require extra planning and preparation. Keep lists to be sure you don’t miss anything.

Moving Day

Ideally, you will have everything timed perfectly and can move out of your current residence and drive straight to the new place.

While that would be ideal, that’s not how things usually work out. You may have to put some or all of your possessions into temporary storage near your current location or near your new home.

When you have moved your things out of the old residence, you may need to pay for professional cleaning services. Professional cleaning can make it easier to get your security deposits returned.

Also, review your insurance needs to avert an unpleasant surprise in the event of lost or damaged goods.

If you’ve decided to use professional movers, get several estimates, check references, and ensure each company is bonded. Find out if they offer any warranties, and always check references.

Be aware that you may incur fuel surcharges if you have a long-distance move. If you’re moving into or out of a multi-story building, you may also be subject to parking fines or fees for loading or unloading,

You may encounter unloading and elevator fees or surcharges in some tall buildings. Many moving companies may add a surcharge for bulky items or difficult items to move. If you have any valuable or substantial art pieces or valuable musical instruments, you may need to hire specialty movers.

Last Minute: Important Papers, Groceries, and Pets

Another considerable costly moving mistake is forgetting about your pets until the last minute.

If you have any pets, you may want to consider boarding them for the duration. Many pets get stressed out by a lot of commotion and strange people. If your new home is in a co-op or apartment building, you may need to deposit to have your pet in your new home.

The last items you should pack up on moving day may include any essential documents, including marriage and divorce papers, birth certificates, death certificates, health records, health insurance cards and information, and school records. Also, have each family member pack a bag with toiletries, pajamas, a change of clothes, and any medication.

Don’t forget about the added expense of restocking your pantry and refrigerator. While you can carry a cooler with you while you travel and pack kitchen staples in boxes to use at your new home, you will have to make a grocery trip after you’ve arrived at your new home. Buying fresh food for your new kitchen can be expensive.

For a local move, you may be OK with a few friends and a truck. For a long-distance move, you may be tempted to do it yourself. Carefully weigh the risks and benefits of doing so. Moving will be expensive no matter how you accomplish it.

Doing it yourself risks loss or damage to your household goods due to poor packing, poor vehicle loading, and the genuine risk of personal injury. If you are moving for a job, you can probably get your new employer to cover most, if not all, the expenses.

Hopefully, by following the advice, you will be able to keep some of your hard-earned money in your pocket.

Teresa JohnsonAbout the author:  The above article on moving mistakes that cost you money was written by Teresa Johnson. Teresa writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance101.com. She has experience with over 40 moves, including local, cross country, and overseas.

 

10 Cities Offering Incentives for Remote Workers

Share:

The vast majority of experts say the preference for remote work is here to stay. This massive shift in where and when we work has granted many a newfound sense of freedom.

Not being forced into an office has translated into workers not being tied down to a specific neighborhood or city. 

Therefore, it’s not surprising that many workers are moving away from the nation’s dense urban centers like New York City and San Francisco in favor of suburbs and less developed areas.

Former city dwellers search for greener pastures, more space, outdoor activities, and lower taxes. Many second and third-tier cities have taken notice of this trend and are doing all they can to attract newly remote workers.

This article will cover tips for remote workers looking to relocate and ten cities currently offering various incentives for digital nomads.

Cities Offering Incentives For Remote Workers

Tips for Relocating to a New Town

While leaping to move a long distance on a whim may sound tempting, there are some things remote workers should know ahead of time in order to prevent headaches down the line.

Whether you are working for yourself or a company, you need to understand your average monthly income and expenses to know whether you can afford to live in a particular area.

Over half of Americans say they don’t track their expenses, with many of them adding that they don’t think budgeting is necessary. 

If you fall into this category, you should realize that moving to a new area without first understanding your budget can lead to problems depending on where you move.

For example, an $80,000 salary would go far in Kansas City, Mo., where there is an extremely low cost of living. Still, in San Francisco — where housing and groceries are significantly more expensive — it would be much more challenging to live comfortably.

Moreover, if you are trying to buy a home in a new city, be sure you really want to settle there for a few years.

If you decide to sell your home after less than a year of purchasing it, you’ll pay a short-term capital gains tax of 10%-37% on the home’s profit. After a year, that percentage goes down to a more manageable rate of 0%-20%.

Understanding real estate capital gains laws are always vital when buying and selling a home.

Finally, when moving to a new city, using a real estate agent can significantly help with finding a home, especially if you’re not familiar with an area.

A good agent will know about different neighborhoods and their overall vibe, schools, restaurants, property taxes, homeowners association (HOA) rules, and more.

Cities Offering Incentives to Remote Workers

1. Lewisburg, W.Va.

West Virginia offers remote workers up to a $20,000 value in cash and perks to relocate to Lewisburg. The program was created as a way to combat population loss. Participants will receive $12,000, plus other incentives like annual passes for whitewater rafting, golf, rock climbing, horseback riding, skiing, and ziplining. 

2. Ontario, Ore.

Sitting directly where the Oregon Trail meets the Snake River, this agricultural community attracts nature lovers from around the nation. The city is offering $10,000 towards new home construction, perfect for those interested in building a home from scratch.

3. Tulsa, Okla.

Tulsa currently has two programs to draw workers –  inTulsa and Tulsa Remote. Both of these organizations help newcomers establish social and professional networks in the area and cash incentives.

The inTulsa program matches out-of-state talent with employers, providing up to $10,000 in relocation incentives for those moving to Tulsa. Meanwhile, the one-year Tulsa Remote program gives $10,000 to remote workers that relocate to Tulsa and a free one-year membership to a co-working space and access to events.

4. Berrien County, Mich.

The Move to Michigan program started in October of 2020 in order to attract people to the state. It grants up to $15,000 towards purchasing a home in Berrien County, which is just 90 minutes from Chicago. Also, it includes potential perks such as a free airport shuttle, an annual pass for the Chicago commuter trains, annual memberships to a fitness club and golf driving range, and a free membership at a coworking space.

Applicants cannot be current residents of Michigan and must show that they are working remotely for a company outside of southwest Michigan.

5. Greensburg, Ind.

Greensburg, Ind., offers $5,000 in cash for moving expenses and an additional $2,000 in gift incentives for remote workers. Eligible applicants must relocate to Greensburg within 6-12 months, be at least 18 years old, and be eligible to work in the U.S.

6. Grafton, Ill.

Are you interested in free land? Then consider moving to Grafton, Ill. Right at the intersection of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, more than 20 lots are available, each approximately one-third of an acre. The landowner has three years to build a home on the property; otherwise, the city will buy back the land for $4,000.

7. Topeka, Kan.

The Choose Topeka program offers remote workers up to $10,000 toward buying a home or $5,000 toward paying rent their first year in Kansas. An applicant’s employer must be located outside of Shawnee County to qualify. There is a three-month waiting list.

8. Augusta, Maine

In Augusta, Maine, remote workers can qualify for a tax rebate totaling their entire state tax bill, as long as they live in Maine for the whole tax year and graduated college after 2008. There are additional benefits for those with degrees in specific fields, such as STEM. The website MakyMyMove.com estimates the total incentive value at up to $15,660. 

9. Honolulu, Hawaii

Remote workers can say aloha to Hawaii as part of its Movers & Shakas program. The deal is open to everyone, and it provides discounted airfare, hotel stays, and access to coworking spaces. 

10. Juneau, Alaska

If you’re after some true wilderness, then you might consider Alaska. Those that move can receive $1,000 per year from the Alaska Department of Revenue Permanent Fund Dividend Division.

Final Thoughts

After the covid pandemic, remote working has become far more popular. In some industries, it is here to stay. Hopefully, you can take full advantage of our guide on incentives for remote workers.

What to Know About Moving Long Distance

Share:

Moving is one of life’s most exciting and stressful times. The thrill of moving to a new location with opportunities to explore and get to know a new community can be quickly chilled by the logistics of a long-distance move.

Whether your next move is across the country or across the globe, here’s what you need to consider during a long-distance move.

Planning for a long-distance move

Proper planning for a long-distance move is the difference between a relatively seamless transition and a total nightmare. It doesn’t matter if you are leaving a small rental property or a luxury home.

Here’s how to plan so your long-distance move goes smoothly. 

Manage your moving timeline

Begin at the end: When do you need to be settled in your new home? Pinpoint that date and then build out a calendar of the major tasks to complete before you can hit the road.

Start by creating a personalized move checklist that includes prioritized tasks (with a timeline for completion).

If you’re a homeowner, make a plan for the home you’re leaving. You can sell it yourself or list it with a realtor. Finding a great realtor can take time,  so keep that in mind as you set up your move timeline. If you are moving out of state as part of a divorce and need to calculate a house buyout, a realtor can help with this, too.

Are you moving for a job? Your new company may be able to help with locating housing and managing the moving process. Check-in with them to see what assistance they offer.

Long Distance Moving

Should you hire long-distance movers?

You’ll need to decide whether to hire a long-distance moving company or to move yourself. The main advantage in hiring a long-distance mover is their experience with complicated logistics. Regardless of the size of your house, a long-distance move is tricky. 

The easiest part is deciding which size van to rent. After that, consider:

  • What would you do if your moving van broke down?
  • How will you move your car?
  • How do you pack for long distances?
  • How many packing supplies do you need?
  • If a van seats two and you have a family of four, how will you move everyone?

And that’s just the beginning. Long-distance movers have the experience and equipment to safely, efficiently, and professionally pack and move your belongings. They also offer various service levels, from packing everything you own and moving it for you to simply loading boxes and furniture into their truck and delivering them to your new home.

Moving yourself can save you money, but in the end, you may find that hiring a long-distance moving company is worth it. Leave plenty of time to get quotes from at least three long-distance movers.

Inventory your stuff

You never know how much stuff you have until it’s time to make a long-distance move. Chances are good; you have way more than you think, so make a detailed assessment of what you’ll take, what you’ll donate or sell, and what needs to head to the trash. 

Now’s a good time to really pare down and decide what’s essential. Consider what you use, what’s sentimentally irreplaceable, and what “sparks joy.” Everything else should find a home elsewhere. 

If you are packing your own belongings:

  • Set up a schedule for packing
  • Gather packing supplies (bubble wrap, padding, moving boxes, etc.)
  • Follow your packing schedule
  • Label boxes clearly (i.e., “open first,” kitchen, kid’s bedroom, etc.)
  • Enlist help (friends and family)

Set aside a box of items you will need on the road. If you are driving over multiple days, make sure each family member has what they need to be comfortable. This includes any prescriptions or medical supplies they might need.

Take care of pets

Our pets are part of the family, and they need long-distance move prep, too. Please make sure all of their shots are up-to-date and have the proper gear they need for moving (e.g., crates, travel food and water bowls, etc.) well before you move.

Some animals require sedation to move — leave time to fill that prescription so your beloved pets can be comfortable.

Cats and dogs should also have a properly fitted collar with identification on it at all times. If you have not already, consider chipping your pets to be returned to you if they run away and lose that collar.

Make sure you plan for plenty of rest stops so that your animals can take breaks if they need them. 

Long-distance move paperwork

As with almost every major transition in life, a long-distance move comes with considerable paperwork. 

Before the move 

Before the move, you’ll handle the following paperwork:

  • Set up utility shut-off dates (and schedule essential utilities for your destination)
  • Cancel delivery services (food kits, newspapers, etc.)
  • Request school records
  • Request health records
  • Empty and cancel safe deposit boxes
  • Cancel local gym memberships and classes

Another major piece of paperwork involves documentation for taxes. Both selling and buying a home come with tax implications.

For example, if you sell a home in Texas and benefit from capital gains, immediately investing that growth in another house is known as a 1031 exchange. This type of transaction — reinvesting capital gains into a similar property instantly — can save you money at tax time, but only if you have proper documentation. 

Don’t forget to have your mail forwarded to your new address. Mail forwarding is a service provided by the USPS for one year. It can forward any critical mail that slips through the cracks as you move.

During the move

As you travel to your destination, keep the professional mover’s estimate, bill of lading, and inventory with you. 

You’ll also keep essential papers and documents with you on the move. These include:

  • Birth certificates
  • Death certificates or divorce papers (plus custody agreements where applicable)
  • Passport
  • Health insurance cards
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Mortgage documents 

Have a system for keeping track of all receipts during the move, as many of these expenses are tax-deductible.

After you arrive

No matter where you go, paperwork follows you. Once you arrive, set up utilities, and transfer your driver’s license, car registration, and insurance to your new home address. Most schools require evidence of residence to enroll students, so a driver’s license is critical.

With a new license and utility bill, you can also register to vote, get a library card, and join a local gym. You’ll also need to find doctors and set up new healthcare.  

Don’t forget to change addresses for: 

  • Credit cards
  • Life insurance
  • Investment accounts

Send copies of your moving receipts to your accountant, or create a file for tax purposes later.

Enjoying your long-distance move

When moving day arrives, proper planning means you should be able to wake the family up, have breakfast, and hit the road.

You’ve picked a tremendous long-distance moving company, and they’ve just hit the road. You’ve packed bags and supplies for everyone, and your route is planned and plugged into your navigation system.  

With all your hard work, it’s time to enjoy the trip to your new home.

What to Know About Cross Country Moving Including Tips

Share:

Tips For Moving Across The Country

You’re moving cross country, and you’ve got to figure out how to successfully move your life from here to there.

You may have just completed the process of closing on a house and now you need to move to stage two of the relocation process.

Well, a lot of folks have done this, and you can use their knowledge to get this right. Here are some things you need to take care of for this move.

Follow this guidance and some other moving tips and you’ll be in good shape.

Tips for moving across the country

Insurance Is Vital

One thing you must obtain before moving is insurance. It’s one of the most important long-distance moving tips to consider. The road is not predictable. If you’re going to hire movers, be sure to purchase enough insurance for your peace of mind.

If something happens to your things, you can at least replace them, thanks to the insurance coverage.

Pest Inspection

It’s important to do a good pest inspection of your belongings, especially outside furniture. Of course, one reason you should do this is to avoid taking pests with you. Another reason you’re doing this is that pests and insects shouldn’t leave the area.

Each state tries to ensure that pests from other regions don’t invade their territory. Look for government-provided pamphlets that discuss regulations regarding pests so that you know what to look for before you pack.

Purge Items

A great piece of moving advice is to get rid of items you no longer need or want. You should go through your belongings before you pack. Chances are there’s a lot in there you don’t need anymore, and that means you can leave those things behind. Make sure you’re honest during this process.

Don’t mistake things you need to keep versus things you’re just keeping because you spent money on them. The more you take with you, the more you’ll end up spending on moving. Donate or sell what you can and throw away what can’t be of use to anyone.

Make a List

Be sure to write down everything you’re packing. This is good for you, and it’s good for your insurance. Knowing what you’re taking should make it easier to ensure everything arrived at your new home.

It might even be a good idea to take a few pictures of your items, just to be sure nothing is damaged during the trip. This part is going to take some time, so start on the list as soon as you can.

Use Professionals

Professional packers are vital for a cross-country trip. These folks will help ensure that everything is packed safely. They’ll use proper packaging material and cushions to make sure that even the most fragile items you’re packing are secure.

Again, a long trip is unpredictable, so having cushions and fasteners, and other tools movers use to secure items is important.

It may feel like you’re doing too much, but you’ll be happy when you arrive at your new place and see all of your belongings in one piece.

Get Estimates

Don’t hire the first movers you find. It’s better to talk to a few people and get a few quotes to see who’s going to provide the best service.

Cheap isn’t always better, so make sure you pay attention to what benefits they will offer you.

It might be a good idea to check out the reviews of each company you’re considering to make sure you’re making the right decision. Be sure to check out 3rd-party reviews and not just the ones on their website.

One of the most significant mistakes when selling a home is not carefully planning out your move in advance.

Be Organized

If you hire professionals, they should organize your belongings for you, but if you don’t, you’ll have to do this yourself.

The easiest way to organize your packing is to separate everything by room. Label the boxes that go in one room so that by the time you get to your new place, you only have to place each box in the right room.

It’ll be easier for everyone to unpack if you take the time to organize your belongings. Again, it’s going to take some time, but it’ll be worth the effort.

Keep Essentials

Once you get going with your packing, it might be easy to get carried away a bit. This is something you don’t want to do because you might end up packing essential items that you’ll need to have handy.

You want to keep your social security card, birth certificate, driver’s license, and other important documents with you. These are things you might need as soon as you arrive at your new place.

You should probably pack some essential clothes, too, just in case your movers don’t get there on time.

Get Sitters

On the day you move into your new place, it would be a good idea to get some sitters. You’ll want sitters for your pets and kids.

A lot is going on during this time, and it’s best to keep young kids and pets out of the way. If your kids can help, then, of course, they should stay with you, but if you’re just going to worry about them the whole time, it’s better to have them stay with professional sitters. Things will go much smoother if you do this.

Clearing The Move-In

If you happen to be moving into an apartment or a complex, then you need to make sure you clear the move-in with the building manager. Yes, this is something you have to do beforehand to avoid any issues on the day you’re moving in.

Some building managers only allow folks to move on specific days and specific hours.

Sometimes, you have to reserve elevator use to move in. Talk to the building manager before you arrive so that everything goes smoothly.

The last thing you want is to have the movers waiting outside when they should be moving your stuff in. This will end up costing you more money. Having a successful move all boils down to being prepared in advance.

You’ve got plenty of tips to help you move cross country. It’s not going to be easy to do all of this, but if you start early enough, then you’ll be okay. Don’t delay and start your planning now. Your mind will be at peace if you do.

About the author: The above article on what to know about cross country moving was written by Nancy Zafrini. Nancy is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.

The Countdown Is On: 5 Tips for Moving This Summer Post-COVID

Share:

How to Move During The Summer Post Covid-19

Are you going to be moving this summer? Whether you are moving from a small apartment or a large home you will want to be well prepared.

Moving to a new place is stressful enough during the best of times, but here are some tips that’ll help make moving this summer post-COVID a little easier.

COVID-19 has thrown our lives in chaos, but the vaccine rollout gives people more confidence to go out there and live their lives. People are getting vaccinated and are going out to see friends and family.

Folks are making plans to go on a vacation. Life is slowly returning to normal, and we’re starting to look forward to the future and are making plans accordingly.

This includes packing up and moving to a new home, be it in the suburbs, a large city, small rural towns, or anywhere in between (although 62% of real estate agents who took part in HomeLight’s Q1 2021 survey say supercities in warmer climates are likely to see an increased number of buyers).

The trick about moving in a world post-COVID is knowing how to do so safely because only 31% of Americans are fully vaccinated (one-third of adults have at least received their first) so far.

Today, we want to share our top five tips on how to move this summer Post-COVID so you can do so safely and efficiently.

Tips For Moving During Covid-19

Tip #1: Plan ahead and make reservations early

When you need to sell your home quickly, you may not have the time to plan ahead. However, if you know you’re going to be moving in advance, it’s always a good idea to have a game plan.

Make reservations with the moving company (or UHaul if you’re renting a moving truck) as soon as you can.

If you’re moving far away, ask the real estate agent you’re working with when would be the best time to make arrangements.

Also, make sure you have enough money to cover moving costs. Summertime is the most popular time of year to move, and weekends and popular weeks go quickly and are more expensive.

We recommend setting aside enough money to cover the possibility of higher rental fees for vans and handcarts (they aren’t always included with the van rental).

You’ll also want to consider investing in moving insurance if you’re hiring a moving company. This insurance will give you compensation if the moving company loses or damages any of your belongings.

Tip #2: Pack electronics separately

This should go without saying, but always pack your electronics separately and protect them with bubble wrap. You don’t want that expensive flat-screen television to get damaged.

The same goes for computers, laptops, camera equipment, radios, and so forth. Oh, and don’t forget to collect all of your chargers, plugs, and whatnot! You can keep them organized by labeling each cord with some masking tape or something similar.

Tip #3: Mix light and heavy objects in the same box

You’d be surprised how many people will load heavy items all in one box. Things like books, records, movies, and even kitchen items can get pretty heavy when you pack them into the same box. Instead of doing this, spread the items out.

Put a few heavy items in the bottom of a box and then put lighter objects on top. It’ll distribute the weight, so you’re not lifting something that’s too heavy to handle comfortably.

Also, you might think that you can save money by using garbage bags for clothes, towels, and bedding, but you’d be surprised by how heavy these items can get!

When you use garbage bags, you run the risk of the bag breaking due to the weight, whereas you can reinforce a cardboard box with duct tape.

Bonus tip: You can go to any store and ask if they have any boxes with handles that you could have. You could also use the UHaul Exchange, which is a message board that lets people ask others if they have any boxes or moving supplies they could give.

UHaul also offers other programs such as the Armed Forces Connection and College Connection which customers can use to save money by sharing rides, storage units, or rental trucks. It’s a great program for those who are looking to move on a budget!

Tip #4: Declutter as you pack

When you’re selling your current home and moving to a new one, a good rule of thumb is to carefully go through all of your belongings and throw out (or donate) the items you don’t need. This is the chance to finally thin out your closet, get rid of toys the kids don’t play with, or those ugly knickknacks your in-laws keep giving you at Christmas!

If you have a lot of stuff, you may want to consider decluttering and packing things at the start of your house hunting adventure. Not only will you be able to take your time to go through things and sort what you do and don’t want, but you can also pack up items that you don’t need right away and put them in storage until you’re ready to move.

Yes, renting a storage unit is an added expense, but if you pack up long before you get to closing, you’ll find the whole moving process will be a lot smoother because you’ll have less to do!

Tip# 5: Keep essential items with you until the day of the move

Although you’ll want to pack your belongings in the weeks leading up to your big move, remember to keep your essential items unpacked. You don’t want to root around through all of your boxes to find your curling iron or the kid’s favorite toy!

It’s a good idea to keep a box or two empty, so when the day finally comes to move into your new home, you can toss them in the box and go about your merry way.

The last items you should pack up on moving day may include:

  • Two or three outfits
  • Pajamas and undergarments
  • Toiletries
  • Grooming tools
  • A couple of towels and washcloths
  • Chargers for your phone
  • First aid kit
  • Medications, glasses, contacts, and contact solution
  • Disposable plates and cutlery
  • Pet supplies
  • Bedding
  • Simple tools like hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, and scissors

Moving into a new house is exciting, to be sure, but it can be just as stressful when you throw in the social distancing guidelines. However, these tips should be able to make the move a little less stressful and more organized.

About the author: The above article on how to move during the summer post-Covid-19 was written by Maddi Arcurio. Maddi works for Homelight and enjoys writing on all things about real estate to help buyers and sellers make the wisest decisions possible.

9 Tips To Make The Move Into Your First Apartment Feel Like A Breeze

Share:

How to Move Into An Apartment For The First Time

Moving into your first apartment comes with a bag of mixed feelings: You’re excited to get started on a new adventure, but it can also feel overwhelming, as it comes with a new set of challenges and responsibilities.

From finding the right apartment to rent to signing a lease and furnishing your new living space, there are a lot of things you will need to consider in order to make your move a success. It’s a big step into the unknown, but when you’re armed with the right information, you can make your move feel like a breeze.

Here are some tips to help turn your move into a breeze:

Tips For Moving Into Your First Apartment

1. Make savings

Moving always costs a lot more than you originally anticipated. Start your moving budget by finding out how much you actually can spend on rent. Make sure you have enough money to cover the first and the last month’s rent at least and renter’s insurance.

Other fees could crop up, such as an application fee and a pet deposit if you have a pet. Additionally, there could be other costs associated with your lease, such as parking or storage fees.

You will also need extra cash to cover the moving costs, utilities, and other living expenses. Finally, stay prepared for anything that could happen outside your control with an emergency fund. Always have that extra cash for a rainy day ready.

2. Find the right location

Before you decide on the ideal apartment, find the ideal location. You might want to consider proximity to your workplace and other spots you need to get to on a daily basis.

Also, think about your potential commute and whether you will use your car or public transportations — traffic patterns and availability of public transport should count heavily when you decide which area you will be living in.

Consider access to local businesses, grocery stores, and entertainment venues to ensure you get access to everything you need.

If you choose to live in a smaller apartment to save on rent, you might want to add self-storage to your budget. It’s a convenient way to keep bulky and seasonal items out of your space without cluttering your living space.

Most people rent a 10×10 unit, but if you’re just moving into your first apartment, you could probably fit your things into a 5×5 unit.

3. Tour several properties to find “the one”

Once you decided on a neighborhood, shop around for the ideal apartment in the area. When touring an apartment, look at the overall condition, making sure there are no signs of water damage or property damage such as leaking faucets, dirty carpeting, and others.

Security is equally important: does the building have a security system and fire alarms? If you decide to rent the apartment, keep records of the property’s pre-existing conditions — take pictures and make videos in case you need evidence of the initial state of the apartment when you try to claim the deposit back at the end of the lease.

4. Pay attention to the fine print of the lease

Now that you found the apartment of your dreams — or close to it, anyway — find out all the rules that come with signing a lease. Pay attention to the section discussing maintenance and rules regarding visitors.

Pet policies are also significant sections of your lease as you might want to bring your best furry friend with you to your new home.

Make sure you have a good open line of communication with the landlord once you get settled in. Having a great relationship with the landlord will make for a much more pleasant living arrangement.

5. Pick the right roommates

You may or may not have had roommates previously, but living with other people can come with various pros. You can split the rent and bills and enjoy each other’s company. It sounds like an ideal situation, so it’s important to discuss their job schedule, personal habits, and their situation before signing a lease.

Go through each detail of your apartment life, from creating a chore schedule to personal pet peeves. You could write up a roommate agreement — not a legally binding document — that you can think of as a set of rules helping you navigate the intricacies of sharing your new living space. This will help you avoid ending up in an unpleasant situation in the future.

6. Buy apartment essentials

You will need a bunch of things to get your new life started. But where to start? Begin with the basics. Make a list of what you think you’re going to need and the space your apartment comes with before you shop.

Before you think about decorations, you will most likely need a good place to sleep, so investing in a bed and nice bedding seems like a great place to start. You will also need furniture — think of smaller pieces if your apartment is already small.

A smaller couch, a nightstand, a table with chairs are just some of the apartment essentials you will need. Buy the basic kitchen tools that include pots and pans and strainers; leave fancy juicers for later.

You will most likely need to keep the space clean, so getting a good handle on cleaning supplies will help you enjoy your apartment so much more.

7. Change your address and set up utilities

Moving can be overwhelming, especially when you’re getting settled into your first apartment. Remember to change your address in order to have your mail delivered to your new address.

It’s a swift process and can be done online on USPS’s website. Don’t forget to notify your internet provider and your other utility companies (gas, water, electric) of your move to ensure service is set up by the time you move.

8. Be smart about packing

Start your move before you actually move. Get packing supplies and make lists with your belongings and even label boxes as you pack. This way, you can keep track of your belongings, and it will be easier to unpack once you’re at your new apartment.

Don’t pack towels separately — instead, use them to pad the packing boxes. It would be a good idea to have a few blankets for wrapping larger or sensitive items such as the TV. Wrap the blanket around the item and use tape to secure it.

If you need to disassemble any devices, take pictures beforehand to ease the assembly in the new place. Place small nails and pieces belonging to furniture in sandwich bags so you can easily find them when it’s time to reassemble them again.

9. Get ready to move in

Once your lease is signed, schedule your move-in day. You might think that you don’t have many things to move, but you’re better off prepared. Start by renting a moving truck and even ask friends to help you. Now you’re ready to move and start a new chapter of your life!

Final Thoughts

Moving into your first apartment is a big step in one’s life. Practice being patient so you end up making the right decision. Rushing is only going to increase the potential for mistakes.

Hopefully, you have enjoyed the tips for moving into your first apartment!