5 Packing Tips to Lower Your Moving Costs

Moving is considered one of the most stressful life events. Choosing a reputable moving company is one crucial step to reduce the stress. Reducing costs during your move is another. If your moving company quotes by the cubic feet (as opposed to by the pound), read on to learn five invaluable packing hacks that will save you time, money, and sanity.

1. Get Creative with Packing Material

Let’s face it – you’re going to have to move those T-shirts, towels, and washcloths anyway, so why not use them to cushion breakables like glassware, plates, and vases? Just remember that by keeping your box type consistent, you’ll be able to stack them higher, saving on space. Plus, there’s less chance that they’ll get knocked over en route.

2. Pack Books in Rolling Luggage

Again, this is a matter of both items having to get to the same destination so why not combine them? Books are usually some of the heaviest, bulkiest items to transport, but placing them in a suitcase with wheels makes it exponentially easier.

3. Wrap Electric Cords in Empty Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Rolls

A few months before your move, start setting these aside. While this won’t necessarily save packing space, it will save your sanity when it comes time to unpack your electronics. Also, take a picture of the back of your TV before you start unplugging everything, so you’ll know how to set it back up once you get to your new place.

4. Transfer Seasonal Items to Plastic Bins

While cardboard moving boxes are durable, using them more than three times risks your belongings. A better plan is to store items you plan on keeping long-term in storage bins. More durable than cardboard boxes, plastic containers are ideal for items that you’ll pull out seasonally or when the holiday rolls each year. Plus, storage bins are a good choice in case something catastrophic happens during transport; your items will stay protected from the elements longer than in a cardboard box. Just remember to tape the plastic bin to keep it closed.

5. Turn to Craigslist to Find Your Moving Boxes

Dozens of people are moving in your town at any given moment, and people want to get rid of their boxes as soon as they empty them. That’s where Craigslist comes in. Before you start running from store to store begging for mismatched boxes or spend money on brand-new boxes, check on the free section of Craigslist to see if anyone has gently used moving boxes. Remember to pay it forward; when you finish moving by posting the boxes for the next person.

 

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Moving Services

Shopping for the best moving company can be a challenging task. While a Google search will present you with countless moving companies, the question is whether you are ready to entrust your belongings to any of them.

So how do you choose the best moving services company? Here are some important factors to consider.

Research
Conduct some research and identify a few movers that offer the best services. You can consider asking for recommendations from friends, relatives, or coworkers. Once you’ve gathered enough information, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for any complaints filed against them. Proper research will help you to come up with the best list of movers.
License and insurance

You cannot take shortcuts when it comes to insurance and licensing. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires every moving company licensed and insured. If you are considering a move within a state, a call to the local Department of Transportation office can help determine if a mover is licensed.

Similarly, if you are considering a long-distance move, a quick check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website can help identify if the mover is licensed.

Place of business
Rogue moving companies rarely provide their physical address on their website. Before hiring a mover, ensure that their place of business exists. Consider paying a visit to the company’s office before hiring them. It is vital that you know where to track the company down if anything goes wrong.
Compare quotes

The final quotation is another critical issue to consider before settling for a specific moving company. But, your decision should not rely on price alone. When comparing quotes, pick one from a reputable company and that includes the greatest amount of services. Keep in mind the that the lowest quote might come from the most undesirable company.

Focus on professionalism and accreditation
When you hire a moving services company, you want it to adhere to the highest standards of quality and professionalism. This involves treating its clients with respect and courtesy. Besides, you want the customer service reps to listen and answer all your questions.
A good moving company will belong to a professional association such as the American Moving and Storage Association. For accreditation to such an organization, it must fulfill certain requirements and abide by a specific code of conduct that mandates proper operation of business and adherence to local and federal laws. Although it is not mandatory to join such a society, it’s a great way to prove and market their level of expertise.
While researching a good moving company can be stressful and time-consuming, the above tips will help ensure that you enjoy a smooth move to your new home or office.

7 Tips for Choosing a Long-Distance Mover

Moving can be a personal and financial burden especially when the move is long distance. However, with some clear-cut guidelines on how to research, compare, and select movers, you can eliminate much of the stress associated with long distance moves. Here are some important tips that will help you find the best mover.

Do Your Research  

Conduct some informal research to identify which moving companies offer the best services. Ask for recommendations from friends and family. Once you have identified a few companies, look for reviews and complaints. The best way is to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the companies you are interested with has had any disputes or complaints filed against.  Proper research will help narrow down your options and come up with the best list.

Get More Than One Estimate

When it comes to long distance moves, the final quote is based on a number of factors including the weight of the load to be moved, distance, and packing. Before settling for a specific moving company, get at least three estimates and compare. All estimates must be based on an onsite inspection of your possessions. Ensure that you get written estimates and see which one falls within your budget. However, this should not be your final decisive factor. At times, cheap does not always come with the best quality.

Insurance and Licensing

Part of your checklist is to ensure that the moving company you are about to entrust with your possessions is properly insured and licensed. Most people make the mistake of hiring movers before seeing and verifying these policies only to discover later that the company is incapable of covering any damages or lost items. To ensure that the mover is licensed, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) website. If the company is not listed, avoid it.

Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

To protect consumers from dishonest practices and unlawful charges by rogue movers, long distance moving companies are legally required by the FMCSA to provide homeowners with a copy of your rights and responsibilities when you move. The guide offers you with answers to numerous questions that you might have. It is paramount that you that you fully review the booklet before the move so that you can fully understand the terms of your move and the remedies available in the event of any mishap.

Ask Questions about the Contract

Before getting into an agreement with the mover, ensure that the contract covers the rates, charges, mover’s liability for your items, claims protection, and pickup and delivery dates. Read the contract cautiously. Moving company scams are common so you have to ensure that it’s authentic before you put ink on paper and sign that contract. If anything looks suspicious, ask questions until you’re satisfied. A reputable company will delightedly answer your questions.

We understand that moving can be complicated. However, if you follow the above tips you can rest assured of a stress-free move.

5 Ways to Find the Best Local Movers

Moving is both an exciting and stressful time, but choosing the right local movers will make things go a lot smoother. You may be tempted to do the job, which might be alright if you’re just moving down the road, have enough friends and family members to help you and you don’t have much stuff to move. However, a reputable moving company will see to it that everything is moved safely and in a timely fashion without you needing to take time off work or worry about damaging your possessions. Nonetheless, not all moving companies are equal, so you’ll want to take the following steps into account when choosing one.

Research

Start by getting some recommendations from friends, colleagues, and anyone else you trust. You can also ask your estate agent to point you in the right direction. Oftentimes, the small local movers offer the best service, and you shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that only the large nationwide movers are worth working with.

Calculate the Costs

Many moving companies provide a calculator on their websites to help you figure out how much it will cost to move all of your items You need to get a rough estimate at least is the number of rooms in your home, the number of people living there and the distance to the new place. Nonetheless, there is no substitute for actually having someone from the company come to visit in person in order to give you a more accurate estimate.

Insure your Possessions

Most homeowners have contents insurance to protect themselves financially in the event of a disaster that claims some or all of their belongings. However, many insurance policies do not extend their coverage to moving or, for that matter, any items when they are taken away from the property. Some moving companies offer insurance, although it’s often safer to get a policy from a recognized underwriter. The company that provides your home and contents insurance policy may be able to help you as well. Alternatively, you can opt for a specialized company that only does movers’ insurance.

Review the Contract

Movers will provide you with a contract that should detail the agreement between you and the mover. It should also specify what they are going to move, where and when they are going to move it to, and the total cost. In the event that something goes wrong, this contract is designed to protect the legal interests of both parties, but you’ll need to make absolutely sure you understand it before signing.

Prepare Your Home

It’s never really too early to start preparing your home for the big move, even if it’s before you start looking around for a moving company. It can help to have everything well-organized if you’re going to have someone visit to provide a quote. It may also help to create a floor plan of the place you’re moving to so you can decide well in advance where everything is going to go.

4 Mistakes People Make When Moving Locally

1.Thinking That You Don’t Need to Hire Movers 

Moving to a new home can be a stressful experience even if you are just moving down the street. Many people think that they can wing it themselves if their new home is not very far. It takes extensive planning to move. Also, a DIY move may not be as cheap as your think. By the time that you add up the costs, including renting a moving truck, it can get pricey. Also, there are a large number of things that can go wrong, including damage to prized possessions, back injuries from picking up heavy boxes or even having your moving truck break down in the middle of your move. No one needs to deal with these things during a move. It just makes more sense to hire movers.

2. Not Downsizing Your Things 

Even if you are not moving far away, you should not bring every single item that you own with you to your new place. Getting rid of things that you don’t use will save you hassle in the long run. That is what makes moving an excellent time for downsizing and getting rid of things that you no longer need. Think reuse and recycle. Pack up anything that you have not used for a couple of years and donate it to Goodwill. You might also try having a moving sale. Once you downsize, you will see how much easier your move is.

3. Packing Your Belongings Yourself 

You might think that you don’t need a full-service moving company if you are moving a short distance. But, you are wrong. Hiring someone to do it all—packing, moving and unpacking can be very helpful and take a lot of stress off of you. If you hire a full-service company, they will carefully pack up all of your things, ensuring that fragile items are properly wrapped up. They will set everything up in your new home exactly as you want. Full-service movers also supply all of the supplies that you need for the move, such as boxes, tape, padding and more. You won’t have to worry about a thing.

4. Not Planning Far Enough in Advance

Relocating to a new home is a huge job—even if you are not moving far away. Even small moves, like just down the street can be costly and nerve-racking if not planned in advance. Waiting too long can result in higher moving costs. Also, if you plan to hire movers, they may be booked up if you wait too long. Therefore, the earlier you start, the better. Consider planning your move at least several months in advance if possible. Research moving companies, obtain quotes and download moving-related apps to help you plan. A moving checklist to help you prepare might be useful, as well. Try to keep all of your moving related information in one folder so that you can easily access it when needed.

 

Tips for Moving In With Your Significant Other

To say that moving in together with your partner is a great step is an understatement. In fact, it is an enormous commitment both financially and emotionally and should be done with both parties ‘eyes wide open and expectations in check.

While it can be one of the most rewarding, adventurous and fulfilling decisions in your love life, it can just as easily turn into a nightmare if you do not compromise and prepare adequately. If you are planning to move in with your significant other, the following tips will guide you through the process.

Move In Together for the Right Reasons

Before you start contemplating on how you will decorate your shared space, ensure that both of you are moving in together for the appropriate reasons. If you rush into living together and realize that it’s not working, pulling out can prove to be difficult particularly when your lives and finances are linked together. This can end up feeling like a trap.

While some couples will move in together to test the strength of their relationship, the idea to move in should be mutual. So, before deciding on living together, discuss your expectations with your partner and make sure both of you are on the same page.

Decide Where to Live

Once you ascertain that both of you are ready to move in together for the same reasons, the next step is to decide where you want to live. Is one moving into the others place or are you looking for a new place altogether?

If you decide that your partner will move into your house, ensure that there is enough space for some new items and furniture too. If your space is not enough, look for a new space. If you’re troubled about how to move your furniture to your new place, just hire a reputable moving company and they will do the rest for you.

Take Inventory of Your Stuff

Before moving in together to your partner’s place or to your new home, both of you should take inventory of all your stuff and decide what you intend to keep, donate, sell or trash. This will help save time and money and cut down on the amount of things that will need to be moved irrespective of whether you are enlisting the help of a professional moving company.

Talk Finances

Once you’ve discussed where and why, it’s time to discuss finances, which can be a rather tough conversation. Discuss who pays for what and how to handle daily expenses and unanticipated costs. When it comes to money matters, it is extremely vital to be upfront and honest.

With a proper plan, moving in is extremely easy. If you are contemplating on moving in with your better half and you are stranded about how you are going to move your stuff, hiring a professional moving company will help streamline the process as well as save you money and time.

 

The Benefits of Choosing Local Movers

Moving to a new location can be stressful, especially when it comes to hiring the right professionals for the job. The best choice is to simply find a local mover who can do the job quickly and smoothly.

While most national and international movers have hundreds to thousands of reviews and testimonials online, you cannot guarantee their reliability. With local movers, however, you can get steadfast referrals from friends, family and local customers.

Why should I hire a local mover?

They Have More Knowledge of the Locality

Local movers are familiar with the area and since moving rates are derived from an hourly minimum, this knowledge will help them evade heavy traffic areas saving you time and money.

Low Overheads

As companies grow, so does the overhead and costs.  For instance, national and international companies have far more costs involved in maintaining an enormous fleet of trucks.

On the other hand, local movers operate in smaller fleets. Their overhead is minimal. These savings are often passed on to the customer.

Credibility

With local movers, it is easier to find out whether the company is licensed and insured to conduct business within the region. Going for a company that is headquartered in another city or state will do you no good. Ensure that your choice company is properly licensed and insured.

Customer Service

Unlike national movers that are widespread across cities, local moving companies rely on finding customers in their community.  Therefore, they have to make a good name for themselves by offering better and more efficient customer service.

Always Available

Since the local mover will be situated within your city, you can always contact the manager whenever there is a need to.  This is particularly important if unforeseen challenges arise during the move.

Hiring a reliable local moving company ensures that your moving process is smooth, quick, and cost-effective. If you are planning a local move, we are here to assist you at every step of the way. Contact us today to get a free quote and learn more about our moving services.

 

3 smart tips for moving during the holidays

shutterstock_301744478Moving is never an easy process, but it’s one that can prove to be even more challenging during the holiday season. The holidays are a time of the year in which everyone tends to be more busy than usual. It means that that you’ll most likely have to deal with various family obligations, gift buying and more while you are moving. The following are three tips that you should follow to make your moving experience a bit easier during the holidays:

1. Prepare for harsh weather

You’re more likely to encounter harsh weather during the holiday season than during any other time of the year. You should prepare yourself for typical winter weather, such as snow and ice. If you’re planning a long distance move in a cold climate, make sure to have your car inspected before you take it out onto the road. Pack a winter emergency kit as well. This should include the following:

  • Flashlight
  • Portable radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Dry food
  • Bottled water
  • Blankets
  • Charged phone
  • First-aid kit
  • Extra clothes
  • Shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Spare tire

2. Begin preparing for the move ahead of time

The holiday season can be quite stressful in itself. Combined with the stress of moving, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed in a hurry. Reduce potential stress by preparing for your move well ahead of time. Begin packing things that you know you can do without weeks before the move. This way, you can pack a few boxes a day and be ready to go once the movers arrive.

If you don’t prepare for your move ahead of time, the pressure of the move and all of the things that you still need to do will sit in the back of your mind. The last thing you want to do is to spend a few days before the move trying to pack everything you own in a hurry. This is a good way to become disorganized, making it difficult to find the things you need once you’ve moved into your new home.

You should also plan around any holiday obligations. If you have a holiday dinner to attend two days before you move, then you’ll definitely want to start packing way ahead of time so that you’re not forced to miss it. If you’re moving into your new home right before a major holiday, make dinner plans ahead of time – even if it’s just finding a take-out place nearby your new home.

3. Hire a moving company as soon as possible

Many moving companies will not want to make long moves during the holidays. Because of this, you should begin looking for a reputable moving company as soon as you know when you want to move. If you wait too long, it will be more difficult to find a high-quality mover that isn’t booked or understaffed.

If you are planning on moving during the holiday season, then be sure to keep these three moving tips in mind.

Stay tuned to Connecticut’s Finest Movers for more tips!

7 Gifts for New Homeowners That They Will Actually Use

shutterstock_429689848Forget about homemade cookies or casserole, get your new neighbors or friends a housewarming gift that they will actually use. These 7 unique, yet practical housewarming gifts will help new homeowners settle into their dream home.

#1 The Homeowner’s Manual

Owning a home comes with all sorts of unexpected complications.  If your friend is a first time home buyer a great gift is The Homeowner’s Manual. This book is full of helpful advice on everything related to the home. It offers step-by-step instructions on how to fix a leaky faucet and other basic maintenance tasks. It also answers some very important questions that many homeowners have, such as:

  • Why are there water stains on the ceiling?
  • When Should I have my chimney cleaned?
  • How can I safely reset a breaker?

#2 Gift Cards

Most new homeowners are strapped for cash. Gift cards to Lowe’s, Walmart and Target are all good choices. Whether your friend needs tools or other household items,  a gift card provides them with a little extra money to get the things they need.  Another option is to give a restaurant gift card. Moving is hard work. Going out to eat can be a relief after moving into a new home.

#3 Alcohol

A bottle wine from a local winery, a beer making a kit or a six-pack of craft beer are all great gift ideas. Another creative idea is to make a gift basket and fill it with wine, champagne or scotch along with some gourmet snacks.

#4 Home Safety Devices

Things like fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, flashlights and security cameras are typically not on any new homeowner’s shopping list. First-time homebuyers in particular often do not think about these things as they are usually supplied by landlords. Although shopping for home safety equipment may not be fun, there are essential items for any homeowner to have on hand.

#5 Technology

Technology plays an increasingly important role in most people’s lives. A programmable thermostat makes a great housewarming gift. It will also help with energy efficiency, as well. Another great technology gift is a keyless lock. These allow homeowners to lock and unlock their doors from anywhere.

#6 Landscaping Gifts

Basic garden tools, such as rakes, garden spades, shovels and gardening gloves are great gifts for first-time homeowners. Decorative items like garden signs, landscaping lighting, and birdhouses also make thoughtful housewarming gifts. Herb-gardening kits are popular with new homeowners too.

#7 Outdoor Entertaining Items

Help your friend or family member turn their outdoor space into an entertaining area with outdoor dinnerware, linens or BBQ accessories. Other great gifts for outdoor entertaining include picnic baskets, coolers or cool outdoor games, like a croquet set.

Stay tuned to Connecticut’s Finest Movers for more tips and advice for homeowners.

How to prepare for a downsize move.

shutterstock_520750249Downsizing can be a difficult process, no matter what. The following are a few tips that will help you with the downsizing process:

Determine what to downsize

Begin the process by taking inventory of everything you own. Create three categories that include things you must keep, things you can replace and things you can go without. Begin by identifying a list of things you must keep. One way that you can do this is by thinking of the things that you would replace first if your home were to be destroyed in a fire. It should also include irreplaceable items with sentimental value, such as family heirlooms. These are your essentials.

Once you’ve identified your essentials, you should determine what things you can do without. These are the items that you should get rid of first. If you need to downsize further, begin getting rid of the things you can replace – these are items you can always replace in the future.

Figure out what to do with the things you’re downsizing

The last thing you’ll want to do is to throw anything away. Hold a garage sale and try to sell what you can. List items that you can’t sell at your garage sale on Craigslist or eBay. The money you make selling some of your things can go towards your moving expenses. You could also use that money to buy more storage space items – like shelving – for your new home, thereby allowing you to downsize fewer items.

For items that you can’t sell, consider giving them to friends and family if they need any of them. Then donate the rest to charity. Knowing that the things you’ve downsized are going towards a good cause can help lessen the pain of having to get rid of them.

Be prepared to downsize even further

Once you move into your new home, you may find that you have less space than you thought. This means that you may need to downsize further even after you’ve moved in. Don’t get frustrated if this happens. Ask a friend or family member to come over to your new home to help you downsize further. An objective opinion on what you should keep and what you should get rid of will make the process easier.

Stay positive

Think of all of the benefits of downsizing – not only are you getting rid of things that you don’t need, but your cost of living is going to go down as well. Keep a positive attitude and the process of downsizing won’t as stressful.

If you’re moving into a smaller home, then you are going to have to downsize. Keep these tips for downsizing in mind to help make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

Stay tuned to Connecticut’s Finest Movers for more moving tips.