Arlington Bluemont EOD Warrior Foundation 5K & 10K race

Bookstore Movers is helping to sponsor and bring attention to the Bluemont EOD Warrior Foundation 5K & 10K race, to raise funding for veteran care.  Please see message from the primary sponsor below!

Trusts and Estates Attorney Kerri Castellini, a Washington D.C. based lawyer who also practices in both Maryland and Virginia is sponsoring the Arlington, VA Bluemont EOD Warrior Foundation 5K & 10K race and is encouraging members of the community to participate.  

The EOD Warrior Foundation serves the military community by providing financial support to veteran and active-duty wounded, injured, ill and fallen EOD warriors by maintaining their memorial.  

This is a perfect opportunity for community members to come together and run for a deserving cause on September 17th at the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. The 10K race starts at 8:45 am and 5K begins at 10 am, taking place until 11 am. Additional Perks include T-shirts given to participants arriving around 45 minutes before the race to get registered for the event. 

Make sure to stop by our booth for a chance to grab well-earned swag bags after enduring a long run in the park! For more information on the race and to register, visit our website here.

How to Get Settled in After Moving – Moving Tips #3

Sometimes the last step of a move is the most forgotten one: How to get settled in after moving?

The Bookstore Movers van pulls away, and you turn around to a house full of boxes and furniture, you’re tired, you’re probably a bit hungry, and you’re generally overwhelmed.  Your new life in your new house has just begun, the culmination of what can be years of searching in some cases.  So, what do you do next?

Here are our latest moving tips, designed to help guide you through this last step of the moving process.

Unpacking:
•    Unpack the music first – an ipod with speakers, a laptop, a massive stereo, whatever your fancy, a little music makes whole process easier and makes an otherwise empty house feel like home…
•    Clean – We know, we know, it’s the last thing you want to do, and hopefully your house was cleaned before you moved in, but still just passing through a room with a broom or a vacuum before you start opening moving boxes might be a good idea. It will prolong the time before you next have to clean, and will give the whole place an even fresher feeling when it’s all set up.
•    Start with the … – The bedroom?  The kitchen?  The kids’ rooms?  This is all a personal preference, what really matters though is to start with unpacking a whole room and work from there rather than just opening moving boxes hither and thither.  Starting with one whole room will give you a beach head on the whole process, a place you can retreat to to relax when you need a break.  If it’s late when you start, the bedroom might be the best bet; if you’re hungry, maybe the kitchen or dining room; if you have kids or pets, getting them set up first might save you some stress later.  Whatever the solution that works for you is, just keep it organized.
•    Organize your trash – depending on where you live, a lot of moving supplies can be recycled. No matter where you live, lots of moving supplies are re-usable.  Come up with a plan before you start unpacking so you know what you’ll be doing with the moving boxes and bubble wrap that are about to start piling up.

Settling In:
•    Introduce yourselves to your neighbors – Knowing your neighbors can really change your impression of an area and your experience living there.  When you’ve just moved in is the best time to swing by and say hello, you can ask them little questions about things like trash pickup and already feel settled in you new community.
•    Check out a local newspaper – or website or coffee shop bulletin board, whatever there is local to your town or neighborhood that will give you a sense of what is going on there and what you can get involved in.
•    Go for a walk – This can even be a great way to take a break from packing, just go outside to get some fresh air. Walking around your new neighborhood now that you live there will give you a different perspective on the place, you’ll see your new home in a new light and you’re bound to notice things you hadn’t seen before.

Getting settled in after moving takes time. Over the coming weeks and months you’ll learn more about your surroundings and meet more of your neighbors.  Hopefully it will all work out and you’ll never have to move again – but please do remember if you wind up changing houses, you know where the find the best movers in DC!

How to Prepare for Moving Day- Moving Tips #2

Moving day is pure excitement, but it can also be pure stress.  It’s the culmination of so many events – an apartment or house search, negotiations over a lease and contract; it may even coincide with a  marriage or a growing family; it may mark the biggest single purchase you’ll make in your whole life (a new home!).  The day itself can feel like it’s bringing all these things together, but if you follow our moving tips, moving day can be stress-free.

Here are our moving day tips:

•    Charge your cell phone.  Everything will be more stressful if you’re running around looking for plugs and counting the bars your battery has left.

•    Be there when we are.  We take arrival times seriously, so when we tell you what time we’ll show up at your place, we mean it. If you’re not there though, and we wind up sitting on the sidewalk waiting for you to come back from somewhere, it doesn’t suit anybody’s schedule.  Beginning the day right means everything will go well.

•    Don’t be afraid to let the movers do the work.  When we leave, we go home and get to rest, and that’s when your work begins. Unpacking, obsessing over whether the carpet ties the room together or not, it’s tiring stuff, so save your energy.  Let us move the boxes and set things up for you.

•    Pack a moving day box.  Keep your essentials handy in a separate moving box, including ID, your new lease, keys, medications, toiletries, extra eyeglasses, your cell phone charger, and a sandwich or two for snacks during the day and at night.  There is nothing worse than rummaging through moving boxes looking for your keys when you arrive at your new place.  Trust us!

•    Give the old place a final walk through.  It can seem hectic when it’s moving day and we’re there packing things up and you’re wondering how we’re going to get to your new place, but it is worth it to walk through your old place one last time before you leave. You’ll often find you’ve forgotten something, and if you’re attached to your old home it can even be a nice way to say goodbye.

•    Food!  Everything is more stressful when you’re hungry, so either make sure that moving day box has some snacks in it, or pick out a place near your new apartment where you’ll be able to get a quick bite if you’re feeling low on energy.

•    Hire a babysitter.  The same might do for pets. If you have small kids, this is a great day to find someone else to take care of them. Don’t get us wrong – we love kids, but moving is stressful for them too.  Knowing that they’re being taken care of will let you focus more on the move, and it can help keep things simple and complication-free.  And hey, won’t it be cool when your kids come to the new house and find take-out pizza in the kitchen and all their stuff waiting for them in their new room?

We live for moving day – it’s our job.  We promise that we’ll be there and we’ll do our best work for you.  If you are prepared and ready, then it’s all going to go perfectly, we’re sure of it.

These are our ideas – let us know if you have your own thoughts on what makes for a successful move.

How to Prepare Your Move – Moving Tips #1

 

A successful move isn’t just a question of hiring the right moving company – it’s also about planning ahead.  Below are some tips on how to prepare your move.  Over the coming weeks we’ll add a few more posts on other moving tips, including how to prepare for moving day and how to get settled once the moving trucks pull away.

For starters though, here are some moving tips on how to plan a successful move:

•    Assess your budget.  Be realistic about what you can afford, but don’t try to cut too many corners. It can be better and safer to do a move yourself then to sign up for some too-good-to-be-true offer you find online and that’s likely to turn into a moving scam or to cost much more than you expected. Most importantly though, incorporate moving expenses into the estimated cost of your new house or apartment so that you’re not left with a nasty surprise on closing day when you realize your bank account is empty and so is your new house…

•    Load up on boxes, tape, and moving supplies before moving day so you don’t find yourself stuck at the last minute.  You really can’t get too much, when it comes to moving supplies, and you’ll probably need twice as much as you think.  As a general (and very imprecise) guideline – for a sparsely furnished 3-bedroom house, 100 boxes ought to do it.  If you’ve got a lot of heavy items like books, think more boxes.  Better to have lots of small heavy boxes than a few enormous and immovable ones.  Craigslist can be a great source for cheap boxes and moving supplies.  Home Depot is another good bet.

•    Simplify!  The less stuff you have on moving day, the easier the move, so take this as an opportunity to simplify your life. Do you need as much furniture in your new place? Would you be better off without 7,000 pairs of shoes?  If you never use that set of weights, is it worth lugging them across town?  Locate your nearest Good Will or Salvation Army and find out if they’re interested in any of the things you’re getting rid of and your moving day can even do good in the community.  (And your movers will thank you!)

•    Eat eat eat! There is no need to move half-filled boxes of pasta, single-serving soy sauce packets from the Chinese takeout place, or any of the other random bits of food that might be hanging out in your kitchen.  If you start eating through your stocks before moving day, you’ll save yourself some hassle and you’ll have a cleaner kitchen when you unpack.

•    Forward your mail.  Either go to the post office or just arrange with whoever will be replacing you.  Even if you think you’ve called everyone to let them know your new address, there will inevitably be someone who slips through the cracks – knowing your mail is following you is really reassuring.

•    Reserve elevators and loading docks.  Take care of this as early as possible, especially if you’re moving during the summer or near the beginning or end of any month, those are peak times and service elevators can get busy.

•    Start early – Even if you’re hiring movers to pack for you, it’s good to prepare things in advance.  When you wake up the day before moving day, if nothing has been packed up or even prepared, the move will be much more stressful than if you’ve at least looked through your things and figured out what needs to be sent where.

Moving can be stressful, but with the right moving company and the right preparation, it can come off without a hitch.  Oh, and if you think of any other preparation tips we haven’t included, let us know and we’ll add them on.

Moving Scams: The Bait and Switch

In honor of the holidays, we thought we’d give another tip on common moving scams.  In our last post on moving scams, we shared the story of a friend of ours and his nightmare move cross country.  One of the traps that story didn’t include though is one of the biggest moving scams: the bait and switch.

You visit a website, you call up a moving company, and they talk to you about your move, and then they quote you an unbelievably low price, often flat.  You’re tempted, you’re skeptical, but then maybe you’ve stumbled on the best deal out there?  And even if it’s not the best moving company, maybe saving a couple hundred bucks is worth it?

And then come moving day, you find out the truth: that estimate wasn’t based on anything. While you’re standing there with your lease about to expire and your whole lives in moving boxes, the price doubles or even triples sometimes.  Just when you can’t back out anymore, you discover that the cheapest company out there is actually the most expensive one – or even worse, that the cheapest moving company isn’t even a moving company!  That the company that took your deposit and gave you an estimate was just a middle-man pretending to be a moving company, and that now you’re going to get a new estimate and have a new price to pay.

The problem is so widespread, that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation even sent letters to major online search engines to ask them to crack down on false moving companies and moving scams.

A lot of times this comes from picking a moving company in a hurry, without taking the time to really shop around.  We totally understand that people today are busy and don’t always have time to slave over their moving decisions.  But even just taking the time to visit sites like Yelp and reading customer testimonials can help you avoid this.  It can also help you to get better educated and prepared for your move.

So take the time to research, it pays off in the long run!

Otherwise, it’s holiday time, and we hope you’re all home safe with your families and certainly not packing up and moving just now.  Christmas is a big holiday for us movers – there’s just something about a holiday that revolves around a sleigh loaded with boxes visiting houses all over the world that appeals to anyone in our profession.  Santa is something all of us in the moving business can aspire to – he does it all for no payment more than milk and cookies, and no one has better online reviews than he does!
Happy holidays, we wish you all a safe and healthy new year!

Business Relocation

Business relocation is a whole other world from a small home move and comes with its own challenges and concerns. A business move is a big task and takes a lot of planning – more than we can totally cover in a blog post.  For now though, here are some of our thoughts on what makes for successful business relocation.beau cropd

1. Get the word out in advance.  If you’ll be relocating, put signs up in your current location to warn your customers it’s coming.  If you have a Facebook page, share photos of the new location before moving day and even post photos as the move is going on.  Business relocation doesn’t have to cost you a penny in lost business – if your customers are aware as things are going on it can even be a source of excitement driving more visits to your new site.

2.  Have a specific contact person in charge.  Call them a Move Manager, a Relocation Coordinator, whatever works for you, but make sure that there is one point person that is responsible for organizing the move.  That way the moving company will know who to deal with, and also your employees will know who to look for with questions.  Business relocation goes much more smoothly when communication is clear and everyone knows who to talk to.

3.  Help your employees.  You might just be moving across town, or maybe you’re relocating across state lines.  No matter what your move is, it’s going to mean change for your employees.  Make it easy on them by telling them well in advance of what is coming and trying to anticipate some of the changes your business relocation is likely to bring to them – even if it just means taking a different subway when they come to work in the morning or having to find a new place to meet up for drinks at happy hour.

4.  Move on an off day.  It will mean a long week for the relocation manager, but by relocating over weekends or on a day you’re usually closed, you’ll be sure not to miss out on normal business hours.  If you’re going to need your employees to come in and help with the move though, don’t forget point number 3 above, make sure that it’s as easy on them as possible.

5.  Update everything.  Business cards, websites, social network profiles, flyers, tattoos, whatever you have that has your old business address on it needs to be updated.  Make a list in advance and update them all as soon as you’re done relocating.  By starting the list early, you can be sure that your business relocation won’t wind up in old customers standing in front of your old address wondering where you’ve gone off to.
Business relocation can be a real headache, but it doesn’t have to be.  Preparing in advance and finding the best moving company around can make a big difference.  In the end, relocation is a huge opportunity, and if you handle the change well it can the beginnings of great things for your business.

#MovingFail – Biggest Moving Mistakes #5

In this installment of the biggest moving mistakes, we bring you: WATCH OUT FOR THAT HOUSE!  Not a bit of advice that we usually think we need to give, and yet people seem to have such affinity for driving moving trucks into houses.   Not mobile homes – there at least you could claim it just came out of nowhere at least – but full huge stationary family houses.  We really hope nobody was hurt in any of these photos – a moving mistake that ends up in the hospital is just awful.  If you think any of this might happen to you… please, hire a moving professional!

#Movingfail - Biggest Moving Mistakes #Movingfail - Biggest Moving Mistakes

Best Moving Apps

There is no need to tackle a move single handed – your phone can be a huge help too – here are some of the best moving apps available online.

Moving List:Moving App - Moving List

This moving app is basically a collection of lists for every moving task imaginable from finding moving boxes to enlisting friends to help.  Each list includes a time range for when you should get it done too so once you set your moving date you’ll get regular reminders to keep you on schedule.

Our favorite feature though?  There’s an option to help you decide how to deal with stuff you can’t quite manage to throw out.  Shake the phone and the answer will come in true Magic 8-Ball fashion…

Moving Planner:Moving App - Moving Planner

A similar app but for Android devices: easily customizable lists for everything moving related.  With over 210 home moving related items, there really isn’t much else you’ll need to worry about.

Moving Guru:

More moving lists here, but this is a great option for anyone with a more complicated move.  The Moving Guru App lets you choose for an international move or a government move, prepare a message to let your phone contacts know you’ve moved, and even request an estimate.

Moving Van:

This moving app takes it beyond just a bunch of checklists.  As you pack, use the app to note what is in each box, take photos of what’s in there, and assign each box a unique name and number.  Then when you get to your new location and the boxes start coming off the truck, rather than having to rely on your scribbled notes or unclear lists of contents, you know just where the box needs to go and just what is inside it.  Perfect for anyone who has ever thought they were opening their box of essentials and found out they were holding a collection of old high school year books instead…

Yelp:Moving App - Yelp

The Yelp app is fantastic, not just for researching the best moving company in your area (ahem ahem) but for finding everything you need once you’re in your new house.  From the best takeout for that first night to the best place to get rid of old moving boxes, this app is a huge help for moving.

 

Now if there were a moving app that could haul the boxes and drive the truck, we’d be out of business!  We hope these guys can help in the mean time though making a smoother and easier time out of your move.

Time, Money, Books

Two Saturdays ago I stopped by Capitol Hill Books for a beer tasting and general camaraderie with the Bookstore Movers staff and the public. It’s often good for a man of my, well, “headiness”, to get out of the house every once in a while, and there’s only so much writing and music-making a man can do before he slips into the abyss of his soul. A little company, a little literature, and most importantly, a little libation can do the writer’s soul well. So, I decided to join the literati of the city at the premier beer-tasting event of that particular Saturday.

While I was there, sipping on a deliciously potent brew – an eerie chocolaty and hoppy concoction – and perusing the local book selection, I overheard a few different conversations about the same thing: bookstores.

Most people were talking about how unique Capitol Hill was. Referencing its selection, the sort of no-nonsense but extremely playful attitude of the staff, the seemingly endless supply of books on the second floor, and the laid-back atmosphere of the store itself. All of these things were said with a smile, and by regulars who threw around the names of people I have yet to meet. These conversations were airy and light, but they always led to a particular point; the difference between independent bookstores and big chain ones.

Most of the time it starts when they see the bottle of tequila in an unused sink in the poetry room.

“You won’t see that at a Barnes and Nobles!” someone will say with mock seriousness, then immediately laugh afterwards, thanking the gods of writing that places like Capitol Hill still exist.

But, what they often don’t say is that one won’t find many Barnes and Nobles anymore. Indeed, one will mostly find giant empty warehouses with large B&N logos on the windows in lieu of customers, books, and culture. The bookstore culture is dying, has been dying, and will continue to die if the trends don’t change. Most people do not lament the loss of giant corporate bookstores, but in a way, they should – especially if they are the same people who continually buy books off Amazon and merely window shop at their local stores while saying how cute it is.

It certainly takes a bit of convincing to get people to pay eight dollars for a book when they can get it for ninety-nine cents on Amazon – but in lieu of a long tirade for the literacy of America, I would like to put forward a couple of quiet arguments

Remember, when we buy books, we pay for the ideas of other human beings. Even a horrible, dramatic, ridiculous novel that has laughable writing still took a person years or months of labor – charging five bucks for a year’s worth of labor is not a far-fetched idea when you think about it – no matter how cheesy the dialogue may be.

We pay for the ability to discuss books with other book lovers, face to face, and the “extra” money you are spending is going to keep a roof over our heads while we do so.  Supporting a local bookstore instead of Amazon and spending the extra little cash goes to keep establishments around, and establishments are far more than stores – they are part of our neighborhoods, part of our lives, and give us places to be ourselves around other like-minded people.

We are also paying for the ideals of bookstores as well. We are paying to value literature, to value reading and individual thought, personal relationships and the ability to be honest.

We do not just support businesses by purchasing books from establishments rather than places. We support the arts, and in a way, our souls, by surrounding ourselves with the culture of the good and the noble. We help bolster our communities and thus, ourselves. So, next time, when you’re wavering on buying a novel from a tiny little bookstore because it’s three dollars cheaper on Amazon – think of where your money is going, who it’s going to, and what it will create. Something tells me you’ll be willing to spend a little extra.

Craftsmanship

As most of you may have noticed, I am incredibly new to the Bookstore Movers universe. As far as I know, most of my co-workers are collections of ideas and atoms that exist in some sort of state far away from my tiny little home office. I hope to change that soon, and the company itself has been nothing short of accommodating, open, and just all around friendly to a new, nerdy writer like me. So, even without faces to the names, or deeds to the ideals, I still feel quite comfortable around the movers, the administration, and the people with whom I work.

And I realized after going on Yelp after I was hired that I wasn’t alone.

I would like to invite those of you who have the chance to read the blog to also read the first page on Yelp about us. A quick glance will tell you that Bookstore Movers has an impeccable record, and an overwhelming amount of positive reviews.

Sure, this sounds like bragging, or the world’s least subtle advertisement, but I wanted to bring it up because I think there’s an incredibly important detail in the majority of the reviews; the fact that the reviewer mentioned the names of the movers. There is something incredibly intimate about knowing the names of those who are working for you – it strips away the barrier of worker/master mentality and creates a space that, when done honestly, allows both parties to function as one harmonious and symbiotic unit. This was largely evident in the reviews I came across, as each one contained a “Chris”, “Pete”, “Craig”, “Benny” or “Rashim” – filled to the brim with proper nouns!

What an incredibly interesting feat – even for a local company, and rarer for a company where most encounters are only for a short time and one-time.

I didn’t write this post to brag about the company or to pull a certain sense of empathy and understanding from my readers – rather, I wrote it to show that there really is heart in what Bookstore Movers does. Whether it’s volunteering, throwing social events, or most importantly, moving someone, Bookstore Movers has an incredible sense of duty and pride. I say this as a relatively new employee, and more importantly, as someone who has yet to belong to the BSM family.

In a way, I suppose this little blurb ceases to be about Bookstore Movers’ ratings, or even moving – it’s about the value of working hard and letting your work define you.

No matter what the service is; from moving, to serving you coffee or food, to creating murals or constructing buildings – the true value is not in the speed, the price, or the method. The true value is how seriously those who work take their work, how much pride they have in it, and how much they truly love their work. If they take their work seriously, they take themselves seriously, and their work will reflect that. The artistry, mastery, and efficiency that makes one perform excellently will come naturally.

So, when you are looking for a craftsman, a service, or a company, find out how many people remember the names, the faces, and the attitudes that accompanied the work – if they do so in a positive light – then you have found those who wear their heart on their sleeve; and it’s these types of people that we should be happy to support.