What can you do with moving waste after your move?
We hate waste! It’s something that we think makes us a better moving company. We don’t waste your time, we don’t waste your money, we don’t waste your moving supplies.
But inevitably, moving creates trash. If you move a 4-bedroom house once every ten years, you’re going to have a lot of moving boxes and moving supplies left over afterwards that are just not very useful. So, what can you do with them? Here are some more moving tips – we’ve seen some pretty great ideas over the years, these are some of our favorites…
Wondering what to do with your moving boxes? If you have the double-layer corrugated boxes that are stronger and that you may have used for moving heavier items, and you have a flair for design (and a whole lot of creativity), one of the best ways to get rid of moving waste is turning moving boxes into cardboard furniture. Here are some of our favorites:
If your new house includes a garden, you can use moving boxes as mulch for your plants. The boxes make a barrier against new weeds coming up, and with enough water and soil they decompose over time and add fertility to your garden. Just be sure to take off any tape and glue before you plant them, you don’t want that stuff in your soil:
Bubble Wrap Painting:
Moving waste can be more than just moving boxes – there is always the beloved bubble wrap. We confess, when we have a pile of bubble wrap lying around, we’re more likely to spend hours popping it than to turn it into bubble wrap art. But that’s a shame really, because there are some amazing works of moving waste art out there made with bubble wrap.
Bubble Wrap Dishes:
We’d give it about five minutes into the meal before our wine is dripping all over the table because we couldn’t stop popping our glass…
Recycling and selling old moving supplies:
And if you don’t have a garden and you don’t have tons of time on your hands, and you’re not a creative type, you can always just recycle or re-sell your old moving supplies. Boxcycle
is a company that connects people selling boxes to people buying boxes. And with a quick Google search with the name of your new county and the words “recycle cardboard” you’ll come up with the local recycling guidelines and regulations.
Having the right moving supplies is what makes for a safe, successful move. Disposing of them the right way afterwards is the best way to keep your home orderly, to take care of the planet, and sometimes even to create something beautiful!
When disaster strikes, be it tsunami, earthquake, or hurricane, we all have the desire to help. However, I think that for most of us that desire remains an inchoate and inactive thing. We sigh and are thankful we avoided such catastrophe and we wish the victims well, but not too many of us actually do something.
Antonio Vasquez is one of those exceptional few that sees the suffering of our fellow citizens, decides to do something about it and then puts a plan into action. He called me up not long after Superstorm Sandy with a tremendous and ambitious idea: An Eagle Scout Project to collect books in the DC region to benefit libraries in New Jersey that had been devastated by the storm. We immediately agreed to help. Not only would be be able to be of service to those in need, but we would be able to provide succor in the form of books! Books are the reason this humble company got going in the first place. We revere books and the chance to deliver some to beleaguered libraries seemed almost like a sacred mission.
Far more important than my musings are the locations where you can drop off books:
-Colvin Run Elementary (Vienna)
-Longfellow Middle School (McLean)
-McLean High School (McLean)
-St. Mark Catholic Church (Vienna)
-8401/8405 Greensboro Drive (McLean)
-Victoria Station Salon (Vienna)
We’ll be taking the books up to New Jersey on February 15th and would deeply appreciate any support you can give to Antonio in his efforts to help our neighbors up north.
You’ve definitely seen them: the high-rise buildings, towering over every other concrete structure in the vicinity. They are dozens of stories, with pools on the roofs and entire walls made of glass. The buildings themselves look like the love-child of a quirky Project Runway designer and the cold, calculating hands of a Swedish architect. Dozens of apartments are packed into each floor and in spite of the number, there’s inexplicably one, maybe two elevators. And, without any surprise, there’s only one service elevator that somehow, in spite of the definitive modernity of the building, looks like it was stolen from a Saw
movie set. Well, I may be projecting a bit of my own apartment experience for the last part, but you get the point.
Yes, nothing is more annoying to a group of movers and the residents moving in than a slow, singular and small cargo elevator – conveniently located approximately ten miles (or seems to be while carrying a bed, cabinet, stereo system, other heavy things) from your apartment on the floor. It lends itself to cramp corridors, tight fits and most of all, tons of sweaty dudes in an elevator at one point.
But, alas, what can be done? I mean, it’s not like we have giant robots that can pick up the heaviest of furniture and gently place it down through your open window or balcony. We do not have jetpacks that allow our movers to leap up boundless stories to safely deliver your pets, utensils, glassware, or whatever other valuables you hold dear directly to your doorstep. We don’t even have a really sweet truck that can attach the side of the building and then take our mov—
Oh, what’s that? People do have that?
Oh, that’s pretty sweet.
Well, I sit corrected.
Some places do have some pretty amazing technology to bypass the horrid inconveniences of small elevators and long hauls (and halls) and there’s a whole lot else out there that is exciting for movers and those moving to see, but until we get our own sweet elevator truck we’ll have to stick to our normal trucks, stairs, elevators, and hallways. Plus, it’s not like our movers don’t enjoy the exercise, and in spite of how cool an elevator on a truck is….it’s still not a giant robot or a jetpack.
Nothing gets our blood boiling like moving scams. Not only are they some of the nastiest bits of theft around, but they give a bad name to the whole industry so that legitimate moving companies like us have to fight for respect. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been voted the best movers in DC 200 times, people still won’t trust you because of moving scams like these.
Here’s a particularly bad story we heard recently from a friend of a friend, father of 3 little girls about his family’s horrible long distance move from New York to Seattle (or, as we call it: From New York City to Hell…):
The move was far and expensive, so they decided to use one of the cheap interstate moving companies you can find online. The movers showed up one day, packed up the whole house into boxes, loaded them into a huge truck and set off. The family meanwhile piled into their own car, hoping to turn the move into a family cross-country road trip, and to arrive after their stuff had already made it.
The road trip went great – but when the family made it to Seattle, their house was empty, none of their boxes had been delivered. There was no sign of their stuff. It’s everyone’s worst moving scam nightmare. They had voluntarily given all their possessions to a band of criminals… The parents started making phone calls – to the company, to the police, to anyone who would listen. They started feeling stupid and angry too, blaming themselves for having been robbed of every single furnishing, article of clothing, dish and heirloom they owned.
They went out and bought some new clothes and dishes to get through the next few days – and then one day, with no warning whatsoever from the moving company, the truck showed up! The movers ignored all their complaints about being late and proceeded to insist that unloading the truck wasn’t part of the contract, and that they would only do it if they were paid more, in cash, right now – a classic moving scam.
Needless to say the parents were furious. They got into a screaming fight with the movers in the middle of their new front lawn (a great way to meet your new neighbors, right?), and only when they threatened to call the cops that instant did the movers agree to get to work.
They unloaded the truck, and a few hours later our friend signed the receipt and the movers headed out.
Nightmare over, right? Wrong. That was when the family realized about half their stuff was missing – and that about half the moving boxes in their house weren’t their boxes at all, they were filled with the possessions, memories, and lives of some other family!
These cheap interstate moving companies just take all your possessions to one warehouse and drop it off, and then another team of movers loads up another truck with whatever boxes they can find and takes that off to the final destination. Trucks can load and unload several times in a cross country trip, no one person follows your move. No one watches over them, there is no quality control, no guarantee of anything.
So what’s the moral of the story? If there’s a moving tip here, it’s that moving scams are everywhere. If an estimate you get from a moving company online looks too good to be true, it probably is. Stick with companies with positive reviews and a lot of them, and that have maybe even won awards (wink, wink). Also, call references, ask around – don’t take chances with your stuff!
From N Street Village to Miriam’s House
By Amanda Clark
Bookstore Movers recently had the privilege to help N Street Village deliver five mattresses from its central location to Miriam’s House, a residential community in northwest Washington D.C. specifically for homeless women living with HIV and AIDS. Founded in 1972 by members of Luther Place Memorial Church, N Street Village is a community-based non-profit organization in the Logan Circle neighborhood.
N Street Village began as a way to provide services and advocacy to the growing female homeless population in Washington D.C. The organization now serves over 900 women per year, helping them achieve personal stability and enabling life-changing gains in their housing, income, employment, mental health, physical health, and addiction recovery. The organization has received extensive national and international recognition and given tours of its facilities to White House officials, Department of Housing and Urban Development officials, the Dalai Lama and visiting Kenyan dignitaries.
N Street Village is expanding and in November 2011 Miriam’s House was incorporated into its programs and services. The incorporation of Miriam’s House allows N Street Village to provide high quality housing and support to twenty women at a time.
The staff of N Street Village contacted us here at Bookstore Movers to inquire about moving five mattresses to Miriam’s House. We gladly said yes and offered our services pro bono. Successfully scheduling and planning the move, as well as accompanying our movers, John and Patrick, was one of the most exciting and satisfying projects I have accomplished in my time at Bookstore Movers. Moving the mattresses was a small but important project. It was great to hear that the women at Miriam’s House “would sleep well tonight” as a result of our efforts. In this case, it really does take a village and we are happy to contribute to N Street Village however we can.
And what was John and Pat’s favorite part of the move? “The hugs!”
How else can the Bookstore Movers community help?
In addition to volunteering and financial support, N Street Village accepts fully functioning, gently-used and new items. Due to limited storage space, they can only accept items that are currently needed and all donations are accepted by appointment only, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They do accept used clothing when they have available storage space and oftentimes their greatest needs for clothing are plus sizes. They also accept smaller household items when needed, but do not accept large furniture pieces. Please check their wish list to find their most pressing needs: http://www.nstreetvillage.org/donate/in-kind/
As you are cleaning up and clearing out in preparation for a move, you can contact their In-Kind Gifts Office to schedule a drop-off time or for additional donation assistance at 202-939-2050. They are unable to pick up donations.
Lots of moving mistakes come from moving trucks. We see and hear about a lot about these moments when the cheap do-it-yourself move goes wrong. What started off as cheap and easy can quickly become expensive and endless. Moving yourself is taking a chance – you don’t know the equipment, you’ve maybe never even driven a truck before. A friend of ours once drove a Uhaul onto the Brooklyn Bridge – only to be stopped by NYPD (no trucks on the Brooklyn Bridge!) and forced to back down the on-ramp. It makes for a good story – but there’ve got to be other ways to get good stories…
So, you’ve decided on a new place, the wonders and excitement of the world are placed at your feet and you couldn’t be more excited at the prospects ahead of you. Yes, indeed, you have found more than a new house, you’ve found a new home and new opportunities. Alas, thinking of your future and the brave new world you will dive into has prevented a crucial part of your move: packing.
Oh, heavy is the head that wears this crown, but have no fear of being thought of as rude, inconsiderate or thoughtless. Instead, calmly organize what you have, and think of one simple mantra:
Leave it all to the Movers
While the luxuries of the Eastern movers don’t entirely translate over here (we are severely lacking in elevator trucks and mobile platforms) – there is nevertheless something special to take away from watching this video – trust and confidence in your movers and their abilities to work effectively and with a sense of purpose.
When purchasing something, you as the customer should always be assured of the quality of the product and have no doubts to its effectiveness. Choosing a moving company should be no different, you, after all, trust your life to the men and women who will be completing your move. Sure, it’s not surgery and you’re not under fire, but the movers still hold your life in their hands; in the forms of furniture, electronics, precious items, memories and everyday objects that make you who you are.
When you think about it that way, you can never really be too choosy when choosing people to handle them.
Our movers are carefully trained and expected to perform in a professional, open, honest and dedicated manner, and they take pride in being known for doing so. While we may not be able to offer padding for all of your walls, specialty trucks and lifts, and a sock change upon arrival to your new home, we can guarantee that our movers can be trusted to treat your items and the life they represent with all the reverence they would treat their own possessions.
So, if you find yourself swept up in the romanticism of finding a new life somewhere, or you aren’t sure of how to deal with certain items, or if you just doubt your own abilities to effectively pack, structure and organize, remember who to trust. Remember simply to
“Leave it all to the Movers”.
Continuing with our series on the biggest moving mistakes, we bring you… Actually, we’re not sure what to call this one…. “Just Plain Crazy,” maybe?
We get requests every so often from people who need to move really large objects that will need to go in through a window. Pianos, gigantic TV’s, things like that. Sadly, we have to decline, as we aren’t yet equipped to perform a maneuver such as that safely, and we also don’t particularly want to take on the extra liability that comes with hanging a man-crushingly huge object outside a window. However, if this is something you need to do on your move, if you email us, we can recommend some other excellent companies with this capacity. Please just don’t try to do it yourself like in this photo!
Some of the biggest moving mistakes just shouldn’t happen…
We once knew a guy who was a doctor in an emergency room, and he told us that in 90% of the cases that showed up in the ER, the last sentence spoken before they got hurt was: “Here, hold my beer a sec’…”
In our business, the sentence is probably something more like, “That will totally fit, trust me!” – usually spoken by a friend you’ve asked to help out for the day and who will conveniently get a phone call and have to duck out just when the couch (or piano or priceless mahogany dresser that’s an heirloom from your great aunt Gladis…) gets truly and impossibly stuck. Major moving mistake.
Moving isn’t rocket science, but experience counts for a lot. There’s no need for #movingfail! If you like your stuff, call a professional moving company – check out reviews online, take your choice seriously – or why not just save yourself the time and call the best movers in DC
And remember, if your friend says, “That will totally fit…” avoid the biggest moving mistakes, do yourself a favor and don’t believe him!