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.
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.
It’s that time of year again when the holidays are behind us, the cold is upon us and the hope of something great to come is in the future. What do new years resolutions and moving have in common? You’d be surprised that many things we often resolve to do better come January also double as helpful tips when preparing for a move. De-Clutter: Many of us long to live simpler, cleaner lives and this mission can get a jump start right in your home. Start by checking out what’s lurking in your cabinets. Why keep a waffle iron you use twice a year when you could just go out for waffles instead? Look through your stash of vitamins, make up, and bath and body products to see what is outdated, expired or in need of a major clear out. Also be honest about what clothes, shoes, coats and accessories you really wear when examining your closets. Do you have excess furniture or are you paying to keep pieces in storage you don’t really need? Most of us are guilty of having at least a few embarrassing boxes of shame that never even get unpacked in between moves with unknown contents inside. If you are not sure where to begin, do a little bit at a time, and see each mini-project you tackle all the way to fruition. And if you made the decision to part with some belongings but have no idea how to re-home your unwanted stuff, we often recommend A Wider Circle, the Habitat Restore, the Salvation Army or Freecyle as great options to explore. Many animal rescues and shelters like the Washington Humane Society will gladly accept your extra sheets and towels as donations, as well as other gently used pet items you no longer need such as outgrown crates, beds and harnesses. This is a great way to free up some space in your home and make your next move easier, while helping others at the same time. Expand your Horizons: It’s not uncommon in the new year to resolve to volunteer with a nonprofit, learn a new skill, launch a hobby you’ve always been curious about or explore different places. And while you are tutoring kids at a local school, learning to cook Thai food, taking an art class or hiking the trails of DC, you are not only becoming a well-rounded and interesting person, you are actually setting yourself up to be more successful at moving too. We provide our customers with a lot of helpful pre-move information and tips that when read, absorbed and put into action takes a lot of the stress out of moving. The same way you conquered your fear and walked into that Soul Cycle studio for the first time, you can handle all the different challenges that come your way throughout the moving process. If you reserved a spot with Bookstore Movers, you’re already on a great track! But take it a step further by getting to know all the moving rules and regulations where you currently live and at your new residence. Reserve elevators and loading docks. Purchase street permits. Scope out important details like walking distances and narrow staircases and let us know in advance so we’re prepared. Think of us as partners in this life adventure and your move as a project to sink your teeth into. Feel inspired by the changes that are coming instead of overwhelmed. A positive attitude can go a long way to mastering new challenges successfully and makes the experience feel more enjoyable. Manage Finances: We all know how expensive it is to live in the DC region, and it’s a constant balancing act to stick to a budget. Modest housing choices can free up cash flow for eating out, travel and the occasional shopping spree. If you are good at keeping spending splurges in check you might feel comfortable designating more money for luxuries at home. Who doesn’t want a strong financial plan in place for the new year? The key in all of this is making smart choices and recognizing the difference between what is necessary for you and what is a budget busting indulgence . When moving, a similar balance is key. Many people are tempted to go for the cheapest option out there. We may not be the most inexpensive option, but we offer a top quality service by being licensed and insured, hiring only the best movers and investing in their training, and providing an experienced support team that gives excellent customer service from start to finish. So if choosing a reputable company with a great track record seems worth the extra money but puts you at the top of your budget, where is it possible to save? See if you can find free boxes or borrow bins. Pack carefully and minimize the number of loose items which are notorious time wasters. Transport small items yourself. Be flexible with your moving date and be willing to move on a lower volume day such as in the middle of the week if it’s possible for your schedule. Avoid moves during peak summer months if possible. And for those of you that just don’t have the time, and determine it to be worth every penny to have extra help, there are also some great optional services to give you the support you need. We offer a reusable plastic bin rental program that includes delivery and pick up. You might choose to schedule one of our packing crews if you need help getting your belongings wrapped and packed into boxes before the move. This can be everything, or to keep costs down you can opt to handle some packing yourself and hire professionals to tackle just a portion that you find especially daunting such as the kitchen, your huge book collection or all the fragile items. An excellent moving experience with real professionals can be affordable if you plan. Consider the days of enlisting your friends to lug heavy furniture up the stairs with nothing but pizza to thank them officially over. Whether you just moved, want to move, need to move or never want to move again, you can resolve to kick 2016 off in a way that will make you feel prepared for any change that might come your way!