Packing a tool box for your move

When moving, one of the most common pieces of moving advice you will hear is to “pack items you don’t use frequently first”. This is true, but there are a few exceptions. Moving creates all sorts of opportunities to use items which usually stay in storage – especially your tools.

Even if you are the type who never uses tools, you are going to want to have a tool box on hand for moving day! These are important for tasks like taking apart and reassembling furniture, removing nails from walls (you do want your security deposit back, right?), opening boxes, and making minor repairs.

Tools you need for moving:

• Extra roll of packers tape + tape gun: There is always one more box which needs to be closed!
• Screwdrivers: For taking apart furniture and large items
• Hammer: Good for tasks like prying things apart and getting nails out of walls
• Wrench: In case you need to tighten plumbing fixtures
• Hex Key: A lot of furniture requires a hex key to disassemble
• Utility knife/box opener: Makes opening boxes so much easier
• Tape Measure: To double check measurements making sure furniture can fit inside the home
• Painter’s Tape: For securing drawers/doors shut without damaging the finish, for taping corner guards (pieces of cardboard) onto walls without damaging paint


Always make sure your tools are packed in your “essentials box” – the box which contains all of the items you will need immediately upon arriving to the new home. The essentials box should be clearly labeled and give the movers instructions to pack it last so it comes off the truck first.

You can save money by dismantling your own furniture. However, you will save yourself a lot of headache if you have the movers disassemble and reassemble furniture for you. These are professionals and they can get the job done a lot faster than you can!

Don’t let these moving mishaps happen to you!

It is inevitable that some small things will go wrong on moving day. However, some moving mishaps can be catastrophic. Learn from other people’s mistakes and make sure these moving day mishaps don’t happen to you.

Furniture won’t fit inside

This moving day blunder is incredibly common. People forget to measure all dimensions of their furniture and then are shocked when it won’t fit into their new home! Remember to measure everything including doorways, windows, hallway widths, and staircases.

No parking means long-haul fee

Most moving companies charge an extra fee for having to carry items a long distance from the home to the truck. Avoid this fee by making sure you get parking on moving day.

Forget to get permit for moving truck

A good moving company will usually check this for you, but it is still your obligation to make sure that the moving truck is legally allowed to access and park in the street.

Melted shrink wrap

One homeowner told about how she wrapped all her clothing in shrink wrap to protect them and keep them together during the move. What she didn’t account for is that cheap kitchen plastic wrap isn’t the same as the shrink wrap used for packing. The shrink wrap melted in the hot moving truck and ruined all her clothes!

Pets get loose

Inform the movers of your pet! Ideally, you should clear out a room and put your pet in there so the movers can work without worrying about Fido getting away.

Utilities not turned on

Did you forget to call the utility companies and have water, electricity and gas turned on at the new location before you arrive? Otherwise, you are going to have a not-so-fun time camping out your first nights!

No toilet paper in the essentials box

Always pack a box of essential items that you will need for your first few days in the new home. Pack this box last on the moving truck so it can come off first. Make sure you have toilet paper in the box! Otherwise, you will have to make an emergency run to the store right when you arrive.

Things to ask yourself before relocating for your job

The average American will move 12 times in his or her lifetime – and most of these moves are work related. The decision to move for your job is different for everyone. People who are young, without family, and without ties to the current home will find it much easier to move. For people who have been living in the same community for a long time and have family and friends there, it can be a heart-wrenching choice. Before you decide to up and move everything for a job offer, ask yourself these questions.

Is it just about the paycheck?

The new job might come with a bigger paycheck, but moving should never be just about the monetary gains. Think about what other benefits (if any) will come with the job move. Will you like the new job? Will you have more opportunities to learn and excel at the new job? Will moving help you excel in your career?

What are the long-term prospects with the job?

Before you up and move your entire life because of a job offer, make sure to check out the company first. See how long they’ve been in business and how well they are doing. You don’t want to move just to have the company go under in the next few years!

How much will life cost in the new city?

A higher paycheck won’t mean much if the cost of living is drastically higher in the new city. Look into all the costs associated with the city, including rent, taxes, groceries, and gas and then see how much your expenses will increase.

Will you and your family like living in the new city?

If you are a city person at heart, then even your dream job won’t make you happy if you have to move to a rural small town! Ideally, you should spend some time in the city to get a feel for it before you decide to make the move. If you can’t do that, then do as much research as possible to learn about the culture of the city.

What are the consequences if you don’t move?

Some of us can afford to turn down great job offers, but others of us could suffer by turning down a job. Will turning down a job offer really affect your financial stability or your ability to advance in your career?

How does your family feel about the move?

If you have a wife and kids, then you’ve got to consider them as well. Uprooting your kids certainly won’t traumatize them for life, but it isn’t going to be easy for them to say goodbye to all their friends and start new schools. Your spouse might not be supportive of the move, especially if he or she has a career which could be affected.

How moving companies determine estimates?

The first step in moving is to research numerous moving companies and get estimates from them. Note that you shouldn’t go by the estimates which are given online via email or any special tool. No moving company can give a reliable estimate without first coming to your home and seeing what you have to move. Only then will they be able to give you an accurate estimate. Here is how these agents come up with their moving estimates.

Local moving estimates

Local moves are usually charged on a per-hour basis, which will vary depending on how many movers you need. The cost of the moving truck and fuel are usually included in this fee. However, it might be in your best interest to find a moving company which calculates transportation costs separately. For example, you wouldn’t want to pay the high hourly rate if the movers were to get stuck in traffic. It would be better to pay a separate lower fee based on the transportation time or distance.

Beware of hidden costs in local moves. Many moving agents won’t be so forthright about telling you of fees like “long carry fees” or “stair fees.” To help the moving agent provide you with an accurate estimate, tell the agent about available parking, staircases, or any other aspects of the move during the estimate.

Long distance moving estimates

A long distance move is usually classified as anything over 50 miles. These moves are more complicated to estimate because there are many variables, especially when moving very long distances that will take several days to cover. Further, there are many ways to move long distance, including loading your items onto a freighter truck with other people’s belongings instead of moving them in a truck of their own. These factors can significantly affect the moving estimate.

Long distance moves should be estimated based on weight and the miles traveled. Do not choose a moving company which charges based on the amount of space your belongings take up on the truck (volume).

Types of moving estimates

The type of moving estimate you get can also affect the price significantly. Few moving companies will offer flat-rates, aka binding estimates. This is because customers can sneak in items which weren’t there during the initial estimate. They are more likely to offer non-binding moving estimates, which means the costs can be more or less than the estimate depending on the time the move takes (local moves) or the weight of belongings once on the truck (long distance moves).

For the customer though, non-binding estimates are troublesome as scamming moving companies can purposely give unrealistically low estimates, only to shock the customer with higher prices on moving day. Thus, for both parties, the best option is a non-binding estimate with not-to-exceed amount. This means the costs can vary, but cannot go over a certain amount.

Additional charges in the estimate

In addition to the basic moving services, the moving estimate may include these additional charges:
• Packing materials
• Packing services
• Fuel charges
• Transportation (driving) charges
• Additional insurance
• Long carry fees
• Stair fees
• Third party fees

Moving a refrigerator/freezer to a new house

A refrigerator-freezer is one of the trickier items to pack and move. Even if you are hiring professional movers for the move, there are still some things you need to keep in mind to ensure your refrigerator-freezer is moved successfully.

Start using up fridge items

You are not allowed to pack perishable items in the moving truck, so you will need to get rid of any food which is in the fridge before the move. Several weeks before moving day, stop buying new perishable items that you won’t be able to use up before moving day and work on using up items in your freezer.

Empty your fridge

About 2-3 days before moving day, you will need to empty out our fridge and freezer completely. Once you have all the food items out, clean everything inside. Don’t save this task for when you move in; you will already have enough things to do! Plus, mold can quickly start growing inside a dirty refrigerator as it will be warm inside. Then, remove any parts from the refrigerator-freezer, such as trays, egg holders, or ice cube trays. These must be packed separately. Depending on your style of fridge, you may be able to leave produce drawers inside.

Defrost your freezer!

After cleaning out your refrigerator, you will need to defrost the freezer. Remember that this can take a while to finish, especially if there is a layer of ice inside your freezer, so don’t wait until the last minute. Unplug the fridge-freezer and open the door. See if your freezer has drainage holes in it. If so, then locate the drainage hose and guide the water to where you want it to go (such as a bucket). If your freezer doesn’t have drainage holes, then you will want to put towels on the floor around the base of the freezer to prevent puddles. If you forget to defrost your freezer, then you can use hot water, a hair dryer, or a hot spatula to melt or remove the ice.

Dry the fridge and freezer

Using a towel, make sure the fridge and freezer are completely dry before you move them. Otherwise, mold can start to grow quickly.

Wrap the cord and secure the door

Use cord ties to secure the cord in place so it doesn’t become a tripping hazard. You will need to secure the doors closed too. This should generally be done with strong rope. Avoid using tape to secure the fridge and freezer does because it can make the paint come off and will leave a sticky residue.

Protect your refrigerator

If you have a new or valuable refrigerator, you might want to take the extra step of protecting it. Get large pieces of cardboard and secure them around the fridge. Or, you can buy a refrigerator box.

Moving the refrigerator

If you are doing the move yourself, then you will need to get a dolly for moving the fridge. Don’t try to lift it out – even with strong friends. The risk of injury and damage is too great. Secure the fridge on the dolly with bungee cord or rope. Remember to take it slow with the dolly, especially on steps. It is generally best to load the fridge into the moving van first, along with other large items. Never lay a fridge on its side; it should be upright at all times.

Installing the fridge in your new house

Don’t plug the fridge in right away. You should wait a few hours so the coolant has time to go back up into the compressor. After about 2 hours, you can plug it in. Remember that it will take a while before your refrigerator reaches ideal temperatures, and even longer for your freezer. Don’t put perishables in the refrigerator until it is at the right temperatures.

How to keep your belongings safe in a self-storage unit

When it comes to keeping your belongings safe in self-store units, you’ve got more than thieves to worry about! Your belongings could easily be damaged by moisture, leaks, rust, or numerous other issues. Here are some tips on how to keep your belongings safe.

Choose the right storage facility

The best thing you can do to keep your belonging safe is to choose a good storage facility. Take a tour of the facility and note if there are any issues, like a mold, leaks, rust, or faulty door hinges. Pay particular attention to the smell of the place – does it smell like mildew? Also, note whether there are any cracks or white spots on the floor as this is a sign that moisture could come through.

A good storage facility will have video cameras, a keypad for entry onto the premises, and a security guard standing watch. If your items are especially valuable or sensitive to moisture and temperature, then choose an indoor storage facility.

Put pallets on the floor

At good self-storage facilities, the floors of the units will be elevated off the ground by a few inches to protect against moisture coming through. If not, you can keep your belongings safe by putting pallets on the floor as a barrier between the ground and your belongings.

Use plastic wrap

Even if the storage facility looks clean and dry, you will still want to protect your belongings by wrapping them in plastic wrap. This is especially important for furniture and other upholstered items.

Take inventory – and pictures

Take a careful inventory of all the belongings you are putting into self-storage. There are inventory apps which make this very easy, and some apps will even allow you to print a QR code you can put on your boxes. Remember to take pictures of all of the belongings as evidence of their condition and write down any serial numbers.

When to label boxes

If you are storing items which aren’t very valuable, such as books and clothes, then it is okay to label the boxes. But, if your boxes have valuable items in them, it is not a good idea to label them. You should even avoid putting your belongings in boxes from valuable items (like putting clothes in a box from your stereo). This will make your belongings a target for theft. Instead of labeling your boxes, download an inventory app and print QR codes for the boxes so you can just scan them and see what is inside.

Invest in an extra lock

Self-storage facilities will have locks for their units, but it is a good idea to buy your own lock as extra protection.

Pay the bill on time

If you don’t pay the bill for your self-storage unit, then the facility will be able to discard your belongings after a certain point. Don’t let this happen! Make sure you understand the payment agreement and make payments on time.

Simple things you can do to make moving easier

According to the US Census, the average American is expected to move nearly 12 times in his or her lifetime. Even with all this experience, moving still is a pretty stressful, overwhelming process. Follow these simple tips to make your next move easier.

1. Pick a good moving company

Moving company services can seem a bit pricey, which is why so many people choose to do the move themselves or opt for a budget moving company. But, it is usually worth it to spend a bit more and get help from trustworthy, experienced movers. Consider how valuable your time is. Do you really want to spend hours trying to figure out whether you need a special parking permit for the moving van you rented (good moving companies take care of permits and road access for you). Also, consider the liabilities. Not only do you have to worry about more items being broken, but about potential problems like getting into an accident or if one of your friends helping pulls a back muscle.

2. Buy some boxes

You can scour grocery stores, furniture stores, and Craigslist for free boxes, but there are certain boxes which you should buy new. Namely, boxes for your flatware, dishes, and any fragile, valuable items. If you no longer have the box for your flat-screen TV, then you will want to buy a special flat-screen TV box kit.

3. Download some apps

There is no shortage of apps which can make your life easier during the move. Some apps will help you take inventory of all your boxes (even letting you print out QR codes to put on them!). Others will do things like give you checklists or allow you to update your address painlessly.

4. Enlist help, and enlist it early

You won’t just need help on moving day. You will probably need help with things like packing, hauling out junk, holding a garage sale, or cleaning your apartment before you move out. Don’t be shy about asking friends for help. Especially if you are moving long distance, this is a good way to get some more quality time together before you have to say goodbye.

6 tips to get your security deposit back

When it comes to security deposits, landlords are notorious for finding any excuse not to give you your money back. With the right strategy though, you can get all of your security deposit back when you move out – even if your home isn’t in the best condition.

Plan ahead: take pictures when you move in

Hopefully you had the forethought to take some pictures of the property before you moved in so you have evidence of any scratches, dings, or problems. Then the landlord can’t try to pin these on you! If your landlord doesn’t have a property condition checklist, then download one online and take note yourself.

Use soap to fill in nail holes

Just rub a bar of soap over the hole. This cool trick works wonders – just make sure that the soap is the same color as your walls!

Get wood fill for gouges

Gouges in doors, door frames and window frames don’t usually fall under the “normal wear and tear” which is allowed in order to get your security deposit back. So, you will need to fill these in. It is relatively easy to do with wood fill which you can buy for a few bucks at a local hardware store.


Many landlords will subtract a cleaning fee from the security deposit. Considering the condition that many renters leave the property in, it is actually understandable why this fee exists. Ask your landlord if he/she routinely subtracts a cleaning fee and then ask if you can get out of it by thoroughly cleaning the place yourself. Be warned that this will involve cleaning everything, such as scrubbing the oven, cleaning cupboards, and disinfecting.

Repaint if necessary

Most landlords expect to repaint every 2 to 3 years. So, if you have lived in your place for longer than this, you probably won’t need to paint to get your security deposit back. However, if you’ve been in the rental for less than 2 years and the paint is in bad condition, you will probably want to repaint.

Ask for walk-through before you leave

Once you have officially moved out, it might be impossible to get in and make any repairs so you can get your security deposit back. So ask your landlord if it is possible to do a walk-through before you leave to see if there are any issues which would prevent you from getting your security deposit back. If you have already moved out, get an itemized list of the problems and ask if you can fix them. For example, your landlord might give some more of the deposit back if you agree to do more cleaning.

Tips for moving your antiques

Antiques are valuable, rare, and often very fragile. This can make it a challenge to pack and move them when relocating to a new home. Follow these tips to make sure your antiques stay safe during the move.

Get value estimates

Well before moving day, you should start taking inventory of valuable items. For antiques, getting a value estimate on the items can be difficult because price varies significantly depending on demand, condition, and rarity. If possible, try to track down documentation of how much you paid for the item (such as auction receipts) or get a valuation from a professional estimator.

Make a packing plan

At the same time you take inventory, you should make note of any items which will present a challenge when packing – such as large items and fragile items. For fragile antiques such as lamps, framed items, glass vases, or ceramic items, you should come up with a packing plan for them. You might need to get custom crating for the antiques. At the very least, you will need to get new boxes (preferably reinforced boxes) and packing materials like packing peanuts or bubble wrap.

Take photos

For moving insurance purposes, you will need documentation of the condition of your antiques. One of the best ways to do this is to take photos of the items before the move as evidence of their condition. These photos, when combined with the value estimates, will help you get reimbursed should anything happen to your antiques when moving.

Check moving insurance

Before hiring a moving company, carefully read through their terms and make sure you understand their insurance policy. Rarely will movers cover the full value of damaged or lost belongings. Some items might be completely exempt from the insurance coverage.

Decide which items to take with you

It may not be possible to take your antique armorer with you in your own car while moving, but you might want to take your antique stamp collection, or collection of rare valuable coins. It might also be worth it to take with you smaller breakable antiques.

Get professional box labels

One of the best moving tips you will hear is to buy some professional box labels, such as which can be found in office supply stores or online. These box labels let you easily label the contents of a box and you can even make a color-coding system so movers know where to unpack boxes. Label all boxes with antiques as “Fragile” and also “This Side Up”. Remember to label all sides of the boxes!

How to hire an exterminator for your new home after moving?

If you are moving to a new home, especially in an apartment building, it is a good idea to hire an exterminator before you move in. This will save you the hassle of having to leave your home for a few days in case you later find out that your new place has a bug infestation. Here are some tips on how to hire an exterminator for your new home to ensure a bug-free move in.

If You Have a Bugs in Your Current Home

If you currently have bugs like roaches in your home, you might take them with you when you move. Bug eggs are often very small and impossible to see, and many bugs can make it into your furniture without you noticing. Because of this, you might want to have an exterminator come to your current home before you move. This way, you can rest assured that no bugs are traveling with you to your new home and going to cause a new infestation.

Use a Professional

While there are many DIY bug sprays and bombs, it is generally best to hire a professional exterminator rather than doing the job yourself. Insecticides can be very hazardous to your health, and you might inadvertently harm yourself. Also, many of those bug bombs just cause bugs to scatter, meaning that they might still be lurking in your furniture and belongings.

Have the Realtor or Landlord Contact a Professional

At least 1 week before you move in, have the Realtor or landlord call an exterminator to spray. While you may be required to pay for the service, the Realtor or landlord should be willing to supply keys to let the exterminator into the building.

Remember to Use Clean Packing Boxes!

If you choose to use used boxes, such as supermarket boxes, for your move, you might inadvertently be bringing bugs or their eggs into your new home. It is best to play it safe and use new boxes for moving. These will also be sturdier, thus protecting your belongings better.

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