Author Archives: Katie Weismiller

5 Costs to Consider When Budgeting For Your Move

published by on December 3, 2014Before You Move Tips

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Are you making a big move in 2015? Before you start packing, take time to crunch some numbers and set a realistic moving budget. We’ve listed five unexpected moving costs below. Avoid sticker shock by considering these costs when calculating your budget.

Packing supplies

Packing supplies can be a huge surprise expense if you don’t do your research. Avoid purchasing boxes from standard mailing centers and use a wholesale bulk retailer instead. After selecting your mover, you can purchase packing supplies kits directly on MovingCompanyReviews.com that are specifically tailored to the size of your home. Also, don’t skimp on bubble wrap or packing paper — that extra layer could mean the difference in your items arriving in one piece.

Mover gratuity

Assuming your movers do a good job, it’s best practice to tip them. The industry standard for a full day move is between $20-$30 per person, or $10-$15 per person for a half or partial day. Assuming you have three workers performing your move, this could add up to an additional $60 or more on top of your basic move costs.

Storage costs

Moving can involve a lot of hiccups, including those that will require you to put your items in storage. Storage costs vary widely by area, so research companies in your new community to find an option that works for you. For a temporary fix, we recommend renting a self-storage unit.

Deposits and utilities

When planning your move, budget for current utility bills that may overlap with deposits and bills for your new home. This unexpected cost catches many homeowners by surprise and can make the first few months in your new place stressful. If you rent, thoroughly clean your apartment so you receive your full security deposit.

Unexpected Moving company fees

When using a mover, there are several fees that could drastically increase the cost of your move. Read the fine print of your contract so you fully understand each individual cost.

Some surprising fees include:

  • Driving charges: Most movers charge for the time it takes to get from their primary location to your home. In most cases, they will charge their hourly rate, or pro-rate it to the quarter or half hour depending on your home’s distance. Ask your mover about this cost if it’s not called out explicitly in the estimate. If there is anything unusual about your location, including nearby construction or closed roads, let them know to avoid paying for the time it takes them to find your home.
  • Long-carry fees: You may be charged a long-carry fee if your movers have to carry your items further than their standard “distance limit.” Ask your movers what their distance limit is and if they think it could be an issue. Apartment or city-dwellers beware, as this fee normally results from limited available parking and if your condo or apartment unit is more than a few units away from the elevator and the movers have to carry your belongings down the hallway.
  • Elevator fees: If you’re moving in or out of  a high-rise, your mover and/or building may . charge an elevator fee. Your building may also charge a move-in/out fee. Make sure to check with your building management before you move.
  • Supplies fees: Many movers will wrap your belongings with blankets and tape, and pack your clothing into wardrobe boxes. You may then be surprised with charges for these items on your final bill. Understand the cost for any packing materials before you book your move, and work with your mover to estimate what you need to include in your overall budget.

Once you’ve established your budget, use these apps to make your move as smooth as possible.


Top Places To Donate Used Items Before You Move

published by on November 17, 2014Before You Move Tips

Volunteers Collecting Food Donations In Warehouse

Whether you’re trading in your city condo for the suburban life, or you’re an empty nester ready to downsize, many moves require getting rid of your current furniture and belongings. Instead of leaving your spare couch curbside, consider giving your gently-used items to charity organizations. Give back during your move by donating to one of the six national charities below.

Move for Hunger

During a move, most food is typically thrown away. Move for Hunger is an organization that works with moving companies across the country who donate their time to deliver your food to a local food bank. Choose from their network of movers and donate your food here.

Goodwill

Goodwill prides itself on using revenue made from donated items to fund employment programs for veterans, seniors, single mothers and people with disabilities. There are over 165 Goodwill locations across the country where you can drop off your gently-used items. Learn how to donate here.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture and home accessories to the public at a fraction of the retail price. You can donate at several locations in the U.S. and all proceeds from your donated items will go to building homes and communities across the country.

Salvation Army

When you donate gently-used furniture to the Salvation Army, the proceeds fund 142 Adult Rehabilitation Centers across the world. These centers provide housing, work opportunities and therapy for people struggling with addiction. Learn how to donate here.

Furniture Bank Association of North America

The Furniture Bank Association collects gently-used furniture and household items and provides them at little or no cost to families struggling to furnish their home, including those impacted by domestic abuse, homelessness, fire and other natural disasters. Find a furniture bank in your area here.

GreenDrop

GreenDrop collects gently-used household items and sells them on behalf of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the National Federation of the Blind. All proceeds from your donated items will go to organizations that support military veterans and the visually impaired. GreenDrop also provides a free Home Clean Out Concierge Service, where a representative will come to your home to pack your unwanted items and prepare them for pickup.

 

After you clean house, pack like a pro with our top packing and moving tips here.


The 5 Apps You Need to Explore Your New City

published by on November 6, 2014After You Move Tips

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Big cities have a lot to offer — great food, entertainment and history. According to MovingCompanyReviews.com data, the top five cities with the most mover searches* are Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh. If you’re moving to one of these thriving metropolitan areas, download the apps below to discover what makes your new city unique.

1.) Field Trip (iOS/Android, Free): Powered by Google, the Field Trip app takes your GPS location and indicates points of interest in your area, including restaurants, museums and historical landmarks. When using headphones, the app will also read you a brief description of the location and its significance. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

2.) Stray Boots (iOS/Android, Free): Perfect for exploring in groups, the Stray Boots app helps you discover your new city by sending you on a scavenger hunt. Select your location and the Stray Boots app will send “challenges” asking you to find unique places in your immediate area. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

3.) It Happened Here (iOS/Android, Free): Are you a history buff? The It Happened Here app notifies you of any significant events that happened near your location. The app includes historical events, memorable movie scenes and notorious crimes, so there is something of interest for everyone. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas.

4.) Around Me (iOS/Android, Free): If you’re looking for something specific in your area, the Around Me app will locate nearby ATMs, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses. This app works internationally, as well. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

5.) Transit (iOS/Android, Free): Even the most seasoned city-dwellers can be intimidated by public transit. Use the Transit app to plug in your current location and your final destination and the app will share the easiest routes to get there. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

After a long day of exploring, come home to a space with your own personal touch. Find out the 5 Ways to Decorate Your New Home for Less.

*The top five cities with the highest quantity of moving company searches, per MovingCompanyReviews.com data


6 Ways for Kids to Stay in Touch With Friends After Moving

published by on October 29, 2014After You Move Tips

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Moving to a new home, town and school can be difficult for children, especially if they are leaving friends behind. Below are six ways your kids can stay in touch with friends after moving into a new neighborhood. Use these tips to make the transition to your new town as seamless as possible.

1.) Pen pal 2.0: Setting up an email account for your child is an easy way to help them stay in touch with friends. If you’re not ready to give them full Internet freedom, use a kids’ email application like Tocomail to monitor their emails and contact list.

2.) Get social: Letting your child use social media is a big step for any parent. Take baby steps by creating a profile for your child on Yoursphere or KidzWorld. These kid-friendly social networks allow you to monitor your child’s online activity and lets them share updates with their BFF back home.

3.) Start new traditions: Creating new traditions post-move is a great way for your kids to maintain long-distance friendships. For example, your child can share photos of their life in your new home by using Postagram (iOS, Android/Free) to send a postcard of any photo to their friend for $0.99 cents.

4.) Digital study sessions: Help your child and former classmates reconnect through their school work. Use Google Hangouts to set up weekly chat sessions where they can discuss their upcoming science fair projects or summer reading lists. Tip: This idea works best for in-state moves where the curriculum is similar from school to school.

5.) Work with their teacher: Moving mid-school year can be stressful on younger children who have bonded with their classmates. Work with your child’s former teacher to set up a Flat Stanley project so they can keep in touch with every classmate in a fun way. After the project is completed, use an app like Polagram (iOS, Android/Free) to print each student’s Flat Stanley photo on a poster for your child to hang in their room as a keepsake.

6.) Plan a trip: If you are close enough, arrange time to visit with old friends. Use the Roadtrippers app (iOS, Android/Free) to find a point of interest between your old town and new town that both families can enjoy.

Are you looking for ways to further settle into your new home? Add a personal touch to your new home without breaking the bank by checking out our 5 Ways to Decorate Your New Home for Less.


6 Ways to Start Fresh in Your New Neighborhood

published by on October 7, 2014After You Move Tips

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According to MovingCompanyReviews.com data, the busiest month of the year to move is August, and the top three days to move in 2014 were August 29, August 30 and September 27. With the hectic experience of moving behind you, it’s time to enjoy your new home and neighborhood. We’ve compiled the top ways to start fresh in your new city as you settle into your new home.

1.) Starting fresh with safety: If you moved to a city with many new neighborhoods to explore, familiarize yourself with the individual neighborhood before you visit. Use a safety app like the CrimeReports app (iOS/Android, Free) to access real-time information on neighborhood level crime and sex offender information. The app gives you access to official crime information for more than 1,200 participating law enforcement agencies across North America and sex offender data for all 50 states. If your new city’s police department participates, you can sign up for free, and receive automated crime updates directly on your device.

2.) Starting fresh with the kids: If you moved with kids, visit kidscore.com to discover kid friendly places and amenities close by, and read reviews from other parents. The site also rates areas ranging from “Kid Heaven” to “Kids Not Welcome.” KidScore™ lets you look up a nearby activities and attractions, including food, shopping, health, hotels, etc., and gives you it’s KidScore™.

3.) Starting fresh with the necessities: Use the Around Me (iOS/Android, Free) app to become a neighborhood veteran in no time. The app provides you with the distance to the nearest restaurants, pharmacies, movie theatres, hospitals, banks, etc.

4.) Starting fresh on foot: The Walk Score (iOS/Android, Free) app is great for city dwellers. Walk Score tells you what parts of the neighborhood are most walkable and the walking directions to your desired location. It uses GPS, so you don’t need to enter in any addresses. Walk Score rates each neighborhood up to 100, so the higher the score, the more walkable the neighborhood. Bonus: After you’ve worked up an appetite from exploring your new neighborhood on foot, review your mover on MovingCompanyReviews.com to receive a free pizza!

5.) Starting fresh with security: Once you’ve settled into your new home, make sure to protect your investment. Buy the iCam app ($4.99, iPhone and Android) to easily monitor multiple home security cameras directly from your smartphone. If the motion sensor is triggered on the camera, you will receive a notification on your phone and you can watch a live video of what’s happening in your home when you step out for a few hours, or for an extended amount of time.

6.) Starting fresh with decorating: Put your personal stamp on your new house and use the Houzz app (iOS/Android, Free) to browse photos of professionally designed rooms; find local pros (design, landscaping, building etc.), access an endless number of suppliers (appliances, bedding, bath, garden, kitchen, etc.); create IdeaBooks; and start a discussion to get professional help on your design dilemmas.

Looking for more post move tips to settle into your new area? Check out the the five tips for navigating your new neighborhood.


Insider Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Move

published by on September 24, 2014Before You Move Tips, Move Day Tips

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Moving can be a tough process, no matter if you’re moving out for the first time or settling into your “forever” home. We’ve compiled our top insider tips and tricks to create a stress-free move experience. Read more below!

MovingDayTips

 READ HERE: Top Ten Moving Day Tips

MovingWithKids

READ HERE: Ten Stress-Busting Tips for Moving With Kids

HappyMoveDay

READ HERE: Top Ten Happy Move Day Tips and Tricks


Top Packing and Moving Tips From the Pros

published by on September 18, 2014Before You Move Tips

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Whether you are moving across the country or just a few blocks away, moving can be a stressful process. We’ve compiled some of the best packing hacks and moving tips from seasoned pros that will save time, headaches, space and potential damage to your belongings. Read more below!

PackingHacksLight

READ HERE: Seven Amazing Packing Hacks for Moving

 

WhatNotToPackLight

READ HERE: Five Things NOT to Pack in Your Moving Truck

 

MovingBoxesLight

READ HERE: Insider Tips for Scoring Free Moving Boxes