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Five Tips for Holiday Moving

Five Tips for Holiday Moving

Holiday Moving is not an easy feat. Many people view the Holidays as a very stressful time.

Why would you want the upheaval inevitably brings during the Winter … during the Holidays?

Sometimes families don’t have a choice. Holiday moving could be related to the military, a job relocation, or a life event over which you have little control, can dictate the timing of a move. If you must move in the winter before, during, or after the Holidays, here are some tips that can help you stay organized while still enjoying the Holidays with your family.

Here are 5 Tips for Moving During the Holidays:

 

Book your Mover ASAP.

Many people have vacation time during the Holidays and requests for this period are many and available time slots, few.

List your Holiday obligations.

Decide what holiday festivities are non-negotiable and those that you can skip or postpone this year. Scale back on holiday decorating with a wreath on the front door and perhaps a tabletop tree in the house. You can pack the rest of your decorations, but you won’t be missing out on the holiday entirely.

Designate packing days.

Set aside days where packing is the top priority. Begin as early as possible and select an area where you can store your boxes … the garage or a spare room is ideal. Declutter room by room, removing the things you will not be taking with you and designate whether these items are to be donated or disposed of. Next pack items you will not be needing right away, like books, off-season clothing, and extra bedding and linens. Feel the holiday spirit by listening to holiday music or watching a holiday movie while you pack. 

Ask for help with your move.

Ask a friend or family member to help with moving boxes to your staging area or on the day of the move to sweep the front walk for the movers or to lay tarps over rugs and wood floors to keep them dry during the loading process. Someone to keep the children occupied when you are packing or on the day of your move is an invaluable service. Someone else might bring in lunch so you have one less thing to worry about. 

Protect your possessions.

During the winter months, it is important to take extra care to protect your things that may be vulnerable to changes in temperature. Use blankets or towels to double wrap fragile items like glass, dish ware, décor, and electronics. Mark boxes with electronic devices so that the movers will avoid leaving them outside or in the garage for an extended time. These items may need a full day to return to room temperature. Ask your mover for mattress covers to protect mattresses and box springs from the winter elements.

The key to a smooth, stressless move during the Holidays is just like any other time of year. Organization is critical; create a to-do list and stick to it. Download our Ayer Moving and Storage Moving Guides which will help you know what to do when and how to pack like a professional. 

Looking for a Holiday Moving partner, Contact us today! 

 

Holiday Moving Special! 

Five Tips for Holiday Moving

Halloween Decorations Made from Used Cardboard

Halloween Decorations Made from Used Cardboard

If you just moved in you’ll have plenty of leftover cardboard boxes on hand. Most of these boxes are destined for the dumpster, but before you toss them, consider making them into Halloween decorations so they can pull double duty before you’re done with them.

 

Cardboard Tombstones

First, you’ll have to figure out the sizes and shapes you want your tombstones to be. Cut out two of that shape to make it 3D and be sure to leave some cardboard at the bottom to fold over.

Use two pieces of cardboard the same length as your tombstones, each with a slit in the middle so you can put them together to created an X shape. Next, stand up the two tombstone pieces, fold over the bottom and tape them together with packing tape. Measure the width and height you’ll need to fill the sides of the tombstone and tape them to the sides.

Put the cardboard X inside your tombstone and tape it to one side to keep int standing and stop it from collapsing inwards. You’ll also want to put some small bags of sand or bricks in the base so it doesn’t fall over or blow away.

Next, you’ll want to give the tombstone a consistent exterior. You can coat it with a layer of paper mache to cover up the joints. Once it’s dry you can paint it, but you may want to coat it with some textured paint first to give it a rocky finish.

Use some stencils to add RIP or anything else you want on the tombstone. You can spray paint them with a darker color directly to the surface, or hot glue cut outs of letters to the tombstone. You can add some extra details if you like using other cardboard pieces or create a spiderweb effect with hot glue. Then stand them up and creepify your front lawn! For more detailed directions and pictures, check out this link.

 

Simple Little Ghosts

Cut out some little ghost shapes from cardboard boxes. You can make as many as you want. Slip these shapes into a white plastic bag and tape the back so that the plastic pulls taught. Use black construction paper to cut out a face and glue to the ghost. You can prop these ghosts in windows, tape them to the glass, or even hang them from the ceiling with a bit of string to haunt the room.

 

Spooky Ghost Town

With clean milk cartons and newspaper, you can make your own mini ghost town decorations. Glue the newspaper onto the milk cartons and paint windows and doors onto cardstock to glue onto the front of the newspaper-covered milk cartons. You can draw in creepy people, cats, ghosts, or pumpkins and even fill the cartons with candy for fun.

Just make sure the milk cartons have been thoroughly washed and dried before you start.

 

Robot Costume

Take a big cardboard box and cut out holes for arms, legs, and the head. Then cover the box in aluminum foil and secure it with tape. You can hunt around your house for shiny objects like CDs, or balls of tin foil or little buttons to tape or glue to the box to add details.

Take another smaller cardboard box, like a wide square shoe box, to make a headpiece. Decorate that as well and tape a string or strap to go under your chin so that it stays in place.

 

Wheelchair Costume Ideas

Cardboard boxes are the perfect way to make an elaborate costume for any kid that uses a wheelchair. The boxes are versatile and can do transform into a lot of different vehicles and platforms for your trick-or-treater.

Use a big box and some paints and make a pizza delivery truck or get fancy and shape some cardboard into The Batmobile. You can make Cinderella’s carriage with a cardboard pumpkin and cut out wheels, with painted-on doors and details. If your kids love Mario Kart, build the kart around their chair and press them and get the character’s costume so they can zoom from house to house on Halloween.

The one trick you need to know when packing dishes

The one trick you need to know when packing dishes

Dishes are notoriously fragile. That’s true if they’re heirloom China or if you picked them up cheaply at a department store. They’re also heavy and hard and a stack of them packed poorly will crash into one another and break into shards while being shipped for moving day. Fortunately, there is one dead-simple approach when shipping them that will make sure they arrive safe, sound and whole.

The trick is to load them in the box on their sides, like you’re loading a dishwasher, instead of stacking them in a pile. This will prevent too much weight from accumulating on the bottom dishes and puts any pressure on where the dishes are the strongest, their sides, instead of the fragile middle.

Now, the dishes are still going to need padding to keep them from bumping each other and chipping. If you have access to bubble wrap, place a layer on the bottom of the box and then wrap each dish and bowl with bubble wrap or crumpled shipping paper. Make sure you fill any gaps in the box with balled up paper to prevent the plates, bowls, and cups from shifting during transport. You will also need to label the box with an arrow to make sure everyone know how fragile it is and which end needs to be up.

Consider using a special dish packing box, which has twice the thickness in cardboard to protect the vulnerable contents. With a little planning and know-how, your dishes will look just as good at your new home once your move is completed.

 

How to tip a mover like a pro

How to tip a mover like a pro

For most people, moving to a new home is an irregular experience. The average American moves about 11 times in their entire life, and because of that irregularity, it can be difficult to pick up all of the social customs and routine practices associate with moving. Compare that to more common activities like going to a restaurant or getting a haircut that people do over and over again. They have plenty of chances to learn how and when to tip at a coffee shop, but little when moving.

As a result, most people don’t know what to tip their movers, or even if they should tip at all.

Tipping is common in the moving world, but it is never mandatory. If you don’t like the service you received, don’t leave a tip and contact the company to make sure your message gets through. If the service was acceptable but not above and beyond, it’s entirely your call if you should tip or not.

Remember, it’s your gift as a sign of satisfaction. It is not a requirement.

If you decide you do want to tip, you should do so at the tail-end of the job when all the work has been completed. The standard for a local move is around 15% to 20% for the entire crew. Try to give it when they are all together as a group and if you don’t have small bills to divide up on the spot, don’t worry, they’ll be happy to break them up on their own.

If you are moving a few states away or even cross country, consider upping the tip. Remember that when the movers are tied up with your move, they can’t be working on another one. A long enough move could keep them from doing several small jobs in the local area, so try looking at it from their perspective.

Also consider punching up your tip a little if you threw some difficult tasks at them, such as moving a grand piano. If your hot tub arrived at your new home without a dent or scuff, dig a little deeper.

It’s also common to buy the crew food around lunchtime. Pizza is a common choice, so if you decide to go this route ask them if there’s any specific takeout food they’re hankering for, like Indian cuisine or Italian sandwiches.

Score free moving boxes for your next relocation

Score free moving boxes for your next relocation

Storage or moving boxes are as essential to moving as a spoon is to a eating a bowl of soup. You need to find a rich supply of medium sized cardboard moving boxes, as many items are too large to fit in tiny boxes and larger boxes are too unwieldy and heavy for moving.

Score Moving Boxes from your supermarket

A lot of people will hit up the supermarket and ask for spare banana boxes from the produce department. These are decent boxes for moving, despite the large hole in the top and bottom, but unfortunately they’re often a victim of their own success. Simply put, too many people know about banana boxes for you to be able to rely on getting enough of them from a supermarket. They can provide some supplemental help, but don’t expect to get enough to complete your whole move with them.

What you will need to find is a business that regularly receives deliveries in medium-sized cardboard moving boxes that will be able to give you some for free that they would otherwise throw out. One of the easiest ways to find such a store is to look for businesses with a designated cardboard-only dumpster out back. Only use this as a way to identify businesses that could help you; taking items from a dumpster without the owner’s permission is a crime.

Score Moving Boxes from local retailers

Some typical stores that have useful boxes include tool and appliance stores, hardware stores, restaurants, liquor stores, supermarkets, bookstores and office supply stores. Typically, these stores will be happy to let you have them to avoid letting the boxes go to waste.

When you find the right store, ask the manager for permission and be prepared to come back multiple times when they have spare boxes on hand. Bring a box cutter with you in case you need to break some of the boxes down to transport them.

Try searching for boxes weeks in advance so you have time to build up a supply and pack before your move. However long it takes, thank the people at the store and make sure you have enough packing tape on hand to reassemble and seal the boxes.