Rain, snow, and cold temperatures are just a few of the conditions that you might face during a winter move. Just a few simple steps of preparation can help make your moving day as smooth and painless as possible.
Once you have scheduled your move, the first step is to make sure that your new house is ready for occupancy. Always check with your realtor, leasing agent or landlord to ensure your new place is ready for you to arrive.
You want to make sure that your heating and power are turned on. The last thing you want is to arrive with all your stuff only to find a freezing cold and dark house. The best option is to have all your utilities turned on a few days in advance in order to be sure that everything is functioning properly.
If you live in a place where it snows, make sure that you have shoveled and salted/sanded all entries leading into the house. This includes walkways and driveways. Moving trucks are large and require a wider turning radius than most cars, so make sure that the areas you clear are adequate in size.
Now that your new home is ready, its time to turn your focus on the home you are leaving behind.
First thing is to have a back-up plan in case of inclement weather. If you are using a moving company, make sure you are familiar with their bad weather policy.
Again, if you live in an area that snows, clear a substantial path along any entries and driveways. Make sure you place salt or sand on any areas with ice.
Protect your inside space by laying down tarps or plastic over any carpets. Movers will be tracking in mud, ice and snow. You’ll want to have these same coverings ready to place on the inside of your new home.
Dress warm! Layers are helpful as you go back and forth between inside and outside temperatures.
Have hot drinks on hand. Movers and friends will appreciate the gesture of hot chocolate, cider, tea, or coffee.
With these preparations, you will be fully ready for your winter move!
Packing clothes may seem like a no-brainer. They are not fragile like glass items or heavy like appliances. They seem so simple that it can be tempting to just throw them in a box haphazardly and be done with it. But with a little extra attention, you can pack clothes to efficiently use space and minimize wrinkles to save you time when unpacking.
Before starting to pack, separate out the clothing that you do not wear any more and give it away to a local thrift store or to friends and family members. There is no point in packing and moving clothes that you do not need. It is also a good idea to sort clothes by season so you can easily put them away into storage and other locations when you get to your new house. Make sure to keep out a few changes of clothes and pajamas for the days just before and after the move, in case you somehow get separated from your boxes or have not yet unpacked them.
Many times packing clothes can wrinkle them, creating extra work in ironing or re-washing them when we get where we’re going. But if you pack them right, you can minimize the wrinkles. One way to do this is to roll clothes instead of folding them. Rolling prevents creases from forming and also saves space when packing. Another way to lessen wrinkles is to fold or roll clothes together. Because of the extra fabric, the creases do not fold as tightly, which decreases both the number and severity of the wrinkles.
Some clothes have fragile accessories or are delicately constructed. To protect these clothes, it is best to wrap them in tissue paper before placing them in the box with the rest of the clothes. The tissue paper can be wrapped both inside and around the clothes for extra protection.
When packing a box or suitcase with clothes, place the heavy items like jeans on the bottom so they do not weigh down on the other clothes, creating more wrinkles. Rolled clothing should go on the top of these heavy clothes and delicate articles should go on the top.
Mark all boxes or suitcases with a description of the articles inside and label them with the owner’s name so you know where to take them when you get to your new house.
Packing chinaware, glassware, figurines, and other small fragile items can be tedious and time-consuming, but the extra care can make a big difference. Because these items are small and fragile, they are prone to breaking and since they are often expensive and/or have sentimental value, it is well worth the time and effort to protect them.
If you have a lot of fragile or expensive items, you may want to consider hiring a Utah moving company to do it for you. Professional movers have the training and materials to adequately protect your cherished belongings. Or if you would prefer to pack them yourself, use the following tips to make sure they are safe and protected during the move.
Good quality packing materials can make the difference between a broken heirloom and enjoying precious items for years to come. You can use regular paper and newspaper if you want, but these can leave streaks or marks on your items, which will mean more cleaning when you get to your new home. A better option is to purchase plain packing paper and bubble wrap from your local moving company.
Make sure to pack each item separately. If the items are odd shaped, use the packing paper or bubble wrap to fill in the crevices and smooth out bumps so nothing is sticking out. Also pay special attention to covering the corners and edges, since these are the areas that are most commonly hit and broken.
Don’t use tape directly on your objects. If you need to use tape to secure the packing materials, wrap a layer of paper or other material first so the tape is on the packing materials, not on your china or glassware. The tape can leave sticky residue which can be difficult and time consuming to remove.
Use sturdy boxes that will not lose their shape or get bent during the move. The stiff form of a strong cardboard box will help protect the items in it from outside hazards while adequate cushioning inside the box will protect them from being shaken or knocking into each other.
Place crumpled paper, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, towels, or other packing materials on all sides of the box, including the bottom. Place the items in the box carefully, making sure to put adequate padding between items. Also pay attention to which items are next to each other and take care that jagged edges of one item are not next to the fragile surface of another item. Once all items are in the box, use additional packing materials to fill up the empty spaces of the box so the items can’t rattle and break as they are carried or in the back of a truck.
Make sure to mark all boxes containing glass or breakable items with “fragile.” Write it several times on the box in big letters to make sure movers know to handle the boxes carefully and not pack heavy items on top of them.
Mirrors, framed pictures, glass tabletops, and other glass items are inherently fragile, but with proper packing and protection they can survive a move in good condition.
Before packing a mirror or glass frame, use masking or painters tape to mark a giant X across the glass surface. If the worst-case scenario happens and it does get dropped, the tape will help keep the glass from scattering everywhere.
Use clean paper, newspaper, or bubble wrap to cushion the whole surface of the mirror or frame. If you have several mirrors or frames, wrap each one individually. You may want to consider taping cardboard over the corners (on top of an initial layer of paper wrapping) to protect the corners from impact.
If you have several small frames, you can pack them in the same box together as long as you use enough packing material between the items so they don’t knock into each other. Place them standing up on end, not lying on top of each other. Large items such as mirrors should be packed in their own boxes. Very large items such as glass or marble tabletops may need to be crated by professional movers.
If at all possible, use a box that is flat and only a little bigger than the item you are packing. If there is enough room for it to slide around, it can rattle and break during the move. Consider purchasing picture boxes from an art supply store or a moving company.
When placing the items in a box, remember to first protect the bottom by placing crumpled newspaper or other material on the bottom of the box. After placing the item(s) in the box, use crumpled paper or other packing materials to fill in any empty spaces. The packing material should fit loosely but fill up all gaps so the contents can’t slide or shift during the move. Securely tape the box shut.
Clearly label the box with “fragile” and a description of what is inside so your family and any movers will treat it with care. During the moving process, don’t lay boxes flat that contain mirrors or frames. This could lead to other people stacking boxes and other heavy items on top, which could break the fragile items inside. Instead, always stand the box on end against a wall.
Electronics make up an important part of most of our lives. We depend on our computers, TVs, stereos, and other devices for information, work, and entertainment. They are also expensive and delicate, so it’s important to take care when moving them.
Before packing your electronics, remove any peripheral devices such as power cords, keyboards, DVD players, etc. Use twist ties to secure cables and cords so they don’t get tangled. You can pack these in the same box as the main device, but they should be placed in separate bags to prevent them from getting lost or broken.
The best way to pack electronics when moving is to use the original box, if you still have it. Electronics boxes are sturdy and come with foam blocks that are custom cut to fit that particular device and protect it during shipping.
If you no longer have the original box, find a sturdy box that is a little bigger than the device you are planning to pack. It’s best to put only one item in each box so you can focus on cushioning and protecting that item. Use a strong box with a stiff form to provide sufficient protection. Two Man Movers and other moving companies have boxes specifically designed to protect your electronics and other items during a move. Or you can sometimes find boxes for free at your local grocery store.
Before putting your TV or other electronic device in the box, wrap it well with packing materials. The best materials for electronics are antistatic packing bubbles or popcorn, but you can also use standard bubble wrap, pads, or even towels. It is a good idea to place a piece of cardboard in front of the screen to protect it from scratches. Try to tape the packing materials to each other instead of to your electronics. If you do have to use tape directly on your electronics, use painters tape since it will come off easier without doing any damage.
Once the item is wrapped well, place it in the box and use additional materials to fill up the empty spaces in the box. The packing should be loose but not shift easily. Eliminate any gaps so the contents of the box aren’t sliding around during the move.
When moving TVs or other big items, it is best to have two people lift the box. These items can be heavy and large, which makes them hard to hold on to. You don’t want to drop the box and damage the TV or pull a muscle and damage yourself.
When possible, keep the boxes upright as you transport them. TVs and other electronics weren’t meant to bear weight upside down or on their sides and will survive the trip better if left upright.
Make sure to write “fragile” on the box and the name of the item so the movers will treat it with due care. During the move, make sure to keep your electronics dry. Even though they are packed in boxes, they should be kept out of rain and other inclement weather. Some electronics do not tolerate heat well so if you are moving during the summer, you may want to consider transporting them in an air conditioned car instead of in the back of a hot moving truck.
It’s the day before the move! Get your Zen on because you’re going to need to locate your inner peace to get to sleep tonight. Today is the day to make sure that all arrangements have been made and confirmed for the day of the move.
If you’ve hired a moving company the packers should be coming the day before the move. Supervise what goes on, especially with fragile or valuable items. You can also notify them of which boxes you want to come out of the truck first and notify them of anything you don’t want packed but left out for you to take in the car with you. Resist the urge to leave the movers at work and go out on the town. It is your stuff, so supervise!
Ask the packers (or do so yourself) to work one room at a time, if possible, starting with the back rooms, so you can clean as they empty each room of its contents. Make sure to check that all cabinets, cupboards, closets, and storage areas are emptied.
Make sure that you keep out the things you will need tonight and in the morning like medications, toothbrushes, shampoo, makeup, and other daily needs. Fresh changes of clothes will be important, as will pajamas. Towels and a few basic tools should be kept out as well. A flathead and Phillips head screwdriver, a measuring tape, and a hammer should be accessible at minimum. Don’t forget your phone charger Do you have something to eat and something to eat it with (and on)? Consider ordering pizza or subs to save time driving around when you’re trying to finish packing.
Write a list for the moving day. You need a check-off list to make sure everything is taken care of so you can drive away without those nagging worries.
After all items have been loaded, check all rooms, cupboards, drawers, pantries, closets, and every nook and cranny. Are all the lights turned off? Is the water turned off? Are windows shut and locked? Are all the utilities scheduled for cutoff? Is the heater (or air conditioner) shut off? Did you check any remaining appliances?
Turn out all the lights, lock the last door, and leave your keys where you arranged to leave them. Take one last look and prepare for life at your new place.
Two weeks before the move you might be feeling nervous or pressured, but as long as you follow a carefully laid plan, you have no need to worry. If you are using a mover, make sure you notify them of any changes you’ve made to the move plan including any items that will need to be taken to a different location or that have been added or subtracted to the move.
If you are moving long-distance, make travel plans like plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc. and book those now. Keep the information where it is easily accessible and won’t accidentally be packed. If you are driving your vehicles, make sure they have a fresh oil change, appropriate air pressure and a tune-up if needed. Make sure fluids, brakes, and belts get checked, at minimum.
Consider having a goodbye barbeque and/or a get-together for adults and/or kids. It makes a great opportunity to say your goodbyes to several people at once, including neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Assign out some of the food and drinks to save yourself extra stress this close to the move.
This is important: Make sure that you get rid of all flammable, poisonous, temperamental, acidic, or alkaline products like paint, bleach, aerosol cans, fireworks, matches, weed killer, etc. All of these products can be impacted by the pressure changes, temperature adjustments, and bumps during the move. If they leak, it could damage your possessions and cause health risks.
Also, empty the gasoline from mowers, 4-wheelers, and anything else that will be moved and not driven to the new location. Get rid of propane tanks. In warm weather, the back of a moving truck can get hot enough to ignite combustible materials and even matches getting knocked around can be lit by the friction. The risk of a fire is not worth the money you would save bringing those things along.
Contact your current utility companies (phone, gas, electricity, cable, water, sewer, trash, recycling, etc.) to give them a date for ending service. You don’t want to pay for days you don’t use the services and many have forgotten for weeks until they got a forwarded bill. Send draperies and rugs to the cleaners and leave them wrapped for the move.
Make sure you return library books, close out gym memberships, arrange for pet travel, and get rid of plants before the move. Settle your accounts with movie rental stores, dry cleaners, pharmacies, clinics, etc. and check each one off your list as you do.
If you’re packing yourself, start packing in earnest at this point. Buy some moving boxes or ask around for free boxes at grocery stores or other businesses that receive frequent boxed shipments. Make sure you have enough tape and a couple of Sharpies to write what is in the boxes and which room they need to go to.
See next week’s post for tips on the day before the move.
It’s just one month before the move and you’re starting to feel the reality of the whole thing. If you’re packing yourself, by now you’ve got several things boxed up. And whether you’re packing yourself or not, you should have accomplished some other things by now, like weeding out unneeded items and filing a change of address.
If you know your new address, you can be letting friends and colleagues know to save trouble around the time of the move itself. If you’re moving very far, you will need to start seeking out a doctor, pediatrician, dentist, etc. While some of these things can wait, it is good to at least have one located in case an unexpected need arises during the move or right after. For example, knowing where the closest emergency room and urgent care are located could save you some serious grief in a crisis situation. It is not uncommon for people to incur injuries during a move.
Locate the name and number of each of the utility companies you’ll need when you get there and put them in your phone for easy access later. For out of state moves, locate the Department of Motor Vehicles Driver’s License Division to start the process of getting new licenses and the Vehicle Registration Division to register your vehicles.
Start using up your frozen foods and packing things that you won’t need for a month like that curling iron you don’t use lately, or that Magic Bullet that hasn’t been used since you finished your smoothie diet last month. Every cupboard or closet that can be emptied prior to the moving day is a bonus! Even if you are paying someone to pack for you, at least begin cleaning and tidying things in preparation for the move.
Cleaning is one of the most obnoxious steps of moving because it occurs after you’re already exhausted from moving everything out. Save yourself some time and trouble on moving day by emptying the storage room ahead of time and cleaning it out. Close the door and check it off the to-do list for moving day.
Lastly, consider making an order online for goods, supplies, and/or foods to be delivered to your new home right after moving day. This could save you a trip (or several) and make that week (or month) of unpacking less stressful.
See next week’s post for tips on what to do two weeks before the move.
Planning a move is often an intimidating and overwhelming task. And all too often it ends up being more involved and time-consuming than you imagined. We all accumulate stuff – furniture, clothing, kitchen supplies, and other goods – that together make a big deal out of moving. Then there are all the phone calls, address changes, and other tasks that are an inherent part of moving. But if you plan your move carefully, you can avoid the stress of running behind or missing something.
Start by writing a list of all the things that need to be done. Think about companies you do business with (banks, utility companies, lenders, etc.) and friends you will need to notify of your new address. Consider whether or not you want to hire a moving company to do the bulk of the work. Will you be packing or paying someone to pack for you? What about registering your kids at new schools and other such tasks? 4 to 6 weeks before the move, contact the United States Postal Service to alert them of the upcoming change of address. Set that up and check it off your list.
Next, think about weeding out your belongings. Every box that must be put together, filled, sealed, loaded, unloaded, and put away is going to add to your load when you get to where you’re going. If you’re working with a moving company, the amount of stuff you move makes a difference on the price. If you’re going it alone, it makes a difference to your time and frustration level. Think about holding a yard sale or donating unwanted items to a charitable thrift store organization like Deseret Industries, or to a non-profit like Big Brother Big Sister.
Begin eating up your dry goods (spaghetti, cereal, etc.) and your canned goods (veggies, tuna, and chili) to spare yourself from moving more than you need and save some time and money shopping before the move.
If you decide to do the packing yourself, start packing a few boxes each day of things that you won’t need to access over the next two months like books you don’t plan to read for a while and out of season clothes and blankets.
If you are hiring a mover, start researching options and decide which company to hire. Contact them early to schedule the move. Consider their liability limitations and check your insurance coverage for damage to your goods during a move. All of these tasks should keep you busy for the first month.
See next week’s article for what to do 1 month before the move.
Does this scenario sound familiar? You have been dealing with a huge move, packing up your home, negotiating with Utah movers on when and where to pick up your items and store items, and you have finally moved in to your new home. Your Utah movers have officially driven away, and you are finally settled in your nice, new home.
After all the stress of a move it may feel nice to relax for a little while. But that relaxation never seems to last long, does it? There are always odd end jobs to do and fix up around a new home.
One of those jobs is fixing up your new home’s back yard. If your landscape is nowhere near where you want it to be this can be quite the project. However, getting the yard up to par can grant you and your family some much needed privacy and satisfaction.
The first thing to look for with your yard is to see how it is divided. Are the lines clear with your neighbor’s property and your own? The best way to give you some clarification is to put up a fence, which also provides you with much needed privacy from your neighbors.
You can use a variety of materials for your fence. Fences can be made out of wood, vinyl, or metal. Double check that there are no special requirements with your fences with your homeowners association or city regulations.
The landscape can also be a priority for your home. Grass can be a chore to put in, but will be much better for outdoor events than plain dirt would be. You may also want to plant some different ferns, flowers, trees, or bushes in your yard to make it appear more to your liking.
Decks and patios can also be a great investment. During the spring and summer months a deck can provide a great amount of shade and cover from the sun. It offers a good place to sit while having dinners or summer parties.
However you want to fix up your backyard, the choice ultimately comes down to you. Make a list of things you would like to change, and number them according to your priorities. If you know in advance that you will be dealing with fixing up your back yard your professional Utah movers may be able to move some of the outdoor materials or fencing for you at the same time as your move.