Category Archives: Moving Tips

Saving Time When Moving

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By the time moving day arrives, you just want to get it over with already. Moving to a new house is a time-consuming process, and a lot of the effort comes into play before you even get to the move.

Saving Time When Moving

Saving Time When Moving

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time on the moving process. We’ve put together a few key tips to help you save time when moving, so you can start making yourself at home.

Make a Schedule

This seems more like an obvious aspect than a hot tip for the organized ones among us. Making a schedule is crucial to saving time while moving. By planning the process, you’ll be able to tackle your tasks with ease and won’t risk scrambling at the last minute to get things done.

Start 60 days before your move and make a checklist of things you need to do. Include even the things you’re sure you could never forget. Things can easily fall through the cracks in the busyness of planning and moving. By having them on your list, you’re sure to remember them. And on the plus side: you’ll get the satisfaction of ticking things off the list.

Make sure to set due dates and fight the urge to save the harder or more tedious items for last.

Take a Moment to Downsize

We’ve shared a lot about downsizing your possessions, and with good reason: it’s honestly the best thing you can do for yourself. A home relocation is a perfect time to evaluate what you’ve got and kiss it goodbye if you don’t need it.

There are multiple benefits to channeling your inner Marie Kondo before moving day. Firstly, it just feels good to lighten your load, clear the clutter, and let someone else give your stuff a loving home. Sure, it may be hard to part with things, but trust us: you’ll be glad you did.

A more practical benefit? You’ll save time and money on your move. The less stuff you have, the less you have to pack, the less you have to move, and the less you have to unpack and find a place for. You’ll also save space in a moving truck and save the time and effort of movers, meaning you’ll spend less money on your move.

Pack Like the Pros… Or Hire Them

Saving time on moving day isn’t just about swiftly prepping and getting out of your current home. It’s also about making things efficient in your new home, which means “starting with the end in mind.”

Packing like a pro means labeling like a pro, helping to ensure your boxes arrive in the right rooms in your new home. Try creating a color-coded system for your labels, using a single color per room for easy recognition. Make sure to clearly label on multiple sides and the top, as your boxes will shift in the move.

Do future you a favor, and be specific with your box contents when you can. No, that doesn’t mean writing up a full inventory on each and every box. It means being clear about what goes where. For example, MASTER BEDROOM – NAME – DRESSER will let you know whose stuff is in the box and where you’ll expect to unpack them (the dresser, in this case).

If you really want to save some time, hire the experts to pack for you. A full-service moving company will show up at your house with all of the supplies, pack all of your things, and pack your items, so they’re safe for transport. They’ll even unpack for you in your new home and take all of the waste away with them.

Collect the Right Moving Supplies

Don’t spend time scrambling for more boxes and bubble wrap while you’re getting packed. Start with all of the moving supplies you need, and save yourself the hunting or trip to the packing store.

Once you’ve downsized, you’ll have a better idea of how much stuff you have. Then, you can start collecting boxes. Consider other things like bubble wrap, newspaper, markers, tape, box cutters, and other supplies.

Want to save time, money, and waste? Repurpose things you have for packing your items. Suitcases make great replacements for boxes. Some dressers can remain full, or you can take out the dressers and leave the items in. Rags, towels, and clothes make great padding for fragile items.

Arrange Your House for Moving Day

Check with your mover first to see if they’ll unplug your appliances if you’re moving them. Many movers won’t do it for you (or will charge more if it’s a service you need), so plan ahead. That includes light fixtures and other electronics.

Next, you’ll want to prepare your home for navigating the space with boxes and furniture. Clear walkways and ensure the path to the door is open. Tell your movers in advance if there are things in your home that you aren’t taking with you. That will save you time and effort during the move.

Enlist an Expert Moving Team

No matter how much you’ve moved in your life, an expert mover has done it more. They have moving down to a science and will save time while making it all look effortless. You may be tempted to go with a DIY move, but trust us: it almost always costs more time, money, and energy than you anticipate.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Office Moving Checklist and Timeline

Moving to a new office space is just as involved a process as moving to a new home. You’ve got big, bulky office furniture, difficult-to-pack electronics, and multiple rooms worth of knick-knacks to get packed up. And usually, there’s not a whole lot of time to get it all done (you can’t exactly shut down operations for a week to sort things out). Whether you’re moving to a new floor or across the country, office relocation is a lot of work, regardless of the size of your company. If you’re trying to navigate one, use this our timeline and checklist as your guide to moving to a new office space.

Office Moving Checklist and TimelineOffice move planning can start as early as a year before your move date, but six months is typically when you start looking for relocation services and start planning the logistics of a business move. Here is our step-by-step timeline to help you stay organized.

6 months before your move

Here’s what you need to consider six months before an office move.

Review the current lease

If the lease for your current office isn’t up yet, will you lose your deposit? What repairs do you need to do before you hand the key over to the landlord? Are you responsible for property damage such as broken lights or chipped paint?

Designate an in-office moving team

Do you want to be involved in every aspect of the moving process or just some? Are you the point person or should you assign that responsibility to someone else on your team? Delegate some tasks to your moving project management team, clearly defining roles. Who is planning, packing, unpacking, organizing, decorating?

Make a decommissioning plan

Decommissioning goes way beyond just cleaning your old office. Decommissioning is more like restoring it to its original condition before you moved in. It includes removing cables and electrical installations, fixtures, signs and logos, furniture, and so on. It also involves repairs to the property damage and even small things like replacing burnt-out lightbulbs. Your lease should specify the details, and if you don’t want legal trouble or to lose your security deposit, the lease conditions must be adhered to. Make a decommissioning plan early and discuss with your moving team how to assign related tasks.

Set a budget

You might have to adjust it down the road, but at least having some idea from the get-go how much you’ll have to spend will be immensely helpful when you talk to the moving companies. Determine what your non-negotiables are, and think about where you can scale back to save some money. Also, consider the purchasing process. Who will make all the move-related purchases and how will the vendors be paid?

Decide on the level of moving coverage 

Professional moving companies offer at least one type of coverage called released value protection. It’s basic, however, at up to 60 cents per pound. This moving insurance is federally mandated and is included in the move but will only cover so much. You can always replace damaged furniture, but what is something more crucial to your continued business operations, like electronics? It pays to be protected. Think whether you should buy full value protection coverage, which offers significantly more protection, or expand mover coverage further by buying third-party insurance. Deciding on what type of insurance you’ll need will help budget the move more accurately and also communicate your moving-insurance needs to the moving companies.

Start a to-do list

Since more than one person will be involved in planning and organizing the office move, it’s a good idea to start a box or a folder with all your notes and lists. It’s even better if it’s done online. For example, as a collection of Google docs in a simple folder on Google Drive. Centralizing information is a good strategy.

Announce the move to your employees and seek feedback

Plan to send an email and then follow up with an in-person or online meeting. The email should include the new office address, moving date, key features of the new office, the reason for the move, and key dates for the moving process employees should be aware of. After a week or two, schedule an in-person meeting, if possible (or employees can attend remotely), to receive feedback and answer any questions.

Your employees might request changes in workspace needs or work style preferences, especially if the new office has both open and private floor plans. If your company is small, consider one-on-one meetings. If it’s large, and holding a meeting that everyone can attend is not feasible, you can try sending a survey or organizing department meetings. Encourage all employees to keep the move in mind when they plan or take on new projects.

Make sure everything will fit in the new office

While you may intend to bring that massive break-room fridge with you, the dimensions of the kitchen space in your new break-room might not allow for it. Instead of wasting time, energy and money on transporting items that aren’t going to work in your new office space, get the dimensions of your largest items and compare them to the measurements of your next location. This applies to things like your conference room tables, large electrical equipment, and anything else that necessitates a lot of space. Hopefully, you have chosen a new office that allows for the accommodation of your existing furniture and tech, but if you haven’t, you’ll want to know that before you move in — not after.

Make an inventory

Now that you know what will and won’t fit, record what you’re taking and what you’re leaving behind. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you might have to leave some things behind, especially if the new office’s floor plan is different. A full inventory will help you communicate your moving needs to your moving coordinator and will give you a clear picture of the items you’ll need to leave behind (and replace them after the move if necessary).

3-4 months before your move

Here’s what you need to do three to four months before an office move.

Lock in your moving date

By now you have price-compared and settled on one moving company. Make a reservation as soon as you can to secure the date.

Solidify your moving plan

Set dates and tasks for your moving plan. Think about when are the phones getting disconnected. When do the desks need to be cleared? Figure out when the internet connection getting set up in the new office. Assign team leaders and hand out responsibilities to team members (or have the team leaders do it).

Announce the moving date to your employees

Let your employees know the moving date. Communicate your expectations of when their cubicles, offices or workstations need to be packed up, when the utilities are getting disconnected, and so on. If you expect the employees to lift any boxes, ask them if there are any health restrictions. Make sure each employee knows what’s expected of them and when.

Notify your current landlord

As soon as you confirm your company’s move date, tell your current landlord or property manager when you plan to terminate your lease.

Notify outside the company

Let your partners, clients, vendors and anyone else you have business associations with that you’re moving. They will need to know your new contact information and might have questions about how the move will affect them.

Come up with a plan for specialized equipment

Do you need help moving especially heavy equipment or hazardous materials? Order ahead items that take a while to build and ship? Are you replacing or upgrading any specialized equipment that requires special handling?

Hire moving vendors

Even if you hired a full-service moving company that will do the packing and unpacking for you, you might have to seek out other vendors for your move-related needs. If your new office needs landscaping or decorating, now is the time to hire an interior designer. You might also need to hire an office cleaner if the movers or your building don’t offer this service and your current one wouldn’t be able to handle the post-move cleanup.

Start gathering moving supplies

Unless your office already has everything it needs to pack up, or the movers will be packing you, get a head start on purchasing and organizing your packing materials and moving supplies. Chances are your office probably already has a lot of supplies (some boxes, markers, scissors, labels), but you probably still need to source some specialty boxes, packing tape and packing paper. Buy it now. Get creative sourcing your supplies, too. You can get free boxes and other free packing supplies at a lot of places. For more information about what supplies you need, check out our guide to choosing the right moving and packing supplies.

Downsize

Purge with an open mind and tag anything that is going to be sold or donated. Consider an office warehouse sale or arrange a charity to do a free donation pickup.

Talk to your employees again

Surely by now you have made some adjustments to the moving plan and have updates. Continue your ongoing communication with your employees as they will have questions and concerns. Invite questions or feedback by email, send out important moving updates, and remind them of the new office’s features, including anything they need to know about on-site parking, entering the building, access cards, the new neighborhood, and so on.

2 months before your move

Here’s what you need to do two months before an office move.

Design a floor plan

Determine where the office equipment and furniture will go, where the employees will be sitting, and where the common areas will be. If possible, get an idea of where the Ethernet connections and power sockets are so you’ll know where to set up the tech equipment.

Schedule disconnection, transfer and set up services

Set up internet, phone installation and utilities at the new office. Besides water and electricity setup, you might need to set up garbage and recycling pickup or security services. Plan with your IT to set up computers at the new location. Can they do it internally or do they need help from the outside vendors? Let any vendors (landscaping, security, cleaning) servicing your current office know that you will have to discontinue or transfer their services.

Buy new furniture or equipment

If you’re replacing or adding any office equipment and furniture, start purchasing now as it will take to ship and assemble. You might need help with furniture installation, and decorating takes time.

Reserve offsite storage

Reserve a commercial storage unit near your new office if you don’t have room for stuff like old files, holiday decorations and office furniture you don’t need now but might use in the future.

Come up with a company-wide labeling system

You’re your preferred labeling system — numbers, colors, shapes — as long as it’s consistent throughout the office and all employees are using it.

Start packing

The non-essentials you won’t need in the weeks leading to the move can be packed now. Get it out of the way now so you can prioritize important tasks like packing necessities.

Put address change orders in place

It’s better to start updating documents with your new address earlier rather than later, so place your orders for new business cards, letterhead, envelopes, return labels, etc. right when you know your new address. It’s much better to have all of your updated documents on hand before your move than to risk going days or weeks without them in your new space.

Check on the new office

Does it need cleaning? Can you start decorating and bringing the non-essential items you’ve packed?

1 month before your move

Here’s what you need to do one month before an office move.

Keep tagging furniture, equipment and office supplies

It’s a process, so you won’t be done in a day. Check in with your moving team to make sure the tagging is on track and the employees have what they need to pack their desks.

Finalize plans with your moving team

Confirm the move date once again, and see if there’s a need for a moving-day itinerary to coordinate moving logistics.

Order keys and access cards

Order keys and, if using, employee access cards for your new office in advance so they’ll be ready to hand out before the old office closes for good.

Back up data

Back up all important data on your computer, and use hard drive mirroring software to make a copy of your hard drive. That way if something happens to your computers in transit, you can replicate your current hard drive on a new system. You might want to scan some files to digitize them and shred the paper versions to lighten the load.

Coordinate moving truck departure and arrival

Work with your current and new building managers to secure loading and unloading times. If there are loading docks, great, but if parking is limited, or the area has heavy traffic, it might take some planning. Don’t wait till moving day.

Get a handle on building rules

Unless your company owns the building you are moving out of or into, you will need to get a full breakdown of all building rules around relocating. It may be that you are only allowed to move during non-business hours or that you must put in a special request to use the service elevator. Get these rules from building management as early as you can since it will dictate the logistics of moving day.

Try to move some non-essentials on your own first

Simplify moving day by transporting the little stuff as you can, provided there’s an overlap of timing with your new lease. You can make the whole moving process easier by taking over items like plants and bulk office supplies on your own, especially if you can get them set up in their new locations before you officially move in.

Assign everyone the task of packing up their own desk

While you may be having a moving company come in to take care of the big stuff, it will still be a major help to have everyone responsible for their own desk space. Give your staff a heads up on when they’ll need to have their desks packed up, and try to encourage them to do a little bit at a time so nobody is trying to get all packed up at the last minute. You may need to just give your team a couple of hours of time off on the day before the move to get their desks in order.

1 week before your move

Here’s what you need to do one week before an office move.

Update your address

Update the company website, your financial accounts, social media accounts, subscriptions and business listings (Google, Yelp, local directories) with your new office address. Not sure who else to notify when you move? See our change-of-address checklist. Most items apply to both residential and commercial moves.

Review your moving day schedule with the moving team

Go over what still needs to be done, when the movers arrive, what items should go first and last, who will be on-site to supervise the moving crew, and will lock up after they leave, and whether you will be tipping the movers and providing refreshments.

Remind employees to finish packing

Your IT crew will probably be packing up laptops, monitors and other IT equipment, but all employees should be finishing up clearing their desks and cubicles of office supplies and personal belongings.

Don’t forget IT

One of the biggest complications inherent in moving to a new office space is disconnecting and reconnecting all of your tech. This is a big job, and one that you can’t outsource to the movers, so it’s critical that your team gets to work on it as early as possible. If there are pieces of equipment that you’ll be getting rid of, set up a plan for recycling or donating them. If you’re planning to recycle unneeded equipment instead, check out the EPA’s resources on where and how to do it right.

The day before your move

Finish packing and labeling

By tomorrow everything should be packed and ready to be relocated. Do a walk-through to make sure that’s the case and do (or have someone else do it) the necessary last-minute packing.

Collect employee access cards and keys

Be sure to collect any company keys, parking passes and access cards to return to the landlord or property manager.

On moving day

Here’s what needs to be done on moving day.

Be at the old office to meet the movers

Make sure you (or someone from your office) are there to let the movers in and out, tip them, and provide refreshments (the last two are optional). Someone also should be there to clear a path for the movers if it hadn’t been done and to moderate the move. This includes letting the movers know what should be loaded first and last, pointing out any fragile boxes (even if they’re labeled), and pointing out what furniture items need disassembling.

Do a final walk-through of your vacated office

This is to see if any items were left behind and to document any property damage. Now is also the time to turn in all keys and parking passes unless you’ve made some arrangement with the property owner or manager. It’s a good idea to confirm the termination of your lease at the same time.

After your move

After your office move is complete, here are some action items to help you get settled in your new office space.

Unpack and test your technology

Unpack the essentials and test your phone, computers, servers, printers, and anything else you’re using. Troubleshoot as needed so you won’t miss any time conducting business.

Double-check your change-of-address updates

Confirm that everyone who needed to know was notified of your move, that your online presence lists the new address, and that any stationery, business cards, labels, etc. you are using have also been updated.

Meet with your post-move team

To make sure that you get back on track promptly and that your place of business looks like a professional office, discuss with your team who is removing tags, who is unpacking, and who is stocking the kitchen, restroom(s) and supply cabinets. They should divvy up those tasks among the employees.

Celebrate your new digs

An office relocation is stressful for everyone, including your employees. They deserve some downtime and recognition for their hard work. As a “thank you” for everyone’s cooperation in making it happen and as a way to celebrate your new space, budget in a small party for after the move. You don’t have to be completely set up yet, and it doesn’t have to be anything major — even a mid-day celebration luncheon sometime in the first week after moving will show your staff how much you appreciate their help and welcome exciting things at the new office.

Office moving FAQs

Moving offices can be daunting, and we are sure you have questions. Here are a few answers to the FAQs.

What is involved in an office move?

Planning and organizing your move involves working with your office’s moving team to go through all the steps required to move your office. These include researching, vetting and finding a moving company experienced in office relocations and working with them on the details of your unique move based on your needs and your budget. It also involves whipping your new office in shape, be it cleaning, decorating or remodeling. You should also leave your old office in the condition it was in before you moved in. Otherwise, you risk losing your deposit and facing legal issues.

Office moves also involve changing your address everywhere you have it on your office supplies and online presence, and letting people know. You will be downsizing once you decide what must come with and what you no longer need or won’t fit into the new office. Of course, a fair amount of packing is involved and working with your employees to make sure they know their tasks and deadlines. Then you have to disconnect, transfer and set up all the tech and utilities, including the internet, electricity, computers, phones, servers, and so on. Post-move, you might have to clean your old office. Then, let the new office setup begin. And, hopefully, after all this, some celebration is in order.

How long does it take to relocate an office?

You can start planning as early as a year ahead, but we recommend beginning the process no later than six months before the move. There’s a lot to be done before the movers show up to load everything up. The actual move should be done within a few hours and up to a day for local moves. For long distances, it depends on how many miles your belongings will have to clock in while on the road, which could take a few days.

How can I successfully move my office?

Provided you follow the timeline above, we recommend that you:

  • Start early (six months before the move is ideal)
  • Create a moving team and appoint its manager
  • Do research to find the best moving company experienced in commercial moving
  • Assign employees tasks (like packing up their own desks)
  • Have a clear IT disconnect/transfer/setup plan
  • Know your new and old building rules
  • Put address change orders early on
  • Be diligent about labeling your boxes
  • Make sure that everything will fit into your new space (and downsize accordingly)
  • Move the non-essentials first (and maybe even on your own)
  • Have an office party to celebrate the move. You all deserved it!

What are the steps to move my office?

Planning and organizing an office move should start with setting up your budget and determining your moving needs. Then you work on finding and hiring a moving company and working with them and your employees on a moving plan with set deadlines. For more details, see our comprehensive checklist above.

Ready to organize your office move?

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

How to Cut Your Moving Costs

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Moving can be a stressful time. With all of the little things to keep track of, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And that’s before you even start tallying up the cost of getting to your new place.

Moving costs can often catch people by surprise. The desire to save money can also lead to some drastic and less comfortable decisions, like assuming you can handle the grunt work all on your own.

Before you decide to push all of your belongings to the roadside so you don’t have to deal with moving, check out our tips on cutting moving costs.

How to Cut Your Moving CostsCollect Free Boxes

If you want to save some money, start with the packing supplies. Rather than paying for moving boxes, try collecting free ones. Places like liquor stores, bookshops, and groceries are great places to find boxes that would otherwise be discarded. Be careful to collect boxes in relatively good shape, particularly if you have fragile things to pack. Make sure to reinforce the seams with packing tape for extra care.

For most (if not all) of your items, you don’t need to buy bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Try using rags, towels, clothes, and other soft items to wrap fragile and delicate items. Clearly label your boxes on multiple sides to keep them extra safe.

Choose Your Dates Carefully

The principles of supply and demand apply to moving and prices fluctuate accordingly. If you are able to plan your move to save money, consider moving in the lower season between late fall and early spring. Even if you don’t have the luxury to choose the time of year, you can (hopefully) still choose your day and time. Holidays and weekends are more expensive than mid-week moves. That means you’ll cut your moving costs by scheduling your move on a weekday.

Do Your Own Packing and Prepping

While full-service movers can pack everything in your house for you, it will cost you. If you’re looking to cut moving costs, handle all of the packing yourself. As most movers calculate cost based, in part, on the amount of time it takes for your relocation, the more preparation you do ahead of time, the better. Disassemble furniture yourself and collect boxes in an accessible place.

Pull in Favors

Other costs can add up, like cleaning and making repairs in your place before you leave. Call in some favors with friends and family and see if they’ll come for a bit of a practicality-centric going away party.

The same goes for child and pet care on moving day. Having your kids – the two- or four-legged kind – running around can be dangerous for both them and the movers. Enlist the help of a trusted person in your life and save the cost of daycare.

Downsize

Since movers charge based on how long the move will take, you can assume that the more you have, the more it will cost you. If you want to cut your moving costs, take a moment to do some downsizing.

We recommend doing a bit of a purge before every move. Why bother packing and unpacking things you don’t want or need? Relocating is an excellent opportunity for a fresh start. You might even make some money if you have things to get rid of that you could sell. Give yourself enough time to sort, evaluate, list, and complete the transaction without pressure.

Check for Tax Deductions

Save your moving receipts – you never know how they may come in handy. If you’re moving for work, you may be entitled to a tax deduction on your moving expenses so keep good (and official) records.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services When Moving. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

A February Move – What to Remember

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February is the month of hearts, candy, and tons of red decor everywhere when you walk into a store. However, despite this being the month of celebrating love thanks to Valentine’s Day…there are several people who decide that they are moving during February.

In Greater Boston, the average daily temperature throughout February has a daily average of being around 41 degrees with a low of 24 degrees. However, keep in mind, we have set record temperatures during this time before with highs being in the upper 60’s, and even posting a negative 3-degree temp at one point in February over the past several years. It can rain, it can snow, it can be sunny, and it can be bitterly cold and windy. Therefore, if you decide to move in February, you need to remember a few things to make this go off without a hitch!

A February Move -What to Remember1. Make sure that you double-check all the moving details with us prior to your move. Remember, we can move in almost any type of weather. However, if you were to be dealing with several feet of fresh snow, it may mean having to postpone by a few hours until the roadways have been cleared.

2. Have some old towels on hand to not only cover the floors but to wipe off boxes that are coming into your new home if there is snow or rain falling.

3. To save you a huge bill, go ahead and lower the heat temp in the house. Remember, people are going to be coming and going with loads, there is no need to try to heat up the great outdoors!

4. Make sure that the sidewalks, driveways, and the like are cleared as best as you can. You may want to consider throwing down some sidewalk salt if you can to make this safer for everyone.

5. To help with the cold, why not have a crockpot of hot chocolate or apple cider heating in the kitchen. You will enjoy the warm beverage as the move is taking place, and your movers will appreciate this kindness as well.

6. Pack those winter essentials with you in your car, such as an extra coat, boots, and the like. You would hate to be ready to leave the house for your new home and realize that the winter gear you normally wear was packed and loaded onto the truck!

February can be a great month for many reasons, and it could be that moving into a new home is one of the reasons that you are excited for it to get here!

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services When Moving In February. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Tips For Moving In Freezing Cold Weather

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Moving at any time of year can be stressful, but it can be even tougher when you Moving In Freezing Cold Weather. From snow on the ground to bitter cold temperatures, moving during the winter comes with its own set of challenges.
Tips For Moving In Freezing Cold WeatherRead on for tips to make your winter move as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Be Prepared to Be Flexible

The weather can be unpredictable in winter; it’s clear one day and then dumping down rain or snow the next. In addition, you may have to deal with wind, hail, or other wild weather. In the weeks leading up to your move, keep a close eye on forecasts and potential conditions.

If there is a large storm coming through on the day you plan to move, you may wish to contact your movers or truck rental company and reschedule. This may not be possible for you, but with their lighter workload in winter, this shouldn’t create too much of a problem for the vendor. After all, they don’t want to be out in that blizzard any more than you do!

Start Packing Well in Advance

Don’t wait until moving day to start packing up your belongings. The sooner you start, the easier it will be for everyone involved.

Prepare Your Home for the Move

Before you start loading anything into the truck, car or storage container, create a safe environment.

Winter weather conditions can make moving more dangerous than in summer, spring or fall. Before you start loading anything into the truck, car or storage container, take care to create a safe environment.

Shovel away any snow, making sure to create a wide path to allow for moving large furniture from your house. Also, ensure that your walkways are free of ice. Using a de-icer or anti-icer on your steps and sidewalks is a good solution. The last thing you want is to slip and fall causing injury or breaking any fragile items.

You might also want to consider creating shelter along exposed areas. Large party tents and tarps create excellent coverage from rain, but if you’re dealing with snow, make sure to use something that can withstand the weight, or that has an angle to slide the buildup off.

For the inside of your home, lay down plastic sheeting to protect your floors. You and the movers will be in and out of the house frequently, tracking in moisture, snow and dirt, so you’ll want to protect your floors from stains, scratches, or the need for excess cleaning. You’ve got plenty of other things to worry about on moving day; scrubbing mud out of your carpets after you’ve moved out shouldn’t be one of them.

Protect Your Belongings from the Weather

When packing your items, take special care to protect certain items from the cold.

Breakable items, like dish ware and glass, are particularly susceptible to temperature changes and can crack or break if the temperature shifts too quickly. Double-wrapping everything in thick blankets can help ease the transition from the warmth of your house to the cold of the container. You may want to consider loading these items into your moving container last, and unloading them first, to minimize their exposure to extreme cold.

Another option is to pack these items in your car, rather than in the moving container. Electronics are another item that should be packed in your car, as they are also easily affected by the cold. Wait until you’re about to leave before loading these items to keep them as safe as possible.

Take Good Care of Your Movers

Moving in winter weather is much more difficult than in summer, so it may be best to hire professionals to load and unload your belongings. They will have a lot more experience with winter moving than you do, so they’ll be better equipped to deal with the challenges that come up.

To thank them for all their hard work, prepare a pot of coffee, hot cocoa or apple cider (non-alcoholic, of course!) to warm them up when they need to take a break. There is no doubt that they will greatly appreciate it.

Prepare Your Car for a Long Distance Move

If you’re moving a long distance, have your car serviced prior to the move to confirm that everything is running properly. Just in case anything does go wrong, pack warm blankets, coats, hats and gloves in the car rather than with the rest of your belongings in the moving container or truck. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road without warm clothing.

Load up anything else you’ll need for driving in cold weather, like tire chains and ice scrapers, so you’ll be prepared for anything that might happen while on the road. It’s always better to be over-prepared than underprepared, that way you’re ready for anything.

Allow Extra Travel Time

Driving in snow or in inclement weather always takes longer than driving on clear roads, so allow plenty of extra time to get to your destination. If movers will be meeting you at your new home to unload your belongings, keep in contact with the driver so they’ll know if any schedule changes come up.

Plan out your route in advance, but be prepared to make changes on the fly. Snowplow schedules are not always predictable, so you may find that your preferred route is unavailable. Most smartphones these days come with mapping apps that will adjust your route if there are possible traffic issues that might slow you down.

Make Sure Your New Home is Set Up for Unpacking

As you did with your previous home, make sure that all walkways are clear and ice-free, and lay down protection for your floors before you start moving things into your new home.

Since it gets dark much earlier in winter, you should also plan the timing to unpack your things. If you’re moving with a portable storage container, find out when it will be delivered to your new home. If it’s later in the day, you may want to leave your things in the container overnight rather than starting to unpack right away. That way, you can start fresh in the morning when you have plenty of light.

If you have to unload in the dark, make sure you check exterior lighting in advance to make sure they’re all working. Hanging lights or headlamps are two other options that will help light your way towards a better after-dark move!

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’ll also want to make sure that the utilities are on in your new home they day before you unpack!

Take a Deep Breath

Moving in winter isn’t easy, but with proper planning and care, your stress can be minimized.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services When Moving In Freezing Cold Weather. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Tips for Moving During The Holidays

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Moving during the holidays can be a stressful situation, but it also sets you up for a fresh start at the beginning of the new year. The key to successfully moving in the winter months is to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected. Follow these 8 tips for a much smoother experience so you can still enjoy the Christmas season, even while getting ready for a major move.

Tips for Moving During The HolidaysTips for moving during the holidays

Explore our best moving in winter tips for a stress-free holiday.

Plan your calendar early

Moving in the winter months eats up a lot of time during a period that is already extraordinarily busy. Look at your calendar well in advance and mark off dates of things you can’t change, like the end of your lease or your kids’ exam schedules. Then block off time for other, less essential commitments, like social events.

Take your time packing

Give yourself plenty of time to pack, especially if you’re moving during Christmas. A move takes up a lot of time anyway, and you’re likely to be slowed down by other obligations, not to mention fun things that you want to do. As you work on your calendar, consistently schedule time to pack so the days don’t slip away, leaving you knee-deep in moving boxes when you’d rather be celebrating.

Remember daylight savings

Each day gets darker and darker leading up to the winter solstice, which usually occurs a few days before Christmas. Even more disrupting is Daylight Savings, which causes the time to fall back one hour in early November. That means the darker evenings are accelerated, which can make moving in the winter months more difficult. Get an idea of your area’s usual sunset time so you know how much daylight you have to work with so you can avoid loading in the dark.

Create multiple budgets

A move at any time of year is costly, but your wallet may be stretched even further when moving during the holidays. A local move averages around $750 for a one-bedroom apartment and you can expect those expenses to increase if you have a larger family. Plus, you’ve got Christmas expenses to think about as well. Create two separate budgets for both holiday spending and moving to make sure you’re not caught by surprise during the winter moving process.

Save holiday delivery boxes

One of our best moving in winter tips is to set aside all of your delivery boxes to use for packing. You’re likely ordering more things online than usual this time of year. Saving those leftover boxes instead of chucking them can help keep your budget in check. Ask your friends and family to keep theirs for you to use as well.

Donate to those in need

Moving is always a good time to purge items you don’t need anymore. And moving during the holidays is perhaps the best time to donate your unwanted possessions to your local charity thrift store. You’ll not only lighten your own load during your move, but you’ll also help families in need.

Schedule utility activation

A night without heat will not be comfortable when moving in the winter months. It’s more important than any other time of year to promptly schedule your utilities to be turned on. That way you don’t have to worry about an unheated home after you’ve been moving.

Prepare for inclement weather

Winter weather can be unpredictable, even a day before you’re scheduled to move. Prepare for the worst by covering things like mattresses and sofas in case the weather takes a turn. A snowstorm doesn’t seem as scenic when you’re moving during the holidays so think ahead on how to keep your belongings safe no matter what the weather is doing.

Pros of moving during the holiday season

1. Access off-season discounts

Most movers have a busy season (late summer, usually) and an off-season. If you can get out of your lease in mid-December, you’re probably not going to face a lot of competition when it comes to finding a moving truck. In fact, the movers may be thrilled to have the business.

From hiring movers to renting storage facilities, moving during the holidays means you can usually take advantage of lower rates. Your truck will cost less, allowing you to add on extra services like packing assistance. Alternatively, you could use some of the money saved to outfit your new home with new furniture and decor!

2. Avoid family drama

People generally understand that the logistics of a move become all-consuming for a few weeks, so you have the perfect excuse for getting out of boring parties or dreadful dinners at your disposal. If there are family events that you simply can’t stand to attend, schedule a furniture delivery or get to bubble wrapping. Some traditions are meant to be broken.

But seriously, if traveling during the holidays gets you down, the excitement and positive stress of a local move could actually make your holiday season much more delightful this year.

3. Be prepared for the new year

Maybe you went through a divorce this year, or you’re about to quit that job you hate. Or maybe your resolution for the next year is to get healthy and stop spending too much money on the fast food from around the corner. No matter what plans you have for the following year, having a different address is a good place to start. Moving in the winter months may usher in a new chapter in your life, and you’ll be happy to be settled into a different place when the fresh calendar year arrives.

Cons of moving during the holiday season

While there are benefits to moving during the holidays, there are some downsides to consider as well.

1. Holiday moves may add stress

For many people, the holiday season brings up a lot of stress. Add to that a major life event like a move (and any other life changes that may be causing you to move), and you can really start to feel the strain of your responsibilities. Avoid getting burned out by managing your time well and asking for help when you need it.

2. Weather may cause delays

There’s simply no way to control every detail of your move. Unfortunately, weather is one of those variables that simply acts on its own schedule. Do your best to remain flexible to accommodate any delays caused by wintry weather. Also try not to move until the last minute so that you do have some breathing room in case you have to push back your moving day.

3. Extra spending could tighten budget

Another downside to moving during the holidays is that you’re adding a major expense to a time of year when you may already have a lot of extra costs to manage. Do your best to start saving money well in advance of your move (and the holidays). Also look at ways you could cut back on your holiday spending in order to get professional help with your move so you can reduce your own stress levels.

The bottom line

Budget your time and your money early on in the process when moving during the holidays. Also take time for some self-care so that you’re ready to handle any unexpected surprises that may come your way.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Moving Electronics Tips

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We recommend the following procedures when moving electronics to prevent any damage. If you take these steps before moving, your components should arrive intact.

Moving Electronics TipsAudio and Video Components

If you don’t have the owner’s manuals, or even if you do (they can often be found online), you may want to draw a diagram or take a photo of the wiring configuration to help you reconnect your components correctly after your move. Another good tip is to put small pieces of matching colored tape on the ends of the cables and on the corresponding inputs and outputs of the components.

Remove all discs from your CD and DVD players before packing to prevent scratches to your discs and damage to the laser in your player. This is also a good time to make sure that all your discs are back in their proper cases. Some players come equipped with a “transport screw” usually located underneath the unit (check the owner’s manual). Tighten this screw before you pack your player, which will immobilize parts of the mechanism.

If your unit comes with a cartridge (stacker) for multi-play, remove it before packing. The cartridge can be wrapped and packed in the same box as the player. All trays, whether single or multi-play, should be in the closed position before packing.

The best way to move your components is in the original boxes with the original packing. If you don’t have them, use boxes with enough room for adequate packing material. Your mover can provide a sturdy packing container and materials. Packing material should snugly fill the excess room in the box so that the unit will not move around. Plastic bubble sheets make ideal packing material. Newspaper is not recommended, as it may not securely hold the unit in place.

If you have a remote control, be sure to pack it in the same box as your player. All wiring used with your player should also be packed in the same box if you have room. Seal the box with reliable packing tape. Use this same packing method for packing your receiver, speakers and other audio and video components.

Plasma and Flat-screen Monitors

Plasma TV displays can be difficult to ship because they are essentially two thin panels of glass with plasma, an electrically-charged gas, held in suspension between them. They are delicate and relatively heavy. LCD screens, on the other hand, are lighter and less susceptible to damage, but still require careful handling.

If you are considering doing your own packing (not recommended for plasma TVs) be sure to let you mover know during the estimate that your shipment will include the TV and that special handling or crating may be required.

While plasma televisions are susceptible to damage from extreme temperatures, mishandling and from operating at high altitudes, they are shipped worldwide by their manufacturers without damage. The key is the packing. Whenever possible, you should use the manufacturer’s original packing container if you have kept it. If not, your mover can provide you with a special shipping container, or the unit should be packed and shipped in a container that meets the manufacturer’s specifications as closely as possible.

Plasma TVs should always be shipped and stored in an upright position. Shipping the units double-boxed and upright strapped to a pallet is recommended.

If storage is involved, the requirements vary by manufacturer, but plasma TVs should be stored in a climate-controlled warehouse where the temperature does not fall below 15 degrees F or above 122 degrees F, and where the humidity does not fall below 10 percent or exceed 90 percent with no condensation. Such units should not be stored at altitudes above 9,800 feet.

Some manufacturers recommend using only third-party specialists for dismounting and preparing plasma TVs for shipping, with professional installation at the destination for re-installation.

Personal Computers

Manually back up all your data. Remove any CDs from the disc drive and close all drive doors. Shut down the computer and the monitor before disconnecting them. Draw a diagram or take a photo of the wiring configuration to help you hook up your system up after your move. You may want to label each cable according to its corresponding piece of hardware (use this method for your printer, monitor, modem, scanner, etc.)

Use the original boxes if you have them. Otherwise, use boxes larger than the equipment and use plenty of packing material, especially on the sides.

Printers and Scanners

Again, the original packing box and material is the best choice for transport because they are customized to fit your specific items. Remove ink cartridges from printers and pack them separately. If you are moving a laser printer, remove the laser ink cartridge as the toner may spill and contaminate the laser engine.

At Your Destination

Avoid plugging in electronics on delivery day if possible. You should wait 24 hours to allow the units (TV, stereo or otherwise) to acclimate to room temperature and humidity, especially during colder months.

Special items

During an estimate, be sure the mover is aware of any particularly unusual items you’ll be taking with you, such as a chandelier or in-ground swing set. Movers often rely on their own or outside specialists to handle disassembling and/or crating (and uncrating and reassembling) such items as grandfather clocks, high-end appliances and home gyms.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

How to Get Packing When You Don’t Know Where to Start

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Packing is not easy for everyone. It can be tough to get started, or to even know where to start. You may intend to do your own packing but find the task pretty darn daunting when you start with the first box. How do you get your whole house into boxes and then loaded into a single truck? If you’re not sure where to start, when to get started, or how to pack your stuff – you’re in the right place.
How to Get Packing When You Don't Know Where to Start
From managing your very first move to packing when you’re too overwhelmed to think, these simple suggestions from professional movers can help you start putting one box on top of another until your house is packed and ready to go.

Start with Boxes and a Permanent Marker

Start with that first box. Grab a stack of ‘Medium’ packing boxes and a permanent marker. Start with the rooms you use least, like the garage or den. Clear shelves into boxes (with padding, if needed) and label the box for its contents. Then start another box. Then another. Empty your off-season clothes into one box and your backup toiletries into another. Empty your bookshelves and desk drawers into one box and your less-used kitchen pans into another.

One box at a time, label by label, your home will get packed.

Break Up Your Packing into Manageable Chunks

If packing the whole house seems like a big task, break it up. Pack your office first, or everything in your closet you don’t wear weekly. Pack up your storage areas, they’re already half-packed anyway. Section your house into areas, leaving your most-used things for last. Tackle packing one evening and weekend at a time and congratulate yourself on hitting milestones.

Get Rid of Stuff You Don’t Need

Moving is the perfect time to purge your possessions of anything you don’t need or don’t want to bring with you. All those shirts you never wear, the pans you never cook with, or the furniture too shabby to be worth the truck space can get kicked to the curb or – even better – donate them. There might be a young couple who desperately needs an old sturdy couch or a family who could really use that extra mattress.

Get rid of things you don’t need. Anything you wouldn’t miss in the new house is now a candidate to lighten your load and reduce the amount you’ll need to pack.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you’re not a professional mover, start early. Most people can’t pack their house over a long weekend, or even over three or four weekends. So, give yourself plenty of lead-up time to pack the house – and know when it’s time to call in the moving company reinforcements if you just don’t make enough headway before your moving date approaches. This is normal, not everyone is a packing machine.

Hire Professional Movers

Professional movers are an important resource when you’re planning a move. Many people hire movers to pack just their big furniture and most fragile objects, trusting their expertise to ensure these items make it to the new home safely. You can also count on a professional moving company to take you past the finish line if your personal moving efforts aren’t quite done when moving-truck weekend arrives.

Whether you need moving services to augment your busy schedule or because you’re not sure where to start, Pony Express Moving is here to help you get where you’re going. Contact us today to consult on your moving plans and schedule the professional moving services you need. We look forward to making your upcoming move a breeze.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Millennials Moving Tips

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Millennials are growing up; managing your first move without the benefits of parental castoffs or finances. The first thing you may have discovered about picking up sticks and relocating is that the expenses mount up fast. The second thing is that it’s going to take mad organizational skills to get everything you own from point A to point B without mistaking your X-Box box for your Ninja box.

Millennials Moving TipsUse Your Tech for Good

There are tons of apps to help you organize a move–they’ll track everything from your packing (store photos of what you put in every box) to setting up utilities (big life skill) to hiring a moving company. You can share the info with roommates or family so everybody is always on the same page.

Low-Tech Still Rules for Moving

All the fun apps in the world can’t replace old-fashioned boxes and packing tape. Here’s a moving tip that you’ll use for the rest of your life–get small boxes. Sure, you can get more stuff in a large box, but they get heavy very fast. Lots of small boxes are more useful than a few giant ones.

So, you’ll need boxes, packing tape (spring for the tape gun), some newsprint or bubble wrap for padding, and markers. If you’re really organized, you can use color coded markers for your boxes, but most people are happy with a black wide-tip Sharpie.

One large box that’s worth investing in is a wardrobe box–a heavy duty box with a metal hanging bar across the top. You can stow your hanging clothes in this box and not worry about wrinkles and dry cleaning when you unpack. Check with your local moving company for any specialty boxes that you might require.

Allow Yourself Plenty of Time

Remember when you were in college and could pack up and move to another apartment (or room in the frat house) in an afternoon? Forget that. Now you have furniture, electronics, kayaks, and all the stuff that you used to keep in your parent’s basement. Not to mention your t-shirt collection. Give yourself a couple of weeks at least to pack up for your move–the further you’re going, the more time you’ll need.

A good rule of thumb is a few days for each room–you can pack up a studio apartment a lot faster than you can a two-bedroom condo. Collect all the stuff you don’t use or don’t need–donate it, give it away or throw it out.

Realize Your Limitations

Sure, you’re young and ready to take on the world, but you may still need professional movers, especially if you have stuff like a motorcycle or a jet ski. If you’re moving a long distance and flying to your new home, you’ll also likely need to transport your car. Professional movers can pack and move ALL your stuff for you, and you won’t have to worry about it not getting there in one piece.

If it’s at all in your budget, seriously consider hiring a professional moving company for your move. If you’re relocating for a job, your relocation package probably includes this bonus, so definitely take advantage of it.

Take a Selfie

Nothing is ever real until it’s a story on social media, so be sure to take a picture as soon as you’re in your new house.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

Home Improvements to Make Before You Move In

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Most homebuyers have a list of things they’d like to change about their new properties. And while a lot of it can be pushed off until after recovering from the move and its associated costs, some home improvements are much easier-and cheaper-to get done prior to moving day.

Home Improvements to Make Before You Move InHere are some of them:

Flooring

A home’s flooring takes on a lot of wear and tear (and occasionally, some latent and unrelenting pet smells as well), so it’s pretty typical to want to refloor a home after you buy. But it’s a large expense, and many buyers choose to wait to get it done. Unfortunately, that usually results in spending a lot more money in the long run. Whether you’re dealing with carpet, vinyl, tile, or hardwood, you’re always going to be able to keep costs lower if you schedule the installation to take place prior to move in day, when the flooring company doesn’t have to take on the added task of moving all of your furniture.

Interior painting

Just like flooring, painting the interior of your home is considerably easier when you don’t have to worry about clearing out rooms first or covering up furnishings. And if you’re hiring a pro to do the job, it’s also much more cost effective, since 75-85 percent of the cost of a professional paint job goes toward labor. Safeguard your savings and your furniture by getting the interior rooms painted when the house is empty, and simplify the task even further by painting before you have new floors installed. As an added bonus, getting this done early means that you get to avoid all the fumes that come with fresh paint.

Popcorn ceilings and walls

If you’re moving into an older home, there’s a strong chance you’ll run across popcorn ceilings or walls. While the style used to be popular for its aesthetic and ability to hide imperfections, now it’s much more of an eyesore than anything else. Popcorn ceilings or walls can also contain asbestos or other irritants, meaning even if you don’t hate the style you’re better off having them removed. Having popcorn ceilings or walls professionally smoothed out is simple enough, but it’s also messy. Similar to painting, the handyman will have to cover all furnishings and move things around, adding on time and money. Get it done ahead of time and save the trouble and expense.

Closet shelving and organization

Unpacking is stressful enough without having to worry about where you’re going to put everything. Set yourself up for success by having any DIY or professional closet fixtures installed prior to the first box of stuff getting dropped off. You’ll be able to plan for exactly what you need, plus you’ll simplify the entire process and save yourself the trouble of filling up a closet only to have to empty it out again to install shelving.

Fencing

If you have pets or young children who like to run free in the backyard (or you just like your privacy), you’re probably going to want to install a fence. And while you may think this is an easy thing to take care of at some undetermined date after move in, having your indoor and outdoor space optimized for livability before you turn the key in the front door goes a long way toward making your new house feel like home. If you know you’re going to fence in your yard, get it taken care of early, before it inevitably gets pushed down on the to-do list. And don’t forget that you may need to file a permit in order to build a fence, so this is one project you should get started on as soon as you can.

Exterior locks

This is one of those easy home improvements that can be done in just an hour or so. Even if you’ve met the previous owner of the home and they seem nice and trustworthy, you have no idea who else may have copies of the key. Instead of taking on the risk, give yourself some peace of mind and have a locksmith come out to replace all of the exterior locks before you move in. It’s the only way to know for sure exactly who has access to your home.

Batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

This is another area where you’re always better safe than sorry. Not all home inspectors check the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and if they do, there’s still no way to know how recently they were replaced. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the inevitable “beep” of a dying battery (or worse, finding out that an existing battery is defective), take a few minutes to pop in fresh replacements.

Heating and cooling filters

A heating or cooling system with an old or faulty filter can cost you some serious dough by causing the system to work inefficiently, or worse, break. A fresh filter is cheap and easy to install on your own, and will provide you with cleaner air and greater protection against having to replace the heating or cooling system itself-a repair that is neither cheap nor easy.

Leaks

Any leak, no matter the size, can cause major damage over time if left untreated. So if your home inspector alerted you to a leak, don’t waste any time in getting it repaired. In addition to water damage, untreated leaks open up your home to a host of problems, including mold, mildew, and rotting surfaces. Plus, treating the leak could result in a disruption of your water services-an inconvenience that’s not so bad if you’re not living in the property at the time.

Childproofing

Never wait until after you move in to take the necessary precautionary steps to protect children (or pets) from household hazards. Any childproofing adjustments you need to make, be it covering outlets, securing cabinets, or installing corner and edge bumpers definitely need to be done before any two- or four-legged little ones walk through the door. And if the previous owners already had childproofing in place, be sure to double check each safety fixture to make sure it’s in proper working order.

Moving is a big task, and it’s often fraught with complications and added expenses. While you can’t prepare for every what-if, you can do your future self a huge favor by taking care of these types of home improvements projects prior to move in. Not only will doing most of these ahead of time save you money, they’ll also save you a ton of time and frustration.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.