Category Archives: Moving Tips

Packing Books For a Move

Packing Books For a MoveThere are a few predicaments all book lovers can relate to.

One, the overwhelming desire to buy or borrow new books when you already have a huge to-read list at home.

Two, hours at a time vanishing when you don’t realize how long you’ve been reading.

Three, cursing your book-buying habit when it comes time to move.

Moving books is tough! They’re heavy, often fragile, vulnerable to water damage and tough to keep organized. You might own hundreds or even thousands of books. You might be able to appreciate how poetic your favorite habit becoming such an albatross during your new chapter in life would be… if you weren’t in such a bad mood. Luckily, moving books doesn’t have to be frustrating! In fact, packing books and moving your collection efficiently and safely is easier than you think! All you have to do is follow a few of these helpful book-moving guidelines:

Go through your collection.

Moving is the ideal time to take a long, critical look at all the books you have. Culling your book collection means you’ll have fewer things to pack and move. Start this process a month or two before your move is scheduled. Go spine by spine, and look at each book you have. Ask yourself if you’ve read it, if you plan on reading it or if it has sentimental value to you. Be honest. You didn’t read Absalom, Absalom when it was assigned in college, and you probably won’t read it now.

If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions about any particular book, it’s time for that book to go. Don’t leave it sitting around so you can go back on your choice, either. Instead, take the books you’re passing on to a used bookstore or one of many other places that take book donations. Seeing those books off may hurt a bit now, but your movers (and your back!) will thank you later. Plus, you’ll have more room to buy new books!

Go for small boxes.

One of the easiest mistakes to make when packing books is packing boxes too full. Books are heavy, and their bulk adds up quickly. Go for boxes that are smaller than 16″ by 12″ by 12″, even if those are the common measurements for small ones from hardware stores.

Re-purpose smaller banana boxes, apple boxes, or old shipping boxes. If you have no choice but to use larger boxes, don’t fill them all the way full. You can fill them halfway with books and use the other half for clothing, linen, or other lighter items. You want to avoid the potential disaster for both you and your books that heavy boxes can cause. Spread out the weight of the books, even if it means packing more boxes.

Take the time to prep each box.

Heavy, overloaded boxes filled with books break more easily than others. If you need to pack boxes full of books, you’ll have to prepare them first. Cover all the seams on the box with a double layer of packing tape. When you tape the center flap on the bottom, make sure the tape runs at least halfway up the box on the sides.

Extra tape crisscrossed across the bottom of the box is never a bad idea. If you want to be especially cautious, cut additional pieces of cardboard to place inside the bottom of the box. This will add additional protection and weight disbursement.

Pay special attention to the way you pack both paperbacks and hardcovers.

There are certain techniques you can take when packing both paperbacks and hardcovers so they remain safe.

Tips for Hardcover Books

  • Hardcover books should be placed upright, with their spines against the side of the box.
  • You want to pack hardcovers tightly, but not so tightly that you won’t be able to get them out of the box.
  • If you’re packing moderately valuable editions, wrap those in packing paper to protect their covers.
  • If they’re especially valuable editions, use cardboard slotted between volumes to keep them from shifting during transport.

Tips for Paperback Books

  • Paperbacks can be packed in multiple ways. You can stack them flat or spine first so that their paper edges face upwards. Don’t pack them so the edges of the pages face down or they’ll bend and warp. If you leave the boxes this way long term, they’ll be permanently damaged.
  • Fill empty spaces with wadded-up paper to help limit any shifting in the box. You want to keep the books from falling onto their sides or bending.

Now that you  know how to pack your books like an expert, you still have to worry about moving them.

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

Winter Move Tips

Winter Move TipsIf moving in winter doesn’t sound exciting to you, we can’t blame you. Moving in winter is not such a horrible idea. There are positive sides to it. Because most companies have winter rates and summer rates, you can benefit from these discounts! Most people move in the summer, so you will find quite a few discounts available during the cold months. When you schedule a winter move, you are likely to get a better deal along with the ability to pick your dates. Here’s why.

Moving in winter can save you money

The moving season reaches its peak in the summer and then starts to decline in the fall. Because that’s when the back-to-school season begins. So, by winter, the number of moves gets very low. The busy time for moving companies ends in September, and that’s when discounts really start to pop. As we get closer to December, prices continue to drop. Moving in winter is especially affordable in January and February. The prices start to rise again in March, and the busy time for movers is at full charge by the end of April. So, why not take advantage of these facts and move during the winter months?

Storage renting prices drop in the winter too

Storage facilities’ occupancy usually drops in winter, so you can take advantage of the best prices. Typically, this is the best time to grab some amazing promotions for the state-to-state moving. To boost your storage unit price deduction even further, schedule your move for a weekday. Or toward the middle of the month. That’s when moving companies are usually the least busy.

Moving in winter comes with less competition

Especially when you live in an urban area, moving during the high season can become a real challenge. In the summer, there are often several clients moving in and out on the same day. You could find yourself having to maneuver past a few different moving trucks.

Winter temperatures are safer for your belongings that the heat

Most of the US can reach sweltering temperatures in the summer. But the outside temperatures get even more intense inside a moving truck or your car. When you choose to move in winter, you are able to drastically lower your risk of ruining everything you own. Packing in a colder climate is much safer for your household goods that the scorching heat. Remember that one sweaty slip-up could mean goodbye to your delicate record collection or a valuable painting.

Always anticipate delays, especially when moving in winter!

When it comes to moving in winter, summer relocations do hold one advantage over them. It is those few extra hours of daylight. With fewer daylight hours, a move that you expect to take just one day could take two. So make sure to plan for that and keep your expectations in alignment with reality. Try to stay flexible if the move needs to be rescheduled altogether. Sometimes you might get really unpredictable weather.

Stay organized during your winter move by following these steps:

  • Confirm all the details of your relocation with your movers.

Opting for moving in winter is pretty smart. Winter is a rather low season for most movers, so you should have a wider range of dates available to choose from. But please remember that you still need to check in with your movers on a regular basis. Contact us once a week before the move, and the second time a day or two before the move. This is important because the weather in winter can be treacherous.

  • Keep checking the weather channel.

Speaking of weather, keep close track of the changes. Keep an eye on the weather channel every week that leads up to the move, and then every day the week of the move. If you think that there’s a possibility that the weather can shut down roads or hinder your movers, call the moving company and express your concern. In those cases, it is better to delay the relocation than getting caught in a winter storm.

  •  Protect your floors by covering them.

If you have carpeting and hardwood floors, it’s essential that you protect them because movers will be tromping all over them on moving day. You can use a couple of cheap plastic tarps from the nearest hardware store. Also, lay floor mats down at every outside door.

Make sure you’re relying on reliable and skilled professionals!

When you’re dealing with cold conditions, the experience will make all the difference. And that’s where the movers like Pony Express Moving Services set themselves apart from the crowd. All of our movers have received professional training in order to learn how to perform every relocation safely and efficiently in any type of conditions. Moving in winter isn’t exactly cheap, but hiring a professional company with a reliable, skilled team is not a service to try and cut costs on.

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

Merry Move During the Holidays

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Happy holidays!

Merry Move During the HolidaysWhile others eagerly unpack last year’s ornaments, you’re stuck with the less than holly jolly task of packing up your festive decor. Whether relocating across the country or next door, moving during the holidays is no easy task. Besides all of the seasonal distractions, you’ll now have to deal with planning a relocation as well.

Thankfully, moving doesn’t mean you have to turn into a Grinch this holiday season – not if you’re well-prepared, anyway. To ensure that your upcoming relocation is as merry and bright as possible, we’ve laid out a list of what to consider when moving during “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Timing

‘Tis the season for moving (sort of)! While not actually considered “peak moving season,” the holidays can be an extremely busy time for movers. After all, they are people with holiday commitments too. This means if you’re planning to hire a moving company, it’s important to book a reliable service as soon as possible.

Also, keep in mind that moving on a holiday weekend costs more than moving on a non-holiday. If you’re planning a DIY move, holiday traffic will be a concern, as roads fill up with holiday shoppers and travelers. Bloomberg reports that the busiest brick-and-mortar retail shopping day of the season is “Super Saturday,” aka the Saturday before Christmas Day. Other busy shopping days include Black Friday and, for last minute shoppers, the week before Christmas. The U.S. Department of Transportation states that the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years periods are among the busiest travel times of the year. FYI: Thanksgiving Day happens to be one of the heaviest long-distance travel days for vehicles. Given this information, it’s probably best to avoid moving these days, if you can.

Budget

With all of the gift-buying and travel expenses incurred during the holiday months, it’s already hard enough to stay on a budget this time of year. Add in the moving expenses – from boxes to movers – and you’re probably going to need to start looking for other ways to tighten your belt this season. Don’t fret (yet). If you’re hiring movers, keep in mind that you may be able to save a few bucks by landing a mid-week move. Avoid moving on a holiday weekend when moving companies may be short-staffed.

Packing

If you live for the holiday spirit, then there’s nothing more depressing than an undecorated home during the November and December months. To avoid feeling depressed once you’re in your digs, I suggest packing up your Christmas decor, gift wrap, presents, and holiday wardrobe in separate and clearly labeled boxes. Ask the movers to put them in your main living room when they arrive at your new home. This way you can unpack your holiday treasures as soon as you arrive. While you may not feel like unpacking every single belonging before New Years, you could – at the very least – decorate your new staircase with some festive garland.

Donations

Donating your things may not be the most exciting part of moving, but it’s certainly an appropriate thing to do during the holiday season. Thankfully, charities such as Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army will gladly pick up your salvageable items free of charge. You should also save your receipts, as the holidays marks the end of the tax year. These donations could put more dollars in your own pockets – and after an expensive move, that is a good thing!

Weather

Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather on moving day. If you’re relocating to or from colder parts of the country, such as the Northeast and Midwest, be prepared for cold – sometimes frigid – temperatures. From icy roads to white-out blizzards, the holiday season can usher in dangerous winter weather conditions, posing serious challenges for moving. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure your winter move goes as smoothly as possible.

Make sure you have proper moving supplies and winter-ready garments to deal with treacherous conditions. Boots, hats, gloves, shovels, and salt may be necessary. Pack up your belongings in as many waterproof plastic bins as possible. Watch out for slippery sidewalks and stairs. And don’t forget to have your heat and electricity turned on in your new home by the time you arrive.

Family Concerns

If you’re planning to uproot your kids in the middle of the school year, be prepared to help them with this adjustment period. Make sure their important documents and school records are transferred to the new school accordingly. For the most part, this means transcripts; report cards; immunization records; any academic testing the child has undergone; and other various files and records. I suggest contacting the old school for more information on how to securely transfer these documents to the new school. Most schools have a holiday vacation between Christmas Eve and New Years. So hopefully you’ll be able to unpack and help your children adjust to the new place during this time period.

Safety

Unfortunately, home invasions and robberies seem to increase during the holiday season. SafeWise reports (per the FBI) that 400,000 burglaries take place every year in the U.S. during the November and December months. In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you want happening is a break-in this Christmas. To prevent that from happening, make sure you set up a security system either before or right after moving in. Call your security system provider a few weeks prior to the move to schedule a time for them to come out and install the system in your house.

After you’re done packing and planning, kick back and sip some eggnog. You’ll be decking the halls of your new home in no time!

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

When is the Best Time to Move?

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When is the Best Time to Move?From hiring movers and renting a truck to packing boxes and decluttering closets, it’s easy for your moving date selection to fall to the bottom of your relocation priorities. Just remember, though, this one little detail can make an enormous difference when it comes to the ease of your move and the size of your bank account. Over the course of our own multiple relocations, we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that when you move is just as important as how you move. So in the spirit of learning from mistakes, here are the absolute best times to plan your next move in terms of convenience and costs.

Best Season to Move: It Depends

Ultimately, this decision comes down to your own needs, budget and preferences. Those trying to save money on a move should choose a late fall, winter or early spring move. Those with school-age children should consider opting for a summertime move. Those who strongly prefer to move in mild weather conditions may want to move during the fall or spring.

Fall: Great weather conditions for moving and you may be able to get a better deal on a home during the off season.

Winter: Cheapest time of the year to move since demand is lowest. Moving companies have more flexible schedules. May not be ideal if moving with children.

Spring: The weather won’t be as harsh as the winter months and demand is still lighter in March and April.

Summer: Ideal time if you are selling your home since demand is highest and you may get a higher price. Also, if you are moving with children then this season is ideal since they won’t be in school.

Best Month of the Year: Mid-September through April

If you define by “best” by cost then, generally speaking, you are more likely to save on a move during the late September to April window. Demand for movers usually slows down during this time frame and rates are low. According to various moving professionals, peak moving season stretches from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, with roughly 70 percent of all moving takes place in the spring and summer. The reason for this? Families with children tend to move during the summer months to avoid any disturbances during the school year. It’s also easier to move in the spring and summer when the weather is ideal.

In addition, college students and other renters usually move in the early fall and late spring, since this is when most leases start and end. Keep in mind that if you live in a large city with university students, you’ll certainly want to try and avoid moving in early September. In Boston, for instance, the majority of apartment leases begin on September 1, making it the busiest moving day in the city. If you want to avoid moving mayhem in the streets, I suggest researching the most popular moving days (or lease start and end dates) in your own city.

Best Week of the Month: Mid-month

We suggest planning a “mid-month” move instead of a move at the beginning or end of the month. If you have the flexibility to avoid moving the first and last weekend of the month, then we strongly recommend opting for a mid-month, mid-week move. This is typically when demand is lowest and therefore, your costs may be lowest as well. As a general rule of thumb: the first of the month is more likely to be busy for movers since most leases begin the first of the month.

Best Day of the Week to Move: Weekdays (Monday through Thursday)

When picking a move date, it’s best to choose a weekday. Many moving companies like Pony Express Moving Services suggest moving during the Monday to Thursday window when there is less demand. So if you can afford to miss a day of work to move during the week, I highly recommend doing so. Moving on a Saturday or Sunday may increase your costs due to higher demand for movers and limited number of weekends in a month (especially during peak moving season). Moving on a weekday also means you’ll have the entire upcoming weekend to unpack and get organized before your following work week.

Best Time of Day to Move: Early AM

Good news early birds: mornings are the best time to get moving. If you hire a professional moving company, they’ll want to arrive in the A.M. – roughly during the 8 to 10 a.m. window. Early mornings usually mean cooler conditions for the movers during those warmer months. “The elements have a lot to do with it,” long-time moving professional Scott Dickerson tells me. “When it gets to be 105 degrees outside, we want to be gone by 2 p.m. to beat the heat.” If you’re moving yourself, it’s a good idea to get an early start as well. You’ll have more energy in the mornings (after that cup of joe, anyway), and you’ll be left with more time to unpack, organize and enjoy your new digs.

Other considerations when selecting your moving date

  • Weather: It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that you should trust your common sense. If you happen to live in a cold climate, you’re probably better off avoiding a move smack-dab in the middle of winter. After all, icy roads, treacherous conditions and heavy lifting make for a miserable time.
  • Work: If you have to move during a busy time at work, then it may be worth the extra bucks to move on a weekend date.
  • Family concerns: Have school-age children? It may make more sense to move during the summer in order to avoid a chaotic school year.

Of course, not all of us have the option to move at the most ideal time. The “best” time for you will really depend on: location, weather, budget, family matters and flexibility at work. Once you have these figured out, you’re on your way to a successful move.

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

How to Overcome the Challenges of Boston Moving

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Living the Boston life is generally fast-paced, rich in culture, full of opportunities, and some may even say, glamorous. But, there’s certainly one part of Boston living that isn’t glamorous – moving in or out of the Boston area!

How to Overcome the Challenges of Boston MovingWhile relocating, in general, can be especially stressful due to a slew of unknowns, moving in or out of Boston is daunting. From hiring movers to navigating the streets, to working with building management, you’ll find that urban moving is much different than moving from a suburban or rural home to another suburban or rural location. Let’s look at some of the challenges you may face during your Boston moving , and how to overcome them.

Finding Movers in Boston

Whether you are moving into or out of Boston – finding the right movers for the job can be stressful. Do you move by yourself? Rent a truck? Find someone you know with a car and make small moves at a time? Or, do you find a full-service moving company to move for you? Your options for moving companies may be limited to small move companies if you’re moving out of Boston. Your one bedroom apartment is not worth the time or expense of a large freight moving company and their trucks are often too big to navigate Boston narrow streets.

You should research local moving companies and small-move companies, such as Pony Express Moving Services. These movers are equipped to handle the urban lifestyle and understand the ins and outs of moving out of Boston.

Elevator Reservations & Parking Permits

Your relocation challenges when you move into or out of a city, such as Boston, will include working with the management companies of the buildings. You might be relocating to a 27-story high-rise apartment building and you’re going to have to organize yourself as soon as you know when your move date will be.

If you are moving into or out of a high-rise building with an elevator, you should make elevator reservations with building management. This way, you are not spending half of your day waiting for an elevator to arrive on your floor, and you won’t upset your neighbors by taking away the only, or one of the only ways out of the building. Some buildings even require this.

Once you’ve secured your elevator, you’ll also want to figure out where your moving truck will park. Whether you choose to rent your own truck or hire movers, talk to your building management about a loading zone permit or a parking permit. Check with the city in which you are moving to and/or from to learn whether there are city ordinances you must adhere to when it comes to parking in loading zones.

Security: You Can’t Do This Alone

If you’re moving in to or out of Boston, you’ll need to solicit help. Ensure that there is always someone available to keep your belongings safe and secure from thieves. While this may seem like a farfetched idea, this is one major difference in city living. Hundreds of people will walk by your moving truck during the loading or unloading process, so you do not want to leave anything unattended at any time.

If you plan a DIY move, you should recruit friends or family to play certain roles – one of which will be the security of the truck during loading and unloading. If you hire movers, you’ll want to confirm with the moving company that they will have their own security. You do not want to be put in a situation where you are scrambling last minute to find someone to man the truck during loading and unloading. Pony Express Moving Services is well equipped with nearly 20 years of experience helping people relocate out of Boston settings and understands this need for security.

Other Building Necessities

While you are organizing your move, check with the management of the building you are moving in to or out of. Ask them if you need any special permits, pay any one-time move-in or move-out fees, whether you must provide proof of insurance from the moving company or any other possible requirements. Keep in mind that while your move may be important to you, you share the common space, elevators, and hallways with your neighbors.

Do you need help navigating your upcoming Boston move? Consider contacting a small-move local company such as Pony Express Moving Services to get you started. Whether you are moving one piece of furniture across the country or an entire apartment from one state to another, Pony Express Moving Services specializes in small-moves and understands the nuances of Boston moves.

Request a Free Quote Online.

Tips for Moving During the Fall

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Tips for Moving During the FallCongrats! If you’re planning a fall move, or if it has come up unexpectedly, you’re in luck: fall is an awesome time to move. The busy, and often expensive summer season has come and gone, families looking to relocate and beat the rush of back-to-school are settled in, and temperatures tend to dip into more comfortable ranges. Lower prices, lower temps, and lower competition all work in your favor. That said, you’ll still want to plan ahead as much as possible. With different seasons come different challenges and different considerations. And if you’ve never moved during the fall, you’ll want to brush up on the basics before diving in.

Negotiate to Take Advantage of Lower Moving Costs

Bonus – moving in the fall is typically much more affordable. Moving companies have cleared the summer rush, gas prices can be lower, and there is more truck/crew availability. Whether renting a truck or hiring a full moving team, this typically means you have a greater ability to cost-compare and negotiate on moving estimates and bids. So be sure to shop around, and perhaps do a little digging online about cost-comparisons between the summer and fall.

Declutter from Summer

You may have a number of clothing items, swimwear, beach gear, outdoor furniture,  toys, and other seasonal items that just won’t make it to next summer. Instead of packing and moving these items, only to discard them next year, take some time to declutter and either ditch or donate items you don’t want to pay to take with you. And, if there are old cold-weather clothing items you or your family have grown out of, consider donating those before the colder weather hits.

Rethink Storage

If you live in a climate with challenging seasonal weather, reconsider the benefits of putting some items in storage during your move. This will help clear your moving truck of heavy or bulky items you may not use until late next spring or summer (like outdoor furniture, gardening tools, and barbecues), and can streamline your move by helping you pack everything at once. It will also make move-in that much easier when you arrive.

Pack for the Season

While you’re considering bulkier items, don’t forget about clothes and sporting gear that you may not need right away after the move. Pack seasonal items together so you can find them easily later – and make sure you’ve left out all those cold-weather items you’ll need shortly after you settle into your new place, like rain boots and raincoats, snow gear, and snow-removal equipment. If you’ve stored them away, now’s a good time to make sure they’re easy to access and unpack after you’ve arrived.

Unpack for the Season

If you’ve stored away crock pots and sandwich presses, large dutch ovens, and other seasonal dishware and service wear, consider talking to your movers about placing them in more accessible locations in your house or apartment upon your arrival. Instead of trudging out to the garage or down to the storage closet to find items you packed away last year, they’ll be in your kitchen or dining room, ready to be put into service for the fall and winter seasons.

Setup Utilities in Advance

There’s nothing worse than arriving in a new place during the chilly, wet fall to find you haven’t set up all the proper utilities like electricity and gas. Often times, waits for new accounts can be several days. Not so great when the temperature drops. So be sure you’re clear on what’s required to setup or transfer your accounts, so that you arrive to a warm, bright environment on day 1.

Put Down Plastic During Your Move

When both moving in and moving out during the fall, the potential to track in wet leaves, dirt, and mud increase. You want to get back your security deposit, or at least ensure your post move-out cleanup doesn’t involve scrubbing a rug (more than you might already have to). So buy plastic painter’s sheeting, or cut open large black trash bags and tape to entryways and other pathways where movers and friends will be coming and going. When you arrive at your destination, be sure the movers wait for you to lay down more plastic before unloading your items.

Keep a Broom Handy

During the fall, no matter your preparation, you’re going to track in a lot of leaves and dirt. Have a broom, paper towels, and sponge mops ready so you can clean as you go. This will ease the post-move cleanup, and help to avoid tracking materials into and out of your moving truck, onto your furniture and boxes, and into your new home or apartment.

Clear Outdoor Pathways

Despite your precautions for protecting your existing and new home or apartment, you should take extra steps to clear the outdoor paths to and from the moving truck. Sweep away leaves and shallow puddles with a stiff broom, and put down flat pieces of cardboard in any particularly wet, muddy, or slick spots. Cleaning while you go can help keep your place tidy (and help with that security deposit) and can also help avoid injuries you might sustain while carrying heavy items to and from your place. If wet weather is in the forecast, and you feel like taking extra precautions – try a bag or two of Turface. Designed to deal with water quickly on sports fields, it absorbs its weight in liquid, and doesn’t cake, making it easy to clean up and discard after your move is complete.

And an Umbrella for that Matter

Rain is the worst for moves. There’s simply no avoiding taking your things outside into the weather to load them into the truck. So be sure you have an ample supply of umbrellas and other plastic covering to keep furniture, upholstery, and boxes dry as they’re loaded into and out of the truck. Wet boxes can break or mold—especially if headed for prolonged storage. And it’s just no fun starting out in your new place with a wet couch.

Dress Appropriately

We know, you’re probably used to the tried-and-true moving uniform: running shoes, shorts, and old T-shirt and a baseball cap. But during the fall you’re going to have to plan ahead or colder, and potentially wet weather. Be sure you’re wearing shoes with good traction, have a hooded rain jacket on hand, and that you’ve considered layers so you can dress up or down depending on temperature fluctuations, and how challenging your move becomes.

Get Your Car Serviced

While this isn’t necessarily related to your move, relocation is a good reminder to do those things you’ve been putting off throughout the year. While there’s a lot you can do online, some things, like your car, require professional support. So take your ride for service to ensure it’s running and in good shape prior to the colder, wetter seasons. Have your service technician rotate the tires and check them for over wear, triple check the heater, change the oil, clean air filters, add antifreeze and new wiper fluid, and replace your old windshield wipers.

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

Students Tips for Moving in Boston

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As what’s likely to be the hottest August ever recorded in Boston comes to a close and September rears its hopefully cooler head, throngs of students are once again descending on the city.

Students Tips for Moving in Boston

With upwards of a quarter-million college students studying in the Greater Boston area, Sept. 1 has become the go-to move-in day for tens of thousands. Some are seasoned veterans of moving in Boston, but even more are new to the city, navigating our winding streets and low bridges for the first time. Mistakes, like the act of “Storrowing” your rental truck, are bound to happen. Here are some tips to help you get into the city and settled so you can hit the books.

Reserve Parking for your Moving Truck Early

Secure parking space for your van or truck by obtaining a street occupancy permit. The permit saves you from unwanted parking tickets, guarantees you convenient space to load/unload your vehicle, and is a valued courtesy to your neighbors.

Permits are available at City Hall, and are available during business hours (9:00 AM – 5:00PM). Start at the Transportation Department in room 721 of City Hall, and make sure to bring any parking meter-head numbers at the location and payment (check; money order; or a Visa, Mastercard, Discover debit or credit card).

Wait times are typically 15 minutes, but can push an hour or more during the summer months when everyone’s moving. Get your permit up to 2 weeks before your moving date to avoid the rush.

Moving companies

The city of Boston recommends you do your research before hiring a moving company. Moving scams are not unheard of. The city suggests keeping a list of everything you pack, and making sure you understand your contract, including payment, before signing anything.

Renting a moving truck

If you haven’t booked your truck yet, you very well may be out of luck. Truck rentals for September 1 go quickly, oftentimes months in advance. If you’re ready to spend hours on the phone looking for one, you may find one, but only if you start right away. If you have other transportation available, it may be possible to find a vehicle outside of Greater Boston. Cast a wide geographic net while making your calls.

Beware of getting ‘Storrowed’

Despite how many times we say it or plaster it on warning signs, inevitably some poor sap will peel open the top of their rental truck on one of Storrow Drive’s low bridges, scattering its contents across the roadway.

While Storrow may be the most notorious offender, Memorial Drive in Cambridge can be just as hazardous. But the Charles River roads aren’t the only places rental trucks should fear to tread. Your Google Maps or Waze apps may not know you’re in a taller vehicle. Luckily, there are specific navigation apps for trucks that will allow you to set your vehicle’s height and get a customized route that should be safe for travel. TeleType’s SmartTruckRoute app is one of them, and being based on School Street in Boston means they should have a pretty good idea how to navigate the city.

Parking

If you’re looking to reserve a parking spot for your moving truck, it must be done in advance. Monday was the deadline to obtain a permit in time for Sept. 1 so if you haven’t reserved a spot yet, you may be out of luck. The good news is that permits like these aren’t required, but be prepared to jostle for position and deal with parking tickets if you must park illegally.

If you do have a permit, it is good for two spaces between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. You must post signs on the street at least two days before moving day, and obviously you must be reserving only legal parking spaces. The whole thing will cost you just over $100.

Remember, you won’t be the only truck heading into the city this year. 907 permits were pulled for Sept. 1 this year, with another 550 for August 31.

To help facilitate a smoother move-in process, many neighborhoods have temporary parking and traffic restrictions during the week of September 1. A complete list can be found on the City of Boston’s website.

If you’re moving into a dormitory, check with your school about the move-in process. Many dorms have an organized system to get vehicles in and unloaded, and some will even provide helpful staffers and upperclassmen to help out.

Building rules

Speak to your landlord or realtor before moving to find out what moving restrictions apply to your new apartment. There is nothing worse than camping out in your moving van for five hours because you can’t begin the process of carrying that couch up the stairs until noon.

Trash and ‘Allston Christmas’

The city of Boston’s Trash Day app will let you know what day the garbage collection is in your neighborhood. It also provides customized notifications and information on recyclable materials.

One thing to watch for: bedbugs. The hitchhiking insects would love nothing more than come home with you and feast on you and your loved ones. That discarded couch or end table may look like a nice addition to your apartment, but it could easily be infested, so officials advise against taking part in the “Allston Christmas” tradition. City workers often affix bright stickers to discarded items and distribute flyers and other informational packets to students and new residents.

There isn’t anywhere in Boston that is immune to infestations, so bringing home that Beacon Hill arm chair may be just as dangerous as taking that Brighton barstool. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Other tenant issues

Both tenants and landlords in the state of Massachusetts must abide by the law. Most rental properties in Boston are required to be inspected once every five years to make sure they comply with state housing codes. The city of Boston and its Office of Housing Stability offer a litany of resources for the Boston renter. Know your rights, and your landlord’s obligations.

Boston 311 is the city’s platform to report non-emergency issues and request city services and information. Residents can ask for an apartment inspection, report improperly stored trash, or call with any questions they may have. The line open 24 hours a day, and also available via e-mail at 311@boston.gov, on Twitter @bos311, and as a smartphone app on iOS and Android.

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

Moving Summer Tips

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Moving Summer Tips

Ask any expert and they will tell you that summer is the most popular time of year to move. Moving is strenuous at the best of times, but doing so during the summer, especially if you are moving to or from a hot climate adds it’s own set of challenges. When moving in summer you’ll need to give a little bit of extra thought to logistics and how to keep cool. Here are some tips to make your move in the summer a breeze.

Plan Ahead

Summer is the prime time for moving. It’s the busiest time of the year for movers, so you’ll need to plan well in advance. The best moving companies fill up their schedule quickly and don’t have to provide competitive pricing because the demand is high. If you can, start looking for moving companies at least six to eight weeks before the date on which you wish to move. To avoid rushing around in the blazing heat, pack up your belongings several days before your move and be as organized as possible.

Do thorough research

Don’t make the mistake of researching only one or two movers and trusting them to give you the best price. They are there to make money and you might get ripped off. Talk to several different companies, get quotes from all of them, compare their rates and make a short list of the ones offering the lowest prices. Or visit Pony Express Moving to compare the available movers in your area and get a guaranteed price instead of an estimate.

Beat the Heat

When possible, it’s a good idea to book your moving company to arrive early in the morning while it is still relatively cool. Remember to stay hydrated, especially if you’re doing strenuous activity, and wear light clothing, so you don’t overheat. Heat stroke is a real danger when moving in the summer.

Move on the least busy days

The beginning and end of the month and weekends are always packed because that’s when most people move. Memorial Day weekend and the last weekend of July are especially busy. Moving companies are not willing to lower their rates on these days. But business is usually slow on weekdays since most people have to work. If you move on these days, you will usually get a better price.
If you have to move on a particular day like Friday or Saturday or the first or last day of the month, chances are, if you book last minute it won’t be easy process to find a moving company. This means that latecomers are forced to pay steeply hiked-up prices.

Take Care of Your Belongings

Certain items won’t fare very well in a hot moving truck and should be taken with you in the car, or packed extremely carefully. These items include candles which can melt in the heat and get wax all over your other items and music items, such as instruments, CDs, cassettes, and vinyl records, which could warp or get damaged under high temperatures.

Don’t let the challenges of moving summer scare you; as long as you keep on top of things and plan ahead, it won’t be a nightmare.

Moving Summer Tip: Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Request a free quote online.

Moving Plants to Your New Home

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Plants are part of what makes a house feel like a home. If you’ve spent months or years taking care of your plants, it can be hard to think about leaving them behind or giving them away when you move. Thankfully, plants can be moved – it just takes some planning.

Tips on Moving Plants

How you go about moving your plants largely depends on what kind of plants you’re dealing with. For most potted plants, the process is fairly simple. But for outdoor plants or larger indoor plants, the process is a little more complex.

Indoor Plants

Small plants are the easiest to move, since you can keep them in their current pots and simply place them in an open box for transport. It’s a good idea to stuff the gaps in the box with paper to prevent the plants from moving around too much when you’re on the move.

Keep in mind that many moving companies can’t transport plants, so it’s best to plan to move them in a separate vehicle with you. This is also best for the plants since you can try to regulate the temperature and keep them happy during the move.

Larger houseplants may need to be trimmed or pruned first before you move them. If it’s cold out on moving day, wrap your plants in newspaper first to protect them and keep them warm. Many plants are quite sensitive to temperature changes, so you want to keep them as stable as possible.

If you’re moving a longer distance with plants in your car, you’ll need to take care of them along the way. Treat them as you would your pets; bring them inside with you if you’re stopping overnight. Don’t leave them in the car – if it gets too hot or too cold, the plants could get damaged. If you’re worried about transporting them on your own, you can also pay to have your plants shipped, but this can be expensive. You may be better off not moving them if you’ve got a long way to travel.

Outdoor Plants

Outdoor plants can be a little trickier to move, so you should consider this before you start the process. It may be easier to leave certain plants behind if the process is going to be too complex.

Before you move larger plants, it’s a good idea to trim them back. This makes them easier to move and can help with regrowth when you plant them again at your new place. They should also be watered well before you begin the process, in order to make sure the roots and soil stay moist during the move. Next, you’ll want to dig up your plants, making sure to leave lots of dirt around the roots and keeping as much of the root as possible.

For smaller plants, the roots and dirt can be placed in paper bags – this is better than plastic because it allows the plants to breathe. For larger plants trees, and shrubs, the root ball should be wrapped in burlap to hold everything together. Plants can stay wrapped like this for a few weeks as long as they are kept watered and don’t get too hot, so you can do this prep work ahead of time.

Make sure to keep them in the shade during the move, as plants can be quite sensitive to temperature changes. Once you get to your new home, you’ll want to replant everything as soon as possible. Keep in mind that they may take some time to adjust to the new soil after you plant them again, so they might not immediately look as luscious as they once did. But with time and care, they’ll be happy and flourishing in their new home!

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Request a free quote online.

Moving Out of Your College Dorm

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Most moves you undergo in your life come with a lot of preparation time. You have plenty of time to pack, choose your method of transportation, and plan the process. But moves after graduation or for summer vacation often don’t come with the same conveniences.

Whether you need to leave your dorm or apartment at the end of the term or the end of your undergraduate career, leaving your dorm can come with both emotional and logistical complications.

Use the six tips below to simplify the trip away from your school dorm and toward your home or future.

1. Start the Process Early

Between exam preparation and final project completion, you don’t have a lot of time at the end of a school term. And while it might feel like you left most of your belongings at your parents’ or in a storage unit, you may be surprised at how much stuff you have with you when you begin packing.

Start by packing up your seasonal clothing and decorations. Then move on to items you don’t use every day.

2. Clean As You Go

You may dread cleaning checks (and put off completing them until the last possible moment), but they provide good practice for moving out. Make a sincere effort to clean more than you typically do for at least the last month of the term.

As you work on sorting and packing, clean every area you empty. Once you clear the space under your bed, shift it and vacuum thoroughly. When you remove your dishes from the cupboards, wipe the surfaces down.

These small cleaning tasks ensure that you won’t have to spend time complying with cleaning requirements the day before you leave.

3. Sort Your Belongings

Packing can feel intimidating, but it will only feel more so the longer you avoid it. To make the process seem less overwhelming, sort your possessions before you begin to really pack.

You can create more piles as needed, but start with these general categories:

  • Items you’ll use: Think about the clothing, books, and other belongings you actually use when school isn’t in session. Wait to pack these items until you’ve taken care of everything else.
  • Items you need but won’t use: These items may include winter clothes, textbooks, and seasonal decorations. Pack these belongings early to ensure you find a place, such as a storage unit, to keep them. Then you won’t have to drag them around with you.
  • Items you don’t use: What do you own that you never touch? If you can donate or throw out these items, you’ll have less to worry about during your move.

Grouping your belongings as you pack simplifies and streamlines the process, so don’t forget this step.

4. Divide Your Move Into Parts

In addition to separating your possessions according to their use, divide the move itself into multiple events if you can. As you begin to fill boxes, ship them or place them in storage. It’s harder to clean a room full of boxes than an empty dorm space.

If you live near the home you’ll stay at during the off season, take your packed belongings with you when you make visits. Using this method decreases the amount of stuff you have to transport on the last day of the term.

5. Pack With What’s Convenient

While you have to protect breakable items in transit, most of your belongings will survive non-traditional packing materials. Start by collecting the packing supplies you already have, which may include the following:

  • Garbage bags
  • Food boxes and other cardboard containers
  • Laundry baskets or hampers
  • Purses and/or backpacks
  • Suitcases and travel bags

As you pack, use these containers wisely. Wrap fragile items in clothing or household linens and place them in solid containers, like shoe boxes. Pack heavy objects in smaller containers, like purses, to ensure that you and your helpers can easily lift each package.

6. Use Your Resources

Packing for an out-of-dorm move can quickly become frustrating. During each step of the process, remember to take advantage of your resources.

People you know, both on and off campus, may represent your most valuable resources. They can help with any of the following:

  • Heavy lifting: You may have a hard time moving all your possessions out of your dorm room on your own. To simplify the process, enlist the help of athletes you know, your parents or siblings, or your roommates.
  • Packing materials: If you don’t have enough packing materials, ask for help from your dorm mates, resident adviser, roommates or local stores.
  • Transportation: If you don’t have a car of your own, you probably know exactly who does. Stay in these folks’ good graces so you’ll have an easier time of moving your belongings from place to place.

When you enlist the help of family and friends, moving out of your dorm or college apartment becomes an easier process.

You’ll have plenty of things to do in the lead up to graduation or summer vacation. But by following these tips, you can ensure that your trip away from your temporary home goes as smoothly as possible.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Request a free quote online.