Category Archives: What Not To Move

Top 10 Damaged Items When Moving & How to Protect Them

Protect your precious belongings and make your move a smooth one!

 

If you are moving this season, we want to help you protect your precious belongings and make your move a smooth one!

Before you start to pack, make a game plan. Which of your items are fragile? What will you need to pack them? We’ve seen some folks pack themselves so, unfortunately, we know which household items are most likely to break and typically aren’t packed properly. We have compiled a list of the top 10 items damaged when moving. It’s surprising what items make the list. Not only have we complied the most breakable list, we’ve included tips on how to protect them properly so you can “break” this pattern.

1. Drinking Glasses

It is no surprise glasses are the #1 breakable. But, with simple steps you can ensure they arrive in one piece.

Protect: One of the key factors to keeping your glasses and wine glasses from breaking or getting crushed is using the proper box. Use a “dishpack” box that  has double thick walls for extra protection. Place a glass on packing paper horizontally. Grab a corner of the packing paper and roll the glass into the paper. Make sure to tuck the sides of the paper in, like you would do wrapping a burrito. Repeat 3-5 times (depending on thickness of glass) with more sheets of packing paper. Make sure to label your glass burrito: “Wine Glass” so it won’t get tossed aside with the packing paper during the unpacking process. Cushion the bottom of box with crumpled packing paper. Place the wrapped glasses vertically (yes, you read that correctly: VERTICALLY) in one layer in the box. They are much more secure vertically. After completing the first layer, place packing paper on top. Repeat these layers until the box is full. Fill all remaining space with crumpled packing paper.

2. Plates

The biggest moving crime — plates are often placed in boxes without enough packing paper. You don’t want to hear the dishes rattle in the box!

Protect: To keep plates from breaking, first wrap each plate in packing paper. Repeat 3-5 times with more sheets of packing paper until the plate is properly secured & cushioned. Label your little plate package: “Plate.” Again, use a secure dishpack box. Always, use plenty of tape on the bottom and tops of every moving box, just don’t use one strip of tape, use multiple strips and run the tape both directions to make sure that box is secure. Before placing any of the wrapped plates in the box, cushion the bottom of box with crippled packing paper. Then place the wrapped plates VERTICALLY in one layer in the box. After completing one layer, place packing paper on top. Repeat these layers until the box is full. Once the box is full, fill any remaining space with crumpled packing paper.

3. Artwork

Glass artwork often breaks because there is not enough cushioning in the moving box and the top of the box is left with a gap. The top of the box then collapses and the piece of art breaks.

Protect: To protect artwork from breaking use a picture box. Line the bottom of  the box with crumpled paper. Place the glass art in the box, then stuff front, back and along the top with paper and or eco-bubble wrap. You want to be sure the box is completed packed with paper (top, bottom and sides) with no air gaps.

4. Lamp Shades

Lamp shades are an awkward shape and large, making it difficult to pack. If not packed properly, they can easily be dented or torn.

Protect: Wrap the lamp shade in eco-bubble wrap, covering every inch. Then fill the interior cavity of the lamp shade with packing paper (do not use newspaper as the print may rub off onto your lamp shade). Fill the box with enough packing paper to keep the shade from shifting around inside. Do not place anything on top of the shade, not even soft items such as linens. Use only packing paper to secure the lamp shade from shifting.

5. Liquid Cleaning Supplies

Many times homeowners pack bottles of liquid cleaning supplies without sealing them properly. This causes leaks and damages things inside and outside of the box. Do not pack or move flammable supplies!

Protect: First, remove the cap from each bottle and place a small piece of plastic wrap over the opening. Then tightly screw the cap back on. Use tape again to secure the cap to the bottle. Begin placing the cleaning products in a small book size box and check the weight as you go. You don’t want to pack the box too heavy. When the box is full and not too heavy, place packing paper all around the bottles to keep them from shifting. And, this is important, remember on every box be sure to use more than one strip of tape on the bottom and top of the box and run the tape in multiple directions. When a box is not taped properly, boxes can open at the bottom and spill on the floor. Always, label every box with its contents, room in the new home where the box should go and directional arrows pointing up. Repeat the label on each and every side of the box. You will hate us for this tip while you’re writing and rewriting the same thing over and over again and love us later when you have stacks of boxes and don’t have to turn boxes around to find out what’s what.

 6. Wine & Liquor Bottles:

Again these bottles can easily leak or break, and damage items in and outside of the box.

Protect: Use a divided/cell box you can get free from a specialty wine shop or liquor store, or purchase a cell kit from a moving store. Use smaller boxes so they are easy to lift and carry. Again, be sure you double and even triple tape the bottom of the box. If you’re packing opened bottles, ensure they are properly sealed by tightening the caps. Tape the caps on to the bottles. Roll each bottle in packing paper with 3-4 layers of paper. Secure the wrapping with tape and make sure there are no loose ends. Label the bottle: “Bordeaux.” Finally, place the bottle into the box. If there’s any space or gaps between the bottle and the divider, fill it with paper. Make sure the box is not too heavy.

7. Mirrors

The big mistake with mirrors is that people pack them in picture boxes without any eco-bubble around the mirror. If the front of the mirror faces the wall of the box without protection, it will break.

Protect: Use a flat box or have your movers pack the mirrors in a custom wood crate to provide extra protection. If you’re doing the packing, line the flat box with crushed packing paper to create a padded bed for the mirror. Wrap the mirror completely in multiple sheets of paper or eco-bubble. Tape the wrapping tightly around the mirror and place the mirror in the box. Fill any gaps with more crumpled paper. Only pack one mirror to a box.

8. Glass Pictures

Glass picture frames are easily broken if not packed in the right box. We want to keep those precious memories in one piece!

Protect: Use a picture box. Line the bottom of box with crumpled packing paper. Wrap each picture frame in packing paper or eco-bubble and pack each frame in the box vertically. Stuff packing paper in between each picture and on top, making sure nothing will shift.

9. Stereo & Audio Equipment:

The reason stereo and audio equipment gets damaged is folks stack a few components in the same box and they do not put any layers of padding in-between the pieces of equipment.

Protect: If possible, pack your stereo equipment in their original cartons. If you did not keep their original boxes, use a dishpak box. Remember, dishpaks are specially designed boxes to handle and protect fragile items. If you can’t find dishpaks, use double corrugated boxes. After double taping the bottom of the box in the both directions, pack the bottom of each box with crumbled packing paper for padding. Wrap each electronic component separately in eco-bubble. Pull the wrap over and tape it all together. Make sure the item is completely covered. Place it up right, vertically in the box. Repeat this process for the next big item then place it vertically in the box next to the first item. Do not stack! Stuff packing paper in open spaces and on top for extra cushion.

10. Books:

This one is a surprising one, but if books are packed improperly they can actually get damaged. When books are placed too tight together the edges get folded and covers get damaged. Also, if books are packed with too many air pockets/gaps inside the box they can shift during transportation and get damaged (smashed corners, wrinkled covers, etc).

Protect: Use a book box. Place books flat, horizontally and stack them with the heaviest books on the bottom and the paperback books on top. Be sure not to make the box too heavy. Pack paper on top and sides if there are any air gaps.

With these steps your move will be unbreakable! Remember, you can always do some of the packing yourself and leave the rest to the professionals. #cbrmr

Say “Bye” Before “Buy”

Moving homes is not only emotionally taxing, but the physical task of hauling all your belongings from one place to another is just downright exhuasting. Have a look at the following decluttering directions, whether you’re thinking of making a move soon, or simply want to get a jump of your spring-cleaning.

Recognize that going through your belongings and sorting them into “keep” versus “sell/donate/toss” piles always takes longer than you think it will. If you’re planning to sell items, whether via a garage sale or online, you’ll also need to give yourself time to not only set the items aside and price them properly, but (if selling online) coordinate pickups and deliveries too. Even if you’re planning to donate much of your extra furniture and belongings, some charities require a week or two notice to schedule pickups.

Besides items that won’t fit into your new place or that you simply won’t need in your new home, what else probably isn’t worth making the effort to move?

Consider your major appliances — your washer, dryer, fridge, stove and dishwasher. How old are they? Appliances are big, heavy and awkward to move, and may not be worth the cost to move if they’ve already given you a number of years of service. New appliances that can be delivered directly to your new home by the retailer make for an easier move and, with most of today’s models built to more energy efficient standards, you can probably justify the immediate upfront cost of new appliances with a future of lower long-term operating costs.

Furniture is also a major moving concern, so before you base the size of your moving truck on every last stick of it, have a good look around to contemplate what’s really worth brining with you. Many households still have their “starter” furniture floating around. While your older furniture may have some sentimental value, you may want to weigh in objectively about its remaining life, and in fact if it might even be worse for wear at the end of your move. The same goes for well-used furniture that blends with your current surroundings, but may look shabby or out of place in your new environment.

Take everything out of your closet, set aside the clothes and footwear you use the most, then purge or donate the items that either don’t fit anymore or that you simply don’t wear. The same goes for children’s toys that they’ve outgrown or don’t play with anymore. It’s not an easy task — it’s difficult getting rid of “pretty good” stuff — but by donating it you should feel good that somebody, somewhere, is going to liberate those items from a dark closet to enjoy and appreciate!

The benefits of downsizing your belongings are many, from simply having less to move — and therefore less to have to pay movers to move — to getting extra cash in your pocket to buy new things for your new place, to an emotional lightening of the pressures of moving! #cbrmr

Moving On Down

PhotoMoving to a smaller home, especially from the larger one you’ve lived in for a number of years, can be stressful. But in many ways, eliminating clutter and starting fresh can be extremely therapeutic too. Here are some tips to ease some of the stress of downsizing:

1. Determine your essentials. You might feel overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the move, but making a list of the bare-bones essentials for your new place will give you a tangible guideline of what you should keep versus what to bid farewell to.

2. Give yourself time. Months before you know you’ll be moving, tackle one room at a time and start purging — throwing out or donating the things you know won’t fit or be used in your new place.

3. Get some help. Whether it’s trusted friends and relatives or a professional organizer, bouncing “should I keep this or let it go” decisions off someone else can be reassuring.

4. Consider storage. Ideally you’ll either pack up or get rid of everything you don’t need before your move, but if moving day is almost here and you still have some possessions with a big question mark on them — perhaps items with sentimental value — you may want to secure an affordable, short-term storage unit to house them in until after your move, when you have time to think it through.

Remember that your real estate sales representative has been through this process many times, and is therefore an excellent resource for all your packing and moving questions.

9 Tips for Living a (Semi-)Normal Life While Your Home Is Being Shown

Preparation, routine and treats help you make the house you’re selling presentable at a moment’s notice

Selling your house? Those frequent showings can be a real hassle. You know it’s worth it to do your best to accommodate them, but that doesn’t make it any easier! Here are tips to make keeping your house ready to show to prospective buyers more doable, plus a handy checklist of what to remember before you clear out each time — from someone who’s been through the process (and lived to tell the tale).

Traditional white
1. Treat yourself to fresh flowers and other goodies. A bouquet of flowers, a bowl of fresh fruit, the “fancy” soap: These things make your home look extra lovely for potential buyers, but (here’s the secret) they make your daily life a bit better as well. So go ahead and splurge a little — you (and your house) deserve it.

Budget tip: Make a grocery store bouquet go further by snipping a few blooms short and plunking them in bud vases for the bathroom vanity and bedside tables. Or, for a longer-lasting alternative, consider setting out a few small potted succulents and a bowl of bright lemons.

City Loft Apartment
2. Make a pre-showing checklist. It’s easy to forget things in the rush to get out the door before the real estate agents show your house. A checklist that you can reference each time will ensure that your home is putting its best face forward for potential buyers. And remember, if you have a large household, you may not always be the last one to leave before a showing, so it’s important that everyone’s on the same page and knows what to do.

Since you probably don’t want this checklist on display, consider keeping it on your phone instead. Here are some items to include:

  • Dishes washed and put away
  • Kitchen counters and table wiped down
  • Dirty clothes in hampers with lids on
  • Bathroom sink and mirror wiped clean and toilet seats down
  • Hair removed from shower (eww!)
  • Toys put away in baskets and bins
  • Coffee table cleared and clean
  • Entry cleared of shoes and personal items
  • Window shades open
Bedroom Renovation

3. Make your bed as soon as you wake up. If you’re not in the habit of making your bed every morning, you may want to start now, so you don’t have to worry about it if the real estate agent calls to request a last-second showing. If you have kids, be sure they make their beds in the morning too.

4. Hide laundry in a lidded hamper. An open hamper filled with dirty laundry isn’t the sort of thing you want prospective buyers to be greeted with in your bedroom, right? Get a hamper with a lid to conceal the whole rumpled mess instead. (In a pinch, you can use a storage bench.)

City Loft Apartment
5. Put nightstand drawers to work. After making your bed, be sure to tuck out of sight any odds and ends that have accumulated around your nightstand, such as magazines, hand cream and jewelry. If your nightstand doesn’t have drawers, keep a lidded box under the bed or atop the dresser, and stash your stuff in there before leaving for the day.
Family Terrace - Melbourne

6. Simplify children’s rooms. If it’s too difficult or takes too long, putting away toys in your child’s room before showings will become a headache for all involved. My advice it to pack many of them in boxes or bins and tuck them in a closet or storage area, leaving only ones that fit easily within your current toy storage. This way, even if all those toys were strewn over the floor, it wouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes to get the room looking presentable again.

Main Bathroom

7. Stash cleaning wipes in the bathroom. I tend to choose reusable microfiber cloths for normal everyday cleaning, but when you’re selling your house, things are decidedly not normal. I found it incredibly helpful to have a pack of cleaning wipes within reach for wiping down the sink, faucets and around the toilet. Then you can just toss the wipe in the wastebasket and walk away.

Contemporary Bathroom Mix

8. Keep a spare stack of fresh towels on hand. A neatly folded stack of fluffy white towels can make any bathroom look instantly fresher, cleaner and more spa-like. While selling our house, I kept a few new white towels folded in the cupboard and put them out before showings. It sounds fussy, but it was actually less stressful than worrying about whether the towels were clean all the time. And we got to enjoy using those nice towels after the house sold!

Colorful Family Home

9. When in doubt, add more baskets. Honestly, it’s so easy to scoop stray items into baskets and close the lids, you’ll be glad to have a few extras. Big baskets are great for clothes, blankets and toys, while small baskets and lidded boxes work well for papers, magazines and random assorted clutter.

 

 

 

6 Quick Tips to Downsizing Your Home

Thinking of downsizing? These tips will help you get organized and ready for the big move.

Guest Post by Andrea Davis

Downsizing is a big step for any homeowner. If you’re considering moving to a smaller home, deciding what stays and what goes is difficult. Use these six tips to help you cut the clutter before your big move.

1. Make a must-keep list

Deciding what to keep is the toughest part of downsizing. Begin by making a list of must-have items. Organize your most cherished possessions first and throw away everything else.

2. Get an early start

Begin downsizing at least three months before your move. Take a little time each day to clean out a drawer or a closet. Or, dedicate one morning per week to larger areas like attics and basements. Parting with possessions is physically and emotionally draining. Throwing away items is less intimidating when it’s broken up into manageable pieces.

3. Know your measurements

Make sure to measure your cabinet and closet space before you move in. You can use these measurements as a guide when deciding what to keep.

4. Tackle the easy tasks first

Begin your downsizing in less sentimental areas of your home. Your kitchen and garage collect lots of junk that’s easy to throw away. But, don’t be too hasty. Carefully consider lawnmowers, power tools and specialty cooking equipment before you part ways.

5. Take photos

Take pictures of your belongings before you begin your move. Documenting your home is a tactic that’s helpful for children who have a hard time saying goodbye to certain toys or stuffed animals.

6. Hire a professional organizer

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of lightening your load, enlist the help of aprofessional organizer. Some organizers specialize in helping homeowners transition into smaller spaces. These specialty movers have experience with the emotional and logistical challenges of downsizing.

Conclusion

Downsizing is a big project, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. You may not be able to keep everything you own, but you can hang on to the things that matter most to you. With careful planning and these helpful tips, adapting to your new lifestyle will be no problem.

 

Don’t Pack These Items Up When You Move Into A New Home

From medications to plants, here is a list of items you need to put some extra thought into for your packing strategy.

Guest Post by NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm

You have gone through the packing drills: Boxes? check; Tape? check; Precise type of boxes? check. Ready, set, go! Start packing! Wait a second! Hold it! Before you pack every tea cup and toy car in your home; take a break and step back. There are some items  you should first set aside; these items should not be packed. Certain valuables should always be kept close to you during a move, other items can be dangerous and some items simply should be left to the pros to pack to prevent injury and breakage.

Here are some of the items NOT to pack and move with the rest of your belongings:

1. Treasures: Money, securities, valuable papers and jewelry – Keep your treasures with you. If they are already tucked securely in a safe deposit box in the bank, don’t forget to get a new safe deposit box close to your new home and transfer the items there before your move.

2. Flammables: Items such as aerosol cans, paints, and gasoline – Ask the local hazardous waste organization in your community how to dispose of these items properly. The local fire department can point you in the right direction.

3. Perishable Items: Frozen foods and produce – You can donate food to your local food bank. Move for Hunger is a great organization for linking you to a food bank near you. Or, have a very eclectic left over dinner: ice cream and frozen waffles, anyone?

4. Plants & Flowers: Some states don’t allow plants to cross state lines so a moving company won’t be able to transport them for you. Moving locally? Way in advance of moving day: Ask the moving company if they can move plants. Can they move them in one day or  would you be better off moving your green friends yourself? You don’t want those plants in the dark without water too long!

5. Soaps & Polishes: Check with the water department and fire department on proper disposal.

6. Medications: Speak to your pharmacist, get your prescriptions transferred to your new home and find out how to transport them What Not To Movesafely. Don’t forget your pet’s medications too. Talk to your vet and get those records and prescriptions transferred to your new home.

7. Explosives: Have guns, firearms, fireworks, explosives, or toxic substances? Check moving details with your local police department. Many cities have a no question asked turn in your firearms policy. Don’t under any circumstances leave them unattended. Children get very curious during a move and the last thing you would want on moving day is a horrible accident.

8. Family: Children, special need individuals, elderly family members and pets including fish and reptiles – Now, I know you aren’t packing these loved ones! BUT it is very important to make sure they all have a safe, cool and have a secure place to be on moving day, away from all of the boxes, commotion and movers. Make those arrangements way in advance of moving day and make sure everyone knows where everyone is going during the moving process.

The Ultimate Lifesaver Packing Tip:  Items you want to have easily accessible and close by your side on moving day be sure to pack a suitcase for each family member so everyone has their pjs, a change of clothes, phone/computer chargers, toothbrush, toothpaste, meds and favorite teddy bear. Also, make sure each family pet is microchipped, tagged and has a backpack full of food, meds, treats and toys to keep them settled where ever they will be babysat during the move. If you’re moving a long distance, make sure each family member has enough to get them through until the moving van rolls up to the new home. Really, you don’t want anyone to start that new school or job in their polka dotted pjs!