• Mistakes to Avoid When Moving with Kids

    by Jackie Heath | Aug 26, 2014

    Moving with childrenMoving with a family in tow is never an easy task. Regardless of whether your children are toddlers in need of constant supervision or teenagers struggling with the idea of relocating to a new school, moving with kids means you’ll need to pay extra attention to the details.

    Here are the top five pitfalls you’ll want to avoid as you prepare to make the transition.

    1. Moving in the Middle of the School Year: For many families, there is no choice in deciding when to make a move. Changes of employment, your financial situation, and other contributing factors might force you to move just as school is getting under way or when there are only a few months to go before summer. However, your child is much more likely to transition better if you move during a break. If you can’t time your move for summer vacation, shoot for spring break or even the winter holidays instead.
     
    2. Forcing them to Donate or Throw Away their Toys: Yes, it would be substantially easier to move if you didn’t have to bring along all fifty of your child’s stuffed animals. And yes, it doesn’t make sense to roll up and pack posters that are so worn they’re being held together by duct tape. However, you should do your best to allow your child the freedom of choice when it comes to his or her belongings. Emotional attachments to possessions can help bring comfort to your little ones—especially when they find themselves in an unfamiliar (and potentially scary) setting.

    3. Offering Bribes
    : Okay, okay—in some cases, a bribe is a good idea. Go ahead and offer a trip to an amusement park in your new city as an incentive to move or let your child personally choose the color of his or her new room. These types of “bribes” can help your child feel more empowered over the move and excited about upcoming events. Just don’t let this kind of dangling bait take the place of an honest discussion about their fears and anxieties.

    4. Withholding Information: No matter what your child’s age, it’s best to adhere to a policy of honesty. Tell them when you’ll be moving, why you’ll be moving, and what they can expect from the process. Give them plenty of time to process the information and make advance arrangements for saying goodbye to their friends.

    5. Treating the Move as No Big Deal: Even if you’re just moving across town or downsizing to a smaller house in the same neighborhood, it’s important to treat your move as the monumental life change it really is. Children often feel deep attachments to their homes and routines, and upsetting this can have a long-term effect on their emotional well-being. Highlight the positive and make moving fun, but also know that your child may need additional support in the days, weeks, or even months that follow. 
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  • Ask Allied: What is My Role on Unloading Day?

    by Jackie Heath | Aug 22, 2014
    What to do on unloading dayWhen the moving van arrives and your crew begins unpacking and unloading, it can be difficult to know what your role is. In order to make the most of your moving crew and ensure that your home is set up exactly the way you want it, here are a few tips for what you can do to help.

    1. Know what you signed up for
    . Are your movers doing a full unpack for you, or did you only hire them for unloading? Unloading means the movers will take the boxes and furniture from the van and put them in the rooms labeled on the boxes. Unpacking typically involves the movers opening the boxes, putting items away, and carrying out the cardboard and packing materials when they leave.

    2. Have a place for the large furniture pieces. The more prepared you are for the movers, the better your unpacking process will go. Know where you’d like the large pieces of furniture to go and keep that area clear until everything is in place.

    3. Keep a tool set handy. As your movers put furniture in place and reassemble the pieces (attaching table legs, assembling shelves, etc.), be prepared to supply any necessary specialty tools. Although our staff is equipped with the basics, it’s always good to have a backup set in case we don’t have the right size.

    4. Check the inventory list. One great advantage to having Allied movers unpack for you is that you can check items off the inventory list as you go. If you want to double check to make sure everything is in place, now’s the best time to do it.

    5. Be available to answer questions. If you planned appropriately, the boxes and furniture will be labeled so that the movers know exactly where to take them. While it’s best not to hover and get in the movers way while they work, it’s also important to be on hand if there are questions about where items need to go.

    6. Keep kids and pets out of the way. Just as you did with packing day, it’s a good idea to have a plan for your little ones and animals during unpacking day. Doors will be open and our team will be coming and going, so have a plan to keep all your loved ones safe.

    The last thing you can do to help out is expect there to be errors. No one knows your home as well as you do, and our movers will never be able to determine exactly how you like your kitchen set up or your board games organized. Offer guidance but don’t be upset if your crew miss a few steps—we’ll be happy to go back and fix things to your specifications once the boxes are open and the packing supplies cleared away!

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  • Most Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

    by Jackie Heath | Aug 21, 2014

    first time home buyersBuying a home is one of those things that is fraught with potential disaster. No other time in your life will you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single item—and no other time will you be forced to face your mistakes every day, should you make the wrong choice.

    The best way to enjoy a good move is to know that the home you’ve chosen is the right one. Here are a few common home buying mistakes it’s best to look out for before you sign the paperwork and get the moving van all lined up and ready to go.

    > Spending Too Much Money: There are countless financial guides to buying a home out there, and all of them say the same thing—don’t buy more house than you can afford. A dream home is more than an expensive residence in a good neighborhood. It’s a place where you feel safe and comfortable and confident in your family’s future.
    > Overestimating Your Home Improvement Skills/Time
    : An empty house seems easy to repair and improve, but consider what it means to actually live in a home you’re continually working on. A fixer-upper can be a great way to save money on a house, but be realistic about what you’re able to do on your own and how much time and space you’ll be able to give over to the project.

    > Refusing to Compromise
    : You have your list of requirements. You know what you want out of a home and will settle for nothing less. Good for you for going after your dream. However, don’t be so set in your ways that you refuse to see the good in each home. Sometimes, it’s worth sacrificing that third bathroom or the walk-in closet to find a space where you can put down roots. Square footage is hard to change, but the details can come and go over the years.

    > Falling in Love with the Staging
    : We all know that selling a home is a tough business, and homeowners will pull out all the stops to make it happen. They’ll slap on a new coat of paint and hire someone to maximize the space with the perfect furnishings. They’ll touch up the yard and bake cookies to add a home-like feel. Make sure that what you love about a home isn’t the way the curtains hang or how nice the landscaping looks in full bloom. Look instead at the home’s bones and structure—that’s where the real value lies.

    >
    Not Taking the Future into Account: Will you be having kids someday? Are you hoping to pare down your lifestyle and live more simply? Is it possible you’ll change jobs in the future (and change incomes to go along with it)? Always look at the long-term effects of buying a home. Consider your needs, five, ten, or even thirty years from now—you might be surprised at what you consider truly “essential” over a lifetime.

    You should also always work with a real estate agent or broker you trust. Working with professionals you know will exert an effort on your behalf and ensure a good experience is a must—regardless of if you’re buying the house or getting ready to make the move to it.

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  • Most Common Packing Mistakes to Avoid

    by Jackie Heath | Aug 19, 2014
    Common packing mistakes to avoidMaking a mistake when you’re packing up your house for a move could end up being more damaging and costly than you might realize. Not only do you run the risk of damaging your personal items (many of which are irreplaceable or have personal value), but you can also end up hurting yourself physically.

    Take good care of your stuff—and yourself—by avoiding these common packing mistakes.

    > Packing Heavy Items in Large Boxes: It makes sense, right? Small items go in small boxes, large items go in large ones. Unfortunately, this rarely works out well in the end. No box, no matter what its size, should weigh more than 50 pounds. Any heavier, and you risk breaking the box, damaging the item, and putting too much strain on your back.

    > Not Purchasing New Boxes/Packing Supplies
    : You may be able to save money by using newspaper and old boxes from your basement rather than buying packing supplies, but it will probably end up costing you more in the end. Cardboard loses its durability with time and excessive use, and nothing will ever beat the safety of bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Inquire with your mover on new, specialized moving supply kits that specifically fit your needs.

    > Ignoring Specialty Items:
    A refrigerator isn’t packed the same way as a television. Books should be treated differently than kitchen utensils. Everything you move has its own requirements and restrictions, and it’s important to know what these are. Consult a packing guide before you start getting things ready and ensure you have the right materials for each job.

    > Moving Items You Don’t Need:
    Nothing wastes your time and money more than packing up items you don’t end up keeping. Decide ahead of time if you really want to keep that old couch or box of trophies. Hold a garage sale or give everything away to a local charity. Moving only the items you know you’ll end up using can save you quite a bit of time and money in the end.

    > Putting it Off Until the Last Moment: It’s an almost universal rule—packing will take you about three times longer than you think it will. Start early, work a little bit every day, and clean as you go. Saving everything until the last few days before a move is likely to increase your chances of making a mistake, cutting corners or forgetting something.

    Another good rule of thumb is to avoid doing all the moving yourself. This is one time in your life where it’s perfectly okay to ask for help and to accept what is offered from others. If you don’t hire a moving company, consider asking friends and family members to pitch in. Moving an entire household takes quite a bit of time and planning, and doing it on your own can make things overwhelming and lead to injuries.

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  • Ask Allied: What Supplies Do I Need for Packing?

    by Jackie Heath | Aug 14, 2014

    what packing supplies do i needPacking is by far the most frustrating part of moving to a new home. When you’ve lived in one area for a long time, possessions have a way of piling up, and getting them from point A to point B is a long process. That’s why it’s a good idea to start early. If you’ll be doing the packing yourself this time around, here’s a list of what packing supplies you’ll need and how to go about getting them.

    1. Make a survey of your belongings. You’ll most likely want a master inventory list for your move anyway (to ensure that you don’t forget anything), so take a moment to walk through each room in your house and list the contents. You don’t need to count every fork or book, but having a good sense of how much stuff you’ll be moving is good for purchasing the right amount of supplies.

    2. Overestimate
    . Most families underestimate how many packing supplies they’ll need. Save yourself several trips to the store by recognizing early on that you’ll most likely need more boxes, extra packing tape, and enough bubble wrap to send someone to the moon.

    3. Start with the basics.
    There are a few key items everyone preparing for a move needs. These include:
    > Boxes (of varying sizes)
    > Packing tape
    > Large trash bags
    > Bubble wrap (you can use crumpled up newspaper for many of your valuables, but make sure you have bubble wrap for large electronics like your television)
    > Stretch wrap
    > Newspaper/brown paper rolls or packing paper
    > Scissors
    > Box cutter/knife
    > Safety gloves
    > Permanent markers (in black or colored if you want to color-coordinate your packing list)
    > Labels

    4. Buy specialty boxes. When it comes to packing up and moving, no two boxes are created equally. These days, there are special boxes for just about every piece of furniture in your house. Depending on what you’re moving, you may want to look into:
    > Wardrobe boxes
    > Mirror/painting boxes (also known as telescoping boxes)
    > Dish packs
    > Dish barrel boxes
    > Mattress boxes

    5. Exercise caution. A good rule of thumb when packing up your home is to make sure no box weighs more than 50 pounds (with the exception of large items). Any heavier, and you risk not only injury, but the box breaking down, as well. It’s better to have multiple smaller boxes than a few large ones.

    Don’t forget to take regular breaks as you go. While it’s possible to pack up an entire house in one day, it usually takes an entire team of movers to make it happen. When you’re on your own, start early, work as you go, and always make sure you’re using quality supplies that will hold up all the way across the state (or the country) when it comes time for moving day.

    Go comment!
Allied Van Lines, Inc.
MC 15735 U.S. DOT No.076235
Texas intrastate moves are hauled under the authority of Allied Van Lines, Inc., DMV No 7143; Texas DMV Phone No. 1-888-368-4689
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