• Ask Allied: What Items Need Specialty Packing?

    by Jackie Heath | Oct 29, 2014

    AskAllied_PackingWhen it comes to your belongings, it’s important that you take the right packing steps to ensure their safety. Don’t cut corners by relying on sheets, blankets, and old boxes to get the job done. While these types of items can be used in a pinch, they aren’t designed for heavy duty usage and might result in a precious heirloom being ruined.

    Many of your more expensive items (televisions and framed artwork, for example) need special boxes and padding in order to avoid damages—especially if you’ll be moving long distances. Here are a few items that really do need a special approach.

    > Framed Artwork: Any breakable, flat rectangle should be packed in a mirror box (or picture box). Items like mirrors, framed paintings, and marble and glass tabletops fall under this category. In most cases, your moving team will apply special removable tape in an x pattern across the breakable surface (to keep pieces in place in case of an accident). From there, they will be wrapped in secure packing and placed in a telescoping box. These boxes allow for several layers of protection without damaging the item in question.

    > Rugs: Ideally, you should have your rugs professionally cleaned (and well dried and aired) before the move to reduce the chances of any potential mold or mildew growth. They are then rolled up and secured with zip ties or rope to allow them to keep their shape (which means it can’t be too tight to distort the fabric, but not so loose that it takes up too much space). Plastic and/or paper wrapping will prevent the rug from being damaged on the road.

    > Mattresses: The type of mattress you have will dictate how it is packed and moved. Traditional mattresses have specialty bags that keep them secure while also providing proper ventilation to prevent mildew growth. Memory foam mattresses can actually be compressed to allow for much more portability and safe transport. Specialty boxes exist to condense these mattresses without damaging the inside layers.

    > Television: If you still have your television’s original box and packaging, we can use that to ensure the TV is in the perfect sized box. If not, we can duplicate the size and also ensure that we use proper foam inserts to protect against sliding. This is especially important for larger, flat-screen televisions, as even the slightest damage to the screen can ruin the pixels.

    > Chairs and Tables: When it comes to moving anything with legs, you want to ensure you have the right kind of bubble wrap to prevent nicks and scrapes. Wrapping the legs of chairs, tables, and other items will keep them from banging against other items. After the legs are wrapped, we typically move on to cover the rest of the table to ensure its safe transition.

    Any item that is larger, more expensive, or oddly shaped is likely to need a special box or packing approach. Always be sure and ask your movers about any items you are worried about or think might need additional care.

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  • How to Prepare for a Fall Move

    by Jackie Heath | Oct 22, 2014

    Moving SuppliesAlthough the majority of families pack up and move their things in the summer, we’d like to let you in on a little secret: fall is the most ideal time to move. With cooler temperatures, less road traffic, and not as many people scheduled for our services, fall means you can not only enjoy a less harried move, but you might also be able to find great pricing deals

    As the leaves start to change and boxes fill your homes, we suggest you take advantage of your fall move with these tips.

     > Be Ready to Move Fast: When you move in the summer, there are usually longer wait times and a need to book several months in advance. This isn’t always true in the fall. We may be able to get out to your home and start packing you up much sooner than you think. Although we can always schedule your move a few months out if that’s what you need, we might also be able to get you on the road right away.

    > Protect Against the Weather: Depending on what the weather’s like where you live, you may need to take a few extra precautions against cold temperatures and rainfall. The good news is, you won’t need to worry quiet as much about the heat contributing to rapid mold and mildew growth, but you may need to protect those valuables against the occasional freezing with extra layers of bubble wrap and packaging.

    > Clear the Walkway: Leaves on the walkway can make conditions dangerous if you and your movers will be doing a lot of coming and going. Make sure you rake up the yard and leave a clear walkway so that everyone can do their job safely (and avoid tracking crushed leaves all over your carpet).

    > Dress in Layers: Moving is sweaty work, and you might be fooled by the cooler weather into thinking you need to bundle up. We suggest you wear layers that make it easy for you to warm up or cool off as the day progresses. This will also help as you transition both inside and outside your house to move boxes.

    > Take Extra Time with Your Kids: From a practical standpoint, moving in the fall is better than moving in the summer, but for your children, it might not be so easy. Any time you move in the middle of a school year (as opposed to during summer break), you’ll be upsetting their regular routine. Do what you can to make this transition special for your kids, even if that means stepping back to let the movers do most of the work while you spend extra time helping your children prepare for the big change.

    Another good fall moving tip is to take some time to enjoy the drive. With the seasonal changes making their appearance in colorful leaves, natural beauty, and college towns bustling with activity, it might be worthwhile to take a slight detour to enjoy the setting.

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  • Ask Allied: What are the Most Expensive Items to Move?

    by Jackie Heath | Oct 17, 2014
    Expensive ItemsFor most of your furniture and belongings, you can expect moving rates to be calculated by size and weight. The heavier the item, the more careful packaging that will be required, the more difficult it will be to load and unload, and the more gas it will take to transport it.

    All of these things contribute to higher costs overall. (Think of it like moving a bean bag chair as opposed to a couch. The lighter bean bag chair will obviously be less of a burden than a large, bulky couch.) For that reason, you can estimate most of your expensive items based on their relative weight.

    Items that tend to weight in the heaviest include:

     * Pianos
     * Dining room sets
     * Couches
     * Entertainment centers
     * Beds
     * Large electronics (flat screen televisions)
     * Safes
     * Sculptures and large pieces of artwork
     * Any wooden furniture (chests of drawers, cabinets, bookcases, etc.)
     * Rolled-up rugs/carpets
     * Major household appliances
     * Outdoor play equipment
     * Lawn furniture, barbeques, outdoor stonework (such as a fountain)

    You’ll also find that non-furniture items can quickly add up if they’re particularly heavy. Books can become costly to move if you have a large personal library, as can a large amount of china or plates in the kitchen.

     Moving Valuable Items

    It can also become expensive to move smaller, more valuable personal items such as jewelry and personal heirlooms like candlesticks or rare pictures. Even though these aren’t very heavy when compared to furniture, they fall under the “more than $100/pound” category—a good rule of thumb when you’re trying to decide whether or not to take out an additional insurance policy.

    When it comes to things like passports, important paperwork, deeds and titles, and other sensitive information, you may wish to keep these items close at hand so you can move them yourself. Because they don’t necessarily have a per-item value (the way a diamond necklace does, for example), it can be difficult to set an insurance policy for them. At the same time, they are more valuable to you than a box of pots and pans, so you may not want to treat them the same way as your kitchen ware.

    If you ever have a question about the cost of moving a particular item, be sure and ask your moving team before you sign any contracts. It may end up being more cost-effective for you to make alternate arrangements or even to donate the item to charity and purchase a replacement piece when you arrive at your new home.

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  • Unexpected Moving Expenses: How Things Add Up

    by Jackie Heath | Oct 15, 2014

    moving costsWhen you’re getting ready to set a moving budget, you’re probably going to start with the big-ticket items first. Hiring movers, renting a moving van, purchasing airline tickets, paying for long-term storage…because all these things come with a large price tag, we tend to put them at the forefront. While this is a good way to approach your budgeting process, don’t forget about all those unexpected moving expenses that can crop up.

    When it comes time to settle your accounts, you might find that it isn’t the moving van that set you back the most—it’s all those additional costs on the side!

    > Gas: You’ll need to figure in the cost of transporting your own vehicles. If you’re driving across the country or over long distances, gas costs can quickly reach hundreds of dollars a day. (If you’re traveling somewhere that has tolls, you’ll also need to carry extra cash for the road.)

    > Pet Moving: Yes, it is possible to put your pet in a carrier and drive them to your new home yourself, but expect to set aside some funds for Fido’s care. A vet visit prior to the move, extra stopping time (which may mean more meals or hotels on the road), and a pet sitter during loading and unloading times can all add up.

    > Child Care: If you have young children, it’s a good idea to set up a babysitter who can either take them out of the house or keep them entertained while the movers are at work. Not only is this safer for everyone involved, but your kids will appreciate having something to keep them occupied and their minds off their worries.

    > Hotels and Meals: Travel always comes with costs related to dining out, snacking, and staying in hotels. You can book online reservations to save money, but don’t forget to include a little wiggle room in your schedule (and your budget) for delays and distractions.

    > Dining at Home: When your kitchen is all packed up and ready to move, cooking dinner for the family is almost impossible. Expect to dine out in the days leading up to your move and in the days following, since chances are good you won’t have the time (or the pots and pans) to whip up a gourmet meal at home.

    > Extra Garbage: Most cities have their own regulations about what happens when you have too much garbage for your regular can—and these regulations usually come with extra costs. Figure in extra garbage and recycling costs before and after your move, since you’ll most likely be going through a lot of belongings and boxes.

    As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to add ten to fifteen percent to your overall moving budget to make room for these (and all other) miscellaneous costs. With the right planning, you can enjoy a seamless transition that doesn’t put a strain on your personal finances.

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  • Trimming the Fat: 5 Ways to Save on your Move

    by Jackie Heath | Oct 10, 2014

    Moving Costs and SavingsOne of the best ways to save money on a relocation is to reduce the quantity of what you have to move. Almost all moving companies price their services based on weight, and even if you do move yourself, a heavier car or truck will eat up gas on the road. (It’s also more expensive to mail or send things via plane if they weigh more

    Since throwing out heirloom furniture or your favorite armchair is out of the question, here are a few ways you can cut back without saying goodbye to the things you love.

    > Trim Your Paper Files: You probably don’t need tax paperwork that’s more than seven years old, and all those sales copies for a car you haven’t owned for three years might be ready to get tossed out. Take some time to go through all your paper files before you box them up. Many of them can be shredded and disposed of, or you might even be able to scan some of them and store your files electronically instead.

    > Donate Food/Pantry Supplies: It’s rarely worth the effort to move food supplies and pantry items. Not only can they weigh you down, but glass bottles and jars can break on the road and make a mess of things. You may want to donate any unused items to a local food bank—that way, you don’t have to move the items, but the food isn’t going to waste.

    > “Furnish” Your New Home: There are several great virtual room apps and software options available that allow you to design your home and fit your furniture before the papers are even signed. (The Better Homes and Gardens Arrange-a-Room and IKEA Home Planner are fun ones to look at.) Play around with your existing furniture to see what will fit, and dispose of anything you won’t need.

    > Get Rid of College Textbooks: Almost all college students hold on to their textbooks much longer than they need them. Because these books are so expensive, it can be hard to toss them out—especially if you believe you can use them for reference in your work. However, the information contained in these books rarely stays up-to-date forever, and they weigh a good five pounds each. If you don’t regularly use the book, it might be time to say goodbye.

    > Plan Your Upgrades : You love your outdoor grill, but it’s been showing a little wear and tear lately. Your lawn mower will run like new if you just find the right sized blade to fit. Your fridge has been in need of an update lately, but you want to wait until the warranty runs out next year. Now is a good time to re-evaluate how much you need these big-ticket items. If you’ll be replacing them in the next two years anyway, it might be a better long-term strategy to sell them now, enjoy a lighter move, and upgrade once you arrive in your new home.

    Getting rid of your belongings is one of the hardest parts of moving to a new location, but it can also be your chance to purge the excess. Get rid of as much as you can, and enjoy filling your new home with memories and appliances worthy of a fresh start.

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