Category Archives: Helpful Moving Hints

Relocating? Planning for Your Big Move

Planning a move to a different city, or perhaps abroad? We all know that just moving from one residence to another requires a great deal of planning and organizing. But moving to another city can be twice as challenging. Many factors need to be taken into consideration.

HERE IS A CHECKLIST OF THINGS YOU’LL NEED TO CONSIDER AND PLAN FOR:

  • How you will move your vehicles from one residence to another
  • How you will move your pets to your new home safely
  • Perishable items
  • Irreplaceable items such as jewelry, personal files and documents, checkbooks and financial statements, stocks and bonds, etc.
  • Personal items such as photos, car keys, house keys, address books, etc.
  • Computers – both hardware and software
  • Medicines, cosmetics, grooming items – anything you need or use on a daily basis
  • Clothing and shoes
  • Furniture and large household items

There are two main categories into which you can sort your things when preparing for a move: things you’ll move yourself, and things you’ll have professional movers take care of for you. It’s always a good idea to move any personal items you may need throughout your move yourself, such as some clothing, medicines, jewelry, and any other smaller personal items, so that you have immediate access to them at all times. You’ll have to decide whether you’d rather have the movers take care of your computer equipment and any other technical gadgets, or if you want to move those pieces yourself.

Larger, non-personal items such as furniture, rugs, appliances, lawn mowers, tools, yard equipment, boxes, and any bigger household items are usually best left to your professional mover, who has more experience safely moving these larger items to your new residence.

Moving and relocating is challenging enough without having the added stress of sorting and packing your own items. Your professional moving company can also take care of the packing for you, at an additional cost. You can have peace of mind knowing that your cherished belongings are being moved safely and securely to your new home.

How and When to Start Packing For Your Move

The best time to start the planning process is the moment you decide to move. There are lots of factors that need to be taken into consideration, and the planning process could easily take months. Are you moving out of state or staying in the area? Are you purchasing a new home or renting? If purchasing a home, timing will depend on your settlement date or move-in date. If renting a home, timing will likely depend on when you sign your lease. The timing has to be just right – which isn’t always an easy task!

The first question you may want to ask yourself is, “Do I want to move myself, or should I hire a professional moving company?” If you want to hire professionals, you should always interview a few companies and get estimates that include on-site visits. Book the moving company as soon as you have made your decision, so you can get the move date that you want without any scheduling conflicts. From there, allow yourself at least 3-4 weeks to pack up your household.

CHECKLIST FOR PACKING SUPPLIES:

  • Moving boxes in different sizes (Keep in mind that free isn’t always better. You may need to purchase professional sturdy boxes to hold your items safely.)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tissue paper and/or newspapers
  • Strong, heavy-duty packing tape
  • Stickers for labeling
  • Scissors
  • Markers to label boxes

With all of your boxes and supplies ready to go, you can start by packing a little bit each day, room by room. A good rule of thumb is to start with those rooms in your house that you do not use every day, saving the kitchen and bedrooms for last.

Remember, if you do run out of time or need assistance, your professional moving company can supply your packing materials for you at an additional cost and even pack up your house for you. With some careful planning and organizing, your move can be exciting instead of stressful!

Tips for Hiring Professional Movers in DC, MD & NoVa

Hiring Professional Movers in DC, MD & NoVAAre you wondering if you’ll need a professional mover for your upcoming move? The answer to that question depends on several criteria: Are you and your family relocating to a different city, or are you just moving across town? Do you have many large or fragile items to move, such as antique furniture or a piano? Does “moving yourself” fit into your busy schedule?

Some or all of the answers to these questions may bring you to decide that hiring a professional mover is the fastest, safest, and easiest option for you. Once you have made a decision to hire professionals, how do you get started? Here are some helpful guidelines:

Get Estimates – It never hurts to shop around. A good rule of thumb is to obtain at least 3-5 estimates from different companies. Keep in mind that you’re not just comparing prices; you’re also comparing services, professionalism, and experience.

Check Referrals – Always review online referrals and reviews from people who have actually hired the specific companies you are comparing. Any reputable moving company will also be happy to provide you with several high-quality references.

Consult the Better Business Bureau – Always do a background check on any company you are considering hiring in order to check for any negative ratings.

Ask Friends and neighbors – You can always contact people you know who have used moving companies. See who they recommend – and just as important – who they don’t recommend. These “word of mouth” referrals can give you much peace of mind, because you know and trust the people making the recommendations.

Each moving company should send a representative to your residence to do an in-home estimate. Be certain to show them everything that needs to be moved, including all contents in your closets, basement, and garage or shed. You don’t want to leave anything out. Some companies may try to offer you an estimate over the phone. You should avoid these “phone estimates” because without seeing exactly what needs to be done, the estimate is likely to be inaccurate.

Once you have some estimates to compare, you should review each one carefully. Each estimate should include all detailed charges, as well as explain the services included in your move – including options for having the movers do all packing and unpacking. Moving can be a hectic and stressful time in your life, so hiring professionals to take care of everything will allow you to concentrate on your new home and the things that matter to you!

How Long Does it Take to Move?

That’s easy to answer if you’re the president of the United States. Every four or eight years on moving day (a.k.a. Inauguration Day), it takes approximately 95 workers exactly five hours to move one family out of the White House, do any painting or repairs needed, and move another family in.

Needless to say, for the rest of us, the answer to how long it takes to move isn’t as clearly defined. It depends largely upon three factors:

How long will it take to load the moving truck?
Choosing the right size moving truck and knowing how to load it efficiently are the two most important aspects to this piece. If you get a truck that’s even slightly too small, you may need to use another vehicle or take multiple trips (assuming your move isn’t far). And loading a truck properly can save hours of frustration to your big day.

How far is your move?
This one is pretty obvious – the farther you’re moving, the longer the actual drive will take. But it’s important to note that often people who aren’t moving very far will try to save money by getting a smaller truck and taking multiple trips. This can easily backfire. Not only will you spend more money on gas, but switching gears multiple times throughout the day between loading and unloading can wear you down much faster than doing it all at once.

How much support do you have?
This is by far the variable that matters most when looking at how long it takes to move. Whether you have friends or family helping you or you hire a moving company, the more support you have, the faster the job will go by far.

If you ever need any evidence of that your amount of support makes the biggest difference, just remember the White House example. You may not have 95 staff members to help you move, but you do have the next best thing: professional movers who can make your move as stress-free and easy as possible every step of the way.

Tips for Moving When You Have Cat(s)

Moving can be hard on pets, and cats certainly present specific challenges during a move. The good news is that with some advanced planning, there’s quite a bit that you can do to help your cat get through the move as smoothly as possible.

Just as you physically prepare for your move long before the actual moving day, you can also spend that time helping prepare your cat. And after moving day, there are also steps you can take to help your cat transition to his or her new home:

  • If you have an outdoor cat, begin limiting outdoor time at least a week before the move, and keep your cat indoors only for several days before your move. Cats can get nervous around all of the boxes, and may decide to stay away from home for a few days. The last thing you need on moving day is a missing cat!
  • Before you move into your new home, be sure it’s been cleaned thoroughly, particularly if the previous owners or renters had pets. Cats are very territorial and sensitive to smells, and can get upset or even mark their territory if they smell other animals. Getting any carpets professionally cleaned can go a long way toward making your cat comfortable.
  • On moving day, keep your cat either locked in a room that the movers will empty last, or in the carrier to ensure that your cat doesn’t run outside while the moving truck is being loaded. At the new house, keep your cat in the carrier until you have a room set up for the cat – preferably the room where the litter box(es) will be. The litter box is absolutely the first thing you want your cat to investigate in your new home.
  • Just like people, all cats have different personalities. Some cats adjust to the stress of moving by becoming more affectionate. Some will prefer to be left alone while they spend time investigating every nook and cranny of their new home. Some may lose their appetite for a few days. There is a wide range of normal reactions to moving from a cat, and usually there is no need for concern. If your cat’s behavior doesn’t go back to normal after several days, though, it may be time for a trip to the veterinarian.
  • If you have an outdoor cat, wait until behavior has returned to normal before allowing any outdoor exploration. A good rule of thumb is to keep your cat indoors for at least a week after the move, allowing your cat to get used to one thing at a time.

Moving can be a stressful time for everyone, pets included. But with some advanced planning, you can make the transition easy on your cat, which will make things easier for you.

Tips for Moving in the Fall

Fall can be a great time of year to move. Things have started to cool off, so you won’t be packing and moving things in the heat of summer. And since spring and summer are the most popular times of year to move, you’ll find better prices and availability among moving services such as moving companies and truck rentals.

As a buyer, you may find yourself in a better position in the fall, as well. With spring and summer being the peak seasons for buying and selling a home, you’ll face less competition as you search for a home. This can mean less pressure to make a decision before you’re ready.

Be sure to follow these tips for a successful fall move:

  • Clear Your Sidewalks and Pathways. As the beautiful fall foliage begins to blanket our yards, sidewalks, and driveways, make sure you sweep, rake, or use a leaf blower to remove all leaves from any areas where you or your professional movers will be walking. Leaves, especially when wet, can be dangerous and slippery. They can also conceal hidden debris and branches. It’s better to play it safe and clear the walkways than to risk a fall.
  • Schedule Your Move During the School Day. If you don’t have kids, the school calendar won’t make much difference in your move. If you do have kids in school, and you’re moving locally, the flexibility of fall scheduling can work to your advantage. Try to schedule everything during the day while the kids are in school, for minimal disruption to everyone’s schedule.
  • Dress for the Weather. Fall can include some unpredictable weather, so layers are always a good bet. Wearing a T-shirt and a removable sweatshirt or jacket will give you some flexibility throughout moving day. And no matter what time of year you move, comfortable and supportive shoes are always a must. A backup raincoat that hasn’t been packed may come in handy, as well.
  • Plan for Sundown. As winter approaches and the days get shorter, it’s good to remember that there just won’t be as much sunlight as there was in the summer. This doesn’t need to be a problem, as long as you plan ahead.

If you’ll be moving in the fall, enjoy all of the advantages it offers. With a little planning ahead, you’ll have a great experience. So fill your coffee cup to the brim, and enjoy the beauty fall has to offer as you make your transition to a new home!

Costly Mistakes Made When Hiring Movers

Planning on a big move in the near future? Great! Moving can be a fantastic experience, full of new experiences, fresh starts and clean slates. But, there can be an unfortunate downside. Oftentimes we come across a potential client that has been burned by movers in the past. This previous experience tends to color opinions, and create a negative bias toward using movers in the future.

The experts at BB&D don’t want to see your happy move ruined by a poor experience, and to assist in getting you on the right track, we’d like to point out some common mistakes consumers make when choosing a mover.

Decisions To Avoid:

  • Not all movers are equal. This isn’t to say finding a moving company is sifting through a lot of bad to find the good, but more to say that not all movers are the right fit for you. Too often consumers simply take the first option presented, and this could lead to a bit of trouble. Like buying a car, or getting insurance, rates and options vary from mover to mover. We strongly encourage you to shop around, and be sure you’ve found the right fit.
  • Be sure all fees are crystal clear. Don’t get blindsided by hidden fees! Be sure that all aspects pertaining to money are worked out, and easy to understand.
  • Check for an insured moving company. All proper moving businesses are insured, so be sure your company is covered! This can be the difference between finding a good, dependable company and a bunch of swindlers.
  • Last-second movers. You can’t always control the flow of your life, but avoid grabbing a moving service at the last second. This can pigeonhole you into unclear details, unnecessary costs and makes it difficult to hash out a clear understanding.
  • Discuss the entire process. As with negotiating fees, be sure all aspects of the move are fully understood between your mover and you. The relevant dates, what items (and how they should be handled), and exact times should all be discussed at length before moving day.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’re well on your way to a clean, stress-free move! We at BB&D offer the best service in the business, and our professionals are always clear, concise, honest and punctual. Contact us today to learn more about how our movers can assist you!