Moving Tips


cat_in_a_boxHappy National Cat Day!

Here are some of our favorite tips for moving with a housecat, in case you missed them.

Moving to a new home with a cat can be hard on both you and your cat.  So making the move to a new home as stress-free as possible for your “kitty” can have big benefits, including reducing the risk of fear-based house soiling, excessive meowing and crying, hiding, escape attempts and aggression. 

Moving a cat successfully to a new house does involve some planning and preparation. Here are some suggestions from WEBMD/Pets and Seamless Moves:

On Moving Day

  • To prevent your cat from dashing out the door while movers are going in and out, close kitty in a bathroom with food, water, a bed and litter box. Place a sign on the door asking the movers to keep the door shut.
  • Feed your cat a very small breakfast on moving day to reduce stomach upset.
  • The last thing to do before leaving your house is to move your cat. Pop them in their carrier with a comforting blanket. By leaving them till the very last, it will help to reduce stress and also keep the trip as short as possible.
  • While in transit, resist the urge to open your cat’s carrier to soothe him. A scared cat may try to escape.
  • All cat lovers know, cats are not to be transported in the moving truck or the trunk of the car.  :)

In Your New Home

  • Try to keep your cat inside for the first three weeks. This is not always possible and some cats adjust to their new surroundings much quicker than others. Only you as its owner will recognize if your cat is relaxed enough in the new home to allow them to go outside for the first time.
  • Let them out just before meal times, then you can call them back with their favorite food.
  • Go outside with your cat and stay with them for a while. This will help your cat feel secure. If your cat doesn’t want to follow you out, do not force them to go.
  • Leave the door open so that your cat can return to the house when they want to. It might be a bit scary out there at first.
  • Keep the first few times they go out short. This will build up the bond to the new home
  • Always make sure your cat is wearing a tag on its collar with your name and phone number. Check the rules in your new city regarding whether your cat needs to have a license and/or rabies vaccination and whether they must wear those tags on their collar. You may wish to look into a microchip for kitty as well.

Today we are featuring a guest post from one of our partner companies, Continental Van Lines. This family-owned business has been moving people and businesses to and from Alaska since before it was a state, making them an undisputed authority on winter moving. Here are some great tips for your winter move:

Moving during the winter offers its share of setbacks and hazards. Think of Seattle or Tacoma, those beautiful cascading  hills and narrow cozy streets. In the wintertime, rain, ice, and sleet can turn that gorgeous landscape into a driving nightmare, especially for large moving trucks. So if you’re considering a winter move, careful planning is necessary for your relocation to go smoothly. The difficulties of almost all winter moves can be reduced by following a few simple steps. Your winter moving authorities at Continental have compiled a list of tips that will simplify your transition during cold weather. To get ready for a winter move, always:

  • Prepare Your New Home

Clear the snow from your driveway and salt all walkways so your movers can deliver your belongings safely. Make sure that the heat and electricity are turned on and work – you won’t want to go without them on your first night in your new home!

  • Plan Ahead, Allow for Setbacks

A professional Seattle moving company will know how to reduce setbacks on moving day, but the unexpected may still occur! Allow for extra time, and be sure to ask your movers if there are any separate fees due to weather difficulties – you don’t need any surprise charges ruining your day.

  • Keep Liquids Separate

Keep liquids separate from your other belongings so you don’t have frozen soda cans exploding during transit and damaging your great-grandmother’s precious armoire.

  • Let Your Electronics Adjust

Be sure to allow your electronics adequate time – usually a day – to adjust after a winter move. Using your TV or computer immediately upon arrival at your new home can cause expensive, unnecessary damages.

Continental Van Lines and Seamless Moves will get your items safely to your destination and reduce setbacks along the way. Contact them today for more information on our unbeatable services.

A year or so ago we posted this article about recognizing when it may be time for our grandparents and parents to move from their home, and so in honor of “Grandparents Day” (September 8th; we hope you celebrated with your Grannies and Pop-Pops!),  we thought we would share it again as a reminder and for those who might have missed the post.

 

“Move? Are you kidding? I’m planning on staying right here in my home for the rest of my life!”

Sound familiar?

We called upon Senior Housing Coordinator Stan McKenzie of A Change is Afoot Senior Housing Consultants, to share some sage advice and tips to help out when our parents or grandparents need to move. Stan says:

“As a senior, it is strange to think of moving from the home you have lived in for eons. Unfortunately, the time comes when a good many of us have outlived the old homestead.  An interesting reality check is how many rooms you really use in the house. Most of us end up using our bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and the room where the TV is.

Safety is the primary reason for moving. As we age, the risk of falling or injuring ourselves around the house is real. Push button pendant alarms are great if we are conscious. A lot of home injuries happen when we pitch forward onto our noggin.

Reality checks that get us to think of moving come in different ways:

  • For some, the branch on the backyard lawn that has been there for two years is an indication that although the mind is willing, the body just isn’t;
  • For others it is the day when the housecleaner, yard maintenance, window washers and gutter cleaners all come on the same day;
  • For most, it is a catastrophic event that forces our families to make the decisions for us.

When reason finally out-maneuvers emotion, the first decision is: where to move? I know, you were thinking “get rid of the stuff first”…..not true.  Unless you know where you are going and the size of the place you are moving to, you may be getting rid of too little or too much stuff.

The wisest way to do this move is to start with a Senior Housing Consultant (shameless plug). Yes, they exist, and those who have been in the business for a few years know the senior housing market. Put your wallet away–they won’t charge you. They contract with dozens of communities and are paid by these communities.

Just a few years ago, there were very few choices in senior housing. Now there is a cornucopia of choices. It is much easier to narrow the options if a professional is involved. Also, they know the history of the communities and the potential issues. Experience will give you answers to these kind of questions:  Are the residents truly happy and offered a variety of activities? Is there a high staff turnover? Is the food consistently good? Do they have financial problems? If I don’t like it there, am I locked into a long-term contract? How much upfront money does the community require?”

If you have questions about helping mom and dad move, contact Stan McKenzie -Orthopedic PA-ret, Senior Housing Counselor at A Change is Afoot ~ 425-577-2929.

Do you know who Bartolomeo Cristofori ? The name might not be familiar but his impact on the world is everlasting and continues to be a vital part – almost a necessity – of arts and culture. Cristofori is the inventor of the modern day piano, an instrument that plucks strings of varying frequency using a keyboard. Centuries later, we continue to acknowledge the piano as an influential instrument that has shaped every musical genre that has come and gone and continues to be used by popular artists.

If you need to move a piano, it must be done with great care. Remember, pianos are not only heavy, they’re awkward. Upright pianos can weigh 300 to 800 lbs. and carry all their weight in their top half. Their legs and feet can be fragile, so you’re going to need a few extra hands to help. 

Professional piano movers are likely to charge a flat rate which would be calculated based on the size and weight of the piano, the distance it is to be moved, the level of difficulty involved (including whether it has to go up or down stairs), the time it will take to move the piano, and any waiting time that might be involved.

OFFICIAL PIANO MOVING INFO…

If you’re set on moving the piano yourself, click here for tips from About.com and WikiHow to help you.

ONCE THE PIANO IS IN PLACE…

Each time a piano is moved, it will need to be tuned. While pianos are heavy objects and seem pretty solid, their inner workings are sensitive to movements and bumps. A professional tuner will have it sounding perfect again. Be sure to budget for not only moving your piano, but also keeping it in playing condition.

Photo courtesy of amenic181 at freedigitalphotos.net.

 

September 3rd is National Skyscraper Day and to commemorate this day we are offering some tips for moving into a new home that’s only accessible through an elevator-or worse, several flights of stairs.

Move fewer things – One of the best tips for moving into a condo or apartment, particularly a small one, is taking less with you. That means fewer trips up and down several floors on moving day for you or the moving company.

Reserve a luggage cart –  Most buildings have luggage carts ready to help moving tenants, but they may not offer them unless you ask. You will need to speak to the building’s manager or Concierge to reserve a cart before moving day. If they don’t have one available, you can rent a hand truck or moving dolly from a storage or moving company such as U-Haul. It will make your moving day go much more quickly than attempting to carry one or two boxes up at a time.

Reserve the elevator - Some buildings use freight elevators for moving, so that residents are not inconvenienced. In most cases, you must make arrangements with the building manager or Concierge to reserve a day and time in advance to use those elevators.

Locate the recycling area - If you unpack your moving boxes yourself, you’ll need to find your building’s recycling area when you’ve finished. One benefit of hiring an unpacking service is that they will remove the boxes for you. Which brings up this tip: 

Hire help – Whether you are moving to a condo or an apartment, moving into or out of a home several floors off the ground may pose too much of a hassle for you to achieve alone. Professionals like Seamless Moves can arrange the all the details for you. We believe moving should be made as simple as possible, with no hidden costs or surprises.

So, why is National Skyscraper Day on September 3rd? No one knows for sure, but it stands to reason that it has something to do with it being the birthday of Louis H. Sullivan, the architect credited with building the first skyscrapers.

Thanks to “porbital” at freedigitalphotoes.net for the Seattle photo.  

If you’re moving this summer, the busiest season for moving, you know how daunting it can be. But if you create a blueprint for your move, the transition from house to house will go more smoothly.

Here are 7 things you can do to prepare for a SEAMLESS transition.

1. Can you do it alone or should you hire a Move Manager for a full-service or partial-service move?  The answer depends on your lifestyle, household size, budget and amount of time you have to get everything accomplished.

2. Plan to unpack BEFORE you pack. Take photos of each room in the new home before you arrive with furniture, plants, appliances and family in tow. Write down on a clip board where each item should go in your next home before packing, and carry it with you on moving day.

3. Be strategic about packing and start packing early. Whether it’s one room, one cabinet or a drawer at a time, weed through what may be years of accumulation. You’ll be surprised at how much you can donate, recycle or give to friends.

4. Don’t fight with Fido. Sometimes we forget that all the packing and constant in-and-out of visitors is stressful for animals. Consider checking your pet into a daycare facility, or setting up a time for a friend to take them or check them into pet day care. For some additional tips when moving your pet check out our blog “What about the Dog?”

5. Keep track of small parts. Some items need to be broken down into pieces when moving. Rather than tape the small pieces to the furniture, which can result in losing them, put everything in a baggie that is clearly marked and sealed. Keep all of the separate baggies together in one box on moving day and personally take it with you to your new home.

6. Take pictures of electronic hook-ups. Hooking up TVs, DVRs, home theater systems and computers can be challenging. Before unplugging any wires for the move, take a photo of the connections, print them out and label them in detail. This will create fewer headaches when setting up technology in the new home.

7.  Packing cleaning products and toxins. Products such as detergents, pesticides and paint are heavy and unwieldy to pack. Dispose of as many as possible before the move in an eco-friendly way.

If, even armed with this information, this all still seems overwhelming or time suddenly becomes an issue, consider hiring a Move Manager like Seamless Moves to consult with you and help you make a plan to get everything accomplished before you move. It won’t help your job or family if you are too stressed out to enjoy your new home!

Thanks to realtor.com for these tips.

An empty cardboard moving boxA bit of organization and forethought not only makes packing easier, it makes unpacking a breeze as well. Here are some packing tips from the pros:

Gather packing supplies before you start. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to stop half-way through a packing session in order to get more supplies.

Pack one room at a time. Avoid mixing things from different rooms in the same box; it will make unpacking more time-consuming.

Pack clothing, shoes and linens in your suitcases. Also, most moving companies will let you leave clothing in dresser drawers, but be sure to remove anything that is breakable or will slide around in the drawers.

Pack small, breakable items in small boxes and place them into a large box. Clearly label each box (large or small) with your name, its general contents, an arrow indicating which side is up, “Fragile” if contents are breakable, and which room each box belongs in. Refrain from noting anything valuable (silver, jewelry, etc.) on the outside of a box.

Have area rugs professionally cleaned before your move. They will return from the cleaners rolled, wrapped, and ready for shipping.

Use different colored labels for family members or corresponding rooms to make unpacking quicker.

Use small boxes for heavy items (books, small appliances), large boxes for light ones (pillows, lampshades), and medium boxes for everything in between. Heavier items should be placed at the bottom, lighter ones on top. A good rule of thumb is for packed boxes to weigh less than 50 pounds.

When disassembling furniture, put hardware in a sealed plastic bag and affix it to the corresponding piece (however, do not apply tape or any adhesives directly to polished or painted wood surfaces). Keep tools you’ll need to reassemble furniture in a separate box that is clearly marked.

Do not use standard garbage bags! They rip and tear too easily. If you’re going to pack linens and clothing in garbage bags, purchase the thicker, heavy ones to ensure they don’t burst during the move. Or double up.

Never pack flammables or combustibles.

Keep an inventory list of each box and its contents. This will be necessary if a box goes missing and you need to make a claim.

Of course, if all this seems like a lot of work and you’d like some help getting packed up, consider hiring a Move Manager like Seamless Moves. :-)

Our thanks to nuttakit at freedigitalphotos.net for the photo, about.com and Martha Stewart.com for the information used in today’s blog.

 

 

 

As your big move approaches and you survey your prized possessions, you may ask yourself, “How am I going to get all of my furniture and things from Point A to Point B?” Well, finding a moving company doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal.

Here are a few questions to ask furniture movers that will help you to know if your valuables are in good hands.

Is there a cost for your initial consultation? Will I receive a written estimate?

How much experience do you have? Do you provide local references?

How many people will be working with you? Are they employees or subcontractors? Are they covered by worker’s compensation insurance?

Are they licensed for interstate moves?

Do they offer storage?

If, even armed with this information, you’d like some help deciding on the moving company or need some help getting packed up, consider hiring a Move Manager like Seamless Moves to consult with you and help you make a plan to get everything accomplished before you move.

 




 

Whether your last move was across the country or across the street, it probably ended with two words: “Never again!” But you don’t always have the luxury of staying in the same place forever. 

Since moving pretty much always takes longer than you think it’s going to take, be smart and plan ahead. There’s lots of packing and organizing you can get out of the way a few months in advance of your move.

Make a few decisions about how to approach moving based on how far you are going and who will be assisting you with the move.

Go Through Everything and Identify Unwanted Items  Moving is the perfect excuse to get rid of unwanted items that have collected in your house over the years. The rule of thumb is: If you haven’t used it in about a year and it doesn’t have any sentimental value, get rid of it. It can be hard to let things go, though, so you may need to go through each closet or storage space twice. On the first run, you’ll remove the obvious unwanted things, and on the second run you’ll remove the items you’re a little more attached to.

About now is when you start realizing you have accumulated stuff you may no longer want or use. It is a good idea to plan a yard or garage sale, donate to you local thrift shops, give charities any items they could use, and throw out the junk. 

Begin Packing Little-used Items. You may think it’s silly to start packing two months in advance but if you’re like most people, there are many things you don’t use on a regular basis that can be packed well ahead of your move date. For example, if it’s summer, start packing your winter items — winter clothes, heavy blankets, holiday decorations. Or you can pack by the room — and perhaps the guest room is a good place to start, since it’s used the least. You decide.

Now that you are about to move every article you own, it’s a smart idea to make an inventory of your personal belongings. Not only will the list be valuable for insurance purposes but it will also help you organize your move, keep track of your home’s contents while they’re in transit and ensure that your belongings are placed in the right rooms on moving day. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website is making free Home Inventory applications for iPhone and Android users as well as a home inventory checklist (PDF).

A couple of other mobile apps: My Home Pro for Android and Home Inventory for the iPhone are available at a low cost.If you are looking for software for your PC, you might want to check out Know your Stuff and What you Ownboth are free.

If, even armed with this information, this all still seems overwhelming or time suddenly becomes an issue, consider hiring a Move Manager like Seamless Moves to consult with you and help you make a plan to get everything accomplished before you move. It won’t help your job or family if you are too stressed out to enjoy your new home!

Our thanks to digitalart at freedigitalphotos.net for today’s  image.

 

 

 

Sometimes you have to move when it's snowing

Photo by Mel Evans / AP

Winter is coming; it is already snowing on Washington’s mountain passes. Here is something you will want to consider when moving across the mountains during the winter months.

According to WSDOT beginning Nov. 1, state law requires commercial vehicles and combinations of vehicles heavier than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating to carry sufficient tire chains. This law also affects some larger passenger trucks, SUVs, recreational vehicles and trucks hauling trailers that exceed 10,000 Gross Vehicle Weight. That includes Moving Trucks, both “U-Haul” and commercial van lines.

State Patrol troopers will strictly enforce the Nov. 1 deadline. The Washington State Patrol will have a special chain-emphasis patrol in early November to ensure drivers are carrying the appropriate number of chains, including spares. Failing to carry chains will cost drivers $124.

When highway advisories call for chains, drivers who don’t chain up will face a $500 penalty. Some vehicle manufacturers recommend against the use of tire chains, so the State Patrol provides a list of approved, alternative traction devices when chain requirements are in place. Drivers are encouraged to visit a tire dealer to learn more about tires that provide traction and are legal for year-round use.

Alwaysknow before you goand get the most recent roadway information, winter-driving tips, car-preparation advice and information on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s winter driving website.

Moving is work enough without the hassle of being “stuck” or fined because the truck and driver are unprepared!

“I know what I own, why do I need to have an inventory of everything?” OK, try this: Close your eyes and try to name every item in your kitchen pantry; and then imagine having to do that for the entire house! We all have a lot of stuff: Furniture, dishes, flatware, appliances and, of course, all the personal electronics, video games and books. All of this costs money, and if it is lost in a move or other catastrophe, you need to replace it. If it is insured, your insurance company won’t simply take your word about those Faberge eggs and that Picasso. They will want proof.

As Nick Sooy of Farmers Insurance recommends, “In the event of an insurance claim, it will be up to you to provide proof of ownership and value.  Your things are most vulnerable when being moved. An inventory of what you are moving, with its value and condition documented, allows you to determine if you need to buy additional insurance before the move.”

If you don’t yet have a home inventory, the idea of creating one can seem over- whelming, especially if you have been living in your home for a long time. First, start with one room and move to the next. Try to get serial numbers for the big ticket items and write down when, where, and how much you paid for the item. Don’t forget the closets, cupboards, holiday decorations, sports equipment, tools, etc. Photographs and video tape items and document a brief description, including age, purchase price and estimated current value.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners website is making free Home Inventory applications for iPhone and Android users as well as a home inventory checklist (PDF).

A couple of other mobile apps: My Home Pro for Android and Home Inventory for the iPhone are available at a low cost.

If you are looking for software for your PC you might want to check out Know Your Stuff and What you Own; both are free.

As an added bonus, as you go through this process you may find yourself with a Do Not Need List and an opportunity to downsize or de-clutter along the way.