How to Organize the Pantry in Your New Home

If you’re lucky, your new kitchen will have a nice pantry when you move into your new home. And, you’ll need to stock it ideally to find everything.

Organizing the pantry is the key to easy meals and snacks. It’s better to come up with a plan in advance of a big shopping trip.

Keep these things in mind as you devise an organizational plan for the pantry in your new home.

Organize by Frequency

Before unpacking kitchen items or unloading grocery bags, list the things you use most frequently. Those items need to be in a place that is easy to reach.

It may make sense for a larger kitchen to break this down by cooking tools, serving and eating utensils, and food. Put each category closest to the appliances you need for them.

You may need to set priorities for limited space in a smaller kitchen. That way, you’re not compromising on a more critical task.

Set Kids’ Items Lower

Ideally, your children will grow up to prepare, serve, and clean up after their own meals. However, you can start at any age.

If your children are small, designate some portion as a kid-friendly pantry. Ensure your kids can see what is inside and access it with minimal assistance.

The kids’ items don’t necessarily have to work with the rest of the pantry organization. If it makes sense for you to put their plates and bowls next to their snacks, do it.

Use Clear Bins

Keep a critical eye on the function of organized pantries on social media. For example, several opaque baskets help hide visual distractions, but they can make it harder to figure out what’s inside.

If you’re not building a custom pantry, you may want to invest in some clear bins. You can get them in virtually any shape or dimension.

Try to choose sizes and shapes that allow you to change the layout over time. That’s better than buying a new set every time you change your eating habits.

Save Room for Appliances

These days, it’s common to have several small appliances that make your life easier. But, if you don’t have a place to put them, they will take up valuable space on your countertop.

It’s a good idea to be selective about buying small appliances, particularly if you have a smaller kitchen. There’s no point in dedicating storage space to a device you never use.

Consider devoting space inside deep drawers or high shelves for occasional appliances. You’ll get more efficiency from these spaces with an appliance.

Avoid Overcrowding

When you have a pantry, it’s tempting to organize it so that you can maximize every square inch. But, unless your kitchen is exceptionally small, you may not need to overcrowd it.

An overcrowded pantry is hard to organize. It also doesn’t leave much room for additions, like a new appliance or a bulk food purchase.

Leave at least 10 to 20 percent of the pantry as available space. You’ll find it easier to restock or clean with that flexibility.

Organizing your pantry is one of your first tasks in your new home. 

Moving Made Simple

From beginning to end, our team of professional household movers ensures a hassle-free moving experience, regardless of where you are moving. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of a seamless move. 

Little-Known Things You May Miss When Buying a New House

Looking for a new house is exciting and daunting, mainly because there are so many details to pay attention to. However, during the rush of exploring new homes and comparing features, many more minor details can get overlooked. Since you need to double-check everything, let’s dive into those little-known things you may miss when buying a new house.

Storage Capacity

Assess how much stuff you have right now. If you’re moving into a bigger house, you’ll probably have plenty of room for everything. But sometimes, people tend to grow into their homes. For instance, over time, you will undoubtedly acquire extra stuff. As a result, you need lots of storage space for all the items you currently have and those you may accumulate in the future.

Most of your storage areas will typically be in the kitchen and the garage. However, what if you have seasonal items or stuff that you only bring out a few times per year? For example, what if you have Christmas decorations that you need to store for 11 months of the year? You’ll discover it quickly if you’re short on storage space. But you don’t want to learn that after you’ve closed the deal.

Neighborhood

Most people will research their neighborhood, such as the school district, shopping areas, median income, etc. However, spreadsheets and statistics will only tell you so much. To get acquainted with your potential new neighborhood, you must walk around and explore before moving in.

How are the streets? Are they well-maintained or rough around the edges? Do most neighbors park their cars on the road, driveway, or garage? How does the neighborhood feel at different times of the day? Does it seem safe and welcoming at night? What is your vibe from neighbors and other people on the street?

Generally, you can get a good sense of what your neighborhood will be like by walking around it a few times. While you may not be able to pinpoint exact issues, you can tell when an area is unsafe or undesirable, regardless of how it looks on paper.

Cracks and Cosmetic Damage

Part of the home-buying process is getting a four-point inspection. While this inspection covers the primary elements of the house, it doesn’t look at everything. Minor cracks and cosmetic damage could be potential disasters waiting to happen. For example, a small crack in the foundation today could expand and become more significant after a few years. You don’t want to be on the hook for a hugely expensive repair like that.

Pay closer attention to these minor damages to determine if they’re warning signs or just regular wear and tear. If they’re the latter, you can rest easier.

Resale Value

It may seem strange to consider selling your new house before buying it, but the thought should be on your mind. Also, consider whether this is a starter home, a family home, or a forever home. If you’re planning to stay in the house for 20 or 30 years at least, you should think about how the neighborhood will evolve. If you’re thinking of reselling it within five or ten years, you want to make sure you can build equity and use it to upgrade to another place.

Get Moving Help From Us Today!

Once you’ve found your perfect house, you must figure out how to move in. We can manage the logistics so you can focus on getting settled. Contact us today to find out more!

4 Tips for Hiring Movers and Packers

Typically, moving involves significant life changes, even if you’re only moving across town. However, if you’re uprooting completely, this adds additional challenges and stresses. Finding a household mover that you’re comfortable with can help to make your move seamless.

To make your upcoming move a worry-free experience, connecting with the right mover can make a difference, especially if you seek additional services, such as packing and unpacking. Here are four tips to help.

1. Seek Referrals

To begin your quest to find the right moving company, talk to people you trust. Individuals you should ask include family, friends, neighbors, and recently moved colleagues. If no one you know has recommendations, your realtor might be able to help you. In addition, referrals from people who were happy with the services they received can give you a good feeling of reassurance.

2. Get Written Estimates

Generally, a good rule of thumb is to try to get at least three estimates from moving companies as you start your planning. Remember that you might get three drastically different estimates, which is not uncommon. This is because every moving company has another way of estimating the costs associated with a move.

Ask each company what they include in the estimate and whether the estimate is binding or non-binding. For your convenience, many companies also offer virtual surveys. Once you have your estimates, you can look at overall costs, what you’re receiving, and if a mover’s process aligns with what you’ll need.

The bottom line, understand what’s involved with each estimate and ask questions. This way, you don’t find any surprises.

3. Ask the Mover About Their Process

Understanding how the moving process will go alleviates stress and gives you the information you need to decide which mover to hire. Ask the following questions.

  • How do you take inventory of my belongings?
  • What is your scheduling procedure?
  • How will you calculate the costs of my move?
  • Can I expect my possessions to arrive on a specific date?
  • Will there be additional fees I should know about?
  • What are your non-allowable items?
  • What do your packing and unpacking services entail?
  • Will I be able to contact the driver or have another direct contact to ask questions?

Understanding a mover’s process will help you make the right decision for you.

4. Ask the Movers Company-Specific Questions

Like any other professional company you’d contract with, it’s helpful to know who you’re doing business with. Asking questions not just helps familiarize you with the process but can serve as a “getting to know you” session.

  • How long has your company been in business?
  • Does your company have the required state and local licenses?
  • Are you registered with the FMCSA? (for interstate moves)
  • Do you have references you can provide?

Moving Made Easy!

It can be complicated for most people to pack up and unpack an entire household, whether moving just miles down the road or out of state. Hiring an experienced professional mover that can handle the heavy stuff makes the process much easier and stress-free.

Are you ready to plan your move? Contact us today for a free quote! We’re happy to answer any questions you have about the services we provide.

4 Top Areas to Tackle for Decluttering Before Your Move

When prepping for a move, it sometimes feels easier to pack everything into boxes and plan to deal with the sorting later to decide what to keep and save. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea for at least two reasons.

First, moving items you may not even want will cost you extra money. Second, it’ll be challenging to wade through boxes to get to the items you need sooner rather than later. The best thing to do is to set aside some time to declutter areas of your home before you prepare for your moving day. Here are four top areas to tackle.

1. Kitchen

To declutter your kitchen of non-food items, start by going through cabinets and other storage areas. If you have items collecting cobwebs in the dark corners of your kitchen, these are good items to donate or give away. Next, turn an eye towards your everyday items – do you need two sets of dishes or more coffee mugs? If not, consider donating these items before packing; it’ll lighten your load.

One of the things you’ll have to do before moving is to reduce the amount of food in your kitchen. Movers have specific policies related to food—be sure to check with your mover before you start packing.

  • Plan to eat perishables.
  • Go through cabinets, drawers, and pantry and dispose of anything expired.
  • Determine pantry items you want to donate or give away and set those aside.

Check out these additional tips to declutter your kitchen.

2. Bathroom

Bathrooms tend to get very cluttered over time. To reduce the number of items to move, take the following steps.

  • Clear out the medicine cabinets; dispose of unneeded or expired medication.
  • Organize soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions, and only keep what you use.
  • Dispose of old makeup and personal hygiene products long past their lifespan.
  • Convert old faded or worn towels to packing materials or cleaning rags.

These four items can easily save you from packing a box or two and possibly more if you ask yourself these questions when decluttering your bathroom.

3. Closets

Over the years, closets tend to become jam-packed. Chances are there are numerous items you either don’t wear, don’t fit, or are out of style. It’s easy to get sentimental about clothing and shoes but resist this. Instead, encourage each household member to keep what they need for each season and donate, sell, or give away the rest.

4. Basement and Attic

You’ll probably need to set aside a fair amount of time to declutter your basement and attic since these areas where everything is not being used tends to end up. Consider downsizing the following items you’re probably not using anymore.

Start with these and see what other items you can add to it. Chances are you’ll be able to reduce boxes by quite a bit if you spend time decluttering these home areas.

Ready to Plan Your Next Move?

Decluttering your home before your move makes a lot of sense. While it’s not a fun task, it’s well worth the effort. When you’re ready, call us for a free quote!

7 Ways to Meet New Friends When You’re New In Town

Are you new in town following your residential move? Do you want to make friends? Sometimes meeting people can seem daunting, especially if you’re an adult who hasn’t had to make friends in a long time. However, meeting people will help you settle into your new home and make moving to your new town a more positive experience. These tips can help.

1. Volunteer

Volunteering your time at local nonprofit organizations gives you something rewarding and meaningful to do and helps you meet new people. Find a non-profit organization in your area that does something you believe in. If you have time, pick more than one organization to support. The more you get out of the house and meet people, the more people you’ll meet.

2. Participate in Local Social Media Groups

Many communities have social media groups that keep members of the community informed. On social media, you’ll learn about upcoming events, challenges in the community, volunteer opportunities, social clubs, and more. You may even engage in online conversations that lead you to meet the people who are your neighbors and fellow citizens.

3. Join an Exercise Class

Exercising is good for your mind, body, and your social life! Get involved in a local exercise class where you can meet people similarly interested in personal health and wellness. Exercise classes are often held in local gyms, but you can also find them in local rec centers and country clubs.

4. Join a Book or Wine Club

Do you enjoy wine tasting or reading books? These may seem like solo activities, but they don’t have to be. There are likely many people in your community who feel the same way. Search for a club in your area that you can join.

If you can’t find a club, you can also make one. First, advertise for your club on local social media groups. Once you’ve found people interested in participating in a club in your area, set up a meeting in a local cafe or community meeting space.

5. Use an App

Did you know some apps can help people with similar interests connect? For example, use a friend-finder app that can help you meet people in your new community.

Fill out a profile and then look for local meet-ups. Stay involved in your friend-finding app even after you start to meet people. As you do, you’ll grow your network and hopefully begin to make solid friendships with the people you meet.

6. Take a Dance Class

Dancing is a rewarding exercise, a good way of expressing yourself, and a great way to meet new people. Take a dance class at a local dance studio, or look for a dance class at a local rec center.

7. Participate in an Amateur Sports Team

What sports do you find most enjoyable? First, consider which sports you love the most, then join an amateur sports team in your area. You’ll meet people on your team and opposing teams who share your interest in that particular sport.

Moving? Find a Moving Company So You Can Focus on What Matters

Moving is a stressful event when you don’t have help. Work with a professional moving company that can help make moving a better experience. Contact us today for a free quote.

How to Pack a Bedroom for a Move

Bedrooms are one of the more straightforward rooms to pack, provided you know how to do the work efficiently and effectively. Bedrooms tend to be cluttered places with many items inside, so decluttering before packing can help. Once you’ve decluttered, it’s best to start packing items you’re unlikely to need soon. Here’s what you need to know.

Declutter and Clean

Your bedroom may have a lot of clutter, ranging from old clothes to bills, books, and more. Decluttering and cleaning before you start boxing up your items will make packing more manageable and satisfying. Get rid of clutter in the closet and anything you don’t need to bring. During the decluttering process, make three piles of items:

  • Donate
  • Discard
  • Recycle

Remove these items from the room so you can continue the process. Once you’ve decluttered, vacuum the floors and dust the furniture. Next, you can begin packing.

Pack Seasonal Items First

Your bedroom likely contains many items that you use daily. When packing things into boxes, begin packing everything from last season. You won’t need these items for many months or miss them when they’re inaccessible.

Once you’ve packed everything from last season, you can start packing items you use more frequently. Pack a couple of “go bags” of things that need to remain accessible during your move, like clothes you wear every day, hairbrushes, and more.

Disassemble Furniture

On the day your movers arrive, furniture that isn’t already disassembled will need to be taken apart before it is put on the moving truck. The relocation day can go more smoothly if you start disassembling furniture now. Film a video of yourself taking apart your furniture, so you’ll have something to refer to when you’re putting it back together.

Take Down Art, Pack Properly

Does your bedroom contain pieces of art like paintings and photographs? Wrap these items in bubble wrap and pack them away in boxes explicitly meant to protect the art. You may be able to buy boxes like this from your moving company, or you can purchase art boxes from home improvement stores.

Use the Right Labels

Label each box on all four sides with the word “bedroom.” Does the box contain something fragile? Place a brightly colored “fragile” sticker on the box, again placing the sticker on all four sides.

If the box must remain upright, label the box “this end up,” or put a sticker to that effect on all four sides. Finally, don’t forget to write on the box a relatively detailed list of items that you’ve packed inside, whether that’s seasonal clothes, clothes you use every day, shoes, and so on.

Mark the boxes that contain items that need to be unpacked first and boxes with items that can wait to be emptied. Doing this will make unpacking more efficient and ensure you can reach the things you need when you need them.

Hire Professional Movers

Hiring professional movers gives you more time to concentrate on packing. Call us to get a quote if you’re starting a relocation.

4 Steps to Turn a Basement Into a Man Cave in Your New Home

In March of 1992, a writer for the Toronto Star coined the term “man cave” to describe a decked-out basement where a man could relax in a comfortable retreat to enjoy his collections in his own unique style and personality. Since then, man caves have become a staple of interior design, with many men claiming a section of their homes for recreational activities such as sports and billiards.

You may not know where to start if you’re interested in creating your own man cave when you move into your new home. So here are some tips to turn a basement (or any room) into a secluded paradise.

1. Pick a Focal Point

What is the primary focus of your man cave? Are you hoping to watch sports with friends, play pool, and enjoy a six-pack of beer? By choosing one focal point, you can build your room around that. Then, if you have enough space (and a large enough budget), you can install additional elements like a wet bar, air hockey table, etc. Some examples of focal points include:

  • Big-Screen TV – If you want to watch TV solo, you can put a recliner in front of the screen. However, if you’re going to entertain, you can buy a couch with built-in cup holders and trays.
  • Poker Table – Maybe your sanctuary is where you and your friends can play cards monthly. So, a table in the center of the room with chairs and a small wet bar makes the place feel like a legit casino hall.
  • Sports Table – Air hockey, pool, and ping pong are often games of choice, so pick the one you like to play the most.

2. Prioritize Your Needs

Ideally, you’ll have multiple entertainment and hosting options in your retreat. First, however, you must figure out the essential elements and work your way from there. Write down a list of everything you’d like in your space, then order the list based on must-haves and want-to-haves.

Once your list is ready, you can start measuring the space to see what’s possible within the confines of your room. For example, you might have the budget for a big-screen TV and a pool table, but is the room big enough for both?

3. Set Your Budget

When creating a renovation budget like this, you want to estimate the cost for everything, including installation, furniture, decor, and even minor elements like trash cans and paper towels.

If you’re doing complex renovations (i.e., installing a wet bar), you need to call various contractors to get quotes. However, you may be able to start with DIY elements and save the renovations for later on. Here is also where prioritizing your list comes in handy since you know what to pay for upfront and what to hold off on.

4. Start With Furniture, Then Decor

The best way to convert a room into a man cave is to start with the big pieces. So, if you’re putting up a big-screen TV, figure out which wall it will be against (or mounted to) and start there. Doing this piece first means figuring out any issues and correcting them before it’s too late. For example, what if your ideal wall doesn’t have studs or has reflections on the screen?

Once your furniture is in place, add elements like posters, lamps, paintings, and more. Think of the big pieces like a skeleton and the decorations as the skin.

Get Moving Help!

Finding your personal style is part of the excitement when creating your man cave.

Hire a moving company to handle your relocation. Contact us today to see how we can help turn your dream into a reality!

Moving Your Restaurant? What to Do

Business relocations are complex – especially when you’re moving a restaurant. Maintaining good communication with loyal customers, choosing the right location, and selecting the right commercial movers are essential.

If you do it right, you’ll be able to keep your old customers and acquire new ones in your new location. On the other hand, if you’re less successful in your restaurant relocation, your business could struggle to be successful. Here’s what you need to know.

Choose the Right Location

Location means everything when you’re moving your business, and that’s especially true for restaurants. When choosing a location for your restaurant, there are many factors to take into consideration:

  • Know your target customers and whether they’ll travel to the location you’re considering
  • Select a location with adequate parking, if you expect to draw customers who do not live or walk nearby
  • Choose a location that customers will see and find easily
  • Find a location you can afford
  • Select a location with complementary businesses nearby

Choosing a restaurant location is an art, and since your business already exists in another place, you probably understand some of the thought that needs to go into location selection. Use lessons learned from your old site to find a new, better place for your restaurant.

Communicate with Customers

Tell your customers you’re moving. Put signs in your windows weeks or months before your move. Instruct servers to alert regulars about the upcoming change. If you have a newsletter, send a notice to customers in advance.

Your customers need to know that your restaurant has not shut down; it’s simply moved to a new spot. Does your restaurant have a social media account? If so, post information about the relocation on your media accounts and website.

Offer an Incentive to Customers After the Move

Once your restaurant is up and running, you must attract new customers, even as you retain the old ones. So offer an incentive to bring in new customers and entice old customers to visit your new location.

What kind of incentive? It depends on your restaurant, customer base, and budget. For example, you might offer a free dessert to everyone who comes to your restaurant within the first two weeks. Or offer a 10% discount for a select timeframe.

Advertise your incentive on your social media account, in your newsletter, and through all the channels you used to tell everyone about your relocation.

Attract New Customers with An Opening Event

Another way to attract new customers is to hold an opening event. If you choose to hold an opening event, advertise for it well. Consider offering discounts to everyone who attends. If your restaurant has room for live entertainment, find a band or a performer who can keep your restaurant customers happy while they eat and enjoy your new space.

Work With Professional Movers

Working with professional movers is essential, especially for a restaurant relocation. The pros can move your equipment, dishes, and more without damage. To make your relocation as smooth and successful as possible, contact us today for a free quote.

6 Effective Packing Tips for Your Relocation

If you have a move coming up, you might be feeling under pressure. You probably feel overwhelmed with all the scheduling, prepping, and packing you need to accomplish.

Get a handle on your household relocation by incorporating effective planning and organization. It will help eliminate stress and make your move smooth and efficient.

Here are six tips to help with your preparation and packing.

1. Reduce the Common Clutter

Packing for a household move is easier when you only bring what you need to your new home. 

Before packing, eliminate things you no longer use by finding opportunities to upcycle or recycle when possible. Sell your stuff on Marketplace or donate it to organizations like Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity.  Don’t regard your house as a storage unit. Not only will eliminating the unnecessary lighten your moving load, but it will also provide you with more space in your new home.

2. Act Now by Making a Moving Plan

Develop a moving plan that includes a detailed packing schedule. Start in the areas of your home that you use the least and with items you don’t use often. For instance, pack up formal china or holiday decor.

Create your own packing guide and schedule to keep you focused and motivated. For example, determine a specific day to manage items from a particular room. Assign one week per room—for instance, the first week, work on the guest room, week two, the basement, etc. Then, prioritize your packing, assign reasonable deadlines, and start work as soon as you know you are moving.

3. Determine Essentials for Essentials Box

Pack essential items like a change of clothes, medicines, toiletries, select kitchen items, and charging cords separately. Keep these crucial things in a separate marked box that you keep with you on moving day. Then, you can quickly dip into your supply box before your other boxes arrive and unpack them.

4. Select Appropriate Cartons

Gather sturdy cardboard boxes to store and protect your belongings. The key to effectively packing everything from clothes to books and electronics to dishware is using the appropriate cartons for your various items. 

Smaller boxes work well with heavier items like books and fragile dishes. And larger boxes are more suitable for lightweight things like comforters and pillows.

Consider using dish pack kits or glass moving kits with dividers and partitions to separate and better protect your fragile dishware. Check with your moving company for these and other specialty boxes like TV boxes and wardrobe boxes with hanger bars that allow you to move your clothes right from your closet to the box and then directly into your new closet.

5. Use Suitable Filler Material

A cardboard carton is an ideal destination for your stuff when packing, but make sure you have plenty of suitable filler material like packing paper and bubble wrap too. The filler material prevents your belongings from shifting and colliding inside the moving boxes. Make sure you wrap each item effectively, then fill in all space to keep things from movings and getting damaged. 

6. Label and Color Code Boxes

Labeling your moving cartons is essential to keep your move on track and running smoothly. When labeling your boxes:

  • Label each side
  • List the contents in detail
  • Indicate the destination room of the box at your new home

A color-coding system is also a smart idea to help differentiate which boxes go to which rooms. Make sure you provide the movers with your color code key.

Your Move Made Easier

These tips will help make your move smooth and efficient. Check out our blog for more information like this.

Contact us for a free quote and your individualized moving and storage needs!

What Can You Do to Help the Movers on Move Day?

When the movers show up at your house on moving day, they’ll quickly spring into action, packing boxes into the moving truck. If you’re not ready for their arrival, you could delay their progress while finishing up the last-minute packing activities. 

Getting your house ready is essential before the residential movers show up. This checklist will help.

Get Finished Packing

Unless you’re working with a full-service moving company with plans to have them pack your household goods, plan to finish packing before the movers arrive. Packing is a lot of work, so make a plan to be efficient. You may need help from friends or relatives during the packing process to make it more manageable.

Set aside time each day to pack. As you draw closer to your move date, you may need to spend more time packing to ensure the work gets done correctly.

Break Down Your Beds and Other Furniture

If your movers aren’t going to break down your furniture for you, disassemble it before they show up. Attach the hardware to your furniture in a baggie, so the hardware isn’t lost. Are you worried about being able to reassemble your furniture correctly? Take a video of yourself disassembling your furniture, so you’ll have something to refer back to when the time comes.

Take Items Off the Walls

Don’t forget to pack any art and decorations on your walls. Get those items packed before the movers arrive! Some art needs to be packed in a special box to avoid damage. If you have paintings or photographs, buy an art box for those pieces that need to be specially packed.

Take Down Curtains, Blinds, and Rods

Removing your curtains, blinds, and rods from the windows can take a lot of time, especially if you need to wash those curtains before packing them. If you don’t plan to hang the curtains in your new home, donate them to a charity so someone else can use them, or if you like to sew, set your curtains aside for any upcoming sewing projects.

If you’re selling your house or moving out of a rental, you may be able to leave your blinds in place for the next owner/tenant. Find out from your real estate agent whether you should do this before you go.

Tell the Movers Where to Park

One of the things that your movers may struggle with on moving day is finding a parking spot. If you live in an area with an HOA, there may be rules that prevent moving trucks from parking in the street outside your house. If you live on a busy street, you may need to get a permit for your moving truck. Find out in advance where your movers can park and give them that information.

Notify your neighbors when you plan to move so they can leave space on the street for the moving truck. This applies to both your old home and your new home.

Get Kids and Pets Out of the Way

Kids and pets can interfere with your professional movers, so make arrangements for your kids and pets to spend time with friends or family when the relocation occurs. Again, it is safer and more efficient with kids and pets securely out of the way.

Need Help? Give Us a Call

Make your move a success. Contact us today to find out what we can do to make your relocation less stressful and more successful.