Chicago Moving Blog
Posted on Jul 18, 2016
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After choosing the right moving company, you must also figure out how much too actually tip the movers. Tipping movers can be a touchy subject and you may need guidance for this situation. You are trusting movers with your personal belongings, they are taking care of the heavy lifting and in some cases, they will also be packing and unpacking for you. They should be rewarded for their hard work, but how much is the right amount to tip your movers?
While movers get paid to provide the service and haul your things from one place to another, a little extra recognition is always appreciated. If you’re happy with your movers, please consider tipping them. While they may not stand in front of your home waiting for a tip, a little extra cash is the best way to show your true appreciation for this very personal service they have provided for you.
How Much to Tip Your Movers
The amount you tip your movers depends on the service they provide for you but is of course completely at your discretion. If you have large items, such as a piano or a heave billiards table, you may need to tip a little extra for the extra work.
It’s best to tip your movers based on the time they spend on the move. A good rule of thumb is to tip between $15 and $25 per person for moves requiring up to 4 hours of time. If it takes longer to move than 4 hours, you should tip between $35 and $45 per person.
In addition, you should consider tipping extra if the movers have to deal with a heavy piano or another specialty item. Even if the item isn’t heavy, if they have to handle something valuable or fragile, add on another $5 to $10 per person.
Other factors to consider when tipping movers include:
- Weather conditions
- Additional services provided
If your movers are packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking and assembling your things, a larger tip may be necessary. Remember, to tip a bit more if the movers are providing additional services outside of just loading and dropping off.
A Few Things You Shouldn’t do When Tipping Movers
Whenever you hire a professional moving company to handle your things, make sure you avoid doing any of the following when tipping the moving crew:
Don’t offer a beer or other alcoholic beverage at the end of the move. Most companies have policies against this.
If you prefer to buy them lunch, don’t just order a pizza without asking what they would like. Remember, some may have diet restrictions or simply not care for specific types of food. However, buying your movers lunch is acceptable and much appreciated.
Don’t tip them until the entire job is done. You can’t take it back if you’re unhappy with the move.
Follow these guidelines and use your best judgement when it comes to tipping your movers. Consider the type of move and how much time it takes them. You should also consider having some cold bottles of water, sports drinks and some healthy snacks available, if the move will take all day long.
While tipping movers may be a touchy subject, a cash tips is a great way to show appreciation. If you’re not sure how much to tip, use the guidelines above and always plan to tip in cash, even if you’re paying the actual moving company with a check or credit card.
Posted on Jul 6, 2016
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Whenever you decide it’s time to move, you need specific supplies to make the move easier. Whether you’re a student moving into a new apartment or dorm room or you need to move your family across county to a big city, such as Chicago for work, the right tools will make moving much easier. Here are seven of the top supplies you should have ready when it’s time to move.
Labeling your boxes is one of the best ways to make packing and unpacking easier. Whether you choose a fancy label maker or you simply use markers, you need some type of tool and system for labeling.
It’s best if all of the boxes going to the kitchen are labeled in one color, while all of the boxes going to the other areas of the house all have their own color, as well. This makes it easy to spot which boxes need to go where when unloading the truck.
Clear Ziploc Bags
Ziploc bags are one of the best things you can have around when packing for a move, according to lifehacker.com (http://lifehacker.com/347680/five-essential-tools-for-moving). Before you start packing go to the store and get a few boxes in different sizes. They will come in handy when keep small items together, especially is you need to disassemble pieces of furniture.
Bubble Wrap, Boxes and Other Packing Materials
Of course, you need the right boxes, bubble wrap and packing materials for your items. A professional moving company will use specific boxes designed to transport items, such as flat screen TVs, dishes, aquariums, fine art and other fragile items. If you plan to handle packing on your own, you need to use the same type of boxes. You cannot trust just any old box and expect your items to arrive undamaged. Make sure you get the proper boxes before you start packing. We recommend you try Chicago Green Boxes as they are eco-friendly, sturdy, and reliable.
When you’re doing the moving on your own, furniture sliders come in handy. They help you move large pieces of furniture without scratching the floor and without needing to lift the item the entire way.
A hand truck will make moving heavy items much easier. You can also move multiple boxes at one time making the number of trips you need much less. If you’re taking on the move by yourself, a hand truck is a vital tool for your move.
Moving furniture isn’t easy, but with dollies it becomes easier. In most cases, dollies will give you the ability to roll a piece of heavy furniture to the moving truck.
Whenever you move, you need the right type of transportation. Without the right type of moving truck, you may not be able to move all of your items safely or in one trip.
It may be worth renting some lifting straps, also known as moving straps, if you plan to move heavy objects. These straps will help with weight distribution and make lifting easier.
Furniture Pads, Plastic Wrap and other Moving Supplies
You may also need to get the right furniture pads, plastic wrap and other items to help protect your belonging, while in transit.
A Professional Moving Company
The final tool you need for a successful move is a professional moving company. If you hire the right company to handle your move, you won’t need to worry about any of the other tools. Not only will they transport your items, but they will also pack and unpack for you. Even if you do the packing yourself, you will be able to get all the right packing boxes and materials from the moving company you hire.
These essential tools are necessary if you want to ensure your move is successful. It doesn’t matter if you’re just moving across town or if you need to move across the country, the right tools will make the process easier.
Posted on Jun 21, 2016
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Chicago is known as the windy city, but there’s more than wind throughout the year. You really do experience four full seasons in Chicago and it may be quite different than your current home city.
If you’re planning on moving to Chicago, you may need to choose the right clothing for each season. It’s probably necessary to do a little shopping and pick up some new items, if you want to survive the city’s four seasons.
Clothing for Winter in Chicago
Chicago is a very cold and snowy city in the winter time. You cannot survive a Chicago winter without a quality winter coat. This isn’t an area to go cheap on since zippers often break on cheaply made coats. You will also need gloves, a good hat, scarves, snow boots and other winter gear. Make sure you leave all of these items out and available if you are moving to Chicago in the Winter – you’ll need them!
You may not think it’s that big of a deal, if you’re coming from an area that experiences winter. However, if you don’t live in a big city, you may not have the luxury of using your car to get to work every day or to the store. Many residents of Chicago don’t drive their vehicles as much because they use public transportation and walk quite a bit. If this is going to be you, make sure you have proper winter clothing to dress for being out in the cold.
Clothing for Spring in Chicago
The spring season isn’t going to be super warm, but it will be a welcome break after winter. You will want to make sure you have a lighter jacket and plenty of long sleeve shirts for the spring. Some of the days will be warmer than others, so you need to be prepared for a little bit of both.
While the winter may bring lake effect snow and below zero wind chills, spring will bring warmer temperatures. However, prepare for days in the 30s and 40s, along with days in the 60s.
Clothing for Summer in Chicago
Shorts will start to come out on days when the city sees temperatures in the 60s. You will want to have plenty of summer cloths, especially if you plan to enjoy the local beach. It can actually get rather hot in Chicago when July and August roll around. Be prepared with tank tops, shorts, t-shirts, swimsuits, plenty of sunscreen and other summer clothing items. There’s no greater place to live than Chicago during the Summer!
Clothing for Fall in Chicago
Many local residents will tell you that fall is one of the best times of year in Chicago. There’s just enough chill in the air, most days, to enjoy wearing jeans and a sweater at night, but it’s still warm enough for shorts during some days. This is the time of year for a light jacket and long sleeve shirts, just like spring.
Chicago provides diversity within the weather system. It can be incredibly cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. If you’re used to a more consistent climate, such as Florida, South California or another climate with steady, year-round temperatures, you may need to make serious adjustments to your wardrobe.
When you move to Chicago, you need a little bit of everything in your wardrobe. It’s important to be prepared to wear flip flops and sandals in the summers, but also be prepared for heavy boots in the winter. Make sure you have clothing for all of the seasons if you’re planning to move to Chicago.
Posted on Jun 14, 2016
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Some of the people you know will tell you that moving is a bad idea. They think it’s too expensive, it’s too much work and it’s easier just to stay put. However, the best things in life require work and moving may lead to some great things for you.
If you have dreams of living in a big city, such as Chicago, you might be preparing for a move. If this is the case, don’t let naysayers sway you with their many myths. They will try to tell you that hiring a moving company is a bad idea and you can just do it all yourself, but have you ever really moved an entire home yourself. It’s quite a bit of heavy lifting, logistics and not a fun experience.
Don’t let other people sway you when you decide you want to move. Whether you’re just moving across town or you’re moving across the country, you should be aware of some of the common myths about moving.
The Best Day to Move is Friday
One of the biggest rumors out there is moving on Fridays is the best choice, according to realtor.com (http://www.realtor.com/advice/move/moving-myths/). Some say moving on Friday is the right choice because you have all weekend to unpack. While this is true, the weekends are also the busiest time for moving companies. Add in warmer weather and you may just find the prices are high and the movers are booked.
Free Boxes Work Great
We all want to save money and score a deal. However, using free boxes for your move may not be a great idea. You should never go cheap on the boxes, since they will protect your belongings. While you don’t have to buy your boxes directly from the moving company you hire, it’s usually a good idea. They will carry boxes for all different types of items, such as flat screen TVs, wine glasses and many other items.
Any Old Moving Company Will Do
Another huge myth you might hear about moving is that hiring any moving company will work just fine. However, when you hire a professional moving company compared to a fly-by-night operation, it may be the difference between hidden charges, high prices, theft, loss of good or damage. If you want to receive your goods and pay a fair price, you need to read the reviews, compare prices and hire a moving company with a solid reputation.
Moving Insurance will Cover it
Moving insurance is a good thing, but it’s not going to cover you fully. Professional movers will explain their basic liability and what the insurance will cover if something is lost or damaged. Make sure you understand fully what is covered before you go ahead with the move. If you feel like you will need a full value moving insurance policy, you may need to use a third part or request this type of policy from the movers.
There are several moving myths you have to be careful of as others try to sway you not to move. Most people are comfortable where they are and some are simply afraid to every step out of that comfort zone. Don’t let moving horror stories or myths change your mind.
Posted on Jun 8, 2016
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Moving is a huge event and often comes with plenty of stress. The “to-do” list for moving from one home to another is a mile long. Even with helpful residential movers, it can be a very stressful process.
While professional movers and packers can help with packing, moving and unpacking, there are many tasks you need to tackle, when moving, they can’t help with. Here are some of the things you may forget to do before you move, if you’re not careful.
Cancel Recurring Charges
This should be done about a month before you move and often people forget about things, such as a gym membership. Sometimes, you can just transfer to a gym closer to your new home, but you still need to make the changes with any recurring charges.
You should also be aware that some mail-order medications may cancel and not arrive if you don’t update your address on the billing information. Make sure you create a list of any recurring charges you may need to cancel or change an address with before you move.
Switch Car Insurance (If moving to a new zip code)
If you’re just moving down the road, you may just need to change your address with your car insurance company. However, if you’re changing zip codes your rates may change. You need to call your insurance company a couple weeks before you move to make sure your address is up-to-date and you’ll remain covered.
Change Your Address Early
Waiting until you’re in the new home to change your address isn’t a good idea. Even doing this online with the USPS won’t make it happen instantly. If you want to make sure your mail arrives at your new home on time, change your address about two weeks ahead of time.
Keep Your Finances Organized
When moving, you want to make sure you have a system for your bills and keeping everything paid. Without a good system in place, you may lose something in the whirlwind and forget to pay it. This could cause damage to your credit or cause you to fall behind on something.
Take Pictures and Create an Inventory
When using professional movers, you want to make sure you take pictures of all your expensive items and create an inventory. This will go a long way if something were to happen to any of your items during the move.
Create a Go-To Box
The day before you move, you should create a go-to box with things you will need when you first move into your new home. This could include toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, towels, paper plates, silverware, clean sheets and anything else you think you will need when you first move in.
There are several things people tend to forget about during the stress of a big move. You are less likely to forget things when you hire a residential moving company to help with packing, moving and unpacking. However, use this list to create a checklist of things needing to be done so that you don’t forget anything important.
Posted on Jun 1, 2016
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Moving is stressful. Even when you hire a professional moving company to handle loading up your things and taking them to your new location, the move is still packed with stress.
When you go into a move, it’s a good idea to have a plan of attack. You should not only plan for how things are going to get packed, moved and unpacked, but also plan in some ways to eliminate stress. Here are some of the top ways to relieve stress during your move.
This is the easiest thing you can do on the entire list, but often forgotten. Whenever you start to stress out about a move, just take a few deep breaths. This will help you slow down and it will help to relieve stress immediately.
If you need to take the breathing a little further, you can meditate. When you meditate in a quiet place with your eyes closed, you have the ability to destress very quickly. Don’t dwell on your thoughts, however. Just let them pass through your head while you’re meditating.
While exercise may seem counterproductive, it’s a great stress reliever. When you exercise, you actually release stress. If you’re starting to feel the stress of your move, take a little break and hit the gym. Even just a walk around the neighborhood can do wonders for your stress level.
Take a Nap
Sometimes, you’re tired from the move and it makes stressing out a faster process. If this is the case, take a nap. Even just 30 minutes can rejuvenate your body and spirit.
Get a Massage
Sometimes, the simple things won’t take away the stress we feel. However, getting a massage is sure to relax you. With the right massage treatment, you can take a temporary break from the world and enjoy a stress-relieving treatment at the same time.
Turn off the Electronics
Too much of your phone, computer and TV can cause over-stimulation. This is especially true right before bed. If you’re feeling stressed out during a move, take a break from your electronics for a few hours.
Take on a Small, Fun Project
Sometimes, crafts or other small projects give us a good and healthy distraction. If you need to forget about your move for a little while, take on a small project, such as a crafting project, puzzle or something else you enjoy doing.
Other ways you can relieve stress during a big move include:
- Taking a hot bath
- Listen to music
- Watch a funny movie
- Take a break to visit friends
You can use all of these techniques to keep your stress level down when moving. However, the best way to relieve stress is to allow a professional moving company to handle everything. With the right moving company, you won’t have to worry about packing, moving or unpacking. Taking all of these tasks of your plate is sure to relieve some of the stress you feel from the move.
Posted on May 24, 2016
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You’ve scheduled your moving date, you have a professional moving company coming to pack everything up, but you’re worried about your children getting in the way. Should you hire a sitter to watch your kids, while the movers are doing their job?
Spending time with your children is very important, but there are times when you simply cannot have them underfoot. During a move is one of those times, especially if your children are young and require entertainment of some sort. Here are a few reasons why hiring a sitter when the movers arrive is a smart investment.
Saves you Money
If the movers are charging you per hour for every worker, you will pay more if it takes longer to get you packed up and moved. Getting the kids out of the way by hiring a sitter may cost you a few dollars, but it may actually save you time you’d pay for with a professional moving company.
More Packing will Get Done
Even if you only have the moving company coming to pick everything up, hiring a sitter can really benefit you. If you’re doing the packing, you’ll be able to pack much faster without your children in the way, asking questions and demanding your attention. A sitter will allow you to concentrate on packing and getting everything ready for the big moving day.
Handling Changes Becomes Easier
Even with the best moving plan and the top moving company, changes to your plan may occur. If children are involved in the move, they may not adjust to the change very well and it could cause an issue. For example, if a change occurs pushing back lunchtime, your children may throw a fit because they are hungry.
You can avoid the issue of dealing with changes by hiring a sitter and taking your children’s need for stability out of the equation.
Children will be Busy, Entertained and on a Schedule
When you have a sitter taking care of the children, they will be kept busy, entertained and on a schedule. Most children really need a routine and when you go against that routine, it can be difficult for the kids to adjust. However, when you hire a sitter for your children on moving day, they won’t have to adjust.
Could Actually be Free of Charge
If you have a grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend that loves your children and lives close by, you may not have to pay a dime for a sitter. What’s better for the kids, spending time with a loving family member or spending time getting in your way and the mover’s way? Let the day be a grandparent day or another relative day and the kids will be happier.
Hiring a Sitter While Unpacking
The same principles apply when you arrive at your new place and it’s time to unpack. If the moving company you’ve hired for your move is doing the unpacking, you don’t want to pay more because the kids are distracting and slowing them down. If you’re doing the unpacking, you want to get it done and you don’t want any delays. A sitter can help make it much easier to get unpacked and settled.
There are several good reasons to hire a sitter when moving day arrives. Even if you get the full service of having a professional moving company pack you up, move your things and unpack everything, you may save money by keeping your kids out of the way. Plus, it will be better on the children if they don’t have to adjust as moving plans change.
Posted on May 18, 2016
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Whether you’re a student moving out of a dorm and into an apartment or you’re a business professional moving across town, you need to protect your valuables during the move. You don’t want to lose your most valuable items or have them stolen due to carelessness or for any other reason. Whenever you move, consider these tips to ensure your valuables are protected.
Create a Full Inventory
It doesn’t matter if you hire a professional Chicago moving company or you move everything yourself, an inventory list is essential. You should inventory all of your belongings and make sure the most valuable items are on the list. Your inventory list should also include pictures of any valuables you own, especially if they are traveling in the truck of a professional moving company.
Take Your Valuables With You
Whenever you hire a company to move your things for you, it’s a good idea to take some of the most valuable items with you, if possible. Of course, this isn’t easy to do if your valuable items are large paintings or hard to move. However, smaller items, such as jewelry, currency and other valuable should travel with you, just to ensure they don’t get lost or stolen.
Temporarily Store the Items
If your valuable items will fit in a safety deposit box, you may want to use this option during a move. Before you even hire a Chicago moving company to help you out, take your most valuable items and store them in a safety deposit box. This will help to ensure you don’t lose the items or have them stolen due to someone’s carelessness.
Storing larger items isn’t quite as easy. However, you may be able to leave a larger valuable item with a relative or friend while moving. Make sure they are a trustworthy person and can take the item for you until you’ve moved into your new place.
Hide and Mislead
Maybe storing the items or having them travel with you isn’t really possible. If this is the case and you need to pack the items with everything else, use hiding places and misleading labels.
For example, if you have a fine jewelry collection you want to move, but you don’t want to lose or have stolen from you, pack it in the bottom of a box with holiday decorations and don’t label it as jewelry or valuables. Instead, just label it as holiday decorations. This will help keep some passerby from deciding to swipe the box when no one is looking because it’s labeled as “fine jewelry.”
Use Declaration Forms
The best and most professional moving companies will allow you to fill out declaration forms for more valuable items. This ensures you and the moving company both recognized these specific items packed with your things and require special care.
Don’t Share on Social Media
One of the easiest ways to announce you own something valuable and end up losing it to a thief is to share it on social media. Keep your valuable items off social media. It’s best to keep the information that you’re moving off social media altogether. Wait until the housewarming party to show off your new place.
There are many good ways to ensure your most valuable items stay safe during a moving. Hiring a professional moving company with a good reputation is a very good start. Make sure you use the tips above and your move will go smoothly, even for your most precious items.
Posted on May 11, 2016
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You’ve already spent time packing everything up and the moving company has taken all of your belonging away. They are in transit and on the way to your new home in Chicago. Have you considered the best way to unpack when you arrive in your new home or will you just wing it?
If you were organized during the packing process or you had the professional moving company take care of the packing for you, then you’ll already be ahead of the game. However, you can still make unpacking much harder on yourself than it needs to be. The easiest way to handle unpacking is to allow your moving company to take care of it for you. However, if you plan to do it yourself, here are a few tips to make it much easier.
Find the Time
Before you do anything else, make sure you have the time to unpack. There’s nothing more annoying about moving than getting so busy you never seem to get unpacked in your new home. You don’t want to be unpacking boxes for weeks or even months.
Take a day or two off from work, if necessary, and make sure you have the time to unpack. If this isn’t possible, carve out a few hours and enlist help of family and friends to get the job done quickly. Of course, if you’re strapped for time and don’t have much help, your moving company will do the unpacking for you.
Unpack Your Rooms in the Right Order
It’s easy to think you’re going to unpack an entire home worth of stuff in just one shot. While this may happen, it’s not always the case. Moving day is draining and so is unpacking. If you unpack your rooms in the right order, you will have the most important things ready for you even if you don’t make it to the end.
Start with the bedroom. This is where you sleep, so you want to make sure your bed is set up, made and ready to go for a good night’s sleep in your new home.
The bathroom comes second and shouldn’t take very long to unpack. Obviously, you need to be able to use the facilities, so unpacking your bathroom and shower items is a must.
Next, you will want to get the kitchen unpacked. This will ensure you have a place to make food when you’re hungry. It’s often a larger job, but it needs to be operational as soon as possible. You don’t have to make the kitchen fully operational, however. Just make sure you have the things you need to get you by until you have the time to unpack everything.
After the kitchen, the order isn’t as important. You’ve taken care of the essentials, so you’re set up for success with the rest of your unpacking.
Other things you should do to make your unpacking easier include:
- Inspect all boxes before picking them up
- Sort your boxes or have the movers deliver them into the right rooms
- Unpack any essentials boxes first
- Set up any large furniture items early in the process
- Clean up throughout the process
If you follow these simple tips unpacking will become much easier. Of course, if you want to make it hassle-free and super easy, hire your moving company to do the unpacking for you.
Posted on May 3, 2016
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When you move, it will become stressful and you may forget a few things. It’s even worse if the move comes suddenly and you didn’t have time to prepare. With more than 30 million people moving every single year, it’s no surprise that some things get forgotten or left behind. You’re not alone, but if you’re aware of some of the most commonly forgotten things during a move, maybe you won’t forget them.
Things Borrowed by Neighbors
Maybe the easiest and most commonly forgotten thing from any move is anything you let your neighbors borrow. If you loaned out a weed whacker, for example, and you’re moving in the winter, you may not think about it because it has been a while since you needed it.
The best thing you can do to avoid moving without items you let neighbors borrow is to keep an inventory of the things you own and loaned out. Make sure it includes anything you’ve stored with friends or neighbors, as well.
Anything Packed Last
You may think your packing system is perfect because you plan to pack the microwave or coffee maker last. However, these items can be forgotten because they are left until last. Make sure you remember to pack these final items and triple check before you completely vacate your old home or apartment.
Believe it or not, many people forget their pets (at least at first) when they move. Cats and dogs have both been left behind because people get so caught up in the stress of moving. Make sure you have a plan for your pets and either move them first or kennel them while you’re moving, if possible.
Anything in a Crawlspace or Attic
It may not happen quite as often as some of the other things on this list, but people often forget to pack and move an entire attic or crawlspace. The things they store here have been there for so long, they may not even think about them, especially if they have to move in a hurry.
This isn’t an item people forget to pack when they are moving, but one they forget to leave handy during the move. Make sure you leave out some toilet paper and even if you leave it behind it’s not a big deal. However, if you need to go and you don’t have any paper, it can become a rather big deal.
Other commonly forgotten items and mistakes during moving include:
- Losing packing tape often
- Packing cleaning supplies and tools too soon
- Leaving charging cords for electronics behind
- Leaving food in the fridge
- Forgetting countertop appliances
Items often get left behind during a move, especially a move happening suddenly. One of the best ways to ensure items don’t get left behind is to hire a professional moving company to not only move your items, but also pack them up for you. This allows you to concentrate on double and triple checking to ensure everything gets packed and nothing is left behind.
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