Simple Holiday Moving Guide

The holidays are here and it’s time… to move? This is one of the least popular times of the year to move, but once it’s done, you’ll get to spend the holidays at your brand new home! It may be one of the most exciting times to move since everyone is already available to celebrate the holidays, help you pack, and give you an extra special sendoff.

While you’re singing carols and driving past holiday lights, you can still successfully move your family into your new home without missing a beat this holiday season. You’ll want to plan ahead, consider the weather, and make it a fun process being the holiday season. Take a look at this guide that will make winter moving during the holidays a little more simple and exciting.

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The planning process

Start with a great game plan. While you probably won’t have time to do everything you would normally do during the holiday season, you can still do what you make time for. Keep your expectations reasonable knowing that you are going through a big life change of moving during an already busy holiday season. It’s time to make a list of the things that have to be done and what things could be missed this year.

Instead of putting up your decorations this year, pack anything that you would normally pack away to put up your holiday decorations. If you’ll be spending a decent amount of time in your original home, be sure to decorate at least one space to keep the holiday spirit alive before moving to the new house. Start purging the rest of the house to eliminate things that you don’t need anymore, and start purchasing your moving supplies to pack up right away.

Consider your budget with the move and what you can afford for holiday shopping this year. You can have presents shipped to your new home by buying online and updating your shipping address. Pack up plates and dinnerware in exchange for high-quality paper and plastic items that can make party cleanup a cinch while still looking elegant. Then be sure your professional moving crew is hired and ready for moving day.

Have a moving holiday party

This is a great time to have a holiday party that can also be thought of as a moving party. Keep out a few holiday items for the party and that can get you started in your new home. Have a holiday playlist for the party that you can also enjoy on your travels to the new home and for when you arrive. It will be a great send-off that also gives you that holiday cheer you want to enjoy right now. This is also a great time to hand out your holiday cards with your new address!

The actual move

For the moving day, be sure to have your first-week box ready for your essentials, favorite holiday items, and supplies for the actual trip. You may want to pack a picnic if you plan to drive far and try to stop somewhere fun on the way, such as a national park or landmark that the kids would love. Bring hot drinks and blankets for the winter move. Don’t forget your holiday playlist, snacks for the trip, winter supplies such as coats and ice scrapers, and preparing your driveway to get the car and moving truck in and out safely.

Of course, you should have your utilities set up in advance so that your home will be nice and heated upon arrival. Once you’ve unpacked everything, you’ll now have the convenience of boxes to use for wrapping gifts, and a new home ready to start new traditions in. Allow yourself to dine out as you get settled and enjoying community holiday events for the first time.

Try to have fun with your holiday move knowing that you’re moving during that time of year where everyone is already a little bit jollier and there’s an excitement in the air. Enjoy your new home and the new space to celebrate your family holidays every year!

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How to preserve your house plants during a move

Are you worried about getting your houseplants safely to your new home on your upcoming move? It’s a common concern for moving families because keeping plants healthy is already a delicate task on a daily basis in normal life. When you’re moving to a new location where travel is involved, it can be a challenge to avoid harming plants.

Those who don’t do it properly could arrive at their new home with plants that didn’t survive the trip. When you hire a professional moving company, you don’t have to worry about how your plants will fare since they have the expertise at moving them safely. Whether you’re moving your plants yourself or hire a professional mover, here is a look at how they need to be preserved for the move.

Why it’s a challenge to move your plants

Moving, in general, can be a challenge, trying to pack everything just right to avoid damage and to be able to find the thing you need when you arrive at the destination, but moving your plants is a different kind of challenge. The good news is that moving your plants will make your new house feel like home in no time, bringing a familiar living thing to the new house that offers a warm and welcoming feeling.

They are part of the family, but unlike your family members, they will get moved like the rest of your stuff somewhere in the truck. They are like fragile antiques and furniture except that they can’t be shoved into a box and opened again later; they need water, sunlight, and air to stay alive during the transit.

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Hiring Movers

Some people choose to hire movers for their entire move, including the plants, or call a professional plant mover to handle this portion of the job. They won’t cover any damage that is caused to the plants during the move since it’s so likely that the plants will suffer during the move, but they can provide the proper containers and tips to get things moved safely.

Moving them yourself

In most cases, families will move the plants themselves and leave the rest of the house to the movers. You can start prepping your plants by transplanting into green plastic containers rather than moving in their fragile clay pots.

Make sure to call your local US Department of Agriculture to make sure you are allowed to move your plants from state-to-state, since there are strict rules about which plants can be brought into certain states, particularly because of bugs or disease that can be brought with the plant.

You’ll need sturdy boxes to put your plants in and it’s helpful to line them with plastic. Add cushioning between the box and the plants such as foam to ensure the plants doesn’t shift during the move and keep them on the floor on the backseat of the car, depending on the height of the plant.

Most people prefer to move the plants in their own vehicle to keep a closer eye on the plant and to allow them some indoor time if there is an overnight stop in severe temperatures. Make sure to wrap or bag plants and protect fragile branches or stems.

How to adjust plants to the new home

Once you’ve successfully moved your plants, they’ll need some time to adjust afterward. Make sure to immediately remove them from the plastic and out of the boxes. You’ll want to give them plant food and water right away.

If you removed them from the original pot and into plastic for the move, make sure to put them in the original pot after about a week once they’ve settled. If you move them back to the original too quickly, they may over-stress.

Your plants can be moved safely to your new home, just be sure to do the proper prep work to ensure they survive and thrive after the trip!

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When and what should you vacuum seal during a move

Sometimes people opt to pack their house with vacuum sealed bags, helping to save space and protect items during the move. While this is a great method for some items, it’s not going to work for everything. Vacuum packing simply means to vacuum the air out of a plastic bag designed for such task, and keeping the items in the bag sealed tight and taking up minimal space.

When you remove the air from the bag and seal it, you’ll save space for things that are normally space-killers, such as bedding and clothes. Take a look at the items that people often vacuum seal for their move and which ones won’t benefit from this method.

Bedding and pillows

One of the easiest ways to save space in your boxes is to vacuum seal that bulk bedding you own. Bed sheets and comforters are very hard to pack efficiently because they take up so much space and are very large. When you use a vacuum-sealed bag, that big, fluffy comforter can now fit in a more efficient box rather than an oversized one.

Your pillows and other bedding are perfect for this type of bag as well. Bed pillows, throw pillows, bed skirts, and other bedding items can become bulky when folded up or attempted to be stuffed into moving boxes.

Use a vacuum-sealed method for these other bulky items so that you don’t have to feel guilty about how much room these favorite fluffy items are taking up in the moving truck. Your pillows and blankets will spring back to life once you open the vacuum-sealed bag at destination.

Clothes

Just like your bedding, your clothes may start to become bulky when you pack them for the move. These are the most common items for vacuum-sealing, for everything from moving to just going on vacation. Each piece of clothing on top of one another becomes more and more layers in your box, but your vacuum-sealed bag can smash them into one simple layer.

They won’t even wrinkle when put in a vacuum-sealed bag while packing normally will more likely cause them to become wrinkled. Instead of lugging heavy clothing boxes into the truck and out of the truck, get them into vacuum-sealed bags in just a few boxes.

Food

You may have never heard of vacuum-sealing food, but this can be one of the handiest places to use these bags. It will help keep your perishable foods lasting longer when you vacuum seal. It’s a great way to protect your food during the move, avoid food going bad, keep the food fresh, and ensure the food will last longer.

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Perks of vacuum-sealed bags and what items to avoid

In addition, to protect your items and saving space, vacuum-sealed bags are an inexpensive purchase that will keep your stuff organized. It will keep your food fresh, turn bulky items into a smaller, more manageable size, and will save you money when moving due to needing fewer boxes and a smaller truck. You also can stop worrying about things getting into the bag since they are air-tight.

Can I just vacuum-seal everything in my home for the move? Watch out for solid items, like antiques, knick-knacks, and office items, which will not benefit from a vacuum-sealed bag. Only flexible items that can be layered will benefit from this process. They will condense from the removal of the air, which means solid items won’t be able to become any smaller for space saving.

If you’re considering vacuum-seal bags for your upcoming residential move, these will come in so much handy while you’re packing up the bedroom and refrigerator!

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Learn the lingo: Moving terms to know on moving day

When moving day is approaching, you are probably in overdrive preparing yourself and your family for the big day. Part of that preparation should be to get familiar with some of the lingo that might be tossed around during moving day conversation.

You may hear about these things during a pre-move survey, during an estimate, on moving day, or after moving day when it’s time for the final tab. The sooner you get to know these terms, the easier it will be to ask the proper questions and prepare yourself for the move. Take a look at some of the lingo you may not have heard before such as accessorial charges and operating authority.

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Bill of lading

One of the terms you’ll hear mentioned is the bill of lading or contract between you and the moving company. This is the binding contract regarding the transport of your household goods.

Consignor or consignee

If they mention of consignor or consignee, you may immediately think of a co-signer on a loan. "Consignor" is actually a term for the person that at the point where you move originates that is the pick-up point person. The consignee is the one that will receive the goods at destination, which is often times the same person as the consignor.

Accessorial charges

If you hear about charges for accessorials, keep in mind that this is very normal. This is the term for any extra charges due to additional services needed outside of the standard services. This could mean that you were charged extra for the moving company supplying you with moving boxes, extra charge for needing an extra pick-up, or you had a higher than usual inventory of something like books.

These miscellaneous items that aren’t going to happen in the standard move just get charged under accessorial charges to cover the extra time, labor, or supplies provided by the movers.

Claim

You’ve probably had to file a claim with a company in the past. You’ll have the option to file a claim if you discover damage or loss of any goods. Submit claims right away to avoid missing out on reimbursement.

You’ll receive standard coverage for free on your move to cover any damaged goods, at approximately 60 cents per pound, but you can purchase additional coverage if you want to be sure your expensive TV or furniture is covered from significant damage. You’ll also want to ask about transit insurance, the insurance that covers the items during transit, to see what is covered and what you need to acquire.

Reweigh

Your movers will weigh the final product of all of your goods on their truck. They’ll go to a weigh-in station in the area to weigh the truck in order to determine what your final weight was, minus the weight of the actual truck.

Your bill will reflect the weight that was moved by getting the weight at a weigh station. They always take an estimate before the move and then the reweigh indicates the actual final weight which is tweaked on the final bill from the originally estimated weight.

Operating authority

If you hear the term “operation authority,” this refers to the certification that the state of federal government gives to authorize the move between geographical areas. This would be acquired before the bill of lading is signed.

Linehaul charges

Lastly, you might hear line haul charges mentioned on the bill. These refer to the basic charges for a long distance move. They are calculated based on your moving weight and the mileage.

When you hear lingo you don’t recognize during the move, don’t feel alone. These are the terms that are often misunderstood by families, but you can go into your move feeling more prepared by learning them here.

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3 Chicago attractions you should take in after your move

One of the best parts about moving to Chicago has to be the fact that after your move, you’ll have access to some of the country’s top attractions right in your neighborhood. That’s right; after moving to a new home in Chicago, you get to enjoy the skyline views from the Navy Pier or exploring history at the Field Museum.

If you’re looking forward to a walk through museums, a stroll through the park, and a spin around the Ferris Wheel, take a look at these activities and more that you can enjoy at Millennium Park, the Field Museum, and the Navy Pier after your move to Chicago.

Navy Pier

Whether you’re looking for a place to eat, a piece of local theater, or you just want to enjoy being outdoors, the Navy Pier is the perfect place to start your new life in Chicago. If your group is 21 or older, walk over to the Miller Lite Beer Garden or just walk around the pier with your beverage. For those with children, you’ll love grabbing lunch at DMK Burger and Fish Bar or having a treat from the Original Rainbow Cone. The Pier is a great place to eat, drink, and indulge.

After you refuel, catch a boat tour of the city on an architecture-themed tour, or get tickets for the huge Ferris wheel. The Centennial Wheel goes around nice and slow to give you beautiful views of the city and residents get a discount. You’ll also want to catch a performance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater or watch the latest flicks at the IMAX cinema.

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Millennium Park

If you like the idea of being outside but want a day to just enjoy the local culture without pulling out your wallet, head over to Millennium Park!  This park is one of the best featuring a huge 24.5-acre space, an outdoor gallery, a beautiful garden, free outdoor shows, and the famous Cloud Gate, also called “The Bean.”

The Bean is a reflective sculpture that makes for some of the best Chicago pictures of your family, which you’ll reach after you’ve walked through the permanent outdoor gallery of beautiful pieces from contemporary artists.

During the warmer months, you’ll enjoy local culture through excellent Chicago concerts. Look out for the Millennium Park Summer Concert Series where you can enjoy jazz, rock, and world acts. You’ll also love the Chicago Blues Festival and the Jazz Festival.

During the rest of the year, enjoy a walk through the peaceful Lurie Garden, the pedestrian bridges leading to the Art Institute, and local dining featuring views of the park.

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The Field Museum

You don’t have to be traveling with kids to spend a day at the incredible Field Museum. Upon entering this exciting anthropological and biological museum, you’ll see Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever uncovered. From there, you’ll want to take a tour with a guide to see the plethora exhibits, to see scientists at work in the Fossil Prep Lab, and to check out the 3d movie theater where you’ll see films about dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, and the Galapagos on rotation. Look for it with many other exciting museums over at Museum Campus.

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What better to celebrate your move to Chicago than to enjoy some top attractions after the work is done? Be sure to stop by these top attractions once you’ve settled into your new neighborhood and be sure to bring your new Chicago ID to get a discount on the area's attractions!

These are just a few of Chicago's dozens of attractions you'll want to visit. Make sure you checkout our guide on what to consider before moving to a new city!

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