Save Green/Go Green: 5 Moving Hacks That Do Both

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Category: Green Moving, Moving Boxes & Supplies

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Ah, St. Patrick’s Day! A time for silly green sweaters and spilling green beer on ourselves!

What’s that? You’re too busy moving to a new apartment to get your Irish on? Well take heart, lads and lassies, you can still celebrate St. Paddy’s! With these five tips for saving some green on your move while being greener along the way, you’ll be drinking in the An t-áadh na n Gael more than any of your fellow muckers heading out on the lash for a craic.

Anyway, you get the idea.

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5 Things to Ask Before You Move Into a City Apartment

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Category: Loading & Unloading Guides, Moving Day

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So you’re all set to move into your new downtown apartment! Congratulations! You’ve got your life loaded up and your old life is in the rear view mirror of a U-Haul. Nothing to do now but set up the new pad and get your new life in the city rolling!

Wait!

There’s more to moving into a new apartment building than just picking up your key and having your buddy hold the elevator. City buildings likely come with a whole list of rules and regulations for moving in, so whether you are moving by yourself or hiring movers to do it for you, it’s wise to contact your building manager ahead of time for the complete run-down. With that in mind, here’s a list of five questions that should top your moving day FAQ.

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Packing Shoes the Right Way

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Category: Pro Packing Guides

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[Synopsis: On a pack, shoes can get treated poorly. Give them the care they deserve.]

There are two basic ways to pack shoes.

One: Line a carton with paper, drop in a pile of shoes, tape the box shut and mark it with a big fat “SHOES”.

Two: Or, do it the right way.

Even if the customer’s stuff will only be in boxes for a few days, improperly packed shoes can come out ruinously misshapen. Here are a few tips to prevent this from happening.

Before the Pack

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We’re basically talking about shoes here, not sneakers. But whatever the case, a few preventative measures should be considered:

  1. Pack only dry shoes. Moisture can do bad things, particularly to suede and leather. But mold? It can make even the king’s cross-trainers smell.
  2. You know those balls of tissue in the toes of the shoes in the shoe store? They’re not there just to annoy us. Besides helping a shoe maintain its shape, some balled-up paper can absorb any residual moisture that might be lingering. Pro Tip: Consider using socks for this.
  3. Wipe those nice shoes clean. No need to set up a shoeshine booth, but dust and dirt can mar a shoe’s surface over time.

For the Pack

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Now that we’ve taken measures against moisture, mold and marring, our prime concern is to make sure our customer’s shoes don’t get crushed.

  1. When possible, pack shoes in their original boxes. The nicer the shoes, the better the chances the customer will still have them. Regardless, it’s still a great idea to wrap them in paper to keep them from rubbing and scuffing each other. When enough paper is used it prevents that shoebox from getting crushed.
  2. Unless you’re packing (a) long-legged boots or (b) Shaquille O’Neal’s size 23 Nikes, one sheet of packing paper should be enough not only to adequately cover both shoes but to provide enough excess to form some protective padding for your bundle. Roll up one shoe, then the other in order to keep them separated – no need to be a neurosurgeon here but keeping the left and the right off each other is good practice. Note that some sources suggest wrapping shoes with their soles touching, others with the soles out. We lean toward putting the soles in against each other.
  3. Start with a cushiony layer of paper at the bottom of the carton. Usually a 3-cube works for packing shoes but a 4.5 will work too. Either way, those shoes at the bottom will want a bit of protection underneath. A layer of paper between layers of shoes further protects against crushing.
  4. Pack shoes on their sides to allow the soles to add some support and integrity to your carton. Form a layer of bundles of shoes on top of a layer of packing paper. Generally, heavier shoes go at the bottom. However, boots (those ladies’ long dress boots, not bad weather boots) can suffer creases in those long leggy parts if there are several bundles of shoes on top of them. Pack these items on top, again making sure there is paper separating them.
  5. Dress sandals and open-toed shoes are particularly susceptible to being misshapen. While less critical, sneakers and summer sandals (i.e., flip-flops) should be shown at least some degree of care.

A Final Word

Moving across town might not demand the same amount of care as a long distance multi-day move that involves storage. Good old common sense goes a long way and saves precious time. But with a customer’s pricey shoe collection we can never be too careful. Replacing those wingtips or stilettos might not be impossible, but getting all bent out of shape is a hassle the customer would undoubtedly like to avoid.

8 GENIUS Halloween Costumes That We’ll Teach You To Make From Leftover Boxes

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Category: Seasonal & Holidays

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Halloween is just around the corner (18 days to be exact…) and if you just moved in or still have a few moving boxes to unpack, this post is for you! Instead of throwing away those last few boxes, we want to challenge you to up-cycle them into the most amazing Halloween costume that your new, impressionable neighborhood has ever seen!

Yep, forget spending big bucks online or at a costume shop. With a little creativity and some leftover boxes, we are confident you can fashion one of these looks. Check out the tutorials below each image! (Except for Beyonce. There’s only one Beyonce.)

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Stop Putting Propane Tanks on Moving Trucks

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Category: Mover Stories, Moving Trucks

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[Synopsis: Another unfortunate moving situation, caused by entirely avoidable errors.]

Flammables like gasoline, paint thinner and propane are not allowed on a moving van for a very obvious reason.

“Yes, we know. It has to do with that ‘flammable’ part. Thanks for the newsflash.”

You’re welcome. But there’s more to it, as one very unlucky family in Texas found out this summer. A fire broke out on the truck carrying all their belongings to their new home in the woods.

The ABC News piece doesn’t get into the blame game about why there was a propane tank on the truck, they simply include a statement of acknowledgement by the moving company that the propane tank at the center of the problem should never have been in there.

The fortunate side of the incident was that the fire damaged a very limited number of items: a couch, two chairs and a barbeque. (We’re not sure how you burn a barbeque.) Unfortunately, it seems everything else the family was moving has been irreparably damaged by the smoke that also filled the truck.

“The family can’t really gather in their living room,” ABC tells us, “because the furniture reeks of smoke.”

“This is a log cabin,” adds Kim Ellis, the mom whose family is sleeping on cots for the time being. “It’s gonna absorb all that smell and we’re gonna ruin our entire home.”

Skipping any details about whether the family was offered or considered any valuation coverage, ABC only reports that the moving company is prepared to pay the family the often-anger-inducing 60 cents per pound of freight moved as compensation.

There are two things every moving company can do to avoid a situation like this.

“Yes, we know. Explain coverage options to the customer and don’t put a propane tank on the truck.”

Yep, you guys are definitely on the ball.

How I Pack a Dishpack

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Category: Pro Packing Guides

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[Synopsis: Dishpacks are often our heaviest cartons. Make sure they’re protected from the bottom.]

A well-packed dishpack starts at the bottom, with a layer of paper to cushion and protect those pounds of plates, dishes and bowls.

2016septnl2-copySome movers will fold a dozen or so sheets of packing paper to create their thick layer of padding.

Others will ball up these dozens or more sheets of paper and create a sea of crumpled newsprint at the bottom of the box.

2016sepnl1I’d never been completely comfortable with either of these strategies. Folded packing paper, no matter how many sheets, never seemed cushiony enough to me. I always envision that sea of crumpled paper parting under the weight of all those dishes, which would then end up sinking to an unpadded box bottom.

But what else was there to do? It had to be one or the other, right?

Then one day it hit me.

So now I do both.

Ever since that “Eureka” moment, I start my dishpacks by putting down a layer of several folded sheets of packing paper, adding a dense layer of crumpled paper, then topping that off with a layer of more folded sheets of paper. The crumpled paper layer in the middle gives plenty of cushioning, while the layers of folded paper help keep that middle layer in place.

There’s more than one way to cushion a dishpack. This just happens to be my favorite because it provides the most amount of support, which in turn, has helped me keep claims down to a minimum.

How to Pack Wine for a Move (Like the Pros)

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Category: How To Pack, Pro Packing Guides

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[Synopsis: Packing wine obviously requires care. Here we go into a few important particulars.]

Customers will sometimes wonder: Can wine be safely and legally transported? The answer, of course, is yes! But there are a few things that both we and the customer should know about all those bottles of red and white adult juice.

5 Tips for The Mover

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  • Wine is heavy. 12 bottles will weigh around forty pounds. Not only need a book carton, but a new one is strongly suggested.
  • Strengthen that carton. Use plenty of tape on the bottom. Those bottles will also put pressure on the carton in a way books won’t. An extra piece of (corrugated) cardboard adds strength as well as a little more cushioning.
  • Since glass is much stronger when kept vertical it seems logical to pack wine upright in the box. But some people (including Mayflower) advise laying those bottles down to keep the corks moist (particularly salient with expensive-side red wine). Others (like the folks at FlatRate) say transporting reds upside down is best “to ensure that the corks stay wet and sediment remains undisturbed.” (This after disturbing the sediment by rolling each bottle in packing paper.) We suggest packing bottles of wine upright, with a caveat in Customer Tip #1 below. However, Mayflower says (without explaining why) that sparkling wine and champagne should always be transported upright.
  • As with plates and glasses in a dish pack, wine in a book box should be packed tightly. In addition to that extra piece of cardboard at the bottom, some extra packing paper might work although crumpled paper makes for an uneven surface and may make the tops of the wine bottles sit higher than the top of the box. A dish towel or two might be the better bet. Dividers (sometimes called ‘wine cells’) can lend vertical strength to the carton (especially if the wine bottles are significantly shorter than the carton) but if they aren’t packed tightly the carton loses some horizontal integrity. Adequate amounts of packing paper, around and in between the bottles, is critical whether we use dividers or not.
  • Filling in the spaces between the skinny bottle necks is particularly important along the sides of the carton, but to support the top layer of packing paper (or dish towels) it’s a good idea to be generous with the newsprint.

5 Tips for the Customer

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Moving to the next town, or even the next state, may not pose problems for a box of wine in the back of a truck. But for longer periods of time due to a long-distance move or a long period of storage, there are a few things the customer might consider.

  • If your wine has been packed upright, it might be a good idea to lay that box on its side overnight or when it goes into storage, to keep those corks moist.
  • Extreme temperatures can ruin a good bottle of wine. Consider climate control during transport if that is an option, or think about keeping that box in the car or the cab of the truck to guard against the summer heat or the winter chill.
  • If moving out of state, check for laws regulating how much wine or other forms of alcohol can be transported across state lines.
  • Allow wine to sit for a week after being transported. If you doesn’t want to wait that long to crack open a bottle to celebrate finishing your move, go out and find a liquor store in your new neighborhood since hey, you’re probably going to want to know where it is anyway. (Just saying.)
  • If you’re supplying your own boxes, the local liquor shop is a good place to find some good wine cartons, complete with those dividers.

One final point: Packing and transporting uncorked bottles of wine – or any bottles that have been opened – is risky for obvious reasons. The safer bet is for the customer to finish off any opened bottles (preferably before the day of the move) or give them to their neighbors or friends who will likely be happy to help with at least THAT aspect of the move.

8 Clever Holiday Cardboard Hacks

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Category: Seasonal & Holidays

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Happy Holidays! Whether you just moved into your new place or are an avid online shopper, most of us are guilty of having a little extra cardboard around the house at any given moment. And for most of us, this valuable tool does its job transporting and then quickly gets retired to the garbage.

Instead of hauling that leftover cardboard to the curb immediately, have you ever thought of using it in a new way in your home? Maybe to help stay organized or just to add a little extra holiday spirit around your place?

No, we have not gone crazy and yes, we do believe with a little creativity your old moving boxes can be repurposed to actually dress up your new place for the holiday! Not only would this be cutting down on your waste, upcycling your leftover cardboard could even save you some money this holiday season.

Before you officially think we’ve bought a one-way ticket to Crazytown, check out these super clever holiday cardboard hacks. One moving box at a time, we are determined get in the holiday spirit…. (more…)

Plastic Crates: The Cardboard Box Alternative

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Category: Movehacks, Moving Boxes & Supplies

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PicMonkey CollageWhen most people have a move looming, oftentimes the first thing they tackle on their moving to-do list is “BUY CARDBOARD BOXES.” That often means a trip to the hardware store for a variety of box sizes, packing tape, and a sharpie marker for labeling.

Packed BoxBut what if I told you that there are ways to transport all of your belongings without going anywhere near a cardboard box. Yeah…this is new to us too. (more…)

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