6 Reasons Why Planning Your Summer Move in the Winter Saves You Money

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Moving Checklists & Planning

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My wife thought I was nuts. It was only the end of February, but I was already hauling in piles of used boxes so I could start planning my move. “We’re not moving until the end of June!” she cried, visions in her head of sleeping on the floor between stacks of cardboard boxes, I guess.

I told her I knew what I was doing and disappeared into the basement. And in fact, I did.

There are plenty of understandable reasons not to start planning your move four months ahead of time. But those reasons don’t seem so smart when you suddenly realize you’re moving in three days. 

If you’re looking to move sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day (along with about 20 million other people) you have even more reason to get a jump-start on things. These are the most practical reasons why.

Researching the Right Things

There is one major reason people end up with crappy movers – or in some cases end up getting scammed by people posing as movers: They didn’t do their homework before hiring them.

What does “homework” mean?

  • Find and read real reviews on your local moving company
  • Look up a moving company’s Better Business Bureau rating
  • Research if a mover is a legally registered transporter of household goods

Particularly if you are moving in the summer (seriously, literally millions and millions of people move between June and August), you want to give yourself time not only to find the right movers – i.e., movers who will treat you right – but you don’t want to miss out on hiring the movers that would have been perfect for you because somebody beat you to it. If you think hiring movers could be expensive, you should see how much hiring bad movers could end up costing you …

You might love our:

Moving Cost Calculator

If the quote from your movers felt expensive …
Make sure it lines up with the costs reported by other Americans.

And true, you may not know several months in advance exactly what day you’ll be moving. But don’t wait until a week before you’ve written “Moving!” on your calendar to start doing your homework. Get on it!

Your Sales-Rep Walk-Through

As the summer approaches, moving company sales representatives are just as busy as movers. Sometimes they’re even busier. But having a grasp of what you need ahead of time will prevent from your two-hour move turning into a six-hour one.

Conventional wisdom says you should get at least three in-home estimates if you want an estimate you can be fairly confident in. If you wanted to be absolutely thorough by price and quality, you not only need to find three solid moving companies, you need to find times that work for their three sales reps and for you. The closer you are to move day, the busier you will be. The closer it is to summer the busier they will be.

The good thing is, you don’t have to know when you’re moving to get your estimate.

You do, however, have to know what you will be moving. Of course, you can make some changes down the road if need be. Just be sure to communicate these changes ahead of time, not on move day!

Protip: Your sales rep might notice things you wouldn’t even think about, like the fact that the big office desk you assembled in the spare room isn’t going to fit out the door, or that your massive fish tank will probably need to be crated.

Having the luxury of time to get these unexpected extras taken care of may prove to be a lifesaver.

Creating a Rapport With Your Mover

If you want to be efficient, you don’t want a bunch of perplexed strangers showing up on moving day.

While you won’t have much to worry about if you hire movers through HireAHelper (after 70,000 5-star reviews, we can say things like that), getting to know each other before the actual move day creates a good vibe for both parties. More than this, having time to ask questions and bring up concerns helps your movers prepare for the job ahead. 

By the same token, you can expect your movers to be as busy as you are in the lead-up to your move. Say hello, let them know what you need, let them know you appreciate it, and then step back and let them do their thing. 

Likely a Better Rate

We can’t absolutely guarantee that you’ll end up paying more if you hire your movers in the middle of May rather than the middle of March, but we are dead-certain you won’t save yourself any money by waiting until the last minute to book your movers. Unless of course the only movers left available are sketchy guys with a string of bad reviews. 

If you’re a couple months ahead of the game you’ll likely also get a much better deal on your rental truck. And your chances of nailing down the right size truck for your move also goes way up. (If you do find yourself having trouble scoring a rental truck check the tips we offer in this post.)

Get Help Loading Your U-Haul Truck

See prices for movers by the hour – instantly.

Read real customer reviews.

Easily book your help online.

 

Avoiding Last-Minute Expenses

As move day approaches you’ll be going absolutely nuts tackling a thousand last-minute tasks, from canceling utilities to meeting with your landlord/realtor, to cleaning your apartment well enough to get your deposit back to getting all that non-perishable food to the soup kitchen. It will be in these final frenzied hours and days that you’ll be glad you got a three-month head start.

Packing Costs and Timing

Even if you book your movers (and your rental truck) early, if you have a decent amount of stuff and you’re moving a fair distance, you’re going to have to shell out a good chunk of change for

That’s simply the nature of the beast.

Protip: But while there may be nothing you can do about how far you have to move, you just might feel extra motivated to lighten your load by getting rid of all the stuff you know you don’t really need. (You might also feel a sudden urge to save some bucks by packing up the entire house yourself. Both are easier when you have a bigger window to work in.)

We do guarantee, by the way, that once you start packing, you’ll realize that you have about three times as much stuff as you thought and it’s going to take you quadruple the time.

Yep, if you’re like me, you’ll likely be so tired that you’ll have no problem sleeping on the floor between those stacks of cardboard boxes. But just to be safe, pack your bed last.

How Does the New Tax System Affect My Moving Business?

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Regulations

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“You’ll be able to file your taxes on a postcard” was the claim made by more than one person during the final weeks of 2017 when the new tax bill was being wrangled out.

If you follow politics at all, then 2017 seems so long ago.

“[The] postcard concept is out the window,” says CPA and financial advisor Mark Kohler. “Tax advisers are going to be even more critical for the small business owner.”

Okay, so what’s going on now? We can offer all sorts of moving industry advice, but we’re less (see: “legally”) confident in our tax advisory expertise. But that caveat aside, here are a few key takeaways from the recent tax reform that a small moving company owner may find interesting.

Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, LLCs and S-Corporations

This probably includes just about everyone in the HireAHelper mover community.

You do not get any sort of break in the form of reduced taxes. Instead, these “pass-through companies” – meaning companies where income passes through to the company owners who report said income on their individual tax returns – are now able to deduct 20% from that income. This may be of interest to you, depending on how your individual taxes pencil out. (The charts in this Investopedia piece may help.)

However, any earned wages from your business that you report are excluded from your “QBI (Qualified business income). In other words, if you pay yourself wages out of your business income (a scenario most likely if you are an S-Corporation), you can only deduct your 20% from the business income that passes through to you as an individual. (Yes, this sort of set-up is ripe for abuse, with people adjusting their wages or salary in order to reap the biggest tax break.)

Also, if you are pulling in more than $157,500 as a single filer or ($315,000 for joint filers) you may not be eligible for the full 20% deduction, depending on how your business is classified (i.e., personal service versus employee-based). If that is the case, your best bet here is to consult a tax expert.

Deducting Costs For Trucks

Easier to comprehend is the change in how businesses can deduct the costs of depreciable assets – like vehicles, hand trucks and four-wheelers.

Whereas before, deductions for capital expenses would be made over several years, now you can deduct the full cost of any and all equipment you purchase from your taxable income for that year (up to $1,000,000).

This is perhaps the biggest boon for small business owners, as it helps ease the financial burden of purchasing the equipment that can help those owners increase productivity and grow their businesses. If you have been putting off buying that truck or updating your equipment inventory, you may now find your procrastination rewarded!

Changers For Your Customers

But for us, the most significant change in the tax code might be one that is directed not at us, but at our potential customers: As part of the tax reform, individuals will no longer be able to write off their work-related relocation expenses.

Now, could this mean that fewer people will be moving for work? Possibly. But how many have that choice? The more likely effect is that this will encourage more people to look for ways to save on their move.

Which could benefit all of us in the HireAHelper community, no matter which tax bracket we’re in.

Have a prosperous year everyone! (And good luck on your taxes!)

‘Move For Hunger’ Saved 2.4 Million Pounds of Food From People Moving in 2017

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Neighborhood Advice

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Move For Hunger is a charitable organization dead-set on fighting two unbelievable stats: 42 million Americans (many children) are food insecure, and 40% of all food grown, processed and transported in the United States is wasted.

Move For Hunger recently released their annual report. Inside, it dissects the way both of those statistics are being brought down simply by

connecting the dots. What they target hits home for us as, unfortunately, a huge chunk of food loss occurs during peoples’ moves. From Adam Lowy, their executive director:

Our network, which now includes 840 moving companies, delivered 2.4 million pounds of food last year, more than we ever have before. We organized a record number of food drives, which helped to raise awareness about hunger in hundreds of communities all across the United States and Canada. We launched our Apartment Community Program, and provided thousands of renters in Seattle and San Francisco with the opportunity to donate their food when they move. And, in the final days of December, we recorded another major milestone by delivering our 10 millionth pound of food.

To recap their 2017, that’s:

  • 840+ movers now contributing
  • 300,000 pounds of food going to victims of hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico
  • 4,899 pounds of food saved from apartment communities
  • 4,536 pounds of food saved from corporate housing
  • 204,153 pounds of food from racing events

All of that good comes in addition to the plethora of personal donations that have come their way, both of food and currency. And the best part about helping them to connect the dots is that you have to do next to nothing to join in. Just ask your mover if you can donate the extra food from your pantry.

You can check out this video to see how Move For Hunger works.

Thieves Bring Dark Times to Two Sunny State Movers

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Moving Industry News

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As movers, our first priority is making sure the belongings our customers entrust us with remain safe. We lock our trucks and our warehouse doors and chain up the gate.

But just as important as protecting our customers’ goods is protecting our own stuff—namely, our trucks.

Sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

A U-Haul center in the paradise of Hawaii has fallen victim to not one, not a couple, but dozens of instances of vandalism and theft this year. Kaleo Alau, owner of the U-Haul center, tells Hawaii News Now that the accused perpetrators, homeless individuals living under a nearby viaduct, have smashed windows, stolen batteries, siphoned gas and even lit a fire, causing thousands in damage and lost business.

It’s something that’s very hard to catch,” says Alau. “They have lookouts on one side who will warn people when a car is coming. There is a place to jump in the water and swim away which has happened before when they got caught.”

So what about security cameras? They might help—though not if your perpetrators know they are there.

That was the case in Hollywood, Florida, where two men scoped out the lot of the North American Moving Company before moving in and stealing ten wheels off two trucks, leaving the rigs sitting on wooden blocks as they rolled the stolen tires under a fence and into their white van. (It’s always a white van, isn’t it?)

Security camera footage shows the men hiding their faces with pieces of cardboard from whichever cameras they hadn’t already disabled or turned toward the sky. Moving company owner Gary Manning noted that these guys knew exactly what they were doing. “These weren’t just two guys walking off the street,” he added.

Unfortunately, these guys are still walking the streets. More evidence if there ever was some to keep your equipment as secure as you possibly can.

Yearly Moving Report Indicates a Trend of People Leaving Colorado

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Moving Industry News

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Someone once said of Yosemite Valley: “The beauty of this place will be its demise.” The same may soon prove true for the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado.

Most van lines won’t be coming out with their 2017 migration numbers for another month, but this Denver Post analysis of 2016 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau paints an unsure picture of the Mile High’s future growth. And it may be an emerging trend in where people are moving to and from.

The Post interviews several people to get an idea of why the number of people leaving Colorado is on the rise. An increase in traffic, rising costs of living, unsatisfactory employment opportunities and even a changing political climate are among the recurring themes. The recent legalization of marijuana is another cited issue for at least one man trying to raise his family in Denver. (Are you listening, Oregon?)

Denver

It shouldn’t be too hard to see the dynamic at work here. A place like Colorado has all the makings of a great setting for a new life. Slowly, then quickly, the word gets around about how wonderful (and cheap, and peaceful and friendly etc.) this place is, and soon it’s not only popular, but trendy to move there.

With such a set of circumstances, it almost seems inevitable that you’d end up with what Colorado, specifically Denver, is now experiencing. More people means more traffic; an increased demand for housing pushes up home costs and rent levels; and a larger workforce leads to a shift toward lower wages across the employment landscape.

So what about states that have been at the top of the immigration charts in recent years? Last year we talked about the red-hot housing market in Portland, Oregon. At the time, there seemed to be no slow-down in sight. But how much air can you blow into a balloon before it bursts?

The numbers we get from the van lines next month might give us a clue.

For a New York Mover, a New Form of Payment Accepted: Bitcoin

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Moving Industry News, Operations

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Roadway Moving Company in New York has a new question for their customers:

“Would you like to pay by cash, credit card or Bitcoin?”

From this Business Insider report, it sounds as though Roadway is not the very first moving company to begin accepting payment in Bitcoin. Apparently, there are others, which points to the birth of a new trend in the moving industry.

Roadway owner Ross Sapir (yup, the very same Ross Sapir) says the acceptance and use of Bitcoin is a sign of advancement and progress. He points to several advantages in using the cryptocurrency, including

  • Safety – Bitcoin transactions don’t involve personal, identifying information.
  • No third-party involvement – meaning no banks or other institutions to get in the way of – or extract fees from – the transaction.
  • Low fees – lower than using credit cards or other forms of virtual payment.
  • Untaxed purchases – with no identifying information tied to transactions, they cannot be traced and therefore cannot be taxed.

“We as a company are always looking to be the leader in providing the newest and most advanced services to our client,” Sapir tells us. “I’m confident that this form of currency will soon be mainstream in the moving industry and I’m thrilled to be leading the charge into this new era.”

If you want to start using and accepting Bitcoin, or just want to learn more, this is a good place to begin if you want to take the plunge like they are.


Cover photo by Alister & Paine Magazine

Mover Gets Hired on the Spot, Gets Right to Work as a Thief

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Moving Stories

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gail Valente didn’t know she was sending a convicted felon out on a job. But when two of her movers failed to show up for work, the owner of Rex Moving in St. Petersburg, Florida was in a tight spot.

“I can do that,” said Charles Worden, who was doing construction work on her house at the time. “I’ve done it many times.”

Gail agreed and Charles got right to work, pilfering Beth Benson and, it seems, several other Rex Moving customers.

The interesting thing is that Ms. Valente apparently found out about the thefts before her customers knew what was going on. Her first move? Alerting the authorities. Her next move? Calling her customers to let them know they’d been robbed. That’s both a bold and humbling thing to have to do.

Luckily, the items were recovered.

Ms. Valente tells WFTS in Tampa Bay that she runs background checks on all her employees. That may be true. But in a pinch, she made the decision to send someone into a customer’s home without knowing much about him. Maybe this was the first time she ever had. It will likely be her last. 

Something to keep in mind when you are vetting a crew that you hope garners you sterling reviews.

What I Learned Moving at the End of My Second Trimester

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Moving Stories

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Moving while pregnant is an adventure! When my husband and I found out the exciting news that we were expecting a baby, our first thoughts were obviously to be beyond thrilled and extremely grateful. Can you tell?

However, soon after the initial news that we were having a precious baby boy, we discovered a house for sale in our dream neighborhood, which then immediately prompted us to put our current house on the market. The sellers of our dream house accepted our offer and within 48 hours, we also accepted an offer on our current home, which we had lived in and loved for the past five years.

All while we had planned to do nothing other than being pregnant!

This series of somewhat unexpected developments was a complete whirlwind and still has us looking at one another thinking, “Oh boy! What just happened?!” That was quickly followed by, “How are we going to do this?”

Luckily, we managed to do it all. Yep, I accomplished moving while I was pregnant.

Overwhelmed by the thought of moving while pregnant? I was too.

Baby on the way—check!

New house in our dream neighborhood—check!

Moving while pregnant … eek! 

I didn’t exactly see that coming. And I was a bit overwhelmed at the thought of tackling a move with a baby on the way. For the record, I was in my second trimester when I began planning for my move, heading rapidly towards my third trimester.

Spending the final months leading up to our first child packing, moving, unpacking, and renovating was overwhelming to me. But life happens and I had no choice but to make the best of it. And I’m here to report that I survived! I learned a lot along the way.

I turned out not to be completely useless while helping.

My biggest fear when I found out we were moving while I was pregnant was that I wouldn’t be able to help with anything! For context, I’m a “Type A” personality who enjoys being busy. A surprising source of stress? The thought of leaving my husband with our entire to-do list while I sat back and watched was extremely stressful!

But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was far from useless during this time.

My husband and I worked out a system where he would build the boxes, I would organize, pack and label the boxes, then he would stack them all up. Packing was a total team effort, which made me feel productive and my husband was genuinely grateful for my help.

Yes, I made sure to take care of my body, take it slow and avoid lifting heavy boxes during the process, but honestly, I was fully capable of just about everything else. If you find you might be moving while pregnant, one solid teammate might be the only thing you need.

Me on moving day.

Moving day was also a stressor for me because again, I felt like I was going to be totally in the way. I’m happy to report ladies that once again, I was wrong! We opted for a Hybrid Move, which is hiring movers and renting a truck separately to save a lot of money. I was fully capable of picking up the U-Haul and driving it all day. So although I couldn’t lift heavy boxes, I absolutely was contributing in a big way by driving the truck.

I was also able to help oversee the move by organizing which boxes and furniture ended up where. It turned out that it was really helpful having one point-person that wasn’t carrying boxes, but rather solely focused on making sure everything ended up in the spot we had planned.

Plus, getting each box into the correct room was super helpful towards keeping me involved in the unpacking process. I highly recommend this point-person/direction technique, pregnant or not! I didn’t have to bring a certain box to a specific room for unpacking, which meant the boxes were already there, which made getting set up in our new house a lot more efficient!

Hiring movers ended up being necessary.

Although I felt like I contributed a lot before, during and after moving day, I don’t want to give anyone an unrealistic expectation that you’ll be able to do everything on your own, given how intense moving a home truly is. I can honestly say that hiring Helpers as a part of our Hybrid Move was the best investment we could have ever made, pregnant or not. We needed them that day and appreciated their help more than we could have ever anticipated.

Having them to do all of the heavy lifting took the responsibility off of my husband, but it also kept me from feeling bad about not being able to help him with the big stuff. Our Helpers were able to pick up all of our stuff from the old house and bring it to our new house in less than three hours!

My husband and I weren’t stressed at all, which made the process a lot more enjoyable and probably kept the baby healthier. I would definitely recommend hiring help, regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not. But if you are expecting a little one, I have firsthand experience that this is money well spent.

Leaving my old home was harder than I thought it was going to be.

Okay, I blame this part on my pregnancy a little. But in all actuality, the emotional roller coaster that came with leaving our old house will probably be the case for many of you even if you aren’t pregnant. Leaving our old house for the last time was a lot harder than I ever expected.

My husband and I bought this house when we got married and I guess I always pictured we’d someday bring our baby home here. But we were already outgrowing this 1,000 square foot house well before we got the exciting baby news.

Cue all the tears here!

I guess the baby was the excuse we needed to finally make the move. But that still didn’t make leaving this house any easier, and whatever your own circumstances are, it might not be easy for you either. The good news is that the sadness didn’t last too long because there were exciting things ahead.

Starting fresh was amazing.

Those exciting things? Starting a new journey by preparing the new house for your new family! The nesting phase is no joke and may come at the perfect time if you’re pregnant and moving, like me.

I’ve been able to get so much done in the new house because of the baby deadline that is coming closer. Sure, setting up a new house is a ton – especially while pregnant –  but I’m feeling a constant fire under me to get as much done as possible so we’re settled in before the baby arrives.

Of course, I still need to be conscious of my body’s limits, and you should be too. I’m working hard to stay busy throughout my second and now third trimester. Thanks to all that hard work, I survived moving while being pregnant and now I am so thankful we were able to get the move out of the way before the baby comes. Now I can’t wait to invite our new baby into our new home!

Should You Use Salt or Sand on an Icy Driveway?

Author:

Publish Date:

Last Modified Date:

Category: Moving Day

Tags: Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Taking a spill on your icy driveway is bad enough when you’re carrying your car keys. So imagine wiping out while carrying a dresser full of clothes. Scary scenario, for us and for our movers. (And one reason people prefer to move in summer.)

If the forecast for your move date calls for moisture and freezing temps, you might be thinking: Should I cover my front walk and driveway with salt or sand? Here we’re going to tell you all you need to know to keep everyone and everything around you safe.

What to do first.

The best defense is a good offense. If it snows the night before your move, it almost goes without saying that the first thing you’ll want to do is grab a shovel and get to work clearing the area. If you live where temperatures can remain below freezing for days on end (if not weeks—hello, Minnesota!), then you’ll understand the importance of shoveling your driveway before all that snow gets packed down and turns to ice.

Yes, we totally understand. The lead-up to move day can be absolutely insane. If you can’t find time to clear all that snow, you might want to give the neighbor’s kid a few bucks to do it for you. Trust me, you’ll find it’s a wise investment of both money and time.

Now let’s decide whether to melt that ice or cover it up.

Choose Your Weapon

If Mother Nature insists on coating the driveway with ice, we have two choices. We can either melt it or cover it up. The answer depends on how cold it is, as well as how much you care if it gets into the environment. In either case, the biggest priority is traction.

The case for sand.

Covering up ice in our way can be quick and pretty easy. All we need is a bag or two of sand. It’s potentially less toxic and cheaper to get. Just keep in mind these few things:

  • Since sand provides traction, once it gets ground into the snow or ice it becomes less effective. As many times as you or your movers will be walking back and forth on it, you’ll likely have to put more down once or twice during the move.
  • In extremely cold temperatures, sand can freeze in hazardous clumps. Some suggest adding salt to the sand to help prevent this from happening, but if it’s cold enough, that salt won’t help either (more on that in a minute).
  • Sand comes in several varieties. The stuff explicitly meant for icy roads is better than sandbox sand, which in turn is better than something like mason’s sand. In other words, the grittier, the better.
  • After the fact, sand can collect in drainage systems and the soil, eventually clogging up lakes, streams, pipes and sewers. That means it’s also getting into our drinking water. Clean up what you can or give the neighbor’s kid a few more bucks to make sure it’s cleaned.

The case for salt.

Instead of covering your packed snow and ice with sand, you can try melting it with salt. Because it’s specifically designed for this purpose, it can definitely be an attractive option.

Running out and buying the biggest, cheapest bag you can find might be your first instinct, but as with sand, there are a few things to consider.

  • Driveway salt, sometimes called “rock salt”, doesn’t melt ice like, say, a hot rock or a flamethrower would. This is how the stuff works: when mixed with water, it forms a liquid brine (a fancy name for salt water) which has a lower freezing point than pure water. This brine then acts to lower the freezing point of the water it comes in contact with, effectively melting italthough only down to a certain degree. (Brine that is 20% salt will still freeze below 0˚F.)
  • Throwing some salt down on your icy driveway will get you nowhere if it’s too cold for the salt to actually mix with the ice! The salt needs to draw moisture from the air to create a brine which will act on the ice it touches, which will melt and further the reaction. Alternatively, there needs to be some heat, from the sun or from friction, to initiate the melting process. In other words, don’t wait until your movers are pulling up to your house before you start throwing that salt around.

Other concerns about salt.

The cheapest and most plentiful salt you’ll find is basically table salt, or sodium chloride (NaCl). That may sound perfectly safe, but do be aware:

  • That salt may contain small amounts of cyanide, which isn’t exactly good for any curious pets or animals.
  • Using salt can cause metal to rust and can damage blacktop, cement, flagstone, brick, wood and pretty much anything else your driveway is (or has). If you’re interested, this damage is not merely from the salt, but from the increase in freeze/thaw cycles that come with the brine’s lower freezing point, which can begin to break down the integrity of the surface with which it is in contact.
  • Got a cool yard? Salt can damage plants by inhibiting their ability to absorb water and nutrients. Salt also leaches heavy metals into the water supply.
  • Got pets? If salt gets lodged in your pet’s paws, it can cause a nasty burning.

There are also salt and sand alternatives.

Alternatives to salt would more accurately be called “variations of salt” and have a spectrum of merits. While you can probably find any of these at a store, which one to pick is most dependant on exactly how cold it is where you are.

  • Calcium chloride (CaCl): Covers a wider area than rock salt with a lower freezing point (around minus 25˚F). It also works more quickly because it gives off heat as it dissolves. Like rock salt, calcium chloride is corrosive to metal and can leave a slimy residue. It also encourages algae growth which clogs waterways.
  • Magnesium chloride: It’s similar to calcium chloride, albeit somewhat less corrosive, and will begin to absorb moisture from the air at 32% humidity, speeding up the melting process.
  • Potassium chloride (KCl): Despite its use for executions by lethal injection, is safer for pets and plants than calcium chloride. With a freezing point of around 12˚F, it is also less effective.
  • Nitrogen-based urea products: This is similar to fertilizers in that they are expensive, ineffective under 20˚F and, like other salts, will eventually get into the water supply, lakes and streams.
  • Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA): Can prevent ice down to around minus 27˚F and is much more environmentally friendly than the abovementioned salts – at a much higher price.

More eco-friendly alternatives?

With all the pros and cons of these salts and chemicals, you may be wondering, “Is there an eco-friendly way to de-ice my driveway?”

Yes. Maybe. It depends on your definition of “eco-friendly” and your motivation to be so.

Grist offers a few eco-ish alternatives to rock salt in an editorial. GreenMoxie also goes all out.

But what everyone seems to agree on – including us – is that there’s no better way to keep your driveway and your front walk clear of ice than grabbing that shovel and getting to work.

Or, like we said, get the neighbor’s kid to do it.

Final tips.

  • Salt the day before your move, clearing away any chunks or other bits to help keep it all from refreezing overnight.
  • Applying salt the morning of your move? The heat from all the foot traffic will help the melting process, but in the meantime, scattering some sand on top wouldn’t hurt.
  • Get an idea of how much square footage you’ll need to cover before you run out to grab that salt or sand. If a sales assistant isn’t there to help, you might find how much you need right on the bag.

And remember, get rid of whatever snow and ice you can along the way. Your movers will love you for it.

×

I'm Moving

Moving? Thinking about moving? Whether your move is off in the distance or you already have one foot out the door, you'll learn about everything you should expect through our useful how-to's, cool articles and much more. It's all specially curated for you in our "I'm Moving" section.
Explore
×

I'm a Mover

For rookies or veterans alike, our "I'm a Mover" section is filled with extensive industry news, crucial protips and in-depth guides written by industry professionals. Sharing our decade of moving knowledge is just one way we help keep our professional movers at the top of their game.
Explore