<![CDATA[Keller Moving & Storage, Inc. - Blog]]>Sun, 16 Dec 2018 19:21:13 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[How to Prepare for Your Moving Estimate]]>Fri, 14 Dec 2018 20:13:23 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-your-moving-estimate
If you’re about to contact a mover, chances are they will schedule an in-home estimate with you.  You might ask yourself why these appointments are necessary – it’s just moving, after all.  You'll be surprised to discover that the visual estimate is the first and most important step to your relocation.  It will teach you about the moving process (there’s a lot to it!), prepare you for your moving costs, and give you the confidence in choosing the right company for your family.  Another purpose for the in-home estimate is to ensure your mover brings the proper manpower, equipment and materials.

An average estimate will take 30 – 45 minutes.  All Pennsylvania moving estimates must be offered to you for free.  By the end of your appointment, you’ll want to have an accurate written proposal.

Since you don’t move every day, you’ll want to know a few of things to make sure your estimate is right on the money.

Your Moving Schedule

Once your settlement and/or lease dates are official, you should search for movers right away.  Estimates are valid for a few months, so if you call too soon, your estimate could change.  If you received your estimate already and things didn't work out, let the movers know. A professional mover will be understanding and accommodating with your changes.  If you wind up needing storage, your mover can offer revisions.

If you’re satisfied with the estimate and ready to reserve your move, call their office and let them know you accept their proposal.  An estimate is not a contractual agreement until signed off.  Make sure your moving dates are confirmed in writing.  You don’t want your mover cancelling on you at the last minute.

​Your Moving Needs

What type of move are you looking for?  Do you want to leave everything to the movers?  Do you want the movers to only handle your large furniture?  Do you need storage while you search for your dream home or between settlements?

Your basic moving services will include the handling of your everyday furniture and your packed boxes from point A to point B.  Supplemental or special services such as packing, storage, disposal, rigging, unpacking and crating are additional to your basic service.

Hiring movers for specialty services will make your life easier.  Consider your budget as you plan for these extra services.  As you meet with the estimator, point out pool tables, pianos, exercise machines, grandfather/mother clocks and antique pieces.  You’ll find that these items require special care & attention.

Your Shipment

As your estimator surveys your home, they’ll compile an inventory onto their tablet.  This inventory will serve as a guide for your mover.  Before the estimate, you’ll want to assign your possessions into three main categories:
(#1) what’s being moved.
(#2) what’s staying with the house.
(#3) what you plan on getting rid of.


Review your sale or lease agreements for category #2.  Your estimator will ask if you're taking large appliances.  Window treatments, light fixtures, wall-to-wall carpeting and other built-ins may be considered part of the sale and unlawful to remove.

Category #3 items are tricky.  These are the items you plan on selling, donating, giving to family and/or throwing away before the move.  If you can’t get rid of everything on time, there are contingency services your mover offers.  Disposal and charity drop offs are common services.  Talk about this with your estimator and ask for advice.  In most instances, they’ll recommend keeping #3 pieces on the estimate for now.

Your Delivery

As your estimator records your belongings, he’ll also assess the layout of your current household.  In most instances, the movers won’t be able to see your destination until moving day.  If you know where you’re moving to, describe the location to the best of your ability.  Compared to a single-floor rancher, for example, a condo on the eighteenth floor will be handled differently.

Mention any potential obstacles the movers may experience, such as low hanging wires under 14 feet, driveways & parking surfaces, long walks, freight elevators, multiple or spiral staircases and narrow hallways.  Also consider the drive to your new home; the movers may need to reroute to avoid low bridges.

If it’s possible, take room measurements at your future home and make sure your furniture will fit.  This is especially important in smaller apartments and historic houses.  If the furniture will not fit in a certain room, have a back up plan.  Your movers can either place the bulky pieces into another section of the home (like a garage or basement) or offer disposal service.

Scheduling a free, in-home estimate will give you the best approximation on your moving costs. Hiring a reputable mover will make moving day stellar. 

Do you know the top five questions to ask a mover?

The holidays are almost here!  Are you prepared for your holiday move?

Searching for more helpful moving tips?  Visit our blog!

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<![CDATA[Our Best Packing & Moving Tips]]>Wed, 05 Dec 2018 15:54:35 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/our-best-packing-moving-tips
If it’s your first time moving, you’ll soon discover that it’s no easy feat.  There are special methods and procedures in place to handle your belongings safely and efficiently.  Choosing the right mover can have a huge impact on your transition.  You’ll want a knowledgeable, understanding and honest company to handle your valuables.

Don’t know where to begin?  Our family, with almost 100 years’ experience, is sharing our top 20 packing and moving tips.  We consider these our best tips to a successful move.  Have a safe & happy moving day!

Packing

What is packing?  Packing is a process of securing your fragile items in a cardboard carton before you move.  Your movers can pack your belongings for you or you can pack articles on your own. 
​If you’re packing yourself, consider these top 10 tips:
  • Your crystal, dishware and china must be wrapped and secured in a STRONG moving box.  Dish packs are designed exclusively for this fragile ware.
  • Paintings, mirrors, framed artwork and glass tops need to be packed in a mirror box.  If you’re moving long distance, crating may be required for pieces with extraordinary value.
  • You can use twine to tie long-handled items together, such as brooms, rakes, curtain rods and mops.
  • Flat screen televisions need to be packed.  If you still have the original box and it’s in excellent condition, it should suffice.  If not, have a professional pack it for you.
  • Since books are heavy, you’ll want to pack them in smaller cartons.  If too many books are placed in a large box, it could cave in.
  • Lamp bases and lamp shades must be packed separately.  Lamp shades will usually fit into medium or large boxes.  To pack a lampshade, wrap it in white paper, place alone in a carton and cushion it with extra packing material.
  • White, unprinted paper is an excellent material for packing.  Don’t use newspaper or magazines as stuffing, since the ink could damage your goods.
  • Your hanging clothing can go inside a wardrobe box.  Ask your mover to bring these on moving day.  You won’t need to remove your clothing from their hangers.
  • Your clothing and linens are OK to stay to stay inside dresser drawers.  If you’re going into storage or moving long distance, it may be best to pack separately.
  • Your canned food can be packed in advance.  Perishables are not recommended in the moving van.  Try to use up all your perishables before moving day.

​Moving

Moving is the physical relocation of your possessions from point A to point B.  Moving services include padding & stretch wrapping of furniture, dis- and re-assembly and loading-drive-unload.  Every moving company is different, so make sure you know what’s included with your relocation.
  • Flammable items cannot be transported by your moving company.  These include paints, aerosol sprays, fireworks, ammunition, etc.  If you’re trying to get rid of these items, watch for hazmat removal events in your community.
  • Anything gas-powered, such as lawn equipment, must be drained several days before the move.
  • Plants are transferrable, but their condition may not be guaranteed.  Make sure your plant species is allowed in your new state if you’re moving long distance.
  • Your moving company can only transport household goods.  Make sure you have arrangements to move your family & pets.  Keep pets away from the moving site for their safety.
  • All personal valuables, such as your handbag and wallet, should be kept away from the moving site.  Since it is a movers job to clear the entire house, you don’t want these items to be accidentally packed.  Most people keep valuables locked in their car.
  • Jewelry, keys, alcoholic beverages, firearms, coin collections and items on intrinsic value must be moved by you.
  • Check with your real estate agent regarding your attached fixtures - such as light fixtures, built-ins and window shades - prior to transport.  You may find these were included with the sale of your home.
  • Washers, dryers, refrigerators, wine coolers and/or standing freezers may need servicing before and after the move.  Contact your appliance manufacturer for special instructions.
  • Your moving company should disassemble and reassemble your beds.  You do not need to roll mattresses.
  • Rugs and loose carpeting can be moved.  Double check with your real estate agent if you want to move wall-to-wall carpets.

Do you have any tips?  If so, share with us and comment below!

For more tips & moving guidance, visit our blog!

To schedule a free, in-home estimate, click here.

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<![CDATA[Your Holiday Moving Tips!]]>Mon, 26 Nov 2018 16:12:13 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/your-holiday-moving-tips
Oh, the holidays.  A time for family gatherings, present exchanges, shopping sprees, decorating and office parties.  The holiday season is a festive and busy time of year.  Add moving into the mix and things become a little more than hectic.  A holiday move will keep you on your toes, so it’s important to prepare, organize and prioritize.

Are you searching for a new place to call home for the holidays?  You’ll need to know these top tips before you get started!

Schedule Right After Christmas

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Work together with your real estate agent and try to schedule settlement(s) a few days after Christmas.  As you schedule, remember that, in most instances, you’ll make your move before your settlement.  Both you and your home buyers will want to complete a walk-through once the house is empty.

A move after Christmas gives you the chance to celebrate with friends & family.  Once the holiday madness is over, most of us take the time to relax and enjoy our gifts.  Take advantage of this downtime for a stress-free moving experience.  It’s also a bonus that you’ll be starting over in a new place right around New Years!

​Be proactive

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Start your preparations as early as possible.  Purchase packing supplies and begin packing the stuff you rarely use.  Sort and separate items you know you won’t take with you to the new home.  Who knows - maybe you’ll find something to re-gift!

Complete your holiday shopping early.  To save on time, shop online. Make sure to designate a room exclusively for holiday presents so they don’t ge-t lost in the move.  If you’re moving before the holiday, consider moving the gifts yourself.  Winter weather could cause delays.

Donate, donate, donate!  Now is the perfect time to help a family in need and spread some holiday cheer.  If you have old toys and clothing lying around, go to these charities that help children at Christmas time.

​Book a full-service move

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If you want to dedicate your energy to the holidays, hire full-service movers.  Full-service moves give you the luxury of a hands-free moving experience.  The movers will handle your disposal, packing, clean out, dis- and re-assembly, moving, unpacking and organizing.  Every moving company is different, and some offer more services than others, so make sure to research before scheduling estimates.

While there are many benefits to full-service moves, keep in mind that these types of moves can hurt your wallet.  Be sure to plan and budget accordingly.  You’ll also need to take several days off work for the movers to complete the services.  Most full-service moves can’t happen in one day.

​Mix up tradition

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Get creative with your traditions and make new memories.  If you usually host the holiday dinner, consider switching things up.  Make a reservation at a nice restaurant and invite your closest family.  Most will understand you’re moving and will make their own plans.

If you must host at home, try to keep it simple and budget-friendly.  Host a potluck, use paper plates and plastic utensils for an easy clean up.  Try out these great Christmas planning tips!

Think about the weather

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Make sure you have a backup plan for winter weather.  Snow and ice can cause delays or cancellations.  Ask your movers about their winter weather policy.  You wouldn’t want to risk the safety of your belongings.  Keep watch of the weather forecast and avoid any travel if a state of emergency is declared.  If you’re moving long distance, create an emergency moving kit with every day essentials, water and snacks.  If the roads become too dangerous, you might need to stay at a hotel.

If you’re in need of storage, consider a temperature-controlled facility.  Certain furniture could sustain damage if left out on the cold.

Stay festive!

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No matter what life throws at you, try to look at the positives and stay festive.  Keep the holiday spirit alive by setting up easy decorations.  Have one room decorated until the last minute – and yes, buy the tree!

Play Christmas music around the home.  Dedicate some time to enjoying the season.  Take a day trip and tour neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights.  If you need to stay in a hotel, book a decorated place that throws events the entire family can enjoy.

Time management is very important during a move.  Make sure you exercise, sleep at least 7-8 hours a day and eat a well-balanced diet.  Maintain some normalcy as the world around you is changing.

A holiday move is challenging, but if you stay joyful and organized, you’re sure to make wonderful memories! 

​Are you ready to schedule your move?  Click here to schedule your free, in-home estimate!

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<![CDATA[After Moving Day: Top 6 Tasks]]>Wed, 07 Nov 2018 16:01:14 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/after-moving-day-top-6-tasks
It’s finally moving day!  It’s been weeks of preparing, sorting and organizing for this one special day.  But like they say: “It’s not over ‘til it’s over”.  Once your movers pull out with the empty moving van, you’re going to need to get situated and settled into your new home.

Most people call this the fun part, but don’t rest your feet just yet.  Here are the top six tasks you’ll need to accomplish once your movers depart.

​Find & Unpack Your First Night Box

What’s a First Night Box?  This is one of the most important boxes you’ll move.  It will contain all your necessities to keep you & your family comfortable right after your relocation.  This is the last box you’ll pack at your old house.

You’ll only want your First Night Box to contain bare minimum essentials.  You don’t want there to be too much clutter after a tedious day of moving.  We recommend you move your first night box on your own for immediate access.

We compiled a general list of what to put in your essentials box:
  1. Bathroom – shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower curtain, toilet paper and towels.
  2. Kitchen – Dish soap, sponge, paper plates, cups and mugs, utensils, paper towels, napkins, garbage bags, bottled water, snacks, pot and pan, cooking utensils, non-perishable meals (such as ramen noodles or pasta with tomato sauce).
  3. Bedroom – bed sheets, pillows, pajamas, change of clothes, hamper, privacy curtains with hardware.
  4. Miscellaneous – batteries, box opener, pet food, small tool kit, scissors, pen and paper, flashlight, broom and dustpan, trash can.

​Double check utilities & subscriptions

Before you move, you should contact your primary utility companies and inform them of your relocation.  If you haven’t already, make sure you do so ASAP.  You don’t want to lose power and water while you’re getting settled.  Make sure to keep their contact information close by in the event of any emergencies.  If you’re expecting a technician, make sure they’re verified and employed by the company.  You don’t want to take any risks as it’ll become evident that you moved.

Remember to do a change of address on your accounts.  After you figure out primary utilities, you’ll need to consider internet, phone and other services.  Manage any subscriptions, newspapers, monthly boxes or meal plans.  By law, you’ll need to do a change of address on your driver’s license, ID, insurance and vehicle registration within 30 days.  To change online, visit the USPS website.

Detail and clean up

It’s time to pull out the cleaning supplies and thoroughly clean your new home.  Take advantage of detailing all surfaces and cabinetry while they’re empty.  Dust, sweep and mop throughout the entire home.  Don’t forget to clean the molding.  If your furniture was in a public storage, you may need to give it a good dusting.  Condition any leather furniture and vacuum under cushions.  Refer to a spring cleaning checklist for help. 
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Sometimes, your realtor can negotiate having the old owners clean the house before you settle.  We recommend cleaning again with your own supplies, just in case.

If you’re overwhelmed, trust in a maid service or visit Handy.com for an easy online experience.

Complete a thorough inspection

Inspect to ensure everything looks the same since your home inspection.  You should have notes on hand for any sealing that will need to be accomplished while you’re perusing.  Your primary concern will be water and fire damage.  Check the plumbing under every sink for leaks.  As added protection, place a shallow pan underneath the pipes.  Also check tight spaces & your attic where most damage goes unnoticed.

Find where your HVAC, water main valve, circuit breaker and hose connections are located. Think about scheduling a tune up with an HVAC technician to make sure your heating and air conditioning are in proper working order.  This is also a perfect time to make sure your washer, dyer and refrigerator are functioning correctly.  Make sure your water & gas lines are properly connected.  If you’re unsure, hire a professional.

If the old homeowners didn’t patch up nail holes, make sure to note & repair before hanging anything.  We recommend 3M Patch Plus Primer 4-in-1 for small hole repairs.  Make sure your attached fixtures, such as towel racks, electrical, built-in items, etc. are secured.  Some fixtures may need tightening from normal wear & tear.  Check ceiling lights and think about replacing the old bulbs with LED or energy-efficient.  There are also different shades of light for your home, such as Soft White, Bright White and Daylight.  Find the one you prefer best and switch out in the future.

​Change locks

Change every exterior lock by calling a trusted locksmith.  Determine how many spares you’ll need for you and your family.  You can easily make copies at your local hardware store. Give an extra key to a nearby family member in case of an emergency.

Not sure what to do with the old keys?  Online organizations like Key For Hope will collect old keys, melt them down to scrap metal and donate the profits to charity.  There are also unique crafts you can find on Pinterest.

Don’t get stuck with a scammer.  Do you research and make sure the locksmith is trustworthy.  Angie’s list shares the top 7 tips to avoid locksmith scams.

​Start exploring

Get to know your new neighborhood.  Introduce yourself to your neighbors and exchange telephone numbers.  You can find online groups on social media to keep you updated on local events, fairs and news.  Take a drive (or walk) around and familiarize yourself with landmarks and important buildings.  You’ll want to know the routes to your closest grocery store, gas station, hospital, bank, shopping center, township building, church and school.  Make sure you’re up to date on the crime index number by visiting Neighborhood Scout.

Now is the perfect time to install a security system.  This is especially important if you moved to an unfamiliar area.  The security business is constantly growing, so you can easily find a system that works with your budget.  For a wireless option, we recommend the Ring system.

If you recently moved, comment below and share your top move-in tips!  

​Are you still searching for a moving company?  Our family can help!  Request an estimate here

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<![CDATA[Tricks to Staying Organized Before you Move]]>Mon, 29 Oct 2018 15:48:08 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/tricks-to-staying-organized-before-you-move
No one likes moving.  It can be a stressful and messy process if you’re unprepared when the movers show up.  While moving is never a fun feat, it can become a stress-free experience if you remain organized, steadfast and proactive.

Our family at Keller Moving loves an organized move, which is why we’re sharing our top five tips on how to best utilize your time before moving day.

#1) Be Realistic and Stay on Schedule

Your perfect moving timeline is going to be two months.  This time frame will give you ample time to learn about the phases of moving and to find the best mover for you & your family.  We recommend booking your moving company about one month in advance; even earlier if you’re moving during peak season. 

Before scheduling a mover, you’ll need to schedule an in-home estimate.  All moving estimates, by law, must be free of charge.  Most moving companies can have a representative to your home within a week – sometimes two weeks if it’s the busy season.   

You want your moving quote to be accurate.  Before the moving estimator arrives, review your calendar and be realistic with your expectations.  It might be impossible to pack up an entire household with a full-time job while raising three toddlers.  Learn about the extra services your mover provides as a backup plan.

Communicate with your realtor about the current real estate market.  Sometimes, your buyers or sellers will require a quick settlement, which could leave you in a tight spot and scrambling to finish your organizing.

​#2) Start Packing Now

If you’re on a budget, you will dedicate most of your time towards packing.  This means you need to start packing immediately.  Before you begin packing, sort through your cabinets and donate/dispose of unnecessary items.  The best way to utilize your time is to purge while you’re staging your current residence for a quick sale.

The highest quality boxes will be available for purchase through a professional moving company.  You’ll want extra strength corrugated boxes for your heavier items such as dishes.  For your other knick-knacks, you can find free boxes at grocery stores and liquor stores.  As you pack, remember quality over quantity.  You don’t want your boxes to be too heavy that they’ll collapse while being handled by a mover.  Never use newspaper when packing since the ink could rub off onto your belongings.  Specialized unprinted moving paper can be purchased through your mover.  These small tips will give you a hassle-free moving experience.

There might be “tricky” or “special” items you’ll want professional movers to pack.  Lamps, paintings, glass tops, delicate china and flat screen televisions are all items you should consider having the professionals handle.  Make this decision before your in-home estimate so you know the costs involved.  Also keep in mind that items packed by a certified mover are also insured.

​#3) Find a Checklist

Since you only move a few times in your life, a moving checklist will be a beneficial guide to a successful transition.  A multitude of checklists can be found online.  Before you begin your online search, consider your moving needs.  A moving checklist for a local move won’t be as helpful if you’re moving across the country.  To get started, we included some helpful checklists below:

Bed Bath & Beyond

The Best Five Moving Apps for Your Phone

Move Planner by Moving.com  

After you choose your list, stick to it.  Don’t combine or abandon a checklist because you could end up missing an important step.  For general questions, don’t be afraid to call your mover for assistance.

​#4) If You Need Help, Ask

Your friends and family can help you with general preparations like packing.  To get as many hands as possible, host a packing party.  Serve light appetizers (so they don’t get sleepy!), easy entertainment and drinks while your company helps you pack away.  Make sure to assign them to less important items & tasks since they’re not professionals.  You don’t want your valuables breaking and friendships ruined because of improper packing.

If you haven’t already donated or disposed, offer to give away some items during the party.  You could use this as an extra incentive for them to help you.  If any of your friends moved recently, ask them for tips and advice.  No matter how organized you are, you could learn something new.

Remember, your moving company is here for you.  If you find you’re unable to get as much finished as you initially anticipated, call the office for options and pricing.  If you’re adding services, your final moving bill will increase, so plan for this as you get closer to moving day.

​#5) Consider Your Budget

The relocation business is heavily labor & equipment-oriented.  The costs associated with moving are relatively expensive and could be an unpleasant surprise.  If you haven’t relocated in a long time, or this is your first-time hiring movers, you’ll want to call a moving company and make sure hiring professional movers is within your means.  Tell the office staff your situation and they should provide you with general rates & information.  If you find these rates to be within your parameters, always schedule the free in-home estimate.

If you’re on the other side of the scale and have wiggle room, an excellent method to staying proactive is to request a “worst-case scenario” estimate.  Moving estimates are non-binding, which means your final moving bill is based on the actual services completed.  As we all know, life can easily get in the way of your moving preparations.  If anything puts a damper onto your moving plans, you can at least be rest assured that your moving bill will be comparable to the worst-case scenario estimate.  In addition, you can use that estimate as a financial goal.  If you end up meeting all your pre-move requirements and your final bill turns out to be less, use the extra funds as a housewarming gift to yourself!

We wish you a happy and stress-free moving day!  Did these tips help?  Do you have tips of your own?  Comment below!

Are you ready for the next step?  Click here!

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<![CDATA[Is it time to move? Here are 4 tell-tale signs that it is time!]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2018 15:09:50 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/is-it-time-to-move-here-are-4-tell-tale-signs-that-it-is-time
​How long have you been living in your current home? Are things starting to feel a little stale?  If you’re not the same person you were when you moved in, then maybe it really is time to look for a change. Here are 4 guidelines to help you make a decision.  

There’s more bad than good

You still love your house. It has great memories. But is it too small for your family now? Is it too big since the kids have moved out?

It’s time to create a pro-con list. Jot down all the positive and negative feelings you have about your current house. As soon as you see that the negative side of the list is longer than the positive, you may have already made up your mind.

Of course, you could always renovate the home you live in now. Sometimes, small changes to the layout or an updated room can help liven up the home and fix some of your adverse feelings. However, sometimes things cannot be fixed or updated enough, and it’s time to move on.

Changes are coming

Life moves by pretty fast. A new job, new family member, and even retirement can affect what you can and must do to maintain your home. It may be advantageous to investigate a new home that will work around your new lifestyle.

Our first home can be great to raise our family and learn all about paying bills and living with adult responsibility. But as our children move out on their own, and retirement looms, we must pay attention to our home, and how we can live within it.

​A new home will help a semi- or full retiree enjoy a home that requires less maintenance and is suited to a person with a more limited range.

Our own aging process is a tough realization. Once we come to terms with this, we can really look at our living situation and positive changes can occur. 

Family matters

While living in your home, changes are going to come in the form of more, or less, people living under the same room. A small condo is great, until you find out that it’s really twins. But one day, those twins will set off to college, or buy a house of their own, leaving you with two bedrooms that will collect junk, or be completely unused.
It is important, however, to plan accordingly. Moving with small infants can be difficult at best. Consider moving before they make lifelong friends, or at least not in the middle of the school year.

Traveling can be expensive. If your kids move out of state, you can visit as often as you want, but it will cost you. But moving to a new home, closer to your children and grandchildren can be done once, put you in a new home, and make weekends and holidays a family affair again.

Fall and winter are the best time to move. Movers will accommodate your schedule easier and offer additional pricing specials. Just watch out for inclement weather. 

Feeling boxed in?

Sure, you loved your house for a long time. But there may come a time when you just know there is something else for you. You’ve done everything you can to make this house your home, but now that’s not enough. A new home could be the fresh start you’ve been looking for.

Contact your realtor and get started on this journey.

Yes, moving can be stressful. But it is also full of excitement and a feeling of refreshment when completed by the right company.  Request your moving estimate here!
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<![CDATA[Top 5 Questions to Ask a Mover]]>Wed, 19 Sep 2018 13:56:52 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/top-5-questions-to-ask-a-mover
More than 40 million people move within the USA and moving companies are a dime a dozen.  You want the moving company that’s right for you and your family.  In this day and age, moving scams can happen and you’ll find the horror stories on the news every summer. For example, this unfortunate story from Florida.

So, what are the appropriate steps to finding the best mover?  Today, you’ll learn the top five questions to ask ANY moving company and what answers you should expect.

​Question #1: Are you licensed?

This is the question you MUST ask a moving company.  Do not be persuaded by cheap Craigslist movers or “flat price” no-name movers.  To operate a relocation firm in the state of Pennsylvania, movers must carry the proper licensing.  Moving companies must carry a U.S. DOT number and, if they handle long-distance shipments, an MC number.
 
To check if a moving company is properly licensed, visit the FMCSA website at https://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/hhg/search.asp
 
If a moving company won’t give you their license information, they might be scammers.

​Question #2: Are you insured?

In a perfect world all moves will happen without incident.  Moving is a laborious process and accidents can happen.  You’ll want to make sure you’re hiring the right company that stands by their work if an item sustains damage.  Therefore, it’s important for that moving company to be fully insured.
 
All licensed movers must follow the standard federal & state provisions regarding any damages caused by the movers’ negligence.
 
Licensed moving companies offer two forms of coverage: Automatic and Full Replacement Valuation.  Automatic is included at no extra charge and you’ll pay a premium for Full Replacement Valuation.  Your mover should be confident and transparent in answering coverage questions.
 
Remember to be realistic with your expectations.  For example, moving companies won’t cover any items they haven’t packed.  If a mover is quick to say “oh, don’t worry, we’ll take care of it” without providing anything in writing, they could be uninsured and disappear once you need to file a claim.

​Question #3: Where are your offices and can we visit?

This is an overlooked question, but an important one.  A professional moving company will have a clean, modern fleet of trucks and a location of operation.  The moving trucks should have their own logo and license numbers clearly shown on the sides.
 
You’ll want to know the business hours and the names of the office staff.  As you approach your moving date, you’ll want to call frequently to coordinate, check in and get your questions answered.
 
A reputable moving company will have no qualms with providing you their address(es) and visiting their office(s). Scammers are known to operate without an office.  They’ll hire cheap untrained labor and rent an unmarked moving van.  If the mover you’re contacting won’t give you their office address, they could be scammers.

​Question #4:  How long have you been in business?

Longevity is a major factor in choosing a mover.  The longer a moving company has been in operation, the more experience and training they have under their belt.  In addition, long-operating moving companies will have the best grasp on the laws & regulations they must follow.
 
As you continue your research, ask this question to the office staff and your estimator.  Make sure they’re consistent.  Research the moving company’s profile on the BBB, or Better Business Bureau,  to find the year the business started.
 
Scammers are known to constantly change their business names to hide their negative reputation.  If the moving company is newer, take extra caution and ask a lot of questions to make sure they’re the real deal.

​Question #5:  What’s the first step?

You only move a few times in your life and there are many unknowns to the moving process.  Finishing off with the best question to ask: where on earth do I start?
 
This is the moment your moving coordinator takes charge and starts to ask you the questions.  It’s also an opportunity for you to get a feel for the company.  First impressions are crucial in the relocation business.  You want a mover who is confident, makes you feel comfortable and has the expertise to move your possessions efficiently.
 
At some point in the conversation, your moving coordinator must suggest a free, in-home estimate.  This is, technically, the first step in choosing your mover.  The purpose of an estimate is to show you the costs associated with moving and what they, specifically, have to offer.
 
If a mover gives you a “flat fee” price without suggesting a visual inspection, they could be scammers.  You must receive an estimate in writing.
READY TO SCHEDULE YOUR ESTIMATE? CLICK HERE
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<![CDATA[How to Save Money on Heating & Cooling]]>Thu, 13 Sep 2018 15:07:06 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/how-to-save-money-on-heating-cooling
The average American household spends more than $2,000 a year on their energy bill, according to Energy Star, the Environmental Protection Agency's energy conservation program. Fifty to seventy percent of that is spent on heating and cooling. Investing in energy efficiency can create a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate and save you money in the long run. Here are seven home improvement tips that will keep your wallet fuller, summers cooler, and winters warmer. 

Replace Air Filters & Clean the Vent

A clogged filter and dusty vents can make your central air system, air conditioner, or furnace work overtime, reducing efficiency, and costing you money. It’s generally recommended that you change the filter every one to three months. If you have allergies, or live with pets, replace the filter at least once a month to reduce the risk of mold and bacteria growing in your air system. Learn how to change a home air filter and clean the vents 

Improve Insulation

Insulation traps heat in the house during winter while preventing heat from entering in the summer. In most homes, it’s used in the attic, crawl spaces, and any floor above an unfinished basement, but can also be applied to water heaters, hot water pipes, and vent ducts. In older homes, the exterior walls may also be insulated. Check your home’s insulation to see if it’s damaged or if you have the recommended amount for where you live. To learn more about insulation types and installation, visit Home Depot, Lowes, or your local home improvement store.  

Air-seal Your Home

Gaps and cracks in your home make money leak from your wallet. Be sure to seal all areas where air can enter or escape so it’s easier for your central air system, air conditioner, or furnace to regulate the temperature. Feeling a draft coming from the door? Weather strip it. How about the window? You can weather strip that too. Any small-to-medium sized cracks can be sealed with caulk or foam. For large openings and surfaces, use materials like plywood, drywall, rigid foam, or housewraps. Visit House Energy to learn how to air-seal your home and what to use. 

Install Window Treatment

Curtains, blinds, shades, shutters…window treatments add style to any room, give you privacy, and save energy. They’ll allow you to easily block unwanted light and cold air or let light and heat inside. Read more about choosing the right window treatment for your space.  

Get a Programmable Thermostat

Why waste money on heating or cooling the house while you’re at work? If you keep a predictable schedule, you can program the thermostat to conserve energy while you’re away. Some thermostats have mobile apps that can sense when you are home and will adjust the temperature accordingly. Find the best programmable thermostats on Amazon.    

Plant Shade Trees

Deciduous trees are leafy in the summer before they lose their leaves in the fall. They make a beautiful addition to the landscape while controlling the amount of direct sunlight that hits your house. Planting a red maple on the eastern and western sides of your house will reduce the amount of light, cooling the house when the trees are full. As the leaves drop in autumn, more light comes through, making it warmer inside.  

Install Ceiling Fans

On average, it costs $0.36 per hour to run the air conditioner while it costs only one cent per hour to run a ceiling fan. You’ll still need to run the AC in the summer, but you can increase the temperature by four degrees without losing any comfort if you have ceiling fans in the main rooms. Ceiling fans don’t lower the temperature, but they do create wind—a cooling effect—and lower the humidity. 

PA Energy Efficiency Incentives 

While some energy-saving initiatives require little financial investment, others like insulation or changes to your heating/cooling system, can be costly. Pennsylvania offers several financial incentives to homeowners who wish to save money and energy. Before taking on a project, check if you’re eligible for any programs.   
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<![CDATA[8 Forgotten Things You’ll Need Before the Furniture Arrives]]>Fri, 07 Sep 2018 12:59:37 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/8-forgotten-things-youll-need-before-the-furniture-arrivesPicture

These tools may sound like obvious essentials, but you’ll be surprised how easy it is to forget them during the midst of chaos on moving day. Sometimes we focus too much on packing and forget what we need for unpacking. Be sure to pack these eight items, along with your overnight suitcase, and take them with you for quick and easy access in your new, empty home. 

Pen & Paper

​Keep a notepad and pen nearby to jot down reminders, names, and numbers when the phone rings. Make a list of tasks you’ll need to complete over the next few days and organize them in priority order. Inspect and record anything you find in the new house that might need to be repaired so you can research it later. Post-It notes are a great tool for marking where you want the furniture to go and how much space it will take. Before the movers arrive with your delivery, stick notes on the walls detailing the items being placed in each room.    

Tape Measure

If you know the measurements of your furniture (or have it written down), then visualizing how much space each piece uses will be much easier to predict. Grab a tape measure and map it out so you see how everything fits in each room before the movers arrive. Planning in advance will prevent you from having to relocate heavy items yourself. Be prepared to tell the movers where you want each item to go so you’re not deciding on the spot.  

Box Cutter

You won’t use it until you start unpacking, but it’s always good to have a box cutter handy after you move. Don’t waste time scratching the edges of the tape hoping it lifts enough for you to pull it off the box. Eventually, adhesive will stick to your hands, leaving you with sticky fingers. A box cutter can help you quickly open boxes and dismantle them for recycling. Be sure to remove any plastic, paper, or decals that may be on or inside your boxes. Cut the tape then fold the box flat before following your housing development’s guidelines for recycling.  

Garbage Bags

Packing materials that come out of moving boxes can create an overwhelming amount of garbage. As you unpack, separate materials, and fill bags for recycling and trash. Take the bags outside in shifts, following your housing development’s instructions, so you don’t overload the bins, especially if you’re moving into an apartment complex. 

Entertainment 

Having something to listen to while you’re unpacking will make you more productive. Download music, shows, or podcasts onto your phone or tablet. Remember, your cellular data plan is the only internet available unless you have purchased a mobile hotspot like Straight Talk. Don’t forget the charging cables and/or batteries for your electronics. Be sure to call the cable/satellite company and set up an appointment for installation as soon as possible.     

Takeout Menus & Apps

​Setting up your new home is a long process that’s especially challenging during the first few days. You’re exerting tons of energy unpacking and buzzing around the house, trying to figure out the best place to put things. It’s not until your stomach gurgles that you ask, ‘What’s good to eat around here?’ and ‘Which restaurants deliver to my area?’. Take the guesswork out of eating and pick up some local takeout menus during the drive to the new house or download a food delivery app in advance. Digital Trends suggests these nine Best Food-Delivery Apps. When you have time, locate the nearest grocery store and pick up some basic food that doesn’t require much cooking.

Shower Curtain

After a tiring day, you’ll be looking forward to a relaxing shower—unless you forgot the shower curtain. If it was packed in a box, hopefully you know which one. It’s likely you remembered to pack a towel, toiletries, clothes, and toilet paper in your overnight suitcase—and if not, here’s a friendly reminder—but the shower curtain is not something we often think about leaving outside the box. During your downtime, hang up the shower curtain in the bathroom before you get tired.

Soaps & Detergents 

End a long day with a good night’s rest. Bring laundry detergent and softener or dryer sheets so you’ll have clean bedding on the first night in your new house. Wash and dry the bedding during the day while you’re busy with other tasks. Be sure to also buy dish soap (or detergent, if using the dishwasher), hand soap for the bathrooms, and cleaning supplies (if you didn't use a deep cleaning service).  

How We Can Help

The move may be over, but the unpacking has just begun. If it sounds like a nightmare—it is—but it doesn’t have to be. Keller Moving offers an unpacking service to ease the stress and help you enjoy your new home faster. We’ll unpack the boxes and haul the materials away. Your belongs will be carefully laid out for you to organize and store. Contact us if you're interested in learning more about our unpacking services. We wish you a smooth transition into your new home.
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<![CDATA[8 Household Items Too Hazardous for the Trashcan or Drain]]>Wed, 29 Aug 2018 04:00:00 GMThttp://kellermoving.com/blog/8-household-items-too-hazardous-for-the-trashcan-or-drain
Common household items contain hazardous waste that can be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment, if not disposed of properly. Getting rid of things you don't want is good to do before you pack, but don't just grab a trash bag and throw everything away or spill it down the drain. Be responsible and protect the wellbeing of your community by selling, donating, or recycling whenever possible. To locate local disposal sites in your area, visit earth911.com or call2recycle.org.

Paint

Paint can’t be transported by a moving company so don’t pack it.
  • Donate leftover paint to a non-profit agency.
  • Take open cans to an HHW collection facility in your area.
  • Return full cans to point of purchase.
Oil-based paints are toxic and must be donated, recycled, or returned.

At-home Latex Paint Disposal 

If you’re unable to donate, return, or take leftover paint to a recycling center, here are four simple and safe disposal steps.
  1. Pour cat litter into the can.
  2. Stir until the mixture becomes too thick to spill.
  3. Wait one hour for it to dry.
  4. Throw the can away in the garbage with the lid removed.
Be careful not to leave paint where animals or small children may come in contact with it. As an alternative to cat litter, there are also commercial paint hardeners you can purchase from any home improvment store.

Batteries

Old batteries contain tons of reusable materials so the best way to get rid of them is to recycle them. Regular alkaline batteries are not considered hazardous waste in most states and can be safely disposed of with normal household trash. According to the EPA, rechargeable batteries contain nickel cadmium which will pollute the soil, water, and air if they end up in a landfill or incinerated. Rechargeable batteries, along with batteries from electronics, should be donated or taken to an e-waste disposal site for recycling. Collect your old batteries, tape the ends, and put them in a container until you can take them to a recycling center. Some batteries may have some charge left in them so taping the ends will prevent a fire from starting. For specific guidelines on how to dispose of household batteries in the state of Pennsylvania, please click here.

Cooking Oil

If you have a new bottle of cooking oil, and the seal hasn’t been broken, it can be transported by the moving company. Throw away all opened bottles of cooking oil in the regular garbage before moving day. Oil spilled down the drain in large quantities will accumulate and clog the pipes.

Medicine

According to the FDA, almost all medicines can be safely disposed of by using medicine take-back programs or using U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)-authorized collectors. Locate an authorized collector in your area here.
If a take-back or mail back disposal program is not available to you:
  • Mix expired medication in cat litter, used coffee grounds, or dirt.
  • Do not crush capsules or tablets.
  • Place mixture in a sealable bag and toss it in your household trash.
  • Cross out all personal information from prescription bottles.
  • Certain controlled substances must be flushed down the toilet to prevent accidental exposure. See the list of medications here.
For more information on how to properly dispose of expired medications, read the FDA’s recommendations.

Electronics

Donate, sell, or recycle unwanted laptops, cellphones, TVs, and tablets. Some electronics contain toxic substances such as lead, mercury, and cadmium so these items can’t be thrown away. Twenty-five states, including Pennsylvania, have passed a law requiring e-waste to be recycled. Pennsylvania has an Electronic Recycling Management Program, plus many electronics manufacturers and stores offer recycling and buy-back options. Read How to Recycle Old Electronics by Consumer Reports for a list of places and current programs. Be sure to wipe all personal information from electronics before they leave your possession.

Aerosol Cans

​Aerosol cans can’t be transported by the moving company because they contain liquid or gas packed under pressure which can explode and catch fire. Toss empty aerosol cans in the trash and bring the rest to a hazardous waste collection site.

Lightbulbs

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) contain mercury, so they should be recycled. LEDs, incandescent lightbulbs, and halogen lightbulbs are safe to disposed of in the garbage—just be careful. Some home improvement stores like Ikea, Lowes, and Home Depot have lightbulb recycling programs for CFLs and other types of non-toxic lightbulbs.

Motor Oil

Pennsylvania law requires all used motor oil to be recycled. To find a local collection site in your area, click here.
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