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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, cushion foam, and packing paper...these simple materials will protect your belongings during transport. If your moving boxes aren't filled correctly, their contents will shift and get damaged. Overfilled boxes will rupture while underfilled boxes will collapse. The moving company is not liable for any boxes packed by the customer, so if you're doing your own packing, read on to learn how to pack a moving box and what to use.
If the thought of moving makes your head spin, you're not alone. Stay calm, take a deep breath, and keep your eye on the destination. Start by preparing a To-Do list in advance with everything you'll need to finish in the weeks leading up to moving day. Use our two-month sample calendar below to help you brainstorm.
Relocating is stressful. If you find the right moving company, they can help make moving into your new home just a little easier. Your heirlooms and furniture—everything you collected over the years—must get packed in boxes then transported. Don’t let fragile items be carried by inexperienced hands. About two months before the move, start looking for a reputable mover you can trust. As moving day creeps closer, there’s a lot to do, and you don’t want to make a quick, last-minute decision. When researching movers, there are three things you should be aware of before hiring a moving company.
One of the most difficult things about moving is deciding what to do with all the extra stuff you accumulated over the years. When keepsakes, furniture, the motorcycle, or even your antique car doesn’t fit in the new home, figuring out what to do with these items is a challenge. If donating or selling doesn’t feel right, consider renting a storage unit. It's the best option for anything you still like that is in good condition, usable in the future, or has sentimental value. The pros and cons of individual units are highly dependent on the type of storage facility you chose.
You bought a new home across the country, the old home sold, and moving day is set…what now? Whether you’re driving or flying the family from Philadelphia to San Francisco, preparing for a long-distance move can be challenging. Before you relocate, be sure to prepare in advance…