When you’re ready to sell your home, make sure potential buyers see it at its best. Here are the top ways to fix up the appearance of your home without investing a lot of money. A little time and effort now will pay big dividends at closing.
Trim the grass and make sure all flowerbeds are freshly mulched and free of weeds. Prune overgrown shrubs, especially if they’re hiding windows or blocking the entryway.
2)Gutters and Fences
Reinforce sagging gutters and straighten crooked fences. Make sure the gutters are cleared of obstructions and the soil isn’t washed out around downspouts. A quick power washing will brighten fences.
3)Driveway and Walkways
Clear away clutter like bikes, tools and toys. Use weed killer on grass and weeds that sprout in pavement cracks. Keep edges neat with a weed eater or edger.
Freshen the door and trim with a new coat of paint. Tighten loose doorknobs, oil squeaky hinges and make sure the doorbell works. Clean any furniture or outside decorations. Add a colorful potted plant or a new doormat.
Shampoo the rug or scrub and wax the floor. Add a fresh area rug and make sure it has a nonskid surface for safety. Hang a mirror to make your entry look larger and brighter.
Set a warm, inviting mood by keeping countertops free of clutter and adding decorative canisters or a scented candle. Clean out the refrigerator, degrease the oven, wipe down cabinet doors and keep the sink shining.
Make sure your bathrooms sparkle. Clear countertops of unnecessary clutter. Replace discolored or damaged caulking. Fix dripping faucets and leaky toilets.
Organize the contents to make your closets appear larger. Donate unwanted items to charity and store what’s left in stackable plastic totes to maintain a neat, tidy appearance.
9)Garage, Basement and Attic
This is the time to sort through all the junk and decide what to keep and what to give away. Use easy-to-assemble storage shelves to stow tools and sporting goods; wall hangers for garden hose, blowers and other equipment.
Replace burned out bulbs and clean fixtures, inside and out, to get rid of dead bugs and cobwebs. Consider replacing dated fixtures in the most visible locations. Install indoor track lighting to highlight artwork and open drapes and blinds to let in natural light. Outside use landscape lighting to accentuate architectural features.
Most of these great fix-up items and helpful do-it-yourself advice can be found at your local home improvement center.
Take your interior from drab to fab with help from an expert.
By Barbara Jacobs
1) Start Small
If you’re not sure where to begin with color, experiment in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. If you’re doing your own painting, pick an area that’s quick to do so you can see your results sooner, and be happy with it or change it. Look at the process as an adventure.
To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent.
2) Think About Your Mood
When selecting a color, consider the mood of a room. In a bedroom do you want the feeling to be restful and soothing or dramatic and intimate? Soft, cool colors and neutrals usually create a quieter feeling while stronger colors are for drama.
Do you want a dining area to feel sociable and stimulating or appear formal and quiet? Warmer, contrasting and somewhat brighter colors add to a sociable atmosphere; deeper blue-greens and neutrals will give a more formal ambiance.
Do you want kid’s rooms to create an active and exciting energy or an orderly and restful feeling? Be careful not to over stimulate your children with intensely bright hues. You may not know it, but some brighter colors can lead to unrest and irritability.
3) Pay Attention to Lighting
The reason why paint stores have light boxes for you to test paint chips:
- Natural daylight shows the truest color;
- Incandescent lighting brings out warm tones and yellows;
- Fluorescent lighting casts a sharp blue tone.
So, a strong color might be too bright and overpowering when used on all walls or next to a large window, but it might be effective when used as an accent wall with indirect light.
4) Learn the Color Terms
It helps to understand the terminology used to describe color.
- Hue is what we call a color. Red is the hue; blue is the hue.
- The value of the hue is how light or dark it is.
- Saturation refers to how dominant the hue is. As we go from red to pink, the red hue becomes less dominant.
- Intensity is the brilliance of the color. The pure colors such as red are more intense than the combined colors such as yellow-green. A stronger intense color usually has a more dominant hue.
If you want a more active space, consider introducing stronger, more intense color. Even if you want a light-colored room, choose colors that are slightly more saturated than off-white or light pastel. Very light color can feel bright and stark when it appears on all surfaces in a room. However, two or more medium-light, closely related pastel colors can create a luminous effect when used in the same room.
5) Test Your Color Choice
Boost your confidence by testing colors on poster board or large areas of a wall. Don’t be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone: Consider strong, vivid colors or soft, deep neutrals like chocolate brown or olive green as main or accent colors. Or add drama with a stronger color on the ceiling. Tinted ceilings can dramatically change the whole look of a room.
6) Add Depth With Decorative Finishes
Transform flat, dull walls into interesting and personal spaces with subtle or dramatic visual texture and broken color. Burnished mineral/metal finishes and layered colored glazes add depth. Some examples of softly reflective metals are mica, copper, pewter, bronze and, of course, antiqued silver and gold.
7) Walk Into Another Room
Consider walls as planes of color, and see how they interact when viewing one next to the other in adjacent rooms. Approach it like a composition: You’re in one room, but you’re going to see a piece of another room through it. So as you’re choosing colors, consider how they will flow from room to room to create your picture.
8) Follow the Color Wheel
A small color wheel is a great reference tool for modifying and intensifying two or more colors. For example, red and green, which are complementary (opposite) colors, are most intense when used together. You may be surprised at how many combinations function beautifully together, and you may even become attracted to entirely new color palettes. The color wheel also illustrates the visual temperature of a color. Draw a line from the yellow-green mark on the color wheel all the way down to the red-violet; you’ll see that all the colors on the left are warm and the colors on the right are cool.
9) Play Up Monochromatic Schemes
Think one color is boring? Create bold or subtle variations within one color group with contrasting paint finishes. For example, use closely related colors, or try a single color in different finishes, for walls and trim in one space.
For an accent color, select a warmer (more toward reds) or cooler (more toward blues) color to complement your main color group. For a quieter ambience, make sure your colors are not extremely bright. White or an off-white tint can be a striking accent when used as trim with a monochromatic color group.
10) Choose Different Paint Finishes
A single color used on walls and trim takes on new significance when applied in different finishes. For example, wall and trim colors can remain the same hue, but use an eggshell (matte and less reflective) finish on walls and a satin or semi gloss on trim. The color will appear slightly different on each surface. It’s a good way to create a cohesive look in rooms with many windows and doors, and relatively little wall area.
We at Atmosphere Movers understand the stress and confusion that moving can cause so we have put together a list to help you prepare and stay focused as your move approaches! Print this page and carry it with you before and after the move. Moving tips that may seem obvious can be easily over looked.
- Take Notes
Make a note of your shipment registration number and keep it with you in case you need to call your mover with questions about your shipment.
- Get the Bed Ready
Designate one drawer of a dresser for sheets and towels so that you won’t have to rummage through boxes for these essentials the first night in your new home.
- Don’t forget about the Fridge
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned and dried the inside of your refrigerator, put a handful of fresh coffee, baking soda or charcoal in a sock or nylon stocking and place it inside to keep the interior smelling fresh.
- Give out your Number
Before the van foreman leaves for your destination residence; give him a phone number where you can be reached. It is also a good idea to provide him with an alternate contact in case you can’t be reached. It is also a good idea to mail out post cards to friends and family with your new address and any other contact info that may have changed.
- Protect Your Memories
If it’s irreplaceable; take it with you in the car (you don’t want regrets later). But if you do decide to pack framed photos or art, place sheets or blankets between them for added protection.
- Remember the Bare Necessities
Toilet paper, toiletries, snacks, coffee (and pot), soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, a couple of pans, paper towels, and cleaning supplies are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at your new home. Pack a box with these types of items and ask your van foreman to load it last so that it will be unloaded first. If you are traveling a long distance it is a good idea to pack an overnight bag with a weeks worth of medications and necessities in case there are any delays.
- Unscrew Bulbs
Remove bulbs before packing your lamps. It is always a good idea to pack your lamp shades separately to protect them.
- Give the Kids an Exercise
Have children write their names and new address on the boxes from their rooms so they can become familiar with their new street and town. You may also have them back a box or two of their own special things to make them feel like they are a part of the move keeping a favorite stuffed animal to carry with them.
- Help your Pet Relax
Keep your pets calm and away from all the activity on moving day by arranging for a friend to watch them or board them at a local veterinarian office.
- Be Nice to Your Plants
When moving plants to your new residence via your car, try not to let foliage rest against the windows, as the leaves will scorch.
- Enjoy the Help
Leave the rest to the professionals at Atmosphere Movers, sit back and relax, and look forward to the new opportunities, friends and experiences that are part of any move. Be sure to get a good night’s rest before the pickup and delivery days!
Here are a few tips on making your holiday move a little less stressful:
1. Plan Ahead. As with any move, planning ahead of time will ensure that you have a successful moving day experience. This involves locating movers, packing and obtaining boxes. Since you are moving during the holidays, be sure to ask (well in advance) if they can move during your specific dates and whether they charge extra for moving during this time of year. Feeling disorganized and stressed can also cause problems when relocating to a new home, so staying on top of the moving game is sure to alleviate some unnecessary strain.
2. On the Road. If you are moving during the holidays, try to maintain a cheerful disposition and positive thinking (especially if you have children). You may to stick to one tradition (if possible) such as stopping for hot chocolate and opening a present or singing holiday songs in your car. Something familiar will be really helpful through this transition.
3. Moved In. You made it into your new home before the holidays but you aren’t fully acclimated to your new house (re: not unpacked). Instead of stressing over the unpacking, get out of the house and have an alternative holiday experience. You and your family can go to the movies, eat at a fancy restaurant or visit your community center to see the local Christmas tree – whatever it is try not to think about your boxes or ‘to-do’ list at home. Separate yourself from that for at least one day and enjoy the holiday without having to clean or decorate.
4. Simplify. You may be someone that has been acclimated into your new home for some time before the holidays and have already unpacked and are looking to celebrate in your new home. If that’s the case; think about simplifying from your normal traditions. This doesn’t mean not ‘pulling out the stops,’ but rather, downscaling the holiday (a bit). Instead of décor placed throughout your house, decorate only your living room or instead of decorating follow some holiday traditions like listening to music or cooking. Keep it simple and the true meaning of the holiday is bound to surface.
5. Stay Connected. If you have moved away from your family and friends, the holiday season can be very lonely. Lucky, though, it is very easy to stay connected in these modern times. Call, email or Skype your family during the holidays to wish each other well as well as to update your family about how you are settling in.
Your family’s move can be an exciting time for your children and for you. It can also be a stressful and sad time. Your child may have different feelings about your family’s move: scared about going to a new school, excited about your new home, sad about leaving old friends or angry with you about moving.
There are several things that you as a parent can do to support your child through this tough time.
Below you will find a checklist provided by Jennine L. Moritz, Ph.D. & Ann V. Deaton, Ph.D. of Coping Kids, to remind you of some of the important things to do before and after a move (and tips on what to do to help your child cope with this life event). Remember, if you are going to be available to help your child, it is also important to support yourself during this move.
Before Your Move:
- Get information about the new place. Gather information from the local Chamber of Commerce, Welcome Wagon and Board of Realtors.
- Tell older, school-age children about the move several months in advance, if possible.
- Share information about your new home, town and state with your child. Give him/her brochures and postcards. create a fun project that offers information about the new place (e.g., make a map or draw pictures of the new house).
- When possible, take your child to see his/her new town, house and neighborhood.
- Visit your child’s future school. Schedule time to meet the principal and some of the teachers and future classmates ahead of time.
- Plan a goodbye/moving party for your child. Involve her in the planning. Help her get addresses and phone numbers of friends and family they will be leaving.
- Request that your child’s school records be sent to his/her new school. Obtain medical and dental records for you and your children.
- Pack some of your child’s essentials for the trip: toiletry items, snacks, games, pillows and special comfort items.
After Your Move:
- Help your child decorate his/her room making it a special place in your new home.
- Make some exploratory trips into the community with your child such as visiting neighborhood parks, nearby restaurants or a skating rink.
- Take your child to enroll in his/her new school and meet teachers and classmates.
- Discuss extracurricular options with your child and sign up for some activities such as piano lessons, gymnastics, Girl/Boy Scouts, sports, clubs at schools, library programs.
- Encourage your child to call or write friends and family to let them know about the new place.
- Listen to your child’s feelings (sad, scared, excited) about the move and offer extra support.
- Help your child take pictures of your new home to send to friends and relatives.
- Get to know some of the other parents and find out about their activities and their children’s interests.
What are deductible moving expenses?
Because the IRS has a short list of allowable deductions, it won’t be too difficult to keep track. Here’s an outline of what you can expect to take off your taxes:
- The cost of packing and transporting your household goods and personal effects, whether you do it yourself or hire professional movers, is fully deductible. This also includes the cost of insuring your belongings during the move.
- Any costs to connect and disconnect utilities because of the move.
- The cost of transporting your cars and pets to a new home.
- You can also deduct for personal belongings that are not stored at your old residence. The cost, however, can not be more than if you had moved those items from your residence. For example, if you have belongings stored with a family member or in storage in another city where you had lived previously, you can deduct the expenses of moving those items to your new residence. If, say, the distance from the stored belongings to your new location is greater, it is likely more expensive to move them. You can still take a deduction for moving those items, but only as much as if you had them with you at your old home and were moving them to your new location.
- The cost of storing your belongings for no more than 30 consecutive days after the move is also a deductible expense.
- You can deduct lodging expenses for one day at your old residence after your belongings have been moved.
- Only deductions for one trip for you and your household members are allowed. This means. For example, you cannot deduct the cost of multiple trips to house hunt. You and your household members do not have to travel the same way or at the same time.
- If you are traveling by car, you can deduct your actual expenses for gasoline, oil, lodging, parking fees and tolls. Instead of itemizing, you can choose to deduct 18 cents per mile (up from 16 cents on 2006 tax returns). You cannot deduct expenses for meals, sightseeing or repairs, maintenance, insurance or depreciation on your car.
For more information and detailed explanations of moving deductions, visit the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p521/index.html
Everything comes together on moving day, when a flood of last-minute details can seem overwhelming and the trip to your new home looms in front of you. Being prepared ahead of time for the little things and having a plan for surviving your trip can get you through this crucial event.
Confine your pets
If your dog is frenzied because of the moving day activity, confine it somewhere away from the action. Movers shouldn’t have to confront a snarling dog (or worse, trip over it) each time they return for another box.
If it’s a hot day, as it usually is in southern Louisiana, you should set out water and snacks for the movers. On cold days, offer them hot chocolate and coffee. If your friends are helping you move, be sure to provide food for lunch and dinner as well as refreshments during the day.
Be considerate to your neighbors, old and new
Make sure the moving truck doesn’t block a neighbor’s driveway. Don’t block the sidewalk with furniture waiting to be loaded. Make sure the movers don’t walk over your neighbor’s lawn or through their flowerbeds. Try to move during the daytime, but not too early or too late. Don’t leave trash, unwanted furniture or other debris on the sidewalk. Place it in proper containers, and if it begins to overflow, go to the local dump or ask your movers if they offer a dump service.
The Golden Rule of moving
You should leave your old house as clean as you would like to find your new house. Clean as much as you can before moving day, and then make a final check after everything is out.
Be available to answer any questions your movers may have, which means staying around until they’re finished. Professional movers will ask you to sign a bill of lading and do a walk-through the home for a final inspection. The bill of lading is a government document required for transport services to move your personal property. Read documents carefully before signing. If you’re satisfied with the way the movers handled your possessions, it’s customary to tip the movers about $20 each, giving them more or less depending on the difficulty of the move and the quality of service you received. If your friends helped, provide food and drinks for a post-move celebratory meal.
Coordinating with the professional mover
Your goal is to get to your new home in time to greet the movers. Arrive late, and you’re likely to be charged for the movers’ wait. Before you depart, exchange cell phone numbers with the driver so you can stay in touch in case one of you is delayed. Plan for the unexpected by making backup plans, such as arranging for someone else to greet the movers. Notify the mover of any changes to your schedule as soon as possible.
Give yourself time
Finally, be conservative in your time estimates. It may be a good idea to plan out the day in half-hour increments. Seeing a picture of the day will ensure that you have some extra time between each leg of your journey. That way you can accommodate unexpected delays that could otherwise throw off your schedule.
They’re our loved ones. Soft, cuddly, scaly or hairy, from dogs and fish to spiders and lizards, they all need a smooth move. Whether you’re moving across the country or just to the other side of town, you’ll want to ensure that your pets are able to make as comfortable a transition as possible. We’ve outlined some helpful hints to get both you and Rover to your new abode, safe and sound.
Before You Hit the Roadways or Airways…
Make a point to maintain your pet’s regular routine right up until the moment you leave. If they’re accustomed to a morning walk, make sure you take it. If it’s a bowl of their favorite food, make sure to serve it. And whether your travels are just a few hours or even several days, make sure to pack their regular food. A common mistake made by pet owners is to bring “special snacks” and treats as comfort food, but this often causes a disruption in diet and can lead to your pet’s nausea or diarrhea. The bottom line: go with what’s familiar and customary.
Additional Pre-Move Considerations
- Make sure that your pet’s medical records are up-to-date.
- Bring copies of the records with you.
- Purchase a sturdy, comfortable transport carrier if needed.
- If transporting by plane, try to book a direct flight.
Planes, Trains or Automobiles?
In planning to relocate your pet, you’ll first need to pick a means of transportation. Whenever possible, the form of transportation that’s least likely to upset your loved one(s) is a car (or truck). In many cases it’s just not possible, especially if it involves an overnight stay (although today, many hotels accept pets as their guests). But for cross-country, overseas or extremely long driving distances, you may want to consider bringing your pet with you on your flight, or using an animal transport service.
If You Drive
Cats should always be kept in a carrier during auto travel. With dogs, you have the option of using a restraining harness, available in most pet supply stores. Make sure to stop frequently to allow your pet to exercise and relieve itself (a good rule of thumb is to pull over every two hours). Cats can benefit from the use of a harness and a litter box on long trips. As always, never leave your pet unattended in a parked car and never travel with a pet in the cargo area of a moving truck or van. This is especially true during the hot summer months, when the temperature in your car can rise to 120 degrees.
If You Fly
Make your flight arrangements far in advance. Many airlines have restrictions on the total number of pets allowed onboard for any one flight. You may also be surprised to find that some airlines don’t allow pets at all. Expect to pay a $75 fee for your pets travel accommodations.
When you call the airline’s reservations number, find out any restrictions that may apply. Ask if you’ll be able to bring your pet onboard as a carry-on. This is highly preferable when compared against the alternative of checking your pet in the planes cargo hold.
Plan to visit your veterinarian within 30 days prior to your flight. Most airlines require an up-to-date health certificate. Different countries and states may also have their own requirements, so make sure to check in with the proper authorities before your trip.
Animal Transport Services
If all else fails, you may want to consider an animal transport service. The expense may be justified by the peace of mind that your pet will be with people who make their living transporting animals. But no matter how you’re traveling, these considerations will undoubtedly help to ensure that your pet will travel in as comfortable a fashion as he or she deserves.
Atmosphere Movers offers a full service packing and unpacking but we understand that some people just like to do things themselves! Keep in mind that any box that is not packed by a moving company is not insured, as they cannot be responsible for items that were not packed properly.
Packing Tip #1: Time is everything – start packing several cartons each day, a few weeks prior to your move. Be sure that the items you pack won’t be needed before your move, of course. By pacing yourself, you’ll be more organized and the job won’t be so overwhelming.
Packing Tip #2: Pack on a room-by-room basis and do one area of the room at a time. It’s best not to mix items from different rooms in one box. To prevent small items from being lost or mistakenly thrown out with the packing paper, wrap miniature knickknacks and other small items in brightly-colored tissue paper before placing them in the box.
Packing Tip #3: On the top and front of each carton, write a general description of the contents and indicate the room from which it came (or which it will go into in your new home). Use different colored dot stickers for each box; then, at your new house, hang a balloon of a corresponding color outside the room where you want the color-coded boxes to be delivered.
Packing Tip #4: Use only unprinted newsprint paper to wrap items. Regular newspapers and colored tissue papers are messy and they may bleed ink on your possessions. AMSA recommends using only white packing paper to wrap all items.
Packing Tip #5: Use clean cartons designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean, and may not withstand the weight of the items that you’ll be putting in them. Also, their odd sizes tend to make loading more difficult.
Packing Tip #6: Unpack breakables over the box you’re taking them out of; that way, if you happen to drop an item, it will land on some packing material, thereby reducing its chance of breakage.
Packing Tip #7: Some common household items cannot be included in your shipment because they are hazardous materials. Examples of these materials include flammables such as paint, varnish and thinners, gasoline, kerosene and oil, bottled gas, aerosol cans, nail polish and remover, ammunition and explosives, corrosives, and cleaning fluids and detergents.
Packing Tip #8: You should personally transport irreplaceable photos, financial papers and assets (bank checks, insurance policies, stock certificates, etc.), legal documents (wills, passports. etc.), valuables, jewelry, coin and stamp collections, etc.), and medical and family history records
Relocating your family and personal belongings due to a permanent change of station (PCS) is something that every military family encounters sooner or later. Whether you look forward to the move with eager anticipation or with feelings that are somewhat less enthusiastic, there are things that service members and their families can do before relocating to make the overall experience better. Knowing the regulations and planning accordingly can make all the difference.
1. Visit the Personal Property Office
As soon as you receive your orders, call your Personal Property Office (PPO) and set an appointment. Before you go to the appointment, do some research to make the most of your session. Even if you and your family have PSCed several times before, no two moves are exactly the same. Changes to your personal situation, your new duty station, or military regulations may greatly affect your move.
PPOs have materials available to aid you in your research. An excellent resource for explaining basic entitlements and responsibilities is the “It’s Your Move” pamphlet that is also available online on various web sites, including LIFELines. General move information is available on LIFELines in the “Relocation and Housing” information area.
Still another official web site that offers a wide variety of basic PCS move information is theDefenselink site. This electronic newsletter is user-friendly and chock full of helpful hints, news, guidance, and useful links.
2. Contact Your Sponsor and New Command
Once you have PCS orders in hand, your new command will assign a sponsor to assist in your transition to the command and new duty station. If you have not heard from your sponsor in a reasonable amount of time, contact your new command to find a point of contact to help you before you arrange your move. If the command has a web site, become familiar with its contents. The information may prove invaluable throughout your decision process and save you the trouble of moving items that you’ll not be able to use at your new duty station.
A sponsor is especially crucial if you’ll be moving overseas or to a remote location. Along with host-country considerations that you may not otherwise know, a sponsor can fill you in on some of the less obvious nuances of your new home. For example, if you will be moving to Yokosuka, Japan, and are planning to live on the economy in non-Westernized housing, your sponsor would probably advise you to leave the majority of your furniture and appliances in storage until you return to the States. Most traditional Japanese dwellings will not accommodate the size or style of furniture that is common in American households, and your appliances would probably be incompatible.
3. Consider Moving It Yourself — Carefully
Most commonly referred to as the DITY move, the personally-procured move (PPM), is an option that you may want to consider. Essentially, the government pays you the money that it would otherwise pay a contractor to move you and your belongings. Although not for everyone, a properly planned and executed PPM has advantages that range from peace of mind in knowing your belongings are packed exactly the way you want them to be, to earning some extra cash in return for your hard work. Conversely, if you do not adequately plan or complete your PPM, you are liable for any additional moving costs or damage to your property.
4. Take Responsibility
Although you will have ample assistance along the way, you are responsible for your move. The best way to ensure that it goes well is to be involved from start to finish and play an active role throughout the process. Know the regulations and make all necessary arrangements before your moving day. That way, when moving day arrives, you and your family will be able to concentrate on the task at hand.
5. Figure Your Entitlement
Part of your entitlement is the maximum weight you can move at government expense. This pre-determined amount is based upon your personal situation and rank. If you go over your prescribed amount, you will be responsible for paying all charges connected with moving the excess weight. To estimate the weight of your possessions, you can figure 1,000 pounds per room and then add the approximate weight of your large appliances and items. While not exact, this method will help you determine if your belongings will fall within your entitlement.
6. Find Out If You Can Move That
The term “household goods” (HHG) refers to your personal effects and property for your home — anything from a snowmobile to a spare car part. Generally, if your HHGs fall within your weight entitlement, they will be moved at no additional cost to you. However, some items, such as boats, may or may not qualify as HHGs and may only be moved if you agree to share the expense. Other HHGs may not be moved as part of your PCS move because of carrier restrictions or local ordinances. The Defense Transportations Regulations (DTR) web site offers complete guidance for determining if you can ship an item as part of your PCS move.
7. Decide What to Do About Rover
While most of us consider our pets to be part of our family, it is important to note that moving them is not an entitlement. Instead, it is viewed as a privilege and you will share in the cost. The government will allow you to move a total of two dogs or cats in travel cases weighing less than 100 pounds each. Any more and you’ll be required to make alternate arrangements. Other applicable restrictions and considerations are discussed in LIFELines section PCSing With Pets.
8. Prepare for Clean Up After the Move Date
When determining your actual move date, keep in mind obligations you will have after the moving van departs. If you rent, you will probably be responsible for restoring the property to its original condition. If you own, you’ll want to show the property to would-be renters or buyers in the best possible condition. Estimate how many days you will need to prepare the property and set your move date to allow you ample time before your lease is up and your utilities have been disconnected.
9. Take Care of Important Papers
The paperwork that leads up to moving is as important as physically moving your property. Make sure you have adequate copies of your PCS orders placed in a safe location. Additionally, you should consider the following:
- powers of attorney or letters of authorization
- appraisals of high-value items
- inventory with video or photo documentation
- insurance policies, in addition to those provided as part of your move.
10. Lighten the Load
Use the time before your move to sort through your belongings and sell, donate, recycle, or throw away those items that you will no longer need. This is especially important if you are concerned that you may be over your weight entitlement.
Knowing the regulations and planning ahead are two of the most important things you can do prior to executing your PCS move. Considering the items outlined in this article is a step in the right direction. Although it won’t guarantee you a trouble-free move, it will give you peace of mind in knowing that you did everything possible to make your move a smooth one.
Here is the US DOT booklet called your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move. (this is a PDF file)
- Do you work for the mover or are you a broker?
Broker’s play an important role in helping customers match up with moving companies. Keep in mind, however, that a broker cannot give you a binding estimate and a broker is not responsible for loss or damage.
- Do you have a Louisiana Public Service Commission Number or an LPSC?
- Do you give binding quotes?
Over the phone, a mover or broker may give you a quote that is generally not binding. A mover may give a binding, or “not to exceed” quote upon reviewing your items in person. Brokers don’t typically give binding quotes.
- Does the quote include extra charges?
For example – flight charges, long carry charges, appliance charges, parking charges, storage charges, fuel charges, awkward objects, etc. If you have a piano, you should let them know right up front. Ask them if they have equipment to help with heavy and awkward items.
- Will my items be transferred?
Long distance moves can sometimes require your items be transferred to another truck. This extra handling increases the chances for damage to occur.
- What forms of payment do you accept and on what terms?
We don’t recommend that you hire movers if they only accept cash; be sure you are clear about the amount that is due on delivery versus the deposit amount, and whether deposits are refundable.Most companies that have a merchant account will accept credit cards so be sure to ask if credit cards are an option.
- What type of insurance is included in your quote? What else is available to me?
Basic coverage is 60 cents per pound but your moving company may offer an upgrade at a reasonable price. You can also work with 3rd party insurance providers to cover the move.
- What is the process if something were to break or is missing? Who’s responsible?
This is a follow-up to the previous question that clearly breaks down who is responsible for what. If you’re discussing a self-service move, you may not get reimbursed for something that you packed poorly.
Most Louisianans do not venture up to their attics between Mardi Gras and Christmas. Summer temperatures in Louisiana make attic spaces dangerously hot. If you know you are moving before it gets too hot, this is a good time to sort through and get rid of unwanted attic items. Please be careful if you choose to get them downstairs on your own. Moving items up and down attic stairs and extreme heat, are both potential health risk concerns to those who are not trained professionals. The trained and well conditioned professionals with Atmosphere Movers are perfectly suited to safely move your items down from the attic. When it comes to your personal health and safety, do not take any added risks. The last thing you want to do is have a pulled back or get sick from the heat while getting ready for a move.
Best to leave this one to the professionals, especially with those summer moves.
When getting ready for a move, there is no doubt you will find extra stuff lying around that you probably do not want at your new house. Yard sales are extra stress for you when you are already moving your life, but may help offset some costs and prevent extra moving costs. Here are a few things to consider regarding unwanted items:
- Plan a date for a yard sale, well in advance of your move.
- If you have a storage unit, start diving into it!
- Go visit the dreaded attic or basement messes and think to yourself how that will help beautify your new living space.
- Invite your friends, who you may moving away from, to help or join you by making the sale bigger.
- Throw a little going away party for yourself after the yard sale with your neighbors.
- Donating versus yard sales is always a good option and less of a hassle. Get your receipt.
- Plan for pickup of items not sold immediately after your yard sale.
- Do not get rid of too many home decor items if you are moving to a bigger space.
- If you have no time to sort through items before the move and you do not have to pay out of your pocket for moving items, a yard sale on the other end is a great way to meet new neighbors.
When it comes to those valuable items that are near and dear to us, it is hard to think about someone else touching them, wrapping them and putting them in a box to move. Then again, if you pack it yourself and it breaks, it likely is not covered by insurance. This becomes a bit of dilemma for precious items such as china, especially heirloom china. If you can afford to have your items packed by professionals, it might make you feel better to be present when those items are being packed. If you choose to pack the china yourself, make sure you have plenty of packing material and label the box very well, so when you unpack, you do not miss something or have something roll onto the floor and break. Good luck! And remember, there are companies that replace missing pieces.