Are you afraid that your wedding day champagne glasses might shatter during a move? Does the thought of breaking your cat mug cause unnerving anxiety? Moving to a new home should be a fun and exciting time for you and everyone involved. We are here to help. Below, we provide a breakdown on how to pack your dishes the right way, categorizing eight types of dishes from most fragile to least.

Antique China and Porcelain Tea Sets

For those keen on preserving fine, delicate dishes, pay special attention to packing your china and porcelain tea sets. During the moving process, someone may not be as careful when handling boxes and cause the contents inside to shift around. With delicate dishes, even the slightest bump can cause irreparable damage. One of the best resources to have when packing such fragile items are dish pack boxes. These cardboard boxes are specifically designed to fit different plates, teapots, teacups, bowls, or glasses in a single box using cardboard partitions. Be careful not to over-stuff your boxes as you want to leave room to carefully layer bubble wrap and packing paper. As an added precautionary measure, keep the box’s weight in mind. You don’t want to strain yourself while carrying a heavy box of fragile antiques! Finally, label the boxes FRAGILE, and describe the contents inside.

Wine Glasses, Champagne Flutes, and Pint Glasses

Depending on the thickness of glass forming your champagne flutes, wine and pint glasses, you can simply utilize the dish pack boxes, similar to packing china and porcelain sets. However, you can also opt for an additional packing method. Begin saving old newspaper, coupon booklets, towels, and thin bubble wrap. When packing, snugly wrap the glasses and flutes in one or two layers of newspaper, towels, or bubble wrap and proceed to pack them into the dish packing boxes. The extra layers of protection will help keep your glasses in one piece while moving. In the event of breakage, however, this step will prevent innumerable shattered glass pieces from filling your box.

Coffee Mugs and Other Drinking Cups

As these items are usually less fragile than wine glasses, using the dish pack boxes is recommended but not required. If you decide to forego the dish pack boxes, you can wrap your individual mugs and drinking cups in either packing paper, towels, or bubble wrap before carefully laying them in a box or bin. If you wish to stack mugs on top of one another and pack several rows, be sure to efficiently add a few layers of bubble wrap or towels between each row and fill the remaining empty spaces with packing peanuts. As an additional precaution, shake your box back and forth a little to test that your items are securely packed. Remember, ceramic mugs and glassware can weigh down a box. Therefore, keep an eye on how many items you pack inside to ensure a safe lifting weight.

Ceramic Plates and Bowls

We would hate for a ceramic plate or bowl to break during your move and ruin your perfect set. Therefore, be sure to carefully wrap each plate and bowl in a layer of bubble wrap before stacking in a box. Also, using packing peanuts or additional bubble wrap to fill in the sides of the box will prevent unnecessary shifting during your move. Again, keep the box at a tolerable weight to prevent injuries when lifting!

Waffle Makers, Mixers, Toasters, Tea Kettles, and Coffee Pots

Have you thrown away the boxes in which these awkwardly shaped appliances originally came from? If so, you still have another packing solution. If possible, try to find boxes similar in dimension to your waffle makers, mixers, toasters, tea kettles, and coffee pots. Place each item in their individual box and secure it in place with bubble wrap, towels, or packing paper, filling the rest of the box with bubble wrap, packing paper, or packing peanuts to prevent shifting. With the growing number of boxes packed, be sure to continue labelling each box with the contents inside.

Silverware, Small Cooking Gadgets, and Serving Spoons

Luckily, since these items are smaller in size, you have a few options when packing them. To keep your silverware organized, consider tying together your spoons and forks with a rubber band or string. You can copy this method for your serving spoons. With your knives, carefully pack and tape them with bubble wrap and ensure that the blades will not puncture your box. For small cooking gadgets, pack according to characteristics. For example, if the gadget has any sharp points, wrap and pack in the same manner as you would with a knife. However, with safer cooking gadgets, you can pack normally. 

Plastic Tupperware

Luckily, plastic Tupperware and dishes are some of the least breakable items in your kitchen. As a result, packing your Tupperware can be done in one of two ways. First, you can pack and organize them in a single box without the use of bubble wrap or newspaper. However, to serve as a dual purpose, you can use your Tupperware to help pack other items in your home. From silverware to office supplies, Tupperware is perfect for keeping loose items in one place while moving.

Baby Bottles, Sippy Cups, and Baby Silverware

If you are a parent of an infant or toddler, you may have a large supply of sippy cups, bottles, baby plates, and silverware. When moving, it’s best to keep all your baby items in the same box, especially since most baby products are not made with fragile materials. Therefore, you may wrap each item individually with paper or bubble wrap if preferred, but it’s not necessary. Keep in mind that you should keep one or two sets of bottles, sippy cups, and silverware in a separate bag so you can feed your baby while moving!

When in Doubt, Let the Professionals Move You Out!

Sometimes, balancing your life with work, family, and other responsibilities can be too much. If packing your home could not have come at a worse time, we are here to help! At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are devoted to helping you through any part of the moving process. From offering packing and disassembly services to transport, storage, and unpacking, our professionals are ready to help. Are you ready to pass the packing on to us? Contact our team today to receive a free quote for our services!

It’s such a great feeling when your realtor calls to announce that your offer was accepted and you’re one step closer to becoming a homeowner. Making the final decision to purchase a home as either a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner often seems to be the easiest and most fun step. From the acceptance offer on, the remaining moving process quickly becomes overwhelming if not properly planned. We are here to help! Below, we provide ten steps guaranteed to help organize and plan the perfect move for you and your family this year.

Step 1: Know Your Closing Date

Planning the perfect move begins with this easy step. Before packing and completing address change forms, you need to confirm the closing date on your new home. Be sure that your realtor, the current homeowners, their realtor, and the attorney all know the moving day. Scheduling your closing early in the process helps make sure that the title company has a convenient slot open. You cannot buy a car without obtaining a title, and you can’t close on a house without one either.

Step 2: Get an Appraisal

With your loan considered for approval, the lending institution usually requests an appraisal, or home value assessment, on the property as part of the closing process. This is done to see if the property appraises at the sale price or higher. In the event that the valuation of the home proves significantly less than the purchase amount, a home appraisal contingency allows you as the buyer and opportunity to back out of the sale. However, if the appraisal shows no red flags, you can move to the next step.

Step 3: Have an Inspection

Most residential real estate contracts contain what’s known as a home inspection contingency, which allows you as the potential buyer to back out of the sale of the home, should the house require significant repairs the seller is unwilling to make. Once you place a deposit on your house, schedule the home inspection. Typically, the inspection takes place within a week to 10 days after your offer is accepted. After the home inspector evaluates the home, he writes up a report documenting his findings.

Step 4: Confirm a Clear Title on the Home

This step is imperative when purchasing a home and planning the perfect move. Without a clear title, you cannot—and should not—close on a home. Once your offer is accepted, an escrow agent, title company, or your agent will order the title report to identify any title issues such as trust complications, unpaid balances from lenders, or even outstanding property taxes. Again, if the house has any liens, judgments, or debts attached to the property, it cannot be sold. Unfortunately, you will need to begin looking at other housing options or wait for those issues to be resolved.

Step 5: Purchase Homeowner’s Insurance

Just as car insurance is crucial when acquiring a new vehicle, home insurance is necessary to purchasing a home. Securing home insurance is a vital step in the home-buying process. Before deciding on one insurance plan, obtain and compare quotes from different providers to ensure you don’t overspend and purchase inadequate coverage. Finding an insurance agent you can trust will help create an insurance plan that covers every item needed.

Step 6: Set Up your Utilities Account

Moving into a home with water and electricity can only be made possible if you set up your utilities prior to your moving date. To do so, you can ask for the utility providers that the previous homeowners used if more than one provider services your area. Then, you can either call or visit the provider’s website to request a new account or transfer your current account to the new address. Don’t forget to set up utility accounts for gas, cable, internet, phone, and waste management, if applicable!

Step 7: Prepare Change of Address Forms

Though you still have time before the closing date, preparing your change of address forms before the move will really help. Before the boxes, labels, and tape, take a few minutes to list every subscription, utility bill, and account with your current address. Then, complete a change of address form prior to your last day at your current home and bring it to your local post office. That way, you won’t miss any bills or subscriptions!

Step 8: Pack Up Your Home

For some people, packing up your home is the most stressful step due to owning too much or having items that require delicate handling. If this is your first move, you might wonder how to pack everything safely and efficiently. Whether packing with or without additional help, coordinating your items and furniture by room will help keep everything organized. This is a great opportunity to sort through everything you own and see where you can downsize.

Step 9: Make a Moving Day Checklist

With a busy life filled with work, school, doctor appointments, and grocery shopping, it’s hard remembering all the final moving day tasks. Do you have enough boxes and bubble wrap? Have you purchased moving tarps and furniture straps? Therefore, creating an organized checklist will help you remember items commonly forgotten on moving day.

Step 10: Hire A Professional Moving Service

Choosing to receive help from a moving company will help make your moving transition much easier. Moving trucks have more space than cars and pickup trucks, so you can fit more things in one vehicle and take fewer trips. At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are dedicated to providing exceptional service in all that we do. With our trained movers prepared to help in any step of the moving process, we want to help make your move seamless so that you can focus on the new adventure ahead. Contact us today to receive a free quote for our services.

With the final date of your lease quickly approaching, it can seem daunting to remember everything that must be completed in such a short amount of time. Below, we provide a complete end-of-lease checklist to guarantee you complete everything on your to-do list and ensure a successful move, while avoiding additional penalties or fees.

Step 1: Provide an Official Moving-Out Statement to your Landlord or Association

Typically in your lease statement, your landlord or association lists the specific time frame in which you must send a notice of moving out, like 30, 45, or 60 days. Type and print a formal letter providing notice of your move out date and deliver it to your landlord or association office in a timely manner. By doing so, you will avoid any fees associated with the lack of providing adequate advanced notice. If you wish to go the extra mile and ensure they know of your move out date, send an email confirmation with the same contents of your letter. That way, if they lost your letter and have no recollection of the notice, you have an email version available as backup!

Step 2: Confirm the Moving Day with Your New Apartment

To ensure that moving day is a seamless transition into your new living space, confirm with your new landlord or association of your anticipated moving day. This will prevent any gaps in the moving process that result in you looking for a hotel or spare room at a relative’s home while waiting for your new space to become available. In the event your new apartment or condo is not available for the day your current lease ends, you will need to utilize a storage facility to temporarily keep your belongings safe.

Step 3: Organize and Pack Your Belongings

Packing stresses out many tenants who think they own too many items that are difficult to move or require delicate handling. You might question how to pack everything safely and efficiently. Therefore, hiring a local moving service that packs and unpacks your items may be your best solution.

Packing with or without additional help, coordinating your items and furniture by room will help keep everything organized – especially when packing for a storage unit. This is a great opportunity to sort through everything you own and see where you can downsize.

When packing with boxes or bins, use a permanent marker or label to effectively distinguish where each container goes. Additionally, when labeling the room that the items came from, specify the contents inside. We prepared an example breakdown below of useful labels when packing per room:

Living Room

  • Hanging Décor: Curtains and curtain rods, artwork, tapestries, shelves, and pictures
  • Lighting & Electrical: Lamps, lightbulbs, batteries, remotes, and extension cords
  • Miscellaneous Décor: Books, Couch pillows and throws, Knick knacks, Candles, faux plants, and decorative bowls

Kitchen & Dining Area

To save on packing paper and make the most of your packing, use your kitchen towels, cloth napkins, oven mitts, and potholders to cushion other items.

  • Dishes: Bowls, plates, silverware, glasses, coffee mugs, Tupperware, and hosting serving sets
  • Appliances: Toaster, tea kettle, coffee maker, hand mixer, stand mixer, and blender
  • Cooking Utensils: Spatulas, stirring spoons, pots, pans, and miscellaneous kitchen gadgets
  • Pantry: Shelf-stable food, canned food, and refrigerator/freezer foods (use an insulated cooler bag)
  • Dining Room Décor: Placemats, seat cushions, napkin holders, candles, and miscellaneous decorations

Bathrooms

  • Linens and Bathroom Necessities: Shower curtain, curtain rods/hooks, and floor mats
  • Toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, hand and body soap, hair products, makeup, and feminine products

Bedrooms

  • Bedding: Comforter, pillows, sheets, blankets, and bed skirts
  • Nightstand Contents: Anything stored inside your nightstands
  • Hanging Décor: Curtains and curtain rods, artwork, tapestries, shelves, and pictures
  • Lighting & Electrical: Lamps, lightbulbs, batteries, remotes, and extension cords
  • Miscellaneous Décor: Books, Knick knacks, Candles, and faux plants

Closets

  • Linens: Towels of any size, extra bedsheet sets, and bath robes
  • Clothing: Tops, pants, undergarments, socks, shoes, winter gear, outerwear, and accessories
  • Paperwork: Tax information, memory boxes, and important auto/home/health documents
  • Cleaning Products: Bathroom cleaner, household cleaner, cleaning rags, bleach, detergents, and paper towels
  • Seasonal Décor: Christmas decorations, holiday decorations, and wreaths

Outdoor

  • Hanging Elements: Potted plants, lanterns, and mosquito nets
  • Lighting & Electrical: String lighting, batteries, remotes, and extension cords
  • Equipment: Sports equipment, gardening essentials, and grilling tools

Step 4: Clean Your Entire Apartment

Now that your items are packed and stored away in bins or boxes, you can focus on the fine print of your lease. Every lease includes a clause or section dedicated to move-out procedures and fees associated with any damage or cleaning tasks uncompleted. When it comes to cleaning your home, evaluate whether it is more efficient to grab a mop and bucket yourself, or if hiring a service for a final deep clean is easier.

Do It Yourself

If you opt to clean on your own, understand your responsibility to ensure everything is done in time for a final inspection. To make certain you complete everything in time, try deep-cleaning one room a day as you pack.

Cleaning tasks often forgotten may include:

  • Clean all baseboards and trim around the apartment
  • Spray and Wipe all windows and sliding doors inside and out, including the tracks (if possible and applicable)
  • Sanitize and remove everything from inside all cabinets and drawers. This includes the kitchen, bathroom, and any closets
  • Sweep the porch or deck
  • Dust and sanitize all ceiling fans and vents
  • Spot clean any scuff marks
  • Wipe all light switches, outlets, door hardware, and surrounding areas
  • Clean all appliances and fixtures that stay with the apartment: stovetop, oven, microwave, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, shower, bathtub, toilet, sinks, countertops, and mirrors

To help you remember what to clean and record completed tasks, make a checklist either on your phone or with a notepad. This will help you visualize how much work remains.

Hire a Cleaning Service

If this step appears too daunting or strenuous for you, know that help is available! Did you know that cleaning services offer special packages geared towards people moving out of their apartment? By hiring a professional cleaning service, your list will either drastically decrease or disappear altogether! This helps ensure you complete the necessary requirements and avoid penalty fees associated with forgotten cleaning tasks.

Bonus Step: Hire a Moving Company

Choosing to receive help from a moving company will help make your moving transition much easier. Moving trucks have more space than cars and pickup trucks, so you can fit more things in one vehicle and take fewer trips between apartments. At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are dedicated to providing exceptional service in all that we do. With our trained movers prepared to help in any step of the moving process, we want to help make your move a seamless transition so that you can focus on the new adventure ahead. Contact us today to receive a free quote for our services.

Moving into a high-rise apartment is both an exciting and stressful occasion. You can picture waking up to your new view of the city, mountains, or beach while living on the 25th floor. However, you aren’t sure how to successfully move your belongings from your old apartment. Below, we discuss ten pre-moving and moving day strategies guaranteed to help smooth your transition to a high-rise apartment.

1. Secure Your Commitment

Sometimes, an apartment complex is not the one for you. Prior to tasking yourself and friends or a moving company with the arduous job of hauling your items into a high-rise apartment, make sure you’ve found one you want to live in for at least a year. Before moving in, consider meeting with some of your soon-to-be neighbors and asking how safe and satisfied they are with living in the building. This will also give you the opportunity to introduce yourself!

2. Configure Your Layout Beforehand

To prevent having too much furniture crammed into a small or peculiar floorplan, know what can and cannot fit in your new apartment before lugging the extra furniture to your high-rise. Before you move in, take some measurements at the new apartment. Consider the width of doors and hallways, ceiling height, and the dimensions of your living space. You can also ask the apartment manager to send you a floorplan of your apartment. Sometimes, the floorplans have dimensions already accounted for.

3. Lighten Your Load

High-rise apartments are typically smaller living spaces than other home options. Moving from a larger apartment or home to a high-rise apartment will be much easier if you filter through your belongings and remove what is not important or necessary for your new home. By doing so, you will save time and money in moving costs. In addition, eliminating items that are harder to move will help prevent later stress when attempting to squeeze a large piece of furniture through a narrow hallway. Consider hosting a garage sale the weekend before your move to increase your moving budget while reducing your possessions!

4. Make a Pre-Moving Checklist

Do you have enough boxes and bubble wrap? Have you purchased moving tarps and furniture straps? Creating a final to-do list will give peace of mind that you have everything taken care of. As one final measure of readiness, be sure to fill your car the night before your move with crucial but often forgotten items.

5. Learn the Rules and Regulations of Your New Apartment

Like every apartment association, your new high-rise apartment will have its own set of rules. Typically, high-rise apartments have specific regulations regarding move-in and move-out procedures. Whether you are a first-time renter or consider yourself a seasoned professional in the renting world, it’s important to know and comply with your high-rise apartment’s policy and safety regulations before moving in. If you have any pets, be sure that the apartment allows your animal’s breed and that their weight is under the limit. This will help you avoid any problems or fees during your move. 

6. Confirm That the Apartment Knows of Your Moving Date

Regarding both the apartment you are moving out of and the new high-rise unit you plan to move into, this is a necessary step. Confirm the moving dates with building management from both apartments, over the phone and by a written note so there is ample documentation noting the event. Doing so will help you avoid penalizations or fines for not adhering to the rules and regulations. Most apartments require this step to prepare for the extra foot traffic and alert other residents of elevator usage, if necessary. This prevents multiple people from moving on the same day, resulting in limited space around elevators and doors.

7. Reserve the Elevator

In high-rise apartments, limited elevator usage and space is one moving disadvantage. When multiple tenants use the elevator on many, you may spend more time waiting at the base of an elevator than moving your items. To prepare ahead of time and prevent any inconvenience reserve the elevator with maintenance. Check with your new apartment’s list of rules and regulations, as this may be a requirement. You may even find that your high-rise apartment has a freight elevator available for use. This can help move larger furniture pieces such as your sofa and bed.

8. Reserve A Parking Space

Though this may not seem all too important, whether you rent a truck or hire a few movers, you will need to call the apartment ahead of time to reserve a parking spot. This will serve not only as a common curtesy for your fellow tenants but will also aid in convenience. With high-rise apartments, available parking is usually slim and must be handled wisely. Additionally, this may be a requirement at your new apartment as it can be a safety hazard to other vehicles and pedestrians. Also, consider that the closer of a parking spot you can reserve, the less time your move will take!

9. Clean the Apartment Before You Move In

Sometimes, previous tenants don’t take care of the apartment before moving out. As a result, some walls, counters, and floors look less than desirable upon your move-in day. Before relocating all your belongings in your high-rise apartment, make sure all surface areas are heavily cleaned prior to moving day. Though some apartment associations will clean in preparation of your arrival, it’s always comforting to make sure everything is fresh.  

10. Call the Professionals

Luckily, select moving professionals can work in compliance with high-rise apartment rules and regulations. Hiring a professional moving service to help transition your belongings into your new home can help reduce stress and the time spent moving. At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are dedicated to help you through any part or the entirety of your moving process. From disassembling and packing your belongings to transporting and unpacking them into your new high-rise apartment, our skilled movers can help. Contact us today to receive a free quote on the services you need.

Sometimes, you run out of space at your home or in the office for all your belongings. Perhaps you recently inherited your great aunt’s fine art collection or found a surplus of vintage vinyl records from a Saturday of garage sale shopping. Regardless of how you acquired your belongings, finding a storage facility might be your next plan of action. As rental storage units vary in size and amenities, we discuss below why you should unquestionably make your next unit temperature-controlled.

What Happens Without Temperature-Controlled Storage?

In a perfect world, all your items in a storage room would be perfectly safe, not only from theft but also from wear and tear brought about by the unit’s atmosphere. However, the conditions of a storage unit’s interior can be unpredictable. Protection cannot be guaranteed without some way to manage temperature and humidity levels. In fact, a whole slew of issues could arise when heat, cold, and increased moisture enter your storage unit.

Heat

Warped Frames

Wood, stretched fabrics, or malleable metals are the first to succumb to weather-warped damage. Abnormal heat levels tend to compromise the structure of typical furniture pieces like tables, instruments, and canvases. When heat and cold cause these items to expand and contract over the course of time, the materials weaken, ultimately resulting in deformities.

Melted Components

Like a popsicle in the heat of summer, belongings that are continually exposed to heat will begin to melt, sweat, or burn. Even though your items in storage are kept from direct sunlight, a room that heats from the lack of air conditioning will affect any materials with a low melting temperature.

Cold

Breakage

When too cold, thin glass is extremely prone to cracking and even shattering. Shattered glass could be damaging to other items nearby as it may pierce delicate materials or become a safety hazard when you next visit the unit. If you cannot move to a temperature-controlled storage unit, effectively pack your fragile items and place in a safe spot to best prevent breakage.

Rust and Stiffened Hinges

Weakened metals could develop rust or reduce effectiveness. If ever previously exposed to moisture, placing your possessions in a storage unit that’s not temperature-controlled could put them in jeopardy of forming that notoriously crusty corrosion or become the squeaky hinge you didn’t need.

Moisture

Mold and Mildew

No one wants to open their storage unit door and find mold spores infesting their family heirlooms or designer collections. Mold and mildew can slyly enter a room if you don’t manage the space well. Utilizing a stable, temperature-controlled storage unit and taking further mold-prevention actions will eliminate extreme temperatures needed for dangerous mold to grow.

Insects and Infestation

If there is opportunity for moisture to enter your storage unit, do not be fooled that bugs and rodents will not find a way in either. Even the smallest of cracks can bring in unwanted critters that house during the winter or find the moisture-ridden area, a perfect breeding ground for mating season.

What Truly Needs Temperature-Controlled Storage?

Any of your belongings may be affected by extreme temperatures and high humidity. However, there are specific items that should have priority for placement in temperature-controlled storage units to further your preventative measures.

Pictures/Scrapbooks

When developed from film to final product, photographs are highly reactive to extremely hot or cold temperatures. Both the raw film and developed pictures could entirely erase and leave you with lost work or memories, especially pictures developed from negatives. Choosing a unit without a temperature-controlled environment will result in a gamble of potentially ruining your photographs.

Electronics

Electronics such as CDs, DVDs, old video cassettes, and gaming software require storage in room-temperature to prevent distortion, warping, or any other damage. In a storage unit without temperature-controlling features, cold weather can affect electronics, causing damage from dull batteries to irreparably frozen screens. Too much exposure to heat and humidity can cause warped or even melted technology components.

Antiques

Historical relics, family heirlooms, or personal treasures should be maintained with the highest care. You will find it extremely difficult to preserve your belongings if you do not store them in a temperature-controlled storage unit. Prevent warping, discoloring, and breakage by securing your antiques in a premium storage unit that monitors room temperatures.

Furniture

From tables and bookshelves to mattresses and upholstered sofas, storage that is not temperature-controlled promotes detrimental situations. When the unit heats and cools at irregular intervals, all wooden products will expand and contract, causing warping or splitting that could ruin your furniture. With upholstered furniture and mattresses, excess heat and moisture can grow unsightly molds and mildews that you may not be able to successfully clean and disinfect.

Artwork

Aged oil paintings, children’s paper mache sculptures, or lace embroidery projects are at risk when stored in a unit lacking temperature control. With heated and humid environments, the oil mediums in artwork can bleed together and transform the masterpiece into a muddied blur. If paper mache is left in the same environment, the work will begin to warp as the paper lifts itself away from the intended form. Similar to how wedding gowns are preserved to prevent yellowing, lace and embroidery must not be placed in humid or uncontrolled units.  

Leather

Regardless how the leather comes – in the form of a pair of boots, a vintage jacket, or piece of furniture – placing the leather item in a storage unit void of temperature and humidity control can be detrimental. Similar to direct sunlight exposure, extreme temperatures or humidity can cause discoloration, warping, stretching, shrinkage, and cracking to the material.

Secure Your Belongings with Alliance Moving and Storage

Protect your stored items just as well as the belongings in your home or office by securing a reliable storage unit to temporarily house your treasures. At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are dedicated to providing the most reliable temperature-controlled storage units, keeping and preserving your property inside. Contact us today to receive a quote on our available spaces!

Are you and your family considering a move but haven’t decided when is the best time? Moving in the winter, though cold and sometimes snowy, might prove to be the least expensive and most efficient season to do so! Below, we discuss the five greatest advantages that come with moving during this time of the year.

1. Slower Buyer’s Market

The pendulum swings both ways with realty in the winter. Fewer people are looking to purchase a home and more sellers whose homes have been on the market for longer than desired are ready to move out. There are a few ways in which this circumstance is for your benefit.

Lower Likelihood of Getting into a Bidding War

With a smaller market for sellers to cater to, your chances of putting an offer on a home against another bid are lower than the warmer seasons. The winter takes place during the school season, making it a great contributing factor to families who decide to postpone their house hunting until school is out for summer. Especially if the new home is in a different school district, families don’t want the hassle of registering their children mid-year.

Sellers are More Negotiable

For first-time or seasoned homeowners, there are many advantages to negotiating your home purchase. If you play your cards right, you may be able to ask the homeowner to split the closing costs, leave the appliances, or repaint the master bedroom from a tomato red or lime green to a neutral color! It’s always free to ask, but don’t be extravagant in your requests otherwise the seller may back away from your offer.

Flexible Closing Dates

If you prefer to close on the house before the neighborhood synchronizes their exterior Christmas decorations, moving during the winter may give you some leeway in asking for specific closing time frames.  Especially if you are in transition from renting to purchasing, the seller may offer some flexibility in the closing date so that you are moved and settled in by the time your apartment’s lease ends.

Quicker Loan Processing

Banks have less paperwork to process when fewer loans applications are submitted. This could save you and your family valuable time while waiting for the checks and credit histories to clear.

2. You’ll Have A More Revealing Home Inspection

Winter weather can expose many underlying issues on a home property. Whether purchasing a home built in 2015 or 1975, you’ll want to make sure your home inspection uncovers anything wrong with the infrastructure. During a home inspection, be sure to check for the following:

  • Air Leaks
  • Infrastructure Not Built According to Code
  • Heating System Insufficiencies
  • Clogged or Unsafe Chimneys
  • Roof Leaks and Ice Dams
  • Clogged Gutters
  • Burst Pipes or In-Ground Automatic Sprinklers
  • Tree Branches Too Close to the House

Finding any issues with the house before your closing date could save you hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars depending on the severity of the issue. Additionally, even if you walk away from the home in search of another, at least the homeowner has been made aware of the issue and can repair it for the next homeowner.

3. Timely Tax Returns

Who doesn’t love getting a tax break? One of the most financially beneficial elements to moving at the end of the year is that you don’t have as long of a wait to receive your tax returns. Purchasing a home seems unbearably expensive when you add closing costs, moving expenses, and repairs for anything that conveniently breaks down the second week of owning the home. With receiving a tax credit just a few months after moving as opposed to waiting an entire year could make the difference of investing in your home with extra money or building debt by covering out-of-pocket expenses.

4. Your Items in Transit Might Be Safer

We know that with moving in the winter comes the possibility of icy roads or snowstorms. There are many logistic and easy-to-follow tips available on how to safely move during the winter season. Aside from the concern of road safety, moving during the winter can be beneficial for your items in transit.

Your Movers Will Have More Energy

The summer is proven to be one of the busiest times in the year for moving companies. With a slower rate of incoming move requests, the hired movers will not have to balance multiple jobs in a day. Combining that with the lessened amount of sunlight, movers may only be able to book one or two moves a day. With that in mind, the laborers will not be as worn down from previous heavy-lifting jobs and can service you with more care and energy.

Fewer Items Will Spoil or Melt

Your summer moving day could easily go awry if you forgot to put the box with perishable foods in your car and mistakenly placed it in the moving truck. During the winter, the likelihood of food spoiling or plastic items melting due to the outdoor elements is incredibly slim. For those who don’t want to go through the hassle of transporting your food through multiple trips, this is a great bonus to moving in the winter.

5. Movers Have a Better Availability

Similar to the reduced competition to buy homes, moving during the winter results in a wider availability for your movers, especially if you plan to move during the middle of the month. This could be beneficial for those who cannot take any additional time off work and need to move over the weekend.

Finding the Perfect Moving Company in Your Area

If you are looking to move to or from the Chicagoland area, we are ready to help! At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are dedicated to taking care of all your moving priorities. We can help pack, move, store, or assemble your items so that you can focus on settling into your community, helping your friend’s or family’s transition to a new home, and attend to the rest of your agenda. Contact us today to receive a free quote for our services.

Is your lease ending this month, but you haven’t started packing yet? The grand opening of your new store is next week, but most of your inventory is still stuck in storage? When needing help with your move, you want to research which companies offer the best services with high quality results at affordable rates. Instead of booking a rental truck and hauling all the contents from your home or office, you may find it more cost and time effective to hire a full-service moving company that can pack, assemble, move, and even store your belongings. Below, you will see the high expectations you can set for full-service moving companies.

Communication Throughout the Whole Process

Just like in a relationship, communication is the key to success and the lack thereof would be detrimental. Full-service moving companies should be involved and attentive to your moving needs from the first point of contact and onward. The day before your move, a customer oriented company should be contacting you with last-minute details that need to be arranged and finalize the moving itinerary. Throughout the entire process, you should feel at ease knowing that you can ask a question at any time and feel assisted and kept as a priority. To surpass customer service expectations, full-service moving companies should reach out to their customers after the move to see how everything went and if any additional services are needed. Companies who listen to client’s reviews show dedication to improving their services.

Careful Packing and Unpacking

To some, packing is the most tedious part in the entire moving process. Moving companies that claim to offer the full-service treatment must include an efficient packing and unpacking system. With this service, the movers hired should strategically and efficiently pack your items, from the placing of heavier items in the bottom of the box and lighter items above to knowing how heavily a box should be packed to avoid it being too heavy to lift. When unpacking your possessions, your movers should handle each item with care to prevent damages and place in the rooms you specified.

Tear Down and Set Up

When you hire a moving company that offers a full range of services, this should be an included option. Carefully disassembling furniture takes a considerable amount of time and effort for people who don’t do such on a regular basis. For items difficult to move such as electronics, heavy equipment, weight rooms, large artwork, and over-sized furniture, full-service moving companies with expert movers should offer to disassemble and reassemble them to protect the items from damage and the customer from injury.

Full-Service Moving with Alliance

At Alliance Moving and Storage, we are dedicated to providing exceptional service in all that we do. With our trained movers prepared to help in any step of the moving process, we want to help make your move a seamless transition so that you can focus on the new adventure ahead. Contact us today to receive a free quote for our services.

Out of all the boxes you find yourself building and packing, how many of them have “FRAGILE!” or “HANDLE WITH CARE” written all over the top and sides? The balancing of packing your entire home or office and organizing everything to make moving day run smoothly takes a lot of effort and planning, especially in combination with your already hectic schedule. When the times comes to pack and move your antiques, you may feel the additional pressure to ensure its safe transit as you handle older, more expensive, and incredibly fragile items.

Utilizing bubble wrap, box dividers, packing tape, and moving mats will be a few of the many precautions to take with any move, but antiques require even more protection and thoughtful preparation. Below, we will discuss the three main categories of antiques based on moving procedures needed in order to prevent any mishaps and damages.

Why Do Antiques Require Extra Care?

Unless you unknowingly own an antique and mistook it for a realistic remake, you typically want to pay special consideration in protecting your antique items. Antiques are made with aged and delicate elements such as porcelain, glass, precious metals, or intricately carved wood. After withstanding decades and quite possibly centuries’ worth of timely wear and tear, antiques require extra time and attention over common items such as mass-produced desk chairs and bathroom essentials. Moving antiques from one destination to another without proper protection could result in chipped, cracked, or shattered elements causing you to lose a treasured family heirloom. During the moving process, anything as slight as the moving truck hitting a bump in the road could cause damage to your antiques if not properly packed. Ideally, you want to have the antiques so well packed that you are prepared for nearly anything.

Moving Day: The Three Categories of Antiques

Furniture, Artwork, and Mirrors

Often bulky and heavy, this category of antiques requires the most visible form of protection and care. When moving these larger historic and valuable items that are difficult to pack and move, you must be exquisitely careful in their handling while protecting it from damage.

Furniture

No measure is too drastic when preparing your chaise lounges, heirloom dressers, chests, or historical grandfather clocks for your upcoming move. Be sure that any upholstery on the furniture is entirely covered with moving blankets and mats, secured in place by a layer of cardboard, and wrapped in plastic wrap to avoid any puncturing while in transit. On the corners, arms, and legs of your furniture, enclose them with a layer of cardboard over the wood and secure with plastic wrapping to keep it in place.

Artwork

Whether a small tabletop display or a large, framed masterpiece that can cover an entire wall, artwork is a delicate moving element. To prevent any damage to your artwork, do not combine multiple pieces in a single box. Instead, pack each item separately, especially if the paintings are oil based so that the paint does not transfer or leave residue. For framed artwork, you can easily box one at a time after carefully wrapping the picture in a layer of bubble wrap and securing with packing tape. When moving, you will find that packing tape and bubble wrap may be your saving grace.

Mirrors

Similar to the packing process for artwork, mirrors need to be packed separately as well. To prevent damage, begin by securing the glass with blue painter’s tape and create a grid of vertical and horizontal strips. Then, cushion the front and back of the mirror by using bubble wrap or moving blankets, securing those layers with packing tape.

Dishes and Adornments

Antique dishes and household decorations are some of the most delicate household embellishments. Carrying history in the hand-painted or sculpted detail, we don’t want to see some of its story scratched or shattered in a poorly packaged box.

Dishes

No one likes an incomplete set of dishes or champagne glasses. They may have been received as a wedding present, passed down from your grandmother, or personally sought out and collected over the years. Regardless, you want to make sure each element to your antique set remains intact throughout the move. One of the best resources for packing fragile dishes and tableware are dish pack boxes. These cardboard boxes are specifically designed to fit different plates, bowls, or glasses in a single box using cardboard partitions. Be careful not to over-stuff your boxes with dishes as you want to leave room for bubble wrap, packing paper, and packing peanuts. Finally, keep the weight of the box in mind as you don’t want to strain yourself while carrying a heavy box of fragile antiques!

Household Adornments

Vases, porcelain dolls, chandeliers, and candelabras can give an ordinary room in your home or office a conversational piece. As these items can vary in shape and size, wrapping the contents in bubble wrap and placing in boxes with packing peanuts will add secure, protective layering that prevents breakage as the boxes are moved.

Personal and Commercial Jewelry

Though it may not be the crown jewels from the British royal family, jewelry is a valued antique that must be kept safe during a move. Depending on the quantity of jewelry you need moved, you have a couple options to consider.

Personal Jewelry

If all your jewelry could securely fit in one box, you might feel safer placing it in your car and transporting it separately to ensure it will not get lost in the mix of the remaining items in your home. To be sure that every piece of jewelry moves to your new location intact and as a full set, you must be precise in your packing and organization. One of the most helpful things to do is to mark on the outside of each box with jewelry the total number of sets and what the specific contents are packed inside. When packing jewelry, try your best to keep it all in the same boxes or jewelry rolls. There are multiple ways to prevent necklaces from tangling by using plastic bags, cloth napkins, paper straws, or a combination of all three.

Commercial Jewelry

If you are relocating a jewelry business or any business that also sells a collection of antique jewelry, your inventory needs to be securely moved in a fast and efficient manner. In this case, we would strongly recommend you seek professional moving services to ensure the safest packing and relocation of your product.

Alliance Moving: The Experts in Packing, Moving, and Storing

If you feel that the deadline to move your home or business is approaching faster than you can pack, it will be much easier and more time efficient to hire a professional’s services to handle the moving process for you altogether. Whether you need help packing, moving, or storing your items, let the professionals take some of that pressure off you! Specially trained to safely and efficiently move your belongings, Alliance Moving and Storage is ready to help you with any step in the moving process. Equipped with trustworthy moving essentials, we are prepared to help pack and move your most fragile of antiques to its new home. Contact us today to receive a free quote tailored to your moving needs.

First-time homeowners, seasoned renters, “snow-birds,” or anyone in-between may already be aware of the multiple many factors included when contemplating a move. However, as the seasons change and winter begins, you must now add harsh weather conditions to your moving considerations. You may begin to find this impending relocation insufferably stressful, but with some forethought and planning, you can successfully move your household in a worry-free, seamless fashion.

Based on our experience as licensed movers, here are some things you can do to help make for the fastest and smoothest winter move:

Safety First: Utilizing Shovels and Salt Paths

While we always recommend using the best packing materials and moving boxes to protect your items, we don’t want you to forget to protect yourself, your loved ones, your possessions, and your movers! Be sure to shovel and salt paths, sidewalks, driveways, and pretty much any ground area where someone might be walking or moving heavy items.

Speaking of Moving Boxes…

You probably know the look and smell of wet cardboard from carrying a package in the rain or snow. During a move, that’s a lot of cardboard being exposed to the elements. Using higher grade moving boxes and materials will ensure that none of your items are damaged, even if you end up in a scene similar to one from the film Frozen.

Snow Melts – Protect Your Floors

When it’s cold outside, we’re thinking about how much we’d rather be inside, right? In fact, there’s even a famous holiday song all about it. Well, during a move, more than half the time is spent on the inside of your old and new spaces, both packing and unpacking. That means a lot of potentially wet shoes on your floors! We’re always careful to protect your flooring with materials that prevent dirt or water stains. You can use things like old boxes from large appliances, car mats you are going to replace later, or even rugs and blankets that will be tossed after the move.

Sleep Well

Not something that’s on your “get ready for Moving Day” list, right? However, you already know how important it is to sleep before any big day, and this is definitely true during the wintertime, when the days feel shorter and our bodies naturally get tired more easily. Having a good night’s sleep prior to your move will give you more energy and help you regulate your body temperature better – don’t forget how often the front and back doors will be swinging open, bringing cold air with them, while items are being moved in and out of your spaces. Get plenty of zzz’s so you don’t feel the freeze.

Spend on Specialists

We’re not just saying this because we’re a moving company – we always suggest hiring professional, licensed movers, but especially during the winter. Moving companies help provide faster and safer moves, which are needed most when the weather can be unpredictable.

As a seasoned and premier moving company in Chicago, you can rest assured knowing that at Alliance Moving and Storage, we specialize in both residential and commercial moves, regardless of long-distance hauls or moving you and your family or business over to the next neighborhood. Regardless of the various extremities of weather conditions such as rain, sleet, snow, night, or sunshine, we have it covered with our expert relocation specialists and movers.

Storage units are a great way to hold your belongings in between moves, during renovations, or while students are on summer break. Figuring out the logistics behind finding, choosing, and packing up a storage unit can be stressful. Follow these tips to make sure you can pack up your unit with ease.

1. Plan Ahead

The most important step to packing a storage unit is to plan ahead (and early). Choose a facility that is safe, well-lit inside and out, and has a gated entrance with different codes for each customer. As you browse through the different types of units available, make sure you plan for everything that you will be putting in there.

What’s worse than moving into a storage unit only to discover that your couch can’t fit through the skinny doorway? Give yourself enough space to fit everything and have extra room in case you need to store more items along the way. Measure your bulkiest belongings like furniture and be sure that they will fit in the hallways and doorways of the unit you have been given.

2. Climate Controlled

Depending on the items you’re storing, the location, and time of year, you should opt for a storage unit that is climate controlled. Places that face extreme heat or cold could cause damage to items over time, so if your unit is not climate controlled, avoid storing electronics or delicate fabrics and materials.

3. Clean Everything

Clean out the unit before putting anything in there. Make sure there are no cracks or holes in the walls, floor, or ceiling. Sweep the floor and you can even scrub the walls with soap and water to ensure there are no germs or substances lingering. Laying a tarp or pallets can also ward off any stains from transferring to your possessions.

Clean everything that you will be putting into the unit as well. As it sits there for months or longer, it will collect a lot of dust. Scrub and wash off any stains or dirt, wax wood furniture to protect it while it sits, use antibacterial cleaner on appliances, and clean leather pieces to give everything a fresh start before packing it away.

4. Stay Organized

Start by making a list of every single thing that you plan to store. Then, separate out each item to a certain box, labeling each box to help yourself out when storing and when you go to retrieve your objects later.

5. Create a Map

You might think you’ll remember where you put each item when you go to retrieve them in the future, but that’s not always the case. Make organization fun and draw up a map for yourself. Lay out the shape and size of the unit and plan out where each item will go. As you pack, be sure to include exactly where you put each piece of furniture or each box and keep an open pathway for yourself as you pack. This will also help if you need to grab one or two things while still leaving everything else in the unit for a while.

6. Don’t Use Too Many Box Sizes

Try to keep the different sizes of your boxes to only two. This will make it easier on you as you pack, as well as you stack everything up once it’s in the storage unit. Using boxes that are the same size will make transporting items easier as well, because they can easily stack so that you don’t have to worry about shifting during the drive to the storage unit.

7. Keep Your Items Safe

Use padding for fragile or expensive items to ensure that they will not break. Always use boxes for small objects to guarantee that they will not get dirty over time or possibly ruined by dust. Protect your belongings and yourself and don’t overpack! Expert packers can easily fill a box up with a lot, but if it’s too heavy the bottom could break open.

8. Don’t Waste Space

Once you get into the unit, make use of the space you have. Stack boxes on top of each other or on top of flat furniture. After you’ve finished storing everything you had planned to, it’s okay if there’s still extra space. This will make it easier to move boxes around if you need to use something in the future, or you will have room to add more pieces if you need to do so.

9. Use What You Have

When it comes to packing of any kind, it’s always best to make use of what you already have. Use plastic tote bins or other baskets to hold as much as they can. Use old sheets or drop cloths to protect furniture from dust. Got a pile of grocery bags that only grows bigger? Use them to wrap up glass for safe storing.

10. Avoid Messes

Try to avoid storing anything in plastic bags, if possible. This will stop the possibility of mildew forming, especially on furniture. If you are storing fridges/freezers or washing machines, make sure to fully thaw and drain them before taking them to the storage unit. You don’t want to gather everything several months later and find that the inside of your fridge is covered in mold.

Your Moving and Storage Experts

At Alliance Moving & Storage, our units are climate controlled to give your belongings the safe storage that it deserves. Whatever your needs, know that we can handle them with expertise and give you the best advice based on the items that you need to store. We even have special packages for students who need a place to hold their dorm or apartment essentials for the summer. Our storage units can be rented out short-term or long-term, and our warehouses are inspected regularly to maintain clean and quality units for you to trust.

Whether you’re about to move or are looking for a storage unit, contact our team today to get started on touring our facilities and learning about the variety of options we have for you!