June 10, 2021

Keeping Things Festive During a Holiday Move

It’s that time of year, and most of us are gearing up for the season: decorating the house, choosing gifts, planning events with friends and family, and setting the holiday table. For some of us, however, the holidays may mean a move to another city, or another state or country. If you need to relocate during the holidays, we have a few suggestions that can help keep your spirits bright.

Plan Well in Advance

Moving companies may be stretched thin during the holiday season as their employees schedule time off. Lock in your preferred moving date as soon as possible. Time your move for midweek, not on the holiday or the day before or after. Confirm everything a few days before the movers arrive.

Be sure you understand your contract details, develop contingencies in case of inclement weather, and amass all essential documents into a single binder, including school records, utility contracts and banking information.

If you are relocating to a more wintery climate, ensure you have the proper clothing for the new location before you move—stores don’t usually restock winter apparel in January.

Consider mailing your gifts to the place you will spend the actual holiday.

Make the Days Before the Move Special

Plan a special dinner out at your favorite restaurant. Invite some extended family members and/or friends. Go to some holiday activities, concerts and plays. Take breaks from packing to stroll your neighborhood and enjoy the sights. Make sure your children have time with their friends.

Pack Some Decorations, Keep the Music Flowing and Hide a Few Gifts

Take some of your family’s holiday decorations with you, things you can easily bring with you on moving day. You can put them up while you are enroute and then in your new place. The sight of familiar seasonal treasures will put everyone in the holiday mood throughout the transition.

Play seasonal music throughout your move. Make move-in day a gift hunt, stashing small, wrapped presents in your new bedrooms, kitchen cupboards and bathrooms. Give your kids (and yourselves) a special gift commemorating your move.

Keep the Mood Upbeat During the Transition

If your move is over several days, find hotels and restaurants that are abundantly decorated for the season. If you can stay with friends or relatives, even better! Look for local holiday events to raise your spirits and try some new holiday foods to celebrate the change in your lives.

Pack winter treats that speak to comfort and silliness as you travel: marshmallows to add to a gas station’s hot chocolate, outrageous hats and holiday-themed travel games, music and movies.

Explore the Events and Festivities in Your New Location

You’ve arrived, and the worst is over. When you’ve unpacked the box of decorations you brought with you and made up the beds, take a little time to explore your new area. Most towns and cities have annual festivities to celebrate the holidays. Research what’s available and nearby, and then make sure you attend a few events.

Keep in Touch

Be sure you keep in touch with your friends and family—they will appreciate knowing where you are. Celebrations are about connections with the people you care about, and everyone’s spirits will lift at the sound and sight of loved ones.

Don’t Allow Nostalgia to Overtake You

Embracing the holiday spirit in a new house, city or region can feel challenging. Try to find a balance between keeping your old traditions alive and being open to new experiences. Your new location will offer opportunities and sights that will inspire your sense of adventure and lessen your feelings of loss and nostalgia.

A move during the holiday season is a trying and emotional event, but if you make each part of the transition an opportunity to widen your horizons and maintain some beloved traditions, you’ll have a lot of good memories and goodwill to see you through.

March 14, 2021

Moving with Children

Moving is challenging. Whether you are relocating across town, across the county or to another state, you are dismantling your comfort zones, disrupting your routines and leaving some friends behind.

Relocating is even more challenging when you are moving with children, who have special concerns about how the move will affect them. Here are a few tips on how to reduce their anxiety and make your move more of an adventure than an ordeal:

Before You Move

Engage your children in the process from the beginning. Explain the reasons for the move and, as far as you are able, involve them in the decision about which house to buy or rent. Keep talking with your children about the move and, on moving day, give them jobs—handing out water or sweeping an emptied room.

If you are moving locally, show them the houses you are considering, nearby playgrounds, libraries and schools, the local YMCA. Take them to a fun restaurant in the new neighborhood.

If your move is long distance, let them explore potential houses via real estate video tours. Expand your virtual tour to include the new community’s offerings and research other points of interest—state parks, national attractions, etc. Plan a local adventure soon after your move.

Moving with Preschoolers

Don’t buy new furniture for your preschooler’s bedroom. Arrange their furniture to reflect their old room. Avoid making big changes, such as moving from a crib to a bed, at the same time as your move.

If your new house is local and vacant, make a few trips with your toddler to deliver some toys before the move.

Moving with School-Age Children

No matter what time of year, moving with school-age children comes with a specific set of challenges. A move during summer ensures an uninterrupted academic year, but neighborhoods can become quiet during July and August as families leave for vacation, so it may be more difficult for your child to find playmates in your new location. A mid-year move disrupts your child’s school experience, but he or she will meet other kids right away. In either case, make sure you have all the information the new school system will require to process your child’s transfer, including recent report cards or transcripts, birth certificate and medical (including immunizations) records.

Teachers find that children become comfortable in a new classroom after about six weeks, so expect any adjustment difficulties to pass quickly.

Moving with Teens

Your teenagers probably belong to social groups or sports organizations. A mid-year move means they will miss some highly anticipated celebrations. Listen to their concerns and address those you can. Plan a visit back for those important social milestones, if possible.

If your move is during your teen’s senior year, consider allowing them to stay in your old location, with a trusted friend or relative.

After Moving Day

Get each child’s room in order first. Resume your regular mealtimes and bedtimes to re-establish your children’s familiar routines. Encourage them to stay connected, contacting old friends through phone calls, video chats and other approved social media.

Take advantage of the research you did leading up to your move: Visit a popular local restaurant, enjoy the parks and other points of interest. Take breaks from unpacking to explore your neighborhood and introduce your children to your new neighbors.

If your children view an upcoming move as a united family effort, and if they approach your move as expanding their worlds while still maintaining old friendships, the stress that is an inevitable part of relocating will be largely offset by a new sense of adventure and growth.

June 18, 2020

7 Questions to Ask When You Are Moving

We are a mobile society and people are on the move. If you are relocating, you may have some questions about the logistics of the moving process. Here are some important things to consider:

How Do I Ensure That My Mover Is Reputable?

Most reputable movers are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Ask for your mover’s FMCSA license number, plus any other professional affiliations, such as the Virginia Movers and Warehousemen Association. Ask for evidence of insurance. Check the mover’s complaint history, available at FMCSA. You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce.
If you are moving out of state, ask potential movers about their licensing/certification for interstate transit.
You can get more complete information at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Rights-and-Responsibilities-2013.pdf.

What type of Moving Insurance Should I Have?

Most moving companies include “waiver of full-value” protection in their basic moving charges. Under this provision, you are reimbursed for damaged or lost property up to 60 cents per pound for each item. For an additional fee, however, you can have “full-value” protection, the preferred option because it covers the full value of the item damaged, based upon the client’s valuation. In other words, you are not responsible for any repair or replacement costs.
Check to see if your homeowner’s policy covers your items during your move. If they do, you may not need additional insurance.

How Do I Find Out What My Move Will Cost?

If you are moving locally, your moving company can usually give you an estimate without an on-site assessment. Typically, you will be billed at an hourly rate based on the size of the truck and the number of personnel required to complete your move.

If you are moving a long distance, get several written estimates, and ask what each mover’s estimation process is (total weight versus item type, for example). Long-distance moves are more likely to require an on-site visit.
In either case, be sure to talk to potential movers about any issues that could result in additional fees to the basic estimate. These could include a longer than normal distance from where the truck is parked to the building, or having to move items up and down stairs. Ask about special handling issues, such as a piano or fragile art, as these may incur extra costs.
Your contract should reflect all special costs and exceptions. Keep a copy of all the paperwork with you throughout your move. And remember: Reputable movers will not ask you to sign a blank or incomplete document.
Movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than 10 percent above the price of a non-binding estimated. If you get a binding estimate, they must adhere to the agreed-upon amount.

Who is Responsible for Loss or Damage During Transit?

Talk with each potential moving company about who is responsible for loss or damage during transit. Mover liability is limited in some cases.
If you pack yourself, movers usually have a provision allowing them to repack any box or carton if they feel they will cause harm to the shipment. You can minimize the need to repack by using proper packing materials for your belongings. Check with your chosen mover, who may offer packing supplies at a reduced rate.
Prior to your move, you and your mover should itemize existing flaws or damage to your furniture or other belongings. This detailed assessment can help resolve damage disputes later.

What Are the Mover’s Obligations Around Pickup and Delivery Times?

Movers are required by law to meet reasonable dispatch requirements. In other words, they must move your belongings during the scheduled dates—which are agreed upon by both parties as part of the order of service.
Keep in mind that some things are beyond a mover’s control, such as weather or other delays caused by acts of nature.

When Do I Pay for Moving Services?

Be sure that you know when your mover expects payment in full.
Many moving companies do not collect payment until the job is completed. Most movers will require a deposit before commencing the move.
Other companies ask that you pay for moving services before your shipment is unloaded at your destination. Usually, if there is an extra charge above and beyond the agreed-upon price, you will have 30 days to pay that extra amount.

What Is the Mover’s Dispute Settlement Program?

After delivery, check for loss or damage. You have nine months from the date of delivery to file a claim. Your mover has 30 days to acknowledge your claim and another 120 days to determine a settlement, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Be sure you are comfortable with your mover’s dispute settlement program. Ask, before you sign a contract, for a detailed description of their procedures if they do later challenge a claim you may make concerning your move.

May 26, 2020

What to Do When You’re Moving With Pets

A move is stressful time for everyone, including—and perhaps especially—your pets. Good preparation, some patience, a bit of pampering, and close attention to their health and safety will help them make a successful transition to your new home.

Here are some tips to keep the costs and the tension down:

Before You Move

  • Make an appointment with your vet a few weeks before your move to ensure your pet is in good health and to obtain medical records and any prescription medications. If you are taking your pet to another state or country, you may need special certifications. Ask if they can recommend a veterinarian close to your new home.
  • Create a travel bag for each of your pets. Include enough food, waste bags/kitty litter/wood shavings, etc., as well as toys and grooming tools for the move itself and for the first few days at your new home. Be sure to include your pets’ regular bedding and feeding bowls in their travel bags on moving day.

During Your Move

  • Keep your pet as quiet as possible when moving day arrives. If you are relocating locally, leave them with someone they trust, or consider kenneling them for a day or so. In any case Tornado Cash, keep them away from the action—put them in their carrier, or in an empty, contained room.
  • Wherever you leave them, make sure they have access to food and water, and give them opportunities to walk and play, preferably at their normal times.
  • Take your pets to their new home in your own vehicle. Restrain them in their usual safe-transport carriers. Some animals may be less anxious if a blanket is placed over their carriers to reduce their sense of motion.
  • If you are traveling a long distance, be sure your pets’ transport carriers are securely shut before you open your car or hotel doors. Keep them leashed when they exercise en route.
  • Keep their carriers closed when you arrive at your new home. Don’t allow your pets—including your perching birds—to explore until you’ve ensured that all exits are secure (including windows). Even a well-behaved animal may bolt if it is anxious.
  • When you arrive at your new house, set up familiar belongings in one room, and then release your pets into this space to give them a measure of security while you continue to unpack.
  • Make sure you give them their toys and blankets as soon as they arrive—even while they are still in their carriers, if you can.

After Your Move

  • Give your pets a few days to adjust to their new surroundings. Resume normal feeding, walking and play routines. When they are outdoors, keep them leashed because they still may be very nervous and prone to bolt.
  • Give your pets extra attention. They will become more secure and comfortable in your new home if they associate it with loving care.
  • Update your pets’ tags and/or microchip information to reflect your new address and phone numbers. Inquire about local rules regarding licensing and restrictions.

If You Have Fish

  • Fish are highly susceptible to stress and may not survive a move. Unless you are relocating locally, try to find them a new home and obtain new fish after your move is complete.
  • If you do decide to transport your fish to your new home, be sure to transfer them quickly to minimize the absence of filtration, aeration and temperature systems. Use sturdy containers containing water from their original tank.
May 26, 2020

7 Tips for Getting Ready to Make a Successful Move

Moving is a daunting prospect, but you can take steps to minimize both the financial impact and the stress of relocating.

Here are some tips to keep the costs and the tension down:

1) Time your move to get the lowest rates

If you can be flexible around your moving date, you may be able to take advantage of off-peak rates. Look for mid-week deals, and see if your timeframe can align with the slow season for movers. Summer is normally the busiest time—and the most expensive—to relocate.

2) Use a reputable mover

Ensure that your mover is licensed and insured. Look online for certifications, affiliations and for recent reviews and, when you interview prospective movers, ask for documentation to support their claims. You’ll probably have a wider selection of moving companies to choose from if your move is local. If you need to move out of the area, or to another state or country, your options will be more limited.

3) Get quotes early

Start calling movers as soon as possible, especially if you’re planning to pack up during the summer months. You should finalize your search and lock in a quote at least eight weeks before you move. If you are relocating to a distant state, or out of the country, you must allow considerably more time. You can click here to request a quote from the Mighty Movers

4) Get realistic about what you treasure

Take a hard look at your ‘stuff.’ Moving costs are partly determined by volume and weight. An imminent move is the perfect opportunity to recycle/repurpose/dispose of items that you no longer want or need. We also offer junk removal services in Northern Virginia.

5) Do some of the packing yourself

Use sturdy boxes that can withstand the rigors of moving from one place to another. Tape those boxes securely and label them clearly, describing their contents and where they should go when delivered to your new place.

6) Schedule disconnect and connect times for your services and utilities, and keep a record

Contact your media and other service providers early and lock in a cancellation/begin date to minimize disruption to needed services and possible billing disputes later. Make a retrievable note of each notification, as well as contact information and your account numbers in case there is a problem down the road. You should also cancel newspapers, pest control or lawn services and cleaning help one cycle before you move, so that you are confident that those services have ceased when moving day arrives. Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your mailbox and front porch for a week or so after you’ve vacated your premises.

7) Pack important and sentimental documents separately

Keep them safe and easily accessible, i.e., under your direct control throughout your move. Children’s health records, passports, family records, insurance information and photo albums should travel with you.

These actions can go a long way toward making your move a less harrowing experience!