Planning a Successful Yard Sale

You’ve decided to host a yard sale. I’m not sure about you, but for me its an exciting endeavor. But, it’s not as simple as putting signs out and setting your items on your lawn. If you want really want to knock it out of the park, you’ll want to do some preparation.

 

 

Plan and Prepare Early!

It’s best to start collecting items early and store them in bags or boxes until its time to start the journey of pricing. Give yourself plenty of time to collect items and stock up, as many sale-goers are attracted to the larger sales. Also, more options means more opportunities to make money.

 

Date

One of the most important parts of the sale? The date, of course! You want to select your date well in advance to plan around. Weather will always impact turnout, so be sure to consider this when planning.

The date is also important because you will also need to check with your city to see if you will need to purchase a permit or license to host a sale at your home. Looking into this ahead of time will save a headache and potential fees.

 

Location

Now think about your location. Do you have enough space for the amount of items that you would like to sell? If not, you may want to look in to co-hosting a sale with a friend who has more space. Co-hosting  a sale also means more help, more items, and the need for more organization.

 

Tables

Tables. Do you have enough tables? I know I didn’t for my first garage sale. You don’t want items to be too cluttered and you certainly don’t want too many things laying in the grass, so think ahead and ask friends to borrow folding tables if you think you will need them. More space is always better than less.

 

Pricing Your Items

As you collect items, it’s helpful to price as you. When pricing, always ask yourself what you would reasonably pay for this item if you saw it at a yard sale.

On her blog, Money Saving Mom, Crystal Paine writes, “I’d rather price something on the low end and have someone actually buy my item, than to have 25 people pick up the item and put I back down on the table because it’s too expensive.”

Also, make sure you write clearly or use pre-made labels that you can pick up from any local hardware store. The price should not be a scavenger hunt or require the customer to ask you for clarification.

For those of you who think you’ll skip the pricing items ahead of time, know that customers often don’t like asking for pricing, and are shy about bartering. They want a hassle-free experience.

 

Advertising for Your Sale

Getting the word out about your sale is crucial.

If you’re a real go-getter, create flyers the week before your sale and hang them around local hotspots like coffee shops and grocery store bulletin boards. Make them clear and bold with all of the necessary information.

If you’re a not quite ambitious enough to make flyers, use of the amazing technology at your fingertips and mention your sale on Facebook or post it to Craigslist. On Craigslist there is an entire section dedicated to garage sales. Remember, pictures always help! If you’ve got items that are higher value, be sure to include photos and mention them specifically in your post.

 

The Day Before Your Sale

The day before your sale will arrive faster than you realize. If you’ve got helpers, consider delegating the tasks mentioned below ahead of time.

Most important, be sure to check the weather for the days that your sale will span over. If you see potential rain, you will want to move items either into the garage or back into the home. While it’s not ideal, you want to preserve your items from the rain as much as possible, and you don’t want all of your marketing efforts to go to waste.

Don’t forget to stop at the bank and get plenty of small bills and coin! You do not want to run out of change in the middle of a sale and remember that most banks aren’t open at all on Sundays.

Try to organize and clean your sale area as much as possible the night before. Sweeping the garage and covering items that are not for sale with a bed sheet will eliminate customer confusion and put focus on the items actually on sale. Setting up tables and laying out whatever items you can will end up saving you time and stress the next morning. While setting up those tables, try to create some sort of organization between toys, clothing, books, etc. If a customer is looking for something specific, then they will be able to pick it out much quicker. Again, double check that all of the items are priced!

Put the kids to work and make signs to stake around the neighborhood that have all of the date and time information with arrows directing potential customers to your sale. Make sure that the writing is clear and the arrows are pointing in the correct direction. Including an address is a great way to ensure folks find their way.

 

The Day of Your Sale

The day you have planned for is finally here!

Be sure to get your neighborhood signs out early in the morning and have everything set up. Before the sale starts, make sure to double check that your doors are locked to the house to detour any opportunists.

You can also get the kids involved and have them set up a lemonade/cookie stand to offer refreshments to customers, for purchase of course.

During the day, keep track of your money by keeping your “cash box” on you and use either a fanny pack or an apron. This will not only provide for more security, but also allow you to more easily assist customers.

With the check out process, set up a wrapping station with bags, boxes and newspaper where customers can wrap their new-found treasures as they feel necessary. This will save time for you and save resources as many people may not find they need a bag or items wrapped. Not to mention, it’s a great way to get rid of all those Amazon boxes that have piled up.

When sales come your way, be sure and be flexible with any offers or negotiations that come your way. As mentioned earlier, it is better to sell something at a lower price rather than to lose out on a sale completely.

 

Post-Sale

Once your sale is complete and you have (hopefully) made plenty of money, you may find yourself with a few items left over. There are a few options that you can chose from if you absolutely do not want to keep said items.

First, you can simply create a FREE sign and make a pile at the end of your driveway, or you can schedule a pick up or drop off items at a local donation center like Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

No matter what the outcome our your sale, we hope that you enjoy the excitement that comes with it and have fun.

 

Moving into a Smaller Space

Minimalistic living is quite a trend lately, so it’s no surprise that the moving industry has seen an uptick in moves to smaller spaces.  Many people who opted for the minimalistic lifestyle have said it not only removes clutter in their home, but it also clears their minds and takes their focus off nonmatrial things.  If you’re curious to learn more, check out one of the most popular minimalist blogs.

Logistically, moving into a smaller space can be very difficult.  There should be plenty of planning ahead of time to ensure that the move goes smoothly and stress-free.  As a guide, we’ve created a timeline that demonstrates the importance of planning and how to best prepare you and your family for the move.

 

When you begin looking for homes…

The second you start looking for or researching smaller homes, you should begin the process of eliminating clutter and excess items.

 

Get rid of duplicates

Do you, for some odd reason have three copies of Beyonce’s Lemonade? Get rid of two of them.  Also have a dozen copies of Harry Potter books? Pare it down a bit. This step is easiest because you can clearly see that you really only need one of each of these. Create a box or bin for these duplicates, then store it away to later donate them or sell at a yard sale. Either way, you’ve just completed the first step to your small space move!

 

Take a look inside your closet

Here comes the hard part… Somehow every piece of clothing means something or has a use. Even if you haven’t touched it in nine months, you can probably find a way to rationalize keeping it.

Be realistic.  If you pick up an item knowing full well you have not worn it in a year, but begin to say, “you know that you will someday…” keep it moving right out of there! The paring down process needs to be done to be comfortable and happy in your new home.

 

Pick only your favorite décor

A smaller space means less wall space. Not to mention, filling all walls in a smaller space will actually make it seem tighter than it really is. You will want to go for items that mean a lot to you and that make you feel good in order to make most of the space that you have.  When you pick up an item, ask yourself, “Does this piece make me feel good?” If you say no or you have no response to it, set it aside.  Make a box of those items and add them to your future yard sale/donation inventory.

 

Once you find your new home…

The next step is prepping your new space as much as possible. Focusing on creating as much space and storage will save you time and make moving day less stressful. But first, don’t forget to celebrate finding your new spot!

 

Get Inspired!

Start looking at magazines and websites to figure out what style you’d like. Either way, you will be tasked with creating a space that feels larger than it is, but you will still want to decide if you want a modern, sleek look or a cozy, homey feel. This decision will determine the type of storage options that you move forward with.

Loving the modern idea? Check out this website for some ideas. They have houses from around the world and you can look inside each one to see the different design styles.  Or maybe you see yourself in a compact, cozy home? Pinterest has an endless amount of inspiration for you to save and access later.

No matter what style you choose, look at how they make the most of their space. Keep in mind that you can also add storage solutions of your own!

 

Stay on schedule!

Don’t get distracted or sidetracked on your downsizing. You will need to continually keep yourself in check and on task. Try setting reminders on your calendar to keep yourself motivated and know that all of the preparing will pay off when the move date rolls around. As you go back each time to do another round of cleaning out, understand that it will get harder as you go.  Having that mindset ahead of time will actually make it easier.

 

When moving day has come and gone…

Once you’ve completed your move and gotten settled into your new small space, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind as you move forward.

 

Remember that you are in a smaller space now

Obvious statement, right? Well not really. Picture yourself walking into a Target store to grab a few groceries, but then you end up wandering around the store and finding a variety of beautiful decorations. It’s not bad that you found items you like, but will they all fit? Do they all make sense in your new space? When you go out shopping, you will need to always ask yourself, “Where will this go?” After all, you don’t want all of your hard work in preparing for your small space move to go to waste.

 

Understand that you and your family’s habits will need to change

Whether you’ve done the move on your own, you need to prepare yourselves for a lifestyle change. Moving into a small space naturally brings everyone closer together. Be more aware of your personal habits such as leaving magazines laying around, shoes strewn across the floors or dishes on the counter. All of these will make your new space seem even smaller and has the potential to create tension.

Be patient. Small space living will take time to get used to.

 

Always remember why you did this in the first place

Moving into a small space is hard work and you’ve done most of the heavy lifting, now it’s just maintaining your new environment so you can enjoy it. Whether you decided to live smaller because it takes up less energy, brings your family closer together or pushes you to re-focus on the nonmaterial, always keep that as your motivation. At first it may be hard to adjust, but take it from self-proclaimed minimalist, Joshua Becker, you will appreciate living smaller in the long run.

How To Move Your Plants

Plants can add so much to a home; not only are they decorative but they can also increase oxygen levels and clean the air in your home.  So with all that our lovely houseplants provide for us and our homes, it makes sense that we would only want to take good care of them.

Although the process of taking care of plants during a move can be a little tedious, its well worth it.  It all starts before the move and ends a little while after your move, as it takes time for your plants to acclimate to their new setting.

 

Preparing Your Plants

Place your smaller pots into cardboard boxes and surround the pot with crunched up newspapers. This prevents the plant from tipping over during transportation. For extra safety, move any plants in clay or ceramic pots to plastic pots at least two weeks prior to your move.

For larger plants, prune and trim as much as possible. Be sure to check with your local nursery or online before pruning as there are a several species of plants that do not react well to pruning.

For all plants, be sure to water the day before your move and prevent any potential messes in the moving vehicle.  This especially important in the winter, because if the soil has too much water during the move, then there is the potential for freezing. Another way to protect during the brisk winter climate is to cover the plants with an old sheet or tissue paper. Even the smallest contact with extreme cold temperatures can cause trauma to the plant.

If you are moving to a new state with a potentially different climate, do some research to understand how your new home will suit your plants.

If your house looks like this, you may have a big task ahead of you.

Your Plants and Professional Movers

If you have opted to work with a professional moving company and you would like for them to help transport a few of your houseplants, be sure to ask them prior to the move if they are willing to handle plants. During winter months, some moving companies will not transport them as most moving trucks do not have heat in the box.

No matter what, be sure to check for insects and parasites prior to the move and apply insecticide safely prior to the move.

 

Long Distance Moving

If you are driving cross-country to your new home, then there are a few extra steps to ensure the safety of your plants.

First, it is important to check in advance with any states that you will be going through that they allow the transportation of the plants.  To prevent the spreading of certain insects, there is a certification that some states require prior to moving. It’s beneficial to research this ahead of time to avoid any issues. The National Plant Board has very helpful information regarding each state’s regulations.

If you know that the driving trip will take more than a day, then be sure that your plants are still receiving adequate water and light. Be mindful of the temperature in the car too, and never leave them in a vehicle overnight in case of drastic temperature changes.

If you have chosen to ship your plants, then be sure you understand the potential expenses and risks.

Shipping your plants can be very expensive and there are various regulations on carriers which means that you will need to ensure that this is something your selected shipping company can do. Furthermore, there are no guarantees with shipping as you are responsible for appropriately packaging the plant.

 

Moving Day

If you do opt to put your plants into the moving vehicle, then be sure that they are the last items on and the first items off.  Many movers will recommend that you transport them yourself because your car will often be able to provide a safer temperature and the plants may experience less movement impact as well.

 

Post Move

Once you have moved into your new home and you begin settling in, be sure to give your plants that same opportunity. They will need time to adjust to the new environment. If you notice a slight loss of leaves, do not worry, this is fairly normal with any environment change. Finally, be sure not to immediately place the plants back into direct sunlight. Ease them back into it and allow them to acclimate.

To Rent or Not to Rent

Our services fit into three categories: full service, labor only, and packing.

Of those three options our labor only services are the most versatile. Whether it’s moving items within in your home, loading a truck for a cross-country move or moving locally, our labor only services can work for you. Without the truck, the hourly rate is a bit lower and subsequently, it tends to seem like the more economical option.

That said, the cost difference between labor only and full service may not be as large as you’d expect and when you consider all of the factors associated with the two options. You may even find yourself convinced that the little bit extra in cost is well worth the peace of mind and convenience.

Cost

When comparing full service to labor only, there is the potential to save 10 – 20% in overall cost depending on the size and type of moving vehicle, length of rental, and the need for additional equipment. With our full-service option, all equipment to move your items safely and efficiently is included (dollies, basket trucks and bungee cords). With most truck rentals, no moving equipment is included free of cost.

Winner: Labor Only. Unless you’re needing to keep the truck overnight for some reason. Renting your own truck will almost always be cheaper.

Risk

With decreased cost, comes increased risk. You become responsible for the vehicle and safely driving your items from one location to another to be loaded and unloaded.

Additionally, when renting from U-Haul or Budget a reservation is only an acknowledgement of preference. If they no longer have your requested vehicle type and size when you arrive to pick up your rental, you may end up with a larger truck. This can lead to parking issues, a more stressful driving experience, and, without the proper tie-down materials, can mean a more dangerous situation for your items in transit.

Winner: Full Service. Without any real guarantee, labor only has several risks when compared to a full-service option.

Convenience

With the full-service option, there’s less to keep track of. You place a deposit, reserve time on our calendar and your time is guaranteed. Having that time set aside will give you the peace of mind needed to focus on the other aspects of moving. You no longer need to worry about driving and taking care of the vehicle or your items because our drivers have done tens of thousands of moves with our standard 26’ box trucks.

Winner: Full Service. As you might expect, the slightly more expensive option is the most convenient.

For the sake of understanding, we’ve laid out a price comparison for a move from Richfield to Eagan, based on our average service length of 3.25 hours:

fullvpartial-comparison

In the end, both options have their pros and cons. One is not necessarily better than the other. The best option will vary depending on preference and situation. Our only hope is that with this information you can better evaluate your moving needs and make the decision process as simple and stress free as possible.

Common New Home Repairs

 

Here at College Muscle Movers, we’ve helped a lot of new home-owners move in. We have a fair amount of experience with new homes. It’s not unusual to find a whole plethora of things that need to be tweaked and fixed, and we’ve gathered up some of the more common issues you’ll find when moving into a new home. Below you’ll find 5 tips to help you learn what to expect.

or someone you hire.
This could be you.

Dripping Faucets and Toilet Fill Valves

After a long day of moving, you’ll be thrilled to crawl into bed and fall asleep. That might be when you first notice the incessant sound of water running from somewhere in the house, usually the kitchen or bathroom. Dripping faucets sometimes require a plumber to fix properly, as you might end up making it worse if you don’t know what you’re doing. On the other hands, if water is running in the toilet, you likely have a leaking fill valve.

A leaky fill valve is quite easy to fix on your own. You just have to take the top off of the reservoir and find out what kind of rubber cap you have. Then run down to the nearest hardware store and pick one up. Installation is easy, too. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll likely want to call a plumber.

Patching and Painting Drywall

Damaged drywall is one of the most common new home repairs. Especially around stairs and corners, you’ll find spots that have been scratched or dented by people moving furniture in or out, or kids, or people just going about their life. In fact, you’re likely to cause some damage yourself while moving. Don’t worry!

Hiring a painter to come and fix the drywall and paint it is pretty affordable. Some offer labor by the hour, or by square foot. It takes some time to complete (paint has to dry, after all), but drywall is easy to patch, sand, and paint over.

Again, you can do it yourself by simply picking up paint (bring a paint chip along for reference), drywall patching compound, roller brushes, and medium-grit sandpaper. Don’t forget to lay down cloth or newspaper to prevent getting paint on your floors!

Re-caulking Tubs, Sinks, and Showers

Caulk is vital for preventing rot and mold from creeping into the structure of your house. All sinks, tubs and showers should be caulked around the edges so that moisture can’t seep in. Check the caulk in your new home right away and replace any that is peeling or damaged. All you need is to dig out the old stuff, and use a caulk gun to shoot in more. If you aren’t comfortable doing this on your own, find a friend or a handyman to help you.

Cleaning and Replacing Gutters

Gutters are key in protecting your house from rain and snow. In Minnesota, that’s pretty important. Snow and leaf accumulation can cause them to pull free from the house or get twisted.

Sometimes you can just bend gutters back into the proper position. If not, you’ll need to replace the gutters, or install some metal support structures underneath. Once you have all the gutters on your new home in working order, do your best to keep them clean! Make sure to get leaves out every fall, and try not to let too much snow collect in them.

Preventing Ice Damming

This one is especially relevant in Minnesota. Ice build-up on the roof occurs frequently during our winters, especially around the edges of the roof. Melting water can get trapped and accumulate, creating a heavy ice dam that can damage shingles, roofing, and eventually force water into your house from above.

A good long-term solution is to have thermal cable along the edges of the roof. This can be warmed up during the winter to prevent freezing at the source. It’s a complex job, however, and you’ll want an experienced contractor to take care of it (assuming you’re not a master electrician)

A cheap and easy fix is just to make sure that you have channels running through the ice dams. You can do this by filling old knee-high socks or pantyhose with calcium chloride (snow melter). Lay the socks or hose along the roof so that they run down and drape just over the edge. This means that even if ice accumulates, melting water will have a path to escape.

Hopefully some of our tips will help you work through your new home repairs, or least shed some light on what to expect. Remember, if you have any questions about moving to a new home, contact us!

Getting Your Security Deposit Back!

Here at College Muscle Movers, we’ve helped folks through a lot of different moving situations. One of the biggest opportunities for a scare comes when you’re trying to get your security deposit back. Anxiety about security deposits can loom large for many renters, and we’ve gathered some tips to help ensure that you get yours back.

 

Read Your Lease!

The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with your lease. This is a given, even though lots of people don’t know the details. Do yourself a favor and read through it. Your lease will give you all of the information you need to keep your security deposit. It will explain your responsibilities in clear, legally binding language. Most of the time, the renter isn’t responsible for everyday wear and tear on a property. Outside of that, however, you’re expected to leave the apartment the way it was when you moved in.

 

Clean Up Properly

It probably won't be this fun.
It probably won’t be this fun.

The most important thing you can do is clean everything. If you’ve been taking reasonable care of your apartment, leaving it clean should be the only step you need to take to get your security deposit back. Get behind the refrigerator, and dig deep into the cabinets. Grind down through the layers of gunk on the stovetop. If you’re having trouble getting rid of all this stuff, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will help. There are lots of hard to reach places that have probably escaped your cleaning while you lived in your apartment. If you get them only once, make sure that it’s right before you move out. Don’t leave behind any boxes, or papers, or bags of old clothes. Make sure everything goes! Don’t give your landlord a reason to hold part of your security deposit.

 

Make Repairs

If you’ve hung any paintings or posters in your apartment, chances are pretty good that you’ve put some little holes in the wall. Most places are used to this, and they won’t give you any grief about it. On the other hand, if you patch them up yourself, you negate any chance for landlords or property managers to trouble you.

You can pick up a small tube of spackle, some small-grit sandpaper and a putty knife at any hardware store or large department store. Just fill up the hole with goop, scrape away any extra, and then sand the top to even it out with the wall. In a pinch, you can do the same thing with toothpaste.

Document!

Your final step after making sure everything is cleaned and repaired is to take pictures. Document the state of the apartment so that if something happens (i.e., the new residents trash the place and blame it on you), you have evidence to show the condition that you left in the apartment.

Remember, unless you’ve really done something egregious, you should be getting at least part of your security deposit back. If your landlord or property manager says they’re keeping it, make sure that they provide you with an itemized list of all the costs they’re incurring. As a last resort, you can always take it to small-claims court. Judges usually rule quickly, and the costs of small claims are quite low.

If you have any other questions about moving, or security deposits, feel free to get in touch with College Muscle Movers!

Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Moving Boxes

Here at College Muscle Movers, we know a thing or two about boxes. We work with boxes of all shapes and sizes, and we’re familiar with the huge mountain of cardboard lots of people discover in their new homes after they’ve finished moving. Below we’ll list some tips to help you manage the waste from all the cardboard you end using over the course of your move.

 

Save Your Boxes For The Next Move

First of all, consider using durable reusable plastic tote boxes. College Muscle Movers offers great deals on our Muscle Boxes. They are specifically designed with moving in mind. Even if you want to do the packing yourself, we can help keep your items safe for the upcoming move.  Our Muscle Boxes stack neatly, and offer high durability. Plus, they can be reused, offering the benefit of a low carbon footprint. Additionally, you can avoid the mountain range of cardboard that also seems to rise up in the living room at the tail end of the move.

If you’ve already got boxes piling up, read on.

 

Recycle ‘Em

You can always recycle clean corrugated cardboard. Once it’s all been processed, it can be reused as paper bags, paperboard, and much more. To process the materials, recycling centers first saturate the cardboard with water and break it up to create a pulp. Then the pulp is filtered and screened to get rid of any undesirable materials (staples, glue, nails, paperclips, etc.) During this process, the pulp is also washed to clean out any ink or staining. After the cardboard has been pulped and cleaned, it’s ready to be turned into something new!

If you’re in St. Paul or Minneapolis, consider using the services of a business like Eureka or Rethink. A quick Google search should help you find other local recycling centers in your area. Just remember that there’s a difference between waxed and unwaxed cardboard!

 

Turn It Into Mulch

If you’re the gardening or landscaping type, one of the best uses for old cardboard is to convert it into mulch. This will help you keep down weeds, moderate soil temperature, and generally improve the quality of your soil.As with recycling, there’s a difference between waxed and unwaxed cardboard— don’t use waxed cardboard for mulch!

If you think that cardboard mulch looks tacky, you can always cover it in a thin layer of more expensive conventional mulch. You can also use bark or wood chips to cover your cardboard mulch. These are more traditional, especially if you live in a suburb with neighborhood requirements for lawns.

Relive Your Childhood With A Rad Box Fort

totally rad

This one’s pretty self explanatory. Have some fun with your boxes. Maybe you want to to dress up as a robot? Get some tape and scissors and go to town! If you’re making box forts with children, make sure to keep an eye on them, and make sure there isn’t anything dangerous left in the boxes.

 

Hopefully some of these tips have been helpful! Remember, if you have any questions about an upcoming move, feel free to contact College Muscle Movers at 1(800) 818-8449

Cleaning Up After Your Pets

Moving to a new home can be a lot of work. Adding pets into the mix only complicates matters. Pets don’t understand the reasons humans have for moving. Dogs and cats will often be upset by a change in their lifestyle or habits. Your pet’s emotional turmoil doesn’t even take into account the steps you’ll have to go through when cleaning up after pets. Usually, the more animals you have, the less clean your home becomes. This is true of cats, dogs, and small children.

Even cute ones.
Even cute ones.

That doesn’t mean you need to let your home turn into some sort of old-fashioned zoo, however. You can keep your house free of stinky litter, messes, and allergens (mostly) by simply following a few simple tips to clean up after your pet. A lot of these tips are especially relevant if you’re ever planning on moving out, and want to shape up before new tenants or owners arrive. Here are some some tips we’ve collected over the years that can help you when you’re cleaning up after your pets.

1. Keep Pet Supplies Centralized

Do your best to keep all of your pet supplies in one room or section of your home. A bedroom, a closet, a porch: whatever makes the most sense for you. Keeping food, water and litter (for cats) in one location makes it a lot easier to keep everything clean. Messes are harder to deal with when you need to hunt them down.

If you live in a small house or apartment (or it’s just crowded), this might not be an option. Still, do your best to make cleaning up after your pet convenient. Try to keep litter boxes and water bowls away from doors and frequently traveled paths so that messes don’t get tracked around.

2. Don’t Wait to Clean Up Messes

Cleaning up messes while they’re still wet is your best bet. Feces, urine, vomit, hairballs: all of these get more difficult and time-consuming if you wait to let them dry and stick to whatever surface they’re on. It’ll also prevent stains and keep your home smelling cleaner.

Beyond this, animals (especially cats and dogs) have very keen noses. Cleaning immediately and cleaning well can help dissuade an animal from thinking it’s found the perfect new location to leave you a present.

3. Get Rid of Rugs and Carpets

If you have dogs or cats, your carpet is going to get nasty. It’ll naturally collect pet hair and dander, not to mention how difficult it is to really clean it well. Even if you steam and shampoo your rugs or carpets after a mess, they’ll likely still hold onto odors.

4. Clean Regularly

One of the biggest steps you can take is to clean regularly. Even if it doesn’t seem like there’s a mess, sweeping and mopping and generally cleaning up will work wonders for prevention of odors, stains, and other undesirables.

5. Lots of Trips and Litter Boxes

If you have dogs or cats, don’t give them a good reason to let loose in the house. Dogs should be walked often, and cats should have at least one litter box for each feline. This can be a lot of trouble, especially if you work a lot and already have trouble cleaning up after your pets, but it will save you time in the long run. Plus, your pets will be happier!

Hopefully some of these tips will help you keep your new home clean, or make your current home cleaner. If you have any other questions related to moving, don’t forget to contact College Muscle Movers!

 

Obligatory cat tax
Obligatory cat picture

 

The Budget: Save Money Moving

Budget can a huge consideration for people when they move, especially first-time homeowners or young people going off to college. Moving is a big deal, and anytime you shake up your life you’re bound to run into a few hidden costs. Today we’re going to offer some tips you can follow to help you save money moving.

 

Make Sure You’re Prepared

There’s a lot of little tasks to finish doing before you get to the actual moving part. It’s tempting to put off budgeting and planning and just run with the excitement of moving, but prepare yourself before you make the leap! A new living situation means new costs. Planning will make your whole life easier.

Don’t be tempted to snap up the first apartment you see (unless you’ve already been putting off planning and have no choice). Make sure the location is a good fit, and do your best to make sure the landlords/neighbors/previous owners are good people.

 

Save Up

Most importantly, be certain that you can afford your new space. Generally, you don’t want your rent to exceed 30% of your income. For millennials and other young people, this can sometimes be a challenge. Housing is expensive. Still, it’s a good rule to keep in mind, and it will help you in the long run. Beyond that, you might be scrambling to find a new job or waiting on a paycheck. Be careful here.
There are usually unexpected costs involved in moving. You won’t know what they are until they hit (otherwise they wouldn’t be unexpected), but saving up money before you move is a good way to be ready. In the months leading up to the move, stay as frugal as you can so that you can handle some of the extra costs you might incur: repairs, furniture, parking tickets, moving trucks, etc.

 

Buy Used

Don’t worry about impressing your friends with an Italian leather sofa. If you’re trying to meet a budget, you’ll want to avoid furniture sets. Despite all the chairs, recliners, couches and rockers that we surround ourselves with, humans have pretty basic needs. You’ll need a place to sleep, a place to sit/work, and a place to eat. That’s about it.

Consider picking up furniture off of Craigslist or from friends. You might even discover that you can furnish your apartment or house for free! People are always trying to get rid of old furniture. Don’t forget that old adage: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Reeeeeaaaaaal comfy.
Probably super comfy.

Essentials

If you’re living on your own for the first time, there are a lot of essential costs you’ve probably never thought about. Light bulbs, toilet paper and food don’t just appear out of thin air. You need to stock all this stuff yourself.

It’s very likely that you’ll want to get a lot of this stuff as soon as you move in. Consider checking at a local dollar store for cheap light bulbs and cleaning supplies. Usually you can find these items for a bargain at discount establishments.

And let’s not forget about food.

Fill Your Fridge

One of the easiest ways to save money over the long term is to cook for yourself. Buy cheap, healthy ingredients and avoid going out. You’re guaranteed to spend more if you eat out or get takeout, and the costs can stack up dramatically. Millennials are especially susceptible to this: it eats up a lot of money from college students who don’t have convenient kitchen access, or anyone who is “too busy” to cook. Just remember, there are lots of options that are quick, healthy, AND cheap. Do yourself a favor and keep food on hand so that you won’t be tempted.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you save money moving. If you have any other questions about an upcoming move, give College Muscle Movers a call at 1-800-818-8449. We’d love to help!

Moving Your Hot Tub

There are a number of items that can make moving a real headache. Usually it’s because they’re just too big. Overstuffed couches, pianos, dining room tables, hot tubs: this stuff isn’t going to fit in your car. That’s where moving companies like CMM come in. We can help you plan out your whole moving process. There’s no good substitute for experience.

Still, if it’s just one item bogging you down, maybe we can help. Today we’ll talk about how best to move a hot tub yourself. Hot tubs are pricey, and notoriously difficult to move around. Step-by-step, we’ll run through the smartest and safest way to get your tub from point A to point B.

tub
What You’ll Need

First of all, make sure you’ve got help. You’ll want extra help when you’re moving around a hot tub, if only to make sure it’s safe. Hot tubs come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure you’ve got enough muscle to back you up when it’s time to move. Also make sure you have straps. You’ll also want appliance/furniture dollies on hand so that you can roll your tub. They’ll come in handy if you have to carry it very far.

Step One

To begin with, make sure that the tub is completely drained and disconnected. No electrical, gas, or water lines should be hooked up when you try to move it. This is one of the easiest ways to damage your hot tub. After you disconnect everything, make sure all of the cables and lines are stowed away securely. You may need to tape them down.

Your job will be much easier if you let the tub dry completely. Water is heavy, and you don’t want to move around any more weight than you have to.

Step Two

Once everything is dry and disconnect, you can enlist your muscle. Be sure that everyone has enough room to help lift. If your hot tub is a small, single piece, you can lift it up and get it to where it needs to go. If you are just moving the lining, you’ll want to support the structure while you carry it so that it doesn’t bend or break.  One by one, slide straps or two-by-fours under each corner of the tub. This will keep it stable.

Step Three

Now it’s simply a matter of carrying your tub to where it needs to go. Make sure your path and destination are clear before you pick up the tub. If you’re moving a long way, use the dolly to help save effort. Rolling is always easier than lifting.

You’ll also want to be sure your tub is strapped down inside the truck, if that’s where it’s going. Any heavy objects like that need to be carefully secured to make sure that the truck and tub don’t get damaged.

Step Four

When you reach the final destination for your hot tub, make sure you know exactly where you want the tub. If there is anything in the way, move it before you start. Set the tub down carefully: if you let it drop, there’s a high chance you can damage it, and no one likes a leaky hot tub. After you’ve set it down, just pull your straps, dollies or two-by-fours free.

Step Five

The final step? Reconnect everything. Now is when you make sure all of the lines and cables are intact, and everything is working properly. If you’ve done everything right, you could be soaking in that hot tub right after you move it!

Above all, remember that a professional moving company is your best bet. While College Muscle Movers no longer moves hot tubs, there are speciality moving companies that can take care of all of this for you.