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How to Make Your Move Eaasier

The housing market is heating up again, and people are on the move. Whether you’re downsizing or moving up in the neighborhood, getting ready to relocate can be stressful. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the to-do lists, but there are steps you can take to make your move simpler. Follow these tips to take the pain out of moving and embrace this exciting time.

DIY or Full-Service Mover
When it comes to transporting your stuff, you have a few options. One is to go with a full-service moving company that will pack the boxes, load the truck, and put everything in the appropriate rooms at your new place. This is the least stressful option, but it’s also the most expensive.

Another option is to go with a full DIY move. This would involve renting the truck, rounding up boxes, begging friends to come help, and getting ready for a full-body workout. It’s the cheapest way to go, but it’s also pretty stressful and physically demanding. It’s the moving option of choice for people who are just starting out, but you may find that you just don’t have the time or energy to deal with this chore.

Then we have the middle ground. This would be where you pack your boxes and then hire a moving company to load the boxes and big furniture for you. This is the one type of move that JDog handles. Once your boxes are packed, we’re more than happy to provide you with the labor to get them across town. We also have people who just call us in for the big furniture, and that works too. The price and stress level fall somewhere in between the DIY move and a full-service company.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to how you’ll handle the relocation. It’s strictly a matter of personal taste, budget, and goals. However, you’ll want to make the decision early on. If you are hiring a moving company, then make sure that they’re registered with the state, fully insured, and that they have Worker’s Compensation coverage on their employees. If you’re going to do everything on your own, then you’ll want to start packing early.

Purge, Purge, Purge
Moving stuff costs money. The more you transport, the higher the price goes. One way to save time, money, and frustration is to start purging unwanted items in the house now. Put small stuff in boxes and bags to be donated. Toss the items that are broken or just too outdated. As you open up space in the house, you’ll start feeling better about the move. Keep purging as you pack an move closer to the date.

Start Packing Early
If you’re going to pack your own boxes, then start getting them together well in advance. If you’re moving in the spring, then you can safely start packing up your hot weather clothes, gear, and holiday decorations. Purge as you go. If you don’t want something in your new home, then don’t take it. Set it to the side to be disposed of or donated.

Three Weeks Ahead of Time
Start cutting back on grocery shopping and focus on using up what’s in your pantry. You’ll have less to move and you’ll save money right now. This is also a great time to get your change of address forms submitted, and cancel deliveries to your existing address. Whether you’re moving yourself or hiring a company, you’ll also want to get your important papers, small family heirlooms, and jewelry together in one spot. These are items that you should always move yourself so that you can keep track of them. If you need to have them shipped, then use a trackable shipping service and get insurance on the contents.

One Week Ahead of Time
You’ve been steadily packing for weeks, and the light is at the end of the tunnel now. This is a great time to double check for items you no longer want and set them to the side. Pack suitcases for the family members like they’re taking a two-week vacation, and then box up everything else. Confirm your appointment with the moving company. If you have a good collection of stuff that’s not going, then call a junk hauling company to get it out of your way. You can also wait until the movers take the stuff you still want and then just have the junk haulers clean out everything that’s left. We’ve even had people call us out twice – once to get obvious junk out of the way, and again to do the final cleanout afterwards. This is a great option if you’ve been in the house for many years and have accumulated an overwhelming collection of stuff.

On the last day of the move, remember to take a few picture of this home. Whether you’re excited to leave or a little melancholy, you may enjoy looking back on the photos as you close this chapter. Follow these tips to make your move a little smoother and ease the transition to your new place.

The Joy of Finding Lost Treasures 
We were called for an estimate on cleaning out the basement and garage of an estate home. The main house was very tidy, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect when the woman led us to the basement. What we found was a mountain of clothes and household items that consumed the middle of the room. Shelves and dusty cardboard boxes lined the walls with just a narrow walkway around the pile that dominated the floor. We took note of the measurements, pointed out some furnishings that they might want to keep, and started calculating the quote. We asked if they were looking for anything in the pile that we should keep an eye out for.

“As a matter of fact…..” the woman said. “My grandmother’s crystal punch bowl is in here somewhere.”

Seriously? A crystal punch bowl?  That’s just….. awesome. “No problem,” we told her. “That shouldn’t be too hard to spot. We’ll let you know if we find it.”

But wait – there’s more. She pointed to a steamer trunk in the back corner. “We think there’s a gun in that trunk.”  Okay. This is something of an unusual request, but we can handle it. However, it’s generally good to know what type of gun we’re looking for. It turned out that her grandfather was a physician, and he once accepted a pistol as payment for medical services. The rest of the story was that the gun originally hailed from a gangster. What an amazing background and piece of family history! The problem is that a gun is a lot smaller than a punch bowl, but we promised that we’d keep an eye out for it.

We delivered the quote and went on our way. We were hired shortly after, and the job was booked for a month later. When we returned on the day of the project, the woman added something to the search list. “My mom has dementia,” she explained. “She’s been stressing about the basement being cleaned out, and she’s been thinking of other items that are down there. We just found out my grandmother’s wedding dress is somewhere in that basement. It’s still in the preservation box.” 

We updated the crew and got to work. As we bagged the clothes and rifled through boxes, we were constantly on the lookout for the gown, bowl, gun, and other items the family might want. Boxes of china, family photo albums, and jewelry were hauled upstairs and put on a table for the two sisters to sort. My crew member handed me a preservation box with something white inside. We all got excited, until the sisters announced that it was just the slip for the wedding dress. It was still important, but not the actual gown. We found another preservation box, but it had been filled with old yearbooks.

And so the work continued. I unburied a cardboard box against the wall and peeked inside. It was filled with china wrapped in decades-old newspapers. I lifted it up and handed it to Matt. “Carry it by the bottom,” I warned him. “The box is breaking.” Matt carefully hauled it upstairs and set it down on the table. He came back to keep sorting, and about five minutes later, we heard the women exclaim that they’d found the punch bowl.

I rushed upstairs to see this vintage bowl and admire it for myself. We all joked that it would have been terrible to find the punch bowl when it slipped out of a box and hit the floor, but that is why we were treating every new box we found like it might contain something irreplaceable. 

As they went through the other boxes, they also found the matching ladle and cups. It’s truly a gorgeous set, and I’m sure they’re looking forward to using it. Apparently, Grandmother loved to entertain, and it’s so nice to know that the family will be able to use that gorgeous piece of crystal again.

The project kept moving; we unburied the steamer trunk and got it upstairs. It took a little while for the ladies to get over to it, but they did find the wedding dress inside - still in its preservation box. They also found her matching shoes and accessories! We cheered over finding the dress, but we were running out of spots where the gun might be. I apologized to them for not finding the third item yet.

“It’s okay,” the one sister said. “Dad had Alzheimer’s toward the end. We’re not sure what he did with it. The gun may not even be down there.”

As we cleaned, we also uncovered a beautiful cedar chest in excellent condition. It was stored right next to the steamer trunk, but it had been buried by clothes. The sisters had never seen it before and didn’t know it existed until we mentioned that we’d found another chest. We took it upstairs for the women to sort through the contents and see what was inside. Just a few minutes later we heard them yelling and celebrating.

The gun was wrapped up in linens in the bottom of the cedar chest. Does it work? Probably not. Can it be restored? Possibly. Is it an amazing piece of their family history? Yes. It certainly is, and we were so happy that we could help them reclaim it.

We also found vintage toys, letters from past generations, pictures from the 1800’s, and plenty of scrapbooks that the family had never seen. It took a little more time to check every box and bag, but it was well worth it to see these heirlooms discovered and returned to the family.

If you’re dealing with a large project and you’ve held off on calling in the junk haulers because you know there are special items in the stack, then it’s time to give us a call. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a particular lamp that came from a beloved aunt or a vintage .38 special that was once used to pay for medical services. The JDog crew treats every client with respect, and we operate with integrity. You can trust us to keep an eye out for items and return them if found. Call us today at 330.242.3069 for your free on-site estimate and to learn more about our cleanout services.

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