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Mistakes, I’ve made a few: 6 Tips for a Safe Move

Scams, lost belongings, poor planning; moving can be fraught with headache and peril. Especially in the case of this family, who loaded their stuff into a moving van and never saw it again. With more than 35 million people moving each year, there will inevitably be horror stories, but you don’t have to be in one of them. Take a cue from the Boy Scouts and “Be Prepared” with this list of six mistakes to avoid. You’ll be crushing the moving game in no time and making sure your moving truck arrives safely with all of your belongings.

Watch out for Shady Movers

Don’t get scammed! There are plenty of reputable moving companies out there. The trick is making sure you hire one of them. There are some obvious signs of a bad moving company. Poor phone etiquette, a website from 1999 and general disorganization should raise red flags. But if they don’t come to your house to assess what you’re moving or give you a quote in person, then you should probably run away. Also, in the age of the Internet, you should always read up on reviews. Yelp and Angie’s List are great places to start. And also downloading the app Unpakt immediately can help you save so much time. It compares moving companies, lets you book them online and the movers on the site agree to a flat rate, rather than an estimate. It also has a pretty rad moving cost calculator.

Packing Timeline

You’ve probably heard it from your mother, who stole if from Benjamin Franklin, but “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Plenty of people underestimate the time it will take to get everything in order and packed up for a move. Plus, packing just plain sucks. But if you don’t start scheduling your movers, changing your Internet or getting rid of things you don’t need in preparation for the move, you could be scrambling at the last minute. A lot of movers book up quickly, especially during the summer. Create a checklist and follow a timeline to make sure you’re ready for moving day.

Survival Bag and First Open Box

In the midst of trying to get everything boxed up and loaded onto the truck, many first time movers make the rookie mistake of forgetting to pack an “Open First box” and a survival bag. First-open boxes should contain things you need in the first 24-48 hours of a move. Things like lightbulbs, a toolkit, bedding or a blow up mattress, a shower curtain and other essentials. Your survival bag should include a few sets of clothes and toiletries to help you get through your first several days.

Insuring your stuff

Moving companies have to offer either “full value” or “released value” liability. Full value means just that: the mover is responsible for the full value of everything they move for you. Released value costs less, but the moving company pays a smaller percentage of value for damaged items. Another option is to call your home insurance provider. Oftentimes, they can add on moving coverage to the plan you have. If not, check out national companies who provide third-party coverage.

Weathering a move

Sometimes in the midst of packing and last minute to-do items, we forget to check the weather. Moving in the rain is no fun. Be sure to check the weather often and plan accordingly. Keep tarps on hand to cover your boxes and consider setting up plastic sheets or tents to keep things dry.

Declutter your life

There’s no point in hauling old baby toys or clothes you never wear anymore to your new place. Get rid of things you don’t need. Have an old-fashioned garage sale or sell things on Craigslist to offset moving costs, or consider donating items in good shape to a local charity. You’ll be glad you have less to pack when moving day comes around.



Ways to Stay Connected While You Move

Transitioning to your new place when moving doesn’t mean you have to go off the grid. Unless of course you’re into that, in which case here is how it worked for one family. But for the rest of us, staying connected - being able to talk to friends and family or do research on your new town - is pretty important during the transition phase. So instead of sending out carrier pigeons to announce your arrival, or posting up in the local Starbucks for hours on end, stay connected with these options:

Get a hotspot device

A mobile hotspot can be a great option, especially if you have a long road trip in front of you. All you have to do is turn on the hotspot in your smartphone settings and you will have crossed into the world of tethering. The ever helpful PCMag has a step-by-step guide for exactly how to turn your phone into a Wi-Fi hotspot. The only problem with tethering is that it can rack up a nice fee depending on your data and phone plan. Another great mobile hotspot options is investing in an on-the-go hotspot device. These devices are great because they won’t waste your smartphone battery and there’s no roaming charges. Plus, you always have Internet in your pocket. Let the kids stream movies in the car or send email on the go.

Here are some of the best mobile hotspots according to some really smart people who have researched them:

The XCom Global International MiFi Hotspot gives you Internet access in 44 countries. If you are doing some cross-continental moving, this one is a great option. AT&T’s Unite Pro is great for the most seasoned road warrior. Plus it earned PCMag’s Editor’s Choice award for AT&T mobile hotspots, so you know it’s legit. The Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile hotspot is great for those who want more. This device is super reliable and has an incredibly long battery life. It also lets your track your data usage in real time so you don’t go over your limit.

Internet Service Provider Hot Spots

If you aren’t switching your provider during the move there are some other hotspot options from providers like Comcast, Verizon Fios and Time Warner Cable. Before you move, check with your Internet service provider to see if they have hotspots throughout the country and if you can access them. If so, all you have to do is download the Wi-Fi app on your phone or tablet and search for the nearest hotspot to get online. That way, you won’t need to buy any extra equipment or waste your phone’s data plan.

Public Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi finders

There’s always an app for that. Download a free wi-fi finder app  and use it to find Wi-Fi hotspots on your journey to the other side. Public Wi-Fi is usually available in various restaurants or coffee shops, but it is important to ensure that people aren’t using these hotspots aren’t trying to hack you.

Other non-related connections to consider

Staying connected with people you leave behind and letting the right people know you are moving is almost as important as having an Internet connection. Maybe not your crazy ex, but definitely the IRS and your Credit Card Companies. Here are some connections that need to be addressed. Friends and family: Send out an email to your friends, co-workers and family members with your new address. That way they know where to send your edible arrangements and birthday gifts. The IRS: Almost as important as letting your mother-in-law know of your moving plans, contacting the IRS is incredibly important because you don’t want to miss tax documents that come in the mail. The Postal Service: Change your address online in minutes.


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Moving Your Technology: Backup Before You Unplug

Backing up your files is like the flossing of the Internet world. You probably don’t do it as regularly as experts recommend. You also probably think that losing all your information won’t happen to you. But your computer could not only crash and lose your documents, it could also be susceptible to malware attacks that end up damaging your files and photos. So before you move, do yourself a favor and back up your files. You don’t want to be crying on the floor of your new house because you have zero evidence of your son’s third birthday party. Here are the easiest ways to back up your information and keep yourself from losing the most important documents of your life.

External hard drives are your friends

Investing in an external hard drive is one of the easiest ways to back up your files. Just plug it in to your laptop or PC and transfer your files onto the hard drive. After you’re settled in to your new house, you can set a reminder for a monthly backup. Once it’s done, your files are completely offline, so you won’t have to worry about malware attacks or file corruption.

In the Cloud

Backing your files up to the Cloud is a great way to ensure the safety of your online world as you hurtle across the country to a new life. A few options for Cloud back up include: DropBox, OneDrive, IDrive and Google Drive. All of these have free storage options and a payment plan if you want or need more storage space and safety features.

Photo Storage

Backing up your photos is one of the most important things you can take care of before you move. Dropbox or an external hard drive are fine, but if you ask your iPhone nicely, it will back up your photos to iCloud as well. And if you sweet talk your Android phone, it backs them up to Google Drive without you having to think twice.

Google Photos

Google photos not only gives you free storage, but it’s also unlimited. It’s like hitting the Jackpot! Plus, it has fun features like photo collage creations and panoramas. You can sync your photos with both iOS and Android devices

Amazon Prime Photo Storage

If you already have Amazon Prime, you’re in luck. All you have to do is download the Amazon Photos Cloud Drive app and start uploading your photos and videos. This storage option also lets you choose whether you want your photos to upload when your phone is charging or when you have cellular data.

Social Media

Most of us don’t think about backing up our social media since what are the chances a big corporation will lose all your data? Well, if these are the things that keep you up at night you can rest easy knowing that both Facebook and Twitter have back up options.


All you have to do is go to your “General Account Settings” and click on the link at the bottom of the page that says “Download a copy of your Facebook data.” Facebook will then create an archive with all you’ve ever posted and will send you an email with a link to access it when it’s done.


Twitter makes things pretty simple for you too. Just go to your account settings and click “Request your archive.” Everything you’ve ever tweeted will then be sent to you for posterity’s sake. It’s mostly great for those not running for political office or prone to drunk tweeting. Basically, if you think there is something in your online life that would be pretty detrimental if you lost it, back it up. Barring a zombie apocalypse, you’re going to want your photos, Facebook and financial documents on hand.



Tips for Moving Your Small Business with Minimal Downtime

Why move?

So you started your small business in your mom’s basement and they told you it couldn’t be done. Against all odds, you grew enough to get your own office space, complete with staplers and fax machines. But things seem to be getting a little cramped again. Entrepreneur found that “businesses commonly cite five main reasons for moving, according to Sharon K. Ward, an economic development consultant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. These are labor and work force issues, the desire to reach new markets, the need to upgrade facilities or equipment, the desire to lower costs or increase cash flow, and considerations about quality of life. So whether you’re moving for one of those five things or all five of them, a move is in your future and it’s probably not going to be fun. Good news - we are here for you and we have some great tips and ways to help, without actually doing any of the packing ourselves.

What to consider

When moving office space, minimizing phone down time and Internet interruptions is the number one priority. Once you know when you will be moving into your new office, call your Internet provider and see if it can continue providing your current service in the new space. If not, start doing your research to see which provider will be the best option in your new location. Don’t wait until the last minute. Internet and phone service should be a seamless switch so you don’t have to worry about missing clients or losing business.


Moving is a great time to assess the resources you are using and the technology you currently have. Should you move your information to the Cloud? Should you change your phone lines to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system? Moving an existing phone system can take anywhere from four hours to an entire day, meaning you could have some serious down time for clients being able to get in touch. When it comes to moving your existing phone system, you can almost bank on the transfer of equipment, devices, and service taking around 4 to 16 hours. VoIP is a great option because as soon as you have an Internet connection, you have your phone lines up and running. It’s also more user-friendly than traditional phone lines and can forward calls to your cell phone or email.

Consider the Cloud

Many small businesses transition their company to the Cloud during a move, or as they grow, because it provides a safe place to store information online. There are three different types of Cloud options: public, private and hybrid. You can learn more about which option might be best for your business here. Having another place to keep your files as you grow can help ensure your information stays safe and secure.

Change your online information

When you move, your address is obviously going to change. Make sure you update that information on your website, Google maps, Yelp, and other online directory sites. No one likes showing up to a place that doesn’t exist anymore and it could cost you customers if you don’t update your information. It’s also important to change over marketing materials, email signatures and any other materials that have your physical address labeled.

Update your customers and vendors

Start preparing your clients weeks in advance. Send out emails, call your vendors, update everyone on social media and other online avenues. As long as clients and vendors have a way to stay in touch during the move you can minimize loss of business or confusion.



I’m movin’ out: Apps to help you stay organized during your move

Moving is organized chaos. Packing up each room, keeping the dishes and cups together, or trying to remember where you decided to stash the kids’ toys is a lesson in the futility of life. It used to be all you could do was get out the masking tape, make a detailed list of the contents on the side of the box with a sharpie and pray to the powers that be that everything stays together. But those dark days are behind us now. Technology is here to save us. Here are a few fantastic apps to help you keep your stuff together without losing your mind.


Sortly is one of the best organizational apps on the market. Not only is it great for moving, it also has features that help with home organization. It’s kind of like an online filing cabinet complete with folders, tags and photos. With each box you pack you can take pictures, list each item in the box on the app and put it in a unique category. That way, when you arrive at your new place and you see “Box 1” all you have to do is pull up the app and see all the contents virtually laid out. Sortly also lets you create a unique, printable QR label for each box. You can download it for free, but if you want some of the extras with Sortly Premium there is a $7.99 fee.

Task Rabbit

Let the bidding wars begin! When you get to your new place it’s probably going to need some work. But the last thing you’re going to want to do is mop, paint or clean. So instead, hop on TaskRabbit and get someone else to do it. For a fee, all of your cleaning needs can be fulfilled. All you have to do is post what job you need done, name your price or put a bid in, and once the task is claimed and completed you pay the “TaskRabbit.”

Moving Van

Moving Van is similar to Sortly in that it helps you keep your sanity by keeping track of what’s in each box you’re packing. The app lets you assign boxes to rooms, so that when you get to your new place, you can unpack faster. It also has a “packed vs. unpacked” feature that is incredibly useful when figuring out where you’ve put all your stuff.


Evernote is a dream come true for people who love to make lists. Among the many unique features of the app, you can use it to make a timeline for everything you need to do as you move. And now a list of the types of lists you can make with Evernote: What needs to be packed, who needs to be contacted, a weekly breakdown of packing tasks, moving company options. Plus, you can share your lists with people and assign them tasks to complete before the move. The best part? Evernote is actually a game changer for every other area of your life too. In an interview with Inc., app founder Phil Libin explains the app like this: “It's your brain offloaded to a server. It's Google for the Web of your life. It's a spotlight on the dark matter of your universe. It's a tool for converting your smartphone from a time killer to a time saver.” Hyperbole or not, it’s pretty awesome.


Once you’ve relocated, it might be nice to meet some of your neighbors. Luckily, with you can do all of that and more. It’s a social network that groups you with your neighbors based on your zip code. It helps neighbors report theft or crime and neighborhood safety concerns, but it also helps connect people through forums where you can find a new puppy, a babysitter or a couch. That way once you’re fully moved in, you can sit on that couch with a cold one and finally enjoy your new, fully organized digs.



How to Safely Pack Your Technology for a Move

When it comes to packing, you might be doing it wrong. Especially when it comes to your electronics. Packing technology is one of the hardest parts of moving because with just a few rookie mistakes, you could be in the market for a new flat screen, or lamenting the broken pieces of your laptop (and dignity) scattered around you. When moving, you need to pack up TV screens, computer monitors, computer and gaming equipment, modems and routers. We can advise you on how to move your tech as safely and hassle-free as possible. Gather your equipment, boxes and packing materials and let’s get started. (Just don’t ask us to do any of the heavy lifting.)

First, Flat screens.

This could range from your actual flat screen TV to a large computer monitor screen. If you have the original boxes they came in, that is awesome, but if you don’t, then find a box big enough to fit the screen in. Remove detachable cables and cords and wrap them up together to be placed in the box with the monitor. Then, gather your supplies: towels and sheets, a sturdy box, bubble wrap, moving pads, tape and scissors. The screen is undoubtedly one of the most fragile parts of the TV, so protect it with your life. Cover it with a towel or a moving blanket from Once you have the screen covered, it’s time to wrap the entire electronic with a layer of bubble wrap. Cover that with some heavy-duty moving pads or thick blankets that you might have on hand. Make sure it all stays together with packing tape and then slide it into a box, which you should carefully label “FRAGILE.” Pro Tip: You can ask your moving company for a custom-fitted box for your TV screen, to make sure it is even more tightly wrapped.

Computers and Printers

Before you even start putting your computer, printer or other related items in a box, BACK UP YOUR FILES. Either back them up on your hard drive or in the elusive Cloud. Once that is out of the way, you can wrap the same way you did the flat screen. Keep cords with the appropriate boxes. If you have the original box the computer or printer came in, great! If not, ask your moving company for a custom fit box or look for one at your local UPS or FedEx stores. Be sure to make sure there’s no wiggle room once it’s wrapped up and placed in the box. Label the box “FRAGILE” in multiple locations, and if you have movers, speak to them about where the electronic devices will be placed on the truck. Pro Tip: Take the ink cartridges out of your printer when you move it.

Other thoughts, considerations and honorable mentions:

Label all the boxes! Take a picture of the cords and how they are all plugged in on the back of your TV or computer monitor so that you can remember how they all go together when you start unpacking. Use unconventional soft items as packing materials, such as towels, sheets, blankets and placemats. Factor in climate control. If your moving van is going to be going through extreme climates it might be better to haul your electronics yourself. Rather than putting your electronics on the big moving van, keep them off to the side to be transported in your personal vehicle. That way they run less risk of being exposed to extreme temperatures that could damage them while they’re en route to your new place. Another option is storing them in a climate-controlled unit that’s kept between 50-80 degrees. Insure your devices. Good luck! At least you don’t have to ford any rivers or carry your own corn meal for this journey across America.