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Moving is expensive.

Whether you’re upgrading to make room for your growing family or downsizing to save money, nobody moves for free.

Which is why many people opt to move themselves instead of hiring a professional moving company to do the heavy lifting for them. After all, why pay all that money when you can do it yourself? You’ll only be out $100 for the moving truck, right?

Think again.

Moving by yourself is hardly the “free” or even cheap option you were hoping for. There are many hidden costs of moving yourself you should consider before you start stockpiling those empty grocery store boxes.

Transportation

It’s the whole point of moving: your stuff is in one place and you need it to be somewhere else.

But getting your furniture and clothes and vintage vinyl collection from Point A to Point B isn’t as easy as you want it to be.

Even if you’ll be moving yourself, you have a few options when it comes to transporting your belongings. You can use your own car for local moves. Your friends might even be nice enough to load everything up into their cars. But you’ll have to make several trips to get everything over. Even a pickup truck can only hold so much.

With the price of gas nowadays, you’re far better off renting a truck to get everything moved over in one fell swoop.

But renting a moving truck isn’t always the cheapest option. Don’t forget, you’ll still have to pay for the gas in the rental truck, too, on top of the rental and mileage fees. And rental trucks are much heavier than your sedan (even before you load them up with furniture and boxes), so they don’t get the same great gas mileage.

Moving Supplies & Equipment

Organizing your own move also means that packing is all on you. Again, you have a few different options here.

You can keep moving costs down by going the “free” route: making lots of trips to your local grocery or retail stores, tracking down boxes that are sturdy enough to protect your belongings. It also means buying bubble wrap, newsprint, packing tape, and markers to pack and organize everything safely.

The problem with most DIY packing jobs is that safety often takes a backseat to affordability. You might pass on the bubble wrap and use old newspaper instead, but your lampshades and chinaware will be all the worse for that decision.

You may also need extra dollies, furniture movers, padding, plastic sheeting, and other things to protect your things and your house while you’re loading and unloading. Again, many people skimp on these safety measures, but if you damage your furniture or homes in the process, you could be facing some costs that you weren’t expecting.

Which brings us to…

Insurance

Moving exposes your property to a lot of risk.

Transporting furniture down staircases, packing items into boxes, and putting everything onto a moving vehicle means that accidents can (and sometimes do) happen. But you might not know that your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy isn’t enough to protect you during your move.

To make sure you are completely covered, talk with your insurance agent about a moving insurance rider, which will help cover the cost of any damages that happen during transit.

If you’re renting a truck for a self-move, it’s a good idea to purchase the insurance through the rental company. It’s relatively cheap and will cover the vehicle, contents, and everyone inside. However, you should know that this insurance still won’t be enough to replace all of your things in the event of a disaster (usually between $15,000-25,000). You’ll need much more than that if you need to replace everything you own.

Long Distance Moving Costs

Moving to another state comes with its own host of complications…and costs.

First, there’s the additional cost of renting a moving vehicle long-term. Rental, gas, and insurance costs will all be higher, and you’ll also have to pay for the gas or shipping fees for your personal vehicle.

If you’re moving more than several hours away, you’ll also have to budget for airplane tickets or lodging during the trip.

Of course, moving cross-country is not usually an avoidable expense, but it’s always best to be prepared and calculate the cost of your long-distance move beforehand.

Non-Monetary “Costs”

The hidden costs of moving yourself aren’t always financial. There are plenty of other sacrifices you’ll have to make if you’re foregoing a moving company.

The first is the amount of time you’ll have to spend. Packing and moving always take longer than you expect, and you’ll likely have to use more than one vacation day to get everything done. (Do you really want to waste your vacation days on moving?)

You’ll also have to expend a lot of extra mental energy organizing everything and keeping everyone moving on moving day. Between kids running around underfoot, friends that don’t know where to start, and the stress of orchestrating a whole-house relocation, you can expect to be tuckered out for the next few weeks.

Then, there’s the physical toll that moving takes. If you don’t do it all day, all that heavy lifting can cause injuries, especially if you don’t know how to do it right. Best case scenario is that you’ll be tired and sore for a few days, but the worst case scenario involves a trip to the ER. (All the more reason to make sure your insurance policies are in good shape.)

Moving Company Costs

If this all sounds like too much work, we don’t blame you! Millions of families worldwide agree with you.

That’s why moving companies like us come in!

Moving companies can save you time, money, and injury by performing the whole relocation quicker and safer than you and your friends can do it. They often offer packing and unpacking services in addition to moving day transport, and they have insurance coverage for extra protection.

But you have to make sure you choose a reputable local moving company that comes well-recommended and well-reviewed. A bad moving company can end up costing you money if they are a fraud or if they break everything.

Conclusion

When you’re preparing to move, deciding between hiring a moving company and moving yourself can be just one more decision in an already stressful process.

But the hidden costs of moving yourself can sometimes make the “cheap” option anything but.

When you’re deciding whether or not to hire professional movers, make sure you factor in all the costs of moving. The rental truck, moving supplies, insurance, and physical costs might put a self-move out of the question.

And if you end up hiring a moving company, make sure they’re trustworthy and professional. Of course, Cento Family Moving & Storage would be happy to assist with your move, whether you’re moving across town or across the country.

The post Hidden Costs of Moving (Without a Moving Company) appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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Moving can be a challenge. Not only do you come to realize how much stuff you own, but the thought of packing it all becomes unnerving. The common culprits of clutter tend to be old clothes, as well as unwanted toys, books, and games.

One positive associated with a move is that it forces you to decide on what household items are worth keeping. While this can be a time-consuming process, getting rid of these unwanted items can make for a less stressful move. Plus, it will save you money.

Everyone avoids tossing items out, because they fear that the item be of use someday. Flash forward ten years and the item is still gathering dust at the top of the closet. There is no better time to declutter your home than when moving. Start by going room by room and using these simple steps: sorting, tossing, and packing.

Bathroom

In a move, we often focus most of our attention on the larger rooms of our home, neglecting the smaller spaces. Take some time to go through your bathroom supplies. This way you are not racing against the clock, without a care or thought to what you toss or keep.

What Must Go?

When going through your bathroom, you may come across dried-out soap bars and empty bottles of hair care products. These should automatically make it to the trash, but how do you know what else to toss?

There are two general rules: “If you don’t use it, lose it” and “If it’s passed it’s prime, it’s time”. Taking these rules into account, the following items should be discarded:

  • Outdated beauty products
  • Expired medications
  • Broken appliances
  • Multiples of items
  • Old towels
What Should Stay: Essentials

Now that you have decided what must go, it makes it easier to see what the essentials are. Remember to bring the following items with you to your new home:

  • First aid kit
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, deodorant)
  • Daily medication
  • Basic cleaning supplies
  • Hair products
  • Towels and linens
Bedroom

Decluttering the bedroom can be a chore, because it contains one of the most challenging areas of the house – the closet. Your closet is likely overflowing with a wardrobe twice the size as what you need.

What Must Go?

Removing unwanted clothes from your closet will not only free up space but save you time in the mornings. To sort what you own, pretend as if you were going on an extended vacation and could only take one extra-large suitcase. What would you bring? This will help you decide on what you love most out of your wardrobe.

It can be hard for us to part ways with our clothes. Sometimes, it seems as if we have formed some personal bond that cannot be broken. However, you will ultimately need to decide on what you are saving and donating or what is beyond repair. Sort the following items into the appropriate piles (donate, keep, or trash):

  • Stained, ripped, or faded garments
  • Clothes you do not wear
  • Items that do not fit
What Should Stay: Good Habits

Rather than outlining a set of clothing items that you should keep, as you probably already know, it is important to recognize what should stay, regarding good habits. This will ensure that your closet stays organized as you transition into your new home. Here are a few tips:

  • Invest in storage (shelves, bins, shoe racks, etc.).
  • Take the time to hang items.
  • Labeling can help, especially in children’s rooms.
  • Do spring cleaning to get rid of unwanted clothing.
Kitchen

Going through your kitchen appliances and gadgets is a crucial task in any move. It becomes especially important when you are downsizing homes, as your kitchen might not offer as much space to store your belongings. This may force you to think outside of the box when it comes to organizing.

What Must Go?

A kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. However, a messy and unorganized kitchen does not create a relaxing environment, nor provide convenience, when stirring up delicious treats.

Sorting through what you own will save you space and time, as well as create an inviting space you will want to show off. The number one rule in the kitchen is to be practical. Consider the following:

  • Test your appliances.
  • Check for multiples.
  • Understand your limits as a cook.
  • Do you really need 20 pots?
What Should Stay: Essentials

After getting rid of duplicates, broken appliances, and unused gadgets, you are left with the essentials needed for a move. Do not leave for your new home without packing these items:

  • Food storage containers
  • Bowls, pots, and pans
  • Cookie sheets
  • Small appliances (coffee maker, blender, mixer, etc.)
  • Cookbooks
  • Dish towels
  • Utensils
  • Glasses
  • Dishes
  • Garbage bags
Living Room

For most families, the main living space is a dumping ground for shoes, backpacks, briefcases, mail, keys, and more. Some of what you will find in this area cannot be thrown away. However, it may be necessary to sort through your belongings and choose a different storage solution for a more clutter-free living room.

What Must Go?

It can be difficult to keep the main living area clean and tidy. Focus on one area at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

When packing up your family’s home, you will likely have to sort through books, magazines, office supplies, and more. Here is what you will want to toss out or donate:

  • Old books or magazines you no longer read
  • Board games you do not play
  • Old notebooks/binders
  • Manuals
  • Old electronics and equipment (cords, cellphones, headphones, etc.)
  • Papers and bills of no use anymore
What Should Stay: Good Habits

After throwing out what does not belong, you are left with what you need to pack. Instead of focusing on what you should take to your new home, in terms of items, we will focus our attention on the habits you should keep. Here are a few tips:

  • Arrange items neatly on a bookshelf.
  • Use filing cabinets, baskets, etc. for storage.
  • Create a play area for children.
  • Control your cords with zip ties.

In a move, no one wants to pack more than what is necessary. The solution to this is to throw out all non-essential items prior to moving. Not only will this save you time when it comes to unpacking, but it will lead to a more organized living space.

National Dispatch is a leading provider of car transport services. The company ships cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and motorcycles nationwide. Many people utilize car transport services when moving to a new home to make the transition easier. For more information, go to https://www.nationaldispatch.com/.

The post Packing The Essentials: Decluttering Your Home appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to an impending move. Should you buy or rent your next place? Should you hire a moving company or bribe your friends? Should you pay the movers to pack up your boxes or do it yourself?

Any number of different factors go into making these decisions, and none of them should be made lightly. But now that you’ve made your choice, where do you begin?

Packing boxes yourself—whether you’ve hired a moving company or not—can be a great way to save a few bucks, but there are a few things you should know beforehand if you want to also save your stuff. Here at Cento Moving & Storage, we’ve put together a list of our top packing tips to make your move that much easier.

When it comes to moving, less is more.

1. DO Declutter Before You Pack

You’ll have to pay the moving company for every box (or hour) that they move, so get rid of everything that won’t be following you to the new place. If you have plenty of time before moving day, you can list good-quality items on Craigslist or Facebook and make a nice bundle of cash.

Don’t have that much time? Drag it to Goodwill or schedule a donation pickup.

2. DO Pack Early

No matter how much time you have before moving day, it’s best to get a head start on packing once you’ve made the decision to move. Start with rarely-used items (home décor, out-of-season clothing, etc.) and work your way up to the most-used items as moving day approaches.

While most people tend to put off the odious task of packing, you’ll definitely thank us later when you aren’t running around last minute trying to shove everything in the truck.

3. DO Have an Inventory List

Keep track of your belongings on a master list so you know which items are in which box as well as what condition they were in when you packed them.

It’s difficult to assign responsibility and collect insurance if you can’t name exactly what was lost or prove that something was damaged during the move and not before. If your moving company offers this for you, make sure you check it thoroughly and sign off on it.

If your boxes look like this, you’re gonna have a bad time.

4. DON’T Reuse Old Boxes

Picking up old boxes from the grocery store is definitely cheaper than buying new ones, but flimsy, old boxes can break, collapse, and damage your belongings.

Buy new moving boxes or rent reusable ones to keep your items safe. And if you absolutely must reuse a cardboard box, examine it carefully for strength and don’t use it to pack any fragile or valuable items.

5. DO Reuse Containers You Already Have

While cardboard can break, plastic bins and suitcases are designed to take a beating without giving in. Use the luggage, laundry baskets, and bins you already have. You’ll save money and space.

6. DON’T Forget the Packing Materials

Throwing things in a box willy nilly might save yourself some time, but it won’t save anything from breaking. Make sure you take the time to cushion your belongings while packing to prevent them from damaging each other or the box they’re in. (A compromised box can break; then it’ll destroy everything.)

Bubble wrap, unprinted newspaper (available at your local moving supply store), and packing peanuts will make sure that everything arrives in one piece. Use crushed newsprint to fill any voids in your boxes, which will prevent crushing of your belongings.

7. DO Use Good Quality Packing Materials

Use a good quality PVC packing tape; not masking tape or the same cellophane tape you use on Christmas gifts. A cardboard box is only as good as its closure, so don’t cut any corners when it comes to securing your boxes.

8. DO Track Down Used Moving Supplies

As long as they are good-quality (see above), you can save a lot of money by tracking down used moving supplies, such as bubble wrap, packing tape, and packing peanuts.

Craiglist, Facebook, and your local Classifieds for people who are unloading packing materials that they aren’t using anymore.

9. DO Get Creative With Packing Materials

You can save money (and space) by reusing items you already have to pad your boxes. Towels, bedsheets, and clothing (that you don’t mind getting dirty) can all be used to protect breakable items on a bumpy ride.

Colorful wrapping paper can be helpful when packing smaller items, as the bright print will draw attention to a small item that might get overlooked. But avoid using the daily newspaper, as the print can rub off onto some surfaces.

10. DO Seal Liquid Items

This is a good tip any time your packing hair products, liquid soap, or anything that could leak. Unscrew the lid, cover the bottle with a square of plastic wrap, and screw the lid back on.

11. DO Pack a “Moving Essentials” Box

Pack a small box with “moving essentials,” such as a box cutter, extra roll of tape, extension cords, light bulbs, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, furniture feet pads, and any tools you’ll need to assemble furniture so you don’t have to rummage through boxes or make hardware store trips in the middle of moving day.

12. DO Pack Certain Items Vertically

Pack plates, framed artwork, and shallow bowls on their sides with plenty of newsprint to avoid breakage. It puts less stress on fragile décor.

13. DON’T Pack Hanging Clothes

Your local moving supply company sells wardrobe boxes complete with a hanging rod. Just take your clothes out of your closet and hang them inside the box.

Don’t want to buy a special box? While they’re still hanging in your closet, scoop your clothes up into a heavy-duty garbage bag and tie the ends around the hangers. Lay them flat in your vehicle. When you get into your new place, just hang them up and remove the bag. Easy peasy.

14. DON’T Pack Air

Any empty space left in a drawer, box, or bin is wasted space. Fill appliances (like your washer and dryer) with lightweight, durable linens. Tape heavy-duty plastic sheeting over the top of your dresser drawers so contents stay in place. Wrap your cutlery organizers in plastic wrap.

The more you pack into each box, the less boxes you (or the moving crew) will have to move.

15. DO Pack Similar Items in One Box

Books get packed with books. China gets packed with china. Packing room by room takes less time and ensures that your boxes are easy to unpack as well, since everything is right where you want it to be.

16. DO Document Your Electronic Setup

Between cable cords, gaming consoles, and your Amazon Fire stick, setting up your electronics in a new place can be a nightmare.

Whip out your cellphone and snap a picture of your TV setup before you unplug a single cord. When you get to your new place, setup will be a breeze.

17. DO Secure Hardware

When disassembling furniture for transport, keep all the hardware in a zip-top bag so it doesn’t get lost. Label the bag and tape it to the furniture as well.

18. DON’T Overload Your Boxes

Consider the weight and type of item when packing into boxes. Don’t pack fragile, lightweight items with heavy ones. All the newsprint in the world won’t stop a cast iron pan from crushing your grandmother’s antique china.

Also, a good rule of thumb is heavy items = smaller boxes, light items = large boxes. Keep your boxes under 50 pounds each, to prevent them from being dropped.

19. DO Label Your Boxes

Pack and label each box with where it is going in the new house (not where it was in the old one). This will make it easier for the movers to get it to the right place. Use a bold, felt-tipped marker (not a pen or pencil) to label the top and sides of each box (that way, the label will still be visible even if boxes are stacked). Write “FRAGILE” or “THIS END UP” wherever appropriate to prevent your moving crew from damaging anything.

It’s also a good idea to label the rooms in your new house or apartment. Your movers won’t know which room is the office, but labeling the door and the box lets them know exactly where to put your computer. If you really want to impress your moving company, include your bill of lading number (which can be found on your contract or invoice), your last name, and a special mark (1, A, or a star) on boxes you want to unpack first. Who says moving can’t be strategic?

20. DON’T Pack Everything

That first day will be hectic, and you’re not likely to unpack everything right off the bat. Pack an overnight bag with everything you might need for a typical weekend trip (include pajamas, a change of clothes, toiletries, your phone/charger) so you aren’t searching through your taped-up boxes looking for your toothbrush.

Other items to leave out of boxes (or off trucks) are extremely valuable items (such as jewelry) and anything that your moving company is legally prohibited from transporting (ask your service provider).

Another thing you’ll want to leave off the moving truck? Anything that belongs with the house. Garage door openers and house keys should be left off the truck.

Moving to a new house or apartment doesn’t have to be stressful. With these packing tips and a little help from your friendly local moving crew, you can be well on your way to your new life in no time.

The post 20 Packing Tips (For Moving Like a Pro!) appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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Even if you’ve moved house several times in your life, it’s likely that you’re unprepared for a big commercial move.

Moving your company into a new office or storefront involves packing and hauling expensive equipment, shutting down work for a day or two, and settling in to a new location and workflow. Organizing all of that is a lot more complicated than moving into a new house or apartment.

That’s where professional commercial movers come in.

The professionals can take a massive project down to a more manageable size so you can get your business back on track as soon as possible.

Benefits of Using Commercial Movers

Office moving presents a unique set of challenges, so it’s worth it to enlist the help of a professional commercial moving company to make the whole job easier.

1. Easier On Your Employees

You know that your employees are really great at what they do (that’s why you hired them). But I’m willing to bet that they’re not great at moving.

If you’re not used to it, moving is rough on your body and your stress levels. When you ask your employees to all pitch in and execute a company move, you’re just asking for grumbling, whining, and an uptick in worker’s comp claims. (Do you really want to deal with the fallout after the complicated process of a company move?)

Commercial movers, on the other hand, know how to move and have the equipment to do so safely. Let them worry about getting the Xerox machine down the stairs (instead of your accounting team).

2. Fewer Damages

Your employees likely don’t know how to pack up and move office equipment so that everything makes it in one piece. (Some of them barely know how to operate them every day.) But commercial movers do.

Think about the logistics of getting your indispensable (and expensive) machines out the door, on the truck, and into the new office. Your computers, printers, copy machines, and other heavy equipment is much safer in the hands of a professional moving team than they are in the guys from HR.

3. They’re Insured

“I have a small office and only a few employees. You really want me to hire commercial movers?”

Even if you only have a few things to move and even if your amazing employees are ready and willing to do the heavy lifting, what happens if they accidentally slip on a banana peel and drop a $400 computer monitor?

Expert commercial movers offer two different types of insurance, so you’ll be protected in the event of loss or damage. Of course, for complete protection, it’s always best to purchase a separate moving insurance policy on your own.

4. They’re Faster

Let’s face it: moving interrupts your company business, and if you’re not doing business, you’re not making money.

Get your move done quicker by hiring commercial movers to do the heavy lifting. They do this day-in and day-out, so carrying that L-shaped desk into the elevator is just another day’s work for them.

Because when you’re talking about your livelihood, you can’t afford any downtime.

5. More Organized

As good as you are at being the boss at your business, you probably don’t know much about moving (or else you would be in the moving business). Having a single “boss” in charge of your company move makes the whole event go more smoothly.

Moving companies have experience moving entire houses (and businesses) from one place to another; they have a process already in place.

Office Relocation Tips

Once you’ve made the decision to move your business and started scouting out locations, that’s when things get exciting! But don’t let yourself get carried away.

It’s important to approach your move fully prepared, so you can take a step back when you’re in the new office and think, “Wow, that wasn’t so bad!”

These office moving tips will help your business relocation go easily from start to finish.

Follow a Checklist

Moving your company into a new office is a lot more complicated than it might initially seem. Make sure you don’t forget any important steps by following a checklist for moving a business.

As you’re in the planning stage, write down all those minor tasks that you think may fall through the cracks later on, everything from gathering quotes from three different office movers to ordering business cards with the new address. Getting everything done is as easy as checking items off one at a time.

Delegate

If you have a lot of employees, coordinating them all through one move can be a herculean task.

You can simplify matters somewhat by appointing a moving liaison or committee to be in charge of employee communication, identifying solutions to potential problems in the new space, and any other moving-related issues that may pop up.

Having everything fall on you is a recipe for disaster.

Enlist Your Employees

Even if you’re hiring office movers, it’s a good idea to have your employees pack up their own personal items. Many employees might feel better knowing that their potted plants, picture frames, and pen collections are safe, sound, and in their control.

Update Address

A new business location is a fresh start for you, and several other things will need upgrading now, too. Order new company letterhead, business cards, and anything else listing your info to make sure it has the new address on it.

You’ll also want to update your digital presence as well. Update your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) info on Google and any online directories that list your business name. You want to make sure that customers and other visitors aren’t confused.

Finally, make a social media post letting all your fans know where they can find you.

Clean Up

Whether you’re upgrading or downsizing, you probably have furniture now that won’t be welcome in the new place.

Use the move as an excuse to get rid of old furniture and equipment that’s broken, outdated, or just isn’t your style. Setting up your new office for the best possible workflow will improve productivity and morale.

While you’re at it, this might also be the perfect time to start going paperless. Scan and shred old documents, sell the filing cabinets, and enjoy the extra space.

Conclusion

Moving your business into a new location doesn’t have to fall completely on your shoulders. By hiring a moving company offering commercial moving services, you can take the (literal) burden of moving off your shoulders and let the experts handle it.

Your employees, equipment, and business will be much happier.

And of course, if you’re in the market for a commercial moving company, call Cento Family Moving & Storage for a free quote. We’d love to have a hand in helping your business grow!

The post The Benefits of Commercial Movers For Your Company Move appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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You’ve made the decision to relocate your business and you’re excited about it. But what if your employees don’t feel the same way?

Your employees depend on your business for their livelihood, but it’s also where they spend the majority of their waking hours. Doesn’t it make sense to keep them happy and engaged during the transition to a new business location?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the ways you can help your employees through an office move so that everyone is excited to come to work.

Break the News ASAP

You don’t want to put off telling your employees that you’ll be moving. Secrecy only feeds the rumor mill (and increases employee dissatisfaction).

Tell your employees as soon as possible and be as honest as you can about the reasons why you’re moving and how involved they’ll have to be. If you know where you’ll be moving your office to (or even what zip code), let them know so they can start planning for a different commute. If you know that you’ll be switching from cubicles to separate offices (or vice versa), let them know as soon as possible so they can make adequate plans.

Even if you’ve thought out every logistical probability and the move goes over without a hitch, your employees will need some time to mentally transition to the idea before the first day at the new office. Keeping your employees well-informed about the company’s future will help them feel like it’s “their” move, too.

Ask For Their Input On the Office Move

Let’s face it: you wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for your employees.

They’re the ones crunching the numbers, selling the widgets, and shaking those hands day-in and day-out so that your company can remain successful. So why not loop them in to the office move?

Before you sign a lease on a new location, take some time to ask your employees about their opinions for the new office. The easiest way to do this is to find out what doesn’t work in your current one. Not enough parking? No loading dock? Is the ugly wallpaper too depressing?

You might find out that a simple rearrangement of desks will increase collaboration. Or that the “open office” concept you originally settled on is met with frowns and threats to quit.

Your business is run by humans, and humans are profoundly affected by their environment. Finding a way to truly optimize your new office for the people that actually keep it moving will make sure that engagement stays high (and resigning stays low).

Be Flexible

It would be unreasonable to assume that an office move will be easier on everyone. And the truth is, many of your employees will be inconvenienced by the new location.

But you can keep those valuable employees engaged by offering a little flexibility in their work schedule. Will they need to come in a little later to make up for the longer commute? Perhaps they could work from home a couple days a week?

Whatever your employees’ complaints are, make sure that you have an honest, open conversation with each one regarding the upcoming move and do your best to ensure that everyone feels heard.

Be Lenient

Once the move is complete, be realistic about your employees’ productivity. It takes some time to get settled in to a new environment, and people might be either overly excited or down-in-the-dumps.

Expect some late arrivals the first day as people work out the kinks in their new commute (whoops! wrong exit!).

Assume that your employees are going to need some extra time to set up their new work space the way they like it. Let them know that there’s a fully stocked supply cabinet at their disposal.

Expect that production might dive before it gets better, even if you’re in a new location with all the swanky equipment. Your employees will need some time to get acclimated to the new setup first.

Your office move is an exciting time, so people are bound to be both excited and nervous about it. Whether or not they stay engaged depends on how well you respond.

A boss who’s open, flexible, and understanding about their employees’ transitional needs will have a much easier time managing their team than one who’s demanding, and unsympathetic.

Celebrate!

Whether you’re moving to a new house or moving to a new office, relocating can be stressful for everyone involved. So make sure you take some time at the end of the office move to celebrate a job well done.

This can be as simple as cupcakes in the break room (with a heartfelt speech thanking everyone for their cooperation) or as big as taking the team to Disney for a day. The type of celebration doesn’t matter as much as the thought you put into making your employees feel appreciated.

Because, in the end, an engaged employee is a respected employee.

Your employees are great at what they do, but they’re not moving professionals. If you’re thinking about relocating your office or retail store, start by getting a free moving quote from Cento Family Moving and Storage to help get you through the office move without a hitch.

Whether you’re moving across town or across the state, we can help get your office from Point A to Point B.

The post Pull Off an Office Move (Without Alienating Your Employees) appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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It’s just as true in the corporate world as it is in the residential; when it comes to choosing a new location for your business, it all comes down to three things: location, location, location.

You’ve decided that it’s time to move your business to a new location. But how do you know when you’ve found the right home for your company? These 6 questions will help you narrow down your options so you can find the perfect office or storefront for your business.

1. Where Are Your Customers?

Unless you’re Amazon (and probably not even then), your demographic is never “everybody.”

Take some time to narrow down who your preferred customer is and where those people go to buy products like yours. If you sell upscale jewelry made from recycled material, you’d probably fare best in a Park Ave. storefront. If you’re starting a cafe where you want people to stay and chat, downtown is probably not your best bet (most customers there want to grab and go).

Do you rely on foot traffic? You’ll want to move to where there’s lots of it, perhaps Downtown. Do you need tons of parking? You’ll want to find a place with a large (and free) parking lot (probably not Downtown).

But e-commerce and virtual businesses aren’t necessarily exempt from this either.

Businesses tend to attract other like businesses, which is why you find areas like Silicon Valley or Wall Street, where all the businesses skew toward a certain industry.

In Central Florida, this might mean moving your business closer to Disney if you’re involved in the tourism industry. Or it might mean moving closer to Restaurant Row if you’re in the food business. Even if you sell exclusively online, it can send a message to your customers that you know where all the action is…and you’re right in the middle of it.

2. Where is the Competition?

Sometimes, you want to go head-to-head with the competition.

Sometimes it’s best to be away from your competitors, but sometimes it can be a smart move. (There’s a reason why eateries and stores tend to group together.)

In a mall, for instance, part of the appeal is that your customers can easily walk in between stores to compare features and prices. You can capitalize on this by setting up shop nearby and taking advantage of all the existing foot traffic.

Whether or not this is a good idea all depends on the type of business you’re in, however. Take a good, hard look at your company and your industry when choosing a new location for your business.

3. How Fast Is Your Business Growing?

An expanding business is usually the first indication that you need to move your business to a new location, but you don’t want to outgrow that new location before your lease is up.

If your business is growing by leaps and bounds, try to find a place that will meet your needs long-term. Factor in the length and terms of the lease and look at your company numbers. Where will your company be at the end of that three-year lease? If you think you’ll need four cubicles by then instead of two, don’t bother looking at the smaller offices.

On the other hand, you’ll want to be realistic about where your business is headed. Just because you’re growing now doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford purchasing a whole new building. Rather than get foreclosed on five years down the road, it’s best to grow slowly and steadily.

When it comes to choosing a new location for your business, hope for the best, but keep the worst-case scenario in mind.

4. What’s the Customer/Employee Experience?

Your employees and customers are what make your business possible, so it’s important to give them a great experience if you’re want to keep them around.

While you’re looking for a new office or retail location, think about any potential obstacles that might make things difficult for them. Will the new office have enough space for everybody? Will your employees and customers feel safe going to your storefront every day? How far will your employees have to commute to the new location?

A potential company location might have great rent or a cool lobby, but that doesn’t mean everybody will be happy with it. When you’re choosing a new business location, make sure you see it through everyone’s eyes.

5. What Features Do You Need?

If you’ve already begun your search for a new location, you already know that not every office space, warehouse, or storefront is created equal.

Which is great, because every business has different needs as well. So, when choosing a new location for your business, think about what features you need.

Do you have specific zoning requirements? Would you need to do any renovating or redecorating to make the space workable? Is the building wired for your telecommunication or internet needs?

If the location doesn’t have the features you need, you’ll have to factor in the costs (financial and otherwise) of adding it in. You might find that the work and money involved pushes the prospective location out of the running.

6. What’s Your Brand?

Whether or not they have a logo, website, or location, every company has a brand.

Your brand is how you are seen in the industry and what your customers think of you. What’s your chosen demographic? What’s your price point? What’s your company’s story? All of these things make up your company’s brand, including your office or store location.

Think about the experience of walking into a Starbucks. You have a certain color scheme, furniture layout, decor…just the feel of walking inside evokes certain emotions or sets a mood. Now, think about walking into a Dunkin Donuts. It feels different, doesn’t it?

There’s nothing wrong with either of these businesses; they cater to different crowds because they have completely different brands.

You have to consider your brand (or image) when choosing a new location for your business. What do your customers expect when working with you? What feeling do you want your employees to have when they come into work every day? What feelings do you want to evoke?

If you’re trying to market yourself as a budget hair salon for overworked moms, a swanky, downtown location isn’t gonna hit the mark. A retail space near a Publix would be a much better option.

Conclusion

Your business meets a need in the community like no other company can. So, make sure that you take that same approach when choosing a new location for your business.

Think about how each potential location fits your needs regarding your customers, employees, brand, and your company as a whole.

And when it comes time to move, call Cento Family Moving & Storage for a free estimate. We’d love to help take your business to the next level.

The post Choosing a New Location For Your Business (6 Questions to Ask Yourself) appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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In a perfect world, you would always have plenty of notice before you need to move. You would have ample time to relocate for work, your landlord would never sell the place out from under you, and you’d have months to pack and prepare.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

Sometimes you only get a month’s notice (or less!) to leave your current place, find a new one, and get all of your stuff moved over. And since the average 4-bedroom house takes seven days of full-time work to pack, that doesn’t leave you much time for coordinating the other parts of your move, like looking for a new place.

For those facing a last minute move, the usual moving checklist has to be condensed to get everything done in half the time. That’s why we’ve put together these last minute moving tips to help you pack up your house and get on the road as quickly as possible.

1. Collect Moving Company Quotes ASAP

If you know you have to move in a hurry, you probably already have a deadline of when you need to either be out of your current house or into your new one…a date that’s quickly approaching.

As soon as you know that you have to move, contact local moving companies to start collecting quotes. Moving company schedules can fill up weeks (if not months) in advance, so hiring last minute movers will depend on their availability.

If you have plenty to choose from (lucky you!), resist the temptation to hire someone based solely on moving costs. Ask friends and family for recommendations, read reviews, and ask about the company’s hiring practices to make sure you’re hiring a quality company. That low price isn’t worth it if your stuff gets broken or stolen.

2. Skip the House Hunt

What?!

That’s right! If you have to move quickly, time is of the essence. Don’t waste your valuable time looking for the perfect Dream Home for your family. You’ll just end up rushing the house hunting process, and end up stuck in a home that’s less than ideal.

Instead, trade your mortgage in for rent! A cozy rental home or apartment that’s close to your job and favorite shopping will be just fine for a year. During that time, you’ll be able to start a leisurely search in your new area for something a little more permanent.

And if you have to downsize temporarily, rent a storage facility to keep your possessions in safekeeping until you have a home for them.

3. Skip the Decluttering

We usually recommend that people declutter their homes before moving day, but all that sorting and decision-making requires the one thing you don’t have: time!

Most articles about last minute packing tips include a suggestion to get rid of everything you don’t need (or even most of what you own!) before you move because it’s less stuff you’ll have to get on the truck. But moving furniture is just as annoying whether you’re loading it onto a moving truck or schlepping it out to the curb. Plus, once you get rid of it, you’ll have to spend a lot more money to replace the item once you’re in your new place.

If an item is definitely trash or you know you won’t be bringing it into your new home, go ahead and toss it or send it down to the Goodwill. But if you’re not sure, don’t waste time hemming and hawing over the fate of that end table, just pack it! You can always get rid of it later.

4. Pack an Overnight Bag First

When you’re moving house in a hurry, it’s easy to get disorganized and miss a few steps. But such haphazard packing could leave you scrambling for the toothbrushes on your first night in the new place.

Take some of the stress out of your last minute move by packing a “Need Now” box with all the essentials you’ll need on that first night:

  • Toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and other personal hygiene items
  • Pajamas and a change of clothes for each member of your household
  • Pillows and bedding for each member of your household
  • An air mattress or sleeping bag, just in case
  • Toilet paper and soap (you’ll thank me later)
  • Paper towels and an all-purpose cleaner (to quickly dust off surfaces before you unpack)
  • Coffeemaker, coffee, and other related supplies (or instant coffee for a quick pick-me-up)

After the stress of a last minute move, you’ll probably be unpacking for a while. Having all the essentials at hand will make those first few weeks a little easier.

5. Gather Moving Supplies

When it comes to last minute moving, “quick” and “cheap” don’t usually go together. Expect to pay for new moving boxes from a moving supply store rather than collecting a few used ones at a time. Time is a luxury you don’t have; it’s more important that you get your boxes together quickly than it is to save money on them.

However, there’s a good chance that you already own plenty of containers that you can use to pack your house last minute. Suitcases, laundry baskets, and other containers can stand in for cardboard boxes; towels, sheets, and blankets are excellent replacements for bubble wrap.

If you’re hiring a moving company, check with the crew before loading these onto the truck. They may ask that certain receptacles remain in your personal vehicle.

If you have a full month before you move out, you might consider renting reusable bins to pack your things. You won’t have to drive around to collect them or dispose of them when you’re finished. Another bonus? They can be cheaper than buying cardboard boxes and they’re better for the environment.

6. Don’t Sacrifice Safety

Whether you have a month to get out of your house or a day, you want to move fast, but the key here is efficiency. Don’t go so quickly that you risk harming your belongings (or yourself).

Take the time to protect your most valuable belongings (those things you can’t afford to replace) against damage as you’re packing. Wrap breakables in bubble wrap or unprinted newsprint. Pack dishes and books vertically on their sides. Cover upholstered furniture to prevent stains and tears.

When it’s time to load the boxes onto the moving truck, lift with your legs, use a dolly, and use a partner to carry the heavy things.

7. Get Help

No list of last minute moving tips would be complete without this one! Moving your entire home is never a walk in the park, and having to do it under a time crunch is even more stressful. So get as much assistance as you can in the weeks leading up to your move.

See if your friends can help with disassembling furniture and packing boxes and ask your mother-in-law to watch the kids and pets so they’re not underfoot. If possible, take an extra day or two off work to kick your packing into high-gear.

If you’re able to hire local movers to take care of the packing or other moving services for you, even better! Since they’re used to packing all day, the move will go much quicker.

And with any move, staying organized is the key to keeping the whole move under control. Start a moving binder to keep track of important paperwork and other moving-related documents. Carefully label each box with its contents (“dishes,” “Jackson’s toys,” “board games”) and number them (so you’ll be able to tell if a box is missing).

Conclusion

Packing and moving your whole house in less than a month may not be a cakewalk, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, either. Following these seven last minute moving tips will ensure that you’re out the door and on the road in no time.

But however quickly you have to move, make sure you call Cento Family Moving and Storage for your free quote. Our experienced movers can take your family across the state or across the country with ease.

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There’s a reason that most museums aren’t hands-on: the surest way to prevent things from being damaged is to keep them out of harm’s way.

But how can you do that if you have to move your items to a new home?

Preventing damage during your move might be foremost in your mind, but it doesn’t have to immobilize you. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to keeping your home, your stuff, and your body safe from harm during your next house move.

Preventing Damage Before You Move

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

But even though it’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time to avoid damage during your move, there may be some forms of breakage that you just can’t avoid.

Before you move, make sure you’ve built yourself a “safety net” to protect you in case something goes wrong. If you’re worried about smashing your priceless antiques or staining that Herman Miller chair, these next few tips will provide you with a little extra piece of mind.

Tip #1: Get Moving Insurance

While a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy offers excellent protection of your possessions, it might not fully cover moving damage.

Check your existing homeowner’s policy to see what’s covered. If yours is lacking somewhere (some policies will cover theft, but not breakage, for instance), see if your moving company offers insurance. If you aren’t using professional movers—or you just want some additional protection—consider purchasing a separate moving insurance policy.

Tip #2: Make a Detailed Inventory Sheet

Without an inventory sheet, it can be almost impossible to prove that an item has been lost or damaged.

While you’re packing, make a note of each item as well as its condition (pictures are even better). If your moving company creates their own inventory list, double-check it against your own (make sure you understand any acronyms and abbreviations they use to denote the item’s condition).

This written documentation will act as an unbiased third party. In the event that something is damaged, it will be much easier to figure out who is responsible for repairing, cleaning, or replacing the item in question.

Tip #3: Measure Twice, Move Once

While it might be tempting to move out as quickly as you can, this type of thinking can lead to irreparable damage.

The time to remove chair legs and take bed frames apart is before you smash the door frame, not after.

Before you lift a single item, measure large pieces of furniture to make sure they will fit through all the door frames (and measure the door frames, too). If you end up needing to take items apart, keep all the screws and bolts in a zip-top plastic bag taped to the furniture. Label the baggie as well so you’ll still know where it goes if the tape comes undone.

Tip #4: Hire Professional Movers and/or Packers

Once you factor in the differences between hiring a moving company and moving yourself, a professional moving company is often the more preferred option.

Professional movers make a living packing boxes and lifting couches, so they’re less likely to make a mistake or take a shortcut. Your friends and family on the other hand? They want to get the job done as quickly as possible (that is, not carefully) so they can get that pizza you promised them.

A professional moving crew can complete an entire move more quickly and safely than you can organize yourself. And, at the end of a long moving day, isn’t that far more valuable?

Preventing Damage While Packing

Now that you’ve set your move up for success, the key to preventing damage during your move lies in how you pack your things for transport.

The majority of moving damage stems from packing your belongings incorrectly. But following these next tips can prevent damage from derailing your move.

Tip #5: Use Plenty of Padding

The best way to avoid damage during your move is to use plenty of padding while packing. You don’t have to pad everything (after all, your t-shirts can’t “break” during transit), but you shouldn’t skimp on the bubble wrap, either. For fragile items, special mementos, and electronics, it’s worth the extra time and expense to properly pad them to protect against damage.

Use crumpled newsprint, packing peanuts, towels, blankets, and/or bubble wrap to cushion your valuables before they go in the box, then fill any gaps (including the space between the box’s contents and the lid) with more packing material. This will keep everything in place during the drive so a sharp turn won’t turn your crystal vase into a pile of shards.

And don’t forget to think outside the box (literally). Furniture should be well-padded, too, especially if it has sharp corners, hard edges, or glass features.

Tip #6: Use the Right Type of Padding

The Sunday paper might be fine for filling gaps in your boxes, but you can’t rely on the funny pages alone to get you through your next move; the ink can easily rub off onto lampshades and other delicate surfaces. Purchase plain newsprint paper through a local moving supply store instead.

Upholstered furniture should be wrapped with plastic wrap or moving blankets to prevent tears, scrapes, and staining. Glass table tops and doors should be wrapped with foam sheeting, bubble wrap, or thick blankets. And any sharp corners or edges should be padded so they don’t cause breakage if they come into contact with something fragile.

Tip #7: Tape It Up

Of course, all that padding is no good if it doesn’t stay put.

Wrap fragile items so they’re entirely covered in newsprint or bubble wrap and tape the padding securely so that it can’t unravel or slip off. Also, don’t let the sticky tape come into contact with the item you’re wrapping up. The adhesive could remove paint or leave a stubborn residue behind.

Tip #8: Use the Right Container

It’s not just good marketing, those specialized boxes at the moving supply store are specifically designed with certain contents in mind. When packing drinking glasses, flat-screen TVs, or other easily damaged items, consider purchasing specialty moving boxes.

For the rest of your belongings, choose boxes that aren’t likely to collapse. (Used cardboard boxes might not be up to the task.) Sturdy cardboard boxes, plastic totes, and suitcases are all good options for preventing damage during your move. Don’t want to purchase new boxes? Renting plastic moving boxes is usually cheaper than buying disposable.

Of course, write “Fragile” and “This End Up” on your boxes whenever applicable, so your moving crew will know to take a little extra care.

Tip #9: Go Sideways

You’ve got the insurance, hefty boxes, and lots of bubble wrap. Time to start throwing stuff in boxes, right?

Not so fast.

The way you pack your things can do a lot towards preventing damage during your move. Pack books upright within the box, just as if you were placing them on a shelf. The same goes for DVDs and CDs in jewel cases; packing them flat can put too much strain on the cases.

Vertical packing is the safest way to pack china plates as well. After wrapping the plates well with bubble wrap or newspaper (or both), stand them on their edges in a strong box.

In all of these instances, put down a layer of crumpled newspaper on the bottom of the box as an extra cushion.

Tip #10: Less is More

When filling your moving boxes, resist the temptation to cram as much as possible into a single box. Packing boxes too tightly can cause delicate items to be crushed, even if they’re well-padded.

While it’s natural to think “big item = big box,” it’s smarter to pack your boxes according to weight, not size. A large box filled with heavy china will need more than one person to lift and they’ll be more likely to drop it. Heavier items should go into smaller boxes, while bigger boxes should be saved for lighter things.

Tip #11: Disassemble First

There’s a few reasons why certain pieces of furniture come pre-assembled: space and damage. Disassembled furniture can be padded more securely, carried more easily, and transported more safely than it can when put together.

Taking your furniture apart makes it lighter and more portable, so you’ll be less likely to drop it or scuff the walls trying to get it out the door. Removing headboards, cabinet doors, and legs make these obtrusive parts easier to wrap up and tuck away, so they don’t damage other items on the truck.

When moving storage pieces (like dressers, armoires, and entertainment centers), remove any drawers or doors and pack them separately. The item will be lighter and you’ll have an easier time transporting it.

But disassembly doesn’t have to be limited to just furniture. Consider taking apart your photos before you move them as well. Remove photos from their frames and store them in separate boxes; if your photo frame is damaged, the broken glass could scratch the photo. Wrap the frame’s glass in plenty of padding and throw some anti-dessicant packs in with the photos if you’re moving in a humid climate.

Protecting Damage To Your Home

Most people are concerned about breaking Great Aunt May’s hand-painted china, but damaging your home (either your old one or your new one) could have serious consequences.

If you’re renting, damage can mean losing your deposit. If you own, scratches in the floor or dents in the wall could leave you on bad terms with the buyers (not to mention on the hook for repairs and replacements if they sue). And, of course, damaging your new place while moving everything in will leave you with (at best) unsightly scuffs or (at worst) a hefty repair bill.

Tip #12: Cover the Floor

People will be coming in and out all day, often over the same areas, so protect your floors from nicks, scrapes, or dirt by laying down flattened cardboard, plastic sheeting, or specialized floor covers such as Ram Board. Tape your floor covers down well to prevent tripping anyone.

If there are any trouble areas (like an unexpected step or a tricky board), mark your floor cover with brightly colored tape so that your moving day crew will know to be extra careful or avoid them.

Tip #13: Lift, Don’t Slide

If you need to move a heavy piece of furniture, don’t slide it across the floor. Heavy furniture can rip or shift even the most sturdy floor coverings and ruin your floor.

Lift or tilt heavy pieces (use plenty of spotters) to set them on dollies or moving pads, then roll or slide the item out to the truck. If you have them, use furniture moving straps. And if you have to slide something large and heavy, use moving pads or furniture blankets.

Tip #14: Padded Walls

No, not that kind.

Take note of any tight corners, intrusive columns, railings, and door frames that a mover might potentially knock against. Pad these spots with moving blankets, cardboard, or even pool noodles that have been cut in half to prevent any scrapes or scuffs.

You can’t pad all of your walls, however, so create an extra layer of protection by padding any sharp edges and corners on your furniture. If you accidentally brush up against a flat expanse of wall, you won’t have to worry.

Tip #15: Use the Right Materials

Your floor and wall padding has to last all day against some heavy stuff and come up at the end of the day without causing more damage than it prevented.

You’ll want to tape it all securely in place using painter’s tape, which is designed to hold tightly and be removed easily. Don’t use duct tape (it’ll be impossible to remove cleanly) or Scotch tape (it’s not strong enough).

Tip #16: Be On the Lookout

It’s difficult to navigate a narrow doorway or a tricky staircase when you’re also carrying a seven-foot-tall armoire.

When you’re moving very large appliances, boxes, or pieces of furniture, use a spotter as a second (or third) pair of eyes to alert you to when you’re about to run into something.

Tip #17: Clean Up

When it comes to preventing damage during your move, think beyond scrapes and scratches. Cleaning up after yourself can protect your home as well.

Leave the doormat where it is for the crew to clean off their shoes before entering back in the house. While the heavily-trafficked areas have floor coverings, the individual rooms probably don’t, so protect the carpet in those areas before you even set foot in the place.

On moving day, have a cleaning kit ready in case anything does happen: some Magic Erasers for any scuffs, paper towels to sop up any spills, and a wood pen to disguise any scratches. Some damage gets worse the longer it sits (like stains!), so it’s best to take care of it as soon as possible.

If your old place is still on the market, there’s no better time to have it fully cleaned (or repainted) than when it’s completely empty. Most cleaning companies have a “move in/move out” package to sweep through (literally!) and get the dirt out of those nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach when there’s furniture in the way. (Bonus: a sparkling house looks much more appealing to potential buyers/renters.)

Preventing Injury During Your Move

“Damage” doesn’t just happen to material things.

Follow these next tips to keep you from injuring yourself during your next move. (Moving expenses are bad enough without hospital bills!)

Tip #18: Get Help

Hiring a moving crew is a smart choice, as you’ll be getting a team of people who can not only work hard, but work well together. Your local professional movers have day-to-day experience lifting things, maneuvering through doorways, and coordinating with each other for a seamless move.

If you decided not to hire a mover, gather a group of trusted friends and don’t be shy about delegating certain tasks. The move will go a lot more smoothly if everyone knows what they’re in charge of.

Of course, injuries can still happen when you’re surrounded by people, so make sure you still exercise caution. Don’t lift more than you can handle (25-50 lbs per person is a good rule of thumb), use a lifting partner if you need it, and use appropriate equipment (like dollies or furniture moving straps) to get things onto the truck.

Tip #19: Dress For the Occasion

You already know not to move wearing your Sunday best, but don’t just grab the first comfy outfit you see in your closet.

Your clothes should be neither too tight nor too loose. Tight clothes will restrict your movements, but baggy clothes can catch on furniture or box corners. Moving can be messy, so don’t wear anything you don’t mind getting dirty (or even torn).

Florida might be known for its casual beachwear, but this is no time for flip-flops. Opt for closed-toed shoes that lace up and provide good traction, such as running shoes.

Tip #20: Take a Break

Rushing through your move won’t get it over with any faster if you end up in the ER.

Moving is hard work, so give your body a rest when you need it. This goes for your moving crew as well (professional or otherwise). Tired movers make more mistakes, so encourage everyone to take a breather when they need to.

Set up a drinks and snack station in a central area so that everyone can stay hydrated and properly fed (a granola bar is not enough to sustain you all day). Whether you hired a professional moving company or not, you’ll probably want to keep lunch “on-site” to save time and keep morale up. A few delivery pizzas will lift anybody’s mood.

Tip #21: Find a Sitter

Preventing injury during your move is as important for your kids and pets as it is to you. Excited youngsters and furry companions can easily be injured if they’re running around underfoot.

If your kids are old enough to help, you can have them carry lighter boxes or act as the spotter. But young children will have a difficult time stay safe amidst all the excitement. Call a friend, family member, or trusted babysitter to take the kids somewhere else for the day.

If that’s not possible, set up a safe, out-of-the-way spot for your kids to play or watch movies without getting in the way. A playpen or a room blocked off with a baby gate (remove all the furniture and boxes first!) will let them get some wiggles out without getting in the way.

If you can’t find a pet sitter for the day, restrict your furry friend to an empty room with access to food, water, and toys or keep them in a crate. Just don’t forget to give them a few yard breaks throughout the day to relieve themselves and burn off some energy.

Conclusion

When it comes to preventing damage during your move, think outside the box. Your home and your body can get hurt during a move just as easily as your possessions.

By taking a few precautionary steps, most forms of damage can be avoided. Just make sure you use the right equipment, identify the most likely culprits, and—as always—use your common sense. Following these 21 tips will make sure that you, your valuables, and your home have the best chance of staying intact.

The post 21 Tips For Preventing Damage During Your Move appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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Every business needs a home. Perhaps that home is in a swanky storefront on Park Avenue; it might be in your garage. But, no matter where your company finds itself, sometimes you find that your location doesn’t feel right anymore. But how should you decide whether or not to move your business?

If you’ve had even a single thought about relocating your business, take a closer look at the idea. In this article, we’ll go over 5 sure signs that you should seriously consider moving your business to another location.

1. Your Business is Growing

Getting that first taste of success is what starts most business owners thinking about changing their address, and for good reason: adding a higher lease or mortgage payment to your list of expenses requires a certain level of business success.

Growing Your Home-Based Business

Plenty of very successful businesses started out in someone’s home: Apple, Amazon, Google, and Disney all started out in garages! But there comes a time when your garage, basement, or spare bedroom just won’t cut it.

Having a separate location can minimize the distractions you have at home (like the temptation to do laundry instead of making that dreaded phone call) and help put you in “work mode.” Commuting to an office every day can provide you with specific working hours, so you can start on time, get more done, and turn your “working brain” off at the end of the day.

Expanding Your Business

Perhaps you’ve already moved out of the garage and onto the next step, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay there forever.

Growing businesses often involve hiring more employees, which is going to require more space. If you’re embarking on a business expansion that will (literally) bring more employees and clients through your door, it just might be a sign that you should move your business to a larger location.

Shaking Things Up

Sometimes it isn’t the size of your business that’s changing, but your business itself.

Every business needs to reinvent themselves from time to time if they’re going to remain relevant, and a new office space can be one great way to accomplish that.

Perhaps you’re changing your brand or company culture and you want a change of scenery to communicate that to your employees and customers. Perhaps you’ve decided to go after a more “upscale” clientele and your location needs to reflect that.

2. The Industry is Changing

You know your business more than anybody else. But do you keep a close enough eye on your industry?

Sometimes your business’s needs are determined by outside factors. If you notice that foot traffic to your children’s clothing store has plummeted while your online sales have skyrocketed, that might be a sign that you need to downsize (or close) your storefront to focus on online-only.

Or perhaps you set up shop in one area of town—because that’s where the rent was cheapest when you were first starting out—but your customers are in an entirely different zip code.

Take a look outside of your business, into the industry as a whole. How well does your company reflect what’s happening in the larger market? If you feel that you’re doing yourself and customers a disservice by staying in your current location, it might be time to move your business elsewhere.

3. You Need More Space

It’s not something you ever want to hear from a significant other, but it’s perfectly fine to tell your office…you need a little more space!

If you’re piling boxes on top of boxes on top of desks, cramming too many employees into one room, or constantly hitting stuff when you push your desk chair back, it might be time to move on to a bigger commercial space. When workplaces are packed too tightly, they can cause disgruntled, unproductive employees, disappointed customers, and even fire hazards.

Don’t forget about your employees and customers when you’re deciding whether or not to move your business. They are what keep you going! If you, your employees, your customers, or your inventory need a little more breathing room, take that as a sign that you need to look at a larger space.

4. You Need Different Features

Business is steady and the company location is…well, fine. But you’re still not satisfied. Or maybe it would be fine if your landlord weren’t so lazy about making repairs and improvements.

It might still be time to move.

Finding the right office space, storefront, or warehouse is like any other house hunt: each business (or family) has its own unique set of needs.

If your current location is lacking in any one area, it might be time to consider moving on. Signing a lease on a building with better tech, internet service, a more convenient location, free parking, a kitchen, a conference room, etc. can make all the difference between a “so-so” business and a “so-successful” one.

5. You Can’t Afford Your Current Location

Mortgage or rent is one of those expenses that can only be improved by moving your business.

You might be able to negotiate a lower phone bill or take steps to become more energy efficient to decrease your utilities, but is there any way you can sweet-talk your landlord into lowering your rent? Doubtful.

Maybe you grew too big, too fast and it’s time to come back down to reality. Or perhaps the economy has changed enough that you can now afford a bigger place for cheaper rent (it happened in the housing market). If you moved into your current location too fast, you probably didn’t have time to look closely at all the options. Maybe taxes are getting out of hand and you’re even considering moving to another state.

If any of these options sounds like you, it might be time to move your business elsewhere. If your lease is expiring soon, all the better, but even if it’s not, do the math. If the savings in rent more than makes up for the cost of breaking the lease, that’s a good sign that you should be relocating your business.

Conclusion

There are lots of reasons you might move, but make sure that you don’t take the leap without thinking it through.

Buying a building or signing a lease are commitments, and you don’t want to stake your entire business on something that might not work out.

Make sure your company is growing consistently before you make a big move. Take your time to look at a variety of different options in a few key locations around town. And, when you’ve finally signed that new lease or deed, don’t forget to call a trusted commercial moving company in your area.

The post 5 Signs It Might Be Time to Move Your Business appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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When most “outsiders” think of Florida, they think of South Florida. The beaches, palm trees, tropical drinks, and thriving nightlife often conjure up thoughts of one city: Miami! But, just one hour north you hit another Floridian gem: West Palm Beach.

In our last article, we looked at Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but this week, we’ll be focusing on Miami vs. West Palm Beach. Both cities have plenty to offer, but there are enough differences to help you find the perfect new hometown for you and your family.

Jobs

Tourism remains the top job industry in Miami.

Tourism remains Miami’s #1 job industry (no surprise there), but being so close to the Caribbean has created an entirely different job sector: international trade and banking. In fact, Miami is home to more than 100 foreign consulates and trade offices. At 5.2%, the unemployment rate is higher than both the national and Florida’s average , so you might want to have a job lined up before you pack. But with more than 147 corporate headquarters, that shouldn’t be a problem. Not a workaholic? Even better! Miami has an unspoken rule against talking about work during your off hours. So if your job is a snooze, as long as you have a cool hobby or fun weekend plans, you can still be the life of the party.

West Palm Beach also relies on tourism for its jobs. In fact, Palm Beach County had a record 7.35 million visitors last year. But technology jobs appear to be the future of the county’s economy. Tourism or tech not your thing? Palm Beach County is home to more than 50 corporate headquarters, including such companies as BurgerFi, Office Depot, and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. West Palm Beach is also in the top 50 on Forbes list of “Best Places for Business and Careers,” so it could be the perfect place to grow your career.

Which City is Right For You?: Whether your field is tourism or international trade, Miami has a lot to offer in the way of jobs. But with its focus on fun and sun over career, Miami is the perfect place for those who don’t want their career to overshadow their personal life. But if you’re looking for a place to grow your career (and your family), West Palm Beach is the better option.

Cost of Living

Miami doesn’t do anything halfway, so it’s no surprise that The Magic City has a high cost of living. The average home price is $282,000 when the average for the entire state is only $207k. And the average 2-bedroom apartment is $2400/month, nearly $1,000 more than the average price in Orlando, according to Rent Jungle. A recent study by Go Banking Rates found that you’d need to make more than $77,000/year to live comfortably in Miami; the median income is only $50,000.

A West Palm Beach zip code doesn’t have quite the prestige of a Miami one, but the overall cost of living is much cheaper. The median home price is only $216k—a steal for waterfront property. Redfin.com listed West Palm beach among its “15 Most Affordable Beach Towns to Buy a Vacation Home.” Miami is on the list, too (with a higher ranking), but Redfin found that West Palm has a lower average home price and larger percentage of waterfront properties.

Which City is Right For You?: This is one choice that your salary will make for you. If you can afford the higher cost of living in Miami, then it might be worth it. If you’d rather have your paycheck go a little further (and you’re willing to forego a little of the “glitz and glamour” that Miami is known for, West Palm Beach will be the best choice.

Lifestyle

Panoramic photo of Miami’s skyline.

The large Latin American population can make living in Miami almost like living in a foreign country. There’s a reason Miami is sometimes known as “The Capital of Latin America“: many neighborhoods are short on shop owners who speak English. (Sounds like the perfect opportunity to brush up on your high school Spanish.) And living this close to the beach, it shouldn’t surprise you that getting that “beach body” is just part of the Miami way of life. (It’s probably way The Magic City frequently grabs the top spot on any “Best Looking City” list.) The tropical atmosphere and “island vibes” mean a more laidback attitude among many residents, so don’t be surprised if your new friends are always late (although maybe that’s due mostly to the traffic).

West Palm Beach, on the other hand, is much cheaper and easier to navigate. Despite both cities having roughly the same size (both are around 54 square miles), West Palm has only a quarter of the population (100,000 residents as opposed to Miami’s 400,000). It has enough nightlife that it doesn’t feel like a small town, but without Miami’s traffic problem. Outdoor lovers will find that there’s plenty to enjoy. Just across the Intercoastal lies Palm Beach, arguably the country’s first “resort town”, and Palm Beach County has the largest number of golf courses in the state (PGA headquarters are nearby).

Which City is Right For You?: If you love all things Latin and love to hit the beach to see and be seen, Miami won’t disappoint. If all those (nearly half a million) people make you feel a little claustrophobic, stick with West Palm Beach.

Things to Do

City Place shopping district in West Palm Beach

Miami is so steeped in Caribbean and Latin American influences that it would be a shame not to dive right in. And what better place to start than Calle Ocho? This free, one-day festival celebrating Latin American culture takes place every year between 27th Avenue and SW 8th Street (hence the name of the festival). The rest of the year, go out and see the history, ecology, and culture that Miami is known for. Built as a summer home for a wealthy industrialist in 1919, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens has been restored and preserved as it was in its heyday. Stroll the lovely grounds, admire the art, or do some moonlit yoga on the lawn. If you have young kids, don’t miss the Zoo Miami, Monkey Jungle, or Miami Children’s Museum. And art lovers will love the Wynwood neighborhood’s art galleries, antique shops, and eclectic restaurants.

While West Palm Beach may have started out as a haven for retirees and snowbirds, the city is definitely on the up and up…and Clematis Street is the epicenter of it all. From amazing restaurants, funky art galleries, antique shops, and the weekly Clematis by Night concert series, you won’t want to leave. And you’re in luck, because there’s plenty of other venues to visit: Art After Dark at the Norton Museum, shop or catch a movie at City Place, see the latest hit musical at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, or pick up some new furniture on Antique Row. And if that’s not enough entertainment for you, there’s always the music festivals: SunFest (every May) and Moonfest (every October).

Which City is Right For You?: Both cities have plenty of opportunities for you to fill up an average weekend, but Miami has a lot more of it. (They have a bigger population, what do you expect?) So if you’re the type that loves to experience something different all the time (extrovert), Miami is more your style. Prefer to stay home more and/or visit the same favorites over and over again (introvert)? West Palm Beach won’t let you down.

Conclusion

Miami has a culture and vibrancy that’s hard to deny: Latin American music and food, a thriving arts scene, and non-stop nightlife. And more than 400,000 residents agree. If you love to be in the middle of the action and are always on the go, Miami truly is The Magic City.

But not everyone is a mover and a shaker. If all the hustle and bustle (and traffic and cost) of Miami scares you, but you still want to live in a place bursting with culture (while staying relatively close to friends in Orlando), West Palm Beach is for you.

Whether you’re moving to Miami or West Palm Beach, call Cento Family Movers for a free quote on your move. We’ve moved Orlando residents all over the country (49 different states!), so a quick drive to South Florida is no problem. We’d love to meet you!

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The post Miami vs. West Palm Beach: Which City is Right For You? appeared first on Cento Family Moving and Storage.

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