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Moving is expensive. There, we said it.  It’s probably not surprising. You’re packing up your belongings, paying for loading, transport to your new home and unloading. And since household goods are heavy, breakable, and valuable, it costs money to move them.

But don’t get discouraged. We’ll tell you how to pack on a budget using a few straightforward guidelines. Before we outline our suggestions, it’s important to understand the factors affecting moving costs.

Moving Estimates – Key Cost Drivers

Professional movers will ask several questions when calculating your moving costs. Some costs will be outside your control, while others can be reduced with cost-savings tactics.

  1. Number of Rooms: The more rooms to move, the higher your cost. You can’t reduce your room count, but you can declutter your space. We’ll share more on that later.
  2. Total Number of Boxes to Move: This ties closely to point one. 20 boxes will cost more than 10.
  3. Who Packs: Full service moves, where the moving company packs, loads, transports, and unloads is at the high-end of the cost scale. This is a cost you can lower if you take on some or all the packing responsibility.
  4. Distance: Just like rental car companies, moving company charges will cover the time the truck is in use, fuel and wear-and-tear. The longer the distance, the higher the cost.
  5. Day / Season of the Move: Summer moves are more expensive due to higher demand. And with leases closing at the beginning or end of the month, movers are busier (and charge more) at these times. You can save money by scheduling a mid-month date.
  6. Accessibility: You may face additional charges if you’re moving into a fifth-floor apartment in a building without an elevator. If the movers can’t park close to your building, you may have to pay a ‘carry-fee’ to cover the extra time to walk from the truck to your new home.
  7. Special Items: If you want to move pool table or an antique bookcase you’ll pay extra. If you’re planning on using a moving company, this is something you’ll want to check on, as some moving companies won’t move these larger/very heavy items due to the risk. 
  8. Insurance for Valuable Items: And if you want insurance coverage about the $0.60 per pound standard rate, you will pay an incremental charge.
Packing on a Budget

When evaluating how to pack on a budget, you can reduce costs by cutting down the number of boxes and handling the packing.

Decluttering to reduce box count

If you’ve finished college and are moving to your first job, decluttering may not take long. Larger households may need all-hands-on-deck to help with this process. Use our 4-choice matrix to help make decisions.

  • Toss It. Boxes of college papers, 12 years of greeting cards, and 35 phone chargers for phones you no longer own can be recycled.
  • Sell It. If you have time, make a little extra cash by selling items you no longer need using a yard sale or online tools like Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon’s Marketplace.
  • Share It. Books you no longer need will be welcomed by local libraries, hospitals, or senior living facilities. Clothes you haven’t worn in a year can find a home through Goodwill, the Salvation Army or other charities. Consider leaving your big appliances behind. The money you save can help you purchase replacements in your new city.
  • Pack It. With your belongings narrowed down, it’s time to start packing.
Packing Tips and Tricks
  • Although friends may give you old boxes for your move, we strongly suggest getting boxes from your moving company. You’ll need boxes with the quality, durability and composition to survive the move.
  • Use soft blankets, towels, t-shirts and sheets for padding and packing. Clean socksinsulate glassware, t-shirts protect dishes, and sweaters pad fragile items.
  • Use existing containers, putting clothing in luggage and electronics in plastic totes or suitcases you already own.
Use the Portland Moving Company With the Lowest Rates Around

Looking for moving boxes in Portland and surrounding areas? We can help. Contact our Smooth Move People experts for information. With the lowest moving rates in the Portland area, we’ll provide a great, budget-friendly moving experience.

The post How to Pack on a Budget appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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Relocating to a new city can be seem like a mental marathon. Where’s the nearest coffee shop? How far do you have to drive to get groceries? Is public transportation an option? Do you need different clothes for the climate?  Whew, — the list seems endless.

One question we can answer for you immediately with a resounding ‘yes’ is that moving to Portland, Oregon is a great idea. And we’re glad you’ve decided to live here. Read on for a few suggestions about diving into the Portland culture, from the food scene and fun activities, to finding your way around the diverse Portland neighborhoods.

Learning the Local Portland Lingo

Every city has a few unique local terms and we want you to have the inside scoop:

  • PDX – this is the airport code for the Portland International Airport, but some people use it when talking about the city. “I know all about PDX.”
  • No’Po – this refers to North Portland, home of the University of Portland, Forest Park, Cathedral Park, and great restaurants along Mississippi Avenue.
  • Mountain’s Out – a short-cut to describe the weather. If the mountain’s out, it’s clear enough to see the nearby peaks of Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams or St. Helens. Our sky is often drizzly and overcast, so ‘mountain’s out’ is a welcome phrase.
  • Freddie’s – when it’s time to stock your fridge and pantry, you’ll likely head to Fred Meyers, also known as Freddie’s, which is essentially Oregon’s upscale version of Walmart.
  • The MAX – short for Metropolitan Area Express, this light rail system connects downtown Portland with several Portland neighborhoods and PDX.
  • The TriMet – short for the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, this agency runs the MAX and the public bus system.
  • And two other important points: Couch Street (through Old Chinatown) is pronounced “cooch” and Naito Parkway is “night-o.”  You’ll thank us later.
Getting Connected to Food, Fans and Fun

Now that you’ve learned a little bit of the language, it’s time to find out why moving to Portland, Oregon was the one of the best decisions you’ve made this year. If you’re app-savvy, download these to get connected to transportation, tours and tasty food:

  • The TriMet website offers several apps for planning travel on public transportation including DabNab and TriMet Go.
  • Public Art PDX guides you to more than 400 works of art in the Portland area.
  • You’re going to get hungry touring the city, and Portland’s famous food trucks offer a bounty of menus. Tap Cart Compass PDX to locate your favorite.
  • And sports fans can track the Trailblazers, Beavers, and Ducks using apps from Oregon Live.
Finding Portland Neighborhoods that Fit You

Portland has 12 distinctive regions where you can live, visit, shop and eat. We’ve highlighted a few of them here that you should check out when moving to Portland:

  • Downtown Portland. Our walkable city features Waterfront Park, the Portland Art Museum, and a summer Farmer’s Market.
  • Pearl District. Northwest of downtown, you’ll find another urban renaissance filled with iconic residential buildings, local businesses, and renowned restaurants.
  • Northwest Portland / Nob Hill. This Portland neighborhood is trendy and sophisticated, home to pet lovers, park walkers, and pub crawlers.
  • Lloyd District. Our Convention Center and the Moda Center (known by locals as the Rose Garden) host visitors, sports fans, and entertainment-seekers.
  • Central Eastside. The east bank of the Williamette River has undergone a renaissance, transforming from a largely industrial area to a vibrant mix of people, businesses and retail shops.
  • Belmont District. Southeast Portland is also home to this diverse urban neighborhood offering great brunches (Portlanders LOVE brunch) and great live bands.
  • Sellwood-Morland. On a bluff in Southeast Portland with a view of the Williamette River, this historic Portland neighborhood offers shops for antique-hunters and trails and parks for nature-lovers.
Moving to Portland, Oregon? We’ve got you covered

We hope we’ve brightened your spirits about moving to Portland, Oregon. We know a move brings a lot of change with it. Contact our team at Smooth Move People. Since we’re locally owned, we know our way around. And we’ll handle the heavy-lifting, so you can immerse yourself in one of the best cities in the U.S. Really! We were ranked #6 by U.S. News.  

The post Moving to Portland, Oregon? Here’s How to be a Local in no Time appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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Now that the residential movers have finished unloading your belongings, it’s time to get settled. We’ve put together suggestions to help, but first, take time to congratulate yourself!

Moving to a new city isn’t a slam-dunk. It takes courage, planning, money, and energy. You’ve made it. Settling in means getting your new home in order, locating community support, and establishing new connections, here are some of our best tips to get settled now that your move is complete.

Organize Your New Home

A top priority is making sure your all your belongings arrived damage-free. Then you’ll need to ensure your house is functioning to provide you and your family with a safe home.

  1. Check electronics and appliances (if you moved them). Portland movers and insurance companies will take reports and process any damage claims.
  2. Inventory your furniture and boxes. Here, too, if you have any missing or damaged items, contact your residential mover and homeowner’s insurance company for reimbursement.
  3. Confirm utility accounts (gas, electric, cable/satellite, water/sewer) are in your name, that your mail has been forwarded correctly, and any extra services such as trash pick-up (including trash/recycling containers) or home security systems are set up.
  4. Do a thorough walk-through of your house to learn its set-up. Locate and check the labels on the fuse box to confirm how the house is wired. Find the main water shutoff. Check for unexpected leaks, infestations or damage, especially if your house has been vacant.
  5. Update your security by changing the locks on exterior doors, checking window closures, and installing smoke detectors on each floor. Consider adding a carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguishers to your house and garage.
Find Your Community Resources

After you’ve unpacked essential items in the most-used areas — your bedroom, bath and kitchen, it’s time to head out and become a resident in your new city. 

  1. If you’ve made a long-distance move, you’ll need a new driver’s license and will need to register your vehicle.
  2. Stop by your local city or township hall to register to vote. Local governments often have welcome packets with useful information for newcomers, like the location of the library, parks and recreation services, and community events.
  3. Families with children will need to register with the school district. If you’ve moved during the summer, talk with the school administrator about scheduling a tour for your child(ren) and meeting teacher(s) prior to the fall start.
  4. Take a walk or drive around your neighborhood to find other useful resources: grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, post office, and police and fire departments. Look for personal essentials like the coffee shop, gas station, dry cleaners, and shopping areas.
Get Connected with Others

In the first few weeks after your move, begin building relationships. Most people like to help newcomers become part of the community, so don’t be reluctant to ask questions.

  1. Neighbors and work colleagues will have suggestions for physicians, dentists, veterinarians and even hair stylists. They’ll be resources for learning about the local culture including museums, restaurants, and sports teams. And you’ll get tips on the best routes to use when traveling to work, school, and area attractions.
  2. Local philanthropic organizations like churches, the YMCA, or the United Way can also help you become connected to others in your community.
  3. Local schools or universities will have websites with calendars of activities, clubs to join, and special events.
Reliable, Helpful Movers in Portland

If you need a professional Portland mover for short or long distance moves, contact our team at Smooth Move People. We’ll take the worry out of your move, so you can focus on settling in.

The post 12 Things to Do After Moving to get Settled in a New City appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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You want to move to Portland, but have heard stories about the long months of darkness and rain in Oregon. While those stories aren’t exactly fictitious, we wanted to give you some facts regarding Portland weather and rainfall. Smooth Move People is here to shed some light on the issue, so you have a clearer picture–pun intended–of how much it rains here in Portland, Oregon.

How Much Does it Rain in Oregon?

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t rain in Oregon as much as you probably think it does. Annually, Portland gets about 43 inches of rain. You might be thinking, “Wow, that seems like a lot!” And while it is a decent amount of rain Tallahassee, Florida, Port Arthur, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana, all get more rainfall than Portland does, with an average of 61 inches of annual rain for both Tallahassee and Port Arthur, and an average of 62 inches for New Orleans.

But the wettest city in the United States may surprise you. Mobile, Alabama comes in at number one with an average of 67 inches of rain a year. So yes, it rains a lot in Portland, but not the downpours you might be picturing. The 43ish inches of rain happen in Portland over an average of 154 days, whereas the 62 inches of rain in Mobile happens over about 59 days. When it comes to rain in Oregon, think drizzle, not downpour.

The Rain Doesn’t Hold Portlanders Back

Still not convinced the rain isn’t all the bad? Portland has an average of 144 sunny days a year, so there’s plenty of time to get your bike rides and hikes in when it’s sunny. The rainiest month is typically November. A little bit of rain when it’s snowing elsewhere? We’ll take it! All around, Portland’s weather is mild and comfortable, if a little bit misty. The good news is that if you don’t want to venture outside in a sprinkle, there are plenty of indoor activities throughout the city and larger region to keep you entertained during the rainy months. In fact, the rain in Oregon doesn’t stop us from having fun. Don’t believe us? There’s even an entire website dedicated to rainy day indoor activities.

Of course, there are always plenty of coffee shops to duck into and enjoy while you wait for a break in the weather, and there’s nothing cozier than a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate on a gray day. If beer is your beverage of choice, we’ve got you covered there too.

Your Portland Movers

Rain or shine, Portland is an amazing place to live, and if you’re moving here from near or far, Smooth Move People is the moving company to do it. Schedule your move here, and let us be the first to welcome you to Portland.

After you’ve scheduled your move, read our blog post on how to fit in to your new home.

The post Portland Weather: How Much Does it Rain in Oregon? appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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At this point, there’s a good chance you’re almost there: you’ve purchased your new home, sold your current home, and have a new school picked out for the kids. Now there’s just one critical step left: the actual move.

You’ve taken care of all those major steps you need to cover in a long distance move, but often the most  mistakes are made on the simplest things. We’ve been moving people for 29 years, so we’ve seen many of these mistakes.

Whether you’re moving from Portland to Eugene, Seattle, or Boise, here are some of the most common mistakes, so you can avoid them for your next long-distance move:

1. Forgetting to Bring an Overnight Bag

A lot can happen over the course of your long-distance move – movers aren’t perfect. In rare cases, unexpected delays come up in the move. Or, more likely, everything will be delivered right on time, and you might not want to unpack all those boxes just to find a pair of clean underwear.

Bring yourself a weekend bag, as well as things for your family, to hold you over for a night or two: flashlights, pajamas, toys for the kids, toiletries, etc. Better to be prepared with a tooth brush and deodorant, then to be without for several days.

2. Forgetting Mover’s Insurance

Before your move, be sure to check your mover’s insurance. Depending on who you use, it may cover partial damage, total, or none at all. You don’t want to find this out when it’s too late.

Or, your homeowner’s insurance may cover certain aspects of damage. Some policies don’t cover items in transit, so that’s an important one to check. Either way, many moving companies offer different packages for insurance, just do your diligence and find out what’s available.

Read: Tips for Fitting in Portland When You First Move Here

3. Forgetting Things the Movers Don’t Move

Certain things will be transported by your moving company, others are left to the homeowner to take care of. For things like wine collections, firearms, or items like a BBQ, double check with your movers who will be moving what. After all, those items may not be very comfortable to drive with across for long distances.

4. Not Properly Moving Plants

For one, not all plants can move throughout the country. Some conflict with existing species, or may bring in certain pests and insects. You’ll want to check with the USDA if you’re bringing many collections, or a large plant.

If the plants are cleared by the USDA, you should think about moving them yourself – living plants don’t do so well in a dark moving truck. 

5. Not Planning a Giveaway or Yard Sale

Here in Portland, we too often see piles of clothes, magazines, bedroom furniture, etc., on the side of the road. These “free piles” are very nice to stumble across, but not to stare at if you’re one of the neighbors. Plan a yard sale or a re-gifting weekend well before you start packing.

6. Not Telling the Right People You’re Moving

Who needs to know that you’re about to embark on a long-distance move? Do all your friends on social media need to know that you’re relocating from Portland to Boise? What about casual or professional acquaintances, people such as hair stylists or baristas? Do they need to know you’re leaving?

Aside from your family, only those with whom you have a business relationship need to know you’re moving. People like a landlord and companies such as utilities and of course your long distance moving company.

However, you’ll almost certainly want to tell more people about the change you’re about to make. In some ways, moving from Oregon to Washington or Idaho is no different than moving from Tigard to the Hawthorne District. Either way, you need to get organized before the moving van rolls up to your home.

But, moving to a far-flung area does present particular challenges. First, you’ll need to find a reliable long-distance moving company in Portland. Experience and dependability are vital in a long distance mover because your belongings may be on the road or in storage for quite awhile.

Smooth Move has you covered. We’re both a local and long distance moving company in Portland. We keep you informed as your items make their way to your new home. So, count on us to do the packing and moving, while you take care of all the other details of your move.

Who should you tell about your long distance move?

Who needs to know that you’re about to embark on a long-distance move? Do all your friends on social media need to know that you’re relocating from Portland to Boise? What about casual or professional acquaintances, people such as hair stylists or baristas? Do they need to know you’re leaving?

Aside from your family, only those with whom you have a business relationship need to know you’re moving. People like a landlord and companies such as utilities and of course your long distance moving company.

However, you’ll almost certainly want to tell more people about the change you’re about to make. In some ways, moving from Oregon to Washington or Idaho is no different than moving from Tigard to the Hawthorne District. Either way, you need to get organized before the moving van rolls up to your home.

But, moving to a far-flung area does present particular challenges. First, you’ll need to find a reliable long-distance moving company in Portland. Experience and dependability are vital in a long distance mover because your belongings may be on the road or in storage for quite awhile.

Smooth Move has you covered. We’re both a local and long distance moving company in Portland. We keep you informed as your items make their way to your new home. So, count on us to do the packing and moving, while you take care of all the other details of your move.

Who should you tell about your long distance move? Start here:

TELL YOUR FAMILY FIRST

Everyone in your immediate family should be in on the initial decision to move. Even small children can be included in the discussion. A move, particularly one that takes them far from home, is confusing for kids.

One way to ease a child’s anxiety is to listen to concerns and address them early on. Most people move for a job or to be near family. These are reasons even young kids can understand.

After everyone in your household is up-to-date on the move, it’s time to tell other close family members. Anyone who is directly affected, such as those with whom you spend time, needs to know of your move.

BOOK WITH YOUR MOVING COMPANY EARLY

Contact your Portland long-distance moving company as soon as you know the time of your move. Careful scheduling is one key to a less stressful move. Arranging the move well in advance gives you a good chance to get the moving date you need. Waiting until the last minute risks complicating the move and multiplying your worries.

TALK TO FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS

Tell close friends soon after you tell your family. In some cases, friends are the same as family. They’ll certainly feel the impact of your move, so let them know right away.

Tell more casual friends about your move when it seems natural. Friends can help you by recommending a good long distance moving company or other professional services you might need. For example, before your move, you may need to make some home repairs. Ask for suggestions for a good handy person.

Let neighbors know about your move. Even if you’re not close, it’s courteous to let them know you’ll be moving soon. If you’re selling a home or having a garage sale, these are situations that can affect them. Let them know about a week before events that could disrupt parking or privacy.

CALL YOUR LANDLORD OR REAL ESTATE AGENT

Most rental property owners want at least 30 days notice of a move. All will appreciate more time. If you’re selling a home, get in touch with a real estate agent early.

A real estate agent can advise you about home repairs and paperwork you may need to complete before putting your home on the market. They can help you find other professionals such as painters or home remodelers, too.

With a long distance move, your home may remain on the market even after you’ve relocated to another town or state. In that case, you’ll depend on your real estate agent for all sorts of things. Spend time finding the right person for the job.

GIVE YOUR EMPLOYER ENOUGH NOTICE

Tell your workplace about your move at least two weeks before you’re leaving. Your employer may appreciate more notice, especially if you need to be around to train a replacement. Your position and relationship with your company dictate the decision about when to tell people at work you’re leaving.

GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Government agencies need to know about your move. Don’t rely on a postal change of address to notify state or federal departments of a move.

Make a list of all the different official offices with which you deal such as the IRS and Secretary of State offices. Go online or call each to learn the requirements for notification.

It may seem like a hassle to call each place, but it will be even more complicated if you run afoul of the rules. Plus, taking care of everything in advance ensures you can avoid hangups when it’s time to vote or prepare taxes.

CONTACT YOUR CHILDREN’S SCHOOL

Let schools know when your kids will be leaving. You’ll need to take care of paperwork and ensure your children’s records are sent to their new schools.

CHECK WITH THE DMV IN YOUR NEW LOCATION

The DMV requires notification soon after you move. In Oregon, notify the DMV of an address change within 30 days after a move. Washington state DMV requires notice of a new address within 10 days of your move.

Most address changes can be taken care of online. But, if you’re moving from Oregon to Washington or another state, you’ll most likely have to go to the DMV in person to get a new driver’s license or ID card. You’ll also need new license plates for your vehicle. Waiting risks getting a ticket and a fine.

CALL SERVICE COMPANIES

Notify your utility companies, internet and cable companies ahead of your move. Make arrangements to cancel service in your old home and start services in your new home. Call when you know your moving date. You’ll avoid late fees and give yourself peace of mind when you take care of your services promptly.

FILL OUT A CHANGE OF ADDRESS WITH THE POST OFFICE

Fill out a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service. Standard forwarding may be adequate, but you can also pay for premium services.

YOUR DOCTORS, GYM, HAIR SALON AND OTHER SERVICES

A fitness club or other business that charges by the month needs to know about your move. Give them about 30 days notice. If you’re a regular at a salon, coffee house or another type of shop, you’ve probably built a friendly relationship with the owner and staff. It is good to say goodbye.

Let your physicians, dentists, and other health professionals know about your move. You can either get copies of medical records before you move, or ask them to send copies once you find a new doctor.

There’s no need to announce your move on social media, and there are compelling reasons to be discreet and protect your privacy. Once your long distance move is complete you can mention you’re in a new town. Be careful about revealing private information online.

Smooth Move People is a full-service moving company that can help you relocate anywhere in Oregon, Washington and beyond with our long distance moving services. Send us a note or call us at (503) 232-6099.

Check out this moving checklist for not just long-distance moves, but all moves in general.

The post Avoid Long Distance Moving Mistakes appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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Your furniture is an investment, and when you move, expenses add up left and right. You don’t want to have to add buying new furniture to the list of rising costs because your drawers fell out of your dresser and broke mid-move or your white couch brushed up against a dirty car or, as is incredibly common in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, it’s raining and your beautiful oak sideboard. Here’s how to pack furniture properly and protect your upholstery from tearing and glass from breaking when you’re moving.

Pack Furniture Properly with the Right Supplies

Your move will be shaky from the beginning if you are only armed with boxes and packing tape. An essential packing supply that is often overlooked, is plastic shrink wrap. This is essentially what you’d use to wrap leftovers in, just much, much bigger in size. The great thing about this stretch wrap is that it when applied to dressers or cabinets, it protects drawers from falling out or doors from opening and banging into things. Additionally, if you accidentally scrape a wall when moving a clunky piece of furniture, your wall and furniture are protected. No extensive wall and furniture repairs.

Don’t skip the bubble wrap either. While you may feel like this is an unnecessary extravagance pushed by the packing conglomerates, bubble wrap is one of those items that feels indispensable after you’ve wrapped your glasses, vases, even your picture frames. Broken glass is a frustration you don’t need on a day where tensions can already be running high. Take the right steps to prepare before you even start to pack furniture, and you’re already on the right track.

Clean and Disassemble Furniture

You might be thinking “why would I clean and take apart my furniture before I move it when I can save time by not taking it apart at all?” You should take apart any piece of furniture that can be disassembled safely and easily, because not only will it be easier to move, it will be easier to protect with the aforementioned supplies. Cleaning the furniture before you move means you won’t be moving the dirt from your old place to your new one.

To keep your furniture pieces together and and make it easier on you in the moving process, here are a few easy tips to follow when taking apart your furniture:

  • Do the disassembling ahead of time. This way you aren’t under a time constraint, and can focus fully on the task.
  • If you still have the owner’s manual, and can locate it, consult it to ensure that you’re taking apart your furniture the right way.
  • Collect your screws in a sealable plastic bag and tape it to your furniture so when you get to your new home, you aren’t missing the essential pieces necessary to put your furniture back together. Otherwise, the disassembly of your furniture to make it easier to move is kind of negated by missing screws.
When in Doubt, Call Professional Portland Movers

If you’re struggling with the idea of wrapping and packing your furniture so that both your walls and your furniture is protected, consider calling in the pros. Professional moving companies like Smooth Move People can pack your things and load your truck for you. While we can’t speak for the other guys, here at Smooth Move People, we are really, really good at protecting your belongings. By having us pack for you, you can avoid all of the stress that’s usually associated with packing up your entire home.

On the other hand, if this blog post has left you feeling confident and ready to take on the packing process to protect your furniture, we can provide you with all of the supplies you’ll need to get your furniture ready to move safely. We have everything you’ll need to leave your walls unscathed and your furniture un-dented.

Portland, Oregon Moving Company

If you’re moving soon and want to pack furniture correctly so it’s protected from careless movers or well-meaning friends, call Smooth Move People today. We can handle every aspect of your move so it’s as stress-free as possible. We have the lowest rates and highest quality service around.

The post How to Pack Furniture When Moving appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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If you’ve decided to take the plunge and move to Portland, OR, you already know that you’re headed to one of the most vibrant and fastest growing cities in the United States. But if you’ve got a cross country move ahead of you, you may not be feeling as excited about the process as you once were. Here’s how to move all the way to Portland, no matter what part of the country you’re coming from:

Let Go

One of the first things that you’ll realize when you have to arrange a long move, is that most of your items aren’t irreplaceable. Other than heirlooms and a few sentimental items, anything that you aren’t attached to, can be sold, donated, or given away if you can afford to do so. Less items will reduce your moving costs, and give you one less headache to worry about. Not to mention less things to unpack when you arrive in Portland.

Delegate Tasks

If you’re juggling transferring your job, the kids’ school registrations, new rental agreements, and mountains of other paperwork in addition to your daily routines, you may be feeling overwhelmed, and rightly so. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all. Delegate packing to your moving company, who will not only ensure that your items are packed safely, but can also perform this task with expert efficiency so your items take up less space in the moving truck, as well as less space in your mind.

Consider Short Term Solutions to the Big Problems

One of the things that people face with a cross country move is the fact that it’s hard to make big decisions when you aren’t there in person. For example, can you truly choose a home you love with photos over the Internet? One easy way to get yourself moved without the stress is to choose short-term sublets, which give you the freedom to then look for long-term solutions at your own pace when you arrive.

Let Smooth Move People Help with Your Cross Country Move

Hiring a company like Smooth Move People to help you with your move to Portland is the best way to keep the entire cross country move stress-free. We work with you from start to finish, packing, loading, moving, and unloading all your belongings. You can focus on the million other things you have to do to pull off this big life change. Contact Smooth Move People today and relax knowing you and your move are in expert hands.

The post How to Move to Portland from the Other Side of the Country appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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Packing can be such complicated process. It’s filled with so many questions like, “How did I acquire so many things?” or “Why didn’t I clean out my fridge after I spilled those meatloaf leftovers eight months ago?” Luckily for you, we’re here with some advice and tricks to help you pack some of the trickiest items: books. (You’re on your own with the fridge, sorry.)

Tips for Packing Books

You’d think packing books would be fairly straightforward. How hard can it be to stick a bunch of rectangular objects in a box, right? However, if you start your book packing process willy-nilly, you’ll end up with ripped dust jackets and damaged corners. While that might add character to your books, it makes for terrible resale value if you were planning to get those to Powell’s later.

If you are a seasoned Portlander or are just moving here from out of state and wanted to get a head start on blending in with the locals, you most likely have a fair amount of books. Keep in mind that when all stacked together, books tend to get very heavy, very quickly. A good rule of thumb is no more than thirty books to a box. Smaller, sturdier boxes with fewer books will help ensure the bottom of your box doesn’t suddenly fall out while also making it easier for your movers to load and unload into the truck.

If you are very attached to your books, an extra step you can take before starting to pack them up is to line your boxes with plastic. Butcher paper, and of course packing paper can work well for this step, but it’s best to avoid newspaper as the newsprint can rub off on your books.

Packing Hardbacks

You might think that you’d need to lay your books down horizontally in your box to pack them snuggly, but with hardbacks, you can put them side by side like you would on a bookshelf, with the spines down and the pages facing up. Make sure to pack them tightly so that they’re protected, but no so tightly that they’re impossible to get out of the box once you’ve arrived at your new place. If you have some valuable hardcover books that you want to take special care with, feel free to wrap the books individually with packing paper prior to putting them in the box.

Packing Paperbacks

Paperbacks can be packed similarly to hardcovers following the same rules, but since paperbacks are softer, their pages are more prone to bending or tearing. Paperbacks can be stacked in your box horizontally too. This option works best when your books fill the width of the box completely as well as all the way to the top. This prevents the books from sliding around in transit. If you need to fill a gap in your box, feel free to put some books in vertically, just remember the spines down, pages up tip. If there’s space left over at the top, wadded up paper works well too.

Finally, if the thought of your books possibly being harmed in your packing process makes your heart drop, consider using our professional packing services. With 29 years of experience, we’ve got you–and your books–covered.

The post How to Pack Books for Moving appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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Halloween is one of the prime days for DIY projects – some of the most inventive costumes are usually built by hand.

There’s one material that can be integral to an amazing costume, and it isn’t face paint: it’s the cardboard box.

If you’ve just moved, then, fortunately, you probably have plenty of them lying around. Even if you don’t, then we’ll go ahead and send you one. Why? Because some of the most amazing costumes can come from a cardboard box.

Kids

Spongebob Squarepants. This one is a no-brainer. Paint and a box with a few cuts and you are pretty much there. It also helps if you have a friend that looks like a starfish.

The Rubix Cube. This is one of the more common costumes because of course, the Rubix Cube is timeless. You get the best effect when you use black masking tape for the lines, and color poster board on the sides. You can use suspenders to hang the cube – we recommend dropping it under the arms, so your child has free range of motion.

The Dinosaur. Another sure winner for your child, the dinosaur costume is fun and easy to make. You’ll need three boxes total—two small and one large—and then we prefer using white foam for the teeth. You can find the full instructions here.

The LEGO Piece. As you can imagine, the LEGO piece is one of the more popular costumes, especially given the recent success of the films. This one’s rather simple: spray paint a box (be sure to use multiple coats), then cut out some circles to paste on the front. Voila!

Adults

The iPhone. The iPhone costume to the adult is like the LEGO for the child: ever popular and not too difficult to make. The most fun part is that you can choose which apps to show on the front, which can be great conversation starters with people you come across.

Barbie and Ken. The ideal cardboard box costume for couples: you do need to find a box though that is big enough to go from about the knee to well over the head, much like how the dolls are actually packaged.

Optimus Prime. This one is for those who really go above and beyond come Halloween time. The Optimus Prime costume does require a few more materials besides the box, but the getup is entirely doable and will gain a ton of positive attention.

Now, best of luck putting your costumes together. And of course, we wish you a Happy Halloween from Smooth Move People!

The post Halloween Costumes with Just One Item: A Cardboard Box appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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Moving to Portland from Salt Lake City isn’t quite the jump of, say, coming from New York City or small town Missouri. It is still a leap though–given that no two cities are the same–and newcomers can always use some words of wisdom before landing.

We wanted to give you a few important tips and get your biggest questions answered before you move from Salt Lake City to the City of Roses.

1. Don’t fear the rain

The biggest knock on Portland–being the rain–isn’t too big of a deal at all. Yes, it rains or is cloudy for a majority of the year. We have the silver lining, though: one, Portland is a remarkably beautiful city, even in the rain; and two, the year-round climate is pleasantly mild (for the most part), at least more so than other cities.

Not to mention, there’s tons of stuff to do on a rainy day, including some hikes that are even more gorgeous with a foggy backdrop.

2. Get ready for the ocean

Leaving Salt Lake, you are losing your super easy accessibility to the mountains for snowboarding. However, the iconic Mt. Hood is just a 90-minute drive from Portland, making for an entirely doable day trip for hitting the slopes.

Portland’s far closer to the Pacific Ocean than landlocked Salt Lake City, giving you opportunities to explore and enjoy the great ocean. You can add surfing and bodyboarding to your repertoire of outdoors skills.

3. Enjoy denser neighborhoods

Portland has a significantly larger population density than Salt Lake City. While part of that is due to the big population boom of late, it’s also a result of Portland’s innovative urban growth boundary, which has prevented urban sprawl.

The good news is that the city is incredibly bike-friendly, and everything within the metro area is easy to reach. Not to mention, there’s a reportedly large number of Salt Lake City transplants that live here, so you might bump into someone you know!

4. Slow down a few notches

We know the driving habits in Salt Lake City – how speed signs mean to go 5 m.p.h. faster and the drivers generally treat highways like NASCAR races. Portland moves at a different pace, though – one that’s much slower. Once you’re on the Doug Fir-lined highways with breathtaking views, the speed reduction might not be such a bad thing.

5. Experience the nightlife

Salt Lake City has a good selection for entertainment, but many who move here will comment on Portland’s edge for nightlife. Not like it’s a competition, but you do have a greater range of evening activities, from enjoying upscale shows at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall to catching the rising rock stars at the Doug Fir Lounge. On top of that, you’ve got some of the best restaurants and breweries in the entire country, all within arm’s reach here.

So there you have it – our five biggest tips for making the big move from Salt Lake City to Portland. We know you’ll love living here.

And of course, if you need a moving company, we hope you use Smooth Move People as your long distance movers.

The post Your Guide for Moving from Salt Lake City to Portland appeared first on Smooth Move People.

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