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It’s almost time for your big move, and you’re feeling pretty confident about everything but the concept of having to pack a moving truck. This is understandable! If you’ve never done it before, packing a moving truck can feel like a daunting task. Luckily, we’re here with the packing tips you need to make the process easier and more streamlined.

| Prepare in Advance

Whether you’re going across the country or the state, these packing tips will help you move as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Save yourself from scrambling for the equipment you need by getting ready to pack the truck in advance. This means having all your materials where you can reach them and have easy access to them on moving day. While you’ll want to add to or edit the materials according to your unique move, this generally means you’ll need the following:

Packing tape. Packing tape is heavy-duty enough to seal boxes and hold padding over furniture together.

Paper padding. Fill empty spaces in moving boxes and wrap up delicate items with paper padding.

Blankets. It’s a great way to prevent scratches and scrapes on table tops and other furniture.

A dolly. This is helpful for moving heavy boxes and large items.

Straps. Straps are essential for holding furniture together and preventing it from shifting during transport. They can also be used to stabilize tall items like dressers and bookshelves.

Large tarps. Tarps can be used to cover the floor of the truck and keep furniture from getting dirty, dented, or scratched.

| Pack Must-Have Items Separately

If you are moving long-distance, consider the items you will need during your drive to your new home, as well as what essentials you’ll need access to while unpacking. Keep must-have items from getting lost by packing them separately and storing them in the cab of the truck.

These may include: spare changes of clothing, toiletries, pet essentials, medication, children’s toys and snacks.

You can also pack a first night box to include items like your coffee pot, bedding, and some basic kitchen supplies to make the first 24 hours easier among the mountains of boxes. If you have someone helping you move, you can also stash these items in their car or personal vehicle.

Place Heavier Items at the Front of Truck

If you’re moving appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators, pack them first and put them in the front of the truck. Line them up along the entire front of the cab and make sure they’re stabilized with straps if need be. Cover them with tarps or paper padding to prevent scratches and discoloration.

| Place Desks and Tables Down the Center

Once you’ve loaded all your appliances and heavy household items, it’s time to start the “I” formation. Starting in the middle of the appliance lineup, pack desks, dining room tables, and anything similar. In the spaces beneath them, add boxes filled with heavy items like books.

Pro Tip: Stabilize these items with straps and padding, if needed.

Mattress and Box Spring on the Left Side

Next, place your mattresses, box springs, and other large cushions (futon cushions are a great example) along the left side of the truck, up against the wall. Be aware that these things are very likely to shift during transport. Straps and moving anchors will keep them tucked tightly up against the wall. Keep them neat and orderly by sliding them in on their edges, rather than laying them down on their faces. Mattress bags are a great investment to protect the cleanliness of your textiles.

Add Heavy Boxes in the Back

Heavy boxes should be the last items you pack and should go along the back of the truck, to complete the “I formation.” Keep these boxes small and ensure they’re well-labeled and packed tightly. If there is extra space in any of the boxes, fill it with packing paper so they don’t have room to shift during transport. If there’s additional space between the boxes, you can fit miscellaneous items behind and around them. This is also a great place to put anything you’ll need immediately upon your arrival, as it will be easy to access once you arrive at your new place.

| Packing Sofas and Couches

Sofas and couches should tuck along the right side of the truck, opposite the mattresses and box springs. Start by adding the sofa on the bottom level, and then packing anything similar up above. Secure it with straps to prevent it from falling over in transit.

Since the items in the middle of the truck are relatively low, don’t go too high with this stack. Instead, use it to house your accent and dining chairs and other sitting items in your home.

| Pack and Label Your Fragile Items

If you’re bringing fragile items along on your big move, pack them into the truck last. They should sit above everything else in your truck – where they have the least risk of getting crushed or shifted around by larger items. Be sure to pad any space in these boxes to prevent breakage. You’ll want to secure them from shifting and how you do this will depend on the size and contents of your fragile box, and the space it may be shifting around in.

Pack Like the Pros

Whether you’re transporting fragile items you don’t want to break, or you simply want to enhance your packing game, these smart packing tips will help you pack a moving truck safely and securely, and ensure you get where you’re going with few issues.

Need help moving to your new space but don’t want to handle packing the truck on your own? Contact Colonial Van Lines for services including packing, loading and storage.

The post How to Pack a Moving Truck Like a Pro appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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You’ve hired a moving company, and you’re preparing for the big cross-country move. There’s no better time to go through your things. While there are many things you’ll need to remember to pack; there are also a few things you won’t want to pack. Here are our top five packing tips for this big transition.

Tip #1: Safety First

Packing tips 101: always be safe.

If there’s anything that comes to mind while you’re packing up your home for the moving company that makes you stop and think, it’s probably too dangerous to pack. Things like firearms, fireworks, explosives, and toxic substances should be on your no-go list.

If you have firearms you want to leave behind, check with your local police department. Many cities will collect your unwanted guns, no questions asked. Whatever you do, don’t leave them unattended when you’re packing up your home, especially with small children. You want to protect against any accidents.

Should you happen to have any hazardous material in your possession, check to see if there’s a nearby chemical recycling company that could help you properly dispose of the items. Best to get rid of them before you move, so you don’t have to try and figure out what to do with them while you’re working to get settled in a new city. In general, some things that moving companies won’t pack include:

  • Acid
  • Sterno
  • Darkroom Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Motor Oil
  • Gasoline
  • Charcoal
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Fertilizer
  • Paints
  • Car Batteries
  • Ammunition
  • Kerosene
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Chemistry Sets
  • Fireworks
  • Paint Thinner
  • Loaded Weapons
  • Weed Killer
  • Ammonia
  • Lamp Oil
  • Propane

If you do have these items, either properly dispose of them or see if a neighbor can use them. Make yourself familiar with shipping restrictions, too. The United States Postal Service publishes a list online of things that are illegal to ship. Be sure you review the list to ensure compliance if there are any boxes that you’ll be sending to your new home.

Tip #2: Perishable and Non-Perishable Food

Chances are you’ve probably got a pantry full of canned goods and non-perishables that have been sitting around collecting dust. The hassle of packing, moving, and unpacking those is often not worth it for some of those items that will continue to collect dust in your pantry. Instead of just throwing them away, consider donating your non-perishable foods to a local food pantry.

We’ve partnered with a local nonprofit, Move for Hunger, that collects non-perishable foods from your home and delivers them on your behalf to a local food bank. Not only does this save you time, but it’s actually an excellent way for you to give back to your community before you move.

In addition to your non-perishables, you’ll want to go through your refrigerator and freezer. This is a great time to do some deep cleaning, throw away expired food items, and really only keep the essentials – but only if your move is relatively local. If not, you’ll just want to dispose of all perishables. Chances are, they won’t be stored properly during the move and won’t be any good.  Trust us, this packing tip can prevent you and your family from contracting a food-borne illness, something  you don’t want to deal with during your big transition.

Tip #3: Important Documents

You most likely have a file container in your home to store important documents. Things like your birth certificates, social security cards, passports, wills, insurance papers, etc. These are documents you wouldn’t want to get into the wrong hands. Plus, you’ll want them handy once you get to the new city, especially for orientation at a new job.

Pro packing tips: Upgrade storage of your sensitive documents to a safe before the move. Find a small one that can organize a handful of important documents and will easily travel with you in the car. You’ll benefit from the added peace of mind, and furthermore, you’ll know exactly where they are when you move into your new home.

Tip #4: Prescription Medications

If you’re on any prescription medications, another excellent packing tip is to talk to your pharmacist about best practices for transporting them. You’ll want to get your prescriptions transferred to a new pharmacy near your new home.

If you have any prescriptions on hand, make sure you transport them in your purse or briefcase. Doing this will ensure they arrive to your new home safely and securely as you’ll be aware of where they are throughout the entire journey.

Tip #5: Valuables

Another great packing tip to remember is to transport your items of value personally. This includes high price value, and those can’t live without sentimental pieces, too.

High-value items might include computers, jewelry, artwork, collections (coins, stamps, etc.). The main packing tip for valuables that we can give you is not leaving these items for the moving company to pack, you eliminate any chance of something happening to them as they’ll be in your personal care.

And don’t forget those sentimental pieces, too. Your old family videos, heirlooms, photo albums, and children’s artwork, to name a few, are irreplaceable. It’s recommended to pack these items in your car, too.

What Can I Pack for the Moving Company?

Whether your moving company is packing for you, or you’ve elected to pack your items yourself, one of the essential packing tips is to declutter and purge.

Your movers may be the most professional, incredible people at their jobs, (if you’ve done your research and found a ProMover) but that doesn’t make them mind-readers. This is the optimal time to weed out all of the stuff in your home that is no longer useful or of value.

Savvy Packing Tips: Don’t give your time, energy or money to move stuff you don’t want. Throw a yard-sale, consign what you can, and give away the rest. We promise you won’t miss all the clutter when you are setting up your new space.

Don’t forget areas like the fridge, garage, attic and shed. It is important to have all those areas covered so you can be ready when the movers arrive. This means your whole house is packed up and prepared for them to swoop in to load the truck and hit the road. Just be aware of what can and can’t be packed and have your plan in place before the big day.

Have questions on packing tips or things that can’t be packed for a moving company? Get in touch us here at Colonial Van Lines and we’ll give you some guidance, and even a free quote.

The post Packing Tips for a Safer Move appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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When friends help you move, it’s the ultimate gesture of loyalty and generosity. Think about it, not only are they waking up early and committing to a long day, but they are sacrificing their time with family. On top of it all, instead of relaxing for the weekend, they are working up a sweat with some tiring manual labor.

6 Tips to Show Appreciation When Friends Help You Move

There’s no better opportunity such as when friends help you move to show your gratitude for your relationship. While there are many ways to thank them, starting with some thoughtful etiquette will go a long way. Here are 6 tips to create a successful operation when friends help you move.

Tip 1. Asking the Right Friends 

When selecting friends to help you move, consider their current situation first. If they have a hectic schedule or juggle a lot of responsibility, they may not be the best candidates for the job. It’s also important to note that you’ll need at least one or two people who are fit to lift heavy weight and maneuver up the truck ramp or flights of stairs (for some.)

Secondly, it is recommended that you give your potential helpers enough time to arrange for the day off or to find childcare, etc. In an alternate perspective, friends may feel put on the spot if you procrastinate. They may feel obligated to commit because of your desperation which is not thoughtful etiquette.

Lastly, it is best only to approach closer friends vs. casual acquaintances. Not only are your good friends less likely to flake, but the closeness of your relationship ensures they’ll complete the job with the care it requires.

It can be a fuzzy line to draw when determining if someone is close enough as a friend to help you move. However, you can eliminate a few with this question: Will moving day be the first time they’ve been invited to your home? If so, it’s a no-go.

Tip 2.  Declutter Your Belongings

Lighten the load and the (burden on your friends’ backs) by decluttering your home before moving day.

Start the process a few weeks before your moving date, and either give away or donate the items you don’t need. If you have items you can’t bear to get rid of but don’t want to move, store them in off-site storage, which will keep them safe until you need them again.

Another option to help lighten the load can be to throw a yard sale and see if you are willing to part with some belongings for the right price. You can use your earnings in several ways that include your friends:

  • Decorate Your Most Popular Hang-out Area
  • Throw a Housewarming Party
  • Cater the Moving Day
Tip 3. Take Care of Packing Yourself

Loading and unloading heavy boxes and moving bulky furniture is enough of a chore for your buddies. It will alleviate some moving-day pressure if your friends don’t also have to manage packing all of your belongings into boxes.

Ideally, this is a task for you to tackle over the course of several weeks leading up to moving day. This is another reason why decluttering a few weeks out is important, so your friends don’t have to determine what stays and what goes.

Overall, it’s best to take the initiative with packing so that moving day can be swift and streamlined for your friends. Ultimately, it will combat confusion which will give your friends peace-of-mind and keep the working-mood positive.

Tip 4.  Get Early Access

If you can get early access to your apartment or new home, take full advantage of it. Instead of waiting until moving day to deploy your horde of friends, make a few solo trips to your new home and move some small items yourself. That way, your friends only have to swoop in for the major items that are hard to move solo.

While you have early access, you can turn on the air to make your new home refreshing for the unloading process. Perhaps you could stock the fridge with beverages they’ll enjoy during break time.

Also, in consideration for the unloading process, it’s a good idea to label boxes or use a color code system so your friends will know where you want them to place items in your new home. This takes the guesswork out of unloading, which your friends will appreciate.

Tip 5. Feed Your Friends

It’s easy to boost morale when friends help you move: feed them. Not only does this provide the nourishment they need to lug those boxes, but it’s also a very tangible way to demonstrate your thankfulness and create a fun atmosphere.

Since your kitchen equipment will be out of commission here are some options to feed your crew on a budget.

Order Pizzas: Ask what your friends’ favorite toppings are and order some combinations based on their preferences. All you’ll need is napkins and paper plates. Add some variety by purchasing some garden salads for a side, if your friends are particularly health conscious.

Sandwich Staples: Keep some party subs covered with upside-down food containers and let your friends snack when the mood strikes. For added convenience, order your subs dry and with packaged condiments handy. This will please they mayo lovers/haters alike.

Pick-up Chinese: Takeout boxes are perfect for moving day. Provide a thoughtful variety of proteins, veggies and some hand-held treats like spring rolls for an effortless moving-day meal your friends will appreciate. Make sure you get a few forks for the “chop-stick challenged.”

Pro-Tip: If you don’t want to break away to pick up food, try a meal delivery app like Grub Hub. They use a third party to deliver restaurant orders to your doorstep. Chances are, there may be one operating nearby.

Tip 6. Keep Pets Contained

Plan to keep furry friends out of the way on moving day. Chances are your pets and your friends get along great, but with the task at hand, pets become a distraction as well as hinder productivity. When your friends are carrying big boxes and navigating large furniture around corners, it’s not safe for a cat or dog to be running between their legs.

Furthermore, it can be burdensome for your friends to constantly have to ensure the doors are closed while making multiple trips. Ultimately, it is best to make arrangements for your pet to visit a helpful friend or relative so you don’t run the risk of them escaping while the door is open.

If friends or family can’t sit for you, consider boarding them for the day in a pet-friendly environment. There are many websites, businesses and apps (such as WAG! )cropping up for pet sitting, so there is a good chance you can find someone in your area.

Thank Your Friends Who Help You Move

Moving is a big job, and no one should have to do it alone.

If you’re are lucky to have a group of willing and able-bodied friends, it’s smart to develop a plan to thank everyone for their assistance. Of course, feeding your friends is always appreciated. However, now you have some additional steps to show your gratitude for their help.

If all else fails in finding help for moving day, you can still hire a professional moving company. Colonial Van Lines will be happy to give you a free quote and help you start planning your move today. Contact our team to learn more!

The post Friendly Etiquette When Friends Help You Move appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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If you’re considering taking a long road trip this summer, you may have conflicting feelings. On one hand, you might be excited about your destination and what you’ll do for fun. On the other, being confined to the car with family or little ones is understandably anxiety-producing. While a long road trip has the potential to be challenging, there are steps you can take to drop the dreadful parts.

Make a Long Road Trip Fly By With These Tips

These 8 survival tips will ensure the experience is more enjoyable and relaxing for everyone. Whether you’re visiting relatives or sight-seeing in some beautiful part of the country, a road trip can be an absolute blast if you have a couple tricks up your sleeve.

Tip 1. Vehicle Cleaning and Maintenance

While this does add some time and effort to the preparation process, cleaning your vehicle is an essential task. You’ll need all the space you can get for luggage, food, entertainment etc., so decluttering and de-gunking your car is a great start.

While cleanliness will boost moral to a degree on your trip, a broken down car will not. For this reason, it’s a good idea to schedule your vehicle’s maintenance before your trip.

The mechanic should check the car’s fluid levels, breaks, tires, and anything else that could give you a problem on the road. Ensure your spare tire is inflated and in good shape. It’s also good to have emergency essentials such as jumper cables.

Pro-tip: Keep a can of cola on hand to dissolve corrosion that builds up on your battery. We swear it works.

Tip 2. Allow Time for Delays

Summer is two things: peak travel season and peak road work season. As a result, you can expect that delays will happen during your trip.

Prevent additional stress and make travel easier by allowing some buffer time for these delays in your schedule. A good rule of thumb is to have a flexible 30-minute window for all points along your destination.

Some smart ways to allow for delays include making a “Plan B” for your accommodations, and researching where the next services are on the road. This prevents you from getting into a tight spot with dinner or lodging if delays do happen.

Pro-tip: Traffic apps such as Waze can help you foresee major road blockages as reported by other users. This foresight can help you devise a backup route if necessary.

Tip 3. Consider Taking the Backroads

If you’ve got kids in the car, consider keeping them entertained by getting off the highways and checking out the scenic routes. Country and small-town areas offer unique attractions, specialties and roadside stops that can make for some truly interesting memories.

Before you plan your trip, check out Time’s list of the top 50 American roadside attractions and make a plan to visit a few. While these funky little attractions may seem like a diversion, they’re a great way make richer memories as you travel the miles.

Tip 4. Entertainment On-the-Go

If you’ve got kids in the car, (or a buddy with the attention span of one,) be sure to bring along plenty of books, puzzles, games, and media to keep them busy.

If your car doesn’t have a built-in television system, DVD players and a case to hang on the seatback can be found for roughly $75. This may be the perfect opportunity to invest if you have little ones.

If you prefer not to go the electronics route, there are tray tables designed for cars so children can color and do other car-friendly tasks. For a low-cost alternative, use a cookie sheet for their travel desk.

You can also play some road trip games if the entertainment runs short. Here’s a list of the top family-friendly games you can all play while on the road.

Once the kids are quiet, what about your entertainment? Now is a great time to purchase some new audiobooks or download some podcasts you’ve been meaning to listen to.

Tip 5. Use Podcasts to Bond with Teens

Naturally, teens will disconnect unless you have some way to keep the conversation going. You may want to try listening to something thought-provoking with them like the iTunes award-winning podcast “Lore.” Lore is a secretly-informative historically educational podcast that is disguised with a spooky narrative. Once they’re hooked, pick their brains on how they would think, feel, or act based on the narrative in the story. (Shhh, we won’t tell them they’ll learn something.)

For more ideas, here is a link to a blog with some great podcast suggestions for teens including a synopsis of the show.

Tip 6. Pack Wisely

Before you leave, have every family member lay out their belongings and use packing cubes to keep them organized in bags and suitcases. As you pack the car, do it strategically and keep luggage below the seat level. All those years of playing Tetris will finally pay off here. Keep in mind to pack your bags into the car in an order that allows you to access the items you need first. This will prevent having to repack your car after each stop.

For the sake of saving space, consider bringing things like an activity book that offers a variety of games, art, and mental puzzles in one booklet. Tablets are another tech-savvy way to gain some leg room while keeping everyone entertained.

Tip 7. Snack Smarter

During a long road trip, it’s nice to have some energy-boosting food on hand.  Pack a cooler full of snacks and drinks so you don’t have to stop unless it’s potty or gas time.

Package everything in pre-portioned, easy-to-grab baggies. Popular options include pretzels, cheese sticks, pre-sliced fruit, hard boiled eggs (already peeled, of course), and small hummus cups.

Be sure to stop by the dollar store and grab these convenience items:

A plastic cereal container: 

Leak-proof trash can for messier contents

Shower caddy with handle:

Easy access lunch container for small children

Shower toiletry containers:

Suction to the window to help organize toys/crayons.

If you’re trying to keep costs down, you might also want to pack lunches or at least some finger-food the whole family likes. Your family will eat healthier on the road while preventing senseless spending and reducing a stop or two.

Pro-tip: Save room in your cooler by packing frozen water bottles in place of ice packs.

Tip 8. Keep Attitudes in Check

It’s tight quarters when you are packed in a vehicle. If you’ve provided entertainment, snacks, and comfort, then you deserve a peaceful ride for yourself. When kids act up, put them in check with this simple tip:

Each child gets a clothespin with their name on it, clipped to the front visor. If someone acts out of line, his or her clip is taken down and they miss out on the next fun event along the trip. It could be ice cream at the next stop or choosing the next movie along the way. It’s a visual reminder for them to be on their best behavior during the road trip.

Road Trip Survival Made Simple

If you’re gearing up for a big road trip with the family, these tips can help it stay fun and stress-free (or at least as stress-free as possible).

Whether you’re traveling with young kids or a group of friends, preparing for your road trip pays off. Planning for the unexpected, bringing plenty of snacks, giving yourself a bit of extra time, and remembering to slow down will definitely make the process more enjoyable.

The post 8 Tips to Road Trip Like a Boss appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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Taking a vacation is an exciting event. You get to escape your normal routine for a new or relaxing experience. Perhaps it’s for a week or more, or maybe you are just getting away for the weekend. Regardless of the time you may be gone, it is still important to mind a couple things at your home before you leave. By taking some steps to prevent issues from arising while you are gone, you’ll have a much happier return.

In addition to preventing theft and making the coming-home process easier, preparing your home for vacation ensures your belongings, plants, and surfaces will all fare well while you’re gone.

Whether you’re heading across the state or across the country, these eight essential checklist items will provide you peace-of-mind so you can fully enjoy your vacation.

Tip 1. Set Up Automatic Lights or Noise

Burglars target homes with certain criteria. For one, an optimal home is concealed in darkness. Secondly, burglars generally prefer to strike while you are away. Kill two birds with one stone by investing in automatic lighting.

Start by installing at least one interior light on a timer, so it turns on in the evening and early mornings. As a result, it appears as if someone is home.  Additionally, it’s a good idea to install motion-activated sensors on outdoor floodlights. It will be convenient for you when you come home full-handed from vacation while remaining inconvenient for someone who wants to stay in the dark.

Above all, if you can’t complete an install before your trip, utilize the automatic timers on your television or radio alarm clock to provide a little noise throughout the day.

Tip 2. Upkeep Your Housefront 

It is important to point out, however, that automatic lights and electronics are only half of the recipe to fool burglars about your whereabouts. Conversely, some other details might give your absence away.

First, you’ll want to make arrangements for your mail and newspapers. A pile of papers on your driveway signals that you are not home and a quick peek in your mailbox confirms it. Ask a neighbor to swing by or schedule a stop of delivery at the post office. Also, while your neighbors are grabbing the mail, have them look out for packages and things like advertisements left on your door. Burglars stick items like a restaurant coupon in your door to test if you are actually coming home.

Second, you’ll want to park your car in the garage. Not only is it safer from vandalism, but it is more ambiguous to a burglar than a car that has not moved (even slightly) for days.

A third step you can take is to ensure your lawn and landscaping are kept up while you are away. Arrange for a trim in the middle of your vacation. Don’t forget to arrange care for your indoor plants too.

Pro-Tip: If you are tech savvy, check out the latest in doorbell cameras. This way, you’ll see everyone who sets foot on your doorstep, which is convenient anytime you are away from home. Furthermore, a camera on premises is burglar kryptonite.

Tip 3. Plumbing & Electrical Precautions

If you’re going to be gone for more than just a few days, make sure you’re not running appliances and plumbing that you don’t need.

In addition to being an added expense, running these things places your home at risk of fire and other damage.

It is also important to set your thermostat closer to outside temperatures (warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter) – this will protect your plants, pets, furniture, and more.

To avoid the possibility of a disaster while you’re out, take the following precautions:

  • Unplug all small appliances and electronics
  • Put available utilities (such as your water heater) on “vacation” mode
  • Turn off water valves to your washing machine, sinks, and dishwasher
Tip 4. Notify Your Home Security Company

If you have a home security company, be sure to let them know that you’ll be out of town before you go. That way, they can keep an extra eye on your property and pay close attention to anything that seems suspicious or odd.

Don’t forget to set the system before you leave the house. Also, it’s important to designate a trustworthy local person whom your security company can call in case an emergency arises while you are away.

Tip 5. Ensure Home Is Completely Locked

Locking up is so simple, and yet people continue to forget to check before they leave. Here are several scenarios that could cause you to forget to lock up tight before vacation.

Distraction: When you have a vacation on the brain, you are juggling a list of tasks. This list is what gets in the way of some people doing a final walk around before setting off for the trip.

Locking Too Soon: For others, they may lock up too early, and then another house member opens a window or door after the fact.

Rarely-Used Doors/Windows: People assume they are locked as usual. However, they forget to account for that one time the garlic bread burned or when they swept a mouse out the back door with a broom.

Assuming the Other Person Locked Up: Homes are sometimes breached when one party (or both,) assume the house has been locked by the other.

The Home Alone Scenario:

It’s happened to everyone at some point. You have slept in, wake up in a panic and now you are scrambling to catch your flight.

(Source: Home Alone GIF)

After considering these instances, it is best to get everything and everyone situated in the car, and then have the driver go back in for one last security check.

Tip 6. Prevent Unpleasant Odors

It’s hard enough to be pried away from your vacation once it’s over. However, you’ll add insult to injury to come home to a stinky house. Prevent this added grief by getting rid of any waste in all areas of your home:

  • Kitchen, bathroom and bedroom trash
  • Food that will spoil
  • Recyclables
  • Diaper Hamper

In addition to removing all trash from your home, be sure to run your garbage disposal with a half-cup of vinegar and some water. Not only will it prevent odors from forming, but it will also kill bacteria. On that same point, it is wise to complete your loads of dirty laundry prior to your vacation because they can become musty in no time.

Pro-tip: If you’re planning to freeze anything before you go, place it in a freezer bag and squeeze all the air out to prevent freezer burn

Tip 7. Check all Smoke Detectors

Check your home’s smoke detectors before you leave, and replace any batteries if needed. Don’t forget to check your smoke detectors’ expiration dates, as well. While most people don’t look for these, an expired smoke detector is unlikely to provide the full functionality to protect your home.

Be sure to keep a few extra smoke detector batteries on hand, in case the person checking on your home while you’re gone happens to notice that one is not working.

Tip 8. Prevent Infestation

These little invaders shouldn’t get to vacation in your home while you are away. Keep bugs out of your home by spraying an insecticide in key areas. It’s also a good idea to remove foods you may keep on countertops such as bread or fruit. Take another step by ensuring all countertops are wiped down too.

These simple moves will eliminate some of the factors that lead to infestation while you aren’t home to monitor it.

If you have a recurring pest issue, you can also hire an exterminator to come while you’re gone.

Prepare for Vacation the Smart Way

You’ve earned your vacation, and you deserve to enjoy it worry-free. Don’t forget to check off these eight must-do tasks before you go. In addition to keeping your home safe and secure, these simple tasks will also prevent damage to your home and grounds. Above all, taking the time to make these preparations will allow you more peace of mind to relax or be more present during your trip.

The post Home Vacation Checklist: 8 Things To Do Before You Go appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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Each year, about 40 million Americans move to a new home. While the reasons for these moves vary, the desire for green moving tips stays consistent.

Luckily, Colonial Van Lines is here to deliver. Whether you’re looking for green moving tips for your upcoming move, or want to help someone else become more eco-friendly, this post is for you. Make your move easier (and greener) with these smart, professional green moving tips and packing hints:

The key to making all these green moving tips work is to start early. In addition to making the move more stressful, procrastinating until the 11th hour only increases the likelihood that you’ll forget things. Furthermore, it makes it harder to plan adequately for your trip.

With this in mind, start planning your move as early as possible.

Ideally, you should start going through less trafficked areas a month or two in advance. Places like your basement, guest rooms, attic, and closets will help you get a jumpstart without getting ahead of yourself.

While it requires some upfront work, the simple act of purging your household will go a long way toward making your move simple and streamlined. Rather than towing them to your new place, why not try selling your bigger unwanted furniture items? Not only will you make some money, but you’ll save on the cost and reduce emissions during the move.

For smaller items that still have some value, you can always throw a yard sale.

What doesn’t sell at the yard sale can then be donated. This ensures that all your unwanted items go to a cause or person who could use them. Moving is the perfect time to donate, read more here.  Your unwanted items get an opportunity a second life and reduce their chance of ending up in a landfill.

One of the best green moving tips we have to offer is to hire an eco-friendly mover. There are probably lots of things you evaluate about your moving company. Most shoppers inquire about customer reviews, service offerings, prices and insurance policies, but what about their environmental credentials?

Start by scoping moving companies based on the values they display concerning the environment.

As you interview moving companies, be sure to ask them about their environmental philosophies:

  • How do they handle moves?
  • Do they use biodiesel trucks?
  • Do they use recycled boxes?

Their answers will help you determine which companies are committed to reducing waste and output. As a result, you’ll locate a mover who is experienced in getting you moved in the greenest way possible.

At Colonial Van Lines, we’ve partnered with Move For Hunger, which benefits a humanitarian cause as well as an environmental cause. Move For Hunger arranges for moving companies such as ours to pick up unwanted non-perishable food and deliver it to food banks in need.

Before you start picking up any boxes – recycled, reusable, or otherwise – fill up the containers you already have.

  • Storage bins
  • Duffel bags
  • Coolers
  • Laundry baskets
  • Suitcases
  • Boxes

As you pack these things, use items you already own, like socks and t-shirts, to pad the empty space in the containers, instead of investing in packing peanuts and similar items.

These hacks will go a long way to reducing the environmental impact of your move. Read our smart and savvy moving hacks blog for more great ideas.

Pro-Tip: If you save piles of plastic grocery bags, they can shine here as padding for fragile items.

Prior to purchasing boxes, ask around and see if you can pick up used boxes from your friends and relatives.

Don’t worry, moving boxes are sturdy. They’re typically tough enough to hold up to several moves before they need to be replaced.

If used moving boxes aren’t an option, you can pick up some sturdy boxes from your local grocery and bulk stores, likely for free! In addition to saving you money, using recycled boxes will also cut down on the waste produced by your move.

Don’t forget there are many businesses around you accepting shipments and packages daily. This means they are unpacking items and discarding those reusable packing supplies at least a few times a week. It may take some deep thinking, but if you need packing supplies like peanuts or other box fillers, it’s worth a try to call around. Retailers who are environmentally conscious may put some aside for you to pick up if you ask nicely.

A nice alternative to traditional cardboard boxes is plastic boxes, which can be used and then sent back to the retailer.

Look into rental options like BungoBox, which allow you to rent plastic storage containers and send them back to the company when you’re done. This is a smart, green, cost-effective solution that won’t break the bank.

If this option doesn’t catch your eye, a quick Google search for “reusable packing boxes” will reveal lots of companies you can research and consider working with.

Pro-Tip: Ask around your community and social media circles. It’s highly likely that someone has used a solution that could work for you.

Unwanted electronics such as TV’s, computers and cell phones can be recycled. Here is a link that will help you locate a local retailer who will accept your electronics.

As far as boxes and packing items, of course, you can retire them to a recycling bin, but there are more ways you can repurpose them:

  • Donate them to a friend who is moving.
  • Offer them up in your social media groups or craigslist.
  • Call your local realtor to see if their clients are in need.
  • Inquire if your child’s school needs them.
  • Make something crafty with your kids.

No matter what you do, know that recycling your items will make your move that much greener and reduce the output associated with switching homes.

Green Moving Tips for the Caring Consumer

Your interest in green moving tips is proof that you care about your impact on our environment. By recycling boxes, using containers you already have, and being mindful of what you send to landfills, you are taking a step in the right direction. This way, you can rest assured that you’re decreasing your environmental footprint as much as possible during your big move.

The post 7 Green Moving Tips for the Eco-Conscious appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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It’s time to move, and you’ve got two choices: hiring a mover or doing it yourself.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got at least one self-move under your belt. So it may seem like forgoing the help of movers is a savvy way to save money this time. Yet, the headache of moving all your stuff is most likely causing you grief at this very moment.

It is true that some moving companies charge an amount that is simply out your price range. However, it is still possible to find a reputable mover. Namely, one who is flexible and can work within your budget.

At Colonial Van Lines, we offer competitive pricing to service moves on all budgets. With this in mind, let’s explore the benefits of a professional mover. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of moving on your own. That way, you can finally determine which is best for you. There are dozens of reasons for hiring a mover, but these are some of the most compelling:

Pro Reason #1 Peace of Mind

A true professional mover will have a positive track record with consumer agencies. Additionally they will have updated licensing with government agencies. This ensures that the movers who enter your home are trustworthy and reliable. Furthermore, their professional assistance provides an effortless and straightforward moving process for you.

Pro Reason #2
Movers Provide Supplies

Movers bring all moving supplies necessary to ensure belongings are packed away safely.

Pro Reason #3
Movers Carry Insurance

If damages do occur in the hands of a mover, you’re covered by the mover’s insurance.

Pro Reason #4 Movers Work Fast

If you’re moving last-minute, hiring movers is a great way to get the job done quickly. Movers work in highly-trained teams to execute your move carefully, yet efficiently. As opposed to self-packing, which can drag on for weeks, pro-movers can usually box up your belongings in a few hours. Furthermore, the loading and unloading process moves along faster with the help of an experienced and able-bodied professional team.

Pro Reason #5 Movers Do the Heavy Lifting

Professional movers are trained and equipped to move your items safely. The professional, able-bodied workers will use a team effort when packing and loading your items. Likewise, movers use innovative tactics and equipment like dollies to transport your heaviest items with ease.

Pro Reason #6 Movers Have Trucks

Movers have a truck sized for every household.  By that same token, hiring a mover means you get the expertise of truck loading. Hiring a mover provides assurance that your household items will fit securely, as well.

Pro Reason #7
Storage-Services

Professional long-distance movers often offer storage services. This is helpful if your move-out and move-in dates don’t align. If you are downsizing, storage is a convenient option for you as well with a professional mover.

Pro Reason #8
Assembly & Disassembly

When it comes to breaking down your electronics and your furniture, the movers will be experienced and knowledgeable. Likewise, movers will likely have a bank of solutions for disassembling and moving your belongings.

Pros and Cons of Moving on Your Own

Every moving scenario is unique when you factor in budget, household size, destination and timing. Use this list of DIY moving pros and cons to help determine if a DIY move is best for you.

DIY Pros:

You Could Save Money. When you’re not paying movers, you’ll free up your budget for things like temporary housing. When you can’t afford both, it’s obvious where the sacrifice needs to come from.

You’re in Control. As a self-mover, you are in charge of every detail regarding how your items get from A to B. This can be comforting for many people.

You Can Take Your Time. If you’re in no rush to move, the DIY process allows you to take your time with it. This is ideal for those with the luxury to move in stages, rather than all at once.

If you do decide to move on your own, we’ve got a list of moving hacks to make your life easier.

DIY Cons #1: Hidden Expenses That Sneak Up on You

Self-movers often fail to consider many expenses that creep up in the middle of the process.

Moving Without Professionals is Time-Consuming. While you will have eyes on the moving project the whole time, that’s not necessarily a good thing. The self-moving process drags out for weeks or months. On the contrary, a pro move is an in-and-out experience. Moving on your own steals your precious time. Ultimately, you can incur lost wages.

Renting a Truck is Costly. You can’t rent one for cheap and it’s tricky to determine if all your items in your household will fit. You’ll have to be conservative with the space you need. In other words, you’ll overpay. In addition, driving a rental truck is disorienting for someone without experience. Not to mention you’ll still have to pay for gas.

Storing Items Means a Double Move. If you need to store some items or your entire household, you’ll have to complete the moving process twice. Yikes! You’ll have to pack, load and unload to a storage warehouse, then pick it up and load again to deliver to your new house. Furthermore, you’ll be renting a truck twice as well.

Some often unforeseen expenses to budget for:

  • missed time from work
  • renting a truck
  • paying for gas and tolls
  • meals and lodging on the road
  • costly moving supplies
  • damaged items

In the end, the reality of savings for a DIY move is a slimmer margin than self-movers expect.

DIY Cons #2: The Physical and Mental Toll

There’s no dispute when it comes to acknowledging that moving is hard, with or without movers. Here are some of the ways a DIY move compounds the effects on your well-being and personal life:

DIY Moves are Distracting. You may be buying /selling a home, starting a new job, or dealing with another life-altering event. These require your full attention. If you are overwhelmed with moving on top of it, it’s potentially disastrous on your personal responsibilities.

DIY Moves are Physically Difficult. Healthy or not, moving on your own can be a serious physical challenge. You will literally be lifting thousands of pounds during your move. Your large/bulky items pose challenges to get through doorways or are awkward to carry.  The potential for injury is high, and at the least, you’ll be exhausted.

DIY Moves are Logistically Challenging. There are a lot of tasks to coordinate with a self-move. From gathering supplies to organizing and itemizing, to packaging delicate items. In addition, there is no one experienced to help you anticipate the challenges. You won’t have the necessary solutions you may need when things like inclement weather arise.

The Verdict? Hiring a Mover Proves Invaluable

If you can swing it, hiring a mover is one of the top ways to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. In addition to the fact that they’re professionally trained, movers can also act as a wealth of knowledge. Professional movers will provide invaluable assistance to you in this process, as you struggle through the inevitable moving obstacles.

In conclusion, hiring a mover is safer, more convenient, and well worth the investment.

Need help moving to your new home? Contact Colonial Van Lines for full-service moving professionals and a free quote today!

The post Hiring A Mover vs. Do-It-Yourself appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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It’s time to move, and you’ve got two choices: hiring a mover or doing it yourself.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got at least one self-move under your belt. So it may seem like forgoing the help of movers is a savvy way to save money this time. Yet, the headache of moving all your stuff is most likely causing you grief at this very moment.

It is true that some moving companies charge an amount that is simply out your price range. However, it is still possible to find a reputable mover. Namely, one who is flexible and can work within your budget.

At Colonial Van Lines, we offer competitive pricing to service moves on all budgets. With this in mind, let’s explore the benefits of a professional mover. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of moving on your own. That way, you can finally determine which is best for you. There are dozens of reasons for hiring a mover, but these are some of the most compelling:

Pro Reason #1 Peace of Mind

A true professional mover will have a positive track record with consumer agencies. Additionally they will have updated licensing with government agencies. This ensures that the movers who enter your home are trustworthy and reliable. Furthermore, their professional assistance provides an effortless and straightforward moving process for you.

Pro Reason #2
Movers Provide Supplies

Movers bring all moving supplies necessary to ensure belongings are packed away safely.

Pro Reason #3
Movers Carry Insurance

If damages do occur in the hands of a mover, you’re covered by the mover’s insurance.

Pro Reason #4 Movers Work Fast

If you’re moving last-minute, hiring movers is a great way to get the job done quickly. Movers work in highly-trained teams to execute your move carefully, yet efficiently. As opposed to self-packing, which can drag on for weeks, pro-movers can usually box up your belongings in a few hours. Furthermore, the loading and unloading process moves along faster with the help of an experienced and able-bodied professional team.

Pro Reason #5 Movers Do the Heavy Lifting

Professional movers are trained and equipped to move your items safely. The professional, able-bodied workers will use a team effort when packing and loading your items. Likewise, movers use innovative tactics and equipment like dollies to transport your heaviest items with ease.

Pro Reason #6 Movers Have Trucks

Movers have a truck sized for every household.  By that same token, hiring a mover means you get the expertise of truck loading. Hiring a mover provides assurance that your household items will fit securely, as well.

Pro Reason #7
Storage-Services

Professional long-distance movers often offer storage services. This is helpful if your move-out and move-in dates don’t align. If you are downsizing, storage is a convenient option for you as well with a professional mover.

Pro Reason #8
Assembly & Disassembly

When it comes to breaking down your electronics and your furniture, the movers will be experienced and knowledgeable. Likewise, movers will likely have a bank of solutions for disassembling and moving your belongings.

Pros and Cons of Moving on Your Own

Every moving scenario is unique when you factor in budget, household size, destination and timing. Use this list of DIY moving pros and cons to help determine if a DIY move is best for you.

DIY Pros:

You Could Save Money. When you’re not paying movers, you’ll free up your budget for things like temporary housing. When you can’t afford both, it’s obvious where the sacrifice needs to come from.

You’re in Control. As a self-mover, you are in charge of every detail regarding how your items get from A to B. This can be comforting for many people.

You Can Take Your Time. If you’re in no rush to move, the DIY process allows you to take your time with it. This is ideal for those with the luxury to move in stages, rather than all at once.

If you do decide to move on your own, we’ve got a list of moving hacks to make your life easier.

DIY Cons #1: Hidden Expenses That Sneak Up on You

Self-movers often fail to consider many expenses that creep up in the middle of the process.

Moving Without Professionals is Time-Consuming. While you will have eyes on the moving project the whole time, that’s not necessarily a good thing. The self-moving process drags out for weeks or months. On the contrary, a pro move is an in-and-out experience. Moving on your own steals your precious time. Ultimately, you can incur lost wages.

Renting a Truck is Costly. You can’t rent one for cheap and it’s tricky to determine if all your items in your household will fit. You’ll have to be conservative with the space you need. In other words, you’ll overpay. In addition, driving a rental truck is disorienting for someone without experience. Not to mention you’ll still have to pay for gas.

Storing Items Means a Double Move. If you need to store some items or your entire household, you’ll have to complete the moving process twice. Yikes! You’ll have to pack, load and unload to a storage warehouse, then pick it up and load again to deliver to your new house. Furthermore, you’ll be renting a truck twice as well.

Some often unforeseen expenses to budget for:

  • missed time from work
  • renting a truck
  • paying for gas and tolls
  • meals and lodging on the road
  • costly moving supplies
  • damaged items

In the end, the reality of savings for a DIY move is a slimmer margin than self-movers expect.

DIY Cons #2: The Physical and Mental Toll

There’s no dispute when it comes to acknowledging that moving is hard, with or without movers. Here are some of the ways a DIY move compounds the effects on your well-being and personal life:

DIY Moves are Distracting. You may be buying /selling a home, starting a new job, or dealing with another life-altering event. These require your full attention. If you are overwhelmed with moving on top of it, it’s potentially disastrous on your personal responsibilities.

DIY Moves are Physically Difficult. Healthy or not, moving on your own can be a serious physical challenge. You will literally be lifting thousands of pounds during your move. Your large/bulky items pose challenges to get through doorways or are awkward to carry.  The potential for injury is high, and at the least, you’ll be exhausted.

DIY Moves are Logistically Challenging. There are a lot of tasks to coordinate with a self-move. From gathering supplies to organizing and itemizing, to packaging delicate items. In addition, there is no one experienced to help you anticipate the challenges. You won’t have the necessary solutions you may need when things like inclement weather arise.

The Verdict? Hiring a Mover Proves Invaluable

If you can swing it, hiring a mover is one of the top ways to ensure your move goes off without a hitch. In addition to the fact that they’re professionally trained, movers can also act as a wealth of knowledge. Professional movers will provide invaluable assistance to you in this process, as you struggle through the inevitable moving obstacles.

In conclusion, hiring a mover is safer, more convenient, and well worth the investment.

Need help moving to your new home? Contact Colonial Van Lines for full-service moving professionals and a free quote today!

The post Hiring A Mover vs. Do-It-Yourself appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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Home upgrades can have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your home, but that doesn’t mean the project has to be a major overhaul.

Not only are smaller upgrades more budget friendly, but in addition, most small home upgrades can be done in a weekend.

Whether you’re preparing to put your home on the market, or just looking for a way to make it a nicer place to live, these accessible home upgrades can make all the difference:

— Home Upgrades to the Kitchen

Overhaul your cooking space with these simple, weekend-friendly home upgrades:

Install Soft-Close Drawers. The whisper quiet luxury of soft-close drawers makes your kitchen feel instantly expensive. Add them throughout, and opt for soft-close cabinets up top. Silence is golden.

Switch Out Hardware Pulls. Overhaul the look and feel of your kitchen without a huge amount of work or expense. Shop for attractive, unique options at a place like World Market, Home Goods or Hobby Lobby. Alternately, you can pick up inexpensive, beautiful hardware and pulls with online retailers or at your local hardware store.

Upgrade Your Faucets. Swap out your fixed and dated faucet for something with elegance and function. These modern faucets can switch from the hose to spray settings and some even turn on with just a tap. As a result, you don’t have to grime up the knobs to get the water running.

Paint the Insides of your Cabinets. Perk up your kitchen with a pop of color on the interior face of your cabinets. Go for a perky blue or yellow. Unexpected and fun, this simple upgrade will make you happy every time you reach for the dishes.

Home Upgrades in the Bedroom

A bedroom is a place of peace, reprieve, and comfort. Take your bedroom to the next level with these smart bedroom updates:

Invest in New Linens. New linens can overhaul your bedroom in a flash. Invest in high-quality linens with stylish appeal and a luxurious feel. In doing do, you will create that oasis of comfort we all crave at the end of the day. In addition to making your bedroom feel lavish and fresh, they may help you get a better night’s sleep!

Dimmer Switches for Lighting. Lighting is everything in the bedroom. Dimmer switches can transform the mood from harsh and bright to relaxing and intimate. If you’ve never installed dimmer switches before, don’t fear. The process is easier than you might imagine and can easily be done in a few hours. Or hire a handyman and enjoy the benefits of your pleasant new lighting.

Add a Headboard Focal Point. Not only will a headboard make your bedroom more stylish, but it’ll also help to muffle sound. Alternatively, you can create a headboard in a variety of ways.  Install some floating shelves above your bed and tastefully tack some sheer fabric to hang beneath. Upcycle some shelving or an antique door, or create a padded headboard with minimal supplies from the hardware store.

Inexpensive Tip: Paint a focal wall. Try your luck with an elegant painting style like ragging to create some texture and depth with your colors.

  1. Start with a coat in a lighter shade and allow it to dry completely.
  2. Then paint a coat of a coordinating or complementing shade.
  3. While it is still wet, use a rag, sponge or crumpled newspaper to “rag off” some of the darker colors and reveal the lighter shade underneath.
Home Upgrades in the Bathroom

Bathrooms are one of the few rooms in the house where some simple upgrades can create a serious ROI. These smart alterations are aesthetically pleasing and increase usability.

Install a Pedestal Sink. Give your bathroom a touch of modern elegance with a pedestal sink. Ideal for small spaces, a pedestal sink is easy to install and can create more open space in your washroom.

Add Tiles Around the Tub. Tile around your tub for a stain-resistant, water-resistant, unique barrier. For a funky look, opt for geometric, patterned tiles in a fun color. Alternately, you can keep it classy with neutral tiles in a traditional shape.

Hang a New Medicine Cabinet. A medicine cabinet acts as storage and a focal point. In the world of bathroom upgrades, they’re some of the easiest. Just take down your old cabinet or mirror, choose a new one you like, and hang it in less than a half hour. Just like that, you’ve got a fresh new bathroom look!

Add Some Storage. Perhaps you don’t have space, budget, or construction skills to add built-ins to your bathroom. Fortunately, you can create some storage with a standing shelving unit or over-the-toilet organizer. Grab some cute little wicker baskets to keep small items organized, and throw out any toiletries, medicines, and cosmetics you don’t need.

Cheap Tip: Change Your Shower Curtain. This simple upgrade will go a long way toward making your space more welcoming and colorful.

Outdoor Living Home Upgrades

Upgrade your outdoor space with these simple home upgrades:

Add a Fire Pit. The warmth and glow of a fire is the ultimate focal point in outdoor living. If you live in a small space or aren’t into making big changes to your yard, look for an above-ground fire pit at a home improvement store. If you can add an in-ground fire pit, check out this simple tutorial for doing so.

Swap Out Your Lawn Furniture. If your lawn furniture is dingy or outdated, swap it for some fresh new items. Find great deals on discount furniture sites, or shop your local retail stores and use that 40 % off coupons on a new set.

Add Some Mood Lighting. There’s a fair share of options to add cozy lighting to your outdoor space. Try some twinkling led lights strung around your patio, or hanging Moroccan lamps with battery operated candles. You can install solar lights for your walkways or paint stones with a glow in the dark paint as well.

Simple Home Upgrades to get you Summer-Ready

Welcome the best season of the year with these simple and smart home upgrades. Whether you’re looking to update your entertainment spaces or make your bedroom a haven of relaxation, these upgrades are perfect for you.

The post Little Home Upgrades That Make a Big Difference appeared first on Colonial Van Lines.

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Home improvement: it doesn’t have to be a scary concept, as long as you have the right tools. For this reason, it’s a good idea to be properly equipped for the multitude of occasions when these tools are needed. Whether you have plans to do some DIY home upgrades or not, having the right tools on hand will provide convenience while eliminating frustration.

Trust us, these 15 tools are bound to have their moment in making your life as a homeowner easier. Thus, if you’ve been looking for a way to stock up your tool chest without spending thousands, invest in these top 15 must-have tools:

Tool #1. Drill

A cordless drill is one of the most multi-functional tools on the market today. Powered by an attached battery pack, these drills work with a variety of different bits.  For example, drills are necessary for installing kitchen cabinets and shelving unit.

For best results, buy a good-quality drill and a pack of drill bits with Phillips-head, slotted, and square-drive bits in an assortment of sizes. In this case, you’ll be ready for any job that might come your way.

Average price: $20 – $100

Simple Security Upgrade:

The plate that secures your front door lock is usually assembled with the standard ½ inch long wall screw. Burglars can easily breach the entry with a hard kick.

Replace the standard screws with a four-inch version to reduce their ability to gain access to your home.

Tool #2. Adjustable Crescent Wrench

A crescent wrench is an essential tool for removing nuts and bolts of different sizes.  Specifically, crescent wrenches are particularly useful for assembling furniture. Instead of buying an entire case of wrenches, invest in a single wrench or two with adjustable heads.

Look for self-ratcheting wrenches which eliminate the need to repeatedly remove the wrench from the bolt to tighten it.

Average price: $6 – $20

Tool #3. Hammers

In general, hammers are the quintessential “do it all” tool. First,  they’re ideal for driving and removing nails. Second, hammers act as a pry bar in a pinch. Therefore, hammers should be the foundation of your toolbox. For best results, purchase two hammers:

The heavyweight hammer: Ideal for outdoor construction projects, demolition and anywhere with big nails.

The lightweight hammer: What you’ll reach for when it comes time to pound picture nails and tacks.

Average price: $2 – $20

Tool #4. Extension Cord

An extension cord is essential to have around the house. Although, you may be wondering how to choose the right extension cord. For one thing, you’ll use them for outdoor parties.  Similarly, extension cords are handy when you need a bit of extra light in a corner. Moreover, when you don’t have an outlet right where you need it, extension cords are necessary. Look for a heavy-duty cord with a length of at least 25 feet.

Average price: $7 – $25

Tool #5. Hacksaw

A hacksaw is one cutting tool that serves a variety of purposes. Perfect for major cutting projects including metal and plastic pipes, tubing, conduit, brackets, and bolts. Under those circumstances, a hacksaw will get you out of a sticky situation or two.

Average price: $4 – $17

Tool #6. Level

When you’re trying your luck at a home improvement, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to ensure you execute your project successfully. The first thing to remember is to measuring twice when marking hardware points. Another point often overlooked is utilizing a level of pro-quality results. Having a level on hand will take the frustration out of hanging pictures, or installing curtain rods and shelving. For this reason, trust a level, not your eyes when you are installing/hanging these items.

Average price: $4 – $27

Tool #7. Tape Measure

Another key point to making a professional home improvement is measuring. A tape measure will come in handy for building backyard birdhouses and moderate home renovations. At the same time, you’ll use it to figure out whether that new couch will fit through the doorway, or if you’re purchasing the right size rug. To buy the tape measure that’s best-suited for your household, get one that’s at least 25’ long.

Average price: $7 – $12

Tool #8. Utility Knife

Utility knives are small, handheld knives with retractable blades. Safe and sharp, these are good for breaking down your recycling, scoring wood, and getting rid of old caulk around the bathroom. However, keep these far from a child’s reach. It has been noted that utility knives are the leading offender for serious lacerations and incidents occur most often with children.

As industry leading professionals, we keep a utility knife on hand to assist with opening boxes during the moving process. Our go-to moving hack is to make our own box handles with a utility knife for easier loading and unloading. Check out our blog of moving hacks here.

Average price: $7 – $15

Tool #9. Step Stool or Step Ladder

Sturdy enough to make changing light bulbs easy, a good step stool is indispensable for household chores and projects. In reality, you’ll use it at least once a month to change your air filter and it comes in handy for dusting in high places like the ceiling fan.

Average price: $25 – $45

Do’s
  • Do switch to a step ladder, if you need to stand on the top step of a stool.
  • Do inspect the feet to ensure they are level with the ground.
Dont’s
  • Don’t reach or stand on tip toes, re-position the ladder/stool instead.
  • Don’t use a chair, desk or table.
  • Don’t store ladder where children have access.
Dont’s
  • Don’t wear open-toe shoes, sandals or heels when climbing a stool or ladder.
  • Don’t skip any steps when ascending or descending.

Safety Tip: “If you don’t have the proper stool/ladder, the job can wait.” — Mover Bob

Safety Tip, Colonial Van Lines
Tool #10. Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are essential handheld tools that are ideal for small jobs that don’t require the force of a drill.

For this reason, you’ll reach for them when it’s time to switch out a light bulb or tighten a knob. Of course, if you’ve got kids, you’ll be using a mini Phillips head to open the battery casing for many electronic toys. Pick up a variety pack to ensure you always have the right screwdriver head – Phillips, slotted, and Pozidriv, are all good to have on hand.

Average price: $5 – $20 (6 pc. set)

Tool #11. Putty Knife

Keep a putty knife in your toolbox to use when a somewhat dull blade would be safer than using your utility knife. For instance, it’s ideal for applying wall texture, scraping wallpaper, and removing popcorn ceiling.  For this reason, purchase one with a sturdy handle for longevity and durability.

Average price: $3 – $8

Paint Your Baseboards While Protecting Your Carpet
  1. Ditch the painters tape and opt for some sturdy, stickier packaging tape.
  2. Unroll a few feet along the line where the carpet meets the bottom of the baseboard.
  3. Ensure there around a half inch overlapping onto the baseboard.
  4. Use your putty knife to tuck that half inch of tape under the baseboard.
  5. Freshen up those baseboards with a new coat and don’t sweat drips on your carpet.
Tool #12. Plunger

In addition to keeping your toilet flushing freely, a plunger also be helpful for unclogging sinks and drains.  –  However, it is important to realize that there needs to be definite separation.  Be sure to keep your toilet plunger and your sink plungers separate and clearly labeled.

Average price: $5 – $18

Tool #13. Pliers

In general, pliers are gripping tools that have multiple uses. Get a few pairs of channel-lock pliers to use on your sink’s pipes and valves and a few sets of small, needle-nose pliers for getting into small spaces and gripping small surfaces.

Likewise, you can use electrician’s pliers which come to a very fine point and can cut wires.

Average price: $10 – $12 ( 3 pc. set)

Tool #14. Allen Keys

Allen, or Hex, keys are what you’ll commonly find in the packages of furniture that have not yet assembled. Of course, they’re useful for much more than that, though: keep them on hand for hanging towel bars or working on your bicycle.  For this reason, sets of Allen..

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