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Seven Tips for Avoiding Common Moving Mistakes

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Let’s face it. Moving is always a bit of a hassle, especially when you go the DIY route. Whether you’re packing up and relocating the contents of a 10-bedroom mansion or a tiny condominium, there’s a good chance you’ll make at least one of the common mistakes we here at Maryland’s McKendree Moving & Storage see every day. Here are seven great tips to help you avoid such mishaps.

  1. Shop around: Even those who DIY their packing typically hire a mover to load, transport and unload their household belongings. But as in any industry, there are good movers and bad movers and straight up scamming movers. Before trusting a stranger with your treasured items, check them out via sources like the Better Business Bureau and your state’s department of corporations. Once you’ve identified a few reputable movers, call each and get at least three estimates, making sure to ask about potential hidden costs such as fuel surcharges. It’s typically safest to go with the middle estimate.
  2. Check insurance coverage: While getting those estimates, be sure to ask prospective movers if and to what extent your items are insured throughout the move. If your chosen mover’s insurance falls short of the value of your items, check with your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if any of your items are covered. Also be sure that your mover has worker’s compensation insurance so that you’re not on the hook for medical costs should an employee of the moving company suffer an injury while helping you move.
  3. Check non-movables: Some moving companies refuse to move certain types of items, to as to protect themselves from high-dollar liabilities. These may include expensive jewelry or coin collections, documents, firearms or alcohol.
  4. Factor Fluffy and Fido’s needs into your plans: You can’t simply pack your pet away in a box and hit the road. Prior to your move, visit your vet to make sure your pets are caught up on all vaccinations and registrations applicable in your current town and in your new hometown. Be sure to have within easy reach items your pet will need along the way including food, water, dishes, a leash, poop bags, treats and a favorite toy or blanket for comfort. If you’ll travel a long distance invest in a safe and comfortable portable kennel.
  5. Prepare your plants: Plants often are an afterthought in a move, and many people are unaware that there are laws governing certain types of plants crossing state lines. For instance, states with large citrus crops may have regulations on incoming plant types and the potential for tagalong insects that can cause damage if they multiply and make their way onto crop land.
  6. Learn to let go: That dress you haven’t worn since 1990-something, that piece of furniture that doesn’t fit your new digs, or that collection of ceramic knickknacks that used to be cool, but now just seem weird – get rid of them before you move. Hold a yard sale or box up and donate them.
  7. Pack a first-night survival kit: Murphy’s Law can be in full effect during a move. Things can run behind schedule, getting you to your destination hours after you’d planned. You may get to your new digs and find that the power or water hasn’t yet been turned on. And even with a smooth move, chances are you’ll be too tired to do much other than crash once you get home. Pack a kit with items you’re likely to need close at hand including a flashlight, toiletries, cell phone charger and tip cash for the pizza delivery guy.

Don’t take on a move by yourself. Call in the professionals at McKendree Moving & Storage to assure a safe and smooth move. Call 800-530-2626 to get started.

Tips for Preparing Major Appliances for a Move

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If you’re moving and planning to take your major appliances with you to your new home, take note. Many people fail to property prepare appliances for moves, and end up with damaged or non-working units once they reach their new digs. Maryland’s McKendree Moving & Storage offers tips to best prepare, pack and protect your appliances.

  • Refrigerators: Empty and unplug yours at least 24 hours prior to your move. Allow time for your freezer to fully defrost, then clean and dry all surfaces to prevent mildew and odors. If your fridge’s freezer has an icemaker, disconnect the waterline and make sure it’s completely drained. Remove and secure racks so that they don’t shift during the move.
  • Stoves and ovens: If your stove operates on gas, your first and most crucial step is to turn off the gas supply and carefully disconnect the line. Know that gas lines can be fragile and leaks can prove dangerous, so you may want to have a professional from your gas provider help. In any case, remove or securely fasten oven racks and thoroughly clean your stove and oven inside and out.
  • Dishwashers: Empty, drain and wipe dry the inside of your dishwasher. Remove and pack the utensil holder separately.
  • Washers and dryers: You’ll want to consult your owner’s manual for instructions on preparing, packing and moving your washer and dryer. If you’re one of the many, many Americans with no clue where what became of those manuals, many of them can be found online by searching the model name and numbers of your machines. In any case, you’ll need to remove all hoses and pack them separately, and secure your washer’s drum.

For all appliances, tape down knobs, power cords and other elements that may come loose during a move. And here’s an idea for saving space on the moving truck – Pack lightweight, unbreakable items like linens, towels, pillows, cushions, stuffed animals and clothing in plastic trash bags and store them inside your appliances.

To ensure a smooth move to or from the Washington, DC metro area, call McKendree Moving & Storage at 800-530-2626.