Tips to Staging Your Home Before Listing

Listing your home can be a daunting task, but staging it can help it sell faster. Olympia Moving & Storage has some tips for staging your home to increase the chance of a sale.

Getting ready to list your home is a big, life-changing decision. You’re planning on relocating, whether it is down the street or in a different state, and you probably want to get the responsibility of your current home off your hands as quickly as possible. Staging your home before you list will sell your home faster and for a better price. Here are a few tips to get started:

A coat of paint can transform your home. Now is not the time to try funky new shades for walls around your house. That fire engine red wall may fit your personality, but it might not fit the next owner’s idea of home. Stick to neutral shades that leave possibilities open in prospective buyer’s eyes. A fresh coat of light paint can give your home a more open appearance and make the room appear larger. Because a room can never have enough lamps, adding light will also make the room look brighter.

Your home should be decluttered so prospective buyers can visualize themselves in the home. Store your personal belongings such as family photos, knick knacks, and your more quirky belongings. Take this opportunity to declutter and reorganize your home and donate or throw out things you no longer want or need. Make sure every belonging appears to have its place, whether in storage or stored neatly in a closet or dresser.  Move excess furniture out of rooms that appear overcrowded. This may be daunting but is a key step to getting your house sold.

No extra space in your garage or basement to store your staging declutter? Use Olympia Moving & Storage’s Declutter Promotion to hire Olympia’s crew to move out the clutter and store FREE for up to three months! Click here to learn more.

Keep your home perfectly clean at all times in case you have a showing on short notice. This may be simple, but doing a deep clean or hiring a cleaning service before you list can make an old home look like new. Get carpets professionally cleaned and floors shined. Scrub bathrooms and counters to make them look their best. Power wash porches and siding. Don’t forget to make your house smell great too! Buy plug-in air fresheners and hide away stinky litter boxes.

Do you have a room you use as a general room? Stage is as though it has a specific purpose. A room that looks like it’s used for several things, such as a den that’s also a dining room with an office in the corner, could confuse potential buyers and deter them from moving forward with your house. Instead of seeing possibility in the all-purpose room, they could just see a mess.

Don’t forget the exterior! Buying some potted flowers for the porch, hiring a lawn care service, and staging some outdoor furniture will make buyers want your home before they even step inside.

Overwhelmed by the prospect of staging, or need more updated furniture to make your home look its best?  Ask your Realtor to recommend a professional stager to take care of the process for you.

If you are looking for a quote for storing your belongings before you move, you can contact Olympia Moving & Storage at 800-222-4744. We offer a variety of storage spaces for rent, and will help you pack your home when it comes time to move. Just starting to plan your move?  Request an estimate online.

8 ways to use empty cardboard boxes after your move (that kids will love!)

After you are moved into your new home and unpacked, you will to find yourself with an abundance of cardboard boxes! Before you break them down and leave them out for recycling, here are some fun ways to keep the kids happy when you continue to unpack (and a few for you too).

1. Mini house competition

Channel the inner creativity, set out two boxes with some materials such as markers, clip ons, and rubber bands – the most creative designer wins! For more decorating tips, check out our blog on building a box fort!


2. Design your own treasure chest

Decorate the outside and let the kids put their own personal treasures inside.

3. Halloween costumes

Everybody knows most creative wins the best costume competition. Robots and gumball machines, oh my!

4. Puppet Stage

Decorate boxes to use as a back drop, add a blanket or curtains, and put on a show!

5. Puzzle making

Paint a nice picture on the box then cut the pieces up for the kids to put together

6. Attic organizational system

Once everything is put away use the boxes, labeled, as an alternative storage system in the attic, basement, garage, or closets. If you start the organization right away it will avoid problems down the line when you can’t find the Christmas table cloth.


7. Homemade Stationary

Cut up cardboard boxes to make your own post cards. Use ink stamps to decorate and write a message. No envelope needed!


8. A Natural Embellishment

Dress up a cardboard box with a design of your choice, line it with a plastic bag, poke several draining holes, and you have a new home for a small plant!

Still have leftover boxes? Check out our blog on recycling or repurposing boxes.

9 Week Moving Checklist for a Smooth Relocation

In order to make your move as smooth as possible we made a time line checklist leading up to the big day.

 

8 to 9 weeks to move in day:

  • Begin to look at your home, start sorting, and get rid of anything you don’t need any more. If you know that the place you’re moving to is smaller than your current home, be sure to plan an aggressive declutter.
  • Sketch out a general floor plan of your new home including furniture placement so you know if there’s any furniture you can’t bring with you.
  • Research your packing options! Do I have the time to pack myself? Do I need help from the movers? How much are materials?

7 weeks to move in day:

  • Purchase moving supplies 
  • Call a dumpster service, it’s time to cull the forgotten items in the attic and basement.
  • Plan a yard sale, sell things you don’t want to take with you and make some extra cash. Check out our blog on planning a successful yard sale.
  • Research moving companies and schedule in-home or phone surveys in order to obtain pricing.
  • Call Olympia Moving & Storage to book your move! Booking a moving company 5 to 6 weeks in advance will allow you to have your choice of moving time and day.

4 weeks to move in day:

  • Begin packing. The earlier you start the better. Add packing services to your move to have us check off this item for you!
  • If you are renting your current home make sure you notify your landlord, neighbors, and whoever else may need to know.
  • Make sure you have a primary care physician and schools set up for your kids and request a transfer of your records.

3 weeks to move in day:

  • Now is the time to contact your insurance company, car, and any other billing agencies that need to know that you are changing your address. If you move with Olympia you can use our free address change tool to help with this.
  • Schedule transfer or set up of utilities for your new home, including electricity, gas, water, internet, TV, and phone.
  • If you are traveling far to your new home make sure your car is in good shape or your flights or hotels are booked.
  • If you’re moving in or out of an apartment building, reserve the elevator for your move and check if the building requires a Certificate of Insurance from the moving company.
  • Confirm whether your current or new home need a parking permit for the move. If so, ask your moving company to order one.
  • Look at the food and perishables you have in your kitchen. Start to eat what is open, throw away what you can, and plan what you will need to buy for the last few weeks in your home.

2 weeks to move in day:

  • If you are packing your home yourself, step on the gas. It’s close to go time and the last week to moving day is hectic.
  • Keep track of electronics and valuables. Don’t lose sight of them in the rush of packing.
  • Feel free to call Olympia with any questions you may have, we’re here to help! Be sure to let us know if the scope of your move changed, or if you think you need to add packing services.

1 week to move in day:

  • We will be calling you to confirm your moving day and time.
  • Pack your overnight bag for your first night in your new home.
  • Towards the end of the week empty the refrigerator and freezer. The earlier you do this the easier and cleaner it will be to move.
  • Disconnect your appliances, or schedule a service to do so.
  • Confirm again that you have electronics and documents handy, we cannot stress enough that you don’t want to lose your essentials.

Moving day!!!

  • Communicate with your movers. They are there to help you! Make it clear to them what is fragile.  Since everything is clearly marked the delivery will be a breeze!
  • Walk through your home make sure everything is out.
  • Leave behind cleaning products for the post-move clean, or schedule a maid service, many have move-out cleaning specials.
  • Lock up
  • You are on your way! Congratulations!

Ready to get started?  Call us for a free moving estimate at 800-222-4744 or request an estimate online.

How to Recycle or Repurpose Your Moving Boxes

After moving and settling into your new home, there are always going to be those empty cardboard boxes left over. Olympia Moving & Storage has some ideas for how you can reuse or recycle these used boxes.

So you’ve finally moved and began the process of unpacking your life in your new home. Soon everything is going to have its place in your new space, but what to do with the moving boxes you painstakingly collected for weeks or even months? Inexpensive boxes can be hard to come by, but you probably won’t want to keep them after your move. The most eco-friendly way to dispose of your boxes is to reuse or recycle them.

Give boxes to a friend. Do you have a friend or relative that’s close and moving soon? Save them time and money and gift any boxes that are up to another move. The boxes will be out of your home and you’ll save your friend the hassle of finding their own boxes.

Use boxes for storage. You’ll still need storage in your new home. You can continue to use moving boxes as storage in closets and basements, or even on shelves or in corners with some redecorating. You can use fabric or colored paper to make the boxes more aesthetically pleasing.  Yes – really!  Check out this DIY.

Sell boxes. If you want to try to profit off your materials, you can try selling moving boxes and other packing materials on a variety of websites. Just keep in mind that this could be more of a headache than it’s worth: demand could be low, and people may be unwilling to pay even a small amount of money for used boxes. Some good sites for selling used boxes include:

Recycle your packing materials. Any boxes that have been damaged in the moving process will ultimately need to be recycled. If you visit your town’s website, there should be a link about how your town handles recycling, and what can and cannot be recycled. You will need to break down the boxes before recycling them, in order to make them easier to transport. Oftentimes, they can be left in your regular recycling bin on pickup days. If you live in an apartment complex, you may have a specific cardboard recycling bin. You should contact your local recycling service to be sure of the specific requirements for your area.

Schedule a debris pickup.  If all else fails, an easy solution is to schedule a debris pickup with your moving company.  Many moving companies will come by your home to pick up the used boxes for recycling for a small fee.

To order moving boxes or to schedule a debris pickup, you can contact Olympia Moving & Storage at 800-222-4744. Just starting to plan your move?  Request an estimate online.

Infographic to help you plan a painless Boston move

DOWNLOAD this Boston move planning infographic!

DOWNLOAD Washington DC version

DOWNLOAD Philadelphia version

While May marks the transition to summer, for many Boston-area families, May also means it is time to start planning a move. May is National Moving Month, or the beginning of moving season. About 35 million Americans will move this year, about 11% of the population, and nearly a third of the those moves will occur during the summer. This is especially true in New England, where relocation is heavily influenced by weather and school schedules.

Local Boston moving companies, such as Olympia Moving & Storage, see a tremendous increase in moving requests beginning in May. Moving season in Boston runs from May through September, with the most moves occurring the last week in August, when the students return, and the last week of June, just after school finishes. Boston families planning a move to avoid those weeks if possible, to avoid increased hassle and higher costs.

Olympia Moving & Storage uses National Moving Month as an opportunity to educate local consumers about the relocation process. In honor of National Moving Month, Olympia Moving created a handy infographic to help Greater-Boston families plan their move. Olympia designed the infographic to help consumers find a mover they can trust, as well as take the mystery out of the planning process.

With the right moving company, good communication, and proper planning, the move will go smoothly and your family will be enjoying their new home in no time.

Planning a vehicle relocation with your move: Advice from ReloTrans

If you are moving interstate, you may require the help of more than just a moving company to complete your relocation. If you are flying to your new home, or only able to drive one of multiple cars, you may need to include vehicle transportation services in your move planning.

We asked our partners at ReloTrans®, a leading, independent provider of vehicle and specialty transportation services, focused exclusively on managed relocation, to share some advice with our customers who are need to plan a vehicle relocation with their move. With more than 14 years of experience in transportation, ReloTrans® had few tips for those embarking on a move and for those on the corporate side selecting third party service providers.

What’s a common mistake families make when planning a car transportation?

Vehicle transportation is very different from the process of shipping the family’s household goods and that is one of the most important distinctions that needs to be understood from the onset.

For household goods, the family’s items are typically on the truck alone or one of maybe two shipments, so the pick-up and delivery dates are more easily defined. With vehicle transportation the family’s car or cars are one/two of many on a car carrier, so the driver must make numerous stops both for pick-up and for delivery along the way. Because of this, it’s important, and we stress this with the transferees that we work with, to note that the car carrier is not going directly from point A to point B; they’re not going directly from the family’s existing home to their new one. Helping the transferee understand the spreads (range of dates) for pick-up and especially delivery are key.

One of the other major keys for a transferee to understand is that most often vehicles are being moved in an open air truck, or car carrier, whereas household goods are moved in an enclosed truck. This presents two additional differences that transferees need to understand.

  1. Because household goods trucks are contained, they can often get into tighter areas where car carriers cannot due to the risk of damaging the vehicles on the top row of the car carrier.
  2. Vehicles traveling on an open air car carrier are exposed to the elements, such as rain, road dust, etc., so it’s important to remind the transferee that their vehicle will likely need to be washed once it’s delivered.

Finally, and this is one that we review with every transferee, is the restriction that they cannot place items in their car for shipment. We’re often asked about this and it’s due to insurance regulations, but personal items, sporting goods, food, plants, etc., cannot be shipped in the vehicle. All household goods items must be shipped through the household goods carrier or carried on person during the final move trip.

How does ReloTrans utilize technology to differentiate ourselves from other transportation companies?

ReloTrans has a proprietary, cloud based, eTrans™ technology solution that provides all transferees with unprecedented real-time access to their comprehensive move data. Through eTrans, transferees have the ability to complete a pre-move assessment, check on the status of their move, track their vehicle, reach their Relocation Coordinator, and check the status of a claim.

Leveraging eTrans and our one-to-one counseling we tailor our experience to each transferee, based on their individual communication preferences. During our initial conversation with the transferee, we ask them about their communication preferences (telephone, email, SMS text messaging) and we align our process with those preferences. If they prefer more than one, then we make that happen. As a service based business, specializing in relocation, we understand that communication is key and we’ve invested in tools and training to ensure that ours is best-in-class.

ReloTrans works with a lot of moving companies, what are some qualities families should look for in a mover?

The moving industry is more competitive than ever today and there are many companies offering low cost, discount services. Buyer beware, because like many things, you may be getting what you pay for. Our best advice for anyone looking for a mover or transportation service is to do your research.

  • Conduct online research.
  • Did they come recommended? If not, seek out recommendations.
  • Review any and all estimates in detail.
  • Speak with them either on the phone or in person.
  • Ask about their communications processes, their support, insurance, and online tracking resources.

Responsiveness, attention to detail and excellent follow through on commitments are all qualities we pride ourselves on ReloTrans. There are many companies competing for relocation business these days, but not all of them are willing to put forth the customer service that makes a difference during this important and what could potentially turn into a stressful time in a relocating family’s life.

You can learn more about ReloTrans at http://relotrans.com 

Ready to plan your move with vehicle transport? Request a free moving estimate and select “car transport” under additional services.

Creating the Most Successful Yard Sale Possible

If you plan on moving you will be going through every last item that has been put away in your house for years. Whether you are downsizing and need to get rid of stuff or just realized how much extra “crap” you have lying around, a yard sale is a great way to declutter your belongings while also making a couple extra dollars. To ensure you have a successful yard sale you do need to plan a little ahead of time. Follow these tips to make sure your yard sale is a home run!

Preparing For The Yard Sale

Pick a Date: Your first step is to decide which day you want to hold your event. If you plan ahead of time you can even pick the best season to hold your yard sale. We suggest starting Saturday mornings and during the spring time. The earlier you start, the bigger the crowd you’ll get, as people are usually busier later in the day.

Gather Your Goods: Go through every room in your house and pick out things you don’t want or haven’t used in months. Be sure to even go through closets, attics, basements and garages. Even if you don’t want something, there are plenty of other people that would pay money for it. The worst case scenario is people won’t buy something.

Permits: Many towns now require that you have a permit in order to have a yard sale. If you’re not sure, then double check with the city or town hall to find out if you need one. If you try to have a yard sale without a required permit you can get shut down and fined.

Great printable signs at cul-de-sac cool

Advertising Your Yard Sale

The more people you get to your yard sale, the more you will sell. The better you advertise and people know about it, the more people that will show up.

Make & Place Yard Sale Signs: Most towns have laws prohibiting posting yard sale signs. Checking in with a clerk at your local police station will tell you what you are allowed and not allowed to do. If you are allowed to make signs then make sure they are easy to read from a passing car. Write “Yard Sale” or “Garage Sale” in large letters with your address and an arrow pointing to your house.

Online: The internet has become a critical advertising tool that all yard salers should utilize. People are using websites to look for Yard Sales in your area and you don’t want to miss out. When posting an ad online be sure to include dates, starting time and your address. If the site allows it, then also take some pictures of your hottest items to spark people’s interest. Some places online you can advertise include:

Preparing for the Sale

Cute ways to arrange displays at your yard sale (Via Good Housekeeping)

Now that you have your yard sale date picked out and people are going to stop by, it’s time to prepare for the showing.

Sort Items: In order to give your yard sale some organization and order, try placing similar items together.

Pricing Items: As a general rule of thumb, price items a quarter or third of what they would cost new. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, but at least it gives you a starting point.

Display & Ambiance: Make sure that your yard sale is easily visible from the road as catching people’s attention is crucial. Another tip to catch the eye of people is to place some of your more interesting items towards the end of the driveway. You can lure previously uninterested people if the see a handful of things that would make it worthwhile.

There is surely more that goes into a yard sale but hitting these main points will get your Yard Sale off to a great start.

After the Yard Sale

After your sale there will surely be things left behind. If you can’t give items away to friends and family hold off on throwing everything out.

Check out our blog posts on charities that will pick up furniture donations in Washington D.C. and Boston. You can also check out this furniture disposal directory from Wayfair.

You can also try listing & selling your leftover items on these websites and apps:

Done decluttering and ready to get moving? Contact us for a free moving estimate from Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia.

What to Pack in Your Moving First Night Box

Essential Items to Include in a Moving First-Night Box

A moving first night box will go a long way in making move day a success. Packing this box will make your first night in your new home convenient and less stressful. Instead of having to rummage through your assorted boxes, putting all the things you need to on a day-to-day basis in one place can greatly improve the moving experience.Torso of a female person holding a moving box. All on white background.

Included in the moving first night box are the essentials that will help transition from one home to another. Most of the items you can identify based on what you need for the last day in your old house. Make sure you label this box clearly and make sure it is one of the last items loaded into the truck, or move it yourself in your car.

Clothing & Toiletries

Think of packing your first night box like you would a suit case for a short trip. These items will include things like, few couple days’ worth of clothes and toiletries. Also don’t forget a standard first aid kit and any medication you may need, as well as towels.

Bedding & Linens

You’ll want to also include bedding, pillows, and towels. Setting aside bedding makes it easy to crash on your mattress and leave unpacking for the next day.

Tools

Something that you might not think to include are basic tools or a tool kit and flashlight. The usual lamps and lighting might not be set up in your new place, and you’ll be grateful to know exactly where the tools are when you start setting up your new home.

Disposable Tableware & Snacks

Bringing pre-packaged snacks and fruit will give you some easy food options before you’ve gotten out all of your cookware. Also, packing some disposable plates and napkins so you don’t have to unpack dishes to enjoy dinner in your first home.

Electronics

If you want to celebrate the first night in your new home with some “Netflix and chill” don’t forget to pack your WiFi box, laptop and phone chargers.

Important Documents & Valuables

It is always a good idea to keep jewelry, important documents like passports and birth certificates, as well as valuables in your possession as opposed to being packed in the the moving truck. If there are specific documents that you need for your rental agreement or closing, be sure to put them in the moving first night box as well!

Download and print out a checklist!1

Do you need help packing and moving everything else? Request a free moving estimate from Olympia Moving & Storage online or by calling 800-222-4744.

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Confusing Moving Terms Definitions

Moving is hard enough without all of the confusing industry moving terms that can be thrown around.

Here are some common moving terms defined to make your search for the perfect mover a little bit easier.

Click on the links throughout to learn more about each topic.dictionary

COI – A COI, or a certificate of insurance, is used to give proof of insurance to commercial and residential buildings in case damages to the property occur during a move. *Always make sure your moving company is properly insured to protect yourself from personal loss.

Access – Access refers to how the crews will be entering/exiting the property at origin and/or destination. Long walks, narrow stairs, and parking are all things to consider when telling a surveyor about your move in order to give you the most accurate estimate.

Shuttle – A shuttle might be used to transport your goods if the planned truck is unable to make a normal pickup or delivery because of geographical or urban planning (think: low bridges, narrow roads) constraints. The shuttle is the smaller truck used to complete the pickup or delivery. There are separate charges for this service, depending on the size and location of the shipment.

Binding Estimate – If your mover gives you a binding estimate they are guaranteeing the total cost of the move based on the quantity of items and services shown on the estimate. This type of estimate means that you will pay the agreed upon amount regardless of the difference between the estimate and the actual cost of your move.

Non-Binding Estimate Non-binding estimates charge you based on the actual cost of your move, regardless of the initial estimated cost. This means you could end up paying less or more based on the actual amount of work necessary to complete your move.

Bill of Lading – If you hear the term bill of lading don’t get nervous! The bill of lading is an important part of your move that is actually a service agreement detailing terms and conditions of your move and the receipt for your goods. All moving jobs have a bill of lading attached making it easier to review services agreed upon.

PBO / PBC – here’s an easy one! PBO / PBC just means that the items were packed by owner (you, the customer) or packed by crew. No sweat.

OA/DA – Everyone loves a good abbreviation but they aren’t much fun when you’re stressed! Don’t worry if a salesperson mentions an OA or DA during your conversation. These abbreviations refer to the origin agent (the company at the origin of your move who will service the first half of the move) and destination agent (the company at the destination address responsible for completing the move.) If the company you’re getting estimates from is part of a van-line then the agent on the other end of your move will also be a part of the van-line and you can rest assured that your goods will be handled in the best way possible.

Class 1 Move – A Class 1 move,  also known as crate and freight, have your belongings move from one dock to another in shipments. Crate and freight may be a better option for those with smaller moves and can be handled by preferred agents outside of a company’s regular van-line network due to travel restrictions during peak season.

Hoist – In the case of large or heavy items that need to be handled in or out of homes through windows, you may need to use a hoist. Hoists are auxiliary services offered by movers using specialized equipment, such as a hoisting crane and a moving platform.

Valuation – The amount of cash value assigned to the items in a shipment is called valuation in the moving world. When purchasing valuation, the customer will pay a certain amount of money for their items to be covered at the assessed value in the event of damage. There is a required $0.60 per pound minimum for all moves, but for an additional charge you may purchase other levels of valuation options.

Full Value Protection – Full value protection is a valuation option where the moving company is liable to repair or replace any lost or damage items at their full value minus any deductible amount on the valuation option.

Not seeing the moving term you’re puzzling over? Check out the ultimate moving terms dictionary, which includes definitions for over 458 moving terms, from our friends at Olympic Moving in Washington state:  http://www.olympicmovers.net/moving-terms/

Have more questions about moving terms, or want to book your move? Call us today at 800.222.4744 and we’ll get you started or request an estimate online.

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How a Mover Can Make Your Boston Home Renovation Easier (and 4 Other Tips!)

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Home renovations can be stressful and expensive. Keep these tips in mind to ease the difficulties that
come with giving your home a make-over.

35ffbCNChoose an Off-Season Project

The summer season is the busiest time for home projects, which can lead to  increased costs. When choosing what to update this summer, consider taking on a winter-oriented like, adding insulation or installing energy efficient windows. Usually you can find a deal the necessary supplies and services needed for the renovation in the off-season, and you are more likely to schedule vendors for your project to your preferences.

Hire a Mover to Assist with Storage

CrewWhat are you going to do with all your furniture and belongings when you’re demoing your living room wall? Instead of attempting to protect your furniture with plastic sheets and painters tape, consider moving your furniture into storage for the duration of your renovation. This helps you avoid drywall dust, sawdust and insulation that likes to take root in your furniture and leaves the space necessary to get the renovation job done right. The most cost effective way to store your furniture is full-service storage with a local moving company. Hire the movers to pick up your storage or load up your own truck to drop off our belongings to storage.

Keep Chaos In Check

Have a designated area for cooking (if you’re remodeling your kitchen) and cleaning. Whether this means grilling outdoors or re-purposing your guest bathroom, you’ll be happy when these messes are confined to certain areas instead of spreading around the house.

Balance the Budget

suppliesBalance the expenses of your supplies and new fixtures for your house. If you can’t resist splurging on marble counter tops, find other areas where you can save, like on the light fixtures or window covers.

Buy Early

When buying fixtures and supplies, do it early! Before you meet with your electrician or contractor, it is best to have the placement of your outlets and appliances already planned. It’s also helpful to order these items far in advance, ensuring on-time delivery and the widest selection.

In the midst of your renovation, remember, it will all be worth it at the end when you are enjoying your like-new home!

If you need a Boston, Washington DC, or Philadelphia mover to assist with the moving and storage for your upcoming home renovation, call Olympia Moving & Storage at 800-222-4744 or request an estimate online. Whether you just need furniture moved to the basement, into storage, or relocation to a temporary resident, we are ready to help make your home renovation easier!