Moving? Check Out These Historic Homes Around Philadelphia, PA

There are thousands of historic homes in Philadelphia. It is one of the greatest cities in American history, where many of this nation’s greatest stories and figures once lived. Subsequently, history comes alive in its homes.

Elfreth’s Alley

Courtesy of BenFranske

Elfreth’s Alley is one of the oldest residential streets in Philadelphia. Constructed in 1706, this row of townhouses is a beautiful example of pre and post-Revolution architecture. The area remains a popular tourist destination in the heart of the city. In 1966, NPS designated the entire area a National Historic Landmark.

 

Strawberry Mansion

Strawberry Mansion, built in 1789 by judge and abolitionist William Lewis, is the largest of the Fairmount Park historic homes. Currently, it functions as a museum after being converted from a residence in the 1930s. The home is open for tours and frequently functions as a private rental space for events.

Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site

The Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site is preserved to reflect the writing environment  of author Edgar Allen Poe. It is one of several homes in Philadelphia that Poe lived in during his time in the city. Notably, it is the only of his former homes that still stands. The home is open on weekends for visitors, but remains closed otherwise.

Laurel Hill Mansion

Laurel Hill Mansion, also known as Randolph House, is another historic Fairmount Park home. It sits on the Schuylkill River, on a crest above the water. The central part of the house was constructed in 1767, with the northern addition being added almost a century later. At the moment, the home hosts concerts and private tours.

Pennsbury Manor

Courtesy of Shuvaev, Wikimedia

Pennsbury Manor maintains the expansive ambition of it’s former owner, William Penn. Penn was the founder of the Colony of Pennsylvania and his former home remains a thriving museum. History fans can come for tours of the 43-acre grounds and a monthly historical book club. Additionally, curious young minds can attend summer history camps. The camp curriculum centers around learning the skills like gardening and needlework. For adults, the annual Brews & Bites Festival brings together craft beer, cider, wine, and local flavors for a relaxing afternoon on the Delaware River.

 

Bartram’s Garden

Courtesy of Jtfry at English Wikipedia

North America’s oldest botanical garden rounds out our list. Unusually, the house on the premises is not the main attraction, the estate that Bartram’s Garden sits on remains one of the most beautiful in Pennsylvania. The grounds are home to outdoor classes, a horticultural society, weddings, and many other events. It’s original owner, John Bartram, began the garden’s botanical legacy in 1728 and passed it down through his family tree.

Owning Your Own

If you love history or the beauty of historic architecture, why not live in a historic home yourself? Although these examples are not residential homes, you can find hundreds of historic homes for sale in the Philadelphia area. For an updated list of available homes in Philadelphia, browse Redfin’s listings for vintage homes. Or, browse Zillow’s area-zoned collection of historic listings.

Moving Into History

If you want to move into a historic home, it’s crucial to understand the challenges and responsibilities of ownership. Particularly, understanding the challenge of protecting a history home from damage during a move. For more information, check out our blog post about Moving Into a Historic Home.

Olympia has the experience to move you into your own historic home. We can make your transition from a modern house into a piece of the past easy and seamless.

If you are planning on moving into a historic home, contact Olympia Moving and Storage today at 800-222-4744 or fill out our free estimate form.

Historic Homes Around Washington D.C

As our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. has no shortage of historic homes. Much of America’s history ties directly to structures in this extraordinary city. From civil rights activists, to politicians, to brewmasters, a wide variety of stories converged in Washington, D.C after the founding of this country. If you’re considering moving to Washington D.C., perhaps you might consider owning your own historical residence. Here are a few of our favorites for inspiration:

Old Stone House

The aptly named Old Stone House is the oldest structure on its original foundation in Washington D.C. Constructed in 1766, Old Stone House was once an inn, then a clockmaker’s shop. Strangely, the house became a used car dealership until it was purchased by the National Park Service in the 1950’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tudor Place

Courtesy of Ron Cogswell

Once the home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Tudor Place hosted an array of wealthy Washington elite throughout the 1800’s. Unfortunately, it was originally purchased with profits from selling slaves. That fact is recognized by its historic preservers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House

Courtesy of IIP Photo Archive

Mary McLeod Bethune was an African American stateswoman, civil rights activist, and philanthropist who lived through the late 1800’s and into mid 1900’s. Her residence also hosted the National Council of Negro Women until 1949. It continued to serve as a headquarters for the NCNW after Bethune’s death. Today, it is open to the public for tours and educational programs. Its two-story carriage house holds the National Archives for Black Women’s History.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clara Barton House

Courtesy of NPS

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, lived in this home from 1897-1912. The American Red Cross staff office was briefly stationed here. A replica of the office is available for viewing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heurich House

Courtesy of Wikimedia

Constructed between 1892-1894, this building was once the home of German brewer Christian Heurich. Interestingly, Heurich’s self-named brewing company was the longest-running brewery in Washington, D.C. After Heurich’s death, his widow donated the home to the Historical Society of Washington, who used it as a headquarters until 2003. The Society preserved the entirety of the home’s original interior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dumbarton Oaks

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncindc/7042816909
Courtesy of NCinDC

Dumbarton Oaks is home to the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. The original owner, William Hammond Dorsey, built the first part of the structure in 1801. A century later, the Bliss family acquired the property and expanded it to its current size. Afterward, the family founded the research institute. Currently, Dumbarton Oaks sponsors fellowships and scholarships in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies.

 

 

 

Owning Your Own

If you love the beautiful historic homes of Washington DC, why not live in one yourself? Though these examples are open to the public, you can find hundreds of historic homes in the Washington, D.C area, just waiting for a new owner. For an updated list of available homes in Washington, D.C, browse Redfin’s listings for homes built before 1900. Or, read Curbed‘s curated selection of D.C homes.

Moving Into History

If you do decide to move into a historic home, make sure that you understand the challenges and responsibilities of ownership. For more information, check out our blog post about Moving Into a Historic Home.

Olympia has the experience to move you into your own historic home. We can make your transition from a modern house into a piece of the past easy and seamless.

If you are planning on moving into a historic home, contact Olympia Moving and Storage today at 800-222-4744 or fill out our free estimate form.

4 Tips For Moving Into a Historic Home

Old homes are filled with character and rich histories. For many, old homes are just as much a part of their family history as a part of the story of their location. There are many wonderful benefits to moving into a historic home, but there are also unique challenges.

Olympia has moved many historic homes in Boston, Washington DC, and Philadelphia – where there are an abundance of antique properties. Olympia Moving & Storage knows how to move in or out of a historic home quickly and efficiently, and use the best practices for you and your new home.

These are Olympia’s tips for moving into your own piece of history.

Your Furniture Might Not Fit

An extra-deep sofa or a king-sized bed may not fit through the door of a historic home. Tight spaces like doors, hallways, and unusual corner rooms can spell disaster for the unprepared. Measure the doorways and halls of your destination in advance, as well as the dimensions of your furniture.

If you find that your furniture doesn’t fit, a professional moving crew can offer solutions. One option is to disassemble the furniture piece so it can move through the tight space without damage. Then, the team can reassemble the piece in its new location.

Another option is to hoist or crane large items through a window. The team can pad and protect both the furniture and the window frame, then either hoist up the piece using rope and a ladder. If window is three or more stories high, the movers can utilize a crane to lift the piece.

 

Prep For Low Energy Efficiency

Moving into a historic home means giving up modern energy efficiency–at least for a little while. 1800’s architects did not design homes with energy costs in mind. Because of this, energy-saving appliances and fixtures are good options to reduce unavoidable energy waste. Understand what sort of wiring and plumbing you are dealing with prior to moving in so you can decide whether an upgrade is in order.

 

 

 

 

 

Antique Protecting

Protecting original furniture and fixtures is key during your move. Packing or protective padding and coverings are required for large, delicate objects like pianos, grandfather clocks, and glass tables. Some items may even need custom crates or special servicing. Again, a professional moving crew is the best defense against undue damage to antiques. For more on protecting furniture, see our blog post Protecting Furniture During a Move.

 

 

 

 

Protecting Your Home

The features of a historic house are works of art. Doors, original door frames, floors, windows, stained glass must also be protected from damage during a move. For example, intricate wood carving on walls can be nicked by other pieces of furniture moving past them. A professional crew can also take steps to protect against these kinds of damage as well. For more information, see our blog post Materials Movers Use to Protect Furniture & Your Home.

 

 

 

 

 

Know Your Home

Understand the history of your home. There are many barriers to making renovations and restorations to a historic home. Check the National Register of Historic Places for more information about general ownership. Individual states also have their own preservation laws. Fully understanding the responsibility of owning an historic home requires some research, so don’t wait to get started.

If you are planning on moving into a historic home, contact Olympia Moving and Storage today at 800-222-4744 or fill out our free estimate form.

10 Tips for Preparing to Move

Preparing to move house may feel like an overwhelming chore, but if you approach it in a focused, organized way it can be a lot easier than you think.  You may not relish the thought of moving out but if you take these tips on board you’ll see how, with the proper planning and organization, you might even enjoy the process. After all, the door to your new house is waiting to be opened and that’s a cause for celebration.

This blog was written by Angela Pearse, a blogger for Zumper.com.

1. Should You Hire Movers or Move Yourself?

Olympia Moving Crew 11

If you’re looking for a simple solution for your moving woes, then it’s always worth hiring professional movers. Rather than getting frazzled about how you’re going to get your possessions from A to B, let the experts take care of it. Book them in, then all you have to worry about is getting your stuff packed up. Preparing to move is stressful enough, let the professionals deal with the rest.

2. Create a moving checklist

The reason people get stressed about moving is because they leave everything until the last minute and then there’s a mad rush to pack everything up. Start at least a month ahead of moving day and create a moving checklist of all the tasks that need to be done. Ticking off completed tasks week by week will make you feel in control and on top of your packing before the truck arrives. Follow this 9-week checklist for a smooth relocation.

3. Set-up a moving budget

Money, or lack of it, is also a common stress factor when moving out, so do up a list of all the costs involved in the move so you can make sure you have enough cash. Add things like the cost of the movers, packing boxes & tape, utility connection fees and the like. If you have a cat or dog will you need to house them in a kennel or cattery while the move takes place? Add this cost to your moving budget.

4. Transferring Your Information

You’ll need to notify your utility companies about your change of address well in advance so they have time to make the transfers. Not having power or gas when you first move in to a new house can make for a miserable few days while it gets sorted. Don’t forget to notify your employer, doctor, dentist and any other service providers you use, plus your family and friends, of your new address.

5. Measure the new place

While preparing to move, it’s easy to make assumptions that all your furniture will fit perfectly into a new house but sometimes this isn’t the case. It may not be practical to visit your new home to measure up spaces if it’s in another state, but if it’s local then it’s a good idea to do this. If your current furniture doesn’t fit you may need to sell what you have online and order new furniture, but knowing in advance will make things less stressful.

6. Sort through your stuff

You can eliminate two stress factors, lack of money and too much stuff, by sorting through your possessions and decluttering your house before you start packing. Paring down the amount of stuff you have when you’re preparing to move will make it easier to pack, and the less stuff you have, the less it will cost you to move it.

 7. Make hard decisions

Deciding what to keep and what to toss is a lot easier if you apply some rules to the proceedings, and make two piles ‘keep’ and ‘don’t keep’. For instance, to keep it you have to have worn it or used it once in the past year. A pile of tops you’ve worn once in the last five years will go in the ‘don’t keep’ pile, likewise so will a hand-me-down cake mixer from your sister you’ve never used.

 8. What to do with stuff you’re not keeping

Now that you’ve sorted through all your stuff and have items that you haven’t used or are unlikely to use and that are still in good shape, why not consider selling them online, donating them to charity, hosting a garage sale or recycling them? Selling what you can online will top up the amount you have in your moving budget, and donating to charity will make you feel good.

 9. Gather moving supplies

Now you’ve decluttered it’s time to start packing, but you’ll need moving supplies to do so. This includes packing boxes, bubble wrap, newspaper, packing tape, sticky labels and a marker pen. You could beg steal or borrow from friends but a much easier solution is simply to order what you need online.

 10. Pack and label boxes

Pack the items in each room, apart from the furniture, into boxes and label the boxes as you go. You may want to keep an itemized online spreadsheet for each box so you know what’s in it, and also for insurance purposes if anything goes missing.

Here are some takeaway tips to keep in mind to ensure you have a positive and rewarding moving experience.

  • Plan ahead and get organized early on
  • Clear out the clutter first
  • Sell or donate what you can
  • Ask for help from friends and family
  • Take time to say goodbye
  • Eat well and get enough sleep
  • Try to go with the flow

If you are ready to start the moving process, call for a free moving estimate at 800-222-4744 or request an estimate online.

Countdown Checklist For Your Pre-Move Garage Sale

When it’s time to move to a new home, that could also mean its time to slim down on what you have in your home before the relocation.  A garage sale is the perfect way to do it & make some money while you’re at it! Here is a countdown checklist on how to execute the perfect garage sale!

One Month Before Garage Sale:

  • Get A Date in Mind. Once you have a target date, it will help you remain organized and work towards your goals for the big day.
  • Trash the Trash! As you begin to go through the things you no longer want, separate in to three piles. “Keep, Throw, Sell”
  • Look in to City Requirements & Regulations. Make sure your town or city does not have any specific restrictions that prohibit posting signs around town.
  • Do a some research. Do a little basic research, pricing on antique items and one of a kind pieces. The things you have could have more value than you expect them to!
  • Ask neighbors and friends for grocery bags. Also start to collect folding tables to display the items on.

Two Weeks Before the Garage Sale:

  • Go through the items in your “keep” pile, make sure you still want to keep them in your possession, if not move them over to the sell.
  • Begin to clean and organize your “sell” items – The better condition they are in, the more money they will be worth!
  • Start thinking about pricing – Buy pricing materials & stickers and start a tentative pricing list for the items.

One Week Before the Garage Sale:

  • Begin to distribute ads around town. Post on local town pages & Facebook. Let your friends and family know.
  • Finalize your pricing. Take the list you made a few weeks prior and begin to label all of your items.
  • Go to the bank. Make sure you have plenty of change, all size bills and coins should be in  your possession for the day of the sale.
  • Watch the weather. If rain looks like it could be a factor maybe make alternative plans
  • Have all your sales materials in order. Bags, change, newspaper wrapping, calculator & pens.

One Day Before the Garage Sale:

  • Make sure you have enough signs around town, the day before is the most important day for advertising!
  • Mark off things around the site of the sale as “Not for Sale” – you don’t want anyone trying to buy you potted plants!
  • Check the weather, again – make sure you are good to go for the next day!

The Day of the Garage Sale!

  • Wake up well before the start time of the sale to get everything arranged outside, put the small valuable things close to you so you can keep any eye on them.
  • Organize your items by category so it is easy for customers to browse your sale
  • Lock your home. When you’re busy selling you don’t want to have to worry about your home. Safety precaution!

The idea of a garage sale can be extremely overwhelming. When you break it down by week it can make the day of worry free! Once you know what you would like to move to your new home. We promise to provide you with exceptional service.

For more yard and garage tips, be sure to check out our other blog: Creating the Most Successful Yard Sale Possible

Done decluttering and ready to start moving? Request a free moving estimate online or give Olympia Moving & Storage a call at 800-222-4744

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.

Conserving Energy in Your New Home This Summer

Summer months see a rise in electric and cooling costs. Olympia Moving has some tips on how to set up your new home to keep costs down after your big move.


Moving is a process. You’re uprooting your life from one place to another and unpacking takes up time. Something that may be pushed to the back of your mind is your new energy bill. We have some tips on how you can save money this summer while you enjoy your new home!

Unplug things you aren’t using. Are you keeping your laptop or phone chargers plugged in when you’re not home? What about your toaster or coffee maker? All of these are contributors to your electric bill. Unplug electronics when you are done using them, and use a power strip to be able to efficiently unplug whatever is not in use. Unplugging your computer alone could save you around $75 per year.

Placement is key. Lights and televisions radiate a certain amount of heat, which can affect the reading on your thermostat or air conditioner. Your air conditioner will run longer and take longer for your home to heat up to your desired temperature. Place these heat-emitting electronics away from thermostats and anything gauging a temperature reading to evenly distribute heat and cooling.

 

Switch out your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLS) use less energy than incandescent bulbs and are made to last up to twelve times longer than regular bulbs. The upfront cost will pay itself off quickly when you take into consideration the length of time between replacement.
You should also ask yourself about the temperature you need to feel comfortable in your home. Running your air conditioner at a higher temperature saves up to 18% on electricity costs over the summer. Higher settings require less power to run and having a ceiling or floor fan to circulate air will help keep your home cool. Just remember to turn both off when you leave to save money; fans cool people more than they cool rooms.

 

Consider adding solar panels. If you just moved into your dream home for the long haul, consider going the extra step to save on your energy bills and help the planet.  Get a consultation for adding solar panels to your home. Solar Power Authority and this guide from Forbes are good resources for getting started.

 

Still looking for your new home? Request a moving estimate from Olympia Moving & Storage online or give us a call at 800-222-4744

How to Label Moving Boxes

During a move, the easiest way to keep track of your things is by labeling boxes. Olympia Moving & Storage has some tips on the most efficient ways to label.

Moving can be an exciting time. You’ve found a new home, a place to make new memories. Then comes the draining part: packing and labeling all of your boxes. Whether you purchased boxes online or from a moving company, your boxes will need some type of labeling system for transport between residences. How are you going to tell which box has your first night supplies and which box has your high school yearbooks? We have some tips for labeling your boxes so you can find your belongings easily during the move process.

To begin, you will need a pack of at least five permanent markers, preferably in different colors; clear and colored tape; and labels. The markers should be permanent and waterproof, if you can find them. Weather is unpredictable, and you don’t want your label to become illegible due to rain or normal wear and tear.  

You will want labels on at least two adjacent sides of the box, and one on top. It’s going to be easier to unpack or store boxes if you can see what is in it from at least one angle.

Use the same color for all boxes going to the same room, such as red for kitchen or brown for living room. Write the main things on each label, such as books, power cords or place settings. If you have colored tape to correspond with the markers, use the tape as an additional way to easily identify the box’s room by taping the corners of your box. Use clear tape over the labels to add another means of security to the marker. The clear tape will prevent water from getting on the label and block rips and tears. A great resource is to download Olympia’s free printable moving box labels which are color-coded and labeled by room and include an area to write a short inventory.

If you are packing a box of fragile items, make sure it is labeled “FRAGILE” on each side in marker or a fragile label sticker, with THIS END UP written near the top of the box.

You should also make sure to pack and label a First Night box filled with the essentials you will need right away.  Read our blog post for a checklist of items to put in this box.

Another great tip is to use a numbering system to easily find items and identify that all your boxes have been delivered safely.  Write a large number on your boxes or packing labels, then create a chart with each box number, the room it belongs in, and a brief description of its contents.  

Finally, make delivery smoother for your movers by taping a label next to bedroom doors and other rooms that might be easily confused.  You may know which bedroom is little Sally’s and which room is the library vs. the family room, but the movers won’t. Use the same colored marker, tape, or label on the sign as on the box to make it easily identifiable as well.

If you need help packing and labeling your belongings, Olympia Moving & Storage offers several packing plans from full or partial home to fragile items. You may reach Olympia at 800-222-4744 or request an estimate online.

The First Steps to Organize a Pack to Move

When you start to pack your home it can be overwhelming. It is hard to know where to start. To minimize the chance of losing something the best thing to do is take a step back and plan. The key to success for the steps leading up to move in day is organization. Here are some tips on how to execute a smooth pack from the start.

1. Walk around the house with a pad of paper and pen and make a plan on what rooms you’re going to pack first. The office full of stuff you haven’t touched in a few months could be first, and maybe the kid’s room one of the last. Prior to packing it is essential to have a solid plan.

2. Acquire packing materials before you dive in to packing. Olympia has excellent packing materials available for purchase & delivery. Click here to order.

3. Learn how to pack using Olympia’s “How to Pack” video series. In these videos Olympia’s training manager, John, demonstrates how to pack even the most fragile items to arrive at your new home safely and in one piece. Click here to view them now.

4. Pack one room at a time. While this sounds like an obvious solution, it is crucial for when you move in to your new house. You will have boxes labeled by room and you’ll be able to find things quickly. If you’re really feeling organized keep a running list of what is going inside the boxes and place it on top. Utilize Olympia’s free printable box labels to help keep organized.

5. Pack the most important items separately: When you’re in the process of packing it is hard to gage what you will and will not need. To be safe, make a separate box of all of these things and label it “IMPORTANT” for now put everything you might need in there, from laptop cords, TV cords, remotes, headphones, and passports. If you may need it, put it in there for now. Learn more about packing what you need right away in our blog about the “First Night Box.”

If you don’t want to pack at all, no worries! Ask about a quote for Olympia’s full-packing services by calling 800-222-4744 or request a quote 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.