Helpful Tips for Moving into a Smaller Space

Moving into a smaller space certainly has it’s benefits–it’s easier to maintain and is often less costly. However, what presents a challenge for most people is downsizing their belongings to fit into their new home. Here at Dependable Relo, we have a lot of experience helping people move, so we’ve picked up time-saving ideas. We’re going to give you a few tips to make this process easier for you as well.

First, walk around your house and make a list of essential items that you couldn’t live without. Obviously, you’ll want to include your main furniture and all the basics that frame your home (provided they will fit in your new living space). Other necessary items might be things like toolkits, expensive electronics, or cookware.

As you make your list, try to be realistic about your non-essentials. It can be tough to let go of items you’re familiar with, but be honest about what things you probably won’t use. For instance, donate any clothes you don’t actually plan to wear again. This is also a good time to throw out all those broken appliances, stereos, or exercise machines that have been collecting dust. To seriously declutter and downsize, tackle those “junk boxes” and drawers that have grown over the years.

If there are items with sentimental family value that are too big or too plentiful to take along, consider if you can give them to another family member or close friend to hold onto for you.

Another easy way to scale back is to clean out extra items and duplicates. When you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, you often end up with multiples of the same items. As you take an inventory of your cabinets and drawers, you might find that you now have several identical spatulas and tape measures. People also tend to notice they have dozens of linen or china sets. Pare down to just one or two of each item you need.

Another tip for downsizing? Consolidate. If you have two partially filled bottles of laundry detergent, combine their contents into one container to save space.

The last element you’ll have to consider is your storage space. Do a walkthrough of your new home to take note of the storage spaces and measure the closets and cabinets. If you have a lot of belongings that need to come with you, try to brainstorm some ways you can most efficiently use your new space. Install closet dividers, find tall shelves, or place storage bins under beds and couches. Purchasing coffee tables or bench seats that open up into storage trunks is also a clever place to keep extra blankets, board games, or magazines.

If there are still too many items left over to comfortably fit in your new home, resolve to put the additional belongings in storage and re-assess whether or not you still want them in a few months. Dependable Relo will even offer full service storage so you can maximize the efficiency of your move. We’re here to make sure the transition to your new location goes as smoothly as possible, from start to finish. If you need help with an upcoming move, call Dependable Relo for professional and personalized solutions.

Tips for Moving to a New City

A lot of moving blogs will help you prepare for the move itself–how to do the paperwork, how to pack, where to find a good moving company. While all this information is helpful, what happens once you’re finally in your new home? Adjusting to a new town or city can be stressful and discombobulating. Since Dependable Relo typically focuses on how to simplify the actual process of moving, we thought we’d put together a few tips to make arriving easier as well.

Get Acquainted With Your Surroundings

Start with the basics. Locate the nearest grocery store, library, post office, pharmacy, park, shopping mall, movie theatre, or coffeeshop. You can drive/walk around and familiarize yourself that way, but tools like Google Maps also make this a simple task to do from your own computer. Knowing where the staples are will help you get acclimated to the new town and feel like it’s your home. Also, going to pick something up from the store quickly won’t feel so daunting because you’ll be familiar with where the essential stores are. And you might even discover some interesting places along the way!

Meet New People

Reaching out is often the most daunting task for people when moving to a new area. This is understandable, as meeting new people can be nerve-wracking! It certainly takes a bit of courage and initiative on your part, but try to remember that it takes everyone a little time to find their place after a move. There are bound to be people with whom you have things in common; it’s just a matter of meeting them.

  • Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Ask them if there are any restaurants, pubs, or local events they’d recommend. People are often happy to talk about their favorite places, and you might find out that you have interests in common.
  • Attend neighborhood events like block parties and street festivals.
  • Join social groups based around hobbies (like a book club, an intramural sports league, or a class at the gym). Websites like Meetup.com even help you find clubs and groups of people who are getting together for activities they enjoy, whether it’s winetasting, walking their dogs, or simply socializing.
  • Volunteer. This is also a great way to meet new people and get connected to your community at the same time.

Explore Your New Home

The physical act of moving homes is stressful and time-consuming–following it with having to learn a whole new city can be downright overwhelming. Try to view this as an adventurous learning process. You have the unique opportunity to discover a whole city of new things. Enjoy the process of finding your new favorite restaurant, hiking trail, or farmer’s market. Sometimes it can help to act like a tourist in your city. Do some sightseeing, visit famous any attractions, check out the museums and zoos, or find out where the local hotspots are. Check out Yelp to read reviews of nearby restaurants and go sample their menu. Even if it’s a small town you live in, there are bound to be some charming places that make it unique.

Don’t Stress Too Much

Above all else, be patient with yourself. It usually takes some time to find your footing and fall into a routine. Don’t worry; you will eventually know all the street names and remember how to get to your son or daughter’s school. It’s difficult to move to a new place where you might not know anyone, but if you stay active in your community, you are certain to find a group of like-minded people. Until then, use the downtime to decorate your new space, explore new hobbies, and discover what makes your city special.

Tips for a Safe Move

The safety of our team, the traveling public, our customer’s families and the goods they entrust to us is our company’s top concern. That is why Dependable Relo invests in intense background checks, continual training, and the newest technology.

When choosing a mover, you should make sure they are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as being registered with the state. This will ensure that the company has met the necessary insurance and regulatory regulations and is not a rogue mover. If you do find yourself at the mercy of a disreputable mover, contact MoveRescue. MoveRescue is the first industry-endorsed consumer assistance service aimed at stopping disreputable and dishonest interstate movers. They can be contacted at 800-832-1773 or via the web at www.moverescue.com

The safety and well being of you and your goods should be the top concern of all relocation professionals. Dependable Relo runs intensive background checks and pre employment drug screens on all potential employees before they become part of the Dependable Relo Team. Texas law requires all delivery companies to perform background checks. Ask your potential mover how they conduct their background checks and what their hiring criteria is before you allow them into your home.

In addition to valuing your safety, we respect the safety well-being of our team members. All movers are bound to hours of service regulations put forth by the federal government. One of these regulations limits both the work day and the driving hours for the drivers. Dependable Relo strives to adhere to all these regulations when scheduling relocations with our customers. We recently began testing of new (ELD) electronic logging devices in conjunction with UniGroup safety. We feel that these devices will help us achieve our goal of zero violations to these hours of service regulations.

At Dependable Relo, keeping our customers and their belongings safe during their move is a main priority. We want to ensure that your relocation goes as smoothly as possible for you. Contact Dependable Relo today for assistance on an upcoming residential, commercial, or industrial move.

How to Know If Your Move is Tax Deductible

Relocating to a new home can be costly, which can add another layer of stress to an already overwhelming situation. Fortunately, you may be able to relieve some of that financial strain by deducting your move from your taxes.

To be eligible for a tax deductible move, your relocation must meet several basic requirements set by the IRS.

you are a member of the military and your move was due to a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) or military order, typically your move will only be tax deductible if it’s related to starting a new job or business.

Within that framework, your new job will need to pass the “time and distance” tests. You will need to work full time at your new position for at least 39 weeks (about 10 months) in the first year after you move. If you are self-employed, to pass the time test you will need to work at least 78 weeks in the next two years following your move. You do not need to count vacation time, work missed due to illness, or school breaks for teachers.

In regards to the “distance test,” your new job or business needs to be at least 50 miles further away from your former home than your previous workplace was in order to pass. For instance, if your prior position was 10 miles away from your old house, your new job must be at least 60 miles away from that house.

So if your situation meets these standards, what are you allowed to deduct on your taxes? Deductions are limited to “reasonable expenses” that cover your packing and moving costs. This includes the price of moving and shipping your belongings, gas mileage (if driving), lodging, temporary storage, and plane tickets if any member of your family is flying to your new city. You can usually deduct utility startup fees at your new residence as well. In some cases, the cost of shipping and transporting pets can be deducted as well. Make sure to save receipts and keep accurate records of your spending during the move. That makes this process much easier when you are filing your taxes.

Tips for Moving With Pets

Moving can be stressful and overwhelming for everyone in the family, and that includes your companion animals. Most pet owners hate the thought of their beloved pet getting hurt or feeling scared during a move, but fortunately there are several tips and guidelines that can help make the transition smoother for both you and your animals.

Before the Move

Make a list of things your pet will need during the move (like food, a water bowl, leash, crate, or carrier) and remember not to pack them away.

Make sure your pet is updated on shots and that you have an adequate supply of any medication they require. This way, if you have trouble finding a vet after your move, you’ll know that your pet has what they need to get by in the meantime. Ideally, you want to have a new vet in mind before you move, but when relocating to a new home, many people are so busy with settling in that finding a new veterinarian falls by the wayside.
Ask your current vet if he or she would recommend sedatives to calm your animal friend’s nerves during the move. Some dogs and cats can get flustered or panicky in cars or planes, but a mild sedative can soothe them and prevent motion sickness.

If your dog or cat will need to be in a crate during travel, start putting it in its crate for short periods of time beforehand so it’s already comfortable with it when moving day arrives.
If traveling by plane, check the airline’s regulations on bringing pets. Some smaller animals can travel in the cabin if they fit in a carrier under the seat, but larger animals must travel in the cargo.

During the Move

Do not let animals roam free while the movers are loading up your belongings. Keep pets in their crate or a closed off room. This keeps movers safe and prevents your pet from accidentally slipping out of the yard.
Have an emergency veterinarian number on hand in case anything comes up while traveling.
Do not put animals in the cargo area of a moving van or truck. They can slide around or heavy items can fall on them. The truck also might not be a safe temperature for animals, especially during extremely hot or cold seasons. It’s best to have your animal in a crate with you in your personal moving vehicle.

Arriving at Your New Home

New surroundings can be overwhelming and upsetting for animals, especially cats. To help them slowly acclimate to their new environment, don’t let animals roam free in the whole house at first. Start them off in just one room or floor and slowly open up other rooms to them. Put familiar items like toys, blankets, or beds near them so they feel at home.

If you have an outdoor pet, make sure the yard is safe and clear of any debris or sharp objects hidden in the grass.
Even though you’ll be focused on unpacking and setting up bills, be sure to set aside some time to visit and play with your pet. Your attention and love can help them feel relaxed and happy in their new environment.

Remember, it may take some time before your animal loves your new home as much as you do. During the transition, they may act more skittish or cranky than usual. However, with the proper care they will eventually adapt and be back to the happy, healthy pet you know and love.

Unpacking Tips

The post-move mountain of moving boxes makes it tough to know where your unpacking should begin and end. The time it takes to unpack means you need to get to the most important items for living first. Use these tips on how to unpack to make sure you have the items you need whenever you need them.

Don’t Rush, Make a Plan

It’s tempting to try to knock out your entire unpacking efforts in less than a day. However, unpacking can be physically exhausting, which increases your risk of injury and the risk of damage to your furniture and household goods.

If you take your time, you’re more likely to make smart and well-considered decisions about the arrangement of your home. The more decisive you are, the less you’ll have to correct poor decision-making later on.

We recommend unpacking in the following order so you can begin enjoying your home as you unpack:

Place your furniture

Place your boxes in an appropriate storage area away from other objects and try to arrange your furniture in its final arrangement once you arrive in your new home. Since many household objects require pieces of furniture on which they can stand or sit, you’ll need the support of pre-arranged furniture to complete the unpacking process.

Unpack for kitchen

The kitchen will be your home base while you begin unpacking your things. You’ll need a place to convene, prepare food, eat, and reenergize. Take out some pots and pans, a kettle or coffee maker, and some of your favorite, easy-to-prepare foods first so you’ll never run low on energy. The kitchen is a great place to unwind as it becomes unpacked.

Unpack the bathroom

Stocking the toilet paper and creating a handwashing station will be vital to your unpacking efforts. Set out some towels so that anyone unpacking will feel comfortable using the restroom, and make sure that you have toiletries such as hand soap and a toothbrush with toothpaste ready so you can rest after the first day of your move.

Unpack the living room

Once your kitchen area is ready for food prep and your restroom is fully prepared, you can start moving on to the areas of your home designed for comfort. The living room will likely be your sleeping area for the first parts of your move, but even if it’s not, you’ll need a place to sit and recuperate as you finish up your move.

Unpack the bedroom

The bedroom should be the last area you unpack. It contains one of the heaviest items you’ll have to move – your bed. Since the bedroom area is almost purely for comfort, you should prioritize your necessities – food and waste – above setting up your bedroom. If you need a sleeping surface, just lay down your mattress before setting up your bed frame.

Unpack fragile items

Take out mirrors, vases, lamps, and breakable decorations after you’ve made room for all of the objects that don’t need protection. They’re safest when padded inside of a moving box. If you need to, unpack any lighting items for use during your first few nights at your new home to minimize electricity use during your move.

Remember to keep in mind the importance of toiletries and food as you unpack. Stay patient and focused and you’ll turn your house into a home quickly and with minimal effort!

Practical Housewarming Gifts

Housewarming gifts bring a lot of unnecessary clutter into a new resident’s life. Thoughtful gifts are not always useful, so here is a list of practical items for a housewarming party.

Hand Soaps

Liquid hand soaps come in many creative scents and bottle designs. After a move, a new resident will need a lot of home necessities. Give a set of liquid hand soaps to leave a nice touch in your friend’s new home or apartment.

Olive Oil and Salad Dressing

Your friend may miss many of the necessities of cooking because of their move. Specialty cooking ingredients like olive oil or salad dressing will check one thing off your friend’s grocery list.

Personalized Stamps

Have a customizable stamp made online or in an office supply store with the new address of your friend. It may be an unusual gift but, when it comes time to mail in bills, your friend will find this gift useful.

Picture and Art Hangers

If the art is not on the walls at your friend’s new place, it is helpful to give some hooks and wall hangers. With a variety of weight limits and hanging styles, buy an assortment as your gift.

Local Newspaper or Magazine Subscription

If your friend is new to the area, a great way to introduce them is the gift of current events and entertainment. A six month subscription to the Austin Chronicle is only $35 and a one year subscription to the Austin Monthly is only $14.94.

Subscription Box

With so many subscription boxes available it is easy to find one your friend might enjoy. Birchbox sends cosmetics every month and is available in male and female packages. Plated is a weekly subscription where you can pick your daily meals from an online menu.

Solar Powered Lights

If your friend’s new place has an outdoor area or a walkway to the front door, solar powered outdoor lighting can be a practical gift. These lights come in many colors and styles so try to find a set that matches your friend’s preferences.

Welcome Mat

A welcome mat is an easy and practical housewarming gift. You can find generic welcome mats at home improvement stores or you can customize a mat online.

Gift Cards

Lowe’s offers a 10% off moving discount in the USPS change of address form and Ikea offers $25 off purchases over $250 for the newly moved, so a gift card to a store with moving discounts is a practical housewarming idea. You can also buy your friend a gift card to a local restaurant with delivery to help during the long nights of unpacking.

Refrigerator Magnets

Refrigerator magnets are a practical gift that take some creativity. You can build a magnetic storage container out of vintage spice tin or craft your own DIY fridge magnet project.

Fire Extinguisher

Sometimes fire extinguishers come with a home or apartment, but it is a practical housewarming gift to give to a new resident. The most versatile fire extinguisher is a dry powder extinguisher which fights wood, paper and textiles, flammable liquids, flammable gases and electrical fires. However, the dry powder extinguisher does not cover cooking oil and fat fires, so consider purchasing a wet chemical fire extinguisher to cover all of the possible home fires.

How To Move Alone Without Hurting Yourself

Those who are eager to get to their new home might feel the need to start moving immediately without the help of a moving company. For those who decide to go this route, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind to ensure that you and your items both get home safely.

The most important rule to follow when moving alone is that you should move items that are smaller than the width and height of your body.

It might be common sense to some, but many have tried to move large objects by themselves with unhappy results. These mistakes often lead to damaged furniture or broken appliances that end up costing much more in the end.

What can I move by myself?

  • Boxes that contain plates, clothes, or other household objects
  • Dining room chairs
  • Side tables
  • Paintings
  • Small appliances such as speakers
  • Lightweight televisions

Moving without the hassle

Large appliances such as refrigerators, pianos, beds, dining room tables, and more should be best left to the moving company to assure a trip to your new home doesn’t include a trip to the hospital.

A person who lacks the knowledge of where to place buffers on the items also runs the risk of scratching, damaging, or even losing the item due to extensive damage.

Items must be secured firmly to ensure that they don’t get damaged on the journey. Moving while using a pick-up truck is recommended since it allows for easy access to items while unloading.

Make sure not to place items larger than the truck bed on the pick-up truck. Doing so could lead to instances where the furniture falls from the truck, or damage could be caused to other drivers on the road if not securely fastened. There is also a risk of transporting an over-sized item that could result in a fine from law enforcement.

If you must move without a moving company, make sure to call a few close friends to help out. The extra hands reduce the likelihood of damage happening and provides a much smoother moving experience.

Need help moving?

Moving that king sized bed by yourself might seem impossible, but with the help of an Austin moving company like Dependable Relo you are in great hands. We offer a variety of residential moving services to cover your move across town as well as moving across the US.

Contact Dependable Relo today to help get you to your new home in one piece.