How to Make Moving Fun for Kids

Make moving fun for kids - a young child waits in the car while parents load the carMoving is already stressful. Adding frustrated or bored kids who are trying to cope with change can be a recipe for disaster, but it doesn’t have to be this way. By helping your kids view moving with a positive attitude, they’ll not only have an easier time, but their high spirits and abundant energy can help make moving more fun and pleasant for you, too.

Talk to Them about Moving

Kids have their own concerns, fears, and questions about moving to a new place. It’s hard for anybody to accept something in which they have no choice or leave behind the familiar, and children are no exception.

Giving them something to look forward to in the new location can ease the transition. Sign them up for a class where they can practice their favorite hobby. Show them pictures of local parks and attractions and promise to take them there once you’re settled in. Get them excited about decorating their new bedroom. The adjustment will take time, but helping them look forward to moving will make a difference.

Turn Packing into a Game

  1. Are you familiar with the “going on a picnic” game? If not, read the rules of the game. You can easily adapt them to packing boxes. For older kids, challenge them to remember everything that’s going into a box and repeat it back to you before they can add something else. Younger kids who have more trouble with remembering long lists can simply name an item that begins with the first letter of their name.
  2. Task your kids with organizing all the items in the house by category. For younger kids, challenge them to find and stack all of their clothing, toys, and books in a pile. Older kids can organize in more detail, separating types and seasons of clothes and grouping things of similar weight and size together.
  3. Let your kids decorate the boxes and create elaborate labels using stickers, markers, and crayons. You’ll get a smile on your face with every box you pick up and move as you admire their creative handiwork, and the back of your moving truck will look like an art gallery.

Make the Car Ride Fly By

  1. Music and car games will sustain your kids for an hour or two, but once boredom sets in you’ll have to endure a never-ending chorus of “Are we there yet?” Making the back seat comfortable with pillows and blankets and loading it with snacks will help keep the crankiness level low.
  2. With audio books, children will be able to follow longer stories above their reading level, and they won’t get car sick from reading paper books.
  3. Bring sleeping masks and ear plugs along for light sleepers (beware of the choking hazard for younger kids). If you’re lucky enough, your kids might pass part of the time by napping.

Help Kids Settle In

  1. Give them some independence about how their bedroom is organized. This will make unpacking and putting things away more fun and will motivate them to keep the room neater. With some guidance, let them decide how to decorate their room.
  2. On the first night at the new house, bring everyone’s mattress into the living room or another communal area so the whole family can “camp” together. This will make it easier for your children to tolerate new sounds at night.
  3. Let the kids get creative with the leftover boxes. They can make rocket ships, castles, masks, and even decorations for their rooms out of cardboard.

Over the last 50 years, Weleski has moved thousands of families with kids. If you have a question about how make moving fun for kids, just ask us!

Where to Get Moving Boxes

Where to get moving boxes - boy and dog sitting in a boxNothing beats a sturdy, easy-to-stack box for safely moving your belongings. But where do you get moving boxes? Sadly, it often seems like the supply of quality cardboard boxes has suddenly run out the closer you get to your moving date. Don’t resort to throwing your valuables into garbage bags – plan ahead and use these tips to ensure that you have all the clean and durable boxes you need.

Ask Your Friends and Coworkers

Before you start driving around the neighborhood and diving in dumpsters, the first thing you should do is put out a notice on social media that you’re moving and need supplies. The wider you can cast your social net, the better. The average American moves once every five years. Chances that a friend (or a friend of a friend) just finished unpacking and has boxes to spare are high.

If you work in an office, ask if you can take home empty printer paper boxes. Offer to take the packaging from your coworkers’ Amazon shipments off their hands. Maybe they’ll appreciate you saving them a trip to the recycling bin.

Check Online Listings

There’s a good chance that somebody on Freecycle or Craigslist is offering all the free boxes you need in your area. All you have to do is look for a listing. Don’t see anything right now? Post your own listing advertising your need with a contact phone number. Wait a week or so for the calls or texts to roll in. All you have to do is pick them up.

Stop By a Recycling Center

You should ask for permission first, but it’s unlikely that anybody will mind if you take whatever whole boxes you can find from the stacks of cardboard at your local recycling center. After all, reusing materials again and again is even more effective at reducing energy consumption and protecting the environment than recycling!

Visit Area Businesses

The best quality boxes will come from businesses that deal with shipments of dry, clean goods in a variety of sizes. Try an office supply store, a bookstore, or a pharmacy. You may have more luck at local businesses than at chain stores. You’ll get even luckier if you can figure out how often those stores receive shipments. This is where your network of friends can come in handy. Ask around and one of them might be able to alert you to a recent influx of usable boxes.

Do you need help on your quest for boxes? Just ask us and we’ll give you more detailed information about where to get moving boxes and how to get all the moving supplies you need.

How to Move Electronics

Other than dishes and glassware, electronics are some of the most fragile items in your home, and they’re often even more complicated to move. Unless they’re covered against damage, breaking them will take a hefty bite out of your wallet, too. Keep them safe on their journey to your new home by following these 10 tips.

7 Tips for Moving into a College Dorm

For many students, moving into a college dorm room will mark the first time they’ve ever been away from family and old friends for the long term. It’s important to make dorm room surroundings familiar, cozy, and organized. That way they have somewhere to retreat to when school stress wears them out. However, resist the temptation to pack anything and everything you can into a U-Haul. It will only make moving out at the end of the semester a nightmare.

  1. Follow the move-in instructions.Van loaded full of student's possessions ready for moving into a college dorm

    Nearly all colleges and universities provide students with move-in information via mail before their arrival. Read these instructions thoroughly to make sure you understand where to park, what time the doors open, and where and how to check in.

  2. Only pack the essentials.

    Leaving home is hard. It’s understandable to want to bring as much of it with you as you can, but it’s not practical! Remember that dorms typically provide basic furniture like beds, desks, and wardrobes. Make a list of what you’ll need within your first two weeks, like bedding, toiletries, casual and dressy shoes (limit yourself to four or five pairs), two weeks’ worth of outfits (including loungewear, athletic clothes, and something formal just in case), laundry essentials, kitchen utensils, and a basic tool kit.

  3. Coordinate with your roommate.

    Does your new roomie have an awesome smart TV and a mini fridge that they’ve offered to share? Then don’t bring your own! Save the precious car space and the energy spent carrying them up and down the stairs.

  4. Ship what you can.

    Ask if you’ll be able to receive packages on move-in day. If you can, ship bulkier items ahead of your arrival, like mattress pads, pillows and blankets, black-out curtains, and towels. Don’t bother bringing your whole wardrobe – leave seasonal clothing behind so it can be shipped to you later in the year.

  5. Buy it online.

    If there’s something you won’t need right away but you’re worried you’ll need it eventually, consider whether you can buy it on Amazon and have it shipped to you at your convenience. Maybe by the time you’re finished moving in you’ll change your mind and save yourself from having to move it out again.

  6. Use storage bins.

    Buy organizers and bins ahead of time and pack all your items inside them. That way every item you bring with you will have a home, keeping you clutter-free throughout the semester. Not to mention how much easier it is to carry items in a storage bin with handles and a lid than in a garbage bag or open laundry basket.

  7. Bring some mementos from home.

    And by mementos, we don’t mean a bunch of fragile knickknacks, but a few pictures of parents, siblings, family pets, and other loved ones to post on the walls will go a long way in making this new space more welcoming. If you have a comfort object like a childhood stuffed animal or blanket that will make getting to sleep easier, don’t be embarrassed! Your roommate will probably have something too.

Want more tips about moving into a college dorm, or need some help on moving day? Feel free to contact us and ask us a question.

These Are Your 8 Packing Essentials

You’ve probably seen the typical “I’m moving. Need boxes!” plea on Facebook. Sometimes people come through with boxes left over from their own recent move, but more often adequate packing supplies are scarce and those friends have to resort to hauling their clothes in black garbage bags.8 essential packing supplies you need for your move.

If you’ve decided to do your packing alone, make it easy on yourself and get what you need. Maybe then you can be that friend who comes through for someone else with spare packing supplies. These are the eight packing essentials you can’t move without:

  1. Corrugated cardboard boxes in various sizes. When you pack boxes, avoid making them too heavy for the average person to carry. Large boxes are perfect for lightweight items like bedding, towels, and lampshades. Appliances and toys will fit fine in medium boxes. Finally, he smallest boxes are good for dense, heavy items like books and tools.
  2. A dish barrel. This tall, narrow cardboard carton is especially good for containing plates and glassware. Some come with cardboard dividers for your glasses, mugs, and stemware.
  3. A wardrobe box. Say goodbye to black garbage bags – this is, hands down, the easiest way to transport your clothes from one closet to another. You don’t even have to take your garments off their hangers; simply hang them on the bar across the top of the box.
  4. Flat boxes. There are large, shallow boxes specifically designed to transport flat screen TVs, decorative mirrors, and art. Use them to protect some of your most valuable items.
  5. Packing paper. This is one of the most versatile and useful packing tools that people often forget about. Unlike newspaper, packing paper won’t rub ink all over your belongings. It’s perfect for cushioning plates and glasses, and you can rip and crumple it to fit into any sized space or corner to prevent movement and provide extra cushioning.
  6. Bubble wrap. It’s lightweight, it provides superior cushioning, and it’s fun to pop when you’re finished moving. Use bubble wrap on your most fragile and precious items, and wrap it around things like wooden furniture legs to prevent chips and scratches.
  7. You’re going to be taping like a fiend, so don’t wrestle with a bargain bin packing tape dispenser with a dull blade – get yourself a tape gun and save the time and frustration normally expended on trying to find and peel back the end of the tape after losing track of it for the fifth time.
  8. Finally, you’ll need to mark your boxes. You can use a classic black felt tip marker, or you can strive for maximum efficiency by color-coding your labels. Make sure you write your labels on the sides of the boxes so you can still read them after stacking them.

Want more advice about what packing materials to use for your move, or where to get them? Just ask us and we’ll be happy to help you.

How to Have a Garage Sale Before Moving

Before you pack everything up in boxes and take it to your new home, you can do yourself a big favor by getting rid of the things you no longer need. Unless you are saving an item for someone else, if you haven’t used it in the last 3-5 years, there’s a good chance you never will. A garage sale or yard sale lets you make money, and also helps you save money by reducing the weight of your shipment.

Pick a date (Saturdays are prime) and advertise. There are several ways to get the word out.

  • You can use social media networks (Nextdoor is ideal)
  • Post/distribute flyers in the neighborhood
  • Put notices out through the local newspaper, church bulletins and bulletin boards

Publish the starting time and duration (e.g., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). When you open the garage door at 8 a.m., you’ll likely see a swarm of early birds—be prepared for the rush.

If parking is limited, you might contact your neighbors a few days before your event to ask if they would park their cars in their drives to free up space on the street. If you live on a narrow street or road with no shoulder for parking, assess the capacity for parking in your yard. Designate the parking area with highly visible signs.

Long, counter-height tables are ideal for displaying things. Keep kitchen things, tools, hardware, clothing, knick-knacks, books, etc. grouped together, as in departments. If something you wish to sell isn’t fully functional, note “as is” on the price to acknowledge it may need repair. However, most folks understand that garage sale items, especially in a moving sale, are sold “as is.”Containers labeled with prices hold merchandise being sold at a garage sale

How you price items can have a big impact on your success. In this era of eBay and online shopping, it’s easy to find a market price on just about anything you wish to sell. Remember, your goal is to get rid of things, so make your prices attractive.

Be prepared to consider offers below your asking price. A common mistake is to place a sentimental value on top of a market value. Books, for example, bring only pennies on the dollar, despite the fact that the enjoyment and enlightenment they offer can be immeasurable. If you are having a hard time parting with something, think of the enjoyment it will bring to someone else. A bit of charity in your outlook will serve you well.

If you are unsure of how to price some of your things, denote them with “make offer.” For items of relatively higher value, you may attach a piece of paper for bidders to write an amount they are willing to pay along with their contact info (phone or email) so they can be notified at the close of the sale.

Be aware that garage sales can be prime hunting grounds for sticky fingers and fraudsters. It pays to have several family members and friends on hand to help “mind the store” and keep things from walking off. A Dri-Mark® counterfeit detector pen is a worthwhile expense and can save you the embarrassment of ending up with funny money in your till.

Do you have a tip from your experience with garage sales and moving sales? Leave it in a comment to this post—I know our readers would like to hear from you!

Tips for a Cool Summer Move

When the days grow longer and warmer, more people are on the move. School is out, mom and/or dad have vacation time coming, and so summer seems the most convenient (or least inconvenient) time to relocate. With over a hundred years of providing moving services in Pittsburgh, Weleski Transfer has learned a few things to help you have a seamless summer move.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a cool summer move.Weleski Transfer Ready for Summer Moving.

  • Be the early bird. Making a summer move is sort of like going swimming at the local pool; those who show up first get the best pick of chairs and umbrellas. Scheduling moves can get a little complicated in the summer, and wait times are typically longer. The best advice: schedule now. Our move schedulers plan weeks in advance, juggling resources and people to accommodate every customer as best as possible. Your business is important to us, and we want to help you move when you expect—so contact us as soon as you can.
  • Move it? Sell it! The more a shipment weighs, the more it costs to transport. So, instead of moving that two-hundred-pound solid wood picnic table your uncle gave you when he moved a few years back, why not turn it into cash? Summer is the best time to hold a yard or moving sale and unload all those things you’ve been accumulating but not longer need. Saturdays and Sundays in late May and early June are prime time. After the sale, you can donate leftovers to charity, give them away to friends and neighbors, or save them for a “moving sale sequel” on a subsequent weekend.
  • Don’t sweat it. Anyone who works at moving companies in Pittsburgh will tell you, summer days can get quite warm here. Daytime highs often reach into the nineties during July and August. During very warm weather, moving crews will prefer to load in the morning hours, before the full heat of the day. If your moving-related tasks require work outside or in spaces without air conditioning, avoid the hottest times of the day and drink plenty of water to keep from overheating and dehydration.
  • Protect your pets. Warm weather can be hazardous for animals, especially cats and dogs. It may be okay to put them in the yard while the movers are working, but make sure they have a way to get out of the sun and access to plenty of water. A sick pet will make everyone’s move miserable.
  • Make friends in the new hood. A summer move often means plenty of time in your new home before school starts. Take the opportunity to help your kids find things to do and to make new friends. Local neighborhood associations and social networks such as Nextdoor.com can be good resources for meeting families in your area. Check with the local parks department or recreation leagues about sports and other youth activities.

Are you planning to relocate this summer? Contact Weleski Transfer to get a cost and discuss scheduling. Our Pittsburgh movers will help you experience a cool move.

Finding the Right Neighborhood

When you undertake a move to a different city or town, you’ll be settling into a new neighborhood. Every neighborhood has its own character, a unique mix of homes and businesses, green spaces and recreational facilities, churches, and schools. Neighborhoods are as different as the people who comprise them. So how do you find a neighborhood you will be comfortable in? A place where you will feel more than a passing kinship with your neighbors?

Here are a few resources you may find useful as you go about finding your perfect fit.

Finding the right neighborhood with Weleski

Your real estate agent. In general, realtors who have earned the CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) designation are more knowledgeable than agents who have not. Talk to your agent about your expectations for property values, schools, walkability, noise and light pollution, safety—any and all quality-of-living aspects that are important to you.

Online resources. Several websites compile information on neighborhoods precisely to let people know whether they might want to locate there.

  • Area Vibes lists statistics on livability, amenities, cost of living, crime, education, employment, and housing.
  • You can talk to residents and those with firsthand knowledge of a city’s neighborhoods via the discussion boards at www.city-data.com.
  • Neighborhood Scout offers a subscription service that lets you explore neighborhoods by zip code.
  • You can see how amenable an area is for walking, biking, and public transit via a score (0: worst to 100: best). For a map and table of cities (pop. 200,000 and above) where these scores are published, go here.
  • Where are the best schools located?Just enter a zip code and see for yourself at GreatSchools.org.
  • Atlas Van Lines provides quality-of-life research on many cities in the U.S. and Canada with city guides. You can view these here  (U.S. City Guides) and here (Canada City Guides).
  • You can see a fairly extensive set of data for areas by zip code at bestplaces.net. In addition to typical census-type information, the site also aggregates data on the cost of living, healthcare, and climate.
  • Google Maps provides photo views by address as well as a tool for locating nearby dining, lodging, and transportation resources.
  • Personal Visit. The best way to see what a neighborhood is like is to drive or walk around in it.

If you are planning a visit to the Pittsburgh or Cleveland areas, let us know. There are lots of great neighborhoods in both cities. Our Weleski storage and warehouse movers have been in and out of every local neighborhood many times. Tell us about your expectations and our furniture movers will recommend some areas you may like to consider.

Moving Q&A

Our furniture movers get a lot of questions from customers about what to expect with Atlas moving them. These usually come from families who are about to move for the first time. Here are answers to a few of the more common questions we hear.

How much does it cost to move?Questions and answers for moving

The answer depends on how much your shipment weighs and how far it travels. To give a detailed price quote, we visit your home and see exactly what items you will be moving. We’ll also talk about preparing and packing your things for shipment, what the cost would be for us to do it and what you can do yourself to save money. Weleski has been helping families move for over 100 years. We use our experience to not only make moving easy for you but to help you make it less expensive for yourself. By the way, we also provide quick, ballpark moving estimates here.

How long does it take to move?

Generally, smaller shipments move more quickly than big shipments do. Our warehouse movers at Weleski storage can usually move smaller shipments, those weighing less than 5,000 pounds (such as 2-bedroom apartments or small houses), across the country in ten days or less. Larger moves can take longer, simply because there are more preparation and handling involved. Equipment availability can also be a factor during the busiest moving months (when school is out of session). Moving also requires planning; four weeks typically provides ample time. Here’s a four-week checklist you may find helpful.

Are there things I shouldn’t move? Things I can’t move?

Yes. Now is the best time to let them go of items you no longer need, so they can be of use to someone else. Consider selling them and using the money to offset other expenses. You might like to donate things to charity or give them away to friends. Or, you may simply recycle them. (Nobody really wants that broken wall clock or that collection of empty wine bottles—you could make them vanish at the curb with a post under “free stuff” on Craigslist.)

As for things you can’t move, our furniture movers have a list of “non-allowables,” things they are unable to move or can move only under special circumstances. And there are certain things, like valuables and personal items, that should be moved. Here’s a page that explains all of this in detail.

What happens if something becomes damaged during moving?

Our warehouse movers take extreme care in preparing, handling, and transporting household goods. Still, we encourage every customer to take advantage of Full Value Protection. It’s affordable coverage that provides repair or replacement (market value) of any item that is lost or damaged while in our care. Such events are the exception, rather than the rule; in any case, Full Value Protection provides peace of mind that is relatively inexpensive.

Do you have a question about moving? Just ask us—we’ll get you the answer.

Why Book a Summer Move Now?

Get a Jump on Summer: Schedule Your Move Now.

As you might guess, more people move during the summer than any other season of the year. In fact, Atlas handles almost twice as many moves during the busiest moving month (July) compared to the slowest (February). There’s a good reason—families prefer to move when school is not in session so the kids won’t be disrupted in their studies. Too, the weather tends to be more agreeable for moving during warmer months. In much of the country, including Pittsburgh, long-distance movers must often battle the elements. Winter storms can make handling and transporting goods more labor-intensive, especially when ice or snow plays havoc with streets or impedes access to residences.

So, if you landed here after searching for “moving companies near me” or “cheap movers near me,” you are probably thinking about moving sometime in the next several weeks.Spring Movers are Ready Now If you want to move during the summer, don’t wait to get started. Get a free quote today and  do yourself a big favor by securing the help you need and knowing it will be available when you need it.

We emphasize planning because moving is a process that unfolds over several weeks. A lot has to happen before you can simply empty one home and occupy another.  Here are a few tips to help you get a head start on a successful move.

Shed the Excess. If you have lived in a residence for thirty, twenty, or even ten years, you’ve likely accumulated quite a few things. You may no longer need some of them—especially since the cost of moving correlates to weight. Lighten your load by selling, donating, or tossing things you no longer need. Hold a moving sale in late March or early April—before yard sales start popping up all over town like dandelions.

Sell Your Home. Real estate professionals agree that spring is the best time of year to sell a property. De-cluttering is essential to staging a home for sale. Pack up the bric-a-brac, the refrigerator magnets, and family photos. Go to school on staging a home for sale by looking at homes for sale online. Bottom line: make it possible for prospective buyers to stand in the vision of the house as theirs, not yours.

Start Packing. You can start boxing up things you know can live without until you get to your new home. These may include books, extra bedding, tableware, and other household items. Time is a luxury, and if you use it now to get as much of the packing done as you can, the final days leading up to moving day will feel much smoother.

Know Your New Neighborhood. If you know which neighborhood you will be moving into, use this time to become acquainted with its character and amenities. Scout the locations of grocery stores, schools, churches, libraries, post offices, pharmacies, parks, and public transportation. Visit the city’s website and familiarize yourself with local ordinances and policies. Will you need a permit to hold an after-moving sale? When are trash pickups scheduled for your street?

Get a Healthy Head Start. Now is a good time to ascertain referrals or recommendations and set appointments with health care providers—family doctor, dentist, eye doctor, etc. It’s also a good time for pet prep. Make sure your pet’s shots are current and you have the documentation your new vet will need.

Like I mentioned earlier, moving is a process. Planning now gives you the luxury of more time to handle all the details. We’ve helped thousands of families with the process. When you know you are going to move, get in touch and we’ll help you get a timely advantage.