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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.

Finding a Mover “Near Me”

Every move begins with the decision to move. Once you’ve crossed that threshold, you have to formulate a plan. Will you move yourself—or enlist the help of a local professional mover?  If you decide on the latter course, how can you locate the right mover near you?

It’s an important decision. There are many movers out there. I recommend a process I call REST to find capable local movers and storage professionals. (I always love using acronyms for finding local businesses & deals near me.)

Research local movers.Two local movers I found near me that helped move my family.

Start by doing an internet search for “local moving companies” or “moving companies near me” or “local storage facilities near me.” If you are researching movers in another market, such as one you will be moving to, search for “movers in Cleveland” or “moving companies in Pittsburgh,” for example. Spend a little time sifting through the search results. Based on your preliminary findings, do a search for moving companies by name and see what pops up.  Check to see if a company carries the ProMover designation, is rated by the Better Business Bureau, and is active in the community, such as supporting local charitable causes. (For example, Weleski helps local food banks through participation in Move for Hunger and they volunteered with a toy donation for Mount Saint Peter Parish.)

Get moving quotes.

Many movers offer the convenience of a free online quote. You can start with an estimate to get an idea of cost, but be advised that you will need an in-person visit from a representative or a video walk-through in order to provide an accurate assessment of cost. If a local mover does not offer this, you should scratch the company off your list. Beware of low-ball prices—often a signal that the mover will cut corners or operate unethically. The in-home estimate is a chance to form an impression about the mover’s professionalism. Go over every detail of the mover’s proposal and ask any questions you have about the service, especially your scheduling expectations.

Find customer reviews.

If you like what you see, ask the mover for the names of three customers they have moved within the last 60 days. Then, search for reviews online about their experience – sometimes you can even message them to get more details. Did the mover meet their expectations? Would they use the mover again? Would they recommend the mover to family members and friends? Were they pleased with the value they received based on the cost of service? Would they do anything differently the next time they move?

Move with the best.

Once you’ve assessed your local moving and storage companies to your satisfaction, you’re ready to flip the switch and sign the agreement. Then, follow the advice of your professional mover to proceed on schedule and make sure you are completely ready when moving day arrives. You can REST easy knowing you have chosen a professional local mover who will see the job through to your satisfaction.

If you want to know what our Weleski movers can do for you, give us a call. We’ll be happy to explain our moving process & walk you through the steps of REST!

Moving Tips for Going Back to College

School’s about to start. Time to get moving!

It’s time to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer and get going back to campus. The new semester is about to start, and you want to be ready on day one to rock your way to the top of the dean’s list. But first, you’ve got to pack up and move into your dorm or apartment.

If you are returning to school and you followed our tips for moving out, moving in should be just as easy. Most of your things are neatly packed, waiting for you to pick from storage and take to your new place. If you’re a freshman, chances are you are packing up your bedroom at home. This may even be your first move ever. No sweat! You can make it easy with a little planning.Girl going back to college

College housing is typically compact. (Think “squeezed.”) If you’re used to close quarters at home, you may already be a master at organization. If not, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your space.

Be ready for weather changes.  You won’t need those woolen socks and down jacket until the cold winds start to blow. Pack your winter threads separately and it will be easier to manage your wardrobe. Plus, you’ll know where those sweaters are when you start needing them!

Hang, stack, and hide. Organizer accessories can help you “create” more usable space. Here are a few places you can stretch your space in:

  • Closet organizers. Create space out of thin air with a stack of drawers for clothes or a sheet of clear plastic storage pockets for shoes and purses. These are lightweight and easy to install—just hang them on the rod and they’re good to go.
  • Milk Crates. Grandpa used these plastic cubes back in the day for his vinyl LPs. They’re still useful today for transporting books, CDs, kitchen items. They’re sturdy, stackable, and versatile in a variety of colors.
  • Plastic Bins. You can find a variety of sizes, and configurations for plastic storage containers. They’re an inexpensive way to get added utility from odd spaces at the foot of your bed or even under it. Locking casters (wheels) add versatility.
  • Plastic Hooks. A great way to get added space on walls or on the inside ends of cabinets. Just peel and stick. Hang your keys, jacket, dust pan, flyswatter, or other items. When it’s time to vacate, they peel off easily and leave no trace. (Building managers love them.)

Get Squared Away.  With everyone else moving in, things can get a little crazy—competing for time in the elevator and navigating crowded hallways. It’s okay to take a breather once you get everything into your room. But you’ll feel better if you unpack and finish the job before lights out.

Want more moving tips? Call us! We’ll help with the move so you might make it to that 8am class on time!

How to Get a Moving Quote

getting a moving quote from an in-home estimateSomething we routinely offer customers is a free quote for moving services. This is pretty common in the moving industry—and it should be. Making a move isn’t an easy, one-size-fits-all purchase. Your move is uniquely yours; it may be similar to others, but it’s not identical. So you, and every customer, should get a detailed quote for services before you decide on a mover. You should know exactly what to expect and how much it will cost.

The cost for moving depends mainly on the weight of a shipment and the distance it travels. So, we need to know what items you will be moving, where you are moving from (origin), and where you are moving to (destination).  We also need to know when you plan to move, since moving costs normally fluctuate with seasonal demand. For example, resources (trucks and crews) are in greater demand during the summer and costs are generally higher as a result.

To prepare an accurate moving quote, movers needs accurate information. Weleski helps you get an idea of cost with an online form that captures the essential information. We use this to provide a “nonbinding” estimate. This is what we think the move will cost, but it is not a guarantee. In order to give you a guaranteed, or “binding” estimate, we will need to walk through your home and see everything you wish to move.

Insist on getting a written, in-home estimate from three different movers. If you are moving out of Pittsburgh or the surrounding area, we are glad to provide this service and to have the opportunity for you to ask us any questions you may have about your move. If you are moving from another state into Pennsylvania, we can also arrange to provide an in-home estimate through our Atlas agency network.

If a mover insists they can give you an accurate estimate without performing the in-home walk-through, run! Chances are you will get an inflated estimate, way more than you should have to pay.  By the same token, beware of any mover who provides a “low-ball” estimate.  It’s a sad fact our industry has more than its share of unscrupulous operators. Some will use the low, low price ruse to hook a customer, then pile on additional charges and hold goods for ransom until paid.  Don’t let yourself become a victim.

Whether Weleski is ultimately your choice for moving, we are glad to have the chance to give you a moving quote. We consider it a cost of doing business, well worth it for the chance to serve you as our customer. Please call us (1-888-224-3330) or use our online form to request a free moving quote today.

Childproofing Your Move

You’ve heard that moving is stressful (if you’ve ever moved, you know this is true) and it only gets more stressful if you have to deal with little ones when they become tired, bored, or cranky. When the movers arrive and start to work, even children who are normally “good as gold” can become a handful. A little forethought and preparation can help you childproof your move—and keep you from having to play zookeeper on moving day.

Mom and Child Packing

1. Go “Off Site.” Packing and loading may take up to a day or more, depending on the size of your move. If the kids are in school or in daycare, problem solved. If they are not, maybe you have a parent or a sibling who can watch them or even come to your home and keep them entertained while you attend to business.

2. Safe at Home. Professional movers are keenly aware of safety. Still, a potential for mishap exists whenever and wherever work is being done. If your children are present during packing or unpacking, be mindful of scissors or box cutters. Keep chemicals and cleaning solutions you may be using out of reach. And keep the kids safely back from crew members carrying heavy or bulky items.

3. Establish “Kid Central.” Consider dedicating one room, perhaps a rec room or bedroom, as “Kid Central,” and provide some entertainment options. Games, a few favorite toys, and coloring books. Kids love to color, and our company even provides crayons and Atlas coloring books with pictures about moving. Or, let them “help” the movers by beautifying the outside of some boxes with artistic masterpieces.

4. Plan for Snacks and Naps. You’ll want to be prepared to take care of grumbling tummies. Keep a variety of healthful snacks and refreshments on hand—fresh fruit, crackers, milk, and juice. Keep some with you during the trip to the new home. And remember, a good nap can go a long way toward putting a cranky kid in a more agreeable mood.

5. Keep Things Positive. Kids are extremely intuitive and subject to stress themselves. They take their cues from you. Keep their spirits high with mentions of things they can look forward to at their new home. Maybe there’s an awesome playground right down the street, or the new backyard has a perfect spot for making a fort. Maintain a positive attitude around them and they will have a positive attitude, too!

When you’re ready to start planning your childproof move, contact us at 1-888-224-3330 or get a free moving quote today!

For even more tips, check out our “Tips for Moving with Kids” video, and “Tips for Moving with Children” blog post.

Don’t Make These Moving Mistakes!

“I hate when that happens.” I laughed out loud at those late-night skits where two friends recounted their moments of self-inflicted pain. Funny! But there’s nothing to laugh about if you make costly mistakes when moving. Here are three common pitfalls . . . and some tips for avoiding them.

Avoid Moving Mistakes Get In Home Estimate

Not giving yourself enough time. Unless you’re simply carting a few pieces across town, you need to allow several weeks to plan and prepare for your move. Movers must schedule their people and equipment several weeks in advance. (The lead time is longer during the summer when most people want to move.) If you scramble to secure services at the last minute, you’ll be lucky to find a reputable provider. And it will cost a lot more. Once you arrive at a move date, allow yourself four weeks to cross all the i’s and dot all the t’s.

Tip: Follow this easy-to-use checklist that shows what you need to do—and when to do it—to prepare for your move: Moving Checklist

Moving things you really don’t need. The cost to move your goods is based on weight and distance. So, if you can shed the items you won’t need, do it. (Like those old school books you keep telling yourself you’ll someday want to consult.)

Tip: Hold a moving sale. Or give things away. Many local charities will come to your home and pick things up. You may want to do the same with shelf-stable food. Weleski participates in a program called Move For Hunger. If you wish to donate unopened, non-perishable foods to feed others in need, let us know. We’ll take the items to a local food bank for you.

Failing to Get a Visual Estimate. Some companies may shoot you a price over the phone for your move. But don’t bet on the accuracy. As I mentioned earlier, weight is an important consideration in the cost of your move. Reputable movers will insist on walking through your house and looking at everything to give you an accurate estimate of cost.

Tip: Be sure to show everything. Let your move estimator see every attic space, garage, and cubby so there are no surprises. And be aware that anything you decide to add at the last minute may or may not make it onto the truck—and will increase the cost of your move.

These are just a few of the expensive mistakes people make. To avoid them all, talk to your moving professional when you first decide you will move. The sooner you start your planning, the more likely you are to save money—and less likely to say, “I hate when that happens.”

When you’re ready to start planning your move, call us at 888-224-3330 or send us a message!