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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.

Why Move to Pittsburgh?

If you are contemplating a move to “The Burgh,” you might like to know what makes this city a good place to live, work, and play. So, here are some of Weleski Transfer’s top reasons why moving to Pittsburgh is a great idea. (Disclaimer: We love it here, so we may have just a smidgen of bias!)

Living in Pittsburgh. Compared to other cities, Pittsburgh’s cost of living is really affordable —about 12 percent below the national average. Housing is the biggest bargain in your market basket, with a median value between $136K and $149K (per Zillow and Forbes) for homes in the metro area. Your health is in good hands here—the metro area is home to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and its network of hospitals, which are ranked no. 12 on the honor roll of best hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.Moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - city in the United States. Skyline with Monongahela River.

As for personal enrichment, Pittsburgh is unmatched for educational and cultural opportunities. Our institutions for higher learning include the stellar Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University—and 20 other colleges and universities within ten miles of the city center. One travel expert counts 38 museums here. Among them are the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (be sure to check out the dinosaur exhibit), Bicycle Heaven (enjoy free admission to the world’s largest display of bicycles, including one made famous by Paul Reubens in “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”), and the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for International Studies—where you can tour an array of rooms, each representing a different cultural group integral to the history and culture of Allegheny County.

And if you enjoy eating, you’ll love the diversity of Pittsburgh’s culinary scene. In terms of population, Pittsburgh ranks third nationwide for number of restaurants and sixth for number of farmer’s markets. In 2015, Zagat named Pittsburgh the best food city in the U.S. Bon Appétit!

Working in Pittsburgh. Our city grew up as an industrial powerhouse, with over 1,000 factories in operation by the 1850s. Industrialist Andrew Carnegie’s investments helped spur the city’s leadership in steel production and earned it the nickname “Steel City.” Although it no longer leads in steel production, the city is home to a diverse and vibrant mix of manufacturing and service sector employment in technology, financial services, healthcare and education. In 2016, Forbes ranked it as number 94 in best places for business and careers. Right now, on Indeed.com, you’ll find over 20,000 employment opportunities in Pittsburgh. We need more people!

Playing in Pittsburgh. Whether enjoying your own favorite recreation or watching the pros at play, there are endless things to do in Pittsburgh. The outdoors is beautiful and beckons the adventurous with myriad venues for hiking, biking, camping, boating, hunting, and fishing. Click here for more information about our local parks and outdoor recreation.

If you enjoy golf, Pittsburgh’s many courses will challenge and delight you, including Oakmont Country Club, rated among the 100 greatest courses in the country by Gold Digest and host for the 2016 U.S. Open, and Fox Chapel Golf Club, which ranks among Gold Digest’s second 100 greatest courses.

Of course, Pittsburgh is world famous for professional sports, being home to the Steelers (six NFL championships), the Pirates (five world series titles) and the Penguins (five Stanley Cups and current champions looking to three-peat).

Obviously, “The Burgh” has a lot to like. This list is just a start on the many reasons people move here. So I wonder: what do you like best about Pittsburgh?

Our Cleveland Movers’ Resolution

We’re at that place on the calendar where we can tell 2016, “So long!” (Some are not even willing to look back at the past year.)

As our local Cleveland movers look to the days ahead, we rededicate ourselves to earning your business. We resolve to be your preferred choice of Cleveland, Ohio moving companies with service that makes you feel special. Because we believe you are.Local Cleveland movers in kitchen

As an Atlas Van Lines Agent, we measure every aspect of our service to you so we stay focused on improvement. We see the most important metric as your satisfaction. How you rate our service is our ultimate measure of success. When your move is complete, we’ll ask you to answer this question: Would you choose Weleski the next time you move?

Accurate Moving Quotes

We know a lot goes into earning your “yes.” For one, we start with an accurate estimate of what services you will need and what they will cost. Our Cleveland movers bring a great deal of experience, and they are expert at assessing exactly what is needed for your move. When we give you an estimate, you can count on its accuracy.

Professional Packing

How we handle claims is an important measure of our service. Every moving company in Cleveland, Ohio has its own process for claims. We take pride in keeping claims low with great care for handling your goods. We follow best practices for packing things and securing them for safe transport in the van. In rare instances where damage does occur, we have a simple, proven process for resolving claims quickly to your satisfaction.

Clean Storage

You may never see the inside of our warehouse. But we are firm believers in good housekeeping as a precondition of good service. This is another aspect we measure—making sure our facilities are clean, organized, and efficient. When your goods are in our care, whether on the truck or on steel racks in our warehouse, they are secure and protected.

Cutting-edge Equipment

We bring the same penchant for organization and cleanliness to equipment. Weleski Cleveland movers maintain trucks for safety and efficiency, reflecting our professionals’ pride and commitment to your service. In your home, you’ll notice we take care to protect the surfaces of your house as we work. When we you move into your new home, same thing. And we don’t leave the rubbish and discards for you to deal with—we recycle materials for you.

Those who say new year’s resolutions are made to be broken couldn’t be more wrong. Our Cleveland movers know that improvement takes effort. Our livelihoods depend on it. We resolve to make this effort every day and on every move to earn the privilege of serving you again. Contact us today to learn how we’ll be moving Cleveland in 2017!

Pittsburgh Movers Know Fall Fun For Kids

Moving is stressful for the whole family. Our Pittsburgh movers travel around Pennsylvania, moving families and seeing how hard it can be on kids. They recognize the importance of helping kids adapt to their new surroundings. Thankfully, fall is the perfect time for you to take the kids out.Little Pittsburgh mover in a wagon moving a pumpkin

Kids can’t wait for the excitement that comes from apple picking, pumpkin carving, and candy eating. They know that soon goblins, princesses, and witches will scour the streets asking “Trick or Treat.” Add their excitement with the nice fall weather, and you have new explorers prepared for the adventure of exploring a new home.

Our Pittsburgh movers thought you’d might like their suggestions for more fun fall outings with your family. Here are a few places our local movers recommend you visit for your family fall adventure.

McDonald, PA.

Most of the year, it’s a farm and greenhouse. But when autumn leaves begin to turn, Bedner’s hosts a festival of fun every weekend through October.  Just a half-hour’s drive southwest of Pittsburgh, it’s ideal for kids two and older. Face painting, magic shows, a corn maze, hayrides— and more “pumpkin patch” activities than you can shake a corn shock at—make this a perfect way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Wexford, PA.

Come hungry to Soergel Orchards, because you’ll want to sample many tasty treats. Just 15 miles north of Pittsburgh, this is one of the area’s most popular weekend destinations during the fall. Enjoy smoked wings, pulled pork, and roasted sweet corn. And it just wouldn’t be fall without a hot corn dog, would it? Of course, there’s more to life than munching. You’ll find horse drawn carriage rides, a bounce house, and spin art to occupy the kids, and much more.

Portersville, PA.

About 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, Cheeseman Farm offers a “Pumpkin Festival” on weekends, with hayrides, a farm animals petting zoo, and a hay maze. If your clan enjoys the scary side of fall fun, hop on a haunted hayride to the Fright Farm. Boo! (Maybe not for your littlest youngsters).

Gibsonia, PA.

Have you ever gone “pumpkin bowling”? Here’s your chance. About twenty miles north of Pittsburgh,  Harvest Valley Farm hosts a fall festival every weekend in October.  You can hop on a hayride,  take a knife to a pumpkin, and tap your foot to live music as you sip a cup of cider.

McMurray, PA.

About 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, Simmons Farm lets you not only pick your own pumpkin, but pick your own apples. The kids will enjoy pony rides and rubber duck races, and corn mazes. They also offer an “apple sling shot” in case you don’t want to eat all the apples you picked.

These are only a few of the many fall activities for kids you’ll find around Pittsburgh. For more, check out Bits of the Burgh or call our Pittsburgh movers. And have fun!

Why Local Movers Love Fall

Fall is arguably the most beautiful season of the year in Pittsburgh. Nights are cooler, crisper. Skies are clear, days are dry.  Pittsburgh skyline during fallAutumn breezes whisper of harvest as they tickle withering cornstalks. Trees erupt in a brilliant array or reds, oranges and magentas mixing in wild splendor. With the rivers reflecting changing leaves, the nearby parks becoming colorful getaways, and the neighborhoods coming to life with festivals; everyone has something to enjoy in autumn. Local movers feel the same way. They just love the fall.

Local moving companies can’t wait for fall. The house movers know that the Steel City will have perfect weather that’s not too hot and not too cold. They also look forward to the well deserved break from the busy season. Don’t think that fall makes local moving in Pittsburgh that much better? Here’s why our local movers would disagree:

Ideal Home Moving Weather

While most people count down the days until they can drink a Pumpkin Spice Latte, local movers count down to fall weather. The comfort index is way up from just a month or two ago. Local moving now is invigorating, not exhausting. Find one person who enjoys schlepping their boxes as the temperature climbs through the 80s and the air feels like a warm, wet towel swaddling your entire body. Trust us, you won’t. That’s why, given the choice, home movers choose October rather than August to relocate.

The “Off-Season” Advantage

Most families schedule their moves during the summer months, when school is out of session. Moving is a lot easier for kids if they can complete the school term, rather than having to uproot mid-term and enroll in another school. Consequently, the moving and storage industry gets extremely busy from May to September. Residential movers are in high demand— so high that it is difficult for any household to move as quickly as they would like. However, once schools are back in session, the demand eases up. And the expected time between booking a move and getting into your new home is much shorter. We call it the “off-season.”

No Season Like Fall

While the demand for moving services is still down, Pittsburgh in the spring and winter isn’t as friendly to local movers. Moving in the winter can come with the challenges of colder or inclement weather, not to mention ice. Moving in  the spring is tricky because of the changing temperatures and storms. Our professional packers and home movers are fully equipped to deliver excellent service regardless of the conditions outside. But moving is always easier on everyone when the weather is mild.

Do you agree with our movers? Are you planning to move within the Pittsburgh area? Weleski is ready to help. Get started on your fall move now with an instant quote for our local moving services.

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!

Moving Internationally Can Be a Beautiful Thing

Watching the Olympic games unfold in Rio, I’m reminded of what a beautiful world ours is and what wonderful people inhabit it. Moving internationally enables people to explore the world while learning about themselves. When Weleski’s international movers help people relocate, I like to think we’re helping them to personally experience that beauty and wonder.

In one way, an overseas move can be like going to another world. Different language, unfamiliar customs, strange food. In another way, it can be like moving to another state. At least we try to make it seem that easy.

Amsterdam at Sunrise

It’s not the distance per se that makes an international relocation different. (Did you know it’s twice as far from New York to Los Angeles as it is from Miami to Panama City, Panama?) Rather, the red tape of differing legalities between countries is the primary differentiator.  Here are a few of the things to be mindful of.

Downsize your move. The extent of your downsizing can depend on how long you intend to be overseas. In general, the fewer things you take, the easier and more affordable your move will be. Establishing a furnished residence in your new country could end up saving you money.

Keep things separate. Don’t include these items when you pack your household goods:  passport or I.D., currency, important papers, jewelry, photos and keepsakes. For a more specific list of items you should transport yourself, check out Atlas’s list of personal belongings.

Important papers. You need ready access to several documents: such as your passport, work visa, birth certificate, marriage certificate, academic record, medical record, health insurance information, life insurance policy numbers, social security card, list of important contacts (personal and professional) and phone numbers. You might also snap a photo of each document to keep on your mobile device — and back the document images up with “cloud storage,” e.g., Google Drive.

Driving. What are the requirements for driving in your new country? Do you have to take a test before you can obtain a license? Be sure you are legally authorized and insured before you get behind the wheel.

London at nightMoney. How much will you need for miscellaneous expenses as you travel? If your bank doesn’t have international reach, you’ll often need your new address and your passport to open a bank account in a foreign country. Try looking into banking options before you leave so you can focus more on your international adventure.

Immunizations. Check the requirements for the country you are going to and make sure you are up to date on required vaccinations. The same goes for pets. Do they meet requirements for entry in the country? In the locale and housing unit?

Getting started. It’s a good idea to get estimates from at least two, if not three, moving companies with international capabilities. Ask questions, such as which insurance option is best for your circumstances. And ask for references, then contact those customers and ask if they would use the mover again.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you will need to consider when moving internationally, but it’s a good start. You can read more about our international relocation services here. Or, send us a message with your question.  We’re glad to show you how moving internationally can be a beautiful thing.

Pennsylvania Movers

It’s no wonder why people move to Pennsylvania. The state has always been a magnet for dreamers and doers. Its the birthplace of the republic, proudly nicknamed the “Keystone State” for its central location in the geographic arc of the 13 original states. Inside the hallowed walls of the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia (aka Independence Hall), founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and, a little more than a decade later, affixed their names to the Constitution.

Panorama of Philadelphia skyline, Pennsylvania Movers on Ben Franklin Bridge

Officially, the state is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, underscoring the authority of its people in self-governance. As of July 1, 2015, the U.S. Census estimated Pennsylvania’s population at 12.8 million. Philadelphia is the largest city, with about 1.57 million people. Pittsburgh is the second largest city, with a little over 300,000 people. Weleski Transfer began operations in Pittsburgh more than 100 years ago. Today, our Pennsylvania movers provide moving and storage services throughout Pennsylvania from two locations. Our headquarters is situated in Tarentum, about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. We also maintain a full-service business in Johnstown, about 60 miles east-southeast of Tarentum.

Weleski’s Pennsylvania movers offer a local advantage for moving in and around the greater Pittsburgh and Johnstown areas. Our Pittsburgh movers regularly serve families moving in and out of the big city and smaller communities in this region. Some of their names are: Kittanning, Creighton, Brackenridge, and Edgecliff. As an Atlas agent, we operate with a 100-mile radius of quality service. This includes Morgantown in West Virginia and Youngstown and Canton in Ohio. While we primarily serve families moving in and out of western Pennsylvania, our location and size enables us to provide service regionally—across the Pennsylvania Commonwealth as well as eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia.

If you’re contemplating a move to the Pittsburgh area or any of the locations I’ve outlined above, our local movers are ready to help you achieve a smooth transition to your new home. Give us a call (724-224-3330) or get a free quote for our moving service.

Professional Movers vs. Renting a Moving Truck

Professional Moving Truck in front of a House

We all want to be wise consumers, try to save a dollar when we can. For this reason, it’s tempting to rent a moving truck rather than hire professional movers. I understand that—I’ve even helped people in such situations with professional packing supplies and services. (I don’t begrudge anyone trying to save money. In this day and age, every dollar counts!)

If you are thinking about doing your own hauling, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Availability. When moving day gets here, will the truck rental place have a truck available for you? Especially during the summer months, when moving is at its peak, truck rental companies cannot keep up with the demand. Even a “guaranteed” reservation is often no guarantee that a truck will be available when you need it. True, Weleski is subject to the same seasonal demands for equipment. However, when we commit to your move, we serve you as promised. We’ve built our reputation on being reliable and responsive.

Hidden Costs. As someone once said, “the large type giveth and the small type taketh away.” That boldly advertised truck price is a grabber. Be sure to factor in all the related expenses for mileage, seasonal price fluctuations, long-distance and one-way premiums. Then add in an unknown amount for the unexpected, such as a tire blowout or radiator leak. On the other hand, with Weleski professional movers the guaranteed price for service covers everything, with no surprises. If something unexpected happens in transit, we take care of it.

Damaged Goods. When you pack and load your own shipment, you are responsible for the safety of your goods. If items break or are damaged, you’re on the hook. With professional movers, you get experience and best practices for packing and loading. Plus, every shipment Weleski handles is covered by full value protection (unless you say otherwise). FVP guarantees you receive the replacement value of any item in the event of loss or damage.

Your Safety. I was once driving through Florida on I-75 behind a car pulling a popular brand of rented trailer.  Apparently the load inside was unsecured, causing the trailer and car to swerve wildly. Traffic behind slowed in anticipation of a jack-knife and rollover. Fortunately, the driver slowed down and pulled over before a catastrophe occurred. This is but one example of the dangers you can avoid with a professional mover in charge.

Faulty Equipment. Vicious price competition in the truck rental space encourages less-than-ethical operators to cut costs, even on essential vehicle maintenance. Be aware the truck you rent is driven by a different driver on every move—and is only as reliable as the company you get it from. Speaking for Weleski, we are diligent in maintaining our equipment for reliability and safety. The lives of our people and the motoring public depend on it.

I remember seeing a cartoon that illustrated a backhoe beside a roadside stand with a sign: “Fred’s Croissants and Fill Dirt.” In an attempt to be everywhere, truck rental places are often an appendage to some other concern, such as a convenience store or self-storage business. Weleski Transfer, on the other hand, is a full-service moving and storage company with a single focus on helping customers go new places.

True, a professional move on paper is typically more than the cost of a rental truck. But add everything up, and I think you’ll see the many advantages of our professional moving service give you an undeniable value. You can save yourself a lot of hassle and uncertainty—and even come out dollars ahead. Get a free moving quote to see what we can offer you.

Playing it Smart on Your First Day in Your New Home

The last carton is finally inside, the movers are pulling away from the curb, and you’re officially in your new home. Whew! Now comes the work of settling in. Yes, more work lies ahead over the next several days as you get everything put away, arranged, and organized—all while you juggle the day-to-day demands of everyday living.

No sweat. You were smart. As the old song goes, you planned to “make it easy on yourself.”

For one thing, you thought of each family member and put their essentials—pajamas and change of clothes, toothbrush and grooming items—in their own carton (suitcases work great, too). You even remembered to put together a carton of linens and towels and mark it “day one.” There it is, sitting conveniently in the master bedroom. No fumbling around to get the beds and baths in order.

shutterstock_15770005 (2)

Eventually, you’ll get the kitchen set up for cooking. But what’s the hurry? No one will starve because you had the foresight to pack some healthful, easy-to-serve snacks. Energy bars, peanut butter crackers, Apples and oranges, bite-sized Snickers. (Okay, so nobody is perfect.) And, with paper plates, napkins, and plastic ware in your kit, you can handle a carryout dinner with no hassle. What shall it be tonight? Mexican? Chinese? Maybe you’ll decide to eat out. That cool-looking pub a half-mile up the road is said to have the best pizza in town.

And isn’t it nice that your boss gave you a little time to get settled in before you climb back into the saddle? Of course, you were wise to request a few days off. If everything goes smoothly, you should get through most of this unpacking and settling-in rigmarole before the weekend rolls by. You may even have time to go around the block and meet some of your new neighbors. Or check out the “lay of the land” and get a feel for where you might shop for groceries and other supplies.

Plus, the first few days around the house let you make sure all services are in place and in order: gas and electric, water and sewer, trash pickup, Internet. Get that glitch worked out of the wireless network now, so brother and sister can keep tabs on their social networks. They get a little cranky when they can’t access Instagram.

It seems the first day in your new home sort of melts into the second, then the third. Before you know it, you’re settled in. Moving sure was easy in the final stretch. You played it smart.

The sooner you start planning your move, the smoother it will go. Contact us or request a free moving quote and get started today!