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Tips to Make Your Office Move Smoother

An apple computer sitting on a white desk before an office moveThe best advice for moving an office is to enlist your employer to hire office movers and have your documents, electronics, and other belongings professionally handled. However, if you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur on a budget, you can follow these tips to make your office move smoother.

First, check out our instructions for packing an office.

Make a Plan

Create a checklist and timeline so you can ensure nothing important is left behind, and you can resume working as soon as possible. Make a list of your top priorities (getting your electronics hooked up and running, moving over essential documents) and the tasks that can wait (moving your books, moving non-essential office furniture). This can be especially helpful if you’re not able to complete your move all at once.

Determine Your Layout

Before cluttering your new office space with disorganized boxes and furniture, figure out how you want your office to be designed. Survey the new space and create a diagram of where you’d like furniture to be positioned. If you regularly conduct Zoom meetings, consider this when designing your layout.

For instance, if there’s a window in your office, you’ll want your desk to be positioned so you’re sitting at a 45 degree angle to the natural light source if possible. This will softly illuminate and also define your face. Pay attention to what Zoom callers will see behind you. You can hang art or other decorations to create a more appealing background. If you wish to repaint or refloor your new office space, complete these projects well ahead of your moving schedule.

Check Your Calendar

If you need to move during business hours, make sure you’ve cleared your schedule of meetings and communicated with any colleagues or clients about when you’ll be ready to resume work. Allow yourself some extra time before or after your move in case of any unforeseen complications during your office move.

Enlist Help

Whether you’re hiring professional movers or relying on friends or colleagues, give plenty of advance notice of your preferred moving date. On moving day, take your most essential items that you’ll need to use right away as well as your confidential documents with you in your car.

Have questions about your office move? You can ask us. If you’d like to hire professional office movers, request a quote today.

How to Pack a Kitchen Like a Professional Mover

Family of three beginning to pack a kitchen

Once you’ve followed our steps for organizing a kitchen for moving, the next step is to learn how to pack one like a pro. With all the fragile and heavy items in a kitchen, it’s easiest to leave packing one to professionals, but here’s how to pack a kitchen yourself and minimize the chance of breaking your appliances and glassware.

Invest in Quality Packing Materials

Weleski Transfer can provide the professional-grade packing materials you need to pack a kitchen and minimize damage to your kitchen goods, like cardboard dividers, packing paper to fill in gaps, and heavy duty boxes that can handle appliances and stacks of dishes.

If you’re using your own boxes, make sure they’re sturdy enough to handle heavy loads, get more boxes than you think you’ll need, and don’t skip out on padding. You can even use bath and dish towels in a pinch, and plastic wrap to keep stacked items from shifting in their boxes. You may also want to invest in color-coded labels so you can easily identify the boxes that are meant to go in your kitchen, and where they’re supposed to be stored.

Identify Your Essentials

If you’ll be making meals up until moving day, or if there’s anything you’ll need to unpack and use right away, set it aside to pack last. Leave out enough dishes and utensils for you and your family, your most-used pots and pans, and appliances you use every day like your microwave or coffee maker. When you pack these everyday essential items, be sure to label them accordingly so they won’t have to go hunting for them later.

Sort Items by Type

Instead of packing place by place in your kitchen, from the pantry to the drawers and cabinets, gather items of the same type from different locations around the kitchen into stacks or piles. Sort dry goods, utensils, pots and pans, glassware, and other categories into the same pile. This will help you remember which items are in which boxes, and will help you identify any duplicates or other things you won’t need in your new kitchen. It will also help you decide where you want things to be put away in your new kitchen if you can easily see how many pans you have, or how many glasses and dishes.

Start Packing

Prepare your boxes, tape, and paper, and set up a packing station on a kitchen table or the floor. Prepare each box by filling it with crumpled packing paper. Here’s the best way to pack common kitchen items:

Appliances

Appliances should be packed in their original boxes whenever possible. If you no longer have the original, pack them in as small a box as you can to ensure a tight fit, and fill in any gaps with padding.

Pots and Pans

You can nest smaller pans inside larger ones, with padding between each to prevent scratching. Place them inside a box and fill in any gaps to prevent shifting during transit. You can wrap glass lids in paper and pack them separately, also making sure to fill in any gaps inside the box.

Dishes and Bowls

Dishes should be packed so they’re standing on edge, instead of in a vertical stack. You can do this by piling each plate on top of the other, with a piece of packing paper layered in between each. Then wrap the entire stack in paper and tape it together with packing tape. Avoid creating a stack higher than the diameter of the plate. When you’re done, place the stack on its side in a tight-fitting box and fill any gaps with paper.

Bowls can be nested inside of each other, with a layer of packing paper in between them. You can stack them the same way as the dishes, but instead of packing them on their side, place stacks of bowls vertically inside a tight-fitting box, with the lips of the bowls facing down.

Glasses and Stemware

Glasses and stemware should be filled with crumbled tissue or paper before packing. Roll each one in a sheet of packing paper, or use corrugated paper for extra protection. If packing glasses and stemware with other items, pack them upside-down, with the lips facing the bottom of the box, never on their sides, and make sure they’re at the top of the box above heavier items.

Knives and Utensils

If your flatware is organized inside a tray, you can simply wrap the full tray in plastic wrap and tape and move it all as one piece. Otherwise, you can pack them loosely on their sides in a small box, or wrapped in paper to prevent scratching.

Knives can be wrapped in packing paper and then a dish towel, with tape or a rubber band around the bundle. Never pack knives facing up. They should be lying on their sides in a box.

Food

Perishables should be stored inside a tightly-packed cooler that remains at 40 degrees or less. Fill in any gaps with ice. Non-perishables can be transported in canvas grocery bags or boxes. Put the most delicate items, bags of chips or loaves of bread, at the top of the bag or box.

Contact us if you have any questions about how to pack a kitchen, or get a free moving quote from Weleski Transfer and request professional packing services.

How to Organize a Kitchen for Moving

Organized kitchen utensils hanging from hooksThe kitchen is one of the most difficult rooms in a house to pack. It contains items you may need to use up until moving day, and many items in a kitchen are perishable, fragile, or require some heavy lifting, like large appliances.

For large kitchen moves, it’s best to leave the hard work to the professionals. If you have items you need to purge or you’d rather do the packing yourself, here are some tips to help you organize a kitchen for moving and lighten the load.

1. Use Up Your Perishables

Try to plan meals ahead for one to two weeks before your move to ensure you use up all your perishable ingredients, like meat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Professional movers won’t be able to transport these for you, and ensuring they stay fresh while transporting them yourself will add unnecessary stress to your move.

If you must take some perishables with you, like items from your freezer, pack them tightly in a cooler full of ice and make sure the utilities are on in your new home so you can immediately put them in the fridge or freezer.

As long as the temperature inside your cooler remains below 40 degrees, your food will be safe to eat. Otherwise, it will perish within two hours. If you’re not sure your perishables will be safe to eat, air on the side of caution and throw them away.

2. Sell or Donate What You Don’t Need

Rather than packing heavy canned goods and other non-perishables, consider donating them to a food bank. Good items to donate to a food bank are canned meats and vegetables, cooking oils, dried herbs and spices, nuts and granola bars, instant boxed meals like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, boxes of pasta and cereal, and packages of dried beans and rice.

Will you be combining households with someone else? Go through your counters and utensil drawers and sort out any duplicates. You probably won’t need two microwaves, toasters, blenders, or can openers.

If they’re in nice enough condition, you can sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. If they don’t sell or you don’t want to go to the trouble, you can ask friends and family if anyone is in need of them or give them away to a local charity.

3. Cut Out the Clutter

Have you been washing and reusing jars every time you empty one? Do you keep plastic utensils and sauce packets in case you might need them? A move is a great opportunity to confront your kitchen clutter and decide if it really needs to follow you into your new home. If you have a collection of plastic containers without lids or lids without matching containers, consider cleaning, drying, and recycling them along with any clean paper or plastic goods you haven’t used. Wherever you have too much of something, like empty pasta sauce jars, pare your collection down to the essentials and recycle or dispose of the rest.

Some kitchen items can be repurposed into art and crafts. You can hang vintage baking tins on the wall of your new kitchen, or break old ceramic plates into pieces that can be used to make stepping stones or coffee table surfaces. If you have children, they can use kitchen sponges for painting, and egg cartons for paint trays.

Now that you’ve learned how to organize a kitchen and lighten the load, find out how to pack your kitchen like a pro, or get a quote for professional packing and moving services from Weleski Transfer.

Why You Should Hire Professional Fine Art Movers

Why is it important to hire professional movers to handle your fine art? Unless you have professional experience packing and shipping art, you’re leaving it at risk for damage that will degrade its value or even destroy it, and you may even damage your home in the process. It’s just as risky to hire movers without any fine art moving experience. Here’s why you should leave your valuable collection in the hands of our professional fine art movers in Pittsburgh or Cleveland.Room of sculptures fine art movers

We use the best packing materials.

Take the guesswork out of packing canvases or sculptures to prevent scratches or breaks. The fine art movers at Weleski Transfer will use the packing material best suited to the job to ensure your art is secured in transit or will be safe in storage, even if the piece you’re transporting is large or irregularly shaped.

We can handle large and heavy pieces.

Professional art movers are properly equipped to handle a sculpture or other large and heavy art installation during the move and during transit, without damaging the art or your home. We’ve moved all kinds of higher value objects you wouldn’t trust in the hands of amateurs.

Your move comes with protection.

Ask your professional fine art mover about valuation options and what kind of coverage is included in your moving estimate. Your items will also be documented in a moving inventory that will help prevent anything from getting lost on its way to your new home.

Protect the value of your collection by avoiding “rogue movers,” whose unethical practices include holding your goods hostage. Weleski Transfer is a ProMover®, certified by American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) for our quality and dependability.

Request a free moving estimate from fine art movers in Pittsburgh or Cleveland today, or contact us if you have any other questions about moving fine art.

4 Tips for Moving with Cats and Dogs

Puppy and cat playing on lawn

Pets seem to realize something is going on once we start packing. They may already be aware that change is afoot. Use these tips to keep your cat or dog calm during a long-distance move and help them adjust to their new environment.

1. Do your research and make a plan.

Does your new neighborhood have a dog park? Have you figured out where you’ll take your cat for veterinary appointments? When you keep the needs of every family member in mind before moving, you’ll have less to stress about when you get there. Make sure your new house is already pet-proof, and if you plan to let your dog out in the yard, ensure the fence is high and sturdy enough to keep your pup secure.

2. Get them used to moving.

Make sure your cat is acquainted with and comfortable with their pet carrier by starting a couple of weeks in advance. Leave it out in the open and place treats and something familiar-smelling inside (like a blanket or article of clothing), allowing them to go in and out freely with the door open. Once they’re not wary of going in and out, close the door while they’re inside and immediately offer them a treat. Practice going longer and longer in the carrier and extending the time between treats.

If your dog isn’t comfortable traveling in the car, you can put them at ease using a similar method. Offer something they enjoy every time they get inside with you, whether that’s a treat or a play session. Once they can sit comfortably in the car while it’s in park, try taking them on short rides and offering upbeat praise. Once you’ve stopped the car and can do so safely, offer them another reward.

3. Tire them out.

On moving day, engage in a long play session with your cat or dog until they’re about ready to take a nap. As long as they’re comfortable in the car, they may sleep most of the way! Make sure you’ve taken your dog for a walk to relieve themselves, and that your cat has used the litter box one last time.

4. Introduce them to their new home.

Once all potential exits are closed off and it’s safe to let your cat out of its carrier or your dog of its leash, allow them to explore at their leisure. Don’t panic if your cat becomes scarce for a day or two—they most likely haven’t escaped but have found their preferred hiding spot until they can acclimate to their new surroundings. For a puppy or kitten, you may want to confine them to one small room of the house, like the bathroom, until they get their bearings. Follow your normal routine, feeding your pets the same food at the usual times and allowing your dog their scheduled bathroom breaks. Before you know it, they’ll feel right at home.

Have more questions about how to move pets? Ask us!

Use the Marie Kondo Method to Declutter Before Moving

Jeans stacked vertically using the KonMari folding methodHave you read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, or learned about the KonMari method by watching the Tidying Up With Marie Kondo Netflix series? Even if you haven’t experienced the magic yourself, your friends and relatives have probably been sharing pictures left and right of their perfectly folded clothes standing vertically in their dresser drawers.

Here are some cleaning and organizing tips from Marie Kondo that you can use to lighten the load before your move, and then keep everything organized when you move into your new home.

How to Tidy Up Before You Move

  • Pile it up. Marie Kondo recommends sorting items by category rather than by room. Start by gathering every item of clothing in your home, from your closet to your bathroom floor, and creating a pile. Do the same for books, papers, miscellaneous items, and mementos.
  • “Does this spark joy?” This might not be the first question you ask yourself while holding a pair of your socks, but it’s a useful one for paring down your possessions. Hold each article of clothing, every book you own, and every photograph you’ve kept over the years and ask yourself if it makes you feel happy.
  • Say thank you and let it go. If it doesn’t, it’s time to toss it or give it away. Obvious exceptions are necessary household items like tools and cookware (although those might spark joy for you, too!). You can skip this step, but it can help to thank your belongings for their service before letting them go, especially when saying goodbye to mementos that were once important to you.

How to Tidy Up After You Move

  • Use the filing method to fold clothes. Marie Kondo’s folding method is the best way to see all your clothing at a glance, without having to upheave neatly stacked garments to find the perfect pants. Follow the folding method to learn how to make your clothes stand upright on their own, and then stack them vertically in drawers like documents in a filing cabinet.
  • Avoid re-cluttering. Before buying something new, ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t, and it’s not an absolutely necessary item, put it back. The fewer new items you add to your home, the more successful you’ll be at keeping everything tidy.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Materials Before Moving

Cans of paint - how to dispose of hazardous materialsHazardous materials like flammable liquids, car batteries, and pesticides pose a safety hazard and a risk of damaging your belongings, so Weleski can’t move them. It’s best to make a plan for them in advance of your moving date. Follow this guide to learn how to dispose of hazardous materials properly before moving.

What Are Hazardous Materials?

Hazardous materials can’t be safely disposed of in the trash like normal waste, and should never be burned. To prevent harm to the environment or other people, they must be disposed of using specific protocols. The hazardous or flammable materials Weleski can’t transport include:

  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition and loaded guns
  • Batteries
  • Charcoal, lighter fluid, and matches
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Gasoline
  • Liquid bleach
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Paint and paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Propane tanks
  • Weed killer

For a full list of hazardous materials Weleski can’t transport, visit AtlasVanLines.com.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste in Cleveland

Household hazardous waste like pesticides, flammables, and automotive fluids are collected by Cuyahoga County city service departments. Cleveland residents can drop off hazardous waste (excluding latex paint) on the first Friday of every month at the Division of Waste Collection Garage from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste in Pittsburgh

Residents of Allegheny County can drop off their household hazardous waste at their nearest collection point on specific dates. The Department of Environmental Protection lists locations, dates, and contact information for Pittsburgh hazardous waste drop-off sites on its website. Not all locations accept all kinds of items, so call ahead and ask first.

Not sure how to safely dispose of a specific item? Or, do you need to find out how to dispose of a large quantity of hazardous waste? Contact Weleski Transfer and we’ll help you find the answers.

How to Downsize Your Home

Minimally decorated apartmentWhether you’re retiring from full-time work or simply want to spend less on housing, moving from a big house or apartment to a smaller one is a highly efficient way to save more money every month. By downsizing your home you’ll not only be paying less for your mortgage or rent; you may discover that, with limited space, you spend less overall on household items. Follow these downsizing tips to reap the benefits of more efficient living.

Make an Inventory of Your Belongings

A detailed inventory of everything you own will not only give you some perspective on just how much stuff you have that you probably won’t need – it will also come in handy for filing an insurance claim in case of theft or damage, and for packing and keeping track of your stuff during your move. Use a spreadsheet to document your items with an accompanying description and inventory number, then take a photo and label it with the item’s inventory number. You can keep everything handy in your Dropbox or Google Drive. Your insurance company might also provide a free inventory tool.

Decide What You Can Live Without

Decluttering is a vital step when moving from a large home to a smaller one. Now that you have a detailed personal inventory, you can easily categorize items by belongings you must have, things you could stand to give away or sell, and items that can easily be replaced if necessary after you move to your new home. Determine the room dimensions of your new house or apartment and take your measurements into consideration when deciding which furniture to keep.

Organize While Moving, Not After

In order to ensure that you can keep your new space clutter-free, everything you own should have a place where it can be stored or put out of the way as soon as you unpack it from its moving box. Move your largest furniture first to get a better idea of where small items are supposed to go. If you realize that something you brought with you doesn’t have a space in your new place, now is the time to save yourself a headache and get rid of it.

For more tips about how to manage a move from a larger home to a smaller one, contact us. We’ve been in this business for decades and have learned a thing or two about downsizing your home.

How to Deduct Moving Expenses from Your Taxes

How to deduct moving expenses from your taxesIf you were required to move at least 50 miles away for work within the last tax year, you may be eligible to deduct any moving expenses not paid by your employer. That includes the cost of moving and storing your belongings as well as travel expenses. Due to 2018 tax reform, this is the last year you’ll be able to use this moving expense deduction, so be sure to take advantage of it if you meet the qualifications.

How to Qualify for Moving Expenses Deduction

In order to deduct your moving expenses from your taxes, you must meet the time and distance tests.

  • Time: Have you worked as a full-time employee in the area you moved to for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after you arrived in the area? If the answer is yes, you may qualify for the moving expenses deduction.

You still qualify if you’ve worked for more than one employer in the 39 weeks. However, if you’re self-employed in the area you’ve moved to, you must have worked a total of 78 weeks during the first 24 months after arriving, whether you were self-employed for the entire time or worked for multiple employers.

  • Distance: Is the distance from your old home to your new workplace at least 50 miles greater than the distance between your old home and old workplace? If the answer is yes, and you meet the time test above, you can deduct your moving expenses from your 2017 taxes.

Confused? Here’s an example: If you lived in Pittsburgh and then moved to Cleveland (about 140 miles away) to be closer to your job, worked at your Cleveland employer for 24 weeks, and then became self-employed in Cleveland for 54 weeks, you are qualified.

Here’s some good news—if you’re married, only you or your spouse needs to meet the distance and time tests. You may also qualify for an exemption to the distance and time test in the case of job loss, disability, or involuntary separation. You don’t have to meet the time or distance test if you are a member of the Armed Forces and moved due to a military order and permanent change of station.

Which moving expenses can you deduct from your 2017 taxes? Deductible expenses include:

  • DIY moving trucks or pods
  • Professional moving company services
  • Cost of hiring moving help (e.g. paying someone to load your truck)
  • Packing supplies
  • Moving insurance
  • Storage for a maximum of 30 days
  • Cost of gas and oil if you travel by car
  • Any travel expenses aside from meals for each member of your household (one trip each)

Need some help filing taxes this year? Check out these free tax preparation services in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Find tax assistance near me.

Free Tax Help in Cleveland

Visit www.211oh.org or call 211 to schedule an appointment to prepare your taxes in Cleveland.

Free Tax Help in Pittsburgh

Visit www.pa211sw.org or call 211 to schedule an appointment to prepare your taxes in Pittsburgh.

Places to Eat in Cleveland While Moving

Here are some places to eat in Cleveland while moving. These local Cleveland delis and restaurants serve delicious carryout and sit-down meals.Whether you’re moving to Cleveland or moving away, you probably won’t have a lot of time for meal prep or spare cash for delivery, and you don’t want to have to transport a lot of perishable ingredients. Here are some of the best Cleveland restaurants for grabbing a quick bite without blowing your moving budget.

Barrio

Barrio is a popular local Mexican taco joint with five convenient locations, including downtown, Lakewood, Tremont, Cleveland Heights, and Willoughby. With over 30 options to customize the taco of your dreams, it’s guaranteed to hit the spot. Their full menu is online, so you can call for carry out to speed up the ordering process.

West Side Market Cafe

The West Side Market is a great place to pick up quality ingredients from local farmers and butchers, but if you don’t have time to cook, the West Side Market Cafe will use these ingredients to whip up a delicious meal for you. Stop by at any time of the day for a quality breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner that’s as good as homemade.

Superior Pho

Superior Pho lives up to its name, laying claim to the title of “best pho in Cleveland.” This hearty soup paired with a delicious banh mi with juicy pork and crispy vegetables will fuel you up for a busy day of moving. Best of all, a large bowl of pho for carry-out costs less than $10!

Nate’s Deli & Restaurant

Nate’s isn’t your typical deli with bland toast and scoops of chicken salad. While it does offer the expected deli fare like corned beef sandwiches and chicken noodle soup, Nate’s Deli & Restaurant also loads your plate with delicious Mediterranean cuisine, like gyros, spinach pie, stuffed grape leaves, and hummus made from scratch. Nearly everything on the menu costs less than $10.

Vincenza’s Pizza & Pasta

Vincenza’s Pizza & Pasta claims to serve the best New York style pizza in Cleveland, and they can back it up with several awards! It’s easy to stop by and pick up a sub, a plate of pasta, or pizza by the slice to go, but they also deliver.

Don’t see anything you like here? For more tips about the best places to go in Cleveland, contact us!