Posts

man looking at laptop thinking on sofa

8 Things You Can’t Overlook When Choosing a Moving Company

couple choosing moving company with atlas moving truck

Choosing the right moving company can be a confusing and frustrating process for homeowners and renters. The stakes are high; picking the right mover can drastically reduce the stress associated with moving. To help make your move as smooth as possible, here are eight important things you should always look for when choosing a moving company.

1. Necessary Licenses

Make sure that the business is legitimate and authorized to act as a moving company in the state they are based out of. Also, ensure that all drivers are licensed, especially on trips where the moving truck will be traveling alone to the new home. An unlicensed driver runs the risk of getting caught and, in a worst-case scenario, could be forced to abandon the truck on the side of a highway while the company tracks down a new driver.

2. Insurance

Is the company insured? Will somebody pay to replace household goods if the moving truck is damaged or burglarized? With the ease of access to online classified sites, many people who happen to own trucks are running unlicensed moving businesses on weekends. These unregulated individuals increase the risk of insurance hassles if anything happens to the payload while in transport.

3. Experience

Every company has to start somewhere, but no client wants their personal belongings to be the guinea pig. Always go with a reputable moving company that has been in the industry for at least five years. Don’t be afraid to verify those years of experience, either. Ask for a list of references, conduct a bit of internet research, and generally do what you can to verify that the company is trustworthy.

4. Moving Specialties

Every industry is full of specialties, and the moving industry is no exception. Some companies focus solely on local, in-town moves; others specialize in international relocation. Some movers offer “do it yourself” moves, allowing clients to pack their own household goods and/or drive to the destination on their own. It is important to understand what kind of mover each company you’re considering is, because hiring a mover for a job that’s outside of their specialty can be more expensive than hiring one who specializes in the type of move you need.

5. Availability

Clients should make sure that their moving company provides a firm date and time for when they will be available to move their household goods. This is especially important when a client requires possession of their goods by a specific date and time, as is often the case for small business owners and those who work out of a home office. Availability and clear communication can help avoid any schedule conflicts between the moving company and the client.

6. Budget

Is it possible to find a good mover at a reasonable price? Yes. Once you know you’re moving, start to shop around for a moving company that fits into your price range. Just keep in mind this timeless advice: you usually get what you pay for.

7. In-Person Estimate

Online estimates and telephone estimates are never guaranteed. Instead, seek out a moving company that is willing to provide a free, in-person estimate. Also, don’t be afraid to get estimates from more than one company. Multiple estimates will give you a better indication of reasonable pricing. This process can also help you discern which movers are honest and which ones are price gougers.

8. Written Contract

Legitimate moving companies will offer a written contract to the client outlining the responsibilities of both parties. Clients should read the contract fully and ensure that they understand it. This will prevent any surprises should anything unexpected happen during the move.

Most people hate moving, even if the move is for the better. The daunting process of packing everything up, loading it onto a big truck, and unloading it at the new house or apartment just tends to cloud a person’s outlook on their move. While there is no way to avoid these parts of moving, there are ways to reduce the amount of stress involved. Choosing the right moving company for your move is one of the best ways to ensure a less stressful experience.

Can You Claim Moving Expenses While Filing Taxes?

moving expenses tax deductions

 

IRS Moving Deductions for 2019

Unfortunately, unless you are in the Armed Forces, you cannot deduct moving expenses starting in 2018.

Starting December 31, 2017, and going through December 31, 2025 you will not be able to deduct moving expenses. The only exception to the new law is for taxpayers who are members of the military on active duty who move pursuant to a military order.

You should seek advice from a tax professional when trying to determine how these changes will affect you.  Visit https://www.irs.gov/ for current information.

 

 

 

DIY Cost Calculator

Calculate Your Move

Can you afford to hire a professional mover? Before you say NO, read this.

Fill out the worksheet below and see how much it would cost you to do it yourself.  Then get estimates from three reputable, well-reviewed moving companies.  It will cost a little more to have someone do it for you, but there are many factors like lack of stress and peace of mind that you can’t put a price on.

DIY Cost Calculator

$______________ Truck rental (make sure all is included such as drop off fees)

$______________ Mileage (if they charge for that)

$______________ Insurance (your insurance may or may not cover you driving a truck)

$______________ Gas (figure about 10 miles/gallon @ $2.50-3.50 per gallon)

$______________ Boxes (you’ll need 50-150 boxes most likely @ approx. $3/box)

$______________ Packing material (you’ll need bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, etc.)

$______________ Hotels (if it’s more than a 12 hour drive you’re best not to push it)

$______________ Pizza & beer (do you have strong friends on either side that can help?)

$______________ Hired labor (if you don’t, then you should hire someone to help with the big stuff, especially if there are any stairs at all. People get injured and belongings broken all too often trying to do more than they should.)

$______________ Other/Miscellaneous

$______________ TOTAL

You can also download it here.

Thinking it through.

  • First, there’s renting a large moving truck and paying for the gas (at about ten miles per gallon) and possibly supplemental insurance.
  • If you’re driving a rented moving truck, how will your family vehicles get to your new location? Add in those costs.
  • Estimate the costs of purchasing all the packing materials—reinforced boxes, padding, tape, etc., plus specialty packing for awkward and/or exceptionally valuable items like artwork or musical instruments.
  • Review the actual move logistics—you’ll need people at both ends of the move to help load, unload and set up all your belongings.
  • Do you feel secure in unloading and reconnecting your major appliances by yourselves?

The potential savings in time (the average household fills about 100 moving boxes, and that doesn’t even count furniture), stress and physical strain is likely to be, well, maybe not priceless, but well worth the investment in a professional service.

 

 

Affordable Movers in Austin

Affordable Movers in Austin

Affordable Movers in Austin

Austin is one of the most diverse and lively metropolitan cities in the state of Texas.  People move into, out of and around Texas for better job opportunities or for personal reasons.  When moving, some may choose the cheapest or the most affordable movers in Austin that they can find.  However it is important to keep in mind that our belongings weren’t cheap.

We usually buy things that we like, are appealing to us, or fit our home decor.  We don’t always just buy the cheapest things for our home.  But when it comes to moving, we want the most affordable movers in Austin. Good quality moving may not necessarily be the cheapest.
Moving is very overwhelming and emotionally draining.  It is very important to choose professional movers of the highest quality to move all our belongings.  This is certainly not a time to choose one of the cheapest or the most affordable movers in Austin.  You don’t want your belongings to be broken, damaged, lost or even held hostage by these self-proclaimed affordable movers.

The movers who claim to be cheap or affordable movers in Austin may offer quotes via the web or over the phone.  But legally, the only way a moving company can provide a binding quote is by performing an in-person survey of the items to be moved from a particular area.  Print out the list of 10 questions that you must ask a moving company before you select one.

Most of the affordable moving companies in Austin are legitimate.  But there are a small number of these affordable movers in Austin who are dishonest and rogue.  Click here to know how you can identify these fraudulent moving companies.

Find out more about Ace Relocation systems Austin office on our website.

Happy Moving!

Affordable Movers in Seattle


Affordable movers in Seattle

Affordable movers in Seattle

 

Did you know that the beautiful, lush and evergreen forests have earned Seattle, the nickname ‘The Emerald City’?  Seattle is also home to many large corporations such as Starbucks, Jones Soda, Amazon, Zillow and Microsoft. People are always moving into, out of and around the Puget Sound area. When it comes to relocating, most of us tend to choose the cheapest or most affordable movers in Seattle.

Moving has been documented as one of the most stressful times in a person’s lives. It can be emotionally draining and exhausting. Most of the affordable moving companies in Seattle are professional and deliver on their commitments.  However in the guise of being “affordable movers in Seattle”, some moving companies want to take undue advantage of one your most stressful times to make a quick buck. Sometimes, choosing one of the cheapest or most affordable movers may come at the cost of quality.

It is easy to fall prey to the allure of saving a few bucks. After all you get what you pay for. When it comes to our belongings, it is better to be safe than sorry, as they were acquired through hard earned dollars. Click here to read about ways to identify the rogue movers who claim to be the most affordable movers.

A quick online search showed a range of complaints from consumers who chose some of the most affordable movers in Seattle. Some of them are listed below:

  • Damaged goods
  • Being charged much higher the original estimate given
  • Delayed delivery
  • Lost goods
  • Goods being held hostage until the customer pays thousands of dollars

While most affordable moving companies in Seattle are genuine, it is very important that you do your due diligence and research them before arriving at a decision.

Click here to find out what you need to look for in a moving company, as shared by one of our expert relocation consultants.

Happy Moving!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Fun and Easy DIY Projects for Under $15

  Here are 5 fun and easy DIY projects for under $15. These are great to do with family or friends and will help beautify your new lovely home. 

 1. Paint Old Furniture

    What you will need:

Old piece of furniture, sand paper, primer, paint, paint roll, paintbrush

1. Get an old piece of furniture
2. Clean and remove any dirt or residue
3. Remove any necessary hardware from the furniture
4. Patch any holes or chipped wood with wood filler
5. Use sand paper to buff the wood
6. Remove any residue left after using the sandpaper
7. Apply 2 coats of primer and allow it to dry
8. Sand the primed surface.
9. Paint the furniture with a roller and then go over it with a paint brush

Let dry and enjoy your new fabulous furniture!

 

5 fun and easy DIY projects for under $15

2. Water Color Mug

What you will need:

Plain white mug, cup of water, ceramic paint, paintbrush, a oven

1. Take out your plain white mug
2. Squirt the ceramic paint on a paper plate
3. Wet paintbrush
4. Dip it into whatever color porcelain paint you desire. The more water you add, the more the color will run.
5. Start painting your mug. Start from the top and let the paint drip down to the bottom or vice versa
6. Once your mug is completely painted and dry, place it in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
7. This will allow the porcelain paint to bake so it doesn’t chip or come off when washing.

Hope you enjoy using your new fun mug!

 

5 fun and easy DIY projects for under $15

 

3. Dish Towel Pillow

What you will need:

Cute print dishtowel, a small pillow, and sewing machine

1. Fold one towel long ways inside out
2. Sew three of the four sides with sewing machine
3. Flip it to the right side
4. Stuff the pillow inside
5. Hand stitch up the fourth side

You now have yourself a beautiful new pillow!

 

5 fun and easy DIY projects for under $15

 

4.  Terrarium

What you will need:

1 clear glass or plastic container, small stones, potting soil, activated charcoal, cool ornaments, sphagnum moss

1. Place 1 inch layer of small stones at the bottom of the container
2. Add ½ inch layer of activated charcoal over stones, which will help keep the water clean
3. Add a light layer of sphagnum moss on top
4. Add about 2 inches of potting soil on top
5. Arrange as desired

Enjoy and don’t forget to water your new terrarium once a week.

 

5 fun and easy DIY projects for under $15

 

5. Creative Coaster

What you will need:

Plain ceramic coasters, Decoupage Glue, Exact-o-knife, scissors or razor, felt, foam brush, ruler, Scrap Booking Paper, Colored Paper, Maps, Photographs,  and etc. As long as it is made from paper, you can decoupage it.

1. Clean the tile or coaster to remove any particles
2. Place the paper on the coaster
3. Brush on the glue in one direction
4. Use finger tips to help press down any bubbles
5. Allow to dry
6. Glue felt to the back of the coaster

You have now made a cute coaster that will look great on your coffee table!

 

5 fun and easy DIY projects for under $15

 

 

Top 10 Ways to Cost Effectively Pack for Your Move

For some, cost cutting and money saving is a way of life.  Recession or no recession, penny pinchers consistently seek out new and inventive ways to save money every day out of the year, and moving day is no different.  Whether you’re a devout penny pincher or just an occasional coupon cutter, these ten tips will help you save money on your next move.

1.  Scavenge your neighborhood for free cardboard boxes.  Many grocery and large chain stores give cardboard boxes away in pallets to those who ask for them.

2.  Look for clean newspapers and phone books around your neighborhood.  Even though fewer and fewer people are using them, newspapers and phone books continue to circulate, and it is never too hard to find a few that people are willing to get rid of.  Crumple the pages of the periodicals into the shape of a ball and they make a great substitute for packing peanuts.

3.  Use your belongings as packing materials.  Blankets, soft clothing, and stuffed animals also make a great substitute for packing peanuts.

4.  Hold a yard sale.  You’ll have fewer things to pack, less weight to have to ship, and a few extra bucks of cash in your pocket for any last minute incidentals.

5.  Donate unused items to charity.  Anything you don’t sell at a yard sale can be donated to the less fortunate.  Be sure to get a receipt from your charity as you may be eligible for tax credits.

6.  Recruit friends and family to help wrap items and pack boxes – one of the most time consuming parts of moving.  Leave the heavy lifting to the professionals, though.

7.  Create a packing plan so you don’t buy more packing material than you have to.

8.  Save all receipts for supplies and keep unused packing materials in their original wrappers.  This way, if you overestimate the amount of packing supplies you need, you can return the unused materials for a refund.

9.  Use the web to search for discounts and coupons on packing material.  Many moving companies offer Internet only offers that are not advertised in stores.

10.  Before taping any box closed, clearly label the contents of each box on its side, not just the room where the contents came from.  If you need to find something in a hurry, you won’t have waste and reapply several feet of tape in the process.

Office Relocation Tips to Stretch Company Dollars

tips

Here are six office relocation tips that will help any office save money on their next relocation:

–Gather estimates early.  Being forced to gather estimates at the last minute may not allow business administrators to gather as many estimates as they need in order to find the best deal.

–Stay away from unregulated movers, use legitimate movers only.  In many jurisdictions, it is illegal for unregistered movers to operate, but many persist, passing on much of the liability of their actions to those who hire them.  If a move goes wrong, it is the client who is often left to answer for the costly mistakes of the unregulated movers they hired.

–Use the opportunity to upgrade office equipment.  Since many business operations may be shut down during a move, replace as much office equipment as possible.  This way, future operations won’t have to be stopped to replace the items.

–Ask for a discount on moving services or packing materials.  Few people realize how many businesses are willing to offer discounts to those who ask.   At worst, the business refuses; at best, the client receives the discount and uses the savings to pay for other operating costs.

–Lighten the load.  Since most movers charge their clients based on the number of items they’re moving and the space that they take up in the truck, reducing clutter can lead to extra savings.  If you’re considering getting new office furniture, get rid of the old first and have the new shipped directly to the new location.

–Do it right the first time.  Money is lost every time a task has to be redone because it was done wrong the first time.  Starting with a clear plan and objective can drastically reduce mistakes and errors during a move.  Make sure the relocation company you choose can explain in detail their standard procedure for performing serivces correctly.