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The Best Packing Tips for Moving

Everybody moves. Most of your belongings will need to be packed in boxes. A great variety of boxes from small to large is available to suit all of your packing needs. To ensure every item arrives at your new home in good condition, invest a little thought and effort into the packing process and choosing the right packing supplies. Here are some tips to make packing easier and better for you!

Use the right-sized box for what you’ll be packing inside

We suggest you pack heavy items, like books, into small boxes. Use bigger boxes to pack larger, lighter items. For dishes and glassware, use dish pack boxes or china boxes. These boxes have a double wall to protect your glass and other fragile items. Protect dishes and glassware by wrapping each piece in packing paper. Start with a layer of crumpled paper at the bottom, putting the heaviest things in first, lighter things toward the top. Make sure to use plenty of crumpled packing paper in between each piece.

Don’t make the box too heavy

Stand next to the box and try to slide the box sideways using your leg. If you cannot move the box with your leg, it is too heavy. Try using a smaller box or filling that box with fewer items. Using the right sized box for the contents will make that much easier. Need help packing? Our professional movers are happy to help whether you want them to just pack a few boxes or if you want the full white glove service.

No matter what you are packing, make sure your boxes are full to capacity

Once the box is relatively full, we suggest you put a layer of crumpled paper at the top of the box to give it a little more protection against caving. Under-packed boxes can get crushed; overstuffed boxes can burst at the seams.

Know what NOT to pack

There are a few things that are not allowed on a moving truck. Don’t pack anything flammable (paint thinner, fireworks, matches, etc.). They could cause more damage than it would cost to simply replace them. Liquids, perishables, and plants should not be put in a moving truck. One leaky jar or broken bottle can ruin a lot.

Keep important personal items with you during your move

Keep passports and other important documents with you during your move! At Elite Moving & Storage, we specialize in packing, storage and moving. After handling thousands of moves within the Chicagoland area, we have seen clients pack their passports, car or home titles, etc. into a box that is going to storage or moving across the country. They then have to come into our office to search through their boxes for these important papers, which can be an expensive headache.

Write on the top and side of the box in what room it needs to go

This will make it easier for you or a professional mover at your final destination. Take your favorite marker and write the contents, destination room, and any handling instructions you think may help once your boxes are being unloaded into the new home.

Elite Moving & Storage can help you move!

We offer packing services as well as supplies from tape to packing paper and every moving box you could need. We also made these helpful videos showing you how to pack, so check them out!

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Common Moving Mistakes

Moving isn’t always the most pleasant activity. It requires planning, money, effort, and the ability to juggle plenty of moving parts. You have to think about what to do at your old house, your new home, and everywhere in between, from moving big-ticket items to filling out change of address cards.

We started Elite Moving & Storage to reduce some of those headaches. If you can hire dependable local movers with a reputation for affordable and professional service, it reduces stress and makes your life easier. But we’ve also seen many mistakes in our professional moving experiences, and we have some tips for you on how to keep your move from being a total disaster.

Mistake #1 – Not Giving Yourself Enough Time

Repeat after us. Do not procrastinate. Get started early, because you are going to need all the time you can give yourself. Make a checklist, and hire movers as early as you can – especially if this is a busy time of year for moves. Make sure you have the time to take inventory, to get rid of all your furniture that you don’t want, to house-hunt, to go through the entire process. If you’re rushing at the end, you may think labeling isn’t so important, and then you won’t be able to find anything when you get to the new place. Create a timeline and stick with it.

Mistake #2 – Not Doing the Research

When you move, there are a number of areas you’ll need to research – including insurance, moving companies, real estate, where to board your pets. It might be tempting, with all the work you have to do, to skimp in one area or another. Don’t! Know how to spot a shady mover and get an accurate estimate. Find out when the best times are for moving – for your budget, and for your schedule. Don’t go with the first offer you get on anything until you’ve done some legwork on whether you’re getting a good deal. Check references.

Mistake #3 – Not Decluttering Mercilessly

What do you need? What can you toss? Sure, you’ve collected a bunch of interesting tchotchkes and knick-knacks over the years. But do you need these items? Keep things you have used in the last year, and stow sentimental items – or, even better, toss them after you’ve taken pictures of them. But donate or sell anything you don’t want to move. Not only will this make your move cheaper in terms of fuel and labor costs, it feels liberating. Let’s face it, once you complete your move, you’re going to throw away many of those items before they find a new space in your home anyway, and then you’ll kick yourself for having waited so long.

Mistake #4 – Not Creating An Appropriate Budget

Moving is expensive, and sticker shock is normal. But the financial hit can be mitigated if you do your research, estimate your costs realistically, and plan ahead of time. Thinking to cut corners? Sometimes, a DIY approach may make sense for your move, but don’t skimp on the important stuff. You may need some of the advantages a good moving company can offer – peace of mind, insurance, packing services, fewer fuel and gas headaches, and less muscle strain. And remember that if you don’t do the work beforehand, you may end up paying more – in moving costs, mortgage rates, or post-move needs. Make a comprehensive budget and update it as you go. Hint: don’t skimp on packing materials.

Mistake #5 – Not Planning for the Day of the Move

One of the pitfalls of moving is not having what you need when you need it. So, pack a bag of daily essentials for every member of your family that stores all the items that you will need on and around moving day, and as soon as you get to your new place. This prevents you from hasty unpacking of all your boxes trying to find your child’s lovey immediately after arrival at your new house. Medications, chargers, electronics, clothing, valuables, and toiletries should be included here.

Count on Elite Moving & Storage for full-service moving and relocation. 

We’ve done thousands of local and long distance moves, and we’ve seen it all. If you want the best expertise and affordable rates from the best movers in Chicagoland, call us today!

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How to House Hunt in Chicagoland From A Distance

In the market for a house in Chicago or its suburbs? Located hundreds or even thousands of miles away? If so, you might have to do some long-distance house hunting before you even think about moving to the Windy City. But house hunting from afar doesn’t have to be a problem, if you follow these tips from Elite Moving & Storage, the best movers on the North Shore.

Make a plan, and know what you want in a move to Chicago

It’s important while house hunting remotely to first know your needs and wants. Need a short commute time? Can you spend money and time on improvements if the carpeting and wall colors aren’t to your liking? Do you want to live in a more urban setting or a more low-key suburb with lots of green spaces? Know all these things before you start!

Make a list of requirements, and rate them by priority. Know how much you can spend; get your mortgage pre-approved, as that helps speed the process. Create checklists to help organize your thoughts. Do whatever you can to make sure you’re not wasting time.

But also, keep an open mind. When you’re moving to a new place, doing so can open up new possibilities you hadn’t considered yet.

Do your research about Chicago and your potential new home

The Internet is great for looking at houses – but there may be issues with accuracy. You might find a house on Zillow or Redfin, only to find when you call to schedule a showing that it’s already under contract. So how can you avoid such pitfalls when moving? The best way to start is by finding a good real estate agent.

Make sure your agent specializes in the area, and let the agent know what’s most important to you about your new city. Are you most interested in good schools? Crime rates? Area attractions? Something else? And make sure to let your agent know about your house needs, such as the number of bathrooms you can’t live without, the capacity of your garage, square footage of the house, and desired sizes of bedrooms.

Find Facebook groups in the area, and ask questions. Look at neighborhood crime rates. View Google Street View to discover aspects that don’t show up in an official for-sale listing. There are many ways you can check out your new location online, so use them!

Expect and plan for some travel to Chicago

Although you may not be able to come to Chicago for an extended period of time before you move here for good, you’ll still want to house hunt in person if at all possible. So, plan for a long weekend in a neighborhood or Chicago suburb you like (4-5 days is ideal).

Loop your realtor in to make sure all appointments are made for any property you like. Have an itinerary planned in advance. While you’re here, spend time in the city to get a feel for real life in the Chicago area. Find good restaurants, make sure there are playgrounds close by, walk the neighborhood. If you don’t find what you need, or decide to build a home, remember you may need to plan for last-minute travel to Chicagoland as well.

Skipping this step may mean you don’t get your new home properly! But if you take advantage of your time here, you’ll be more confident when it comes time to making your moving decisions – even if you’re in another state.

Then, hire the best moving company you can find! Elite Moving & Storage is here for you.

Moving long distances isn’t easy, and getting a dependable moving company can be the key to helping you settle in properly even if there’s a lot of travel involved. If you need long distance movers, hire Elite Moving & Storage for peace of mind. You have enough to deal with – let us handle the transportation of your precious belongings!

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How To Alleviate Stress During A Move

No matter how you do it, moving is a stressful process. There’s so much involved, and so many steps, and it seems overwhelming. We get it – this is, after all, what we at Elite Moving & Storage do for a living. We got into this business because we know it’s hard and we want to help with every step of the moving process – and because there’s a new start at the end, and the potential for hope and happiness. So, here are some quick tips to help keep you centered during this crazy moving process that overtakes your life.

1. Make A Plan for Your Move

Simple, but true. The more things you can plan for, the less you have to think about on a last-minute basis. If you love list-making, now’s the time to do it. If you aren’t the organized type, take a shot at it. Anything you can do ahead of time helps. Of course, plans fall through, so also make sure you can roll with those punches and be flexible.

2. Create Deadlines and Start Early

Schedule things out for the day of, the week before, the month before, and so on. Take opportunities to build yourself in some extra time if at all possible. Add big blocks of time into your day to focus on moving tasks, but do it in your bits of spare time as well. Remember, moving isn’t part of our daily routines, and doing all this new work is very tiring. If you start early and know when things will happen, it can definitely help!

3. Get Others Involved With Your Move

You may need to talk to lawyers and accountants, deal with moving companies and schools, find mortgage brokers and realtors and others. Surround yourself with dependable people, including friends that can come over and bring you wine or take those extra clothes off your hands. If you need a night off, get your pals together and blow off some steam. Asking for help when you need it is a great life skill – and this is one of the times you’ll need it.

4. Get Yourself Mentally Prepared

Sometimes, all it takes to reduce stress is to give yourself a bit of an attitude adjustment. Don’t get bogged down in details – remember the big picture. You’re going for new experiences, new people, new routines. It’s a totally new beginning in a world where change is the only constant. Don’t forget your old friends, though, and find ways of connecting to both the place you’re leaving behind and the place you’re going to. Allow yourself to feel sad, too, because that’s absolutely okay.

5. Take Time Out For Yourself

Whether it’s a bit of extra yoga or meditation, an additional Zumba class, or eating more healthy, this is a great time to pay attention to your body’s needs. Try to work in some meditation or relaxation time. Take your kids out for pizza and ice cream instead of cooking after a long day of moving tasks, walk through a nearby nature preserve – whatever works for you. Just do it. Remember, moving is an emotional upheaval as well as a physical one, so take care of those emotions too.

Elite Moving & Storage can help with the stressful parts of your move.

One sure way of alleviating stress during a move is to hire the best moving company in Chicago, Elite Moving & Storage. Feel free to check us out through the Better Business Bureau, the FMCSA, or just drive by our Skokie location. Elite Moving & Storage can help make your move easy and give you peace of mind! We know you’ll need that when you’re moving in Chicago, or out of Chicago.

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How to Protect Your Vacant House When You’re Moving

Often while you’re in the moving process, you’ll run into times when your house will not be occupied – either the new one, or the old one. When you’re away, scoping out your new city. Or when you’ve already moved, but the house hasn’t sold. When you’ve bought a new house, but haven’t fully taken up residency.

Even if you have no valuables inside, people can get in, make a mess or leave damage behind, and then leave. So, you’ll need to take some precautions to make sure nothing happens while you’re gone, whether you’ve already moved or not. Here are a few tips to help you do that, while ensuring peace of mind.

1. Lock everything and don’t leave spare keys in convenient places

This seems obvious, but definitely double check that deadbolts are in place, windows are locked, doors to the garage are secure, and keys are also secure. You don’t want to leave them lying in a fake rock or under a mat when you are gone for extended absences.

2. Get a security system, or keep the old one running

A security system will help you feel more secure about an empty house, no matter how long you leave it vacant. If you know your house will be untenanted for some time, we recommend leaving your security up and running even if you’ve moved out. Also, leave up your home security sign to deter burglars, even if you choose to disable your system.

In a new home, get your security system up immediately. Some burglars target newly moved-into homes on the theory that they haven’t set up security yet. As a bonus, you’ll get a discount on homeowner’s insurance if you have one working in your new place.

3. Have someone keep an eye on the place

Hopefully, you’ve made some friends in your old neighborhood. Maybe you can hire someone to do this for you, if not. Give your house sitter a key and an alarm code, and provide contact information. If possible, have your neighbor take care of some of your outdoor chores, such as pulling trash cans to and from the curb on trash days, so it looks like someone’s still living there. Have your neighbor park in your driveway sometimes.

When moving into a new house, you’ll want to set up services and get your belongings in as soon as possible, so the place looks like someone is living there. Don’t leave it unoccupied for long if you don’t have to.

4. Continue to arrange for maintenance on your home

Make sure your mail and newspaper delivery have been forwarded in plenty of time before your move,. That way, you don’t get packages and papers that can pile up on steps or driveways, showing people that you’re not around anymore.

Make sure your lawn continues to get mowed, or snow is shoveled in good time. Have someone take the trash out if that’s necessary. Make sure you have a handyman’s number handy just in case something happens.

5. Watch what information you’re putting out on the Internet about your move

Stay low key when it comes to putting out information about your activities in regard to moving. Savvy scammers can figure out that your home is empty and target it for theft.

Count on Elite Moving & Storage, the best movers in Chicago, for expertise in the industry.

At Elite Moving & Storage, we can help you make the best moving choices for your family. Make your experience the easiest move possible with our outstanding service! We’re the moving company that works for you.

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Moving in Spring – A How To Guide from Elite Moving & Storage

Spring is a time of new beginnings, just like moving. At Elite Moving & Storage, this is one of the reasons we enjoy what we do – helping people start over. And spring is a great time to start your moving process! Our busy season takes place in the summer, but there are definite advantages to moving before Memorial Day. The weather’s not so bad, but it isn’t super hot yet. Days are getting longer. And since we’re not as busy, you can book us for a weekend that’s most ideal for you. How can you maneuver a spring move with a Chicago moving company? Let us help!

Take advantage of spring cleaning

Use your urge to spring-clean to make things look attractive for buyers, throw out and donate items you don’t need, and do an inventory of your belongings for your new home. Pack your winter items first to get them out of the way. Have a yard sale, get organized, and declutter! It’s easier to sell homes in spring, and to make them look their best.

Watch the timing of your spring move

You’ll still want to book the best moving companies in your area as soon as possible to get the best value and the best professional movers. If you can, move during the early afternoon so that you’re taking most advantage of any sunlight and warmth. If you have kids, move during spring break so they don’t miss classes and have time to make some friends before summer.

Mind the weather when you’re moving

Spring weather is mild, which is a big advantage. Although you won’t have to deal with the hazards of icy roads or heavy labor in sweltering heat, you may have to prepare for wind and rain. Make sure your movers will protect your belongings with plastic covers and shrink wrap over your furniture. This will cost you extra, but is a good investment for spring moving! Wear appropriate clothes and layer just in case of temperature changes. And keep an eye on the forecast.

Safeguard your health during a move

Wear sunblock and sunglasses when it’s sunny out. Sometimes we forget how strong the sun can be even this time of year, especially if we’re in and out all day moving items back and forth. And don’t forget the pollen! There’s plenty of stuff flying around in spring. Seal your boxes so nothing can get in. Prepare for allergies, and don’t wear open toed shoes when moving heavy objects. Also, you may feel tired because of spring fatique, so drink plenty of water, eat small amounts of food more often, take deep breaths, and stretch between moving duties.

Let the most dependable moving company in the area help you with your Chicago move!

At Elite Moving & Storage, we understand your concerns, your fears, and your hopes about moving in or out of Chicago. We can help. Utilize our moving expertise, our great service, and our responsible business practices for your move today. Get an estimate now from the best movers in Chicago!

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How to Move Your Plants

Sometimes we don’t really think in advance about our plants and how they’re going to make the transition from one home to another. Our kids and our pets take more attention, and there’s so much to do before a move! What’s the big deal? We can just take the pot and go, right?

Actually, this is something you should be thinking about. Did you know that some plants can’t cross state lines? And how are you going to pack them securely so they get what they need and don’t spread dirt and mud all over the place? Plants are alive, and if you want to make sure they survive the move, you’ll need to know these tips on how to move your plants.

Check laws and climate conditions in your new home

If you’re moving to another state, you’ll have to follow laws about what can be brought into that state. For example, California has rules against bringing citrus plants, and only allows others in after quarantine conditions are met. Hawaii also has restrictions against certain flowers and trees; if you’re moving there, you’re entering an island ecosystem, which must be strictly protected from infestations.

Other states will have rules about invasive species, which are one of the major environmental problems of our time. You may also need an inspector to come out before you move, so you can get appropriate papers for your move.

Plan for how to move plants

Moving trucks aren’t the best places for plants. When they’re in there, they won’t have access to light, water, or air. As living beings, they need all three to survive. Many companies have rules against taking plants for just this reason.

For the best ways to move plants, you have three major options. First, you can leave them behind (except for a cutting for your new place), perhaps giving them to a friend or family member. Secondly, you can drive them to your destination, along with your family, pets, and valuable items. Or, you can ship them through FedEx or another reliable service.

Whichever way you choose, you’ll need to gather supplies to help your plants travel properly, and you’ll need to make sure to follow rules set out by the shipping companies. Do your research, and decide in advance the safest way to move your greenery.

Prepare how to travel with plants

Packing your plant properly is important for their well-being as you move them to a new home. You can take an entire plant, or just take a cutting that will allow you to grow a new plant in a new location. A cutting can easily be secured with wet paper towels, a rubber band, and a plastic stem holder (or a plastic pot in a box). Make sure they are the last thing you pack and the first thing you unpack when you’re traveling with plants.

First, check for insects. The last thing you want to do is take bugs into your new space. Not only could this be bad for your new house, you could be bringing an invasive pest species into your new state.

Secondly, re-pot your plants if possible into durable, light, plastic containers. Place a plastic bag over the entire pot and tie it, so soil doesn’t spill out. If you’re shipping, put the entire plant in a box with airholes. Any heavy, empty ceramic planters can go with the movers.

Finally, water your plants 2-3 days before moving so that roots are damp. Most types will be able to survive for a week without additional water.

If you’re shipping, label the box so shippers know there’s a fragile, live plant in there. If you’re moving your plants by car, don’t put them in the trunk, but do crack a window for air whenever you take a break from the road. Try to avoid exposing plants to cold or overly hot air. Bring them inside when you stop at overnight lodgings and only water them if needed.

Elite Moving & Storage wants to keep your plants safe and healthy as you move.

To that end, Elite Moving & Storage doesn’t ship plants ourselves, but we can offer you suggestions on how to do it yourself. Need to know how to move plants? Need advice on how to keep your entire household intact? Get an estimate from the best moving company in Chicago today!

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Recommendations Regarding Pressed Wood Furniture

At Elite Moving, we understand that pressed wood furniture is inexpensive and convenient. This type of furniture, made not from blocks of wood but from pressed fiber board or particle board, is what you’d get at a place like Ikea. But you should know that it is not made to be moved, and we recommend you leave it behind.

About Pressed Wood Furniture

Because regular wood furniture is expensive, many manufacturers use more disposable alternatives. Pressed wood furniture is generally made from wood scraps, chips, shavings, or sawdust, and bound with heat or resin or another type of adhesive. On their own, layers of wood aren’t strong, but when pressed together they become stronger.

There are some advantages to pressed wood furniture, other than cheapness. This type of furniture looks good, doesn’t warp, and can be easily painted. But it isn’t very strong. It isn’t built to last, and it isn’t built to move. Period.

Is it safe to move pressed wood furniture?

Basically, pressed wood furniture is made for one-time use. These types of pieces just aren’t designed to go anywhere. They can easily break, especially if they are older, in bad condition, or must be moved a long distance. The further you go, the less the chance there is that your pressed wood piece will make it intact.

With this type of furniture, you may be fooled by how light they are. That’s because materials are often mixed with chemicals for strength. This makes them lighter, but also less durable. If the laminate or veneer starts to peel away, the exposed fibers inside may start to crumble. And if pressed wood furniture gets wet, it absorbs the water and can’t be repaired, much like a book. A long piece of pressed wood furniture, like a bookcase shelf, can easily be destroyed in a move.

So should I move my pressed wood furniture?

We say no. Honestly, it’s best if you leave it behind, or dispose of it. The pegs and screws used to fasten pressed wood furniture together basically tear the wood apart with every bump and vibration. Even with careful handling, pressed wood furniture tears itself apart. Leave it for the next resident of your home and buy new. If you simply must move it, disassemble it first – or hire someone to do it for you.

Some items, such as bookshelves, have flat individual planes that can be easily taken apart. If you do this, make sure to keep your assembly instructions handy, or know how to access them online. Label each piece and keep hardware together so you can find them after you move. You might also consider reinforcing joints and boards. Use braces, tighten screws, glue dowels in, fill gaps, and laminate and seal. Then, you might feel better about taking the chance. Despite your best efforts, be prepared for the possibility that your furniture won’t make the trip.

Elite Moving & Storage Knows Furniture!

Even the best moving companies will often have a waiver for you to sign, releasing them from responsibility for damage to pressed wood furniture. Please don’t expect miracles in this regard! Remember a legitimate and responsible moving company will let you know exactly what they think is too fragile to move, and that includes pressed wood furniture. We pride ourselves on being one of those great moving companies, so count on us!

 

Naperville Mall

Six Great Shopping Destinations in Chicagoland

We love shopping in Chicago – it’s a traditional retail paradise here. Winter’s a great time to shop, whether you’re engaging in downtown bustle or suburban leisure time. Looking for top brands, unique markets, or great deals? No problem! Check out some of our favorite spots for spending money.

1. The Mag Mile

There’s no topping the shops on Michigan Avenue for internationally-known brand names. Apple, Burberry, Nieman Marcus, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany & Co., Kenneth Cole, the Disney Store, the American Girl Store – it’s all here. From the Chicago River at Wacker Drive up to about Oak Street (and don’t miss turning down Oak Street), you can find countless vertical malls (Water Tower Place, 900 North Michigan Shops) boutiques, department stores, and pretty much anything you want.

2. Fashion Outlets of Chicago

Over in Rosemont near O’Hare International Airport, this giant full-service indoor mall features great food, art, and amazing deals. It’s the kind of place people drive from neighboring states just to visit, because the deals are so great and they’re on top-tier brand names like Tory Burch and Gucci and Barney’s.

3. Suburban Mall-Hopping

Still one of the largest indoor malls in the U.S., Woodfield is out in Shaumburg, about 40 minutes northwest of downtown. But there are tons of great malls in the suburbs, from Oakbrook Center in the western suburbs to Westfield Shoppingtown Old Orchard in Skokie. Movie theaters, exciting restaurants, and much more make these family-friendly places to see, do, and buy.

4. State Street and Jeweler’s Row

In the Loop area, you can find the Macy’s that used to be Marshall Field’s, a historic center of retail in Chicago. A number of discount stores line State Street here, catering to students and those of us who can’t afford the goods on the Mag Mile. And, if you turn onto Wabash Ave. about a block east of the south end, you’ll be in Jeweler’s Row.

5. Chicago Neighborhoods

From edgy retailers in Lakeview to home design stores in Andersonville, Chicago’s neighborhoods are purveyors of the unique and funky. Logan Square features indie shops you’ll love. Lincoln Square caters to the hip and new; Chinatown is perfect for gifts and Hello Kitty lovers. West Devon St. is perfect for your Bollywood craving. Love vintage clothing and cool little shops? Take a jaunt down to Wicker Park.

6. Suburban Downtowns

Suburban downtowns are a bit off the beaten path for many, yet still a great place for retail discoveries. In Naperville, for example, we’re talking a city center full of popular and high-end retailers, along with upscale entertainment options and attractions. In Wilmette, you can experience great little boutiques and unique restaurants. In Long Grove, the picturesque surroundings allow for charming excursions and a visit to a famous chocolate shop. In Oak Park, an old-style movie theater nestles among so many cool places to stop. We urge you to get out and explore, because you never know what you’ll find around the Chicago area.

Don’t limit yourself! Chicago and its suburbs are full of hidden shopping gems!



We know, because this is our home turf, and we live and shop here ourselves. We at Elite Moving & Storage love Chicago and the suburbs, and we want to help you move there (or out, or around, no judgment here). Let us know how we can help you. Get an estimate with us today!

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How to Save on Moving Costs

There’s no way around it – moving is expensive. But hopefully, at the end of the road is a better situation, a higher quality of living, and a new start. Moving is also stressful, but you can reduce both your expenses and your anxiety by following some tips from the experts here at Elite Moving & Storage. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’ve seen it all! We know how to help you reduce your expenses and get the most out of the process.

Hire reasonably-priced, dependable movers

Look, we know you’re thinking, “Ha, of course they’re going to say you should hire movers because they’re a moving company.” Okay, fine. If you feel comfortable doing that, do it. But think about it carefully, and weigh the pros and cons, and calculate the costs of renting your own trucks and getting supplies yourself. Using movers can prove cheaper in the end because of their expertise and speed. Don’t forget to factor in the potential relationship outcomes of using your family as free unskilled labor.

But, do your research – contact different companies, look at reviews, and get insurance. Try to move during slow times, such as the middle of the week or the month, or winter, to reduce costs. If you need storage, see if your moving company has a deal. Remember that the more you have the moving company do, the more it will cost. So, if you can pack things on your own, do that.

Stay organized

Create a timeline that will allow you to do the tasks you need to do on a schedule you set out. Set a budget that takes every element into account. Don’t forget to count costs of packing materials. You’ll need packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and other items. This might be one of your biggest expenses, so try to get boxes free from grocery stores, big retailers, and wholesalers like Costco. Check freecycling sites, liquor stores, and mail offices. The boxes must be in good condition! Note, though, that you won’t want to pack fragile items in free boxes, since you won’t know how strong they still are. Instead, invest in double-walled china boxes or dish packs.

Know what tasks you’re going to relegate to the movers and set out what you’re going to take with you personally. Know what goes where in your new home, and whether or not everything’s going to fit. Are you going to need storage? Do you have specialty items, such as a rare and valuable piano? Keep track of your expenses; you may be able to deduct them come tax time.

Declutter

Moving is always a great time to unload those things you don’t need. It’s cheaper, and less work, to move fewer things. Your movers may actually charge you based on weight if you’re moving out of state, so this can be a significant savings. This might be a good opportunity to upgrade some of your belongings!

Measure your new place to find out if anything won’t fit – and then get rid of the items that don’t. Do you really need those old appliances or that treadmill you never use? Have a yard sale. Donate to charity and get the tax deduction. Ultimately, you need to be smart about what you put into your new home and how it gets there if you want to save yourself some dough.

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When creating your budget, don’t forget to set aside some funds for AFTER the move. You’ll need extra to get your home running at a minimum level. You’ll need to replenish your food supplies and send in deposits for utilities, at a minimum. And if your house needs repair, you’ll need to take care of that as well. You might consider selling your boxes after you’re done, at places like boxcycle.com or on Craigslist. It won’t be too much, but every little bit helps!

Want more information and advice? That’s what we’re here for! Elite Moving & Storage offers expert advice on every part of your move. Get an estimate today, and get the benefit of our years of experience moving people in and out of the Chicago area.