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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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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!

 

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How to Navigate Last Minute Changes to Your Move

It’s the last night before your move. You’re trying to make sure you have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. But it’s hard – how can you possibly predict all the things that might go wrong? Moving isn’t really a fun process, and last-minute issues can make it even worse. But Elite Moving can help! Here are some ways to mitigate the effects of unexpected changes.

Get as organized as you can prior to the move

Having a piece of paper (or a digital file) that shows 1) what needs to be done 2) what’s already been done and 3) what steps you need to take is helpful even when everything goes awry. You can use it as a checklist to mark off items, and you can add and subtract tasks during the process. So, if something happens, you can add it and all the various steps it affects. This helps make sure everything gets done, and allows you to look at all the progress you’ve made in one place.

Things to consider as you plan: hiring movers, placing furniture, making sure you have plenty of boxes and packaging materials, obtaining special packaging for fragile and valuable items, and taking into account any logistics for moving into a new building and getting out of the old. Don’t forget to look at parking rules in front of your new home, and take care of those change of address cards!

Utilize all the tools at your disposal

For example, don’t forget that your moving company may have options for storage! In some cases, moving boxes to a storage unit, then taking them out and unpacking them at your leisure, may reduce the chaos on moving day. If you were forced to move in a hurry, this might be a helpful way to go.

Solicit help from friends, and definitely hire movers. You may need all the assistance you can get! Having trouble getting everything boxed before the move? Movers can pack items for you. They’ll certainly make moving bulky items much easier! If you hire a dependable service that takes schedule changes and mishaps in stride, you’ll definitely feel better about any last-minute hiccups. Also, know who can help you at your new home or building – superintendents, key holders, neighbors. Keep those numbers on your phone or someplace handy.

Be flexible, and know that things will happen

Moving is one of those stressful endeavors that may not turn out as you hope, no matter how well you plan. Unforeseeable events may take place – the cargo elevator in your new building isn’t open. Your furniture doesn’t fit into the stairwell or your new living room. Your time frame is way shorter than you thought it was going to be. No one in your family shows up to help you move.

Get as ready as you can, but then remember that you will probably have to adjust based on real-time events. It’s okay – take a deep breath, and change that list again. If you’re as prepared as you can be prior to the move, making a few changes won’t be as big a deal.

Move with Elite Moving & Storage

The nice thing about hiring dependable professional movers is that they show up when they’re supposed to, do most of the work, and leave you free to handle the other stuff. Elite Moving & Storage prides itself on being able to roll with the punches, overcoming any obstacles that may come your way. If you’re worried about last-minute issues, contact us so we can help you feel better about all the moving parts you’re dealing with.