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4 Reasons to Temporarily Store Your Stuff

It’s no secret that space comes at premium prices in New York City. And the longer you stay in one place, the more stuff you tend to accumulate. So, what to do when you’re just out of space but you don’t want to get rid of anything that you have.

Temporary storage can help. Here are four reasons why you might consider renting some extra space for a short period of time:

Swapping Seasonal Items

If your closets are getting too stuffed to hold both your winter coats and summer shorts, you can use temporary storage to keep your seasonal items. Rotating your clothes gives you more space and makes it easier to see what you have.

You can also store seasonal décor so that your home has a fresh look as the weather changes. Switch out your cozy, warm décor for lighter, brighter touches in summer and vice versa when the seasons shift.

Clearing for Renovations

If your space is already packed tightly with your belongings, it can be difficult to keep everything in place while you’re planning a renovation. You can make it easier for contractors to finish the work faster when you temporarily store your furnishings. You’ll also be able to protect them from getting dusty, scratched or damaged accidently during construction.

If you want a truly seamless experience, ask us for a recommended decorator or contractor. We work frequently with some amazing renovation professionals, and can help you find the right resource for your needs.

Inheriting and Transferring Furniture

Sometimes an unexpected piece of furniture comes into your life. Maybe you inherit a piece that you want to keep but don’t yet have room for it yet. Perhaps it is something you’re giving away to your relative, but they can’t pick it up right away.

If you have no more room in your home, keep it safe and sound in a temporary storage space. You can keep the piece can stay undisturbed until its new owner comes to retrieve it or until you create space for it.

Staying Clutter Free When School’s Out

If you have a college-aged child coming back from school for the summer, you may not have the space to keep everything they are hauling back from the dorms. Store their excess furnishings and items just for the summer to keep your home clutter free.

Need temporary storage? We have our own storage facility that’s perfect for both short and long-term needs. Learn more about our secure storage or contact us for more information about pricing and availability.

 

Painlessly Declutter Before Your Move

Three Steps to Painlessly Declutter Before Your Move

If you live in one place for more than a couple of years, it’s almost inevitable that you will have accumulated more things than when you originally moved in. This is totally normal, but it can pose challenges when you’re planning to move.

To make moving painless, it’s essential to get rid of all of the things that you no longer need. However, many people find that even if they don’t love all of their possessions, they still develop an attachment to having stuff.

Decluttering your home before you move will save you lots of time, space, and moving costs if you make an effort to pare down your belongings to only those that you use, love, and that make your home feel great.

How do you overcome the overwhelm of decluttering? Here are three simple steps to making the process pain free and happy (because happy is good):

1. Take Baby Steps

If you have to purge many years of things, don’t try to do it all at once. Working on your whole home in one day or one weekend can be emotionally and physically draining. Instead, try working on one room – or even one closet – at a time.

Break down the process even further by setting a timer for 15 minutes. Focus solely on decluttering for those 15 minutes, and when the bell rings, give yourself a 5-minute break to step away and focus on something else. Once your break is over, take another 15-minute time increment to continue the process. When you break down a big project into small steps, it makes your work seem easier and faster.

2. Love It or Leave It

Make three piles of stuff: Keep, Give, and Toss. Keep only those things that you really love, or have special meaning for you, or that you use regularly. The Give pile can either be donated to a worthy cause or sold in a stoop sale or on EBay or Craig’s list for extra cash. Toss the things that are worn out or broken.

Be ruthless – if you have trouble sorting through your belongings, have someone help you. A neutral party can help you push through any emotional attachment you have to the things that don’t really add to your happiness or wellbeing.

3. Store Your Extras

So, say you’ve tried number one and number two, and you still have more than will fit in your space. Or you may have seasonal items that don’t need to live at your place year round. Well, you are still in luck. Why? Because Rainbow Movers has our own secured storage space where you can rent storage space for your extra belongings. Then, when the season rolls around, or when you clear new space in your home, you can have us retrieve them and deliver them to you when you need them.

Find Your Best Time to Move Apartments

Four Tips to Find Your Best Time to Move Apartments

Historically, May 1 was known as Moving Day in New York City. That’s because all rental agreements expired on the same date. On February 1, also known as New York City’s Rent Day, landlords would communicate any rent increases, and between February and April, tenants would search for new places to live. When the first of May rolled around, there would be mass chaos of everyone switching apartments on the same day.

Fortunately, moving has changed a lot since the early 20th century, and even since Rainbow Movers started. However, planning ahead and finding your best time to move can reduce stress and make the transition easy.

Scheduling: Know YOUR Moving Season

The most popular months for moving are May through September. For many, it’s because transitioning to a new home is easier when kids are out of school for the summer. The downside is that summer can be more difficult to book your move on the day you wish since many others are moving at the same time.

Know your new building’s rules

Many New York City buildings, particularly those with elevators and doormen, do not allow weekend moves. In addition, many buildings only permit one moving company at a time to access the service elevator. Planning your move ahead of time is key to ensure that your movers will be able to get to your apartment without delays.

If you are moving from house to house, you won’t have the same sorts of restrictions, but you may need to consider other factors like traffic.

Peak season vs. off-peak

If your new home is near a beach route or weekend getaway place, midweek summer moves (Tuesday-Thursday) will save you money by cutting the time your movers are on the road.

During early spring or late fall, you may be able to book your move whenever you like. If you’re buying a place, you might find better deals with fewer buyers on the hunt.

Winter can be even easier to find exactly the home that you desire and the ideal move-in date.

Book your move ahead

The earlier that you can book your move, the more likely you will be able to choose your ideal move date. Because summer is such a popular time to move, many movers get booked weeks in advance.

It’s not wrong to plan a move that’s 6-8 weeks or more in the future. Knowing that you have secured your date can give you peace of mind and reduce your stress.

Discover your best time to move – contact us for schedule options and your free estimate.

Moving into Your New Dorm

Five Tips for Moving into Your New Dorm

When it is the start of your new school year, whether its August or January, maybe, just maybe, it might be a good time to at least start planning your move into your new dorm room. Here are some quick tips for getting ready to move into your new dorm.

1. Understand how small your dorm room really is

In general, dorm rooms are pretty small living spaces. So when you’re packing all the things you want to bring with you, keep in mind that 200 square feet is roughly the size of an average guest bathroom. Plan accordingly. If you can, visit your dorm ahead of Move-In Day to see what is already provided (chairs, desk lighting, tables, etc.) and what the layout looks like. This information will help you figure out exactly what you need to bring – and what to leave at home.

2. Use multipurpose storage containers

Instead of transporting your clothes in suitcases, get a trunk. They come in a wide variety of styles, from old school wooden chests to modern collegiate trunks in almost any color you want (search for “storage trunk” on Google and check out the 3.8 million results). During the school year, trunks double as storage and coffee tables. And check in your attic – your parents may have kept their trunks for a moment just like this one. Also look into all the clever storage ideas out there for maximizing your closets, under your bed and spaces that may have never even occurred to you or your mom (although the latter is unlikely).

3. Bring things the right size appliances

Face it: you’re not going to be cooking 5 course meals in your dorm. But you will need a snack here and there. That’s why they make things like dorm-size and even desktop refrigerators. You can get small microwave ovens as well for popcorn emergencies. We advise staying away from hot plates and space heaters, as they can be a fire hazard.

4. Be smart about your electronics

Back in the day, kids with the best dorm rooms had full stereos, speakers and TV’s. But today, most of these items are about the size of a book (remember books?), or smaller still. Your laptop or iPod can serve as your stereo with a pair of powerful mini speakers. You can stream most of your favorite shows any time of day or night on your computer, iPad or iPod, so no need for a big TV. Think through your electronics set up and cut out the pieces you don’t need.

5. Know what you can and cannot bring

Before you run off to Sears, check with your college or university and see what you are allowed to bring into your dorm, as there will be restrictions and guidelines around size, safety and energy use. There is no sense in buying something you won’t be allowed to use. And you definitely want to keep the safety and comfort of your room mate, your classmates and yourself first.

One final thought: your roommate. Odds are that you’ll have at least one of them. In some cases, it could be even more. The best way to maximize your space is to talk with your future room mate and plan out what furniture and appliances you both need and who is bringing each item.

Rainbow Movers moves students into and out of dorms every season, and we also provide storage so that you don’t have to lug everything back and forth between school years. We congratulate all the freshmen coming into New York’s universities, colleges, and other higher education and training institutions. But first, enjoy the rest of your summer.

Easy Steps to Deciding Whether to Store

Top 5 Easy Steps to Deciding Whether to Store or Not to Store

“To store or not to store?” That is the question people often ask themselves, whether in planning a move, or in reorganizing their living or work space.  You may be engaging contractors for the long planned renovations and need everything packed and removed so the work can go on efficiently. It could be for a long or short time. Whatever your storage needs, whether it is your household or your business, whether its a large or small number of items, Rainbow Movers NY storage service is reliable, adaptable to your needs, and fairly priced.  To help you determine exactly what those needs are, please read these Five Easy Steps:

1. Decide whether you really want to keep the things you’re thinking of storing.

It makes little sense and costs many dollars to store things you don’t need or that have outlived their utility.  It is understandable that there are some things you just can’t part with. Sentimental storage is a subjective decision you’ll need to make, since the value of the old comfy chair, the LP collection, the kids drawings, the figurine from your Great Aunt is often not in their financial worth. But the den furniture needing repair or refinishing, the old furniture from your office (will you ever really want to use that old metal desk?), the extra mattresses, the window air conditioner from your last apartment, CRT TV, computer, college textbooks… are in quite another category. Will you ever really want to use them again? We advise you to give some thought to the things you want to put in storage and only store the things you are certain you want to keep.

2. Pack your things carefully and number your boxes.

As you pack your boxes, imagine the day you will be unpacking them and using the items again. Won’t it be great to find them as usable as the day they went in the box?  So make sure everything is washed, folded and organized for the time you need to use them again. Number each box and write a key word describing the contents on the top and sides of the boxes so that you can easily track and identify each one.

3. Make an inventory list of everything you put into storage.

An inventory with box numbers and content descriptions is a great way to track and remind yourself at-a-glance of everything you have in storage. The movers will always prepare an inventory based on their numbered tickets and can easily add your numbering to the paperwork, so if you need to pull out something specific, like a box of cookware or books, your tax papers or next season’s clothes, you just have to refer to the inventory list to find the right box. When you move your belongings out of storage, the inventory will help the efficiency of your entire move, reduce a good bit of the stress that might be there otherwise, and ensure that the boxes end up in the right rooms.

4. Use the right size boxes.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. It is important to use the right size boxes for your belongings. Large boxes filled with heavy items like books can end up being too heavy to lift safely and are more likely to split open for exceeding their designed weight limit.  Boxes that are not filled completely may get damaged or crushed in a stack, so use the right sized box and fill it completely. Rainbow Movers NY can help you figure out sizes and quantities of boxes you’ll need for your storage items, give you some tips about packing your boxes, and we can supply them for you too.

5. Set a target date in the future to re-evaluate whether you still need to store your things.

You’ll want to give a thought to your storage unit on a regular basis. One way to do that is to put an appointment in your calendar every 3-6 months. When that appointment reminder pops up on your computer or cellphone, pull out your inventory and have a good look at it. If you still need to store these things, then make another appointment to think about them again in 3-6 months. If you want to bring them home, sell them or get rid of them, set a date and make a plan.

So if you are thinking about putting any or all of your belongings into storage, please contact us for a quote. We can pick up, store, and re-deliver your things. We can also help you pack and label them properly, and then deliver them back to you when you are ready.

Planning Your Stress-Free Move

Five Tips For Planning Your Stress-Free Move

Congratulations! You found a new place to live!

Before you can lounge in your new living room, however, you need to focus on moving out of your current home. To keep your stress level down, start planning ahead with these five tips:

1.  Pick a Date

Your new lease has a start date, and that’s usually the day to aim for. If you have a few days of leeway, you may be able to pick the most convenient date for your move. Your neighborhood may be very busy on weekends, there may be a street fair, so a weekday move might be best. Or vice versa. Some buildings only allow weekday moves. The key is to pick the ideal date for you and work from there.

2.  Clear Out the Clutter

A move is the perfect time to simplify your life and throw out things you don’t need or want. You have to go through every single thing in your home anyway, so why not take advantage and get rid of some stuff? Some things are easy to toss (old clothes, old papers). Other things may feel sentimental. So ask yourself this question, “Do I need the object to hold on to the memory associated with it?”  The answer may be no and you will find that it is a relief to lighten your load both figuratively and actually.

3.  Choose a Moving Company

Unless you are a college student with lots of friends who will work for pizza, odds are you will need to bring in a moving company. We find that average apartments in New York City require 20 – 70 boxes to move, as well as living room and bedroom furniture. Of course we encourage you to use Rainbow Movers NY, but we understand you may want to speak with several companies. Read our posting, 5 Questions To Ask Your Next Moving Company.” And then call us.

4.  Make Arrangements for Both Buildings

If you are moving from one apartment to another one, check with both buildings to arrange your move. You may have to reserve the date and secure access to the elevators and delivery entrances or loading docks. There may be other moving restrictions or requirements in your buildings, and you need to know about them and make arrangements in advance. You don’t want to find out you can’t move with the moving truck parked on a New York City street!

5.  Pack Your “Here I Am” Boxes

We’ve written about Here I Am boxes on our blog, but it is worth mentioning again. Pack up 1-4 boxes with the essential items that you’ll need immediately in your new home, which may include:

  • Clothing for a few days
  • Bed linens and towels
  • Basic kitchen and bathroom items
  • Key pacifying toys for your kids
  • Electronic cables, chargers, remote controls

We ask our clients to mark their “Here I Am” boxes with a big X on all sides. Our movers will know to look for those boxes and put them in a special spot in your new apartment for easy access.

Be sure to pack any valuables and important medications that you want to take to your new place yourself.

We aim to keep your stress to a minimum by helping you prepare in advance and be ready for Moving Day. We handle every customer’s individual needs. That’s why they come back to us for their next move, and it’s also why we have been in business since 1978.

Call Rainbow Movers NY for information and an on-site estimate for your next residential or commercial move! We have a Special Offer on Storage Services too!

Questions to Ask Your Moving Company

You’re planning your move, and you want to get the best moving company lined up.  You have your list of movers to call, and you are ready to pick up the phone and start dialing.  Here is a list of five questions you need to ask before you make your final decision:

1.    How long have you been in business?
Like most service organizations, if the moving company has been around for more than five years, they probably know what they are doing.  It is a competitive industry, and when you are performing services that are so personal (moving someone’s home and possessions) and doing it well, there will likely be positive reviews and a strong referral base.  So the longer a company has been in service, the better.

2.   Are you licensed and insured?

From our experience, odds are remote that your move will encounter major difficulties or damages.  But your mover needs to be prepared and covered for any and all eventualities.  Sometimes there are external factors, like other drivers or unforeseen weather, which can disrupt your move.  So make sure the moving company you select has all the coverage and licenses it needs to give you peace of mind.

3.  How do you develop your cost estimates and is there a ceiling?

Unfortunately, there are moving companies out there who will give you a low estimate to get your business and then slap you with a final cost that is double or even triple the original estimate. Companies that operate in this manner are likely to have generated bad feelings and complaints, which you can check out with the various rating websites, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or NY State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

To best arrive at costs, the moving company should come see your home or office so that they know both the quantity and qualities of things to be moved, and have a chance to see what the service access to your building is like.  It is also the best way to determine the packing materials that will be needed to safely and efficiently prepare for and complete your move, whether you do your own packing, or decide to have the movers pack for you. And they should have a policy on final price.  If they trust their own estimates, they should be fine with putting a ceiling on any cost overruns, barring any significant change in plans.

4. What happens if anything changes before or even during the move (ie. the unexpected)?

The moving company should be happy and prepared to work with you to firm up the plans prior to the move.  If plans change in advance, the mover should be able to provide a new cost estimate quickly and efficiently.  Plans can also change without much notice, and an experienced mover on your side is an important asset.

If your moving plans do change in minor or major way, you want confidence that the mover will still get the job done without creating additional headaches for anyone.  Communication is key.  It is easier to adapt to the new realities of the moment if mutual trust has been established between you and your mover.  A good mover and a prepared customer can work together as a matter of course in the run-up to moving day.  Then, if you are unable to sell your couch or piano as planned, if you need to put some things in storage or make an extra stop, the mover can make it happen.  The change may result in a little more time required for the move, or a bit more cost.  But it will not be a problem for an experienced moving company.

5.  What questions do you have for me?

You’re the one asking all the questions, right?  Well, there are certain things a mover should want to know about you.  Key dates and locations, and an idea of what you will be moving are basic.  But a more experienced mover will ask about details before giving you a price.  Will you want us to help you pack things into boxes, or unpack when you get to your new destination?  If you are packing yourself, would you like an idea of the types and costs of packing materials?  Would you like guidance on packing?  Would you like us to deliver materials prior to your move?  Do you have any large or particularly fragile pieces to move?  We’ve seen a lot of things in our experience since 1978, and we ask a lot of questions.  We cannot always foresee every detail of a move, but we do our best to take stock of as many as we can and incorporate them into our plan for your move.

The moving company you choose should be one that answers all these questions, and any others you have, to your satisfaction.  Feel free to ask as many questions as you’d like.  We are always happy to provide any information that will relieve any stress for our customers.  It relieves the stress for us too.  We like it when the job is done with no damage to anyone or anything so we all can go on happily with our lives.  Happy is good!

 

Top 5 Sensible Rules for Packing

First, lets understand what we mean by packing…

When we speak of packing, we are talking about the things you keep in file cabinets, dresser drawers, on the shelves, and in closets and cabinets.

The movers will take care of the larger, fragile items like pictures, mirrors, all of the furniture, and the odd, over-sized things you are unlikely to find a box for – for example, the vacuum, humidifier, the multi-function copier, industrial sewing machine, air conditioner, ironing board, large toys, skis, etc.

You may not be as fast as the movers, but if you have the time you can do it by following these five sensible rules.

Rule #1: Use the right size boxes for your belongings

Try to approximate a sensible size of box for suggested uses. For starters, you can check in at our  site’s Moving Services page and click on “boxes and packing materials”, for more details. Filling a too-large box with papers or books makes it very heavy, and very likely to split open.

If you can find a used box of suitable size, that’s great:  trees will be saved, and you will be closer to heaven having contributed to a more sustainable planet.   If not, we do have the boxes and can deliver them to you.

All boxes should be filled with alike things – put books and papers together in small boxes, dishes together in thick boxes, pots with other pots, linens and folded clothes, with linens and folded clothes etc.

Rule #2: Label the boxes

Remember that your boxes will be stacked, so you should label boxes on their sides. A consistent upper right hand corner will work, and put  just enough info to indicate where that box should go. For example

  • LR – living room
  • BR1 – first bedroom
  • BR2 – second bedroom
  • K – kitchen
  • Bath, bsmt, etc

Or for your office

  • O1 – office 1
  • O2 – office 2
  • CR – conference room
  • L- library
  • Rec- reception
  • MR- mail room

The details can be on the top, so you will be able to see what is in each one.

Rule #3: pack fragile items with care

Using the “lasagna method” for fragile items will ensure they travel safely. (credit for name to Frank M., customer, ca. 1985)

First, all items should be wrapped individually with insulating material (newspaper works well – you can get the same paper without messy ink on it from our store).

A thick crumpled layer of paper should line the bottom of the box and then the individually wrapped items be placed on edge (as if in a drying rack) rather than flat (as they might be on your shelves). This reduces surface area contact with the earth and reduces the chances for breakage.

Start with the heaviest items first and begin the bottom layer, place plenty of crumpled paper over and around the first layer, and add a second etc. till the box is full.

If you have done this correctly and enough insulation is used (it takes a little time but you can do it, it is not that hard) nothing will break if that box is dropped from waist height, and the box will not break either.

Rule #4: The “Here l Am” boxes

It is a good idea to gather the things you will want to unpack first (for households:  bathroom items, essentials for the kitchen, night clothes, medicines, remote controls and connecting wires, battery chargers, next day clothes, important toys…; for offices:  wiring, current files, back up disks, address/phone books …) so they can be packed into a few well marked boxes. The movers will then be sure that you know where they are when they are ultimately delivered. (See Sanity Inducement for more details.)

Rule #5: Keep track of the wires for all your electronics

If you don’t have the original boxes that your electronics came in, which is usually the case, undo the wires and set them aside in a place that you will not forget (see Rule #4). The movers can take care of safely packing your electronics, but they will be less entertaining if you can’t plug them in when you arrive at your new place.