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.

Checklist to Reduce Moving Stress

Pre-Moving Checklist to Reduce Moving Stress

Moving is known as one of the top 10 most stressful events for many people. But you don’t have to give into stress. At Rainbow Movers, we believe happy is good! We have created happy moving experiences for thousands of customers by helping them reduce moving stress.

When you’re getting ready to move, planning ahead helps create a happy, stress-free move. Not sure where to start? No worries – here is a pre-move check list for you:

6-8 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Book a free, in-home estimate with your mover (earlier is better).
  • Create a moving file to keep track of checklists, quotes, receipts, and other important information.
  • Once you have your estimates, see if the movers you like will fit your budget. Consider the hourly costs, materials charges, and whether you feel the estimate (and estimator) has been thorough and realistic. Consider whether the charges have been explained so you understand them.
  • Create a budget for your moving expenses.
  • Gather copies of records you need to transfer – medical, dental, school, etc.

6 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Create a change-of-address notification list for magazines, clubs, subscriptions, financial accounts, etc.
  • Get change-of-address cards from your local post office.
  • Clear out the clutter – purge your belongings of the things that you don’t love, want, or use.
  • Plan to sell, give away, or donate your excess things.

4 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Start researching your new neighborhood or ask for recommendations – where to run errands, which parks are nearby, closest dog runs, leisure options, etc.
  •  Buy packing boxes and supplies for your belongings.
  • Schedule disconnect and connect dates for phone, cable, Internet, gas, electric, water, and trash

2 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Organize your belongings in boxes by room. You can label the upper right hand corner on the sides of each box with just a few letters – BR1, BR2, K, LR, O, etc. It’s quick and will ensure things are placed where you want them to be.
  • Create an “I Am HERE” box with all of the necessary items you’ll want to unpack first when you arrive. Some of these things include bed linens, bath towels, medicines, vitamins, important and pacifying toys for kids, starter items for the kitchen (i.e., coffee cup, wine glass), connecting wires for electronics, battery chargers, light bulbs, and toilet paper.

1 Week Before Your Move

  •  Your mover should check in with you to make sure you know what to expect on moving day. They will finalize any details with you and answer any questions that you have about timing, building schedule coordination, and payment.

It’s never too early to start discussing your upcoming move. If you’re planning one in the next couple of months, give us a call for a free estimate.

How to Pack China and Breakable Items

We do our best to treat your things as if they were our own. After moving hundreds of trucks full of your favorite furnishings, prized possessions, and delicate items, we’ve learned a few things about keeping your belongings safe from breakage.

In fact, we have a fool-proof way for packaging your dish wear. Wether it’s fine China or hand-me-down ceramics, this method will protect your tableware even if the box it’s packed in is accidentally dropped from waist height.

Before you get started, make sure that you have the right sized boxes and all of the materials that you need. We have plenty of supplies in our boxes and supplies store that we can deliver right to your doorstep. Once you have what you need, you can use our highly-effective way of protecting your most delicate items.

Pack Dishes with The “Lasagne Method”

What is the Lasagne Method, you may ask? It’s simply a layered approach to packing your dishes to minimize the potential for cracks, shatters, or chips. It was named the “Lasagne Method” by one of our customers.

Layer 1:  In the bottom of the box, add well crumpled paper or a couple of inches of shredded paper. This will provide sufficient cushioning for where you will put your dishes.

Layer 2: Wrap your plates well. Each plate should be wrapped in a couple of layers of paper to keep them safe. This will protect them if they knock into each other.

Instead of stacking them flat in the box on top of each other, stack them on their edge as if putting them into a dish washer or drying rack. Why on their side? Because if the box is accidentally dropped, there will be minimal surface area that comes in contact with the floor. Less surface area = less likely to break. This is science!

Layer 3: Add crumpled or shredded paper around the sides of the dishes to protect them from the sides of the box. Pack it so that nothing can shift around. Then add additional paper crumples or shreds on top of your dishes.

Layer 4: Wrap glass wear well. Each glass should have a couple of layers of paper, just like your plates. Lay your glassed down on their sides, on top of the layer of paper (aka layer 3).

Layer 5: Add more crumpled or shredded paper around your glasses so that they cannot move. Once they are sufficiently immobilized, add more paper on top of your glasses.

You can use this method for any other delicate items that you have to move. If you’re packing a number of items of varying sizes and shapes, it helps to keep the heaviest of them on the bottom of the box. And as long as you put enough padding around each item and in the space between items, they should stay safe from breakage.

Of course, if you want us to pack some of your more delicate items, or you have particularly difficult items to move such as mirrors, electronics, or odd shaped items, we’ll gladly pack them for you. Just get in touch with us for an in-person moving estimate and we’ll help you make your move happy and stress-free. Because happy is good!

Moving Boxes: Why Size Really Does Matter

Here at Rainbow Movers, we talk about boxes a lot on when we meet customers for free moving estimates, and also on Facebook and Twitter, because it is very important to use the right size boxes when you are packing to move or store your belongings. Here’s why:

1.  Things Fit: Moving boxes are designed based on decades of experience. When you pack a book box (12”x12”x17.5”) with books, the vast majority of books fit nicely into the box. Dinner plates nestle safely inside a dish box (18”x18”x28”) which is also thicker than your average box, allowing plenty of room for insulating materials to keep them whole. Of course there will be items that don’t fit perfectly, like an oversize World Atlas or a large serving platter. But for the most part, these boxes make it easy to organize and pack your items, and keep them safe during the move.

2. The Right Boxes Weigh Just Enough: Have you ever lifted a box of books? Books can be very heavy. So if you fill a larger box with all the books in your shelf, it might seem efficient, but you may injure yourself trying to move that box. A book box fits just enough books to be efficient and safe. The same goes for a wardrobe box (22”x24”x48”).  You can compress over 2 feet of hanging clothes onto the hanging bar in a wardrobe box. With a dish box, you can line up your wrapped dishes, or nest your wrapped bar glasses and still be able to lift it without throwing your back out. We aim to keep all our moves stress free and injury free!

3.  Specifically Sized Boxes Are Easier to Identify: When the time comes to unpack your things, the boxes can easily be identified first by their shape and size and then by the identification labeling. If you see a book box, you and the movers will know immediately that it goes in the rooms with the bookshelves. If you see a dish box, it goes straight to the kitchen or dining room. Organization on both ends of a move is a key element of a smooth, efficient and low stress move.

We are happy to advise you on the quantities and types of boxes you will need for your move. We also supply a wide array of packing materials, including boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, pads, dollies, and even plastic covers for chairs, sofas and beds. When you hire Rainbow Movers for your move, we offer free delivery of your packing supplies to your door.

Contact us to tell us about your move!

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!

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.


Sanity Inducement

At Rainbow Movers, we believe in making moving happy and stress free. Happy is good! We’ve said this before, but we hear from our customers that they were very helped by this.

The Here I Am Boxes

When you start packing, think of the things you will want to unpack first:  your medicines or vitamins, bathroom items, and clothes for your first night and morning.

If you have children, you’ll want to make sure they also have clothes for that night and the next day, as well as their important books and toys, and anything else that will make them more comfortable.

Keep the wires from your electronics somewhere you can access them when you first move in – that way you can easily set up your stereo, television and entertainment systems so you’ll feel at home. Make sure you also have your battery chargers, like those attached to your cell phone and laptop, too.

You’ll need the kitchen essentials – a few cereal bowls or plates for breakfast, a few mugs for your morning coffee. You might even pack a celebratory glass or two so you can have a relaxing glass of wine or champagne when you arrive.

This may sound like a lot, but it should fit in a few boxes and this stuff can be packed all together if it is packed carefully.

When you pack your first day belongings, put a very distinct marking on those few boxes and tell the movers these are the ones you want to get at first. They will be sure you know where they are when they are delivered.

People say this exercise induces sanity.  We’re all for that!