6 Of The Heaviest Household Items and How to Move Them

If moving house was easy, everybody would change their address constantly. We would probably never even consider moving house a stressful activity. But since this is real life and objects in real life have mass and shapes, we need to actually put some effort into it. Still, some objects are a lot heavier than others. What are the heaviest objects and how do you move them from your current house to your new home?

1. Pianos

The piano is a magnificent instrument which has been used in numerous songs for centuries, but when it comes to moving, it sucks big time. The trouble with pianos is they’re oddly shaped. There is hardly an area on the whole instrument that is specially designed to be grabbed for lifting. After all, pianos were made to be played on and not carried around like a school bag. Another aspect which will present a challenge is the piano finish. It is extremely vulnerable to scratches.

Regular home pianos, also known as a spinet pianos, are the easiest to move. Just cover the piano in a protective blanket and call a friend. Grab the instrument on both sides, slowly lift it and move it to the desired spot. Larger pianos require both muscle mass and a special dolly which you will need to rent. The process is basically the same except you use the dolly to push the piano in the desired direction. Grand pianos are a whole different matter which needs to be left to professionals.

2. Aquariums

This does not apply to small aquariums, although they too need proper packing. This applies for medium to large size aquariums. Most on-line sources will advice you to sell the aquarium along with your cute fishies. They rarely survive the drastic change of temperature anyway. If you still decide to keep Nemo, or whatever you call your fish, here is how to do it.

Put your water-loving pets in a holding container. Then, drain the aquarium, but keep some of the old water. Your fishes need the bacteria which has developed in the tank water. You should keep your aquarium in your car rather than letting the movers load it in the moving van with the rest of your boxes. After all, an item entirely made out of glass is pretty easy to brake even when packed properly.

3. Plants

Plants are hard to move for two reasons: they need a steady temperature environment to live in and need time to adjust to new conditions. That’s why simply putting your flowers along with the rest of your boxes is a big no-no.

The first action you need to take is to change planters. Planters made of plastic are much lighter to carry compared to their ceramic counterparts. Put your plants in plastic planters several weeks before your move. This will give your flowers a chance to get used to their new environment. As mentioned in the beginning of this point, plants can’t withstand sudden changes in temperature. The back of the moving van can get pretty hot, so unless you live somewhere near the equator, don’t put them there.

4. Television Sets

The small telly in your kitchen is easy to carry, but what about the enormous flat screen TV in your living room? These electronic appliances can be easily damaged and their weight often makes them a delicate item to transport.

If, by any chance, you still have the box in which the TV first came when you bought it, use it. If not, find enough protective blankets to cover up your telly. Use lots of packing tape to secure the blankets. You may need to rent straps with which to carry the item. Straps are not obligatory, if you have strong and reliable friends to help you. Either that or call a moving company.

5. Art

Art can be expensive, especially if you bought your pieces at auction. Even if it’s not the Mon Lisa, that painting stills hold sentimental value, does it not?

Paintings should never be stored against one another as the surface of the canvas might get damaged. Wrap each painting in bubble wrap and place inside a box. Although a hard task, try to find separate boxes for all your paintings. Write Fragile on each box. Statues need to be covered from head tow in bubble wrap. Make several layers just in case and then carefully place the statue inside a box. The box should be filled with old newspapers so the item inside won’t shift around during transportation. Always remember to let your movers know which box contains valuable art, so they will know to handle it with extra care.

6. Water beds

Water beds are fun to have around, until you have to move them. So, what do you do?

First, unplug the mattress heater so it would cool. After that drain all he water out of the water bed. This will make the item both lighter to move and will save you space in the moving van. Be advised, the process of draining your water bed may take some time depending on the bed size and draining method. You should drain your water bed at least a week before your move. When the mattress is perfectly dry, disassemble the bed and put all the small parts such as nuts and screws in a small plastic bag. The matters itself should be folded into thirds.

5 Key Considerations When Moving Abroad With Children

Looking for a better life for your children?

It’s a common reason why families consider moving abroad. The prospect of being able to afford a more spacious house, to have weekends at the beach and days spent outdoors.

In theory it sounds great. But kids don’t always see the disruption to their settled routines in the same light, as an article last week in the United Arab Emirate’s The National highlighted*.

Featuring the cases of several British expat families, and the troubled behavior exhibited by the children following their moves overseas, the article pointed to what psychologists are calling Expat Child Syndrome (ECS).

Classic signs of ECS are said to include uncooperative or disruptive behavior, arguing with siblings, regression in eating habits, a rose-tinted attachment to the family’s home country, and a refusal to see merit in anything the new location has to offer.

And while for some children the effects may only be short-term as they adjust to the transition, for others the resentment and unhappiness at the perceived ruination of their lives can be much more deep-seated and long-lasting.

Of course, there are strong arguments in favor of an international upbringing, even if your children don’t necessarily appreciate them at the time. For instance, it may make them more culturally open-minded and knowledgeable, more adaptable in their attitudes to life and work, teach them foreign languages, and provide different leisure opportunities.

Nevertheless, the pros won’t always outweigh the cons.

So some things to bear in mind are:

1) Age

In general it is more difficult to take older children out of their existing school environment, particularly if they are at, or approaching, crunch exam years. And they are more likely to have friends they will be unwilling to leave (and for which they will curse you at high volume!).

2) Location and Cultural Similarities

The degree of disruption and subsequent integration also depends on where you are moving to. Your children will have a closer cultural affinity to some countries than others, which should make the transition easier, especially if there is no language barrier to overcome. And if you’re close enough to get back home for frequent visits to see extended family and friends so much the better.

3) Education

How good is the system in your target destination? What quality of education will your children receive? How large are the schools and the classes within them (smaller schools and class sizes may be less daunting as a new entrant)?

Do you anticipate sending your children to an international school along with other expatriate kids, or will they go to the local one? An international school may offer less initial readjustment – especially if you are moving to a country that speaks a different language – but in the longer term local schools may help your children integrate better into the wider community.

4) Pleasure in Leisure

It’s important your children see tangible benefits from moving abroad, and being able to offer them the chance to engage in their favorite pastimes, or try out new ones, is one way of doing that.

Perhaps they’ll be able to take up surfing or horse riding, or go skiing on weekends? Maybe you’ll have a swimming pool in your back garden?

The flip side of course is to guard against SBS – Spoilt Brat Syndrome!

5) Health and Safety

The quality of health care provision you can expect to receive in your target country is one factor in these considerations (and let’s face it, with kids you know you’ll be using it!).

But health is also about staying well. And that means having decent drinking water, good sanitation, access to good quality foodstuffs, low levels of environmental pollutants, and so on.

Then there is personal safety. In the UK at the moment there is enormous concern and great focus on knife crime. In the US it’s guns. But are these more about news headlines than real threats?

And what about the prevalence of drug use, racial and religious intolerance, sex discrimination, sexual assaults, child abuse?

There’s no need to start hyperventilating over every possible form of harm that could come to your child, but as a parent it’s only natural to consider these things.

Children may be flexible, but don’t underestimate how tough it can be for them to be wrenched from their small, secure worlds and thrust into a new one. So ask yourself this – will they thank you in the long run?

Qualities of a Great Moving Company

Movers are the best people to have in your corner when you are planning to move, pack, load, and even store your goods to make it easier to relocate. This can be a stressful moment for the entire family and very tiring too. You should therefore work at finding a company that will make it so much easier to do this. You should have the best knowledge so as to differentiate different companies and get the best quality services. Some of the things that will tell you that a company is indeed the best include:

  • The customer services

A good company always works very hard to bring in new clients. Therefore, it hires representatives that have the knowledge and the skills to tackle all the questions that have to do with the services offered. They should be able to answer respectfully and very promptly too.

  • Customer reference

Most companies thrive due to the satisfied and happy customers that they have already served in the past. If you really want to know more about the company, then the past clients can help. As such, the company should be in a position to give you the list of clients that they have been able to serve. Customer reviews also come in handy in such a situation.

  • Cost estimates

The best company should be able to do a home visit so as to have the correct estimates if costs. They should be able to tell you what you need to pay before they can start offering the services. This allows you to see whether there are any hidden charges or fees and this in turn helps greatly with budgeting.

  • Skilled workers, equipment, and vehicles

The best companies have the best equipment, vehicles and labor to handle the work. They should be able to pack different gods according to the care that needs to be awarded. The workers should be skilled and motivated as well to handle the tasks with great professionalism.

  • Licensing

It is important that the company have a license to be able to conduct business well. This license should be from federal and state authorities. Before you hire a company, you need to actually find out about the license. Do not sign with a company with no operation license.

  • Good storage

There are many cases when one needs to move but has to store some of their possessions in a warehouse. When you have a lot of things that have to be moved, then you need a company that is in a position to offer such facilities. It is important that you determine that the company actually has the license needed to store such goods for you.

  • Punctuality

Time is important and as such, the company that you settle for should always keep time. It is not only about coming at the right time, but also sticking to a set schedule with no time wastage. There are situations that may arise in the process but the company should have a way to mitigate such effects and still move you within reasonable time.

Moving? Pack an Emotional First Aid Kit

From Making the Big Move: how to transform relocation into a creative life transition.

For a wilderness trek, you pack sunscreen, bandages, and insect repellent. When you relocate to a new home or a new job, you face loneliness and upheaval, not alligators or killer mosquitoes.

Here’s what to include in your emotional first aid kit.

Coping phrases for frazzled moments.

“There is time to do whatever I need.”

“I will always have options.”

“No matter what happens, I know I can cope.”

Phone numbers of friends and family who will laugh or cry with you.

Photos of family, friends, special places, and pets;

Tapes of meditation, inspiration and visualization.

DON’T pack:

Wet blankets: Leave behind the “friends” who share horror stories. They’ll smother your dreams.

Expensive treats: A maxed-out credit card creates stress. Think of small ways to reward yourself.

Things you always meant to do (you probably won’t read War and Peace while waiting for the moving van to arrive).

Pack seasick tablets and you’ll probably walk through a storm. Prepare for the worst and you’ll probably wonder why you worried.

Details of each point can be found in Making the Big Move, originally published as a trade paperback, now available for instant download.

Removal Tips To Save You Money, Time, And Nerves

You’re moving house? How exciting! But also… what a drag! Whether you’re moving to a different country – or just a few blocks away – preparation is the key for a stress free removal.

You may have a bunch of friends who are more than willing to help you with all the packing, but if you want to keep them even after you move house, it’s better to find a reputable removal service and let them handle the process. A removal firm will have a lot of padding items to protect your belongings from breakage and damage while driving – you will not.

Don’t try to do it all on your own. You must factor in the expenses for buying the packing material, and hiring a small truck or a van for the relocation. You will probably lose more time and money by doing it yourself than you think. And, are you really sure you’re fit enough to move around the large pieces of furniture? What about carrying it up and down the stairs?

Don’t be cheap when choosing the removal service to help you move. A good removal service, with its professional resources and assistance, will save you lots of time and nerves. You will want to deal with the professionals, so pay them accordingly. If they’re too cheap, that may not be a good sign.

A “man with man” is ideal if you don’t have too much stuff. This option is usually cheaper, but they cover only short distance moves. “Man with van” have many moves during the day, so don’t forget to book ahead. Don’t underestimate how long you will need them around either.

Take about two weeks before the removal to sort out all of your belongings. Declutter and organize! Get rid of all the stuff you wouldn’t need in a new location: it will save you time when packing, it will save you money – and you’ll have more space in your new home. Don’t cling to the stuff that is useless: if you’re uncomfortable with ditching perfectly good stuff, either donate those items to charity or leave them to your friends.

A removal service can provide all the boxes for packing your stuff, bubble wrap etc. There is no such thing as too much wrapping when moving house! You will want to have loads of string and packaging paper. A great tip is to label all the boxes: this way you will know what is inside and what to unpack first when you get to your new home.