Check out the latest blog post from U-Pack customer Miki M. and her grandmother Regina as their cross-country road trip nears its end.
Our moving vacation was nearing the end by the time we hit the road with San Francisco as our next stop. However, it was difficult to focus as we ruminated with sight and sensory overload. On this leg of our trip, we visited the best fruit stand ever (I’m not kidding)! I always make a point to visit the Moss Landing produce stand. We couldn’t help ourselves; so we bought a little more than road snacks. We collected three watermelons, 10 giant grapefruit, 10 pounds of oranges, a dozen artichokes, three pints of strawberries, onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms…the list goes on. It was all decadent, fresh, tasty, and under $20.00. Right?! The car was already crowded. We literally had fruit falling out of the luggage rack. The partial solution? To eat all of the fruit possible right then, of course.
Hello, San Francisco!
The best fruit stand, ever.
I think we were all on a natural sugar high by the time we hit the city. We saw the gorgeous houses stacked on top of each other, sparkling water and, I kid you not, a shiny person crossing the road. I’m not exactly sure what was going on, but a very thin person dressed in shiny garb, crossed the road and about blinded me. I hated to be that person, but I was on vacation, so I took a picture.
Then of course, we ate. That’s one of the joys of a moving vacation. Then we headed to the Golden Gate Bridge. I know every tourist does it, but it’s for all the right reasons—such a view and history! It was the perfect San Francisco day, full of light and fog. Grandma-ma and I strolled the garden with her little dog Randy. Danielle and Austin took Ivy for a walk across the bridge. Her little tail wagged for hours.
We took pictures together, shopped for souvenirs and gazed at the flag. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. Shortly after, we hit the road again, eager now to make it home. By that time, knew Grandma-ma’s belonging were at their destination. ABF U-Pack Moving called to let us know that they were storing her ReloCubes at their hub, so there were no worries. Her 86-years worth of furniture, memories, china and mementos would be there when we arrived. Have I mentioned that I’ll love ABF U-Pack Moving forever?
Alaska is like no other state in the nation, and the fact that it’s surrounded by the beauty of unspoiled wilderness makes moving there an exciting adventure. But a successful move to Alaska in the winter requires serious planning.
What to expect from a winter move to Alaska Expect it to be cold, dark, and have lots of snow. Winter temperatures in Alaska vary depending on whether you’re moving to an outlying area like Anchorage or an interior city like Fairbanks (where temps often fall below 30° for weeks at a time). With cold temperatures and long nights, it’s important to be adequately prepared.
Of course, we recommend NOT taking on the task of driving a moving truck if you’re moving to Alaska in the winter. Instead, save money by loading and unloading on your own, and let professionals do the driving! U-Pack offers a great, affordable solution. Now, you can catch a flight or make the adventurous drive in your own (familiar) vehicle. Much easier.
Things to carry in your vehicle This is good information whether you’re driving your own vehicle during the move, or have a vehicle to drive once you get there. Even though the snow-covered grounds are typically well-plowed, it’s still crucial to have survival gear readily available in your vehicle. Your survival kit should include: water, power bars, waterproof matches, fire starters, road flares, signaling mirror, flashlights, extra batteries, bandages, aspirin, disinfectant wipes, small camp shovel, multi-tool complete with knife, rain jacket/pants, safety pins, space blanket, garbage bags or poncho, wool blanket and socks, cord/twine, medications, etc.
The appropriate attire when you’re moving to Alaska in the winter Again, it’s cold, so expect to dress in layers for warmth. Invest in quality snow boots, wind resistant coats, base layers, etc. – a lack of preparation in extreme cold can take a deadly turn.
Mentally preparing for a move to Alaska Have you ever heard of Seasonal affective disorder? It’s sometimes called “winter blues,” or “winter depression.” And it’s a true disorder, marked by “normal” mental health through most of the year, but depressive symptoms during the winter. It’s especially prevalent in Alaska during the winter, when sunlight is sparse. Consider purchasing sun lamps or light boxes to help combat the winter blues. Also, be social and find reasons to leave the house as much as possible – visit the local coffee shop, have dinner parties, or lunch dates on a regular basis.
And though it’s dark, spend as much time as you can outside, because Alaska winters are simply extraordinary!
Go U-Pack! It’s the ideal way to move to Alaska in the winter! Get a free, no-obligation moving quote today!
Heather is the U-Pack Blog’s newest Guest Blogger. We think you’ll enjoy her knowledge and helpful tips. Welcome Heather!
One thing’s for sure… Moving day is going to be busy. Keep reading: I’ll give some tips to help lessen the stress and make moving day easier.
Organizing. When you’re packing everything up, organization is ultra-important. If you keep things organized, you’ll definitely thank yourself when it comes time to unpack! There are a few things you might want to keep on and to make organization easier: a good, quality tape gun, marker, labels, notepad, and basic tools.
Packing your boxes. Start with numbering your boxes and labeling them by room with a brief description of the contents. Write these down in list-form in your notebook in case you need to find something quickly. There’s not much that’s more frustrating that looking through a dozen boxes trying to find the one thing you need. I recommend packing the things you’ll need right away in well-labeled boxes, and make them easily accessible. Also, try using small, same-size boxes because they stack well and are easy to carry. Wardrobe boxes are another convenient option when packing up your closets; they can be loaded and unloaded easily which only helps in the long run!
Loading your stuff. When it’s time to load up your trailer or portable storage container you’ll want make sure to put the things you’ll need right away toward the front. Things like beds, bedding, toiletry items, towels, cleaning supplies, and kitchen supplies need to be easy to get to. It’s going to be a long day so you want to make sure and set up your beds first so you can get a good night’s sleep after all the moving! Heavy items need to go in first so you can stack lighter items on top of them.
Moving in. When it’s time to start unpacking and moving in, it’s best to try to put the boxes in the rooms the contents will go in. This will go far in keeping things organized and easy. If it’s an option for you, I prefer to leave the big stuff to the people who don’t mind lifting big stuff. I prefer to delegate where I want the furniture set up in lieu of moving it myself, and I like to unpack the boxes myself, that way I can put things where I know I’ll want them.
Remember to take breaks, drink plenty of water and order out for dinner, maybe a pizza? The less you have to worry about, the better!
And, to REALLY make moving day easier, Go U-Pack! It’s the easy, affordable way to move long-distance. You load and unload and let U-Pack do the driving! Get a free moving quote and see how much you’ll save!
Spring isn’t just when people get started planning their cross-country moves, it’s time for BASEBALL! Major league baseball teams across the country are traveling to warm, sunny locations to start spring training – and you’re invited to watch! If you’re moving to Arizona or Florida, you’ve got a chance to see some your favorite teams in action. Check out our newest infographic about Baseball’s Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.
Florida’s Grapefruit League spring training officially kicked off on March 3rd. This year 236 games will be played in 14 locations across the state of Florida. The 15 teams playing spring ball in Florida are: the Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Tigers, Astros, Marlins, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Pirates, Cardinals, Rays, Blue Jays, and the Nationals.
Check out the latest blog post in the road trip adventures of U-Pack customer Miki M. and her grandmother, Regina:
Heading Up the Highway: In the ‘Home’ Stretch!
I keep talking about how relieved I’ve been that U-Pack drove the giant truck with all of my grandmother’s belongings; I mean, it was a huge move, with four ReloCubes. I know I’ve been a tad intense. However, it’s time to multiply that by ten. Cue the Pacific Coast Highway! They say everyone needs to do it at least once in their lifetime. Grandma and I had both driven it before, but about 50 years apart. It was time for us to travel the PCH together: the trip of a lifetime.
The windy, gorgeous road has some, shall we say…steep, scary areas: not a place to drive anything larger than a van (and I wouldn’t even drive a van on it). But with plenty of views and access to fresh seafood, there’s a lot to see, do, and eat. We stopped at the park with the elephant seals. It’s an incredible experience to watch and listen to these amazing animals that often reach around 6,000 pounds. They have the best faces! I can’t help but smile when I look at the pictures and video I took. We also fed some squirrels...by hand. They were the cutest little rodents ever. Overall, the PCH portion of our trip was wonderful. I’m just thankful I didn’t have a lifetime’s worth of belongings in tow for that drive!
From there we continued north, but we had to stop off in Santa Cruz. It’s a beautiful town. Although the boardwalk is world renowned, we didn’t venture over because we had the doggie-doodles with us. We did, however, leave our cares behind to just enjoy the journey. I’m thankful to have had this time to spend with my grandmother, and to my dedicated friends who were kind enough to help lift, travel and move her over 3,000 miles.
Moving from a renter to a homeowner is a big step in life. I still remember the day we signed those papers that allowed us to quit writing checks to a landlord and start writing checks to a mortgage company. It was a big, big day.
One thing I learned very quickly was that owning a home brings with it both rewards and challenges. As a renter you simply make your monthly payment, get insurance on your personal property and let the landlord do the rest. As a homeowner, you’re now responsible for even the smallest details – repair, lawn care, insurance, utilities...everything. While it’s exciting, it’s still a HUGE responsibility. Before you move into the buying phase, I think it’s always a good idea to check out a “should I rent or buy” calculator; Yahoo! Real Estate and Bankrate.com both offer good ones.
Since a lot of people we move are transitioning from being a renter to a homeowner, we hope this information and advice proves helpful – here are some things you can expect from homeownership:
Your mortgage payment almost always includes more than just the actual house payment. You can expect to pay for a down payment, closing costs, interest charges, property taxes, utilities, renovations, maintenance, and homeowners insurance. Normally these can be bundled in with your mortgage payment.
If you don’t pay at least 20% down, you’ll have to pay for it. Most likely, if you don’t have a 20% down payment, your mortgage lender will require private mortgage insurance (PMI), to protect themselves if you default on the loan.
Mortgage interest is almost always tax deductible. While I won’t go into the requirements here, this Investopedia article does a great job of explaining it.
Your payment means equity. This is a “feel good” reminder! The mortgage payment you make each month ultimately goes toward the mortgage balance (at least partially when you consider interest). That means that you’re building equity rather than endless rent payments with no future gain.
Renting may be better if you’re not planning to live in the home long. If you have to sell (let’s say you transfer with your job), the experts say your property would need to appreciate at least 10% to cover the cost of selling. That means you typically need to stay in a home at least three to five years to recoup your costs.
We hope this helps with your big decision! It’s exciting and challenging either way!
Now, whether you decide to buy or rent, U-Pack would love to move you to your new home. Call us today for a free moving quote!
You found a new place and you’re moving into a new apartment. How fun! Now you are wondering, (and hopefully not worrying) about what things you need to buy when moving into the apartment and thinking about compiling a list. Smart move with the list thing, you know I love them! So let’s get started and start thinking about what you might need to buy.
Now there are a couple of things that you’ll want to keep in mind when making your list. One – are you moving a long distance or across town? Some things are okay to move across town, but not okay to move long distances (flammables, perishable food, cleaning supplies, etc.). Two – do you currently have a roommate that isn’t coming with you, or are you getting a new roommate. If you’re leaving a roommate behind, some of the items you’re accustomed to living with may not be coming with you; on the flip side, your new roommate may already have some of the things you think you’ll need.
Here’s a list of things you’ll need:
Notebook – Think about getting a little notebook and keep it handy and write down the things you use often that you don’t own. This way you have a better idea of how to spend your funds on things you actually use versus what you think you need when you move into your new apartment.
Cleaning supplies – No matter how clean the place might look or smell, you always want to clean it yourself so you know it was cleaned and you are not living in someone else’s filth. Yuck. And even if you do decide to be lazy and skip this step, someday, in the not too distant future, you will need to clean the place. If you’re moving long-distance, remember to wait and buy these once you get to your new town. It’s not a good idea to pack cleaning supplies with your household goods – a spill or leak could mean bad news.
Broom – They say it’s bad luck to bring your broom from you old place to your new one. Something about bringing the old dirt from another place into your new beginning. Makes sense. So leave your broom for the next tenant and spring for a new broom. Don’t want any bad juju because of an old broom.
Appliances – Most apartments will come with the basics – oven, stove and refrigerator. But many don’t come with a washer and dryer or microwave. So keep these and other small appliances like a coffee maker, toaster and blender in mind.
Trash bags – People remember these when they are moving out but sometimes forget when they are moving into their new apartment. You need to put all that used packing material somewhere! And then make sure you recycle what you can.
Paper Goods – I’m talking toilet paper, paper towels, plates, napkins, cups and utensils. Make sure there is TP in every bathroom and with the other stuff you can always feed the troops until you find the kitchen box and wash everything. Moving help gets hungry.
Hardware – I’m talking about nails and screws and hangers to put up your pictures and art. Well, and a toolbox if you didn’t own the one at your last place.
Bag of Ice
Food and Snacks
So when moving to your new apartment make a list of things to buy and check it twice and it will make moving-in day a lot easier! I hope you enjoy your new place!
If we’ve forgotten something that you think should be on the list, please leave a comment to help us make the list more complete!
As I sit at my desk, eating a piece of yummy chocolate cake to celebrate a co-worker’s birthday, I notice U-Pack’s most recent infographic: Fun Runs – all about “shaking off some winter weight.” Ahh... back to reality.
I started a “Couch to 5K” training program fall of 2010, and ran my first 5K last spring. Loved it! While I haven’t gotten to the point where I love running, I do love race day. It’s a great activity with friends and family, you get to post fun group pics on Facebook, and, of course, there’s the goody bag and t-shirt.
So take a look at the Infographic I mentioned above. It points out some “wild and wacky” runs across the nation. You’ll see everything from mud runs to hardcore obstacle courses, and Krispy Creme eating to beer drinking.
So, we’d been traveling ‘cross-country on our moving vacation for close to a week. Grandma-ma and I knew her belongings were in safe hands with ABF U-Pack Moving, so we just kept on enjoying our moments worry free. We discovered all sorts of interesting places while intersecting Route 66! We stopped at pretty much every major destination and many of the cheesy tourist traps. However, after all of that excitement, we were ready to stretch out; to just relax. Next stop: Pismo Beach, California!
By the time we arrived, we were absolutely exhausted. The four of us (six if you count the fur balls, and seven if you include the plant that’s been in the family about as long as I have) decided to bunk together. We rented a surprisingly affordable suite that was pretty darn close to the beach, and then we all fell into our various beds, couches and crates.
The next morning we awoke to the fresh sea air. I felt like I was on a tropical vacation! Palm trees stretched to the sky. Happy chatter from beach goers rattled around. I arose early and meandered with Ivy down to the beach. Surfers abounded and some type of youth competition was in full swing. It seemed exotic, but fun. I rushed back to fetch everyone so we could explore the area more. We took a scenic jaunt down the boardwalk and shopped the seaside stores. And then...and then we ate lunch at a fabulous little dive. The fried clams were amazing! The day was brilliant. Grandma-ma definitely got lost in the day as she purchased four souvenir t-shirts and a sweater. I loved seeing her have a good time and embracing the journey. By letting someone else drive the moving truck, the four of us were free to do whatever: meander, swim, dine, roam, shop...and just take in the moving scenic route. And for that, I’m eternally grateful to ABF U-Pack Moving.
The key to an easy move is organization. If you start out organized, it’s more likely that you’ll end organized. And if you’ve ever moved before, you know ending feeling organized is a task in itself!
The best thing you can do before you start the packing process is start early and de-clutter. Don’t move what you don’t need. Trust me; you’ll save energy and money in the long run.
Once you’re organized, get all of the packing supplies you’ll need so they will be handy as you pack: moving boxes, heavy-duty tape, packing paper, moving blankets, permanent markers, colored labels, etc. Now that you’re ready to get started here are a few simple tips to help you learn how to pack so you’ll know where everything goes:
Pack each room individually. Avoid compiling items from multiple rooms into the same boxes; this causes confusion when you go to unpack in your new home.
Pack breakable items into separate boxes, properly marked as fragile. Use plenty of packing paper and padding for these items.
Keep a record of what you pack as you go. If you’re a spreadsheet person, this is for you! Make an inventory so you’ll know what you’ve packed where and what you’ve got left to do.
Use labels. Even go as far as giving each room a specific color and then properly label each box with the room and its contents. When you arrive to your new home, place the color labels on the entrance to each room so you (or your movers) will know where to put the boxes.
Giving yourself plenty of time to pack in an structured manner is the key to a successful move. Start early, and get organized.