Archive for May, 2020

House To Home Moving Blog

How to Pack Your Kitchen for Moving

If you’ve ever lost a wine glass in transit, you’re probably wondering how to pack dishes without losing any. We’ve all been there – you arrive at your new place and unpack a couple of glasses to go with some celebratory drinks, only to find that they cracked on the way. Here’s what you need to know about packing dishes safely, to end moving day with your feet up and your dishes intact.

Packing Materials You Need to Pack Dishes

When packing dishes, the name of the game is “wiggle room.” While extra space is usually a good thing, you want as little of it as possible when packing dishes. That’s where your key packing ingredient comes in – packing paper. It’ll protect most of your highly breakable dishes from glassware to fine China, so you’ll want plenty of it. As for the other packing materials, the list is simple.

This what you need to pack dishes safely:

  • Packing paper

  • Dish boxes

  • Medium sized boxes

  • Packing tape

  • Labels and markers

And that’s it. Forget the bubble wrap and if you can forgo the printed newspaper, please do. While it can usually be washed off, newspaper ink comes off on dishes and there’s always a chance that it stains for good.

Why use a dish box?
When figuring out how many moving boxes you need, be sure to tack on a few dish boxes. They’re designed to hold dishes and other fragile items, so they’re stronger and thicker than most boxes. This extra padding helps to absorb shock and makes for sturdier transport. If an accident happens, your dishes will be better off in a dish box.

How to Pack Dishes: General Steps

Want to know how to pack dishes without breaking them? The steps are similar for most dishes, but you’ll want to read on for tips to keep the stems on your wine glasses and the chips off your plates.

Generally, there are five primary steps to follow when you learn how to pack dishes for a move.

Step 1: Assemble each box and tape them very well. The boxes may get heavy so be sure to use enough tape that the box won’t cave under the weight of your dishes.

Step 2: Line each box with crumpled up paper to create a six-inch cushion at the bottom. Be sure to crumple up the paper rather than fold it to get the most protection out of each piece.

Step 3: Lay out your packing paper on a flat surface and place the dish you’re packing in the middle. Wrap the dish according to its specific needs, secure the paper with tape, and place the dish in the box.

Step 4: Keep packing dishes in the box until it’s full and use extra balls of paper or soft fabrics to fill in any spaces. The key to packing dishes in the right order? Always start with the heaviest items and pack light pieces such as glasses at the top of the moving boxes.

Step 5: Once your dishes are wrapped and packed, top the box with balled up paper for added protection, just as you did with the bottom of the box. Close it up, tape it, and label the box. Be sure to write the room it belongs to, which way up the box should go, and that its contents are fragile.

Top Tip: Don’t pack the dish boxes too heavy. It’s easy to do, so be conscious of how much you’re loading into each box and try to keep each one under 45 pounds.

How to Pack Bowls and Plates

Though they’re different shapes, you can pack bowls and plates using the same method. They don’t have any protruding parts or handles, making them the best dishes to start with when first learning how to pack dishes. They’re also the heaviest dishes, so you’ll want to put them in the boxes first.

There are two methods for packing bowls and plates – individually or in bundles. We don’t recommend stacking multiple dishes in one go, so it’s best to go for the individual method. It could save you a plate or two.

Wrapping any fine China or valuable dishes takes time. Be sure to put in the extra effort when deciding how to pack your dishes.

First, lay your packing paper out on a table or flat surface and then place the dish in the middle. Bring one corner of the paper to the center of the dish at a time until all four corners meet in the middle. Then tuck or tape the paper to secure it and put each dish in the box vertically, as though you’re loading a dishwasher.

Repeat this for each dish until the bottom of your box is full. Lighter dishes only go on top of heavier ones, so start another box once the first layer is complete.

How to Pack Cups, Mugs, and Glasses

When packing dishes such as cups and mugs, you can treat them much like small bowls. They’ll take plenty of packing paper, but are generally more durable than stemmed glasses.

To pack your cups, mugs, and glasses safely, start by filling them with crumpled packing paper. You can then use one or two sheets to actually wrap the vessels. Start at one corner of the packing paper, with your dish on an angle.

Roll the dish across the paper to the opposite corner. At the same time, fold in the excess paper for added protection. If you think your dishes are strong enough, you can wrap two of them in one sheet of paper.

Once you get halfway across the paper, place the next dish beside the first one and keep rolling to the end of the paper. This works best if they’re the same shape and material, so it’s best not to pair your favorite mug with that beer stein.

How to Pack Stemware

These will likely be your most delicate dishes. They’re glass or crystal and fragile from top to bottom, so it’s crucial that you know how to pack these dishes before you start.

Before wrapping, gently stuff some balls of packing paper into the bowl of the glass to support it. Then lay the glass on an angle in one corner of your packing paper. Roll the glass to the opposite corner of the paper, tucking and crumpling the paper around the glass as you go.

If you have extra large packing paper, you can try wrapping two glasses in one sheet. Once you’ve wrapped the first glass in half a sheet of paper, lay the second glass next to it. Then keep rolling and wrapping until it’s completely covered in paper.

Check that you can’t feel the edges of your glass through the paper. If you can, go ahead and wrap the glass or glasses with more paper.

How to Pack Pots and Pans

When considering how to pack your dishes you may be tempted to skip on the pots and pans, but don’t. Non-stick pans are particularly susceptible to scratches and all cookware can get dented.

To protect your pots and pans when moving, protect them with plenty of packing paper. Place the cookware on your packing paper and fold one corner of paper at a time to the center. Then reinforce any pots by stuffing packing paper inside the vessel.

While their surfaces do need the extra padding, pots and pans don’t need to travel in dish boxes or barrels. Standard medium-sized packing boxes should do the trick just fine.

More Tips for How to Pack Dishes

Beyond purchasing enough packing paper to wrap a small village, there are a few other packing tips and tricks to make packing dishes easier. Here’s what you need to remember as you become an expert in how to pack dishes:

  • Pack heavier items first

  • Always stack dishes vertically

  • Cut down on packing paper by using towels

  • Cushion everything and plug all spaces in each box

  • Label every box fragile and “this way up”

  • Put dish boxes in the moving truck gently

  • Don’t pack boxes too heavy – 45 pounds max.

  • Fill packing boxes to the top

Now that you have all the info you need to pack dishes without breaking any, it’s time to grab that packing paper and dish box and start packing up your kitchen. Remember these tips as you go and you’ll arrive in your new home with all your dishes in one piece.

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Best Time to Buy a House?

Home ownership provides many Americans with the best way to build their wealth and provide security in their retirement years. However, you need a lot more than just a down payment to purchase a home. You need a solid credit rating and enough liquid cash to pay for unexpected expenses. Plus, your all-important debt-to-income ratio must show you can handle borrowed funds responsibly.

When You’re In a Good Place with Debt

Assuming you’re not strolling into an open house with a suitcase full of Benjamins, you’ll need to have some previous debt to qualify to buy a house. You can’t owe too much, though, or your debt-to-income ratio might hurt your qualifications even if you’ve never missed a rent payment in your life.

Lenders like to see that you’re capable of paying back what you borrow. The occasional late credit card payment won’t necessarily lead to a rejection, but a ton of debts written off as non-collectible will. Before you even sit down with a lender — preferably before you raise a curious eyebrow while cruising past a “for sale” sign — get your free credit report first.

Once you receive your report, address any discrepancies with all three major bureaus. If you’re running short on time to do so, you can hire a third-party credit repair company. Pay down and pay off as much as you can, especially federal loans like student loans. A credit rating around 600 may get you a mortgage, but you’ll deal with potentially higher interest rates.

When Your Job Is Stable

Owning a house is a big deal, so it’s not a responsibility you’ll want on your shoulders if you don’t feel settled in your area. Renting allows you the flexibility to move easily if you need to pursue new opportunities. Naturally, then, the best time to buy a house is when you’re planning to stick around for a while.

There’s more than your lifestyle to consider, too. While not a set-in-stone requirement, most lenders like to see at least one year of employment with your company prior to approving a mortgage. Self-employed individuals will need to produce two to three years’ worth of prior tax returns to verify their income.

If you’re buying as part of a couple, you have some choices. Couples seeking to buy together don’t necessarily need to show the income of both partners unless necessary to bump their debt-to-income ratio into the green light stage. Someone earning $30,000 per year with $15,000 remaining in student loans may not qualify, but if their partner makes $60,000 and carries less than $1,000 in debt, buying a house may become an easier process.

When You Have Adequate Savings

When the refrigerator in your rental goes on the fritz, you simply get on the phone with the landlord to arrange a repair. When you’re the homeowner, these costs rest squarely on your own shoulders. Yes, you want to put as big a down payment as possible, but leave some in the emergency account to cover the unexpected.

Financial experts recommend having adequate liquid savings to cover six months’ worth of lost income. This becomes particularly critical when buying a house, as repair costs can crop up unexpectedly. Setting up separate savings accounts — one for emergencies and one for a down payment — costs nothing in most cases and can simplify your financial planning.

Likewise, consider whether it’s worthwhile for you to invest in a quality home warranty. While you may feel tempted to omit appliances to save a few bucks on coverage, a new hot water heater or oven can cost hundreds, while many warranties have copays as low as $75.

When Interest Rates Fall

Even seemingly tiny differences in interest rates can impact the amount you pay overall. Yes, you can still refinance later to lower your rate, but that involves paying additional fees. While market fluctuations usually regulate themselves over time, why pay more than necessary each month while you wait for rates to drop again?

Currently, mortgage interest rates remain low, but today’s bargain rates likely won’t last forever. Keeping an eye on market rates can help you determine if this is really the best time to buy a house. This doesn’t mean you should abandon your dreams of home ownership if interest rates climb, but it’s something to consider if you’re looking for the best long-term deal.

When the Local Market Looks Right

Market conditions are hard to time perfectly, but some research can help you decide whether it’s the right time to undergo the home buying process. Housing markets are variable, but there are a few steps to figuring out where your local market currently stands.

First, check out the listings in your region. Do they seem to be getting sold quickly, or are houses sitting on the market for a couple of months? This can help you determine how competitive the process is right now. If it’s currently a seller’s market, then you’ll likely be dealing with higher bids than you would in a buyer-friendly market.

A little innate local knowledge can help you determine when to buy a house, too. If your locale is seeing seemingly endless growth and rising housing prices, like San Francisco, then it might be better to dive in now rather than waiting for rates to climb higher. But if you know the market is seasonal or relaxed, then you might feel comfortable waiting a few months for the market to hopefully turn in your favor.

A good Realtor will likely have the experience and knowledge to help you gauge the market. But remember that even the experts struggle to predict economic conditions, so the best time to buy a house might just come down to when you’re personally ready for the process.

The Best Time to Buy a House

Few things in life feel as rewarding as the moment your real estate agent hands you the keys to your new house. Make sure that joy remains for years to come by practicing due diligence in determining when to buy a house. When your lifestyle, your finances and market conditions all align, it’s a happy occasion.

Moving a Pool Table Yourself

When moving into a new place, the pool table is a definite challenge to move but, it can be done. House to Home Moving can move pool tables and the entire contests of your house, for that matter. Call us for a free in-home estimate. However, here’s a step by step of how to move a pool table without spending any money or breaking your back.

Step 1: Gathering Supplies and Labeling

There are many little individual pieces and screws that put together a pool table. The best way to go about disassembling your table for the move is going to require some organization. We recommend whipping out that old instruction manual (if you can find it), label bags and boxes for each of the pieces to go into. The last thing you want to do is lose or confuse pieces during this whole process. From there, gather the supplies you’ll need to take your pool table apart.

You’ll need the following:

  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • Staple remover (for your felt)
  • Shrink wrap
  • Thick blankets for protection

Step 2: Enlisting Help

Pool tables are extremely heavy and bulky. We highly recommend that no one tackles this project by themselves. For reference, a single pool table weighs about 1,000 lbs! When removing heavier pieces such as your table’s slates which can weigh about 450 lbs each, enlist the help of strong friends or a professional to help. Make sure you have at least 3 helpers for when you have to navigate your pool table pieces through narrow corners, stairs, etc and into a truck.

Step 3: Disassembling Your Pool Table

Now that you’ve gathered your tools and helpers, it’s time to take your pool table apart and get it ready to move. First, remove the pockets, you will need a staple remover or a screwdriver depending on your table. Next, remove the rails by using a wrench to unscrew the bolts from each rail. Now it’s time to remove the felt, if your felt is stapled it is easier to remove, however, be very careful on this step as it is the easiest to cause irreplaceable damage.

If your felt is glued, it is not easy to remove but there is a way recommended by 10 Sorts. Now that you’ve conquered the felt, it’s time to remove the heaviest pieces which are the slates. Plan on having a power drill nearby as well as all of your helpers. Finally, it’s time to remove the legs from the remainder of the base.

Step 4: Protecting the Parts and Load Up

Hopefully, during disassembly, you stayed organized and placed all of the smaller pieces in labeled bags and boxes. For the heavier items, we highly recommend shrink wrap and moving blankets to help protect the varnished wood from scratching. When loading up, it’s very important that the slates are the most protected as they are the heaviest.

Step 5: Reassembling Your Pool Table

You’ve finally moved in, found the perfect room to relax and have all of your competitive fun in. If you held onto your instruction manual, it will help guide through the rebuilding process. If not, don’t fret, reassembling is just the opposite of taking the pool table apart. First, buy some pizza, beer and get some buddies or helpers to reassemble. Second reattach the frame together, if your frame came pre-built and you didn’t have to disassemble it for the move, then skip this step.

Third, reattach the legs to the base of the frame. They each have slots in the corner so that the legs should slide right in and secure the nuts with the socket wrench. Fourth, locate the center of the table by using a measuring tape and attach the center slate followed by the other two on even sides. If you have a 1 slate table these instructions will vary. Now reattach the felt up top by locating the holes for the bolts.

Finally align the rails with the felt and the pockets. We recommend watching the video below as a guide as it can be easier to visualize if you lost the manual. Now you’re ready to show off your pool skills!

House to Home Moving

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