House To Home Moving Blog

Make moving with your pets stress-free

If you are moving you probably already feel the stresses of moving, but have you thought about what your four-legged family member may be feeling? Pets do feel the stresses of a move and often even more stress than their human companions are feeling.

Before Moving Day
Become familiar with pet rules and regulations. Landlords and homeowners’ associations may have specific pet rules. Become familiar with your new area’s leash laws, pet ordinances and/or pet licensing requirements. Your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications or certain certificates depending on where you are moving. A call to the local animal control facility should answer your questions.

Talk To Your Current Vet: Your veterinarian is a great resource. If you have an animal that dislikes traveling, your vet can suggest behavior modification techniques or medication that can make traveling less stressful for your pet. When talking to your vet, also discuss getting Fluffy or Fido micro-chipped, a vital step in reuniting pets with their owners. Make sure the pet’s microchips information is tied to a cell phone number that will move with you.

Find A New Vet: Find a new vet in your new area before moving day. Your current vet may be able to make recommendations for colleagues he or she knows in your new area. When finding a new vet, it is recommended to set up an appointment as soon as you move in order to get established. It always important to make sure you are comfortable with their practice before they are needed in an emergency.

Get Medical Records: Before you leave your old home, make sure you get a copy of all of your pet’s medical records to give to your new vet and be sure to find the closest emergency animal hospital and keep that phone number handy.

Update Your Address: Don’t forget to have new identification tags with your new address and phone number made for your pet’s collar, and if your pet has an identification microchip, remember to update your contact information in the database.

Keep Things Normal: Instead of pulling an all-nighter to pack, try to pack over a long period of time so that your pet thinks everything is normal. This will keep their stress level down. If you are moving with cats, it can help to bring out their carriers out a few a weeks before the move. Put their favorite treats and toys inside their carriers so they can get used to it before the big moving day. Don’t pack the food away! Keep your pet’s food, water, bowls, medication and any other important supplies (like that favorite squeaky toy) off the moving truck and with you.

On Moving Day
During the actual moving day, where boxes and furniture are being moved, pets should be removed. Find a friend who wouldn’t mind pet sitting or find a place away from all the noise of moving such as a doggy day care or cat care center. If you can visit them during a spare moment, it can help reassure the pets that nothing is going on. Keeping pets locked away in a room during moving day can make them anxious from all the noise and new people that might be in your home. If you must keep them locked away, find a quiet room, water bowl and put a HUGE sign on the door.

Travel with Your Pet: Unless your move is long distance or international, your pet will likely be traveling by car with you nearby. By driving them yourself you can care for them and give them a sense of familiarity as they move. To prepare your pet for this trip, drive for short distances with your pet to prepare them before the final move. Also, remember to plan ahead for any special carriers your pets may need for transportation. There are even special seat belts for large dogs.

Air Travel: If you are moving your pet by air or internationally, check all rules and regulations far ahead of the day you plan to leave and remember to keep your pet’s special documentation at hand.

After Moving Day: Don’t let pets roam around the neighborhood until they are acclimated. Take them out on a leash to explore their new territory and show them how to get home. If you let them out in a new place right away, they might get lost or run away due to stress. Make sure your pet’s new identification tags are secured to their collar.

Now snuggle up with your furry friend and enjoy the new home!

Increase the Value of Your Home Before Selling It

Are you thinking about selling your home? Then there are a few things you should know. But first, you should know what your ultimate goal is. In the sale of your home, just like any other sale, your goal is coming out of the process with the maximum profit. That means getting as much money for your house as you can but with the lowest investment. And yes, it’s a really tough balancing act. On the one hand, you need to invest so you can increase the value of your home and get a better price – but on the other, you want to spend as little money as possible. Don’t worry though – that’s precisely what home improvement pros are here to tell you about.

Where to Start
Many people realize that they need to increase the value of their home before they even think of selling it. Really, it’s only natural – the higher value of your home is the lynchpin of success in the increasingly competitive world of real estate. And sure, higher home value is crucial – but it’s also crucial to do it correctly. Trust us – you don’t want to burn a hole through your budget while remodeling; you could even end up losing money after the sale. That’s why it’s very important to learn where to begin.

Follow Current Real Estate Trends
When looking for real estate advice, it’s important to know who to ask. The last thing you want is to blow your money on a bad investment. For example – many people will tell you to spend the majority of your money on house painting right away. But true experts know that this is a badly outdated mode of thinking.

In reality, better education and the existence of the Internet have changed every single market in the world – and real estate is no different. So, what does that mean for you? Well, that means that all home sellers are doing business with a consumer population that is much better informed than the buyers of yesterday. Simply put – these days, buyers know just what they need. And in line with that, they put much greater stock in practical, useful home improvements than in exterior renovations. Bearing that in mind, where exactly should you spend your resources?

Increase Energy Efficiency
If we’re talking about practical improvements to your home, it’s important to find something that’s meaningful but also not too expensive. In light of this, we recommend focusing a large portion of your budget on increasing the energy efficiency of your house. Current market trends have shown that this is a sound investment. And remember – this doesn’t mean you should invest no money in other home improvements. But this will increase the value of your home a lot more. And sure, it may look a bit more expensive. But it’s not like you’re throwing money out the window. Remember – the return on an investment in energy efficiency is much greater market value.

If you’re handling a smaller budget or you want to leave some money for other things, you don’t have to do a job on the entire house. You can simply start with insulation in your attic, and see where you go from there.

Don’t Overlook the Heating System
Also, insulation isn’t the only thing you can work on. Besides that, consider how old your home is and how well was it maintained? If you’re dealing with a particularly old house, you could probably upgrade the in-house HVAC system. In the current real estate climate, these are the kind of practical upgrades that home buyers really tend to value.

Think About Lifestyle
Once you’ve completed the practical upgrades to your home, you can see what remains of your budget for further improvements. Then, you can think about increasing the visual appeal of your house. Once more, you will still need to balance your finances. If you’re being realistic, you’ll realize you don’t have the money to improve everything you’d like. So, the question is – what to work on next?

Spruce Up the Interior
If you’ve still got some money left over, you may want to think about how you can increase the value of your home by working on the interior. And even more importantly, how will you choose your priorities when picking which parts of the interior to fix up?

First, you could spend the majority of your interior budget on the kitchen area. And this is no arbitrary decision either. Actually, the kitchen is a good choice because it isn’t a very costly improvement. If you don’t want to spend too much money, you don’t really have to buy all new appliances. You should focus your money and energy on the cabinets and other surfaces, breathing in vibrant colors and strong textures. Also, a small tip – make sure you replace the doorknobs and cabinet handles. Those are details but people tend to notice those.

While we’re on the subject of the interior, think about what you will do with all of your remaining things once you start renovating and selling your home. This will also be an expense, so you don’t want to be caught off guard with this. You may want to find some storage and keep your valuables in a safe space while renovating.

Fix Up the Exterior
Finally, let’s talk about what to do with any money that remains. Today’s business world is comprised of market trends that rapidly change. But in real estate and housing, there’s one constant that seems everlasting – the value of a home’s curb appeal.

The first impression is important in every social interaction – and real estate is no different. Except in this case, it’s your home that needs to make a good impression. That’s why you should remember something. Namely, if the first thing a potential buyer sees is a decaying exterior, the chances of them buying the house decrease rapidly. That’s why you want to invest some of your budget into basic landscaping, at least, if you want to increase the value of your home.

Long Distance Moves

This month has been a busy month with many of our crew going on long distance moves. Our moves, just in the past month have taken us to Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and soon to all the way to Maine.

House To Home Moving provides a service called direct shipment moving for long distance moves. We guarantee that your belongings are the only items on the truck. Once the items are loaded onto our truck(s), they are not opened again until they reach the destination. This ensures the least amount of possible damage and missing items. After the truck is loaded, we drive straight to the home to unload without a waiting period. We give an exact date and time of arrival, and the same crew that loaded will be present during the delivery. This ensures clear communication between our moves and you the customer. All items are long-haul wrapped and secured for the journey. These moves are done by flat rate and an estimate is required.

If you’re moving into or out of California,  give us a call and get a free estimate. You’ll get the best service with no surprise fees.

Before you move, check your cell signal

Most people don’t have land lines these days. If you’re relying on cell service to connect to people, places and emergency services. It’s important to see what your signal strength is if any.

Check your bars
Start with the obvious: your first indication of a strong or weak signal is checking to see how many bars/waveforms your phone has.  Not the best way to measure cell phone signal strength.

Think of it like cooking without using measuring cups and spoons. Sure you can eyeball everything and get a decent meal, but when you want to produce the same reliable results, you need to get accurate.

Check for cell towers in the area
To find out how many cell towers are near you and if there are any plans for future development, enter your street address on the Antenna Search website. You can compare your signal strength to other areas of the city, state, or even nation.

Check your phone’s decibel unit of measure (dBm)
Go to settings: Settings – About phone – Status – Signal strength. Typically, decibels are shown as a negative number. The closer the dBm is to zero, the stronger the signal in the area. A measure of -55 is one of the strongest (and rarest) signals you might see, while a rating of -100 dBm is considered a weak signal.

  • -50 to -40 means an excellent signal (your phone is close to the base station).
  • -60 to -50 indicates very good signal.
  • -70 to -60 shows good signal.
  • -80 to -70 means less weak signal.
  • -90 to -80 shows weak signal.

How to Find an Accurate dB Reading on your iPhone:
Starting with iOS 11 and 12, Apple has hidden dBm readings in iPhone field test mode. However, depending on your iPhone chipset (Intel or Qualcomm) and your carrier (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint), there’s a slim chance to find your dBm readings through this workaround.

AT&T or T-Mobile iPhone with Intel chipset (iOS 11 & 12)

Dial *3001#12345#*
Tap LTE.
Tap Serving Cell Meas.
Your dBm is read as rsrp0.
Verizon or Sprint iPhone with Qualcomm chipset (iOS 11 & 12)

Dial *3001#12345#*
Tap 1xEV-DO.
Your dBm is read as RX AGC0.
For any iPhone pre-iOS 11

Dial *3001#12345#*
Swipe down notifications bar.
Your dBm is in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

Try downloading an app
Network Cell Info Lite is a favorite of installers, and it’s more or less interchangeable with LTE Discovery. These two are the best options. The Network Cell Info Lite doesn’t mess with bars, but it shows neighboring towers, and is extremely user-friendly.

Save hundreds by packing yourself

You can save yourself some money by packing everything yourself. Here’s a some packing tips to make packing easier and more organized.

1. Don’t Procrastinate
Don’t procrastinate. This seems simple enough, but getting started can be difficult. A few weeks prior to your move, start packing several boxes a day. Begin with items that are least essential to your daily life. If you pace yourself, you will be more organized and the job won’t be so overwhelming. Make packing easier by not waiting to get started.

2. Pack room-by-room
Focus on one area of a room at a time and don’t mix items from different rooms in one box. To prevent miniature knickknacks and small items from being lost or mistakenly thrown out with the packing paper, wrap them in brightly-colored tissue paper.

3. Packing Labels
Label clearly. On the top and side of each box, write a general description of the contents and the room name. Use different colored markers for each room, which will provide additional clarity for you and your movers.

4. Use Packing Paper
Stay clean. Regular newspaper may bleed ink onto your possessions. Use packing paper to wrap all items.

5. Stick with Moving Boxes
Use boxes designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean and might not hold the weight of the items that you will be putting in them. In addition, varying box sizes can make loading more difficult.

6. Know what you can’t pack
Know what you can’t pack. Some common household items can’t be shipped because they are hazardous. Don’t wind up on the wrong side of the law. Read our list of what you can’t put on the moving truck.

7. Moving valuables
Don’t box up everything. You should personally transport heirlooms, important papers, legal documents (wills, passports. etc.), and valuables. Make packing easier by decided what doesn’t need to be packed.

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