Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to avoid injuries while moving

It's exhausting to pack everything you own and move it from one home to another. Preparation, common sense and keeping an eye on safety will go a long way towards avoiding injuries while moving.

Common injuries

Moving can take a toll on your body in a variety of ways. Most injuries occur either because we're careless or because we're unprepared for the repetition of lifting and moving. One is avoidable; the other is not.

Cuts - With all the boxes, there are bound to be paper cuts. They just happen - and they're annoying. You can also get cuts on broken glass (mirrors, pictures, etc.) and from box cutters. Make sure to practice good knife safety.

Blisters - You're most likely to get blisters on your hands and feet. You'll be doing a lot of heavy lifting and walking while carrying things. Wear gloves. And proper footwear.

Scratched Eyes - Moving generates a lot of dust and particles that can end up in the eye. No one wants to wear safety goggles while moving. Make sure to clean off what you're moving. Injuries to the eye can also occur when someone is getting something to carry and turns quickly, hitting the person behind them in the eye. Maintain a safe distance and communicate when you're behind someone.

Broken Fingers - There are a number of ways to break a finger while moving. Probably the most common way is while moving furniture and getting the hand caught between it and the wall, floor or railing. But, injuries to the hand can also occur when something moves when you least expect it. Exercise extreme caution and keep your hands safe.

Foot injuries - Broken toes and twisted ankles are fairly common while moving. Dropped furniture wreaks havoc on toes, so make sure you're wearing proper footwear. This will also help prevent fatigue. Be aware of any areas where footing is unsafe - sidewalks, doorways and stairs. A lot of times, vision will be impaired while carrying items, so keep walkways clear at all times.

Back Injuries - Perhaps the most common and avoidable injury. You can avoid injury and strain by lifting using good technique.

  • Bend at the knees, not the waist.

  • Lift with the legs, not the back.

  • Form a good base by keeping your feet shoulder width apart

  • Lift smoothly and slowly; don't jerk.

  • Keep the object you're lifting close to your body.

  • Don't twist your body.

  • Avoid lifting things over your head.

  • Pay attention to your footing when moving anything.

  • Make sure you have a good grip.

  • Push rather than pull.

  • Use a dolly whenever possible.

Have a first aid kit available

Although preventing injuries is optimal, they can and will occur. Make sure to have a first aid kit when you're moving and immediately treat any minor injury. Your first aid kit should include:

  • Band-Aids

  • Hand Towels

  • Adhesive tape

  • Non-adhesive dressing

  • Alcohol swab

  • Safety Pins

  • Crepe bandage

  • Scissors

  • Sterile eye wash solution

  • Antiseptic

  • Gloves

You may be tempted to pack as much stuff into a box as possible. Don't! Exercise some restraint and keep boxes to a 30-pound limit. Pack books in small boxes to keep it under the weight limit. If you have a bad back or are prone to back strain, wear a support belt.

Injuries are common, but preventable. A little caution and common sense will help keep your move injury-free.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Make your move be more environmentally friendly

Between the cardboard, bubble wrap and fuel, moving all of your possessions to a new home can definitely increase your carbon footprint. If you have made the decision to make your life more ecologically friendly, you can take some steps to make sure that you can make your move environmentally responsible as well.

Find a green mover

If you plan to use a professional mover, do some research and find one that provides rentable crates for packing your belongings. Some will even use trucks that use bio-fuel. Ask the company what steps they take to be more eco-friendly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before you hire them.

Packing material

A lot of the material used in packing for a move isn’t good for the environment, including bubble wrap and packing peanuts. Finding alternatives is fairly easy, and can cut down on the overall cost of your move.

  • Use green packing peanuts made from bioplastics, a form of plastic derived from renewable sources such as vegetable oils or corn starch.

  • Wrap your breakables in clothing, towels, sheets and blankets to save on bubble wrap.

  • Use newspaper as a buffering material in your boxes to prevent items jostling together and breaking, but don't wrap things like fine china in newsprint, as the ink can come off.

  • For extra padding, pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks.

Eliminating cardboard boxes

Practically everything you own will be put into boxes that will then be thrown away or recycled. Take these steps to eliminate the number of cardboard boxes you’ll require to complete your move.

  • Save and use original boxes for fragile electronics such as TVs and computers.

  • Make use of all of your baskets, laundry bins, hampers, and suitcases.

  • Reusable plastic boxes can be found at some home improvement and hardware stores. Do a search to see if anyone rents plastic moving bins; they can be cheaper than cardboard and much better for the environment.

Cutting down on fuel usage

Even if you’re only moving across town, you can cut back on the amount of fuel you’ll need. If you’re moving across the country, the steps you take can make an even bigger difference.

  • Declutter and donate to lighten the load. The less you have to move, the smaller the truck that you'll need and the less fuel you'll use.

  • If you’re moving cross-country, consider shipping those things you won’t need immediately via Greyhound. It’s an inexpensive shipping option for large items.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Home prices, interest rates aren’t the only thing on the rise

Like many prospective homebuyers, you may have waited for interest rates to continue the downward trend. However, those rates started an upward trend a few months ago.

In addition, the housing market has engaged in a start and stop recovery, but for the most part, home prices have begun to rise after hitting bottom a year ago. The good news for buyers is that the market hasn’t realized a full recovery, so the house that you’re considering buying is a better value than it was a few years ago.

That’s not all, though.

Closing costs are on the rise

On average in the past year, closing costs are up six percent in 2013, according to Bankrate.com. Many buyers don’t shop around for the best deal on closing costs such as title, credit check, and appraisals. Providers of these third-party services haven’t really had to compete for business over the past few years, so they’ve had carte blanche to charge fees as high as they thought they could.

Saving money on closing costs

There are ways to save yourself some money on closing costs. You just need to know where to look, what to look for, and ask the right questions of the right people.

Watch out for garbage fees

These are duplicate or excessive processing and documentation, underwriting and application fees. Chances are, you may be charged for the same services you're already paying for.

Shop around for lenders

Ask prospective lenders to provide an estimate for closing costs in order to compare the costs.

Negotiate with the home sellers

Ask the home seller to credit you for paying some of the closing costs. They’ll be reducing the asking price of their home, but it never hurts to ask.

Ask your REALTOR®

They will know how and where you may be able to cut costs and make recommendations. Every dollar you save on closing costs is a dollar in your pocket.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

De-stressing your move

Moving is hectic enough without worrying about schedules and paperwork. A little due diligence will go a long way towards helping you de-stress everything with a moving binder to keep track of everything.

Yes, it seems like something right out of the OCD handbook. By spending a couple of bucks on a binder and some tabs, you'll save yourself time, stress and quite possibly, some money in order to keep your move organized and on schedule.

Although you may have your own in mind, here are some tabs you might want to include in your moving binder:


You can find a number of online lists available to print and use. Include tasks and packing lists, just to name a couple.


Know when and who to call to have your utilities shut off or transferred. Schedule appointments accordingly and you'll want to include these on your timeline.

Loan Documents

Your mortgage documents should be available for easy access and reference until the move is complete. Then it goes into the safe deposit box.


Use this for any purchases that will be made for the move or getting the house ready for the new owners. If something doesn’t fit, or you need to return or exchange for any reason, there is no searching for the receipt.


Keep your schedule, list, contract and contact numbers here for easy access. You'll also want to have a list of items that the moving company will not move.


If you're having your home built, keep contact numbers for your contractor, warranties, paperwork, etc.


You'll want to include any appointments, including closing, utility shut-offs, walk-through, signings, etc. Print a calendar and include everything on it. Print an extra one and put it on the refrigerator so everyone knows what happens and when.

A little planning and organization will help you make your move go more smoothly. A binder will help you keep track of all the paperwork and schedules associated with the move.