Relocation Package Options You May Receive When Making A Company Move

The time has come. You finally got that amazing job promotion and your company is moving you across the country. There’s so much to do and so much to think about as you pack up the life that you’ve known for years to move to an unknown location. While this holds an alluring adventure and mystery, the whole process can still seem overwhelming. For instance, what are you supposed to expect when you get where you’re going? Or, how are you going to get there? Is your company going to help you, or are you on your own? While you may not be aware of it at this present time, a lot of companies actually have moving or relocation packages that can help you smoothly the transition from one location to the other. Granted these packages aren’t guaranteed, however a lot of them are quite common. In this article we will unveil to you the different packages that a lot of companies will offer their employees who are transferring cross-country.

One of the most common features in a relocation package that a company may offer is the family relocation assistance. In this feature it includes childcare assistance, which includes a list of day care providers and possible reimbursement for special situations. Eldercare assistance is also provided. Like with childcare assistance, you will also receive a list of different nursing homes or care centers that could be provided for you. The same will go for a spouse, with the spousal job support. Often times a company will offer employment assistance for the accompanying spouse or partner of the employee.

Another feature in a relocation package could include are transportation services. More often than not, your company will help get you to your new destination by plane, train, or automobile. Or, if you’re on a short unaccompanied assignment or your family is scheduled to move out at a later time, airfare back home may be paid for every so often.

Moving assistance is also often included. This could include, the transfer of vehicles to your new location. Or simply a full pack and unpack of all your possessions from your current home to your new home. Often times they will include all Cheap Moving Boxes costs in this as well.

Housing assistance is another potential feature in a relocation package. This can include but is not limited to home sales services, lease break coverage, storage, a home finding trip, lodging, temporary housing, home buying services, and property management.

If you happen to be moving out of the country sometimes relocation services could include cultural training and other classes on what to expect in the new culture. Also other miscellaneous expenses could be included such as out-of-pocket expenses like carpet cleaning, drapery installation, utility hookups, vehicle registration, packing supplies, and many other things.

If you are a part of a decent company they often times will feel responsible to make sure you are all but settled before making your move. So, if you are about ready to move cross-country for your employer, take the time to stop by HR and ask about their relocation packages. More than likely your company will do whatever it can to help you feel at home before you even get there. Happy travels!

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How To Ship Appliances

When getting ready to make a move, one of the biggest issues you’ll need to tackle is how to ship your appliances. Most times, appliances will stay with the house. However, in special situations you’ll want to take your appliances with you. So that means, you need to have an understanding of how to properly ship your appliances, to make sure that they get to their destination safe and sound. In this article we’ll give you a few tips on how to safely prepare your appliances for shipment, and how to choose the correct carrier for your appliances.

When it comes to appliances there are some general rules of thumb to follow when trying to prepare your items for shipment. For instance, you’ll want to make sure that all of your appliances are empty before doing any prep work to get ready for shipment. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, and dishwashers, should be completely cleaned out. Also, make sure all hoses and water lines are disconnected. If you do not know how to do this, then call in a plumber or handyman that can help you get the job done.

Make sure your appliances are then thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom, inside and out. If your appliances are stainless steel or other delicate surfaces you’ll want to make sure they are protected from abrasion once the appliance has been disconnected and cleaned. A great way to do this is by using a foam product, such as propylene foam, to tape on to your appliance surface. Normally, you can obtain these packaging supplies at your local hardware store.

Other packaging supplies that you may want to use are boxes or crates. Even though this can get expensive, it may be worth the investment for your more expensive, high-end appliances. It’ll just ensure that they are further taken care of, and it will reduce the risk of damage during the move.

Also, make sure that you clearly label your appliances with the address they are being delivered too, before shipment. This can help guarantee that they will not get lost or misplaced during the move. It would do you well to apply a label protection tape over your labels, so that they will not get damaged or scuffed during the move.

The other thing you need to think about when shipping appliances is choosing the right carrier. Not all carriers are equal. You’ll want to make sure that you choose one who specializes in furniture and appliance transportation. After all, choosing a carrier that specializes in hazardous materials may not know how to handle your delicate glass top stove. Another aspect to keep in mind when choosing a carrier is by asking yourself the question, “Is the trucking company I chose familiar with the route my appliances will be taking?” If they are, this just means that your appliances are more likely to be delivered quickly and efficiently. Which equals a lower price and greater value.

Moving appliances doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. You just need to be aware of the different precautions you can take in order to ensure your appliances safety during transportation. By making sure your appliances are securely packaged and that you have a quality carrier, you can ensure your items are delivered safe and sound.

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Hire a Moving Company or Rent a Moving Truck? That is the Question

Let’s be honest for a second. No one loves the idea of moving. Sure, moving to a new place can be an exciting adventure. But, the process of moving? Not so much. It requires time, money, and oh so much effort. Not to mention all of the cheap moving boxes that lay strewn around your house. Of course then the question that begs to be asked is, “Do I hire a moving company? Or, do I just rent a moving truck? Neither are bad options, but the trick is figuring out which one is best for you. So, how do you do that?

Start by looking at your situation, and then add in some key factors to help formulate your decision. Those key factors are as follows.

  1. Costs

On the surface it seems that renting a moving truck would be cheaper. In some instances you’d be right. However, often times you fail to calculate in all the costs that go into renting a moving truck. First, you have the cost of the truck itself. Then you have gas, potential tolls, sleeping accommodations if you have to drive for more than a day, hidden fees, taxes, etc. Plus, don’t forget the cost of packing supplies. Even if you use cheap moving boxes and things like newspapers to protect items, packing supplies can get expensive. The best way to truly compare and contrast the cost between a moving company and a rental is by checking out one of those cost comparison tools online. They can help you break down the different expenses you could incur from either choice.

  1. Help

When planning a move, help is crucial. It literally can be the difference between you staying sane or going insane. Moving is hard work and takes a lot of time and effort. Which means calling in those favors you’ve been waiting to cash in with your friends. But, now you need to ask yourself the question, “Do I really want Butterfingers Bob to help me carry my prized TV to and from the van?” This is a legitimate question. If you go with a moving company, you’ll be dealing with professionals who do this sort of thing on a daily basis. Plus, they have insurance, so if they damage your items, they’ll replace them or reimburse you their value. Now, if you don’t’ have a lot of valuable items, and just a few items packed in cheap moving boxes. Then maybe going with a moving service would be an added expense that isn’t necessary. Again, it comes down to accessing your particular situation.

  1. Safety

Driving a moving truck can be scary if it’s not something you’re used too. They are bigger, it’s harder to see traffic beside and behind you, and braking is much different than in a normal vehicle. Plus, add in the factor of being exhausted from packing and loading the truck, and the task of driving even a state away can seem daunting. So, unless you’re just moving across town or a couple hours away, a moving company could save you a lot of stress and help ensure the safety of yourself and your items.

Ultimately, the choice is yours on weather or not you’ll hire a moving company or rent a truck. Both have pros and cons, and neither is a bad choice. The key to making this decision is bringing in all the factors before you decide. Costs, help, safety, moving location, and the amount of items you have all play in a role in what ultimately will help you make the perfect decision for you.

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How to Move a Couch-Bed

What is the difference between a couch and a couch-bed?  (Yes, they still make couch beds, and I must say that they have improved quite a bit since the 80s.)  By the way, this is not a trick question, so the answer is going to be obvious: the bed!  Taking this into account, how does one ship a couch-bed if they find themselves needing to do so?  Well, you can cross a box off your list of necessary packaging supplies, that’s for sure.

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Here’s what you do:

Choose the Right Carrier

A less-than-truckload (LTL) freight company is who you are going to wind up using, since a couch-bed far exceeds parcel post’s weight and size restrictions.  You need to choose a carrier that is licensed and insured.  Keep an eye out for how well the carriers take care of their trucks.  If their trucks are in bad shape it stands to reason they might not take their jobs that seriously.  Double check their history using the BBB and other review sites.  Above all, make sure that the carrier you choose specializes in moving furniture, especially hard-to-move items like appliances, pianos, couch-beds…

Choose the Right Packaging Supplies

Like I said, you aren’t going to put your couch-bed in a box.  That does not mean, however, that you send it as-is and hope for the best.  As a matter of fact, you can find a plastic furniture bag where you can find any other type of packaging supplies.  If you don’t want to do the bag, buy a large roll of cling wrap and make a cocoon for it.

Prepare the Couch-Bed

-Do you remove the mattress and ship it separately?  Check with the carrier and see what they prefer.  The mattress does make the couch heavier, but moving a mattress separately is awkward and leaves it vulnerable to being damaged.

-Remove the legs and ship them separately to prevent them from accidentally breaking off.

-Put the couch in the bag, or wrap it up.

-Label the couch-bed with the destination address.  Even if the carrier has their own system for tracking their shipments, it never hurts to make sure this is proudly displayed.  Anything to help your furniture arrive at it’s destination successfully, right?

-Going back to the mattress, if you can remove it and move it yourself you will definitely save some money but, once again, moving a mattress is a pain in the butt, so it’s your choice.

-Before doing all of this, take a moment to decide if you shouldn’t just sell your couch on Craigslist or some other similar website and just buy a new one.  Compare the cost of shipping it to the cost of acquiring a different/new one at your final destination and make a well-informed decision.

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The 3 Best Places to Find Cheap Moving Boxes

One of the first questions you are probably going to ask yourself when you find out that you are going to be moving is, “How many boxes will I need?”  To which I will respond, “A lot!  More than you think, even.”  In fact, it’s a really good idea to hop on the internet and use a moving calculator to help you figure it out.  Then, add an extra ten percent for good measure.  After that, I suggest you go through each room in your house and get rid of everything you haven’t touched in the last six months (unless it’s seasonal of course.  That would just be silly.).

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You can have a yard sale to sell all of that old stuff and hopefully make enough cash to fund those moving boxes.  But wait!  You want cheap moving boxes?  Of course you do!  Unfortunately, there’s no such thing, really, as cheap moving boxes.  Cheaper, perhaps, but not really cheap, when it’s all said and done.  After your yard sale, check these three places for the best deals:

  • Craigslist is the king of cheap moving boxes.  Anyone else that has just moved knows how expensive the boxes can be, and so they are selling theirs to get some money back.  This is good for both of you.  Don’t forget to look in the FREE section, either.  Some people are just giving them away.
  • Behind local businesses. I once saw an enormous stack of boxes out behind a Cracker Barrel, and I kind of started to itch a little bit.  I was really hoping that someone who went there to eat that morning was going to be moving, so that they could see the veritable gold mine and bring it home.  Most retail stores and liquor stores are more than willing to hand over their stash.
  • The internet. Nowadays, what with all the hype about going green and recycling (and rightfully so!), there are entire websites devoted to matching up potential movers with used moving boxes.  You can also sell them back your boxes, depending on what condition they are in.  Finally, you can get a lot of boxes from online retailers at wholesale prices.  These are brand new, for a good price, which is pretty hard to come by.  You can also select from moving “kits”, that offer extra supplies like bubble wrap and packaging tape.

The most important thing to remember, no matter where you find your cheap moving boxes, is to get more than you think you will need, because you will definitely wind up needing them!

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Some Cool Ideas for Recycling Cardboard from a DIY Master

Does anybody remember that show from PBS, back in the day, with the guy that did the home improvement projects?  Actually, I think he might still have his show, but his name is Bob Vila.  I certainly wouldn’t nominate him for an Oscar, but he made wood-working look as easy as spreading butter on a piece of bread.  And I admit that I’ve even gone to his website and watched tutorials on how to put up drywall- even better, I think they actually helped!  Leave it to Bob, though, to honor the merits of cardboard boxes, be them ever so humble.  What am I talking about?  I mean, come on, there are posts all over the internet about how to upcycle, recycle, and transform cardboard boxes, and Bob Vila is probably the master of them all.  Here are a couple of his awesome suggestions, which you know are going to be good:

Gift cards and Postcards

This is probably one of my favorite ideas.  Use thin cardboard to make home-made cards and then stenciling something on the front.  Or even make a cardboard postcard that can be sent just like a regular postcard.

Napkin Rings    

Toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls can be cut into lengths and covered with fabric, and then used as napkin rings.  I make these for themed parties that I host at my house, and then I throw them away when I’m done with them.  They add a nice element to the table and I don’t have to worry about spending money on them and feeling like I need to keep them.

Plant Box/Plants

It’s become super popular to find creative ways to recycle cardboard boxes, instead of just throwing them out.  One of those ways is to use them as plant boxes.  They are also really great for gardens and composting.

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Drink Coasters

Who knew that cardboard could be so helpful when it comes to hosting a party?  When I’m throwing a themed party I cut some circles out of cardboard and cover them to match the napkin rings.  Again, after the party I can just throw them out.

For the Cat

Cardboard makes amazing cat scratching material.  You can even by cardboard cat scratchers directly from the pet store.  I, for one, like to make my own by cutting strips of cardboard and rolling them into a large, thick disk.  It lasts for an extended period of time and then I just make another one when I need to.

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What Room Should Be Packed in What Box

Here’s the thing: when it comes time to move it’s not recommended that you get your hand on any cheap moving boxes and start stuffing them with your belongings.  It turns out that there’s kind of a science to the whole thing, which is why people wind up hiring someone else to do it for them.  That’s all fine and good, but it’s also ridiculously expensive.  Thankfully, with the help of the internet, anyone can have access to the best information about moving boxes and packaging tips.  Here you will find which type of box to use for which move.  Now don’t be alarmed.  You were excited about your healthy stack of cheap moving boxes, and that’s great! You will definitely be able to use those.  But you should really take into consideration the following suggestions:

Packed Boxes

Starting with the hardest room of the house, anyone who has ever packed up a kitchen knows just how weird it is.  What to do with enormous mixing bowls that weigh nothing, tiny jars of spices, and dishes galore?  If in no other room, in this room cheap moving boxes are simply not going to cut it.  You need the reinforced, double-wall, corrugated boxes, to include the dish and glass dividers.  You can find these dish-packing kits for cheap online, or even at some local department stores.

If packing kitchens is weird, so is packing up a closet.  You’ve got some grubby clothes and you’ve got some clothes that you absolutely don’t want getting wrinkled and smashed.  You’ve got tennis shoes and dress shoes, ties, belts, purses… It’s all just really awkward stuff to pack.  Don’t even sweat it: use wardrobe boxes.  Pack the bottom with your shoes and then hang your clothes.  It reduces the headache of moving by about forty percent.

Living rooms and family rooms don’t have very many challenging aspects to them aside from artwork hanging from the walls and a lot of electronics.  Both of these pose significant issues when it comes to packing.  Boxes specific for wall-hangings is a must.  You should also probably invest in a TV box.  Now you don’t have to worry about what the bumps and jolts are doing to your precious items.

Use plastic bins and totes when it comes to packing up your bedrooms.  This is a super efficient way of keeping seasonal clothes together, and also keeping other items organized.  The bins make it easy to stack in the garage or basement to pull out gradually.

File, or bankers, boxes are the best ones to use for packing up the home office.  They are small enough so that you can’t overpack and make them too heavy, and heavy duty enough to support all of your books and papers.  The handles and lids make these exceptionally useful.

 

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Gift Wrapping Tips for the Holiday Season

If you have any packaging supplies laying around, then you have everything you need for some pretty cool gift-wrapping ideas.  Chances are that you do have some lying around because anything to do with tape, boxes, or paper pretty much has to do with packaging supplies.  The best part of all is that you are recycling and saving yourself some money at the same time.  This is always a plus, especially around the holiday season when funds are tight and there is a ton of “waste” going on.

Even if you aren’t interested in specialty gift-wrapping, you just want to stick to plain old Christmas-themed wrapping paper, you can still have a heavenly host of beautifully wrapped gifts that will make your whole Christmas tree scene look like a serious work of art.  You can get cheap rolls of wrapping paper at the dollar store, even; the trick is to mix and match with a couple plains and some really vibrant prints.

My favorite go-to gift-wrapping supplies are also some pretty standard packaging supplies: Kraft paper, brown and white.  I usually have a stash on hand specifically for gift-wrapping, especially because they go with absolutely any occasion.  I also shop for themed wrapping elements at the end of a season, and use them for the following season.  I spend very little money on any of my actual wrapping paper or embellishments, which is really hard to do if you are buying them in season.  It’s also a good idea to pick up several ornaments at the end of the season, when they are on clearance, so that you can attach them to Christmas gifts and use them in ornament exchanges.

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Using a simple white Kraft paper to wrap a present and then wrapping it with a brightly colored piece of lace or ribbon, or even an old strip of cloth out of the sewing basket, produces an amazing effect.  Write out your To: and From: with a gold sharpie and the look is complete.  Brown Kraft paper decorated with Washi tape, or stamps, is another complete look.  I even wrap some gifts in plain paper and then give them to my kids to color on, or put stickers on, or even paint on.  Their friends think it’s great, and grandparents don’t even stand a chance.

More or less, when you are out and about, keep your eye open for clearance ribbon and tags.  Keep a small stock pile of these items with the rest of your gift-wrapping supplies, and before too long you will have everything you need to wrap any gift for any occasion.

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How to Save with a Lenient Return Policy

If you are an ecommerce business, then you know that business is more about packing up some shipping boxes and sending out some products.  And you are probably already well aware that the rate of returns has been rising.  Online shopping has more or less taken the shopping industry by storm.  It’s so easy to buy stuff online and get it in a reasonable amount of time.  And then, it’s pretty much just as easy to return it if you don’t like it.  Therefore, you have more buying and returning on a whim.

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However, having a lenient return policy actually improves sales.  So, as the owner of an ecommerce business, how you do you manage a return process that keeps the customer happy and doesn’t gouge your company?  Well, there are a couple of helpful tips to consider:

Be Specific about Your Product

When a customer clicks on your product details, they should have all the answers, right down to what kind of shipping boxes they should expect their items to show up in.  Always include any specifications, sizes, manufacturer information, with lots of pictures featuring many angles.  Take the information that you get in your feedback to annotate if something “runs small”.

Keep Your Vendors in the Loop

Let your vendors know how much of their product is being returned, and how often.  Also, if customers are informing you that specs are off, you should notify the vendors so that they can change the information.  Improper specs are enough of a reason for someone to return something.

ecommerce-return-policy-psychology

Answer Customer Questions

Have a system set up where you can answer customer questions about a product before they buy it.  Even if you have every detail possible listed in the product description, someone still may feel like they need to ask you something.  In the end, you know that shipping boxes don’t grow on trees, so using them simply to have something returned and then having to use them again is enough of a reason to answer those questions first.

Offer Clear Limits

As a business owner, you do have the right to set any limits on returns that you see fit.  The more limits, the less freedom a person is going to feel shopping for your products, but they are definitely still necessary to have.  Items like personalized or clearance products can easily be marked as ineligible for returns.  Make sure this is clearly listed for the customer to see and you won’t have any problems later on.

Make a Deadline

Most department stores don’t have a limit on when something needs to be returned by, but that isn’t the case for most ecommerce stores.  Establishing that a product must be returned in sixty or ninety days is perfectly acceptable.  Offering only thirty days is cutting it a little bit close.

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Tips for Packing for an International Move

Moving to a different house is quite an undertaking.  Moving to another state is that much more complicated.  Moving to a different country…that’s in a league of its own.  If the best advice for domestic move is to be prepared and well-organized, that is going to a hundred times more important when it comes to an international move.  It’s not as simple as packing your belongings into cardboard boxes.

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You need to choose what is going to be necessary for your new home, and the different factors that go into that.  Only then can you begin to figure out how to handle shipping and storage.  Thankfully, lots of people have gone before you, and they offer their experiences and advice all over the internet.  Here are a couple tips to get you started:

What to Pack

It’s a good idea to purge whenever you move, but it gets more important the bigger the move you are making.  Not only does it make the whole process easier, it really helps reduce the overall cost (less of those cardboard boxes, for one).  There are a couple things to think about when packing for an international move:

  • The reason for relocation. If you are moving for school, focus on bringing the items pertaining to school.  If you are moving to a rural area, focus more on things that will keep you entertained and plugged into your community.
  • The type of home you are moving into. If you are moving into a smaller home, which is highly probably, you will need to think and rethink what you need and don’t need.
  • The weather of where you will be living. If you are moving somewhere that doesn’t have seasons, but stays warm, that will really impact what you are going to use and wear.
  • What the new country does or doesn’t allow. A lot of countries have their own restrictions on what can be brought across their borders, to include animals, plants, weapons… Make sure you know your new country’s restrictions before you start packing.

How to Ship

Okay, so you’ve got a giant stack of cardboard boxes, full of your stuff and ready to go.  Now what?  There are two options when it comes to how you can ship your stuff, and they each have their pros and cons.

  • Shipping by air is incredibly expensive, but it is also quite fast. If you have an employer helping front the cost of the move, this is probably a realistic option for you.  You are going to need to make sure that everything you have packed follows regulations, though.
  • Shipping by sea is the cheapest option, and also the slowest. You could consider sending more important things by plane, and the rest of your belongs (like furniture and clothes) by sea.
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