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The Big Move: Taxi Truck Packing Tips and Tricks

You’re moving. It’s an exciting, but also dangerous, time in your life. Dangerous? Yes. While many Australians use taxi trucks to haul their belongings from their old home to their new home, there’s the inherent risk of damaging your belongings during the move. If you hire movers, the risk increases exponentially. Here’s how to limit the damage and keep most of your stuff intact.

Get The Right Packing Materials

The right packing materials make all the difference. In general, the lighter the packing material, the better. So, opt for foam peanuts or air bags. But, when it comes to protecting large pieces of furniture from dings and scratches, use special mover’s blankets or just buy really thick padded blankets.

Mover’s blankets are special blankets that contain sections of padding that won’t bunch up in one part of the blanket. When you cover your furniture with this stuff, it will prevent minor and even moderate scratches, chips, dings, and other damage.

Hire The Right Taxi

Getting the right taxi for the job is another important step in the moving process. Not only do you need to hire a taxi truck service that can accommodate your move, you need a taxi that’s big enough to haul all of your things.

Some taxi services don’t do a very good job with long-distance moves. Other services will actually provide land, air, and sea (as well as customs) services if you’re moving out of the country. The taxi itself needs to physically accommodate you too.

If you get one that’s a bit too small, you’ll be cramming your stuff in there and hoping it doesn’t break – better to buy one that’s slightly oversized than undersized.

Prep The Cab

Pack the cab of the taxi with tools for taking down and reassembling furniture. You’ll want to have a lot things like screwdrivers and socket wrenches as well as sockets and allen wrenches. Also, put anything that’s super-delicate up front so that it doesn’t get smashed in the back accidentally.

Use Clothes To Pad Furniture

Another idea that will greatly reduce the number of boxes you have to pack is to use clothes to pad other items. Let’s say you’re moving a lot of trinkets and other delicate items. Rather than buy additional padding, use your clothes as padding. Simply wrap up delicates in a t-shirt or two, and you’ve saved yourself the added expense of additional boxes, padding, and possibly reduced the size of the taxi you need.

Move The Furniture Yourself

You can hire movers, but moving the furniture yourself is going to be the least expensive option. Of course, if you are physically incapable of moving the furniture, then by all means hire a professional. For example, a couch might be tough to move yourself unless you have a few friends to help you. But, a full-sized piano is nearly impossible to move unless you’re very strong.

Load The Heaviest Items And Appliances First

Load heavy items, like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers first. Put them at the back of the taxi, near the cab. Why? Because, if you have to stop suddenly, it will lessen the probability of these things shifting and sliding.

Always Buy Insurance

Even the best packing in the world won’t guarantee all of your belongings a safe passage to your new home. Renter’s and homeowner’s cover often doesn’t apply to moving, so you’ll have to buy a special moving policy.

Some moving agencies, and even taxi rental agencies, will tell you it’s unnecessary. But, as will anything else in life, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Katie Coupp is married to a serviceman and moves a lot. When she finally gets settled, she likes to blog about her hectic life in the hope that it helps others to also cope.

Go green: Save on your light bill

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Good morning Loves.  It’s been two weeks since we moved into our new apartment and I have to tell you I’m loving it.  I love absolutely everything – both inside and out – about our new living space from the neighborhood to the square footage.  We live in a quiet neighborhood, but a ton of amenities are within walking distance; downtown is about a 20 minute walk and Chinatown is just a few steps away.  For all you vegetarians out there you know that Chinese food never disappoints.  There are always several vegetarian meal options on the menu and the food is always fresh.  Can you tell I’m really excited about where we live?!?!

Turning over an eco friendly leaf

One of the best things I love about our new apartment is the fact that it’s green.  Not literally in color, but in functionality.  This new apartment has energy efficient appliances including the washer and dryer as well as the refrigerator and dishwasher.  Having an energy efficient home is great for helping the environment but it’s also great for your budget because when you save energy you also save money.

This new energy efficient apartment has me thinking about other ways I can save on my electricity bill.  Oh yes did I mention that?  In this new apartment we have to pay the hydro bill.  That’s a first for us because in all the other (there were only three) apartments we’ve lived in together we only paid rent; everything – and I mean everything – was included.  This makes me very nervous and BF is freaking out a little bit too because having a variable expense every month is unsettling.

BF’s paranoia about the cost of our energy consumption has us living in the dark, lighting a lot of candles and using more cold water than hot.  It’s not pleasant, but we’ll do anything to save a buck.

Save money on your hydro bill by going green:

Change your light bulbs.  BF is obsessed with energy efficient light bulbs.  When I say obsessed I mean we have a whole drawer full of light bulbs.  He scans flyers to see when and where energy efficient light bulbs are on sale.  They can be expensive, but the upfront cost is worth the savings in electricity over time.  A 23 watt energy efficient light bulb is equivalent to a regular 100 watt light bulb.  That can help save over $300 per year in electricity – or at least that’s what the package says.

Buy bedside lamps.  I know this may sound crazy but every time I flick on a light switch I hear the ching-ching sound of a cash register.  So I like to use as little as light as possible but enough to be comfortable.  The happy middle ground is a set of bedside table lamps.  They add decor to a bedroom, provide enough light to function and help save on the energy bill.  We even bought a table lamp for our living room – it’s Nate Berkus and we bought it on sale at Target for $29.  Did you know Nate Berkus has a home decor collection?

Photo from Flickr

Friday Faves: The end of my birthday week

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Good morning Loves and happy Friday.  It’s official, I’m 34 years old.  I celebrated my birthday with lots of chocolate cupcakes, presents and nothing but me time.  BF got me a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a spa day at a resort near our new apartment.  I am looking really forward to taking a day off from life and enjoying a relaxing day at the spa with a massage, body wrap and sauna experience.

In honor of our friends up north celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend enjoy these posts from some great Canadians:

Boomer & Echo – Downsizing: Should You Buy Or Rent?

Blonde on a Budget – 6 Things I Learned About Myself After Travelling for 6 Weeks

Give Me Back My Five Bucks – Should Tipping In Restaurants Be Banned?

Canadian Couch Potato – Do You Really Know Your Risk Tolerance?

Retire Happy – Finding Financial Balance while dating

Canadian Finance Blog – Successful Retirement: Don’t Spend Too Much

Go shorty, it’s your birthday

3124008232_38625b8114_z (1)Good morning Loves.  This is my last morning as a 33 year old, tomorrow is my birthday and for the first time in four years I’m actually going to celebrate my birthday.   On my 30th birthday my family got into a huge disagreement which turned into the biggest argument I’ve ever been in then escalated into a physical fight.  Needless to say my birthday has never been the same.

This year all that’s in the past,  because this year I am going to enjoy my birthday.  Why? What makes it different this year?  Well after my whole world came crumbling down on my 30th birthday I have never felt the same.  I motioned through my daily life never really feeling anything but sadness.  I slept through the holidays and I wallowed in a ball of my own anger during my birthday.  But not this year.  For the first time in a long time I had a great year and thankfully I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin again.   Isn’t that in itself enough of a reason to celebrate?! I definitely think so.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

This year I’m going to  celebrate my birthday by making it all about me because in my opinion I deserve it.  This past year I’ve made a career change, found an amazing new job, moved into a great new apartment and I’ve finally stopped being sad.

I’m going to visit all my favorite stores such as The Body Shop and Sephora to claim my birthday gifts for being a loyal customer.  I’m going to eat dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, get my nails done and of course end the day with a chocolate cupcake.  Yes that definitely sounds like a perfect day.

My birthday is a guilt free do whatever you want kind of day.  I’m going to eat cookies for breakfast if I want to and not worry about the calories or malnutrition.  I’m going to buy myself a little something special and I’m going to act totally surprised when I come home to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from BF.  Although it’s no surprise because he buys me flowers ever year for my birthday.

How do you reflect on your life?

I know some people like to set goals and evaluate their past year on New Year’s Day, but not me, I like to reflect on my past, present and future on my birthday.  Why?  Because I think my birthday is way more special than January 1st.  I set my new goals on my birthday for a few reasons, one: Fall is my favorite season and I don’t really like winter and two: it’s all about me.  I like reflecting on my life on my birthday because it’s less pressure than the whole New Year’s thing and I’m not celebrating with the rest of the world when January rolls around.

My goals usually involve travelling, saving money and buying things for our apartment, but not this year.  This year I only have one goal and that’s to continue working towards total  happiness.  I am going to focus on my appearance, I know it seems selfish and totally materialistic but it’s true.  I am going to work hard, get active and change my eating habits so I can be happy with the way I look.

Is that a weird goal to have?

Photo from Flickr