Shipping Made Easy

Anyone who has ever shipped an item, for whatever reason, knows what a pain it can be. From lost packages to hidden fees and everything else in between, there is a wide range of headaches that can stem from simply trying to get something shipped. Without question, it’s much more difficult than simply putting items into cardboard boxes and sending them on their way. However, this is definitely something that doesn’t have to be such a hassle for anyone involved, and with a little help, it’s entirely possible for this once arduous task to be as simple as it seems like it should be.

For everyone, especially business owners or private citizens on a tight budget, keeping spending as low as possible may be a primary concern. Shipping items across the country, or to wherever they may be going, can quickly become costly. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Certain companies offer discounted shipping labels, available to buy and print through the USPS.

Some of these companies also offer shipping supplies, such as cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, often for discounted prices compared to normal. Another simple but easy to overlook method of getting the lowest price possible is simply to compare prices through different carriers. Certain companies may be better suited to your individual needs, so comparing and contrasting between carriers may help you quite a bit when trying to keep prices low.

When shipping items anywhere, one common fear is an item getting damaged, or simply getting lost along the way. While this is definitely a concern, it doesn’t have to be a hassle to fix. Most carrier services will offer insurance, which is an excellent way to make sure that, even if something does happen to your package, it is covered and you aren’t left empty handed with no way to recover or replace the item. Typically it is a very affordable option and many carriers even include it for free on packages worth under a certain amount.

Another common concern for businesses, as well as private citizens who frequent services such as eBay, is shipping internationally. From shipping rates to actually getting the item there in the first place, it can seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. As far as costs are concerned, most carriers will offer an international shipping calculator for these situations, so you can know exactly how much this process will cost without getting lost in trying to add fees together on your own, hoping you did it right. Many companies even offer these online, so you’ll know before you leave your house exactly what you’ll need. And, with services such as package tracking, any hiccups or delays along the way, you’ll be aware of instantaneously.

In today’s day and age shipping items across the country, and even across the globe, is more common than ever. And, like anything else, it comes with it’s own set of hassles and hurdles to jump through, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult and daunting task to try to simply get an item from point A to point B. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to being prepared for whatever situation may arise when shipping your items to their destination.

The Best Way To Handel The Utility Services When Moving

There is a lot to accomplish when moving into a new home. The best way to proceed is to specifically focus on what is required. A good place to begin is with utility services. The first step is to have a list of all utility services, contact numbers, and service providers that must be contacted to transfer or cancel the utilities. The benefits and importance of each carrier should be considered, needs re-evaluated, and preferred changes made. It is important to have all relevant information including account numbers and passwords easily accessible.

For some moves, new service providers may be necessary. A list of providers can be supplied by apartment management companies, or new neighbors. Renters should verify if the utility services have been included in the rent. Official state and city websites also provide detailed information. Deregulation has led to numerous states offering a choice of natural gas and electricity providers. Researching the different options available can save money.

Asking a landlord, real estate agent or new neighbor how satisfied they are with their services, and the cost of their average bills is always a good idea. A lot of information can be found by doing research online. Once a list of the utility companies and their phone numbers has been compiled, there are some important questions to ask. This includes the charges to begin the service, the amount of any applicable deposit, any available discounts, if anyone needs to be home when the utilities are set up, and the current prices.

Most service providers require a minimum of two weeks’ notice to turn off, or turn on utilities. Calling these providers three weeks prior to the move is recommended. Utilities are best disconnected the day after the move, and turned on the day prior to arrival at the new residence. This helps avoid any inconvenience or hassles. Ensuring there are enough cheap moving boxes available will also be beneficial. Non-essential services such as television services can wait a couple days. Some utility services can be connected online, while others require a trip to the company office. This requires proof of identity and residence.

It is important to pay any overdue bills and final balances prior to the date selected for shut-off. The current utility providers should be given the new address so they are able to send the final invoice. All final bills should be paid by the due date. Any equipment provided by a company that needs be returned including satellite dishes, modems, etc. should be returned by the date designated. Any refunds due for utility deposits should be collected and the money can be used for new utility deposits or start-up fees.

A final reading of the water, electric, and gas meters is important. A copy of the report should be kept, and it is a good idea to take a picture of the meters right before the move. These records are evidence in case there is a dispute. Once the utility company’s final invoice has been received, this should be checked to ensure it correctly reflects the last meter reading and the move-out date. This will make certain the correct amount was charged for the days of service after leaving the residence. On the move-in day, the new electricity and gas meters should be read to ensure the first bill is accurate.

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Excellent Tips For Packing Clothing For A Scheduled Move

A move to a new residence requires special attention for fragile items, and heavy items can be painful. Clothes are not considered by many individuals, but represent a valuable investment, and require a lot of space. Trash bags, and crammed boxes are not the best solution because clothes can become wrinkled, damaged, and represent a large cleaning bill. The first step is to eliminate unnecessary clothing. Downsizing will create additional space, clothing can be donated, or sold to help alleviate the costs of moving. This will result in packing, and moving less cardboard boxes.

The Wardrobe

Clothing should be placed in three categories once unwanted clothing has been removed. The first is clothing not currently being worn including formal attire, specialty clothing, and seasonal items. The second category covers clothing worn on moving day, and a few days after the move. These should be placed in a survival gear box containing necessities including toilet paper, towels, shower curtains, and toiletries. This will eliminate a panic the first few days after the move. The third category is clothes worn daily for the current season. Delicate clothing should be separated so it can be unpacked quickly. Using specific containers allows clothing to be packed using common sense.

The Dresser 

It is often not necessary to remove clothing from dresser drawers. Each drawer can be removed, covered with shrink wrap for protection, and placed back in the dresser. Additional shrink wrap will prevent the drawers from sliding out during the move. This does need to be checked with the moving company because some companies insist the drawers are removed.

Suitcases and Containers

Suitcases hold clothing efficiently, and are ideal for shoes. Cardboard boxes can fall apart if it is raining, so valuables should be protected with another option. Newer boxes are made of plastic, waterproof, crush proof, have integrated locking lids, and can be rented, and delivered. They are eco-friendly, waterproof, easy to stack, ensure a faster move, will not collapse, require less room, reduce waste, and save money.

Wardrobe Boxes

Wardrobe boxes are excellent for hanging clothing. Clothing can be left on the hanger, and transferred to a metal bar. They are made of corrugated plastic, extremely durable, weather resistant, fold flat, and are easily manageable. Clothing is kept free of wrinkles, and protected from dust, and dirt.

Bundle Wrapping

Bundle wrapping will prevent wrinkling, and requires less room than traditional folding. Clothing that is damp, or dirty should not be included because other clothing may be stained, and mold growth is possible. Paper should be used to separate delicate clothing. Newspaper should not be used because the ink can transfer onto clothing.

The Shoes

Shoes should not be packaged with clothing. They must be wrapped to ensure they are not crushed, dented, or scuffed. If possible, shoes should be moved in the original boxes. Bubble wrap is excellent for protecting shoes, and fragile items.

The Padding

Clothing can be used as padding for items that are being moved. The smaller pieces of clothing with durability are excellent for wrapping around fragile items, or preventing the contents of a container from shifting by filling in any gaps. The weight of a box becomes much more manageable when the bottom is filled with heavy items, but the top with lightweight clothing.

The Do-it-Yourself Money Box

Who said candy boxes should only contain candy? Jessica Fisher, a contributor to Life as Mom e-magazine, recently received a gift from her great aunt, which was basically a candy box containing cash instead of candy. This is a clever and useful gift to give anyone who needs financial help, such as college students. When she first received the box, she naturally assumed it was a box of chocolates or candy from a small candy shop named See’s Candy, in Minnesota. In fact, there was a note attached to the box that read “better than See’s Candy”.

When she opened it, she was surprised to see the actual contents of the box. This was partly because her father had a tradition of sending friends and relatives See’s candy for over 30 years. Each candy liner had a small amount of money in it instead of the usual candy. The amount varied from quarters to ten-dollar bills.
Making one of these yourself is not very difficult as the following instructions will show. You will need the following items to put one together.
• Candy box which can be bought from a gift store or craft store
• Candy liners which are made from paper
• Either double sided tape or glue
• Money, such as coins or notes
• Foam stickies

Once all of these are bought you can begin the process of making this novel gift. The first step is to attach the liner papers to the box. Paper currency can be folded or rolled. You could kick things up a notch if you have some basic origami skills. Coins are stacked on top of each other.
This is an excellent gift idea for those who will need cash. Apart from college students, if you know someone who is planning on traveling abroad, sending them this gift would be thought full. The currency itself does not have to be dollars. It could be any type currency, or best yet, find out where they are going and find currency from that country.

Giving a gift of this type to children would also be a good idea. Not only would it be more practical than giving candy, it would be educational as well. They could learn about the different denominations in the process. Most people tend to think that the choice of cash is very limited. But if you were to ask at the bank you may be surprised at the different varieties of cash, especially when it comes to coins. Apart from quarters and dimes, there are half a dollar coins available. As far as notes are concerned don’t forget about the two-dollar bills.

When it comes to total amounts, it doesn’t have to be a large amount. Sure, you could kick it up a notch and put some gold and silver coins in with the rest of them. A lot of times, it is not the gift itself, but the thought that counts. There is just something nice when you receive a gift from someone that they put together themselves, especially when it is clever and practical to boot.