5 Home Security Tips for Your New Home

When you choose a new home, security might be an afterthought. That is, of course, until you move in and want to protect yourself and your belongings.

Home security can be an essential part of the residential moving process. Follow these tips to ensure you have the proper home security for your new space.

1. Increase the Lighting

If you haven’t had the opportunity, survey your home at night. It will be easier to spot dark areas. That way, you can figure out where you need to add lighting.

Motion-sensor lighting for your driveway and backyard is a wise idea. Add other types of lighting on a timer. Consider the lighting angle so it doesn’t keep you up at night.

Choosing outdoor lighting is less complicated than it used to be. You might be able to install battery-operated or solar-powered options in a few hours.

2. Make Valuables Hard to Find

As a general rule, burglars look for an easy win. They want to get something valuable with as little work as possible. Your goal is to make it harder for them.

Keep your valuables out of sight. Don’t place expensive equipment in easy view of a window. Do the same for your vehicle.

If you have expensive or irreplaceable things, consider additional protection for them. A small safe might be an ideal solution. You might even decide to store them elsewhere.

3. Change the Locks

When you get the keys to your new home, it’s a good idea to change the locks. Keys are easy to duplicate. Assume that any or all of your neighbors might have a copy.

If you are handy, take care of the switch; otherwise, consult a professional locksmith, and set a time for them to change the locks. They may be able to do this within a few hours.

Once you get the new locks, be careful where you put the keys. Leaving a set on your home exterior puts you at risk. Instead, consider giving an extra set to a trusted friend nearby.

4. Add Cameras

These days, it’s prevalent to put in a doorbell camera system at your front door. They often work in conjunction with alarm systems.

If you have other exterior doors, think about adding cameras for those. It’s essential for parts of the home that you can’t see from a window.

Keep in mind that cameras are only helpful if you use them. Installing a system with alerts might be the best approach.

5. Set Alarms

For the highest level of security, you might consider installing an alarm system. With this type of protection, you outsource some work to a third party. They help you keep an eye on your home and alert authorities if necessary.

Choose the most straightforward and consistent system that you can. If it’s too difficult to use, you won’t use it. Also, make sure that the control panel isn’t visible from the outside of the house.

Moving Assistance

Protecting your home takes multiple systems. To learn more about how you can have a better moving experience, request a free quote today.

Moving in Summer 2022: Tips and Guide

Don’t Delay — Book Your Move Early

Although high demand and limited mover availability continue to impact delivery times in some areas of the country, our agents are working hard to meet your needs during this year’s peak moving season. We also want to help you navigate the process so it’s easy and stress-free.  

Have extra time or flexibility? Book early — as far in advance as possible is best. Not an option? Read on for expert tips and advice from our pros.  

How Early Should I Book My Move?

Booking your move well in advance lets us more efficiently plan and manage everything around your relocation and helps us put time on your side. Learn more about booking your specific move type.

What To Do If Your Preferred Move Date is Unavailable

During this year’s summer moving season, booking early is recommended. If that’s simply not an option and you know you want a full-service move, consider this advice from our experts. 

Real Movers Versus Fake Movers: How to Spot the Difference

Regardless of who you move with, we want to help ensure you’re not the victim of a moving scam. Get tips on what to look for. 

fake and poor movers
moving checklist

The Ultimate Moving Checklist

We can help you get organized for your move eight weeks in advance. Check out our comprehensive checklist to streamline and simplify the tasks at hand. Stay Organized with Our Moving Checklists

How to Pack Your Car and What to Put in It When You Move

So much more than a road trip, packing your car for a cross-country move can be daunting. Get advice and how to pack it and what goes inside. 

packing the car for a move
Before your items arrive

What to Do While Waiting for Your Belongings to Arrive

Sometimes there will still be a lag between when your valuables are scheduled to arrive and when you cross the threshold of your new front door. We have some tips for you to make the most out of this waiting time.

7 Ways to Manage Moving Stress

Moving isn’t easy. Read about ways to manage the process while maintaining your well-being — even in the midst of challenging times

Removing stress from moving
Covid 19 status

Questions About Moving During COVID-19

As we keep your wellbeing top of mind, learn about our COVID-19 protocols and get answers to frequently asked questions.

7 Ways to Manage Moving Stress

Given people move for many reasons — both happy and sad — it stands to reason stress and a wide array of other emotions are involved. As moving industry veterans who have been on the receiving end of the very same experience, we’d like to offer tips to help get you through the process and prepare you for the next chapter in your life. 

1 – Start Early 

Be sure to book your move as far in advance as you possibly can (as soon as you know your preferred move date is recommended). Not only will this help you secure your preferred move date, it will also carve out time to tackle your moving checklist in digestible steps. Plus, you can use the time to sift through, sell and donate unwanted goods so you’re not paying to move items you don’t really need.

2 – Carve out a Peaceful Retreat 

When you’re packing and unpacking, your home can feel cluttered — even chaotic. It’s important to have a peaceful respite where you can unwind and detach from the mayhem. Whether it’s your patio, reading room or a basement nook, having a spot to meditate, reflect or straight-up unwind is key.  

3 – Keep Self-Care Items Handy 

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget the importance of caring for yourself. Be sure you set aside some items that promote mindfulness, relaxation and self-care. Enjoy spas? Facemasks and eye pads lend luxury — and, if only for a moment, block out the outside world. Like hitting the greens? A golf club and a bucket of balls might make sense. Whether you’re a lover of literature, a painter or a musician, having a few favorite items to turn to during downtime has a calming effect.  

4 – Ask Friends and Family for Help 

It‘s rare that work deadlines, carpooling kids and household responsibilities can be put on hold — even when you’re moving.  It’s okay to admit when you need a hand. Help with packing, unpacking or babysitting kids gives you dedicated time to accomplish what you need to. 

5 – Keep Essential Documents Together and Accessible 

When you’re moving, the last thing you need is to dig through packed boxes to find something important. Be sure to gather your essential documents — from mortgage and lease paperwork to passports and signed moving agreements — putting them in a folder or file you can easily access. 

6 – Make a List of To-Dos in Your New Neighborhood 

Recognizing there is a light at the end of the tunnel is important for your psyche. Make a list of places you want to check out and things you want to do in your new neighborhood once you arrive. In addition to building excitement, it’ll help you get the lay of the land. Need advice? Our city guides can help.   

7 – Say Goodbye to Friends and Special Places 

Memories were made and friendships forged at your soon-to-be former address. Getting closure by visiting your favorite spots or friends ties up loose ends and readies you for the new beginning that lies ahead.  

As bittersweet as the process can be, we’re here to move you so you can continue your journey in a new home. Be sure to check out our blog for great moving tips and advice. Want to learn more about booking with Mayflower? We’re here to help. 

What to Do While You’re Waiting for Your Things to Arrive

By now you’re probably well aware that a perfectly orchestrated move requires careful planning, not just for you but also for your moving company. But sometimes there will still be a lag between when your valuables are scheduled to arrive and when you cross the threshold of your new front door. 

Make a Short Lag Time Work for You 

If it’s a matter of day or less, use this as an opportunity to prep your new space. It will never be easier to clean your new home than when it’s practically empty. After you unpack any stuff you’ve taken along with you, buy some cleaning materials locally and get the space dusted, polished and in “move-in” condition. If you ordered furniture or other household goods that may have already arrived independently from the moving van, use the time to assemble them or put them where they belong.  

Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to leave your new home unattended. Stay in contact with your mover and make sure someone’s there when the van pulls up! 

Will It Be More Than a Day or Two?  

This scenario definitely requires a backup plan. First, decide whether it makes sense to stay in the new space or if you would be more comfortable checking into a hotel or motel. Look into efficiency-style accommodations which typically provide a kitchen and space to spread out in addition to beds and a bathroom. If you’d rather stay in your new home, consider bringing or buying inflatable mattresses, bedding, and some linens and personal care items. A couple of first-night boxes would be very useful. In most cases, you can use them in the future.  

Do you have family or friends in the area? Staying with them might be an option – and they’ll also be a great asset in helping you find new go-tos and must-sees in your new city.  

Consider Others on the Journey  

If you have kids, the novelty factor of cleaning, unpacking and wandering from room to room will probably run its course quickly. If you know about the lag time beforehand, be sure you’ve got some toys and games – preferably a couple of new ones – along for the ride to keep them occupied and content. Teens might be happy venturing forth to do some exploring around their new neighborhood and reporting back what they found. If you have a partner, they might enjoy checking online for a great restaurant, takeout or delivery place for dinner. A family movie night at the local Cineplex would be a welcome treat, too. 

Go Into Mini-Vacation Mode 

Depending on work and school schedules, a longer lag time might be pivoted into a mini vacation that makes the whole experience something you can look back on fondly as an unexpected adventure. A summer season move would be an ideal time for a trip to a national park or an entertainment resort like Walt Disney World or Silverwood. In winter, you might plan a few days at a ski resort.  

Our city and regional guides contain lots of great options.

How to Pack Your Car for a Cross-Country Move

It’s an understatement to say there are a lot of things to keep track of during a cross-country move. And if you have belongings, kids, fur babies and a vehicle you’ve opted to drive to your new address, there’s a cross-country road trip to think about, too. 

To ensure your long-distance move goes smoothly, it helps to plan what to pack in your car — and know how to make it all fit so you minimize stress, mitigate surprises and make an adventure out of the road ahead.  

The first place to start? With a spare key to avoid lockouts. And that important paperwork and other non-allowable items? Those irreplaceable keepsakes? Keep them with you.  

Pack Layers of Clothing 

It goes without saying, but you need clothes — specifically enough clothes and the right kind of clothing for the conditions you’ll encounter. Depending on where you’re moving, you may encounter a variety of climates — even unpredictable weather. Make sure you pack layers and do include a jacket or coat since you never know what the weather holds at varying elevations or weather patterns that are beyond your control.  

  • Layers of clothing that account for changes in weather and temperature 
  • Loungewear or pajamas 
  • Workwear if required 
  • Extra undergarments and socks 

Don’t Forget the Toiletries 

Comfort, hygiene and self-care are also key when you’re on the road, so these items prove helpful as well: 

  • Light blankets and pillows for napping 
  • Facewash, shampoo, conditioner, soap and styling products 
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush and mouthwash 
  • Lotion 

Remember to Pack Snacks 

Keep grouchy kids and hangry adults at bay by packing portable, healthy snacks. 

A cooler filled with drinks and temperature-sensitive snacks, sandwiches, veggies and fruit 

  • Nuts, dried fruit, crackers 
  • Utensils 
  • Napkins 
  • Single-serve condiments 

Keep Everyone Entertained Throughout the Journey 

Limit the “are we there yet” by bringing enough things to entertain the whole gang for the duration of the drive. 

  • Music 
  • Audio books 
  • Road trip games 
  • Travel-friendly toys 
  • Tablet for streaming shows and movies 
  • Cords for charging your gear 
  • Portable chargers 

Make Sure Your Pets are Comfortable and Cared For 

Traveling with your furry friends? You need to keep them comfortable and safe, too. 

  • Pet carrier(s) that accommodate  
  • Litter box for cats 
  • Leashes and collars/harnesses  
  • Pet identification tags 
  • Up-to-date immunization and ownership records 
  • Pet beds 
  • No-spill food and water dishes 
  • Anti-anxiety medication 
  • Toys 
  • Food and food dishes 
  • Treats 

Prepare for the Unexpected with a First Aid Kit 

Hopefully, you’ll never need to kiss boo-boos and apply band-aids. However, it’s important to be prepared, just in case. Your first aid kit should contain: 

  • Sterile cleaning pads  
  • Antibacterial ointment 
  • Band-aids 
  • Tweezers 
  • A small pair of scissors 
  • Aspirin and Ibuprofen  
  • Instant cold or hot compress 
  • Sterile gauze pads 
  • Stretchy bandage wrap  
  • Non-latex gloves 
  • Cloth tape 

Invest in an Emergency Car Care Kit 

No one wants to think about a vehicle breakdown. Still, you should be prepared in the event an issue occurs. 

  • Jumper cables 
  • Tire pressure gauge 
  • Spare tire 
  • Reflective warning triangle and flares 
  • Safety hammer and seatbelt cutters 
  • Tow rope 
  • Hand crank 
  • Safety vest 
  • Folding garden/snow shovel 
  • Blanket 
  • Snow scraper 
  • Anti-slip gloves 
  • PVC tape 
  • Tool kit 

Miscellaneous Things to Bring on a Cross-Country Drive 

There are a number of basic odds and ends that are worth bringing along on your cross-country move. 

  • A roll of paper towels 
  • A jug of water 
  • Garbage bags 
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing spray 
  • Cleaning wipes 
  • Wet wipes 
  • Baby wipes 
  • Kleenex 

How to Pack Your Car for a Cross-Country Move 

If you plan on packing luggage or equipment on the top of your vehicle, make sure that it is securely tied down. It helps to use a specially designed cargo compartments — such as an adjustable, waterproof, soft-sided roof rack — that can be secured to the top of a vehicle. Never pack valuables on the exterior of your car since they could be stolen. 

As for how to keep it all organized, clear plastic bins let you see what’s inside so you don’t have to dig. Soft-sided bins work well for items you’re less likely to need access to. As for heavier items, they should go inside — not on top of — your vehicle. Take care to pack them below lighter items that could get damaged or crushed. 

Looking for more tips on how to streamline and simplify your long-distance move? Visit our blog for expert tips and tricks. 

Real Movers Versus Fake Movers: How to Spot the Difference

Fly-by-night operations and tricky bait and switch tactics scam consumers out of thousands of dollars every day and are an unfortunate part of the moving industry. So how do you know your moving company is the real deal? Being a well-informed, educated consumer is key, so it’s important to do some detective work before you commit. 

Watch Out for These Common Moving Scams 

Hidden Moving Fees 

Rogue movers are notorious for tacking on unplanned and/or undisclosed fees for packing, climbing stairs, heavy moving, or additional weight at the last minute. You should insist on signing a completed moving contract before you let movers take possession of your belongings.  

Deposits for Moving Services 

A reputable moving company will never ask for a deposit to hold your move date. Generally, a credit card is requested closer to your load date. At Mayflower, we don’t require an upfront down payment or deposit to book a move. 

Suspicious Moving Quotes 

The Low-Ball Bid. A suspiciously low bid is likely missing some crucial details – and unexpected costs start adding up once the company has your belongings. Be sure to go over the full scope of your final costs before choosing a low-cost moving agreement. 

The One-Price-Fits-All Bid. Offering one price for every move is a huge red flag! A reputable mover will calculate your estimate not only by ZIP Code and number of rooms, but also weight of goods and the amount of space required on a truck to move your things.  

The In-and-Out Bid. This type of bid does not gather enough information to accurately cost-out a long-distance move. Rogue movers will try and hurry the conversation past pricing and neglect to discuss the complete terms of service until your entire household is packed onto their truck. Reputable estimators will inspect every room in your home (including closets) and ask important questions about your moving plans. 

The Volume-Based Bid. Be cautious of movers who quote your long-distance move by cubic footage of truck space. Interstate moves based on volume are illegal without a weight conversion factor and should be reported to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) . 

Protect Yourself from Moving Scams

With a little due diligence, you can avoid moving scams and stop fake movers in their tracks. 

Ask Friends and Family. They can recommend a moving company they have recently used and provide you with reviews based on their real-life experiences. 

Check with ATA. The American Trucking Associations Moving and Storage Conference keep an up-to-date list of Pro-Mover certified local and long-distance movers on file. Check with them to find a moving service or to screen a company you’ve already contacted. 

Research Companies Thoroughly. Check online for reviews with the BBB and Google to be sure that they have a history of customer service success.  

Document Everything. After delivery, you have nine months to report any problems to the moving company and file a written claim for loss or damage to your belongings. Note any problems on the mover’s copy of the inventory before signing it. Your mover has 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, they must make an offer to pay or deny your claim. It’s a lot easier for them to deny it if you don’t have before-and-after proof or if they don’t see the damage before leaving your home. 

Know Your Moving Rights and ResponsibilitiesFederal law requires that every licensed mover provide consumers with an informational packet titled, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” during the planning stage of your move. Most legitimate moving companies will direct you online to their website to access this information or possibly provide you with a 25-page booklet on fair practices, industry regulations and consumer rights. 

With nearly 100 years as a trusted moving company, coupled with modern technology designed to deliver you a smooth, worry-free experience, you can count on Mayflower. Start a free online moving quote today. 

What To Do If Your Preferred Move Date is Unavailable

We can’t stress enough how important it is to book early to secure your preferred move date. Given the ongoing, industry-wide challenges posed by ongoing supply chain interruptions and limited mover availability, though, odds are you’re here because that wasn’t possible.  

Rather than take on a DIY move, hiring a moving professional still makes sense, as it limits stress, saves time and allows an expert to coordinate the intricacies of your move on your behalf. Plus, you can rest assured knowing moving professionals are handling your life’s possessions. 

Can’t get the moving date you want? Here are some options when you know a full-service move is what you want.  

Push Back Your Closing Date 

If you’re in the process of selling your home and are unable to get your moving date of choice, it may be possible to work with your realtor to push out the closing date. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), you wouldn’t be alone since closing delays can occur for multiple reasons and coming to a compromise with a buyer is commonplace. 

Consider Renting Back 

Provided you’re still in the negotiation phase of your home sale and need to arrange a later move date, renting back the property from the buyer may be an option. That way, you can keep possession of the home for a longer period and, typically, pay the buyer the sum of their mortgage payment, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance (PITI). Please note that this should not be considered financial advice; every person’s situation, and/or different states’ laws and regulations, are different. Be sure to speak to your own legal/financial advisor for guidance. 

Ask About a Short-term Apartment Lease 

Negotiating an apartment lease is bit of an art. That’s particularly true when approaching your landlord or leasing agent about extending your living arrangements on a month-to-month basis, or for less than a full year.  

Admittedly, this can be a hard sell. So, it may help to emphasize what a reliable, responsible tenant you’ve been, reinforcing your commitment to paying rent on time, being a conscientious neighbor and treating the property with respect. 

Ask About Alternative Work Arrangements 

In the event you’re moving for work, it may be possible to contact HR to see if modified working arrangements — such as a remote start or a delayed start date — are possible. Knowing that life happens, employers are often willing to be flexible.  

Do you still want to book a move? Get a free online quote today. Need additional moving tips? Be sure to check out our blog, which features helpful moving checklists and advice, from booking to unboxing. 

When to Book Your Move

The summer months are always a busy time for Americans on the move, though this year has posed its unique challenges due to unprecedented supply chain interruptions, labor shortages and increased customer demand. Depending on where and when you want to move, this may — or may not — affect your scheduling options and delivery timelines. 

Because creating the best possible moving experience has always been our top priority, we want you to be aware of these challenges and assure you we’re hard at work ensuring your move happens as soon as possible. The guidelines below offer ways we can work together and get you where you want to go. 

How Far in Advance Should I Hire Movers? 

The availability of professional movers depends on many factors, including market availability; where you are moving from and to; and the time of the year you move. 

Especially during the summer moving season — May through September — we suggest booking as far in advance as possible.  

Why is It Important to Book Movers Early? 

Both you and your mover need time to carefully plan and carry out your move, so everything goes smoothly. As soon as you can, begin researching different moving companies and the types of services that best fit your needs. The more time and preparation you can give yourself, your loved ones and the moving companies, the less stress you’ll experience throughout the entire moving journey.  

Flexibility is important, especially during summer season. If you can’t get your preferred move date, check out these tips. 

When Should I Book My Mover? 

This depends a lot upon where you’re planning to move. Some areas of the country are not affected by capacity and logistical challenges at all, while others are. Our best advice?  Book your move date in advance. Have flexibility? Please book early anyway. This will ensure we deliver the level of service you’ve come to expect. 

That said, here are some general guidelines based on the various move types: 

Interstate Moves

If you’re moving to a different state or cross-country during the summer season, you’ll want to book well in advance of your move date. Even during less busy times of year, booking your move date in advance is always a good idea.

Spend some time doing research online to find a trusted and experienced interstate mover.  Local moving companies can’t always perform interstate moves. This is because any move that involves crossing a state line must follow the U.S. federal laws and regulations — including licensing requirements — to help protect consumers before, during and after their relocations. 

Intrastate Moves 

If you’re moving to a different city within your state, book well ahead of time during the summer season. As with other types of moves, securing a move date with a prospective intrastate mover as far ahead of time as possible is best. 

Local Moves 

Moving a short distance and within the same state still needs a good amount of advance planning. Ideally — and especially in the summer season — we recommend contacting prospective local movers well in advance.  

International Moves 

Moving abroad can be a challenging and complex process involving special documentation, shipping logistics, the continued back-up of ocean freight, customs paperwork and clearances. If your move is job-related, talk to your employer, as they may have relocation specialists on staff. If it is a self-move, you’ll want to find a qualified, trusted international moving company as far in advance as you can.

We hope you find these guidelines to be useful as we navigate the peak moving season together. We will provide updates about conditions and timelines as they evolve. In the meantime, our blog is filled with helpful moving checklists and advice to streamline and de-stress the moving experience. 

Tips on Buying a House in a White Hot Market

If you’re currently trying to buy a house, you know that the market is very competitive. Depending on the area, homes are getting snapped up in hours or days instead of weeks or months. While many variables are driving these conditions, one thing is clear – it’s pretty challenging to buy a house.

Fortunately, challenging doesn’t equal impossible. But unfortunately, it can all feel overwhelming if you’re trying to navigate the real estate industry right now. Fortunately, here are some top tips on making it work for you to move to your new home.

Step One: Start With an Agent

Since homes are going so fast, it’s virtually impossible to keep up with new listings as they come and go. Unless you have the time, patience, and energy to manage these listings, it’s best to go with an experienced real estate agent. An agent can potentially secure listings that haven’t gone up yet, and they can help you coordinate elements like home inspections and walk-throughs.

When comparing agents, work with one with experience in a similar market. This way, you can be confident they know how to handle the stress and logistics of home-buying under these conditions.

Step Two: Get Financing and Inspectors Lined Up

Once you’re ready to make an offer, you need to be able to pull the trigger as quickly as possible. So, if you’re waiting on the bank to approve a loan, you’ll likely lose to another bidder. Ideally, you can make a cash down payment, but if not, a pre-approved mortgage loan is far better than nothing.

Also, inspections have to happen quickly so you can close faster. So have your agent line up some inspectors who can offer last-minute walk-throughs. This way, you can avoid potentially unwelcome delays.

Step Three: Be Ready to Compromise

Unfortunately, buying a house in a seller’s market means extra competition. For example, what if another buyer is ready to pay cash immediately for the property? What if a seller is willing to bid higher than you? Overall, you’ll have to determine which concessions to make ahead of time. You know what you’ll accept this way, and you’re ready to bargain immediately. Also, consider when you want to resell and move again. If you’re looking for a permanent home, you’ll have fewer concessions. However, if you’re planning to move within five years, you can be more flexible.

Step Four: Consider Fixer-Uppers

Right now, homes that are move-in ready will go almost immediately. But, even if you catch a listing and can go to an open house, you’ll be competing against many different buyers.

One way to avoid some of these hassles is to focus on homes with some issues. While you want to avoid any financial disasters (i.e., sunken foundation, outdated electrical wiring), figure out which problems you can fix yourself after moving in. Then, you’ll open yourself up to various options that may not sell so quickly.

Get Moving Help for Your New Home!

Once you close on a house, the next step is moving in. We can help you make the most of your new home, so contact us for a free quote.