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.

Rather than take on a DIY move, hiring a trusted moving company 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. 

Is It the Place or the Space: Deciding What Matters in a Move

Sometimes things just resonate with you. Whether it’s that cozy bungalow that reminds you of your childhood home or a destination that provides a lifestyle you crave, there are all sorts of reasons people find a home. 

Admittedly, though, moving is a major life decision, one that’s often filled with complex — even conflicting — emotions. Depending on the circumstances, its prospect can feel joyous, exciting, paralyzing or sad. All these reactions are fair. It’s also perfectly normal if you’re feeling a mix of all of them at once.  

Perhaps it’s hard to leave a place where many of life’s momentous occasions occurred. Maybe your neighborhood or school district changed, leaving you disconnected from a location that once felt like home. Then again, you may simply feel you’re “done” and need a fresh start. 

The Mayflower 2022 Finding Home Study identified a noticeableshift in priorities when it came to why people did — or didn’t — move. Of the 1,100 surveyed U.S. respondents — 550 of which moved to a new state in the last two years and another 550 of which plan to move soon — there were revelations aplenty. 

Whatever your reasons for considering a move, it’s a time to be kind to yourself and give yourself grace as you work through decisions shaping the next phase in your life. Here are some things to ask yourself, and consider, while you do. 

What Stirs Your Soul? 

Ask anyone who’s moved and searched for a home: When you find it, you just know. Risks, change and scariness of the unknown aside, you straight-up know when it feels right. Sometimes that happens on vacation, when you’re in a beautiful place you never want to leave — and don’t. Other times, it’s being immersed in a community that feels supportive, architecturally inspiring, family-oriented or professionally or politically likeminded. (Interestingly, 13% of those surveyed actually prioritized political views.)  

Many of the best things in life happen when you go out of your comfort zone to embrace change, provided it makes sense in the context of your life. That idealized vision of a white-picket-fenced home is still a baseline and life goal for many people. Understandably though, between the pandemic, whacked-out job market, housing market and recession concerns, a lot of people did find themselves reevaluating what matters most. Still, 18% of survey respondents admitted to having compromised on a less-than-ideal location (be it city, state or property size). 

What’s Important from a Resale Perspective? 

From a resale perspective, your home’s location is one of — if not the — most important factors in determining the long-term appreciation of a home. Are you expecting to stay in a location long-term? To sell your home in a few years? Either way, your home’s location should be a strong consideration.  

Of course, climate cannot be overlooked. What may have seemed like a dream location years back may be a reason to take a pause from a property ownership perspective today. Whether you dreamed of living by the coast, settling into the mountains or seeking solace in the American heartland, things like the flora, fauna, proximity to water and potential for natural disasters are important to weigh — especially since lenders typically won’t commit to a mortgage they deem is a risk.  

How About Taxes? And Rent? 

One unpleasant reality for those purchasing a home is the fact that property taxes are always on the rise. Renting instead? Well, that increases at a regular clip, too. If you’re considering staying where you move for a period of time, it’s wise to consider not just a location’s cost of living, but also the potential for the cost of living to increase. 

Come to terms with whether you’re willing to pay more to live in the place (hello, ever-present sunshine!) or if what matters most is truly the space, in which case you’re not alone. In fact, 36% of those who plan on moving or recently moved leaned into finding their “forever home”. 

What’s the Educational System Like? 

As homeowners know, a significant portion of property taxes goes to the local school district. That’s a fact that not only impacts home prices in the neighborhood — it also can significantly impact a home’s resale value. 

Regardless of whether you’re buying or renting, those with school-age children would be wise to consider the quality of schools. After all, a good education opens doors for the future, while setting kids up for success.  Not surprisingly, 25% or those surveyed considered schools a key component in their moving decision. 

Are You Close to Family and Friends? 

Your proximity to loved ones is always a consideration. Depending on your reason for moving, you may want to be closer to family (32% of our survey respondents do). Then again, proximity to outdoor recreation may matter more (as is the case with 21%). If it’s the amenities that have you beginning anew, is that something you’re comfortable with for the long haul? Many seem to think so — 13% say the ability to work remotely has opened up doors. 

Then again, it doesn’t have to be one or the other — outdoor recreation and closeness to family can exist in tandem. As a past mover noted, “I want to see new places and be able to be close to my family.” 

Take time to weigh the pros and cons of your destination and its potential to bring you long-term happiness or the happiness you need right now. In either case, it may be one of the best decisions you’ve made. 

8 Benefits of Hiring Full-Service Movers

Full-service movers can make relocating a breeze! From box packing to moving furniture, full-service movers have the experience and know-how to handle almost everything. 

Here are eight reasons to work with a full-service moving company.

1. Less Stress and Worry

Moving is stressful because it’s so much work, and there’s often a limited time to finish it. When you hire a full-service moving company, your movers can handle a significant portion of your relocation, and they’ll know how to do it right. In addition, the right relocation experts are trained to complete the work efficiently and safely. This means there’s much less to worry about when hiring full-service movers.

2. More Time to Focus on Your Relocation

Packing can take many hours if you’re doing it yourself. If you’re packing without the assistance of movers, give yourself a lot of time. That’s less time to focus on other aspects of your relocation, like finding a job, a new house, setting up utilities, settling in your new community, and more. When you have full-service movers working for you, you’ll have far more time to dedicate to the other aspects of moving.

3. Everything Is Packed Properly

Full-service movers use all the suitable packing materials, from bubble wrap to furniture pads and moving blankets, to complete the job. With everything packed correctly, you know our possessions will be safe and arrive at their destination in good condition.

4. Cost Efficient

Full-service moving may be more cost-efficient than you imagine. Full-service moving companies keep their prices affordable by getting the work done quickly, much faster than it would take untrained professionals to get the job done. Given how much time it will save, full-service moving is surprisingly cost-effective!

5. Safety

Moving can be dangerous for someone untrained. It’s easy to lift a box incorrectly and hurt your back, and it’s easy to fall while carrying piles of heavy boxes. Falls, overheating, pulled muscles – all these problems can happen during relocation.

6. Move Coordination

 A personal move coordinator is invaluable and can help guide you through every step of your move and answer any questions. With so many other things going on during your move, having one point of contact from start to finish lets you rest easier.

7. Add-On Services 

Full-service movers are often able to tailor a moving plan to your needs. Make sure your full-service movers can provide you with these services

  • Storage
  • Packing services
  • Unpacking
  • Custom crating
  • Debris removal

8. Customizable Solutions

Professional moving companies offer customized services to enhance your move experience. Every move is unique, so finding movers that meet your timeline and needs is essential. Whether you need partial or full packing or help packaging fragile or specialty items, your full-service mover can help with custom crating, car shipping, and more.

Hire a Full-Service Moving Company Today

Moving is better when you hire a full-service moving company. Find out why working with a full-service moving company can transform your relocation experience. Contact us to schedule a quote on your upcoming relocation. 

8 Tips and Tricks for Moving a Smaller Boat

If you’re a weekend boating or sailing enthusiast, your vessel is something you’ll likely want to take along with you. But moving your boat securely over a long distance will take some prep and planning to make sure it’s shipshape upon arrival.  

Small, easily portable craft such as a kayak or canoe can usually ride along in the moving van. For this blog, we’ll focus on moving trailer-able vessels that fall within a particular set of parameters. Use this checklist as a guideline for a self-move scenario. 

The Boat You’re Planning to Move  

  • Is approximately 22 feet or less 
  • Has a beam width of 8’ 6″ or less 
  • Is less than 12 ½ feet tall when on the trailer 
  • Has a trailer and hitch rated to safely tow the boat based on weight and dimensions 
  • Has a centerboard, dagger board or an outboard motor versus a keel or inboard engine 
  • Has an easily steppable (removable) mast if it’s a sailboat 
  • Has been regularly towed by you or the designated driver before 
  • Has an up-to-date license and plates on the trailer 

If you’re planning to move a larger boat, reach out to an experienced mover like Mayflower for assistance. 

1. Plan Your Route  

It’s no surprise that the longer and wider your boat is, the trickier it will be to haul. Add in some winding stretches or mountains, and it soon becomes clear that you can’t always just take the route with the shortest distance. Things you’ll want to consider include the terrain on which you will be hauling, the tow vehicle weight, the trailer weight and the stops (rest and otherwise) you plan on making during your journey.  

Keep in mind that towing any heavy load affects a vehicle’s acceleration, braking distance and maneuverability. No matter what route you decide upon, braking, reversing, parking and navigating underneath overpasses and power lines are skills you and any other designated drivers will need to master. The more you practice these maneuvers beforehand, the better. 

2. Determine the GCVW 

Knowing the gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCVR), in other words, the total weight of the boat, trailer and the vehicle hauling them, is key to ensuring a safe journey. 

Your vehicle’s approximate weight can usually be found in the owner’s manual. The best way to determine trailer weight is to take the boat and trailer to a scale at a truck stop. Be sure to weigh your trailer when it’s off the vehicle hitch, it has all the gear you want to keep aboard, and if applicable, when the boat’s fuel tank is full.  

Also, be sure to check the info on the trailer’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) sticker to make sure that the axles and tires on your trailer are capable of carrying the load.  

3. Prep Your Vehicle 

This is the perfect time to give your vehicle a thorough once-over —or, even better, a tune-up. Make sure the tires are in good shape and that your brakes, headlights, wipers and turn signals are in working order.

Double-check that your vehicle can tow your boat over a long distance. Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will have a chart showing the maximum trailer weight your vehicle can tow, but don’t forget to consider the weight of spare tires, tools, outboard engines and other things you want to bring. As a rule, you don’t want to exceed 80% of the vehicle’s maximum towing weight.  

4. Batten Down the Hatches 

Carefully securing your boat to the trailer is a must, especially for any long-distance haul. Some weekend warriors make do with their own ad hoc combination of shock cords, straps and cushions even if it’s not best; however, securing a boat for a longer journey requires a certain degree of planning and attention to ensure that the boat rides without swaying, jostling or — in the worst-case scenario— falling off.  

There are three points where a boat should be tied down: The stern on both sides of the boat and at the point of the bow. Use ratchet straps — not rope — to snugly attach your boat to the trailer. Cut up pieces of old foam or, alternately, use rubber mats to pad between the boat and strap to protect the vessel’s finish. 

And one last thing: If your cockpit is uncovered, be sure the drain plug at the bottom of the boat is open and free of any debris. 

5. Check the Trailer’s Electrical System 

If your boat has been stored for a long time in your yard or at a boat storage area, chances are the electrical system will need some attention before you embark. Start out by determining whether the plug-in connection between your vehicle and the trailer is in good condition. If necessary, repair or replace it. Next, have someone stationed at the back of your trailer to check that the brake lights and turn signals function properly and walk around the entire trailer to see if any reflectors or reflecting tape need replacing.  

One thing that’s often overlooked is the small light on your trailer’s license plate: — it needs to work, both for safety reasons and to avoid getting a ticket. 

6. Don’t Forget the Brakes and Tires 

For a smaller boat, your vehicle’s brakes should be adequate. However, if the total weight of your boat and trailer exceeds 3000 pounds, your trailer will need its own brake system. Any trailer so equipped will also have breakaway brakes that will automatically activate and bring it to a stop if the trailer becomes disconnected from your vehicle.  

Remember to check the condition of your trailer tires —especially if the trailer’s been sitting in one place for an extended period of time. In addition to making sure the tires are in good shape and at the recommended pressure, check that your spare tire/wheel is ready, and that all wheels turn freely without any friction. 

7. Follow the Rules of the Road 

Some states have a lower speed limit for vehicles towing a trailer, often varying by its height or weight. For example, in Alaska, the maximum towing speed is 45 miles per hour, while Arizona sets a 66 mile-per-hour limit. 

When trailering a boat across multiple states, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the different compliance regulations in each state. If you are moving to a new state, you may end up needing to buy a new trailer so you’re compliant with local laws.  

Can passengers ride in a boat that’s being towed? In short, no. It’s illegal to ride in anything that is being trailered, boats included. 

8. Keep Your Craft Secure 

If you’re spending more than one night on the road, make sure your accommodations allow boat and trailer parking, and that it’s secure and preferably not adjacent to traffic.  

If you don’t already have one, consider buying a lockable trailer hitch, which prevents someone from making off with your boat during the night. Another item well worth owning is a trailer-tracking GPS, which can be magnetically attached to an out-of-the-way place on your boat’s hull. 

In addition to a canvas or plastic cover, you may want to consider shrink-wrapping your boat. Not only will this keep everything out of sight, but it also offers protection from the elements. Professional shrink wrappers use the boat’s size to figure out the final amount, though you can plan on spending $15-$25 per square foot. 

9 Ways to Make Friends in a New City

Whether you’re downsizing, looking for a fresh start or relocating for a job, moving to a new city can be exciting and scary at once.

People move for all sorts of reasons, but there is a common thread: moving to a new city is filled with possibilities. From discovering local gems to setting up and settling into your new home, it’s an opportunity to carve out — or, as the case may be, reinvent — your identity.  

Admittedly, that takes time. So does feeling “at home.” Since you may find yourself pining for what’s familiar — feeling a bit homesick, even — it helps to establish a group of friends. Unsure of where to start? Here are a few ways to begin building not just connections, but also the support network to you need to feel at ease (not to mention at home). 

Find a cultural center or place of worship 

One of the best ways to meet new people is by joining groups and communities in which people share the same beliefs and principles. Consider what’s most important to you in life and seek out spots that help forge connections with likeminded locals. Whether that’s a church, cultural club or community center, becoming a part of something larger can help you discover and explore new — or comfortingly familiar — things. 

Meet friends of friends 

It helps to have someone to show you the ropes so don’t be afraid to ask your hometown friends to introduce you to friends, family and acquaintances they know. In addition to helping you feel less alone, they can point you to places of interest, make other introductions and help familiarize you with your surroundings. 

Become a regular  

Whether that’s a coffee shop, bar or fitness class, establishing a habit or routine that puts you in front of the same people makes it easier to build natural connections with them over time. 

Join local interest groups 

Do you like to run? Read books? Cook? Whatever you’re into, there’s a group for that. When you have common interests, conversation flows more easily and it opens doors to talk about other things. Consider joining MeetUp.com, an online forum that lets you enter your city and interests to find “meetups” near you. Who knows — you may even find someone willing to take you under their wing.  

Do things that cultivate conversation 

Think about interactive activities you enjoy and sign yourself up. Whether it’s an improv class, trivia night, professional networking group or fan club, participating in engaging experiences is a natural way to make introductions and spark conversation. 

Head to the dog park 

Your furry friends need a place to unwind and so do you. So, why not head to your neighborhood dog park? Often frequented by the same people time and time again, paying regular visits can help ensure you see the same people while making it easier to chat with friends-to-be. Never mind the fact that they follow a similar routine, they’re also likely live nearby. Bonus: your pup may even make a BFF of its own. 

Join a sports league 

Rather than see activities as one-off experiences, find outlets that allow you to interact with same group of individuals over time. Sports leagues and teams are a great choice since they foster comradery and have you working toward a common goal. 

Volunteer for a cause 

Helping others not only makes a difference, it also feels good. Plus, it puts you in contact with people who are passionate about the same causes you are. When you have something to rally around, you can advocate with others, while fostering friendships at the same time. 

Join school organizations 

Those with families may find it helpful to join the PTA — or a booster club — at your child’s new school. In addition to meeting potential friends at a similar stage in life, it’s also a way to ingrain yourself in a community you’re now a part of. 

As you explore and settle in to your new neighborhood, we’re here to help. Be sure to check out our blog for tips to help your new city feel familiar — and help you feel at home. 

5 Ways to Avoid Procrastinating Your Moving Tasks

Preparing for a residential move can be challenging, especially when completing everything takes weeks or months. It can be easy to put it off until closer to moving day.

Of course, procrastination can be a problem. For example, you can’t postpone your move date because you aren’t ready.

Here are five ways to minimize procrastination for your moving tasks.

1. Set Reasonable Goals

Many people procrastinate because they feel overwhelmed. For example, if your goals are too ambitious, you might notice that you procrastinate because you feel like you can’t reach them.

Set goals that you can achieve. Assume that you will have occasional setbacks. Revisit your moving schedule, and make changes if your original plan isn’t sustainable.

2. Make a Choice

Sometimes, decision paralysis is the first step to procrastination. However, creating a set of simple choices could be an easy way out.

Pick two moving tasks that you need to accomplish. Give yourself the option to do one first and the other later. If you dread a particular task, consider breaking it up into pieces.

When you select options, ensure each is similar in complication or time. That way, you’re not setting yourself up to fail a particular task.

3. Plan an Incentive

Most people feel accomplished when they finish a task. It’s even better to give yourself a little incentive to keep going.

Build in a few prizes for making good progress. They don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.

For example, reward a solid week of packing with a day off to do something you enjoy. Aim for incentives that help to refresh you for the work you still need to do.

4. Prepare For Delays

When making a moving checklist, you might not anticipate delays. At the beginning of the process, the excitement of moving may make it seem like nothing could go wrong. But, of course, things can and will go wrong.

It’s better to build in time for delays. For example, you might run out of boxes and need a day or two to get more. Or, packing a particular room could take longer than you expect.

Set reasonable benchmarks for progress, and leave a cushion if you can. You’ll find it easier to catch up that way.

5. Start Fresh

You will have days when your procrastination wins, and you don’t get as much done as you plan. The next day, it’s better to start fresh.

Avoid rehashing everything that you did wrong. Focusing on mistakes can create a negative feedback loop, making it even harder to motivate yourself.

Instead, treat each day as a new opportunity to complete items on your list. Give yourself the space you need to begin with optimism.

Get Moving Help

Moving is a complicated set of tasks, and procrastinating is easy. These tips can help. Contact us for more information about scheduling your upcoming move. We can help take care of things and reduce your anxiety.

Hit the Slopes at These New Hampshire Ski Resorts

Are you considering moving to New Hampshire? For anyone who loves snow activities, New Hampshire is the perfect place! After all, New Hampshire’s White Mountains are the tallest peaks in the Eastern United States — and that means you’ve got plenty of choices when it comes to skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and other snow sports.

As a bonus, New Hampshire’s dozen or so ski resorts are just a short distance from one another, so you’ll have plenty of options within convenient driving distance. Here are a few favorite places to hit the slopes and explore in New Hampshire.

Pats Peak

Founded in 1963, family-owned and operated Pats Peak offers affordable pricing and runs for all ability levels. Located 25 miles from Concord, NH, Pats Peak has nine glade areas with 11 lifts providing access to almost 30 trails and slopes. With a vertical drop of 770 feet, there’s something for everyone here, with about half the mountain appropriate for beginners and the rest a mix of intermediate, advanced, and expert. Pats Peak also has an advanced snowmaking system to guarantee great snow all winter long. And, unlike many other resorts, 100 percent of the mountain is lit for night skiing, making it easy to hit the slopes after work. The resort also hosts off-season summer weddings and receptions. Wedding options include ceremonies and receptions at the base of the mountain and a Summit Ceremony Skyride Package to wed on the summit of Pats Peak.

Gunstock Mountain Resort

Boasting a 1,340-foot vertical drop and 55 trails, Gunstock Mountain Resort, less than an hour from Concord, NH, is one of the larger resorts in the region. Head to the top for stunning views of Lake Winnipesaukee from 2,200 feet. Gunstock Mountain offers separate areas for novice skiers and a highly reviewed learning program. Most of the mountain suits intermediate and advanced skiers, with a few black-diamond runs in the mix. Throw in 22 acres of freestyle terrain, a large Nordic park, and a tubing hill, and it’s easy to see why this resort is so popular with locals. Some off-season resort activities include camping, zip lines, and hiking.

Ragged Mountain Resort

Just outside Danbury, and less than an hour from Concord, NH, Ragged Mountain Resort boasts 250 skiable acres and 57 trails. It’s also got one of the area’s only six-person, high-speed chairlifts. With a 1,250-foot vertical drop, there are trails for all levels at Ragged Mountain; difficulty levels range from novice to advanced. Beginners will particularly appreciate the two courses at the top of the mountain, a rare feature at most ski resorts that place beginner trails lower. In addition, the resort offers slope-side lodging for those who want to take a snowy staycation. Ragged Mountain Resort also boasts several venues for summertime weddings and celebrations.

Crotched Mountain Resort

New Hampshire’s southernmost resort, Crotched Mountain Resort, is an excellent destination for intermediate and advanced skiers. The resort’s 1,000-foot vertical drop excites those who want challenging trails. There’s also a separate area for novice and beginning skiers and snowboarders. Crotched Mountain offers all-mountain night skiing, with 100 percent of the courses lit up. The resort also boasts three freestyle terrain parks with varying levels of difficulty. Just outside of Bennington, New Hampshire, this popular resort offers a restaurant and lodge and state-of-the-art snowmaking equipment to ensure lots of the white stuff.

Move to New Hampshire

If you love snow sports, New Hampshire is a dream destination in the winter. And if you’re planning on moving to New Hampshire, you’ll love choosing from more than a dozen ski areas within easy driving distance. 

Contact us to find out how we can help plan your move so that you can enjoy New Hampshire and the outdoors in no time.

Friluftsliv and Hygge: How to Get Through the Long Winter Ahead

As anyone living in a four-season climate knows, winters are chillingly long, cold and grey. People run from building to car to house as quickly and efficiently as possible. Everyone is less apt to look up as they are to hurry to get someplace warm. It’s insular on a good day so it’s important to build in ways to both get outdoors and cozy up the indoors. 

Friluftsliv Revels in the Outdoors 

There’s no better place to seek inspiration than the Nordic region. No stranger to snow and short, dark days, Norwegians embrace the concept of friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv), which roughly translates to “outdoor living,” whatever the weather. Popularized in the 1850s by Norwegian playwright and poet, Henrik Ibsen, the term was used to describe the value of nature as it relates to one’s spiritual and physical health.  

Deeply ingrained in the country’s heritage, this all-season celebration of the outdoors is adopted from remote corners of the Arctic to bustling, urban Oslo. Sure, friluftsliv can include outdoorsy activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, but it’s also a lifestyle that champions leisurely walks, winter picnics and utepils (a.k.a. sipping a beer outdoors). No cell phones or other technology — just time to observe and appreciate the beauty around you and the time you’re sharing with others in an open-air setting.  

Clearly, the common Norwegian refrain, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing,” rings true. 

Proof of concept can be found in the UN’s 2020 World Happiness Report, which ranked Norway at number five. Meanwhile, Bergen and Oslo were listed among the top 10 world’s happiest cities

This regional phenomenon extends to Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark as well. In Sweden alone, there are 25 non-profit associations that revolve around friluftsliv. Among the country’s population of 10 million people, 1.7 million memberships span 9,000 local and regional clubs.  

Granted it’s not new news that being outdoors is good for one’s mental health and well-being. Scientific Reports notes that spending just 120 minutes per week outside can significantly boost your mood and well-being — both in the long and short term. 

Besides, studies show nature brings comfort. Military veterans who suffer from PTSD and other combat-related mental health issues have turned to the therapeutic benefits of nature for some time, be it gardening or rafting. Certain bereavement therapies also look to the natural world for relief. Why? Because it’s healing.  

Change Your Environment — and Mindset 

Although embracing winter may seem unthinkable to the summer-lovers among us, it can certainly be done. It starts with having a positive wintertime outlook, according to Stanford University health psychologist Kari Leibowitz. In order to transform your seasonal perspective, try to find things about winter that you enjoy, whether it’s snowball fights or the beauty of fresh-fallen snow. Find wonder in it, let it anchor you, and allow it to establish your sense of place.  

Suit up and take a walk on a windy afternoon. Maybe pour some hot cider to enjoy at a local park. Or break out that portable grill and have an intimate backyard barbecue, complete with winter yard games. Whatever you do, slow down the pace and take notice of the things around you. Breathe deeply, relax and enjoy being “off the grid,” if only for a little while. 

With more people than ever working from home, there’s a new opportunity to strike a work/life balance. In Scandinavia, flexible work hours are the norm, work/life balance and family time are encouraged, and residents are often able to work around their hobbies and passions whenever possible. 

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. Tax breaks are offered to firms in Sweden and Finland that incentivize friluftsliv, be it subsidizing employees’ sporting endeavors or equipment. Meanwhile, some Finnish businesses have begun compensating employees who cycle or walk to work. 

Even if these admittedly awesome perks feel out of reach, opportunities to make the most of your work-from-home situation abound. Early morning strolls and lunch break birdwatching and snow fort-building are just a few of the ways to practice friluftsliv.  

Bringing Hygge Into Your Home 

Denmark, like its neighbors, knows a thing or two about dreary winters. Enter the cultural concept and panacea of hygge(pronounced HYU-gah). There is no direct translation in English, but words like “coziness,” “wellbeing” and “togetherness” are at its core. More mental than physical, hygge is about having flexibility, a positive mood and a holistic outlook on life. This abstract sentiment is also about slowing down, connecting with loved ones and carving out time for what’s most important. In other words, don’t be fooled by hygge’s recent commercialization: as a buzzword, it’s missing the point. 

Hygge’s feeling of contentedness and wellness is like a warm, comforting hug and it’s something you can introduce to your home. Heck, maximize in your life. Sure, you can use fluffy throw blankets, puffy pillows, oversize scarves and furry slippers to set the mood. Likewise candles and mulled wine. But that’s not what it’s about. Practicing hygge might mean enjoying a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning or catching up with friends — even if by Zoom. It’s also about simply relaxing and chilling out. This effortless comfort could mean curling up with a good book or lingering over a lovely meal, with loved ones, in cozy environs. 

We don’t know about you, but it’s something we need right now — and down the line. We’d love to hear how you’re embracing friluftsliv and hygge as winter sets in and the pandemic marches on. 

9 Tips for Moving When it Snows

Winter weather is unpredictable, to say the least, bringing with it another layer of complexity when it comes to a move. That’s especially true when a snowstorm hits on or right before the big day. So, the “show” must go on, as long as driving conditions are okay. 

Wondering how to get through it? And how to make a tough situation more tolerable?  

For one thing, it’s best not to DIY. Trying to organize a self-move when it’s snowing would be a nightmare, so it’s best to plan ahead and secure movers during colder months. Rest assured professional movers have been there and done that before. They’re pros, who know how to handle your belongings with care, whatever the weather. 

Want some tips on how to prepare your yard and home? You’ll find them here. 

Still unsure if you should go the professional route? Residential movers tend to be less expensive in winter, given it’s not the peak moving season. So, that’s a plus. 

Wherever you land, be sure to bundle up and be ready — there are some important things you can do to simplify your move when it snows on moving day. 

Shovel All Surfaces 

Moving heavy objects over slippery surfaces is dangerous so it’s important to clear any snow and ice from any sidewalks, walkways, driveways and stairs that will be used that day. Have a snowblower? This is the perfect time to use it. Otherwise, consider borrowing one from a neighbor or having your plowing and shoveling professionally done — it’ll be one less thing to worry about on an already hectic day. 

Use Salt, Sand or Something Else 

Although there are some long-term drawbacks to treating your sidewalks when it snows, it’s necessary at a time like this. The most common solution is to salt responsibly. Just be mindful that salt — or sodium chloride — is harmful to both plants and concrete, not to mention very corrosive to metal. In short, only use it where it’s critical.  

Rather than use salt alone, it’s a good idea to sand as well. While salt melts ice, sand aids with traction.  

When you do scatter salt and sand on pavement, leave plenty of space between granules. According to Minnesota Water, a 12-ounce coffee cup of salt is sufficient to cover 10 sidewalk squares or a driveway that’s 20 feet long. 

However, it’s important to note that salt doesn’t melt ice if pavement is below 15° F degrees. Here are some alternative melting agents, along with things you should know prior to using them: 

Urea: Slow-acting and pet-safe, it melts as low as 20° F but promotes algae growth in waterways and over-application proves harmful to plants 

Magnesium Chloride: Harmful to plants and corrosive to metal, it’s also pricey but works when it’s as cold as -10° F 

Calcium Chloride: Corrosive to metal, it also leaves a slimy residue; on the flipside, it’s less harmful to concrete and can tackle the task when it’s as cold as -20° F 

Potassium Acetate: Biodegradable and melts down to -15° F, it’s expensive, can cause surface slickness and lowers oxygen levels in waterways 

Ensure the Parking Area is Cleared 

Whether it’s on the street or in your driveway, the moving truck requires a clean surface and clear path for movers. Have some shovels — along with extra salt and sand — on hand to address pileups as you go. The last thing you want is for the moving truck to get stuck while trying to pull away. 

Watch for Snowplows 

Even if you carefully planned every last detail of your move, there are some things you can’t predict. If there’s a mushy, dirty pile of snow from a plow, it can quickly turn into a hazardous condition. Make sure your parking area is not in the route of the snowplows or ensure it’s clear of snow, ice and sludge, leaving a clear path to the house if that’s not possible. 

Cover Your Floors 

Typically, professional movers arrive ready to protect highly trafficked areas in your home. Still, it’s important to do your part. Be sure floor mats are placed at the entrance of all outside doors. Additionally, plastic tarps should be laid over wood floors and sheets of cardboard sheets should be placed on carpeted areas and secured with small tacks. 

Keep Pets and Kids at Bay 

For their safety, pets and children should stay away from walkways on any moving day. Having a clear, uninterrupted pathway is equally — if not more — important when it snows since there are extra challenges at play. 

Dress Warmly 

Just like movers will be exposed to the elements, you will, too. Open doors mean cold and wind will permeate your home so be sure to bundle up. Thick, warm gloves are a must — especially since there’ no sense in having the heat on at the house on move-out day. Consider putting a space heater in a room that won’t be used, such as the bathroom or spare bedroom, so you have a place to warm up. 

Also, make sure your utilities are up and running at your new address before moving day. (Our partners Utilities USA and National Broadband can help with that.) 

Check Your Car 

Make sure your own car is in working order and all fluids have been topped off. If you end up having to drive to your new address when it’s snowing, it’s crucial you can use your windshield wipers — and clean your windshield — as needed. Additionally, check your tires and brakes and have the following items in/with your vehicle: a spare tire, tow rope, bag of sand, flashlight, roadside emergency kit, collapsible snow shovel, warm blankets and winter clothes, as well as extra food and water. 

Hand Out Hot Drinks 

Whether it’s cocoa, coffee or tea, it helps to warm up from the inside out. Preparing hot drinks for everyone — your movers included — is a thoughtful touch that can help make a cold-weather move more manageable. 

To be certain, no one likes a sloppy, snowy moving day, but it happens. With these measures in place, your move will go more smoothly and be more efficient. Plus, your movers will greatly appreciate your help and consideration so they can do their best work. 

7 TIPS FOR MOVING DURING WINTER

There’s a reason people move more during the summer: the weather. However, that’s not always possible — or desired. The reality is people move all year long for a wide array of reasons, including during winter.  

Whether you opted to move during the winter because of available dates, your new home’s closing date or because your lease is up, professional movers are used to it and know what to do.  

“Especially when it’s cold, our agents make sure their trucks are all plugged in the night prior, so they start up quickly,” says Alex Ploesser, director of operations at UniGroup. “And we tend to start a little earlier in the morning to make sure everything starts and is safe to drive.” 

Ploesser notes that customers’ personal move coordinators prep them for what to expect — and how they can help their movers should difficult conditions arise.  

Note that we do rely on our customers to clear things for their movers in advance, as well as to cover their floors — especially when it’s most likely snow and such will be tracked through the house. 

Ploesser says move coordinators also let customers know to prepare for delays.  

“One of the unfortunate realities of winter weather is, to operate safely, moves may take more time, both at load and delivery time and during transit,” he says. 

Needless to say, there are helpful things you can do to streamline your winter move, too, from a practical perspective, to aid movers and provide peace of mind. 

1. Check Weather Often 

Just like travel can be unpredictable during winter months, unexpected weather conditions can throw you for a loop on your moving day. That’s why it’s important to be prepared with everything you may need at hand if snow or other unpredictable conditions occur.  

Consider setting a reminder to check the weather a week leading up to your move date — and until your movers are scheduled to arrive.  

When you’re moving during winter, it’s also a good idea to keep informed about possible weather hindrances and to know your mover’s policy on rescheduling if dangerous conditions arise. 

2. Double Pack Fragile Items 

Your movers have handled most weather conditions, but it’s nevertheless a good idea to double-wrap fragile items since they can become more brittle when it’s cold out. While plastic totes are a handy organizational tool, they lack the rigidity of moving cartons. Manufacturers have changed the formulation of plastics used and they can shatter in frigid weather. When it comes to items that are particularly precious, they should be kept with you since they may be in the truck for the duration of transit. 

3. Clear All Pathways and Parking Areas 

It’s crucial to clear any snow and ice from sidewalks, walkways, driveways and stairs to be used on moving day. After all, your movers are carrying heavy boxes and objects and you want to avoid slips and falls. 

Have a snowblower? Consider it your best friend if a snowstorm occurs. Alternatively, consider enlisting professional help or borrowing one from a neighbor to clear pathways. 

Remember to also treat your sidewalks when it snows. The most common solution is salt given it effectively melts snow — provided it’s not below 15° F degrees. It’s wise to also scatter sand once you salt since it will aid with traction. If it’s colder than that, here are some other options. 

4. Cover Your Floors 

Let’s be real: Winter can be a sloppy, sludgy mess of snow, ice and mud. Add salt and sand into the mix and your floors can get quite dirty if they’re not covered up.  

Most professional moving companies arrive prepared to protect highly trafficked areas in your home. Still, it’s smart to be ready. To protect both the property you move from and the one you move to, place floor mats at the entrance of all outside doors, and easy-to-secure plastic tarps or cardboard sheets should be laid atop wood floors and secured.  

5. Board Your Pets 

Whether you enlist the help of a family member or friend or bring your pets to a kennel, this is not the time to have them underfoot. Besides, it will be cold in your house. To ensure your fur babies are cared for during your move, don’t forget to ask local boarders and kennels if they have heated runs or heated floors.  

6. Protect Electronics 

Electronics and cold weather don’t mix. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to combine your electronics into a few boxes and keep them with you in the car, where heat is on and the temperature is relatively steady. 

7. Dress Appropriately 

Moving means at least one door is open. Given the heat in your home may be turned off, it’s going to get cold. Be sure to dress in layers and bundle up — not to mention wear gloves. It’s also a good idea to have some extra gloves on hand, whether you end up needing them or one of your movers does during snowy conditions. 

Moving is a challenging life event in the best of conditions. By following these tips, you’ll make a winter move easier, less stressful and more successful. You’ll be thankful you did, and your movers will, too.