If you're the kind of person who likes to save every penny you can, taking your refrigerator with you when you move is a tremendous cost-saving technique that could end up saving you hundreds. Even though transporting a fridge can be labor-intensive and somewhat expensive, it likely won't come close to what it would cost to purchase a new refrigerator. If you're going to move your fridge, though, you need to know how to prepare it properly for moving. Here are the steps required to do it correctly like our team of professional movers.
1. Defrost the RefrigeratorFirst, you need to defrost the refrigerator. Unplug it and open the doors to allow warm air to circulate inside it. If you are in a hurry, you can use fans to circulate the air faster, or even move it outside if the air is warm. Make sure to put towels at the base of your refrigerator, so you don't end up with puddles all over your kitchen.
2. Give it a Thorough CleaningNext, after the freezer is entirely free from ice, and the unit has had a chance to dry, it's time to clean your refrigerator, inside and out. Use a damp cloth and a mild detergent to remove all the built-up gunk from the interior of your fridge and freezer. It's also important to clean the exterior, including the coils and the evaporator pan.
3. Remove Drawers and ShelvingThen, you need to remove all drawers and shelves, packing them separately for the move. Since an average refrigerator weighs anywhere between 180-360 pounds, any weight savings is a huge help. Plus, you ensure that the glass shelves don't get broken during transit.
4. Allow Additional Moisture to EvaporateAfter that, leave the refrigerator open until you're ready to move it, to ensure that any remaining moisture can evaporate. This step is especially important if you're moving a long way away, as your un-cooled refrigerator will be closed tight for a long time. If there's any remaining moisture, the second you open it at your new home, you'll be knocked over with a potent mildew smell.
5. Remove or Secure the DoorsThen, it's finally time to get it ready to go on the moving truck. You can remove the doors completely to save weight, or you can secure them shut with bungee cords or tightly-tied rope. If you remove them, make sure you secure and label all the mounting hardware to enable you to put it back together quickly once you arrive.
6. Load onto an Appliance DollyOnce you secure the doors, grab a buddy and have him help you tilt the refrigerator onto an appliance dolly. If you are moving it a fair distance, you can secure the refrigerator to the dolly using bungee cords. Make sure to keep the refrigerator tilted at a 45-degree angle while it's in motion so you won't lose control of it.
7. Load Onto the Moving TruckFinally, load it onto the moving truck. If you've left the doors on, face them toward the wall so they won't accidentally come open while driving. Secure the cord, so the prongs on the plug don't get bent, and you're done.The effort you invest in moving your existing refrigerator will be rewarded when you arrive at your new home. Beyond saving a bundle of money by not having to purchase a new refrigerator, you'll also ensure you have a fridge the moment you arrive at your new place. If you had decided to buy a new one, you'd have to depend on the company you purchased it from to get it there, and that sometimes results in delays. Save yourself the stress, and get your refrigerator cooling off right away. After all, having food in your fridge is one of the best ways to make your new house feel like a home.
If you are getting ready to move, you might be panicking about how to make the transition easier, affordable, and less stressful. There are simple ways to make moving a smooth process rather than a dreaded, chaotic event. No matter where you are in the moving process, it’s never too soon to start thinking about ways to make your move more organized:
1. Use a ChecklistMaking your move more organized and less hectic entails coordinating the process from the get-go, which can be done through putting together your own moving checklist that contains the necessary guidelines for a move. There are online printable checklists that contain moving criteria that you can personalize for your own use.
2. Hire a Mover in AdvanceWhether you are moving across town or have a long-distance move out of state, hiring a professional mover can make your move more manageable. While it’s probably cheaper to rent a truck and do-it-yourself with the help of family and friends, consider the additional stress of trying to coordinate schedules and delegate tasks. When you hire a moving company, you can trust us to show up and handle all the logistics for you. Unlike friends or family, moving professionals have training and the correct equipment to ensure the safety of your belongings. If you opt for professional moving services, hire well in advance to get the best rates. Last minute moves can be more expensive as companies have less availability. Also, try to avoid moving during the summer or at the end of the month as these are the busiest times for moving companies. When hiring movers, keep in mind that Apple has four convenient locations in Texas, including Austin, El Paso, Killeen, and San Antonio.
3. Sort and Sort Some MoreBefore you start the packing process, go through unused and unnecessary items and eliminate them. The less you have, the easier it will be to pack, move, transport and unload. Moving less will also cut down on the cost of your move. Keep a couple of boxes handy while you're sorting, so disposables can go right in a box. Call charities that pick up for donations or take them yourself to a drop-off location.
4. Color Code Your MoveUse color coded stickers or pre-printed labels for areas of an apartment or house where boxes are being packed. For example, use green circle stickers or adhesive kitchen labels on boxes that are designated for the kitchen. Mark the box with the stickers or labels and write out the contents of the box, such as "Kitchen-Pans".
5. Make Use of Boxes and Packing ToolsPacking boxes can be purchased through moving stores, home improvement stores, or discount retailers, but they can also be picked up for free through grocery stores, liquor stores, and big box type stores. Ideally, you want uniform sized boxes for easier handling, stacking, and transporting. Also, try to find boxes that have built-in handle areas.When you get ready to pack your boxes, keep a basket or plastic box with you that contains stickers, adhesive labels, packing tape, markers, scissors, zip-top bags, packing paper, bubble wrap, blankets, or even old clothing and towels for packing regular and fragile items. You want to be able to transport the basket or box with you from room to room and box to box.
6. Keep a Moving To-Do ListFrom transferring your utilities to getting a new driver’s license, you will still have hundreds of small things to do and take care of before and after your move. Write them down in a checklist or use an app on your phone or even use a white erase calendar type board for daily "to do" tasks.
7. Think Through Loading/UnloadingLoad and unload boxes by groups with all the various labeled boxes together (kitchen, bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc.) If using a rental truck, load any heavy furniture and other items first and finish with the lighter boxed items. Don't forget to set aside a personal overnight bag and a clear plastic box with items you'll need right away. You don't want those important things packed in a truck that may be traveling a long distance.Any of these seven tips provides a great starting place for an organized move. There are hundreds of additional tips out there, but with a checklist in hand, you should be able to navigate your way through the moving maze, minus the moving day woes.
Whether you’re moving to the capital city for the first time, or just moving to a new neighborhood within Austin, there are five critical things you should have on your Austin moving to-do-list. Making sure these items get crossed off will help your transition go smoother.
1. Update Your AddressTo ensure mail gets delivered to your new address, file a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service. This may be done in person at your local branch, or you can skip the line and submit the form online. If you submit your change of address far enough in advance, you can designate the date you’d like your mail forwarding to begin.Additionally, you’ll need to update your address with your employer, your bank and credit card companies, insurance providers, utility providers, your child’s school, subscription publications, plus friends and family.
2. Transfer or Set-up Your Austin UtilitiesNothing is worse than moving into a house without lights and running water. Before your move, make sure you’ve scheduled turn-on dates for essential utilities like electricity, water, and gas. There’s only one provider for each of these Austin utilities, which means you won’t have to spend time shopping around:
- Electricity: Austin Energy serves not only all of Austin and Travis County, but provides power to part of Williamson County as well. Rates for this public utility are set on an annual basis by the Austin City Council. To set up your electric service, call the Austin Energy customer service line at 512-494-9400. Alternatively, you may register online with the City of Austin Utilities, where you can manage both your electric and water service in one easy place.
- Water: Austin Water, a department of the City of Austin, has been providing its customers with clean water for over 100 years. This progressive water utility has come a long way in the last century; today they even have an app available so users can easily track their water usage. As previously mentioned, the easiest way to start water service is through the City of Austin utilities site.
- Gas: For natural gas service, give Texas Gas Service a call at 1-800-700-2443, or create an online account here to request new service.
3. Find an Austin Cable and Internet ProviderThese days WiFi is almost as important as water or electricity. After all, how are you supposed to get your Netflix fix without it? There are four main providers of internet and cable services in the Austin area. Most of them require a week’s notice or longer to get your service switched on, so make sure to schedule in advance. Here are your main options:
- Google Fiber: Austin was one of the first cities to get tapped for the revolutionary Google Fiber, a fiber optic cable that delivers unparalleled internet speeds. The initial Google Fiber networks were built in South Austin and East Austin, but sign-ups are now available across most of the Austin area. You can quickly check availability in your area and sign up for this lightning fast internet service online. Depending on the package you choose, you may also opt to get up to 220 TV channels and avoid using a traditional cable provider. If you’re still hooked on using a landline, Google Fiber does that too.
- AT&T UVerse: In the Austin area, AT&T offers a variety of home services, including high speed internet, cable, cell phone service, home security, and home phone service. AT&T offers lots of great bundles so you can sign-up for exactly what you need. If you’re already an AT&T customer, you can easily transfer your service to your new address.
- Time Warner Cable/Spectrum: Communications magnate Charter Communications recently completed a merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The plan is to eventually rebrand as Spectrum, but in the meantime, Austin area service still goes by Time Warner Cable. With TWC, users may select from internet, TV, and phone service. Check service in your area and shop for services here.
- Grande Communications: Like TWC and AT&T, Grande Communications also offers phone, internet, and TV services in Austin. Find out more about Grande’s services in Austin.
4. Transfer School RecordsIf you have school-aged children, make sure you have their academic records transferred to their new district or school so there aren’t any hiccups getting them enrolled. Here’s more information on transfers in the three of the main Austin-area school districts:
- Austin Independent School District (AISD): AISD serves most of the neighborhoods in Austin. Generally, the district begins accepting transfer requests in January of the preceding school year. You may download a transfer form here, or obtain a paper copy from a school or the Office of Student Services. Submit the form in person at the Office of Student Services or mail it in. Parents must attach proof of residence and a copy of a photo ID; students new to the district will also need to provide a birth certificate.
- Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD): RRISD primarily serves Round Rock, a community just north of Austin, though some Austin addresses are zoned for this district. Transfer applications may be submitted online or directly through the district; do not submit applications to individual schools.
- Eanes Independent School District (EISD): A small district serving the West Lake Hills area of Austin, Eanes has a total enrollment of 8,000 students at 9 campuses. Though not a large district, Eanes is known for its academic excellence. Find out more information on transferring to Eanes ISD.
5. Update Your Information with the DMVThe state of Texas gives residents a grace period to update the address on their licenses after a move. If you get pulled over without an updated address or license plate after the grace period ends, you could be subject to fines or penalties. What you need to change and the applicable window depends on where you’re moving from.
In-State MovesIf you’re moving within Texas, you’ll need to request a replacement license with your new home address within 30-days of your move. There are three ways to update your license:
- Fill out a form online
- Mail-in your form
- In-person at your local Texas Department of Public Safety location
Out of StateIf you are new to Texas, you have 90 days after your move to request a new license. This must be done in-person at a Texas DPS location.Additionally, your vehicle must be inspected and registered within 30 days of your move to the Lone Star State. There are several inspection stations in the Austin area. Once your vehicle passes inspection, you must register your vehicle in person at the Travis County tax office. Make sure to take your insurance card, proof of vehicle inspection, and proof of ownership with you. Once your car is registered, you’ll receive new TX license plates.
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What is Moving Insurance?Moving insurance provides you with coverage in the event some of your belongings are lost, stolen or broken during your move. This is additional coverage that YOU purchase to cover your goods during transit and provides additional coverage over and above that provided by your moving company. Different plans provide different levels of coverage:
Weight-based CoverageThis type of policy pays claims based upon the weight of the item damaged. For example, if your buddy loses his grip on your 50 pound dining room glass table and it plummets down the stairs and shatters, you receive reimbursement based upon the table’s approximate weight. Many policies pay out between $.25-$.7/pound, so you would be looking at receiving between $12.50 and $35.00. Obviously, weight-based coverage probably isn’t the best option when it comes to moving insurance, because you would often still be out-of-pocket trying to replace your damaged pieces.
Assessed ValueClaims would be paid based upon the value of items at the time of damage. So, much like the insurance company wouldn’t write you a check for a brand new car when you total the run-down clunker you’ve been driving since college, it won’t write you a check for sticker value of whatever might get damaged during the move. Under this coverage, you’ll receive a check for the assessed value, or depreciated value, of the TV, desk, chair, etc.
Full Replacement ValueWith this level of coverage, you will receive a check for whatever the insurance company believes it will cost you to replace the item. Back to the table your buddy dropped in the first scenario - with full replacement value insurance, you’ll receive enough money to go buy a brand new table to replace the one lost.
What is trip transit insurance?Trip transit insurance covers your belongings during the move from theft or natural disasters, but does not cover items in the event of mere damage or breakage. Generally, a trip transit policy would cover the full value or your household goods, or would supplement the insurance coverage provided by your mover.
Why should I purchase moving insurance?Well, you may not need to. While this is completely up to you, there are two important things to know before going out and buying a policy:1. Any reputable moving company will be both licensed and insured. Texas moving companies must register with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You can search the online database here https://apps.txdmv.gov/apps/mccs/truckstop/ to see the license status of various companies. While the TXDMV cannot settle moving related claims, by using a licensed mover, you do have the right to mediation of claims through the TXDMV. TXDMV also allows consumers to file an open records request to review the records of any commercial motor carrier.Additionally, in Texas, licensed moving companies assume a standard liability of at least $.60/pound. This is different than the insurance coverage mentioned above. Any damage claims must be filed within 90 days of your move. After this time period, your claim may be denied. You can also use the TXDMV truckstop search to view a carrier's insurance coverage information under the "certificate" and "insurance" tabs.Apple Moving proudly complies with the state's licensing and insurance requirements. You'll find us under our parent company, Minor Moving:2. Most renter's and homeowner’s policies cover your belongings during the move and usually include coverage for most items for breakage or damage caused during the move. After your deductible is met, most policies pay full replacement value for items damaged, lost, or stolen. You'll want to contact your agent prior to your move to make sure your coverage is sufficient and to discuss coverage for valuables or fragile pieces. Even if you are transporting valuables, like jewelry, yourself, you'll want to make sure they are fully insured.If you are a renter moving with roommates, don't make the mistake of thinking your belongings will be covered under a policy held by a roommate just because you live together. An insurance company will not pay claims for the belongings of other individuals.
How do I make sure my coverage is sufficient?Create a spreadsheet to inventory your household goods and approximate the value of furniture and other big ticket items. Sum up your inventory and see where you come out relative to the coverage provided under the moving company's policy or your personal homeowner's or renter's policy to assess whether you need to purchase additional coverage. Likely, between your personal coverage and the moving company's policy, you'll be covered for your move.We hope this gives you some peace of mind as you approach your move! You can rest assured that if you're moving with Apple, you are in good (and licensed and insured) hands.
Crazy Move, CBD/Photo by Paulimus via flickr