Four Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent

If you have to sell and/or buy a home when moving to a new city, you will most likely work with a real estate agent. But with the abundance of professionals in the real estate business, how do you choose a real estate agent to help you buy or sell one of the biggest investments you have ever made? There are a lot of factors to consider, but we have chosen some of our favorite tips to find a realtor for you.  real estate agent stepping forward

  1. Find an agent first: Many times, people will find the house they like and stick with the realtor that is listed, even if they know nothing about them. It’s a good idea to find someone you trust before you start looking at homes.
  2. Referrals:  It can be overwhelming when choosing from a sea of real estate agents that all seem perfectly suited to do the job, but choosing blindly from the phone book could lead to problems. Instead, speak to family and friends that have had good experiences with their realtor. Be sure to do an online search for reviews.
  3. Choose a real estate agent with the right experience: Some realtors specialize in certain types of properties. Be sure the one you choose has experience with the type of home or commercial space you are selling. If you are buying a home in a new city, choose an agent with deep knowledge of different areas of town you are interested in.
  4. Choose a realtor that can work on your time: Not all real estate agents have the same schedule. If you only have time to show your home or view potential homes on certain days, confirm that their schedule coincides with yours.

Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

If you are getting ready to sell your home, you are probably thinking about what you can do to make your home stand out from all of the other properties for sale. Sprucing up the outside of your home and boosting its curb appeal is a great way to get the leg up on the home for sale down the street. Even if you are not planning to sell your home soon, improving the curb appeal will make it even more attractive for you and your family. Check out four of our favorite, low-cost ideas for boosting your home’s curb appeal.boost-your-homes-curb-appeal

  • Replace out-of-date hardware: This can include door handles, lock sets, light fixtures, house numbers, etc.
  • Replace your mailbox: If your HOA allows for it, and it’s time for a new mailbox, look for one that will complement the personality of your home.
  • Plant a garden: Flowers are great for a quick spruce. Don’t have time for a landscaping project? Grab some small potted plants and line the stairs up to your porch!
  • Install walkway lighting: Walkway lighting not only looks great at night, but is also very functional. You will be glad for the added light when you are getting in after dark!


Four Tips for Moving Kids to College

Mother with daughter moving to collegeIt’s that time of year again! Classes are getting ready to start back up and many parents are getting ready to help their kids move into college dorms for the first time, or back to school for the upcoming semesters.

Most students know a lot about moving by the time they finish their college careers. They move between dorm rooms, from the dorm to the sorority house and from student housing to an apartment or group house. Packing and moving usually involves several car trips, bribing friends with pizza, creative placement of things on top of vehicles and often temporary storage in a self-storage unit or parents’ garage. It can be tough to say goodbye to your kids as they head off to school, but it doesn’t have to be so hard to get them there. Take a look at four of our favorite tips for moving kids to college!

  1. Sort it: Before packing, have your student look through all of their clothing and other items and decide what they need, what can be donated and what can be left at home or stored.
  2. Store it: 1-800-PACK-RAT containers come in various sizes so you can choose how much you want to move into the dorm and how much you intend to store. By storing what they won’t be using, the student saves space in their dorm room and the parents don’t lose a garage or basement.
  3. Do some research: Find out what the school provides and what they don’t allow. Most schools provide dorm packing lists that include all the rules.
  4. Contact the roommate: Most students have roommates, whether they are staying on campus or off. There might not be room for both your roomie’s favorite beanbag chair and your trusty futon! Try to coordinate ahead of time to save you moving time and money.

Packing Tips: How to Pack Fragile Items

Packing fragile and sentimental items can be stressful if you are not sure how to keep them safe during your move. But don’t worry — we have put together some tips on packing fragile items toMoving box with fragile item help you get your belongings through your move intact.

  • Don’t skip packing materials! Good packing material for fragile items is one of the most forgotten items when it comes time to pack. When you pick up your boxes and moving tape, don’t forget to get the bubble wrap and packing pellets. You can even purchase specially made boxes for items like your delicate china and dishes.
  • Start heavy! If you are filling a box with heavy, fragile pieces — place the heavier items in first. Just make sure they are sufficiently wrapped in packing materials. If there is still room in the box, you can place lighter objects on top.
  • Fill it up! You never want to leave a lot of space in your box of fragile items. Fill it up as much as you can with items such as linens, t-shirts, and pillows to cushion your fragile pieces. This will ensure that your items will not move around, and will mean fewer boxes overall.
  • Label it! Don’t be shy with those sharpies! You should always label your boxes of fragile items. List the items that are in the box and which room they will go in when you reach your destination.
  • Move smoothly! 1-800-PACK-RAT’s unique lift system keeps your moving container level when being picked up and delivered. Corrugated cut-outs in the container allow you to use straps, bungee cords and netting for extra security.

Is a DIY Move Right for You?

Man in a moving boxDo you have a move in your future? Everyone’s circumstances are different, but there are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating whether or not to move yourself, along with the help of friends and family, or to bring in a partner, like 1-800-PACK-RAT, to help with loading, moving and unloading.

You want to make the best decision for yourself and your finances, so we’ve gathered a short checklist to help you compare. If you’d like more information from our experts, just give us a call at 1-800-PACK-RAT.

Do you have the resources?  Yes, labor resources are important, but we are also talking about space. As you pack, you’ll need to mark and stack the boxes and also clean. Will you be storing your items or boxes in another location, like your garage or a friend’s place, until you are ready to move? Are those locations secure and weatherproof? Will you have access to your stuff in the meantime?

Do you have the transportation?  Be sure to assess how much transportation you will need for your stuff to get to your new location. Are you going to use a number of trucks or just one? Do you know how to drive and maneuver a big moving truck?

Do you have the time? Moving is a time-consuming operation! When comparing a DIY move to working with a partner, consider things like acquiring packing materials, taking time off from work to pack/load/unload, store and transport. When you have a company like 1-800-PACK-RAT working for you, you can spend less time worrying about how to relocate your things and more time spending time with your family.

1-800-PACK-RAT is standing by to help you achieve the easy, stress-free move you deserve! Give us a call at 1-800-PACK-RAT or request a quote online today.

Tips to Avoid Moving Stress

Did you know that moving ranks as one of the most stressful events in a person’s life? If you have moved before, likely you know how true that is. Packing up everything you own and moving to a new home can be a difficult and stressful task. Fortunately, 1-800-PACK-RAT is ready to help you achieve a smooth and stress-free move!stress-free girl

  1. Planning, planning and more planning: Planning is key for a successful move. That’s why we developed–an app that you can access anytime and anywhere from virtually any device. It’s free and walks you through the entire moving process. It’s a great way to start your planning and then follow-through.
  2. Do your homework: Much moving stress is caused by things going wrong, or certainly not as expected. By choosing trusted partners to help you pack, store and transport your valuables, you are assured a good experience. Make sure you investigate your movers and their services and read their reviews.
  3. Schedule your time well: Your move can get stressful when time starts running out. There is a lot to do when it comes to moving, so be sure to give yourself ample time to get everything done. Take a look at your family’s calendars and schedules to make sure there are no major conflicts.
  4. Say farewell: It can be difficult to say goodbye to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers. Take the time to enjoy a final dinner, party or informal get-together where you can visit with the friends you have made in your current town. A goodbye party will give you something to look forward to as you wade through the moving process.

Three Tips for Moving with Kids

Moving with young children can be a challenge! “Are we there yet?” is sure to be heard, but with a little planning and patience, you can achieve a smooth long-distance drive or long flight with minimal complaints and glitches. And by using a portable storage container to move your belongings for you, you can travel at your own pace. Family moving with kids

When you get ready to book your move, be sure to check out the 1-800-PACK-RAT website for special offers and discounts for storage and long-distance moves.

  1. Get them involved: Start getting your children involved at the beginning of the process. Asking your kids to help you pack, choose toys to play with on the car ride and showing them pictures of your new home and town can help them feel excited about the move.
  2. Pack activities: Prepare activities, games and favorite toys to occupy your children on the drive. Games like “I Spy” can make the drive fun and exciting for your kids. Let your kids help you put together a road trip playlist of their favorite songs for a memorable sing-a-long as you make the long drive to your new home.
  3. Don’t forget the snacks: Pack a cooler full of snacks and drinks so you can avoid multiple stops throughout the day. Don’t forget to let your kids choose some of their favorites to bring along.
  4. Plan interesting breaks: If you have time to make extended stops, break up your road trip with visits to educational or fun destinations. Plan lunch at a park or stop at a museum to give your kids things to look forward to on the long drive.

Why are Moves so Stressful? Three Tips for Keeping Yourself Together

Military moving checklist

Did you know that about one sixth of Americans move every year? It’s no secret that this is a stressful experience, whether you’re moving into a college dorm or your first house. In fact, the only life events rated as more stressful than moving are divorce and death. For this reason, having a moving checklist template can make the entire experience a lot smoother, and a lot less laden with stress. Here are three things you can keep in mind as you pack up your rooms.

1. Organized Items for Packing

We all know at least one family who has a bunch of boxes somewhere in their house months after their move. Often, this happens because people are unorganized in their moving, or take things with the

Important Moving Tips


For some reason it seems that back in the day people always stayed in one place, as if they never had to nor ever felt like moving. Today things are much different, and people are constantly on the go, and relocating has become more common than you might think. In this economy people are lucky to even have a job, so if they do it is important to do everything to keep that job. This sometimes involves relocating, and although moving a whole family is a process to say the least, it is just important to be prepared if ever put in the situation.

If you are lucky enough to just have to make a local moving checklist then the process might be much simpler than if you were being forced to change cities or even states. First off, for a

Making a Military Move?

List when moving out of house

Planning a DITY military move can be extremely overwhelming, especially since they are often performed with greater time restrictions. Though a DITY move can be profitable for a military family when performed wisely, the incredible amount of details involved can feel insurmountable and discouraging. Being your own movers means taking things into your own hands, and it can be done as long as you make sure you take care of all the important steps on a military moving checklist. Here, we’ll provide a general military moving checklist to help you through the process.

Three Months Ahead Military Moving Checklist: Plan and Prepare

  • Meet with a