Lexel - Moving to NYC - rodent problem

Your ‘New’ NYC Apartment Has a Rodent Problem?

What to Do When You Discover Your ‘New’ NYC Apartment Has a Rodent Problem?

You moved into your cozy apartment, you discovered a new coffeehouse nearby, the local organic grocer has free delivery, the park is walking distance and the subway is a stone’s throw away. What more could you ask for? Well, there is one thing you probably did not ask for and that is unwanted four-legged pests roaming around your apartment.

There is nothing more disheartening and frustrating than discovering your new humble abode has a rodent problem, especially if you have never encountered a rodent problem.

Unfortunately, if you live in a New York City apartment, you will encounter a problem with mice at some point, depending on how well your apartment building is maintained. If you live close to a restaurant, an alleyway, subway or even a park, you may experience problems. If your neighbors keep their apartments like a pigsty, your chances of having rodent problems increases. Here are some things that you can do to help avoid future problems with mice:

 

What Should You Do First When You See Mice?

The first thing you will want to do is contact your landlord immediately. He or she should have a solid plan of action to get rid of the problem. According to New York State laws, a landlord is responsible for taking care of an infested apartment. If you are forced to leave your apartment for a few days, so your apartment can be exterminated, your landlord may be responsible for covering hotel expenses. It is best to speak to an attorney to find out your rights as a tenant if your landlord fails to comply.

 

Use an Organic Peppermint Based Mouse Repellent or Peppermint Oil

Mice do not like the smell of peppermint. Placing peppermint mouse repellent or peppermint oil on a cotton ball, and placing it near cracks, holes, entranceway and openings can help repel mice. This should be used as a temporary solution only – it does not solve the root cause of the problem.

 

Seal Up All Cracks and Holes

When it starts getting cold outside, rodents tend to relocate to warmer climates, like a house or an apartment. The most effective way to prevent mice is to prevent them from getting inside your home. Check to see if there are any holes or cracks in your kitchen cupboards, doorways, windows, electrical wires (cable, phone, etc.) and plumbing.

If you find any cracks or holes, plug them up with copper mesh instead of chalking. Rodents can easily tear through chalking material. It is amazing what rodents can squeeze through to get into a home.

 

Keep Your Bathroom Well Ventilated and Dry

A well-ventilated bathroom will not only help prevent moisture buildup and mold, it can help prevent mice. Make sure the bathroom floors are dry at all times. Professional exterminators say that the bathroom is often a place where mice like to gather because it is wet. Mice are attracted to water. After taking a bath or a shower, consider leaving the bathroom door open to prevent moisture.

Keep Your Apartment ‘Extra’ Clean

Make sure you keep your countertops, floors and kitchen sink clear of dirty dishes. If you have a garbage disposal, clean it regularly. You do not have to use toxic chemicals to clean your disposal.  Use one fresh organic lemon. Squeeze the lemon juice, pour it inside the disposal, then chop up the lemon, and place it inside. Lastly, run hot water down the disposal for about 2-3 minutes. This will help get rid of grease and grime, which can attract pests.

Make sure you dump your garbage daily, even if it’s not full. Your kitchen garbage container should have a lid. Place dirty laundry in a plastic or steel hamper instead of a cloth laundry bag or a pillowcase. Always keep your closets clear from clutter. In fact, there should not be any clutter stored in your apartment.

Check the Basement of the Apartment Building

If you have kept your apartment clean and your exterminator has made regular visits, and you still have a rodent problem, it could be the basement.

If the basement of an apartment building is a holding cell for garbage, it could attract mice and rats. Checking the basement of an apartment building should really be done before signing a lease.

 

Place Non-Perishables in the Refrigerator

If you’re used to keeping your pasta, cookies, bread and cereals in cupboards, you might want to place them in the refrigerator. You should also place vegetables, such as your potatoes, onions, bananas and tomatoes in the refrigerator. If you have limited refrigerator space, place them in sturdy plastic containers.

 

Make Sure All Windows Have Screens

If you are fortunate to have a New York City apartment that has many windows for natural lighting, make sure they have screens before you open them. A screen-less window is like an open invitation for mice, rats and other pests.

 

New Construction Can Attract Mice

If you notice that there is a new construction site or a new condo, apartment or commercial building being built nearby, beware. Whenever there is new construction, you can expect to see rodents because it disrupts their environment. Rodents tend to find shelter in residential and commercial buildings. This applies to any type of home whether it is an apartment, condo or house.

Hopefully, these tips will help prevent rodents from taking over your apartment. Remember, the key to preventing rodents from entering your home is to keep them out.

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Be Careful with that Box!

Be Careful with that Box! Top Tips to Remember for Moving Day


So, moving day is just around the corner. Time flies when you are having fun. Unfortunately, moving day is not much fun, especially when it comes to packing and moving boxes.

 

The good news is you can avoid common mistakes people make during the moving process and make it less grueling. Here are a few things to remember when planning your move.

 

Roll your clothes up then pack them up.

 

Instead of folding your clothes, roll them up neatly and place them into your suitcases or boxes. This effective technique will help prevent your clothes from getting wrinkles. Plus, it will make your load lighter with less wear and tear on your back.

 

Protect your jewelry and accessories.

 

There is nothing more frustrating than unpacking your valuable jewelry only to discover your necklaces are tangled up in a knot. You can help prevent damaging your jewelry by placing each individual piece in between two sheets of plastic wrap. Then place them into a closed jewelry box or a safety box.

 

Protect your important business documents.

 

Many people like to place their important documents into folders before packing them away. Instead, place them into sealed waterproof folders or put them into large Ziploc bags. You should also do the same for your personal documents, such as your birth certificate, social security card, deeds, bank statements, etc.

 

Check the weight of a box before picking it up.

 

Just because a box appears light, does not meant that it is. You can prevent injuring back or pulling a muscle by doing this simple step. Oftentimes, when a person underestimates the heaviness of a box, he/she will not utilize a sufficient amount of muscle. You can actually pull a muscle out of alignment.

 

 

Find empty containers to place small items that are difficult to pack.

 

For small items that can be easily lost, use a variety of small containers. For example, you can use a pillbox to hold earrings, rings and cufflinks. Some people use their unused sunglasses case to store their cords and wires.

 

Never use your back to lift a box.

 

Obviously, you are not going to try to lift boxes with your back. We are talking about relying on your back muscles to lift up a box. Instead, lift with your legs. When you use your legs as a focus point to lift up something heavy, you reduce the risk of painful back injuries.

 

Hold with a firm grip.

 

Prevent dropping a box by grabbing it firmly from the bottom. Consider using durable work gloves specifically for lifting. The purpose for wearing gloves is to avoid your hands from getting slippery due to having sweaty or oily hands.

 

DO NOT lift a box over your head.

 

Lifting boxes over your head may seem less time-consuming than climbing a ladder, but it will help you avoid having a box fall on top of you.

 

Need help with your next move? Give us a call for a free estimate at: 1 (855) 605-7755.

5 things people forget

5 Things People Forget to do When They Move

5 Things People Forget to do When They Move

When you’re planning to move, there is so much to remember that you can easily forget the most important things. For instance, getting your medical records transferred and updating your contact information with your bank. There is so much to do and so little time. Here are five things not to forget when you’re moving.

 

Have an emergency fund.

Having extra money set-aside for emergencies is normally the last thing on a person’s to-do-list when planning a move.

It’s not a matter of ‘if’ something unexpected will happen, the question should be, when will it happen. Always be prepared for the unexpected when you’re moving. For example, lost keys, a vehicle break down, a broken laptop or a medical emergency. Try to set aside at least $600 – $1000 for emergencies.

 

Sell or get rid of everything you do not need

When you get rid of things that you do not need you reduce the amount of items you have to pack. Plus, you don’t want to clutter up your new home with things you don’t really need anymore.

You can have a garage sale to or donate your items to a local charity and get a tax right off.

 

Keep all of your documents in a safe place.

Make sure you keep your birth certificate, social security card, bank statements, tax documents, property deeds and other important items on you. Take photocopies of your documents on your Smartphone if you can.

 

Protect fragile items.

Make sure you’re careful moving fragile items. Use extra packing paper or bubble wrap to help prevent breaking your fragile belongings.

 

Go on a mini-shopping spree.

After moving in, stock up on things that you need for your house or apartment. For example: toiletries, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, garbage bags, masking tape, crazy glue – you get the idea.

 

Bonus: Hire a professional mover. When you hire a mover, it will automatically free up your to-do-list. Plus, it will allow you to focus on more enjoyable aspects of your move, like the interior decorating of your new home. Hiring a professional to help you means less worries, anxiety, stress and headaches.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Decorating a New Apartment

Contrary to popular belief, a small or mid-sized apartment doesn’t have limited decorating possibilities.

You can make your apartment appear larger and avoid common decorating mistakes that could make your apartment appear out-dated. Here are a few simple decorating do’s and don’ts.

 

DO Start with a Solid Plan

It is very tempting to start decorating your apartment with the first decorating ideas that come to mind. Sitting down to create a decorating plan from scratch may seem too time-consuming, but it is well worth it in the long-run. Having a solid plan to will help you save money, time and help you avoid costly decorating mistakes.

To save time, download an apartment or home decorating app to help get your creative juices flowing in the right direction. Here are a couple of home decorating apps to choose from:

 

  • Houzz Interior Design Ideas
  • Modsy
  • iHandy Level
  • Adobe Color CC
  • Zillow Diggs
  • Design Home (Crowdstar Inc.)

 

DON’T Purchase an Oversized Sofa for the Living Room

Give your living room some extra breathing room. Instead, opt for an armless sofa or even a canopy. Your room will feel more spacious and comfortable to live in.

 

DO Turn Your Bedroom into a Luxurious Retreat

Have you ever been a guest at a luxury microtel or a bed-n-breakfast with limited space? You probably didn’t even notice that it was so small. Luxury hotels are known for making small rooms appear roomy.

To make your bedroom more spacious, use a padded headboard instead of a traditional one. Use an assorted selection of throw pillows to add personality to your bedding. Consider using decorative lighting, and don’t be afraid to use mirrored closet doors. Mirror closet doors are timeless and they automatically make a room appear larger.

 

DO Use a ‘Over-the-Door’ Organizer for Extra Storage Space

Use an attractive over-the-door organizer basket for your bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. This will allow you to keep your items well-organized and your home clutter-free. If you have a lot of shoes and accessories, you might want to get one for your bedroom door as well. You can place an over-the-door organizer behind your bedroom door and closet door.

 

DON’T Clutter Your Tables with Photo Frames and Lamps

Lamps and photo frames can take up a lot of space on a night table and even a desk. Instead, try hanging your photo frames up on a wall like you normally would do with a painting. We call it ‘wall art’.

Use wall lighting instead of a lamp. You may also use standing lamps to help free up space.

 

DO Consider Using a wall-to-wall area rug. 

A wall-to-wall rug will give the illusion of a larger room. Try to avoid using small area rugs in rooms with limited space.

 

DO Get Upholstered Items Professionally Cleaned

Those beautiful upholstered dining room chairs or that beautiful tufted ottoman maybe all your room needs to make it look elegant, but it may also infested with bugs. Make sure that you get any upholstered furniture professionally cleaned before bringing it into your home …that includes mattresses as well.

 

DON’T Focus too Much on Trends

Trends can become outdated relatively fast. For example, all-white rooms. If you want to include white in your interior decorating, make sure you add a splash of color for contrast. Choose decorating trends that will never go out of style. For example, black and white decor is timeless. Horizontal or vertical stripes will never go out of style as well.

Wall galleries with family photographs and artwork bring life into a room. Consider mixing up the frame styles to create versatility.

Unless you own your condo or apartment, make sure you check to see with your landlord if it’s okay to make enhancements to your apartment. If you own your apartment, and you plan to remodel it, make sure you check the building’s bylaws and your city’s building code laws.

Are you planning to decorate an apartment with limited space? Please share your thoughts and photos below in the comments section.

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7 Safety Tips for Moving Furniture

7 Safety Tips for Moving Furniture

So, you decided to take a big leap of faith and move your furniture on your own. Before you do, here are a few important things to remember to help prevent injuries or damage to your furniture.

 

Check for danger zones. 

Before moving any piece of furniture, make sure the path is completely clear. Many injuries happen because people forget to check danger zones. A danger zone is basically anything that prevents you from moving your furniture safely. For example, toys, shoes, boxes, clutter or any item that could cause a safety hazard. If there are any other pieces of furniture in the way, make sure to move it before attempting to haul it out of the room.

Make sure children and pets are in the safe distance away from you (far away). For some reason kids and pets love to get in the way when it’s time to move heavy furniture.

Just take a quick walk around the object you’re moving to make sure nothing or no one is in the way.

 

Check for outside debris.

Moving furniture from out of the house, apartment or office, onto the moving truck, can be a very tedious process. To prevent accidents, make sure the outdoor path is are free of debris, ice, snow or mud. Moving day can be a magnet for accidents.

 

Use a furniture dolly.

A furniture dolly (or utility dolly) is a lifesaver, even for professional movers. A furniture dolly is a two-wheeled, L-shaped handcart that helps transport heavy items. You can either buy or rent one from a moving company.

 

Use moving straps.

Professional movers use moving straps to help move heavy furniture more efficiently. You’re basically saving yourself from serious injury by shifting the weight from your back to a stronger muscle group within your body.

 

Use a furniture slider.

It takes a lot of muscle to move heavy furniture. A slider is basically a piece of rubber on one side and plastic on the opposite side that helps to slide furniture with ease. Using a slider will help make moving furniture from one section of a room to the other side of the room a lot easier.

Simply place the slider underneath each corner or leg of furniture and voila! You’ll be able to maneuver and shift the furniture with ease.

 

Use furniture felts.

Furniture felts are an absolute must when placing your furniture in a room with hardwood floors. You’re basically saving yourself from a serious damage to your floors. In many cases deep scratches may require a complete refinishing which can easily cost thousands of dollars.

Felts can be easily purchased on amazon.com.

 

Wear comfortable shoes and the right type of clothing

Here are the items that you definitely don’t want to wear on moving day: loose-fitting clothes, dress shoes, heels, open toe shoes, sandals or flip flops. A comfortable pair of shoes that covers the toes, like timberlands, work boots or sneakers with ankle support will do the job.

Make sure the clothes and shoes that you wear are flexible and breathable, so you can move around freely without any restrictions. Wearing the right clothes is not just about feeling comfortable, it also has to do with your safety.

Lastly, consider buying a pair of durable work gloves to help protect your hands and improve your grip.

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How to Find NYC Parking the Easy Way

How to Find NYC Parking the Easy Way

The Ins and Outs of Parking in New York City

Are you moving to New York City with a vehicle? If you think the traffic is bad, you are going to be in for a ride when it comes to finding decent parking. Here are a few ways to help make parking painless as possible in the big city:

 

How to Get a Parking Permit in NYC

Currently, government workers, the Department of Education (DOE) workers, clergy, non-profit organizations and people with severe disabilities are eligible to apply for parking permits. A permit will give you access to parking in all 5-boroughs (Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens).

If you are applying for a disability parking permit, you can download a copy here: https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/parking-people-disabilities

Teachers, clergy, and non-profits can download applications here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2182/parking-permit

New York City residents and commuters aren’t eligible for parking permits. However, if you are a resident or commuter, you can purchase parking cards to park all throughout the city.

 

Pre-Paid Parking Cards

If you are moving to NYC with a car or you’re planning to commute into the city, the first thing you’ll need to buy is a pre-paid Parking Card. This card gives you access to parking meters, selected electronic single-space meters (located in Long Island City and Manhattan, and City municipal parking fields.

Costs: You can purchase cards in the amounts of $20, $50, and $100.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) accepts payments by phone, online credit card payments or by mail via money order or check. All parking cards are sent out by mail or FedEx.
Download an application here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/categories/transportation/driver-resources/index.page#parking

 

Finding Safe Street Side Parking in NYC

If you are struggling to find safe parking in the Big Apple, you might want to consider leaving your car in a local 24-hour parking garage. You can get parking for as low as $10-15 per day and for as much as $20+ per day.  Some parking garages charge by the hour in increments of 4, 8, 12 and 24-hours.

If you are parking in certain areas in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island or The Bronx, you may be able to find off street parking with no problem. However, if you’re moving to Manhattan, it will be more of a hassle.

 

Avoid Parking Scams

Before choosing a parking garage, make sure you shop around to avoid scams. Recently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has been cracking down on construction companies and real estate developers who have been putting up fake parking signs.  More than 80 residents have been given parking tickets for as much as $115, according to Eyewitness News. The good news is the companies that are trying to swindle residents out of their parking spaces have been fined as much as $300.

If you’re wondering how people can get away with fake signs – it’s easy. The DOT gives out construction signs to construction companies and developers to help accommodate their workers. Unfortunately, many take advantage and place signs up in areas where there are no construction sites close by. For example, there were illegal signs placed up on streets where the construction site was all the way on a different block. There was even a fake sign that had black tape plastered across the front.

If a sign seems suspicious to you (a faded sign or a sign with tape), take a photo of the sign, notate the street address, find somewhere else to park and contact the DOT to see if the sign is legitimate.

If you’re going to park in the city overnight, be on the safe side and park in a parking garage. There are two ways of going about this: If you’re moving into a high-rise, you will more than likely have access to a parking garage close to your building or within the building underground.

Some residents pay a monthly fee and some do not, depending on the type of building amenities. Keep in mind, every high-rise parking garage is different.

Protect Your Car

If you are parking in a garage, make sure you purchase a bumper protector to protect your car from dents, scrapes, and bangs. Some parking valets are known for bumping cars up against walls to squeeze in as many cars as possible.

Safety and Security

Never leave anything valuable in your car, that goes for jewelry, Smartphones, loose change, books, newspapers, toys, groceries, etc. Don’t ever leave your windows open, even if you’re only going to be gone for a minute. Make sure your doors are locked always. Be smart when you park.

SUV’s and Large Vehicles Pay Extra

Do you drive a large SUV or a pickup truck?  Plan on shelling out more money for parking – it can be very expensive. And, don’t forget to include taxes. Taxes can rank as far up as 18.375%.

Save Money with Monthly Fees

There’s no question, parking garage fees can really add up, especially daily parking fees. Your best bet is to invest in Monthly parking.  There are NYC parking garages as low as $75 per month and as much as $252+ per month, it all depends on where you park. If you park in a garage on the Upper East Side, you’re obviously going to pay out the roof.
Quick Tip: Ask your tax accountant if you can deduct your parking expenses, especially if you’re a business owner.

Parking Apps

To find parking fast, consider downloading a free app like Park Whiz or Parking Panda – On-Demand Parking. These convenient phone apps provide you with the nearest parking garages. For example, Park Whiz provides the best parking deals and they even allow you to book for parking in advance from your phone.

For on-street parking, you may want to download the NYC Parking Meter and Alternate Side Parking Notification app. This app helps you prevent parking tickets from expired parking meters – it even gives you the heads up on parking rules. By the way, you can find more detailed parking rules here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/motorist/alternate-side-parking.shtml

Quick Tip: If your prospective parking garage has a valet (or a parking attendant), it is good parking etiquette to tip.  In New York City, a valet is more likely to take care of your vehicle if you tip each time you drop off and pick up your vehicle. Seriously, some people find that they experience less damage to their vehicles when they tip compared to when they do not tip.

Hopefully, the parking tips in this article will help give you a clearer prospective on how to park and relieve the stress of parking in New York City.

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How Can a Moving Company Charge $75.00 for a 3 Men Moving Crew?!?!

So, you request 3-4 estimates from a moving company. Two out of the three estimates are very competitive but close in price range. These are the standard industry rates.

Then you receive another estimate that’s a whole lot cheaper than the first two. There is one problem, the estimate seems too good to be true (you’re right).

Your gut instinct tells you, “Don’t accept the offer!” But, you ignore the nagging feeling.

Unfortunately, many consumers fall victim to moving companies that offer dirt cheap rates for subpar service. Let’s face it, we live in a society where people demand high-quality service at rock bottom prices.

Some people become mesmerized by the possibility of receiving quality for less money.  Somehow, it makes them feel like they’ve beaten the system and won.

A disclaimer should come with every cheap offer. It should read: “Warning pay at your own risk – trouble lies ahead.”

Unfortunately, some people fail to realize they will actually pay more in the long-run because they’ll more than likely have to hire another company (the one they should have hired in the first place) to fix mistakes. There is a logical explanation for why many people make bad buying decisions.

 

Moving can be expensive.

There is one aspect of moving that most people will agree with – moving can be very expensive.  A household move costs approximately $2,300 (intrastate) and $4,300 (interstate), in the United States. It is not surprising when people feel compelled to hire companies that charge way below standard rates. For example, $75.00 for 3 men moving crew.

A red flag should instantly go up in a person’s mind when a moving company charges extremely low rates.

There are four reasons why a company would charge dirt cheap rates:

  1. They are running a charity.
  2. They don’t have the proper insurance coverage.
  3. They take advantage of their workers by paying them less than the industry standard rates.
  4. They are scammers.

Moving is already a very stressful process. Wouldn’t it be better to pay extra, and receive superior service, than pay cheap rates and get ripped off?

When it comes to moving, some people should be reminded of the old adage, “You get what you pay for.”  They are usually reminded shortly after enduring a nightmare experience.

Here are common complaints people make after hiring cheap moving companies:

  • The movers were inexperienced and careless.
  • They charged hidden fees and held our belongings hostage until we paid them.
  • The moving company never showed up.
  • Our belongings were lost/stolen.
  • Items were damaged, the company refused to pay for damages.
  • Poor customer communication. No one ever returned our phone calls.

These are just a handful of complaints.

 

How much should you really pay for moving services?

Many moving companies in Massachusetts offer the following moving service rates:

$99.00 / 2 men crew +16′ or 24′ truck (regular rate)

$129.00 / 3 men crew + 24′ truck (regular rate)

$149.00 / 4 men crew + 24′ moving truck  (regular rate)

 

During the busy season moving rates tend to go up to the following:

$109.00 – 159.00 / 2 men crew +16′ or 24′ truck (subreak and peak rates)

$139.00 – 199.00 / 3 men crew + 24′ truck (subpeak and peak rates)

$159.00 – 229.00 / 4 men crew + 24′ moving truck  (subpeak and peak rates)

 

Moving rates are subject to change based on the availability and dates. For example, August 30 or the 31th would be more expensive than mid-June due to the high volume of moves and high demand.

There are many components that a moving company takes into the equation when putting out the price tag. One of the main is the self cost of labor.

Drivers get paid $17.00-20.00/Hr on average, and helpers get around $15.00 – $17.00/Hr.

Fuel on a local move, within a 25-mile radius, is around $20.00. Insurance (covering the Workers Compensation, General Liability, and Automotive Insurance) would add around $50.00 on 1 single move.

According to government regulations every business falling under the section: “moving” has to pay $9.44 per each $100.00 on the payroll for the Workers Compensation.

Scenario: If a 3 men crew works for about 7-8 hours (an average 2-3BR townhouse), and they get approximately $100.00 each on the payroll ($300.00 total), Lexel Moving owes around $28.00 – $30.00 for the Workers Compensation alone. General Liability and Automotive would add another $20.00 on the same move.

On average, one move of a 2-3BR townhouse takes 7-hours, costs us $329.00 on labor, $50.00 on insurance, $20.00 on fuel, around $20.00 on truck expenses, $30.00 wrapping material expenses, and $50.00 on marketing expenses to get the lead/job booked. The total expense would be $499.00.

When you divide the cost of 7-hours, it comes out to $71.0 self-cost. And, this doesn’t include parking, storage, office expenses, and office workers salaries!

There is no way a professional moving company could offer a rate of $75.00 for a 3 men crew and run a reputable business.

 

Quality service comes with the price.

Only choose experienced moving companies. Experienced movers have worked with numerous clients and have an established reputation. Therefore, they have more to lose compared to a moving company​ that hasn’t been around for a while.

 

Don’t rely on price alone.

Make sure you compare 2-3 moving companies before making a final decision. Never make your final decision based on price. Check the company’s reputation as well.

Don’t rely solely on the search engines and review sites, like Yelp, when checking out a company’s reputation. Yelp and Google reviews are good, but you should also check to see what people are saying ‘right now’ on social media (Facebook and Twitter).  Simply type in the company’s name, in the search area, with the company’s name and a hashtag (#themovingcompanyname).

Social media is usually the first place that people go to when they want to share their buying experiences.

 

Take a stand!

One of the reasons why the moving industry is saturated with poor service providers is because consumers constantly give them the satisfaction. When more people stop giving their business to cheap companies, they will have no other choice than to shut their doors or raise the bar.

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How to Stage Your Home for a Quick and Easy Sale

Home staging secrets that will sell your home faster

Home staging can greatly enhance the beauty of your house and give it that extra oomph it needs to help sell faster. The moment a potential buyer steps foot into your house, he/she should be able to envision living in the home. So, before staging your home, think about who would be more likely to buy your house. The easiest way to figure this out is to consider the type of house you’re selling.

If you’re selling a palatial 5-bedroom ranch style house, your target buyer will more than likely be families with children or people who plan to start a family. If you’re selling a 2-bedroom condominium, your potential buyer could be a single professional, a newlywed couple or a retiree. Figuring out who the potential buyer is should be on the top of every seller’s to-do-list.

 

Getting Started

The secret to successfully staging a home is to focus on what your potential buyer wants, and less on what you like. Do a little research on the latest trends your potential buyer would admire the most. Search in home decorating magazines and websites for the latest trends to get inspiration. Watch home decorating TV shows like HGTV. Pinterest is also a great place get ideas.

 

De-personalizing Your Interior

A home filled with a seller’s personal photos can be very distracting to a home buyer. Replace all of your photographs with neutrals. For example, replace them with photos of nature, city skylines, the beach, mountain views, local landmarks, the museum or the park. Or, you can simply replace your photos with photos of your house listing.

Remember, when a buyer tours your home for the first time, he/she will develop memories. So, first impressions are essential. When a buyer sees graduation photos, wedding photos, and other family photographs, it is very difficult to visualize living in the home.

Additionally, make sure you hide all mail, car keys, and other personal belongings. There is nothing more distracting than touring a kitchen that has mail sprawled out across the countertop. Make sure your countertops are clear of any objects. Interior design experts suggest putting away every day appliances, in addition to personal belongings. Personal items and appliances that are out of sight are out of mind. Remember, you are preparing to sell house, and not items at a garage sale.

 

De Clutter and Pre-Pack at the Same Time

Think about it, you’re going to eventually sell the house, right. Why wait until your house is sold to begin decluttering and packing.  Start off with decluttering one room at a time, so you can see progress. Decluttering each room, a little at a time, makes it more difficult to see any progress. This can be overwhelming and stressful. At Lexel moving, we can help the process go a lot smoother with our professional packing services.

 

Make Small Rooms Appear Larger

One effective way of helping home buyers fall in love with your house is to accentuate the positives and minimize the negatives. For example, make smaller rooms appear larger by using light colors on the walls and the floors.

Create the illusion of spaciousness by placing furniture away from the wall. Wallpaper or paint your ceiling to make the room appear taller. Create the illusion of order and structure in a room by color coding your shelves. Adding stripes to your décor can help make a room appear even more spacious.

Get rid of any furniture item that takes up a lot of space. One mistake many sellers make is keeping oversized furniture items in a room. This will automatically make a room appear smaller. Less is more when it comes to staging a home. Get rid of anything that eats up your square footage. Give your living space some breathing room.

If you plan to keep any of your oversized items, Lexel Moving can come to pick them up to create more space. We will keep them stored safely in our storage facility until the house is sold, and then deliver all the items with the main move.
We offer in-home moving/in-home staging packages at a flat rate of $199.00 for 2 men crew, 1.5 hours of labor with travel time included for all clients within a 25 mile radius. Pricing depends on the amount of furniture/packing, and the total size of the shipment.

Our crew can perform the pick up, and provide detailed inventory sheets that show every item picked up (including the condition of the item). This way you can check off items upon the delivery and make sure everything was delivered.

Use Photos and Video to Attract Online Interest

When selling a house, it’s crucial that it not only shows well offline, but it should photograph well for online buyers. Consider doing an online video tour or a digital walk through of your home. Consider hiring a professional videographer to film the inside and outside of your house. Or, you can film the video on your own. Just make sure you use a high-quality digital camera or a smartphone.

Then upload the video directly to Zillow or Trulia. Then promote the video on Facebook or Instagram and boost the post. Real estate posts that get the most exposure are the ones accompanied with a video.

When taking photo’s of your home, make sure there isn’t any visible clutter. It’s surprising how many real estate photos are taken with clutter in a room.

Avoid taking photos directly across from a mirror to avoid capturing your image. To show more footage of a room, take a photo of all three walls at one time. Don’t forget to wipe the lense before taking photos.

Lastly, make sure you hire a professional cleaning service to give your home a nice white glove treatment. Hiring a home cleaning company will help get rid of any scents lingering in the house, especially if you have pets. If you have carpets, make sure you get them professionally cleaned or replace them with hardwood flooring.

 

Tip: You may love the smell of scented candles, but your buyer may despise the smell. Instead, make a fresh batch of cookies. The smell of fresh baked cookies makes a person feel more at home when touring a house.

If you have any questions regarding our in-home moving/in-home staging packages, feel free to give us a call today at: 1(855) 605-7755.

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Moving Cross-Country

Moving Cross-Country: Practical Tips That Will Save You Time, Effort, and Stress

Decisions, decisions, decisions. There are so many things to consider when you’re planning to move cross country – it can be mind-boggling. For instance, should you hire a moving company? Or, should you rent a large moving truck, and handle the entire move on your own?  If you feel uncertain, here are a few tips to help make your decision.

Is hiring a professional moving company truly worth it?

Moving is both emotionally and physically stressful, especially a cross country move. Hiring a professional moving company, like Lexel Moving, will streamline your moving process, save you time, and money. Most of all, hiring someone will help make your cross-country move more enjoyable and memorable.

What to look for when hiring cross country movers.

Make sure the company you’re hiring is licensed, ensured and bonded. After all, your possessions will be under their care during the entire trip. Before choosing a moving company, ask what will be included in their moving services (i.e. fuel, mileage, tolls, loading, unloading, transportation, furniture disassembly and reassembly, etc.).

Try these moving services to help make your move easier.

Launch a profitable moving sale.

Your junk could be someone else’s treasure. Instead of throwing out your unwanted items, have a garage sale or sell your items on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or eBay. You’ll be surprised how much money you could possibly earn by selling your unwanted items, especially if you plan to sell quality items. Plus, you will have a lot less to pack for your cross-country journey.

Quick Tip: Make sure your sign is highly visible, use big bold ‘GARAGE SALE‘ lettering (don’t use crayon, pencil or an ink pen). Don’t forget to have enough cash on hand to break change for your customers. If you’re selling online, make sure you take high-quality photos of the items you plan to sell.

What mode of transportation are you planning to take?

There are four common ways to travel: by plane, train, bus or you can drive. Hiring a moving company while you travel by plane is obviously the most efficient choice. Taking a train is convenient, but it could take 3 days or longer to get to your destination. Bus travel can be very uncomfortable, and you run the risk of experiencing major delays if the bus breaks down.

Driving is a good option because you have more leg room. However, you could run into unexpected problems. Are you prepared for a break down? There have been instances where people have driven cross country and broke down on a Friday, and had to wait until the following Monday because the local mechanic shop was closed during the weekend.

Make sure you set aside extra funds to cover for breakdowns, overnight hotel stays, a car rental and food. Always be prepared for the inevitable!

Quick Tip: Do not allow your gas level to go too much below half a tank. There is nothing more frightening than driving on empty when the next gas stop is more than 30 miles away.

Moving on your own in a rental moving truck? 

Many people choose the option of DIY moving because they feel it provides more freedom. Driving cross country is the only way to truly experience the beauty of America. Other forms of transportation aren’t quite the same.

If you’ve moved long distances before, in a rental moving truck, more power to you. However, if you haven’t driven further than 1000 miles, at a time, you might want to think twice before taking the plunge. There is a truckload of things to consider, no pun intended.

Can you find help?

Can you find friends and family who will help you load up your belongings (safely) onto your rental moving truck? Can they load your valuables without dropping or scratching them? If something gets lost or damaged, will they be willing to replace or pay you for the damage?

What if something breaks?

Another thing to consider is if something falls, and breaks during your travels, due to not being positioned properly within the truck. The risk of something getting damaged or broken is less likely to happen when a trained professional is in charge. Plus, movers have experience in transporting goods long distances safely.

DIY moving can be extremely tiring.

You also must consider your level of energy. Be honest, after traveling hundreds of miles, no one feels like unpacking a truck full of boxes and furniture. Plus, you must return your truck rental on time. If you’re planning to drive cross country, you’ll probably need 2-3 days to recuperate from the long travel. Are you prepared to unload your truck on your own immediately after a long travel? Even if you recruit family and friends to help, it is still very exhausting. Unloading your own truck is like a full-time job!

Things to remember and avoid when moving cross country.

  • Do not wait until the last minute to plan a move, if you can. Unless you’re a pro at moving long distances, save yourself the hassle and hire someone to handle your move for you.
  • Never skimp on packing. Make sure you purchase plenty of boxes, in various sizes.
  • Allow yourself PLENTY of time to travel. For example, if it takes an average of 28 hours of travel time to your destination, plan for a longer travel time – like 38 hours. Always plan ahead for unexpected delays (inclement weather, extra rest time, breakdowns, etc.).
  • Make sure you budget enough money for emergencies like breakdowns or unexpected hospital stays. When it comes to DIY moving, always prepare for the worst.

If you’re still debating whether to hire a professional or attempt to move on your own, think about the benefits of both options. What will give you more peace of mind and less stress? The most important thing of all is choosing an option that will transport your belongings to your destination safely, and make our moving experience more enjoyable.

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The Absolute Essential Things to Know When Moving to New York

Living in New York is…

People often say you aren’t a ‘true’ New Yorker until you have seen at least one Broadway show, have become a Yankees or Mets fan and stored at least a dozen crisp bagels in your freezer for a rainy day. New York is the only place that gives you easy access to the best tasting cultured food in the planet. It’s one of the only places to live that gives you easy access to buy Caribbean-Spanish food for breakfast, Turkish food for lunch, authentic Italian cuisine for dinner and Jewish chocolate rugelach for dessert. Living in New York is why everyone should live in New York.

 

Finding the Right Moving Company

If you are moving from Boston to New York, you will need access to professional New York movers to help make your move an easy transition and stress-free. Lexel Moving provides affordable weekly long-distance moves and we specialize in both residential moving and commercial moving services. In addition, our licensed and trained packers provide professional packing services. Our free moving box service will deliver your boxes to your home or office on the day of your move. Thanks to our Boston movers, moving your belongings to New York will be one less thing to worry about on moving day.

 

Where to Buy Train Tickets & MetroCards

Unless you plan on driving, the first thing you will want to do is purchase a MetroCard. A MetroCard gives you access to the New York City subways. MetroCards can be purchased from MTA vending machines, sales booths or any MTA Metro-North Railroad station. You can save time, and avoid long lines, by refilling your MetroCard through EasyPay.

If you plan to live in the suburbs, and work in the city, Long Island Railroad tickets can be purchased at LIRR vending machines at every railroad station (or Mail & Ride). You can buy tickets on the train, but it is more expensive. Traveling peak hours is also more expensive – off-peak is cheap. Consider Park & Ride if you plan to drive and commute by train.

If you will be traveling to New Jersey, Philadelphia, Northeast PA (Poconos/Scranton/Wilkes Barre) or the Casino, Martz Trailways is a convenient mode of transportation. Martz buses have free Wi-Fi and the rates are reasonably priced. Take advantage of their specials, commuter discounts and casino fares. There are also $15 passenger vans that commute from NYC to Stroudsburg, PA and Hazleton, PA daily.

 

Finding Your Dream Job or Place of Business in New York

Manhattan isn’t the only place to find a job or open a business. Long Island is a great place to work and do business. Jericho, Mineola, Westbury, Melville, Hauppauge and Bohemia, NY are considered major business hubs.
If you are an entrepreneur and you have your heart set on staying in the city, you will be pleased to know that NYC has a few affordable, trendy shared office spaces and co-working spaces to choose from. If you’re always on the go, there are even rent-free workspaces. By the way, Central Park and other major NYC parks have free Wi-Fi. If you’re an Apple user, you can visit the 24-hour Apple Store to get your iPhone, iPad or other Apple products repaired.

 

What Every Newcomer to New York Should Know

If you are moving from Boston to New York City, don’t neglect the other areas of New York that are beyond the city boundary. There are so many things to do in New York City that you can easily miss out on A LOT. For example, Long Island has a few nice beaches along the North Shore, South Shore, Fire Island and Hampton Bays. There are also several parks, such as Eisenhower Park, which is one of the closest parks to NYC, on Long Island.

Don’t neglect Upstate New York.  Upstate is north of NYC. Upstate NY is often treated like the unwanted stepchild because most people focus on New York City and Long Island.  Albany, the capital of New York, is a great place to visit. However, it is more rural compared to Long Island. Albany is about 3 hours away from NYC. Upstate New York has several towns, such as Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, etc.  A lot of New Yorkers, who live in the city, love to travel Upstate for weekend getaways.

Some out-of-towners get Staten Island, Long Island City and Long Island mixed up. Long Island is a suburb of NYC (Nassau and Suffolk County). The Island is one of the longest and largest islands in the US (118 miles). Long Island City is in Queens and Staten Island is one of the 5 boroughs of NYC.  If you live in Staten Island, you can take the ferry to get into Manhattan.

Also, Manhattan pizza is good, but it isn’t known as the greatest pizza in the world. Brooklyn and Long Island dominate great authentic Italian Pizza. After you settle in, consider going on a food tour, in NYC, to familiarize yourself with the variety of foods the city has to offer.

 

Things to Do and Places to Go

During the summer, New York City has free concerts in Central Park and Jones Beach. But, there is nothing more intriguing than the live street performers in Manhattan.

Many people talk about the high cost of living in New York. But, you can get good deals, especially on clothes. You’ll find Haute Couture clothing on the Upper East Side along 5th Avenue. Then you’ll find a lot of department store brands all throughout the city. Soho and Chelsea are great places to get clothing deals. But, you are not a true New Yorker until you have purchased at least one or two articles of clothing from a street vendor.

By the way, New York’s sales tax is 8.875%. Clothing or footwear that costs less than $110 is tax-free.

Major events include New York Fashion Week, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Rockefeller Center and the annual September 11th memorial.

If you have kids, don’t forget about the Bronx Zoo, the Planetarium, Coney Island, Rye Playland, Adventureland and a few other amusement parks. Niagara Falls is also a great place to visit with friends and family.

If you love to run and you have dreamed about participating in the New York City marathon, you’ll more than likely be placed on a waiting list. In the meantime, there are many other notable marathons across the state to join.

About 50 miles away from the city, there is a town called Huntington Village, known as Little New York. This town, located on the North Shore on Long Island, is coined as Margaritaville because people love to come from far, to the village, to eat and drink, especially on the weekends. During the day, it is a family-friendly town with a museum and a Cinema Arts Centre. Huntington also hosts the annual Tulip Festival in May, and the October Festival during the fall.

New York has several big malls like the Manhattan Mall, The Shops at Columbus Circle and Brookfield Place. Long Island has a few malls including Roosevelt Field Mall, Green Acres Mall, Westfield Sunrise Mall, Walt Whitman Mall and the Smith Haven Mall. Then you have the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, Tanger Outlets in Deer Park and in Riverhead. Then you have Waterloo Premium Outlets in Upstate New York.

 

You Don’t Have to Travel to the Jersey Shore to Visit the Beach

The first thing that comes to mind when people think about New York is the concrete jungle. Most people are unaware that there are 15 major beaches, not including the Hamptons and smaller beaches throughout Long Island. Keep in mind, if you are driving, some beaches charge for parking. If you want to dodge the fee, your best bet is to go to the beach after 6:00 pm.

 

The Best Underrated Places to Eat in New York

It will take a person a total of 8,361 days to eat at each restaurant in New York City – that’s approximately 22.9 years. Here are few good restaurants to start off with.

Make Sandwich (the new sandwich child of Melt Shop), in Union Square, has great gourmet sandwiches. Their chicken and chorizo is to die for!

Katz Deli on 205 E Houston St., on the Lower East Side, has the best sandwiches. Their Pastrami on rye with a Kosher pickle on the side is delicious. It’s a great family-friendly place to eat, but make sure you get there early to beat the crowd. If you’re planning to dine in, make sure you designate someone, from your party, to grab a table while you stand on line. Otherwise, you may not find seating together.

Scoops on 624 Flatbush Ave., in Brooklyn specializes in the tastiest dairy-free ice-cream and vegan, Caribbean comfort food at reasonable prices. Scoops has limited space, so plan on placing your order to-go.

Queens has great authentic Trinidadian style restaurants all throughout Liberty Avenue.  Trini Delite on 110-02 Liberty Ave, South Ozone Park, NY is known for their West Indian vegetarian Roti, chicken Roti and beef Roti. Order two doubles with curried chickpeas (Channa peas) with Tamarind sauce and a wrapped Roti with the bread skins on the side if you are a newbie to West Indian food.

The Bronx has Kai Fan Asian Cuisine & Sushi Bar on Riverdale Avenue. Red Apple Restaurant on Hyland Blvd and Incas Grill Peruvian Kitchen in Grant City, in Staten Island, are great restaurants to visit.

If you’re planning to visit Robert Moses State Park Beach (Long Island) this summer, have lunch at Greek Garden restaurant (the last best restaurant before the beach exit), in Babylon Village, they have great Gyros. The Atlantis Diner is a great family-friendly restaurant, they serve Greek and Mediterranean and continental food. If you’re driving, take the scenic route back to NYC on Ocean Parkway – there’s no traffic – the drive alongside Captree State Park and Jones Beach State Park are breathtaking.

 

Groceries are NOT as Expensive as People Claim them to Be

You just have to know which grocery stores and food markets to shop. Whole Foods is not the only grocery store around. If you are a health nut, there are many small mom and pop grocery shops that sell organic foods. For example, Khasky Foods in Gravesend, Brooklyn, on Avenue U, sells affordable imported Kosher foods.

There are fruit and vegetable stands on every corner, in Manhattan. So, you will not have a problem gaining access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. Harlem also has a few good organic fruits and vegetable markets. There are some markets in Manhattan that will even deliver fresh organic fruits and vegetables to your home or place of business.

You’ll want to also try the Chinese food markets in Chinatown. Don’t neglect the bodegas, out of pride, they are convenient places to shop when you’re in a hurry. Sometimes bodegas sell ripe mangoes on the cheap.

If you have a big family, and you’re budget conscious, consider stocking up on healthy eats outside of the 5 boroughs (Manhattan, Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens) and shop at Costco in Farmingdale and Hauppauge, NY. You can get affordable organic foods at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, NY – they’re open 24-hours. Secaucus, New Jersey also has a 24-hour Walmart close to NYC.

 

Hopefully, these tips have given you the essential things to know when moving to New York. For a quote on our New York movers and Boston movers, call 1 (855) 605-7755 or contact us online.