Read the article on The Mover Magazine

With the threat of extinction becoming increasingly more real for our planet, there is not a more significant and more urgent challenge that confronts all of us in the 21st century than global climate change.

Hoa Vu, CEO of Evolve Mobility, believes that humans have a deep ethical responsibility to do something about this environmental predicament. Ray daSilva, President of Mobility Exchange, talked to her to find out more.

Speaking to Hoa, it is hard not to be impressed and influenced by her passion for our environment.  So, how did this entrepreneur who started her business in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2018 make ecology a central theme in her business?  “Our logo has a tag line – Your journey shapes how you evolve.”  After more than 20 years in the moving business, Hoa decided to start her own company.  She brought more than experience, knowledge and contacts.  She brought a firsthand understanding of the environmental impact that even a small moving business can have on our planet.

Vietnam has one of the fastest growing economies in the world with an expected GDP growth in 2019 of 6.8%.  While the rapid development is bringing more opportunities, affluence and prosperity to the people, it has also earned Ho Chi Minh City the distinction of being one of the most polluted cities in south-east Asia.  Conservation made sense to Hoa for so many reasons but the most important were related to her young children.  Hoa said: “It was something that I learned from my daughters.  It is their planet, we are just temporary custodians.  Establishing a successful business is important but a great business needs a sustainable home.  I was determined to bring these two priorities together.”

As it turns out, reducing waste, recycling and  implementing sound conservation practices in her business were exactly what was helping to create brand awareness and success for her fledgling business.  “We have some great competitors in our market who are as focussed on service excellence as we are, but our green message and initiatives resonated with our customers.  That, plus the knowledge that we are doing our share and hopefully a bit more to protect our children’s future, drives our passion and our engagement.”

To highlight the dire need for action, Hoa points out that municipal solid waste in Vietnam is forecast to increase by 38% from 11.6 million tons in 2016 to 15.9 million tons in 2030. Vietnam is currently one of the five largest contributors in the world releasing plastic waste into the ocean – over 280,000 tons of plastic waste yearly.  Statistics like these can easily overwhelm us, making us feel numb and powerless.  After all, what can one individual or even one company do to stop and even reverse such trends?

Our industry’s use of cardboard, wood, plastics-based packaging, and diesel truck engines may not make us the worst industrial polluters, but we all play a part as citizens of the world and as businesses that serve our communities.  There is no act of conservation that is too small to be meaningless according to Hoa.  It all adds up.  “Reduce, reuse, recycle and conserve are embedded into Evolve’s operating philosophy.  It does not require a conscious effort anymore, it is natural.”

Beyond its own conservation efforts and initiatives to reduce global warming, Evolve Mobility is working to spread awareness in the community.  In a recent example, Evolve participated in an event at the International School of Ho Chi Minh City where over 1000 school children, parents and community members gathered.  The Evolve team used a labyrinth maze constructed from recycled cartons as a fun way to focus on environmental awareness.  Tuan Vu, Evolve Mobility’s Deputy Manager, said: “The Evolve Labyrinth has become a bit of an event favorite.  Our first maze was for Lycée Français Marguerite Duras in June of 2019.  We already have another request for the Charity Bazaar hosted by the European International School this month.”  While the kids are having fun, the message about environmental awareness is very clear and is warmly accepted.”

There are lessons that we can all learn from Hoa Vu and her company.  Building a successful business and caring for the environment are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, if you do it properly, everyone and our planet wins.

Photos: Hoa Vu, CEO of Evolve Mobility, School children in the labyrinth maze constructed from recycled cartons

Medical insurance




With the current pandemic, we all wondered whether or not we were covered by our medical insurance plan. So we decided to ask Pascal Nguyen, director of PNG Private Office.

“If I had to give a simple answer, most health insurances, including international ones, cover COVID-19-related costs”, says Pascal. He confides to us, however, that this is not necessarily the case for cheaper local insurance. My Relocation Asia’s insurer specifies that it is wise to inquire about the offer we have taken out directly with our insurance.

In some countries, local insurers have set up a special “COVID-19” plan, which aims to cover only medical expenses related to the coronavirus in order to fill the gaps in original insurance plans. If your insurance covers costs related to COVID-19, the conditions will be similar to any other viral illness according to the terms and conditions, amount, deductible and waiting period of your policy. Please note:

  • In case of hospitalization, the fee will be reimbursed according to the “inpatient” coverage policy;
  • In the event of a positive COVID-19 screening test without hospitalisation, the fee will be reimbursed according to the “outpatient treatment” category. If the test comes out negative, it will considered by your insurance as a “regular check-up”. You will therefore not be reimbursed unless you have included this cover in your policy.


You should also be aware that some costs will not be covered by your medical insurance in case of COVID-19:

Quarantine fees, there are two scenarios:

  1. If you are infected with the virus and are quarantined in a hospital to receive treatment, then your insurance will cover the hospitalization and treatment fee;
  2. If you are simply quarantined at home or in a hotel as a precautionary measure, for example because you have been in contact with an infected person, your insurer will neither cover the costs of accommodation nor food. The same applies to loss of income due to a quarantine as it is not a matter of health.

Experimental treatments are excluded by the insurers. For example, chloroquine treatments are not covered until they have been approved by the government.

Pre-existing conditions. If your insurer has excluded any treatment related to respiratory troubles or their complications because of a medical history, then there is a risk that COVID-19-related-expenses will not be covered.

NB. Should you have doubts about this matter, it is better to inquire directly with your insurer or your broker.

A checklist for moving to your new home

Preparing to move to your new home seems like a relatively simple task — until you actually take stock of everything you own and consider both what to pack and what to leave behind. The process gets even more complicated when you factor in the opening and closing of utility accounts, cleaning and the additional planning required to get your household from point A to point B. When possible, it’s best to start planning for your move more than a month in advance — even if you don’t yet have the address of your next home.

To help make your move less stressful, here’s a checklist counting down six weeks from moving day.


6 Weeks Before Moving Day

Take stock of your belongings. Take a walk through your home and create three lists of furniture and appliances: those you know you’re taking, those you will definitely leave behind and those that you haven’t decided on yet. To get an accurate estimate of the cost of your move, include all the items on the “yes” and “maybe” lists when you consider the size of truck needed and total weight of your belongings.

Contact movers and get estimates. If you’re moving in the summer, you should make initial contact with moving companies at least six weeks in advance. The rest of the year, four weeks is often enough time, but earlier is always better. “The majority of people we talk to don’t know when they’re moving — they’re still trying to sell their house or buy a house,” says Jeff Nogg, co-owner and vice president of sales and business development for I-Go Van & Storage Co. It’s a good idea to contact at least three moving companies for estimates.

Initiate school transfer for your kids. If you have school-age children and are moving to a new district, you’ll need to contact both schools to initiate the transfer of information and school transcripts.


5 Weeks Before Moving Day

Begin collecting packing supplies. Start collecting boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper and tape in advance so you have it on hand for packing. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safer to buy new boxes rather than rely on Craigslist or your local stores for used boxes, says Rachel Peretz, director of marketing and business development for the American Moving & Storage Association.

Schedule a donation pickup or list belongings for sale. If you have large pieces of furniture or other items you don’t plan to keep, post them on Craigslist or a neighborhood site for sale, or schedule a donation pickup. Charities like Goodwill and the Salvation Army will pick up donations from your home — just be sure to follow guidelines for local pickup.


4 Weeks Before Moving Day

Verify your new location and the date you’ll be moving. By a month out, you’ve hopefully set either a closing date or a lease start date for your new home. As soon as this information is available, contact your mover to provide the information and confirm if this changes the expected cost of the move.

Book a self-moving truck if needed. If you would rather complete the process yourself, it’s still a good idea to book a moving truck and rental materials as soon as you know your moving day to ensure you have access to the vehicle.

Start packing room by room. Start with the rooms you use the least, such as the guest bedroom. If you’ve opted for a full-service move and will pay movers to pack and unpack your belongings, you can skip this step.

Schedule turnoff for utilities. Utility information and advice company Callmepower recommends providing one month’s notice to electric and gas companies, though the minimum notice required may be between 24 hours and five business days, depending on where you live. Be sure to schedule turnoff for after you will be fully moved out of your home and not the morning of — moving in the dark and without water would be especially inconvenient.

Set up utilities for your new home. Typically, you can only set up service with your utility company once the previous residents have scheduled their turnoff, so you may need to call back at a later date.


3 Weeks Before Moving Day

Reserve parking space for moving. You may need to get a parking permit from the city that establishes a no-parking zone for the moving truck. If you live in an apartment building, you’ll likely need to reserve the elevator and loading dock to make moving furniture easier and faster. Often, this falls to you as the customer, but it may worth inquiring with the moving company if you’re using one. “Depending on the city, sometimes the mover will include a parking permit in their bid if they’re familiar with the property,” Nogg says.


2 Weeks Before Moving Day

Continue packing. Pack up bookshelves, decor and seasonal clothing you won’t need before moving day. Label everything so you know what’s in each box and what room it should go into at your new house.

Spackle nail holes. While you’re packing, remove artwork from the walls and fill in nail holes for the next residents.


1 Week Before Moving Day

Check for major events in the area. Check local news sites and neighborhood blogs to see if any events could lead to road closings, additional traffic or trouble parking on moving day.

Pack everything you don’t need for the next week. Keep a week’s worth of clothes out and just enough kitchen utensils to make meals for the next few days. Everything else can go in boxes.

Donate items you aren’t taking. While packing, you likely found quite a few clothing and decor items you don’t need. Load up your car with everything that’s still in decent condition, and take it to a donation drop.


Day Before Moving Day

Confirm with movers. It’s a good idea to remain in contact with your moving company and confirm the day before what time they’re likely to arrive.

Clean the bathrooms and kitchen. Whether you’re leaving a rental or a house you sold, you typically need to leave the space broom-clean, which means every space should be free of grime, crumbs and dust. Take on the bathrooms and kitchen before movers arrive the next day.

Confirm key pickup. If you don’t already have the keys to your new place, confirm with your real estate agent or landlord exactly where and what time you can expect to get your keys to avoid delays in the unloading process.


On Moving Day

Let the movers in. Be ready to let the movers in at the scheduled arrival time. If any items are to remain in the home, make it clear to the movers so they don’t accidentally load them onto the truck.

Wipe down any self-moving materials. If you’ve rented a truck, take the time to disinfect the interior. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, “movers are doing things like sanitizing trucks between moves,” Peretz says. Even if the rental facility notes that all trucks are cleaned, it’s a good idea to play it safe and wipe it down yourself.

Clean as you go or let cleaners in. As each room is cleared of boxes and furniture, wipe down walls, vacuum and sweep floors. For good measure, disinfect doorknobs, light switches and countertops. If you’ve hired professional cleaners to come after the movers leave, designate someone to lock up after the process is complete.

Take out the trash. You should never leave trash inside the house you’re vacating, so take out the trash ahead of time. If it’s close to trash day, take the cans out to the curb as well.

Let movers into your new home. Be sure to arrive at your home at the same time as or shortly before your movers. Provide any necessary instructions for unloading furniture and boxes.

Start unpacking. Just as packing was a long process, expect unpacking to take time as well. Go room by room, starting with the bedrooms so everyone will be able to sleep comfortably.

How to move a piano with and without piano movers

If you’re wondering how to move a piano, you’ve come to the right place. Oddly shaped, fragile, and heavy, pianos seem nearly impossible to move. But fear not! We’re here to tell you that it is in fact possible, and there are simple ways to do it. Whether you’re wondering how to move a piano to a suburban home or a six-floor walk-up, follow along and let us ease all of your piano moving worries in one simple guide.

How to Move a Piano With Professional Piano Movers

Although it is possible to move a piano on your own, we highly recommend hiring piano movers. For an item as complicated and valuable as this, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. We offer piano moving services at affordable rates. Pricing varies depending on the distance of the move with long distance moves being the most expensive. Also note: If your move involves stairs, you can always expect to see the price rise.

Good professional piano movers are well-trained, licensed and insured, and can guarantee an easy and safe piano transport. They may even offer climate controlled moving trucks to further protect your musical instrument.

By not hiring professional piano movers, you may save a few extra bucks in the short-term, but you run the risk of injuring yourself and anyone that’s trying to help you, plus you could damage the piano. Not an inexpensive fix! This is especially true in the case of grand pianos where disassembly and bigger transportation equipment is required. With so many things to worry about during your move, risking a major mishap like this isn’t worth it. We’ll take the piano movers, please!

How to Move a Piano Without Piano Movers

So, you’ve decided to roll up your sleeves, and learn how to move a piano yourself — more power to ya! Pay close attention to the following steps and you should be well on your way to becoming a capable piano mover.

1. Take measurements

Before anything else, when learning how to move a piano yourself,  it’s crucial that you carefully measure the dimensions of the piano as well as the path you’ll move it along before starting to move anything. Be sure to include hallways, doorways, and stairwells in your “things to measure” list to ensure that the piano will be transported easily come moving day. You don’t want to get stuck on the fourth floor of your walk-up with a wedged baby-grand.

It’s important to note that the logistics will likely vary depending on the size of your piano. For example, an upright piano has different dimensions and moving needs than a grand piano (don’t worry, we’ll get into the details in a moment). Regardless, you should always measure your piano before you move to avoid hitting any roadblocks.

2. Gather supplies to move your piano

Want to know how to move a piano safely? We thought so. You’ll want to protect both yourself and the instrument when moving. Scuffed walls, dented railings, scratched instruments, and pulled muscles can all be avoided with the right equipment. To protect yourself, your fellow piano movers, and the piano itself, run out to the local store for the following items:

  • Work gloves
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Plastic wrap or dense cloth/blanket
  • Four-wheel dolly
  • Dolly straps
  • Van/truck
  • Ramp
  • Weightlifting straps
  • Moving straps

You can find these items at most home improvement or hardware stores. Once you’ve gathered all of these materials, you’ll be one step closer to becoming a DIY piano mover.

3. Clear the path to move your piano

Before you get to moving your piano, it’s important to remove any decorations or obstructions from your piano’s path of exit. The last thing you want to worry about as you lift a 700 lb piano is that potted plant in the corner tripping you up. It’s also a good idea to triple check that any children or pets are kept away from the piano as you move it.

While you’re clearing the path, consider how you can protect your home from the piano’s move. Want to know how to move a piano without wrecking your walls? Cover the piano’s corners with baby-proof bumpers or extra towels to prevent scratches and nicks.

4. Recruit heavy lifters to move your piano

How many people does it take to move a piano? It takes at least four people to efficiently move a piano, with two to three people doing the heavy lifting, and the others guiding them to and from the moving truck or van. You may need more, however, depending on the size of the piano and the complexity of the move. Either way, moving a piano is no easy feat, so you’ll want some strong friends on your side as piano movers to make it happen.

5. Wrap the piano

Both upright and grand pianos must be wrapped before they’re moved. That said, the process is different for each one since a grand piano has to be disassembled before moving while an upright piano can be moved as is. Here’s the low down on how to move each type of piano (be sure to have your padding and tape ready).

How to move an upright piano:

It’s time to strap on your work gloves and prep the piano for its journey. First, wrap the lid over the keyboard and secure with tape to ensure it does not open and close along the way. Next, wrap the pedals with plastic wrap or a cloth and secure with tape. Lastly, wrap the front, back, and sides of the piano with heavy cloth and secure with tape. Be sure to secure everything tightly and layer on the padding to ensure optimal protection while moving your upright piano.

How to move a grand piano:

As we mentioned earlier, grand pianos (and concert grands) need to be disassembled before a move, so be prepared for the extra prep. Still on board the DIY train? Here we go!

First, it is critical that you lower and secure the piano’s top lid with tape. Next, take a screwdriver and disassemble the piano’s pedals and legs. Be careful when lifting and lowering the piano, and ensure that members of your moving team support the piano’s side to keep it stable once the legs are removed. Then, protect the piano by wrapping all sides with moving blankets and securing them tightly with tape. Wrap the pedals and legs separately with moving blankets and secure with tape. Make sure your piano movers stick around after the move to help you reassemble your piano.

6. How to move the piano

Once your piano is thoroughly protected, hoist it onto the dolly with weightlifting straps. Once the piano is centered on the dolly, secure it with straps or rope and move it along its cleared path of exit. If you’re moving it down a staircase, set up a ramp beforehand to carefully guide it downwards. Make sure your team of piano movers is going at a comfortable and slow pace in order to stabilize the piano. Finally, push the piano up the van or truck ramp and secure it up against the back wall with moving straps. Follow this same sequence once you arrive at your destination. Be sure to re-tune the piano and give it a good wipe down once you’re settled in, and you should be good to go.

And there you have it! Now you know how to move a piano. Remember that every piano move is different and the supplies and services you need will depend largely on the kind of piano you have, as well as where you are moving it to and from. Your best bet is to call professional piano movers and let them do the legwork, but if you’re set on doing it yourself, we hope this guide is the next best thing.

Happy (Piano) Moving!

How to easily pack dishes and stop breaking plates

If you’ve ever lost a wine glass in transit, you’re probably wondering how to pack dishes without losing any. We’ve all been there – you arrive at your new place and unpack a couple of glasses to go with some celebratory drinks, only to find that they cracked on the way. Here’s what you need to know about packing dishes safely, to end moving day with your feet up and your dishes intact.

Packing Materials You Need to Pack Dishes

When packing dishes, the name of the game is “wiggle room.” While extra space is usually a good thing, you want as little of it as possible when packing dishes. That’s where your key packing ingredient comes in – packing paper. It’ll protect most of your highly breakable dishes from glassware to fine China, so you’ll want plenty of it. As for the other packing materials, the list is simple.

This what you need to pack dishes safely:

  • Packing paper
  • Dish boxes
  • Medium sized boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Labels and markers

And that’s it. Forget the bubble wrap and if you can forgo the printed newspaper, please do. While it can usually be washed off, newspaper ink comes off on dishes and there’s always a chance that it stains for good.

Why use a dish box?
When figuring out how many moving boxes you need, be sure to tack on a few dish boxes. They’re designed to hold dishes and other fragile items, so they’re stronger and thicker than most boxes. This extra padding helps to absorb shock and makes for sturdier transport. If an accident happens, your dishes will be better off in a dish box.

How to Pack Dishes: General Steps

Want to know how to pack dishes without breaking them? The steps are similar for most dishes, but you’ll want to read on for tips to keep the stems on your wine glasses and the chips off your plates.

Generally, there are five primary steps to follow when you learn how to pack dishes for a move.

Step 1: Assemble each box and tape them very well. The boxes may get heavy so be sure to use enough tape that the box won’t cave under the weight of your dishes.

Step 2: Line each box with crumpled up paper to create a six-inch cushion at the bottom. Be sure to crumple up the paper rather than fold it to get the most protection out of each piece.

Step 3: Lay out your packing paper on a flat surface and place the dish you’re packing in the middle. Wrap the dish according to its specific needs, secure the paper with tape, and place the dish in the box.

Step 4: Keep packing dishes in the box until it’s full and use extra balls of paper or soft fabrics to fill in any spaces. The key to packing dishes in the right order? Always start with the heaviest items and pack light pieces such as glasses at the top of the moving boxes.

Step 5: Once your dishes are wrapped and packed, top the box with balled up paper for added protection, just as you did with the bottom of the box. Close it up, tape it, and label the box. Be sure to write the room it belongs to, which way up the box should go, and that its contents are fragile.

Top Tip: Don’t pack the dish boxes too heavy. It’s easy to do, so be conscious of how much you’re loading into each box and try to keep each one under 45 pounds.

How to Pack Bowls and Plates

Though they’re different shapes, you can pack bowls and plates using the same method. They don’t have any protruding parts or handles, making them the best dishes to start with when first learning how to pack dishes. They’re also the heaviest dishes, so you’ll want to put them in the boxes first.

There are two methods for packing bowls and plates – individually or in bundles. We don’t recommend stacking multiple dishes in one go, so it’s best to go for the individual method. It could save you a plate or two.

Wrapping any fine China or valuable dishes takes time. Be sure to put in the extra effort when deciding how to pack your dishes.

First, lay your packing paper out on a table or flat surface and then place the dish in the middle. Bring one corner of the paper to the center of the dish at a time until all four corners meet in the middle. Then tuck or tape the paper to secure it and put each dish in the box vertically, as though you’re loading a dishwasher.

Repeat this for each dish until the bottom of your box is full. Lighter dishes only go on top of heavier ones, so start another box once the first layer is complete.

How to Pack Cups, Mugs, and Glasses

When packing dishes such as cups and mugs, you can treat them much like small bowls. They’ll take plenty of packing paper, but are generally more durable than stemmed glasses.

To pack your cups, mugs, and glasses safely, start by filling them with crumpled packing paper. You can then use one or two sheets to actually wrap the vessels. Start at one corner of the packing paper, with your dish on an angle.

Roll the dish across the paper to the opposite corner. At the same time, fold in the excess paper for added protection. If you think your dishes are strong enough, you can wrap two of them in one sheet of paper.

Once you get halfway across the paper, place the next dish beside the first one and keep rolling to the end of the paper. This works best if they’re the same shape and material, so it’s best not to pair your favorite mug with that beer stein.

How to Pack Stemware

These will likely be your most delicate dishes. They’re glass or crystal and fragile from top to bottom, so it’s crucial that you know how to pack these dishes before you start.

Before wrapping, gently stuff some balls of packing paper into the bowl of the glass to support it. Then lay the glass on an angle in one corner of your packing paper. Roll the glass to the opposite corner of the paper, tucking and crumpling the paper around the glass as you go.

If you have extra large packing paper, you can try wrapping two glasses in one sheet. Once you’ve wrapped the first glass in half a sheet of paper, lay the second glass next to it. Then keep rolling and wrapping until it’s completely covered in paper.

Check that you can’t feel the edges of your glass through the paper. If you can, go ahead and wrap the glass or glasses with more paper.

How to Pack Pots and Pans

When considering how to pack your dishes you may be tempted to skip on the pots and pans, but don’t. Non-stick pans are particularly susceptible to scratches and all cookware can get dented.

To protect your pots and pans when moving, protect them with plenty of packing paper. Place the cookware on your packing paper and fold one corner of paper at a time to the center. Then reinforce any pots by stuffing packing paper inside the vessel.

While their surfaces do need the extra padding, pots and pans don’t need to travel in dish boxes or barrels. Standard medium-sized packing boxes should do the trick just fine.

More Tips for How to Pack Dishes

Beyond purchasing enough packing paper to wrap a small village, there are a few other packing tips and tricks to make packing dishes easier. Here’s what you need to remember as you become an expert in how to pack dishes:

  • Pack heavier items first
  • Always stack dishes vertically
  • Cut down on packing paper by using towels
  • Cushion everything and plug all spaces in each box
  • Label every box fragile and “this way up”
  • Put dish boxes in the moving truck gently
  • Don’t pack boxes too heavy – 45 pounds max.
  • Fill packing boxes to the top

Now that you have all the info you need to pack dishes without breaking any, it’s time to grab that packing paper and dish box and start packing up your kitchen. Remember these tips as you go and you’ll arrive in your new home with all your dishes in one piece.

6 surprising things to do before the movers arrive

Moving is , so you’d be forgiven if after packing the last box you thought that you were finally done. Now it’s just time to wait for the movers to arrive, right?

Not exactly.

Working with professional movers is a great option for people making big moves, moving with kids, or moving large or fragile items that would be otherwise impossible to transport. But while many moving companies do a great job of providing end-to-end service, there are some things that only you can do to make the whole process run smoothly. Here’s a list of six surprising things you’ll need to do before the movers arrive in order to avoid disaster.

1. Make a clear path

Whether you live in an urban apartment or a two-story house in the country, there are bound to be obstacles for your movers. By anticipating these issues before they happen, you can make everyone’s job easier, and possibly even save some money by taking up less of the movers’ time.

First, you should consider the parking situation outside your home. Where will the movers be able to leave their truck when packing up your stuff? If you do have that house in the country, this might not be an issue. But if you’re living in an apartment or urban area, chances are good that a huge double-parked truck won’t be taken very kindly by the neighbors.

“If you live in an apartment building or if there is limited parking in your area, ask the movers if they will handle the logistics or if you need to do so,” says Ali Wenzke, author of “The Art of Happy Moving.”

Some moving companies might be familiar with your neighborhood and know how to park in a way that doesn’t raise any red flags with the neighbors. But if they tell you they’d like your help with the logistics, then this will be on you to handle before they arrive.

2. Make necessary reservations and get your paperwork together

Some apartment buildings might have service elevators available for use. This would be another time-saving question to ask your building manager in advance.

See if service elevators can be reserved and whether the building needs any paperwork from movers—like a certificate of insurance.

3. Protect your house, including your floors

To prevent damage to your house during the move, you should be aware of what furniture is going out the door, and anything fragile in its path that might be at risk of breaking.

Lightbulbs, fixtures, pictures, mirrors, wall hangings should be removed from the main areas where furniture will be moved, for example.

And don’t forget about the hardwood floors. Nothing will put off a buyer more than seeing skid marks illustrating the path your sofa took out of the place. If you have hardwood floors or tile in any rooms, let your movers know ahead of time so they can prepare the right materials—and make sure your contract includes hardwood floor protection.

4. Measure!

On a related note, you’ll want to measure your furniture and make sure any large items will fit through the front door in the first place. Nothing is more heartbreaking than finding out the gorgeous sectional you spent hours assembling is not going to make it through your front door unless you spend more hours disassembling it.

5. Pack up the kids (and pets)

Not literally, of course. But you should take the time to consider where your family will be when the movers are at work. If paying for a space in the nearby pet hotel isn’t an option, at least consider keeping your pets in a safe space within your home.

Similarly, young kids should also be kept out of the way on moving day. This is important for their safety as well as the safety of your moving team.

6. Make yourself available

Once the family is out of the house, it’s time (drumroll, please) to sit down and relax—sort of. Find a central point in your home (that’s out of the movers’ way) and simply plan on making yourself available to them as they move your stuff.

Do we mean supervising their every move and reminding them the box is marked “fragile”? Probably not. But you should be around to help answer any questions, or alert movers to anything special they should know about your place.

Plastics: a new technology to recycle PET biologically

A technology developed by a French company will enable the biological recycling of PET. PET is one of the most common and abundant plastics, with some 70 million tonnes produced worldwide each year.

The technology developed by the French company Carbios to biologically recycle PET has made the front page of Nature, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals. The article explains how their technology breaks down PET into its basic components using “gluttonous enzymes”.

Technology that breaks down 90% of PET in 10 hours

In April 2018, American and British researchers had already won acclaim in the scientific press with a publication on the use of enzymes to degrade plastics. Carbios had then indicated that its research was much more advanced, but specified that its priority was then to protect its technology with patents, before considering a publication in a leading scientific journal.

The technology of Carbios and the Toulouse Scientific Institute makes it possible to decompose 90% of PET in ten hours. The raw materials thus recovered can be used to make new PET. This is a major breakthrough in circular economy. 

Their method is 100 times more efficient than the competing methods announced so far, which “illustrates the strength of French public/private collaboration to bring basic and applied research to the best international level,” the two entities said in a press release.

How to Pack Clothes for Moving Without Losing Your Mind

Whether your wardrobe is bursting at the hinges or more of a minimalist closet, it’s good to know how to pack clothes for moving. If it sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve gathered the best ways to get your clothes from point A to point B, no matter how many outfits you own.

How to Prepare to Pack Clothes for Moving

Before grabbing your clothes and packing them in a rush, take some time to organize. The extra prep will ensure you only pack the clothes you really want and that they’ll be unpacked in a jiffy.

Decide what you’re keeping

Avoid lugging clothes you’ll never wear again from one home to the next. Want to know how to pack clothes for moving that you’ll actually wear? Go through your wardrobe and separate your clothes into three piles. One for donating, one for clothes you’re selling, and another for those you’re storing.

Sifting through your clothes can be a struggle. Outfits you love but don’t fit anymore can be hard to part with. When deciding which clothes to take and which ones to let go of, keep in mind how good it’ll feel to have the extra space.

Donate your clothes

Donating your clothes to charity is a great way to help your community. Clothes that you haven’t worn in over a year but are still in good condition can get a new lease on life. Plus, you’ll free up space in your new closet.

Sell your clothes

Do you have expensive jeans that don’t fit? Or a designer handbag you don’t want? If you have items hiding in your closet that you’ll never wear or use again, sell them online or at specialty thrift stores.

Store excess items

For items that are too special to get rid of, like a wedding dress, don’t shove them back into the depths of your closet or back under your bed. Instead, set them aside. If you’re tight on space in your new home, put items into a storage unit for safe keeping. If storage isn’t an issue for you, pack these clothes first.

Prepare your clothes for packing

If you know how to pack clothes for moving correctly, you’ll avoid stress later on. Before packing, wash all your clothes. You can then put them in order of what to pack first. To keep things easy, pack the clothes you use the least first. Unless you know you’ll need them before moving day, start with packing cocktail attire and out of season clothes. If you’re moving in the summer, for example, you probably won’t need those scarves and coats.

Sort clothes before packing by material, type, or season

Want to know how to pack clothes for moving in the most organized way? Make unpacking easier by sorting your clothes before packing them. You’ll be able to see how much you have in each category and put your clothes away easily. We recommend dividing your clothes among these categories – material, purpose, or season.

Material of clothing

If you have a lot of wool sweaters or cashmere cardigans, you may want to keep them together. Deciding to pack your clothes by material lets you treat each fabric carefully. For example, you can protect natural fabrics from moths as you move by packing them in plastic. This strategy is especially helpful for the clothes that you’re storing. Keep them fresh and intact by packing clothes made out of the same materials all in one box.

Type of clothing

Different types of clothes have different needs. You wouldn’t pack a sundress the same way you’d pack shorts, so it’s a good idea to separate them. Use this method if you have many different types of clothes. If you’re more of a t-shirt and jeans person, separating your clothes by type may not be as useful.

Seasonal clothing

If you live in a region with fluctuating seasons, this is the best way for you to sort your clothes. Simply divide your clothes by each season, starting with the season you’re furthest from. If it’s winter now, you’ll start packing summer clothes first.

How to Pack Clothes for Moving by Type

You’ve pared down your closet and separated the clothes you have left. Now we can get into the nitty-gritty of how to pack clothes for moving. From hanging clothes to shoes, each item should be packed in a specific way. Here are the best ways to pack and move each category.

How to pack hanging clothes for moving

Chances are, you have a lot of hanging clothes. Between shirts, pants, and formal outfits, hanging clothes often dominate household closets. Since they tend to wrinkle easily it’s important to move them properly. You don’t want to spend a whole day ironing. These are the four most efficient ways to pack hanging clothes without adding extra creases:

1. Wardrobe boxes

The best way to pack hanging clothes is with wardrobe boxes. These rectangular boxes come with hanging rods that are ideal for moving clothes on hangers. They’re sturdy enough to hold a lot of clothes and their shape makes it easy to keep wrinkles at bay. They are often expensive, but for many, they’re worth the cost. If your budget allows, be sure to add a few wardrobe boxes to your list when deciding how many moving boxes you need.

2. Garment or trash bags

Protecting your clothes when you move is a no-brainer. Depending on their price, knowing how to pack clothes for moving with garment bags can be worth your while to protect your clothes from dirt and dust. Moving without professional movers and need to save space in your vehicle? Garment bags are easy to hang in your car and can lay on top of other boxes. If you’re on a tight budget or a time crunch, you can substitute garbage bags for garment bags.

3.  Portable hanging racks

Want to know how to move clothes on hangers? Hanging racks are the way to go. You can purchase these at large home supply stores. Given their size, hanging racks work best when you’re using a moving truck. All you have to do is move your hanging clothes from one rack to the other. You may want to protect your clothes on the rack with trash bags or sheets, just to be safe.

How to pack non-hanging clothes for moving

When it comes to learning how to pack folded clothes for moving, you’re usually dealing with a chest of drawers. The best way to pack clothes already in dresser drawers is to leave them there and tape up the drawers. This can make moving your furniture very difficult, though. Depending on your moving company (or the strength of your friends), you may have to empty the dresser.

If this is the case, you need medium-sized boxes and some packing paper. Line the box with the paper and stack your folded clothes inside. To make unpacking a cinch, use the paper to divide your clothes as they were split across your drawers. Be sure to fill empty space in the boxes with exercise clothes or towels to keep everything in place.

How to pack shoes for moving

Your shoes go through enough, so be sure to protect them during the move. Stuff each one with packing paper or socks to keep their shape. Then wrap your shoes individually with packing paper to prevent scuffing. Depending on how many shoes you have, you can pack them in small or medium-sized boxes.

To protect your shoes, pack them toe-to-heel or sole-to-sole as you go. Also, be sure to put your heaviest shoes on the bottom of the box and lighter shoes on top. This way your snow boots won’t crush your sandals.

How to Pack Clothes in Bags and Suitcases

You may want to use duffel bags and suitcases for the clothes you’ll wear moving week and those you’ll want easy access to. Since suitcases are made to hold clothes, they’re easy to pack. Plus they can save you money on moving boxes. When deciding how to pack clothes for moving with a suitcase, look for ways to save space. Fold everything well and roll socks and small items to fit inside shoes.

If your bag doesn’t have wheels, be careful not to make it too heavy. You want to be able to carry it, so make life easier on yourself and keep it at a reasonable weight.

How to Pack Clothes in Garbage and Vacuum-Seal Bags

If you opt for garbage bags, you’re in luck. The whole process is pretty simple. Pick up a box of 30-gallon bags, making sure they have drawstrings. Tie 5-10 hangers together at a time or wrap them with an elastic band. Poke a hole in the bottom of a garbage bag. Then slip it over the stack of hanging clothes, threading the hangers through the hole. Be sure to tie the bag to secure your clothes inside and keep the dirt out.

When packing a vacuum-seal bag, roll or fold your clothes flat. Pack your larger items first and top them with smaller clothes. Once the bag is full, seal it shut and grab your vacuum. Lift the valve cap and place your vacuum nozzle on top. Turn on the vacuum and suck out the air. Once all the air is out of the bag, close and secure the valve cap. You’re done!

Be careful not to store your clothes in vacuum sealed bags for too long, though. They can damage clothing left inside for six months or more.

Home Post-move Checklist

Welcome to your new home! Whether it’s the house you’ve always dreamed of buying or a stepping stone to your next adventure, don’t let the unpacking process slow you down as you make your house your home. You can get settled in more quickly with help from this step by step moving tips checklist.

Check in With Your Utilities

One of the first things you should do upon arriving at your new home is to get in touch with your utility companies and verify that they’ve got the service under your name. Here are a few other important pointers:

Contact your HOA. If you’re moving into a condo or a home with an HOA, check in with their office and learn about your agreement. Some pay for utilities to members through the monthly fee. Find out about where you can throw out the trash and get parking permits if they’re required.

Find the cut-off mains for your utilities. Look around for the electric, water and gas mains and verify that they’re working correctly.

Contact your local internet and broadband provider. Let them know you’ve arrived and schedule a time for installation. If you need internet service in the meantime, you may be able to turn your phone into a mobile hot spot.

Prioritize Your Unpacking

If you hired a moving company, they probably left you an inventory of everything that was moved. Check that list and verify that no items were damaged or missing before they leave. Because it’s hard to know what to unpack first, we’ve got a list of unpacking tips to take on while the movers are getting things unloaded:

Order lunch. Before you get too busy, pick up or order lunch to make sure everyone is fed and fueled.

Clean your floors, walls and windows. Once new furnishings go in, it’s hard to catch up on this one.

Wipe down furniture. To help your kids feel at home more quickly, get them involved in unpacking. Assign a volunteer to dust and clean all furniture as it comes off the truck.

Work with the movers. Tell them where you want furniture to go and have them stack moving boxes along one wall in the correct room.

Clean the kitchen. Wipe out refrigerators and the pantry, then unpack the food. Line the shelves in your kitchen and unpack your silverware, dishes, glasses and pots and pans.

Clean as you go. Use a big box to hold broken-down boxes and recyclables and place a few trash bags on door handles to keep the mess down.

Make beds and unpack bathrooms. Showering and sleeping in your own bed will help you feel grounded later. Make sure you keep track of your shower curtain and linens for the kid’s rooms after they’re unloaded.

Think fire safety now. Locate the fire extinguishers and review the new fire escape plan with your family. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home.

How to Unpack After Moving Homes

In the days that follow moving day, it’s important to stay organized during the unpacking process. Here are some good ideas that can help you manage unpacking after a move.

Start in the living spaces you’ll need most. Get the kitchen, living room and dining room unpacked and arranged to provide a sense of stability in the heart of your home.

Set up your tech. Get your computer, televisions, telephones plugged in and connected to your home network.

Break down the boxes. Take a few minutes and get the important items out of key boxes on a room-by-room basis. This will help keep your rooms in order during the transition.

Call a locksmith. It’s a good idea to replace the locks, since you can’t be sure who’s got a copy of your keys.

How to Make a New House Your Home

After most of the boxes are unpacked, it’s time to decorate and put those finishing touches on your new place.

Set up a tour of your children’s new school. Help them feel more comfortable by meeting teachers, finding the library, gym and school office.

Hang window coverings. Installing window treatments will help you and your family feel more secure.

Run the errands. Get a library card, licenses for pets and register to vote.

Get to the DMV. Update the address on your driver’s license.

Maintain the exterior. Mow the lawn and assess the outside of your home for any needed upkeep, especially if it’s been vacant for a while.

Decorate with memories. Get images printed and framed to keep the photos up-to-date.

Get rid of empty boxes. Consider using social media to advertise. People are always on the hunt for boxes.

Get deep into the items that were left in the garage and make sense of the mess while you have time.

And just like that, you’re well on your way to settling in.

Moving Plants: A How-to Guide

You’ve worked hard to keep your houseplants alive, but now it’s time to move. Depending on your destination, moving plants to your new home may require some work — but don’t give up on them! Whether you’re looking to transport an array of succulents or a large palm, we’ve got you covered on how to move plants. Read on to learn how to care for your plants before, during, and after your move.

Preparing to Move Your Plants

Check state laws

If you’re preparing to move across state borders, there’s a chance you’ll have to find a new home for your houseplants. Some states prohibit certain plants to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. Other states may ask that you present a certificate of inspection for your plants. Don’t forget to check on the internet. If you can’t bring your beloved plants with you to your new place, don’t throw them away! There are a few alternate options:

  • Give your plants to friends or family
    Surely there’s someone in your network who would be more than happy to take your plants off your hands. Reach out to friends and family to see if anyone’s looking for some new greenery in their lives. If you’re struggling to find any takers, you can always offer up your plants on one of your social media accounts.
  • Contact local facilities
    If friends and family can’t take your houseplants, try donating them to places in your community. A local school, library, municipal building, or nursing facility may be interested.
  • List your plants online
    These days, there’s a website for everything — including one where you can donate and swap plants! On PlantSwap.org, creating an account is simple. Once you’ve filled in some profile information, you can list your plants with an “available for free” label.

  • Leave your plants on the curb
    We’re not talking about throwing them away! If you have to part ways with your houseplants, you can always leave them on the curb with a “free” sign. You’re bound to make someone’s day and find a new home for your plants in no time!

Prep your plants

If state laws permit you to move plants to your new home, you’re going to want to condition them for the move. This is particularly important if you’re moving a long ditance. Before learning how to move plants, take a look at how to care for them.

  • Water accordingly
    You don’t want to over-water your plants, as they will be heavy and drip water all over your car. On the other hand, you don’t want to under-water your plants or they may not make it to their new destination alive. For best results, water your plants a couple of days before your move. When moving plants during the summer, you’ll want to water them a little closer to your move. In the winter, you can hold off on watering them for a few days pre-move.
  • Prune dead leaves
    It’s good practice to prune your plants, especially when preparing for a move. Pruning spans beyond making your plants look good — it promotes healthy plant growth. Since moving plants can result in some damage, it’s key that they’re in the best shape possible before the big move.
  • Remove any insects
    You’ll definitely want to make sure your plants are bug-free before moving them into your new home. Doing so will keep them healthy on the journey to your new place, increasing their chance of survival.
  • Repot in plastic
    Moving plants in plastic will make them easier to carry (your body will thank you later). A disposable material also prevents the potential breakage of ceramic pots. Whichever material you end up choosing, you should repot your plants a few weeks before your move. This will give them time to adjust.

During Your Move

When it comes time to move, you have a couple of options for how to move plants. Unfortunately, most moving companies won’t transport plants since they want to avoid bringing pests or diseases across state lines. Still, you have a few alternatives. Think about what works best for you and your moving budget.

Moving plants yourself

Moving plants in your own car or rental truck requires some strategy but is doable. The key is to keep your plants secure while making sure they have enough oxygen to breathe. It’s best to avoid packing plants in your trunk, as the airflow is limited. Contrarily, you don’t want to pack your plants in a pickup truck, as the wind will get the best of your plants. If you do have to transport your plants in an open vehicle, place a sheet over them to prevent damage.

Regardless of where you choose to pack your plants, we suggest loading them last. This will help cut down on their car-time as much as possible. Depending on the size of your houseplants, we have varied suggestions on how to move plants:

  • Small plants
    if your plants are particularly tiny, cardboard boxes with dividers are a great way to keep them in place. For lots of little plants, wine glass boxes are a great choice. If you have slightly larger plants, you can simply nestle them in a box with some newsprint. Be sure to keep the box open to let the plants breathe. If you have to shut it, do so loosely and poke some holes in the box to let air inside.
  • Large plants
    If your plants are too big to fit in standard boxes, you can place the base of the plant in a trash bag to avoid soil spillage. To prevent the plant from shifting around, wrap the base in an old sheet or towel. For extra security, you may want to buckle up your plants or fasten them with a bungee cord. Depending on the length of your journey, taller plants might end up tilted or uprooted. If this occurs, simply replant them once you get to your new home.

Don’t waste money buying boxes for your plants! There are plenty of places where you can find free moving boxes if you know where to look.

Moving plants via mail

If you want to know how to move plants long-distance, it’s worth looking into shipping your plants. Shipping is a better option for sturdier plants like succulents, as the risk for damage can be high. When choosing a shipping company, try to determine who will ship your plants quickly and safely. Swing by your local post office.

If you’re shipping potted plants in the mail, you’ll want to wrap the pot in bubble wrap. For extra protection, place a sleeve of cardboard around the bottom of the plant. To keep the soil in place, put the base in a plastic bag.

When looking for the right box for moving plants, pick a sturdy one that can withstand a fair amount of wear. You’ll want the box to be only slightly larger than the plant itself to prevent it from shifting around. If there is extra space, fill it with newsprint or old linens. You can also stick a “fragile” or “live plant” label on the box to encourage those handling it to treat it more gently.

Settling In

Give your plants time to adjust

It’s totally normal for your houseplants to experience some wilting after your move. If there is any serious damage, go ahead and remove the dead foliage. Otherwise, continue to water them properly and provide supplemental light if necessary. Soon enough, your houseplants should adapt to their new environment.

We hope we’ve given you the tools on how to move plants safely to your new home. If your houseplants sustained some damage from the journey, don’t give up hope just yet! There are several solutions for bringing your plants back to life. Your plants should be thriving once again in no time. Happy Moving!