9 Ways To Make Yourself At Home!

9 ways to make yourself at home in your new place!

Cheap Movers Los Angeles' 9 Ways to Make Yourself At Home!
Moving into a new place can be overwhelming: four blank white walls, a bunch of boxes and not much else. While homeowners have the luxury of painting, installing, and constructing whatever they want, renters are a little more restricted. Thankfully, there are still plenty of ways that you can customize your space, adding aesthetic touches and preparing it for living. Check every item off this list, as you turn your new apartment into a cozy home.

Get Rid of Those Boxes

Cheap Movers Los Angeles' 9 Ways to Make Yourself At Home! cheap movers los angeles moving boxes

This may seem obvious, but it’s easier said than done. With our hectic work schedules and busy personal lives, it’s easy to ignore the giant stack of boxes for weeks. Make your apartment feel homier right away by unpacking everything as soon as possible.

Turn on your favorite tunes

Cheap Movers Los Angeles' 9 Ways to Make Yourself At Home! cheap movers los angeles dancing at home.jpg

Get inspired to have an unpacking dance party by putting on your favorite tunes. Music helps reduce stress, so if you’re freaking out about the amount of unpacking you have to do, your favorite playlist will be just what you need.

Unpack the Big Items First

Get all the big things out and set up first, like your lamps, furniture, and anything that needs to be put together. This will help you create a blueprint of your new space, dictating where everything will go and allowing you to make it feel like home right away.

Make Your Bed

Nothing says cozy, comfortable home like a newly made bed—especially if you have new bedding to use. Get your bed set up right away and plop down to relax as you go through your bedroom items.

Prep the Bathroom

You may have a new shower curtain, but most items in your bathroom are likely brought from the last place you lived. You probably use them every day, as well, bringing a sense of comfort when unpacking them.Get your medicine cabinet set up and decide how you want your new sink and vanity area to look. Little tasks like this make all the difference when you want to feel at home in your new apartment.

Open Up the Space

If you’re feeling claustrophobic in your new, small space, there are a few things you can do to open it up. One easy way to do that is to open the windows, but if you’re in a tiny city apartment, that may not do much to help. However, finding soft incandescent bulbs can be a good alternative to replace natural light and open up your space. If you don’t have access to natural light, use lamps with soft incandescent bulbs to replace the light you’re missing (fluorescent lighting can be harsh and unpleasant), according to experts at Empire Siding and Windows.

Unpack a Piece of Home

If you moved from far away, unpack the things that remind you of home right away. Pictures of friends and family, posters you’ve had forever, and that hamper that made it through all four years of college. You’ll love reminiscing as you pull the items out, and will feel better being able to see them as you make your way from room to room.

Do a Security Check

Check all your doors and windows for any potential security issues right when you move in. You’ll feel safer knowing that your window and door locks are safe and secure. If they’re not, call your property manager right away and they can come install a temporary fix or take care of the problem. “Statistics show that more than 30 percent of all apartment burglars gained access through an open door or window,”says David Artman, CEO of The Home Security Super Store.

Host a Dinner or Housewarming Party!

housewarming party

If you didn’t move far away from home, and still have friends nearby, host a dinner or small housewarming party. You’ll immediately feel at home having all your friends chatting and enjoying themselves in your new space.


When all’s said and done, curl up on your couch, put on a movie you love and relax. Nothing will help you feel better than a good movie night and some much-needed shut-eye.

Packing books for moving…

packing books for moving

Packing books for moving

Most of the people who are getting ready to move out of their homes don’t always stick a High Priority label to the job of packing books. Such an obvious underestimation may be the direct result of 1) people having too many things on their minds to worry about packing and moving their books, 2) people thinking that packing books for a move is the easiest move-related task in their calendars, and 3) people owning too few books to really be intimidated by the book packing job ahead of them.

While it’s true that to pack books when moving house is relatively easier than to pack kitchen plates and glasses for a move, you still need to know the basic book packing principles and safety rules to prevent any damage to your favorite reads and prolong the shelf life.

Moving house is a notoriously chaotic period in life when even seemingly simple tasks can go terribly wrong. The next 10 simple steps will show you the best way to pack books for moving.

Step 1. Optimize your book collection

Books cannot be broken easily like kitchen plates or glass vases, so what’s all the fuss about packing and moving books? Well, when packed together in a box, books become super heavy and that weight alone can cause a number of problems for you on moving day.

A single book page is almost weightless, one book is not really heavy, get 5 books together and things are starting to feel differently. Cram 10 books in one tight place and you’ll understand why moving books could prove to be harder than you expected. And since the final moving price will be based primarily on the move distance and the total shipment weight, you should seriously consider lowering that overall weight any way you can.

Do you really need to take all the books you own? First and foremost, go through your book collection one by one and select only the copies you must have with you at all costs – prized collections, favorite books and gifts from dear friends will surely make it to your new home.

Step 2. Sort and group your books

Time can kill the value of books – either literally or figuratively speaking, or maybe even both. You may find out that some of your books have been seriously damaged with time, especially if they have not been properly stored. Other copies may have lost the original worth they had when you first bought them. Either way, it’s time to sort out your books into two large piles: TAKE and LEAVE BEHIND.

Below, we’ll give you great tips for packing books when moving house (the TAKEpile) but let’s first say a few words about what you should do with the LEAVE BEHIND stack.

  • Gift to friends or donate to charities any books you won’t ever need again but are still worthy of being read by other people. Where to donate used books? Check whether local libraries, hospitals, schools, nursing homes or charity shops will be willing to take the books you’re not taking with you.
  • Consider recycling any paper copies that are too worn out, damaged or worthless to be enjoyed by anyone but your local recycling center.

Don’t forget to group the books you’re moving by size so that they can fit nicely into the boxes.

Step 3. Get proper supplies for packing

Even though packing books for a move may not the toughest job in your packing calendar, you’re still going to need the right packing materials to keep harmful damage away from your favorite reads. To finish your task quickly and to avoid time-wasting interruptions, get your hands on:

  • Book boxes. These cardboard boxes are not any special type of moving containers – rather, they just happen to meet 3 major requirements: 1) they are strong because they are made of thick cardboard, 2) they are small boxes with usual dimensions of 20’’ x 11’’ x 11’’ (medium-sized boxes should also do fine), and 3) they are perfectly clean, dry and free of any signs of pre-existing damage.
  • Packing paper. You’ll need clean and soft packing paper in order to pack valuable books, as well as to use as effective separators between rows of books already arranged in boxes.
  • Newspapers. Newsprint is the ideal filling material – abundant and free of charge.
  • Packing tape. Get at least 2 rolls of high-quality packing tape as it will be used for additional reinforcement for book boxes as well.
  • A marker pen. Label your packed boxes properly to make things easier for you upon arrival in your new home.

Step 4. Prepare book boxes for increased efficiency

Before you can begin placing the already sorted and grouped books into cardboard boxes of the right size, let’s list the steps you need to take to make sure the moving containers are 100% ready for use. The main things to consider when preparing the cardboard boxes you’ll use to transport your books are:

  • Take a closer look at the boxes you plan to use for transporting your books – inspect each book box carefully and make sure none of them is damp or has holes, tears or other signs of excessive wear. Remember that books are too heavy to be moved in largely unreliable packing boxes.
  • Apply an extra layer of packing tape to the bottom of each book box to ensure that no moving container will break under the considerable weight. Also, use tape to reinforce all side seams of the cardboard boxes too.
  • Place a couple of clean sheets of packing paper on the bottom of each container to serve as an initial insulating layer.

Step 5. Learn how to pack books for moving

The next easy steps will teach you how to pack books in moving boxes so that you won’t have any accidents during the move itself. Ultimately, you will want to open up the boxes after arriving in your new house or apartment and find the books exactly the way you have packed them.

  • How to pack books quickly and efficientlyFirst of all, valuable books should be wrapped individually in soft packing paper. If you happen to own a few books of great sentimental value, you must keep them with you during the entire move.
  • The good news is that you can choose among 3 different ways to arrange your books in the boxes: upright, flat and spine down.
    • Upright. Arrange the books standing upright so that their open parts are facing the box sides. This is the way you would usually see books neatly arranged on bookshelves. Do not pack books with their open sides facing the inside of the book box.
    • Flat. This is a very safe way of packing books in moving boxes – you just stack them along the box sides. Don’t forget to place the heavier copies first and then arrange the lighter ones on top of them.
    • Spines down. This is the least recommended way to pack books in a box but if you decide to use it for some reason, always arrange the books with their spines facing the bottom of the moving container. Don’t do it the other way round as you risk damaging the bindings of your books forever.
  • Select the book packing method that seems the quickest and easiest for you, and then stick to it until the end.
  • Avoid arranging books too tightly one next to the other as that could cause you to damage a copy while you’re trying to take it out upon arrival.
  • The moment you finish packing one row, place a couple of sheets over the books and start a second row of books if the box allows it. The main idea is to always try and keep the pages of different books from touching in a direct way.
  • When you’re done packing books for shipping, fill any large gaps inside the box with crumpled pieces of newspaper to ensure no printed works move inside the container during the trip.
  • Place one final sheet of clean packing paper on the very top, then close the lids of the book box and tape it securely.
  • Use your black marker to label the boxes you’ve already packed – write BOOKS and the destination room.

Step 6. Pack books in a suitcase

Using strong cardboard boxes to pack books for moving is the classic approach that won’t go out of fashion anytime soon – it’s the book packing method that people automatically think of whenever they are forced to transport their book collections to a new address. However, packing books in moving boxes has two major disadvantages: 1) the cardboard containers are still susceptible to damage and 2) the book-filled boxes need to be either carried around in hands or wheeled out by being stacked on a moving dolly which will additionally make things more laborious and time-consuming.

What if you could use a much stronger and bigger moving container equipped with its own wheels? Actually, you can. If you own a travel suitcase with wheels at the bottom, then take full advantage of it by filling it with the heaviest books you can find in your TAKE pile. To pack books in a suitcase is pretty easy and quite straightforward – you don’t even have to label it once you’re ready.

Step 7. Follow the safety rules

What's the easiest way to pack books?Knowing how to pack books when moving house is all about keeping the main safety tips in mind. Remember that books can still be ruined if you fail to follow some basic rules for packing books for a move:

  • Keep the weight of a single book-filled box under 40 pounds. Again, books are heavier than you think.
  • Use small to medium sized boxes for packing books properly.
  • Always double-tape the seams of book boxes as a precaution, even if those containers are brand new.
  • Always place the heaviest books on the bottom of a cardboard box.
  • Use extra care when packing valuable books /antique books or rare books/ – it’s best if you wrap them up in soft packing paper and transport them yourself in a special prized-collection-of-first-editions box.

Despite these great tips for packing books for moving, if you still have doubts that you will manage to pack and move your books on your own, then have professional packers and movers take care of your book collection for you.

Moving this 4th of July?

moving this 4th of july

Moving this 4th of July?

Moving during a holiday can throw a few more unexpected obstacles into the mix. Since it’s the middle of summer and many people will be getting an extra day off this July 4th weekend there’s sure to be a few families moving around Central Texas. Here’s a look at why the timing may not be as ideal as you thought and how to overcome holiday moving hurdles.

Heavy Load Restrictions

Are you shipping items or a car from one city to another? Got a huge moving truck that’s loaded down? Truck drivers know that there can movement restrictions on holidays, but many home movers will have no idea. Independence Day is one of the holidays in which super heavy loads will be suspended.

People Drinking and Driving

Forbes has found that Independence Day is the second most dangerous holidayfor people that are on the road. The potential for accidents during July 4th is increased for two reasons. 1.) People are drinking both day and night while they celebrate the country’s birthday. 2.) More people are on the road vacationing during the summer break. Moving during this holiday could have added risk, especially if you’re manning a big truck that you’re not familiar with.

If you have to be on the road on the 4th of July, try to plan for an early move before people start celebrating.

Friends and Family Being Too Busy to Help

Cashing in on moving help during a holiday can be a little more difficult compared to other times of the year. Oftentimes friends and family already have plans for celebrating July 4th, which don’t include spending the day moving. If you need a little extra help only ask friends and family for a few hours of their time and consider going the extra mile by having snacks, refreshments and lunch on hand.

Businesses Not Being Open

During Independence Day many stores shut their doors early or don’t open at all. This can be a big hindrance if you need last minute supplies, extra keys, food, etc. Your selection of moving companies in Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, and other Southern California cities may also be limited.

Road Closures

There are lots of events happening during the Fourth of July from parades in the morning to fireworks at night. There’s a good chance at least a few roads will be closed at some point in the day, which could cut off your travel routes. Call the offices of the cities you’ll be driving through or CalTrans well in advance to inquire about any possible road closures so that you don’t run into unexpected delays on moving day.

You Won’t be Able to Join the Fun

July 4th happens on just one day out of the year, and there are lots of fun things going on no matter where you live. Instead of working away on the holiday why not enjoy the celebrations and schedule the move for a day or two later?

If you’re making a move in, out or around Los Angeles, give Cheap Movers Los Angeles a call, and we’ll handle the heavy load for you!

Moving out of an apartment, a how-to guide…

moving out of an apartment

Moving out of an apartment is complicated and brings its own set of challenges and unique responsibilities.

moving out of an apartment

moving out of an apartment

Give notice of moving out of an apartment

Giving notice of moving out of an apartment is crucial, especially if you’re breaking your lease. Even if you’re not, it’s still crucial to let your landlord know that you’re actually moving out when your lease is up. That way, your landlord can not only prepare by trying to find a new tenant for your apartment, but can also potentially assist you in finding services to help you clean or move out of your apartment. This might help alleviate some of the stress of moving. Choose a specific day by which you’ll definitely be out of your apartment and notify your landlord you’ll be out by that time. Then, motivate yourself to have everything done two days early. This will give you extra time to deal with any emergencies that might arise at the last minute.

As always, communication is crucial—you’ll need to keep your landlord updated throughout the moving process, so he or she will be able to show the apartment to new tenants and guarantee a move-in date to the incoming individuals. Being flaky about your move-out date is not only an inconvenience for your landlord, it might also cost you some money—especially if you’re not out by the first of the month, when the new tenants show up with a moving van full of furniture. Changing apartments is not something to mess around with, so be sure you can leave by the date you set for yourself.

Get out on time

This should go without saying, but you’ll need to actually get all—yes, all—of your stuff out of the apartment before taking off for good. It’s not the responsibility of your landlord or the next tenant to get rid of all the junk you don’t want to take with you to your future place of residence. If you don’t want something, at least haul it to the curb or dumpster, or just advertise it on the craigslist for your city—you’ll be amazed what people will go to great lengths to pick up and even pay for. No matter how great your car (or, if you’re lucky, truck) is, you’ll likely need to hire a moving company and/or some strong friends with trucks to help you move any significant amount of furniture.

If you’re not moving furniture, get rid of it, or get a contract allowing you to leave it behind. Even if you meet the people who’ll be living in your apartment next, and they indicate an interest in your furniture, obtain a written agreement signed by the tenants and your landlords that allows you to leave certain items of furniture behind. Otherwise, you might be faced with extensive charges from your landlord if he or she had to pay people to take out and dispose of your stuff.

Clean up before moving out of an apartment

Your landlord can usually issue a cleaning fee if you leave your apartment excessively messy. Since messiness is a subjective issue, it’s better to be on the safe (i.e., clean) side and tidy up as much as possible. If you’ve been a total slob for your tenancy in the apartment, this might be rough, but if you’ve maintained decent cleanliness levels, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

If possible, get as many of your belongings out of the apartment prior to cleaning. This will not only make it easier to clean, since you’ll have fewer objects to work around, but it’ll also help you get a more thorough clean and avoid being surprised by fees charged by your landlord, who discovered a huge stain under the rug you left behind in the living room. If you want to get your deposit back, try to leave your apartment even cleaner than you found it when you moved in. That may not be possible, but it’s a good goal.

Fix it

Now’s the time to own up to any damage you caused to the apartment while you were there. You might be able to get away with a temporary cover-up that will pass a quick inspection, but eventually the new tenant will uncover what you did and refuse to take responsibility. Rather than risk a messy fight in the future, simply allow for whatever you might have done to your apartment to be set right. When your landlord finds out, you’re probably in for a messy lawsuit to recover damages, not to mention a drastic decrease in your future desirability as a tenant. If you have damage to repair, do make sure to hire competent workers who’ll do a good repair job; you don’t want to be stuck with bills from both the construction crew and your landlord. You might also work directly with your apartment complex’s maintenance crew, since they’re already on-site and equipped with the tools to do the job.

Record it

It’s a good idea to have some record of the condition your apartment was in when you moved out. That way, your landlord can’t accuse you of making the place any dirtier or more damaged than you actually did. It’s also important to have a record of the condition the place was in when you moved in—but of course, if you didn’t take care of that initially, you’ll be hard-pressed to do it now. What you can do is make absolutely sure you won’t be charged for damages you definitely didn’t inflict. Once you’ve moved all your stuff out and done a thorough cleaning, take pictures of the apartment to prove you left it in an acceptable condition. You’ll probably also want to walk through the apartment with your landlord before you leave, just to show off the condition of the place and hand over the keys. This will not only show the landlord how you left your apartment, but also prove that you didn’t make any modifications to it after surrendering all access.

Get your deposit back

Depending on the terms of your lease, you should be entitled to get your security deposit back when you move out. As long as you haven’t wrought excessive and irreparable havoc in your apartment, and as long as you’re honest about what you’ve done, you should be able to get most of your deposit back. Repainting and carpet cleaning are costs you shouldn’t have to cover unless you caused undue damage to your apartment. Unless the carpet is stained and ripped up from your devilish pets, or the walls are covered with color from your late-night painting frenzies, it’s your landlord’s decision to redo aspects of the apartment, and you shouldn’t have to pay for your landlord’s desire to improve the condition of the living space to attract future tenants.

Some landlords will hold on to the security deposit unless you take steps to get it back. Start out by simply sending a written request by certified mail with return receipt requested. If there’s no response, you might look into going to small claims court to get your deposit back. Depending on the size of your deposit, this may not be worth the hassle, but you are legally entitled to get your deposit back unless you’ve caused damage so extensive that the money’s needed for repairs. This is where the photographs of the pristine apartment you left behind come in handy—they’ll demonstrate that you didn’t do enough damage to merit the seizure of your deposit.

Pay it off

In some lease agreements, the security deposit can be used toward the last month’s rent. This is an option you may want to explore—though you may not be able to, depending on the terms of your lease and the size of your deposit. Ask your landlord if your deposit can be used toward rent or not. If not, you’ll still need to pay your rent through your term of residency—not doing so will cause more grief and eventually cost more money than it’ll save you.

Apartment Move-Out Checklist

A great way to help keep yourself organized and methodical is to implement the use of a Move-Out Checklist. This is your handy record of what you have (and may have not,) done that you can keep and actually provide as evidence to your landlord.

Check out this nifty check-out list from our friends at American Apartment Owners Association:moving-checklist (1)

Best wishes,

Cheap Movers Los Angeles Customer Care Team

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