Moving? Here are 10 tips for a smooth transition

Moving is a hassle, yes, but if you’re organized and plan ahead, you’ll save yourself plenty of headaches. Here are 10 tips for a successful, less stressful move.

  1. Measure twice, move once. Not only should you know the dimensions of the rooms in your new place, you should know the size of the doorways and hallways that you’ll have to maneuver furniture through. Plus, you’ll need to know the dimensions of your furniture.

    moving tips
    A couch like this one might not come apart, but IKEA furniture (like the tables and chair pictured here) is designed for simple assembly–and dis-assembly.
  2. Make check lists and use them. Go through your old place room by room and list all the items you need to pack up and move. Check off items as you move them onto the moving van, and check them off again as you unload them at your new place. This way, nothing will get lost or left behind.
  3. Label your boxes. This might strike you as a no-brainer, but it’s such a quick, simple step that it might easily slip your mind. Unpacking in your new place really will be much easier if you know what each box contains without having to look inside.
  4. If it comes apart, take it apart. It might seem easier to move with intact furniture, but it’s actually much simpler to break down everything into manageable pieces. Pull the drawers out of dressers (you could leave items in removed drawers in lieu of boxes) to lighten the load. Take apart your sectional and reassemble it in its new home. Unscrew the legs from you dining room table for flatter transport and an easier time fitting it, piece by piece, into the allotted space.
  5. Wrap it up. This might sound goofy, but cellophane is your friend when it comes time for moving. If you already have all your silverware inside a drawer organizer, all you have to do is wrap that in cellophane and it’s ready to move. Remember those drawers you pulled out of your dresser? Wrap them in cellophane to secure the items inside, no boxes needed! Buy the cheap stuff and wrap up your whole mattress and box-spring to protect them during the move and make it easy to slide them across carpeted floors.
  6. Clean your trash cans and use them for storage. You can even nest a small bathroom can inside your bigger kitchen can and then store stuff inside. Suddenly, you have a box or two fewer to lug from place to place.
  7. Use your Tetris skills and leave no space unused inside boxes or inside the moving van.
  8. Know where you can park. If you have a large moving truck, make sure you know the neighborhood’s rules and the borough’s ordinances about where you’re allowed to park it and for how long. The last thing you want is your truck full of all your possessions getting towed. Your present and future landlords are likely in the know about this stuff, so ask them where you can pull up as you vacate and later as you move in.
  9. Take pictures. After you’ve vacated your old place, take pictures of everything as evidence that you cleaned up and took everything with you. It’s a good way to go through one last time and make sure you didn’t forget anything. Before you start moving into your new place, take pictures of everything exactly how you find it. The pictures of your old and new places will be important when it comes time to get your security deposit back. Once you’re done moving in, take pictures of everything in its place to keep on record in case you need it for insurance purposes. If you decide to feng shui later, take more pictures. While you’re at it, take some pictures for your scrapbook to preserve the memories.
  10. Remember how you handled the move. There’s a fair chance that you’ll be moving again in the future, so after the move is complete, sit down and think about what went well and what could have gone better. It’s probably a good idea to write this reflection down for future reference. At the very least, you should recall the size moving van you rented, how you got everything into the apartment, and how you got it all to fit in said moving van. You’ve already solved the puzzle once, so save your future self the headache of having to do it all over again.

Do you have your own moving tips? Share them in the comments below.

Related Posts:

How to get your full security deposit back

How to clean your acrylic bathtub (and save your security deposit)

How to keep your cat from costing you your security deposit

Spring cleaning tips: good for your security deposit

How to decorate a 2 bedroom

Apartments near public transportation in Pittsburgh

Last week, we offered advice on how to find an apartment near public transportation in Pittsburgh. This week, we’re featuring the Prudential Realty communities close to bus and T stops. If you’re on the hunt for a new place, one of these might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

pet friendly apartments
Alvern Gardens has all the amenities you need, including a dog park and a T stop close by.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

Looking for an affordable home for yourself, and maybe for a small pet? Not only is Alvern Gardens mere blocks from the St. Anne’s T stop, it also welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. There’s even a dog park on site as well as a pool. If you’re interesting in Alvern Gardens, email alverngardens@yahoo.com or call 412-561-4663.

The Brett Apartments

The Brett Apartments in Shadyside are close to several bus stops that will take you to Oakland, South Side Works, and beyond. Plus, if you have a car, you could park it in the garage. Call 412-722-8546 for the current availability at the Brett Apartments.

free parking
In addition to its garage, Place Seville has a free, first come, first serve parking lot for its residents.

Cornell Place

For an apartment in a beautiful building complete with stained glass windows close to shopping and dining in Mt. Lebanon, Cornell Place is just what you’re looking for. Located about 10 minutes walk from several bus and T stops, you have plenty of options for getting where you need to go. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Cornell Place.

Place Seville Apartments

covered parking
Some of the Sleepy Hollow Townhouses have a little deck over the garage entrance, so a second car in the driveway can be partially covered as well.

If you’d like to live at the heart of Castle Shannon, Place Seville is the place for you. Located steps from the Overbrook Junction T stop, Place Seville offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments as well as covered parking for those who have cars. Call 412-563-7256 for the current availability at Place Seville.

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments

From 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom townhouses, Sleepy Hollow has the right size home for you. Plus, the Memorial Hall T stop is right down the road. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Sleepy Hollow.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Not too shabby for our first full year of blogging. Here’s to further success in 2015!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Heading downtown for First Night? Here’s what you need to know about public transportation

Last week we told you all about Highmark First Night and how to plan your visit. Now it’s time to talk about your transportation options on the big night. Because it’s New Year’s Eve on Wednesday, we’re posting early this week to give you all the info you need for attending the festivities in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Pittsburgh First Night
Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration features not one, but two fireworks displays, plus so much more.

First of all, it’s a good idea to take public transportation into the city, as parking will be hard to find and many streets will be closed for the celebration. But be warned: lots of people will be using public transportation, so plan to leave early and weigh your options toward the end of the night: head home early to beat the crowd, or stay for the fireworks at midnight and join the crush. Either way, you’re better off than those who decided to drive. They had to pay an arm and a leg for parking and are still facing the same timing dilemma.

In any case, take note that the Port Authority is running special hours for New Year’s Eve, and the usual holiday hours for New Year’s Day. Plus, kids under 12 accompanied by an adult wearing a First Night button ride for free starting at 4 p.m. If you don’t have a ConnectCard already, consider getting one for each member of the household and loading it up with a value or a pass. The cards are easier and faster than providing correct change. You can get cards at most Giant Eagle stores around Pittsburgh.

Be sure to use the Port Authority trip planner to schedule your ride so you know when to arrive at the stop.

It’s a good idea to check the weather before you head out as well. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter in the area, but it looks like it’s getting colder just in time for New Year’s. Bundle up in layers before you head out for the night, and bring cash for hot beverages.

Don’t live close to public transportation? Consider moving to a Prudential Realty Community like Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, or Sleepy Hollow in 2015.

Allegheny County Port Authority holiday schedule

Check out the latest news from Allegheny County Port Authority.

Buses, the “T,” Pittsburgh’s light rail system, and the inclines will run on their regular weekday schedule on Christmas Eve, but they will run on a holiday schedule on Christmas Day.

What’s in a name? For Carbonara’s, it’s deliciousness

Fans of Italian food should do themselves a favor and visit Carbonara on Mt. Lebanon Blvd. in Castle Shannon. This restaurant and lounge is cozy and family friendly with a menu that features all the classics, but it’s the little touches that make it a truly nice restaurant.

The staff is genial and friendly from the moment you walk in the door. The booths are huge and

Carbonara Restaurant
If you love pasta, you owe it to yourself to visit Carbonara. Photo by gaku. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gaku/2730668353/in/photostream/

immaculately clean. The entire place is warmly lit. We ordered the pasta—the titular carbonara and a plate of spaghetti with meat sauce—which comes with either a tossed salad or a cup of soup as an appetizer and garlic bread as a side. We got two tossed salads, and boy were they tasty. The greens were lush (no ice berg lettuce here!), all the ingredients were crispy and fresh, and it was portioned just right. Our pasta was served in dishes that made the servings look deceptively small. It wasn’t until we twirled in with fork and spoon that we realized what we were in for. Everything was rib-stickingly rich and we barely made it through half of our plates. The rest, along with half of the baguette we received under the name “garlic bread,” (seriously, it was a lot of tasty, tasty garlic bread) went home in a doggie bag.

In cities, it can be hard to find a reasonably priced restaurant that serves food everyone in the party will like. But at Carbonara’s, not only is there free parking in a decently sized lot, there’s a varied Italian menu so tasty you’ll double check the receipt to make sure you weren’t under charged.

What to live close to tasty local eats like Carbonara’s? Contact Prudential Realty Company for our current availability at a variety of our Castle Shannon communities: Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, and Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments.

Go to Someone Else’s Bar

The name might be confusing, but there’s no mistaking the deliciousness of the menu at Someone Else’s Bar.

Located on Willow Ave. just down the road from Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, and Sleepy Hollow, the dive is named for its owner, Else Franzmann. There’s no smoking, and the whole locale is family friendly. The most unusual part (other than the name, of course)? There’s a candy dish (or two, or three) at every table. Think peanut M&Ms instead of the regular bar peanuts. Also Twizzlers. But make sure you leave room for your actual meal.

Someone Else's Bar
From burgers to quesadillas to grilled cheese, family friendly Someone Else’s Bar has something for everyone.

Besides serving fish-n-mac on the last Friday of every month, Tuesday night is Burger Night. Every Tuesday, Someone Else’s Bar serves up the “5th best burger in Pittsburgh” (according to their website) for just $8.

The Blazing Saddle burger, for example, has just the right amount of heat, and it’s beautifully balanced with the homemade chips. The chips are crispy, crunchy perfection.

But it’s not all about the burgers, this menu is full of classics. The steak quesadilla was elegantly assembled and perfectly portioned. We had it with a side of sweet potato fries. On trend and tasty.

Chi Quach, assistant property manager of Alvern Gardens, loves going to Burger Night, but he also recommends the chicken wings and chicken quesadillas. He says, “it’s a very family oriented place,” and he sends all new residents down to check it out. After all, nothing makes you feel more at home in a new neighborhood than joining the fold of locals at the pub. Even though it’s called Someone Else’s Bar, it’s definitely everyone’s bar. No wonder it’s always packed.