METCALF MOVING BLOG
Renovations That Add Value to Your Home
Although the primary purpose of buying a house is to have a place to live, one of the other advantages is that you can build equity over time. Then, you can leverage that equity to buy a new property or pass that wealth on to your kids.
Being a homeowner is a lot of responsibility, but upgrades and renovations are part of the deal. Fortunately, the more work you put into the home, the more valuable it will be. That said, not all renovations are moneymakers, so we’ve compiled the top ones that can give you a decent return on your investment when you decide to relocate.
Add a Bedroom
As a general rule, home prices are based on factors like the square footage, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the age of the home. So, if you can increase the usable square feet and add a bedroom, you can immediately increase the equity.
According to OpenDoor, adding a new room can increase the home price by about five percent. If your house is worth $250,000, adding a bedroom can increase the asking price by about $12,500. While you might spend more on the addition, it’s worth it in the long run if median home prices increase (which they often do).
Enhance Your Loft
If you have a loft, consider converting it into a bedroom without extending your home. Lofts can be valuable spaces, but many people end up underusing them. If you have a loft, consider how to use this space for bedroom purposes.
Ensure your loft has enough floor space to accommodate a bed and other furniture; its height is at least 7 feet before starting any work.
A closet is necessary for many rooms, as they can only be considered bedrooms with them.
Upgrade Your Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home because everyone gathers there to break bread and enjoy meals. Today, kitchens must be functional and beautiful, with backsplashes, accents, tiles, granite countertops, and more. It’s time to upgrade your kitchen if it’s stuck in the last millennium.
The great thing about kitchen renovations is that you can do specific sections individually. You can also DIY elements like new cabinet doors, updated appliances, and even backsplash tiles (if you know what you’re doing). So while the whole kitchen may take a long time to complete, you can save money by completing projects incrementally.
With a kitchen renovation, consider how you or other people will use it in the future. Avoid trendy elements since they may go out of style in a few years. Instead, focus on high-quality, practical features that will stand the test of time.
Add or Upgrade Your Bathroom
According to the 2019 Remodeling Impact Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), bathroom renovation is the most popular home improvement. As with adding a bedroom, a new bathroom can do wonders to build equity in your house. Either you can add a new bathroom or upgrade a current one.
Bathrooms can be tricky because you have to consider plumbing and waterproofing. However, even something as simple as new fixtures and sinks can transform the space and make it more appealing to prospective buyers. Oddly enough, a new bathroom can increase the home price by 5.7 percent, making it more valuable than a bedroom addition.
Enhance Your Outdoor Living Space
If you have a spacious backyard, it is time to renovate it to accommodate different needs. For example, installing a backyard barbecue or fire pit can enhance the space, as can walkways and other natural elements.
Landscaping can be expensive, but if you blend natural beauty with practical components, new buyers will appreciate its usability. They will also be more willing to accept a higher asking price. Before you start, though, consider how you want to use it. Are you hoping to entertain guests, or do you want space for kids to play? Remember, you’ll have to live with it first.
Get Moving Help For Your New Home!
Moving into a new house is exciting, especially when planning new renovations. We can handle the packing and shipping for you, so contact us today!
5 Tips for Staging Boxes Before You Move
If you’re like most people, you’ll spend a couple of months packing. As you progress through the process, you must have a place to put the completed boxes.
It’s common to rent a storage unit for a few months or set aside a guest room to hold them. In any case, you need a safe spot.
Here are five tips that will help you stage boxes efficiently and safely.
1. Clean Before You Start
Once you set down several boxes, you’re less likely to move them. You want to ensure the area is clean and dry before staging.
Give yourself an hour or two to clean the space from top to bottom. If you’re keeping the boxes at home, consider vacuuming and spot-cleaning the ceiling and walls in advance. Vacuum or sweep and mop the floor, and allow the area to dry before placing boxes there.
2. Label Clearly
The last thing you want to do is re-organize your boxes once you get going. The best way to avoid this problem is to label your boxes clearly when you start packing.
Creating a labeling system, you use from the beginning makes the moving process more manageable. For example, write on the box before loading it.
Make sure that the labeling system is visible from multiple angles. For example, it’s better to have labels on the sides, not the top.
3. Stack by Size and Weight
Gather sturdy boxes in a variety of sizes. Use the small ones to pack heavy items like books and the larger cartons for lightweight things like pillows.
Avoid a toppling hazard by stacking the boxes by size and weight. Generally, you’ll put heavier cartons on the bottom as you stack them. Still, depending on your situation, you might need to keep the same-sized boxes stacked together.
4. Minimizing Toppling
Toppling is a significant risk, especially if you keep the boxes at home. Taller stacks are more likely to fall, especially if no other stacks provide support.
Create a plan to stack the boxes in advance. Then, you can follow the plan as you seal each box.
As you start to accumulate boxes, consider creating one or two larger piles. Avoid stacking boxes taller than you. Take advantage of the corner of a room, and build outward as you go.
5. Avoid Moisture Damage
Moisture damage can be a concern, especially if you keep the boxes in a basement or garage. However, water seeping in from the walls or floor may not be visible, and you might not notice it until moving day.
If you’re putting boxes directly on concrete, consider laying down a tarp beforehand. A tarp can also help to prevent pests from getting inside the boxes.
If you worry about water dripping from the ceiling, also put a tarp on top of the boxes.
How Moving Stacks Up
Keeping your packed moving cartons in good shape is integral to moving. So is hiring the right movers. Contact us to request a quote.
6 Tips on Finding the Best Office Moving Company
After selecting your new location, choosing a moving company is your next most important decision when relocating your St. Paul, MN, office. The right moving company can make your move go smoothly.
Here are some tips for finding the ideal office moving company for your needs.
1. Determine Needs and Budget
Decide what services you need from a professional mover. For example, will your IT staff need help installing the equipment? Do you have specific sustainability goals that are part of your company’s values? Who will handle the packing?
Also, consider whether you are relocating employees as part of the move. If you are, consider asking whether the full-service movers have residential moving experience and will offer discounts for moving your employees.
Also, ballpark your budget and moving supplies. You won’t choose a mover based solely on the lowest price, but you still need to know your spending limits.
- Research Before Calling for Quotes
Do your research before deciding which companies to call for pricing. For example, check how long the company has been in business, confirm through your state that it meets licensing and insurance requirements or has registered with FMCSA, and check its record with the Better Business Bureau. Also, read reviews on the Internet.
3. Ask the Right Questions
When companies come to provide estimates, ask questions. Examples of queries are:
- How many offices have you moved with similar requirements to ours?
- How do you train your movers?
- How do you check the backgrounds of your movers?
- Do you use day laborers or contract out any services?
- Can I have at least three references for the offices you have relocated?
- Will you dispose of unwanted items? What is the cost of this service?
- Are stairs or elevators an extra cost?
- Must you reserve a service elevator in advance?
- How will you communicate with me throughout the moving process?
- Will we be assigned a project manager?
- Do you plan for minimal disruption?
4. Note Your Impressions
As each company’s representative comes to do a walk-through and provide a quote, note your impressions. If the representative is forthcoming and quick to communicate clearly, the company will be, too. On the other hand, if you have to pry information out of them, the company may also be slow to communicate.
5. Require An Action Plan
Ask each mover who bids on your project to include a logistics plan. The plan should include their recommendations, such as choosing a project manager and milestone dates for your internal relocation team.
6. Understand Your Quote
When you receive a quote, understand what is behind it. Ask how the mover sets pricing. Some may price based on square footage, the time estimate, driving distance, or the types of assets they will move. They may charge a premium for moving on weekends or during peak times. If you need help understanding something, be sure to ask.
When evaluating quotes, be wary of any outliers. If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Once you decide on a mover, ensure they lock in your move date and guarantee a maximum price.
Office Moving Simplified
If you’re planning an office move, contact us. We are experienced commercial movers committed to providing excellent service at a fair price.
5 Ways to Declutter Your Kitchen Before You Move
It’s easier to declutter and eliminate unnecessary stuff before you make your Minneapolis, MN, household move. That way, you have fewer boxes to unpack and less chaos when you arrive at your new home.
You may feel overwhelmed when packing your kitchen. But, even if you’re moving to a similar-sized kitchen, you can’t guarantee everything will fit.
Here are five ways to downsize your kitchen without removing what you need most.
1. Set Goals for Decluttering
The first thing you want to do is identify some goals for downsizing. You probably have a sense of the things you need to thin out. Making a rough inventory of your kitchen supplies will help.
If space is an issue, focus on restricting the number of small appliances or large cooking tools. On the other hand, if organization is the more significant concern, you should spend more time sorting through your smaller tools.
2. Sort Out Items With Damage
In any downsizing endeavor, starting by eliminating the things you don’t want is more manageable. Items that have significant wear or damage should go first.
It’s all right to keep something you love, even if it doesn’t look new. On the other hand, you don’t have to keep something that doesn’t work very well just because you can cope with it. Discarding or replacing it is better once you know your storage options better.
3. Rank Small Appliances
If you’re like many people, you have a collection of small appliances. Some of them get used all the time. Others sit in the cupboard or take up valuable space on the countertop.
List your small appliances, and rank them from highest to lowest priority. If you’re unsure, write down the last time you used each.
Appliances you use at least once a week should go to your new home. Those that get infrequent use, or none at all, are easier to eliminate.
4. Make a Maybe Pile
When you start progressing with your kitchen sorting, you may accumulate items you don’t know if you want to keep. So making a maybe pile for these tools is a good idea.
If you don’t need them in the immediate future, consider putting them in a box. Label the boxes clearly, so you know what’s in them.
After you move, revisit the items in the box. Then, you might be in a better position to make a final decision.
5. Avoid Packing Pantry Staples
If you have a lot of food in your pantry, trying to bring it with you is tempting. This isn’t practical for several reasons. Movers usually won’t accept food items, and moving your pantry may cost more than replacing it.
Instead of packing up your pantry staples, make a plan to use them. Set aside time for meal planning, and try to use pantry items in every meal.
In the last week or two before the move, throw away anything beyond its expiration date. Everything else could go to a local food bank or Move for Hunger.
Moving Done Right
Downsizing your kitchen is an effective way to create a fresh start in your new home. For more tips on planning your upcoming move, contact us today. We can help with the packing and the moving.
Should You Keep a Full Office Staff During an Office Move?
With your moving date marked on the calendar, and plans going into place for your business relocation, one crucial question might come up. Should you keep your whole staff during the transition or give them some time off? The answer can depend on several factors. Take a look at a few questions to answer to help you decide if you need all hands on deck during the move.
1. Are you working with a full-service moving company?
Business owners tend to take one of two directions when facing a move. They will either source a moving company that will simply handle the transport of the business belongings or a full-service moving company that will address multiple aspects of the transition. If you use a full-service moving company, the moving company may manage specific parts of the move. Therefore, this can influence how many staff members you must have on the schedule.
2. Do you have roles in mind for each employee to keep them productive?
Assigning roles to each employee during the moving process ensures you don’t end up paying for employees to come to work that have nothing to do when they arrive. The Staffing Stream states that you can task employees with numerous projects during a business relocation, such as:
- Decluttering the office
- Clearing paperwork from cabinets and drawers
- Packing office items
- Disassembling office furniture and equipment
- General cleaning
- Taking out trash
A good guideline is to list different moving-related tasks that need to be handled during the move. With your list, consider how many hours each task will take, and then look at how many employees you will need to fill those hours. For example, if you determine that disassembling office furniture will take 16 hours, you may need two employees during an eight-hour workday to get this project done.
3. Will there still be a need for certain aspects of the business to be handled?
Even when a business is relocating, some aspects of the company may need to happen as usual. For example, you may need some employees to handle inbound calls and customer questions or to navigate online orders. If you need to keep some employees running the business, consider how many employees you need to carry out these tasks effectively.
4. Do employees have the option of performing business processes from home?
Between 2019 and 2022, the number of people working at home in the United States tripled. Many modern workplace practices and objectives can be carried out in a home office setting or remotely. If this is an option with your business model, it may be more logical to transition part of your staff to a work-from-home setup until the move is complete.
Make Sure All Elements of the Move Are Efficiently Coordinated
Moving a business is a challenging feat. You need minimal disruption, extensive planning, and professional guidance. If you need help with your upcoming office relocation project, contact our team to receive a no-obligation moving quote or discuss your project needs.
4 Mistakes to Avoid When Staging Your Home for an Open House
Are you in the process of selling your home? If so, hosting an open house can be an excellent way to garner buyer attention. According to American Home Shield, nearly half of all people looking to buy a home visit open house events as part of their buying process. As effective as an open house can be when selling a home, there are a few mistakes to avoid. Check out four mistakes to avoid as you prepare for the big day.
Mistake #1: Not clearing out the bulk of your personal belongings.
Preparing your home before the open house will take considerable time. Part of the reason preparation can be so time-intensive is the staging process. Prospective buyers need the view of a home that allows them to visualize their own life and belongings inside. They also want to see open floor space to get a feel for the actual size of different rooms. Therefore, not clearing out the bulk of your items can make your home feel less neutral and cluttered, hindering offers.
Mistake #2: Leaving evidence of pets in the house.
Some sources estimate that evidence of a home with pets could lower the home value by as much as $30,000. Sometimes, you will even have prospects that see a single sign of a pet and won’t even bother making an offer. While pets are beloved by many people, pets in a home for sale are often not so adored. If you share your home with a pet, before the open house:
- Secure a pet sitter for a few days leading up to and during the event
- Thoroughly clean to mitigate evidence of pet-related stains or shedding
- Pack up pet-related items, including pet beds, toys, leashes, and feed bowls
Mistake #3: Sticking with decor that’s too eclectic.
Neutral decor is vital when staging a home in preparation for an open house. While you may think your decor perfectly suits the house style, layout, or design, a buyer may not be so impressed. Interior design taste is a highly personalized thing for most people. For example, you may love stark, bold colors in window treatments and wall art, but this could be off-putting to a prospective buyer who prefers a totally different style.
Mistake #4: Not giving the home’s exterior some love.
Curb appeal accounts for a great deal of a home’s perceived value. Of course, you can spend all your preparation time cleaning the interior, staging furniture, and neutralizing the decor. But this may be moot if the shrubs are overgrown, the front door paint is chipping, and you need to mow the lawn. In addition, you may have prospects that drive away without entering the house for a look if the home’s exterior is unattractive.
Need Help with Your Upcoming Open House?
Preparing for an open house can be a significant event, and you will undoubtedly have things you must tuck away in storage. We can help with storage and your household move. Contact our team today.
5 Must-Have Time-Savers to Have Before Your Move
When you’re facing the monumental task of moving everything you own from one home to the next, time is a precious commodity. Unfortunately, something as simple as having to stop to take your dog to a safe location or forgetting to leave your cleaning essentials unpacked can easily put you behind schedule. So, remember these five must-have time-savers before your household moving date arrives to keep your efforts on a smooth timeline.
1. A Detailed Moving Schedule and Plan
A moving plan and schedule help keep you on task during the move. Create a good, preliminary plan that has a rudimentary schedule or timeline to go by. This plan should include things like:
- A general budget or list of anticipated costs associated with the move
- A day-by-day or week-by-week list of things that need to be done by a specific date
- Minor repairs or renovations that have to be accomplished before you move
- Contact information for utility companies, as well as when you should notify them
- Packing supplies you will need to get everything safely packed
2. Apps to Keep You On-Task and On-Schedule
FurnishedQuarters offers an excellent list of apps to use when you are facing a move to make the transition as seamless as possible. A few good ones to consider include
- Magicplan to help with arranging furniture in the new space
- Sortly to help you sort your belongings before you pack
- Google Keep to make simple tasks and to-do lists
3. A Pet-Sitter
Most homes these days do have a pet, but pets can be a significant responsibility to handle during a move. With doors frequently opening and closing, a house pet could escape. With strangers in the house to help with the move, anxious pets can be alarmed. Simply securing a pet sitter before the major moving days can prevent problems with your pets that could take up much of your time.
4. A Cleaning Essentials Caddy
Cleaning after you get most of your items packed and out of the way is simply part of the process during most residential moves. However, discovering that you don’t have everything you need because you have packed or moved it to the new house can be a stumbling block in your plans. To make sure this does not happen, designate a box or pick up a cleaning caddy and fill it with the essentials, such as:
- Bottle of multi-surface spray cleaner
- Cleaning rags or paper towels
- Trash bags
- Window cleaning wipes or spray
- Broom and dustpan
- Scrub brush
5. List to Cancel/Re-Order
From utilities and subscription items to subscribe-and-save shipments, you may have a list of things you must cancel before moving and reordering at the new address. As you plan, pencil in a list of services or subscriptions you need to terminate at the old address and order again once you get to the new address.
Save Time with the Help of Residential Movers
If you genuinely want to take some stress out of your move, be sure to reach out to residential movers with the skill and experience to make the transition smooth. Contact us to request a quote and get your moving plans in motion.
Closet Design and Organizational Ideas for Your New Home
Moving to a new home represents a fresh start. You have the opportunity to organize your life better. One of the best places to start is with your closets. Here are some closet design and organizational ideas for after your household move.
1. Understand Yourself
Everyone is different. Consider how to store items so they will be accessible to you. For example, some men might prefer ties on a pull-out rack, while others prefer them folded in drawers with dividers. You want the closet to work for you.
2. Adopt an Organizational Strategy
Once you’ve considered your needs, adopt an organizational strategy that fits those needs. For example, do you want to organize clothes by season, type of item, or color? Arrange everything so that it best suits your lifestyle.
Once you’ve decided how to organize, consider using closet dividers to partition your closet. For example, you could have one divider for each season.
Consider storing items that you don’t regularly use in harder-to-reach areas. Also, use acrylic shelf dividers to organize closet shelves better.
3. Use Storage Solutions
Many stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon offer various hacks to help you organize your wardrobe once you’ve determined a strategy. You can opt for a full-fledged closet organizing system or a few simple solutions. Just be sure to measure carefully before buying any closet solution.
Closet organizing solutions can help with special needs, such as corner closets or shared closets. They can also help maximize space, such as fully using the back of your closet or having double rows of hanging rods. If you don’t need to redo a closet completely, you can add space by installing an extra shelf or an organizer to the back of the door.
Vacuum storage bags are an excellent way to store out-of-season clothes. First, place the clothing in a bag, then use your vacuum to suck the air out.
4. Store Special Needs Items
Some items are challenging to store. Shoes are one example. Consider buying stackable shoe boxes. If you put shoes on a shelf, consider facing each pair of shoes the opposite way so you can easily find them.
Gloves are also tricky to keep together. Consider an over-the-door glove organizing rack. You can also place an ironing board storage rack on a closet door. Over-the-door jewelry caddies also work well.
Add S hooks to wire shelving to store cleaning items such as mops and brooms.
5. Expand Beyond the Closet Walls
If you lack enough closet space and have decluttered all you can, you can expand the space beyond the closet walls. You can often make a second closet by buying garment racks. Consider a covered garment organizer if you prefer to keep your clothes out of sight. An armoire is another option if you have the space.
You also can use wall space outside the closet for shelving, hooks, or hung wire bins.
Maintain Your Organization
Try to maintain your organization by putting items back in their proper place. Also, set aside time each week to tidy up.
If you need help preparing for your move, contact us. We can help move everything in your closet efficiently.
5 Ways to Make an Easy First Night in Your New Home
After your household move, you still have much work to complete. First, you’ll need to unpack and settle into your new home.
The first night can often be the hardest, particularly if your expectations are too high. Preparing ahead can help.
With these five tips, you can have an easier first night.
1. Make a Schedule
Once the movers leave, you may have several hours left on the first day. Setting a schedule can help you get everything done without overloading yourself.
Think about what you need to do, and be realistic. Even if all your boxes are there, you don’t necessarily need to make a lot of progress unpacking.
If you have children or pets, try to follow their regular routine. It will help them to adjust more quickly.
2. Plan a Simple Meal
It’s common to want to test your new kitchen on the first night. However, it’s best to keep it simple.
Plan to make a simple meal that is tasty and filling. Be sure to have snacks available. Moving can be exhausting, requiring more food to keep you going.
Getting takeout or delivery is ideal, but you sometimes need help figuring out where to go. When in doubt, grab something easy at a nearby grocery store that you can heat and serve immediately.
3. Buy the Basics
Before it gets too late in the day, you’ll probably need to buy a few basics. Of course, you don’t have to buy everything at once, but there are a few necessities.
Some people have an essentials box that holds everything they need. But even then, you’re likely to think of something you didn’t include.
Set a reasonable budget for paper products, cleaning products, and food. You’ll probably need to return in a day or two, so don’t worry about anything you might forget.
4. Do Some Light Exercise
Moving is a physical activity. Even if you aren’t the one loading the boxes, you may stay up late to finish packing. All of this can lead to stiff muscles and joints.
You might feel sore and tired, but doing a few easy stretches in the afternoon or early evening can help. You could even go for a walk around your new neighborhood.
If it’s hard to make time for exercise, remember that it will be worth it. You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling better in the morning.
5. Go to Bed on Time
Moving can feel like an adventure that throws off your routine. One of the best ways to get it under control is to follow the same sleep schedule.
If you’re the type of person who goes to bed early, do your best to wind down and have an early night. If you tend to be a night owl, allow yourself to have a more extended period to settle and relax.
Sleeping in your new home may feel strange because you’re unfamiliar with it. Give yourself more time to sleep, so you have a higher chance of getting a whole night.
The first night in your brand-new home can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Contact us for additional guidance in planning your upcoming move.
5 Security Tips for Your New Home
Home security is one of the most important things you can have for your home after a relocation. A secure home protects your belongings and your household members.
When you first move in, you should learn the risks or security features available. First, you’ll need to find out.
Here are five tips to help you quickly determine your security needs and meet them.
1. Inspect Doors and Windows
You must carefully check all your exterior doors and windows for proper operation and secure closure. It’s better to complete these tasks before you move in.
Test the doors from both sides. If the door doesn’t fit tightly in the casing, it may be time to repair or replace it.
If you decide to replace any exterior doors, try to plan ahead. That way, you don’t spend the money on changing the locks only to replace the doors a few weeks later.
2. Check Fences and Gates
If your new home has a yard, you should plan to inspect the fence and the gates. Walk along the perimeter of the property on both sides. Check for loose spots or significant gaps that an animal could climb under.
It’s not uncommon for a fence to settle after a few years. But if it settles so much that you can’t close or lock the gate, you may need to upgrade it. For example, add or replace a padlock with one for which you have all the keys.
3. Change Locks
Changing all the locks in a house may seem like a hassle. But, given the alternative, it’s probably a wise investment.
Houses may have several keys for the various locks. If the doors are decades old, you could not know who has a key.
Changing locks may be less expensive than you think. Get a couple of quotes from local locksmiths to know what to expect.
4. Add Lighting
People are likelier to try to break into a home when they feel like they could easily escape it. Lighting makes burglary much more difficult, especially at night.
The problem is that most homes don’t have much in the way of exterior lighting. In addition, with an older home, you may need additional wiring even to have the option.
Add lighting in the common walkways and the driveway. Motion sensor lighting is an ideal choice. Consider installing more lighting in the darkest areas if you have a dark backyard.
5. Consider a Home Security System
Adding a home security system is the final step. It’s common to install a smart doorbell with a camera, but you can do much more. For example, you could add exterior cameras, motion sensor lights, and alarm systems.
These days, you can customize a home security system to have everything you need and nothing you don’t. You can even build one on your own if you’re tech-savvy and have the time.
Home security is keeping your household and belongings safe, even when you’re not at home. Let us help you get to your new home safely. Contact us to request a quote.