The Moving

How to Pack Lamps for a Move: Let There Be Light Again

Posted by on Aug 8, 2019 in The Moving | Comments Off on How to Pack Lamps for a Move: Let There Be Light Again

How to Pack Lamps for a Move: Let There Be Light Again

How to Pack Lamps for a Move: Let There Be Light Again

Packing lamps for movingPacking lamps and lamp shades for moving looks fairly easy and straightforward… but it’s not so. In reality, lamps prove to be rather tricky to pack and move to a new home.

The moment you begin to disassemble your lamps for a move, you’ll realize that those household items are too fragile and too oddly-shaped to just throw them inside a cardboard box and be done with it. If you did just that, then you’d have to buy brand-new table lamps and floor lamps after the move. And that’s something you wouldn’t be thrilled about, would you?

Your ultimate goal is to transport, either locally or across the country, all the lamps in your home without any sort of damage along the way. And to be able to keep your light fixtures safe until you reach the new home, you’re going to need to protect and pack them really well.

The following 13 steps will teach you how to pack lamps and lamp shades for moving.


Packing and moving your lamps is not going to be easy – you’ll need to invest time and efforts to make sure those fragile household items reach the new place in one piece. And even if some of your lamps are made from metal, they will still contain rather delicate elements such as U-shaped harps, shades and light bulbs.

In addition to spending extra time and energy to pack up all the lamps in your home, you’ll also pay money to get the packing supplies you’ll need for the packing process and then pay even more money to transport the lamp-filled boxes to the new address.

So, the big question you should ask yourself before you rush into boxing up your lamps is whether it’ll be worth to pack and move ALL the lamps you have in the house. There must be some luminaires that you never particularly liked. And what about those lamps that work only when they choose to? Some light fixtures will not match well the interior of the new home.

Don’t pack and move any lamps that are not worth the trouble.

How to declutter your home before moving


Lamp boxes

You’ve got the boxes. You’ve got the lamps. You got it all. Well, almost all.

One thing is clear – you’ll need suitable packing boxes for lamps. Now, if you happen to keep the containers the lamps came in when you first purchased them, then that’s great because original boxes still offer the best possible protection for extra fragile items.

If not, then you’ll need to find strong cardboard boxes that are taller than the bases of the lamps. If you’ve decided to look for free moving boxes, then you should measure the dimensions of your lamps so that you know what packing boxes to be looking for. Make sure that all second-hand containers you use are sturdy, clean, dry, and infestation-free.

When moving more expensive and valuable lamps and you don’t keep their original boxes, do consider buying special lamp boxes (box dimensions: 12’’ x 12’’ x 40’’, 3.33 cu/ft), available online for around $5 per box.

Regardless of the boxes you’ve chosen for your lamps, place crumpled paper on their bottoms to form a soft cushioning layer for the fragile objects.

Where to get free moving boxes


The best way to pack lamps for moving is to use the proper packing materials for the job. Now that you have the right boxes for packing lamps, it’s time to also get hold of wrapping paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and a marker.

  • Packing paper. When packing lamps for moving, you’ll need a lot of soft and white (ink-free) wrapping paper that’s also acid-free. One big pack of packing paper (500 sheets) costs roughly $25 and can be ordered online.
  • Bubble wrap. Bubble wrap is a must-have packing material that will prove to be crucial when you pack lamps for a move. Lamps are one of the most fragile items in a home so it’ll take plenty of the air-filled plastic material to cushion the most delicate elements of your lamps and keep them protected throughout the move. A big box of Enviro-Bubble – the type of bubble wrap that is 100% recyclable and reusable – goes for around $20 for a roll of 150 feet.
  • Marker pen. Get a black marker pen in order to write down the contents and destination room on each lamp-filled box. Also, don’t forget about the FRAGILE warning in big black letters.

Where to find free packing materials


Without a doubt, the safest way to pack lamps for moving is to disassemble them carefully and then protect each lamp component individually. In fact, that’s the only packing method that can guarantee total safety for your electric light units simply because their elements won’t come into direct contact with each other during transport.

Start the disassembly process by first removing the lamp shade. Depending on the exact model, you may have to unscrew the finial to be able to remove the lamp shade, or you just need to lift up the shade to disengage it. The usual way to unscrew the finial is to turn it counterclockwise.

Once you’ve removed the shade from the lamp, consider cleaning it so that it’s ready to be boxed up later. Remove any accumulated dust, dirt or hairs using a duster, cleaning wipes, or a portable vacuum cleaner. Choose the cleaning method that you know will work well for the specific type of lamp shade you’re dealing with – plastic, glass, fabric, etc.


How to pack lamps and shades

Some lamps will be less straightforward to pack than others.

Once you’ve handled the lamp shade, it’s time to remove the next lamp element – the light bulbs. This is a pretty straightforward step that should not give you any hard time at all.

As you know, light bulbs are very fragile and some of them may not survive the move regardless of how well you protect them. Nevertheless, light bulbs don’t come for free so you shouldn’t just throw them away despite the low chance of making it to the new home in working order.

Unscrew the bulbs carefully, making sure they are not too hot to burn your fingers. Most of the times, you’ll find dust settled on the electric bulbs so it’s a good idea to clean them with a soft cloth before you pack them away safely.

If you keep the original packages of the lights bulbs, then you should definitely pack them in them. Wrap each electric bulb in one sheet of packing paper, then insert it into their factory boxes. In case you don’t have those original packaging, bubble wrap each light bulb individually, then transfer it into a separate well-padded box. Write on pieces of paper which lamp each bulb belongs to in order to make the re-assembly process easier after the move.

Packing Paper vs Bubble Wrap


Now that you’ve removed the electric bulbs safely, it’s time to turn your attention to the harp. And no, you won’t need to learn how to play the harp before you move out.

Some of your table lamps and floor lamps will have harps – U-shaped metal or plastic frames that support the shades and usually surround the light bulbs. Slowly and carefully, take out the harp from the lamp base, usually by simply lifting it up or unscrewing it lightly.

Set aside the lamp harp for now – you’ll be ready to pack it up and box it up in a minute. If it happens to be dusty too, you can wipe it clean using a damp cloth so that you don’t introduce that same dust into the new home.

Use a few sheets of packing paper to wrap the harp, then use tape to secure the bundle. Finally, be ready to pack it up in the same box with the lamp base.


It’s important that you make your task of packing lamps for a move as safe as possible. One possible problem that may compromise the overall safety of your packing job is not securing the cables of your lamps – something that could lead to tripping accidents or damage to the light units themselves.

First of all, tape a piece of bubble wrap over the metal prongs of the lamp cord to make sure the metal parts cannot scratch the base of the lamp. Secondly, use a cable tie to bundle the cord safely and keep it secure at all times but don’t wrap it around the lamp base just yet because you’ll want to make sure the surface of the base has been protected before you do it.

The BEST packing tips you’ll EVER need


How to pack lamps when moving

Some of your lamps may be extremely valuable so be extra-careful how you pack and move such lamps.

The next step when packing lamps for moving is to protect their bases for the relocation trip ahead.

To do that, position the lamp base over a couple of large sheets of packing paper, then wrap the soft paper around the delicate surface until you cover the entire base. Use more sheets of wrapping paper, if necessary – the idea is not to leave any lamp areas unprotected. Form a paper bundle, then use tape to secure it in place.

Don’t leave the electric cord inside the paper bundle to avoid any possible damage whatsoever – you’ll secure the cable over the paper package. So, do it now and use small pieces of tape to fix it to the wrapped-up paper.

The next packing step is to play it safe and wrap the already protected base of the lamp with a large sheet of bubble wrap, then use tape again to fix it. The lamp cable should remain fixed safely between the two protective layers.

How to pack fragile items for moving


Our tips for packing lamps when moving continue with the important step of boxing the lamp base in the safest way possible. The lamp will already be well protected with two padding layers of wrapping paper and bubble wrap. Now it’s time to transfer it to a suitable moving box.

When using special lamp boxes (box dimensions: 12’’ x 12’’ x 40’’), then you should place the lamp upright in the box with its base down. Remember that the bottom of the lamp box should be pre-padded for extra safety. As a rule of thumb, a lamp box can only fit one tall lamp inside and therefore the cardboard container should be used for more expensive and valuable light fixtures.

When using standard moving boxes that are deep enough to fit the lamps, you can arrange several lamp bases in the same box, placing them tightly one next to the other. The thick layers of paper and bubble wrap should keep the main lamp elements safe and protected even when two lamp bases come into contact with one another during transport. If the boxes you’re using are not deep enough, then you can still arrange the lamp bases lying on their sides as long as the bottom of the container is well-padded.

Once you’ve filled a box with one or more lamp bases, fill in any empty spaces between the lamp components with pieces of paper – using newspaper, in this case, is fine. The goal here is to make sure nothing moves inside the carton – if it does, add more padding materials until it stops.

Finally, use the black marker to label the lamp box properly. Don’t forget to add the FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP handling instructions.

How to label moving boxes like a pro packer


You should pack the lamp shades separately from the lamp base in order to keep them safe. Why? Lamp shades are extremely fragile and will need to go into another pre-padded box to avoid any harmful contact with the rest of the lamp elements.

How to pack lamps for a move

If you happen to own a lamp that’s out of this world, then you should do whatever it takes to keep it safe in this world.

Clean the lamp shade of any dust or dirt as described above. Use several sheets of packing paper to cover the delicate lamps hade as the first line of protection, the fix the paper bundle with bits of tape. Add a second protective layer of bubble wrap, then secure it with tape as well.

When packing several lamp shades with similar shape and size, feel free to use the nesting packing technique to save valuable space.

Keep in mind that when packing lamps and lamp shades for moving, there’s no such thing as over-padding or over-packing. If one of your lamp shades gets damaged during the move due to improper packing, then you’ll need to find a replacement lamp shade for that particular lamp model. And even if you could somehow find one, then you’d still be losing money after the move is over.

Transfer the padded lamp shade or shades into a strong medium-sized box and then use plenty of packing paper to immobilize them. Remember to label properly the moving box after you’ve filled it up with all the lamp shades you can fit safely inside.

Finally, use the black marker to label the lamp shade box properly. Remember to add the FRAGILE and THIS SIDE UP warning signs.

When you’re packing all the fragile items in your home, there’s always a risk of damage due to improper packing techniques. Sometimes the lack of enough time to do things the right way can hurt your chances of a damage-free move.

Hire professional packers with years of experience – that’s the only way to make sure your lamps, together with all other breakable items under your roof, will remain perfectly protected until they reach the new home.

Published at Mon, 05 Aug 2019 12:52:58 +0000

Read More

The Last Minute Move Checklist: How to Move at the Last Minute

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in The Moving | Comments Off on The Last Minute Move Checklist: How to Move at the Last Minute

The Last Minute Move Checklist: How to Move at the Last Minute

The Last Minute Move Checklist: How to Move at the Last Minute

Posted in:
I’m Moving,
How To Pack, Money Saving

So you’re moving soon? Like, really soon? Well, it’s time to get packing … literally.

Whether the official “we’re moving!” decision happened last minute, or life got busy and moving snuck up on you, you’ve found yourself here – needing to move fast. That’s absolutely okay.

Everything that you need can get done. I know because I’ve gotten stuck doing it too, so I wrote a last minute moving checklist about my experience. Here’s how to get moved in record time.

  • Broadcast to your friends and family on social media
  • Radically get rid of as much stuff as you don’t need ASAP
  • Call and email a list of utilities, school, and businesses
  • Check online for cheap, last minute movers
  • Sketch out how much time your packing will need
  • Prep a “necessities bag”
  • Do the mandatory cleanup
  • Don’t bother sorting, only pack

We’ll go over all of these steps below.

There are some very straightforward ways to make packing in a hurry fast. Whether in a 2 bedroom apartment, 3 bedroom house or more, these strategies will get you in the moving truck – with your stuff ready to drive off.

The #1 way to move in record time…

Last Minute Move

…is to have less to pack.

That’s why it’s vital to be ruthless on donating, selling and throwing things out. As shared in the Kon Mari Method, don’t bring items with you merely because you’ve always had them. Assess if the item:

  • Has a real purpose
  • Brings long-term joy
  • Actually gets used
  • Is a top priority for your new space

One question to ask yourself: “If this was put in storage for a year, would I miss it?”

If not, it’s probably good to give away or toss. Even if you don’t have 6-8 weeks, as you’re packing be ruthless. Put stuff in the “do not keep” pile. Want to be more radical? Put up a listing on Craigslist for a time and place people can come and just take stuff from your place under supervision!

Need last second, free boxes? Check out this guide.

Have social media? Use it.

It only takes a moment to broadcast your last minute move predicament to anyone who might be willing to lend a hand, reminds us. Even if you hire movers, any extra hands on deck or donated resources will get things done far zippier.

Next, call as many of these people as possible, ASAP

Last Minute Move

It’s best to do this stuff about four weeks out, but better late than never, right? Even though some of these changes won’t take effect in time for your move-in date, it’s best you take care of contacting these people before you’re unpacking at the new place:

  • Current landlord
  • Utility companies
  • Local schools
  • Homeowner’s insurance company
  • Bank/credit card companies
  • Government agencies
  • Anywhere you hold subscriptions
  • Anyone else who may be sending you important documents over the next few months

Don’t bother labeling boxes

While the idea of boxes labeled “His clothes” and “Kids’ bedding” sounds lovely, time is too precious for such details in a rush. The most important thing is to get objects in boxes – and have them taped up. Yes, mugs may end up with lotions, but they’ll make it to the new home – that’s what matters.

Updater suggests trying recyclable moving bins, which can save a ton of time during the packing/unpacking portion of your move, if you have more than a day to track some down.

“Sites like HireAHelper have a vast network of local movers and will personally call them for you to find someone who’s trustworthy and available right now.”

If you still insist on a loose way of organizing, the best way to fudge clarity is to assign a different color marker for each room of your house: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc. Make an easily visible mark on each box for the general room it belongs to, and leave it at that.

Prep a “necessities bag”

Last Minute Move

When packing in a rush, a structured moving checklist may go the window. However, no matter how quickly you move, you absolutely need to make sure the most important items stay close by. These items are:

  • Important papers or financial items (like checkbooks)
  • Medications
  • Phone chargers
  • Daily routine toiletries, like toothpaste and moisturizer
  • 1 – 2 outfits for changing into

With this handy bag at the ready, you may move and have no idea where that favorite mug or comfy sweater is, but you’ll have the core items you definitely need.

Get pro help (for as little as $200)

Last Minute Move

As capable as you are, last minute movers have experience getting boxes loaded into cars at shocking speeds.

Let’s face it, if you could afford a $5,000 move, you probably don’t need most of the tips on this list. Luckily, if you call up your local truck rental place and they have something available, pairing a local rental truck with local movers can actually be super affordable, and might save your life during a last minute move!

While movers used to be expensive, the new gig economy has made it easier to hire movers that are actually affordable. In some cases, packing and/or labor help can be as little as $200.

Which, for most, is well worth countless hours of stress and squabbles. As stressed as you probably are, it’s hard to move your whole place knowing a pro moving team would have gotten the items into your truck safely – and in a fraction of the time.

Last minute movers have experience getting boxes loaded into cars at shocking speeds.”

Sites like HireAHelper have a vast network of local movers and will personally call them for you at the last minute to find someone who’s trustworthy and available right now. Their moving agents still compare your last minute options by their reviews and price point, don’t worry.

It’s true, your mover usually doesn’t have to be booked weeks or months in advance, it just helps.

Finish up with any mandatory clean up

Last Minute Move

If selling a home, it feels good to leave the home clean. If renting, cleaning is a necessity – especially if you want that much needed deposit back. At the very least, clean these top five items that leave the biggest “oh this looks clean” impression:

  • Kitchen cabinets and counters
  • The refrigerator (especially the inside)
  • Bathtub or shower
  • Bathroom counters & toilet
  • The stovetop

A sparkling bathroom counter and nice looking stove make a massive impact on a landlord perceiving the home as “doesn’t look so good”…or passing inspection.

Protip: Make sure not everything gets cleaned up – back up important files on your laptop or computer so nothing accidentally gets lost if your computer gets damaged or lost in the panic!

How Long Does It Take to Pack a 2 Bedroom or 3 Bedroom Home?

How long does it take to move

The precise amount of time it takes to pack depends on the amount of stuff one has, but here are ballpark figures cited for a professional mover to move the place after you’re done packing, depending on the home style:

  • 1 bedroom apartment: 2 – 4 hours
  • 2 bedroom apartment: 3 – 5 hours
  • 3 bedroom house: 6 – 10 hours
  • 4 bedroom house: 8 – 12 hours

Please note: these are estimated moving times for professional movers moving a house, NOT the average person or family.

Most people who pack their own home need a much longer amount of time to have their home packed, compared to movers. Usually it takes minimum of a few days for a 1–2 bedroom home.

Here’s why.

Can movers really pack that much faster than me?

Yes, they can.

No matter how efficient, organized and strong one is, a professional mover has the training and experience to pack a home at an incredible, near-unprecedented speed. A professional is trained to get multiple 5-star reviews one to three times a day! There is nothing they haven’t seen or done.

Get Help Loading Your Truck

See prices for movers by the hour – instantly.

Read real customer reviews.

Easily book your help online.


Not only that, but because they work in teams (typically a minimum of two), vetted movers know how tackle any job as a united, “we got this” team, unlike most couples or families who’ve only moved a few times and still find lifting the couch “you got it!?” challenging.

In (literally) 1 minute, I was closer to a totally moved home

Because movers are so much quicker, hiring pros is the best way to ensure a smooth, less stressful moving timeline.

Luckily, I found out there are businesses who’s entire job is to find the cheapest movers available now, not just grimey ones who take your personal info and call you for weeks. Within seconds and with no personal information, I was able to get a free estimate for a pro moving team near me.

If time is the most important factor to you, affordable movers are the #1 recommendation for any efficient moving checklist. Trust me on this one.

Save the Last Minute Move Checklist

Last Minute Move Checklist
Last Minute Move Checklist

All the tips above and more, in one handy graph!

Have a little bit more time to move? Check out our robust moving checklist, too!

Allison Gower, a Bay Area native turned San Diego local, is a brand strategist and copywriter passionate about connecting purpose-driven brands and people. As seen in Forbes and a speaker at a variety of women entrepreneur events, her joy is empowering others – whether through education, personality-filled words or finding or starting great businesses. 
Illustrations by Emily Roberts

Published at Thu, 25 Jul 2019 17:37:48 +0000

Read More

Packing Tips from U-Pack

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in The Moving | Comments Off on Packing Tips from U-Pack

Packing Tips from U-Pack

Packing Tips from U-Pack
Rossi Morreale visits a local family moving their household items with U-Pack.

Watch as Rossi learns from Brittney how to safely pack up your belongings for a long distance move, then visit and for more helpful packing tips and advice!

Pack your electronic equipment in the box it came in. Try to avoid loading more than 50 pounds into one box so it’s easier to carry. Label boxes according to rooms for easier unpacking at your new home. When it comes to dinnerware, pack plates and glass objects vertically. Use plenty of bubble wrap to protect fragile objects. Place heavier items in the bottom of the box. Pack books upright in smaller boxes–they get heavy real quick! Put shoes, purses, and belts into the bottom of wardrobe boxes to save space. Move clothing on hangers directly from the closet into the wardrobe boxes. Put clothing from drawers into suitcases or boxes and use tape or straps to secure the drawers closed. Pack medicines in a leak-proof container, but remember not to load prescription medicines; you might need them during the trip to your new home! The same goes for valuables, jewelry, and important documents–pack them separately and take them with you for safe-keeping.

If you can take your furniture apart, do it. Put all nuts, bolts, and screws in a small bag and tape the bag to the back of the furniture (just be careful taping certain finishes to avoid damage). Wrap exposed legs in bubble wrap, paper padding, or moving blankets.

Put an X of tape across mirrors and paintings framed with glass for added protection, then wrap each item in bubble wrap and cardboard frame/mirror boxes.

Here’s one you’re likely to overlook—the washing machine. Use a Styrofoam stabilizer from an appliance store to protect the inner drum during transit. You can also fill washers with towels or linens. Drain water connections to the washer and refrigerator. Tape down any parts that could come loose, such as the burners on your stove. Wrap and tie everything securely.

Place mattresses and box springs into vinyl storage bags to protect their upholstery.

Last thing–pack an ‘essentials’ box with things like paper towels, trash bags, scissors, light bulbs, and paper utensils; basically anything you may need for the first night in your new home. This way it will be easily accessible in one spot during the unpacking phase.

Read More

Van Life: #LifeHacks on the Road

Posted by on Aug 2, 2019 in The Moving | Comments Off on Van Life: #LifeHacks on the Road

Van Life: #LifeHacks on the Road

Van Life: #LifeHacks on the Road


Life on the road can be tricky- whether you’re trying to figure out how to secure everything so that items don’t scatter around while traveling, or maybe you’re trying to figure out ways to organize all of your stuff efficiently- lots of these tricks are typically on a ‘learn as you go’ basis. I wanted to give you a head start on successful vandwelling, so I’ve provided some #VanLife hacks for efficient living.

Storage & Organization

An overlooked key to Van Life happiness is to be sure that you are organized and make use of all of the empty and awkward spaces available for storage. You may think that small, awkward shaped space is just space wasted, but look closer and be creative. Some ideas:

  • Install hooks, carabiners, and anchor points throughout the van allowing you to hang items or storage organizers.
  • Install magnetic or push pin boards to walls so that you can pin important things or photos.
  • Hang metal clips on shower rings to hold shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc…
  • Suction cup hooks to hang things on windows (especially good for kitchen window(s) to hang spatulas, etc…). They also work in showers or on mirrors!
  • Hanging shoe storage, not necessarily for shoes- you can hang them on the backs of seats for random storage.
  • Packing cubes, bins & baskets for organizing storage.
     Pro Tip: get clear bins so you can see inside!
  • Seat back storage organizers
  • Install fabric over wall panels so you’re able to safety pin items securely to hang for storage.
  • Install shelving, and other forms of storage on walls.
  • ‘Underneath the bed’ platform for storage
  • Flip top storage bench(es) for efficient storage space.
  • If possible, put a cooler in between the front seats for storage. You can also secure a serving tray (or similar) onto the cooler for a ‘knick knack tray’.
  • Install pop up or swivel surface areas, hidden desks, and stowaway tables for easy access cooking and eating spaces that don’t waste space.
  • Bungee cords are your friends! Use to tie loose ends down.
  • Take advantage of tiny spaces. As you build out your van, you might find there are tight or awkward corners. Don’t let this space go to waste!
  • Rewrap duct tape around a reusable water bottle for easy access and efficient use of space.
  • Roof racks. You can DIY or buy new, but they help allow for outside storage.
  • Roll up clothes to save space. Roll up underwear with each shirt, then roll the shirt into a pair of socks for efficiency!
  • DIY- Make a kitchen countertop out of wood to act as a cutting board.
  • Old coffee container for TP storage (cut a slit in it so you can pull the TP out easily!)
  • Gravity water filtration systems, like the Platypus Filter, will allow you to filter water in remote locations if you pass by rivers or lakes.
  • Utensil holders: DIY out of PVC pipe, or cut out a back pocket from an old pair of jeans, and sew divider lines.

Clean Up & Hygiene

With limited water sources, staying clean can be tough on both you and the van. There’s no doubt you’ll need to test out a few tricks out before finding a ‘normal process’ for you, but hopefully the following will help give you a head start:

  • Eliminate single use disposable items (both for the environment and to save space) to help work toward a waste free van life.
  • ‘Scrubba Wash Bag’ is a portable washing machine that fits in your pocket! You can even use clean river water with a dollop of homemade detergent if you’re short on water sources.
  • Make your own cleaning supplies (It’s much cheaper and will help you save on water). Google search DIY options for whatever cleaner(s) you want to make!
  • Keep ‘dirty items storage’ contained to a single space.
  • Lysol wipes are your best friend. Buy the packs that aren’t in a big container to save room.
  • Old toothbrushes work great for scrubbing out stains and dirt in hard to reach places! It’s tiny, yet efficient.
  • Get a handheld rechargeable cordless vacuum.
  • Rain is your friend! Use the free water source to take a natural shower, or collect water for dogs/cleaning supplies.
     Pro Tip: can also filter rainwater for drinking water!
  • Go commando! Less laundry if you don’t use underwear- but to each their own.

Kitchen, Food, & Water

Efficiency in the ‘kitchen’ is important. When it comes to living and eating in a van, there’s no room from excess. You need food and water, but don’t have much storage space or cooking appliances, so what do you do? If you get creative, you’d be surprised at how much you can actually store and cook in a van kitchen! Plus, I’m sure you’d get sick of just eating noodles in a cup & PB& J’s 24/7. The low down:

  • Only keep the amount of cups, plates, mugs, utensils, etc… that you need (which is usually 1-2 sets depending on how many people are dwelling in your van).
  • Try to invest in ‘dual purpose’ items or compact cooking sets.
     Pro Tip: Most camping cookware is made this way, so items should be easy to find.
  • When making your trip plan, be sure to include water & food refill stops.
  • Use the app ‘Tap’ to find the closest water refill station to you! Now that grocery stores and gas stations have refill stations outside, it makes clean water much more accessible to vandwellers.
  • If you plan to make fires, you can cook meals over it! It helps to buy a ‘compact over-the-fire grill’ for cooking, but you can always go old school and just hang whatever you’re cooking on a stick over the fire!
     Pro Tip: You can also cook with a paper bag. Throw some eggs & bacon in there, then hang the bag on a stick over the fire. The bag doesn’t burn, and cooks everything inside!
  • Leftovers are your friend! If you opt to eat out or get takeout, order something large for dinner so you can have the leftovers for breakfast. Same with coffee! Grab that 50 cent starbucks refill before the day ends so you can wake up to fresh coffee.
  • Get a small camp stove or Jet Boil for cooking with propane.
  • Coffee lovers- purchase a french press or a ‘pour over’ single serving coffee dripper since they’re compact and don’t require electricity.
  • For cooking spices, purchase a multi- seasoning dispenser so that you can refill it with your favorite spices. You can also use tic tac containers or pill organizers to minimize space and not have to spend money on a multi spice dispenser.
  • Use a large cooking pot as an oven! You can put it on low heat and cover (no water needed)
  • An easy food option allowing variety in your meals would be to make BOWLS. You can switch it up between quinoa, brown rice, and beans, then add veggies and/or meat (or meat alternatives) and season as you wish! Easy to make large quantities at once and save leftovers for the next day.
  • Overnight oatmeal- no heat needed! There are tons of different recipes on the interweb.
  • Meals in a bag- just add hot water! Lots of healthy dehydrated meals out there, or you can make your own!

Gas Saving

Vandwellers typically spend more on gas than the average person, so taking advantage of ways to save is important! Some tips to save money on gas guzzlers:

  • Use an app like Gas Buddy to help you find the lowest gas prices near you, or in a specific city, state, or zip code.
  • Whenever possible, avoid getting your gas on the weekends – the prices are higher!
  • Set your GPS for the shortest route, not necessarily the quickest.
  • Remember that cruise control is your friend.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated to ensure the best gas mileage.
  • If it’s hot and you’re thinking about rolling the windows down to stay cool and save money by not using the AC, you may actually be losing money. While going high speeds, it creates a drag which will slow you down and cost you more money on gas than it would to run your AC.
     Pro Tip: if you’re driving speeds over 50mph, keep the windows up.
  • When you’re making your trip plan, research gas prices per state so you can try to plan gas stops accordingly.
  • Sign up for rewards programs at all your favorite gas stations.

Mail Options

Without a permanent address, how do you receive mail? Do you have to stop using Amazon Prime?!?! DEAL BREAKER.  Lol, but not really. Although you should minimize buying random stuff due to lack of storage, there are still ways to receive mail while living on the road:

  • The good thing is, most bills and statements come via email (if you opt for paperless). Ask a friend or family member to use their address for anything else.
  • Get a PO Box somewhere centralized or where you will pass through often during your travels.
  • Amazon lockers (for Amazon packages only)
  • USPS delivery
  • UPS Mailboxes
  • Mail Boxes Etc.
  • Walmart/Home Depot/etc… ship-to-store

Pet Friendly

But what about the puppers?! We all want to keep the ‘road pets’ comfortable, happy, and safe, so here are some best practices:

  • Most vandwellers avoid leaving their pets in the van as much as possible, but for those times you have to, try to avoid doing it during the summer months, keep the time limited, vent your windows, and make sure it’s not during peak sun hours.
     Pro Tip: It’s good to make sure you install an air vent in the vehicle.
  • Be sure to research State laws for animals left in parked vehicles, as it is illegal in some places!
  • Reflective sun shades put in your windows help to prevent heat from getting in and insulate the cool from getting out slower.
  • Pets aren’t allowed in National Parks- but this does not mean you have to avoid them! Right outside of National Parks are BLM & National Forest lands which generally don’t have pet restrictions.
  • has background checked and verified pet sitters that offer a variety of affordable options from dog walking, day care, and overnight stays!
  • Wag app offers dog walking services.
  • Local doggy daycares for similar services to Rover.
  • For when your dogs are allowed to roam free, LED collars help keep an eye on them at night!
  • Pet hair pickup mitt to help keep hair of fabric.
  • If you’re parked somewhere without trees or an “anchor point”, and need to keep your pup leashed up, tethering the leash to your tires will make for a sturdy anchor point.

The Other Stuff

I have more tricks up my sleeve to make your van life easier:

  • Keep track of expenses and make a budget. Use apps like Mint to see how much you’re spending.
  • Buy an ‘America the Beautiful Pass’. It costs $80 per year, and gets you into more than 2,000 federal recreation sites including national parks. You can get a discounted pass if you are a senior (62 or older).
  • DIY projects > buying new. Even if you think you can’t DIY, you probably can. Pinterest and YouTube are good resources for learning how to DIY.
  • A gym membership is worth the money, and is a spot for SHOWERING! Opt for a nationwide gym (Planet Fitness is typically $10-20/mo) so there is likely to be a location along your travels.
  • For birthdays, christmas/hanukkah, or other holidays, ask for money or gas cards since you don’t need to take up more space in your van with more stuff.
  • Add solar panels to your roof! This may cost a bit up front, but will provide efficient forms of electricity.
  • Wrap a headlamp around a gallon water jug to turn it into a bright lamp.
  • Who needs a can opener? If you vigorously rub a can over rock, it will pop right open! #mindblown
  • Ice packs are preferred, but if you drink water bottles, reuse that plastic bottle by freezing water in it to act as an ice pack.
  • Some essential oils have bug repellent properties! Research which oils work best for repelling the pesky bugs that bother you- whether it be ticks, ants, fleas, mosquitos, etc.- there’s a DIY repellent that’s safe on your body, yet still effective!
  • Burning sage also works as a natural deterrent to keep those pesky bugs away- and it smells nice, too!
  • Spraying counters w/ vinegar & sprinkle with cayenne pepper to deter ants.
  • Deodorant can act as a bug bite topical to reduce itchiness.
  • Gardeners! #VanLife doesn’t mean you have to give up your passion. Opt for a hanging herb garden! Herbs are lightweight and hanging the garden keeps your counters free. You can get plenty of sunlight if you hang them over a window.
  • Ear plugs! For when you sleep in noisy places, like highly populated cities.
  • Waterproof your shoes using a beeswax compound!
  • Keep a tool box on hand with the essentials.
  • Install insulation dividers (use pic 5-insulate) between front cab and the back of the van to keep main areas a comfortable temperature.
  • If you don’t have a van bathroom, use a ‘pee bottle’ to avoid having to go outside during poor weather or night time. Sounds like this is only an option for men, but I don’t discriminate! Women can get a ‘GoGirl’ or a ‘She-wee’ to make it easy!
  • Keep a public storage unit- unless you have the nicest family or friends that will offer some space up in their garage/attic/basement for you to store items. This helps so that you can keep seasonal items in storage and exchange it out as needed.
     Pro Tip: Need help loading or unloading items into the storage unit? Use to find, compare and book local move help!
  • Out of kindling to make a fire? Did you know that crunched up Doritos act as a good alternative? Not saying you always have those on hand, but if you did, NOW YOU KNOW.

The More You Know

So now that you have some tips & tricks of the #VanLife game, are you ready to put it all to action? I’m sure you’ll learn your own #vanlifehacks along the way, so feel free to let us know any that we missed. Just visit our Facebook page and give us a shout!

We’re Listening

Have something to say about this article? Share it with us on Facebook.

Published at Thu, 18 Apr 2019 15:27:30 +0000

Read More

Gentle Giant Celebrates Annual Summer Wellness Week

Posted by on Jul 30, 2019 in The Moving | Comments Off on Gentle Giant Celebrates Annual Summer Wellness Week

Gentle Giant Celebrates Annual Summer Wellness Week

Gentle Giant Celebrates Annual Summer Wellness Week

Gentle Giant Celebrates Annual Summer Wellness Week

Every year, Gentle Giant sets aside one week during the summer
to celebrate health and wellness. The Giant Health team has been organizing and
hosting Wellness Week for several years to raise awareness about the importance
of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The week provides tools and education to
enable employees to improve their overall quality of life.

What does health really mean? Healthy living isn’t just about
attending CrossFit classes or the latest fad diet; it’s a wider reaching philosophy
impacting every area of life.

In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as
“a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely
the absence of disease or infirmity.” This year’s Wellness Week highlighted
a wholistic vision of health with activities focused on mental health, financial
health, work/life balance, and of course, physical health.

The importance of mental health and stress reduction was a common theme throughout this year’s Wellness Week. A session of acupuncture specifically targeted to increase relaxation, a yoga class and a guided meditation session were popular activities related to mental health. Employees were also offered the chance to meet with a representative from our employee assistance program (EAP). The Gentle Giant EAP provides a resource for employees who are seeking assistance with managing stress within or outside of work, and employees are encouraged to seek out available resources to maintain their mental health.

Financial health ranks as one of the most common sources of
ongoing, chronic stress. To combat this stress, we offered a class with
financial advisors to discuss debt management, added in response to growing
challenges younger generations face with student debt and homeownership.
Education regarding building good credit, managing good and bad debt, and
balancing budgets provided an engaging tool to build greater financial health.

Gentle Giant recognizes the value of interests, hobbies, and passions outside work. A historical mid-week walking tour with a Preservation Planner from the City of Somerville offered employees a chance to understand our local community and learn more about the roots of our culturally thriving neighborhood. A planning session with a few of our resident outdoor adventure experts helped employees learn about opportunities in hiking and bike touring.

Let’s not forget about the value of physical health. A
shadowboxing class, led by a former Gentle Giant employee, provided education
and fun to those who participated, and to those who spectated! The ever-popular
seated massages were back again this year, an employee favorite. The week was
capped off with an intro to the company gym and a company BBQ.

Another great Wellness Week is in the books! Looking for a company who cares deeply about your health and well-being, both physically and mentally? Check out the Gentle Giant moving jobs and careers page. We are always hiring for the ever-growing operations team!

Published at Thu, 25 Jul 2019 10:00:24 +0000

Read More


Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in The Moving | Comments Off on NCT DREAM 엔시티 드림 'BOOM' MV



NCT DREAM’s 3rd mini album “We Boom” is out!
Listen and download on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify
Apple Music:

NCT DREAM Official

NCT DREAM 엔시티 드림 ‘BOOM’ MV ℗ SM Entertainment

Read More