Posts Tagged ‘moving tips’

Best Time to Move: NOW (With Craig’s Help)

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

The market is hot and you knew you’d have to act fast! That townhouse in Fairfax you’ve coveted for years just went on the market, and it was meant to be yours. It had to be. Scheduled an appointment with a realtor to see that corner unit in the hippest, most up-and-coming neighborhood in northern Virginia, CHECK. Perfect doesn’t even begin to describe this townhouse: Three bedrooms, tons of natural light, the perfect yard for the garden you want to plant.

Offer submitted, CHECK. Yours was the first, and the most competitive.

Offer accepted, CHECK. Contract signed, CHECK. Closing date set, CHECK.

Get excited. You’re moving!

You did it. You bought a townhouse. And now you have to move. In six weeks, you’ll close on the house, and in eight weeks, the lease on your apartment is up. Eight weeks filled with purging, and packing, and cleaning, and loading the truck, and unloading the truck, and cleaning, and unpacking, and purging: It’s going to be a long eight weeks, and it might be a little stressful, but there’s no time like the present.

Now is the best time to move!

And hey, because we’re here to make your life (and your move) a little easier, Craig Van Lines has put together a detailed moving checklist.

  • Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced movers today — that is, eight weeks before your move. We’ll look at your stuff, and consider the distance; we’ll talk about your packing and storage needs, and then we’ll provide a comprehensive moving plan, as well as an estimate.
  • Change your address. You’ll need to contact the US Postal Service so they can begin to re-route your mail, as well as your bank, your insurance provider, your credit card companies, and anyone else who might need to reach you by pony express.
  • Purge. Sell what you can. Donate what you can’t. And throw away, or recycle anything else you don’t need, or can’t use. Go through each room in your current apartment, and ask yourself “Will this have a purpose in my shiny new townhouse, or is it going to continue to sit in a box?”
  • With four weeks remaining until the big day, give Craig Van Lines a call. Maybe you got rid of more stuff than you realized you might, or maybe you just couldn’t wait to start buying furniture, and there’s more to move than before: We need to know.
  • Pack. The earlier you begin to pack, the better off you’ll be. Books, knick-knacks, out-of-season clothes: All of these things can be packed way in advance, and doing so will save you a lot of stress in the long run.
  • Schedule a date to have utilities and amenities shut off or transferred out of your name. Know when, where, and to whom you’ll need to return cable boxes and Internet modems, as well as how and when you’ll turn in your apartment keys.
  • Make last-minute preparations. All of your boxes should be sealed and labeled, and FRAGILE items should be marked as such. Come moving day, you’ll be glad we know what’s what, and what should go where.

Finally, it’s time to get moving!

Even if you’ve hired the experienced movers at Craig Van Lines, your presence is crucial to the success of your move. But don’t worry: We’ll do all the heavy lifting.

Pre-Clean Your New House & Other Tips for Moving to Northern VA

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Tips, tips everywhere! Look the Web over, and you’ll find list after list after list of “ways to make your move easier,” but on each, there are a few things (easy things!) folks often miss… Craig Van Lines gets it. Planning a northern Virginia residential move is time consuming and stressful, and that’s why we’re here.

Craig Van Lines can help prepare your home and belongs for the big northern VA move!

A few tips:

Pre-clean the new house!

Your first day in your new home needs to be about moving in, not cleaning. So if you’re moving locally, from Gainesville to Chantilly, make plans to spend some time there before the residential movers arrive. Clean the bathrooms and kitchen; sweep the floors, and if your entry way is carpeted, consider laying down plastic tarping to protect against mud and dirt. To protect the skin on your hands be sure to purchase powder free gloves in bulk when handling cleaning chemicals.

Consider how and where you’ll install electronics.

A flat screen TV, surround sound system, Blu-Ray player, an XBOX, and on and on. Are you going to remember how to set it up ten days from now, in a different state? Eh, maybe not. To help jog your memory, you have a couple of options: Take a picture of the wiring harnesses front, back, and sideways. Voila! A visual guide. AND / OR wrap each various wire with a small piece of masking tape and write on it where it goes like this: Front left speaker, Video 2 red, etc.

We’ll call you flash.

Walk into your closet with a big black trash bag. Open up the bag and scoop it up under about 20 shirts at a time. In about 5 minutes you can bag and tag your entire closet. Just smack a piece of masking tape onto the side and mark what’s inside. Oh, and unpacking is easy too. Just reverse the process.


Sell what you can. Donate what you can’t. And throw away, or recycle anything else you don’t need, or can’t use. Go through each room in your current apartment, and ask yourself “Will this have a purpose in my shiny new townhouse, or is it going to continue to sit in a box?”

Make some updates to your landscaping.

Curb appeal starts with getting some landscaping improvements. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a huge project. There are lots of things you can do – even in one afternoon – that will really make your house look great. Re-mulching, edging and weeding are, of course, no-brainers. But you can also work small, manageable landscaping projects into the mix. Try building a low stacked stone wall to edge one of your beds. Or perhaps planting some new shrubs. If you’re in the Gainesville, area, your first stop should be the Gateway Home & Garden Center for any landscaping supplies.

For even more helpful tips to make your next move easier:

Call the experts, northern Virginia’s residential movers, Craig Van Lines.

Residential Moving Tips | Northern VA | Craig Van Lines

4 Tips to Consider When Moving to a New State

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Relocating to a new state offers the opportunity to start fresh and experience a life you may not have otherwise planned. But, like anything new, moving can present its own unique challenges, from organizing what to bring and discard, to deciding where to enroll the kids in school, to ensuring everyone remains happy and positive. Truly, the devil is in the details.

But because deciding where to move is the easy part, it’s wise to cobble together a moving checklist to ensure you’re not excluding any items to make your new house a home.

Create a Checklist and Budget

Getting organized is one of the keys to a successful move. The best way to start is by creating a checklist. For example, in addition to packing and arranging moving services, you will need to:

  • Change your address and phone number
  • Update your billing and credit card information
  • Update your insurance policies
  • Obtain a new driver’s license and plates
  • Need to ship a car? Visit A-1 Auto Transport Inc

After creating this checklist….For the remainder of the article please click here. 


Trust Us: These Are Things You’ve Got to Know About Moving in Northern VA

Friday, February 26th, 2016

Change is a constant and you can either embrace it or resist it. One of the most potentially stressful examples of change is a big move — the kind of move with floor to ceiling box stacks and multiple rooms filled with a lifetime of stuff.  If you’re an owner of a larger home or a spacious condo, the stress can be alarmingly elevated. A large family with many children is a task made even more daunting. No matter your situation, the size of your household, or even your budget, companies from local DC movers to moving companies in quaint Ashburn, VA, await your call. These are professional yet low cost movers who will make your transition all the more easy and graceful.

Getting all that stuff you have accumulated over the years from one home to the next can be an overwhelming endeavor. The idea of planning such a gargantuan task can lead you to the brink of insanity! Diving headfirst into such treacherous waters without proper preparation, praying and hoping that the gods of moving will be merciful, is really a bad idea. Below are some tips to help you come up with a solid strategy well in advance of your moving day.


It is helpful to get the incidentals taken care of first. Arranging your change of address requests sooner rather than later will save you from a headache or two. Change of address requests usually take some time, so filling out the forwarding form for the post office should immediately be followed by notifying your financial institutions, magazine publishers, and friends and family about your new location, even before you start your packing.

Check out the Official USPS® Change of Address here.


So much complication can be avoided if you simply sit down and make yourself a list of the things you need to get done for your move. Checking off the items as you go will give you great satisfaction and more importantly, peace of mind. If you have children and animals to consider, a to-do list can be yet another potent stress-reducer. You would be well-advised to make your list in the order of priority by including deadlines. If you have or intend to get insurance for your possessions this is also a perfect opportunity to make an inventory of that which you want covered. This will also be handy for you when you later unpack everything-   you’ll know you’re not missing anything.

Be sure to add to your list any utility companies that need to be contacted for shut-off and turn-on at your new home.

Do you have any items that need last minute fixing or services to cancel?  Do you need to call a electrician, plumberroofing company, or cancel cable, phone or security monitoring?


That got your attention, right? Moving is a lot of work and, it can really add up after you have paid for packing supplies for moving, etc. Think about the number of boxes you will need for all your stuff then tack on another twenty percent to be sure. You then can save a lot by visiting your local appliance and department store to find used boxes, from small to large. But be careful, at supermarkets you would be well-advised to avoid boxes that had anything frozen in them, (hence water damage or left-over food residues).


Obviously, you won’t be able match everything in your new home exactly the way it was before, but change is good! This is an opportunity for you to create your place from scratch and, to the chagrin of the producers of “Hoarders”, lighten your load of unused, unnecessary, excess stuff you have accumulated over the years. Start by shooting pictures of all your rooms before you start to empty out your old place. This will be enormously helpful in aiding your unpacking process. Via properly labeled boxes and those pics, you will see how it all once worked and remember what is hidden in each. Oh, and remember to have pictures of those spider-webs of complicated electronic hook-ups so as to avoid a techie nightmare. You might even sketch out a floor plan for your new abode, so as to be prepared with an even more detailed plan of action.


And finally, if you don’t have the time or you just can’t stand the idea of lugging heavy things up and down stairs again and again, you should hire a professional moving company. Be it 2 dudes with a truck or craig van lines moving and storage, getting it done right will make life so much easier.


Don’t water anything you plan to take for 2 to 3 days before the move. Smaller plants can be put in boxes and moved in your car, while the big plants should be moved in their pots within a big box so as to avoid spilling their soil all over everything in the truck and on your personal items.


Do not let time lapse before you get to packing. To fill a box will take you about half an hour each. That means that an average apartment can be packed up anywhere from 15 to 20 hours. If you have a single family home, we’re talking almost 40 hours.

Make sure you have plenty of packing tape and felt pens ready for sealing and labeling all those boxes. Some of the info to label would be what’s in the box, if it is fragile, and the room where the contents belong.

Pack up stuff you use the least first, like books. Leave the essentials until the very end. A good idea is to pack a suitcase like you’re going away for a week on vacation. You may not be sipping pina coladas on the beach, but you also won’t be wondering where the heck the toothbrush and tooth paste are.

Make sure all the boxes are well-taped, both tops and bottoms and double-tape cartons that contain the heavy items. Pack the heavy stuff on the bottom and the lighter things on top and never put heavy things in with that which is fragile! Wrap paper and add cushioning like bubble wrap or peanuts between the layers of breakable items. Don’t just throw towels and linens in separate boxes. Use them for packing as well.

Although your local movers will be helpful and willing to move whatever you have, they cannot guarantee the safety of glass-framed pictures and artwork, lampshades, mirrors, or your small electronic devices. Packing and moving companies sell bubble-wrap for the fragile things and you might request mirror boxes from them too.

Your mattresses can be wrapped in furniture pads, but specially-made boxes can be bought as well. Request that your movers wrap your furniture with shrink wrap for further protection.

Don’t forget to disassemble any particle board and pressed wood furniture before moving day; if you don’t you will most likely be making another visit to IKEA to replace that which was broken apart by the act of relocation.


And finally, please be sure to complete all your packing before the crew arrives on moving day! Though you can make arrangements to have the movers pack all your things for you, if you choose to forgo the added expense then don’t be caught unprepared.

Be sure to reserve elevators, loading docks or parking areas as needed for the time necessary.

You’re the boss so be on sight to direct the movers and answer questions. Use that floor plan you drew up. Tape it to the doors to show where everything should go and that will be save you time and money.

Important Tips for Moving Success from Northern VA’s Residential Moving Experts

Friday, October 30th, 2015

To make your move has pleasant as possible, northern Virginia’s experts in residential moving are help to help — we’ll help you move, and we’ll help us help you move. Consider the following tips; heed our advice and do these things to prepare for big move.

Save your northern Virginia movers time, and save yourself some money.

Prior to Moving Day

  • Appliances: Drain, empty, disconnect, unplug, tape doors and electrical (some require interior packing of movable parts).
  • TVs: Disconnect aerials and fold up, tape cords of all electrical appliances and lamps.
  • Stereos: Secure arm and turn tables.
  • Inform Movers of: Delicate, aged, weak pieces, loose legs, broken pieces, loose veneer, etc.
  • Mark Boxes: Mark boxes for proper placement in the new home. Tape bottoms and tops and mark boxes that may be fragile, delicate, glass, this end up.
  • Organize: Attics, tool sheds and garages. These areas are very time consuming for the movers (rakes, brooms, shovels–tie or tape together). Mowers and gas cans must be drained.
  • Dressers, Desks and End Tables: Should be emptied of breakables, pencils, pens, paper clips and other items that would jam drawers. Clothing and bedding can be left in the drawers.

On Moving Day

  • Advise movers before starting job what will and will not be moving.
  • Before leaving old residence make a thorough inspection to be sure nothing is forgotten.
  • At your new residence, it is very helpful if you direct the movers with each item for proper placement as it is brought in.
  • When finished, check the truck yourself to be sure nothing is forgotten.
  • Elevator moves — Check with building management for use and key on moving day. It is very helpful for you or a friend to help watch your goods in hallways, elevators and loading areas.

Need help moving in northern Virginia?

Call the experts. Call Craig Van Lines.

Useful Tips for Moving File Cabinets from Northern Virginia’s Commercial Moving Experts

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Filing cabinets: Chances are your northern Virginia commercial office has at least a few. And sometimes, they have to be moved. Whether to a new office, or just out of the way for a chance to clean and dust, when filing cabinets have to be moved, certain precautions have to be taken.

Consider these tips for moving filing cabinets:

Moving Upright File Cabinets

File cabinets that stand upright are the easier to move; all you, or the professional commercial movers you’ve hired need is a dolly and a few straps. Use the dolly to inch the file cabinet away from the wall until you can reach around it. With one per drawer, wrap the straps around the filing cabinet to keep the drawers in place, and your files from disarray. Align the back wall of the filing cabinet with the back of the dolly; stay balanced, and get that filing cabinet into the Craig Van Lines moving truck!

Moving Lateral File Cabinets

A lateral filing cabinet is that which is wider than it is tall. Lateral file cabinets require a little more finesse and planning to move than their upright counterparts. Since they’re constructed differently, a file cabinet of this type must be emptied before it can be moved. (Ask Craig Van Lines about our commercial moving and storage services.) A lateral file cabinet that is moved full may bend or break due to the weight inside, but once emptied, it can be stood on one end and moved easily — with a dolly and straps.

Moving Smaller File Cabinets

Oh, you might be thinking: A small filing cabinet is small; it’ll be a piece of cake to move. This may be true, but it may not be. What’s in said smaller filing cabinet must be considered first. The cabinet’s contents can greatly increase its weight and bulkiness. Small filing cabinets should be moved individually (NOT stacked on top of one another) and their drawers secured with straps just like larger filing cabinets.

Moving a commercial business in northern VA?

Craig Van Lines offers a wide array of Commercial and Corporate moving services, both local and interstate. Our staff is among the best in the business and we use equipment and techniques to expedite your move and that allow us to minimize your downtime.

Included in our Commercial services is the protection of the office building, including floor and wall protection. All of your office furniture and any heavy equipment (including filing cabinets!) is shrink-wrapped and padded in place prior to moving with the goal of providing you a completely damage-free move.

Call the commercial moving experts. Call Craig Van Lines.

Six Tips for Relocating a Wine Collection in Northern Virginia

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

That’s quite the impressive wine collection you have there.

A collection like that took many years (not to mention lots of money) to build, and as such, it’s not just a bunch of bottles you’ll want to haphazardly toss in the backseat of your car, or in boxes left for the movers. No, you’ll want to take care to ensure that no damage comes to your wine collection when you move, and Craig Van Lines wants to help.

Consider these tips for relocating with a wine collection.

1. Call an appraiser before you move.

To you, your wine collection is invaluable. But really, that’s not the case. All that wine is worth something, and it’s important you know how much it’s worth. Ask your local wine merchant to point you in the direction of a qualified appraiser, and find the specific value of your collection before you move.

2. Photograph your wine collection.

When it comes to something like a wine collection, the best way to keep an accurate record of the overall contents is to take detailed photographs. Keep copies for your records, and take new photographs as necessary.

3. Tell Craig Van Lines that you have a high-value wine collection to be moved.

This is must-know information for Craig Van Lines. When you call to speak with us about our moving services, let us know that you have a high-value wine collection among your belongings to be moved. There are specific, necessary preparations that will have to be made in order to protect your precious wine collection during the move.

4. Fill out a high-value inventory form.

When making arrangements to relocate your wine collection in northern Virginia, Craig Van Lines might ask you to fill out a high-value inventory form. Doing so will guarantee that your wine collection qualifies for unlimited liability protection. (Ask us about the different protection and replacement plans we offer.)

5. Check the temperature.

The older the wine, the more delicate it is, and the more care that must be taken to protect its flavor. Finely aged wine must be stored at the right temperature, and always at the right temperature to avoid affecting the appearance and taste.

6. Pack your wine collection the right way.

In special boxes meant to protect fragile items from damage during transit. Corked wine bottles should be packed upside down — yes, upside down — so that the corks remain wet. Oh, and one more thing: Never pack wine bottles that have been opened.

Relocating your wine can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be, not when you take the necessary precautions, and not when you entrust your collection to northern Virginia’s experienced movers, Craig Van Lines.

A Few Lessons In… How Not to Move

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Moving is hard. And sometimes, things happen.

Sometimes, couches are big, and doorways are tight. Sometimes, bookshelves are heavy, and stairways are steep. It might seem like the best option is to try, and hope for the best. And sometimes, it works out. Some couches sent flying over deck railings live to sit another day. But some couches don’t.

Some couches are just wide, or just tall enough that it seems impossible to think you’ll ever get them inside. Some bookshelves are just too much for one person to handle. It was for these circumstances precisely that some northern Virginia moving company — *ahem* Craig Van Lines — was founded so many decades ago.

Take a lesson from the experts: Don’t move this way.

He’s okay! But the bookshelf might not be.

Joanna can’t help you. But Craig Van Lines can!

You get the picture. But you’ll have to pay for it.

Save yourself, your time, and your furniture.

Leave the moving to the experienced professionals.

Through four generations, the Craig family has provided quality moving and storage services. Whether you’re looking for a mover in Alexandria, VA, Fairfax or anywhere throughout Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland, we can help. We are recognized as one of the leading moving companies in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC metropolitan area. From local to long distance, our commitment to personalized moving services for residential and commercial relocation is unmatched in the industry.

Protect Your Art & Your Antiques with a Little Help from Gainesville’s Home Moving Experts, Craig Van Lines

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

It’s taken years to build your collection: Paintings and sculpture you acquired on many a Saturday spent at estate sales and flea markets. Those ugly — but oh so precious to you — antique Shawnee Corn King pottery dishes your grandmother passed on to you. The last thing you want is for any of these items to get broken or otherwise damaged in the move.

Fine art and family heirlooms such as these require careful handling and the use of proper packing materials to make it safely from one place to the next. In our humble opinion, the surest way to protect your valuables is to hire Craig Van Lines (of Gainesville — moving northern Virginians far and near for 80 years), and let us do the packing, storing, and trucking for you. We’re licensed and insured, and we guarantee the safe transport of all your belongings, but we also know that, sometimes, there’s no one you’ll trust more than yourself.

And so it’s for that reason that we’ve compiled these invaluable tips:

For packing and moving your valuables

Fine Art

  • We can’t say this enough: The most important part of safely moving art is proper packing. Wrap every piece of art individually in Dartek, or another similar type of soft pack. Available for purchase from specialty suppliers (Call Craig Van Lines: We’ll help you find it!), this type of acid-free interwoven plastic will protect your art, and allow it to breathe.
  • Do not wrap paintings or sculpture directly in bubble wrap, as the bubbles may pop and leave damaging marks on the artwork. Bubble wrap can, however, be used as a second protective layer, over the soft pack.
  • Once your artwork is properly wrapped, it’s time for packing. Use foam-lined cardboard boxes if you’re planning on doing the moving yourself, or if you’d rather: Call Craig Van Lines, and let’s discuss one-way, or custom-built crates ideal for transporting fragile and valuable items long-distance.
  • This End Up: Such reminders are often critical, especially when it comes to moving framed paintings in charcoal, pastel, and/or watercolor. If turned upside down, hinge mounting points may come dislodged; the artwork could be wrinkled; and the piece may ultimately need reframing.

Antiques & Collectibles

  • Before antiques are moved, or even packed, it’s probably a good idea to carefully inspect each item. Check for weak spots or other problems, and to see what of your collection might be disassembled: Then do so. Often, movable (or removable) pieces can be better secured elsewhere — e.g., Fragile handles should be taped inside drawers; hardware, attachments, and components won’t get lost if separated into labeled plastic bags.
  • Reinforce glass panels and mirrors with padding and stretch wrap.
  • Pack figurines, ornaments, and dolls inside their original boxes if possible. If not, wrap each item individually in tissue paper, and then in bubble wrap. Consider using double-walled corrugated boxes for extra protection.
  • Likewise, China, crystal, and your beloved Shawnee Corn King pottery should be wrapped in tissue paper, and then placed in compartmented boxes made specifically for dishware. Plates are meant to stand on edge, while stemware should be packed in individual corrugated cylinders.

When it’s time to move, call Craig Van Lines!

No one loves packing. (Okay, okay. That’s not entirely true. We love packing, but it’s our job.) Yet here we are, telling you to spend MORE time packing when all you really want to do is less. Trust, it’s for good reason. Using proper precaution and the right materials can help ensure that your collection remains whole, and intact for years to come.

And wouldn’t you know, you don’t have to do any of the packing if you don’t want to. Let our highly trained professional packers come take care of that for you; we’ll even do the unpacking if you’d like, and we promise to treat your most valuable possessions as if they were our own.

How To Make Your Move Hassle Free

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Moving is never easy. That’s just a fact. Get this – we’re always running advertisements in Google and other search engines so that people who are moving in northern Virginia can easily find us. The most popular ad – by far – tells people, “Get a Hassle Free Move.”

But after over 80 years and four generations of movers in the Craig family, we don’t need statistics to tell us that having a hassle free move is what people want – we know it because we live it every day!

So what should you do if you want to have an easy go of it?

Here are a few tips that will help make your moving day go smoothly…

1) Learn about your moving company. With so much information at our fingertips, there is no reason not to do your homework! Often times, Fred Craig himself will come to your home to meet with you and prepare an estimate. When you can look the owner in the eye and get information, you can be confident in the service you’ll be getting.

2) Insist on a professional crew. One thing you may run into – especially in the discount movers – is a non-professional crew. Sure, college kids need jobs, but this is your life we’re talking about. Craig Van Lines movers are professionals – this is what they do for a living. Many of our movers have been with us for more than a decade – some longer than that!

3) Take inventory of your delicate items. When your getting your quote for residential moving, it is always a good idea to review all of the items that will need special care and attention during the move.

4) Get the right packing supplies. You would be shocked at how many boxes we go through! It will make your moving day a LOT easier if you get a variety of box sizes, the proper tape and packing material and get your small items packed in a well organized fashion.

5) Take the time to interact with your crew. When the crew arrives at your home, take a moment and greet each one. A short conversation introducing yourself to the group and getting to know them a little will help you throughout the day. If you have a bit of rapport with your crew, it will go a long way when something needs extra attention. Craig Van Lines crews are trained to be very attentive to your needs so this is no problem with us!

Moving can be a real hassle – especially in the hustle and bustle of northern Virginia. We’re here to make your move as easy as it can be. Call us when you’re ready!


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