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U.S. Gulf Ports Prepare for Hurricane Delta

Due to Hurricane Delta the U.S. Coast Guard has issued a condition Whiskey for the Port of New Orleans (open today, but closed tomorrow) and condition Yankee for the Port of Houston (currently closed to traffic).

U.S. Coast Guard Port Conditions for Hurricanes and Severe Weather:
Whiskey: The ALERT condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 72 hours.
X-Ray: The READINESS condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 48 hours.
Yankee: The WARNING condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 24 hours.
Zulu: The DANGER condition in which winds above 39 mph are expected within 12 hours and until the storm has passed and is no longer a threat.

10 Simple Ways to Cut Moving Costs

Don’t Leave Money on the Table

1) Timing is Everything

If at all possible, avoid moving during peak times to save extra expense. As a general rule, the end of the month is busier for movers, because of the expiration of leases and preferred closing dates.

It’s also recommended that you avoid scheduling your move during the summer months – May to mid-September – when families with children out of school are most likely to move.

2) Book Travel in Advance

Making travel plans ahead of time can save money. Use travel discounts like AAA to save on hotel rooms and be sure to take the toll-free number of the hotel with you; it saves money if you need to call while in route.

3) Eat Creatively

Avoid grocery shopping and eating out. Be creative at mealtime with what you have in your freezer and refrigerator. Begin using up the frozen foods and other perishable items you have in your kitchen. Frozen foods cannot be moved, and canned goods just add to the weight of your shipment and increase costs.

4) Collect Your Deposits

Whether it is an apartment or utility deposit, it’s easier to get your money back before you move. If you paid a pet deposit, look into that too. Don’t forget about items you might have in layaway or items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired. And stop by your workout facility, club or bowling alley to make sure you’ve emptied your locker.

5) Get Your Dues

Check with clubs and organizations to see if you can sell your membership, get a partial refund, or transfer your membership to your new location.

6) Contact the IRS

Don’t forget to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about your change of address. Each year, the post office is unable to deliver thousands of tax refund checks! One of the main reasons stated is that people don’t inform the IRS of their new residence. A change of address form (Form No. 8822) is available on their Web site (www.irs.gov).

7) Report Your Move

Speaking of the IRS, if your move is prompted by a change in job locations or starting a new job, some moving expenses may be deductible on your federal income tax return. Consult the IRS or your personal tax adviser for information.

8) Pack Yourself

Save money on your moving expenses by doing the packing and unpacking yourself. Plan on a good six weeks to pack and get ready for a move. Ask your moving company for information on do-it-yourself packing to protect your belongings.

9) Cash in on Your Move

The weight of your shipment impacts the cost—so lighten your load. Consider getting rid of items you no longer need and raise some quick cash in the meantime.

Garage sales – If you don’t have a lot of items to sell, consider a joint sale with one or more neighbors. The greater the assortment of items you have to offer, the more potential customers you’ll attract and the more successful the sale will be.

Flea markets – For a nominal fee, local flea markets are a great means for selling second-hand items. Because most markets are advertised, professional second-hand bargain hunters usually attend.

Online auctions – The Internet gives you the opportunity to showcase your items for sale to the world, not just your own neighborhood. Take extra time to properly describe your item and include a good quality photo to increase your chances of selling.

Secondhand stores – Sometimes selling items to a consignment shop can bring in more money than selling them at a garage sale – and it is less work for you.

Charity – If you donate your items to charity, remember to ask for a receipt so you can document it on your income tax return.

10) Find Free Offers

Be on the lookout for coupons, discounts and free offers from local businesses once you are settled. Don’t automatically toss out what looks like junk mail during this time because you may be throwing away free money! Take advantage of savings.

For more tips on moving click here.

(source: United Van Lines)

Top 10 Tips for Moving Safely During Covid-19

Before you move:

1. Choose your moving company carefully and ask questions.

2. Get a virtual moving quote.

3. Be clear on the process of rescheduling your move.

4. Clean and disinfect.

During Your Move (Your Movers Have Arrived for Loading and Unloading):

5. Greet with a smile, not a handshake.

6. Maintain a six-foot distance.

7. Wash hands.

8. Practice CDC recommended protocol to decrease the spread of the virus.

9. If at any point before or during your move, you suspect you’ve been exposed to the virus or have symptoms, contact your mover to determine what to do.

After Your Move:

10. Thoroughly disinfect your new space before you unpack and settle in.

For more details please read the full article.

(source: United Van Lines)

How to Declutter Before a Move

Why Declutter Before Moving? Decluttering before moving can save money and cleaning time. It can also help you feel organized and give you a fresh start in your new home.

1. Start at least 2 weeks before your move.

2. Set up four piles: Keep, Sell, Donate and Trash.

3. Go room by room, starting with the least cluttered room in your home.

For more details please read the full article.

For more tips on packing click here.

(source: United Van Lines)