How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service

This is how we moved our household long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service! I’ve also included some tips on packing, packing the moving container, the details of how we tracked our moving containers, and our experience with the entire process.

Hubby and I closed up our Florida condo and put it up for sale recently (it has sold). We decided to pack up some of the “good stuff” and take it home instead of donating it all. We had a few decisions to make before going forward; mainly what did we want to take, and how much were we willing to pay to have it transported.

I knew I wanted my dishes (fiesta!), we wanted some of the artwork (oil paintings – St. Augustine is an artsy community!), and there were a few pieces of furniture I wanted to take home (including a sofa bench Max used to sleep in that I knew from the day I bought it I wanted to take it home and have it reupholstered). Hubby had a ton of stuff tucked away in the closets, some nice kitchen goods, and some tools he wanted to bring back home.

Our Realtor wanted us to leave the condo staged. We compromised on semi-staged (leaving some living room furniture, the dining room table, and two bedrooms furnished) and taking the real estate photos before we packed up anything. That worked out well.

Once we knew what we wanted to bring home, Hubby had to guestimate how many packed boxes we would end up with, and measure the furniture we would be taking home, to come up with the cubic yards we would need to get it all in a container for transport.

He called several moving container places for two different quotes: one quote for one moving unit, the second quote for two units. Every place has a different size unit, some units were too small and too expensive, some were too large and too expensive, this one ended up being just right.

Hubby called quite a few places, but for price, size and ease of working with them, he went with ABF U-Pack ReloCube. The first unit was $1200, for two units it was $1500. They measure the units by cargo space. Since ABF trucking network is so large, and they go everywhere in the country, moving a u-pack unit appears to happen when space is on a truck (so the units are shipped in stages from one city to the next until they make it to their final destination).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


So, with the small incremental cost of a second unit, Hubby and I decided to take home: the sofa-bench I wanted, my small desk, a wicker chest (really cool!), the TV (do not ask me why, we do not watch much television, and Mr. Max already has a TV), large paintings, a recliner (it does not fit in with our decor up here, but I paid $900 for it last year, and damnit I was not leaving it behind if we had room to bring it home!) and the sleeper sofa (which had been used once!!) Hubby also managed to nab the office chairs at the last minute when he discovered that the moving containers were not quite full.

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


We had a few paintings (as well as the TV) to be packed.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


The painting and TV required special boxes.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


These are TV edge protectors.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


We also adapted them for use on the paintings.


How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


It was well worth buying these specialty boxes!


Hubby bought a ton of banker moving boxes from amazon in small, medium and large sizes. This turned out to be a brilliant move for carrying, loading, and different size needs. Since we hope to buy a new home in our current area of New York State, these boxes will just be reused. We used 6″ stretch wrap to close the boxes instead of tape. This ensured that the boxes did not tear or rip when we opened them (and it really worked – we only lost one box, and that was due to a leak).

We marked the boxes fairly well while packing them too, including an H for home (more on that later).

Hubby also bought 15 moving blankets, and we used every single one. After spending a lot of time watching youtube videos, he decided to tape those moving blankets closed around the furniture instead of using the 6″ stretch wrap I convinced him to do both which was good as the 6″ stretch wrap held up better. Hubby bought a number of art boxes, as well as a TV box too. Sometimes, the right box is needed to do the job correctly.

To recap, what we used to pack our belongings:

Banker (brand) Moving Boxes
Painting and TV Boxes
Edge Protectors
6″ Stretch Wrap
• Marker
Bubble Wrap
• Tape
Packing Peanuts
• Towels, Blankets, Pillows, etc was used as wrap and padding where appropriate.

Watching Hubby pack is interesting. He prides himself on being a great organizer (wish he’d do some of his organizing in our basement) and packer. I packed a few boxes with Hubby in the same room and every single one of them were unpacked and then re-packed by Hubby as “not being right”. The only time I got a decent amount of packing done was when Hubby took Mr. Max to the groomers. I packed most of my stuff up in those few hours, and left the rest to him (I truly left the rest to him).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


When it came time to wrap the furniture with blankets, I wasn’t even allowed to man the 6″ stretch wrap. LOL I was the dummy end (holding the handle and not moving), and I needed to remember that!! Anyhoooo… for the most part Hubby’s packing was very, very good. He didn’t listen to me about the sleeper sofa and that had to be rewrapped outside before loaded onto the moving container, but that was it (and to be fair my idea may not have worked either).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


The units were delivered to our condo’s parking lot within the timeframe Hubby had scheduled them to be dropped off. The unit deliveryman called when they were 15 minutes out, and then again after they got through the guardhouse (the association has a maned guardhouse). They loaded the units on a forklift, and deposited both of the units side by side with the doors facing out so they could be easily loaded. Hubby also asked if we needed to be there for pick-up of the units, and we did not. This helped as we decided to leave a day early for home. We had five days from unit drop-off to calling for pick-up to load those units. That worked great for us!

We had talked over whether or not to run the boxes and furniture from our condo to the units ourselves. If it had just been boxes, it would have been feasible, but once that sleeper sofa came into play there was just no way I could lift and maneuver it with Hubby, and he certainly could not do it by himself (where was Sonny-boy when we needed him!?) Hubby went to craigslist where he found two young men willing to come out on a Sunday morning to transport the boxes and furniture from the third floor condo unit to the moving units for a few hundred dollars. Sold!

The box movers were excellent! They got everything from a third story end unit, down to the elevator, through the garage, to the parking lot where the units were waiting for Hubby to pack, all within 3 hours, and with no breakage. MUCH better than I could have done!

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


Hubby packed the units, and then strapped down anything loose. We had tossed pillows and bedding that was not packed in boxes (for padding) into large construction bags, and then put them in the units for extra padding in case of shifting.

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


We did need to supply our own locks for the ABF U-Pack ReloCubes. You can get by with one lock per unit, but Hubby decided to take advantage of both locking mechanisms and purchased one set of ok locks and once set of excellent, heavy duty locks for transport.

We left for home Monday after tossing the last of the bedding into the ABF U-Pack ReloCubes. Hubby called ABF U-Pack to pick up the units when we were on the road Monday. He was able to track those units, and by Tuesday they were already in Atlanta. The next stop was Ohio, and then they made their way to Western New York. They sent text message updates every step of the way (you could also login online to track a container(s)).

How to Pack and Move Yourself Using a Moving Container Service. This is how we moved ourselves long distance from Florida to New York State using a moving container service!


When the moving units arrived in our area, ABF U-Pack texted Hubby and he scheduled a drop-off date for those units (we had a five day window to choose from). Since we knew we did not want all the contents of those units at our house, we had the ABF U-Pack driver drop them off at one of Hubby’s properties. The ABF drop-off person drove the forklift right into the garage, and dropped the units down gently (you can drop off to your driveway, this was just move convenient for us). When we were hit with unexpected precipitation, Hubby was still able to unload in a dry space. We did have the option of having one unit delivered to the house, and one ReloCube to the storage property, but the upcharge along with how it would change the way we packed made us decide against that option. It took Hubby three trips to get everything we had marked for home to our house, and he has an 8′ bed on his pick-up truck!

Once unloaded, Hubby called to schedule an empty unit pick-up. The dispatcher was super nice and gave Hubby a narrow window to pick them up from inside the building (so Hubby would not have to wait around all day). If the units had been were outside, ABF could pick up with no one “home”. They arrived for that pick-up on-time and we were done.

Now I have to be honest- I had very little to do with this whole process. It was all Hubby – from research to packing to unloading. He RAVED about how good ABF U-Pack was to deal with every step of the way. If you knew my husband… well let us just say I can probably count on one hand how many times he has been this pleased with a product and/or service in the last 14 years. Hubby is a tough one to satisfy. He felt that ABF U-Pack really, really has it down pat for a very reasonable price.

Now my two-cents… these units are small. We packed up very little furniture (7 pieces + 2 office chairs) and that filled ¾ of one unit. If you have a large house to pack and move, this may not be the most economical way to do it. However, if you are looking for a small, long distance move, I too would agree that ABF U-Pack is a good choice to make.

Do you have any moving container tips to share?

10 Moving Tips

50 Tips That Will Make Moving Easier


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Herbs 101

Herbs 101 – An introduction to the basics on herbs. Herbs are something all of us can benefit from in one way or another; from using them for home remedies, baking, or crafts, they have so many valuable uses we can take advantage of. If you are new to using herbs though, it can seem overwhelming to know where to start and what exactly you are even dealing with. Here are a few tips on getting started with herbs!



Herbs 101 – An introduction to the basics on herbs.

Herbs are something all of us can benefit from in one way or another; from using them for home remedies, baking, or crafts, they have so many valuable uses we can take advantage of. If you are new to using herbs though, it can seem overwhelming to know where to start and what exactly you are even dealing with. Here are a few tips on getting started with herbs!

The question you might ask is “What is a herb, exactly?”

A herb is a plant that is of value for the flavor, aroma it provides or the health benefits properties it may have. Herbs can come in many forms and sizes, depending totally on the type of plant and which part of the plant you are using.

Some herbs have more than one use, such as some of the cooking type you may already be familiar with, like oregano, parsley, or thyme. They have wonderful health benefits, and have been used medicinally for ages, in addition to their use for the flavors in cooking.

Most herbs are not so much of the woody type plant, but more of the soft and more tender type. If herbs are woody at all, it would be in the stems of the plant, but the leaves and buds would be soft and easy to use and break down. Rosemary is a perfect example of this type of woody-stem herb.

For years and years people have used herbs for preserving and flavoring food and this is easily their most popular use. Most people purchase them in the grocery or health food store and cook with them frequently. Herbs have also been used in religious ceremonies.

• Here are some tips for usage in each specific area that should help you if you are new to using them, along with a few cautions as well.

Herbs For Cooking:

If we did not season our food and use herbs in cooking, much of what we eat would not have a whole lot of flavor. Beyond buying the pre-dried type of herbs in the store, you can frequently find some of the more basic ones in the fresh plant form in many stores and also certainly in a garden center. Ask an employee for advice on which are easiest as starters, but mint, rosemary and basil are ones you will probably be able to find without much trouble. All three of those have great health benefits for your body, so know that while you use them to cook with, they are doing your body good too!

Many cooks do grow a lot of their own herbs because they taste so good when fresh. It also can be money saving to just be able to pick off your own plant the specific amount you need for a recipe (and talk about convenient!). In the dried form herbs do have a longer shelf life but some of the benefits will not be as potent and strong either.
If you grow a few different ones, just cut a few snips of each and add them to soups, salads, salsa and more (I walk out to the garden for oregano and basil all the time!) They work great in homemade sauces as well. You may want to read 10 Herbs You Need To Grow for some great herb gardening choices. In additions, this post on herb planting and care can help you get started! And, if you would like to enjoy fresh herbs even during the winter, this post on Tips for Growing an Herb Garden Year Round will be helpful!

The best way to start cooking with herbs is to use recipes you are already familiar and comfy with and then put them in there, tweaking it as you taste and try it. If you are nervous to do so, try one type at a time, like adding a tiny bit to a salad dressing or omelet. Add flavor to salads by using dill, cilantro and basil.

Here are a few recipes that make great use of herbs:

Chicken Salad recipe – Hubby’s best recipe (and that is really saying something!) – the herb addition is what makes it so fantastic!
Roasted Rosemary Mushrooms
Spicy Chicken Thighs
Four Color Caprese Salad
Cantaloupe Prosciutto Mozzarella Salad Recipe

Make a great dressing with an oil base by adding lemon juice and sea salt along with your favorite herbs.
One thing to note is to add them in the last few minutes of cooking, when they are fresh, or they will tend to lose much of their flavor the hotter they get. Do not cook them for more than 25 to 30 minutes.

Infuse either or both olive oil or vinegar with herbs by first placing the herbs in the bottle and then topping off all the way with the liquid. Keep closed tightly and use whenever you’d like. Garlic, Chives, Basil, Dill and thyme are great ones to do this with. Add a cute label and ribbon in a nice colorful bottle and you have a wonderful gift for a cook in your life! Here’s a great how to make herb infused oils post.

Herbal Remedies:

Aromatherapy is one great way to use as remedies. You can add a few snips to a humidifier or add some on the logs in your fire when burning in winter. Incense type sticks called herbal joss sticks are used to cleanse the air in religious rituals and they do help create a mood and make those who are familiar with that scent feel reverence and comfort at their smell.

Aromas can truly be good therapy for your body and mind. As you start using herbs and smell them, you will be drawn to certain ones, and you should listen to your body. If it likes one, use it, because your body is telling you you need it. It can evoke good memories for you as well, like the scent of Grandma’s apple pie that takes you back, many herbs can have that effect.

Your brain will release chemicals in reaction to aromas and it can be very helpful with emotional therapy.

Herbal teas and infusions are another way to use them as remedies. Infusions are done by pouring hot water over the herb leaves and blooms and letting them steep in it for at least 15 to 20 minutes, then inhaling and drinking while fresh. Teas are steeped for a shorter span of time and drank.

A few commonly used medicinal herbs are: rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme. They can be used for sinus relief, to help get over a flu or cold, for antiseptic uses, relief for wounds and scars and for allergy relief. There is a lot of information online on these herbs so be sure to research before using for this type of remedy and always consult your physician as well.

Herbs For Crafts:

Herbs can be used as natural dyes, for use with bath products and spa treatments, to make wreaths and bouquets, potpourri and sachets, natural candles, and homemade soaps.

Drying and storing herbs is not too complicated but you do need a good dark space to keep them in while drying and for you can tie them together in bunches and hang upside down as well as laying flat on a screen. They can also be dried in the oven, for faster results.

Once dried, be sure to store in clean, airtight containers, or if storing hanging in bunches, just be sure to protect with a cover to keep off the dust. How to Harvest and Dry Basil!

Cautions:

• If you are pregnant or nursing, or have heart conditions, please consult a physician before using herbs for remedy purposes.

• Here are two herbs that, while beautiful in their plant form, contain poisonous and volatile oils that in small doses may not harm us, but can be toxic if used in larger ones, so it is best to avoid usage and never ingest either of these: Foxglove and Lily of the Valley. Even when growing these plants, be careful to keep pets and small children away from them.

If you would like to learn more about herbs and their uses, one of these books is sure to have the information you seek:

Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, 3rd Edition

The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing and Using Herbs

Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use

Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family

The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them

Please remember that none of this is meant as medical advice. I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using essential oils or herbs so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings about essential oils and herbs.


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When to use Herbs versus Essential Oils

When to use Herbs versus Essential Oils. The differences between herbs and essential oils are explained, as well as when an essential oil or a herb is a more appropriate use for a project, craft, DIY beauty or in cooking and baking.





When to use Herbs versus Essential Oils

Using natural remedies has become a huge trend in this day and age and it comes from centuries-long traditions. While we here in the United States may have gotten away from natural remedies a while, the tradition is back and much more common than ever.

These days, using essential oils and herbs is very common and you can find all sorts of recipes and ideas online and in books for everything from remedies and medicinal uses to religious traditions to homemade bath products, and more crafty projects as well.

So how do you know when to use a herb vs. an oil, other than just doing what a recipe tells you to do? When is one more appropriate than another?

This post aims to give you some basics on both herbs and essential oils and break it down for you as far as the what and the why of when to use each so that you can understand your choices better. Hopefully, this will help you decide which to choose, and in what circumstances, to get the best results.

Both herbs and oils come from plants. This may seem obvious, but that is where it all starts. Herbs are plants that can vary a lot in size and character, but more often than not, they are usually succulent and soft in nature and not the type with woody stems and parts. Rosemary is one example of a herb, however, that does not fit that description, as it has woody stems and soft leaves, but is used very commonly as a herb, so it is hard to pin down an exact description that blankets them all.

Herbs are used for culinary, medicinal, cooking and crafting uses. They are the dried parts of the plant, like the leaves, flowers, seeds of the plants that are aromatic in nature, and they can also have wonderful flavor as well.

Essential oils are basically the extracted oils from the plant, instead of the dried plant material itself. It takes a lot of plant material to have a substantial amount of an essential oil and if you tried to make your own oils at home with your own herbs, you would probably not yield much oil at all. Essential oils and herbs have use versatility in common, as well as both being used for centuries for religious, medicinal, and beauty purposes. Today, essential oils are widely used all over the globe for homemade remedies, and homemade items, just like herbs are. The oils are extracted most commonly by steam distillation and many oils come from the leaves, or the peel of the plants or fruits, but can also come from the bark or roots as well.

So what is the difference between essential oils and herbs other than the form they take?

Essential oils are 50 to 70 times more potent than a herb. The extraction process itself a huge difference too, of course. Large companies who sell them go to major lengths to ensure the potency and purity of an essential oil if they are marketed for remedy and health purposes. Companies really have to be careful about how they market an essential oil.

This is why, when you purchase an essential oil it may seem quite expensive – especially when compared to a herb – but understanding the process that goes into making an essential oil (and how costly the process is) as well as the rarity of the plant and where it is located, brings the price into perspective.

A little goes a long way when using an essential oil. Many (most) products we make at home using essential oils use just a few drops at a time. The average bottle of essential oil has about 250-300 drops in it. If you figure out that you are using your essential oil a few times a week and you use two or three drops each time, well that bottle will last you several months.

Herbs, when you use them, use a small quantity as well (a teaspoon or a tablespoon) unless they are a more potent flavor, and you may just use a pinch. However, that is much more than a drop or two at a time. Herbs will be used up more quickly is used as regularly as an essential oil. You can, however, grow and dry your own herbs. This can make them very cost effective.

Generally speaking, an essential oil will have a longer shelf life than a herb. I personally have found, several times over my life, an expired bottle of a herb blend for cooking, that I used maybe once, or never at all, that is already expired and I have had to throw it out. It is easy to rotate them in your cabinet and easily miss that they are past the expiration date. This means not only are not safe anymore for use, but they probably have no flavor left anyway.

Essential oils can last up to a few years when stored properly and not in direct heat.

When making the choice to use a herb or essential oil, consider the product you are producing.

If you are making a liquid item that is for remedy or spa type of a use, more than likely the oil is best. It takes less of it to achieve a scent, and sometimes you would not want leaves or petals in the product either. If you making something where the petals would look pretty but does not require a concentrated scent, then add the herb instead. And, there are times when both an essential oil and a herb (or flower or fruit) will work well within the same product:
Homemade Rose Bath Bombs
Rose Petal Soap Recipe
Make Your Own Orange Creamsicle Soap

For cooking, herbs are more commonly used than essential oils. However, when using an essential oil for cooking or baking make certain it is a certified pure oil. If the essential oil says it is for “aromatherapy only” then do not use it in your cooking or baking. Those type of oils have been blended with perfumes or toxins to achieve the aroma and are not safe for ingestion. If your oil says it is “natural” “Organic” or “pure”, it may still have additives, so read the entire label to be certain the essential oil is fit for consumption. The FDA has given many companies approval for these additives and they can still say those words on the label legally but they cannot say the word “supplement”, so that is key.

You may be interested in reading this post: Essential Oils to Use in Your Baking.

When cooking with an essential oil, it is best to start with a tiny amount, using a toothpick to stir it in because of the potency. Less is better than too much. With both herbs and oils in cooking, though, add them in in the last 10- 15 minutes of cooking to get the best flavor and not have the heat basically boil the flavor right out of them.

Hopefully, this post has given you some idea when it is best to use an essential oil or a herb in a project (craft, home remedy or DIY beauty, or food preparation). Do you have any tips on when you prefer to use a herb over an essential oil, and an essential oil over a herb?

Please remember that none of this is meant as medical advice. I am not a doctor and do not play one on the internet. Please consult a physician if you have any questions about using essential oils or herbs so your doctor can better explain to you the benefits, possible side effects, and any warnings about essential oils and herbs.


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