The Long Haul: Tips for Moving Cross-Country

Moving can be stressful. From car maintenance to timing and packing, there may be a host of preparation checklist items on your mind. Here are some tips to stay on track during your big move.

1. Be Selective

Selective packing is particularly important when moving cross-country. The less you have to move, the better — so sort through your belongings and decide what goes and what gets sold or donated. Does your coffee table have scuffs or stains from candles, wine, or the occasional potluck? If so, get rid of it and plan to invest wisely in a new one once you’re moved and settled.

It might be difficult to get rid of some of your things, but weigh the pros and cons of trekking each and every item across the country. The more you get rid of, the less hassle packing and unpacking will be later. Craigslist and eBay are both great ways to sell your unwanted items. If you live in a larger city, Craigslist might be the easiest way to go, while those living in smaller areas may benefit from eBay’s wider audience.

2. Packing

Packing can be a pain. If you’re using a moving truck, it’s crucial to have your items well organized, and well insulated. Invest in bubble wrap and paper to carefully secure breakables. Consider recycling materials such as newspapers and plastic bags for this purpose, and use your towels and linens for extra padding between picture frames and other fragile items.

The more things you take with you on this move, the more likely it is that something will get lost. If you number and label your boxes, however, you can guard against loss. Make sure everything gets from point A to point B by keeping an inventory list. This might seem like a hassle, but having documentation of all your possessions will be worth it when you get to your new city.

3. Timing

Timing your move can make it easier, but you can also save a lot of money if you don’t move during the peak season. Most people prefer to move during the summer, on weekends, and at the end of the month. But if you can lock down a time of year that falls outside of these peak moving conditions, you’ll have better luck negotiating the rates with moving companies. If moving during an off-peak time can be arranged, it’s a good way to save some money.

To assist with your timeline, U-Pack offers a free printable moving checklist to make sure you don’t miss a step along the way.

4. Car Maintenance

If you’ll be driving your own vehicle cross-country to your new city of residence, it’s important that your vehicle is in tip-top shape for the journey. An oil change, new spark plugs, and windshield wipers will provide peace of mind that you’re prepared for your trip. It’s also important to make sure your tires are up to the job. Check your tires for signs of wear and balding, and replace your tires before the trip if needed. You can find general tire information online. Make sure to also check your tire pressure before hitting the road.

Choosing the Best Designer Radiator for your New Build

Choosing a Designer Radiator for Your New Build Home

If you live in a colder climate like the UK, it will be important to install some high quality radiators in the interiors of your home. For those just building a new abode, this can be the perfect opportunity to order just the right type of model especially since there are so many designer options available. To make the right decisions though, there are a number of considerations you will need to make.

Optimal Heat Output

The first thing to think about when shopping for heating systems is whether they have sufficient power to fight off the cold in your home. Depending on the size and layout of your interiors, the radiator you choose will have to have a certain amount of heat output. In the UK, this is measured in BTU per hour. Talk with a reputable vendor to work out which of their models can supply enough heat for your household so you can then make a more informed purchasing decision.

The Perfect Location

Where you install your radiator will also affect how it performs. In general, they need to be placed:

In the coldest part of the house

Under an external window

Next to an outside wall

Thus you will also need to choose a design which matches with the decor in that particular part of your home. This will ensure that your heater performs as efficiently as possible without clashing with your interiors. The good news is there are a variety of contemporary and classic models available on the market.

Suitable Materials

The next consideration will be to think about the overall design of the heater and work out which styles will be best for your home. If you have a more traditional set of interiors, cast radiators of the Edwardian type may be a good idea. Their classic look will fit in with all types of antique furnishings and fixtures. On the other hand, you might have a more modern household. In these cases, there are still a wide range of contemporary designs to choose from.

Energy Efficient Models

The last factor to consider is whether or not the model you buy will be energy efficient enough for your home. This means that it will be able to heat up your interiors without eating through too much gas or electricity. In order to keep your bills down, it is therefore essential that you ask about the energy rating of each particular model so that you can then gauge how much your utility bills will be each month. This is an important step for anyone looking to lower their carbon footprint as well.

By taking the above qualities into account, you can then purchase a brand new designer heating unit for your home. If you make the correct decision, your radiator will provide just the right amount of heat to make your interiors comfortable. It will do this while still complementing your other decor and keeping your gas or electrical bills down at the same time.

Top 21st Century Office Trends

The way that organisations are doing business is changing. With brand new technologies emerging nearly every day and fresh takes on architecture and design becoming mainstream, businesses are altering their approach to office design. Fewer and fewer executives and directors are overlooking operations from highest floor of their office building, and walls between managers and their staff are crumbling. Today’s office space of the 21st century is constantly evolving, with these being the top five trends we’ve seen so far.

1. Open Concept Designs

As the research continues to stack up proving the importance of employee-to-employee and employee-to-manager interaction, a growing number of organizations are choosing to break down the walls between employees and between leadership. Daring businesses have even removed barriers between break rooms and meeting rooms and instead of using desks now promote employees to work at shared desks or tables. The more a sense of community is heralded as the ideal way to run a business, the more this open workspace design option will grow.

2. Better Use of Space 

Space efficiency isn’t only necessary for a neater and tidier office, but it can help a business save on one significant expense: real estate. Whether you rent or own the space your company occupies, every inch that your business “stuff” occupies is taking up useful space that can be better used by you and your employees.

Tackling space efficiency typically involves two key points:

Improved organisation

Less “dead” space

When companies choose an office fit out in London with Saracen Interiors, the company does more than throw in some shelving units. A professional refurbishing company will look at every square inch of office space, see how it’s used, and will then begin the task of improving organisation and eradicating any seldom used areas (a.k.a. “dead” space) within the business. This often means fewer private offices and transforming them into collaborative team building areas, lounges, or a better break room.

3. Sustainable Furniture and Materials

Reducing our carbon footprint isn’t only something that we should be doing in our personal lives; it’s something that our businesses are also beginning to proactively take part in as well. Today’s modern business is opting for renewable or recycled materials that are free of toxins and are energy efficient. This is not only helpful to the planet, but it also helps boost the company’s bottom line.

Apart from cutting costs, sustainable materials, furnishings and furniture bring a host of other benefits:

These materials help create a toxin-free environment

Being unique, items made of sustainable materials can help inspire imagination and innovation, helping take your business to the next level

Being modern, many of the furniture is designed to the latest and greatest standards in office furniture, including being completely ergonomic

At the end of the day (or our lifetime), these office materials won’t be adding waste to our already overtaxed landfills and instead will be helping the business and the planet it exists on thrive.

4. Socially Responsible

Not only are 21st century companies caring more about what materials they’re using in the work place and their impact on the environment, but they’re also concerned about their impact on humanity. The end of the 20th century saw a spur of businesses include social responsibility into their business models, and the number of organisations choosing to follow suit are increasing. Take TOM’s Shoes, for example. Their catchy slogan of “One for One, One for All” describes exactly what it is they do: a customer buys one pair of shoes, and the company matches that purchase with one free pair going to an individual in need.

But TOM’s isn’t the only company following this “new norm.”  Several smaller businesses have made this an integral part of their business, including:

Out of Africa (A cosmetics company which donates a portion of their proceeds to the education and medical care of children, and assists with female job creation in West Africa)

Charitable Agents (Real estate agents who are part of this network donate a portion of their commission to a client’s favourite charity)

Krochet Kids (formed by three high school friends, these now grown adults teach others in Uganda and Peru how to crochet, allowing once impoverished people to make a fair wage through the sale of their goods)

Social responsibility isn’t just a “small business” trend, either. Many of today’s largest corporations are taking numerous actions to help support the less fortunate, budding entrepreneurs, and governments. Some of the most dominant corporations include:


Walt Disney



5. Intuitive Technology Integration

Another massive trend in office renovation and refurbishing is switching out old and dated technologies to brand new more efficient technologies that are helping businesses cut costs. Some of these technologies include:

Programmable lighting that operates not only when you need it, but also at the level of light required for you to work productively. These lights also automatically shut off whenever the room is empty and not in use.

Thermal shades that automatically rise and lower depending on the room temperature and the weather outdoors. This keeps the room temperature consistent, comfortable, and reduces energy costs. These can also be lowered completely on a timer or upon demand, doubling up as a fantastic security feature for a business.

Tech equipped offices and conference rooms. Conference rooms that have been outfitted with the latest high quality conference equipment and interactive whiteboards can effectively exchange ideas anywhere and at any time. This not only vastly improves business communications, but these technologies also reduce the expense and carbon footprint of a business by reducing or eliminating the need for business travel

Offices that can be controlled from your smartphone or tablet. Some businesses have taken technology to the extreme by being able to control the entire office environment from their smartphone or tablet, such as temperature control, security systems, system shutdowns, and more.

Cleaning Up Made Easy with Storage

Cleaning a home is a never-ending task that everyone has to deal with. Keeping our personal space orderly and sanitary is an essential chore and one that will take up countless hours of our time. We have to spend time carefully getting each step done so that every bit of dirt, dust and disorder is gone. Managing mess can be tough if you live in a cluttered home because all the goods have to be clean, they have to be sorted, and they will take up space, making the place look generally messier. If you find yourself overwhelmed with items and want to make your address cleaner then you should consider quality storage solutions.

Cleaning Up Made Easy with StorageA self storage unit is one thing you can use as you need. It will be a secure coffer or room that you can access whenever you like. It will suit all of your size needs so you can fit whatever you like inside. You will have free access to visit it whenever you like and use it as you desire. This means you can always go to it in order to place more items inside, to collect items or whatever. It should be a secure place that will resist harsh winder, rain, ice and snow, as well as keep everything cool, dry and safe. You will have unlimited rental so that it is always there for you and you can leave as little or as much as you like inside.
Cleaning Up Made Easy with Storage2
The self storage room you have access to can help tremendously with your cleaning. The most obvious way is that you can place inside any items you don’t want in your home. Get rid of old and useless items inside your self storage unit and you will free up space in your home, making it look less cluttered. If you ever do need these items, you can collect them so you have a clean home without throwing things away. It can also be used to temporally place good aside while you give you home a through clean or while you decorate it. You can then bring the items back to your clean home.
Using your storage space well will ensure the best results. You should organise everything carefully to ensure you can keep thing safe and retrieve goods easily. Place larger items at the back so that you can guarantee they will fit inside and so that smaller goods can be retrieved easily. Fragile item should be placed in the unit last so you know they won’t be placed under objects. Stack goods carefully so nothing will over and not item will be crushed. Use cabinets, shelving and boxes to keep items arranged and easy to find. Wrapping goods in tarp, bubble wrap and cloth will ensure things stay clean and dry.

You will need a storage facility that has all the features described so far as well as secure storage. The storage facilities responsible for your goods should certify guards, cameras, alarms, high fences, locks and much more so that your goods are never at risk. You can discover if a firm has these security features and more when you call them. Look online and in listing to find local storage providers. Look for reviews, rating and relevant information that will help you determine which firm is best. Contact them and speak at length about their services so you can find the one right for you. A free quote should make hiring them simple and help you get a good deal.
Cleaning up can be tough, but with expert storage services, it can be simple.

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Things to Consider While Moving Your Office

If you are looking to relocate your office, it is likely that your business is growing or shrinking. But, the prospect of considering such a move is daunting, let alone the actual job of executing it. Moving an office can be a painful experience if you lack the proper knowledge of your basic needs and requirements. Here we have listed some of the things that you should take into account while planning a relocation of your workplace:

The Most Common Areas to Consider Before Relocating Your Office

Make an Assessment of Your Current Situation: You need to be absolutely sure of the purpose of your office relocation. You need to plan everything properly, such as your storage options, number of office desks you need, number of personal computers required, and making sure that you have a proper network in place for internet connectivity.

Planning Your Move: Cost is a major concern for any business decision. You have to plan your move according to your needs, and must hire the right person for the job. You have to make sure that the person in charge has the right understanding of what you need and the skills to carry out the relocation job for you. He should be willing to assume the extra responsibility for all the planning and decision making.

Space Planning: Relocating to a new office is a golden chance for you to organise everything in your company for better utilisation of the office space.  Proper spacing and appropriate storage options in your new office is essential. While setting up your systems and networks, you need to have sufficient storage for your files and important work related documents. You should also make sure that you have enough space for your employees too. Consider hiring a professional space planner to design workstation placement according to the number of your employees and other spacing requirements.

Relocating Your IT infrastructure: Relocating your IT equipment and important work-related documents are one of the trickiest parts of any major office relocation. If you don’t have a reliable backup of your work files, ensure that this is the first step you take before even thinking of moving your systems. A damaged server can lead to loss of some important data which might not be recovered later. If you have not backed up all the data in advance, there is always a chance of suffering a major data loss. It is a good idea to have an IT professional back up and test your servers prior to the move.

The Day of Migration

Now comes the most important day in your relocation plan, the day to start to move your office. This is the day all your hard work, planning and efforts are going to bear a fruitful result for you. One significant thing to consider here is that the physical move from your old office to the new one should not be chaotic. That means you cannot afford to even slightly deviate from your plan. This is why it is important that you have taken all the steps necessary to ensure a trouble free move.  One good idea is colouring your packages and boxes or numbering them according to what rooms they will be placed in at the new location.

If you are looking to get independent, specialist, knowledge and guidance for the office relocation, then getting an expert office design with strategyhat is definitely a good idea.

Last minute tips for reducing tax of your small business

Every new businessman deserves a break. A first time entrepreneur needs all the help he can get. This includes tax filings and deductions. In the interest of protecting new startups, there are several rules and regulations which a new business can take advantage of in order to pay less taxes. For somebody who is just starting out, here are some tips which can be useful during tax time:


1. Filing extensions. It is not a tactic which is commonly availed, however, it is possible to ask for a filing extension. On the last day of filing, you can request for an extension. The extension will give you six months to comply, effectively moving your tax due date to October. This can be a big help for cash-strapped companies. In addition, and specially for new businesses, they can roll their cash and squeeze a bit more earnings before paying taxes.


2. Don’t Pay Tax on Out-Of-State Sales. You need to confer with your tax professional about out-of-state sales. Some states do not have taxes on out of state sales. Simply put, if you sell and deliver to different states, it is possible that those sales are not covered under your state’s sales tax. Your tax professional would be the best person to advise you on the pertinent laws.


3. Estimated taxes. April 15 is the last day you can pay last year’s taxes without any penalties. It is also the last day for fiing estimated taxes for the current year. The rules may be a bit complicated, however, there is a way to pay only the minimum required amount. This does not mean that you would not be paying taxes later on. However, a lower payment on the estimated tax for the year means more cash on hand which can be used for the company’s operations. By paying taxes early, you can pay less now, and pay the full amount on the actual taxes later on.


4. Pay by Credit Card. Cash and check payments are not the only way to pay taxes. You can also use your credit card to pay your taxes. Saving on this kind of transaction might be hard to understand. However, there are several points to consider this mode of payment. First off, you are deferring actual payment using your business’s cash. For another, because you used your credit card for a business transaction, you can also use the associated charges and interest as part of your operating expenses. By deferring the payment, you can roll over your cash until it comes time to pay your credit card bill. Ask your Tax Preparation Mason professional on how to best use this method.


5. Accelerate Your Depreciation. You need to confer with your tax professional regarding the best way to handle depreciation. Different equipment would have different depreciation rates. The rates themselves are not hard and fast rules, but ranges for length of time an item can be depreciated. It is possible to shorten the depreciation period, and include these as a depreciation expense. In the same manner, there are some office equipment which can be expensed out as a whole. Although these items would be used for several years, these can be considered as a capital expense and have a one-time write off.

How to choose a self storage facility

How to choose a self storage facility

Hiring a self storage unit to stash away the extra furniture, seasonal clothes and other things that you do not use often but want to keep anyway, is a good way to de-clutter your home and create more space. Storage units are also handy if you need to store your belongings somewhere while you get other things done, such as, when your house is being renovated, or you are moving to another country and haven’t found a home there yet, or you are going on a semester abroad, or you have guests over and need to convert your home office to a temporary guest room on short notice. Whether you have a lot of stuff to put away, or a few boxes, you can avail self storage units of all sizes and shapes to suit your purpose. Some storage facilities will also come with additional services such as climate controlled temperature, weatherproofing and regular maintenance, additional security etc. Here are a few guidelines on how to determine which storage service is suited for your purpose and how to get a good deal from them.
How to choose a self storage facility
1. Do your research
Before renting with a storage company, you need to assess the quality of services they provide. Browsing through their website will give you an idea of the range of storage options available to you and the other services that they can offer. But you should also look at the customer reviews about the company on independent websites before you make a decision. If you are going to leave your belongings under someone else’s care you need to be assured that they will provide consistent security.

2. Judge for yourself
Another good way to reassure yourself about the storage firm you are hiring is to visit the property in person and check out the storage facility and security measures for yourself. The key points to check for is that, irrespective of whether the storage units are outdoors or indoors, they must be enclosed and secured, the door to your unit should have more than just a padlock for security and there should be surveillance cameras located at strategic points in the property. Entry to the premises should be limited and they should have strict policies about who can have authorization to access the property and individual units. Apart from that, the storage facility itself should have the required anti-theft, anti-fire safety measures installed and appropriate procedures to handle any such crisis. The premise should be properly maintained, there should be no signs of dampness or infestation and access ways should be properly lit at all times.
How to choose a self storage facility2
3. Accessibility
Depending on whether you are leaving the items in storage for a long time only to return for them after a fixed period or whether you are likely to access them frequently while it is in storage, the location of the storage facility can affect your choice. It may be feasible to make a trip 2-3 km out of town if you are only going to return to the premises one more time to collect your belongings. However, if you need to visit the facility more often, it would be a good idea to pick one that is near your locality. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is the hours within which you can access your unit. Some storage facilities will allow 24 h access while some will only be manned during certain hours. Make sure the hours of operation are reasonable and match your availability.

4. Other charges
Read the contract thoroughly before signing it so that you are aware of any cancellation or reimbursement policies, including insurance and know that you will not be charged additional fees unnecessarily.

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Storage Solutions to Consider During an Office Refurbishment

If you are in the process of refurbishing your office, you have to consider what storage solutions to implement during the process. You can either choose to rent out storage units at a remote location to hold your files and furnishings, or your can have mini steel storage units delivered to your office location.

Can You Store Certain Files Online?

Fortunately, most companies, if they are meeting their technological requirements, are taking advantage of the Internet for cloud storage and back-up. Therefore, they do not have to house as much information in an outside storage facility as the files are already maintained on their computer database.

Save Time and Energy by Transferring Your Filing Online

Therefore, when it comes to seeking a storage solution, you need to determine what, specifically, you will be storing or if, in fact, certain items may be relegated to the trash bin instead. If you can scan and file certain content on the computer, then you will save a lot of time and energy in physically storing the material at a storage facility. Space planners, such as SaracenInteriors, recommend using the cloud for filing to support a new office design.

Take Advantage of Today’s Technology

Computer storage and backup today is a necessity, especially if a company wants to stay solvent. Companies who are up-to-date reduce risk by making use of cloud back-up and similar solutions on the computer. Therefore, you should make full use of today’s technology to cut down on the amount of files or content that would otherwise be filed and stored in a brick-and-mortar storage facility. Files stored in remote back-up locations are also safer and more secure.

Storing Office Furnishings – Choose a Remote Location

With respect to office furnishings, you will need to seek out a storage solution in the form of a facility that is close to your office or which can be placed on the grounds of your business address. It probably is safer to choose an outside facility as you can keep the stored items behind a secured access gate.

De-cluttering and Reorganizing Your Office

De-cluttering your place of business before a remodel can help you determine exactly what you need to place in storage. Some of the items you may have acquired will no longer be useful when your office has been remodelled and re-designed. De-cluttering will enable you to get used to streamlining your filing and optimising the technologies that are already in place.

Choosing a Storage Unit

Therefore, when choosing storage solutions, first decide on what items can be donated for recycling or thrown in the trash and which files or items you plan to store in a storage unit. Make sure that the storage unit is ventilated to preserve any old documents that need to be kept or scanned.

Make the Transition Easy

If you can pare down the amount of items or materials that need to be physically stored, you can make the transition into your new office space much easier when you finally settle in with your electronically stored files and workplace tools and apps.

Self storage for your bike

If you are moving to another country and do not know what the street or road traffic is like, it makes little sense to have your transportation shipped overseas. This also applies if you are moving to another place for a short period and if the public transportation is cheap and well linked. While riding on your motorcycle is one of the best experiences in the world that you enjoy, it is not feasible to be travelling this way in all seasons. When the temperature is low and there is ice and snow on the roads, your bike might remain unused for several months on end. The extreme weather might damage the component of your bike as well. So if you ever need to put your bike away in a secure storage, consider renting a self storage unit. Here we will share a few tips to help get your motorcycle ready for storage.

1. Keep the tank full
If you are driving your bike to the storage facility, make sure that before you leave, you fill up the tank to full capacity. Leaving the tank partially empty can lead to formation of condensation over a long period of time. The moisture from this can react with the remaining gas in the tank and lead to a plant-like growths that can clog the carburetor. If your machine allows, add a fuel stabilizing additive to prevent the accumulation of moisture over the fuel.
Self storage for your bike
2. Check oil
Leaving old oil in your bike can cause unforeseen damage to your vehicle as it tends to trap contaminants. This is why you should make sure you change the oil and the filters before you put your bike in storage. Have the other fluids in the motorcycle checked and changed too, if required.

3. Remove the battery
The battery of your bike will slowly degenerate if you leave it out in low temperatures for too long without use. If you are not using a climate controlled storage unit, make sure that you disconnect the battery and remove it to prevent it from dying out. You can take the battery away with you and store it in some place where the temperatures are likely to remain in the warmer ranges.
Self storage for your bike2

4. Treat rust spots
You are putting your bike away and you know there are a few rust spots. You think that since you are not going to be using it for a long time, the damage will not get worse. But contrary to your assumption, the rust will spread and increase its coverage on painted and otherwise protected steel surfaces while your bike stands in storage. To prevent this from happening, you need to address the problem now, before you put the bike away. First you have to remove the rust physically from the metal surface by using grinders, wire brushes or sand paper. You can also remove it chemically by dissolving the rust in phosphoric acid. Once the rust is removed, wipe the residues away and paint it again with a protective coating.

5. Lift the tires
Low temperature will lower the pressure in the tyres as the air molecules slow down. If you leave the bike standing on the wheels, this loss of air pressure and the force of gravity will flatten the tires. So make sure you provide external support to prop up your bike. An appropriate storage solution would be to use a sturdy crate or bike rack to distribute the weight of the bike and relieve the pressure on the tyres. You should do this even if you are using climate controlled storage units.

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