5 Tax Deductible Moving Expenses you Didn’t Know About

Did you know that 90% of America stresses about money more than anything else in their lives? (inc.com). With tax season upon us, many Americans worry about whether or not they will owe the government a large sum of money. Deducting certain expenses is a great way to help increase your likelihood of getting money back on your tax return. Though Fry-Wagner cannot give you tax advice, we have prepared a list of 5, of the possible, tax deductible moving expenses below. You should always consult your tax preparer or the IRS about your recent move in order to get a better understanding of your eligibility for tax deductible moving expenses!

  1. Cost of renting a storage unit: Moving often requires storage. If you used a storage unit during your move, you may be able to deduct the cost of the unit for up to 30 days that you did not have access to your new home.
  2. Cost of travel: If you chose to drive to your new home instead of flying, you can deduct the cost of gas, parking, oil, and tolls. If you moved long-distance, the cost of your airline tickets or train tickets may be deductible as well.
  3. Lodging expenses: If your travel required a stay in a hotel for an extended period of time before you were able to move into your new home, you may be able to deduct the cost of your lodging.
  4. Connection and disconnection fees: The fees that you paid to disconnect/reconnect your utilities are also tax deductible.
  5. Travel expenses for pets: Travel arrangements for furry friends can become costly. However, you may be surprised to know that you can deduct travel expenses for pets. This can include vet visits, boarding, and added fees for airline travel.

Deducting your moving expenses can be helpful during tax season, but there are requirements to qualify. To receive tax breaks for your move, your reason for moving must be closely related to the start of a new job that is at least 50 miles farther than your last home was from your old job. For example, if you lived 20 miles from your old company, your new company must be located at least 70 miles away from your previous home before you can become eligible to deduct your moving expenses. You also must have accumulated these expenses within one year of starting the new job, while also being a full-time employee at the new company for at least 39 weeks.

If you meet the all above requirements, talk to your tax preparer about your recent move, so they can assist you with deducting your recent moving expenses.  For more information on moving, or to schedule your free in home estimate contact us today!

5 Tips for House Hunting with your Partner

House hunting is an exciting yet stressful experience that most all of us will experience in our lifetime. Location, price, schools, history, curb appeal, and space are among the most common factors that go into purchasing a home. It is rare that you will find a home with everything on your wish list, which means that compromise is the ultimate solution for finding a home that fits your needs. However, what if you and your partner have different ideas about what the perfect home for your family would be? House hunting with your partner can be exhausting, especially if neither of you are willing to compromise. Check out our five tips below for house hunting with your partner, so you can find the home that is right for your family, together.

Separate Emotion from your Budget:

Buying a house definitely takes an emotional toll on a family because it is a big life-changing experience. Problems typically occur between couples during the home buying process when it comes time to establish a budget. One person may want to take out a higher mortgage to purchase the forever home, whereas the other person may want a smaller mortgage in order to save money. The easiest thing to do in this situation is to let go of your emotions and strictly focus on your financial status. Go through your finances together and propose a budget that works best for the both of you. Together you can decide which route to purchase your home, works best for you financially.

Your Realtor should be your Peacemaker:

It is important that you and your partner pick a real estate agent that you both like. Real estate agents are the most experienced when it comes to the home buying process, and it is their job to find the perfect listing to match your unique needs as a couple. The best part about a real estate agent is the fact that they are there to give you unbiased opinions when you and your partner have a disagreement. They are the best at diffusing a situation based on emotions, and they will do their best to find a solution that works for everyone.

Take a Step Back:

House hunting can become extremely stressful, especially if you and your partner are frequently butting heads, or you are struggling to find a house that meets your needs. It is okay to take a step back and take a break from the home buying process to reevaluate your situation. Maybe you should make a new wish list or consider looking into new areas. Wherever the heart of the disagreement lies, it is important to solve the issue before it escalates beyond your control. Remember, you are partners, which means you are a team and must work together to find solutions and compromise.

Date Night:

With the latest home buying technology at our fingertips like Zillow and Trulia, it is easy to become obsessed with house hunting. You may find that the bulk of your conversations involve showing each other different homes online, constantly going over your budget, discussing design ideas, researching school districts, going to open houses, etc. Eventually, buying a house becomes the focus of your relationship, and you have little time for each other. This is why taking a date night once a week or month is so important. Make it a priority to go out and do something fun where house hunting is not a part of any conversation you have throughout your evening. Reconnect, give each other attention, and most importantly have fun!

Practice Active Listening and Open Communication:

It is important to listen to what your partner has to say throughout the entire experience, while also communicating your thoughts clearly and respectfully. House hunting allows you to “get to know your partner.” You will learn a lot about their desires for the future, how they handle stressful situations, and their unique needs. It is also important to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your partner when they occur. For example, if your partner says “I love this kitchen!” yet you think the kitchen cabinets are ugly, it is important to communicate your thoughts to your partner immediately in order to compromise and find common ground.

Buying a new home is never an easy process. It will take time and patience in order for you and your partner to find the house that ticks all the important boxes on your list. Once your family has found the perfect home, call your friends at Fry-Wagner to help you with the moving process. We can help take the stress out of moving, so you can focus on settling in at your new home. Contact us today for a free no obligation in home estimate!

Out of the Box: DIY Valentine Mailbox

Love is in the air! With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, we thought it would be fun to share a creative project to do with kids. If your little one has a Valentine’s Day party coming up and you are in search of an enjoyable and unique idea for a Valentine’s box, check out how to make this life size mailbox made from cardboard moving boxes!

Supplies:

2 small/medium moving boxes

Box cutter or scissors

Tape or glue

Pencil

Paint

Step 1:

Lay your box on its side and draw a half circle on both of the top flaps. Using your box cutter or scissors, cut along the half circle on both flaps. This will create the rounded top of the box.

Step 2:

Cut along the fold of the two remaining flaps to remove them from the box, leaving a clean edge on both sides. Tape or glue the leftover square flaps to the inside of the rounded edges to give them support.

Step 3:

You will need a door to allow you to collect your valentines at the end of the day, so choose which side you would like for the door to be. Draw a rectangle and cut out three sides, leaving one of the longer sides untouched (this side will be the hinge for the door).

Step 4:

Using another moving box, cut a piece of cardboard that is equal in width and distance between the two semi-circular sides. This will be the top of the mailbox. Fold the cardboard over the two semi-circular sides, creating a curve and secure onto the box using tape or glue (tape works best).

Step 5:

Cut a small rectangle at the top of the box (as seen in above photo), so the valentines have a spot to be inserted.

Step 6:

Paint or decorate your box to your liking!

Stay tuned for more fun ways to re-use and recycle your leftover moving boxes. If your leftover moving boxes are still cluttering your new home, don’t forget to call your moving company to schedule a debris pickup! For more information on how to reuse your moving boxes, or to schedule a free in-home estimate, contact us today!

The Top 5 Things to do in Kansas City

Kansas City, also known as the Heart of America, is a city full of adventure and excitement. Whether you are a KC native or making a big move to the area soon, you should know what fun places to visit and see around town. Check out our list of the top five things to do in Kansas City to start planning an exciting day now!

  1. Sea Life Kansas City

If you find yourself California dreaming on a winter’s day, drop in at the Sea Life Aquarium in downtown KC. Come face to face with some of the most unique and popular creatures of the deep sea. Tropical fish, sharks, sea horses, jellyfish, starfish, and stingrays are among some of the most popular sea life on the tour. This is a fun and educational activity for the whole family!

  1. Tapcade

Tapcade is a great place for an adult night out! Serving as an arcade, bar, and theater; Tapcade is a fun place to have tasty food and delicious drinks, reminisce on your childhood with classic arcade games, or see a trending movie. This is the perfect night out for couples or groups of friends. This hot spot is not only fun, but also affordable! You can enjoy unlimited game play for just $5.

  1. Automotive Museum

Located in Olathe, KS the Kansas City Automotive Museum is home to some of the most historic automobiles in the industry and serves as a great destination for all the car lovers in the area. The best part about this particular automotive museum is that it rotates 30 cars every few months, so there are always new vehicles to see! This is a great activity for a rainy day.

  1. Breakout KC

Escape rooms are one of the trendiest activities to do in any city. However, Breakout KC is renowned as one of the best escape rooms in the area. The current unique escape rooms are River Quay Casino, The Truman Room, Room 13, and Szechuan Secret. You and your team have to work together to solve various clues to a mystery in order to find a key that unlocks the door to your escape. This is a fun, team building activity to do with friends or family!

  1. Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun is a perfect theme park for thrill seekers everywhere. Ride a variety of adrenaline-pumping rides like the famous Mamba or cool off on a hot summer day in the Oceans of Fun water park. If rides aren’t you forte, you can also see a variety of live entertainment shows and play to win some awesome prizes at the gaming booths. Visit Worlds of Fun on a warm sunny day if you are looking for some excitement!

Around every Kansas City corner awaits something exciting to do. If you find yourself bored after your big move to KC or if you just need to get out of the house to have some serious fun, check out one of the places listed above. Don’t forget that Fry-Wagner has been moving Kansas City and St. Louis families for over a century! If you are in need of some moving advice, or would like to schedule a free no obligation in home estimate, contact us today!

Out of the Box: DIY Snowflake

Winter is in full swing, and it is definitely making its presence known. With most of the country battling ice and snowstorms, we are all bound to experience a snow day eventually. Snow days can be fun, but they can also be a bit boring when you are trapped inside for an entire day. If you find yourself bored on a snowy day and are in need of a fun activity to do, check out this easy DIY snowflake made from moving boxes. Follow our step-by-step instructions below.

Materials Needed:

  • 1 Standard Moving Box (size doesn’t matter)
  • Box Cutter
  • Marker/Pen
  • Scissors
  • Snowflake Stencil
  • Glue
  • Glitter

 

Step 1:

Find the perfect snowflake stencil you wish to use. You can find the stencil we chose to use here. Trace the stencil onto your piece of cardboard using a marker or pen.

Step 2:

Cut out the outline of your snowflake using a box cutter. Carefully pop out the snowflake from the cardboard. Trim any edges that may be uneven with a pair of scissors.

Step 3:

Coat the entire snowflake with glue to apply glitter.

Step 4:

Sprinkle glitter all over your snowflake. Silver or blue glitter works best.

Step 5:

Repeat steps three and four accordingly, until the snowflake is completely covered in glitter. You can also paint your snowflake white or blue if glitter is unavailable to you.

At Fry-Wagner, we care about our environment and feel it is important to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Moving boxes have many uses, and the number of possibilities of what you can create from them are endless. Stay tuned every month for our Out of the Box blog, so you can start envisioning all the creations you can make with your leftover moving boxes.

The 7 Points of Moving Appliances

Moving your appliances from one home to another requires a bit of coordination. Most individuals planning a move do not realize all the important steps that need to take place to successfully move an appliance. Both the homeowner and the mover have responsibilities to ensure that all appliances are prepared, moved, and installed correctly. Below you will find Fry-Wagner’s 7 points of moving appliances to help you better understand how to prepare your appliances for moving day.

  1. The Mover:

Your movers will do all the heavy lifting. This means that they will be moving the appliances onto the truck, transporting them to the new location, and placing them in your new home.

  1. The Homeowner:

You are responsible for cleaning and preparing all appliances for move out day. You may choose to disconnected and prepare your appliances yourself, hire a technician to do so, or make third party arrangements with your mover.

  1. Servicing Defined:

It is important to make sure that your appliances are prepped for relocation, so they can safely withstand handling during the move process or while in storage. This can include bracing, disconnecting, capping-off, and special handling of components.

  1. Mover Does Not:

Disconnect/reconnect appliances, disconnect utilities, repair appliances, remove or install window air conditioners, TV’s or antennas, wiring, plumbing electrical, or carpentry services

  1. Who Does What:

The technician prepares the appliances for the move. The gas company disconnects and caps the gas lines in your home. The mover moves the appliances from origin to destination. The homeowner sets up all servicing arrangements at origin and destination.

  1. Cleaning Appliances:

Wipe down the inside and outside of all appliances with a soft dampened cloth. Remove all food from refrigerators and freezers and unplug them 24 hours before your move to ensure there is no moisture.

  1. List of Major Appliances:

Dishwashers, washer & dryers, ovens, refrigerators, and freezers are the most common appliances that homeowners typically move.

It is very important to make sure that your appliances are all properly prepared and ready to be relocated. Remember, it is your responsibility to take to take care of the preparations yourself, hire an appropriate technician, or request that the moving company set up third party services for you. For more information on moving appliances contact us today!

New Year, New Home: Décor Trends of 2017

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2017 has officially begun. The beginning of a new year is a good time for a fresh start. If you made new year’s resolutions for 2017 and are dead set on completing them, having a clean and newly decorated space in your home can help! 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, while only 8% of those people actually succeed in accomplishing these resolutions (www.statisticbrain.com). If you find yourself losing motivation to achieve your goals this year, it could be because you’re living in a cluttered or outdated space. Physical clutter in your surroundings increases stress and can create lack of motivation (www.crew.co). Start your year off right and give the rooms in your home a face lift with the latest home décor trends of 2017!

Upholstered Headboards
Your master bedroom should feel like a luxurious escape and reflect your personality. Upholstered headboards started trending in 2016, and they are still a hot commodity in design. These headboards are sleek, luxurious, and make statement.

parker-nailhead-trim-bed-bl3594

https://www.birchlane.com/Birch-Lane-Parker-Upholstered-Panel-Bed-BL3594-BL3594.html

Marble Wallpaper
Wallpaper may have gone out of style in the early 2000’s, but it has recently made a comeback! Floral and abstract designs were trending in 2016, but it looks like marble wallpaper will be all the rage this year. Marble is a stone that represents luxury, so this type of wallpaper will make your walls look fresh, clean, and extravagant.

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http://www.cleverspaces.com/products/marble-wallpaper?variant=16808466116

Copper Accents
Cooper and rose gold accents will give your space a sleek and unique look. Pick out some cooper figurines, wall accents, or appliances to make your space really pop.

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http://www.lonny.com/Pinterest+Predicts+ The+Top+Home+Trends+Of+2017/articles/aiqFWymkIad/Copper

Wood Tiles
Shiny, ceramic subway tile in the bathroom is falling by the wayside this year, and the rustic look seems to be taking over. You can find wood grain tiles just about anywhere. Not only are they easy to install, but they also easy to keep clean and maintain.

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http://www.lonny.com/Pinterest+Predicts+The+Top+ Home+Trends+Of+2017/articles/aiqFWymkIad/Copper

Cork Walls

Cork walls are perfect for an office or a child’s room. Not only is cork stylish and adds texture to a space, but you can easily decorate it! Whether you choose to pin important notes or put up some artwork, cork is versatile and allows you to change up the look of the wall whenever you see fit. Cork is also a material that is naturally insulated and can bring warmth into your home.

cork

http://www.domain.com.au/advice/the-interior-trends-youll-be-loving-in-2017-20160309-gnek90/

Statement Metallic in the Kitchen
As stated, it seems that subway tile is slowly losing its luster in general. Designers are looking into new materials to use in modern kitchens. A statement metallic gives a standard backsplash a modern and clean look. Pair this statement piece with a bold paint color, and your kitchen will be the talk of the block.

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http://domino.com/kitchen-trends-2017#11

Make 2017 a great year by giving your home an update, so you can have a fresh and new space to relax in while tackling all your new year’s resolutions. If one of your resolutions for 2017 is to plan a move, contact your friends at Fry-Wagner to discuss your move, or to schedule a free in home estimate today!

Office Moving

office-2

 

There are endless circumstances that initiate the need to move an office; cost of square footage, outgrowing the space, an expiring lease, downsizing of staff, remodeling, or consolidating many-into-one. Each move starts by asking the question, “Where do we begin?” There are many factors involved when planning an office move, so it is important that you have to the right people and resources available to help you complete this new transition for your organization.

If your organization is wondering how to begin the process of planning an office move, contact your friends ay Fry-Wagner for help. Fry-Wagner’s team of office moving professionals have over 100 years of experience in relocating businesses. We understand that every business is different and have encountered many unique and unexpected relocation requirements. We are always prepared to be flexible while maintaining our high performance standards.

Our team of Certified Office and Industrial Consultants (COIC) and Project Management pros have planned, managed, and supervised some of the largest and most complex commercial relocation projects in U.S. history; as well as orchestrating many of the smallest.

Along with our professional Commercial Consultants and Project Managers; our thoroughly screened and trained crew members carefully prep the origin and destination locations with building protection, our Movers pack and prepare the building content for moving, and our Drivers secure and safely transport the content to its destination; where a moving crew sets the contents in its new designated location.

Fry-Wagner is equipped and prepared to help you and your team relocate your office to its new destination. We are dedicated to making the entire move process more efficient, effective, and economical for our customers. Fry-Wagner is ready to assist you with your next office move and we will handle each detail – step by step – providing and executing the best move plan for your relocation. Contact us today to receive an estimate!

Holiday Décor: Reuse your Moving Boxes

holiday-decor-reuse-your-moving-boxesThe holidays may be just a few days away, but you still have time to add a few last minute decorations to your home. If you’ve recently moved and haven’t had much time to decorate for the holidays, you can easily reuse your moving boxes! To help you deck the halls, check out this list of easy DIY holiday decorations that you can put together using moving boxes.

DIY Snowman: You can easily create this cute snowman with the smaller leftover boxes. Wrap each box in white paper, then stack them on top of one another. Draw on or cut out circles for the eyes, mouth, and buttons. Cut a hole in the top box and take a piece of rolled orange construction paper to create the carrot nose. Add a scarf or a hat, and your snowman is complete!

http://www.homedesigninspired.com/the-best-28-diy-snowman-ideas-do-not-require-snow/

snowman-with-no-snow-materials-23

Life Size Gingerbread House: This project is fun for the whole family! Reuse some of the larger boxes, such as wardrobe boxes, to create this sweet and fun playhouse! You can put the kids to work on creating decorations for the outside, while you build the structure of the house. Add some lights to create the perfect holiday ambiance.

img_3850

http://mrsgoffskinders.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/our-life-size-gingerbread-house.html

Recycled Rudolph Wreath: Put a new spin on the classic wreath by including Santa’s favorite reindeer. Trace an outline of a reindeer on one of your moving boxes, add some antlers, a red nose, and your wreath to create a cute and fun decoration to welcome all your guests.

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http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/christmas-ideas/g469/scandinavian-christmas-decorations/?slide=3

DIY Cardboard Fireplace: For those of you who don’t have a fireplace, this is a perfect decoration to warm up your living area or even in a child’s bedroom. All you need is some large boxes, a box cutter, and packing tape! You can use whatever colors you see fit to create this festive fireplace!

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http://damasklove.com/diy-cardboard-box-fireplace/

Cardboard Tree: This is another perfect craft to help you get rid of those bulky, large moving boxes! Trace and cutout a tree, add some lights, ornaments, and any other decorations to make the tree come to life.

img_1148

https://www.fry-wagner.com/2016/12/22/diy-cardboard-christmas-tree

You still have time to create a magical holiday scene in your home with all these creative DIY decorations. Decorating for the holidays, after a move, can be easy when you can reuse all your moving boxes! Not only will decorating be fun for the whole family, but you will save money on your debris pickup. If you need assistance with your debris pick up or for more helpful moving tips, contact Fry-Wagner today!

 

DIY Cardboard Christmas Tree

If you’re looking for a festive and fun craft to do before the holidays arrive, check out this easy step-by-step tutorial on how to create your very own Christmas Tree out of moving boxes!

Supplies:

  • 1 Large box (wardrobe box, or appliance box)
  • Box Cutter or Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Ruler
  • Maker, pen, or pencil

Step 1: Break down the box, so it can lay flat on the ground. Using your ruler and writing utensil, sketch your tree on one of the folds of the box.

img_1143

Step 2: Use your box cutter or scissors to cut out your sketch. Once you have cut out the first side of your tree, you can use this as a stencil for the other side. Repeat steps 1-2 for the other side of your tree.

Step 3: Now that you have the two separate sides of your tree cut out, use them as a stencil for the main portion of the tree. Put both sides together and lay them on the remaining space of your box. Trace the edges, then cut out the main part of the tree. Do not cut this tree down the middle; this tree is supposed to have two sides, as seen below.

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 Step 4: Once the main tree is cut, lay it flat on a flat surface. Take one of the sides that you cut out and glue the edge down the middle of the main tree. Then, turn over the main tree and repeat this step.

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Step 5: When the glue has dried and the tree is officially assembled, feel free to decorate it as you please!

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We hope you can get the best use out of your leftover moving boxes, while bringing a little holiday cheer into your new home. Not only will decorating be fun for the whole family, but you will save money on your debris pickup. If you need assistance with your debris pick up or for more helpful moving tips, contact Fry-Wagner today!