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Piano Moving Tips To Reduce Damage To Your Instrument

Posted by on 3:54 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Piano Moving Tips To Reduce Damage To Your Instrument

The logistics of a move as well as the preparation practices can be much more difficult than the actual move itself. This is especially true if you need to move an exceptionally large and expensive item like a piano. Your piano is likely worth at least several hundred dollars, and it may have a resale value of several thousand dollars. This means that it is imperative that you keep the instrument in good condition throughout the moving process. To make sure this is the case, follow the tips below to prepare your piano for a move. Remove Some Components Pianos are large and bulky items that can take a good deal of abuse on moving day, and the pieces that stick out from the piano are going to get knocked around the most. To reduce damage to some of these pieces, remove them beforehand. Parts like the legs, lyre, and music stand should all be released. To remove the legs and the lyre, start by purchasing or renting four piano leg stands. The stands are steel pedestals that will hold the weight of your piano so you can remove the legs on your own. Place three or the stands next to the legs and one behind the lyre. Raise the stands so the piano legs sit off the ground by about one-half to one inch. This will make the removal process easier. Start by removing the lyre, or the pedal assembly from the piano. Look underneath the base of the piano to locate the screws that hold the lyre in place. Remove the screws with the screwdriver. Gently pull on the lyre to release it. If the lyre does not move, then the pedal rods may be kept in place with hooked ends. Gently unhook the rods from the piano to release the lyre. You also should look for small wooden dowels that help connect the lyre to the piano base. If you see these dowels, springs, or spring cups around the lyre attachment, then collect them and pack them with the lyre. Once the lyre is removed, start working on releasing the legs. Screws will typically hold the legs in place, so remove them and pull the legs away from the body of the piano. When you are done, make sure that the keyboard lid is as secure as possible. The lid can easily move while in transit and damage the keys. Place pieces of felt along the right and left edges of the keyboard so the lid closes on them. This will help to cushion movement and vibrations. Also, place several layers of plastic cling wrap around the top of the lid to keep it in place. Make sure to communicate to your moving company that a piano must be moved so a piano board can be acquired to move the piano safely. Opt For A Dry Day If you have some flexibility when it comes to your exact moving day, then it is wise to choose a day with a temperature and humidity that is ideal for your piano. Sudden changes in both humidity and temperature can negatively affect the wood of the piano. Specifically, the wood will contract when subjected to cold temperatures and expand when temperatures are warm or if the humidity is high. These things can cause drastic...

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3-Step Guide To Making Your Own Homemade Ant Traps

Posted by on 2:53 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3-Step Guide To Making Your Own Homemade Ant Traps

If your kitchen is overrun by tiny ants, you may want to get rid of them but are reluctant to use chemical sprays inside your home. If so, use the following three-step guide to making and using homemade ant traps for a more natural way to get rid of your pesky little invaders. Step 1: Mix The Bait The first step in making your ant traps is to mix the bait using sugar, water and borax. The borax serves as the poison that the ants will ingest, which will dry them up from the inside out. They will also take small portions of the bait back to their nest, where even more of the population will eat it. Although borax is considered generally safe to use, you still need to take precautions, especially if you have children or pets. The powder can have the same effect on people and animals as it does on the ants, so it is imperative that you keep the traps out of the reach of tiny hands or paws. To make the bait, you also need an old saucepan. Once you use it to cook the borax, do not use it for any other purpose other than to make your ant traps. This ensures that no residue from the bait will contaminate your food. Once you have selected your trap-making pan, pour in a cup of white sugar, a cup of borax and a cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to ensure the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Lower the heat, then cook for an additional two minutes to dissolve the ingredients. The bait will be fairly thick. Remove the pan from heat. Set it aside to cool, and go on to the next step. Step 2: Clean The Area With Vinegar And Water While the bait is cooling, thoroughly clean the area where you will place your traps. This removes any residual food particles so that the ants will be drawn to your traps instead of the surrounding area. A mixture of vinegar and water is used to cut through any grease or sticky remains. In a plastic spray bottle, add a cup of white distilled vinegar and a half of a cup of water. Replace the spray nozzle, and shake vigorously to mix the two ingredients. Spray and cover each area with the mixture, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe up the excess with a clean, moist towel. Step 3: Make And Set Out Your Traps By the time you have cleaned the areas, your bait should be cool enough to handle. Once it is, it is time to start making and setting your traps. For the traps, use shallow jar lids, like the ones found on top of baby food jars. You will need one lid for each trap. Place the lid with the opening up where you intend to set the trap. Put it where you tend to see the most traffic, but make sure it is not in a position where it can be easily knocked off or reached. Use a small spoon or ladle to fill the lid with the bait to just under the lip of the lid. Repeat for each trap. Check the traps every other day to see they...

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Pressure Washer Accessories To Invest In

Posted by on 11:41 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pressure Washer Accessories To Invest In

If you are currently in the market for a pressure washer, then it is wise to go with a gas-powered device that offers variable pressure above 3300 PSI. This powerful device will allow you to clean your siding, garage door, concrete driveway, and a wide variety of other surfaces. To get the most out of your machine, you should also make sure that you purchase just the right extras and accessories for the device. Keep reading to learn about a few things you should consider. Different Spray Nozzles Pressure washers work by allowing a constant stream of water to enter an internal water pump. The water is placed under a great deal of pressure in this pump and it releases out the spray nozzle with a good amount of kinetic or stored energy. The sprayer also forces the molecules in the water to become polarized. These slightly charged molecules are attracted to different surfaces. While the power washer will undoubtedly create the pressure you need to complete a variety of tasks, it is imperative that you place the right nozzle on the sprayer end to clean things properly. This means that you should purchase a variety of nozzles when you buy your pressure washer. A 65 degree nozzle should be one that you buy. This type of nozzle is perfect for general low-pressure cleaning that includes the use of a detergent or cleaner. The spray released from the nozzle is spread out across a 65 degree angle. Pressure is reduced as the water fans out, and this means that you can even wash your car with this tip as long as you adjust the washer to release between 1200 and 2000 PSI. A 25 degree nozzle is another good general cleaning tip that releases water across a 25 degree angle. The tip is great for removing dirt and debris from surfaces including wood and vinyl. For more pinpointed and strong cleaning, you will need a 0 degree nozzle or a blasting tip that releases a straight stream of water much like your garden hose. This concentrated stream is good for getting rid of deep stains that appear on harder materials like concrete and metal. The tip should not be used on wood or other softer materials or the concentrated water will gouge the wood. The last tip you should purchase is called a rotary nozzle. This nozzle releases a strong spray much like a 0 degree nozzle, but the water is spun around to release a much wider angle of water. This helps to retain pressure while increasing the range of the water spray. Abrasive Sand Cleaners If you have special cleaning needs that include preparing a vehicle for a new coat of paint or releasing a thick coat of rust from your patio furniture, then you will need to sandblast the items. Sandblasting is a process where an abrasive agent is forced against the surface of an object with the help of air or water pressure. You pressure washer can be turned into a sandblaster with the assistance of a sand blast head, a sand blast probe, and a special supply hose that releases sand into the water stream. To complete sandblasting projects properly, you will also need to purchase the right sand or grit. You can purchase an all-purpose sand cleaner made from...

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First Time NYC Taxi Riding Tips

Posted by on 8:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on First Time NYC Taxi Riding Tips

If you need to take a taxi cab when visiting New York City for the first time, then you may be nervous and confused about what you need to do. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to understand how to use a taxi once you get the hang of it. To help you with your first ride, consider some of the tips below. You Can Pay With Cash Or A Credit Card If you are on a business trip or even a long holiday and you have a limited amount of cash with you, then you should know that it is acceptable to pay with a credit card when riding in a taxi. In fact, taxi drivers must accept credit and debit cards along with cash, according to the NYC taxi and limousine commission. While you may find yourself in a cab with a broken credit card reader on occasion, the taxi professional must have the reader repaired within 48 hours, so this is unlikely to occur. If the reader is broken, then the taxi driver will most likely inform you of this upon entering the taxi. If you do decide to pay with a credit card, the taxi will have a place for you to swipe your card in the back seat of the cab. If the fare amount is over $25, then you will be asked to sign a receipt. You also will have the option of receiving a receipt for your own records. This is wise whether you need the receipt for business expense purposes or not. The receipt will have the cab number on it so you can easily request the taxi driver again, file a complaint, or locate lost items that may have been left in the taxi.  Keep in mind that it is customary to tip your taxi driver when you pay for the fare. You should think about tipping around 15% with an extra few dollars added on if the professional helps with your bags or assists you in another way. If the driver provided exceptional service, then a 20% or higher tip should be considered. Tips can be provided with credit card payments or in cash. If you choose to add it onto your credit card, then make sure to inform your taxi driver how much of a tip to add to the fare before you swipe your card. You Cannot Smoke According to the New York City Smoke-Free Air Act of 2002, all public transportation areas, like taxi cabs, must be smoke free. This law prohibits you from smoking inside a taxi cab whether you want to enjoy a traditional or electronic cigarette. Your taxi driver cannot smoke in the taxi either. Not only is this for the protection of your health and the taxi driver’s health, but it prevents future passengers from being subjected to second hand smoke. You should understand that your taxi driver may receive a fine if they are caught smoking or allowing a passenger to smoke in the vehicle. First offense fines can be as much as $400, so do not be surprised if your taxi driver is firm about putting out a cigarette before you enter the taxi. You should also understand that it may not be specifically prohibited to use a cell phone in a taxi cab, but...

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How To Repurpose Used Commercial Office Furniture For Your Own Home Office

Posted by on 2:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Repurpose Used Commercial Office Furniture For Your Own Home Office

When your professional workstation at the office is sleek laminate, metal, or veneer wood, there is not a lot you can do to change up its appearance to give it your own style. But when you buy used commercial office furniture for your own home office, you can change its finish and look to match your personal design theme. Here are instructions to help you refinish and paint your used commercial office furniture. Reupholster Your Office Chair Most office chairs consist of metal or plastic frames with an upholstered seat and backrest, mounted on a chair base and casters. Usually the color of office chair upholstery is a black, grey, or other neutral color. As your home’s surroundings can affect your mood, it can be helpful to change the color of your office chair to something different. For example, the color yellow can increase your happiness and the color blue can help you decrease your stress. First, you need to take the chair apart so the fabric seat and backrest are separate from the chair’s frame. This will allow you to reupholster the chair and paint the metal or plastic chair frame. Locate the screws that can be found under both the chair’s seat and backrest, which will allow you to remove these upholstered sections. Next, measure the length and width of the fabric covering the chair’s seat cushion and backrest to determine how much new upholstery fabric you will need to cover the old, dreary fabric. Make sure you add two to three inches of extra fabric along each length and width to allow for space to attach the upholstery with staples. You don’t need to remove the old upholstery during this process as the new fabric will cover the old.  Buy the amount of fabric you need, then cut both pieces to their required sizes, according to your measurements.  Spread the fabric over each section right side out to cover the old fabric.  Turn the chair section around, so the back of the section is facing you.  Wrap the fabric around to the back, folding the fabric to cover any rounded edges or corners.   Using a staple gun on the back of each section, attach the new fabric over the old. Staple the corners down first, then staple the remaining sides, pulling the fabric tight as you staple it in place. Paint Your Office Chair Select a coordinating color of spray paint acceptable to paint on metal or plastic, depending on what your office chair is made from. Because the chair will already be taken apart, you don’t need to mask any of the surface to be painted.  Spray the paint over the surface in smooth and even coats to prevent the paint from dripping and running. It is best to cover the chair in several thin coats of spray paint for the best finish.  Last, reattach the chair together with its original hardware. Repaint Your Office Desk A popular way to change the surface of your furniture from a sleek-looking veneer or laminate to a distressed surface is by using chalk paint. Chalk paint is not the same thing as chalkboard paint, but is a flat paint that allows you to make your furniture aged and worn-looking with a chalky appearance. If you like a farmhouse or cottage style, chalk paint is the product to use. The good part about chalk paint is...

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Tips To Help You To Successfully Manage Your Property As A Landlord

Posted by on 1:49 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Help You To Successfully Manage Your Property As A Landlord

As a landlord, you can choose to hire a property management company or do the managing yourself. If you choose to handle your own property management, you have certain legal responsibilities to protect the safety and health of your tenants and yourself from liability. It is important you know all the federal and state laws and regulations relating to renting a property,so you don’t get yourself into any trouble. Here are some property management tips to help you follow the lead-based paint regulations and to screen and find good prospective tenants. Follow Lead-Based Paint Regulations If your rental property was built before 1978, federal law requires you to give your tenant lead-based paint information before they sign a lease with you. Because lead paint can cause serious health problems, you need to let your tenant know if you are aware of any lead paint on the property. Give your tenant a pamphlet titled Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards.  If you have or have not had the property tested for lead paint and it was built before 1978, you need to let the prospective tenant about this. Also, include in your rental contract a lead warning statement. Your tenant can request you get a lead inspection from a certified inspector if they wish before they move in. Make sure you give your prospective tenant these document, and have them sign a copy that you keep for your records indicating they received them. This will protect you later on if your tenant decides to file a lawsuit against you about any lead paint that was discovered and health problems that were caused by it. As long as you follow these steps, you can be protected from liability Screen All Your Prospective Tenants When it comes time to find new tenants for you rental property, you may be tempted to select the first applicant as your new tenant, so you can start collecting rent as soon as possible. As a landlord, you rely upon having renters in your unit to cover the expenses of owning a rental property, but it is important to screen any applicants before you let them live in your unit. If you get a bad renter, you can end up spending thousands of dollars to evict them, depending on the situation and state you live in. According to a report by TransUnion, the average cost of an eviction was found to be $1,917. And an eviction process can take anywhere from five weeks to three months assuming there are no delays in the process, so you may not be getting any rent from your tenant during this time. Always have your perspective tenant fill out an application, including any children or other applicants over the age of 18 who will be living in the property. Complete a background check on all applicants to find out if they have a felony or a criminal record. A tenant with a felony or other criminal record can be a liability to you as the landlord, so make a smart decision after reviewing their record. The background check will also give you information on each applicant’s credit history. Their credit report will show any evictions in their past and if they are paying any of their bills late.  Make sure you always have the signature of each applicant giving you permission...

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In Maryland, Automatically Pay For Your Boat’s Storage Unit With A Credit Card So You Don’t Forget

Posted by on 2:38 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Maryland, Automatically Pay For Your Boat’s Storage Unit With A Credit Card So You Don’t Forget

As fall transitions into winter, many recreational boaters in Maryland will be taking their boats out of the water and putting them into storage units. For most boaters, storage units are a convenient and affordable place to store watercraft during winter. Boaters who don’t pay their storage unit bills could have their boats auctioned off this winter thanks to a new state law. If you’re keeping a boat in a storage unit in Maryland this winter, signing up for automatic payments is an easy way to make sure you don’t forget to pay your storage unit bill. When storage units go into default This past April, a bill that rewrites the laws governing storage units that are in default was unanimously passed by Maryland’s senate and house. House Bill 786, went into effect on October 1, 2015. This bill builds on another law that was passed in October 2013.  Together, these bills could let a storage unit operator fetch a nice price for your boat if you don’t pay your storage unit fees for 60 days. Storage unit operators in Maryland have been able to auction off the contents of a storage unit if the lessee failed to pay their fees for 60 days. The bill passed in October 2013 amended Maryland’s laws in at least two significant ways. First, it gave storage unit operators the freedom to hold online auctions, rather than in-person ones. Second, it also granted operators the ability to tow away any vehicles — including boats — that are left in an unpaid unit for over 60 days. The bill that was passed in April further updated Maryland’s laws for the Internet Age. It contained many provisions that were in the 2013 bill, including the right to tow away vehicles and boats that are housed in delinquent units. It differed by changing how storage unit operators are required to notify people of an upcoming auction. Instead of mailing a letter to a unit’s lessee and printing notifications in the local paper, operators can now send an email and post notifications online. As long as their efforts attract at least three independent bidders, their efforts will meet the requirements of the new law. Thus, if you miss your payments for two months, you might not realize that your boat is going to be auctioned off. It’s easy to miss online notifications, and your storage unit operator may auction off your boat soon after the 60-day threshold is met. In an online auction that attracts bidders from neighboring states as well as Maryland, they should be able to get a good price for your watercraft. How to keep your unit out of default As long as you don’t let your storage unit go into default, your boat won’t be auctioned off. Keeping your unit out of default is easy: Pay your bills on time. Storage unit fees for a boat are a seasonal expense that are easy to overlook. If you haven’t paid for a storage unit since last winter, you might not remember to submit your payment in December or January, especially since these can be busy months with the holidays and start of the new year. The easiest way to ensure your storage unit remains in good standing is to sign up for automatic payments....

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6 Major Moving Mistakes To Avoid

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When you have a big move coming up, it’s natural to feel a little stressed and overwhelmed. In fact, according to experts, moving is one of the top five most stressful life events. In the hustle and bustle of moving, sometimes mistakes are made that lead to even more stress and wasted time down the road. Luckily, by knowing which specific moving mistakes to look out for, you can make your move less stressful. Here are six major moving mistakes to avoid: Not Renting a Truck It may seem tempting to move everything yourself in your regular vehicle instead of renting a truck, but this will only make your move much more difficult than it needs to be. Renting a moving truck means having enough room for all of your belongings, including heavy furniture. It also means being able to move everything in one trip, instead of going back and forth wasting time and gas money. Depending on your budget, you may be able to rent a truck in conjunction with hiring movers and even renting boxes, which will further streamline your move. Not Decluttering First The less stuff you have, the less you have to move, unpack, and find a new home for. As soon as you know you’re going to move, it’s time to start decluttering. Go through your home room by room, especially focusing on closets and storage areas. Honestly evaluate your belongings and set aside things you no longer use or want. You can sell unwanted items online or at a yard sale to help cover the cost of your move. Donate anything that doesn’t sell. Many thrift stores even offer donation pick-ups, saving you a trip during this already busy time. Not Having a Plan for Kids and Pets Moving is complicated enough, but if you have small children or pets it can be even trickier. Enlisting help, like a babysitter or pet sitter, for moving day is a great idea since you will then be able to focus more on moving. Make sure you set aside your kid and pet essentials somewhere you can get to easily and unpack right away once you get to your new place. Waiting Until the Last Minute The longer you wait to get organized, the more hectic and stressful your move will be. Allowing yourself weeks or even months to get packed up and plan your move means you can do things one small step at a time and in a much more calm manner. Not Giving Clear Unloading Instructions Unloading and unpacking can quickly turn into a mess if you don’t give your movers (or friends and family) clear instructions on where to place things. It’s a good idea to clearly label each box with the room it’s going to so that you don’t end up dragging boxes from room to room after you unload. Discuss furniture placement ahead of time and make notes if necessary, to avoid having to move heavy items more than once. Not Making Sure Your Things Are Insured Nothing adds to moving stress quite like broken household goods. Besides doing a careful job packing, you will want to make sure your belongings are insured. Check your homeowners or renters insurance to make sure it covers your belongings during a move. If...

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Why Pawn Shops Pay So Little For Your Items And What You Can Do About It

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While pawn shops might seem like a niche business, they’re actually a seven billion dollar industry. Unfortunately for consumers, part of the reason that pawn shops are able to do so much business is their knack for underpaying for merchandise. If television and popular culture are any indication, you should expect to get pennies on the dollar for your valuables at your local store. The good news is that this isn’t typically the case. Pawn shops purchase their items using a fairly strict set of criteria. Understanding these criteria is the key to having a positive pawn shop experience–and to getting the most value for your items. Overhead One of the main reasons that a pawn shop is required to pay under market for your items is their overhead. It costs you nothing to hold on to a valuable watch in your home. A pawn shop, on the other hand, must pay their rent/lease, utilities, and the salary of their employees in order to resell that watch for a profit. While there isn’t much you can do regarding a store’s overhead, you can target shops that have a lot of visibility and exposure to the shopping public. These stores tend to turn inventory over much more quickly than other, less visible stores. They won’t be required to build in overhead charges to the same extent as their slower selling counterparts. Scarcity Somewhat related to overhead costs, scarcity determines how easily a pawn shop will be able to resell your item after purchase. Items that are rare and highly desired will sell quickly, lowering the shop’s cost for the transaction. On the other hand, the fourteenth electric guitar that a store has in stock will sit for a while unless it’s a true collector’s piece. Your best defense against this is to scout the shop first. Go in as a customer and look to see what kinds of competing items they already have in their inventory. If you’re trying to unload a ring at a jewelry pawn shop and there’s a bunch of rings already, find a different pawn shop. You’ll be glad that you did. Season Very few people are going to buy skis in July. Many items that find their way into a pawn shop have seasonal utility–meaning that they’re only valuable during certain months of the year. During the off months, the value of these items decreases dramatically. If you’re in need of quick cash, there’s nothing you can do about this. However, if you can afford to do so, try to time your seasonal pawn sale a couple of months prior to the season of value for your item. For example, try to sell your skis in September. If you can move your item one season prior to the peak value season, you’ll get the fairest value for your sale. Perception One of the biggest points of disconnect for pawn patrons comes when they attempt to sell their collectables. A piece of art or pottery might be extremely valuable to a collector, but not nearly as attractive to the average person. Sometimes, a pawn shop simply doesn’t understand the value of a collectible item–or doesn’t care to wait for a collector to come in and pay top dollar. Don’t think you can come in with a...

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Ensuring Fairness And Kindness In Your Collection Agency

Posted by on 11:21 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have recently decided to purchase debt portfolios to start a collection agency, then you are probably looking forward to collecting money from individuals who owe debts.  Hiring employees to contact these people is a good solution, but you also should make sure that you are kind and courteous to the individuals you contact.  Some collection agencies use fear and intimidation to force people to pay old debts.  If you are respectful instead, then debtors will likely be more willing to work with you and you will in turn make more money yourself.  Follow the tips below to make sure your new collection agency is fair and kind. Make Sure Debts Are Actually Owed Before you contact a debtor, it is wise to gather as much information about the individual and the debt as possible.  Make sure you have paperwork that shows the name of the individual and their address.  Also, documents should be looked over that show the date of the debt, the payment history on the bill, the outstanding balance, and the date that the debt was first considered delinquent or overdue. Encourage Credit Report Checks Once the information is gathered, use it to discuss the delinquent bill with the debtor.  If the debtor indicates that the debt has been paid already, then indicate that there may be a credit report error.  Inform the individual to contact one of the three national credit reporting agencies for a free copy of their credit report.  One free report is provided by each agency every 12 months.  Indicate that the report should be inspected carefully.  If an error is found, like the old debt, then inform the individual to contact the credit company by writing a letter to them by hand.  A copy of an invoice, cancelled check, or a letter indicating that the debt has been forgiven should be included as well. This information will not help you collect the debt this time, but the individual will be more willing to work with you in the future if a debt is actually owed. Follow All of Your State Laws If you start a collection agency, then it is imperative that you follow all of the collection laws in your state.  Not only do you need to follow these laws, but so do all of your employees.  Many states have fair debt collection laws that protect consumers from deception, harassment, and abuse.  In Florida, for example, you cannot contact an individual about a debt between the hours of 9 PM and 8 AM.  You also cannot contact employers, use vulgar language, or pretend to be a police officer.  You cannot discuss debts with family members, significant others, or any other third party individuals either. Add Call Center Software Find the specific laws for your state and print them out for each employee in your office.  Also, consider using call recording software so you can make sure that individuals are using appropriate language.  Purchase call center software, as well, that allows your employees to quickly access the debtor’s information.  Encourage employees to place notes within the consumer file that shows both the dates and times that the individual was contacted.  Conversation details should be included as well.  This will keep other employees from contacting the same debtor numerous times in one day. If you have purchased...

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