Moving FAQs

     
    Residential FAQs
     

  1. When is the best time to move?
  2. How do I find a reputable mover?
  3. When should I contact a mover?
  4. Do I need an in-home estimate?
  5. How many estimates should I get?
  6. Will the mover pack my boxes?
  7. Can I pack things myself?
  8. What items cannot be packed?
  9. Can I leave items in dresser drawers?
  10. Will you move my jewelry and other valuables?
  11. How is my furniture protected during the move?
  12. How is my Home protected during the move?
  13. How long will my move take?
  14. When do I pay?
  15. What if I need to store my belongings?
  16. Am I protected against loss or damage during my move?
  17. How do I file a claim?
  18.  

    Office FAQs

  19. When should I start planning my move?
  20. How do I plan the move?
  21. How do I move my cubicles?
  22. What do I do with my computers?
  23. What do I do with decommissioned items?
  24.  

    Document Management FAQs

  25. Can you store my files and documents?
  26.  

    Corporate Relocation FAQs

  27. Can you assist in the development of a corporate relocation policy?
  28. How do you measure “quality”?
  29.  

    International FAQs

  30. Do you have international capabilities?
  31. Common International Moving Questions
  32. When should I contact a moving company to organize my pending international move?
  33. How do I know that I’m dealing with a reputable international moving company?
  34. What should I expect from the international move representative who visits my home?
  35. What items SHOULD NOT be included in an international household goods shipment?
  36. I would like to arrange for someone to provide me with a moving estimate for my international move. Whom should I contact?
  37. Are all charges included in the final price?
  38. What are the different cost/service options available?
  39. Can international moving companies provide insurance for my international move?
  40. How do I determine the level of insurance coverage I should have for my belongings during an international move?
  41. Who provides delivery services at destination?
  42. When I arrive at my overseas destination, whom do I contact to determine the status of my shipment?
  43. Where should I go to find the most up-to-date information regarding customs clearance documentation requirements?


 
1) When is the best time to move?

Of course, your move date will be dictated by the events in your life; when you will go to settlement on your home, when your new home will be ready, when your lease is up, etc. Many families choose to move in the summer when their children are out of school to ease their adjustment to the new neighborhood. In the moving business this leads to a “peak” season from May through September when demand for our services is at it’s highest. We understand that your circumstances may not allow you the flexibility to avoid the peak season and we will work with you to ensure a smooth relocation that fits with your schedule. Please read our moving checklist.
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2) How do I find a reputable mover?

A good place to start is to check with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers who have moved recently to see if they can make any recommendations. You can investigate movers online through the Better Business Bureau. All licensed movers will be able to provide you with their Motor Carrier # and The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides up to date safety information on all licensed movers.
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3) When should I contact a mover?

It is best to contact your mover to arrange a free in-home estimate as soon as you know that you will be moving. Even if you do not have a destination address at this point, it is best to have your estimate completed based on the city that you will be moving to. Once your house goes on the market things can happen quickly and it is best to have this step completed.
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4) Do I need an in-home estimate?

By performing an in-home survey of your belongings the salesperson is able to put together an estimate of your moving costs. The salesperson will need to see everything in the home, including inside cabinets and drawers, crawl spaces, storage sheds, and attics in order to accurately estimate the weight and the packing requirements. The salesperson will also be able to determine any unique access requirements as well as the need for any additional service professionals to handle appliance service, crating, and other items that require special handling.
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5) How many estimates should I get?

It is generally recommended that you obtain three estimates from reputable movers. As you compare the estimates you should find them to be pretty close in their assessment of your estimated weight and the services required. If one of the estimates is considerably lower you should question whether they have provided you with an accurate estimate and whether you will be liable for unexpected additional charges.
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6) Will the mover pack my boxes?

Your Sales representative will estimate your packing needs during your free in-home estimate. Some people prefer to pack their own boxes, while many take advantage of professional packing services offered by their mover. Some people feel comfortable packing basic, non-breakable items but prefer to have their fragile items professionally packed. Your sales representative will be able to provide you with estimates reflecting different packing scenarios if they would be helpful to you.
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7) Can I pack things myself?

Some people prefer to pack themselves. This gives them the opportunity to sort items and decide whether they really want to move them, donate them, or discard them. This is a good strategy if there is enough time to do this before move day. If you find that the packing is becoming overwhelming your mover will be happy to help you complete it with enough advance notice. When doing your own packing you want to be sure that you start out with sturdy boxes that can be sealed with packing tape. Your mover can provide any boxes, tape and newsprint packing paper that you need. Your packing will need to be completed before your move day to avoid any moving delays. See additional packing tips here.
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8) What items cannot be packed?

Not all items are suitable to be packed or moved on a moving van. Do not pack: flammable items, hazardous materials and aerosol cans. You should also make other arrangements to transport perishable items and medications. For a complete list of non-allowable items click here.
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9) Can I leave items in dresser drawers?

Leaving clothes in dresser drawers is fine unless your goods are coming into storage, in which case we ask that the dresser drawers are emptied. Any other items in drawers should always be removed and packed in boxes. This protects both the contents of the drawers as well as the furniture itself.
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10) Will you move my jewelry and other valuables?

It is recommended that you take jewelry, coin and stamp collections, cash, and other irreplaceable and expensive items with you. If you do choose to have these items moved you must notify the mover and be sure to list the items on the high value inventory form.
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11) How is my furniture protected during the move?

All of your furniture is wrapped in your home and not unwrapped until it is safely delivered to your new home. Stretch wrap is used to cover all fabric covered furniture while moving blankets are used to cover other furniture pieces. Any furniture that is disassembled for your move is reassembled at your destination as a part of our standard moving service.
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12) How is my Home protected during the move?

Before any items are moved out of your residence, the home is prepared by putting protective coverings in place. Door jam protective covers are put in place. Floor runners are laid down. Railings and banisters are covered with moving blankets. Combining the home protection with the fact that your furniture is wrapped in the home significantly reduces the likelihood of any damage occurring.
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13) How long will my move take?

The basics that determine the time required for your move are weight and distance, but there are many other factors that influence the time required such as; packing requirements, parking restrictions, elevators, stairs, special services needed, and others. Your sales representative will be able to tell you the time required for your move during the free in-home estimate.
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14) When do I pay?

Payment is expected at delivery. On local moves cash and personal checks are accepted. Major credit cards are also accepted if approved prior to your move. For interstate moves a cashier’s check, certified check, and cash are acceptable forms of payment. Major credit cards are accepted if approved prior to the day that your belongings are picked up.
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15) What if I need to store my belongings?

Storage sometimes becomes a necessary part of the moving process as construction delays, settlement issues, and difficulties in securing a residence at destination arise. Our secure local warehouse is setup to handle these situations safely and efficiently for you. As a part of an interstate move we can arrange for storage at one of our van line affiliated agents nationwide.
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16) Am I protected against loss or damage during my move?

Basic liability protection is available on your move at no additional cost but offers only limited liability coverage. On local moves the basic liability protection is limited to $0.30 / lb with a $50 ceiling per item. On interstate moves the basic liability protection is limited to $0.60 / lb. This option should be selected only if you have a separate insurance policy that will cover your items during transit. Your mover should offer additional valuation protection options. These valuation options, sometimes known as; Maximum Value Protection, Extra Care Protection, or Full Value Protection cover your belongings up to the value that you place on your total shipment. Deductible options are often offered to lower the overall cost of the valuation coverage.
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17) How do I file a claim?

In the unfortunate event that damage occurs during your move you should contact your move coordinator immediately. Your move coordinator will notify the claims department and arrange to get you a claim form. Even though you have up to 48 hours on a local move and 9 months on an interstate move to file a claim, or even if you have pointed the damage out to the driver and noted it on your moving documents, you should still notify your move coordinator immediately.
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18) When should I start planning my move?

The larger and more complex your move, the sooner you want to begin the planning process. There are a considerable number of steps that will need to be coordinated and the further out in front of the move you start the process, the more smoothly the move will run.
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19) How do I plan the move?

Your first step should be to contact an experienced moving professional to discuss the upcoming move. Your moving professional can analyze your unique requirements and offer suggestions to make your entire move run more smoothly. You will receive a thorough moving estimate as well as a timeline of services to best balance your budget with a minimal amount of disruption to your office.
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20) How do I move my cubicles?

Von Paris has experienced crews to deal with any modular furniture disassembly and reassembly. We can even help you plan your floor plan at your new location to best utilize your space.
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21) What do I do with my computers?

The Von Paris Tech Team is fully trained and experienced at disconnecting and reconnecting computers during a move. Anything from a desktop PC to a server room can be handled by our tech team, freeing up your IT department to handle any connectivity issues that come up during the relocation.
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22) What do I do with decommissioned items?

Your no longer needed furniture and electronic equipment can be stored for future use, recycled, or disposed of. Von Paris can assist you with all of these options and make the arrangements for you.
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23) Can you store my files and documents?

Our Von Paris Records Management division can store your files and documents physically in our warehouse or we can scan them and store them digitally in the cloud for you. Either way your records are safe and secure.
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24) Can you assist in the development of a corporate relocation policy?

Yes. Von Paris Moving will assist you in building a corporate relocation policy that is custom-suited to the unique needs of your company and emplyees based upon our knowledge and vast experience in servicing corporate clients.
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25) How do you measure “quality”?

We survey our customers after their corporate relocation. Their feedback allows us to track not only trends, but also any issues so we can continue to identify areas for improvement.
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26) Do you have international capabilities?

Absolutely yes! In fact, NorthAmerican International is our international division and can directly service many aspects of an international relocation that many of our competitors outsource. We also have other select forwarders who may be more appropriate for your international move.

When a business or individual approaches Von Paris Moving & Storage for international services, we tailor a program to meet their needs. We will determine what forwarder is the right fit and we customize our services accordingly.

For international corporate relocations, Von Paris Moving & Storage will work with our forwarding partner on developing an extensive plan that often includes real estate services, expense tracking, customs services and over all move management.

The Von Paris team will manage the details of the move and work directly with the forwarder in coordinating the logistics.

If the move is originating in our direct service area (Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware), Von Paris Moving & Storage will prepare, pack, store and handle basically all origin services. In reverse, if a move is destined to our prime service area, Von Paris Moving & Storage can handle all destination services.
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27) Common International Moving Questions

Pre-Move Planning Advice:

  • The best advice on how to plan for moving overseas is: Preparation! Preparation! Preparation!
  • As soon as you know that you’re moving overseas, contact your international moving company.
  • Start to organize and separate items to be sold, stored, disposed of, given away, moved by sea, moved by air or delivered to another family member before departure. This is necessary to have on hand for the pre-move survey the moving company needs.
  • As the moving day approaches, decide which items will accompany you with your overseas move. These items would include: travel papers, passports, medical documentation and records, family papers, valuables, jewelry, medication, school records, etc, as well as immediate clothing for at least the first month.

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28) When should I contact a moving company to organize my pending international move?

Timely preparation is the key ingredient to a successful move. This is particularly true for an international move. Contact Von Paris Moving & Storage approximately 7-10 weeks prior to your intended departure date. You need sufficient time to confirm all documentation requirements, pre-book international transportation services, including your own flights, as well as pre-advise the destination agent of the forthcoming international shipment.
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29) How do I know that I’m dealing with a reputable international moving company?

It’s always important to verify the credentials of any moving company. With an international move, this is particularly true.

The Von Paris team will manage the details of your international move and work directly with the vested forwarder in coordinating the logistics.
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30) What should I expect from the international move representative who visits my home?

Your international move representative should be able to describe every aspect of an international move including all services provided: packing, crating, transit times, insurance, unpacking, storage before or after the move, and customer service capabilities.

Furthermore, they should give an overview of the paperwork that is required, information on the company selected to deliver your household possessions in the destination country and advice on how to prepare for an international move.

In addition, the representative should be able to advise you of the various shipping options available to your particular overseas destination. They should also make an accurate estimate of the volume and weight of your shipment, which impacts the cost of the move.

A day or two after the completion of the pre-move survey, your international movers should provide a written moving estimate that explains the level of moving services to be provided and confirms the recommended household goods shipping option.

When a business or individual approaches Von Paris Moving & Storage for international services, we custom tailor a moving program to accommodate all their needs and will closely work with the client to assure a smooth move.
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31) What items SHOULD NOT be included in an international household goods shipment?

Avoid perishable goods and anything that could leak causing significant damage to any items surrounding it. Use common sense. Depending upon your final destination it may be weeks and in some cases months before your cargo container arrives.

DO NOT include the following:

  • Hazardous materials such as paint, aerosol cans, matches, gas canisters or other flammables
  • materials such as wood, bricks, cement, rocks and soil of any type
  • firearms / ammunition
  • plants / flowers of any type
  • corrosives and explosives

Consult your Von Paris International move representative if you have any doubt about what should and shouldn’t be included in your cargo container shipment.
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32) I would like to arrange for someone to provide me with a moving estimate for my international move. Whom should I contact?

For moves originating in the U.S. please contact Von Paris Moving and Storage.
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33) Are all charges included in the final price?

This depends on the type of international moving services that you’ve chosen. With a door-to-door move, all transportation charges should be included in the price quoted to you.

However, you will be responsible for customs clearance charges plus any applicable taxes or duties on your cargo container shipment.

Always review your moving quote with your Von Paris representative. Make sure you understand the terms of your quotation of services, particularly when there are a number of different services and price options available.
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34) What are the different cost/service options available?

When moving overseas you have a number of moving services available. Each option’s cost component determines the amount you’ll pay.

Moving services are based on the price, transit time, method of containerization, routing consolidation opportunities, sea or air freight, port of exit, port of entrance and so forth.

If possible select the most direct route for your household cargo container with a minimum amount of handling. Because every international move and personal budget is different, it is important you work closely with your Von Paris international move representative. They will help determine the best moving services to meet your personal needs.

When calculating the cost of your international move, the total cost should also include the amount of time that may be spent in a hotel or other temporary housing until your household shipment arrives. Many people make the mistake of selecting the slowest transit time, but you really need to compare the additional expenses of food and lodging while waiting for the delivery of the shipment against transit shipping costs. Von Paris will help select the best forwarder for your needs.
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35) Can international moving companies provide insurance for my international move?

All reputable international movers are able to provide coverage for household and personal effects during an international move. Since there is no one standard of international moving coverage, it is important to check any insurance policy to determine the extent of the coverage, the nature of exclusions and the amount of a deductible, if applicable, and the procedure in the event a claim needs to be filed.
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36) How do I determine the level of insurance coverage I should have for my belongings during an international move?

Some consulates and embassies carry cost of living and price index data you can refer to as a guideline to determine the cost to replace your household goods and personal effects in the destination country. Otherwise, you will need to determine on your own what it would cost to replace any lost items.

When you fill out your international valuation insurance paperwork, be as detailed as possible. It is better to have too much information than not enough. Mark down individual items that have a high replacement cost. Also take photographs and keep notes.
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37) Who provides delivery services at destination?

Your forwarder has overseas agents selected based on the quality of their service and experience.

The forwarders and their overseas agents provide moving services and expertise in the following areas:

  • port of arrival including customs clearance procedures
  • transportation from the destination port of arrival to final destination
  • temporary or long term moving storage when required
  • full unpacking services
  • removal of all related moving supplies and packing debris

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38) When I arrive at my overseas destination, whom do I contact to determine the status of my shipment?

Prior to your departure, an international moving company should provide their client with a destination contact sheet containing information about who to contact when you arrive at your final destination.

Von Paris and the chosen forwarder for your move will provide contact names and details of either the office or agent in the destination city to which you’re moving. Usually the office/agent will contact you upon your arrival. We, or your forwarder, will also provide an online tracking tool with updates on the status of your cargo container shipment.
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39) Where should I go to find the most up-to-date information regarding customs clearance documentation requirements?

Due to the frequency in which paperwork requirements change, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you have the correct documentation for your personal situation. Be sure to contact the local embassy or consulate to verify the documentation that is needed to obtain duty-free entry of used household goods and personal effects.
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