Moving Tips

Hiring A Legitimate Moving Company

Hiring good movers is the most important decision you can make when moving. Do your research and hire a professional moving service with a track record of success, reliability, and professionalism. Remember, the movers you hire will be handling some of your most valuable possessions, from your grandmother’s antique rocking chair to your brand new HD television. So make sure you (and most importantly your belongings) are in good hands.

Be wary if:

  • The moving company provides you with an over-the-phone or Internet estimate and it’s unusually low.
  • The estimate is based on cubic feet not on weight. Estimates based on cubic feet, i.e., truck space, are not valid. Do not accept service from companies that offer this kind of estimate.
  • The moving company never visits your home for an on-site inspection of your possessions.
  • The moving company demands cash or a large deposit even before they move any items.
  • The moving company does not provide you with a copy of Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, information movers are required by Federal regulations to give to their interstate customers.
  • The moving company’s website does not provide contact information or information on licensing or insurance.
  • The moving company tells you that all your goods are completely covered by their insurance.
  • When you call the moving company, the telephone is answered with a generic “Movers” or “Moving Company,” and the company name is never mentioned.
  • The moving company’s offices and warehouse are in poor condition or nonexistent.
  • On moving day, a rental truck arrives instead of a company-owned and marked truck.
  • The moving company’s name is extremely generic.
  • When you ask the moving company where they are located, they give you a false address or will not provide you with an address.
  • The moving company is difficult to get in touch with. When you call, you often get an answering machine that provides little information.

 

Before hiring a local moving company, check with the Better Business Bureau. You will be able to see if they have had any complaints filed against them and if those complaints were ever dealt with.

Choosing the Right Mover

Be sure to check…

  • Company websites. Most movers have websites that list their services, service history, area covered/serviced, as well as contact information (address, email, phone number, etc.). Your search should begin on the web.
  • Ask around: Most people have moved at least once in their life. So ask friends and family about movers they have used, if they liked those movers, or if they would definitely not recommend them.
  • MovingScam.com. This is a website dedicated to revealing moving scams before they happen to you. Check out their articles, and in particular, their message board where individuals will post on moving company problems and warnings.
  • The Better Business Bureau. Find out if the companies you are looking at have generated any negative reports.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and find out if your potential mover has a Department of Transportation (DOT) number. This number ensures that the company is registered with the Department of Transportation.
  • Insurance and Licensing: Your professional movers should have insurance and be licensed by the proper authorities. If you are moving from one state to the next, a U.S. DOT number must be issued by FMCSA. Check the moving company you choose to do business with license at www.protectyourmove.gov. If you’re moving within your state, check for moving requirements with your state, county, local consumer affairs agency or state attorney general by clicking here. For instance: Maryland requires all moving companies to operate under license and be insured.

 

The Home Visit for an Estimate
Have movers visit your home before hiring. In order to provide an accurate estimate, a mover will need to come to your home. Be leery of any over-the-phone estimates. If an estimate is too good to be true, it probably is…

Don’t sacrifice good quality moving services for the cheapest price on the market. Remember, transporting your valuable possessions and having them delivered on time is the top priority. Quality matters.

DO NOT base your decision solely on price. Find a happy medium between cost and quality.

You should get at least two to three estimates way in advance of your move.
A consultant can provide you the most accurate estimate because he or she will take into account all your belongings and provide you a firm estimate on how much it will cost you to move. Never accept an estimate over the phone and always ask whether estimates are binding or nonbinding.

Ask about extra moving costs you might be charged. These would be considered “optional services” that are not included in the base estimate. Hidden fees can be a killer. You should always ask movers about extra costs that might apply to your move.

You should have a written estimate for your move. This estimate should be based on movers sending a consultant to your home and having them inspect all the household goods you need moved.

Get Valuation Coverage
You may have homeowners or business insurance, but that may only cover your belongings when they are at your business or home. When your household items or business furniture are being moved, your insurance coverage may not apply. Consider obtaining full value protection during your move.

Pay attention to your moving contract and always ask questions when you are not certain of the answers.

The contract you enter into should cover rates and charges. You should have full value protection for your possessions. You should know the exact date range for pickup and delivery. You should have claims protection.

Read about Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.
This is a booklet by the Federal government that every moving company should provide to customers when they move from one state to another. The booklet discusses what you should do if goods are lost or damaged during your move.

Stay Organized and Sane During Your Move
There are a number of moving tips that will help you have a good move. If you want a stress free move, you need to be as organized as possible. This is not an easy task

Create An Inventory List
Make a list even before one box is packed. This is a great way to keep your items in order. Make a computer-generated list of numbers and leave space to write out contents. If you prefer, you can use a spiral-bound notebook. Place a number on every box you pack and add the list of contents on the box. Every room of your new home should have a designated color. This will make unpacking and organizing your home much easier.

Make Sure You Have Enough Supplies
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Never think you have enough boxes. It’s better to have too many than too few. If you buy boxes from a moving company, you can always return unused boxes to get a refund.

You should have at least 10 boxes set aside to use for any last minute items on moving day. This includes bedding, clothing and cleaning supplies.

Always use strong plastic packing tape to seal up your boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint or bubble wrap.

Use Wardrobe Boxes
Tall boxes are great for bulky, lightweight items of comforters, pillows, blankets and clothes. You can estimate how many wardrobe boxes you will need by measuring your clothes in your closet.

Never make any box too heavy and always color coordinate your boxes. Every room of your new home should have a designated color. This will make unpacking and organizing your home much easier.

Pack It Right The First Time Around
To make your moving boxes super secure, tape the seam on the bottom and run a piece of tape perpendicular to the seam. Be sure to pad the bottom of your moving boxes with newspaper and stuff the sides with extra paper to make the bottom completely solid. All items should be wrapped with paper as well.
Once the boxes are filled, tape them shut and label the sides of the boxes by content and your name.

Pack Room By Room
Next packing tip is to pack similar items together. It’s easiest to pack by room so you can unpack and fill your new rooms one by one without confusion. For example, bathroom items of washcloths and towels should be packed together. Not only will this keep you organized but washcloths and towels can serve as items to prevent your stuff from moving around inside your boxes.

Correctly Pack Moving Boxes
Have all moving boxes closed and taped shut prior to moving day. Movers are not allowed to move open cartons since they cannot be stacked in moving trucks. Open containers have a higher risk of damaging your property because items can fall out of them.

Never wait till the last minute to pack. When the movers arrive, you should be ready. Boxes should be shut and sealed and there should be no loose items on the floor or furniture. Don’t forget to label all of your moving boxes by room.

Fill your boxes to the rim so your boxes will be more durable during transport, but never make any box too heavy.

For gas powered items, always drain any flammable or harmful liquids from the equipment. Each of the equipment items should have protective covers on them. Any attachments should be packed in boxes and labeled.

Wrap all tools of the same length together. Plastic cords and sleeves work best for collecting tools together. Bubble wrap is also a great option for sharp-edged tools.

Make Moving Stress Free For Kids
When moving with children, it’s always important to keep them feeling positive about moving to a new home. Residential moving can be stressful for a whole family but it is most difficult for children. Children are set in their routines and major changes such as relocating can be a very emotional process. Whether you are moving out of state or around the corner, it is normal for children to not be thrilled about moving. You are literally changing the physical and social environment for your children.

Here are ways that you can make the moving process easier on your children:

Don’t Make Moving A Big Secret. A move should always be a family discussion that includes your children. It is very important to make time to sit with your children and explain why you must move from your current home to a new home.

Explain your reason for moving in detail. Always tell your children how you feel about the move and encourage them to express their feelings and concerns. Share with them the first time you ever had to move somewhere new.

Tell them how much you will need their help when the moving process starts. This will make them feel needed and appreciated.

In this discussion, your children should know what the new home will look like and know of any cool home features. What’s fun or exciting about the new neighborhood? Let your children know this information prior to your moving day.

Be Supportive. When you’re feeling stressed about your move, it’s never good for your children to observe. You should not lie about feeling anxiety but you should let your child know it’s normal to feel some type of stress during moving so they will know the stress they may feel about the move will pass. Allow them to continue their daily activities and visit family and friends before and after the move so they know love is present no matter where they move.

Have the kids be actively involved in the move. Allow them to pack up their favorite items and label these boxes in creative ways such as comic book characters. Don’t forget to let them unpack their items in their new bedrooms and give them the opportunity to decorate rooms of the home as well. Kids can easily pack small unbreakable items such as pillows and plush toys. Do not allow your children to handle hazardous materials- this means nothing sharp or anything that’s a choking hazard such as bubble wrap.

Always save packing your children’s rooms for last. Make sure there is a separate essential box they can access anything they will really need during the move. This box can include toothbrushes, blankets, toys books and overnight bags.

Have snacks available for your children to eat on the day of the move. A cooler can keep snacks and beverages cool as you move from one home to the next. Some items that should be included in your cooler are milk, juice, sliced fruits and vegetables.

Do Something Special the first day at the new home. Go out to eat. Go see a movie. Also, make sure there’s a moving box they can open immediately in the new home that includes their favorite gadgets, clothing and more. This will make them feel right at home again and create a special place for them in your new home.

Pet Friendly Moving Tips
Are you moving to a new home or apartment soon? If yes, are you moving with your pet?

Moving can be a traumatic process for your pet, especially if he or she has never ventured outside your home. By moving, you change your pet’s entire world for better or worse. Here are some great tips you can use to help your pet have a happy move:

Put Your Pet’s proper identification on before the big move.
For your pet’s safety, make sure your pet is wearing proper identification tags on him or her. You do not want your pet to get lost on the way to your new home. If your pet does get lost, at least you will have the chance to find your pet again. The worst feeling is losing your best friend. Do not lose your buddy!

Have your Pet’s medical information handy.
You should have your pet’s medical history with you during your move. Make sure your pet’s medical shots are up to date. You can ask your veterinarian for a copy of this medical history.

Contact the State Veterinarian or State Department of Animal Husbandry
If you are moving out of state, make sure you contact the state veterinarian or State Department of Animal Husbandry. They will inform you of the laws you must follow for your pet to enter the state. For example, some states require up-to-date rabies vaccinations or a 120-day quarantine when a pet is moved from another state.