How to Spot a Bad Moving Company

Moving house requires many things, but planning and preparing are two of the biggest. These tasks help make a relocation easy and more successful, and you do want that, don’t you? Sure you do! Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put into orchestrating a move that is flawless, certain events can occur that are simply out of your control. One thing, in particular, is to hire a bad moving company. After putting so much time and effort into planning and preparing a good local or long-distance move, it can be truly disheartening to have a poor moving company ruin it all. Though there are some movers out there who are dishonest, disreputable and fraudulent, let it be known that there are also many good and respectable moving companies that strive to make your relocation a success. So how do you bypass the “bad” movers and end up with a “good” one? The first step is by learning how to spot a bad moving company.

Bad Online Reputation

When on the search for a moving company to help with your relocation, one of the first things to research online are reviews and testimonials left by former customers. Good, reliable movers care about their reputation and work hard to keep their online record clean by providing excellent service and handling any claims, disputes and issues with clients in a quick and fair manner. Yes, there will also be a few bad reviews every now and again no matter what the business, but if a moving company is followed by mostly bad reviews, proceed with caution because you may be next to leave a bad review.

Not Licensed

All legit businesses must be registered with and licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This includes interstate movers. Before hiring a moving company, you should check out the FMCSA’s website and ensure they have the required licensing information. If they do not, run the other way because you may be dealing with scammers.

Refuse to Insure Your Belongings

Just as moving companies are required to have the proper licensing, they must also assume proper liability for the value of items they relocate. As a consumer, it is your right to ask a moving company for proof of insurance, request any additional information about insurance options they offer, and what their process is for filing a claim in case of lost or damaged items.

If a mover refuses to provide you with the proper moving coverage for your items, this is a big warning sign that something’s not right and you should take your business elsewhere.

Phone or Internet Estimates Only

Getting a moving estimate via the phone or internet is incredibly easy. But consider this – how will a mover be trusted to provide you with a precise moving estimate without performing a detailed, in-home inspection of all the items you have to move? Obviously, they can’t.

In order to get a detailed and accurate moving estimate, it is important to request an in-home inspection by a qualified representative from the company. The primary job of a moving expert is to determine exactly how many items a person has to move, along with any special circumstances there may be (e.g., an item is too heavy, awkwardly shaped, fragile, etc.). They are also responsible for noting any details that will affect the final cost of the move, such as special packing requirements, long flights of stairs, narrow hallways or doors, and so on.

With all of this said, to ensure you are not handed an alarming bill after your move, never accept moving estimates solely over the phone or internet. Also make sure you get an in-home estimate from several reputable moving companies (not just one!) before making your final decision in who to hire for your relocation needs.

Other Red Flags to Watch Out For

We have already discussed several things you should do to ensure you don’t hire a bad moving company for your relocation, but there are some additional red flags to be aware of. If you experience any of these things during your search for a moving company, don’t hire them.

  • They do not answer the phone with their company name.
  • They do not have a website, or their website does not provide licensing information, insurance options, nor an address.
  • The mover does not provide flexible payment options, but instead demands a large deposit or cash-only payment.
  • On moving day, your movers show up in an unmarked moving truck, seem unprofessional, bring dirty or damaged packing materials, or behave in a rude manner.

For more moving tips and tricks, we’ve got ’em!

Top 12 Things to Do Before Moving Out

From the moment you decide to move to the moment the moving truck shows up, you will be met with a variety of tasks to accomplish. In fact, the number of moving chores and packing jobs can become so overwhelming you may get easily confused about what things you need to do before moving out, and when you need to do them. To better tackle all your moving tasks, and make your move a success, here are the top 12 most important things to do before moving out.

1. Research packing supplies and tips on packing. This will help you prepare yourself with everything you need in order to properly pack all of your belongings.

2. Sort through your belongings, organizing everything into three main categories: “To Keep”, “To Donate/Sell”, “To Throw Away”. Remember, the more items you move with you, the more it will cost in terms of the amount of supplies you will require and how much it will cost to ship all of your possessions. By donating, selling or even throwing away any items you no longer have a use for, you will save money on your moving shipment, spend less time packing, and may even make a few bucks on those belongings you decide to sell.

3. Make a moving budget. This will help you decide what kind of move you can afford. Be honest with yourself about your finances, and ask yourself some important questions. “Will you be able to afford professional packers and movers, or will you need to stick to a self-move with just you and help from your family and friends?” “Can you afford to buy all of your packing supplies, or do you need to locate as many free moving boxes as possible?” Figuring out the answers to questions like these will help ensure you stick to your budget instead of drowning in expenses.

4. Designate a specific spot for all of your important moving documents, such as a brightly colored folder. This will make it easier to keep everything together so you won’t lose anything and also so you can access any documents quickly and efficiently. Be sure to keep this folder with you at all times so you don’t lose it during the stressful, and often chaotic, hustle and bustle of moving day.

5. If you are moving out of a rental property, be sure to let your landlord know about your plans to move, as soon as possible.

6. Figure out how to properly pack and ship certain items, such as those that are fragile and need to be handled with the utmost care. When researching this subject, consider what specific packing supplies you will need, like bubble wrap, packing paper, protective blankets, and other cushioning materials.

7. Get a moving estimate. To do this, contact a few reputable moving companies near you. An in-person estimate is best, so schedule a time for movers to come to your current home to help create a more accurate estimate for your move. Be sure to let them know how many items you intend to move and what fragile items, if any, you may have that will require more movers or special moving tools or supplies. Also be sure to inform them of any obstacles that may hinder your move – flights of stairs, a long distance from your door to the moving truck, etc. All of these things will make an impact on the cost of your move and what your chosen movers will need to come prepared with the day of the move.

8. Prepare your old home – and new one if possible – for moving day. Many things can happen during a move, from scuffed floors and damaged walls, to personal injury, etc. This being said, you will want to ensure the property is protected. Cardboard is a great tool to use because it provides cushion and protection to all sorts of things. Cover floors and carpets with it to help eliminate dirt and other problems from occurring. You can also wrap cardboard around stair railings and sharp corners to help keep them protected from large furniture, and other items that are being moved about.

9. Pay extra attention to how you wrap and carry large, bulky items, such as couches, tables and chairs. To avoid damage to your belongings, property, and yourself, be sure to wrap any protruding areas, like table and chair legs, with extra protective layers. If possible, remove these pieces and wrap them separately to make them less awkward to move.

10. Find out ways you can save money during your move. One way is to opt for a self-move with free help from family and friends. Moving boxes and other packing supplies is another great way to save money when moving. Check grocery stores, liquor stores, and bookstores, which have a continuous supply of boxes.

11. Create a move-out cleaning checklist. This will help guide you through the steps to take to leave your old home in good shape. If leaving a rental property, this will help ensure you get your deposit back, which will be more money in your pocket for your move.

12. Change your address with the many companies and people who should be aware of your whereabouts. Some include: utility companies, banks, the post office, schools, the department of motor vehicles, family and friends.

For professional moving services and more pre-move tips, click here.

Helpful Tips to Create a Moving Checklist

When you’re preparing for an upcoming house move, your brain can become a cluttered and jumbled mess as you fill it with more and more tasks you must accomplish before the big day arrives. Not only will this cause the stress of your move to become overwhelming, but it can also cause errors to occur – important jobs forgotten, chaos and injury, etc. So what can you do to combat these problems and make your move less overwhelming? While moving house will never be completely stress-free, there is something you can do to tone down the tension – create a checklist.

Making a moving checklist is an essential step to take to help guarantee a successful relocation. Lists will help you organize all of your activities, from scheduling a moving truck and moving help to packing all of your belongings easier more efficiently. What’s also great about checklists is that they are useful no matter what type of move you are having – local, interstate or international.

Here are a few ideas on how to make a moving checklist:

Use pen and paper. When making a checklist, it is always a good idea to start with pen and paper. This will help get your mind focused on the task at hand – moving. Since paper lists can be incredibly hard to keep up with, and hard to read, be sure to only use this method for a first draft.

Create a Word document or Excel sheet. After you have your first draft written out on paper, you can then transfer it over to an MS Word or Excel document via your computer. Don’t forget, though, that your electronics will eventually need to be packed, so at some point, our next step will serve you well – printing them.

Print your list. Printing your checklists will provide you with easy-to-read copies of your checklists. There are also many websites out there that allow you to print pre-made checklists. These lists usually cover all of the most important moving-related tasks and items, but know that they are unable to be modified, which means you may still need to make a few lists of your own.

Use your phone. Considering your phone will typically be with you at all times during your move, it may be the optimal place to keep your checklist(s). Saving a PDF file on your phone is one way to keep your list(s) handy. Another is to download a moving app, such as the My Move app for iPhone, Android and the Kindle Fire. Not only is this app free, but you can either use pre-made checklists or create your own. You can also check completed tasks off as you do them.

Now that you know some convenient ways to go about making a checklist, here are some things to consider adding to it.

Household Items Checklist

First, make a checklist with all of the household items that need to be moved. Be sure to group all of the items that need special handling together – fragile belongings like electronics, antiques and china, or bulky items such as pianos. This will allow yourself and professional movers to better prepare for the job, including how many movers will be needed and what tools or equipment may be required.

Also on your household items checklist, you should include things that are unable to be packed or moved by professional movers, such as plants and hazardous materials (gasoline, pesticides, motor oil, etc.). Having these items on your list will help you decide if you should really take them with you on your move, and if so, to remind yourself to find a safe way to do so.

Packing Checklist

Packing will be one of the most frustrating and time-consuming jobs to accomplish when moving. Having a detailed checklist that includes all of the belongings that are to be packed will benefit you greatly.

If you decide to pack your belongings by yourself, it is a good idea to include on your list the supplies you will need to get the job done. This will help ensure you have all of the materials you need so you won’t have to keep running to the store for things you’ve forgotten.

If you are hiring professional packers, you should also add to your checklist any items that may require custom crating, such as valuable paintings and sculptures.

Utilities Checklist

Before moving, you will need to notify important utility and service providers of your change of address. Here are some that you should add to your checklist:

  • Government Offices: State/Federal Tax Bureaus, Social Security Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, City/County Tax Assessor.
  • Utility Companies: Electric, gas, water, internet, cable.
  • Personal Accounts: Bank/finance Companies, credit card companies, insurance companies.
  • Personal Service Providers: Doctors, dentists, accountant, lawyer.
  • Subscriptions: Newspapers, magazines.

You will also need to change your address with the Post Office or fill out their online form for address change.

Kids Checklist

Moving with kids can add a lot of extra stress to a move. You want to ensure they are well taken care of throughout the moving process, and also that none of their belongings get left behind or lost in the shuffle. So make a checklist designated just for them. Include on it everything from collecting school and doctor records to a rundown of all of their possessions.

For more helping moving tips, check out our blog.

Your Guide to Moving to New York City

The Big Apple. A sea of lights. A place where big dreams come true. Where are we talking about? You guessed it – New York City. We’ve all heard of it. We’ve all seen it on TV and in movies. Many of us have even been there to get a taste of one of the most exciting cities in the United States. But what will it be like to actually move there? To live there? As you can probably guess, actually moving to NYC is much different than spending a few vacation days there. So before you pack up and move to the city that never sleeps, it’s important to be prepared for what’s to come. In this guide, we will provide you with some important things to consider before moving to NYC.

The Cost of Living

The glitz and glam that come to mind when you think of New York City can be pretty alluring. But don’t let the bright lights cloud your vision and cause you to overlook one of the most serious things to consider when moving there – the cost. The glitz and glam of NYC comes at a price – and it’s a high one.

When moving to NYC, rent will be your biggest expense. So, the first thing you need to do before even considering a move there is to figure out how much you can afford – and be truthful with yourself. Renting an apartment in NYC can be incredibly intimidating. A simple search online will show you what we mean. Rental prices vary greatly by neighborhood with an average of $3,000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in areas like Manhattan (less in other nearby neighborhoods).

Another hefty expense when living in NYC is the cost of owning a car. If you have the cash, you can of course keep your car. Just know that in order to do so, you will have to spend an average of $450 a month to keep it in a garage. Luckily, NYC is a great walking city with extensive public transportation, which can help cut some costs. But remember, as much as you like the idea of being able to walk to the grocery store or a nearby cafe, you will likely need to use some sort of public transportation to get to and from work every day. Whether by bus or train, it’ll cost you. To ride the subway, the pay-per-ride fair is around $2.50. There are ways to save money, though, such as by purchasing a variety of passes and cards so you don’t have to stop and pay a toll each time you ride.

Taxes

Taxes can be a sore topic of discussion for many, but no matter where you move, it must be taken into consideration. The state and city of New York has one of the highest tax rates in the country. Along with state and federal taxes, NYC also charges a personal income tax. State tax is 8.5%, while the city tax varies between a 2.9% and 3.6% rate depending on your personal income. And don’t forget sales tax. Sales tax in the city is 4.5%; however, essentials, like clothing and footwear, are exempt of sales tax if under $110.

Life in New York City

New York City has been a breeding ground for cultural, social and political movements and changes throughout the course of its history. Here you’ll find an endless list of places to go and sites to see. From clubs and bars to museums and Broadway, there’s no wonder NYC is dubbed the city that never sleeps. With so many possibilities at your fingertips, there is no denying that you will never be bored when in NYC. But remember, in order to do all of these things, you will need the money and to experience them. Before you move to such a bustling city, you’ll want to make sure you are someone who can handle lots of people and commotion. Also, if you don’t think you will make use of the many things to do in such an explosive city, it may not be the right home for you.

The Weather

Before moving, especially to an entirely different state, you will want to consider the type of climate it has. New York City, for example, is in the Northeast. This means very cold winters with negative temperatures, snow and ice. If you are used to a warmer climate, like Alabama or Florida, moving to a place like New York City will be quite a climate change – and a shocking one at that! Not only will you need the proper wardrobe, you will also have to endure these cold winter months on a daily basis. Can you handle it? If you excel in cold weather, go for it! But if frigid temperatures and snow aren’t your thing, you may want to consider moving elsewhere.

For more moving tips and for all your moving needs, click here.

What to Do When Your Best Friend Moves Away (Part 1 of 2)

Having a best friend is a wonderful part of life. You’ll laugh together, cry together, and be there for one another through all of life’s many challenges. But what do you do when your closest confidant is moving away? Most likely you will be shocked and completely saddened by the news. However upset and confused you may feel in this situation, you need to remember that your friend is probably even more stressed and worried by the imminent changes they will soon be facing. During this time, they will need you more than ever. So what can you do to help them, comfort them, and reduce some of their stress? Continue reading to find out.

Offer Support

It can be tough to evoke happiness when a best friend moves away. It can be a very sad situation, after all. But being supportive will help reassure your friend that their future endeavor is going to be okay. Here are some ways to show your support:

  • Offering your excitement is a great way to show your support for them and their impending move, so push away the sadness and put on your bravest face. Take some time to research positive aspects of the area your friend is moving to, and let them in on the many cool things you find. Telling them that their soon-to-be home and town have a lot of great qualities will help assure them they are making the right decision. It is also a good idea to encourage them to explore their new location at length and to make every effort to adjust to their new environment.
  • Be Sympathetic. Moving is a big deal – one of the largest changes one can make in their lifetime. So it goes without saying that your friend will experience plenty of apprehensions and worries, expectations and hopes regarding their relocation. A good way to be there for your friend is to be sympathetic and lend an ear. Listen intently to everything they have to say to help them vent their feelings, and try to come up with some useful and reasonable advice. Your efforts to ease their anxiety will reassure them things are soon to change for the better.
  • It’s also important to tell them you will miss them, but that their relocation will have no effect on your relationship, nor will it sever your special bond.

Lend a Helping Hand

Moving is hard. It comes with a never-ending list of tasks to accomplish, from organizing and packing to loading and unloading the moving truck. It may feel difficult to actually help your friend move away from you, but it’s important to push your self-pity aside and lend a helping hand. Doing so will save your pal lots of time and will help them avoid moving scams. Here’s how:

Find your friend a reliable moving company:

  • Ask all of your friends, relatives and acquaintances who have recently moved for their opinions, recommendations and feedback on moving companies they have worked with;
  • Research how to prevent moving fraud and ensure a safe relocation;
  • Read online moving reviews, visit websites and compare the cost and conditions different moving companies offer;
  • Make a list of licensed, insured and trustworthy movers that meet your friend’s unique moving needs.

Help your friend organize and pack:

Sorting out a lifetime’s worth of belongings and packing each and every item safely for shipment is a time-consuming and laborious process. A process that your friend will be more than thrilled to have your help with. To aid in these moving tasks:

  • Spend a few hours at your friend’s place, and help organize their belongings. It may sound tedious, but it can actually be a fun experience. You’ll get some quality time together and relish old memories you’ve shared in the past as you happen upon half-forgotten items.
  • As you help your friend sort through their possessions, act as the deciding vote as to which items they should definitely keep and which they can live without. Your decision making will come as a welcome help when making the hard choice of whether to keep or diss certain possessions. If there is time, take your organizational skills one step further and help your friend organize a garage sale. Selling their unwanted items can earn them some extra cash to make the moving process less stressful. You can also help them by taking their unwanted things to a charity center or recycle center.
  • Collect any packing supplies you may have at your house, and give them to your friend. Every cardboard box or roll of tape you are not using can come in very useful for them; it will also save them money on packing materials.
  • When all of your buddy’s belongings have been organized and they have the necessary moving supplies, help them pack their belongings safely and efficiently. This means wrapping and packing all items with utmost care and making sure all boxes are well padded, tightly sealed and properly labeled.

Offer to Help on Moving Day

The greatest challenge your friend will face in the relocation process is moving day. Not only will it be physically challenging, it will be emotionally challenging too. Your help and support on this stressful day will be of utmost value. Here are some things you can do:

  • Arrive at your friend’s place a couple hours before the moving truck or movers arrive in order to help them handle any last-minute tasks – removing obstacles from entryways, covering floors, walls and bannisters with protective materials, etc.
  • If your friend has kids and/or pets, offer to take care of them during the move. Knowing everyone is safe and cared for will remove a great deal of stress during this stage of your friend’s move.
  • Moving day takes many hours to complete, which means everyone’s appetites will be quite high when all is said and done. A good way to offer your friend help on the day of their move is by supplying food. Whether you provide snacks, a homemade meal, or just order some pizzas, your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Continue on to part 2 of this blog series to learn even more things you can do when your friend moves away.

Top Moving Questions, Asked and Answered

Moving house can be summed up in a number of words: exciting, stressful, chaotic, expensive. And with all of these things, your relocation can result in total confusion and a number of questions. What do I do next? What should I expect? How much is this going to cost me? So here’s what you do: hop onto your favorite web browser and search for information on all of your most grueling questions. Information is a powerful weapon and will give you a major advantage when moving from one home to another, saving you an enormous amount of time, money and stress! To make your move more efficient, we’ve listed the top questions people search online before moving house. We’ve also provided some useful answers and advice. Check it out!

Why do people move house?

Moving house is typically not something that just happens on a whim. It takes time, money and loads of planning. So if it’s such a serious matter, why do people do it? Many reasons! The number one reason people move is due to new or better job opportunities. When moving for this purpose, one may relocate to another part of the country, or even abroad.

Other main reasons for moving include:

  • The desire to be closer to a loved one;
  • The necessity to move into a more fitting home in a cheaper or safer city;
  • The wish to move to a place with a better climate;
  • The need to escape a past filled with bad memories.


What is the cheapest way to move cross country?

Depending on where you plan to move, you will need to decide whether to opt for a self-move or to hire a professional moving company. For a local move, a self-move is typically the cheaper (and first) choice. But for a move that will take you across the country, the best choice is to opt for professional movers. Hiring professional movers is one of the largest moving-related expenses. Is there any wonder people hit the Internet to search for movers with the best rates, along with ways to make a cross-country move cheaper?

To move cross country on a budget, here are some tips:

  • Find an affordable mover.
  • Book your move early.
  • Take only the belongings you truly need.
  • Sell items you aren’t taking with you.
  • Find free packing materials.
  • Pack whatever you can by yourself.

What steps do I take when moving house?

When first deciding to move to a new home, the process of moving probably feels rather straightforward. But with an ever-growing amount of tasks to complete within a limited time period, moving can become chaotic, stressful and hard to manage. Any lost time during your pre-move preparations can greatly hurt your chance of a smooth move. So what do you do? Successfully manage your time. For some, this is easy, but for many, it can be a real struggle! Searching the Internet for a good moving checklist will make a huge difference in the success of your move. A checklist can help you figure out what to do when moving and what items to take with you, along with valuable ideas on how to organize your time effectively and use every hour of every day to your advantage.

How do I choose a moving company?

Are you looking for a moving company that will offer high-quality services at an affordable (ahem… cheap!) rate? Of course you are! Who isn’t? This being said, it’s understandable why move-related online queries often contain the words cheap, affordable, low-cost and cost-saving. The mission to find a top-rated mover will not be a walk in the park, but if you do your homework and spend a fair amount of time researching movers, then the time and efforts you have invested should pay off nicely in the end. For tips on how to find a moving company, click here.

How do I pack for a move?

There’s no question that packing a home for a move is the toughest moving-related job. It requires lots of effort, energy and time. With this in mind, it will come as no surprise that packing tips are one of the top things people search for online when moving house. There are tons of packing tips out there – some with general advice on when to start packing and how to pack quickly. There is also a handful of efficient packing tips aimed to help you save an enormous amount of time and how to keep your belongings protected at the same time. For useful packing tips, check any of our guides.

For more tips and tricks, find them here.

Easy Ways to Reward Yourself After a Move

Moving house is no joke. It takes tons of time, planning, packing and muscle. So, after a long adrenaline-filled moving day, there is no doubt that you will be exhausted. Though happy that you finally conquered your move and made it to your new home without any major accidents, it can be difficult to get your energy bar to raise from depleted to energized. So, what do you do? Reward yourself! To do this, you will need to turn your attention back on yourself. Yes, there are loads of post-relocation tasks that are begging to be completed, but after such a long and grueling moving process, it is important to let both your mind and body recuperate. So let the piles of boxes wait, and delve into one of the creative ways to reward and rejuvenate yourself that we’ve provided below.

Go to the Movies

The moving process can make you feel very overwhelmed, causing a number of negative things to happen. For instance, your mood may suffer, you may not sleep as well as usual, and you may not be able to focus on non-moving-related situations. This is why it is important to do something fun to take your mind off of the stress weighing down upon you. Going to the movies is one way to reward yourself after a move. A couple hours of distraction will do wonders in helping you clear your mind and recharge your batteries so you can get your post-moving tasks accomplished more efficiently.

Have a Housewarming Party

Your new home may take some time to look and feel exactly as you want it to, but don’t let this stop you from having a housewarming party. Inviting friends – and even new neighbors – over for a night of fun is a great way to relieve stress, so order some pizzas and pop open a bottle of champagne and toast yourself to a job well done!

Give Yourself Some R&R

Nothing rejuvenates the mind and body like some genuine R&R. Whether you choose to combat post-moving exhausting by catching extra zzz’s, diving into a new book or just watching TV, how you choose to take it easy is totally up to you. Trust us, it will be worth it.

Browse the Internet

One of the best – and most fun – aspects of moving is making your house a home. This means arranging and decorating it so it ultimately becomes the dream home you’ve always envisioned for yourself. After a tough move, though, these tasks will be much too draining. So instead, browse websites like Pinterest, which offer millions of ideas at your fingertips and let your future decorating plans unfold.

Explore Your Surroundings

What better way to rejuvenate yourself after a move than to explore your new surroundings? It may seem somewhat scary at first, but going on this brave adventure will empower you as well as excite you when you learn of all the great sites that await you. So take the bull by the horns and venture into your new town so you can learn all there is to know about it. Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet some new people along the way.

Treat Yourself

Since moving house can be such a stressful and overwhelming event, it takes a lot of motivation to get the job done. So why not boost your motivation level by setting up a reward system prior to your move? For instance, once you conquer your move and it is officially complete, you can buy yourself something extra special. A fancy new smartphone perhaps? Or maybe a flat-screen TV for your new home? Whatever reward you decide on, it will be a nice treat at the end of a long and stressful event.

For all you need to know about moving, visit our blog!

Professional Packing Services: What to Know

When moving house, competence and expertise are required in order to perform a move that is smooth and efficient. This is why it’s no surprise that hiring a professional moving service to help you relocate is the optimal way to get the job done right. But what about packing? As the most laborious, time-consuming and nerve-wracking part of your move, opting for professional packing services is the best way to ensure all of your belongings are packed safely – and quickly. With their rich experience and expertise in relocations, their services will prove very beneficial come moving day. Here are some things to know about professional packers:

When to Hire Professional Packers

There are times when you may be able to handle packing your belongings on your own, such as for a local move or if you’re familiar with safe and efficient packing techniques. But in most circumstances, a solo move is simply not a good idea. Here are some times when hiring professional packers is your best bet:

  • If you’re moving cross-country. A long-distance move like this means your possessions will be on the road for a long time. They will endure many stops along the way, potential exposure to adverse weather conditions, etc. To avoid the high risk of damages, all of your belongings will need to be packed as safely as possible. This means immobilizing them inside moving boxes as well as protecting them from extreme temperatures, moisture, and the many bumps and turns during transportation.
  • If you have too many items to relocate but not enough time to pack everything carefully and safely.
  • If you’re moving difficult-to-pack items, such as:
    • Fragile or delicate pieces like fine china, crystal, artwork or musical instruments
    • Expensive electronics
    • Large household appliances
    • Heavy furniture
    • Awkwardly-shaped and/or valuable antiques or heirlooms
  • If you lack quality packing materials and/or are unsure how to safely pack them.
  • If you aren’t up to the challenge.
  • If you’re too busy with other moving tasks and are unable to spare the necessary time to pack an entire house.

How Professional Packers Pack

So what approach do professional packers use that makes them so efficient?

1. They work quickly and systematically. Thanks to training, professional packers have the technical know-how to organize and pack household items and personal possessions with excellent speed and efficiency.

2. They use proven packing strategies and clever tricks. The result? Optimum efficiency and space utilization. Check this out. Professional packers can pack twice as much stuff into one box as an inexperienced home mover can. Impressive, right?

3. They use quality packing materials. From brand-new moving boxes to quality packing paper and bubble wrap, professional packers know what supplies to use and when to use them.

4. They are aware of common problems and potential risks. Being able to foresee certain problems that may occur during the moving process allows professional packers to better take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents and damages to your belongings.

How to Prepare for Professional Packers

After researching moving companies in your area, you will probably wonder what to expect from them and how to get the best out of their services. To best prepare for when your hired packers arrive on moving day, here are some things to do ahead of time.

Sort out your possessions and get rid of unwanted items. Your packers have no idea as to what possessions you want and don’t want to take with you to your new home, which means whatever they find in your home will be put into moving boxes. For more efficient and timely service from your packers, it’s a good idea to purge your home in advance. This will make it so any unwanted items won’t be brought to your new home; it will also save you money. Final moving cost is based on the weight of your shipment, the time it takes your packers to pack your belongings, and the amount of packing materials used. The less belongings that are packed, the less costly it will be.

Decide what to do with non-allowables. Non-allowables are specific unsafe items that your moving company will not permit you to place inside their moving trucks. Before your packers show up, go ahead and decide what you plan to do with these items and find efficient ways to transport them. Examples include: disposing of hazardous substances, using up perishable food, etc.

Create a moving inventory. By creating a moving inventory list, you will be able to keep better track of your possessions. It is also a good way to have proof of the condition of your items prior to your move in case something gets damaged. To learn how to create the ultimate inventory checklist, click here.

Clean and organize. As you know, dust and dirt easily collect on your belongings. And most times, you don’t realize how dirty something is until you move it or start cleaning it. Before your packers arrive, it’s smart to go ahead and clean and organize your household items and personal belongings. This will save both time and stress.

Label high-value and/or fragile items. To ensure your high-value and/or fragile items are handled with extra care, label them before moving day.

Pack a box of essentials. After your move, you will want quick access to certain belongings so you can easily make it through those first few days in your new home. For all of your immediate must-haves, gather them and place them inside a specific box or container. Don’t forget to label it so it doesn’t accidentally get loaded onto the moving truck!

For more moving tips, click here. To learn more about our professional packing services, check out our website or contact 800.771-0151.

Common Moving Superstitions and Good-Luck Rituals

When moving house, you will most likely be flooded with well-wishes, like “Good luck!” or “Best of luck in your new home!” You’ve done the organizing, the prepping, the packing. You’re probably asking yourself, “What does luck have to do with it?” Well, it depends on how superstitious you are. But whether you take superstitions seriously or are the kind of person who prefers to make your own luck, you may want to consider some good-luck rituals when moving into a new home. After all, with such a serious life step, do you really want to risk any negative energy? There are many traditions and superstitions about moving into a new house, and you never know, some of them may even work for you! Here’s a look at common moving superstitions and how to bring good luck to your move.

Common Moving Superstitions

According to old wives’ tales, here are the most common causes of an unlucky move.

Choosing an “unlucky” moving date. Moving takes so much planning, preparing and doing that when moving day finally arrives, a mountain of things can go wrong. So it makes sense to pick a lucky day to move on, right? Here are some days to avoid if you are looking to dispel bad luck.

Rainy days. Moving on a rainy day is considered to be a bad omen, so consulting the extended weather forecast is a good idea when scheduling your move. Even if you bump superstitions aside, rain and other unfavorable weather conditions can really ruin your moving plans, so it’s always good to check the weather in advance.

Fridays. Another common superstition in Western culture is moving into a new home on a Friday. Supposedly, moving on this day means you will never be able to fully settle into your new home. Moving on a Thursday, however, is believed to be the luckiest day of the week!

Choosing unlucky numbers. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the number 13? Most likely, you think of bad luck. So, if you’re moving into a number 13 house, or an apartment located on the 13th floor, you may be pushing your luck.

Another way numbers play a role in your moving luck is the number of steps you have leading to your new home, as well as the number of steps on your staircase. According to tradition, the number of steps on your staircase should not be a multiple of three.

But there is some luck in certain numbers, too. For instance, any number that ends with its top rather than its bottom when written (zero, eight, etc.) is considered to bring good luck and prosperity!

Stepping over the threshold. To ensure good luck on moving day, be sure you step over the threshold the right way, otherwise bad luck will occur. When you arrive at your new home, enter through the main door. The first time you need to leave, be sure to exit by the same door. Ignoring this simple ritual will cause you to never fully settle into your home.

Home Blessing Rituals

When entering your new home for the first time, you would also be wise to bring certain symbolic items with you. Bread, salt, honey, wine, rice, candles, and other similar tokens of abundance, prosperity, happiness, hospitality and good fortune are believed to please the domestic spirits, bringing a blessing to your new home.

No matter their specific type or origin, home blessing rituals are performed as a way to ward off evil and summon positive energy to your life. Here are some to know.

Lighting a candle. The act of lighting a candle on the first night in your new home is a house blessing ritual that’s been performed in various cultures around the world since the dawn of civilization. The purpose of burning a candle is to bring light to your new home and cast out darkness – literally and symbolically. This will bestow a blessing upon the occupants of your home, chasing away shadows of evil, sorrow and pain.

Lighting a fire in the fireplace of your new home also has allegorical meaning. Fire is a powerful symbol that means strength, purity and stability. A fire’s flame is believed to absorb any malignant energy from the home, purify your house and protect it from evil.

Burning sage. Burning or smudging sage is another house blessing widely practiced in the U.S. Derived from Native American traditions, the burning of dried safe is a popular method for cleaning out negative energy and protecting a home from evil spirits. To perform this ritual, you will need a bundle of white sage wrapped with thread and accompanied by lavender or other fragrant herbs. In a fire resistant bowl, light the sage and let it smoke on its own. Then walk around the house clockwise (starting at the front door), waving the smoke in the air. Make sure the smoke gets into every corner of every room. Why the corners? Because this is where negative energy accumulates.

Ringing a bell. Another blessing ritual to perform when moving into a new home is to ring a bell. This is because the sound of bells is said to scatter negative energy and summon good fortune.

Ways to Bring Good Luck to Your New Home

Whether you already believed in superstitions or are just now becoming curious about them, here are some interesting examples of how to bring good luck to your home and ensure a smooth and trouble-free transition into your new life.

Leaving an old broom behind. To start life fresh in your new home, you will need to get rid of your past troubles first. One way is to leave your old broom behind. Here’s why:

Old brooms (mops, vacuum cleaners, etc.) that were used in your old home are believed to carry physical dirt and dust, along with all negative aspects of your life from your previous home, into your new one. If all the negativity you’ve experienced thus far is embodied into a simple item, such as an old broom, then it makes sense to throw it away before your move, in an attempt to rid yourself of the bad in your life.

Even if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t hurt to replace old cleaning tools to avoid bringing any dirt and bacteria from your old home into your new one.

Painting the porch blue. Have you ever noticed that a lot of homes – or at least parts of them – are painted blue? Whether it be porch ceilings, fences and shutters, doors and windows, or some other area, there is a good reason for this new-home superstition. The tradition holds that spirits cannot cross water, so painting your home blue is a symbolic way to keep evil spirits away.

Another nice perk is that the color blue is supposed to deter mosquitos and other insects. Warding off annoying pests? Who wouldn’t want that!

Check out more moving tips and tricks, here.

Moving Mistakes to Avoid for a Less Costly, More Efficient Move

From simple mishaps to serious blunders, moving mistakes can ruin your moving adventure – especially if they result in lost money and valuable time being wasted. Moving house is a major event. It takes lots and lots of careful planning, packing and organizing. It also requires many helping hands. The last thing you want to do is create complications and suffer extra expenses by making mistakes that could have easily been avoided. To eliminate emotionally and financially draining mistakes during your move, here are some things to avoid.

Hiring the First Moving Company You Find

Google “moving companies” and you’ll be provided a mega list of choices – each company claiming to be “the best in the business” in order to compete and attract more customers and to make a greater profit. But are they really the best in the biz? All moving companies offer moving services, of course, but their services may be radically different in terms of rate, quality, reliability and terms. Their level of competence and experience, along with equipment used, will also be different. This is why thoroughly researching a moving company before actually hiring one is so important. Hiring the first moving company you discover can lead to money lost and huge disappointment, so take the time to consider all of your options so you will pick the best company for your specific needs and requirements. Here are some important steps to take before hiring movers:

  • Ask for several moving quotes;
  • Interview several selected movers;
  • Request onsite written biding estimates; and
  • Compare and analyze offers.

When contacting moving companies, be sure to give them all relevant information – the number of household items to be moved, the final destination, any potential obstacles and requirements, and so on. Clearly stating your wishes and preferences is necessary in order to get the most accurate quote. Also ask about discounts, specific conditions, guaranteed pick-up and delivery date and time, etc.

Costly Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Believing an estimate given via phone or email is accurate;
  • Withholding relevant, must-know information your movers should know;
  • Hiring movers at random.

Choosing the Moving Company with the Lowest Estimate

As the moving expenses pile up, up, up, saving money is definitely going to be at the forefront of your mind. But don’t let the fear of expenses cause you to make an unwise choice when choosing a moving company. If a moving estimate is too good to be true, then it probably is. You may be dealing with:

  • Rogue movers who plan to disappear with your money and your valuable possessions.
  • Incompetent movers who want to secure the job but will do it poorly.
  • Scam artists who will demand a much greater amount of money than previously stated, for alleged accessorial services. (In this situation, they will not deliver your belongings until you pay these extra fees.)
  • Moving brokers who will sell your move to a third company that has its own tariffs.

All of these scenarios will cause you to pay large amounts of money. To avoid situations like these:

  • Before signing a contract, check the legitimacy of your chosen movers by verifying their USDOT number.
  • Look for any complaints regarding their services by calling the FMSCA safety violations and consumer complaints hotline.
  • Learn how disputes and conflicts have been settled in the past.
  • Read the fine print before signing a contract.

Costly moving mistakes to avoid:

  • Not thoroughly reading/comprehending movers’ paperwork;
  • Not checking movers’ credentials;
  • Signing blank or incomplete documents.


Hiring Movers at the Last Minute

If you have a big move ahead of you, one of the worst things you can do is procrastinate. This means everything, from signing a lease or mortgage on a new home to packing mountains of moving boxes. It also includes waiting too long to hire a moving company. As often as people move, moving companies are quickly booked up, and the longer you wait to sign a contract with one, the bigger the risk of:

  • Restricted available moving dates;
  • Limited moving crews;
  • Limited access to moving equipment and supplies; and
  • Higher price.

Moving at Popular Times

If you want your move to be as flawless and cheap as possible, it’s all about good timing. Here are some moving times to avoid:

During peak moving season. Between the months of May and September, moving costs dramatically increase. This is because more people are moving during this time. The result is paying more to secure a moving crew and vehicle.

On weekends. It’s a lot easier for most to move on weekends when they are off work and have a larger chance of getting help from family and friends. Unfortunately, your weekend free time can mean higher moving costs.

At the beginning or end of the month. There are several reasons why moving mid-month can lead to savings. This is because things like payday, end-of-lease agreements, and starting a new job typically fall at the beginning or end of the month. Because more people move during these times, moving companies are in higher demand, which, in turn, causes prices to skyrocket.

On holidays. National holidays are an extra busy time for a relocation, with moving companies pushed to their limits. The busier the time, the more you’ll pay.

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