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.

Top 5 Signs It’s Time to Move

When you hear that someone you know is moving – whether to a new home, city, etc. – how do you feel about it? Are you happy for them, but are glad it’s not you? Or do you feel pangs of envy and jealousy holding your insides in a tight grip? If you can’t help but wish you were the one moving, it may be time to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Am I happy?
  • What am I doing with my life?
  • Who am I?
  • Is my current situation what I want, or do I need more?

You may be scared to find out the answers to these important life questions, but they are vital if you want to live a life that you are truly content with. To help you in your quest for happiness, here are five warning signs that it’s time to move.

1. Your budget is stretched too thin.

Can you pay your bills, but your disposable income disappears in the blink of an eye? Or worse, are you unable to pay your bills? If your budget is stretched too thin to be able to afford to pay for the things you need and want in order to live comfortably, it is a clear sign that it’s time to move. Money woes can cause major stress and anxiety, and can become a serious burden. It’s not always easy finding a location that offers cheaper living costs, but with adequate research, it is possible. Extensive research should be done on areas like overall living costs (housing, utilities, food, healthcare, education, transportation, etc.). You should also check the unemployment of the area and more, specifically, employment opportunities in your area of expertise, because let’s face it, moving will only be worth it if it’s possible to find a good job that can loosen the stress on your financial situation.

2. You’re stuck at a dead-end job.

Are you underpaid and/or unappreciated at work? If so, you are probably feeling an escalating dissatisfaction with your current job. This is a sure sign that your career may be headed in the wrong direction. Sensing deep inside that your professional skills are being wasted and taken advantage of, then a move could suit you well. Moving to a larger city will provide you with better job opportunities and help you fulfill your career goals.

If a large part of why your current job is causing you high levels of stress or simply not working out is because of a long commute, moving closer to your job could be worth it. Not only will it mean less time in the car – or on other means of transportation – but it also means you’ll have more money.

3. You’ve found your life partner.

Have you found your better half? The one you feel completes you and the life you’ve always dreamt for yourself? If so, a move may be in your near future. While your current residence may have been the perfect place when you were single, your relationship status may mean it’s time to relocate to a new and larger home – quite possibly, even a new town or state.

4. Your family has expanded.

It can be very exciting to start a family. But as it grows, your home may quickly change from spacious to claustrophobic. You may need a house that offers more than one bathroom, so morning routines are less stressful and chaotic. Or you may end up needing an extra bedroom because your once young children now need their own personal space. Whatever the reason, as things grow, more room is needed, and the best way to get it is to move to a larger home.

5. Your home is too large.

Upsizing your home when your family expands is a good decision that will serve you well for many years. But as time chugs by, your home may end up feeling too large. As your kids grow up and move out on their own, or when you are no longer able to maintain your home and property due to its size, this is a clear indicator that a move is in order. Less space can actually come with many positives, like lower maintenance costs and more disposable money to spend on your favorite activities and hobbies.

For all your moving must-knows, check ’em out, here.

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.

Top Reasons People Move House

Have you ever wondered why people move? Are they seeking a new environment? Are they running to or from someone or something? Considering that moving house is one of the most difficult, important and life-altering decision one can make, there has to be a pretty good reason to endure such a long and strenuous act. So what makes someone say, “Yes!” to moving? Here’s a list of the top reasons people move.

Space

One of the main reasons people decide to move to a new place is because their old home no longer suits their needs/preferences. Here are the top space-related causes of moving:

Not Enough Space. One of the main reasons people opt for a residential move is the need for more space. Upsizing happens quite often, due to many circumstances:

  • When a family grows and a home starts to feel too small;
  • When kids become old enough to need separate bedrooms;
  • When the home becomes too full of belongings;
  • When it becomes possible to afford a larger, more spacious home;
  • When extra room is required for work, relaxation, etc.

Too Much Space. While people typically want a home with more space, sometimes too much room can be a problem. Downsizing is a convenient and cost-effective solution in these situations:

  • Their kids have grown up and moved out;
  • They can no longer afford it;
  • They are unable to maintain it.

Desire for a Better Home or to Own a Home

One of the major goals people have in life is to upgrade to a better home – one that’s newly built with a convenient layout, advanced home systems and attractive features. This is why so many work hard to save enough money to move into a better and more comfortable house. Doing so puts them closer to the life they’ve always wanted for themselves.

Owning a home is another major life goal and reason for moving house. While living in a rented property is typically the best choice for those who are young and do not yet have a stable job, or have not started a family or decided where they want to live, it is not a suitable long-term solution. Though it comes with a vast number of responsibilities, owning a home provides many great opportunities, which is why so many choose to tackle the moving process to do it.

Neighborhood Advantages

House-related problems pushed aside, sometimes people choose to move because other neighborhoods/areas come with more advantages, such as:

Convenience. Many decide to move house to live in areas that are more convenient for them – better infrastructures, abundant local amenities, and easier access to quality medical care, educational institutions, recreational centers, entertainment venues, etc.

Safer/Family-Oriented. When choosing to start a family, many decide to move to a neighborhood that is safer, better maintained, calmer and child friendly. These areas often offer plenty of grassy areas, playgrounds and more.

Bad Neighbors. If you’ve ever experienced “bad” neighbors, then you have probably either moved because of them or really wanted to. Bad neighbors cause many problems, from not trusting them to feeling uncomfortable in their presence – both serious issues that cannot be easily ignored.

Family-Related Reasons

Family-related reasons are another key cause of people moving house. Near 30% of home relocations are due to family-related reasons. This makes it the second most common reason people move. Family-related reasons include:

  • Change in marital status – marriage or divorce.
  • Following a spouse or partner due to change in work, studies or other reasons.
  • Moving closer to elderly parents or to children.
  • Moving in pursuit of love.
  • Moving to a child-friendly neighborhood.

Occupation

Another common reason people move house is due to their occupation. Job-related relocations are typically due to:

New jobs. The most frequent reasons for an occupational relocation is due to a new job. When presented with the opportunity to advance their career, or achieve a higher salary, stable job, better work conditions, etc., most people are more than willing to jump at the opportunity – even when it means uprooting themselves and their family halfway across the country or even halfway across the world.

Corporate transfers. A corporate transfer means an employee is sent to a different city or state with a specific long-term assignment, or to relocate to a different branch of a company they are working for. This is done in an attempt to improve a company or business or to cut down overheard costs.

Another reason people often move to a new job is because they are restricted by the lack of jobs available in their particular field in the area they currently reside in. A move to a new city or state can open the door for better employment opportunities in the future.

Moving closer to work. Long commutes and heavy traffic are both serious incentives for moving house. This is why many people choose to relocate closer to their place of employment in order to save time and money and to lower the level of stress to and from work.

For all your moving needs, click 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.

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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Top Items to Never Entrust to Movers

When tackling a major move, hiring experienced movers is the ideal choice. This is because professional movers have the training and equipment to perform a smooth and trouble-free relocation. However, no matter how competent and reliable your chosen movers are, it is strongly recommended not to entrust them with certain possessions. Here is a complete list of the valuable items you should always move yourself:

Important Documents

There are many important documents you’ll need to keep track of during your move – passports, driver’s licenses, medical and school records, birth and marriage certificates, insurance policies, bank statements, car registration papers, mortgage papers, etc. While no one will necessarily want to steal or damage your documents, you never know what may happen or how soon you will need them after your move. For all moving-related papers, it’s a good idea to store them in a binder, small safe or lockbox and keep them with you at all times. If you opt for a safe or lockbox, be sure you have the keys to unlock it, and keep them in a safe spot.

Valuable Jewelry

Pieces of jewelry are small and expensive – two elements that make them prone to mysterious disappearances during a move. One, you may lose or misplace an item, and two, someone can easily take it, especially when left unattended during chaotic moving-day activities. To help lower the risk of valuable jewelry being lost, be sure to do your research on moving companies and only hire those movers with an excellent reputation.

Because delicate jewelry pieces can be easily damaged during transport, be very careful when packing these items, and take the time to move them yourself. You will handle them with much more care than anyone else, and you can ensure to get them to your new home safe and sound.

Electronics

You probably won’t be surprised by this, but expensive state-of-the-art electronics top the list of stolen items during a move. This includes everything from flat-screen TVs and computers to stereo, headphones and popular video games. If items like these are stolen, it is obviously a very sad and frustrating event. Not only will you be out a lot of money – and a prized or favorite possession – but you are also put at risk of identity theft if the item stolen has personal information digitally stored on it. To ensure the safety of your most expensive electronics – laptop, digital camera, smartphone, etc. – keep them with you at all times during your relocation. A good way to protect yourself in case of stolen electronics is to secure them with a password (and avoid easy ones like “1234”).

Another problem seen when moving expensive electronics is a high risk of damage. This is especially true during long-distance moves in mid-summer and mid-winter. Why do these times increase the risk of damage? Because of the extreme temperatures and weather conditions – a situation that can lead to irrevocable damage to sensitive devices. Your best bet when moving these items is to store them in a temperature-controlled environment at all times.

Family Heirlooms

The loss of family heirlooms can cost you dearly in many ways. The most obvious one being deep emotional stress because no amount of time or money can ever bring them back again. No matter the object, items of high sentimental value are irreplaceable and should be given special attention during a move. To avoid having them stolen or damaged, pack them with care and keep them with you at all times.

Antiques, Artwork and Collector’s Items

If you own antiques, there is a good chance that many of them are rather large and will need to be placed on a moving truck. To keep these items well protected, wrap them in materials like bubble wrap and packing paper.

Art pieces are much too valuable and delicate to be loaded into a moving truck. But for large items that cannot be transported by car, package them in custom wooden crates that are specifically designed to hold artwork. Be sure to use plenty of bubble wrap, foam sheets and corrugated paper.

If you are a collector, no matter what the item is that you collect, it is something that holds some sort of value to you. If possible, take these items with you during your relocation to avoid having these prized possessions lost or damaged.

An important thing to remember to do before your moving truck departs from your old property is to check to ensure nothing important has been forgotten, misplaced or mistakenly loaded onto the moving truck. It is also a good idea to remember that even if you have hired trustworthy movers, anything can happen. Opting for a liability protection plan is a good way to ensure you are compensated if your belongings end up missing or damaged during your move. For those items of high sentimental value that can never be replaced, don’t risk it, and move them yourself.

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The Ultimate Checklist for Efficient and Speedy Packing

Time-consuming? Check! Stressful? Oh yeah! Exhausting? Yawn… Very! Okay, so moving may not be the most thrilling experience, but there are ways to make it easier. All you have to do is take advantage of the packing checklist below that offers practical and logical tips to help you pack your home quickly and efficiently.

How to Pack Efficiently

Anyone can just throw their belongings into a box and slap some tape on top. But taking the time to pack efficiently will be well worth it. Not only will it make moving day more organized, but it will also make unpacking much easier. Here are some must-know tips for being an efficient packer.

  • Create an inventory of your entire home, and decide which items you will take with you and which ones you will leave behind. The less stuff you pack, the less money you will have to pay for supplies and transportation. Also, you won’t waste time packing things that you really don’t need or want.
  • Never underestimate the time required to pack your home for a move. So, start as early as possible to avoid the unavoidable buildup of moving stress.
  • Packing an entire house is a hard and near-impossible feat for one family, let alone one person. Ask for packing assistance from friends and professional packers to get the job done faster and more efficiently.
  • Request a list of non-allowables from your moving company in advance. This will ensure you don’t waste time and energy packing items that are forbidden from being transported (e.g., hazardous goods, explosive/flammable/corrosive substances, pets, plants, perishable foods).

How to Pack Quickly

No matter where you are moving (apartment, house, new office) or what type of move it is (local, intrastate), time is of the essence. Here are the top ways to pack quickly.

  • To be a quick packer, good organization is key. Create a customized and prioritized day-by-day packing calendar so you can make the most of the usable time you have before Moving Day arrives.
  • Use the pack-in-stages approach. This means packing a certain number of boxes every single day. Just make sure you stick to it!
  • Designate one specific room as your packing station. This will speed up the packing process considerably by allowing your other rooms to stay clutter-free and easily accessible throughout the most time-consuming pre-moving tasks.
  • Institute a master packing strategy to avoid wasted time on random and disorganized packing jobs. 1. Start with the toughest rooms to pack. 2. Pack items you use least before those you use most often. 3. Pack heavy/bulky items first.
  • Make an effort to stay focused. Keeping your concentration while packing will greatly speed up the moving process.

How to Pack Moving Boxes

If you’re going to move, you will need the ultimate packing supply – moving boxes! Purchase, or collect for free, a large number of cardboard boxes that are in good overall condition. You can get them directly from a local moving company or local business/supermarket/bookstore/electronics stores, etc. While at it, go ahead and gather other must-have supplies – bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, scissors and markers. Once you have all of your supplies, packing can begin. But before you start tossing things inside with no rhyme or reason, here are the best ways to fill those boxes.

  • For extra protection of your valuables from moving mishaps, lay a sheet or two of clean packing paper on the bottom of each box.
  • Reinforce the bottom of every box with a few lengths of high-quality packing tape. No matter how durable the moving box looks and feels, this will help eliminate the risk of accidental breakages.
  • Pay attention to the size of each box. Use small boxes for heavy items, such as books, and medium-large containers for lighter belongings, like pillows, blankets and stuffed animals.
  • Ensure you use filling and padding materials inside boxes. The better you pack any unused space with soft fillers, the more immobilized your items will be.
  • Clearly label all moving boxes. By marking the content, destination room and special handling instructions, you will save time, confusion and nerves.
  • Pack a special moving box – or maybe a few – with the daily essentials you will need post-move (toothbrush, toilet paper, some clothes, etc.). This will save you time and energy trying to track down important belongings within the mountain of sealed boxes looming around you.

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