Bad Movers: How to File a Complaint

Did you know an average of 36 million Americans move each year? With this stat in mind, you can imagine just how busy most moving companies are. While there are lots of moving companies out there that provide excellent service, there are also many that do not. Some are dishonest. Some are unprofessional. And some are just plain rude. As you probably already know, moving house is stressful – much too stressful to have to endure incompetent, untrustworthy movers. If you would like to know tips on how to spot a bad moving company, we have you covered, but in this article, we will discuss how to file a complaint against movers.

Should you file a complaint?

If you are unhappy with the service your moving company provided, here are some ways to know if you are in the right to file a complaint against them:

  • You were treated in a rude and non-professional way;
  • They arrived late to pick up your items or to deliver them to your new home;
  • They handled your moving boxes and furniture carelessly, causing minor or serious damage to your belongings and/or property;
  • They failed to deliver all of your belongings to your new address and are unable to locate where the missing items are;
  • They requested much more money than they originally quoted;
  • They tried to cheat you, rip you off, or showed negligence by using dishonest scamming methods.

After reviewing the list above, and if you feel your voice needs to be heard about the service you were provided, here are the steps to take in order to file an official complaint.

Step 1: Contact Your Movers

If you have a problem with the service your movers provided, the first step to take is to contact them. This should be done as quickly as possible because waiting can lead to an even more negative experience. Coming to a peaceful resolution of a dispute or claim is the best solution for both parties, saving time, money and stress.

Inform your movers about the problem or problems you experienced, in the best possible way – and stay calm. Becoming aggressive or angry will not help your situation. Also, be ready to provide evidence to back up your complaint, such as photos that can prove the existence and the extent of the damage your belongings suffered while in your movers’ possession.

After reviewing your complaint, the movers should compensate you based on the moving valuation you agreed on prior to your move.

Step 2: Write a Review

Whether your moving company provided good or bad service, you should always take the time to write a review. Good reviews will help the moving company further their great business, while a bad review will help warn others so they don’t experience a bad move like you did.

Another reason to write a review is if your movers won’t take your complaint seriously, or if the issue you are having with them is much more serious than a few broken dishes. No business ever wants to receive a negative review, so writing one may help you solve the issue in your favor.

Step 3: File a Complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Another important step to take in filing a complaint against a moving company is to inform the U.S. Department of Transportation. To do this, the case must involve:

  • A mover that is unlicensed or uninsured.
  • Incidents of damaged or stolen items.
  • Failure to keep the agreed timeframe of the move, delivery, etc.
  • Overcharging of over 110% of a non-binding estimate.

After submitting your complaint, it will be entered into the FMCSA’s consumer complaint database. It will then be used for analytic and statistical purposes.

To file a complaint, you must fill out a Household Goods Consumer Complaint form. (← this will have a link attached when I post it.)

Step 4: File a Complaint Against a Moving Company with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)

You can also file a complaint against your mover with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). These complaints will involve cases of shipment delay or moving service performance. To submit a complaint, click here.

Step 5: File a Complaint Against a Moving Company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Another outlet to file a complaint against your mover is with the Better Business Bureau, either online or at their nearest location. Note, however, that the BBB cannot make your mover undertake any particular actions concerning reimbursement because it is not a governmental institution.

For professional moving help, contact us today!

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.

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!

Tipping Movers: What to Know

Moving from one home to another is a very stressful process that’s often filled with lots of tough questions and uncertainties. Two of the most notable being:

  1. Should I tip my movers?
  2. How much do I tip my movers?

As difficult a topic as money is, so is how much you should tip. On one hand, you don’t want to look cheap or unappreciative of the work your movers did. On the other hand, you also don’t want to over-tip your movers, because, after all, moving is already a costly event. To learn more about tipping movers, continue reading.

Do you have to tip your movers?

First things first. There is no rule that says you have to tip your movers. This being said, you don’t have to feel obligated to do so. Based on the quality of your move, the professional attitude of your movers, as well as the number of items that remain intact at the end of the day, you – and you alone – are in charge of deciding whether or not to tip your moving crew. To help you decide whether your movers deserve to be tipped or not, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Did your packers and movers arrive on time?
  • Were your workers nice, friendly and sociable, or rude, cold and disrespectful?
  • Did your movers act in a professional manner from the moment they arrived?
  • Did your movers treat your possessions with care and attention?
  • Did your movers do everything necessary to avoid property damage?
  • Did your hired professionals work hard from start to finish? Or did they try to deliberately extend the time they needed to finish the job by using dishonest or disrespectful time-wasting tricks – frequent cigarette or bathroom breaks, for example.

How much do you tip movers?

When it comes to tipping your movers, it is entirely up to you as to how much you think they deserve based on their job performance. But there are some ways to go about it. Here is a universal tipping formula you can use for short-distance and long-distance moves:

Short-Distance Moves.

A short-distance move, or local move, is one that will typically only require one day’s service from professional movers. For this type of move, it is easiest to tip based on an hourly rate.

  • Big tips – $5-$8 per hour/mover – if they did an outstanding job or had to work under tough conditions – long flights of stairs, narrow corridors, heavy and huge furniture pieces, etc.
  • Standard tips – $4-$5 per hour/mover – if they did a good job protecting, carrying and loading your belongings with care.
  • No tip if they did a poor job, damaged your belongings, or had a rude or disrespectful attitude.

Considering moving jobs are typically only a few hours, this will average to around $40 a day – an appropriate and standard tip for movers.

Long-Distance Moves. For long-distance moves, you may want to consider tipping your movers based on a percentage of your final moving bill. According to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the average moving cost of an interstate move is around $4,300. For movers that did a phenomenal job, you could pay them up to 20% of this total. Depending on the performance of your movers, you can adjust the percentage accordingly.

If percentages aren’t your thing, then you can use the universal tipping method as previously discussed.

When do you tip movers?

If you decide to tip your movers, it’s important to get the timing right. There are two ways to go about it.

  1. Encourage your moving crew to work harder by promising tips at the end of the move provided they do a good job. Along with this verbal assurance, you can take it an extra step by giving each worker $10 to let them know you are serious about tipping them.
  2. Tip your moving team after they’ve completed the job. This means after all boxes and furniture pieces have been delivered and taken inside your home. If you’ve tacked on extra services for unpacking, tips should be handed out after the task is done. Tipping movers after the job is completed is typically the safest – and most common – option because it allows you to ensure the job is done efficiently, because if it isn’t, you will be out money on an unnecessary tip.

If you opt for tipping method number 2, be sure all of your possessions are accounted for, and that they are all in good shape. Once you sign your final paperwork, you can then reward each mover individually.

Who do you tip?

Before you can tip your moving crew, you first need to know who to tip. Typically, you are expected to tip each individual mover according to their service, professional attitude and overall performance. A potentially big mistake to avoid is giving the entire sum of cash to the foreman or driver. If they end up being dishonest, they may simply forget to share the tipping money with the crew or keep the money entirely for themselves.

For all your moving needs, click here.

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: Top Reasons It’s So Stressful

When a move is ahead, the first word that comes to mind for many is stress. In fact, moving ranks among one of the most stressful events in one’s life. It’s really no surprise, considering it’s such a costly, laborious and nerve-wracking endeavor. But what really makes moving so stressful? Several specific factors cause the tension and anxiety typically associated with the moving process. Here is a breakdown of the top reasons why moving is so stressful.

Breaking the News

Breaking the news to family and friends of your life-changing decision to move can be one of the toughest parts of an impending relocation. Though this requires neither strenuous effort nor time or money, the news may come as a shock and even cause conflicts and tension in the home – especially if you have children. Because of this, you need to be very careful, positive and patient when discussing your upcoming move with your kids. Kids, especially those that are young in age, are unable to fully understand what moving is all about, and are not as able to process their thoughts and feelings as well as you. They may get upset, scared or confused by the prospect of leaving their safe and familiar world behind. After all, the unknown can be a very scary concept. If you have school-aged children and teenagers, be prepared for some grumbling, shouting, angry retorts, and bitter tears, and a loud door slam or two.

Finding a Suitable Home

One of the first steps in the relocation process is finding a suitable home for you and your family. This task alone is extremely difficult, as well as time-consuming, especially if you’re moving to an area you are unfamiliar with. To help make the process easier, it is a good idea to visit your new city in person several months before the move to get a good understanding of your new location. This way, you will be able to find:

  • Safe and pleasant neighborhood: Exploring different neighborhoods in your soon-to-be town will help you find one that will meet all of your specific requirements in terms of safety, agreeable surroundings, and friendly community;
  • Appropriate residence: Whether you need a small apartment or a large house with a spacious backyard, you will want to ensure that wherever your new residence is, that it is in excellent condition and will provide you with all the comfort and coziness you desire. It should also come at an affordable price.
  • Convenient location: Your new home should be conveniently located to all of the necessities – work, children’s school, local amenities, medical facilities, etc. Your new location should also meet your lifestyle and personal preferences.

Finding Reliable Movers

As soon as you know when and where you will be moving, as well as pin down a suitable home, you will need to figure out how to get all of your belongings there safely and efficiently. Unless you have decided on a self-move (which is best for short-distance moves), you will need to find trustworthy, reliable movers to ship your belongings to your new home. Due to the large volume of moving companies out there, finding movers won’t be a problem. However, finding movers that are experienced, dependable, and affordable will be a much harder task. Your final decision will define the kind of moving experience you will have. This being said, the process of finding a solid moving company adds stress to your move. In order to find good movers, you will need to do careful research and pay meticulous attention to details. This way, your relocation will be successful and stress-free.

Organizing Your Belongings

A little organizing here and there isn’t all that bad. But organizing your belongings for a move is a serious and challenging task. You’ll have to clean out closets, kitchen cabinets, a basement or garage, etc. All of these areas will take time, strength and lots of decision making. Here are two essential reasons it’s an important step in the moving process:

  1. The fewer items you relocate, the less you will pay in moving costs. This is because your final moving costs depend on the weight of your shipment.
  2. The better organized your belongings are, the easier it will be to pack, unpack and transport them.

Packing Safely

The safety of your belongings will be one of your primary concerns when moving to a new home. In order to ensure your things get from Point A to Point B safe and sound, you will need to pack properly. This means using quality packing materials and knowing how to best pack, arrange and secure your belongings in moving boxes and in a moving truck.

For more moving tips and tricks, click here.