List of items moving pros won’t move

You are relocating to another city, state or country and you have a long list of “to do’s” and may be wondering what your scheduled mover won’t or can’t move for you among some of your belongings. You don’t want to find out what your mover can’t take on the day of your move. It’s stressful enough to move and you don’t want a surprise when scheduled to be on the road (refer to blog #63 about staying positive when moving).

Here’s an important list to keep in mind that moving companies including Rainier Overseas can’t and won’t move:

Combustible chemicals
What personal items movers won’t move for you? Potentially dangerous chemicals include some of the following:
Nail polish remover
Propane tanks
Lighter fluid, kerosene
Other chemicals

Hazardous materials create too many variables in the moving process. Combustible items are simply too dangerous to transport in a moving van or truck. Luckily, most of these are household items that can be easily replaced when you arrive at your new home.

Pets – Movers simply will not move pets no matter how well-behaved they are or the type of pet carrier as well. Moving vans can get extremely hot or cold depending upon the weather. Too many variables that could go wrong, plus, it’s better to have your furry friend with you anyway.
Plants – Did you know there are laws against moving certain plants to specific distances? Transporting plants may mean introducing such invaders to your new state. Because of laws like these, moving companies generally won’t move your plants across state lines especially to different countries. Even if they were allowed to move them, plants could soil or die in transit, potentially damaging your other personal belongings.

Perishable foods

Safe moving!

Tips movers want you to do and know prior to moving

To insure your move is successful and on time, I am going to provide you some tips about what movers want you to do and know prior to moving day. These tips are from many of the movers that I have dealt with over the years in the moving industry:
• Packaging – Your household goods need to be packed prior to moving day. This allows for an expedient packaging and moving process. I highly recommend having the movers do all the packaging for you. We are professionals and know how to pack to minimize any damages in transit.
• Valuables – This is something I receive questions about all the time. When you have valuables and or items that can’t be replaced, basically they are priceless, pack them and move them by you. Important documents, jewelry, heirlooms, medications etc., should not be packed in the boxes your movers are taking. You never want to risk it, take those items with you. As far as antique furniture and other big ticket items, make sure to purchase extra insurance to cover those important items.
• Labeling boxes – Please be sure to label your moving boxes. When you arrive at your destination, you will need to know where the boxes need to be located when unloaded by the movers.
• Be there – Make plans to be present during your moving day. Movers are professionals and know what they are doing and don’t want to be micromanaged. However, you should be there to oversee and make sure everything is moved out. In addition, be a good host and provide lunch and snacks for your movers to enjoy while they are doing all the heavy lifting.
• Unlawful items – Lat week, I provided a list of items movers can’t move because they are not legal to do so. Plus, many of the hazardous items can destroy your household goods during transit. Throw away or giveaway hazardous items that are not allowed to move.

Follow these tips prior to your move and you and your household belongings will be off on a safe and expedited journey.

Safe moving!

Tips to writing an online review for your movers

Last week, I gave you some tips on how to thank your movers. One of the tips was to write an online review, so this week, I’m going to provide you tips on how to write an awesome online review for your movers.

One of the best things you can do is to write review so millions of people can find out how the moving company did for you, your experience and advice with praise or criticism as deserved. Writing an online review will take little of your time and will not only help people make informed decisions about their moves, but will also provide valuable feedback to your mover and or moving company.

Here are some tips in writing an effective review of your moving company:
• Write the name of your moving company correctly and provide some basic information of your move such as size of your move, relocation distances, pickup and delivery locations and special services during the move etc.
• Rate the overall performance of the move. Usually review websites provide the number of stars to grade such as one star for very poor, five stars for outstanding services.
• Tell your moving story and first impressions. Provide your overall experience and moving adventure. Were the movers polite and helpful; did movers provide a thorough in house survey; did they arrive on time; describe specific services they did such as packing, disassembly of furniture etc.; items delivered on time and in good condition; final price the same of your move as the final bill; and did they fulfill your requirements and preferences.

Lastly, summarize your overall moving experience at the end of the review by providing two to three sentences about the relocation process and if you were happy with the final results. And attach a photo if appropriate to enhance your review.

By providing these steps and tips, you will be on your way in posting pertinent information that will help other customers and the moving company as well.

Safe moving!

Thank you, movers!

Last week, I provided you tips on how to repurpose moving boxes and this week, I’m going to provide you some tips on how to thank your movers.

After you have completed your research and found an excellent and reputable mover, you’ll probably will be at a point where you want to thank them for a job well done. It’s best to make it easier on your movers to get to the items you need to move ensuring a safety moving day.

One way to thank movers and to make their job easier is to clear all pathways of any type of obstructions or debris in your household. If it’s during the winter months, it would be ideal to clear your driveway of snow and make sure all pathways are cleared for them.

Another way to thank your movers is to respect their needs such as providing bottled water, tea, coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages. Also, giving them easy access to your restroom with plenty of hand washing soap and paper towels.

Most moves take most of the day so be sure to provide lunch for them. You can easily call in for delivered pizza, pick up some burgers or have food on hand or pre-prepared meals so they have enough energy to get through the day.

If you are happy with your movers and they did an outstanding job, have “thank you” cards prepared and give one to each mover. This goes a long way in showing your appreciation for a job well done.

Tipping is not required to movers but if you believe your movers did a great job, then one of the best ways to thank your movers is to tip them. Use your best judgment on tipping especially if you have unique experiences. The best tipping formula is to tip $4 to $5 per mover or about $40 a day per mover.

Another good way is to write a review of your moving company about how well they did. We welcome online reviews for Rainier because it demonstrates that we take care of our customers.

These are just some ways how you can thank your movers for a job well done.

Safe moving!

In the military? We have some tips just for you

Moving is complicated by itself and if you are in the military, you know moving your belongings and family can be quite a challenge. A permanent change of station (PCS) is something every military family will experience eventually.

To make the move a lot smoother, here are some simple tips to keep in mind when heading overseas:
• Personal Property Office (PPO) – Once you receive your PCS, contact the PPO. You might have already done this before but no two moves are alike and they have excellent resources for you. There, you can find your basic entitlements and responsibilities among many other helpful tips. A website you will find useful is the Department of Defense site that offers a lot of basic PCS information.
• Make sure to contact your sponsor or new command once you receive your PCS. Your sponsor can help you get to know your new destination and provide you valuable information about what specific belongings to bring or not to bring. In other words, if you are moving to a country that doesn’t accommodate big-sized furniture, your sponsor will let you know so you can put some of your possessions in storage until your new PCS.
• Need to know your entitlement – Make sure you find out how much weight for your move that the government will pay for you. This is really important to ensure you stay within their budget and yours too so you avoid any extra excessive weight fees or charges.
• Papers in order – Before moving, you will need to make sure you have plenty of copies of your PCS available and stored in a safe location. Be sure to have any letters of authorizations, powers of attorney docs, appraisal of high-priced belongings, video or photo identification of your items, and pertinent insurance policies.

One final tip, always purchase movers’ insurance before you move so that your personal belongings are protected when they are shipped overseas. It will definitely give you peace-of-mind. By following these tips and thoroughly preparing before your move, you will know you did everything in your power to ensure a safe military move.

Safe moving!

Tips to negotiating with moving companies

As a professional mover, I always provide my customers with pertinent options and try to find the least expensive way to move their household goods. That said, I also want to ensure the moves are safe and secure.

I covered in-depth tips about writing an effective online review last week, and this week, I’m going to cover some tips about negotiating with moving companies. How much you pay for a move depends on many factors including moving distance, shipment weight, extra moving services if needed and other factors.

Remember that moving from one home to another is that moving prices vary from company to company. Moving services are negotiable and better the negotiating skills you have, the better chance of scoring a great deal with your mover.

Some negotiating tips to use and keep in mind:
• Don’t hire a mover based on the lowest price alone. Why? Because the real low bid and much lower than many others could be a scam. Make sure you do research on the moving company and find out if they are reputable and licensed (USDOT and accredited by the BBB).
• Do your homework by requesting at least three moving bids from licensed moving companies. Also, request an assessor to come in and assess your household goods and provide you with a written estimate. This will help you negotiate a good price with another company that might have a higher bid.
• Determine the number and nature of extra services that you will need from your movers. The majority of those charges are negotiable.
• Always ask to review all fees before the move. Easier you make it for your movers to move your household goods, the less expensive it will be. In other words, if you have narrow hallways, extra flights of stairs etc., there may be extra fees for this so make sure to check with your mover.

Two things you should always do and have when moving, movers should pack your goods for you and make sure to purchase moving insurance. Professional movers know how to pack items for a safe move and by buying insurance, your household goods will be protected financially.

Safe moving!

Tips to packing hangers

Last week, I provided you tips on what not to store in storage when you move, this week, I’m going to give you tips on packing hangers, yes, hangers because that can become a challenge at times.

Packing hangers seems like a no-brainer but it really isn’t. If you don’t pack them properly, they can scratch surfaces, break or ruined hangers, torn or damages clothes and improper storage can cost you money.

Here are some simple tips to store hangers:
• Keep your hangers separate from your woods and plastic items.
• Stack them neatly one on top of the other in bundles to not damage your belongings.
• Use rubber bands to secure the hangers and your clothes, it fixes them is place.
• The other option to rubber bands is stretch wrap but make sure to not use packing tape because it will ruin the surfaces of some of your items.
• Once your hangers and clothes are stacked, wrap them in an old bed sheet so they protect your other belongings during the move

Safe moving!

Clean your current residence and new destination home

Whether you like it or not, you need to clean your home and make sure your new home destination is in tip-top shape as well. It’s the normal process of moving but if you make sure to schedule cleaning task before you move, it will be a lot easier process when you head overseas.

First, make sure you purchase the proper cleaning supplies so you can use cleaning tools for specific items such as counter tops, appliances etc. Some of the suggested supplies to purchase include some of the following:
• Windex cleaner
• Shower and bathroom cleaners
• Magic erasers
• Duster
• Step ladder
• Paper towels and cleaning rags
• Specialty cleaners
• Trash bags

It is much easier to clean your home when your belongings have been removed. The best way to approach cleaning your residence is to schedule a specific time when you will begin to tackle the cleaning. Once your time has been allotted, move through your home room-by-room and scrub the rooms top to bottom, clean the interior and exterior of your appliances and then save your floors for cleaning them last.

Once your current residence is ready to be rented out or purchased, you will need to ensure the new home your moving into is cleaned as well. Here’s some simple tips:
• If moving into a new home, find out if the former homeowners plan to clean the home before they leave. You never know, it may not happen and the last thing you want is to have your belongings moving into a dirty home.
• If you are moving into a rental, find out if the management company or owners plan to have your new home thoroughly cleaned and be sure to ask when it will be cleaned and ready to move into.
• By chance, if your new residence won’t be cleaned before your move, I would recommend hiring a professional cleaning service. It might be a few more dollars to add to your moving budget but will save you a lot of time and will ensure your new home is totally cleaned.
• If you have to clean your new home yourself, schedule a time in your calendar to make sure you plan ahead and have the proper cleaning supplies on hand. I wouldn’t hesitate to invite friends to help you along with your family members and provide snacks and even dinner for their cleaning efforts.

By being prepared and scheduling time to clean your new home, it will make your move clean and stress-free!

Safe moving

Items that are difficult to move – leave it to pros

When you are planning to move whether from state-to-state or internationally, it’s important to know what personal items you have that are difficult to move so you can prepare when your assessor comes out to ensure your “big-ticket” items are safely packed and safely moved.

Being prepared is key and having movers come in to move all of your belongings especially the big ticket items, will ensure safe transport from point A to point B.

One of the most difficult items to move are pianos, no surprise there. Pianos are heavy and challenging to move they are large and bulky but more importantly, they have small intricate parts inside that can easily be damaged. Leave it to the pros to move your piano because they will make sure to not cause damage to it but more importantly, not to damage your doorways, hallways, walls and even ceilings and fixtures on top.

Another tough item to move are fish tanks. They are large and heavy and most of the time, fish don’t survive a move if they are left in the tank due to fluctuating conditions. I highly recommend to leave some of the “original” water in the tank, just above the bottom to ensure the existing bacteria in the water remains when you fill it. In addition, move your fish into small containers or bags using your fish tank water and transport them that way. If it’s a long trip to move, have them specially shipped via overnight or if possible, take them with you in a portable dispenser bag. You can purchase the bags at most pet and aquarium shops.

Believe it or not, plants and other types of houseplants are difficult to move just like fish tanks. You are basically shipping a big pile of dirt with a living organism in it and like fish, if moved around a lot, extreme temperatures whether hot or cold, can easily kill your plants upon arrival. The safest way to move them is to ensure your plants are transferred to a plastic pot which is much lighter and safer. Do this a few weeks out before your movers show up so that your plants have had time to adapt to the new pots.

I have discussed moving artwork before but it’s also in the same category of difficult items to move. More often than not, your artwork is expensive or at the very least has sentimental value to it so you want to make sure during transport, your art safely arrives without damage. Your assessor and mover will wrap it in paper and use bubble wrap all around the frame for extra protection. If they are very good movers, they will also use packing peanuts and professional moving tape and mark it as “fragile” when it’s secured in a box for the move.

When you know and are aware about some of the big ticket items and how they should be packed before your move, your large items will be safely secured. Leave it to the pros and you’ll have less headaches when you move to your new home.

Safe moving!

Items you should never store in a storage unit when moving

Last week, I provided you tips about selling your items online when moving so you can have some pocket change moving forward. This week, I am going to discuss about items you should never put in storage when you move. Storage companies have rules that you need to abide by in order to ensure your belongings and others are kept safe and secure.

Items you should never store include:
• Live animals/pets – Yes, people have done this in the past thinking that their personal critters will be safe when putting them in a storage unit. This is against the law so please leave them with a relative or friend to ensure your pet is safe and receives the proper food.
• Food – It goes without saying but many people store foods in units every year. This is the most over-looked safety rules when using a storage unit. It attracts all sorts of insects, rodents and other bugs that will destroy your personal belongings.
• Plants – Just like pets, this includes plants as well. If you can’t take your plants when you move, please leave them with friends or someone you know or just donate them to a charity etc.
• Stolen items – Yes, another no brainer but people do this all the time. It’s a no brainer but think about it, it’s illegal and if authorities know, they will confiscate it and you will be arrested.
• Hazardous materials – Anything that can create substantial damage if open is prohibited. Don’t store aerosols, acids, gases, gasoline, pesticides, weed killers., propane tanks (most stored that shouldn’t be), paint thinners, cleaners, car batteries etc.
• Scents, wet items – The type of items can attract rodents and vermin. Make sure that all of your items stored are dry.
• Valuables – Storage units overall are pretty safe but don’t risk it with high-valued items.

Safe moving!