Important questions to ask an international moving company – Part 2

Earlier this week I provided you some questions you need to ask before hiring and deciding on a good overseas mover. This week is part 2 to continue with questions to ask a prospective international moving company so you know that your belongings will be trusted with a reputable organization.

Part 2 – Questions to be sure to ask:
• What and how about shipping my valuable items overseas? – Valuable and delicate items like jewelry, artwork, family heirlooms, electronics and other expensive items need to be pointed out to your assessor. If it’s a good company, they will recommend insurance, note the value of each item and pack it with care so your important items won’t break.
• How will my items be shipped? – You need to know if your belongings will be loaded in crates, if they will be shipped in separate containers or mixed with other people’s items, if they will be transported directly to your final destination and delivered to your door (door-to-door services), etc.
• When will my shipment arrive and any estimated time will it be in Customs? – Find out when to expect your shipment and whether you’ll have to be present for your goods to clear customs, as well as what paperwork you need to prepare.
• Is storage included in the price and storage options? – You may have to put your items into storage for a while until you find an appropriate new home in your new country for example, so you need to know your options and pricing.
• Who will handle my belongings in the destination country? – You need to know from your selected international moving company uses subcontractors who will pick your shipment at the port and deliver it to your new home. That way, you can do research to obtain as much information about them as possible, so that you make sure they are trustworthy and properly licensed professionals. You will need their contact information anyway when you meet them at your destination.
• Should I purchase insurance and what are my options? – – Moving your belongings overseas will put them at a great risk, so it is very important that you purchase more than adequate insurance coverage. Ask your international moving representative about the conditions and the extent of the liability coverage they provide and consider purchasing additional insurance too. He or she should be able to provide you with excellent insurance options.

Lastly, always ask for references and credentials. A reputable company will gladly provide you with this, testimonials and other credentials to demonstrate they are good at what they do. Ask these questions to an international moving company before you make that important decision to have your belongings shipped overseas.

Safe moving!

Important questions to ask an international moving company – Part 1

Last week, I provided you tips on how to find a good and reputable overseas moving company. This week, I’m going to give you tips on what important questions you should ask a potential international mover before hiring their services.

You will definitely will receive peace-of-mind when you have all of your questions answered but please, don’t ever hesitate to ask your international movers and packers about anything you don’t understand or are not sure about. As NBC says, “the more you know,” it’s obviously better.

Some questions to be sure to ask:
• How long have you been in business and provide specific experiences of moving customers overseas? – You need to confirm and know about their experiences in moving overseas.
• Are you licensed for international moves? – Obtain the company’s name and address, check with the International Association of Movers (www.iamovers.org) or FIDI (www.fidi.org) that represents accredited international movers throughout the world. You can also check testimonials and other information at www.consumeraffairs.com.

• What services are included in the price and are there other services that cost extra? – International moving costs are based on the weight and volume of the shipped goods and the actual distance to the final destination. There are many other factors that also come into play when estimating the final price (complexity of the job, special handling or transportation requirements, specific laws and regulations in your new country, etc.). Request to have an assessor or your sales representative come to your home to get an accurate assessment and discuss the details of your overseas move.
• Are there any items that the movers won’t take? – Request your international moving company to provide you with a list of items not allowed, so that you don’t waste time and effort preparing them for shipment (and have enough time to decide what to do with them as well). It is also advisable to contact the embassy of your future country and ask about any specific items that are not allowed to be imported in the country.
• Should I pack my items myself? – Nope, your best decision when moving abroad is to have your belongings packed by the professional international mover you’ve hired for your relocation needs. Like Rainier Overseas, they will have specialized packing materials, will know how to ensure the safety of your items and how to pack them with maximum speed and efficiency, will assume liability for everything they have packed themselves, etc. only if you purchase moving insurance which I always recommend.

More about that next week in part 2.

Safe moving!

Securing your home after you move

When you move to a new home whether overseas or just across the country, statistics show that a home is almost twice more likely to be burgled in the first year after a residential move than in any other. It is so important that you mitigate possible risks and take adequate precautionary measures to prevent property crime and unfortunate accidents as soon as you settle into your new home.

One of the very first things to do after moving into your new home is to take some simple and easy steps to secure your new home from burglars and intruders shortly after you have moved in. Here are some easy but vital steps to take:
1. Change all locks – You have no idea how many people have had access to your new property, so it is essential to change the locks immediately after your move. This applies to all the exterior locks in your new home – not only the front door, but also windows, garage doors, patio doors, etc. always good to remember to never leave a spare key in the mailbox or under the doormat, or at any other place commonly used for that purpose.
2. Install a security system – Installing a burglar alarm system is one of the best ways to secure your home. Not only will it immediately warn you (and inform emergency authorities) of any potential dangers, but its mere presence on the property may be enough to discourage an intruder from attempting a break-in. Make sure to install video cameras at key places around your home including the front and back doors or anywhere there is a susceptible area easily for intruders to get in. Don’t use stickers of the name of your security system, use only generic ones. Burglars are good at knowing how to get around systems vulnerabilities.
3. Secure doors and windows – Install deadbolts on all doors; install metal bars on all windows, sliding glass doors; use interior hinges, not exterior ones that intruders can easily remove the pins; secure pet doors; and avoid glass doors or glass panels that can easily be broken into.
4. Add exterior lights – A well-lit house is a much safer house than a poor lighted house. State-of-the-art home security equipment, such as motion sensor floodlight or infrared detectors that automatically turn on when someone is in the area, will effectively deter break-in attempts at night.
5. Keep outside of your home secure – Keep your fence strong and secure at all times; avoid tall shrubs around your windows and doors; don’t leave equipment outside, tools or a ladder that can be used to get into your home. You would be surprised how many homes have pertinent things burglars like to gain access to that are easily available outside of homes.
6. Get a big dog – In addition to security systems, dogs are one of the best deterrents to keep intruders out. Burglars will pass on houses that have big dogs in the home.
7. Know your area – Before you move in, do your research of the area. You can easily go to the nearest police department and find out if there is a high burglary rate in your area and any police tips they might have. A neighborhood crime watch is also an idea to create or join getting to know your neighbors at the same time.

Take these simple steps to ensure your home is safe and secure after you move.

Safe moving!

Tips to know about moving brokers

First, let me tell you what a moving broker is. It’s someone like me, I’m the person that act as a middle-person between home movers and moving companies. I don’t do the direct moving for you but arrange the transportation of your household goods and manage the overall moving process from point A to point B.

I make sure your household goods are taken care of which is efficient and saves you the time and effort it takes to coordinate the move. Some important information and tips you should know about moving brokers:
• Ensure your moving brokers are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA. And remember, they can only work with moving companies that are registered with the FMCSA. Just double check that they are registered with the organization.
• Double check the moving broker has a physical address and is legitimate. Beware of companies that pretend to be moving brokers and are not. As long as they are registered (FMCSA can provide you a list) and have a valid address, you should be fine.
• A respectable moving broker will also schedule an in-house survey of your household goods and will provide a moving estimate that is accurate.
• When requesting a list of legitimate moving brokers from FMCSA, also request a copy of their booklet, Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move and Ready to Move. The information and tips provided by them is helpful, so you know your rights when moving.

Use the information and tips provided above to ensure you hire a competent and effective moving broker.

Safe moving!

Tips about costs and factors to consider when using a moving company

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.

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.

Tips on moving costs, moving factors and moving companies:
• 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. No matter the extra services, always purchase moving insurance!
• 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!

Securing your home after you move

When you move to a new home whether overseas or just across the country, statistics show that a home is almost twice more likely to be burgled in the first year after a residential move than in any other. It is so important that you mitigate possible risks and take adequate precautionary measures to prevent property crime and unfortunate accidents as soon as you settle into your new home.

One of the very first things to do after moving into your new home is to take some simple and easy steps to secure your new home from burglars and intruders shortly after you have moved in. Here are some easy but vital steps to take:
1. Change all locks – You have no idea how many people have had access to your new property, so it is essential to change the locks immediately after your move. This applies to all the exterior locks in your new home – not only the front door, but also windows, garage doors, patio doors, etc. always good to remember to never leave a spare key in the mailbox or under the doormat, or at any other place commonly used for that purpose.
2. Install a security system – Installing a burglar alarm system is one of the best ways to secure your home. Not only will it immediately warn you (and inform emergency authorities) of any potential dangers, but its mere presence on the property may be enough to discourage an intruder from attempting a break-in. Make sure to install video cameras at key places around your home including the front and back doors or anywhere there is a susceptible area easily for intruders to get in. Don’t use stickers of the name of your security system, use only generic ones. Burglars are good at knowing how to get around systems vulnerabilities.
3. Secure doors and windows – Install deadbolts on all doors; install metal bars on all windows, sliding glass doors; use interior hinges, not exterior ones that intruders can easily remove the pins; secure pet doors; and avoid glass doors or glass panels that can easily be broken into.
4. Add exterior lights – A well-lit house is a much safer house than a poor lighted house. State-of-the-art home security equipment, such as motion sensor floodlight or infrared detectors that automatically turn on when someone is in the area, will effectively deter break-in attempts at night.
5. Keep outside of your home secure – Keep your fence strong and secure at all times; avoid tall shrubs around your windows and doors; don’t leave equipment outside, tools or a ladder that can be used to get into your home. You would be surprised how many homes have pertinent things burglars like to gain access to that are easily available outside of homes.
6. Get a big dog – In addition to security systems, dogs are one of the best deterrents to keep intruders out. Burglars will pass on houses that have big dogs in the home.
7. Know your area – Before you move in, do your research of the area. You can easily go to the nearest police department and find out if there is a high burglary rate in your area and any police tips they might have. A neighborhood crime watch is also an idea to create or join getting to know your neighbors at the same time.

Take these simple steps to ensure your home is safe and secure after you move.

Safe moving!

Tips what not to put in storage when moving

Last week, I provided you tips about selling your goods and 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 to ensure your belongings and others are kept safe and secure.

What NOT to put in storage:
• 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!

DAWN Nonprofit

Rainier Overseas Movers Inc. employees are always honored to give back to the community and this year is no exception. Since 2015, Rainier has been involved with a nonprofit organization called DAWN, which stands for Domestic Abuse Women’s Network. The organization is run mostly by volunteers and during the holidays in November and December, they implement a program called “Adopt-a-Family” where they provide gifts and other items to survivors of domestic abuse and their family.

Rainier is proud to take part again in this unique and effective program. Spearheaded by Rainier’s Carrie Bredeson, employees were assigned a specific family to provide gifts and other much needed items so they too can look forward to the holidays this season.

DAWN is such a special nonprofit for us to support every year and we are delighted again to assist a family in need and give gifts that will make the holidays special for them,” said Rich Haas, president of Rainier Overseas Movers. “Holidays can be a stressful time for many especially those that go through trauma – this is just an awesome way to give back and ensure a family has everything they need including gifts for their children.”

Last year, DAWN sponsored more than 145 families or 450 individuals with the assistance from 60 donor groups and individuals. Rainier employees donated their time with individual shifts to ensure Adopt-a-Family family were provided specific items they requested along with unique presents.

“We are always excited every year to be assigned a family from the Adopt-a-Family program and we plan to continue to be involved with the organization and programs for years to come”, said Haas.

Rich Haas is the president and CEO at Rainier Overseas Movers Inc. He can be reached via our website  or you can call him 800-426-9928. Please visit their website at http://www.rainieros.com/.

Tips selling your goods online

This week, I’m going to talk tips of selling your personal belongings and goods online before and during your move.

I always have stated in previous blogs that when you move, it’s the time to do some house cleaning and get rid of items you don’t want or need anymore. And when you do, why not make some money online from your personal belongings that you won’t be tasking with you, and at the same time, “lightening the load” of your move so it’s not as expensive as well.

Selling your belongings online is considered one of the best ways to reduce the number of items you have for transportation. The less stuff you have to move, the less the weight of the entire shipment will be, and consequently, the less money you will pay out of your own pocket for transportation costs.

If you’re not utterly convinced that selling your stuff online before you move is one of the greatest cost-saving techniques out there, you can at least trust the experience and judgment of countless moving experts (including myself of course) who never seem to be tired of advising people to purge their homes of no longer needed items before moving away to another home.

Tips selling your goods and personal items online:
• Selling some of your items that still have market value will make you a multiple winner. This way, you will lower the shipment weight, and that automatically means a lower relocation bill as well. Secondly, the online sale of your personal belongings will earn you fresh cash which you can gladly add to your overall moving budget and then some.
• If you don’t have the time or the resources to hold a garage sale, then selling your stuff online remains the other excellent alternative.
• Sort out all of your items, categorize them, price them, and prepare them for sale. Go online and check to see what your items are worth approximately, set a fair price and post (eg. eBay etc.).
• Make sure to clean and fix some minor defects or damage to your items to increase their value.
• Take good-angled photos of your belongings so they are attractive to potential buyers.

To sell your goods and personal belongings online successfully, you do need to follow proven steps that will guarantee quick and profitable online deals. Good luck!

Safe moving!

Important contacts to have when moving overseas

Most embassies and consulates around the world have their own websites. When you move to another country, it’s important to know the contact information and address of the embassy and consulate of the country you are moving to. They have excellent resources and can assist you if something goes wrong in your new international home.

You never know if something goes wrong for any reason when you move to a new country, so be sure to look at the websites provided below and do your own research to insure you have the appropriate contacts when and if needed.

Bookmark the following websites and contact your local consulate before moving overseas:
Embassy.org – Washington D.C. is the “hub” for international resources, lists of directories, passport and visas guides and much more.
Governments on the Web – This is one of the most comprehensive lists of governmental institutions on the worldwide web which lists ministries, parliaments, offices, city councils, central banks, embassies, multi-governmental institutions and more. A great resource to use and know about the important local offices in your new country.
Visa information – A private company not affiliated with a government agency but provides expedited visas, passports and other vital information needed for your move overseas.
Forms and customs information – Rainier Overseas provides useful information on our own site including forms and customs information you should be aware of. Our online search tool is also really helpful.

Safe moving!