Tips about big-ticket items

You have your garage sale and sold a lot of items per my blog last week. But you still have really big items that you need to move. 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 movin

Making the most out of “Quarantine”!

Are you making the most out of your quarantine? Whether self-imposed or government sanctioned, let’s look for a silver lining in it all.
If you are planning a move in the next year, quarantine may be just what the doctor ordered for a completely different reason.
Now is the time to Purge! Transfer stations and dumps are all still open for business and let’s face it, social distancing at a dump is a must do regardless of the outbreak. Get the kids together and take a road trip to the dump. The lines are shorter than usual, and it will give you another reason to wear that face mask.
Donations! While most are not open at this moment, when the quarantine is over, they will need your unwanted treasures more than ever. Start separating them out, make a pile somewhere in the house (don’t worry about the mess, no one is coming over to see it) and then when this is all done you can run it out and be ahead of the game.
Get planning your move now! We are open for business and working hard “virtually” to continue assisting. Now is the time to set up a “Virtual Survey” of your home to determine not only budgetary cost but knowing your options ahead of time, may change what you decide to dump or donate.
Once you know what you want to take, you have the time, start your valued inventory. As you sit on the couch today, instead of binge watching all the seasons of Games of Thrones start making a valued list of all your goods. This will save you having to do it at the busiest time of your move, when you have so much else to do.
Lastly, learn about your new home. The internet is filled with valuable information about your new county, state and city. Now is the time to research with the kids or maybe just for yourself. For customs information you can visit our web site at www.rainieros.com/forms/customs-regulations-by-country/

Be safe and stay well!

Get the most out of a garage sale

Last week, I discussed tips moving on a budget. This week, I’m going to provide you tips about garage sales so you can use the money to make it less burdensome if moving on a budget.

One of the best ways to make money and be able to lighten the load for your move is holding a garage sale that can turn your unwanted items into cash. If you’re trying to sell your home, a moving sale might even attract a potential buyer.

Here are some tips to getting the most out of a garage sale:
• Schedule your garage sale on weekends. Start on Friday and end on a Sunday. Post the hours of your sale on the neighborhoods blogs in your area, go online and promote the sale three weeks prior to your sale. Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. to promote your event.
• When utilizing social media, mention some of the items you’ll be selling like electronics, furniture, appliances etc. Let them know about the prices and provide your email address so they can contact you if they want to know more about the items you are selling.
• Usually garage sales are at your home but if you don’t have plenty of parking and space for people to walk around, consider holding your moving sale at a nearby local school or community center. The fees are usually minimal and you have access to reach hundreds of parents through school or community bulletins.
• How much should you price and sell a particular item? Visit eBay and search for similar items to see what the asking prices are and go online to see how much you can reasonably expect to sell your things.
• Plan for bad weather. You won’t have to worry about the weather if your moving sale is in a school or community center but if it is at your home, get sheets of plastic to cover your items if it does rain.
• Have some drinks on hand and paper bags so shoppers have something to carry their purchases when checking out.

By using these simple tips, you should hopefully have a successful garage sale, making some decent cash while unloading your unwanted items.

Follow these simple steps and you will lower your moving expenses and will also be organized and prepared for the big move.

Safe moving!

In the military? We have some tips just for you

Now you know how to move your car overseas but what should you know if you are in the military? 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!

Moving overseas on a limited budget?

If you are planning to move overseas whether on your own or due to work, it can become very expensive but there are certain steps you can take to make it less expensive.

Here are some useful tips to move on your budget and to make it even less complicated:
Lighten the load – When you move, this is a great time to get rid of non-important things and items you never use such as books that have been in your shelf for years or a chair that you never use. Less movers have to move, less you’ll have to pay. Plan on giving away your extra un-needed items, donate, sell or recycle them.
Dedicated mover – Make sure to hire someone that has been in the business for years and is reputable. At Rainier, you will receive dedicated and personalized service. In addition, we know hundreds of agents throughout the world to provide you the very best price.
Purchase insurance – Movers know how to transport your belongings but accidents do happen. A reputable company will always offer insurance coverage. If something happens during transport, you’ll know you won’t lose everything monetarily.
Moving date – Generally speaking, movers are extremely busy during the summer months, weekends and at the beginning and ending of each month. If you can be flexible about the date of your move, the ideal times are middle of the months, November through early December, February through April. These are some of the least busy times and some movers may provide discounts during the slow months.

Follow these simple steps and you will lower your moving expenses and will also be organized and prepared for the big move.

Safe moving!

Tips when you need to move your car overseas

Last week, we discussed finding a home when you move to another company. This week, tips about moving a car overseas. Your moving overseas and what do you do if you want your best friend to come with you? That nice shiny four wheeled friend has taken you many times from Point A to Point B. And now you want your cool car with you when you move. Depending upon where you are moving, you can have your far-wheeled friend shipped overseas by us through an international auto transport company.

That’s pretty easy but there are some other things you need to consider before your car is revved up to be shipped across the Atlantic or elsewhere. As always, do your research and find out about the country or city’s public transportation system. This really varies from country-to-country and you will be able to assess how much you will need to drive your car and what kind of driving conditions you can expect.

Here are some factors to keep-in-mind and to know about:
• Is your automobile street legal in your new city? Remember that Japan, Britain, Australia and other countries require you to drive on the right-side of the road.
• Make sure your professional mover knows about any import tariffs. Your mover lets you know about any of these potential fees so you are not surprised by any unexpected costs.
• Drivers licenses – Most countries will allow you to drive with your existing American driver’s license but only for a specified period of time.
• Research your new country’s driving regulations and laws before your international move so you know when you need to obtain a new license.
• Purchase insurance – When you move, things can happen so make sure you buy moving insurance for your car especially if it’s a new car. This will provide you peace-of-mind if something should go wrong during the transport.

Follow these tips and ensure you hire a reputable moving company so that your four-wheel friend is taken care of during your overseas move.

Safe moving!

Tips to finding a new international home

Trying to find a nice home at your overseas destination country can be anything from a relatively simple matter to a complete nightmare. There are a lot of factors to consider when you need to either rent or own a new flat: the housing market in your destination country; the size of your family; the exTrying to find a nice home at your overseas destination country can be anything from a relatively simple matter to a complete nightmare. There are a lot of factors to consider when you need to either rent or own a new flat: the housing market in your destination country; the size of your family; the expected length of your assignment; costs and allowances.

In most, but not all circumstances, you will probably be looking to rent your new home. The number of rentals in keeping with international standards may be limited, and language and cultural differences may complicate the negotiation of leases. By contrast, you may be entering a well-supplied housing market, where property owners are accustomed to accommodating the requirements of expatriate families.

You can make your experience easier, if you maximize the contacts and resources available to you. Get as much advance information as possible. Ask your employer for contacts, and if possible retain the services of a relocation consultant or destination services provider. The Internet provides an ever-increasing supply of information and resources. Get to know expatriate colleagues who already may be living in your destination country; find out whether there is an established community of foreign residents, who can provide advice and assistance.

Feel free to contact me if you need further advice and if you plan on moving overseas. I can provide you with a list of resources and organizations that you can contact prior to heading across the pond.

Safe moving!

Purchase and know your insurance coverage before crossing the pond

Insurance is one of the most important things you need to take care of and ensure you are covered before you leave overseas. I’m talking about personal insurance for you and all of your family members as well as insurance to protect all of your belongings!
If you are relocating abroad with your home-country employer, check the insurance provisions your employer may have on a corporate basis to cover employees who relocate internationally. Sometimes companies with large numbers of internationally located employees have negotiated group policies. Some of the provisions may be applicable and useful to your circumstances and sometimes, you will need to make your own arrangements to ensure you are covered.
If you are moving overseas for work, be sure to know who is making the insurance arrangements for your personal items. Your employer may provide insurance for some of your household goods but then again, maybe not. Also, if you are shipping pricey items and over-sized belongings which may be excluded from coverage, make sure your employer knows this so that if items need to be insured, either by you or your employer, it will be covered.
Find out if shipping insurance, for example, is being arranged through your corporate office or through an agent abroad, and whom you should contact in the event of a problem. You will also want to know exactly what each policy covers; when coverage begins and ends; and what the claims procedure and the deadlines are.
By taking steps and knowing what your employer will or will not cover, you’ll be in a great position to ensure your items are covered. If you use our international moving service, we will be happy to guide you through the process and provide you with peace-of-mind knowing that everything will be taken care of when you move to your new country.

Safe moving!

Basic tips before you move overseas

When you move overseas, whether for a new job opportunity or for a new adventure in your life, you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row before you say goodbye to the U.S.

An international move can be complicated but since I’m in the moving biz, I’m going to share with you some basic tips but very important tips before you make the leap overseas.

Employment
Yeah, that’s pretty basic but you’ll need work visas or permits to ensure you are working legally in your new country. It’s also helpful just to know the job market there and a basic understanding of the city you are moving to. If it’s for work, no problem, they usually have contacts available for you. If not, contact some organizations that are familiar with your job and get to know one or two people that can be your “guide” so you know how the new city works and operates—safe places to live, good eats etc.

Your finances
You have money coming whether for work or another way of income and you need to make sure it’s in a safe place. Contact some banks there and find out if you can set up an account before you leave. Know what type of fees they might charge and find out how safe your money is. You don’t want to have a lot of cash in your pocket when arriving in your new country and have it either stolen or lost somehow.

Consult with an accountant
One of the smartest things you can do before your move is to know the tax system not only here when you are out of the country, but in your new land. It can be complicated so be sure to contact your accountant or hire a tax professional to ensure you have a plan and meet all of your tax obligations. It will avoid major headaches while leaving abroad, trust me.

Health insurance
This is another basic tip but believe it or not, many people don’t check to find out if they are covered overseas. The last thing you need is to get ill and be hospitalized and find out your insurance doesn’t cover you or your family. Check with your health care provider if you are insured or not and make any adjustments if needed so you are insured.

Education
If you have kids and they are moving with you, make sure your new country can provide a proper or continuing of education that specializes in teaching American citizens. Call some institutions beforehand so your kids or teens have a good school to attend. Feel free to visit the State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools for more information on the best educational opportunities for your kids.

Safe moving!

Should you tip movers?

One of the most hardworking people in the moving industry besides what I do (wink) are the professional movers who pack your belongings in boxes and load your furniture and place them in the moving trucks to get them to your final destination.

Movers are part of the service trade. In other words, they are service professionals and you base your tip on the services performed. Yes, you do tip movers but it’s not expected. Most people will buy them lunch for their tip and or provide cash.

If a mover is late, has a bad attitude and isn’t attentive to ensure your belongings are packed properly, you certainly won’t tip them or provide lunch. However, if the movers job performance was attentive, helpful, professional and packed your items appropriately, then give what you believe is fair.

What is a reasonable tip and fair to give to your movers? Here are some recommendations:
• Offer the movers to buy them lunch especially if it’s at least a half-day move. That’s just as good as a cash tip. Some people do both but it’s not necessary. If you do buy them lunch, don’t assume it should be hamburgers or pizza. Keep in mind, you are not the only one that they are moving your life belongings for. Ask what the movers feel like having.
• Make sure to have small items on hand such as bottled water (easier to carry around than a glass of water), sodas and light snacks. Don’t offer them alcoholic drinks like beer, it’s stereotypical, movers can’t drink on the job and there are liability issues.
• There’s really no percentage amount to give to movers like there is in other service industries such as restaurants where waitresses or waiters receive 20 percent for excellent service. About $10 per person is proper and if it’s a full day, then about $20 or so per mover.
• If you do give a cash tip, don’t give it all to the driver or one person but to each individual. That really recognizes each individual’s efforts and is fair overall.

If your movers are professional, polite and do a good job, reward them like anyone else in the service industry.

Safe moving!