Tips for moving a wine cellar

Now that you have found an excellent and reputable moving company, you will need to know some tips on how to protect your wine collection when moving overseas. Your wine cellar probably took many years and lots of money to build up the valuable bottles in your collection so you will have to ensure it is protected during the entire move.

Here are some tips in protecting your wine cellar:
• Let your mover know – It’s seems simple but many times people do forget to tell their movers about a wine collection to be moved. Please advise your mover that you have a high-value wine collection among your belongings to be moved. Your mover needs to know so they can take precautionary measures to safely move and appraise your collection.
• Find out how much your wine is worth – When you contact your movers, make sure to tell them to have the surveyor or even a wine appraiser to come over to find out how much your collection is worth. That way, a monetary value is placed on your cellar before it’s moved. Upon knowing its worth, I would highly recommend purchasing insurance through your mover so it’s protected before your fine wine heads overseas.
• High-value inventory form – When moving your wine cellar, your movers should ask and provide you with a high-value inventory form. Just like jewelry and other high-priced items, your wine is valuable and this will qualify you to receive protection and replacement plans your mover has to offer.
• Take photos – Be sure to take lots of photos of your wine collection especially your expensive bottles. Take additional photos as your wine cellar expands. This ensures you have a complete record of your entire wine collection before your move.

Preserving a fine wine takes its time and be sure to take time when moving your valuable wine cellar to a new home.

Safe moving!

Tips for tipping movers

One of the most hardworking people in the moving industry are professional movers who pack your belongings in boxes and load your furniture and place them in the moving trucks to get them to your 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.

Here are some tips for tipping movers and 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 mover. That really recognizes 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. Plus, they’ll be more inclined to insure your belongings reach your destination safely, securely and in good shape.

Safe moving!

Tips to cleaning up everything before you move

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

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 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!

How many pros do you need if you are moving in a hurry

When you decide, or must move across the country or overseas, many folks ask me, how many movers will I need to move all my personal belongings especially if you need to move quickly. One of the key factors I tell my clients is, how much stuff you can part with. In other words, what items can you store or just get rid of. This is one of the best times to clean out and get rid of personal belongings, furniture etc. and eliminate unused or unwanted items.

After you have completed your own inventory, you can get a better idea of the personal belongings you will need to move or put in storage. This will save you a lot of time and money too.

The best way to know how many movers you will need to move quickly and to receive a fair price when you move? Make sure your moving company hires or has a reputable moving assessor to go over all your belongings you plan to move. He or she then will take notes and assess the weight, size and any special items that need to move such as a piano or pool table; you will need a 3 to 4-person crew with professional experience to get the job done fast and safely.

Here’s something that you do know because it is nothing but common sense knowledge – the more professional movers you hire, the faster they will get the job done. Ok, that statement may not always be true, but let’s assume for that moment that it is so. But even if your utmost desire is to have the move completed in record quick time, it’s the price you will have to take into consideration as well.

So, more movers will mean less time, but more movers will also mean more money. Ultimately, you will have to strike a reasonable balance between time and money to stay within the happy medium of moving overseas. That’s why it’s so important to have a reputable assessor to take care of this for you.

Carry distance
Also, keep in mind that sometimes the carry distance to the moving truck will come into play too if the price of your move doesn’t include your home distance. And if you are calculating from a timing standpoint due to your “rush move,” include movers that may have to carry boxes and other items of your personal belongings a long way such as 50 feet or so, be sure to add about an hour and a half of the total time you want to have your move completed.

If you have a flight or more of steps to get into your home, your assessor will take this into consideration regarding the entire cost of the move and if you are in a hurry, add about an hour for each flight of stairs.

The best way to move in a hurry, hire a reputable moving company with terrific assessors and don’t ever try to skimp on a cheaper mover that provides only a “one-person” band to try to get the job done. And always purchase moving insurance before you move.

Safe moving

Make sure you are fully insured before moving overseas

In my last blog, I recommended for you to move during the winter if possible. It’s less expensive and easier to schedule your move. This week, I’m recommending and always recommend purchasing insurance during your move overseas.
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 your family members as well as insurance to protect your household goods.
Group policies
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.

Household goods insurance
If you are moving overseas for work, be sure to know who is making the insurance arrangements for your household goods. 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.

Shipping insurance
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

Move now before the craziness starts

The winter months are the best time to move because rates are usually lower and there’s not a lot of people moving at that time. You can receive the best moving deals and your personal household goods will more than likely be shipped faster.

It’s crazy for movers during the summer months because it’s the busiest time of the year for moving. Almost one-third of all moves take place in the summer, peaking in June, according to the U.S. Census. The busiest times are often near the end of the month and on weekends.

Scheduling your move mid-month or mid-week can reduce stress and sometimes result in savings. Begin contacting moving companies at least one month to two months prior to your move. Reputable moving companies can reach capacity quickly, and procrastinating may result in missing your preferred move date.

Make sure to ask your moving company for referrals and testimonials too. Here at Rainier, we provide free in-home estimates for the move at no obligation to you. Even if you are considering handling the move yourself, you have nothing to lose by inviting us into your home so you can find out if a professional move is the best option for you (highly recommended).

If you decide to go with another moving company, be sure the mover has a federal motor carrier, or MC, number so you know your mover is legitimate. You can verify their status by contacting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by visiting You can also visit the Federal Maritime Commission for overseas moves at

Safe moving!

Tips to finding a new international home

In a prior post, I provided you tips on how to keep you and your family healthy when moving overseas. This week, I’m going to give you tips on how to find the best home when you are relocating overseas.

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 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. My contact information is below for your convenience.

Safe moving!

Tips to stay healthy when moving overseas

Wherever you are you are moving overseas, it’s important to be informed regarding any health epidemics or other health-related concerns before relocating abroad. The U.S. usually provides information about any health concerns you need to know through Homeland Security and State Department advisories.
Here are some tips to keep you and your family healthy when you move overseas:
• Make sure you and every family member has a full medical check-up before departing. This needs to be done months in advance to ensure if someone has an underlying illness, it’s detected now before leaving. Also, this should include dental check-ups as well.
• After seeing your physician and dentist, make sure to make several copies of the medical records of each family member. The records almost certainly will be required by schools and will ease the transition to a new physician. Also, if any one of your family members has a chronic or special health condition, it should be determined whether it can be adequately treated in your new country. You can contact your consulate and they should be able to let you know what health services are provided at your new destination.
• It’s good to make a little wristband or medical bracelet for a family member that is allergic to certain drugs, has allergies, or any other type of health issue so that if he or she is treated at a clinic or hospital for an emergency, health technicians will know. Make sure to get a list of all of your family’s medicines and their generic names so an overseas pharmacist can provide something equivalent.
• English is widely spoken in many countries, but it is important that you translate the medical information to the language of your destination. This will ensure you will be given the correct and right dosages of the medicines you or your family take.
Always prepare for the unexpected so you and your family will be fully prepared if a minor or major health concern happens at your new overseas home.

Safe moving!

Tips for members of military moving overseas

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 provide 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!

Your own overseas help-desk right at your fingertips

So now you have useful online tools when moving overseas from last week’s blog, but what about essential international moving links to ensure you have a safe and smooth overseas move with useful information you need at your fingertips.

I have compiled useful information from some of my previous blogs that you should bookmark and make sure they are with you before venturing overseas. It is like having your own personal help-desk wherever you go:
Passports and visas – Descriptions of passports and visas and tips to ensure you have the right one before you move.
International paperwork – There is a lot of paperwork you will need before moving and a list is provided to ensure you have all the needed documentation before moving overseas.
Moving automobiles – Tips when you have a car or other type of transportation that needs to be moved overseas.
Utilizing embassies and consulates – This blog provides you tips on how to take full advantage of their resources in the country you are moving to.
Embassies and consulate directories – Want to know the address and contact information of the embassy or consulate you are moving to? has the list and much more!

Safe moving!