Tips to finding awesome movers

Now that you know how many movers you need to move your household goods, it’s time to find an awesome moving company. When faced with an international move and getting you and your family ready for some radical changes in your life, you want to be sure to hire a reputable international moving company.

You will need to hire a solid international mover that will ensure safety, efficiency, and compliance with established international procedures and regulations. To make sure that you will pick one of the best international moving companies to help you move overseas, here are some important tips to consider:

  1. Begin research early – The earlier you start searching for international movers, the easier it will be to find an affordable, trustworthy company that suits all your needs and requirements. Keep in mind, it will take a month or even longer to have your personal belongings arrive at your final moving destination.
  2. Recommendations – Ask your family members, relatives, friends and co-workers if they can recommend some reliable international movers – ones they have used in the past or ones they have heard good things about.
  3. Extensive experience – One of the most critical factors to consider when comparing international moving companies is the level of experience they have in dealing with international moving. To ensure a smooth moving process, the overseas mover should be familiar with the international freight laws, as well as with the specific relocation-related rules and regulations in your new country of destination.
  4. On-site estimates – Make sure to compare the rates and services provided by different international moving companies. Cheapest doesn’t mean it’s the best to use for the least price, reputation is huge here. Go by what the company will provide and never accept a moving estimate over the phone or online. Have an assessor come out to your home and provide how much it will cost to move your belongings overseas.
  5. Accreditation – Check the company’s licensing (an international moving company must be licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission, FMC, in order to operate legally in the US) and membership in reputable international associations (FIDI, IAM, etc.).

And finally, please ask and request testimonials from previous customers that have moved (we have plenty at Rainier Overseas) and check the company’s complaint history.

Safe moving!

Moving overseas? Purchase moving insurance for your household goods

Since beginning my moving blog, I’ve always recommended purchasing moving insurance for your household goods. This week, I want to take a “deep dive” and provide you tips about moving insurance and why it’s so important.
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.

Employer insurance
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.

Fully 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.

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.

Have you covered
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!

Tips to staying healthy when moving

Last week, I covered tips on staying connected. When you are moving, connectivity is important but more importantly is your health.
Here are some simple tips to keep healthy when moving especially overseas:
Check-up – 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 so it’s detected now before leaving. Include dental check-ups as well.
Copy medical records – After seeing your physician and dentist, be sure to have medical records for each family member. The records almost certainly will be required by schools and will ease the transition to a new physician.
• Wristband – 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. If he or she is treated at a clinic or hospital for an emergency, health technicians will be aware of any health-related issues. Also, be sure to have a list of your family’s medicines and their generic names so an overseas pharmacist can provide something equivalent.
• Translate medical information – 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 when moving, especially to another country.

Safe moving!

Tips to keep connected when moving

If you are moving internationally and taking your desktop or laptop with you, you’ll want to be sure to stay connected especially if your move is work-related. There are many things to keep in mind and be aware of before you leave the U.S. so your connection to your computer with the local system is completely compatible.

Many countries are not digitally connected yet like here at home. And something you won’t want to forget, electric-compatible connectors and adapters so your high-tech equipment can work.

Tips staying connected:
Voltage – As mentioned, find out what the country’s voltage is and what type of built-in adapters you need to take with you. Ask if the telephone plugs are hard-wired directly into the wall or is it digital. Digital signals vary and your modem may not work. Purchase a modem and voltage adapter based on the power voltage of your new country of origin.
Surge protector – To avoid having a full meltdown of your computer if for some reason a power surge occurs and you don’t have a surge protector, find out if the power or electricity is reliable and what specific power protector you should have.
Modem – There are some modems that don’t run properly in certain countries. Make sure to find out what type of modem that is compatible.
ISP – Make sure to find out what local Internet Service Provider (ISP) is best to use. Local ISPs are much cheaper than the granddaddy ones and more reliable too.
Software – Check to ensure you have all the correct software and programs that are compatible in your new home. In addition, there are some local software packages that makes it easier to use your programs in another country.

It’s easy to take for granted when living in the states how everyone is connected especially with smartphones and smart TVs. Digital has made things much better but not every country is up-to-par yet. Do a little research, purchase pertinent adapters and you’ll be able to stay connected before moving out of the country.

Safe moving!

Tips moving golf clubs

In recent blog posts, I have provided tips on how to move a piano, motorcycles and other important items. This week, I’m going to give you tips moving your golf clubs. Hey, they are expensive and need attention when you are moving especially if it’s overseas.

Stiff Arm
Believe it or not, golf clubs can be damaged despite the way they look and feel. Make sure to purchase a Stiff Arm, an adjustable 3-piece telescopic stick that fits in any golf travel bag and will absorb any moving force of impact during the move. You might know it as a golf protection device that eliminates damage during a move.

Tips packing golf clubs
Club heads – The head of your golf clubs are the most important pieces to cover. Purchase head covers at your sporting goods store, they should have plenty to choose from. If not, then wrap them in towels or even use small pillows between each club.
Secure each club – Bubble wrap is one of the best packaging materials to put over each individual golf club. This is one of the best ways to protect each club during transit. Also, use zip ties or something similar to keep each club securely in place in your Stiff Arm.
Soft bag – I would recommending using a soft bag to put all of your bundled clubs together. Use additional bubble wrap, towels or sheets to fill up the bag so that your clubs are secure.
Rattle and roll – Once in the soft bag, rattle the clubs and shake them to be sure they are not moving inside the travel bag.
Close it – Once the clubs are packed, close and zip up the bag and it’s then ready to be packed in your household goods. When your assessor arrives to go over the goods you need moved, make sure to let him or her know that you have golf clubs. They will then pack it in a crate or box that will further protect them during the move.

Use these tips to protect your valuable golf tips so you will be ready to play the game in your new town or city of destination.

Safe moving!

Tips forwarding mail when moving overseas

Even though many of us receive packages via FedEx or by other means, we still have important snail-mail to collect. When moving overseas, you want to ensure you receive it at your new home or residence. With technology today, you can now manage your mail from abroad by using mail forwarding services.

Moving can be stressful especially moving overseas, but be sure to select a mail servicing company before heading out so that important letters, correspondences and yes, even bills are still sent to you.

Tips and types of mail-forwarding:
• Mail sent monthly, bi-monthly or as requested
• Add an Internet account so you can view the status of your mail and specify specific shipping dates
• Shipping and customs documents can be handled by the shipping service you choose
• Categorize or select which parcels of mail you want to receive overseas

The U.S. Postal Services regulates commercial receiving agencies (CRMAs) and requires a form to be filled out (you can download it here: and have identification documents handy when filling out the form. If you have a significant other and you’re not married, each person will need to fill out a separate form.

Mail-forwarding services eases a lot of worries when heading overseas and this is just another convenient service to use when moving overseas.

Safe moving!

Tips moving on a 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 your move less expensive.

As I discussed last week, moving a wine cellar isn’t easy and can be pricey but you can save money overall if you follow budget moving tips below.

Tips moving on a budget:
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 the household goods, 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 as discussed in blog #97. 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 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!