Five reasons why you should have professionals pack your move

Packing for a move – Do it yourself or hire a professional?

Moving is a time consuming effort with lots of variables. We look 5 good reasons why hiring professionals to pack up your things may be a worthwhile investment.

1. It will save you time

The bottom line is that packing can take a lot of time. How much will depend on the size of your home or apartment and how many items you have, however it will still add up to a lot of extra time that might be better spent taking care of other moving-related tasks. There will be additional cost involved for a professional packing, but you can decide if that amount is worth paying if it means you don’t have to take additional days off of work, or have a schedule that would make it extremely stressful to have to make time to pack everything yourself.

2. Convenience

Having movers pack can lead to more timeProfessionals can usually pack everything in a single day in most cases. In addition to taking less time, the added bonus is that you will not have to pack things away weeks in advance as you would if you were packing everything yourself. You can live comfortably with all your home essentials at your disposal right up until the day the movers come to pack everything up. With the many things that need to get done when you are planning for a move, this can be a huge advantage.

3. Assurance

Professionals will take a survey of your belongings prior to the move. This allows them to not only get a very accurate estimate of the cost of the move in general, but also helps them and you identify items that may need extra care or special packing methods to best ensure they are transported safely.

4. Quality and Care

HIre a professional to pack your moveWhen you hire a professional mover to perform the packing of your belongings, you can rest easy knowing that proper packing and materials will be used. A professional will make sure that furniture items are all disassembled correctly and items such as paintings, glassware and breakables are packed the right way and with the most protective safeguards in place. They will have experience and knowledge of how to efficiently and safely prepare fragile and valuable items for transport.

5. Flexibility

It doesn’t necessarily have to be “All or Nothing” Most professional movers offer packing services for specialty items such as breakables, antiques, mirrors etc. that you might not feel confident that you could pack up properly. You could elect to pack a majority of you personal belongings, such as clothings, books, and non-breakables, but leave the complicated and delicate stuff to the pros. Inquire with your local mover and they can send someone out to review the items with you and provide a quote for a partial pack.

image courtesy of Unsplash moving-day-tips-pet-owners

Moving Day Tips For Pet Owners!

Moving day is always a hectic affair! As you plan for your move, here are some tips on how to prepare your pets for the big day. Simple steps can help keep your pet’s safe and secure and also keep everybody’s stress levels down!

1. Collars and ID tags

On the day of the move, make sure that your pet is wearing a reliable collar and ID with CURRENT telephone and contact information. Moves can often be chaotic, with lots of people moving in and out of your house or apartment. Pets can easily become frightened, panic and run out of an open door. You may also want to consider having your pet microchipped. In the event that their collar is lost, they can be ID’d at a veterinarian or equipped animal shelter.

*Note: If your pet is not accustomed to wearing a collar, it is a good idea to introduce them to it well before your move and get them used to wearing one.

moving-tips-pet-owner-collar

2. Let The Movers Know About Your Pets

Always inform members of your moving crew, what kind of animals and how many there are in the house so they can be aware and mindful during the moving process. Let them know ahead of time if there are any special instructions related to your pets.

3. Day Of The Move

It is best if you are able to secure your pets in their pet crate and/or ideally closed room of your house or apartment until you are ready to leave with them. There will be plenty of strange and loud noises, strange people and smells that can frighten your animals and cause them stress and risk their attempting to flee.
pets easily scared by movers

4. How To Transport

Small dogs, cats, rabbits and other small should be kept in a secure, well-ventilated pet carrier. Larger dogs should always be leashed to prevent the risk that they get spooked and try to run away. NEVER transport ANY PET in an open truck bed, storage area of a moving van, or car trunk.

5. Moving Long-Distance

Make sure you identify pet-friendly hotels along your trip route, and reserve rooms ahead of time. For a list of pet-friendly hotels, see www.petswelcome.com or www.pet-friendly-hotels.net. If your pet is prone to car sickness or has extreme anxiety being in a moving vehicle, talk to your veterinarian well before your moving date for recommendations and possible medication prescriptions.

6. Breaks and Pit Stops

Plan on allowing for adequate potty breaks, water and food for your pet along your journey. Keep dogs leashed at all times during your roadside rest stops.

Guide to moving smart - All State Movers inc.

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What questions to ask when hiring a mover?

Important questions to ask when looking to hire a moving company

It’s no secret, planning a move can be very stressful and feel overwhelming. There are a lot of moving parts (pun intended) involved, and many decisions to make. One of the most important decisions is choosing the right moving company for your specific type of move. Here are a few of the most important questions that can help you find a professional and legitimate moving company that you are comfortable using..

1. Are they a properly licensed mover?

Do they have a USDOT Number? Determine if the company you are talking to is legitimate. All professional moving companies that operate commercial vehicles transporting passengers or hauling cargo in interstate commerce must be registered with the FMCSA and must have a USDOT Number issued by the United States Department of Transportation. Once they have provided you with their USDOT number, you can look the company up and verify that they are registered and that their license is current HERE

Local Moves – If the moving company you are looking to hire only performs moving services within the same state, then they are regulated by the state they operate in and not the U.S. Department of Transportation. In this case, they would have a state issued license. Please note that each state may have its own rules and regulations governing moves within the state. Check with your state, county or local consumer affairs agency or state moving association if you’re moving to a new location within the same state.

fmcsa-logo

2. How experienced are they?

Do you have the experience with my particular type of move?

Make sure that the moving company you are interested in hiring has the expertise and experience to handle your specific type of move. There are many logistics that go into moving and the more familiar a company is with the many various moving situations and scenarios, the more efficiently the move will go. Be sure to provide as many details to the moving agent so that they can properly assess what will be needed for your move. Some examples are:

  • Location is in a heavily populated area with strict parking restrictions. How do you handle these situations?
  • Location is a high rise building. Elevator or dock access required. Are they familiar with standard procedures, responsible for communication with the building management and arrangements?
  • Interstate moves: Is the mover familiar with the transportation laws of the particular state(s) they will be traveling through?
  • Location is not directly accessible by a large truck. Can they accommodate with a contingency plan?
  • Are there any buildings in the move that require union movers? Can they meet the requirements?
  • Not everything can be moved. Ask what items/materials they will and won’t move. See the post What Mover’s Won’t Move for more details.

3. Are they fully insured?

What kind of liability coverage does your company provide?

Any reliable, professional moving company should have multiple liability coverage options for you to choose from. Properly licensed interstate movers are required to offer two types of liability options: Full Value Protection and Released Value. The full definitions of each type can be found at the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website.

A quick summary of each type quoted from the site is:

  1. Full Value Protection: “Under Full Value Protection, your mover is liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged goods in your entire shipment. This is the more comprehensive plan available for the protection of your belongings….” NOTE: The exact cost for Full Value Protection varies by mover and may be subject to various deductible levels of liability that may reduce your cost. Ask your mover for written details of their Full Value Protection plan.
  2. Released Value Protection: “The most economical protection available is Released Value, since it is offered at no additional charge. However, the protection is minimal. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. For example, if your mover lost or damaged a 10-pound stereo component valued at $1,000, you would only receive $6.00 in compensation (60 cents x 10 pounds).”

Is your mover insured?

Beyond these two options, many movers also offer the option to purchase insurance from a third-party insurance company

PRO TIP: Some Homeowner’s Insurance policies have built-in coverage, so be sure to check your policy before purchasing third-party additional insurance.

Ask to see proof of insurance. Any legitimate moving company should be able and willing to show you proof their insurance policy if requested to do so.

4. What is their dispute resolution program?

Hopefully your move will be successful and worry-free, but if there is an issue, you want to know that the moving company you hired has an adequate method of resolving disputes. Interstate movers are required to participate in a dispute resolution or arbitration program to address your loss and damage claims. If your mover does not provide you with information on its program, ask for it – movers are required to provide a concise, easy-to-read summary.

5. Understand your estimate

Assuming everything went well with your initial discussion and negotiations with the moving agent at the company you are looking to hire, you will be given a final estimate. Everything from the cost of individual services, fees, scheduling, policies, etc., should be outlined clearly in the estimate. Be sure to read it over carefully, and if you have any questions about any part of the estimate, do not hesitate to inquire about it and have someone from the company explain it to you so that you understand it. This will greatly reduce the chance of any misinterpretations that could lead to unwanted surprises come moving day.

understand-your-moving-agreement

Additional questions to ask

  • Make sure you have the best way to contact the company or the moving crew on the day of the move.
  • How long does delivery normally take? This will vary depending on move size and logistics.
  • Find out what your mover will and will not move.
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for references

Guide to moving smart - All State Movers inc.

Did you find these tips useful? Take a look at our full guide. It’s FREE and downloadable!

What won't most movers move?

What items won’t a moving company move?

When you are making preparations to move, it’s important to understand what kinds of items that most moving companies will not or are reluctant to move.

Reputable moving companies have high standards and prioritize safety for both their employees welfare as well as the safety of their customer’s belongings. For this reason, there are a variety of things that are restricted.

The following is a compilation of the main categories of items that most movers will not agree to move or ship as well as some that can be moved, but often are better off being transported personally.

Remember that these are general guidelines and each individual moving company has their own list of what is allowed and not allowed. If you have any items that you feel might be questionable, and are wondering if they can be moved, it’s always a good idea to talk directly to your moving company BEFORE the job is booked and find out if they will or will not move the item in question. This will eliminate any guesswork and also an unwanted surprise when the movers show up on moving day!

1. Hazardous Materials

Safety is always paramount for a reputable professional moving company and it is necessary to restrict certain items in order to protect their employees as well as the customer’s cargo. There are also often state laws in place that prohibit the transportation of certain types of items too, so be sure to check with your moving company if you have any items that may be considered hazardous.

These items may include:

  • Aerosol Cans
  • Ammonia
  • Ammunition
  • Car Batteries
  • Charcoal/Lighter Fluid
  • Chemistry Sets
  • Cleaning Solvents
  • Darkroom Chemicals
  • Fertilizer
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Fireworks
  • Fuels/Oils
  • Household Batteries
  • Kerosene
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Loaded Guns
  • Matches
  • Nail Polish
  • Paint Thinners
  • Paints/Varnishes
  • Pesticides
  • Poisons
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Propane Tanks
  • Sterno Fuel
  • Weed Killer
What items won't moving companies move - hazardous materials

2. Perishables

Perishable food can can spoil quickly, exposing everything in the truck to foul odors, mold growth and often a mess when unpacking. People are often surprised that house plants are often found on the “won’t move “list.  If they are allowed it will be for moves 150 miles or less and if moving state-to-state there may be additional restrictions that vary by state depending on the type of plant. Talk to you mover about the specific plants you intend to move.

Perishable items not allowed include:

  • Plants
  • Food without Adequate Preservation
  • Frozen Food
  • Open or Half-Used Foods
  • Produce
  • Refrigerated Foods

3. Live Animals

Thinking about having the movers transport your pet snake?
Sorry, Mr. Slithers will have to travel with you, or have other arrangements made for him. There are professional pet movers that specialize in the safe transportation of live animals if personal vehicle or air travel is not an option.

Moving companies will not move your pets or live animals simply because there is too much risk involved. The interior air conditions of a moving van can be very bad and the temperatures can reach life threatening extremes.

What items won't moving companies move - pets

4. Personal and Important Items and Documents

While these items aren’t a danger like hazardous or perishable items, many moving companies will not move irreplaceable items such as photographs, one-of-a-kind documents, valuables items etc. because the inherent risk is too great. Plan on moving any items that you deem important or irreplaceable yourself and mitigate any doubts with the items in your possession and under your care.

These items may include:

  • Address Books
  • Airline Tickets
  • Car Titles
  • Cash
  • Cell Phones
  • Checkbooks
  • Computer Data Files/Backups
  • Family Photographs/Photo Albums
  • Financial Documents (Stocks, Bonds, CDs, IRAs, Deeds, Tax Records)
  • Home Videos
  • Insurance Policies
  • Jewelry and Furs
  • Keys (Car, Furniture, New Home)
  • Laptop Computers
  • Medical/Dental Records
  • New Home Documents
  • Prescription Medicine
  • Professional Files/Research Projects
  • School Records

Guide to moving smart - All State Movers inc.

Did you find these tips useful? Take a look at our full guide. It’s FREE and downloadable!

Tips to help plan your move

How To Plan Your Move

Planning for a move can be a daunting task. We share some tips on how to plan for your move in an organized and efficient way.

1. Make an inventory of your things


Many people only do a cursory inspection of their items prior to booking their moving arrangements. Once the packing phase begins, they discover they have a lot more than they originally thought. Taking a realistic inventory of your belongings early in the moving process accomplishes the following:

Plan your move: Make an inventory

  • It will make your arrangements with your moving company easier and more accurate, resulting in a smoother move and less chance of miscommunication during and after the move.
  • You have a clear picture of exactly how much “stuff ” you really have! This is especially important for people who have lived in the same place for a long time. We often accumulate things and store them in a way that leads us to believe we have much less than we actually do.
  • It gives you the opportunity to make decisions about what you need to take and what can be sold, donated or purged before you move. You can save money on your moving expenses by reducing the total number of items to be moved.
  • Identify what’s important. Rather than to simply get rid of your items at the last minute, doing an inventory early in the moving process allows you time to consider the items, furniture etc. that may have sentimental value and you aren’t quite ready to part with yet. If the particular item does not make sense to move to the new location, then perhaps some off-site long term storage might be an option to consider.

2. Create A Budget

How much can you afford to spend?

Establishing the amount that you are able/willing to spend on your move will inform all the choices involved moving forward. Having the ability to forecast your expenditures ahead of time and understand what to expect can remove some of the uncertainty and stress that comes with a big move.

Based on the moving estimates you receive, you can estimate the costs of the physical move itself: The moving job cost, truck rentals, packing, supplies etc. If you followed the step above and did a thorough inventory, than the estimate that you receive from the moving company should be fairly accurate with no surprises come moving day.

The next major expenses to factor in are travel, transportation and/or hotel costs (if you are moving state-to-state). Also, some businesses help subsidize moves and relocations of their employees, so it’s worth inquiring if your employer offers a similar program.

Plan your budget - calculator

Potential Moving Expenses

  • Cost of hiring professional movers
  • Truck rental (if moving yourself)
  • Packing supplies: tape, boxes, bins, pads, blankets, etc.
  • Travel costs: fuel, lodging, meals (if driving) or cost of transportation: airplane/bus/train tickets
  • Long term storage
  • Short term storage (if your move-in date doesn’t line up with arrival date)
  • Service calls:  Requiring a technician visit to disconnect/connect utilities at old location and new

3. Get Organized!

Make your move less stressful by having everything at your fingertips

  • Designate a dedicated folder or binder that you can keep all the research materials – From moving price quotes, to checklists, floorplans, and receipts – Everything that is important and relevant to your move.
  • Create a list of important contacts and phone numbers. Having the phone numbers of your mover, local contacts, utility companies, travel services, etc. in one place can be a real time saver. No wasted efforts trying to hunt through your cell phone directory or trying to remember names, and companies. Everything will be accessible.
  • FOLLOW THROUGH! Take control and track your tasks as you complete them. We recommend using a checklist that covers the necessary tasks in chronological order from the beginning to the end.

Organize your move: Keep a centralfolder

Download our handy and free printable checklist here!

4. Schedule the important tasks

Make yourself a moving day timeline.

Put all important moving tasks on your calendar. Outlining the tasks on a timeline means you won’t be rushing to do them all at once. You will also be able to see clearly what tasks or actions may have dependencies and require the completion of another task before starting.

PRO TIP: Go Big! The calendar app on your phone works great as a daily planner, but sometimes you need to see the forest from the trees. Pick up a large format wall or desk calendar that you can add all the important moving tasks, appointments, deliveries etc. on. You will then be able to see them all in relation to one another. Seeing all the events in the spatial blocks of time can make it much easier to understand how your moving plan is shaping up.

Schedule your move: Keep a central calendar

Guide to moving smart - All State Movers inc.

Did you find these tips useful? Take a look at our full guide. It’s FREE and downloadable!

Packing tips for moving

Moving Tips: How to pack for a move

Packing for a big move doesn’t have to be pain, as long as you approach it in a thoughtful organized manner. Below you will find five of the best tried and true tips to help you pack smarter and safer.

1. LABEL EVERYTHING

Label all boxes, bags and large items, indicating not only the room from which they came from, but also the CONTENTS of what’s inside each box. This will make life much easier when you are unpacking, or just need to quickly locate a specific item.

Packing Tips: Label evertyhing - All State Movers Inc.
packing-safe-boxes

2. PACKING ONE ROOM AT A TIME

Try to pack up each room completely before moving on to another one. It can be overwhelming and often infficient if you are trying to pack up the whole house, jumping from room to room. BONUS TIP : When you get to your destination follow the same, one room at a time approach to unpack.

3. HOW TO PACK FRAGILE ITEMS

For fragile items like glass or dishware wrap each one individually with packing paper or bubble wrap.
Stack dishes vertically instead of all on top of each other horizontally. Then fill in the spaces between with padding.
Make sure to completely fill all the voids in the boxes with packing paper or bubble wrap to avoid crushed / caved in boxes.

How to pack: Dishes

4. PACKING PERSONAL AND IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Organize and keep all important documents on your person. These would include financial account information, Birth Certificates, Passports, Social Security card, IDs etc.

BONUS TIP: Did you know that there are certain hazardous materials and items that moving companies are prohibited from moving? See the list below.

5. USE THE RIGHT BOX FOR THE RIGHT JOB!

Follow this simple rule of thumb:

HEAVY items go in SMALLER boxes. Things like books, metal objects, heavier wood etc.

LIGHT items go in LARGER Boxes. These would include things like blankets, pillows and linens.

Putting a lot of heavy items in a larger box make them harder to move and can increase the likelihood of being damaged!
Click the link below to learn more about various packing materials and their uses.

know-what-cant-be-transported

Find these tips useful? Take a look at our full guide. It’s FREE and downloadable!