5 Tips for An Easy Office Move

Easy office moves can seem like a fairytale situation. But using our 5 tips can help save time and money while reducing stress. Follow these five tips for the most seamless and easy office move.

1 Use Totes

Plastic reusable totes can speed up the packing and unpacking process. These boxes are perfect for containing files, books and miscellaneous office supplies, plus they stack easily on the truck. Totes can be rented out for the day of the move.

2 Empty File Cabinets

Be sure that before the movers arrive empty horizontal file cabinets completely and the top drawers of four drawers of four-drawer filing cabinets. Files cannot be left in the cabinets because the weight of the files may actually cause the cabinet to warp in transit. Place the files in order in the reusable totes mentioned above and label the totes so that it’s easy to put the files right back where they go when the move is complete.

3 Use carts

Computer carts of library carts are perfect for placing a couple computer monitors upon and simply rolling out to the moving truck. It is always a good idea to wrap the computers in anti-static bubble wrap, but you can eliminate the cardboard box by securing the monitors to the computer cart. This is a quick easy way to transport the computers from one office to another. It cuts down on the time it takes to pack, load, unload and unpack the computers while still getting them safely from Point A to Point B. Carts can be rented out for the day of the move.

4 Prepare a floor plan

It is important to have floor plan for the new office so that everyone is clear on where everything will go. Share this plan with the moving company you have selected so that the moving crew can quickly and efficiently place workstations in their designated move-to spots with minimal direction needed.

5 Implement a labelling system

It is important to label every piece that is being moved, whether it is the desk itself or a moving box. Choose different colours of labels for each workstation or office to identify quickly and easily each item will be placed. You can also assign each workstation a number and attach that number to the desk, chair, computer and any other items from that workstation so they all end up in the right place in the move-to location.

How to Say Goodbye to Your Old Home

Moving home can be extremely distressing, as can settling into your new abode – so ease the transition by saying a proper goodbye.

This means more than forwarding your mail and registering with your new council, but rather focusing on the memories both the old and the new. Here’s how to go about it.

Goodbye to the old

1. Get snap happy

Documenting your old house before you’ve packed up all your stuff not only captures your home in its true state but will also give you a snapshot of your life in that exact moment. If you have kids, make sure you capture them in the photos too so that when you’re all older you can look back together fondly.

Document your old house before you’ve packed up everything.

Little boy playing on tricycle in backyardPhotography: Kate Hunter

2. It’s party time

Invite your closest friends and family and host a goodbye party. Don’t worry about the moving boxes or the mess; just have some music playing, some paper plates and a BBQ.

3. Be a tourist

When you’ve lived somewhere for so long you often avoid the official tours and local tourist traps. But now with departure on the horizon visit all the major destinations and see how your city/town presents itself compared to how you’ve come to know it. Who knows you may even learn something knew.

Hello to the new

1. Spruce it up

Vase of flowers

When your first open the door to your new place, you’ll immediately be hit by the fact nothing looks, feels or smells the same. So start things out on the right foot by cleaning the cupboards, counters and floors, opening the windows, lighting some candles and adding a bouquet of flowers. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference this makes.

2. Make your mark

Make sure your home is personal to you when you move in.

You don’t have to go into full renovation mode but make sure your home is personal to you. Try painting the walls, hanging new curtains or adding some art. It doesn’t matter what you do along as it makes the new place feel like you and your family.

3. House-warming

Invite your friends, family and even your new neighbours to a house-warming bash. It’s not about the stuff you get but rather the memories you make, so feel free to include a no gifts request on your invite.

Most of all it’s important to remember that moving home is the mark of an exciting new chapter in your life. Hold onto your past memories, but live in the moment and move into the future with acceptance, happiness and enthusiasm.

12 Steps to Hiring a Mover Part-1

The process of finding a good mover can seem daunting. But doing a little research is worth it. By shopping around, you can save money (sometimes more than $1,000) and avoid scams. Here are 12 steps to help you through the process.

1. Get recommendations. Ask friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents. Look in the phone book for moving companies that have offices near your home. You’re going to want to get an in-person estimate of how much your move will cost. Don’t rely on any estimate that comes from someone who hasn’t looked in every one of your closets. Don’t assume that big-name companies are best. Do not get estimates through websites that offer to “find you a mover.” Find the mover yourself and avoid the numerous scams associated with some of these sites. And don’t use household-goods brokerage services that find a moving company for you―they are not regulated by the laws that movers must follow.

2. Do an initial screening. When you have a list of recommended movers, go online to do a quick background check (you can do a more thorough check later). Call or go to the website of the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org). You also can call or e-mail the American Moving and Storage Association (moving.org, 703-683-7410, info@moving.org) to see if a moving company is a member, which means it has agreed to abide by the organization’s published tariffs and to participate in its arbitration program. AMSA membership is voluntary. As long as a moving company checks out in all other ways, the fact that it is not a member shouldn’t rule it out.

Be sure to check the consumer-advocacy sites movingscam.com. Each of these has a blacklist of companies with a history of consumer complaints, as well as tips and general information about the moving industry. You can also do a search using the company name at Rip-off Report (ripoffreport.com).

3. You should end up with at least three or four companies to call for an in-home estimate. If you’re moving to another state, ask if the company will give you a written binding estimate or, even better, a binding not-to-exceed estimate. Both types of estimates put a guaranteed cap on what you will pay for your move. While nonbinding estimates are legal (as long as they’re given free), as the U.S. Department of Transportation moving guide warns, “You should expect the final cost to be more than the estimate.” And while interstate movers are allowed to charge you for binding estimates, most will offer them free. Estimates for interstate moves will be based on the weight of the items you’re moving and the distance of the move. For moves within the same state, rules about estimates vary: Some states (such as California) require that movers give a written and signed binding estimate; others (like Illinois) forbid them to. Either way, estimates for these movers are based on the amount of time the move will take.

4. When an estimator comes to your home, show him everything you want to have moved―in the closets, the backyard, the basement, the attic. If on your moving day the foreman believes you have significantly more stuff than was calculated in your estimate, he can “challenge” the original estimate (before everything is on the truck, not after). He can’t force you to pay a higher amount, but he doesn’t have to move your stuff for the original amount, either. And at that point you probably don’t have a lot of other options. Also, make sure the estimator knows about any conditions at your new home that might complicate the move, such as stairs, elevators, or a significant distance from the curb to the closest door. While the estimator is at your home, get as much information as you can about the company. Make sure it will be moving you itself, not contracting the job out to another mover. Find out how long the company has been in business. (You want one that’s been around a few years at least, and ideally 10 or more.) By the time the estimator leaves, you should have collected all of the following:

  • The company’s full name and any other names under which it does business.
  • The company’s address, phone numbers, and e-mail and website addresses.
  • Names and contact information for the company’s references.
  • USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) and MC (motor carrier) license numbers.
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.” Federal law requires any interstate mover to provide you with this guide, which is the official rule book of the interstate moving industry. (You can download a copy at fmcsa.dot.gov.) For in-state moves, movers are regulated by the state’s department of transportation or its public utilities or commerce commission. Some states publish their own moving-guide pamphlets.

5. Review the estimate. The estimate may be a combined document that, when signed by you and the moving-company representative, serves as your order for service and bill of lading, too. These, along with the inventory list created when your goods are loaded, are the basic documents any mover should provide you with. Make sure you see the words “written binding estimate” up top, as well as the mover’s signature with a date at the bottom. For an interstate move, the estimate should clearly describe the type and quantity of goods you’re shipping, the distance to your new home, when your things will be picked up and delivered, and any additional services (such as packing) and supplies the moving company is providing. If you want to purchase additional insurance from your mover (above the standard 60 cents a pound that the mover’s insurance covers), make sure you understand the costs and details of that coverage. For an in-state move, for which you can’t get a binding estimate, you should still get a written estimate that sets out the hourly rates and any additional costs you may incur (for supplies, tolls, driving time to and from the mover’s facilities). If you’re not sure about anything in the estimate, call and ask. And have the company send you a revised written estimate if necessary―don’t just take someone’s word for anything.

6. As you get estimates, collect them in a brightly colored (that is, hard-to-lose) moving folder. Keep this folder open in plain sight as later estimators come in. This shows them you’re doing your homework, which encourages them to be honest and perhaps give you a more competitive quote.

9 Hip Tips For Car Shipping

Having a professional auto carrier ship your car or truck is a convenient and reliable way to move it across the country. You might take advantage of the service when you’re relocating, moving a vehicle out of car storage, or buying a vehicle from a distance. Here are uShip’s top tips for getting a great deal and ensuring your vehicle is shipped quickly and safely.

1.     Compare pricing
As with any service, you’ll probably get what you pay for with auto transport companies. But with a realistic budget in mind, you can compare rates with different carriers to get a good deal. Sites like uShip.com make this easy by offering upfront quotes from top carriers, or you can list your shipment and wait for competing bids.

2.     Check your carrier’s feedback online
When comparing quotes, you should evaluate auto carriers based on their experience, licensing, authority and insurance. Legal haulers are required to be registered with the Department of Transportation and have valid Motor Carrier authority. Google, the Better Business Bureau and uShip are great resources for feedback from previous customers.

3.     Confirm your carrier’s liability
Before you choose an auto carrier, be sure to understand the carrier’s limit of liability, including any deductibles. Most carriers will provide $50,000-$100,000 in coverage, with some carriers going as high as $250,000.

4.     Protect your vehicle from the elements
If you own a classic, vintage or luxury vehicle, you’ll want to request either fully enclosed transport (an enclosed trailer), or have your vehicle “top loaded.” Top loading typically costs a bit more, but your vehicle will travel on the upper deck of the carrier, where contact with road debris and auto fluids is less likely.

5.     Inspect your car before pick-up and take photos
Take time to inspect your car before the carrier arrives and note any visible or mechanical problems. It’s helpful to take dated and well-lit photos of your car from different angles. Thankfully, the industry as a whole has a damage rate under 3%, so you probably won’t have to deal with the photos at all.

6.     Take everything out of your vehicle
Before your vehicle is loaded onto a carrier, you’ll need to empty it entirely. There are several reasons you can’t use your vehicle to haul your stuff while it’s on a carrier. They all relate to safety— weighing down your vehicle increases its weight, can impede a clear line of sight during loading/unloading, and more often than not, your items can bounce around in transport and become damaged.

7.     Leave only a quarter of a tank of gas
Leaving only a quarter tank of fuel in your vehicle is the safest option during transport, unless your carrier tells you otherwise.

8.     Agree on reliable pick-up and delivery location
Before your transporter arrives, understand how and where your vehicle will be loaded. Some companies offer door-to-door car transport, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the vehicle will be delivered directly to your door. Communicate ahead of time with your carrier to find out if their truck and trailer can navigate to your business or residence. Some streets and alleyways may be inaccessible, so you may need to meet at a mutually agreed location.

9.      Keep a realistic timeline
To ensure your vehicle arrives when you need it, you’ll need to plan well in advance—sometimes weeks ahead of time. The carrier should provide a window of time in which your vehicle will be loaded and delivered. Patience is also a key factor. Unlike standard parcel shipping, unforeseen delays can occur.

8 Myths About Storage Auctions by: Rachel Hartman

If you go to a storage auction in your area, will the bidding resemble the storage battles you see on TV?

Generally speaking, it won’t, Arizona auctioneer Casey Jones said. Like most things, the “reality” on the screen doesn’t match what takes place at real-life storage auctions.

Still, when understood correctly, storage auctions can be a worthwhile—and even entertaining—way to spend your time. “At our auctions, we have some banter back and forth,” Jones said.

Here, experts share eight common myths about storage auctions, as well as the truth behind them.

For tips on bidding at storage auctions, visit blog.sparefoot.com/7024-guide-to-storage-auctions.

1. Every Unit Contains Valuable Stuff.

Incredible finds are definitely a possibility when purchasing storage units, but “it just doesn’t happen quite as often as seen on TV,” said Travis Lane, founder of OnlineStorageAuctions.com.

To make the most of your experience, know where you can sell the items, Jones suggested. If you have an outlet in mind, you’ll be able to think through the value of goods, along with the profit to be made.

2. It’s Impossible to Tell What’s Inside a Unit.

While stepping foot into a storage unit isn’t allowed before an auction begins, you’ll be able to peer into it from the outside.

storage auction biddersBring a flashlight, Jones said, and “don’t forget to use your nose.” You might be able to spot collectible items that might fetch a nice price. You’ll also know, by smell, whether the previous owner smoked or whether some items should have been thrown in the trash.

3. Storage Operators Remove Valuables Before the Auction.

“Like most conspiracy theories, this one is based upon the actions of a few bad apples,” Lane said.

In reality, auctioning off someone else’s belongings is a last resort, said James Grant, president and CEO of auction website StorageTreasures.com. By law, if a storage tenant stops paying for a unit, the facility must auction off the items inside to help cover the amount due.

To find a storage auction in your area, visit www.sparefoot.com/auctions.html.

4. A Credit Card Is All You Need to Buy a Unit.

“Always bring cash,” Jones said.

In addition to the amount you bid, you’ll need to pay sales tax, unless you have a sales tax ID number.

You’ll also usually be required to pay a cleaning deposit. This amount, typically between $50 and $100, will be refunded as soon as you clear out the unit.

5. You Must Attend the Auction.

Sites such as StorageTreasures.com and OnlineStorageAuctions.com allow you to bid on storage units from home. If you bid online, “you’re not dependent on the weather,” Grant said.

online storage auctionFurthermore, online auctions give you the chance to do a little research. For instance, if you spot a bike or a refrigerator, you can look online to see whether the item is selling for a certain price on eBay or another e-commerce site.

6. You Can Keep Any Memorabilia You Find.

If you make the highest bid, you’re generally entitled to all of the contents inside a storage unit.

However, most facilities ask that you return personal items, such as photo albums, to the facility manager. “It’s just common courtesy,” Jones said.

7. Storage Operators Make a Big Profit From Auctions.

By law, storage facilities can keep only the overdue amount of rent, as well as enough to cover the costs of the auction, such as lock-cutting fees. The remainder goes to the tenant.

Say a place has a delinquent tenant who owes $500, and a unit of the unit generates $1,000. The facility can keep just $500, plus enough money to cover auction fees. The rest is sent to the customer.

For storage facility owners, “it’s their last legal remedy to get back the storage unit to rent to someone else,” Grant said.

8. You Can Pick Up Everything at Your Convenience.

After buying a unit, you often have until the close of business the next day to clear out a unit, Jones said.

Some facilities might let you rent the unit for a month and remove the items during that time. The sooner you clean out a unit, the more time you’ll have to evaluate—and then sell—what you find.

4 Problems Caused by Poor Moving Companies

When you are moving a short distance away from your current home, it is easy to pack up a moving truck and choose to handle items yourself. Some people even prefer not to leave their valuables in the hands of strangers.

Unfortunately, you will not have that option if you are moving internationally. For example, moving from Salt Lake City all the way to Japan requires that you and your family fly. All of your important possessions will have to be handled by a third party, as you simply do not have the resources to transport all of them by yourself. You will need to search Salt Lake City for international movers to Japan.

It is understandable to worry about your possessions. They are yours, after all; they should be handled with care. With the 4 following common problems with moving and parcel delivery companies, many people will have serious concerns. You will need to find professional, experienced, and careful moving companies that will handle your items delicately, as opposed to creating one of these 4 problems:

  1. Some moving companies will experience severe vehicle problems, causing them to lag behind you. This can be extremely problematic if you are left waiting on clothing, cooking wares, and other possessions of vital importance, especially as you are forced to adjust to a new living environment. A truly professional international moving company will have the resources and equipment necessary to prioritize getting your possessions to you as scheduled. When problems occur with their vehicles, they will be able to make adjustments in order to make deliveries on time.
  2. One of the most common problems people have with moving companies and parcel delivery services is the mishandling of fragile goods. Mistakes can be as careless as accidentally forgetting to label boxes as fragile, even when you have indicated that they need special care. Often, the mistakes can be as unprofessional as disregarding warnings and handling fragile items roughly. Some of your possessions are irreplaceable; they need to be handled as such. Look for moving companies that are as concerned about your valuables as you are and will assure you that they will take measures to handle them carefully.
  3. One of the silliest mistakes that still happens to be common is delivery staff getting lost between point A and point B. They may not be able to locate your address in a new location, or they may take a slow or long route between these two locations. When you are traveling a long distance, your goods will need to be transported on a reliable and tested route that ensures timely delivery. Only the most experienced and dedicated moving companies can promise this.
  4. Among the worst problems you can face in the moving process is some of your valuables becoming lost in the moving process. Worse than finding your possessions have been broken or have arrived late is discovering that the moving company has no clue where your property is. They may even claim that you yourself forget them in an attempt to avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes. This is a sign of severe unprofessionalism and negligence; professional and experienced moving companies will avoid losing your items at all costs, track them carefully, and even take measures to locate your possessions if you feel something was lost during the moving process.

If you are dealing with serious business like hiring Salt Lake City international movers to Japan, then trust the dedicated and professional service of an experienced international moving company. When moving is difficult enough on you, worrying about your possessions making it to you intact and on time should not be an issue.

How to Pack a Moving Truck

Packing a moving truck can be almost as overwhelming as moving itself, and arranging your furniture in a way that maximizes your space and minimizes damage is a tricky endeavor. But if you know how to pack a moving truck the right way, then the task will be easy and even fun. Follow these steps to find out how to do it.

Part 1 of 2: Preparing to Pack the Moving Truck

  1. Pack a Moving Truck Step 1Gather materials. To pack your truck in the safest and most efficient way possible, you’ll need a few extra items to help you move your heaviest items and to protect your most delicate belongings. You can get these supplies from a moving supply store or a hardware store. Here’s what you’ll need:

    • A dolly. This will help you move your heaviest furniture as well as your boxes.
    • Paper padding, plastic stretch wrap, or furniture pads. This will help keep your furniture free from damage.
    • Packing tape. This will hold the padding over your furniture together.
    • Straps. These will help your furniture stay together and will keep it from shifting.
    • A large tarp or plastic wrap. This should cover the floor of the truck to keep your furniture from getting dirty.
  2. Pack a Moving Truck Step 2Prepare the cab. You should put the items you really need in the cab so you don’t forget about them and end up packing them up in the back of the truck. You’ll need to bring a toolkit so you can reassemble your furniture as soon as you need to, overnight items so you don’t have to search for them, as well as the most fragile items that you don’t want to put in the truck.

    • If you or someone who is helping you is also driving a car to your new home, you can also give your fragile items to that person.
    • Fragile items include valuable plates, anything made of glass, and even light bulbs from disassembled lamps.
    • Your overnight items should include enough for you to live with for a day without having to unpack. This will help you avoid an annoying situation where you’ve packed away your deodorant and have to buy a new one because you can’t find it.
    • Put your computer and small electronic items, or even a television, in the cab, if they will fit. You can add these items later during the packing process.
  3. Pack a Moving Truck Step 3Disassemble your furniture. This will help make your furniture easier to pack and light enough to carry. Before your furniture leaves your house, it should be taken apart into manageable pieces. Not everything can be taken apart, of course, but taking apart a few key items will make moving much easier.Here’s what you can do:[1]

    • Remove the cushions from your sofas.
    • Take apart your bed and your bed frames. Tape your bed frames together.
    • Take the bulbs out of your lamps and place them in a separate container or bag. The last thing you want is for glass to get crushed all over your truck.
    • If you have heavy dressers, take the drawers out and carry them to the truck individually. When you load the dresser back into the truck, you can put the drawers back in and even tape them shut.
    • Filing cabinets can be the heaviest item of all. Take out your drawers and carry them to the truck separately before you put them back in.
    • If you remove any screws or hardware from the furniture, put it in a bag and tape it to the furniture, or put a note in the bag that clearly says which piece of furniture it’s from.
    • Take apart your bed rails or table legs, and roll them into large rugs or carpets.
  4. 1151600 4Pack books and bookcases to make the most of the space. If you have a lot of books, and a lot of bookcases, go out and get specific boxes that will fit on the bookcases. That is a lot of wasted space otherwise, and regular boxes are usually too wide and too tall to fit on bookshelves. You can pack some books on the bookcases, but you must have a way to keep them from coming off the shelves. On higher shelves, it would be better to pack lighter items in the boxes. Since books are very heavy, even the standard U-Haul “small” box is too heavy for many people to carry. Smaller boxes of books will allow less strong people to carry the books.

    • You can get small and odd-sized boxes at local companies that recycle them from industry. All you’ll need is the specific measurements of the shelves you wish to populate
    • The smaller boxes will also help you with the chaos of moving. After packing the boxes, they can be put on the shelves until you move; after you arrive at your new location, they can sit on the shelves until you are ready to pack them.
  5. Pack a Moving Truck Step 4
    Move all of your furniture out in front of the truck. Moving as much of your furniture out into the street as you can will help you see how much you’re working with, and will make it easier for you to see which items are the heaviest.

    • Only do this if you don’t annoy your neighbors or end up taking up too much space.
    • You can also load right from your house into the truck, but you’ll have to keep out an eye for which items should go in first (heaviest to lightest).
    • Make sure you have a clear path between your home and the truck.

    Part 2 of 2: Packing the Moving Truck

    1. Pack a Moving Truck Step 5Load the heaviest items and appliances into the truck first. You should have two people in the truck who will be the designated “loaders,” while the rest of the people will carry the furniture to the truck or hand it to them if it’s light enough. Pack these items into the front of the truck to maximize your space and to keep the truck from dragging if the back is too heavy. If the truck drags, you could be in a dangerous driving situation, so it’s best to avoid it.[2]

      • The heaviest items include your appliances, such as the stove, washing machine, fridge, and dishwasher.
      • If you’re packing a fridge, don’t forget to defrost it at least 1 to 2 days before your move.
      • Keep these items in their upright positions and distribute the heavy items along the back wall of the truck. If you have a washer and dryer, position them on the opposite side from the fridge.
      • Next, load large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, living room chairs, and entertainment units.
      • Remember that you’ll be packing from floor to ceiling, with the heaviest items on the bottom. Pack 2–3 foot (0.6–0.9 m) tiers of items, and wrap a strap around the items when you’re done with each layer to hold them together.
       Protect your remaining furniture. Though some people like to wrap their furniture in advance, it’s best to wrap the items as soon as you get them in a truck. When you move an item into the truck, you should put it on top of the paper padding, cover it in the padding, and then tape it down. Here are some extra tips for protecting your furniture:

      • For extra protection, after you wrap a mirror or painting, you can put it between your mattress and box spring, or surround it by cushions.
      • Wrap up your couch cushions and pillows.
      • Wrap your mattresses.
      • If you plan ahead, you probably have a lot of things that you need to move with you anyway that would make great protective pads in the truck. When packing your house, leave all blankets, sheets, towels and other linens unboxed and use them when packing.
        Pack a Moving Truck Step 6
    2.  Move the longer items into the truck. These will include your sofas, table-tops, headboards, long mirrors, and your box spring and mattress. Put them against the longest walls of the truck to save space and keep them upright. Secure these items to the side of the truck with ties if it has a place for them.

      • Your sofa, mattress, and box spring will provide cushion for other items.
      • Put dressers and desks against your mattresses so the drawers can have a cushion if they open.
      • Any item with drawers should be facing the truck walls so the drawers can’t open too much.
        Pack a Moving Truck Step 7
    3.  Pack your boxes into the truck. Choose boxes of similar size and strength so you can stack them on top of each other. Place the heaviest and largest boxes on the bottom, medium-weight boxes in the middle, and lighter items on top. You will be creating three layers of weight.

      • Make sure you have labeled the boxes to say which room they should go in.
      • Pack a layer of heavy, medium-sized, and light boxes, and repeat the process until the truck is mostly full.
      • Try to create tiers that have a similar height, so you can pack the boxes to create an even surface.
      • Move from the front to the back of the truck.
      • As you go along, place in items that are hard to stack in between crevices to save space. Items like cushions and strollers are great for this.
        Pack a Moving Truck Step 8
    4. Pack a Moving Truck Step 9Put in any remaining items. Your goal should be to pack the truck as tightly as possible without squeezing the items together too tightly. Squeeze in any unwieldy items where you can, and place fragile items on top so they don’t get crushed.

      • Try to fit together the remaining parts as if you were working on a jigsaw puzzle. Everything will be able to fit together if you arrange it the right way.
      • Place items that don’t fit anywhere else in the front of the truck, such as grills.
      • If you rent a truck that is larger than you need and you do not fill the truck completely, you can minimize moving and jostling by leaving the empty space at the back of the truck and keeping the height of your packing low and even.

Top 10 Office Move Best Practices

Relocating an entire office can be painful for the uninitiated. In fact, most people involved in the process will experience skyrocketing stress levels, sleepless nights, and a lot of blame if anything goes wrong. That’s why it’s essential to understand the best practices for moving your business. It’s not always easy to determine office move best practices—after all, every company is unique, and no two office relocations are going to be the same. Your company may be big or small, moving faraway or down the street, and may otherwise have unique needs and goals during your office relocation. Of course, there are a few best practices that all companies can keep in mind to avoid the kinds of mistakes that can cause productivity loss, unbudgeted expenses, and other problems. Here’s our top 10 list of office move best practices for office relocations of every shape, size, and scope.

it relocation

Best Practice #1: Get started early. This is the key best practice, because it will usually solve 50% of the potential problems your company could encounter during your office move. Keep in mind that many office relocation problems and mistakes are the result of working on a tight schedule. Everything is more expensive when little lead time is given; you’ll have fewer choices, you’ll spend more money, and there will be more room for misjudgments caused by rushing. At least a year before your current lease expires, you should be thinking about an office move plan. Allow even more time if you have more than 50 employees. You can then use our free office move timeline to begin budgeting your time during the coming months.

Best Practice #2: Have an office move timeline. We can’t stress this enough. You can use our free office move timeline, or you can recycle your office move plan from the last time your company relocated. We find that sticking to an office relocation schedule is the best practice for making sure everything gets done when it needs to—in a specific order. For example, you will need to have your phone and network cabling installed before you have your business phone system set up, for obvious reasons. Simply trying to remember everything that has to get done will cause key steps to be overlooked. Also, staying organized is essential. We suggest storing your office move timeline in a binder along with your vendor bids, important contacts, and other key info related to your office move.

Best Practice #3: Appoint someone to be in charge. Essentially, your office move coordinator has two jobs: his or her regular job, and the job of planning your company’s office relocation project. It’s a tough assignment, but somebody has to do it. Your office move coordinator should be a highly organized individual who is willing to internalize the best practices of planning an office move. He or she will be responsible for managing the office move committee if necessary (recommended for larger companies), communicating with vendors, and keeping key players informed.

Best Practice #4: Know what your rebranding goals are. Too often, companies don’t clearly think through the biggest opportunity that comes with an office relocation: rebranding. Part of your office relocation plan should include some careful thought about interior design, logo redesign, and reprinting your office mail pieces, forms, and other materials.

Best Practice #5: Select vendors carefully. Some of the biggest office move difficulties occur when companies simply select vendors out of the phone book. Well-vetted service providers are essential for the successful office relocation. Everyone you hire to provide a product or service for the move should be familiar with the best practices for an office move—not just a residential move. It helps to get recommendations from trusted professionals or from other organizations similar in size to your own. Also, look for vendors that have been endorsed by a trusted third party.

Best Practice #6: Choose trusted consultants. A great architect, space planner, or even a commercial mover can be your best consultant during an office move. After all, these experts have been through countless office relocations, and they have sound knowledge of best practices, money-saving tips, and ways to minimize lost productivity during the move. There may also be a specific order in which you should hire vendors. For example, hiring an architect/space-planner before you select your commercial broker can ensure that the office spaces you are looking at will ultimately meet your company’s needs. The architect and the broker can work together to help you pick the space that needs the least amount of costly renovation.

Best Practice #7: Plan carefully for IT relocation. Every IT service provider and commercial mover can tell you an office relocation horror story involving mishandled IT equipment. Now that most companies store the majority of their essential data on servers, IT relocation gone wrong can actually bankrupt a company. It is imperative that you or your IT professional backs up your data and performs a test recovery prior to moving your IT equipment off the premises. Also, make sure you are prepared with backup power for computers to prevent damage from power surges and to minimize lost productivity from power loss.

Best Practice #8: Plan for security during and after your move. This is one of the most frequently overlooked best practices—especially during the move. Keep in mind that during a busy office relocation, your valuable equipment and furniture may be left unattended at times. Plan in advance for security systems to be working when you arrive. All servers should be transported to a locked server room to prevent theft, and at least one person should monitor open moving trucks at all times. Thefts occur more often than you may think, and it usually isn’t the movers who are responsible. A truck full of computers left unattended can be a big temptation, so don’t risk it.

Best Practice #9: Revisit your budget regularly. It’s very easy for an office move to go over budget, especially if you have never been in charge of planning a move before and you are unsure what everything is going to cost. An office move can bankrupt a company or lead to large financial setbacks, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Use our free budget planner or your own budget worksheet to allocate funds for various vendors, organize bids, etc. Keep in mind that there will almost always be unplanned expenses, so the best practice for devising an office move budget is to leave a little wiggle room. Going over budget is much more common than coming in under budget.

Best Practice #10: Seek as much information as you can. Online resources like Movemybiz.com are packed with considerations and best practices for every stage of the office relocation process. The best practice for carrying off a mishap-free move is to do your research and understand everything that could possibly go wrong. Our office move resources are a good place to start, but there is a lot of free info out there. Just make sure you are learning from a trusted source. We have developed our list of best practices after talking to countless experts involved in the office relocation process, from voice and data professionals to office movers. Have a specific question about best practices for an office move or something else we haven’t covered yet? Contact us! We’d love to hear from you. Also, check out other useful topics like how to develop a contingency plan, considerations for selecting a commercial moving company, and much more.

Is moving on a small budget just a myth or a reality?

The more effort you put into a move, the less it will cost. But is moving on a small budget really possible? Here are the myths and realities of moving when money is tight.
The cost of your move will depend on several factors, the most important being the services you require.

Among them:

  • Renting a trailer or truck
  • The cost of labour
  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Loading and unloading the truck
  • Renting or buying boxes, blankets and other materials
  • Warehouse storage space—whether short- or long-term

Other criteria to consider:

  • Your overall level of preparedness prior to the move. Are your boxes all ready to go? Or are you lagging behind with drawers and closets still to be emptied?
  • Consider the time you’ll need to commit to the move. As such, the term “express” usually means you’ll need help—and that typically costs more in terms of the services you hire.
  • The time at which you transfer property ownership, as well as the day of the week. Moving is more expensive on weekends.
  • The distance to travel, including the number of hours you’ll be on the road. You may need to stop for a bite to eat.
  • The quantity of personal belongings and furniture to be moved.

A stitch in time saves nine

  • Make sure to plan ahead in order to properly prepare yourself, and to give yourself time to select a reliable and reputable moving company. By booking in advance, you’ll enjoy bigger savings and won’t have to settle for whoever is available.
  • Start collecting boxes, picking them up here and there. You can approach convenience stores, pharmacies and grocery stores to ask them when they receive their shipments. You can make arrangements with the store to take the empty boxes off their hands.
  • Pack as many of your belongings as you can. Label and number all the boxes so they correspond with the appropriate rooms. Keeping an inventory list of all the boxes on a spread sheet will save time. It’s also good if you need to make an insurance claim.
  • In the last days leading up to the move, dismantle your furniture then bundle the parts and pieces together.
  • Move as many boxes and small items as you can beforehand. You can also save money by renting a trailer or truck by the hour rather than for the whole day.

Be cautious!

A “discount” mover can sometimes spell disaster, especially if you found them in the free classifieds.

Why?

  • Discount movers are not affiliated with CAM (Canadian Association of Movers). This means the work is not guaranteed and any damage claim will fall flat.
  • They do not possess liability insurance and sometimes are not even in compliance with minimum transport standards.
  • Discount and low-budget movers do not provide price quotes or a written contract. You may be in for a nasty surprise if their price suddenly balloons on moving day. They may even hold your personal belongings “hostage” until you pay up.

As long as you’re prepared to put your back into it, it’s more than possible tomove on a small budget. With the help of friends and family, plus good planning, you’ll be in your new place before you know it—for cheaper than you had expected.

Is moving on a small budget just a myth or a reality?

Five Myths About Portable Storage Answered

Have you been wondering whether or not you would like to use portable storage over traditional land based storage? Do you find yourself trying to sort through a variety of storage myths? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you will be happy to know we are sorting out the myths in this post, and separating out the facts about portable storage.
Common Uses_DIY Interstate Moves_Secondary Image2

Myth 1: Will I have enough room?

Yes. Portable storage units are built to hold both large and small scale items. The convenient engineering and design of portable storage units, allows them to be transported from one location to another without limiting the amount of space that you have to use for your storage needs. A perk with portable storage units is that you have storage room you can section out, making it easier to sort through items for various different rooms.

Myth 2: I can store whatever I want

False. While portable storage units are still storage units, the same types of storage safety rules apply. You want to avoid storing items that are flammable, toxic and explosive in your portable storage unit. Making smart storage choices will help you to have a positive storage experience and help keep you safe in the process.

Myth 3: I am limited on how many storage units I can order

False. You have the option to order as many portable storage units as you need. While portable storage units are not land based, you still have the ability to obtain enough, if not more storage than what you will actually need. Portable storage also is affordable, and you only pay for what you use, making it both convenient and affordable for your storage needs.

Myth 4: I can only use portable storage for a limited time

False. Portable storage options are offered in both long-term and short-term options. Whether you only need your storage unit for a week or for several months, portable storage can be used to accommodate all of your storage needs.

Myth 5: Portable storage is not climate controlled

False. Portable storage does come with the option of climate controlled storage. Although your storage unit is delivered directly to you, you can arrange to have your portable storage unit stored at a secure, temperature controlled storage facility, so that all of your items will be stored at a set temperature setting.

Portable storage has many uses, and if you would like to learn more about all of the ways portable storage can be used, browse through our website, or visit our Storage page.

Packing & Storing Tips

Storing, packing and moving are easy with these expert tips!

Self Storage Tips

Here are some valuable tips to help you to get the most out of your storage unit:

  • Leave a Walkway to the Rear of the Unit – this provides better accessibility to all your items.
  • Disassemble items such as bed frames to maximize space.
  • Place frequently used items near the door.
  • Fill containers to capacity. Partially full or bulging cartons may tip or collapse.
  • Store couches (except sofa beds) on end to maximize space.
  • Place fragile items near the top of the unit to prevent crushing.
  • Label your cartons and take home a list of the labeled cartons for easy reference. (Labels are available in our office).
  • Take full advantage of your space. Use the full height if possible. Shelving helps organize your space.
  • Add bay leaves to boxes to ward off most insects and household pests.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors slightly ajar and clean before storing. Use the space inside for storing other kitchen items.
  • Wrap mirrors and pictures with paper pads or use mirror boxes. Never store flat.

Packing Tips

Here are some general packing tips that can help you to save time and protect valuables:

  • Use strong, stackable boxes and containers.
  • Fill boxes completely to keep them from collapsing and damaging belongings.
  • Pack books and heavy items in small boxes for easier lifting.
  • Put the heavy boxes on the bottom and the light ones on top.
  • Purchase special boxes for dishes and fragile items.
  • Label each box on several sides and indicate if it is fragile and what room it should go in.
  • Disassemble furniture for easier moving and storage.
  • Take advantage of the tops of dressers and the like to stack boxes and other items.
  • Stand mattresses on end and break down bed frames.
  • All stored items should be clean of food stains and particles.
  • Save money and room by using towels and blankets to wrap fragile items.
  • Use wardrobe boxes to hang clothing; remember to fill the bottom of the wardrobe box with shoes, pillows, or other light items.
  • Protect furniture with shrink-wrap and blankets or pads to avoid damage.

Other Handy Packing Tips

Appliances: Make sure all refrigerators and freezers are thoroughly dry. Store them with the door ajar so air can circulate inside. Be sure the doors on other types of appliances are securely shut, and always clean your stove before moving.

Bedding and Linens: Use your dresser drawers when possible to store blankets, pillows and sheets.

Mattresses: Use special mattress bags or even old mattress covers to keep them clean during moving and storage.

Chairs: Invert light chairs so they are “seat-to-seat.” There’s usually space between the legs for small, lightweight items.

Chest of Drawers: Take advantage of drawers for packing many light household items such as photos and clocks. If the items are fragile, be sure to use towels or other padding to protect them from breakage.

China and Glassware: Plates should be wrapped individually and stacked on edge. Always make sure you have plenty of cushioning below and above all your glassware. Glasses should also be wrapped individually with cushioning and put on the top layers of any of these boxes with more cushioning above them. Make sure your boxes are firmly packed so they will not be crushed.

Clothing: It’s best to hang clothing whenever possible. Use wardrobe boxes when possible. These come with a clothes rod for easy hanging.

Drapes:   Fold your drapes carefully and pack them in dresser drawers. Once in storage, it’s best if you can hang them on hangers.

Fragile Items: Many small fragile items can be stored safely in your dresser drawers surrounded by blankets and pillows.

Lamp Shades: Use clean packing paper to wrap each lamp shade individually. Often you can “nest” several lamp shades together. Use a special box for all of these shades, rather than packing them with other items

Mirrors:  Always stand mirrors on edge. It’s best if you can crate them, or at least pack them individually with strong cardboard and mark them so they won’t accidentally be bumped.

Tables: Take the legs off tables when possible and wrap separately. This prevents possible damage and also saves space. Tape the hardware to the underside of the table, so it is not misplaced.

Tools: Don’t put too many heavy tools in one box. If you are storing your tools in non-climate controlled storage it’s a good idea to wipe with a slightly oily rag to prevent rusting. Long handled rakes, hoes and shovels should be cleaned, oiled and tied together.

How Much Does it Cost to Transport a Car?

The first question almost everybody asks when it comes to car transport is “How much does it cost to transport a car?”.

How Much Does it Cost to Transport a Car?

It is probably the main concern many people have when they are looking for auto transport companies to ship their car.

When a person gets an auto transport quote from a car delivery service, it is not an arbitrary number picked at random. Unfortunately, unlike many other products and services, the cost of shipping a car can vary quite a bit – even from one day to the next.

The cost to transport a car depends on several variables which are in a constant state of flux.

Here are a few common factors that affect car transport costs:

What type of vehicle is being shipped?

Bigger vehicles like trucks, SUVs, 4WDs and vans are more expensive to transport than sedans or compacts. Also, modifications to suspension (like being lowered or lifted) or oversized tires can impact the cost of car transport.

Basically, the larger the vehicle, the higher the price to transport a car.

What distance is the Vehicle being Transported?

As you can probably guess, distance plays a major role in the cost to ship a car.

The further the distance the car is to be transported on an auto hauler, the higher the car transport prices.

Where is the Vehicle being Shipped From and To?

Is it in a rural, out of the way area or in an urban environment? While not a major factor, if the pickup area or destination points are not on heavily traveled routes or in hard to reach areas off the main highways, it can impact the vehicle transport cost.

Is the Vehicle Transport Door-to-Door or Depot-to-Depot?

Depot-to-Depot is often less expensive. Although, if your car is shipped depot-to-depot, there may by storage fees that accumulate each day the vehicle is kept in the depot yard.

Also, a depot may be several hundred miles away from you, which can add travel costs for you to get to the closest depot yard.

What is the Price of Fuel?

Fuel prices seem to be on a roller-coaster lately and vary from region to region. Fortunately, the Carbon Tax has now been removed in Australia following Federal Parliament passing legislation to repeal it from 1 July 2014. However, fuel costs are possibly the biggest variable expense associated with auto transport.

Is the Vehicle Operable?

If the vehicle is inoperable, it may increase the transport quote if the transport company needs special equipment or a tow truck to get the vehicle on and off the auto hauling trailer.

How Quickly do you Need to Ship your Car?

Some companies offer a Standard Fare and an Express option. If you have more time and have planned ahead, the less expensive Standard delivery option would be the way to go. PrixCar Transport’s standard delivery, depending on the distance, averages 5-10 days.

Tips to Help Save Money in the Cost to Transport a Car

The best way to save money when you ship your car is to compare prices from several car shipping companies. Get multiple interstate auto transport quotes from multiple companies.

Don’t always go with the cheapest quote you find. Your car is a valuable asset and integral part of your daily life, and finding a reputable company you can trust to transport your vehicle safely and quickly for a reasonable price is an important decision.

Do some research, get multiple quotes and see what other people say about the auto transport companies you are considering to transport your vehicle.

 

5 Important Tips on Moving Your Car, Truck or SUV

How to avoid scams and headaches, while safely shipping your vehicle


1.)    Find an auto transport company that is ACCOUNTABLE.  The easiest way to do this is to find a company from a site like TransportReviews.com.  They offer thousands of ratings and reviews on auto transporters.  No matter what company you choose make sure the company knows that you found them on TransportReviews.com.  Or at minimum let them know that you know of the site and are going to post a review on their service, good or bad.

TIP:  Educated consumers always get the best deals and service.  Blindly trusting someone to ship your vehicle is a recipe for disaster and many headaches.

2.)    Avoid Companies That Hide Their Identity – When you call and auto transporter or visit an auto transporters website you should be able to find out the following information:

  •     Their mailing address.
  • Phone numbers including a LOCAL phone number (not just 800 numbers)
  • Their MC number – This is the number assigned by the government to licensed brokers and carriers.
  • Whether they are a broker or a carrier or both
  • Whether the car will be shipped on a company owned truck or not.

If you can not find this information then you should likely RUN!  No company that is accountable for their service would hide their identity.

3.)    Verify the company’s MC number – Using a government site like:  http://www.safersys.org/CompanySnapshot.aspx you can view the companies information.  They should be willing to help you do this.  This will allow you to verify if they are indeed a broker or carrier.   If they are a carrier it will tell you if they are allowed to ship vehicles and much much more.

Most importantly you can catch companies who are trying to hide their identity.

4.)    Compare Prices – If you want to quickly get scammed get a bunch of price quotes and choose the lowest one.  Or get a bunch of price quotes and blindly choose the highest.  The fact is that the industry is not regulated by the government but instead by TRANSPORTATION MARKET FORCES.  So most legitimate companies prices will be within a 10 to 20% of each other ($100 to $200).

LOW PRICE – The company with the lowest price is not always a scam.  But frequently they under quoted the move.  A harmless miscalculation can lead to major headaches that account for 80% of issues when moving a vehicle.  Even if a company promises the price is on the up and up unless they are shipping the vehicle on a company owned truck they may be mistaken.  The transport market decides the correct prices based on fuel prices.  If your move is priced to low or aggressively for the market your vehicle will not move.

HIGH PRICE – If their price is much higher ask them why.  If they say they are a quality company find their rating on TransportReviews.com. And ask them what they do differently from other brokers and or carriers to earn the extra money.

You can use one of many services that provide multiple quotes for filling out one form.  One such service is AutoTransporter.com.  AutoTransporter.com gets quotes from companies well rated on TransportReviews.com.

5.)    Complete The Cycle – In order to complete the cycle you must hold the auto transport broker and auto transport carrier accountable.  During the transport make sure you call them as deadlines approach.  The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

The Ultimate House Moving Guide

Moving has more in’s and out’s than a maze garden. Where it seems like it should all be so simple – pack things, move things, unpack things, it is very seldom such an easy road.

We’re not turtles or hermit crabs, and despite their enviable position, it’s nice to have a few more things that can fit in a shell on our back. Here is a good batch of advice for moving house to make the process less hassle and more of a hooray!

House Moving Guide: How to Move House

There are a few very important general steps to do when you have to move house, and they apply to everyone, without exceptions. This is the ultimate house moving guide after all. And here they are:

  1. Cleaning up
  2. Choosing a moving company
  3. Packing everything
  4. Transporting one’s belongings
  5. Unpacking
  6. Change of address

How to Clean Up Your Place

make upWe all have things we do not need. When you move, you have a rare opportunity to rife through your miscellany and make a concerted effort to de-junk your life. It may seem like an arbitrary figure, but it’s a figure that has served this seasoned mover well.

De-cluttering is a very important part, as it lessens the baggage before the move.

  1. Start with throwing away the garbage.
  2. Look around for more hidden garbage. Sometimes garbage might not mean junk, but just an item that you’ll never use and only takes up space and gathers dust. You don’t want such things with you. Not when you’re starting a new life at a new place.
  3. Use the 12:12:12 de-cluttering technique. Throw away 12 items you don’t need, donate another 12 items you don’t need and sell another 12 items you don’t need. It’s a good way to get rid of stuff you might otherwise not consider.
  4. Do an end of tenancy deep clean. Obviously, it won’t look the same way as you moved in once upon a time, but it can be close enough. Deep clean of walls, carpets, not to mention the kitchen with all its weak points, like the fridge, the oven, the cupboards. If you’re expecting a security deposit back, this is inevitable. And, of course, you can always call professional cleaners for that.
  5. Do a pre-tenancy cleaning. You just have to start your life at the new place with a clean room. Even if the previous tenants did an end of tenancy clean, you should make sure everything is spotless before moving in. You can use the cleaning services of pre-tenancy cleaners as well.

How to Choose the Best Moving Company

searching on a laptopDo you have an army of helpers at the ready? Do you have a reliable truck sorted? Do you have enough beer and pizza to satiate your helpers? If not, or your move is too much for your friends and family to handle, the best way for planning a house move is to book a moving company.

  1. Check online. It’s the 21st century and if a business does not have a website, they’re either complete dummies, or don’t have enough budged. Both cases, you don’t need them.
  2. Evaluate the information. A good moving company maintains a very user-friendly website. If they don’t give enough info, or don’t list benefits, you might be looking at a scam. Even if it is not, they’re not trying hard enough to keep your interest. You don’t need them.
  3. Check benefits. Good companies offer free non-obligatory quotes, have full insurance, at least a few different services, discounts for booking two or more services, good vehicles and a professional team of moving specialists. These things should be listed.
  4. Ask for payment. Different moving companies charge differently. Some might charge you by the hour, other by weight, and others by staff members, including combinations of all three.
  5. Compare quotes. Since the Internet provides a huge database of businesses you can choose from, it’s important to know how to compare different moving quotes, so you can chose the right one for you.

How to Pack for Moving House

hanger with a dressPacking is the biggest headache inducing activity and takes up the majority of tips on moving house. When it comes to packing furniture, it’s important to get all needed materials (and make sure they’re not low-quality) and pack in waves.

  1. Start a week before moving day with items you won’t be using the last week before the move.
  2. Try to coordinate the amount of food you have in the fridge – it has to finish exactly one day before the move, so it can be empty on the next and not force you to throw away perfectly good products.
  3. Pack boxes by room and not by item.
  4. Label boxes for each room to make unpacking easier.
  5. The day before the move, pack a box of cleaning essentials and a box of your own essential (snacks, towels, medicine, etc.) and label them in red so they can stand out and be unpacked first.
  6. Wrap furniture with stretch wrap to avoid scratches.
  7. Pack the last items (sheets, pyjamas) in the morning of moving day.

How to Unpack After Moving House

table, glasses, flowerUnpacking in the new place is also a part of the house moving guide, and a very important one at that. You cannot start unpacking without a deep clean. So, hopefully you did a good pre-tenancy clean before moving in.

  1. Use the movers to get the furniture where you want it. You can’t make things any easier than this. Furniture is heavy and will give you the most back pain, so knowing which piece of furniture goes where can help you a lot. Just tell the movers where to put everything and you’re only left with opening the boxes.
  2. Place boxes in every room. This is why we had to label the boxes in the first place. Place every box in the corresponding room.
  3. Unpack by room. Start with the kitchen and bathroom. These are the rooms that will more or less stay the same through your whole stay in this place and there probably wouldn’t be any rearrangements in the future.
  4. Leave carpets and rugs for the end.
  5. Get rid of moving boxes. There are lots of ways to get rid of cardboard boxes from giving them to friends, to donating, to selling them second hand if they’re in good condition.

How to Change Your Address

early dinnerThere are a number of logistical problems with a move, and utilities are a common culprit on this house moving guide. Before you move, change the address of your documents and all your utilities.

  1. Passport. Be glad, you don’t have to update your passport, one thing less to think about.
  2. Drivers Licence. Online fast and easy.
  3. Water Supply. Online, fast and easy.
  4. Gas and Electricity supplier. Give at least 48 hour notice that you’re changing your address, so they can calculate your last bill.
  5. Minor Utilities. Landline, Internet provider, cable.

With a well organised list and plenty of advance notice will make even moving house for the first time easy. It’s not the best house moving guide out there, but the most important stuff are right here. A few simple steps, one simple house moving list. Make the big day easier.

How to Move House with Cats

Moving with pets puts some additional strain to your moving schedule. Dogs for example take things very differently, but not any less stressful. With that in mind, moving a cat to a new home is never easy, but we’ve gathered a few suggestions to answer the question, How to move house with cats?

Preparing to Move House with Cats

funny cat

  1. Stay Calm. Moving to a new home creates inner tension – obviously. But, your cat will feel the same tension multiplied by ten. So, even thought it’s a big challenge, try to keep calm.
  2. Old Things Should Stay the Same. Apparently, you have too much work to do, but try not to change the feeding schedule. The place of the toys, even scattered is what’s normal for the cat. The scratching posts, especially the litter box should not be moved. It will only stress the poor creature further.
  3. Take Boxes and Carrier out. Two weeks before the move, take all packing materials and cat carrier out. Sure, the cat will wonder what those things are, but once it explores and sees there’s nothing wrong, all will be fine. This is also a good way for the cat to get used to the carrier if it hasn’t already. You can find cat carriers on TheCatSite. All products are reviewed by cat lovers with objective opinions.
  4. New Things Should be Introduced. When having some spare time, use a day to visit the new place, preferably after it had undergone pre-tenancy cleaning, and let the cat explore.

Cats love to wander around, so it’s not a bad thing to let the adorable feline get a taste, a smell, and a whisker rub from the new place.

How to Move House with Cats

scared cat

  1. Isolate the cat in an empty room. House removals happening – hired movers staff gets in and out, everyone in a hurry, things go missing every minute, it’s scary! Better not show this to your kitty. In the room, the cat should have a bowl of food and water, a litter box and a few toys to keep it busy. It’s also a good idea to put a note on the door so the movers don’t open it.
  2. Put the cat in the crate. It’s good to have a snugly blanket inside. Cats in general love small soft spaces.
  3. Do not feed the cat on the way. If transportation is too long, give some treats. A few pieces of dry cat food every hour and a half. It’s very possible she will get sick otherwise.
  4. Be close, so the cat can hear your voice. Sometimes, something as simple as that is enough to keep a little creature calm.
  5. Distract with toys. A wand with a fluffy feather at the end, a bell, or anything else the cat knows and finds fun. Time will pass quicker.
  6. Do not sedate. Every cat is different and you know your cat best. Sedating might sound like a good idea, it might even be recommended by a vet. There are cats, who simply cannot take too much stress. They not just meow and growl, they start harming themselves. In these cases. sedating might be a good solution, but otherwise, do not do it.

How to Introduce Your Cat to the New Place

cute kitten walking

  1. Put the cat in a room for a while. Let the cat have some alone time with the food bowl (she didn’t eat enough today), the old bed and the favourite cat toys. At first she might be uncomfortable with the new place, so better make sure she doesn’t escape.
  2. Once curiosity is obvious, let the cat explore. There should be no more fear. And, what it knows won’t kill it, will definitely be an object of interest. Exploration time is when everything is unpacked and on the right place.
  3. Let things stay the same. As stated, cats are creatures of habit and not fans of change at all. At the new place, make sure to keep feeding at the same time of the day. Keep the same toys and approximately the same place of the litter box, so the cat can get used faster.
  4. Use cat pheromones. If you want your cat to get used to the place even faster, you can spray a cat pheromone product at walls, door, table and chair legs, at cat head level. Or if you don’t want to buy any, you can just use a napkin – rub the kitty’s cheeks and whiskers and smear the napkin on the same places. It might not be as useful though.

Moving with Cats Comes with Bureaucracy

cat tuck and roll

  1. Update ID tags. You have a new address. If the cat wanders out by accident, people should know where to find you.
  2. Visit the local vet. You’ll be having a new GP probably, so the cat should have a new vet. Tell the vet about her medical history, and don’t be shy to address if there’s any weird behaviour. You can find a vet in your locality in the NHS website.

Love Your Cat

sleeping cat

It doesn’t matter if you’re on the move, or not. The more love there is, the better everything will be. How to move with a cat doesn’t have to be a worrying question with the right plan and the right home removals company.

Have you had your own endeavour with cats on the move? Tell us in the comments, and share your story.

My Movers Damaged My Landlord’s Property—Am I Responsible?

Moving day is always a pain, but it can be infinitely more so if you damage your landlord’s property while trying to skedaddle out of there with all your stuff. And It’s even worse if you aren’t the one who broke the $500 picture window.

broken-window

If your mover was at fault, it should offer to pay—but things aren’t always that simple. Here’s what happens when movers won’t pony up.

Your landlord has the right to come after you

Don’t expect your landlord to do the legwork of filing a claim. You hired the movers and invited them into the property—from the landlord’s point of view, it’s your responsibility to pay for damages. So you might have to eat the security deposit while you try to get the money back from the moving company.

You’ll have to review your insurance—and theirs

Yeah, we know—you did the responsible thing and took out insurance to cover your goods. Right? The problem is it covers only your goods.

Typical insurance provided during a move—such as coverage of 60 cents per pound, per item— “would not cover any damage done to the landlord’s building or property,” says Kim Weaver, compliance manager at Relocation Insurance Group in St. Louis, MO.

Instead, the moving company would have to use its general liability insurance, or its auto insurance if the damage was done by vehicle. Some companies may have only cargo and auto insurance. When choosing a mover, you should search the U.S. Department of Transportation’s licensing and insurance page for any companies you’re considering, Weaver recommends. There, you can view details about what types of insurance the company is registered for.

Just don’t assume a mover has general liability insurance.

“In my experience, to get licensed in most areas, a mover has to have insurance,” says Troy Doucet, lawyer and owner of Doucet & Associates in Dublin, OH. “That doesn’t mean everyone has insurance.”

And therein lies another problem: If movers don’t have insurance—or are operating illegally—they probably don’t want you to find them. So how in the world can you get them to pay?

You try to track them down

If you used an unscrupulous mover, your “options for pursuing reimbursement will be limited,” says Pete Johnson, co-founder of HireAHelper based in Oceanside, CA.

“The customer could tell the moving company they’re planning to take the issue to small-claims court,” Johnson says. “It might produce results and, if it doesn’t, then they can go ahead and file if they have an address for them.”

That’s a big “if.” Even otherwise official-looking movers may have websites without an office location or employee names listed, making it difficult or impossible to track them down. But if you can, here’s what you should do:

  • Review copies of all the forms you signed (the moving company is required to give you copies, so make sure you hang on to them). Did you sign a liability waiver? Even if you did, “it may not be enforceable in your state,” says Alicia Dearn, CEO of Bellatrix Law and trial lawyer. This means the company may have tried to trick you into backing down.
  • Get a lawyer—if only for a letter threatening litigation. “A situation like this is best resolved by negotiation—a letter from a lawyer can really work wonders in these disputes,” Dearn says.
  • Photograph the damage for evidence.
  • File a consumer complaint with the state’s attorney general office.

If the mover still refuses to pay, you’ll be looking at settling in small-claims court—it’s up to you to weigh the cost and decide if it’s worth pursuing.

Questions For Moving Companies Everyone Should Ask

Questions For Moving CompaniesWhen you’re ready to talk with movers about your upcoming move, you need to be prepared for the conversation. Part of your preparation should entail a ready list of questions for moving companies who want to earn your business. The questions for moving companies below will kickstart the conversation and ensure you get the answers to pick the right mover.

Do you work for the mover or are you a broker?

Brokers can match customers with moving companies. But keep in mind that a broker can’t give you a binding estimate and a broker isn’t responsible for loss or damage.

Do you give binding quotes?

A mover may give a binding, or “not to exceed” quote upon reviewing your items in person. Brokers typically don’t give binding quotes. If a mover or broker attempts to give you a binding quote over the phone, don’t accept it. Make sure your possessions are inspected in person.

Does my quote include extra charges?

If any of these issues below apply to your move, you may face additional charges:

  • Stair charges
  • Long carry charges
  • Appliance charges
  • Parking charges
  • Storage charges
  • Fuel charges
  • Charges for awkward or extremely heavy items. Ask your movers if they have equipment to handle such items.

Will my items be transferred?

In long distance moves, your items may be transferred to another truck. This extra handling increases the chances of damages.

What forms of payment do you accept and on what terms?

Don’t hire movers if they only accept cash. Make sure you and the movers are in agreement on the amount due upon delivery versus the deposit amount, and whether your deposit is refundable.

What type of insurance is included in your quote? Can I get more insurance?

Basic coverage is 60 cents per pound but your moving company may offer an upgrade. You can also work with third-party insurance providers to cover the move.

What is the process for damaged or broken items? Who’s responsible?

Make sure you understand what your moving company is responsible for in terms of broken items. Ask about the mover’s reimbursement policy.

9 Top Tips for a Successful Office Relocation by : Logic PM

The prospect of an office move or business relocation can be a daunting one but is often needed to meet the changing needs of the company. At Logic PM, we have compiled the 9 steps for a successful and hassle-free office move. Download our free office move plan or call us on 0203 397 7444 for further information.

Office Relocation
1.    Assessment and objectives  

Assess your current business needs as well as your expected future needs. What do you need from a business premises now, what do you hope to need in 1, 3, 5, 10 or even 20 years. Be clear about the reasons behind your office relocation (these could include the expiry of your lease, planned expansion or contraction, reduction in overheads, etc.) and think about both the long and short terms needs of your company to effectively map out the appropriate office move plan.

It can be surprising how soon in the process big decisions must be made so it’s imperative to know your objectives to ensure you are going to achieve them. At this stage, it’s also wise to gather all the relevant facts including the details of the existing lease and notice period and your current obligations and liabilities which will form the basis of the subsequent planning process.

2.    Proper planning

In order to plan an office move effectively, a consensus should be reached by the decision makers about the reasons behind the office move and the overall aims of the project. Key questions to ask at this stage include:

  • Where do you want to move to?
  • How much space do you need?
  • When you need to be in by?
  • What key features you need your new office to have?
  • What are the planned business objectives (including growth plan) that the move needs to satisfy
  • What length and type of lease do you want?
  • What is your budget?

3.    Team building

Putting together the right team of people to manage an office move is a vital step in the process. It’s unlikely that any one member of your staff has the skills, time and experience to manage an office relocation project alone.

Any office move, even for a relatively small office, is a major undertaking and a team effort is essential for a successful outcome. A good team should include people who will help facilitate all aspects of the move, this includes both internal and external members.

One tip is to appoint a project leader within the company at the beginning of the move process who can act as a single point of contact for external parties and keep all internal stakeholders in the loop. This person should be appointed as soon as possible after the decision to move office has been made and he/she should possess skills and qualities including:

  • Strong communication skills; they should be able to communicate effectively with both internal and external members and keep all stakeholders informed throughout the process.
  • Time; project leader should be readily available on phone and email and should have enough time to dedicate to the office move project.
  • Trust; the appointed person should have the trust of senior management and the authority to act and make decisions on behalf of the company.
  • Organisation; need to be a good organizer of people and processes, ideally a person with proven management experience who has experience of setting goals and working within budgets.

4.    Don’t delay

There’s a lot involved in an office move so the sooner you start, the better your chances of achieving a smooth and successful move. We recommend that you should start reviewing your options 9-18 months prior to your lease expiration, whether you are considering relocation, renewing, or renegotiating. It is crucial that you allow plenty of lead-time to properly assess the various options and consider the amount of leverage and competition between each. This can result in being able to source better premises for the same cost or result in substantial savings in renegotiations.

5.    Budget

Once the project leader has been appointed, work should commence and one of the first tasks is to create a budget. An accredited project manager with experience in office move management, such as Logic PM, can be invaluable when drawing up a realistic budget. A budget is a critical planning tool that will help you assess your costs, plan your finances and manage your expenditure throughout the process. Budgets can also help you to gauge the success of your project and measure it against your business objectives.

6.    Work with professionals

Appoint the right office move professionals for your project. An office relocation can be complex, stressful and time-consuming, particularly if you have not done it before. Second to staff costs, property costs are typically the next biggest expenditure of a business. The decisions you make now will have an impact on the profitability of your company long into the future.

Working with the right professionals is our biggest ‘top tip’ for any business looking to move office. An experienced project manager will guide you through the process, minimising the stress and will typically save you time and money in the long run through effective planning and ensuring that you avoid any critical mistakes.

7.    Think before you sign…

We recommend that you do not sign any lease documents without the proper legal advice. Your solicitors should be able to negotiate the detail of the lease document to minimise your exposure to potential liabilities. They should also advise you on the implications of the more detailed terms in the final lease documents to ensure you are fully aware of your ongoing responsibilities.

8.    Communication is key

Communication: people inherently dislike change. It’s uncomfortable and unsettling. However, an office move is a fantastic opportunity to affect positive change within your business. The move may result in improved business performance, better facilities and increased staff morale. The key to achieving this lies in communication. Be upfront with your staff about your planned office move and keep them informed and engaged throughout the process. Hold regular meetings on the plans and listen to your employees as they may come up with some excellent ideas that you could implement.

9.    Clear out and move on

Take advantage of the opportunity that an office move presents. Clear out old files and rid all storage areas of unwanted items prior to the move. Also, consider scanning documents no longer needed in hard copy and upgrading any out-dated equipment, furniture and computers.

4 Benefits Of Using A Moving Company

Benefits of a Long Distance Moving CompanyAre there benefits to using a moving company rather than attempting a do-it-yourself move? Thanks to trendy websites like Pinterest, we increasingly live in a world in love with the idea of do-it-yourself solutions. Some problems, like a long distance move, are better solved by bringing in the experts. While moving your belongings from your old home to your new one might seem easy, you’d be surprised how quickly an interstate move can get out of hand.

By hiring a full service moving company, you save yourself the headache and the stress of making costly mistakes during a crucial part of your life. More specifically, a moving company can benefit you in the following ways:

1. Moving Companies Capture Moving Costs in One Place

When you try to move across hundreds of miles by yourself, you’ve got to keep track of a laundry list of moving pieces. How long will I need to rent a moving van? How much will gas cost? Where will I get packing supplies, and how much will they cost? What about extra insurance while I move? A moving company worth their salt will simplify everything and provide you with a custom quote that captures your entire cost of moving in one place.

2. A Moving Company Can Save Time and Energy

If you decide to do it your own way, once you figure out your expenses, you have to actually make everything happen yourself. That means going to get vehicles, securing all your packing supplies, packing everything yourself, loading up the van, and making the long and perilous drive by yourself. Not only will a moving company take care of all the grunt work for you, they’ll also come in and build a plan based on your needs and their years of experience making moves go as smoothly as possible.

3. Moving Companies Are Familiar with the Area

How familiar are you with your new home? Navigating an unfamiliar area can be tough enough in a small vehicle, let alone a moving van full of all of your belongings. A moving company will often specialize in specific areas of the country, which means they know where you’re going and can be sure everything arrives intact and on time. Once you arrive, they’ll probably also have local contacts that can help you get settled in the area.

4. A Moving Company Can Provide Peace of Mind

Underscoring all of the above benefits is one simple truth: a good moving company is going to give you peace of mind. Physically transporting your possessions isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when making a big move. You’ve probably got a new job or school to attend, a new area to learn, and all sorts of other logistics to take care of along the way. Hiring movers will allow you to focus on what only you can take care of while experts handle what they do best.

As you search for the right moving company, consider hiring Red Ball’s experienced team. Since 1919, Red Ball has specialized in helping families move by providing professional moving services.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving Your Stuff Into a Storage Unit

Storing items during a move can be a balancing act. You’ve got the movers on one hand and the storage facility on the other. Everything has to come together just right or you’ll run into big—and potentially costly—issues. Here’s a look at the top five mistakes people make when moving things into a storage unit and tips on how to do it right.

Mistake 1: Not Knowing What the Movers Will Bring on Moving Day.

Before renting a storage unit, get a firm answer from the moving company about what type of vehicle the movers will be using. Many companies use moving trucks, while others use everything from a trailer pulled by a pickup truck to an 18-wheeler. Verify the vehicle type then get the dimensions—width, length, height, and weight at maximum capacity.

Mistake 2: Not Finding Out Whether the Moving Truck Will Fit.

Now that you know what type of moving vehicle that’ll be used, you need to ensure that it can get into the storage facility and to your unit.

If you’ve ever been to a storage facility, you’ve probably noticed some areas can be a little tight. Storage facilities make money renting out space, so they understandably maximize the number of buildings and units. This can result in tight turns and becomes challenging to navigate, especially for 18-wheelers.

If you find out on moving day that the vehicle won’t fit in the facility, it usually means two things—both of them bad. First, a shuttle truck may have to be used, which costs more money. Second, the movers will be forced to touch everything twice, doubling the chances of something going awry.

When considering your storage options, ask about clearance heights and widths for getting into the facility and to your unit. You’ll also want to find out how trucks access the property and whether there are any load maximums. Use the truck dimensions provided by the movers to figure out whether you’ll have enough space.

moving truck

Mistake 3: Not Giving the Movers Unloading Directions.

Professional movers are the expert unloaders, but you’re the boss on moving day. It’s best to let them know how you want things arranged in the unit before unloading begins.

It’s especially important to speak up if you want to move around and look for certain items later on. This takes some thought and planning before the unit starts getting filled. Aisles will need to be created and boxes will need to be arranged so that all labels are visible. You should direct the movers whether you want furniture to be stacked.

Mistake 4: Not Securing Enough Space for Your Stuff.

It can be tricky figuring out how much storage space you need. If your belongings already are organized and boxed up, this is easier to determine. But when in doubt, get advice from the facility. If you cut it too close and your belongings won’t fit, you’ll have two options:

1. Check with the facility about renting a second, smaller unit for the overflow.

2. Return the overflow items to the moving truck and take them to a family member’s garage or friend’s attic.

If you’re not sure everything will fit into your storage unit, line up one of the two options above in advance. Having a backup plan will reduce stress and minimize cost, particularly if the movers are working by the hour.

Mistake 5: Visiting the Storage Facility When Everyone Else Is There.

Typically, people move their things into or visit their storage units on the weekends or after work on weekdays. This might be the only time that fits into your schedule, but if you’re paying movers by the hour, you could cut down on the cost by moving during work hours on a weekday when fewer people are around.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Transport

A very small percentage of vehicles transported sustain any measurable damage and whilst we do our utmost to protect yours, it is worth preparing your car well to minimise the risk associated with transporting your vehicle.

Inspect Your Car Thoroughly for Existing Damage Before Shipping

Check for and document any pre-existing damage. You can do this in a few easy steps:

  • Thoroughly wash your car.
  • Make a written record of any chips, dents, scratches or other cosmetic damage.
  • Take pictures of the car from several angles as well as close-up shots of any damage.
  • Date the photographs and written record.
  • Verify that the transporter makes an official note in addition to your personal records.

Remove Custom Products and Personal Items

Your vehicle will be inspected, loaded and unloaded numerous times while being transported. For this reason, it will most likely travel unlocked. Decrease the risk of theft by removing custom stereos, after-market video and DVD players, TVs, GPS Systems, radio faceplates and detachable CD players. Ship these items separately.

Do not pack your car with personal items. This is one of the most common mistake that people make when shipping cars. Is is likely that your car carrier will refuse to transport your car if it contains personal belongings. In addition, vehicle transporters are not licensed to transfer goods, so doing this could result in penalties.

Remember to remove all personal items from the interior of your car, including the trunk. An automotive transporter’s insurance will not cover any personal items inside your vehicle. These items may shift during transport and cause immense damage to your vehicle. You will be held liable if your items cause damage to another vehicle or the transport truck. Furthermore, these items will add to the weight of the vehicle, which will impact the price and speed of service.

Remove Toll Tags and Parking Passes

Remove or deactivate any toll tags or parking passes on your car. These items could be charged continually on the way to the destination. Furthermore, they are valuable and could be targeted for theft.

Prepare Your Car for Transport

Though your car will be driven minimally during the transport process, it should nonetheless be in good driving condition. Inoperable vehicles can be shipped, but the transporter must know in advance so that they can make the proper preparations. For operable vehicles, mechanical issues can cause unforeseen delays and damages. Therefore, you should perform a maintenance check before shipping your car.

Use the following guide to help you ensure your vehicle is in good operational order:

  • Make sure the battery has a full charge and that the tires are properly inflated.
  • Top up all fluids in the car
  • Run down your petrol tank to a quarter or eighth full. An almost-empty tank will save weight and help keep your consignment moving along quickly.
  • Keep an eye on the vehicle for a few weeks prior to shipment. If there are any leaks or mechanical problems make sure you let the driver know. Vehicles with leaks should never be placed on the top rack of a multi-car carrier because they can drip on the vehicles below.
  • Document any mechanical problems and write down any special instructions needed to drive your car onto and off the trailer. Be sure to advise the driver of any problems starting or stopping your car.

Prepare for on and off loading

Prepare your car to be loaded on and off your car transporter’s truck or trailer to help them ship your car with ease. Remember, the better you prepare your car for shipment, the more likely it will arrive on time.

If you have a convertible vehicle, make sure the top is secured as thoroughly as possible to avoid damage from air, debris, or moisture.

Do no secure convertibles with a wind-resistant tarp or cover. Tarps or covers are like sandpaper on vehicles and vehicles are not transported with these under any circumstances.

Fold back your mirrors and retract the antenna. Any specialty items, like fog lights should be secured or removed.

Finally, turn off or disable your car alarm. If you cannot disable the alarm, provide detailed, written instructions for the driver on how to turn off the alarm in case it is triggered.

To minimise any delays in the transport of your vehicle, follow these steps when preparing for transport. You will be more confident that your car can be looked after and protected.

 

Moving Truck – How to Rent a Moving Truck

What Size Moving Truck Do I Need?

The first step in renting a moving truck is to determine how far you’re moving and what size of truck you need. Some rental agencies will charge a flat daily rate, including a determined amount of miles, while others will charge an inclusive rate. Know your mileage and size of truck you’ll need before you start your research so you can shop around and compare prices.

Remember, your truck should be large enough to accommodate 10-15% more than what you own.

This is just to ensure you’re going to have enough room. Too much room is better than too little.

How Long Will I Need the Moving Truck?

It’s also a good idea to determine how long you’ll need the truck (how many days), when you want to pick it up and whether it’s a one-way or two-way move. Many companies charge a premium price for one-way moves; this is to cover the cost or retrieving the truck.

How Many Rental Agencies Should I Call?

Call at least 5 rental agencies to find the one that works for you. Remember that the cheapest agency isn’t necessarily the best one for your move. Ask the company what is included in the price and if there are any discounts available depending on when you move. Saving money can sometimes be determined by when you move. And you never know until you ask!

After deciding which company to use, go online or phone the agency at least two weeks before the move to reserve the truck. If you’re moving in high season (June 15 to September 1), try to book sooner rather than later. High season means higher prices and more demand.

Also, this is the time to book any additional tools you may need. This may include an extra trailer or towing equipment or moving dolly.

Provide Details of Your Move

Whether you visit the agency in person or contact them by telephone, they will probably ask you some details about your move. One question will be when (date and time) that you’ll pick up the vehicle and what your starting point and destination will be. They’ll also want to know what time you’ll be returning the vehicle.

Some agencies may even ask what you’ll be moving. Give them a general idea of your move (“I’m moving a 3-bedroom home”) and also tell them about any unusual items, such as a piano or boat.

This will help the agency advise you on any additional tools that might help make your move go more smoothly.

What Will I Need on Pick-up Day?

On pick-up day you’ll need to take some documents with you. This should include a valid driver’s license and a major credit card.

Also, check with your credit card company or auto insurance or home insurance to see if you already have enough insurance. If you do have auto rental insurance, take the necessary documentation with you as proof of coverage.

The rental agency will provide vehicle insurance for usually a small fee per day. Also, ask about coverage for your goods. Some rental agencies will offer damage and/or limited/total loss insurance. Ask if the agency offers assessed value insurance which can replace your items should an accident or loss occur. Carefully read and ask questions of each insurance option then choose what will work best for you. If you’re not moving far and don’t have any valuables, a general insurance may be enough.

Also, check with your household insurance agency to see if your move is covered by them. This again may be enough coverage for your particular move.

When you pick-up your truck, take a look at the other tools that are available for rent. Moving pads or blankets are a great and easy way to protect furniture and other more fragile items. A moving dolly is almost a necessity. It’s the easiest way to move several boxes at once or to help with a more awkward piece. I never move without one!

There are also straps that can help move large, heavy items that are unable to be taken apart. We usually use straps to move our heavy armoire that won’t fit on the dolly. They cost just a few cents per day and are an inexpensive way to save strain on your back.

Before Signing the Agreement

Before you sign-off on the rental agreement, make sure you thoroughly inspect the vehicle. Check for scratches, dents, bumps and anything on the interior that has been damaged. Make sure all signs of wear are listed on the inspection sheet. Also, the agent will record the current mileage and amount of gas in the tank. Check to ensure the odometer reading and gas levels are correct. Remember, after you’ve finished moving, fill up the tank before you return the vehicle. Agencies charge an average (usually high amount) for gas plus a service fee for filling.

8 Tips to Prepare Your Vehicle for Auto Transport

If you need your car moved from your old home to your new home, you’ll have to work with an auto transport company.

auto transport

They’ll handle the transportation of your vehicles. However, these companies don’t drive your car to your new home and park it in the driveway.

Instead, your car is loaded onto a multi-car carrying truck and delivered to your new residence or the auto transportation company’s regional depot.

In order for your vehicle to arrive as expected, it’s important to prepare it for the shipping process. Here are eight things you need to do before seeing your car picked up by the car shipping company.

1. Wash your car

Dirt and dust can easily hide dings, scratches, and dents. Before you have the auto transport company pick up your vehicle, wash it thoroughly.

With a clean car, you’ll be better able to notice any possible damage caused by the shipping process once it arrives at its destination.

2. Clean the inside of the car

During transport, your vehicle may be jostled a bit. In order to avoid things from being tossed around inside your car, clean the interior and remove everything not secured. This includes air fresheners and your spare change.

Also remove all of your electronics and their supporting cables/chargers.

3. Disable the alarm

Seems obvious, but to avoid making an enemy of the truck driver, be sure you disable any alarm systems your vehicle may have.

4. Don’t gas up

Your vehicle is being transported, not driven, so there’s no need to fill up prior to loading.

In addition, having a full tank of gasoline makes your car heavier. Additional weight can add and risk to the shipment.

Leave as little fuel in the tank as possible when preparing your vehicle for transport.

5. Check for leaks

Before your car or truck gets loaded onto the truck, check the undercarriage for any noticeable leaks. If your vehicle has an aggressive leak, the car shipping company may refuse service.

If you see a leak, make sure to get it repaired prior to moving day.

After all, you wouldn’t want the vehicle above yours to be dripping oil or transmission fluid all over your car, would you?

6. Check tire inflation

Under-inflated or over-inflated tires are just as risky in transport as they are on the road. By not having your tires properly inflated, you could be increasing the risk of damage to the tire.

Tire damage is most likely to occur during loading and unloading, but if your tires are properly inflated, you won’t have a problem.

7. Remove custom accessories

To prevent the risk of a car spoiler and other special accessories breaking in transit due to their odd size, make sure to remove any custom parts or accessories before the vehicle is loaded onto the truck.

8. Lock the car

Once your vehicle is loaded onto the auto transport truck, there’s no reason for it to be opened up until it is delivered.

Lock everything up to reduce the risk of theft while it is being transported.

How to Move House During Pregnancy

So, the Internet is full of all kinds of stories by ladies who had to move house when pregnant, and they’re all about how stressful and terrifying such a situation is. But, it doesn’t have to be. There are just a few crucial moments to acknowledge.

pregnant woman

1. Arrange Your New GP

There are no two opinions about it – you need to be absolutely certain you’ll have your scheduled check ups once you move to the new place. So, first thing in your moving while pregnant organisation is getting a new doctor.

It gets tricky if you’re moving to a new area of London, or UK. You cannot change your doctor before signing up your permanent address in there and that would only mean more trips. You have two choices:

  • You can do an extra trip to the new area and sign your permanent address, then come back home for the move.
  • Or you can schedule an appointment at the doctor later, after the move after you sign up your new address.

You can find your new GP by browsing here: http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search

2. Pack It All Yourself

Lifting and carrying stuff is out of the question. But, nothing stops you from packing. Especially when no one else but you are capable of putting your own stuff in a good order for the go.

Get creative and take your time. Finding a place for every little thing can be also very stress relieving. Pack your boxes and don’t forget to label. You might not be an active part of moving day, but you can still organise better than anyone else.

3. Expect Bumps on the Way

Acknowledge that things sometimes don’t go according to plan. It doesn’t have to be because it’s a move, it’s not because you’re pregnant, it might not even be because you’re moving and pregnant. It’s just because.

As much as we plan, the universe works against us if it so wants. Acknowledging that not everything is in your hands is good and gives a peace of mind. It’s the best way to keep the stress away, and it’s also the hardest.

But, even just trying to let your mind control the adrenaline and all other hormones might be enough.

Also, a stress ball helps. After all, you’re still moving house during pregnancy, and something just broke in the back of the van. Squeeze a stress ball. Or take it out on your husband – that’s why he’s there.

4. Eat and Stay Hydrated

Treat this like every other day when you’d drink lots of water and have lots of tasty foods. And, no, don’t pack lunches. Make a stop or two at restaurants. You’re moving when pregnant, treat yourself, like you just don’t care.

5. Think About the Future

In the end, the only thing that would actually keep the stress away is the thought of the new place. How pretty it would be after you’re done with it and what a good idea it was to move there before the baby was born, instead of moving with a newborn.

That’s right. It can always be worse.

Why Do People Move House

The great human endeavour is defined by our ability to move. Whether it was our prehistoric ancestors who moved across the bearing straight, or the Smith family who just moved in down the block, Human locomotion is one of our defining traits.

We have industries built around moving, we have anxieties about moving, we even have compulsive movers. Even history speaks about it.

Long before the homes of our modern world, humans were largely nomadic. Our ancestors would wander from place to place in search of food and shelter. In order to survive, they had to follow the weather and resources. As a result there is a need to be mobile deeply ingrained in our collective psyche.

Why Do People Move House?

sipping coffeeToday, people migrate for a variety of reasons, social, financial, health and wellness and many more. Even though these may seem modern and a lot different than the reasons listed in the past, if you look deeply into it, you might recognise a similar pattern.

  1. Buying a new house. This is just as it sounds like. It’s one of the main reason as to why people move to cities. Buying a new house is an opportunity to change the place of dwelling, the city, and even country. Here is where we mention all the young people who leave the family nest for a place of their own. It’s very common for the parents as well to get a new house, since the spacious house they purchased for a whole family, left to only two people is not something many can live in.
  2. For a job. This day and age, it’s very common, especially in places where unemployment is particularly high. This is also the main reason why people move from rural to urban areas. Being closer to work saves money and often allows a person to pursue a dream job. Another reason claimed mostly by the millennial generation. This category also includes job transfers, office relocations, promotions, seminars.
  3. For a relationship. It’s common sense to move to a new place when starting a committed life with a significant other, getting married, or receiving news for an additional member or two on their way. When starting a family, couples need more space, that’s why most new purchases have the functionality of being spacious, close to work, in an interactive environment (like the city), close to all the amenities a family needs. Very often, new families move from cities to rural areas, with less crime and more peace and quiet.
  4. Downgrading or Upgrading the house. There are a lot of reasons why people would want to downsize, or up-size their house, and as a result move to an entirely different place. The most common one is money. This usually goes for people who have lived on rent until now. If money gets tough, it’s only natural to move to a cheaper place. If money come easy (usually followed by a promotion at work), people move to a better rented place. For people, who live in their own place, downsizing might have to do with having less time to spare on cleaning and maintenance.
  5. Fix purchase error. Mistakes happen more often than one might think. People purchase a house that does not really meet their needs. It could be just about anything, so they decide to sell and go back to the house hunting market.
  6. Neighbourhood changes. Your house may be great, but the surroundings can always make a home owner’s life a living hell. Neighbours can cause all kinds of annoyances. A new freeway may be built just near by and the noise is maddening. That’s when people learn the importance of finding the best neighbourhood they can.
  7. Wanting or not wanting to see family. Might sound funny, but people often move away because of the latter. Dysfunctional families are a lot happier when apart. And, it’s no big news that often people move close to their families as well. That’s usually parents or grandparents moving to be closer to their children, while children usually tend to move away.
  8. Retirement. We mentioned that parents tend to move to a new home, after their kids leave the nest, be it a smaller one, one close to the children, or simply getting into a senior club. Most leave this endeavour for after they retire, so they can have more free time to plan and no other worries on their head. Also, there are a lot of bargains for senior citizens they can make use of.
  9. Health problems. Very often people move away from a place, because it has a negative impact on their health. For this reason, people mostly move from polluted cities to rural areas with better air quality, less noise, and sometimes, near places with hot springs that have a good impact on their particular condition.
  10. Lifestyle change. This is actually one of the most common reason of moving among millennials. It’s very easy to be tired of the same place in a world with such a marvellously developed information technologies and transport. Many abandon the home owning life altogether and travel for years. This category includes backpackers, charity volunteers, travellers, even the reason for educational purposes.

Moving is imprinted into every living being on this planet. In fact, the word “planet” comes from the Greek word for “traveller” – we are basically “travellers on a traveller”. No wonder so many of us are ready for the next big step to cross our greatest distance yet and get to another planet in the infinite universe.

The Top 12 Questions & Answers to Hiring Movers

Over the years, I’ve had people ask me about moving companies and just what it means to hire reputable movers who can be trusted with your stuff.  To make it easier for you to uncover what you need to know when hiring a moving company, I’ve compiled the top 12 questions and answers to what you need to know before you sign-off on a mover.

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1. Are moving companies registered with the government?

It’s important to know what the regulations are when it comes to movers and what they should be able to show you as proof of their legitimacy as a moving business.

2. Once I’ve hired a moving company, what am I responsible for?

Once you’ve agreed to hire the mover, you need to know what your rights are and what’s expected of you as a client. Knowing what your responsible for will ensure that you’re not paying extra fees or end up with a much higher estimate than was first quoted.

3.Do I really need an estimate?

I get asked this a lot. Yes, you need an estimate. But not just any estimate. You need to know what type the mover offers and whether that will work for your particular move.

4. What can I expect when the mover comes to my home to do an estimate?

Having the mover visit your home to assess what you’ll be moving and to provide an estimate on the cost of your move is a key step in the hiring process. Find out more.

5. What information must the moving company provide?

The mover has responsibilities to you as a customer.  Knowing what they must provide for you will ensure all the paperwork is in order and that your move is properly covered.

6. How soon before I move should I call the movers?

Timing is everything. It determines how much you pay, whether you can hire a good mover and just how long your move will take. Find out when to schedule the mover with this FAQ.

7. How much do I tip the movers?

This is another really common question and one that depends on quality of service. Knowing what the standard is and what you should expect will help ensure the movers provide you with the best service possible.

8. How do I find a moving company I can trust?

Trust is a big word and one that’s always a question when hiring a mover to move your household stuff. With so many stories recently of household items being held hostage by movers, it’s essential that you do your homework and take the steps necessary to hire the very best.

9. How do I know that the estimate is reasonable?

Good question! Reasonable is subjective for sure, but knowing what an estimate should look like will help you decide if the quote you just received is a fair offer.

10. What kind of estimate should I ask for?

Different estimates for different moves. Find out which one is best for you.

11. How do I lodge a complaint?

If you’ve received poor service, you need to take action, both to ensure you receive fair treatment and to make sure others don’t make the same mistake in hiring the same mover. Find out how to register a complaint and how complaints get solved.

12. Should I move it myself or hire a moving company?

This probably should’ve been the first question on the list. I put it last because if you’ve landed on this page, you’ve likely already decided that hiring a mover is best to you. But this last question placed here at the end will get you to ask yourself one more time if hiring a mover is best for you.

How Much Should You Tip Professional Movers?

You will likely want to tip the professional movers who bring the contents of an entire apartment to your new home.

Follow these easy suggestions to show the proper appreciation to your apartment movers.

But tipping movers can be tricky: how much should you tip, and how should you deliver the thank-you reward?

You might consider the findings of our tipping survey. Follow this guide to show the proper appreciation for their big part in your apartment move.

Survey: Mover tipping behavior
Apartment Guide took a recent survey of movers regarding their typical tipping behavior. Almost three quarters of responders (3 out of 4 people) do show their appreciation by tipping their professional movers.

The amount differed, however. Thirty-nine percent indicated they tip 10 percent of the moving cost; one in four surveyed tipped 20 percent. 17 percent prefer an hourly tip rate, but one quarter said they tip a flat per-person rate for each mover.

Though tipping amounts and philosophies vary, tipping seems to be considered a fair gesture to extend to professional movers for their service.

You might wish to inquire about the moving company’s tipping policy and protocol, as well. It is often appreciated for you to tip in cash, so plan ahead to make sure you have the right amount on hand to tip each participant.

You can also add other refreshing perks for your professional movers. Feel free to offer bottled water, sodas and snacks. Do not, however, provide beer or alcohol of any kind. It is likely forbidden by their moving company for them to drink on the job, and it’s just not a smart idea to get the people carrying your prized possessions tipsy.

Aspects that might alter your tip
There are aspects of your move that might raise or lower the amount of your tip. If your move involves several flights of stairs, very heavy furniture or any other remarkably difficult aspects, you might want to increase the amount of the tip. You also may want to tip more if your movers somehow went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure your belongings got to your new apartment safely.

However, if you received poor service, you might want to consider lowering the amount. If the professional movers are unprofessional, rude or careless with your possessions, you might not be in such a generous mood.

The bottom line
Tipping movers is a personal choice. Tip your professional movers an amount with which you feel comfortable in the situation. Tipping is, after all, an act of kindness meant to show your appreciation for the assistance provided.Survey methodology
The survey was conducted among 1,000 adults in the U.S. The interviews were conducted online by RedShift Research in March 2013 using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total populations aged 18 and older. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level is, plus or minus, 3.1 percentage points.

12 Steps to Hiring a Mover Part-2

7. When you’ve gotten all your estimates in, compare the bids. Be wary of any company that comes in much lower than the others. Look at high bids to see where the extra costs are coming from. Call and ask questions if you don’t understand anything. If you have several reasonable-sounding bids from reputable companies, don’t be afraid to negotiate to get the best possible rate. Especially in a market where there’s lots of competition, most movers will work with you on pricing.

8. Now check out the contenders in more detail. Take the information you’ve gathered and get back online. First, make sure they’re incorporated in your state―and confirm how long they’ve been in business―by checking your secretary of state’s office. Some have searchable databases of businesses online; if not, call the number in the government pages of the phone book.

9. Next, make sure your moving company has the license and insurance it needs to move you legally. (Yes, there are movers who solicit business without the legal authority to do so.) Go to safersys.org, the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and enter the company’s USDOT number and click on “Search” (you can also search by name or MC number). If you have an accurate DOT number, you’ll be shown a screen with lots of information on the company. Here’s what to look for:

  • The company’s name, address, and phone numbers. Are they the same ones the company gave you?
  • The “Out of Service” field, at the upper left of the form, should say “No.”
  • The fields labeled “Power Units” and “Drivers” tell you how many trucks and drivers the company has. A company that claims to do 100 moves a month but has only two trucks deserves skeptical treatment.
  • Under “Operation Classification,” there should be an X next to “Auth. for Hire.”
  • Under “Carrier Operation,” if you are moving out of state, there should be an X next to “Interstate.”
  • Under “Cargo Carried,” there should be an X next to “Household Goods.”
  • Farther down, in the “Inspections/Crashes” section, you should be concerned if the company’s average is much higher than the national average shown. In the “Safety Rating” section, if there has been a review, the results should be “Satisfactory.”
  • At the bottom of the page, click on the “FMCSA Licensing & Insurance site” link. On the next page, click on either the “HTML” or the “Report” button under “View Details” to get to the “Motor Carrier Details” page. Under the column “Authority Type,” there are three listings: “Common,” “Contract,” and “Broker.” The “Authority Status” column to the right tells you if the company’s authority is active. At least “Common” should be listed as active, with “No” under “Application Pending.”
  • In the next table down, there should be a “Yes” under “Household Goods.”
  • The bottom table contains insurance information. A moving company is required to have both bodily-injury and property-damage (BIPD) insurance ($750,000 minimum) and cargo insurance filed. Under the heading “Insurance on File,” BIPD should be at least $750,000, and “Cargo” should say “Yes.”
  • You can also call the FMCSA to get information on the status of a company’s licensing (202-366-9805) and insurance (202-385-2423).

10. Finally, call the FMCSA’s Safety Violation and Consumer Complaints hotline at 888-368-7238 (open 24/7) and ask about complaints against your moving company. And, if possible, go to the company’s address and check out the facilities in person.

11. Now you can select a mover. You should feel confident about any company you’ve run through the checks above. Confirm the dates and details of your move, and make sure you get a signed order for service and a bill of lading.

12. On moving day, get a written copy of the mover’s inventory list, provide the movers with specific directions for getting to your new home, and make sure you have a number where you can reach the movers throughout the move.

Tips for Employees When Moving a Business

Most companies on the move require that employees pack up their own office or cubicle space, including desk, filing cabinet and personal items. Use these tips to prepare for a move so when the day arrives, your things won’t get lost in the shuffle.

Ask Your Boss

The first step as an employee is to ask your boss if there are any restrictions on what you’re allowed to take to the new office, if there are plans for new furnishings, and if so, what they are, including size of desk and drawer space. Make sure you know the “rules” before you start packing, including the move date, what to do with unwanted furniture and how to dispose of unwanted documents.

If possible, ask to see a blueprint of the new office, including where you’ll be located as an employee. This could influence your decision on whether plants move with you (depending on light) or if you’ll need to purchase a tea kettle now that your new office is located on the opposite side of the kitchen.

Packing the Filing Cabinet

The first place to start is to clear out the clutter and sort the filing cabinet. It’s usually the biggest job and might require more time than your desk.

First, find out from your employer which documents are not required space, then ask which can be recycled and which need to be shredded. This might already be part of your company’s protocol, but in case it isn’t, ask.

Once you know what you need to take with you, start going through the files, making specific piles – to take, to recycle, to shred – and keep each separate.

Place the files/folders that are being moved in order (alphabetically, numerically, depending on how they’re arranged) in a file specific box. If you use a box that is too big for the files, you might find the folders will shift during the move and the file contents might get shuffled.

Mark the box with your name, the new location (if you have that information) and if the information contained in the box needs special handling; this may include confidential information. Also make a note on the box of its contents. I often include a number to indicate order of unpacking, so that I know which files to unpack first.

If you’re in the middle of a project, this is essential to keeping on top of your work.

Packing the Desk

Empty every drawer and sort through the paperclips, notepads, and other supplies. Keep some and donate the rest to your favorite school or other charity. The key is to only take with you what you need.

If your employer knows what your new space will look like, its size and how much the space can accommodate, then you can make some decisions about what stays and what goes. Ask your employer or manager what you do with extra furnishings or supplies.

Packing Equipment

Again, ask the person in charge of the move if you’re responsible for backing up your computer and preparing equipment for the move. Remember, that the equipment you’re planning to move will need proper packaging. This is the time to start rounding it up. For help, read about moving your computer for tips and tricks on getting your equipment ready to move.

Packing Personal Items

When it comes to personal items, the main questions to ask yourself are: how much room will you have in the new space and what will it look like? Personal items, such as pictures, framed posters, etc… might not work in the new office if you have limited wall space.

If you’re contemplating moving plants, find out if you have a window in the new office and which way it faces to determine if plants will like the new space.

I also recommend taking all personal items home, in particular those that you value, just in case they get lost in the move. The company moving insurance might not cover expensive artwork if it is damaged in the move. If you’re unsure, ask the person in charge. Often, companies will tell employees what they’re allowed to move and what must be taken home, usually because of insurance issues.

What Are The Benefits Of Storage When Moving Home?

If you have ever moved home before, you will realise how quickly it can become apparent just how much stuff there is to move. All of the items which are normally concealed in cupboards and wardrobes will have to be moved, as well as the wardrobes themselves. It is no surprise, then, that so many people simply choose to turn towards a storage option in order to get the best possible move. With so many storage companies out there vying for your business, it is obvious that there is an advantage for the customer, but what can you gain by finding a place in which to store your items when moving home and what does storage have to offer potential movers?

One of the biggest benefits of placing your items into storage is that you will have less objects to move. While this might seem obvious, it can also lead to some unpredicted advantages. Perhaps the biggest of these is that you will be able to alter the scale of the removals services which you will require on the moving day. Whereas it might cost a huge amount to move everything all at once, the alternative is to place some items into storage and then hire a much smaller scale service in order to get as much moved as quickly as possible. This can be far cheaper and means that you can take advantage of services such as a man with a van when it comes to moving home instead of having to rely on the larger scale options. For those who are on the precipice of a move which is not quite big and not quite small and are thus unsure of what kind of help you will need, the ability to place some items into storage can make everything a great deal easier.

As well as being able to save you money by reducing your need for large scale removals services, storage can also save you a huge amount of effort when it comes to moving home. While many people will waste their time heaving around all of their possessions, packing them up and unpacking them in a short amount of time, storage allows you to spread this process over a longer period and do what you want, when it suits you. This means that you only have to focus on moving the core essentials are first and then can move the rest at a time which suits you. This is far easier on your body and your schedule, saving you the effort of having to pick everything up and the effort of having to clear more free time. When it comes to moving house, storage can make sure that you are conducting the process on your own terms.

As well as making sure that you can save money and effort when it comes to moving to a new property, storage can also mean that you are able to keep your items in the best possible condition. A move can be the kind of time when – for example – your furniture can be most at risk. With so much to move and in such a short amount of time, some of the more delicate items can be placed in a hectic environment. While removals companies will do their utmost to protect everything during transit, this does not extend to when you are trying to force everything into your new home all at once. By placing items into storage, you can ensure that they are in a safe and secure environment while you settle into the new home. You can contact Mobile Self Storage W3 if you need storage space.

You Hit the Storage Auction Jackpot. Now What?

Put yourself in storage auctioneer John Cardoza’s shoes. A storage auction regular approaches and asks to speak with you in private. “I found $500,000 in that unit you sold me in San Jose,” the fellow whispers. “What should I do?”

Button up

Cardoza, the owner of Storage Auction Experts in CA, didn’t have to think twice. He knew that, given the side of the tracks on which that particular unit was located, the Internal Revenue Service was the least of this lucky buyer’s concerns.

“I said, ‘First of all, tell absolutely nobody else. Then hope the guy who put that money there is no longer with us, because if it’s that much money, more than likely it’d drug money and they’re going to be back – if they can,’” Cardoza recalled. “You want to keep a low profile on something like that.”

ThinkstockPhotos-487548804 (1)

Outrageous Fortune

While the big score – the hamper full of Krugerrands or a long-lost Monet – is largely a trope of storage-themed reality TV, it does occasionally happen. That, in turn, begs the question: What’s the best way to proceed should you luck into sudden wealth?

Auctioneer Rich Schur, the owner of Schur Success Auctions & Appraisal in Colorado Springs, CO, said buyers who hit the jackpot are typically cautious about broadcasting it.

“My auctioneer’s perspective is, tell the world! Get on Facebook; make a big deal about it! Let the world know how exciting it is!” Schur chuckled. “But that’s going to bring more bidders and more competition, and that’s the last thing a professional buyer wants. It’s usually the new buyers who make the mistake of bragging to the world.”

Reaching Out

What if your big find isn’t so easily valued? What if you don’t even know what it is? “The times you do want to make it public are when you need help from other people to identify or liquidate it,” Schur said.

To Declare, or Not to Declare

Tim Schaffner, director of tax services for the Solomon Group in Austin, TX, says the U.S. tax code requires you to report your worldwide income, regardless of the source. The IRS will then tax your treasure at anywhere from 15 to 36 percent, depending on your income tax bracket. If you don’t report your treasure and sign your tax return anyway, you could be prosecuted, fined and even jailed for perjury if the IRS cares to pursue it.

ThinkstockPhotos-480790196But that’s a big if these days. Schaffner says today’s shrinking IRS makes detection the exception rather than the rule. In fact, it’s estimated that the “tax gap” between what is technically owed and what the IRS collects ranges anywhere from $438 to $600 billion per year.

“The IRS is down 22 percent on personnel and they audit less than 1 percent of returns, so the odds of being audited are kind of slim,” he said. “But if you find yourself featured on ‘Storage Wars’ to where there is documentary evidence that they can discover, or you make enough noise about it on social media, the IRS will put somebody on it who knows what they’re doing.”

Lawyer Up

ThinkstockPhotos-77663282Who should the lucky Chucky turn to for a guiding hand?

“Don’t tell me!” Schaffner quipped. “But for good reason: there is no privileged communication between a client and their accountant. For that, you need a lawyer.”

20 Tips For Packing Your Car And Moving To College

It’s August again, and the new school year is right around the corner. Already, college-age students are gearing up for that most exciting and chaotic of occasions: moving-in day at the dorms and college apartments.

Given the sheer bedlam of move-in day, anything that makes the process easier, safer and less stressful will be a welcome addition, for parents and students alike. Consider these 20 tips for move-in day, from packing your car to getting all that important stuff into a new — and often small — living space.

What to Pack

  1. According to MyCollegeGuide.org, avoid bringing furniture if you’re moving into university housing, because most schools provide the basic furniture you need. Plus, bulky furniture will just take up space you’ll need for other things. If you must bring some furniture, think beanbag chairs and small IKEA-style pieces that disassemble. Also, you likely buy whatever you might need once you get to you college town and know your living space just a little better. Moneycrashers.com offers the idea of perusing online sites like Craigslist and even browsing garage sales.
  2. LeHigh Valley Style tells students to focus only on essentials, as dorm rooms are cramped. Take only what you think you’ll absolutely need. Storage Squad says, “When in doubt, leave it out.”
  3. Many of the old standbys of college packing may not apply anymore. RealSimple.com says there are a few things that college freshman really don’t need. For example, you may not need to pack that jar of quarters for laundry, as many laundry machines on college campuses feature credit/debit card readers. Also, you might not need to bring a printer, as printing labs and wireless printing systems are common on many campuses.
  4. Today’s Homeowner recommends bringing a small microwave and mini-fridge. Make sure to check with your new roommate, so you don’t double up. For campus transportation, consider a bike or a skateboard. LeHigh Valley Style also suggests a desk or window fan, as most older dorms will not have air-conditioning.
  5. Today’s Homeowner reminds students and their parents to think about hobbies that might be continued at school — don’t forget your hiking boots, musical instruments, sporting equipment or other hobby-related gear.
  6. Make sure you can carry everything up the stairs, says Storage Squad. The lines for the elevators are likely to be staggeringly long, or the dorm might not have an elevator.
  7. Today’s Homeowner suggests space-saving solutions like collapsible/folding laundry hampers and bed risers to increase storage space under the bed. But before you make any enhancements to your bed/room, make sure they’re allowed. Also, many students will build/buy bed lofts to further increase living space and attach bedside shelves. Stackable crates are another good idea.

Loading Your Vehicle

  1. Per the OnStar Connections blog, consider minimizing the number of passengers who must fit in a single car making the trip. If multiple family members want to come along, take a second vehicle. And spring for pizza to thank all of your would-be helpers!
  2. OnStar also recommends folding down every seat you can, or remove some seats (when applicable), as it’ll be much easier to pack the car with more flat surfaces. It may also make sense to avoid large boxes and original packaging, as these are inflexible and won’t allow you to fully utilize your vehicle’s available space. Instead, use garbage bags and cloth laundry bags (because of their flexibility), and wrap breakables in towels.
  3. If you’ll be spending the night somewhere before moving in, OnStar recommends putting overnight essentials into a separate bag and keeping it within easy reach.
  4. Try to balance the car. Don’t put too much heavy stuff on the left or right, in the cab or in the trunk. OnStar Connections recommends loading heavy items first, like the microwave, TV and mini-fridge. You can fill the utilize the space by filling the microwave and fridge with towels or T-shirts.
  5. Put small items like desk supplies or an alarm clock in your wastebasket, says OnStar Connections, and leave clothes on hangers and putting them in garbage bags with a hole cut in the top. They’ll be easy to place in the car — and to hang up in the dorm-room closet.

Move-In Day

  1. LeHigh Valley Style recommends avoiding weekend move-in dates, when everyone else will be moving in, too. If possible, shoot for a midweek date. Sometimes move-in dates aren’t flexible, so consider talking to the residence hall director or dorm supervisor to explore potential options. According to Storage Squad, prime time for moving in is 2 to 5 p.m. See if you can move in during the evening hours. Or, if possible, stay at a hotel in town the night before, and move in first thing in the morning.
  2. Bring or rent your own dolly or hand-truck, as those provided by the university may be taken with long wait times, says Storage Squad.
  3. Have a strategy for unloading, says LeHigh Valley Style. Since move-in dates generally happen during the summer months, make sure to unload temperature-sensitive items first. And don’t worry about decorating or arranging knickknacks until all the large items are in place and your car is empty. Then you can start making that dorm room your own!

5 Tips to Take the Stress Out of Moving House

Don’t let the mountain of bubble wrap and brown boxes fill you with dread. Moving can be an exciting time, you just need to keep calm and focus. 

Here’s a few simple changes that could make a big difference to how you’re feeling.

5 simple changes to help make moving less stressful

1. Get help with the packing/unpacking

Now’s the time to call in those favours. There’s no feeling quite like getting that final box unpacked and that last piece of furniture in place.

moving-avondale-heights-168_550

2. Get power from a company that communicates

Not all energy providers are created equal. Some will keep you up to date with your connections and some leave it up to you to connect them. But who has time for an extra task in moving week! Do some research and look for companies which contact you or better yet, text you, on the progress of your power.

Forgotten to get connected? Don’t worry – there are some power providers who can get you set up with just a days notice.

Forgotten to get connected? Don’t worry – there are some power providers who can get you set up with just a days notice.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Not everything has to be perfectly positioned from day dot. Step 1 is just to get everything into your new home, you can worry about where things go at a later date.

Consider this step your chance to experiment with room layouts.

As long as your heavy items are in place, and cumbersome items such as beds are in the right rooms, you should feel like you’ve done a great job.

Byron Bay House

4. Get an end of lease cleaner

Whether you’re moving from a rental or your own property, an end of lease cleaner will give the place a good once over so you don’t have to.

It’s not uncommon for people to pack the vacuum and the cleaning gear by mistake. Don’t let it bother you – hire a professional so you can focus on your new home.

Or, if that’s not an option – clean room by room as you pack so you don’t get left with the whole house to do at once on moving day.

5. Don’t get new furniture delivered on moving day

While everything may be planned out, you can never really tell what’s going to happen on moving day. Traffic could be busier than expected, the weather could cause delays or you could just take longer to unpack than you think.

Make things easier on yourself by arranging any deliveries for the day after moving day at the earliest. There’s nothing worse than rushing through traffic to beat a delivery man.

You can never really tell what’s going to happen on moving day.

5 Things to Remember When You Move House

There’s nothing like the excitement of seeing a ‘sold’ sticker on your new home, or your name on the rental property lease.

But before you move into your new property, there’s a few things you’ll need to do – and sorting your utilities is arguably the most important.

5 things to remember

There’s a lot to do when you’re moving to a new home so don’t leave things to the last minute.

Here’s five things you can do ahead of your move to help smooth the process.

1. Connect & disconnect your utilities

No matter how much you love your new home, you won’t love it quite so much if it’s lacking water, gas or electricity when you move in!

Interior view of a bathroom with two showerheads

The first thing on your list should be to notify your suppliers you are moving to ensure you’re connected before you move, and that you’re disconnected from your current home.

Moving could also be a good time to find a new provider. With Kleenheat Gas, there’s no connection or account establishment fee.

If you live in WA, Kleenheat Gas also offers a 10% saving on natural gas for your home – and it only takes a few minutes to sign up.

Sorting your utilities is arguably the most important thing to do when moving house

2. Change your address & redirect mail

Make sure to do this as early as possible, as you’ll no doubt be surprised at the amount of people who need to know your new address. Think schools, doctors, the bank, insurance companies – the list goes on. Write a list of everyone you need to inform of your new address and cross each one off as you go along.

Redirecting your mail may seem like common sense, but there’s always a few bills and personal letters that wing their way to your old address never to be seen again. Consider a six-month redirect service via the Post Office to capture anything you’ve missed.

3. Smart packing

Packing to move house is a good time to cull your old, unused bits and pieces, and your local charity shop will love you for it.

Couple unpacking boxes

Consider labeling your boxes with the room they belong in – this will make unpacking much simpler.

If you’re super organised, keep an inventory of what’s in each box. After a long day’s moving, you’ll be glad you did.

4. Plan ahead for kids & pets

When moving with small children and/or pets, it’s best to not have them underfoot while you’re lugging heavy boxes. Ask friends or grandparents to watch them for the day – it will make things much easier for all of you. Make sure you update your pet’s microchip details before you move, too.

5. Make sure you’re insured

Have you moved your insurance policy to cover your new address? It’s often last on everyone’s mind when moving house.

The first thing to do is make sure your policy covers your move. Even with experienced movers, some damage can sometimes occur.

It’s a good idea to check with your removals company what their own insurance covers – it may not stretch to your grand piano or modern art collection!

Living room with wall of books plus fireplace

 

Check that your new home is covered for when you move in, and your current home still covered until you leave. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.

Check that your new home is covered for when you move in & your current home still covered until you leave.

And one final tip – make sure important documents (birth and marriage certificates, passports, etc.) are kept together somewhere safe.

Moving house tips

After you have created a detailed moving checklist, taken an inventory of your belongings, and planned out every detail of your relocation, what’s left for you to do? Take a moment to check out the following moving tips to make sure you haven’t overlooked any important details for your relocation.

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Five best tips for moving house

  1. Stay organised. Staying organised can’t be emphasised enough when it comes to important moving tips for relocating.There is no amount of planning that can prepare you for unexpected issues that arise on your moving day, but you can prepare for a comfortable move by packing and organising your belongings in advance.

    Also, by taking an inventory of all possessions, scheduling your moving truck two weeks prior to your move and planning where your furniture will go in your new home.

  2. Gather packing supplies far in advance. There’s nothing worse than scrambling at the last minute for boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape to pack up the last of your belongings.One of the most important moving tips to remember, is to gather new or used boxes, bubble wrap or butcher paper, packing tape, and a permanent marker 4 to 6 weeks prior to relocation.
  3. Label all boxes clearly. Make sure that all boxes are labelled clearly with their contents. You can take it a step further by using colour coding to organise where boxes will go in your new home.As an example, label all boxes in red for the kitchen, blue for bedrooms, and green for bathrooms. This will make it easy and efficient for movers to unload your belongings. So the quicker that your movers work, the chances are you will have to pay less in total moving expenses.
  4. Have extra cash on hand. It is wise to have extra cash on hand in case some type of minor emergency occurs.This could include for example plumbing issues in your new home, movers having to charge more than what was originally estimated, or having to stay in a hotel overnight while traveling.

    Be prepared by keeping extra cash with you throughout your house move.

  5. Don’t forget to plan for the first night in your new home. One of the most essential moving tips is to plan for the first night that you’ll spend in your new home.The odds are that you will spend all day and evening moving and unpacking, yet you definitely won’t be settled in completely by the time you’re ready to hit the hay.

    Set aside a box or suitcase to hold everything you will need for the first 24 hours of your move and label it clearly. This can include utensils for cooking, toiletries, a change of clothing and bedding so that you can sleep comfortably.

Should you tip the movers?

The information below is based on receiving good moving service.

Movers Unloading Moving Van - Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images

If you feel you aren’t receiving good service, don’t feel compelled to tip. Tipping should be reserved for movers who do their job right. If a mover goes out of their way to accommodate you, then tip accordingly.

1. Provide cold drinks, coffee or whatever is suitable to the weather and time of day. Also provide food if the move takes a while and extends over the lunch period; pizza, sandwiches, something quick they can eat while on the move.

2. If there’s only one or two movers, tip between $60-70 (to split if there are two) depending on how hard the move was (stairs, heavy boxes, awkward items, etc…).

3. More than one mover, tip $30 per person and give all the money to the head mover or supervisor so they can divide it afterward.

4. If you received absolutely amazing service, tips can reach up to $100. But the movers need to be really good, really helpful and do something beyond the call of duty, such as helping with last minute packing and moving, taking the time to carefully wrap fragile items, or in my case once, helping me catch an escaped cat. That’s definitely the sign of a really good and caring mover.

When not to tip?

In all my many moves, only once I didn’t tip.

  It was a horrible move and if you follow this site at all, you’ve probably already read about how I needed the police, a news team and help from an insider to get my stuff back.  But besides that experience, I’ve always had great service.

One thing to keep in mind when tipping, Movers should be on time (unless they provide a good reason), treat your things with respect and be organized.

Hoarding: Myths vs. Facts

Until recently, little was known about hoarding, even though most of us knew of someone who struggled with it. Despite being reported all over the world and throughout time, compulsive hoarding has been under-researched. Today, researchers and mental health professionals are rethinking some long-held views.

hoarding

Here are 10 commonly held beliefs about hoarding and what researchers are now saying about those beliefs.

Myth #1. People who hoard are uneducated. People who hoard are often quite intelligent, articulate and engaging. Some hold advanced degrees and most are aware of, and often tormented by, their conditions.

Myth #2. Hoarding is a response to deprivation. While it was initially believed that living through periods of deprivation was a reason for hoarding, researchers have found that, in fact, most people who hoard grew up in a household where there was plenty to eat and never faced periods of material deprivation. Researchers aren’t as certain about the role of emotional deprivation.

Myth #3. People who hoard are poor. Studies have shown that most hoarders have good, stable jobs and make a decent, if not a good living. Hoarding often causes financial hardship because of the associated spending habits. These habits can lead to lost income, bankruptcy and even homelessness.

Myth #4. I’m just a “pack-rat.” It is possible to be a pack-rat and not be a hoarder. Excessive clutter, inability to use rooms and furniture for their intended function, interference with everyday living, and/or substantial distress are all symptoms of hoarding. Collecting and saving things does not make one a hoarder.

 

As long as you have the space,it does not cause financial, emotional,
or physical distress to you or anyone else, and is not a safety hazard,
saving and storing things for later use, “just in case,” is common and
within the range of “NORMAL” behavior.


Myth #5. Collectors are hoarders.
Having a collection does not make you a hoarder. Most collectors take pride in the objects they collect. About their collection they: take care of it (dust, polish, etc.), take steps to keep it from harm or decay, enjoy showing it to others, maintain a system of organization such that when a new item is added it is not just tossed in willy-nilly. Hoarders rarely exhibit these tendencies with their treasures.

Myth #6. You can tell a person is a hoarder by the way they look. This is completely false. People burdened with hoarding are often well dressed and put-together. Outside of their living environment they are often fully functioning.

Myth #7. Just haul it all off, that’ll fix it. This may seem like the quick and easy answer, but the reality is that this can do more harm than good. Deep emotional attachments exist for each item in a person’s hoard. Even items that appear to be nothing but a piece of trash can hold great significance in the mind of its owner. Removing or destroying this item can stir up reactions similar to losing a loved one. Experience shows that this approach can leave the person damaged, scarred, and even more resistant to treatment.  In most cases, the clutter returns quickly and worse than before.

Myth #8. I was just born messy. Researchers are not certain about the underlying cause of hoarding. It’s possible that something in the brain is not operating properly in those who hoard. It’s also possible that those who hoard have an extraordinary ability to see things that others overlook. Traumatic events could have caused a disruption or structural change in brain function. Scientists are working to uncover the mysteries of the mind of a hoarder.

Myth #9. I just need more space. While lack of space can be a legitimate issue in some situations, research has shown that those with the propensity to hoard will fill up any space, no matter how large.

Myth #10. There’s nothing we can do about it. If you or someone you know is struggling with maintaining their living space, cannot control their impulse to acquire, or is inhibited by their conditions, know that there is help out there. Contact a mental health professional in your area. The good news is that with proper treatment hoarding problems can be resolved.

Debunking the Myth That People Move Just Ten Miles

It is often said, within the industry, that most people move within ten miles of their current home – but has this mythical ten miles ever been proven?

In my series of articles, which are designed to help blow away such myths, I apply some simple analysis to see if they stand scrutiny.

I can’t take all the credit for the idea. It was during a conversation with Chris Wood at PDQ in Cornwall that it made sense to delve a bit deeper into the reality of how far people actually move – and credit must go to the MI team at myhomemove who did the hard work of extracting the data that will follow.

Firstly, myhomemove has completed transactions in every one of the 109 post code areas in England and Wales, but for the sake of simple science, it seemed logical to take a small sample area of Exeter, Plymouth and Truro (again, thanks to Chris for the suggestion) from which we could find all clients that have used our conveyancing service for the sale and purchase of their property.

Incidentally the extract of data was of 102 transactions, so it has made some of the maths a lot easier – providing you can live with it being the odd tenth(s) of a percentage point out.

Methodology? We took the seller’s home postcode and with the help of Google measured the distance to the sellers’ new postal address. And before you say it, I realise that there are relatively few places of high population in Devon & Cornwall – so the research comes with some obvious reservations. But nevertheless the outcome remains interesting.

Straight away, let me confirm the myth that 35% moved less than 10 miles, and as if the myth needed further confirmation only a further 4% moved twice as far. In fact 45% of movers moved within 50 miles of their old home. Fifty miles seems to be about an hour or two driving distance, and means that many already in the South-West loved it so much they stayed there – and who can blame them?

The furthest travelled was about 382 miles from Thornton-Clevelys in Lancashire to Helston in deepest Cornwall (to those people I say “Happy Retirement”).

Incidentally, those that moved over 300 miles numbered just seven.

The majority of the sample however did travel quite some distance: 44% travelled over 150 miles but less than 300 miles. To some people that means moving deeper into the West Country, whilst for others it means moving from somewhere such as Exeter to places like Bedford and Herefordshire, and for others it means moving from Leicester to Plymouth.

Perhaps it goes some way to prove that we are becoming a more mobile society, and we know that with the vision of a Northern powerhouse, social mobility is a significant aim of this Government. However, in my sample very few people were moving to the M62 corridor!

It also suggests to me that those firms and organisations that have a broad geographically-based network should make the very most of the asset that they have. For franchise operations such as Hunters and Martin & Co, it must mean making each franchisee think further than their own territory, and networks such as Relocation Agent Network should keep doing what they are good at doing, and do more of it. For the corporates it should be a given.

From my experience in agency, it was always difficult to get people to think of opportunities outside of their own patch, but if nothing else, this little bit of research suggests that they should definitely continue doing just that.

And at a time of severe stock shortage, it suggests that co-operating with fellow agents should pay dividends.

5 Tips for Relocating Your Small Business Office

Relocation is often the result of a company’s expansion or the end of its current lease. An expanding business isn’t a bad thing. However, once a business begins to grow, more office space is often needed. Whether you’re moving from a home office to a new workspace or relocating from one commercial building to another, choosing an office space for your business isn’t easy. Once you have chosen your new location, the move itself is the next bridge you’ll have to cross. Businesses make money when the company is up and running; therefore, since your whole business, or parts of it at various times, will be non-operational during the move, you want to make sure the process is as efficient as possible. Here are five tips to help you relocate your small business office efficiently and quickly:

1. Create a timeline for when packing and the move will take place

Now that you know where you are moving, coordinating a move can be a challenge with all the equipment and furniture contained within an office. Evaluate the current situation of your company’s office to see how you want the new office to be laid out and how you plan to make it happen within your designated budget. 4-6 months before the move, you’ll need to make sure employees are well aware of when changes will be occurring. Schedule time for updating the Internet and phone services and obtaining the necessary permits, licenses and insurance policies. The larger the office you have, the more time you will need to plan.

2. Allocate resources accordingly

From budgeting for movers and equipment transportation to making time for your employees, make sure you are putting your resources in the right places. Don’t be afraid to ask an employee or two for assistance.

3. Hire movers and cleaners 1 to 3 months before the move

Planning ahead is important as the transition from one office space to another should go off without a hitch. If you are planning to hire movers or a cleaning service to help with the process, now is the time to do it. Make sure you research the companies and go with a business that can provide recommendations.

4. Update your vendors 1 to 3 months before you move

You don’t want to be missing any important necessities when you arrive at your new office, so let your vendors know well in advance so they can make the adjustments to your shipping and billing address. If you’ll need new furniture or a sign, order it now so that it has plenty of time to arrive and be arranged before your business makes the move.

5. Update your website, letterhead and business cards 1-2 weeks before moving

During the final week, it is imperative that everything be in place so that once employees enter the new office, they don’t have to spend too much time adjusting and can get back to business. Make sure the post office and clients are aware that a move is taking place and when. Finish or reschedule any last minute tasks including vendor deliveries, client meetings, or interviews.

If you’ve planned well, the day of the move should be a snap. While relocating an office may seem daunting, making a checklist of what needs to be done can expedite the process.

Common Moving Myths Debunked

The web is awash with home moving tips guaranteeing you a swift, hassle-free move. How many of the authors have actually practiced what they preach, though? However well meaning these tips may sound, some of them actually waste your time, instead of saving it. We’re aiming to bust the four main home moving myths and show you how to avoid them.

There common myths about moving. Here is the reality.

1: You Need To Color-Code Your Boxes

According to this myth, in order to have a successful move it helps to choose a different color pen for each box. Apparently, this makes it easier to tell which rooms the boxes belong in, say green for kitchen, blue for bedroom and so on. In reality, boxes are brown cardboard and lighter colors such as pink, yellow and orange won’t really show up very well. It’s best to just clearly label each box in large letters and stop wasting your time messing around with colored pens.

2: You Need A New Home Moving App

Home moving apps are all the rage and aim to save you time and help your move go smoother. True enough, apps are pretty neat as they back everything up with cloud storage so you never loose a list or miss a deadline. The trouble is the time it takes to learn your way around a new app. If you are very organized and start planning months in advance, go ahead. If apps are something you learn about just a few weeks before a move, forget about them. Stick with the good old-fashioned notepad and you’ll be fine.

3: Comparing Quotes Is Essential

Common advice is to contact at least three firms and ask for full quotes. This is a waste of time if you don’t look what each quote covers. What you need to look for is a solution for your needs. For example, how many moving personnel does the quoted price include? How many packing boxes or wardrobe containers are included? How much time is allotted for the move? Some firms might low-ball the quote and then charge over the odds for extra time or additional packing materials such as mattress covers or TV protectors. You should compare details, not quotes.

4: Only Book With Insured Moving Firms

This seems like valuable advice because homeowners think that moving firms with insurance will cover all their contents as part of the service. Checking that firms have liability insurance and a workers’ policy is a waste of time because that’s insurance for the firm, not your contents. In other words, it protects the firm against liability and gives coverage to its workers, not your equipment. Most firms insure your possessions for no more than $0.60 per pound per article. In other words, a $2,000 dollar bicycle weighing 20 pounds would be covered for $12. This myth wastes you time because, if you check with your insurance company, your possessions will likely be covered by your home contents policy, or you can buy a ‘floater’ policy very cheaply. Call a moving company in Cambridge to discuss your insurance needs in more detail.

Moving and Storage Containers from the Brands You Trust

Packing & Loading Tips

storing

Properly loading your container is vital to maximizing safety and space when storing with us. Protect your possessions by familiarizing yourself with the techniques outlined in our downloadable packing tips as well as the loading tips illustration seen here. Follow these tips and see how safe, secure and simple it is to move with us!

Packing tips

Our containers provide a safe environment for your belongings.
To keep your belongings in good shape while being stored, it’s especially important that you be familiar with the techniques and boxes that will best protect your possessions.
Our packing tips download will cover the following areas:

  • Ready, Set, Pack! Good Packing Means…
  • Checklist of the Basics
  • How to Pack
  • A Word About Special Household Items

Our portable storage containers typically accommodate most 1,500-square foot homes.

Loading tips

Good packing is essential to preparing your things for storage.
Loading your things well means giving them even greater protection during storage or throughout a move.
Our loading tips download will cover the following areas:

  • Safety
  • Preloading
  • Loading
  • Unloading

Safety tips

At United and Mayflower Container Services, we take your safety very seriously.
Please carefully read our guidelines below to ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe when using your container.

  • Keep yourself, children and other adults clear of the container delivery unit while the container is being delivered or picked up from your residence. Our professional drivers will always look before backing up, but the vehicle has blind spots.
  • To avoid injury to yourself or your items, watch the head clearance when going in and out of the container.
  • When opening and closing the door or working in your container, keep hands free from the door tracking to avoid injury.
  • Open the door slowly. Items loaded into the container may have shifted and could fall toward you when opening the door, causing injury.
  • Open and close the door slowly by grasping the bottom center of the door with your hand(s).
  • To avoid cut or scrape injuries, watch for any sharp edges on your container.
  • Do not allow children to load items or play in, around or on top of the container.
  • Do not move your container once it has been positioned. Our driver will lock the wheels, and those wheels should remain locked. If unlocked, the container can roll and may cause serious injury. Only authorized representatives are permitted to move your container.
  • If the container is placed on a slope, the door opening should be facing the uphill side.
  • Our containers are for the storage of personal effects only and is not intended for any other use, including the storage of hazardous materials or for habitation. Please carefully review the list of non-allowables.
  • Do not load in excess of 7,500 pounds of weight in the container.
  • Distribute the weight of your load evenly throughout the container and do not load items that will interfere with the door track or that will press up against the door when closed.
  • If you are using the container for storing books, magazines or tools, please contact the Customer Care Center (877-670-6061) for more information as the weight of these items can create an overload situation.
  • Secure items at the end of your load to prevent items from shifting toward the door. Items shifting toward the door could impede the door from opening or may fall forward, causing injury.

7 Things You Should Know about Auto Transport Insurance

For most Americans, their automobiles are second only to their home as their most expensive commodity and like our homes; we insure our vehicles against accidents, thefts and other possible damages. But, what many people don’t realize is that when they load their vehicles on an auto transport truck for delivery to a new residence, many policies may or may not provide the protection they’re expecting.

auto transport insurance

To make matters even more complicated, some auto transport companies include a waiver in their contract negating them of any responsibility for any potential damage your vehicle may accrue while in their possession. Therefore, it’s always wise to double check the car shipping company’s policy prior to agreeing to the contract. Here are seven other things you should know about auto transportation so your car can get where it needs to go without unexpected hassles and costs.

Ask the Car Shipping Company for Proof of Insurance

It’s a law that auto transport companies carry a valid insurance certificate and they should be able to present it when asked to. You should also ask questions related to their policy at this time. Find out if they cover any damage that occurs during the car shipping process, if the entire car is covered or just certain parts or if you will be required to pay a deductible if damage occurs.

Get Everything in Writing

Before you agree to the terms of an auto shipping service, get any special agreements or considerations in writing. This will protect you in the event that something unforeseen happens, especially if they are providing you with a service or agreeing to something that’s not indicated in their regular contract.

Check With Your Auto Insurance Company

Depending on your policy, your own auto insurance company may cover your vehicle while it is in transport, but don’t assume this is so; you have to check to make sure. Ask whether or not your same coverage applies while the vehicle is being shipped and whether or not you have to supply the insurance company with any form of notification from the car shipping company.

Remove Loose Items from the Interior of the Vehicle

Most car shippers will not cover damage to a vehicle’s interior, so to reduce the risk of this happening, remove all of the loose items from your vehicle before handing over the keys. This includes all removable electronics, extra change, CDs or cassettes and anything else that could possibly become airborne. By removing your loose items, you will also reduce the risk of a break-in theft, which is also not covered by most car shipping companies.

Pre-Possession Inspection

Before the auto transport company takes possession of the vehicle, they will perform a thorough inspection of it to make note of any existing damage. If possible, you should be on hand when the inspector performs this inspection. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the vehicle to record its condition prior to the shipping company taking possession of it.

The Bill of Lading

Once the vehicle is delivered, the owner will have to fill out the Bill of Lading, which is essentially a condition report that details the vehicle’s condition upon arrival. Be sure to check the vehicle thoroughly, including the undercarriage. It is also smart to start the engine to check for any signs of mechanical damage. If the vehicle is delivered at night, check it under bright lights so you can see as much as possible because once you sign off on the Bill of Lading, the transfer is complete and if you missed something, the auto transport company won’t be liable. If you find signs of damage, include it on the Bill of Lading and have the driver sign off on it. Afterward, contact the shipping company directly to inquire about reimbursement.

Where to File a Complaint

If you feel that the auto transportation company failed to provide the services you expected or that they treated you unfairly, you can issue a complaint with your local Better Business Bureau office. If your vehicle was transported over state lines, you may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Tips for Moving Your Car

Shipping your car with a professional company can cost more than if you did it yourself; however, you will be saving the time and energy needed to get your car to your new home, and in some cases, such as moving overseas, you don’t have a choice in how your car is moved.

Auto Driveaways or car shippers, usually offer to either drive your car to the new destination or move it via truck to save your car the extra mileage.

Type of service will determine cost, so as you read through the following tips keep the options in mind. If you’re moving overseas, your car will have to be shipped and follow necessary custom importing regulations. See the article, Taking Your Car With You for detailed information on shipping your car to another country.

Research the Company

Research is key whenever you’re using a service to move your belongings or store them. Contact the Better Business Bureau. Find out if any of the companies on your list have generated any reports. Information you receive will usually contain any grievances filed and if the grievances were resolved successfully. It’s rare that a company does not have any unhappy customers; the key is to ensure that if there were complaints, in the end the customer was satisfied with the result. Read the report carefully, and if you’re thinking of using a company who had a grievance filed, ask them specifically about this case and how it was resolved. Depending on the severity of the complaint, you may choose not to use this company.

How it Works

Most companies will give you just an estimate of when they can pick up your vehicle and when it will be delivered – usually a three to five day window and most will store your vehicle for you if the pick-up dates or delivery dates don’t work for you.

Now, before the company drives off with your vehicle they need to perform a full inspection and provide you with a report that you’ll sign, too.

Make sure you carefully inspect your car and that the report accurately describes its present condition, including windows, internal dash, seat condition, etc… – this is how your car should arrive; however, if some damage should occur, the inspection is the record that the insurance company will refer to. This report will also record the mileage, gas gauge and dates for pick up and delivery.

Also, clean out your car thoroughly. Most companies won’t take responsibility for any loose items left in the vehicle. Remove tools, personal items and anything of value.

When the vehicle is delivered to you after the move, inspect it carefully before signing. This is the time to note any damage or missing items. Take your time so you can cover every inch, both inside and out. Refer to the initial inspection sheet. Again, this is how the insurance company will decide what is covered.

Cost

To determine how much it will cost to ship your vehicle, the transport company will need to know where it’s being shipped to and from, when it needs to be picked up and delivered. You’ll also have to notify them of what kind of vehicle is being transported, and any additional services you might need.

Make sure you research at least 5 companies and receive quotes from 3. If you’re unsure if you’d like your car transported or driven, ask for quotes for both types of services.

Note that most companies require at least a down payment to secure the booking; some may ask for the full amount upfront. Regardless, any amounts owing at the time of delivery, have to pay immediately. Be prepared to pay in full. Most companies accept major credit cards, but make sure you ask before you book.

Insurance

Before you sign the contract, ask about the insurance the company offers. Your vehicle should be covered against any damage or theft that may occur during transport. Find out what kind of deductible is in place and if the coverage the transport company offers is primary coverage or secondary. If it’s secondary, your insurance company picks up the tab first, so find out from your company what kind of coverage is offered for this kind of auto service.

7 Helpful iPhone Apps for Moving House

From counting your steps, to paying your bills, to tracking your poop in the sewers of Jaworzno, Poland, mobile apps can make our lives a lot easier when optimised intelligently. And here are seven incredibly helpful iphone apps for moving house.

1. Pro Moving Planner

pro moving planner iphone appThe name says it all – one of the best house moving apps on iPhone. It’s a moving check list tool that helps you organize your relocation in good detail. It helps you make a list of all the things you need done. Can track all professional providers and contacts you are about to hire, if there is a need to. There is an option for keeping all of the information on your email as a back up.

Nothing will be forgotten if you use this tool.

2. Packing Pro

packing pro iphone appAnother exquisite iphone app for moving house. Since packing is the most challenging part to moving house, one needs all the help they can get. Packing Pro is a list making app, which can help you organise your boxes easily. You can create and distribute lists, import and export, filter, add pictures, even has a function for print by connecting it directly to a printer.

With those detailed catalogues you never have to worry which box contains what when unpacking.

3. Change of Address

change of address iphone app When Moving to a new place, especially when the new place is bough and completely your own, here comes the severe task to change your official address to every important documentation containing your name.

Yes, this is all about bureaucracy, so having an app can be mighty helpful.

The Change of Address iPhone app lets you make a list of all the contacts and can create a personal card of yourself, so you can inform all your friends, family and co-workers (including the HR department). You can make photos of yourself and your old and new house, add an address and other information.

4. Zoopla App

zoopla iphone appZoopla is the best thing a future home owner can have. You can walk around and browse houses for sale along with all their information. You can also bookmark certain properties and track the change in their price.

5. Mortgage Calculator

mortgage calculator iphone app

The same as the name says, Mortgage Calculator helps you calculate how much a house would cost per month. It’s very comfortable to use with the Zoopla app, where you track the changes in the property prices.

6. GoFantastic

get the gofantastic appGoFantastic is an app that can get you in touch and easily book with Fantastic Services, which offers not only professional removals, but also cleaning, gardening, home repair, pest control and many other services for the home. Everything is at your fingertips on the go.

Full explanation on how it works can be found here.

7. Next Bus London

next bus iphone appAnd of course, if you decided to book a moving company, you’ll probably need to take the bus to the new home. Next buses can help you find the right bus at the right time, especially when moving to a new town you don’t know well.

These are some of the best iPhone apps for moving house, and they can help you optimise your move to the fullest.

10 Packing Tips You Must Know When Moving House

Sometimes you might have to go during a specific time of the day as some grocery shops receive shipments only once a week. You’ll need:

  • Small boxes;
  • Medium boxes;
  • Large boxes;
  • Heavy duty boxes;
  • Wardrobe boxes.

You can make wardrobe boxes yourself by using a tall enough box and adding a metal rail you can find on eBay in different lengths.

Additionally, you’ll need:

  • Packing tape;
  • Bubble wrap;
  • Old newspapers;
  • Stretch wrap for furniture;
  • Marker;
  • Labels.

There are whole moving house kits online you can find for different type of properties. For a one-bedroom flat, a two-bedroom flat and so on.
Another option is to purchase the packing service from a moving company. Moving companies have different types of boxes suitable for all sorts of items and they can do all the packing professionally for you.

How to Pack for Moving House

packing tips labelling

  1. Pack early. The time it will take you to pack all your items depends mainly on their number. So, for a large house, two months should be enough if you pack one box a day. For smaller homes, one month should be just fine. Of course, this is not an exact number, but you get the idea.
  2. Start with rooms you least need. Makes sense to pack the items you don’t use on a daily basis first. Seasonal items you’re currently not using such as garden tools, coats and Christmas lights are perfect examples. This will cause some chaos, which can make moving with your cat, or moving with your dog easier, by letting them explore the packing materials around.
  3. Pack one room at a time. This is one of the most important packing tips which for some reason often gets neglected. Doing this will help you stay organised and will later tell the movers, or anyone unloading, which box goes where.
  4. Declutter. Hold a garage sale or give your old unwanted items to charity. There is also eBay, so your options are plenty. If you have friends helping you with your move, ask them whether they need anything you’re planning to sell. After all, you’re not paying them and they should get something for all their troubles.
  5. Do not exceed the limit of 30 pounds for a box. You might get a back injury or one of the boxes might not be able to withstand the weight. Pack light items in large boxes and heavy items is small boxes. This packing tip alone will save you a great deal of pain… literally.
  6. Fill empty gaps. Use old newspapers, packing papers, or just old rags to fill gaps in the boxes. This should secure the items for the ride.
  7. Label your boxes. Write the contents on each box with a marker. Write on the sides of the boxes and not on top, as this will make it easier to recognise them if they’re are stacked. It’s also advisable to use a different colour for every room. Ask your children, if you have any to help you. Kids love drawing and colouring, so what better way to reduce the stress of moving? This is just one method of helping your kids cope with the move.
  8. Put heavier boxes on the bottom. Packing tips like this one might be common sense, but they’re still important to mention. By putting your heavy boxes underneath the lighter boxes, you ensure no breakable items will get crushed during the move. Boxes full of books and furniture parts are great examples of what you should load first.
  9. Dispose of hazardous materials.
  10. Prepare a box of essentials.

How to Get a Better Deal on a Moving Truck with a Simple Trick

Go online and search for price estimates for a moving truck with any of the major companies and you’re likely going to get wildly different quotes from each company. In fact, half the time, the quote won’t even be close to their advertised price. It turns out renting a moving truck isn’t as simple as it sounds. To get the best deal you have to work for it a bit.

How to Get a Better Deal on a Moving Truck with a Simple Trick

You’ve probably seen the ads for cheap moving truck rentals before: “Moves from $19.95!” or “Reserve for just $20!” Inevitably, when you call to actually make that reservation, it turns out the cost is often twice that much, maybe more. When you start looking for a more extended trip, like cross-country, the price differences get even larger.

I ran into this problem myself when I was pricing out moving trucks for a cross country move. U-haul quoted me at $1,400. Penske was about $900, and Budget was considerably cheaper at $600. The price difference was large enough that I decided to figure out why. So, I called U-haul with my Budget quote in hand, and asked for a deal. The U-Haul representative couldn’t do it, and it turns out, it was mostly because the dates I’d picked were popular days. The U-Haul representative helpfully explained that it was all about supply, and the dates I’d requested were high traffic weekends. MarketWatch confirms this pricing model:

What gives? Like airlines and hotels, truck-rental companies have adopted complex algorithms that help them manage inventory. While that means more efficient use of vehicles — savings which can theoretically be passed on to customers — it adds a lot of complexity.

Rental companies say in-town and cross-country trips are priced differently for a variety of reasons. Customers do tend to pay higher rates for one-way rentals, according to Budget, because of the extra costs involved in getting trucks to and from popular pickup locations and to compensate for additional wear and tear.

Likewise, the U-Haul representative told me I’d also just picked a crappy week to move. The end of the month is when everyone needs a truck. Combine that with the fact it’s also right around Labor Day weekend and that means they can charge me whatever they want because they know I need the truck. Essentially, an algorithm chooses the price of a truck. The less demand, the cheaper. The more demand, the more expensive. It has nothing to do with rate quotes in ads, and like an airline ticket, it’s entirely possible you’ll pay a different price for the same company in the same city at different times of the year. It’s obvious when you think about it, but how often do any of us actually think about it?

So, why was Budget so much cheaper? It turns out, it’s likely because I’m doing them a favor. They had a lot of stock in Denver, not that much in Seattle where I’m taking it. That means I move their inventory for them, someone else gets to use the truck in Seattle, and we all win.

The tip here is simple: when you’re shopping for a moving truck, compare prices at every rental truck provider and play around with the dates. From there, also try changing different pick up and drop off locations in your city because different locations offer different prices. Your previous experience doesn’t really affect who is going to have the cheaper price. If you can, avoid moving during summer, especially between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Getting a deal on a moving truck is a lot like getting a deal on airline tickets. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a Kayak for moving trucks yet.

Tips on Tipping Your Movers

Tip with CashConsumers put a lot of faith in professional movers, which is why good ones are as prized as a competent and fair mechanic. As a customer, you are entrusting all of your possessions, prized and otherwise, to people you may not even have been introduced to before they started taking your stuff and loading it into a truck.

Although movers are considered part of the service trade, there is usually a lot more riding on their job performance than, say, a waitress or someone who cuts your hair. If the waitress drops your rye toast, she can quickly get you a new order and, hey, your hair will grow out.

If a mover, however, does a poor job packing, drops your family heirloom or drags your furniture across the wood floor, there is a lot more at stake. Besides, there are few people in the service industry that work as hard as movers.

Perhaps because consumers rely so much on a mover doing a good job that they don’t consider them as a service professional. But they are and proper etiquette requires that they be treated as such. This means it is proper to offer a tip, whether it is cash at the end of the day or you buying the crew lunch or even both.

As with any other service provider, you would base your “tip” on job performance – a bad attitude and indifferent work habits would hardly be considered tip worthy. If, however, you think your crew was attentive, helpful and professional, then give what you believe is fair.

Movers usually don’t expect a tip but is appreciated when given. More than anything, it’s a sign that you recognized their effort and thought it worthy. You may think you’re paying a small fortune to the moving company, but what trickles down to the guys actually lugging your stuff won’t have them driving home in a Beamer.

Moving is a stressful life event overloaded with thousands of small details that need attention. One of those is how to treat the crew moving your life’s belongings, so here’s a quick reference that should keep the guys happy and moving:

Moving is hard, back-breaking work so it would only be common decency to have cold bottled water, soda or sport drinks on hand.
Some people prefer to buy the crew lunch in lieu of a tip and this is perfectly fine. Some do both. It’s whatever you are comfortable with. If you do offer to buy the crew lunch, make sure to ask if they have a preference as to food choice. Many people think, “Oh, we’ll get some pizza,” so you can imagine how much pizza these guys might have had that month.
You will hear varying advice on how much to tip. Percentages don’t really work as they do in restaurant work. The difference between a $2,000 full-truck move and a $20,000 full-truck move is likely the distance the moving van travels, not how much time it took to load the vehicle. Basically, if it’s a half-day (4 hours) move, $10 per person is considered appropriate. If it’s a full-day move (8 hours), then $20 is the consensus. If you have a lot of heavy furniture, narrow or winding stairs, a steep lot, etc., you should consider adding to the amount. If the crew works 12 hours to get your belongings packed, figure $40 as fair.
A tip about tips from movers themselves: Don’t give the lump some to the foreman or driver. Give each worker their tip. First, it shows that you recognize and appreciate their individual efforts. Second, there are some unscrupulous foremen, who will keep the entire amount for themselves.
Avoid giving the guys beer at the end of the day. It’s a bit stereotypical and most legitimate moving companies have rules against drinking on the job. It also opens liability issues. Make the tip cash and the movers can spend it how they wish.

The Ultimate Guide to Moving Into a New Office from Viking Direct

Smarta has just moved offices – in three weeks. If you’ve never managed an office move before that might not sound like such a big deal – but if you have, you’ll know how stressful, time-consuming and laden with hidden disasters the process can be.

The ultimate guide to moving into a new office

Now we’re sitting in our modest but perfectly kitted-out new HQ, we thought it only fair to share with you how we did it.

Viking Direct’s Mike Jones (organiser and space-maximiser extraordinaire) and Smarta’s very own Hayley and Debra will be revealing the secrets to organising an office move blissfully-free of the usual panic phonecalls, lost boxes and furniture failures.

Picking the premises

Our first step was picking our new premises. Ideally you need to leave at least three or four months for this, but you can push yourself into super-search mode if need be. Smarta’s Debra says: “The most important things is to have a deadline. It gives you something to aim for and makes sure things don’t drag on forever.”

Don’t be fussy about looks. You’re a small business on a budget – no one expects you to be featured in the next edition of Luxury Interiors Weekly. What’s key is meeting your team’s requirements and getting a lease that suits you.

If you need to get in somewhere pronto, go for a flexible lease. These suit start-ups, as you can leave on short notice if you need to suddenly slash costs. Beware that opting for a non-flexible lease can mean up to three months negotiation time before the contract’s signed. Get advice on negotiating the terms of your lease in this feature. Always check prices against similar office space in the area.

Use the checklist when you make a decision:

  • Most crucially: is it big enough and can you afford it?
  • Is there room for you to expand?
  • Is the office serviced or unserviced?
  • If it’s unserviced, how much extra will it cost you to put in all the fittings you need?
  • What’s the security like, in the building and the area?
  • How will this affect your insurance? (You will get a better deal the more doors and locks there are, and the further up off ground level you are)
  • Will you have to pay for your own locks?
  • How hands-on are the management? Do they provide their own plumber/electrician/etc.
  • Who is responsible for maintenance – management or you?
  • Are you forbidden from doing anything?
  • Are you allowed to redecorate?
  • Will you have access 24/7, or do you have to be out the building by a certain time?
  • Check service charges.
  • Check business rates.
  • What are transport links and parking like? Will this inconvenience visiting clients?
  • What shops and amenities are nearby? (You need somewhere to lunch!)
  • Is there a shower?
  • Is there a place to store bikes securely?
  • Is there a lift or do you have to walk up several flights of stairs?
  • Are there enough power sockets?
  • Is there a kitchen you can use?
  • Do you have a drinking water tap?
  • Is there air con/central heating? How hot/cold does it get throughout the year?
  • Are there any building works going on nearby that could disrupt you, and how long are they likely to last?
  • Check all the windows open.

Get planning

First things first: “You massively need a project plan,” Hayley explains. “There’s just so much to remember. It’s crucial.” Your plan is your checklist – and your sanity.

Mike recommends getting started three months ahead of your move date. “You’ll want to shop around to check you’re getting exactly what you want. It can be done quicker, but by doing so you limit your options.”

This is what our plan looked like – Debra actually broke it down further into daily tasks. Feel free to use it as the skeleton of your own checklist and plan. But remember we were on a tight time-scale – you may be able to spread these tasks out.

Four to six weeks before move:

  • Measure new office
  • Order furniture (more on that below)

Four weeks before move:

  • Get security company to survey new office (security company usually need a month’s notice – ask your new building manager if they expect you to find your own security company)
  • Get someone in to look at new office who can advise on planning design (your furniture company may provide this person – ask them)
  • Order furniture
  • Get removal quotes and book best firm (more on that below)
  • Sort out the following for new office: insurance, business rates, IT (talk to current supplier about managing the move), electronics/cables, phones and phone lines

Three weeks before move:

  • Tell your current suppliers your leave date: milk, newspapers and magazines, water cooler, cleaners
  • Get stationery quotes
  • Sign contract with security company
  • Organise change of address notification to contacts and suppliers so it’s ready to send

Two weeks before move:

  • All broadband and phones need to be in place by next week
  • Set up forwarding numbers and postal redirections ready for move date
  • Start kitchen build
  • Figure out how to get the essentials in place for when you arrive in new office: drinking water, internet, a phoneline, and anything else you need

One week before move:

  • Get crates delivered by delivery company and start packing up (more on that below)
  • Research and sort best deals for: utilities, water cooler, milk, newspapers and magazines
  • Build any big cupboards and storage units
  • IT company set up cables and wiring
  • Furniture delivered
  • Removals men set up furniture
  • IT company set up computers, servers, etc
  • Send all contacts change of address notice (and change of phone number if there’s no way you can keep your old one)
  • Organise cleaners to do final clean of old office if landlord requires it

Get the right furniture and maximise space

Choose your supplier carefully. We chose Viking Direct because as well as having a really extensive range that included everything we needed, they could also promise to get our stuff delivered within five to 10 working days. Plus, it’s standard practise for them to assemble all the furniture when they deliver it – so no Ikea instruction-leaflet nightmares for us!

Other suppliers usually take six weeks for your furniture to arrive, so if you go elsewhere, be prepared for that. Make sure they do deliver, whoever you go for – it’s a huge pain if they don’t. Remember to order cutlery, kettles, microwaves, et al.

When it comes to safeguarding the future of your employees’ spinal vertebrae, ‘The chair is key,’ Mike says. “Get a flexible chair that lets you move and doesn’t hold you in a rigid position. The key word is ‘synchronised’ or ‘synchro-chair’, which means the back and seat work in conjunction (like these ones). You can get really good chairs in the £130 – £200 bracket. Make sure they’ve got a good warranty – about five years.

“If someone is short you can introduce a footstall to get their feet in the right position. You only have to start looking at height-adjustable workspaces if you’re very small or very tall – we’re talking 6’4”.”

Rectangular desks are the most space-efficient, Mike says, though you can choose wave desks for a nicer look. Flat screen technology also saves space. “In terms of storage, if you don’t have much floor space, you have to go vertical – 2.2 metres is about the maximum height you want to go, unless you want to start incorporating step ladders!”

Mike recommends lateral filing systems rather (like this) than filing cabinets to further free up floorspace, but warns that tall storage cabinets can make a space feel enclosed.

And super-organiser Debra’s top tip for planning out your floorspace? “Get a professional to come in to give you ideas and tell you how to maximise your space. Look for a furniture company that offers the service.”

Finally, always, always draw up an accurately-measured floorplan (or get your professional to). No excuses!

How to reduce noise

You need to figure out how to keep things hush hush in your new space. The basic rule is: the more soft furnishings, the better. Get carpet and curtains if your office is echo-prone – or at least a few cheap rugs. Wallpaper helps too, although any vertical surface will absorb noise.

Mike recommends ‘sails’, which hang from the ceiling, or dividing screens. You can also get purpose-built artwork that’s designed to absorb noise – very effective, but not cheap.

Packing up and moving

You definitely need to hire a professional removals company. “You’re too important to the organisation to do it yourself,” Mike says. “If anything went wrong, you’d be off work for a while.” And make sure employees steer well clear of lifting too: take heed from the squillions of TV adverts offering five figure sums to people who’ve been injured at work.

Shop around to get a reputable removals company – and get at least three quotes.

“It’s not always about going with the cheapest,” Debra says. “Pick up on who is most professional. Check them up online and ask for proof of customer feedback.”

You’ll need at least two removal people, and they’ll bring their own van. Give them a full inventory of everything that needs moving so they can get the van size right. Make sure they have the right insurance – if they drop something, you need to be covered.

Giving yourself an overlap of a couple of days between leaving your old office and entering your new one can take the pressure off, but it’s not essential. Just get crates delivered a few days before your leave dates and make sure you start packing early – non-essential items first.

You need to get your IT company to pack up all your computers and servers on your leave date (or before if you can work off laptops) and set them up again in the new office. Do not go vigilante on this one – the equipment is too valuable.

Always have someone from your team overseeing the removals team when they bring everything to the new office, and for when the furniture is delivered. Check all items off a list to make sure nothing’s missing. The furniture company or removals team should set up furniture and place everything in the right place – keep your floor plan close at hand.

Cancel meetings for a couple of days either side of the move, and remember to set out-of-office messages on move day. Forward calls from your old office to someone’s mobile until your new phoneline is put in.

Then, when you’re settled, send out your new address notification to contacts.

Finally, crack open the bubbly, and enjoy!

20 Tips for Smoother Office Moves

Strategic planning for a commercial move can make the difference between a hectic relocation with costly downtime and a smooth transition with little to no lost hours of operation. If you are planning an office move or other business relocation, the following tips can help make the move come in on time and on budget.

  1. Plan your move as early as possible. Business relocations are often planned six months in advance, and large commercial moves can require up to two years of planning.
  2. Hire commercial movers with the experience, resources and manpower required for an efficient office move.
  3. Make sure the moving company you hire has insurance, and get them to fax you a copy of it. Most of all, office buildings require it.
  4. Schedule the move with the building you are moving into as well as out of. Most likely the move will need to be done outside of normal business hours, as most buildings won’t allow moves during office hours. The best time for an office move is typically over the weekend.
  5. Check with the buildings about any other requirements (each office building is unique). The building may limit the amount of time you can park at the loading dock, require that floors be covered or protected, and that elevators are reserved in advance.
  6. Talk to your employees about the move as early in the planning stage as possible and keep them informed.  Check with state law in regards to the amount of time a company is required to provide notice to their employees.
  7. Determine what printed materials such as business cards, envelopes, and stationary will require address changes.
  8. Create announcements about the move.
  9. Unless you hire full service office movers, hiring a move manager can save a lot of headaches, as he or she can coordinate with the moving team, furniture delivery, IT install team, etc. If you don’t hire a move manager or full service mover to handle the details for you, at least create a rough sketch of the floor plan at destination so that the movers know where to place the furniture.
  10. The week before moving you may need assistance with packing, so be sure to inquire about this with your moving company in advance.
  11. Let the head of each department take an inventory of all items to be moved in their department.
  12. Before the move, walk the new space with the building manager to ensure it’s ready for business (no broken bulbs, leaks, etc.).
  13. Find out whether the AC or heat will be on during the move, as some buildings turn off the HVAC by default on weekends, unless you tell them you need it on.
  14. Most office movers will not be responsible for moving plants, so you will need to assign someone to be in charge of getting any plants moved.
  15. Give employees some time on Friday before the move to pack their desk items and any other materials that haven’t been packed by that time. Have them take all personal possessions with them.
  16. It is wise to have at least two managers present during the entire move, one at origin and one at destination.  However, only those managers should be present during the move. Any more than that will get in the way of the movers and slow them down.
  17. Make sure all data cabling is installed and tested before the IT team arrives to setup the network and other equipment. Inquire with your move company or move manager if you need assistance with IT disconnect and reconnect services.
  18. If you’re moving existing IT equipment, make sure it’s unloaded first so the IT team can immediately get to work setting up the network, phones, etc.
  19. If you have a lot of artwork, academic credentials, etc. find a professional “art hanger” in your area and schedule them to come by the office 1-2 weeks after the move. This will take a lot of stress off of management so that there are less holes in the wall (from mistakes) and that everything in the office gets hung the right way.
  20. Forward all mail online via www.usps.com (this can be scheduled ahead of time).

8 Tips For Using Rental Storage Units

Over the years we’ve been tenants in several storage units, because sometimes you just need more space. There’s lots of reasons to rent one, but there’s also lots of tips and tricks to pick up along the way that they don’t mention at the front desk when you sign up! Here’s a few things we’ve learned in our adventures of paid storage, all of which we wish we would have known before hand …

1. Pallets, Pallets, Pallets: Keeping your items off the floor is almost essential. It might sound silly, but before renting your unit, there’s no way to promise that the melting snow won’t come under the door, or the adjacent unit won’t have a spill that soaks its way into your heirloom sofa.

2. Wrap What You Can : Each time we use a storage unit, we wrap what we can in industrial plastic wrap. That way, we know that things are sealed up tight and it won’t collect dust or creepy crawlies while it’s doing time. Check out Uline for easy ordering of large rolls.

3. Use A Hefty Small Lock: Although most units have security in them, that doesn’t mean they’ll always be paying attention. Find an all-weather pad lock that has a short arm to ensure a bolt cutter can’t slide it’s way in to be sliced open!

4. Label, Label, Label: Even though you know exactly what you’re putting in your storage unit at the time you open it, that doesn’t mean in 6 months when you need back in it that you won’t be digging for ages and opening random boxes until you find what you’re after. Label everything. The hidden, the obvious, and you can even go as far as to make a checklist that hangs inside the door telling you where something might be (back right corner under the desk = cameras to sell on eBay).

5. Plan For Temperature Changes: Although this might not be an issue in some parts of the country, there are a few things that don’t like the cold or the heat and should either be double wrapped or well insulated or not stored at all. Electronics, vinyl records, old photos (if humid), things of that nature all come out a little less awesome when not stored properly.

6. Winter? Carry Sand!: Most outdoor storage units are built so water drains away from doors and to one central location. …. in theory. Quite often what happens is large ice slicks can form outside the door, making it almost impossible to get to your goods without risking life and limb. Carry cat litter, sand or even spare sheets of plywood to help you unload or access your items.

7. Protect The Space: While we’re concerned about protecting what we put in the unit, protecting the unit itself is also important — there can be heavy fines for scarring the unit during your tenancy. If you rent one to use for, say, your freelance furniture flipping or restoration business, make sure to plastic off the walls and floors to catch glue drips and sprays (not that we’ve ever accidentally spray painted the inside wall pink before…. oops).

8. Bust Out Your Tetris Skills: Even the smallest storage unit can hold a great deal, just make sure you use the space wisely which means packing things all the way to the ceiling. Bringing in plywood to lay across several boxes can help stabilize layers as your stacking it up, up and up! It will take the pressure off the tops of your boxes and help keep things safe.

Do you have a storage unit tip you wish someone would have told you before renting your first one? Let us know in the comments below!