How To Distinguish Good Moving Companies From Bad Ones

You go online and search ‘Moving Companies.’  You get back hundreds of results.  How do you determine which ones are good and which ones are not.  You could assume that if they are listed higher in the search results, then they must be good.  But this won’t work because the search results are not always a good indicator of what is good.

You also could try review sites.  There are free and paid sites you can look through to try and get a feel for what a company is really like.  The problem with this is, a lot of people don’t leave reviews.  Also, review sites can be gamed by unscrupulous companies to make it look like they have done an excellent job.

If you have friends and family that have recently made a move, you can ask them who they used.  But how many of us have close friends and family that have just moved.

More than likely, after you do an initial search, you are going to be left with a list of moving companies that you know absolutely nothing about.  So, how do you determine which ones are good and which ones are not.

  • Have a local office
  • Website
  • Timely response
  • Offer quotes
  • Accept multiple forms of payment
  • Offer references

Have a local office

Any good company is going to have a local office that you can visit.  If you contact a company and they say they are located out of state or don’t allow outside visitors, you should not do business with them.

Once you confirm they have a local office, you should visit it.  You will be able to learn a lot about the company when you go to their office.  By looking at the outside and inside of the building, you can see how they treat their own belongings.  If everything is shabby, you can expect they won’t think much of your stuff when they are handling it.  On the other hand, if everything is taken care of well, you can hope they will handle your things with the same care.

Website

Every real company should have a website.  If a moving company doesn’t have a website, you should for another company.  This is not to be judgmental.  But, you have to ask yourself, “Why don’t they have a site?”  If they can’t afford one, then you definitely don’t want to do business with them.

The website can also be an indicator of the quality they offer.  If the site is broken or just not designed well, you can assume that they don’t pay attention to details.  When someone if moving you stuff, you need them to pay attention to details.

A word of warning, the testimonials on a website or that they company presents to you on paper are selected by the company.  This means they are only showing what they want you to see.

Timely response

If they don’t respond to you when it comes to the little things, like returning phone calls, they won’t respond when it comes to delivering your furniture.  You need a company that is punctual.  You need to get them to commit to a schedule and guarantee they will keep it.

Offer quotes

All good companies offer quotes.  You need to know how much it cost before you make a decision.  One of the best ways to do this is to get quotes from multiple companies.  If the company you are thinking about using is higher than the other, ask them why.  They may have valid reasons for being high.  If they reasons a not good, you will have to decide is it worth it to pay more for their services.

On the flip side, you don’t want to choose a company base solely on price.  This could get you in a world of trouble.

Whichever way you decide to go, you want to make sure you know all of the cost before signing a contract.  You need everything spelled out so that there is nothing left unknown to you or them.  You may want to have an attorney look over the moving contract before signing it.

Accept multiple forms of payment

If a company says they only accept cash, you don’t want to do business with them.  All real moving companies have bank accounts and can accept checks.  If they say they don’t accept checks because they can’t verify them, they are lying.  All checks can be validated.  If a company is worried about that, they can use a validation service that guarantees the check or they can wait for the check to clear before they will move.

If you turn your cash over to someone that you have not thoroughly verified, you may never see it again.

Offer references

One of the best ways to determine how good a company works is to ask for references.  You want to get references for three people that were satisfied and three people that were not satisfied.  If they company says they don’t give out references, then they have not done their due diligence to make sure they can provide you with good, independent reviews.

Choosing a moving company is a big deal.  You will spend a good bit of time and money with them.  More importantly, you are going to trust them with moving all of your belonging in and out of you new home.  Choosing the wrong company could end up costing you significantly.  Choosing the right company will make you life, during your move, a whole lot easier.

Take your time.  Do some good research. Ask as many questions as you need to.  Only after you are satisfied with all of the answers give, should you move forward with hiring a moving company.

Organizing a Move – Five Frequently Asked Questions

There are many questions you will have when you are moving. Getting answers to these questions will help you complete your move easier. One of the most important task in moving is organizing your things. How and where to start, as well as, following the right path once you have begun are all keys to having a successful move. The following is a list of five frequently asked questions about organizing a move.

What should you do first to get your move in order?

You should separate all of your belongs and determine what you will keep. If you skip this step the rest of the process will suffer.

How should you separate your things?

You should start by separating your things by size. Use your different bedrooms to sort them. Take out anything that you do not intend to keep and get rid of it. This will help you determine the number of boxes and what size truck you will need to move.

Should you use your own vehicle or rent a truck?

There are a few factors that play into whether you should use your own vehicle or rent one. First, is your car big enough to fit everything in or are you moving close by that you can make multiple trips? Do you want to put the wear and tear on your vehicle? Although you can fit the things in your car, the weight and movement of your stuff my do some damage it.

Should you hire a professional?

Hire a professional allows you to pass off the loading, unloading, and transport tasks. But you will have to spend some time researching the different companies. You also will spend more money.

Where can you find more help with organizing your move?

The Internet is the first place you can look for help with your move. Search moving sites and forums for advice. Next, you can talk to your local truck rental company for info. They usually have guides that will help you decide on which size truck to use and which packing supplies you will need. Finally, you can check with your real estate agent for some extra tips.

Before you start your move, be sure to ask yourself these questions and any others that would help you in moving. Be sure to think about planning and streamlining the process. Also, consider the cost for each of the different scenarios. And make sure you start early.

Can You Pass the Quiz on How to Organize a Move to a New Home?

Organizing anything can seem hard. If you are moving it can seem whole house hard. Moving all of your belongings is a cumbersome task, but if you organize everything you can make it a lot easier on yourself.

I have put together a short quiz that will help you see what your understanding of moving organization is and to show you that a few preparatory steps can save you loads of time. See how you do with the quiz?

1. What is the best way to organize your things?

a. by color

b. by size

c. by shape

d. by room

The answer is “b”. First, organizing by color or shape not help you in any way. Organizing by room appears to be a likely solution and is viable, but it is not the best solution. Organizing by separating different size things into different rooms will give you a good picture of all you own.

2. What are the different ways you can move?

a. Use your own vehicle

b. Rent a truck

c. Hire a professional moving company

d. All of the above

The answer is “d”. There are really are no restrictions on the avenue you choose to move. There are also additional service you can use like storage, trains, boats, and planes. The specific way you move will be determined by your unique situation. Do you have the physical ability to move everything? Is there enough time for you to move it all? You should come up with a set of questions that works through your scenario and that will ultimately guide you into the right decision to make.

3. Where can you find information to help you in packing and unpacking your rental truck? (Choose all that apply)

a. The police department

b. The Internet

c. A truck rental company

d. A real estate agent

In most cases, “b, c, and d” are all good choices. The police department is burdened with solving crimes and other police activities and should not be bothered with your move unless someone is doing something that my be illegal or dangerous. The Internet is the ultimate source of information and will always provide helpful tips. A truck rental company is in the business of loading and unloading trucks, so they will be able to help you. Real estate agents, although not all of them, have been involved with many moves and will be able to provide assistance.

Understanding these few questions in this quiz should give you good running room to plan you move in an organized way. This will save you money and time.

Moving to England From America

If you are moving to England from America, you have to think about somethings and plan well.  You need to know if and when you can travel to England.  You have to look for a place to stay.  You should research the major cities.  Some places are dangerous, you should know which places to avoid.  Also, if you plan on going places, you have to learn the transportation system in England.  Finally, you have to know the laws and customs of England.

The first order of business it to find out if you will be allowed to travel to England, when you will be allow, and how long you will be allowed to stay.  You have to apply for a visa.  If you are only moving there for a short period of time, less than six months, you can just get a travel visa.  If you plan to move for longer and you need to work, then you will need to obtain a work visa.

Once you have the visa in order, you need to look for a place to stay.  You can do searches on google.co.uk for “relocate to England”, “flats”, “let a room”, “rent a room” to start with.  You can also search real estate sites like rightmove.co.uk.

You should research the different regions of England including the major cities like London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Coventry, Nottingham, and Leicester.  Each of these cities are located in different parts of the country and have different things to offer you.

You also have to be aware of the dangerous places in England.  Usually when you hear about England in America it is not in the context of bad neighborhoods, but there are some bad neighborhoods in England that could be very unsafe for you and your family.  So make sure you know where they are.

Moving to Europe from the USA

Moving to Europe from the USA can be an exciting experience, but you have  to take somethings into consideration.  You are still a citizen of the United States.  Europe is not one big country like the United States.  The laws are different from the US no matter which country you decide to move to.  Also, you will be far away from family.  Finally, you may not have the same conveniences that you have in the US.

Every year thousands of American citizens visit countries all over Europe.  They take in the beautiful scenery and are sweep off of their feet.  Many get the itch to move to Europe.  Some decide to make that journey.  I assume, if you are reading this, that you are at least thinking of moving to Europe from the USA.

One thing you have to remember, if you are from the United States, is you are still a citizen of the US unless you obtain citizenship in the new country you are moving to and relinquish you US citizenship.  This means you have to abide by the laws of the country you are living in, as well as, by the laws of the United States of America.  If you do anything that is illegal in the US, even if it is legal in the country you are moving to, you could be charged in the United States.

In the United States we have a set of laws that guide our nation.  As part of the federal law, states are give all of the rights that are not reserved by the federal government.  Europe is different.  They have unified in some ways, but each country is different.  You have to learn the laws and customs of the particular country you move to.

Being far away from home is probably the hardest thing to deal with.  Unless you know a lot of people in your new country, it can be a little lonely at times.  But, if you make an effort to get out and meet people you should do fine.  Most European countries are friendly toward Americans, as long as you don’t act obnoxious.

Moving To Europe From The USA

photo by albertan

We are all use to having Walmart, Target, and other conveniences close by.  In some parts of Europe you will not find these kinds of conveniences so close.  If you are from the country, this may not seem like anything.  But if you are from the city, it could take some adjusting.

Moving to Europe can be fun.  Just be sure you research everything before you go.  Be ready to learn some new things and make new friends.  You will do fine.

Cheap Movers

Choosing a moving company is an important decision.  You want to make sure your things are moved safely and timely.  You also don’t want to pay to much for the move.  Should you use cheap movers or is paying for the most expensive movers the right way to go.

I don’t think you can base your decision on price alone.  Choosing a company just because it is cheap can lead you into big trouble.  It is can be like buying the cheapest television in the store.  It may seem like a good deal, but a year after you have bought it and it won’t work anymore, you will know that you should have spent a little more money.

Likewise, just because a company cost a lot of money, it doesn’t mean they are a good company.  There are some really bad companies in many industries, including moving, that are very expensive.  The more services you get, the more you are going to pay.  That logically makes sense.  If you get a full service mover who packs, ships, and unpacks everything, then you are going to pay more.  Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.  If the services listed in a quote are different, then you have to calculate that difference.

You also have to look at the speed of a company.  One thing that may make a company cheaper than another is that they are not very fast.  One reason for this could be that they have many customers and cannot service them all.  The less they charge, the more volume they have to do to make a profit.  But they could be very good at handling the volume and actually deliver you things in a better time than a more expensive company.

What I am trying to say here is, don’t let the price, whether high or low, dictate to you if a company is good or not.  Decide on all of the services you want done for you.  Shop around for different companies.  Compare their prices to one another.  Make sure you read reviews.  Because this is such an important purchase, I feel it would be in your best interest to ask the moving companies that you are considering to give you a few of their past customers to interview.  The key to getting all of the information is to ask for satisfied customers and dissatisfied customers.  Allow each party, especially in the case of the dissatisfied customers, to tell their side of the story and then decide which company you want to go with.

In the end, make sure you are getting what you pay for.  Don’t choose a cheap mover just for the sake of going cheap.  Also, don’t pick an expensive mover just because they have a high price tag.

Piano Movers

Moving a piano takes skills.   You should hire professional piano movers for a number of reasons.  Your piano is very heavy and irregularly shaped.  Your piano needs to be protect properly to keep it from the different elements that arise during moving.  A regular moving company doesn’t have the experience to move your piano the correct way.

Your piano is not like any other box, appliance, or piece of furniture you own.  It is heavy and has a unique shape to it.  This means you have to make the correct accommodations for moving it.  You do not want to stuff it in a moving truck and pack box around it.

You also have to be very careful when it is being moved to and from the truck, as well as, when it is in transit.  You have to wrap it correctly so it will not be scratched or broken.  You also have to be mindful of the temperature.  Extreme hot or cold conditions can make your piano warp.  Also, sudden changes in temperature can warp the wood.  The temperature has to be controlled at every point in the move.  If you turn the electricity of in your house or you new house doesn’t have the electricity turned on when the piano arrives,  it could be sitting in bad conditions.  Wrapping the piano correctly will insulate it.  Professional piano movers will know how to wrap your piano correctly.

Piano Movers

 

Regular moving companies are good at moving many things, but they usually are not equipped to move a piano properly.  If you are not careful, you could end up with your piano being damage and not even know it for a while.  If the wood in your piano warps because of improper moving, you may just think it is out of tune and then find out later that it will not tune no matter what you do.  It will be very hard to prove that the moving company caused the damage.

If your piano is old and you really don’t care to much about it, then you should move it yourself or have a regular moving company move it for you.  If you have a piano that is valuable to you and you don’t want to see it damage in a move, you should look for a professional moving company.  Search for moving companies and read reviews.  It is very easy to skip the research step after looking at a few websites and making a few phone calls, but it is in your best interest to spend some time doing the proper research.

Student Movers

Hiring student movers can save you money.  They are generally cheaper than higher professional movers.  But the question is, will you get the quality of professional movers if you use college student movers.

When I was in college I definitely needed extra money.  I also helped my fair share of people move.  I never equated making money with helping people move.  I had a truck and they needed to go somewhere.

The thing was when my friends and I helped someone move, which usually was another friend, we didn’t really know what we were doing.  We would pile everything into the back of the pickup truck anyway it would fit.  This usually resulted in things moving around and ultimately breaking.  We also would lay appliances, like refrigerators, down.  We did not know that the oil in the compressor would move around, and sometimes leak out.  We also didn’t secure everything and would have things fly off the truck.  You would think that after a few times of it happening, we would make sure it didn’t, and with somethings we did.

The truth was, we were not professional movers, we were college students, just like college students in Houston, Denver, or any other part of the country.  Now, if we had been guided by a mentor, someone who new the business and made sure we were doing things the right way, we could have been really good at moving.

I think that college students can do a good job at moving your house, office, or what ever you are moving.  I just believe that they have to have guidance.  I mean if you really think about it, some of our best military equipment is moved and used by college age men and women.  Under the right guidance, with the proper training, they can do extraordinary things.

There are also those few college students who excel at organizing, planning, and understanding the proper way things should be done.  These type of students have the ability to lead other student movers into doing excellent work.

So, my advice is proceed with caution if you are thinking of using student movers.  I believe students, with the right leader, can do very good work.  I would say do the same amount of due diligence you would use in selecting any mover.  Look for reviews from former customers, search the web for information about them, make sure you both have an understanding of the process and who is responsible should things not go according to plan.  The best way to do this is to have a contract in place.  If any mover will not give you that, then you should steer clear of them, even student movers.

Moving to Florida

We’re moving to Florida.  That’s what we said the last time we visited Orlando.  We went in the Spring and the weather was so nice.  There was so much to do and see.  There are a lot of nice neighborhoods with some really nice houses.  We were beside ourselves.

Well, we didn’t make the move, but we did have a really good time.  We went to, of course, Disney World, Dave and Busters, shopping, and site seeing.  I would have to say the highlight of the trip was Disney and the home we rented.  We were able to go to the Disney parks for four days.  We rented a nice five bedroom home for only $600 for six days.  Most of the other houses this size were renting for well over $1000.

What we really liked about the Orlando area was how clean it was and how much there was to do there.  This may be because we are not from there and our perception was a little skewed, but it certainly seemed nice.  There seem to be a lot of people employed and not a lot of run down areas.  Now, we didn’t go through the whole city, so I can’t say that all of the city is that way.

I think the negatives of the Orlando, Florida area are the mosquitoes, hurricanes, and the hot weather.  Mosquitoes are not pleasant anywhere, but they are pretty bad in Florida because of all the swamps.  You can keep them away with mosquito spray or Skin So Soft from Avon (that’s a little known trick).  Hurricanes are never any fun, but at least you have more warning than if a tornado was coming.  Hot weather in Florida is like being in a sauna.  You feel like you can’t get it off of you.

Give the pros and cons, though, Florida seems like a nice place to move to.  Every place has its pluses and minuses.  I think that the pluses in Florida, specifically, out weigh the minuses.  If you are looking to move, check Florida out.  I think you will enjoy it.  Take yourself a trip down to Orlando.  If nothing else, you can at least see Mickey Mouse and enjoy a good time with your family.

As for us, we won’t be moving to Florida anytime soon, but will be thinking about it.  And maybe next time we are down there we will see you poking your head around the Orlando area.