There are dozens of moving checklists out there, even some interactive moving lists, offering tips and reminders for those lucky souls that know 3 months ahead of time about their impending move. Most checklists are based on a timeline, with tips for what to do 10 weeks out, 2 months out, the week before, etc.
This is not one of those lists. This list is for the rest of us (dare I say, the slackers?). Those of us moving tomorrow, or maybe even today, after realizing that our lease is up next week, that the plumbing leak is bad enough to warrant moving out, or that the promotion you just accepted was contingent on you moving the family 800 miles away by next Tuesday. Whatever the reason, from one slacker to another, here’s some help:
- FIRST – find some help. The hardest part of a last minute move is finding help. Big full service moving companies are usually pretty frustrated by last minute requests – some won’t even offer quotes for same-day or next-day requests. The better option is to find some small, local, independent moving labor companies, like those found on HireAHelper. These companies are eager for more loading and unloading jobs. Most moving labor crews are readily available to load up a customer’s rental truck within a few hours notice. Getting a quote, checking availability, and booking some loading help takes a few seconds on HireAHelper.com.
- SECOND – find a truck. Accoring to JD Power & Associates almost 1 out of 3 consumers that booked a move with a full service moving company in 2008 reported items lost or damaged. On the other hand, 93% of the customers that book moving labor through HireAHelper to get their rental truck or portable storage loaded or unloaded end up satisfied and 86% of those customers left their moving labor service a 5 star review (out of 5 stars).
- Get rid of almost everything. I’m not talking about posting your favorite egg slicer to eBay for a 10 day auction. I’m talking about tossing the egg slicer in the trash (or even the “Craigslist free” section), along with anything else you won’t use within the first week of living in your new place and can’t possibly buy again in your new location. Moving last minute with 80% less stuff is 1,000% easier.
- Throw an “Eating Party.” Invite your friends and neighbors over to eat anything and everything they can out of your fridge and pantry. It’s not worth trying to find enough ice chests and pack those last few Slim Jims, when I’m sure there are grocery stores where you’re moving to, right?
Because Tuesdays don’t have to be worse than Mondays, here’s a little moving industry-related laugh for ya. We know if you’re moving in Portland, this will be your favorite moving company:
This post is actually an email that our designer, Jeremy, sent to us. I asked him if I could post it here for a couple reasons. First, it’s a fun behind-the-scenes look at HireAHelper and the types of discussions we have about improving our service – we’re absolutely fanatic about offering the best moving quote & booking tool in the country. Second, if you’re a moving company and/or are listed on HireAHelper.com we hope sharing some of our business-building experience, frustrations and ideas will help you to offer a better service to your customers.
Got some gift cards over the holidays.
Amazon: Went to the site, found the link pretty quickly, and then entered the 16 digit code.
iTunes: Opened iTunes, found the link pretty quickly and the main call to action was “Use your webcam”. Held up my card and BLAM! Was so shocked at how fast and accurate it was. Did it again just to get the screenshot:
How much more time and effort did that take? They had to build, test, and support that feature.
And let’s be honest- I’m a captive audience at this point. The money was already spent. In fact, they would make MORE money if the process for redemption was obscure or difficult (not that Amazon’s was hard- but you get my point).
Anyway, one day I would love to have enough design muscle at our company to spend it on things that bring unexpected delight to customers and service providers. Things that just make you smile and go “wow”. Like Vimeo’s log in screen:
I realize this totally goes against what I’ve been saying lately: We need to be more judicious about what features we allow.
But as we mature, I’d like to be like some of the companies people love. At those companies, customer experience champions sometimes say, “No- here we’re going to do something unexpected and over the top.” There’s sort of a swagger in doing this. It’s like the company is saying to its customers, “We’re choosing to spend our design/dev efforts in specific ways throughout your experience- not just on the marketing side of things.”
It’s like airline companies. If they put HALF the creativity and thought into their overall customer experience as they do in their marketing efforts, then people wouldn’t be so cynical about them. But instead of spending time on making a better boarding pass, they’re spending their time on skin-deep rebranding efforts. If customers wait on hold for hours at a time, can’t find information quickly, have their flights cancelled for preventable reasons, or lose their luggage… do you think they care what your logo looks like?
I’m not sure this email had a point. Let me try:
I see great customer experience and it gets my blood pumping. I wanna be awesome like that. And I think it means having a simple, reliable, amazing core product while STILL busting out with some unexpected shit that makes customers go WHOAH!
by Jenny Zhang, SpareFoot
If you find yourself in the unlucky situation of having to move during the holidays, I’m sorry. On top of buying presents, finishing end of the year responsibilities, and dealing with weird family gatherings, you now have to undergo the super stressful task of moving. Thankfully, one of the first steps you can take is to use an online self-storage finder to put extra furniture away. Here are some more tips on how to reduce holiday moving stress in advance.
Use Online Tools to Plan Ahead
It’s really quite easy nowadays to prepare for most of your moving online (changing utilities, cable, internet, etc), except for the actual move itself. Take advantage of sites and services like HireAHelper, which can save you a lot of time, stress, and money in the search for the right moving labor to load and unload your moving truck.
Keep Children and Pets Occupied
Don’t add stress to your moving day by having to manage your kids or pets as well. Plan ahead to keep them occupied either with a sitter or family member.
Use Your Move as a Tool for De-cluttering
Moving forces you to be realistic about your possessions: do you really want to keep that extra love-seat or wall clock? Since it’s the holiday season, take advantage of people looking for gifts, and consider selling the stuff you don’t want at a garage sale, online, or even donate to charity. You’ll have less to move, and your possessions will end up going to a good home. Alternatively, if you find that you cannot part with some of your belongings, you can always rent a self-storage unit for your stuff until you need it again.
Research Your New Home
Get to know your new location before you actually move. Research the stores, restaurants, and services around your area so that your first few days in the neighborhood will be as seamless as possible.
Photo Credit: Shermeee
By Amanda Hill
Moving into a new place is an exciting time, but it can also be rather stressful and drawn out. Often one of the most difficult parts of completing the move is getting rid of those last few boxes of unpacked odds and ends. Those lingering boxes can prevent you from feeling at home in your new space, but sometimes it’s seemingly impossible to find a home for every nick-knack and doo-dad. What’s the solution? I’ve found that instead of leaving boxes strewn about your living space, it’s best to designate a special place for them that is convenient to get to but out of the way. This way I can continue to unpack gradually while still enjoying my new place. It’s also helpful when I am searching for the wrapping paper that I was sure I packed, but can’t seem to locate anywhere. Where do I check? My designated box area! No more searching through boxes from room to room.
After testing out my designated box area on a few moves, I grew tired of filling precious closet space with boxes. I thought it over and came up with a cheap and easy way to create a special storage space: PVC garage shelves. The shelves would be simple to assemble, and lightweight so I could move them around if needed. The first shelving unit I created had three shelves and measured a little over 6 feet high. I found this to be a good size for what I needed. Here’s how I did it:
- 51 feet of 2” PVC pipe (not to be confused with pvc duct piping)
- 4 2” side L connectors
- 8 2” 4 way tee connectors
- PVC cement
- Plywood or particle board
- PVC cutter (pick one of these up at Lowes)
- Rope/fabric/spray paint/casters (optional)
(It is important to note that you can find PVC pipe suppliers online that typically sell these items at sales or discount prices. I found the majority of my products at CIS)
Step 1: Cutting your PVC
Start by measuring out your PVC pipe into six 2.5’ sections and eighteen 2’ sections. Use caution in cutting, and if you use a saw go slowly. Too much heat from friction will melt the PVC and cause it to gum up.
The next step is to start putting the shelf together. Be sure to put the entire unit together BEFORE gluing anything. When using PVC you call this a “dry-fit”. PVC cement will literally fuse the plastic together, so mistakes in gluing will be permanent.
Start with your 4 side L pieces. These will connect the top shelf of your unit. Connect two 2.5’ pieces and two 2’ pieces of pipe using the side L’s. The 2.5’ lengths should be parallel to one another. Same with the 2’ pieces. You should end up with a rectangle shaped structure. Now attach four 2’ pipes in each of the openings left in your side L’s. These will make up the vertical frame of the shelf.
Next use your 4 way tees and insert 2’ pipes into each opening. You’ll have two rectangle structures connected by your four vertical frame pieces. Continue building down the next layer in the same way. Last, you will insert your remaining four 2’ pipes which will make up the legs of the shelf. Your dry-fit is complete! Turn your shelf over and make sure all your pieces fit together properly, and everything has been measured and cut correctly. If it looks good, you can move onto gluing.
Step 3: Cement the PVC
Like I said before, PVC is sort of unique in that it doesn’t “stick” things together. Instead it uses chemical reactions to fuse the PVC. This is pretty cool, and it means our shelf is going to be strong. It also means you have to work fast and glue things correctly the first time. I found that making small lines across each joint with a marker allowed me to match my connectors back up perfectly when it came time to glue. Giving the pieces a small twist to line the marks up helps the PVC attach also. When your shelf is all cemented give it at least a good half hour to dry. Detailed explanation
Step 4: Lay the shelves
There are a couple ways you can attach bottoms for your shelves. I used particle board and u-straps. I measured the area between my pipe frames and then added some length so I would have room to screw the u-straps to the board on either side of the pipe. This seemed to work well and created a sturdy base to set my boxes on. I’ve also seen people use grates or even rope tied and woven to create shelf bases.
Step 5: Embellish & Enjoy
Ta-dah! You have a sturdy and functional new shelving unit for your boxes. If you aren’t concerned about the look of the shelves you can stop here, but I have made a few alterations to mine that I think really make it DIY worthy. You’ll notice in the “what you’ll need” section I included a few optional items. I found that using a plastic spray paint on my PVC frame gave the unit a much more polished look. I even took it a step further and created curtains for each of the three tiers. I used eye screws and rope to create the “curtain rods,” and then threaded it through some fabric I had cut and sewed to fit. This way my boxes were hidden and protected from any dust and dirt. Plus it looks great! I’ve also had a friend who tried this build and decided to add end caps and casters to the bottom of the shelves. I thought this was a super idea, but have yet to try it myself.
If you’re moving soon and dreading box clutter, I recommend you give PVC shelves a try. They have kept me organized through several moves now and are actually a lot of fun to make. My learned PVC skills even helped me out when replacing the pipe under my kitchen sink, so that’s a plus too! Thanks for the read, and please leave a comment if you try this yourself or have recommendations or additions. I’d love to hear from you!
About the Guest Author
If you enjoy live music, the outdoors, cinema, and a vibrant night life scene, Austin might just be the perfect city for you. Even if you can’t find a place to live right away, you can always sublet and place your things in storage while you get the lay of the land. By using an online self-storage finder, it’s easy to find affordable, local self-storage in Austin. Here are five basic reasons why Austin is an incredible place to live.
As the live music capital of the United States, Austin is home to dozens of world famous music venues. Thousands of bands come through Austin on tour every year, and the city hosts some of the nation’s largest music festivals – Austin City Limits, South by Southwest, and Fun Fun Fun Fest. If live music is your thing, you will absolutely love this town.
If you and your dog love outdoor activities, such as camping, canoeing, and swimming in salt water pools, Austin is a great place to call home. Austin has beautiful and expansive parks – Barton Springs, Zilker Park, and Town Lake – where you can hike, bike, and jog for miles. Dogs are welcome in many outdoor cafes, bars, and restaurants as well.
After living in New York, Los Angeles, and Austin, I can unequivocally say that Austin’s movie theaters are comparable, if not superior, to those in NYC and LA. The Alamo Draft Houses and the Violet Crown Cinema are state of the art theaters with countless amenities, including plush leather seating and in-theater food and drink service. In addition to their awesome traditional theaters, Austin also has fun drive-in movie theaters and two up-and-coming film festivals – SXSW and the Austin Film Festival.
Known for its food trailers, Austin is a great place to enjoy unique, delicious food at a low price. If you are a fan of Mexican food, be sure to visit Torchy’s Tacos, Taco Deli, Guero’s, and Juan in a Million when you come to town. In addition, there are great casual restaurants in the South Congress district; Hopdoddy’s has amazing burgers and fries, and Home Slice is a pizza lover’s dream.
Dining & Entertainment
Although not quite as rowdy as Bourbon Street, Austin’s Sixth Street is a lively strip of bars and restaurants. A dynamic street that stretches for miles, Sixth Street is filled with bars and restaurants for almost every demographic. Although slightly off the beat and path, my personal favorite area is East Sixth Street. In recent years, East Sixth has become a hipster haven, much like New York’s Lower East Side and Los Angeles’ Echo Park and Silver Lake neighborhoods.
As always, if you’re thinking of moving to Austin, or anywhere else in the country, be sure to compare local movers on HireAHelper before you book. They know moving is stressful, and the HireAHelper team strives to make the experience as easy as possible.
John Donegan is a writer at SpareFoot, the online marketplace where you can find and reserve a self-storage unit with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. John lives in Austin, TX and occasionally directs videos for rap artists.
1. Attract EVERY Customer
2. Do 5 Star Work on EVERY Job
3. Get EVERY Customer to Leave A Review
Here’s the longer, but much more helpful explanation behind the three steps to more jobs:
1. Attract EVERY Customer
Whether you’re new to the site, or competing neck & neck with another helper to rank first as the top rated provider in your area, you’ve got to be the most compelling option to every set of eyes that sees your listing. There are 2 ways to do that:
Be The Cheapest Mover or Day Laborer
Customers are prone to scrolling down the list of helpers looking for a great deal. So what if you’re at the bottom? If you list the absolute lowest price on a couple of movers in your town, thrifty customers will find your listing and book you to help them. You don’t have to be the cheapest forever, but it definitely helps get those extra few customers (and their glowing reviews) right when you need them to push you up in the rankings.
To be the cheapest you also need to be aware of what your competition is charging. Go to http://www.hireahelper.com and enter your zip code (or better yet the zip code of the biggest nearby city) and a date a few weeks in the future, and you’ll see a list of the other moving companies or day labor crews and their pricing.
Give the Best Description
I’m amazed at the hundreds of poorly written helper descriptions I come across every day. I’ve seen almost every written error you can make, all within helper description boxes. If a customer sees your listing in the HireAHelper results as being equal to your competitors on price and reviews, then the only thing left pushing them to book you is a better description. Make it excellent!
Is the description of your day labor or moving service well written, friendly, and informative? Or does it read like a sloppy sales pitch?
Give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your company. Is it a family run business? Have you moved people in your hometown for 30 years? Do you bring tools to every order? Do you assemble & dis-assemble furniture? Stating facts about your company and how you operate will build customer confidence in your service much more than claiming to be “the best move you’ll ever make.”
If your description sounds sloppy, the customer will think your movers are sloppy. If a customer feels pressured while reading it, they’ll worry about feeling pressured during the move. If it sounds helpful and friendly, customers will expect your crew to be helpful and friendly.
2. Do 5 Star Work on EVERY Job
Do work that is so good, even your mother would be impressed. Five star review-type effort isn’t good enough – I’m talking about six star quality. Doing that kind of work (and training your crews to work that hard) means you can ask every single customer for a review, without fear, and know that the customers who do leave a review will rave about your service.
3. Get EVERY Customer to Leave A Review
Explain to the customer how important posting a review is to you staying profitable. It may only be 5 minutes and a few clicks to the customer, but they need to know that to you, their review means keeping the lights on, paying for Tiny Tim to go to college, or keeping gas in the truck.
4. *BONUS* Be Ready to Say Yes to Last Minute Job Requests
I know, I said there were 3 tips, but I think you’re so cool for reading to the end that I’m throwing in a bonus tip. Surprisingly enough we get lots of visitors to HireAHelper.com and phone calls from customers looking for same day or next day help with their moving job or labor project. A lot of the top ranked companies get booked up early and aren’t available, which opens up the field for the rest of you. If you can be ready and available to say yes at the last minute to odd requests, they can be a great source of customers in a pinch who are ready to leave happier-than-normal reviews if the job is done well.
So there you have it, some tips on getting more moving and day labor jobs booked to your account on HireAHelper.com. If you’re a moving company or day labor office looking to buy moving leads or labor project leads, we can offer one better – actual customers with booked reservations. Check out more details on our application page here: www.hireahelper.com/application/