5 Ways to Show Your Movers Some Love

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Category: Moving Checklists & Planning

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Not many people love to move. But doesn’t it feel good to be moved? To have your entire world hauled safely onto and off of a truck by a crew of quick, efficient, polite movers?

This week in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’d like to share five things you can do to return that love, whatever time of year you move.

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The (Un-Criminal) World of Hostage-Taking Movers

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Category: Moving Industry News, Regulations

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[Synopsis: Fraud and deception runs rampant in our industry. Why isn’t more being done?]

We bust our butts to do our jobs well, to treat our customers right and give our industry a good name. But we still hear about swindles, scams and those customers standing out in their own driveway facing a hostage situation. To those lucky enough to not know what I mean…

Hostage situation:  A mover has your stuff and won’t give it back but under certain conditions.

How do these guys get away with it? They’re relentless. (And almost as successful as the fraudsters running that Nigerian Prince e-mail scheme.)

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A Customer and His Gun

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Category: Customer Service

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[Synopsis: Remind your customer what can and cannot go on the truck before there’s a showdown.]

Once upon a New York move, one of my crew came across a wooden box high up on the shelf of a customer’s walk-in closet. Naturally he opened it to see what he was going to be packing – and found himself looking at a handgun.

He closed the box and put it back on the shelf, then told me what he found. I went to the customer – who had already told us to pack up everything in the closet – and let him know that he still had his handgun in there and that if he wanted us to take it he would need to confirm a couple of things for us: was it in working condition? Was it was loaded? If so, he would have to unload it, as we are not allowed to transport ammunition. In cases of guns, we have to also record the make, model and serial number.

“I’ll take care of it,” he said rather curtly, and went upstairs.

Later he approached me with a concerned look on his face.

“So why was your guy looking through the boxes in my closet?” he asked. This is a fair question for any customer. For a guy with a lot of valuables, not to mention at least one gun, it can be an even greater concern.

“It’s not unusual,” I replied. “Some things we’re not allowed to take, so for liability reasons we need to know what we are packing.” In this case, we wouldn’t be able to take any ammunition that could have been in there. Plus there are things like jewelry and other valuables that we always suggest the customer take with them, instead of a moving truck. Our job is to keep things safe.

That answer seemed to satisfy him, albeit barely. He ended up taking his handgun away with him.

From the customer’s perspective, having one of their move crew open up a box and find their gun can be unsettling, and can even seem pretty shady. Same if it were a box full of jewelry, or expensive watches, or cash. That my guy came straight to me and told me about it so I could bring it up with the customer shows a solid level of honesty, not to mention responsibility. But from the customer perspective, all they see is a mover who was opening boxes and found their gun.

So what should you do?

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An informed customer will know that we can’t take certain things and should take other sensitive items with them, versus putting them on the truck. But most customers, no matter how informed, can hardly be expected to remember all the things movers won’t take. They’re kind of busy, you know, moving.

So remember to give your customers a verbal rundown of these things before the actual move, and again on the actual day of the move. This can minimize – if not eliminate – the chances of you or your crew someday coming face to face with a loaded gun.

Real People: A Crosstown Chicago Move

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Category: Local Moving, Moving Stories, Moving Trucks

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Box and TruckI believe that every move has its challenges. Whether you’re moving across town, or across the US, boxing up your entire life and transporting it to another location can be rough. My last move falls into the former category, as my husband and I had to move less than 5 miles from our apartment to a newly purchased condo. Even though this was the shortest moving distance we’ve ever tackled (check out our St. Louis to Chicago move here), it was still an exhausting process. (more…)

7 Tips for Saving Money When Relocating

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These Are The Money Saving Moving Tips You’ve Been Looking For

No matter how you slice it, moving is expensive. According to Worldwide ERC, a workforce mobility association, the average cost of transporting household goods in 2012 stood at $12,459. But just because moving isn’t cheap, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to save. Employ these seven tips to save money when relocating.
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The 9 Emotional Stages of Moving

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Stages of Moving

Because moving is such a momentous part of life, there are a wide variety of emotions that come along with it. Let’s be honest, most of the time moving gets a bad rap.

Many people just lump moving into the “sucks” category… but we’re here to dispel that theory. Sure, moving can be overwhelming and scary at times, but there are also a heck of a lot of good things that come along with moving. Lots of wonderful, HAPPY emotions.

So let’s take a look at the 9 emotional stages (both the good & the bad) of moving… (more…)

Tips for a Moving Container Move

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Category: Movehacks, Moving Containers

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Tips for a Moving Container MoveAbout a year ago, my husband and I packed up all of our belongings and moved from St. Louis to our current apartment in Chicago.  We rented a PODS container and we used HireAHelper for the “muscle” portion of our move. I’m not saying it was a good time, because is moving ever really fun? But it actually wasn’t too incredibly painful, and we both lived to tell the tale. In fact, we detailed our moving escapade right here on the HireAHelper blog. (more…)

Real People: What if a HireAHelper Employee Used HireAHelper For Their Move?

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Like every customer service representative at HireAHelper, I have assisted many – no, countless – no wait, an insane amount of customers looking for last minute help with their move. I’ve often questioned why anyone would wait so long to organize their move or to make sure the appropriate help they needed was confirmed.

My question was answered when my own moving plan took an unfortunate turn. After plans to have family and friends assist me fell through, I was stuck with a house full of heavy furniture and only me to move it (and in case you weren’t aware, I am not the Incredible Hulk). The kicker? My move was the NEXT day! So on Friday February 7th (the day before my move), I began searching for a moving truck and some help to load it. (more…)

How Should I Prepare For My First Move?

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First time moving? Awesome. I’ve moved a few times and luckily the excitement of the next, new phase makes up for all the work involved in moving process! The one good thing about having a few moves under my belt is that I now have a pretty good idea of how to prepare and what to expect. Hopefully the lessons I learned the hard way will benefit you in some small way.

 

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Start Early – Financial

The first thing I would say is to begin planning ahead by a couple months. Start putting away some extra cash for the expense.  Moving is not cheap, even if you handle all the labor yourself. When you move into a new place, there are tons of fees like your new rent payment and deposit as well as all the other deposits required for the electric, gas, and internet companies. And if you’re not doing all the labor yourself, consider the cost of your movers and rental truck. Start your research of moving labor and trucks early so you can budget enough to get it all done.

Assess Your Needs: If you will need help loading and unloading your truck, how many movers and how much stuff do you have to load? And if you don’t happen to own a moving truck, how large of a truck will you need to rent? These two things are the main issues to consider when planning this aspect of your move.  Here are two sweet help guides from Hireahelper if you have no idea what you will need:

Truck Size Guide

Labor Guide

Unexpected costs: Once you figure out how many movers and what size truck you’ll need, you can begin to think about all the other costs that are often after thoughts! For instance, make sure to ask your mover what kind of fees they charge for insurance, packing materials, and other fees for flights of stairs and carrying loads to your truck if you can’t get your truck right by the front door. These questions will help you get a full picture of exactly how much everything will cost, instead of being surprised by extra fees later on. By getting a jumpstart on saving for your move, you won’t have to stress about the costs at the time of your move!

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 Start Early – Packing

Another thing you can start about a month in advance is packing prep. Think of the materials you’ll need – boxes, paper/cloths/peanuts used to keep breakables safe, markers for labeling, packing tape, etc. Plot out how you will pack and organize your things. Packing things up according to rooms is a great way to organize. Box and label. No matter how big or small of a place you have, it always seems to take longer than you think. So give yourself time and invite a friend or two to help! Crank the music and get started. As you begin packing and organizing, you’ll probably run across things you haven’t used in a year (or five). If you can let go of these things, you just have that much less to pack and carry! Moving is a great time to purge.

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Create a Checklist and Timeline

In the beginning stages, creating a checklist and timeline will help keep you organized through the process. You can list hiring movers and even include each room and the goal for when you want it to be packed by. Setting up a timeline will help you maintain some sanity as you go.

Here are a few things you don’t want to forget on your list: Call the electric, gas, internet, phone, satellite/cable companies to switch your address. You don’t want to be without electricity at your new place or continue to receive a bill at your old residence. These aren’t difficult things to do but they are easily lost in the shuffle. Write them down on your “to do” list.  In addition to those changes, make sure you call any other important companies to let them know about your change of address – Post Office, magazines/newspapers, insurance companies, and anything else you can think of.  Fill in the blank! Or, if that sounds too time consuming or complicated, checkout Updater.com. They offer a service that changes your address and updates any subscription services you have with your new address.

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Survival Kit!

Last, but not least, make sure you pack a survival kit for your first week at your new place. Unless you are superhuman, you probably won’t unpack all your things the very day you move in. So pack a couple suitcases or boxes of everything you’ll need during those first few days – daily vitamins, a pillow, blankets, clothes, phone charger, laptop, alarm clock, toiletries, silverware, plate, glass, and snacks (unless you plan to eat out until you unpack kitchen items!). I’m sure you can add to this “necessities” list! Everyone has their own specific list of needs.  Like for me, I would need my nespresso machine and a coffee cup!

These are the few things I’ve learned about packing and moving over the years. I’d love to hear the things you’ve learned from your own moves! What is the top tip you’ve picked up about moving? Share them below!

About the Author: Victoria grew up in rural Nebraska but has lived in Iowa, Hawaii, China, and Montana. She aspires to move somewhere warmer after grad school! At the moment, she works for HireAHelper and lives vicariously through her co-workers who live in Southern California.

(Photo Courtesy: Peretz Partensky, 401(K) 2012, Becky Stern, Chris Potter, and Jeff Keyzer

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