How to avoid a moving scam

Moving company scams are more common than you might think. According to Forbes, The Better Business Bureau receives an average of about 13,000 complaints about moving companies each year.
The BBB also has 1,300+ moving companies on file with an “F” rating due to unresolved complaints from customers. With the uptick on growth in the Central Florida area, people need to move into new homes and they will be looking for moving companies.
Avoiding scam moving companies involves several careful steps and precautions:

Research and Verify Credentials:
• Check the company’s licensing and insurance. In the U.S., interstate movers should have a USDOT number issued by the Department of Transportation.
• Look for local licenses if the move is within the same state.

Read Reviews and Complaints:
• Check reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
• Look for any patterns of complaints, especially about overcharging, damage, or holding belongings hostage.

Get Multiple Estimates:
• Obtain written estimates from at least three different moving companies.
• Be wary of significantly low estimates, which could be a red flag.

In-Person Estimates:
• Insist on in-person or video surveys for more accurate estimates.
• Avoid companies that only offer quotes over the phone or online without a visual inspection.

Understand the Contract:
• Read the contract thoroughly and understand the terms and conditions.
• Ensure the estimate provided is binding, not just a ballpark figure.

Avoid Large Deposits:
• Reputable movers typically don’t require large upfront deposits.

Beware of Name Switches:
Some fraudulent companies change their names frequently to avoid bad reviews. Check if the company has had other names.

Insurance Coverage:
• Ask about the company’s insurance policies and what is covered.
• Consider purchasing additional insurance for valuable or irreplaceable items.

Trust Your Instincts
If something feels off or too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your gut feelings.
By taking these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to a moving scam.

6 Pre-Move Stress Relief Tips

Moving is famously stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do many things to relieve your stress before a move happens. Engaging in pre-move stress relief practices can make your relocation less psychologically tricky and, therefore, less complicated overall. Here are some tips for making a household move

1. Get a Full Night’s Sleep

Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety, especially as you manage tasks requiring physical energy or brain power. A full night’s sleep helps you feel more relaxed and gives you the energy to handle your move with a clear head. This leads to fewer mistakes and less anxiety overall. 

You may feel like you must stay up working late into the night, but this only slows you down by wearing you out over time. Go to bed at a reasonable hour every night. Make finding sleep easier by spending at least an hour winding down before bed. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and more able to manage the day’s challenges. 

2. Meditate

Meditation helps regulate your breathing and calm your thoughts and can be done successfully in just a few minutes, so you can fit meditation easily into your schedule, even if you’re busy. If you’re not used to meditating, you may benefit from some guided meditation exercises. Guided meditation will help you understand meditation, so you can do it on your own later. 

3. Eat Right

Whole grains and proteins give you energy and help you stay healthy. When relocating, it’s easy to slip into a bad habit of eating unhealthy food. Many people stop cooking for themselves when they start packing up their kitchen appliances, so they turn to takeout food for many of their meals.

Finding ways to eat right as you’re packing and relocating can help you get energy and help you feel more up to the challenge of moving. Buy healthy snacks from the grocery store, like granola bars, fresh fruit, nuts, and beef jerky. Keep them on hand to have when you’re hungry. 

4. Make a Plan and a Checklist

Having a plan to follow can leave you feeling like the situation is under control, which can help you sleep easier at night. Make a moving plan and check off a list of tasks to get done before you move. Check items off your list daily, so you’ll feel the satisfaction and pleasure of accomplishing your goals. 

5. Declutter

Decluttering makes moving more manageable, and that reduces stress. Get rid of those things you won’t need in your new house. Declutter before you pack so that when you do, you’ll have fewer things to put in boxes. In addition to making packing a faster and easier process, decluttering can also reduce the cost of your move. 

6. Accept Help, Have Fun Together

You may have gotten offers of help from friends and family. Accept those offers. Relocating is easier and more fun when you have support from friends and neighbors. Have a packing party with pizza and snacks. Play music. Have fun!

Find the Right Moving Company

If you’re moving soon, you need a moving company to help you relocate successfully. Contact us today to learn more about working with a reputable, careful moving company. 

Crafting a Solid Budget for Your Residential Move

Embarking on the journey of moving to a new home is undoubtedly thrilling, yet it entails not only excitement but also potential stress and financial considerations. Developing a reliable budget for your residential move is crucial to ensuring a seamless transition without unforeseen financial burdens. Let’s explore the key aspects to consider when formulating a budget for your impending move.

1. How much will it cost to hire professional movers?

Hiring professional movers will be one of your initial and most significant expenses during the move. The cost of professional movers can vary widely based on factors like distance, home size, and required services.

Gather quotes in advance to gain a clear understanding of the potential costs. Inquire about additional charges for packing, unpacking, and storage services. This will enable you to allocate a realistic budget for this pivotal aspect of your move.

2. Determine the cost of your moving supplies.

The expenses associated with moving supplies, including boxes, packing materials, and tape, can accumulate quickly, and you should incorporate this into your budget. Take stock of your possessions and try to estimate the number of boxes you’ll need. Angi offers a good reference guide to help you determine the number of boxes you may need according to several factors. Additionally, compare prices for cost-effective packing materials before making a purchase.

3. Will you need to hire a pet or babysitter?

Moving can be chaotic and demanding, particularly if you have young children or pets. Ensuring a smooth and efficient moving experience might necessitate hiring a babysitter or pet sitter on moving day. While this might entail extra costs, it can significantly reduce stress and enable you to focus on the move—factor in these potential expenses when devising your budget.

4. Is taking time off work necessary?

Although the temptation to manage your move alongside work commitments might be strong, taking time off is often more practical. Doing so allows you to oversee the moving process, address unexpected issues, and settle into your new home without additional stress. However, it’s crucial to include the potential loss of income when formulating your moving budget. Calculate your hourly wage or salary to determine the amount needed to cover your time off while ensuring a seamless move.

5. Are there costs related to utilities?

Remember to account for the expenses of transferring or setting up utilities in your new home. This encompasses fees for connecting electricity, water, gas, internet, and cable services.

For example, power companies require a deposit of 20 percent of the annual cost of supplying power to the address. Likewise, you may owe final bills upon disconnect and fees associated with transferring services within the same city. Contact your utility providers to understand the associated costs and timelines. Integrate these expenses into your budget to avoid surprises upon arrival at your new residence.

Talk to a Professional Moving Company

Creating a reliable budget for your residential move involves contemplating diverse factors. Estimating costs and creating a financial plan can ensure a smooth and financially manageable relocation. Do you need a no-obligation moving quote to help with your moving budget? Contact us to get started with a free moving quote.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Long-Distance Move

If you are navigating a long-distance move, you may face a lot of planning. However, one thing to tend to before you head out on the road is ensuring your vehicle is ready for the long trip ahead. Whether you bring your car to your trusted mechanic or handle the inspection yourself, you will want your vehicle thoroughly inspected. 

Check out a few tips to prepare your vehicle for your long-distance move and a few items to keep in tow along the way.

Tips for Preparing Your Vehicle

In the middle of moving to a new place, getting stranded on the way to your new home can be frustrating. Before setting out on the road, take a few minutes to ensure your vehicle is road trip ready.

Check the Tires and Spare

Ensure your tires are ready for the trip and you have a good, aired-and-ready spare. According to Forbes Wheels, there are three main points to consider during a tire check before a road trip, including:

  • Tire rotation – Tires don’t wear evenly, which can lead to some tires being more worn than others. Rotating your tires helps even out the wear and could help avoid problems with an overworn tire during a long trip.
  • Air pressure – Tire pressures can fluctuate with the temperature and fall over time. Before the trip, check the air pressure in each tire to ensure it is at the recommended point.
  • Tire condition – Assess visible tire problems, such as bulges, severely worn tread, or gouges. If you spot issues, the tire may need to be replaced before the trip.

Make Sure Fluid Levels Are Good

Check all fluid levels to make sure they’re not low. A car can naturally utilize more fluids during a long trip, so starting out low can lead to issues during your trip. Fluids you should check include:

  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Engine oil
  • Coolant
  • Windshield fluid

Check Windshield Wipers

Examine your windshield wipers for signs of damage, such as dry rot or breakage. Replace them if they’re not in good shape. Additionally, take a few minutes to clean your windshield thoroughly before heading out.

Test All Vehicle Lights

Check the brake lights, interior lights, turn signals, and headlights in all modes before setting out on your trip. Ensure all lights are coming on and functioning as they should, replace any bulbs or fuses, and clean your headlights if needed.

Essential Items to Keep in Your Vehicle During the Trip

Being prepared while traveling ensures you get to your new-home destination safely. Make sure you have:

  • A roadside emergency kit, including a flashlight, reflective warning triangle, tire-changing tools, jumper cables, and a basic set of tools
  • An essentials bag that contains items you could need along the way, such as medications, phone chargers, and pre-moistened wipes
  • Drinks and snacks so you can keep energy levels up and stay hydrated between stops

Ready to Get Moving?

With your vehicle ready for the long road to your new home, ensure you have a good team on your side to handle the rest of your belongings. Contact us to discuss your upcoming move with well-trained residential movers to ensure you have a smooth transition.

Tips for Packing Glassware for a Move

Packing glassware for a residential move can be tricky. Poorly packed glassware breaks easily, leaving your box full of broken shards. You can arrive at your destination with your glassware intact by using suitable packing materials, packing glassware appropriately, keeping fragile items separate, and ensuring they are labeled. 

Choose the Right Boxes and Packing Material

Choosing boxes and packing material is the first step to packing anything. Selecting suitable materials is essential when packing glassware. Small to medium-sized, double-walled cartons are preferable because larger ones can get cumbersome. For packing material, you’ll need a combination of packing paper and bubble wrap. Check with your mover to see if they offer specially designed glass pack kits with cell dividers to keep the glasses separated.

Wrap Each Glass

Wrap each glass individually in bubble wrap or packing paper. Bubble wrap provides more cushion but can be more expensive than packing paper. If you’re on a budget, save the bubble wrap for the most delicate glasses. Use packing paper for sturdy, thick-walled glasses. 

To wrap a glass, place a piece of your packing material (whether bubble wrap or packing paper) on a table, then lay the glass down on the material on its side. Roll the glass in the packing material. Stuff the open end of the glass with the excess packing material. Use tape to keep the packing material tight around the glass if needed. 

Cushions the Top and Bottom of the Box

If you use a standard, sturdy box, assemble it with strong packing tape, then place a few layers of crumpled packing paper at the bottom. The box is ready to be filled with glasses. Place the wrapped glasses in the box, with the sturdiest glasses on the bottom.

Insert a layer of packing material or cardboard between the layers of the glasses. Allow space at the top for an additional layer of crumpled paper. Then close up the box. The top layer of packing paper should fill the box so the glasses can’t jiggle around or shift in transit. This is important for preventing the glasses from breaking. 

Keep Delicate Glasses Separate

Delicate glasses, like stemware, should be packed separately in their own small containers. Heavier, sturdier glasses could break stemware if you fill them together. Ensure that when you pack your stemware, you fold two sheets of tissue paper and wrap them around the stem of each glass to protect them. Then wrap the rest of the glass in packing paper or bubble wrap.

Mark the Box Appropriately

Label each box containing glassware with the words “FRAGILE” and “GLASSES.” If you’ve put heavier glasses on the bottom, mark which end of the box is up. Keep cartons that contain glasses separate from other boxes. If stacking boxes with glasses, keep the stacks short to avoid putting too much strain or weight on the boxes on the bottom. Be sure to point out to your moving company which boxes contain the most fragile glasses. 

Hire the Right Moving Company

Hire a moving company that respects your things and handles fragile items with care. Contact us today for a free quote and to discuss your upcoming relocation.