Category Archives: Boston Moving Company

Moving to Boston

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Moving to Boston has long been synonymous with a new beginning in the New World. Of course, the reasons for moving have changed, but for many expats, their impending move to Boston still marks the beginning of a new life.

Moving to Boston

Even if you only have a general idea of US American history, Boston’s significance during the formative years of the USA is unlikely to have escaped your attention. New England’s largest city — and one of the oldest in the entire country — played a pivotal role in many events leading up to the independence from Britain.

Boston’s Historical Past

Of course, the local residents of Boston proudly preserve and display this heritage. History buffs moving to Boston are bound to have a blast exploring the city and its past! Since its founding, a steady stream of people moving to Boston, enticed by the promises of the New World, caused the city to experience significant growth throughout the 1800s.

The two biggest and most influential groups who started settling in Boston in large numbers were Italian and Irish immigrants in the first half of the 19th century. The influence of both these groups is still very tangible today. The Italian and Irish communities settled down in North End and South Boston, respectively. The residents of these neighborhoods still value their home country’s traditions, which is why e.g. South Boston is home to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The City of Neighborhoods

When moving to Boston, you have the choice among a multitude of neighborhoods catering to different tastes. Each of these 23 boroughs has its own distinctive atmosphere and demographic profile, earning Boston the nickname “City of Neighborhoods”. Owing to this great variety, there is no single neighborhood that expats moving to Boston prefer. Nonetheless, below you’ll find a short overview of some of Boston’s vibrant neighborhoods which might make your decision a little easier.

Dorchester: Dorchester is the largest and also the most diverse neighborhood in Boston. Residents from Vietnam, Ireland, Cape Verde, and many other countries live together and make the neighborhood one of the most vibrant in the city. The Franklin Park located here offers walking and biking parks as well as numerous picnic areas.

Beacon Hill: This neighborhood is one of the oldest in Boston. Its architecture is reminiscent  of the old colonial times with brick houses and ornate doors. Its location on top of the hill and its historic landmarks makes it one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston.

South End: With its proximity to Downtown and the Back Bay, the South End has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods. It is especially popular with young professionals and the gay community. Nonetheless, due to relatively affordable housing and its over 30 parks, more and more families have started to settle in South End.

West Roxbury: Tree-lined streets and single family houses give West Roxbury a suburban feel. The neighborhood is especially desired amongst families because of its youth programs and because you can get to Downtown in 30 minutes and still have a front yard.

Jamaica Plain: “JP”, as locals call it, is one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in Boston. The ethnic diversity, the green spaces and the good connection to Downtown are some of the many reasons why young professionals and families alike love the area.

If you want to know more about one of Boston’s neighborhoods, the homepage of the City Administration offers a detailed breakdown of all 23 of them.

Skyrocketing Rental Prices

Much to the dismay of anyone interested in moving to Boston and, of course, the local population, extensive gentrification has caused rental prices to skyrocket. Today, people looking for homes in the area of the city face fierce competition on the rental market in one of the most expensive cities in the USA. If Boston’s upscale neighborhoods just outside downtown are the only option for you, prepare yourself for extortionate monthly rents. Proximity to the “T”, Boston’s number one mass transit system, is likely to increase your monthly rent even further.

With educational institutions of worldwide renown in and around Boston — such as Harvard University and MIT — the influx of students is considerable, and many opt for off-campus living. Naturally, this makes finding a home when coming to Boston from abroad quite a tricky task. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to jump on the first available housing that appeals to you rather than taking time to shop around.

Timing Is Everything: Moving to Boston

Boston’s rental market is very seasonal. September first is known as the traditional move-in date of the year, as this is the day when many leases start. Being too early or too late will both have the same result: fierce competition has a chance of dashing your hopes of finding a decent place to live when moving to Boston. Usually, Boston’s apartments go on the market about four to six weeks before the lease date.

Your financial plan or budget for your move to Boston should take into account the fairly hefty sum of money you likely will have to pay right before moving in. Apart from demanding the first and last month’s rent up front, some landlords also require you to pay a security deposit. With the rental prices in Boston the way they are, this will almost definitely amount to a considerable sum, so keep this in mind when planning your move to Boston.

Save money with Pony Express Moving Services. Lower prices than traditional moving companies and you don’t have to drive! Free moving quotes.

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What To Expect When Hiring Professional Movers

What To Expect When Hiring Professional MoversReady to move but not sure what to expect when hiring professional movers?

Whether you’re moving between neighborhoods or across states, the process seems chaotic. Even after you hire professional movers, you may feel uneasy about the big day.

Have no fear!

We’re here to help. Moving doesn’t have to be a hassle. Hiring professional movers should take the stress out of your move, not add to it.

Let’s dig into what you should expect when you hire a moving service.

Before Hiring Professional Movers: What You Need To Know

Before hiring professional movers you’ll need to know when you’re going to move. Most movers will ask for a 4-week to a 6-week window of time.

To ease your process, and guarantee your safety while you move, come up with a plan. A great place to start is a checklist of the things you need to do to prepare yourself and your family. This will keep you on track for the weeks leading up to your move.

Whether you are planning a local or long distance move, professional movers are here to provide you with a stress-free move that stays on your schedule.

Before You Move

Your moving day will be here before you know it. After you make your checklist, you’re ready to start packing.

Depending on whether you’ve hired a full-service moving company you may need to pack your items yourself.

Pack your items in boxes beforehand. Tape these boxes closed. Leave them in the room in which you packed them.

Label each box with the name of this room and a few key items.

If you have hired full-service movers, they will handle this packing for you.

What To Expect On The Day Of Your Move

You’ve made your list. You’ve followed it for weeks, anticipating the big day.

Now what?

Your moving service will let you know far in advance when they will arrive at your home. Make sure you leave room in front of your home for the moving truck to park.

Failure to do so could result in an extra “long carry” fee.

Once they show up, you should identify the operator of the truck. Often, he supervises the crew. Consider him your go to guy when you have questions.

Your day should pan out something like the following steps.

The Walk-Through

Your movers will conduct a short walk-through of your home to produce a written inventory of goods. They will assess the condition of every item in your home. Next, they will assign each item an inventory number.

This list helps to ensure everything arrives at your new home in the condition it left your old home. It guards against false damage claims made on previous damage.

You should agree with this assessment. Check that no item is missing from the list.

Request a copy of the written inventory.

Determining Best Practices

Expect for the movers to determine the order in which to load the truck.

Your moving service will determine in which room to start and how to best fit items into the truck.

Set aside anything you don’t want to enter the truck such as flammables, personal items, breakable items or high-value pieces.

Movers Prepare Entrance and Set-Up Ramps

Next, your movers will safeguard your home for the loading process. They’ll use blankets and padding to protect your carpet, stairways, hallways and floors. They’ll mark any hidden stairs within your home.

Your moving team will also safeguard the outside of your home. They’ll mark off any hidden steps or broken sidewalks.

Your moving company will come prepared with all necessary tools like carrying straps, carpet protectors, shrinkwrap, and rope.

Techniques For Loading

Movers will disassemble each piece like dresser mirrors and beds. They’ll wrap every item in padding.

Your moving company loads the truck from floor to roof. This will resemble a puzzle, so don’t worry if you catch a glimpse of your things stacked on top of each other.

To prevent your items from shifting, movers will arrange pieces for the tightest possible fit within the truck. Sometimes this involves taking items from other rooms and placing them together. You will tell your movers exactly where you want your items placed in your new home.

You will tell your movers exactly where you want your items placed in your new home.

If you let your movers know ahead of the time they can usually arrange to take your old or unwanted items off your hands. Professional movers may donate these items to local bay area charities or dispose of them.

Before Heading To Your New Home

Once packed tightly, your items are ready to move to your new home.

Remember that driver we spoke about in the beginning? He’ll present you with a bill that lays out all of the conditions of your move.

This includes your estimate and expected date of delivery. You will need to sign off on this bill.

Your movers are responsible for removing all tools, padding, boxes and anything else they brought into your home. No garbage should be left behind.

Make sure you have a contact number for your movers and that they have clear directions to your new home.

At Your New Home

You’ve made it!

Consider having two people at your new place. One will oversee the inventory checklist, marking off and inspecting all delivered items. The other can assist your movers by letting them know where things go in your new home.

If you find an item damaged during your move after the fact, it’s okay. You can always file a complaint with your movers after they leave.

You’re Ready To Hire A Professional Moving Service!

The excitement of moving to a new home should outweigh the emotional or physical stress.

Knowing what to expect with professional movers eases stress. The more prepared you are beforehand, the faster and smoother the process of moving.

Advantages of moving in the spring

The spring season is a time for rebirth and renewal, as the weather gets warmer, flowers bloom and the air feels crisp and clean. Being that it’s a season that signifies change, it only makes sense that it’s also a popular time to move. The changing of the season and the transition from the cold, frostbitten chill of winter to the warming sun and gentle breeze of spring is a perfect way to transition into a new stage of your life. Spring is also advantageous for many other reasons.

Advantages of moving in the spring - Pony Express Moving ServicesAdvantages of moving in the spring

Moving during the spring season has many benefits a lot of people overlook because of how common it is to move during the summer. Because of the longer days and the increase in temperature, as well as cheaper prices for moving companies, it’s becoming more common to moving during the spring:

  • The biggest advantage when you choose to move during the spring is the mild weather which certainly makes the moving process a lot easier than trying to maneuver a moving truck in the snow or having to load it in the sweltering heat. Moving includes a lot of work, and doing this kind of labor in high temperatures or inclement weather makes it difficult–sometimes dangerous. The excellent weather conditions present during spring definitely reduce the stress that we experience physically and mentally while doing moving-related labor.
  • Spring is also a great time to move if you have kids–there are a lot of days off from school during the spring. Long weekends for holidays and an entire week for spring break enable children to make an easy transition to their new school without affecting their grades. It can be very difficult for any child to attend new classes and make new friends–planning your move during spring break will help your child ease into his or her new school.
  • Spring is often one of the best seasons for selling a home. Many people like to buy a new home in the spring so they are settled by the time the summer arrives. Because of this, you are more likely to sell your house quickly and for a great price than you would be during other seasons.

Planning your moving in the spring season

Many people choose to move during the spring because of the abundant availability of movers and moving supplies, which will only become harder to find once the peak summer moving season gets underway. That’s why moving during the spring will save you money – there is less of a demand for movers and it will be much easier to find a company willing to work with you for competitive prices.

  • Secure a moving company as early as possible for your planned moving date, and then begin planning every other aspect of the move around that date. Brainstorm a list of all the things you need to have when organizing the move and keep it somewhere that makes it readily accessible for you at all times.
  • Get a Free Quote Now. Because of the fact that the spring borders on the peak season for moving, be careful when obtaining quotes and watch out for movers that try to take advantage of the urgency of the season by over-charging.
  • Before you start packing, make sure that you take an inventory of all your belongings, and make note of what needs to be packed first. The best things to pack first are all of your cold-weather clothes such as sweaters, jackets and boots. These tend to be the most difficult to pack and since you won’t need them for a while, it will be best to get them out of the way.

7 Other Things Your Movers Wish You Knew

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7 Other Things Your Movers Wish You KnewBecause, let’s face it, moving is stressful. And expensive. And did we mention stressful? It’s no wonder most people eventually decide to ditch the DIY approach and hire professionals. But that doesn’t mean the stress goes away. There are plenty of things that could go wrong.

To make the day go as smoothly as possible, you need to know how your movers work best—which includes when you should be there, when you can pitch in, and when you need to get the heck out of the way.

We quizzed some movers on their biggest pet peeves when it comes time for moving day. Here are seven things you need to know.

1. Don’t be afraid to do your homework—in person

“Our industry has a horrible reputation, and we’ve earned it,” says Aaron Steed, “There are good guys and there are bad guys, and it’s really hard to tell at the time of estimate.”

Every company is going to put its best face forward during the estimate process, but when it comes to finding out which companies will move your stuff and make you feel comfortable in the process, Steed recommends stopping by the office. In person.

“Some moving companies are the real deal, and then there are a lot of others where you just have a guy running it out of his apartment,” he says. With other companies, “the trucks have graffiti all over them and the guys look like they just got out of 10 years of solitary.”

Price is only part of the equation. Take some time to consider which movers have your best interest in mind and which are solely looking for a one-time paycheck.

2. Prep the move beforehand

Before you get out the bubble wrap, figure out what needs to happen for the day to go smoothly. Do you need to reserve your building’s elevator? Will the truck be parking on a busy street? If so, save a spot ahead of time. If you’re moving in or out of an apartment complex, make sure you know the rules—designated moving hours can cause major complications.

Don’t forget to inform your movers ahead of time if they’ll be transporting a particularly large or heavy item such as a washer, dryer, or piano. It might require extra help, and time spent looking for a third pair of hands is money wasted, says Mike Dahlman.

3. Get your packing done before moving day

If you’ve elected to do your own packing, make sure it’s finished. That doesn’t mean boxes untaped and scattered throughout the house. That means boxes filled, taped up, and ready to go by the time your movers show up. Ideally, everything will be located in a central room, which speeds up the process and keeps your possessions safe.

Even better: Stack your boxes against the wall, giving your movers “the freedom to move (around) and bring things in,” Dahlman says. “We don’t want to impede the entrance. The guys need to move quickly and easily.”

And yes, you really need to finish taping up your boxes beforehand.

“People don’t like taping their boxes, but if a mover does it, it adds a significant amount of time and money to moving day,” Steed says.

4. Label everything

You don’t need to write down the specific contents of every box, but noting where in your new home it should go is essential.

“It’s easier if the movers know where to put it as opposed to trying to delineate where it goes on move day, when we’re charging our hourly rate,” Steed says.

Also, make sure to keep your movers in the loop. If they don’t know what “Humbert’s room” means, it’s the same as if you hadn’t labeled it at all. And now’s the time to decide what area is your “great room” and which is the “den.”

“We can’t have the movers standing around during negotiations,” Steed says.

5. Tell us what’s valuable

Try as they might, movers aren’t psychics. They don’t know that the blue vase cost you $2,500, or that your grandma gave you that crystal decanter, or the retail value of your crushed velvet couch. Let them know beforehand what items they should keep a careful eye on.

“The best way to deal with damage is to avoid it—by communicating about things that are fragile and meaningful,” Dahlman says.

6. Get out of the way!

You might think you’re helping when you hop in the truck to sort items or help lift the piano, but you’re not. Really. Stop.

“We’re professionals and it’s a skill. We have a plan on how things can be done best,” Dahlman says. “Have respect for that.”

That means getting out of the way and letting them work. You’re better served directing the movers to the right rooms or reassembling furniture in your new home. (Movers prefer that you disassemble and reassemble your own stuff, so if you’ve been hoping they’ll take on the task of putting your Ikea bed back together—you might want to think again.)

Not only can an eager homeowner slow down efforts, but he or she can also be an insurance liability.

“It jeopardizes work safety and our insurance,” Steed says. “We can’t let customers on our truck or carry things with customers.”

7. Tip the movers (and maybe buy lunch)

Yes, you need to tip your movers—between $20 and $50 is standard, according to Steed, but more is always welcome.

“We’re in the service business, and what we do is incredibly hard,” he says.

Want even better service? Try tipping at the beginning of the day, something Steed says is “pretty intelligent.”

If it’s a long day of moving, consider buying lunch as well.

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” Steed says.

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Avoid Being Taken Advantage of By Moving Companies

Moving is a stressful experience. While most places you deal with during a big move will try to help make the process easier, there are people out there who will try to take advantage of you when you’re feeling frazzled. It might be tempting to go for that cheap ad on Craigslist, but if you’re not careful, you could end up getting scammed. (Just imagine, you think you’re hiring a moving company, and instead you get one guy with a sketchy van. Not exactly ideal.) Here are a few things you should watch out for when you’re hiring a moving company.

Avoid Being Taken Advantage of By A Moving Company

What are some warning signs that a moving company is running a scam?

See a deal that sounds unbelievable? It probably is. The advertised price usually isn’t clarified by any small print or context and doesn’t actually say what the price is referring to. That’s what the scam is—as soon as a contingency is encountered (and there is always a contingency: stairs, loading route over 50 feet, etc.) the price will go up. Because there is no paperwork, there is no binding agreement. That’s how you’ll end up with half your stuff being held hostage on the truck on moving day.

What are the hallmarks of a reputable moving company?

For starters, they should have a presence on various consumer review websites, such as Yelp or Google+. A solid company will understand how important it is to build credibility and will make an effort to ensure they are getting positive reviews. Also, be wary of a score that seems a little too perfect, because it might mean they aren’t authentic reviews. As long as the feedback seems positive and reasonable, you’ll be safe.

They should also provide you with a Move Coordinator or Office Manager—someone whose job it is to ensure your move results in a positive experience. This isn’t the same as just making sure a move goes smoothly. Sometimes issues are unavoidable: maybe the keys aren’t available for the new home, or the furniture won’t fit. A coordinator is accountable for moving you from A to B; they’re updated through the process when things aren’t going to plan and take care of any issues that might occur after the move. Both small and large moving companies often miss this step, so if you find a company that offers it, you know you’re in good hands.

What can consumers do to prevent being taken advantage of?

In short, you should plan ahead. When you book early, you have more choices available. It means you can take your time to find the moving company you have the best relationship with. If you have the time, it’s always smart to arrange an onsite visit so you can determine if a company lives up to its promises. (Did they show up for their estimate on time? Did they call if they were running late?) Remember, movers are responsible for safely and efficiently moving everything you own. It’s not a decision you should rush.

Is it commonplace for movers to require a deposit? How much?

It’s common for moving companies to ask for a small deposit, and the amount will vary. The only time you need to be wary is when they ask for full payment upfront, or a really large deposit amount.

What recourse do consumers have if they’ve been taken advantage of?

Get the name of an office manager or owner before the move as a point of contact in case something goes wrong. You should also make sure that a contract gets signed, as this provides minimum value protection for the customer and an opportunity to declare the value of items. If something goes wrong and the company refuses to take responsibility, the Better Business Bureau provides consumer protection and will attempt to gain accountability from the moving business. If the moving company is not BBB accredited, social media is often the last resort.

When you know what to look for, it’s easy to spot potential scammers and avoid them. As long as you take the time to plan ahead, your moving day will be quick and painless.

How to move a Washer and Dryer with Pony Express Moving

Moving a Washer and Dryer with Pony Express Moving Services

Washers and dryers are susceptible to moving damage

Washers and dryers are often damaged in a move when their drums have not been properly secured during pre-moving preparation and servicing. This can result in costly repairs and parts replacement. In comparison, the cost of professional servicing is nominal.

Pony Express recommends that you enlist the services of a qualified technician to service, disconnect and prepare your major appliances for a move, for your own safety and for that of your appliances.

Preparing Your Washer and Dryer for a Move

  • Disconnect
  • Clean & air dry
  • Secure the drum
How to move a Washer and Dryer with Pony Express Moving

Moving Washing Machine


What to Know About Disconnecting Your Washer and Dryer

Disconnecting the high-voltage electrical and gas connections for major appliances is dangerous and should be undertaken by a qualified professional. It is easy to make a mistake that results in a dangerous gas leak.

Before moving day, your washer and dryer must be completely disconnected. All utility service supplies (gas, electric, water) must be shut off and disconnected from the washer and dryer before they are moved. This includes switching off any electric breakers and shutting off any gas supply valves behind gas dryers. When you disconnect the water supply behind the washer and dryer, the drain hose should be removed from its standpipe.

Be careful when pulling your dryer out from the wall. There may be hidden electrical, gas supply lines or vents still connected. Your unit may have a flexible or solid vent pipe still secured by a clamp or screws. Remove these first before proceeding to move your dryer out from the wall. 


Safe to Do On Your Own: Cleaning Your Appliance

Before wrapping your washer and dryer in furniture pads, wipe it with a damp cloth and a mild cleaner to remove dust and grime.

It is very important that you leave the washer door open for 24 hours after disconnecting the water supply. This will ensure that your washer is completely dry and free of moisture, to prevent mold.


Avoid Costly Damage in Transit: Secure the Drum

Your washer and dryer may have come with bolts or moving pins to secure the drum and keep it stationary during transit. If you do not have these, ask your qualified service technician about the best way to secure your drum. Many appliance manufacturers also offer washer moving kits.


Important Notice

Your Pony Express movers are not qualified to help with disconnecting, servicing, repairing or reinstalling appliances or utilities at your point of origin or destination. Please have your appliances serviced, disconnected and ready for your movers to transport on moving day. Be aware that your movers can also not remove or install antennas, satellites or air conditioners, nor can they perform any electrical, plumbing or carpentry services.

Four Moving Tips You Should Remember

You’ve just rented or bought your new place and are ready to start the next chapter of your life. You can see the finish line, and it’s almost there! Now you just have to cross it. With so many different aspects involved with moving, it’s easy to forget about something here or there. These bits of advice will help ensure that your moving day is a smooth one, void of any unnecessary last-minute headaches and heartbreaks.

1. Removing heavy and fragile items from dressers

four-moving-tips-you-should-rememberIt’s the day before the move, and you still haven’t finished packing. Putting away the dishes are taking way longer than you expected. But at long last, you think that you’ve finally finished packing up your whole house. You breathe a sigh of relief, as you pour yourself a glass of celebratory wine. You walk around your place one last time, and notice a dresser in the corner, full of stuff. You are too tired to care, and figure that it can be moved as is.

What you didn’t realize is that your dresser doesn’t like change. Its frame and legs are not used to moving around, especially with drawers full of odds and ends. The move finishes and there is only one casualty- that poor dresser, along with all the broken items inside. Now that late night judgment call is all you can think about. Items need to be replaced or repaired, and that time you saved last night, is coming back to haunt you.

This is a frustrating moment that could have easily been avoided. If it is a lightweight dresser, remove everything before the move. It is simply not worth the risk. For sturdier dressers, it is usually fine to leave items like clothing inside, while fragile items should always be removed.

2. Make sure there is a parking spot available for the moving truck at BOTH locations.

four-moving-tips-you-should-remember-parkingIt’s the morning of the move, and the moving company calls you to say they’re on the way. They ask you where they can park their big truck, and that’s when panic sets in. You dash outside, only to find cars lining the streets as far as the eye can see. The closest parking spot is 2 blocks away, and you sheepishly inform the movers of the situation. They let you know that this move will now need to go late into the night, and cost triple the amount that you had anticipated.

Reserving a parking spot at both locations is essential for an efficient move. The onus is on the customer to provide parking for the moving truck. Any parking tickets incurred are also the responsibility of the customer, so by securing parking spaces at both locations, you will not have to incur any additional fees/fines. It will make for a shorter and easier move.

3. Reserving elevators

The movers have arrived, and they enter your apartment. They lift and carry your couch to the hallway. One of the movers presses the button for the elevator, and then waits 2 minutes for one to come. The doors open, and there are 6 people and a dog crammed together, with no chance of even getting a lamp in there.

If you live in an apartment building or high-rise condo, you will need to reserve an elevator, and coordinate the times with your moving company. Buildings usually equip and protect the service elevator with padding/blankets before the start of the move, and most places will not even allow you to move without reserving one. Many buildings also require a “Certificate Of Insurance” from the moving company. This COI usually needs to be received before the day of the move. To obtain a copy, it’s as easy as requesting one from the moving company via email or fax.

4. Label boxes, according to each room

You did it! The move is complete, the movers have left, and now you’re alone in your new place with all your possessions. But then you look around the house, and there are boxes everywhere. You open the first box in the living room, and see that it’s full of dishes. You go to the kitchen, and find out that those boxes are full of blankets and clothing. As tired as you are, you realize that this move isn’t close to being done.

To help alleviate this problem, there is a simple process that can be done while packing – labeling each box as it is packed. By doing this, your movers will be able to place the labelled boxes in their desired room. The last thing you want to do on moving day is to spend unnecessary hours dedicated to finding items all over the house, and then having to place them where they belong. A simple label on each box will make it that much easier to set your new place up and have it feeling like home in no time. The movers will also be able to figure out the safest way to stack the boxes on the moving truck. Writing “fragile” on boxes of delicate items will also let the movers know how to stack the boxes, thereby preventing your 100lb weights from resting on top of your antique china set.

As stressful as moving can be, there are simple steps you can take to ensure your move goes as seamlessly as possible. A little preparation goes a long way, and in this case, it will save you time and money- something we can all get behind. Contact Us if you need any help moving.

 

Tips for Moving in the Fall

You'll get the best moving day rates (and weather) in fall.

You’ll get the best moving day rates (and weather) in fall.

The fall is one of the best times to make your move. Aside from avoiding the sweltering heat while lifting heavy boxes and organizing your belongings, the summer season is also the busiest time to move – making it more expensive. While the fall season isn’t as frugal as winter, you can avoid snowy conditions and inclement weather. Here are five tips for making your fall move frugal and effortless.

1. Choose transportation. With the busiest moving season in your rear view, you’re likely going to save on moving service rates. Moving truck rates are all about supply and demand. With less people moving in the chillier seasons, your odds of negotiating a lower rate are much higher. Keep in mind most people move toward the end of the month, so if you can, try to avoid this time period. Call several providers to get rates and play around with the dates.

Depending on how much stuff you have and what you want to take from your old place, you may not need a moving truck at all. If this is the case, you’ll have to strategically pack everything in your car, but before you do this, make sure to go in for a service. Get your oil changed, and have the mechanic check your wiper fluid, antifreeze and other important aspects of your engine. You don’t want to be halfway to your new place and break down on the side of the road.

2. Pack wisely. Randomly throwing items into boxes is a mistake you will quickly regret once you reach your new place. Plan ahead by storing similar items in containers and labeling the boxes. This way, when you finally get ready for unloading boxes at your new home, you can take the pots and pans straight to the kitchen instead of piling everything in the living room.

You should also consider filling a box with essentials to keep in the car with you. For example, you might want to set aside an extra set of warm clothes, toilet paper, a toothbrush and some snacks. You’re going to be exhausted by the time you have everything moved in, so having a few important items like this on hand will give you a moment to relax instead of tiredly digging through containers for various essentials.

3. Think ahead. Moving everything into your new place will be a hectic time, so make sure you think ahead. With cold temperatures a daily occurrence now, set up your utilities in advance. It would be extremely frustrating to arrive at your new home and freeze the whole night because you can’t turn on the heater. It would also be hard to see if you don’t have any electricity. Plus, by setting up all of your utilities ahead of time, you’ll be more likely to do your research to ensure you’re getting the best deals and packages.

4. Clear pathways. Autumn is full of beautiful multicolored leaves that are enjoyable during a brisk walk around the neighborhood but cumbersome when trying to move boxes. Set your broom near the door on moving day. Before anyone starts walking boxes to the car or truck, sweep aside leaves and other debris that have fallen across the sidewalk. This is particularly important if it has rained recently. Leaves can quickly become slick and hazardous for people trying to carry heavy objects.

5. Dress appropriately. The weather is starting to become considerably cooler, so set out an outfit that will be comfortable for moving boxes all day. Shorts are probably a little too airy for this time of year, but a sweatshirt might make you sweaty. Go with a happy medium by donning layers. Find something that will keep you warm, but is still light enough for hard work.

Smart Ways To Avoid Moving Scams

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Avoid Moving Scams

The process of moving house can be a complicated affair where your money, time and nerves will be tested to their limits – at least in the majority of relocation cases, that is. Proper organization is crucial to the success of your upcoming residential move, and as a rule – the fewer moving and packing mistakes you make, the higher the chances are of having a smooth move.

In an ideal world, the quality of the professional moving services you choose to use will be nothing short of outstanding – all the way from the initial contact with the mover to the problem-free delivery of your items to the new house or apartment. After all, you’re paying big money to have your household items taken proper care of: packed, carried to the moving vehicle, loaded, transported, taken inside the home, and unpacked/installed, if applicable.Smart Ways To Avoid Moving Scams

Regrettably, we don’t live in an ideal world and it is possible that you could get in touch with a dishonest moving company, especially if you haven’t done your homework right. Needless to say, becoming a victim of moving fraud is one of the worst things, or maybe even the worst case moving scenario that could happen to you. Which is exactly why you must steer away from troubles and long lasting headaches by understanding how to protect yourself from moving fraud.

We offer you this fraud prevention checklist: proven smart ways to avoid moving scams, but first, you’d better learn how moving fraud works in general.

What is a moving scam?

A moving scam is a broad term for fraudulent activities by a moving company which uses unlawful tactics to get more money from their customers in a dishonest way. It’s all about the money, of course, and the better you understand the different types of moving scams, the more protected you will stay from possible moving company scams that would really hurt your moving budget.

Types of moving scams and how to prevent themFind below the 5 most common moving scams used by so-called rogue movers and most importantly – what to do to avoid being scammed when moving house:

(1) False moving reviews and fake credentials

While looking for a top rated mover for your move, remember that only because somebody says they are the best doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the best.

Dishonest moving companies know just how important the initial research is when people are looking for a good mover (part of the recommended homework), so they tend to make their own employees leave highly positive reviews about the company itself. The goal is, naturally, to deceive more customers that they are a top rated moving company when, in reality, they are anything but that.

What can you do in such cases?

  • Ask friends, family members and neighbors if they can recommend a mover they have used in the past. Such word-of-mouth advice is the most reliable form of references you can get.
  • Access several different online moving review websites you can trust and read what former customers had to say about the mover you’re considering as your partner. Take extremely positive reviews with a grain of salt.
  • Is the moving company you’ve selected a proud member of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?

(2) Low-ball estimates

Speaking of the most common moving frauds, unrealistically low price estimates can be a sign that something is not quite right. Fraudulent movers often use this tactical move to hook unsuspected customers with promises that are seldom delivered. Rogue moving companies tend to give estimates over the phone which end up being way off the mark, and more often than not – simply too good to be true. As you can already guess, the final price you will be asked to pay will have nothing to do with the initial low-ball estimate you received.

Keep in mind that sometimes deceptive low-ball estimates can be issued after an in-house survey as well. If a moving company estimator visits your home, performs a quick walk-through of the rooms and quotes you an uncharacteristically low price with nothing but a careless glance over the things you have for moving and without asking you any essential questions, then that suspicious behavior can be a sign that you need to find yourself another moving company altogether.

What should you do to prevent that from happening?

  • Never say YES to a mover who refuses to perform an on-site inspection of the household goods in your home.
  • Always request estimates from at least 3-4 different moving companies so that you have a good comparison base.
  • Ask the mover why their estimate is so much lower than the ones of their competitors. If no satisfactory explanation is provided, then find yourself another relocation partner.

(3) Goods held hostage

Have you prepared the ransom money for your household goods yet?

Arguably, the worst case scenario when dealing with dishonest movers is to have your goods held hostage by a rouge mover until you are forced to pay ransom money to have your belongings back. Things could get even worse if some or most of your goods are expensive or valuable items – then, the unscrupulous movers could just disappear without a trace and you wouldn’t even see your prized possessions anymore.

Note that both those moving company frauds are illegal and there are specific steps you should take if you become a victim of such a moving scam /see below for details/.

  • How to protect yourself from moving scams like that? Prevention is the best protection, of course. Do your homework, research your movers well and daylight robberies like the scenario described above should never happen.
  • To fight serious moving fraud like having your goods held hostage or stolen, the first step is to notify the police. Call 911 if it’s an emergency.
  • Then, contact the U.S. Department of Transportation on their hotline at 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) to lodge a complaint directly or use their website to file a Household Goods Consumer Complaint .

(4) Large deposits

Remember that reputable moving companies will not demand cash or large deposits in advance. In most cases, you pay the mover the agreed sum upon delivery of your items. So, be extremely cautious if a mover wants your money before they have safely delivered your items to your new home – that demand along may be a sign of fraudulent activity.

Having said that, during the height of the moving season, some respectable movers may demand a deposit in order to reserve the moving date for your move. Once you know you can trust the move, there’s not need to panic. Still, standard booking fees should not exceed 10%-15% of the final moving price and the company has no right to demand that you pay that deposit cash.

How to protect yourself when moving?

  • Do not give any money to movers in advance.
  • If you know you can trust the company and you are asked for a deposit to reserve the date you want, always use a credit card to pay the 10% deposit so that you can dispute the payment later, if necessary.

(5) Incomplete or blank documents

Be careful where you place your signature when your mover hands you papers to sign.

While getting ready to move house, sometimes things tend to get (a bit) chaotic, especially with the arrival of Moving day. Dishonest movers know this fact well and use it to their advantage. For example, who has time to read all the moving documentation when there are so many much more important things to do and think about?

A typical moving company scam is to hand incomplete or even blank documents to their customers and request their signature. Don’t ever agree to do that! The major problem here is that you will have absolutely no control over what additional conditions, mostly prices, are added to that piece of document. And, with your signature already at the bottom, it simply means that you have read and agreed to all of clauses when, in reality, you have no idea what’s happening.

Documentation fraud is a common moving scam that a rogue mover will not hesitate to use. What can you do to stay on the safe side?

  • As said above, under no circumstances should you sign incomplete or blank documents no matter how trustworthy your mover looks.
  • You should have everything in writing – your moving contract, your estimate with all the extra fees, your inventory sheet and any additional documents that accompany the move. Each document should be complete and properly signed and stamped.
  • Request your moving contract in advance and read it carefully. Read the fine print as well. You should understand well all clauses before you decide to sign it. Ask for clarifications if you fail to understand certain conditions or have trouble figuring out how some prices were formed.
  • Pay special attention to the extra services and their rates. Make sure you understand what exactly it is that you’re paying for.
  • Review your detailed inventory sheet with care and make sure all your belongings are listed there. Be aware that you won’t be able to file a claim for a lost item if that item was not present in that inventory checklist in the first place.

Spot the red flags to recognize a rogue mover

The moving fraud prevention guide above should give you enough information to protect yourself from being scammed and protect your move from becoming a disaster. Still, the best possible protection is prevention so it’s important that you learn how to spot a fraudulent mover before they get a hold of your prized household goods.

How do you recognize a rogue mover so that you stay away from them?

It looks like something has gone wrong on Moving day. Did you do your homework right?

  • When you contact the moving company, they don’t answer the phone by the company name but simply say standard non-personal phrases such as “Movers” or “Moving company”.
  • The moving company fails to offer in-house survey of your household goods and when you request such an on-site inspection, they refuse to do it. Instead, they offer to give you an estimate online or over the phone without seeing the things you have for transportation. Not surprisingly, the estimate you receive from such a mover will most likely be exceptionally low in order to lure you in.
  • The mover refuses to issue you a written estimate, either binding or non-binding, of the moving costs you are about to incur.
  • When you try to access the mover’s website for more information, it turns out that they don’t even have one. If they do, no specific information (company name, physical address, no licensing information (U.S. DOT number), no insurance information, etc.) will be available there.
  • You can’t find any information about the company’s local offices, warehouses, or their fleet of moving trucks.
  • The mover demands a large deposit of money before they have done any work at all.
  • The moving company provides with moving documents that seem incomplete or even blank. Never place your signature on blank documents!
  • One of the most obvious scams by moving companies is to arrive on Moving day not with their own company-owned and clearly marked moving vehicles but with a rental truck.
  • On moving day, the company asks you to sign a new moving estimate because something has happened to the original one. If they claim that you have more items than they originally estimated, have them give you a revised estimate that both you and they sign before they start loading your stuff into the truck.

Learn more about the red flags of moving fraud by visiting the official website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Want to learn more about how to protect yourself from moving fraud?

  • Protect your move ( Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA))
  • “Your rights and responsibilities when you move” (download for free the official booklet of the U.S. Department of Transportation).

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Moving in the summer

We know the many virtues of summer as the perfect time to move. Not only is the weather gorgeous, but it’s less likely to impede your progress by turning into rain or snow. Students and many workers also have the added bonus of more flexible schedules. Summer is also when there are simply more houses available, and July especially is considered a boom time for the real estate industry.

Moving in the summer

But just as there are many benefits to a summer move, there are certain challenges inherent to the season. It’s important to recognize these obstacles and prepare for a quick and less costly move.

“Hot weather can make moving a genuine hassle.”

1. The weather
You may not have to contend with ice during the summer, but all that sunshine and warm weather can still have a negative effect. Higher temperatures can make moving feel all the more intense, and it’s easy to lose your nerve when you’re covered in sweat. It’s a problem that’s going to be especially pronounced over the next few years. According to the Weather Network, summer 2016 will feature record-breaking highs across the U.S., with less precipitation expected throughout the North East. All of that means warmer, dryer air, and that can be difficult to look forward to during an extended moving process.

2. Heat-related damage
It’s not just people that have to contend with warm weather. Many personal objects can also warp or break down due to the heat in your vehicle or moving truck. According to the Council on Library and Information Resources, both CDs and DVDs are quite sensitive to temperature variations. Most of these items must be stored around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and it doesn’t take long in 100-plus-degree temperatures to ruin these for good. It’s also important to consider light exposure. If discs aren’t properly packed away, ambient sunlight can warp or destroy them. Like the heat, it doesn’t take much light to damage an entire collection.

3. Busy moving services
Because there are so many benefits to moving in summer, a number of people take advantage and relocate before the fall. In fact, according to figures from the Realtor.com Network, between 11 and 13 percent of moves take place in summertime. All of those moves result in a greater demand, and that often means less flexible moving dates and tighter schedules all around. Even the best services aren’t immune to the summer surge, and you should enter any summer move expecting some delays. If you plan ahead properly, though, you can help mitigate some of these issues.

A truly cool partner
No matter what challenges summer may present, you can still overcome most of them if you hire the right moving service. Pony Express Moving Services has years of experience planning and implementing summer moves (not to mention fall, winter and spring). They understand the logistics involved in this time of year and account for heat and temperature. Pony Express Moving Services is a partner during the moving process, and they make moving like your own little vacation.