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Category Archives: Residential Movers

Moving an Aging Parent

Perhaps one of the most difficult or challenging moves is the when you need to move an aging or infirm parent.

As people grow older, their strength wanes. Many times, their mental faculties grow weaker and they are easily confused. Add on to that the normal stress associated with moving and it can be quite a challenge moving an aging parent, especially if you are also moving furniture and household belongings. But, in many cases, such a move cannot be helped. After all, the alternative may be that they live alone thousands of miles away where no one can keep an eye on them.

Here are some tips on how to move an aging parent if you find yourself in a situation where such a move is unavoidable.

  • First, be sure you communicate with your parents. Many old people are adamant that they don’t want to be moved even when they may know that it is necessary. And they are often resistant to change of any kind. Explain gently why you feel the move is necessary and try not to make the move until you know they are emotionally ready.
  • Before you broach the subject, have a plan for where your parents will be moving to. Are they moving in with you? Will you be putting them into a nursing home or assisted living facility? Make sure they understand the plan.
  • If you’ll be putting furniture and other items in storage, make sure you plan this part of the move well in advance so you can ensure you find a facility nearby.Hugging Senior Couple In Room Looking at Moving Boxes on the Flo
  • Other items of personal comfort or value that will be going with your parents should be kept safe during the move. Have a plan for those items and make sure your parents are aware that their personal items are safe and secure. Make sure you reassure them often.
  • If your parents are resistant, be patient. Before you move your parent(s) into a retirement home or other facility, ask them to visit the facility with you. Seeing where they are going beforehand may ease their mind a bit, especially if they can meet the staff. Also, if possible, visit more than one facility and let your parents help you choose which one they’d feel more comfortable living in. Tell them how you feel, not what they must do. No one wants to be told what they have to do in their lives. Be reassuring and let them in on the decision early on.
  • If siblings are involved, make sure all of you are on the same page.

Moving an aging parent can be stressful. Don’t add to the stress by pressuring your parent. And if necessary, take some counseling classes to help you manage your own emotions during this time.


8 Common Moving Mistakes

If you are planning to move, there are some common moving mistakes that you should be aware of and make an effort to avoid. If you fail to avoid these mistakes, it could cost you a lot more to make your move than you intended.

  1. Don’t wing it. This is one of the biggest mistakes DIY movers make. Instead of planning the move step by step, they just show up on moving day and try to make it work. Everything you think can go wrong will, and more. So make a plan and work your plan.
  2. Failing to consider rush hour traffic. You’ve made some great plans. You know the distance, the cost, and the weight of your moving freight. But you forgot about rush hour traffic. That will lengthen the time it takes you to move, which will add to the costs.
  3. No estimate. You are decisive and have chosen your moving company. Good for you. But did you get an estimate. No wonder it costs you more than thought it would.
  4. You didn’t ask about insurance. Never move without insurance. Something will surely get broke. Better to be safe than sorry.
  5. Pets. You can’t just leave your pets behind, but many pet owners get so wrapped up in moving their material goods and their families that they forget all about their pets. How will Rover get from your old home to your new home?
    Moving Box Dog
  6. Plants have special needs. That ficus in the corner needs to be watered and handled with care.
  7. Overnight box. It inevitably happens that movers get into their new homes and discover that everything they need for the first night is packed away. Where are the towels, the dishes, the cleaning supplies, the tools? Pack a first night box so you’ll have everything you need on your first night in your new home.
  8. Taking inventory. Many movers don’t take inventory of the items they are moving. How will you know if everything made it to your new home?

These are the most common mistakes people make, but with a little planning and foresight, you can avoid them.


When Is The Best Time Of Year To Move?

Is there a best time of year to move? Many people seem to move in the summer, but is that the best time to pack up everything you own and relocate across town, or to the other side of the country?

To be sure, one consideration is your yearly schedule. If you have children in school, then summer is a good time for making a move because you won’t disrupt your child’s education. Moving from one school to another in the middle of the school year is a huge adjustment for any child at any age. It’s not just an academic adjustment either. It also involves a social component.

Weather is another consideration. Harsh winters, especially in the north, can make moving dangerous. On the other hand, harsh summers in the south can make moving, at the very least, uncomfortable. You do have to be mindful of potential heat and cold injuries.

No one wants to move over the holidays. Whether we’re talking about Christmas or Easter, you’d be better planning your move around the holidays if you can.

Christmas  moving house

The Slow Time of Year for Moving Companies

Since most people schedule their moves in the summer, this is a time when most moving companies are busting at the seams with customers. You may find it difficult to rent trucks or find movers available on the day that you need them, especially if you get started late in the planning process. An alternative is to move when moving companies are the slowest.

That would be the period between November and New Year’s Day.

This is an optimal time for moving because most people don’t want to disrupt their family life just before, or during, a major holiday. Children are still in school and right in the middle of the semester. Thanksgiving is in November, Christmas is in December, and everyone just finished celebrating Halloween. It’s a very busy time of year. Who wants to move?

Because moving companies are slowest this time of year, it’s a good time to plan your move and get it done. You’ll more likely get it done quicker and more efficiently.

Likewise, the best days for moving are in the middle of the week when everyone else is working. Waiting until the weekend will mean competing with everyone else for moving trucks and hired hands. You’ll get the best prices during these times if you schedule your move for when the moving companies are slowest.


How Much To Budget For The Cost Of A Move

Does it matter how much you should budget for your move? It should, because, let’s face it, moving isn’t free. It may not even be cheap, depending on where you move and how you move. Therefore, you should budget something for a move even if you’re doing it all by yourself. But how much?

The first step is to determine how much it will cost you to move. That depends on a number of factors:

  • Are you doing it yourself or hiring a mover?
  • What is the distance between your old home and new home?
  • Can movers move everything you own in one trip or will it take several trips? How many?
  • Do you have any valuable, large, or unusual items to move?
  • What is the total weight of the items you are moving?
  • Are there any other special considerations you need for your move (such as air freight or shipment overseas)?

Mature couple at new home sitting and using calculator to sum th

Factors to Consider In Your Moving Budget

Moving companies will provide insurance – however the amount of insurance is often not enough. If you have a lot of small breakables such as ceramic, glassware, and porcelain vases, then those items are easily damaged during a move. Calculate how much insurance you’ll need based on the weight of the items you are moving. Calculate that into your budget.

Are you selling your home? If so, you’ll need to budget the cost of repairs into your move.

When you get to your new home, will you rent? You may need to rent for a short time until your new home is ready to move into. Even if you are renting long-term, there are costs beyond your monthly rent. Factor in security deposits, the cost of setting up utilities, and broker fees if you are buying a home.

During your move, factor in fuel costs, meals and snacks, hotels (if you need to stay overnight because your move is across country). Plan your move in advance. If you are flying to your new home, factor in cab fares, airport fees, and the costs associated with moving pets.

There are usually hidden costs to any move. Try to figure out what those are and add them into your budget. Use a moving calculator to determine costs based on freight weight and mileage. It’s always better to err on the side of having funds remaining after your move than being caught short.


Things To Have On Hand At Your New Home

When you move into a new home and haven’t unpacked everything from your old home, you might feel a bit discombobulated. After all, everything you need is packed. But it doesn’t have to be. Before you move out of the old home, think ahead and pack everything you’ll need right away at the new home into one box, then label it so you can find it easily.

So what items are those, exactly?

New Home Move-In Box

Here are the essential items to pack in your ‘New Home Move-In’ box:

  1. Broom, mop, and dust pan – Okay, maybe you shouldn’t pack them in a box, but you should make sure they’re accessible. The first thing you should do before moving in is sweep and mop. If you have carpet, make sure your vacuum cleaner is accessible.
  2. Kitchen items – It will take you a couple of days, at least, before you get everything unpacked and in its place. Make sure you have all the kitchen items you need for your first couple of meals: Plates, silverware, bowls and glasses, and items you need for cooking. Don’t forget can and bottle openers.
  3. Toiletries – This includes toilet paper, bar soap, toothbrushes and tooth paste, wash cloths and towels, and shampoo.
  4. Tools – You’ll need a screwdriver and a pair of pliers at a minimum. Check your plumbing, door frames, and anything else that might typically need routine maintenance. Also, have a hammer at the ready in case you need it. The furniture you took apart at your old house will need to be reassembled.
  5. Duct tape – You know you’re going to need it.
  6. Phone numbers – You’ll need essential phone numbers for the electrical company, water company, and other services just in case they haven’t hooked you up yet. You did call them before moving out of your old home, didn’t you?
  7. A change of clothes – Nothing is worse than arriving in your new home and not having a change of clothes in case you get caught in the rain or something goes amiss during the move.
  8. Bedding or sleeping bags – If possible, make making your bed one of your first tasks when you arrive. Chances are you’ll be exhausted from your move and you’ll want somewhere to lay your head at the end of a long day when you’re too tired to do anything else.

Make sure you pack everything you’re going to need on your first evening in your new place in a box that is labeled and easy to find. It will help to ease some of the stress the first day in your new home.


How To Compare Movers

Comparing movers can be a big task for anyone. How do you decipher mover reviews? Some moving companies specialize in long distance moves while others handle local moves better. With different types of movers you can have a variety of pricing models – by weight or load, by distance, or a combination of the two with local moves based on hourly.

It’s important, first, to compare apples to apples. You don’t want to compare different pricing models side by side without looking at adequate comparisons.

Identify the Type of Mover You Need

Decide whether you need a local mover or a long distance moving company. There’s no sense calling a local mover if you are moving out of state. However, local movers will send someone out to provide you with an estimate based on how many items you have to move and other factors to determine an estimated hourly cost as local move charges are based on ACTUAL time and services provided

Compare Moving Company Reviews

It’s easy to find reviews of moving companies online. Search for ‘moving companies’ and ‘moving company reviews’ including your city of origin to see what comes up. Read the reviews carefully, especially the reviews of former customers.

122314-How to Compare Movers

  • Are there a lot of 5-star ratings?
  • Is there a rating system for moving companies? If so, compare those based on the number of reviews.
  • Read customer comments. Do they say good things about the service? Prices and insurance? Look for anything negative or anything that might be a red flag.
  • Also look for positive review. People are more likely to make negative comments than positive, but if you do see several people making the same positive comments on moving companies, then those should hold weight.

Compare Moving Rates

Finally, look at the moving rates of the companies. Be sure to pay attention to add-ons and extra fees not included in the actual quote. Many moving companies will add certain fees—for equipment, special types of furniture or high value items, etc. Those expenses are very important to note for comparison purposes.

If there is a huge disparity in basic moving rates, find out why. Is there a reason Moving Company A is quoting $500 more than Moving Company B? Maybe their quote includes extra fees not included in the basic quote of Company B.

Make sure you compare the pricing of hourly labor rates and truck for local relocations. Be sure to ask a lot of questions, especially if there is something you don’t understand.


Guide To Packing Your Library/Books

If you’re a book lover, you may be struggling with the best way to move your library from one home to another. It’s really not as difficult as it may seem. Even if you have thousands of titles on your shelves, packing books is not difficult, nor is moving them from one location to another. The biggest challenges are space conservation and moving efficiency.

Packing Books

How to Pack Your Books to Minimize Damage

If your mover is charging you by the weight as many long distance movers do, then you should make sure you really want to keep every book you move. There’s no sense paying for moving items you don’t want to keep. So go through your book inventory and separate the books you want from the ones you don’t prior to your move. Hold a yard sale to get rid of your unwanted titles, donate them to a mission or library, or toss them. You’ll save yourself a bundle if you do this first.

Next, acquire good solid boxes. You don’t want to pack books in flimsy boxes that will fall apart. You need sturdy boxes that are not too large – less than a 3 cu. ft. size is recommended for books.

Wrap your hardcover books in kraft brown paper and pack them in boxes with the spines against the side of the box. Use acid-free paper if you’ll be storing books in a storage facility for a long period of time. Acid-free paper won’t turn yellow or deteriorate over time. Don’t pack them too tightly. Instead, pack them as if placing them on a shelf.

Other books of high value such as photo albums, coffee table books, or special editions should be packed with a piece of cardboard between them to prevent the spines from bending. Books tend to shift during a move, and that could cause some spine or cover bending, which will de-value the books.

When packing paperback books, stack them with covers face up or down, or, alternatively, pack them with spines down. If you stack paperbacks with spines up, the pages will bend and the books will warp.

If you have empty space between any books, fill it with bubble wrap or paper. This will prevent shifting and warping of your books. It’s typical that you will have books of different sizes in the same box so you will have some empty space. When your boxes are full, tape them closed and label them ‘books.’

If you plan to store your books in a facility for any length of time, make sure it is dry and cool.


How To Pack Up Your House For Storage

Not all residential moves involve packing and shipping items from one home to another. Sometimes you need to pack items in your home for storage – for a variety of reasons.

Maybe you’re downsizing and you need to put some items in storage because you don’t have room for it all. Or maybe your new home isn’t quite ready yet, your old home has sold, and you need to move out and rent for a while until your new home is ready to move into. You’ll need to pack your belongings for movement to a short-term storage facility. Here are some practical tips to help you do that efficiently.

  1. Secure all your breakables – This includes plates, glasses, china, picture frames, etc. Wrap each individual item with tissue paper, or old newspaper. You can also wrap items with linen such as towels or bed sheets. You want to prevent clanging and friction between these items so they do not break or crack.
  2. Stack heavy items on the bottom – Avoid putting the heavier boxes on top of the lighter ones. In your storage unit, put your furniture on the bottom and stack boxes, heaviest first, on top of those.
  3. Stack large boxes on bottom – Whenever possible, put the heaviest boxes on bottom and the lighter boxes on top, but if you have larger boxes and smaller boxes, then put the smaller ones on top. Try to avoid putting large light boxes on top of small heavy ones. If necessary, draw a stacking plan to make maximum use of your storage space.
  4. Cover the storage unit floor in plastic – Especially for outside storage units, you’ll need to cover the floor with plastic because it will likely be made of concrete. Winter temperatures can cause the concrete floors to get sticky as compensation builds up. Ice can form on the floor, which will destroy your boxes. If you cover the floor with a sheet of plastic, you’ll protect your boxes and furniture from the weather.
  5. Cover your appliances – Before putting boxes and other items on top of appliances, cover them to prevent scratching. Also, clean your appliances before storing them. Your best bet is to store appliances in a temperature-controlled storage facility. Otherwise, they may build up rust or bacteria over time. Appliances are not allowed to be plugged-in.

storage box storing spaces in garage lockers units or container
Storage facilities have restrictions on what is permitted to be stored in their facility. This is for the protection of not only your possessions, but also the other customers storing their belongings and on-site employees. As a general rule, items that are considered inherently dangerous will not be allowed. If you have any questions, be sure to ask ahead of time.

These are some of the items that should not be stored:

  • Combustible, Flammable, Hazardous or Toxic Materials
  • Perishable Food and Animal Products
  • Any Animals or Plants (alive or dead)
  • Expensive Valuables (such as jewelry)
  • Income tax information if it will be needed for tax preparation

OR STORE with RJ MOVING in our ‘climate controlled warehouse’ – let us take care of your storage needs!!


5 Most Frequently Asked Moving Questions

There are some questions that potential movers ask more often than others. Here is a list of our top 5 most frequently asked moving questions.

  1. When it the best time to move? In short, any time of year is a good time to move except winter. The winter months in Minnesota are notorious for involving snow and ice, which create moving hazards. If you have to move in the winter, you will be responsible for snow/ice removal at both locations to ensure the safety of the crews.
  2. How long does it take to pack and move? Every move is different. The length of time it takes to pack depends on how much you have to move. The actual move varies as well. The more you have, the longer it will take to load and unload the truck. And don’t forget to add in the time it will take to drive from your old space to your new space. An experienced mover will be able to give you a good estimate of the time required.
    Young couple watching movers move boxes from the moving van
  3. How far in advance should I plan a move? Good question. You really should start as soon as you know you are going to move. When possible, you should notify your moving company at least six weeks prior to the move. If your employer is paying for the move, you should start even earlier as you’ll have to submit your estimates to the employer and it will take your employer some time to compare bids and choose a moving company. You should know which company you are using to move at least four weeks before the actual move date.
  4. How are moving costs calculated? It depends. Basically, local moves are calculated by the hour. Long distance interstate or intrastate moves are calculated by weight and distance.
  5. What if something is damaged during the move? Moving insurance is highly recommended. If an item is damaged, moving insurance should cover the cost to repair or replace it. You should determine the value of your movable items and buy insurance based on that value. Some homeowners insurance policies insure items during a move, so check your policy first.

If you have additional questions on moving check our Moving FAQ’s – you might find an answer there. If not, please contact us – we’d be happy to help.


Types of Moving Services and Moving Companies

Moving services are not all the same. It comes as a surprise to many people when they learn about the different types of moving companies, but it will benefit you in the long run to know which type of moving service you need before you hire one. So here’s a handy guide.

3 Basic Types of Moving Services

There are three basic types of moving services. Each type has a few subcategories beneath them, but we’re going to start with these three basic types of moving companies because almost all moving services fall into one of these categories.

  1. Local movers – Local moving companies specialize in moving people from one home to another within the same city. Depending on your moving company’s permit, the local geographic area of coverage can be a single zip code, an entire metropolis, or an MSA region. This includes rural moving services. You can often get a better deal with a local moving service if you are just moving across town.
    RJ Moving Truck
  2. Long Distance Moving Services – Long distance movers typically charge by actual weight of the load plus the distance you travel. These companies specialize in moves state to state.
  3. Commercial Relocation Companies – Commercial movers specialize in business moves. If you have a small business or a major corporation and you are planning a move, whether it is across town or hundreds of miles away, a commercial relocation service will put together a package that meets your business needs.

Which Type of Mover Is For You?

In determining which type of moving service you need, start with a local mover. If you are moving long distance, then step up to the next level. If your move involves a business, try a commercial relocation service And in some cases you might need two moving companies: one for your business and one for your home.