tips on moving

14 Frequently Asked Questions About Moving

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The following moving questions and answers are adapted from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Household Goods Guide.

1. Are movers obligated to move my goods for the estimate they quote?

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Not if it’s a non-binding estimate. Make sure all estimates are in writing. The estimate must clearly state whether it is non-binding or binding. If it’s a binding agreement, they’re legally obligated to follow the estimate.

Remember, a mover is under no requirement to make an estimate to the shipper, so be sure to ask for a written estimate.

2. What do the following estimate terms mean?

Non-binding estimate: A non-binding estimate is one that can change, although these estimates should be reasonably accurate and provide you with a general idea of the moving cost. Typically, a mover will schedule an onsite visit and check out the goods for the estimate. If you add items or request additional services, the mover may void the estimate or revise it. The non-binding estimate must be in writing and state that it is non-binding.

110% rule: If the final cost exceeds the non-binding estimated amount, the mover must deliver the goods upon payment of the estimated amount plus 10% of that amount. The mover must then defer the balance due on the charges for 30 days.

Binding estimate: A binding estimate is a set price estimate. It is a legal agreement between you and the mover that the cost to move the goods will not exceed the price agreed upon. You still may add services, and the cost for those services is due at delivery. Binding agreements must be in writing.

3. What information and paperwork is the mover required to provide?

At the time of the estimate and/or prior to the execution of the order for service, the mover must supply the following:

  • A copy of its written non-binding or binding estimate
  • A copy of the U.S. Department Of Transportation (DOT) publication, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”
  • Neutral dispute settlement/arbitration program information
  • Contact information for the mover for inquires and complaints

When the order for service has been executed, the mover must supply a copy of the order for service after it has been signed and dated by you and the mover.

At loading time at the time of pick-up, the mover must supply a copy of the bill of lading/freight bill (and scale weight tickets when freight bill has been paid).

At unloading time at the time of delivery, the mover must supply a copy of the completed bill of lading/freight bill (and scale weight tickets when freight bill has been paid).

4. What is an order for service?

This is the document authorizing the mover to ship your goods.

It isn’t a contract. It notes the estimated charge of the move and other special services asked for (like packing and storage)—as well as pickup and delivery dates or spread dates.

5. What is a bill of lading?

The bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover. It should be given to you before the mover loads your goods.

Like any contract, it’s your responsibility to read it before you sign it. Go over any discrepancies with your mover and don’t sign the bill of lading until you’re satisfied with it.

The bill of lading is an important document, so don’t lose it. Have it available until your shipment is delivered, all charges are paid, and any claims are settled.

6. What happens if the mover does not pick-up or deliver my goods according to the dates provided?

Movers are required to meet something called “reasonable dispatch” requirements.

This means the transportation must happen—within reason—during the scheduled dates, as shown on the order of service and bill of lading.

Some things beyond a mover’s control, like weather, may be acceptable reasons for delay.

7. Will I be compensated if my shipment is not delivered as promised?

Not necessarily. You may file an inconvenience or delay claim with the mover, however. Include receipts for lodging and food expenses for all days past the last day of the pick-up and/or delivery spread dates.

However, the mover is not obligated to compensate the shipper, so court action or arbitration may be required.

If the mover refuses to pay or otherwise disallows any part of the claim, you can pursue a civil action within a two-year timeframe of the dispute.

8. What types of insurance will I be offered?

Movers generally provide three types of protection for your goods in case they are lost or damaged.

Limited liability: This is the basic coverage required by law and doesn’t cost you anything. Under limited liability, the mover is responsible for 60 cents per pound per item for an interstate move.

Added valuation: This type allows you to collect the amount based on the current replacement value of the item, minus depreciation. The amount you pay for this coverage depends on how much you declare your goods are worth.

Full value: This insurance costs the most and covers the actual cost of an item’s replacement or repair, without any deduction for depreciation. Before purchasing coverage from the moving company, check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it will cover your goods during a move and compare plans.

9. If there is loss or damage to my goods, how much time do I have to file a claim?

You have nine months from the date of delivery to file a claim.

10. What if I’m not satisfied with the mover’s compensation for damaged or lost goods?

You will have to seek recourse through court or arbitration. If you choose court over arbitration, the suit must be brought within two years of the dispute.

11. If I do my own packing, is the mover still responsible if something is lost or broken?

Yes. The mover usually has a tariff provision that allows it to repack boxes or cartons if they feel they have been improperly packed—or if they will cause harm to the rest of the shipment.

The mover is also liable for any loss or damage caused during transit unless the sole cause for the loss or damage was due to any of these common law defenses:

  • An act of nature
  • An act of—or omission by—the shipper
  • An act of public enemy
  • An act of public authority
  • Inherent vice

Improper packing falls under an act or omission. Since the sole cause for the damage must be the act of the shipper, any contributory damage by the mover would void the common law defense—and the mover would be responsible.

In other words, pack carefully.

12. What should I know about the pick-up and delivery dates?

Make sure the mover gives you a specific date or spread of dates on your order for service and bill of lading. Do not allow the information regarding these dates or spread dates to remain blank. This may delay your shipment.

Make sure your order for service dates are transferred to your bill of lading unless you have made arrangements for another date or spread of days.

At pick-up: Be sure to receive a bill of landing (not just the inventory sheet) showing the name of the mover responsible for transporting your goods, along with the mover’s address, telephone number and “MC” number.

At delivery: You are responsible for accepting delivery of your goods from the first date to the last date of the delivery spread dates. Don’t depend on dates given to you by the driver. Refer to your order for service or bill of lading.

13. What should I know about the pick-up of my furniture?

Be present until your furniture is loaded.

Look at the mover’s description of your furniture on the inventory and ensure the mover denotes items that are chipped, marred, dented, scratched, etc.

Make certain the items’ conditions are listed on both the driver’s copy and your copy of the inventory sheet—but more importantly on the driver’s copy.

Make certain all goods to be moved are listed on the inventory sheet.

14. What should I know about the delivery of my goods?

It isn’t unusual for the driver to ask for, or expect payment of, transportation charges before the truck is unloaded—or before the van doors are opened. If a shipment is delivered on more than one truck, the mover can choose whether to collect charges for each portion of the shipment as delivered—or all at once.

At pickup, it is the driver’s responsibility to list the condition of your shipment on the inventory sheet. This is the time to agree or disagree with the mover’s description of the condition of your items.

At delivery, it is your responsibility to list the condition of your shipment. If there are items missing or damaged, make an indication on the driver’s copy and your copy of the inventory sheet. Put an “X” on the boxes (at pickup) that contain breakables so that at destination you can note the condition of the boxes.

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Determine Whether You Should You Purchase Moving Insurance?

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Choose the right option for you to protect your belongings.

Purchasing Moving insurance

 

Mesa Moving and Storage would like our clients and customers to understand how valuation coverage options work and to provide the information needed so you can choose the right option for your move. No matter how smoothly the move goes it is always good to be prepared for accidents. Boxes can be bumped or dropped in transit no matter which company you go with. What can be controlled is what happens after.

 

Mesa Moving and Storage automatically includes “valuation” not insurance. Valuation is a predetermined amount of the current worth of items stated in the moving contract or bill of lading. This is automatically part of the contract.

 

Before you sign the contract (bill of lading) with your mover, you must decide how much your articles are worth and declare a value for your shipment.

 

Valuation is a declaration by the customer of the maximum amount of a carrier’s liability in the event of transit-related loss or damage. Valuation is not insurance and should not be referred to as insurance.  Some important differences between insurance and valuation are:

 

INSURANCE

  • Policy issued
  • Covers loss/damage regardless of who is responsible
  • Governed by each state
  • Filing time limits vary by state and by insurance policy

 

VALUATION

  • No policy issued
  • A tariff carrier level of liability as authorized by Federal statute
  • Customer must prove loss occurred while in the carrier’s custody and Control
  • Carrier is not licensed to sell insurance
  • Nine-month claim filing time limit set by tariff and Bill of Lading

 

 

When going with Mesa Moving and Storage there are two types of insurance coverage options with us and for most moves:

 

Option 1 – Full Value Protection:

 

The most common coverage provided to customers moving with a corporate situation is Full Value Protection with $0 deductible is the default coverage for all household good shipments with certain accounts. Full value Protection equals to $6.00 per pound to the weight of your shipment, the cost of which will be included in your final charges.

 

Full Value Protection is the most comprehensive plan for your goods. When you select this option, articles that are lost, damaged or destroyed will, at the mover’s option, be either repaired, replaced with articles of like kind and quality, or a cash settlement will be made for the repairs or for replacement of the articles at their current market value, regardless of the age of the lost or damaged articles.  This is not defaulted to residential moves and you need to specify this option if chosen.

 

1) You can declare a value based on the weight of your shipment times an amount of not less than $6.00 per pound, or

2) You can declare a lump sum amount in excess of $6.00 times your shipment weight.

 

 

Option 2 – Alternative Level of Liability

 

The basic option is the most economical option available and this level of protection is provided at no additional cost; however it only provides minimal protection. Under this option the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound per article for loss or damage. That means claims are settled upon individual weight of the article multiplied by 60 cents. This is the default option for most residential moves.

 

For example, if a 10-pound stereo component valued at $1,000 were lost or destroyed, your mover would be liable for no more than $6.00 (10 pounds multiplied by 60 cents).

Obviously, you should think carefully before agreeing to such an arrangement. This valuation option is considerably less than the typical value of household goods. There is no additional cost for this minimal protection and you must make a specific statement on the bill of lading agreeing to it.

 

3rd Party Relocation Involvement

Third Party Relocation companies handle insurance exactly the same for domestic and international shipments as described above. The only difference being is that when the insurance is billed to them, they usually mark up the insurance premium slightly to cover the cost of doing business plus revenue.

 

If you end up needing to make a claim, before you sign the inventory sheet you need to report the facts in detail on the original inventory sheet. Be sure to go over everything and make sure you aren’t missing anything before you sign this. If you notice damage after unpacking you have to file a claim within nine months after delivery and it is best to report the damage as soon as possible. The mover has to acknowledge receipt of your claim within 30 days and must deny or make an offer within 120 days.

 

Determine the Value of Your Household Goods:

 

  1. Write down all of your expensive and valuable items (cameras, glassware, electronics) and give each a number and an approximate weight.
  2. Give each item or box on your list a replacement value, meaning what it would cost to replace the item with another item of comparable value and quality. If you are moving valuable fine art, instruments or antiques make sure to tell your moving company so they can apply extra caution.
  3. Gather all photos and items that have sentimental or high value. This will help in keeping track of your inventory.
  4. Add up the number of items, the total weight, and the total value. Keep this on hand when you are questioning different moving companies to compare and also to help determine which coverage to get.

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Tips on Moving with Children

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Moving with Childrenmoving-with-children

A move to a new home can be an exciting experience for children, if you employ careful planning from start to finish. Planning begins with informing them of the upcoming move and includes organizing the details of relocating, as well as getting acquainted with your new community.

The positive approach – When your family is planning to relocate, your reaction to the upcoming changes is most important. Children normally reflect their parents’ attitudes. Accentuate the positive. A positive parental attitude will go a long way toward soothing fears and creating an atmosphere of anticipation for the children.

Prepare them in advance for the move. Tell them immediately about the move. Give them time to adjust to the idea.
Answer all questions. Explain the reasons for the move as explicitly as necessary, depending on the child’s age. An honest question-and-answer session will give you an idea of the specific concerns your children have about the move. This will give you the chance to resolve their fears and let them know you are interested in their opinions and feelings.
Permit children to participate. This will give them a sense of responsibility and self-worth.
Choose a professional moving company. A company experienced in moving families will minimize your responsibilities. Then, you can devote more time to your children.

With these steps, you can ease the insecure feelings some children experience when removed from familiar surroundings. It is difficult to break strong ties to the old home, neighborhood, school and close friends. But remember, moving can be a great personal growth opportunity for all family members, including children. Take advantage of the situation and make it a truly exciting experience for everyone.

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Take-along Suggestions:

Here’s a checklist of things to take in the car with you:

• Baby
• Suitable clothing
• Diaper or utility bag
• Blankets
• Disposable diapers
• Nursers with plastic throwaway liners, nipples and pacifiers
• Baby food, formula, fruit juice, water and a cap opener
• Favorite cuddle toy
• Baby toiletries such as powder, lotion, oil and cotton balls
• Safety-approved infant car seat
• First-aid kit (Discuss with your pediatrician any medications you should have on hand. Include a thermometer, baby pain reliever and a small hot water bottle, which also can be used as an ice bag.)

Toddler

• Collapsible stroller Child’s portable car toilet Safety-approved car seat Favorite small toy
• Elementary to preteen
• Children in their elementary and preteen years are easier to keep content during a long trip. Provide them with a few travel games, coloring books and comic books. Let them visit the local variety store for ideas.
• Teenager
• Teenagers probably will have their own ideas of travel entertainment, but might enjoy favorite books or travel games. Many just enjoy watching the scenery.

 

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How to Move a Wine Collection

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Moving a Wine Collection

move a wine collection

Because your wine collection represents a sizable investment, every precaution should be taken prior to moving to ensure its safe transportation.

Appraisal

  • Have your high-value collection appraised by a qualified person. Appraisal fees very widely from area to area. Appraisers charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee. The best way to locate a wine appraiser is through a local wine merchant who keeps abreast of current values on certain vintages.
  • Photograph your collection to document its contents.
  • Let your moving representative know you will be moving wine or other high-value items.
  • Special arrangements may be necessary to ensure your collection will reach its destination safely.
  • You will need to complete the High-Value Inventory Form to assure that your collection is not limited to minimal liability. The form will be provided by your United sales representative during the pre-move survey. Your mover will explain the protection plans from which you may choose. Replacement protection offered by most major moving companies affords you the best possible coverage against loss or damage in transit. If you choose United’s Full Value Coverage Plan, we recommend that you provide copies of the appraisal to your sales representatives.

Legal considerations

Check with the alcohol beverage control authorities in your destination state before you move. Some states have restrictions governing the amount of alcohol that can be brought in for personal use.

Temperature
Most wine experts agree the older the wine, the more delicate its flavor.

  • Extreme changes in the temperature may affect the taste and appearance of your wine.
  • The best temperature for storing and transporting wine is 55 degrees.
  • White wines and less expensive “supermarket” brands are less susceptible to damage by temperature.

For a small, manageable collection, we recommend transporting the collection by car, where atmospheric conditions can be better controlled. A climate-controlled van can be used to move a very large or rare collection. However, arrangements must be made early and the additional cost may be more than you wish to spend. Ask your United agent for details.
The best time to move your collection is early spring or late fall. The temperature in the van during the summer months can be very high, and in the winter there is the possibility of the wine becoming slushy, which can alter the flavor. If your move must take place in the summer or winter months, you may want to consider moving your collection via a commercial airline. If you want the wine to be professionally packed, consult your mover. Your prompt delivery to the airport and pick-up of the wine at destination will limit its exposure to temperature extremes.

Packing

Take care to prepare your wine for the move. United has specially designed boxes to pack fragile items. If you plan to do the packing yourself, boxes may be purchased from your local United agent.

  • Corked wines should be placed on their sides or upside down in the packing container to keep the corks wet.
  • Do not pack bottles that have been opened.
  • Label the box FRAGILE – THIS SIDE UP.
  • Even if you use extreme care in packing your wine, “bottle shock” may occur from the wine shaking within the bottle as it is moved. If opened too soon, a loss of flavor may result. To prevent this, be sure to allow the bottles to rest at your destination at least seven days for every day your shipment is in transit.

Final thoughts

Mesa Moving and Storage will prepare an inventory of your shipment prior to loading. When you reach destination, carefully check your household goods and wine collection against the form. Should there be any loss or damage, be sure to note it on the inventory. Contact Mesa Moving and Storage who will help you complete a claim form.

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Moving Checklist

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Moving Checklist

Moving-checklist

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2 Months Before:

• Check with your employer to see if you have expense benefits

• Plan your moving method (truck, hiring movers, etc.) Get estimates and do your research make sure to ask if they are insured and if they have full time movers or if they are temporary

• Begin going through your stuff to donate or sell and plan if you have to downsize or get storage

• Take inventory of all of your valuable items you plan to move

• Get all of your records together, school records, medical records, etc.

• Talk to your kids about the move ahead of time to help them prepare, especially if they are switching schools

 

6 Weeks Before

• Get an idea of a moving date

• Communicate with the landlord about your upcoming move and check on moving out policies or guidelines

• Gather Moving Supplies – Gather up more moving boxes than you think you need like, bubble wrap, boxes, tape, and packing paper

 

1 Month Before Moving

• Discard items you don’t need and consider having a garage sale

• Contact your doctors, dentists, and any other appointments if you will be changing.  Your current ones may provide a recommendation

• Check with your homeowners insurance to see if moving is covered and arrange changes and set up renters or homeowners insurance if needed for your new location

• If moving with Mesa, decide which items you’ll pack and which items you’d like Mesa to pack.  We can provide you with great packing materials

• Begin Packing – Pack up the rooms and items you don’t use often and label your boxes. Make a labeling key with each room designated as a specific color.

• Notify all your utility companies that you are moving and arrange new accounts if possible:

•   Electricity, Power, Gas

•   Home Owners or Renters Insurance

•   Television and Internet

 

2 Weeks Before Moving

• Plan a meal plan to discard and use all of your refrigerated and frozen food items.  Moving companies can’t transport perishables so try to minimize so you don’t have to move them.

• Gather up all un-allowables like food, aerosols, flammables, extreme valuables, etc.

• Notify the Post Office your change-of-address and all other mail that needs to be redirected

• Return library books and other things you have borrowed

• Drain fluids from lawn mowers, snowblowers, weed trimmers, leaf blowers, etc.

 

1 Week Before Moving

• Confirm move date, and time and get down all of the specifics

• Begin cleaning rooms that you don’t use frequently to make sure the cleanup is easy

• Finish packing and labeling all of your boxes

• Back up computer files and carefully pack electronics

 

Day of Move

• Pack your suitcase – make sure and pack all of your essentials and pretend you are going out of town to bring a change of clothes and medication needed for the next couple days so you aren’t digging through boxes to find what you need

• Gather things you will need for the road like snacks, games, and a flashlight to take on your trip

• Do a thorough walk through of your house to take inventory of your items. Make sure you don’t sign off until you have everything listed

• Make sure everything is cleaned up and locked up before you leave your old house

 

Notify Service Companies:

•   Bank

•   Electric

•   Gas

•   Telephone

•   Water

•   Television/ internet

•   Newspaper/ Magazine

 

Places that Need Your Change of Address:

•  Post Office

•   Employer

•   Insurance

•   Creditors or Local Credit Bureau

•  Doctors, Dentists

•   Magazines or Newspaper subscriptions

•   Clubs or Associations

•   IRS

 

Save to Your Phone (screenshot) or Print out for a Handy Checklist 😀

Moving Checklist

 

Here is a List of Prohibited Items for Mesa Moving & Storage and Most Movers:

prohibited items for mesa moving

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Moving Tips – What to Know when Booking a Professional Mover

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Professional movers, full service movers, moving company

1. Choose the right mover: Investigate the movers you call
• Size matters – the size of the company and how many trucks and employers they have will affect your move.  The mover you choose needs to have the resources to finish your move successfully and efficiently.
• Proven track record: Look up reviews on Google, Yelp, and how long they have been in the moving industry.  – Check out Mesa Moving & Storage Reviews on Google – Moving Reviews from Customers 

• Select the right agent for the right van line: Some Van Lines are very reputable but make sure and do your research to get the right agent that will take care of you.
• Ask about their process: Ask about what the movers do, their process, and what you’ll need to do

 

2. Plan ahead:
• In the summer time van lines require 2-6 weeks confirmation of dates as a minimum. (Wintertime minimums are days or 1-2 weeks).
• All van lines assign their best people first. If you want to get these top performers: ask for them, but book well in advance to ensure you can get them!
• Short notice moves can be challenging for any van line to perform at their best.

3. An Accurate Estimate is CRITICAL:
• The most important element of a successful move is an accurate estimate. When the crew arrives they are prepared, the driver has ample space in his truck, and everyone can focus on doing the job right.
• A low-balled estimate is one of the most risky options you face to having a moving nightmare. Drivers don’t come prepared with enough truck space, crews face long hours to get the job done, owner operator drivers want to know if they will be paid for all of the work they are doing. All of this affects crew morale. Results can include: overflows, add-on charges, unhappy/distracted crews and drivers, and damage to belongings.

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4. Price it Right: 
• If you want a superb move you want the top-notch crew members and driver from your mover. United Van Lines’ crews and drivers are leaders of quality in the industry. However, we have our A-rated drivers who are the best of the best with Mesa Moving and Storage.
• These A-rated drivers (based on low claims, on time service and customer satisfaction scores) have first choice of available tonnage. Naturally, they choose the best paying business.
• If you want to guarantee that you receive an A-rated driver you don’t want to over-discount your move. In fact, you might want to price your move a little better than the average guideline discount. (A premium of 3%-5% can make a big difference). Large discounts don’t always result in quality.

 

Case Study:
Recently we compared post move customer satisfaction scores to the discount applied to the move (+/- vs. the current guidelines). Over 1000 moves were sampled. The moves discounted lower than the guideline (i.e. paid a premium) had a 99% satisfaction response. Moves higher than guideline (i.e. highly discounted) reported a positive satisfaction response 90% of the time. This is still better than the industry average of 86%. However, our conclusion: paying a small premium for better service paid off.

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