Key Factors To Help Separate Mediocre Houston Moving Companies From Reputable Professionals

With a thriving and multifaceted economy, excellent higher education schools, top sports teams, and a world class performing arts culture, it’s no surprise that the Bayou City has become a top destination for those relocating for work, school, or a new take on life. As the energy capital of the United States, the city has seen enormous growth in the last decade. With the popularity of Houston, TX growing, moving companies have become a dime a dozen, with hundreds of new ones popping up every few years.

When moving, home and business owners want to find trusted and reputable movers. After all, they are looking to entrust a business will all their belongings during an extremely stressful life event. Selecting movers should be done only after the proper research has been done. Yet the sheer amount of information out there can be overwhelming and confusing. When looking for movers, how can home and business owners separate the fly by night businesses with reliable experts?

There are a few key signs that will distinguish true professionals from other amateur Houston, TX moving companies.

Proper Licensing

In Texas, all movers must display the TXDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) number on every vehicle in their fleet. This number proves that the company has all the necessary certifications and licensing to operate in Texas. This number also allows customers to search the company via the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) for current issues. A company without TXDOT registration is likely not operating at a truly professional level.

Bonded & Insured

When searching for Houston, TX moving companies, check for a firm that is licensed, bonded, and insured. These factors help to protect the customer and the business in the event of any unfortunate accident along the way. This includes coverage for damaged or lost items, which could make or break any move.

Customer Reviews

Likely the best indicator of the type of service a company offers is their past customers’ reviews and recommendations. Online searches can reveal a lot about a company’s reputation. In addition, the Better Business Bureau (the BBB) has a database where customers can read past reviews as well as see any negative black marks that the business might have against them and the resolution by the company.

Contract Offered

Many Houston, TX moving companies will not offer contract agreements. This is a red flag for customers, as the contract is what helps guarantee a certain level of service. From dates, costs, insurance coverage explanation, and more, a contract offers many benefits to the customer as well as the business.

Long Business History

Nearly anyone can grab a truck and call themselves a moving company, but when a business has a long history of doing business in the same area, customers can find peace of mind knowing they’re going into business with a reputable and trusted company.

When searching for Houston, TX moving companies, be sure to invest time into researching the company before investing money. By finding a professional company that meets all the above criteria, home and business owners can check one very important thing off their to-do list and feel confident in doing so.

Guide For Evaluating A Houston Mover For Your Move

In a city the size of Houston, there is no shortage of moving companies, but some of these businesses are movers only in name. Thousands of families are scammed each year by people presenting themselves as professional movers, when in actuality they are anything but. It’s nearly impossible to keep track of these scammers because they are constantly changing their names and addresses. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to detect a reputable (or disreputable) moving firm before committing to anything.

Know the Scam

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for providing oversight with the moving industry, making them the foremost authority on securing a reputable moving company. And when the FMCSA says that moving scams are a significant problem, that means consumers should be on high alert.

According to the FMCSA, about one in 10 people report major issues with the mover they choose to handle their belongings. Many of these complaints regard “hostage loads,” which refers to one of the most common scams in the industry. It typically goes like this:

  1. A consumer finds a moving company, usually online, and requests an estimate.
  2. The company provides an estimate over the phone or via e-mail, and it seems like a really good deal.
  3. The consumer agrees to the move and prepares their things.
  4. A group of laborers shows up, loads everything and delivers an updated estimate to the client. It’s much higher than the original estimate.
  5. The client’s belongings are held “hostage” by the moving company, which may threaten to sell everything off if the clients doesn’t give in.
  6. It can take weeks to recover everything. In most cases, the victim doesn’t get everything back, even if they pay the full estimate.

This is a particularly effective scam because a strong sense of desperation can set in, making it difficult for the victim to resist for long. For this reason, most scammers get away with it, and even if they are caught, they are rarely persecuted in any real way. At best, scammed victims can recover their belongings and the extra amount added onto the estimate, but only if they pursue a complaint through the FMCSA.

And the FMCSA is getting a lot of complaints. More precisely, they receive more than 3,000 every year, or more than 10 a day. Clearly, there is a major problem in the industry, and consumers have to do their homework to get a proper feel for a moving firm.

Information is Protection

If there is a standard method to looking for a moving firm, it’s using the internet. A quick search for moving firms in Houston will turn up hundreds of hits, but it’s important to note that a website does not mean a firm is reputable, experienced or certified to do what they claim to do. For example, just because a company advertises full service moving capabilities doesn’t mean they can handle commercial moves. Commercial movers require additional certification, more manpower and more equipment to execute commercial jobs effectively.

Online reviews on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List or various moving forums can turn up valuable information on a company, but again, scammers are always changing their identity, so reviews are only good for so long. However, reviews are effective at sifting through legitimate movers that are just plagued with other issues, like a lack of punctuality or professionalism. In this way, online reviews can provide a valuable first filter for moving services. But it’s just the start.

After gathering a few promising leads, which can be done by perusing company websites, checking the phone book or asking around locally, it’s time to get the process started. Here’s how it should go:

  1. Contact at least three moving companies and ask for an in-home estimate. Only accept in-home estimates, as scammers will usually pass up on people who insist on one. If a moving company won’t provide an in-home estimate, choose someone else.
  2. Do not hire a moving broker to manage the move. Brokers are mere middlemen who sell a consumer’s move to the lowest bidder. They have nothing at stake and provide no services other than a referral, while usually taking a sizeable fee for the job. Brokers will not do the deep research that is needed to find a reputable company.
  3. An in-home estimate helps both the client and the company out, as they can get a good idea of how much work will be needed to execute the move. It also affords the client an opportunity to get to know the company. As soon as a representative from the firm arrives, ask to see their licensing. Moving companies have to provide this licensing when asked, and most will do it willingly to demonstrate that they can be trusted. This licensing should come with a Department of Transportation (DoT) number. Write it down.
  4. Also ask if the company will be subcontracting out the move. Some companies lease out their license to people who may not be qualified or trustworthy enough to handle the job. Allowing a company to subcontract out the move is therefore a risk for the client, and should be avoided.
  5. After attaining a few estimates, review them and determine where any discrepancies are. If a company has provided an estimate based on cubic feet, then it’s probably best to avoid that company as well. Volume is easy to manipulate, which is why the industry standard is to base an estimate on weight. If there are any other noticeable differences between the estimates, ask about what services are provided or how much insurance is included, as this may be what is driving differences in price.
  6. Before picking a company, go over all of the paperwork provided during the estimate. This will provide information about the projected dates of the move, the valuation of the client’s belongings and details about fees.
  7. Now, here’s how to get the deepest possible look into a moving company. The FMCSA operates a database called SaferSys, and this database contains all licensed moving companies in the nation. Consumers can access SaferSys with the DoT number provided by a moving firm. Once a number has been punched in, SaferSys will return a wealth of information on the business. This includes how long the business has been licensed by the DoT, how many trucks it owns, what kinds of moves it is certified to handle, any infractions it has received recently and what insurance it maintains. This step alone can verify whether or not a business is on the level, and it is especially important for commercial clients, as many moving companies present themselves as commercial movers without the proper certification.
  8. One more thing before hiring a company. Reference it online at the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB also receives thousands of complaints every year from frustrated consumers, and the BBB is especially useful for figuring out which moving firms have had a lot of complaints lodged against them. A strong red flag are outstanding complaints filed through the BBB. Unresolved complaints are a sign that a moving firm is not committed to customer service, whether they are a scammer or not.
  9. Don’t hesitate to visit the company’s offices to get a better idea of how they operate. This can, of course, quickly reveal whether a business is truly legitimate, but it’s also useful for figuring out which moving companies are capable and professional. There should be someone there to greet clients. There should be plenty of trucks visible, each with the company’s branding.
  10. It’s not necessary to pick a firm that also maintains storage facilities, but it does offer peace of mind for clients that are downsizing or aren’t sure that they will have space for everything. Moving firms with storage facilities can easily unload everything that needs to be unloaded and take everything else to the facility in one swoop. Otherwise, a client will have to find a second company to store their things.
  11. On the day of the move, make sure everything is done professionally. The truck should be branded with the company logo and name. Make sure it is permanent branding, and not a stuck on sign. The crew should also have uniforms with the company branding as well. All of this verifies that the business has put effort into maintaining a professional image.

All of that may seem particularly careful, but when all of a client’s personal belonging are at stake, extra care is needed. Consumers are their own advocate in this area, and with some basic research, it’s possible to avoid a nasty situation.

Certified commercial

Commercial moves require advanced planning and additional expertise to pull off, so commercial clients should be a bit more selective in who they hire. The best approach is to figure out how the company handles its commercial moves. How much manpower do they have and what kind of equipment can they bring to the move? Powered lifts and even cranes may be needed if bulky items can’t be easily moved down stairs or into elevators.

How does the company ensure the integrity of office equipment like printers or computers? Printers contain ink reservoirs that can rupture with rough handling, and computers contain sensitive components that can’t withstand jostling either. Does the company have processes in place to protect equipment like this?

How does the moving service ensure that everything is placed where it needs to go? An extensive inventory will need to be put together to ensure everything is accounted for. Special processes should be in place to guarantee that important files are preserved and are made available immediately at the new property. A commercial moving company should also sketch out a floor plan of the new property with the client to determine where everything is going to be placed. This helps the crew stick to a plan and ensures the client experiences minimal downtime in getting their new property up and running.

Finally, a commercial movers should provide full moving services to a client, including setting up any office furniture and equipment at the new property.

Evaluating a moving company for residential or commercial services can seem like an exhausting endeavor, but it’s the most important thing a consumer can do to ensure they hire the right crew for the job.

Important Factors To Consider When Comparing Professional Movers

One of the main concerns involved in moving from one place to another is choosing a trustworthy mover for the job. This can be a difficult decision since factors like distance, company reputation, and price are not always simple to evaluate, and they can either fluctuate wildly or, in some ways, be misleading.

When traveling a long distance, such as out of state, it might be tempting to go for a cheaper company, but price is not the only factor that should be taken into account. In addition, price assessments are complex in their own right, so it’s not always as simple as getting a quick quote. There are many factors that movers take into account when figuring a quote, and that brings in a whole host of issues that their customers need to be aware of. Thus, going by price alone can be problematic.

When comparing professional movers, some of the factors one should consider include the mover’s reputation, their experience and services, and their process for determining a quote.

Reputation

Most people have probably heard one or two stories about shady movers. A moving company’s reputation is among the first things people should consider when deciding whether to trust them with their household belongings. An untrustworthy company could mean damaged or stolen property, and getting those items back can be difficult, if not impossible.

In general, movers who have been in business for a long time will tend to be more reliable. This is due to the fact that having dissatisfied customers is generally bad for business, so a reputable company will try to avoid that as much as possible. In addition, sources such as the BBB can be useful in evaluating a mover. In this case, it’s important to give the BBB a call and ask about complaints. Just because they have a satisfactory rating on BBB’s site doesn’t mean they don’t have an extensive log of complaints.

Another source is social media. Doing a quick search on Facebook, for example, can help individuals and families determine whether a company is truly reliable based on comments from past customers.

Services

Some families and individuals prefer to pack their belongings up on their own. Others will want help. Some moves are short, while others may be out of state or even out of the country. Determining what services a mover will offer—and what they’ll charge for them—can help with making a wise and cost-effective decision about which company to go with.

Experience

The level of experience a mover has indicates two things. First, as has already been mentioned, it helps indicate reliability. Second, it can show the competency of the company as a whole. Certain licenses and permits are sometimes required to successfully make a move, and it helps expedite the process if the company is familiar with those protocols. In addition, if the mover offers packing and loading services, an experienced team will ensure that the processes of packing everything up will be handled with skill and care.

An experienced moving company staffed with skilled and knowledgeable workers will also be able to provide more reliable quotes, which helps prevent unpleasant surprises along the way.

Assessing Quotes

In some cases, a company may give a quote over the phone based on one’s estimate of how much needs to be moved. This is called a “sight unseen” quote, and it’s very seldom reliable since homeowners and movers alike can be far off the mark when estimating the total volume of the belongings. A quote is far more reliable when the mover sends someone over to make an estimate in person. Naturally, this should be done only after the reliability of the company has been established.

Most movers give a quote as a sum total of expenses. To make a more informed decision, homeowners should ask for a breakdown of their quote, including the costs of packing, loading, unloading, transportation, and so forth.

Comparing Movers

In summary, selecting the right mover involves not only evaluating price, but also researching their reputation, services, and experience in the industry. Once it’s time to determine price, going with a full breakdown of costs and getting a price assessment in person will help tremendously in making a wise decision when comparing professional movers.

Eight Things To Add To Your Moving List

Moving can be a busy and stressful life event, and creating a moving list can be the key to streamlining and simplifying the entire process. Below are the top eight most important things all homeowners should ensure are on their lists.

1. Create a Folder or Notebook
Organization is essential to having as stress-free a move as possible. Whether you prefer online documents and lists or physical notebooks and folders, create a singular space where all move-related items will go for easy reference. Here you should have your moving to-do list, all pertinent forms and documents related to the move, as well as any essential travel or identification documents that you do not want to risk losing in the packing and moving process.

2. Consolidate
The less items there are to move, the better. A couple of months before the move, be sure to consolidate everything in the home, from clothes to dishes. Whatever you and your family have no use for anymore can be donated or sold to help compensate for expenses. A couple of weeks before the move, begin to use up all perishable food items so there is less waste when the fridge, freezer, and pantry are cleaned out.

3. Get Packing Materials
The earlier you can get your packing materials the better. In addition to helping decrease costs right at the time of the move, grabbing your packing supplies early means you can get an early start on packing items that will not be needed immediately. Important items to remember to add to your moving list are:

  • Boxes
  • Tape
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Packing Popcorn or Filler
  • Labels or Markers (for labeling boxes)

4. Research Moving Companies
Experts recommend getting at least three or four quotes before selecting a company. Adding these separate quotes to your moving list ensures you get a well-rounded view of your options. In addition to referrals from friends and family, be sure to check companies that are rated highly online. Also, remember that the longer a company has been in business, the better. It’s also helpful to hire movers who are familiar with the area in which you are moving from or to. Familiarity with the area helps the crew more safely navigate city roads and observe any special considerations.

5. Find a Form of Storage
Inevitably there will be items that you can’t take with you immediately or items that will not fit in the new location. It is always smart to consider renting a storage unit prior to the move. In addition, you could also contact friends and family to see if they are willing to help you store items pre or post move. Reusable storage bins are great to have as well, as they can double as packing boxes and then can be used as storage when you arrive at the new home.

6. Change of Address/Transfer Records
Another important item to add to a moving list is to change your address and transfer all important records. You can change your address online via the postal service, but remember to change the address directly with billers, banks, and employers. You will need to transfer your medical records as well if you are moving out of state.

7. Pack
This is the big one! Though packing may be the most overwhelming part of the process, with proper planning and organization it can be a breeze! Within your moving list, create a section where you have a checklist of areas around the home that need to be packed. These areas can be as big as an entire room or as small as a single chest of drawers. Make a family goal to pack at least one or two areas a day and you’ll be packed in no time! Also, add essential items you’ll need on the day of the move to one box and set it aside for later.

8. Clean Home
Whether you were renting or you sold your home, cleaning is something the new residents will greatly appreciate. In addition, a clean home may be part of the rental or purchase agreement. Some choose to hire a service to do this after the move has been completed and others prefer to do this on their own. In addition, be sure to clean and dust items as you pack them. This way, when you arrive at the new home everything will be clean and ready to put away.

Creating a helpful moving list and organization system can be the difference when planning a move. Homeowners and renters will ultimately benefit from this bit of extra effort and will thank themselves when they arrive at their new home with their sanity in tact!

How Much Should You Tip Movers

One of the most common questions moving companies get, surprisingly, is whether it is appropriate to tip the workers, and How much to tip them if so. Moving is tough work, which is why most homeowners choose to hire experienced help. A single move can take up to 12 hours to accomplish, and there’s a lot of lifting and carrying going on, and possibly packing and unpacking as well. In short, there are good reasons to tip the workers, but exercise a little forethought before doing so.

How much should you tip movers?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? Again, moving is not a light expense for most households, so setting aside extra for tipping can feel a bit excessive. Here’s the thing, no reputable moving company should ever presume tips from the client, and a reputable moving company will always accept, with a smile, whatever tip a client is willing to give. But assuming a client wants to provide a tip, here are a few guidelines to tipping in a way that works for both the client and the workers:

1. If tipping with cash, consider the effort involved – A cash tip is always welcome, of course, and any amount is appreciated. And in truth, the tip amount is totally up to the client. If the client tips $10 a mover or $100 a mover, that will be received well. If the client is looking for some tipping standards (every industry has them), then consider a $10 tip per worker for a half day move, a $20 tip per worker for a full day move and a $40 tip per worker for a move that extends well past the 8-hour mark.

If the movers go above and beyond, then consider tipping a little extra. For example, a home that is packed with tight spaces or a home with a spiral staircase adds an extra degree of difficulty. Moving a lot of stuff out of the basement or attic is another tough obstacle that workers frequently encounter, and something that may warrant a little extra.

If the movers are well organized, show up early and complete the move earlier than expected, then consider a bit more. That is, of course, if the extra speed doesn’t come at the cost of safety or protecting everything from damage. If a moving crew beats the clock, that means they are working extra hard.

2. Don’t use a percentage-based approach to tipping movers – In most industries where tipping is common, using a percentage of the bill is the standard approach to calculating a tip. But in the moving industry, where a single moving bill can vary quite a bit, a percentage-based method doesn’t make much sense. Further, when a move costs considerably more money, it’s almost always because of travel distance, and that’s something that the moving crew doesn’t have much to do with. Sticking with a flat-tip-per-worker option is the better method.

3. Give the tips personally to the workers – There are a couple reasons for this. For one, giving a tip to each worker is a sign of appreciation that communicates to every individual that their efforts were noticed. Everyone likes to know when they’ve done a job well, and a personal tip to each worker is an easy way to say thanks for the work provided.

Also, and this isn’t a problem with reputable movers, but it still bears mentioning – giving all the tips to the driver or foreman may seem like an easy way to tip everyone at once, but there are some unscrupulous people out there that will pocket the tips for themselves. Again, reputable movers do their best to avoid hiring people who would do something like that, but tipping everyone personally ensures it’s not even a possibility.

4. There are other ways to tip – If cash is tight, and it often is, there are other ways to show the workers some appreciation. Moving takes a lot of energy and a lot of fluid, so why not offer some cold bottles of water or Gatorade? It’s hungry work, too, so a meal is something that workers will often accept with gratitude.

But before buying a meal, ask around to see what the workers would like. It may sound a bit presumptuous for the workers to offer food preferences, but think about how much pizza these guys get offered throughout the year. The easy, go-to meal options are the ones that the movers get the most often, and no offense, but eating pizza four times a week isn’t something that even the most ardent pizza lovers would seriously consider. Just remember that this is completely optional and not something the moving crew expects. Reputable movers know to bring refreshments and snacks with them to make it through the day, so don’t feel obligated.

5. Don’t offer alcohol – Yes, it seems like every beer commercial has people bonding over a tough day’s work, but in a professional setting, beer is not an option. For one, reputable moving companies do not permit drinking on the job, for obvious reasons, and it’s not something that workers will be allowed to accept. And for two, if workers are drinking on the job, that creates all kinds of liability issues for the worker and for the company. Offering beer will only put the worker in a tough spot, as they will have to refuse.

6. Tip what you can – Don’t pick a cheap mover so you can tip more on the backend. If tipping is just unrealistic financially, don’t do it. That’s a far better option than choosing a substandard mover and paying for it, literally, in other ways.

Moving is strenuous, unforgiving work, and the people who put their backs on the line deserve some attention now and again. The best way to show that attention is with a tip, as every worker will appreciate it, no matter what form it comes in.

Three Steps For Moving Computers Or Gaming Systems

There are three important steps for moving computers or gaming systems that every gamer should keep in mind. Moving is an adventure and may even provide a fresh start, but failing to take precautions with sensitive gaming equipment can quickly turn this exciting time into a virtual nightmare.

Problems and Solutions

Moving is considered a hassle by many, causing disruption, provoking stress, and, if done haphazardly, it can even be dangerous. A poorly planned and executed move can be a disaster. Precious possessions may go missing, beloved keepsakes may break along the way, and expensive electronics can easily become damaged in transit.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. By thinking ahead, doing a little research, and making the plans necessary to safeguard one’s possessions, moving becomes a smooth process and everything arrives in one piece. Planning ahead can make all the difference in getting acclimated as soon as possible without stressing about the condition of the household goods and electronics.

Some of the most prized and expensive possessions people own are their electronics and gaming systems. Electronic devices play an integral and even central part in everyday life, both for work and for play. So, carefully considering the safest way to move these items is very important. The following are steps that will avoid costly mishaps when moving electronics and gaming consoles.

Three Simple and Easy Steps

There are three primary steps for moving computers or gaming systems safely. The include backing up irreplaceable data, dismantling, organizing, and packing gear and related components safely, and moving electronics with safety and great care in mind.

1. Backup All Irreplaceable Data: The first step for any move is to make sure that all personal data is safely backed up. In the off chance that something does go wrong despite one’s best efforts, this ensures that important data can always be retrieved. This is a step that should not be overlooked. While electronics can be replaced, chances are that the photos and other important data the equipment contains can’t be.

For personal computers, this means backing up data with thumb drives and external drives or non-rewritable media, such as discs. Cloud storage is also useful in this regard as it requires no physical device and can be accessed from any device connected to the internet. Cloud storage’s disadvantage is that it may require a subscription fee to maintain and access over time. Consider the best option for your individual data needs.

No matter how irreplaceable data is stored, it not only acts as insurance in case of the unexpected, but it also provides peace of mind. If using a storage device for backup, put this in a separate, safe space until the move is complete.

2. Dismantle, Organize, and Pack Gear and Components: Once backups have been made for all irreplaceable data, it’s time to start preparing the electronics for the move. The second of the three primary steps for moving computers or gaming systems is to dismantle, organize and pack up all gear and associated components. This ensures that equipment will not be lost or misplaced and minimizes the possibility of damage during the move.

Computers and gaming consoles vary in size and shape, but the most common computers used today are laptops and units consisting of a monitor and processor, usually in the form of a tower. Eject all media that these devices may contain, such as discs, and place them in their original containers. Remove all cables attached to these devices. Coil cables firmly (but not tightly) and tie them off before placing them in a plastic bag.

Perform the same tasks for gaming systems. It’s also a good idea to gather and bag any associated cables or peripheral items that came with the computer or gaming system for easier retrieval later. It’s also an excellent idea to label cables at this point, especially if manuals have been discarded. Labeling can be done easily with masking tape and a marker.

Once cables and peripherals have been removed from the devices and bagged, retrieve the original packaging in which the computer or game system came in, if you still have the box. The original packaging typically has spacers of either cardboard or Styrofoam that keep the electronics from moving around inside. If the original packaging is not available, choose a box that will allow room for filler or cushioning for further protection. It’s important to be sure that the devices won’t move around or scrape against one another while in transit.

After the boxes are taped up, secure, and their contents are firmly in place, use a marker to label any boxes for easy identification. It’s also important that boxes containing electronics such as computers or gaming systems are handled with care. To reduce chances of rough handling, mark which side of the box should face up and consider adding highly visible FRAGILE notifications on all sides of the box.

3. Move Electronics with Safety and Care: Now comes the final of the three steps for moving computers and gaming systems, moving the packaged devices. During this stage, as with all others, personal safety should be a primary concern. Some computer systems can be surprisingly heavy, especially older models. In these cases, get assistance when lifting the boxes to avoid dropping the components.

When packing the moving truck, make sure that heavy objects aren’t placed on top of boxes containing electronics. In addition, make sure that boxes are snuggly placed together so the boxes containing electronics will not shift, move, or become crushed during transit. Another thing to keep in mind is not to expose electronics to very cold or very hot conditions (consult a device’s documentation for precise temperatures). Be mindful of humid conditions as well.

By following these three easy steps, you should be able to find and set up your computer or gaming console with little effort and get back to the fun as quickly as possible!

The Definitive Guide of Who Moves What

When it comes to moving things, there are a variety of factors on how you actually do that or who you call to do that. As a professional moving company, we have heard questions about everything from safes and pianos to car parts and the entire house. And then, of course, there are the hazardous materials and what to do with them.

#1  Pool Tables, Pianos and Safes, Oh My

The first thing to determine when dealing with large specialty items is the distance you are moving. If it’s just around the block you may not need to crate the pool table. But for longer distances, specialty wood crating needs be included.

Pianos are another household item that requires a special skill set so as not to drop the piano. After all, it is a musical instrument, and how the piano is moved can affect the instrument, upping the level of care needed to move a piano.

Moving a large heavy safe has its own set of challenges. Damaging it is typically not a concern, but lifting it surely can be. Depending on the location of the safe and how easy it is to access determines the level of skill needed to move the safe. Many movers will not even touch a safe, but we will. Please let us know if you need our help moving a safe.

Q. How do I move a piano or a safe?
A. To avoid injury or damage, it is always best to call a professional moving service when faced with moving a piano or safe.

#2 Planes, Trains and Automobiles.


Well, its really trains that move automobiles across the country, and maybe an occasional moving van.  There are various ways to move a car. How often do you pass a UHaul on the road with a tow bar attached and a vehicle in tow behind it? This is one of the more common ways to move a car, other than to drive it to its new destination. And we’ve all seen it.

But what happens when you are moving a long distance? The common thought is that your vehicle can just go on the moving van, but that may or may not be the case. It boils down to cost. Most long distance movers do offer car carrier services and can arrange that in the move. But the common myth is that the car can go on the truck. Although that is true, it all boils down to cost and convenience. Moving van’s loads are done by weight. So combining the weight of your household goods and the vehicle weight can increase the cost by several thousand dollars a vehicle. Car transport services can move vehicles for usually under $1000, depending on the destination.

Sure you may choose to drive it as well. Many choose to pack the family in the cars and drive to their new home. If you’re moving to the other side of Houston, that’s great, but what happens when you’re moving across the country?

As far as loading your car on an auto transporter and worrying about the damage the road will cause, there really is no concern because in most cases cars are moved in a closed boxcar and sent by rail. The only time the car is on the auto transporter is when it’s moving to and from the rail yard.

Now, if you just need a tailpipe or quarter panel moved, UPS freight is probably the best way to approach that type of move.

Q. How do I Move a Car?

A. It comes down to objectives. Decide if cost is a factor. If it is, then choose the auto transport service. If cost is not a factor, you then have options based on convenience.

 

#3 Moving your House

Believe it or not there are people who actually want to move their entire house. Like pick it up, put it on the back of a truck and move it. And although it’s not as uncommon as you might think, there are also special considerations when trying to do this.

Modular homes can be easier to relocate, but a house mover, or someone who moves a house is different than a residential mover who moves the the household goods but leaves the rest of the house behind.

 

#4 Guns, Ammo and other Exploding Things


Another popular thing to move is guns and ammo. Moving companies are allowed to move an unloaded gun that is packed and moved with the rest of your household goods. However, ammo is not allowed to be transported on a moving van under law. Additionally, guns are not allowed to remain in a gun safe to move them.

Before you pack your guns it’s always a good idea to have the make, model and serial number in the event of an issue. A simple cell phone picture is a great way to make sure you have the proper information and proof of the gun, and its appearance.

If your shotgun or rifle has a padded case it’s always best to use that to move the gun. If you do not have a casing for the gun, getting soft padding or foam is a great way to protect the gun as it’s moved. If the gun is in a box or carton, you may not mark the gun household goods, where as the ATF requires boxes containing guns to be clearly marked as such.

 

#5 What, I have Hazmat in my Home, What?

 Homeowners don’t have Hazmat, right? That’s the stuff in tankers you pass on a highway. Big scary trucks with a flammable sign on the side of it, right? Well this is far more relevant of a question than you would think.

There are many items in your home that fall under the definition of hazmat by the federal government. But what are these items lurking in our homes that should be disposed of prior to moving day?

The first thing that comes to mind is paint and paint thinners. Often it’s best to just leave them behind for the new homeowner. This will allow them to have the paint names for the rooms and such throughout the home.  Often its cheaper to repurchase the paint than it is to find a moving company that is willing to move the paint cans. In fact, many movers will not even consider moving such highly flammable materials in their trucks.

If you decide to dispose of them, you will have to find out your city’s disposal policy

For the City of Houston, movers recommend using oil-based paint and painting a board so it is no longer flammable. Or if latex based, that can be disposed of by letting the paint harden and then placing it in your normal trash collection.

Flammable items such as gasoline should not be transported on the moving van and should be used prior to your move if possible. Gasoline is also considered Hazmat, so it cannot be placed on your moving van.

The bottom line is there are many odd items that can be moved. In many cases, your moving company would have a solution if you ask.