Sunday, June 10, 2018

What You Should Know about Hiring Residential Movers

Hiring residential movers can be overwhelming—there are so many companies to choose from, and the process can seem complicated and confusing. The fear of having a bad experience can also add to the stress of a big residential move, as you are essentially uprooting and moving into a new location and a new home. To take some weight off your shoulders, here are some things to look for in a reliable moving company, and some actions you can take to guarantee a smooth move.

Things to Look for in a Reliable Moving Company

Do Your Research

Before hiring a mover, take time to think about what type of mover you need (i.e., local or long-distance movers). You should also look around at a few companies to compare their histories, customer testimonials, and years of experience. Other information you should investigate includes their estimates, additional moving costs and services, ways to save money, complaint registries, and even check out the FAQ page on their web sites.

Experience

An important factor to consider when choosing a moving company is experience. If you want to trust your cherished possessions with strangers, you should be confident that they have the skills and knowledge required to perform a problem-free relocation. This confidence comes from working with an experienced company that is properly trained. Find out how many years the company has been in business, and investigate how they’ve handled other relocation scenarios. They should be experienced in dealing with all kinds of challenges, unforeseen circumstances, and specific requirements. They should know how to properly handle each kind of belonging you have, and should have competitive advantages that other companies cannot boast about.

Insurance

One of the early steps you can take to ensure a smooth move is to find out if the company is insured. If the company does not have a license number or insurance, do not work with them. Also find out if your personal items would be covered during a move under your renters’ policy or homeowners’ policy, and if not, you may want to seek supplemental moving insurance.

Reviews and Awards

Working with a company that has received awards for their service is an extra boost of confidence before hiring. You can also check review on the company on sites like Yelp, CitySearch, or TrustLink. These web sites will give you a look into what others have to say about their experiences with the company.

Investigate their Rates

Low rates may not mean a low bill—study the rates of your prospective movers to find out exactly what is included so you don’t have to deal with surprise charges. Find out if their fuel charges are included, and if the rates change depending on the season or day of the week. If you can work with their rate to get the best deal available, you will end up with great savings without compromising the reliability and safety of your move.

Level of Professionalism

You won’t have a relaxed move if you are frustrated with movers that have a reputation of arriving late, mishandling items, or have poor communication skills. Workers should arrive dressed in uniform, on time, and greet you with respect. This can provide you with the confidence of knowing they will do their due diligence to safely handle your items, communicate any issues, and do their best to help you have a smooth move.

Transparency

When your estimator leaves, they should provide you with all the information you need to schedule and prepare for your move. Here is the information you should have before they leave:
  • Company’s full name
  • Company’s contact information (address, phone number, e-mail, web site address)
  • Names and contact information for references
  • License numbers
  • Department of Transportation booklet, “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” (required by Federal law)

Consumers’ Responsibilities

The moving process can always have stressful elements, whether you are moving across the city or to another country. If you plan carefully, and make sure you cover all your bases, you will have a smoother move. There are simple things you can do that will make your move run smoothly such as planning for it early on, asking for recommendations from friends who have recently moved, and getting a few written estimates from different moving companies to compare. Make sure you know exactly what you need moved, and consider if anything can be moved on your own. Long distance moves are generally based on weight and mileage, so if you are moving a lot of items you may need to increase your budget for the move. Here are some more tips to be aware of by your moving date:
  • Have all your items packed, labelled, and ready to go before your moving date.
  • Ensure your destination is ready for receiving the items.
  • Make an inventory and supervise loading and unloading of your items, so if there is any issue, you can file a claim quickly to address the situation.
  • Take your valuables (jewellery, prescriptions, art, etc.) with you. Back up your computer data and take both with you.
  • Make appropriate arrangements to transport pets.
  • The Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers stipulates that for long distance moves, all items must be tagged and listed by the mover and a copy of the inventory should be supplied to you for your records. Check off each item when you arrive at your new destination and note any changes.
  • When the loading has been completed, walk through your home to make sure everything has been loaded and nothing is left behind.

Get Quality Service, Integrity, and Safety with Firemen Movers

If you’re looking for a trustworthy and experienced company to help you with your residential move, consider working with Firemen Movers. We are a GTA-based moving company that has a wealth of experience in all aspects of moving. This allows us to think about all the small details and be there to fully support you. Contact us today for more information or to get a quote on our services.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

10 Tips When Moving To San Francisco

Transitioning to a new city can be an extremely challenging yet rewarding once you have mastered it. There is so much to learn about a city and so many opportunities to discover. Here are 10 basic tips about moving to San Francisco for the first time.

As a new local to San Francisco, you cannot always rely on a cab or Uber to take you everywhere. It is essential to understand and feel comfortable with other transportation options. The buses, historic streetcars, and cable cars can be ridden with a Muni  $70 a month all-you-can-ride card, which saves money in the long run. Getting out of downtown via public transport is a little challenging, but it’s great for getting you to close-by places like Palo Alto and San Jose. The latest major mode of transportation is via bicycle, with almost everyone commuting somewhere on a bike.

Networking

There is no place similar to San Francisco when it comes to networking. It is truly one-of a-kind. Networking not only gives you massive opportunities to score a job or meet a future business connection, but it also allows an individual to meet others with similar interests. Events are posted everywhere, most are free, and they usually have free food and beverages too.

Be A Tourist

For the first few weeks in San Francisco everyone should be a tourist. There are too many iconic structures and things to do in the city that should be experienced at least once. Go ahead and take pictures, bike across the golden gate, and spend an evening at the painted ladies. Plus, playing the tourist allows you to experience your new city and helps you get acquainted with everything.

Do Some Research

Use sites like The Culture Trip and learn about the fun things that are happening in the city and places you want to go see. Along with being a tourist, it’s fun to get excited about a new adventure for the day. Find a new park to jog in, a new place to try a Cruffin, or your new favorite Sunday Brunch Spot.

Golden Gate Bridge © Jamie Beverly/Flickr
Golden Gate Bridge | © Jamie Beverly/Flickr

Find Your Routine

One of the scariest things about a city is not knowing what you’re going to do. Finding a routine allows you to find balance and comfort, but it also allows you to accomplish a ton throughout your day. Most of the time you’ll be a busy bee with work during the week and will leave the weekends to exploring. Allowing yourself to settle into a routine will help take the pressure off work and you will be able to enjoy San Francisco that much more.

Keep An Open Mind

San Francisco is a place where people love to be open. It isn’t at all unusual to stumble upon a naked bicycle race or to be walking on the beach and have a naked guy run past you. This also speaks to trying new things in San Francisco. Don’t bash ideas or places to explore until you’ve actually done it. Your favorite part of the city could be somewhere you thought you would hate.

Know Your Surroundings

It is always smart to be careful in a big city. In general, San Francisco is an extremely safe place, but there are some areas to keep your head up in and watch out for: Bayview/Hunters Point, Western Addition, and The Tenderloin. The Tenderloin gets a bad name but is definitely worth the experience, with some very interesting people and a few big companies with headquarters based there.

Take Advice

Asking around is another great way to find places to go. It is completely normal to strike up a conversation and ask someone’s opinion of what to do in the city. Don’t be afraid to branch out and ask about a good brunch spot or a cool yoga place to try. People are always willing to help and this can lead you on some awesome experiences.

Use Apps

When coming to San Francisco, mobile apps will become your best friend. You can use apps to RSVP to events, find out what bus to take, how long the bus is going to take, the weather, directions, what’s going on in the city, etc. There is an app for everything in San Francisco, the heart of startups. Using them only enhances your life and takes a lot of worry of out the picture.

Have Fun

Life is too short not to enjoy. Go out there, kick butt, take names, and have fun doing it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Your Ultimate Office Move Timeline

As a business professional, you want to make sure your office move is as seamless and productive as possible. With the proper preparation and planning, your office move can be executed with ease.
Here is a handy checklist to keep you on track for your upcoming office move:

6 Months Prior to Your Move

In your introductory planning phase of the move, the most important step to take would be assigning roles for those assisting with the transition. One staff member can even take the initiative of creating a “move planning team” for those interested in participating.
Other factors to consider at this stage:
1.) Plan the design of phone and computer systems – You will need these up and running at your new space as soon as possible.
2.) Start researching moving companies and estimates – A reputable company who will take care of all your company’s valuable items should be a top priority.
3.) Coordinate plans with an interior designer – The layout of your office makes an important impression on customers and potential new hires. Consider collaborating with an interior designer, who can match your existing furniture to your new office layout.

3-4 Months Prior to Your Office Move

At this stage, you will want to:
1.) Finalize computer and phone system plans.
2.) Finalize interior design plans and new office layout.
3.) Schedule elevator service in old and new locations – This step is very important but is often overlooked. You will need uninterrupted elevator access when moving out of your old location and when moving into your new location.
4.) Keep communication with employees open – Your staff will want to feel as prepared as possible for the new changes. Consider creating welcome packets for the new space, hosting weekly or bi-weekly move update meetings and/or hosting a move orientation.

1-2 Months Prior to Your Office Move

Two months prior to the big day, you will want to:
1.) Schedule all utilities.
2.) Change your office address – Make sure you update your company stationary, business cards and other collateral items to match your new address.
3.) Select your moving company – Especially during the summer busy season, you’ll want to book your movers with as much notice as possible.

1-3 Weeks Prior to Your Office Move

Getting closer! By now, you will want to:
1.) Finalize plans with your current and new building managers.
2.) Confirm IT installation plans in your new space.
3.) Receive a packing training by your movers, if you will be packing yourselves.
4.) Order new keys and reserve parking spaces.

The Day Before Your Office Move

Tomorrow is the day! Here are some final steps to prepare:
1.) Finish organizing, packing and labeling.
2.) Update your company’s online presence (website and social media) with your new contact information.

Moving Day

All your hard work and preparation has come together, congratulations! Here are your final steps to a successful move:
1.) Unpack your items according to your existing office layout plans.
2.) Return any equipment and boxes used during the move.
3.) Carefully review and sign the Bill of Lading given by your moving company.
4.) Finalize installation of phones and computers.
We wish you the best of luck during your office move! Learn more about our commercial moving services here and view our additional office moving tips here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Reminiscing over 2017 success numbers as brand continues to pave way in 2018

Here at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been. Numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the success our system saw last year!
Ending 2017 with nearly 100 months of consecutive growth as a system, 388 total locations across the United States, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, and a lasting impact in each of the communities we work within, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand is working harder than ever to ensure our customers are satisfied with their moves and that we stay at the forefront of the moving industry.
Randy-Shacka“TWO MEN AND A TRUCK is in a very strong position,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK President Randy Shacka. “We have achieved eight years of continuous growth, but remain humble and hungry to continue to build a world-class brand that people think of when any moving need arises.”
This commitment to staying humble and hungry is what drives the brand to keep moving in the right direction, and big part of this starts with the people in the system. We’ve put a strong emphasis on hiring professional and team-oriented people, as this helps keep our customer service experience the highest it can be.
“Our people make the brand what it is,” Shacka said. “We have several thousand people working each day to deliver on our mission statement. Strong customer service, new service offerings, and passionate people really set us up for continued growth in the future.”
Our “By the Numbers 2017” video above was featured recently at the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Annual Meeting conference held in Orlando, Florida. It gave members from our system a chance to see just how successful we were last year, and how there is still so much room for taking the next step as we move forward.
Enjoy!
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Moving a Wine Cellar

Moving wine is far more complex than merely packing it in a box and sending it off with all the rest of your belongings. It can be sensitive and fragile, especially if it’s an older vintage, so you need to plan ahead to make sure it makes it safely to your destination. There are several items to remember in this process.

Appropriate Packing

Wine bottles should be stored sideways or upside down in order to keep the corks from drying out. An appropriate amount of cushioning should be packed into the box, and it should be labeled as fragile. A “This Side Up” label will also be necessary to make sure the bottles remain in the correct position during transit.

Bottle Shock

If a bottle of wine is agitated or jostled, opening it too soon can result in lost flavor. Once it reaches your destination, it’s best to allow it to “rest” for a while—about a week for each day it was in transit. So, if, for instance, you move out of state and it took you two days to get into your new home, you’ll want to let it sit in your cellar for two weeks before opening.

Temperatures and Weather

Wines—and especially older wines—are highly sensitive to changes in temperature. A major shift from hot to cold or vice versa could affect the flavor, chemistry, and even stoppage on the bottle, so you want to make sure it stays at a moderate temperature during transit. Plan moves during spring or fall if possible, and try to keep it around 55°F.

Appraisal and Insurance

Larger collections should be appraised and insured in the event of any damage from transit. This can help prevent losses from moving, which is key if you have a particularly valuable wine collection.

Qualified Movers

A highly respected and qualified mover will be necessary to make sure your wine cellar is kept safe and secure in transit. IMS Relocation has long provided the best in moving services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Contact us at (800) 559-2112 for a no obligation estimate on your move.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Silicon Valley Real Estate Market Update

The Silicon Valley Real Estate market is picking up, after a typical summer slump, and less than stellar early fall #homebuyers are back again out in full force. The Boyenga Team expect's an extremely strong Q1. For those #homesellers on the fence, early next year will be an ideal exit point.  With pent-up demand chasing low inventory there is only one way for prices to go, and that is up!
As for the homebuyers expect multiple offers on most of the new inventory coming to market.  One positive for homebuyers is that we do not expect the same amount of market exuberance that we saw in Spring of 2015, we still do expect many homes in the more affordable price points to reach new highs. If you would like a more in-depth overview of the market in your city or neighborhood, feel free to email Eric & Janelle Boyenga at Homes@Boyenga.com or visit www.SiliconValleyHousingMarket.com

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What To Watch Out For When Moving Your Refrigerator

When most people think about moving, they think about packing loose goods and moving furniture. They don’t typically give a lot of thought to moving their appliances because, well, people don’t typically give a lot of thought to appliances anyway. That’s changing, especially when it comes to moving your refrigerator.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kevin Parker, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, uses a hand cart to remove a personal refrigerator from his office Oct. 24, 2014, on RAF Mildenhall, England. Parker saw an opportunity to save energy by removing his refrigerator from his office and using the communal one in the kitchen area. (U.S. Air Force photo by Gina Randall/Released)
Today’s appliances are more expensive and more intricate than ever. From stainless steel to nickel, from six burner stoves to refrigerators that tell you when you’re out of milk, appliances do more than ever before and more and more people want to take them to their new homes.

Here’s what to watch out for when moving your refrigerator

Moving appliances can be a bit tricky. If you have a gas range and a gas dryer, you’ll want to have a plumber disconnect them before you do anything.

Empty it

This piece of advice sounds obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many people don’t empty their refrigerators before the move. Even the tiniest plastic bottle of mustard rattling around on the inside can cause serious damage. You also want to remove any magnets from the outside.

Secure it

Remove all the shelves and drawers and wrap them in packing blankets. Be sure to label everything.

Unplug it

That’s self explanatory.

Unplug the water line and drain it

If your refrigerator has an ice maker or a water dispenser, there is a thin copper pipe at the back. Unscrew it and drain the contents into a bucket. You may need to remove the door to get to the ice maker, but that will also need to be drained.

Defrost the freezer

If you have the type of freezer that collects frost, defrost it before the move.

Secure the doors

Wrap blankets around the entire refrigerator and then tape around the blanket. Taping around the blanket will save you the nightmare of having to remove tape from the refrigerator itself.
If your refrigerator is big or your doorway are narrow, you may need to remove the doors.

Grab a friend and a dolly

Refrigerator moving is a job for at least two. Secure it to the dolly and roll it to the truck. Make sure you have a ramp because lifting it will be very difficult.

Let the refrigerator sit for a few days after the move

Refrigerators take a few days for all of the fluids to settle down and for the temperature to adjust. It could take up