Monday, January 26, 2015

Tips to Prepare for Moving Day:

How to ease your stress, protect your possessions and make relocation an adventure
When new member and retired Navy chief radioman John Hempton received orders to move from Charleston, S.C., to Cape Hatteras, N.C., in the 1970s, he thought the relocation was close enough to skip some of the minutiae of moving, especially since the moving van was to follow a day later.
Imagine his dismay when the van was abandoned by a disreputable driver and not recovered for two months.
"We had to replace everything, even down to underwear and towels, and we didn't even have our important papers like birth certificates," says Hempton. “When we sat down to fill out claim forms for the loss, we had no idea how much we had or what it was worth. It was a nightmare."
Even though most people will never experience what Hempton did, let's face it: Moving is tough — physically, emotionally and financially. Many of us, and more than once, have been stressed out as we stuff all our worldly goods into boxes, discover with dismay how many "miscellaneous" drawers we really have and wonder whether we've adequately cushioned our fragile items.
Thankfully, there are ways you can better prepare for moving day, says Sandee Payne, USAA Home Circle™ spokeswoman. Here are some tips to help you make a smooth move the next time you get your orders or relocate for that new job.

Gather Your Facts and Your Friends

First and foremost, Payne says, is getting your affairs in order and knowing how you're going to physically accomplish your move.
"As soon as you know you're going to be moving, it's important to make sure your paperwork is up-to-date and located together," she says. "As the process goes on, you'll need to know where things are and be able to get them in a timely manner. I tell people to have all personal documents, account numbers, contact info and family records with them."
As you begin packing and planning the move, avoid potential fraud and scams like the one the Hemptons went through by hiring a reputable moving company. Ask how long the company has been in business, check references, and find out the company's standing with the Better Business Bureau.
If you're going to move yourself, don't overdo it. Get plenty of strong, reliable help, and make sure you have the tools to make the job easier, such as furniture dollies, hand trucks and sliders (for moving items across carpet) or carpet pieces (for moving them across flooring).

Do Your Homework on Your New Hometown

For USAA member Connie Summers, the stress of moving from California to Oklahoma involved more than keeping track of documents. It meant uprooting her life and leaving dear friends.
"It's sad leaving everything you know, especially when you're not sure about the place you're going," says Summers.
Reduce such stress by educating yourself about your new town or city, advises Payne.
"Military families tend to get to know other people and establish a sense of belonging pretty quickly," Payne says. "Sometimes that means feeling anxiety about moving again. You can deal with that better by learning what you can about where you're going."
Payne notes that there are resources and individuals who can help you make the transition.
"Having the right attitude is important," she says. "You're not inventing the process of moving to a new place. Others have been where you are now, and you can tap into that experience and expertise."
Among the resources she recommends is USAA's Home Circle, which offers a wealth of information about various locales.
USAA member Diana Braunbeck also found USAA's MoversAdvantage® helpful when she connected with Stuart Nuckolls, a Realtor® who has worked with the program for more than 10 years.
"It's the best program I've seen for helping with the details of moving," says Braunbeck. "So many things were handled through the program, and it really made moving a breeze."
Nuckolls adds that the features members can access through MoversAdvantage are a boon at a time that often is stressful and uncertain.
"A lot of people are surprised at how smooth buying and selling a home can be with the benefits the program offers," he says.

Lighten Your Financial Load

A critical area of concern when preparing to move is your financial state. Start estimating your moving expenses as soon as you know you're going to relocate. Here are some common costs to keep in mind:
  • House-hunting
  • Packing and crating
  • Shipping, including vehicles
  • Temporary storage
  • Travel
  • Utilities (disconnecting and connecting)
  • Pet boarding and travel

Although these costs can add up quickly, you can save money by:
  • Taking stock: Hold a yard sale to get rid of items you don't need so you won't have to pay to move them.
  • Shopping around: Get estimates from at least three moving companies. Try to stay flexible on the move date in case the company offers deals on certain days of the week.
  • Finding cheap/free packing materials: Gather moving boxes from grocery stores or do-it-yourself moving companies.
  • Doing it yourself: The more you pack, the less you'll pay the movers.
  • Protecting your assets: Renters or homeowners insurance policies don't typically cover common damage to goods in transit, and they may have limits on items in storage. If your moving company contract doesn't cover damage from careless handling, breakage or mold, consider purchasing moving insurance to guard against financial fiasco.
  • Keeping records: Some moving costs are tax-deductible. Keep all your receipts and track all your expenses.

Remember, moving doesn't have to be a negative experience. By managing tasks and keeping your stress level down, your relocation can be enjoyable and adventurous.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The History of the American Moving & Storage Association:

the American Moving & Storage Association

Many professions have a trade association set up to look after their interests and the moving industry in the USA is no different. The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) has been carrying out this job for many years now and the history of this organization dates back almost 100 years.

In the Beginning:

The roots of the AMSA can be traced back to a number of organizations that were formed in the early part of the 20th century. These included the oldest known trade association for movers, The National Furniture Warehousemen’s Association (NFWA). This was founded during 1920 on Mackinac Island in Michigan although later moved its headquarters to Chicago, Illinois. The Household Goods Movers’ Group was established in 1935 with the aim of enhancing the business conditions for its original 150 members, while the The Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau was founded in 1936 primarily to help movers understand and comply with regulations covering the new interstates being built.


Each of these three organizations evolved separately during the middle part of the 20th century and went through a number of changes. The Household Goods Movers’ Group used a few different names before finally settling on the American Movers Conference (AMC) in 1962. It grew to become the lead trade association for moving companies, with its aim being to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the industry. It was 1982 when The National Furniture Warehousemen’s Association changed its name and became the National Moving & Storage Association (NMSA) and by this time it took on responsibility for sponsoring education, instigating training and certification for moving workers, and providing assistance to smaller moving companies in the industry. The Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau stuck with its original name although its remit changed over the years and this led to it becoming the moving industries leading organization for setting work rates, publishing tariffs, and collecting data.


The three organizations continued to work independently of each other until the early 1990s, when a series of consolidations took place that led to a single trade association being formed to represent the moving industry. This started in 1991, when the AMC and The Household Goods Carriers’ Bureau Conference agreed to work together as a way of better utilizing office space, reducing running costs, and becoming more efficient. This was a success and led to an official merger between the two in 1994. They moved forward with the American Movers Conference name and combined the work of the two organizations for the benefits of its members. Further consolidation took place in 1998 when the AMC merged with the NMSA and it was at this point that The American Moving & Storage Association came into being.

Present Day:

Today the AMSA acts as the sole trade association representing the workers in the moving industry. It has a membership of more than 4,000 companies and this encompasses all sizes of businesses, from the smallest local movers to the largest countrywide moving corporations. It also represents international movers working in America, supply companies servicing the moving industry, and state moving organizations. Through its work it aims to be the leading certifier of workers in the industry, inform the public of the benefits of using professional moving companies, and effectively lobby the government when it comes to legislation and policies that could affect the industry.
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