Learn the lingo: Moving terms to know on moving day

When moving day is approaching, you are probably in overdrive preparing yourself and your family for the big day. Part of that preparation should be to get familiar with some of the lingo that might be tossed around during moving day conversation.

You may hear about these things during a pre-move survey, during an estimate, on moving day, or after moving day when it’s time for the final tab. The sooner you get to know these terms, the easier it will be to ask the proper questions and prepare yourself for the move. Take a look at some of the lingo you may not have heard before such as accessorial charges and operating authority.

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Bill of lading

One of the terms you’ll hear mentioned is the bill of lading or contract between you and the moving company. This is the binding contract regarding the transport of your household goods.

Consignor or consignee

If they mention of consignor or consignee, you may immediately think of a co-signer on a loan. "Consignor" is actually a term for the person that at the point where you move originates that is the pick-up point person. The consignee is the one that will receive the goods at destination, which is often times the same person as the consignor.

Accessorial charges

If you hear about charges for accessorials, keep in mind that this is very normal. This is the term for any extra charges due to additional services needed outside of the standard services. This could mean that you were charged extra for the moving company supplying you with moving boxes, extra charge for needing an extra pick-up, or you had a higher than usual inventory of something like books.

These miscellaneous items that aren’t going to happen in the standard move just get charged under accessorial charges to cover the extra time, labor, or supplies provided by the movers.

Claim

You’ve probably had to file a claim with a company in the past. You’ll have the option to file a claim if you discover damage or loss of any goods. Submit claims right away to avoid missing out on reimbursement.

You’ll receive standard coverage for free on your move to cover any damaged goods, at approximately 60 cents per pound, but you can purchase additional coverage if you want to be sure your expensive TV or furniture is covered from significant damage. You’ll also want to ask about transit insurance, the insurance that covers the items during transit, to see what is covered and what you need to acquire.

Reweigh

Your movers will weigh the final product of all of your goods on their truck. They’ll go to a weigh-in station in the area to weigh the truck in order to determine what your final weight was, minus the weight of the actual truck.

Your bill will reflect the weight that was moved by getting the weight at a weigh station. They always take an estimate before the move and then the reweigh indicates the actual final weight which is tweaked on the final bill from the originally estimated weight.

Operating authority

If you hear the term “operation authority,” this refers to the certification that the state of federal government gives to authorize the move between geographical areas. This would be acquired before the bill of lading is signed.

Linehaul charges

Lastly, you might hear line haul charges mentioned on the bill. These refer to the basic charges for a long distance move. They are calculated based on your moving weight and the mileage.

When you hear lingo you don’t recognize during the move, don’t feel alone. These are the terms that are often misunderstood by families, but you can go into your move feeling more prepared by learning them here.

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Should You Help Your Movers or Simply Get Out of the Way?

You’ve hired the movers and moving day is coming up quickly, but is there anything else you need to do to prep your home for a move? For most families, it may feel like you’re overstepping to get anything ready for the movers since the movers likely have a system in place for how they pack and load your things.

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They are liable for getting things moved safely which means that packing up your house for them may cause a feud later if something were to be damaged on their watch. How do you help the moving crew out without causing a bigger project for them? Take a look at these things that movers wish you knew to help them out before moving day.

Get appliances and other electrical belongings ready

The first way you can help your movers is to get the appliances ready now, instead of trying to do so on moving day. That goes for any appliance or anything electrical that can be unplugged and taken down before the move (hint - see last week's blog post!).

You don’t want your moving crew to have to try to figure out how to disassemble your washing machine, or worse, find out that they are not allowed to do that for you due to liability. Make sure you have appliances disconnected before the move and prep them in advance, such as defrosting the freezer in advance. Unplug your DVD player, coffee maker, clocks, lamps, and anything else that will need to be unplugged for the move.

Remove things from the wall

Next, check out each room of your house to see what is currently on your walls. You’ll find the moving day to be much easier if you remove these items now rather than to wait for the moving day. Remove pictures, paintings, mirrors, clocks, and anything else you’ve gotten used to being out of sight and out of mind. Put all of these items on one wall space so that they can be packed at one time.

Make a room for things not meant for the movers

If you have things that aren’t going to be moved for any reason, dedicate one space in the house for these items rather than trying to sort them out one-by-one on moving day. Your movers will appreciate if you’ve already sorted things and have a room that contains the items they aren’t meant to move. Many people choose a kitchen counter for things like phone chargers, mail, first-week box, and medicine, to avoid the movers trying to pack these items for you.

Prep your outdoor goods

You probably forgot about those outdoor items that need moved or didn’t realize they needed to be prepared as well (hint - we've given tips before on how to move outdoor items!). Your mowers and blowers are not going to be moved if they still have gas in them, so be sure to drain anything you own with oil or gasoline in them. You can run them out of gas or siphon them into a neighbor’s mower. Don’t try to bring propane tanks because your movers likely won’t accept them.

Pack some of it ahead of time

While you may be wondering if you should be packing up your house ahead of time, most of the time it’s better to have the movers handle this job to make sure everything is packed carefully. You can pack things but make sure they are labeled and marked if they are valuable.

You could always pack some of it beforehand if you have bubble wrap and proper boxes, but your movers will have all of this too. Be sure to discuss ahead of time what you’ll need to be moved so that your movers can prepare for the move. Perhaps put together a Moving Checklist.

On moving day, be sure to give your movers plenty of space to get the job done and tipping for a good job is standard. Your moving day can be simple if you do some of the prep work and stay out of the way on moving day in order to allow the professionals handle your move with care!

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What Should You do Before the Movers Arrive?

The movers are arriving in a few weeks and it’s time to get serious about preparing for the move. Not only do you need to take inventory of all of your stuff, but you need to start purging, disposing of, and pre-packing some of your items.

You’ll need to get the appliances ready to be moved and you’ll have to start handling some of the essential boxes yourself, such as the stuff you’ll need to access on the first week of your move that shouldn’t be put on the moving truck. Then you’ll have to find a space to put things that aren’t meant to be packed, such as plants and hazardous items.

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Take a look at this guide to get a better idea of how to prepare for the movers to arrive.

Start purging and disposing

You are likely not going to be taking everything to the new house. It’s a great time to start purging your home and getting rid of useless items that the packers shouldn’t be packing. If there are items that you don’t need to have transported by professional movers because you don’t really want them in the new home, it’s time to sell, donate, or dispose of them. This could be furniture that doesn’t fit in the new home, extra clutter, or kitchen items you wanted to replace. Consider what you can start purging of before the movers arrive.

Then, make sure you dispose of things you don’t want packed, such as old food, chemicals and cleaning supplies, flammable items, paint, and trash. If you don’t want to take your plants to the new home, find a friend to donate them to.

Take inventory and work on must-have boxes

Now it’s time to take inventory of your possessions so that you can track where things get packed and make sure it all arrives safely at your destination. Take inventory to make sure you can check everything off for arrival and to ensure it hasn’t been damaged, and to make sure you can easily file an insurance claim in the event that something happens to an item and proof is needed it was moved.

This will also help you to see how much stuff you are taking in case you want to pare down on your belongings, and to get a better idea of what will be packed together for separating items by room. Then, take some photos in case you need to show them later.

When you arrive at your destination and haven’t gotten around to unpacking yet, it will be important to have a few boxes with the essentials to get you started. You won’t be able to wait for a few weeks to locate your shower curtain, bath towels, or prescription medicines. Make sure you’ve packed an “open first box” that you can keep with you for getting your kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and kid’s items play area.

Determine what won’t be packed and prepare the family

Next, you’ll want to choose an area to place items that aren’t meant to be packed and to talk to your family about staying safe during this process. Put a note on anything that isn’t mean to be packed by the movers, such as your plants, valuables, electronics, and first-week essentials.

Keep it all in one room and make this the meeting room for prepping your family on safety measures during the move. This will be where pets can stay or phone calls can be taken during the time the movers are there.

Prepare appliances and pre-pack

Lastly, start pre-packing things that you prefer to handle yourself, such as high-value items or a collection of magnets or ornaments. This will make it easier for the movers to pack quickly if you’ve handled all of the small pieces yourself. Then prepare your appliances for the move by unplugging things like washing machines and dishwashers.

When the movers are scheduled to arrive soon and the house needs prepared, use this list to make sure you’re ready for a swift and efficient move.

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Why You Need an "Open First" Box When Moving

When you’re packing up the house for the big move, the last thing you are probably thinking about is what it’s going to be like the first time you need to cook a meal or how your morning routine will go in the new place.  That’s because you are likely more focused on completing your packing duties, anticipating the moving crew, and thinking about all of the changes going on in more of the long-term state of mind.

The problem with forgetting to think about the short-term is that you are going to find that you may have some difficulty getting settled in when you first arrive at your new home. The solution to this is packing a box labeled “open first” in order to make the transition a smooth one.

Having a box ready for week one at your new house will make you feel at home much sooner, make it easier to get settled, and it will allow you to take your time on the boxes that aren’t as urgent. Don’t let yourself struggle to find your cookware, shampoo, and dog bowls; pack your “open first” box now.

What to include in your “Open first” box

The best way to handle this box is to think about the items you use most often in each room of your home. How does your day normally begin? You likely start the day with a workout, a shower, getting dressed, and preparing breakfast for the family.

This means that you’ll need easy access to your favorite workout gear, your shower supplies, work clothes, and cookware for preparing breakfast and dinner. Don’t forget that your day actually began in bed, which means a set of sheets is your very first essential. Perhaps an alarm clock, phone charger, and bathroom linens would be a great idea too.

When you get ready each morning, what items do you mindlessly grab that you’d be lost without during week one in the new house? Don’t forget items like your toothbrush, your hairbrush, cosmetics, deodorants, and lotions. If you take any medicine, be sure to include that too. Then make sure you have items like a bath mat, shower curtain, shower gels, and shampoos, as well as toilet paper and hand towels.

When it’s time to cook each morning and evening, you’ll want to be sure you have a few of your main kitchen supplies, like pots and pans, spatulas, plates, and cups. Make sure you bring your essentials seasonings and oils to be able to prepare eggs in the morning or a dish for dinner.

Bring cutlery, serving spoons, mugs, scissors, and containers to put leftovers in. You’ll probably regret forgetting the coffee maker or your favorite tea and be sure to grab a sponge and tablecloth to keep your new kitchen looking great.

Other essentials

Along with your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen essentials, there may be a few other items that would fit perfectly in a box for your arrival at the new home. While you get ready to set up your utilities or locate your lamps, make sure you have a flashlight ready at first. You’ll also want a few of your basic tools, candles, matches, some trash bags, and batteries handy.

When it comes to your kids and your pets, you’ll want to consider their essentials as well. Would your son be lost without his favorite stuffed bear? How will you feed the dogs without their daily food and water bowls? Bring items you would use on a daily basis in your routine now knowing that you’ll be establishing your routine at the new house.

This may also mean you need to pack some games for the kids while you work on setting up your cable TV, your reading glasses and a favorite book, important documents and a list of emergency contacts, and cash available to order a pizza or tip the moving crew.

The most important thing you can do during your residential move is to label your boxes well in order to locate items more easily in your new home. By packing the essentials in a box labeled “open first,” you may find that it’s easier to unpack the rest now that you have your daily essentials right at your fingertips and already in place in the new house. Make sure you grab each family member’s essentials, including the kids, Fido, and of course, yourself. 

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6 Tips for Keeping Your Sense of Humor During a Move

Moving is always a stressful process. It can bring out the worst in a family trying to handle packing, cleaning, moving boxes, and unpacking at a new house. The good news is that with the right professionals in your area, you can avoid a great deal of the work yourself. While you’ll still find that some stress and challenges come with the process, you can make the most of it by finding humor in the situation. Sometimes a great sense of humor can get you through any difficult time in life, with moving being no exception. Take a look at six tips that are a sure way that you’ll keep your sense of humor while making your relocation.

Focus on the positives

Sometimes you have to go through a difficult time to get to the good part. Moving is one of those things and focusing on the positives to come in a new home makes the moving process a little bit easier. Don’t forget to keep perspective during this time and smile thinking of the new neighborhood, the new activities, and the new surroundings you’ll get to enjoy in a new home. Look forward to that new dining room you can entertain your friends in, the new part of town that will offer a chance of scenery, and new outdoor experiences that you can enjoy on the weekends.

Once you appreciate the good things to come, the packing up process you’re going through now will start to excite you. It will be hard to wipe that smile off of your face when envision your new home and what negative aspects of your current home that you can finally say goodbye to.

Find reasons to laugh during this process

Even if the moving process isn’t necessarily hilarious, finding chances to laugh right now may give you the occasional breaks you need to get through. Make it a family movie night at the beginning of the process where you can end a long day of packing with some laughter. Put on some fun, light-hearted music while you work on cleaning the house for the move.

Look for a joke of the day that you can tell the family during your relocation and tell funny stories to keep the mood up. Just because you are going through a tiring time, doesn’t mean you have to stop the laughter.

Have a moving party

This is the perfect time to recruit your friends to help you, celebrate with you, and help you close one chapter and begin another. It’s time for a moving party, whether you need help packing those last few items, friends to help you load the truck, or just people around you as you handle the emotions of this transition. Having a moving party is the perfect way to have some fun, enjoy some laughs, and get a little extra help before a round of cards and drinks.

Stay calm in heated moments

Sometimes stay positive and humorous in the moving process is about minimizing conflict and heated moments. Make sure that you allow yourself to feel the emotions of finding out you’re moving, calmly prepare for the process, stay confident through challenging times, and stay positive at each step of the way. Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated at those around you or to allow the emotions you’re experiencing to cloud your judgement. Keep the positivity and laughter, even during the worst moments of the move.

Make a game out of everything

Make the moving process more exciting by turning everything into a game. Your kids will love getting a prize for winning the game and you’ll love coming up with fun contests and prizes to incorporate. One game could be guessing the correct amount of coins that you’ve found around the house and the winner gets to keep that dollar amount. Another game could be guessing what object is in a box since you’ll be surrounded with so many random household objects and plenty of boxes to utilize. The winner of the boxed object guess gets to pick the pizza toppings for tonight’s delivery.

Make moving day the funniest of all

Finally, prepare for the upcoming stress of moving day by filling the day with laughter now. Write jokes on different moving boxes so that the person who carries that box will get a bit of humor during the carrying. It’ll be a fun way to bring laughter to everyone’s day during a challenging and exciting day.

Use these six tips and you’ll find that you can keep your sense of humor while going through your relocation. Have some fun with your move and leave the heavy lifting to the professional residential movers in your area.

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