There’s easy way to make a move

Moving by the numbers: 43-million Americans move each year. 21-million Americans move between May and September. 10.8-million American children under 18 move each year. 12 Average number of times people move, or about once every seven years. 17% – Percentage of U.S. population who move each year. 45% – are corporate relocations. 45% – are personal moves 10% – are military or government relocations. 6,900 lbs. – Average size of an interstate shipment, the equivalent of six full rooms with appliances.

Before you leave the old home, give the kids an address book to record friends’ names and addresses.

Let the kids take pictures of their old bedrooms. They can use them to set up their new rooms the same way, or just to remember.

Let the kids pack a small suitcase or backpack with toys or games to keep with them.

Kid-proof the new home as soon as you arrive. Put plugs in the sockets, gates across the stairs. Check bedroom and bathroom doors to make sure they don’t lock automatically with a child inside.

Bring the child’s permanent school records with you. Don’t forget

Telephone books for the city you’re leaving.

Your dry cleaning.

The items at the repair shop.

The contents of your safe deposit box.

The address of your new home. You must remember this

The garage door opener. Leave it for the new owners.

When AZ Movers van pulls up at the house across the street, here is some information to offer your new neighbor:

Names and addresses of a couple of nearby modestly priced restaurants, including a pizza place that delivers.

Location of the nearest video rental store, yogurt shop, hardware store, home center (Home Depot, Scotty’s, Builder’s Square) and discount store (Target, Wal-Mart).

Name and number of your plumber and electrician.

Location and phone number of the nearest hospital emergency room.

Trash pickup days.

Where to recycle.

You leave the house and immediately get the uncomfortable feeling that you’ve forgotten something. Perhaps you left the television on or, worse, something cooking on the stove.

Now imagine how you would feel if you were leaving your house for good – moving out of town – and had those worries.

That empty feeling is so common that Mayflower Transit has compiled a list of the most forgotten items in a move. As we approach the summer, traditionally dubbed the “moving season,” it should act as a helpful reminder, if you don’t lose it:

Don’t forget your medical records. Obtain copies of them, including dentist, veterinarian and vaccine/immunization information. If you have kids, you know you’ll need this. Remember, no health records, no school.

Make sure to get official copies of your child’s school records. You may need records with the school’s raised seal.

Pack the phone books from your old town. They can save you money on on directory assistance charges back home.

Don’t forget to complete transactions with local businesses, such as dry cleaning. I love this suggestion. It’s frustrating enough to forget to pick up a suit at the cleaners minutes away. Now think how you’d feel if the cleaners were 500 miles away.

Remember to get important documents from the safe deposit box. It also is a good idea to establish a checking account in your new town about a month prior to your move.

With the right mover, changing your venue won’t be a nightmare

It’s a moving experience, getting your belongings from one house to another. You pray the process goes smoothly and nothing moves you to tears.

Hiring the right company to transport household goods is a key element in making all those moves as worry-free as possible. The wrong choice could cost you money, damaged goods and peace of mind. Most moving pros – the movers and the movees – say a word-of-mouth recommendation from someone who has used the company is about the best way to find a reputable mover. And that’s a key word – reputable.

Gary Frank Petty, president and CEO of the National Moving & Storage Association, said that 12,000 moving companies advertise in the yellow pages of local phone directories across the country. “And there are tremendous variations in quality and professionalism,” according to Petty. “Probably 25 percent are marginal players.”

So doing your homework is essential. As Petty says, “hiring a moving company is very much a ‘buyer beware’ situation.” Trusting customers can get hurt by unscrupulous companies.

Don Wilson, regional manager for motor carrier enforcement of the Public Utilities Commission, said it’s important for consumers to be aware of the requirements the carrier has to meet, including giving a written estimate of costs. Wilson also says customers should know they have the option of purchasing additional insurance.

That is critical in the event of loss or damage. Moving companies are required to carry insurance based on 30 cents per pound per article. That would not be adequate coverage to replace the marble table top that goes crashing down the steps, for instance.

Whether you’re moving in or out of Phoenix AZ, or anywhere else, it is suggested you get competitive bids from at least three companies. “You want to be very careful of movers who focus in on the price. A great deal of discounting goes on in our business,” Petty said. Some companies want volume and will hurry up and get the move done — sometimes with untrained labor — instead of ethical companies that take the necessary time and use professional workers to do a good job. Also, ask for the names and phone numbers of people the companies have recently moved to serve as references.

Jay Duquette, president of Monroeville Moving & Storage Inc. (an agent for Mayflower Transit, Inc.), suggests shopping around because dishonest people are always lurking to take you for a ride.

Packing dishes, books and other items yourself can cut your bill in half. Get boxes from the liquor store or buy them.  Moving experts suggest that homeowners pack and carry valuables such as jewelry themselves.

When it comes to transporting items of great value such as paintings, antiques and the like, people may want to take extra care in making their decision on a moving company. Expertise in professional packing is essential for most people who own costly objects. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, for example, frequently moves musical instruments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars across the country on tour dates and within the Pittsburgh region.

Tri-State Transfer &Storage on the North Side is the company the PSO often calls to do the moving. Tonight after the Symphony Concert at Heinz Hall the company will pack and load about 100 cases that will be off to Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas for the PSO’s 2013 Spring Midwest Tour. This won’t be any run-of-the-mill moving van. The precious musical cargo will be loaded onto a personalized van — with the orchestra’s logo and a likeness of – who else? — Beethoven on the side.

Actually the Symphony’s contract is with Wheaton Interstate Moving, for which Tri-State is an agent. “We look for someone who is sensitive to our needs,” said Joe Beiro, the orchestra manager. “This is like moving fine art — a lot of these instruments are of great value and are irreplaceable because they are unique. Not everyone can satisfy our needs.”

While not everyone has priceless objects to pack — whatever your possessions, they’re yours and they mean something to you. This week Edna Billick moved from one section of North Huntingdon to another. She’s moved four times — including a relocation to Flordia — since 1989. This was her second move with Duquette. Despite packing and unpacking so many times it doesn’t get an easier for her. “It’s rough. You realize you have to take everything. Six weeks before I move I go room by room and box things. A friend takes them to the cellar.” Billick moved the smaller boxes herself and the van took the furniture.

It’s more difficult to pack than unpack. “There’s no deadline, you’re there and can take your time,” Billick said.

Take your time in finding your moving company in the first place. It will be entrusted with your dearest possessions and they should be handled with care.

“You have to know what you’re doing — either you know or you don’t,” said Jim Jamriska, the owner of Tri-State. “You’re not moving someone’s furniture, you’re moving their life.”

Some tips on moving

– Call moving companies phoenix as soon as you know you’re moving.

– Ask for references and written estimate.

– Consider buying extra insurance.

– Pack boxes yourself to save money.

– Pay by certified check rather than cash.

– Contact state or federal agencies with complaints.

Moving tips

Start contacting movers at least one month ahead of time. Keep in mind that moving in summer (particularly near the end of a month) is like flying at Christmas.

Select a company from references given by friends or co-workers, for example ShipSmart. Check the company with your local consumer protection agency for a history of complaints.

Be aware that when you hire a nationally known moving company for an interstate move, you need to check out that company’s local agent.

Unless you are just moving a few items locally, get a “binding” estimate in writing. Binding estimates mean you can’t be required to pay more when your goods are delivered unless additional services are required (such as the need to use elevators or carry things down a long driveway).

Non-binding estimates are initially cheaper but you can wind up paying much, much more.

Get a copy of a signed and dated binding estimate and make sure it includes any extra charges, such as packing, warehouse handling, storage, travel time, fuel surcharge and containers.

On interstate moves, ask to have pick-up and delivery dates and a dollars-per-day penalty for late delivery spelled out on your contract. If the company can’t guarantee a delivery date, ask the driver, when he arrives to pick up your things, how many loads he has, where he’s going and where your goods will be in the truck. That may give you an idea of your chances of an on-time delivery.

On all moves, get pickup and delivery dates in writing. Do not accept “as soon as possible” in lieu of dates.

Do not release your goods at the movers’ minimum liability limit of 10 or 30 or even 60 cents per pound per article. Should your video camera be lost or damaged you may collect less than $1. Ditto your grandmother’s Waterford vase.

When movers limit their liability, they are required by law to offer valuation alternatives. Be completely sure of the coverage you have before you move.

Ask to see the moving company’s certificate of insurance for Worker’s Compensation (without it you could be sued if an employee is injured). Also ask to see proof of the company’s liability insurance (without it the company may not be able to pay should you need to file a claim).

Interstate movers by law must give you a copy of the Carriers Annual Performance Report.

When packing, number each box and write on it the room into which it should be delivered but never write the contents on the box.

Make a separate list of each box number and the contents of each box.

Do not pack family heirlooms, expensive jewelry or anything that is irreplaceable. Take these with you.

If your goods need to be stored, be sure to inspect the storage facilities in person for signs of leakage, rodent or insect infestation, etc.

If you did not get a binding estimate on an interstate move, the law says you do not have to pay more than 110 percent of the estimated cost when your goods are delivered (plus or minus any change orders). Interstate moving companies are not allowed to keep any of your possessions if you pay that amount. Call police if the driver objects and attempts to withhold some of your goods. You have 30 days to pay the balance.

The above rule does not apply to local/intrastate moves.

Be sure to have at least two other persons on hand to help you when your goods are delivered.

Do not sign a receipt for your goods until you have inspected each delivered item, checked it off your own inventory list and made a note of damages or missing items on your own inventory and that of the driver. Action solves problems and gets answers for you.