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Helping Hands Blog

Blog

Moving Tips During COVID-19

Posted on March 24, 2020 at 10:49 AM Comments comments ()
COVID-19 (also known as the “Corona Virus”), has landed our country in a serious situation. A huge percentage of businesses, both small and large, are forced to cease operations while the country practices social distancing and self-isolation. The moving industry falls into a category which is considered essential – especially for those who cannot wait. How does moving during a pandemic work? And more importantly—are moving services even still available?

Below, we’ll go over some of the biggest questions about moving during the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to keep you educated, prepared and calm in this stressful time.

Are Moving Services Available during COVID-19?
While things are changing daily, the current answer yes. Many moving companies have decided to cease operations at this time, but there has been no official word that they MUST discontinue services. If you have already scheduled your move and haven’t heard anything, it might be best to call and confirm that the company is still offering moving services. 

Because the future is unknown, you might want to keep your move scheduled while the services are still available. Cancelling an upcoming move might result in an extended holding period should the government suspend moving services.  For now, we recommend that you research local moving companies and ask about their safety protocols.

You can expect that the moving company has added extra safety measures to their services including frequent hand washing among movers and no physical contact between movers and clients.

Are Storage Services Available?
It’s best to reach out to the storage company for this answer. Like moving companies, storage facilities have not been asked to cease operations. However, individual locations might have changed their hours of operations or even a implemented a reduction to the amount of individuals allowed into the units at one time.

Important Tips for Moving During COVID-19
The rules and health regulations are changing daily when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing is certain, the health of the customer AND moving crew is TOP priority. Here is list of tips, provided by AMSA, for making your move go as smoothly as possible during this difficult time.

Be transparent. Don’t move if you’re sick. The main rule with COVID-19 is to stay home if you’re sick. If you’re experiencing any symptoms at all, please reach out to your mover and let them know. Most moving companies will work with you to ensure that you get to reschedule accordingly or take extra precautionary measures to get the job done safely.  

Provide sanitation products for the crew. Many moving companies are already adding sanitation protocols to their moving vehicles, but it might be helpful to prep your home as well so that they can easily sanitize their hands and surfaces frequently during the move. That includes leaving antibacterial soap and paper towels by the sink and a bottle of hand sanitizer by the door.

Purchase new boxes. You may not have budged for this, but it’s important. The virus can live on cardboard up to 24 hours. We recommend calling your moving company and asking to purchase new boxes which have not been previously used or recycled. If they don’t have any new boxes in stock, check with local stores.

Cancel your move if you’re considered “high-risk”. The COVID-19 virus can be lethal if you’re considered high-risk. We know that cancelling or rescheduling a move can be inconveniencing, but please consider this option if you’re: over 60, have diabetes, cancer, pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.

If you need to cancel, please try to give notice. Most moving companies are small businesses trying to survive during this difficult time. They understand the need to cancel, but it’s best to give enough time so that they can schedule other jobs or re-schedule your move accordingly.

If you educate yourself and learn the best practices for staying healthy, your move should be safe and stress-free. For every move, both the mover and the customer must practice social distancing and sanitation protocols. If you have any questions, please reach out and we will help you to the best of our ability! 

Moving Scams to Avoid During Moving Season

Posted on May 21, 2015 at 11:24 AM Comments comments ()

While people move during all times of the year, spring and summer are extremely busy and officially considered “moving season”. If you are moving during this time, be sure to look out for moving “scams”, which can really hurt your wallet and hinder your move.
#1 Availability
This moving issue can be one of two things: a scam or an accident. Either way, it’s a serious setback. If you are renting a truck from a large company, such as Penske or UHaul, when you arrive to pick up your truck, it is not available. This could be for several reasons. Poor administration is the top reason. Many companies will book your reservation without looking at the actual inventory for that day. This type of poor customer service can leave you stranded without a truck, which will delay your move.
On the other hand, the issue could be simply due to the fact that the previous customers were not timely in returning the truck. How can you avoid this?  Seek a rental truck company that offers guarantees. That way you are guaranteed a truck to get you started on your move!
#2 Hidden Fees
If you have decided to hire an actual moving company to conduct your move, be sure that this moving company has good reviews and no hidden fees. Many moving companies are notorious for giving a set price or quote, loading your belongings onto the truck and then upping the price on the customer. What is even worse is that if you refuse to pay their higher quote, the company will they threaten to sell your belongings.
A good moving company will give you prices up front, whether they have a flat rate or an hourly rate. Ask if there are any fuel or trip charges involved with the move. Avoid any issues by hiring a company that is with the BBB – they are usually honest and reliable.
#3 Damaged Items
A good moving company will arrive with a “pre-existing damages” form. This form should be noted with any scratches, dents or scuffs which are discovered as the items are being wrapped or loaded onto the truck. You, as the customer, can sign this form to acknowledge the damages were there prior to the move. This form not only protects the moving company, it also protects the customer.

Hosting a Moving Garage Sale

Posted on March 27, 2015 at 9:16 AM Comments comments ()
Moving is a stressful and overwhelming time. Many families are faced with an overload of THINGS. Should you pack everything and take it with? Sometimes, the answer is "NO". It's time to clean house. This is when a moving sales can benefit your family. You are able to purge on things that are cluttering your home, while making some extra cash!

Here are some tips for hosting a successful Moving Garage Sale:

Tip 1. Sort into Piles
My piles are very simple: What to Keep, What to Sell, and What to Donate. You can go from room to room and sort in this fashion until you have accumulated a significant pile of things to sell!
Tip 2. Invite Friends
The bigger the sale, the more people will stop to browse. Invite all of your friends and family members to join your moving sale in order to benefit everybody.
Tip 3. Opt for a Weekend
Weekends are usually the best days to host a garage sales. When you advertise the dates on your ad or signs, be sure to include the start and end time. You'll have early birds show up, so be prepared early. If you select a Sunday, be sure to start early and end later - many people go to church and will visit before or after.
Tip 4. Thinking of Parking
You'll probably have times where there are many families at once browsing through your garage sale. It is best to host your garage sale at a location that offers enough parking for shoppers. If a person can't find a parking spot, they will mostly continue driving until they find the next sale! If your home doesn't have plenty of space for shoppers to park, consider finding another location. 

A moving garage sale is the best way to free up some space for your new home while making some extra money! Contact Helping Hands Moving for more moving and storage tips!

Importance of Furniture Pads

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM Comments comments ()
It happens all the time. We tell our customers of the importance of furniture pads before every job. Unfortunately, when we arrive to the job, there isn't a pad in sight. This can be devastating for a move. Basically no furniture is safe without the protection of a furniture pad.  Furniture pads/quilts are one of the most important essentials for a successful move and are top priority when it comes to protecting your belongings. 

If you are renting a truck from a company such as U-Haul or Penske, you have the option to rent furniture pads. Typically these cost $15/dozen which is a reasonable cost considering that the safety of your furniture and belongings are at stake.

If you are using the service of PODS or ABF, then you might have a little bit of trouble as these companies don't offer furniture pad rental services. You'll have to purchase them, which can be a little more costly. If this is the case for you, try calling around to local moving companies and see if they have any furniture pads to sell at a lower cost. 

Exactly how many furniture pads do you need?

Each move is unique, and has different requirements. We recommend a dozen furniture pads per every bedroom, sometimes more to be on the safe side. We have also seen the recommendation of a dozen pads per every 5 feet of space, which is also good.  Changes to this advice should be made:

  • When utilizing ABF U-Pack trailers. These trailers use spring ride suspension and tend to bounce around a lot.
  • If the majority of your house is furniture, specifically antique and dark wood.
  • If you will be completing a long distance move (over 350 miles away)
  • If you have a lot of glass, breakable items, mirrors, etc. 

Moving with Kids - Tips and Advice

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 11:44 AM Comments comments ()
Everybody knows that moving is a stressful time. Even if you are excited about the move, the process is a lot to handle. This stress can be even worse on children. Many children dread moving. It means saying goodbye to friends and family, in many cases. It's also hard to adjust, even if you are moving across town. Here are some tips to help avoid a stressful moving situation for your children:

1. Take Your Time.  The best thing that you can do, if possible, is to stretch the move into several days. Begin packing way in advance. Let your children help with the packing (and box labeling, etc.). If you move your entire house in one day, children don't grasp what is going on. It also exhausts the parents and children, causing a very grumpy few days after the move. If you are only moving locally, ask if you can move some boxes in prior to the actual "big move". This helps to transition and it also is a big stress reliever for adults as well.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for help. This is definitely the time to ask for a play date or hire a fun baby sitter. Keeping your children occupied during the move will help distract them from the drama and it will also give you some free time to concentrate on the task at hand: moving!
3. Decorating!  Your child may feel like leaving their old room behind is a very hard thing to do. If you can, let them decorate their new room! What color paint would they like for the walls? Where would they like the bed placed? This type of thing can really help with anxiety over a new home or room. Plus it's a great way to bond with your child and really make them excited for the move.
4. Keep in touch!  If you're moving out of state or town, help your child to understand that they can still keep in touch with friends or relatives. I suggest making self addressed envelopes to hand out. Your child will love getting mail at the new house and will also enjoy coloring pictures or writing letters to send back. 

Planning a Long Distance Move

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM Comments comments ()
Moving is stressful and a lot of work. All of this is multiplied when your move is out of town. If you are moving to a new city, my advice to you is to prepare yourself ahead of time. Take a look at the information below in order to ready yourself for a long distance move.
Long Distance Moves:
  1. The first thing to do is to look up local moving companies and get moving estimates. I recommend looking at their reviews and websites to make sure that they are a reputable moving company. Gather quotes and don’t be afraid to price shop.
  2. Ask the mover if they can come to your house for a visual estimate.  Over the phone quotes may seem simple but you should meet the movers and make sure that they know all of the details. Are stairs involved? How many boxes are needed for packing? All of these questions can be answered by professional movers.
  3. Packing Time!  If you want your long distance move to be “all inclusive”, simply ask your mover. Whether you are packing yourself or you have hired your movers to help, be sure to organize everything. I also recommend setting anything extremely fragile aside. Point it out to your mover or even bring it in the car with you for the drive. I know it’s hard but throw things away that you don’t need. Donate to a local organization! This will help you to clear clutter and will help your new home to be organized as well.
  4. Don’t forget to change your moving address. Forward all mail and be sure to contact any banks or credit card companies so that the statements are routed to the new location. Cancel any magazine or newspaper subscriptions and make a list of utilities that need to be cancelled as well. Make a list of phone numbers and companies and just go down the list to update each one.  
 
In the midst of all of this hectic moving stress, take a breather and get to know your new town! Take a weekend trip to check out your new town, ask around to find some new great shops or restaurants. Moving doesn’t have to be so stressful, especially if you leave it up to the professional movers!

Moving & Packing Essentials: Packing Supplies

Posted on August 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM Comments comments ()
Moving is a stressful time, one that quite possibly means that your items will be damaged if you don't package and box them correctly. How can you be sure that you're doing the best you can when you are packing up your house? Here are some great moving and packing tips:

Take inventory of everything in your house. Make a list which names everything fragile or special - items which will require special attention when packing. Heavy and awkward items should also be listed and mentioned to your local mover. Once your list is complete, it's time to go supply shopping.

Moving and packing supplies can be purchased anywhere. I recommend asking your local mover for their prices or if they recommend any local stores. You can even purchase your moving supplies online, however you'd have to pay shipping. If you start preparing in advance, you should have plenty of time to price shop. 

If you're not interested in spending money for boxes, ask your local grocery store. Wine/liquor stores also have boxes with handles and they are generally durable as well. Ask the manager a few weeks in advance if he/she has any boxes. Usually they will set some aside for your or give you the days that they get big deliveries. Keep in mind that the larger the box, the more difficult it is to secure fragile items.

If you have a larger house, here are some supplies that we recommend having on hand to pack everything safely:

  • 15 Small Moving Boxes
  • 8 Medium Moving Boxes
  • 8 Large Moving Boxes
  • 5 Heavy Duty Boxes
  • 3 Wardrobe Boxes
  • Newspaper
  • 1 Container of Bubble
  • 1 Black Marker (for Labeling Boxes)
  • 3-4 Rolls of Clear Tape

Contact your local moving company and give them a run down of the items in your house. They can give you a good idea of the supplies that you need. They can also give a quote for packing services if you don't want to pack yourself!

Moving Company Woes: The Hidden Fees

Posted on June 1, 2012 at 10:33 AM Comments comments ()
Picture this:  You finally select a moving company, schedule a date for pickup and delivery, and finalize the details. Fast forward to moving day and you're standing in front of your new home with all of your belongings locked inside a moving truck. The moving company has added hundreds of dollars with of "hidden" charges and fuel charges that you hadn't counted on. This is the story for millions of people that have hired a "professional" moving company.

Helping Hands Moving does not have any "hidden" fees. We will tell you the charges up front and even give you the price per hour if your job goes over the scheduled time frame. We will honestly tell you if there is a travel fee (which is common for Miami/Dade county".

There are generally extra charges for:
  • Pool Tables
  • Hot Tubs
  • Pianos

However, Helping Hands Moving is known for their ability to help local customers complete their move as quickly, efficiently and cost effectively as possible. 

Moving Advice for Summer Moves

Posted on April 25, 2012 at 8:44 AM Comments comments ()
Moving Advice
If you're feeling panicked about your upcoming move - take a deep breath and follow the below list. This is the stuff to do as soon as possible - get it out of the way and continue on with your move!

1). Moving Company

Do a little research and ask a ton of questions. Your moving company should be reliable with great reviews. Don't just go with the cheapest company - find one that offers a reasonable price and that you can trust.

2). Visit your Local Good Will:

If you have plenty of time you can have a garage sale, but if you're pressed for time, donate to those that need it! Don't bring things that you don't want on a move. Extra belongings equal time and money during the move. 

3). Finding Boxes:

If you want to purchase boxes we recommend U-Haul. If you want them for free, try your local grocery stores and liquor stores. They have sturdy, durable boxes - generally with handles. 

4). No More Food:

The last few days before the move you may find yourselves eating out - who has time to cook during a move anyways? Don't worry about it - stop going to the grocery store. Anything that you don't eat will be wasted anyways.

5). Stretch it Out:

Many people exhaust themselves by packing for an entire day. We recommend doing a little bit every night so that it doesn't feel so painful. Start with one room and work your way around the house.

6). Reserve the Elevator:

This is a huge thing - especially if you're hiring a moving company. If your move involves elevators, be sure to reserve them! Coordinate this with your movers to avoid any issues which may hold up your move.


Tips for Moving with Children

Posted on March 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM Comments comments ()
Moving is a stressful time for parents, however it is equally as stressful for children. If you have finally sealed the deal on an upcoming move, it's time to work with your children on understanding why you are moving as well as how they can help so that they feel involved as well. Here are a few good tips for moving with children:

Have a Family Conference - Set a time and date and sit everybody down (most likely over dinner) to inform everybody of the plans. Explain why you are moving and how it will impact the entire family. This move, whether near or far, will impact your children so be sure to explain all of the details.

Show them the New Home - Once you have explained all of the details, give the kids a visual! Take them to the new home (if they haven't already seen it) and ask for their feedback. Allow them to feel like they are making decisions "Where would you want your bed?" "What color do you want your room?". 

Cut the Clutter - This is a great time go purge and disregard anything that the kids don't need. Give them 2 bags - one for garbage and one for donations and let them sort through their belongings. Sometimes giving an incentive really works: "I know you like that new toy so if you can clear two bags filled with old toys we will have room for the new toy!". Many children also take pride in giving children in need some toys as well!

Organize a Yard Sale - Children love the idea of making money (whether it's a few dollars or a few hundred!). If your child is just learning the value of money, a yard sale is a great way for them to participate. They can set up their own table and sell their toys or belongings (of course, with the help of mom and dad). 




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