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How to find your Mover – An informed Decision

Though this is an article about moving with the United states,I think ,may be some of these are universal facts and would be applicable when moving within any country.There are various sites that may give you most of these details ,though this article is a one stop shop for all that you need to know about moving.

It all began when one day my hubby confirmed that we have to move from  Rockford,IL.Rockford is not one of the easiest place to find things,one would assume since it is a smallish town it should be fairly easy to find the best services among st the available option.

And that really seems to be the problem!.Since it is a smaller place,things like movers /packers don’t really have offices out here and Chicago being one of the closest and larger cities,most of such services would have to be from there.

Fixing the Dates:

When I got to know the Dates ” I HAVE” to move,the first thing like anyone would do ,was to tell my home owners of my date to vacate the place! . OK,that’s the first mistake.More so if you are moving during the summer months .You need to first contact and fix the best possible date with movers and then confirm the dates with the home owners.Why ???Cos as most people find it easier to move in Summer during the vacation and also for the obvious reasons of weather conditions most of the movers are almost always booked .

Well I had to learn this from my this experience,what did I do? .Reverse, I fixed the date and informed the owners,only to realize that my dates were not working out for most the reputed movers.It was the ” IT” season for the movers and they were operating at maximum traffic.

Lesson #1

*****Fix dates,talk to movers,let Owners know about intent to move.When moving dates are  finalized  only then confirm dates with home owners.

Finding the right mover:

There are a lot of things one needs to know while finding the best mover.Now since I am from place outside US ,the words  Movers & Packers was synonymous to what the company was going to do for you,aka Movers will move the stuff you give them,Packer will pack the stuff you ask them to do, so the company you finally choose to allot the work to will do it all for one price and no specific differentiation is done between these tasks.Where are in US ,you can separate these 2 activities and choose to get done one or the other ,or both(Read Packing Vs Loading for  better understanding)

There fore when I was looking for Mover and Packers using the internet  it was pretty much throwing me a large quote since the distance was almost 1000 miles.Along with the  hassles of filling up a form online or  some times an excel sheet for the items check list ,so that the cost can be computed ,it would also include filling  in your address and phone number to get this quote.Which within a span of hours would be taken up by every known Movers and Packer in the country,each calling you for more information so that they can give quote.

Lesson #2

*****Do not enter details on any website which says it will give you quote.Most of these quotes are given by the brokering(see further) companies and therefore will not stand in the final negotiation.It is best to take the phone number of the carrier company and call them to schedule an appointment(Read further)

How to decide which Movers to ask for quotes:

This is very crucial,like mentioned earlier,if the dates and phone number are put on the internet you will be on the phone speaking to one Mover after the other and getting more and more confused about the right choice,each one will give you a reason why your last estimate was wrong and why they should be the provider you should go with.

In any case,you find any of them to be a genuine and good one,the best way to check their credentials is to ask for their DOT number & or MC number(US based data) and the COMPLETE name of their company.Beware!!,there will be many companies carrying the same name with little or no difference in the names .DOT number is unique and assigned by the US dept of Transportation,using this link http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/hhg/search.asp or https://www.protectyourmove.gov/ .

You can look up the  numbers of the company you would like more details about  like number of carriers,complaints ,type of complaints registered against the company etc.

Another website is,

http://www.bbb.org/credit-management/

this is more from the business perspective,but is a definetly a good place to look for reviews and about the credibility of the company.

For a more comprehensive list of top moving companies in US:http://www.moversreviewed.com/articles/100-largest-moving-companies-of-the-us-and-canada/,use this to decide which ones to begin with.

Once you have decide which of the companies you will be taking the quote from , there are a few key points which will decide the cost and quality of the service you would be provided with.

  • Cubic ft(ie the space that the stuff you want to move is gng to take on the truck) vs Ton(ie the weight of the stuff).
  • Broker vs Carrier Vs Forwarding :

Brokers basically have no vehicle of their own and they do not own any manpower/hardware etc,they simply facilitate the association between finding a carrier for you ,getting the quote and getting the carrier agent to pick the stuff from your place.Problem with this is that the Broker does not hold the cargo and has no responsibility of the cargo,there is also no control on the truck /transportation company that will be used to do the final move.

The Carrier on the other hand is the self handling service ,who will pick up the load from your place if they have their truck servicing that area or will send you on of their agent to do the same.The only problem with this approach is that the stuff might be held on the agents/carrier warehouse till the carrier truck finds its way into your area,if you plan well in advance this window can be shortened.Advantage is they are in full control of your cargo

Forwarding agent,is one who holds responsibility of your cargo,and arranges for the movement/truck but does not own trucks /vehicles therefore most times using for hire trucks.

        For further details:

https://www.protectyourmove.gov/consumer/awareness/glossary/glossary.htm#ff

Lesson #3

****Choose a  carrier company  that provides in your area either as  themselves or via registered agents(who will also be listed in the DOT site)

  • Sharing carrier vs own carrier

Most companies albeit carrier or broker tend to use large trucks for transportation ,where more than 1 households may be moved my allotting spaces on the racks setup .There fore based on the numbers of destination, the time taken to reach destination may alter.But the carrier manager as well as the driver of the vehicle carrying your cargo will contact you once the cargo is on board to let know of the dates of delivery once the item has been picked from your place.But nonethless there is a delay and may not be on the dot,in comparison to using your own carrier,ie one for hire where you have total control on the time ,owing to traffic ,weather and such uncontrollables and may be a better choice when it comes to moving locally or for same day distance.Some of the mover/broker also provide the loading /unloading services,alongside own carrier options there fore making it a more viable option for shorter distance moves.

Lesson #4

******Sharing carrier works best for whole household moving over more than half a days drive.

  • Online vs walk in estimates

Most of the time when we have decided that we have to move,we are looking to decide if it is a expensive option  to use a moving service.Well movers are surely  a more expensive that moving yourself,but the best way would be to invite the agents for a personal visit so they can estimate the size of your cargo and any special needs etc and them give you an estimate.On the flip side along with many  other appointments in your calendar you will have to make one for the agent to come visit your place,as against the online agent,who will either ask you to fill the excel sheet which you might miss a few things here and there or will call up and ask you to give each and every details you can memorize which takes about 30mts a call.

Lesson #5

***** walk in estimates by the agents are mostly provided by carriers and not a charged service,it is best to get them before taking a final decision.

Lesson #6

******Get atleast 3-4 quotes before taking a decision.

  • Binding  Vs Unbinding:

 Once the inventory has been review by the company ,along with the any special request etc a quote will be provided to you,which would contain details as to how much the estimated weight would be,any special packing,flight of stairs etc,distance to be traveled, estimated Date Range of arrival etc.Now in an unbinding quote,mostly given by brokers,they would give you an estimate price,and once the loading is done,they will take their vehicle back to the weighing station and based on more weight, the difference will have to be paid.Some of them allow the owner to travel back with the truck to weigh the cargo or one has to just rely on them.In a binding quote,once the quote has been given and the agreement done between the Moving company and the owner,it does not change even if the weight changes from the estimate,some of them even lower their cost if the weight is less than estimated.Therefore you are not in for any surprise once your cargo is with the moving company.

Lesson #7

****Binding estimates definetly is a better choice.

  • Packing Vs Loading:

Having  understood packing to be  the service provider would pack everything I would ask them to,and loading to be that, they would provide the manpower to load into the truck synonymous to mover.

There ,was I wrong!! when it comes to packing I was right,but when it comes to loading I wasn’t,most of the people who were either  the mover/packer provider would pack each and every furniture item that we had not in boxes in their own packing material/boxes or what ever it takes to move the items without damaging. Isn’t that fantastic,you need not really worry about packing the large stuff like your Sofa ,Bed,dresser,Dining table etc.That is quite a relief!!

To top it they do not charge you extra for any packing material used by them since they would be taking it all back ,unless there are special items which needs custom packing like Glass/Mirrors.

Lesson #8

****Ask if packing materials will be charged,let know there are mirror/glass that will need to be detached and packed,if not doing o your own.

  • Miscellaneous terms that effect the final price.

One point which needs to be talked before agreeing for the quote,is to ask with any extra charges with respect to number of flights of stairs,distance from the truck to the entrance .Each of these are charged in case the distance is more

for eg one of my quote included 135 $$ for each flight of stairs,so to be on safe side

Lesson #9

*** Discuss the availability of lift or number of stairs,possibility of Larger Canter(vehicle that carries your stuff ) needing to parked at larger distance at both your destination and origin.

Having got a quote,and dates being fixed is early 30% of task completed.

Before the D day

  1. Most moving companies will call a couple of days before the agreed date for the confirmation of the same and give you the name of the person who will be doing the pickup,if that does not happen one needs to call up the company and make sure they remember the contract and have assigned a pick up truck /agent for the same and gives u his/her contact number.
  2. Make sure all rooms are packed ,before the movers arrive
  3. A day before the move call the truck for confirmation of the time of move ,if they dont call you first.

Final Moving:

  1. Make sure you carry all the valuable and documents on your own ,and not to put into the movers boxes.The good movers are reliable but even they don’t guarantee a 100% fool proof plan and would coax you into taking insurance for protect yourself against any calamities.
  2. Separate luggage u are carrying personally from the ones that will be cargoed,
  3. Mark each box with a Room code/Item  for instance-Room1/books.Keep track of what exists in the box my writing on top,so the FRAGILE items are also known to the movers so they can place it safely too.
  4. Be with the movers ,it works best if there in one person monitoring the people ,boxing any stuff inside the home and one person who monitors the person who is taking the inventory.
  5. Make an inventory list of your own-Which mentioned items boxed by you,and number of boxes in each room and add the items packed by the mover.-There fore you have your own final tally.
  6. The Moving company inventory list is very practical and thorough,therefore all you need to do is tally the number of boxes/ items in ur list with the final numbers in their list.
  7. A copy of the final inventory will be given to you,if not it is best to ask for it.

Shake you hands,and you are good to go!.

90% of the work is done here.The moving company will contact you when they have arrived at the destination/are due to arrive at the destination and setup and appointment to do the final deliver.

This is the time when your inventory list will be help ful,as the boxes come in cross out the box from ur list.This will help you to know whats in and whats on its way.

Named boxes can be redirected to the rooms planned when it is being unloaded,so it saves one the task of moving on your own.Items packed by the moving company will be unpacked by them as well.

Check for any missing boxes,tally the numbers ,check for damages.Note any damage in the moving final contract/bill.

The Move is completed!!!

I used Bekins for my move and they did an exemplary job!!

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Experiences

 

100 Days of School -Project

On the occasion of 100 days of school,basically 100 working days of this 2010-2011 Academic year,my daghters school asked each families to come up with a 100 Project.Which means we have to send 100 of something in a jar or poster ,and the family to spend time together to do this.

Originally my plans included doing Funny Trivia’s About 100 Countries of the world along side the Flags,since the time allotted to us was not sufficient enough and since my better half was out of town ,there fore not available to help ,we cut is short into just Flags of a  100 countries of the world.

Also posting here some Trivia’s I had collected for the initial Idea.

  1. JAPAN:Streets in Japan do not have names.
  2. Sweden has more telephones per capita than any country on earth.
  3. Switzerland has the highest per-capita consumption of soft drinks in the world.
  4. The Canary Islands were not named after a bird called the canary. They were named after a breed of dogs!
  5. Brazil is named after the brazil nut.
  6. The Greek National anthem has 158 verses!
  7. The University of Alaska stretches over 4 time zones.
  8. Singapore has only one train station.
  9. Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined.
  10. Persia changed its name to Iran in 1935.
  11. One percent of Greenland’s population lives in a single apartment building!1
  12. Mexico City is sinking at a rate of 18 inches per year!It is illegal for tourists to enter Mexico with more than 2 CD’s!In Mexico, the Tooth Fairy is known as the ‘Tooth Mouse’.In Mexico City, the average square yard of a sidewalk contians about 70 discarded gums.
  13. In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.In Britain 70% mothers go to work.
  14. Istanbul, Turkey is the only city in the world located on two continents.There are no turkeys in Turkey.
  15. Israel is one quarter the size of the state of Maine.The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
  16. India has a Bill of Rights for cows.In what country will you find the most Universities? India.ndia never invaded any country in her last 10000 years of history.
  17. In Tibet it is considered good manners to stick out your tongue at someone.
  18. Iceland has no railway system or army!
  19. Honolulu is the only place in the United States that has a royal palace.
  20. Austria was the first country to use postcards.
  21. At their closest point, the Russian and U.S. borders are less than two miles apart,Russia has the most movie theaters in the world.The world’s largest country is Russia,The country with the most neighbors is Russia with 16
  22. 80% of 10 year old girls in the U.S. go on a diet.
  23. Tasmania is said to have the cleanest air in the world.
  24. Before toilet paper was invented, French royalty wiped their bottoms with fine linen.Interesting Facts is that France has the highest per capita consumption of cheese.France is the most visited country in the world.
  25. Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.
  26. More than 25% of the world’s forests are in Siberia.
  27. Europe is the only continent without a desert.
  28. Australia:Kangaroos can not walk backwards.here are twice as many kangaroos in Australia as people.
  29. People might eat oats when they’re hungry, but people from Hungary don’t eat oats.
  30. The smallest country is Nauru with 21,2 square km.Nauru is the only country in the world with no official capital.
  31. Laos is the most bombed country in the world
  32. Norway is the world’s third largest oil exporter.
  33. City with the most Rolls Royces per capita: Hong Kong.
  34. Japan is the largest exporter of frog’s legs,he average Japanese watches an average of 4 hours and 29 minutes of television every day—the highest in the world. At only four lines long, the Japanese national anthem is the shortest national anthem
  35. Germany:Europe’s largest economy.
  36. Maine is the toothpick capital of the world.
  37. Abkhazia is the most recent independent country in the world 2008
  38. Angel Falls in Venezuela is the worlds highest waterfall,
  39. Somalia is the most corrupt country
  40. The most populous country is China,China became the world’s biggest producer of gold
  41. The country with the highest percentage of women members of the parliament is Rwanda
  42. The largest oil-producing country is Saudi Arabia
  43. Afganistan:Only 7% of homes in Afghanistan have flushing toilets.
  44. Nepal:moutn everest
  45. Newzealnad:Students on their exams are allowed to use text-messaging language.In New Zealand, there are four sheep for each person.
  46. Belgium is the world’s largest diamond center
  47. Finland has been ranked the least corrupt country for several consecutive year
  48. In Uganda, 50% of the population is under 15 years of age.
  49. The Falkland Islands have a human population of around 2,000 but a sheep population of 700,000, making 350 sheep for each person.
  50. Over 800 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea
  51. The most densely populated is Bangladesh
  52. The country of Liberia was founded as a voluntary haven for freed American slaves
  53. Tonga once issued a postage stamp in the shape of a banana.
  54. Roads on the Pacific island of Guam are made with coral.
  55. Only around 35 per cent of Iraqi women are literate.
  56. A church in the Czech republic houses a chandelier made of human bones.
  57. In Bhutan , all citizens become a year older on new year’s Day.
  58. The Maldives has the highest marriage rate per head in the world.
  59. In most countries, if you nod your head it mean “yes”. But in Bulgaria and Albania it means “no”.
  60. There is a place in Norway called A
  61. The tallest mountain in Argentina is called “Aconcagua”.
  62. Damascus, the capital of Syria, is the oldest capital city in the world.
 
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Posted by on February 3, 2011 in Experiences, Projects outside Kitchen

 

First Snow Fall

There are a few things in life that are so mesmerising ,one of which is a SNOW FALL.Though I had come across accumulated snow a couple of times,never had I in my life ever experienced a phenomenon and pretty as this.

It was on  the 30th of November 2010,evening when I was going to get my daughter from school,there was a hint of snow flakes on the ground and I was sad I had missed the first batch of snow,then realised from the weather report that this was called the “flurries”(A brief, light snowfall) and over the night I could see light showers but not enough to accumalate.

Morning on Dec 1st was a pretty sight,as I was preparing for another working day making breakfast,I could see the thickening of the clouds and the winds carrying larger snow flakes .While I went to drop off Avni ,they landed on my face and head and it was very tingling feeling,a very soft feeling.

Back in the safe warmth of my home,looking outside through my balcony,I could see that the snow fall was getting thicker and they were begining to accumulate every where.

What I saw through my balcony reminded me of those old Hindi movies.My Balcony looks into a row of pine trees and the winds that were carrying the snow fall looked like those Bollywood 1970s movies,where they used to throw thermocol in front of a fan /air to get the romantic enviroment of the snow fall for the songs :).

Its a pretty sight and I as inspired by this beauty of nature and my hubby tells me this is just the begining and there is more to come,I say “Bring it on”!.


 
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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Experiences, Uncategorized, Weather

 
 
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