Our Current Blog Articles
April 10, 2018
How to Choose the Right Professional Moving Company
Moving is one of life's more stressful activities, largely because it's such a massive disruption.
Think about how much missing your morning coffee can throw off your day and that's a pretty minor routine. Moving disrupts not only all of your routines but those of your significant other and kids. Their stress piles on top of your stress.
The last thing you need in the middle of all of that is a dishonest moving company that doesn't do the job properly or tries to overcharge you.
Granted, the law will come down on some of them. Over on the East Coast, the Maryland attorney general actually penalized one moving company to the tune of over half a million dollars.
Of course, you're still better off getting the right moving company up front and avoiding the hassle.
So let's dig in and look at some tips for picking the right movers.
Hire a Local Moving Company
It's tougher for a local company to scam customers.
For example, if the company is a fantasy that only exists on the internet, a drive to their "office" will expose the ruse. In fact, you should plan on visiting the office of whatever mover you pick before you officially hire them or agree to sign a contract.
Chat with the person at the front desk. Ask the owner or sales rep to show you the trucks and loading equipment. Ask how long the crew members have worked as movers on average. A reputable mover shouldn't balk at these questions or struggle to answer most of them.
You should walk away from this meeting with good feelings about your choice. If you walk away feeling wary, move on to another mover.
Get Several Estimates
Most movers will offer tentative quotes on their websites. A reputable moving company will wait until they do an in-person review before committing to a quote.
Make sure you get at least three or four of these in-person quotes. It helps you establish a baseline range.
Assuming you ask for identical services from all the movers, their quotes should sit in the same neighborhood. A very low or very high quote should serve as a warning sign.
Watch out for movers who don't ask questions. At the very least, they should ask what's going and what isn't. If you want packing help or need supplies to do it yourself.
Moving costs are primarily weight-based. So, the estimate will change based on whether you plan on taking those solid oak bookcases or not.
Check Out the Company with the DOT
Companies that offer interstate moves must register with the Department of Transportation. The DOT makes this information publicly available and you can search for your mover. Your mover might display their DOT number on their website.
If a mover offers interstate services and you can't find them in the DOT database, they're either running a scam or moving people illegally. Either way, steering clear is your best bet.
Look for the Online Reviews from Prior Customers
Most moving companies can produce references and glowing testimonials, but you must take those with a grain of salt. No business owner in his or her right mind will direct you to someone holding a grudge.
Dig deep into those reviews. An overall good rating can mask specific complaints.
Maybe prior customer found the actual pickup and delivery sound, but the crew was rude.
Say you plan on using a company's packing service. Scour those reviews for references to the packing services.
Were people happy with the care the movers took? Did things arrive broken? Was the company responsive and proactive to address issues?
If you can't find specific information on the services you want, look for places to post questions for former customers.
Getting as much information as you can upfront limits the nasty surprises later.
Watch Out for Big Deposits
Some very reliable movers ask for a deposit before starting. Fuel and employees cost money, after all.
On the whole, though, these deposits are small. Think in the neighborhood of 15%-20%. It's more of a good faith payment than anything else.
A majority of movers don't ask for any deposit ahead of time. They collect their pay on delivery or by invoice.
It's a bad omen if you run across a mover who asks for a large deposit up front. Even if they are legitimate, they're probably cash-starved with their business teetering on the brink. You don't want your home packed up on a truck when the business closes forever.
The more likely scenario when someone asks for a big deposit is some kind of scam. Walk away and don't look back. You'll save yourself a world of headaches.
Pick a Mover with Straightforward Fees
There are certain scenarios where a mover will charge you extra because of the hassles involved.
Say, for example, you currently live in a 3-story Victorian house with narrow stairs. Bringing things down the narrow stairs from the second and third floors won't prove easy. You can expect a fee for that.
A good mover will typically charge a flat fee for these kinds of problems. At the very least, they'll tell you the fees as part of the estimate.
If you live in a house with tricky features and the mover doesn't mention the hassle fees during the estimate, ask. Their estimate might already include the fees or it might not.
Dishonest movers will sometimes wait until after your house gets packed up before hitting you with all the fees. Essentially, they hold your stuff as a hostage. It's illegal, but it happens.
Parting Thoughts on Picking the Right Moving Company
Choosing the right professional moving company is equal parts information and intuition.
You want a mover that operates locally, gets good reviews online, and as the right licenses. You also want a mover that asks pertinent questions and gives a quote that's in the same neighborhood as the other quotes.
At a certain point, though, you must also feel good about the mover. They shouldn't struggle with basic questions or seem cash-starved. It's always better to walk away from a business that gives you a bad vibe.
Five Star Moving & Storage offer long distance, residential and commercial moving and storage services. For more information about our services or for a free quote, contact us today.
March 13, 2018
Top Packing Mistakes to Avoid When Moving
5 Star Moving and Storage in Colorado Springs wants to share our list of the top packing mistakes to avoid when moving so you can have an easier and less hectic experience. Our professional movers and packers have seen it all and know what it takes to ensure a successful move. Today, let’s talk packing mistakes to avoid when moving so you can focus on the adventure of getting settled in your new place.
We have all been guilty of a little procrastination, but when it comes to a move, just say no. The risks are just too high. Whether you have professional packers helping out or are on your own schedule for moving, waiting until the last minute to pack is the worst way to make a start in a new place. Instead, start early with a little packing every day. At least pack a few items every day to keep the process going. Also, start with the things you will not use for a while.
No Packing Strategy
Instead of just randomly starting to pack up your home, formulate a plan that includes a calendar of the days until the move. Write a list and start crossing off the least essential rooms first. That way, you will see the timeline and will not fall victim to an unruly packing disaster. Everything will feel more organized with a master plan in place.
Packing without Sorting
Sure, you can just pack absolutely everything you own without sorting any of it out, but you’ll inevitably end up keeping items you no longer need or want if you do so. Who wants to pay to take extra junk with you when moving to a new home? Instead, sort out items you can part with first, before packing them up. This is going to save you time, money, and space on both ends, leaving and arriving.
Even though you think that you will remember what’s inside of each and every box, it’s a very difficult feat to actually accomplish. Instead, simply make a label, color-coded or not, to state what it contains. This is also going to help when you are getting assistance from others, so they will know where to place the boxed once inside the new residence.
Saying No to Extra Hands
Turning away help is one of the biggest packing mistakes to avoid when moving. Say yes to friends and family who want to pitch in, order a pizza and make it a party. Also, consider the many benefits of hiring professional movers to do the heavy lifting. You will be glad you did.
Running Out of Supplies
Instead of running low on supplies, grab extra packing supplies such as boxes and padding, so that you will be prepared to finish the packing job without having to stop and go out to get more. There may be no other more frustrating experience than to have to stop what you are doing to drive back to the home improvement store because you ran out of boxes and bubble wrap.
Packing the Wrong Way
Yes, there is a right and wrong way to pack your household items. Check out these tips to learn just what to do and what not to do while packing up your home.
Disassemble furniture as much as possible. The worst thing that can happen during the move is to find something broken, especially when it could have been prevented. Be sure to take apart anything that will come apart, including large and small furniture and anything that you assembled when you initially bought it. Besides preventing breakage, this just makes it easier to move items around.
Be sure to reinforce all boxes, especially if you plan to pack weighty items inside. Even though it is a simple rule to follow, it will save you a ton of hassles during the moving process. Your moving company and extra helping hands will thank you too.
Keep in mind this pretty basic rule of packing: place heavier items in small to medium boxes and lightweight items into large boxes. We know that it can be tempting to put all of one type of item into the same box even if it ends up weighing a ton. But avoid this impulse and only place heavy items into smaller boxes. A general rule of thumb is a max weight of 50lbs. per box and that is even pushing it. This rule especially applies to books which are typically some of the heaviest items in our home.
Remember that fragile items require a difference packing procedure than other items with less breakable construction. This is where having extra packing materials is going to help protect your breakables during the move. Soft packing paper and bubble wrap do wonders to safeguard valuables.
Hazardous and Delicate Items
This may be a no-brainer, but we have to mention it. One of the biggest packing mistakes to avoid when moving is improper handling of hazardous materials, perishables, plants or pets. If you are going to transport any of these items, they must be inside of your vehicle and not that of the moving company. These are all very delicate items that need extra special care, so never entrust them to anyone else.
Anything that is flammable, corrosive or explosive should simply be given away to friends or neighbors. Plants are fragile as you know and will need protection especially if it is cold. And obviously, pets require crates, kennels, food, water, etc. to relocate comfortably. Even in a crate or kennel, it’s not safe or humane for them to be stowed in a moving truck, even a short distance. They will need to ride with you.
No Essentials Kit
Don’t forget to pack essentials for a night’s stay or two. This should include a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, medications, relevant paperwork, change of clothes, kitchen utensils and cups for water, non-perishable foods/snacks, and whatever else you may need in case you cannot access packed belongings for a few days. You will be glad that you have this all set and ready to go ahead of time.
By knowing a few of the top packing mistakes to avoid when moving, you are going to have a better experience doing so. We are glad that you took the time to read our article. Do not hesitate to ask the experts at 5 Star Moving and Storage for help will all moves, here in Colorado Springs or long distance. Call for an estimate today so that we can get started on your relocation!
February 19, 2018
How to Pack Your Wardrobe for Moving
5 Star Moving & Storage in Colorado Springs is here to help you move with our tips on how to pack your wardrobe for moving. Your wardrobe is a significant part of your life and keeping it available and where you need it at all times is essential. Check out this helpful guide to get some great ideas to help you keep track of your clothing essentials even during a move.
We find that grouping like clothing together facilitates the process of moving and unpacking. You will be able to find what you need more easily, and that will indeed make your life better. Keep similar clothes together for similar needs, such as work, so you don't have to waste time searching for particular items.
You will most definitely need to get to your comfy clothes first, before any formalwear, so keep those together and deal with the formal clothing later on. Before moving to a new home, you may also want to pack your business clothes, workout clothes, or other specific-use clothing together.
When it’s time to pack your wardrobe for moving, be sure to separate out your clothing according to different materials. Be more careful with silks, natural fibers, and delicate materials. And remember that woolen fabrics take up the most space. Whereas, polyesters can be thrown into just about anything and not even wrinkle. This sorting will help you find what you are looking for easier later.
Seasonal clothing such as winter and summer clothes are better separated. This will make the access easier now and later. Your summer clothes are smaller and will take up less space. Whereas, your winter wear is bulkier. Either can be used for filling in gaps during packing. Whichever season it is not, use those clothes to pad items while packing for your move. For instance, fluffy winter sweaters make an excellent padded base inside boxes.
Size and Shape
Separate out your pants from your shirts and so on. Taking this step when you pack your wardrobe for moving saves space and makes it easier to find what you are looking for when you need it most.
Place the separated out clothing into large and medium boxes. Fold and face opposite to keep the surface level inside the box, for more efficient packing. Clearly label and seal up boxes with packing tape. As long as you write what is inside, you should have no problem finding what you need when the time comes. Some people like to fold their clothes inside out so that when you take them out, the wrinkles relax easier.
Heavy Items and Bundling
Place the heaviest item on the bottom when you pack your wardrobe for moving. They are generally stronger and can take the pressure of other items on top. Then, use the bundling method to save even more space. Layer like items, one on top of the other. Use a small pouch of things such as underwear to be the center then fold the pile into one piece. This will help with eliminating unnecessary wrinkles.
Also, make sure everything is clean and dry. Otherwise, mold, mildew, and stains can spread throughout and ruin everything in its path. Although, leave repairs and dry cleaning until after the move is over.
Could anything be made better for storing and transporting clothing than a suitcase? Suitcases are the perfect way to pack your wardrobe for moving. Neatly fold up your most delicate and expensive clothing, as the suitcase is designed to provide the ultimate in protection. Most likely, all of your clothes will not fit into only a few suitcases. Plus, you may want to use the wheeled suitcases for bulky items such as books or other delicate household items. You can decide which is best.
Vacuum Bags and Garbage Bags
There are upsides and downsides to using vacuum sealed bags or garbage bags. The downside is the slippery-ness that comes with using plastic versus cardboard boxes. Try stacking plastic bags one on top of the other, and you may find yourself frustrated trying to get them to stay where you put them.
But the upside to using plastic bags, whether vacuum sealed or not, is the ease and convenience. You don’t have to run out to buy any special boxes. You probably have plenty of plastic bags in your home. When using garbage bags, cut a hole for about a dozen hangers to fit through, then zip tie them in place. Then tie a knot or use packing tape on the bottom side to keep anything from falling out.
This is an easy option to use as you can place any amount of clothing to wrap up. Also, it is generally see-through, so you can see what you have there as opposed to a black garbage bag that remains a mystery. Another benefit to using plastic wrap is that it is not slippery when stacking and packing, so you will not feel the same frustration that you do with other plastic bags.
If you don’t want to mess with any of the plastic options when you pack your wardrobe for moving to a new home, turn to an old standard, the bed sheet. Spread out a sheet and load it up starting with larger clothing first. When you think there is enough and not too much for carrying, wrap it up and tie it closed. You’ll look like Santa for a moment as you load up your vehicle or moving truck with this bundle.
By far, wardrobe boxes are the easiest and most efficient option for packing hanging clothing. They have a bar to hang clothes on, so you can easily transfer your clothes from closet to box in a jiffy. These are great for your business clothes, dresses, formal wear, suits or dry cleaned clothing, as it will keep it in the best shape, even wrinkle-free, during the move.
Now that you know how to pack your wardrobe for moving, you will have a better time transitioning from one home to the next. For even more moving advice and all the help you need, contact the team at 5 Star Moving & Storage in Colorado Springs for a great moving experience.
January 11, 2018
Preparing for a Winter Move
Today, 5 Star Moving and Storage in Colorado Springs is here to provide some information on preparing for a winter move this year. With the facts, you can make a winter move easier and safer for you, your family and even your movers. There are definite benefits to considering a move in winter, so read on to learn more about making the big day go smoothly.
The Benefits fo Preparing for a Winter Move
Better Rates and Deals
One of the most enticing reasons for people to choose moving during the winter is how much you can save. You can potentially keep a chunk of money in your pocket due to reduced rates and other specials for winter moves. Since the summer time is the most popular time to move, it is much busier and more hectic for moving companies. With a winter move, you will be given the best rates available.
Better Professional Service
Along with saving money by preparing for a winter move, you will also receive other benefits including better customer service from your moving company, since you will be one of the few clients during the season. It is always nice to be at the top of the priority list. Of course, at 5 Star Moving and Storage in Colorado Springs, you will always receive first-class service no matter the season!
If you don’t choose 5 Star for a move, you’ll definitely need to make a winter move work to ensure the actual moving crew that comes to your home will be the cream of the crop. During the summer, most other moving companies will often bring in additional, less experienced movers to help out in a crunch. During a winter move, only the best professionals are kept on, so you get experienced professionals instead of newbies on the job. You’ll want to check on that – or give us a call for year-round pros who have each worked hundreds of household and commercial moves in the Colorado Springs area.
Ensuring a Successful Winter Moving Experience
Safety is always crucial, especially when it comes to a residential move. Keeping your family and pets safer is a priority over cost and even convenience. When it comes to do-it-yourself versus hiring professional movers, a winter move may be the time to choose the safer option. With professional movers on the job, you and your family can stay safer and not risk injury. Let them take care of it and make your life easier.
For a safer day of moving, clear off any and all sidewalks and pathways needed to access the moving truck from the house. Use sand, kitty litter, or de-icing salt to add traction and diminish the risks of falling. This applies to both properties, the old house, and the new one.
With cold temperatures comes brittleness. Delicate items such as porcelain, china, glass, and other materials become more fragile in colder temperatures. For this reason, be sure to use extra packing materials for the job. Your packing company should have a surplus of this during the winter months so don’t be shy about asking for it. Moving from indoors where it is warm to non-climate controlled moving vans will invariably put some of your items at risk if not packed correctly. Use extra blankets and padding for anything susceptible to breakage. Your movers will know how to do it right. Move plants using extra packing paper and especially bubble wrap will lead to better relocation results.
Keep it Warm Inside
Just as you must use more material to pack and pad your valuables, be sure to dress warm enough for a cold day moving. Ideally, dress in layers in case it warms up or your exertion warms you up. It is not a good idea to work up a sweat on a cold day. So, maintain an even temperature with layered clothing for best results. Wear gloves for protection against the elements and for help gripping boxes in general.
An immensely appreciated gesture is to offer hot coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate to your movers. It will create an excellent mood for a chilly day move, and keep everybody motivated and warm inside.
Keep your Homes Safe and Clean
Keep both homes, old and new cleaner and with less damage by laying down plastic, cardboard, or polyethylene in high traffic areas. Secure these with tape at the sides to prevent slipping. You and the new homeowner will be delighted that you did so.
Make sure that your own vehicle is winter driving ready to avoid any issues on the journey over to the new place. Check out this list of what to bring just in case inclement weather hangs out on move day:
- Winter-ready wipers
- Ice scrapers
- Snow shovel or two
- Tire chains
- Extra fuel
- Sand, salt, or kitty litter
- Jumper cables
- Tow strap
- Snacks such as energy bars
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Extra clothing, hats, gloves, coats, socks, boots
- Fully-charged cell phone
- Roadside assistance phone numbers
- Emergency contact list
- Emergency medical kit
Plans B and C
With all of your efforts and plans for moving day, just in case your Plan A cannot be carried out successfully, have multiple backups worked out when preparing for a winter move. Shorter days in winter encourage an early start, to avoid driving at night. The weather can get worse unexpectedly. Check the weather stations for news and updates.
New Home Prep
Make sure that your new home is ready for your arrival with the electricity turned on. Ideally, you can test the heating system and lights ahead of time too, to ensure a smoother and more comfortable transition. You won’t want to show up to your new home without the option to turn on the heat. Try to get this task done about a week ahead of the move date to work out any kinks ahead of time.
Preparing for a winter move is easier with help from 5 Star Moving and Storage. Our team of dedicated movers will help you from start to finish and get you safely moved to your new home. We are looking forward to scheduling your winter move soon.
December 12, 2017
How to Help Your Moving Company
Today, 5 Star Moving and Storage in Colorado Springs offers our insight on how to help your moving company. This will greatly help the whole moving process go more smoothly. Moving day is stressful, but with some planning, focus and these ideas from 5 Star Moving and Storage, you will find that it can actually be a much less overwhelming process.
Finish on Time
There’s nothing worse than waiting until the last minute to complete a task in a rushed panic! If you can finish packing your house before your residential movers arrive, they will appreciate it, and it will save you money, especially if you are paying hourly! Otherwise, the movers may have to wait for you to finish packing. In the meanwhile, you’ll be racking up time and fees.
Even though you got all of your work done ahead of time, that doesn't mean that your presence is not needed. Movers may have questions or need clarification in any number of situations. Stick around and be available to answer questions for your moving company. They will appreciate it!
Valuables Stay with You
Just so you can keep track of things, you’re welcome to keep your cash, jewelry, important documents, and prescription medication with you at all times. Make it clear to the movers what stays with you or pack it up in your vehicle before they arrive. This will save a lot of trouble and headaches on moving day.
It’s Their Job
You got it, this is not their first rodeo! Your residential movers have been around the block a few times (literally) and know what they are doing. While a walk-thru to discuss the scope of your move and any special handling requests are great, have some trust in your moving team and let them do their job. Be there for support and maybe set out some water to keep your crew hydrated.
Writing down the destination room on each box will make your life a lot easier. Your movers will get it to the right spot and when unpacking, you’ll be able to find exactly what you are looking for.
Label Fragile Items
Labeling boxes that contain fragile or delicate items will help your movers be extra careful. Professional movers pay attention to labels, so the more you can do to describe what's inside, the better!
Heavy Items = Small Boxes
Items such as books must go inside of smaller boxes in order to be moved efficiently. This will help to avoid any injuries and prevent a large, heavy box from crushing another box filled with your valuables.
Dressers, armoires, buffets, desks, and anything with drawers should be emptied out. This will make the piece lighter and more manageable for your residential movers. Items can shift around, drawers can spill out and other incidents may occur if furniture pieces are not emptied.
Moving Truck Access
Make sure that the moving truck will have the access it needs. Issues like parking, metered parking, moving hours, and more can really put a damper on the moving process if not adequately address ahead of time. Help your movers by knowing the rules and sorting out the logistics ahead of time.
Knowing how to help your moving company will make your moving day a lot better for everyone. You’ll avoid delays, potentially spend less and take on a lot less stress. Moving houses? Call the pros at 5 Star Moving and Storage for a friendly and reliable move by a time that loves to help its customers.