How to Select a MoverWhile planning to move, the first question you may have is “
How to select a mover in Palo Alto?” Most licensed moving companies are listed in classified telephone directories, newspapers and other local advertising. When consulting written advertisements, avoid contacting movers whose license number (Cal “T No.”), issued by the CPUC, is not shown. Such carriers are probably not licensed or insured against loss or damage. You may want to ask friends who have recently moved if they can recommend a moving company. Additionally, some realtors may advise you based upon their customers’ experience. Carrier associations, business groups, chambers of commerce and consumer organizations may also be a source of information. Once you have the names of possible moving companies, you may call the PUC at 1-800-FON- 4PUC (1-800-366-4782) to determine whether the carriers are licensed and insured and whether the PUC has issued informal citations or taken formal legal actions against the carriers. You should also get written estimates to compare the prices and services of different moving companies to help you select a carrier.
Be sure to obtain the complete and correct moving company name, T number (PUC license no.), address and telephone number of the carrier you select to move your belongings, and keep the carrier informed as to how and where you may be reached at all times until the shipment is delivered.
Moving and Packing TipsRelocating is an enormous task, but planning ahead can make the process smoother. Moving Tips from professional movers Palo Alto will help you make the move stress free for its every stage: preparing for the move, packing and getting settled. Our crew of Professional Movers in Palo Alto have years of experience – check out moving tips from Finch Movers below!
- When looking for a moving company check with California Public Utilities Commissions to verify that it is authorized to operate by calling 800-877-8867, or visit their website at www.cpuc.ca.gov.
- Read about ongoing and past CPUC investigations of moving companies.
- Do not accept a telephone or Internet “estimate” – they are prohibited and may not be enforceable. A moving company may provide you with an estimate in writing ONLY after they conduct a visual inspection of the items moved.
- A moving company must provide a “Not to Exceed” price for all household moves. This is the maximum amount you can be charged unless you request additional services and those changes are then detailed in a “Change Order for Moving Services.” A Change Order cannot be used simply because a mover underestimated costs. Pay close attention to these documents because of a fee dispute arises, the moving company may demand that you pay the cost quoted on these documents before releasing your goods.
- The booklet, Important Information For Persons Moving Household Goods (within California);
- A moving service agreement;
- The Important Notice About Your Move document showing a “Not To Exceed” price;
- Any “Change Order for Moving Services” (if applicable).
- Plan your move beforehand in order to avoid peak moving season. The first and last days of the month are busiest. When you contact Finch Movers, have your exact move date available so a timeline can be established.
- Survey the attic, outside sheds, garage, basement and crawl space to determine what items will not be moving with you.
- Have a yard sale or arrange donation to help discard items not traveling with you.
- Locate legal documents and vehicle registration.
- Contact schools, doctors, dentists, lawyers and accountants to obtain copies of your personal records.
- Get a visual Estimate from Finch Moving.
- Submit a Change of Address from the post office.
- Contact your utility, cable, phone, and newspaper companies to discontinue/re-establish service at your old and new addresses.
- If necessary, inform your bank, credit card providers, and other financial services.
- Notify extended friends and family with a move announcement or a phone call.
- Prepare an Inventory List of single-packed items that will be stored and moved.
- Contact the building management to schedule use of elevators.
- If possible, arrange for young children and elderly family members to stay with friends or relative on your moving day.
- If possible, get a floor plan of your future residence, or make one to scale on graph paper. Try to fit furniture in the mock up. If it won’t fit on paper, it won’t fit when you arrive. That means you will have to make other arrangement.
- If you must clean your old place after moving out, put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. Clean anything possible ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.) and if possible, vacuum each room as mover empty it, OR
- Order cleaning services to leave the place cleaned.
- Settle any outstanding bills with local merchants.
- Withdraw the contents of your safety deposit box, pick up any dry cleaning, return library books and rented DVDs, etc.
- Take pets to the veterinarian for any special needed immunizations.
- Drain gas and oil from all power equipment.
- Get packing boxes for your items the nearest store or order at Finch Moving Company.
- Start packing your items in boxes and other bags, in order not to leave it for the last day. Or you can order packing services with Finch Moving. Check our packing tips!
- Keep important papers with you: birth certificates, school records, mover estimates, new job contacts, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps and more.
- Create your Move Day Survival Kit of things you will need on the moving day. Include payment for movers and cash for move day tipping, medications, tools, chargers, flashlights, packing permits, keys to your new home, snacks, toiletries, etc.
- Pack a “FIRST NIGHT” box with personal items, bedding and fun things for kids.
- Your Finch Moving Manager will be calling to review move arrangements and will follow up to see your move went smoothly.
- Give away any open liquor or discard any liquid container(s) that have been opened. If you plan to use cleaning supplies, ensure that they are discarded after use.
- Make sure that someone is available at your residence to meet Finch Movers. If in a gated community, notify the management office of Finch Movers’ arrival time.
- Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric, water).
- Do not forget to tip the movers for the services they provided. Tips are always appreciated.
- Add home security system.
- Identify locations of meters, furnace, and smoke detectors.
- Explore your neighborhood and meet the neighbors.
- Throw a housewarming party for your friends, family and neighbors.
- Find professional contractors for the projects that need to be done around the house.
- Review Finch Moving Company.
MAKE A LIST
Before you pack the first box. Create a simple record keeping system. Create a computer-printed list of number with a space to write the contents. Or have a spiral-bound notebook for the job. You’ll place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your paper. Don’t put the down unless it is a place you’ll call Packing Central. This is where you’ll find your labels, marketing pens, box tape, and other supplies. When describing the box contents, be specific – “A-D files” is better than “files” and “Tulip dishes” rather than “misc. kitchen.” NO PACKING ON MOVING DAY. Take on this busy day with all of your boxes already packed. It’s one less stress.
HAVE PLENTY OF SUPPLIES
You will need lots of boxes – probably more, than you think. You can buy boxes in the local store or at Finch Moving Company. Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for the last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You’ll need strong plastic packing tape to close boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items) or packing paper to wrap and cushion household good. Again, you’ll need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly.
USE THE RIGHT SIZE BOXES
Put heavy items, like books, in small boxes; light items, like linens and pillows, in bigger ones. Large boxes with heavy items make the job harder.
Anything you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. If it is summer, get your winter clothes out of the way. You don’t really need some electronic equipment for the last few days before the move. Box up your extra shampoo extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week.
- Put heavier items on the bottoms of boxes, lighter items on top.
- Don’t leave empty spaces in the boxes. Fill in gaps with clothing, towels, or packing paper.
- One box, one room. Pack the same room in the same box. Don’t mix. This way unpacking is easy.
- Label each box with the room it’s designed for and a description of its contents. This will help you and Finch Movers know where every box belongs in your new place. Numbering each box and keeping an inventory list in a small notebook is a good way to keep track of what you’ve packed.
- Tape boxes well. Use a couple of pieces of tape to close the bottom and top seams, then use one of the movers’ techniques – making a couple of wraps all the way around the box’s top and bottom edges, where stress in concentrated.
- Last in, fist out. Tell Finch Movers which boxes you need first at your new home and we’ll load them last on our trucks.
USE WARDROBE BOXES
Finch Moving Company provides free use of wardrobe boxes on the day of the move. You can easily hang your clothes in wardrobe boxes. Pack hanging items tightly so things won’t move around and fall of hangers. Finally, cover the shoulders of your clothes (a dry cleaning bag works well), then add a few purses or sweaters on top. You’ll have fewer boxes, and closet items remain together.
USE YOUR LUGGAGE
Fill luggage bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods. Even for local moves you’ll be able to quickly spot your navy suitcase holding your favorite sweaters, whereas “Box#198” might remain elusive for days.
Coordinate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, green for master bedroom, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box number. Put a matching sticker on the door to each room. Finch Movers will know where to put everything when they arrive at the destination. It’s also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, (“Boxes Here” place) to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.
Use only small boxes for books – they get very heavy fast. You can use small paperbacks to fill the sides of the box if there is extra space.
Use wardrobe boxes that are provided by Finch Movers absolutely for free on the day of the move. You can move clothing on hangers from your closet straight to the wardrobe boxes. If you have a big dresser, clothing should be packed in suitcases or boxes.
PACKING ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
It is always better to pack electronic equipment such as stereos, TVs and computers in their original boxes with their original packing material. If this is unavailable, wrap the equipment in plastic and bubble pack.
Wrap breakable items in bubble wrap or packing paper. Put layers of bubble wrap between each plate or bowl. Fill the top bowl with packing paper. Make sure you put the heavier items on the bottom of the box. Wrap nonbreakable items using packing paper. Use cell packs to separate delicate items. Make sure you pack all the items you’ll need for your first few days in a new home in one box, and label it prominently.
Wrap small appliances in packing paper or your kitchen towels or linens. Tape the bottom of a medium box securely and put down a layer of paper for padding. For large appliances, make sure you check your owner’s manual for any special instructions before you start to pack. You need to take everything out of washer and dryer. Finch Movers will wrap all appliances with moving blankets and shrink wrap.
PACKING ART & COLLECTIBLES
Put corrugated corners on and wrap each piece in bubble wrap. Pad the bottom of a large box with crumbled paper. Give the items plenty of space, and make sure you add lots of packing material on the sides, between items and on top. Remember to label the box “FRAGILE”.
MIRRORS & FRAMED ART
Tape an X of masking tape across mirrors and paintings framed with glass. Wrap each item in bubble wrap. You can use our shipping cartons for these pieces. Make sure you label everything “FRAGILE”.
PACKING & MOVING PLANTS
- Approximately two weeks before the move, prune your plants to facilitate packing. Consult a florist or plant book for instructions.
- A week before the move, place the plant in a black plastic bag along with a bug/pest strip, conventional flea collar, or bug powder. Seal the bag and place it in a cool area overnights in order to kill any pests on the plant or in the soil.
- The day before the move, place the plants in cardboard containers. Hold them in place with dampened newspaper or packing paper. Use paper to cushion the leaves and place a final layer of wet paper on top to keep them moist. If it’s not possible to take your plant with you, consider taking a cutting along in a plastic bag packed with wet paper towels.
- On moving day, set the plant boxes aside and mark “Do Not Move” so that the moving crew will not inadvertently take them. Close the boxes and punch air holes in the top before loading them in your car. During the move, park your car in a shaded area in the summer and in a sunny spot in the winter. Upon arrival, unpack the plants as soon as possible. Remove the plants through the bottom of the box to avoid breaking the stems. Do not expose them to too much sunlight at first—allow them to gradually become accustomed to sunlight again.
Moving ChecklistMoving your home or business can be a hectic experience whether you’re moving across San Diego or many miles away. Remember that no matter how stressful the act of moving is, there is always a way to make it a lot more tolerable. Finch Moving & Storage Company offers you a moving checklist in San Diego so that you can prepare properly and turn moving from a chore to an exciting activity.
3 – 4 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR MOVE:
- Contact Finch Moving & Storage and get at your complimentary quote
- Make an inventory of everything to be moved
- Arrange garage sale donate any unwanted clothing or furniture
- Book the moving elevator and confirm parking arrangement for truck
- Contact insurance company to transfer policies (life, homeowners)
- Review tax deductions on moving expenses
- Arrange cut-off/activation dates for utility companies
- Gas/ Electricity / Water
- Request change of address kit from post-office
- Prepare a list of friends, business firms and personal accounts who whould be notified of your upcoming move
2 WEEKS BEFORE YOUR MOVE:
- Purchase any moving supplies either at the local store or Finch Moving Company
- Make a plan to dispose of flammables that can’t be transported:
- Aerosol Cans
- Cleaning Fluids
- Household Liquids
- Oil Cans/ Paint/ Thinner
- Proper Tanks
- Make an appointment with a service technician to prepare major appliance for shipment (i.e., plumber, electrician)
- Have rugs and draperies cleaned and leave wrapped when returned
- Obtain written appraisal of antique items to verify value
- Pack items you don’t use daily like books, pictures etc.
1 WEEK BEFORE YOUR MOVE:
- Check furniture for dents and scratches
- Label items you need to access easily
- Clean your house, or hire a cleaning service
- Clean out the refrigerator/ plan to defrost and dry day before move
- Drain equipment: water hoses, propane tank, gas/oil lawnmowers
- Schedule to have utilities turned on at your new home
- Make a plan to transport house plants
- Confirm travel arrangements for pets and family
DAY OF THE MOVE:
- Pack and prepare and “Essential Box”:
- Dish soap/ Dishtowel
- All-purpose cleaner (unopened)
- Snacks/ Instant Coffee
- Pet Food Dish
- Mug/ Plate Cutlery for each member of the family
- Scissors or Pocket Knife (to open boxes)
- Garbage Bags
- Portable Tool Kit
- Change of clothing and towel for each member of the family
- Important records
- Designate boxes and items as “last load” items
- All those items are packed in boxes
- All electronics are unplugged from a power source. Plasma TV’s should be unplugged the day of so they are at room temperature on move day
- All pictures are removed from the wall
- All boxes are labeled with their destination room in your new home
- All heavy and breakable items are removed from dressers and desks
- All contents are removed from appliances
- All items are removed from the top of furniture
- All linens are removed from bed
- Before you leave house:
- Is the water shut off?
- A/C shut off?
- Lights turned off?
- Windows shut and locked?
- Old house keys surrendered?
- Have you left anything?
- Keep a file on all related moving expenses. Some items are tax deductible.