Hourly vs. Flat Rate Movers

When you first start hiring a mover, you might be surprised about the amount of options you have to customize your move. Do you want full service, deliver, pickup? Are you getting your own packing materials, or is the company supplying them? And finally, do you want to negotiate a flat rate price, or go with an hourly one. Well, this depends on what your moving details are. Here’s a guide from our moving experts on when it’s best to choose an hourly rate, and when it’s best to go flat.

 

Choose an hourly rate if…

  • You’re moving nearby and are packing the house yourself

  • If you’re moving a tiny studio or partial household

 

Hourly rates are usually set at least for 3 hours, and small moves like these might take only 3-4 hours if the moving company sends enough staff. Make sure to ask how many movers in this instance will be there to help you, as they might intentionally send less people so the move takes longer. Once you get a set time estimate from the moving services company, make that the agreed limit – or consider negotiating a clause in the contract that sets a maximum cost limit. If you are attempting this sort of move, a flat rate will probably be much higher than what the move should actually cost based on the amount of work. Try scheduling your move to avoid traffic, as that time will be factored into the charged hours as well.

 

Choose a flat rate if…

  • You’re making a long distance move

  • You’re moving a large house or apartment, or have lots of boxes or furniture

  • You’re moving in a heavy traffic location

 

If any of these categories apply to you, your moving process will likely take longer, and have wild variation in time – so choosing a flat-rate quote will be much better for you. This flat rate can be set before the move based on an inventory of what you need to have transported – and it will allow you to stay relaxed even if you get caught in traffic or take a while to transport furniture. The fee is set and you can expect it exactly, and the movers will efficiently complete their job with motivation – and there’s no discomfort or worrying about the calculations of full charges. Just make sure to have clarity about what your move requires down to the final detail.

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Homeowner’s insurance and moves

You may already know the details of how homeowner’s insurance applies to your current home, but do you know how it applies as you’re moving to a new home? It’s smart to learn about this before thinking of purchasing any sort of moving insurance. You want to make sure that you still receive coverage during your moving process.

 

Moving Insurance Deductibles

If you still need to pay 1000$ for any potential losses or damages before your insurance, you will still likely need to during your move. The deductible might be raised through – so make sure to ask how much your insurance covers while your stuff is in the moving truck, as well as when it’s being moved into your new home.

 

Limits of Insurance

Find out whether your insurance plan has any maximum possession limits, or if it has less coverage when the item is outside of the home. You might have already purchased extra insurance for valuable items, but even with these separate plans, you need to be certain of what sort of damages it protects you from.

 

Moving Breakages, Damages, & Theft

If your items are stolen from a moving truck, or the truck get into an accident – yours, as well as the moving company’s insurance should be able to fully cover it. However, your insurance will probably not cover any damage that happens during the move like drops, rips, and tears. You can get supplemental insurance for particular valuable items if you really want to protect them, or you can decide to purchase moving insurance – which can be worth it to protect the items not covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

 

Changing Premiums

Your premiums might change based on lots of criteria like if you’re crossing state lines or if you are moving to a much smaller or larger home. Make sure to talk to your insurance agent to figure out if any of these changes will happen, and how they might affect your insurance coverage during the moving process.

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Making room for a baby in a small apartment

Posted on by admin in Moving Tips

The accouterments involved with raising a baby can cause an already small apartment to be quite cramped indeed. Here’s some tips from the experts at US Express on how you can save space to help make room for raising an infant.

 

Switch Tables with Dressers

Any object that consists of a surface with empty space under it can be transformed into a handy storage space -with the same amount of floor coverage. If you don’t want to buy a dresser, simply buy stackable storage bins and stack them underneath furniture with room beneath them in order to keep supplies that correspond to what room you most commonly need them in.

 

Baskets

We recommend getting decorative baskets, or thin and long bins in order to maximize your storage space. By having supplies contained neatly together in boxes, you will make your space much less cluttered and much more manageable. This way you won’t need to add even more storage furniture, and you can make the most of your space.

 

Remove Closet Doors for Cribs

If there’s a closet in your baby’s room, remove the closet door to help make it a cozy spot to insert a crib into. You can add curtains at the sides for added flair, and of course, use the space underneath the crib to store baby necessities like diapers, pacifiers, bottles, or toys.

 

Hang Clothes on the Wall

Get wall racks for hanging clothing and shoes. This will help you avoid piling clothes on top of each other, which can become quite cluttered indeed.

 

Vertical Storage

Buy stackable baskets, decorative shelves with room for bins, totes- or even ceiling hanged storage options; all these tactics can help you make the most of your space, utilizing areas of your home that would normally be empty air.

 

Change on Dressers

Buy a dresser with a built in baby changing space on top – or even buy a changing table pad to put on top of an existing dresser. Make sure to get a pad that had non-skid undercoating of fabric – or make custom bumper borders at the corners of the dresser top to keep the changing pad in place.

 

Foldable Baby Furniture

If you haven’t yet purchased high chairs or other furniture meant for your little ones, make sure to buy functional ones that help make the most of your limited space. You can clamp high chairs on the edges of tables or strap them onto chairs, collapse strollers, or even hang indoor swing sets from ceiling rafters or door frames.

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Moving with a romantic partner

Posted on by admin in Moving Tips

Let’s say you’re upping the intensity of your relationship and moving in with your partner or significant other. There’s lots to keep in mind when you’re making this choice, so here’s US Express’ tips for making it go smoothly.

 

Move in Together on the Same Page

Don’t just do it for convenience or cheaper rent. These aren’t good reasons. Have a discussion with your partner about why moving in together will improve your relationship; just make sure you’re on the same page about it.

 

Choose if you’re going to find a new place, or move into one of your existing abodes

Finding a new place together might help make it feel like you really own your house together, and you can completely compromise on the decoration. Make sure to compromise as you create your living space together, even if it’s a matter of making room in one of your already lived in apartments.

 

Financial Joint Responsibility

Make sure to share household expenses and determine a financial plan. How will you split grocery costs? Will you split any bills 50/50? Who will be on the lease, and who will pay the utilities?

 

Create Set Expectations

Make sure to arrange a system for accomplishing chores like taking out the trash, cleaning, laundry, cooking, and grocery shopping. Every couple is different, with some liking to switch these tasks off, and some wanting to be dedicated to just a few. Just make sure to establish steady firm communication about this before moving in together.

 

Decoration Collaboration

Make sure to find a central ground between the shared aesthetic opinions between the two of you. Ideally you are likely on the same aesthetic page already, but if you’re going to be decorating, make sure to do it in a way that both members of the couple can enjoy and benefit from.

 

Put both your names on new leases

When signing new leases, put both of your names on it. This helps make the entire process more of an equal, shared, endeavor.

 

Create your own space

Even when living together, it’s important to create your own private work space in the house – this will actually help keep the peace, and help both of you retain a healthy sense of individual identity.

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Why it’s better to hire a moving company than a truck

Posted on by admin in Moving Company

 

It can be a difficult choice deciding between hiring a moving company and renting a moving truck. Yes, renting a moving truck is cheaper, but also comes with an entire set of physical and emotional stress – as well as carrying some potential hidden costs. Here’s US Express’ guide to why it’s better to hire a moving company than renting a moving truck.

 

Cost Effectiveness

It might seem cheaper just to rent a truck, however most people don’t factor in the costs of tolls, packing materials, fuel, and of course, the time spent with the entire process. When those aspects are factored in, renting a truck turns out not to be nearly as much of a bargain as it should be.

 

Labor

Since packing and moving is incredibly labor intensive, those who opt to rent a truck and pack and move themselves are going to be taking on major work responsibilities. This may include the calling in of various favors from friends and family. If you have many belongings, or valuable belongings, this can be not only physically exerting, but dangerous. Moving is a technical process, and is best handled by professionals. Amateurs are not insured and bonded like moving companies, and are more likely to damage your property – which will lead to tense awkwardness. Hiring a professional mover helps you avoid all this stress.

 

Safety

It’s much safer to leave the truck driving up to the professionals. Yes driving a truck seems fun, but it’s much, MUCH different than handling a car. Handling a truck on the highway requires a great deal of focus, and skill that can only be cultivated through experience. These vehicles are big, heavy, and unwieldy, and require talent to brake, merge, and turn. Consider that you will be driving this labor intensive and dangerous machine after the arduous task of packing all of your belongings and loading them into the truck. Truck moves are always much better handled by pros.

 

Bargains

The majority of professional movers are the busiest during the summer, or on particular days like weekends. So, you’re bound to find some amazing deals if you hire them during other seasons, as well as weekdays. Overall, movers provide way more bang for your buck than renting a car and attempting to undertake the entire move by yourself – hence our recommendation to contact us, the experts at US Express, to handle all of your moving needs.

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Recycling Moving Boxes

Posted on by admin in Moving Tips

Ahhh, you’re finally settled in to your new home, and started your new life. Thankfully there was a team of expert moving professionals who did all the hard work for you. But what should you do with all those extra empty moving boxes? You don’t want the trees they were made from to go to waste, right? Here’s some great ideas on how to recycle moving boxes.

 

Reuse Them

Since moving boxes are usually sturdy, reuse them for storage for items like holiday decorations, clothing only for certain seasons, or random ephemera. Just make sure to label them once you have restored them.

 

Give them away

If you know any friends or family who are about to move or are placing items in storage, give these boxes to them. Another possibility is sending these boxes to charities, who often need to box and deliver donations. You can also post on Craigslist to list these boxes for a free giveaway.

 

Crafting

Create a clubhouse for your kids, dogs, or cats. Do fun craft projects, transforming boxes into puppets, floor pads, planters, or painted creative boxes. Kids might want to help as well, which helps them feel more comfortable settling into their brand new home.

 

Sell

Many sites allow for the sale of moving boxes – check out the U-Haul online forum, or ask local moving companies or shippers if they will buy or resell your moving boxes.

 

Recycle Them

Most local governments have programs to assist you recycle all sorts of moving materials. Look for a free stuff area, or simply tie the boxes up with rope and leave them outside for the recycling officials to pick up.

 

Composting

The process of composting has been widely taken up in many cities, allowing for fertile soil to be layered on top of already existing dirt or grass – which utilizes lots of newspaper and cardboard. SImply find your local community garden, and ask if they could use boxes for compositing.

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Last Minute Packing Tips

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Well you may have procrastinated all the packing that you knew that you had to complete, and now it’s the eleventh hour, and none of your stuff is in boxes. There’s little point to fret or stress, because you need to expend 100% of your mental energy towards getting that stuff all packed up! In this blog post, the expert packers at US Express share with you some of our most trusted tips for last minute packing.

 

Get your Bearings

Before you start, organize your mind over what objects you need to pack up. Try writing out a checklist over everything you need, based on what room the objects belong in – just to make things easier and more organized.

 

Ask for Assistance

Ask your friends and family to come on in and give some help assisting you to help packing. Make sure to stockpile the house full of drinks and snacks to keep them refreshed and eager to help.

 

Packing Supplies

Make sure to purchase or acquire boxes, markers, packing tape, bubble wrap, insulation, and any other materials that you might need to pack. It’s much easier to get all the supplies that you need before you start packing, because it will be harder to resume the packing groove after leaving to re-up your supplies once you’ve already begun it. Don’t worry about over purchasing moving supplies – you can always return unused objects, and it’s better to be over prepared than underprepared.

 

Only Pack what you Need

Create separate boxes for garbage, and for donations, and as you pack, sort out which of your belongings you want to keep, give away, or throw out. This can be doubly helpful if you’re a borderline hoarder. If you come across any items or objects that you don’t need or use, simply put it in these two boxes. You’ll be a lot happier when you realize that your new place will be a lot less cluttered.

 

Clothing Organization

Set apart clothing that you will need in the coming days, and create a second area full of clothes that you will need in the coming weeks. Put that second collection of clothes in an easily accessible bag, suitcase, box, or container so that you won’t have to aggressively search for it when you arrive at your new location. Any other clothing can simply go into large bags or boxes – and make sure to give away any clothes you no longer wear!

 

Box for Essentials

Designate separate boxes for items that you will need to use as soon as you arrive at your new location including toothbrushes, toiletries, towels, electronics chargers, lights, coffee pots, etc. This box can be added to until you leave, because the likelihood is that you’ll still be using some of these items while you pack.

 

Snacks and Entertainment

Make sure that you can play music that everyone helping you pack can agree on. Music can put you in a productive trance that helps your packing move along faster and with more precise efficiency. We also recommend including a bunch of healthy and fun snacks to refuel you and your helper’s energy – ideas include popcorn, fruit, granola bars, or any other favorite treats.

 

Healthy Time Management

Make sure to set a timer for particular time blocks and pack with extra vigorous energy until you hear it ring. Then set it for about ten or fifteen minutes, take a short break to gather your mind, and set the timer for another hour. By taking regularly spaced out breaks, you can maintain endurance and energy.

 

We all know that packing at the last minute isn’t fun (or preferable) but by following these strategies, you can have it all done way before your movers arrive. And if you still feel lazy, the expert moving technicians at US Express are prepared to provide full packing and unpacking services, so that you don’t have to worry about anything.

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Moving Plantlife

Posted on by admin in Moving Tips

So, you’re preparing to move your home, apartment, or office. Your new place has amazing windows, with a ton of natural light, and you can’t wait to get your plants settled in, cozy and ready to be healthy. But how can you get them all there in one piece? By taking some extra steps you can make sure all your plants get to your new place safely, and intact. Here’s US Express‘ guide on what to do when you’re planning on relocating your green leafy friends:

 

Work with a moving company that knows how to handle plants

Many companies wouldn’t take on the responsibility of transporting a living thing like a plant, but the experts at US Express are fully equipped to safely transport your chlorophyll filled pals. If you have a large plant collection, or rare delicate plants, make sure to mention so before the move.

 

Plastic Containers

Make sure to put plants inside unbreakable plastic containers before you move, so that any of the movers won’t have to worry about accidentally breaking any ceramic pots. Also, plants need a bit of time to safely recover from the stress of being re-potted, so this gives them time to establish comfort before being moved.

 

Pruning

If you have large plants like spiders or ferns, make sure to prune them before the move to make them more manageable and easier to deal with. They will become even healthier from the pruning, so don’t worry. However, don’t ever prune succulents.

 

Plant Checkups

Before the moving date, inspect plants for any mites, plant diseases, or fungus – and if found, treat these with natural remedies to make the plants less sensitive towards damage before the big move.

 

Water Plants in Advance

You don’t want your plants to be dripping during the move, and if the soil is damp, it can more easily transfer extreme temperatures that might occur during the move to the delicate roots of the plant.

 

Have enough room

Ensure that you always have enough boxes for all the plants to have a good amount of their own space without compressing or crushing the leaves, and if the box is going to be closed, make sure to include holes so the plant can breathe.

 

Protective Wrapping

Line all boxes with plastic bags in case they tip over, and place towels or rags inside for extra insulation. Consider placing damp newspaper inside the boxes to keep them cool if the weather outside is super hot – but keep in mind it’s best to avoid moving plants in extreme temperatures or weather patterns.

 

Pack up Plants last

Make sure not to let plants sit inside a moving truck or car – or even outdoors – for too long, especially if it’s very cold or hot out, as it can damage them. Pack up your plants after you’ve finished loading everything else into the truck or car.

 

Adjustment Period

After you arrive at your new place, allow your plants to get used to their new location before putting them back into their permanent pots. Since plants don’t move around naturally, after a move many plants might look a bit wilted or unhealthy for a bit, but with a couple weeks of tender loving care they will be back to prime health. Once they look sprightly again, put them back inside their permanent ceramic pots, and welcome them officially to your new location!

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Repairing Home Damage when Moving

Posted on by admin in Moving Tips

When you’re moving apartments, it can be frustrating when you notice that you’ve incurred some damage – whether to your belongings, or the structure of your old or new location. From scuffed floors to broken plates, this damage can occur to even the most careful and painstaking moves. Sometimes security deposits can be lost when lots of damage occurs, so it might be a wise choice to brush up on different ways to quickly and cleanly remedy damage when it occurs. Here’s US Express‘ guide to repairing any forms of the usual home damage before you move out.

 

Wall Damage

Holes

Even homes that don’t undergo rough physical strife often incur some damage to the walls – it’s normal wear and tear. Any objects that were affixed to the wall probably left a tiny hole – which even if small, can lead landlords to never giving back security deposits. It’s super easy to fix these small holes though – you need some sandpaper, and some spackle. Just place spackle over the holes using a putty instrument, let it dry, and then sand it down until the surface is smooth and uniform. Large holes might require filling with a plaster or mesh patch before the application of spackle.

 

Scuffs

This occurs when furniture color rubs off on the wall or floor. This is more of a causal issue, but can make a home look somewhat dirty. Simply remove these scuffs with a ‘magical eraser’ soaked in water, squeezed of extra moisture, and applied with firmness to the stains. Then dry off the wall with a stain-free towel. If you cannot acquire a magical eraser, you can use an ‘all purpose cleaner’ however you might need to use more physical force to remove the stain.

 

Floor Damage

Tile Scratches

If there’s big holes or significant scratches on tiles, you will have to replace the tile altogether. You can fix light scratches with toothpaste applied with a gentle cloth, or even metal polish or vinegar! Simply apply one of these solutions, and then seal it in with car wax.

 

Hardwood Scratches

These occur when heavy furniture is moved around – denting or scratching gentle hardwood. Obviously it’s best to avoid this altogether by protecting the floor with cardboard before moving any furniture, however don’t fret if this damage does happen. Simply rub thin wool on the scratch across the wood grain, then place wood filler on the scratch, and sand it down after it dries. Then apply a varnish that’s the same color of your floor.

 

Carpet Damage

Stains

You can remove carpet stains using many solutions – which vary in efficacy based on the type of the stain. These solutions include everything from alcohol and ammonia, to baking soda or dish soap. If you’re dealing with a heavy stain, try renting an industrial carpet cleaning machine – which may seem drastic, but is certainly worth it if you’re risking the loss of your security deposit.

 

Holes

If a carpet is severely damaged, you might need to cut out the ripped part, and replace it with a patch that fits the resulting hole. It’s the best to use remaining pieces of the original carpet for the hole (kind of like a skin graft,) but if you don’t have this, you can transfer a portion of the carpet that sits under furniture that’s permanently placed (so that the new hole won’t be noticed.) Simply cut it out, and reattach it in a direction where the naps run together.

 

Shifting

If the carpet has pulled outside of it’s metallic border, reshift it in the right place by replacing the metal border altogether. If the carpet is starting to tear up, you might need to replace the ripped part (see the above tip for holes,) but as long as the tear isn’t larger than an inch this should be treated as a casual cosmetic repair, rather than something to worry about.

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Best DIY Packing Materials

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packing-and-moving-materials

If you’re preparing for a move, you probably are concerned with saving money. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire a moving service – but it does mean that you should be aware of the many ways that you can save money with DIY packing materials. Here’s our choices for the best readily available packing materials that cost minimal, if any, amounts of your hard earned cash.

 

Boxes

Cardboard boxes can be easily found at any neighborhood liquor store – they’ll give them to you for free!

 

Drawers

Keep our clothing in your dresser drawers, and simply cover them with Press and Seal material to keep them in place during the move.

 

Trash Bags

Simply cram all your clothes with hangers intact in a giant heavy duty garbage bag. Most bags fit at least 10 items.

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