Movers vs Brokers, Know the Difference

Quick question, first-time movers: do you know the difference between a moving broker and a moving company?

Both types of businesses advertise that they can help you move, but they are definitely not the same. Worst case scenario, you might be getting played by a con artist. In any case, we want to help you be clear on exactly what services you’re paying for.

The difference between a moving company and a moving broker is simple.

A moving company (or mover), offers transportation services for household goods. They operate with their own crews and trucks and manage the moving and delivery process from beginning to end.

A moving broker does not perform a move, instead they evaluate the move and sell the job to a moving company. They do not have logistics or labor capabilities. Brokers usually do not have the authority to give estimates on behalf of moving companies.

There are shady characters playing both sides of the moving market, and unscrupulous brokers misleadingly advertise their services as being those of a moving company. Moving brokers are required by law to advertise themselves as brokers and not movers, but that doesn’t stop some from trying to game the system. They may use clever wording to try and fit themselves through loopholes. While many moving brokers legitimately pair customers with trusted movers, there are some who simply search for the lowest bidder and take their cut of the loot.

If you do decide to use a moving broker, keep this Broker Checklist from the  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in mind.

All HouseHold Goods Brokers Must:

  • Be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
  • Provide you with the FMCSA “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet and the “Ready to Move” brochure
  • Provide you with a list of the moving companies they use
  • Use only movers that are registered with FMCSA
  • Have a written agreement with movers they use
  • Base binding or non-binding estimates on the tariff of the mover that will transport your shipment
  • Reference in their advertisements their physical business location, MC number, and their status as a broker that does not transport household goods but arranges for this service
  • Have the mover that is transporting your shipment perform a physical survey of your household goods if they are within a 50 mile radius of the mover or its agent’s location, whichever is closer. It is your option to waive this requirement.

The best defense against a moving disaster is to not have one at all. Please do your homework and protect your move. If we can help, let us know at support@movingcompanyreviews.com.

Happy and safe moving!

 

 

5 Fun and Crafty Uses For Leftover Moving Boxes

You moved. And unpacked. Hooray!

Give yourself a pat on the back because the hard part is over. Now what do you do with all those pesky moving boxes cluttering up your garage?

You could break them down and recycle them. Or even give them away. But if you’re crafty, not afraid of a little elbow grease and feeling somewhat adventurous, give these ideas a spin…

1. Turn Them Into Moving Announcements

2fa9c395f44e1bb6319ee2c8bf45bbb2-moving-hacks-moving-tips(Image via)

2. Entertain Your Kids And Encourage Their Imagination

A cardboard castle fit for any ‘lil prince or princess

cardboard castle
(Image via)

A rocket ready for takeoff!

89ff758a5a2043d6f1cb26dc085be4ea.jpg
(Image via)

Wearable art

robotgirlcostume

(Image via)

3. Create Storage To Keep Your New Place Organized

carboardstorage

(Image via)

4. Pin memos and announcements with a DIY bulletin board

make-a-bulletin-board-step4

(Image via)

5. Showcase your fave moments with cardboard photo frames
photoframes

(Image via)

Have other box inspiration ideas or photos of your finished products? Share them in the comments!

 

How to Befriend Your New Neighbors During the Holidays

Moving is difficult no matter when you choose to relocate, but it’s made even harder during the winter months for an assortment of reasons. The slick and stormy weather makes carrying heavy boxes more dangerous, and the cold tends to keep people indoors – meaning you might not meet your neighbors until the Springtime thaw.

However, if you want to celebrate the holiday season by making friends with the residents in your area, you can employ a few of these great tricks to break the ice.

Don’t be shy. Say hi!

The great thing about trying to befriend your neighbors is that you’re very likely to run into them. The yuletide season is a busy one, and the odds are good that you’ll bump into a neighbor or two while walking the dog or returning from shopping. When this happens, make sure you say hello. Introduce yourself and tell them you’re new to the area. Ask them for some local recommendations, like what cafe serves the best coffee or where the best brunch place is. Your neighbors will be thrilled to share their area expertise, and you’ll come away one acquaintance richer.

Bribe them with food

Of course, waiting to encounter your neighbors leaves a lot up to chance. You can skip the waiting part and just go knock on their doors and introduce yourself – but it helps if you have something to give them when you stop by. Bake some festive cookies or a delicious casserole and bring it to give away when you make your introductions. Your neighbors will enjoy the goodies, and you’ll get the opportunity to socialize with them. Bonus points if you give them a dish that needs to be returned to you!

Host a small holiday get-together

Now’s the time to seal this friendship deal. Once you’ve chatted up your neighbors a few times, you should be ready to up the ante and invite them over to your place for coffee, tea, or other beverages. This is a great chance to be hospitable, get to know them better, and demonstrate your eagerness to be a part of the community.

Packing Specialists: Worth Your Money?

Preparing and packing for a move can be both a daunting and an exhausting task. The endless organizing, wrapping, packing, taping, and labeling is immensely time consuming — especially if you work a full-time job and only have evenings and weekends to get your packing done. Limited time to pack means you have to start the process much further in advance, leaving your home or apartment in a state of disarray for weeks, as you pile up boxes and painstakingly pack away your necessary items until you’re eating off of paper plates and living out of a suitcase until the move.

And then, there’s always the risk that you’ve packed some of your most cherished items improperly, leading to scratching, chipping, or breakage that can’t be repaired.

Of course, if you hired packing specialists to do the job for you, they can take your home from fully functional to completely packed in a matter of hours or days, depending on the size.

What does hiring a packing specialist entail, and is it worth the cost?

What do packing specialists offer?

Partial Packing

You pack as little or as much of your home as you want, and the specialists do the rest. This is a great choice if the thought of someone else handling your underclothing or family heirlooms makes you uncomfortable.

Full Packing

Your entire place is packed up by the specialists, and transported to your new home. You don’t have to lift a finger.

Partial Unpacking

Packing specialists will assist in the unpacking of a portion of your possessions, and allow you to unpack the rest at your leisure.

Full unpacking

Your specialists will unpack and place all of your belongings, so you can get settled into your new space faster.

What to expect from your packing specialists?

If you choose to hire a packing specialist, they will first want to determine which services you will want from them. Once you’ve selected your level of service, they will do a home assessment to judge how long it will take their team to pack your home and get you on the move. After the assessment, the specialists will also be able to quote you an accurate price for their services.

They will draft a schedule and a full inventory of your belongings to make sure nothing gets lost in the shuffle. If you have any particularly fragile or strangely shaped items, they will be able to create a packing solution to fit your items and appease your worries.

Why should you hire packing specialists?

There are plenty of reason to hire packing specialists. We’ve offered some of the most common below:

  • You have disabilities or injuries that make the process of packing and moving your goods difficult or painful
  • You’re moving a long distance, and you want to protect your goods during the drive across the country
  • You have a massive home of three or more bedrooms, or own a large number of antique items or furnishings that require special care
  • You dislike the labor and effort that goes into packing up your home, and you’d prefer to pay a specialist to do it for you

So are packing specialists worth the cost?

If any of the above reasons to hire a packing specialist really resonated with you, you should consider hiring professional packers. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you want to pay for the convenience and expertise of their packing skills, or if you’d prefer to do it yourself.

5 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes Made With Moving Boxes

Moving takes its toll on your life, from the general chaos it causes in your home, to filling up your space with boxes, to forcing you to eat pizza for a week because your kitchen utensils are packed away. Moving during the fall season can also detract time from creative endeavors, like making fun Halloween costumes for you and your kids.

Don’t despair if you haven’t had the time to put together those All Hallow’s Eve get-ups yet. You can use your leftover moving boxes to create some fun, fantastic, and super-simple homemade costumes that will be ready for trick-or-treating in no time!

1. Candy Boxes

The only thing less crucial than finding a great Halloween costume is the sweet, sweet candy swag you receive for the effort of dressing up. Use those leftover moving boxes and a bit of clever painting to let your kids advertise the kind of candy they want most. Then head off to collect as much of those sugary treats as possible.

8acf62558e604d76d388766c8a235840-600x450
(Image via)

2. Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, and Ghostly Crew

With some imaginative cutting and spray painting, you can dress the whole family as Pac Man and friends. The colorful video game ghosts are certainly more fun that the traditional white sheet ghosts, and there’s the added bonus of being able to chase each other around in homage to the vintage video game. Just don’t forget to add eye-holes to these clever costumes, or you’ll be running blind!

Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, and Ghostly Crew (Image via)

3. Fish Tank

If you’re looking for a box costume that requires less artistic dedication, look no further than this fish tank ensemble. Just cut a hole in the top and front of the box, purchase a plain blue sweatshirt for the costume-wearer, and tape a few cute sea critters and bubbles to the sweatshirt. Voila! A costume that’s both simple and cozy for colder temperatures.

560afe031900003000fdeb60

(Image via)

4. X-Ray Vision

Were you craving some spookier moving box attire? This excellent X-Ray costume should do the trick. Paint a box black and add arm and head holes. For those who aren’t so artistically-inclined, you can simply print out a picture of the torso bones and glue or tape it directly to the box. No drawing required!

54eb099dedeed_-_x-ray-costume-diy-1009-de
(Image via)

5. Crayola Crayon Box

Of course, if you love to draw, then perhaps this Crayola Crayon Box is the right disguise for you. With some clever box-coloring and the use of bright paper cones, the only costume question you’ll be left to ponder is: should you also include that built-in crayon sharpener?

upload-469x600
(Image via)

What’s your favorite DIY Halloween costume? Share in the comments!