Moving in the winter time

Moving in the winter time?

If you are in the southern states of the United States and planning a move in the winter time, chances are you wont be affected negatively by the time of year. In fact, you may actually benefit from discounted rates as movers are generally offering discounts in the slow season for moving.

However, if you are in the northern parts of the United States and need to move in the winter time, there are some things you need to keep in mind to be properly prepared for the unpredictable weather patterns in this area.

You may as well benefit from discounted rates from moving companies being that this time of year is very slow in the industry. You must also keep in mind the set backs that may occur for your move this time of the year. We have taken the time to list a few things to be cautious of while planning a move during the winter time.

Some things that may occur during a move in the winter are such as these; if you schedule a move with a moving company on the last day before you are to move out of your residence this may cause an issue. What if it snows a foot? What if there is a tremendous amount of freezing rain? What if there are trees down across the roads and it is not possible for the moving truck to make it to your residence?  These are all things that need to be taken into account before you plan your move because you may be easily put into a bad spot.

If roads are not passable due to inclement weather, moving companies usually reserve the right to postpone or reschedule a move if they feel it may put them in a bad spot due to liability issues.

It is important that customers realize the need to reserve this right because your whole house full of belongings may be in jeopardy if weather conditions are bad.

This may cause set backs then as well for closing on your current home or the new home. It is suggested that you have  back up plan in case this happens.

Other small things to think about when moving in the winter time are such as this; if there is snow or the ground is wet the movers may be tracking in the moisture onto your floor. Most companies offer to put floor protection down but don’t just assume they will. Check into it and make sure you are prepared if they don’t have anything. Also, it will usually be very cold out and your doors will usually need to stay open for hours on end as the movers are bringing things in and out; Adjust your thermostat so that your heat will not be running non stop for hours which would result in a high gas or electric bill.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Hopefully this will prepare you some what for you move in the winter time!

 

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Moving With A Pet

Jacoby 013Jacoby 053Moving to a new home may be one of the most stressful life events you’ll ever have to tackle. But in the chaos of cardboard boxes, packing tape and moving trucks, you might not realize how stressed your pets feel, too.

Here is a little info to make moving your pet easier:

Know the pet laws and regulations in the state you are moving to. You can get these usually from your State’s veterinary office.

Prepare an easily-accessible ‘overnight kit’ that has enough dog food, kitty litter, toys and grooming tools to sustain your pet and keep them comfortable during the first few days of unpacking.

If you’re moving out of the area, inform your vet so you can take records and any prescription medications with you. See if they can recommend another vet in your new neighborhood.

If you are moving to an apartment or condo, make sure your pet is allowed before you move in. Many communities do not permit cats, dogs, aquariums and exotic pets (iguanas, venomous snakes, tarantulas, ferrets, etc.).

During the move itself, the best way to reduce stress on an animal is to keep them in the quietest area possible. If you don’t want to leave them with a friend or a kennel for the day (which is recommended), at least remove them from the action.

Take the pet to the new house in your own vehicle. Cats and small dogs can be put in a carrier in the back seat, which can then be secured with a seatbelt. A bigger dog can be moved in a kennel in the back of the car; you may need to put seats down if possible. Some animals feel more comfortable if you throw a blanket over their carrier during the car ride so they can’t see the environment changing outside.

Move the house before you move the pet. Set up as much as you can, even just in a room, before you introduce the animal to the new home.
After you move, make sure you update their tags or microchip information to the new address and phone number.

We hope these tips were helpful. Good luck with the move and your pet!

Storage Solutions

MovepicsMay2012 016Which Storage Solution Is Best For You?
Now days a vast majority of Americans have more and more items accumulated than ever before. Eventually, if you are one of these individuals, your current residence may not have enough space to hold all that you own. You will likely then be in search of better storage options as you are quickly running out of space. But which option is the best for you?

There are generally 3 major options when looking to store your items. Below we have listed the 3 options with some details and suggestions about each. Hopefully this will make deciding which option is best for you a little bit easier.

Self Storage Unit.

Self storage facilities are probably the most popular option of all when it comes to storage options. The versatility and easy 24/7 access is highly appealing to a vast majority of consumers. Unlike a moving company’s vault container or open warehouse storage that is usually not readily accessible by the customer a mini storage location is usually fenced in and have individual units with their own doors which customers can place their own personal locks on. The mini storage option is usually the median when it comes to price.

Portable Self Storage

Portable storage containers are actually a fairly new concept and only really emerged in the mid 90’s and over the past 20 years has grown tremendously nationwide as it offers a great option for consumers that are in need of short term storage while they are in the moving process. Rather than move all of the persons items into a moving truck, drive to a mini storage facility, unload then in a week or two come back with the moving truck, load it up again and then drive it to the new location to unload you simply need to load and unload once with a portable storage container. Along with the emersion of portable storage containers, many moving labor companies have also developed. Instead of the consumer having to load and unload their own containers, it is simple to research and find reliable, qualified laborers that will come out to the location you request and load the containers to utilize the maximum amount of space available in the container. Portable containers are also a great option when additional storage space on a site is desired. Such reasons may include remodeling and restoration of residences. Portable storage containers are usually at the high end of the storage options when it comes to price.

Vault Containerized Warehouse Storage

Moving company warehouse storage is usually a fairly economical option when it comes to storage. A large percentage of Americans utilize a moving company to help them with their move in some way. Lots of times, a person that may be buying a new house but also trying to settle and sell their own current home will realize that they may in fact need storage services in the interim while they abandon their current residence in order to sell it and wait until settlement on their new home. In this time, while using a moving company, it is usually to a customer’s benefit to let the moving company handle the entire process, storage included, thus making it less stressful on the person that is actually moving. Moving companies will usually also store large shipments in their warehouse for long distance moves as these moves may take more time in transit from one point to another as the company builds its runs out to be most profitable. And last but not least, this option is usually a great option as it the most hands free storage option there is since the moving companies will usually always send a crew out to pick up your items and delivery them as well.

Local Moving

photo3If you are planning on moving locally in South Central Pennsylvania or northern Maryland areas Sterner’s Moving has you covered. We have a variety of straight trucks that are equipped with dozens of moving blankets and straps. These trucks are generally more easy to use on local moving because they are easy to drive through the local towns, and for getting in your driveways or parking lots instead of using tractor trailers.

Our drivers are drug tested and background cleared as well so you can feel safe knowing your belongings are in good hands. Sterner’s Moving is a state licensed moving company and operates in both Maryland and Pennsylvania on a daily basis for local moving. Generally, local moves are charged on an hourly basis as opposed to long distance moving that is usually charged by weight and miles.

It is also important for consumers to know the difference between INTERSTATE moving and INTRASTATE moving. Interstate moving is when a move is conducted from one state to another. Intrastate moving is moving within one state. The regulations are generally different from state to state on local moves than federal laws that govern moving between states. You can check with your local or state agencies that regulate the moving industry. For Pennsylvania, the PA. Public Utility Commission regulates the household goods industry. It is also a good idea to check to see if your moving company is a member of any of the state associstions for the moving industry. In PA. there is the PMSA or Pa. Moving and Storage Associates. In MD. there is the Maryland Motor Truck Association. You can find a link to both of these associations on our home page of this web site. For the most part, local moves are usually charged on an hourly truck and man hour rate where as long distance or Interstate moves are charged by weight and miles.

Consumers are also advised to check into a companies background when looking for a mover. Read reviews, find out their BBB rating ask for insurance certificates etc. Keep in mind that generally a cheaper rate will likely also mean a lower quality service. Its smart to research the companies you are thinking about hiring and find out what their core values are. If the company is very engaged in being “the cheapest company” this will likely reflect the service you will receive. If a company prides them self on completing a job with as few damages and as few unhappy customers as possible then you will likely see a better end result when your move is completed. As in most aspects of life these days, what you pay for is what you get.

Piano Moving In PA. and MD

IMG_1021Piano Moving In Maryland and Pennsylvania There are many great reasons to own a piano and you can have an abundance of fun with one from learning to play, watching your kids play, or even just having the elegance of one in your home, but when it comes to moving a piano, there is nothing fun about it if you don’t have the proper skills or equipment. Unlike any other piece of furniture such as a couch, table, or chairs, a piano requires special care to be taken when moving. Could you do it yourself? Probably, with a bunch of strong friends and a pick up truck. It will likely take you a long time to do, someone may get hurt, and the piano or your home may be damaged in the process. Without having a piano moving company to do this, you will also lack insurance. Piano movers are uaully set up with everything they will need such as dollies, ramps, tools, straps, moving blankets etc. They will come in your house or businees to move your concert grand piano, baby grand, upright piano, console piano or even the rare organ. Usually piano moving companies will charge a flat, base rate for the size of the piano and then a mileage and step fee. Pianos are raerly billed hourly becuase the better the movers get, the quicker they can be done, and the more pianos they can move in a single day. This is how the piano moving companies make money. It may cost you $200-$400 for an average piano but the cost of having a piano mover do this for highly out weighs the cost of the damage you may cause to it or the people you have trying to move it. Along with know how to move the piano the best way, piano movers are usually also trained on how to best protect, disassemble and reassemble your pianos. So whether you have a grand piano or an upright piano, a Steinway or a Baldwin, if you are in need of moving a piano it is highly recommended to use or at least consult with a piano mover or even a tuner.

FREE Recycling Ideas

Free recyling ideas

Need some ideas for recycling? We have suggestions that are also FREE!

Upon cleaning your residence in preperation for moving day you may find that you have at least one, if not several items in your residence that you may be done using and would like to dispose of. But wait! Dont just throw them away! Recycle them! Items such as old tv’s, ink cartridges, vcr’s, DVD players, old computers etc. Most of the manufacturers of the items have set up recycling programs that are FREE! You will simply need to contact the manufactuerer of your product and they will advise you how to get your item to them to be recylced.

Most stores that sell these electronics such as Best Buy, HH Gregg, Wal Mart and Target usually also have programs in place for recycling old electronics.

Moving in Baltimore Maryland

truckPlanning a move in the Baltimore, MD area?

When planning a move in the Baltimore, Maryland area you have lots to think about and many companies to choose from. How do you know how to make the right desicion? This likely wont be a simple task but we can give you some info. and pointers to help you choose the right moving comapny for you in the state of Maryland.

One of the biggest differences with moving in the state of Maryland as opposed to moving in another state such as Pennsylvannia is how the companies are regualted. Unlike moving companies in PA. that are regulated by the Public Utility Commission, the same state agency that regulates gas and electric companies in most states, moving companies in Maryland are not regualted nearly as much.

Moving companies in Maryland do not have to publish a tariff, if they are doing intrastate moves (moves within the same state). They can charge how ever they would like. This will likely be one of the most key factors in determining a safe company to move you.

Another point you will want to make sure of is that the company you are choosing is insured! There is nothing wrong with asking the company that you are about to hire for a copy of their insurance certificates. Any reputible moving company should be able to produce these with effective and experation dates. One of the biggest nightmares in moving can be if your items get damaged and the company that is responsible is not able to cover your losses.

It is also a good idea to research your perspective moving companies online before making your decision. Sites such as Google, Yelp, Hireahelper and Angies List are great places to start. You should also weigh your options between booking full service moving where the moving company also supplies a moving truck and labor or renting your own truck and just hiring moving labor to help you load and unload. Some moving comapnies in Maryland offer both of these services others dont.

The following is further info. pertaining to the regulation of moving companies in the state of MD. to help you determin which mover will be the best for you. You can also check with the Maryland Motor Truck Assosciation, they have a full list of reputible moving companies. Their website is www.mmtanet.com

Summary of Maryland Intrastate Movers Regulations

As of October 1, 2011

For intrastate moves (those moves that take place entirely within the same state), it is up to each state to decide how best to regulate the moving industry. Maryland is considered an unregulated state because there is no registration requirement and there is no tariff; however, there are a few state regulations that all moving companies operating in Maryland must follow. A summary of those regulations is below.

· The Maryland Household Goods Movers Act of 2002 eliminated the right of a mover to enforce a carrier’s lien. On a move with no storage services, Maryland movers cannot hold a customer’s goods hostage. Companies must release a consumer’s goods and pursue any disputed monies owed to them in civil court. Please note that Maryland does still have a warehouseman’s lien (with the ability to auction off goods when specific conditions are met) if storage services are provided. (Article – Commercial Law; Section 14-3102; Annotated Code of Maryland)

· In 2004, legislation was passed that requires a household goods mover, on completion of household goods moving services for an intrastate move, to provide a consumer with a written receipt that states the mover’s legal name and the address and telephone number of the household goods mover’s resident agent in the state or, if the household goods mover does not have a resident agent in the state, the household goods mover’s principal place of business. (Article – Commercial Law; Section 14-3102.1; Annotated Code of Maryland)

· There is a specific section of MD law that requires companies to notify their customers that they should purchase insurance in addition to their level of valuation. The section reads:

(a) Required- Before a moving and storage firm or warehouse that stores household goods provides any service, the moving and storage firm or warehouse shall give notice to the buyer of the service that the buyer should get insurance to protect the buyer from loss of goods.

(b) Form- The notice shall be:

(1) in writing;

(2) printed in 12-point or larger type; and

(3) included in the application for service or in a separate statement.

(c) Penalty- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days or both.

(Article – Business Regulation; Section 17-1204; Annotated Code of Maryland)

· As of October 1, 2011, on Maryland intrastate moves you must:

o Provide a consumer with a written estimate before providing HHG moving services. Consumers may waive their rights to a written estimate if the waiver is made voluntarily and without coercion by the mover. Note: There is no designation as to when the estimate must be provided (e.g. how far in advance of the move). It simply must be given “before providing household goods moving services for an intrastate move.”

o The estimate must:

1. Separately identify each HHG moving service that the mover will provide and the price of each service.

2. Separately identify each fee that the consumer will or may be required to pay.

3. State the estimated total price.

4. State the time and method of payment for the HHG moving service.

5. Indicate if the estimate is binding.

o If the estimate is binding the mover cannot exceed the amount stated in the estimate “for the HHG moving services described in the estimate.”

o If the estimate is non-binding, a mover may not require a consumer to pay more than 125% of the total price stated in the estimate “for the HHG moving services described in the estimate, plus any applicable excess charges.” Excess charges means an amount, in excess of the estimate for additional services. They are not subject to the 125% cap.

o Additional services (not subject to the cap) are those services that:

1. Are provided before or during an intrastate move; and

2. Are necessary because of circumstances that:

Are beyond the control of the HHG mover; and
Could not have been reasonably anticipated by the HHG mover.

Why is York County PA a good location to live?

Although York County Pennsylvania is a smaller city than compared to some of the surrounding cities it is in a great location and the history runs deep. York, PA. is conveniently located just across the Maryland line (or the Mason Dixon Line) on your way from Baltimore to Harrisburg. Interstate 83 runs directly through the heart of the county and city of York. It also intersects with Rt. 30 that runs East and West and can connect you with Lancaster Pa to the East and Gettysburg Pa to the West both with their own rich historic features and entertainment.

Many people from other areas such as Baltimore are relocating to York county because of its excellent location in relation to the much larger city to its south but also boasts the comfortable and relaxing rural life that lots of people seek now days. Today, York is not the thriving factory and industrial community that it once was. Lots of people that relocate to York and also natives of the county find themselves traveling to Baltimore daily to earn the large salaries and then make them stretch even farther in the much more affordable county of York, PA.

While living in York many people take advantage of the entertainment that is in, around and near by. In the winter months, Ski round top is not far away and is sure to keep you entertained. In the summer, Hershey park is near by and has a wealth of options for entertainment from history of chocolate making to roller coasters and water rides for the thrill seekers. Many great places to eat in York such as White Rose Bar and Grill is always open and is sure to please the toughest of food critics with there wonderful, broad menu.

Moving Within Pennsylvania

Moving within the state of Pennsylvania, or planning an  intrastate move? Moving in PA is very different than moving within other states such as Maryland and Virginia which are not highly regulated. It is not as much different to the customer as it is to the moving companies that operate within the state of PA. Still there are things that consumers need to know when selecting a moving company to help them with their move from one point in PA to another point in PA.

 

 The PA Public Utility Commission or (PUC) regulates such industries as the Electric and Gas companies but they also regulate moving companies that ship household goods within the state of Pennsylvania. Each moving company that wishes to operate as a carrier of household goods from one point in PA to another point in PA. has to first file an application, that show proofs of insurance, pass safety evaluations, publish a tariff with listed rates that they intend to charge each and every customer and also pass other application criteria.

 

After all standards in the application process have been met the moving company is then issued a license to operate, and the license will also explain which points in Pennsylvania the company will have the rights to operate in. Usually the areas are broken down by counties. For example; The Company has the right to originate trips from points in York County, PA. to other points in PA.

 

There is usually a fuel charge, and travel charge that the company is required to charge for driving to and from customer’s locations. If the customer wishes to have any packing of boxes done then there will be different charges usually for this and also for the cost of the boxes if boxes are needed.

 

Any moving that takes place within the state of PA. has to follow the following charging structure;

 

  • Any moves over 40 miles will be charged per weight. Estimates are usually calculated per 100 lbs of weight.
  • The carrier must furnish the customer with an estimate that states what the estimated weight is for the shipment to the best of the estimator’s professional knowledge.
  • Once the moving date comes, for shipments over 40 miles, the carrier must get their truck weighed before the shipment is loaded onto truck.
  • Once the shipment is loaded the carrier must then get the truck weighed again. The difference in the weight is the billable weight for the customer’s shipment.
  •  The carrier must then use their tariff charges to determine what the final charges are for doing the shipment.

 

Other variables for this type of shipment include; storage of the shipment before delivery, elevator charges, stair charges, or long carry charges.

 

Any household goods moved with in the state that are 40 miles or less will be charged hourly. This is usually determined as one truck and driver at a certain rate and any additional labor has a set hourly rate per man. There is usually a fuel charge that applies to local moves as well. These fuel rates usually change month to month due to the fluxuation of oil prices.
Just as in hiring any contractor to perform a service for you, it is always a good idea to do your homework. Research each company that you intend to get an estimate from. Make sure they are a licensed moving company and have insurance up to date. There is nothing wrong with asking a company for a copy of their current insurance filing. You can also find a list of licensed moving companies on the PA. PUC state website which is www.puc.state.pa.us.