11 Tips for Holding a Moving Sale

The less you pack, the less you move, and the less you unpack. Having a moving sale is a great way to get rid of things that are no longer used regularly, and is also a good way to make some extra cash. Her are 11 tips for hosting a moving sale:

1-      Make a rule, and set it in stone, before you start deciding on what to get rid of. Choose a certain amount of time that an item has not been used, and stick to that time, when deciding if it is something you should hang onto or sell. If it hasn’t been used in a year, then you probably won’t miss it!

2-      Choose a number of items per day that you are going to plan on putting in the “moving sale” pile. This will ensure that you continue to decide to get rid of items, and you aren’t stuck with few items to sell when you moving sale day arrives.

3-      Invite friends! By inviting friends to help on sale day, you can feel less pressure on you to talk to and answer questions from people who stop to look at your items. Providing pizza and drinks is usually all it takes for a few friends to jump on board to help. It can also be useful to invite friends over when rummaging through items to sell. Friendshave no problem telling you whether or not you will actually use something you haven’t touched in months, and will probably encourage you to part ways with things you might think you still need.

4-      Quickly wiping down and cleaning items can make them more appealing to potential customers. By taking the time to make sure items look presentable, more things will be sold, resulting in more cash and less clutter for you. A little dusting can go a long way!

5-      Organize your sale. Place all clothing in one area, all toys in another, electronics together etc.. This will make it easier for customers to browse when they are looking for specific items, as well as being easier on you when a customer might ask if you have something they are looking for.

6-      Advertise! By getting the word out about your sale, you will increase the number of people who come looking for items. Facebook and Craigslist are great, free ways to spread the word about your moving sale. Newspapers can also be a good place for advertisement, and a great way to reach people who do not use social media and internet. Good old fashioned signs on telephone poles are helpful too, and should be hung at least a week before the date of the sale. Using bright colored poster board and bold lettering is the best way to attract the attention of people walking and driving through busy intersections. Be sure to include the date, location and time when advertising for your moving sale.

7- Put price stickers on the items you are selling. It is much easier to have customers know what you are selling an item for immediately when they pick it up, as opposed to having to ask somebody about the price of every item. Keep in mind, lower prices sell items. The more fairly the items are priced, the more items you will sell.

8- If time winds down, and you still have a lot of items left to sell, it is beneficial for you to mark the prices down. This will help to get rid of the remaining for sale items, and will get you cash for things you will probably end up donating if they don’t sell.

9- Refreshments! People are drawn to food and drinks. If you have any children, have them set up a lemonade stand with cups of lemonade and cookies. Not only does this keep the children involved, but people have trouble saying no to stopping and buying lemonade from cute children!

10- Make sure you have change for big bills. When customers decide to purchase something you are selling, the last thing you want to have to do is run to the bank to break a $50 dollar bill. Having a good amount of singles, fives, and tens, as well as quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies is crucial.

11- Start your sale early, people who regularly go to yard sales, generally like to go first thing in the morning. Remember, “The early bird gets the worm!” is a motto often used, and shoppers are prepared to be the first ones to arrive at your yard sale.



7 Tips for Planning a Military Move

According to Military.com, active military members make a PCS military move
(Permanent Change of Station) move every 2-4 years. Not only do 
military families move frequently, often times they aren’t given 
much notice before a move, causing moving day to become 
extremely stressful. These 7 tips can help to ensure that your 
military move goes as smoothly as possible.
When orders are received, if possible make a trip to the location 
of your future home in order to scope out the area. Make note of 
what is important to you, and if it is possible to rent a home or 
apartment near those things. Researching the area online can be 
helpful as well, but getting a firsthand look at the location can help 
to ensure you move your family to a good and convenient 

Downsize. Keep in mind that everything that you pack up in boxes to move, will eventually need
to be unpacked. This is a perfect opportunity to get rid of items that you no longer use regularly. 
Some efficient ways to do this are to set small goals, such as everyday you pack get rid of 7 items,
donate one garbage bag per week to charity, etc. Donating items to resale stores or selling 
them at yard sales or on craigslist are all great ways to feel like you are not just throwing away items
that other families could find useful. Make it a rule that if the item has not been used or worn 
within the past year, it goes in the donation pile. Small goals can lead to major downsizing
without even realizing it.
Take an inventory. Having all of your items written on list can become extremely helpful in making
sure all of your items get from point A to point B. Even better than a list, is taking pictures 
of all of your belongings.

Create a binder/folder. Having a binder filled with all important documents, birth certificates,
moving information, military orders, etc. can be very useful. Instead of having to rummage through 
boxes of paperwork when important documents are requested, everything is kept in the same place.
Be sure to keep out your necessities. When civilians plan moves, they have control over what goes
on which truck to be delivered where they want, when they want. Being in the military, you are 
probably somewhat accustomed to plans changing at the last minute, and in order to be best
prepared it is important to keep the important things easily accessible. The last thing you will want 
to do is go the store for shampoo and toothpaste when you’re moving truck gets delayed.
Take pictures. While your new place is completely empty, take pictures of all rooms and structures.
This will ensure that any damage that is already done to the property is not blamed on you 
when your next move arrives. Military families move, on average, every 2-4 years.
Keeping photo documentation of carpet,windows, cabinets and doors can ensure that when the time comes 
to move again, you won’t be blamed for the previous resident’s carelessness.
Frequently moving can be trying on families and often times can be an emotional life event. When finding
out where your next move will be, try to write down 5 positive things about your new location. Is your new
apartment within walking distance to a pool or park? Are you only a 5 minutes drive from the grocery
or nearest mall?Keeping a positive outlook when planning a military move can make a huge difference
in how smoothly the move will go.



Moving with your Canine!big dogs

Your canine may notice changes around the house. In order to 

keep your pup from being overwhelmed by all of the packing, try 

to complete the process over a period of time. If you can make 

subtle changes in the environment opposed to drastic changes, 

this will be less stressful on your canine.

Dogs are creatures of habit, keeping some consistency in their 

lives will help to eliminate unwanted and undesirable behaviors from them. If you can prevent changing the habits

of your canine, this is highly recommended. If you cannot prevent this, attempt to slowly change them over time.

Make sure your dog has up to date ID tags with a current phone numbers and the new address. If you are in

between phone numbers, add the number of a close family member or friend,someone that the dogs knows

well enough to feel comfortable with in case of emergency.On the day of the big move, you want to make

sure that your dog is safe and not in a position where he may be overwhelmed with all of the people and

movement going on. Place him in a room with some toys, water and a comfortable sleeping area. Keep the 

door closed and place a sign on the door letting movers and family members know not to open the door.

This will prevent an emergency situation where your dog may get loose.When you arrive at your new home,

you may be tempted to let your dog out to explore. This may be tempting; however this is not the safest decision.

Be sure to wait until all of the movers are finished going in and out of the home.Get back to your routine as

quickly as possible; this will help your canine adjust to your new living arrangements seamlessly. 



Arbitration Program – What you need to know
arbitration program

Need to file a dispute with your moving company? You need to 
know your rights. Although we try to avoid all disputes, sometimes 
they are unavoidable.Disputes between a consumer and their 
moving company can arise for many different reasons, for 
example, damages to items, missing items, overcharging the 
quoted amount, change in delivery times without being previously discussed, etc. 

Interstate movers are required by Federal statutory requirements to follow the arbitration program. In 2005, they have expanded
to include the following two requirements: 

Disputed loss and damage claims are a mandatory requirement if the
amount of the dispute is $10,000 or less.Disputes regarding charges
that are billed to the customer after the delivery, that are in addition
to the quoted and agreed to amount. This is also a mandatory
arbitration requirement if the amount of the dispute is $10,000 or less.
In previous years, from 1996 when arbitration programs were first put
in to affect, until 2005, only loss and damage claims were subject to
the arbitration regulations. Many disputes can be resolved prior to
getting to the level of arbitration. If you have a legitimate dispute,
discuss this directly with your moving company’s customer service
department and/or the management of the company. However, if
this process does not seem to be affective in resolving your dispute,
the FMCSA requires that all interstate moving companies have a
neutral arbitration program in place to help resolve issues.
This is a more informal and less expensive than formal court litigation. 

Arbitration Threshold – 

The arbitration programs regulations state that the disputes of $10,000 or less on an interstate move and/or shipments must be submitted to binding arbitration, if no settlement can be reached between the shipper and consumer. 
Arbitration is not mandatory for claims above $10,000. However, it can be used to settle a dispute of more than $10,000; you are under no obligation to choose this method. 
If a dispute arises, that cannot be resolved by the movers claims department, a customer can request arbitration by writing to AMSA(American Moving and Storage Association) within 90 calendar days after the movers last settlement, or denial of the claim. 



Moving your gun safe, the “How to” guide –imgres

If you are the owner of any fire arms,a gun safe is your

fundamental responsibility to the safety of those in

your home. While owning a gun safe is very smart,

safe and effective, they are also an extremely heavy

piece of furniture that will have to be moved when

you are relocating to a new home. Gun safes can weigh up

to 300 pounds. Please do not attempt to move your gun safe

alone,  as this may result in personal injury. The first step to moving your gun safe should be,

selecting the new location prior to moving it. Measure your gun safe and the area that you wish

to move it to. Be sure these match adequately. This will eliminate having to the safe more than

one time. After you pick the new location, plan and clear a path to ensure a safe move. 

Often times, gun safes are stored in the lower level of your home; such as, the basement or

family room. Be sure to have the proper tools to move the safe down the stairs. A furniture

dolly is an essential tool to ensure safe and efficient move. Also, you want to be sure that

you have additional help, having at least one other individual to assist in the move.

You must secure the gun safe to the dolly to avoid the safe from slipping off of the dolly. 

If you are not 100% comfortable with moving your gun safe, just leave it where it stands until

the day of your move and allow the professional movers of Woodland Hills Movers

take care of this for you. 



Inventory Report of Household GoodsInventory 002_474x640
Moving long distance? Woodland Hills Movers would be happy to help! When moving long distance, our movers are required to complete an inventory of household goods form. This will ensure that your personal items will arrive at the new location in the same condition that they left the original location. Inventory of household goods are typically only used for long distance moves unless otherwise requested by the customer.
Inventory of household good forms will include the following information: 

Owners Name

Previous address, delivery address

Contract number

Name of household good

Description of household good

Condition of household good at origin

Item Number

Movers will then tag the boxes with colored and numbered stickers consistent with the item numbers on the inventory of household goods form. After the items are delivered, the customer will then inspect the items and determine if the items are in the same condition that was previously noted on the inventory form. Customers are required to sign the form, agreeing with the movers original inspection of the condition and the inspection post-delivery. Customer participation is encouraged during this process to help prevent any future claims against the moving company. This process is in place to assure a safe and reliable long distance move of your personal belongings. Woodland Hills Movers will provide an excellent experience with your long distance move.  


Moving Plants


Customers relocating out of state will most likely have to find a new home for their plants.

Most states have regulations that prohibit moving companies or individuals to transport plants across state lines.

Those customers that decide to take a chance and transport them with out doing preliminary homework are:

  • taking a risk of breaking state law,
  • having plants confiscated at the boarder,
  • risking getting plants killed by weather conditions, lack of light, fresh air and water.

Customers moving within California - locally (under 100 miles) can ask movers to load their plants inside the truck. However, movers' main priority is to make sure that shipment fits inside the truck to avoid a second trip. Plants are very delicate, can not stack on top of them - so they take a lot of space inside the truck. Usually, movers load plants last, after all boxes and other goods safely secured inside the truck. In our experience we have transported (locally) many different sorts of plants, using wardrobe or dish pack boxes. Securing plants safely, and in some cases customers were assigned special trucks just to take care of their valuable plants.

Plants seem amenable enough. They barely move and they certainly don't audibly complain about anything. But they're actually very sensitive beings. And they will get as upset as your cat or dog about moving to a new place -- especially when moving involves spending a lot of time in a vehicle that's not temperature controlled.

-- What kinds of things should you consider when moving plants?

You may not be able to bring the plant at all if it's outlawed in your new area. And if your plant is legal to make the move, you need to keep it moist and make sure the temperature of the vehicle is reasonable. What else should you do to make your plant's trip a comfortable one?

Five Important things to know about moving plants:

1. Check the laws:

Believe it or not, if you're moving to another state, federal and state laws may prohibit you from bringing a certain type of plant with you. In certain areas, plants may have to be quarantined or inspected to be certified that they are pest-free. Some states prohibit bringing any plants into the state. If you find yourself in a situation where you can't bring your plants with you to your new home, you'll have to give them up. You can give them to a friend or donate them to a willing institution. Or, you can even sell them. People have been known to buy plants off CraigsList.

2. If your plants are acceptable where you're moving, then you can let the movers move them. Professional moving companies are usually willing to move houseplants. But don't expect professional moving personnel to water your plants or give them any special care. So, if you're moving a long distance and will be on the road for a long time, you might want to put the plants in your own vehicle. You can look after the plants, making sure they're kept upright and remain in a relatively temperature-controlled vehicle. More about that on the next page.

3. Control temperature:

Most indoor houseplants cannot survive in temperatures below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1.1 degrees Celsius or higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius) for more than an hour, particularly if they are not wrapped. So if you are moving a long distance, pack plants in cartons and try to make sure they are moved in a heated vehicle and are not left in an unheated car or moving van overnight. That may mean you need to take the plants into the hotel room with your overnight if you're making a long car ride to get to your new home.

4. Prepare plants for transport:

Make sure plants are moist when they are packed for moving. They can usually survive for about 10 days without water. So you probably won't need to worry about watering them during the trip. If your plants are in ceramic or clay pots, those are heavy to carry and they're also breakable. So, it's a good idea to transplant your plants to plastic pots before the move. But even just moving them from one pot to another can be traumatic. So do this a couple of weeks before your move. That way the plant will get used to its new pot before it's put on the road.

5. Take cuttings from plants left behind:

If you can't move your plants because of space limitations, quirky laws or simply because you don't think they'll survive the trip, then consider taking cuttings from a few of your favorite plants with you. This is an especially nice thing to do with the plants in your yard that you don't want to dig out of the ground. To ensure sound transport, you can keep the cuttings in a plastic bag with damp vermiculite or peat moss. When you get to your new place, simply plant the cuttings in a new pot or in the yard.

A few weeks before you move assess all your plants you are planning to transport. Prune them, feed them and administer any pest control treatments to get them into peak condition. Think about the pots they’re in – if you’re worried about transporting stone pots, for example, re-pot the plants into plastic ones. Also, take some time to check that all pots are whole and not cracked. A cracked pot stands more chance of breaking in transit and thus damaging the contents. Make sure that the pots are not too big for the actual plant – this can cause them to move about and damage themselves.

On your moving day (or the day before if you’re pushed for time) make sure that none of the plants are water-logged and drain away any excess water. Pack them snugly (but not too tightly) into the boxes you have set aside and put some packing in place to hold them firmly. Point out to your movers that these boxes contain plants – although you won’t have any insurance coverage, they will still take a special care of the boxes. Plants in large pots should be wrapped in plastic or placed in bags – you can also wrap the actual plant in plastic to avoid damage and to keep the plant together. If you do this, be careful to make sure that the plastic is not tied together too tightly – they still need to breathe.



Determining the size of the shipment of household goods

Determining the size of the shipment of household goods is the most important step in estimating the overall cost of a local or a long distance relocation and cost of a short or a long term storage.

The first step is to make a detailed list of items to be moved or stored. Make sure you calculate an accurate amount of boxes you will use to pack up your clothes, linens, electronics, small appliances, pots and pans, dishes, artwork, books, dvd's and cd's, tools, gardening equipment, plants (may not be allowed to be transported across state lines), office stuff, toys, etc. It is always best to overestimate by about 10% to avoid an unpleasant surprise on the move day.

Cartons/Boxes come in set sizes:

  • Small box: 1.5 cubic feet;
  • Medium box: 3.0 cubic feet;
  • Large box: 4.5 cubic feet;
  • Extra large box: 6.0 cubic feet;
  • Lamp box (medium size): 5 cubic feet;
  • Mirror/Picture box (medium size): 5 cubic feet;
  • Dish pack box: 6.2 cubic feet;
  • Big Screen TV box (72" x 8" x 42"): 14 cubic feet;
  • Wardrobe large box: 15 cubic feet.

After you are done with estimating the amount of boxes your will need for your shipment, you will need to do a room by room inventory of your furniture and other household items you own.

Movers use moving software that has "Table of Measurements" for each possible article in households. In case you happen to have an article that is not in that form, you can measure its dimensions and add it separately. Obviously, the items may vary in size and in weight, but statistically this formula works with in 5% to 10% accuracy. Once your movers determine the size of your shipment they are able to send the right moving truck to perform the job and determine the right crew of movers and the labor time it should take them to complete the job, and by multiplying the size of your shipment by 7, you will be able to get an estimate of the shipment's weight (1 cubic foot of space = 7 lbs of household goods).

In California you can request your movers to provide you with an on-site estimate at no cost to you. However, if you have a "small move", most movers will not be able to extand that service to you, as it is not cost effective to them.

If you decide to get the measurement of your shipment on your own, you must create the list of all of your items and than apply the measurements of the boxes or other items as described in the "Table of Measurements" shown below.

Estimate Tables_001

Articles Articles.2 Articles.3

Using these averages will help you determine the right size truck to get for your move, or to rent the right size storage.



How to file a claim


If you have a loss or damage to your property due to your mover's negligence you need to file a claim as soon as possible:

  1. Write mover's home office as soon as possible. Your claim just be filed, within 9 months after delivery of your goods;
  2. Indicate the date of your move, the origin and destination and mover's order number;
  3. Describe the loss or damage and list each item separately if there is more than one item damaged or lost;
  4. Indicate the exact amount you are claiming for each lost or damaged item;
  5. Provide any supporting store receipts and serial or model numbers of items (if they are available);
  6. It would be very helpful if you could provide professional estimates for repair of damaged items, this could speed the process of your claim.


If the damaged occurred to the items which were packed, retain the box, its contents and packing materials. Especially, if this article was packed by you, since you may have to show that bad packing was not the reason for the damage.

You should retain copies of all correspondence with the moving company. Therefore, use electronic mail or in case you are mailing hard copies use Registered Mail with return receipt, to evidence receipt of your claim by the mover.

Your mover has to reply to you within 30 days to acknowledge the receipt of your claim and provide you with a firm settlement offer, make a payment in full, or decline to pay within 60 days of receipt of your claim.



Articles that can't be moved

Unfortunately, there are some things that movers are not licensed to move or that are not recommended to be in the same shipment as the your household goods.

Such items are:

  1. Hazardous Materials,
  2. Perishables,
  3. Plants,
  4. Pets and,
  5. Jewelry, monies, stock and bond certificates.

Hazardous Materials

A. Federal and state laws prohibit movers from transportation of hazardous materials with household goods, a mover may be subject to a penalty of up to $250,000.

Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives, and radioactive materials. Example of such articles:

  • Nail polish remover,
  • Paints,
  • Paint thinners,
  • Lighter fluid,
  • Gasoline,
  • Fireworks,
  • Oxygen bottles,
  • Propane cylinders,
  • Car repair and maintenance chemicals, and
  • Radio-pharmaceuticals.


B. Perishables can be transported locally, at the risk of the shipper. The mover will not insure those items, and will not allow them on long distance moves as they will spoil and the smell may permanently damage other articles being transported. We recommend customers to use up all frozen foods prior to relocation.


C. Plants are not allowed to be transported across most states. Each states have their own guidelines and regulations. If you are planning to transport your plants with in the same state, your mover will not take responsibility over safety of your plants. Your mover will not be able to take care of them, and there is a chance your plants will suffer from weather changes, or lack of water, as the household trucks are not climate controlled and the movers will not water your plants during transit.

D. Pets must be transported with customer for the same reason as your plants. But there is also a good amount of advice posted on pet sites of how to prepare your pets to the move. Making sure they have up to date vaccinations, finding a veterinary near your new residence, etc.


E. Your valuables should be kept out of reach of strangers during your move. It is a good idea to keep those on yourself, or in a safety deposit box at the bank. Once you are relocated and your safe is moved and secured at your new residence then you can safely relocate your jewelry, valuable papers, etc to your new place. If you can not make appropriate arrangements, your mover will transport those valuable for you, under section of "items of extraordinary value". Any article valued over $100.00 per pound qualifies as such, and the customer must provide mover with an inventory of each such article. The list my contain the description of each article and its actual cost. Movers liability will be limited to $100 per pound, we strongly recommend to insure those items through a third party insurance policy. Start with homeowner's policy or check other moving related insurance companies.



Moving Insurance or Valuation Protection



Prior to hiring your mover you need to research all of the protection plans available to you.

FIRST, call your homeowner's insurance and find out what kind of coverage is standard with your existing policy and what additional options are available at extra cost.

Many home owner policies will cover your self move. However, if you hire a mover they offer very limited coverage.

Find out whether you are covered for movers performed...

  • packing,
  • loading,
  • during transit,
  • unloading and unpacking,
  • storage in transit (if you will not be able to accept your delivery right away and need to place your shipment into storage for under 3 months).

SECOND, in case you don't have homeowner's policy or it doesn't cover moving, you can check with insurance companies that offer Moving Insurance.

Insurance companies that offer moving insurance can be found through your potential mover or check out your state's Department of Insurance for companies offering moving protection. Department of Insurance will also provide you with insurance companies financial strength and reputation of paying on claims. Make sure that the mover you chose is covered by the insurance company you are researching.

Common questions to ask moving insurance company:

  • Is there anything that their policy does not cover, and what that is?
  • Is there a minimum or maximum policy amount?
  • What kind of deductible they offer?
  • What are the premiums for different choices of deductibles and coverage levels?
  • Finally, how to file a claim?


Whether your move in local or long distance and out of state your protection from movers is very similar. Local in state moves are governed by state, long distance out of state moves are governed by Federal agency Department of Transportation. Both agencies want movers to provide a basic (free) valuation included in the regular cost of the move, as well as Actual and Full Valuation protections.

1 - Basic:    60 cents/lb. No additional cost.


2 - Actual Cash Value Rate:    $1.25 per $100 of insurance.


3 - Full Value Rates,

       No Deductible:         $1.65 per $100 of insurance,

       $250 deductible:      $1.45 per $100 of insurance,

       $500 deductible:      $1.10 per $100 of insurance.

You must also select the value for the remainder of shipment to be delivered. The formula to determine the value of shipment is a minimum of $4,000.00 or at $5.00 per pound multiplied by actual weight of your shipment.

Example: 5,000 lbs shipment will value at minimum of 5,000 x $5.00 = $25,000. Customer can choose a higher limit to the insurance policy, but not less than $5.00 per pound. 4,000 lbs is a size of a small 2 bedroom house or a large 1 bedroom apartment.

Calculations of a premium for $20,000 value policy or valuation protection is shown in an example below.

Example: If you select a value of $20,000 and Full Valuation coverage with $250 deductible, you will be responsible to pay a valuation charge of (20,000 x 1.45) = $290.00 as a part of your other service charges on the bill of lading.

Actual Cash Value protection insures recovery at the actual cash value (i.e. fair market values) of your lost or damaged item(s), up to the value you declare. The mover may charge for this protection. Full Value protection insures recovery at the full value (i.e. replacement value) of your lost or damaged items(s), up to the total value protection. You are responsible for deductibles unless an item is lost by the mover.



Bill of Lading

This is the most important document. It serves as the contract between the mover and the customer and their shipment's transportation. It contains all of the essential terms and conditions of the agreement between the shipper and the mover.

The Bill of Lading is executed and signed by the shipper on the day of the move after the shipment has been loaded and before the moving truck leaves the residence. Once copy is given to customer and one will accompany the shipment with driver.

Bill of Lading includes a valuation section that indicates the "release value" of the goods being transported that, in turn, establishes the liability of the mover for the goods in the event of loss or damage.

Bill of Lading serves to identify the mover and specifies when the transportation is to be performed.

It specifies the terms and conditions for payment of the charges and the maximum amount required to be paid at the time of delivery for shipments moving under non-binding estimate.

Bill of Lading furnished to customers moving under non-binding estimate will be only partially complete copy at the time the truck leaves customer's residence. Partially complete bill of lading must contain all relevant information - except the actual weight of the shipment, which will be determined only after the truck is weighed, and any other information necessary to determine the final charges for all services to be performed.

A copy of bill of lading must accompany the shipment at all times while in mover's possession. The copy will be kept by mover filed for at least one year since the completion of the move.

BOL 001_367x640



Inventory Form

Any interstate or intrastate long distance shipments or shipments going into movers warehouse for short term storage must have a written descriptive inventory of the articles prepared by your mover.

While there is no specific inventory form prescribed, the movers are free to design their own style form. The inventory form must identify each specific box, and every non-boxed item in the load.

The mover must mark every article with a numbered sticker. The number of the sticker corresponds to a line on the inventory form. Each article must also have a detailed description of its condition prior to it being loaded to the truck.

The mover must give you an opportunity to verify accuracy of the inventory and its description. If you disagree with any of the item's description, you should make your own notes on the form. After you go over the inventory, both you and the mover must sign and date it. You must receive a copy of the inventory forms and hold on to them until the delivery day.

At the time mover delivers your shipment, you must go over every article that goes off the truck to the inventory and check its condition and make written notes on the form. If there are missing items indicate them on the forms as well. This will not be an official claim for loss or damage, but it will certainly help when you are filing one with the moving or insurance company.

Movers must keep inventory forms filed together with bill of lading contracts for at least one year since the delivery of the shipment.

Here is a look at a sample inventory form

Inventory 002_474x640



Order for Service

Once you choose a mover, based on the estimate provided to you. Make sure to hold on the estimate until the move is complete. Now that you have selected your mover, the next document you are supposed to get from your moving company is Order for Service.

Order for Service is a required document, which provides you with a written confirmation of the following:

-  the services to be performed by a mover in conjunction with your relocation;

-  the dates for the pickup and delivery of your goods,

-  the address of the pickup and the delivery locations;

-  the amount of valuation protection you have chosen;

-  along with any additional services you may have ordered;

-  it also must provide an address and telephone numbers of your mover;

-  as well as the telephone numbers and/or an address where a mover can contact you (during long distance moves),

-  show the charges that will be assessed for the move.

If the shipment is moving under non-binding estimate, the order for service must

-  show the non-binding charges;

-  indicate the method of payment for the charges, and in case the charges are to exceed the non-binding estimate,

-  it will show the maximum amount that you will have to pay at the time of delivery to obtain your possessions;

-  the law requires movers to indicate valuation clause, that must be shown on either the Order for Service or the Bill of Lading, at movers option.

Order for Service must be prepared for shipments of household goods for individual (C.O.D.) shippers only. There is no requirement to use Order for Service for commercial, government, or DOD shippers.

The new laws allow movers and some movers have created a combined Order for Service and Bill of Lading contract. In these special cases the combined contracts must be approved by the local office of Department of Transportation.

A sample form of Order for Service is shown below

 OrderForSerive 001_594x800



Binding Estimates

Most movers offer three types of estimates - Binding, Non-Binding and Not-to-Exceed. Binding estimates are written agreements that guarantee the cost of the move based on the items to be moved and the services required by customer and listed on the estimate.


Binding Estimate is also known as Flat Rate estimate. The mover will survey customer's residence and take a detailed inventory of the items to be moved and services to be performed. The mover will provide a written binding estimate of the total charge for transportation and other services pertaining to the shipment, subject to the following Notes:

NOTE 1: The binding estimate must be provided in writing by both the customer and the movers.

NOTE 2: Transportation must be within 60 days of the date the binding estimate was signed and dated. After 60 days that estimate becomes void.

NOTE 3: The binding estimate is limited to the origin, destination and additional stops, if any are described in the estimate. It is further limited to the quantities of items, and services specified in estimate.

NOTE 4: The binding estimate may be revised in writing, by mutual agreement between the mover and the shipper any time with in 60 day period of that the estimate is in effect, or any time on or before the shipment is tendered to the mover for transportation.

NOTE 5: Mover may elect, prior to loading, to revise the binding estimate, if any of the services, items or destinations have been revised the the shipper.

NOTE 6: Any services that are not included in the binding estimate, but are either requested by shipper or necessary to accomplish delivery and are performed by the mover at destination, will be assessed by the mover at the tariff level in effect at the time of loading. Estimated weight, as provided in the binding estimate, will be assessed at the tariff level on a cwt. basis. On prepaid shipments or on shipments when prior credits have not been established, the mover will collect at delivery, the applicable tariff charges, which shall be in addition to the binding estimate amount.

NOTE 7: When all or a portion of the shipment is placed in storage-in-transit and not included in the binding estimate, the portion placed in storage will be weighed for the purpose of determining the cost of storage based on its cwt.


Non-binding estimates are not guaranteed. A non-binding estimate is mover's approximation of the cost based on the mover's survey of items to be moved, with the final cost determined at the time the shipment is weighed.

The mover must explain the customer that if shipment weighed more than the non-binding estimated amount. The mover can request a payment of 110% of estimated cost at delivery and bill the customer for the remaining balance within 30 days of delivery. And the customer has 30 days to pay the mover for the balance due.


Some movers offer a third type of estimate called Not-to-exceed estimate. This estimate is offered as a Binding estimate or the Actual cost, whichever is lower. Like a Binding estimate, A Not-to-exceed estimate must be provided to customer in writing and is binding on the mover.

Not-to-exceed estimate differs from a Binding estimate. A Not-to-exceed estimate has a maximum binding amount, however the shipment may be adjusted down in customer's favor, in case the shipment weighs less. Then it will be adjusted at the tariff assigned to the shipment at the time of signing a contract. When the customer accepts a Not-to-exceed estimate, the move is performed as at actual weight based on tariff rate levels, with the binding estimate amount representing the maximum charge that the customer will have to pay.

Your mover must provide an on-site estimate (do a physical survey of your goods), if the mover's headquarters are located with in 50 mile radius of your original location.

In situations when the mover arrives at he customer's residence to load the shipment quantities have changed (more items have been added to shipment), or the customer is requesting additional services (packing boxes, extra stops, storage, shuttle, long walks, hoisting, etc.) that are not included in the estimate, the mover is not required to honor the original estimate. In addition, if an agreement can not be reached as to the price of the added goods or services, the mover is not required to service the shipment. Of course, refusing the shipment does no good to the customer, nor the mover, therefore a negotiated, revised estimate is probably the most prudent approach to resolving this issue.



Shipment Documentation


Movers must comply with consumer protection regulations and requirements for Interstate and Intrastate moves.

The household goods moving industry is divided into two distinct segments by types of operations performed by mover - Interstate and Intrastate.

Intrastate transportation and long term storage comes under jurisdiction of state laws in each state. In California the agency regulating transportation of household goods is Public Utilities Commission. Intrastate moves are broken down into local and long distance moves.

Interstate transportation of household goods is regulated by FMCSA, an agency of the United States Department of Transportation.


  • Written on-site estimate,
  • Bill of Lading (state issued contract),
  • Important Notice About Your Move,
  • Inventory Forms (for long distance moves),
  • Your Rights and Responsibilities booklet must be provided by movers to customers,
  • And for long distance moves, weight slips of the shipment, determinging its weight.


  • Written on-site "Binding" or "Non-binding" estimate,
  • Order for Service,
  • Bill of Lading (federal issue contract),
  • Inventory Forms,
  • Customer must be provided with the following information prior to move day:
  • Booklet: Your Rights & Responsibilities when you move,
  • Arbitration Program booklet,
  • And the copeis of the weight slips of the shipment, from government certified scales. Customers have the right to observe the weighings or waive that right at the time they sign the bill of lading.

Packing Yourself



There are many strategies can be used to control costs of moving. Some are trying to do everything themselves:

  • Renting a truck and moving equipment, such as dollies, blankets,
  • Buying materials - boxes, tape, shrik and bubble wrap, packing paper, box cutters, marker and more,
  • Packing boxes,
  • Protecting furniture (with moving blankets),
  • Disassembling articles,
  • Loading the truck,
  • Driving the truck,
  • And finally, unloading, unpacking and reassembling the furniture.


If you are in great health and have young and willing friends, moving may actually be a "fun" experience.

However, most of us have a lot of other things that we need to take care of on the days leading to a move and on the move day itself. Most of us actually don't want to inconvenience our friends, and most importantly we have a few valuable items that we want professionally protected and moved to the new place. So we are left with choosing to do some of the services ourselves, while leaving the heavy and more valuable articles to be handled by professionals.

We end up packing majority of non-breakable articles ourselves, such items as:

Books and magazines,

DVDs and VHS tapes,

Tools and instruments,

Linens and other bed-ware,

Clothes and shoes,

And some small and less expansive appliances.

If you decide that you've figured the packing out and want to pack all of your belongings yourself, hare are some important suggestions:

Most importantly, do not pack hazardous materials to be transported with your household items,

Purchase various size boxes - as you should select special boxes for articles to be packed,

Pack one room at a time,

Label each box, carefully describing its contents and room it belongs to,

Be as specific as you can, indicate fragile items in bright colors and large print, to be easily recognized by movers or friends helping you move,

Keep the weight of your boxes reasonable, to avoid the carton folding or ripping from its own weight and becoming too heavy to carry (this goes for boxes with books and other paperwork), that's why movers recommend to use the smallest boxes (1.5 cubic foot) for packing books.

It is common sense to keep those heavy boxes on the bottom of the load for safety of other lighter boxes and the balance of shipment,

Stack the fragile, and light boxes on the top of your shipment, movers will know how to strap them for security inside the truck during transit to avoid shifting and possible damages.

Fragile items - pack in dish pack boxes, as they are thicker than regular boxes (double carton) and use bubble wrap to rap fragile items separately and use paper for cushioning.

As most people that do their own packing of household goods are trying to save money, however they should be aware that in case of breakage customer will have to show/prove that damage occurred due to mover's negligent handling and not customers poor packing. In case there is damage, always save the box, the contents and the packing materials to facilitate clam.


Never pack matches, flammables, acids, corrosives, explosives or other dangerous articles.

It's a good idea to defrost and dry the refrigerator and freezer.

Set aside jewelry, money, vital documents and other small valuable items in a safe place, non-accessible to anyone entering your old or your new residence. Do not ship valuable articles, such as jewelry with a moving company unless you make a written arrangement with the mover, it is best to transport those items on you.

It is customer's responsibility to prepare and disconnect major appliances, and providing special services (such as cleaning and drying them before the move day). Also it is client's responsibility to remove attached items from walls or floors, such as drapery or tuck down carpeting. Some movers may provide those services for extra fee, or will refer a local specialist to assist you with those chores.



Finding the Right Mover


Here are a few tips that will help in selecting a mover.

Make sure to understand if you are dealing with:

    a. mover - household mover's ordinary course of business is providing transportation of customers belongings and is liable for the shipment,

    b. mover's agent - is liable for the shipment and works with mover and uses mover's tariff,

    c. broker - responsible to find an authorized mover, but will not be responsible for loss or damage.

Ask your mover of their schedule of fees, pertaining to your move (local/long distance). Local for the size of your residence or industrial facility, if long distance by size and the distance. Some movers have discounts for the size of relocation.

Get a copy of bill of lading (contract) from your mover and get familiar with the definitions used by movers and the "small print" inside the contract.

Get in writing from mover acceptable forms of payment.

The best way to prepare for moving is to learn your rights and responsibilities.

Finding the liabilities of the moving companies is very important in general.

Materials that are not allowed to transport with movers.

You should interview 2 or more reputable companies. Get written estimates and choose the company with the best reputation and a reasonable offer.

Make sure to be very thorough at describing services you require. And to compare companies costs make sure that companies have same understanding of your requirements.

Customer can require the availability of guaranteed pickup and delivery dates.

Long distance moves have different methods of deliveries: exclusive use of a truck and straight delivery, or consolidated relocation.

Have movers explain the differences of protection programs.

Find out:

- what happens if you are not ready to accept shipment and need short term storage (long distance moves).

-  the process of how to file a claim in case of loss or damage.



Local Relocation

Trucks two

Local moves are charged by hours it takes to relocate a residence or commercial facility to the new location

The rate depends on the amount of movers working on the job. 

The hourly rate gets you a team of movers a moving truck,  equipment and tools that are necessary to complete the job.

The services that are included in the hourly rate are:

  • packing and crating of the goods,
  • disconnecting appliances,
  • preparation of the items - disassembly, reassembly and wrapping furniture with blankets and shrink wrap,
  • bringing and a free use of wardrobe boxes (as many as you require),
  • loading and unloading of the truck,
  • driving from pick up to delivery location is doubled (15 minutes x 2 = 30 minutes),
  • unpacking boxes and unwrapping furniture.

There are extra costs on top of the hourly rate:

  • non-reusable packing materials,
  • credit card fee,
  • storage in transit,
  • hoisting,
  • rental of special equipment (if needed),
  • handling of extra large items (piano, jacuzzi, etc.).

When speaking with movers you need to be as accurate as possible at discribing your goods and locations.  



Long Distance Moves

Tractor and_truck

Long distance is considered any out of state relocation or a move with a radius of over 100 miles.

The cost of the long distance moves is based on the distance and the size of the shipment. 

The size of the shipment is unknown until the truck is weighed. However, there is a way to receive a guaranteed price for your shipment. You must oreder an onsite estimate from a few reputable companies. 

The estimators will go over your items with you and take a detailed invetory of your goods. Then they will transfer this information into a moving softeware program, which in turn will determine the size of the shipment with in 5% accuracy. They will apply a tariff to the weight of the shipment and will come up with the transportation cost.  

Moving specialist will take to consideration any special or additional services you may need, such as shuttle, hoisting of articles, packing and unpacking, cost of packing materials.  All costs will be added up and the estimate will be provided to you. 

Binding estimate is a guarantee of moving costs. In case there are additional services required after the job is commenced the movers will provide you with a new order for service form, which will describe new services and their costs. You will have to sign that form and keep a copy of it for your records. The new order for services will be the new guarantee of costs.

It is helpful to let movers know of any special circumstances you know of ahead of time to avoid last minute surprises.

Special services like:

  • long walks,
  • stairs,
  • packing,
  • extra large items that require special handling (piano, large appliance, etc.),
  • hoisting, 
  • shuttling,
  • storage in transit.