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By zathrus1
June 5, 2008

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What can the movee do to make your life easier (other than not doing the above)?

There are actually quite a number of small things that can be done, and most of them benefit the movee as well.

1) The first, most overriding thing is real simple - Get rid of your useless junk. I can't tell you how many times we've cleaned out attics that are just full of stuff. TVs that haven't been turned on in 5 years. VHS players. Box after Box of kid's clothes and toys. They've been sitting in the heat, cold, and dirt for years, rendering them totally useless anyway. Who would ever want to use them? The kitchen is full of cookbooks that look like they've never been opened. The pantry is chocked full of things that were purchased in 1979 for a picnic. Every bed has stuff jammed under it. It goes on and on and on. In fact, we just moved a lady into storage - one of the items we moved was a table with a broken leg. It's been broken for the past 4 years. And she's paying us to store it. So - rule 1 - throw something stuff out.

2) Next, if you pack your own stuff, label it. We've been on moves where we're bringing an endless stream of boxes into the house, and the customer has to pause, and think, and scratch his head, and finally look into each and every box before telling us which room the box goes in.

3) Buy a tape measure. Imagine this - two guys are carrying a sofa or armoire. They're struggling to get it up the stairs. They bring it down the hallway to desired room. They get it through the door- oh wait - it doesn't fit. No way. No how. Well, maybe they can put it the room at the other end of the hall? Hey - it doesn't fit there either. Wow. Maybe the basement will be better. etc etc etc. This is also true of appliances. I can't tell you how many times we've moved someone with those new state-of-the-art Euro washer and dryers, only to find that they won't fit into the laundry room. And that giant brushed aluminum Sub Zero fridge is not going to go into that 1980's kitchen either. Surprise! So - think about where you want things to go, and measure to see if stuff will actually fit, before the truck arrives.

4) This one is a delicate issue, but I gotta say it. If you have an active, adventurous sex life, PLEASE take steps to prevent embarrassing situations during the move. Here's a common story - I had a young lady who was helping us move a couple into their new home. She picked up a box marked "Master Bedroom", and a loud buzzing noise started coming out of it. She looked at it curiously for a few seconds, and then she realized what it was. She was so embarrassed she didn't know what to do. She emitted this 'Ewwwwwww' sound, tossed the box in the corner and took off. And I can't tell you how many times we've started taking a bed apart, only to find a huge 'appliance' jammed down in it somewhere. So now SOMEBODY has to pick this thing up and do something with it. Or, someone has to go ask the customer to do it. It's a no-win scenario. So, let's have fun, but let's get a handle on this stuff.

5) Deal with your own valuables. If you have a coin collection, or expensive jewelry, or other small, valuable items, put them in your car. If you deal with a licensed mover, the movers are probably bonded, but you can never tell when someone will have lapse of judgment. Perhaps a guy's car is about to repo'd, or his girlfriend wants something he can't give her. Why risk it? Just take temptation out of the way, and nobody will need to worry about it.

6) Take a box, and fill it with stuff that you will need when you get to your destination. Mark it with BIG RED LETTERS. I moved a couple into a new home, and they had packed the toilet paper into a box somewhere. Unfortunately they couldn't remember which box, and ended up having to go down to the local gas station to the toilet. Imagine if they had been looking for medicine, or something really crucial.

7) Plan where you want things to go. Several times, we've been trying to move stuff into a house. The husband tells you it goes upstairs. The wife tells you it goes into the basement. We don't care where it goes, but please, make up your mind.

8) Have someone available that is capable of answering questions. Typically there are several questions we have to ask over and over.
a. Is this going, or are you leaving it behind?
b. Where do want us to put this?
c. Before we move this, we wanted to point out this scratch - were you aware of this?
d. Sir - this box appears to have several dozen firearms in it - we can't move them.
e. Ma'am, I'm sorry but we can't move this bleach. Can you please take care of it?
There have been several moves where the customer is so busy trying to sit in on a meeting, or just disappears, and the move ends up taking forever.

9) If you have a new home, please find out when the Driveway was poured. The trucks we drive weigh somewhere around 26,000 lbs. They will crack a new driveway, so we need to make sure the concrete has cured.

10) We love Dogs, Cats, and 2 year olds, but please make sure these loveable critters are elsewhere on the day of the move. Older kids (4-7) can also get underfoot, but the main thing to be concerned about is how THEY feel. To them, a bunch of strange guys coming in and grabbing everything they own is major trauma. Prepare them for it - let them help. Some smart parents give the kids a role; put them in charge of something. It works really well, but many times the best thing is just to get them out of the house, and save them the anguish.

11) If you want us to move all the stuff out of garage or attic - use a bug-bomb a few days before the move.

12) Empty the gas out of your lawnmower, roto-tiller- etc.

13) Mealtimes - I don't do the moving labor very often, but I can tell you that when I do it during the summer, I generally end up drinking amazing amounts of water for the next 2 or 3 days. It's hard to believe how much this kind of labor can deplete your body. If you've been out there for 8 or 9 hours (and sometimes more), you eventually get to the point where your body just feels ready to collapse. Experienced movers will therefore bring snacks and drinks for themselves during a move.

Sometimes customers buy the movers lunch or dinner, or supply cold drinks. If you do this, we absolutely love you. It really shows us you appreciate how hard we're working. Some people however, will go out and buy dinner for themselves, and sit there and eat it in front of us. If the guys have been working for 8 or 9 hours, throw ‘em a bone, or at least have the courtesy to be a little bit discrete about it.

If you are buying food or drink for your movers, here are some suggestions. For food, the best thing you can do is Subway or other Deli sandwiches. They aren't greasy like Pizza or Fried Chicken, or McDonalds, which all sit in your stomach like lead weights. For drinks, cold water is always appreciated, and on hot days, the clear forms of Gatorade are just terrific. Some guys like soft drinks (Mountain Dew is really popular), but the Gatorade/Powerade products will really help the guys out on a long hot day.

I'll probably think of a few more, but those are probably the biggest ones.

Zath