• How Do I Protect Myself from Moving Fraud?

    by Jackie Heath | Jul 31, 2014

    Prevent moving fraudWhen you choose a moving company, you aren’t just hiring someone to do the heavy lifting and difficult work of packing for you—you’re entrusting them with all your belongings. Although no one likes to think of someone entering their home and driving off with everything they own under the guise of moving, this kind of fraud can and does happen.

    Fortunately, it is preventable. With the right precautions and a little research ahead of time, you can protect yourself against moving fraud and other scams. Here’s how.

    1. Look for moving companies with names you recognize. Moving companies with a national reach and an established name are going to be more trustworthy than a local company you haven’t heard of before.

    2. Get word-of-mouth referrals and testimonials. If no one you know has ever used the moving company before, make sure you ask them for testimonials about their service. (Or you can look for some online at the Better Business Bureau.) A moving company no one you know has used personally will always carry an additional risk.

    3. Check all moving companies with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. All moving companies should be registered with the FMCSA and clearly exhibit their U.S. DOT number.

    4. Always ask for a written estimate and/or contract. Moving your belongings should never be a deal made over the phone or agreed upon verbally. A fully legal contract should be in place before any of your belongings are put under their care—and any company that states otherwise should be avoided.

    5. Read the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet supplied to you by the moving company. Didn’t get one? That’s a big red flag right there. Moving companies are required by Federal regulation to supply this booklet in the planning stages of an interstate move.

    6. Visit the offices and/or moving warehouse. Moving companies typically have offices, van depots, and/or storage facilities in larger cities. Although they’ll be glad to come to you to make estimates and plan the move, you can also take the time to visit them. Their offices should be clean, professional, and fully staffed.

    It can be scary to put all your trust in someone you’ve only met a few times (or, in the case of the actual movers who show up, only once), but if you’ve planned well, you should have nothing but smooth driving ahead.

    For additional resources and support, you may want to visit Protect Your Move, a website put out by the Department of Transportation to help you make smart moving choices.  

    Go comment!
  • Packing for College: DOs and DON'Ts

    by Jackie Heath | Jul 29, 2014

    moving to collegeIt’s that time of year when thousands of new high school graduates are getting ready for their first year at college. By land, by sea, and by air, students are traveling hundreds of miles to get a quality education—and they’re bringing boxes and suitcases full of belongings with them.

    Amid all the excitement and anxiety, it can be easy to forget just how little space you’ll have in your new dorm room or apartment. Although packing for college isn’t always easy, here are a few tips for making the most out of your experience.

    DO know the rules in your dorm or apartment. Most dorm rooms have rules against open flames, cooking appliances, pets, and other potential hazards. Learn the rules ahead of time so you don’t make the mistake of packing up a microwave or hot plate they won’t let you keep in your room.

    DON’T pack furniture unless you know you’ll have space. Dorm rooms almost never have space for anything but a bed and a desk—both of which are usually supplied. Furniture is the heaviest and most expensive thing to move, so know ahead of time if and where it will fit.

    DO start early. Organization is your best tool in enjoying an easy transition, so start your shopping and packing during the summer months. Find a checklist of supplies (many colleges provide these to first-time students) and purchase one or two plastic tubs in which you need to make it all fit. You’ll have plenty of time to figure out the logistics that way.

    DON’T overpack or worry about the small things. A toothbrush, shampoo, a lampshade that goes well with your new comforter, snack foods…all these things are important, yes, but they’re also going to be available in your new city. Plan on going shopping soon after you move in to pick up all those small items you forgot or didn’t want to bother packing.

    DO use labels. For once, we don’t mean labels on the boxes (with things like “kitchen” or “toys”). Instead, put your name on items that might get mixed up with your roommate. It might seem silly to start writing your name on tape on everything, but you’ll appreciate it during the transition stage.

    DON’T bring your winter gear just yet. Seasonal rotation is a must in a cramped dorm closet. Consider leaving your winter coats and heavy sweaters at home for the first few months. You can always swap out your clothes when you go home for a visit.

    DO bring a comfort item or two. Although no one wants to believe they’ll be homesick on this grand new adventure, it’s common for students to feel a pang for the room and home they left behind. Bring a few posters or a stuffed animal that means something to you—the homier you can make your room feel, the better you’ll feel overall.

    DON’T forget to thank your movers! It doesn’t matter if you relied on your parents, a few friends, or a professional moving company—always take a moment and thank them for helping you make this important transition to the next stage in your life.

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  • How to Prepare your Home for Professional Packers

    by Jackie Heath | Jul 25, 2014

    Prepare for Professional PackersHiring movers to help pack your home is a great way to reduce stress and get the most out of your moving experience. However, even if you are having your movers do all the heavy lifting and detailed packing, there are things you can do to prepare for the big day. Make things go faster—and feel more in control of your move—with these simple steps.

    > Prep Your Appliances: Appliances have to be turned off, emptied, and cleaned before they’re ready to be moved from one place to another. Anything hooked up to gas needs to be turned off and detached (you will have to have a professional repair person do this). Anything hooked up to water also needs to be not only unattached, but the reservoirs emptied of any excess water. It’s also a good time to do a nice, deep clean of your appliance. Not only is it much nicer to have shiny, ready-to-go appliances in your new home, but this will prevent breakouts of mold or mildew on the road.

    > Clean the House: It might not be the most entertaining activity, but you should do your best to have your home cleaned and ready for the movers. We don’t mean you have to get on your hands and knees to scrub down every corner, but you should make an effort to go through and toss anything you don’t plan on taking with you (you could also hold a garage sale to get rid of the excess items). Not only will a home free of clutter be faster to pack up, but you won’t make the mistake of having boxes of garbage hauled and paid for along the way.

    > Take Pictures of Things You’re Worried About: We’ll use an inventory list to go over the condition and quality of your more valuable items (especially items you’ve opted to have covered by valuation), but you can also take pictures of items if you’re worried about their transition.

    > Label Items by Rooms: Maybe your new house has a den as well as a living room, while your old one only has a living room. Maybe the old house has a much smaller dining room, and you can’t wait to get that hutch into the newer, larger space. Make things easier by labeling pieces of furniture by their future destination rather than their current location. This will reduce the amount of time you have to spend unpacking and moving pieces around in your new home.

    > Set Aside the Not-to-Pack Items: Movers like to be able to go in, assess the situation in your home, and get right to work. If there are items you don’t want packed (because they’re too valuable, because you’ll be moving them on your own, or because you’ve made alternate arrangements), make sure these items are set aside or are otherwise marked.

    > Secure the Pets and Children: In order to do our job well, we’ll need to prop open the doors, come and go with heavy items, and have access to all the rooms in your house. This is a perfect time for pets and small children to go missing—and that’s the last thing anyone wants. Make arrangements for a sitter or for the little ones to stay elsewhere for the day. The peace of mind and extra layer of safety is well worth it.

    > Make Arrangements for Items Movers Don’t Transport: Moving companies will not move a hazardous and dangerous household items. Review this list with your mover prior to their arrival and make separate arrangements for their disposal. A complete list of materials Allied does not move can be found online.

    Our job is to make your move as easy as possible, and we’ll do what we can to make that happen. With a little preparation and planning ahead, we can all work together to get you and your family where you need to go.

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  • Packing Safety: How to stay safe during your move

    by Jackie Heath | Jul 23, 2014

     Packing SafetyWhen you’re getting ready to relocate your family in a new home, the last thing you need is to be injured in the process. Whenever you’re talking about lifting heavy objects, packing breakables, and having several people coming and going inside your home, it’s a good idea to take a few precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.

    1. Never Lift More Than You Can Handle: Back injuries or strained muscles are the biggest risk factor when moving from one home to another. Know your weight limit and stick to it. Large, heavy boxes should be moved by a dolly or by your moving team. Heavy pieces of furniture should be left to the professionals. And always lift with your knees instead of your back.

    2. Heavy Things on the Bottom: No matter if you’re talking about individual boxes or about the moving truck itself—always put the heaviest items on the bottom. Boxes should be balanced so that they don’t sway or have the potential to topple.

    3. Use Good Packing Supplies: Reusing boxes or duct taping up weak spots in the cardboard isn’t always the best idea. Boxes that have been structurally damaged are more likely to break, bend, or tear—all of which can cause you to do the same. Good packing supplies, boxes filled with items and padding, and strong packing tape should always be used.

    4. Wrap Breakables Well: Always take extra care to wrap and protect your breakables. Dropping a box of plates or glasses can send broken shards all over the room, and it can often be hard to uncover all the pieces in the mess of other packing.

    5. Keep All Passageways Clear: One of the biggest packing struggles is keeping everything organized. Try to designate a room or corner as the place to store all the boxes you’ve already packed, being sure to keep the doorways, entryways, and walkways clear. It’s very easy to trip over piles of boxes, especially if you’re carrying something at the time. It also helps to have activities and care planned for young children or pets outside of the home on loading and unloading day to keep them safe.

    6. Don’t Lose the Sharp Objects: Packing tends to come with all kinds of sharp objects—knives and box cutters and scissors are everywhere. Don’t leave these lying around or inside open boxes, especially if you have little ones running around. (It’s also a good idea to invest in a pair of gloves. Anytime you work with cardboard, you run the risk of slicing your hands.)

    Perhaps the most important thing you can do is self-care during packing. Take breaks. Hydrate. Pack a small amount every day so you don’t have to do it all at once. The opportunity for error or for shortcuts is much higher if you’re fatigued or worn out, so make sure you stay operating at your peak at all times!

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  • AlliedTV: Packing Supplies for your Move

    by Jackie Heath | Jul 21, 2014
    Having the right materials to help you pack your items safely and securely is important. But with all the supplies out there which ones are right for your move and worth your time? Well, in this video we answer this question and help you compile a list of necessary materials you will need before preparing for your move to your new home.

    Go comment!
Allied Van Lines, Inc.
MC 15735 U.S. DOT No.076235
Texas intrastate moves are hauled under the authority of Allied Van Lines, Inc., DMV No 7143; Texas DMV Phone No. 1-888-368-4689

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I knew the local agent or Allied representative personally. The representative handled the entire move on my behalf and everything went according to plan.
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The care they took and the follow-ups was wonderful. The crew did a wonderful job and they didn't break anything.
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The movers were very professional and careful. Allied did what was promised. This was a good experience.
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Everything went very well there were no problems and Allied came on the schedule times they were suppose to come.
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I've moved through Allied 4 times. From Chicago to California, in California twice and my final move here.
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