Choosing Movers

Selecting the best movers – Truly, why to choose Moving Ahead Services

Choosing movers can be overwhelming. It’s helpful to revisit moving and relocation as a whole this time of year, and at the risk of shameless self promotion, we think we are pretty great at what we do!  For many, this time of year begins the process of buying or selling, moving and starting over – Whether this is your first move or 10th, whether you are moving across the country or down the street, it’s a nice reminder that choosing movers can be easy!

Trusting our family to move yours is more than a tag line at Moving Ahead Services.  We truly are family, and many of us have worked together since the early days of the company.  From the time of just a dozen employees to present day, Moving Ahead Services has grown over 600% alone in just the last 5 years.  That’s pretty impressive!  It honestly would not be possible without the best employees, the best processes and the highest standards of service.  There is a reason we are #1.

Here are the top 7 secrets to our business, and also conveniently the top 7 reasons to choosing movers at Moving Ahead Services for your move

  1. We’ve been doing it right for a long time!  For over a decade, our company has grown and evolved to do great things, even better than they have ever been done before. We are established and trusted, the exact opposite of a fly-by-night moving company.
  2. We know what we are talking about!  We are truly experts, and it’s proven by our great feature articles across the web. From the American Moving and Storage Association to business features in Columbus CEO, The News-Herald, Angie’s List and Yelp, our business and practices have been highlighted in articles and news stories across the industry.
  3. Moving Ahead Services is an active community member.  From Move for Hunger to our partnerships with Susan G. Komen and United Way, Providence House and more – We are committed to making our communities a better place.
  4. WE HANDLE ALL YOUR MOVING NEEDS.® And it’s true!  Moving Ahead Services has the most extensive service menu of any private relocation company in Ohio.  We provide a wealth of services in house, without expensive outsourcing and no sacrifice of quality.
  5. We are an award winning business.  Moving Ahead Services was named Willoughby and Western Lake Country Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, A finalist for Fast Track 50 Emerging Business, Move For Hunger’s 2016 Mover of the Year and a repeated Angie’s List Super Service Top 5% Award Winner.
  6. Our customers are really happy. Honestly, we have wonderful feedback across the web!  From Angie’s List to the BBB, Facebook, Google and Yelp. Our customers love us! We have thousands of A+ and 5 Star reviews online.
  7. It should go without saying, Moving Ahead Services is appropriately licensed and insured.  We adhere to extensive hiring practices, including full background screenings. Our continued training initiatives and team growth plans allow us to serve our customers the best way we know how.

What are you waiting for?  Request your free moving quote online today, or just call to talk with our experts.  You won’t be disappointed, and our services will not be beat!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Cleaning – Our Top 5 List

Moving or Not, Spring Cleaning is a Great Idea

Spring CleaningSpring cleaning is a time for celebration! For the neurotic cleaner that lives in many of us, spring cleaning can serve a variety of purposes.

When you are planning a move this year, it can be a great proactive step.

If you are simply looking to organize, clean and de-clutter, then tackling your task list this time of year is a great plan as well. Here are our top 5 Spring cleaning tasks to tackle before moving. Get your home in order before the weather breaks!

Spring Cleaning – Clean and prep for your upcoming move

  1. Clean out the clutter
  2. Organize closets, cupboards – donate!
  3. Deep clean – walls, windows, etc.
  4. Clean carpet, upholstery, floors and rugs
  5. Stage for success

The best plan of attack is to go through, room by room.  If you have to, schedule time with your husband/wife, daughter/son etc to tackle their rooms together.  Whatever it takes!  Breaking the tasks up into manageable segments is the easiest way.

Clutter

Spring cleaning is a great time to tackle clutter.  When in doubt, throw it OUT! If you haven’t used it, don’t need it or otherwise can part ways – Get rid of it.  Having clutter makes routine cleaning more difficult, can hide pests and is just a general pain.  Donate unwanted clothes, decor, kitchen items and more.  Every neighborhood has countless organizations that will graciously accept!

Organizing 

Closets, cupboards and other hidden areas are often catch-alls.  Many of us are guilt of that toss and slam, the famous move where we just continue to hide junk and pile it up.  Often, we don’t do anything about it until the entire pile spills out – So take a proactive approach!  Organize and pitch / donate anything you don’t need.  Repurpose baskets and containers, move items where they will be stored more functionally – Handle it all now, so you can enjoy the nice weather outside this Summer!

Deep Cleaning

The best and worst part of our task list, the dreaded deep clean.  If done right, you typically will only have to truly deep clean once a year.  This is beneficial for a variety of reasons!

  • Wipe down walls, doors, baseboards, trim and ceilings
  • Scrub grout and deep clean bathrooms (Reseal grout if needed)
  • Clean blinds and window treatments
  • Wash window exteriors and doors, clean screens
  • Clean inside appliances (And behind them)
  • Wash light fixtures and fans

Flooring and Upholstery

It may only last a day, but having clean floors and clean furniture is a glorious feeling!  Whether you plan to DIY or need to schedule help, this is a HUGE spring clean task.

  • Clean upholstered furniture / Vacuum thorough
  • Clean and seal leather
  • Clean carpeting
  • Clean rugs and under rugs
  • Hand clean and polish wood floors

Stage for Success

Moving and staging go hand in hand, but staging your home can also serve pretty functional purposes!  When we stage a home, we try to follow design best practices to make it visually appealing, while maximizing the space and limiting clutter.  VOILA! Whether you are moving or not, our staging tips can be a great refresh for any room!

 

Staging Tips for Real Life

Don’t Break the Bank While Staging Your Home

Staging tips come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges – Many top 10 HGTV style lists require an extensive carpentry background, an unlimited budget and a savvy design eye.  This simply is not practical for many of us!  Having a realistic expectation of your staging budget along with a great list of low cost / no cost staging tips can go a long way.

staging tips

8 Practical Staging Tips for your Home

  1. Natural / Great Light – Try to maximize your lighting! Pin back room darkening shades, and uncover those windows. For your light bulbs, most home styles benefit from a warm light versus a crisp sterile bulb color.
  2. Great smells / Get rid of pet odors, etc.  Don’t overwhelm your home with the smell of baked cookies, but also don’t let folks know it is trash day!  Stick to fresh scents that rival the smell of clean laundry, kitchen lemon, etc.  Eliminate any pet smells, musty odors, etc.
  3. Hide the mementos and clutter! Pack up most pictures and try to give your home a welcoming touch without being to personal.  Think of a boutique hotel-style decor! Get a jump start on packing too. Put items you don’t need in storage and pack up any junk!
  4. Make storage as functional as possible (and pretty!) Transform closets, cabinets and even space that visible under tables, etc. by making use of baskets and storage you already own our scrounge up some bargain deals at TJ MAXX, etc. Storage is a huge selling point and also goes a long way to organize and make things visually appealing.
  5. Repurpose space… Have a play room that would be a great office?  Remember, these sacrifices are {ideally} only temporary.  While it may seem like a nightmare to pack up the playroom – An office may sell your home!  Along the same school of thought, just try to stick to practicality and keep a neutral plan.
  6. Act natural! Home staging has become so over done.  Do not set the table, do not iron the towels and do not mock up breakfast in bed.  Save your time and energy and make your home thoughtful and welcoming.
  7. Basic deep cleaning is an essential.  No ifs, ands or buts.  You MUST clean your home (or hire someone to do it). Floor to ceiling, top to bottom.
  8. Updates (within budget and reason) new fixtures, new cabinet hardware, new counters, etc. IF YOU HAVE IT, budget to update a priority list of items.  Don’t remodel your entire home! After all, you are selling it! Stick to your plan and focus on the items that would really matter.  Invite some friends over for feedback and try to be thrifty with your purchases.

Stage your home so well, that you may fall in love with it all over again yourself!

 

Beyond Home Inspections

If these walls could talk – Tips to take you beyond your home inspection

home inspectionHome inspections serve a variety of purposes!  After all, buying a home is likely the single largest investment many of us make in a lifetime.  A home inspection is one step to ensuring you are investing wisely!  Licensed individuals that specialize in evaluating and reporting issues and concerns are critical to a successful home sale (And often, even a mortgage loan!)

While a home inspection will cover serious fundamentals like foundation, structural security and more – What about the BIG factors that are not on the list? Here are our top tips for seeing past a home inspection and making sure you cover all of your bases before you sign on the dotted line.

Top Things to Check Beyond Home Inspections – What a Normal Home Inspection Does Not Cover

  1. Pests
  2. Landscaping and grounds
  3. Plumbing  / HVAC
  4. Appliances
  5. Roofing and Flooring

At the very least, some of these items may be a factor in your closing costs and negotiations.  At the very worst, these may lead to COSTLY expenses down the line.

Covering What Home Inspections Do Not Cover

Pests – Termites are the number one pest not covered by a home inspection – But there can be other trouble makers too! From carpenter ants or bees and more – Having a pest problem can cause trouble and damage that a normal home inspection will not cover.

Landscaping and Grounds – Plan to add-on later? Have hills and valleys, or seeing drainage issues?  Concerned about tree roots or other landscaping problems? Having an additional inspection to cover concerns related to exterior structure, landscaping and more can save you in the long run!

Plumbing and HVAC (And even some electrical) – While many inspectors cover some of the basics, often plumbing and HVAC systems may not be on the list.  From the age of your furnace to the details in your plumbing, these can be unforeseen expenses down the road.

Appliances – Sometimes the details of major appliances are factored into the sale of your home – But aside from basic age, there is nothing detailed in most home inspection reports! If the appliances are factoring into your decision – Or are not factored into your budget, this may be worth a second look!

Roofing and Flooring – Aside from obvious damage from leaks or flooding, roofing and flooring issues can cost you big in the future.  From rotting subfloor to major roofing and joist issues – Take extra care to explore before signing on the dotted line!

Fingers crossed that your home inspection goes off with out a hitch!  Give us a call for a free moving quote!

The Top 5 Ways to Find Movers

Planning a Move? Learn the Most Common Ways to Find a Trusted Company

The top 5 ways to find movers may not come as a big surprise to many! It can be a helpful starting point for those that haven’t moved in awhile. Each have great benefits, and all have very easy access.  Plan your move like a pro!

  1. A Search online –  organic, ads and local results can provide a wealth of information
  2. Review sites like Angie’s List and Yelp
  3. Referrals from family, friends and networking
  4. Social media
  5. Broker and conglomerate sites

Exploring The Top 5 Ways to Find Movers

The top 5 ways to find moversUsing online resources, such as a Google search or sites like Yelp and Angie’s can be a great way to find a mover.  We are inundated with so much information on a regular basis, that many of us tune it out! When it comes time to look for a specific service provider, this can be quite helpful.

Google search, Angie’s and Yelp all provide a wealth of information.  From reviews and ratings to a company’s location – Customers can get a great feel for a company before any conversation takes place!

Social media is another great resource, with information from our friends and colleagues coupled with company updates – all at our fingertips.

The final online source commonly used for finding movers and service providers can be broker-type sites and related services.  For example, if you are browsing realtor.com or Trulia.com, you may come across information or offers related to moving services.  Other sites strictly exist for a broker-style relationship, in which they collect information and pass it to local moving companies in your area.  While this can definitely be a viable resource, it’s important to do your homework!

The final and most tried and true method to finding a service provider is always a personal recommendation or referral.  Whether it comes from a loved one, a colleague or a professional networking organization – The most trusted resource is always a familiar face that has had a great experience! Our business was built on referrals and recommendations, and to this day our customers are our best spokespeople!

 

 

Moving In Together – Top 10 Things to Consider

Moving in togetherPlanning to Move in with your SO {Significant Other}?

Moving in together is a big step! In honor of Valentine’s Day, we polled our office. Let’s cover the top 10 things our crews suggest to consider before taking the plunge.

 

 

Top 10 Things to Consider Before Moving in Together

  1. Has your SO stood the test of time, like a significant fight, stressful family matters, etc?  Be sure you aren’t jumping the gun. Moving can be expensive and have lengthy commitments!
  2. What is your motivation? Is it practical reasons, such as cost savings? Or are you motivated to take your relationship to the next step?  While one isn’t necessarily better or worse, it’s important to recognize and make sure you are ready! Your move shouldn’t be purely motivated by financials or feel pressured.
  3. What are your non-negotiables? What are theirs? Are you able to compromise to ensure you keep the peace?  If you cannot stand dishes in the sink but your SO would rather save them up, you have to make sure you address these issues before they cause even bigger problems. From chores to what area of town you’ll live in, have these conversations ahead of time!
  4. What is the priority for location, type of home or apartment, etc? Whose job or neighborhood will take priority? Will you get a new place all together?
  5. Can your credit handle it? Moving in together means both of you will likely (should) be on a lease. It’s important to both have an investment, and also to ensure utilities are set up accordingly as well. Be up front with your landlord, get renters’ insurance and do things the right way!
  6. Financially, can you afford to move in together? We’re talking first, last and security plus all of the expenses that come along with living out in the world.  Everything should be split fairly! Make sure you can tow your weight. Which brings us to..
  7. Whose responsible for what?  Will one of you handle the shopping and other the cleaning? Whose paying rent and whose paying utilities? Have a clear plan!  Split 50/50 for easy math.
  8. What about pets and roommates? Will anyone else be sharing your space? From allergies to annoying roomies, talk it out.
  9. Who is contributing what? From furniture to movers, helpful friends and more. Moving is hard work!
  10. Be realistic. If you have been cohabitating  on and off while dating and can’t stand it, it may not be the right choice! Alternatively, while you can never be 100% certain, we all have a pretty good idea as to what is a good idea!

Moving in together is a big step and can be an exciting time! Having a great plan in place is key.

Choosing Storage Facility Options

Storage 101: How to Select Your Storage Facility

Storage facility options range widely, depending on a variety of factors.  It can be difficult to navigate! Depending on what, when, where and why you need storage will help decide the best solution!

Why do you need storage?

There are several common reasons our customers have needed a storage facility option:

  1. I am moving and my new home/apartment is not ready! I need storage for a short term period.
  2. Moving to a new location for a temporary period! I need storage for the duration.
  3. I have a remodel going on, and I need storage during the construction!
  4. I need storage on a long term basis.

There are also several types of storage, and pros and cons to each!

  1. You-store, Self Storage
  2. PODS and On-site Storage
  3. Full Service Storage

What are you planning to store?

Storing a car or cases of wine will require different storage than general household items or clothing!  The types of items you plan to store should absolutely factor into your decision. How you plan to get items from Point A to Point B as well as the labor aspect, will likely also factor into your decision!

Selecting the Right Option

There is no right or wrong answer, but there certainly is a right or wrong choice for your unique needs!

Storage FacilityFull service storage like we offer at Moving Ahead Services is a convenient option for every storage scenario. This is an easy, safe and affordable way to get long or short term storage.  Our experts can handle everything from packing, loading and storing to delivery – All for an affordable rate with ZERO hidden fees.

Our indoor storage facility features 24/7 security monitoring, climate control and easy access for you throughout your storage period.

Storage Facility – U Store / Units can be great as well, but often fill up quickly and come with a lengthy wait list, especially for climate control. Ask about any additional fees, if you can extend past your agreement and how general access works! We work with several reputable storage facility owners in Ohio, just ask us for a referral!

On site mobile storage Can be convenient for remodeling and very short term projects, but we don’t largely recommend it and many of our clients haven’t enjoyed it!  Storage lockers can be difficult to load or get access to once loaded.  It is also not a great fit for anything that requires climate control!

Storage for Businesses

Businesses will often seek a storage facility for a variety of reasons – Ranging from short term storage needs, to long term strategic offsite storage contracts.  Moving Ahead Services is a trusted commercial storage partner for businesses across Ohio!

  • File and Document Archive Storage
  • Long Term Asset Storage
  • Temporary Moving Storage
  • Short Term Remodel Storage
  • Wine Storage

Call us today to discuss your business storage needs!

Interstate Moves

Planning a long distance move?

Interstate moves, or really any longer distance, can require some additional coordination!  On a recent long distance relocation, our pros had the pleasure of working with some pretty incredible folks!  Coordinating schedules and all things considered – we had a pretty great weekend. It is a great opportunity to highlight some of the unique services and coordination that can be required during a move!

Cleveland to DC Interstate Move

Here is the 10,000 foot view –

  • Pack, prep and conquer
  • Specialty crating / artwork
  • Car hauling
  • Specialty staircases
  • Moving pets
  • Packing and labeling for multiple stops
  • Check events schedules! Inauguration coordination in DC

This gorgeous home in Cleveland’s Bratenahl neighborhood is still on the market, and a quick tour will definitely highlight some of the incredible views, and some of the challenges!

Lucky for us, we couldn’t have asked for more prepared, kind and thoughtful customers.  In addition to having a very thorough understanding on the moving process, they were incredibly motivated and organized!

Showcasing some unique solutions on interstate moves

From the moment we walked in, we knew it was a match made in moving heaven! The meticulously kept home and all of the belongings were a dream to pack, organize and move.  Despite some unique challenges like multiple floors, winding staircases and inauguration event schedules, we had a great game plan in place!

Our customers were focused on ensuring they had everything ready, and that their two pups were prepared for the journey as well!  Our crews were quick to handle everything else!  An on-site elevator made the staircase challenge a bit better, and organization ahead of time made things a breeze.

Movers at the White House

Inauguration Day AKA White House MOVING DAY

Regardless of your political affiliation, inauguration day is celebrated worldwide for a variety of reasons.  Here, we like to recognize the official MOVING DAY for the United States’ top address, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

In many recent news stories, there have been quite a few takes on the footage near the White House, as well as near to the Obama families new home in DC.  Many are critiquing, and there seems to be a few points to cover!

Either way, this is DC’s most prestigious address and movers are tasked with arguably the most high stress client on the planet!

Many are calling out the footage of furniture being moved on White House property White house movers

  1. Furniture not wrapped / protected / padded
  2. Not using proper furniture dollies
  3. Not movers!?

The assumption is that due to security precautions, these may or may not be professional movers. These folks could be internal employees, tasked with relocating heirloom furniture, potentially with little to no experience doing so!

It is possible to wrap and protect items once in the moving truck, however unlikely and not typically recommended due to the potential for damage to the furniture or damage to the home!

Another alternative is that the items could not be wrapped for security purposes, so as not to conceal anything throughout the move… We may never know!

white houseThe Unload, from White House to Tudor

The Obama’s new address seems to have a much different picture going on!

  1. Wrapped and properly protected
  2. Protected from the rain / elements
  3. Labeled and organized

Call us crazy, but we don’t see any Presidential family organizing or packing – so it certainly seems this was handled by someone with experience.

 

Moving day is stressful for most, but the task of moving into or out of the White House has got to top the list!

 

 

 

 

 

Yelp Reviews

Moving Reviews on Yelp

Yelp reviews play a big role at Moving Ahead Services. ICYMI, in a recent Yelp blog article Moving Ahead Services was interviewed about our experience with Yelp! The talking points summed up to a pretty logical conclusion: The more you put in, the more you get out. Just like any service-based company, we pride ourselves in truly hearing our customers’ feedback. This can mean celebrating the big wins, and using any less than positive experiences to improve and grow. Maximizing our Yelp presence has been huge for us in 2016!

Yelp reviews

Yelp Reviews For Businesses

Many have a love / hate relationship with Yelp and Yelp reviews.  If you can recall a popular South Park episode circa 2015, Yelp is cast as the villain and ‘Yelpers’ are cast as entitled troublemakers.  I think to be on South Parks’ radar is a compliment in itself, but there are definite pros and cons to the Yelp process.

As a business owner, Yelpers look to your profile to see unbiased feedback. This is predominantly a great thing, so long as you provide a good service and get good feedback! The example in our Yelp Interview between our two cities highlights exactly how much of an impact the number of reviews can have.

The downside is there are always instances of negative feedback, whether legitimate or ill motivated (Competitors, ex-employees, etc).  Business owners have to face the music and do the right thing!

The third part of Yelp is the filter.  For any businesses on Yelp not familiar with the filter, we suggest doing your homework!  Yelp’s algorithm for determining what reviews are real or fake can seem very unfair at times.  Often, great reviews are filtered out into purgatory and never see the light of day!  Our Cleveland profile has 32 reviews that are live, and over 40 that are filtered out!

Yelp for Consumers

As a consumer tool, Yelp can be a great way to learn about businesses and get great deals!  Check out exclusive Yelp discounts for your favorite businesses.

Yelp reviews can also be incredibly valuable – To give and to read! Taking the time to actively use your Yelp profile is a great idea.  As a Yelper, the more you review, the more friends you have and the more you use Yelp in general are all important. This makes sure your reviews always show, and do not get filtered out!

Reviews are also a great way to learn about a business, whether in town or while you are traveling around.  Just remember to take the good with the bad, and form your own opinion after doing all of the research.

Check out our full Yelp interview here!