2016 Super Service Award

Angie’s List Announces 2016 SSA Winners

2016 super service award2016 Super Service Award Winners have been announced, and we are proud to have both Cleveland and Columbus receive the award!

The Super Service Awards are granted to businesses that maintain an A rating historically and in recent transactions, and that have met all safety and background check standards.

Moving Ahead Services joined Angie’s list in 2009 and 2010 for Columbus and Cleveland.  Since joining, each year we have received the Super Service Award – A great display of our commitment to quality services and customer satisfaction.

 

The Evolution of Angie’s List and the 2016 Super Service Award

2016 saw over 1.6 million new members join as part of the free program initiative! Angie’s List has proven to be a more valuable tool than ever before. For our business, it has allowed our customers a great way to enjoy an easy communication process, see reviews and enjoy exclusive discounts. It has also held our team to the highest of quality standards in an industry that is notorious for stress!

The changes in Angie’s List program structures and membership base have proven to be beneficial.  The 2016 Super Service Award is further proof that the structural integrity of the platform is alive and well.

 

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! 

Downsizing for Moving

Purging Like a Pro

Downsizing for moving is typically thought of as an awful, emotional experience.  Let’s face it, we like our stuff! There are many reasons our customers have had to downsize before a move.  Deciding what to keep and what to toss can be a bit less painful with our help!

downsizing for movingDownsizing 101: How to keep your sanity while downsizing for moving

Phase 1:

Take a good look around and start with a level head! While many of us have treasured belongings, there are also likely many things you can part with easily. Have an old blanket you’ve always hated? Furniture that’s past it’s prime? Items you bought and literally never touched?  These are the good places to start.  Start with stuff that is not emotional. Weed out the easy items first!

Before anything goes in the trash, we recommend just designating a ‘purge pile’ somewhere in your home.  So as not to be confused with essentials during the packing process, clearly mark and communicate with any house mates and/or family that these items are downsizing for moving. Don’t toss it to the curb quite yet!

Phase 2:

Think about items you simply will not need in your new home.  Whether you are limited by space, or just simply moving to a different type of home – Let go of the items that will no longer serve a purpose!  Buying a condo? Ditch the mower and lawn equipment!  Moving to a trendy downtown loft? Get rid of anything that doesn’t match your new digs. New job? Eliminate your home office. You get the picture! It is very likely that your new home and current home will have some different needs, decor styles, etc.

The Final Stretch to Downsize

Phase 3:

Here is the hard stuff.  Parting with items you like, may need, and may regret.  Lesson 1, remember it is just stuff!  If you can potentially save the costs of having an outside storage unit – Or you just really have no option but to downsize, this is the hardest part.

Get creative first.  Can you expand your storage in any way?  Think about under-the-bed storage, more creative hanging space, etc.  Try to maximize your new abode as much as possible.

Once you have really given it some thought, start to go through your belongings one by one.  Try not to think about the cost paid, and focus more on what the items mean to you and how likely it is you will really need and/or want them.

Put the emotional side of things to work in your favor!  Does your mom, sister, cousin, BFF, etc love something of yours? Give it away! You’ll still get to enjoy it, know it is being enjoyed and still freeing up the space.

Recoup some costs by selling items on Facebook BST groups, consignment stores and even to companies like ours!

Donate to local organizations, you’d be amazed at how your items can be put to use! Furniture, clothing, toys and more are great for shelters like Forbes house.  Blankets, towels and bedding are appreciated at animal shelters and rescue groups! There is always a group in need.

While we may all be collectors by nature, downsizing can have great benefits! A smaller move requires a smaller budget, and you can save thousands annually by not having a storage unit.  Take a deep breath, give yourself time and start purging like a pro!

 

5 Winter Moving Tips

Moving During the Winter Months is Challenging

winter moving tipsWinter moving tips are almost essential for any move.  Whether you plan to DIY or are hiring experts, check out these 5 easy tips!

5 Winter Moving Tips

Tip 1. Clearing and Prepping Space.  During the winter season, preparation is especially important for safety and productivity!

  1. Clear any walkways and remove ice, snow and salt if necessary
  2. Ensure roadways and driveways are accessible – Remember a moving truck isn’t as nimble as a car or SUV!

Tip 2. Storage Considerations.  Plan your storage to accommodate the seasons.  If you have items in storage that are sensitive to the cold (electronics, etc) it is important to have climate controlled storage.

Tip 3. Packing Considerations Cold weather means we need to take some extra considerations during packing. Electronics are especially susceptible to damage! Brush up on our electronics packing tips here, or consult our experts.

floor-protectionTip 4. Protecting Your Home! Nasty weather means extra care is needed.  During the planning process, make sure there is never a gap in your utilities!  Cold temps can quickly mean burst pipes and other damage.  Make sure your heat and water is taken into consideration.

We also take extra precautions to protect your floors.  Salt and moisture can wreak havoc on any floor.  Using floor protectant is essential!

Tip 5 Keeping Warm, Dry and Hydrated. Layer, layer, layer!  Even if you have hired help, moving indoors and out repeatedly can require easy layers.  Keep extra shoes and socks on hand too!  If you are planning a DIY move, make sure you have proper footwear, clothing, and gloves.

Lastly, It’s incredibly important to stay hydrated in the colder temperatures.  While we may get hot and crave water in the warmer months, it doesn’t mean your body doesn’t need it in winter! Proper hydration is essential to warmth.

One last bonus tip: Check the weather OFTEN! Having the proper information is incredibly important. Always plan extra time during a winter move for unexpected delays.

Holiday Food Drive Recap

The Results Are In – Drumroll Please!

Food drive totals were incredible! Our offices collected a total of 1,600 pounds of food for United Way. Despite all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we truly had the best support.  Our customers, neighbors, family, friends and team all came through to donate! We couldn’t be more grateful, and are so proud to have such wonderful communities to call home.  For our first official food drive, we’d say it was a great success!

In the first week, we collected about 580 pounds of food!  Much of this was in large part to our generous customers, as part of the Move for Hunger program.  As a Move for Hunger partner, our team reminds each of our customers that we collect food they would dispose of.  Any non-perishable items from cupboards, pantries and the likes are loaded into a Move for Hunger box during move day.  This has allowed us to collect and donate hundreds of pounds of food, most of which would have gone to waste!  Moving is busy and often overwhelming, this allows an easy way to donate without the hassle!

 

The Final Stretch – Food Drive Wrap Up

In the final week of the food drive, we had community drop offs, our neighbors donated, customers continued to contribute and our teams and their families also donated. Every single donation counts! 1 can of food from 30 people certainly adds up. We had boxes upon boxes of canned goods, PB&J, formula and more.  It was powerful to see it all in one place!

Our drop off at United Way was welcomed with applause and true appreciation.  While hunger in Ohio is an ongoing issue throughout the year, the holidays can be especially taxing.  Food pantries are tasked with feeding more people than ever, and children aren’t receiving school lunches – Adding to the long list of those in need.

A Little Friendly Competition

In the spirit of the season, we decided to make our Holiday food drive as motivating as possible! We challenged our teams in Cleveland and Columbus, as well as offering a top collection incentive and a lunch party. While the totals were close, our Cleveland office came out with the big WIN! Ron, a member of our team in Cleveland, was recognized for collecting over 300 pounds of food from customers!

 

Moving Truck Rental Vs. Hiring Movers

moving truck rentalRenting a Moving Truck – All Things to Consider

Moving is no picnic! Even a simple move can be extremely stressful. While DIY moving may make sense, the costs for truck rental, etc. can still add up.  Save yourself the time and let us do some comparison for you.
Renting a moving truck is fairly easy, and like any service provider – Most vendors will ask questions and provide helpful information.  Having experience in the moving industry allows us to take that one step further and provide some additional points to consider.

Local pricing:  Factors that will influence the cost of a moving truck rental

  1. Return your truck to the same place
  2. Mileage driven
  3. Additional supplies
  4. Additional insurance
  5. Reservation notice (10 days normal, 2-3+ weeks during peak season)
  6. Returned within business hours

Other factors to consider:

  1. How much time do you have?
  2. Are you physically able to complete the tasks?
  3. Do you or a friend / family member feel comfortable driving a large truck?
  4. Have you brushed up on proper packing and loading for a moving truck?

Deciding to DIY with a moving rental truck, hiring help, or hiring movers

Option A. DIY with a moving truck rental: You rent the truck, drive, load and unload all of your belongings.

Option B. Hiring Help: With or without a rental truck, our movers can provide labor services, driving services and more.

Option C. Hiring Movers: We provide the truck, the movers and any other services you specify!

Costs to consider:

  1. Most truck rentals charge a flat daily fee – About $50 / day during non-peak season.
  2. Rentals also have a mileage fee, typically about $1 for every mile driven.
  3. Insurance may or may not be required – It’s best to call your insurance company and see what your coverage is! Add on insurance starts at about $30.
  4. Fuel charges, just like a rental car your truck must be returned with a full fuel tank.

For many, the cost of the truck (say about $150-$200 with mileage, fuel, rental fees and insurance) doesn’t make sense when you can hire moves to knock the labor out too! The costs associated with hiring professional help are very reasonable after all of these fees are taken into consideration. Our experts are able to knock out a move in a few short hours vs. an average DIY move on a 3 bedroom house that may take several days!

If you are planning a move, contact our team for a free, no-obligation moving quote or call 1-877-643-4044 today!