How Much Will My Move Cost?

How much will my move cost is one of the most common questions that our customers ask us. And of course, we aim to give them as precise an estimate as we possibly can. The best way to get an accurate estimate for your moving costs is to schedule one of our estimators to come to your place, meet you, and see what’s there to be moved.

If you’d like to start with a more general overview, we can also do that if you give us as much information as you can about your move. Most of what we list here would be discussed during an in-person estimate.

Here is what we typically need to know:

  • Is this a business of residential move?
  • What kind of building are you moving from? And what kind of building is your new one?
    • Are they walk-ups or elevator buildings?
    • Does service access include a ramp, flight of stairs, or the required use of multiple elevators?
  • Will you be needing short- or long-term storage in addition to moving services?
  • Do your buildings have any restrictions around when you can move?
    • For example, are moving hours restricted to week days, or are weekends OK too?
    • Do you need to reserve an elevator?
    • Will the movers need to provide a certificate of insurance?
  • Will you pack your own boxes, or would you like movers to pack for you?
  • How many rooms of belongings do you have? Is there a basement storage area?
  • How many people are living or working there?
  • How long have you been at your present space?
  • Are there any items to be moved that will require special handling (i.e., piano, major appliances, art, mirrors, computers, office partitions, console printers, safes)?
  • Are there any other special considerations like needing a child’s room set up first, specific placement of work stations, desks, shelving, etc.?

Of course, all of this is without talking about the furniture you have. We will want an idea of that, too.

A good mover will ask about these things, either in person, or on the phone.  As you can see, doing this by email will quickly get tedious.

While we gain a sense of the scale of your move, you will get a sense of the importance we place on understanding you so we can best work together.

Flat Rate May Deliver Cut Rate Quality

Why Flat Rate Moving Services May Deliver Cut Rate Quality

Last week, we answered one of the most common questions we get: How much will my move cost? This week we’re answering another question customers often ask us: Why doesn’t Rainbow Movers offer flat rates for our services?

One of the biggest reasons is because we believe we can offer excellent customer service at a fair price and still pay a living wage to our employees.

Moving companies that offer flat rates often pay their movers a percentage of what they charge rather than an hourly wage.  If the flat rate is estimated well, everything may turn out OK for the movers.

But if the flat rate is meant to undercut the realistic estimates of other movers (which is often the case), the employees of the flat rate company will suffer.  Only generous tips from customers will make up for lost wages.  Unfortunately, movers don’t always get good tips.  Crews can end up working at or under minimum wage.

Because of this, flat rate moving companies don’t often have experienced crews who are loyal to the company. Instead, they’re more likely to have less experienced guys on their trucks who may also be less concerned about the quality of their work.

In this situation, the movers also understand that the more time they spend on a job the lower their hourly rate will be.  For the movers to rush the job may mean that your delicate belongings may not be handled so delicately.

The advantage of working with Rainbow Movers is that we give you an honest and realistic job estimate, based on a clear discussion of the conditions of each move. In most cases, we will guarantee that the job will not go over the estimate. We hope it will end up costing less, and often it does.  But on occasions where the conditions change, our customers understand and appreciate that even though their costs will change as well, the quality of our work will not.

Here is a scenario where our approach led to a better result:

Recently, a repeat customer called us and asked us for an estimate to move a relative’s bedroom furniture from one house to another, and then some things from that 2nd house to her own house. We estimated the costs based on this information.

When we got to the relative’s place, we found out that instead of just moving bedroom furniture, we were being asked to move most of the furniture in the house, and none of the things in and on the furniture were packed.  And another delivery location was added for a few items after the delivery to our customer.   Our crew notified our office, and we contacted the customer.  All agreed we could handle the changes.

Our guys, who have worked with us for decades, did the job well and were able to make all the deliveries in an unexpectedly long day.  Had we all known what would have been involved, we’d have scheduled a larger crew, the movers and our customer could have gone to bed at a reasonable hour, and the cost would have been the same.

Because the movers had experience working together, they could confidently rely on each other.  The unexpected changes increased the costs to our customer, but also increased her appreciation for our work.

Maximize Your Space

How to Maximize Your Space and Save Money on Storage

New York City apartments are not known for ample square footage. Space can make a huge difference in the quality of life in your home. Storage can make more space for you!

At Rainbow Movers, you can store your extra stuff for as short or as long as you like. We take care of all of the details – from moving it out of your place to our storage, to protecting it, to delivery once you want to retrieve it.

How can you maximize this service so you save money, time, and can easily access your belongings when you need them? Here are 3 ways to make the most of your Rainbow Movers storage space:

Store wisely
We only charge you for the space you use and our minimum space is just 200 cubic square feet. When you store your belongings, choose the items that you truly want to keep but just don’t have space for in your apartment at the moment. You may have belongings that you don’t really need or love – consider selling those or giving them to a good cause instead of storing them needlessly.

Know your retrieval dates
Sometimes you will know ahead of time that you will need to get some of your belongings. If you let us know ahead of time, we’ll be able to save you money on the retrieval by positioning them in storage for easiest access. Be sure to discuss this with us to make the most of this opportunity.

Store seasonally
You probably won’t need your holiday decorations and ski clothes until December or your deck furniture until May. These items are ideal for storage, and since you know when you’ll need to retrieve them, you can just let Rainbow Movers know. Keeping us informed ahead of time will make it easier for us to retrieve what you want when you want it, and will save you money on storage and retrieval fees.

You can learn all about our secure storage in our services section. If you have items you want to store, you can give us a call or email us today.

We’re always happy to speak with you to find out how we can help you make your living space happy and stress free. Because happy is good!

4 Reasons to Temporarily Store Your Stuff

It’s no secret that space comes at premium prices in New York City. And the longer you stay in one place, the more stuff you tend to accumulate. So, what to do when you’re just out of space but you don’t want to get rid of anything that you have.

Temporary storage can help. Here are four reasons why you might consider renting some extra space for a short period of time:

Swapping Seasonal Items

If your closets are getting too stuffed to hold both your winter coats and summer shorts, you can use temporary storage to keep your seasonal items. Rotating your clothes gives you more space and makes it easier to see what you have.

You can also store seasonal décor so that your home has a fresh look as the weather changes. Switch out your cozy, warm décor for lighter, brighter touches in summer and vice versa when the seasons shift.

Clearing for Renovations

If your space is already packed tightly with your belongings, it can be difficult to keep everything in place while you’re planning a renovation. You can make it easier for contractors to finish the work faster when you temporarily store your furnishings. You’ll also be able to protect them from getting dusty, scratched or damaged accidently during construction.

If you want a truly seamless experience, ask us for a recommended decorator or contractor. We work frequently with some amazing renovation professionals, and can help you find the right resource for your needs.

Inheriting and Transferring Furniture

Sometimes an unexpected piece of furniture comes into your life. Maybe you inherit a piece that you want to keep but don’t yet have room for it yet. Perhaps it is something you’re giving away to your relative, but they can’t pick it up right away.

If you have no more room in your home, keep it safe and sound in a temporary storage space. You can keep the piece can stay undisturbed until its new owner comes to retrieve it or until you create space for it.

Staying Clutter Free When School’s Out

If you have a college-aged child coming back from school for the summer, you may not have the space to keep everything they are hauling back from the dorms. Store their excess furnishings and items just for the summer to keep your home clutter free.

Need temporary storage? We have our own storage facility that’s perfect for both short and long-term needs. Learn more about our secure storage or contact us for more information about pricing and availability.

 

How to Prep Your Home for Sale

Even when the real estate market is hot, you can still maximize the profit of your home sale – and shorten the selling time – by preparing your home before you put it on the market. Here are some of our best tips for preparing your home for sale:

Clear Out and Store Your Stuff
Potential buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in your place. It can be challenging to do so if all of your belongings are in the way of their visualization.

You can temporarily store your belongings in a secure storage space. Rainbow Movers has one such space conveniently located next to their offices. The best part about storing in our space is that we’re there every day to make sure your items are secure, and we can easily retrieve them for you and move them to your new space when you’re ready.

Make it Crisp and Clean
Stage your home with clean lines and neutral furnishings if possible. Use spare pops of color to draw interest without distracting too much from the ultimate goal – to get your home sold.

For example, you can make the bathroom feel spa-like by adding in clean, white linens and a fresh, citrus candle. Keep the kitchen modern and minimalist by clearing the counters and adding a few choice props – a shiny teakettle and some gourmet cookbooks.

Size Matters
You can make your place seem more spacious by carefully choosing your staging furnishings. Swap out the king-sized bed for a queen or full-sized bed to make the bedroom feel bigger and more relaxing. Downsize the sectional sofa by taking part of it out, or switching it for an extra-large love seat. Add more floor space in the living room by using a smaller coffee table.

You can also add space and dimension by hanging mirrors throughout your space. Large mirrors naturally widen rooms or draw more light into a darker room if positioned correctly.

Get The Right Team in Place
If you don’t have the right furnishings to stage your home, you might want to hire a professional staging expert to make your place look picture perfect. Real estate agents and staging professionals often work together to set the best tone so your property is most appealing to buyers.

We have worked successfully with many of these professionals over the years and would be happy to connect you with them if you are still assembling your team.

You can also brows through Rainbow Mover’s resources guide to find some of our recommended real estate professionals to help you sell your home. All of our resources are people that we know, like and trust to recommend to our customers.

 

Painlessly Declutter Before Your Move

Three Steps to Painlessly Declutter Before Your Move

If you live in one place for more than a couple of years, it’s almost inevitable that you will have accumulated more things than when you originally moved in. This is totally normal, but it can pose challenges when you’re planning to move.

To make moving painless, it’s essential to get rid of all of the things that you no longer need. However, many people find that even if they don’t love all of their possessions, they still develop an attachment to having stuff.

Decluttering your home before you move will save you lots of time, space, and moving costs if you make an effort to pare down your belongings to only those that you use, love, and that make your home feel great.

How do you overcome the overwhelm of decluttering? Here are three simple steps to making the process pain free and happy (because happy is good):

1. Take Baby Steps

If you have to purge many years of things, don’t try to do it all at once. Working on your whole home in one day or one weekend can be emotionally and physically draining. Instead, try working on one room – or even one closet – at a time.

Break down the process even further by setting a timer for 15 minutes. Focus solely on decluttering for those 15 minutes, and when the bell rings, give yourself a 5-minute break to step away and focus on something else. Once your break is over, take another 15-minute time increment to continue the process. When you break down a big project into small steps, it makes your work seem easier and faster.

2. Love It or Leave It

Make three piles of stuff: Keep, Give, and Toss. Keep only those things that you really love, or have special meaning for you, or that you use regularly. The Give pile can either be donated to a worthy cause or sold in a stoop sale or on EBay or Craig’s list for extra cash. Toss the things that are worn out or broken.

Be ruthless – if you have trouble sorting through your belongings, have someone help you. A neutral party can help you push through any emotional attachment you have to the things that don’t really add to your happiness or wellbeing.

3. Store Your Extras

So, say you’ve tried number one and number two, and you still have more than will fit in your space. Or you may have seasonal items that don’t need to live at your place year round. Well, you are still in luck. Why? Because Rainbow Movers has our own secured storage space where you can rent storage space for your extra belongings. Then, when the season rolls around, or when you clear new space in your home, you can have us retrieve them and deliver them to you when you need them.

Checklist to Reduce Moving Stress

Pre-Moving Checklist to Reduce Moving Stress

Moving is known as one of the top 10 most stressful events for many people. But you don’t have to give into stress. At Rainbow Movers, we believe happy is good! We have created happy moving experiences for thousands of customers by helping them reduce moving stress.

When you’re getting ready to move, planning ahead helps create a happy, stress-free move. Not sure where to start? No worries – here is a pre-move check list for you:

6-8 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Book a free, in-home estimate with your mover (earlier is better).
  • Create a moving file to keep track of checklists, quotes, receipts, and other important information.
  • Once you have your estimates, see if the movers you like will fit your budget. Consider the hourly costs, materials charges, and whether you feel the estimate (and estimator) has been thorough and realistic. Consider whether the charges have been explained so you understand them.
  • Create a budget for your moving expenses.
  • Gather copies of records you need to transfer – medical, dental, school, etc.

6 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Create a change-of-address notification list for magazines, clubs, subscriptions, financial accounts, etc.
  • Get change-of-address cards from your local post office.
  • Clear out the clutter – purge your belongings of the things that you don’t love, want, or use.
  • Plan to sell, give away, or donate your excess things.

4 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Start researching your new neighborhood or ask for recommendations – where to run errands, which parks are nearby, closest dog runs, leisure options, etc.
  •  Buy packing boxes and supplies for your belongings.
  • Schedule disconnect and connect dates for phone, cable, Internet, gas, electric, water, and trash

2 Weeks Before Your Move

  • Organize your belongings in boxes by room. You can label the upper right hand corner on the sides of each box with just a few letters – BR1, BR2, K, LR, O, etc. It’s quick and will ensure things are placed where you want them to be.
  • Create an “I Am HERE” box with all of the necessary items you’ll want to unpack first when you arrive. Some of these things include bed linens, bath towels, medicines, vitamins, important and pacifying toys for kids, starter items for the kitchen (i.e., coffee cup, wine glass), connecting wires for electronics, battery chargers, light bulbs, and toilet paper.

1 Week Before Your Move

  •  Your mover should check in with you to make sure you know what to expect on moving day. They will finalize any details with you and answer any questions that you have about timing, building schedule coordination, and payment.

It’s never too early to start discussing your upcoming move. If you’re planning one in the next couple of months, give us a call for a free estimate.

How to Pack China and Breakable Items

We do our best to treat your things as if they were our own. After moving hundreds of trucks full of your favorite furnishings, prized possessions, and delicate items, we’ve learned a few things about keeping your belongings safe from breakage.

In fact, we have a fool-proof way for packaging your dish wear. Wether it’s fine China or hand-me-down ceramics, this method will protect your tableware even if the box it’s packed in is accidentally dropped from waist height.

Before you get started, make sure that you have the right sized boxes and all of the materials that you need. We have plenty of supplies in our boxes and supplies store that we can deliver right to your doorstep. Once you have what you need, you can use our highly-effective way of protecting your most delicate items.

Pack Dishes with The “Lasagne Method”

What is the Lasagne Method, you may ask? It’s simply a layered approach to packing your dishes to minimize the potential for cracks, shatters, or chips. It was named the “Lasagne Method” by one of our customers.

Layer 1:  In the bottom of the box, add well crumpled paper or a couple of inches of shredded paper. This will provide sufficient cushioning for where you will put your dishes.

Layer 2: Wrap your plates well. Each plate should be wrapped in a couple of layers of paper to keep them safe. This will protect them if they knock into each other.

Instead of stacking them flat in the box on top of each other, stack them on their edge as if putting them into a dish washer or drying rack. Why on their side? Because if the box is accidentally dropped, there will be minimal surface area that comes in contact with the floor. Less surface area = less likely to break. This is science!

Layer 3: Add crumpled or shredded paper around the sides of the dishes to protect them from the sides of the box. Pack it so that nothing can shift around. Then add additional paper crumples or shreds on top of your dishes.

Layer 4: Wrap glass wear well. Each glass should have a couple of layers of paper, just like your plates. Lay your glassed down on their sides, on top of the layer of paper (aka layer 3).

Layer 5: Add more crumpled or shredded paper around your glasses so that they cannot move. Once they are sufficiently immobilized, add more paper on top of your glasses.

You can use this method for any other delicate items that you have to move. If you’re packing a number of items of varying sizes and shapes, it helps to keep the heaviest of them on the bottom of the box. And as long as you put enough padding around each item and in the space between items, they should stay safe from breakage.

Of course, if you want us to pack some of your more delicate items, or you have particularly difficult items to move such as mirrors, electronics, or odd shaped items, we’ll gladly pack them for you. Just get in touch with us for an in-person moving estimate and we’ll help you make your move happy and stress-free. Because happy is good!

Renovations Without Disrupting Your Life

How to Plan Renovations without Disrupting Your Life

Creating a fresh new look for your home can give new energy to your life. But doing massive renovations are challenging if you’re living in the space while they are happening.

How can you make it easier to upgrade your décor without disrupting your life too much? Here are some tips to make your renovation easier.

Clear Out Your Space

If you have a spare room, you can store furnishings and objects in it while your space is being renovated. However, if you are short on space, you may want to consider temporary storage for the time that you’ll be renovating.

In some storage facilities, you can keep your belongings for just a few months. We have our own secure storage space where you can temporarily store your things without worrying about them being in the way or getting damaged.

Break It Down

If you have to live in your space while you’re renovating, and you want to do a complete overhaul, it may make sense to break your project down into smaller pieces.

If you want to upgrade your one and only bathroom, work with your construction team to see how they can help minimize the time that the room is out of commission. Or see if they can upgrade that space while you’re away for a couple of days.

Plan Around Summer Break

If you have kids that will be taking a couple of weeks to spend with their grandparents or going to summer camp, you can plan the renovation for the time that they’re away. You won’t have to worry about keeping them occupied while your place is getting spruced up.

If you’re planning a family vacation or going to your second home, you can plan the work to happen when you’re away. When you have trustworthy contractors, they can take care of the construction while you’re relaxing. And then you can come home to a sparkling new kitchen, bathroom, or living room.

Ask For Referrals

If you need good, trustworthy resource for your renovations, just ask us. We at Rainbow Movers have a strong network of great resources that we have worked with for years and are happy to refer.

 

Find Your Best Time to Move Apartments

Four Tips to Find Your Best Time to Move Apartments

Historically, May 1 was known as Moving Day in New York City. That’s because all rental agreements expired on the same date. On February 1, also known as New York City’s Rent Day, landlords would communicate any rent increases, and between February and April, tenants would search for new places to live. When the first of May rolled around, there would be mass chaos of everyone switching apartments on the same day.

Fortunately, moving has changed a lot since the early 20th century, and even since Rainbow Movers started. However, planning ahead and finding your best time to move can reduce stress and make the transition easy.

Scheduling: Know YOUR Moving Season

The most popular months for moving are May through September. For many, it’s because transitioning to a new home is easier when kids are out of school for the summer. The downside is that summer can be more difficult to book your move on the day you wish since many others are moving at the same time.

Know your new building’s rules

Many New York City buildings, particularly those with elevators and doormen, do not allow weekend moves. In addition, many buildings only permit one moving company at a time to access the service elevator. Planning your move ahead of time is key to ensure that your movers will be able to get to your apartment without delays.

If you are moving from house to house, you won’t have the same sorts of restrictions, but you may need to consider other factors like traffic.

Peak season vs. off-peak

If your new home is near a beach route or weekend getaway place, midweek summer moves (Tuesday-Thursday) will save you money by cutting the time your movers are on the road.

During early spring or late fall, you may be able to book your move whenever you like. If you’re buying a place, you might find better deals with fewer buyers on the hunt.

Winter can be even easier to find exactly the home that you desire and the ideal move-in date.

Book your move ahead

The earlier that you can book your move, the more likely you will be able to choose your ideal move date. Because summer is such a popular time to move, many movers get booked weeks in advance.

It’s not wrong to plan a move that’s 6-8 weeks or more in the future. Knowing that you have secured your date can give you peace of mind and reduce your stress.

Discover your best time to move – contact us for schedule options and your free estimate.