Dogs are not Luggage: Tips for Moving Pets

We know how stressful it can be for people move from one home and into another.  We also know that a move can be equally stressful on a cat or dog — and even fish. Based on years of experience as movers and pet-owners ourselves, we have developed these tips for moving your pets into their new home with as little stress as possible for them:

1. Dog Are Not Luggage

You can’t pack them in a crate and throw them in the back of a moving truck. And you definitely can’t strap them to the roof of your car.

If you have a safe, familiar place to keep the dog for the day while you’re moving, such as a friend’s house, that’s probably the best bet for keeping them calm and out of harm’s way.  If the dog is going to stay with you during the day, keep her confined in a safe part of the house, away from the movers and the boxes. Check on her regularly and make sure her food and water bowls are full. Don’t forget to take her for her regular walks. Some things don’t change, even on Moving Day.

As you are moving into your new home, keep your dog confined in a safe room until the move-in is finished, for her own safety and the safety of the movers. Once the movers are finished, let her explore her new home. We’ve found that dogs usually adapt quickly to their new environment as long as they are with you, their human pack.

2. Cats Are A Little More Complicated

Unlike dogs, cats are much more attached to their places — that familiar chair, or that spot in the afternoon sun.  So we find that cats often take longer to adjust than dogs, although the will get used to their new place over time.

When you bring your cat to your new home, make sure you show him where his food and his litter box are right away. And then let him go exploring.  He will explore every nook and cranny of the new place, and you may not see him for hours.  That is a good thing.  He will eventually find a new patch of sun in his new home.

3. Avoid A Rough Ride With Your Hamsters, Iguanas And Other Small Creatures

The key to moving small pets living in cages is to move them to their new location with as little jostling as possible. Carefully transport them to your new home and find a quiet, safe place for the cage, not too hot and not too cold. Try to prevent them from being exposed to loud noises during the move. And then spend extra time with them over the next few days to observe them and let them know that everything is normal.

4. Fish Need Their Own Water

To prevent your fish from stressing out during the move, the best thing to do is to move their tank water too. You’ll want to transport the water in containers (gallon milk jugs work great). Transport the fish in a container too and not in the fish tank to avoid waves and spilling. When you get to your new home, leave the fish in their container and fill the tank back up with the original water. Let the fish and the water sit for 24 hours to adjust to the new room temperature, and then gently pour the fish back into the tank. They should be happy as, well, a fish in water.

Rainbow Movers cannot move your pets for you, but we can definitely help you plan to move them yourself with minimal stress for them and you.  And there’s nothing like a happy, furry face to make your new place feel like home.


How Has Moving in New York Changed Since 1978?

Lenny Sass is the owner and co-founder of Rainbow Movers.  We thought it would be interesting to ask him how moving has changed in the city since he first started the business in 1978.

When my wife and I started Rainbow Movers in 1978, we were charging $12 an hour for myself and our truck, and she ran the office while taking care of two, then three kids.  You could rent an apartment on 2nd Avenue and 10th Street in an elevator/doorman building for $300 a month.   Since then, the company has grown, added services and staff, and moved thousands of people and their possessions into new homes.  And that same East Village apartment is now going for $3,000 a month.  Some things have changed dramatically, and some haven’t really changed at all.

For one thing, dealing with our trucks is a lot different today.  The bike and bus lanes limit the places we can park, so we are much more exposed to parking tickets.  There are a lot more taxis and limos these days.  It’s great for people who want to find a cab, but look down any avenue and imagine the space if the yellow vehicles were not there.  We need them, but we’ve had to crowd ourselves for the convenience.

People were moving into some pretty gritty spaces thirty years ago, huge old loft buildings where we had to pull on a cable to move the elevators up and down.  There were more walk-up buildings then too.  Many of them have now been replaced with skyscrapers, and we live in their shadows:  less sunblock required, but less natural vitamin D as well.  Another trade off.

One definite improvement is there is less pollution in the city today.  The environmental regulations and improvements to furnaces are working.  The soot on windowsills (and windshields) takes longer to accumulate.  And less people are smoking, so our lungs are cleaner.  The city is safer too.  We still see front doors with three or more locks on them, but they are usually a throw back to when they were really necessary.

Even though Americans are larger than ever today, furniture is still furniture.  In the 1970’s, we would still see the occasional large parlor piece from the 1940’s and ‘50’s, inherited from parents and grandparents.  Things have certainly changed with the designs of the day.  TV’s today are flatter and bigger, and furniture to hold them has changed as well.  We also see more IKEA type furniture that people assemble out of the box, but those are not usually passed on from generation to generation.  Audio systems now fit in your pocket.  But until everything else is digitized, we will be helping people move it.

Things will always be changing, people will continue to want new spaces for themselves, and we will continue to help move their belongings.  The one thing that hasn’t changed is that we still do our best to eliminate the stresses that can be part of the process.

Every day might as well be the sweet spot between yesterday and tomorrow.

~Lenny Sass

It’s Storming on Moving Day! What Now?

It’s Moving Day!  You’re all packed, and you’re ready to move to your new place.  You wake up early and look out the window, and what do you see?  RAIN!

What do you do now?

You can plan and pack and organize like an Olympic champion.  But one thing you cannot control is the weather.  Some seasons are better for a move than others, but each one has its own delights, be it cold, wind, heat, humidity, rain, snow, or worst of all, ice.  This is when your mover needs to step in to turn your clouds into sunshine, if you’ll pardon the metaphor.

We generally know in advance about the access routes to your buildings, and the degree of weather protection they might offer.  Some have completely covered parking for our trucks, but most do not.  We then do all we can to minimize the impact of the weather by having with us the equipment we need to protect your belongings.  Each piece of furniture needs to be securely wrapped.  This may entail shrinkwrap or plastic furniture bags especially for sofas, mattresses, and other upholstered items.

If we are also doing the packing, we will ensure that each box is closed properly.  We also want our movers to be protected with the right gear and shoes to avoid slipping.  If you are doing the packing yourself, we can provide you with the materials and bring additional materials on Moving Day.  The distance between the buildings’ exit or entrance and the moving truck is usually minimal, so the boxes and furniture have only limited exposure to the elements.  In the event that the distance to the truck is greater than usual, our preparation provides the necessary protection.

Our movers will work as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible to make sure your move goes smoothly.

The bottom line is that we know what to do.  We are experienced and conscientious, and we have dealt with weather issues successfully many times.  We will get you into your new home no matter what Mother Nature throws at us.