How to Find Reputable Movers in Pittsburgh

Find reputable movers in PittsburghYou may have heard about “rogue” movers before in the news. Unlike reputable movers in Pittsburgh, these rogue movers lack AMSA ProMover certification and don’t abide by any guidelines. They’ve even been known to hold household goods hostage until unwitting customers pay an exorbitant fee far above what they were originally quoted. Fortunately, there are tactics you can use to avoid getting scammed.

1. Ask the Right Questions

Reputable movers in Pittsburgh will be able to answer some key questions about their services. Ask them about their quality assurance processes, how claims are handled, and whether their employees undergo criminal background checks. Make sure they have the proper equipment to conduct your move safely and protect your belongings, like furniture blankets, shrink wraps, dollies, and quality moving trucks. A mover operating out of a small van with no equipment to protect your home or furniture is unlikely to provide you with quality service.

2. Check Their Credentials

Are they with a van line that’s existed for a long time and has a recognizable brand name? Ensure that they’re a current agent in good standing by contacting the van line directly. Only trust movers that are ProMover certified with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). ProMovers are thoroughly screened for quality of service, and authentic movers operate under their stringent guidelines to satisfy their customers and maintain their certification.

3. Avoid These Common Scams

Don’t trust a moving company that solely operates online. They should have a brick and mortar location that you can visit. If they’re located in an office building, ensure they’re listed in the directory. Also avoid moving companies that require you to pay up front instead of estimating the cost of service and providing you with a final bill at the end of service. If you get a particularly low estimate that sounds too good to be true, look elsewhere.

Use these tips to empower yourself to find reputable movers in Pittsburgh. If you do your detective work, you can rest assured that your belongings are in the hands of professionals. Contact Weleski Transfer to ask us about our practices and credentials, and request a free moving estimate today.

How to Find Reputable Movers in Cleveland

moving company vanA major challenge of deciding on a Cleveland moving company is determining which ones are reputable and which are “rogue movers,” fly-by-night businesses that operate without accountability or guidelines. These days it’s not enough to judge by a moving company’s website alone. Use these tried-and-true methods to find reputable movers in Cleveland that you can trust with your belongings and avoid getting scammed.

1. Better Business Bureau

Is the moving company you’re researching registered with the Better Business Bureau? Check their rating, and how satisfactorily they’ve resolved any customer complaints. Reputable movers in Cleveland with a lot of experience are more likely to be registered and have some history of positively dealing with customer complaints than a rogue mover.

2. American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA)

The AMSA has a long history of consumer advocacy and carefully screens potential members, so you can rest assured that a Cleveland moving company certified as a ProMover can be trusted with your valuable belongings. Be sure to check directly with the AMSA that your Cleveland mover is a member, as some unscrupulous companies may claim to be a ProMover when they’re not.

3. Reputable Van Lines

Is the Cleveland moving company you’re investigating associated with a well-known, long-standing van line? Be sure to check with the van line to make sure the moving company is an agent in good standing.

4. Look for Quality and Safety

Ask what kinds of quality assurance processes your mover has in place. Do they have the right equipment to ensure the safety of your household goods, like warehouses, quality trucks, moving blankets, shrink wrap, and dollies? Do they conduct criminal background checks on their personnel? If they do, they should be able to provide an ID number that you can verify.

5. Drive by the Facility

Beware of fake addresses. Reputable movers in Cleveland should have a brick and mortar location that you can drive by. If they’re located inside an office building, go inside and make sure the company is listed on the directory.

6. Avoid Common Scam Tactics

Don’t choose a mover that charges upfront for a move instead of providing you with an estimate after service is concluded, and request multiple estimates from different movers to compare cost. Avoid a moving companies that offer a lowball price.

Don’t leave your household goods or your home in the hands of an unresearched and unaccountable moving company. Contact Weleski Transfer with any questions you have about our practices, and request a free moving quote to compare services.

Tips to Make Your Office Move Smoother

An apple computer sitting on a white desk before an office moveThe best advice for moving an office is to enlist your employer to hire office movers and have your documents, electronics, and other belongings professionally handled. However, if you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur on a budget, you can follow these tips to make your office move smoother.

First, check out our instructions for packing an office.

Make a Plan

Create a checklist and timeline so you can ensure nothing important is left behind, and you can resume working as soon as possible. Make a list of your top priorities (getting your electronics hooked up and running, moving over essential documents) and the tasks that can wait (moving your books, moving non-essential office furniture). This can be especially helpful if you’re not able to complete your move all at once.

Determine Your Layout

Before cluttering your new office space with disorganized boxes and furniture, figure out how you want your office to be designed. Survey the new space and create a diagram of where you’d like furniture to be positioned. If you regularly conduct Zoom meetings, consider this when designing your layout.

For instance, if there’s a window in your office, you’ll want your desk to be positioned so you’re sitting at a 45 degree angle to the natural light source if possible. This will softly illuminate and also define your face. Pay attention to what Zoom callers will see behind you. You can hang art or other decorations to create a more appealing background. If you wish to repaint or refloor your new office space, complete these projects well ahead of your moving schedule.

Check Your Calendar

If you need to move during business hours, make sure you’ve cleared your schedule of meetings and communicated with any colleagues or clients about when you’ll be ready to resume work. Allow yourself some extra time before or after your move in case of any unforeseen complications during your office move.

Enlist Help

Whether you’re hiring professional movers or relying on friends or colleagues, give plenty of advance notice of your preferred moving date. On moving day, take your most essential items that you’ll need to use right away as well as your confidential documents with you in your car.

Have questions about your office move? You can ask us. If you’d like to hire professional office movers, request a quote today.

How to Pack an Office for Moving

Man putting away notebooks and preparing to pack an officeWhether you’re moving from a traditional workplace to a home office or the other way around, there are special measures to take when packing office equipment, heavy books, and potentially sensitive files. Check out these tips to pack an office like a professional so you can make the move without losing anything important.

Gather Your Materials

You can contact Weleski Transfer to request all the moving supplies you’ll need at competitive prices. If you’d rather acquire them yourself, keep an eye out for sturdy boxes of various sizes. Copy paper boxes are great for carrying documents, books, and small decorations.

For your electronics, it’s best to pack them in their original boxes, but if you no longer have them you can use any sturdy box that’s small enough for a tight fit. You’ll also want packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and premade labels or markers for labeling.

Fetch the Shredder

One of the most important steps is also likely to be the most time-consuming. Check your desk drawers and filing cabinets for documents and sort them into three piles: File, Shred, and Recycle.

For documents you’ll be taking to your new office, organize them by type, priority, client name, or whatever system makes most sense to you, and place them into labeled file folders. These can be packed away in a specialized file box or a common copy paper box. Label your boxes accordingly.

Shred any documents you won’t need that contain sensitive information, like your or your customers’ financial details or any information that’s classified as confidential by your company. Everything else you won’t be taking with you can be recycled.

Secure Your Electronics

Before disconnecting your electronics, snap a quick picture to help you remember the position of the cables and save time during setup in your new location. Use zip ties to bundle cables together and keep them in the same boxes as their original devices. Any small components that are easy to lose can be packed in plastic baggies and also placed inside the box.

Before packing your computer, perform a backup of any files you can’t afford to lose to give yourself added peace of mind. You can upload these to an external hard drive or a cloud application like Dropbox or Google Drive.

It’s ideal to pack your printer, monitor, hard drive, and any other fragile electronics in their original boxes. Otherwise, wrap them in a layer of packing paper and then a layer of bubble wrap, and pack them individually inside the smallest boxes they’ll fit inside, filling any gaps with packing paper. Mark these boxes with “fragile” and an arrow pointing up to indicate they should be handled with particular care and kept upright. Your laptop and its charger can be transported with you in a padded laptop bag.

Pare Down Your Books

Books can add considerable weight and box space to your move, so consider which books are essential in your new office and which can be left behind, given away, or donated. Stack them inside very sturdy, medium to small boxes lined with packing paper.

You can place them flat inside the box or with their spines facing downward, but avoid packing them with the spines facing up to prevent damage. Don’t underestimate how heavy books are—test the weight of your boxes as you go to ensure you’ll be able to comfortably carry them. If your box gets as heavy as you can carry but still has ample space inside, stack non-breakable items like boxes of staples and paperclips, post-its, or other lightweight office supplies on top.

Make a Decision about Your Furniture

Decide whether your furniture should make the trip with you. Don’t think you’ll find a more comfortable chair for your new office? Is your bookshelf an antique that’s important to you? If the furniture you’re taking with you can be disassembled, take it apart and keep small elements like screws and washers in a plastic baggie labeled with the furniture it’s paired with. Add assembly instructions to the baggie as well if you have them. Use packing tape to secure this baggie to a piece of the furniture that won’t be visible in case residue is left behind, like the underside of your desk or the bottom of your chair.

Fragile furniture items can be wrapped in blankets secured with ropes or bungee cords. If drawers aren’t removable, tape them shut with masking tape, and use that same tape to secure pieces of cardboard or packing paper to panels of glass. Removable drawers filled with office supplies or other items can be shrink wrapped and transported as is.

Now that you’ve learned how to pack an office like a pro, get a quote from professional office movers so you can settle into your new office and get back to your normal work routine faster. Contact us if you have any office packing questions or if you’d prefer to hire packing help.

How to Pack a Kitchen Like a Professional Mover

Family of three beginning to pack a kitchen

Once you’ve followed our steps for organizing a kitchen for moving, the next step is to learn how to pack one like a pro. With all the fragile and heavy items in a kitchen, it’s easiest to leave packing one to professionals, but here’s how to pack a kitchen yourself and minimize the chance of breaking your appliances and glassware.

Invest in Quality Packing Materials

Weleski Transfer can provide the professional-grade packing materials you need to pack a kitchen and minimize damage to your kitchen goods, like cardboard dividers, packing paper to fill in gaps, and heavy duty boxes that can handle appliances and stacks of dishes.

If you’re using your own boxes, make sure they’re sturdy enough to handle heavy loads, get more boxes than you think you’ll need, and don’t skip out on padding. You can even use bath and dish towels in a pinch, and plastic wrap to keep stacked items from shifting in their boxes. You may also want to invest in color-coded labels so you can easily identify the boxes that are meant to go in your kitchen, and where they’re supposed to be stored.

Identify Your Essentials

If you’ll be making meals up until moving day, or if there’s anything you’ll need to unpack and use right away, set it aside to pack last. Leave out enough dishes and utensils for you and your family, your most-used pots and pans, and appliances you use every day like your microwave or coffee maker. When you pack these everyday essential items, be sure to label them accordingly so they won’t have to go hunting for them later.

Sort Items by Type

Instead of packing place by place in your kitchen, from the pantry to the drawers and cabinets, gather items of the same type from different locations around the kitchen into stacks or piles. Sort dry goods, utensils, pots and pans, glassware, and other categories into the same pile. This will help you remember which items are in which boxes, and will help you identify any duplicates or other things you won’t need in your new kitchen. It will also help you decide where you want things to be put away in your new kitchen if you can easily see how many pans you have, or how many glasses and dishes.

Start Packing

Prepare your boxes, tape, and paper, and set up a packing station on a kitchen table or the floor. Prepare each box by filling it with crumpled packing paper. Here’s the best way to pack common kitchen items:

Appliances

Appliances should be packed in their original boxes whenever possible. If you no longer have the original, pack them in as small a box as you can to ensure a tight fit, and fill in any gaps with padding.

Pots and Pans

You can nest smaller pans inside larger ones, with padding between each to prevent scratching. Place them inside a box and fill in any gaps to prevent shifting during transit. You can wrap glass lids in paper and pack them separately, also making sure to fill in any gaps inside the box.

Dishes and Bowls

Dishes should be packed so they’re standing on edge, instead of in a vertical stack. You can do this by piling each plate on top of the other, with a piece of packing paper layered in between each. Then wrap the entire stack in paper and tape it together with packing tape. Avoid creating a stack higher than the diameter of the plate. When you’re done, place the stack on its side in a tight-fitting box and fill any gaps with paper.

Bowls can be nested inside of each other, with a layer of packing paper in between them. You can stack them the same way as the dishes, but instead of packing them on their side, place stacks of bowls vertically inside a tight-fitting box, with the lips of the bowls facing down.

Glasses and Stemware

Glasses and stemware should be filled with crumbled tissue or paper before packing. Roll each one in a sheet of packing paper, or use corrugated paper for extra protection. If packing glasses and stemware with other items, pack them upside-down, with the lips facing the bottom of the box, never on their sides, and make sure they’re at the top of the box above heavier items.

Knives and Utensils

If your flatware is organized inside a tray, you can simply wrap the full tray in plastic wrap and tape and move it all as one piece. Otherwise, you can pack them loosely on their sides in a small box, or wrapped in paper to prevent scratching.

Knives can be wrapped in packing paper and then a dish towel, with tape or a rubber band around the bundle. Never pack knives facing up. They should be lying on their sides in a box.

Food

Perishables should be stored inside a tightly-packed cooler that remains at 40 degrees or less. Fill in any gaps with ice. Non-perishables can be transported in canvas grocery bags or boxes. Put the most delicate items, bags of chips or loaves of bread, at the top of the bag or box.

Contact us if you have any questions about how to pack a kitchen, or get a free moving quote from Weleski Transfer and request professional packing services.

How to Organize a Kitchen for Moving

Organized kitchen utensils hanging from hooksThe kitchen is one of the most difficult rooms in a house to pack. It contains items you may need to use up until moving day, and many items in a kitchen are perishable, fragile, or require some heavy lifting, like large appliances.

For large kitchen moves, it’s best to leave the hard work to the professionals. If you have items you need to purge or you’d rather do the packing yourself, here are some tips to help you organize a kitchen for moving and lighten the load.

1. Use Up Your Perishables

Try to plan meals ahead for one to two weeks before your move to ensure you use up all your perishable ingredients, like meat, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Professional movers won’t be able to transport these for you, and ensuring they stay fresh while transporting them yourself will add unnecessary stress to your move.

If you must take some perishables with you, like items from your freezer, pack them tightly in a cooler full of ice and make sure the utilities are on in your new home so you can immediately put them in the fridge or freezer.

As long as the temperature inside your cooler remains below 40 degrees, your food will be safe to eat. Otherwise, it will perish within two hours. If you’re not sure your perishables will be safe to eat, air on the side of caution and throw them away.

2. Sell or Donate What You Don’t Need

Rather than packing heavy canned goods and other non-perishables, consider donating them to a food bank. Good items to donate to a food bank are canned meats and vegetables, cooking oils, dried herbs and spices, nuts and granola bars, instant boxed meals like mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese, boxes of pasta and cereal, and packages of dried beans and rice.

Will you be combining households with someone else? Go through your counters and utensil drawers and sort out any duplicates. You probably won’t need two microwaves, toasters, blenders, or can openers.

If they’re in nice enough condition, you can sell them on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. If they don’t sell or you don’t want to go to the trouble, you can ask friends and family if anyone is in need of them or give them away to a local charity.

3. Cut Out the Clutter

Have you been washing and reusing jars every time you empty one? Do you keep plastic utensils and sauce packets in case you might need them? A move is a great opportunity to confront your kitchen clutter and decide if it really needs to follow you into your new home. If you have a collection of plastic containers without lids or lids without matching containers, consider cleaning, drying, and recycling them along with any clean paper or plastic goods you haven’t used. Wherever you have too much of something, like empty pasta sauce jars, pare your collection down to the essentials and recycle or dispose of the rest.

Some kitchen items can be repurposed into art and crafts. You can hang vintage baking tins on the wall of your new kitchen, or break old ceramic plates into pieces that can be used to make stepping stones or coffee table surfaces. If you have children, they can use kitchen sponges for painting, and egg cartons for paint trays.

Now that you’ve learned how to organize a kitchen and lighten the load, find out how to pack your kitchen like a pro, or get a quote for professional packing and moving services from Weleski Transfer.

Why You Should Hire Professional Fine Art Movers

Why is it important to hire professional movers to handle your fine art? Unless you have professional experience packing and shipping art, you’re leaving it at risk for damage that will degrade its value or even destroy it, and you may even damage your home in the process. It’s just as risky to hire movers without any fine art moving experience. Here’s why you should leave your valuable collection in the hands of our professional fine art movers in Pittsburgh or Cleveland.Room of sculptures fine art movers

We use the best packing materials.

Take the guesswork out of packing canvases or sculptures to prevent scratches or breaks. The fine art movers at Weleski Transfer will use the packing material best suited to the job to ensure your art is secured in transit or will be safe in storage, even if the piece you’re transporting is large or irregularly shaped.

We can handle large and heavy pieces.

Professional art movers are properly equipped to handle a sculpture or other large and heavy art installation during the move and during transit, without damaging the art or your home. We’ve moved all kinds of higher value objects you wouldn’t trust in the hands of amateurs.

Your move comes with protection.

Ask your professional fine art mover about valuation options and what kind of coverage is included in your moving estimate. Your items will also be documented in a moving inventory that will help prevent anything from getting lost on its way to your new home.

Protect the value of your collection by avoiding “rogue movers,” whose unethical practices include holding your goods hostage. Weleski Transfer is a ProMover®, certified by American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) for our quality and dependability.

Request a free moving estimate from fine art movers in Pittsburgh or Cleveland today, or contact us if you have any other questions about moving fine art.

4 Tips for Moving with Cats and Dogs

Puppy and cat playing on lawn

Pets seem to realize something is going on once we start packing. They may already be aware that change is afoot. Use these tips to keep your cat or dog calm during a long-distance move and help them adjust to their new environment.

1. Do your research and make a plan.

Does your new neighborhood have a dog park? Have you figured out where you’ll take your cat for veterinary appointments? When you keep the needs of every family member in mind before moving, you’ll have less to stress about when you get there. Make sure your new house is already pet-proof, and if you plan to let your dog out in the yard, ensure the fence is high and sturdy enough to keep your pup secure.

2. Get them used to moving.

Make sure your cat is acquainted with and comfortable with their pet carrier by starting a couple of weeks in advance. Leave it out in the open and place treats and something familiar-smelling inside (like a blanket or article of clothing), allowing them to go in and out freely with the door open. Once they’re not wary of going in and out, close the door while they’re inside and immediately offer them a treat. Practice going longer and longer in the carrier and extending the time between treats.

If your dog isn’t comfortable traveling in the car, you can put them at ease using a similar method. Offer something they enjoy every time they get inside with you, whether that’s a treat or a play session. Once they can sit comfortably in the car while it’s in park, try taking them on short rides and offering upbeat praise. Once you’ve stopped the car and can do so safely, offer them another reward.

3. Tire them out.

On moving day, engage in a long play session with your cat or dog until they’re about ready to take a nap. As long as they’re comfortable in the car, they may sleep most of the way! Make sure you’ve taken your dog for a walk to relieve themselves, and that your cat has used the litter box one last time.

4. Introduce them to their new home.

Once all potential exits are closed off and it’s safe to let your cat out of its carrier or your dog of its leash, allow them to explore at their leisure. Don’t panic if your cat becomes scarce for a day or two—they most likely haven’t escaped but have found their preferred hiding spot until they can acclimate to their new surroundings. For a puppy or kitten, you may want to confine them to one small room of the house, like the bathroom, until they get their bearings. Follow your normal routine, feeding your pets the same food at the usual times and allowing your dog their scheduled bathroom breaks. Before you know it, they’ll feel right at home.

Have more questions about how to move pets? Ask us!

Use the Marie Kondo Method to Declutter Before Moving

Jeans stacked vertically using the KonMari folding methodHave you read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, or learned about the KonMari method by watching the Tidying Up With Marie Kondo Netflix series? Even if you haven’t experienced the magic yourself, your friends and relatives have probably been sharing pictures left and right of their perfectly folded clothes standing vertically in their dresser drawers.

Here are some cleaning and organizing tips from Marie Kondo that you can use to lighten the load before your move, and then keep everything organized when you move into your new home.

How to Tidy Up Before You Move

  • Pile it up. Marie Kondo recommends sorting items by category rather than by room. Start by gathering every item of clothing in your home, from your closet to your bathroom floor, and creating a pile. Do the same for books, papers, miscellaneous items, and mementos.
  • “Does this spark joy?” This might not be the first question you ask yourself while holding a pair of your socks, but it’s a useful one for paring down your possessions. Hold each article of clothing, every book you own, and every photograph you’ve kept over the years and ask yourself if it makes you feel happy.
  • Say thank you and let it go. If it doesn’t, it’s time to toss it or give it away. Obvious exceptions are necessary household items like tools and cookware (although those might spark joy for you, too!). You can skip this step, but it can help to thank your belongings for their service before letting them go, especially when saying goodbye to mementos that were once important to you.

How to Tidy Up After You Move

  • Use the filing method to fold clothes. Marie Kondo’s folding method is the best way to see all your clothing at a glance, without having to upheave neatly stacked garments to find the perfect pants. Follow the folding method to learn how to make your clothes stand upright on their own, and then stack them vertically in drawers like documents in a filing cabinet.
  • Avoid re-cluttering. Before buying something new, ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it doesn’t, and it’s not an absolutely necessary item, put it back. The fewer new items you add to your home, the more successful you’ll be at keeping everything tidy.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Materials Before Moving

Cans of paint - how to dispose of hazardous materialsHazardous materials like flammable liquids, car batteries, and pesticides pose a safety hazard and a risk of damaging your belongings, so Weleski can’t move them. It’s best to make a plan for them in advance of your moving date. Follow this guide to learn how to dispose of hazardous materials properly before moving.

What Are Hazardous Materials?

Hazardous materials can’t be safely disposed of in the trash like normal waste, and should never be burned. To prevent harm to the environment or other people, they must be disposed of using specific protocols. The hazardous or flammable materials Weleski can’t transport include:

  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition and loaded guns
  • Batteries
  • Charcoal, lighter fluid, and matches
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Gasoline
  • Liquid bleach
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Paint and paint thinner
  • Pesticides
  • Propane tanks
  • Weed killer

For a full list of hazardous materials Weleski can’t transport, visit AtlasVanLines.com.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste in Cleveland

Household hazardous waste like pesticides, flammables, and automotive fluids are collected by Cuyahoga County city service departments. Cleveland residents can drop off hazardous waste (excluding latex paint) on the first Friday of every month at the Division of Waste Collection Garage from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

How to Dispose of Hazardous Waste in Pittsburgh

Residents of Allegheny County can drop off their household hazardous waste at their nearest collection point on specific dates. The Department of Environmental Protection lists locations, dates, and contact information for Pittsburgh hazardous waste drop-off sites on its website. Not all locations accept all kinds of items, so call ahead and ask first.

Not sure how to safely dispose of a specific item? Or, do you need to find out how to dispose of a large quantity of hazardous waste? Contact Weleski Transfer and we’ll help you find the answers.