Moving Internationally Can Be a Beautiful Thing

Watching the Olympic games unfold in Rio, I’m reminded of what a beautiful world ours is and what wonderful people inhabit it. Moving internationally enables people to explore the world while learning about themselves. When Weleski’s international movers help people relocate, I like to think we’re helping them to personally experience that beauty and wonder.

In one way, an overseas move can be like going to another world. Different language, unfamiliar customs, strange food. In another way, it can be like moving to another state. At least we try to make it seem that easy.

Amsterdam at Sunrise

It’s not the distance per se that makes an international relocation different. (Did you know it’s twice as far from New York to Los Angeles as it is from Miami to Panama City, Panama?) Rather, the red tape of differing legalities between countries is the primary differentiator.  Here are a few of the things to be mindful of.

Downsize your move. The extent of your downsizing can depend on how long you intend to be overseas. In general, the fewer things you take, the easier and more affordable your move will be. Establishing a furnished residence in your new country could end up saving you money.

Keep things separate. Don’t include these items when you pack your household goods:  passport or I.D., currency, important papers, jewelry, photos and keepsakes. For a more specific list of items you should transport yourself, check out Atlas’s list of personal belongings.

Important papers. You need ready access to several documents: such as your passport, work visa, birth certificate, marriage certificate, academic record, medical record, health insurance information, life insurance policy numbers, social security card, list of important contacts (personal and professional) and phone numbers. You might also snap a photo of each document to keep on your mobile device — and back the document images up with “cloud storage,” e.g., Google Drive.

Driving. What are the requirements for driving in your new country? Do you have to take a test before you can obtain a license? Be sure you are legally authorized and insured before you get behind the wheel.

London at nightMoney. How much will you need for miscellaneous expenses as you travel? If your bank doesn’t have international reach, you’ll often need your new address and your passport to open a bank account in a foreign country. Try looking into banking options before you leave so you can focus more on your international adventure.

Immunizations. Check the requirements for the country you are going to and make sure you are up to date on required vaccinations. The same goes for pets. Do they meet requirements for entry in the country? In the locale and housing unit?

Getting started. It’s a good idea to get estimates from at least two, if not three, moving companies with international capabilities. Ask questions, such as which insurance option is best for your circumstances. And ask for references, then contact those customers and ask if they would use the mover again.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you will need to consider when moving internationally, but it’s a good start. You can read more about our international relocation services here. Or, send us a message with your question.  We’re glad to show you how moving internationally can be a beautiful thing.

Professional Movers vs. Renting a Moving Truck

Professional Moving Truck in front of a House

We all want to be wise consumers, try to save a dollar when we can. For this reason, it’s tempting to rent a moving truck rather than hire professional movers. I understand that—I’ve even helped people in such situations with professional packing supplies and services. (I don’t begrudge anyone trying to save money. In this day and age, every dollar counts!)

If you are thinking about doing your own hauling, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Availability. When moving day gets here, will the truck rental place have a truck available for you? Especially during the summer months, when moving is at its peak, truck rental companies cannot keep up with the demand. Even a “guaranteed” reservation is often no guarantee that a truck will be available when you need it. True, Weleski is subject to the same seasonal demands for equipment. However, when we commit to your move, we serve you as promised. We’ve built our reputation on being reliable and responsive.

Hidden Costs. As someone once said, “the large type giveth and the small type taketh away.” That boldly advertised truck price is a grabber. Be sure to factor in all the related expenses for mileage, seasonal price fluctuations, long-distance and one-way premiums. Then add in an unknown amount for the unexpected, such as a tire blowout or radiator leak. On the other hand, with Weleski professional movers the guaranteed price for service covers everything, with no surprises. If something unexpected happens in transit, we take care of it.

Damaged Goods. When you pack and load your own shipment, you are responsible for the safety of your goods. If items break or are damaged, you’re on the hook. With professional movers, you get experience and best practices for packing and loading. Plus, every shipment Weleski handles is covered by full value protection (unless you say otherwise). FVP guarantees you receive the replacement value of any item in the event of loss or damage.

Your Safety. I was once driving through Florida on I-75 behind a car pulling a popular brand of rented trailer.  Apparently the load inside was unsecured, causing the trailer and car to swerve wildly. Traffic behind slowed in anticipation of a jack-knife and rollover. Fortunately, the driver slowed down and pulled over before a catastrophe occurred. This is but one example of the dangers you can avoid with a professional mover in charge.

Faulty Equipment. Vicious price competition in the truck rental space encourages less-than-ethical operators to cut costs, even on essential vehicle maintenance. Be aware the truck you rent is driven by a different driver on every move—and is only as reliable as the company you get it from. Speaking for Weleski, we are diligent in maintaining our equipment for reliability and safety. The lives of our people and the motoring public depend on it.

I remember seeing a cartoon that illustrated a backhoe beside a roadside stand with a sign: “Fred’s Croissants and Fill Dirt.” In an attempt to be everywhere, truck rental places are often an appendage to some other concern, such as a convenience store or self-storage business. Weleski Transfer, on the other hand, is a full-service moving and storage company with a single focus on helping customers go new places.

True, a professional move on paper is typically more than the cost of a rental truck. But add everything up, and I think you’ll see the many advantages of our professional moving service give you an undeniable value. You can save yourself a lot of hassle and uncertainty—and even come out dollars ahead. Get a free moving quote to see what we can offer you.

How to Get a Moving Quote

getting a moving quote from an in-home estimateSomething we routinely offer customers is a free quote for moving services. This is pretty common in the moving industry—and it should be. Making a move isn’t an easy, one-size-fits-all purchase. Your move is uniquely yours; it may be similar to others, but it’s not identical. So you, and every customer, should get a detailed quote for services before you decide on a mover. You should know exactly what to expect and how much it will cost.

The cost for moving depends mainly on the weight of a shipment and the distance it travels. So, we need to know what items you will be moving, where you are moving from (origin), and where you are moving to (destination).  We also need to know when you plan to move, since moving costs normally fluctuate with seasonal demand. For example, resources (trucks and crews) are in greater demand during the summer and costs are generally higher as a result.

To prepare an accurate moving quote, movers needs accurate information. Weleski helps you get an idea of cost with an online form that captures the essential information. We use this to provide a “nonbinding” estimate. This is what we think the move will cost, but it is not a guarantee. In order to give you a guaranteed, or “binding” estimate, we will need to walk through your home and see everything you wish to move.

Insist on getting a written, in-home estimate from three different movers. If you are moving out of Pittsburgh or the surrounding area, we are glad to provide this service and to have the opportunity for you to ask us any questions you may have about your move. If you are moving from another state into Pennsylvania, we can also arrange to provide an in-home estimate through our Atlas agency network.

If a mover insists they can give you an accurate estimate without performing the in-home walk-through, run! Chances are you will get an inflated estimate, way more than you should have to pay.  By the same token, beware of any mover who provides a “low-ball” estimate.  It’s a sad fact our industry has more than its share of unscrupulous operators. Some will use the low, low price ruse to hook a customer, then pile on additional charges and hold goods for ransom until paid.  Don’t let yourself become a victim.

Whether Weleski is ultimately your choice for moving, we are glad to have the chance to give you a moving quote. We consider it a cost of doing business, well worth it for the chance to serve you as our customer. Please call us (1-888-224-3330) or use our online form to request a free moving quote today.

Is your mover a pro? How do you know?

Like every industry, moving employs a lot of different people with varying skills and capabilities. By some accounts, anyone who earns money from their work is deemed a “professional.”

Here at Weleski, we believe professionalism is much more than the ability to draw a paycheck. For us, it entails insistence on best practices, systems for efficient operations and communications, significant investments in equipment and maintenance, ongoing training for employees, and an emphasis on continual improvements in service for customers.

Women with Van Operator - Avoid Moving Mistakes

As you might imagine, such professionalism takes commitment. Our family-owned business has been serving customers for four generations. Professionalism is important to us because it’s important to them. So, what can you expect to get from Weleski’s professional movers—as opposed to some other fellow with a smile and a truck?

Skilled hands. Our professionals are trained in the best practices for handling household goods. This means we know how to pack and prepare delicate items for shipping. It also means we know how to handle big, heavy, and bulky items safely. We have the right tools and use the best techniques to get your things into your new home.

Protection. Our professionals not only care for your belongings, they take precautions to keep your house from getting damaged in the process of moving out or moving in. We use pads and cardboard to protect floors, doorways, walls, and stairways. It takes extra effort, but we couldn’t call ourselves professional unless we did.

Communication. When you move with us, we keep you in the loop from start to finish. You’ll know the planned schedule, specific actions you are responsible for, and deadlines for moving milestones. You’ll also know immediately if unforeseen events force us to modify any aspect of the move.

Dedicated people. We hire qualified people and we support them with ongoing training to enable their success. They share our company’s commitment to service and help us continually look for ways to improve the customer experience.

First class equipment. We equip our professionals with the best equipment and facilities. Our trucks, accessories, and warehouses are clean and well-maintained. Your goods are always secure in our possession.

Professional certification. As a certified ProMover™, Weleski carries the industry’s official designation of professionalism. It tells you we operate in compliance with federal standards regulating our industry, and that we subscribe to the AMSA Code of Ethics.

These are some of the main factors that distinguish our people. We take the word “professional” seriously because we value you—and we hope to be your professional mover. Contact us when you’re ready to make your best move with Weleski Transfer!

Is it cool to move sometime other than summer?

Everyone knows some things naturally go hand in hand. Thanksgiving and parades. Baseball and hot dogs. Coffee and donuts. But you may not realize that “moving” and “summer” have been joined at the hip for as long as anyone can remember. The main reason: Families prefer moving when the kids are out of school to avoid a disruption in their studies.

So, come late May and early June, it’s “Katy, bar the door!” In fact, the summer recess from school pretty accurately defines what our industry calls the “moving season.” Most household moves occur during this time. As a result, the key resources used for moving (namely skilled workers and moving vans) are stretched a little thin. Which translates to longer waits for service and/or restrictions on scheduling. Plus, that old law of supply-and-demand places a premium on the cost of services.

Moving During Fall

All of this means you can come out dollars and days ahead if you plan to make your move sometime other than during the summer season. There are other advantages, too. Consider the difference between moving in the dog days of summer when the thermometer is breaking into the 90s and the relative humidity is causing every creature that breathes to break into a sweat. No fun! Now, imagine the cool, crisp days of October and November or March and April. Sure, your moving crew may have to deal with a chill in the air. But they are a hardy bunch and they know how to dress for the weather. They actually work much more efficiently (and comfortably) in cooler air than they do in sweltering air.

But it’s not just moving companies that experience summer congestion. You may find more housing choices available to you during the off season. And roads are less crowded during days when school is in session — and mom or dad isn’t driving all over creation to shuttle the kids between softball practice, dance lessons, and swimming.

It may not be possible for you to dictate when you can move. If an opportunity for a job promotion arises, for example, you may be at the mercy of forces beyond your control. But if you have the latitude to choose which month you will move, consider going before or after the summer season. You may find those months to be the coolest times of all.

We handle moves all year long but if this has inspired you to move during the cooler months, go ahead and contact us to schedule your move this Fall!

Playing it Smart on Your First Day in Your New Home

The last carton is finally inside, the movers are pulling away from the curb, and you’re officially in your new home. Whew! Now comes the work of settling in. Yes, more work lies ahead over the next several days as you get everything put away, arranged, and organized—all while you juggle the day-to-day demands of everyday living.

No sweat. You were smart. As the old song goes, you planned to “make it easy on yourself.”

For one thing, you thought of each family member and put their essentials—pajamas and change of clothes, toothbrush and grooming items—in their own carton (suitcases work great, too). You even remembered to put together a carton of linens and towels and mark it “day one.” There it is, sitting conveniently in the master bedroom. No fumbling around to get the beds and baths in order.

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Eventually, you’ll get the kitchen set up for cooking. But what’s the hurry? No one will starve because you had the foresight to pack some healthful, easy-to-serve snacks. Energy bars, peanut butter crackers, Apples and oranges, bite-sized Snickers. (Okay, so nobody is perfect.) And, with paper plates, napkins, and plastic ware in your kit, you can handle a carryout dinner with no hassle. What shall it be tonight? Mexican? Chinese? Maybe you’ll decide to eat out. That cool-looking pub a half-mile up the road is said to have the best pizza in town.

And isn’t it nice that your boss gave you a little time to get settled in before you climb back into the saddle? Of course, you were wise to request a few days off. If everything goes smoothly, you should get through most of this unpacking and settling-in rigmarole before the weekend rolls by. You may even have time to go around the block and meet some of your new neighbors. Or check out the “lay of the land” and get a feel for where you might shop for groceries and other supplies.

Plus, the first few days around the house let you make sure all services are in place and in order: gas and electric, water and sewer, trash pickup, Internet. Get that glitch worked out of the wireless network now, so brother and sister can keep tabs on their social networks. They get a little cranky when they can’t access Instagram.

It seems the first day in your new home sort of melts into the second, then the third. Before you know it, you’re settled in. Moving sure was easy in the final stretch. You played it smart.

The sooner you start planning your move, the smoother it will go. Contact us or request a free moving quote and get started today!

Childproofing Your Move

You’ve heard that moving is stressful (if you’ve ever moved, you know this is true) and it only gets more stressful if you have to deal with little ones when they become tired, bored, or cranky. When the movers arrive and start to work, even children who are normally “good as gold” can become a handful. A little forethought and preparation can help you childproof your move—and keep you from having to play zookeeper on moving day.

Mom and Child Packing

1. Go “Off Site.” Packing and loading may take up to a day or more, depending on the size of your move. If the kids are in school or in daycare, problem solved. If they are not, maybe you have a parent or a sibling who can watch them or even come to your home and keep them entertained while you attend to business.

2. Safe at Home. Professional movers are keenly aware of safety. Still, a potential for mishap exists whenever and wherever work is being done. If your children are present during packing or unpacking, be mindful of scissors or box cutters. Keep chemicals and cleaning solutions you may be using out of reach. And keep the kids safely back from crew members carrying heavy or bulky items.

3. Establish “Kid Central.” Consider dedicating one room, perhaps a rec room or bedroom, as “Kid Central,” and provide some entertainment options. Games, a few favorite toys, and coloring books. Kids love to color, and our company even provides crayons and Atlas coloring books with pictures about moving. Or, let them “help” the movers by beautifying the outside of some boxes with artistic masterpieces.

4. Plan for Snacks and Naps. You’ll want to be prepared to take care of grumbling tummies. Keep a variety of healthful snacks and refreshments on hand—fresh fruit, crackers, milk, and juice. Keep some with you during the trip to the new home. And remember, a good nap can go a long way toward putting a cranky kid in a more agreeable mood.

5. Keep Things Positive. Kids are extremely intuitive and subject to stress themselves. They take their cues from you. Keep their spirits high with mentions of things they can look forward to at their new home. Maybe there’s an awesome playground right down the street, or the new backyard has a perfect spot for making a fort. Maintain a positive attitude around them and they will have a positive attitude, too!

When you’re ready to start planning your childproof move, contact us at 1-888-224-3330 or get a free moving quote today!

For even more tips, check out our “Tips for Moving with Kids” video, and “Tips for Moving with Children” blog post.

Don’t Make These Moving Mistakes!

“I hate when that happens.” I laughed out loud at those late-night skits where two friends recounted their moments of self-inflicted pain. Funny! But there’s nothing to laugh about if you make costly mistakes when moving. Here are three common pitfalls . . . and some tips for avoiding them.

Avoid Moving Mistakes Get In Home Estimate

Not giving yourself enough time. Unless you’re simply carting a few pieces across town, you need to allow several weeks to plan and prepare for your move. Movers must schedule their people and equipment several weeks in advance. (The lead time is longer during the summer when most people want to move.) If you scramble to secure services at the last minute, you’ll be lucky to find a reputable provider. And it will cost a lot more. Once you arrive at a move date, allow yourself four weeks to cross all the i’s and dot all the t’s.

Tip: Follow this easy-to-use checklist that shows what you need to do—and when to do it—to prepare for your move: Moving Checklist

Moving things you really don’t need. The cost to move your goods is based on weight and distance. So, if you can shed the items you won’t need, do it. (Like those old school books you keep telling yourself you’ll someday want to consult.)

Tip: Hold a moving sale. Or give things away. Many local charities will come to your home and pick things up. You may want to do the same with shelf-stable food. Weleski participates in a program called Move For Hunger. If you wish to donate unopened, non-perishable foods to feed others in need, let us know. We’ll take the items to a local food bank for you.

Failing to Get a Visual Estimate. Some companies may shoot you a price over the phone for your move. But don’t bet on the accuracy. As I mentioned earlier, weight is an important consideration in the cost of your move. Reputable movers will insist on walking through your house and looking at everything to give you an accurate estimate of cost.

Tip: Be sure to show everything. Let your move estimator see every attic space, garage, and cubby so there are no surprises. And be aware that anything you decide to add at the last minute may or may not make it onto the truck—and will increase the cost of your move.

These are just a few of the expensive mistakes people make. To avoid them all, talk to your moving professional when you first decide you will move. The sooner you start your planning, the more likely you are to save money—and less likely to say, “I hate when that happens.”

When you’re ready to start planning your move, call us at 888-224-3330 or send us a message!

Packing? Why Not Make it a Party?

So, you’re moving and you’ve decided to shoulder some of the work yourself, namely the task of getting things boxed up and ready to load onto the truck. Depending on how much you have, packing can be daunting. However, as the old saying goes, “many hands make light work.”  You might have enough people power in your own family to get the job done without stressing out. But you could also use the occasion to bring together good friends. You can enjoy the time together, share memories, and get a lot of busy work done in the process.

Pipacking party for movingck a day and time that works for everybody. A day or two before the truck is scheduled to arrive is ideal. You could even begin a week or two before your moving out day, with books, some tableware, clothing, linens—things you won’t need day-to-day until you get to your new home.

Have the packing supplies on hand when your guests arrive. Brown craft paper, clear packing tape, bubble wrap, foam peanuts, and cardboard cartons. Old newspaper can also come in handy, but beware—the ink may rub off and can smudge or stain.  You can also purchase packing supplies from your local moving company. You may also find used cartons at your favorite grocery. Most stores have a bin for recycling cardboard; just ask the manager.

Before work begins, decide exactly what you want to accomplish. Establish a convenient work area, with plenty of room. A big table works well. So does a wide open floor space, such as in the living room. You might turn on some music to establish a pleasant background.  As you work, mark the contents on the outside of cartons; it will make placing and unpacking things at your new home much easier.

Of course, a party isn’t a party without munchies and drinks. You might wish to finish off some food in your fridge or freezer, since you can’t take it with you (movers are not allowed to transport foods that can spoil). Or you might order in—sub sandwiches or pizza, for instance. If you start your gathering mid-morning or mid-afternoon, your guests will probably have eaten before they arrive. You can work up an appetite together and take a well-deserved break for lunch or dinner.  If you want to nibble while you work, consider foods that aren’t messy, such as raw veggies, pretzels, and finger sandwiches. In any case, have fun and enjoy your time together.

When you’re ready to start planning your move, contact Weleski Transfer of the Pittsburgh/Tarentum area for you free moving quote today!

Tips for Moving with Children

Family Moving In - Moving Tips for Moving with KidsWhat happens when moving with kids? The answers are as different as kids themselves. Some may be ready to wave goodbye to the old place with both hands. Others may be on a hair trigger for mutiny at the very mention of moving.

Keep in mind that kids are people, too. Respect their feelings, but be sincere. With that in mind, here are a few ideas that may help you get the right psychology going for your brood.

Younger kids are generally easier to enthuse about moving, especially if they are not yet acculturated to the world outside the home. Something as simple as a coloring book about moving day can help them look forward to the adventure. You might even draw a picture and talk about how strong men with a big moving truck are going to take your furniture to your new home. Little ones tend to take emotional cues from mom and dad. If you’re genuinely excited, chances are they will be, too.

Older kids, those in middle school or high school, can be a tougher sell. Some may even feel a little resentful, especially if they will have to leave a boyfriend or girlfriend behind. Or if they are looking forward to a special event, such as a school bash.

Total agreement may be elusive, but seek it anyway. Try to loop your kids into the decision-making where you can. Maybe they can be part of the house-hunting process. If not, a family visit to the new home can quell worries. Many properties nowadays can be viewed online, some even have video tours. Focus on the good and look for the positives. (Your new room is pretty cool. We have a lot less grass to cut now. The people next door have a daughter your age.)

Online tools like Google Earth can be a great way to create some excitement about the new neighborhood. Sit down together at the computer. Trace the route to your new home. Zoom in. What’s the neighborhood look like? Any swimming pools? Potential places for skateboarding? Parks or playgrounds? Trace the route to school. Where are the ball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts?

Explain to the kids that now is a good time to go through their things and weed out the old, outgrown, or broken stuff. Maybe they’d like to donate things to their school or a local charity. Or they could sell them and generate a little extra cash. Get the whole family involved in a moving sale with proceeds going into the kitty for next year’s vacation.

Saying goodbye to friends can be the hardest part about moving. Maybe you could throw a little get-together for everyone. A going away party, maybe, with good friends as guests of honor. Give them maps with your contact information. Or maybe a special “let’s-stay-in-touch” memento. Talk about the good times you’ve all had and remind everyone the best is yet to come. When you’re moving forward, life is always an adventure. No amount of distance or time can ever take away true friendships.