A Buyer’s Guide to A Successful Relocation

The average American changes their residence 11.3 times throughout their life.

Ben Franklin said, “Moving three times is as bad as a fire.” That 18th century adage is no longer true — especially if you hire professional movers like Turner Moving & Storage.

Even if this isn’t your first move, relocating to another place is exciting but stressful. This can lead to missing important details that work in making your move successful.

Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled the top questions and concerns to ask when hiring any moving company. At Turner Moving & Storage, we love when our customers ask us questions. It helps us help you complete a near-perfect relocation no matter where you want to go.

You may move only 11 times in your life, but we move families and businesses like yours every day.

Do I Need A Mover?

If you find yourself asking “do I need a mover?”, consider these aspects when looking at professional movers to hire:

  1. “How much does it cost to have someone move you?”
    • The cost to hire a mover varies based on the inventory of your move and its weight.
    • Movers also charge an hourly fee for labor, which includes travel time.
  2. “How much does packing cost?”
  3. “Do I need insurance for my move?”
    • When you’ve decided on hiring Turner Moving & Storage, our moving representative will be happy to speak with you about valuation coverage. While it’s not mandatory, we recommend insuring your high-value items, especially if you’re making a long-distance move.

What Kind Of Mover Do I Need?

Turner Moving & Storage has a wide range of services from local and long distance to office and senior moves that depend on factors such as:

  1. The distance of your move.
  2. The number of rooms you need to move.
  3. If you require specialty services (moving a pool table, wine cellar, gun safe, hot tub, piano, et cetera).
  4. If there are any pieces of furniture that require disassembly or reassembly at the new location.

Choosing the “Best Moving Company” for You

  1. Get estimates in writing. 
    • Eliminate confusion and miscommunication.
  2. Talk to 2-3 companies
    • Compare what they have to offer and at what price.
    • Do this about six weeks ahead of time, or sooner if you’re moving in the busy summer months.
  3. Are they licensed and insured?
    • Make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident.
    • Ask for license number and insurance carrier.
  4. Are they family owned and operated?
    • If there is a problem, talking to the owner is best.
  5. How long have they been in business?
    • Experience makes a difference.
  6. Read reviews.
    • Don’t look just at the five-star recommendations. Also look to see the common complaints people reported and how the company offered to rectify them.

 Types of Moves Turner Moving & Storage Can Complete

  1. Full-Service Move
    • Full-service moving offers packing/unpacking options as well as furniture disassembly/reassembly. Just like the name says, it’s full service—the customer doesn’t need to lift a finger.
  2. DIY Move
    • As the name suggests, this is a “do it yourself” move, where the person moving does everything themselves.
    • This includes packing, lifting and transporting your own items. You’ll have to find and purchase your own packing supplies such as:
      • Boxes
      • Tape
      • Packing paper
      • Moving blankets
    • You’ll also have to rent trucks and dollies, especially for heavy items.
    • These types of moves are not always cheaper, as you need to rent a lot of different items because you are renting each service individually, and not as stress-free as a full-service move.
  1. Labor-only Moves
    • Hire movers for just a few hours to help load/unload your goods. Labor only is a time and energy saving move if you don’t mind packing your own items.

Hiring Turner Moving & Storage

  1. What information to have ready before calling Turner Moving & Storage:
    1. Date and times of your move
    2. What services you’ll require
    3. If you have any items that require special attention
    4. Ballpark on how much you’ve budgeted for a move.
  2. Fill out our online estimate form

Make An Accurate Inventory of Your Belongings

  • Start with a binder or folder
    • Create a new inventory sheet for each room
    • Put all sheets together in the folder/binder where you can also store receipts and paperwork from Turner Moving & Storage.
  • Go through each room and note:
    • Any furniture that needs disassembly/reassembly
    • Items that will be boxed and the shape of the box
    • Possessions that require special handling
  • Don’t forget to look in closets, the attic and the garage

Questions to Ask Turner Moving & Storage 

  1. “Do you provide boxes or totes?”
    • Whether they provide moving containers or not, you should ensure the ones you’re provided (or purchasing) are durable.
  2. “What types of moving supplies do you offer (wardrobe boxes, moving blankets, dish boxes, mattress bags, flat-screen TV boxes)?”
  3. “Do I have to unpack my dresser drawers?”
    • If it’s a sturdy, well-made dresser being moved from home to home, you can leave clothes in the drawers.
    • Flimsy dressers should be emptied.
    • If you’re moving it to storage, the drawers must be empty.
  4. “Are there any items that Turner Moving & Storage prohibits from transporting?”
    1. Combustible liquids (i.e. rubbing alcohol, antifreeze, cleaning materials)
    2. Corrosive liquids (i.e. acid, bleach)
    3. Explosives (i.e. fireworks, ammunition, dynamite)
    4. Flammables (i.e. aerosol cans, gasoline, kerosene, ammonia, propane, scuba tanks)
    5. Food items (i.e. perishable, subject to freezing, or sold in a bag or box)
    6. Plants (i.e. live plants or soil)
  1. “Which items should I move myself?”
    1. Any of the items listed above if it is safe and legal to do so.
    2. Important documents including:
      • Birth certificates
      • Passports
      • Mortgage papers and contracts
    3. Laptop computer(s)
    4. Medications
    5. Jewelry
    6. Money and coins
    7. Pets
    8. Emergency kit
    9. Moving company contract
  2. “Can Turner Moving & Storage move my car?”
    • If you have a collector car or a spare car in storage, we can discuss auto transport options during the estimate consultation.

Questions Turner Moving & Storage Will Need To Know

  1. “How many floors is your home/office?”
    • We’ll make sure to bring the right tools and equipment and the correct number of crewmembers
    • Stairs may add overall time to the move
    • If your building has elevators, reserve one in advance.
  2. “Do you have a flat-screen TV?”
    • We can build/provide a box for you if you don’t have the original.
  3. “Do you have antiques?”
    • We will outline valuation coverage and discuss how to pack or crate your fragile antique items.
  4. “Do you want someone to help you pack?”
    • We offer full-service packing and partial packing, based on your needs.
  5. “Do you want additional insurance coverage? “
    • Valuation coverage is optional added liability insurance.
  6. “Is your location accessible by our truck?”
    • If your location is on a hill or in a hilly area, our drivers will need to prepare.
    • For inaccessible locations, we may need to arrange for a shuttle service to load items into a smaller vehicle for the destination.
  7. “Is there a place to park in front?”
    • Where can the drivers park in relation to your front door?
    • Will our drivers need a permit for street parking?
  8. “Are there any items you don’t want packed?”
    • Label the items you don’t want loaded and/or designate a room for these things.

Call the Mover

Once you have received your estimates, you should be able to choose a mover that meets your needs and your budget.

Moving Day: What to Do

On moving day, you’ll need:

  1. To be present for questions and direct the movers where to go
  2. Review documents
  3. Create and review your own inventory checklist
  4. Sign the driver’s inventory list
  5. Provide payment

New Location: What to Do

  1. Set up cable, phone, Wi-Fi and yard maintenance
    • Talk to the cable installers and other utility-related services for your new home four weeks ahead of the move to arrange for connection
    • Have utilities turned on a day or two before your move
    • Arrange to have utilities turned off at your old place the day after you move
  2. Do you need a cleaning service?
    • The best time to deep clean a house is before you move in
    • Consider scheduling a cleaning crew a day or two ahead of the move
  3. Do you need people to unpack?
    • We offer unpacking services to help you move in quickly
    • We can place your items on a counter for you to put away or place them in the cupboards and closets
    • We can haul away and recycle empty boxes

Post-Move Tips

  1. For broken/missing items:
    • Contact us at (707) 255-8600
  1. Preparing for a claim:
    • Be sure to keep your broken items. Instead, set them aside for inspection.
    • If you notice a missing or broken item on the day of the move, be sure to say something to your movers at the time of discovery.
  2. Valuation/insurance:
    • Valuation is typically dependent on the weight of your items and can be as low as receiving back $0.60/pound of your item. Speak with your Turner Moving & Storage valuation representative for more information.
  3. Review the company, good or bad:
    • Bad reviews allow the moving company to make up for their past mistakes and shows potential customers how the company handles a negative review.
    • Good reviews give potential customers insight on how well the moving company handled your relocation.

Moving Glossary

Moving is a highly specialized industry and you’re likely to come across terms you’re unfamiliar with. We’re here to break down commonly used moving terms and what you need to know:

  • Accessorial/Additional Charge: These charges may show up for unexpected issues during your move, such as having to use a shuttle service.
  • Bill of Lading: Detailed list of a shipment of goods. This is basically a receipt given by the carrier to the individual relocating. Read it thoroughly and ask any questions pertaining to your receipt.
  • Binding/Non-Binding Estimate: An estimate provided before the move as an estimation of how much the move will cost.
    • Binding: The mover estimates a flat price based upon a given inventory.
    • Non-Binding: These estimates are based upon the movers’ previous experience of jobs like yours. As the name suggests, these estimates are subject to change.
  • Carrier: The mover or company you’re working with.
  • O.D: “Cash on delivery.”
    • Payment is required at time of delivery (before the move).
    • Some movers take cash, cashier’s checks or money orders.
    • Be sure to discuss payment options with your mover before your moving date.
  • High-Value Article: An item valued at about $100/lb. Mark on your inventory form each article valued as high value.
  • Interstate Move: Any move that crosses state boundaries regardless of miles.
  • Intrastate Move: A move within the state.
  • Order for Service: The document that authorizes the moving company to move your items.
  • Order Number: The number used to identify and track your shipment. It will be found on your order for service and the bill of lading.
  • Shuttle Service: When a smaller vehicle is used to transport your shipment to its destination. This usually happens when a road is too narrow or there isn’t enough parking to get the moving truck to its destination.
  • Storage In Transit (S.I.T.): Temporary storage for your belongings if your new home isn’t ready.
    • The time in storage may not exceed more than 180 days.
    • Note that you will be charged for storage fees.
  • Valuation: This is not insurance, but a specific amount a moving company agrees to pay if item is damaged or lost by mover.
    • Options for minimum or full coverage
    • Federally regulated
    • Often determined by weight of goods


Now that you’re fully armed with all the knowledge you need to make a successful move, you are at a distinct advantage! Not only do you know what to look for in movers, what to pack, and some frequently used terms, you’re going into this moving process knowing more than the Average Joe.

Moving is stressful, but when you hire Turner Moving & Storage, you’re leaving your move up to professionals.

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