Dan’s Discussion Den

"As the President &CEO of U.Santini Inc. I hope you will visit this forum for my insights about the moving business and other relevant topics."

How to pack your breakables safely

Here at U.santini, we pack and move people every day. When you and your family go places, we are ready with the know-how to move you safely and easily. U.Santini packers and movers bring proven skills and best practices to ensure your belongings travel safely.
We always strive to provide our clients with the best moving experience possible. U.Santini packers can take over the packing and even unpacking of your house, but we know that most people want to pack their own belongings and maybe declutter their life at the same time. Moving can be beneficial in the sense that it is a great opportunity to sort through your belongings and get rid of clutter and unwanted items.
It is also important to pack your things properly in order to prevent potential damages during and after the move.

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Packing is a Family affair…


  • Wear strong comfortable shoes with full-foot coverage. Make sure that the environment you pack in is dry and safe.
  • Gather supplies: boxes (small, medium, and large), packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile pieces, permanent black markers, trash bags, and at least one wardrobe box for each person in the house, and anything else you might need to start packing.
  • Clear out the junk from your house – Create clear spaces in your house for Packed Boxes to Move, Charity Donations and Sell. These areas are where you will put these items until you’re finished packing your things. You will likely need at least a 10′ X 10′ area to hold the Packed Boxes to Move. Whatever you do not need any more should go to the charity or sell piles. Make sure that you do this in time to arrange and perform the garage sale before you move. Communicate clearly with friends and family and let them know when they can come and pick up stuff that you decided to give away.
  • Collect free boxes – Rather than forking over money for boxes, check with local grocery, liquor and hardware stores to see whether they can give you leftover ones. When acquiring boxes, make a stop at your local liquor or wine store to grab a few boxes with divided inserts. These boxes are perfect for safely transporting alcohol and other kitchen liquids like vinegar and olive oil.
  • Label your boxes – Label your boxes on every side according to the room they will be going to in your new place. Try to color code the boxes in order to make unpacking easier on the other side. Every room should get its own color coded sticker. You can get stickers at office supply stores or from your moving company.
  • Pack up your essentials in a different/unique box or suitcase – Unpacking takes time. If you intend to unpack yourself, plan to invest a few days in the effort before you have everything in place and you know where everything is in the new place. Pack Yourself and your family enough clothing and supplies such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, bath towels, soap, shampoo, hair dryer, make-up and anything else that is part of your daily hygiene routine.
  • Stay focused – Finish packing each room before switching to the next – Try to finish packing a room fully before you move in to another room. Leaving rooms half packed will enable a situation where you will have to throw out things into boxes hastily in the last minute and increase the chances of damages or loss during the move.
  • Make large print signs for your new home with the room names: Living Room, Kitchen, bathroom, master bed room etc. These signs will make it easier on you and anyone helping you move boxes into your new place. Hang the signs immediately upon getting access to your new place.
  • Pack heavier things first – As you pack your house, make sure that you pack the heavier boxes first. Books are always heavy and make a great base for lighter items that can be placed on top of this base. Pack books and other heavy items in small boxes. Big boxes that are too heavy will need to be repacked on the day of the move and will add time and expense to an already hectic moving day.
  • Try to pack similar items in every box. Don’t mix your shoes with your spice rack. If you have to mix items, try to mix items that come from the same room in the house. Only pack kitchen things with other kitchen things, bathroom things with other bathroom things, etc. It will make your unpacking easier.
  • Pack the kitchen last – Chances are, all that packing will make you hungry, and you don’t want to be scrounging around for plates, utensils, cups and actual food. PAcking takes time. You will get hungry.
  • Buy professional boxes for high value items. Your TV and mattress probably need boxes at sizes that you can’t find in your local supermarket. Large/valuable pictures and art pieces also need professional boxes and probably professional packing before you move them to the new place. Use your mover’s packing materials and expertise for these items.
  • Packing is labor intensive and tedious. Make sure you allocate enough time and energy for the packing process. The more you pack yourself, the quicker, easier and cheaper your move will be.

Good luck with your move and don’t hesitate to call U.Santini at 718-768-6778 if you have any questions about your move or if you want to receive $80 worth of free packing boxes when you move with U.Santini.

How to choose a Moving Company?

How to choose a moving company?
The BBB had more than 8400 complaints about moving company in 2009.  the NY Times suggests that “Common complaints included final prices greater than original estimates, damaged or lost goods and, in the worst scenarios, movers who held belongings hostage until customers paid thousands of dollars.”
You don’t want to be one of these guys…. Careful preparation and research will help you ensure that your move will be successful.

Choosing the right moving company

• Make sure the mover is registered with the Federal
• Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) by visiting http://www.protectyourmove.gov
• Check the complaint record of a mover at www.protectyourmove.gov
• Avoid movers that do not show U.S. DOT numbers and Motor Carrier (MC) numbers in their advertisements
• Check the company’s D.O.T status on the D.O.T website Don’t hire a company with unsatisfactory record
• Make sure you understand the type of liability you sign for. This is a common pitfall for consumers. Ask yourself if 60 cents per pound is enough coverage for all your household goods if the unexpected happens

Choose a reputable mover:
• After doing all that start your actual selection process by asking a written estimate from at least three reputable moving companies. The estimate should be based on an actual inspection of your household goods.
• Remember your priorities when hiring a mover – If you hire a mover based solely on the cheapest price, you may be sacrificing other things that are actually more important, such as getting your possessions moved and delivered on time. And remember, movers are required by law to deliver your goods for no more than ten percent above the price of a non binding estimate. This is known as the 110 percent rule.
• Read “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” a booklet from the Federal government that your mover is required to give you if you are moving from one State to another. This booklet also has information you’ll need if your goods are lost or damaged during the move. Finally, check the mover’s complaint history with local consumer advocacy organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau. Don’t hire a company that has many resolved claims with the BBB.
• Ask for recommendations from neighbors, friends, and relatives regarding the mover. An experienced and satisfied customer is the best reference you can get for a moving company.
• Your estimate: Your estimator should provide you with a comprehensive estimate of the cost for your move. The estimate should include such factors as: labor charges, trucks, packing materials, travel time and valuation coverage/insurance.
When selecting a mover, be sure you understand:
1. The rates and charges that will apply.
2. The mover’s liability for your belongings.
3. How pickup and delivery will work.
4. What claims protection you have.
In our business, there are two types of estimates: a non-binding estimate which means your final price will be based on the actual amount of hours and materials used on the job; and a binding estimate which gives you a guaranteed price that won’t exceed the amount quoted

A non-binding estimate is beneficial if:
1. You are not exactly sure of all the items you are moving ahead of the move date.
2. Your move will involve an unusual amount of details, like moving of a lot of fine art or antiques that you don’t want to rush.
A binding estimate is preferable if:
1. You want to guarantee your budget.
2. You haven’t moved often, and you are not familiar with the moving process.
Whichever type of estimate you choose – and whatever mover you work with, here are some helpful advice to ensure yourself a good estimate/moving experience.

• Don’t be tempted by the lowest price! It is easy for a salesperson to provide a low estimate for the job on a non binding estimate. The client will have to pay the full price if the job takes longer. Don’t be fooled by this tactic and investigate the estimate to find out if it’s realistic. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
• Get at least three estimates. This will allow you to make a fair, objective comparison.
• Compare apples to apples. Break down the elements of each mover’s estimate and make a detailed, realistic comparison of the parts, as well as the whole.
• Expect estimates to fall with a reasonable range of each other. A good estimate should be no higher – or lower – than 10 percent of the final cost of the move.
• Get reliable recommendations. We strongly suggest that you check out potential movers through objective sources like the Better Business Bureau, your state’s Department of Transportation or the AMSA. A reputable moving company will be listed with all three of these agencies – and they will have no claims registered against them.
• Ask a friend. We also suggest that you talk to your friends and co-workers. Get their unbiased opinions of movers they have worked with. Learn from their experiences. No one wants to recommend a mover to a friend – and have the move go badly. At Moishe’s, we are proud to say that a very large percentage of our new customers come to us from satisfied, past customers.

Getting an estimate from U.Santini – Call us at 718-768-6778 and talk to Brian or Daniel. We will be happy to schedule a home visit and provide you with an written, accurate estimate of your move. Our relocation consultants will help you determine your needs – at no cost or obligation to you. And they will also assist you with any problems that arise before, during and after your move. You are not alone in this process. We are with you – every step of the way.

How to reduce stress during your move

U.Santini guide to stress free moving
Moving is a stressful event. According to the the third most stressful life event, Employee Relocation Council it is the third most stressful event following death and divorce.
Moving disrupts your life and normal routine, it generates feelings of uncertainty as you enter new environments, new jobs, new schools and new social circles. The following suggestions may help make the move less stressful – and save you from needing a bottle of aspirin on the big day.


No stress moving with U.Santini
Reduce stress by moving with
U.Santini Moving and storage. Brooklyn, NYCPrior to the mov

Prior to the move

  • Be prepared – Advance planning and organization will make your move go better and more smoothly . Prepare a “Moving kit” that holds all of the important information and documents related to your move in one, easily accessible location. Use a folder, notebook, a daily planner, or an online document set to to keep track of important phone numbers and documents. The folder can include names, addresses and menus of restaurants in your new neighborhood, referrals for new physicians, maps of your new city/town and phone numbers of property management companies, garages etc. just to name a few items that you might want to include in this folder.

•    Make lists – Make a schedule of appointments to turn on and off your electricity, gas, water, cable and other fundamentals for your home. Visit your local post office etc. Research your new community and locate the emergency services, restaurants, museums, movie theaters etc.
•    Label as much as possible – Label each box with its contents and the name of the corresponding room in your new place. Write directly on the box or prepare labels with the information and attach the labels to each box.
•    Let them know – Fill out the United States Postal Service change of address form six to eight weeks prior to your move to make sure you receive your mail when you relocate. The form can be found at www.usps.com/moversguide/welcome.htm. And make sure you let the IRS know, too. A change of address form (Form No. 8822) is available on their Web site (www.irs.gov).

On move-in day

•    Find ways to occupy your children – Have toys, games and coloring books other readily available to fill the children’s time while the movers are bringing items into the home. It might be wise to employ a baby sitter on both ends. A responsible baby sitter will keep your children occupied and stress free during this very long day.  You will be calmer knowing that your children are calma nd occupied.

•    Take care of your pets – If you have a pet, put he/she in an isolated room with food, water and bedding. Post a note reminding everybody to keep the door shut. Check up on the pet from time to time. If you keep tropical fish you will need to make some arrangements ahead of the move day for their safe transport.
•    When you get home – Unpacking can be stressful and chaotic. Try to be as organized as possible while unpacking. Always unpack the most essential things first. Such as, paper towels, trash bags, light bulbs etc. The easiest way to recognize these boxes is to mark them with a bright colored sticker or a special notation that makes them stand out from the rest. Unpack the bathroom and bedrooms first, and then move on to the kitchen and other living spaces. Keep a trash bag in every room, so packing materials can be discarded as you go.

•    Food and beverages – it is going to be hard for you to cook while unpacking. Order in from one of the restaurants you located before hand.

After move-in

•    Unclutter – Most times, people find that they did not throw enough of their old belonging before the move. If you feel that some of your belonging are not suitable for you new place, than throw them and start your new life clutter and stress free.
•    Get to know your neighbors – Time , effort and courage will help you integrate yourself into your new community.
•    Remember…it’s a gradual process, but your patience will be rewarded in the long run. Go for a drive, walk or bicycle ride to learn your way around and meet your new neighbors and see your new town.
•    Join in – Look for clubs that match your interests. Running, reading, sewing…there are unlimited possibilities of organizations that can help you meet people in your new community. Check the local library or grocery store bulletin boards for notices of meetings. Don’t forget that children’s sports leagues, churches, and other parts of your life in your old community will still be available in your new one.
•    Keep smiling – Make sure you have “me time” everyday. Take a moment for yourself to figure out what you need to feel better during this emotional time. And, try not to sweat the small stuff. Remember that it is OK to miss the way things were, but take time to appreciate the new things in your life. Staying positive and keeping an optimistic attitude will help you adjust to your new home more quickly. Continue reading “How to reduce stress during your move”

Why You Might Need Storage Before Moving Out of NYC

Moving away from a big city like New York can often be just as complicated as moving to the city. Packing up your home and preparing to move across the country, or even across the state, requires a lot of planning. Perhaps one of the most helpful organizational secrets, besides hiring a good long distance moving company, is to rent a storage facility to use as a staging center near your New York home.

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Consider using storage before you move to New York

One of the top reasons for renting a storage space before moving is to declutter your home in preparation for selling. It is easier for a real estate agent to sell a home that is free of personal belongings. Even if you are renting your space, if your landlord will be doing walk troughs with potential clients before you move out you may want to put some of your personal items in storage.

A second reason to use storage before you move is to have a place to keep boxes as you pack. If you are not paying for packing services it may take you several weeks to organize and pack your belongings. A storage facility allows you to move boxes out of your home as you pack them, freeing up space to pack more delicate items. It also helps you sort your belongings as boxes you plan to take with you can be moved into storage and boxes of items you plan to sell or donate before the move can be left in your home.

Another reason to use a storage facility before a long term move is the ease of loading your boxes into the moving truck. Moving out of an apartment means a lot of stairs and small elevators. Although movers in Brooklyn New York will be happy to move your belongings directly from your apartment, moving day will go much more quickly and cost less if your movers are loading the bulk of your truck directly from a storage unit.

While renting a storage unit is not mandatory before a big move it can often make things go a bit easier in New York City. If you are thinking about renting a storage unit discuss the idea with several Brooklyn moving companies to find out if it is right for you.

College in the City: Packing and Moving for the Young Adult

Moving to New York City for college should be exciting and liberating. Whether you grew up in the city or are moving from across the country, from your parent’s home to your first dorm or apartment, it is likely to only be the first among many. College students tend to accumulate fewer belongings, especially large pieces of furniture, so moving should be a snap. You probably won’t need to hire a full service moving company, but there are always things that can make even the smallest move easier.

Even if you are moving into a dorm room you will still need sturdy boxes to move your belongings. You may want to invest in plastic tubs that can be used for storage throughout the year, or if your dorm room doesn’t have enough space buy appropriate boxes from moving and packing companies. A wardrobe box will help keep your clothes organized during the move and ready to wear as soon as you set up at your destination. Since you know you will be moving again at the end of the year think about folding the boxes and storing them under the bed so you can reuse them.

Moving in Brooklyn at the beginning and end of the school year can be difficult. The beginning and end of summer happen to be the busiest times for most moving companies. If you plan to rent any items such as a moving van or dolly you should be sure to book early to get the items you want.

New York moving and storage goes hand in hand. When you are ready to move out at the end of the year think about renting a small storage unit for your essential items. This will make you free to travel home during the summer without having to pay rent on an apartment or haul all of your belongings with you.

Most importantly, if this is your first move you should begin creating good moving habits. Learn how to pack your belongings to keep them from breaking, create an inventory of your things and label your boxes. These are habits that will help when you move from the dorm to an apartment and eventually to a long-term home.


The Difference Between Moving Apartments and Moving Houses

Many people think that moving any type of residence is the same of moving any other. For the most part it is. Personal belongings must be packed and loaded, the old residence cleaned, the new one prepared, and then belongings unloaded and unpacked. However, there are some key differences between moving an apartment and moving a house. These differences will make you want to deal with only experienced apartment moving companies if you are moving apartments in New York City.

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Moving to a new house.

The biggest difference between moving an apartment and moving a house is having to navigate tight spaces. Apartments tend to have shared hallways, occasionally have small elevators, and tight stairwells. Brooklyn movers are used to dealing with these tight spaces but for a non-professional they can be difficult to manage. Make sure you take your time moving any large or heavy pieces of furniture and use appropriate tools for moving up and down stairs.

Another aspect that differs between apartments and houses is the amount of parking available. Many houses come with at least a bit of personal parking whereas apartments rely on garages or have no parking at all. This may make it difficult to park a moving truck near to your apartment. Before renting a truck speak with your superintendent to discuss different parking options on the day of your move. As your move draws nearer remind him of the date and any arrangements you have made.

The final difference between houses and apartments is the amount of stuff you will be moving. Even if your house and apartment have a similar square footage, people tend to accumulate more belongings in a house than they do in an apartment. If you live in an apartment you may want to look into storage and movers to give you options for keeping your out-of-season items in a low-cost storage unit. Ideally, if you are moving within the city, you can keep the same storage unit even when you move apartments.

Many Brooklyn moving companies specialize in moving apartments. If you find yourself having to move an apartment either find an experienced company to work with, or do plenty of research about the kinds of snags you might run into throughout the process.


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