October 26, 2011

How to Pack Tiffany-style Lampshades for Shipping

Packing something as fragile and breakable as a Tiffany-style lampshade is an art in itself. To protect against damage, we use a foam-in-bag product called Instapack.

First, bubble wrap the lampshade, being careful to cover every edge and corner.

Next, activate the heated Instapack so that it foams up.

Quickly place the foam packet at the bottom of the carton, and while it puffs up, press the wrapped lampshade firmly in place so that the foam fills up the spaces around it. Warning: the Instapack is very hot at first and should not be used on items that can be adversely affected by heat.

Repeat with more Instapacks to fill in the space on the sides of the box. This gives the lampshades protection on all four sides and on top.

This particular box will have two Tiffany-style lampshades in it, so the images that follow show the process of packing another lampshade on top of the previous one.

The finished package is a safe, secure carton for the fragile lampshades.

To see a video on how to pack a sculpture using Instapacks, click here.

September 29, 2011

Get Organized Before Moving

If you are planning to move, the first thing you should do is get a quote from a moving company. The moving quote is based on how much you have to move – boxes, furniture, etc. – and this is the important part:  The price you pay will depend on how much your belongings weigh (and the distance you are moving).
So, if you want to save on the weight portion of your moving costs, get organized before you start packing . . . and only move the items you REALLY need. Before you pack anything into a box, ask yourself the following question: 
“Is it worth the money to move this item to my new home?”  
If the answer is no, then put that item in a big box or bag labeled YARD SALE or DONATIONS.
Let’s get started! To organize your belongings before packing, keep in mind that there are three basic categories to sort items into:  Keep, Donate, and Throw Out. 
1.      Begin with the items you won’t need for a few months while the packing process evolves, such as books. Keeping in mind the three categories above, pack the books you definitely want to keep, and the rest of the books go into either the YARD SALE or DONATE pile.
2.     Continue with this strategy in each room and closet. In a closet, evaluate whether you have worn a piece of clothing in the past year – if not, put it in the Donate pile. That’s a good rule to follow – if you haven’t worn it or used it in a year, you don’t need it!
3.     As you progress with this new outlook on your belongings, you will start to see the contents of your home with new eyes, and you can start to separate emotionally from some belongings you have had forever and just don’t really need.
You are on the road to getting organized. And when you move to your new home and unpack all your boxes, the process should go very smoothly.

August 24, 2011

The Beauty of Portable Self Storage

How did we ever live without portable self storage? This product has grown in popularity steadily over the past 5 years, and is now an essential storage necessity with homeowners, businesses, realtors, and professional organizers.

What makes them so great?
  1. Portable self storage can be thought of as instant extra storage space right at your home/business -- no more building a foundation for a shed or driving back and forth to a self storage complex miles away. There is no preparation in placing the unit on your property, just the need for a fairly level ground space. Units are always weatherproof and lockable.
  2. If you are selling your house, realtors will always advise you to stage your home for prospective buyers by cleaning out your "clutter" (unessential and personal items). This is where portable self storage really comes in handy, as it provides a neat area outside your house to contain your boxes as you pack them. 
  3. When you're ready to move, think of portable self storage as moving without a truck. Your packed unit(s) can be transported to your new home where you can unpack them at your leisure.
  4. Event planners often use portable self storage units to hold their water and food supplies along the route of their 5K race or at their party or business meeting. One unit will hold more than enough banners, road signs, paper plates, bottles of water, coolers with ice, party supplies, etc., for any size event.
  5. Businesses often need more storage space than their office provides to store their supplies, brochures, files or folding chairs or extra furniture, and a portable self storage unit is perfect for them, because all of their items are easily accessed right outside their door.
  6. A portable self storage unit is the perfect solution to store your furniture and belongings when you are renovating any rooms. Empty the contents of your room(s) into the portable unit, and begin the painting!
  7. If you are planning a yard sale, a portable self storage unit will be an invaluable tool to store all the items you want to sell, and on the morning of your sale, everything is in one place ready to be displayed. Inevitably, after the sale, there will still be items left over, and you can store them back inside the unit until your next yard sale.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless for this type of storage option. Just be sure to keep your units locked, and you will be very happy with this great storage solution.

August 8, 2011

Moving With Pets

Moving can be a stressful time for adults and children, but for pets, it can also be a very confusing experience. You can take some simple precautions that will keep these precious members of your family safe and relatively stress-free during your move.
Tip # 1
When you begin the packing process, and the regular layout of your home is disrupted with boxes and furniture all over the place, it’s a good idea to establish a stable area for your pet to stay in that remains the same and has their familiar items, such as blanket/bed, toys, food and water bowls. This is very reassuring to animals, who do not understand changes to their environment as easily as humans.
Tip # 2
Ensure that your pet is wearing an identification tag with your name, address and phone number, just in case he/she becomes frightened and bolts away through an open door or window.  Also bring a leash and collar for walking your pet before travel, during travel if you take a break, and for when you reach your destination.
Tip #3
Air travel – Check your airline’s requirements, as they may allow pets such as cats, dogs, pet rabbits or household birds to travel in a carrier with you on the plane. Obtain your pet’s shipping container a few weeks before your flight to familiarize your pet with it.
Tip # 4
Car travel – If your pet is not used to traveling by car, acclimate him/her with short trips prior to the move day. On move day, be sure to bring a seat cover or blanket, paper towels, water, food and toys to make the trip as comfortable as possible. A collar and leash are very important if you are traveling with your dog.
Tip # 5
State and Local Animal Laws – Check with the appropriate agency of the state you are moving to, to be sure you have your pet’s interstate health certificate in order. Some pets require an entry permit as well.
Tip # 6
When you reach your new home, keep your pet inside the home and slowly acclimate it to your new surroundings.  Cats should stay inside for several weeks before you let them out, to prevent them from trying to find their old home.
Your pet has to adjust to his/her new surroundings just like you and your family, so take your time and explore your new home safely and carefully!

June 21, 2011

The Beauty of an Open Crate

This antique monk statue had to be transported via ground from NY to Chicago. An open crate was constructed, providing a strong base fitted to the sculpture's footing, and foam blocking was secured in strategic places to protect and brace the statue from rubbing against the crate. The crate could be easily lifted and moved by anyone transporting it, and the nature of the open crate was convenient to be strapped inside the van transporting it.

May 16, 2011

Nipper . . . The World’s Largest Man-made Dog

Arnoff Moving & Storage has the distinct pleasure of owning the old RTA building (former RCA distributor) in Albany, New York, at 991 Broadway. In 1954, the Nipper statue (which is 25-feet high, weighs 4 tons, and has a steel frame and composite body) was erected via crane to its current perch, complete with an aerial beacon ascending from his left ear because of his height. Nipper has the great distinction of being the largest man-made dog in the world.

When the Arnoff family purchased this building in 1997, the Albany community was very concerned about the future of their beloved Nipper, fearing that he might be dismantled by the new owners. Local politicians, community members, and reporters demanded answers to their questions about Nipper’s fate, and Arnoff Moving & Storage responded by not only completely renovating the building, but by restoring Nipper, as well, to his previous glory. This delighted the Albany community and all those who love him from around the world. Testimony to this is on the front page of the Albany Times Union newspaper, which featured the top bold headline about how Nipper has been saved, and below it, beneath the fold, the headline that Mother Theresa had died.

The history of 991 Broadway, according to Duncan E. Hay of the Northeast Museum Services Center, begins circa 1912:

“This reinforced-concrete building was constructed around 1912 to house the manufacturing operations of the American Gas Meter Company. In 1958 it became the home of RTA, distributors of RCA electrical appliances. About that time a twenty-five-foot, four-ton statue of Nipper, the symbol of the Victor Company, was erected on the roof. The statue was built by the W. L. Stansgaard Company of Chicago, shipped on railroad flat cars in five sections, and erected by James McKinney and Company using a ten-story crane.”

The story of Nipper began in 1884 in Bristol, England, where the little stray mutt (part bull terrier, part fox terrier) found a home with Mark Barraud, a Bristol theater stage set painter. The dog was named Nipper because he always nipped at people’s ankles. When Mark Barraud died, his brother Francis adopted the dog, but Nipper seemed to miss his original master and would sit in his habitual pose, listening to the phonograph with his head cocked, seemingly waiting for his master’s voice. Although Nipper died in 1895, four years later, Francis Barraud, a painter, captured the scene on canvas. Then, in an effort to brighten the painting, which he felt was too dark, he borrowed a brass horn from the Gramophone Company in London to paint over the original phonograph. They offered to purchase the painting if Francis would paint their new disc gramophone into the painting, which is how the final image of “His Master’s Voice” came to being. In 1900, the painting became the trademark for Victor Talking Machine, later known as RCA Victor, and the rest is history, as Nipper became one of the most recognized trademarks in the world.

April 27, 2011

Shipping a Crystal Bowl

Preparing this crystal bowl for shipment requires plenty of bubble wrap to protect it from all the jostling and bouncing it will endure while in transit. A good sturdy box also helps take the impact of other cargo bumping into it, too.

April 13, 2011

Logistics - Getting From Here to There!

Everyone uses logistics in their lives, often without realizing it. You may be a mom scheduling your family’s activities -- one child to soccer, another to dance class, picking them both up afterwards at specific times in order to get back home in time for a dinner you planned to serve at 6:30. Or you may be a student who has a tight schedule of classes with deadlines for tests, homework and projects, including the scheduling of when you can be at your part-time job. Or you may be a transportation company scheduling daily routes of trucks, crews and freight so that pickups and deliveries coincide on time for customers.
Logistics is the process movers use to plan a schedule of events that achieve a desired end result. In the transportation industry, every detail of a customer’s move falls under the umbrella of logistics. When a customer needs relocation services, a moving company plans all the necessary details, including implementing the relocation and controlling the details that occur between pickup at origin and delivery at destination.
What does logistics include? Planning, planning and more planning, checking and double checking! And then after everything is confirmed, there may be last-minute changes made by the customer that can cause major readjustments to the plans, or there may be weather conditions that cause delays in travel. A good logistics provider is flexible and creative, finding a way to make the relocation happen on time.

March 22, 2011

Student Summer Storage Options

As the spring semester is nearing its close, many challenges begin to unfold for students who have to move out of their residence halls or off-campus housing. Students are faced with the predicament of deciding where to store their belongings over the summer or during their semester abroad. There is always the option to take your belongings home with you, but taking the bed, desk, TV and extra dressers home with you, only to bring them back in three months, can be an aggravating and costly task. A better option for most students, especially those from out of state, is to use summer storage.

A moving company may provide special services for students during the summer vacation to provide affordable solutions for their storage items:

Summer Storage Program
·        Students may bring their items to a general collection area on campus
·        All items are stored in a bonded, temperature-controlled warehouse
·        3 months of storage often includes free pickup and delivery on campus

Ship-It-Home Program
·        Parcel shipping service for students includes pickup from campus using a freight service such as UPS or FedEx
·        Economical ground or air express, may offer a discounted price
·        Custom packing for fragile or high value items

Senior Store ‘n Ship
·        For high school graduates heading to college
·        Summer storage plus fall shipping to new college/dorm

Self-Storage Units
·        Monthly fee based on size of storage unit

Although there are costs to using a storage service, one must consider the cost of replacing items, like furniture, when moving from residence to residence. Students are constantly changing their housing arrangements from dorms to apartments or apartments to off-campus houses. When students return home for the summer, these items have to be left in the dorm or residence, sold, given away, packed up, or brought home. Most storage facilities offer year-round storage options such as mini-storage units. Self-storage provides many benefits to students and their parents, such as 24/7 access and affordable prices.

March 8, 2011

Custom Crating

Click photos to enlarge view.
When should you request a custom crate? If you have an item to be transported or stored for any length of time, a crate will provide protection from its surroundings and the environment. It will also provide protection from the rigors of transportation – the jostling back and forth associated with road travel and being moved on and off a truck, as well as protecting the contents from exposure to the environment (wind, rain, heat, cold, dust).

There is no standard size for a crate, which is why finding a custom crater is necessary. For example, sculptures and fine art, antiques, mirrors, furniture, pianos, machinery, tools, medical equipment and semiconductor equipment are all different sizes and weights, and each requires unique measurements and has individual packaging needs.

What IS standard, though, is the need for a sturdy crate that is reinforced for any weight, with a forklift-ready base for transport from warehouse to truck to dock. Crates may be constructed for a one-time use, or they can be built to be reusable, for example for a trade show, where it would be used over and over again.

Inside the crate, the item must be blocked and braced securely to ensure the stability of the item during transport. Packing materials, such as acid free paper and foam for artwork, to heavy duty shrink and bubble wrap for larger items, provides further padding and protection.

To ensure proper overseas shipping, heat treated (HT ISPM) wood must be used so that your valuable cargo is compliant with international treaties and will not be held up for any reason during export. If your cargo is to be shipped in a sea container and is sensitive to moisture, it should be shrink wrapped and sealed inside a foil vapor barrier bag, which is heat sealed. This will protect your cargo from long-term exposure to the marine environment.

It is important to label your crate with proper identification on all four sides to prevent any chance of loss or misplacement – adhere a large label with the consignee’s name and address as well as your own, and affix labels indicating which side is up and if the crate contains glass or fragile items. Tipping indicators placed inside and on the outside of the crate are further handy indicators to monitor your cargo’s condition while in transit or storage.

February 9, 2011

Industrial Rigging

An important part of the moving industry is the ability to safely relocate unusual objects that are oversized, heavy or situated in a difficult position (for example: on a roof, in a basement or in a tight spot). This is when riggers are called in to use their specialized moving skills.

What kinds of items do riggers move?
  • air handling units
  • diesel generators
  • printing presses
  • machine shops
  • boilers/heaters
  • semiconductor Chip FAB equipment
  • sculptures
  • safes
Riggers use moving techniques and safeguards to relocate these kinds of items with special equipment such as slings, skates, lifting bars, blocking, steel plates, ropes, chains, hoists, gantries, forklifts, flatbeds, high-cube trailers and cranes.

A rigging job is often like a chess match – the next move is carefully planned in preparation for the move that comes afterwards. Experience and intelligence are the two most important tools of a rigger.

In order to move a very heavy or odd-shaped object, a rigger first has to determine the weight and center of gravity, as well as the vertical and horizontal force once it is lifted and movement begins. These factors will influence which equipment will be used, too.

Safety is most important, not only for the object being moved, but for the riggers themselves. A careful survey of the conditions at origin and destination are critical for planning a relocation and the equipment needed, as well as the kind of manpower required. For instance, weather, stairs and ground conditions (if the load has to be moved a long distance over gravel or lawn) – these factors impact the success of a job. Relocating certain items may require less men but with more muscle, and sometimes moving one piece of equipment can take more than one day. 

January 21, 2011

Climate Control Storage


When should you store items in climate control storage?

If you require storage for items such as:

  • important or historic documents or books
  • electronic equipment
  • antique furniture
  • fabrics and furs
  • mattresses
  • musical instruments, including pianos
  • photographs
  • artwork and sculptures
  • metal objects
. . . then we recommend climate control storage to protect against damage from heat, cold, moisture, or light.

A climate control environment avoids abrupt changes in temperature and relative humidity, which can cause materials to expand and contract rapidly, leading to deterioration over time.

Objects are stored in sealed vaults, which hold all your items together, and further act as a buffer against environmental fluctuations, light damage or exposure to dust, moisture or pests of any kind. Items that are too large to fit in a vault are carefully wrapped and stored on racking or pallets.

The warehouse temperature is maintained between 68 and 72 degrees, and the relative humidity is kept within 5 percent of 45 percent -- the optimal humidity level. The building's temperature and humidity are monitored 24 hours a day. To prevent outside elements from affecting the inside environment when the doors are open to bring in new inventory, an overhead door weather barrier provides an excellent buffer to any fluctuations in air quality. Climate control warehouses are dry, dust-free and treated for pests regularly.
Interesting fact . . . relative humidity is inversely related to temperature. In a closed system, when the temperature goes up, the RH goes down; when the temperature goes down, the RH goes up. As long as the warehouse’s temperature does not have extreme changes, there will be an even balance.

January 11, 2011

Tips For a Stress-Free Move

Arnoff Moving & Storage knows first-hand how to make moving easy, and we hope the following tips will be helpful to you when you start the moving process. We recommend that you ask questions during the moving process if you do not understand something. The mover is there to assist you in every aspect of the move. They are the professionals, so let them guide you through this journey.
  1. Do not wait for the last minute to plan your move. This will limit your options and can  result in disappointment when it comes to securing the services of the mover of your choice.
  2. Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors, or relatives for a reputable mover.
  3. Be sure you have the representative from the moving company come to your house and give you a written quote.
  4. DO NOT get estimates on the phone or over the internet.

Ask your mover if they are a member of the American Moving & Storage Association and if they are a CMC (Certified Moving Consultant).
  • Ask the mover for a guaranteed price. You do not want to worry that the quote is not accurate and have to pay more on moving day.
  • If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Ask the movers to show you feedback and/or references from customers.
  • Do not give a mover a down payment of cash. You may have to prepay with a credit card, but avoid other down payments.
  • Show your mover everything you want to move and have packed. If the mover does not get any surprises, neither will you.
  • Ask the mover to explain how their liability coverage works and how they handle a claim, in case of an accident.
  • Find out who your contact will be during the moving process at their company. There should be a dedicated person for you to contact in case you have any questions or changes to your move dates.
  • If you sell your home prior to your new residence being completed, you may need storage. Ask the representative to explain what your storage options are.
  • Cash, coin collections, jewelry, and important documents, such as wills, passports, etc).
  • Paints, aerosol cans, propane tanks or any other flammable items.
  • Foods in glass jars or bottles are not recommended.
  • Call the mover’s contact coordinator with the moving date. If packing services are being provided, this will be done the day before your move.
  • Make sure the coordinator has your correct contact information, including a cell phone number. Many times the local phone company disconnects your home service early. The moving company needs to be able to reach you at all times.
  • You must be present on packing and moving day to give directions to the movers and to answer any questions they may have.
  • Pay the mover according to the terms of your agreement, before your possessions are unloaded.
  • The movers may be required to do an inventory of items they are moving. You should be present while they are doing this process to ensure that you are in agreement with their assessment.
  • There will be many documents for you to sign — the Bill of Lading is the legal binding document, so you will need to read this and sign it on moving day.
  • Retain copies of everything that you sign.
  • After loading takes place, walk through your home with the mover to make sure nothing was left behind.
  • At your new residence, please be present to show the movers where you want everything placed. You should have a good idea of this, prior to moving in. Movers do not intend on moving items three or four times until you decide where the sofa should go.
  • Check your items for any damage when they arrive. You should report any loss or damage as soon as possible. This will help expedite your claim process and allow you to enjoy your new home.