Tips on Summer Moving


One on One with Chris Uribe
Tips on Summer Moving
By Gina Dostler

Chris Uribe, co-owner of Alex Moving & Storage, is a veteran when it comes to moving. In business since 1982 with locations in Santa Ana and Camarillo, the company is an agent for North American Van Lines and contracts with the UC system to move students and professors from all over the country.

Q: What are some tips for moving in the summer?
A: Summer is our busiest time of year, from May to September. It’s also usually the hottest time of year and can make moving more challenging in the heat. We advise all customers our movers are going to be leaving the doors open, so turn-off the air-conditioners and run fans only. Besides wasting energy, it’s not good for our mover’s muscles having to go back and forth from extremes, hot to cold. We consider our movers athletes and they do have to take routine physical exams. But because the house is not running with cool air, the homeowners might be uncomfortable, so we like to warn them ahead of time of the situation. Also as a home or business owner, being prepared makes the move, well, move faster!

Q: How best to prepare for the move?
A: People think when moving locally they don’t have to pack and end up throwing much of their stuff in garbage bags. This just causes more trips to the truck. Box up the items and carefully itemize the contents on the label. This makes it so much faster using a dolly rather than carrying the bags back and forth one at a time. Though it might be easier to throw items in bags, it just ends up costing more time. Also bags don’t stack on the truck and more space is needed.

Q: Is there anything a customer can do to help avoid damage to their items?
A: We pad wrap and shrink-wrap furniture to avoid damage to walls, doors and, of course, the furniture. Again, if everything is boxed up, it’s protected and just a straight shot through the door. Make sure you know your furniture. If you have a large piece that has individual pieces, advise the mover how to take it apart. This is usually best if moving out of state. For a local move it might not be necessary.

Q: Why is moving so frustrating?
A: The number one reason is people don’t realize how much stuff they have accumulated in their home. Once the packing begins, it seems to multiply right in front of their eyes! One thing we ask when a customer calls in is, “can you park your car in the garage or what is your backyard like?” These areas aren’t on the radar as part of moving and when organizing, can pop up last minute as extra work to an already over-loaded, drawn-out moving day.

Q: What is the advantage for a moving company to do the packing?
A: If a customer can fit it into their budget, it’s the easiest way to get through a move and can even be cost effective. We do a tighter pack, which means we get more in a box. Customers tend to “balloon” wrap by not utilizing the full space. We then pack it with paper, and wrap it up with tape in the right size box for the items. Plus we have specialized sizes such as boxes for flat screen TVs. And as an individual, unless you have extreme powers of focus to get the job done, you end up taking a longer time to pack everything because you are looking through each item; versus someone just packing it up and putting it away. It’s all about figuring out the valuable cost of your time and your budget compared to the moving charges.

Q: Do you move people from out of state to our local area?
A: Absolutely. We move people all over the United States and are a national agent with North American Van Lines (NAVL). We have a big hauling division with about 20 drivers on the road everyday moving people. All the trucks from the drivers we contract with have to meet the new fuel efficiency regulations, which has been a big expense for them, meaning most have had to buy new trucks. Also, being an agent with NAVL, we are able to coordinate the timing of the drivers from their headquarters. The UC system is one of our national accounts. We are constantly moving professors when they transfer from one school to another, many times from across the country. And if a professional was previously a student or still affiliated with the UC system, we give them a contract rate.

Q: How long have you been in the business?
A: I started out at the Indiana headquarters of North American. Five years later I moved to California working at a moving company where I met my husband. Then a few years later we bought the company. That was in 1982 and we are still going at it. When the economy collapsed, the short-sale moves kept us going, though unfortunately we had to lay-off a lot of our help. But we have been building up steadily ever since. The housing market has started to swing back and we are becoming busier moving people, both residential and business, to their new locations.

Chris Uribe
Alex Moving & Storage
2831 West 1st Street
Santa Ana, CA 92703