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Why Local Movers and Summer Storage Should Be On Every Student’s Minds

As a local, family-owned moving company in Durham, NC, home of Duke University, we see a lot of college and graduate students. Depending on summer plans, and how far those plans might be, students may want to consider renting summer storage. Better yet, hiring local movers, like Ladd Moving, to quickly and safely move all one’s belongings in and out, can save a lot of time, stress and headaches. The convenience and benefits of local movers and summer storage are especially valuable at the end of the school year.

Student housing, dorms and apartments often require students to move out during summer. As a result, every summer thousands of students are faced with the daunting task to pack up, and drive a car stuffed with books, bikes, and household items to their parents’ home. Some may even have to toss out belongings simply because they have no way to transport them. All this only to do it all again at the end of summer.

Why summer storage?

Renting a storage space near campus makes it very easy to move in and out. This is even more valuable for those who would have to drive long distances with over packed cars. Some storage units can start as low as $12 a month, with some offering student discounts. Pairing this with a local professional mover makes it even more convenient and adds another local business to support.

What size storage unit for a dorm room?

Most college dorm rooms will fit in a 5’x5’ storage unit. These often have 8 – 10 feet ceilings for plentiful stacking. Anyone with some larger furniture may need the next size up.

What about climate control?

If you’re in North Carolina like we are, the summer can get hot and humid and you will want to rent a climate controlled unit. Furniture, clothing, and books can grow mold and mildew in humid conditions.

The end of the school year is full of finals, papers, starting summer jobs, and other end-of-year transitions. Moving does not have to be another problem. Take the stress and headache out of summer moving with summer storage and local movers. Feel free to give us a call!

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U-Haul? 3 Surprising Things You May Not Know About Renting a Moving Truck

Renting a U-Haul moving van, truck, or trailer can be a good option for certain moving jobs. At best, renting a moving truck can be a smooth process with low cost and minimal headaches. Not as great, renting a U-Haul could mean understaffed facilities, overbooked moving trucks, long wait times, dirty moving trucks, missed moving times, surge pricing, and hidden costs. What you planned to be a cheap and easy move could turn into stressful ordeal, not to mention a waste of your time, effort and money. Here we share with you 3 surprising things you may not know about renting a moving truck.

  1. Hidden Fees

Rental companies like U-haul or Penske often advertise a flat fee cost of $19.99 – $39.95 per day. Unfortunately this is not completely true. Every time your rent a moving truck, it will also have these additional costs:

  • Gas – much like renting a car, you have to fill your rental truck or they will charge you an extra premium per gallon. Typically, a truck can get 9-12 mpg. The cost of fuel can easily double your rental cost.
  • Mileage charges – up to $0.99 a mile.
  • Liability coverage – up to $28 a day.
  • Fees and taxes – up to $5 a day.

If you are dropping off the rental truck at another location, if will cost you even more, depending on the distance.

2. Not All Reservations Are Guaranteed

Even if you make a reservation months in advance, your online reservation is not truly guaranteed. The local rental office receives the request and is supposed to confirm the truck size and reservation time with you directly. However, they may be able to guarantee the actual moving truck or trailer size until the day before your move.

3. Truck Limitations

Not all highways and roads allow you to drive a trailer or truck. Moving trucks and trailers may have different speed limits in different states. Failing to know local laws can cost you a ticket and force you and your belongings off the road.

With hidden fees and risk, renting a U-haul or other moving truck is not for everyone. If renting a U-haul doesn’t sound like a good fit for your move, give us a ring at (919) 596-2469 at any time. We have decades of professional, reliable moving under our belts, serving the State of North Carolina and local moving in Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and the surrounding communities. We would be happy to chat and help you with whatever you need!

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How To Move an Upright Piano

Moving a piano is a big task. Pianos themselves are a big deal. If you own a piano, it probably holds significant value.. Pianos are important, valuable instruments that should be moved with utmost car. Understandably, you want to move your piano well and safely. To do so takes a lot of manpower and planning. The best advice we can offer is to hire professional movers with extensive experience moving pianos. Still want to attempt to movie a piano? Here is what you need to know to move an upright piano.

Pianos are heavy and bulky to move. Pianos have a cast iron harp inside, which makes up most of the weight. Upright pianos can weigh 300 lbs, whereas grand pianos upwards of 800 lbs.  Imagine having to move a piano up and down stairs, around corners, down narrow hallways, or through windows! If moved improperly, pianos can cause serious injury, and be seriously damaged as well. No wonder moving pianos is serious work. Since grand pianos are so heavy, we strongly recommend hiring professionals.

Moving an Upright Piano

1. Supplies

  • Moving blankets. In a bind, thick towels will do.
  • Tape for attaching blankets.
  • Heavy duty dolly that can support the weight and dimensions of your piano. All four legs of the piano should sit flat on the dolly.
  • Straps to secure piano to dolly and truck.

2. Manpower

You will need at least 4 strong, healthy, people. They should be reminded about how to safely move heavy items, and wear appropriate footwear with good traction. With an upright piano, each person could be lifting more than 80 lbs.

3. Measuring the Way

  • Measure the piano’s dimensions and weight.
  • Measure every space the piano has to move through- doorways, staircases and hallways. Make sure the piano fits. Don’t forget to factor in the additional width of blankets. If the piano does not fit, you will need to call in professional piano movers.
  • Remove furniture, rugs, doors, and other items that might get in the way.
  • If there are hard corners that could scratch the piano, attach towels or rubber bumpers.

4. Prepare the Upright Piano for Moving

Cover the piano with moving blankets, using tape to secure the padding. Remember that tape can damage the piano, so only use tape over the blankets. Take special care with the keyboard and pedals. The keyboard should be closed and secure.

5. Moving Upright Piano

When moving the piano to your truck, make sure there is at least one person on each side at all times. Do not lift the piano by the legs. This can break the legs. Carefully lift the piano by its body, and place the piano on the dolly. Be extra cautious when lifting the piano onto and off the truck. The piano should be the first thing you put into the moving truck so that it is furthest back, towards the cab. Remove the piano from the dolly. The piano should not be transported on a dolly. Use straps to secure the piano to the truck.

6.Tune Your Piano

Once the piano is in its new home, immediately schedule a tuner to tune the piano.

Hope this helps you on your way to moving your upright piano! As always, you can call us any time to talk about piano moving! (919) 596-2469

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Moving Boxes 101. How many moving boxes do you need?


Finding your next home may take you months, maybe even years. After all that work comes the next task – moving. No matter how often you’ve done it, moving is a big deal. Organizing, prepping, and packing takes time and money. One thing everyone needs are moving boxes. When it comes to moving boxes, not everything is one size fits all. How many you need, and what sizes, really depends on your space.

How Many Moving Boxes?

The best thing to do? Ask your moving company to come and give their expert opinion. A phone call might be all you need, but if you don’t have time, you could also try an online calculator.

For example, a 2 bedroom home could need 30 medium boxes, 22 large boxes, 10 extra-large boxes, 6 picture boxes and 4 wardrobe boxes. This can easily be the bulk of your packing costs. For this reason, we strongly suggest decluttering.

What Size Moving Boxes?

Plan on putting heavy things into boxes for easy lifting. This also makes it less likely for the items to fall through the boxes. Medium boxes are great for books, kitchen items, dishes, and other fragile items. Larger, bulkier items can go in larger boxes without making them too heavy to carry. Save large boxes for items like clothes, pillows, blankets and cushions.

What About Specialty Moving Boxes?

  • Wardrobe Boxes. Many enjoy the convenience of wardrobe boxes. You can pack your closet, hanger and all. This makes it easy to place your closet items strait into their new home. However, these are heavy and take up a lot of space, and therefore can bre costly.
  • Bike Boxes. You can get these from your local bike shop. Bikes have to be disassembled before packing.
  • Picture/Mirror Boxes. These boxes can be purchased, perfectly sized for each of your pictures or mirrors. These are made to protect your cherished frames, photos and artwork, but you should still use bubble wrap.
  • Compartment Boxes. Glassware, bottles, and ornaments pack easily into dish or compartment boxes. Be careful not to over pack these boxes.
  • Mattress Boxes. Are you storing your mattress, or worried about having it punctured during the move? Mattress boxes are more protective than bags, but also pricier.

Where to Get Free Moving Boxes?

People move every day, so chances are there are free moving boxes around town. Finding free boxes can save you hundreds of dollars. Check out craigslist, facebook marketplace, and your local freecycle groups. Other places to find free moving boxes include: bookstores, liquor stores, coffee shops, and grocery stores. U-Haul also has a box exchange message board based on location.

As always, whether you’re buying your moving boxes new, or searching for used ones, feel free to reach out to us at Ladd Moving!

Related Posts:

3 Practical Tips To Decluttering Before a Move

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3 Practical Tips to Declutter Before a Move

Moving can be stressful and expensive as it is, but there are some opportunities to be had that can save you money and maybe a bit of your sanity too – opportunities to clear out the old!

Whether you’re packing yourself or hiring a moving company to pack, an upcoming move is a great reason to declutter and get rid of things you no longer use. Having less things to move will also save you money and time in boxes, bubblewrap, tape, storage and muscle. You can even have a garage sale, gift or donate your things to charity.

Start early, as early as a year in advance, so you don’t feel like you are scrambling last minute. Here are 3 practical tips to get you started!

  1. Be honest with yourself and enlist friends.

You’ve lived with these items for a while, maybe even decades, so letting go can be hard. But are you really going to use that broken ceramic pig-shaped kettle ever? Do you need 5 pairs of sequined bell bottoms? Having a good talking with yourself and enlisting friends who can speak truth are good ways to help make decisions. It might even be fun and freeing. Being honest with yourself also means knowing how much you can realistically handle and scheduling things so that it’s doable for everyone involved.

KEY: Keep it real. Keep it fun.

 Go room by room.

Going room by room, put three bags or boxes, labeled “Toss” “Donate” “Maybe.” You may even want to add another one labeled “Sell,” but if you don’t think you will actually do so, just put those items into “Donate.” When it comes time to “maybe,” move that too elsewhere. Chances are, by the time you get through your home, your “maybe” boxes will feel more like “toss” or “donate” boxes.

KEY: As soon as a box is full, get it out of the house and gone.

  1. Set a short time goal.

Block out time, put on some music, set a timer, get at it. Even if you are a little slower than you used to be, having a set amount of time means that there’s an end point and will help you get things done. Having a set time will also help you make decisions faster and easier. Alternatively you can go through a room over a week or weekend, commit to putting X number of items into the boxes every day, or any variation!

KEY: Do not linger on an item(s). If you find yourself doing so, put it in “Maybe” and walk away.

So there you have it, 3 ways to get you started on decluttering before your next move. Keep it real. Keep it fun. Keep the boxes moving and keep yourself moving onwards! Hope these are helpful. Stay tuned for more moving tips in the future.

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A Family Move

Dear Ladd Moving,

My name is Mrs. Drake, and I am writing to express my gratitude for how easy the Ladd Moving Team made my family’s recent move. We were expecting the ease of a moving service, but your team was helpful, hardworking and they had a great attitude!

I initially hired Ladd Moving because my family owns a piano, and we had seen many excellent reviews mentioning moving large instruments. While the piano definitely (literally) weighed on our decision, we also wanted to hire a reliable, trustworthy moving service, and we preferred a local, family-owned business. My husband found Ladd Moving after some intuitive googling, and I am so glad he did! I spoke briefly to someone on the phone, and setting up the appointment was a breeze.

The team arrived on time, and ready to go! Everyone was very nice and accommodating – my small children were running around them while they were trying to help me pack, but everyone was all smiles!  As a family of five, we had quite a bit of furniture and boxes to pack and move. I was worried that our larger items (a large sectional, a piano, and a California king mattress/boxspring) would be difficult to transport, but the moving team made it look simple, and all of our items arrived at our new home in perfect condition. The team was also helpful enough to place our items into the correct rooms at our new house, so that we didn’t have to do much besides rearrange, assemble a few things, and unpack – the easiest move ever!

Thank you to the Ladd Moving Team for making our family’s recent move the smoothest ever, even with three small children! Your patience and hard work did not go unnoticed – We will not hesitate to recommend you to our friends, or to hire you again in the future.

Thank you for having such an awesome team!

The Drake Family

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Ladd Moving College Student move

Ladd Moving is a family owned moving company located in Durham, North Carolina. Durham is home to Duke University. The surrounding Chapel Hill and Raleigh Areas are home to the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University. Ladd Moving has been the only moving company hired by the Duke University Music Department to move their large instruments and pianos for a number of years. However, Ladd Moving has also been hired to help college students with their moves as well. Though we are located in Durham and we know the area surrounding Duke University best, we have assisted with student moves at other campuses.

We recently completed a move for the Sawyer family into a house in downtown Durham. The patriarch of the family is a long time customer of Ladd Moving. Jon hired Ladd Moving in 2009 when he was in his senior year at UNC. He needed help moving his piano and other belongings to a house in Raleigh, where he would be attending graduate school at NC State. This is only about 35 miles, but it’s mostly highways, and he was worried his piano would get somehow harmed in the process of loading, unloading, or transport. He explained that the upright piano was a Steinway, and it had been a gift from his grandmother. Ladd Moving sent our most experienced piano movers, and we used our special techniques to meticulously move the instrument and the rest of his belongings.

When Jon was moving again a few years later, he didn’t hesitate to call Ladd Moving to help with his move. In 2013, we moved the same piano to Durham. This time, we incorrectly assumed that this was the last time we would be moving Jon and his awesome piano! Jon recommended us to a number of his friends throughout the triangle area, and he even called us once to help him move the instrument to a different room. When we heard that Jon and his family would need help moving into a larger house in August, we were thrilled to once again help Jon during the stressful process of packing and moving.

Ladd Moving strives to provide reliable, trustworthy moving services to all of our customers throughout the Triangle area. We understand that moving can be stressful, especially for a student or family transitioning into their first home. With over 100 years of experience with projects of all types, Ladd Moving can help you with your move. Call us today at (919) 596-2469.

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A little history of Ladd Moving

Since the early 1880s, our family has owned and operated ‘J.E. Ladd & Son Transfer’. During this time, five generations of the Ladd family have ran the daily business operations, and the business has been passed down from one generation to the next. Our reputation as an excellent moving service proceeds us, though we want you to understand that we didn’t gain this reputation overnight – we built our family business over many years and many projects, and we pride ourselves on the hard work that got us where we are today. We previously wrote about our specialization of moving pianos and large instruments, though ’J.E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ brings a high level of experience to help with any move.

‘J. E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ is known as one of the longest continuously operated family businesses in the Triangle Area. As a primarily family owned and operated business, there has been no noticeable change in our standard of providing excellent moving services since opening our doors. Our founder, J. E. Ladd, set this high standard when he started picking up new residents at the train station with a horse and wagon in 1882. Our family has worked to adapt our founder’s high standard of providing quality professional moving services to today’s world. As a continuously operating family business passed down amongst generations, the older generations have also been able to share their knowledge with the younger generations. Moving is truly a family business for us.

‘J. E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ is the professional moving service for any project. We have a history for moving generations of Triangle Area residents. A previous blog post mentions pianos, because they are a difficult to move object for a number of reasons. Though we are frequently hired to move these items because they are large, this also speaks to our ability to handle delicate items, and antiques. Over the years, our family has moved countless fragile items, family heirlooms, and antiques. We handle these projects with special care. J. E. Ladd & Son Transfer’ cares about providing excellent professional moving services, so call us at (919) 596-2469 for help with any move.

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A long overdue post about Ladd Moving and our love for pianos.

At Ladd Moving, we consider ourselves to be piano and large instrument moving experts. We know how to keep your instrument safe during a move, whether it’s to a new room in your house or to a new city. Because we have been in the moving business for years, we know that any move with a piano or other large instrument can be both a cumbersome and delicate project.

Most pianos can produce large range of sound, and because of all of the internal moving complexities, any minor bump can cause a change in these sounds. Most instruments have to be tuned following a move – while we cannot guarantee that your piano won’t have to be tuned, we can guarantee that we will minimize the stress your instrument will endure during this process. Ladd Moving utilizes special equipment and strategies to minimize the disruption a piano may endure during a typical move. Of course, our special moving process can still prove to be very difficult – especially considering the weight of a typical piano or other large instrument.

Luckily, the size of these projects doesn’t phase us, as we have generations of experience moving instruments of all sizes – including upright, concert, and concert grand pianos! In fact, we have been Duke University’s chosen piano and musical instrument movers for generations! While Ladd Moving is qualified for any moving projects, we consider ourselves to be especially qualified for piano and large instrument moving.

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Our Senior Employee on Our New Truck

Edna Earle (Ladd) Burrage was raised by the founder of our company and her grandfather, J.E. Ladd Sr.  In the photo, the top two quilts on the stack of furniture pads to her left were handmade by her grandmother Fannie Ladd.  When Edna Earle was just a young girl she would play under the large quilting frame while up to ten friends and neighbors stitched away at the “quilting party” as she described it.  Tonight she pointed to patches in the quilts “I remember having a dress made out of that material.”  At 88 years, Edna Earle (and the quilts) are still going strong!  In fact, we are considering bringing Edna Earle out of retirement to move furniture for us.  I told her to report to work in the morning at 9am.  “I’ll be there…with muscles!”

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