Moving from one home to another is considered one of the most stressful things people do in their lives. To move everything you own-much of it fragile, heavy and important to you-from one place to another involves careful planning, organization, good equipment and tools, the right moving equipment and a lot common sense.
Pre-Move Planning is a great way to avoid many common mistakes. Whether you are using a moving company or getting the job done yourself, here are some things to think about as you plan your move.
If you plan on moving with a moving company, make sure that you get an early start if you need to select your own moving company. You will need to reserve a date about a month in advance. Keep in mind that summer is the busiest time for movers, so if you are moving from May through August you will need to be flexible with your packing and moving dates. The last week of the month is usually the busiest time for all moving companies.
You should get at least 3 estimates; show each mover the same items to be moved and ask each moving company the same questions so that you can make comparisons. If you plan on using a major national moving company, understand that you will most likely be dealing with an authorized local "agent". Ideally, you should check out both the national company as well as the local agent. The van line moving agent will send someone over to your home to review the contents of your home and provide you with an estimate based on this visit. If you are getting rid of a lot of things, be sure to tell the estimator what is or is not being moved.
Local movers generally charge by the hour. Interstate companies charge by the pound. Interstate moves are governed by the Federal Department of transportation Surface transportation Board and follow a standard rate book for transportation and packing called "Tariff 400-L."
There is normally additional charges for Long Carries, Flight Carries, Elevator Carries, Extra Pickups or Deliveries, Bulky Articles, and Special Handling. These are costs that are charged by the hauler and can only be negotiated with their approval. These, along with packing charges and materials charges need to be included when comparing estimates.
The estimates you get may be a little different depending on how much weight the estimator thinks you have. You shouldn’t necessarily go with the lowest weight estimate, you'll still be charged for actual weight and mileage charges in the end. One good idea is to take the highest weight estimate and have the other two movers revise their estimates based on this weight.
Most of the major van lines place several households shipments on the same truck, so your delivery date may depend on the order in which they need to unload the truck. If you need delivery on or by a certain date, be sure to specify this up front. It may affect the cost of your move.
If you decide to rent a truck, call at least two weeks before your move (earlier if moving at the end of the month) to get an idea of prices and what size you'll need. You should also reserve any furniture pads, dollies, and hand trucks you'll need for the day of the move.
If you are planning on driving a long distance and need to spend the night somewhere, try to pre-plan where you will stay. Try to choose somewhere in a decent neighborhood so you can park somewhere safe and invest in a good, strong lock for the truck to deter thieves.
If you Plan ahead, it will make a significant difference in the stress level and completion of your move.