Moving is stressful, even if the new house is only a block or two away. Despite the frustration and worry associated with the process, many people choose to handle the move themselves. This requires renting a truck, loading their belongings, and driving a vehicle twice the size of their normal car down unfamiliar streets. If that’s not hassle enough, here are a few more reasons to let a professional moving company manage even a short-distance move.
It’s not uncommon for individuals handling their own move to strain a muscle or break a favorite bookshelf in the process. Though a slight muscle strain may seem like little more than an inconvenience, it can cause discomfort for days, depending on how badly it was injured. Professional movers know how to lift heavy pieces of furniture without damaging the furniture or injuring themselves.
Anyone who has ever moved to a new home knows that the faster they get into their new place, the faster life can get back to normal. Hiring a moving company will significantly speed up the packing, loading, and unloading processes. Professional crews can load, drive, and unload a full house in a matter of hours. When homeowners handle the move on their own, they’re often left making multiple trips between their properties and are forced to rely on friends and family to help speed the move up.
Unfortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies do not protect belongings on a moving truck. That means, if an individual breaks their antique lamp in the process of loading the truck themselves, they’ll have to pay full price to replace it. However, a professional moving company will always be able to offer insurance, protecting items in transit. If an item is damaged during the move, the company will work with the homeowners to cover the cost of the replacement.
Though many people believe that moving on their own will be cheaper, this may not always be the case. Truck rentals, boxes, tape, dollies, and moving supplies all add up over the course of the move and the cost can take homeowners by surprise. When they hire a moving company, all those materials and costs are factored into the estimate. Even if the professional movers cost slightly more, homeowners will save on time, freeing up their schedule and allowing them to get back to work more quickly.
Next time homeowners are looking to move, they can avoid the hassle of a DIY move with the help of a professional moving company.
While professional moving services can help alleviate some of the stress of relocating, homeowners can take steps on their own to make the process go more smoothly. Here are four moving tips that will make moving much easier:
Pack Ahead of Time
Rather than waiting until the day before the move, get a head start on packing. Label boxes clearly and pack each room up in its own box. That way, everything will be grouped together and easier to locate once at the new house.
Take a Picture of Any Complicated Electronics
Setting up an entertainment system takes time, so it’s best to take a picture before dismantling everything before moving services arrive. Once at the new home, refer to the picture for guidance on how to set everything up.
Protect Fragile Items with Blankets and Towels
Moving pads and bubble wrap are effective, but they’re also expensive. Wrapping fragile items with old blankets and towels is a budget-friendly way to keep breakable items safe.
Fill Out Change of Address Forms
Notify the postal service of the new address a few weeks before the moving date. This way, mail will be forwarded on time
Follow these tips and let professional moving services handle the packing and heavy lifting.
- If you don’t need it, don’t pay to move it.
Movers base their prices on what you’re shipping, so cutting down on clutter will simplify your life and lighten up the load in the moving truck. We’re talking to you, the owner of the treadmill-turned-drying-rack. You can sell what you don’t need or donate it to charity.
- If possible, schedule your relocation after peak moving season.
Most people choose to move in the summer months, when the kids are out of school. The least expensive time of the year to move is between October and April, so if it’s possible to postpone your move, you could save some money.
- Get at least three in-home estimates.
If you’re hiring a professional mover to do the heavy lifting and packing, prices can vary widely between companies. To make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, get at least three estimates.
- Don’t get scammed by a rogue mover.
You’ll be loading up all your worldly possessions and putting them on a truck with a few workers you barely know. Protect yourself! Look for red flags and get recommendations from friends and neighbors to avoid getting scammed.
- Use what you have for packing, and then buy your own supplies.
Moving companies often charge hefty fees for packing supplies. Save money by filling up containers you already have, like suitcases or plastic bins. Use sheets and linens to wrap items. Buy the packing materials you still need from a recycled box company, or get them free from a local business.
- Ask questions to unearth hidden moving costs.
Even legitimate movers might not spill all the costs unless you ask. To get an accurate picture of your total, ask if they’ll charge for heavy items, repacking, stairs or waiting.
- Get portable storage and delivery.
Companies like PODS and 1-800-PACKRAT will deliver a storage unit to your door. You’ll save money packing it yourself, and they’ll pick it up and deliver it to your new digs.
- Rent a truck for a totally DIY move.
Renting a truck and doing it yourself is the most cost-effective way to move. Enlist your friends and family for packing, and read the fine print for mileage allowances and fuel surcharges.
- Get moving insurance.
Even the best movers have one potential pitfall: They’re human. If you do wind up with a lost or damaged item, you’ll likely need more than the measly 60-cent-per-pound coverage that comes free to replace it.
- Deduct your moving expenses from your taxes.
Don’t forget to save those receipts — you can also save money after the big move! If you relocated for a new full-time job at least 50 miles away from your previous home, you can deduct the cost of packing, transporting or storing your household goods from next year’s tax return.
- Build Trust
- Advertise Honestly
- Tell the Truth
- Be Transparent
- Honor Promises
- Be Responsive
- Safeguard Privacy
- Embody Integrity
To learn more about these criteria and to see exactly what the BBB is looking for in regard to each one, check out the full list here. If the BBB determines that a company meets each criterion, then that company will be able to put the BBB seal of approval on their website. Keep in mind, though, that BBB accreditation does mean that the business’s services have been evaluated or endorsed by the BBB. Rather, the BBB makes the determination based on the company’s business practices.
Packing Tips for Moving
These seven easy tips will get you ready to pack with a vengeance.
1. Don’t Procrastinate
Don’t procrastinate. This seems simple enough, but getting started can be difficult. A few weeks prior to your move, start packing several boxes a day. Begin with items that are least essential to your daily life. If you pace yourself, you will be more organized and the job won’t be so overwhelming. Make packing easier by not waiting to get started.
2. Pack room-by-room
Focus on one area of a room at a time and don’t mix items from different rooms in one box. To prevent miniature knickknacks and small items from being lost or mistakenly thrown out with the packing paper, wrap them in brightly-colored tissue paper.
3. Packing Labels
Label clearly. On the top and side of each box, write a general description of the contents and the room name. Use different colored markers for each room, which will provide additional clarity for you and your movers.
4. Use Packing Paper
Stay clean. Regular newspaper may bleed ink onto your possessions. Use white packing paper to wrap all items.
5. Stick with Moving Boxes
Use boxes designed for moving. Boxes obtained from grocery or liquor stores are not always clean and might not hold the weight of the items that you will be putting in them. In addition, varying box sizes can make loading more difficult.
6. Know what you can’t pack
Know what you can’t pack. Some common household items can’t be shipped because they are hazardous. Don’t wind up on the wrong side of the law. Read our list of what you can’t put on the moving truck.
7. Moving valuables
Don’t box up everything. You should personally transport heirlooms, important papers, legal documents (wills, passports. etc.), and valuables. Make packing easier by decided what doesn’t need to be packed.