Before the Move… Q & A
You just found out that it is time to move and you are wondering what questions you should ask before your move. Sometimes you only have a short notice while other times you can plan the move out over months to even a year ahead. Sometimes moving dates are flexible and other times you have to move in the heat of summer or the dead of winter.
Whatever time you have to plan your move, there are very important questions to ask to be properly prepared and informed come moving day. Knowing what to ask prior to your move or contracting with your moving company will reduce your anxiety through one of the most stressful moments of your life.
Knowing the best pre-move questions to ask and having the ability to find the best answers to your moving questions will make for a much smoother move. We hope to cover most of the essential moving questions you should know in this article to clearly address the whole moving process.
The first question to ask you have to answer yourself
Am I able to move myself?
At first, people often think they have many friends with trucks, and that they don’t have a lot to move and it can be easy enough. In our experience, this is seldom the case when you really start looking closely at your home and your move. There is nothing wrong with planning your move on your own with the help of friends and even a rental truck. The real question here is not if you can pull off a “DIY” move, but more importantly whether you should choose to do so, or not.
As with any move, there are hidden expenses and risks that should be considered:
Do you have the time it will take to sort through your belongings and safely pack up everything you own?
Will you have the time to execute the move on moving day?
How much moving experience do you really have?
Are you moving a short enough distance away?
Do you have a driver’s license and proper insurance to rent a moving truck?
Are you comfortable driving, parking, fueling a rental moving truck?
Do you feel comfortable with, and are you physically able to, properly load the moving truck?
Do you have reliable help to call on to assist with the different aspects of the move?
Can you safely and properly pack and move your high-end or specialty items such as aquariums, big screen televisions, heirloom and large furniture items?
If you are able to answer yes to each of these important questions above that address moving on your own without the help of a professional moving service, then you can consider this an option.
How do I hire a professional moving company?
Moving companies are a dime a dozen; you will find hundreds of movers in local directories and on the internet. Choosing a reputable, professional mover sometimes can be a challenge.
If your move is long distance, requires moving specialty items of value or you need to contract many moving services, then you will want to hire experienced, professional movers that come with solid recommendations. You can find reliable movers through friends or co-worker recommendations, through website testimonials and reviews, and through large associations such as Mayflower Transit and United Van Lines who work with movers all over the country and the world.
Carefully reviewing & selecting a top-rated professional mover will be the first step in having a trouble-free move.
Should I request price estimates from a moving company?
You should contact 3-5 of the most reputable movers in your area to compare pricing for your move. Also, by speaking and contacting each company you will get a feel of the type of customer service and responsiveness you can expect. Almost everyone wants a low-cost-move. Just remember that the best move may not come from the lowest quote.
To get a proper quote you need to have an in-house survey. Comparing a price from an in-house survey and on-line survey is not comparing quotes equally. During an in-house survey, you will be able to get a glimpse of the standards or the company based on the team member you work with. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions you may not have thought about before that time. Make sure the moving representative measures doorways, stairways and elevators!
When it comes to moving services such as packing, purchasing packing materials, vehicle transport, and specialty items to be moved, you should be sure to compare those items with an eye for details.
Can I negotiate a better price with my movers?
Most Movers tend to leave a little room for negotiating in their quotes. The more services you purchase from them, the better overall price you may get. If you request a reasonable cut, they have the ability to work with you to get closer to your target price range. It never hurts to ask for a price match given to you by a competitor.
Money savers to consider when asking for a moving quote
There are many options available when it comes to pricing a move.
Day of week and seasonal pricing will vary the cost of a move. A mid-week move in the fall season will almost always cost less than a weekend summer move. Booking your move early not only helps you get the most desired move-date, but it can also earn you a discount!
What questions should I ask to compare moving companies?
Knowing what to ask will get you answers you did not realize you needed. Here is a list of questions you can ask when getting quotes from moving companies.
Is their company experienced with your “type” of move?
What liability protection is provided by the company?
- Full Replacement Value – Mover is liable for the full replacement value of your lost or damaged goods
- Released value Protection – Mover assumes liability for lost or damaged goods up to 60 cents per lb/article
Can they provide you with references?
Will your quote be binding or offer a not -to- exceed limit?
What is the estimated time to complete your move?
Will you have a way to contact the move manager and driver while in route?
Will your company handle the entire move, or will you bring in a sub contractor during the move? Will you be working with the same moving team at both ends of my move?
What potential charges should you be aware of?
What will be the cost of additional moving supplies, if needed?
What forms of payment will they accept?
What is their cancellation and Covid-19 policy?
What are the restrictions and liability risk for packaged that I pack myself?
Will they pack specialty items such as antiques, electronics, televisions, aquariums, art?
How will I know what moving services I need?
It is very important to know how many services your mover can provide for you. Working with one company for multiple services can make your move less stressful. Take the opportunity to discuss these options during your walkthrough inspection. Knowing what services are available will help you know what services you may need.
Packing and unpacking
Packing materials and supplies
Disassembly and re-assembly of large furniture
Specialty Moving / Rigging Services for Art, antiques, and oversized items like pianos and sculptures.
Should I pay someone to pack my belongings?
Packing is the hardest part of moving. It is time consuming and should be done correctly to prevent damage to your property.
Consider the following:
Do you have the time to pack your belongings before move deadline? Professional packers are not only experienced, they can perform the task of packing rapidly and correctly.
Are you sure you can safely pack your fragile items in such a way that they will not be damaged during moving and transport? Professional packers follow safety measures and packing guidelines. These professionals will know how to safely package your high-value items.
One final question we encourage you to ask is who will pack up your house or apartment if you choose a packing service. Request if they have completed a background check as part of company policy as well.
How do I prepare for moving day?
A move should be organized. You can do this by making a list and knowing what needs to be done during in each stage of your move.
When packing, label your boxes and have your portion of the packing done before the scheduled move. Keeping an inventory of boxes is a bonus. Start early and pack part of, or a room, a day.
Prepare all items that you are donating and have them picked up before your mover arrives.
Have a plan for all the refrigerated food items that you are not taking on the day of the move. Any remaining cleaning supplies that cannot be loaded on the moving truck will need to be donated or disposed.
Start a box to take with you and keep available during the move. Label “DO NOT LOAD ON TRUCK”. Keep all you financial, legal and medical records that you may need with you. These items also include birth certificates, passports, insurance and veterinary records.
Photograph all your specialty items, electronics (front and back – so that you know how to rewire). Consider that some moving companies offer installation services in case you need assistance reconnecting your electronics.
Arrange for your utilities to be turned off at your existing location and have them turned on at the destination. Set up trash service and recycling at new home and cancel at existing location.
Complete you’re forwarding address paperwork!
Prepare your pets for the busy day. It is best if you can to have a place for them to stay during this time that they may feel is disruptive and confusing.
Make sure you have backed up your computer.
Hire a babysitter – you will be happy you did and so will the little ones!
Drain the water hoses of the washer and ice maker.
Empty fuel in grills, lawn equipment and heaters.
Make a plan in case something goes wrong! It is always better to be prepared for the worst than to be caught off guard.
When Movers Arrive:
Have some cash on hand to tip movers, order pizza, run out for ice/drinks, etc.
You will need to show the moving team around your home so that they will know where they’re working and they will know what to do.
Consider sticking around to answer any questions they may have for you. Otherwise, just stay out of the way and let them do their job. Be a kind host. Consider having refreshing beverages and energy-filling snacks on hand or delivered onsite.
How to best get rid of my unwanted items?
There is no need to move what you do not use or what you no longer want. Make a plan to thin out your unwanted items before you have to pack them up.
Create an inventory plan of what to keep and what to get rid of when moving to a new home.
One easy way is to designate areas in your home to group the following:
Items you can sell quickly
Items you are giving away before your move
Donation pile for local charity (deliver or arrange pick up before movers arrive)
Items to put out for waste collection/recycle
What packing materials do I need and where do I get them?
If you are doing your own packing, you’ll need packing supplies and materials. There are a number of items you will find handy to have on hand such as:
If you are getting used boxes, make sure they are in good condition and pest-free. You will be able to purchase specialty boxes from your mover.
If you choose to use alternative packing materials be sure that it is ok with your mover.
Items such as buckets, bags, and baskets, clean trash cans, unused suitcases, dresser drawers, etc can be utilized. Optional wrapping items can be blankets, towels, comforters, newspapers, socks, pillows and sweaters.
Should I tip my movers?
As in any service industry, it is good to leave a tip for outstanding service. Make sure you plan for this in your move budget and have cash on hand the day of the move. You will want to show them your appreciation for a job well done. There is no tried or true formula to work from. What we have experienced averages about $5 per hour per person on moving team.
Post Move Question:
Should I recommend the moving company I just used?
With today’s consumers utilizing online shopping, we highly encourage movers to do online recommendations after a move. This not only helps the moving company that just provided you a service, but you also help other consumers shop for moving services. Be descriptive and think about the information you were looking for before you hired your mover.