What Moving Supplies Will You Need? »
Are you making a move soon? Get a breakdown of the moving supplies you'll need to stock up on, and learn about how to land free bo…
Are you making a move soon? Get a breakdown of the moving supplies you'll need to stock up on, and learn about how to land free bo…
Looking for information about how to move to a new home? Learn the steps you need to take for a successful transition.
Moving to a different state is a complicated process. Find out what you need to know to stay organized and hire the best moving company for the job.
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When I needed a moving company to move my daughter to downtown Philadelphia, I figured I’m screwed. I mean the average person ‘moves” what, maybe 3 or 4 times tops in their lifetime? So why the hell should they care if I’m a ‘satisfied customer’? So I Googled, “moving comp...moreany”, “Philadelphia”, and got exactly what I expected. EVERY “moving company” website looked the same. And then I saw this: Mambo Movers - Philadelphia's premier movers, local artists and musicians. OK, at least something different, not exactly what I had in mind, ‘local artists and musicians’. I guess I had ‘local weight lifters’ or ‘local ex-bouncers’ in mind, but what the hell, I’ll take a look. OK, so I’ll call. Spoke with Serge, described on the site as “mover emeritus / graphic manipulator” and he looked normal in his photo so I figure I’ll give it a shot. Short and sweet conversation, “yes we are available March 3rd”, “yes we will move the contents of your daughter’s 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in West Chester to a 3rd floor apartment in Center City in Philly, “our rates are simple; 20 foot truck, 3 guys, all padding, etc $117 per hour”, “you pay with cash, money order or certified check at the completion of the move”, nothing up-front, no contract, “when we say we’ll be there, we’ll be there”. Checked the Better Business Bureau, A rating, BBB Accredited, so I gave Serge the OK and held my breath for 2 weeks. We got a call from ‘Nelson’ on March 3rd saying that Mambo Movers would be there in 1 hour. Everything was packed and ready to go, I was just praying they were too. The doorbell rang and here it was, an ‘artfully adorned’ 20 foot moving truck and 3 of ‘Philadelphia's premier movers, local artists and musicians’. And my fears were realized, not a bouncer or weight lifter in the bunch, hell the 3 of them combined didn’t weigh as much as my daughter’s dining room table. Nelson, the crew leader introduced himself and his crew, Victor and Jeremy. I pointed out that everything was packed and in the living room and dining room and all bedroom furniture was packed and up stairs. As I was laying out my ‘ground rules’ to Nelson; “everything is boxed and packed” and to “be careful with the wood furniture” and….. I turned around as Victor buzzed by us with 3, yes 3 Home Depot “Large” packing boxes ON HIS BACK followed within 5 feet by Jeremy with 3 Home Depot “Large” packing boxes on HIS back heading to the truck. I stood stunned for a moment BECAUSE, while packing, I had made sure that no one packed the Home Depot “Large” packing boxes too heavily so they could be carried INDIVIDUALLY . Here I should say that I am 6 foot 1, 235 lbs and was college football player. None of these guys, NOT ONE weighed over 160 lbs. soaking wet and they were carrying 3 of the boxes that I had determined were of the proper weight to be carried INDIVIDUALLY! OK, so here I had to get my bearings, I’m still in charge here. Nelson then stated, “This will be a piece of cake, we’ll be done in an hour and a half, you guys did a good job packing”. An hour and a half, are you kidding me? OK, so Nelson was wrong, it took Nelson, the video producer, Victor the art show coordinator and I forget what Jeremy does, 1 HOUR and 20 MINUTES to load the truck and get on the road! I won’t bore you with any more details but in the end my daughter paid Mambo Movers about $250 MORE for this move than if we had rented a 16 foot Uhaul, moving pads, a dolly, gas and mileage charges AND DONE ALL THE LABOR OURSELVES, which wouldn’t have been possible. I’ve never written a recommendation for anyone, in my 60 years, but Mambo Movers deserve it. view less
Olympus Moving and Storage were great from start to finish. I found Olympus Moving and Storage on Google when I was planning my move to Portland, OR. The reviews were positive, so I decided to take a chance. I was glad I did! David Kline, my relocation specialist, did a g...morereat job of helping me plan the move, explained the process, and provided an accurate estimate up front that I felt was very fair. We planned my move as a two-day move, with a pack on the first day and the actual move on the second. On the packing day, the packing crew arrived, professionally dressed and on time, and after introducing themselves and my signing the paperwork, they immediately got underway. I was totally floored by how quickly, carefully and expertly they could pack a large filled residence. What would have taken me a month, they did in about 8 hours. Everything got plenty of protection, padding, paper, blankets, stretch-wrap, etc. They were conservative and used extra materials to make absolutely sure my fragile stuff would be safe. Every single one of them worked nonstop, diligently and with care. I don't know where they get the energy - I was exhausted just watching them! David had arranged in advance for my couch, bed and a few necessities to remain unpacked until the next morning, so I didn't have to get a hotel room. Very cool! On the moving day, the same crew arrived, again professionally dressed and on time, and they got underway immediately. Again, I have no idea where these guys get so much energy. Without any delays, they carefully and expertly moved all my boxes, furniture, everything out to the truck, and were very careful in the way they packed the truck and where they put certain extra-fragile items. In no time at all, my residence was empty! When Olympus Movers arrived to my new house, the moving crew did an expert job of moving all of our stuff in. They set up the bed, helped us move furniture where we wanted it, super helpful! I felt that everyone at Olympus Moving and Storage did a very professional job throughout my move, from David Kline, who managed the whole experience and made it go smoothly from beginning to end, to the crew lead, who expertly led the packing and moving, to the packers and movers who packed and taped and moved the boxes and furniture. This was a hassle-free, relaxing and pleasurable move at a fair price - an extraordinary value. view less
Okay, Olympus Moving and Storage were amazing! These guys are the BEST! I've moved countless times in my life and have used many different moving companies both local and nationwide. I've had my share of bad service from a moving company and I had a few good experiences t...moreoo, but nothing compares to the great experience I had with Olympus Moving and Storage. I filled out the estimate form on Olympus Moving and Storage website first and did a guesstimate on my inventory as they have a form where you can input the number of armoires, desks, lamps, tv's, etc. It is a little hard to do as the terms don't always match up to exactly what you think you have, but if you search and take your time you will find something close enough. If you inventory correctly, I guarantee everything will be easier. I missed a few things along the way and ended up paying $100 more which was very acceptable given the situation. I got an email response in about 10 minutes and then Natalie called the next day to confirm the date and time and the entirety of the move. I then got two more email follow-ups and a call a day before conforming again. I was confident going in that it would be easy, but there is always that random panic that you will get the lazy crew on your given day. The truck showed up right on time with four guys. If you want a crew that will work the whole time until the move is done and never complain, ask for Kayum's crew. They figured out the options for remaining items that did not fit anywhere, they took care of getting the clothes in the wardrobes and the moved, without one complaint, question or disturbance, a lot of furniture down two flights of stairs and into the truck. Packing and loading took about 7 hours and unloading took about 3 hours and not one time did any of the movers do anything that was not completely helpful. I could not have been more satisfied with my move and the moving crew and company as a whole. In order to have a great move though, you have to generate a rapport with the movers, interact with them and be nice in my experience. I would be shocked if you were disappointed with Olympus Moving and Storage.view less
Every move is different, so it's vital to choose a moving company that's right for you. The first consideration you should make when hiring these professionals is how far you're moving.
Depending on the moving company, local moves are typically anywhere between one and 100 miles within the same state. Local moves are less complicated to plan, both for you and the movers you decide to hire. They're typically priced based on how much you need to move, how many movers the company plans to provide and how long the job is estimated to take.
Long-Distance and Interstate Moves
Even if you're staying in the same state, you may still technically be planning a long-distance move - though the exact mileage varies by moving company, these are typically moves that are more than 50 to 100 miles long or across state or country lines. In fact, even if you're moving within the same state but you have to go through another state or country first, it's likely considered an interstate move, rather than a local one. That's because the movers are technically transferring items between state lines, which means they'll be responsible for having the correct licensing and insurance in place.
Long-distance moves are much more complicated to plan, typically requiring you to pay numerous extra expenses for everything from shipping items to renting storage space.
Are you making a big move and trying to figure out exactly how much you should plan to spend? Or are you on a tight budget and looking to hire a mover who can keep costs low? Either way, it's important to understand how exactly moving companies charge their customers.
As mentioned above, for local moves, companies will charge based on the number of movers they provide and the amount of time they'll need to spend on the project. Generally, the more rooms in your apartment or house, the more movers and time you can expect to be charged for. The price of long-distance or interstate moves, on the other hand, will be based on the amount of belongings you have - and more specifically the weight of those belongings. The heavier the boxes or items you're shipping across state or country lines, the more expensive your move will be.
Moving costs will vary greatly, depending on where you are. Local moves in a small town in the Midwest will be much less expensive than comparable moves in New York City. For that reason, it's best to do some research about the going rates in your area.
No matter what type of move you're making, you can reach out to prospective moving companies for estimates - this is the best way to determine how expensive your move will be based on where you live and what services you're looking for. Typically, the moving company will send someone to your home who will do a walk through of each room, making note of the furniture, valuables and other belongings in each one. Then, he or she will provide an estimate. The exact amount you pay may, however, be different from the amount declared in the estimate. That's where the type of contract comes in.
Nonbinding vs. Binding Contracts
For any move, a company will ask you to sign a contract. It's crucial to know exactly what type of contract you're signing, though, to understand how much you can expect to pay. In basic terms, there are two types of moving contracts: binding and nonbinding. Binding, as well as binding not-to-exceed, contracts are the most preferable for people hiring movers. These list an estimated price the moving company cannot charge more than. So, even if your local move takes an hour longer or your belongings are heavier than expected for an interstate move, you're still only responsible for paying a fixed amount.
Nonbinding contracts, on the other hand, have no fixed final number. Instead, they list a rate - by the hour or by the pound/kilo - and you're responsible for paying exactly how much your move costs in those terms.
Keep in mind that movers provide a variety of services, many of which you may not require. These can affect how expensive your move will be. For example, a full-service move that includes packing and unpacking will be pricier than a local move that only includes loading the truck, driving it to the new home and unloading it.
For any move, there may be extra costs beyond the typical services offered. If you're asking your movers to transport large, hard-to-move items, like pianos, for instance, you'll likely pay an extra fee. Likewise, if your apartment building doesn't have an elevator or the truck has to be parked far from your home, you may be charged extra. Ask about these potential expenses when signing your contract.
Don't rush through the process of hiring a moving company. Make sure the movers you hire are dependable, reputable and the right fit for your needs.
Look for Reviews and Recommendations
When hiring movers, it's a good idea to both look at reviews online and ask your friends and family members for recommendations. Personal endorsements will go a long way toward helping you determine whether you can expect the company to do a quick and professional job.
Choose Top Candidates
As you're vetting candidates through reviews and recommendations, narrow your selection to three or four top options. Make sure the companies offer the type of move you're looking for, whether it's interstate or local. These three or four companies are who you'll contact for estimates.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
After receiving estimates, you'll have a better idea which companies are within your budget. However, this isn't the only factor you should use when choosing movers, especially for more complicated jobs. In fact, you may be willing to pay a little more to hire quality movers who can ensure the safety of your belongings. Don't be afraid to call these companies and ask questions.
During the hiring process, you want to make sure of three things: First, that the moving company is reputable and has the proper licensing and insurance. Second, that the movers are dependable, professional and committed to doing the job correctly. Finally, that the estimate provided is binding and that you're aware of any potential excess costs. With these factors in mind, here are some of the most important questions to ask a moving company:
As with any service profession, there are certain moving companies - though they are few and far between - that aren't reputable or that will try to take advantage of you. It's important to be able to recognize a scam if you come across one.
Call the FMCSA
For long-distance or interstate moves, you can easily check that companies have the proper licensing and insurance, which is a clear indication that they're legitimate. All interstate moving companies must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, so call 888-368-7238 to confirm the licenses, insurance and credentials of the movers you're considering. The FMCSA can also tell you if any complaints have been filed against a particular moving company.
Check with the American Moving and Storage Association
For both local and long-distance moving companies, AMSA is another good place to check out a company's legitimacy. Moving companies aren't required to be an AMSA member, but the ones that are have committed to the association's rules and regulations, which protect both the companies and the consumers hiring them. If a company isn't an AMSA member, that doesn't mean it isn't reputable, but an AMSA membership is a clear indication of legitimacy.
One of the most common fears people face when moving to a new home is that something they own will be lost or damaged in the process. While no company will be able to guarantee everything arrives safely, there are steps you can take to make damage less likely.
Pack and Transport Your Valuables
If you have items that are emotionally or financially valuable to you, do your best to pack and move them yourself. Keep jewelry, expensive artwork, inherited valuables and even costly electronics in your own car - that way you'll have complete control over their safety at all times.
Choose a Moving Company That Plans Ahead
Moving companies can better keep your belongings safe when the movers plan ahead. What does this mean? Many companies take extra time to measure doorways, halls and stairways to find the safest route in and out of your home. They should also provide furniture blankets, covers and moving pads to keep both your home and your belongings free of scratches or other damage.
Keep the Moving Area Safe
There are some things you can control on moving day and some things you simply can't, such as the weather. If you're moving on a snowy, icy or rainy day, keeping all of your paths, stairways and walkways clear and dry is crucial. This can help protect both the movers and the large items they're carrying to and from the truck.
The subject of tipping is relatively unclear when it comes to movers. However, there is a general rule of thumb that most people in the industry agree on: Tip your movers if they've done a good job and you think a tip is warranted.
Generally, a 5 percent tip is considered appropriate, though some people recommend paying $20 per day, per mover for basic, local moves. However, almost everyone agrees you should first do a quick walk-through of your home to check for any damage to your furniture or belongings and to make sure everything is where you'd like it to be.
If you do decide to give a tip, divide it evenly and give money to each individual, rather than giving the entire sum to the head mover and expecting it to be doled out equally. One type of tip to avoid: alcohol. It's usually illegal for movers to have bottles of alcohol in the truck or van, so tipping a bottle of wine or liquor could get them into trouble.