Best Moving Checklist and Tips »
Staying organized on moving day is key, and planning is a big part of it. Keep this checklist handy before and during your move to keep things stress-free.
Staying organized on moving day is key, and planning is a big part of it. Keep this checklist handy before and during your move to keep things stress-free.
Moving takes a lot of planning, and that includes knowing what your moving rights are. Read on to find more about your moving rights and what you can do to prepare.
We've put together a small list to get you started on your journey -- and the first step starts with a single box.
This move was really supposed to be a nightmare. We were moving from our 3-bedroom mansion in VA to the new 4-bedroom bungalow in NH. It was a mammoth task moving all our belongings and it had to be a pro like Suburban relocation system which could handle it. I had heard of them before as their reputation surpasses them. When I called them, they seemed quite unmoved by the amount of work involved in this move. At first I thought they didn’t quite grasp the magnitude. But I was proven wrong by the movers. 7 guys arrived sharp on time ready to pack up all my stuffs the day before the actual move. It took them 8 hours to carefully pack everything. These men were like machines. They only took a lunch break in the middle. The next day, they arrived early and loaded everything onto 4 vans. I was given quite a big window for the delivery but luckily they delivered everything on the first scheduled date and everything arrived at NH safely. I couldn’t believe how easy my move turned out to be in the end.
I could not be more impressed with the service I received from Focus Movers. Josh, Nate, and Brian were the gentlemen that moved me. They were professional, they hustled, and when you hear yes ma'am and no ma'am from 3 young gentlemen in business it is hard to believe in this day and time and these guys stepped up and represented your company more professionally. I was not expecting the uniform, the total organization, and come courtesy that I received. I will highly recommend your company and would not think twice about asking personally for these 3 guys to move me if I ever move again. And would also suggest to my employer as well. I am in a management position and would hire these guys in a minute. I hope that you recognize Nate, Brian, and Josh personally and professionally.!! Thank you, Krista Farmer
I had a great experience with Suburban relocation system! Their sales rep was extremely helpful, honest, and professional on the phone. Since I was flexible with my moving date, he let us know what would be the most inexpensive day to move! He also checked in frequently in the days leading up to moving day to see if I had any questions, and to confirm timing, addresses, etc. On moving day, the movers actually arrived 15 minutes EARLY (I saw them waiting outside patiently). There were three movers who came to shrink wrap my furniture, load it in the truck. I was really nervous it wouldn't all fit, but they all assured me that it would all fit no problem and it did! They handled all of my items with great care, and I am very happy with how easy and stress-free they made the day.
I hired Suburban relocation systems last month and my experience with them is okay. They moved my belongings from Baltimore, MD to Boston, MA. They arrived half an hour late but that was not a big deal. The men were very experienced and showed great efficiency in packing and loading all my stuffs. I have a lot of breakables and they crew took special care in packing those. The same level of efficiency wasn’t in display when they delivered everything to Boston. They were 3 days late and I had to sleep on an air mattress for 3 nights. They did apologize several times and I think I forgave them when I found out that all my stuffs made it to Boston unbroken or undamaged. I feel like this company could still improve in some areas but they are almost there to the top league.
I was looking for a mover who would treat my valuables with respect and delicacy. Suburban relocation systems did exactly that. The company was referred to me by a family friend. When I called them, they seemed very polite and helpful. I got the idea that this company isn’t like the others. So I gave them the responsibility to move my belongings from Washington, DC to Columbus, OH. They performed so efficiently. The crew arrived on time with broad smiles on their faces. Nothing was too big or too heavy for them. They tackled every obstacle like they knew it would be there. I was very impressed seeing how friendly these men were. They assured me the safety of my valuables. They delivered everything in great condition to Ohio. I have only good things to say about them.
Suburban relocation systems did such an amazing job moving our belongings. We hired them after a friend gave them a glowing recommendation. My husband is quite fussy about moving companies. He has trust issues clearly! But he felt much more confident after talking to the company on phone. They seemed friendly and reliable. The real proof came during the move. The movers were all very experienced and they wasted absolutely no time. Their packing skills were amazing and they carried everything with ease. They were literally in and out of our house. We couldn’t believe how fast they finished the job. It must have saved us a fortune. The delivery was made sharp at 9:00 am on the scheduled date. All our valuables traveled excellently and we couldn’t be happier.
This company really surprised me at how transparent their operation was. I hired Suburban relocation systems 4 days before moving to Columbus, OH from Baltimore, MD. I was so thankful that could squeeze me in on such a late notice. They sent a crew of four men on the moving day that arrived 30 minutes early. Before they got to work, they explained to me exactly how they billed so there would be no surprises at the end. I really appreciated their gesture. They men were very efficient at packing and loading. They were done with my 3-bedroom apartment in just under 2 hours. I think I saved a lot of money for how efficient and fast they were. My belongings were delivered on time and nothing suffered any damage. I was over the moon.
Suburban relocation systems made our move look too easy. This company is legit and they take their work very seriously. The van pulled up at my doorstep right on time. Punctuality is always very impressive. My impression about them only got better when I saw how efficiently they worked. It took them just under 3 hours to finish the whole pack and load process. Each piece of my valuables was packed with such great care. The four men wasted absolutely no time sitting around. They didn’t even ask for a break. They delivered everything on the first date set for the delivery. An old mirror was broken during the move but that’s it. Everything else traveled very well. I couldn’t have imagined a smoother move.
I live in a high rise building and if a tenant is moving out, he has to notify the manager beforehand. Then the manager gives you a time slot to use the elevator. When I called Suburban relocation systems to move my stuffs from Washington, DC to Dover, DE. I notified them of this issue. Their crew arrived exactly on time and since it was the first appointment of the day, they were all very charged up. They had a 2-hour window to pack and bring all my stuffs down from my 11th floor apartment. They finished in 1 hour and 45 minutes. My manager said that he has seen many movers but never has he seen such efficient ones. I had to pay them the 2-hour minimum though and frankly I was quite happy to do so.
It was such a last minute rush! Our move couldn’t take place at a worse time. It was the last weekend of August and all the moving companies were booked months ago. After literally pleading to Suburban relocation systems, they finally accommodated me in a late afternoon slot. I was just grateful that they were not charging me extra for it. Anyway, the movers were amazing. My old apartment was just bad! The movers quite efficiently maneuvered through the narrow hallways and had no issues with the stairs. The van was really big. But the movers really utilized the space well. The made the delivery the next day so I didn’t have to hire any storage. I am just so relieved now that I have moved!
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.