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.
Great communication and attitude, very prompt and took the time to properly assess what needed to be moved and to explain how everything would work. I acquired quotes from several moving companies and this one had the best price per volume. They intentionally overestimated the total volume, but said I would only pay for actual volume used. I like this approach as it makes things predictable and may end up saving money in the end.While ultimately I decided to move myself due to cost, if I had to hire a moving company to do it for me, this would be the one. Very professional!
I had an excellent experience with Universal. The crew was professional, friendly and worked quickly and carefully. They made sure that everything was secure in the truck. At offload, they took extreme caution to cover the flooring in my new place. My crew was a pleasure to work with. The timing and communication with the company was excellent. I was kept informed of arrivals at both the pick up and drop off locations. I couldn't have asked for a better move.
That was the best company ever! The relocation services they offered me were unmatchable. I had a team of dedicated and committed experts relocate me to Florida. The services I received from them were so great. Instead of the hectic experience that most of my friends talked about, I was about to relocate in such an easy and captivating way. I cannot wait to go through such an experience again. You can try them!
I hate disappointments and I wasn’t ready for one when I was relocating to TX from NJ. As such, I consulted on the best moving company to go with and a greater percentage of people suggested Universal Moving Services for long distance moves. I only got to realize why this was their preferred choice after the crew did an amazing job for me. The relocation was flawless and I will forever remain thankful to them. I am so grateful to Universal Moving Services for facilitating an efficient relocation to NJ from TX. They delivered at a reasonable time and had everything sorted out within a few hours. Every single property got to my new residence in perfect condition without even a scratch. I wish I could have known them earlier. Surely, they are the best.
We had to move on a tight schedule and worked with this company for packing and moving services. They emailed a quote after taking our inventory. The movers were very kind, efficient and punctual. They were patient while dealing with difficult spots. They were also very friendly, efficient and respectful of our things. It was a fantastic moving service overall, definitely I would hire them again and I suggest you hire them and you won’t be disappointed.
After retiring we were looking to downsize and save money. The problem was we had so many valuable memories attached to the furniture and keepsakes we decided to take with us. We looked at several different moving companies before finally selecting Universal Moving Services. Did we make the right choice? Absolutely! The arrangements were made with one telephone call. The staff was kind. They took their time loading and unloading, and, most importantly, nothing was broken. Everything was completed according to schedule. While I never plan to move again, I know the company I will call if I do move is this one.
Initial pickup was awesome. They handled everything with care and very professional. They would of had 5 stars if ... Once they get your load there is NO FOLLOW-UP, poor communication and they screen their phone calls. I was promised delivery 17 days worst case 21 days. I was giving an ETA of Jan3, Jan6 , Jan 10 and finally Jan12 @ 2pm. After several calls and emails to the company I finally got an email with the drivers number. After I called and asked for a someone in charged I was told by Taylor he would find out whats up with the driver and he would call me back. He NEVER called back. The next day the driver called me and gave me another ETA after my load was delivered I learned that the driver was a Carrier that was hired by the company and he was within his 21 day travel time so I couldnt complain to him. He was also very professional. This furniture was a birthday gift for January 6 so of course they missed the birthday surprise. I wouldnt be pissed if I was told this in the beginning when Abby set up my delivery which increase by $90 after my initial total. I asked Abby about the delivery time due to the birthday surprise and she said I would have my furniture in time. I want use them again for these reasons. The only way I will refer them to someone is if they do not mine waiting almost 30 days for there furniture.
Don't use - We were quoted 1600 to move a couch and small media center from a storage unit in Bishopville, MD to Brentwood, TN. So we had to drive 2 hours south from Wilmington to let them in unit. They called and said they will be there at 830am. They showed up at about noon in a big white truck with the company logo in sharpie(seriously you cannot make this up) and proceeded to tell me it will be 2700 to ship this couch and media center. So i went ahead and did it because i could not lose another day of work. They charge you how far they have to walk...50 yards on flat ground is more expensive than 150 yards into a large home. Go figure. Their manager and sale rep never even called us back. It was a total ripoff and very disappointing. I have never not tipped someone in 14 moves over the last 35 years. On the flip side, North American delivered on Christmas Day in Nashville and was a complete professional delivery. Universal got over on us, and thats fine. They won't get our office move, and they wont be getting referrals in the chamber of commerce in wilmington. Total sham.
I am so happy with Universal Moving Services for making my move go perfect. From the first time we contacted the company things were smooth. The salesperson was informative and the crew on move date was so professional. They were superb when it came to packing my valuables. The delivery was prompt. I would use them again. If you are looking for mover just hire these guys.
My previous moving company experiences were real nightmares compared to moving with Universal. They were really great with packing up my more fragile furniture, helping me put padding on all the antiques and bringing heavier items down the stairs that I couldn’t move myself. I moved from a fifth floor apartment in a building with no elevator, and they didn’t bump the walls once while bringing belongings down! I am very impressed with how efficient and friendly they were. It made my move significantly less stressful. Considering the good price and how smoothly the whole thing went, I would definitely move with this company again.
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.