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.
My husband and I just had a HORRIBLE experience with PODS and I would not recommend anyone use them. We moved across the country and were given a quote, which is how we decided to go with this company in the first place. Once we gave them the location where we would want the POD delivered they said that it would have to be transferred between franchises and that would lead to additional costs. This turned out to be OVER $1,000 in additional fees that we were not expecting. They said it was because we were moving outside of their delivery zone, but we had explicitly told them the area we were moving to when we originally got our quote. They said they would review the calls but we would have to pay upfront and then there was only a small chance we would get our money back. We decided to get a U-Haul, drive to the POD location and just get all our stuff out. I feel like we were totally scammed. Beware the fact that each POD location is a franchise, and if you say that there was a mistake they'll just blame it on the other location and say there is nothing they can do.
WORST MOVING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.Hired these idiots to move me from Ann Arbor to Milwaukee. After everything I went through with them, I guess I'm the real idiot.Every single step of the move was handled incompetently, except for the sales pitch. 1. Did not confirm pick up date or time and instead showed up at my door at 8AM unannounced (while I was still sleeping).2. Scratched the walls terribly while moving my furniture out.3. Had a generous 1 week delivery timeframe and overshot that by 2 weeks. TWO WEEKS. I started a new job in Milwaukee and had to buy all new work clothes because I had nothing to wear.4. Everyone I talked to at Morse kept giving excuses and misinformation instead of being helpful and trying to fix any of the above issues (or they just didn't return my calls). I eventually called the Allied Van customer service line directly (after being told by a Morse customer service employee in a snotty tone "I'll give you the number if you want, but they won't be able to help you.") The Allied Van customer service people were actually VERY nice and tried to be helpful, but by the time I called, there was nothing they could do to speed up my delivery.5. Did not reimburse me for any of the additional expenses I incurred due to the 2 week delay in delivery. It is "against their charter" to accept delay claims for shipments under a certain weight. I moved everything in a 1 BR / 1 Bath apartment - so apparently if you're not moving a whole house, you're screwed.6. Here's a fun kicker - I just got a call today from them asking if I wanted my TV uncrated, which I did - TWO MONTHS AGO when I moved in. The employee who called to ask about it said in explanation that "there was a note in the file that you were going on vacation and would call back later."This is hilarious because A) I just started a new job and definitely had no plans to go on vacation, and B) I actually did call them twice to uncrate the TV, with no response and so I just figured out how to uncrate it myself.All this cost me almost $4000. Again, to recap - WORST MOVING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.
DISHONEST MOVER. NO STARS!!!Our sales rep was great but things went horribly wrong from there. Moved from Michigan to Colorado; two days before move Morse said "oh by the way we don't have a driver, no big deal." BIG deal to me. On moving day they took my stuff (moving guys were unprepared to pack the large artwork the sales rep said they would pack) and since no driver was available put it in THEIR storage facility. My homeowner's insurance only had a 10 day window to insure my stuff so I had to pay an extra $380 to Morse for insurance (that smells fishy). My stuff arrives 3 WEEKS later, driver says according to his paperwork not all my stuff was loaded on the truck! How do they let that happen? I made a list of missing property and sent it to Morse; they say they're looking for it. No communication from them unless I request an update, but fast forward a couple months: They say I have to fill out a claim form, which I did; then nothing from them for a couple more months, now no one will return my calls or emails, even the VP. I file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, which prompts Morse to send me a letter saying the misplacement is MY fault and have a nice day. I document back to them their paperwork shows my shipment was incomplete and should never have left the warehouse like that, and no response. I'm going to have to sue them.
Choose a different mover. The estimate for my move was for less than half the time that was clocked by the workers. A crew arrived late after unloading a different truck when my job was supposed to be an 8-hr job. 14 hours later the men were obviously tired and didn't put disassembled furniture together completely. They left at midnight and a second crew returned on Monday and still didn't put everything together. We felt that the estimate was dishonest and that the workers were being asked to do too much by doing a second job the day of our move. I am very upset and still haven't found all the items that should have been in the delivery, as everything is disorganized and the move occurred 15 days ago. I should have gone with someone who was personally recommended to me and should have read the reviews you have here. My BIG mistake!!!
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.