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.
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 experience. I moved from Sterling Heights to Rochester Hills. Our crew was great and very professional. They protected our home with pads and all of our furniture as well. Very happy!
Guy came out to the house and gave us a quote. Then my wife and I talked it over, since it was $2000. We decided to go with White Star, so we made the reservation to have them move us. The big moving day came and they NEVER SHOWED UP!!!!! They "had no record" of our reservation. We had less than 48 hours to be out of our house and they were NOT able to do anything to make up for their HUGE mistake. We called Morse Moving and the had a team of 4 out to our house in less that an hour. DO NOT HIRE WHITE STAR. If you want it done right call Morse Movers!!
I hired Designed To Move for a simple 3 mile move, and it has been an absolute nightmare. The owner stated I needed 3 movers for a 2nd floor condo, when other moving companies were quoting me for only two movers. Given Designed To Move's Groupon offering, the cost ended up being about the same, so I elected to go with 3 movers for extra precaution. Unfortunately, the very thing I was paying the movers to avoid – damaged belongings – is exactly what I was left with. I was also charged a full additional hour for going over 20 minutes. The company has done nothing to remedy the situation. I would not recommend Designed To Move to anyone. The crew showed up half an hour late, and damaged a significant portion of my belongings. I ended up with a dented stainless steel fridge door, broken granite on kitchen backsplash piece, big scratch on a wood desk, veneer peeled on TV stand, a dented armoire corner, and worst of all, they scratched my wood floors on my new home with the refrigerator. I have a home inspection report which shows NO damage to the wood floors, before anything was in the house, however, the moving company refused to acknowledge that they did the damage. The owner came to my house to inspect the damage, stated he would pay $.60 per pound on the fridge (which does not cover even 1/3 of the cost of a replacement fridge door), and told me to glue my granite, and color my floors, TV stand, and desk with a wood repair marker! This is a high-end custom home, and the solutions presented are simply unacceptable! It has been over 5 weeks since the move, and I still have not received any compensation for the damage incurred. Totally unprofessional.
White Star's owner Kerry, does not care about customer service. The movers lost 4 of my boxes which totalled $1400.00 and he has refused to even talk to me about the loss. I trused Jason and his crew and no one cares after the move what happens to the customer. I now have a dispute going with Mayflower Movers and my credit card company. Maybe they will listen to my complaint. Shame on White Star Movers and Kerry Lock
Awful! We hired for a move to Florida. They left behind our bed and kitchen table. After paying over $9000 we slept on a mattress on the floor and they couldn't have cared less. Wouldn't take my calls, had the girl who answered the phone lie and say that people in charge were not available. Couldn't even give me a concrete time frame for the other items to be shipped.It wasn't until I called WDIV, that we received a call from the driver 9 days later to tell us he would be at our house in a few hours.White Star does NOT value their customers or care about providing quality service to make sure their customers are satisfied. They can't even pick up a phone to say, "We are sorry!'.They just want your money and don't care about you after that!
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.