When is the best time to move?
The busiest times for moving companies are during the summer months, May 15 – September 15. At the end of these months, the volume of shipments is extremely heavy. This is the case for all professional relocation and moving companies.
Take all the factors into consideration when deciding on the best time for you to move. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, provide the moving company with a five-day window for loading your shipment. This will allow the individuals who schedule the drivers and moving crew members greater flexibility when scheduling your move. If possible, be flexible with your destination timeframe as well. Keep in mind that you most likely are not the only shipment the truck is moving. If you stay flexible, it should make a difference.
How do I select which moving companies will provide me with a free moving estimate?
Determine if you need a full service moving company. Research local, national or long distance moving companies. Ask your neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members if they can make recommendations. Investigate each of the movers you select with the Better Business Bureau. Good service is the best measure of a good-mover!
When should I begin contacting moving companies for free moving estimates?
Try to provide the moving companies with as much notice as possible, especially if you are moving during the busy season as noted above. Six weeks from the actual move date is not too early for estimators to come into your home to complete what they refer to as a “visual survey of your household goods shipment.” Add even more time to make a decision if you are obligated by your employer to submit moving estimates for a corporate relocation. Try to decide whichmover you will use four weeks from your actual load day. Call the mover to confirm your booking and schedule your packing, loading and delivery dates. This timeframe can be shortened in the off peak season which is September 15 through May 15.
One word of caution that can save you a great deal of trouble on loading day. Get rid of all items you do not plan to move. Otherwise, there may not be enough space for your shipment. This will not occur on one or two small items, but if you anticipated eliminating an entire bedroom suite and do not do so, it is quite possible that this could violate the integrity of your binding estimate and/or cause the driver to run out of space.
Pricing and Paperwork:
What is a binding estimate?
A binding estimate is a contract that specifies, in advance, the precise cost of moving based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional moving services are requested or required at either origin or destination, the total cost will increase.
What is a non-binding estimate?
A non-binding estimate charges you according to the actual weight of your shipment and the actual cost of the moving services that are performed. You will still go though the estimating process to determine what your shipment may cost.
To verify the weight of your shipment, the driver will weigh his trailer prior to loading your shipment. Once your shipment is on board, the driver will weigh his trailer again. All other moving charges will be calculated at your origin address. If there are any additional charges that are incurred during the delivery process, the driver will provide you with the additional cost. This is a rare event, but it may occur.
How is the cost of my shipment calculated?
If you are moving to a new state, the charges are based on the weight / Cubic Footage of your shipment. These are referred to as the transportation charges. There are a variety of different moving charges that could appear on your estimate, so be sure to ask your relocation specialist to explain each charge for you. Some of the additional charges that may appear include packing, crating, valuation or coverage, bulky article charge for over-sized items, and extra labor. Again, be certain you understand these charges so that you can accurately compare the estimates you receive.
What is an order for service?
All movers are required to prepare an Order for Service before they transport your shipment. The order for service provides you with written confirmation of the moving services that you requested to be performed in conjunction with your shipment. It lists the agreed upon dates for the pickup and delivery of your shipment and the amount of valuation that you requested, along with any special services that you ordered and a place and telephone number where the mover can contact you during the move.
The order for service also shows the charges that you will be assessed for your household move or corporate relocation. If you are moving under a non-binding estimate, the order for service will indicate the amount of the estimated non-binding charges, the method of payment for the charges and, in case the actual charges exceed the non-binding estimate, the maximum amount that you are required to pay at the time of delivery to obtain possession of your shipment (you will have 30 days following delivery to pay the balance of the charges due). If you are moving under a binding estimate, the order for service will show the charges that you will be required to pay at delivery, based on the binding estimate and the terms of payment. You and your mover must sign the order for service.
What is a Bill of Lading?
Every mover is required to prepare a bill of lading for every shipment transported. The bill of lading is the receipt for your goods and the contract with your mover for their transportation. The driver who loads your shipment must give you a copy of the bill of lading.
It is your responsibility to read and understand the information on the bill of lading before you sign it. The bill of lading identifies the mover and specifies when the transportation is to be performed. It also specifies the terms and conditions for payment of the total moving charges and the maximum amount required to be paid at the time of delivery if you are moving under a non-binding estimate. Information regarding the valuation of your shipment and the amount the mover will be liable for in the event of loss or damage is also shown.
Can I pack anything in the drawers of my dresser or desk?
All loose items must be packed in boxes to prevent loss or damage while moving. It is recommended that you pack all items and leave the drawers empty.
Will the driver load all the boxes that I packed?
Yes, as long as the driver deems them safe for transport.
How should I pack my waterbed?
Waterbeds need to be drained completely. Fiber-filled waterbeds need to be professionally vacuum-drained in advance of your moving date.
Can I pack and move my plants?
Most moving companies will not take your plants. The stress and heat of being inside the moving trailer usually causes them to die. Many states do not allow the entry of plants while other states will admit plants under certain conditions. There are some states that have no regulations at all. Be sure to understand your state’s regulations prior to moving the plants in your own vehicle.
What should I do with my jewelry and other valuable items?
Items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, antiques, and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided that you notify your local moving representative of these items before packing and moving day. It is strongly recommended that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you or make other arrangements for their transport.
In the moving industry, items worth more than $100 per pound are considered to be articles of “extraordinary” value. To be assured that a claim involving these articles is not limited to minimal liability, complete and sign your mover’s version of a high-value inventory form. Also be sure to sign the “Extraordinary (Unusual) Value Article Declaration” box on the Bill of Lading.
Each mover has a slightly different procedure to follow as it relates to high-value items. Ask your relocation specialist to provide you with an explanation of the company’s process. This is a confusing but important task, so make sure that you clearly understand the rules prior to load day.
How do I prepare my appliances for moving?
Appliances such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators must be disconnected, and the washer must have a stabilizer installed. Again, your estimator can help you understand how these items are serviced. All local moving companies have business relationships with local service providers that handle this type of service. Full service moving companies and national moving companies will also be able to provide all of the moving services you require. Be sure you know who your mover will be using as you will need to let these people into your home to provide the service.
How will you protect my upholstered furniture?
We use a special material called stretch-wrap. It is a heavy, clear-plastic wrap that protects your furniture from being soiled.