When talking to people about their experiences with moving, we at ABC Movers, often hear the same problems. Most of these are related to disorganization while others are moving company complaints. After hearing about these issues from our readers, we decided to compile a list of the tip 5 things not to do when moving.
1. Don’t hire a shady mover
You must have heard horror stories related to moving scams, and some of you may have been a victim of moving scam in the past. Movers, similar to many service providers, operate at a variety of levels. Some are top-notch while others can turn out to be a nightmarish experience. It’s, however, easy to steer clear of all such shoddy movers.
Always research a number of movers prior to soliciting bids. Some credible sources to gather information about a particular moving company include the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), the Better Business Bureau, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Angie’s List-and even your neighbors, family members, colleagues and relatives. Going online to do your homework can save you a lot of stress on the day of moving.
Linda Bauer Darr, president of the AMSA states that since any individual with a truck and a proper website can claim to be the owner of a moving company, the industry is plagued with con artists who don’t stick to standards for conducts based on ethics and honesty.
The US Census Board states that on an average, people will move 11.7 times in their entire life, which adds up to a lot of packing, headaches and of course, hiring movers. Preventing moving fraud is not necessarily on you to-do lists before you make the move; however, it should be at the top of the list. In fact, moving fraud has become such a growing menace that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA has devoted a website to safeguard people. The FMCSA, which is a part of the Department of Transportation, has written a booklet titled “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,” which is particularly meant for inter-state moves. Get the copy downloaded by clicking here.
If you’ve done your homework well, you’ll be on your way to hire a reliable moving company that will make your move a cherished experience.
2. Messing up with the estimates
Moving expenses can often throw a monkey wrench in your budget if you don’t know how to handle it. Luckily, there are some straightforward techniques to assess the costs for packing and moving out.
If you take the services of a professional mover, you can always call them for an in-home estimate. However, if they refuse to do so, you should immediately start shopping around for another willing mover. Movers usually calculate the costs based on two determinants-weight and time.
For a longer move, it does not make sense for movers to charge by the hour. So, these professionals find out the moving expenses by weight. An expert from the firm will visit your home and analyze all the things that need to be moved. At this point, you need to be absolutely certain to show him all your belongings that need to be transferred to your new home or else he may mess up with the estimate. After carefully analyzing all your possessions, he gives you a written estimate of the weight of your boxes and furniture. The final weight of the truck will be the net amount you need to pay to the mover.
When it comes to local moves, companies normally charge by the hour. As a result, time is the most important determinant to estimate the moving costs. In this case, the mover will find out the distance between your old and new homes. They will take in the travel time and the number of hours required to load and unload your belongings. Hourly rates can be as low as $80 and can go up based on the size your city (in area) where you reside and the number of workers needed.
Along those lines, never depend on a single quote given by a mover. You should get at least close to 5 different quotes from 5 different companies and settle for a reliable one with a lower price tag. Ensure to get the moving estimate written by the mover.
3. Not packing ahead of time
It’s rare to find people who state that packing is amusing. A 2013 survey carried out by SpareFoot, found that individuals who had made a move in the past year admitted that packing and unpacking were really tumultuous.
You can keep off the stress by starting to pack much before the moving day. Start collecting boxes from your local retailers or find other means to get free boxes. Ask your relatives or friends who have moved recently for their kind help in this regard. Begin by packing stuff which you don’t require immediately-for example, if you are moving in the cold wintry months, pack up unwanted summer clothes to keep them out of the way. The best thing is to create a to-do list for your packing. It’s a wise idea to pack up one room or one area at a time; don’t try to handle everything at once or else you may go insane.
If you are tired to death of packing and need assistance, enlist your relatives, friends, colleagues or neighbors to lend a helping hand. Ensure to provide them with plenty of beverages and food as a mark of gratitude for their help. However, if you cannot manage to get free assistance, start hiring workers to do the packing for you-you pay a tiny sum to alleviate the stress related to moving.
4. Don’t pack unwanted stuff
Do you still require those old boxes containing baby clothes which you haven’t since for the last five years? When it comes to “editing” your belongings, ensure to know your options well: selling, donating and trashing. Items that are torn, unusable, stained or broken should be simply tossed out. Donating can be the best alternative for possessions like CDs, DVDs, old clothes, knickknacks, kitchen supplies and many other things which are no longer of value to you but may be of help to others.
If you don’t want to carry some of your big ticket items to your new home like electronics goods, an old sofa, try selling them. Perhaps you can organize a garage sale and clear the clutter. Label three boxes and keep them with you throughout the packing process so that you can sort items as you move ahead.
Remember to let go of sentimentality when parting with your goods. If the item does not hold your interest or lacks an emotional value, give it a grand farewell. Some thrift outlets like Goodwill and Salvation Army will be more than happy to pick up the goods you donate.
You can make good use of the internet for selling or donating goods. Post a status on your Facebook timeline and see if any of your acquaintances would like to purchase your items. If you don’t find any buyer, perhaps it’s time to try selling on sites like Amazon or eBay.
Decluttering is definitely tricky but an effective technique to make your life easier when the moving day approaches.
5. Don’t forget to check your insurance policy
If the mover accidentally breaks your expensive TV, who’s going to pay for it? In the end, you’ll be at a loss if you fail to do your homework well. After choosing your mover, ask them the details of the coverage much ahead of time. The insurance policies provided by most movers are based on the weight and value of your goods. For instance, the policy might reimburse you for 60 cents per pound of goods that are damaged, indicating that your costly but lightweight TV fails to get the entire coverage. If the insurance policy of the mover doesn’t cover your belongings, check your homeowners or rental insurance policy since some of these policies also cover moves. This way you remain protected.
If you want to get special coverage for your expensive items, consider purchasing a special “floater” policy, which fully covers your costly goods irrespective of their location when the damage occurs. This policy even pays for the item if it gets lost. You can also opt for higher coverage insurance through your company or pick another mover.