Every state has different rules about moving
California, the local moving company must provide you with a guaranteed
price before they begin to move. A guaranteed price (GP) is the exact amount a
company will charge you for the services they agreed to perform on the
estimate. This estimate must be in writing. Verbal estimates are considered
illegal. This law was passed in order to stop companies from quoting low
estimates over the phone and then charging you twice as much on moving day.
Once you have researched a few
moving companies and have received your estimates, you can compare the
GP of each estimate.
Hire the movers
not the company
If you chose a company without knowing any of its movers, ask the estimator to
provide you with the name of an experienced foreman and the "helpers" who will
be on your move. This is the #1 rule when hiring a
moving company: make sure you know who your movers will be on your
moving day. Use the names of the movers your friends, neighbors or estimator
referred to you. Make these movers part of your contract.
Size is important
The size of your van is very important. Make sure you know what size truck will
arrive at your house or apartment on moving day. Make van size part of your
Some local companies charge the same rate whether you arrange for a 50-foot van
or a 12-foot van to move your household items. Make sure your estimator has
allowed for plenty of empty space in your moving van. Since you are paying by
the hour, having to make double trips will add a lot of expense to your move.
You may want to contract for two vans to arrive on moving day if the size of
your van is limited for some reason, i.e. low hanging trees, narrow street, and
steep driveway. An extra van will help to speed your move up and may cost you
only a small fee.
Hiring the packers
There are three different ways to pack up your household items. You can do it
all yourself, have the
local moving company partially pack some of your items, or you can have
them pack everything. If you have anyone else other than the local moving
company pack your items understand that the local moving company is not liable
for any of the damage that occurred inside of the
boxes during your move.
If you pack yourself, begin packing many days prior to the move. It will waste
the mover's time and your money if they have to wait for you to finish up your
packing the day of the move.
Packing by the hour is a good choice if you have hired experienced, fast
packers. You can hire these packers the same way you hired your movers. Make
them part of your contract for packing day.
A good way to save money and also have your valuables insured on moving day is
to employ the company to partially pack your household items. Make sure your
estimate is clear on the items to be packed. The packers can pack all of the
breakable items such as china, glass, and ceramics. You may also feel safer
having someone with experience packing these items. You will pack the
non-breakable items that do not take much experience to pack such as books and
Choosing when to move
Picking the time of year, month and day of the week can be very crucial in your
move. Most people choose to move during the summer months when their kids are
out of school or during vacation.
Moving companies need to hire seasonal help to meet this increase in
moving. This means that inexperienced movers are often hired during these busy
months. This problem also exists during the end and beginning of each month
when everybody's lease is up, and on Fridays when people take off work. Also,
if your move should only take about half a day, hiring
movers for first thing in the morning is recommended.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the middle of the month are the best days to move
if you have not planned ahead. By Thursday, the best movers are getting tired
from the last three days of tough jobs and on Fridays, all the
good movers are usually allocated to the customers that planned ahead.
During a local
move, your cost depends on the amount of time moving. Make sure you
give your driver the most direct route to your new home. You may want to follow
the driver to ensure he doesn't take the long way. Also, be familiar with how
heavy the traffic will be during the days and times of your move.
Make sure you always have someone watching the movers while they are packing
and loading your items.
Make sure you are familiar with the neighborhood before the day of the move.
You want to make sure there is room for the truck in front of your new home.
Make sure you have warned the movers of any stairs they will have to climb, or
if there is an available elevator.
Let the mover know if there are time restrictions on when you are allowed to
move. Many apartment buildings will not allow you to be moving after 5 PM.
The building owner may ask the mover to see insurance certificates in case any
damage is done to the building. Make sure they have these papers.
Make sure you have all supplies that will be needed for the move. If the mover
has to go get more, your price will go up and time will be wasted.
Make sure all of the packing you are doing yourself is complete prior to the
day of the move. You don't want to have the moving company wait for you to
Make sure you have thoroughly planned out the whole move. Have you checked all
storage units for items that need to be moved? The less surprises for the mover