We know — moving is no small task! Nor is it a cheap one. The American Moving and Storage Association estimates that the average cost of an interstate move is a hefty $4,300. You may be very tempted to move yourself! To save you time, energy and money, we’ve compiled our best tips for deciding HOW to make your upcoming move.
The more you can pare down now, the easier (and less expensive) your move will be. Go through your house, room by room, put everything in one of three categories:
- Give to charity/ garage sale/ craigslist etc.
- Move to the new place
While you are in this process, write down a list of your valuables and their estimated value. This list may prove useful if there are any problems down the line with your move.
This is not a one day job! Plan to spend at least a few days or weekends decluttering and paring down. If this task seems overwhelming, enlist the help of a professional organized who can help you with this task. We have some excellent people we can recommend for this chore.
PLAN YOUR MOVE
In planning your move, ask yourself and answer the following questions:
- How much are you moving?
- How far are you moving?
- Who will do the packing – you or the movers?
- What is your moving budget?
- Are there other considerations (is Grandma’s piano coming along)?
Even if you are almost certain you will be moving yourself, going through the estimate process is very helpful. It will help you understand costs, trade-offs and estimate the size of your move. We suggest you call two or three movers for estimates.
We have recommendations for movers we provide for our clients. Ask friends and family for recommendations as well. However, we always suggest you check anyone out through the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Consumer Reports or other sources for references.
Always ask for estimates in writing. Use this question list we’ve provided as a starting point.
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you licensed for out of state moves?
- What type of insurance do you carry? (workers comp, etc)
- How many people will you send for the move? (packing? moving? unpacking?)
- Is your crew bonded?
- What items WON’T you move?
- How long will it take for my things to arrive?
- What am I charged for (time, staff, mileage, packing materials etc).
- What kinds of insurance coverage do you offer and what are the costs?
- May I pack some items myself?
- Are my goods covered if I pack them myself?
- How long will it take to pack and unload?
- What time do you start and what time do you finish?
Review all moving estimates in detail and make sure you understand what each includes. Also, have an understanding of what costs may change during the actual move (for example, number of boxes used will drive the estimate up).
PRICE A DIY MOVE
By now, you should have a sense how much you have to move and how far you are going. It’s time to crunch the numbers for moving yourself. Calculate the costs of a truck rental, gas, mileage, insurance, additional equipment rentals, (dollies, etc.) and packing materials. Be sure to include your own time (will you need to use vacation days to move?) and energy will all be part in the equation. Where will your kids be during the move? Ask yourself if you’re comfortable driving and moving truck and doing lots of manual labor!
Industry guidelines tell us that a move over 500 miles will likely be cheaper with a professional; moving up the block or across town will be cheaper if you go the DIY route.
REVIEW YOUR INSURANCE
The insurance most moving companies provide is minimal and not adequate to cover the replacement cost of your goods. Make sure you understand what coverage each company offers. Also, many moving companies will not insure boxes you pack yourself. Be sure you are covered!
Also, place a call to your own insurance company. While some homeowners’ policies cover routine moving damage, many do not! Check to see when and where damages are covered – in your home, in transit, etc. Lastly, ask what your deductible is when filing a moving claim. You may learn that your deductible is higher than any anticipated losses. It is worth the extra money to be properly insured and have peace of mind as you begin your move.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We know that moving is NOT fun. We are here to help make the process smoother — before, during, and after your move. Reach out today if you have any questions or need a recommendation.
For more helpful articles like this one, sign up for our weekly blog roundup.