After making the decision to move the next important task will be to find a good mover. Recognize that moving is a huge undertaking and not a job for the faint of heart or the unfit. Hiring a moving company, while more expensive than a do-it-yourself job, may indeed be money well spent.
As you begin the process of choosing a mover you should consider the following:
- Reputation of movers
- Size of your move
- Distance of your move
- Time frame for the move
- Full service vs. select service
- Payment options
Reputation of movers
When you want to find a good mover you should find out what other people say about the movers that they have used in the past. Your friends and acquaintances are a great resource. Nothing beats a reference from a satisfied customer.
Other resources where you can find good movers and information about their reputations come from local consumer advocate groups such as the Better Business Bureau. Inquire about good movers, complaint records and see how complaints were resolved to give you insight so that you can choose two or three prospective moving companies and invite them to bid on your job.
When scouting for prospective movers it is completely acceptable to ask for references. A good mover will be only to happy to oblige.
Once you have two or three suitable moving companies selected, give them a call and ask for an estimate. Many companies are willing to provide this service at no charge. It is wise to become involved in the estimating process by meeting with the movers in order to provide answers concerning the relocation process. The more the mover can see and learn about the job, the more accurate the estimate. Make sure that you ask each prospective mover how long the estimate is valid for and make sure that the estimate is not binding until you are ready to sign a contract for the job.
Be sure that you alert the mover to unusual situations on either end of the move in order that the estimate can reflect these issues and be as accurate as possible. It is important to know things like how many stairs are apart of the move or if an elevator will be involved and knowing its size and possible usage restrictions. Is there long term and convenient parking available for unloading? Might there be size or weight restrictions that the mover needs to be aware of at either end? By knowing these things a good mover will have advice for you as well as make sure that you will not be caught off guard by frustrating moving day glitches and aggravating extra charges.
As a precautionary measure it is wise not to invite anyone into your home for a cost estimate until you have performed a background check. Take the time to protect yourself and your family as well as your possessions from unfortunate circumstances by ensuring that your estimator is a legitimate mover.
Size of your move
An important aspect of your move, as you consider the services of a good mover, will be to determine the size of your move. You will need to know what items you will be moving. This is an ideal time to downsize all those things that you haven’t used in the past 2 years. Decide which items can be sold, which can be given away and finally what should be thrown away. What is left is that which will be making the move with you. Size is a factor that will influence the cost of your move. A good mover will be able to assist you with tips that can help you determine parameters for the size of your move.
Distance of your move
The distance between where you start your move and where you end will certainly be a huge determining factor in the price. The estimate for a move across town will be very different from one for a move to a new city, province/state or country. Also be aware that certain movers are across town specialists while others focus on longer moves and still others on relocations to other provinces/states or countries.
Time frame of your move
Time – there’s never enough of it to go around but with good planning you can make the most of the time you have. You need to remember that when it comes to moving time is money.
Be sure to start your search for a good mover at least eight to ten weeks prior to your move. If your move needs to take place during peak moving times like month ends, holidays or through the summer months then it would be wise to give yourself even more time to secure the services of a good mover. Be aware that a move during peak season will cost more. If you have any control over your moving date try to choose an off-peak time frame.
An advantage when choosing to move using the services of a good mover is that they will carry insurance to protect your cargo while they are responsible for it. Be sure to ask questions about the coverage for loss or damage to your goods should that situation arise. Also ask about claim procedures. Make sure that you provide accurate descriptions and monetary worth for your property including items of extra-ordinary value. By being familiar with the insurance policy and guarantees offered by a good mover you will lessen the chance of having a dispute over a settlement should you find it necessary to make a claim.
Full service vs. select services
Good movers offer a menu of different services. It is up to you to decide which services best suit your needs for the move at hand. A full service move will include everything from packing your goods at one end to setting up your furniture in your new home at the other end. Of course such a move is very expensive and is often a perk of a corporate relocation where your company picks up the moving tab. A more economical and common option is one where you do the packing and the movers do the heavy lifting and moving. A good mover will be able to secure moving boxes and packing materials for you at a good rate. They will also provide you with information about how to pack as well as give you size and weight limits for your boxes. Good movers may also be helpful with advice on other matters relating to your move as well. They may be able to provide recommendations on the services of storage facilities, realtors, insurance agents, mortgage providers and relocation specialists.
A good mover will offer a variety of payment options. When you are choosing your mover ask questions about how you can pay and when the payment is due. Most good movers accept credit or debit cards and/or personal cheques. They may also offer cash on delivery payments.
Remember that moving can be a stressful event. To reduce the stress factor and ensure a smooth move you will want to choose a good mover based upon reputation, level and variety of services offered, competitive pricing and insurance coverage. Make sure that you thoroughly question and understand exactly what your mover can and will do for you and what it will cost. By doing research well in advance of your move you pave the way for an untroubled transaction.