Friends are great, but let's face it: helping you move probably isn't number one on their list of "fun things to do on a Saturday." If you've ever tried to move by yourself, or even with the help of friends, you've probably wondered: How can I make moving easier? One great way is to hire a professional moving company.
Hiring a professional mover can make your day a whole lot less stressful, but there are still a few things you should know. We asked professionals for their best moving hacks to make the whole process easier, whether you're moving a one-bedroom apartment or a huge house. Here are their top moving tips and tricks.
Read Reviews Before Choosing Your Mover
Visit the Better Business Bureau to find out if your moving company has received any complaints. More importantly, if the BBB has received complaints, did the company resolve them? You can also check customer review websites. No company pleases every customer, but you'll get a feel for how previous customers have responded to the company. If you get negative vibes, look elsewhere.
Another way to find a good moving company is to ask for references. Your local moving companies should give you the names and phone numbers of previous clients so you can interview them. Ask about the movers' professionalism, speed, timeliness, manners, and carefulness. It's an easy way to feel more comfortable with your movers and to learn what you should expect on moving day.
Get a Moving Quote in Person
Some movers give estimates over the phone based on the information you provide, but this strategy will likely lead to a nasty case of sticker shock. When movers visit your home, they can view the number and size of your possessions as well as tour the rooms. You'll get a more accurate moving quote, so you won't run screaming from the bill once you receive it.
Additionally, an in-person meeting allows you to further evaluate the moving service. Do you feel comfortable with the representative? Does he or she answer all of your questions satisfactorily? Are you confident in this company's ability to protect your belongings and fulfill the contract? If you answer no to any of those questions, go back to your list of potential candidates and select another company.
Understand the Documentation
Writing for Consumer Affairs, moving-industry veteran James Murray stresses the importance of reviewing paperwork, getting multiple estimates, and checking documents before you sign them. Murray also advises consumers to ask for clarification if they don't understand clauses in contracts or are unclear about the specific services movers will provide. Industry jargon can be confusing, especially if you've never worked in this business, so don't just sign on the dotted line and assume the mover has your best interests at heart.
Keep Essentials in Your Car
Staying organized is always a good tip for moving out—and when you're using a moving company, it's even more important. Responding to a call for advice from AMWAT Movers, Manna Freight Systems customer service representative Christina Seelen cautions that even moving trucks break down. If that happens, you won't have your essential items unless you keep them in your own vehicle.
Love moving checklists? Here's a chance to make one: write down everything you cannot live without for more than a day or two once you arrive at your new home. This could include extra outfits and toothbrushes, medications, and pet supplies. You should also put important documents like birth and marriage certificates and passports on the list, as it's always a good idea to keep those with you.
Still have room? Your grandmother's antique silver and your collection of Imari pottery should find a home in your trunk. You'll feel more comfortable when your valuables are with you, and you won't have to worry about accidents.
Do a Walk-Through
Moving in a hurry? Don't skip this part. Jennifer Hoffman, who works for Atlas Van Lines, advises customers to conduct a final walk-through of the home once everything has been loaded onto the moving truck. Make sure you check kitchen drawers, bathroom cabinets, and hall closets, where Hoffman advises items often get left behind. You don't want to arrive at your new home only to discover that you've left your silverware or your winter jacket behind.
The walk-through also gives you a chance to note any extra cleaning you might need to do. Finally, take photographs of the cleaned-out rooms as you walk through them, and don't forget the bathroom and shower. You should also take pictures of the exterior of your home. That way, you'll have evidence of the home's condition, and the new owners can't claim you caused any damage when you moved out.
Hiring the experts will help ensure your move to your new home happens seamlessly. These moving tips will get you started, and we've got even more info in our blog, from protecting your electronics to budget moving tips to help you save your cash for the movers. With a good moving company and these tricks from our insiders, you're sure to have a smooth move.