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What is involved in residential moving?

The process of residential moving can vary depending on the type of move.

  • A full service move is when a company provides packing, shipping, storage and unpacking services while
  • An economy or self-move includes only labor to pack and load your furniture,
  • Local moves are for those who live within 100 miles from their current residence and
  • Long distance moves are for those who live over 100 miles from their current residence.

Will most movers come to my house and give me a cost estimate?

Yes, most companies will come to your house and give you a cost estimate.

However, some professional movers may use a formula of how many hours it should take to move your furniture which is based on the number and size of your moving boxes and the amount of furniture.

For example: if each box is estimated to take 1 hour to load, and there are 5 rooms with furniture in each room, then it should take 20 hours total at the rate of 1 hour per box.

Will I get an itemized list of my belongings before being loaded onto the truck?

If you are using a company that provides full service moving, you should receive an itemized list of items being shipped 3-5 days before the move.

This will help you to go through your belongings and remove anything that is not necessary for transit.

What happens on the day of the move?

In general, a moving company will have two separate crews on the day of your move: one to load and one to unload. When loading, each room will be individually packed by a crew member using a variety of supplies such as boxes, specialty paper and wardrobe bags that are designed to protect your belongings.

Once a room is packed, an inventory of all items in that room will be taken at the same time. At this point, you'll receive a copy of the list to keep for your records. It's important to note that if there are any discrepancies between inventory and what was loaded onto the truck , it's up to you to negotiate on the extras.

Once packed and inventoried, your belongings will be secured for travel and placed onto the truck.

At the first stop of the day, all items will be off-loaded into an unload zone depending on how far you live from that site. Then those same boxes and bags will be reassembled in the new location.

At the second stop of the day, you will receive a chance to re-inspect your belongings along with an inventory list for your records. This process is repeated until all items have been moved in and unloaded at the final destination.

How do I prepare my home for a move?

There are several things you can do to prepare your home for a move.

  1. First, you'll want to bring all of your items into one room and then re-arrange them into their new placement in the new house so when the movers get there, they'll have an easier time placing furniture in its proper spot.
  2. Second, if you have any valuables or large, fragile items, you should label them accordingly with a number on each end to ensure they're all accounted for.
  3. Third, if your new house is still under construction or renovation and doesn't have carpeting yet, you may want to clear the floor of any debris that might cause damage such as screws or nails.
  4. The last thing you'll want to do is clear away any furniture that will be in the way of packing and moving crews. If this includes large appliances, you may want to consider unplugging them and marking that they need to be turned back on at the new house.

What type of insurance comes with a residential move?

A full service moving company provides $0.60 per pound, per item coverage. If an item should become damaged beyond normal wear and tear during the move, you can file a claim for compensation. Keep in mind that movers are only liable for the first $0.40 per pound unless an item is listed as “FRAGILE” on your inventory list which increases the liability to $0.60 per pound with a maximum liability of $5,000.

How will my belongings be protected during a residential move?

Your residential movers will take specific measures to ensure your items are safe for travel.

After being inventoried in one room, your furniture and loose belongings will be wrapped in quality moving blankets or pads to reduce any scratches, dings or tears.

Then the items will be placed into corrugated moving boxes which are sturdier than standard cardboard and taped securely closed for further protection.

Next, all glassware including vases, trophies and flower pots will be wrapped in bubble wrap to keep them from breaking due to shifting during transit.

Last, any valuables will be placed into wardrobe boxes to keep them out of harm's way.

Will the movers take my beds apart?

Depending on your full service moving company, most can take apart and reassemble beds for an additional fee.

To reduce stress on their backs, the movers might need to have a few strong helpers around to lift heavy pieces during the disassembly and assembly process.

Typically this includes box springs, sofas, dining room sets and bunk beds.

Will movers reassemble anything taken apart when delivered to my new home?

Depending on your full service moving company, some will only move the items but not reassemble them.

For example, beds are typically disassembled for safety and to make them easier to transport since they take up a lot of room.

If you want your movers to put it together and attach the headboard and footboard, you may have to pay for this service.

If your furniture is not built with screws or bolts, then it's held together by dowels, drawers and hook-and-eye closures which are simple enough to assemble without additional help.

Should I rely on movers for fragile items?

As a general rule, you should not rely on movers for fragile items since they do NOT cover breakage.

You may want to label your most valuable items as FRAGILE with the number 1 and anything less valuable as FRAGILE 2 or 3, etc.

However, as said before, movers are only liable for $0.60 per pound and a maximum of $5,000 so it's best to rely on your own insurance coverage for breakage or complete replacement if necessary.

Moving companies provide their own insurance which covers items for only $0.60 per pound but excludes breakable items such as:

The movers will gladly take fragile items with them but you'll need to provide your own insurance coverage to protect against breakage or replacement.

How will a full service mover transport my piano?

For a piano move, you might consider hiring a professional piano moving company since they have specialized equipment and expertise for large bulky items.

Depending on the weight of your piano along and the distance, you may need to get a quote from the piano mover first before getting your full service moving company involved.

If you do use your movers for this type of move, they will usually bring an extra set of hands along since it can be difficult to maneuver such a bulky item.

Will I need anything beyond standard moving boxes?

If you don’t have enough standard moving boxes, then your movers will charge a small fee to deliver additional cardboard boxes.

Otherwise, since the moving company provides furniture pads and blankets at no extra cost, you shouldn't need any other special packing supplies.

Is it better to pack your own items in boxes or have the movers pack them?

It really depends on your movers' policies.

For example, one company may include packing services in their quote but another might charge extra for it.

In general, most movers will allow you to pack your own items since they're responsible for them from start to finish including during transit and delivery.

However, if you choose to pack your own items, make sure you label each box correctly.

If the movers are responsible for packing, they'll usually do an excellent job of it since their livelihood depends on the well being of your belongings.

What extra costs should I expect when moving?

Besides standard moving fees which cover minimum hourly rates, fuel charges, travel time, packing services and more, here are some other extra costs to consider:

  • Piano movers
  • Heavy furniture
  • Furniture blankets or pads
  • Additional moving boxes
  • Wrapping or shrink-wrapping service for larger items

When is the best day of the week to move?

Typically, movers charge a premium for weekend service since they have to make up for lost time by working on their days off.

Unless you absolutely need weekend service due to work schedules or other reasons, Monday through Friday is usually the least expensive option.

Is it more difficult to move over the winter holidays?

The winter holidays are known for delayed shipments, not delays due to weather.

However, if your move is over the holidays, you may want to ask the moving company about their holiday service guarantee or policy since there's always a chance of unexpected delays.

If you're moving during this busy time of year and need guaranteed delivery before January 1st, you should request a guaranteed date of delivery either during or after the holidays.

Should I give movers a tip?

Although movers don't expect a tip, many will accept one if you feel they've done an exceptional job.

However, when in doubt about whether or not to tip, ask the company representative overseeing your move.

How do I find a reliable moving company?

To begin your search for an experienced and reliable residential mover , it's important to note that you should never hire someone off the street or pull a business card from a fish bowl.

Instead, you should consult the Better Business Bureau to see how many complaints, if any, a company has received in the past year or so.

Next, check with your state's Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure they are properly licensed and insured. If not, move on to another company for your peace of mind.

Additionally, you may want to reach out to your state's Attorney General and inquire if any has been filed against a company within the last three years.

Finally, don't forget to read online reviews from previous customers or ask for references before hiring any mover.