Now that you’ve signed the lease for your dream apartment, it’s time to plan your big move. The first major decision you’ll have to make while planning your move is whether you’d like to hire professional movers or just move all of your belongings by yourself (if only teleportation were a thing). If you have a strong network that’s willing to help, you might not even need to hire movers. However, it’s important to note that there are a wide variety of movers offering services that range from helping you move a few of your heavy pieces of furniture to packing and moving everything you own (bubble wrap included).
If you’re thinking about hiring movers, it would behoove your move to consider the following tips.
1. READ REVIEWS AND GET REFERRALS.
Ask people you know and check online sources to find potential movers to hire. There’s a good chance some of your friends, or friends of friends, have moved in the past year or so. See if they hired movers to help them. Would they recommend that particular moving company or service? Both positive and negative experiences will be helpful in narrowing down your options. Also consult online resources like Yelp, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, or even do a quick search engine result for “best movers in (your area)” to get a list of local moving companies that reviewers have used.
2. RESEARCH YOUR OPTIONS.
After you’ve read plenty of reviews, be sure to check out your potential moving companies’ websites. See if they have any complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau or if they’ve recently changed the name of their company. Know what prices are considered the standard for different services in your area based on what you can find online or have heard from others. You won’t know the exact cost of service until you get an estimate, but it can still be helpful to have a range in mind to budget for before you pick up the phone.
3. DECIDE WHO’S PACKING.
Determine whether you want to pack your belongings or if you want the moving company you hire to do it. Prepare to purchase packing supplies if you want to DIY. Make sure the moving company you ultimately want to hire offers packing services — don’t box yourself in with small miscommunications.
4. DETERMINE WHAT SERVICES YOU NEED.
What kind of help are you looking for? Decide whether you’re seeking a few extra hands to assist you while you move your belongings or if you’d prefer a full-service moving company that comes in, packs your stuff, transports it, and unloads it (one and done!). Keep in mind that the more services or time you opt for from your movers, the more expensive hiring movers will likely be.
5. GET ESTIMATES FROM MULTIPLE MOVING COMPANIES.
Call each of your top choices to determine a baseline for how much each company charges. Some companies might even be willing to negotiate if you mention that a similar company quoted a more competitive rate for the same job. Either way, it never hurts to have multiple options to choose from.
6. WHAT TO ASK WHEN HIRING A MOVING COMPANY.
Know exactly what you want to ask each of your potential moving companies. Here are some sample questions you might want to ask them:
Do you charge an hourly or flat rate?Do you typically handle local or long-distance moves?What additional services do you offer? (E.g. packing or storage)Do you offer insurance options?How many workers are usually in a moving crew?Are your employees trained or certified in any way?Do you hire subcontractors?Where might I incur additional fees? (E.g. heavy items, multiple levels of stairs, or gas for the moving truck)
7. EVALUATE YOUR ESTIMATES.
When you’re comparing each of the quotes you were given, don’t only consider the cheapest price. Think about which company offers the best value for the services provided. Also, consider who inspires the most trust. Trust is, of course, a must.
8. BE AWARE OF ANY RED FLAGS.
The following scenarios may give you pause when considering hiring a particular moving company:
They demand payment before performing any services.They have plenty of negative reviews online.They are not licensed or insured.
9. LEARN MORE ABOUT MOVING INSURANCE.
There are several different kinds of moving insurance. Get familiar with each of the following:
Standard protection. This kind of insurance is required by federal law. Standard protection insurance is free and based on weight, paying up to 60 cents per pound of a damaged item. This is not particularly useful if expensive, small products are damaged.Full value protection. This kind of insurance has to be purchased. Full value protection requires the moving company to pay the current market value for the damaged item’s replacement, replace the item themselves, or pay to have the item repaired.Separate liability insurance. When you opt for separate liability insurance, it pays for the amount of insurance you purchased minus the standard protection amount the moving company pays (see subsection 1, up to 60 cents per pound of the damaged item).
10. BE FULLY PREPARED ON MOVING DAY.
If you’re renting a truck separately and hiring movers strictly to help move some items, make sure your truck is ready to go before the movers are set to arrive on moving day. The same goes for packing if you’re doing it yourself. You don’t want to be scrambling, trying to pack last-minute boxes while the movers are emptying your apartment. Moving day is stressful enough already — plan ahead.
Hiring movers to help out with your move to a new apartment can be a huge relief during the moving process. Reputable moving companies ensure you stay focused and efficient on your big day. Follow the above tips to ensure the moving company you ultimately hire is a great one that puts you at ease rather than under stress. Get moving, renters!