If you’re moving, you probably have a lot of concerns—and a lot of expenses. The last thing you need are surprises when it comes to your moving estimate. That’s why you need to hire an experienced and reputable moving company who will help you find ways to cut down your moving expenses, and who will give you an accurate estimate of what those expenses will be.
How to Find the Best Company for Your Move
The first thing you need to know is that not all moving companies are created equal. Some are experienced, reliable and ethical—others aren’t. According to Consumer Reports, for example:
“Some moving companies quote lowball prices and then, once the move is underway, hold their customers' property hostage until they pay much more. Others demand substantial deposits and then don't show up, says Katherine Hutt, a spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau.”
The good news is that you can find the best company to help you move by simply doing a little homework. You can, for example, verify their credentials (including their carrier number from the Department of Transportation) and read online reviews and complaints.
You should also check out their website—the best movers are often recipients of recognized awards—like the Pinnacle Mover Designation Award and the North American Quality Award—and will often post these awards on their site.
How to Understand the Factors of Your Moving Costs
Many factors affect the cost of your move. For example, what you pay will be based in part on things like the total weight of your belongings and the distance to your new home. There are several other factors, however, which will affect the amount of your moving estimate, including the following 6:
- Packing and crating costs: Remember, you’re paying your moving company for their time. Obviously, they’ll need more time if you ask them to pack your belongings. You can save money by packing some or all of your belongings yourself. You can cut costs further by disassembling large pieces of furniture rather than having the mover do it for you. Finally, you’ll pay more for specific kinds of packing and handling. For example, if items like artwork or a grandfather clock require crating, your cost will be higher.
- Poor access to your pick-up or drop-off location: If your current or future residence is in a location which prevents access for a large truck (for example, because of a narrow road or a weak bridge), your movers will need to find another way to get belongings out of your old home or into your new one. For example, they might need to use smaller vehicles to gain access. In this case, you’ll need to pay the mover a shuttle fee.
- Stairs or long walking distances: The cost of your move will also be higher if there are very long stairs (or multiple stairs) which they need to carry your belongings up or down. You might also have to pay a long-carry fee if the distance from the moving truck to the entrance of your residence is greater than 50 feet.
- Narrow doors or hallways: If some of your items don’t fit through the door or down narrow hallways, a rigger might be needed to hoist them inside through a window. In this case, you could be assessed a hoisting fee.
- Storage fees: This is one of the most common reasons for increased costs. If you need to store some or all of your belongings at the carrier’s warehouse because your new home is not ready to be occupied, you’ll need to pay an additional storage fee.
- Time of year: Summer is the busiest moving time of the year, which means that moving in the summer will cost more. You can save money if it’s possible to time your move from September to May. You’ll also pay more if you move on a national holiday or on the first or last day of the month (this is because rental agreements typically expire at these times, which means more people move then).
Moving companies don’t get a reputation for honesty, reliability and trustworthiness by accident—they earn it by helping their clients, giving them guidance and working hard to earn that trust. The most important thing you can do to ensure a safe move and lower your costs is to identify the kind of moving company which cares about you and your family and will work hard to ensure your complete satisfaction.
To learn more about our residential, office and corporate relocation services, contact us today.