Choosing a moving company
Choosing a moving company shouldn’t have to be such a daunting task- is it too much to ask to ensure your items are protected and treated with care? Moving can sometimes require a large investment of time and money, so selecting the right company is a vital step to your move. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask as many questions as possible- the more you learn ahead of time, the smoother your move will go. So whether you decide to use 4 Friends Moving or one of our competitors, keep in mind these important questions and tips. After all, we specialize in keeping your move simple and stress-free, so please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or concerns.
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Things to Consider When Getting Moving Quotes
How does the company charge?
It is important to use a company that charges by the hour rather than by the piece. Also compare hourly rates, but don’t choose based solely on price, be sure to consider all aspects of the company. Lastly, do they round the time used to 15 or 30-minute increments?
Are there any extra or specialty charges?
Most companies charge some type of service charges for fuel, travel time or equipment. If they don’t, then they most likely build this cost into their hourly rates. Other charges could include extra for stairs or large items, i.e. pianos or TVs.
Do they offer free estimates?
While it can be easy and efficient to book your move over the phone, don’t be afraid to ask for an on-site estimate. This type of estimate is beneficial for larger houses or if you have a lot of specialty items (artwork, large furniture, etc).
What type of insurance covers my items during the move?
Almost all moving companies are bonded and insured, but that doesn’t always guarantee your items are covered. The standard coverage is 60 cents per pound per item. This means if your ten pound piece of art worth $500 is lost or damaged, the moving company is only responsible to pay $6.00 in reimbursements. This is why it is so important to choose a trusted and reputable company.
What are acceptable forms of payment?
A moving company must provide at least two payment options to their customers. Do they hold a deposit? What if I cancel?
Who will be handling my items on the day of the move?
Does the company use their own employees or hire day labor or temporary help? It is important to use a company that uses their own employees who are familiar with moving and handling fragile items on a daily basis.
What am I responsible for on the day of my move?
Do I have to provide any particular supplies? Can I see the contract ahead of time so I know what I will be signing? And always save their phone number in case you have additional questions during the move.
How can I save time and money?
An honest and good moving company will be willing to provide any help you need in order to save you time and money.
Moving and Packing Tips
Pack an overnight bag that you bring with you in your vehicle. Be sure to include medications or any other basic needs. It is also wise to pack a box that contains all of your important and personal documents (passports, social security cards, checkbooks, etc) to bring with you.
Donating or selling unwanted items ahead of time allows you to have less stuff to pack and move, therefore less stuff to worry about on the day of your move.
If you are downsizing or moving into a temporary home, use a storage facility to store items you won’t be using. Be sure to separate which items are going to each place so that they can be loaded into the truck in a proper order.
Purchasing packing materials in larger quantities can save you money. And most vendors will buy back or allow you to return any unused items. Some even sell used boxes at a discounted price or offer rental boxes. Boxes, tape, bubble wrap and shrink wrap are the basic necessities.
Make sure you seal the bottoms of boxes with tape before you load items into them. Then once they are full, be sure to seal the tops. This helps prevents items from falling out of boxes during transit.
Color code or number boxes. Label which rooms the boxes belong in and what type of items are in the box. Use clear bins for the items you will use most immediately at your new home.
Pack dishes and fragile items in double-walled boxes. Packing dishes vertically in the box also helps protect them.
Use large wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes or other last minute items. Shoes can also go in the bottoms of wardrobe boxes.
Shrink wrap can allow you to bulk boxes or small items together for easier moving. It also helps to protect furniture and keep it clean.
Remove all hard and fragile items from dressers, clothes and linens can stay. Again, be sure to shrink wrap the drawers in the dresser so they don’t shift during transit.
Photograph electronics and other items before you take them apart. Pack cables and electrical items in the box with their devices so you know which items go together. Tape small hardware pieces to items which they belong.
If you are moving locally, hire a sitter to help watch children and pets during the move.
Defrost refrigerators or any other appliances to room temperature at least one day ahead of time.
Benefits of Using a Local Moving Company
When a moving company is locally owned and operated, you get hands-on service every time. A local moving representative should be able to meet you for an in-home estimate and your moving crew doesn’t waste time driving to and from your job. You don’t want a management team that is operating from a different city or state. Even a franchise can be “locally owned” but has to follow rules that may not pertain to your local area.
Using a local moving company means that you are using a company that is familiar with the geographic area. They know streets, where their trucks can go, traffic patterns, etc. They even become regulars at some apartments and condo buildings. There is also a very minimal commute time so they can get to your home on time and start the job early. There is no getting lost or getting stuck in traffic.
You give back to the local economic community when you move with a local moving company. That money you pay helps support the local economy and literally stays within your community. Taxes paid by that business to the local government also help boost the economy. Its a win-win for everyone involved!