Browse our frequently asked questions for answers to the most common moving questions.
The busiest times for moving companies are during the summer months, taking place roughly between May 15 – September 15. Near the ends of these months, the volume of shipments is extremely heavy—this tends to be the case for all professional relocation and moving companies.
It’s important to take all factors into consideration when deciding on the best time for you to move. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, providing the moving company with a five-day window for loading your shipment can be greatly beneficial. This will allow the individuals who schedule your drivers and moving crew greater flexibility when scheduling your move. If possible, try to be flexible with your arrival time frame as well—keep in mind that you most likely are not the only shipment the truck is currently moving. Offering a flexible time frame can make a world of difference, and make your entire process of moving much easier.
Your first step is determining if you need a full service moving company. It’s a good idea to research local, national, and long distance moving companies— ask your neighbors, friends, coworkers and family members if they can make recommendations. Investigate each of the movers you select with the Better Business Bureau. Good service is the best measure of a good mover!
Try to provide the moving companies with as much notice as possible, especially if you are moving during a busy summer season, as noted above. Six weeks from the actual move date is a great time frame for estimators to come into your home and complete a visual survey of your household goods shipment. It is also a good idea to add even more time to make a decision, in the event that you are obligated by your employer to submit moving estimates for a corporate relocation. Try to decide which mover you will use at least four weeks from your actual load day. Additionally, call the mover to confirm your booking and schedule your packing, loading and delivery dates. This time frame can be shortened if you are moving outside of the peak moving season (September 15 through May 15 are considered “off peak” months, which generally feature less moving traffic).
The relocation specialist will arrive at your home to complete the visual survey of your items. Once this is completed, he or she will calculate the weight, packing cost and any other charge related to your move—please remember that the relocation specialist must clearly see what you are moving in order to provide you with an accurate estimate. Crawl spaces, attics, and cluttered closets can often be deceptive, so organize your house well before the relocation specialist arrives.
Don’t be alarmed—it is normal for a relocation specialist goes through all of your cabinets and closets, or even looks under beds and on top of cabinets. He or she must be able to completely see what is moving and possibly needs packing. If you know of items that are out of view, be sure to point them out to the relocation specialist. In addition to this, if there are items you will be eliminating, be sure to point them out as well.
One word of caution that can save you a great deal of trouble on loading day is to get rid of all items you do not plan to move—otherwise, there may not be enough space for your shipment. This will not occur on one or two small items, but if you anticipate eliminating an entire bedroom suite and do not do so, it is quite possible that this could violate the integrity of your binding estimate, or cause the driver to run out of space.
A binding estimate is a contract that specifies, in advance, the precise cost of moving based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional moving services are requested or required at either origin or destination, then the total cost will increase.
A non-binding estimate charges you according to the actual weight of your shipment, along with the cost of any moving services that are performed (you will still go through the estimation process to determine what your shipment may cost).
To verify the weight of your shipment, the driver will weigh his trailer prior to loading your shipment. Once your shipment is on board, the driver will weigh his trailer again. All other moving charges will be calculated at your origin’s address. If there are any additional charges that are incurred during the delivery process, the driver will provide you with the additional cost (although this is a rare event, it can occur in certain cases).
All loose items must be packed in boxes to prevent loss or damage while moving. It is recommended that you pack all items and leave the drawers empty.
Yes, as long as the driver deems them safe for transport.
Items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, antiques, and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided that you notify your local moving representative of these items before packing and moving day. It is strongly recommended that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you, or make alternate arrangements for their transport.
In the moving industry, items worth more than $100 per pound are considered to be articles of “extraordinary value.” To be assured that a claim involving these articles is not limited to minimal liability, complete and sign your mover’s high-value inventory form. Also, be sure to sign the “Extraordinary Value Article Declaration” box, if applicable, on your Bill of Lading.
Each mover has a slightly different procedure to follow as it relates to high-value items. Ask your relocation specialist to provide you with an explanation of their company’s process. This is a confusing (but important) task, so be sure that you clearly understand the rules prior to load day.
Appliances such as washers, dryers, and refrigerators must be disconnected, and the washer must have a stabilizer installed. Again, your estimator can help you understand how these items are properly serviced. All local moving companies have business relationships with local service providers that handle this type of service, however full service moving companies and national moving companies will also be able to provide all of the moving services you require. Be sure you know who your mover will be using, as you will need to let these people into your home to provide the service.