The process of moving from one home to another has become synonymous with random images of cardboard boxes filled with all kinds of things, muscular men lifting and carrying around all types of heavy stuff, and of course – the faithful moving truck parked outside, with its loading ramp down, hungry for furniture, boxes and whatever else is on the menu that day.
Whatever images you tend to see in your head whenever you hear somebody talk about moving house, or every time you read about residential relocation on the Internet, you should know that the moving process is much more than what most people think it is. And if you just make the effort to understand just how moving companies work, then you will have a tremendous advantage the next time your chosen path in life takes you on a long distance move across the country.
What do movers do in general?
To really understand the relocation process itself, you will first need to gain a better understanding of what moving companies do to help you and your household items get from Point A to Point B quickly and safely. It’s not too complicated to figure out what moving companies do in general – they offer a variety of relocation services to the people who need them, and then, similar to all service providers, movers charge homeowners or renters for those moving services when the house move is completed.
It all may sound kind of straightforward at first but the way full service moving companies do their business can be, at times, pretty fascinating. If you’re willing to take a closer look at the way moving house works, you may be surprised at the tons of work moving companies have to take care of behind the scenes to make your move a reality.
In-house surveying, cost estimation, issuance of moving estimates, pre-move booking, juggling of busy schedules, provision of moving services, maintaining of online reputation and customer satisfaction – these are only one tiny part of what moving companies do to keep things running smoothly and keep their valued customers happy at the same time.
See also: What is full service moving?
Moving cost calculation
As you can imagine, it often comes down to how moving companies calculate costs and how much movers charge their customers.
- How do moving companies calculate costs? Top-rated moving companies will send a relocation specialist to your home to complete a visual survey and assess a few things of great importance: 1) the approximate weight of all the things you intend to move (How do movers estimate weight?), 2) the packing challenges their packers will face – antiques, pianos, pool tables, etc., and 3) any possible Moving day problems – long flights of stairs, out-of-order or missing elevators, narrow hallways, tight doorways, and so on.
- How much do moving companies usually charge? Long distance movers (interstate movers) will charge you based on three major factors: 1) total weight of the shipment to be moved, 2) the mileage (move distance) to your new home, and 3) the number and nature of additional services you request – packing, furniture assembly and re-assembly, temporary storage, etc. (How much do cross country movers cost?). On the other hand, local movers will charge you on an hourly basis (per hour and per mover), depending on how much time and how many helpers they need to get the job done. (How much do local movers cost?)
- Do movers provide free moving estimates? Of course they do. Once the visual survey is over, the moving expert will prepare a moving estimate with the approximated moving costs you are expected to incur. Your moving quote should also contain all the additional services and their respective charges so that you can reach an informed decision. (Binding estimate vs. Non-binding estimate)
- Can you negotiate with moving companies? Absolutely! No moving price is set in stone. Look for various ways to move house for less money, and don’t skip the step where you contact your future relocation partners and ask for ongoing promotions, special offers, various discounts – just about anything that will lower the final moving bill. (How to reduce moving costs?)
Professional moving services
Considering the huge competition in the moving industry and the constant struggle for more customers, especially during the off-season, the range and quality of the services a moving company offers to their clients is what sets apart the great movers from the mediocre or even bad ones.
- Do moving companies pack for you? They will, if you want them to. Obviously, quick and safe packing is the number one extra service that movers have in their arsenal of magic tricks to please their customers. If you don’t have much time until your move-out date (emergency or last-minute moving) or if you own a number of special items that require professional packing (antique furniture, a piano, or a hot tub), then your choice is clear. Professional packers will arrive at your home with all the necessary packing supplies too! (Should I hire professional packers?)
- Do moving companies disassemble furniture? If they have to do it, they will do it. In fact, there are a number of reasons why some of your furniture may need to be taken apart for moving: 1) some large pieces will not go through narrow doorways, hallways or staircases unless they are disassembled, 2) other furniture pieces will have highly breakable glass elements or delicate ornaments that can only be saved if packed separately. Professional movers will come with the right tools and proper moving equipment too! (Will movers disassemble furniture?)
- Do moving companies store your stuff? Most of the reputable and trustworthy moving companies offer the additional service of placing all or part of your household items in storage until you are ready to receive them. Keep in mind that that extra service can literally save you a lot of troubles when you’re in the middle of a house renovation project, when you’re still looking for a new home but have to move out of the old one, and when you have to do a temporary move and have no other place to leave your stuff. (What not to place in storage, and why?)
Top-rated full service movers
In a highly competitive industry where moving companies do whatever they think is right to secure more moving jobs by winning more customers, there’s only one winning formula for them to guarantee a constant flow of clients – high quality services at affordable prices.
To make sure they won’t get out of business, smart moving companies rely heavily on their online reputation (happy customers leave positive reviews), word-of-mouth advertising (“Mike, which mover would you recommend?”), and their informative websites and network of partners to get more quality moving leads (How to buy moving leads?).
And, instead of wondering exactly what moving companies do, the more fitting question will be “Are moving companies worth it?”. The sheer dedication and professionalism that some top-rated full service moving companies show is a reason enough to chuck the brave and ambitious idea of moving by yourself (unless you’re moving just across the street or across town) and find yourself a great mover that won’t disappoint you in any way.
Things will be much easier for you now that you know what movers do and how they do it. Hopefully, when you end up hiring a moving company you can trust, instead searching for good ways to survive your DIY moving day, you’ll be wondering what to do while movers are moving your things the way only true professionals can.
Read more: How to find cheap movers near me?