Using movers for the first time can be a bit tricky simply because you’ve never used the services of a professional moving company until that moment. You don’t really know what to expect from the relocation pros – you’ve heard people say that moving services are expensive and you’ve also heard about nightmare-like relocation stories and the presence of dishonest movers too.
When hiring movers for the first time, it pays off to know the things you should know before your hired helpers knock on the door on Moving day. The following tips for using movers for the first time will help you prepare better for your upcoming movers-assisted local move or cross-country move.
Here are the top things to know when hiring movers for the first time in your life:
How much do movers cost?
It’s one thing is to suspect that professional moving services are expensive, another to be aware of the average moving cost when moving short distance or long distance, and yet another to know for a fact how much your own home move will cost.
- How much do local movers cost? It’s useful to know that local movers charge by the hour, which means that the final cost will depend primarily on the total amount of time short distance movers spend working on your move. Most local companies charge around $25-$30 per hour per mover, but the price can be higher depending on your exact location, moving company, and season (low-season or high-season). Each additional mover will cost you extra, as will any additional moving service you request – for example, packing.
- How much do cross-country movers cost? Cross-country movers do not charge on an hourly basis – instead, they form the price on the basis of shipment weight, move distance, and additional services. The only good way to know how much interstate movers cost is to have experts come to your home for a visual survey and cost estimation. Still, to have a rough idea of the cost, most long distance movers will charge about $0.70 for the transportation of 1 pound of household items over a distance of 1000 miles.
Use our advanced moving cost calculator to learn how much your house move will cost.
How to pick the right mover?
When hiring movers for the first time, one thing you must do at all costs is to ask those moving companies to visit your home for visual inspection. This step is really important so that you can receive price estimates that will actually mirror the final price – that is, accurate movers quotes. Ask for written binding estimates and then get ready to compare thoroughly those relocation offers.
To choose a good moving company is really essential, so here’s what you should do:
- Make sure you have at least 3, preferably 4-5 price estimates from different local or interstate movers. Remember that the more quotes you get (up to a reasonable number, of course), the more bargaining power you will have to negotiate a better deal with one particular company.
- Dismiss any quotes that are too good to be true in terms of the final price. It may actually happen to you, so it’s good to be prepared. As a rule of thumb, moving quotes that are uncharacteristically low may turn out to be fraudulent – the so-called low-ball estimates. Here you will learn how to protect yourself from moving fraud.
- Compare not only the prices on the bottom lines but also the additional services that are included in the price. You may find out that the cheapest offer (fraudulent estimated excluded) is not always the best deal.
- Research your movers to make sure you will be dealing with a reputable and reliable moving company. Check the movers’ reputation by reading and comparing online moving reviews, then check the movers’ reliability by examining their electronic records with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), and Better Business Bureau (BBB).
See also: How to compare moving companies
Which moving services will you need?
Since you’ve never used a moving company before, you may be somewhat confused about which moving services you will need for the successful completion of your household move. The thing is, you may not even know what type of services full-service movers offer to their customers.
When it comes to moving services, here’s what you need to know when using a moving company for the first time:
- Packing + unpacking. Packing is the most common extra service offered by full-service movers. A proven cost-saving technique is you to pack the items that do not require any expert packing (clothes, books, smaller miscellaneous items) and leave the extra large, heavy or delicate things for professional packers. For high-value items, packers can even offer custom crating services – the manufacture of custom wooden crates for maximum protection of your priceless items.
- Furniture disassembly and reassembly. Should you choose to take certain furniture pieces with you, you may need to request the accessorial service of disassembly and reassembly of furniture. Do not risk doing it on your own if you don’t have any experience, especially if this is the first time you’re moving to another home.
- Temporary storage. You may need to have your items stored by the mover for a specific period until you are ready to have them in the new home. In such cases, you will need to request that extra service. The longer the storage period is, the higher the storage fee will be.
Discuss the all-important topic of additional services with your moving company.
Find out more: What additional services do movers offer?
What should you do before the movers arrive?
Using movers for the first time is likely to put you at a disadvantage simply because you don’t know what you’re supposed to do before your moving team makes an appearance on the day of the move. On one hand, you don’t want to be caught unprepared, but on the other hand, you don’t want to invest time and efforts in doing any tasks which you’re paying your movers to do anyway.
It’s all about finding the right balance, so here are the tasks you are strongly recommended to do before your movers arrive in your home.
- Get rid of any unwanted items. Inventory your entire home in order to decide what you’re taking with you and what you’re not. This is a crucial step because it can help you cut your moving costs significantly. Base your decisions on the current condition, practical value, and sentimental value of your possessions, and well on the available space in the new home. /How to declutter your home before moving/
- Pack what you can yourself. Again, your ultimate goal is to save as much money when moving home as you possibly can. And, as mentioned above, a good way to do just that is to pack up all the things you think you can manage on your own. If possible, pack your entire home without using professional packers – this way, you’ll be able to save BIG on your move. /Huge database of packing tips/
- Ensure moving day safety. Things will probably get a bit chaotic the moment your movers arrive at your home. This is way, it’s your top priority to ensure the safety of your children and pets, if applicable. Keep small running feet away, preferably in a room away from the moving action. Hire a trusted person to look after your little ones, or leave them with a family member or a good friend for the day. /How to prevent accidents and injuries on Moving day/
Read also: What to do before the movers arrive