Let’s get personal about moving. Some people just want to see a move take place as quickly as possible, but others are looking for something more. They want a move that is done with excellence.
After all, moving is listed as a top stressor—preceded by life events like divorce, job loss, death of a loved one, and retirement. Anxiety that comes from moving is often triggered by thoughts of changing environments and adapting to new surroundings.
If you insist on a “self-move” in lieu of hiring professional movers, at least pack everything beforehand and be prepared with a hand truck so friends who help can move quickly.
But if you are one of the people, who have done enough research, you know that self-moves can cost financially more than expected. Plus, the emotional stress involved can leave you wishing you had an expert to guide you through the process.
One client recently said she was determined to save on her move by packing as much as possible. That’s applaudable and it certainly does help. But for some, there’s just not enough time in a day to do a complete self-move.
Be encouraged that if you find there are many things you cannot do, then you are not alone. This is why skilled movers are available. Call and talk to a relocation expert and you will learn a lot.
In fact, you may learn that a self-move is more costly than you care to spend. If that is the case, what questions do you need to ask your potential relocation company?
Ask these Questions for Information
Once you’ve collected the names of a few moving companies, interview each one to make sure your moving goals will be met. If possible, talk to at least three to four different companies.
Handle this process the way you would handle getting a quote for major work done at your home. Don’t just hire the first company you interview. It may work out that way, but before you sign a contract make sure you feel comfortable with your choice.
Discuss any potential fees that might seem “hidden.” Remember, quality movers come at a price, but they should offer peace of mind by relocating your items intact—or have solutions in the event an accident occurs.
- How many years of experience do the movers have?
- Are there any additional fees you should know about?
- What maximum distance will movers carry items before they charge a long-haul fee?
- What is included in the move? For example, are moving boxes, furniture straps, hand trucks, moving blankets, etc., included?
- What happens if you need to settle a dispute?
- What are their state and federal license numbers? (These may also be listed somewhere on their website, but they are good to have on hand to check accreditation or complaints.)
- What are the limits of basic moving insurance? If you have delicate or difficult items to pack, consider purchasing upgraded insurance for better peace of mind.
Remember, you want to—
- receive the best competitive pricing.
- avoid the lowest bidder unless you know that what this company is offering is best for you and your move.
- hire a team with a list of better than average customer reviews. (Realize that reviews can be a valid tool, but some can be skewed too low. Look for consistency.)
- partner with a team that listens to your needs. But also, keep in mind that your needs and expectations can grow. Relocation experts help you stay balanced and on target.
- enjoy the move!
Ask these Questions that Make a Difference.
- Will the mover disassemble your furniture and reassemble it at your new home?
- Is the moving team willing to navigate stairs or is there an elevator? (Some moving companies charge a fee if they must wait for the elevator.)
- Do you need your movers to temporarily hold your goods for a few days, or do you need longer-term storage for a cross-country move?
- Do you have special or large pieces of furniture that may need to be wrapped or handled with more care than other items?
- Know your measurements! Are there some items that may not fit easily through doors, like a piano or antique furniture set? If so, your movers may need to set up a special system to get this done.
- If your home is in the city, is there plenty of on street parking or do the movers need to be aware of parking issues?
- Do you need to have a partial move to one or two locations? For example, if you need your furniture picked up from your storage unit, but also need the movers to pick up a few items from your old home, you can utilize split pickup and delivery.
All of these will likely incur additional charges, so it’s important to figure out what you need beforehand so you can budget for your move.
It is very helpful to view your conversation with a moving company as an interview. It is an opportunity to learn more about relocation management and your potential moving company. You want them to be transparent, open to your questions, have time for you, and listen to your concerns.
One Final Question: Are you expected to tip movers?
It’s always a good practice to tip movers once they have successfully moved all your items, especially if they moved everything without incident or were required to extend their moving time past the initial estimate.
Consider tipping $4-5 per hour, per mover. Another method to tipping is tipping 5-10% of the total moving cost and dividing that number between all your movers evenly.