Moving Tips

Here are moving tips to help you minimize stress and survive moving day with your sanity intact.

First decision, are you going to do the moving yourself, or are you going to hire a moving company? Here's what to consider:

If you don't have a huge quantity of goods and if the distance they have to be moved is not too great, renting a van and doing it yourself may be a choice that can save you money. But weigh the pros and cons carefully. Are you sure you will be able to devote the required time and energy to the job? If not, hire a mover.

Moving Tips for moving yourself:

If you go the do-it-yourself route, you'll have to have helpers. Make sure they are willing and available on the day you need them. Talk to your insurance agent to be certain your belongings are covered while you're moving them.

Most moving is done on the first of the month, that's when demand for trucks is high, so reserve well in advance or try to move at another time of the month. You may even get a better rate if you rent the truck during a less busy period. If your new location is a fair distance away, you may have to return the truck to where you rented it, or pay extra for dropping at off at the new address.

Before you settle on a do-it-yourself move, tally up all the costs, you just may find that hiring a moving company will not cost much more money and will be a lot less trouble. On request, and for an additional charge, most movers will also pack everything and unpack it at the other end.

Moving tips for when you hire a professional mover:

Selecting a really top notch moving company will insure a smooth, trouble-free move. Obtain quotes from at least three different movers. The largest is not necessarily the best. Speak to friends and neighbors who have recently moved. What do they say about the moving company they used?

There are two types of residential moves, long distance or local. If you're just moving across town, a small independent mover may quote you a better rate, but for a cross-country move you'll want a large, national company. Just like truck rental firms, all movers are usually fully booked during peak periods, it's important to make arrangements long before the moving date.

A moving tip that will save you money: Movers usually charge a higher rate during busy periods; if it all possible do not schedule your moving date for the first or for the 15th of the month.

Local moves are normally charged by the hour, with rates calculated according to the number of men and the size of the truck and the time of the month. The hourly charges start when the truck leaves the company's premises and end when it arrives back there.

Long-distance moves are usually charged by total weight and by the mileage the goods have to be transported. As for short-distance moves, the time of the month might determine how much it costs.

Moving tips in case something goes wrong:

Should anything get damaged or lost, reputable movers will offer to repair or replace. Just be sure not to sign on the dotted line until you are completely satisfied that the make-good offer is fair. If you can't come to a satisfactory agreement but your mover is affiliated with a national van line, complain directly to the van line's head office.

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