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Local Moving Tips

A local move  is any move of household items within 100 miles from the origin to the final destination within the same state. Moves over 99 miles within the same state are considered intrastate moves and those traveling across state lines are interstate moves. Local moves are billed at an hourly rate whereas intra- and inter-state moves are billed according to the size and weight of your shipment.

Any of the moving companies you choose to use will send a salesperson (estimator) to your house to provide you with a free moving estimatge. The estimate should include a separate amount for the movers themselves, vans, packing, materials and insurance. It should also include the address you are moving to if possible. If you are not sure of the address you are moving to the day your estimate is made, your guaranteed price will be subject to change based on conditions at your final destination such as the number of stairs, the distance from the truck to the front door, and the accessibility of your destination for a large van. If possible, always have the estimator view your new place of residence before they make their final estimate.

Hire the movers not the company

If you chose a company without knowing any of its movers, ask the estimator to provide you with the name of an experienced foreman and the “helpers” who will be on your move. This is the #1 rule when hiring a moving company: make sure you know who your movers will be on your moving day. Use the names of the movers your friends, neighbors or estimator referred to you. Make these movers part of your contract.

Size is important

The size of your van is very important. Make sure you know what size truck will arrive at your house or apartment on moving day. Make van size part of your contract.

Some local companies charge the same rate whether you arrange for a 50-foot van or a 12-foot van to move your household items. Make sure your estimator has allowed for plenty of empty space in your moving van. Since you are paying by the hour, having to make double trips will add a lot of expense to your move. You may want to contract for two vans to arrive on moving day if the size of your van is limited for some reason, i.e. low hanging trees, narrow street, and steep driveway. An extra van will help to speed your move up and may cost you only a small fee.
Hiring the packers

There are three different ways to pack up your household items. You can do it all yourself, have the local moving company partially pack some of your items, or you can have them pack everything. If you have anyone else other than the local moving company pack your items understand that the local moving company is not liable for any of the damage that occurred inside of the boxes during your move.

If you pack yourself, begin packing many days prior to the move. It will waste the mover’s time and your money if they have to wait for you to finish up your packing the day of the move.

Packing by the hour is a good choice if you have hired experienced, fast packers. You can hire these packers the same way you hired your movers. Make them part of your contract for packing day.

A good way to save money and also have your valuables insured on moving day is to employ the company to partially pack your household items. Make sure your estimate is clear on the items to be packed. The packers can pack all of the breakable items such as china, glass, and ceramics. You may also feel safer having someone with experience packing these items. You will pack the non-breakable items that do not take much experience to pack such as books and clothes.

Choosing when to move

Picking the time of year, month and day of the week can be very crucial in your move. Most people choose to move during the summer months when their kids are out of school or during vacation. Moving companies need to hire seasonal help to meet this increase in moving. This means that inexperienced movers are often hired during these busy months. This problem also exists during the end and beginning of each month when everybody’s lease is up, and on Fridays when people take off work. Also, if your move should only take about half a day, hiring movers for first thing in the morning is recommended.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the middle of the month are the best days to move if you have not planned ahead. By Thursday, the best movers are getting tired from the last three days of tough jobs and on Fridays, all the good movers are usually allocated to the customers that planned ahead.
During a local move, your cost depends on the amount of time moving. Make sure you give your driver the most direct route to your new home. You may want to follow the driver to ensure he doesn’t take the long way. Also, be familiar with how heavy the traffic will be during the days and times of your move.

Few Reminders:

  • Make sure you always have someone watching the movers while they are packing and loading your items.
  • Make sure you are familiar with the neighborhood before the day of the move. You want to make sure there is room for the truck in front of your new home.
  • Make sure you have warned the movers of any stairs they will have to climb, or if there is an available elevator.
  • Let the mover know if there are time restrictions on when you are allowed to move. Many apartment buildings will not allow you to be moving after 5 PM.
  • The building owner may ask the mover to see insurance certificates in case any damage is done to the building. Make sure they have these papers.
  • Make sure you have all supplies that will be needed for the move. If the mover has to go get more, your price will go up and time will be wasted.
  • Make sure all of the packing you are doing yourself is complete prior to the day of the move. You don’t want to have the moving company wait for you to finish.
  • Make sure you have thoroughly planned out the whole move. Have you checked all closets and storage units for items that need to be moved? The less surprises for the mover the better.
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