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FAQs

After the move

What if my stuff is damaged during a move?

You have the option to choose different types of coverage based on what your moving company offers. There is full or declared value protection which holds the movers liable for replacing damaged or missing items. Another type of coverage would be basic liabilty. It is typically paid according to the weight such as 30 to 60 cents per pound.

What's the best way to tackle unpacking when we arrive?

A good piece of advice would be to make up your beds first. Your sheets and bedding should be packed in a premarked box labeled “Unpack First.” After a long day of moving and unpacking you will be glad your beds are made up and ready when you want to go to sleep.

Can I deduct my moving expenses?

In the case of moving to start a new job or a business, it may be possible to deduct reasonable expenses on your federal income taxes. You may have to meet certain time and distance requirements, but for more information, consult IRS form 3903 for more information.

Choosing a mover

Should I get an estimate?

We suggest you get estimates from 3-5 movers when planning an interstate move. To assure you of receiving an accurate assessment, the moving company should visit your residence to view your items beforehand.

Can I get an estimate over the phone?

The Better Business Bureau says customers should be wary of a moving company that avoids an in-home estimate. If the company insists on only doing an estimate by email or phone, there is the chance you could be scammed.

How should I prepare for an in-home estimate?

Before your in-home estimate it is important to include every room including the basement, storage areas, garage and backyard. Including all the rooms will assure you of a complete and total estimate. It is a good idea to create an inventory list of all of your belongings that will highlight any special detailed instructions on unique items. The more detail you include for the movers in advance, the smoother your moving day will go. It is also helpful to provide details about the conditions of your delivery location and what to expect. Things like entrances, steps and details about parking or your street will be helpful for the movers to have.

What is a binding estimate?

A binding estimate is the cost based on the details of your job and is usually good for 30 days. Be aware that the cost can change if you add on additional requests such as packing or requiring a smaller truck.

What is a binding not-to-exceed estimate?

A Binding-not-to-exceed estimate sets a limit on the total cost of the move.

How do I find a good mover?

Family or friends and real estate agents can be a good source for recommendations. Reading online reviews are also a good source of learning about different movers based on customers actual experiences.

What questions should I ask a moving company?

Here are a few examples of questions you might ask a prospective moving company: How long have you been in business? Is your moving crew employed by your company, temporary employees or day laborers?

Should I take the lowest estimate?

It’s really up to you, but experts say movers bidding for your job should estimate within 15% of each other. Any estimate that is significantly lower really shouldn’t be considered. Most moving companies already know what it will take to move items in a household of your size.

How do I know if a mover is reputable?

Each moving company should have a ProMover (AMSA) designation. Ask for their Department of Transportation (DOT) and motor carrier license (MC) numbers. You may also check their DOT by going to this website: https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/companysnapshot.aspx.

Can you provide references from my area from other customers?

You may always ask them to provide you with some references by satisfied customers or look up online reviews about the company you’re considering.

How long has your company been in business?

Any company you are considering should have a proven track record for a good length of time. Ask them how long they’ve been in business.

If I am charged by weight, how do you determine the weight of my items?

Once the truck is packed and loaded it will be weighed on a certified scale to determine the total weight of your items.

What is your cancellation policy if my plans change?

Ask the company when you can expect their estimate. Any changes to your moving date or cancellation should have a reasonable deadline at no extra charge.

What types of payment do you accept for my move?

Moving companies will usually accept payments by credit card or check. Most companies require that you pay the driver before they unload your items at the destination.

What supplies do you include? what will you charge me for?

You may expect to be charged for any extra supplies needed by the movers like tape, markers or extra boxes.

Who will handle unpacking at my new home?

We suggest you find out who will be responsible for unloading the truck once it arrives to its destination. Find out if they use their own employees or if they subcontract the work. You can always do a background check on the company doing the unloading.

Will my stuff be consolidated on a shared truck?

Sometimes with a smaller move your items will be shared on a truck with another customers’. You may be given a window of dates rather than a set date/time of delivery arrival if that’s the case.

Do movers offer discounts?

Ask the moving company if there are any discounts given for which you might qualify. There may be promotions going on or discounts given for students or seniors.

Should I pay cash for my move?

Avoid using cash as your payment. You want an accurate record of your transaction. If there is any issue of damage or fraud, you have better proof of payment by using a credit card.

Intl – Allied

Are all charges included in the price?

Each type of moving service has their own charges according to what is required in the actual move and what moving service you purchased. Say you are doing a door to door move: it will include all transportation charges in the price you were quoted. However, in a door to door international move, you will be responsible also for customs clearance charges plus other taxes or duties on your shipment that apply. Make sure and clarify with your moving representative to make sure you are clear on the terms of your quote. This will be important when you are needing to compare several different services and price options.

What are the different cost/service options available to me?

There are a number of moving services available to you when moving internationally. Here are the factors involved as you select a service that is right for you: price, transit time, container types and storage, routing consolidation options(ie. sea, air freight, port of exit etc., The cost of each option will factor into how much your move will cost. Every move includes many factors and each personal budget is different. When meeting with your international representative it is important to share as many of your moving requirements as possible. It will help in the long run as you narrow down the best services needed for you and will ultimately create a smoother transition. A helpful consideration when calculating the cost of your international move is to factor in the amount of time you will have to wait for the arrival of your belongings to your destination. You may have to stay in a hotel or other temporary housing while waiting for your shipment to arrive. You will need to factor this into the cost in addition to your shipping charges. Don’t make the mistake of selecting the slowest transit (cheapest price) and then have to pay for the added expense of a 2-3 weeks of housing while you wait.

What advice can you give me on how to plan for moving overseas?

Contact your international moving company as soon as you learn you will be relocating overseas. Preparing for an international move involves much downsizing and taking a good look at your household and all that you own. Now will be the time to sort through what you can realistically take with you. Many things can be purchased once you are living in your new location. Go through your items and put them into categories. Sell, put in storage, donate, toss out, give away. Consider what you are moving via air freight or shipped by sea freight before you complete a pre-move survey. As you get closer to your moving date, decide what items you will be taking with you: Things to include might or might not include: travel documents, travel clothing, clothes for the next few weeks, passports, medical documents and records, family papers, jewelry, and personal items such as medication and school records etc.

When should I contact an international moving company to organize my pending international move?

Careful and advance preparation if key to having a successful move. It is recommended that you contact your international mover approximately 7-10 weeks ahead of your intended departure date. This will allow for adequate time to confirm documentation requirements, pre-book international flights and pre-advise the agent at your destination of your international shipment.

What should the representative visiting my home be able to tell me about my international move?

Your representative should be able to go over every aspect of your future international move and provide the answers to the many questions you might have. Services such as packing, crating, transit time, insurance, unpacking and others can be reviewed at this time. He can advise you of the different shipping options available for your international destination. He will be able to give you an accurate estimate of the volume and weight of your shiptment. An overview of all the paperwork needed as well as information on the company selected to deliver your possessions will also be provided. Use this time to get advice from him on how to prepare and plan for your move and answer all the questions you have.

What items should I NOT include in an international household goods shipment?

Avoid perishable goods or anything that could leak during the trip and damage other items. Use common sense when deciding what should not be packed and avoid hazardous materials that would include: Paint, matches, aersol cans, gas cannisters or other flammables. Leave out materials such as wood, bricks, cement, rocks, soil of any types, plants, firearms and ammunition, corrosives or explosive. This will assure a clean and safe transport for all your items and those around them.

Moving Day

How much should I tip my mover?

Be considerate and tip each mover anywhere from twenty to forty dollars.

Will my items arrive on the same truck they loaded them on?

For a shorter distance move in the area, your items will most likely remain in the same truck. A good question to ask to avoid the possibility of lost or damaged items is, Will your items be transferred to another truck?

Do I need to feed my movers?

You may decide whether or not to offer food to your movers. Ordering pizzas can be a nice gesture depending on the length of time the movers are there. Most movers will appreciate water or a sports drink on the day of the move.

What info should I get from the movers on moving day?

Ask for a copy of the movers’ inventory list. The movers should provide you with their contact information throughout the trip so that you may reach them for any reason. Provide directions for them to your delivery location if they don’t have it already.

Are there items I should not move?

Items such as live plants are really up to the decision of the moving company. Ask your mover what their policy is. We also recommend you pack and transport valuable and sentimental items such as: jewelry, medications, weapons and other irreplaceables.

What's the best way to pack?

Pack and label the boxes that have items you consider most important when you first arrive. This can include: towels, sheets and bedding, your coffee maker and coffee and other things you don’t want to be scrambling for. Mark these boxes so you know to unpack them first.

Should my boxes be sealed when movers arrive?

Check with your moving company first. There are some movers that want to verify the content of your boxes.

Will the movers protect my floors, etc, as they move?

Ask your moving company how they go about protecting floors, walls and ceilings as they move. Will they put down floor covers or padding to protect your floors?

What if it rains on moving day?

Your moving day can still take place even in the rain. Keep your moving boxes covered if you are placing them outside- Ask your movers for advice on covering electronics or furniture if it’s raining. They may suggest covering your items with shrink wrap to avoid any damage. Be careful of wet floors coming in and out of the house to avoid slipping or accidents. And ofcourse if there is lightening in the area you may want to wait until it has cleared.

Can I move in a snowstorm?

Moving in a snowstorm is absolutely doable. You will need to be prepared to tape down tarps, cardboard or plastic sheeting to protect your floors from snow or salt being tracked in. Make sure your walkways are shoveled and salted and a path for the movers is clear. Clear an area where you can set boxes outside. Consider offering hot beverages for your movers such as coffee, tea or hot chocolate to keep everybody warm.

What should I do with my pet on moving day?

Experts suggest taking your pet with you in your vehicle when you actually move in. For moving day, however, you should find a place to board them or stay for the day. You may also want them to stay at a friend’s house until things settle down. You don’t want the stress of the pet getting in the way of the movers on moving day.

Packing

What if I have extra stuff I do not want to move?

Give yourself plenty of time to begin sorting through your belongings. This is the perfect time to get rid of clothes, household items, and collected stuff you no longer use or need. Get rid of what you won’t be taking with you by donating, recycling, giving away or throwing out.

Best way to label my boxes?

A helpful suggestion for labeling your boxes is to label according to rooms of the house by color coding. For example: blue for kitchen, yellow for bedroom etc. Or you may simply label boxes according to what room they are going in. When the movers arrive with your delivery, there shouldn’t be confusion about where boxes are being placed. You want to assure the smoothest unpacking process with the least amount of lifting from room to room. It is also a good idea to number each box so that if a box is missing you know what number it is and what it contains.

Can a regular mover help move my piano?

Let your moving company know about moving your piano. Discuss how it will be moved ahead of time. There are some movers who can provide you with an expert specialized in protecting your instrument.

Can movers help me pack?

Yes, many moving companies offer full or partial packing services. Movers may help you with packing a particularly challenging room such as the kitchen or dining room that includes a china cabinet or a lot of glassware. That way if anything is broken during the move, the company can cover any damages.

Can I move a vehicle?`

Yes, there are car shipping services available. Sometimes there is an additional charge for a vehicle that is not working or an over-sized vehicle. An enclosed vehicle container will be an added charge.

What's the best way to prepare for a move?

Start going through your belongings as early as possible. You want to get rid of anything worn or that you no longer are using. This is the time to toss old papers and records that can be shredded . Anything that has been stored away for years that you haven’t missed or used can most likely be donated or tossed.

Do I need big boxes?

One of the key rules of packing is to avoid packing large boxes with heavy items. Use large boxes for things like towels and bedding or use soft linens as packing materials around awkward shaped items like a mixer. Pack books in smaller boxes,

How many books can I put in a little box?

The boxes are made to be sturdy. Fill the boxes tight and don’t worry about their weight.

Where can I get free moving boxes?

There are many places where you can find boxes for free. Places online such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace often have free boxes posted. Liquor stores, grocery stores and other retailers often have boxes you may take before they are tossed. Uhaul offers a used-box return program.

Best ways to tape my boxes?

We suggest that you wrap the tape all the way around the box and down the seams to secure it. A criss cross X across a mirror or painting is another idea for added precaution.

What's the best packing tape to use

Packing or moving tape is designed specifically to secure moving boxes. It is certainly your choice on what brand, but you want a strong tape, preferably one on a hand held dispenser that can roll across and around the boxes easily.

What's the best way to pack?

Start with small items or by packing drawers. Be systematic by going by room, numbering boxes and recording the contents for your own reference later. Going by room will help you pack efficiently so that unpacking will be organized according to rooms.

How do I pack last minute household stuff I need to use until moving day?

A good idea for packing the last items you are using up until moving day: get a wardrobe box that can be filled with miscellaneous items like sheets, towels and any last minute items you are still using. Label that box as one to unpack first as it will most likely include the coffee maker.

Should I take photos of my items?

It is totally up to you, but taking photos of your furniture arrangements, pictures on the wall and even cords attached to electronics can help you in set up later. You may want to take photos of furniture or antiques to record the condition it was in before the move.

Do I need to inventory my stuff?

The moving company should provide you with an inventory list of your items and their weight. We recommend, however, to make an inventory of your own with contents of each numbered box. Your boxes should be numbered so that you can account for each box delivered to your destination.

Will the movers move stuff in my garage?

There are many items moving companies are prohibited from transporting that include: gasoline, flammable substances, paint and other toxic chemicals. When looking through your garage or tool shed you may wonder about how to pack odd shaped tools. A wardrobe box is a great way to store yard tools like rakes and shovels.

What about moving my car or motorcycle?

Check with your moving company for advice on transporting motorcycles, recreational vehicles or additional cars. They may recommend a vehicle transportation service for you to use.

How much time should I allow to pack?

The more time ahead you start packing, the less stress there will be closer to the time of your move. Packing non-essential items a month ahead of time will give you a head start. You may store boxes in a designated room in your house just for boxes.

Best way to pack dishes?

There are many opinions on packing dishes. Experts advise to pack dishes sideways not stacked flat. Wrap 4-5 dishes separately then bundle them together again to better protect them. Use smaller-medium boxes so that they are wrapped tightly and not jostled around.

Do I need to wrap my pots and pans?

Some say pots and pans can go into a box without needing to be wrapped, however, use plenty of packing paper, towels or linens on top and bottom to keep them from shifting during the move.

What about lampshades?

You may put lampshades in their own box without other items except packing paper. Mark the box Top Load so that heavy boxes are not placed on top of it.

Any advice for moving liquids I have in my home?

Do not pack anything that is listed prohibited. Household cleaning solutions etc. need to be sealed well with tape or in bags to prevent and leaking during the move. Mark the box clearly to show which end should be UP. That way the box isn’t tipped causing bottles or liquids to spill.

Can movers take my plants?

Moving companies generally will not move your plants on an interstate move. If it’s a short move within the town, they may consider it. If moving plants is possible, find out what is needed for their transportation.

What about my appliances?

Unplug all your appliances before moving out. Empty out your refrigerator and donate or toss any food items. Clean all your appliances thoroughly. If your gas stove requires a special unhook up service, your movers may be able to assist with unhooking that for a fee.

Can movers take apart my large furniture?

This is a good question to ask your moving company at the time of their estimate. Often times interstate moving companies will factor in a cost for taking apart bed frames or large furniture like an entertainment center. But most movers will not reassemble anything for you that they did not first take apart before moving.

How should I pack clothes for my move?

Using your own suitcases serve as great containers for pack your clothing during a move. Dresser drawers may also serve as good containers for the clothes already in them. Shrink wrap the drawers securely so that the clothing will stay clean and secured.

Do I need to do anything special for my appliances?

Yes, your stove may need a professional to disconnect and cap the gasline if you are moving it. Ask your mover if they handle this and if they charge for the service. Otherwise you may need to arrange for professional help. Disconnecting may also include the waterline to your refrigerator/and or ice maker. Find out in advance so that you will have no delays.

Should I move my appliances?

Some experts advise to consider leaving your appliances. Your prospective buyer may love your appliances and it may help the home to sell. In addition, appliances can be damaged during a move and are expensive to transport. There is a chance they may not fit in your new space as they do now.

Will the moving truck be clean?

Most moving companies do disinfect their trucks periodically. If this is a concern for you, you might ask your mover during the estimate how they keep their trucks clean.

Preparing to move

How far ahead should I call a mover?

Experts suggest 4 to 6 weeks in advance. You may consider calling earlier if the move is complicated and needs additional planning.

How much will it cost to move?

Most moving companies will provide a free estimate prior to your move. A moving company representative will visit your home to see the items you will be moving. For an interstate move they will estimate the cost based on the approximate weight and total items being transported. Your final cost on moving day will be based on the weight and the distance traveled as well as insurance or any extra services required for your location.

What will it cost to move if I'm only moving across town?

Your average full service moving company will most likely quote you an hourly rate for the movers, the truck and any packing supplies. Most companies have a 2-4 hour minimum.

What are some of the extra charges I might see in my move?

Ask your moving representative during your estimate about any extra charges you could possibly see. Find out if they charge for extra fuel, stops at your location and any parking fees. Better to find out in advance, than come across any surprises.

Do movers charge extra for large items?

Some companies may charge extra to move an over-sized item. Be sure to include all items at the time of your in-home estimate and point out any concerns you might have about a large item. You may decide to part with it or that it is not worth the cost of having it moved.

What if I only need help moving something for a few hours

There are companies on the internet and apps to connect you with an extra set of hands for a shorter move. There are many that offer bonded and insured workers. Taskrabbit and Dolly are a few examples.

When is the best time to move?

Typically people move during the summer months. The weather is better and you are between school years. You may experience higher rates, however, as moving companies are busier then. Consider moving during the middle of the month when rates can be lower or moving at an off peak time if possible.

What is the best day to move?

Choosing to move on a Tuesday or a Wednesday may reduce your cost.

What’s the best way to change my address?

Submit a change of address form with the USPS a week or two before you move. Make sure it is properly filled out. You might also make a list of people and businesses who need to be notified of your move.

Why should i hire a mover?

The main reason why you choose to hire a professional mover is to reduce the chance of you getting injured. Consider that you will be moving your belongings twice: once on the loading end and another on the delivery and unloading end. Using a professional will alleviate the physical strain of moving on top of an already stressful time. Movers have the right equipment and expertise to move and load your items. Hiring them frees you up to focus on the actual relocation process for yourself.

How much deposit should I expect to put down?

Some movers may ask that you put down 20% of your moving cost. Find out if this is refundable if your plans should happen to change.

What is a moving broker?

A broker offers you the convenience of arranging the details of your move. They have nothing to do with the truck or staffing the moves, but will provide you with an estimate over the phone and then bid out your move to the moving companies. You may find a less expensive moving company with an agent working on your behalf. There are pros and cons of going about it with or without an agent. Do your research and find works best for you.

What if my new residence isn't ready?

Many movers can assist you in finding a storage facility near your destination. You may anticipate being charged a storage fee as well as for your delivery. Find out if they use their own company’s storage or if they use a third party.

Can movers deliver my stuff to self storage until my home is ready?

Yes, some companies will offer that as a service. This can work well for customers who have not yet decided on a new home or location yet. But once you have your residence, arrange for local movers to move your items into your new home.

Are there better months to move to save money?

You can save in costs by avoiding peak moving season- June, July and August. Consider moving on a weekday and not at the beginning or end of a month.

Can I save money if I pack myself?

You most definitely will save on costs if you can do the packing yourself or by asking friends and family to help.

How can I save money on packing supplies?

Instead of purchasing packing paper, consider using newspapers, towels and clothes for extra cushion for packing.

How can I make my move more Green?

Some companies do have “green” programs that offer reusable boxes. Companies like U-haul offer a recyclable box program where you may pick up gently used boxes at no cost.

What other things can I do to make my move cost less?

Because most interstate movers do charge by weight, work toward purging belongings down to only what you need. Let go of anything you don’t need to hold on to. You will be saving yourself money in the end without paying for unnecessary items.

How long will my move take?

Typically a crew of 2-3 movers may take a full day to load a 2000 square foot home. A crew of 4-5 movers can complete a move in 8 hours.

When will my stuff arrive?

When you are moving across the country, a definite time of arrival can be difficult to predict. Confirm in writing and agreed upon date and aproximate time of arrival in advance.

What if the truck can't park right by my house?

Let your movers know about any special parking restrictions or obstacles to parking. Be aware of any extra distance or steps taken to reach your location. Some movers may charge by the foot or any unplanned extra distance required to unload your items.

Does my homeowners insurance cover my move?

Experts say homeowner’s insurance can cover your household items that are damaged due to anything that could happen within your own home like fire or accident. Find out in advance from your insurance agent what your policy covers and go over any of your concerns.

How long will movers take to deliver my stuff?

On a long distance move you most likely will not receive an exact date, but more like an estimate of when the movers will arrive. It is important to go over needs and concerns at the time of doing paperwork so that the movers are able to accomodate if necessary.

What about moving in winter?

If you are moving in the winter it is advisable to turn down the heat in the house as many people will be coming in and out of the house. Another helpful tip would be to use space heaters in different rooms, making sure to keep them safe and away from water. Have the heat and hot water turned on in your new destination so that everything is warm for you when moving in.

How much does it cost to move?

A typical interstate move can cost up to $5600 and an in town move $1100. When making future decisions, it is important to plan the cost of a major move into your budget.

Is there a way to figure out myself what a move might cost?

Yes, if you are looking for a ballpark figure. There are many sites on the internet that offer a no cost estimator that can help you figure out your cost. Remember, it is advised to have atleast 3 in-home estimates before making your final commitment.

Storage

Can my possessions be stored temporarily?

If you cannot take immediate possession of your new residence, your moving company should be able to provide or recomend storage facilities for holding your belongings until you are ready for them. Be aware, however, you will be responsible for storage charges, warehouse valuation coverage and a final delivery charge from the warehouse. The type of coverage is determined by whether your shipment is “held in storage in transit (temporary) or “permanent storage.”