When should I schedule my move?
You should start organizing your move 6 weeks prior to your ideal move date. Try and schedule your move during the off-peak season or outside of the months from May-September. Many moving companies will accommodate last-minute moves as well, so don't think that just because you're starting your moving late in the game, it can't be accomplished.
How do I choose a moving company?
The best way to choose a moving company is through extensive research. Start by asking friends, family and neighbors for reputable companies. When you narrow your choice down to a few options, research them thoroughly. Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau? Do they have a lot of complaints filed against them? Find out their credentials. Then have at least three in-home written estimates performed, and choose the moving company who best fits your needs and budget.
Do I really need an in-home estimate?
Yes. Otherwise, you can be hit with unforeseen charges later on in the move. It also gives you a better idea of the total cost of the move, as well as allows the movers to better accommodate your belongings.
What are my packing options?
There are typically three options for packing: self-pack, custom packing and full-service packing. For do-it-yourselfers, self-pack is a common option. This means all of your belongings are packed by you. Custom packing is when the moving company only packs highly-valuable or fragile items such as antiques, artwork and collectibles, while you are responsible for packing the rest. Full-service packing is when the moving company packs your entire home, alleviating you of the entire task. Most people think self-pack is the most cost-effective, but depending on how much you have to pack and the cost of moving supplies, a full-service pack may be more time and cost-effective.
What shouldn't I pack?
You should not pack plants, food or any hazardous materials. You should also carry any irreplaceable items or valuables with you instead of packing them. Jewelry, money and other irreplaceable items should not be included in your truck shipment.
What documents and contracts should I receive from the moving company?
You should receive Your Rights and Responsibilities and Ready to Move brochures from your moving company. Before your shipment is transported, you should obtain an Order for Service outlining the moving services requested. You should receive a Bill of Lading when your shipment is loaded, which is the receipt of the contract arranged with your moving company.
What happens if my items are lost or damaged during shipment?
Before shipping, you should opt for one of two types of valuation coverage provided by the moving company to protect you if your items are damaged or lost. Released value coverage comes at no additional cost to you, but it provides the bare minimum compensation should anything happen. You will only receive .60/lb, which is not typically sufficient. Full replacement coverage costs extra, but will fully compensate you by repairing, replacing or providing a monetary settlement for lost or damaged items. If your moving company does not provide valuation coverage, it is likely a disreputable company.