By Dana Sinsheimer, District Manager, CSSM
We Give You the Ultimate ‘How-To’ Guide when Hiring a Moving Company.
Sometimes a move is just too big an undertaking to handle alone; and sometimes the help that’s needed is whatever moving help you can get! (Seriously, wanna help me move? Can you be there on Saturday at 8am? Can I borrow your truck?) OK, obviously I am just trying to represent the situation in words…but you know what I mean. Moving is stressful and you will want and take whatever help you can get. And, when you just don’t want to deal with it, you need to be sure you hire the right professionals.
What you need is a system to follow to make it all easier. There are certain steps you need to take when looking to hire moving help to handle your move. If you follow this process, it will all come together nicely. Here’s how to do it…
Determine where you’re going.
If you’re moving more than a few towns over, you’ll want to search for a company that specializes in moves from state to state. There are regulations in place that may prevent some companies from crossing state lines. Moving companies have to be certified by the government for national or international moves. Be sure to pick a company that fits your geographical needs.
Another point to examine is the area you’re moving from and to; is it a city, a suburb, a rural area? City moves may require a company that has experience with the smaller streets and stairways found within the city and inside older city homes. Plus, most city streets have street parking on both sides and traffic going both directions – you want a company that can maneuver their vans or trucks easily and without causing damage or disrupting traffic flow.
Never underestimate the benefit of calling your friends and family for referrals or accounts of their experiences. There are so many moving companies out there and you’ll need to weed through them to find the right one for you. Asking for actual experiences with moving help will help you to determine the best choice.
If you cannot locate any referrals on your own, simply give any of our property managers a call or contact us today and we will gladly give you some companies to check out. We have a few we refer to our tenants because we know they have a good reputation and we have referrals directly from our customers.
Contact several companies and discuss your needs.
Once you have narrowed it down to a few companies who can cover your needs, it’s time to call them and discuss your move. It’s important not to make decisions prematurely. Discuss things beyond the hourly rate, such as the fees per mover, mileage rates, packing, larger items, etc. You will even want to ask if they are licensed and how they are licensed (remember what I said about national and international moves?). Also confirm they are fully insured in case something would happen to your stuff during the moving process.
Get several estimates.
Next, schedule a free estimate. Companies unwilling to conduct an in home estimate for free should be removed from your list immediately. An in-home estimate is the best way to be completely prepared for the move and will help avoid any surprise charges if you should choose that company.
Make sure the moving company is aware of everything you want done – what needs packed, what goes where, how you want it handled and moved. If you have an antique piece of furniture passed down through your family for generations, you want to make sure they know how to handle it and protect it when they move it around. Many hidden fees can be added to the final billing if companies are unaware of surprises such as your attic, the backyard shed, etc. Take some time and show them those areas so they know exactly what they are getting in to.
Find out what items the company cannot move. Some regulations will not allow moving companies to handle and transport certain items such as chemicals, propane tanks, etc. Some states won’t even let you take plants across state lines. Again, eliminate surprises for your moving day and discuss everything during the estimate.
Be sure to ask them if they have any questions for you. And, they should. A company that doesn’t ask you anything isn’t being thorough enough in my opinion. Unless you gave them a printed and bound report that is beyond detailed, they surely have at least one question they can ask you.
Review the contract.
Read the contract carefully. And, don’t be afraid to ask questions about it. All moving contracts should state in detail the rates and pricing, liability, delivery dates, the move description and claims protection. Ask about the insurance the company holds for the contract. Discuss accident and damage protocol. You’ll want to know how well the company will handle the mishaps that can occur. And, be prepared for mishaps to happen, it is often inevitable during a move. Make sure you get a copy of the contract to keep for your records so you know what you signed.
It’s time to move!
Finally, the big day has come. There are some key things you need to know for moving day to keep it as stress-free as possible and without major catastrophe.
First of all, you should be present during the move. If you cannot be there in person, you should have your spouse, partner, close friend or a relative stand in for you. Be sure you have gone over your wishes with them ahead of time so they are prepared in case the moving company has questions or finds a small issue. The last thing you want is to leave the moving company there alone and have no one available to provide them direction or give them answers.
You also want to have someone at your new home to meet the movers there as well. Of course, if you can be there with them that is best. You will want to direct the movers on where to put all the boxes and furniture to make it easiest on you after they are gone. You may want to have a diagram of what goes where, and clearly label your boxes and the rooms inside the home to prevent hiccups. If you plan to renovate one of the rooms right away, make sure nothing is placed in there, and instead set it in a spare room or the garage so it’s out of your way. Planning is important for this step.
Give them feedback.
Now that the move is complete and you are getting all settled in at your new place, think about giving the moving company some feedback. Moving companies, like all companies, rely on the reviews of clients to fuel their business. Reviews help ensure customers get the best service possible, and allow the company to correct any issues you may have discovered during your move. If you had an experience worth sharing, you should!
Negative reviews are something you want to avoid if possible. If you had a problem, it is best to reach out to the company first by phone or email. Talking directly to a supervisor may very well lead to a resolution quickly and prevent any bad mojo between you and the company. Mistakes do happen, and you shouldn’t penalize a company without first giving them the opportunity to resolve it to your satisfaction.
Are you planning to move and would like some help? You can give us a call at any of our locations to speak with a property manager or contact us today and we will gladly assist you. If you need a storage unit to help with your move, reserve one now or rent a unit online to get started!