the things to expect when hiring movers
Moving Tips

The Complete Guide To Full-Service Moving

Wondering what the complete guide to full-service moving looks like? Here at Stride Movers, we place a great deal on transparency. There’s a lot to consider when you’re moving, and since this isn’t a common procedure for many people, we are here to walk you through it, step by step. Here is the complete guide to full-service moving:

You’ll be asked for a full moving inventory

The first thing you’ll need before getting a accurate quote is a good inventory list. You should create this list before you reach out to moving companies. A distinguished moving company will take your inventory in one of several ways. Some moving companies will send out an estimator to your home or apartment. This individual will do a walk through of your home and thoroughly go over your inventory. He or she will go room by room taking notes. The information that’s gathered here would further help the moving company determine what needs to be wrapped or disassembled. At this time, they will also analyze the environment as well, i.e. the doorway size and elevator or stairs.

The complete Guide to Full-Service Moving

They will also be jotting down the distance from your home to the where the truck/van will potentially park. Having this information should help them nail down the perfect price for you. Some moving companies will gather your inventory over the phone and give you an estimate based on weight or cubes. Today, some will even have you send them photos of the things you’re planning on moving. There are moving companies that will have you make short videos of your belongings or do a video walk through. All these methods work and should be sufficient for any moving company to get a clear idea of your inventory.

You can ask for a walk-through

If you have a lot of possessions, getting an estimator to come too your home would probably be in your best interest. The more details your future moving company has about the catalogue of belongings you have, the smoother things will go. Let’s say you’ve been living in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. You bought this nice fixer upper for $40,000, forty years ago. Over the years you made all the necessary improvements, and the house increased in value as the years went by. One day you awake to 5 inches of snow, your car is buried in the driveway and the temperature is colder than it’s been in awhile. In that moment you decide, “I’m getting out of New York!”.

You call a company for a moving quote and start to describe your furniture. But wait…you live in a four story brownstone. You have furniture that worth over $6000. You have artwork that’s priceless and a basement that needs to be cleaned out. In this scenario, we would recommend an in-house estimator. This way, you can go over all the things that need protecting together. It will also give the estimator an opportunity to see how delicate your things are. This will help them send the best crew and proper equipment for your move.

Moving date flexibility may save you money

Believe or not, one of the most Googled subject in the moving industry is “When is the best time to move?” The minute you make the decision to move is the minute, things become a bit hectic. Finding the right movers in New York City is no easy task, but if you’re patient and you do your due diligence you should be ok.

The complete Guide to Full-Service Moving

If possible, opt for a day during the second half of a month (15 – 25 is usually the perfect ten-day period to perform a move). Most people need to move on the last or the first days of a month because of rental agreements, job-related considerations, etc. Avoid this peak period if you can. Some moving companies will charge you less for different times of the month or even days of the week. Also, keep in mind that many prefer to relocate during the first half of a month, soon after they have received their salary and feel more confident about covering their moving expenses.

You shouldn’t have to pay a large deposit

The first thing you should know about the moving industry is every moving company has its own rule about everything. From pricing to who is responsible when a parking ticket is issued to how they get paid. With all these different ways of doing things there are a few things that remains constant. Taking a large deposit (60% or above) is not a common practice in the moving industry. Most companies would take a small deposit (20% to 40%) to save your moving reservation. Usually, moving companies will ask for a credit card to keep on file. When the move is done you have the option to pay with the card on file or with cash. So be wary of moving companies that ask for large deposits and demands only to be paid in cash.

Be smart about moving companies with a name switch

There are companies that have been just awful and have racked up quite a few bad reviews and end up changing their names. This allows them to operate in the industry without any accountability. Some even avoid bad reviews from the BBB (Better Business Bureau) by having multiple DBAs. So take your time and do you due diligence. Make sure your company has a verified address and information about their license and insurance. Do some further research to find out if the company is doing business under other names. Visit Yelp or Google and see if there are any complaints and read as many reviews as possible (especially the bad ones). To find out more about the company’s history, call the consumer complaints hotline at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 888-368-7238.

You may be able to get references on moving companies

When people decide to move, they typically turn to two main sources. They usually visit one of the search engines (Google, Bing or Yahoo), type in “Moving Company Brooklyn” and then they have access to a plethora of options. From two men and van to full-service moving companies that can do all the packing and moving for you. Some people might even visit a reliable movers association such as the American Moving and Storage Association. What you may not know is that you may be able to ask for previous client references for your movers.

the complete guide to full-service moving

The complete Guide to Full-Service Moving

If you’re up to the task, you could ask for three references. Make sure they’re from your area and have moved in the last three months. Call those customers and ask direct questions about their experiences. Remember to be nice and respectful, you’re calling complete strangers and asking for they help. You wouldn’t want to come across as pushy or intrusive. So put on your best attitude, stay positive and you’ll find the right moving company for you.

They should send the right amount of people for the job

So you’ve got a moving company on the line. You listed off everything that’s in your home, what’s under your bed and all the interesting stuff in your basement. After you’re finished giving your inventory and describing both locations, a moving industry professional should be able to determine the number of movers required to complete the job successfully.

Every moving company is different but the industry standard is one and a half men per room. So, you if have two rooms in your house (rooms includes – bedrooms, living room, etc) they’ll multiply that number by 1.5. After you’re given the quote go over you inventory and see if you think you’ll need more movers. It’s very important that we say this – never underestimate how many things you have because it’s a recipe for disaster. If you underestimate your belongings to save money you’ll wind up spending more money. A big team means things move fast and which means you save money and time. That’s a win-win. If you hire that right moving company and they provide you with the right team of movers, your move should be seamless.

Good inventory list = correct truck size

Having the right size truck on moving day is essential to your move going off without a hitch. Like I mentioned early, create the most accurate inventory list possible and communicate this to your moving specialist. The more details they have about your move the better they can serve you.

the complete guide to full-service moving

The complete Guide to Full-Service Moving

If you just say “I live in a 4 bedroom house and I have few pieces of furniture”, most like the moving company is going to send you a small truck. If you’re not detailed about your inventory, there is a high possibility that the truck the moving company sends won’t be sufficient. So, don’t be lazy. Dig deep and find the time to put together your inventory list, so you the get correctly sized truck.

When the movers pack for you, there’s less possibility for damage.

Most of the time customers do all their packing themselves in an effort to save money. This option works best for those on a budget. It also works for those who are confident in they packing abilities and certain they’ll be able to prevent damage. One of the downsides to DIY packing is that they can get more easily damaged. Hiring professional packers can cost a bit more, but it’s worth it in the long run. Most moving companies have individuals trained in the art of packing. This will prevent damage, save space in the truck, and bonus – they bring all the supplies right to you! No more lugging boxes home from the hardware store.

Be smart about extra fees

Extra fees are perfectly normal when hiring a moving company. You may encounter things like disassembly fees, travel fees, but be aware that there could be other hidden costs that are not included in the original quote. This is a question you should ask when hiring a moving company. Knowledge is power. The more info you have about the moving company, the easier it is to organize your move and manage your budget. So, before you grab your phone and start shopping around for the best deal, make a list of questions that you’d like your future moving company to answer. These questions can range from “how much should I tip my movers?” to “does your company handle garbage removals?”, and of course “are there any additional fees that aren’t in the initial quote?”. Finding out about any hidden or extra fees is essential to you have a stress-free move.

Blank moving contracts aren’t normal

the complete guide to full-service moving

The complete Guide to Full-Service Moving

When hiring a service provider it’s a rule of thumb to absolutely get everything in writing. When a moving company sends you a quote, the price and extra fees should be clearly listed. As well as your pick-up and delivery dates. Read the contract, look over all the information and make sure that every detail is to your liking. Being this organized at first will prevent you from getting premature grays. And if your quote is based on your inventory, double check the inventory list! If your Roomba isn’t labeled on the inventory form you sign before the driver leaves, you can’t expect it to be in the box when he arrives. You can’t file a claim for something that doesn’t appear on the inventory list.

Know if your quote is binding or non-binding

There are two types of moving estimates or price quotes that a mover can provide, binding and non-binding estimates. A binding estimate means that the price quoted in the estimate is the amount you will pay, even if your shipment weighs more than the estimated amount or less than the estimated amount. With non-binding estimate on the other hand, the moving company may charge you more or less at the end of the day. Know which kind of quote you’re getting.

Check your belongings after the move

With most moving companies you have 30 days to report any problems to the moving company and file an insurance claim. So if you’re opening boxes a 6 weeks later and find shards of glass, you’re out of luck. So, after you move, try to open each box and sift through it to check for damage. Your movers have 30 days to acknowledge receipt of your claim. Within 120 days of receiving it, they must deny your claim or make an offer to pay.

Know if you need moving insurance

There are different types of moving insurance:

Basic coverage

The first coverage is called “released value protection” and is set at 30 to 60 cents per pound. This means that you will be reimbursed for everything that’s broken – from your paperclips to the couch – at 60 cents per pound. This coverage is included in the quote given by the moving company

Full-value protection

This allows the moving company two options if any items are lost, destroyed or damaged during the move. This is also called “full replacement value.” The moving company, not the consumer, decides how amends will be made for the property. They have the option to fix the damage property to it’s previous stay or replace it entirely.

Your landlord or building management might also ask for a special COI (Certificate of Insurance). This is a form that the moving company will fill out with the names of your building management to protect your landlord in the event that the building is damaged during the move. If you need a COI, you will likely know, and your building management will send you the specifics that they want the moving company to use.

Moving companies can supply packing materials and supplies – often at a discount

the complete guide to full-service moving

The complete Guide to Full-Service Moving

Let’s face it, packing up your home is a nightmare. Dragging boxes home from the hardware store and spending hours bending over them organizing all your worldly belongings? We know you don’t have time for that. Some moving companies will bring the supplies, pack up your items and move you in the same day. And they will often sell you the packing supplies for cheaper than you could get at a retail store.

Furniture disassembly

Couch, sofa, table, dining set, pool table, armoire, won’t fit through your narrow doorway? Most moving companies have trained professionals that can skillfully take apart your furniture. They should then carefully wrap each piece for transportation or shipping. When the furniture arrives at the other location, the movers know how to reassemble your furniture. Therefore, if you have any oversized furniture that you think might be difficult to get out or into your home, let you movers know before you hire them. It will save you a lot of headache.

You can use your own vehicle and just hire truck loading and unloading

If you’re a DIY kind of person but need a little bit of help moving, there are a few options available. Your first option is to tough it out and do it all by yourself. Your second option is to ask your friends and family for help. Or finally, you could hire professional loading and unloading help. I know you’re asking yourself – can I do it all alone? Will my friends and family be available or willing to help me? And if not – how to find loading and unloading help? Though these are all legitimate questions, you must consider what will work best for you and save you the most time and money.

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last decade or so, you should know that Google or Yelp are good places to start. Read some reviews, look at some photos and find the right fit for you. Most loading and unloading helpers are quick and efficient, not just because they work hard, but because this is their profession –  so they do this all the time.

The movers should come prepared for the drive

Your movers should be trained on packing the truck. They should look at each item, and know exactly where it’s going to fit in the truck before even touching it. Make sure that they come prepared with blankets to fill in any open spaces that may cause items to move causing damage. Also, that they take the time to strap things down using bungees and E track ratchet straps. These are just a few examples of things that can be done to prevent damage while transporting your belongings. Not all moving companies will know the proper techniques, and this can make a huge difference.

the complete guide to full-service moving

The complete Guide to Full-Service Moving

You can even hire the movers to unpack your boxes

Things are feeling little less stressful, you’re at the second location, the movers just pulled up and started unloading. If you hired them to unpack as well, the unpacking should happen simultaneously as they’re unloading. This is an amazing service if you can afford it. With your supervision, your movers will open all your boxes and place all your belongings in their rightful place. It’s surely a weight off of your shoulders, and now you can start enjoying your new place and neighborhood a lot sooner.

Know how to dispose of your moving materials

You’ve finally finished unpacking after a momental move. You’re left with a pile of boxes, newspapers, packing peanuts, Styrofoam, and more. These materials, which made it possible for you to get all your belongings safely to your new home can take up quite a bit of space—and might even be impossible to throw away in the regular garbage. For an eco-friendly move that you can feel good about, here are ways to consider recycling your moving materials.

Most cardboard boxes can be reused after a move. Although the structural integrity is ruined, many people don’t mind using gently used boxes for their own purposes. Put them up on a cardboard box exchange, or give them back to the movers. Most cardboard boxes can also be composted or recycled in traditional bins if you break them down first. Using newspaper as a way to wrap breakables and fill dead space in boxes is great because it is so easily recycled. It can almost always be tossed in with your regular recycling. After the bubble wrap has served its purpose (and your kids have gotten all the pleasure they can out of popping it), it should be disposed of in the same way you would dispose of plastic grocery bags, bread bags, and dry-cleaning bags.

And there you have it, the complete guide to full-service moving. If you’re looking to move, look no further than NYC’s top-rated moving company – Stride Movers. We are committed to excellence and customer satisfaction. It would be our pleasure to be the movers on your next relocation. Get a free quote now.

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