If you’re moving long-distance for the first time, you probably have a lot of thoughts and feelings running through your head. We understand how overwhelming it can be, and the idea of hiring movers can get your nerves on edge when added into the mix. Before you get in your head too much, take a second to breathe and follow this guide on doing business with professionals for your first move to a new home.
Do It Yourself vs. Professional Movers
Because you’re new to all of this, you should know the difference between a DIY (do-it-yourself) move and hiring the pros. Both options are doable and have their respective advantages and disadvantages. Depending on what you need, doing one might cost more or take more time. Let’s go through the pros and cons of both options, so you know what’s best for you.
Pros and Cons
A DIY move can be to your advantage in these ways:
- You do everything on your own schedule and set your deadlines.
- You are in full control of every aspect at home.
- You save money by not hiring services.
The disadvantages of a DIY are:
- You have to spend much more time and effort to get finished.
- You’ll have to pay extra for truck rentals, transportation, and gas.
- You won’t have any coverage for broken items during your move.
- It can be hard to find help with large and heavy furniture in your home.
- You risk injury if you try and move big and bulky furniture on your own, with no equipment.
- You’ll have to pay extra for moving equipment.
The advantages of hiring professional long-distance professionals:
- There is less work on your part.
- They have the proper equipment to help handle large furniture.
- They often come with their own packing supplies.
- They offer different moving services for what you need.
- Your items are insured.
- They can be much more reliable than friends and family.
- They have a truck.
- They offer a storage service in case you have too much stuff.
The disadvantages of hiring professionals:
- You have to work with their schedule.
- You have less control over the move.
- You may have to pay extra fees for the service provided.
As you probably guessed before, if you contact professional long-distance movers, you’re likely to have a good experience, and moving far away won’t be nearly as scary.
Compare Before Hiring Movers
Try not to get too far ahead of yourself and jump right into calling for hired help before doing some research. Remember, there are many different moving companies. It’s one of many common moving mistakes to go with the first choice available to you. Be patient and get to know what you need and then shortlist a few different relocators.
Learn About Different Companies
Each company has different services, policies, locations they serve, and costs. The best thing to do is compare 3 or 4 different companies and look at the various offers they have. In this case, what long-distance services they offer, what areas do they cover, and do they offer storage? If you have any specific requests, are they able to help with them? Make sure you learn everything about the company you’re considering.
Get Different Quotes and Compare
On most moving companies’ websites and pages, you’ll have access to a fill-out form to get a free estimate or quote. When you provide the necessary information about your move, you’ll be able to talk to a representative. After that, you’ll have an estimate of how much your relocation should cost. Make sure you get a few different quotes for reviewing and comparing prices and choose which relocator will give you the most bang for your buck.
Moving Companies to Avoid
As we stated before, it’s always a good idea to research different companies. But, what if you happen to choose a company that’s running a scam? It is incredibly frustrating dealing with poor service, and it can cost you way more money than expected. Always be on the lookout for these wolves in sheep’s clothing and learn how to protect yourself.
Signs Associated With Bad Movers
No one should fool you into paying for poor service; here are some tell-tale signs to look for:
- If you’re given any offers that seem too good to be true, beware. An example would be any company that offers low rates.
- Always look for reviews. If you can’t find any or if the only reviews you do find are poor, ditch them.
- Look for an official address and reliable contact information. It’s one thing if you can’t get a hold of the company, but if they have no headquarters, you should take your business elsewhere.
- If the company you’re considering requires a downpayment larger than 20 percent, it’s a scam. Most companies will only ask for 20 percent and give you an option to pay other than cash.
- Cash only payments. Most, if not all, movers will have you pay online or electronically with a receipt, or they will send an invoice listing all of the expenses and costs for the service. If the company you’ve chosen expects cash payment upfront, they can easily add charges on the spot and trick you out of your money, or hold your stuff in storage until you pay the asked amount.
Tips You Can Use to Reduce Costs
We get it, moving cross country can be expensive, and you don’t want to have to dig too deep into your finances to get it over with. Fortunately, you can put that worry to rest because there are many ways to save money.
Find Free Boxes
Of all the expenses that you have for long-distance relocating, getting packing materials for moving is a big one. You have to buy boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, markers, etc. Almost every time you buy supplies, boxes are the most expensive because you have to buy several in different sizes, and you never know exactly how many, so you have to overspend. Instead of spending all that money, it would be good to give your friends and family a call to ask if they have any spare boxes or visit your local thrift store, the salvation army, or goodwill. Ask if they’re willing to part with any discarded boxes.
Other Tips on Saving
Maybe getting free boxes isn’t enough, and you still have to cut costs somehow. Here are a few more tips on how to save money on moving costs:
- If you don’t mind the work, you can always pack yourself.
- Use household items for packing supplies. Towels, rags, newspapers, hangers, and trash bags can go a long way and save you hundreds of bucks.
- You can always use other services if you don’t want a full long-distance job. If you want help with packing, you can hire a packing service.
- Find a friend with a truck.
Moving Tips and Hacks
Book Movers Early
40-45 million Americans prefer moving in the summer. No matter when it is, you should always book early. You do this for a few reasons:
- You’ll have time to plan, create checklists, and budget for your relocation.
- You can get well prepared for everything to be packed and loaded into the truck.
- Most companies are heavily booked during peak season.
- You will either be denied or charged extra for last-minute requests.
Hiring Movers in a Nutshell
Now you should be pretty well informed about hiring professional movers for your first move. Not as scary as you thought, right? Now, when you decide to move to a new home, you’ll have all the best information you need. Get on the right track or road, or any other way to relocate.