How can homeowners save money when hiring reputable home movers?
The typical residential move costs between $2,000 and $4,000, according to the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), but those costs can be reduced with some advanced planning. For example, homeowners can reduce their moving costs by doing the following:
- Organizing everything before the movers arrive
- Knowing how much insurance you need
- Understanding the differences between different moving estimates
- Picking the best time to move
Homeowners can also control their costs by getting their moving supplies (like boxes) from low cost or free sources. Professional movers, though, can provide high quality moving supplies with their services, and these offer better protection for your belongings. Sticking with better boxes and better packing materials may reduce damage during transit and, by extension, save you money.
Pack before the movers arrive to save money
There are several ways to minimize your moving costs when hiring reputable home movers. The factor that’s most in your control is getting packed before moving day. What does that mean?
Get all the packing done before moving day
This seems like an easy rule to follow, but no one enjoys packing and it’s often put off until the last moment. If you put it off until moving day, though, that mean you’ll probably be packing while the movers are doing their job.
Even if most of your things are packed up, professional movers operate best when they don’t have to maneuver around a mess. Packing usually results in a mess, so those loose boxes and belongings might slow the movers down.
It’s even worse if the movers have to wait while people are still packing as movers charge by the hour. If the move takes several hours longer because of packing problems, that’s money the customer is spending for no reason.
Label all boxes clearly
Reputable moving services will do their best to place everything in the room it goes in. To help them do that, label all boxes by room, so there is no confusion as to where anything goes. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time rearranging everything once the movers leave. Or, you and the movers will both spend time working together to get everything to its spot.
Alert the movers about any fragile items
Reputable home movers take care with everything they handle, but if they know that there are fragile items in a particular box, they can set it aside and load it when it is safest to do so. This will help the movers protect your belongings from damage and reduce your moving expenses.
How else can homeowners get the house ready prior to moving day?
There’s more to getting organized than just packing, though. There are a few more steps homeowners can take to help reputable movers do their job efficiently and save money as a result. For example:
Disassemble anything that doesn’t easily fit through a doorway
Reputable home movers are happy to help with furniture disassembly, but if you’re willing to break down beds, desks and other pieces first, that will reduce the time it takes to get everything on the truck.
Make sure the driveway and exterior walking areas are clear
Reputable movers are ready to go as soon as they arrive, so clients can save additional time by ensuring the movers have a place to park and a path to walk from the start.
If needed, alert your property owner about the move
If you’re moving out of a single family home, then there’s likely no restricted areas for the movers to worry about. If, however, you’re moving out of a high rise or apartment building, the moving crew may have trouble getting around the property efficiently if some areas or elevators are blocked off. Verify that the movers can get where they need to, so there’s no confusion on moving day.
How can customers save money when getting moving estimates?
The AMSA recommends consumers get a few estimates before hiring a home mover. That’s because even among reputable home movers, there can be significant variance in what they charge. The more estimates you get, the more likely you’ll secure a reasonable price.
There’s also the type of estimate to consider. There are three primary types of estimates, and they include:
A nonbinding estimate is, essentially, the mover’s best guess as to what you will pay once everything is weighed. What the client actually pays is determined by the weight of everything once it’s loaded on the truck. That means your moving costs could go up after the estimate is filed.
Guaranteed price estimates
A guaranteed price estimate is one that will not change, even when the client’s belongings are weighed. What is listed on the estimate is what you will pay, whether the actual weight is higher or lower than the estimated weight.
Reduced rate guarantee estimates
With a reduced rate guarantee estimate, the client will either pay what is on the estimate or the estimate may be adjusted once everything is weighed. However, the client will pay the lesser of the two, so this is the best option for consumers.
Should homeowners avoid moving insurance as a way to save money?
Moving insurance offer vital protection for your belongings, so the AMSA recommends it unless there’s a good reason not to opt for coverage. In most cases, customers have two options when considering insurance:
Released value protection
Released value protection is what clients get if they choose not to purchase insurance. However, you still have to specify that you want released value coverage, even if you don’t pay for it.
Released value protection costs nothing, but it doesn’t offer much protection if something expensive is damaged. The moving company provides minimal liability in this instance, and that could mean as little as 60 cents per pound of cargo. If a piece of jewelry or artwork is destroyed, for example, the client may get a miniscule fraction of the item’s worth. Released value protection, then, is only recommended if the movers won’t be handling the expensive stuff.
Full value protection
With full value protection, the client declares how much their belongings are worth, and the mover will provide full protection in return. The client must pay a premium for this protection, and there is typically a deductible involved, but if something valuable is damaged, the insurance will pay for itself quickly.
Reputable home movers reserve the right to limit coverage when it comes to extremely valuable items. This usually refers to any goods that are worth more than $100 per pound, which is often the case with antiques and other rarities. However, the mover may allow the client to purchase additional protection for those items, at an additional cost.
Which option works best depends on whether you want to take the risk with your valuables, and whether it makes sense to pay more to protect your belongings. The right choice could save you a lot of money.
When is the best time to hire reputable home movers to save money?
Another way to save money when hiring reputable home movers is to pick a time of the year, month and week when no one else is moving. This is when home movers are most likely to compete on price. So, when is the best day, month and year for moving?
- The middle of the week is ideal as most people set aside moving for the weekend.
- The middle of the month is also ideal as residential leases usually terminate at the end of the month.
- During the fall or winter is a good time because most people choose to move during the summer.
If you can manage to schedule your move during these times, it will save you money.
Reputable home movers charge for their services fairly, but even with reputable movers, there are always opportunities to save some money. Even better, homeowners have control over many of these factors, so if you’re willing to plan ahead, you can help your moving costs stay as low as possible.