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Meathead Movers: Changing Homes?

May 02, 2004

Even if you hire a professional moving company, there is still much to consider. All professional moving company rates are controlled by the ICC (intrastate) or a state PUC (interstate).
It is important to get as many estimates to compare prices and determine which company you feel most comfortable with.

Where do you start when hiring a professional moving company? The following checklist will help;

– The more you plan for the move, the smoother it will go.
– Planning well in advance provides the opportunity to find a good moving company. It will also provide multiple estimates, which will tell you how much the move will cost.
– Ask friends and family for recommendations. Were the movers on time? Were they professional? Did they have enough people and the right equipment for the job? Did they damage anything?

If you would like more information, contact your local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce for performance records on the movers. Look at your household goods and decide how much time and energy you want to put towards your move. Knowing these important facts will help you get a cost estimate and decide what company is best for you.
Factors that influence the cost are:

Weight: In long-distance moves, the more weight, the more cost.
Distance: The number of miles you travel between the origin and destination. Some carriers only serve certain states.
Time: One factor is moving during peak times, such as the summer or holidays, when you will pay more for your move. Local moves, which are within 100 miles of your destination, are charged by an hourly rate. Household goods, planning, and efficiency of the moving company will all factor into the final cost.
When hiring a professional moving company, the final cost factor is deciding between a “self-service” and a “full-service” move. In a self-service move, the moving company transports your belongings from the old house to the new, but you have to pack and unpack your boxes at both ends. In a full-service move, the moving company will pack and unpack your boxes, as well as transport all of your household goods.

People who hire professional movers usually choose full-service. While a self-service move will save you money, long-distance moves with heavy, valuable items are best left to the professionals. It may not pay to move certain things. Consider the value of a donation to Goodwill or the Salvation Army against the cost of moving something near its life expectancy.

You can do it all yourself; however, ask the question, “Do I have the physical as well as the hauling capacity to make this move?” Whether you rely on friends and borrow vehicles, or hire local high school students and rent a truck to do the job, you must have strong helpers and the right hauling capacity. If you lack either of these, it is best not to do it yourself. Friends and family may offer assistance, but are they capable movers? They will not be covered by insurance and what happens if someone or something gets hurt or damaged?

Are you patient enough to pack a truck, then drive it to the final destination? Taking a 25-foot truck on a crowded freeway can be stressful, on top of everything else.

Also, does moving yourself make economic sense? Calculate the cost of travel: Gas, tolls, meals, lodging, possible medical expenses, and uninsured damaged goods. Add in the costs of renting a truck large enough to hold everything, hiring additional help, and even the cost of food at the post-move party. Then get some estimates from professional moving companies and decide how costs compare. If a professional move will cost you more money, ask yourself if it is worth the reduced stress and hassle. In the end, you may find it is easier and more worthwhile to hire a professional moving company. If so, the next step is to examine the details.

1. Take an objective look at what you own. Decide what must go and what can be left behind.
2. Create a floor plan of your new home and begin thinking about where you will want your furniture.
3. As you begin packing, take the time to label and itemize each box.
4. If you are planning a garage sale, pick a date at least one week before the move and advertise locally.
5. Plan your food purchases in order to have as little as possible in the freezer or the refrigerator by the time you move.
6. Arrange to have your new home cleaned or plan to clean it yourself as close to the move-in date as possible.
7. Contact your children’s schools and arrange for records to be forwarded to your new school district.
8. Make arrangements for transporting your pets and any houseplants because you don’t want to move those in the van.
9. Drain the gas and oil from gas-powered tools such as lawnmowers. Movers will not take them if they are full.
10. Transfer your utilities and change of address form at or call each utility company individually, and fill out a change of address form from the post office.
11. Take a few minutes to meet your new neighbors so it is not awkward on moving day.
12. If you have young children, arrange to have a babysitter to watch them on moving day. Trust me on this one.

I hope this article was both informative and useful for your upcoming move. If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to call us at any time.

Aaron Steed, CEO
Meathead Movers

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