Just because you hired movers to do the heavy lifting into your new home doesn’t mean you should now sit back and put your feet up. Give yourself a quick pat on the back and then plan on doing some legwork to ensure your move goes smoothly and to save critical time and money, since movers charge by the hour.
We partnered with Scott Quist of REAL RocknRoll Movers to put together some tips to help you prepare. Scott offered his expert advice based on the many challenges his team has encountered when they moved a client who didn’t think ahead, and who incurred a higher bill as a result.
Many customers underestimate the amount they have to move and therefore the size of truck necessary. The customer says “oh I forgot, I also have a garage full of stuff!” Scott recalls. Others forget to mention extreme difficulty accessing their place because of long corridors or a large setback. In some cases, movers have to leave the job unfinished to go to their second appointment of the day, and the client ends up with the extra expense of having them return, with a bigger truck, a larger team or just more time allotted.
What Your Mover Needs to Know
Access – Let the moving company know if there are stairs or elevators or long walks down corridors to an apartment. Is the closest parking spot far away? Take the time to actually walk from the truck’s likely parking spot to your door. Count the steps and tell your movers that number.
Heavy Items – Let your movers know if you have anything very heavy such as a large couch, refrigerator or piano. Extra-large items that won’t fit through a door frame or a tight hallway may have to be hoisted through a window and require extra time that will need to be planned for.
Conversely, if you have lighter items that won’t fit in a box, such as lamps, consider taking them on your own time in your car. “If one of the movers has to grab it by hand and make a special trip to the truck because he can’t carry anything else, that just takes unnecessary time,” says Scott.
Tell Everything! – As Scott mentioned earlier, be sure to tell your movers EVERYTHING that will need to be moved. If you plan to pack yourself, let them know how many boxes you will have. If you don’t have all of your boxes ready, give a generous estimate. You likely have much more stuff than you realize. The same goes if you plan to have the movers pack for you.
Transporting Furniture When You Move
When moving a dresser, take everything out of the drawers and put it in boxes. This will lighten the furniture and make it faster to move without damaging what’s inside. Wrap the dresser in shrink wrap to keep the drawers in place. Be especially careful with IKEA furniture or anything you assembled yourself. It’s usually not extremely durable and may come apart during a move. If you worry about it being damaged, take it apart beforehand and reassemble it in your new home.
Plan Ahead and Be Ready When Movers Arrive
Give yourself enough time to pack and be ready for the movers to arrive. Scott says if they get there and nothing is packed to go, movers will have to reschedule. Give yourself at least two weeks to pack if you live in a small apartment and up to a month or two if you’re in a house, especially if you’ve lived there for many years. Before the movers arrive “be sure to group the items that are to be moved or clearly label them so the movers know what to grab and can plan how they will be arranged to best fit in the truck, like a giant puzzle,” says Scott. Do not put everything by the door so that it blocks access.
You’re the Director, Not the Mover
Do not plan on being a mover. “Many times people will want to save money by not hiring enough movers. The customers plan to help out, but more often the customers are exhausted from preparing for the move and end up just getting in the way and slowing down the process,” said Scott. Instead, let the workers you hired do what you are paying them to do. It’s your job to direct what you want moved and where it will go in your new home.
Some critical preparation goes a long way in making your move a success. The less time it takes, the more money and time you will have to enjoy your new home!