Buying a home has a lot of associated costs that may be forgotten. Moving is often the most under-budgeted expense.
If you choose not to DIY your move, most companies, these days, provide a verbal (over the phone) quote based on your home’s square footage and number of bedrooms. Do not fall victim to this scheme/tactic. I fell for it in the past! I was charged THOUSANDS over my verbal quote because I didn’t know any better. I was spoiled from having the Army pay for all of my previous moves. I assumed because 3 companies gave me a verbal, that it was normal. If I wouldn’t have paid the overage, they would have held my belongings hostage until I could. This experience was definitely a wakeup call for me, so I am sharing these tips with you.
If using a moving company:
1) Ask for referrals from friends and family. Keep in mind that their experience may be a lot different than yours because of the crews that are assigned.
2) Ask your Realtor if they partner with or have discounts for moving. Some real estate companies provide discounts on larger moving companies.
3) Declutter, declutter, declutter. Measure your new home to make sure your furniture is going to fit. If it will not fit - sell it. HAVE THAT YARD SALE now or donate any items that you do not want. I definitely wouldn't want to pay the extra money to move items to a new home that I do not see fitting or items that I haven't used in ages. Plus, any money from the yard sale can go to moving expenses or a pretty new décor item once you move in. If you donated an item, make sure you get a tax deduction slip.
4) Call several moving companies. Have them physically come to your home to provide an in-person quote - after seeing all of your belongings. Ask questions! Do they have hidden fees for stairs, fuel, heavy furniture, packing materials, extra time or labor fees? Do they offer fixed prices? Will they provide a discount based on any professional or personal affiliations that you have?
5) Get your quote in writing. If they performed an inventory, make a copy or take a photo.
6) Do research with Better Business Bureau BBB and online to see if there are any complaints. If there are complaints, how were they handled? If there are more complaints than positive reviews online - steer clear.
7) Save at least 1/2 times the quote’s amount for their add-ons: like insurance, trip charge and even to have extra movers or another truck.
8) Stay organized. Go through your home and take photos with a date/time stamp or even a video to document the condition of your furniture. This step is extremely important. You will want to have a record of any damages that the moving company caused to be able to file with their insurance company. Protect yourself and purchase the extra cost to be covered by their insurance OR verify with your own insurance company if they will cover moving damages.
If DIY'ing your move:
1) Start locating packing boxes early. Some grocery stores and larger big box stores still provide free boxes. Check Craig's List, Facebook groups, etc. Ask your friends and family if they have any boxes they can give to you. If all else fails, or you do not want to go through the hassle of searching for moving supplies, you can purchase boxes and packing materials from Home Depot and Lowes.
2) If using a moving truck - always ask for price matching from their competitors. Negotiate. Look for coupons and ads. Ask if they charge for mileage. Get pricing for boxes, packaging, dollies, etc.
3) Ask your friends and family if they can assist you with moving. Try to schedule your move with enough advance notice to get help.
4) Declutter, declutter, declutter. Measure your new home to make sure your furniture is going to fit. If it will not fit - sell it. HAVE THAT YARD SALE now or donate any items that you do not want. I definitely wouldn't want to pay the extra money to move items to a new home that I do not see fitting or items that I haven't used in ages. Plus, any money from the yard sale can go to moving expenses or a pretty new décor item once you move in. If you donated an item, make sure you get a tax deduction slip.
5) Use your own socks, towels, linens to pack fragile items. Place smaller items inside larger items to save money on moving boxes.
6)Use packing tape and tape the heck out of the box bottoms. Do not skimp on packing tape. Protect your items. Do not pack the boxes too heavy – unless using a dolly.
7) Label the room the items go into at the new home on at least 2 sides of the box in a dark Sharpie. When offloading the boxes, take them directly to the room they will be unpacked in.
8) If you saved boxes and packaging for TVs or other larger items, re-use them. These boxes offer the best protection for high-ticket items.
9) Ask your Realtor if they partner with or have discounts for moving. Better Homes and Gardens provides discounts for PODS. PODS allow you to pack at your own pace. They will come to pick up the container and deliver it to your new house.
10) If moving locally, pack smaller items in your car or truck to reduce the number of trips needed in the moving truck. This will save money on mileage due to less trips - if being charged.
12) Pack a couple of boxes that have your first night essentials - toilet paper, tooth brushes, toothpaste, coffee, paper towels, paper plates, towels for showering, pillows and blankets, plastic utensils and cups. The second box should have cleaning supplies: Clorox wipes and Lysol. Trust me - you will want to Clorox wipe down that toilet at your new house and Lysol all of the door handles.
I hope this article helps you with tips and saves you money in your moving process.