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Planning for a long distance move
12-27-2018 | Armbruster

Planning for a long distance move

Planning a long-distance move can be an overwhelming task. In this article, you will learn how the process works when using a professional moving company. Periodically you will see Moving Hack which is insider tips provided by our industry expert!

  What is a long-distance move? A long-distance move is when you are moving from one state to another state (if you live in a large state like Texas and will be moving over 100 miles but not leaving the state this will be a similar process).

The Prep Work

Before calling a professional moving company, it is prudent to evaluate and classify your household items. Here are the 4 categories we find to be helpful.
  1. Definitely moving
  2. Possibly moving
  3. Discard
  4. Donate
Remember when you hire a professional moving company the total number of items you move will have a direct impact on the overall cost.  To help alleviate some costs, only take the items you will need and use in your new home. The items that fall into your “maybe” category could be a strong candidate for the discard and donate category.
Moving Hack - Remember discarding or donating could produce some extra cash and tax write-offs! Not only will you be lessening the number of items moving and thus lowering your moving cost, but you will have a tax write-off and potentially cash from selling these items.

The Call

When you call a professional moving company, they are going to ask some preliminary questions to gain a better understanding of your move. Here is a list of some general questions so you can be prepared before calling.
  1. What is your current address and what is your new address? *If you do not have a new address yet select an interested city and state to name.
  2. Will you be moving any specialty items? To name a few; exercise equipment (treadmill, stationary bike, weight equipment), hot tub, flat screen and/or curved televisions, appliances, pool table, canoe/kayak, piano, or riding mower?
  3. Will you be moving your washer/dryer if so do you have the bolt kit for your washing machine?
  4. What is your estimated move out date range?
  5. Would you like a quote on a full pack, partial pack, or fragile pack?
Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time will certainly streamline your process by giving the moving company important information prior to working up your estimate so there are no surprises.

The Survey

The next step in getting your price is by creating your inventory. There are 3 ways this can be done.
  1. Schedule a free in-home survey.  This usually takes 30-60 minutes depending on the size of your home.  This entails a professional home surveyor coming to your house creating a digital inventory to estimate your move.
  2. Schedule a virtual survey. This is a great tool to use when you need flexible scheduling. For example, you would like to have the survey done before or after work or you want to run home for your lunch break.  Not all moving companies offer this service so be sure to ask.                                                                                                                                                                        
  3. Self-generated inventory. Some moving companies will fill out a rough inventory over the phone by asking you a series of questions or they will email you a blank excel list with predetermined room names and items for you to fill in your own inventory. Depending on the size of your move we do not recommend this process. Although this process may seem simple, however, you are bound to miss important items and notes that an untrained eye can easily miss.
Moving Hack – Be sure to ask your potential moving company if their crews are employees and trained? You will want to know that the company you are talking to is the company servicing your move.  AMSA (American Moving & Storage Association) advocates using a Pro Mover. A Pro Mover will have their own trained crews, company trucks & equipment, and will service your move from the origin to the destination.

The Decision... The Professional Pack vs The Pack By Owner

If you have decided to take on packing you will need these important items to be prepared for the task:
Your DIY List
  • Boxes (used or new) These can be bought through a moving company, online, or in a home improvement store. New boxes are about twice the cost of used boxes.
  • Moving tape - Duct tape or scotch tape does not work!
  • Black Markers for writing the room name and contents on the side of each box.
  • Packing paper - Paper is your biggest friend when packing. You must pack all fragile items with paper around, on top, and on the bottom.
MOVING HACK – do not use newspaper; it rubs off on china and makes for a messy unpack. White, print less paper is suggested.
Packing always takes longer than anticipated, so start at least 4 weeks prior to your moving day.  We recommend asking your moving company about resources for DIY packing techniques and tips.  You will feel relieved to have this task done as your moving day approaches.   Once all boxes are packed it is important to label them with the room they will be going into at your new home!  If you are moving in the colder months of the year it is important to not pack any liquids that will freeze and possibly explode.
MOVING HACK - save your TV boxes. These boxes are perfect for properly protecting your TV during a move and it will save you from buying a new box or paying the moving company to pack your TV.
Professional moving companies offer partial or full packing services. FYI - When you are talking to the moving company, and they use the term “packing” they are referring to the loose contents going into boxes (not furniture being wrapped). All professional moving companies should include pad-wrapping and protecting furniture in their standard moving services at no additional cost. So, when you are getting a quote, be sure to ask for quotes on packing.  Packing is an a la carte service. For example, you can ask for the moving company to pack only your kitchen and dining room, which is the typical room that holds all the glassware, or you can ask for them to quote packing the entire house.

The Selection 

Once your survey is completed and your inventory is finalized the sales representative will finalize your moving estimate.  You can ask to see your estimate in two different ways. 1. Binding - which means your price is set and will not change. Most customers choose to go with the binding option.  The other option is 2. Non-binding - which means once your house is loaded onto the truck the driver will weigh your shipment and your price will be calculated based off the actual weight (higher or lower).
Moving Hack -  In the event you signed up for a binding move this is important. If you have sold off somoe of your larger furniture items and you are getting closer to your moving day be sure to call your sales representative to let them know what you have discarded so they can adjust your inventory and cost. If you do not call your sales representative before moving day they will assume you still have those items and you will be paying for the transportation of the extra weight.
The moving industry has a term called "valuation" which is used to describe how much your household goods (personal items) are worth in the event any of your goods are damaged or lost during the move.  The term insurance is not used simply because an insurance policy is not being taken out for your move. Professional moving companies offer a value per item and per lb with a maximum amount set. Further explanation is below..... The minimum valuation is $0.60/lb. Which in most cases is offered to you at no additional cost. The full valuation option is $6.00/lb. Which does incur a cost for the extra valuation. Examples: Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith home was surveyed at 10,000lbs in a binding estimate. Below are examples of the two different valuations.
  1. Minimum Valuation ($0.60/lb): 10,000lbs x $0.60/lb = $6,000 in valuation. *FREE
  2. Full Valuation ($6.00/lb): 10,000lbs x $6.00/lb = $60,000 in valuation. *$$$$
In the event, the truck is taken out by a tornado while in transit and your shipment is a total loss. Then the values listed above is the dollar amount you will receive depending if you selected minimum valuation or full valuation. The best way to determine what you should do is to calculate roughly how much all of your household goods are worth if you had to buy them brand new again.  If you have higher valued items that add up to a good chunk of change and you are moving over a couple hundred miles then you might be interested in paying for the extra valuation. Valuation is offered to customers for a safety net in the worst case scenario. Yes, professional moving companies are trained in moving and driving your personal household goods but accidents do happen in the home and on the national interstates of our country. In the event, an accident happens some people like to have a safety net. This is why valuation options are offered at different rates. In conclusion, moving long distance can seem like an overwhelming task. This is why we suggest you contact a professional moving company who has the reputation, experience, and simple processes in place to help guide you during your move. Moving is meant to be a very exciting time for the individual and/or family! Hiring a professional moving company that you can trust will allow you to enjoy the process and excitement of moving to your new home in your new City!
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