Taking a little time to prepare, and asking the right questions can help you avoid these10 mistakes that can cost you extra money on your next move.
These tips can help you make a successful move while saving you money:
1. Have a plan-
Whether you're moving across the country or just around the corner, moving is a big job that takes a lot of preparation. Thinking you can throw everything in a few boxes, and onto the back of a truck at the last minute will probably result in overlooking important details, and cost you money.
Start planning 90 days before your move by getting estimates from movers, gathering packing supplies, and checking into travel arrangements. Keeping a check list, like this one can help you stay organized, will save you time, and ensure all the details are taken care of. Time will be at a premium as the move gets closer - so the more you can do in advance, the better off you'll be.
2. Hire the right moving company-
The right moving company can make all the difference, they will save you a lot of time, and stress. There are numerous ways to make sure you are hiring a qualified, reputable moving company.
Ask for recommendations from friends, and family. Check the moving company website for their US Department of Transportation license, and their Motor Carrier number. Check the American Moving and Storage Association and see if your mover is a member. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource for checking out a moving company.
It's difficult for a moving company to give you an accurate estimate without seeing your things. Have in-home estimates performed, most companies offer them at no charge. You might get a ball-park estimate from the internet or over the phone, but the most accurate cost estimate will be done in your home. If a mover wants you to put up a cash deposit or down payment - this is a red flag! Reputable moving companies don't require this. Lastly, if the price sounds too good to be true - it probably is.
3. Be sure to tell your moving company everything-
The only way to make sure you get an accurate pricing estimate, and no surprises with additional costs - is to be sure your moving company is aware of everything that you will be moving. You should also think about the access at your new home, is there enough parking on the street or driveway to accommodate the moving van? Are there low hanging tree branches or other obstacles that may prevent the movers from being able to park their truck close to your home? What about narrow walk ways or stairs?
Most of these obstacles can be overcome, but it may cost you extra. It's better to fully disclose all the details upfront so there are no delays in delivery or additional costs.
4. Set a budget-
Once you've gotten your in-home estimates, and chosen your moving company, it's time to think about the other expenses associated with a move. It's easy to get caught up in selling your home, buying a new one, and the other "big" decisions, but don't overlook the other costs associated with moving.
Besides the expense of moving your things, take into consideration the cost of moving yourself, and your family: Factor in the costs for transportation, lodging, and meals.
Be sure to save your receipts - many moving expenses are tax deductible. If your employer is paying for your move, you may also need your receipts to be reimbursed for your expenses.
5. Protecting your items during transit-
Most moving companies do their best to avoid damaging your houshold items - damage cuts into their profit margin. But accidents can happen - even with the most careful movers. All carriers are required by law to provide basic liability coverage, included in the cost of your move. However, this coverage only pays .60 cents per pound, per item. So if you have a $5,000 dinette set that weights 200 pounds - you'll only receive $180 if it is damaged beyond repair. Most carriers reserve the right to inspect any damaged items, and determine whether they can be repaired rather than replaced. If you feel that you need additional coverage, you can purchase that from your moving company. Be sure to also check your homeowner's policy to see if it covers damage in transit. If you aren't sure about what is and isn't covered - ask.
Check back in April for part two of this list.
Part two of our 10 Mistakes That Can Cost You Money During a Move
#6 Proper Packing If you can afford it, having your moving company do the packing can save you a lot of time and hassle. But if not - these tips can help you pack like a pro:
Picking up boxes at the local grocery store may sound like a great way to save some money, but boxes specifically designed for moving make a better investment in the long run. These boxes are designed and constructed for moving, and to keep your belongings protected.
Correctly labeling your boxes will save you time and frustration. Whether you use a moving company or do the move yourself, being able to place your boxes in the correct rooms during unloading will make your unpacking go a lot smoother.
Waiting until the last minute to begin your packing can cause you to be rushed, and result in poor packing. Packing a few boxes each day will make the job less daunting, and ensure you pack everything properly.
If you will be using a moving company be sure to ask what items they won't take. Usually it's anything flammable, perishable foods, and many cleaning products. You can plan to use up or give these items away before your move begins. Also remember that most moving companies will limit their responsibility for damage to items packed by the customer. These boxes will be listed on your inventory sheet as "Packed by Owner" (PBO).
#7 Don't move things you no longer use Most people are pack rats to some extent. Admitting that you need to clean out your closets, attic or basement before a move can save you some money. Since the cost of your move is based partially on the weight of your household goods, it stands to reason that the more things you move, the more it will cost. If you are moving yourself,why make extra work by taking things you no longer need? Have a yard sale or donate your unwanted items to a local charity rather than move them to your new home.
#8 Moving with a pet Don't forget about Spot. If you have a pet that will be moving with you, chances are you'll need to make some special arrangements for their transportation. If you will be flying to your new home, you should begin to look into flight arrangements for your pet several months in advance. Most airlines have limited space for pets, as well as special requirements for their transport. There are several companies that specialize in moving pets and can help with the arrangements. If you will be driving with your pet to the new home be sure to arrange for pet friendly hotels in advance. You don't want to be driving around in a strange town at midnight looking for a pet friendly hotel.
#9 When you move makes a difference Typically moving companies are busiest during the summer months, which means they book six to eight weeks out during this time. If you wait until the last minute to arrange a summer move - you might get stuck with a less than reputable moving company. If you must make a summer time move be sure to start getting estimates early so you can book your desired date with ease.
#10 Take the time to check your inventory Often times during a move people feel overwhelmed and don't want to take the time to check their inventory sheets during delivery. This is a big mistake - these documents prove that everything packed at your old home has made it to your new home. Many times your ability to file a claim for missing items will be limited if you acknowledged a complete inventory and later find something missing. Take the time to check your inventory sheets thoroughly.
Using these tips can help your move go smoothly, and save you some money.