The great thing about hiring full-service movers is that they’ll do nearly everything for you including lifting heavy dressers, packing fragile items and valuables, and unpacking them when you get to your new house.
It can be a wonderful and hassle-free experience, but on the downside, moving services aren’t cheap.
If money isn’t an issue, you may be able to while away the day sipping lattes and ordering new home furnishings online.
In reality however, this is rarely the case.
The fact is that there’s always lots to do on move day whether you’re doing a DIY move or hiring professionals.
Before taking a look at what to do (and what not to do) while the movers are moving, check out these helpful resources –
- Best interstate movers – The moving industry is full of shady players. With so much at stake, hiring a top-rated long-distance mover with verified customer reviews is imperative
- Moving cost calculator – Talk about a great budgeting tool. Just enter your move dates, origin and destination cities, and the estimated size of your move, and the magic algorithms will do the rest
- Best moving container companies – It’s simple. You load and unload, they drive, and you save big bucks
Don’t go AWOL on moving day
The most important thing you can do to ensure a smooth move is to be available while the movers are onsite.
If you’ve already transferred for work or have another pressing issue, you can appoint a trustworthy friend or family member to manage things on your behalf.
If so, let the movers know and make sure your representative can answer most of their questions.
Make sure there’s a place for the moving truck to park
In residential neighborhoods with wide streets, this can be as easy as setting out a few trash cans.
In apartment complexes and on tight city streets, however, you may need to reserve parking space with the –
- Police department
- Department of public works
- Department of public safety
If so, this needs to be taken care of weeks before your move date.
Start move day with a friendly “meet & greet”
Few things set a positive tone on move day like greeting your movers warmly.
Though you may be stressed out, put on a happy face, and if necessary channel your inner Tony Robbins.
After all, if you’ve chosen a reputable moving company the crew members should be experienced pros.
Make sure you know who the moving crew leader is, then conduct a walk-through of your residence pointing out –
- The things you’re most concerned about
- Where your “off-limits” area is
- Which restroom they can use
- Where the refreshments are
For safety’s sake, keep your residence clean and clutter-free
On move day your home or apartment may be chaotic, but keeping halls, floors, and stairs clean and free of debris will speed up your move, prevent injuries and save you money.
Periodically walk through your residence with a trash bag to pick up discarded boxes, packing paper, and tape that can cause slips and falls.
In wintry weather, make sure outdoor stairs, sidewalks, and driveways are free of snow and ice.
Keep kids and pets out of the way
To kids and pets moving day can seem like a circus.
However, dogs, cats, and toddlers under mover’s feet may result in injuries, property damage, and broken items.
Ideally, pets and little ones should spend the day at a friend or relative’s home.
If this isn’t possible, set aside a room where they can relax, play, snack and snooze, and put a sign on the door letting movers know that this area is off-limits.
It’s also a good idea to store the items you’ll be taking with you in this area as well.
Minimize last-minute “surprises”
Few moves go exactly as planned.
It’s par for the course, but informing your movers on the “big day” that you bought a new bedroom set and an 8-person hot tub and need them to make an extra stop at a relative’s house 90 miles away won’t go over well.
Surprises like these can turn otherwise smooth moves into logistical nightmares, and they tend to make crews see red.
Adding items or services isn’t a problem, just let your movers know well in advance so they can make the necessary arrangements.
Be a good host
Newsflash – movers love tips.
If finances are tight however, consider providing drinks, snacks, and lunch instead.
Little niceties like these go a long way toward making movers feel appreciated, and as a result, they’ll usually go above and beyond the call of duty for you and your family.
Also make sure they have a clean and well-stocked (here we’re talking about soap, paper towels, and toilet paper) bathroom to use throughout the day.
Depending on the weather, you may also want to run the heater or air conditioner so the temperature inside isn’t too hot or cold.
Help, but only when it’s appropriate
Local move charges are generally based on an hourly rate, so by speeding up the moving process you’ll save money.
If you’re determined to keep costs low –
- Move boxes from the upstairs to the downstairs or into the garage the week before your move
- Disassemble beds and tables if you have time
That said, too much “help” can actually prevent the movers from working quickly and efficiently, in which case it’s best to stay out of their way altogether.
Don’t be “that guy” (or gal)
Imagine a professional mover coming into your accounting office and telling you how to organize your spreadsheet.
Wouldn’t go over well, would it?
Likewise, most movers are experienced pros, so don’t assume that you know more about moving than they do.
Of course, since you’re paying you can definitely put your two cents in, but movers are usually the happiest and most efficient when they’re left to their own devices.
Never be more than a phone call away
Once you’re comfortable with the crew being in your home you may be tempted to run a few errands or head down to the coffee shop for an hour of peace and quiet.
If so, make sure the crew leader has your cell phone number, and don’t plan on spending more than an hour or so away.
Your presence will keep the movers motivated and lessen the likelihood of frustrating mishaps.
Do a final walk-through when the movers are done loading
Once the truck pulls away from your old home, items that were inadvertently left behind are generally your responsibility.
Thankfully, checking is as easy as doing a walk-through before departing for your new place.
Don’t forget to inspect –
- Attics and basements
- Sheds and crawl spaces
- The backs of cupboards, cabinets, and closets
Have payment ready at the end of the day
Long before move day, you should know what your payment options are and about how much your move will cost.
If you’re paying with cash, get it the day before.
Discovering on move day that every ATM in town is out of order can make things go south in a hurry.
If possible, have a credit card ready as a backup.
Remember, if you can’t pay, your movers may “hold onto” some of your items until you do.
Frequently asked questions (faqs)
What should you do before the movers arrive?
Pre-move preparations include verifying service dates, reserving elevators and parking spaces, and making sure the moving company has good directions to your home.
Are you supposed to help movers move?
Since you’re paying for moving services you’re not required or expected to help. To minimize cost and speed things up, however, many customers do. If you’re opting for the hands-on approach, just make sure you’re actually helping and not just getting in the crew’s way.
Should you pack your own moving boxes?
Doing your own packing is a great way to save money. On the downside, it’s tedious, time-consuming, and physically demanding, so you may want to let the movers handle it if there’s room in your budget.
What should you do if movers break something in your house?
Professional movers will do their best to protect your residence while they’re moving things in and out, however, damage to flooring, walls, doors, and stairs are relatively common. If your crew causes property damage don’t freak out. Instead, notify the crew leader, take a few photos, and note the damage on the bill of lading when signing the paperwork at the end of the day.
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