If you recently purchased a new home and you’re thinking about hiring a professional to move your belongings, you’ll want to pay close attention to these seven things your movers wish you knew about how to make the day go as smoothly as possible.
1. Don’t be afraid to meet your movers in person
Every company will strive to impress you during the estimate process. But when it comes to finding out which companies will move your stuff and also make you feel comfortable in the process, it’s a good idea to stop by their office in person. That way you can find out if they’re the real deal, or they consist of a guy running the show out of an apartment. Price is only part of the equation. Take some time to consider which movers have your best interests in mind and which are just seeking a one-time paycheck.
2. Prep for your movers in advance
Before you get out the bubble wrap, determine what exactly needs to happen for the day to go off without a hitch. For example, do you need to reserve your building’s elevator, and will the truck need to find a parking spot on a busy street? If so, save a spot ahead of time.
If you’re moving in or out of an apartment complex, make sure you know the rules, as designated moving hours can cause major issues. Don’t forget to let your movers know ahead of time if they’ll be transporting an especially large or heavy item, such as a washer, dryer, or piano. It might require extra help, and time spent looking for a third pair of hands is money wasted.
3. Pack all of your belongings beforehand
If you’ve decided to pack everything yourself, make sure the job is finished before the movers arrive. That doesn’t mean untaped boxes scattered throughout the house. Instead, it means boxes filled, taped up, and ready to go by the time your movers get to your house. You also can help speed up the process and keep your possessions safe by placing everything in a central room. Even better: Stack your boxes against the wall, which will allow your movers the freedom to move quickly and easily. It’s also important to finish taping your boxes beforehand. If a mover has to do it, it adds a significant amount of time and money to moving day.
4. Label everything
You don’t need to write down the specific contents of every box, but you should be sure to note where each box goes in your new home. It’s easier if the movers don’t have to decide where the boxes should go on moving day when they’re charging an hourly rate.
Also, make sure to keep your movers in the loop. If they don’t know what a certain direction on a box means, it’s the same as if you hadn’t labeled it at all. And now’s the time to decide what area is your “great room” and which is the “den.”
5. Tell them what’s valuable
Movers aren’t psychics. They don’t know that the blue vase cost you $2,500, that your grandmother gave you that crystal decanter or the retail value of your crushed velvet couch. Advise them beforehand about the items on which they should keep a careful eye. The best way to deal with damage is to avoid it, which means communicating about things that are fragile and meaningful.
6. Get out of the movers’ way!
You might think you’re helping when you jump in the truck to sort items or help the movers lift the piano…but you’re not. They’re professionals, and moving is a skill. They have a plan on how things can be done best, so get out of the way and let them work. You’re better served to direct the movers to the right rooms or reassembling furniture in your new home. (Movers prefer that you disassemble and reassemble your own stuff.
So, if you’ve been hoping they’ll take on the task of putting back together with your Ikea bed, you might want to think again.) Not only can an eager homeowner slow down efforts, but he or she also can be an insurance liability because it jeopardizes the mover’s work safety and insurance. They can’t let customers on their truck or carry things with customers.
7. Tip them (and maybe buy lunch)
The standard tip for movers between $20 and $50, but more is always welcome. They’re in the service business, and what they do is incredibly difficult. Want even better service? Try tipping at the beginning of the day, and if it’s going to be a long day of moving, consider buying lunch as well.