First-time experiences invoke different emotions. Most of them will give you happy memories. Others can make you cry in a corner. Some can be exciting, while a few can even leave you traumatized. However, it’s usually a mixture of all these when it comes to moving. If this is your first relocation, take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll get through this. If this isn’t your first rodeo, then you must already know how stressful it can get.
But there’s nothing to worry about. Educating yourself will help clear up most of your concerns. That said, here are FAQs to guide you in making your move easier and budget-friendly.
How Can I Move Cheaply?
Good news! Although moving will inevitably cost a considerable amount upfront, it does offer plenty of options where you can cut down costs. Cheap Austin Movers, one of the most reputable movers in Austin, shares some valuable tips:
- Consider a DIY move. This is the most straightforward approach to saving money. However, it’ll require more time and commitment on your part to pull off. Not to mention the risk of damage and accidents will be higher.
- Get creative when packing. Instead of buying new materials, use existing ones in your home. Try cramming your books in suitcases, pad furniture with old sheets, or store your laundry in clean trash bags for more space. The internet provides many ideas for creative, budget-friendly packing if you don’t know where to start.
- Find the perfect time to move. Relocating during summer will cost you a lot due to increased demand. Moving during the fall and winter is the cheapest, but you’ll have to deal with unfavorable weather and road conditions.
- Downsize your home. It’s irrational to bring along something you rarely use or don’t need anymore. It’ll only add to the cost as it consumes valuable space in the moving truck. Learn to let go of extra utensils, old appliances, and items you haven’t used in the last six months.
- Sell your extras. If you’ve decluttered correctly, chances are you’ll have plenty of items to throw away. Sell those and make some extra cash to cover your expenses.
- Hire full-service movers. Contrary to a DIY move, movers might seem costly at first, but you’ll find that they’re actually more cost-effective in the long run. They can cut downtime so you can immediately get back to work. Additionally, they can save you from additional repairs due to damage or medical bills if you get injured.
How Accurate Is an Estimate?
Before you proceed, understand that an estimate is exactly as it sounds – an educated guess. However, you can trust that this figure has been calculated carefully and will hit close to the final price. If your potential movers give a binding estimate, they will provide a precise cost of your move and will honor it until the end. However, this price is subject to increase if you require them to perform additional services (like packing or furniture disassembly). On the other hand, a non-binding estimate charges you according to the weight of your cargo. To make things fair, an empty truck’s weight will be compared to its weight after adding your belongings.
How Do I Hire the Right Movers?
Rogue movers have always been a problem. Fortunately, their modus operandi is well known. Look for the following red flags:
- Asking for a large deposit before starting the move.
- Not sending an agent to your home to get an estimate.
- The company does an in-home estimate, yet the price seems too good to be true.
- Using a different company name in the contract from what they introduced to you.
- Lack of online presence/ shady websites.
On top of avoiding these major red flags, remember to ask your movers for their USDOT number. This serves as their license to operate. You can then run the number on the FMCSA website to see more info about the company.
Is There Protection from Loss of Items or Damage?
Of course! It would be unfair if there wasn’t any protection from loss. However, it might not be enough. Most moving companies have a basic coverage of 60 cents per pound of lost or damaged items. This can be disadvantageous for you, especially when an expensive object is involved.
Meanwhile, full-value protection offers more security. It usually settles for around $6 per pound. That means if the movers lose your 200-pound fridge, you could receive about $1200 in damages. Be sure to read the fine print of your coverage to understand your movers’ policy. As expected, you’ll have to pay a bit more for this kind of protection.
How Can I Prepare My Home for Moving Day?
Keep in mind that loading can take several days, depending on your shipment size and the time of the year. Moving special furniture like pool tables, bathtubs, and pianos will also significantly affect the timeframe.
Be sure to notify your moving company of any changes in your location prior to the big day. The street in front of your home might undergo roadwork, preventing them from easy access. Movers are generally flexible with schedules as long as you don’t miss out on the details.
On moving day, make sure that your porch is clear of anything that might obstruct the movers from doing their job. Check if parts of the floor are wet to avoid slips and accidents. Keep your kids occupied and your pets tucked in their cages.
How Can I Track My Shipment?
The driver will normally contact you 24 hours before transit. At the same time, your moving company will assign a customer service representative to answer your concerns. This agent will also be your ticket to tracking down your goods. You can also use your mover’s app if they have one. Remember to double-check if you’ve provided them the correct contact information.
How Can I File for Claims?
This is usually a sensitive topic that both parties wouldn’t want to talk about. However, knowing how to file a claim properly is essential in your move. No matter how reliable your movers may seem, nobody knows what can happen down the road. Again, the process mainly depends on your movers. Make sure you understand the claim-settlement procedure before proceeding with the move. Shoot your moving company representative questions even if they sound dumb. The goal is to understand and learn how to do it. You’ll have little to no say after you drop your signature on the contract.
Should I Tip My Movers?
Naturally, it’s up to you to tip your movers. Although you’re not obligated to, it’s certainly a nice gesture, especially when they’ve done an excellent job with your relocation. An extra $4 – $5 / hour of service for every mover is considered a nice tip.