You'd likely love to have a residential mover take the stress and chaos out of your next move -- but often your budget isn't exactly unlimited. Fortunately, you can control how much your move costs while still benefiting from the skills and expertise of top-quality moving professionals. Here are some intelligent strategies for getting the most for your residential moving dollar.
Save on Packing and Shipping Materials
You may find it a great convenience to obtain all the necessary packing foam, cardboard boxes, protective blankets and other packing materials you need directly from your moving company. But if money is tight, bear in mind that you can also find many of these supplies for free. For instance, you probably have your share of old boxes, creates, packing peanuts, newspaper (which can be crumpled up to provide protection for delicate objects), and other "junk" sitting in your garage or hiding in a closet. You may also be able to persuade your friends and neighbors to part with any such materials they have in their possession. You can also wrap oversized furnishings in blankets to keep them from getting scuffed or dirty.
Handle Simpler Tasks Yourself
If you already have your own packing materials littering your home, you may as well do your own packing. This is another service you don't have to pay a residential mover to do for you, provided that you're in good health and have the time to spend on this rather tedious task. Also, since moving more items calls for a larger moving vehicle -- thus driving up the price of your move -- you should transport as many of the smaller, lighter items as your car will reasonably hold, taking several trips if necessary, and leave the heavier, bulkier items to the professionals.
However, it's worth noting that the DIY approach can sometimes represent false economy. Remember to factor the value of your own time against the cost of outsourcing any essential task -- you could find that it makes better financial sense to pass the work on to the mover.
Compare Pricing and Insurance Options
Going with the first moving estimate you receive could cause you to spend a lot more money than necessary. Different moving companies charge different rates and arrive at their estimates in different ways. Requesting and comparing at least three quotes is a good rule of thumb. Take the time to ask questions about the details of each quote so you understand exactly how the mover arrived at that total -- and don't be shy about asking for options that could shave a few dollars off of that figure.
You can also overspend on moving insurance if you don't examine your options carefully. For instance, your possessions might already be covered under the terms of your renter's or homeowner's insurance even during a move, in which case there may be no point in buying additional coverage. On the other hand, your coverage may only pay the actual cash value of the items being moved, as opposed to the appraised value, in which case you might be well advised to buy additional insurance. The insurance you purchase from your mover may also depend on how much of the move you're handling yourself.
Insist on Credentials
Cutting costs should never extend to settling for an incompetent, inexperienced, underinsured, unskilled or otherwise unqualified residential mover. Always choose a mover with proper professional credentials, even if you have to shift your budget upward a notch. One way to ensure that you're getting quality is by selecting a "ProMover" vetted by the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA). Membership in local moving associations and a good rating from the Better Business Bureau can serve as further confidence builders.
Last but certainly not least, ask your prospective mover for testimonials. Verifiably genuine first-hand accounts by satisfied customers will reassure you that this mover has treated others right in the past and is capable of giving you a similarly sound return on your moving investment.
Remember, getting a great deal on a move isn't about settling for the cheapest service. Reduce your expenses sensibly, understand the bid details and insist in quality, and your successful move is likely to feel like a bargain by the time you've crossed the threshold into your new home. For more information and options, talk with a professional moving company in your area, such as Bekins Van Lines Inc.