Making the decision to hire a moving company is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and stress-free relocation. While you could technically handle the entire move on your own, it can be overwhelming. Entrusting professionals to assist with your move is a smart choice, but it's essential to understand what tasks they can take on and what they won't handle. Do movers pack for you? What services do they offer? Here's a comprehensive guide to help you get the most value from your professional moving service and avoid common pitfalls.
What You Can Expect from Professional Movers:
- Supply Packing Materials: You shouldn't have to purchase boxes, tape, or packing materials unless you prefer to pack some items before the movers arrive.
- Pack: Professional movers possess the expertise to pack your belongings securely to prevent damage during transportation.
- Disassemble Furniture: Movers will disassemble large items such as tables, desks, and cabinets designed for easy transport and reassemble them at your new location.
- Load and Unload: Movers will efficiently load your items onto the truck, ensuring safe transportation, and unload them at your destination.
- Unpack: Upon request, movers will not only deliver your belongings but also unpack them. While you may handle most of the unpacking, remember that they will unpack anything they packed as part of your contracted agreement.
- Dispose of Waste: When the job is complete, movers will remove empty boxes and leftover packing materials from your premises.
What Movers Won't Move:
Movers are prepared to handle nearly all your possessions, but there are exceptions. It's advisable to contact your chosen moving company for a detailed list of items they won't transport. Some common examples include:
- Hazardous Materials: Items like acids, ammonia, bleach, ammunition, firearms, batteries, charcoal, chemistry sets, cleaning solvents, corrosives, darkroom chemicals, fireworks, fuels, gasoline, kerosene, lighters, propane tanks, motor oil, antifreeze, matches, poisons, pool chemicals, and scuba tanks are generally off-limits due to safety concerns.
- Perishable Items: Unless you're moving locally on the same day, movers typically won't transport frozen food, living plants, open food containers, produce, and refrigerated items to prevent spoilage or attracting pests.
- Heavy Items: Some movers may refuse to move very heavy items like treadmills and elliptical machines, or they might charge an additional fee for the extra labor involved.
Beware of Moving Company Scams:
While researching and selecting a moving company, it's crucial to be cautious of potential scams. Reading online reviews is helpful, but they don't always provide a complete picture, as fake reviews exist. Be cautious if there are very few or no online reviews, as this could be a red flag.
One precaution you can take is to ensure that the moving company is licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Look for the mover's USDOT number on their website or request it directly from the company. Verify its authorization by searching the FMCSA database. If it's not authorized, it may be a fraudulent company. In case you believe you've fallen victim to moving fraud, you can file a complaint using the online FMCSA complaint tool or by calling the federal agency at 1-888-DOT-SAFT.
Additional Lists for Reference:
For a comprehensive list of prohibited hazardous items and perishable items that movers typically won't transport, contact your chosen moving company directly. Additionally, here are some items to consider keeping close during your move:
- Valuables: Cash, cell phones, computer backup files, family photos, jewelry, keys, laptops, medicine, personal, financial, medical, and insurance documents, and pets (as pets are considered valuable).
Include any items with emotional or sentimental value that cannot be replaced. Moving can be a whirlwind, but understanding what professional movers offer is a significant step toward ensuring a successful and stress-free move. Happy moving!
Pro Tip: Have HomeBinder Assistant set up all of your utilities and services to go live the day before you move in.