Moving Day Made Easy

Moving DayWhen moving houses, the average household relocates 7,400 pounds — nearly four tons — of stuff, and an eight-room home uses 100 boxes in the process. The average interstate move costs about $4,300, while staying in-state costs about $2,300. All these stats add up to one massive undertaking. Read our guide for advice on cutting it down to size

Moving Day – Should You DIY Your Move?

Moving yourself will most certainly cost less than hiring a moving company, but before you go it alone, consider:

  • How big the move is. Taking a teen off to college or even moving into a first or second apartment is a much different experience than moving into a four-bedroom house or downsizing to a retirement condo. Outline exactly what will be involved, in terms of quantity and size of belongings and furnishings to determine how much and what kind of help you’ll need.
  • Your and your helpers’ stamina. Moving is exhausting, both mentally and physically. Are everyone’s back/knees/stress-coping skills up to it?
  • It will cost more than you think. Factor in: the cost of supplies (boxes, tape, markers, bubble wrap, rope), gas and tolls (moving trucks get less than 10 miles to the gallon and cost more at the tollbooth), equipment rentals (hand trucks and furniture pads aren’t usually included), buying your helpers lunch/dinner and beverages, and on-the-road costs (hotels, meals) if your move will take overnight or longer.

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Moving Day – How to Hire Movers

Keep in mind these tips to save a little cash:

  • Mind your timing. Moving company rates are higher at the beginning and end of the month, when most leases are up, and on weekends. If you can take a day or two off midweek or midmonth, your wallet will benefit.
  • Do some of the work yourself. Pack your own boxes, or even just get things inside more mover-friendly (unplug appliances, roll up rugs, disassemble anything you can) shaves off time and therefore saves you on the hourly rate.
  • Consider going halvsies. Hire movers (or local college/high school students) on either end to help you load and unload the rental truck. Or for a long-distance move, consider “self-service movers” who drop off a truck for you to load, then drive the truck to your new home for you to unload.
  • If you hire anyone, you want them to be reliable and careful — and not overcharge you. Get detailed written estimates from at least three movers, and have them do an in-home inspection instead of estimating by phone or email.
  • Do your homework. Moving companies are among the most complained-about businesses in the U.S. Get references, and look for complaints and reviews at the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, and movinghelp.com.

Moving Day – Lighten Your Load

A long-distance move is usually priced by volume (how much space in a truck the stuff takes up) and weight, and a local move by volume (size of truck needed) and time (local movers usually charge an hourly rate). What this means: Don’t move stuff you don’t need.

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