Updated: Apr 18, 2020
One of the most frequent questions I get from potential customers is "how much is this going to cost?" So for my first blog post, I figured I'd give you some tips on how to either save some money on your move OR do the move yourself if you're up for it!
Why would I give someone tips to move themselves? Wouldn't that potentially take money out of my own pocket? It would. But ultimately my job is to figure out whatever is best for you and help you accomplish that goal. So maybe I don't book your job, but you tell a friend about us and hopefully I get that one or you keep me in mind for your next one. I want to hire a moving company but keep costs as low as possible. Whether you hire us or another company, here are some easy things you can do yourself to save some time for the movers which equals money for you.
You could choose to move the smaller, more manageable items yourself. Fragile items that need to be handled carefully tend to take up the most time. For every lamp you have, we need to remove the bulb, remove the shade, wrap the lamp, walk the items to the truck and then figure out where to put all of that in the truck to ensure it's safe travel. Art and glass items tend to take a lot of time, as they each need to be wrapped individually. You can disassemble beds. You can remove drawers from dressers and transport those yourself. You can ensure that end tables are empty. Dining room chairs can usually fit in your car. Electronics can be labeled and the wires disconnected. Most TV stands and china cabinets have shelves that need to be removed before they can be wrapped and transported. You can use old blankets or comforters to wrap items before the movers arrive. Doors oftentimes need to be removed from their framed to get extra large couches out. Sleeper sofas need to have the sleeper mechanism tied down so it doesn't move during transport. Washers and dryers can be disconnected. Any of these things will save your movers time and therefore save you money.
But What if I want to move myself? Awesome!!! I admire your willingness to take on a challenge. Personally I wouldn't hire a moving company and I try to be as financially responsible as possible so nobody admires this decision more than I do!
The list above will give you a lot of tips but here are some more you will need if you decide to move yourself. First off, you're gonna need a truck. As a general rule if a truck is packed efficiently you can usually get studios, and 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in a 16 foot truck. But that entails taking your time and packing floor to ceiling. A full house move oftentimes requires a 24 foot truck or more. Generally if you're going a short distance UHaul will be cheapest. If you're driving more miles Budget will be cheapest. Uhaul charges a lot per mile (up to $1.59) and their daily fee is less. Budget charges less per mile (typically $0.79) but more for the daily fee. As a general rule if you're doing 15 miles or less UHaul will be the way to go. UHaul customer service tends to be better and their check out system has really improved over the last couple of years to the point where they make Budget look antiquated by comparison. Most Uhaul locations now allow you to pick up your truck using only your phone and their app where they take you through all the steps before moving day. When you arrive they give you a code to unlock a lock box and you can be on your way. But before you leave the lot, take a picture of the gas tank level and the mileage. The picture will help you in case they erroneously try to charge you more than they should for gas or mileage when you return the truck. You're going to need tape for your boxes and you can get cheap rope from a hardware store to tie down items in the truck. Use old sheets or blankets to protect wood, metal, glass, ceramics, etc. Have power tools ready for disassembly. You can find videos on YouTube describing how to pack a truck but a rough guideline is to place heavy, large furniture pieces like dressers in the truck first, then do a couple of rows of same sized boxes followed by wrapped fragile items or lightweight items like linens, pillows, art, etc. at the very top of the truck. So big and heavy items first, boxes next, then lightweight stuff on top. Don't put anything on the floor you cant stack on top of. Take the time to fill every hole and gap. If you have a house full of items to move, no matter the size or shape of a hole in a pack job, you should be able to find something to fill it. Every gap you leave unfilled is space wasted. Use the negative space in items like TV cabinets or the legs of dining room chairs to pack small boxes or items that will fill the space. Bring items to the truck in the order you need them. If you are going to tie down a TV at the very end of the truck, don't bring it out of the house until you're ready to tie it down once the rest of the truck is situated. A moving truck tends to have very little space as it gets packed so adding items before you are ready for them just makes the pack job go slower and makes it more likely an accident will happen and something will get damaged. Glass items should be wrapped and tied down to a flat surface like the wall of the truck. Ensure that items cannot tip over, sway, or bounce around in the truck. Create as many floor to ceiling walls as you can. When you are running out of items to do so, make your final wall as tight as possible and then use a mattress and box spring placed upright in the truck to hold everything in place. Run string to tie down the mattress and box spring, and if you've done it properly you should have a wall that won't move during transport. Once the truck is done and you head out on the road, take it slow. Trucks filled with items are heavy and tend to bounce around a lot. Reducing your speed while driving to the unload will take a bit longer, but makes it much more likely that your items arrive in good shape. When you are done with your move remember to sweep out the bed of the truck, check the front of the truck for items you may have left behind in the cab, get gas before returning it to the rental place, and shut off all the lights in the truck. I hope these tips helped you out and you are feeling confident that you can move yourself! You got this. If you have questions before, during, or after your move, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll give you whatever tips I can.
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