Moving Tips

Saving Money

Moving Tip # 1: Always try to negotiate a flat-rate move or relocation. If you receive a flat-rate estimate from a moving company, be sure to ask and receive a written guarantee of no additional costs or surcharges.

Moving Tip # 2: Always read the small print. Some less-than-trustworthy companies will hide fees that can cost a huge amount of money when you finally have to pay for your move. So, be prepared.

Moving Tip # 3: The cheapest moving companies are not always the best moving companies to hire. Moving companies that are slightly more expensive are usually more honest and up-front about disclosing their fees. Our suggestion is to get three quotes from companies you have verified with AMACP, BBB and Moving Guardian and go with the middle option.

Moving Tip # 4: Moving companies who are not packing your goods, but only transporting them may tack on extra charges for taking down blinds, draperies, mirrors and other items attached to walls, or for rolling up carpets that are tacked to the floor. Think about doing this yourself if possible.

Moving Tip # 5: Try scheduling your move during the “off peak” season. The “peak” season for moving companies is during the summer, so anytime outside of that could mean considerable savings and a better chance to book the dates you want.

Moving Tip # 6: The busiest moving times for moving are usually around the end or the beginning of the month as leases and rental contracts expire. Try and schedule your move outside of these times as it may save you money.

Moving Tip # 7: Don’t throw your old boxes away, assuming you have room for a while to store them, you can sell them on Craigslist and make some money back.

Moving Tip # 8: Reduce your clutter. Don’t pay a moving company to take stuff you don’t use – make some money back by having a garage sale or selling unwanted items.

Moving Tip # 9: Can you stay with relatives rather than using a hotel during an interstate or international move? It’ll save money and give you a great chance to catch up.

Moving Tip # 10: Boxes can be an expensive addition to your move – but you don’t have to pay for them. If you have a recycling center in your city, pay them a visit. Local hospitals, labs and chain stores like Wal-Mart or Target are also a good source of free boxes, if you are willing to talk to the manager.

Moving Tip # 11: Additionally, newspaper makes a great packing material for items that aren’t delicate so save yours for a few weeks before your move or ask your local store for unused old editions.

Moving Tip # 12: Remember to pay all your bills on time, the move is a busy time and it’s easy to forget things – you don’t want to incur late payment charges.

Moving Tip # 13: Some moving expenses can be claimed against your taxes so get clued up about this and always keep your receipts.

Reducing Stress

Moving Tip # 14: Plan everything well ahead of your move date. Make sure your packing is complete at least a day or so before your actual move so that you can deal with any unforeseen problems that crop up over the last couple of days. Create a Moving Planner with a Moving Checklist to help you structure your move.

Moving Tip # 15: If you are packing your own boxes don’t over-pack to the point where they can’t be moved. Each box should be easy to pick up by a man of average strength. This will reduce the chance of injuries to your moving crew and lower the risk of boxes bursting during transit.

Moving Tip # 16: Let your moving company do the work; moving companies are only responsible for boxes and items they pack. All items marked “PBO” (Packed by Owner) on your relocation inventory list are not subject to compensation in the event of damage, loss or breakage or covered by the federally mandated minimum insurance act.

Moving Tip # 17: When your moving company is packing your valuables, keep an eye on things and consider purchasing Specialist High Visibility Moving Labels. You can buy packs of colored high-visibility moving labels that you can use to color coordinate each of your rooms and help identify delicate items that need special care.

Moving Tip # 18: Before you start packing, designate an area for your valuables and irreplaceable items, which you should personally transport, such as photo albums and paperwork containing personal information. You can never be too careful with these items, so don’t take a chance no matter how small the perceived risk.

Moving Tip # 19: If you have luggage or sports bags, use them to pack your clothes rather than having them just take up space in the moving truck.

Moving Tip # 20: Books are heavy so make sure small boxes are used to pack them.Try to have large furniture items already disassembled by the time the movers show up. Put any screws or bolts in a bag and tape it securely to the furniture or put it in a designated, clearly labeled box to avoid anything going astray.

Moving Tip # 21: Moving companies tend to move very quickly when doing an initial pick up, so stay alert and tell them to make sure not to list damaged items on the relocation inventory form before they notify you.

Moving Tip # 22: Prepare your own list of scratched and damaged items before the movers arrive. Their list should mirror yours before the packing starts. If a moving company lists items on the relocation inventory as damaged during your relocation pickup, there’s a good chance you won’t receive compensation if damage or breakage occurs.

Moving Tip # 23: Make sure you are covered in the event of loss or damage to your goods. Moving Guardian has developed simple language moving contracts for local, interstate and international relocations that are simple to use, offer solid protection, and guarantee liability and payment in the event of loss or damage.

Moving Tip # 24: If you are using a standardized moving company contract, and are victim too damage or loss, you are only entitled to the minimum Federal standard liability compensation of $.60 per pound per item on interstate relocations. Minimum insurance coverage on local relocations is $ .30 per pound per item. You should definitely consider purchasing insurance from established companies like or

Moving Tip # 25: When buying moving insurance you should list the monetary value of all items in the move and identify those that require separate insurance. Moving Guardian has a great moving calculator to help you build this inventory.

Moving Tip # 26: Inform your moving company of specialty items needing custom packing including pool tables, pianos, grandfather clocks and motorcycles; not all general moving companies know how to custom-handle large or complicated fragile items.

Moving Tip # 27: Before your sign your relocation contract, make sure the following information is on the Bill of Lading: moving company name, address, phone number, dot license number, and an address and phone number where you can be reached.

Moving Tip # 28: On completion of delivery, write down any lost or damaged items on the Bill of Lading before you sign off on the delivery. Loss and damaged items should be reported to your moving company as soon as possible. If you suspect valuables have been stolen, you should report it to the police immediately.

Moving Tip # 29: A surprising number of people get to their new home and find that their furniture doesn’t fit. Think about the layout of your new home and create a scale floor plan with furniture drawn in before you move.

Moving Tip # 30: Your new house is likely to be a bit of a mess for a couple of days, so make sure you have all of your bedding in one clearly labeled box that will be easy to find on the day you move in.

Moving Tip # 31: Make sure you have an arrival box or bag of every-day items like toilet-paper, coffee or tea, soap, flashlights, screwdrivers, cups etc. that you can use rather than having to search through many different boxes.

Moving Tip # 32: Plan for unexpected problems by adding a 10 to 15% buffer to everything you have to do or pay for. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate.

Avoiding Moving Scams & Malpractice

Moving Tip # 33: Research Reviews and Information on every moving company you may consider hiring on AMACP and Moving Guardian.

Moving Tip # 34: Companies accredited by the Better Business Bureau or the Moving Guardian Best Movers Directory will be safe bets. Any company listed by AMACP as being AMACP Certified is considered likely to be trustworthy.

Moving Tip # 35: Be aware that companies in poor standing with the BBB, AMACP and Moving Guardian often boast of excellent ratings with these organizations. Always verify claims, references, and information provided by a moving company at source. Many moving companies will tell anything you want to hear to secure your business.

Moving Tip # 36: Hidden charges can amount to thousands of dollars is you’re not careful. Before you ask for an at-home estimate make sure you ask for:

  • The moving company charge policy disclosure for shuttle fee surcharges.
  • The moving company charge policy disclosure regarding fuel surcharges.
  • The moving company charge policy disclosure for packing supplies and moving materials
  • The moving company charge policy disclosure regarding excessive carry and stair charges

Moving Tip # 37: Obtain a written agreement that no hidden fees will we applied, including crating charges for improvised packing of delicate and valuable items. Additional information related to this topic can be found on our Hidden Moving Fees guide.

Moving Tip # 38: Under no circumstances should you hire moving companies that offer relocation pricing based on cubic footage. Moving companies that charge by cubic foot are usually rogue movers.

Moving Tip # 39: Make sure your moving company does the packing and specify that they did so on the inventory listing. Do not sign your relocation inventory sheet, before verifying that all the information is accurate.

Moving Tip # 40: Before you sign any paperwork regarding your relocation, be sure everything is agreed-upon by you and the moving company, and that every precaution is taken to protect your valuable goods and hard earned money. Review your relocation contract thoroughly.

Moving Tip # 41: Make sure your moving company is not using excessive packing materials, which can significantly increase the cost of your relocation.

When It All Goes To Plan

Moving Tip # 42: Be sure to give your movers the space to do their job; they are the professionals.

Moving Tip # 43: It is always a good idea to be courteous to your movers. Treat your movers respect and let them know if they perform nicely for you, you will return the favor.

Moving Tip # 44: Keep all pathways clear of obstructions; be patient with them; point out items that need special attention and if you can, keep some refreshments on hand for them so they don’t become overtired.

Moving Tip # 45: A reasonable tip is $ 20 – 30 a person, depending on the complexity of the move or relocation.

Moving Tip # 46: Be sure to rate your moving company and relocation experience on Moving Guardian’s moving review site, so that other visitors can benefit from your experience.

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