What You Need To Know About Local Moves
The rules for local moves are different than for interstate moves, so make sure you understand them. Moving across town can be nearly as challenging as moving across country, and you’re hiring movers without the protections of federal agencies that regulate interstate moves. Plus, different rules apply – rules that can vary state by state. Here are some things you should know when you’re making a local move.
The major difference between a local move and an interstate move is that local movers generally charge by the hour and number of people needed to move your goods 100 miles or less.
This is not cut and dry. Depending on where you live, the moving company and how far you’re moving, you might still be charged by weight and mileage. You might not have a choice about how you are charged, depending on local laws. (Only 30 of the 50 states regulate intrastate moves, according to the American Moving and Storage Association.) Some companies also offer a flat-rate fee for a local move.
If you are paying by the hour for a local move, consider what you can do to help the movers do their job more quickly. Being ready when the movers arrive is a good place to start. Have the appliances unplugged, the ceiling fans disconnected and removed (if you are taking them), the boxes packed and ready to go.
Stacking packed boxes a few feet high can make it quick and easy for the movers to load them onto dollies and onto the truck. Labeling each box with the room it belongs in also can keep things rolling, especially if you clearly identify those rooms at your new home.
You also could have the movers unload all or most of the boxes in one room, then unpack or move them the rest of the way yourself.
With any local move, it’s your choice whether to pack yourself or have the movers pack all or some of your belongings. Some people have the movers pack breakables and large, fragile items like mirrors, glass table tops and framed artwork with glass. Just make sure you understand how you’ll be charged for any packing the movers do for your local move. With a local move, carriers are often subject to less liability for damages than with interstate moves.
For both local and interstate moves, experts and the American Moving and Storage Association strongly advise you to steer away from companies that won’t do an in-home estimate. Phone estimates are not binding.
Also, experts advise checking out moving companies with your local Better Business Bureau. Remember that if you’re using a national company, you’ll need to check out the local agent that will actually be handling the move.
Another resource is the www.protectyourmove.gov Web site maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can find state-specific lists of moving associations and regulatory agencies at the site. You also can check the American Moving and Storage Association Web site to see whether the mover is a member. The association says it removes the names of members with a repeated pattern of consumer abuse.
5 Tips For An Easy Local Move
Check out these tips to make your local move a bit easier. A move doesn’t have to be across the country. Local moves are very common – whether the move is to get into a better school district, to be closer to work, or to upgrade or downsize your home. But, moving across town isn’t necessarily a piece of cake. The following tips can help make your local move a little easier.
Take Care Of Changing Over The Utilities, Cable, Etc
If you’re moving across the country, it’s obvious that you need to close out your local accounts. But when you’re moving across town it may not be as high on the priority list. It is still something that you need to do – the electric company is not going to take care of it for you. A few weeks before your local move, contact all of your services and start switching them over to the new address. Keep records of this and try to get verification numbers – mistakes can happen and the burden of proof is on you. You don’t want to pay someone else’s electric bill.
Begin A Quest For Boxes
Collecting boxes ahead of time is a great way to save money on your local move. Start by asking everyone you know and by visiting local businesses, grocery stores, and schools to ask for discarded boxes. You may even be able to share boxes with friends that are moving before your move date. They would probably love to pass on their boxes to you instead of having to haul them to a recycling center.
Pack In Stages
Instead of trying to pack up your whole house all at once, start packing one room at a time to prep for your local move. Start with the least used rooms and end with the rooms that you use every day. It is easy to pack a guest room and just leave the boxes in the room waiting for moving day. In the kitchen, you can pack the rarely used items or even use paper products for a few days so you can pack all of the dishes.
Have Children And Pets Out Of The Way For Moving Day
It can be distracting to have young children or pets underfoot on moving day. You want to spend the day loading your boxes as quickly as you can – not chasing the cat every time it dashes outside. Instead, lock up your pets in crates or a room that has already been completely emptied (leave a note on the door so no one inadvertently opens it!). Have a friend or family member keep your kids for the day for an extended play date. Be sure to repay the favor with a nice gift card to a restaurant or some other thank you.
Consider Hiring Professional Movers
Many local moving companies and even some national chains offer moving services in which you pay hourly for help. This is often a great option for a local move. You can pack most, if not all, of your belongings yourself but have movers help you to move it. You can work with the movers to set the pace. Be sure to provide plenty of water bottles as well as lunch – pizza or fast food should do the trick. Also, have cash on hand to tip the movers.Even though your move is just across town, planning ahead is still key to making your move a breeze. This can help you avoid putting everything off until the last minute. Procrastinating, even for a local move, can lead to unnecessary stress and the likelihood that you’ll make mistakes with your move.