Here are PMC’s most valuable tips to help prepare for a successful move and help minimize your final bill. These tips are based on the most common pitfalls we’ve encountered through the years of our experience and over the thousands of moves performed.
BE PREPARED – the single most important thing you can do to help expedite your move and reduce the bill is to be 100% prepared on move day. Remember, winning is accomplished in the preparation phase, not the execution phase.
BOXES PROPERLY PACKED, SEALED & LABELED – boxes sealed shut with tape and marked legibly. Pack books into smaller boxes (1.5 cubic feet is standard) and be generous with packing paper when packing up dishware. Your aim should be to pack all boxes tight like a cube so nothing is able to shift around. Also, when labeling boxes, don’t just mark the room it came out of, mark down the specific contents – for example: “Kitchen Dad’s Shot Glass Collection.” This will help with your unpack efficiency.
DO YOUR OWN DISASSEMBLY + RE-ASSEMBLY – if you’re trying to reduce the total on your bill you may want to consider doing all disassembly + re-assembly. Although it is part of our service, a local move (55 miles or less from origin to destination) is hourly-rated and a house with 4 beds (depending on the nature of the bed of course, amount of screws, whether it’s a common bed or not, etc.) could require 20-30 minutes for disassembly and the re-assembly per bed. So you may want to consider handling this aspect of the move.
MOVING ALL SMALLER, MORE MANAGEABLE ITEMS ON YOUR OWN – you may want to hire us just to move the bigger items which is a fairly common practice. In terms of costs, what it boils down to in local moving is distance between origin and destination, access at both locations, and of course amount of items to be moved. Simply put, more items = more time. If you can clear out small boxes, small pieces of furniture, artwork, lamps, plants, and the like, you will significantly reduce the bill. Often times we’ve seen customers save 50-75% of their original estimate by doing this.
BOXES IN A CENTRAL LOCATION – having all boxes in a centralized location, close to an exit point, especially in a large two-floor or multi-level home, will definitely speed things up. Even more so, if the boxes can be in the garage so we can just back the truck up to it. Similarly, small manageable pieces of furniture, if staged close to an exit point, will decrease the time. The same principal can be applied at destination where we can place the boxes and items you feel you can manage in one central location.
USE UNIFORM-SIZED, STURDY BOXES – using evenly-shaped boxes (the standard small, medium, large) boxes will help with loading efficiency. Irregular shaped boxes, or boxes without lids or flaps don’t stack well and take longer to load, not to mention expose the contents to greater risk of damage. It is a common misconception for people to use cheap cartons such as liquor boxes because they can obtain them for free, but they take longer to move and load that getting them for free offset the extra costs that could result since it takes more time to handle these type of boxes.
BE INVOLVED WITH THE MOVING PROCESS – we definitely encourage active involvement. This becomes especially important at your new residence. By having you involved and actively directing traffic will reduce the possibility of items getting mixed up or going to the wrong part of your house. Questions will arise, so having you around and actively involved will help with the flow of the process.
CREATE A CHECKLIST – writing stuff down naturally allows you to remember things better and will make you inherently more organized for your move. The best way is to create an old-fashioned to-do list, a plan of attack. This will help provide structure and keep your objectives in front of you.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED – traffic delays and sudden changes in weather are items that are out of our control and come with the territory. However, possibly unforeseen situations at the new residence can be avoided. For example, a common occurrence is having a furniture piece not fit into a desired room in your new house. There are many variables in moving, but by planning and even having back-up plans will help you out tremendously.
FRESH & FOUCSED ON MOVE DAY – you’re probably not going to want to be hungover on move day. It’s a day you’re going to want to be up early, get in a good breakfast, and handle some last minute details prior to our crew’s arrival.
KEEP CHILDREN AND PETS SUPERVISED – please try to keep children and pets out of the prime areas where your move is taking place. Having a dog running around while we’re moving a heavy dresser will create an unforeseen obstacle and could result in injury.
MOVE MID-MONTH – generally speaking, the 25th through the 5th tends to be the busiest time of any given month, barring the holiday season. If you do need to book your move towards the end of the month be sure to book well in advance as those dates fill up quickly. Moving in the middle of the month will allow us to be more flexible in scheduling for your move if there are to be any changes or modifications to your plan.
ACCESS AT STORAGE – if you need us to take your shipment to storage, or a portion of it, you may want to consider getting a garage style unit where we can pull our truck right up to it. This will drastically cut down time as opposed to having to use an elevator and move items down a long hall at a facility. Also, if you do have certain items that need to be climate-controlled, we suggest trying to get a ground level unit.
OTHER QUOTES? – if you are planning on calling around some other companies for quotes or more information, which we encourage you to do, just make sure that they are licensed and insured and are registered with the Washington State UTC. Also, make sure that your estimator has professional moving experience. A person with professional moving experience is going to better understand the subtleties of the moving process than an average individual or an ordinary sales rep. And under no circumstance should you trust a quote given over the phone.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, CALL US! – if you have any specific move-related questions please give us a call. Our office is open M-F 8am-6pm and Sat 9am-3pm. We have years of experience and can generally answer your questions – Insurance options, nearest Consignment Store or Donation Center, local Transfer Stations, approximate weight of your shipment, to name a few.
Here are a few other helpful moving tips which made our honorable mention list:
Pack an overnight bag – with personal and essential items
Moving plants – if we do move these for you, just make sure they’re not water-logged and try to pack smaller plants accordingly, beforehand
Moving food – namely, perishable items. If we do transport these, we’d prefer them to be one of the last items on the truck and one of the first off.
Garage – garages can be a whole project on their won. With fully packed garages you will want to allow for extra time because it’s an area that is always more than meets the eye.
Donation Delivery or Dump Runs – both are service we offer here at PMC. Often times it’s a good idea to handle this before your move to reduce confusion on move day. Furthermore, by donating items to a local charitable organization they will give you a tax receipt which you can apply on your taxes as a deduction.