Hiring a Mover and Other Money Saving Tips

Dave and Sue were so caught up in the excitement of building their new house that they didn’t spend much time thinking about or researching moving companies to find one that was efficient, reliable and honest. In haste, they hired the first moving company they called and signed a moving contract for a $900 fee. When the moving truck arrived at their new home, Dave and Sue were presented with another bill for additional moving expenses. A $1900 bill! The movers told Dave and Sue if the bill was not paid on the spot by cash or check or if a valid credit card number was not given, their belongings would not be taken off the truck. Of course this was a shock to them. Their whole life was in that truck! And just what did the moving company plan to do with their things if they couldn’t pay? The surprise bill listed all types of extra charges including a set fee for each time the movers when up and down the basement steps at their old house. They could not believe the movers actually counted (or maybe estimated) the number of trips they made down the steps. Unfortunately, Dave and Sue were forced to pay the money, because they did not do their homework. They didn’t ask questions and they certainly did not read the fine print.

To help you avoid situations like the one Dave and Sue faced with their mover, The HousePlanShop, LLC has compiled a list of insightful tips for hiring a moving company. You’ll also find some other ideas to help ensure a more pleasant moving experience as well as money saving hints that will cut your moving expenses.

Hiring a Mover

  • Shop around for a moving company. Compare prices and services. Treat hiring a mover as you would a big purchase.
  • Ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have recently moved.
  • Only hire a mover that is licensed with the Department of Transportation.
  • Select a moving company that is insured.
  • Ask about and be sure you understand any of the extra fees the moving company might charge like those for traveling an excessive distance, climbing flights of stairs and disassembling large pieces of furniture.
  • Obtain a written cost estimate from each moving company you are considering.
  • Read the fine print on any contract before signing the agreement.

Money Saving Tips

  • Pack as much as you can on your own. (Research suggests you can cut moving expenses by 60% if you do your own packing.)
  • Collect sturdy moving boxes from department and grocery stores that are suitable for packing. (Most stores will hold boxes for you if you call ahead of time.)
  • Reuse packing boxes from a neighbor or friend that recently moved.
  • Moving and packing supplies are available from most moving companies, but you can get them at nearly half price if you buy them online from a moving supply company such as
  • Use newspaper for packing and cushioning material when possible. It is widely available and very inexpensive compared to packing peanuts. Plus it is recyclable.

Other Hints

  • Most moving companies offer insurance on your belongings, but you might want to consider taking additional insurance. For example, typical moving companies offer insurance in the neighborhood of $0.30/lb (and $0.60/lb for long trips) for damaged items. If a big screen TV gets broken, you are looking at receiving about $40.00 in insurance money. That definitely will not be enough to replace the TV, so additional insurance is not a bad idea. Also, check your homeowner’s insurance policy. Some policies will cover replacement or repair expenses for damages that happen during a move.
  • If something gets damaged during your move, file a claim immediately. Take pictures, video, or anything else you can to help support your claim and prove the damage happened during the move if at all possible. For instance, if you discover something is broken before you take it off of the moving truck, snap a picture, especially if you can see broken glass, or another piece of the item broken and lying on the floor.

The moving process can be a bit of a hassle, but it is a necessary step if you plan to enjoy living in your new home. With these helpful hints, hiring a mover and packing will be less worrisome allowing you to look forward to the day you move into your new home.

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