When my husband and I bought our first home six years ago and prepared to pack up our rental and make the move, we decided to just handle the move ourselves. After all, we were moving about eight minutes away — a handful of miles — so we could do the packing and moving ourselves, right? Wrong. We ended up calling in two trusty friends to help with the heavy lifting, and with both our moms, my husband’s stepdad, and the two of us working around the clock, we barely made it happen in one full day. Trip after trip was made back and forth between properties; nothing was organized the way we thought it was. It felt like a never-ending move.
After we sold that house almost a year ago and moved into our new house, it was a no-brainer to hire movers — especially given our previous experience. But I wish I had gone one step further and had the movers pack up our things so that everything arrived to our new home in perfect condition. Moving is stressful enough, and taking the extra step to make the transition more seamless is worth every penny you’re able to spend.
There’s a handful of tips I’ve acquired in these two recent moves and also through experts at . They’ve finessed planning for a move, packing, and moving down to a foolproof art, and they’ll be my go-to for my next move. If you’re able to save up for a moving company, here are the tips I suggest in planning your move.
1. Make sure you get a guaranteed price.
This is something that will sneak up on you at the end of a long day of moving if you aren’t careful. It’s not uncommon to be settling up the bill with your movers after the last box is unloaded only to find that the price you owe is higher than the quote you were initially given. Hidden costs or unplanned circumstances can result in your price increasing, so go with a moving company that offers a guaranteed price that you agree upon upfront. FlatRate Moving offers an all-inclusive, guaranteed moving price so you know exactly how much you’re spending. This is the result of careful planning (on your mover’s part) before the first box is even moved.
2. Make sure you know all that is covered in your move.
If you’re moving long-distance, ensure your moving company can so your precious belongings aren’t floating around somewhere in limbo. If your furnishings need to be held somewhere overnight en-route to your final destination, will that be an added cost? What about fuel, tolls, and parking tickets? FlatRate Moving pricing includes all of these. While some things will not be included in the move, consider adding them to your package because services like full packing can be a time-saver and ensure a stress-free move. Similarly, installation of appliances, TVs, and carpentry services in your new home are available as an additional service to complete your moving experience. Add these into your moving package so that in one trip you can be completely set up and avoid a long list of “projects” you need to tackle before you can fully relax into your new space.
To upgrade your move, check and see if your mover offers photo inventories too. They really come in handy and can help you organize your items before and after the move. also offers this additional service.
3. Ensure your movers know your local area well.
This is a BIG one. Imagine having a moving truck get lost (or tied up in traffic) with all your stuff, and your hourly rates skyrocket. Or perhaps your movers end up taking a toll road without communicating with you first, adding another cost to your final bill. service many areas, including NYC — which is a place you really need to know well in a move. With NYC, for instance, they know the ins and outs of the city and offer the flat rate upfront so their customers avoid paying for transportation costs that occur with hourly estimates. Other New York City challenges to remember are narrow staircases, old elevators and special rules from the building management. Make sure your mover is up-to-date on all of these city-specific issues.
4. Declutter to reduce the cost of your move.
This may be an obvious one since most of us edit our belongings as we pack up for a big move, but decluttering can actually reduce the cost of your move because you’re moving only essential, in-use and beloved pieces. provides the opportunity to get rid of items you don’t use anymore through their upcycle program where they assist you in sending free donation boxes to local charities like the Salvation Army.
5. Ask about storage.
If you’re making a long-distance move, add storage questions to your list. Eliminate the worry about to-the-minute coordinated arrival times of yourself and your belongings and make sure professional movers double wrap everything to protect your pieces from dust and dirt if they’re going into a storage facility. Private, climate-controlled facilities are ideal and offered by too.
Have you moved recently? What are your go-to tips? This is something we’re always looking for more expertise on, so share your experiences with us in the comments!