Moving long distance is already a super stressful situation and making sure you get an accurate estimate can make it even more daunting. Not getting an accurate estimate usually means the cost of your move will increase on the day of which is a terrible thing if you are trying to stay within a budget. Below are a few helpful tips to getting the most spot on estimate possible.
If you are looking to move out of state, the majority of moving companies will require a detailed inventory list of what you are looking to move. If the company offers an in home estimate or a virtual walk through, definitely take that option. That way the company can physically see your items and get a better idea of your moving situation. If that option is not available, being as detailed as possible with your inventory is critical in ensuring you receive a precise estimate.
You will need to mention all items that will not fit into a standard moving size box along with your best estimate of boxes. Going room by room and listing all the items tends to make the process a lot easier. Make sure not to forget the random items like lamps, rugs, or trash cans because even though they seem insignificant they do add up in the end. Be super specific with the size of your items for example: are you moving a queen or a king size bed? Is it a double dresser or a triple? Even providing the dimensions of items like bookshelves or shelving units can be very helpful in getting your estimate.
Estimating the number of boxes is typically the trickiest part especially when you haven’t started packing. A helpful tip to keep in mind is on average each room will have about 8-10 boxes. For example, a one-bedroom apartment with a living room and kitchen on average has about 30 boxes. When getting your initial estimate it’s always best to start on the higher end of the box count and that way you can see a worst case scenario and work your way down.
Stairs and Elevators
For long distance moves, companies do charge for stairs or sometimes even elevators. That’s why if you are moving out from a walk-up apartment or a high rise building, double check what the companies’ policies are regarding stairs/elevators. Counting the flights and the steps themselves will ensure complete accuracy with your quote.
Semi-Trailer and Long Carry
Most moving companies pick up and deliver in semi trailers (72ft bumper to bumper) and will require access for the semi to park within a certain distance from your door. You’re going to want to make sure that both your locations do have access because this is where one of the biggest surprise charges comes from. Asking your property management, leasing management, or any neighbors is sometimes the best way to check if its possible for a semi-truck to pull up in front of your home. If either one of your locations do not have access for the semi that means the moving company is going to need a shuttle. The shuttle means the movers will have to rent a smaller to be able to load or unload at your location. The price of the shuttle is usually dependent on the size of your move so you’ll definitely want to ask your moving consultant what the price for that service will be before booking your move.
The other hidden fee that is usually not discussed and can be a surprise is a long carry. Typically the first 75ft (actual distance may vary company to company) that the movers carry the items, from the truck to your front door, are free, any additional distance will be an additional cost. Again double check with your consultant on what their policy is before scheduling the move.
Every moving company will charge for packing, whether they show it to you during the initial estimate or spring it on you on the day of the move. To avoid having them surprise you with it on the day of your move, make sure you mention any glass top/furniture, marble top/furniture, mirrors, TVs, pianos, or anything fragile. You’re probably thinking to yourself, well don’t they wrap everything with moving pads? The answer is yes they do however, for glass and fragile items, moving pads are just not sufficient. They will need to cardboard crate the item and that is an additional cost. Depending on the size of the item the prince can range from $30-$250. If you were looking to pack all fragile items to save yourself some money then we recommend first bubble/blanket wrap the item. Then on top wrap them in cardboard to almost create a box. You can visit www.elitemover.com/elite-moving-videos/ and look at our packing videos to give you an idea on how to properly pack your things.
Getting an accurate estimate can be a difficult task but with these simple tips you can make it happen. Feel free to contact us at 847-675-8701 for any additional questions or so we could provide you with an accurate estimate for your move.