It’s move day, and time is money. So you definitely need to know how to move out as efficiently as possible. So, what’s the most efficient way to move? Find out with this essential advice to reduce moving stress and avoid wasting time.
Tip #1: Communicate About Your Plans & Circumstances
Discussing your moving plans with a friend is a good way to get ideas…. Just don’t expect your move to resemble theirs! So how long will it take movers to load a truck efficiently? The structure, accessibility, and layout of each residence are different, so these attributes will definitely affect how long your move can take.
Here are some ways to optimize the efficiency of your move day based on time.
Consider your starting and ending locations:
- Do you have a one-story 3-bedroom home? Fewer staircases mean it could take less time to move compared to a similar home with the same number of bedrooms but two stories,
- Living in an apartment or condo? It’s important to let movers know if you have to reserve an elevator or have a time limit to move somewhere new,
- Remember: these movers have never been to your place. Let a booking agent know if there’s anything out of the ordinary. Does your home have odd features or landscapes that could make loading or unloading more difficult? Do you have a roommate or children that would be disturbed by noises?
Knowing these things in advance will help you and your movers determine whether your move could take longer or shorter than average.
Tip #2: Point Out Important Items & Be Specific
Many people own something with either sentimental or material value. It could tug at your heartstrings or simply be expensive. Either way, tell your moving company and the crew before your move starts. That childhood trinket, professional artwork, special collector’s item, or wedding gift? Movers won’t always assume how special or fragile it is unless you point it out. Even if it’s a simple request to be gentle with a certain box, your moving crew wants to make sure you’re happy and comfortable with their service.
Here’s how to be detailed and let movers know what you want…
When you’re booking a move:
- Inform the agent about anything that you want to be handled with special care (gun safes & ammo, delicate items, items up to or over 500 lbs., etc).
- Ask your booking agent to make a note of this for the crew (a responsible company should do this automatically, but request it anyway).
- Be clear on what the moving company will and will not move… (To abide by state regulations and company policies, there are some things movers simply cannot disassemble or transport—like live plants or baby cribs.)
Before move day:
- If you’re packing your own things, label boxes with delicate or sensitive items (preferably with red-colored tape or marker)
- Clear packed boxes out of the way so movers can safely and quickly walk between each room to the exit
On your move day:
- Walk movers through every part of your home and point out anything delicate or special
- Open closet and cabinet doors to make sure nothing is overlooked
- Show the crew anything that may need to be double-wrapped
- Let movers know which boxes are ready to be loaded and which boxes have delicate or heavy items
- Check all outdoor patios, closed doors, and drawers. Leave everything open as movers are loading so nothing is missed
Almost all moving mishaps are preventable! Remember that extra communication is key. How can you help make your move more efficient? Voice your wishes early so movers can reasonably meet them.
Tip #3: Stay Attentive & Focus On the Move
Back to the point about communicating throughout your move: this works best if you stay focused on the move itself. Now, we’re definitely advocates of a smooth, stress-free move because we train movers to become true professionals in how to handle and transport your items. Professionals don’t need hand-holding, but they may need to ask important questions that can make or break your move.
Here are some focused tips that will make your move easier:
- Stay accessible throughout the day without interruptions or distractions from friends and family who may be there
- If you can’t be accessible: discuss your move with someone who will be physically present, who knows what and how you want to move, and who is authorized to speak on your behalf if there’s a question or concern
If you hire a moving company to help you move, you expect (and should get) professionalism. Make your move even more efficient by occasionally checking in with the crew leader, or contact the company if you have questions.
Tip #4: Call Your Moving Company
Whenever a service person comes to your place, you should know what to expect, right? The same thing goes for moving crews who you’re relying on for a successful, well-organized move. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Movers are human, too, and the unexpected could happen and directly or indirectly impact your move.
Don’t hesitate to call the moving company. A phone call to immediately notify the company will take less time and save you the headache of enduring an awkward move if:
- If anything goes wrong or if movers are late…
- If you have questions about added services or charges…
- If you simply feel uncomfortable (especially if a mover seems ill)….
It’s your move day, and there’s no need to waste time.
Tip #5: Know All Fees (& How They’re Calculated)
Doing research on the moving company you’ve chosen will eliminate a lot of headaches upfront. However, if you want to have a highly efficient move, that’s not where the buck stops. For example, 3 Men Movers uses a transparent travel fee. This includes the transportation costs of our facility distance to your starting address, the distance from your final address back to our facility.
Likewise, our hourly rate doesn’t start until we arrive at your first location and you sign the crew in. The clock stops when you sign the movers out at the end of the service. This way, clients have the ultimate approval over their move. So, not only are such costs explained upfront, but there are no sneaky fees tacked on to the end of your move. We’ve calculated the transparent travel fee in the most reasonable and relevant way for each individual client.
Be wary of these common tactics in the moving industry that drive up costs:
- Extra charges for going up or down flights of stairs, handling safes, oversized items, or pianos, etc.
- Claim there is no travel fee—then add on fuel costs or the time it takes to get back to the facility (often in rush-hour traffic)
- Claim that their travel fee is time-based and therefore cheaper… and it certainly looks inexpensive at first
Yes, some movers will find ways to charge you for time spent not actually moving… Unsuspecting clients then end up paying for the cost of movers to sit in notoriously heavy Texas traffic, or they get charged an hourly moving rate for the driving time!
No matter which moving company you hire, here's how to be aware of what you’re paying for and how charges are calculated:
- Thoroughly read a copy of your rights (all licensed moving companies are required to give you a copy of your Rights and Responsibilities when moving)
- Ask the booking agent to explain all services, charges, and fees and how they’re calculated. You need to know what factors will influence the rates you’re paying
- Ask if they will hold your items on the truck if add-on fees aren’t paid immediately
Ensure that you understand any time-based charges or potential extras. It will eliminate lots of misconceptions and disappointments.
Tip #6: Ask About Your Moving Crew’s Experience Level
Anybody can move a box, but not everyone can move! If you’re interested in hiring a moving company, ask about the people who will actually be moving you:
- Feel free to ask how long a crew has been moving
- Ask if the crew is experienced in moving specific or delicate items
- Voice any sensitive issues they should be aware of (e.g. domestic abuse, elderly or sick residents, medical equipment)
- If you own animals, inform the booking agent in case a crew member has an allergy that would affect the efficiency of your move
- Request by name any movers you’ve heard of through online reviews or from a friend
One of our Movifestos states, “We respect that your home is sacred.” We also back it up with onboarding crews to our expectations, criminal background checks, and ongoing professional training so their skills stay sharp. At 3 Men Movers, if you request a crew—perhaps you heard a friend or online reviewer singing the praises of one by name—we’ll honor it. After all, you deserve the move you want.
Tip #7: Know How the Claims Process Works
Heaven forbid you’ll actually need to file a claim, but in case you do, you should know how it works first.
How to find out if a moving company’s claims process will go smoothly:
- Does the company have carrier liability?
- Are the movers involved in the claims process?
- Do moving crews have accountability or incentives for their claims rates?
- How does your moving claims process work?
- Where do I start by filing a claim—should I call or email?
- Do I need to provide a receipt or proof of value to get the maximum allowable amount in case of a claim?
- How long does the claim process take? Are there deadlines?
At 3 Men Movers, we’re really proud of a claims rate that is consistently less than 3% of thousands of moves over the past few years. Again, no matter what company you choose, you still need to know how their claims policy will affect you should you need to use it.
Tip #8: Properly Crate or Prepare Unique Items
Musicians have to move too… And so do people with huge armoires. Despite how much you own and have to lug into a new place, it’s important to be as prepared as possible before your move day arrives.
Save time by preparing:
- Box up everything and label anything fragile
- Number boxes and have corresponding sticky notes/tape for the new rooms they’ll go into
- Ensure nothing is protruding from boxes that would make them difficult to stack on a dolly or truck
- Set out extra blankets on top of items you want movers to wrap (but they’ll also bring their own)
- If you want to speed up your move, disassemble whatever you can before movers arrive
- Unplug appliances and take out tubing at least a day in advance (put a towel down for refrigerators)
- Wrap and place televisions and any fragile glass in their original boxes, if possible
- Call the moving company if you have any safes over 600 lbs
- Find out if safes were drilled into the floor by previous owners
- Empty safes and safely store live ammo before movers arrive (legally, movers can’t transport live ammunition)
Special note for musicians:
- Crate or case musical instruments you want movers to transport (especially stringed instruments like harps and cellos)
- Let movers know if there is an instrument inside of a case
- If you don’t have a case but insist that movers handle it, please be prepared to sign a waiver for liability
Tip #9: Know Your Storage Facility
Timing is everything when you’re moving. That’s doubled if you are moving into or out of a storage facility. If your movers are stopping at a storage location, remember to communicate any of the following:
- Talk to the facility manager in advance to determine if your items will fit.
- Know the hours of operation for your storage location.
- Are there deadlines for when a storage facility will no longer accept moves?
- Is there 24-hour access?
- Make sure there is a facility manager onsite when you and your movers arrive in case you run into problems or need help.
This is the most significant info you should know before moving into storage (it’s certainly not everything). Understanding your facility and needs will prevent any issues with not having enough room.
Certainly, you don’t want to spend more money or time than you have to when you’re moving!