What moving company paperwork do I need for my move?

Packing up an entire household for a move is often considered to be the most tedious job in anyone’s moving calendar – after all, it’s hard to compete with such a repetitive task that’s usually stretched out for days, weeks, and even months. However, there’s a close competitor in the competition for the most boring activity in a residential move – having to deal with moving company paperwork.

Sure, no individual shipper of household goods can possibly enjoy reading the fine print in the Moving Estimate, Order of Service, Bill of Lading, Home Inventory Sheet, and High Value Inventory Sheet that their chosen mover will give them before the actual move takes place. However, if you do wish to have a smooth house move with no unpleasant surprises or shocking news of any kind, you should pay attention to the moving house paperwork that you are handed.

You are expected to read the important documents when moving, understand them, ask questions if you fail to grasp the meaning of a certain clause or condition, sign them if you agree to all the terms stated in them, and keep the copies safe through all stages of the relocation.

So, follow this moving paperwork checklist to learn more about the major moving documents, paperwork and forms that will be exchanged between you and your professional moving company in the course of the move:

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Moving estimate

The very first piece of documentation that you should receive from your future relocation partner is a written binding or non-binding estimate after an in-house survey from a moving company representative. Do not agree to receive estimates over the phone or via e-mail simply because the risk of gross price underestimation is too big.

The initial document should clearly state

the type of estimate,
the calculated final amount,
all the additional services that you have requested or that are needed for the successful completion of the relocation job, and naturally,
the charges for each extra service offered.

This is a key moment – if you don’t really understand how your moving company reached the final price stated on the document, you should request clarification. If you still don’t understand the concept of price formation, ask them again. In fact, this is the first real test of trust between you and your mover, and if you get the funny feeling that things have not started off on the right foot (for example, due to vague explanations or refusal to provide clarifications), then consider contacting another professional mover.

Order of Service

If you happen to find the quoted price and the stated conditions to your liking, then you should contact the moving company that issued them and inform them that you would like to hire their services. When that happens, you should soon receive an order of service which will serve as the moving contract between you and the moving company you have selected.

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All the relevant information should be laid out in that order of service – all the move details that you want to have in one place:

  • the exact pick-up date,
  • the estimated delivery date (may be a period of a few days in the case of a cross country move),
  • the calculated price that should match the one you were given in the mover’s estimate,
  • possible insurance options,
  • cancellation policy (if applicable),
  • type of the moving vehicle,
  • all accessorial services required to finish for your residential move, and
    other terms you may have discussed with the moving expert at the initial on-site visit.

It’s your duty to read the order of service very carefully before agreeing to its conditions by signing it. If there are any details you don’t seem to agree with, do not sign it but discuss your concerns with the relocation expert who’s responsible for the document.

Bill of Lading

Viewed as one of the most important documents when moving out, if not the most essential one, the bill of lading is prepared on the basis of the order of service and should match it completely. Your moving company is required to give you the bill of lading on moving day and you must agree to its terms with your signature before the move can begin.

For better or worse, it’s time for you to take some time to compare the data between the two documents. Pay special attention to the listed charges because that is exactly where you are likely to find any discrepancies. So, in case of such notable discrepancies between the order of service you already signed and the bill of lading you are expected to sign, speak with your movers to understand the reason for the differences.

Hopefully, the bill of lading will serve as confirmation that things are exactly as they are supposed to be – after all, you did succeed in finding a top rated mover you can trust, didn’t you? If everything is correct, your mover will also sign the document after you do, and then give you a copy.

Remember: the bill of lading is the official record of your residential move and you must keep it safe long after moving day is over.

Home Inventory Sheet

Our moving paperwork checklist ends with another important document which will play a major role on your move-out day, and even on your move-in day – the inventory sheet. That form should contain all the household items that your professional moving company will transport for you. The home inventory sheet works like this: as each possession of yours is taken out of your home and loaded into the moving truck, it will be marked against the form and duly noted as loaded. In practice, that very piece of paper ensures that nothing is left behind.

You should be well aware that if you have any items of extraordinary value (possessions valued at more than $100 per pound), then they should be included in the so-called High Value Inventory Sheet. Most movers will want to make sure such valuables are packed by them, and not by you, to guarantee their safety during transit. Also, it’s a good idea to purchase additional insurance for your valuable items.

And, once your movers deliver the shipment to your new home, you will be asked to sign the inventory sheet as proof that each item has been delivered successfully. So, place your signature only after you’ve personally checked that all items have been accounted for and that they are not damaged in any way. In case you notice any kind of damage due to mishandling or incorrect transportation techniques, or an item (or items!) is missing altogether, then note the problems down on the inventory sheet and ask the movers to confirm them with their signature so that you can later file a complaint or make an insurance claim.

Read more source link: http://moving.tips/moving-day-tips/read-the-paperwork-carefully/

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How many movers do I need?

If you happen to be asking yourself, “How many movers should I hire?”, then you must have already solved the classical dilemma of whether to move by yourself or hire movers. Breathe a sigh of relief now, for sometimes the solution of that notorious pre-move dilemma can prove to be rather tricky for some people.

And now that you’ve made up your mind to go with the pros, you can concentrate on figuring out the exact amount of professional assistance you will need. And to do just that, you will “only” have to answer a few more questions, and voila – you’ll know that right answer to the How many movers I need to hire puzzle.

How many movers do I need?

The decision of how many professional helpers to hire (2, 3, or more) for your local or cross country move will depend primarily on a number of variable factors, such as:

How many friends will come to your rescue

This is a big question, no doubt about it. Follow the 3 major rules of asking your pals for moving assistance:

Be considerate towards the busy schedules of your pals by giving them plenty of notice (if possible), Tell them honestly what is expected of them if they say Yes without tricking them into helping you, and Don’t be quick to judge your friends if they cannot or won’t help you out.

After you’ve reached out to your good friends and made rough calculations of the number of non-professional helpers who have committed to give you a help during that nerve-wracking period, it’s time to see where you stand.

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How much stuff you have for moving

This factor will play a major role in your decision about how many movers you should hire. The very first task ahead of you is to get rid of anything you won’t be taking with you – anything ranging from old pieces of furniture to worn out clothes and too many items that have become simply useless with time. After the must-do home inventory, you can start getting a better idea of the amount of things you have for moving, and more importantly – how many movers to hire for the relocation job.

Studio apartment: On average, the things found in studio apartment weigh around 1800-2000 pounds.

1-bedroom apartment: The stuff in 1-bedroom apartments weigh roughly 2500-3500 pounds.

2-bedroom home: The items in 2-bedroom apartments or houses usually weigh between 5000 lbs. and 600 lbs.

3-bedroom residence: 3-bedroom homes can go up to 9,000 pounds, or even more.

How many special items you have for moving

Even if your upcoming move is pretty straightforward, a single special item for moving can turn things around and force you to hire more than 2 professional movers for the job. A piano is the classical example here, but the list includes also a pool table, a large safe, a hot tub, big electric appliances (a fridge, a washing machine, a dishwasher, etc.), and of course – any piece of furniture that is too large, too heavy, too awkward to carry, and too expensive/valuable.

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As a rule of thumb, any household item that weighs more than 400 lbs., such as a piano, for example, requires 3 or 4-man crew with sufficient experience and expertise.

How many movers should I hire for my move?

Here’s something that you do know because it is nothing but common sense knowledge – the more professional movers you hire, the faster they will get the job done. Ok, that statement may not always be true, but let’s assume for that moment that it is so. But even if your utmost desire is to have the move completed in record quick time, it’s the price you will have to take into consideration as well.

So, more movers will mean less time, but more movers will also mean more money. Ultimately, you will have to strike a reasonable balance between time and money to stay within the happy medium of moving house. Will hiring 2 movers for 4 hours cost less than 3 movers for 3 hours? You may be surprised when glancing at the bottom line, so do consider all of your moving options, plus their variations, before you go ahead and book your move.

To help you get a rough idea of how many movers you need, have a look at the following table with average values of number of movers and amount of time:

 Size of moving job     Loading Only     Unloading Only     Loading + Unloading
 Studio /small apartment/     2 movers / 2 hours     2 movers / 2 hours     2 movers / 4 hours

2 or 3 bedroom apartment
/800-1200 square feet/     2 movers / 3 hours     2 movers / 2 hours     2 movers / 5 hours

2 or 3 bedroom house
/1000-1500 square feet/     3 movers / 4 hours     3 movers / 3 hours     3 movers / 7 hours

3 or 4 bedroom house
/1500-200 square feet/     4 movers / 4 hours     4 movers / 3 hours     4 movers / 8 hours

4+ bedroom house
/2000-3000 square feet/     4 movers / 5 hours     4 movers / 4 hours     4 movers / 10 hours

How many hours do movers work?

After you’ve figured out approximately how many movers to hire for the job, you’ll find it very useful to know how many hours you will need the movers for.

How many hours do you need movers for? The table above will give you average time estimates for your hired workers depending on the size of your home and the household items in it, but here’s what else you need to know to get a much better idea of the time factor when moving house:

For local moves, going with an hourly rate is almost always the better option than choosing a flat rate.

The recommended practice is to hire a larger crew size in order to keep the amount of hours as low as possible. Paying for 3 movers is often a great option because one of them will be able to prepare the items for moving while the other two helpers will be able to carry the packed boxes and pieces of furniture to the moving vehicle.

The drive time from Point A (the home you’re leaving) to Point B (your new home) will be included in the local movers’ price. For move distance of 10-40 miles, expect around 30 minutes, for distance of 40-75 miles the time will be roughly 1-2 hours depending on the traffic, and for moving distance of 75-100 miles, the travel time will be between 2 and 3 hours.

Keep in mind that sometimes the carry distance to the moving truck will come into play too. If the moving vehicle is parked at a distance of under 20 feet to the main entrance of your place, then you shouldn’t worry about the lost time as it will not be calculated. For a carry distance of 20-50 feet, be sure to include between 30 minutes and 1 hour extra for the entire move. However, if the moving truck is parked more than 50 feet from your front door, then you should expect 1-2 hours added to your overtime move time.

You don’t think stairs matter on Moving day? Think again. For each flight of stairs, you should add roughly 1 hour of extra time. Ouch!

Source Link: http://moving.tips/moving-day-tips/how-many-movers-do-i-need/

Your Complete Moving Checklist

Moving is less of a chore when you break down the tasks into weekly to-do lists. Use our guide below to make your move manageable, or print our checklist out and hang it on your refrigerator to reference easily while you pack up.

8 weeks

* Research moving companies with the Better Business Bureau and get recommendations from friends and family who have recently moved.

* Go to protectyourmove.gov to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as you prepare to work with a moving company.

* Consider extra insurance coverage you may need for your move. Ask prospective moving companies what insurance is included and check your homeowners’ policy to see what it covers.

* If you are moving to a new area, research banks, doctors, and schools. Gather all the proper paperwork you need to set up new accounts.

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7 weeks

* Get estimates in writing from at least three licensed moving companies. If possible, have an estimator come to your home to do an inventory.

* Start a binder or folder where you can keep all of your moving estimates and moving-related paperwork.

* Make a list of businesses you will need to contact in order to change your address. Don’t forget to list your online accounts too.

6 weeks

* Get the packing process started by assessing your closets and getting rid of clothing that doesn’t fit or you no longer want. When the closets are done, start to assess items room by room.

* Do a first round of donations of unwanted goods to charity, sell items online, or have a garage sale to help pay for your move.

* If you have children, work with the current and future school to transfer school records and make plans for a smooth transition.

* Begin packing items that aren’t used frequently. Seasonal items, rarely used gadgets, and items stored in the attic or basement are a good place to start.

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5 weeks

* Use up food from the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Refrain from doing too much grocery shopping or buying in bulk before the move.

* Get the word out to friends and family members that you’re moving. Send them an e-mail with your new contact information or consider sending a moving announcement.

* Purchase moving supplies including boxes, packing material, tape, labels, and box cutters. Remember to order specialty items like dish boxes, wardrobe boxes, and mattress bags if your mover is not supplying them.

* Get a box-labeling system in place. Numbered boxes, color-coding by room, and a master list with inventory are key elements.

* Make a room-by-room packing schedule and start packing!

4 weeks

* Fill out an official change-of-address form with the U.S. Post Office.

* Consult your list of businesses and services and make address changes on all accounts.

* Put in for vacation time at your job for the days surrounding your move and schedule a babysitter if needed.

* Confirm all paperwork with your chosen mover and double check that the proper insurance is in place to cover your valuables.

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3 weeks

* Cancel all newspaper home delivery and set up delivery in your new neighborhood.

* Gather valuable paperwork, jewelry, and small family heirlooms. Keep these special items separate from your moving boxes and make a plan for transporting them by hand or via a trackable shipping service with insurance.

* Do an inventory of high-ticket items and videotape or photograph these items. Note any existing scratches, dings, or damage to your furniture.

2 weeks

* How’s the packing going? Keep plugging away and don’t leave it all until the last week.

* Tie up loose ends. Confirm that you’ve changed addresses, have all the proper moving insurance in place, and are ready to make your move.

* Put together a packet for the new owners of your home with any warranties, vendor recommendations, and a note with your contact information in case they have questions or need to forward you mail.

* If you are moving major appliances, make sure that they’re cleaned, unplugged, and ready to go. Freezers need to be defrosted and you may need a professional to disconnect gas lines on particular appliances.

* Fill prescriptions and make sure that everyone has packed medications they need in their suitcase.

* Withdraw cash to tip the movers and make sure you have enough cash, checks, or a credit card to pay for any unexpected expenses.

1 week

* Utilities should be turned off in your current home one day after your move-out date. It is helpful if utilities in your new home are turned on one day before your move-in date.

* Dispose of all flammable items that can’t be transported (paint, chemicals, aerosol cans).

* See if you have accumulated anything else in your “donate,” “pitch,” or “sell” piles. After more packing, you may have additional items to donate and should have one last pickup by your chosen charity, if needed.

* Back up all computers and have a plan in place for checking e-mail and paying bills online while your computer is in transit.

* Get each family member to pack a suitcase like they are going on a two-week vacation.

* Remember all toiletries and comfortable clothes for unpacking.

* Check in with your moving company one last time and confirm that everyone is on the same page. Reconfirm the moving-day arrival time as well as cell phone numbers and last-minute details.

* Hire a cleaning company to come in and do a quick clean after the movers leave or schedule a day that you will come back and make sure that everything is clean and in place for the new owners.

* Celebrate the memories you’ve made in your home and get ready to start a new chapter in your life.

Source Link: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/organizing/tips/a18092/moving-checklist/