Frequently asked questions
What Are Some Moving Tips?
We know moving can be stressful, and we are here to help, but here are some tips to prepare yourself for move the day the movers arrive.
A few weeks before your move date, commit yourself to tackling one cleaning project per day. For example, start with your bedroom. Clean out your drawers and closet, and donate any items that you won’t wear again (hint: If you haven’t worn something in the past year, you won’t wear it again). Not only will cleaning lighten the load for your movers, but you’ll save money on packing materials and associated labor costs.
2. Purchase packing supplies.
Unless you’re purchasing packing supplies directly from your moving company, you’ll want to stock up on boxes, bubble wrap, Sharpies, and packing tape long before moving day. You’ll probably need more packing supplies than you think, so anticipate a few runs to the packing supply store (or a few shipments from Amazon).
3. Label boxes wisely.
If you’re packing everything yourself (as opposed to leaving it to the movers), be sure to label your boxes in mover speak! For example, label every moving box with the room in your new home that the box belongs in. Also, label which boxes contain fragile items by writing “FRAGILE” clearly on all sides of the box, and write “LOAD LAST” on boxes that you’ll need immediately. Your movers will thank you!
4. Check in with your moving company.
Call your moving company to review the origination-to-destination plan and schedule before moving day. Make sure that both you and the agent in charge of your move have the correct moving date and any contact information that you’ll need to reach one another. Trust us – it’ll save you from last-minute moving days gone awry!
5. Prepare your appliances.
Believe it or not, moving companies will not disconnect your appliances – like your refrigerator, your washer/dryer, or anything connected to a major utility – for you. To save time on moving day, be sure to disconnect your appliances in advance.
6. Pack a “first night” box.
This box, included in your “load last” boxes, will contain things that you’ll need to make your first night at your new home easy and comfortable. You’ll need things like cleaning supplies, a new shower curtain, pillows/blankets/bedsheets/towels, toothbrushes, toilet paper, and a first aid kit, just in case!
7. Gather important paperwork… and keep it in a safe place!
Most moving companies recommend that you keep important paperwork like your birth certificate or Social Security card directly on your person on moving day, rather than the back of the moving truck. Here are a few key items to keep an eye out for:
Bill of lading
High-value inventory form
Lease/mortgage documents for your new and old addresses
Drivers licenses and passports
Birth certificates and Social Security cards
Vehicle registration and auto insurance information
Medical records/kids’ doctor’s office contact information
Find more instructions on how to pack your important paperwork here.
8. Have a plan for kids and pets.
On moving day, make sure that you have a plan to keep your kids and pets out of the way of the movers. It’ll ensure that no one gets hurt, and that the movers can efficiently and effectively get the job done.
So, there you have it, folks! With these tips, you should be well on your way toward preparing for your professional packers to arrive.
Common Moving Terms and Documents
Estimates- The estimate should clearly describe, in writing, all charges for services the mover will perform. Make sure the estimate is signed by the mover.
Estimates can be binding or non-binding, and should indicate that on the actual estimate.
Labor Only Move- This is a billed hourly move, that is at a special rate because it is only for use of "labor" to move your items into your own truck or storage pod (at your home). This service does not include use of our moving trucks or moving supplies such as blankets, wrap or straps, most clients choose to purchase these items themselves and we will use them to properly protect and secure your items in your truck.
Order for Service- The order for service is a list of all the services the mover will perform and shows the dates your household goods will be picked up and delivered.
Bill of Lading- The bill of lading is a contract between you and the mover and a receipt of your belongings. You should be given a partially completed copy of the bill of lading before the mover leaves the residence at origin.
What is a Moving Valuation?
The state of Florida requires that moving companies offer two forms of Valuation (valuation is, technically speaking, what we are liable for in the case of damage to your items).
Basic Valuation, which is free of charge and puts our liability for your items at up to $.60 per pound per item. Under Basic Valuation you would be reimbursed for a damaged item at $.60 per pound based on the weight of the item. Also referred to as "basic carrier liability," released valuation mandates that for anything lost or damaged during the move, the moving company must reimburse you at 60 cents per pound per article. This guarantees that the company is liable for lost or damaged goods, but in the end, doesn't end up covering anywhere close to the actual value of the lost or damaged items. Most moving companies include the released valuation option in the base rate of a move at no additional cost to you. Let's say you have a computer that's 5 lbs. You paid 1,200 dollars for it initially. Maybe the current value (with depreciation) is 1,000 dollars, giving it an actual value of 200 dollars per lb. If it gets damaged during a move, the moving company will only be mandated to reimburse you 3.00 dollars, highlighting the shortcomings of released valuation.
Full Value Protection This option gives us the option to repair the item, replace the item, or reimburse you for the item at the raised value.
This is the option that tends to better account for the value of your possessions, albeit at a higher cost, is called "full replacement value." With this valuation, your possessions are covered for their current replacement value.
This valuation is based on a value of your goods at $6.00 per pound and a minimum shipment value of $6,000.00. The weight of your shipment is multiplied by $6.00 to determine the carrier’s maximum liability in the event of loss or damage. For example, if your shipment weighs 10,000 pounds, the carrier’s maximum liability for all loss or damage will amount to $60,000.
The cost of this valuation is usually about 2 percent of value of your shipment based on an agreed upon estiamted weight multiplied by $6.oo a lb valuation. This means if you're belongings weigh 10,000 pounds, you’ll pay about $1200 dollars for this coverage when you move a total of $60,000 max liability. Subject to a $500 Deductible to make a claim. No matter what option you take, our movers will take as much care as possible to move everything as safely as possible. But, with moving there is always the possibility of an error. So, if you would like the extra piece of mind Full Value Protection is a good idea.
What is the difference in a Moving Company & a Broker?
Movers vs. Brokers | FMCSA (dot.gov)
Movers vs. Brokers
Are you hiring a household goods mover or broker? What is the difference?
Download our movers vs. brokers fact sheet to learn the difference.
A moving broker is a company that arranges for the transportation of your cargo, utilizing for-hire carriers to provide the actual truck transportation. Moving brokers are sales teams that book your move and sell it to an actual moving company.
A moving broker is not a mover. A broker does not assume responsibility for, and is not authorized to transport, your household goods. Brokers do not have moving trucks or professional movers. Brokers for interstate moves are required to use only movers that are registered with FMCSA.
Sometimes the broker is not able to sell the job to a moving company for various reasons – low estimates, no availability, limited resources, etc. – and in this case you can get stuck without a mover on the day of your move. Many moving brokers operate from call centers located anywhere in the country.
Search the Mover Database
What do I do if I am working with a broker?
When you book your move, make sure to ask the company whether they are an actual moving company or broker. If they are a broker, they must:
Be registered with FMCSA;
Provide you with FMCSA’s Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and the Ready to Move brochure;
Provide you with a list of the moving companies they use;
Use only movers that are registered with FMCSA;
Have a written agreement with movers they use;
Base binding or non-binding estimates on the tariff of the mover that will transport your shipment;
Reference in their advertisements their physical business location, MC number, and their status as a broker that does not transport household goods but arranges for this service; and
Have the mover that is transporting your shipment perform a physical survey of your household goods if they are within a 50-mile radius of the mover or its agent's location, whichever is closer. It is your option to waive this requirement.
To check whether your broker or mover is registered with FMCSA and/or check its complaint history, use our search