By Matthew Overstreet
Casey Movers has over 20 years of experience moving our clients in Massachusetts. We service in-state and long distance moves. You might have found this guide because you are planning a move and you think it might be time to start thinking about getting a moving company. Casey Movers understands and encourages homeowners to get three estimates. However, we hope you find this guide useful and we hope that you give us a chance. We provide free in-home estimates in Massachusetts. We provide free boxes (20 book boxes as a rule of thumb, but ask your estimator about getting more) with every move reservation. Call 1-800-482-8828 to get started with Casey Movers today.
Please note that the following information applies to most independent moving companies in Massachusetts. I do not have personal experience with national vanlines and may not be familiar with the local laws and regulations of other states.
PART ONE: ALL ABOUT ESTIMATES
WHEN TO GET MOVING ESTIMATES
It is never too early to get an estimate and start talking about prices. If you know what you are moving and where you are moving then it is quite easy to start estimating the cost of a move. Early on, you want to start getting estimates on the weight and/or volume of the shipment. You should have three movers come in and give you an assessment of your home. Generally, estimation of furniture weight is the easy part, and guesstimating the number of boxes in a home is the difficult part. Take weight estimation into consideration when comparing prices.
IMPORTANT THINGS FOR YOUR ESTIMATOR TO KNOW
There is some vital information that an estimator needs to do his pricing correctly. Ideally, an estimator will be able to visit your home. However, if it is more convenient for you, we are able to do over-the-phone estimates.
1. Current address and where you are moving to. Again, it is never too early to get an initial moving estimate. It is understandable if you do not have a new home confirmed. However, it does help if you have a general idea of location. Are you looking in the same town, or are you planning a move to Florida?
2. Move dates and time. Move dates and times are very helpful if you have that information available. Keep in mind that down time and hold overs must be charged for so it is useful to let the estimator know that you require those services ahead of time. However, if you do not yet have specific move out and move in times yet, you can always let the moving company know at a later time. They will be able to provide a new estimate with the new dates and times based on the assessed weight and volume of the household goods being shipped.
3. Do you require packing services? Are you going to box everything prior to the movers showing up, or do you require them to box things for you? This goes for dishes, small household items, art work, televisions, etc. Moving companies must charge for the time and materials, so it is useful for the estimator to know if you require these services ahead of the move.
4. What is the moving company responsible for taking? Is the moving company going to be taking everything in the house? Or, is it a situation where they are going to take certain pieces of furniture and you will take the boxes. Sometimes, it is very cost effective to have the mover take only the large pieces of furniture that you cannot handle. That way you do not break your back, and you can save on labor cost when it comes to move day. When the estimator arrives, he will likely do a pre-move inventory of everything the mover is going to be responsible for taking. Please be sure to review this inventory as it is this form that the estimate is based on. Make sure it is accurate.
5. Do you require storage? Are you going to need storage, or a short-term hold over? There are a couple of ways to do this. The easiest method is to load the truck and have it unloaded at a later date and time. This has many benefits. It saves on the cost of labor, and it also prevents the furniture from having to be moved more than necessary which reduces risk of damage. However, if you plan on holding up your goods long-term (think 3 months plus) you may need to have your goods offloaded into a climate controlled storage facility or warehouse. Another factor to consider when collecting moving estimates is, can the mover accomodate storage for you? Casey Movers has ample indoor warehouse space for our customers, and we have purchased many trailers (not straight trucks) for their drop and go capability. We are able to accomodate long-term hold overs without having to take the goods of our trucks. Not all movers can do this
You can reserve third party storage if you’d like, or you can store directly through Casey Movers. As a rule of thumb, one 10×20 storage unit is good for up to 8,000lbs of household goods. Please see the useful moving chart and guide below.
6. Special considerations. Do you have a baby grand piano? If so, your movers will need a piano board and at a minimum of three movers. Do you have a pool table? If so, your movers will likely be able to break-down the pool table and transport it. However, you will need to hire a specialist to re-assemble the pool table and balance it.
7. Truck restrictions. Will the mover be unable to operate a large truck such as 53 foot tractor trailer at your current or future residence? Will the truck be unable to get close to either residence forcing a long walk? Both issues represent impractical operations that may increase expenses. It is good to be prepared for these expenses in advance.
MOVING WEIGHT RULES OF THUMB
5 bedroom home – 20,000lbs 4 bedroom home – 16,000lbs 3 bedroom home – 12,000lbs 2 bedroom condo – 10,000lbs
These are general guidelines based on years of experience. Actual weight can fluctuate, but keep these numbers as a rule of thumb when getting weight estimates. If you are getting a 8,000lb estimate on a 4 bedroom home for instance… that should raise some red flags (unless you are eliminating half the home in terms of boxes and furniture). Please note that it isn’t necessarily furniture that is difficult for an estimator to calculate… but it is the amount and weight of boxes that is difficult to control for. A 3 to 4 bedroom home has on average approximately 125 boxes at about 30lbs each. An experienced estimator will go over your home with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that weight assessment is accurate.
DID YOU KNOW…
2 experienced movers can load approximately 2,000lbs of household goods per hour… The average room contains approximately 1,000lbs of household goods… The average home has 125 boxes to be moved…
USEFUL MOVING CHART & GUIDE
Please note that these are recommended moving crew sizes only. Actual crew sizes may vary as two movers can handle most any piece of furniture. The less movers involved, the more time it will take, but the lower the rate and vice versa. There are certain instances such as a hoist requirement or baby grand piano which will REQUIRE a minimum of three movers. It’s important to consult with your estimator when it comes to these special cases. Recommended moving crew sizes are to target a one day operation involving a load and an unload.
In terms of truck sizes, most standard moving trucks are either 24 or 26 feet in length. Movers with experienced Class A drivers may operate tractors with trailers in the length of 28 to 53 feet. Tractor trailers are often more practical when it comes to nightly or weekly hold overs as your shipment will not hold up the entire power unit. Movers that use primarily straight trucks (the 24 to 26 foot variety) are often unable to hold the truck for prolonged periods of time. It is one thing to get the operation on paper, but that does not mean the mover is CAPABLE of doing the operation. Please consult with the estimator as well as main office when it comes to holding dates.
ALL ABOUT MOVING RATES
In Massachusetts, movers charge by the hour and port to port at the hourly rate discussed at the time of your estimate. SOME movers have additional charges for stairs, heavy pieces of furniture, shrinkwrapping and blanket wrapping of furniture, etc. Please consult with your estimator whether any of these charges apply.
If you are leaving the state, charges often follow a rate based on the weight of your shipment rather than an hourly rate. However, in addition to the shipment rate, there is often an hourly pick up and delivery rate for both.
PART TWO: RESERVING YOUR MOVE
Most movers as well as Casey Movers take a deposit to reserve your date (or dates). We can carry the deposit over to another date if your moving plans happen to change (although this cannot be said for other movers; please consult with your mover for deposit policies). Although we have resources that other movers may not have– such as ample warehouse storage space, trailers for prolonged hold-overs–Casey Movers is open to price negotiation if you get a better rate from another mover in writing. Always call and consult with a manager before writing Casey Movers off your list.
Please note that we do not necessarily match bottom line price if another mover comes in with a lower weight and hourly assessment, but we will match comparable rates. Feel free to set up another in-home meeting with a Casey Movers manager and be sure to have all competing estimates available in writing. Ask about senior citizen and veteran discounts.
When your deposit is put down to reserve a date, be sure to request a delivery date for your free boxes! You will receive a confirmation email with all rate information, moving dates and times. Use your confirmation email from Casey Movers to make any changes to your operation. You may also reply to your confirmation email if you have any questions.
PART THREE: PREPARING FOR YOUR MOVE
In general, you will want to have everything boxed prior to the movers arriving (unless you have contracted packing services the day prior to your load up). Leave clothing in your dressers. File cabinets should be emptied, although the bottom drawer may remain full.
Break-down of furniture is a general part of the move, however, as moving rates are by the hour, you serve to save money by having all furniture dis-assembled and ready to go prior to the movers arriving. Also, having boxes in a singular location such as a garage helps tremendously on your own wallet.
Anything such as perfumes, jewelry, liquids, cash, gasoline, live plants, firearms and other valuables will need to be removed completely from your home before the movers arrive and should be transported in your own vehicle.
COMMON PACK MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED
You will need small, medium and large boxes. Small boxes should be your primary box. Use these for common household items, books, dishes, etc. Medium boxes should be used primarily for clothing and linens. Large boxes should be used primarily for large blankets, comforters, etc. Regardless of size, try to limit weight to 30lbs. Make sure you tape boxes shut so that they do not open in transit. Mark items such as china, dishes, etc as “fragile” or “top load only” so that the movers do not stack other items on top of the box. Pack paper is useful to wrap dishes and fragile items. Make sure you use an ample amount as to provide the best protection. Packing tape is a necessity. There are also dish barrels (large boxes commonly used to pack kitchens) and wardrobe boxes (tall boxes with a 2 foot hanging bar for suits and other hanging clothes).
Small (book) boxes
Medium (linen) boxes
Wrap your dishes and stuff your glasses with packing paper. Be sure to provide plenty of cushion with the packing paper in between fragile pieces when placing them in the box. Line the bottom of the box with crunched up packing paper. File dishes vertically in a box as opposed to stacking them on top of each other.
Smaller pictures can be filed in a box vertically as well. For larger pictures and paintings, use a flattened box as a sleave. Don’t waste your time looking for “picture boxes.”
For televisions, the best box is the original box it came with! If you have this laying around your attic or basement it was a worthwhile investment. If not, the movers can usually protect a television with cardboard and moving blankets. Consider moving the television ahead of the move along with other valuable electronics.
Mattresses and box springs should be placed in appropriate mattress bags. Ask your mover if they can bring them the day of your move.
PART FOUR: WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR MOVE
Casey Movers typically assigns a one hour window. When the movers arrive they will have a transportation bill which will need to be signed for them to start their work. It is a good idea to do a walkthrough with the crew leader similarly to the one you did with the estimator.
When you sign the transportation bill you will be required to fill out a declaration of value. Standard declaration is sixty cents per pound per item and is provided by every mover free of charge. There are higher values available to you which may increase your shipping cost. You may also want to consider third party insurance prior to the commencement of your move if you are shipping household goods of extraordinary value.
Often there is some last minute packing and breaking down of furniture to be done (clothing, artwork, televisions) when the movers arrive. Please note that these services may result in increased shipping costs with your mover. Most licensed movers will wrap your furniture in moving blankets before placing on the truck.
Please note that final charges are due at the time of unload. Most movers accept cash, certified bank checks, and money orders. Most movers do not accept personal checks. Ask about using a credit card prior to your move date. Final bill will be calculated by the crew leader (or, call the main office prior to unload) in accordance with contracted rates.
The Ultimate Casey Movers Moving Guide