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Reliable, affordable movers
Old 06-13-2011, 07:28 AM   #1
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Reliable, affordable movers

We are planning to move from Illinois to the Sarasota area and need a good mover. It seems like they all have low ratings. Anyone out there very happy with their mover and can recommend them?
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:43 AM   #2
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I'm not sure you can put much faith in company ratings. Our experience (eight moves using interstate carriers) was the quality of the move was determined entirely by the quality of local franchise at each end (packing & loading, unloading & unpacking). The professionalism, experience and proficiency of the work crews can vary substantially. We had good, bad, and one absolutely terrible move with the same company.

Watch the packers and loaders like a hawk.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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In preparation for our recent move from NJ to Denver, I spoke to a lot of my friends who moved a lot, and did research on the web. My advice - stick to a large national van line company.

As Rewahoo says, those companies are only as good as the agencies at either end. The agencies have to pack, load the truck, drive, unload the truck and unpack. Make sure you understand just who is doing each of those tasks. Also get a "not to exceed" estimate.

This site gives you some good advice and has feedback on movers.
Moving: How to avoid Moving Company Scams
Make sure to read their article "How to find a reputable moving company"

We found the move to be more stressful than selling our home mainly because of the bad reputation that the industry has. But our move was successful with only a little damage and the people involved were all wonderful.

All the best.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:59 PM   #4
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I moved from New Jersey To the Sarasota area sixteen years ago .I can't recommend a mover but I can recommend that you take a long hard look at your furniture and pare it down to just what you can't live without . I moved a huge dining room set ( dark wood ) only to donate it within nine months . The furniture and life style is different here and most Northern furniture does not translate well to Florida . Within two years of moving I had gotten rid of all my furniture except a bedroom set & a recliner . Everything else I bought new in lighter colors .
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:15 PM   #5
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NEW SITE! Welcome - TRANSITIONING LIFESTYLES & CHANGES, LLC | The Senior Moving Professionals | 1-800-731-4TLC(4852)

Specializes in downsizing and moving seniors I used them 3 times for my mother and once for my daughter who recently move from FL to DC. I recommend them highly.

Locally here in S. Florida they do the packing and contract with moving companies to do the move. The will then do the unpacking.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:50 PM   #6
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I have just done a long distance move and I second what walkinwood says about the services at either end, and what Moemg says about paring down your stuff. I got rid of my formal dining room set and am very glad I did. I haven't unpacked completely yet and will find out the state of my china and crystal tomorrow (let us pray) but my packers, even with supervision, managed to pack the stopper from the kitchen sink (not the sink itself) and my makeup bag. And that's with me hovering over them. The guys who delivered the shipment today were wonderful and one in particular was highly professional and experienced.

I organized my move through Relocation Services, a Canadian company that has an alliance with CARP, the over 50 organization. I am told that the moving company they selected is the best. They audit the quality of the move before billing me. We will see how it goes. But this is my fourth long distance move and I hope it will be my last!
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I'm not sure you can put much faith in company ratings. Our experience (eight moves using interstate carriers) was the quality of the move was determined entirely by the quality of local franchise at each end (packing & loading, unloading & unpacking). The professionalism, experience and proficiency of the work crews can vary substantially. We had good, bad, and one absolutely terrible move with the same company.

Watch the packers and loaders like a hawk.
+1

I have moved nationally and internationally and I can attest to REWAHOO's comments with a HUGE AMEN! I will say that we had our worst move with damage from a national mover and the worst organization and coordination with a "local" moving company. We have had stuff stolen while we were packed...you can't be everywhere at once watching 3-4 guys packing all over the house at the same time.

The driver frequently calls the shots on the speed and quality of the packing job of the crew at both ends of the move. Heaven help you if the driver is in a hurry at the destination to get another load (happened on our last move and complaints fell on deaf ears.)

Also, agree on the furniture issues. Big heavy wood and dark fabrics or even leather does not work well in hot climates. Also, consider the year round humidity and what it does to things. Scaling back on possessions is frequently a good thing anyway. Plan on more outdoor-type living and less "winter cabin-like" living in the Deep South. Think hammock, lawn chairs, beverage and snack refrigerator and a grill...all else is optional.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:39 AM   #8
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The key to a satisfactory moving experience is to have low expectations.

We have used moving companies a dozen times, equally split between international and domestic. All national movers which as others have pointed out are really logistics managers and contractors for local movers. We have never had a move that did not result in some breakage or damage (usually poorly compensated). One move was a total loss.

Advice from movingscam.com helped me negotiate successfully a claim for my brother, and it seems like a useful site.

Based on our last 2 moves, our experience didn't help select a problem-free mover but it did help to reduce potential damage and increase compensation for damages.

For us, a successful move involves 1) a very detailed inventory of good being moved, including pictures, valuations and condition 2) selecting the insurance option from the movers, 3) both DW and I actively involved, overseeing everything the movers do and with a clear division of labor, and 4) identification upfront of things too important to break, damage or lose, so appropriate care or moving plans can be made.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
I moved from New Jersey To the Sarasota area sixteen years ago .I can't recommend a mover but I can recommend that you take a long hard look at your furniture and pare it down to just what you can't live without . I moved a huge dining room set ( dark wood ) only to donate it within nine months . The furniture and life style is different here and most Northern furniture does not translate well to Florida . Within two years of moving I had gotten rid of all my furniture except a bedroom set & a recliner . Everything else I bought new in lighter colors .
A little off the topic but as an aside to you getting rid of all your "dark"
furniture, I'll offer this. We had the same problem with our bedroom set.
Beautiful, but very dark. Had it stripped of the dark stain and clearcoated with polyurethane. Beautiful!. That was 20 years ago and we still have it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:14 PM   #10
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One thing you might want to consider is to pack/inventory/unpack the boxes yourself, just be sure to do a good job to avoid breakage. It can probably save you $s and also will keep the packers from stealing some of your goods (had that happen on our last move).
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
A little off the topic but as an aside to you getting rid of all your "dark"
furniture, I'll offer this. We had the same problem with our bedroom set.
Beautiful, but very dark. Had it stripped of the dark stain and clearcoated with polyurethane. Beautiful!. That was 20 years ago and we still have it.
Still, furniture can cost almost as much to move across the country these days as it would cost to buy in the new location. Also, even if it is the right color it may not look right in the new home - - perhaps it is too big or too small for the new room sizes.

When we were planning an interstate move, I planned to take essentially no furniture. Without furniture, the rest of our (downsized) belongings would fit in a rental truck, which we decided would be a much less expensive solution for us than hiring interstate movers. We planned to hire a couple of helpers at each end to load and unload the rental truck. Often local moving companies are happy to provide someone at a reasonable rate.
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