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Moving Company Advice Please
Old 08-02-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
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Moving Company Advice Please

We are planning to move 11 pieces of furniture from our house in Illinois to our condo in Florida. We will eventually downsize the house, and plan to re-use this instead of buying new. Some of it is antique, and the rest is fairly high cost stuff. I figure the replacement value is $25,000 if bought new. It is all in excellent condition. It isn't a huge amount of stuff-four of the pieces are wood chairs that would fit in the back of an SUV. There is a large sofa and two large chairs, a large wooden desk, two chests of drawers, and a large, heavy metal cocktail table with a thick glass top.

The sofa, large chairs, cocktail table base, and maybe the desk will be dropped in one place to have work done, and the rest will go directly to the condo.

We don't want to move these things ourselves.

Because of the value and condition, we are concerned about how the move is handled. We don't need the stuff by a specific date, but we would prefer not to give it to someone who will put it in a warehouse, then reload it on a truck.

Any issues I should be looking out for? Any non-routine questions I should be asking? I plan to have several movers come and give estimates.

Any advice appreciated.
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Old 08-02-2014, 01:14 PM   #2
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Rent a container. Pack it to your own satisfaction for protection.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:24 PM   #3
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Rent a container. Pack it to your own satisfaction for protection.

Seconded. However, if your concern is not having the strength to load or unload, I'd recommend hiring a couple of strong football playing teenagers from the local high school (in both locations) that you can supervise.


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Old 08-02-2014, 04:32 PM   #4
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I agree with renting a container. Don't skimp on the blankets. Use plenty of blankets and pack things tight. Then try to shake the load to see if anything will shift.

If you are sending things to two different places, you might consider two separate containers. Different companies like PODS or Packrat or U-Haul have different sizes of containers.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:34 PM   #5
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We don't want to move these things ourselves.
So, we don't want a container.
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Old 08-02-2014, 04:41 PM   #6
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If you are not willing to supervise the packing/unpacking you should pay up for white glove service.

White Glove Moving, White Glove Moving Company, White Glove Movers, White Glove Moving United States
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Old 08-02-2014, 08:29 PM   #7
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A few corporate moves went very well. Our last move, about 1,000 miles was on our own dime. We rented the truck and hired packers/unloaders on both ends. The owner of the packing company could not make it. He sent two guys who never saw the inside of a truck. He promised one had worked for him for a year. It may have been but he must have been the guy bringing the stuff to the truck. Not the guy packing the truck. It was a disaster. If you are right about the value of your property, I would pay the extra for the corporate type movers. Maybe they can pack and you can drive. But the packing is key. As for unpacking and storing for some time in a warehouse, we have had good experience with the corporate level movers.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:32 AM   #8
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After twelve "professional" moves during a military career, I can attest to the fact that when you use the lowest bidder (standard gummint practice), you get broken, stolen, and damaged household goods with delays and other assorted problems.

All those moves didn't cost me anything, but I lost at least 10% (sometimes more) of the value of my stuff from damage and theft each time.

Next time I move the household, I will pay what it takes to get a top notch moving company.
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Old 08-03-2014, 06:38 AM   #9
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Having made nine corporate moves in 25 years, I'd say paying for professional packing is worth it, but something always, always, gets broken or lost. The other absolute rule is you never, ever need all the stuff you think you do.


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Old 08-03-2014, 07:35 AM   #10
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Have no moving advice for you but are you sure you want to move these things? My grandmother insisted on moving several pieces of furniture to her new condo. Most of the pieces would not fit, they were too large for the rooms and the armoire wouldn't fit through the door.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 45th Birthday View Post

We don't want to move these things ourselves.

Because of the value and condition, we are concerned about how the move is handled. We don't need the stuff by a specific date, but we would prefer not to give it to someone who will put it in a warehouse, then reload it on a truck.

Any issues I should be looking out for? Any non-routine questions I should be asking? I plan to have several movers come and give estimates.

Any advice appreciated.
Another experienced mover here. The loading, unloading, consolidating and reloading is something you may have to accept.

Most moving is done using large vans and three or four companies: a logistics coordinator, the local packer, the (remote) local unpacker, and the transporter. The consolidation of your belongings into a warehouse and then another truck is needed to keep the cost down. This doesn't have to be a bad option, though.

Plan on paying extra for insurance and documenting very carefully (including photos) the condition of each piece. The companies you interview must identify who the local unpacker is, and you should check their references with BBB, Angies List, or other sources. Your ability to get fair compensation for any damage depends completely on two things; insuring the contends for full market replacement value and then agreeing on the detailed condition of each piece in writing with the packing crew chief, who probably is the driver of the trick.

Most moving transportation companies self insure, and when there is damage, three parties (packer, unpacker, transporter) fight amongst themselves to blame each other, so getting claims paid is usually difficult and the most common source of complaints. Your record of each piece, the replacement value, and a detailed description of the condition, will help that process, and part of your interview / selection should focus specifically on how they will incorporate the information you provide.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:53 AM   #12
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Have no moving advice for you but are you sure you want to move these things? My grandmother insisted on moving several pieces of furniture to her new condo. Most of the pieces would not fit, they were too large for the rooms and the armoire wouldn't fit through the door.
Yes, we are sure. We could re-use much more, but narrowed it to this list. We cleared the items with our decorator and used software to ensure that the placement of each item will be correct.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:56 AM   #13
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Another experienced mover here. The loading, unloading, consolidating and reloading is something you may have to accept.

Most moving is done using large vans and three or four companies: a logistics coordinator, the local packer, the (remote) local unpacker, and the transporter. The consolidation of your belongings into a warehouse and then another truck is needed to keep the cost down. This doesn't have to be a bad option, though.

Plan on paying extra for insurance and documenting very carefully (including photos) the condition of each piece. The companies you interview must identify who the local unpacker is, and you should check their references with BBB, Angies List, or other sources. Your ability to get fair compensation for any damage depends completely on two things; insuring the contends for full market replacement value and then agreeing on the detailed condition of each piece in writing with the packing crew chief, who probably is the driver of the trick.

Most moving transportation companies self insure, and when there is damage, three parties (packer, unpacker, transporter) fight amongst themselves to blame each other, so getting claims paid is usually difficult and the most common source of complaints. Your record of each piece, the replacement value, and a detailed description of the condition, will help that process, and part of your interview / selection should focus specifically on how they will incorporate the information you provide.
Thank you. I will take photos of all sides of each piece and have the crew chief sign off on it. I will also get insurance through the moving company, and get the name of the local unloader.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:57 AM   #14
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If you are not willing to supervise the packing/unpacking you should pay up for white glove service.

White Glove Moving, White Glove Moving Company, White Glove Movers, White Glove Moving United States
Thanks, I will check them out. Do you have experience using this company?
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:58 AM   #15
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Clark Howard, a consumer advocate, has some articles on his site about hiring movers and avoiding mover ripoffs. Below is a link to "How to hire the best moving companies".

How To Hire The Best Moving Companies | www.clarkhoward.com
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:51 PM   #16
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OK, after much research, I decided to hire movers to pack the furniture into a U-Haul that I will then drive to the destination. Also will hire movers on the other end to unload. I read too many horror stories about movers, and the best one I could find showed me a contract that was riddled with qualifications and possible up-charges. The guarantee to deliver by a certain date had no teeth-no penalty if they didn't. This will be a little bit of a pain because we will take three days to drive, but the savings is about $3,000, so I'm getting paid $1,000 a day to drive. But the key is peace of mind. I can supervise on both ends and I have the utmost confidence in the mover who is doing the loading. The unloading mover also comes highly recommended by our decorators, although I don't have any personal recommendation for them like I do for the other mover.
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:09 PM   #17
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.....I can supervise on both ends and I have the utmost confidence in the mover who is doing the loading. The unloading mover also comes highly recommended by our decorators, although I don't have any personal recommendation for them like I do for the other mover.
How did you find the loaders / unloaders?
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:22 PM   #18
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How did you find the loaders / unloaders?

We used U-Haul U-boxes and found plenty of loading/unloading help for both locations available via the U-Haul website.

The site provides rates and reviews there, as well as info on whether they do pianos.


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Old 08-28-2014, 02:26 PM   #19
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DS did this in his second-to-last long-distance move. He found the truck packers on Angies List. U-haul, where he rented the truck, hired the truck unpackers.

He hired door to door movers for his last long-distance move and the cost was $1800 over the estimate (reasoning was the two feet of snow in Chicago narrowing the side street enough that a smaller truck had to shuttle everything to the big truck. He talked the owner of the company into half of that and was okay with it. He couldn't do the uhaul thing because of his own schedule.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:28 PM   #20
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A lot of my renters use the PODS thing. Either that or a truck trailer they drop off, you load, and they drive it to your destination. You have a week or two at each end point.

It's seems to work pretty well. The moving company just moves it. You hire the loader and unloaders.
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