10 Ways to Keep Your Cross Country Move Relatively Inexpensive
So you’ve decided to move. There’s nothing easy about a trek that takes the family across the country. You’re worried about budget, time frames, and getting settled into the new abode. There is much to take into consideration.
To help you prepare for this journey, here are ten ways that you can make the trip more inexpensive.
1. Use Recycled Boxes
One of the most significant expenses of moving is using boxes. Packing up a three-bedroom home will require fifty or more of these corrugated wonders. You can save a great deal of money by picking them up from a local grocery store.
Make sure to call ahead because they crush and send them off to be recycled. There’s no need to pay for something you can get for free.
2. Have A Yard Sale and Declutter
The more stuff you take with you, the more it’s going to cost. Instead of dragging a bunch of junk across the states, why not have a yard sale? Only take what you need with you.
A garage sale will give you extra money for your journey, and it will lighten the hauling load too.
3. Book Your Move In Advance
Waiting till the last minute can have devastating financial consequences. When it comes to booking a truck or scheduling movers, it’s better to have more time.
The same thing goes with airline tickets. If you are traveling by plane and having movers handle the journey, you need to book at least 21 days in advance for a better rate.
4. Drive One Car Haul The Other
A drive across the country is going to cost a pretty penny in gas. If you have two cars, it’s easy to see how these costs may skyrocket. Why not drive one car and haul the other one?
Using a tow dolly, you can easily pull one vehicle, so that your family can share the driving responsibilities of one car rather than two.
5. Use A Gas App For Savings
Speaking of gas, the costs vary significantly across the country. Plan your trip strategically around the cheapest gas stations. Using an app, you can find the best places to fill up and save.
Gas is notoriously cheap in areas like Tennessee, the Carolina’s, and down south. However, when you get over on the West Coast, it can be a $1.00 or higher per gallon.
6.See If Cable or Utilities Are In The Area
Many cable and utility companies have branches in many states. Transferring an account is easier and cheaper than setting up a new one.
Most businesses won’t require deposits and extra fees to make a transfer.
7. Book Hotels Using Online Services
A journey of more than a few hours will require an overnight stay. Never get on the road stop when you get tired. Plan the trip in advance, including where you will sleep.
You can save a ton of money by using websites that compare rates or even let you name your price.
8. Use A Credit Card That Earns Rewards For The Journey
Many credit card companies offer rewards for usage. If you don’t have a card that does this, then it may be worth your while to open such an account.
You can earn free gas, frequent flyer miles, or get a portion of your travel expenses reimbursed when you pay with your credit card.
9. Negotiate With Your Company On Moving Costs
If your company is initiating the move, then they should be paying. If they aren’t, then you need to be discussing this matter. Don’t just accept the first dollar amount they throw out at you.
The fine art of negotiating can and should be used in this instance. If you are moving for a new job, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they will help on these costs.
10. Plan Your Trip At The Middle To End of The Month
Since everyone moves at the first of the month, it can save you big money to book your move in the middle instead.
Moving companies and truck rentals are always busiest during the first, so the fees are based on demand. Compare rates and find when it’s cheapest to make your journey.
While there are some savings that can be had by doing the move yourself, it’s beneficial to have a moving company handle it for you. You have many things to be concerned with, so packing boxes and loading a truck shouldn’t be one of them. Let someone else have the headache of getting your stuff from point A to point B.
Five Red Flags to Watch for When Hiring a New York City Moving Company
Though there are a lot of nationally-recognized moving companies, certain local businesses can still help you move to and from New York City. A number of them, however, are moving scams. Here are some red flags that can help you determine whether or not a moving company is legitimate:
- a different company arrives or doesn’t have a logo on their vehicles
Do as much research as you can on the company. Check to see if they are approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company you select may not be a moving corporation but, rather, a moving broker. Brokers book and then sell your moves to actual moving companies.
Look up any reviews of the business. Bad reviews are usually inevitable of a company. It’s still important to read them and understand why those people gave bad reviews. Also, check to see how recent they are. If there aren’t any reviews, then either you’re the first client, or there may be something wrong.
Not all Brooklyn moving services with an affordable price are scams. However, if it’s too good to be true, then it most likely is.
Estimation is required, and the best way to do that is a thorough inspection of the house. Movers that don’t visit the house for inspection or do a glanced-over inspection may very well be scammers. A respectable New York City moving company will not ask you for cash before the move. Maybe if you changed your mind at the last minute, but don’t provide any money if it’s requested at that time.
3. Written Paperwork, or Lack Thereof
Your mover may not want to put anything in writing. This is a red flag that they may intentions to steal or mishandle your things. Avoid signing any incomplete or blank contracts.
Make sure your selected mover has a license for the Department of Transportation (DOT). It should be listed on their website, provided they have one. Also, they should have a federal Motor Carrier (MC) license. In New York, a mover should also have a license from the NY DOT.
5. Look for the Company Logo on Their Vehicles When They Arrive
When you first called these movers, they should have answered with the name of their company. If they answered with “movers” or anything else generic, then they may be scammers. This is one way they use different names on the BBB for various clients.
They may give you their company name upon contact. Research their logo and see if it matches the logo on their vehicles when they arrive. You may have to cancel the deal with them if their vehicles have no logos.
Their trucks may have a different logo or the logo of a rental service. Don’t believe them if they say that this is because it’s a busy time of year.
Moving to and from New York might prove to be difficult. The same goes with finding a moving company. As long as you do your research and observe their behaviors, you’ll be able to tell better if a moving company is a scam.
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Moving Company
Moving can be an extremely stress-filled time. While hiring a professional moving company might help alleviate some of the stress, choosing the one you can trust to care for your prized possessions is essential. Before signing on the dotted line, here are some questions you should ask to hire the best company:
Are You a Moving Company or a Moving Broker?
For starters, when requesting quotes from a moving company, make sure the person you are communicating with works directly for that company, rather than just being a moving broker. A broker is essentially just the middleman who connects moving companies with individuals who need their services. Brokers charge for their time and are unable to provide any details or specific quotes when it comes to services.
What Type of Quote Is This?
When meeting with someone from the actual moving company, be sure to ask what type of quote you are receiving. In the moving industry, there are three basic types of quotes you might receive: non-binding, binding, and binding-not-to-exceed. Binding-not-to-exceed quotes are the most favorable to the consumer; never agree to a non-binding quote.
What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?
Find out what forms of payment are accepted. A company that only accepts cash should raise red flags. There are many “rogue” movers that operate without licensing, charge cash, and then hold goods hostage (also known as hostage loading) unless the customer can deliver additional cash on the spot. Most major moving companies will allow you to pay by check or credit card.
Are You Licensed? What is Your U.S. DOT Number?
Most states have laws that require movers to be registered and licensed with the state’s department of transportation for intrastate moving. Additionally, moving companies that operate across state lines (also known as interstate moving companies) must be licensed through the U.S. DOT (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Be sure to ask for your mover’s DOT number and look them up in the FMCSA system to ensure their licensing is up-to-date. Additionally, when the moving truck arrives, make sure the U.S. DOT number displayed matches the number you were provided.
What Type of Moving Insurance Do You Provide?
If a moving company is licensed by the federal government, it will carry a minimum amount of cargo and liability insurance on its fleet of trucks. You will also want to inquire about moving insurance that specifically covers your belongings. Long distance movers are required to offer customers full value protection that provides for the replacement of items if they are lost, stolen, or damaged during the move. If you deny this coverage, then your things will likely be covered at a standard rate of $.60/pound. Also, check to see if they have workers’ compensation policies for their employees. If they do not have a workers’ compensation policy in place, you could be liable for hospital bills if one of your movers gets hurt on the job.
How Experienced Is the Moving Crew?
Don’t be afraid to ask about the level of experience your movers have. Are the crew members new or have they been a part of multiple moves in the past? Does the company have the necessary equipment to move any large or unusual items you may have (i.e. a large piano, antique furniture, or a pool table)? Ensuring you have a properly trained and equipped crew will mean better protection for your belongings throughout the moving process.
If Moving Long Distance, Will Your Belongings Change Hands?
If you’re embarking on a cross-country move, be sure to clarify whether the same movers will handle the entire distance. Sometimes with long distance moves, the items are passed off to another crew or company somewhere along the way. Here is a helpful guide for those moving out of state.
By asking these questions on the front end, your move will likely go much more smoothly.
5 Post-Move Tips: How Moving Companies Organize a Kitchen
When you are in the middle of moving, cooking may be the last thing on your mind. However, unpacking your pots, pans, utensils, and dishes is an excellent time to rearrange your kitchen and make it more efficient. As Cheap Movers Atlanta (www.cheapmoversatlanta.com) points out, moving can be an excellent time to organize your kitchen in a way that will help you save time while cooking. As professional movers, CMA often helps clients with their packing and unpacking, which means helping customers get their new kitchens organized at the end of the move. Based upon their experience and these tested tips from experienced chefs who spend hours cooking each day, Cheap Movers Atlanta put together some advice for maximizing your kitchen organization:
1. Store Items Where You’ll Use Them
Matt Sporer, a top chef from New York City, says that the absolutely most important thing to do when organizing your kitchen is put items in a cabinet or drawer near the space where you will need the items. For example, place saucepans near your stove and put storage containers for leftovers in a cabinet next to your fridge. This will keep you from having to walk all around the kitchen as you complete tasks.
2. Install a Pot or Utensil Rack
If you have empty wall space above your cooktop, take advantage of it by installing a rack where you can hang cooking utensils, pots, and pans. It will be easier to find an individual item when it is hung up neatly at eye level instead of being jammed in a cabinet, and then you can use closed storage for other items.
3. Organize Drawers and Cabinets by Function
To avoid having to dig around and hunt for things, try to store related items together. Since you probably grouped your kitchen tools into categories before packing, this is the perfect time to create the well-organized kitchen of your dreams. Instead of digging through a cabinet jammed with crystal ware, rolling pins, and saucepans, organize each cabinet or shelf so that all items for baking, food preparation, or serving are all together.
4. Use Coordinated, Labeled Containers
If you are low on cabinet space, do not be afraid to store some of your pantry items on your counter. This tip can be a great way to keep commonly used items within reach at all times even if you could store them in drawers or cabinets. To keep it from looking messy, use simple glass or metal containers that are each precisely labeled.
5. Invest in Organizational Tools
According to Martha Stewart, utensil trays, pot lid organizers, and spice racks are all extremely useful when you are trying to organize your kitchen. Most modern kitchens just have shelves and drawers that do not easily work with all of the small items and unusually shaped objects found in most kitchens. When everything in your kitchen has a specific place that allows you to easily locate it, you will have a truly organized kitchen.
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