How can I find an out of state mover in Chicago?
- Where are you moving to?
- When will you be moving?
- What kind of move are you planning?
- Do you need help with packing?
- Are you going to need storage?
- Will you need any vehicles transported?
These basics will help you devise a relocation plan and choose the best Chicago area out of state moving company for your needs.
Where you are moving to can make a difference, especially once you answer some of the other questions. For example, if you know you are going to need to store your household goods for a while after the move, it makes sense to work with a company with a storage facility (or a partnership with one) at your destination. You may be able to obtain a discount or even free storage for some time. Also, if you hire a mover with a truck that needs to go where you need your belongings to go, you may be able to reach an accommodation on price or timing.
When you are moving is always an essential question with big moves. As most people are aware, summer is the highest demand for moving companies, and with high demand, prices rise, and availability drops. It may be more challenging to schedule your move precisely when you need to in peak season, so if you can move in the offseason, you will likely find that the best movers have more availability and can offer a more attractive price.
What kind of move are you planning? This question may be challenging if you are new to moving. Moves can be full service, including packing and unpacking as well as the traditional loading and transport. If you are watching your budget, you can opt for less service, and perform the packing and preparation yourself. Either way, you should consider getting several estimates to ensure that you get a good deal and find a professional mover with which you are comfortable. Choose the services that you decide are worth the cost and opt to forego others.
Should I have the movers do the packing?
Chicago movers can pack your household goods for the move. Certainly, they will prepare your furniture for safe loading, including wrapping some items in plastic. If you have specialty goods, such as a piano or artwork, make sure you discuss your options with each mover when you are in the process of having the surveys completed, and carefully compare the estimates for similarity in service level, not just price.
If you have valuable or fragile items, such as artwork and expensive electronics, consider having the moving company pack your goods for transport. If you opt to do the packing yourself, you may be assuming liability for any damage.
Many customers choose to have the moving company for hire pack their closets, if only because of the handy upright mobile closet boxes that eliminate the need for boxing your hanging items. You can pick and choose what to pack yourself and what to leave for the professionals. No matter what you decide, it is good to be selective about what goes and what gets left behind.
Ultimately, every item that moves is adding to the weight, and weight determines moving charges, so reducing the contents is the best way to save money on the move. By taking a discerning look at your clothes, books, and other household goods, you may be able to decrease the number of possessions to pack and move.
What about moving my car?
If you are not driving your car to the new location, or have more than one vehicle to transport, your moving company can arrange for a reliable auto transport service. Your vehicle will not be moved with your household goods and can’t go in the truck. It will travel on an open-air transport vehicle in almost all circumstances. Movers can also arrange to transport your motorcycles, ATVs, and similar conveyances.
What else can the movers do?
A full-service moving company has a variety of services to offer. In addition to packing and transporting your home’s contents, they can dispose of the things you have decided to discard by donating or dumping them. Movers can provide storage of your items in the destination location if you are going to occupy temporary housing before moving to your final destination. A moving company can arrange for the relocation of a piano, a motor home, a boat, your horse, and almost anything else. There are some things they are not allowed to transport across state lines. These include:
- Hazardous material such as corrosives, bleach, other household chemicals, paints, ammonia, and even nail polish remover
- Flammable and combustible material such as gasoline, kerosene, charcoal, lighter fluid, aerosols, and propane tanks
- Explosives, including ammunition and fireworks
- Perishable Food (some companies won’t move any food at all, others draw the line at perishable foods)
Although there is no prohibition against the following, you would be wise to refrain from sending these items in the moving truck, for your protection:
- Financial and personal documents
- Checkbooks and credit cards
Should I use a moving broker?
To make that decision, you should understand what a moving broker is and is not. A moving broker does not move things and doesn’t operate a moving company. A moving broker is like a middleman, which functions to solicit the information about your move and then “sell” it to a moving company, which will then perform the move itself. The broker may be able to obtain a better price for you by checking with several different moving companies, but be careful. Make sure that the broker is following the rules that exist for your protection. Brokers must register with the Department of Transportation. They must identify themselves as brokers, and they must have a written agreement with all moving companies with which they conduct business. A broker is required to provide the customer information about rights and responsibilities by giving you the FMCSA booklet on that subject, just as a mover must.
If you decide to obtain moving quotes from a broker, it is still up to you to perform the reference checks on the moving company and make sure that the estimates you receive are complete and based on a physical survey. Don’t assume that the broker is reliable.
How do I know if the mover is legitimate?
All interstate movers are required to register with the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation). In addition to registration, FMCSA maintains a database of safety issues and complaints that you should search for information about the company you are considering. It is also wise to research if they are a member of the American Moving and Storage Association. While this is not a requirement, it is a sign of recognition. Beyond that, you should check with the Chicago Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed and ask for recent customers who can provide feedback on their experience with the company.