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How do I find a small mover near me?

If you have a small number of things to move, you may be wondering how to find the best local mover near you to do the job. Sure, it seems small to a moving company, but it’s still too much for you to manage. If you find yourself in this situation, we can help you figure it out. You might need to empty out your child’s dorm room or move your share of Aunt Joan’s bequest. Suppose you found the piano of your dreams, 1000 miles from where you want it, or the perfect antique armoire for your interior design client, but in the wrong place. The items are important, but not enough to fill a moving truck.  A small mover is an answer, and you can find the right one for your circumstances by doing some research.

What is a small mover?

Almost any moving company will take on your small job. Still, movers for hire that typically handle broader moves of the entire house’s entire contents will likely have a minimum charge or minimum weight. If your small move is going a long distance, the mover doesn’t want to send a truck on the road when it is more than half-empty. You may have to pay extra or have your load mixed in with another shipment. You can also investigate container moving, where you (or the moving company) packs your household goods into a separate container, which then gets loaded onto a carrier with other containers.

The best alternative might be a moving company that specializes in small moves. There is no firm definition, but a small move is generally recognized as under 2000 pounds, although some firms limit the size to 1,500. By comparison, the standard move of a 3-bedroom house in the United States is about 7500 pounds.

What if I need to move a few things across town?

A small local move is not hard to accomplish. Depending on what you are moving, you should be able to get the job done in a couple of hours. With almost any move, you will be better off getting an in-person estimate from the moving company. This suggestion is for your protection, and it makes good common sense. Meeting the mover in person before they show up to do the work is an excellent way to determine if this is a legitimate company you want to do business with and that you can trust with your possessions. That’s easier to do face to face than over the phone or by completing an online form. But if you just have one or two very standard items, you can proceed with the verbal description and get the estimates of time and labor by phone.

A small mover can also advise you on the best way to move something of great value. If you are moving a fragile item like a painting or that piano, even if the trip is local, you do not want to take chances with a handyman service. Use a specialist that knows the proper method of protecting and moving it, so nothing goes wrong. If the painting is a new acquisition, the gallery may recommend a delivery service, but if you are buying something from a private party, it will likely be up to you to arrange transportation.

How do I arrange to move a few things a long-distance?

Small move specialists can manage your interstate move needs. You may have to be flexible in your timing since you won’t be moving enough weight to fill up an entire truck. In this scenario, the mover you choose will be under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, specifically the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. The moving company, whether it is Three Men And A Truck or a random two guys with a truck must meet the FMCSA standards, including providing a written estimate, which specifies whether it is binding or non-binding. Because your move is for a small amount or even a few specific items, the weight is not as much of an open question, so you may not be as concerned with the weight as with the mover’s expertise in moving the type of item in your job. Again, it depends. If the project is just to ship home the contents of a college student’s room or apartment at the end of term, that doesn’t require any particular expertise. Hopefully, your student has packed everything as neatly as possible into boxes, and the mover can simply load it all up and be on their way.

By contrast, if the item requires expertise for a successful relocation, you should interview the company about its skill level before awarding the contract, and check references. FMCSA maintains a database of information about the safety record and complaint history of all interstate moving companies, so check that and the Better Business Bureau.

Remember, moving a small load without paying for a full truck will require flexibility. The small move specialist will likely contract for space on a carrier or combine loads to get a fuller vehicle. This tactic doesn’t endanger your shipment if appropriately done, but it should be transparent to you, and you should always be able to contact the driver so that you are aware of where your possessions are on their journey. FMCSA recommends that you ask for this information for the mover managing the transport, and for any subcontractors, it may be using.

You should also expect to have a firm delivery date or a delivery window, and for the moving company to advise you if the date changes during the trip. Ensure that the driver and the company have your contact information just in case. Also, keep the bill of lading, which is the contract provided to you on the day the shipment is loaded until you receive the delivery, and you have verified that nothing is damaged (or until you have resolved any claims.)

No matter how great the moving company seems to be, it would be best to insure what you are moving. You wouldn’t be relocating it if it weren’t worth something to you, and you will incur a loss if it gets lost or damaged along the way. It happens, and it is better to be prepared than not to be. The mover will explain the options for valuation. If you are moving something of extraordinary value, you may need to obtain coverage from a third party to adequately protect your asset.

The moving company is obligated to have a program for resolving disputes. Ask about this upfront. They should be happy to share the information. When you receive your delivery, review the receipt you are signing. Don’t sign anything that states you have reviewed the shipment for damage unless you have. Examine your shipment as soon as you can, so that if you do have to file a claim, you can promptly begin the process. Fortunately, when claims do occur, they can usually be resolved amicably between consumers and movers, if the mover is a legitimate, FMCSA registered company.

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