A local move is any move that is within a single state and under a certain number of miles. Though different moving companies may have varying standards for what they consider a local move, it can range from under 50 miles to under 100 miles. While a local move isn't as complicated or difficult as a long-distance move, there are still plenty of things you need to know about moving locally.
Preparing for a Local Move
Whether you are moving across the street or across the state, you can never begin preparing for your move too soon. The earlier you start getting ready for your move, the easier your move will be. To help you prepare, create a list of all the things you have to do as you transfer from one home to another. The list should include such things as:
- Choosing a moving company
- Changing your address
- Finding medical services in new town
- Terminating utility service in your old home
- Getting service set up in your new home
TIP: Keep this list handy so you can easily add items when you think of them and cross items off as they are taken care of.
In the months or weeks before your move, you can begin gathering all of the moving supplies you will need and start assembling your cardboard boxes. Additionally, you can start packing some of your off-season clothes, books, DVDs, or other things that you won't need or use until after you get settled in your new home.
If you are able to move into your new home before you have to be out of your old home, you should definitely take advantage of this overlap. Rather than having to move everything on one day, you can start moving some of your belongings over in advance. This will make the actual moving day much easier, as you won't have to transport all of your things at once.
Choosing a Local Mover
One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a mover is to not wait until the last minute. If you don't hire a mover at least a few weeks before the move, you might not be able to reserve one for your moving day. You can find a mover by searching a local business directory, asking friends and relatives if they can recommend a company, or by finding a company on Movers.com.
Once you have selected at least three different movers, you should allow them to perform an in-person assessment of your home so they can give you an estimate for moving. Feel free to ask questions about anything you are unsure of. You should also find out what they charge for extra services, which might be included as hidden fees. Here are some typical extra charges you may face:
- A moving company may charge you the cost of the packing materials they use.
- If a moving truck can't park in front of your house, due to narrow streets or other obstacles, you will be charged for shuttle service – having a smaller truck transport your belongings to the large moving truck.
- You may also have to pay extra for such services as stair carries and long carries.
- If you need certain appliances disassembled or disconnected, your movers may include this extra time on the bill.
TIP: Make sure you get any price estimates and fees for extra services in writing, so you won't be surprised when you receive the final bill.
When you receive an estimate, do some research about current market prices for these services so you can see whether you are offered a fair price or not. Furthermore, you should avoid any company that offers an open-ended pricing policy. If this is the case, you can end up paying more if your movers take longer to move than the initial estimate.
The estimate will be based on long the moving company thinks it will take to load up, transport, and unload all of your belongings. You may be able to cut costs if your movers will adjust the estimate if the move happens more quickly than expected. By stacking your boxes near the door and disassembling your bed frames, you will decrease the amount of time your movers spend and potential lower your moving costs.
When picking a moving company, you should also consider each company's insurance policies. While most moving companies provide valuation coverage, this minimal insurance only covers your items based on weight. Thus, you should ask your moving company what other insurance options will be available to you, or seek coverage from a third-party provider.
Once you have decided on a mover and the type of insurance you want, you can focus on other things, like finishing up your packing. Make sure they provide you with the time for pickup and delivery as well as any extra costs involved with your move.