If you’re planning a relocation, you’ve probably compiled more than a few questions about the process. And even if you feel confident you know what you’re doing, chances are a question or two will pop up somewhere along the line.
At Ed’s Moving & Storage, we’ve facilitated thousands of local and long-distance relocations from the Seattle-Tacoma area since 1965—when it comes to moving, we really do know it all. And we’re more than happy to share our knowledge and expertise!
To help you prepare for your upcoming move, we’re answering a few of our most frequently asked moving questions below.
When Is the Best Time to Move?
If you get to decide when you move, try to avoid moving at the end of the month, during summer, and during the year-end holidays. Movers are typically in high demand during these times, so you may have difficulty booking a moving service and adhering to your preferred relocation timeline.
That said, if you simply don’t have the luxury of choosing when to move, move at the time that works best for you! Just make sure you get several moving quotes to make sure you’re getting the best service for your money.
How Do I Find a Moving Company I Can Trust?
If you’re planning to hire professional movers, doing your research is key. You’ll want to browse the company’s website to see what services they offer and read online reviews. If you know anyone who’s recently moved from your area, ask if they have any recommendations for nearby moving companies.
Once you’ve found a few companies you like, get estimates from at least three of them. And make sure you get them on paper. If you get any low-priced outliers—as in, significantly lower than your other quotes—it’s probably in your best interest to avoid hiring those companies.
For more tips on finding reputable movers, check out Traits to Look for in a Professional Moving Company.
What’s the Difference Between a Binding and Non-Binding Estimate?
If you’re making a long-distance relocation, an interstate moving company can give you a binding or non-binding, written estimate when you ask for a price quote. Before you agree to an estimate, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what you’re signing.
A binding estimate guarantees that you will not be required to pay more than the price quoted in the estimate. However, if you choose to add more stuff to your shipment after signing that estimate, the company can issue a new binding estimate that includes the additional weight. Alternatively, it can convert the original estimate to a non-binding one.
But even if you sign a binding estimate, your movers can bill you for additional costs after the move if there are unforeseen circumstances (like stairs, parking permits, etc) that carry additional charges. By law, those charges cannot exceed 15% of the charges already due.
A non-binding estimate is, as its name suggests, not guaranteed. Rather, it’s intended to provide you with an estimated, reasonably accurate cost of your move. What you’ll ultimately pay when all is said and done reflects the actual weight of your shipment, as well as other fees detailed in the estimate.
By law, moving companies cannot require you to pay more than 110% of the cost written in your original, non-binding estimate.
For more information on federal regulations surrounding long-distance relocations and moving companies, check out the FMCSA’s guide, Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move.
How Do Movers Determine the Cost of My Move?
Your moving company considers several factors when determining the final cost of your relocation. Depending on the services you elect and the scope of your move, these factors may include:
● Additional mover assistance, such as full packing services
● Total weight of the goods being transported
● Travel distance
● Cost for additional insurance coverage
● Number of movers necessary for the job
● Hourly moving charges (some companies charge a flat rate for local moves while others charge by the hour)
Unless you’ve received a binding estimate, the total cost of your move cannot be accurately calculated until after your possessions have been packed and loaded onto the truck.
What Does “Items of Extraordinary Value” Mean?
If you’re hiring a moving company, “items of extraordinary value” are any items that have a value of more than $100. For insurance purposes, you must list these items on the appropriate inventory form, which your movers should provide. Examples of these types of items include:
● Furniture and appliances
● Collector’s items
● Fine china and silverware
If you’re planning to transport several items of extraordinary value, it may behoove you to purchase additional moving insurance coverage. You’ll automatically get a basic level of coverage as part of your moving package and will have the option to upgrade that coverage for an additional fee.
In the event your items suffer damage during transport, basic moving insurance will only reimburse you for a small percentage of the current market value of those items. And if you don’t have enough coverage, you’ll be financially responsible for any losses incurred.
What Should I Do With My Stuff If I Can’t Move In Immediately?
If you’ve already sold your home or ended your lease but cannot move your things into your new place immediately, climate-controlled storage is a great option.
Climate-controlled facilities typically offer short- and long-term storage options, storage-in-transit containers, and continuous security monitoring. They also conduct routine inventory inspections to ensure your possessions remain safe, clean, and intact while they’re on the property.
Before you start looking at facilities, check out Storage Solutions 101: What You Need To Know Before Renting a Self-Storage Unit.
What’s the Safest Way to Pack My Valuables?
That depends entirely on what you’re packing. For large, fragile, and expensive items, we recommend custom crating services. When you have crates handmade according to your items’ dimensions, they’ll be far more protected than they would be in a cardboard box or simply wrapped up.
Wardrobe cartons, specialty containers with dividers, and specialty packing materials can also keep your possessions protected in transit. Plus, these types of specialty containers will also make your packing process simpler and more organized.
If you want the best protection for all of your belongings, consider hiring a professional moving company and let the pros do the packing for you.
For more pro packing advice, check out Tips for Moving Your Most Valuable Items and Why You Should Pack One Room at a Time When You Move.
I Have Plants—How Do I Move Them?
Check Federal, State, and Local Regulations
If you’re moving out of state and want to bring common houseplants, you probably won’t need to worry about any regulations regarding interstate transport of non-native foliage. But if you want to bring any non-native plants that were cultivated outdoors, check federal and state laws first.
Some states that rely heavily on agricultural revenue prohibit the entry of exotic foliage to prevent invasive growth. Each state has its own regulations—some only allow plants that have spent their entire lives indoors, and some require houseplants to have sterile, fresh soil upon entry.
If you’re hiring a moving company, they cannot transport your plants for you for liability reasons. Live plants can easily perish in the back of a moving truck, so you’ll need to find another way to transport them.
If you’re moving a long distance, you may want to consider shipping your plants in the appropriate packing materials. For shorter distances, you can safely transport houseplants in the back of your vehicle.
How Do I Move My Pets?
Get Health Certificates From Your Vet
If you’re relocating outside of Washington State, make sure you check state and local laws where you’re going regarding the documents you’ll need to bring your pets there. If you already know where your new home is, check with the neighborhood or complex to see if they have any species or breed restrictions.
If you have dogs, cats, or birds, make sure you schedule a vet visit for a health exam, as your pets will likely need a signed health certificate from your vet. If you have dogs or cats older than three months, you’ll probably also need to get documentation of current rabies vaccines. Most states require you to have these documents signed within the 30-day period before you move.
Arrange Transportation for Your Pets
If you’re hiring movers, they cannot transport your pets for you, so you’ll need to arrange transportation for them on your own.
Since moving can be very stressful for animals, you may want to bring your pets with you in your personal vehicle to reduce their anxiety as much as possible. If you know you probably won’t have room, you can hire a professional pet transport service or even fly your pet to your destination—whichever works best for you.
For more helpful information on relocating with animals, check out our tips for moving with pets.
Looking for a Reliable Moving Company Near Seattle?
If you’re getting ready to relocate and need reliable, experienced professional movers and packers, our team at Ed’s Moving & Storage is here for you. Whether you’re planning a local move, an interstate relocation, or an international move, you can trust our team to take care of the details.
We offer a full suite of services to make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible, including climate-controlled storage solutions, full packing services, and customized moving solutions.
If you’re ready to plan your move from the Seattle-Tacoma area, get in touch with us to get a quick quote! Call our Tacoma office at 253-581-2449 or request a quote online, and we’ll get in touch with more information!