costly moving mistakes Phoenix moving company

You get what you pay for could not be more true when hiring a moving company. Professional movers can get pricey, but you are paying for their expertise, customer support, and quality fleet. Keeping moving costs down entails more than finding free boxes. Here are four costly moving mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Hiring movers without vetting

If you do not research a moving company before booking, you might end up with a much larger bill — and more stress — than planned. Inexperienced or unreliable movers might damage or lose belongings, for instance, causing you to spend money on replacements and repairs.

Even worse, you could get scammed. There are moving companies who might try to lure you into using their service with a low quote. If you hire them, they might load your belongings in a truck and then hold them hostage until you agree to pay a higher amount than agreed upon, which is illegal under federal law. While you can get your stuff back by filing complaints and reporting the fraudulent activity, you still might be separated from your belongings for weeks. Which in turn, you have to purchase replacement items or stay in hotels or rentals for longer than planned.

How to avoid this costly moving mistake

  • Make sure the company is licensed and insured
  • Check the reviews online
  • Get multiple estimates – chances are if one is much lower than the others, it might be too good to be true
  • Search your state’s Department of Transportation website to check a local’s company’s permits & other information
  • For interstate moves, check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website
  • Visit the Better Business Bureau to check the ratings, reviews, and how the company handled claims

Adding Services at the Last Minute

To secure a low quote, you might have requested only basic moving services, skipping add-ons, and planning to handle some parts of the move yourself. That is a great way to save money — as long as you follow through with your plans. But if you are crunched for time and add services at the last minute, you might blow your budget.

People often get tired of packing and decide to leave extra work for the movers since they are coming anyway. Or after the tenth trip to the new residence, they leave remaining items for the movers.

Anything not included in the initial estimate will have an additional charge. Packing services, labor, and extra materials can quickly add additional fees to your quote.

How to avoid this costly moving mistake

  • Be realistic about how much packing and heavy lifting you can do when moving. If you have a large volume of belongings or limited moving help from family and friends, consider hiring professional moving services rather than giving yourself more tasks. If you are planning to tackle any parts of the move yourself — such as packing — give yourself plenty of time to get the job done so you do not have to change course and pay for added services later.

Moving unwanted items

Moving everything in your home, including items you do not want — think the large dining table and chairs or boxes of clothing you are planning on donating — can be one of the greatest costly moving mistakes.

Moving companies generally charge by the hour for local moves and by weight for interstate moves, so moving items that you do not want could mean paying for additional hours or pounds. And fragile items like pianos, which need special care, could add even more to the expense. If your new space does not have room for these items, you may have to pay for storage, further increasing costs.

How to avoid this costly moving mistake

  • A month or more before your move, start thinking about what items you do not want to keep. Divide things up into different groups – keep, sell, donate, and trash. Getting a head start on this will also help you get the most accurate moving quote.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to figure out how to dispose of these items. Especially for large items or electronics, donating, selling, or disposing of them properly could come with logistical challenges and require more planning.

Packing poorly

During a move, boxes may be lifted, stacked, jostled, or transported through cold and hot temperatures. Without careful packing, items can easily get damaged — especially on long journeys with multiple stops. Dishes packed without padding, for instance, could clatter against one another and break. Boxes filled with overly heavy items could burst at the seams, causing things to fall out. Damaged items could cost a bundle to repair or replace, driving up your total moving expenses.

Tips to pack efficiently for your move.

How to avoid this costly moving mistake

  • Do not rush the packing process. Use small boxes for heavy items and large boxes for light, bulky items. For dishes and glassware, use boxes with cardboard separators and cover each piece with foam or bubble wrap.

If you are not confident in your packing abilities, consider using professional packing services. Full-service moving companies generally offer this service as an add-on. There are many different packing options, including full pack and partial pack depending on your budget. If you have several fragile or valuable items, paying for these services upfront could prevent expensive damage and save you plenty in the long run.