A good move is one that is both fast and safe.
This also saves you money because one of the factors in what a moving company charges is how much time your move will take. While most movers are happy to do all the little things for you, that extra time will add up and cost you more money.
Here are a few tips that will make your move go quickly and affordably. We realize no one, not even the best movers in Houston, are capable of doing everything so these are suggestions and not rules.
- Give it away before we get there! – We often have people tell us halfway through their move that they are going to give something away later. Often with downsizing from a larger home to a smaller one, they realize not everything will fit. Rather than pay us extra to move things you don’t want or need, give it away before we get there. In Houston there are even a few charities that will pick up unwanted items for free.
- Use sturdy, normal moving boxes. – While it is great to get boxes from the grocery store or other retailers many people don’t consider what they really cost. The time you spend finding them and driving from store to store to collect them adds up. The biggest factor is they take longer to move. If your buy new boxes and pack them well, their uniform sizes and shapes are much easier and faster to pack. If you want to see the best solution, check out Borrow-A-Bin.
- Organize your belongings. – Don’t just leave boxes wherever you pack them. Separating the fragile boxes makes it easier for the movers to see and keep track of what needs special care. Keeping hallways, stairs and around doors clear make it easier for everyone to get through.
- Move small items to the 1st floor. – If all the boxes and small items are in the garage or an area easy to access it will make carrying them out and loading them on the truck much faster.
If you estimate that the average 2 bedroom home has 100 boxes, a mover carries 2 at a time, and it takes him 45 seconds to move them to the truck about about 30 seconds to return, that is 75 seconds per trip or about a hour to move just the boxes. Adding stairs, a basement or long walks and you can easily double that time.
- Have all the furniture taken apart. – Most movers are happy to take apart furniture and appliances. Keep in mind that takes time and costs you money. Doing simple things like taking bed frames apart, taking the legs off of tables, unplugging lamps, removing their light bulbs, wrapping up electrical cords are all things most people can do themselves. This makes them faster to move and safer to fit in the moving truck
- Moving electronics. – Especially with the new LCD and plasma TVs, they are very fragile. Most reputable companies will not move them unless they are boxed. If you don’t have the original box make your own by cutting up some cardboard, wrapping the TV in bubble wrap and then taping the cardboard over it. Other things to box are DVD players, cable boxes and stereo equipment. A well boxed item is easier to move and organize on the truck.
- Get your refrigerator ready to move – Many refrigerators have water lines for their ice makers and the shut off is under the floor or in the basement. All the hoses and cords can take time to find, shut off and disconnect.
A double sided fridge often has to have both doors taken off unless you have a very large doorway for it to fit through. Then there are the glass shelves and plastic drawers that have to be removed. It often takes 30-45 minutes to prep and move a standard double sided fridge. Disconnecting those lines and taking everything apart yourself will save you money.
- Disconnect your washer/dryer – Time yourself and see how quickly you can take your washer/dryer apart. Include the time it takes to find the right tools. You will see that can save another 10-20 minutes on your move.
- Have furniture emptied. – While it is sometimes okay to move furniture with the packed drawers in them, often it is not. If a piece is fragile, needs to be set on its side to make it around a tight turn or moved up and down stair everything has to be emptied out of it. We often have to turn pieces upside down to safely stack them in the truck and that cannot be done if they are full of clothing or household items.
- Keep small pets and children out of the way. – Unfortunately it is common for people to let their dog or cat roam the house while they are moving. Moving is a stressful time for animals and they can hide in furniture or dart underneath feet. Curious children can get in the way making your move take longer and be unsafe.
- This is our most important suggestion
HAVE PLENTY OF MOVING PADS! – If you are providing the truck or storage space for us to load, you are also responsible for the protective pads. Sheets and blankets are not good enough. Sharp corner and metal objects can easily tear through household bedding. They aren’t thick or strong enough to protect from indentation or scratching. We tell our customers that they should double the size of their truck/container and that will tell them how many moving blankers they need.
For example, a 26 foot moving truck needs at least 50 moving pads. If you have a lot of nice furniture or fragile items, you may need more. A move goes much faster if your movers don’t have to worry about how to organize your truck because you don’t have enough blankets to protect everything.
All our crews are happy to do any of the extra work you cannot. Just keep in mind that 15 minutes to disconnect a washer/dryer, 10 minutes to take apart the bed and so on, you have added an extra hour very quickly to the cost of your move.
If you have any other suggestions for a fast and efficient move, leave a comment.