By Matthew Demmer
Sometimes you just have too much stuff or too few people willing to work for hot dogs and beer to trek it across the country without hired movers. And no matter how easy you think it might be to just toss all your material belongings into a giant rental truck – it's not. Plus, you'll most likely end up spending your last precious days
of college or valuable vacation time renting a U-Haul, packing up all your stuff, moving it out, traveling, moving in, and then returning the rental vehicle. Admittedly, hiring a mover is significantly more expensive than doing it yourself , but for some, it's worth every penny (and it might be flat-out necessary if enormous armoires are involved). That being said, it is extremely important to be savvy, organized and prepared when choosing a mover to trust with your possessions. Otherwise, you could end up with a ton of stress and a giant bill. Read on for tips on hiring a mover (and squeezing every cent of labor out of them).
The first step is to get a rough estimate of how much stuff you are moving before calling moving companies for a price quote. Decide what exactly you cannot live without and what stuff will just end up in storage after a month. Once you know what you need, you should try to determine how much it all amounts to in mover’s terms (i.e., cardboard boxes). As a point of reference, Box Kits , a moving supply wholesaler, suggests eight medium, four large, and two extra large boxes for a studio and roughly one and a half times that for a one bedroom, in addition to the various duffle bags of clothing and items of furniture.
Once you know how many boxes and pieces of furniture you are transporting, you should take note of potential obstacles that might complicate the move. Be informed about all the logistics of where you currently live and where you are moving. For example:
You should know anything and everything that could make the move last longer or possibly give the movers a reason to tack on extra charges to the bill.
Once you have committed to hiring help, the only way to get the best possible deal is to call around. Look into every national and local moving company in the area until you find the one with the lowest fees. Most national movers will base their price on distance and weight, whereas local movers may charge by the hour ($125 to $150 is pretty standard). We looked at three different possible moves and priced them out accordingly: In order to transport a reasonably well-stocked one bedroom a short distance (e.g., from Brooklyn, NY, to Manhattan, NY), National Van Lines estimated $1,150. For a medium distance (e.g., Boston to Chicago) the price quoted was about...
By Matthew Demmer
Some of you will be moving home, some to a new city, some to an apartment on the other side of town. But the fact is that after graduation, you’re all going to be moving somewhere. Unfortunately, the one constant in any moving enterprise is that it sucks.
Not only does it always turn out to be more time intensive and expensive than it initially seems (“$20 a day” for a U-Haul van—yeah right), but it will also strain backs, patience, and friendships if it’s not done correctly. But hey, your friends won’t mind helping out…right guys?
Step 1: Making a List
The first major pitfall in self-moving is not knowing exactly how much stuff you have. My friend and I once rented a U-Haul that at first glance looked far larger than either of us would need but was soon filled up with only half of my senior year studio. I spent the day making last minute decisions over what could stay what should go, inevitably forcing my friend to wrench a life-sized Darth Vader statue from my death grip. Better to do that work beforehand and figure out exactly what you’re going to take and what you’re going to sell or scrap. Then try to gauge how many boxes you'll need and how large your bulkier items, like couches and beds, actually are. Be conservative in the estimate. It’s always better to have more truck space than you actually need so you don’t have to get rid of prized Transformer action figure collections. Also, remember that the reason that Ikea and Target furniture is cheap is because it’s usually, well, cheap and will likely not survive being bounced back and forth between bookshelves and bowling balls.
Step 2: Wrangle the Moving All-Stars
Unless you have a Ver Magnussun at the end of your name, there’s no way you’re going to get all of your crap in or ...