How to Ensure Your Move Goes Well - An Interview with John Beyer of Men on the Move, Floral Park, NY
This is the time of year when many families move. Real estate agents will tell you that most closings take place in early summer. School lets out and families move. We’ve asked a reliable mover for his insights. John Beyer of Men on the Move is an experienced moving industry leader and these are some of his helpful tips on planning a successful move.
Q: How should people select a mover?
A: Ask friends for recommendations and moving companies for references. Be sure to check out moving companies with the Department of Transportation and the Better Business Bureau. Just ask for each company’s DOT number. New York State’s DOT is a good resource for local companies. You may also consult the U.S. DOT for long-distance movers.
Q: Is it a good idea to find a mover online?
A: You shouldn’t trust any firm listed online unless it also has a brick-and-mortar facility, lists an address, and has been in business for a long time. Choose from movers that are familiar to you. Ask and check references.
Q: Are some movers more qualified that others?
A: Members of the American Moving and Storage Association’s Certified Mover Program® are an elite group of movers who agree to follow an industry code of conduct. My company, Men on the Move, is AMSA-certified, which means we’ve agreed to provide complete disclosure of moving information, written estimates of charges, timely service, and prompt response to claims and complaints.
Q: How important is it to be able to get in touch with a moving company’s owner or president?
A: It’s very important to be able to get in touch with the top person. It says a lot about the company when customers have access to a principal. In most cases issues or problems can be rapidly resolved by letting the company owner know about them.
Q: How should people compare movers’ prices?
A: Get prices from three different estimators who provide free estimates in your home of the cost of moving its contents. Listen to the questions they ask, such as whether you’ll pack your own lamps and pictures or leave it for the movers? A professional mover should clearly delineate which tasks either the customer or the mover will handle. Otherwise, the job may take much longer than you anticipated and cost a lot more. Keep in mind that local moves are priced primarily on the time and materials they require. The cost of long-distance moves is influenced by the weight of the contents transported.
Q: Are their any questions that consumers don’t normally ask but should?
A: How much insurance will there be on my belongings during the move? Can you give me a not-to-exceed price on my move?
Q: Is there a fuel surcharge these days on gas for the moving truck?
A: There’s always a fuel surcharge on long-distance jobs. Recently, New York State’s DOT implemented a local fuel surcharge on moving. Consumers should always ask about this and if there are any other fees.
Q: How far in advance should someone plan a move?
A: It’s a good idea to start interviewing movers one to two months prior to moving. They may even want to interview them earlier if they are planning a complex move.
Q: Do clients need to buy insurance?
A: All movers are insured locally for 30 cents per pound per article. Customers need to declare the value of their home’s contents. There’s always an opportunity to purchase additional insurance from us.
Q: Why is spring a busy time for movers?
A: Actually, summer is the busiest time, especially from June 15th to September 15th. People like to move after the school year ends. The end of each month is also busy because apartment owners’ leases are usually up at the end of the month.
Q: Is it better for a moving company to do the packing?
A: That depends on your budget. People can save on moving costs by doing most of the packing themselves. Anything you can take apart before the movers get to you will help you save money on moving company hourly rates. The key to spending less is preparation. Pack up and box as much as youcan ahead of time. Unplug your computer and printer and disconnect your cable TV boxes the morning you’re leaving. Make sure, though, that you have phone service on the day of your move. If you’re well-prepared, the job may cost you a lot less.
Q: Do you have any packing tips?
A: Yes. It’s very important to use professional packing materials. Don’t use printed newsprint to wrap dishes or you’ll have to wash them again. Newsprint also gets your hands dirty. Wrap dishes and glassware in plain paper instead.
It is important to make sure all the boxes you pack are flat on top so they can be stacked in a moving truck. Be sure to label the contents on the sides of the boxes. It’s also helpful to list the room where movers should place each box.
Q: Are there advantages to having your mover do the packing?
A: Yes. Movers pack quickly and efficiently, and use professional materials that protect your furnishings, art and belongings. Damage to your merchandise during a move is minimized when a mover handles the packing.
Q: How have advances in technology affected moving?
A: Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on the trucks enable us to keep track of them at all times. Computer technology also makes it possible for us to prepare an electronic inventory of your home’s contents prior to your move.
Q: What are the biggest mistakes people make when moving?
A: They don’t pack up as much as they think they will. They should ask their mover for an estimate of the number of boxes their job will require, and then divide that by the number of days left until they move to see how many boxes they should pack each day. Otherwise, they’ll get behind on their packing and may have to pay their mover to finish it.
Q: Should customers consider storing items if they cannot move them into their home right away?
A: Yes. Some movers offer storage facilities for rent. We offer warehouse storage or self-storage facilities. If you don’t need access to the items you put in storage, opting for warehouse storage will cost less.
Q: What’s the homeowner’s role on moving day?
A: Relax while you help direct the movers. Take charge of your kids and pets or ask someone you trust to help you with them so that the movers can work most efficiently. If you’ve hired an experienced, professional mover, moving should go smoothly.
Q: How much does it cost to move the contents of an average home?
A: Most New York area jobs cost between $1,400 and $2,500, but this varies greatly depending on the amount of time it takes and the materials used.
John Beyer, president of Men on the Move, is a certified moving consultant. His firm is a member and he’s a past president of the Long Island Moving and Storage Association. His company serves Long Island and the New York metropolitan area, handling local moves as well as long-distance moves to 16 Eastern states. For more tips on moving, please see: www.menonthemove.com or call (516) 773-6683.