1. No Loose Items
This is the number one reason moves take longer. Many times, people are so busy, that they just call a mover, book it and forget about it. Then when moving day comes, and nothing or maybe half of the house is packed, a lot of time has to be dedicated to packing, which results in paying more money. Make sure all of your loose items are in taped up boxes. Most moving companies charge hourly and anything you can do to shave the time off your move will help with moving costs. Close and stack your boxes before the movers arrive. Many moving companies are only moving furniture and closed boxes, which means they will move what they can and wait for you to finish your packing while you are getting charged for the moving. This can be extremely costly. It pays to be prepared for the move, by packing yourself or hiring a packing company
2. Label All Boxes
When you clearly label your boxes, this ensures that no items are lost in the move. This means no running out to find the nearest Wal-Mart or Target in Houston to replace something you already had the day before. It can get expensive if you have a disorganized move and have to unnecessarily replace items. Label all sides of every box. Most moving companies have 2 men and a truck to assist you, or even more often 3 men and a truck. When you have two or three movers all stopping to turn boxes around and find the small place on the corner where you labeled it, this winds up costing a lot of time on your move. Make the labeling LARGE and bold where no one can miss it.
Labeling the boxes is essential, but you can also take an extra step or two to make your movers much quicker when unloading into your new home. You can stick a piece of white paper with the room name that matches with the label. IE: Master Bedroom, Master Bath, and Guest Room… You can also color code the labels and put a large colored sign in the doorway of each new room. This will help your movers be more efficient and not have to stop frequently and ask questions about where things go.
3. Get rid of Stuff
Another good way to cut moving company cost is to minimize the amount of items the movers have to move. The less you move, the quicker it goes and the cheaper the moving service is for you. Why move something you don’t need anymore. It feels great to clear out the clutter and have a completely fresh new start.
Having a garage sale is always a good idea, and you should use the newspaper and Craigslist to make sure people are aware of your sale. Also, there are many places and charities in Houston that will find a better use to your unused items. Almost every neighborhood in Houston has a donation center for Goodwill and the Salvation Army. When you donate, it is a tax write off as well.
4. Use Quality Moving Boxes
Do not buy cheap boxes. This may seem contradictory but buying good quality, uniform moving boxes helps to save money moving. Moving boxes are uniformly sized and sturdy so you can stack them on a dolly and easily in a moving truck. If the movers can’t stack boxes and have to carry one at a time, the moving job it will take significantly longer. As tempting as it may be to try to find free boxes at a liquor store, or old boxes from some friends, it is not worth it. With as many boxes as it takes to move a home, you will probably have at least one box that breaks and this will cost you as much or more than you saved on not buying good boxes.
5. Use Your Travel Luggage
Most people will be too tired to unpack when they arrive, plus it takes time figuring out which box has your essentials. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pack an overnight bag with medicine, toiletries, clothes and anything that is irreplaceable. The movers will be happy to load this into your car. This saves you money by ensuring you don’t have to go out the first night in your new home and buy things you already have but are packed away.
6. Don’t Forget the Attic and Garage
People often forget to pack their unused rooms, which ends up costing them more money. This is something that can be done easily before the movers arrive, but is often overlooked. Buy boxes and start packing up those rooms and areas early so they don’t get forgotten and cost you extra money at the last minute.
7. Have plenty of supplies
You’ll need LOTS of boxes (probably more boxes than you think), and having a sufficient amount will make your life much easier! Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You’ll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items), packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household goods. Again, you’ll need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly.
8. Color Coordinate
Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box near the box number. Then in your new home, put a matching sticker on the door to each room. This way, the movers will know where to put everything when they arrive at the destination. It’s also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, (“Boxes here please”) to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.
9. Keep things together
Try your best to keep things together when you or the movers are packing boxes. For example, keep bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps extension cords with appliances, etc. Small, loose parts can be attached to the item they belong to with tape or placed in small envelopes, such as keeping picture hooks with pictures, shelf brackets with a bookcase, a special wrench and bolts with the wall unit, etc. Keep larger corresponding items (such as a cable TV cord) in resalable bags, and tape these to the underside or back of the item. As a backup, have a “Parts Box” open on the kitchen counter and fill it with cables, cords, parts, pieces, brackets, or nails that are removed from any items of furniture. Keep this box with you, or mark it well with a rainbow of colored stickers so it can be easily located on move-in day.
10. Clearly Mark All Boxes Containing Fragile Items
Many moving companies use a material called bubble pack (plastic with bubbles) for exceptionally fragile items. If an item is extremely valuable, as well as delicate, it might be wise to have it packed for you. Special materials might be needed for maximum protection. Also, make sure fragile boxes are placed on top of heavier, less delicate boxes.