Moving, Tips & Tricks

Common Moving Nightmares (And How to Avoid Them)

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Moving is hard enough without the additional challenge that come from unforeseen events. When you’re uprooting your life, sometimes stuff just happens. However, there are times when an unplanned inconvenience can turn downright tragic, plunging you into moving nightmare territory. If we haven’t personally experienced them, we all know people who have. In our experience, moving nightmares tend to follow trends — and with a bit of advanced planning and some common sense, you can avoid most of them.

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Hiring a Moving Company

Movers and moving companies present a challenge – because you rarely if ever pay attention to them until you need them. And, by the time you’re typically ready to move, you don’t have ample time to perform competitive research on each and every company out there. Hopefully, you’ve at least looked at Yelp. But with moving companies, you really want to go the extra mile. Check Better Business Bureau ratings, look at their social channels, and see how they’ve responded to any criticisms — warranted and otherwise — before engaging for a quote.

What Happens:

The price is too good to be true.

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They change the quoted price.

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They are late or don’t show up.

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They break something or damage your home

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How to Avoid It:

  • Look for price guarantees or in-person estimates. Moving companies who stick to their word, or give you a quote based on an in-person visit are more likely to charge you what you expected to pay.
  • Be sure you understand time windows. Do they charge once they leave their place of business or when they arrive? Do they guarantee arrival within a certain window? And do they offer discounts if they’re more than 30 minutes late? If this isn’t clear from looking at a website, be sure to ask to see the policy in writing before signing a contract.
  • Be clear on the company’s policy for replacing or repairing damaged goods. Policies vary widely — so if you don’t understand the language or the remediation process, ask.

Renting a Moving Truck

On the surface, renting a moving truck is pretty easy. Most companies allow you to do it online and the basic costs are competitive. But reading the fine print could surface issues, charges and other prohibited actions that could cost you a ton at dropoff.

What Happens:

It’s not ready when you go to pick it up.

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It breaks down.

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There’s no parking for your truck near your home or apartment

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You back it into a wall, garage, or another car.

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It costs double what you expected.

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How to Avoid It:

  • Be 100 percent clear on price. Most moving truck rentals have a base daily rate, with additional charges for mileage, amenities, after-hours drop-off and fuel. Budget for worst-case scenario.
  • If you’re moving first thing in the morning, pick up the truck the night before. You don’t have to start packing, but it will be nice to walk outside, see your truck out front, and get moving. Sure, that may cost a bit more, but it will buy peace of mind for you and movers.
  • Be clear on parking options in advance. Does your building have designated parking, but requires reservations? Do you need a permit with the city to park a truck on a busy street? Is the only available parking a full block from your new place? Whatever the case, knowing in advance will cut down time and unpleasant surprises the day of your move.
  • Ask about the policy for breakdowns and flat tires. Do they provide roadside assistance? What’s the average service time? If they contract out to a third party, call that company and ask for details.
  • Review options for insurance. If you don’t have a personal insurance policy that covers damage, be sure you’re clear on what the moving company provides. We know, you always waive the insurance when renting a car — but this ain’t no car, and you’re not likely a professional truck driver in your free time. Trucks are bigger and more angular than anything you’re used to, and even at your safest, you might seriously damage the truck, another structure, or adjacent automobile.

Asking a Friend to Help You Move

While the friend move is certainly affordable (free), you often get what you pay for. After driving someone to the airport, helping a friend move is among the most dreaded requests one can receive.

What Happens:

They cancel, or don’t show up.

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They break something

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They hurt themselves.

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They leave before the job is done.

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How to Avoid It:

  • Be clear in advance what you really need and when they need to be there. The vague “help me move” is more frightening than “I need help with 20 boxes, a flat screen television, and a bed.” The more specific you are, the less likely they to be terrified by what may await at your pad.
  • Be very prepared. Maybe even more prepared than you are for professional movers. Make sure what you’re asking them to move is packed, wrapped, and ready to go onto the truck.
  • Be okay with nicks, dents, and yep, even a few broken items. Your friends are not professional movers. They will likely bang something into a door, or scratch a piece of furniture. You need to be okay with this if you’re going to ask your friends for help.
  • Don’t ask them to help with anything too heavy. Have a piano or antique sideboard your grandma gave you? Hire a pro. Anything heavy or awkward enough to cause physical injury should not be in yours or your friend’s hands.
  • Give them something. Yes, we know it’s a favor and you’ll be on the hook repay it. But let your friends know you respect their time by going a bit beyond the ordinary in repayment. A gift certificate to a local restaurant, or a nice bottle of wine. Think you’d rather spend that money on professional help? We think that’s a good idea.
  • Better yet, ask them to help you with your housewarming party. A little light unpacking and decorating over food and drinks is friendlier than hard labor – and less fraught with potential for disaster.

Avoid Moving Nightmares from the Get Go

We understand, no matter how you slice it, moving can feel like a nightmare. Eliminating what’s scary and sucky about moving is why we’re here. We’ve sliced and diced every moving nightmare, and we just don’t think they need to exist.

When you Book a Dolly, you receive:

Moving support – truck and labor or labor-only – to fit exactly what you, and your move, require.

Dolly helps you move on your schedule and at an affordable price. Book now and see the difference: https://dolly.com.

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