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Moving FAQS


Carey Moving FAQS Page

Carey Moving & Storage answers many of the questions you may have about your upcoming move. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you need more information.

Click on a move question category

Choosing a Mover    Preparing to Move    Packing    Moving Day    After the Move

Choosing a Mover

Should I get an estimate? You should get estimates from 3-5 movers before an interstate move. And make sure companies come to your residence to actually see your items.

Can I get an estimate over the phone? According to the Better Business Bureau movers that insist consumers should be wary of movers who insist on an estimate over the phone or via email instead of an in-home visit. This could be a warning sign that you are being scammed.

How should I prepare for an in-home estimate? It is important to show the estimator everything you are moving- the basement, items in the backyard, and around your home, so he/she can provide a more accurate estimate. Consider creating an inventory list to remind you to ask about special items. Also let them know about conditions at your delivery location- are there steps into the residence, is the street accessible for a large truck?

What is a binding estimate? A binding estimate tells you in advance how much the move will cost based on your job. If you add additional services such as packing, or if your location requires extra services (such as a smaller truck) the cost may increase. Typically binding estimates are good for 30 days.

What is a binding not-to-exceed estimate? This estimate sets a cap on how much your move will cost you.

How do I find a good mover? Ask family and friends, and local real estate agents for recommendations. There are also review sites online that provide real-people stories of various companies.

What questions should I ask a moving company? Here are a few key questions to ask a potential moving company: How long have they been in business? Is the crew that will be handling your move employed by the company or are they temporary staffers.

Should I take the lowest estimate? That depends. Experts say movers should estimate within 15% of each other for the same move because they know what it will take to move your items or a house of your size. If you have an estimate that is dramatically lower, most say don’t take it.

How do I know if a mover is reputable? Does the company have ProMover (AMSA) designation? Ask for their Department of Transportation (DOT) and motor carrier (MC) license numbers. You can check the DOT number here:

Can you provide references from my area from other customers? Ask for references of happy customers. And be sure and check online reviews for the companies you are considering.

How long has your company been in business? You want to see if a company has been in business for more than a few years to ensure they are experienced enough and have performed enough satisfactory moves to stay in business.

If I am charged by weight, how do you determine the weight of my items? After packing the truck gets weighed on a certified scale to determine the weight of your items.

What is your cancellation policy if my plans change? Ask the movers when you are getting estimates. You should be able to cancel or change the date until a few days before the move without being charged for the change.

What types of payment do you accept for my move? Many movers will take credit cards or checks. Keep in mind most movers will require you to pay the driver before they unload the items at your destination.

What supplies do you include? What will you charge me for? You may be charged for any supplies your movers use, from markers to tape to boxes.

Who will handle unpacking at my new home? It is good to ask if the moving company will handle unpacking at your arrival location or if they plan to subcontract out the work? You may wish to check the background of the company who will handle unpacking at the other end.

Will my stuff be consolidated on a shared truck? Some movers will put a smaller move on a truck shared with other people’s items. This may mean you are given a delivery window of dates instead of a set date/time for your things to arrive.

Do movers offer discounts? Some interstate companies offer special promotions for students or seniors. Be sure and ask if they have a special discounts that you may qualify for in your move.

Should I pay cash for my move? Experts say NO. If you pay in cash you lose the record of your transaction. If there is a dispute or issue of fraud or damage it can be more challenging to prove that you already paid. But tipping in cash is appreciated.

Preparing to Move

How far ahead should I call a mover? Experts advise four to six weeks ahead of your scheduled move. Or longer if it is a complicated job.

How much will it cost to move? Most movers will offer a free estimate prior to your move. A representative will visit your home to see the items you plan to move. For an intersate move they will estimate a cost based on approximate weight and amount of items you are moving. Your actual cost on move day for an interstate move will be based on the actual weight and the distance traveled, plus any insurance or additional services you add or that are required for your location.

What will it cost to move if I’m only moving across town? For a local full-service movers, you will likely be told an hourly rate which includes movers and truck and their packing supplies. Many companies have a two or four hour minimum.

What are some of the extra charges I might see in my move? Good question to ask your mover at the estimate- do they charge extra for fuel, for steps at your location(s), even parking fees.

Do movers charge extra for large items? Some companies may charge extra for oversized items. Be sure and go over during your in-person estimate everything you want to move and ask questions about specific large items you can’t bear to part with, that you want to take with you.

What if I only need help moving something for a few hours? There are a number of online companies and Apps that can connect you with extra hands for a few hours. Many offer bonded and insured workers. (Keep that in mind). Taskrabbit and Dolly are a few examples.

When is the best time to move? Most people move in the summer. The weather is better and it is between school years. But moving rates may be higher and moving companies may be much busier. Consider moving mid-month when rates may be lower. And… consider off peak times of fall and winter.

What is the best day to move? Selecting a Tuesday or Wednesday to move may provide you with a lower cost.

What’s the best way to prepare for a move? Purge, purge, purge. Get rid of extra items, things that you love but don’t actually use and especially old papers and items you don’t need to take with you.

What’s the best way to change my address? Some suggest you submit a change of address a week or two before you move. Also make a list of people and businesses who need to know you are moving. For example schools, doctors, dentists, insurance company and your bank. Also consider gathering your holiday card list to send out a notification.

Why should I hire a mover? Hiring professional movers reduces the chances you’ll get injured moving heavy and awkward items twice, once on the packing and once of the delivery end. Also, movers will have the right equipment to move your items. Hiring them also frees you up to finish all the last minute details of your move.

How much deposit should I expect to put down? Some movers may ask you to put down 20% of your moving cost. Be sure to see if this deposit is refundable if your plans change.

What is a moving broker? A broker offers the convenience of arranging a move. They do not actually own moving trucks or staff movers. They may provide an estimate over the phone and then big out your move to moving companies. Sometimes you may obtain a move cheaper than you would finding a mover on your own. But sometimes you may receive services from an unlicensed mover or face the risk of your job not being accepted by a moving company.

What if my new residence isn’t ready? Many movers can arrange to store your items near your destination. But you will be charged a storage fee and also for your eventual delivery. You may wish to ask if items will be stored in the company’s own facilities or if they use third party storage.

Can movers deliver my stuff to self-storage until my home is ready? Yes, depending on the company. This is becoming a popular option for some people who haven’t found a home in their new location yet. Once you have a residence you can hire local movers to move items to your new home. In the meantime you can have access to them and may pay less than storage by your interstate moving company.

Are there better months to move to save money? Avoid peak season- June, July and August. and consider moving on a weekday not at the beginning or end of a month.

Can I save money if I pack myself? Doing some or part of the packing yourself can cut down on costs.

How can I save money on packing supplies? Instead of using packing paper, consider using newspapers, towels and extra clothes from around your home.

How can I make my move more Green? Some movers offer reusuable ‘green’ boxes. Companies like UHaul may offer box recycling where you can pick up used boxes for free.

What other things can I do to make my move cost less? Remember interstate moves are charged by weight. Consider purging extra items. The less stuff you have the less you will pay to move.

When will my stuff arrive? In a cross country move an exact time may be difficult to arrange. But ensure you have an agreed upon date and approximate time of arrival for your items in writing.

What if the truck can’t park right by my house? Make sure you tell your movers about any special restrictions or extra distance or steps at your locations. Some movers may charge you by the foot for any extra distances they have to carry items.

Does my homeowners insurance cover my move? Experts say homeowners insurance may possibly cover your items in a move if they are damaged by something that would have been a covered claim in your home, for instance a fire or an accident to the truck that damages your items. It is best to check with your agent or insurance company about specific details.

How long will movers take to deliver my stuff? On a long distance move you will most likely not receive an exact date, more like a window of time that the movers may be able to deliver your items. Discuss your needs with your potential moving company and take a close look at your moving paperwork to see what timeframe they are offering.

What about moving in winter? Some experts suggest turning down the heat on move day since people will be coming in and out. One great idea: put a heater in your bathroom if you can safely keep it away from wet spaces. Also make sure the utilities in your new residence are turned on and that you will be able to have a warm place with hot water when you arrive.

How much does it cost to move? We saw one estimate from the American Moving and Storage Association that the average interstate move costs $5600 and the average in-state move was $1100. Be sure to consider your budget before committing to a move.

Is there a way to figure out myself what a move might cost? Yes if you are looking for a ballpark figure. A number of online sites and many moving companies offer a free cost estimator tool. Keep in mind you should get 3 in-home estimates for all long distance moves.


What if I have extra stuff I do not want to move? A few weeks before you move begin sorting out and getting rid of extra items. Return borrowed things. Visit for a list of recycling centers in your area.

Best way to label my boxes? If you’re looking for the best way to label your boxes consider color coded labels or marks for each room in your new home. Each room gets its own color. For instance kitchen is blue, master bedroom is yellow. When the movers arrive with your delivery have each corresponding color posted in the correct room so the movers know where the boxes go. Also consider numbering each box so you know if any got lost.

Can a regular mover help move my piano? You can discuss with your mover. But many experts recommend hiring special piano moving companies that are trained to protect your instrument.

Can movers help me pack? Most moving companies will offer partial or full packing services. For instance, they could pack your kitchen. Often if movers pack items they will cover any breakage or damage to those items.

Can I move a vehicle? There are car shipping services. If you have a non-working vehicle or an oversized vehicle you may pay extra. Also if you need an enclosed trailer that will cost additional.

Do I need big boxes? A big beef of pro movers are large boxes filled with heavy items. Pack heavier items such as books in small boxes. Save the large boxes for lighter weight items like sheets and towels. OR consider using those items as padding around other items.

How many books can I put in a little box? These boxes are designed to hold heavy items. Experts say don’t worry about the weight of these boxes they will fill up before you are overweight.

Where can I get free moving boxes? Look for free moving boxes on places like Craigslist, liquor stores, book stores, and many Uhaul locations have a free box exchange.

Best ways to tape my boxes? Consider wrapping tape all the way around boxes to secure them at the seams. Put a criss cross X across pictures or glass mirrors in addition to padding.

What’s the best packing tape to use? Packing or moving tape is designed to seal your boxes for a move. And it may come on large dispensers to let you roll across boxes with ease. Some companies sell pre-labeled and color-coded tape to indicate which room the box will get put in at your destination.

What’s the best way to pack? Start small. Experts say you get small stuff organized and boxed before tackling larger items. Also work room by room to make unpacking easier later on.

How do I pack last minute household stuff I need to use until moving day? One smart idea we saw: keep a wardrobe box in your residence. Use it to pack your bedsheets, towels and other items you needed up to moving day. Mark it so you can unpack this box as one of the first at your new home.

Should I take photos of my items? Taking photos of your rooms, picture arrangemetn on a wall, or even the cord setup for your electronics can save you a lot of time on the other end. But also take lots of photos of your items as you pack to show condition.

Do I need to inventory my stuff? The movers should provide you a full inventory list and weight of your items. But also keep your own list and consider numbering your boxes so you can ensure all of them arrive. 1 of 20, 2 of 20, etc.

Should my boxes be sealed when movers arrive? Check with your moving company. Some movers may want to verify the contents of your boxes before loading.

How long will my move take? 2-3 movers may take a full day to load up a 2000 sq ft home. 4-5 movers may be able to complete the job in 8 hours.

Will the movers move stuff in my garage? Keep in mind that movers are prohibited from transporting certain items. Gasoline, toxic and flammable substances are prohibited. Safely dispose of those items ahead of time. A wardrobe box can work to move shovels, rakes, etc.

What about moving my car or motorcycle? You can check with your moving company. You may wish to hire a vehicle moving service for these items.

How much time should I allow to pack? Experts say it can be less stressful to start packing non-essential items a month ahead of your planned move. Consider making a box room to store packed items.

Best way to pack dishes? Experts say to pack dishes sideways in boxes, not flat. Wrap each one in paper, then wrap 4-5 together in large bundles to better protect them.

Do I need to wrap my pots and pans? Experts say these items can go in a box without being wrapped individually. However put plenty of packing material on the bottom and top and in between to keep them from shifting around.

What about lampshades? Pro movers say to pack each lampshade in its own box with no other items except packing paper. You might also write Lampshade or Top Load on the box so movers know not to stack heavy boxes on it.

Any advice for moving liquids I have in my home? Be sure you are not moving any prohibited items. Some household cleaners may be on the prohibited list. If you are packing liquids, tape the lids shut. Make sure you mark the box Liquids and indicated which way is up so movers are less likely to tip the box on its side when loading.

Can movers take my plants? Moving companies will not take your plants on interstate moves. Some movers may consider plants on a short in-town move but you may need to make special preparations of the plants beforehand.

What about my appliances? Unplug them, empty them out (neighbors may love your condiments) and clean them. Some appliances like a gas stove require special unhook and hook up services. Your movers may be able to provide that for a fee.

Can movers take apart my large furniture? This is a great question to go over with your mover during the estimate. Interstate move companies will often factor in the cost of taking apart bed frames and putting them back together. Other large pieces of furniture like entertainment centers or dressers may be taken apart as well. Most movers will not reassemble anything they did not take apart at the beginning of the move.

How should I pack clothes for my move? If you have suitcases, these can be a great way to move clothes to keep them clean and secure. Also, don’t forget about dresser drawers. These can be removed and shrink wrapped to keep clothes secure during a move.

Do I need to do anything special for my appliances? Your stove for instance may need a professional to disconnect and cap the gas line if you are moving it. Ask if your moving company will handle this (and what they charge) or if you’ll need to arrange a professional to help. The same may apply for the water line to your refrigerator and/or ice maker.

Should I move my appliances? Experts say the answer is maybe not. Prospective buyers may fall in love with your beautiful appliances or stacked washer and dryer and it may help the home sell. In addition, appliances may be damaged during a move, they are expensive to transport and they may not fit size-wise in your new space the same as they do now.

Will the moving truck be clean? Some professional moving companies disinfect their trucks periodically. If this a concern for you, ask your mover during the estimate how they care for their trucks

Moving Day

How much should I tip my mover? Generally customers tip between $20-$40 per mover.

Will my items arrive on the same truck they loaded them on? Good question. Probably yes for in-town shorter moves. It is good to ask for long distance moves if your items will be transferred to another truck. This could increase the possibility of damage or loss.

Do I need to feed my movers? This is a personal decision. You might offer to buy pizzas. But all mover probably appreciate gatorade-type drinks or bottled water on hand.

What info should I get from the movers on moving day? Ask for a written copy of the mover’s inventory list. Get contact information for your movers throughout the trip and provide them directions to your delivery location.

Are there items I should not move? Many movers will not move your live plants. In addition experts recommend you handle the packing and transport valuable and sentimental items, jewelry, medications and weapons, instead of sending them with movers.

What’s the best way to pack? Experts suggest packing a few boxes with stuff you’ll need soon after arrival, such as towels, sheets, and clocks. You should mark the boxes so you’ll know to unpack these first.

Will the movers protect my floors, etc., as they move? Ask if they will put down floor covers, padding or what steps they plan to take to protect your walls and ceilings as they go. What if a light fixture or wall is damaged during loading or unloading?

What if it rains on moving day? Your move can still happen. Arrange to keep moving boxes covered if you are placing them outside in the rain. Furniture and electronics can be damaged by rain. Ask your mover for advice on how to protect them. Shrink wrap may be an option. Be careful of wet slippery surfaces inside and outside your home. Finally if lightening is in the area, take a break for everyone’s safety.

Can I move in a snowstorm? Consider taping down fiber board, cardboard or tarps or plastic sheeting to protect your floors from snowy boots. Be sure to shovel, salt and clear the path for your movers and a place to set down items outside. Instead of Gatorade, consider offering coffee, hot chocolate or tea to keep your movers warmed up during their chilly day.

What should I do with my pet on moving day? Experts suggest taking your pet with you in a vehicle when you actually move. But for moving day they suggest finding a reputable place to board them or let them play for the day. You may also be able to arrange for them to visit a friend’s house. What you don’t want is the pet getting in the way or escaping on moving day.

After the Move

What if my stuff is damaged during a move? Your moving company can explain the coverage they offer on moves. But the basic limited liability coverage is typically paid by weight (30 to 60 cents a pound) not by the type of item. You may also be able to purchase full or declared value protection. This can make movers liable for the replacement value of any damaged or missing items.

What’s the best way to tackle unpacking when we arrive? Experts suggest making the beds first. Pull the sheets out of the pre-marked ‘unpack first’ box. This way when you are tired from other unpacking you can head to bed quickly.

Can I deduct my moving expenses? In some cases yes, if you are moving to start a new job or business you may be able to deduct reasonable expenses on your federal income taxes. You have to meet certain time and distance requirements. Check out IRS form 3903 for more information.

If you did not see the answer to your question, give us a call and we will answer the best we can.