When moving into your new apartment, you basically have four choices about how to get your stuff out of your old apartment and into your new apartment:
- Do-It-yourself. On the surface this is the lowest cost apartment moving method. You are responsible for every aspect of the apartment move – packing, lifting, truck rental, any damage and all logistics. Take into account the distance traveled from your old residence to your new apartment, time burden, physical effort and additional people you will need. Do you need to rent a moving truck or is a pickup truck sufficient?
- Full Service. This is the low stress way to move into your new apartment. Professionals will pack all belongings (they supply all packing materials), load, transport, unload and unpack (removing all packing materials) in your new apartment. All you need to do is be present for the loading and unloading. The moving company is responsible for any damage that occurs.
- Mid-Service. You pack and unpack all belongings; you are responsible for all packing materials. The moving company will load the truck, transport and unload in your new apartment. This is a very cost effective way to relieve yourself (and your friends) of all the heavy lifting and driving.
- Self-Service. You pack and load all items into a container. The mover will transport the container (holding your items) to your new apartment location. You unload and unpack; you supply all the packing materials.
When deciding what moving method would be best for your new apartment think about the following:
- How far away is your new apartment located? Moving across town might only need a few friends and a pickup truck, while travelling long distances is a big job without professional help. How much stuff are you moving to your new apartment? Pay particular attention to extremely heavy items (e.g. washing machine, couches, dresser, etc.). Throwing out your back will cost you a lot more in the long run than hiring movers for the day.
- How many stairs are involved? Think both moving out and your new apartment layout.
- Who do you know? If you are new to the area, do you have enough family and friends available to help?
- What is your moving budget? Moving to your new apartment will cost something regardless of the method.
- Time of year. We all know Florida gets hot and steamy in the summer. Keep in mind daytime temperatures when you will take rental of your new apartment and drink lots of fluids!
All apartment moving companies are not created equal. Unfortunately there is limited regulation governing moving companies. The best way to protect yourself is to thoroughly check out your moving company before signing anything.
If you plan to hire a mover for your apartment move, check the following before hiring:
- Get at least three quotes. If hiring a full service mover make sure they visit your current residence – do not accept quotes over the phone or internet.
- Get references and call them.
- Get the license and check with US and Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) for issues. Also a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Make sure the mover is bonded and get a copy.
- Make sure the mover is insured and you know exactly how much liability your mover is assuming. Contact your own insurance company if the amount of insurance the mover is providing does not cover the value of your possessions.
- Determine exactly how the move will be charged (number of hours, weight or mileage) and get this in writing.
- Do not work with a company that gives you an estimate based on cubic feet – this method is illegal and often used by scammers.
- Get a “Binding Not-To-Exceed” estimate so you know exactly the maximum cost of the move.
- Ensure the mover will be doing the work themselves and not using a sub-contractor.
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