Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Before the Move FAQ

When is the best time to move?

There is no single best time to move. The specific date and time will differ according to your needs and priorities. If staying under budget is a pressing concern, we recommend moving during the off-season months, like late fall-end, winter, or the beginning of spring. Moving companies hit their peak capacity from spring-end to the summer months, so expect to pay higher if shifting mid-year.

Here’s a quick overview of the best moving periods:

  • The cheapest month to move: Winter — it has the lowest demand, and the movers are freer to work around your schedule.
  • The best week to move: Mid-month — it has the lowest demand, while the beginning and end of the months are the busiest. One reason for this is most leases start on a month’s first, and people tend to move around that time.
  • Best day to move: Weekdays between Mondays and Thursdays — if you are relocating at the weekend, expect to pay higher fees due to high demand.
  • Best time to move: Mornings — try to get an appointment between 8 and 10 AM for packing and pick-up. These are the cooler hours of the day which can immensely help the crew during summer. It will also give you more time to unpack during the day.

Other factors to consider when selecting a moving date are weather, your work schedule, and your family’s schedule.

How do I pick a company to request a moving estimate?

When looking up which firm to hire, your first sources to contact should be relatives, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. Recommendations from people who have first-hand experience with a company are always the best. We recommend gathering at least three company names and getting an in-person estimate from each.

Use Better Business Bureau (BBB) and customer review websites like Yelp, Google reviews, Thumbtack to scan through the testimonials of previous customers. But, these shouldn’t be your ultimate deciding factor since reviews can be easily faked. Still, it can help you condense down a large list of possible companies to three firms, which you can then call up and discuss your needs.

When should I start contacting moving companies?

Get in touch with the moving companies as soon as possible, especially if moving during the peak season.

For long-distance moves, aim to request an estimate at least eight weeks before the move; even better if you do it 12 weeks ahead. For a local relocation, booking 2 to 4 weeks should suffice. But, the sooner you start, the better because you will have enough time to gather estimates from multiple companies.

What should I expect from a relocation consultant?

A relocation estimator will visit your house to gather a visual survey of your belongings. They will assess the belongings in all the rooms, dresser drawers, closets, attic, and other areas to create an inventory.

In the end, the estimator will calculate the shipment weight, packing cost, and other variables to give you a quote.

To improve the estimate’s accuracy, it’s best to declutter your house before the consultant arrives. Get rid of items you will not be taking with you. Also, organize your home such that all goods that will be moved are visible.

Pricing and Paperwork

What is a binding estimate?

A binding moving estimate is a written agreement where the moving company guarantees to transport your cargo for a fixed amount, regardless of whether the final weight differs from the estimate. The benefit of a binding estimate is that you know exactly how much you will be paying after the move.

What is a non-binding estimate?

In a non-binding estimate, the movers will present you with a projected estimate for your move based on the inventory and the services requested. This amount should give you a rough idea of what the final cost may be.

If the final service is lower than the estimate, you will have to pay less than the projected price. On the other hand, if the actual service exceeds the projected cost, be ready to pay more.

Most interstate and local moves follow non-binding estimates, and they’re often cheaper than binding estimates.

How is the cost of my shipment calculated?

Figuring out how much a move will cost can be complicated. The final quote will take into account multiple factors, such as:

  • Moving size: larger cargo costs more to relocate
  • Moving distance: the longer the distance to the destination, the higher the cost
  • Time of year: moving during peak season, like summer, will cost higher
  • Moving date: moving during the start and end of the month and week typically costs more

Other costs to consider include packing materials, flights of stairs, special items, storage, and tips.

If you’re relocating down the block or within the same city, you will likely be charged by the hour. The hourly rate will vary based on how many movers will be needed for the job. Long-distance relocations are typically charged by the total weight or volume of the cargo.

What are the accepted payment methods for the move?

Moving companies accept payments via cash or check (cashier’s check, traveler’s check, bank check, personal check). You can also pay with all major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, America Express, and Discover Network.

With Stark Movers, you can choose to pay at the beginning of the project or the end — just let us know what you prefer. But be wary of companies that force you to pay 100 percent upfront.

What is an Order for Service?

An Order for Service is a written document that provides a breakdown of the estimated cost of your move, the services you requested, any special requests, and the scheduled pick-up and delivery date. This document isn’t a binding contract, but all moving companies will provide you with a copy of the Order for Service before the move.

An Order of Service is different from a Bill of Lading — an official contract that includes information present on your Order of Service, along with an inventory sheet, payment terms for your delivery, and other contact information.

Packing

Can I pack anything in the drawers of my dresser?

We recommend keeping the drawers empty if your dresser is flimsy or an antique. Do not keep fragile items like glass, or art, books, DVDs, money, or heavy items in your drawers. When carrying the dresser along winding stairs or hallways, it will be turned and flipped, which can cause things to fall out.

You don’t have to empty the drawers if the dresser is solid and sturdy and won’t need to be turned or flipped while being carried. You can keep clothes, linens, and lightweight items in there. We recommend taping the drawers shut for added security.

Will the driver load all the boxes that I packed?

Yes, the driver will load and unload all the boxes you’ve packed. But, if a moving company is only hired for loading and unloading service, they will not be responsible for any damage due to poor packing. If you are transporting specialized items, we highly recommend having professionals handle the packing.

How should I pack my waterbed?

Packing a waterbed can be time-consuming. The mattress must be drained at least 24 hours before the moving day because, with the water, the bed can weigh more than 600 lbs. Moving something that heavy can harm the movers and the bed. Also, unplug the mattress heater and ensure it’s thoroughly cooled before draining; otherwise, your mattress will melt.

There are three ways to drain a waterbed: use the siphon method if the waterbed doesn’t contain interior baffles; use a drain pump or an electric pump if draining baffled mattresses.

Replace the plug once the mattress is fully drained. Gather all the screws, nuts, and bolts and secure them in a plastic bag. Then fold or roll your mattress from head to foot of the bed. Pack it in a box or container while making sure it doesn’t get punctured. Don’t forget to wrap the heating bed and tube thermometer in a separate box.

Once at the new location, position your bed the way you want before refilling the mattress.

How do I pack and move my plants?

It’s best to drive the plants yourself instead of relocating them in a moving truck, as they might not survive the stress and heat of the move. To help limit the spread of pests present in foreign plants, some states only allow the entry of certain plants. So, be sure to research the state guidelines about transporting plants.

A few weeks before the move, transport your plant into shatterproof parts to give them enough time to acclimate to the new environment. Shatterproof pots will protect your plants during bumps and sudden movements while on the road. If you are worried about your plants taking up too much space in your vehicle, carefully prune them at least two weeks ahead.

Water your plants generally up to two days before the move, but make sure not to overwater as that can promote the growth of fungus or freeze your plant.

Here’s what to keep in mind when packing — place smaller pots in an open box and set the larger ones upright on the floor of your car.

To protect the branches, wrap them with tissue or an old bedsheet. If there’s too much space in the box where your pot is sitting, fill it with paper so it doesn’t shift around. If you’re taping the box shut, punch some air holes on the sides and top of the box.

Don’t forget to keep the temperature in your car comfortable. Extreme heat and cold can shock and damage your plants.

How should I move jewelry and other high-value items?

Make a list of all your valuables and take a picture of each of them in their current condition. Keep any document accompanying your valuables, such as receipts or warranty, in a moving binder with you.

We suggest seeking professional help when dealing with high-value items because poor packing can make them prone to damage.

Take jewelry and other smaller valuable items with you if you can. Secure them in jewelry boxes and keep them tangle-free by piping them through drinking straws or empty toilet paper rolls.

Pack framed art in picture boxes and use bubble wrap and packing paper for extra security.

When it comes to electronics, pack them in their original box or use static-free bubble wrap to protect them. Take laptops, cameras, tablets, smartphones with you.

With antique furniture, protect its surface and wrap the legs and arms with bubble wrap. Use a dolly or a slider to transport it to the moving truck.

High-value items require specialized packing, and we strongly recommend hiring a moving company with dedicated packers.

How should I prepare my appliances for relocation?

Correctly preparing your appliances for the move is critical to prevent damage. You don’t want to arrive at your new home to have the fridge or the washing machine not working. Here are some tips to avoid expensive appliance repair:

  • Refrigerator: Unplug your refrigerator at least 24 hours before the move. Dispose of the perishables and thoroughly clean the interiors. Dry all the surfaces and containers to eliminate the build-up of mildew or odors. Remove racks and other detachable units and pack them individually. If your fridge has an icemaker, disconnect it from the waterline and drain fully. You can store light items like soft toys and linens in the drawers of your refrigerators but make sure to tape it shut after placing the item inside.
  • Kitchen stove: Thoroughly clean the stove after removing the racks. If you have a gas stove, make sure the gas is turned off before disconnecting the line. If you need help with this, call your gas company and ask for help. Also, make sure to tape all the knobs to ensure they don’t move.
  • Dishwasher: Dishwasher components should be emptied, removed, and packed individually. Clean and dry the unit thoroughly, and then tape the door shut.
  • Washer and dryer: These appliances require special handling, and it’s best to consult a professional to get them move-ready. You will have to remove all the hoses and pack them in separately. When it comes to washers, remove and pack the drum to prevent damage.

Make sure to pack each plug and tape it to the back of the appliance. Don’t leave it loose or it may tear or break.

The Move

Do I need to be there during the move?

You will have to be present during the move. The crew will often have questions during the process that only you will be able to answer, and you will need to let the packers know if there’s any special request for certain items. Also, once the loading is complete, do a final walk-through of the property to make sure everything has been packed and loaded to your satisfaction.

Upon delivery, the crew will need you to guide them regarding where to place the items. You will also have to provide the payment at this stage for the relocation project.

How do you protect my belongings?

We take the safety of your belongings very seriously. Our crew understands that every object is built differently and has a unique fragility level that dictates how much protection it will require.

The packers and movers will use various protection equipment and materials such as moving blankets and straps to wrap and secure the item to the truck. This prevents the package from shifting within the vehicle while in transit.

The packers will also use cardboard dividers, foam pouches, bubble wrap, packing paper, and other materials to thoroughly cover breakables like dishes, DVDs, antiques, etc., within the box. Dollies carts and hand trucks will be used to safely transport the items to the truck. Bigger items, like furniture, will be disassembled with their components individually packed for maximum protection.

If you hire the Stark Team for our packing service or our full-relocation package, we will not charge you separately for packing and protection materials.

Do I need to get moving or parking permits?

A moving or parking permit is a legal document that allows the movers to temporarily park a moving vehicle at a designated location at a specific date and time. It ensures that the truck can be parked as close as possible to the doorway of your residence.

As a customer, you will have to request any permit needed. To request one, you’ll first have to contact your landlord, homeowner’s association, or property manager to make sure you need a permit. If yes, you will have to call or visit the appropriate city office, which you can find by visiting your city’s government website.

If you haven’t acquired a permit, and there’s nowhere for the crew to pack on pick-up day, the drivers will start the clock while searching for a parking space. Our drivers hold the right to park anywhere, even if it’s illegal, and the customer will be responsible for any fees or tickets.

I’ve scheduled an afternoon move. When will the movers arrive?

If you’ve scheduled an afternoon move, the crew can arrive anywhere between noon to 5 pm.

Your movers will typically contact you in advance to give you an estimated arrival time for packing and loading your boxes. When it comes to an ETA, you will be given a window of time that accounts for unforeseen circumstances which can impact the crew’s arrival time.

For example, a moving company may handle several clients a day — some in the morning and others in the afternoon. They will only arrive at your premise after they’re done loading the last piece of cargo from their first client’s home. If there’s any delay in their morning client’s premise, it will also cause a slight delay in your appointment. Inclement weather, road shutdowns, staff coming in late are other factors that can cause slight delays.

But the company will contact you beforehand to let you know about the exact ETA.

How do I prepare my home for move day?

The schedule provided by your moving company will have the time frames during which you can expect the movers at your house to pack and load your goods. Packing may take a day to several days, depending on the shipment size. You will have to be present at your home during these times. So please make arrangements, such as requesting time off from work, in advance.

The moving agent will contact you before the crew arrives to load everything and also before delivery. If there are any changes we need to know about, like the street in front of your house might be closed due to construction, let us know as soon as possible. If you have only hired us for loading and transport and are handling the packing on your own, but haven’t finished yet due to an unanticipated event, let us know in advance to reschedule the pick-up time. We can also send our crew to complete the packing.

The crew will protect floors, rails, doorknobs, and door stoppers with protective materials on the moving day to make sure nothing gets damaged while transporting items. But we recommend that you remove any rugs and items that could cause the movers to slip or trip. Also, make sure to remove anything in the pathway that will block the team’s movement while they work.

If you can, put aside water, a few snacks, hand sanitizers, and energy drinks for the crew. Although not necessary, the team will appreciate your generosity.

Once the loading is complete, please check all areas to make sure nothing has been missed and no item is left behind.

How will I know where my shipment is once it leaves my home?

Most moving companies, including Stark Movers, will assign you a moving agent who you can text or call anytime for an update.

Bigger firms will have the technology that allows real-time tracking of the shipment between origin and destination over the internet. Smaller companies may not have this feature, but you can still track the cargo over the phone.

You can also throw a GPS into one box to follow the truck’s progress as it moves to its destination.

How will I know when my shipment is going to be delivered?

The moving crew will contact you 24 hours to a few hours before the delivery time to let you know they will be arriving soon. We suggest calling the drivers every few days to see where they are. Generally, they will contact you if there are any changes to the schedule. Know that maintaining contact with your moving company during the delivery process is crucial. So don’t hesitate to give them a call.

Also, make sure they have your accurate contact information. If you will be busy and won’t be available to take the call, provide the contact of a trusted friend or neighbor who can relay information to you. Weather and other unforeseen circumstances can delay the arrival of your goods, and the driver will contact you to provide a status update.

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(857) 526-1511

or emailing us at

info.starkmoving@gmail.com