Moving House Tips To Plan Your Next Move
Damien Baden: All right. So I have Nolan Whitely here with Atlas Mills Van Lines over in Strongsville. So I’m constantly getting questions from my sellers and even my buyers on moving. And I had the opportunity to meet Nolan last week and I was impressed by everything he was doing and what he had to say to my clients. The good thing is he got some business out of the deal. So I wanted to bring him on so you can get some value as well in terms of making sure that you’re moving properly, not making stupid mistakes, that sometimes people make. One of those is waiting till the last minute to move vs trying to preplan for that. So Nolan and I are going to have a little conversation about moving. Hopefully, our tips for house moving adds some value to you.
Nolan Whitely: With Mills Van Lines out of Strongsville, we kind of are the largest Atlas Van Lines hauler and, we’ve been in business for over 40 years.
Damien Baden: Perfect. When Mills Van Lines gets an initial call with a prospective prospect client…
What are some of the first things that Mills Van Lines is trying to discover from the person moving?
Nolan Whitely: Obviously, you want to get a good idea of where they’re moving to. If it’s a local move, that’s a different story as local moves are easier. If the client is going out of state, where are they going? Are the clients moving to a hot destination? Is the move going to Utah, someplace that’s not a big city or a lot of people are going there? Finding out location is first, then finding out the preferred moving date is second. The moving date is big because is it next week, tomorrow or is at the end of the year. We have people moving that call and ask if we can move them tomorrow.
The third thing we look for is setting up a time, either to meet in person or do a virtual meeting. At Mills Van Lines, we can do FaceTime, or we have an app to set up a time to meet so we can kind of see what you’re looking to move. Without seeing a moving client’s possessions, it is very difficult to set expectations when a person moving states, “Hey, I’m moving just a bedroom set.” It’s hard to gauge what that means. Because everybody’s idea of a bedroom set is different. Once we meet, either in person or virtually, I’m able to come up with an estimate.
Damien Baden: One of the big things that I get clients asking me is, “Why are these moving companies asking how many pounds I plan to move?” Nolan, why don’t you kind of explain to anyone planning to move about the importance of weight.
Why is the weight of your possessions a number that moving companies are always asking for?
Nolan Whitely: Absolutely. The weight of your belongings drives the price of your move. The more weight your belongings have the more expensive your move is going to be. Coming up with that weight is important because it gives a moving company an idea of how much room your belongings will be taking up in the moving truck. 18-wheeler moving trucks hold about 35,000 pounds. We need to figure out how much space are you going to take up in the trailer and how many other shipments our moving company can get on the same trailer heading in the direction you’re going. So that’s why understanding the weight of your possessions is very important.
Damien Baden: Then with that,
When Mills Van Lines gets off that initial call with a moving client, is there a checklist that you’re sending someone getting ready to move house?
Nolan Whitely: Absolutely. I go over a checklist with them a lot of times during the initial call. I ask if your company is paying for your move. If your company relocation is paying for you to move from home to home, someone who is moving wants every moving service Mills Van Lines offer. Obviously, we can pack, unpack, ship their cars and everything like that, which is great.
But for a person moving, who’s paying out of pocket, wants to know how they can save money? How can they make this move as cheap as possible? I give recommendations of things I could recommend to them to save money on their move.
Moving can get expensive and there are things that you can do on your own. Since you are driving and it’s not a far distance ask yourself what items you can take in your car? If you are going over to your new house a couple of times, take some things every time you go see the new home. The more you take yourself, it’s only going to be less work for us, which means the price of your move with us will be cheaper.
Damien Baden: Everybody likes the cheaper price too.
So talking about making someone’s move cheaper, one is reducing the weight.
What are some other ways that you typically suggest people get rid of stuff that they shouldn’t be moving?
What kind of money-saving moving tips can you provide?
Nolan Whitely: Absolutely. One of the biggest ways to save money on a move is not having us pack and box up TVs. A lot of people want to move TVs but the problem is it’s expensive for a moving company to move TVs. Mills Van Lines doesn’t want to just throw a TV in a truck. We package them up in a TV carton, which is expensive. Do we need to unmount it and remount the TV at the new destination? Sometimes when you add all those costs in, depending on how many TVs you have, it’s actually cheaper to get new TVs. So a lot of people moving will just decide to sell the house with the TVs. Nowadays TVs are cheap.
Another way to save on moving is to reduce wardrobe boxes. For anyone who’s not familiar with a wardrobe box. They’re tall boxes that you hang the clothes up on a hook and cloths hang down inside them. Wardrobe boxes take up a lot of room because they’re tall and often light. You can only stack so many of them on top of each other. If you take your clothes in your car, that’s going to take up a lot less space in the truck.
Consider leaving or moving your own TVs and moving your clothes are two things I usually try to recommend to people.
Damien Baden: Perfect.
What are items that people try to move and they’re getting mad when you show up and say they can’t be taken on the truck?
They’re like, well, what am I supposed to do with it now?
One thing that I always remember you can’t take is propane tanks. So what other suggestions do we give people moving a heads up, not to try to move on a truck to their next house?
Nolan Whitely: Cleaning supplies, oils, anything that’s really opened like a bottle of wine, that’s half-drunk. Open bottles get spilled and can get on your bedding, your couch, your clothing, etc. You don’t want to chance unnecessary spills. Everybody moving wants to bring everything they can, but the liquids mentioned above are so cheap and minimal to replace. A bottle of bleach, for example, it’s not worth bringing half that bottle of bleach. You can get it for $3. If bleach gets on your bed or couch, you’re going to be pretty upset. So opened liquids or gasoline are a no. A moving company could take the grill as you said, but not the propane tank.
There are certain people out there that have wine rooms and big liquor. What’s your suggestion with these types of liquids during a move?
Is it the same as moving your wardrobe? If you can put it in your car and take it yourself versus packaged with a mover?
Nolan Whitely: You can save your money by moving wine and liquor yourself, but there are some people that have wine cellars with over 2000 bottles of wine and liquor. In situations where someone moving has a big collection, we have a third party that can move the wine and keep it temperature-controlled and delivers it in a separate delivery. This type of delivery is an option but as you know, it adds to your moving cost when you add on different premium services like that.
Damien Baden: Makes sense.
When it comes to insurance and protecting what you move, what can you share about moving insurance?
Nolan Whitely: Yeah. So the insurance, I tell people it’s just like anything else, you get insurance for your iPhone because things can happen. Some things cost a lot to replace. Obviously, the moving crew that arrives wraps everything, places your moving items in the truck and they make sure it’s secured and strapped down. Sometimes, you’re going 2,500 miles or the truck hits a pothole on the freeway. What I mean is stuff happens and things can get damaged. There’s always a chance that something could break. All it takes is the wrong bump and something cracks or needs fixed. It’s nice to have moving insurance because then the moving company will help with the repair or replace what was broken. So, it’s always nice to have mover’s insurance.
You pay up for moving insurance upfront, but it’s nice to have it if something goes wrong.
Damien Baden: Right. I would assume the cost really isn’t that bad if you have a lot of expensive stuff that you’re moving.
What does moving insurance include?
The last time I moved locally, there was a little bit of damage to my furniture, and a furniture repair person came out and was able to repair the furniture to a point you couldn’t even tell something happened. The good thing is, I didn’t have to pay anything for it because I already paid upfront when I set up the move. Is there a deductible outside of the initial cost you must pay if something goes wrong?
Nolan Whitely: So there are actually three different moving insurance options. You can have no deductible, there is a $250 deductible and a $500 deductible. So there are different pricing options. There’s actually a 4th option, the basic if you don’t want any insurance. The 4th option is free and you get 60 cents per pound per item if something is damaged during your move. I usually don’t recommend the 4th option because, for example, TV nowadays only weigh a couple pounds. At 60 cents per pound, you may be getting a dollar or two $2 at most if your TV breaks during the move.
There are different options for each moving customer. The level of moving insurance depends on what you’re moving from one location to the next. Some people sell all their furniture when moving. They’re moving out of New York, and they just want their clothes shipped. I understand if you don’t want to get insurance, all your shipping is a box of clothing, which is convenient and easy. You should not need anything but the free insurance option, I agree. However, for people that are moving their entire household and they’re moving far away, it’s necessary to pay for movers’ insurance.
Damien Baden: Right So speaking of work, we keep bringing up costs and I know you can’t give a specific cost if it’s a local move or a long-distance move. When it comes to pricing and giving quotes, one of the big things is to watch out for brokers, I will never forget it. One of my close friends that lived out of state was moving over to Virginia, going from the west to the east and he called a broker. The broker quoted my friend a moving price. And then, before you know it, things are getting ready to go and his prices get jacked up several thousands of dollars. My friend who was moving was all upset. He’s calling me, you know, being a real estate agent and is like, “What do you know, what can you help me out with?” My suggestion is always to call the moving company directly. In his situation he backed out of the deal, the guy kept all his initial deposit and there was nothing he could do about it. So Nolan,
What’s your suggestion when getting quotes, talking directly to somebody like yourself versus calling, a company that’s just going to broker it out
to a bunch of different movers to see where he can get the cheapest price and make some money off someone moving.
Nolan Whitely: Absolutely. Then, the one thing you have to look for is companies that want you to pay upfront either half deposit or pay in full before your move that is a month and a half away. In the moving industry that’s very sketchy. It’s just, It’s like paying for a plumber to come over before it gets to your home. The plumber doesn’t really know what needs to be done and we don’t really know exactly what that the truck’s going to be weighed in at until we actually weigh it. We have an estimate, but once we get close to it, a moving company is able to kind of pinpoint what that moving price is going to be.
So it’s very difficult when people who are moving call and say, “Hey, what would your moving company do your competition was $4,000 less. Okay. You’d be surprised how many calls I get about four months or so later when their move is taking place and the person moving tells me, “Hey, the moving company who was less didn’t show up. Can you come now?”
There are times we can squeeze last-minute moves in and we can make it happen. It’s unfortunate because just like anyone else if you were moving and you get a price that’s $4,000 less, and they’re going to do the same thing you will likely go with a cheaper price. Why wouldn’t you?
If you are moving, you just want to make sure you have a credible and reliable moving company your hiring. I think that’s the biggest thing because some of these companies, they, they’re very good at making it look like they’re a legitimate company, yet they are just there to take your money. There are a lot of scams even in moving. There’s a lot of fake movers out there that aren’t really trying to move you. They’re just trying to sell you somebody else’s services, “Hey, take care of this move.” You just want to make sure you have a reliable moving company.
Damien Baden: So something that Nolan and I were talking about earlier was when he gives a moving quote, one of the big differences Nolan tries to do is overestimate a bit.
Nolan, can you talk about quoting a move and explain your philosophy with your move pricing?
Nolan Whitely: Absolutely. So just like anyone else, you want a low moving estimate. I mean, that’s what most moving customers want. Everyone wants a low price, but the last thing a mover wants is to give somebody moving an estimate, let’s say $10,000, and then it ends up being $15,000. That large price gap is the last thing somebody moving wants. Moving is already expensive as it is. I’ve kind of changed my philosophy on how quoting a move is done. I’m not going to try to be dead on with the price, I’m going to go above the weight I think your move might be. The reason being is because it’s very difficult to, see everything in a video call or in person. Things that may have been in a storage unit now show up on the day of the move. The person moving may have bought some new things since the quote. So it’s better to have a higher weight because a moving company can be prepared for it. If you have more than what’s expected to move, we could still haul it because we were expecting, 10,000 pounds and it ends up being, you know, 8,000 pounds. We’re still prepared to bring that stuff even if there is a little extra. so
Damien Baden: So let’s keep talking about that. I would assume this happens to fall into a place where people make some common mistakes. What someone moving tells you versus what happens.
What are some common mistakes that you moving companies deal with that we can educate somebody moving so they’re not going to fall into a trap and be upset because it’s going to cost more because they didn’t say the right things?
Nolan Whitely: When people are moving, they want to sell a lot of things because they’re getting new things at their new destination. So we walk through the house during a moving quote and the client says, “Oh, we’re not going to go in those three rooms. Everything’s going to be gone.” I say, “Wait can I go in there and take a look because either I’ll put in them in the quote or they’re not going to have these items on the truck.” By doing this I can come up with a quote. When we go to go to their house on move day and that stuff is still there the quote can end up being more. By looking at those items in the rooms during the quoting process we can say, “Hey, we weren’t shipping anything in that room. We even have these items on our quote as not going.
Let’s just say one of those two rooms is going to go, you know, just to be safe. “Hey, listen, you’re not being charged for it. If that room ends up not going you won’t be charged but, what if it does go and we didn’t price it in, your final bill could really throw you off. The last thing I want to do is give you an estimate that ends up spiking up. So yeah, our quote might be more than the other moving company, but I know that price should come down because I had those extra rooms in there.”
Damien Baden: Yeah, I think it even comes into the play when I’m doing listings because what happens a lot of times is I’ll walk in and I’ll point out all the different things that somebody should be doing. And the big issue of time comes into play where the sellers are like, “Oh, I was going to have the time but I ended up getting too busy.” Stuff happens in life every day that we’re not expecting. And next thing you know, if the person moving is saying they are going to move something, good. But then they don’t have the time to do it. I’ve had clients continually come up with time issues. I was taking pictures one day, not myself, but my photographer and he calls me up and says, “Damien, unfortunately, there are boxes everywhere I can’t shoot the home like this.” I get my car and I drive over and my clients sweating, panicking, anxiety through the roof. Life got ahold of her, and things came up. I can only assume that that happens probably more often than not when moving. When people are saying they’re going to pack or they’re going to do certain things. And then you guys show up.
Do people say they are going to move stuff out before the move and then want you to move it on moving day a common problem?
Nolan Whitely: It is a problem. Sometimes someone moving plans on packing the entire house into boxes and we’re just kind of doing the bigger items, the furniture, the beds, and the bigger items that need to be wrapped with blankets or saran wrap. We arrive on moving day and all the content, the dishes, clothing, and artwork, etc that were going to be on them to save money and they didn’t do anything. When this happens it is fine, but if that’s going to be the case call ahead and prewarn the moving company ahead of time. “Nolan. I’m not going to be able to pack as much as I thought. I only did half of it and wanted to give your team a heads up so you can plan.”
Obviously, we plan on the spot and when we get to a move we have to get everything out. Situations like this can push everybody back a day. Remember, there are other shipments on that truck. So everybody gets affected by people not doing what they say they will move. It’s nice to be able to be made aware before we show up so we can plan because the last thing you want is for every single person moving to be doing that which creates delays for others. You just want to make that delivery window that we set for everybody. So it’s nice to be able to know if someone moving got behind on what they said they would do before we arrive.
Damien Baden: So one other thing that can probably save some people time and I don’t know if everybody thinks it’s common sense or not, but I’ve at least experienced it a couple of times where people unpack their dressers and they shouldn’t have, because tell me if I’m wrong here.
A lot of times the movers would prefer to move the clothes in the dressers, right?
Nolan Whitely: That’s what we’d like to do. I will say there’s sometimes where the dressers are impossible to get down the stairs. In these situations, the movers would take the drawers out, and then carry them down and put the drawers in and wrap them. Normally most dressers, you can keep everything in there if it’s just clothing. Not any glasses or throwing anything else in the dresser that could break, clothing’s fine. The movers will saran wrap it and wrap it and blankets, so the drawers don’t fall out and it’s protected during transit.
Damien Baden: And then you brought up another thing that I just want to touch on real quick. There are certain people who have fine art in their homes.
When people are moving fine art, it’s a no-brainer to have moving insurance as far as I’m concerned. But like TVs, are there special boxes movers have to put fine art into?
I wouldn’t want blankets around my fine art. So can it get pretty pricey in terms of somebody having a big collection or does a third-party service move fine art or collections for you guys?
Nolan Whitely: It just depends, obviously if it’s typical artwork that isn’t heavy you will want to let us know its value. I usually say if it’s 1500 pounds or more, I consider that a high-value item. We have high-value item forms. You can fill out a form for each item that is of high value. I had somebody moving who had a signed autograph, Michael Jordan Jersey framed. It was beautiful, I wouldn’t want to just have that wrapped. So what we do is we would create that. Creating is very known in the moving industry. Creating kind of what we do if something is big or fragile, it would be created.
We’d put the high-value item between two pieces of wood. We would create a special crate for it and use cardboard, so it can’t fall. Either way, the crated item is protected. We’ll also uncrate the item when it arrives at your new destination. People crate all sorts of things. If it’s marble, if it’s granite, stuff like that, you can’t just wrap with blankets and think it won’t break. Fragile and expensive items would get created. Artwork, TVs, curved TVs, etc.
What about baby grand pianos?
Nolan Whitely: We have had baby grands, pool tables, air hockey tables, stuff like that. We would depending on the quality of the furniture, create them as well.
Damien Baden: So you can probably give me a ballpark for this, but in terms of moving locally or moving states away, what’s the lead time that somebody should be giving you guys so you can properly schedule and manage?
Nolan Whitely: People moving that want to call earlier than later when it’s nice out. Everyone wants to move when it’s nice and it’s good weather. So from about may, until about September that’s, that’s when we’re the busiest, if you want to move in January, you could call, you know, a week or two in advance and we probably could fit you in. It’s the people that want to move, next week and we’re in July right now and we’re sold out we run into scheduling problems. So it’s difficult in peak times to fit somebody in or help them out if it’s last minute.
Damien Baden: So going deeper on busy times, everybody knows Uber nowadays, and we haven’t been able to use Uber as much lately cause, we’ve been kind of hidden away in our houses for the last year, but one of the things that we experienced with Uber quite often is higher prices during peak times. You just mentioned, basically, the nice summer weather is when most people are listing their homes and wanting to move. But in that sense,
Do moving companies have peak pricing or surcharges just like Uber does when things are super busy to set an expectation with people moving?
Nolan Whitely: Yeah. If people are calling right now and they want to move on Friday and we can’t fit them in the price is going to be more expensive. It’s like buying an airline ticket right now for a flight you want to fly out tomorrow, you’re going to pay a lot higher price than if you ordered four or six weeks ago. I think that’s in every industry, honestly. The price is going to be higher if you order last minute.
Damien Baden: So maybe listing your home at different times of the year versus when everybody else is trying to, there are not only benefits on our end, but there’s sounds like there are benefits for you guys to at least in terms of pricing, it’s going to be a little more affordable during non-peak times.
Nolan Whitely: Absolutely. One thing I will say as far as the listing time of when you list your house, when should you call a mover is normally when you list that house, you have an idea of when you’re moving in your other house. If you plan on being out by the end of the month, don’t wait. You know someone will buy the house and you have a rough date. It’s better off to have something on the moving schedule, even if it’s the worst-case scenario, we’re going to be out by this day. We have a mover lined up and if we’re able to move you up because an earlier day is available, we can, but at least you have something in line and probably going to be at a cheaper moving price because we planned ahead. It’s better to have something scheduled in advance. If we need to move up, we can.
Damien Baden: Yep. Don’t wait till after your home is sold, start talking to them during either the listing process or even upfront to get move pricing and estimates. One of the biggest things is going back to your time and not rushing last minute. If you can start decluttering your house, getting rid of things, if it’s through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, donations or family, friends, everybody likes, you know, freebies that they’ve seen in your home that, you know, you aren’t going to move with. So that’s just something else to consider.
Nolan Whitely: When you are moving the person that’s selling the house, they’re the one that is in control here. If they don’t want to be out of that house until this date, and they know I’m scheduled the last week to be there, the seller can use that as a benefit. Some people are like, “We need to be out next week.” I’ll ask, “Well, why’d you just say that, it’s your house. You should set the closing date around the moving date you already scheduled.” Sellers get nervous about some buyers’ offers. I got the price I wanted, so we just really listening to them when they wanted to close. As a seller, you also have to put into consideration that you haven’t talked to anybody from the moving company about rushing the move so you’re likely going to be paying more to meet the buyer’s request. You might be getting more money for the house, but the moving company may be charging you a lot more for your move. So, it might not even balance out.
Damien Baden: No. Absolutely. Is there anything else that you would want to share outside of what we’ve talked about I think we’ve covered some good things there?
Nolan Whitely: The other thing I will say is when moving everyone’s expecting a household move.
Another type of move we do is the smaller moves, with the apartment complexes someone who has a one-bedroom studio apartment, or you’re a college kid, or you’re a young professional that doesn’t have a whole household worth of goods.
People wonder if it’s going to be expensive. How do I move my stuff to, Brooklyn, I’m moving to New York from Cleveland, it’s going to be so expensive. We have different options for these smaller moves. Think of it as a pod option, we call them Lyft vans. Mills Van Lines can ship your stuff cheaper than going into a tractor-trailer truck. If you’re going to a major city, we can accommodate small moves.
Damien Baden: Well, at least anyone who has a smaller move should be getting their small move priced to understand if it’s something you should take advantage of or move yourself. With the pods, are the people moving still packing themselves, or is that something that Mills Van Lines would even come and load?
Nolan Whitely: With the lift fans, Mills Van Lines packs everything for you. We call it in simplicity move. This type of smaller move includes us packing everything up and loading your possessions into the lift van. When you’re moving out of the apartment, a moving company normally can’t fit a tractor-trailer or semi-truck into an apartment complex. Especially in a major city like New York, Chicago or LA. It’s difficult to get a large moving trailer into that apartment complex. So, in cases like this, there are things we do called a shuttle.
We’re pretty much bringing your items in a tractor-trailer truck. Then we’re going to shuttle it into a smaller box shuck that we can get into your destination, the new apartment complex. Finally, we unload and go from there. The simplicity move with the lift van includes a shuttle on origin and destination. Most likely if you’re moving out of an apartment, you’re moving into another apartment somewhere else in a bigger city. With other moving companies, smaller moves get expensive when you add shuttles because you’re moving things twice but with Mills Van Lines the shuttles are included in the price.
Damien Baden: One of the other things I get clients asking about is storage. If they’re picking up and they’re going to hold their move for 20 days, 30 days, and then move into the new house.
Do Mills Van Lines offer storage between moving out and moving into the new home?
Nolan Whitely: We do actually have storage facilities all across the US so yes, we can store you. As long as you want to store, either at origin or a destination, we can include the storage price into your moving quote.
Damien Baden: This is my last question here, when you were referring to a gold package, if an employer’s paying for it, I would assume that if there are different levels, from the basic versus you guys come in and do everything. I’ve seen where movers have spent three days in somebody’s house, packing everything and meticulously putting it away versus the homeowner having to do it. Is that basically the difference in service?
Nolan Whitely: There’s not a gold package, I just kind of said that as an example. However, there are different options. It depends on who is paying for it. Some people moving don’t want to lift a finger on anything, which is fine. If work is going to pay for it, you just send the invoice, and they sign off. It’s great to have all the packing included, the unpacking, shipping of your car, and they’re paying for your flight. I mean, that’s nice to take advantage of that when it’s available to you. Sometimes people are so busy with work. They want us to unpack stuff for them.
One thing about unpacking though, is we don’t put anything away into cabinets or drawers. We put items on a tabletop or in rooms. Large furniture items like your kitchen table, we reassembled for you. We don’t put items into cabinets or drawers because we don’t know where you want things. At least all the boxes are brought inside, you just have to put your contents away where you want them.
So, there are different options. Some people that move a lot kind of what services they want. A lot of people that are newer to moving frequently have questions. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, don’t be ashamed. Not many people move that often and when you do ask the right questions you shouldn’t feel like you’re bothering anyone like me. We are happy to help!
Damien Baden: Cool. I’m going to have Nolan’s information below. If there are moving questions that you have, or you’d like to talk more about moving with Atlas Mill’s Van Lines out of Strongsville Ohio, and using Nolan as your relocation representative, please reach out to Nolan. He’s awesome. And I’ve talked to a lot of different people out there, and sometimes I get a little annoyed with some of the responses I’m getting. I have not had that feeling with Nolan at all. So that’s why I wanted to bring him on to give you guys some insight and add a little value in terms of making your move a little easier.
Nolan Whitely: Perfect. Well, thank you again for having me on. Thank you.
Contact Nolan Whitely From Mills Van Lines
Your Relocation Specialist Call or Text 440-384-0797 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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