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Moving Tips: Contacting Your Moving Company (Podcast)

Moving Tips: Contacting Your Moving Company (Podcast)

Mike Scenna, Sales Manager from Preowned Auto Logistics, sits down to discuss moving tips with John Maher. He provides tips on moving and when to contact the movers. Then, he explains why most moving companies no longer move vehicles and why you need to book professional shipping for vehicles during a move.

John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher, and I’m here today with Mike Scenna, Sales Manager at Preowned Auto Logistics, a car shipping and auto transport and logistics company in Massachusetts. Today, our topic is moving tips, contacting your moving company. Welcome Mike.

Mike Scenna: Hey John, thanks for having me.

How Far in Advance to Call a Moving Company

John: Sure. So Mike, when should a person contact a moving company about their upcoming move? How far in advance of a move should you call a company?

Mike: I always tell people as soon as possible. So as soon as you know for sure you’re moving, is when you should reach out to a moving company. If something comes up kind of suddenly, of course, you don’t have the option to let someone know right away, or maybe you know an extreme amount of time out that you’re moving, and it might seem kind of unreasonable.

I would say that, as far as actual time, a good amount of time is six months. Usually about six months ahead of a move is a good time to make sure you’re in touch with a moving company about the move.

Why You Should Call Six Months Before the Move

John: That seems like a long time. What is it that you’re accomplishing by calling them that far in advance? What do they need to prepare for?

Mike: Sure. First and foremost is availability. When you’re moving, you’re most likely selling a property, and moving into another one that you purchased, and you’re working out a lot of things. When you need to be out of the house that you owned and are selling, and when you’re allowed to be in the new house that you purchase. So you’re dealing with a window of time that you have to have all of the items out of one house, and you’re hoping to be able to go into the next house right after that.

So you want to make sure you get the dates that you’re looking for, because it could cost you a lot of money if you wait until the last minute, and call a bunch of moving companies, and they’re not available. Now, you’re getting all this stuff out of the house, because it needs to be out of the house, and you could be paying for storage, extra money to leave the items on a moving truck until you’re ready to get the movers to actually bring the items to the new house. So mainly, timing and availability of getting what you need done when you need it done, but there’s also just a lot of preparation that goes into moving as well.

At least two months out, you’re starting to pack, you’re starting to organize things in your house that you need to get ready to move. You want to label things properly in boxes to make it easier on the other end, and you want to get rid of a lot of items that you don’t need. When you spend a lot of time in a house, you start to collect things, and a lot of them… you know how it goes, you have things in the house that you probably don’t even know they’ve been there for the last 10 years.

You don’t want to pay to move something that you might just throw away when you get to the new house, so organizing that takes quite a bit of time. And then the move itself, the physical move itself can take a few days to a week, sometimes even a couple of weeks. So a lot of moving parts, and you just want to make sure you really give yourself time to do this in the most efficient way possible.

Calling Moving Companies Without Exact Dates

John: What if you’ve put your house on the market, you’re obviously going to be selling, maybe you’re looking at buying a house in another state or something like that, or even somewhere else within your own state. And so you have a rough time frame of when you’re going to be moving, but you don’t have the exact dates nailed down.

Is it still worth calling the moving company just to kind of set them up for, “Hey, I’m going to be moving. It’s going to be roughly this month that I’m going to be moving, but I don’t know exactly what the dates are.” Is it worth putting a bug in their ear, if you will, and having them get you on their books, even if you don’t have a firm date?

Mike: Yes, absolutely, for several reasons. One, you’re putting the bug in their ear. You have a move coming up, you want to use this company, you’re letting them know roughly around this time. Some moving companies, you might even be able to pay a deposit, and they tentatively hold dates, and wait until you have something more concrete.

And then you also have a consultant, helping you as things are happening. These people do this for a living, so they’re going to be able to tell you, “You could start packing up these items, the garage could probably start getting packed regardless of when you move. It’s not going to hurt to have these things in boxes.” So yeah, it’s always good to be prepared, and I don’t think you can ever reach out too early, or even if you don’t have a concrete date yet.

Questions to Ask Moving Companies

John: What are some of the important considerations that people should think about when they’re contacting a moving company? Questions that they should ask of the moving company that will ensure that things will go smoothly?

Mike: The most important thing to talk about, and questions to ask is, what the moving company is going to be doing versus what you’ll be doing. Most moving companies offer a certain level of services. You could pay a moving company to come in, and pack your entire house, all the way down to your clothes, your silverware, your plates, every item in the house.

They’ll pack it safely and effectively in a way to make sure that nothing gets broken, and you get all of your items on the other end. That could get pretty expensive, having a company do that. They could be spending quite a bit of time, and it’s going to take a lot of people and a lot of resources.

Not a lot of people want to spend top dollar to get absolutely everything done for them, so you might want to be packing some the house yourself, and save some money by putting the items in boxes yourself. You’ll just want to get with the moving company, and ask questions about costs for specific services, and really get on the same page on what they’ll be doing, and what you’ll be doing.

Because if not, and the moving company shows up on moving day, and there was a miscommunication and people aren’t on the same page, there can be delays in time, which can add money. There can be additional services that they need to perform that they weren’t aware wouldn’t be done when they got there, and that can add to cost too. So really just taking the time to go through the details of the move. There’s never too many questions asked. You want to really make sure you’re on the same page.

Do Moving Companies Ship Cars?

John: Right, yeah. Like you said, you don’t want them to show up and then realize that you had a miscommunication, and they thought you were going to be more packed up than you are or something like that. What about your car when it comes to moving? Do typical moving companies also ship cars or should you look into a separate car shipping company for moving your car?

Mike: To be completely honest with you, there really aren’t a ton of moving companies that are shipping cars. It’s something that used to be done more and seems to be occurring less and less. There are a few ways that moving companies could ship cars.

One is they actually put the car right inside of the truck with all of your items. They get these ramps that come off the back of the truck, and they drive the car in first, and then pack all of the items around it. It’s something I don’t see as much anymore, due to a lot of damage on the car. You can imagine packing a household worth of items around a car…

John: Right, and you don’t want to have a big, heavy box, or a piece of furniture, or something landing on your car.

Mike: Right, land on the roof or a window. So seeing a lot of damage, they got away from that. The other option is they could put a dolly behind the truck. That’s what we call it. It lifts the front two wheels, it’s called a dolly, and tow the car itself. But that’s a different type of insurance to move a vehicle versus moving household items, and you don’t see a lot of moving companies carrying that anymore, especially with the emergence of a lot of auto transport companies, and a lot of very cost-effective options out there to ship cars.

How to Ship Your Vehicle During a Move

John: So then in terms of shipping your car, if you do have to call a separate car shipping company, what’s the timeframe for that? Is it similar to calling and contacting your moving company?

Mike: Not as much going into the car. There are a lot of companies like ourselves that can make this process very easy, and take care of pretty much everything for you. You could call us today, and there’s a chance we can get a car shipped for you tomorrow. But if you want to be prepared, and really get exactly what you’re looking for, I would say about six weeks prior to a move is a good time to reach out.

John: All right. Well, that’s really great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking with me today.

Mike: Yeah, of course. Thank you for having me.

Contact Us for a Shipping Quote Today

John: And for more information, or to request a quote for your auto shipping needs, visit the website at, or call (877) 542-1955.