moving tips?
May 5, 2015 12:21 PM   Subscribe

My mom is moving from a small town 45+ miles outside of Atlanta to a suburb of Atlanta. We're looking at best ways to move her - neither she nor I can move all the furniture/boxes, so we're looking at movers. Due to her location in a small town, there aren't many local moving services/local labor sources. Any tips or tricks that I might not be thinking of?

Our current options -
A) Moving company A - I have used them before, but they are not close, and want to charge a $85 travel fee, plus $135/hour, minimum 2 hours, and the move is estimated to cost $600. (4 hours. Maybe their estimate is off?)
B) Moving company B - smaller moving company, rate of $140/hour for 3 people and 26 foot truck, which seems large. I haven't used them before, but they are closer to her, and seem like they will cost less.
C) some other option?

Are there any tips/tricks I'm missing? I know the cheapest thing would be to try to rope friends into it, but I am past the age where I feel comfortable doing that, and don't want to haul the stuff myself. Mom has fibromyalgia, and will be lucky to be able to pack things, let alone move them. I plan on taking 1-2 days off to help her pack, in addition to taking the day of the move off.

Craigslist seems sketchy, as does picking up day labor at somewhere like home depot. Services like Hunks hauling Junk aren't offered where she is, as it's too far outside of the metro area.

Also - tipping movers - what is reasonable? I know the moving company in the past that I've used always tries to make a deal with me to get a larger tip.
posted by needlegrrl to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to explore the option of renting a truck or a trailer yourself, and hiring people at each end to load and unload. When I rented from U-Haul a couple of years ago, this was an option offered on their website as I scrolled through the process of renting a truck. They had links to folks in each town who we hired to load and unload, and we paid them independently. Might not work in your small town, but worth a try.
posted by MelissaSimon at 12:35 PM on May 5, 2015

We had good luck with local loaders/unloaders thru uhaul on both ends of an interstate move in 07.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:54 PM on May 5, 2015

Yeah, I was going to suggest the rent-a-truck plus labor on each end solution too. How small is your town? If there is, say, a community college (at least), then they might have a student employment office that could help -- you can get a long way with a couple of burly 20-somethings if somebody in the group knows just a bit about loading a truck. (or I guess you could research that skill online.) Then the same thing at the other end...
posted by acm at 2:12 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this is the kind of thing that we would do at our house by using Craigslist, posting something under the "No Skills Needed" section. You post a flat rate, for example - $100 to load the truck at location A. And then a second posting to unload the truck at location B. Think about how many people you need and how long you reasonably expect it to take, and then decide the rate you are willing to offer based on that. You (or perhaps a friend) drive the truck.

If you need packers, that's something you really need to hire a professional company for, complete with insurance in case something they've packed gets damaged.
posted by vignettist at 4:49 PM on May 5, 2015

Response by poster: I didn't even see the moving labor option on the uhaul site until it was pointed out - thanks! That may work for us.
posted by needlegrrl at 5:23 AM on May 6, 2015

Contact the local high school and ask if they know of any responsible seniors that could use some extra cash. School is nearly out and they will have time. If the school won't help, call local churches. Plan on feeding them.
posted by myselfasme at 6:13 AM on May 6, 2015

My last move was cross-country from San Francisco to Atlanta, paid for by my company.

On the SF end we had "professional" packers who did a horrible job. They showed up with boxes and big pieces of paper and wrapped everything in paper. This included, say, a single fork wrapped in a sheet of paper a couple feet square. I'm pretty sure we lost a few forks and other kitchen implements. What I'm trying to say is that just because you're paying someone to pack doesn't mean they'll do a good job. To be honest I wish we'd done the packing ourselves. (But with interstate moves, apparently the insurance only covers goods packed by the movers.)

On the Atlanta end day labor from outside Home Depot (in my case, the one at Lindbergh Center) went well; I did the same when I bought some furniture from an antique store a few weeks later and needed help unloading it at home. But I understand your concerns.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:36 AM on May 6, 2015

« Older How do I change credit cards without hurting my...   |   Replace my curtains. And my shower door.... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.