What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a mover during the COVID-19 pandemic?
If you’re trying to set up a consultation or an appointment with a mover during the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure to use digital tools to avoid exposure. When searching for movers online, ask if they’d be willing to do a video chat to assess the size of your move. This will be in place of the typical “walk-through” they perform, and they may be able to give you a price quote. You can also discuss safe strategies for completing the job during your call or video chat.
If you decide to hire a mover, consider making adjustments to accommodate current guidelines. This may involve staying outside while the mover works inside your home or letting the mover handle only parts of the move.
It’s important to follow social distancing guidelines while performing any service work. For example, do not make physical contact with the movers, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you at all times, and use digital payments instead of cash or a check.
Your local city or state’s government website is a great resource if you’re trying to figure out whether a mover is considered an essential service provider during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a source of national guidelines, visit the CISA website’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. On this page, you’ll find 16 categories of critical infrastructure sectors. But note that some -- not all -- jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
Most local moving companies are likely to accept some form of digital payment. Particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies are likely to conduct transactions through platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Square Cash, Venmo, Google Pay and more.
To ensure the mover accepts a platform you can use, you can peruse the mover’s online profile and see what is listed there. You can also ask the mover about payment policies during a consultation call.
A mover will likely need to enter your home -- unless you’ve placed all of your belongings outside beforehand. To stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, you might to consider keeping all (or most) of the work outside and/or having at-risk individuals leave the house while the movers work.
You can minimize exposure by doing a preliminary walk-through by video call instead of in person. Discuss your options with the top movers near you before hiring one.
Movers generally need to be present to do their job. But if you come across a mover’s profile that states they’re offering remote services, you can contact them to see what those services include.
Scheduling your move during the off-season is typically the cheapest way to move. Avoid moving in May, June, July, August or September, when moving company rates are typically much higher. If you’re moving across the country, research how the moving companies in your city charge. You might save money if you hire flat-rate movers instead of hourly movers.
Of course, you can save money moving if you DIY by renting a moving truck or moving pods. However, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of moving all of your belongings and valuables by yourself. Factor in the cost of a moving truck (including fuel), the cost of moving equipment, the labor involved and the time it will take to complete your move by yourself.
Full-service moving companies can help take the stress out of moving by supplying a moving truck and handling your entire move from start to finish. These professional movers can also provide packing services, materials and supplies. Full-service movers also load your belongings into the truck, drive it to your new home, unload the truck and (in some cases) offer to help you unpack your belongings. If you're interested in hiring full-service movers, compare the top-rated movers near you and ask for estimates.
Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may or may not protect your belongings if they get lost or damaged during a move. If you’re moving valuable items, or if you’re moving a great distance, it could be a good idea to invest in moving insurance.
Interstate movers are required to offer you full value protection and released value protection to help reimburse you in case of damage or loss. If you’re moving within your state, check with your state’s consumer affairs agency to see if your state has rules and requirements regarding moving insurance and valuation coverage.
When accounting for moving costs, you can generally expect to pay around $30 to $50 per mover, per hour. However, these costs could change and you should compare movers in your city to estimate the true cost of your move.
Moving companies usually provide a team of at least two individuals depending on the size of the job and the objects to be moved. This hourly rate also changes with driving distance. And, moving specialty objects such as pianos can also drive up the cost. Some moving companies may provide a free estimate even offer a flat rate if the job.
For more information on moving costs, read Thumbtack’s cost guide on movers.