The 5 Apps You Need to Explore Your New City

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Big cities have a lot to offer — great food, entertainment and history. According to MovingCompanyReviews.com data, the top five cities with the most mover searches* are AtlantaChicagoDenverDallas and Pittsburgh. If you’re moving to one of these thriving metropolitan areas, download the apps below to discover what makes your new city unique.

1.) Field Trip (iOS/Android, Free): Powered by Google, the Field Trip app takes your GPS location and indicates points of interest in your area, including restaurants, museums and historical landmarks. When using headphones, the app will also read you a brief description of the location and its significance. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

2.) Stray Boots (iOS/Android, Free): Perfect for exploring in groups, the Stray Boots app helps you discover your new city by sending you on a scavenger hunt. Select your location and the Stray Boots app will send “challenges” asking you to find unique places in your immediate area. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

3.) It Happened Here (iOS/Android, Free): Are you a history buff? The It Happened Here app notifies you of any significant events that happened near your location. The app includes historical events, memorable movie scenes and notorious crimes, so there is something of interest for everyone. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas.

4.) Around Me (iOS/Android, Free): If you’re looking for something specific in your area, the Around Me app will locate nearby ATMs, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses. This app works internationally, as well. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

5.) Transit (iOS/Android, Free): Even the most seasoned city-dwellers can be intimidated by public transit. Use the Transit app to plug in your current location and your final destination and the app will share the easiest routes to get there. Available in: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Dallas and Pittsburgh.

After a long day of exploring, come home to a space with your own personal touch. Find out the 5 Ways to Decorate Your New Home for Less.

*The top five cities with the highest quantity of moving company searches, per MovingCompanyReviews.com data

Insider Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Move

Moving can be a tough process, no matter if you’re moving out for the first time or settling into your “forever” home. We’ve compiled our top insider tips and tricks to create a stress-free move experience. Read more below!


MovingDayTips

 READ HERE: Top Ten Moving Day Tips


MovingWithKids

READ HERE: Ten Stress-Busting Tips for Moving With Kids


HappyMoveDay

READ HERE: Top Ten Happy Move Day Tips and Tricks

How To Estimate The Cost Of A Pro Move

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Budgeting For Hired Muscle: How to estimate the cost of a pro move

Whether you’re on the fence about using your own muscle versus hired muscle for your move, it will cost you either way. It basically boils down to whether you choose to spend your time or your money.

If you’re short on time and manpower or just want to offset some of the tasks onto professional shoulders, then hiring a licensed, reputable and experienced mover sounds like your best option. Requesting free move estimates is the most reliable and accurate way to budget for your moving costs, and to shop around for the best options.

But if you want to gauge a ballpark quote before contacting movers, then it’s helpful to understand some of the basics. Most professional moving companies will estimate your moving cost on a combination of the following factors:

  • Distance

  • Weight (critical factor in a long distance move)

  • Time

  • Move size/Difficulty

  • Crew size

  • Gas

The longer your move and the heavier your shipment, the higher your move cost will be.

Let’s break down those factors into a simple formula for local (in-state moves less than 50 miles) and long distance (out of state moves).

Your Basic Local Move Formula

(Base hourly rate) X (# of movers) X (# of hours loading/unloading/transit) + (Gas/tolls) + (Packing services/materials)

Your Basic Long Distance Move Formula

(Weight) X (Rate based on shipment Weight and Distance) + (Packing services/materials) + (Shuttle Fee if your destination cannot accommodate a typical large long distance moving van) + (Optional full value protection of your shipment)

Here are a few very rough estimates to give you an idea on total costs.

Long Distance Moves

A cross-country move from Chicago to Denver (~ 1,000 miles) for a 4- bedroom house (~12,000 lbs. of stuff) could cost around $8,000.

Need a total change of scenery? Moving from Boston to Houston (~ 1,800 miles) for a 2-bedroom apartment (~ 4,000 lbs. of stuff) could cost around $5,000.

When hiring an interstate mover, be sure to request a binding estimate in writing. This will guarantee that the final price you pay when your shipment is delivered will not exceed the estimate, as long as you don’t add items not included in the original estimate.

Local Moves

Staying in the area? A local 4-bedroom size move from one Chicago neighborhood to another could cost around $2,000 (factoring average costs of $160/hour for four men and a large truck).

Hiring two men and a truck for a smaller move can range from $90 – $120 per hour depending on where you live. And if you just want labor help and don’t need a truck, you can expect to pay less than $100 per hour.

Keep in mind estimates can also be affected by your desired move date, so expect higher prices if you want to move in the summer or even on weekends, when demand can be at its peak.

And if you want your mover to pack up your belongings on top of hauling and unloading it it, this can be up to a quarter of the total cost of a full service move. According to an MSN Real Estate article on moving costs, two professional movers can pack up a two- to three-bedroom home in a day at a cost of $400 to $640 (at about $25 – $40 an hour without materials).

Remember, there’s no substitute for getting estimates from top rated movers. This will give you the most accurate quote, especially when you have an in-home assessment where the movers can go through your home and see all your belongings.

Happy moving!

Full-Service or Moving Labor: The different types of mover services

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Just like other home service companies, there are different types of movers and moving services available to tailor to your individual need and how much work you’re willing to put in! It’s easiest to start just thinking about what you actually want done for you.

STEP 1: Which of these things do you need help with?

  1. Provide a truck, load it, drive it, and unload it
  2. Load and/or unload a rented truck or portable storage container (pod)
  3. Pack stuff into boxes and crates
  4. Move items on-site (not moving to a new address)

Full Service Moving Companies:

If you answered “Yes” to #1, be confused no longer — you want a Full Service Moving Company. Depending on the move distance and the US state(s) involved in the move, there may be licensing requirements for a mover transporting household goods with their own truck (a “household goods carrier”).

  • If moving across state lines (interstate move), your full service mover must have an active USDOT license to move household goods between states. This government oversight in theory protects you, your belongings, and others on the road by making sure the mover meets minimum safety and quality standards.

  • If moving within the borders (intrastate) of any non-regulated state (Alaska, Arizona, DC, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin), your full-service moving company does not need a license.

  • If moving from, to, or within a regulated state (all other states not listed above), your moving company must be licensed to move household goods by your state’s regulatory agency.

Moving Labor:

If you answered “No” to #1, you might be able to get away with hiring simple Moving Labor. These companies can help you pack your stuff, load/unload your rented truck or storage pod, move items around your house or to the garage, and they can even drive your rented vehicle without a special household goods license. These companies run the gamut from day laborers getting most of their business off Craigslist to well-established and well-rated companies that just happen to specialize in small moves.

Warning: Be careful when hiring Moving Labor. The lack of regulations also lessens their responsibility to perform a well-executed move with minimal damage and loss. Also, since many are not established businesses, they lack robust scheduling systems and may not be reliable or even show up when you need them the most — on moving day!

Portable Storage Container Movers

These companies (like PODS, UPack, and others) deliver a portable storage unit or pod to your home or pickup location. You then can load the container yourself on your own time or hire Moving Labor to do it for you. When you are ready, the Portable Storage Container Mover will pick up your container and move it to your new location, where again, you can unload it yourself or hire Moving Labor at your destination.

Some things to keep in mind regarding Portable Storage Container Movers:

  • Estimate your belongings: Make sure you have a large enough container for your move.

  • Where will you keep it? Make sure you have a legal place to park the container at origin and destination. For example, some tight urban areas or high rise buildings will not accommodate a container for more than a few hours.

  • If you don’t want to load or unload yourself, you may have to hire additional moving services. Moving is already a stressful time — you may not want to have to deal with additional companies to handle your actual move.

Specialized Moving Companies:

There are also movers that specialize. These are piano movers, safe movers (movers who have special equipment and skill in moving safes), art and antique movers, jacuzzi movers, pool table movers, and more. If you hire a Full Service Moving Company and own any of these items that also must be moved, make sure they are capable of handling them confidently. Otherwise, you may need a Specialized Moving Company to handle your special item.

Still confused? Hit us up through chat or at support@movingcompanyreviews.com and we’ll help you out.

Top 10 Moving Day Tips

After weeks of coordination, prep and careful planning, it’s finally here. Moving Day! Keep these stress-buster tips in mind for a successful move.

10. Pack a first night kit

You have a long day ahead of you, and the last thing you want to root through boxes for is essentials at bedtime. Pack a bag, clear bin or box that’s easily accessible with everything you need for your first night in your new home: change of clothes, bedding, comfort items for kids, snacks etc.

9. Label your boxes

It’s common to label your boxes with what it contains, but be sure to also clearly mark which ROOM they’re designated for as well. Write or apply labels on all sides, that way you’ll be able to read them when boxes are stacked and easily direct the movers as they unload.

8. Take a pic of your electronics before disconnecting 

You might be in a hurry to get everything packed and loaded on the truck, but take a minute to snap a picture of the back of your TV, computer and any electronics with complicated wires and hook-ups. Now you’ll have a visual cheat sheet for how to hook everything back up at your new place.

7. Empty and defrost your fridge for 24 hours before you move

Remove everything from your fridge and give it a thorough cleaning before unplugging it at least a day before your move. The last thing you want to welcome into your new home is unpleasant smells.

6. Keep high value items with you, not in the moving truck

Even if you have move protection, you likely have precious heirlooms or sentimental items that are irreplaceable. Keep these with you and plan to transport them in your car so you don’t have to worry about potential damage or loss. This includes sensitive documents such as financial info.

5. Give yourself plenty of time to get the job done right 

This seems overly simple, but you can save yourself a lot of stress by starting your day early and leaving plenty of room for each critical step of the move process. Move day should be focused on moving out of your old home and into your new one. Don’t limit your time window by adding on extra coordination headaches, such as utility set up.

4. Know your inventory 

Your moving company will provide you with an inventory confirmation and Bill of Lading, which details everything that should be moved that day. Look over all paperwork carefully and don’t sign anything you don’t feel 100% about, it’s never too late to ask questions. It’s also a good idea to know how many boxes you’ve packed so you can make sure all your belongings arrive at your destination.

3. Keep cleaning supplies and garbage bags handy 

With lots of foot traffic in and out of the house, unpacking and potentially anything left behind by prior residents, it doesn’t hurt to have cleaning supplies handy to get your new digs move-in ready. Your kitchen and the bathrooms will probably be the most used throughout the day, so start there.

2. Clear any obstacles for your mover 

If you’re moving to a house, the moving truck can probably park out front. But if you live in an area with limited street parking and other regulations, make sure you have a spot for your movers to safely park and have secured proper permits if needed. Same goes for reserving an elevator if you live in a condo – the idea is to help your movers do their job. Efficiency will translate in cost savings for you, if the movers can finish on time or even before your estimated window.

1. Get FREE pizza on move day by reviewing your mover

The last thing you want to worry about today is putting food on the table. Haven’t unpacked your cookware yet? No problem! Get FREE Domino’s pizza today when you review your mover and provide a move receipt. Don’t worry, we’ll remind you 🙂