Category Archives: Planning Your Move

Can’t I Just Move Myself?

When it comes to packing up and moving out, most people are concerned about the associated expenses—and rightly so. It’s both savvy and sensible to want to weigh the pros and cons of hiring a professional moving service versus trying to go the DIY route. Will it be worth the expenditure? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Do you have the resources to undertake such a considerable task on your own?

As with any financial decision, you’ll want to consider your specific circumstances, needs, and budget to determine if you prefer the outlay of time, labor, effort, and energy to be yours or someone else’s. To help you make that determination about your upcoming move, here’s a list of advantages professional movers bring to the table in case you don’t want to move that table yourself!

The Benefits of Professional Packers & Movers

  • Assurance. With a professional moving company, you can rest assured that your move will be managed by experts who do this for a living, day in and day out. Your belongings will be properly protected during transport, and you can be confident that your possessions will remain intact from point A to point B, no matter the volume of your move or the distance it covers. With the insurance and safeguards in place by reputable moving companies, you might have other worries on your mind about relocating, but you’ll have peace of mind about the move itself.
  • Safety. Some DIY projects are relatively risk-free. Moving the entire contents of a family home? Not so much. Large and heavy items require appropriate equipment to safely move and proper procedures for heavy lifting. Personal injuries are common among self-movers, and damage to furniture and fragile items even more so. Professionals, however, mitigate all risks to both persons and possessions, following strict safety guidelines and protocols to fully protect your valuables.
  • Quality control. All’s well when things go according to plan. But when they don’t? When the size U-Haul you reserved isn’t there, when the day laborers you hired don’t show up, when you can’t get that entertainment unit out the door after all? Even the best-laid plans go awry, but if you leave the planning to a professional company, the chances of your move going off without a hitch drastically increase and the likelihood of unanticipated issues cropping up drastically decreases. Even if a problem is encountered, it’s the moving company’s responsibility to deal with and resolve. You’re paying for their expertise and experience, and that’s exactly what you’ll get, whether it’s keeping your items dry in the rain or getting those stubborn legs off the pool table.
  • Efficiency. No matter how strong or gung-ho your makeshift crew might be, there’s no way they’re going to be faster or more efficient than professional movers who have industry-grade equipment to transport bulky items from here to there, who know how to maneuver around corners and navigate stairways, who are adept at wrapping items and ensuring they don’t move around in transmit. Based on the prep work and inventory done on your home before moving day, they know just what to expect and come equipped with all of the manpower and materials needed for a swift and successful move.
  • Reduced costs. Sounds counterintuitive, right? But hear out this argument first. Moving is not a cheap venture, that’s true. Insurance premiums, licenses and certifications, fair wages, vehicle maintenance, equipment and supplies, mileage and gasoline—it all must be accounted for in consumer estimates. But what if the consumer pays for everything out-of-pocket themselves? Moving blankets, tarps, protectors, and containers. Trunk rental, with strict pickup and drop-off deadlines that incur late fees. Labor-for-hire. Dollies and carts and ramps. Possibly even trailers and hitches. Travel expenses, like tolls, sundries, and accommodations needed while in transit. And what about visits to the chiropractor or orthopedist if your back goes out or you break your ankle? Repairs that will be needed if you damage anything on the way out of your old home or on the way into your new one? Bottom line: à la carte pricing can sometimes work in your favor; far more often, a fixed price turns out to be your best bet.

All of these advantages add up to a stress-free move that puts you in the driver’s seat of hiring professional help … without having to do the actual heavy lifting and truck driving yourself!

Call BB&D Moving Services today to talk more about how we can facilitate and expedite your move: 301-573-5447 (MD)  |  571-375-2826 (VA)  |  786-390-4040 (FL)  |  bbdmoving.com/

Costly Mistakes Made When Hiring Movers

Planning a big move in the near future? Great! Moving can be a fantastic experience, full of new adventures, fresh starts, and clean slates. But there can also be an unfortunate downside. Sometimes moves don’t go as planned, and there’s no shortage of people with stories about how they got burned by movers in the past. When this happens, it tends to color opinions and create a negative bias toward moving companies in general.

The experts at BB&D don’t want your moving story to be an unhappy one. To help keep your move on track and your experience positive, here are some tips on how to avoid common mistakes consumers make when choosing a moving company:

  • Know that not all movers are equal. This doesn’t mean that you’ve got to sift through a lot of bad to find the good. Rather, it means that not all movers will be a good fit for your particular needs and concerns. Often, to save time and hassle, consumers just go with the first available option. But this can be a misstep. Just like buying a car or getting an insurance quote or seeking a second (or third) opinion on a health ailment, it’s worth the investment to shop around a bit—to pick a moving company that aligns with your budget, schedule, content volume, business values, and work ethic.
  • Be sure all fees are crystal clear up front. Don’t get blindsided by hidden fees that don’t hit you until during or after the move. Talk about and settle on all aspects pertaining to cost before signing on the dotted line. You should feel free to ask all the questions you want to feel comfortable and confident in knowing what your total payment will be before it’s time to pay.
  • Confirm that the moving company is insured. All proper moving businesses are insured, so do a little research and ask for proof of insurance while you’re shopping around. Insurance alone can make all the difference between hiring a solid, dependable company instead of a bunch of swindlers.
  • Avoid a last-second move. We get that people can’t always control the flow of their life—new job offers can arise quickly, you can be called on to relocate near family members at a moment’s notice, and your college-bound child could be moved off the “wait list” and into the “accepted” pile at any point. Still, picking a mover out of a hat at the eleventh hour is never advised. It can lead to unclear details, unnecessary costs, and unanticipated obstacles—none of which will ultimately get you where you need to be any quicker.
  • Discuss the entire process. As with any negotiation, you’ll want to discuss all steps of your move before it actually begins—from the exact date of pickup to what items to pack yourself to how to contact your movers en route. Understanding all the details before moving day is the best step you can take to create a moving day that ends well!

The professionals at BB&D are always clear, concise, honest, and punctual. Keep these tips in mind to be well on your way to a clean, stress-free move.

Contact us today to learn more:
BB&D Moving Services
301-573-5447 (MD)  |  571-375-2826 (VA)  |  786-390-4040 (FL)  |  bbdmoving.com/

 

Why to Choose Local Movers Over Brokers

When it’s time to choose a moving service, there’s certainly no shortage of options out there! If you start your search on the internet, you’ll have hundreds, even thousands, of listings literally at your fingertips in seconds flat. Between the huge nationwide chains, moving brokers, and local companies, how do you even start differentiating among them and narrowing down your choices? It’s precisely because the process can get so time-consuming and overwhelming that many people just take the easy route and let a broker handle the entire transaction for them.

Well, we’re here to tell you that the easiest way isn’t always the best way. Consumers can and have encountered BIG problems when enlisting the services of a broker, so you’ll want to weigh your options carefully based on some important considerations.

What’s a Broker?

A broker is a company that arranges for the transport of your goods rather than transporting them itself. Basically, the broker plays the middleman between you and the company that will eventually serve as your carrier.

Brokers are not movers, brokers are not authorized to transport, brokers do not own trucks, and brokers do not employ professional moving people. Instead, brokers will make an estimate on your move from the information you provide when you contact them, then they act as “matchmaker” to try to find you the best deal among their network of for-hire carriers. And sometimes they do find you the right deal—the date you want in the timeframe you want at the price you want. But that’s not always the case …

Disadvantages of Brokers

  • Most moving brokers operate from call centers located virtually anywhere, so you don’t interact with them face-to-face and they’re never directly involved with your home, your belongings, or the actual move itself.
  • Brokers are more of a sales team than an actual service provider, meaning they “sell” your move to bidders. In turn, they are not responsible for any follow-through after the connection has been made.
  • As such, brokers take no accountability for your cargo and assume no liability for the actions of the moving company they commission.
  • For interstate moves, brokers are required to use only movers that are registered with the FMCSA. In a perfect world, this would always occur … but it’s not a perfect world, as we all know, and there have been documented instances of unlicensed movers being commissioned for jobs.
  • When it comes to estimates, brokers don’t always hit the nail on the head. This can lead to carriers refusing to take the job when the actual calculations don’t match the approximation. Worst-case scenario, you could end up with no mover on moving day; best-case scenario, you can end up paying significantly more than you planned.
  • Similarly, consumers can sometimes be surprised by hidden fees incorporated in the broker process. “Extras” can start showing up above and beyond the straight carrier fee.
  • Sometimes a broker will have difficulty placing a job for various reasons, like a too-low estimate the carriers won’t consider, no availability for the requested moving schedule, or limited resources to properly complete the job. Bottom line: you don’t want to get stuck without a mover on moving day because of a broker issue with supply and demand.

Advantages of Local Movers

Given all the things that can go wrong when you use a go-between, why not go directly to the source to ensure the proper resources for your move? With a local mover, you get:

  • Personalized customer service: A local mover comes to your home, meets you in person, and takes a physical inventory of your goods to provide a firm quote and go over all the requisite paperwork.
  • Elimination of a middleman: You work directly with your own company representative so that all expectations, fees, regulations, and job parameters are addressed and negotiated one-on-one.
  • Honesty and transparency: Everything is laid out in black-and-white in writing—what you see is what you get.
  • Accountability: The local mover’s name and reputation are on the line with each and every customer they serve. They work harder for you because, to be frank, they have more to lose than a massive corporate chain or a regional franchise of that chain.
  • Streamlined personnel and continuity of service: Smaller companies have smaller staffs—that means you’ll be dealing with the same representative from start to finish; and just in case something goes wrong, you won’t be dialing a generic 800 number and you won’t be left on your own to resolve any issues.
  • Established history of trust: When you hire in your own community, the feedback and reviews on the company that you can research are from your own neighbors.
  • And don’t forget the satisfaction and goodwill of supporting local business in your area!

BB&D Moving Services is a local business specifically for consumers in Maryland, Virginia, and Florida. Rest assured that we take care of our community members because we are a community member. When you want things to go right, GO LOCAL! Contact us today to speak directly to a BB&D team member about your upcoming move.

BB&D Moving Services
301-573-5447 (MD)  |  571-375-2826 (VA)  |  786-409-4799 (FL)  |  
bbdmoving.com/

 

How to Schedule Movers

Unless you’re moving into your first place, your belongings fit in the trunk of your car, and your friends are willing to schlep your boxes for free pizza and beer, you have a “real” move on your hands—and the best way to tackle that is to hand the job over to real, professional movers.

But how to choose the right moving company and manage the process for the most successful move possible? Start with this basic checklist, sort of like a 101 intro course on moving for those who can benefit from a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose your moving date. The busiest times on the calendar for professional movers are at the beginnings and ends of months and on weekends, so scheduling your move for midweek or in the middle of the month is ideal.
  2. Research moving companies at least a month before. Ask friends and family for recommendations, do a Google search in your area, and check customer review sites. Make sure the moving company has a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number and check online to confirm it. Factors when choosing movers include:
    • How much stuff needs to be moved
    • How many valuable items you own
    • The movers’ policy for liability of damaged items during the move
    • Whether payment is based on a flat fee or on an itemized inventory
    • When and where you plan to move
    • How soon the movers can deliver your belongings to your new place
  1. Ask for an on-site estimate and get everything in writing. Ask the movers to do an on-site estimate of the total moving cost. Then ask for that estimate in writing, along with the company’s USDOT number, insurance information, and the date and time of the move. Confirm this information a couple of weeks before your moving date.
  2. Collect moving supplies. Get free boxes from grocery or liquor stores. Use towels, comforters, and newspapers to wrap, protect, and separate fragile items. Make sure you have packing tape, permanent markers, and special containers like wardrobe boxes.
  3. Allow yourself ample time to pack. Give yourself at least a month. Start with the things you use the least. Reserve boxes and suitcases for stuff you use on a daily basis and will want to unpack first when you arrive at your new home.
  4. Use the move as an opportunity to declutter. You don’t want to pay to move things you don’t need or want anymore. Donate the items in good condition to charity and get a receipt for your tax deductions.
  5. Arrange payment and tip. Depending on when and how you’re paying, be prepared to pay the movers, and upon completion of a job well done, 10–15% of the total bill is the standard tipping range for good service.

Call BB&D Moving today to learn more about how we can help you throughout the entire moving process, from planning, budgeting, and packing to storage, delivery, and setup.

BB&D Moving Services
301-573-5447 (MD)  |  571-375-2826 (VA)  |  786-409-4799 (FL)  |  
bbdmoving.com/

 

Tipping & Treating Your Movers

Moving isn’t a particularly technical or complicated task. After all, how many of us, at one point or another, have moved our own home or office contents ourselves, filling our trunks and backseats over and over and taking ride after ride to our new location? But is can be tedious, it can be extremely time-consuming, and items can and do break or get damaged in transit—especially today’s newfangled gadgets and large or fragile electronics.

So there’s still a strong argument to be made for hiring professional movers to conduct your move: to get you from point A to point B safely, properly, punctually, and reliably. And if you’re moving a great distance away, you’ll no doubt want the know-how and expertise that only professionals can provide.

When you’re ready to book, plan for, and budget your move, there are three steps you can take to select the company best suited for your specific move and then reward them for a job well done.

  1. Picking the right moving crew. You’ll be entrusting all your valuable belongings, not to a logo or a website page, but to actual people who will be handling and delivering your goods. So you want movers who will handle with care and be responsive to your needs.
  • Gather recommendations from friends, coworkers, and local real estate agents.
  • Do research online, confirming a company’s U.S. DOT number on the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and checking references and reviews.
  • Be selective and zero in: If you need interim storage, does the company offer that? If you want your car shipped too, does the company move autos? If you’re an avid mountain biker, do they have experience properly shipping expensive sporting equipment? If you own a valuable art collection, is special insurance available for that?
  • Get multiple estimates from your narrowed-down list of moving companies and assess the “right fit” with them: Is everyone you interact with courteous and professional? Does the company supply its policies in writing? Did the assessor give you adequate time and attention and answer all your questions? Use your own judgment when judging the best choice.
  • Get a written copy of your inventory list.
  • Give explicit directions to your new home if any navigation is tricky.
  • Exchange phone numbers so you can communicate with your crew during the move.
  1. Tipping your movers. Movers are as much a part of the service industry as restaurant wait staff or bellhops or hairdressers, so they should be treated with the same etiquette when they do a good job. But how much should you tip and when? As with any other service provider, you should tip based on a combination of job performance and cost of the job. There’s no firm rule as to how much, but consider how much the safe and intact delivery of your worldly possessions matters to you. If your movers were careful, punctual, helpful, and friendly, adequately express your gratitude for that. Exceptional workers appreciate acknowledgment of their exceptional customer service and work all the harder for it. Oh, and keep in mind that the crew that loads you might not be the same crew that unloads you across the country, so you may need to plan for two different rounds of tipping. Here are just a few sites where you can get an idea of current guidelines:
  1. Treat your movers to refreshments. Moving an entire household is hard, backbreaking work. Especially in extreme temperatures, especially when stairs are involved. So be prepared with an adequate supply of cold bottled water, soft drinks, and/or sports drinks on hand. If loading/unloading time is lengthy, it’s acceptable to provide lunch for the movers. They might not take you up on it, but they’ll certainly welcome the offer. Just be sure to ask them what they’d prefer—sure, pizza seems like a great idea, but you might be the tenth client to order that for them this month! One more strong suggestion: Don’t offer your movers beer when they’re done. As kind as it sounds, most legitimate moving companies have strict rules against alcohol on the job and in the trucks. Keep everyone and everything safe by sticking to nonalcoholic beverages.

Call BB&D Moving today to learn more about how we can help you throughout the entire moving process, from planning, budgeting, and packing to storage, delivery, and setup.

BB&D Moving Services
301-573-5447 (MD)  |  571-375-2826 (VA)  |  786-409-4799 (FL)  |  bbdmoving.com/

Picking the Right Moving Company Is Key

Life is full of big decisions. What school to attend. What job to take. What city to live in and what home in your chosen location. Selecting a mover to get you there might not be a life-altering decision, but it’s important nonetheless: If all goes well, your move turns into a one-day event that proceeds smoothly, according to plan; but if things don’t go well, your move can turn into a stress-fueled, frustration-filled nightmare from which you just want to escape.

The difference between scenario A and scenario B? Choosing a qualified, reputable, and experienced full-service moving company you can rely on. Here are some steps you can take to pave the way for a problem-free move:

  1. Seek out recommendations and referrals. Take advantage of your own personal network as an invaluable source of dependable and useful information. Just like you’d trust your family and friends to set you up on a blind date or help you find just the right restaurant for that special anniversary dinner, leverage the collective knowledge of the people around you to help you zero in on a good fit. A new colleague at work or a new family at your kid’s school? Ask them what mover they used and if they were happy with their choice. Word of mouth is almost always worth listening to.
  2. Research online information and reviews. Typing “moving companies” into your Google search bar will result in a long list of options in your area, but geography and availability shouldn’t necessarily be the deciding factors. Instead, you’ll want to look at what information a company shares online, what their reputation is in the industry, and what reviews have been posted about them. Sure, no one receives 100% satisfaction ratings 100% of the time, but when the general consensus shows the company to be professional, reliable, well-received, and well-reviewed, that’s a great start to narrowing down your options.
  3. Get multiple on-site estimates. An established moving company will have a streamlined, systematic process in place to provide you with a detailed estimated cost for your entire move. In writing. To do so, they should offer a timely visit to your home, where the estimator can conduct an in-person inventory of all your belongings to accurately assess weight, volume, and approximate move time. Securing several estimates will allow you to compare and contrast.
  4. Check credentials. A legitimate company will be licensed, bonded, and insured. Without these credentials, the company isn’t responsible if something unfortunate happens to your possessions en route, nor are they liable for injuries that could happen to their workers, your family members, or your property. For interstate moves, movers are also required to be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation and have a DOT number. Ask for proof of credentials if this information isn’t already provided in the company’s paperwork and/or on their website.
  5. Read the fine print. Consumers have responsibilities in moves as well. Make sure you read through the company’s policies and procedures before you sign on the dotted line and ask for clarification on anything you don’t understand. Which leads us to our final suggestion.
  6. Ask questions. Experienced movers are used to inexperienced customers who may have lots of questions and concerns, such as:
  • How long will your move take?
  • Will you be able to contact the company and the driver during the move?
  • Does the company subcontract the move or the delivery, or will they be in possession of your belongings from start to finish?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • What forms of payment are accepted, and when is payment made?
  • Are there any packing restrictions or limitations you should be aware of?
  • Any extra or hidden fees for special services, supplies, or labor not readily apparent in the estimate?
  • Which items will the moving company take care of themselves and how (e.g., electronics, furniture, large or odd-shaped items, items that don’t fit in boxes, like bicycles and rugs)?
  • How are the movers trained, and can you expect them to show up on moving day in uniform?

There are lots of online sources to help you pick the right moving company, among them:

BB&D Moving can help you as much or as little as you want throughout the entire process, from planning, budgeting, and packing to storage, delivery, and setup. Call us today to learn about how we can get you from “here” to “there” as swiftly and efficiently as possible!

BB&D Moving Services
301-573-5447 (MD)  |  571-375-2826 (VA)  |  786-409-4799 (FL)  |  http://bbdmoving.com/

Optimizing Your Move by Zeroing in on the Calendar

Moving is nobody’s idea of a good time, right? All the prioritizing and the packing, the checklists and the supplies, the organizing and reorganizing, updating addresses and changing utilities—the list goes on from there, and it can get more than a little overwhelming for anyone.

But there are some things you can do to not only prepare for the smoothest move possible, but to make it more cost-effective too, by picking a precise date for your move that can save you time and money.

Start by thinking “off”—off-peak, off-season, when moving companies are least busy, so the greatest amount of resources will be available to you. Then drill down from there:

WHAT MONTH? Certainly, you must take into account your own personal circumstances and required timelines, but if you can avoid scheduling your move from the middle of May through September—typically, the busiest months for residential moves—you’ll likely you be glad you did. Scheduling your move during the fall or winter will allow less of a time crunch and more affordable pricing (not to mention cooler weather!).

WHAT WEEK? Just like summertime is predictably the peak season for moves, the first week of the month (the 1st day of the month, to be exact) is routinely booked the most. So mid-month is the where you want to fall—on or around the 15th, when there’ll be fewer fellow clients on the roster.

WHAT DAY OF THE WEEK? Most people prefer to schedule their move for the weekend, when they’re off work and their kids are off school. This is especially true for do-it-yourself movers, meaning rental trucks might be in short supply and come at a premium. Monday to Thursday offers you the prime window for a more open, less stressful moving experience.

If your schedule allows for flexibility, think about using these tips to map out an ideal time frame for your move.

Contact BB&D Moving Services today to learn more or to schedule your move:

301-573-5447 (MD)  |  571-375-2826 (VA)  |  786-409-4799 (FL)  |  http://bbdmoving.com/