clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

All You Need To Know About Moving In Washington DC

New, 2 comments

Moving across town may require a lot less logistics than moving across country, but that doesn't mean it's not stressful. And if it's your first move, the task at hand can be daunting. Do I do it myself or hire professionals or both? What should I expect to pay? When should I move? Should I tip? Do all movers like pizza? Despite where you're going and how you're getting there, there are some simple things to consider before leaving one zip code and heading to another.

First and foremost, is this a cross town move? Or is it a little more involved and cross-country? Or is this a full-blown international move, and in that case, let's hope the company will handle that. But for more localized trips, that usually means rolling up the sleeves and getting down to business.

When should you move? The answer: Always in the morning. What kind of morning? A weekday morning. Whether you're taking a DIY approach or hiring a company with the full bells and whistles, plan to move in the morning during a regular workday. True, this may mean taking time off, but it'll be worth it. There's less competition for movers on a Tuesday than on a Saturday. And if at all possible (and it's often not), avoid moving on the first and last days of the month. That's when everyone and their moms are settling into a new pad. Now why the morning? Especially in the spring and summer, it's cooler in the morning to minimize sweat stains. Second, if something goes awry, by scheduling the move in the morning, there is plenty of time to rectify an issue. Not enough boxes? Ran out of tape? Flat tire on the truck? A bit of foresight will prevent those snafus from losing a whole day of packing and moving.

Fortunately, living in the DMV, there are plenty of options when it comes to hiring movers. Type "dc movers" into Google and watch what happens. Check out Yeply and use it because that's what it's there for, but be mindful of who writes these reviews. Ask friends and family who have gone through moves before. Often they are the best source of info on who to use and who not to use. Plus, referrals could cut the costs a bit.

So what's this going to cost? Like buying a car, you can buy the basic model for dirt cheap or you can blow it on a high-end model. And remember: You often get what you pay for. On the lower-end are companies like U-Haul where you can rent a truck for $20 (plus mileage) for local moves. As an added bonus, these stores are one-stop shops with boxes, tape, and bubble wrap to get the job done. There are people that sell their services on Craigslist for less than $60 per hour for two dudes and a truck. Based on the ad, this is a full-service option with packing, unpacking, furniture assembly, etc. included. Another popular option is College Hunks Hauling Junk where for a price, you get the full-service treatment and a bit of eye candy. Many movers offer pretty quick quotes, and if a company doesn't offer a quote, that's a major red flag.

What about insurance? Choosing to purchase relocation coverage is going to depend on how extensive is the move, what's being moved, and who is doing the moving. Quality companies provide coverage with their services, sometimes with an additional fee. Smaller mom-and-pop entities may not have extensive coverage that could cover a substantial portion of the value of your goods. It's important to check with the company about all the deets of the relocation coverage. And for piece of mind, buying coverage through a third-party may be the route you'd want to consider.

Now when the guys (or gals) are at your place doing the packing and unpacking, assuming you go that route, try to make them as comfortable as possible. A happy mover is a happy client.
To keep things humming along, make sure to have snacks available. And if this move is going to go into lunch, provide pizza, subs, sodas, juices, etc. The added benefit of providing food and drinks is the movers won't have to go anywhere to get some grub and possibly lose valuable packing and moving time.

When all is said and done, and the movers are heading home after doing a good job, it's a good practice to tip them. Based on research, it seems 5% of the total bill per mover is the normal rate. (Of course, since this is a tip, it all depends on the quality of the move.) Some people give $20 a piece. Others more. Others less. It's just a nice way to say thank you for making your move a bit easier. And you never know when you'll need their services again.

Living in the city, storage space can be a luxury. If you are downsizing or moving in with a significant other and there's not enough room to merge both of your lives, a monthly storage option may be the solution. Back at U-Haul, a basic storage option of 4' x 8' x 6' runs about $85 per month. Extra Space Storage, the facility on U Street between 14th and 15th Streets, has larger units available, including an 8' x 22' unit for $287 per month. CubeSmart in Petworth have options for a 5' x 5' x 8' starting at $80 per month a quickly going up. So check out how much you have and how much you want to spend when researching storage facilities.

All in all, the best way to take care of moving is to ask others who have done it before. These people (hopefully you trust them) will know the right people to get to handle the move. And if worst comes worst, always make sure you have a friend with a truck. Everyone can use a friend with a truck.
· Lowest Pro Moving Rates Here [Craigslist]
· College Hunks Hauling Junk [Official Site]
· U-Haul [Official Site]
· Extra Space Storage [Official Site]
· CubeSmart [Official Site]
· Tipping Movers [Official Site]