How to Get a Date (with Your Mover)

Have you tried flowers? Chocolates? Sweet talk? A renewed vigor and determination for improved personal hygiene?
Maybe… maybe he’s just not that into you. And that’s ok. Be who you are. Love yourself first before you can love someone else.

Now that the cheesy jokes are out of the way, I can be frank and tell you that scheduling estimates, moves, and crews is one of the biggest challenges of running a moving company. It can be exhausting and stressful, but it can also be very rewarding when everything falls in line and it works out.

Yet when I take a call about a move I know that the person on the other line has way more things to keep track of with their home or business move than I do just managing trucks and crews.  A typical move to a neighboring town can involve some type of administrative change for nearly every facet of life. A move across the country can be incredibly time-consuming to coordinate, with distance and time-zones adding difficulty to the arrangement of residency, housing, utilities, and employment. Put kids in the mix and there is also the changing of schools which requires a lot of time and paperwork.

With all that in mind, moving companies try to be as flexible and responsive as we can. We have to maintain a workforce that is ready to go when there is work. A mover never really knows from week to week how many hours he will have or how many days he will work.

The question I hear more often than any other is, “How much notice do I need to give you to get on the schedule?” It is a fantastic question and one for which  I seldom have a satisfying answer. “As much notice as you can possibly give,” is my only reply.

Timing the transition from one home to the next is tough and it doesn’t always happen as planned. Escrows and home loans are more complicated than they appear. Delays in close of escrow account for the majority of cases where I reschedule a move multiple times.

In short, there is nothing that can be done about the speed of mortgages. There is nothing that can be done when remodeling takes longer than planned. Sometimes lease agreements cannot be executed on time because previous tenants refuse to vacate. There are so many monkey wrenches that can and will be thrown.

What can be done is to stay organized and communicative. I recommend creating a folder for moving with a calender and a to-do list. Write on it in pencil and source a really good eraser because you will need it.  I find it very helpful to see things visually on a paper calendar, especially when coordinating with several different people and events. Write out all the the things you need to do and coordinate, and then  make deadlines for all of them on the calendar. Checking them off the list as they are done is very satisfying and is a visual representation of progress and piece of mind. It’s a good idea to keep all the moving documents in one place and to keep all the lease/loan/purchase documents together as well.

Schedule in-home estimates with a few different moving companies as soon as you are sure that you will be moving and know for certain what items you will take to the new place. Let the moving companies know the rough time frame for the move. It can be refined later as details fall into place.

When you choose the mover that is right for you, please contact the other companies that gave you bids. This will allow them to take “holds” off their schedule for you and more easily book other clients. If you anticipate changes in your move date, be upfront about that with your mover of choice. We want your business and we want to be able to provide the level of crew and service that we promised.

If at all possible, create some wiggle room for yourself. If it can be avoided, allow a few days between vacating your old place and someone else taking possession. There is more to do back at the move-from location than anyone realizes. Also, if you get pushed back a day or two in taking possession of your new home, you won’t necessarily start a chain reaction of delays that affects several people, movers, and other business scheduled to provide home services.

There are some patterns in the real estate market and also the moving industry which are predictable. We are always slow in late December, always busiest in the summer. Weekends book up faster than weekdays and the end/beginning of the month is always busier than the middle. Sometimes totally bizarre patterns occur that defy explanation. I recall a very slow week one winter in which 8 people called me for a move on Thursday and no other day would work for any of them. I was able to book three of them with my level of staff at the time, but 5 other people had to find another mover. Why that day? Why no flexibility? I will never know.

We try really hard to be accommodating and flexible and most of the time it works out well. I have gotten requests for move dates and times that are not possible and it is a bummer to turn people away and to be unhelpful. Above all, keeping some order in move planning allows a person to stay communicative with the web of people and professionals involved while rolling with the punches.

Cliche as it might be, it is a lesson that we re-learn again and again: Communication is key in getting  move date.
The same goes for dating a mover, I would say, as our schedule changes every single day. It’s hard to make dinner plans. Thanks for reading. Please contact me if you have a critique, a suggestion, a question about moving, or need romantic advice from our panel of relocation experts.