When you’re moving between two homes, then you will move, at least in most cases, all of your household items and personal possessions from the place you’re leaving to the place you’re moving into. This is a full-house move and it happens to be the most frequent type of residential moving.
In some cases though, you may wish to move only part of your household items – like several pieces of furniture, a few household appliances, one or two specialty items you may own, or the content of a single room packed up in cardboard boxes. And if that’s what you’re up against, then you’re most likely looking at a mini move – a partial load move that is way different than a full-service move.
The following small moving guide will offer you critical tips for moving small loads across country – practical pieces of advice that should help you move your small load of furniture or small load of personal items to the new address quickly and safely.
CHECK if your move can classify as a small load move
A mini move is one where the total weight of the household items to be moved falls below the 1,000-pound mark.
Now, why is this important? As a rule of thumb, full-service movers charge a minimum weight for each shipment, that that weight is around 2,000 pounds. That basically means that if you’re only moving a few select furniture pieces or a small number of cardboard boxes, then you’ll be better off hiring partial load movers simply because they don’t have a minimum weight requirement.
Why should you pay good money for a 2,000-pound shipment when the all the things you’re moving won’t even hit the 1,000-pound mark? Simply put, don’t waste your hard-earned money for nothing, ok?
Here are a few house moving scenarios that can help you identify your upcoming move as a mini move.
- You’re only moving the content of a single room. Moving into a college dorm room is a classic example of such a type of relocation but yours may be drastically different. In the majority of cases, the things found inside a single room should not exceed 1,000 pounds.
- You’re moving out temporarily, meaning that you don’t really need to move all your possessions with you. This may be the case if you’re moving abroad for a short period of time or if you’re going to study in another state or even country.
- You’re only moving a few furniture pieces. For one reason or another, you just need some of your furniture transported to another place – a good example of hiring small moving services instead of standard moving services.
- You’re only moving a single specialty item between two homes. Whether you need to have your precious piano moved, or maybe your hot tub, or your pool table, you’ll definitely be dealing with a small move in that case.
UNDERSTAND your moving options for small loads
Be smart when moving small loads across the country – before you decide how to approach the relocation, you’ll want to know that you’ve made the right decision, especially when your hard-earned money is involved. And to reach an informed decision, you’ll first need to understand well your moving options.
Option 1: Moving small loads by yourself
In most relocation cases, moving long distance by yourself is not worth the trouble due to the great number of hidden DIY costs that most people fail to see before it’s too late.
When moving locally, your Do-It-Yourself moving options can range from borrowing a friend’s pickup truck to renting a moving van and transporting your small loads without any professional assistance. Those small move options are good enough because of the short distance between the two homes. In some specific cases, you may be able to transport your stuff to the new address in your own personal vehicle.
When moving across the country, your self-move options get severely limited due to the hundreds or thousands of miles between the starting point and the end point of your house move. All of a sudden, the money you will pay for fuel, lodging, tolls, and unexpected personal expenses will match or even exceed what you’d pay professional partial load movers to do that job for you.
Add the time you’ll lose in the meantime and the risks and dangers on the road while you’re navigating a big truck along unknown roads and territories, and you’ll get to understand why great relocation distances should never be underestimated when moving cross country, be it only with a small load of furniture or loads of cardboard boxes.
Option 2: Using small scale movers
One great advantage when hiring small shipment movers is that you won’t be charged a minimum weight fee (usually set at 2,000 pounds) to have your items shipped to another home. Instead, you will pay only for the actual shipment weight you’re moving – be it a single furniture piece or several small loads.
Read below to learn other great advantages of using professional small moving services.
HIRE small load movers for your peace of mind
Another great bonus of using one of the best small load moving companies in your town or city is that will give you an accurate cost estimate after an in-home survey of the small load that you’re moving. Once you state your requirements and maybe request extra moving services (for example, temporary storage of your things at the mover’s warehouse), your partial load mover will quote you a final price that’s based on the weight of your small load, the move distance, and the extra services requested.
What’s more, there shouldn’t be any hidden charges or last-minute fees when hiring top-rated moving companies that move small loads across the country.
Make sure you talk with your small load moving company about the option of shared load moving – that’s when your items get loaded on the same moving truck with another person’s belongings so that the moving expenses can be shared between you and that other person. In reality, since you’re only moving a small number of household items, moving truck sharing will enable you to save big on your long-distance move.
Now, how to find the best small load movers in your area?
- GET recommendations for good small load movers from friends, colleagues, or neighbors. Use the power of social media networks to ask your circle of friends if anyone has dealt with any moving companies that take small loads.
REQUEST free moving estimates from a few small scale movers for your long-distance move. Have the moving professionals visit your home in person so that they can give you accurate moving quotes based on the limited number of items you’ve got for moving.
- COMPARE the moving estimates you’ve received. Also, compare the various partial load movers by reading customer reviews about the companies in an attempt to pick one with predominantly positive reviews and ratings.
- RESEARCH your partial load movers to verify that they are properly licensed by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Interstate movers must have valid USDOT numbers issued by the Government as proof of their legitimate status.
First and foremost, get in touch with top-rated small shipment movers.
4. REDUCE the small moving costs
Even though you’re moving small loads across the country, you should still make an effort to reduce the moving costs any way you can. One thing you shouldn’t forget is that it’s your own money that’s at risk of being wasted so you should monitor your expenses as closely as possible.
- PICK the low-cost partial load mover that’s offered you the best deal in terms of price and conditions.
- SORT out your household items, again, and make sure you’re only moving the things that you must take with you.
- GET hold of free moving boxes so that you don’t have to pay for overly expensive cardboard containers. Keep in mind that even when you’re not moving all of your household items and personal belongings, the money you spend for packing boxes will most likely be your biggest packing expense.
- DISASSEMBLE, whenever possible, any furniture that you’re taking with you. That way, you won’t need to pay your movers extra for the furniture disassembly service offered by moving professionals. If you’re not sure how to partially disassemble a furniture unit for moving, then don’t take any unnecessary risks. Instead, trust your small move service provides to do it safely and quickly.
- PACK whatever you can by yourself to avoid having to pay professionals packers to do it for you. You can pack by yourself clothes, bedding, shoes, books, and other non-breakable items fairly easily. Usually, it’s the extra-fragile items and specialty ones – a piano or a grandfather clock, for example – that you should leave to experienced packers.
- SPEAK with your professional mover about having your small load shared with another person’s truckload so that you pay only part of the final bill. Usually, that should be the case when you’re moving long distance simply because the moving company itself will want to have their trucks loaded fully before going the distance.
The big disadvantage of sharing the truck space with another partial shipment is that you’ll probably need to wait longer to have your items delivered to your door.
5. FOCUS on the important partial move details
Moving small amounts of household goods to another place is all about paying attention to the small details that may prove to be deciding for the success of your mini move. By now, you should have already taken care of the major aspects of the house move – finding partial load movers and lowering the moving price by using proven cost-saving techniques.
Purchase extra insurance. If your small shipment includes high-value articles, then you must discuss with your small load moving company the option of purchasing extra moving insurance for those valuable or expensive items.
A good example is when you’re moving a piano that is either super-expensive or is infused with sentimental value (a family heirloom) and naturally, you will want that big and heavy musical instrument to reach its destination perfectly intact. Other instances when you’ll need to buy moving insurance is when you’re moving a grandfather clock or antique furniture pieces.
- Book the mini move ASAP. Once you pick your partial load mover, there isn’t a single reason why you shouldn’t reserve the move with that moving company. In most cases, you may get an extra discount for early booking and besides, you’ll increase your chances of having your small shipment combined with that of somebody else, thus potentially decreasing the time you’ll need to wait between pick-up and delivery.
- Explore possible storage solutions. You may need to have your small load stored at a secure storage facility in case your new home is not yet ready for that shipment, or if you plan to be away for a pre-determined period of time. Most partial load movers should be able to offer you that extra service for an additional fee that will depend on the size of your shipment and the storage period you specify.
Make sure you discuss all details with your small load movers so that everything smoothly and according to plan.