How can you cut down on your costs of moving? These are some lessons we’ve learned.
1. Don’t move. That’s simple enough and several times during the moving process, we did think about calling the whole thing off.
2. Sell off everything and just take your clothes and whatever can fit in your suitcases.
3. DIY. No, I don’t mean carry your entire shipment onto the plane (that would be terribly expensive) or ship. You can only do this if you own your own plane or ship. But, you can pack your own belongings. This can be tricky, as you’ll read further. But, it will definitely save you some money and a headache. We had used a moving company once for an interstate move. We did most of the packing, but they arrived early and ended up “helping” to pack. What they did was open up some boxes and threw whatever they could find into it. This is called “professional” packing services. Therefore, for the international move, we used our “amateur” packing techniques, which included bubble wrapping and cushioning using our own clothes. But, at least, we knew where everything was. We labelled the outside of the box and made a list, numbering each box and giving a little more detail of its contents. Using the company’s services meant you had to pay for the labour and supplies. The cost varies from company to company. The downside to DIY is that you are responsible for the contents. The movers will still make their own list and the boxes need to state their contents. Some movers require that you leave the boxes opened so they can inspect them. Some companies, such as IntlMove, will not provide insurance cover for damages if you do any part of the packing yourself. So, either allow them to damage your goods and you can claim for them later (if they’ll even acknowledge your complaint) or pack it yourself. Some will allow you to deliver the goods to the docks, if you live nearby. You do have to check with the companies.
4. Insurance? As I stated, if you pack your own goods, some will only cover for total loss, not damage. That means if they lose your shipment, you can claim against them. We figured, unless the ship sinks, we should receive our goods, damaged or not, so we waived the insurance. We found out later that everyone recommends you take the insurance. I don’t see how that could have helped us. I doubt they could adequately compensate for the loss. After all, most of our goods had sentimental value, rather than monetary value.
5. Don’t go with the cheapest. As we’ve learned, IntlMove gave one of the cheapest quotes, but in the end, we paid for a lot of “extras”. We were lucky, however, since we actually received our shipment. Others were not so fortunate. I hope they took out insurance.