Your Guide to Residential Moving Companies in St. Louis

St. Louis Moving Companies

Planning a move in St. Louis or the suburbs of nearby Kirkwood, Chesterfield, Ballwin, Sunset Hills, Crestwood or Clayton is a sizeable undertaking.  Here are some things to know before you make any moves on making a move. 🙂

What is a residential moving company?

A residential moving company will give you the added resources and muscle you need to complete the major task of moving your home’s contents from one place to another.  The type of moving company you’ll need will depend on a number of things such as how much and how far you plan to move.

You’ll also need to decide if you can do some of the work yourself, such as packing and unpacking, or if you’ll need help from start to finish. 

It’s best to get several estimates for a move of any size and distance.  You’ll also want to check online reviews and get a binding estimate before hiring a company,  If you’re so inclined, check with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration if you are using a long-distance or freight moving company to make sure the company is registered with the Department of Transportation.

Can I use a local moving company when moving long distance?

Probably not.

The main reason is that interstate movers have the ability to cross state lines, but to do so they must have different licensing than local or intrastate movers.  For this reason, you may find a mover that can handle the ability to move customers to just about any area of the country, but if you contact a local mover, they’ll be geographically restricted unless they have proper licensing which is an added expense for them.

The same concept applies if you’re planning on moving out of the country.  International movers will not only handle the mechanics of moving but will also have critical knowledge regarding customs and immigration issues as well.

How much do moving companies in St. Louis cost?

As you might guess, there are a lot of variables that go in to determining how much you’ll pay when you hire a moving company.

How much do you have?  The first and most obvious is how much stuff you have to move.  Moving the contents of a two bedroom condo is a lot different than moving the contents of a 3,000 square-foot house. 

How far?  Moving across town or across the state is a lot different than packing up and leaving St. Louis for Florida or California.

Need help packing? You may be able to do much of the packing on your own, but if you’ve got limited time or a lot of things to pack, you might want to consider professional help.  Not only will you pay for the labor, but you’ll also need to pay for materials as well.

Specialty items.  Got a piano or a pool table?  How about grandma’s antique furniture?  Not everything you own fits nicely and neatly into 24 x 24 inch cartons. 

Many items require special handling and take up more space in a moving van.  There may be lots of extra TLC involved in packing and securing these kinds of items as well.  Movers have seen just about everything there is to see when it comes to moving and they’ll have a really good handle on how to carefully protect and transport your most valuable items.

Local movers will generally charge by the hour.  You can expect to pay about $75 to $100 per hour for two men and a truck.  You can knock off about a third of that cost if you only need strong arms and strong backs and you provide the truck.

Long distance movers tend to charge by the pound.  As an example, expect to pay 70 to 80 cents for one pound of household goods that are moved 1,000 miles away.  This can fluctuate based on the variables above but gives you a starting point to start calculating the costs of a move. 

Because there are so many variables in a long distance move, each one is quoted separately.  The only way to get an accurate cost is to request an in-home estimate.  Make sure to get several quotes and that you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to pricing.  Also, be sure to ask for a binding estimate that will guarantee to some extent the final long distance moving cost will not exceed the estimated amount.

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Moving Companies in St. Louis that Rent PODS

An alternative to traditional moving that has gained a lot of traction in recent years are portable storage containers.  PODS is a leading provider of portable storage containers and offers several advantages for people during a move.

PODS are delivered to a person’s home and dropped off.  This allows the container to be loaded at your own pace.  It can either be kept in a driveway (extra convenient during a major home remodel instead of a move), stored at a PODS facility or moved anywhere in the country. 

There are multiple container sizes and you can rent PODS for a week, a month or longer depending on your needs.  They are also ground level, meaning there’s no need for ramps, making the loading and unloading process that much easier.

Insurance for moving companies in St. Louis

Can you imagine loading all of your worldly possessions into a single truck and then not getting insurance?

Even the safest truck drivers under the best conditions are still subject to all kinds of hazards on the road, both natural and manmade.  Losing some or all of your possessions would be a tragedy, but not having insurance to guard against the loss is just short of crazy.

All moving companies are required by federal regulations to offer two types of coverage to consumers on out-of-state moves.

Released value protection typically pays 60 cents per pound and covers everything in your load, meaning that you will be reimbursed for everything from toilet paper to antique furniture and everything in between.  Now you’re probably thinking that “my stuff is worth a lot more than 60 cents a pound” and in the vast majority of cases, you’d be right. 

That’s why movers also offer full value protection.  This means if your items are worth $25,000, and if they’re lost, you’ll be reimbursed $25,000.  Cost for this insurance is based on the value of your items and is generally offered at 1% of the value.  So $25,000 worth of coverage would cost $250.

Movers are not required to reimburse you for any item valued at more than $100 per pound unless it is specifically listed on the shipping documents. This is set by the Surface Transportation Board, the federal organization that oversees moving companies. If you have two pounds of expensive jewelry valued at $10,000 it would need to be listed separately or it will not be covered for a full value if it is lost, damaged or destroyed during the move.

Depending on your risk tolerance, you can also upgrade your coverage based on several possible options.  You may also have some form of coverage through your homeowner’s policy.

With valuation coverage, movers are not responsible for items in boxes they did not pack. Unless the box shows significant damage, you are not likely to be covered for damage to anything inside the box. You are also not covered for “natural disasters,” such as fire, hurricane, tornado, windstorm or hail.  Also, if items are damaged while in storage that is not controlled by the moving company, you are not covered.

Top moving companies in St. Louis

There are a number of highly rated moving companies in St. Louis.  Here are some sources you can tap into to help you decide which moving company is right for you.

Yelp

Moving.com

Angie’s List

Home Advisor

My Moving Reviews

Rent a toy hauler before moving

If you’re making a leisurely move and you’ve got a lot of adult recreation toys to move, you might consider renting a toy hauler. 

Not only can they hold anything from personal watercraft, to motorcycles, to golf carts, to snowmobiles, these recreational vehicles can also provide extra living space while out on the road.   A toy hauler gives you the convenience of mobility along with all the advantages of having a garage on the go.

Expect to pay about $100 to $200 per night for a toy hauler rental.  In some cases you can find bargains, especially during the off season.  You can contact any of the moving companies listed above or simply search online for toy hauler rentals in St. Louis. 

When looking for a toy hauler for rent, make sure you also have an appropriate vehicle for hauling. Most toy haulers require at least a ¾-ton pickup truck to pull them, with a 1-ton often being recommended, along with dually tires in the rear.  And if you’re traveling in a warm climate, air conditioning is a prime consideration too.

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