Understanding the Moving Companies Paperwork

After you have made the biggest decision and decided to move there is no coming back. You already have the date circled in your calendar and new tenants are waiting to see your back. Between the day you have made that decision and the moving day, there are a lot of things to do. You will spend days, weeks or even months preparing for leaving. If you are moving on short notice you will have even more reasons to hire a packing professional to help you. But, unless you are moving on the other side of the street by yourself, you are probably going to use professionals. It is important to understand the moving companies paperwork, so you can prepare yourself properly. You don’t want any surprises concerning costs, transport, insurance, or other. Learn what to expect, and it will help you before the big day and especially on it.

Important moving companies paperwork

Maybe at first, you thought you could do everything by yourself. And perhaps your family and friends offered to help. But then, you turned around and looked across the room. You saw how much stuff there is everywhere around you and figured you need help. Firstly, you need to do your research on professional moving companies near you. For example, if you are from Pittsburgh, you can look at Movin’ Murdy – Pittsburgh Movers or similar, to see what are the standards. After you choose the company that suits you, you must know the moving companies paperwork they will present to you:

  • Moving estimate
  • Order for service
  • Bill of lading
  • Inventory sheet.

If the company is legit and licensed, they will have no problem answering all of your questions. Ask as much as you want, because that is what you should do before hiring movers and deciding which moving company is the right for you, and signing any papers.

Signing of the moving companies paperwork
Before you sign the contract, get to know moving companies paperwork

Moving estimate

After you ask for a quote, as one of the first moving companies paperwork to receive will be the moving estimate. Some companies give you estimates by the phone or e-mail. Try to find the one that will come to your place to see your belongings and then give you an estimate. Search for moving quotes Pittsburgh to see how much money do you need to prepare for the moving. This is the time to ask as many questions as possible to determine if you are good with the service they offer. Think about packing, whether you will do it, or the moving company. If you decide to do it alone, will they provide you with packing materials? What about the handling of special and valuable items? Do they provide some insurance or is it your responsibility? This is the time to ask all of that.

The moving estimate can be binding and non-binding. A non-binding estimate is just an assumption on what the moving cost might be. It depends on the weight or cubic feet of your belongings, but also on the additional services they provide to you. You will know the exact cost when they weight your actual shipment. Unlike the non-binding estimates, the binding estimates can inform you of the total cost of the move. They are based on the exact weight and the services you deal with the company. Of course, if the weight changes on a moving day or you request some additional services, the total cost will differ from the initial.

A handshake
Negotiate the terms before making a deal

Order of service

When you’re finished with comparing moving companies you’ll have your winner. You already asked and negotiated all of the important stuff and now is time for the official moving companies paperwork. The order of service is the contract between you and the company you’ve chosen. It contains all the relevant information about the move, and you should read it carefully. Who, what, when, where and for how much – are the questions this contract will answer. Look at the pick-up and delivery dates, if the relocation is across the country and double check the delivery address. Make sure that the price doesn’t differ from the estimated one. If you’ve chosen any insurance, it will be stated in this document and the cancellation policy should be explained if it exists. Do not sign the contract if you don’t agree to its conditions and try to negotiate the terms again.

Bill of lading

When the moving day comes, you will get the most important of all moving companies paperwork – the bill of lading. It matches the order of service completely and you must sign it before the moving starts. Read it thoroughly and pay special attention to charges, they must not differ from the one you signed on the order of service. If there are any differences or you don’t understand some costs, ask for the explanation. Only if you agree with the changes, you should sign the bill of lading. The company can’t move any of your stuff before you sign that paper, because it is the official record of the move. And also, your receipt of the service. Nevertheless, you should calculate the moving costs, so nobody can fool you and make things up to charge you.

Inventory sheet

Pictures and a jacket on a wall
Have your belongings listed on an inventory sheet, so you don’t leave anything behind

To conclude the moving companies paperwork, you will meet the inventory sheet. Basically, it is one big checklist, that will come to use both with the packing and loading of your belongings as with the unloading. Everything that is the responsibility of your movers is listed here to make sure nothing is left out. They will pack, label and match every item to inventory sheet before they load it to a truck. That will also be done when the cargo arrives at the right location, but while unloading. You should not sign this document unless all your stuff has been accounted for. The inventory sheet will help you if any damages happen while moving. All you have to do is have the movers sign the paper, where the damages are listed, and with that, you can file a complaint or make an insurance claim.

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