Key Moving Terms SF Residents Should Know

Get a Free Moving Quote

"*" indicates required fields

MM slash DD slash YYYY


San Francisco residents preparing to move are met with a bunch of terms, some very confusing while others will be self-explanatory. Understanding these terms is important for a seamless moving process. Before you choose among the moving companies San Francisco locals rely on, check out the key moving terms SF residents should know to ensure a smooth transition. They will make the task much easier for you. Above all, most of the stress of a move comes with not knowing the specifics during the process. That’s why it’s a good idea to get into the main ideas of the whole task. Let’s get deeper into what you should know when you’re getting ready for your SF relocation.

Know the difference between local vs long-distance moving

Knowing the difference between local and long-distance moving is essential. A local move, also known as an intrastate move, typically refers to moves within 100 miles of the original location, within the same state. In contrast, long-distance moves will be to places that are more than 100 miles from your original point. The moves long distance movers San Francisco residents recommend make that go across state lines will be considered interstate moves. The SF terrain can intensify moving complexities, especially for long-distance moves, due to its distinctive geographical features like steep roads and congested traffic.

A road with a lot of fog covering it
Some basic moving terms SF Residents should know include the different types of moves

Packing and everything it comes with

Packing can be considered one of the dullest parts of the relocation. Key packing terms include packing supplies with boxes, tape, and bubble wrap being some of the most commonly used.  Additionally, you have the inventory, which is a list of all items to be moved, which can be very helpful. You shouldn’t overlook padding, as materials used to protect items will plant a huge role in a successful relocation. In the hilly SF landscape, proper packing supplies San Francisco dwellers endorse will be crucial to protect your belongings. Making an inventory ensures nothing gets misplaced in transit. And overall, packing will be the important first step you need to make to have a successful relocation.

Services and their providers in the San Francisco area

Understanding moving services and their providers helps in selecting the best fit. Full-service movers offer comprehensive services, from packing to transporting. Self-service movers provide the moving vehicle and driver, but the customer handles packing. A moving broker coordinates with moving companies on the customer’s behalf. Overall, it’s necessary to find an option that will be good both for your needs and your budget. Picking among the moving services San Francisco companies have to offer will be no easy task. Given SF’s unique geography, working with local companies familiar with the area will be a great first step. Check out the services, as part of important moving terms SF residents should know, that companies will offer, such as:

  • Storage services
  • Loading and unloading
  • Cleaning services
  • Packing and unpacking services
  • Junk removal
  • Assembly and disassembly 

Transportation and logistics of an SF move

Key transportation terms include the bill of lading, which represents the legal contract between the mover and the customer. Another important detail will be the carrier itself or the moving company you’re using for the relocation. Of course, an important detail will be any potential additional service that we mentioned. Logistics such as route planning and tracking are also vital, particularly considering SF’s crowded streets and strict parking regulations. However, that part is usually up to the moving company itself to create to ensure a smooth relocation.

A mover in front of his van
Let experts handle the transportation and logistics

Importance of insurance and what it protects against

Moving insurance provides peace of mind by protecting your belongings from potential damage or loss during transit. Various types of coverage exist, from basic options that will offer you minimal protection and pay you just a fraction of the price of your item. Of course, you also opt for full-value protection that covers the repair, replacement, or reimbursement of any lost or damaged items. With a relocation to San Francisco that can be somewhat unpredictable, having some type of insurance can be worthwhile, and you should consider it.

Key moving terms SF residents should know include estimates

Understanding estimates is important for budgeting your move. A binding estimate guarantees the total cost based on the mover’s survey of your belongings. Non-binding estimates, conversely, are not guaranteed, and the final cost can vary. For that reason, make sure to request several moving quotes San Francisco companies offer to find the best option for you. Make sure to ask if your estimate is binding or non-binding to avoid unexpected costs.

Know about the legal documents of a relocation

Paying attention to legal documents is essential. You should always read through the documents you get from a moving company to ensure that you’re dealing with an honest and trustworthy moving company. Unfortunately, there will be companies in SF and beyond that might want to scam you. Do as much research before picking the right movers to make sure that you analyze even the smallest of details. Have documents like the bill of lading, order for service, and inventory list in mind when you’re preparing for a relocation. Above all, knowing these documents and how to read them can prevent misunderstandings and disputes with your mover.

A person signing a document
Always be aware of the legal details of a relocation

Licensing of moving companies and its importance

Licensing ensures you’re dealing with a legitimate moving company. For instance, an interstate mover should have a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number. Always verify a company’s license to avoid falling victim to moving scams. Of course, a residential moving company in San Francisco needs a Bureau of Household Goods and Services license to operate in the state of California legally. With those two licenses combined, you can be sure you have a company you can trust to handle your relocation.

Use your knowledge for a successful relocation

A stress-free move starts with understanding the language of the moving process. From packing to insurance, logistics, and legalities, being familiar with these key moving terms SF residents should know can make your move smoother and more predictable. Whatever the distance of your relocation, you need to make sure everything is going as planned. And for that reason, getting to know as much as you can about moving terms will be very important. Happy moving, and enjoy your relocation.