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Man with Van

Base Rate: $60

includes one hour
add $10 per additional 1/4 hour or portion thereof.

Man with Van PLUS HELPER

Base Rate: $160

includes ninety minutes
add $30 per additional 1/2 hour or portion thereof.


Not all the jobs are the same.

It is possible that the quote you receive WILL be higher, especially if it’s a moving job rather than a delivery.

Factors which influence pricing are stairs, distance to carry items, actual locations and time slot.
The local area includes Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville.

Even within the locally defined area there may be pricing variables as detailed.

Competitive pricing, a good attitude and attention to detail are high priorities. Thank you for considering Man with Van in Boston.

Pack books in book boxes

Nothing kills a move like books in large boxes. This is what a book box looks like:

12″ x 12 x 12

If you don’t want to buy boxes liquor store boxes are good too but if your books have any value it’s better to buy boxes for the uniform sizing. Not only do you do right by your movers, you generally spare your own back. Unless you do an upscale white glove move you’ll be packing and unpacking your own boxes. Heavy items in small boxes. Remember that.

The boxes should be heavy duty corrugated, stored off the floor on pallets, 2×4’s or shelves.

Label the boxes as you put books into them to make it easier to setup your new library.

An investment in good boxes and prep time will expedite your move and reduce the possibility of surprises.

The best surprise is no surprise.

Why Is The Price NOT The Price

Occasionally the response to a price quote goes something like this, “I thought the price was $40.”

It’s possible. I have been known to do jobs as low as $40. I did one not too long ago for a regular customer, an artist who calls me to carry her artwork between her studio and various galleries around town. Pickup a painting, take it to a gallery, drop it off, forty dollars. That’s my minimum. Unfortunately, most of my jobs are NOT $40. I don’t lug sofas up and down stairs for that price. A minimum on something like that is usually around $60 if I do it without bringing a helper and it’s local without mucho flights of stairs. Moving jobs for $40? No way. I don’t go up and down stairs carrying boxes and furniture for $40.

If someone has a simple solitary item to move and they make it easy for me, will I try to accommodate a low price? By all means! But I’m not on a quest to beat uhaul prices. Uhaul will beat me on price everytime! But they don’t send a guy with their vehicle and their convenience factor is quite a bit lower than mine.

The time it takes to get to and from a location influences price, as well as intensity. In addition to being crystal clear about the fact that my rates are variable based upon job factors I ask plenty of questions to understand what’s involved with a job then detail exact pricing in advance. Additional time, if required, beyond a baseline that offsets travel time and fuel is at the published rate.

For those who are concerned with the absolute lowest price, the good news is that there’s plenty of competition for your business. Seek and you shall find. The guy that beats me on price is usually Hungry Man. Sometimes he shows, sometimes he doesn’t. I’m asked to match Hungry Man’s price from time to time. I generally defer. Rather than focus on beating everyone’s price I make it a priority to maintain a schedule and service that pleases customers.

Ben’s Furniture Refinishing in Brookline

I helped a young guy named Ben return furniture to a house in Brookline yesterday. About three weeks ago we met to pickup furniture which he brought to his shop for refinish and repair. There were four broken dining chairs, a lacquered cabinet and mirror that needed some TLC and a wobbly bookcase / curio cabinet with sliding glass doors. This was a side job for Ben. His day job is the same working his craft in a shop.

Each of the pieces was completely transformed. For anyone interested in talking to Ben about a furniture refinish or repair project, let me know and I’ll pass his contact info along. He has a great attitude, commitment to his work and eagerness to please.

Once he sets up his own blog I’ll update this post so you can contact him directly.

UHaul Pods for Long Distance Moves

Long distance moves are expensive. One option that I recommend is Amtrak. Your shipment will need to be in boxes under 50 pounds with a total weight of 500 pounds. For more details see Amtrak shipping. I recommend using uniformly sized boxes for any long distance move. If you’re in the Boston area, I’ve successfully recommended this box delivery service.


uhaul.boxFor larger requirements consider UHaul Pods. Pod moving can be designed to allow ample time for loading and unloading. Cheap is a relative word, but UHaul Pods cost less than Man With A Van which puts them at the bottom of the scale for any long distance moving option.

Take the time to purge before you pack. Lighten the load to save money on freight and save time unpacking and settling in. Take advantage of the opportunity that moving presents to separate clutter from essentials.

If you use the Amtrak option Man With A Van is available to help you get to the terminal. For pod loading man with a van, or man with a van and a man are available to load or unload pods.

Last Minute Moves

This is the time of year when I receive calls or emails from people who need help at the last minute for a move on August 31st or September 1st. Unfortunately I don’t even have time to respond. I get booked up a month in advance for these two days, as well as the days that precede and follow the biggest moving days of the year in Boston.

At some point in the day, my guess is that vehicles will be returned to Uhaul. Hang out there and try to snag one. Check craigslist services under labor and moving for availability of someone to help load. Yes, we’re talking pure desperation here but finding availability of movers on the busiest moving day of the year will be an extremely difficult challenge.

What would you do if you were in this situation?

Boxes and Supply Local Delivery

I called because one of my customers was too busy to get boxes. What a surprise. That’s why people call man with a van, right? Convenience. Jumped online and found this guy in Wayland who delivers locally in Boston for $8 or free if the order is over $100.

Seems eager to please. Will keep you posted on the results I get from recommending him. It makes moving so  much easier when everything is properly packed. Books should go in book boxes, which are smaller because books are heavy, and other boxes are sized to suit the contents. The beauty of this service is you can call or fill out the form on the web site and have everything you need brought to your door asap.

Determine Value of Used Furniture

When considering used furniture it is important to determine value, otherwise how will you recognize a bargain? What is the item made of, particle board, solid wood? Inspect for loose edges, bubbles, stains, stripped and missing connectors. Particle board self-assembled furniture is constructed from glue and sawdust with a man-made veneer that’s virtually impossible to repair. Solid wood that’s been painted and no longer attractive can be made beautiful again with some elbow grease, hardware supplies and a few basic tools.

Moving IKEA furniture is a chore that may require careful disassembly and reassembly. Be wary. Inspect carefully. Damage is virtually impossible to correct and renders the piece worthless. Time is money. If it’ll take a lot of time and money to move a wardrobe, an armoire, dresser or bed frame, calculate that as part of your cost. Practical considerations aside, people like IKEA furniture. It’s fairly serviceable, affordable and looks good. At the very least, if you buy used assembly furniture, get all the hardware, get the instructions, get any tools that came with the kit for assembly.

How much is a similar piece of furniture new? How much wear does the piece have? Is it damaged in any way? A wobbly used IKEA dresser has little potential for satisfaction. Like a worn-out hollow door, there’s not much you can do with it once it gets old, and assemble yourself particle board furniture is susceptible to loosening up, may have undetectable stripped bolts, chips and bubbles that show the other face of modern style, the throw away side. What’s the point? Pay less for used! Know how much it costs new.

How big is the item? Smaller is better. It’s easier to move, easier to maintain, fits into more places and makes a better investment.

Ultimately, the value of used furniture is determined by what you’re willing to pay for it. Know what it’s worth new, inspect carefully and assign a value based on what it’ll cost you to get it home, how long you plan to keep it and what you’ll be able to sell it for. With any luck you can sell the used furniture at a price close to what you pay for it when it’s time to move, if you buy it right.

Amtrak Freight for Moving

Not too many people would think of Amtrak Shipping if they were moving to a new city. One of my previous customers called for a price to move boxed personal effects to Chicago. As much as I’d love the job, the gas alone is more than anyone would want to spend.

I googled my brain to remember Amtrak Freight out of South Station because I’ve picked up and dropped off cargo there in the past, typically in the range of twenty boxes or so. It’s an affordable mini-move option to ship household and personal items. Sell your furniture on craigslist, put your boxes on the train and save like a minimalist.

The freight terminal is behind South Station off Summer Street, next to the Post Office. Turn into the Post Office, turn right just before the Post Office, stay left of the parking garage entrance, just after the road turns left the Amtrak freight office is on your right off the walkway into South Station. They’ll come out with cargo carts to help.

Need a hand getting your boxes to Amtrak?