If you want the whole moving process to go off with fewer hassles, it’s a great idea to take the time to plan it out in advance. Moving your whole household is a big job and it get can get quite stressful. Planning out how you’re going to do it helps you avoid a lot of the common hassles. The tips you’ll find here will get started properly.
Getting An Early Start
The distance you’re going to move has little bearing on how difficult the overall process is going to be. How much stuff you’re moving and what these items are play a much more important role in dictating how complex your move ends up being. In all cases, the more thoroughly you plan in advance, the easier things will go.
The time to start laying your groundwork is a solid three months before your move is scheduled. This is when you begin collecting the supplies you’ll need, making your travel arrangements and talking to moving companies. Develop a checklist of moving tasks to ensure that you don’t overlook any important details. The closer you get to moving day, the more and more rushed you’re going to be. Every task you can take care of ahead of time will reduce your overall stress level when it comes time to actually haul off your possessions.
Work With Good Movers
Professional, experienced movers can shoulder an awful lot of the burden of moving. You need to take your time in comparing the different companies you can work with in order to secure the services of one that’s qualified, trustworthy, and capable.
You can start by polling friends, relatives, and coworkers for suggestions. To do some basic background checks, look up potential movers on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Get the company’s USDOT license and Motor Carrier numbers from their own website and check them with government sites to confirm they are valid. Visit the American Moving and Storage Association site as well to see if they have any data on your company.
Most moving companies have handy online forms for getting a free estimate these days, but the results aren’t going to be very accurate. Schedule in-home estimates to get a better quote after a professional has had a chance to see your belongings up close. Virtually all reputable movers will do this without charging you or requiring any sort of obligation. Be extremely wary of companies that want you to make a deposit or a down payment at this point! Solicit estimates from multiple companies so that you can make some comparisons. Suspiciously low prices probably indicate a company that is trying to lowball you.
Give Your Movers Plenty Of Information
If you want to make sure you get a truly accurate quote, you have to be clear about every last box and piece of furniture you need to have the company handle. They also need to know as much as you can tell them about accessibility at both your current and new home. Narrow spaces, stairways, restricted parking, and obstacles (e.g. low tree branches) all need to be accounted for. Remember that your movers will be maneuvering an oversized vehicle into place!
There are very few access situations that can actually make it impossible for professional movers to get to your home, but dealing with unexpected complications may slow your move down or cost you more than you expected to pay. Make sure you minimize the surprise factor by providing all the information you have.
Budget For Your Move
Surprisingly, you don’t really need to address this point in detail until after you have a good idea of what moving company you will work with and how much they will charge you. This will likely be the single largest expense involved in your move, but you need to be aware that it’s probably not going to be the only one.
Transport, food, and lodging for you and the other members of your household also need to be accounted for. You’ll also want to lay in a decent emergency fund to take care of unforeseen expenses along the way.
One other financial note: Save all of your receipts for purchases you make during or related to your move. If you are working for a company that is paying for your move, you will have to have these in order to get reimbursed. Even if you are footing the bill yourself, many of your moving costs will end up being deductible come tax time.
Keep Your Belongings Safe
Movers don’t want to damage any of your possessions if they can possibly avoid it. Not only is it bad customer service, but paying for damages costs them money. It’s impossible to prevent every accident, though, so there is an inevitable risk factor involved in moving. Every moving company has to have liability insurance in order to operate, but the legal minimum coverage is often woefully inadequate. It is usually broken down by weight and the per-pound amount of coverage is minimal. If you’re worried about protecting your valuable belongings, talk to your mover about purchasing additional insurance coverage. Check with your home insurer too; damage during moves may be covered by your existing insurance.
It’s actually a great idea to let your movers handle your packing if you can handle the added expense. Besides getting the benefit of professional expertise, this also gives the company an added layer of responsibility in the event of any damage.
If you elect to do your own packing, it’s worth it to invest in new boxes that are manufactured for moving. The extra cost when compared to reused boxes isn’t that much, and fresh purpose-designed boxes will hold up much better. Label every box accurately in order to save time during the unpacking process.
Start packing as early as possible. Rushing through the job at the last minute will tempt you to do a shoddy job, and that can lead to damage in transit. Set a goal to pack a given number of boxes every day prior to your move. This allows you to give each load the attention it deserves.
Check The Moving Company Will Take Your Items
Using moving companies can make moving day a great deal easier, especially if the move is a rather large one. But always check with a company is to see if they are able to take all your items. Many companies have certain clauses within their policies stating that they are not allowed to remove certain types of items, which typically include anything flammable, perishable, potted plants and cleaning products. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Check The Level Of Responsibility
In addition to clauses limiting what items moving companies can move, policies will more often than not, denote levels of responsibility regarding damage to the items. Many companies offer packing services and typically take full or high levels of responsibility if they pack the boxes, however, if you pack your own boxes, the responsibility regarding potential damage is limited. Boxes packed by owners are commonly listed on inventory sheets as “packed by owner” or PBO to indicate who did what.
Leave Unwanted Goods Behind
Many people choose to pack unwanted, unused or unnecessary items despite being fully aware of their pointlessness. Many may base this on sentimentality, but seeing as the cost of a move when using a moving company is partially based on the weight of the boxes, it would be highly beneficial if you put aside your emotions and have the ultimate, much needed clear out. In fact, having a good clear out may be even more beneficial by reducing moving costs by earning you money via a yard sale.
Do A Final Check Of The Property
While moving professionals are trained to remove items without causing property damage, there is always the possibility that an accident could occur. To ensure no damage is evident, it is highly recommended that you walk through the property and document any problems. You should remember that moving can be messy and a clean-up of the property will need to be done by yourself to remove debris.
Before you head out for your new home, it is best to do a walkthrough with the landlord or real estate agent to ensure the property is in a fit state for new tenants or owners.
Make Special Arrangements For Your Pet
For those that will be flying to the new property, your pet will need to be placed in specialized areas according to airline policy. Unfortunately, airlines tend to have limited spaces for animals, therefore, it is recommended that you organize this arrangement several months in advance.
Pets driving by car are not as much of special cases as those traveling by airplane, however, there are certain considerations to make if you are traveling far distances. For example, it is useful to check for pet-friendly hotels in areas where you may be staying over and make bookings in advance.
Consider Your Moving Date Carefully
Believe it or not, your moving date can be influenced by the time of year. The majority of reputable moving companies tend to be busier during the summer months, making them almost impossible to book if you are looking for a last minute arrangement. To ensure you book a reputable moving company, it is recommended that you make enquiries several months before the summertime rush.
Always Check Your Inventory Sheet
It is essential that you create and then, check an inventory sheet during and after a move. The inventory sheet is important when working with a moving company so you can track the items packed, the condition of items moved and whether or not the items arrive at the new property. The majority of moving companies allow for claims to be filed for missing items, however, a claim is difficult to file if an inventory is acknowledged as complete once the move is finished but an item is found missing at a later date. Always check the inventory sheet to avoid these mishaps.
Be sure that you use these tips to prepare well in advance for moving day. Being organized can relieve much of the stress that is typical during a move. Once you get to your new place, you can rest easier knowing that you and your possessions have both made it safely home.
Author bio: Chris Campos is a debt reduction specialist and operator of the site, BestDebtConsolidationLoans.com, which evaluates the top debt consolidation companies in the United States and provides recommendations for readers with all credit situations.