Summer is officially here, and you know what that means: moving season! Did you know that 60 percent of all American moves take place between Jun 1 and September 1? If you’re one of the millions of Americans who plans to move during this time, don’t fret! Moving doesn’t have to be stressful and hard. To prove this, we reached out to 17 moving industry professionals for their top summer moving tips and their secrets to a successful move.
From packing, to choosing a professional mover, to how to budget for a move, check out their top summer moving tips below!
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We’ve all heard it before. But, it’s especially true when it comes to moving. The earlier you start planning your move, the easier it will on move-in day.
“The earlier you begin planning your move, the less stressful and less expensive it will be. Don’t wait until the last minute to start decluttering and packing. There’s nothing worse than realizing your things won’t fit in the truck because you didn’t declutter enough or spend the time to pack efficiently,” says Ali Wenzke, Founder of The Art of Happy Moving.
“By starting early, you’ll avoid the stress that comes with rushing. If you’re concerned you’ll need a certain item that you’re packing, pack it and leave the box open. It’s a lot easier to tape up boxes on moving day than it is to frantically pack at the last moment,” says Kimberly Harmsen of Penske Truck Rentals.
Declutter and Donate
When packing for a move, the first thing you should do is take an inventory of your things. There’s no use in moving things you don’t need, so go through your things and make a “toss”, “donate” and “sell” pile. According to Kim Howard of Howard Homes Chicago, “Movers can cut down a good 15% of their moving expenses and labor simply by getting rid of things they don’t use or could donate.”
And don’t let your old clothes go to waste, you can always sell them or donate them to charity.
“Clothing that’s in great condition can be sold, especially if you never took the tags off. We all have that item in the closet that never got worn. Otherwise, contact your local Purple Heart or Boys and Girls clubs to see when they do local clothing drives,” says Garrett O’Shea, President & CMO of PockitShip.
Buy Packing Materials
The next step in the packing process is to actually buy packing materials. Yes, you can use old boxes, but “Free boxes can be hard to work with, and they can break easily. When you have uniform boxes it makes it a lot easier to move and stack your boxes,” says Aaron Steed, President of Meathead Movers.
And don’t forget about buying materials to protect your fragile items. “Bubble wrap is great for protecting small, fragile items and packing paper works well to keep items clean and secure. Reusable moving blankets are a great tool to cover, wrap, cushion and protect furniture, appliances and fragile items from scratches and dents,” says Kimberly Harmsen of Penske Truck Rentals.
Create a Labeling System
For easy, organized unloading and unpacking, you should create a labeling system so movers and members of your family know where to take boxes and what contents are inside of them.
“Label boxes on all sides (not the tops) so when they’re stacked you can see the label. For additional organization, you can pack boxes within boxes, just remember to label the outermost box with everything inside,” says Nick Friedman, co-founder of College Hunks Hauling Junk.
Color coding can also come in handy for quick unloading.
“Use a different colored packing tape for each individual room that you’re moving. That way, when it comes to unpacking, you’ll know at a quick glance where that box goes based on the colored packing tape,” says Mike Glanz, Co-Founder and CEO of HireAHelper.com.
Light Items vs. Heavy Items
Not sure how to pack your light and heavy items? Here is some advice:
“When packing, don’t make the boxes too heavy. Heavier items like books should be packed into small boxes and filled entirely to ensure the box does not crush when stacking into a moving truck. Lighter items, like linens, should be packed into a large box and stacked at the very top of the load because they are the lightest,” says John Tarko, Founder and President of Moving Ahead Moving & Storage.
Pro Tip for packing clothes: “Too many clothes? No problem! Don’t pack them in lots of enormous boxes. Instead, save bags from your dry cleaners leading up to your move and then bundle a couple stacks of full bags together with packing tape. It will keep your clothes from getting wrinkled and falling off their hangers for quick unpacking in your new home,” says Lauren and John-Morgan Bush, founders of Unpackd.
Pack a Bag of Necessities
A lot of movers make the mistake of packing everything up into boxes and then not being able to find necessary items such as medicine and a change of clothes on move-in day.
“If you’re moving long-distance, be sure to pack a suitcase of necessary items to hold you over until your belongings arrive,” says Justin Brasington, Head of Marketing at Moved.
You’ll also want to make sure your valuables and important documents are stored away in a safe place.
“Gather documents such as birth certificates, insurance policies, itineraries, moving contracts, school & medical forms. Keep these with you in a file. Also, scan these documents and keep them in a secure online program such as HomeZada.com, Evernote.com or SafelyFiled.com,” says Annette Reyman of All Right Moves.
Check Everywhere Before You Leave
And lastly, even if you think you have everything packed up, it never hurts to double check.
“Check everywhere before you tell yourself you’re done packing! Movers commonly forget to check every part of their home, like in dishwashers, medicine cabinets, kitchen cabinets, shelves, refrigerators, and storage units in their basements before moving,” says Nimrod Sheinberg, VP of sales at Oz Moving & Storage.
Professional Mover Tips
Hiring a professional moving service or moving truck for your move can be stressful. You want something affordable, but you also want to ensure your belongings are kept safe and don’t get damaged. Read below for our expert’s tips on picking out a mover for your summer move.
How to Decide if You Need Movers
If you have minimal belongings, you might be able to pull off a move on your own with help from friends, but if you’re moving a whole family you may need to bring in the professionals.
“If you have a pickup truck, a few friends, and a case of beer to bribe them… well you’re in luck. Moving is a snap! But, then again will your friends really help? What happens if something breaks? Besides, who wants to move all day and waste a sunny Saturday?!
I always ask people, “what’s your time worth?” People traditionally don’t like moving but the number one thing they do is miscalculate how much time it really takes. If you have more than a few large items then you should look to hire a professional. Don’t break your back! Worry more about how you’re going to decorate your new place vs. carrying a sectional couch up three flights of stairs,” says Garrett O’Shea, President & CMO of PockitShip.
Book in Advance
Summer is the busiest time of year for moving companies, so it’s important to book your movers ahead of time so you don’t get stuck with a lousy moving company or having to do it all yourself.
“Summer is the busiest moving season, so you should book your movers at least 1 month in advance,” says Justin Brasington, Head of Marketing at Moved.
“Make sure you plan for a time cushion around each step of your move. Too many people plan to pack on their own, only to find they have much more to pack and not nearly enough time or boxes to get the job done. If you call service companies on the day of or day before the move, you may be stuck paying higher prices or not getting the help you need. Save time, money and stress by starting early on do-it-yourself projects and book ahead with the service companies you trust and would prefer to use,” says Annette Reyman of All Right Moves.
Get Quotes and Compare
Don’t go with the first moving company that you call. It is best to compare moving companies and prices before choosing a moving service.
According to Robyn Reynolds, CEO of Organize2Harmonize, “If you’re hiring a professional moving company, you should get at least 3 quotes before choosing a mover.”
Adam Doron of Unpakt says to “Compare prices and make sure you get a moving service that provides a guaranteed price to ensure your satisfaction.”
“Quotes can vary dramatically. Be sure to get multiple quotes for your move so you can compare the options,” says Justin Brasington, Head of Marketing at Moved.
Check Reviews, License and Insurance Coverage
It’s super important to check out your moving company before signing a contract. Moving is stressful enough, so the last thing you want to worry about is who is handling your belongings.
“Do your research on the moving company. Check out Google and Yelp reviews to see what other’s had to say about their moving experience..
Understand what is provided for insurance coverage. Industry standard only covers 60 cents per pound, so if you have valuable items, be sure to look into third-party insurance options in the event that your items get damaged,” says Brasington.
Don’t go with the cheapest rate, reliability is priceless.
“When choosing a moving company not all movers are created equal. I’d recommend checking out the moving company’s office in person to ask the important question, ‘Are these the type of people I want in my home all day moving my stuff around?’ If you don’t have the time or ability to go in person, check the Better Business Bureau, Yelp and other online review companies,” says Aaron Steed, President of Meathead Movers.
It’s also important that you make sure your moving company has the proper licensing.
“Make sure the mover is licensed and registered with the Department of Transportation. Since many of the top moving companies on Yelp are unlicensed in major cities, sometimes up to 50%, you should verify that every company is licensed by checking their Department of Transportation number, commonly referred to as a DOT number. To find out this information, you can visit Protect Your Move or contact the Department of Transportation directly,” says Sharone Ben-Harosh, CEO and founder of FlatRate Moving.
There are a lot of moving scams out there, so you should know what to look out for.
“If a company refuses to provide an in-home or video estimate and only provides an estimate over the phone, it might be a scam. Also, beware of companies that require you to make a large deposit up front to make your reservation. This is usually a red flag,” says Ryan Carrigan, Co-founder of Move Buddha.
Truck Rental vs. Shipping Items
If you want to book a truck rental company you should “Look at the reviews online and see what other people have said. Typically the “big guys” like Penske and Uhaul are hard to beat on price but be careful about hidden fees like fuel surcharges, damage waivers, additional insurance, and hourly rates beyond your initial time-frame. Also, be careful about when the rental company closes because as we, said time goes way faster than you think especially when moving,” says Garrett O’Shea.
Depending on how far you are moving, you may just want to ship everything. “Be sure to take valuables and the most cherished personal belongings with you but for the most part, any professional mover, can handle shipping all of your belongings with care,” says O’Shea.
Tips to Save Money on Your Move
It’s no secret that moving can be expensive. Luckily, there are easy ways to cut back on summer moving expenses. Here are some tips for budgeting your summer move:
Sell Your Old Stuff
“The less things you move, the easier your move will be and the less the move will cost you. You can also make money by selling or donating your items. If you decide to donate your items, be sure to keep a detailed inventory for tax purposes. You might be surprised how much money you can save come tax-time,” says Ali Wenzke of The Art of Happy Moving.
Don’t Use Movers
If you’re moving minimal belongings and don’t need advanced help from a moving company, you can save money on your move by renting a truck and doing it yourself.
“Don’t use the mover’s truck: Either rent a moving truck from a reputable company or reserve a portable storage container (like PODS) – and hire moving labor to come load and unload it for you. You stay in complete control of your stuff (preventing “bait-and-switch” pricing practices) and it’s hundreds of dollars cheaper than hiring a full-service moving company. This approach is called “hybrid moving” because it’s part DIY and part full-service,” says Mike Glanz, of HireAHelper.com.
Get Moving Insurance
Glanz also advices on getting moving insurance. “Request full-value moving insurance: The most basic and most common form is Standard Repair Coverage Insurance. This level of insurance only offers $0.60 per pound per item towards replacement or repair. Heaven forbid the movers drop your 30 pound, $500 flat screen TV. With Standard coverage, you’d only see an $18 check to cover your broken $500 TV. Most reputable moving services will offer another form of insurance, called Full-Value Replacement Coverage, which covers (just like it sounds) the full value of every item listed in your inventory. This coverage is generally available as a paid upgrade but is relatively cheap.”
Get Free Boxes
A good way to save money on your move is to round up some free moving and packing materials like boxes, wrapping paper and moving blankets.
“You can easily ask friends, family, and neighbors for extra storage boxes or containers to save a lot on packing materials. This is a cost that easily adds up and if you want to save some dollars, many people have extra boxes laying around,” says Kim Howard of Howard Homes Chicago.
“Look on Craigslist for FREE boxes or ask your moving company if they provide boxes. Most bigger movers will supply you with boxes (for a fee). There are also lots of sources online like https://www.cheapcheapmovingboxes.com that people like to use,” says O’Shea.
Deduct Your Moving Expenses
A great may to make your money back when moving is to keep track of your moving expenses so you can deduct them from your taxes. This includes donations, “If you decide to donate your items, be sure to keep a detailed inventory for tax purposes. You might be surprised how much money you can save come tax-time,” says Ali Wenzke.
You’ll want to be careful though, “The IRS says you can deduct moving expenses if you’re starting a new job in a new location. But be careful because there’s paperwork you’re going to need to fill out and Uncle Sam wants to make sure you didn’t just upgrade from a one bedroom condo to a two bedroom. Check out IRS FORM 3903 or go to the IRS.gov website to make sure your moving costs are deductible,” says O’shea.
Tips for Staying Cool and Keeping Dry
Moving heavy items all day is already exhausting, but it’s even harder when you’re moving these items in the heat of the summer (or in the rain). See below for some tips on staying cool during your move:
“When moving in the summer make sure you get an early start to avoid the afternoon heat. Try to plan out cooler days/times to get your packing and unpacking done,” says Aaron Steed, President of Meathead Movers.
Summer showers a frequent, so you’ll also want to make sure you’re prepared for rain.
“If you don’t want to be surprised by a rain ruining your furniture and belongings, make sure everything is properly protected. Since moving blankets are not a waterproofed solution, consider shrink wrapping larger pieces.
Wooden furniture can get moldy and the soft one – soaked, so shrink wrapping here is a must. All the metal pieces are also threatened by rusting, so don’t make compromises when wrapping with plastic.
Special attention should be put on mattresses because their drying is really challenging and you don’t want to create any bacteria-friendly environment. Shrink wrapping will make sure it will remain fresh and clean,” says Lucy Norman of End of Tenancy Cleaning.
Don’t Forget to Turn on Your Utilities
You’ve just finished moving out of your old place in the summer heat and you pull up to your new house only to realize: you forgot to turn your power on! To avoid spending your first night in your new place with no electricity or air conditioning, be sure to transfer or set up your electricity, gas and water services BEFORE you arrive at your new place. We recommend calling at least a week in advance to ensure everything will be up and working by the time you move in.
And don’t forget about your other home services like internet, TV and phone. To avoid using all the data on your smartphone because you don’t have wifi in your house, you should get your internet and cable hooked up as soon as you move in!
And since we know setting up these services is often the last thing on your mind when moving, let Allconnect do the work for you! Simply enter your address here and we’ll show you a side by side comparison of all the services available at your address. You can then select the services you want and order them online. All in one place.
And if you’d rather speak to someone about your options, give us a call! One of our friendly agents will walk you through what’s available at your new address and get everything ordered and scheduled for set up for you!
We hope these summer moving tips will help you have a successful move! For more moving tips and checklists, click here.
Thanks to our experts for their contribution!