Moving from one home to another can be overwhelming, especially when it means relocating to a new state. But your move doesn’t have to be stressful. With a bit of preparation and the right professional help, you and your family can have a safe, successful move – and even have a little fun along the way, too!
To help you get started, we’ve put together our best advice on how to plan for moving, particularly when you’ve hired professional movers to help. This household moving guide contains some smart and simple tips to prepare you for moving day, so you can stay calm throughout the process and focus on what’s really important: the new adventure ahead of you.
Moving Tip #1: Do your homework on moving companies.
The best way to ensure a successful move is to hire a great moving company. There are so many companies from which to choose, but a little extra research can go a long way in helping you avoid any moving headaches down the road.
Start by asking your friends and family for recommendations. When you have a list of suggested movers, check them out on Web sites, such as Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for a quick background check. Look for companies with positive reviews who have been in business for at least 10 years. If a moving company has a good reputation in the industry, chances are you’ll have a good experience too.
Moving Tip #2: Request a free in-home moving estimate.
A reputable moving company will come to your home to conduct an in-person survey of the items being moved. When the estimator arrives, be sure to show him everything: the boxes in the attic, the equipment in the garage, the storage closets in the basement, and so on. The more thorough the survey, the more accurate your estimate will be. Be sure to also point out any aspects of your home that may be challenging for moving, such as narrow entryways, small elevators, limited parking space, or restricted access for a large moving truck.
Moving Tip #3: Think about your packing plan.
Do you want to pack and unpack your belongings yourself, or would you prefer to leave it to the experts? Depending on the size of your home, professional packers could be a lifesaver. They’re surprisingly quick and can give you peace-of-mind knowing your items will be packed properly.
If you choose to do some or all of the packing on your own, be sure to wrap your items with plenty of newsprint – not newspaper – and bubble wrap for protection during the move. If an item you packed yourself happens to get damaged during transit, you will likely be liable – not the movers.
Moving Tip #4: Identify what NOT to pack.
Every professional mover has a list of non-allowable items they cannot transport for safety or liability reasons. This list typically includes perishable items, such as food and plants, as well as hazardous materials, including cleaning supplies, household chemicals, paint, aerosol cans, batteries, open liquor bottles, and nail polish. If you want to take these items with you, you’ll need to pack and transport them yourself.
In addition to the non-allowable items, moving companies will also suggest you take any items of high personal importance or sentimental value, such as jewelry, computers, collectibles or family photographs. If an item is irreplaceable to you and your family, they’ll recommend you carry it, instead of packing it up with your shipment.
Moving Tip #5: Scale down your move.
One of the best ways to cut your moving costs is to clean house! Before moving day, take the time to reduce the clutter that’s been collecting dust in your home. Donate unwanted items to a local charity, sell them online or simply throw them out. There is no reason to pay movers to transport these items if you will be replacing them or tossing them when they arrive at your new home.
Moving Tip #6: Protect your move.
Professional movers and packers are highly trained at their skill, but accidents can still happen. A moving company’s standard liability for loss or damage will cover your belongings for 60 cents per pound per article. This coverage is offered at no additional charge, but it only compensates you based on an item’s weight, not its actual value. For example, if a five-pound laptop valued at $1,000 is lost or damaged, you would receive $6.00 in compensation (60 cents x 10 pounds).
To make sure your belongings are financially protected, you may want consider purchasing a Full Value Protection Plan. These plans cover your belongings for repair, replacement or reimbursement against loss or damage for up to 100 percent of their current retail value – without depreciation.
Looking for more moving guides and advice?
For more information about how to plan for moving, read through our Moving Guides or visit our Wheaton blog, This Is Moving, for dozens of great move planning and packing tips.