Let’s face it, moving is stressful. Your life is packed away in those boxes, and you won’t breathe easy until they’re unpacked. These simple moving tips may increase your chances at happily ever after in your new home.
If all your belongings fit in two or three trash bags, by all means have your friends help you move. But if you’re moving the standard household, consider professional movers. They’ve got the equipment (and muscle) needed to move the heavy pieces and can play Tetris getting your couch down the stairs and your king size bed around the tight corners with the least damage possible.
I’ve used local companies like College Bound Movers and Gentle Giant, and I felt confident in their service and professionalism, and their price was reasonable. Interestingly, when I had friends move an antique display case, because I thought it needed special handling, it basically disintegrated when they lifted it out of my van! I should have let the movers handle it. At least then there would have been no guilt about destroying my grandmother’s antique cabinet.
- Get at least three quotes
- Have them view what is being moved before giving a quote
Don’t let them convince you they don’t need to see what is being moved. When movers guesstimated my needs based on a phone call, they showed up with two guys and one small truck. Not enough! they had to call in extras, and I had to renegotiate my contract. Gentle Giant provides a wonderful checklist to help with preparing for the move.
Cardboard vs. Plastic
We all know where to get cardboard boxes, but they’re not what they used to be. They also don’t protect against dampness, being crushed, or for those of us who take a while to unpack, issues with critters. I recommend plastic bins. Definitely more expensive, but they stand up to the move, and provide secure storage until you can unpack. You’ll also have them for future storage needs.
Remember to take advantage of the opportunity to purge as you pack. Mark piles with “Pack,” “Donate” and “Trash” or “Recycle” to reduce the actual amount you move.
GoodHouskeeping.com and MarthaStewart.com provide additional tips that will help.
Taking things in your car
As indicated previously, taking things in your car won’t guarantee they survive. But following is a partial list of things you’ll be glad didn’t “go in the truck.”
- Clothing for the first day or two
- Cleaning supplies
- List of take out places that deliver in your new area
- Personal care items (including medications)
- Pet food and supplies
Think of it as your “carry-on bag” for the move. What items are a must if the moving truck is delayed?
Movers vs. Relocation Insurance
Moving companies offer two types of coverage for interstate moving “Release Value” and “Full Value.”
Release Value: Covers a specific amount “per pound” for your belongings, usually 60 cents per pound. Usually automatically indicated as part of your moving quote.
Full-Value: Provides replacement, repair or fair value reimbursement for loss or damage resulting from the move. The moving company decides whether you get a repair, replacement or cash value. With this coverage, items are replaced at a maximum value of $100 per pound. To exceed this maximum you need to provide a separate inventory and specific values. Keep in mind, if the movers didn’t pack the boxes, they still may not reimburse.
Relocation: Some insurance companies sell relocation coverage, or your insurance carrier may have extended coverage available. Don’t assume your existing homeowner’s policy is sufficient.
Moving can be stressful, but it’s also an adventure. If you take the time to plan, you can reduce the amount of stress, and have a chance at a great start in your new home.
How to select a moving company www.movingcompanies.com
American Moving and Storage Association – Top 10 Ways to Prepare for a Smooth Move
In depth information on Moving Insurance Coverage www.moving.com