I’m gonna come out and say it: I hate to move. Over a period of five years, I had moved nine times! Now, I won’t get into the various reasons as to why I moved so much, but what I will get into is what I have learned through those moving experiences. With the power of hindsight, I will discuss the four biggest obstacles I had to over come and what I could have done differently to have prevented these unwanted nuisances. Ultimately, you will be better prepared for any impending moves.
Problem #1- It takes a long time to pack.
There’s nothing worse then having to pack on moving day. It always seems as if you’re ahead of the game, then moving day comes and you realize how far behind you are. Now, you are scrambling to get stuff packed away and you are up against a fixed move out date, truck rental hours, movers that get paid $150 per hour, or incoming tenants or homeowners. How do you resolve this? Start packing weeks in advanced. The last week you are in the home, you should be living out of a suitcase. Everything should be moved to as close to the front of the home as possible. These are not ideal living conditions, but worst case scenario it’s only for a week and it takes away a lot of the stress associated with moving day.
Problem # 2- Finding a moving company or truck may not be as easy as it seems.
This is always a nightmare. You reserve a truck at a major rental agency, you get there, and the truck is not available. This has happened to me several times. Generally, what happens is the person that used the truck before you has not returned it on time. You are not told this, even when you call and confirm in the morning. They want you to come in and take another truck, generally an up-sell, because you will not go with a smaller vehicle. How can you avoid this? You can secure a truck a day in advanced- as long as you have a place to park it. You may have to pay a daily rental fee, usually around $20, but it is worth it if you don’t have to pay an upgrade fee or increased gas costs associated with a larger truck. I have had moving companies not show up. I call them and they tell me that they are double booked and I just have to sit tight. Then, you try to get one on short notice and they jack up the price on you. My recommendation- seek out a company long in advanced and get them as a referral. Knowing someone who knows someone goes a long way.
Problem # 3- I always seem to damage or lose property
This problem always seems to fall on the wrong side of Lady Luck. I am sure through my first couple of moves that I have lost, misplaced, or damaged thousands of dollars worth of furniture and personal belongings. I have learned two ways around this. First, handle your belongings with the utmost of care and have friends or family members that can show the same level of care. Spend the extra money to have your goods wrapped with padding and plastic wrap. Make good use of duct tape for drawers and corners. Tape your boxes nice and tight and make sure you leave your most delicate items well insulated when placed in boxes. Terms such as “extremely fragile” can come in handy for anyone that addresses packages labeled such. Secondly, as this is a personal choice, if I am under the impression that may next residence is only temporary, then I will not invest too much money in furniture. On my last move, I only took what I could fit in my car, and then I completely refurnished my apartment for only $600. This includes a couch, recliner and bedding. I found a lot of bargains out there. Only when I am sure that I am at a fixed residence, will I choose to break the bank a little when it comes to furnishings. In the interim, I will own my furniture and not let my furniture own me.
Problem # 4 -There are a lot of hidden costs with moving.
Finally, oh those costs. I would say, it has cost me somewhere between $500-$1,000 every time that I have moved. Movers costs, trucking fees, gas costs, food costs ( I have always fed the help,) damaged or lost goods, realtor fees, lease termination fees, and the loss of deposits, are all associated with moving. What I have learned, for myself, is that I can’t keep on moving. I have secured a residence that I am planning on staying at for several years. For those of you that don’t have the option to stay put, then careful planning may be the key to saving on the expenditures. Perhaps saving a little each month before you move so your bank account doesn’t take a big hit at once or choosing close family members or friends to help assist will help you save a few bucks.
Moving isn’t easy or cheap. Proper planning though, can help alleviate some of the problems often seen when moving. Hopefully, my power of hindsight can help your power of foresight to properly and cost effectively change residences in the future!