Moving Resources, Moving Tips, and Moving Help
Did you remember to:
- Forward your Mail
- Change your Car Registration Information
- Update your Voter Registration Information
- Notify your Utility Company
Moving Packing Tips
- Plan how you will pack. Pack items first that you don’t use often.
- Start packing as soon as you find out you’re moving.
- Never pack flammable items or non-allowable items.
- Use generous amounts of paper inside the carton on the top and bottom to provide good cushion.
- List contents and room on the outside of the carton.
- Clearly mark “Fragile” on the outside of cartons.
- Use clean newsprint paper. Old newspapers may work, but use them carefully because the ink may rub off onto your items. Clean “newsprint” paper is available from your local agent.
- Write “Open First” on cartons containing essential items such as cooking utensils, toiletries, etc.
- Separate breakables and non-breakables.
- Pack all cartons tightly.
- Use professional packing tape. Masking tape isn’t strong enough to support fully packed cartons. Packing tape is available from your local agent.
Hidden Costs of Moving
Unless your employer is covering the expenses of your move, there are only two options when it comes to packing up and relocating:
- Doing it yourself
- Hiring a moving company to do the job
Even though both of these options require a cash output, it’s possible to avoid paying more than you should by anticipating, and budgeting for, those “hidden” moving costs that can pop-up unexpectedly and bite you in the pocketbook. The key word here is ‘preparedness.’
Hiring professional movers to handle your move may seem like your least stressful option. Remember, however, that this option will also cost you more in transportation and labor charges. Recognize, up front, that movers paid by the hour might not work quite as fast as you’d prefer, while those paid by the job could rush the move to get to their next location — a scenario that could, in the long run, cost you in mishandled, damaged property. The type of contract you choose should be decided upon only after consulting moving company representatives and/or former customers.
Do your homework
The cost structure of long-distance moves is federally regulated based on weight and distance traveled, however be prepared for fine-print charges, which can add up quickly. For example:
- Additional charge if the movers have to walk more than 75 feet from door to truck or need to use stairs or an elevator.
- Charges for moving heavy items such as riding lawnmowers, snowmobiles or that baby grand piano.
- Additional charge for specialists brought in to disconnect gas mains or disassemble pianos and pool tables.
- A transportation surcharge if the moving company compensates its movers for work performed in metropolitan areas where labor rates tend to be higher.
In the event that the moving van is too large to fit down your narrow street, or is thwarted by low hanging wires or branches, the movers may need to shuttle your furnishings out on a smaller truck first– a situation which can become very costly. Always look for, and discuss, possible “hidden” costs with the moving company’s sales representative.
By doing the job yourself, the above pitfalls can be avoided, but self-moves come with their own set of hidden money traps. Never mind the stress and physical labor involved, there may be loss of income from time spent renting a truck, moving furnishings, driving the truck to a new location and unpacking again.
Managing Moving Day
Everything comes together on moving day, when a flood of last-minute details can seem overwhelming and the trip to your new home looms in front of you. Being prepared ahead of time for the little things and having a plan for surviving your trip can get you through this crucial event.
A whole lot of loose ends usually have to be tied up on moving day, and the moving day tips given here will help you to be prepared for it! All the items that you are packing yourself should already be packed by the time the apartment movers arrive. Clear the way for the movers and make sure that any obstacles have been removed. Make sure that each moving box has a label that clearly mentions the contents and name of the room in your new home where it is to be placed. Make a floor plan of the new home in which the positions of the furniture are clearly marked, and give the furniture movers a copy.
Be present at the premises until the loading is complete. Check the inventory carefully before signing it.
You will have to sign the Bill of Lading, which contains the terms and conditions under which your possessions are being shipped. It also serves as the receipt for the shipment, and should be kept in a safe place.
You will have to declare high-value items or unusual items, and to sign the declared valuation statement.
Give the complete destination address to the truck operator, together with your contact numbers.
Leave your telephone connected throughout moving day, so people can contact you easily. Disconnect it and take it with you when you leave.
Be prepared to provide refreshments to the home movers, friends, and relatives who are helping you to move. It is customary to tip each mover about $25 if you are happy with the service provided.
Keep your pets confined in a secluded room on moving day, because all the activity is likely to upset them. Don’t forget to put a sign on the door to warn unsuspecting household movers to avoid opening the door. You can also leave your pet with a kennel or pet sitter.
Keep the convenience of your neighbors in mind and avoid blocking their driveways. Don’t let the movers block the sidewalk or walk over your neighbors’ lawns or flower beds. Clean up all the trash and dispense with unwanted items before you leave.
Clean up your home and make sure that all utilities are switched off. Arrange for a final reading of the electricity, gas, and water meters, before you move, and keep a copy of the bill or report to avoid disputes later.
Check the whole house to make sure that nothing has been left behind, and ensure that every window is closed and locked.
Hand over the alarm codes, garage remote and keys to the landlord or new owner before you finally leave.
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Tips for a Smooth Move
Have you ever wondered what the best way to have a top quality move? These simple tips will help you have a smooth move.
- Inform the moving company of any and all special circumstances, i.e. stairs, elevators, long walks, extra stops etc.
- Anything the movers would need tools to disassemble in order to move should be taken care of ahead of time – e.g. mirrors off dressers, headboards unbolted from frame, washer & dryer disconnected, etc or there could be additional charges.
- You may leave clothing items in dresser if you like but, for your protection, please remove all paper, breakables and fragile items and pack in boxes.
- Desk drawers must be completely empty. Legal size, letter size and lateral file cabinets must be empty.
- Have all boxes sealed with tape on both the top and bottom. This protects your items as well as your movers safety.
- Always ask for a copy of your price in writing BEFORE the move.
- Once the movers arrive go over the inventory list and make sure everything is on the list, Also make sure any special conditions are accounted for on your price quote.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau at (214) 220-2000 and check for complaints. If the company has a laundry list of complaints move on.
- Ask any friends that have recently moved and their experience with that company. Friends and family are always a trusted resource if your friends or family have not recently moved ask the company for a list of RECENT references.
- Ask the name of their insurance carrier, and get a claim report.
Questions to Ask Moving Companies
Do you work for the mover or are you a broker?
Broker’s play an important role in helping customers match up with moving companies. Keep in mind, however, that a broker cannot give you a binding estimate and a broker is not responsible for loss or damage.
Do you give binding quotes?
Over the phone, a mover or broker may give you a quote that is generally not binding. A mover may give a binding, or “not to exceed” quote upon reviewing your items in person. Broker’s don’t typically give binding quotes.
Does the quote include extra charges?
For example – flight charges, long carry charges, appliance charges, parking charges, storage charges, fuel charges, awkward objects, etc. If you have a piano, you should let them know right up front. Ask them if they have equipment to help with heavy and awkward items.
Will my items be transferred?
Long distance moves can sometimes require your items be transferred to another truck. This extra handling increases the chances for damage to occur.
What forms of payment do you accept and on what terms?
We don’t recommend that you hire movers if they only accept cash. (be sure you are clear about the amount that is due on delivery versus the deposit amount, and whether deposits are refundable)
What type of insurance is included in your quote? What else is available to me?
Basic coverage is 60 cents per pound but your moving company may offer an upgrade at a reasonable price. You can also work with 3rd party insurance providers to cover the move.
What is the process if something were to break or is missing? Who’s responsible?
Follow-ups to the previous question that clearly breaks down who is responsible for what. If you’re discussing a self-service move, you may not get reimbursed for something that you packed poorly.
As you look around at all the boxes and bare walls, it may not feel like home just yet, but bear in mind that soon, the dust will settle, pictures will be hung, and everything will be in its place – after unpacking. But first, you need to unpack.
Where to Start
The normal reaction when viewing the moving-day disorder is the urge to put everything in its proper place as quickly as possible so the adjustment to the new surroundings can begin. But nerves can be spared and good relations maintained if you keep in mind two important points:
- You don’t have to unpack everything in one day or even in one week.
- Unpacking after moving can be fun, so try to do everything possible to make the process feel like the end of an enjoyable adventure
To start out, consider your family’s basic needs (food, rest, and bathing) and unpack accordingly, focusing your attention on one room at a time.
Unpacking Tips for the Kitchen
Once the kitchen is set up enough to function, it can become a haven where everyone can meet and take a break from the jumble in the other rooms. Resist the urge to unpack right away everything that belongs in the kitchen. Instead, start with the basics and leave less-frequently-used items in boxes until you decide your room and storage arrangements.
Unpacking tips for the bathroom
The next room to prepare is the bathroom. Make sure toiletries are unpacked and put in place, and the bathroom’s mechanical systems are functioning. Once the kitchen and the bathroom are operational, the rest of the unpacking can take place without a sense of urgency.
Unpacking tips for the living room
Now, shift your attention to the living room or family room. Before you start shifting heavy furniture around, it’s a good idea to make a sketch of the room and how you want it to look. It’s much easier to erase a rectangle that designates a couch and pencil it in somewhere else than it is to lift and move the actual couch around the room.
Unpacking tips for the Bedrooms
If you don’t get to the bedrooms on the first night, don’t be upset. Drag mattresses and pillows together in one room and have a family camp-out. It will add to the sense of adventure. Share the burden of assembling the beds and moving heavy furniture but allow each bedroom dweller to unpack and arrange his or her personal belongings.
Unpacking after you move may seem like another in a long series of huge moving-day tasks, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you take your time and make it fun.