You found your home, the contract is signed, and the closing date set. Now, it’s time to prepare for moving day. You should begin planning well in advance. Moving may be the biggest challenge of all. Careful preparation is essential, whether you’re moving across town or the country. Moving from one home to another is a daunting task. If it fits into your budget, hiring a team of movers would your best option. Be sure to plan effectively and follow that plan. Here are some challenges you may face in your move and some ways to overcome those challenges.
Packing breakables and oddly shaped items can become a nuisance. Find boxes that fit them snug and wrap them well in bubble wrap and newspaper. Packing items needed daily is also a challenge. It is often a good idea to start with seldom used items, and then as you get close to departure, you can pack things you use every day in a suitcase for easy access.
Moving Large Furniture and Other Items
If you can afford a moving company, you will find much less stress with the large items. However, if not you will see things like beds, desks, appliances, china cabinets, etc. become a difficulty. You will likely need to rent a dolly or two and have several strong individuals help you out. Put them in the truck first and then pack smaller things around them. BE VERY CAREFUL.
Items Get Lost or Broken
Cruel as it may sound, you will likely loose or break something in the move. Consider an insurance policy for items of high value. Find a moving company with an excellent reputation if you plan to use one. Label and categorize everything. Spend a little extra time and money packing correctly to minimize transportation damages. Hold other responsible if you pay them for their services. If you get free help, you get what you pay for.
Furniture May Not Fit Your New Home
You may need to consider selling furniture or giving it away. Not all homes are alike, and you may not find a place for all of your current furniture. I suggest that you relieve yourself of the extra furniture before you move instead of after. Take some time on paper to place all of the items in the home. Be sure of what you will need and what you will not. Get creative. Consider giving a piece to a family member if it is of sentimental or intrinsic value so you can recover it when you move again.
If you use a storage company be sure, they come recommended. Be certain you read their policy. You may end up with extra fees for entire unused months or cleaning. Schedule your unit in advance and do some research to see if your moving company or truck company has a preferred storage facility so you can take advantage of a discount. Be sure you budget for storage. It can become a financial thorn in your side.
Maintaining Two Households
If you buy another home before you sell your current home, you will find yourself managing two households. You will likely have two mortgage payments and sets of utilities. If you can help it, don’t leave people in the first home while living in the new one. You will still need to sell the other home, so it is wise to move everyone out to keep it clean and to minimize mishaps.
Transporting and Caring for People and Pets
Your initial plan should be to move everyone including your pets. Take care of people’s needs to reduce your stress. You may need to get pet carriers and plan for hotels or other accommodations that will allow pets. Be sure to budget for meals, lodging, and vehicle space for everyone.
New Driver’s License and Registration
Some real estate companies will manage the transfer of some of the time-consuming documentation you will likely need to do. If not, set aside days (and a budget) shortly after your move to get licensed to drive and registered.
Transferring Your Utilities
Some companies will also aid you in turning off and on local services. Ask your agent. Otherwise, you will need to budget time and money (for deposits) to have your utilities changed over.
As the Boy Scouts say, “Be Prepared.” Make sure you have your spare tire and the necessary tools. Take a first aid kit just in case. Have your vehicles been serviced before the move? Make sure the truck you rent for transport is also well maintained.
You want your move to be as smooth as possible. The time you take ahead of time in planning and scheduling will save you stress and mishaps during the process. To navigate the complexities of moving you will need people to help you along the way. If you are moving on your own, without the assistance of a corporate move package, many of these companies and contractors can be quite expensive, so you will need to weigh their benefits versus the cost. In many cases, their value can be indispensable, especially if you need to move a full house of furniture.
Some of the companies you may need are included in the list below:
Moving Van: packing, transporting and storage of your household and personal items
Storage Supplier: storage of household goods if not provided by a van line
Truck Rental: self-movement of family goods
Auto Carrier: professional automobile transportation instead of using the household goods transporters
Appliance Servicing: disconnection and reconnection of devices associated with a move
Disposal Services: trash or junk removal before a move
Charitable Donation Services: local charities to accept unwanted items related to a move
Cleaning Services: final cleaning services upon moving out of a home
Real Estate Broker: home sale, purchase or rental services; destination reference
Home Inspectors: condition assessments associated with home sale and purchase
Address Management: one-stop address change services
US Postal Service: to hold and forward mail
SELECTING A MOVING COMPANY
Choosing the right moving company is a critical step. You’ll want to be sure you understand all the costs and options involved. Start by asking friends and families if they have any recommendations. Plan to interview at least two companies for estimates, which should be no cost or obligation. Your buyer’s representative may also be able to suggest reputable moving companies in your area.
Deciding which moving company is right for you involves three key steps:
STEP 1: ARRANGING THE INTERVIEWS
Call movers and schedule interviews as soon as you know when the actual move might take place, especially if you’re moving during a peak period, which includes:
The first or last few days of each month—this is when most closings take place
Holidays—especially those coinciding with school vacations
Summer months—since most families try to schedule a move between school years
STEP 2: CONDUCTING THE INTERVIEWS
Moving companies should agree to visit your home and provide a written estimate. Ask whether this estimate is binding or non-binding, so you know whether they will still honor it later when you make your move. Also, insist that the assessment provides as much detail as possible so that you can make better comparisons with other estimates.
Local moves. If you’re moving within a local or regional area, the estimate will probably be an hourly rate. Depending on how many workers are needed and how much time it will take to pack (if you want this done for you), load, transport, and unload your possessions at the final destination. Interviewing at least two companies will give you a more accurate picture of just what your move will entail and how much it is likely to cost.
Out-of-state moves. If your move is out of state, the estimate is based on the distance of your move and the projected weight of your shipment. To provide you with an accurate estimate, movers will need ample time to walk through your home and inspect each room, as well as all storage areas, viewing everything that will be going to the new location.
Many factors can influence the price of your move, including how many optional services you require, such as:
Packing and unpacking—are you willing to do this yourself, or would you prefer to pay professionals to pack some or all of your loose items?
Boxes—most movers will sell you new boxes. Prices vary by company. Ask about used boxes, since some movers offer these too at a reduced cost.
Special handling—if you have unique, dense, or delicate pieces, such as a piano, large exercise equipment, or antique furniture, you may need to pay more for special handling.
Exclusive packaging—Movers may recommend that you pack certain pieces in wood crates. Check the cost versus the advantages of this choice.
Insurance. Most movers have some level of liability insurance. You may, however, want to investigate additional insurance coverage, since it’s not uncommon for objects to get damaged during a move.
If you want these or other services, make sure you tell each moving company to include them in their estimate.
STEP 3: MAKING YOUR SELECTION
Several factors will affect your final decision:
Price—while this may seem straightforward, it may take some effort to accurately compare prices, since weight estimates will likely differ by the mover, as will prices for individual services.
Availability—if you move during a peak time, you may find yourself coordinating your move with your mover’s schedule, rather than your own.
References—Request and contact references beyond the letters of recommendation that you get in the interview. If you want to do a little more research, call the Better Business Bureau or the State Attorney General to see if any complaints exist against the company.
Customer service—The person who provides your estimates will probably be your key contact leading up to and during the actual move. Are they experienced, confident, an excellent communicator, and seemingly interested in satisfying your needs?
Moving. Just the word conjures up images of heavy boxes and furniture—excitement and headaches. We realize that it takes tremendous effort to move. So to help ease your moving experience, consider these tips and helpful resources.
USE A MOVING CHECKLIST
Your move may be simple or complex, depending on your situation, including how much you own, how far you’re moving, and how many people are moving with you. In any case, it’s a good idea to start with a thorough moving checklist that covers all the possible bases, including relevant time frames.
This list contains most of the big tasks you’ll need to do (and some that you won’t) and suggested timeframes. Depending on your situation, you may need to add other things.
8 Weeks Before
Call moving companies for estimates.
Remove and dispose of unnecessary possessions.
Start compiling an inventory of your possessions.
Get a floor plan (with room dimensions) of your new home to help you decide which furnishings you want to keep and which room they will go in.
Start a file of moving-related papers and receipts.
Locate schools, healthcare professionals and hospitals in your new location.
Arrange to transfer your children’s school records and family medical records.
6 Weeks Before
Secure off-site storage, if needed.
Choose a mover and sign contract.
Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent about coverage for moving and secure more, if necessary.
Contact insurance companies (auto, homeowner’s, medical, and life) to arrange for coverage in your new home.
4 Weeks Before
Create a file of important papers, such as auto license, registration documents, and title; any medical, dental and school records; birth certificates; wills, deeds, stock certificates, and other financial documents.
Notify the following of your change of address:
Credit card companies
Relatives and friends
Insurance agent, lawyer, tax/financial advisor
Notify utility companies of date to discontinue/transfer service and establish service at your new home. Arrange for final readings and bills, including refunds on prepaid services.
Notify your state’s department of motor vehicles of your new address.
If moving from an apartment, arrange for a refund of your security deposit.
Discontinue additional home services (housekeeper, gardener/lawn service, snow removal, and pool cleaner), if applicable.
Start using up things you can’t move, such as perishables.
3 Weeks Before
Make travel plans, if necessary.
Make arrangements with condo or homeowner’s association to reserve elevator usage time if moving into or out of a high-rise building.
Arrange to close existing bank accounts and open new accounts in the new area.
Arrange for child care on moving day.
2 Weeks Before
Arrange individual transport for your pets and plants.
Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move.
1 Week Before
Pack moving-essential boxes—important documents, travel clothes, personal items and prescription medications.
2–3 Days Before
Confirm all final arrangements with your mover and other service providers.