Ready or not, you’re about to embark on one of life’s most stressful tasks: moving. Moving requires you to make dozens of critical decisions that can leave your head spinning. The good news is, a little planning can minimize the moving frenzy and we’re here to help.
Follow our dos and don’ts to selecting the best moving package for your needs, and you’ll be one step closer to a successful relocation.
Do: Inventory your stuff.
Don’t: Roll the dice and guesstimate how much you have.
Get an accurate estimate of what you have by completing a comprehensive inventory. Once you know how much you have to move, decide whether you want to pack everything or have the movers do it. You’ll have to pay for professional packaging services, but the stress and time it saves you could make it worth the money. Plus, if you use a full-service mover like the ones on imove, you won’t have to fret about buying boxes or any packaging supplies.
Do: Thoroughly research moving companies.
Don’t: Hire your second cousin’s boyfriend.
One way to find reputable movers is by going through imove. All of imove’s movers are insured and have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If you prefer to investigate moving companies on your own, go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website and enter the moving company’s USDOT number, or call the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at 1-202-366-9805. If you’re using an interstate mover, they must be registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
It’s important that any company you’re considering to hire has the license and insurance needed to legally move your things. If you can’t confirm a company is legit, or you find out the company uses subcontractors (that may or may not be legal), run the other way.
Do: Get on-site estimates.
Don’t: Settle for an over the phone or online estimate.
Once you’ve found at least three good moving companies, get on-site estimates. A representative from the moving company will come to your home and look at everything that needs to be moved and tell you about how much it will cost to move everything.
To get the most accurate estimate, be sure the estimator is aware of items in the attic, shed, garage, and basement. Make them aware of any bulky, heavy, or expensive objects because they typically cost more to move. Also make sure they know about any conditions that might make moving tricky, such as narrow doorways or several flights of steps.
Do: Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each mover and moving package.
Don’t: Don’t choose a company or package that’s significantly cheaper than the others.
Gather the bids and compare them apples to apples. Be cautious of bids that are much less than the others, as there’s usually a reason why. Likewise, don’t automatically dismiss bids that are higher than the others because they may include services that competing companies charge a separate fee for.
When comparing the pros and cons of movers and moving packages, establish if you’re getting a “binding estimate.” A binding estimate gives you the exact cost you’ll pay for your move, even if the weight of your things is more or less than the estimate.
Last, but certainly not least, trust your gut. If you have an uneasy feeling about a mover or the package the mover is offering you, choose another company.
Do: Use a checklist to help prepare you for the big day.
If you’re packing things yourself, set aside more time than you think you’ll need to get the job done. It’s a good idea to take pictures of your things as you pack them. This makes unpacking easier and pictures can come in handy should a box be lost or stolen during transport. Ideally, you want to have everything packed at least one day prior to the movers’ arrival. Use a moving checklist to stay on track throughout every stage of your move.
If possible, get pets and small children out of the house on the day of the move so workers can get your house packed up quickly and safely.
We aren’t about to pretend moving is fun, but following our insider dos and don’ts can make it a lot less stressful.
Photo by Karl Baron/Flickr