Moving can be easy, if you are prepared for it. And unless there is a tsunami suddenly hitting your beach house on a move day, with proper planning the relocation process should be no brainer. However, it is also true that many things can go wrong with the move, as the event of this significance impacts financial (must pay for packing/moving/deposits/transfer fees, etc) , social (old neighbor friends and favorite bar spots probably will become good old memories), career aspects of life (need to take days off for preparation, figure out new commute routes, wake up times, etc), and personal life (long distance relationship, anyone?). Cover all your bases before the moving day and DO THESE 6 THINGS FIRST to ensure smooth move!
Get moving quotes first. While it will not cost you a dime to shop around and gather rates and pricing lists , the amount of helpful information you will gain out of it will far outweigh the effort spent. First of all, you’ll get a rough idea of how much your moving would cost. Depending on your destination (local or long distance), it is totally fine to call a moving company month or two ahead and ask for an estimate, especially if your place is bigger than a 2 bedroom, and packing services are also required. Most of legitimate moving companies will even offer you free onsite estimates and provide Not-To-Exceed price. This is the price you would want to get to cap out your moving expenses!
Have any unique or special items like piano, safe, or grandfather’s clock? Do tell about it. Most regular moving companies will not take extra heavy (over 200 lb) items or delicate items that require specific knowledge like piano disassembly. It would be a good idea to shop around to area-specific movers like piano movers, or safe movers, or water tank movers.
Also speaking of legitimacy, always verify moving companies! Rogue movers can trick you with low prices or promises of unbelievably fast delivery times, to name a few of their tactics, but the end result is always heinous for the client – lots of damage, lost or stolen items, entire inventory taken into hostage, overcharges, … the list goes on. Here are 5 signs to easily spot rogue movers that we prepared for you.
Even with legitimate companies accidents happen. That is when moving Insurance comes in handy! Most local moving companies however do not specialize in offering full value of premium value protection for transported goods, so you would need to shop around for 3-rd party insurance companies. Most major insurance companies like Progressive or Statefarm offer such options as well.
Not that your notebook is filled with numbers and email inbox with moving estimates , it is time to Budget it and choose whether to self-move, pod-move or hire movers. Remember, moving can be costly but real professionals has to be paid justly. Your moving team will be sweating out in the open sun for you, working long hours, doing intensive physical work. And they will still be doing it 10x faster than you, and maaaaaaaaaay be your helper-friend would together. Find out more about why would you hire a moving company here.
Let People Know
Your residential address is a part of your identity. Almost every proper document you have contains your address on it. From your driver license to a magazine subscription, a proper beforehand address update is due to prevent any loss of correspondence. Contact DMV, Banks, Insurance Companies, Subscriptions and save your self a headache! Take advantage of USPS mail forward services as well to play it safer.
What about all utility services hooked up to your old place? Gas/Electric/internet transfer can be a pretty lengthy process, as some of those technicians are usually booked 2-3 weeks in advance. And surely nobody wants to go back to the stone age after realizing that no gas, hot water, electricity and (OMG) wifi will be available for another 2 weeks. No, thank you. Let’s handle it beforehand.
Unless you would like to hire our BML white glove service crew to handle the entire process for you, most moving company will require your or presence of other responsible adult at both pick up and drop off location, so do not forget to request time off work.
Pack It Up
Again, you can actually hire a moving company to pack up all of your belongings from big to small, label boxes properly, and neatly sum it up in an inventory list, so you do not have to stress about it. And if that’s your case – congratulations! Just make sure that the moving company you hire actually does good packing job and online reviews concur with that. If so, cross this one out and move on to the next step. Have a free time and want to DIY? Here is what you need to know.
Collect boxes for free. Nowadays, with unquestionable convenience of online delivery services who doesn’t get a box here and there? Save those up! And if you didn’t, maybe some of your friends did. You can also try to call and visit your local library, or supermarket or stores which may have some boxes to give away. If no freebies available around, you can always buy it at Home Depot or uHaul locations.
Pack Up unused first. Moving in summer? Pack all your winter clothes first. Not planning to go camping any time soon? Time to clean up your garage. You will not believe how much stuff you got there in the attic. Start packing your hidden treasures days (if not weeks) before the move At the end of the day it is either you getting to it slowly and calmly, or movers will do it, out of your pocket.
Do not pack up flammables and perishables. No moving company is allowed to transport flammable or perishable materials. Movers will not take boxes with gas tanks, flammable grill supplies, etc, not will they be happy about moving live plants or food.
Be extra careful about packing fragile items! Each glass, plate, souvenir, glass or ceramic must be individually wrapped in wrapping paper of bubble wrap. Make sure to write in all capitals on every side of the box – FRAGILE, so movers could take measures to prevent it from breaking. Moving companies usually do not like when customers pack their own fragile items, since a lot of DIY packers are incompetent of doing it properly, which results in damage and bad mood for both client and the crew.
Label moving boxes. It is very easy to loose your mind, when you are surrounded by walls of faceless cardboard boxes stacked up to the ceiling, when all you are trying to find is a tooth brush. Create inventory list of items inside, print it out, and tape to the side. Or take pictures of what is in the box (top-down view), print it out and stick it to the outer side. That will help you tremendously! Thank us later.
Empty furniture for easy carry. Many clients have misconception that dressers and closets can be moved with clothes inside, since “it is just clothes. It’s not like bricks or anything…” but for those pieces of furniture that were never built to be carried around up and down stairs, flipped to the side and up-side down – this moving day could be the last day. Most of oversized furniture will required to be disassembled for safer transportation anyways, so better empty each drawer in advance.
At the Old Spot
30 Days Notice. For those who rent their places out, usual requirements of their management is to be notified 30 days before move out. Plus, depending on your building policies some other requirements might take place – some buildings only work with certain approved moving companies, and will decline access to everyone else.
You might need a minor fix-up. While a usual wear and tear of the carpet is expected and cannot be fined for (check with your state law) upon move out, if you have a hole in a wall, prepare for significant chunk of your deposit disappear. And yes, not all of us are handymen, but if there are a small scratches or marks and hundreds of dollars are on the line, a few scrubs and little cardio would not hurt.
Reserve Parking. Unless you have 2 boxes with books to move, expect your moving crew to arrive driving a 35 feet long box truck, a machine that requires at least 3 car length of parking space to load in/out freely. If there is no parking available, the foreman of the crew will try to find the closest available spot to snuck the truck into, and then work all the way from there. Usually longer walks increase the total move time and your bill at the end. Plus, no moving company will take liability for any parking tickets that may occur – it is you who will pay it.
Cook up last food. As mentioned before, movers don’t like to move perishables like food in your fridge and freezer. And most likely they will ask you to unplug the fridge the day before the move, so all of that food should either be eaten, given away, or end up in the dumpster.
Reserve elevators. Especially if you are in a high-riser and only have 2-3 elevators serving. Unavailable elevators combined with a top floor has been known as a killer cocktail experience for everybody – 4 hour moves become 8 hour moves, bill amount goes 2x, everyone is exhausted. Your new neighbors hate you for disturbing them with your past-midnight move ins. So it is better to reserve elevators for the moving crew, and dave the day.
At The New Spot
Get your new management move in instructions to prepare the other shore of your voyage for smooth arrival. Your management might ask you to have general liability insurance requested from a moving company. They will also advise you on how to go about reserving elevators and reserving parking spot for a moving truck, or what the closest entrance to the new unit would be. Make sure to inform your moving company about these requirements as well.
Measure doorways, elevators, hallways. Your nice 3 seater leather couch might look great on a new living room, if it fits through the doorway downstairs. There’ve been countless times when we get emergency calls of clients panicking because their expensive sofa is now seating on the front yard next to the garbage can because it simply will not fit through elevator or staircase. Cases like that are only solved with at least 4 movers, straps, extra charges, and extra hours of wait time until help comes along, if you are unprepared for this situation. So take a measure tape next time you scout your new home. Also do not forget to
plan how to organize furniture in each room. That would help a lot to expedite the process of moving in, settle things quicker after and get back to normal life faster. Nobody wants to push around heavy dresser 2 days after move in because it turns out to be too big for that corner across the bed you always had it at. Come prepared, and make it easy for yourself!
Here at Best Movers League we provide whole spectrum of services from simple furniture move to packing and full white glove services. We make it our #1 priority to provide easiest moving solutions for our clients and are always happy to answer any questions you might have about your upcoming relocation. Don’t hesitate to give us call!