If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on – it’s that moving is stressful. Packing, organizing, transporting – it can all be so daunting. That’s why we asked we asked professional movers for their best tips and tricks for a smooth and easy move.
Tips for picking the right moving company:
1. Select a mover who understands your situation
Pick a mover that is sincerely interested to hear what your needs or special requirements are, and is empathetic to the delicate state you’re in when you move.
2. Ask for an in-home estimate
An in-home estimate can greatly improve the accuracy of the quoted price and reduce unwanted surprises on moving day. Don’t consider a mover who isn’t willing to come to your home to perform a walk through and provide an in-home estimate.
3. Get a binding estimate
Before contracting with a moving company, make sure to get a binding estimate in writing. This is different than a price quote because a binding estimate cannot be adjusted after the move is over, regardless of circumstantial changes along the way. Without a legally binding estimate, a dishonest moving company might change the final charges for a variety of reasons. They may claim improper calculations, incomplete inventories, or even worse may provide absolutely no explanation at all.
4. Ask about insurance
If you are using a moving company, find out if they will insure your belongings or if you require additional insurance during the move.
Packing and organizing tips:
5. Start packing early
Begin packing ahead of time, as people often underestimate how much work is involved in the packing process.
6. Don’t pack boxes too heavy
Remember, gravity is stronger than cardboard, which can easily break under enough weight. Even if you’re hiring professional movers, the movers can take two or three small boxes at once to save time – but you can’t carry only half a box if it’s too big or unsafely over-packed.
7. Make an “unpack me first” box
Keep this box in your car – not the moving truck. This includes things like toiletries, pajamas, cleaning supplies, snacks; anything you need to survive for those first few chaotic days. It saves you having to dig through 100 boxes to find those essentials.
8. Use newspaper
Always pack china/earthenware plates, mugs, and glasses using generous amounts of newspaper, gently scrunched up to create a cushioning effect.
9. Save at least three boxes for last-minute items
You should label one box for parts – while many movers will provide this, not all do. One box for high value or personal items such as cash, important documents, medications, and items you want to have in your possession at all times. Use the final box for any last-minute items you may have overlooked.
10. If it fits in a box, it needs to be boxed up
Often people overlook items like decorations, lamps, toys, and misc. garage contents. Having everything in boxes helps maximize the space in the truck and helps lower the risk of damage.
11. Empty dressers
To keep the furniture safe and save movers’ backs, make sure to empty all the contents from the dressers.
12. Label everything, but keep it simple
Make sure each box is labeled with a description of what is inside of the box, what room it belongs in, and if there are fragile items inside. This will not only help to keep you organized on your moving day, but it will also prevent items from being damaged.
Use a Sharpie to label boxes. Color coding and other complex labeling strategies are time-consuming and confusing to movers. Using a simple labeling technique saves tons of time and money in the end.
13. Don’t forget about electronics
Before you unplug and disconnect everything, use your phone to take a photo of how all the wires are connected. This will make re-installation at your new place much easier. With a little forethought, you can easily avoid this common headache.
Always remove the cables and wires from your TVs, computers, and electronics and keep them with you. That way when your cable installer comes to hook up your TV, you will have what they need.
14. Make sure you have the right size moving vehicle
You’ll, of course, need a vehicle if you’re going to make the big move. Be sure to tell your moving company how much stuff you have in advance so they can approximate the right size truck for you.
15. Don’t Combine Loads
Don’t ship your car and furniture together in a container. The last thing you want is for an unsecured box or lamp to fall on your car, smashing your windshield or causing a massive dent. It costs a little extra to ship your car professionally, but you alleviate so many risks and avoidable costs.
16. Figure out your storage
If you’re moving over an extended time, or are planning for a bigger move, it might be worth considering renting a storage unit. This is especially helpful for moves involving larger items. Just make sure you budget accordingly; the most expensive places to rent storage in the United States are San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, and San Diego.