Moving is something most of us have experienced more than once in our lifetime. The thought of moving to a new destination or home can be exciting, however, the process oftentimes can be a huge undertaking. So, with much experience, our staff has complied these helpful hints to make the process go smoother.
When to move. First determine if you have flexibility in your timing. The most expensive time to move is during the peak summer months, and around the first or last few days of the month. If you have some flexibility, avoiding these times will save you money.
Depending on the size and distance of your move, your next decision will be to either “do it yourself” or hire a moving company. Either way you decide to go it is recommended you obtain at least 2 quotes to get an accurate estimation on what your move will cost. If you’re working with a moving company, know that there are several pricing options. Some companies may give you a binding estimate while others will provide a non-binding estimate.
A binding estimate specifies in advance what the cost of your move will be based on an inventory (conducted by a company representative) of the items you will be moving. This may also include additional services such as packing and unpacking should you elect these options.
A non-binding estimate is based on the actual weight of your goods. An estimate is quoted via a walk-through by a company representative however, your final cost will be determined by weighing your items (or the moving van) before and after unloading, so the final charges may be higher or lower than in the original estimate.
Find out if the moving company insures your items while in transit and for how much. It may be a good idea to review your homeowners’ insurance policy to see if that provides coverage as well.
Once you’ve decided on how and when you will move, start the planning process.
- Will you need storage? If so, arrange for that.
- Decide what you will be taking and what you will leave behind. You may want to plan a garage or moving sale or arrange to donate those items you will not be taking.
- If you are moving to another city or state, collect medical and dental records or arrange for them to be transferred once you find providers in your new city.
- If you have children, secure transcripts or make arrangements to have them transferred to the new school.
- Arrange for closing or transferring of bank accounts if necessary.
- Transfer, or resign memberships in clubs or associations.
- Make sure to contact utility companies to arrange for service to cease and start up at your new residence.
- Make the appropriate changes to your homeowners or renters insurance policy.
- If moving out of state, make arrangements to register your vehicles and update your driver’s license.
- Register to vote in your new area.
- Process change of address notifications and notify your post office to have your mail forwarded.
If you have pets, take them to the veterinarian. Most states require health certificates and rabies inoculation records.
If you have plants, you may want to plan to give them away or sell them. A few states will not let you bring plants in at all. If moving locally, its recommended to transport them in your car if possible.
Find out what materials are prohibited from being moved by your moving company. Items such as aerosol cans, batteries, some cleaning solvents, nail polish and other household items may be considered hazardous by your moving company. Make sure to make arrangements to discard these materials before moving day.
If you are doing your own packing, make sure to start weeks ahead of time. Gather materials such as boxes, paper, tape and bubble wrap. Begin with seasonal items or things you may not need right away. Make sure to use plenty of paper for cushioning for your fragile items. Crunching paper on the bottom of the box will help protect these as well. Also, make sure to limit the weight of your cartons to under 50 lbs for easy carrying. Label your boxes with your name and the room to which the carton should be delivered. This will make the unpacking easier, especially when trying to locate something. If you’re utilizing a moving company, it may be helpful to label each room, or post a floor plan at the entrance so the movers can make sure your things are delivered to the correct room.
And finally, ask questions if you’re not sure about anything. Most companies want to make your move as smooth as possible.