By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Moving really doesn't have to be stressful and bring you to the edge of a nervous breakdown. This is not to say it's a moment of Zen in your life, but with some planning and then some backup planning, your move will be successful, and you will remain sane.
Here are several more moving disasters that can take all the fun out of your move, and how to avoid them.
Hire A Reputable Moving Company ASAP
The minute you know your new address, start interviewing moving companies. This is not the time to cheap out with a couple of guys and a beat-up truck--splurge on a professional mover. They will provide the following, and you can cross these tasks off your list.
- Well-maintained equipment--trucks that go through routine maintenance (check-ups, tire rotation, brake checks) and are completely road-worthy
- Professional crews who know how to wrap, load, place furniture in a truck, and reverse the process at your new house.
- An insured crew and equipment--if a mover gets hurt, the moving company handles their medical expenses
- Professional packing if you are just overwhelmed. If you need a few specialty items packed or crated, they will take care of that for you, so you can rest assured your valuables will arrive in one piece.
- Ask for a checklist of the things they can't legally move--chemicals, houseplants, and paint are on that list, to name a few. You don't want to find out at the last minute that your prized bonsai plant must stay behind.
- Expect a contract with a written estimate.
- Make sure your mover has a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) license.
Hire the Crew, Too
All your buddies say, sure, they'll help you load the moving truck. Which is great--if you're moving across town and they can help you unload, too. And, if you're willing to risk injury, scheduling conflicts, and other small challenges to your moving day.
Hiring professional movers guarantees a crew who shows up on time, knows what they're doing, will drive the truck, and you can depend on to transport your belongings safely. They'll also unload all your stuff and place it in your new house--and that's worth the expense.
Move What You Love and Actually Use
The "if-you-haven't-worn-it-in-six-months-get-rid-of-it" rule really applies when you're moving. Consider that every box you pack and move has some cost attached to it, and that adds up quick when you're looking at hundreds of boxes. Get rid of old linens, kitchen gadgets, toys, furniture--everything that you don't use, don't like, or don't need.
There's A Snowstorm Coming--or a Hurricane
One thing even the most organized among us can't manage is the weather. Watch the forecast and have a Plan B in case you're caught in bad rain, snow, or wind. Coordinate with the moving company a couple of days ahead of time if it looks unsafe to pack up and drive and reschedule if you must. If you're moving a long distance, book hotel rooms along the way. Your realtor will understand if you can't be out of the house on schedule; bad weather affects everybody, so the new occupants won't be able to get there either. Don't try to beat the storm--they always win. Moving companies will not risk their crews or equipment in dangerous weather; the good news is that it usually passes in a day or two.
Put the Pets in Daycare
Your animals know when you're stressed, add to that the disappearing stuff and they can really get upset. Board your pets the day before the movers come and pick them up on your way out of town. Pack their beds, food, water, and toys for the trip and make them your last task.
Now buckle up, relax, and enjoy a disaster-free ride to your new home.
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