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Moving tips for homeowners

By Trulia | Published: Oct 14, 2009 | 20 Comments

Transporting belongings from one home to another is a big task that's often fraught with anxiety, even when a move is efficiently planned and coordinated. Follow these tips from Trulia to make your next move as stress-free as possible:

  1. Get recommendations

    Ask for the names of reputable and reliable moving companies from friends, co-workers and family. Inquire about their experiences, and note what worked and didn't work, as well as how much they paid. Seek out their advice on how to make your move a smooth one.

  2. Check background

    For movers you are considering, check whether each is a licensed member of the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), a trade group.

    AMSA has a ProMover service in which they've checked the credentials of all the movers registered with their program. You can search for movers by moving date and your to and from locations on the AMSA website.

    Referral websites like Yelp and Angie's List (subscription required) can also help you find reputable movers.

    Verify whether there have been any complaints filed against the moving company with the Better Business Bureau.

  3. Seek estimates

    Get "not to exceed" estimates -- binding estimates that cap how much you'll be charged -- from movers. Ask for "in-home" estimates, as they are more accurate than ones conducted over the phone.

    Watch for hidden fees. Know what you'll be expected to pay and what services will be covered -- some movers charge by weight and distance, while others charge by the number of man hours it'll take to transport your stuff.

    The more you own, the more you most likely will be charged; if you ask that your belongings be boxed for you, that will come at an extra cost.

  4. Think insurance

    Take an inventory and dollar amount of the belongings you're moving and check what kind and how much liability coverage the mover provides.

    Is it enough to cover the value of the belongings? Research the procedures for submitting a claim with each company in the event something happens.

    Your homeowner's insurance may cover some of your belongings' value -- check your policy.

  5. Know the rules

    If you are being relocated by your employer, check with their moving policy to understand their rules and regulations and exactly what part of the bill will be footed by them.

  6. Reduce

    Donate or sell as much stuff as you can -- it may lessen the cost of your move and will make packing and unpacking easier. Try hosting a garage sale, or selling your items online through websites like Ebay or Craigslist. The Vietnam Veterans of America offers a great pick-up service for donated items, and will come right to your door. Other charities offer similar services.

  7. Plan ahead

    Book a mover six to eight weeks before your move. Plan which items will go where and pack by room. Color code the boxes and wrap fragile items in crumpled paper or bubble wrap before boxing, placing them on top. Mark "fragile" in bold letters on boxes with breakable items. Seal the boxes well -- so nothing may fall out while being transported and to protect the items should they be placed in professional storage -- or your basement.

    Set aside essential items you'll need right away (toiletries, clothing, etc.) and move them yourself so they can be easily relocated the day of your move. It's also a good idea to move important documents (birth certificates, bank records, closing papers, etc.) and valuable jewelry yourself so you won't loose track of them.

  8. Keep in touch

    Make a list of all those who need to know of your move -- friends, family, utilities, businesses and the United States Postal Service -- and give them your new contact information and the date that it will be in effect.

Comments

By Chad F,  Thu Oct 29 2009, 09:46
Here are some tips for moving with children..
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Kids don't even like to change their socks, so imagine how difficult it is for them to change addresses, schools and friends. Because the home is a special source of security and comfort for children, many families may experience concerns about leaving their familiar surroundings. Although parents understand why moving may be necessary, the reasons might not be clear your children. Mayflower Transit has some simple steps that can help to ease your children's fears and make the whole moving process as easy as counting to three.

Discuss the Move in an Open Family Forum
Break the news about the move to everyone in the family together, and focus on the “when,” “where,” “how” and “why” of the moving process. Be sure your child understands that the move is a positive event for the whole family.

Make New Friends but Keep the Old
Before the move, give your children an opportunity to spend time with their friends to say goodbye. Mayflower has a special moving kit for children that includes fun cards that kids can use to exchange address information with friends.

Involve the Kids in the Moving Process
Ask your children to help you plan the route your family will take to your new home. When the van operator arrives, introduce him or her to the children. For safety reasons, make sure your children understand the importance of staying clear of the driver's path when he or she is moving boxes and furniture into the van. Other ideas include making a game of navigating the best route to travel in an atlas or on a road map or letting your children decorate and label their own boxes and pack their “special belongings.”

Alleviate Fears
If possible, take the children to see their new home and neighborhood in advance. This will help to take the “mystery” out of the move. Introducing your children to their new neighbors will reassure them that they will make new friends after the move. If it is not possible to go to your new neighborhood, try to compile as much information about the neighborhood as you can. The Internet can offer a wealth of resources. Also, try to get a couple of photographs of your new home and surroundings (ask your real estate agent to help), and share all of the information with your children.

Pursue New Activities
Help your kids to make new friends by getting them involved in extracurricular activities in their new neighborhood. Sports leagues, community kids' clubs and classes specific to your child's interests will keep them busy and make them feel more at home in their new surroundings.

Celebrate!
Once you have arrived at the new address, let your children pick their favorite restaurant, type of food or activity to “celebrate” their help in making the move successful and the beginning of a new adventure.
By Jim Paulson, Owner/Broker,  Wed Jan 6 2010, 23:49
Chad, good advice on the kids. I have found simple things like assuring them there is a McDonalds in the new town = acceptance.

There are companies like "PODS" that let you pack yourself for a lot less money (if you know what you are doing and don't waste space or create breakage".

Make sure your Realtor reads and understands your employee relocation manual (if applicable) so that you receive the benefits you are entitled to!

In #5, I remember being transferred prior to my real estate career, from New York to the Washington DC area in which I realized they would pay for two cars to drive to the new location so I had my wife drive the second car with all our plants and stuff they wouldn't "move" for us (i.e. chemicals, glassware, etc.).

#6 talks about "reducing". For example, I bought an electric organ from one of my clients and several fridges since the cost for them to sell locally and rebuy an equivelent item in their new place was less than paying the cost of getting the item to the new location!

Ask your Realtor for boxes! If your Realtor specializes in relocation, they may keep surplus boxes available for you to use instead of requiring you to buy them.

Ask your Realtor if they have any relocation benefits. For example, I let my clients use my secured storage facilities, my flatbed trailer for local moves, my boxes for moving; etc.
By Fran Rokicki,  Sat Oct 23 2010, 14:44
I would add, think of your pets, also. Dogs and cats will feel the excitement and the activity of the packing for the move. Take the dogs for walks, give them plenty of attention and playtime. Pack the pet toys and beds, last. When you arrive at your new home, unpack the pets things first.
By Sean Kimbrough,  Thu Jan 27 2011, 11:51
Here is a link to help out with Tip 4, take an inventory of your contents as you're packing them and use this inventory list

http://www.cnrbrokerage.com/home-inventory-worksheet.pdf
By Joanne Bernardini,  Tue Jun 21 2011, 16:55
After looking at the cost of moving boxes, I purchased heavy duty clear plastic tubs with a tight fitting lids for the same price! If they have to go into storage, the contents stay dry and bug free. You can then keep some for attic and basement storage and sell the rest at a yard sale! Attaching a paper to the INSIDE
of each of the four sides of the tub with the name of the room the box is destined to land in your new house, helps you and the moving men know where to take them when they carry them off the truck!
By Cathy Bureau,  Sun Jul 17 2011, 21:43
Label your boxes well so you can find what you need without having to open things unnecessarily when you aren't ready.

Pets - they too have difficulty with change. Make sure you keep their cages, bedding, etc. so they have a sense of familiarity.

Kids only freak out about moving if the parents make it a negative. Focus on the positives and find a way to stay connected in a fun way with their old friends. Where we live the school boundaries change almost yearly due to growth so really, school is a moot issue. Their classrooms change and other people move. If you are challenged so will your kids; if you make it exciting so will be your kids thoughts.
By Adrian Provost,  Mon Feb 27 2012, 16:31
Wonderful post!
By Matie,  Mon Jun 25 2012, 04:31
Ask your children to help you plan the route your family will take to your new home. When the van operator arrives, introduce him or her to the children. For safety reasons, make sure your children understand the importance of staying clear of the driver's path when he or she is moving boxes and furniture into the van. Other ideas include making a game of navigating the best route to travel in an atlas or on a road map or letting your children decorate and label their own boxes and pack their “special belongings

http://www.indexpost.com/
By Rick Jackson,  Sun Aug 26 2012, 10:08
Moving can be very stressful. No matter how hard you try, and organized you may be, you should expect some bumps. Don't let them bother you. You will get settled.

http://www.DreamsDoComeTrue.US
By Jeff Metcalf, REALTOR®,  Sat Nov 17 2012, 21:41
Thanks for sharing~
By nickmott2012,  Fri Nov 30 2012, 15:23
Thanks for the tips hopefully they will help me and the movers in Vancouver get moved more efficiently. http://www.bc-albertamovers.com
By Voices Member,  Tue Jul 9 2013, 08:18
Thanks so much for the information. I have been looking for a company that does moving and storage and I will definitely be keeping this post in mind. Thanks so much!
Mia | http://www.midwestmoving.com/protection/storage
By Jay Taylor,  Sun Aug 18 2013, 05:46
Thanks for sharing. I would like to add, when planning to move pack those unnecessary items first that is not essential up until the day of the move.
By Jim Cramer,  Tue Oct 15 2013, 19:19
Great Post!
Thanks for sharing.
By georgepuzo42,  Thu Nov 14 2013, 19:03
Thank you for all the great advice guys. I always have lived in my parents home and now that they have died I am finally moving out and was needing some advice on moving companies. I also found some good info here http://www.atlanticbeachmovers.com/Atlantic-Beach-Movers-Services.html what do you guys think?
By Elizabeth Sagarminaga,  Fri Jan 10 2014, 07:22
I would like to add that before moving be aware of all that can comfortably be housed in the new property. Take measurements of the property and then of your stuff- the furniture, the appliances etc. Mentally arrange the stuff in your new home and only then start packing. This will help you reduce time spent as well as money spent on packing. Be careful with fragile stuff. Also be careful of the stuff-you-cannot-be-separated-from.
By Shabana Pathan Group,  Mon Apr 7 2014, 19:27
Moving is not easy! Be prepared for last minute surprises. However, focus on outcome and not on hurdles! Wish you great luck!
By Judi Monday, CRS,  Fri Apr 11 2014, 08:40
Moving is a great time to get rid of all the things that you no longer want, need or use. By doing so you'll save yourself some money by not having them moved.
By Gary Papirov,  Tue Apr 15 2014, 10:13
Here Is A Checklist Of Things You Need To Do:
1) Do You Need Insurance?
2) Order Boxes And Supplies
3) Get Recommendations For A Reliable Moving Company
4) Notify Critical Parties That You Are Moving
•Banks
•Credit card company
•Financial institutions and investment companies
•Your office
•Insurance company
•Utility Company
•Any institution or club that you are a member of
•Magazines or journals that you subscribe to
•Phone company
•Cable company
•Health care
5) Inform your local post office of your move and leave the forwarding address with them. Notify family and friends of change in your mailing address.
6) Pay Bills And Disconnect Services
•Newspaper
•Home Maintenance
•Cable
•Phone
7) Begin Packing
8) Is Your New Home Large Enough?
9) Renting A Storage Unit – This is a practical idea, especially if your furniture won’t fit into your new home or you have a lot of stuff but less space in new home. Storage units are safe and the best way to stow moveable property. Be sure to pack your goods properly and label them before shifting. Rents depend on the size of the unit and the duration you want to lease it.
10) Final Checklist
•Donate or sell items that you don’t need instead of lugging them to your new home
•Ensure you empty, defrost and clean the freezer and refrigerator
•Start using perishables and other supplies days before the move
•Check lofts, storage area under the staircase, the garage etc to ensure everything has been packed
By Joseph Tsomik,  Thu Apr 17 2014, 07:59
- Change the locks.
- Create an inventory of your belongings.
- Repair and paint while the home is empty.
- Whole-House cleaning.

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Use this checklist from Trulia to make sure that all these needed tasks for your move are completed before the big day: Hire a moving company Using recommendations from people you know and organizations like the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) ...

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