Moving brings out the inner engineer in all of us. Just how many books can you cram into that one box before it disintegrates? Will this recliner fit on that sofa? Anyone who has handled a move on their own knows the kind of exhausting mind games that come with the process, so here’s one big piece of advice upfront – don’t be afraid to hire a professional to handle the job. Yes, professional movers cost money, but they will save you a great deal of time and frustration, and if you have medical limitations, there is no better alternative. If you’re looking for a perfect middle ground between convenience and savings, you can do the packing and leave the lifting and driving to the moving service.
The average adult will move eight times during their life, so any helpful moving advice will pay off several times. Although most of us would like to get moving over with quickly, it’s not wise to rush into it. These are your belongings, after all. It’s worth protecting those items from damage and theft. Fortunately, there are many ways to do both, and plenty of tips for anyone going through the moving process.
7 Moving Tips for the soon-to-be-mover:
- Put your containers to work – Much of the cost of a move comes from buying up a bunch of packing supplies. While these supplies are reliable and sturdy, they may be a bit cost prohibitive. If saving money on the packing side is a concern, round up all your suitcases, laundry bins and other large containers, and load them up. You’re killing two birds with one stone by doing so.
- Keep some sandwich bags available – Inevitably, something will need to be taken apart. When it is, the real challenge is keeping up with all of that hardware. Sandwich bags are ideal for this, and they can be taped or otherwise secured to the disassembled piece of furniture to ensure they aren’t lost.
- Pack anything you’ll need right away in a visually unique container – No matter how organized the move is, chances are you’ll be buried under a pile of boxes, unless you have professionals unpack everything. If you’re willing to do the unpacking, make sure you keep everything you’ll want access to quickly in a place that’s easy to find. This is best accomplished with a clear container or visually interesting container that is hard to miss.
- Use clothing as padding – Again, if you’re looking to save on packing materials, repurpose your clothing as padding material. Clothing can be useful in boxes with dishware or glassware and can be used to separate items without scratching anything. Socks are particularly useful here, as they can be wrapped around glassware to offer protection on all sides.
- Invest in some stretch wrap – Stretch wrap is sold on large rolls, and homeowners can use it to quickly wrap up their furniture in a protective layer of plastic. To be clear, stretch wrap is no substitute for careful truck loading, but it can defend against the odd scratch that tends to frustrate even veteran movers.
- Clean the bathroom at your new place before the move – If possible, set up the new bathroom before you start moving everything in. Chances are, you’ll want a shower and time to unwind after the move is complete. What you won’t want is to have to hang up the shower curtain and scrub down the tub before it can be used. Take care of this ahead of time and that bathroom will feel like an oasis on moving day.
- If moving a refrigerator, defrost it the day before the move – Do not wait until moving day to deal with this because it won’t be done defrosting before it is loaded on the truck. And that means that it will likely leak inside the truck and on your belongings the whole way there. It’s not going to smell pleasant, either.
4 Tips for Hiring a Moving Company
No moving advice would be complete without discussing how to hire a moving company. If you’re considering a professional moving service, you’ll need a talented, experienced crew. Here’s how to find one:
- Pay close attention to their customer service team – If a moving company’s customer service personnel aren’t pleasant and attentive, you can be sure that no one else with the company will be either. You’re going to be working with this company for a while, most likely, so make sure it’s a business that you can communicate with and trust. They’re going to have everything you own on their truck, after all.
- Make sure you get an in-home estimate – Do not cut corners with estimate-gathering. There are many fraudulent and incompetent moving businesses out there that will promise a cut-rate estimate online or over the phone. These can never be trusted, because without precise knowledge of what you’re moving, a moving crew won’t know what kind of work they are facing. Reputable moving services will only provide in-home estimates for this reason, so don’t settle for anything less.
- Go over all paperwork carefully – Scammers are fond of omitting certain fees from the estimate and sneaking them back in somewhere in the fine print. If there are references to any fees down there that aren’t also up in the estimate, demand to know what they are, and what they will likely cost.
- Don’t let the moving company subcontract the work out – The most obvious sign that a mover has sold the job to another crew is an unbranded truck. If the moving company shows up without a branded truck, turn the crew away. They are probably operating a rental as a subcontractor. A subcontractor is always a risky bet. You don’t know who they are, how long they’ve been doing this, or even if they are legally allowed to transport household goods. The moving company you deal with should be the company that handles every aspect of the job.
Moving is only as difficult as you make it. Get started on the process well in advance, plan everything out, hire professionals if you need to, and even the most reluctant mover will forge their way through the process.