Knock, knock. Who’s there? It’s time to move. This is often one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, because moving involves gathering up all of your personal belongings and physically moving them. There’s a good chance you’ll end up losing something, breaking something else, and there’s even the possibility that all of your stuff could be destroyed. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way if you take the time to prepare for your move.
Pack Up Everything Yourself
One of the best ways to ensure that all of your stuff makes it to where it’s going is to pack it yourself. Yes, this takes a lot more effort. It’s also a lot more time-consuming. But, at the end of it, you’ll know that the job is done right.
Most moving companies that have packing services aren’t as careful with your stuff as you’d be, and that makes sense if you think about it. It’s not their stuff. They’re not going to care about it as much as you do.
Label Everything and Take an Inventory
When you pack up your belongings, label everything. Take an extensive inventory and use a spreadsheet so that you have good documentation. Take photos, and even take the time to document the tiny details like how many pairs of socks you have.
This will make it a lot easier to keep track of your belongings when you’re ready to load them up, as well as when you move in. You can be sure everything made it to where it’s supposed to be. It’s also good for those times when you have to make an insurance claim for lost or damaged items.
Compare Written In-Home Estimates
Get the moving company to come out to your home. Don’t trust over-the-phone estimates. They’re never correct anyway. Most moving companies will charge either by weight or by volume. Ask for a quote based on both and go with the cheapest one. But, get your estimate in writing and ask about what could negatively affect the price between now and the time you’re ready to move.
Buy The Insurance
Get moving insurance. Some companies will offer it to you, but will advise you that it’s really not necessary. it is. Even if it costs you an additional $500, the standard insurance that comes with all moving jobs will only compensate you mere cents on the dollar for anything that’s lost or stolen. You want replacement value. If you’re unsure where to look for insurance, comb through top selling real estate agents, talk to your current insurance broker, or ask family or friends for referrals.
Don’t Forget About Your Pets
Your pets need to move too. So, don’t forget Fido’s crate, all his creature comforts, and don’t forget that animals often don’t like change. This is going to be a very confusing time for your pet. Make the transition as smooth as possible. You’re not going to want to pack up any of its belongings before you’re ready to move, and it’s always a good idea to take your dog with you to the new place and spend some time sniffing around.
Prep The New Home
Prepare your new home for your arrival. That means paint and clean the home before anything is moved in. It’s easier to do it now than wait for the furniture and all your belongings to arrive.
Arthur Young is a housing guru. From his long career in buying and selling, he enjoys blogging about everything from navigating the real estate market to getting settled in a new place.