Do you enjoy the process of moving? I didn’t think so. Moving is a tedious, and at times disheartening, process. Have you ever broken a family heirloom while moving? Have you ever hurt your back lugging a couch up a flight of stairs? Have you ever paid for moving services, and then discovered you could have saved hundreds, or even thousands, if you had just researched a bit more? Everybody makes mistakes, but hopefully the following advice will help you avoid the most common moving mistakes in the future. Red flags Many people are scared to move. It can mean changing schools, finding new doctors, starting over in a new neighborhood, and identifying the best route for your new commute. It is often helpful to hire a moving service to help your move go a bit smoother. Sharone Ben-Harosh, founder and CEO of FlatRate Moving, suggests three red flags to look out for when looking for a moving service to help with your relocation: A company responds very quickly with low rates and few other details Often this means that there are complications like low-quality services or hidden details that will end up jacking up the price. A moving service that doesn’t ask questionsIf the moving service that you talk to doesn’t ask questions about possible expensive items, you may have reason to be concerned. It is important for the company to know how many large pieces of fragile furniture you have in order to give you an accurate quote. A company that doesn’t send someone to your homeIn order to give an accurate quote, it is important that a representative visits the home to gauge the volume of items needing to be moved, the number of fragile items present, etc. If the company that you reach out to does not provide this complimentary service, you should be sure to itemize every item that you will be moving and provide that before an official quote is made to ensure accurate pricing. Kate Hart of Fantastic Removals agrees that low initial prices can be misleading. When asked what to avoid while moving, she said, “Cheap moving quotes. Most often they come from companies that offer services of very poor quality which are also uninsured in some cases. In addition to this, such businesses do not invest in quality customer support so the whole experience of working with them turns into a nightmare quite often.” Be present Regardless of what moving service that you may decide to hire, it is important that you are present during the moving process. It is not uncommon for moving services to help with the packing process and if you are not there, the chance of damage to your belongings and household goods is much higher. There is also a chance that your things will get lost and that some items that you have decided not to take will be packed anyway. Timing The moving process inevitably will take longer than you would like it to. That's just the nature of the beast. That being said, there are some things that you can do to make sure that you are able to get through your move in a timely fashion. Harosh recommends that you start the packing process early. Give yourself about a week before the move is scheduled to take place to start packing up the house. The sooner you start, the better prepared you will be. Jennifer Doran of Liberty Moving suggests that you break the packing process up into tasks. Start one room at a time. This will not only help you get everything packed, but it will also help you keep everything organized so that the unpacking process will be easier. Hart suggests that long before boxes are packed into the truck, you plan for traffic. If you live in the city, think about the traffic you might encounter on the roads as you start the trek to your new place of residence. If you are moving to another state, it is also possible that there will be accidents or other delays on the interstate. If you plan for this, you will be much less frustrated when you do encounter these hold-ups. Packing Putting your entire material life into boxes and into a truck is not only time-consuming, but it is also a very tiring process. Doran offers the following tip for successful packing: Pay for supplies, don’t skimp — Good-quality packing materials are important to the success of your move. If you use old boxes, it is possible that they will bend and/or break under the pressure of other boxes and the contents of the box can be damaged. Don’t overfill boxes — The more you put into a box, the heavier it gets. Are you asking for your back to go out on you? As you start stacking boxes in the moving truck, the weight could also cause other boxes to collapse and therefore cause damage. Label correctly — As you are packing your things, label each box clearly with the content that it holds. If you do this, you will be able to quickly figure out where things go when you unpack, and you will save a significant amount of time. Don’t over-stack — Tall stacks of boxes not only are at risk of crushing the boxes on the bottom, but they are also at risk of falling over and damaging fragile items. Don’t rush — The faster that you pack, the less organized the boxes will be. Packing is like playing a game of blokus. The more organized and well-packed the box, the better chance it has of receiving no damage during the relocation. Get moving You now have the tools to ensure that your next move is a positive experience. If you need help finding a local moving service, see this list of moving services with customer reviews to help you.
Does packing and unpacking all your personal belongings in a short period of time sound fun to you? For most, the answer to this question is "no." For those who find themselves in a position that requires them to relocate, these moving companies could be helpful: 123 Movers, Moving Nation, International Van Lines, Five Movers, Colonial Van Lines, and Atlas Van Lines. When looking for relocation companies, moving services, storage services, and other services needed during local or international moves, it is crucial that you find reputable companies to transport the contents of your home. The following advice from experts in the moving industry can help you make wise decisions as your moving day approaches. How should you pack your house to make moving easy? Remind yourself that it is okay to get rid of some things as you start going through each room. Sushee Perumal of MaxSold recommends that you give yourself time to go through each room long before moving day arrives. It is common to accumulate more than you think so doing one section at a time can make the packing process much easier. As you go through each section, make four piles: keep, sell, donate, and discard. Don't be afraid of making decisions and don't look back! Nadia Anac, a real estate agent and active duty military spouse, has moved 10 times in the past 15 years and shares some of her personal hacks that have made her life easier during packing and unpacking. "I start the process ideally two months before our move date by going around each room and getting rid of anything that is old, broken, doesn't fit, never gets used, etc. I also clean out any paper clutter. I do this one room at a time. Once I have done the initial sweep, I make sure all of the things I am getting rid of are out of the house. I either sell the items or donate them." Another tip that has proved useful for Anac during her nationwide moves has been the use of vacuum-sealed bags. She organizes all personal items with other "like" items and then puts them in clear bags so that she can see what they are. Doing this helps her in the unpacking process as she knows the contents of each plastic tub or bag. Though the task of packing up your house may seem daunting, if you give yourself a decent head start, you will get the job done with significantly less stress. Should you hire someone to help? Are you a professional powerlifter? One of the greatest challenges when packing is moving heavy furniture, boxes of books, and other heavy objects. Hiring someone to come and help can at times seem like an "extra" cost, but often times people don't appreciate the value of a moving company. Nick Friedman from College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk & Moving shares some of the perks of hiring a reputable residential moving service for your moving day. "Professional movers do much more than physically move your belongings. We cover everything from taking inventory, providing packing materials, carefully packing your beloved items, moving them to your new location, unpacking them, and even arranging your furniture for you. Having professionals do most of the heavy lifting can make your life much easier." For untrained professionals, moving can be hazardous for either you or your home. You could either hurt yourself or damage your home if you are unsure what you are doing. If you decide not to hire a local moving company to assist you in the moving process, be sure to be educated on how to properly lift objects to avoid injury. If you are looking at hiring a moving and storage company for any part of the packing, pick-up, delivery, and unpacking process, take advantage of the moving quotes provided online to gauge which moving services will provide you not only the best customer service, but also the best moving experience and quality. What are some things to avoid? There is no perfect way to tackle packing and unpacking. Each person has their own method that they feel is best. But there are common mistakes that cause moving to be much more difficult than it should be. Mixing room contents "Don’t mix items from different rooms. By keeping the items within their respective rooms, you make unpacking a lot quicker knowing your living room box only has living room items. Label the boxes: living room, breakables; bathroom, liquids, etc." — Emily Mahr, Business Development Strategist and Frequent Mover Ignoring pets “If you have pets, I strongly suggest either putting them into a day-boarding facility, or designate a room in the new home you can close them in. This will prevent them from escaping, and give you peace of mind knowing where they are at all times."— Mahr Packing everything "We always designate a room a "no-packing zone," usually the guest bathroom, and start putting everything we don't want the movers to pack — such as the clothes we're going to need, a pot, a knife, a can opener, a lighter, coffee maker — basic necessities that can hold us over until our things arrive on the other end. We also keep our emergency supply kit in there, along with extra food and supplies for our dog (travel crate, travel bed, travel feeding containers, etc)."— Nadia Anac, Real Estate Agent, Active Duty Military Spouse, and Mom Scrimping on cheap materials "This isn't the time to be a cheapskate. Buy good, strong materials to avoid putting your things at risk. Moving things in cheap materials could be detrimental for your delicate items."— Arthur Ruth, VP of Operations of Memphis Maids How long will it take? The time it takes to move in many ways is up to you. If you are planning on hiring moving services to take care of packing, storage, pick-up, delivery, and unpacking of all of you personal items and furniture, you could be looking at one or two days. If you are planning to do the job yourself, you should start at least a couple of weeks in advance if not a month or two. The longer you wait, the more stress will build as your moving day grows closer. If you are looking for a moving company to help you relocate, here is a list of some options to help you in your research. Key points to remember Don't be afraid of throwing things away (Think like the organization expert Marie Kondo) Start earlier than later Make educated final decisions and move forward Don't be afraid to seek out help if you become overwhelmed Research moving and relocation services before committing You can do this. Moving can be hard, but if you find the joy in the completion of the small tasks, you can make it significantly more enjoyable!