Plan Your Move & Reduce the Pain

Moving can be painful. But if you plan ahead, you can reduce some of the frustration and financial errors. Take your time. Start early. Here are a few tips. — Norma Wall, Broker, North Point Realty

Plan Ahead

Label & Organize. Start early when you pack so that you have time to label and organize everything. It will make your destination unpack much easier.

Don’t leave a trail. Have you ever left something behind? Before you move, pick up your dry cleaning or other items from local service providers, and save yourself hassle later.

Change your utilities for move-out and move-in dates. Failure to change utilities prior to your move-out day may result in unnecessary troubles and expenses.

Create a toolbox for moving essentials. You know what you need: hammer, flat-head and Phillips screwdriver, cordless drill and charger, pliers, adjustable wrench, utility knife, level, measuring tape, electrical and duct tape, wire ties and wrenches. Now, put it in the trunk of your car so it doesn’t get packed away!

Book Ahead. Try to book a mover at least six weeks in advance. Aim for midweek, when rates may be lower than weekends; and mid-month, rather than the end of the month when rates may be higher. If you have the flexibility, schedule your move for September or later, when rates are lower and movers may offer more-flexible scheduling.

Downsize

The cost of your move will depend, in part, on the weight of your belongings. So dispose of things you no longer need or want. Clear out closets, attic, garage. Say goodbye to furniture items you no longer want. If you’re really strong and need a little cash, have a garage sale or take your things to a consignment store.

Many charitable organizations will pick up items for no charge, and even provide you with receipts for tax-deductions. Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore are some of my favorites.

Protect yourself from fraud

Get three written estimates from movers who visit your home. But be careful. Here are some “red flags” — AVOID MOVERS WHO:

  • provide a verbal or lowball estimate

  • do not agree to an on­site inspection of your household goods and gives an estimate over the telephone or online — sight unseen

  • demand cash or a large deposit before the move

  • asks you to sign blank or incomplete documents

  • do not provide a written estimate (can be binding or non-binding)

  • do not provide you with a copy of the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and a copy of FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure, which movers are required by Federal regulations to supply to their customers in the planning stages of interstate moves.

  • company website has no local address and no information about their registration or insurance

  • answer the phone with a generic “Movers” or “Moving company,” rather than the company’s name

For more tips, see US Department of Transportation protectyourmove.gov.

Make your move with confidence — choose a North Point Realtor® — we put your interest first.

— Norma Wall, Broker