Develop Your Moving Day Strategy

Your big move is coming up quickly and there are lots of decisions to make. Whether you're considering hiring movers, tackling the job yourself, or some combination of the two, here are some things to consider as you make your decision.

Call in the Professionals

Organizing your belongings and packing them up can be a huge task, depending on the size of your home and family. If you are not able to take time off work, or your schedule is too busy, hiring movers might be best option for you.

Get expert assistance
From packing your clothing to hauling heavy furniture, professionals understand the best ways to move every room in the house. They can provide packing materials, help maximize space in the moving van, and prevent damage that could result from improper packing.

Conserve your time and energy
Gain back the time you need to take care of other business. Hiring movers will free up your schedule, so you can focus on changing your mail, getting the kids enrolled in a new school, updating your driver's license and all of the other details that will help make your new address feel like home. You'll also decrease the chance that you, family members or pets might be injured during the move.

Finding the right movers
Start your search for a moving company as early as possible. Look for online customer reviews, and check with the Better Business Bureau about moving companies in your area. Watch for poor reviews that include claims of hidden fees, disputes for lost or damaged items and missed pickup or delivery dates. Booking your movers as soon as possible will ensure that your move goes according to your schedule.

Contact the movers directly
Instead of relying solely on an online quote, speak to the moving company about all the details specific to your home and belongings. Schedule an in-home consultation, if possible, to receive an accurate, written estimate. Find out what additional services are available, what they cost, and whether cancellation fees apply if your plans change.

 

Features of a good moving company:

  • Fair and competitive prices. Low rates may be appealing, but additional fees and other charges could increase your costs.
  • No requirement of a large deposit or up-front payment.
  • Clearly state their address, license, or insurance.
  • Maintain professionalism in all interactions.
  • Moving trucks display company name.
  • Clear pricing structure and insurance coverage.

Insurance

Always ask for detailed descriptions of the insurance that moving companies offer, since types of coverage could include different levels of liability.

Full Value Protection policies allow you to repair, replace, or receive a cash settlement for any item at the current market replacement value. Other liability coverage might only pay based on the weight of the item. Determine which coverage fits your needs.

If you're not satisfied with the liability coverage offered by your movers, contact your home or renter's insurance company to find out whether your belongings are already covered for your move. If not, consider purchasing additional liability insurance.

Do It Yourself

If hiring professional movers isn't within your budget, you can make the move yourself with a little planning and organization.

Lighten the load

Sell, donate or throw out any unwanted items before your move to speed up the process and make packing easier. Plus, this is an opportunity to get a fresh start with new styles and designs in your new space.

Find more ways to organize before a move ›

Moving expenses

Enlist a group of friends, family and neighbors to help on moving day. Find boxes, wrap and other packing materials by checking with friends, neighbors and coworkers, or online. Or pick up discarded boxes at local businesses.

Your budget should include fuel expenses, additional packing supplies, truck/trailer rental fees, and food for your helpers.

Create a game plan

Make sure large items such as oversized furniture and appliances will fit through doorways and halls, so there are no surprises. Determine a way to use your helpers in advance to streamline the operation, save time and keep everyone energized throughout your move. Being organized will help you make the most of every minute.

 

Packing tips:

  • Pack perishable, dangerous, or hazardous materials properly for a safe move
  • Mark the side of each box with its contents or create a master list you can refer to when you're moving into your new home
  • Label each box with its corresponding room

 

Learn more about packing electronics ›

Learn more about packing and moving your TV ›

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A Combined Approach

You can leverage the skills of professional movers by making strategic decisions about your move and paying only for necessary services.

You pack, and they lift

If you feel confident that you can get your own things safely into boxes, save some money and hire movers to help only with moving the boxes. Then, have everything ready to go when the movers arrive, including disassembling your furniture in advance.

Note: Packing your own boxes can make it more difficult to establish a claim against movers for damaged items, so be extra careful with fragile items. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for packing appliances and electronics.

Learn more about moving major appliances ›

Specialized movers

Packing your clothing, office supplies, and household goods may be relatively easy, but other bulky, heavy, or complex items can be more difficult to move. You might want to hire an expert to take down the flat screen TV, and deliver your washer and dryer with care while you handle the rest. Choose movers who specialize in relocating electronics and appliances, fireproof safes or pianos.

Moving day
  • Supervise both the loading and unloading process, or give this job to a person you trust.
  • Use painter's tape to label the doors of each room, or create a map for your movers and volunteers to follow.
  • Pack separately any personal belongings you will need during the move, like toiletries, medication, clothing, cell phone, laptop and their chargers.
  • Keep important paperwork with you, including information about services at your new home. If your electricity isn't turned on, you'll need to know immediately who to call.

Protect your home and belongings

Invest in home automation to keep an eye on your home and belongings during a move. Entry door and garage door smart locks, automated lighting, and other devices can help you monitor your living spaces and protect your home and valuables from theft or negligence while you move.

Learn more about home automation ›

Apps to make moving easier

There are apps for just about everything, including moving. Get some instant assistance right on your phone, whether you're searching for the most reputable mover in town or plotting the best ways to avoid traffic on the way to your new home.

Find moving apps ›

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