The moment you buy a new home is filled with excitement, and that excitement only grows when you come home the first day and turn the key for the first time. A whole new world of possibilities has opened up before you, and there are so many things to explore inside your home and out in your new community. It’s a day that’s almost impossible to ruin. Almost, that is, unless you don’t take the precautions to have a stress-free move.
The most common mistake people make when moving is not being ready by the time the movers arrive. It’s all too easy to procrastinate packing up, but if you wait, you’re putting your prized possessions at enormous risk.
Visit a home improvement store and you’ll find all sorts of specialized packing materials from cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes to silverware sleeves. Take the time to pack everything right, and it’ll be much less stressful when you can unpack in your new home without uncovering broken items.
A furnishing or family heirloom might stand the test of time in your home, but on the road — with bumps, potholes and brake lights — it’s easy for disaster to strike. That’s why it’s essential to properly pack the moving van to minimize the possibility for damage to occur. It’s a great idea to hire a qualified mover, but if you’re adamant about doing it yourself, be sure to take the proper precautions.
Mark boxes containing fragile items clearly and avoid stacking other items on top. Also, be particularly careful with top-heavy items such as a grand piano or billiards table. You’ll want to stick sturdy boxes and other items underneath so that the legs aren’t having to carry all the pressure while on the road.
Choose a Qualified Mover to Help
You’ll have dozens of moving companies to choose from at any location within the Mid-Atlantic region, and they will all make promises to get your business. But you want the right one. Vet your moving company with a straightforward checklist that will help you determine if they’ll move your stuff safely without charging you a ludicrous amount of money.
First, ask your friends, family or new neighbors for recommendations. If any have had a particularly stress-free move with a specific company, then that’s a great place to start. Next, you’ll want to ensure they’re licensed and insured. If your move will cross state lines, it’s a good idea to check to make sure your mover is registered federally. The Department of Transportation offers a free company lookup tool on its website for interstate moves.
Once you’ve vetted them in terms of legitimacy and reputation, it’s time to consider cost. Shop around to find out what the going rates are for a move of your scale. Ask for a quote and ensure it covers everything you need to move, including any outdoor items that might be easily overlooked. Get the estimate in writing so that you have a physical record and you can hold your moving company to the cost they promised. Ultimately, when it comes down to considering your options, choose the mover that can provide your family with the best experience, even if they cost a little bit more.
For more moving advice and checklists on a stress-free move, visit the Department of Transportation’s “Protect Your Move” website. And check out our website for additional moving tips and resources.