The following tips can help your move go smoothly:
Information you should Check in Advance
- Inquire about the moving company’s on time record and check references.
- Check with the local Better Business Bureau for consumer complaints.
- Verify the status of the moving company’s licenses with the US DOT, State DOT, or ICC (as appropriate).
- Moving companies are limited by law as to how much they can protect you (liability) for lost or damaged goods. To cover potential damage or loss, check your existing homeowners insurance policy as to whether it can be used as a supplement. Also look into transit insurance as a supplement.
- Carefully document an inventory of your belongings before you pack.
- Find out what moving services the moving company performs.
Information the Movers should Know in Advance
- Inform the moving company of how many stairs there are at your new home or apartment.
- Inform the moving company of low-hanging utility wires or tree branches in your current and new neighborhood, as it may impede the moving truck getting to your residence.
Contracts and Guarantees
- Ask about expected gratuities and commit such gratuities to the contract in writing.
- Have the contract include a guarantee of how many hours the job will take.
- Check that the contract clearly includes all charges and important dates; packing, pick-up, delivery, etc.
- DO NOT leave your old home before the movers are completed loading the truck and are ready to depart for your new home (or storage, if the case may be). You must sign the bill of lading. If you do not sign the bill of lading upon completion of loading the truck, you open yourself to liability.
What you can do to Help the Movers
- On moving day, you should have everything ready to go and set your movers up for a good start. For instance, when the movers show up in the morning, have fresh, hot coffee ready for them. This small gesture will help “warm” them up to you and a small amount of personable behavior never hurts when they’re carrying your beloved arm-chair. Likewise, you should also consider buying a couple pizzas for lunch.
- Make yourself available to answer any of their questions or speak with them regarding any concerns. Open communication is key to your moving day. Make sure you know exactly what is going on. If you feel uncomfortable about something, let them know as soon as possible so it can be addressed. Be careful not to micromanage your movers. They do this for a living and draw from a deep well of experience. That said, if you are unsure about something ask them to explain it.
- Do what you can to keep the mood light and spirits up. It will go a long way to making a long day a rewarding day!
- Keep bottled water around to maintain hydration. The move is hectic enough without a trip to the hospital!
Some Extra Tips to Remember
Important documents such as wills or deeds, jewelry, computers, artwork, photographs, and home videos are impossible to replace. Consider either transporting these to you new home on your own or moving these and other important belongings to a safety deposit box while you move.
Remember to fill any holes left in the walls. Your local hardware store will carry wall putty which is effective and affordable. This could mean a sizable difference in your security deposit (if you rent).
Now you’re ready to get some free moving quotes!
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