- The two essential ingredients of a successful move are manpower and hauling capacity.
- Calculate whether moving yourself actually makes economic sense. Add up all moving costs including boxes, packing material, gas, meals, truck rental and insurance. Compare it against a quote from a professional moving company.
- Four questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have time to pack and move all my goods?
- Am I physically capable of moving heavy pieces?
- Do I know enough people who can and are willing to help me move?
- Can I drive a rental truck? If not, who can?
- If you do rent a truck, it's better to rent a larger one than you think you'll need. Otherwise, you will have to make more than one trip.
Choosing a Professional Mover
- Ask family and friends for recommendations.
- If in doubt, check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Determine the size, distance and timing of your move.
- Choose between a "self service" move (you pack and unpack) or a "full service" move (the moving company packs and unpacks).
- Obtain a written cost estimate.
- Review insurance coverage. There are three types:
- Standard coverage.
- Assessed value coverage.
- Full replacement coverage.
- Can I drive a rental truck? If not, who can?
Important Checklist Items
- Notify this list of businesses about your move:
- Electric power company.
- Water company.
- Natural gas supplier.
- Local telephone company.
- Long distance telephone company.
- Television company.
- Stock Broker.
- Investment Adviser.
- Credit card companies.
- Magazine subscriptions and book clubs.
- Religious organizations.
- Sports club.
- Arrange the timing of the shut-off and start-up of utilities so that you will be sure not to be without electricity, water, gas or phone service. Give yourself one or two days on both ends to compensate for potential delays.
- Send out address change notices to friends and family.
- Common things people forget to do:
- Get copies of medical, dental, immunization, school and veterinarian records.
- Advising subscriptions.
- Pick up dry cleaning.
- New address (keep handy at all times).
- Cleaning supplies for cleaning after movers have loaded everything.
- Garage door opener (remember to leave it behind).
- Keys (gather up all house keys and leave for new home owner).
Long Distance Move Checklist
- Open new bank accounts. Transfer funds and anything you have in your safety deposit box.
- Health Care. Take the time to choose new health professionals. Research the Internet for doctors, dentists, specialists and hospitals. Ask new friends and working colleagues for recommendations.
- Prescriptions. Be sure to get a couple of months' worth of prescriptions from your doctor before moving.
- Medical Records. Get copies of doctor's records and case records and have them forwarded to your new doctor.
- Insurance. Check all of your insurance policies to ensure that coverage will continue in your new area. If not, ask your insurance agent for a recommendation.
- Memberships. Formally resign or transfer memberships from any local organizations or associations.
- School Records. Ask the school to make a copy for you to take with you.
- Borrowed Items. Return library books, rental videos or other items you may have borrowed from friends or neighbours.
- Trip to new home. Pack a first aid box and a food and beverage "care package" for the trip to your new home.
Moving With Kids
- Provide children with as much information as possible about the move and allow them to participate in decision-making discussions.
- Familiarize the children with the new area using maps, photographs and related Internet sites. Talk about the positive aspects of their new home, school and neighbourhood. Encourage questions and invite children to talk about their worries.
- For young children, make the move an adventure. Encourage them to pack their own things, leaving favourite toys until the end.
- Resist the temptation to send children away during the move unless they are very young. Participating will help them adjust more easily to their new surroundings.
- For older children who are leaving friends, sports teams and their school, emphasize how easy it is to keep in touch through e-mail and the telephone.
- After the move, participate with the kids in local religious events, Scouts or Girl Guides and community sport teams.
- No matter how well you have prepared your children, expect them to be a little upset. The emotional impact is greater for older children than for younger children. Watch for signs of depression.
- Sturdy boxes.
- Packing tape.
- Bubble wrap.
- Styrofoam packing peanuts.
- Use newspaper, old blankets, pillows and clothing to serve as a buffer between breakable objects.
- Pack one room at a time, labeling each box with a description of its contents and its destination (e.g. kitchen, bathroom). Mark the room destination on the top and at least one side of every carton. Be as specific as you can to make unpacking easier. Follow this up at your destination home by taping an identifying tag on each room, e.g. Bedroom-1 or Bedroom-2.
- Put heavy items in small boxes to make them easier to carry.
- Don't apply tape directly to polished or painted wood finishes. Removing the tape could ruin the surface.
- Double-box fragile items and add plenty of cushioning.
- Do not pack up valuables such as jewelry, money or important legal documents. Take them with you in your car.
- Make sure the items you need most are loaded LAST.
- Pack essential items that you will need for the first 24 hours in your new home and take them in your car. For each person: a change of clothes, a towel, prescriptions, toothbrush and other personal items. For everyone: food, plastic eating utensils, toilet paper, soap, local phone book, aspirins, pen/pencil and paper, snacks, beverages, coffee and trash bags.
On Moving Day
- Have a notepad or clipboard handy to jot down reminders.
- Have everything packed and ready to go by the time your helpers arrive.
- Make sure the movers have clear directions to your new home and that someone will be there to greet them.
- Make sure the moving van has a convenient place to park. Mark off the parking area with cones or other suitable objects. Make sure the moving truck doesn't block a neighbour's driveway.
- When loading and unloading, make sure the movers don't walk over your neighbour's lawn.
- Try not to move too early or too late in the day.
- Confine your pet or arrange for a friend or family member to care for your pet during the move. Another alternative is to take your pet to the groomer for the day.
- Food and refreshments for your family and the movers.
- Leave your old house as clean as you would like to find your new house. Clean as much as you can before moving day, and then make a final check after everything is out.
- Stay around until the movers are finished loading. You will be asked to sign a bill of lading and to check an inventory sheet. Read the documents carefully before signing.
- Remember the last walk-through of all rooms.
- If the movers have done a good job for you, it is customary to tip them around $20 each, depending on the difficulty of the move.
- It will be less stressful if you know that you don't have to unpack everything in one day or even in one week.
- If you have prepared well, furniture and boxes can be unloaded directly into the correct rooms.
- Focus on one room at a time, beginning with the kitchen, followed by the bathroom.