Moving can be an exciting and nerve-wracking process. One of the biggest things you’ll need to do is hire a moving company. Here are a few great tips on finding a moving company.
Finding the right moving company
Get referrals from friends, family members or, if possible, your Realtor.
Contact a few different companies for estimates, and it’s always a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the company you are considering.
Arrange to meet with the movers beforehand so they can inspect your belongings and give you a thorough quote. Beware of movers who insist they can quote you over the phone without an inspection.
Payment and estimate considerations
Standard practice in the moving industry is to make full payment upon completion of the move, so avoid companies who ask for a large part of the cost up front.
Get estimates in writing, including delivery date and the name of the individual you spoke to. Make sure estimates include a “not to exceed” clause. You should also ask for written material from the company outlining their liability for loss or damage and any optional programs available. They should outline your rights, as well as the mover’s rights and responsibilities.
How will belongings be handled?
Check to see if your personal property will remain on the same truck for the duration of the move. Switching trucks increases the likelihood of damage. If the move is long distance, or will take place over a few days, determine if the truck will be stored overnight in a locked facility.
Finally, notify the movers of any obstacles or stairs that may require careful navigation as these can impact the price you will be charged. You would also want to confirm who will be responsible for packing. If you would like the moving company to pack there will be an extra charge.
Making the move with ease
Following these few tips will help to make your move smooth and easy. Once you have selected the right company for the job, the hardest part is over. Here are a few final considerations you should make:
Documents and updates
File a change of address with the post office. Make sure to do this a few days before the move as it can take a couple of business days to take effect and you don’t want to miss any important mail.
Be sure to update your driver’s license and car insurance to reflect your new address. Also, it’s a great time to update your banking information especially if your bank doesn’t operate in your new location
Change the locks. Even if your home is brand new, think of all the trades who had access to your home before you moved in.
Pack an overnight bag with any items you may need for your first few days in your new home to avoid the stress of being unable to locate essentials while your belongings are being unpacked.
Purge that pile of junk that has collected in your closets, garage, and basement. Moving is a great opportunity to de-clutter and get rid of unneeded stuff that has accumulated over the years.
Keep important papers and valuable items with you. These could get lost or damaged in the moving van. You would also want to keep delicate items, like house plants, separated from other heavy items.
This is the one time when you will be touching everything you own – it’s an ideal time to do an inventory, which will help you make sure you have the right home insurance. (Download a simple home inventory worksheet.) If a written inventory is too daunting, take pictures of the things you pack. Store photos electronically in a folder in your email inbox or in the Cloud so they are accessible even if your computer, camera, or phone is damaged.
If you have a pet consider using a pet sitter for the day to keep them safe and prevent them from feeling more stress than necessary because of the transition from one location to another.
Home insurance considerations
Protection during a move
Most importantly, find out what sort of insurance protection you have during the move. You may need coverage for your old home, your new home, and the goods in transit all at the same time. You would also want to let your insurer know if you are putting goods in storage, and if the home you are moving out of will be left vacant, as that will require special insurance.
If you want coverage for your goods while they’re being moved, check with your home insurance agent as well as the moving company. Sometimes your home insurance can accommodate this, but in other cases, you may need to purchase extra coverage from the moving company. Make sure the extra coverage is on a full replacement value basis. In some cases, insurance providers can transfer your policy from your old home to your new home, making the transition much more seamless and stress-free.
Will the home be vacant?
If either home is going to be vacant for any time, let your insurance agent know. Coverage is often limited while a home is vacant, and may be void entirely if your home is vacant for over 30 days. You can learn more about insuring vacant homes here.
Moving into a condo?
Make sure you ask your Realtor to find out what upgrades and improvements have been made to your unit since the building was first constructed. Make sure your insurance covers all these improvements – like hardwood floors that replaced carpets or kitchen renovations. Any upgrades to the unit would be the current owner’s responsibility, even if they were completed by someone who owned the condo before you. Keep in mind you would want to choose a limit of insurance that would be sufficient to replace the upgrades based on today’s cost.
If you have any other questions about how your property can be protected while moving, you can always contact Square One at 1.855.331.6933 for more information.