A little moving preparation can go a long way to making your arrival at your new home or apartment much more pleasant. No one wants to enter a new place to find lights that don’t work or mail that doesn’t arrive. Here are items you can handle in advance to make the transition more comfortable:
Switch over your utilities. Don’t arrive at your new home only to find that it’s dark and cold because you forgot to have your utilities transferred to a new address in time for moving day.
Ensure that you’re insured. Check with your home insurer to find out if you’ll need any changes to your coverage.
Take care of your finances. If the move is a significant distance from your previous home, set up an account at a nearby bank and transfer some funds in advance to be sure you’ll have access to money when you arrive.
Redirect your mail. You can make arrangements online or at your local postal outlet to have your mail forwarded. Canada Post offers a four-month service and a 12-month plan. Visit the link here.
Determining when you’ll move and how you’ll do it lead to packing for the big day. No one lists packing as their favorite hobby, but if you take the time to plan your strategy, it will make the unpacking process at the other end easier.
Choose between hiring a mover and moving yourself. Weigh the pros and cons. Hiring a mover may be more expensive, but they are trained, insured and efficient. If this is the alternative you choose, ask friends for recommendations and get estimates to find a mover who offers good service, as well as good value. If you decide on the do-it-yourself model, compare truck rental prices and mileage charges. Certain days of the week may make discounts available for either method, so check.
Arm yourself with packing supplies. You’ll need boxes, markers, scissors, and good, strong packing tape. Buying boxes from supply stores can be expensive, so check with a local retailer to see if they have boxes available and on which days. Liquor stores are often a good source, as are furniture stores.
Separate the wheat from the chaff. Moving offers a perfect opportunity to go through your belongings and rid yourself of items that you no longer want or need. Charities are always seeking donated items.
Prepare for a vacation. Pretend you’re going away for vacation and pack a suitcase with all the essential clothing and toiletries for the trip. Once moving day approaches, live out of this suitcase. It will ensure that you don’t accidentally pack anything you need as you’re preparing to leave. You can also live out of the suitcase as unpacking begins.
There are now mobile inventory apps, such as Moving Van for iPhones, that allow you to photograph your belongings, assign them to boxes and designate these boxes for particular rooms; you can email this inventory to your computer.
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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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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