Moving Tips

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How can I simplify packing and moving?

Make an Easier Move

The time to prepare for a move is the day you offer your home for sale. Most homes are overflowing with "stuff" that can be a distraction to home buyers who view your home. Go to the local moving and storage company, purchase a variety of boxes and begin to pack the clutter to make your home look bigger and show better.
A method for organizing this process is to categorize all of your possessions as a one, two or three priority. The boxes with a number one on them are the most urgent and necessary. These are the things you use daily and must have at your disposal. These will not be packed until just before the move.
The number two boxes are somewhat important but can be sacrificed. The "low twos" will get packed, along with the number ones, which are the things you can nearly live without. Strip counters, furniture, closets and cupboards of anything you can do without for the next 3-6 months. Mark each box with its appropriate number and identify the room of the house where the box should be placed in the new home.
Packed boxes can be stored in garage attics, a corner of the basement or rent a storage unit. Your home will not only look larger and show better -the job of packing and moving will be half-finished before the home ever sells!

How do I find a moving company?

Finding a Moving Company

If you are moving long distance, your first stop should be the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Web site. The FMCSA is a sub-department within the Federal Dept. of Transportation. Their Web site offers many resources on finding and working with a reputable moving company. You can download a copy of the informational brochure "Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move" from the FMCSA's Web site. The brochure includes basic information that will help you understand the documents a mover will ask you to sign. It also explains your rights if your household goods are lost or damaged by the mover.

What types of things should be included in a moving quote?

Getting a Quote

If you are moving long or short distance, you will need to get a moving quote from a reputable moving company. The estimate should clearly describe, in writing, all charges for services the mover will perform. Make sure the estimate is signed by the mover, and never accept oral estimates. Included among the quote paperwork should be an order for moving services. The order for service includes a list of all the services the carrier will perform and shows the dates your household goods will be picked up and delivered. The Federal Dept. of Transportation, a sub-department of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, suggests all consumers get at least three quotes from different moving companies. You can visit the FMCSA Web site for a list of licensed moving companies.

Should I rent my own moving truck?

To Use a Mover or Not

There comes a time in life when every homeowner needs to cross the bridge from renting a U-Haul moving truck and roping a couple of buddies into helping with the heavy lifting to hiring a qualified moving company. If you've accumulated any amount of furniture and household goods, it's probably a good idea to consider using the services of a reputable moving company. If you are making a local move, check with your family and friends to see if they can recommend a good company. If you're moving long distance, visit the Federal Dept. of Transportation's Web site for a list of licensed inter-state carriers. And whether you're moving locally or long distance, you should get estimates from at least three moving companies.

What will a mover do?

Working With Your Mover

As with most services, there are different levels of service you can get from a moving company. Some people feel more comfortable packing their own belongings, while others want the mover to do all the work. Check with the companies you're considering using to see what their policies are. Most movers won't guarantee items that you pack yourself. If you decide to pack your own things, your moving company can often provide boxes and packing materials. Some people like to take a picture of each room before packing it, and tape the picture to the outside of the box, so when they get to their new place they'll know exactly what's in the box.

Who provides the moving supplies?

Moving Supplies

Whether you are moving long distance or around the corner, you are going to need to find a moving supply provider. If you are moving long distance, running to the grocery store and grabbing the surplus banana boxes isn't going to cut the mustard. Some moving companies provide moving supplies and include them in the cost of goods and services. In fact, some companies will not ensure the safe delivery of your household goods unless you use their packing materials. Speak to your moving professionals about their requirements before signing a contract.

What should I look for in a reputable moving company?

Vetting a Moving Company

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a sub-department of the Federal Dept. of Transportation, you should make sure any moving company you hire has been assigned a USDOT number, is licensed by FMCSA to engage in interstate transportation of household goods, and has proper insurance. You can find out if a mover is registered with FMCSA by visiting the departments Web site. Other good moving advice from the FMCSA is don't sign any blank paperwork whatsoever! Finally, before moving your household goods, interstate movers are required to provide you with information regarding their dispute settlement program that includes contact information for a neutral, third-party dispute resolution service.

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Linda Handiak