Moving yourself, versus hiring a professional company, has certain advantages and disadvantages. Of course, you will save a considerable amount of money, however you will likely end up trading that savings for additional time and effort. Actual savings and added effort really depend on the details of your move though. If you are moving from a small home and/or to a local destination, this can definitely be the most cost-effective, quick and simple solution. Call in some favors to your friends and have your moving plan ready to execute on moving day. Remember to try to pack as much as you can ahead of time, if at all possible. If you are moving from a large home and/or to a distant destination, moving yourself will definitely be a significant amount more effort and time, in turn, possibly costing you more money.
- Use only boxes with lids. This allows better packing of the moving truck and greatly reduces the possibility of damage.
- If necessary, purchase boxes and packing materials from a moving company.
- Label all boxes with a list of contents, and which room they will be moved to in your new residence.
- Use linens and towels to cushion fragile items.
- Use about four inches of crumpled paper in the bottom of every box loaded with fragile items.
- Wrap each item individually and add paper cushioning around it.
- Wrap plates, saucers and china individually.
- Wrap cups and glasses individually and pack them rim down in the box.
- Box stereo and computer equipment to prevent damage.
- Pack pictures and mirrors in boxes.
- Leave clothes in drawers.
- Upright file cabinets with drawers can be left full. Lateral file cabinets, desks and credenzas need to be emptied.
- Check to see that caps are secure on toiletries, medicines, cleaning products and laundry soap.
- Do not pack any flammable materials or aerosol products, including hair spray, shaving cream, deodorant, insecticides, cleaning products, spray paint, nail polish remover, bleach, lighter fluid, and motor oil. The temperature inside a closed moving van can reach 150 degrees, and these combustible items can trigger an explosion.
- As you pack small boxes, move them into a staging area such as the living room or the garage. This makes moving day progress faster.
- Make sure a few hand tools are easily accessible.
- If you are moving your belongings into a storage unit, get a unit larger than you require. This way boxes can be stacked against each wall to leave an aisle down the middle for easier access to stored items.
- Make sure your belongings are insured for an adequate amount, and carry enough cash to cover emergency situations during your move.
Choosing a Moving Company
Today moving companies offer a multitude of services above the basic loading, transporting, and unloading of your belongings. Extended services now include packing your belongings, the sale or hire of packing materials, unpacking, cleaning and the setup of your new home!
Choosing a company to trust with all of your possessions can be difficult though. Here are some tips to guide you in selecting a reputable company in your area:
- Be sure to start shopping companies well in advance of your move. You should choose your moving company four to eight weeks before your moving day.
- Use your friend’s and family’s recommendations as a starting point. If someone you know had a good experience with a company, you are likely to experience a similar level of satisfaction.
- Get several quotes for like moving services. Prices can range drastically, so the more information you have up front, the better informed decision you can make on which company if right for you.
- Be sure to ask how long the company has been in business and if they have any customer referrals. Also ask about their insurance coverage and claims protection.
- Read the fine print of any contracts you sign, as that is where any additional fees will be hidden.
The largest moving companies are Premiere Vanlines, Allied, and North American Vanlines. They all offer long distance moves across the country and will quote your move at no cost to you. Each has a website where you can get general information on moving, and also estimate your move time and the cost to use their company. It is important to understand the moving industry. It is a tough business that always carries the potential risk for damage of cargo. Customers are rarely forgiving when it comes to their personal possessions, so you can imagine that most moving companies will have some complaints or negative reviews. Websites like Moving.com can help you identify local companies with the best reputation and a minimal amount of negative feedback.