Preparing to Move
Moving can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you choose to hire outside professionals or you choose to do it yourself, being prepared will ultimately make the move much smoother. Your REALTOR® can advise you and help make your move easier. Be sure to ask for their advice.
Not all moving companies are created equal. If you choose to hire professional movers here are a number of things to consider:
- Will they do the packing for you?
- If so, do they provide insurance for your valuables?
- Do they charge a flat rate or an hourly fee? What does that rate include?
- Are you protected against liability?
For those who prefer the do-it-yourself method, here are some considerations:
- Find a truck rental company and book early. They are always busy at the end of the month.
- What size truck do you need? One trip is always better than many.
- Does the rental company provide moving pads, packing boxes and dollies?
- Do you need insurance?
Spread the packing out over a number of weeks. Label each box with the room that it belongs to and take an inventory of its contents and the number of boxes per room. Use heavy packing tape and newspaper to keep fragile items safe. Be sure to label all fragile boxes and move them separately. Don’t over-pack boxes so that you cannot lift them. Finally, pack a separate box (labelled ‘survival kit’) of items necessary for getting through the first few days in your new home.
- Simplify. Use the move as an opportunity to de-clutter your life. A garage sale is a great way to raise money for moving costs. Getting rid of unused, broken and out-dated items can be a huge relief in itself, plus you won’t have to pack, move, and unpack all of the extra weight. Donate anything left over to a local charity, or post items for sale on eBay and/or Craigslist.
- Organize. Try to avoid packing in haste. This is how items get broken or damaged, plus it makes it much more difficult and time-consuming to unpack everything. Keep items of similarity together: décor, kitchen ware, linens, toys, consumables, etc. and be sure to clearly label all boxes.
- Think Ahead. When packing things into the moving vehicle, think ahead for what you will want/need out first and remember to pack those things last so they will be the most accessible.
- Special Care. Take special care with items of value and sentiment. We recommend moving items like this in your own vehicle for added peace of mind.
- Get a Head Start. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin the moving process. Pack whatever you can, as soon as it is convenient. The sooner you begin, the less work and the less stress you will have on moving day.
Moving your pets can add stress to any move. Moving companies are not permitted to handle living creatures, nor are buses or trains. You will either need to move your pets yourself, or hire a professional company (recommended when traveling long distances over an extended period of time) to handle the well being of your animals for the duration of your move. Regardless of the distance you will be traveling, you will want to consider your pet’s comfort and safety throughout the relocation. Be sure to have a sturdy, comfortable carrier for your pet. Familiarize your pet with the carrier several days (or even weeks) in advance.
If you are moving to another state/province or with exotic animals, there are several things you need to take into advanced consideration:
- Health Certificate. Many places require a health certificate less than 10 days old. The certificate must be issued by a licensed veterinarian, and current inoculation records must accompany it.
- Permit. If you are entering the state/province with an exotic pet, you must apply for a permit to keep it. Your veterinarian can assist you in obtaining this documentation.
- Identification. Identification is absolutely crucial when traveling. Your pet should be clearly identified using a collar and tags if at all possible. The tags should include your name, phone number and destination address. Some states/provinces also require a rabies tag. Check with your veterinarian for more information.
Moving costs can range drastically based on the distance of the move and the amount of furniture/belongings being transported. Other variables that affect moving costs include the time of year, how much lead time was provided to the moving company, and who will be doing the packing and unpacking. Getting multiple quotes can mean the difference between getting a reasonable price and becoming the victim of a moving scam. Be sure to discuss any and all circumstances that could add additional costs to your final bill with your moving company during the quoting process.
- File a change of address request with the Postal Service.
- Locate grocery, hardware and gas stations near your moving destination before you move.
- Locate nearby hospitals and notify your medical insurance carrier which hospital you will need to go to in the case of an emergency.
- If you have a recreational vehicle, boat or trailer that you will be storing on your new property, research city ordinances beforehand to avoid citations and fines.