The big day is here – you’re finally moving. And you aren’t the only ones. The typical American is expected to move 11.7 times in a lifetime. Unfortunately, that can be expensive. The national average cost of moving is $848, with a high-end price tag of $6,200. So to trim expenses (and stress), Garage Shield offers the following suggestions for moving day – especially when to use movers, what to expect, and what you need to plan ahead for.
When to Use Movers
According to HealthStatus, moving is ranked as one of life’s most stressful events, up there with illness, divorce, job loss, and the death of a loved one. Granted, your move likely won’t be that dire, but you should take every precaution you can to reduce stress.
One option is thinking about whether to use professional movers. That decision will likely hinge on how many belongings you have. If you’re a college kid packing up after a six-month lease, you might fit all your belongings in your car. If you’re a family that’s accumulated the usual collection of kitchenware and furniture, it’s probably best to hire the pros. Another consideration is whether you have health problems or back issues that picking up hundreds of boxes could exacerbate.
What to Plan Ahead For
Be sure to plan your move well in advance, and take it in steps. More accurately, take it in weeks. Calendar six to eight weeks out before the big day and markdown preliminary tasks. Those could include contacting the moving company, pitching out any belongings that you don’t need, and talking to your family about the moving process, especially if you have young kids. At four to six weeks, throw a garage sale, send change of address notifications, and forward your kids’ records to their new school districts.
The list goes on, and frankly, it’s impossible to anticipate everything. The point is just to have a solid battle plan in place so that when that moving truck pulls up, you’re not caught under a tsunami of to-do’s.
Many of your belongings are dear to you – your diploma, your wedding photos, that antique vase that cost five paychecks. So be careful to follow the best practices for packing to ensure that your items arrive safely.
Apartment Therapy suggests starting the packing process early on. Pack room by room so you don’t mix up items and cause confusion later. Then, put small but heavy items such as books or canned goods in smaller boxes. Reserve the bulky yet lightweight items (pillows, blankets, or lampshades) for the largest boxes. Clothes on hangers can go in the movers’ wardrobe packages. And never transport flammable or combustible items or anything that’s remotely explosive.
What to Expect
Even though you may have prepared up to this point, you should expect some chaos on the big day. But if you’ve hired a moving company, there are some procedures that they’ll follow that should be able to tame the ruckus into some semblance of order. For instance, the crew supervisor should prepare an inventory of your belongings, checking on the condition of each item and giving it a number. Go over the paperwork to make sure his assessment is correct and the inventory includes everything you own.
Once you’ve moved into your new home, expect to be given a bill of lading to verify that your belongings have been transported successfully and they’re all undamaged. Review this thoroughly. And if it passes muster, sign it and celebrate your new home. Also, don’t forget to secure your garage door! Garage Shield can help, and it’s a great way to give your family some added peace of mind.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to reward all the friends who helped you move, whether they actually assisted you with heavy boxes or just listened to you vent. A gift card, a nice dinner, or some tickets to watch the Houston Astros are always welcome – and it’s a good way not only to preserve those friendships but make it more likely that you’ll be able to call on their assistance again, should the need arise.
Moving can add anxiety to anyone’s life. However, with some simple planning and attention to how you pack your belongings (and possibly some help from professionals), moving day doesn’t have to turn into your worst nightmare.
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