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How to Choose a Moving Company
If you’re planning on buying a new home anytime soon, chances are good that you will need to use a moving company to transport at least some of your belongings from your old home to your new one. Choosing a moving company with a solid reputation can ease your mind – after all, you’re about to entrust your personal effects to virtual strangers. Here are a few steps to take to ensure that you make the best possible choice when you select your moving company.
Draw up a budget
Buying a new home can be expensive, but you want to be able to allocate a fair amount of money for the all-important task of safeguarding your belongings while in transit from your old home to your new. If you’re short on money, you might want to look into renting or borrowing a truck and moving some items on your own.
Separate out anything of tremendous monetary or sentimental value and plan on moving those items yourself. Grandma’s heirloom silver service? Valuable jewelry? Irreplaceable family photos? Don’t leave your most important family possessions in the hands of movers – even the best companies can have an occasional mishap. Some companies charge less if you pack boxes yourself; however, you’ll want to be confident in your abilities to adequately keep things safe.
Make some comparisons
In other words, shop around. Gather recommendations from friends and family in your area who have moved before. Your real estate agent is also be a good resource. Once you’ve compiled a list of companies, start making phone calls to explain the nature of your move and to ask vital questions, such as how long the company has been in business and whether they have experience packing up items similar to yours. Pay attention to what kind of feel you get about how each company values customer satisfaction.
Get some estimates
Once you’ve made some phone calls and narrowed down your list, make appointments with your top choices to visit your current home and give you an estimate of what they will charge to move your belongings. Make sure they are aware of any valuable or fragile items or furnishings that might require extra care, such as a grandfather clock or grand piano. Make sure that you know their replacement values and your your insurance company’s policies coverage for moves.
Make a decision
Local company or national carrier? Large-scale operation or small, reputable mom-and-pop business? National carriers must be licensed for interstate transport, so make sure to ask about licensing if you’re moving to a different state. Once you’ve collected all the facts and analyzed the best fit for your move, it’s time to make the very personal decision regarding which moving company is the best fit for you.
Once you’ve decided on a moving company, get on their calendar so that they will be available when you’re ready to make your move. Be sure you have moving day on your calendar, too. Think it all through in advance. That way, when the movers arrive, you will be able to guide them as they pack up your belongings, and sign off on any inventories they provide.
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Moving Day Checklist
- Start a moving folder and checklist; organization is important as moving can become very hectic
- Plan ahead for any required repairs or deep cleaning projects
- Reserve rental truck or moving company service at least 6 weeks in advance
- Purchase or gather moving boxes and materials
- Start Packing! Do not underestimate how long this may take.
- Mark boxes on two sides: “room” & “contents”
- Schedule professional cleaners
- Recruit moving day help
- Change your address for service providers and governement offices