Hurray! The “SOLD” sign is in the front yard! So, what’s next on the agenda? Does the word “MOVING” bring the onset of a panic attack or make your muscles ache just thinking about it? With so many things happening at once and big changes right around the corner (or around the country), it’s easy to forget to organize something or make costly mistakes. Relocating doesn’t have to be difficult if you take the time to plan ahead and avoid these 10 common mistakes people make when planning a move:
Mistake #1 CHANGING YOUR ADDRESS IS MORE THAN A TRIP TO THE POST OFFICE:
One of the common mistakes people make is to fill out a change of address form for the post office and assume that is all they have to do. There are many individuals and organizations that you may need to contact. Make a check list so that you don’t lose contact with someone important after you move. Some of the people or organizations on your list may include banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, credit card companies, utility providers, driver’s license, auto registrations, health care providers, employer, magazine/newspaper subscriptions, IRS, social security, accountant, attorney, clubs or organizations, alumni, friends and family. It is also a good idea to have your medical and veterinary records forwarded to your new providers. If this is not possible, see if you can get copies.
Mistake #2 BAD PLANNING
One of the most common mistakes that people make when planning a move is that they don’t give themselves enough time to plan for the move. It seems simple at first: book movers, pack up the house and off you go! It’s not nearly that simple and relocations across state lines or internationally is an even more involved process. Taking the time to systematically plan every step of your move will ensure that nothing gets forgotten along the way. Partnering with a professional moving company and conferring with an experienced Moving Consultant will help take the pressure off of you to be the expert.
Mistake #3 TAKING TOO MUCH STUFF
Often people who are moving forget to purge all of their unwanted belongings before relocating. Taking unwanted stuff with you will not only be more costly but also take extra time to pack and unpack belongings you no longer want or use. This is the perfect opportunity to have a ‘cull’ of your belongings and to really cut down on the things you don’t need. If you’re a hoarder this can be hard work, but you may find it incredibly liberating to just let go of a lot of your stuff and it makes moving far less complicated. De-clutter now!
Mistake #4 PACKING TOO LATE
There is nothing quite as stressful as having to pack an entire property up in a single evening or two. If you postpone packing until just days before your move, the job can be much more daunting when you finally get around to it. Start packing early so that you can do it at a leisurely pace and then you’re ready to go when move day comes. Designate a room for your boxes so that your packing doesn’t get in the way. Or maybe a better option: Check with your professional moving company for a quote on having expert packers perform this service for you. Most packing services can be completed in just one day (hoarders not included).
Mistake #5 POOR LABELING
If you do pack yourself, having unclear labels or no labels at all will make the move more difficult, so take the time to label your boxes. You will want clear, legible labels to make sure your things get to the correct room in your house. Don’t label on the top of the boxes – you’ll have to unstack them one at a time to figure out where they go. You don’t want to have to take the time to move things around to different rooms once you’ve got everything inside.
Mistake #6 NOT GETTING A VISUAL ESTIMATE
Some movers will want to give you an estimate over the phone. Do you really think a guy on the phone can give you a precise estimate of how much it will cost to move all your worldly possessions? No way…no how! Maybe you can get an accurate moving estimate if you have a very small move, but it still pays to have someone look at your stuff in person. Also, with a phone quote, you have no proof you gave them an accurate inventory of your items. And come moving day, the movers could say you didn’t give them a complete inventory, and now your move will cost more than the estimate – and you have no way to prove otherwise. Insist on a free in-home written estimate. To receive the accurate estimate you’re demanding, it’s a two-way street — moving consultants need to see everything you have to pack, move and the lay of the land. (Don’t try to hide things because you think you’ll get a cheaper price!)
Mistake #7 MOVING WITH THE “LOWBALLER”
We can’t say this enough: DO NOT choose the moving company that has a dramatically lower quote. That’s the No. 1 way to get scammed! Do you really think someone who comes in 30 percent to 40 percent below other movers has such lower costs? Nope, not if they are a legitimate company. Here’s how it goes: You get the low estimate now, and all of a sudden extra charges start piling up until you’re at or above the estimates you got from the other movers. Worse yet, a rogue mover holds your goods hostage until he gets his money.
Mistake #8 NOT KNOWING YOUR MOVER (aka Word-Of-Mouth Referrals are the Best!)
Making decisions on price alone is a bad idea. Take the time to research movers, rather than blindly accepting the lowest offer in a bid to save some money. The fact that you’re only making a local move doesn’t mean that you should get skimpy when it comes to choosing a moving company. You still want all of your stuff to get to the new house, and you want it to get there in one piece. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your move in the hands of someone who doesn’t care about your property and who will not take care of it as if it were their own. Ask your realtor for a referral. Talk to family and friends about their experiences with movers. Only the really bad movers make evening news – you may have to inquire a little more to hear about the really great ones!
Mistake #9 NOT UNDERSTANDING THE MOVER’S LIABILITY
We cannot tell a lie — during a move, even with movers who have the most professional, caring and cautious crews — things can go wrong. But first things first: Movers provide ‘valuation’ protection, not insurance. Valuation and insurance operate similar to one another, but with a key difference: valuation protection is governed by federal requirements, while insurance you buy is regulated by your state. Also, the protection levels vary between valuation and insurance, as does the cost.
There’s basically four types of ways to protect your move: A. Accept the “limited liability” coverage provided by your mover – it’s free, but it doesn’t provide much protection (most likely 60 cents per pound per article). B. Rely on any coverage you might have from your homeowners insurance company (but do NOT assume you’re automatically covered). C. Pay a bit more and get a higher level of protection through your mover, known as “full-value replacement protection.” However, this option may not always be available to you depending on the type of move you’re planning. D. Buy an insurance policy through a third-party insurer.
Mistake #10 DOING THE “PIZZA & BEER” MOVE
Perhaps the biggest mistake that those who are looking to move make is thinking that they can simply move themselves and that it will be cheaper. Sure, it sounds like a good time – all your friends and family, a rental truck and some pizza and beer! While it is possible to make a move around the block or across town by moving yourself, it can still prove costly and stressful. Oh, and did we mention the strain on your relationships when those well-meaning friends damage your belongings or property, or even worse, permanently throw their back out? Of course, if you do insist on the P&B move….be sure to serve the pizza and beer AFTER the move, not before or during! Do yourself a favor and avoid moving mistakes. Contact Tom Hall, a top notch Moving Consultant for Brand Transfer & Storage Company. Tom has been helping families and businesses to meet their relocation needs for nearly twenty years.
For More Information contact Brand Transfer & Storage Company, Inc.