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Moving Advice from A-Z
Ask questions. Whether it's your first move or your 50th, you'll probably have many questions for your
mover. Asking these questions directly will alleviate unnecessary stress and will help you to better
understand the moving process.
Be aggressive. To avoid getting swindled by your moving company, make sure to stand up for your
rights. If you think that an estimate is too high, say so. If the moving company attempts to add
additional charges at the end of the move, firmly explain why such charges are unwarranted. Although
you may be tired and drained from the moving process, make sure to keep a keen eye on what is going
on so that you can protect yourself and your possessions.
Check references. A great way to make sure that a moving company is legitimate is to speak with others
who have used these services. Don't be afraid to ask for references- this is a standard part of the
Don't cut corners. Although price is always an important factor to consider, it should not be the
determining factor. Skimping on packing supplies is a surefire way to receive broken or damaged items.
Choosing the cheapest moving company is a likely way to end up with subpar service. Many times it is
worthwhile to pay a mover to help with the packing so that your things are as secure as possible. While
it may not be necessary to spend top-dollar on moving expenses, keep in mind that you will get what
you pay for- and that when it comes to moving, paying slightly more will likely purchase your peace of
mind (as well as adequate protection of your belongings).
Enjoy the process. Moving may be a stressful process- but that doesn't mean that it can't be enjoyable.
Take time to relive your memories as you pack cherished items or to have dinner with your friends when
all of your dishes are packed. You won't believe what a difference it makes when you stop stressing and
focus on the positive aspects of the moving experience.
Focus. The ultimate key to a successful move is to stay focused on the tasks at hand and to complete
them in an organized fashion. Keeping lists of your belongings and things that need to get done for the
move will help you stay calm and focused on the process so that you whiz right through.
Get going! Procrastinating will not help you reach your destination. In fact, stalling will probably make
the move more difficult in the long run. Instead of dreading the work that needs to be done, face it
head on. Start getting organized as early as possible so that you can reduce the stress and time
demands throughout the process.
Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Everyone hopes that their move will be trouble-free. And a few
lucky people may even encounter the perfect move. But for most other people, there are bound to be
bumps in the (proverbial) road- and that's ok, as long as you are prepared. Consider what might happen
if your new home isn't ready on time or if your moving truck is delayed because of inclement weather.
Contemplate how you will manage if your appliances don't fit into your new space or if your table is
broken en route. No matter what obstacles may arise, they will be surmountable if you are prepared.
Invite friends to help. Packing efficiently is entirely possible if you enlist the help of your friends and
family members. Before inviting your loved ones over, consider exactly which moving tasks you'll want
them to help with and which you would prefer to do on your own. For example, if you prefer to pack
your dishes (or hire a mover to pack fragile items), make this clear to your friends from the outset.
Then, assign each friend (or group of friends) specific tasks, and stay close by to offer help or advice.
You can either do your own packing at the same time, or just stay and enjoy the company as they help
with the labor. Make sure that you are the one recording what goes in each box so that you won't have
to worry about deciphering someone else's handwriting when you reach your destination. Lastly, make
sure to enjoy the togetherness- it's a great opportunity to create memories of a positive moving
Just relax. While you may have a natural tendency to agonize over every detail of the move, doing so
will only make things more difficult. If you can't sleep because of the stress or you find yourself yelling
at friends and coworkers, take a moment to relax. Enjoy a glass of wine, a short massage or a nap,
which will leave you invigorated rather than irritable.
Keep lists. A great way to stay organized during the moving process is to keep lists. Here are some lists
that may be useful during your move:
- The pre-move to-do list. This list will remind you of everything that must get done before the moving
- The what-to-do-upon-arrival list. As its name suggests, this list make it easy for you to get settled in
your new home.
- The packing list. Keep track of what goes into each moving box on one list. Take this list in your
carry-on luggage to ensure that it doesn't get lost.
- The list of possibilities. This is a list of things that you hope to get done either before, during or after
your move- but if you aren't able to accomplish everything on the list the move will still proceed
For example, you may want to donate your old clothing before you move, but if you can't, you can have
a neighbor do it. Similarly, you may want to call ahead for a grocery delivery to your new home- but if
you forget, you can always make a pit stop at a local convenience store.
Look ahead. It's natural to approach a move with sadness as you reflect on all of the memories and
loved ones that you're leaving behind. To help ease the sadness, it's healthy to look ahead during the
moving process. Get excited about the new job you'll be starting or the larger home that you'll be
enjoying. No matter why you're moving, there are exciting possibilities just around the corner, and
taking a few moments to focus on the positives of the future will make the entire move a happier
Make steady progress. Anyone who has ever read The Tortoise and the Hare knows that "slow and
steady wins the race." From packing your home to lining up new jobs, new schools or a new cell phone
carrier, moving requires a great deal of work that cannot be done in one day (or even a week). Start the
process as early as possible, even if it's only the small details. Research physicians in your new area
before you arrive in your new area. This way, if you need one during or after the move you'll know
exactly who to call. Start getting rid of things you don't want early in the process, so that you won't be
busy with this task when you have more important things to do. Take 5 minutes a day to update your
moving lists and make sure that everything is under control. Making steady progress will ensure that
you don't get overwhelmed as moving day approaches and that no tasks are accidentally overlooked or
Never lose hope. If you begin to feel despondent, depressed or downhearted during the moving
process, remind yourself why you are moving. Whether you're excited about moving closer to family or
starting a new job or downsizing your home to save money, you are days away from reaching your goal.
Remaining optimistic about your moving goals will ensure that you reach them as easily as possible.
Obsess less. Although it's natural to fixate on every small detail, it's important not to sweat the "small
stuff." If you find yourself talking or thinking about the move while you are not packing or arranging for
the move, make a conscious effort to 'retrain your brain' and think about other things.
Pack carefully. The notion of packing carefully has a dual meaning. Firstly, it is important to pack every
item with care so that it is not damaged during transit. This is especially important when packing fragile
items, expensive things and those that have emotional significance. Secondly, make sure to pack
intelligibly so that you will have a painless unpacking experience.
This includes labeling the boxes carefully, making sure they are not too heavy and placing items from
one room in the same box so that you will not have to rush from room to room to unload each box.
Quit complaining. When someone asks you how the move is going, it's easy to respond that it's
stressful, sad, expensive or demanding. But making an effort to respond optimistically will place the
move in a much more positive light. Instead of telling your neighbor how exhausting the move is, try
saying how exciting it is. Mention the better school system in your new home instead of pointing out
how difficult the move is for your children. When you make an effort to verbalize the positive aspects of
the move, you'll find it easy to stop complaining and to enjoy the experience.
Remain in control. It's a good idea to let others help ease the burden of the move- but too much help
can be disastrous. When accepting help, make sure that you know exactly what is going on at all times
so that you can answer the moving company's questions when necessary and find all of your belongings
Smile. Everyone knows the famous Judy Garland song saying "forget your troubles, come on get
happy." What few people know is that these words are entirely true. It is possible to make yourself "get
happy" by forcing a smile even if you don't mean it. So if you are troubled or aggravated by the move,
make sure to smile. In no time you'll forget your troubles- or leave them behind entirely.
Throw out the junk. It is worth repeating that getting rid of anything you don't really want is a great
way to save money on moving costs and to prevent the headaches associated with unpacking useless
items. Get rid of any clothing that you haven't worn within the past year. Donate books that you've
read to your local library or give them to friends. Have a garage sale to unload any household items that
may have value- profiting from the sale of your 'treasured' items will minimize your feelings of loss.
Uncork the champagne. There's nothing wrong with celebrating this change in your life. When you're
done packing, revel in the glory of having finished the first part of the job and celebrate with a bottle of
bubbly (even if you serve it in plastic cups). Invite everyone who helped to partake in the party, and
order a cake from your favorite local bakery to complete the celebration.
Visit your new home in advance (when possible). Advance knowledge of the layout and space
restrictions of your new home will help streamline the unpacking process. If you know, for example,
that your refrigerator door will need to be removed in order to fit through the doors, you can arrange
for this service in advance. Or, if you see that your sectional couch will not fit properly in your new living
room you can sell it or give it away before you move. Seeing your new space in advance will enable you
to think clearly and anticipate many obstacles before they arise.
Wrap everything carefully. It goes without saying that wrapping things carefully is essential for any
move. Take a moment to realize that this directive is not optional. If you are moving in a hurry and do
not have time to take the necessary precautions or you're nervous about how well you can wrap your
things, hire someone to do it. Spending a few extra dollars on the move will save you needless
aggravation and money that you'd spend if your belongings arrive damaged. Additionally, most moving
companies do not insure items that are wrapped by their clients, as they cannot confirm the security of
the items. If you are not entirely comfortable with your wrapping and packing skills, hire a professional
to pack the fragile items.
Xamine all contents as quickly as possible. Moving insurance is designed to guarantee that you'll be
compensated for anything that is broken during transport or unloading of the moving truck. However,
the longer you wait to examine the contents of your moving truck, the more difficult it will be to win
your claim. Make an effort to unpack and examine your things as quickly as possible so that if
necessary, you can make an insurance claim as quickly as possible. As an added benefit, the quicker you
unpack, the quicker you can truly enjoy your new home!
Yield to the professionals when necessary. Professional movers often think of themselves as
professional problem-solvers. An experienced mover can recommend the safest way to move your
furniture and can make suggestions about how to pack securely. While you aren't obligated to follow all
of your mover's advice, you may want to consider his suggestions- hopefully he has more experience
than you do and can offer solid advice.
Zero in on your goals, and zip right through the process. Your mother wasn't wrong when she told you
that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. Keeping an eye on your end goals will remind you
why it is that you are packing up your entire life. Remembering the ultimate goal of your move will help
keep you centered and enable you to zip right through to the finish line.