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House Moving Tips


House moving can be a huge chore, and many of those who have recently been through a move swear they will never do it again. This is unlikely, however, as Americans are a people on the move, and many people will move this year to take a new job, enjoy retirement or just start a new life.

The key to making the move a successful one is good planning. It is important to take the time to plan for this major event. Whether you are moving across town or across the country, it is important to plan the move properly in order for it to go as smoothly as possible.

Perhaps the biggest decision is whether to move yourself or hire a mover. Those with lots of heavy objects to move, or those moving a long distance, may be better off going with a professional mover. If you are moving to take on a new job, chances are good that the new employer will offer some sort of moving assistance as well.

Many people forget about the little things when moving, but those little details can make a huge difference down the road. For instance, sending out change of address forms to utility companies, credit card companies, friends, family members and professional organizations takes only a few minutes, but it is very important that these businesses and individuals know how to reach you in your new location.

It is important as well to research the utility companies in your new location, including telephone service, water, power, cable and Internet service providers. When making arrangements with telephone and power companies, it will help to have a layout of the new home, complete with the locations of power outlets and telephone lines.

One great way to save money on the move while picking up some spare cash is to have a pre-moving garage sale. We all pick up lots of extra possessions, and moving all that excess junk to the new home can complicate the process. Why not clean out the closets a couple of weeks before the scheduled moving day? You may be surprised how much your unwanted treasures are worth to others in the neighborhood.

The procedure for the actual house moving will depend on whether you have opted for the do it yourself approach or decided to hire a mover. We will first look at the steps involved in the do it yourself move.

  • It is best to pack one room at a time, and it is a good idea to start with infrequently used areas, like guest bedrooms and storage rooms. This will give you a head start on your move.

  • Small boxes should be used for heavy things like books, kitchen items, etc. Any boxes that contain fragile items should be properly marked, as should any boxes that must remain upright.

  • After 75% of the boxes have been packed, measure the dimensions of the boxes. This information will be very useful when it comes time to pack the rental truck.

  • The doors of dressers, armoires and other furniture should be held shut with masking tape. This tape is less likely to cause damage to the finish of the furniture.

  • Be careful when loading the truck, and be sure to take full advantage of the vertical space available. That means sitting sofas on end, loading the mattresses and box springs with the long sides up, and standing up all tall furniture. Most house moving trucks will have bars or tracks along the side. These bars and tracks can be used to tie items in place. Any area rugs should be packed after the furniture, so they can be put in place at the new home before the furniture is unpacked.

  • Boxes should also be packed in the "last in/first out" manner. The boxes that will be needed immediately should be packed last.

The process is a bit different if you plan to leave it to the professional mover. Perhaps the most important consideration when using a professional mover is the quality of the home moving company. Be sure to ask for references, and be sure to check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints that may have been lodged against the company. Deal only with companies that have a stellar reputation for customer service.

It is important to clarify rates up front as well and ask about items that could cause rates to rise. These items include moves over a certain mileage or loads over a certain weight. Also inquire about any special discounts, like senior discounts or military rates, to which you might be entitled.

If you have any special items, or highly valuable items like artwork or antiques, be sure to let the moving company know right away. There may be special charges for transporting such items. In addition, be sure to notify the moving company about any potential challenges at the old home and the new one, including steep driveways, narrow doorways, etc.

Last but certainly not least, remember to get a signed contract which clearly spells out the agreed upon price, the dates of the move, including packing services, mileage and insurance.

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