How hard can it be to move home? Pack up your belongings, load them onto a van, unload the van, and then unpack your belongings. Job done.
Sounds way too simple, right? Not at all. That is exactly what should happen. But the devil is in the detail, the planning, and the prep work. And of course hiring a reputable and reliable mover will be the most crucial factor in a successful home move.
Here we will go through the 5 essential steps to ensure your home move is as stress-free and easy as possible, whether a local, long distance or even International home move.
#1 Create a Home Moving Timeline and Planner
Planning to ensure that no detail of your home move is missed is vitally important. It cannot be over emphasized how crucial it is to ensure your planning is as thorough as possible. Each element of your home move should be listed and then crossed off as it is completed. Your planner will cover all aspects of your home move from setting budgets, to getting packing supplies, to changing your address. To save you time we have already compiled a moving checklist and planner to get you started. Of course, each home move is unique, so the plan we have created for you is adaptable to include things that are specific to your home move. Just make a plan, be realistic on target dates and make sure you keep to the schedule, it is easy for moving day to creep up on you before you know it.
Don’t forget to have a plan B for if things don’t go exactly as you envisioned. Your moving company will have experience in facing and resolving most moving day issues, but it never hurts to have a back-up plan for every eventuality. It is better to be prepared and not use your plan B, than not having one and being in an ‘if only’ situation.
#2 Calculate your Home Moving Costs and Create a Budget Plan
When it comes to home moving costs it makes sense to try and save as much money as possible, but in a way that will not impact upon getting a quality mover to manage your home move. The first step to reduce your moving costs is to declutter your home. This means donating, giving away or selling all those items in your home that you no longer have a need for. This is dual purpose, first it will mean that your moving costs are reduced as you will have fewer things to pack and transport, and secondly, you may get some money back from those items that are surplus to your requirements and that you decide to sell.
Having decluttered your home you can now consider getting some quotes from reputable movers. The best way to do this is to firstly get a number of quotes using an online moving cost estimator. By doing this you will receive a number of quotes from movers who are licensed, insured, have been reviewed by fellow home movers and have the equipment and availability to successfully move you on the date you require.
Next, arrange for an in-home moving survey. This will enable the movers to give you a far more accurate cost estimate, discuss what services you may or not need, and assess any foreseen difficulties such as access issues on moving day. Equally important it will give you a chance to meet the movers and ask them any questions you may have about your home move. It is worth creating a crib sheet so that you can ask all the movers the same questions and therefore be able to compare them all on a level playing field.
So now you know how much a professional moving company will charge you so that you can set your home moving budget. Here we show you how to create a home move budget plan.
Must-read: How much does it cost to hire movers?
#3 Choose a Reliable Mover
Once you have your quotes, you should then research and investigate each of those moving companies that you are considering hiring. It is vitally important that you thoroughly check out the moving companies via the licensing authority: the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT number). Also, check their memberships at the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Don’t forget that personal recommendations are useful too, so ask around. Get as much information as you can to help prevent any moving day scams.
Use a reputable moving company review website to read current and trustworthy reviews of the movers who have given you a price estimate for your move. This will be one of your most useful sources of research. A reputable review site will filter out any unverified reviews and leave you with a variety of relevant, recent and useful reviews to read.
And at the end of the day, pay heed to your gut feeling. If a home moving quote seems too low to be true, then it probably is. If you have an uneasy feeling about any aspect of the movers who have provided you with quotes, walk away. It is better to be cautious now than regret ignoring your nagging doubts come moving day. You only get one chance to get moving home right, take every precaution, explore every avenue of research, and be 100% sure that you are confident in the movers you have chosen.
Good to know: How to find a reliable mover in 7 simple steps
#4 Pack like a Professional Home Mover
If you are using the professional packing services of your movers then this will save you a lot of extra work and will reduce your home moving time considerably. Not only that but you can be sure that your goods will be packed safely so that they arrive in the best possible condition.
However if you have chosen to pack your own household goods, your first task will be to assemble your packing materials. You will need many rolls of quality packing tape, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, packing paper and of course cardboard boxes. There is some great advice here about packing books.
Want to know how to get some free packing materials? Just click here.
You will need to learn how to pack your possessions properly to prevent any damage in transit and also to prevent damage to your old and new property during the moving process. Here you will find plenty of invaluable packing advice, from how to pack fragile and valuable items, to how to pack furniture. We can also offer advice on moving more obscure items such as pianos and even vending machines.
Don’t forget that it is essential to pack an open first box, even more so when you are moving across country when in theory you could arrive days before your household items do. To learn all there is to know about packing your moving day survival kit just click this link.
Check with your movers what you can and cannot pack, as some items are prohibited to be transported by the moving company, mainly for health and safety reasons.
Pay particular attention to labeling your moving boxes, it will make the locating of individual items and the whole unpacking process so much easier. Include information such as contents, and the destination room, as well as marking the box ‘fragile’, ‘handle with care’ or ‘this way up’ as appropriate.
Super useful: Packing timeline for moving: YOUR packing checklist
#5 Moving Day Made Easy
Come moving day morning, everything should be packed and ready to load. Don’t leave anything to the last minute, start the day organized and relaxed. Set the alarm so that you are awake and dressed, ready for action before the movers come knocking at your door, (don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing for your home move for maximum comfort and to avoid accidents).
Have your cell phone fully charged with any essential moving day telephone numbers stored in the phone, or listed on paper and kept safely close to hand.
Keep that open me first box close to you to avoid it being loaded on the mover’s truck.
If possible, put your pets in the kennels and have your children looked after by a friend or relative during the home move. This will be safer and less stressful not only for them, but for the moving team too. At the very least have a room where they can be looked after and kept out of harm’s way.
Have some refreshments prepared for the moving team, they will appreciate it and it will go some way to ensure everyone has as stress-free moving day as possible. Be available to answer questions from the moving team but stay out from under their feet, they have a job to do and it is safer and more productive if you stay at a discrete distance from them.
The most important thing to do on moving day, however, is to stay calm. You will have many emotions running around inside you, but keeping a level head, staying positive and calm, is the best way to get through moving day emotionally intact. Remember that those around you will feed off of your emotions and no matter what goes wrong on moving day, as long as nobody is injured, it is likely to be rectifiable, and it will not be the end of the world.
Don’t forget to have some cash ready to tip your moving team, after all, they have worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth and stress-free moving day. Have some small bills so that you can tip each member of the team personally rather than giving a lump sum to the foreman to distribute. It will show you have appreciated each individual’s hard work.
And of course, a successful home move is usually a team effort, which includes all the depot and administrative staff, so after your outstanding home move don’t forget to leave a review for your movers. Not only will the movers appreciate your review but it will help other home movers too.
But if your move did not quite go as you hoped, leave a review about that too, it can help the moving company improve their services, warn others of potential home move problems, and may help in some way to resolve any issues that you may have.
See, told you moving home was easy, just don’t cut corners on that planning phase, and be especially vigilant when choosing a reputable moving company, or it will come back to bite you, Jaws style!
Important: Don’t make these Moving day mistakes