How to Prepare for a Move

Preparing is the key to a smooth move. Here are 10 easy steps to make your move go smoothly.

1.  Call a mover at least a month before your moving date. If it is an international move its better to call two months ahead, to make sure there are available ocean freight spaces.

2.  Get three quotes. If one of them is much cheaper than the other two, discard it. Experience tells us that such a company might not do the best work. If one is considerably more expensive than the other two (more than 20%) find out why. Their might be a reason why they charge more, such as exceptional customer service, highly trained personnel, or additional services that are included, such as storage.

3.  If you are unfamiliar with the company you are considering for your move, do some research. Ask for letters of reference or customer surveys; call the Better Business Bureau or the local Chamber of Commerce; or find out if the company has any corporate clients and perhaps call one of their previous clients to ask for an opinion.

4.  Pay attention to the service you receive when calling, and ask questions. Among the things to ask are whether the company uses their own personnel or not (some companies sub contract other firms, or hire daily workers), how much experience their teams have, whether or not they are bonded and insured, and whether or not they belong to any moving association, such as AIM, or IATA.

5.  Make a list of what absolutely positively has to go with you. There is hardly anything worse after a move, than to find out you left things behind that you wish you had taken with you.

6.  Make a list of what can stay behind in case everything does not fit into the truck or container (this will generally be loaded into the truck or container last)

7.  Decide what you really want to leave behind before an estimator goes to your home. Deciding what stays back and what goes with you during an estimate usually leads people to make spontaneous and inflated decisions about what things will ultimately be discarded. This, in turn will lead to an inaccurate estimate based on a lower weight and volume of what you will eventually take with you. It is very common for people to reverse their decision on the day of the move about what stays behind. What was once discarded in a rash decision, now all of a sudden, HAS to come along to your new place. If this happens with several items, all costs will rise unexpectedly because of the higher volume, and there is always the possibility that the truck or container that was requested for the move will not be sufficiently big to accommodate all the new cargo.

8.  Pre-pack as much as possible yourself-especially clothes. Not only will this reduce costs, it will help you decide if you really need everything you are taking.

9.  Leave the expensive and delicate items to the professionals. Fine china, crystals, antiques, art pieces, pianos, and big furniture items should all be packed by experienced movers. Additionally, for overseas voyages, those items that are not packed by movers can not be insured.

10. On the day of the move, wear comfortable and old clothes. A move is inevitably messy and some times even dirty. Chances are you will be moving things around, and doing some manual labor. Make sure what you wear is not something you mind getting dirty.

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