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How should I plan for a move?

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As the brisk housing market heats up this summer, remember that buying a new home means an upcoming move. And letís face it, nobody looks forward to packing up and moving to a new place, whether across town or cross-country. But moving doesnít have to be a drag ó it can be easier than you think and, dare we say it, kind of fun.

A professional mover can carry you through the hard part while you focus on the challenges and opportunities of your new home. Pros have the expertise to get the job done quickly and safely (not to mention with less back strain.) Like any other big job, you can select a lower difficulty level on the moving game by hiring pros and taking these steps.

Here are a few key things to look for when finding your mover match.

1. Check their credentials Moving across state lines? Make sure your mover has U.S. Department of Transportation registration. You can verify their registration (along with their complaint history) at

2. Get all the details Ask for a detailed price listing, known as a tariff. This will help avoid any hidden fees, such as going up stairs or moving particularly heavy items. It also helps both sides understand the scope of the job.

3. Have as much information as possible Most movers will run through a checklist when you contact them. The more information you have available about things like square footage and particularly hefty items such as pianos, the more accurate their quote will be.

4. Donít pay a big deposit

In most cases, you pay the bulk of the bill on the day of delivery. Companies will often ask for a deposit when you hire them, but it should generally fall below $500.

How to make moving easier. These steps can take a lot of pressure off your move.

1. Reserve well in advance If you plan to move on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, make your reservation at least a month ahead of time.

2. Cover the floors Your home will experience a lot of foot traffic and heavy hauling in a short time. Use moving blankets, plastic film carpet protectors, or even flattened cardboard boxes to protect the floor. You donít want your old homeís new owner to find brand-new scratches, and you certainly donít want to damage your new home on day one.

3. Protect walls and frames Similarly, a momentary mistake can put a dent or even holes in the walls. Pad the covers or edges of your furniture, and use doormats, rugs or floor pads to protect hardwood.

4. Catalog trouble spots

Narrow hallways, small streets, strangely shaped corners and stairs (especially those that turn) all make a move more difficult and can increase the cost. Let your mover know about them early to avoid surprises for either of you.

5. Inventory everything As you pack, keep a list of all items. It may seem easy to remember at first, but the average house has quite a lot stuffed in there. A checklist will help you account for everything at the beginning and end of the move.

6. Get it in writing In addition to the written estimate, be sure that any changes which affect cost are in writing.

7. Inspect quickly You have a certain amount of time to claim things that may have been damaged during moves. Check your belongings and file sooner rather than later.

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  1. DrakWare's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing such a detailed plan. I appreciate it. Weíre currently looking for a moving company, so Iíd be grateful for your recommendation.
  2. ChandlerGonzales's Avatar
    Hello there. Huge thanks for the provided information. Thatís very useful. I wish I had found this thread when we moved to our new house. Anyway, thanks for sharing.
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