Move-in day excitement shouldn’t be overshadowed by moving day anxiety. Some smart preparation can go a long way towards making moving a little more uplifting (and a little less heavy lifting). Here are 5 things you can do leading up to your move to make for less stress on moving day.
1. Consider Your Move Date
Like tomatoes and pumpkin spice lattes, there is a peak season for moving, which falls between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But unlike tomato sandwiches, moving is actually best done during the off season for the most options and the best prices. Considering that the first and last weeks of the month can be particularly popular as well, a mid-week, mid-month move during the months of October–April is recommendedas your best bet.
Having access to the widest array of dates and times means that you’ll be able to plan your move when it’s most convenient for you. Plus, you’ll save money by scheduling during a slower time of the year.
2. Have a Packing Plan
Less stuff equals less stress when it comes to packing. Instead of blindly beginning to box your belongings, take stock in what you actually want to bring with you when you move. To get started, consult this step-by-step guide to the pre-move purge for tips on what you should consider when deciding what stays and what goes.
This meticulous approach keeps you sane and helps you plan—knowing exactly what you’ll be moving and how unwieldy those items is key for deciding what kind of moving company you’ll need.
3. Do Your Research
Options can be overwhelming, but having the right information will make you feel confident that you’re hiring the right team for your move. When it comes to moving companies, they generally fall into 3 major categories: full-service, self-service, and specialized. How much you have to move, what kind of items you’re moving, and your budget will determine which category of moving company makes the most sense. In broad terms, a full-service moving company handles every part of the move—from packing to transporting to unloading at your final destination. A self-service company generally handles only the transportation part of the move (meaning that packing, unpacking, loading, and unloading the truck are up to you) and specialized moving companies are trained in proper techniques for moving unique items like antiques, art, appliances, or pianos.
Once you have an idea of the type of moving company you’ll need, get 3-4 moving quotes from properly licensed and insured professional movers to thoroughly compare your options.
4. Budget Accordingly
Expenses can add up quickly when you’re moving long-distance, so keeping track of your budget is a crucial step in your pre-move plan. Your moving quote will be a powerful tool to help you budget. There are a few different types of estimates you can receive, but the most popular type is called a binding not-to-exceed or guaranteed not-to-exceed estimate. This type of estimate ensures that the most you’ll pay is the quoted price, but you’ll pay less if the actual weight of your belongings is less than the estimated weight. Once you have an idea of what you’ll pay for your moving service, remember to additionally budget for tipping your movers. $10 per person for a half-day move and $20 for a full day is a good place to start.
5. Think About Moving Insurance
When you’ve taken care to pack only your most meaningful belongings, the last thing you want is to worry about them being damaged on their way to your destination. Moving insurance can give you peace of mind. By law, all moving companies must provide 2 coverage options for out-of-state moves: Full Value Protection and Released Value Protection. Full Value Protection requires movers to replace items damaged during moving or reimburse the current value. Released Value Protection only requires reimbursement at $0.60 per pound. You can ask the moving companies giving you quotes what expanded coverage they may offer, or, if your items are particularly valuable, you may want to consider carrying your own third-party moving insurance policy as well.