11 Tips for a Smooth Move

Relocation.com’s Charlie Morris is a certified moving consultant (CMC) with 30 years' experience working with moving customers on all kinds, shapes and varieties of moves. He shares some of the most important tips for a smooth move.
  1. Decide what things you want to take and what to leave behind. If you have not used a bread maker you got as a wedding gift six years ago, you will probably not use it at your new home -- why pay to move it?

  2. Do an in-home walk-through with representatives of moving companies in order to get moving estimates. This is not something that can be done easily over the phone or by filling out an Internet inventory. You are likely to forget things, and your moving company representative is a trained professional. Be thorough: Make no assumptions about the care given an item for which you have a concern, and ask questions about the handling of those items.

  3. If you are getting several moving quotes, the same person should do the walk-through so that you're comparing apples to apples, so to speak. How the survey is conducted should be a factor in selecting the moving company -- a representative not giving his full attention has probably forgotten something. It can come back to haunt you later.

  4. As moving day approaches, check the weather. In particular, if you live in a colder climate with a chance of snow or ice in the winter months, make sure driveways and sidewalks are cleaned off before your movers arrive. Discuss the protection of your home with your moving company representative during your in-home survey/walkthrough.

  5. Notify your current and new neighbors of loading and unloading dates. Most trailers are long, and with a tractor attached they take up a fair amount of space. Managing the parking situation as well as neighborhood children and animals will help the process.

  6. Whoever met with the moving company representative should work with the moving crew. This will ensure the items to be moved are the same items identified in the walk-through. Also, when the driver arrives at your home, he will probably want to do a complete tour of the home. Walk along so you can answer questions as they arise.

  7. Prepare refreshments and snacks for the moving crew at both origin and destination. It is money well spent: The crew will be most productive if they do not have to leave the job site, and they will appreciate your consideration. Minor things can have a major effect on the move.

  8. Show respect to your driver and crew. I’ll never forget a crew that came back to the office extremely upset a customer clutched her purse the entire day; it immediately gave them the feeling she did not trust them. They were offended and I’m certain it had an effect on the move. Being a mover is not an easy job and does require special skills. Compliment your moving crew about the good job they are doing.

  9. Walk through your home with driver as he is preparing the inventory. This is the best time to ask questions and express concerns. The driver will do a condition report of your furnishings. The inventory is not one-sided – yes, it will protect the driver and the moving company, but it can also make the claims process easier for you should there be damage to any of your furnishings during the move.

  10. Have room schematics of where you want your furniture placed in your new home. This will help the crew as they move in the furniture. Once the moving crew gets the “lay of the land" the move-in will run smoothly. Enlist the assistance of other family members or friends to help with furniture placement, and placement of the moving boxes. Also, check items off the inventory as they're brought into your home to make sure everything showed up properly.

  11. Gratuities are not required, but they are appreciated by the driver and his crew. A tip is a sign the customer was pleased with the service, and should be equated with the quality of the service. You may want to take some notes throughout the move to help you determine if a gratuity is warranted and how much it should be. On a large, long-distance move, several people may be involved in completing your move (packers, driver, and moving helpers), so keep that in mind in determining the amount.

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