Did you know May is National Moving Month? Between college students coming home for the summer and families packing up and heading to a new home, May is the busiest season for saying hello to new digs. While moving makes for an exciting time in people's lives, it can also be physically demanding and stressful. But not to worry. If you or someone you know is looking to move this year, we've got you covered with the below tips for a smooth move.
Choosing a Mover
If you're planning to hire a moving company, make sure you do your homework. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers these tips for a finding a legitimate mover:
Check that the mover is registered with FMCSA. All interstate household movers must be registered with the Federal government and have a U.S. DOT number and a proper level of insurance. Watch out for scam artists who don't have these credentials so you don't put your precious belongings in the hands of the wrong people.
Ensure the mover does an onsite inspection of your home before providing you with an estimate. Avoid receiving estimates over the phone, and be sure to get the estimate in writing before signing on the dotted line.
Review the insurance policies closely. The mover should offer you an option for Full Value Protection, which will provide you with the replacement value of lost or damaged goods. Be wary of Released Value Protection, which is typically offered at no additional cost and only covers you for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. For example, if your mover lost a 10-pound TV valued at $1,000, you would only receive $6.00 in compensation. Yikes!
Before you pack, take inventory and do a "cleanse" of your belongings. Have a garage sale or donate unwanted items to charity.
Keep important documents, like your social security card, on you during the move, and pack items that you'll need first in a clear bin so it stands out from cardboard boxes.
Wrap dishes, glasses, and other breakable items in clothing to cut down on the cost of bubble wrap. Socks also work as extra padding when packing glasses and other stemware.
Use colorful tape to color-code your boxes (blue for bathroom, yellow for kitchen, etc.), and label boxes on the side, not the top, so you can easily identify them when stacked.
Don't forget to measure all large furniture to make sure it will fit in your new home.