Move Like a Pro

Tips and Tricks for your easiest move yet

If there’s one thing that everyone can agree on – it’s that moving is stressful. Packing, organizing, transporting – it can all be so daunting.  That’s why we asked professional movers for their best tips and tricks for a smooth and easy move.

Tips for picking the right moving company:

1. Select a mover who understands your situation

Pick a mover that is sincerely interested to hear what your needs or special requirements are, and is empathetic to the delicate state you’re in when you move.

– Simply Moving

2. Ask for an in-home estimate

An in-home estimate can greatly improve the accuracy of the quoted price and reduce unwanted surprises on moving day. Don’t consider a mover who isn’t willing to come to your home to perform a walk through and provide an in-home estimate.

– A-1 Freeman Moving Group

3. Get a binding estimate

Before contracting with a moving company, make sure to get a binding estimate in writing. This is different than a price quote because a binding estimate cannot be adjusted after the move is over, regardless of circumstantial changes along the way. Without a legally binding estimate, a dishonest moving company might change the final charges for a variety of reasons. They may claim improper calculations, incomplete inventories, or even worse may provide absolutely no explanation at all.

– Brookline Transportation

4. Ask about insurance

If you are using a moving company, find out if they will insure your belongings or if you require additional insurance during the move.

– DuMonde Moving

Packing and organizing tips:

5. Start packing early

Begin packing ahead of time, as people often underestimate how much work is involved in the packing process.

– Al’s Moving and Storage

6. Don’t pack boxes too heavy

Remember, gravity is stronger than cardboard, which can easily break under enough weight. Even if you’re hiring professional movers, the movers can take two or three small boxes at once to save time – but you can’t carry only half a box if it’s too big or unsafely over-packed.

– Safe Responsible Movers

7. Make an “unpack me first” box

Keep this box in your car – not the moving truck. This includes things like toiletries, pajamas, cleaning supplies, snacks; anything you need to survive for those first few chaotic days. It saves you having to dig through 100 boxes to find those essentials.

8. Use newspaper

Always pack china/earthenware plates, mugs, and glasses using generous amounts of newspaper, gently scrunched up to create a cushioning effect.

– 404Movers

9. Save at least three boxes for last-minute items

You should label one box for parts – while many movers will provide this, not all do. One box for high value or personal items such as cash, important documents, medications, and items you want to have in your possession at all times. Use the final box for any last-minute items you may have overlooked.

– Firefighting’s Finest Moving & Storage

10. If it fits in a box, it needs to be boxed up

Often people overlook items like decorations, lamps, toys, and misc. garage contents.  Having everything in boxes helps maximize the space in the truck and helps lower the risk of damage.

– Wasatch Moving Company

11. Empty dressers

To keep the furniture safe and save movers’ backs, make sure to empty all the contents from the dressers.

– Vector Moving NJ

12. Label everything, but keep it simple

Make sure each box is labeled with a description of what is inside of the box, what room it belongs in, and if there are fragile items inside. This will not only help to keep you organized on your moving day, but it will also prevent items from being damaged.

– Spaces Self Storage

Use a Sharpie to label boxes. Color coding and other complex labeling strategies are time-consuming and confusing to movers. Using a simple labeling technique saves tons of time and money in the end.

– OCD Moving Services

13. Don’t forget about electronics

Before you unplug and disconnect everything, use your phone to take a photo of how all the wires are connected.  This will make re-installation at your new place much easier. With a little forethought, you can easily avoid this common headache.

– Central Maine Moving & Storage

Always remove the cables and wires from your TVs, computers, and electronics and keep them with you. That way when your cable installer comes to hook up your TV, you will have what they need.

– Inside Moves Relocation Services

14. Make sure you have the right size moving vehicle

You’ll, of course, need a vehicle if you’re going to make the big move.  Be sure to tell your moving company how much stuff you have in advance so they can approximate the right size truck for you.

– Stellar Movers

15. Figure out your storage

If you’re moving over an extended time, or are planning for a bigger move, it might be worth considering renting a storage unit. This is especially helpful for moves involving larger items. Just make sure you budget accordingly; the most expensive places to rent storage in the United States are San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, and San Diego.

– PDX Movers

Post published initially on Redfin by Emily Huddleston