Monday, May 17, 2010

Moving On

Well…I made it to Miami in one piece!  I lived here for a little over two years, so it feels good to be back in my old stomping grounds.  I’ll spare you the details of my many cross-country moves for now, but I will tell you that one of the reasons I’m back is to ensure the remainder of my personal belongings make it onto a Nashville bound moving truck this Wednesday.  As I’ve discovered many times over the past few years, moving takes a whole lot of preparation and work.  If you’ve got a move coming up soon or know someone that does, then we hope you get some use out of the following words of wisdom.

Give yourself enough time to pack

The sooner you can start the packing process the better.  Don’t wait until you wake up and feel the urge to pack…it may never happen.  Estimate how much time you think it’ll take.  Now double it.   The truth is, packing will always take you longer than you think.  I read that it takes about five hours to pack up an average dorm.  How much bigger is your house than that?  How much more stuff have you accumulated than what can be gathered in a semester?  It may seem like a crazy long time, but ideally you should try to give yourself a month to pack everything up.  It’s a classic ‘better safe than sorry’ scenario, plus it will give you time to really get organized.  The last thing you want to do is simply transfer your mess- take the time to make this move a time you can start over fresh in a new space.  

Pick a good mover

If Joe Schmo’s moving company isn’t insured, licensed, or can’t provide you with good references be prepared to run like the wind.  Check with a real estate agent or friends in the area, they should be able to give you a good recommendation for someone they know or have done business with.  You can also consult the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Better Business Bureau.  It’s smart to get quotes from about three moving companies, although beware of the movers that give you a drastically different price than the others (higher or lower).  The key to getting an accurate quote is detailed communication with your potential movers.  Some companies have hidden fees, so make sure you’ve got a good understanding of what your estimate is based on (Weight?  Volume?  Mileage?  All three?).  Tell your movers if you have stairs, as some charge extra for this inconvenience.  Also, make sure you communicate any particularly heavy equipment or boxes that need to be moved.  The clearer the picture you can give your movers on what to expect, the better.

Pack Room by Room

Try and focus on one room at a time to simplify the unpacking process.  You may even want to consider color coordinating boxes or tape on boxes to differentiate between boxes for different rooms.  One thing you should definitely do, however, is label the boxes on at least two sides.  Don’t be afraid to ask your movers to stack the boxes labels out, they’ll more than likely be happy to help and it will absolutely lighten the unloading process.  Keep boxes below thirty pounds if possible, but absolutely below 50 pounds.  It doesn’t matter how many books you were able to stuff into a box if it takes the Power Team to lift it up.  

Keep Important Documents with You

In your purse or bag keep
1)You and your family’s birth certificates and passports
2)School Records
3)Mover Estimates
4)New Job Contacts
5)Utility Company Numbers
6)Recent Bank Records
7)Current Bills
8)Closing Papers
9)Realator Info
10)  Maps
And any other important document or valuable item you can think of!  You do not want to risk any of these getting lost or stolen.  Anything irreplaceable should be kept under a watchful eye.


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