How to Survive a Move in 10 Steps

man laying under stack of moving boxes with feet and legs poking out
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

How to Survive a Move in 10 Steps

A humorous look at the moving process with some very valuable information

“I’m moving.”

Those are two of the scariest words in the English language, right? On a scary scale, moving fits between, “root canal” and your partner saying, “mom’s visiting.”

Double that terror if you are going to use a mover. You can see it now. Strangers coming into your house to pack your most cherished belongings! The mind starts to spin.

Slow down. It’s okay. We are here to give you some hope with some moving advice. Our goal is to make that process easier by providing you some ammo and education before you sign on the dotted line.

Full disclosure. In the end, we hope that you will choose us as your mover. We’d be a bit crazy to steer you to another mover. But these subjects apply to us as well. If we don’t stack up, then go with the company that makes sense. Really.

So, here we go!

10 Tips

#1. Think with the end in mind

It was probably Steven Covey who first came up with that concept “think with the end in mind”. Okay, he is old and cliché, yet it certainly applies here. The end game is getting moved into your new home. With that goal in mind, you can reverse engineer the process to make sure that happens.

All you “analyticals” will love that. Engineering a move. Project management!

For the rest of us, we need to have to plan and probably a calendar. That moving date will sneak up quickly.

#2. Don’t choose a mover based upon the nifty color of their trucks

Unfortunately, some people do about as much research. There are real differences between moving companies. You must dig a bit and ask good questions.  Are they licensed with the state and the federal government? Is this a binding estimate? What other charges may apply? There are lots of great questions to ask. You can look further on our website to learn more.

Oh, and hiring a mover off a poster on a telephone pole is about as smart as buying football tickets from that scalper at the stadium. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

#3. Breathe! The fastest way for a move to go south is to stress out.

It’s not a great idea to stand over the plumber or critiquing the mechanic on how tight to tighten a bolt. Same with movers. Try to let the movers do their job. Movers know what they are doing and why they are doing it.

Of course, if the mover is using your big screen as a truck ramp, you have permission to speak up. If that happens, go back to tip #2.

Understand not everything will go perfect. In reality, even if the mover does everything perfect, a cup may get broken or a truck may be delayed. Doggie Doo happens. The sign of a good company is what they do to resolve it.

#4.  Be a rebel. Don’t move when everyone else does.

This one is important. Moving during the less busy times will greatly improve your experience. Movers have a lot more flexibility during the slower days.

Most people can’t choose what month to move, but you might be able to choose what day. The last two weeks of the month and Fridays are very busy, especially in the summer. The last Friday in August is like trying to return a toaster at Best Buy on Black Friday. It can be done, but you really “gotta wanna”. You get our point. Try to schedule the closing of your house earlier in the month.

And no, you can’t sign the closing papers and have movers arriving on the same day, unless you like stress. Inviting more stress is just wrong.

#5.  “I’m moving” isn’t a good excuse to allow the inside of your house to become a disaster zone.

Get organized. Pick up the clutter. Do we sound like your mother? Good.

Create an aisleway between the boxes. Whether you are paying hourly on a local move or moving long distance, an organized home is a key responsibility of the customer. Doing dishes isn’t in a mover job description. Neither is picking up little Johnny’s underwear.

#6. Let’s get it all on the table.

You need to be clear and detailed with the mover. Let the mover know up front if you suspect that the delivery address might be difficult. If you didn’t sell those chairs, let us know that they now will be going. Unexpected twists to a move are always better addressed in advance. Leave the surprises to the stuff the home inspector missed in his walk thru. Sorry. That probably isn’t funny. Too soon.

#7. Don’t put everything off till the end.

Are you doing your own packing? When it comes down to the wire, you can’t pack everything in one day. Professional packers can sometimes, but not us mortals.

Between now and a day before the move, it is important that you stay ahead of the game when it comes to preparation. Plan your packing strategy. Set up a schedule to pack a room a day (give the kitchen two days).

The reality:

  • Packing will take twice as long as you think
  • Poor quality boxes will fall apart. Say no to grocery store boxes and masking tape
  • Packing is more efficient if you leave the wine until you are done
  • Everything will amazingly become more important than packing boxes–even saying goodbye to Aunt Bessie. Pack a room a day. Eat your vegetables.

#8. Not everything makes sense to move.

You know that college sofa that you are holding onto? The one in the game room. If you are paying $9 per pound to move your goods across the country, that sofa probably costs around $300 to move. Everything will be okay leaving the black sofa that you love so much. It’s okay. We’ll hold your hand.

Side note. We don’t pack and move kids. Even if you ask nicely.

#9. I can move myself. No problem.

Self-moves are much more expensive than you think. That truck that advertises using their truck for $9.99–that little asterisk next to the price refers to per mile charges, pads, fuel, hotel, insurance and dollies, lock, pizza and divorce lawyer. Don’t forget the chiropractor. You’re not 20 anymore.

#10.  Hey, babe. Remember the move to Poughkeepsie?

At the end of the move, what will you remember? Is it that the mover was the cheapest or that the move went pretty well? Invest in your mental health. Hire a professional mover based upon value not price.

Studies show that a relocation is one of the three most stressful things in life. Only death and divorce are more stressful. Just remember, a bad move can cause #1 and #2.

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