Moving can be a very stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. Performing the proper research and preparation ahead of time (before the big move), can help make your move less stressful.
We’ve compiled a few tips below to help you have a smooth, safe, and secure move:
1. Research Your Moving Company
Many moving companies are unregulated and getting scammed by a moving company is common. Some unscrupulous moving companies provides an estimate, loads the goods, and then state a much higher price to deliver the goods, and hold your possessions hostage until you pay the higher price.
Therefore it’s important to do research before you choose a moving company.
First of all, see if the company is regulated. Check the company’s references, reviews, and if they have a rating by the Better Business Bureau.
Some things to watch out for when selecting a moving company include:
- Unprofessional phone etiquette or not returning your calls
- A poor BBB rating
- Bad customer reviews
- No on-site inspections and estimates
- Companies asking for cash up front
- Really low estimates
- Unmarked fleet vehicles or moving trucks
For interstate moves, a moving company is required by law to provide a “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If a moving company fails to provide this booklet for cross country moves, they are breaking the law.
Before hiring a moving company do extensive online research, there are numerous online resources designed to protect consumers from getting scammed by moving companies.
2. Take Inventory of Belongings
Make a detailed list or spreadsheet with all of your belongings. If you are using a moving company, label and number all of your moving boxes.
For larger ticket items such as electronics, record the serial numbers, in case anything goes missing or gets lost, or stolen during the move. Also, make sure your renters or homeowners insurance covers damage and loss of your possessions, throughout all aspects of your move.
3. Insure Your Property and Possessions
Before you movie into your new apartment, home or condo, you should purchase renters or homeowners insurance for the property. Insurance protects your residence and your possessions, in the event of a break-in, theft, or disaster, such as a fire.
4. Research Your New Neighborhood
Drive around your new neighborhood before you move in, at different times of the day and observe activity. Talk to a couple of neighbors, to get their viewpoint of the neighborhood.
Get familiar with your new surroundings and find out where the nearest grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, gyms, and other places of business you might want to frequent. Getting familiar with your surrounds before the move, takes the stress out of move, because you’ll already have an initial lay of the land, before you arrive at your new home and neighborhood.
Be prepared. In case of an emergency, document addresses and phone numbers for nearby police stations, fire departments, and hospitals.
5. Change The Locks
Whenever you move into a new home, it’s extremely important to change the locks. You never know if the previous owners, service providers, or other individuals have a spare key to the property. Contact a locksmith, and have all main locks switched out to front and back doors, garages, storage sheds, and gates.
6. Check for Vulnerable Areas
When you move into your new home, inspect the home thoroughly for vulnerable areas. Check for broken or missing locks on doors, windows, garages and gates. Replace any broken or missing locks. If the home’s front door does not have a deadbolt, have one installed.
Also look for overgrown shrubbery near entry/exit points. If there is overgrown landscaping near doors and windows, trim it back. Otherwise you are creating camouflage for thieves to enter your home unnoticed.
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