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There are many advantages to hiring a professional moving company for your next move. Whether you are selling a home or buying a home, moving is on your immediate "to do" list. I encourage you to take the time to get a few bids, preferably in person at your home. You are likely to find it is more affordable than you believe and surely saves you a tremendous amount of work.

Professional movers have all the knowledge, experience and materials to safeguard the secure transport of your precious belongings. Obtain at least three bids and request proof of insurance and current references.

The most important job for you in obtaining a moving estimate is to give as much information as possible and to update this information if it changes between the time of your estimate and the time of your move. A good example of this would be a substantial increase in the number of boxes to be transported or adding an additional stop for the moving truck. Do you have a storage unit at a different location? If you do, be prepared to provide not only the size and general description of contents; your mover needs to know hours of access and carry distances and/or elevators his crew will contend with at the storage facility

Your mover can only base his estimate on the information you provide. Your mover is going to need to know specifics about the destination address in order to formulate his estimate. Don’t surprise your mover. Let your mover know if there are time windows delivery is permitted, this is very common and If there are stairs at your new home make sure your mover is aware. If your new residence is a city dwelling, there could be parking issues including unusually long carry distances from the truck to your front door. If you leave out pertinent details about items, such as moving a collection of delicate collectibles, which require extra materials and time to pack, your mover cannot include those services in their estimate.

If an item is very delicate, exceptionally expensive or of tremendous value to you for whatever reason, you may want to transport the item on your own. A few examples would be jewelry, heirlooms and electronics. Understand that electronics are not customarily included under insurance policies so, discuss this with your mover so you are clear on important facts.

These are just a few suggestions of information your mover absolutely needs to know when calculating the estimate. Remember to be specific and provide every possible detail so your estimator will be able to formulate an accurate bid for services.

If you’re doing your own packing and moving, a little planning and preparation can help make the process smoother and save you from making costly mistakes. First of all, give yourself adequate time. Moving under pressure and rushing will cause you to pack items with less care and potentially forget seemingly minor details that can turn into big headaches. I suggest you allow at least six weeks of preparation for your move.

Take a moment to design a plan for how you intend to pack your moving truck. The first items loaded are the last items unloaded so, put the less important contents in the truck first. Whatever pieces of furniture and boxes are needed for the first night in your new home should be loaded last.

When you begin packing, you’ll need to stock up on plenty of supplies. Bubble wrap, packing paper, boxes, strapping tape and black markers will be on the top of your list. Your local office supply store and most moving companies sell a wide array of handy materials. If you use newspaper instead of professional packing paper, be prepared to wash all items you pack.

Do not list the contents of a box on the outside of the box. Instead, mark the box clearly on all sides with the room it is going to (i.e., kitchen, living room, master bedroom, etc) along with a NUMBER; keep a corresponding numbered list which indicates what each box contains (i.e., Box 1: DVD’s and CD’s, Box 2: Books). This list will help you prioritize which boxes to unpack first at your new home. A list will also help you check each numbered box off your list as it enters your home. By using a corresponding list, you'll know at the days end if any boxes are missing before the movers leave.

Use household linens like towels, smaller throw pillows, and rags at the top, bottom or corners of boxes carrying breakables for an added measure of protection. These items can also be used to fill in any open spaces in boxes to safeguard against shifting during transport.

Make sure all boxes close completely, leaving a flat top for easy stacking. Use smaller boxes for heavier items and try to keep like contents together (don’t put your kitchen flatware in a box with pool toys).

Leave clothing in dresser drawers. Leave small items like flatware, kitchen utensils or office supplies in their trays.

Never pack dishes flat in the box, any stress during transport will cause them to break. After carefully wrapping each plate in packing paper, stand them upright in the box one against the other, continuing to fill the box plate after plate until contents are secure and less likely to shift. You can use the space leftover in the corners to stack coffee cups and smaller kitchen items.

For furniture items that require disassembly, keep all nuts, and bolts together and tape them securely with strapping tape to the bottom of that same piece of furniture. Also, keep any tools needed for re-assembly of furniture with basic essentials to be unloaded first at your destination.

If you are transporting liquids, tape their lids closed and if at all possible, place them in air tight bags to safeguard against leakage during the move.

Pack a box or two of basics to help make life easier the first night in your new home. Include any tools needed to reassemble furniture, all medications, a stack of paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap and a few non-perishable snack items, along with plenty of water. You will also want to tuck a few scented candles in this box, light cleaning supplies and chargers needed for small electronics like cell phones and tablets.

A little planning, adequate materials and sufficient time will assure your move is as stress-free as possible. Concentrate on your destination and your first night at your new address. Before you know it, you’ll be unpacked and living happily ever after in your new home.

Copyright 2012: Valerie Anne Martinetti

Stack it Up - Pack it Up!

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