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Five Tips for a Fiasco-Free Move

By Valerie Dorer

Saying goodbye to one home, furnishing a new one, and trusting strangers with your belongings are not easy things to do. In fact, there are few things more stressful than moving. The one thing you can do to give yourself some peace of mind during this hectic time is to organize!

Here are five ways to organize your move:

  1. Put it in Writing: When packing your belongings, make sure you know exactly what is going into each box. This will make your life a whole lot easier when it comes time to unpack everything in your new space. The best way to keep track of each box is to number the boxes. Then print out some blank lists labeled by corresponding numbers and fill in the lists as you pack. Once you get to your new home, you'll know exactly which boxes are meant for each room. It's also a good idea to make 2 of each list, one to go on the box and the other to keep with you. This way, if a box goes missing you know exactly what you've lost. The bottom line is the more time you take to pack, the more time you save yourself when you unpack.
  2. Get Snap-Happy: While lists are a great way to keep track of boxes and their contents, they don't quite cut it when it comes to furniture. So put down the pen and pull out your camera! Photographing the furniture is a great way to catalog your pieces by room so you know where everything goes once you move. The photographs also serve as proof that any damage caused by the movers was not pre-existing. Just make sure you time stamp your photos so your evidence holds up.
  3. Keep Important Items With You: Make sure your keep your valuable possessions such as jewelry, silverware and antiques with you during the move. If you don't have the space to take them with you, check your homeowners' insurance to verify your coverage during the move. You may need to purchase additional insurance from the moving company.
  4. Keep Track of Important Documents: Before you move, designate a folder for all of your important documents such as school records, birth certificates, passports, etc. Be sure to keep this folder with you during the move and put it in a safe place once you arrive. Also be sure to not leave behind any sensitive documents such as current or old bills and credit card statements. If you are not taking these with you, you should make sure to shred them before you leave.
  5. Seal the Deal Before You Move: One major moving concern is cost, and rightfully so. If you don't keep an eye on the cost and agree on a price beforehand, the numbers can quickly get out of control. The first thing you need to do when you speak with a moving company is check their reputation online. If there are no red flags, ask them for an estimate for the job. If their estimate seems reasonable, ask for a contract. This of course will bind you to paying the agreed upon price but it will also ensure that the movers cannot legally charge you more than the price stated in the contract. This should be enough to keep you out of trouble as long as you read over the payment terms carefully and keep a copy of the contract for yourself.

There's no guarantee that nothing will go wrong during your move, but these five tips should ensure that you are prepared if anything does. As long as you are involved, in charge, and organized, moving homes will be fiasco-free. Best of luck!

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